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  #1  
Old 16 Dec 15, 22:34
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One IJA Division vs. ISIS

I have mentioned several times here that one lone Division of the Imperial Japanese Army could annihilate ISIS in a matter of weeks, and nobody has ever disputed it.
Either that, or they had no idea what to say.

To make this a wargame would need a lot of work, work that would involve one side coming up with a full run-down or "guesstimate" of what ISIS really has. The full TO&E of the WW2 Japanese Infantry Division is not so hard, but nailing it down to the firepower right down to Squad level might be a bear, and lots of paperwork.

The point would be to show how little hardware and how much determination it would take to eliminate ISIS and their base of support.

Anyone want to see about making it a game, or at least argue the concept?
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  #2  
Old 16 Dec 15, 22:56
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The TOEs for IJA (there were no such things as "IJN infantry divisions") generally looked like this:

"Standard" triangular division


"Strengthened" triangular division


"Strengthened (Modified)" triangular division


'Wiping out ISIS' is dependent on the scenario. Where are the Japanese division's supplies coming from? What is defined as 'wiping out ISIS?' Will ISIS fight a pitched battle or will they have to be rooted out ala the Taliban in Afghanistan?
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Old 16 Dec 15, 23:11
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So long as the IJA (not IJN as they had nothing larger than a battalion sized SNLF of naval infantry) can get reasonable rates of replacement for casualties, I'd expect they'd win.

ISIS has no real capacity for counterbattery fire with what artillery they have. Their "technicals" are really not going to stand up well in combat where their opponent has the ability to return fire and take them out. The one possible area they would have an advantage is in AFV.



But, I suspect their use of AFV is decidedly bad and likely to consist mainly of using them as mobile artillery bunkers.

But, given that the Japanese division would have 37mm AT guns and 75 and 105mm artillery, they really don't have the means to take on something like a T 55 or T 62 tank. Of course, once they capture some RPG and ATGM's they might gain that capacity.
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Old 16 Dec 15, 23:11
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I can't see any of those pics, got links?

I would have "Kurdistan" as the secure base of supply, or Central Iraq. Alternatively, it could be Lebanon, but that could be complicated, things there shift week to week that take away from the ISIS targeting.

Seeing as how ISIS is surrounded by enemies, supposedly, and their claim to a Caliphate is their source of moral superiority over Al Queda, the campaign is limited to their currently occupied areas in Iraq and Syria.
Tactics are up to ISIS.

I would prefer the Sendai Division or one of those in China, and Chinese tactics will be of the WW2 variety as well, as practiced in places like China or Malaya.
On paper they were supposed to have one company each of Light Tanks and one of Armored cars, so they are not totally foot-bound... but I would like to know how many trucks they have, and most importantly what sort of ad-hoc amphibious capacity they could have.
Its December, tends to get rainy over there this time of year. That means broad rivers, and shallow lakes can pop up out of nowhere, if memory serves.
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Old 16 Dec 15, 23:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
The one possible area they would have an advantage is in AFV.



But, I suspect their use of AFV is decidedly bad and likely to consist mainly of using them as mobile artillery bunkers.
...
Well, that one certainly is!

But I have to wonder, what is towing it?
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Old 16 Dec 15, 23:25
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Drop a few EMPs on them, and one Tumen of Mongols will show ISIS who is better at conquering and beheading.
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Old 17 Dec 15, 12:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Exorcist View Post
On paper they were supposed to have one company each of Light Tanks and one of Armored cars, so they are not totally foot-bound... but I would like to know how many trucks they have, and most importantly what sort of ad-hoc amphibious capacity they could have.
It varied greatly between about 300 and approximately 1,500, (similar to the Germans) depending on the type of infantry division. Many of the weaker, more immobile formations (like those in the Chinese rear areas) had fewer, while first-line assault divisions had up to 1,000 or more. For example, Yamashita's 3-division assault on Singapore had 3,000 trucks backing it, while the Kwantung Army circa August 1941 had 29,000 between its 763,000 men, a vehicle density equal to the Red Army's 1945 Berlin Offensive.

On average, a typical IJA infantry division could rely on about 500 trucks, or about a quarter that of its US equivalent (Schrijvers, "The GI war against Japan" page 235).

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Old 17 Dec 15, 13:47
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Well, you don't go on the offensive with a static Division, so let's go with what the Kwantung Army had. Those guys were gearing up for an attack into Siberia.

Can you get me a link or a different way to see your charts?
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Old 17 Dec 15, 14:13
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Apart from the Armor that IS has, much of which is in questionable condition, I'd put the odds in favor of the IJA across the board. I look forward to seeing where this goes.
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Old 17 Dec 15, 14:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Exorcist View Post
Well, you don't go on the offensive with a static Division, so let's go with what the Kwantung Army had. Those guys were gearing up for an attack into Siberia.

Can you get me a link or a different way to see your charts?
The link is here: https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/Japan/IJA/HB/HB-3.html

The TOE of the typical division in question is roughly as is shown here (note that some figures are produced by American estimation and others are absent entirely for want of data):



Or, instead of an infantry division we can substitute an armored division (TOE available here: http://www.cgsc.edu/CARL/nafziger/939JXAB.PDF). Off the top of my head they consisted on average of 12,000 men, 1,900 vehicles, and ~300 tanks with plenty of artillery.

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Old 17 Dec 15, 16:06
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My Safari does NOT like that link, and I still get a little blue box with a ? mark in it for your pics.
Bob might want to make an album here, its easy.

And no, I want the Infantry Div because the tanks are going to bet shot up and having 20,000 men seems better than 12,000.
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Old 17 Dec 15, 16:45
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That's probably for the best. Chi-Has and the like would be sitting ducks for almost any heavy weapon IS has. RPG's and probably even DShKs could penetrate the armor of some of their smaller tanks without any trouble. The Tanks would make mostly be dead weight as anything other than fire support for the infantry.
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Old 17 Dec 15, 17:21
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I'll try it. In the meantime the ultra-reinforced IJA infantry division (basically an infantry division with an attached tank regiment and additional artillery) has a total compliment of (approximate values):

- 29,408 personnel
- 9,906 horses
- 502* motor vehicles
- 10,000* rifles
- 405* light MGs
- 457* grenade dischargers
- 112 heavy MGs
- 72 machine cannon or 20mm AT rifles
- 40 AT guns
- 36 70mm guns
- 36 75mm regimental or field pieces
- 24 105mm howitzers
- 12 150mm howitzers
- 20 light tanks
- 48 medium tanks
- 13 tankettes or armored cars

*some values missing or estimated. In the case of motor vehicles those associated with the infantry signal unit and medium artillery battalion are missing, and the chart assumes standard infantry instead of motorized infantry regiments. In case of the latter the divisional total would be approximately 1,501 vehicles and 85 AT guns, with an additional 333 vehicles and 27 AT guns per regiment.
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Old 18 Dec 15, 15:00
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Wow... I knew they were big Divisions, but that is more than I was thinking. The only disappointment is the artillery, barely enough of the heavy stuff for a Division half it's size thanks to the prevalence of the 75mm 'field gun'.
Those 70mm low-pressure guns might seem like a joke, and they provide even less firepower than a 81mm mortar... but they were pretty handy. They could do high-angle fire like a mortar or do direct fire vs things like vehicles, and the switch over takes just seconds.

Lots of AT guns there, which may be handy. Any WW2 AT gun can make hash out of modern APCs, or anything else that isn't as tough as a tank.

I think the tankettes or armored cars may prove handier than the tanks. Japanese Tankettes had a truck for cargo, and were used to get ammo or other things up to troops under fire. The armored cars were big, funny-looking things, but they came with wheel-rims that could be used to run along railroad tracks at a high rate of speed. That might be good for a surprise or two.

I understand 10,000 Rifles to be the "bayonet strength", and that's damn impressive.
10,000 horses is intersting, the bulk of the division's transport is not going to be tied to the fuel supply. Fodder will be an issue, but its December. You'd be amazed at all the greenery that springs up out there when it rains.

Looks great, I'm feeling very good about this.
But the real stumbling block is now going to be finding an accurate(ish) listing of what ISIS actually has in the field.
Manpower will be at least as great, but recruitment of replacements has dried up after they threw away 5,000 foreign volunteers trying to take a Kurdish city last summer. What they have now is all they have left to fight with for the foreseeable future.
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Old 18 Dec 15, 15:28
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I think the big issue is IS's semi-modern heavy weapons. Tanks and the like mostly. The IJA proves itself able to outfight and outmaneuver enemy forces that vastly outnumbered them several times. Forces with much more training and discipline than IS has by the way. The IJA might even be able to out-terror IS, suicide bombers are one thing but the Japanese victory or death mentality and contempt for foreigners and prisoners was a class apart. I can see a lot of IS desertions if the Japanese decide to go Nanking on the first IS city they take. The number of functional T-55s, T-72s, etc would be the biggest problem for the IJA. They don't have much that can knock them out at least until they start capturing RPGs and ATGMs which they'd be more than capable of using. If IS uses their armor in their trademark amateur way it would make them much easier targets as well.

I actually really like this idea. I've got a bunch of ideas milling around but I'll leave it at this for now.
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