Missed Opportunity: The Japanese Indian Ocean Raid, 1942
By Jon Cecil
Following the Japanese surprise attack on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor and the destruction of Allied ground, naval and air forces defending the Netherlands East Indies, the Japanese turned their attention to the destruction of the British Eastern Fleet based at the Crown Colony of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). From the strategic perspective, such an offensive offered the opportunity to cripple British power in the region and possibly coordinate with an Italo-German offensive in North Africa. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) staff developed a strategy to accomplish that and codenamed “Operation C.” However, the lack of strategic and operational coordination among the Axis powers resulted in a missed opportunity to change the war’s course in their favor.
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The Crimean Campaign: 1941–42 When Army Group South crossed into the Soviet Union, no part of its orders included taking the Crimea. The plan was, once Soviet forces in the Ukraine were destroyed west of the Dnepr River, peripheral areas could be taken bloodlessly in subsequent mop-up operations. That changed when Soviet planes based in the Crimea began raiding the vital Axis oilfield in Romania. On 23 July, Hitler therefore raised the capture of the Crimea to the status of a “priority” mission.
Missed Opportunity: The Japanese Indian Ocean Raid, 1942 Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, they turned their attention to the destruction of the British Eastern Fleet at Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Such a move offered the opportunity to cripple British power in the region, in addition to coordinating with German offensives in North Africa. A strategy to accomplish it was developed codenamed Operation C.
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