Japan & Germany in WW2

It is widely known that the Japanese and Germans were allies during the Second World War.

However to what extent did this alliance actually mean anything on the ground?

Were there any theatres where they fought or operated together against the allies? Did German officers attend Japanese training courses and vice versa?
 
in Practical terms German U Boats, Raiders had anchorage in Japanese held areas for Indian ocean operations.

Some trading of military technology Aircraft engines, etc.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
I think it was essentially an alliance limited to mutual self-interest and any practical military co-operation (as that which existed between Germany and European and Middle Eastern allies) was denied by the distances between them. Japan and Germany pretty much fought separate wars, more as co-belligerents than actual allies (note Japan's reluctance to declare war on Russia in 1941). I stand to be corrected, but the only instance of where I can thin of the two militaries operated together was when the Kriegsmarine transfered the Indian nationalist, Subhas Chandra Bose, to an IJN submarine.

The Japanese government was always split about how close they should be to Germany, with the Foreign Office under Matsuoka being keen on stronger ties (including invading the USSR) and the Navy generally against (especially Yamamoto who distrusted the Germans since the Anglo-German Naval agreement of the mid 1930s).
 
The German victory over France, gave the Japanese the springboard that they needed to dust up the UK in Malaya. The aircraft that sank the POW and Repulse flew from airfields in Indochina. The Invasion fleet left from Cam Ranh Bay

This gave the Japanese a SUBSTANTIAL leg up at the start. I am not sure what the Germans got in return. I am interested to know.

For the Japanese the Germans were a gift that kept giving - right to the end.



kikkacw_4.jpg



The Nakajima Kikka being one such gift.
 

Dwarf

LE
The German victory over France, gave the Japanese the springboard that they needed to dust up the UK in Malaya. The aircraft that sank the POW and Repulse flew from airfields in Indochina. The Invasion fleet left from Cam Ranh Bay

This gave the Japanese a SUBSTANTIAL leg up at the start. I am not sure what the Germans got in return. I am interested to know.

For the Japanese the Germans were a gift that kept giving - right to the end.



kikkacw_4.jpg



The Nakajima Kikka being one such gift.
Not so sure that the Fall of France gifted the territories to the Nips, they would have taken them without the Frogs being otherwise occupied. The need to reinforce and then acclimatise and fight the correct battle would probably have been as much beyond them as it was for us at Singapore.

IMHO The Nips took advantage of the German victories but shortsightedly failed to follow through. They were focused on the Pacific and would have fought at some point with or without the European war.
Where they failed was to look at the global picture sufficiently. Their concept was to swiftly ah-baritzkrieg the Pacific and then create a defensive area sufficiently costly to make the western nations decide it wasn't worth the price taking things back.
Some saw the dangers like Yamamoto and his 'awakening the sleeping giant' comment after Pearl Harbour. But he was focused on the US response and largely discounted British French and Dutch abilities to recover territory. So he failed to see the danger that Russia presented, and the advantages of having winning German friends. Had the Nips gone against Russia in the early days then it is a fair bet that Russia might have gone down. The forty(?) divisions that Russia held against Japanese invasion in the first winter that were released and held back the Germans just enough to stave off defeat. Had they been occupied even in a defensive situation as the Japanese army wasn't really geared up to a major motorised war, then that lack might well have been decisive.
With Russia out of the picture they could have diverted more resources to China where they were well mired, and while that might not have changed the Pacific picture much they could have received tangible support from Germany albeit at the end of a very long line. India might have been really threatened thus obstructing a British recovery, and the US would have had to put much more resources into Europe as German forces were released for defence. With Europe well occupied the war would have run a different course.
I still think the Yanks would have recovered the Pacific eventually and Japan would have lost, or been brought to an Armistice even if Germany didn't, but it would have been longer and more costly.

Problem for the Nips was as stated they were co-belligerents not allies and concentrated only on Japanese immediate interests rather than looking grobarry, sorry globally.
 
Nope quite the opposite.

There were no French v British fights to be had. Prior to the Japanese coup in March 1945 the French in Indochina clandestinely supported the Allies in every way possible.

The only Allied forces in Indochina were POW's who universally commented on the kindness shown to them by the French.

Although under Japanese occupation the French still ran the met stations and the telecommunications. All of which was passed on.

Perhaps to their future detriment the French also collaborated with Force 136.

At the time, given the conditions, no one could have hoped for more. They were staunch.
 
Not so sure that the Fall of France gifted the territories to the Nips, y.

I'm sorry if you are not sure, but it did.

The 'rights' given to the Japanese as a result of the defeat of France in 1940 and prior to their coup in 1945 gave them every deepwater port South of China.

The airfields developed by the French, which were in striking distance of the Malay peninsular were also co-opted. This Southern thrust of 1500 KM, that the Japanese didn't have to fight for, was a political gift from the Germans. Without aircover from Saigon and the strip at My Tho the Japanese invasion fleet would have been just as susceptible to the fate of the POW and Repulse.

This massive leg up, gifted by the Germans, made the conquer of Malaya easy.
 
It is widely known that the Japanese and Germans were allies during the Second World War.

However to what extent did this alliance actually mean anything on the ground?

Were there any theatres where they fought or operated together against the allies? Did German officers attend Japanese training courses and vice versa?
Yep... those KamiKaiser pilots were deadly
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Had the Nips gone against Russia in the early days then it is a fair bet that Russia might have gone down. The forty(?) divisions that Russia held against Japanese invasion in the first winter that were released and held back the Germans just enough to stave off defeat. Had they been occupied even in a defensive situation as the Japanese army wasn't really geared up to a major motorised war, then that lack might well have been decisive.
.
I think the spanking they got off Georgi Zhukov at Khalkin Gol put them off.
 
While Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan had some common interests, they were by no means close mates.
In 1936, after the introduction of the Nuremberg Race Laws, it almost came to an open break between Japan and Germany. Due to the close relations between (then democratic) Japan and the Weimar Republic in the 1920s there existed a quite big number of mixed German-Japanese couples.
Suddenly the Nazis, with their ideology of a pure Aryan master race, banned racially mixed marriages and wanted to annull them all. The affected couples went to the Japanese embassy and a strong diplomatic row started.
Similarly there were some hiccups when German expats, often members of the Nazi party witnessed Japanese attrocities in China and actually protected Chinese refugees from Japanese troops (e.g. the Siemens rep in IIRC Nanjing, who was also a card carrying member of the NSDAP).
 

Dwarf

LE
I'm sorry if you are not sure, but it did.

The 'rights' given to the Japanese as a result of the defeat of France in 1940 and prior to their coup in 1945 gave them every deepwater port South of China.

The airfields developed by the French, which were in striking distance of the Malay peninsular were also co-opted. This Southern thrust of 1500 KM, that the Japanese didn't have to fight for, was a political gift from the Germans. Without aircover from Saigon and the strip at My Tho the Japanese invasion fleet would have been just as susceptible to the fate of the POW and Repulse.

This massive leg up, gifted by the Germans, made the conquer of Malaya easy.

You are right of course in that was the effect and yes it was a massive advantage. However I meant to say that even without German help the Nips were perfectly capable of taking the place anyway so that while it was gratefully accepted, the outcome would have been more or less the same. Timetabling might have been altered but the end result not.
 

the_boy_syrup

LE
Book Reviewer
Pre war the Japs were not just mates with the germans
We showed them round our shipyards
In the 20's there was a mission to Japan to teach them how to fly naval planes.
 

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