On December 7th, 1941, the Empire of Japan struck a surprise blow against unsuspecting American forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaï. In the ensuing confusion and panic, the USA feared a Japanese invasion of Oahu island, but it fortunately did not materialize. But what would have happened if it had?

SGS Operation Hawaii

N.B. : This game thematic has been inspired by the article and the «Invasion Pearl Harbor» game published in World at war magazine #14 from October 2010, written by Adrian McGrath and Ty Bomba.

SGS Operation Hawaii

Everyone knows the story of the Japanese surprise attack on the US naval, land and air bases at Pearl Harbor and nearby on the morning of December 7th, 1941. The date marks the entrance of the United States in the Second World War. In the hours that followed the initial attack, there were fears and speculation that it would be followed by an enemy amphibious landing and invasion of Oahu. The eventuality of such an assault had indeed been studied by the Imperial Japanese Navy and rejected as logistically unfeasible. But what-if the case has been different?

This game studies a possible land invasion of Oahu, by a small but well-trained force of Japanese Marines and Army troops, specially trained for the operation and secretly carried to destination in the attack force.
Key decisions as to what the goal of the operation was, where the troops would land, and how long it would last were taken in an ambitious plan. The attack force could not supply or sustain the effort too long, a maximum of 3 or 4 days, so the objective was to wreck as much damage and destruction to the military installations, so that the effects of the air strike would be comforted by the devastation laid on the US ground structures.

Can you, as the commander of the Japanese land force, choose the right place to invade, and then conquer and destroy as much as you can in the allotted time? And, as the surprised American commander of Oahu’s defense, can you block the invader, save the base and possibility turn a disaster into a victory?

SGS Operation Hawaii offers to both side an array of different starting options, each at a cost in victory points. The other side will not be aware of your choice, thereby creating new situations at each start of the game.

  • As the Japanese, the crucial choice is that of the landing site. Close to Pearl Harbor, but under coastal batteries fire. Or north of the island, safe from damage and defense but far away. Or on the eastern shore, a possible good compromise between distance and difficulty. Will you send some surprise group to assault a fort? Or carry with you some artillery? Or let the fleet close in to get some extra gunfire support from the battleships?
  • As the American, can you just stay put, as historically and see what unfolds? Or will you invest in stronger defenses and minefields, or create some quick reaction battlegroups to repel the invaders? Or obtain from the War Department more material, and in particular a better air force component? Will all these be enough?

All those options and gambles are yours to discover. The game’s event and cards allow full replay ability thanks to the numerous various situations that they create.

Estimated Playtime: 2h. Favored Side: Japanese. Hardest to Play: Americans.

SGS Operation Hawaii – Fact sheets (PDF) : Operation Hawaii scenario.

Historical, Independant, Strategy

Second World War

1h to 4h

1 or 2 (in PBEM)

Avalon Digital