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  #61  
Old 27 Jun 15, 15:09
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Bob,
How is the US going to affect Japanese traffic around Luzon without ships, planes, supplies and with the Japanese in Mindoro, Palawan, Borneo, Formosa and Indochina? The same goes for Oahu, with the Japanese in Kauai, Maui and eventually the Main Island.

On the intitial attack the Japanese can occupy Niihau (a good size island) in an hour with 50 men, since it was completely undefended and Kauai and Maui are easier to take than Wake or Hong Kong. Kauai and maui have large, undefended coasts and few men in the interior. They're a joke.

You talk of landing strips as if the Japanese needed a concrete runway. Hell one of the much heavier B-17s landed safely in a golf course and took off for Oahu when the attack stopped.
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  #62  
Old 27 Jun 15, 16:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Bob,
How is the US going to affect Japanese traffic around Luzon without ships, planes, supplies and with the Japanese in Mindoro, Palawan, Borneo, Formosa and Indochina? The same goes for Oahu, with the Japanese in Kauai, Maui and eventually the Main Island.
I'll field that. The Japanese have failed to take Luzon. As such Cavite is still there and that means the US subs are operational from Manila Bay. The islands Japan took don't have military airfields so it will be months for them to get ones in place.
In the meantime, the US military digs in for an eventual assault and continues to train and equip the Philippine Army.

Since Kauai and Maui are isolated bases after a week or so, have no facilities, and no way to operate more than ones and twos of aircraft for a limited number of sorties, they too soon collapse as bases.

If Japan can't take Oahu, they can't take Hawaii.

Quote:
On the intitial attack the Japanese can occupy Niihau (a good size island) in an hour with 50 men, since it was completely undefended and Kauai and Maui are easier to take than Wake or Hong Kong. Kauai and maui have large, undefended coasts and few men in the interior. They're a joke.
Then what? Without supplies, massive reinforcements, months, if not years of construction. What's a joke is thinking that Japan can invade islands about 5000+ miles from Japan, then support a massive invasion force there when they couldn't even make a decent base out of Truk Island or at Rabual.


Quote:
You talk of landing strips as if the Japanese needed a concrete runway. Hell one of the much heavier B-17s landed safely in a golf course and took off for Oahu when the attack stopped.
You talk of what you don't know. One B-17 might land on a golf course, try landing dozens a day and having them take off. Or do it right after it rains. Or find places for them to park where they don't sink into the ground slowly from their weight.
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  #63  
Old 27 Jun 15, 16:09
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
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.
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

Sorry, but you evidently do not understand how these things work. When a ship commissions, this does not mean that it is in any condition to undertake combat operations. Siegfried Breyer (Battleships & Battlecruisers, 1905-1970) estimated that a period of at least four to six months would be required to bring the ship up to scratch as an effective fighting unit.

Examples :-

USS North Carolina :- Commissioned April 1941, became operational December 1941.

KMS Bismarck :- Commissioned August 1940, declared operational May 1941.

HMS Prince of Wales :- Commissioned January 1941, declared operational (by Captain Leach) 21 May 1941.

I have included PoW because her work-up was insufficient, as the defects which became apparent during the Bismarck operation (even though she played an important part) demonstrated. She still had workmen from the builders aboard attending to defects as she went into action.

Surely, you understand what 'working up' or 'shakedown cruise' means?

Yamato herself, by the way, was declared operational on 27 May, 1942.

Incidentally, what makes you think that the Japanese had 'no urgent need' for Yamato? Have you a source?
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  #64  
Old 27 Jun 15, 16:37
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TAG
I already mentioned the CA in Johnston and other ships returning to PH and how easily they're sunk piecemal by a large fleet inlducing dozens of subs and hundreds of planes.

I already mentioned that OTL the Japanese blew up the torpedo depot in the PI in the first days and the subs only survived and operated thanks to the many bases in the DEI and Australia, which continued to be supplied and which are not supplied in this scenario when B. Borneo, Palawan, Mindoro, New Caledonia & PM fall in Dic.

How the hell does the US continue to equip the Filipinos, when even US troops are not receiving anything at all in Luzon? Perhaps Nautilus and Narwhal smuggle millions of tons underwater.

Yamato is using PH for training and practice target, it is not fighting anything, as the ships are sunk. The PH attack involved many firsts, it involves the first use of a newly commissioned BB.
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  #65  
Old 27 Jun 15, 17:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
TAG
I already mentioned the CA in Johnston and other ships returning to PH and how easily they're sunk piecemal by a large fleet inlducing dozens of subs and hundreds of planes.
You haven't even listed what ships are going to Hawaii, what forces you are landing or anything else I've asked about more than once. You have ignored all requests for details. You ignored the response I made on where US ships are in near Hawaiian waters.
You did change your tune to 2 carriers, versus three, after I pointed out Saratoga is at San Diego.
You haven't responded to requests for a timetable like when the battleships are supposed to bombard Oahu.

This makes at least 3 times, probably more, I have asked these questions and you have responded with nothing but vague drivel about how the Japanese win. I ask again, provide specifics, or shut up!

Quote:
I already mentioned that OTL the Japanese blew up the torpedo depot in the PI in the first days and the subs only survived and operated thanks to the many bases in the DEI and Australia, which continued to be supplied and which are not supplied in this scenario when B. Borneo, Palawan, Mindoro, New Caledonia & PM fall in Dic.
More "The Japanese win" drivel without a scintilla of factual evidence.


Quote:
How the hell does the US continue to equip the Filipinos, when even US troops are not receiving anything at all in Luzon? Perhaps Nautilus and Narwhal smuggle millions of tons underwater.
Because most of the equipment for the first 5 divisions is already in the Philippines. It hasn't been issued simply because the units are still being formed when the original attack occurred.



That's where things were at with most Philippine Army units. The troops were under instruction, and there was a continuing draft to induct more men for training as room would allow.


Quote:
Yamato is using PH for training and practice target, it is not fighting anything, as the ships are sunk. The PH attack involved many firsts, it involves the first use of a newly commissioned BB.
When you actually know something about working up a new ship in commission or one that just came out of a major overhaul, come back and talk. Until then, you are just making yourself look foolish.

I have been there done that more than once. My first time was on the USS Enterprise CVN 65 after the 1979 to 81 major yard overhaul at Bremerton WA. I also had to do the Ship's Superintendent role at San Diego working in Shop 10A. My last yard work up after refit was the frigate George Philip right after 9/11.
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  #66  
Old 27 Jun 15, 17:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
TAG
I already mentioned the CA in Johnston and other ships returning to PH and how easily they're sunk piecemal by a large fleet inlducing dozens of subs and hundreds of planes.

I already mentioned that OTL the Japanese blew up the torpedo depot in the PI in the first days and the subs only survived and operated thanks to the many bases in the DEI and Australia, which continued to be supplied and which are not supplied in this scenario when B. Borneo, Palawan, Mindoro, New Caledonia & PM fall in Dic.

How the hell does the US continue to equip the Filipinos, when even US troops are not receiving anything at all in Luzon? Perhaps Nautilus and Narwhal smuggle millions of tons underwater.

Yamato is using PH for training and practice target, it is not fighting anything, as the ships are sunk. The PH attack involved many firsts, it involves the first use of a newly commissioned BB.
If Japan wanted to go for Hawai'i in 1941 they would have had to have given up or seriously reduced their Centrifugal Offensive. This means they fail to secure in time the resources of Southeast Asia and the NEI. A Hawai'i in Japanese hands is not worth this outcome, considering resources are the whole reason they went to war in the first place. All the while, the South Pacific sea lanes would have remained open, as would the Burma Road. The Allies could then prepare for their counteroffensive with the Philippines and possibly the NEI still largely under their control. This is not something IGHQ would have deemed acceptable with a possibly extended campaign for Hawai'i going on. The priorities were: Southeast Asia first, later objectives (including Hawai'i) second.

To sum all that up, invading Hawai'i in 1941 was a non-starter for Japan. The objective was to secure the "Southern Resource Area" as quickly and painlessly as possible. Going after Hawai'i would have been an unacceptable diversion of men and materiel, something that flew in the face of strategic reasoning at the time. The ONLY logical scenario for a concerted Japanese effort against the Hawaiian Islands, one which has a decent chance of success, is Cook's, and even that assumes that it's a follow-up for a successful Battle of Midway. That's because for it to have worked the US carrier fleet needed to be taken out of the picture. IF that happened, then the Japs would've had free reign to do what they wanted. But it didn't, and even after Pearl Harbor our carriers could still have come to the archipelago's defense.
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  #67  
Old 27 Jun 15, 18:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
...To sum all that up, invading Hawai'i in 1941 was a non-starter for Japan. The objective was to secure the "Southern Resource Area" as quickly and painlessly as possible. Going after Hawai'i would have been an unacceptable diversion of men and materiel, something that flew in the face of strategic reasoning at the time. The ONLY logical scenario for a concerted Japanese effort against the Hawaiian Islands, one which has a decent chance of success, is Cook's, and even that assumes that it's a follow-up for a successful Battle of Midway. That's because for it to have worked the US carrier fleet needed to be taken out of the picture. IF that happened, then the Japs would've had free reign to do what they wanted. But it didn't, and even after Pearl Harbor our carriers could still have come to the archipelago's defense.
We examined the early invasion of Hawaii here in some depth and the big fail for Japan, even in mid-42 was shipping, troops and the ability to retain the required concentration of force in the islands long enough defeat the forces there. On paper Japan appears to have the resources but only if they are willing to forego operations in almost every other zone of operations. Most damning of all was shipping, once the requirements for strategic and operational cargoes are met for industry, coastal shipping (the humdrum milk runs within regions) China, SE Asia, the Indian front New Guinea and the southwest zone there is almost nothing left to support the required Hawaii operation.

Troop availability was also a major concern for planners at the IJHQ. In their Feb-Apr examinations they knew what they needed to execute the proposed operations but could not come up with the troops once they met other requirements. Consider also the fact that the Japanese badly underestimated the resources available to the US in mid 42 and it becomes clear the forces allotted would have been insufficient even if those resources could be found.

The situation for shipping was even worse in Dec 41. From a total of over 6 million tons of shipping conceivably available from all sources only about 3.2 million tons is unspoken for, and the resources captured in the OTL simply must be obtained or Japan will simply lose the war faster than it did. Of these 3.2 million tons a portion was then needed for the merchant pipelines to regularly restock bases in China, Truk and those in French Indo-China, all depleted by the initial assaults. More again will be needed to run the continuous supply lines to Java, Singapore and then up to Rangoon, to New Guinea, Kwajalein, Rabaul and elsewhere.

Those 3.2 million tons, even augmented by new construction between Dec 41 and May 42, are simply being asked to do too much should the Japanese have made a mid 42 play for Hawaii (and is the reasons the staff officers dismissed Yamamoto's pleas and unrealistic). Even if Midway is captured it still does not give them an air base large enough or with potential that would have placed bombers and fighters in range of Oahu.
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  #68  
Old 27 Jun 15, 18:57
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As for Draco's the US air forces would be gone and couldn't be replaced, that too is an absurdity.

Even with the loss of some carriers in short order the US would have started using ships like the CVE Long Island to transport aircraft to Hawaii. These planes could fly off at 200 to 300 miles from the island and land.
B-17's could clearly be flown in from the US.

It is also an absolute that the US would retain sufficient naval forces to run convoys into Hawaii and even stop the Japanese from doing likewise.

The Japanese invasion would begin to look much like the disaster the Japanese had at Guadalcanal..

As for the PI, Palawan Island has no airfield in 1941. That means it will take the Japanese months to build one. The island is all but useless as a base.

Since Japan cannot operate their navy far from home waters on a sustained basis, they cannot protect bases and shipping at those distances either. Once they begin to lose merchant ships their whole economic system will slowly grind to a halt.
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  #69  
Old 27 Jun 15, 20:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Purist View Post
We examined the early invasion of Hawaii here in some depth and the big fail for Japan, even in mid-42 was shipping, troops and the ability to retain the required concentration of force in the islands long enough defeat the forces there. On paper Japan appears to have the resources but only if they are willing to forego operations in almost every other zone of operations. Most damning of all was shipping, once the requirements for strategic and operational cargoes are met for industry, coastal shipping (the humdrum milk runs within regions) China, SE Asia, the Indian front New Guinea and the southwest zone there is almost nothing left to support the required Hawaii operation.

Troop availability was also a major concern for planners at the IJHQ. In their Feb-Apr examinations they knew what they needed to execute the proposed operations but could not come up with the troops once they met other requirements. Consider also the fact that the Japanese badly underestimated the resources available to the US in mid 42 and it becomes clear the forces allotted would have been insufficient even if those resources could be found.

The situation for shipping was even worse in Dec 41. From a total of over 6 million tons of shipping conceivably available from all sources only about 3.2 million tons is unspoken for, and the resources captured in the OTL simply must be obtained or Japan will simply lose the war faster than it did. Of these 3.2 million tons a portion was then needed for the merchant pipelines to regularly restock bases in China, Truk and those in French Indo-China, all depleted by the initial assaults. More again will be needed to run the continuous supply lines to Java, Singapore and then up to Rangoon, to New Guinea, Kwajalein, Rabaul and elsewhere.

Those 3.2 million tons, even augmented by new construction between Dec 41 and May 42, are simply being asked to do too much should the Japanese have made a mid 42 play for Hawaii (and is the reasons the staff officers dismissed Yamamoto's pleas and unrealistic). Even if Midway is captured it still does not give them an air base large enough or with potential that would have placed bombers and fighters in range of Oahu.
And the longer those ships are commandeered by the military the more strain it puts on the Japanese economy. As you said, taking Hawai'i made no sense if it meant giving up Japan's primary strategic goals.
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  #70  
Old 27 Jun 15, 21:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
And the longer those ships are commandeered by the military the more strain it puts on the Japanese economy. As you said, taking Hawai'i made no sense if it meant giving up Japan's primary strategic goals.
It gets worse. The average Japanese merchant ship weighs in at about 3500 tons and does 8 to 10 knots. (see Jentschura et. al.).

The US average is about 14,000 tons (typical liberty ship) doing 11 to 18 knots.

This effectively means that the Japanese need about 3 merchant ships to match a single US merchant ship in terms of cargo capacity. Each ship will also require about half again as long to make a trip.

Trying to supply a sizable garrison in Hawaii is an enormous logistical strain for Japan.
Just trying to maintain a few squadrons of aircraft flying daily there (say 30 to 40 planes, mixed twin engine bombers and fighters) would require a tanker to show up every couple of weeks with more fuel (that would be one in the 3000 to 5000 ton range rather than sending one of the few 10000 ton tankers they have in service... 18 by my count in 1941).

Of course, that will require a means to unload that fuel in bulk into a tank farm which doesn't exist on the islands Draco has the Japanese invading.

The alternative is delivering it in 55 gallon drums and hand moving these (for the most part) to the airfield(s) where they are hand pumped into aircraft. That will require about a 50% increase in shipping space though over bulk liquid.
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Old 27 Jun 15, 22:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTheBarbarian View Post
If Japan wanted to go for Hawai'i in 1941 they would have had to have given up or seriously reduced their Centrifugal Offensive. This means they fail to secure in time the resources of Southeast Asia and the NEI. A Hawai'i in Japanese hands is not worth this outcome, considering resources are the whole reason they went to war in the first place. All the while, the South Pacific sea lanes would have remained open, as would the Burma Road. The Allies could then prepare for their counteroffensive with the Philippines and possibly the NEI still largely under their control. This is not something IGHQ would have deemed acceptable with a possibly extended campaign for Hawai'i going on. The priorities were: Southeast Asia first, later objectives (including Hawai'i) second.

To sum all that up, invading Hawai'i in 1941 was a non-starter for Japan. The objective was to secure the "Southern Resource Area" as quickly and painlessly as possible. Going after Hawai'i would have been an unacceptable diversion of men and materiel, something that flew in the face of strategic reasoning at the time. The ONLY logical scenario for a concerted Japanese effort against the Hawaiian Islands, one which has a decent chance of success, is Cook's, and even that assumes that it's a follow-up for a successful Battle of Midway. That's because for it to have worked the US carrier fleet needed to be taken out of the picture. IF that happened, then the Japs would've had free reign to do what they wanted. But it didn't, and even after Pearl Harbor our carriers could still have come to the archipelago's defense.
Read at least the opening post. Japan is capturing weak B. Borneo on the first day, so it has oil months before OTL, where it had to repair wells and installations because it allowed the British time to destroy them before invading. It is then capturing Malaya-Singapore in 5 weeks with multiple landings with support from planes in B. Borneo, Indochina and several CV (instead of pedalling 700 km down the peninsula for 2 months), the smae happens in Sumatra and then Ceylon (the largest rubber producer in the world).

Luzon provided no resources and absorbed large forces and shipping capacity supplying them at a critical time. Palawan, B. Borneo, Mindoro. Kauai and Maui are invaded by much smaller forces in a day.

TAG
OTL Saratoga took a torpedo some distance SW of Oahu in January, despite a nice fleet accompanying her. I'd like to see a slow CVE launching fighters over 2,000 miles from California with a smaller escort (since the Pacific fleet is mostly gone), despite Japanese subs, planes, warships, etc, based in Hawaii.

I'd also like to see B-17s landing and operating safely despite Japanese planes all over the place.

If the US was so mighty and invincible, why didn't it save the PI or even Wake with the large fleet (including 3 carriers) and abundant planes (including 8 B-17) that remained after the PH attack? In this scenario the US is much weaker, since it losses all the ships and planes in Hawaii, yet You are landing planes in Oahu.

Green Filipinos with rifles, MGs, etc, are just as useless as the troops, tanks, coastal guns, field artillery, etc, in Oahu without planes and warships.

Even if the Japanese get bored after several months of inactivity and want to take Luzon to get comfort women, allied infantry with MGs, etc, and without supplies or reinforcements are pretty useless against tanks, planes and naval guns as the invasions proved OTL in the PI, Burma, Malaya, the DEI, Hong Kong, Wake, Rabaul, etc,
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Old 27 Jun 15, 22:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Draco View Post
OTL Saratoga took a torpedo some distance SW of Oahu in January, despite a nice fleet accompanying her. I'd like to see a slow CVE launching fighters over 2,000 miles from California with a smaller escort (since the Pacific fleet is mostly gone), despite Japanese subs, planes, warships, etc, based in Hawaii.
It has been demonstrated, repeatedly, and thoroughly that the Japanese fleet cannot remain a week off Hawaii. Unless you can put up factual evidence to the contrary that supports your position, don't keep posting things that have already been discredited.

As for Saratoga... She arrived at Pearl on 15 December carrying her air group plus VMF 221. She left Pearl a day later for Wake. Instead, she was recalled just before Wake fell and delivered VMF 221 to Midway on December 25.
She was torpedoed 420 NM southwest of Pearl (the wrong side if a carrier were flying off aircraft and retiring) on 11 Jan 42.
So, your commentary above is extremely weak evidence that the Japanese could stop an aerial reinforcement.
As it was historically, the US made up their losses of aircraft in Hawaii by late January 1942 even with a five week halt to individual ship sailings


Quote:
I'd also like to see B-17s landing and operating safely despite Japanese planes all over the place.
I'd like to see you prove that the Japanese can operate any land based aircraft at all in the Hawaiian islands for land bases in under two months. All the historical evidence is against you. Show a case where the Japanese captured an airfield that had no available services, or minimal ones, and operated military land based aircraft from it in squadron strength in less than 60 days.

Quote:
If the US was so mighty and invincible, why didn't it save the PI or even Wake with the large fleet (including 3 carriers) and abundant planes (including 8 B-17) that remained after the PH attack? In this scenario the US is much weaker, since it losses all the ships and planes in Hawaii, yet You are landing planes in Oahu.
Because the US understood an important military axiom: Never reinforce defeat. The US in pre-war planning had assumed that the Philippines would fall. It was only in the year or so before the war began that the US changed their policy and began reinforcing the PI. If that plan, to be finished in August 1942, had been completed, the Japanese wouldn't have taken the Philippines.

Quote:
Green Filipinos with rifles, MGs, etc, are just as useless as the troops, tanks, coastal guns, field artillery, etc, in Oahu without planes and warships.

Quote:
Even if the Japanese get bored after several months of inactivity and want to take Luzon to get comfort women, allied infantry with MGs, etc, and without supplies or reinforcements are pretty useless against tanks, planes and naval guns as the invasions proved OTL in the PI, Burma, Malaya, the DEI, Hong Kong, Wake, Rabaul, etc,
This doesn't even dignify a response.

Oh, for the fourth time, I want you to put up what forces you are using and a timetable of events for everyone to look at.

That you ignore everyone's rebuttals and persist in your original conclusions without a shred of evidence to back them up, it might be time for the mod's to lock this thread as you are not responding to other's posts.
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Old 28 Jun 15, 10:59
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Who the hell has demonstrated that the fleet cannot remain in Hawaii? Certainly not even according to Tinkerbell.

It takes more fuel to sail back to Japan than to remain in Hawaii and then sail to the Marshalls

Without wasting shipping in long campaigns in Luzon, Malaya, HK, Wake, etc, There is certainly enough shipping to supply a few batallions and hundreds of planes in Kauai, Maui and eventually the Main Island.

I am fed up with your idea that the US were invincible and the Japanese could not transport anything, the fact is that while the US did nothing but lose and launch the absurd Marshalls, Wake, Marcus and Doolittle raids(despite having a huge fleet), the Japanese were moving large forces over huge distances. The US with its infinite capabilities could not save even Java or Timor, much closer to Australia than to Japan.

George Welch was not the heir to the juice company, his actual family name was Schwartz and he and Taylor shot down a few Vals with fixed undercarriage and a Zero w/o ammo and he got the distinguished service medal for that and You use that as a paragon of good performance. The fact is that shooting down Vals with a P-40 and getting his plane riddled does not take a genius nor deserve the highest USAAF medal. Like I wrote, it is incredible that despite having Radar, a large number of fighters and extremely abundant AAA Japan lost only 15 Vals, 5 Kates and 9 Zeroes in 2 waves. Yet Nebfer and You are convinced that a 3rd wave with 72 Zeroes would be Swatted like flies. Not only did the brilliant USAAF have P-36s, they also had ridiculous P-35s in Oahu! Non plus ultra logistics, tactics and strategy.
Only the British matched such wisdom by using Gladiators as land based planes in Norway, France, Malta, etc, Regardless of how many excellent planes Britain and the US produced, pilots had to fly junk at the front at the crtical time:
Hurricanes in Malta until the spring of 1942, P-35 on 7 Dec, 1941, Buffalo in Midway in June 1942 (while there are plenty of P-38 elsewhere), etc,
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Old 28 Jun 15, 11:25
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Houston was easily sunk in the DEI and a large cruiser force ended up at the bottom in Guadalcanal in a single encounter against a small fleet, yet You have the audacity to suggest that Indianapolis, with a peacetime crew and ammo can defeat a large fleet with 7 carriers, BB, CA, CL, DD, Subs, etc, Classic Afflek syndrome.
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Old 28 Jun 15, 11:48
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The Japanese went to war to take resources they needed to be independent of foreign powers. Their entire strategy was based on an early acquisition of these resources before their industry ground to a halhead the armed forces ran out of fuel.

Forget tinkerbell, it is a flawed argument and does not take into account the actual requirements of the empire and wishes certain elements into existence. The professional Japanese staff officer corps knew what they were doing and were far more successful than they had hoped. Where they failed was in convincing the supreme command that Yamamoto's plans for Midway and later was badly flawed and over extended an already stretched military. Their plan for the Solomons, Fiji, Samoa steps was far more rational and took advantage of Japanese strengths.

And the main strength of the fleet could not remain off Hawaii for long. In Dec 41 most of the Japanese Fleet train was used to support just the six carriers and their very small escort force. The rest of fleet, including the main combat elements had to make do with with what little remanded. Even if the fleet returns to Truk (almost as far from Hawaii as Japan is) instead of Japan, it doesn't help much. Truk had limited repair and service facilities and could not have supported the numbers of ships required for Hawaii. Ships need regular maintenance and servicing every month, especially everything from a heavy cruiser and up. This means only a portion of the fleet can be in station at any one time. Even the USN was unable to maintain large fleets off enemy coastlines for weeks (and even months) until later in 1944 when the proper maintenance ships permitted this to take place at sea.

Hawaii would have been a disaster for the empire whether it was attempted in Dec 41 or Jun-Jul 42. This is not because the US was invincible but rather because the Japanese fleet was simply not capable of that sort of sustained operation and the empire could not leave strategic resources and bases in enemy control.
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