View Full Version : The "Axis" Germany & Japan.

04-16-2006, 06:13 PM
I've got a fairly good knowledge of WW2 history but I'm just curious about something, how "allied" exactly were Japan and Germany between '41 and '45?

Although Japan and Germany were fighting the same nations, their ideologies were, apart from empire building, very different it seems to me.

Did they sign any non aggression treaties, exchange ideas on weapon technology or anything, or were they fighting independently of each other? Was there even any communication between Germany and Japan prior to Pearl Harbour?

I've just watched Tora, Tora, Tora on the TV and the thought crossed my mind, sure, I could look it up in a history book but some of you guys seem to really know your stuff, besides I thought it might start an interesting thread.

04-16-2006, 07:20 PM
Here's one small example of cooperation between rhe two.I only point this one out because recently I saw an article in an old old National Geographic mag in a waiting room.


04-16-2006, 07:22 PM
I can't fully answer your question but I do know that there were technology exchanges.

Japan in the late 1800's was very interested in becoming a modern "western" nation and the industrialization and imperialist as well as nationalist tendancies came along with that. European engineers, designers, and scientists were often imported whenever possible and infact the whole Japanese language was changed to better integrate with europe.

Long story short, there was some sharing between Germany and Japan. Several U-Boats made trips between German controlled territory and Japan. The Ha-40 inline engine was a license build modification of the DB601...the Ha-40 being used in the Ki-61 "Tony". Late model Ki-61's also used some of the 600 MG151/20 cannons imported from Germany. The Ki-100 was created after intensive study of the FW190A that was imported and tested.

There's probably more....there was indeed technology sharing. I believe there was some interest in linking the Japanese and German advances somewhere in India...of course things never got that far.

04-16-2006, 07:38 PM
They were allied enough to divide up who would control where but don't forget Italy.
They also sent high level representatives back and forth. I have video of a Japanese
relative of the Emporer in Germany checking out a parade and his words of all he was

Search on the Tri-Partite Treaty. Anyone who attacked Germany, Italy or Japan automatically
was at war with the other two.

04-16-2006, 10:08 PM
More examples of cooperation.

In 1944, an Argus pulse jet engine was shipped to Japan by German submarine. The Aeronautical Institute of Tokyo Imperial University and the Kawanishi Aircraft Company conducted a joint study of the feasibility of mounting a similar engine on a piloted plane. The resulting design was based on the Fieseler Fi-103 Reichenberg (Fi103R, a piloted V-1), and was named Baika ("ume blossom").

Baika never left the design stage but technical drawings and notes suggest that two versions were under consideration: an air-launch version with the engine mounted under the fuselage, and a ground-launch version that could take off without a ramp.

Intelligence reports of the new "Baika" weapon are rumored to be the source of the name given to the Yokosuka MXY-7, a rocket-propelled suicide plane better known as the "Baka Bomb." However, as "baka" means "fool" in Japanese, and the MXY-7 was officially designated the "Ohka" ("Cherry Blossom"), the true origin is unknown. The MXY-7 was carried into the combat area by a larger plane, then the pilot would light the solid-fuel rockets and guide his flying bomb into a ship. During the Boeing B-29 firebomb attacks on Japanese cities, the Baka was also deployed against American bombers.

from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V1_Flying_Bomb


* Late in the war, the Japanese were shipped a complete Me-262 by submarine. They began work on a copy of the fighter, designated the "Ki-201 Karyu (Fire Dragon)", but it was never completed. They did build and fly a smaller aircraft modeled on the Me-262, the "Nakajima J8N1 Kikka (Orange Blossom)", as an attack aircraft for the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). The Kikka looked enough like an Me-262 to be mistaken for it, though its rear fuselage was distinctively different, not tapering towards the tail, and its empty weight was about half that of the Me-262.

The Kikka had folding wings, apparently to permit concealment in caves and the like, since whatever carriers the IJN had were quickly finding their way to the bottom of the Pacific. It was not fitted with guns, armament consisting of a single 500 kilogram (1,100 pound) or 800 kilogram (1,760 pound) bomb.

From: http://www.vectorsite.net/avme262.html

There was a preety active discussion on the subject of cooperation at:


04-17-2006, 05:22 AM
Thanks for this stuff. I love these forums.

04-17-2006, 06:28 AM
no real co-ordinated strategy between Germany and Japan aside from tech transfers.

Germany was as much in the dark about Pearl Harbor as the US!

They made some general agreements about who would rule which hemisphere after the "Axis victory"

04-17-2006, 08:04 AM
Plus all technology transfers and other exchanges between Japan and Germany were made for money. Nothing was given free, but for hard cash. I wouldn't call them exactly "allied", but more like cooperating with each other on some regards.

04-17-2006, 08:19 AM
They were far roo far away from eachother to make it real military alliance - even when it was quite vital for one of them, i.e. Japan did not strike Soviet Union in 1941.

German - Soviet 1939-1941 alliance was much more meaningful for both sides - Germany fought 1940 camapign on soviet resources, and soviet capabilities in mass production were improved by import of German technologies. How ironic.

04-17-2006, 08:54 AM
Couple points- They were allied with each other for lots of reasons- One of which was the Soviet Union, surely. Japan was not exactlt bosom pals with the USSR and Hitler's use of the Soviets was strictly convenience- he knew he'd betray them

Also bear in mind that having a partnership like that, based on opposite sides of the world, would make it easier for both parties to succeed- colonial interests in Asia would draw manpower from European powers fighting Germany, not to mention the political chaos that would ensue, while Japan could conquer those colonies with the reassurance that all the potential manpower those nations otherwise could have mustered would be busy elsewhere

Also, the psychological effects of "we're not alone in this" can't be discounted.

The potential threat to US interests on both sides of the world should also not be ignored.

BTW- Since Mussolini coined the term "Axis", I'd ask what Italy could have offered to the Axis' cause (although in truth, Hitler was initially an admirer of Mussolini, even though it didn't take long for him to dominate their relationship)

TgD Thunderbolt56
04-17-2006, 10:58 AM
The Japanese developed many designes from cooperation and information exchange with germany. They had a version of the Me163 and Me262 (kikka), to name a couple, that were under developement or actually flew.

While definitely an awkward alliance in many regards, there was one nonetheless.


04-17-2006, 11:03 AM
A bit off the wall, but Philip K. **** explores this theme quite well in 'The Man in the High Castle'.

Oh that's great more cackhanded censoring. I meant Philip K. D-i-c-k.

Can we still write '******s' and not be hauled off the thought police?

04-17-2006, 06:49 PM
Germany was a much better ally to Japan than Japan was to Germany. Hitler declared war on the US in support of Japan, Japan never supported his war against the USSR, for example. I don't even think they fired so much as a single round in even the general direction of the Soviets.

But, then, after how badly humiliated they were by the Khalkin Gol, go figure. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

04-17-2006, 11:58 PM
bazzah2- <reference-Dinsdale> "Well one day I was sitting at home threatening the kids, and I looked out of the hole in the wall and sees this tank drive up and one of Dinsdale's boys gets out and he comes up, all nice and friendly like, and says Dinsdale wants to have a talk with me. So he chains me to the back of the tank and takes me for a scrape round to Dinsdale's. And Dinsdale's there in the conversation pit with Doug and Charles Paisley, the baby crusher, and a couple of film producers and a man they called 'Kierkegaard', who just sat there biting the heads of whippets and Dinsdale sayd 'I hear you've been a naughty boy Clement' and he splits me nostrils open and saws me leg off and pulls me liver out, and I said my name's not Clement and then he loses his temper and nails my head to the floor." http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/88.gif


The Japanese main battle rifles(Arisaka 38 & Ar 99) were both 'based' on the Mauser action.
I own both an Ar '38 & a Kar 98,and trust me,there is a HUGE difference.
The Kar 98 is one of the finest(though,I'd rather be issued an '03 Springfield,if I was told I was going "into the s*** " with a bolt action rifle) rifles ever produced-period.

But,the Japanese rifle has a "dust shield" (which most field troops removed),that covers the receiver/bolt and is nothing but trouble;not to mention the difference in the 'safeties'.

04-18-2006, 03:36 AM
"Dinsdale was a looney, but he was a happy looney."


04-18-2006, 04:05 AM
Hi there, MLudner

"But, then, after how badly humiliated they were by the Khalkin Gol, go figure."

Very true. Large Japanese forces were still tied down holding and/or fighting over substantial tracts of the Mongolia/China area and it was considered unwise to court further hostilities from the Soviets. Why?

Among other reasons, because Japanese eyes were elsewhere. There were lucrative and resource-rich spoils to be had in the SE Asia and SW Pacific regions. Japan could not hope to survive as a competitive industrial and military power without a reliable supply of such resources and a substantial buffer zone.

Her military power was inadequate for both ventures and indeed, turned out in the end to be insufficient even for one. A desperate gamble and ultimately a doomed one.

Best regards,