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  • Marianas Turkey Shoot

    We are approaching (hours away at this point) the sixtieth anniversary of the Marianas Turkey Shoot.

    This battle (aka, Battle of the Philippine Sea) saw Japanese airpower decimated. Japanese land based airpower suffered from airstrikes on island airbases, while the Japanese carriers had 35 planes left on their decks when they disengaged. The Shokaku was sunk as well as another carrier.

    I think that one of the factors was the ability on the part of the Americans to leave the escort carriers to fly ground support for the Marines and Army troops while the big boys were freed to chase down Japanese naval elements and to hit other airfields in the area.

    Another was the courage displayed by Adm. Mitscher in turning on the lights of the carriers thus making them sub bait.

    Also, while a number of the American pilots were green, they proved that their training did not go for nought. Also, the debriefing and work done by the CICs was excellent.
    I come here to discuss a piece of business with you and what are you gonna do? You're gonna tell me fairy tales? James Caan in the movie "Thief" ca 1981

  • #2
    I agree. Many forget that on paper the matchup was fairly even. The Japanese lost over 400 planes durning the battle.

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    • #3
      Almost forgot!

      Skoal!

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      • #4
        Re: Marianas Turkey Shoot

        Originally posted by Tom DeFranco
        We are approaching (hours away at this point) the sixtieth anniversary of the Marianas Turkey Shoot.

        This battle (aka, Battle of the Philippine Sea) saw Japanese airpower decimated. Japanese land based airpower suffered from airstrikes on island airbases, while the Japanese carriers had 35 planes left on their decks when they disengaged. The Shokaku was sunk as well as another carrier.

        I think that one of the factors was the ability on the part of the Americans to leave the escort carriers to fly ground support for the Marines and Army troops while the big boys were freed to chase down Japanese naval elements and to hit other airfields in the area.

        Another was the courage displayed by Adm. Mitscher in turning on the lights of the carriers thus making them sub bait.

        Also, while a number of the American pilots were green, they proved that their training did not go for nought. Also, the debriefing and work done by the CICs was excellent.
        Actually Spruence didnít leave the invasion area. His job, as he saw it, was to protect the invasion craft and shipping. The carrier strikes against Japanese airfields happened before the invasion. The two Japanese carriers sunk happened as a result of an attack launched at the extreme range of U.S. aircraft. As a result the overwhelming percentage of U.S. aircraft losses came from running out of fuel.
        Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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        • #5
          Re: Re: Marianas Turkey Shoot

          Originally posted by tsar
          Actually Spruence didnít leave the invasion area. His job, as he saw it, was to protect the invasion craft and shipping. The carrier strikes against Japanese airfields happened before the invasion. The two Japanese carriers sunk happened as a result of an attack launched at the extreme range of U.S. aircraft. As a result the overwhelming percentage of U.S. aircraft losses came from running out of fuel.
          Didn't the Japanese Navy pilots use the airfields on the Marianas as way stations for strikes on the US carriers?
          Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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          • #6
            Re: Re: Re: Marianas Turkey Shoot

            Originally posted by Tigersqn
            Didn't the Japanese Navy pilots use the airfields on the Marianas as way stations for strikes on the US carriers?
            That was the plain, the Japanese carriers were going to launch a strike from outside the range of American aircraft then fly to the Marianas where they would refuel and rearm then make another strike on the way back. Unfortunately the army didnít tell the navy that the Marianas airfields had been knocked out, the planes that were suppose to help had been shot down and the American fleet still intact.
            Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chuck
              I agree. Many forget that on paper the matchup was fairly even. The Japanese lost over 400 planes durning the battle.
              While the Japanese were certainly a threat, I would disagree it was a fairly even battle. It was a last gasp battle for Japan. The US had 16 fleet carriers to Japan's 9 and the quality of the average US pilot far exceeded that of the average Japanese pilot. The only true advantage the Japanese had were aircraft that had a longer range. Once the Japanese land bases were knocked out the Japanese had little chance of victory. However, Spruance decision to "turn the lights on" was indeed a very brave act and showed how much he cared about his flyers.
              Lance W.

              Peace through superior firepower.

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              • #8
                UmÖit wasnít Spruance, it was Mitscher:thumb:
                Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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                • #9
                  A great victory for naval aviation, but a not so great victory for the navy. It has been said that Halsey should have been in command at the Battle of the Philipine Sea and Spruance at Leyte.

                  If the carrier task groups had been allowed to race to the west during the night then they probably could have eliminated the Japanese navy the next day. Spruance kept them tied to Saipan to protect the invasion fleet from a possible attack from an unspotted (and nonexistant) Japanese fleet.
                  "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." - Albert Einstein

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by w john spurrell
                    A great victory for naval aviation, but a not so great victory for the navy. It has been said that Halsey should have been in command at the Battle of the Philipine Sea and Spruance at Leyte.

                    If the carrier task groups had been allowed to race to the west during the night then they probably could have eliminated the Japanese navy the next day. Spruance kept them tied to Saipan to protect the invasion fleet from a possible attack from an unspotted (and nonexistant) Japanese fleet.
                    Welcome to the boards, John!

                    Cheers!


                    :armed:
                    Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                    "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

                    What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

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                    • #11
                      As I recall, though, not all of the Fleet carriers were tied down at Saipan, there were American carriers nw of there, at the Jimas, hitting bases at Chi-Chi Jima, and maybe Iwo Jima as well as the Marianas. I thought that at least one of the lost Japanese carriers was due to sub torpedoes.

                      I know that Spruance was a lot more cautious than Halsey (one reason that they shared the same fleet), but realizing that he had the escort carriers there, you'd think Spruance would've given his big boys the green light.
                      I come here to discuss a piece of business with you and what are you gonna do? You're gonna tell me fairy tales? James Caan in the movie "Thief" ca 1981

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tom DeFranco
                        I thought that at least one of the lost Japanese carriers was due to sub torpedoes.
                        The only IJN carrier sunk by a submarine that I am aware of is the IJN Shinano by the U.S.S. Archerfish.

                        IJN Shinano (Sister to Musahi and Yamato)


                        I'll try and research if any other Japanese carriers was sunk by subs and get back to the list.


                        Cheers!


                        :armed:
                        Eagles may fly; but weasels aren't sucked into jet engines!

                        "I'm not expendable; I'm not stupid and I'm not going." - Kerr Avon, Blake's 7

                        What didn't kill us; didn't make us smarter.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chuck
                          I agree. Many forget that on paper the matchup was fairly even. The Japanese lost over 400 planes durning the battle.
                          The kill ratio was roughly ten to one, thats 400+ Japanese for about 30 American planes.
                          Most of the Japanese pilots were very green, a substantial number of American pilots were without battle experience but this is where the whole allied air superiority comes to play, the Americans and British had so many experienced pilots, that they could afford 1: To give extencive and time consuming training to new pilots.
                          2: Pull out an experienced pilot every now and again and make them instructors thus giving invaluable guidance to the trainees.

                          The Japanese and Germans did not have these advantages, both were getting low on fuel for their planes, and the trainees payed the price, also both were fixated with a kind of 'super ace mode of thought, were they had pilots (especially the germans) who had incredible tallies, but they kept them flying all the time instead of putting some of their experience into use for the next batch of flyers.
                          Thats why the allies dont have a dosen aces with a hundred kills, but you have hundreds of allied aces with twenty kills.
                          The result, The allies fought the fighter air war as a long haul project, insuring that more good quality pilots keep on coming, The Axis do a quick style war where they begin with many brilliant pilots but the attrition of battle was not properly attended to with disastrous results for Japan and Germany.
                          "SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM" - " If you want peace, prepare for war".

                          If acted upon in time, ww2 could have been stopped without a single bullet being fired. - Sir Winston Churchill

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RichardS
                            The only IJN carrier sunk by a submarine that I am aware of is the IJN Shinano by the U.S.S. Archerfish.

                            IJN Shinano (Sister to Musahi and Yamato)


                            I'll try and research if any other Japanese carriers was sunk by subs and get back to the list.


                            Cheers!


                            :armed:
                            The IJN Taiho I believe was sunk by a submarine torpedo.
                            IIRC, after the torpedo hit, the captain ordered ventilation turned on to get rid of the fumes. Needless to say the fumes travelled throughout the ship until a spark caused a massive internal explosion and killed the carrier.
                            Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The Shokaku was sunk by the USS Cavella on June 19 during the battle of the Philippine Sea.
                              "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." - Albert Einstein

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