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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Alternate Timelines > Xtreme Alternate History

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  #121  
Old 30 Jun 15, 17:00
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As for Japanese successes in December 1941 using their subs...

USAT Cynthia Olsen sunk approx. 1000 nm NE Oahu 12/7/41.

SS Lahaina sunk by gunfire approx. 700 nm NE Oahu 12/11/41

SS Manini sunk by torpedo 12/17/41 off Honolulu.

SS Prusa sunk by torpedo 12/19/41 150 nm S Hawaii.

Tanker Agwiworld shelled and damaged 12/20/41 off Santa Cruz CA. Made port.

The following merchants were attacked off the California coast between 20 and 30 December, but escaped sinking:
Emidio, Samoa, Larry Doheny, and Montebello

That's the extent of Japanese submarine operations in Hawaiian and US waters (30 boats).
Nowhere close to the "327 merchants" you stated they would have sunk with 60 boats and a few merchant raiders.
That's 5 ships sunk in 30 days.


The USAAC reported that on 15 December 1941 (a week after the attack) Oahu had:

42 heavy bombers (B-17)
10 medium bombers (B-18)
62 Pursuit and observation aircraft
operational.

The USN reported 40 PBY available, 18 SB2U dive bombers (VMSB 221), and three 12 plane squadrons embarked with Saratoga to be delivered in days.
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  #122  
Old 30 Jun 15, 17:10
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Nothing can illustrate the effectiveness of USN gunnery against torpedoes better than the battle of Tassafaronga almost a year into the war (when the uSN had been exposed to the Long Lance for a while).
Where 8 IJN DDs trounced 5 USN cruisers & 4 DDs.

Now imagine what 30 subs attacking with torpedoes and shells the ships issuing one by one from PH at night. Then BBs, CAs waiting for them further out (just safe from the coastal guns). It's the mother of all ambushes.

We all know the IJN used its submarines and raiders poorly in Dec 1941. In this thread they are used wisely both in Hawaii and under German command in the E Pacific and the results are devastating.

Last edited by Draco; 30 Jun 15 at 17:22..
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  #123  
Old 30 Jun 15, 17:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Nothing can illustrate the effectiveness of USN gunnery against torpedoes better than the battle of Tassafaronga almost a year into the war.
Where 8 IJN DDs trounced 5 USN cruisers & 4 DDs.
Except they didn't. The US lost 1 cruiser, and had 3 damaged. The Japanese lost 1 DD. They were also stopped in their primary mission of delivering desperately needed supplies to their troops on Guadalcanal.
The damaged US cruisers made Tulagi harbor on Florida island across from Guadalcanal, were given temporary repairs then sent back to Pearl Harbor, fully repaired and returned to service.

New Orleans after that battle in Tulagi harbor:



You see... The US was smart. They had the local harbor and had brought in equipment and facilities to repair ships. That cruiser was fixed sufficiently to sail across the Pacific to Pearl Harbor.
Had that happened to a Japanese cruiser it would have been sunk later or scuttled.
The Japanese launched 47 torpedoes for 6 hits (12.7%) which is about the best result of any battle they fought in 1941 - 42. They got lucky.

Two additional runs by Tanaka's DD's produced similar results in terms of supply delivery.

After the third time in, Tanaka was sacked and given a desk job because of his failure to carry out his mission... Which was to deliver badly needed supplies, not sink US ships and lose his own.

Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 30 Jun 15 at 17:31..
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  #124  
Old 30 Jun 15, 17:27
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That doesn't change a bit the fact that 8 weak, IJN DDs trounced a force with a large number of excellent 6" and 8" guns. The way You speak of the Long Lance and USN gunnery, one would expect most of the IJN DDs to be sunk and no US ships to be damaged.
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  #125  
Old 30 Jun 15, 17:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
That doesn't change a bit the fact that 8 weak, IJN DDs trounced a force with a large number of excellent 6" and 8" guns. The way You speak of the Long Lance and USN gunnery, one would expect most of the IJN DDs to be sunk and no US ships to be damaged.
Because that is the averaged out result from numerous US - Japanese surface engagements. Your cherry picking the best Japanese results proves nothing.
I stated, and I'll repeat it... The US would inflict serious damage on the IJN fleet you stated for this scenario in a surface action. The US would suffer casualties too.
But, any Japanese ship heavily damaged, or crippled but not sunk outright would be a loss while any similar US ship would likely make harbor and be repaired eventually.

The odds favor the US heavily in such an action.
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  #126  
Old 30 Jun 15, 18:08
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Originally Posted by Draco View Post
I repeated several times that the 1st attack takes place at dusk, it does not take off at dusk. There is no reason at all to take off at dusk, the idea is to have light to destroy the planes. It also happens that Radar is not operating before dusk, so the wave is not even detected (unlike OTL).
not that radar really mattered historically...

Quote:
Again, the 2nd wave attacks at 2200 and so on. Those are the times for the attacks not the launching times. The fleet continued approaching PH after launching the 1st wave and stops 100 miles from PH, so the planes spend little time flying to and from PH. The BBs and CAs continue approaching PH and stop 30 miles from PH.
So the first eave attacks at 6pm (thats when Dusk is), and the second wave at 10pm? this results in the 4 hours between the attacks that the USN will leave the port, which results in the 2nd and 3rd waves being wasted. and the 4th wave being engaged by what ever is left of the air force and a fully maned AA network, which probably will also involve bringing up the 3 inch AA guns that where not used till the end of the historical raid.

Lets face it a Dusk attack is not going to be as effective as one in daylight, people can't really see all that well in the dark, or near dark.

Quote:
I'd like to see any DD, BB, etc, patrol or leave port with at least 30 subs (out of the 60 attacking) around it. OTL the Japanese made the mistake of using only minisubs, when they had a large sub fleet around PH, which could have easily sunk the patrolling DDs, etc, as the 1st wave attacked and then attacked any sortieing ships. It is much better to sink them in the deep water just outside the harbor than in the shallow harbor, where the crews may survive and the ships be repaired.
I still see your using 60 subs when less than 50 are useable for this operation, and this ignores the other areas of operation that the IJN might want to use them...

Your not thinking of sending them into the harbor are you? That is suicide, all the mini subs where sunk because they where in the harbor.


Quote:

At night, the subs guarding the harbor need not even be submerged, they can use their torpedoes and their guns. A sortieing DD would see immediately a dozen flashes from different locations and receive several torpedoes and 120mm to 127mm shells from a dozen subs.
Using Deck guns on a destroyer? Are you insane? First off subs Generally do not want to even get into a gun fight with any warship of any kind. As a single shell hit on you and your can be in a very bad position (unable to submerge). Also at the kind of density your seem to be using is never been used by any navy at any point. As it is suicide to do so. 30 subs perhaps 2 or 3,000 yards apart is going to be very noticeable during the day when they start forming up, even underwater.

Quote:
If by miracle a DD, cruiser, BB survives the subs, she will encounter alone all the Japanese BBs, and CAs waiting for her a few miles out. There are also 6 torpedo planes ready at any time in at least a carrier to attack sortieing ships (whose AAA will be useless at night, just like that in PH).
So the IJN fleet is now south of pearl harbor? And not north with the carriers? How dose the US not notice this task force during the day when they have to make the run to get to this position a few miles south of pearl? -particularly if they accompany the carriers on the way out.

So whats escorting the carriers?

So in the end on the afternoon (say roughly 2pm) of the 6th of December the US forces spot IJN Battleships and cruisers 75 miles off of Oahu (as they head to their assigned area 20 miles south of the harbor entrance, so that they can plaster then as they sortie, and make it past the sub line), and immediately go on alert, warplanes sent up made ready, the radar system is maned, ships make steam and start sorting out. The Sub net is not yet in place and are under orders to not attack till after the airstrike take place (if they did the gig is up), so they are not attacked, and the subs (well some of them are) are spotted, USN Destroyers go on the hunt.

Now that the radar is active the First wave is detected 100 miles out, and 100 US fighters are scrambled, and are organized when the attack planes reach Oahu. The first wave is decimated, as the US tactic is to ignore the fighters (as best as possible) and go after the bombers, and the US can afford to have 50 fighters get tangled by the escorting fighters.

Historically the US made about 14 sorties with their fighters and shot down about 9 planes for the loss of around 4 of their own (and IIRC half of thoughs where fighters that where barely airborne).
Using that as a guide, the IJN strike will lose about 50 to 70 planes while the US losing about 30 to 40 of their own.

End result
2x USN battleships sunk (1 to a submarine)
3x Cruisers sunk (2 to subs)
4x Destroyers (2 to subs)
90x planes

The IJN loses
3x Subs
2x Battleships
1x Heavy Cruiser
4x Destroyers
1x Carrier
2x Transports
100x planes

Invasion is called off.
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  #127  
Old 30 Jun 15, 18:09
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For future reference, according to James G. Hornfisher's "Neptune's Inferno: The US Navy at Guadalcanal" appendix C, "Total Naval Losses at Guadalcanal," the Allied and Japanese navies lost the following over the course of that campaign:

Battleships

Allies: 0
IJN: 2 (73,200 tons)

Heavy Cruisers

Allies: 6 (76,600 tons)
IJN: 3 (31,500 tons)

Light Cruisers

Allies: 2 (16,800 tons)
IJN: 1 (5,700 tons)

Destroyers

Allies: 14 (22,815 tons)
IJN: 11 (20,930 tons)

Submarines

Allies: 0
IJN: 6 (11,300 tons)

Aircraft Carriers

Allies: 2 (44,600 tons)
IJN: 1 (12,700 tons)

Total Warships

Allies: 24 (160,815 tons)
IJN: 24 (155,330 tons)
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  #128  
Old 30 Jun 15, 18:47
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Even in the actions where the US had all the advantage: surprise, radar, numerical superiority, etc, its gunnery was not spectacular (Cape Esperance, Surigao, etc,)

Shokaku was quite damaged and survived.

The point is that caught in a harbor and without planes, the fleet cannot maneuver, defend itself or link up with units outside. The fleet is fatally divided and pinned down at the outbreak of war.

I find it ironic that the Indianapolis, which TAG has saving the day was sunk by a single submarine way out in the ocean. Yet, she is surviving the huge IJN fleet concentrated in a small area and stopping the invasion of Kauai. Afflek.

TAG has the first DD sneaking out of PH past a rain of shells and a school of torpedoes and forcing the sub fleet to dive. I have her hit by torpedoes and shells and sinking within 2 minutes in deep water with total loss of crew. When the same thing happens to the 2nd and 3rd DD, Kimmel decides to wait until dawn for better intelligence and for the approaching CVs and Indianapolis to assist in breaking the blocade. Kimmel has absolutely no idea of the size and composition of the IJN fleet. He probably thinks that subs are best used for reconaissance and that nobody would put 30 subs outside the world's most formidable base to sink BBs (just like You appear to think).

What the hell can a lone ship (BB or DD) do against a whole fleet of subs, backed by BBs, DDs, planes, etc,)? especially when the large fleet knows where the DD is and she has no clue as to what is out there and where it is. When the DD crew see the sub's gun-flashes, they'll probably think they are DDs and when the US DD is hit by torpedoes, the Captain will probably assume they came from the DDs and report that.

Last edited by Draco; 30 Jun 15 at 18:55..
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  #129  
Old 30 Jun 15, 20:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Even in the actions where the US had all the advantage: surprise, radar, numerical superiority, etc, its gunnery was not spectacular (Cape Esperance, Surigao, etc,)
Actually, USN gunnery was far better than Japanese in battle after battle. You cite Surigao Straight. You do know that the US cruisers and battleships deliberately waited until the Japanese were 15,000 and 20,000 yards out from them even though they had radar firing solutions at up to 46,000 yards? When those same ships opened fire their first salvos were observed to be on target and cause hits.
The Japanese failed to score a single hit in return.

Second Savo, the Washington obliterated the Kirishima from about 8,000 yards scoring over 20 hits on her. It was close to an astounding 35% hits for the 16" guns.
The Japanese in return peppered the S. Dakota but failed to badly damage her.

http://navweaps.com/index_lundgren/K...e_Analysis.pdf


Cape Esperance was also a US gunfight win.

Quote:
Shokaku was quite damaged and survived.
Shokaku wasn't crippled and could move under her own power. The four Japanese carriers sunk at Midway were crippled. Not one had power although all four remained afloat.
The Japanese poor damage control left all four burning hulks and they were unable to take any one of them under tow. Instead all four were scuttled.
Taiho's sinking was like that of Yorktown. Crippled by damage and DIW the US submarine Albacore torpedoed and sank her as Japanese destroyers stood by to assist eleven hours after she was first hit.

Quote:
The point is that caught in a harbor and without planes, the fleet cannot maneuver, defend itself or link up with units outside. The fleet is fatally divided and pinned down at the outbreak of war.
Absolutely wrong. Two hours is more than enough time for the US fleet to get underway and exit the harbor. It has been clearly demonstrated that submarines alone cannot and will not stop that nor will they have any great affect on that happening.
Nevada got underway to exit the harbor at 0842 or about 1 hour 15minutes after the attack started. She was grounded in the exit channel by her crew at 0900. By that time the cruiser Saint Louis and about a half dozen destroyers were also underway.
The historical facts show that given 2+ hours the fleet will be clearing the harbor. Your sub fantasy is a proven fail.
What you state above is pure fantasy and none of it is supported by any facts whatsoever.

Quote:
I find it ironic that the Indianapolis, which TAG has saving the day was sunk by a single submarine way out in the ocean. Yet, she is surviving the huge IJN fleet concentrated in a small area and stopping the invasion of Kauai. Afflek.
I find this irrelevant as well as a ludicrous LIE on your part about what I've stated earlier in this thread.


Quote:
TAG has the first DD sneaking out of PH past a rain of shells and a school of torpedoes and forcing the sub fleet to dive. I have her hit by torpedoes and shells and sinking within 2 minutes in deep water with total loss of crew. When the same thing happens to the 2nd and 3rd DD, Kimmel decides to wait until dawn for better intelligence and for the approaching CVs and Indianapolis to assist in breaking the blocade. Kimmel has absolutely no idea of the size and composition of the IJN fleet. He probably thinks that subs are best used for reconaissance and that nobody would put 30 subs outside the world's most formidable base to sink BBs (just like You appear to think).

What the hell can a lone ship (BB or DD) do against a whole fleet of subs, backed by BBs, DDs, planes, etc,)? especially when the large fleet knows where the DD is and she has no clue as to what is out there and where it is. When the DD crew see the sub's gun-flashes, they'll probably think they are DDs and when the US DD is hit by torpedoes, the Captain will probably assume they came from the DDs and report that.
Except you offer no evidence to support any of the above other than your opinion. I showed exactly what 30 submarines deployed against Hawaii and the West Coast of the US accomplished in a month in the exact same scenario we are discussing.
They did next to nothing.

Unless you can offer some substantiating evidence that any of the above is even remotely possible shut up.

There is one DD right off Pearl Harbor's exit channel patrolling. The Ward. The destroyers Monaghan and Helm were underway when the attack started. They were responding to the Ward's earlier sinking of a Japanese midget sub.
In addition, the USS Condor and Antares were nearby the Ward and raised the alarm. The Ward attacked that sub and sank it at 0654, about 40 minutes before the attack started.

So, unless you can back up your drivel with some facts, shut up.

Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 30 Jun 15 at 20:51..
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  #130  
Old 30 Jun 15, 22:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post

Except you offer no evidence to support any of the above other than your opinion. I showed exactly what 30 submarines deployed against Hawaii and the West Coast of the US accomplished in a month in the exact same scenario we are discussing.
They did next to nothing.

Unless you can offer some substantiating evidence that any of the above is even remotely possible shut up.

There is one DD right off Pearl Harbor's exit channel patrolling. The Ward. The destroyers Monaghan and Helm were underway when the attack started. They were responding to the Ward's earlier sinking of a Japanese midget sub.
In addition, the USS Condor and Antares were nearby the Ward and raised the alarm. The Ward attacked that sub and sank it at 0654, about 40 minutes before the attack started.

So, unless you can back up your drivel with some facts, shut up.

Now Now TA, I believe he has his submarines in a nice half circle some 12 miles in diameter with the center on the mouth of the harbor, this allows the subs to be roughly 1,000 yards apart. Their all facing the harbor entrance and waiting for the Ships to come racing out of port, at that point they will use their deck guns and torpedoes to sink the ships that come out, after a few losses, the rest of the fleet will head back into port... To be destroyed by the 190 torpedo planes of the 2nd and 3rd wave...

And if they some how make it past the sub wall, they will be intercepted by his "huge fleet" that will likely be some 2 battleships, 2 Heavy Cruisers, 3 Light Cruisers, and about 12 Destroyers. This task force is now south of Oahu, close enough to quickly intercept and sink any "leakers", It is also in position by 6pm December 6th.

The other Battleship, Heavy Cruiser, 2 light Cruisers and 18 Destroyers I will assume to be Escorting the 7 Fleet carriers some 220 miles north of Oahu (after the 1st wave is launched it will move down to 100 miles north of Oahu) and the 20 or so Transports (not to mention 10+ Oil tankers), whose locations are not known at this time.

Note: The historical Midway landing force was some 5,000 troops and was on 16 ships, including 4 old destroyers turned "Patrol boat" that could carry about 600-1,000 men between them.
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  #131  
Old 30 Jun 15, 22:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebfer View Post
Now Now TA, I believe he has his submarines in a nice half circle some 12 miles in diameter with the center on the mouth of the harbor, this allows the subs to be roughly 1,000 yards apart. Their all facing the harbor entrance and waiting for the Ships to come racing out of port, at that point they will use their deck guns and torpedoes to sink the ships that come out, after a few losses, the rest of the fleet will head back into port... To be destroyed by the 190 torpedo planes of the 2nd and 3rd wave...
The subs are Japanese, not Polish...



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  #132  
Old 01 Jul 15, 04:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
The Germans and US got it right with subs. Their best use was as commerce raiders. The surface commerce raider could be effective up to the point where aircraft, radar, and radio exist. With these, the ability to find such a ship is so much greater than its ability to hide that it won't survive long. Thus, to redress that balance you go to the submarine which eliminates the effectiveness of aircraft and radar to a degree.
Yes. I have found some interesting data concerning what the German subs were effective at and what they were not effective at. This covers the entire war, thus it is statistically relevant, unlike individual carefully cherry-picked examples by some other poster.

During the entire war, U-Boote sank 2,828 Allied cargo ships. That is staggering - and a good use of this arm. OTOH, they sank only 187 warships.
Now, the German submarines were 1,158. And the German submarines lost were 785.
Thus the Germans, who did use their subs at best, and achieved significantly positive results in attacking the subs' real target, still lost four subs for every warship the subs managed to sink.

If you have similar overall figures for the Japanese submarine arm, I'd like to see them.

Quote:
Bottom line: Submarines won't stop the US fleet from sortieing nor will they do much if any damage to it.
Clearly. As I mentioned above, it seems the purpose of this thread is self-harm on the Japaneses' part.
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Old 01 Jul 15, 04:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
The subs are Japanese, not Polish...



Cute... Though I can see what he's getting at, a force of 30 subs sitting right off the harbor entrance, could be fairly nasty, and their largely the kinds of targets the IJN sub commanders where expected to engage.
Though I can also see USN commanders going with the idea of taking their chances with the subs than risk being caught in harbor, after all it dose take more than 15 minutes to reload a torpedo tube I believe. And how many subs will attack the same ship? How many will miss...

Though the real question(s) is why are they using every last sub (including ones that don't exist yet) just for this, at that point why not send the rest of the fleet? Their depriving the southern task forces of their sub forces, you know the ones tasked to deal with Borneo...
The entire use of the here in such a concentration is very atypical for IJN sub doctrine.

So the subs are on the surface using their deck guns, and they open fire on the lead destroyers, which is likely toast, but the response is to fire star shells and engage the surface targets, which will be easy prey. the return fire will likely make many sub commanders nervous (they where not trained for this), many will probably try to submerge and or evade.

Second what are the chances of the USN noticing 30 submarines a few miles off their harbor entrance, as they are setting up for the attack? What are the chances of the USN noticing the IJN fleet heading for the interdiction point a few miles behind the subs?
Heck how many subs will even notice the ships leaving harbor?

Also noting that the Wards patrol area was in that region

it's mostly likely that elements will be noticed long before the attack is scheduled to take place

You know is not part of the IJN Sub doctrine to report their location at specific times?

Humm looking at documents
found this in part 13 of the Pearl harbor hearings (this is largely IJN reports)


Quote:
Verbal explanation by the Chief of Staff, Combined Fleet of ambiguities
in Combined Fleet SECRET OpOrd #1,
(Printed version of an explanation of details not covered in the
order delivered to the High Commanders in an informal talk.)

All of the planes of CarDlv 1, CarDlv 2, and CarDlv 5 will be
concentrated in the attack on OAHU. If there are any ships which
escape, almost the entire submarine strength of the 6th Fleet will
be in command of the harbor mouth and will concentrate torpedo
attacks on them. In addition to these, the destroyer strength of
(DesRon 1) will be deployed in a screen (mainly for night attacks)
and the fast battleships of BatDlv 3 deployed in a fourth echelon.
If the main force of the enemy fleet should escape from PEARL HARBOR
and make for the open sea, it will be waylaid by the Main Body of
our fleet.
Sounds familiar... Wait isn't this what Draco wants?

Quote:
22. State reasons for and particulars of the selection of the date of 7 December.
(1) The Imperial Headquarters Navy Section generally acknowledged 8 December
(JAPAN time) to be suitable from an operational stand point and made the decision in cooperation with the leaders of the Combined Fleet.
(2) For a dawn attack in the HAWAII Area in December, the tenth
would have been suitable from the standpoint of the dark of the moon.
However, since it was expected that the UNITED STATES PACIFIC
Fleet, in accordance with its habits during maneuvers, would enter the
harbor on Friday and leave on Monday, the eighth was decided on so
as to hit between these days.
23. How was the time for the attack selected and for what reasons?
In order to assure the success of the attack and still avoid a night
attack
, the take-off time of the airplanes was set as near to dawn as possible.
The attack time was set at 0330 hours (JAPAN time). Sunrise that day was at 0230 hours.
Emphasis mine
As they state Night operations where rejected historically... I wonder why... You know I wonder if the torpedo planes could of carried out the attacks at night safely? as they where done as low and slow as possible, difficult already during the day, but at night?

Some details on the IJN planing and considerations
Quote:
21. Write a detailed report on how this plan could have been improved,
a. The obstacles which were considered and how they were overcome.
(1) The impossibility of refueling at sea due to rough weather was
considered. To overcome this difficulty, the ships with a limited cruising
range were deck-loaded with drums of heavy oil, and heavy oil was
stowed In open spaces inside the ship. In the eventuality that there were no
opportunity to refuel at sea, all the ships except the destroyers had a
cruising radius extending to approximately E Long 160. In the event
the destroyers were unable to refuel there was a plan to have them
separate and return. In actual fact, however, the sea was comparatively
calm and the scheduled refueling was possible.
(2) It was decided that a torpedo attack against anchored ships was
the most effective method of putting the main strength of the UNITED
STATES PACIFIC Fleet in the HAWAII area out of action for a considerably
long period of time. Hence, the following two obstacles were
considered
:
(a) The fact that PEARL HARBOR is narrow and shallow.
(b) The fact that PEARL HARBOR was probably equipped with
torpedo nets.
(c) In regard to point (a), it was planned to attach stabilizers to
the torpedoes and launch them from an extremely low altitude.
(d) In regard to point (b), since success could not be counted on, a
bombing attack was also employed.
b. Were local decisions made and, if so, by whom?
There were none.
c. How were the units and commanding officers who were to participate
selected (surface forces and air forces) ?
Pp. 9 Air forces : The basic unit was organized by attaching the flight personnel
of Car Div 4 (RYUJO and RYUHO) to Car Div 1 (AKAGI,
KAGA) and Car Div 2 (SORYU and HIRYU), which were at that time
the most highly trained units in the Combined Fleet. Car Div 5, because
it had just been organized, was supplemented by highly trained flight
personnel from every unit in JAPAN, and, by further concentrated training,
it was planned to bring them to peak efficiency.
Surface forces: As for a possible, vessels with a long cruising range
were selected. Persons of ability were selected for commanding officers.
d. What were the reasons for the actual course selected?
Three courses were considered for the HAWAII Operation. The
northern course which was actually used, a central course which headed
east following along the HAWAII Archipelago, and a southern route
passing through the MARSHALL Islands and approaching from the
south. On the northern route, although it was far from the enemy
patrol screen of land-based airplanes and there was little chance of
meeting commercial vessels, the influences of weather and topography
were strong. Refueling at sea and navigation were difficult. On the
Pp. 10 central and southern routes the advantages and disadvantages are generally
just the opposite to those of the above-mentioned route.
Although it may be assumed that these routes would be preferable for purposes
of refueling at sea, the chances of being discovered by patrol planes were
great because the routes near WAKE, MIDWAY, PALMYRA, JOHNSTON
Islands, etc. Consequently, it could hardly be expected that a
surprise attack could be made.
The ability to refuel and a surprise attack were the keys to this
operation. If either of them failed the execution of the operation would
have been impossible. However, the refueling problem could be overcome
by training. On the other hand, a surprise attack under all circumstances
could not be assured by our own strength. Therefore, the
northern route was selected
Reasons for the use of the planes
Quote:
26. (NOTE: These answers are based on the recollections and inquiries
of Comdr FUCHIDA, Mitsuo, who was in command of AKAGI
Air Unit at that time.)
a. Explain the plans of action and the reasoning therein, for the air
attack, giving the number and type of airplanes used against each target.

(1) First Attack.
(a) Horizontal Bombing Unit (50 Type 97 Carrier Attack Planes).
Target : Battleships.
Reasoning
:
(i) It was presumed that the American battleships could be effectively
crippled by 800-kg armor piercing bombs, dropped from an
altitude of 3,000 meters or more.
Pp. 20 (2) Horizontal bombing is relatively inaccurate, however, it was
estimated that, with the degree of training the bombing unit had,
an 80% ratio of hits could be expected against stationary battleships
if formations of five airplanes were employed from an altitude of
3,000 meters or more. Therefore, it was concluded that about four
battleships could be effectively crippled with 10 formations of
bombers.
(3) Because of the accuracy of torpedo attacks, we desired to use
as many of them as possible. However, both bombing attacks and
torpedo attacks were used for the following reasons
:
(a) If torpedo nets were layed, the attack would otherwise be
unsuccessful.
(b) Launching torpedoes into shallow water such as that in
PEARL HARBOR requires a special technique.
(c) Ordinarily, ships were moored in pairs abreast each other.
Consequently, bombing attacks were the only effective method
against the inside ships.

(b) Torpedo Bombing Unit (40 Type 97 Carrier Attack Planes)
.
Target : Battleships and aircraft carriers.
Reasoning
:
Torpedo bombing is very accurate. Therefore, the pilots most
skillful at shallow water torpedo bombing were selected and an
attempt made to put as many battleships and carriers temporarily
out of action due to underwater damage as the conditions previously
related in "(c)" would permit. (Because the carriers were not
at their anchorages on the day of the attack, the airplanes concentrated
on the battleships.)

(b) Dive Bombing Unit (81 Type 99 Carrier Bombers).
Target : Aircraft carriers and cruisers.
Reasoning
:
(1) Although the 250-kg bombs which the airplanes were able to
to carry could not pierce the armor of the battleship, it was estimated
that they would be effective against the UNITED STATES cruisers
and carriers of that time.
(2) It was estimated that there were then four or five American
carriers operating in the HAWAII Area. They were the targets
of this dive bombing unit. (Since the aircraft carriers were not at
their anchorages on the day of the attack, most of the blows were
directed against battleships.)
Interesting to note that they expected 4 or 5 carriers to be in the area.

Oh look the orders of the IJN subs used at pearl... (20 of them -not including midgets)
Quote:
7, The Commander of the Surprise Attack Force (Submarine
Force), having the 6th Fleet (Submarine Fleet) as its main
element, will have most of the submarines leave the western
part of the Inland Sea on X-20 Day to attack Pearl Harbor.
Its entire strength will be so disposed so as to command the
harbor south. It will attack any enemy warship which may have
escaped from the harbor. It will also carry out reconnaissance
before the attack, and if the opportunity presents
itself, will carry out surprise attacks on enemy warships with
Midget submarines. The time for such attacks will be after
the flights of planes have attacked OAHU. Every possible
means for recovery of midget submarines should be considered.
Wait a minute this looks familiar...
Note most arrived on the 6th.


Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
Yes. I have found some interesting data concerning what the German subs were effective at and what they were not effective at. This covers the entire war, thus it is statistically relevant, unlike individual carefully cherry-picked examples by some other poster.

During the entire war, U-Boote sank 2,828 Allied cargo ships. That is staggering - and a good use of this arm. OTOH, they sank only 187 warships.
Now, the German submarines were 1,158. And the German submarines lost were 785.
Thus the Germans, who did use their subs at best, and achieved significantly positive results in attacking the subs' real target, still lost four subs for every warship the subs managed to sink.

If you have similar overall figures for the Japanese submarine arm, I'd like to see them.
I don't have the figures on hand, but AFAIK the IJN subs sank about as many merchant men as the Germans sunk warships with their subs (Combined fleet mentions 184 merchantmen for the entire war). They lost about 130 subs (out of about 175 used)

USN success vs the IJN, from what I can find
1942- 350 patrols with 180 ships sunk, including 2 cruisers and 6 submarines. (7 losses)
1943- 350 patrols with 335 ships sunk, including 1 escort carrier and 2 submarines. (15 losses)
1944- 520 patrols with 603 ships sunk, including 1 BB, 7 CV, 2 CA, 7 CL, 30 DD and 7 subs. (19 losses)

Last edited by Nebfer; 01 Jul 15 at 05:14..
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  #134  
Old 01 Jul 15, 05:05
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There is one other little problem... The second one of Draco's surfaced subs opens fire, the coast defenses that are concentrated along that part of Oahu are going to return fire.
5.5" shell out by the Japanese... 12 to 16" shell inbound to their sub...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Stevens_(Oregon)

It would be one-sided at best. The Japanese would be ineffective while the coast defenses with larger guns than at fort Stevens could easily reply with far greater accuracy.
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Old 01 Jul 15, 06:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebfer View Post
I don't have the figures on hand, but AFAIK the IJN subs sank about as many merchant men as the Germans sunk warships with their subs (Combined fleet mentions 184 merchantmen for the entire war). They lost about 130 subs (out of about 175 used)

USN success vs the IJN, from what I can find
1942- 350 patrols with 180 ships sunk, including 2 cruisers and 6 submarines. (7 losses)
1943- 350 patrols with 335 ships sunk, including 1 escort carrier and 2 submarines. (15 losses)
1944- 520 patrols with 603 ships sunk, including 1 BB, 7 CV, 2 CA, 7 CL, 30 DD and 7 subs. (19 losses)
Thank you. All of that confirms my assessment, I'd say.
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