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  • Re: Original Text Of Cablegram
    • Melmoth the Wanderer (no login)
      Posted Jul 6, 2010 4:55 AM

      Tom et al.,

      This may well have occurred, but it altered nothing AFAIK.

      The Japanese timetable for the First Stage Operations (DAI ICHI DAN) was adhered to pretty closley, and the only significant delay that I know of--against Davao & Jolo--was due to escort shipping shortages. This in turn pushed back the Tarakan operation some 10 days--as it was originally to take place about the first of January--and threatened to upset their timetable for seizing Java itself, but adjustments were made accordingly and the plans went ahead more or less as scheduled (perhaps give or take a day or two).

      There was some juggling of schedules in the attack on PALEMBANG which was due, I believe, to deciding upon the best airbase to use against Sumatra; also, the invasion of AMBON was changed from FEB 6 to a few days earlier (?)--This was originally planned to have been a companion piece to operations against KOEPANG.

      The seizure of and utilization of Tarakan is certainly in the original operational orders of NOV. 5, 1941, later amended on 17 NOV (Ultrasecret serial 1, Part 99). So, too, are the seizure of MENADO, BALIKPAPAN, KENDARI, BANDJERMASIN, SURABAJA & BATAVIA. These same operational orders state: "Key points in the NETHERLANDS INDIES will be subject to air attack in the following order: (a) Menado, Kendari; (b) Balikpapan, Kendari; (c) Bandjermaisn, Makassar, and if the situation requires, Sorong, Ambon, and Koepan(g)."

      What we see in this is a far from atypical Japanese mode of conducting business. The military had already made ITS plans; the politicians and diplomats would have to follow suit as best they could. It is not realistic to imagine that diplomats were controlling events at that stage, although it plays into Western thinking. However, IMHO, the Japanese didn't operate that way at all. [The nonsense re Portuguese Timor might serve as an illustration of this, come to think of it. The Japanese had already captured Koepang, but waited until FEB 7, 1942 to decide officially to take Portuguese Timor...allegedly after making precisely the same offer to the Portuguese (who were not yet at war with Japan): if they didn't offer resistance, etc. Eventually the Japanese said that they were compelled to seize Portug. Timor "as a measure of self-defense"--or, their standard euphemistic doublespeak for military aggression used since 1931 (and before) in Manchuria.]

      Last but not least, this question raises the ugly suggestion of possible collusion with the NEI authorities, and I find that equally difficult to accept.

      FWIW (again),

      MthW
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