*** victory disease Japan World War II

World War II Japan: Victory Disease

Japanese victory disease
Figure 1.--Children and most adults had no reason to question the Military's propaganda and for the first 6 months of the War, the Military had no need to embelish. The problem for the Japanese was that the Military actually believed their own propaganda feeding into Victory Disease. The Japanese had little chance of winning the War and Victory Disease ended at Midway what little chance there was.

A key factor in the battle identified by both American and Japanese assessments is Japanese 'Victory Disease'. It serious affected both the Imperial Army and Navy. And it affected the thinking and assumption of senior Japanese commanders, including Yammoto and Nagumo. [Symonds] This thinking affected the important Midway Battle in many ways. The Japanese High Command instead of hording their carriers for the all important destruction of the American carriers, they sent them into the Coral Sea for the secondary objective of seizing Port Moresby. This was not Yamamoto's desire, but forced in him by the High Command. For the first time the Japanese juggernaut was stopped in the coral sea, but victory Disease caused the Japanese to see it as a resounding victory. Most importantly, Yamamoto and other Japanese admirals do not seem to have seem to have questioned why the America carriers showed up in the Coral Sea at precisely the right time and place to oppose their Port Moresby MO operation (May 1942). The Pacific is a huge expanse. The odds of this happening without information on Japanese planning were astronomical. And then unquestionably accepted the intelligence assessment that two American carriers had been sunk. They just ignored the damage inflicted on their carriers. As a result, Nagumo at Midway Operation AF only had four of the plsnned six fleet Kido Butai fleet carriers (June 1942). Other mistakes flowing from the Victory Disease was a poor search effort and an inadequate fighter cover over the carriers. Given the long stream of Japanese success beginning with Pearl Harbor it was not surprising. They began to assume they would be successful because in engagement after engagement, they had been successful. As any stock market brochure will tell you, the best indicator of future success is prior performance. This is also true with the military. The Japanese successes were due to elevated military spending for two decades and America severely limiting military spending. The Japanese had been involved in wars since the Meiji Restoration. Their many victories followed by the early victories after Pearl Harbor led them to believe their own propaganda and the strength of the Bushido Code. In fact, the Javanese had never been really tested by a major military force until taking on the Red Army at Khalkhin Gol (1939). Victory Disease caused the Japanese to dismiss this and concluded that the Americans could not mount a serious operation. The Japanese commanders were convinced that they were innately superior to the Americans. The advantages the Japanese held, however, were most effective at the beginning of the war. The U.S. Navy carrier groups were closing the gap by the time of Midway, although new carriers and advanced aircraft were yet to arrive. What had changed was Station Hypo cracking JN-25. And while the Japanese had the advantage after Pearl Harbor, they had one huge weakness, their military system and industrial base did not have the capability of replacing losses at the needed rate. The Victory Disease prevented them developing the best tactics needed to destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet or understanding the capabilities of their adversary. It also caused them to give only, minimal attention to damage control, seen as admitting to weakness and conceding that the enemy could effectively shoot back. Nothing could exemplify this more than Col. Ichiki's attack on the Marines at Alligator Creek on Guadalcanal (August 1942). Amazingly, Banzai attacks became a characteristic of Japanese tactics, long after their Victory diseases had long since faded. The tactic was effective in China, but a disaster against heavily armed Marines.



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Created: 12:32 AM 8/8/2022
Last updated: 12:32 AM 8/8/2022