After the outbreak of the Pacific War, the Japanese army and Navy frequently succeeded in various battlefields in the South and achieved great victories.
Before the spring of 1942, the first phase of the Pacific War was completed half of the time in advance.
The strength of Britain and the US military was seriously weakened in the war.
In contrast, the loss of the Japanese army was very small.
The favorable situation formed in Japan’s initial operations led to differences between the army and Navy on the overall strategic guidance and specific operational objectives.
The differences on the overall guidance of future wars are mainly reflected in two aspects: whether to continue to develop large-scale strategic attacks or adopt strategic defense according to the original plan in order to establish a long-term invincible strategic situation.
Is it based on the frontal operations of the United States and the Pacific, or the operations of Britain, China, the Indian Ocean and the Asian continent.
The army believes that the huge results of the first phase of operations will enable Japan to dominate the Western Pacific in the next two years.
The sustained and invincible situation in the Pacific has basically taken shape, and Japan does not have the ability and means to directly attack the mainland of the United States.
Therefore, after occupying the resources and strategic areas in the south, we should take advantage of the favorable opportunity that it is difficult to recover the U.S. maritime power for a while, based on the long-term war policy determined before the war, quickly turn to the strategic adjustment of Japan, “Manchuria”, China and the occupied areas in the south, cultivate national war forces, and fundamentally establish a long-term and lasting strategic situation.
According to this policy of protracted war, the army envisages that the military strategy for the next stage should be to take restraining operations aimed at ensuring the occupied area against the United States in the East frontal Pacific.
At the same time, the main force of the army and Navy will be transferred to the Indian Ocean and China India Myanmar mainland in the west front.
By controlling the Indian Ocean, defeating China and forcibly opening up India and West Asia in response to Germany and Italy, we will first defeat the United States’ allies Britain and China to achieve the purpose of isolating the United States.
Later, he turned to the East and fought a decisive sea battle with the United States.
The Japanese Navy believes that the strategic guideline of “capturing the resources and strategic points of the south in the first stage and eliminating the main force of the US Navy in the second stage” determined before the war has not met the needs of the development of the war situation.
As the US Navy was severely damaged in the early stage of the war, half of the original task of annihilating the main force of the US Navy in the second stage has been completed.
Therefore, the operational task of the second stage should be to actively fight with the United States in the Pacific before the strength of the United States is restored, so as to shorten the war time as much as possible.
The biggest force advocating this view within the navy is the joint fleet headed by Yamamoto 56.
As early as before the war, Yamamoto believed that a protracted war with the United States with strong war potential was unfavorable to Japan and should take continuous active attacks to force the United States to recover in both material and spiritual aspects.
The victory of the first battle strengthened the determination of the joint fleet to take the United States as the direct target and carry out continuous active attacks in the Pacific.
The joint fleet believes that delaying time will not only lose the past achievements, but also enhance the strength of the United States and put Japan in a passive position of waiting to die.
Although we should recognize the possibility of a long-term war, it is foolish to actively pursue a long-term war.
You can do anything you want by eliminating the American fleet and the British navy.
This is the best shortcut to end the war.
In order to coordinate the strategic differences between the army and Navy, on March 4, 1942, the Japanese army and Navy held a meeting of the ministers of operations of both sides.
Three days later, a liaison meeting between the base camp and the government was held.
On the basis of compromising the views of the army and Navy, the “guidelines for war to be adopted in the future” was formulated.
The main points of this guiding outline are: first, to force Britain to yield, make the United States lose its will to war, continue to expand the achievements, constantly prepare for the long-term invincible political and military situation, and take the opportunity to take positive countermeasures.
Second, strive to ensure the main transportation lines in the occupied areas, promote the development and utilization of important national defense resources, establish a self-sufficient system, and enhance the country’s military strength.
Third, the specific plan for more active war guidance will be determined after discussing the national strength, the evolution of the war situation, the war situation between Germany and the Soviet Union, the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, the trend of Chongqing and other situations.
The wording of the outline is not conducive to the formation of the basic guidance for the army and navy in the future.
Therefore, it is not conducive to the formation of their own abstract and unified strategic outline under the condition of serious opposition between the army and the Navy.
The differences between the Japanese army and Navy on major issues such as the main strategic direction, key combat objects and whether to fight a protracted war or a quick decision in the second stage have led to their differences in the choice of specific combat objectives.
The Ministry of the Navy proposed two plans: one is to advance westward and capture Ceylon (i.e. Sri Lanka) and India to annihilate the British fleet in the Indian Ocean, on the premise that Germany and Italy need the cooperation of military action.
The second is to advance southward and occupy Australia and the islands of New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa.
The purpose is to destroy the counteroffensive bases of the allies, cut off the links between the United States and Australia, and induce the U.S. fleet to annihilate them.
The hard line joint fleet in the Navy put forward a more radical plan: advance eastward, attack Midway Island, expand the war results in the direction of Hawaii, and urge the United States to lose its will to fight.
Because the pain of the United States lies in the loss of fleet power and the occupation of Hawaii.
The army opposes any large-scale attack based on the view of turning into strategic defense in the Pacific.
As a result, it will have to devote a large number of ground troops urgently needed by the Asian continent to the battle for maritime islands.
It is estimated that the number of troops attacking Australia should not be less than 12 divisions and the total tonnage of transport ships should not be less than 1.
5 million tons.
The army simply cannot transfer so much manpower and material resources unless it significantly reduces its troops on the Soviet war preparedness and Chinese battlefield, which will put the whole strategic situation at a great disadvantage.
Therefore, the army only agreed to implement limited blockade and suppression warfare against the above targets with naval forces as the main force.
In April 1942, the Ministry of the navy of Japan’s base camp determined the operational plan for the second phase of the Navy: in the Indian Ocean, it sought to quickly annihilate the British fleet, echoed the operational progress of Germany and West Asia, and took the opportunity to capture Ceylon.
In the South Pacific, with Australia as the target, strengthen the battle aimed at cutting off the communication line between Australia and the United States, eliminate the Australian fleet and urge Australia to yield.
To this end, the East and north coasts of Australia should be destroyedMilitary forces and military facilities in important places, destroy the Australian fleet, destroy its maritime traffic lines, and work with the army to attack and occupy the islands of New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa, cut off the maritime and air links between the United States and Australia, and seize the opportunity to attack and occupy Australia under the condition of resolving the China Incident and easing relations with the Soviet Union.
In the central and North Pacific, they captured Midway Island to limit the mobile attacks of the US Navy.
Rely on surprise attacks to weaken and destroy us forces and combat bases in Hawaii and other places.
Destroy and capture the US combat base in the Aleutian Islands as soon as possible, and thwart the US combat attempt in the North Pacific.
When the operations in the Indian Ocean and Australia were lagging behind, they made every effort to point to the east front, forcibly fought a decisive battle with the main force of the US fleet and eliminated it.
To this end, we should capture Johnston island and balmira Island, which are important outlying areas of Hawaii, and take the opportunity to carry out a large-scale raid on Hawaii to eliminate the US aviation forces there.
At the same time, capture US naval forces and try our best to force their main force to fight a decisive battle.
If circumstances permit, cooperate with the army to capture Hawaii.
On April 16, the Japanese army made it clear that it agreed to participate in operations aimed at blocking Australia and occupying the islands of New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa.
As for the operations against Hawaii, Australia, India and other places, the Army Department said it would decide according to the future situation.
In other words, the army does not agree with other operational objectives proposed by the Navy except the operation of blocking Australia.
An important factor that prompted the army to make concessions was the US Navy’s mobile operations in the Pacific.
From February 1, the US Pacific Fleet dispatched an aircraft carrier task force to carry out a hit and run raid in the wide Pacific Ocean, successively attacking Kwajalein island in the Marshall Islands and makin island in the Gilbert Islands, and then wick Island, nanniao Island, Laicheng and salamawa in Eastern New Guinea.
The attack on Laicheng and salamawa sank 4 Japanese transport ships, seriously injured 9, injured 2 Japanese cruisers and 1 destroyer, forcing the Japanese to suspend the attack on Port Moresby.
Another important factor that prompted the army to further agree with the Navy’s view was the first air attack on Japan by a US aircraft.
On April 18, the US aircraft carrier task force passed through several Japanese cordons and entered the sea area 1200 kilometers away from Tokyo.
Carrier based planes bombed Tokyo, Kobe and other places at noon.
Therefore, the army has to admit that there are serious defects in Japan’s defense in the Pacific, and the US Navy still has a great threat.
In order to strengthen defense in the Pacific, stabilize the situation and eliminate the threat from the United States, on April 20, the Japanese Army Department changed its original intention and proposed to the Navy that it was willing to send troops to participate in the operations of Aleutian Islands and Midway Islands.
The two sides then reached an agreement on the second stage operation plan: the offensive war against morzby in southern New Guinea was launched in early May.
In early June, operations on Midway and Aleutian Islands were carried out.
In mid July, operations were carried out in the islands of New Caledonia, Fiji and Samoa.
The operational objectives of the above three aspects are: to ensure the air supremacy of the Coral Sea and its coasts.
Lure out US aircraft carriers to annihilate them to prevent them from attacking the Japanese mainland and prepare for the capture of Hawaii.
Cut off the US Australia transportation line.
So far, although the Japanese military command failed to clarify the large-scale offensive war against Australia, Hawaii and other places, and the war against the Indian Ocean and Ceylon was only limited to the scope of naval attack, the focus of Japan’s second phase of operation has obviously shifted to the Pacific battlefield, and it is to implement an offensive war, but its goal is limited.