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  #46  
Old 26 Jun 15, 17:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
According to You the orders excluded attacking seaplane tenders, CA, CL, DD, etc, I wonder why the pilots disobeyed.
They didn't disobey. They misidentified two ships and attacked them by mistake:

Utah was the first and Raleigh alongside got attention even though pilots were told to ignore Utah.

Helena got torpedoed because she was tied up at a quay that usually had a BB or CV docked at it.

Other than that, cruisers and destroyers, along with other smaller ships, were collateral damage to attacks on specified targets. Destroyers Cassin and Downes were wrecked by bombing that was aimed at Pennsylvania as all three were in the same dry dock for example.

Quote:
First You state that Nagumo is justified to leave at flank speed, heading N (where he has zero chance of encountering 1 to 3 US CVs. He is running away as if he were the underdog), because there might be US CVs around and then You state that he left because there were no CVs to attack and his mission was done.

First You state that he had destroyed the planes and then You state that he did well not to launch a 3rd wave to destroy the planes, invaluable fuel tanks (which they attacked in every other raid), because US planes would have caused heavy losses.
Pearl Harbor was a raid. That meant Nagumo was supposed to attack and then withdraw before the US could retaliate. Nagumo needed to consider keeping the Japanese carrier force intact for the inevitable US counter attacks and such. The war wasn't going to end on December 8th.


Quote:
He could have easily launched a 3rd, small wave with only Zeroes to finish off the planes, then launched a 4th, large wave to bomb the tanks, CAs, etc, The simple fact of lingering in an area with the mightiest task force in the world to date upped enormously the probability of sinking a carrier or 2. The most important objective.
And, that wave would have run head on into up to 50+ P-40 and P-36 along with a handful of Marine and Navy F4F. Japanese losses would have been significant for very little return.

Quote:
OTL the USN was so dumb as to order individual carriers (one of which had lost part of its limited complement to friendly fire when her planes landed in Oahu) to search for the huge IJN fleet ASAP after refueling, yet You think that during the attack, they're going to order a CV with little fuel, etc, to run away to SD.
Lexington and Enterprise (and their battle groups 6 CA, 13 DD total) were ordered to rendezvous at 22 N 162 W about 120 NM off Kauai. Indianapolis with 5 DMS off Johnson Island was ordered to join them there. Cruiser Minneapolis with 4 DMS was south of Oahu. They were told to join the carriers.
That means the US would have 2 carriers accompanied by 8 heavy cruisers and 22 destroyers sitting off Kauai where you want to land. Want to bet on the outcome of that?

As Saratoga was at San Diego she isn't getting sunk in your scenario at all. In fact, I'd expect her to be loaded with replacement aircraft for Oahu and to head there with them, flying them off from several hundred miles out if the Japanese were staying and trying landings.

The US carriers, undetected, could launch a strike on the landing forces at Kauai and mess them up bad. Add a few subs and a herd of ships from Pearl, Kauai is going to get lots of attention.

Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 26 Jun 15 at 17:43..
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  #47  
Old 26 Jun 15, 18:05
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During two waves 5 Kates, 15 Vals and 9 Zeroes were lost. The Zeroes had to protect the bombers, which is a completely different proposition from attaking alone.

Nagumo could have easily sent 72 Zeroes in the 3rd wave, expressly to wipe out the inferior US planes (including the 8 surviving B-17s, etc, after finishing off the fighters). They would never have such numerical and pilot and plane quality odds again.

How is Nagumo risking a carrier when he has six against at most 3 enemy carriers (actually two, piecemeal)?
He couln't have asked for better odds and the IJN would never have them again.

How the hell are the US going to counter attack if Nagumo sinks 2 CVs on the first day, the main point of the raid?

Last edited by Draco; 26 Jun 15 at 18:27..
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  #48  
Old 26 Jun 15, 20:00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
During two waves 5 Kates, 15 Vals and 9 Zeroes were lost. The Zeroes had to protect the bombers, which is a completely different proposition from attaking alone.

Nagumo could have easily sent 72 Zeroes in the 3rd wave, expressly to wipe out the inferior US planes (including the 8 surviving B-17s, etc, after finishing off the fighters). They would never have such numerical and pilot and plane quality odds again.
Given historical precedent the Japanese would lose one Zero for every US fighter shot down. The Japanese don't even know about at least 3 auxiliary fields that the US is using on Oahu. How can they attack something they don't even know exists?
As for the surviving B-17, those along with the remaining B-18 were sent out to look for the Japanese. Again, now you are hunting a bunch of needles in a hay stack.

Quote:
How is Nagumo risking a carrier when he has six against at most 3 enemy carriers (actually two, piecemeal)?
He couln't have asked for better odds and the IJN would never have them again.
Because if the US figures out where the Japanese are their air strikes will, based on historical precedent sink or cripple at least 2 Japanese carriers. They might lose the two in return, but the Japanese are the ones that can't replace their losses.

Quote:
How the hell are the US going to counter attack if Nagumo sinks 2 CVs on the first day, the main point of the raid?
Nagumo has to find them first. He has very limited scouting resources to do that with and really has no idea where to look.

There is no guarantee that the US will put their carriers in a position to be attacked either. The fleet might be told to move south and east of Oahu putting it out of range of Japanese attack.
The US can wait out the Japanese main fleet which will have to depart for Japan within a day or two in any case as it runs out of munitions and fuel.
In fact, Nagumo had to detach his destroyers before recovering the second strike to allow them to refuel because they were low.
Japan doesn't have the tanker fleet to refuel most of their navy and certainly doesn't have it to do anything close to that on a sustained basis. The US to keep their fleet off Tarawa and the Gilberts put 13 Cimarron class oilers out in twos and threes to refuel the fleet. These are about 50% larger than Japanese fleet oilers.
Those were backed up by 30 commercial tankers shuttling fuel from the US and Hawaii to the Gilberts to keep those fleet tankers filled. For repairs, Servron's 4 and 10 set up a mobile base at Majuro lagoon. Those two units had more tenders, storage barges, barracks barges, shop barges, and other ships and equipment than the entire Japanese navy had at any point in the war of that sort of thing.

All that allowed the US to keep about 200 warships at sea continuously without having to go to a port to replenish or get repairs. That is something never before done in naval warfare. It is also something the Japanese are entirely incapable of.

Even the very general Wiki entry shows how impossible what you want the Japanese to do is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_Squadron

Quote:
Within a month of the occupation of Ulithi, a whole floating base was in operation. Six thousand ship fitters, artificers, welders, carpenters, and electricians arrived aboard repair ships, destroyer tenders, and floating dry docks. The USS Ajax had an air-conditioned optical shop and a metal fabrication shop with a supply of base metals from which she could make any alloy to form any part needed. The USS Abatan, which looked like a big tanker, really distilled fresh water and baked bread and pies. The ice cream barge made 500 gallons a shift. The dry docks towed to Ulithi were large enough to lift dry a 45,000 ton battleship.Fleet oilers sortied to and from Ulithi to meet the task forces at sea, refueling the warships a short distance from their combat operational areas. The result was something never seen before: a vast floating service station enabling the entire Pacific fleet to operate indefinitely at unprecedented distances from its mainland bases. Service Squadron 10's conversion of the lagoon at Ulithi to a major naval resupply and staging area was one of the most remarkable feats of the war


The Japanese couldn't even conceive of something on that scale.

Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 26 Jun 15 at 20:09..
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  #49  
Old 26 Jun 15, 21:54
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It is US planes which have to find the Japanese, not all the way around. If those fighters don't show up, the other fighters, B-17s, etc, are even easier mincemeat. Radar would tell them that 72 planes are approaching but not that they are all fighters, so the US fighters would obviously try to intercept them.

You're using statistics with US superiority, incendiary bullets, the Akutan Zero, fighters protecting bombers, etc, not the situation at all for a 3rd wave in 7 Dec. The P-36 is even worse than the P-40, completely out of its league in late 1941 (it's incredible that the geniuses had them at the front, in the PI and Hawaii and several Buffalo in the carriers, but they had 12 Wildcats in untenable Wake!).

Out of the 9 Zeroes lost most were to ground fire, because it had no armor and one flew to Niihao and would have made it to the carriers, had they been closer to Oahu (it was a mistake not to continue approaching during and after launching the 1st wave, since the fleet ruled the air and sea. Again, they felt like the underdog!).

How many Zeroes were shot down in the PI and how long did the fighters last in 1941?
How many Zeroes were shot down by planes in PH, where US fighters had plenty of time for the 2nd wave? How long did the Wildcats last in Wake?

You are suffering from the Ben Afflek syndrome, he and his mate caused Zeroes to crash and shoot down several. In reality, the dozens of fighters barely managed to shoot down mostly Vals, taking several losses. Despite the Zeroes having to protect bomebrs and using a lot of ammo and time shooting down B-17s, etc, and there being few Zeroes in the 2nd wave.
US fighters would not stand a chance in hell against 72 Zeroes comming especially for them and only going after other planes, etc, after finishing off the fghters.

The large number of fighters intercepting Vals with fixed undercarriage and Kates shot down only a few, yet You claim that they will shoot down as many fighters as they lose. A classic Afflek syndrome.

The US always used 10 x more resources than necessary for invasions and succeded despite poor tactics and leadership and heavy losses. No better examples than Tarawa, Normandy, Leyte, Saipan, Iwo, Okinawa, etc,

Last edited by Draco; 26 Jun 15 at 22:04..
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Old 26 Jun 15, 23:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
It is US planes which have to find the Japanese, not all the way around. If those fighters don't show up, the other fighters, B-17s, etc, are even easier mincemeat. Radar would tell them that 72 planes are approaching but not that they are all fighters, so the US fighters would obviously try to intercept them.
Wrong. All the US has to do is defend. The Japanese cannot stay on station off Hawaii for more than a couple of days at most due to the lack of a fleet train.
The US has to do nothing more than cause the Japanese lots of casualties. The US losses will be made good in days or weeks. The Japanese ones will take months or years to replace.

Quote:
You're using statistics with US superiority, incendiary bullets, the Akutan Zero, fighters protecting bombers, etc, not the situation at all for a 3rd wave in 7 Dec. The P-36 is even worse than the P-40, completely out of its league in late 1941 (it's incredible that the geniuses had them at the front, in the PI and Hawaii and several Buffalo in the carriers, but they had 12 Wildcats in untenable Wake!).

I'm citing authors like Bergerud and Lundstrom who know what they're talking about. You on the other hand have Wiki and not much, if anything, more. The P-36 acquitted itself quite well in the original attack. Both the P-40 and P-36 proved capable of taking on a Zero, as did the F4F.


Quote:
Out of the 9 Zeroes lost most were to ground fire, because it had no armor and one flew to Niihao and would have made it to the carriers, had they been closer to Oahu (it was a mistake not to continue approaching during and after launching the 1st wave, since the fleet ruled the air and sea. Again, they felt like the underdog!).
The reason more Zeros weren't lost was the US pilots went for the bombers like they were trained to. They shot down the planes that mattered. That is, the ones capable of doing something to the bases and ships on Oahu.
Of course, you can't figure that out because you still think that dogfighting and shooting down fighters like some video game you play is how aerial warfare is done.

Quote:
How many Zeroes were shot down in the PI and how long did the fighters last in 1941?
Feel free to answer that, as I can find the answer but it's up to you to provide it first.


Quote:
How many Zeroes were shot down by planes in PH, where US fighters had plenty of time for the 2nd wave? How long did the Wildcats last in Wake?
It doesn't matter since the Zeros were not the danger. The Kates and Vals were.
Long enough to sink a DD, attack several other ships and shoot down some bombers.


Quote:
You are suffering from the Ben Afflek syndrome, he and his mate caused Zeroes to crash and shoot down several. In reality, the dozens of fighters barely managed to shoot down mostly Vals, taking several losses. Despite the Zeroes having to protect bomebrs and using a lot of ammo and time shooting down B-17s, etc, and there being few Zeroes in the 2nd wave.
US fighters would not stand a chance in hell against 72 Zeroes comming especially for them and only going after other planes, etc, after finishing off the fghters.
You know nothing and aren't citing a single source to back your drivel. I gave you two. Want more? I can easily post up a dozen. I even have the original WW 2 TAIC manuals on Japanese aircraft. You are so out of your league arguing this it is actually funny.


Quote:
The large number of fighters intercepting Vals with fixed undercarriage and Kates shot down only a few, yet You claim that they will shoot down as many fighters as they lose. A classic Afflek syndrome.
You don't even know how many US fighters got airborne or what they did. One of the top scorers was George Welsh, heir to the Welsh's Grape Jelly business. Just a bit of trivia there.
You really are totally out of your league here.

Quote:
The US always used 10 x more resources than necessary for invasions and succeded despite poor tactics and leadership and heavy losses. No better examples than Tarawa, Normandy, Leyte, Saipan, Iwo, Okinawa, etc,
So? They won. That's what matters. And, they didn't use poor tactics, leadership, or generally suffer heavy losses.

You might note that for forces committed Makin Atoll casualties were heavier than Tarawa. Again, you are so totally out of your league.
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  #51  
Old 27 Jun 15, 00:08
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If US fighters from the small airfields do nothing as Zeroes destroy really expensive B-17 and the remaining planes in the main fields, I'm pretty sure somebody would be court marshalled.

Hey You're the ones claiming that a large US fighter force would intercept the 3rd wave. If a small force intercepted the 2nd wave and more US planes were lost during it, why would a large force encounter the 3th wave and shoot down more Zeroes than during the 2nd wave (which involved half as many Zeroes as the 3rd?

You call 29 planes, mostly Vals and mostly to Flak a good performance by P-36 & 40 and F4F, with a long time between waves and against only 36 Zeroes of the 2nd waves, which had to shoot down 4 B-17 and leave others riddled, etc, and also had to defend bombers? I call it a lousy performance and am sure that a 3rd wave with 72 Zeroes would have wiped out the survivors with very few losses.
Shooting down a few slow Val or Kate and fighting a few Zeroes with little ammo left is a completely different ballpark from fighting 72 fully loaded Zeroes without any bombers to worry about. But forget it, the Afflek syndrome will never let You see that.

It is interesting that the 2nd wave, which expected to find more enemy fighters in the air than the 1st wave involved fewer Zeroes. The few US fighters in the air were terribly lucky that they faced so few Zeroes and that the B-17 arrived exactly at the right time to distract the Zeroes and force them to use their ammo.

All this is OTL. Back to the thread, a much larger wave attacked at dusk on 6 December, with all the planes concentrating on planes, barracks, etc, (no ships at all) so many more planes were destroyed. Then the 2 waves at night launching only torpedoes wiped out by far most of the ships. Again, a large number of Zeroes attacking at dawn wiped out the few surviving planes. Yamato shells the fuel tanks, sub base, etc,

There are at least 10,000 casualties and men trapped underwater and a lot of fire and smoke from the fuel tanks, planes, ships, installations, etc, in PH by 0900 7 Dec. The watermains are severed, the hospitals damaged. The few warships in service are ordered to sortie to attack the IJN and encounter heavy torpedo fire from subs and DD, shells from BB, CA, CL, etc, and are sunk together with the 2 returning CVs with total crew losses. By 1900 7 Dec, there are over 20,000 casualties and Kauai and Maui are in enemy hands.

With Maui and Kauai secured and no US planes left in Oahu, all 7 carriers sail to the Marshalls, where they refuel and restock. then a fleet sails S to support the invasions of New Caledonia-PM-Rabaul and 4 carriers sail to support the invasions of Malaya-Sumatra-Ceylon.

Last edited by Draco; 27 Jun 15 at 10:42..
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Old 27 Jun 15, 02:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
If US fighters from the small airfields do nothing as Zeroes destroy really expensive B-17 and the remaining planes in the main fields, I'm pretty sure somebody would be court marshalled.

Hey You're the ones claiming that a large US fighter force would intercept the 3rd wave. If a small force intercepted the 2nd wave and more US planes were lost during it, why would a large force encounter the 3th wave and shoot down more Zeroes than during the 2nd wave (which involved half as many Zeroes as the 3rd?

You call 29 planes, mostly Vals and mostly to Flak a good performance by P-36 & 40 and F4F, with a long time between waves and against only 36 Zeroes of the 2nd waves, which had to shoot down 4 B-17 and leave others riddled, etc, and also had to defend bombers? I call it a lousy performance and am sure that a 3rd wave with 72 Zeroes would have wiped out the survivors with very few losses.
Shooting down a few slow Val or Kate and fighting a few Zeroes with little ammo left is a completely different ballpark from fighting 72 fully loaded Zeroes without any bombers to worry about. But forget it, the Afflek syndrome will never let You see that.

It is interesting that the 2nd wave, which expected to find more enemy fighters in the air than the 1st wave involved fewer Zeroes. The few US fighters in the air were terribly lucky that they faced so few Zeroes and that the B-17 arrived exactly at the right time to distract the Zeroes and force them to use their ammo.

All this is OTL. Back to the thread, a much larger wave attacked at dusk on 6 December, with all the planes concentrating on planes, barracks, etc, (no ships at all) so many more planes were destroyed. Then the 2 waves at night launching only torpedoes wiped out by far most of the ships. Again, a large number of Zeroes attacking at dawn wiped out the few surviving planes. Yamato shells the fuel tanks, sub base, etc,

There are at least 10,000 casualties and men trapped underwater and a lot of fire and smoke from the fuel tanks, planes, ships, installations, etc, in PH by 0900 7 Dec. The watermains are severed, the hospitals damaged. The few warships in service are ordered to sortie to attack the IJN and encounter heavy torpedo fire from subs and DD, shells from BB, CA, CL, etc, and are sunk together with the 2 returning CVs with total crew losses. By 1900 7 Dec, there are over 20,000 casualties and Kauai and Maui are in enemy hands.

With Maui and Kauai secured and no US planes left in Oahu, all 6 carriers sail to the Marshalls, where they refuel and restock. then a fleet sails S to support the invasions of New Caledonia-PM-Rabaul and 4 carriers sail to support the invasions of Malaya-Sumatra-Ceylon.
The Yamato didnít enter service until after Pearl Harbor so how is it going to be there to shell anything. Really that was just a minimum amount of fact checking.
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Old 27 Jun 15, 02:38
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At what point in this travesty does the IJN show up with battleships, cruisers, or whatever to shell installations on Oahu?
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Old 27 Jun 15, 10:59
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I hate to defend Draco but the initial idea of this thread is quite sane alternate history. Indeed it has been suggested and discussed at length in many threads at various sites. It is Glen239's famous Operation Tinkerbell, which we can find for example at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...cc26fc3987837b and http://warships1discussionboards.yuk...g-costs?page=1. It might have been nice if Draco had mentioned the earlier threads but he is definitely catching up on alternate history ideas.

Tinkerbell works quite well because all the discussions about how long it took Japan to build air fields are irrelevant as the air fields are already built and, astonishingly, unguarded. Similarly, the coastal artillery wouldn't necessarily have stopped the IJN bombarding Pearl because the guns were all in the open and could be disabled by the Kido Butai's dive bombers.

The problem was that the IJN wouldn't have believed that the Americans were so badly prepared and, if they had, they couldn't have persuaded the IJA.

Last edited by Mostlyharmless; 27 Jun 15 at 11:17..
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Old 27 Jun 15, 11:39
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I just corrected that the 7 carriers (including Ryujo as in the opening post) sail for the Marshalls before splitting.

OTL Yamato was commissioned on 16 Dec because there was no urgent need for her. In this scenario everything is accelerated and she is commissioned in late Nov in order to participate in the shelling of the fuel tanks, sub base, etc, assisted by spotter planes (since Japan rules the air on 7 Dec). So PH is bombed and shelled.

After shelling PH, Johnston, etc, Yamato is based in Lahaina Roads with 2CA, 2CL, 10 DD, 12 Subs and large minefields. The Japanese also take Johnston a few weeks after Kauai in order to make the flights from the Marshalls much easier. Shortly after Johnston the Main Island in Hawaii also falls.

In late March there are 80 bombers and 69 fighters each in Kauai, Maui and the Main Island and 18 Kawanishi flying boats in the Main Island. A convoy supplies Johnston and Hawaii every 2 months with a strong escort (a CVL, 1 CL and 6 DD)

There are 80 bombers and 60 fighters each in Ceylon, Mauritius and Diego Suarez.
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Old 27 Jun 15, 11:53
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Mostlyharmless,
Thanks for the link to Tinkerbell.
However, Tinkerbell is far more complicated and costly, as it involves the invasion of heavily defended Oahu. Invading only weak islands both in Hawaii and the PI requires much smaller forces, provides a much better return on investment and accelerates Japanese expansion considerably.
Why invade Oahu and Luzon, when one can isolate them in a day, nearly without losses?
Why attack heavily defended Malaya and Luzon first and allow invaluable, weak B. Borneo weeks to destroy wells and refinery?

Out maneuver them by hitting them were they ain't and where they hurt! That is the art of war.

The Japanese knew perfectly well that most of the Hawaiian and Philippine Islands and B. Borneo were poorly or not defended and that Oahu, Luzon and Malaya had field artillery, coastal guns, infantry, etc, They also knew that without enemy planes and ships these areas were completely harmless. Incredibly, they chose to wipe out the planes and many ships in PH (after sailing 4,000 miles with a large fleet), Malaya and Luzon and then ran like hell from Hawaii and wasted months invading Luzon-Corregidor and Malaya and repairing the oil installations in B. Borneo. They could not have used their formidable resources and the complete surprise they achieved less efficiently.

Last edited by Draco; 27 Jun 15 at 12:19..
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Old 27 Jun 15, 12:07
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Isolating, bombing and shelling the large garrisons and civilian population in Oahu and Luzon creates more political pressure than actually capturing them. They are prisoners. who don't have to be guarded, fed or housed by Japan, but have to be a) supplied and reinforced, b) evacuated or c) simply abandonned by Roosevelt.
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Old 27 Jun 15, 13:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mostlyharmless View Post
I hate to defend Draco but the initial idea of this thread is quite sane alternate history. Indeed it has been suggested and discussed at length in many threads at various sites. It is Glen239's famous Operation Tinkerbell, which we can find for example at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...cc26fc3987837b and http://warships1discussionboards.yuk...g-costs?page=1. It might have been nice if Draco had mentioned the earlier threads but he is definitely catching up on alternate history ideas.

Tinkerbell works quite well because all the discussions about how long it took Japan to build air fields are irrelevant as the air fields are already built and, astonishingly, unguarded. Similarly, the coastal artillery wouldn't necessarily have stopped the IJN bombarding Pearl because the guns were all in the open and could be disabled by the Kido Butai's dive bombers.

The problem was that the IJN wouldn't have believed that the Americans were so badly prepared and, if they had, they couldn't have persuaded the IJA.
A Japanese invasion of Hawai'i either right off the bat or after a successful Battle of Midway in 1942 was plausible. Certainly Yamamoto wanted to take a crack at it. The defenders were no match for the IJA and with control of the seas and air it would have been a matter of time.

Possibly in the long run an invasion of Hawai'i might have hurt Japan more than it could have helped. At most it could have significantly lengthened the war, created even more panic among the populace, and perhaps allowed more advanced Axis weapons to come online in greater quantity. Ultimately the wrecked port facilities might have required too much time and effort to bring back up to capacity, and if the IJA gave Honolulu the same 'treatment' they meted out to places like Nanking and Manila, well, let's just say we can imagine what the consequences might have been for them once the war finally turned around. On top of that, the Japanese would have been even more thinly spread than they were, and would have had to draw on forces from China and Manchuria to beef up the Pacific.

Here is a post I made in another thread concerning this very subject:

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
As far as a Japanese invasion of Hawai'i, there are arguments going either way with regard to her capacity to do so. Personally, I do not believe that Japan's Southern Expeditionary Army Group as it existed in late 1941/early 1942 was up to the task logistically or numerically. Most of the reason for this is that the infrastructure necessary to support such an invasion did not exist, and would have to be built up in the southwest Pacific. Japanese shipping was also strained, and a great amount of their merchant strength would have to be co-opted into yet another extensive operation against far-flung shores. Any invasion of Hawai'i would have to take place long after the conclusion of the initial offensive, as that alone took up 90% of Japan's amphibious tonnage. In addition, more reinforcements would have to be sucked out of Manchuria to mount such an operation, as the 11 divisions and numerous smaller formations Japan assigned to their initial offensive were deemed sufficient for that task only. To overcome Hawai'i's defenses would require much more than what Japan had already committed to the Pacific.

This website: http://www.combinedfleet.com/pearlops.htm offers a pretty solid argument against the feasibility of a Hawai'i invasion. It's well thought out and many points are valid, however IMHO it goes a bit too far in pronouncing "The Eastern Operation" impossible. Had the conditions been ideal (Japanese victory at Midway, successful follow-up in the South Pacific, etc.) I think they had a chance at pulling it off.

A counterpoint to the above view expressing doubt on a Hawai'i invasion is that of Prof. Theodore F. Cook, Jr. Cook believes that had the Japanese won at Midway, Yamamoto's seagoing armadas could next have successfully targeted the Hawaiian Islands. He makes this pitch as part of a larger alternate history exercise entitled "Our Midway Disaster: Japan Springs a Trap" based on the premise of the US losing 3 carriers at Midway to Japan's 1. Reproduced here is that excerpt:

Hawai'i Invasion: Leis for the Emperor
Theodore F. Cook, Jr.


Almost from the outset of war, planning for an invasion of Hawai'i stirred controversy at the highest level of Japanese military leadership. On January 14, 1942, Rear Admiral Ugaki Matome, chief of staff of the Combined Fleet and Yamamoto's right-hand man, confided in his diary that Japan had to make the attempt "to take Midway, Johnston, and Palmyra after June, send our air strength to those islands, and after these steps are completed, mobilize all available strength of invade Hawai'i, while attempting to destroy the enemy fleet in a decisive battle." He knew many would likely oppose his plan, but among the reasons he listed for why it had to be executed were: "What would hurt the United States most is the loss of the fleet and of Hawai'i"; "An attempted invasion of Hawai'i and a decisive battle near there may seem a reckless plan, but its chance of success is not small"; "As time passes, we lose the benefits of the war results so far gained. Moreover, the enemy would increase his strength, while we would have to be just waiting for him to come"; and "The destruction of the US fleet would also mean that of the British fleet. So we would be able to do anything we like. Thus, it will be the shortest way to conclude the war." Ugaki noted too that "Time is an important element in war. The period of war should be short. Though a prolonged war is taken for granted, nobody is so foolish as to wish for it himself." Each of these reasons would still have seemed valid after a Japanese Midway.

That Hawai'i was the next target for the Imperial Navy after the seizure of Midway is nearly certain. Thanks to the prodigious efforts of John Stephan of the University of Hawai'i presented in his book, Hawaii under the Rising Sun: Japan's Plans for Conquest After Pearl Harbor, we have a pretty good idea of what Japanese thinking was in 1941 and 1942 for a Hawai'i operation and invasion. The Japanese faced formidable obstacles to success. Certainly a Japanese jump to Pearl Harbor would have been a tremendous gamble, but it would have become a much better wager with the US carriers sent to the bottom and the Hawaiian Islands partially isolated by free-ranging Japanese carriers and submarine forces to their east. Having come this far, Yamamoto surely would have made the attempt if he could pry out of the Imperial Army the divisions, aircraft, and supplies needed. Despite the risks, the potential benefits to Japan of a successful seizure of Oahu are hard to exaggerate, so much so that one can even argue that the only way Japan could have hoped to stave off defeat long enough for negotiations may have been with an all-out assault on the islands at the onset of war. But that is another path off our chosen counterfactual road.

Eastern Operation's invasion of Hawai'i was planned to unfold over a period of months, in a series of stages, though had the victory at Midway been as complete as suggested in this scenario, calls would have been raised to speed up the timetable. To strike immediately would take advantage of American confusion (not to suggest panic) but it would also invite complete disaster. Oahu, the island where Pearl Harbor was located, could not be taken by storm; its fortifications, garrison, and air bases were formidable and would have to be reduced before any invasion could be attempted. The Japanese sword needed to be kept sharp through time in port and under refit and the carriers' aircraft and aircrews had to be rested and replaced. Yamamoto could not have continued to keep his fleet at sea, flitting from one "triumphant operation" to the next in preparation for a culminating battle for Hawai'i, even were he able to find the fuel to do so. Moreover, the Japanese navy would have to secure the full commitment from the army to supply the men and planes needed for the job-not just the few designated before Midway. This would be no small task as they had opposed each of Yamamoto's offensives to this point in the war. But a great Midway victory might have made them enthusiastic supporters, though it seems that few in Japan shared Yamamoto's view that the Americans would be willing to negotiate after Hawai'i was in Japanese hands.

With a clear objective, timetable, and the attention of the commander in chief of the Combined Fleet, Yamamoto Isoroku, the plan most likely to have been attempted posited a strangling of Hawai'i from the west and southwest by a careful move against Palmyra Island as the key air link leading on to the South Pacific, a completion of operations in the FS Operation by taking Samoa, and the establishment of Japanese air and sea bases in September. This the full-blown invasion of Hawai'i might be executed in late 1942, perhaps December. This plan had the advantage of allowing several more carriers to join the fleet and provided for a rapidly accelerated program of converting seaplane tenders into aircraft carriers. Preparations for the Hawai'i Campaign were grandiose, but might have been just feasible if America's military forces were crippled at Midway. Like a great scythe sweeping across the southwest and south-central Pacific, the first phases of the operation, following the theme of the original FS (Fiji-Samoa) proposed before the Midway invasion would sever the lines of communication and supply that tied Australia to Hawai'i and the West Coast of the United States. New Caledonia, Fiji, then Samoa were to be seized (perhaps even Tahiti beyond). Each leap supporting the next. This would be accompanied by landings on Johnston Island and Palmyra Island, another featureless point in the Pacific, leaving the Hawaiian Islands as the only US territory left in the Central Pacific.

American defenses in the Hawaiian Island chain had grown stronger since December 1941, when US Army troops had numbered 40,000 and probably exceeded 65,000 in April 1942. Even larger garrisons were projected for Oahu, home of Honolulu and Pearl Harbor, and for Hawai'i, the "Big Island," several hundred miles to the southeast. But these reinforcements would have posed immense problems for American commanders in the coming battle. Hawai'i was not the rich island paradise of the travel brochures and prewar navy recruiting posters; provisioning the troops and feeding the civilian population, especially the large concentration of people in Honolulu, would have been a nearly impossible task without easy access to maritime supply. Poor and underdeveloped, except for its pineapple and sugar plantations, the Hawaiian Islands were heavily dependent on imported food, and virtually all the supplies necessary to support the civilian economy, to say nothing of the massive needs of the military forces, had to be imported. Most supplies came from US ports more than 2,000 miles across the Pacific to the northeast. Estimates of Hawai'i's food supply on the eve of war were on the order of weeks, rather than months.

The utility of Pearl Harbor and the other facilities depended on the local labor force. Moreover, 160,000 of the residents, more than 40 percent of the population, were what the Japanese at the time called doho, meaning "compatriots" (a term embracing ethnic Japanese at home and abroad, regardless of their citizenship.) It must be said that prewar US Army planning for the defense of the islands rated the loyalty of second-generation Japanese (known as nisei) quite high; the Hawaiian Department even recommended recruiting nisei soldiers. Despite the Draconian practices employed on the West Coast, very few Japanese Americans or Japanese nationals attracted the attention of US security authorities-less than 1 percent of Hawai'i's population of Japanese descent were interned. Nevertheless, Japanese planners were hoping for a mass rising of "fellow countrymen" when Imperial forces arrived and planned to make good use of a sizable number of Japanese with Hawaiian experience identified in Japan once the islands were conquered for the Emperor.

What means had America to contest operations against Hawai'i, to supply an expeditionary force there, or to sustain any large-scale operation from the West Coast? Air operations were impossible from the United States against Hawai'i-no bomber or transport plane could fly there fully loaded until the B-29 in mid-1944. As we have seen, an overwhelming Japanese victory at Midway would have left no American carriers to contest a Japanese invasion and taking back Hawai'i, should it fall to Japan, would have required a massive seaborne operation, on a scale the United States could only mount in late 1943. What a prolonged Hawaiian campaign might win for Japan must be assessed against what the diversion of force and effort of a greatly outnumbered fleet would have cost the United States. Without a fleet-in-being operating out of "America's Gibraltar," Pearl Harbor, Hawai'i Territory's capital, Honolulu, and the island of Oahu were not protected from attack. Its principle defense, besides the coastal guns protecting the harbor, were the planes on Oahu's airfields. Even in the age of air power and the capability of aircraft to strike far out to sea and patrol, keeping the planes aloft depended on supply be sea.

The most likely scenario for the final Japanese assault on the Hawaiian Islands would begin with a strong diversion aimed at Oahu and a carrier-covered landing on Hawai'i Island in an effort to secure forward base facilities at Hilo; rapid construction of airfields to support the bombardment of US Army and Navy installations on Oahu would follow, as the Imperial Navy brought its bombers and fighters from the south. A furious series of air battles would be fought, and while the Americans could be expected to do well and the Japanese planes and pilots operating at the end of a painfully thin line of supply, the Americans, without a fleet-in-being to truly threaten the Japanese, would likely not be able to sustain the struggle indefinitely. Spare parts, ammunition, replacement pilots, to say nothing of fuel and new planes, would have to run the gauntlet from the United States and would be most vulnerable as they approached the islands where cargo ships could be intercepted by units of Japan's fleet. If no "rising" had occurred among the Japanese American population, it seems likely that civilian targets on Oahu would be subjected to merciless air attacks and the US fighter force gradually whittled down. There is no doubt that a direct assault on the harbor at Pearl would have been suicidal, and it is likely that the American garrison would have made the northern beaches of Oahu- the most favorable landing sites-quite impregnable to direct assault. But it is possible that elite units of the Imperial Army, such as those used in airborne assaults in Indonesia, could have been employed after the American defenses were hammered by the battleships of Japan once the US air defenses had been suppressed or exhausted. Japan's attacks across the beaches would take terrible casualties in their assaults, but with sufficient fire support from the fleet, they might overwhelm the defenders and force the ignominious surrender of yet another American Pacific bastion.

Nowhere in the Imperial archives can we find a plan to extend the Imperial sweep further eastward, but, while Japanese fleets or squadrons probably could not operate effectively far beyond Hawai'i, occasional raids in force, or lucky cruiser strikes against a few high visibility transports bound for Hawai'i in desperate US efforts to reinforce the islands, could have been very bad for American morale. Also, Japanese submarine raids against the West Coast 2,000-odd miles to the northeast-like the shelling of isolated outposts-surely would have heightened tension there and perhaps even have been of some military utility. Hunting packs of Japanese subs, with supply subs as mother ships, or resupply vessels, might have threatened coastal traffic until long-range patrols were established, as they were in the Atlantic. Deploying a few submarines off Panama could disrupt shipping in a major way, even if they could not stay on station long, while a bold raid on the Panama Canal, employing aircraft carried by Japan's largest submersibles, flown on a one-way mission from close in, loaded with high explosives, could have wreaked havoc were they able to seriously damage even one of the locks; again the threat would likely have tied up even more American forces.

Though the events of history have rendered this and other speculation moot, it only further demonstrates the role of Midway in determining the course of the war. A continued rampage of Japan, one which might have seen Hawai'i under the Rising Sun, would only have seriously disrupted the Allied timetable and prolonged the agony of the occupation for the peoples of Europe and Asia. Overall, the final outcome was more or less inevitable, but it could have been much worse if it wasn't for that 'Incredible Victory' of June 4th...
However, the way Draco presents this scenario based on the concept of just ignoring major strategic threats is seriously flawed, and in no way feasible whatsoever. Japan could not have just ignored the Philippines, they were in a vital position to block the flow of raw materials from the Southern Resource Area to the mainland and both sides knew it. If the topic was presented more realistically it could have made for an interesting debate.

Last edited by BobTheBarbarian; 27 Jun 15 at 13:22..
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Old 27 Jun 15, 14:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mostlyharmless View Post
I hate to defend Draco but the initial idea of this thread is quite sane alternate history. Indeed it has been suggested and discussed at length in many threads at various sites. It is Glen239's famous Operation Tinkerbell, which we can find for example at http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtop...cc26fc3987837b and http://warships1discussionboards.yuk...g-costs?page=1. It might have been nice if Draco had mentioned the earlier threads but he is definitely catching up on alternate history ideas.

Tinkerbell works quite well because all the discussions about how long it took Japan to build air fields are irrelevant as the air fields are already built and, astonishingly, unguarded. Similarly, the coastal artillery wouldn't necessarily have stopped the IJN bombarding Pearl because the guns were all in the open and could be disabled by the Kido Butai's dive bombers.

The problem was that the IJN wouldn't have believed that the Americans were so badly prepared and, if they had, they couldn't have persuaded the IJA.
I've been through all those discussions on invading Oahu. The Japanese would have pretty much had to cancel virtually all of their other operations to make a half way reasonable attempt and even then are likely to fail.
Not invading Oahu and trying to establish a base somewhere in the Hawaiian islands from essentially scratch is a fail as well. Japan simply doesn't have the capacity in terms of assault troops, nor the capacity in logistics to support this operation.

Even without naval interference and the USAAC defeated the Japanese have to land enough troops to overcome about 75,000 US troops on the island. Unlike other places where their ability to maneuver (PI, Malaysia, DEI) here they have to go head on with the US and land through some of the heaviest coastal defense systems on the planet.

Last edited by T. A. Gardner; 27 Jun 15 at 15:08..
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Old 27 Jun 15, 15:04
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Quote:
OTL Yamato was commissioned on 16 Dec because there was no urgent need for her. In this scenario everything is accelerated and she is commissioned in late Nov in order to participate in the shelling of the fuel tanks, sub base, etc, assisted by spotter planes (since Japan rules the air on 7 Dec). So PH is bombed and shelled.
And it will take the crew of Yamato several months to work up with the ship before it is operational. You know nothing about ship's operations. Less than 30 days to work up a ship that complex is stupid.
I still want to know when the Japanese BB's show up off Oahu, date and time. This is my second request you provide details.

Quote:
After shelling PH, Johnston, etc, Yamato is based in Lahaina Roads with 2CA, 2CL, 10 DD, 12 Subs and large minefields. The Japanese also take Johnston a few weeks after Kauai in order to make the flights from the Marshalls much easier. Shortly after Johnston the Main Island in Hawaii also falls.
You missed where the USS Indianapolis and five DMS are conducting an exercise off Johnson Island. That would ruin your surprise attack.
How did the Japanese lay "large minefields?" What ships did they use for this?
Just because you say it doesn't make it possible.


Quote:
In late March there are 80 bombers and 69 fighters each in Kauai, Maui and the Main Island and 18 Kawanishi flying boats in the Main Island. A convoy supplies Johnston and Hawaii every 2 months with a strong escort (a CVL, 1 CL and 6 DD)

There are 80 bombers and 60 fighters each in Ceylon, Mauritius and Diego Suarez.
More unsupported idiocy here. Nothing specific just numbers pulled out of your posterior with no supporting evidence how they are being maintained, supplied, where they are operating from, nothing.

You do know that Johnson Island has no fresh water and the USMC knew it too. The US installed distillation plant was a primary item for sabotage / destruction if the island was invaded.
A supply convoy every two months? I guess the troops starve, go without uniforms, their equipment all breaks down, etc.
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