Japan Rush on India, the real war

Axis & Allies Revised by Avalon Hill. Released in 2004.
Axis & Allies is a classic game of war, economics, and global strategy. Victory goes not only to the team that conquers its opponents on the field of battle, but also to the individual player who seizes the most enemy territory.
timerover51
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Japan Rush on India, the real war

Post by timerover51 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:07 am

Logistics of the Imphal Operation, March to July,1944

For those Axis players using Japan who like to rush India, the following description of Japanese Army logistics during the attack on Imphal, which would be closest to the concept of a Japanese attack on India from Burma, should prove interesting. The source is the book, Kogun by Saburo Hayashi, a Japanese Army staff officer assigned to Imperial General Headquarters throughout World War 2. The Imphal Operation is covered on pages 92 to 101.

“The failure of the Imphal Operation was not due to unsatisfactory action on the part of the front-line soldiers but was attributable to the fact that the Fifteenth Army made light of the enemy and ignored logistics in its complacent operational planning. The essentials of the army’s logistical thinking embodied the following features:

Officers and men should carry maximum amounts of provisions.
Elephants and oxen should be used for hauling stores.
The oxen should be devoured when provisions run out.
Personnel should be prepared to eat grass. (As a matter of fact, they had already trained themselves to do so.)
The advance along the road to Imphal from Kohima should be effected within two weeks, at the latest, after the commencement of operations.
The road should be repaired after its capture, in order to convoy supplies at once by motor vehicle.

One might say that the army was counting it chickens before they were hatched!

From the outset, many individuals had grave doubts concerning the plan. The Fifteenth Army Chief of Staff, Nobuyoshi Obata, an officer who was well versed in logistical matters, urged General Mutaguchi to reconsider and was therefore transferred. Operational planning founded upon such shaky logistical schemes resembled a house built upon sand. Soon after the start of operations, the flow of supplies broke down, the army’s grave was dug.” (page 99)

The Division Commander (31st Infantry Division, General Sato) dispatched the following telegram to the Area Army Headquarters: “The tactical ability of the Fifteenth Army staff lies below that of cadets.” (page 97)

“On the other hand, the Japanese Army lost more than half of its military strength en route to this sector; while munitions, supplies, and food started to run short.” (page 96)

Logistics was not a strong point of the Japanese Army in World War 2. Similar comments could be made about the Japanese advance from Buna against Port Moresby in New Guinea over the Owen Stanley Mountain Range, Japanese operations in the Solomon Islands area, Japanese Army operations along the northern coast of New Guinea, and Japanese Army operations on the island of New Britain, to mention a few additional cases.

It is unfortunate that neither terrain problems or logistics are reflected in the game, as the terrain between Burma and India is some of the toughest in the world. For a good description of traversing it from the Allied viewpoint, I would recommend a history of Merrill’s Marauders, the only American ground combat unit deployed in the area, or General Slim’s Defeat Into Victory, Slim being the British commander in Burma from the initial retreat to the final advance on Rangoon.

The next time you casually send your Japanese forces charging into India from French Indo-China or Burma, just remember that in the real war, your forces never would have managed it.

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Larry
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Post by Larry » Thu Nov 13, 2008 2:38 pm

Unless of course as the Japanese player you assigned a high priority to proper supplies and up keep of your forces. Of course this kind of thing (supplies)is not part of the A&A gaming system but neither is keeping track of who headlining along with Bob Hope at the American USO shows :)

You could look at it this way (from the games prospective)... if the Japanese player sends sufficient units to take over India, they must be consider well enough equipped to do so. Sending too few units or not sending enough to do the job could be seen as a failure to support the missions objective properly.


My father often spoke of how inadequate the Japanese equipment was and how the prisoners were all very thin and under nourished. Especially in New Guinea. He almost went to Burma with Merrill’s Marauders. At one point they were looking for combat veterans from the Solomon’s. The carrot was a 60 day reassignment to the States for training (if I’ve got my facts right). He decided, and correctly so in retrospect, to stay with his unit and buddies (43rd Inf).

Thanks for sharing this.

timerover51
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Post by timerover51 » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:20 pm

Larry wrote:Unless of course as the Japanese player you assigned a high priority to proper supplies and up keep of your forces. Of course this kind of thing (supplies)is not part of the A&A gaming system but neither is keeping track of who headlining along with Bob Hope at the American USO shows :)

You could look at it this way (from the games prospective)... if the Japanese player sends sufficient units to take over India, they must be consider well enough equipped to do so. Sending too few units or not sending enough to do the job could be seen as a failure to support the missions objective properly.


My father often spoke of how inadequate the Japanese equipment was and how the prisoners were all very thin and under nourished. Especially in New Guinea. He almost went to Burma with Merrill’s Marauders. At one point they were looking for combat veterans from the Solomon’s. The carrot was a 60 day reassignment to the States for training (if I’ve got my facts right). He decided, and correctly so in retrospect, to stay with his unit and buddies (43rd Inf).

Thanks for sharing this.
Actually, adding supply to Axis and Allies as an optional rule would not be that hard. Same with some optional terrain rules. However, because of the following rule, I will not be posting any of them.

All information, including but not limited to, documents, images, rules or rule sets, or discussions received or posted by
Harris Game Design or posted by visitors to this website shall be considered to be the sole property of Harris Game Design.

As for the comment being posted, I believe that you missed the point. That being that the Japanese NEVER HAD the ability to supply an attack on India.

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Larry
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Post by Larry » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:27 am

LOL - right, I'm missing the point my good man. But then again, it really is difficult to understand where you're coming from and what exactly your point is. I don't think I like your attitude - get my point?

timerover51
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Post by timerover51 » Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:28 am

Larry wrote: I don't think I like your attitude - get my point?
Hmm, is this meant as a threat? Not sure, however, when I visited Boston in 1970 looking at going to MIT, I discovered that I did not really fit in well in Massachusetts. I definitely had the wrong attitude then, so now having problems with attitude again with someone in Massachusetts is not that surprising. Handy screen shot though, just in case.

As for the purpose of the initial post, it was to show those players who are not enamored with the Axis, and who would like the Allies to win that there is a vast difference between the game and the real war. The Japanese Army was great at fighting the Chinese, and had problems when fighting any one else on even or near even terms. Their logistics and supply system was not exactly competent, they vastly overestimated their ability and underestimated the opposition to the point of comtempt, and they really did not have that much of an economy behind them. They were an army dependent on animal transport when they did not have access to either a railroad or river, as in China. They were no more capable of attacking India in 1942 than they were in 1944. The game allows things to happen that could or would not have happened in the real war, like Japan threatening Moscow from the east, or Germany running wild in Africa, or Japan taking Hawaii or Australia. Those were not even "what if" scenarios in the war.

The game is limited by the game mechanics and the need to placate the Axis players who want to make sure that they win consistently. You have never made the effort in any of the games to provide an alternate accurate historical scenario as a balance to the standard set up, so that the players of the game can see the difference between a historical outcome and an outcome dictated by game balance. The games do have sufficient flexibility to be adapted to a more accurate historical portrayal, depending on how much work and research a player wishes to do. Some concession to terrain features was made in the Revised, Pacific, and Anniversary editions with the addition of an unpassable Sahara Desert and Himalayan Mountain chain. It would have been nice if more would have been done, but there are always house rules. Guess it is not possible to have everything.

Oh, and by the way, I have no intention of going away. More historical posts will be coming.

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Larry
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Post by Larry » Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:03 am

Good

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elbowsanchez
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Post by elbowsanchez » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:29 pm

The game is limited by the game mechanics and the need to placate the Axis players who want to make sure that they win consistently. You have never made the effort in any of the games to provide an alternate accurate historical scenario as a balance to the standard set up, so that the players of the game can see the difference between a historical outcome and an outcome dictated by game balance. The games do have sufficient flexibility to be adapted to a more accurate historical portrayal, depending on how much work and research a player wishes to do. Some concession to terrain features was made in the Revised, Pacific, and Anniversary editions with the addition of an unpassable Sahara Desert and Himalayan Mountain chain. It would have been nice if more would have been done, but there are always house rules. Guess it is not possible to have everything.

Oh, and by the way, I have no intention of going away. More historical posts will be coming.

Timerover51, dude, this is a game. Larry is our host, so I hope your a guest that wipes the toilet seat after taking a piss with the seat down. I dont mind differences of opinions, but do you have to be so confrontational? I personally like your writing style and the positive things you are offering here, but the other stuff your bringing here is not needed.

Why don't you come to GTO (GameTablesOnline) and I will show you how to get your butt kicked as Allies. People need to expand the gaming group that they game with or your really not getting it.
Last edited by elbowsanchez on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
-The evil Bert & friend

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adlertag
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Post by adlertag » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:37 pm

elbowsanchez wrote: I dont mind differences of opinions, but do you have to be so confrontational?
A&A is a wargame, we are supposed to be confrontational by nature.

If we were not confrontational people, we would do woman stuff like making flower embroidery or other needlework, and Larry would be out of bussiness. I figure you cant both have a cake and eat it.

And the most natural born confrontational gamer here seems to be timerover51, boy, I would love to meet this man in a face to face game, him the allies, me the axis, (Adlertag, your pushing it)

:edit from elbowmaster
Last edited by adlertag on Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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