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Pearl Harbor A Massive Defeat--For The Japanese

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  • #61
    Originally posted by The Purist
    What I found interesting was that the air search pattern was from the NW and arcing southward through to the SE. The 180 degree arc took into account a surface fleet movement coming from Japanese bases in the central Pacific. Planners seemed to totally ignore the idea of a carrier strike coming from the vast expanse of empty ocean to the north.

    "At Dawn We Slept" was the best, if very lengthy, book I've read on the topic to date.

    There were so many small pieces of the puzzle floating around so many desks that the big picture was missed. Of course, you had to actually believe that a big picture existed if you were to do anything with all the information available. The US was simply 'looking the wrong way' on Dec 7th.
    Kimmel simply didn't have enough long range patrol aircraft to mount a serious reconnaissance in all of the threatened directions. The weather north of Hawaii in December, then as now, is one of endless, massive storms and extremely bad tidal conditions. Knowing this, Kimmel simply deployed his scout planes in the most likely direction of a Japanese attack. He was wrong and he paid for it.
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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    • #62
      Originally posted by johnbryan
      Kimmel simply didn't have enough long range patrol aircraft to mount a serious reconnaissance in all of the threatened directions. The weather north of Hawaii in December, then as now, is one of endless, massive storms and extremely bad tidal conditions. Knowing this, Kimmel simply deployed his scout planes in the most likely direction of a Japanese attack. He was wrong and he paid for it.
      Kimmel wasn’t responsible for reconnaissance around Hawaii Short was. Otherwise you are correct about the lack of planes that Short had. However that being said, if the two commanders had worked together rather then treating each of their commands as independent of each other they could have done more with what they had.
      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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      • #63
        Originally posted by tsar
        Kimmel wasn’t responsible for reconnaissance around Hawaii Short was. Otherwise you are correct about the lack of planes that Short had. However that being said, if the two commanders had worked together rather then treating each of their commands as independent of each other they could have done more with what they had.
        While Short had more Army aircraft, none of them had the long range capabilities of the Navy PBY Catalina Flying Boats that Kimmel used for reconnaissance purposes.
        "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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        • #64
          Originally posted by johnbryan
          While Short had more Army aircraft, none of them had the long range capabilities of the Navy PBY Catalina Flying Boats that Kimmel used for reconnaissance purposes.
          Which would have been a good reason for the Navy and Army to work together. Unfortunately inter-service rivalry was to intense for really close cooperation.
          Last edited by Tsar; 25 Aug 06, 23:26.
          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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          • #65
            Me as Kimmel

            Here it goes:
            1.Order PBY screen to monitor the movements of this fleet
            2.Confer with General Short to devise a plan
            3. Keep a squandron of fighters Patrolling above the island keeping all pilots ready to launch in case of attack
            4. Man AA
            5. Spread all ships in harbor out making sure each has a full crew and able to move at a moments notice.
            6. Warn carrie task forces to be on the lookout
            7.Lastly inform Washington of what you are doing and await further orders.
            My first task is to protect the fleet and the installation contacting Washington is not a primary necessity making sure the islands are defended is the responsibility.

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            • #66
              At a minimum, I would a) have some folks stand by their AA guns, b) get some fighters in the air. Even a squadron or two of airborne fighters may have made quite a difference in the outcome of the attack.
              Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated... again...

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              • #67
                Originally posted by sickpup
                At a minimum, I would a) have some folks stand by their AA guns, b) get some fighters in the air. Even a squadron or two of airborne fighters may have made quite a difference in the outcome of the attack.
                Standing operating procedure for U.S. warships in harbor was to stand 10% anti-aircraft gun watches. The War Warning from Washington D.C. of November 29 would have made it even moreso.

                General Short did the best with what information that he was given from his sources. He believed that the biggest danger lay in sabotage from the overwhelming number of Japanese immigrant pineapple plantation workers on Oahu. Therefore, he stacked his aircraft in rows to better guard them against this eventuality. He also sent extra fighter planes to smaller auxilary fields like Halaewa.
                "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                • #68
                  I would find someone who could handle things much better than me because I am a 17 year old kid who could not command his JROTC platoon much less the Pacfic Fleet of the United States Navy. I have no experience or training in the command of a fleet or military base and would become a icon of military incompetence at the expense of countless US servicemen. In short I would find someone who could command things much better than me which would be easy.

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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Axis of Evil
                    I would find someone who could handle things much better than me because I am a 17 year old kid who could not command his JROTC platoon much less the Pacfic Fleet of the United States Navy. I have no experience or training in the command of a fleet or military base and would become a icon of military incompetence at the expense of countless US servicemen. In short I would find someone who could command things much better than me which would be easy.
                    I don't know how to respond to this other than "Long years of experience oftentimes makes one worthy of the mantle of leadership."
                    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                    • #70
                      Catching the planes on the ground at clark field

                      When McArthur was informed of the attack on Pearl Harbor he reacted by scrambelling all aircraft at his disposal. This would have been exactly the right thing to do, except if he had access to satelite weather reports...(like that was going to happen with no satelites!) but if he had them he would have seen that Formosan airfields from whence all the attacks were going to come, was socked in by bad weather. When later in the morning the weather cleared, the Japanese launched their attack, arriving just as the planes had landed in order to refuel.

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                      • #71
                        "When later in the morning the weather cleared, the Japanese launched their attack, arriving just as the planes had landed in order to refuel."


                        There was that, but it was far more complex. Costellos 'The Great Pacific War' has several pages reviewing the decisions by the key US commanders in the Phillipines 8 December. Reconissance missions were ordered to Formosa & postphoned. There was indecision of confusion over the size of the CAPs and where they should be concentrated. The bombers at Clark field were not concentrated to prevent sabotage, they were concentrated to speed up loading bombs as there were insufficent vehicals & ordinance crew to run a disperesed loading operation. There were many other things going wrong that morning, most of which illustrate how unprepared the US was for war.

                        Maj Gen Bereton comes off badly as commander of the US Army Air Forces in the Phillipines. That morning he seemed more concerned with sending ass covering memos to MacAurther than with resolving some of the problems emerging. Beretons performance was anticipated by his decision in a 1930s wargame not to send up a CAP from his fighter group. It was too cloudy he claimed, but not cloudy enough to prevent LtCol Maitlands bomber group from making mock bomb runs on Wright-Patterson air base unopposed. In 1941 Bereton had his revenge, charging Maitland with disrespect & forcing a courtmartial against Maitland.

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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by The Doctor View Post
                          It is mid-day at Pearl Harbor, December 6, 1941 and you are Admiral Husband E. Kimmel. One of our submarines has reported sighting a large naval force northwest of the Hawaiian Islands. Contact with our sub is lost before a more detailed report as to exact location and composition of this possibly hostile force can be transmitted.

                          Assuming The War Dept. has authorized you to take whatever action is necessary, what do you do?

                          The forces at your disposal consist of: 7 BBs (PA is in drydock), 2 CAs, 6 CLs, numerous DDs, 200+ AAF & USMC fighters, 30 medium bombers and 30 PBY's at Pearl Harbor, TF-8 (Enterprise, 3 CAs, 9 DDs under Halsey) is near Wake Is. and TF-12 (Lexington, 3 CAs, 5 DDs under Newton) is near Midway Is.
                          well...
                          I would say that US president Roosevelt wanted a good reason to jump into war...
                          in 1917 it was the Lusitania, though it wasn't the first american ship to be sunk by 2nd reich!
                          and so in this dramatic december 1941, it was going to be an american "Tarente", or "Shanghai"!
                          Make it clear, i'm a fool... i need Beer!

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                          • #73
                            Yo Duke!

                            Originally posted by panzermeister View Post
                            well...
                            I would say that US president Roosevelt wanted a good reason to jump into war...
                            in 1917 it was the Lusitania, though it wasn't the first american ship to be sunk by 2nd reich!
                            and so in this dramatic december 1941, it was going to be an american "Tarente", or "Shanghai"!
                            This thread is already running.
                            "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by panzermeister View Post
                              in 1917 it was the Lusitania, though it wasn't the first american ship to be sunk by 2nd reich!
                              Random side note but I always thought that Charlemagne was the second reich. but i guess i'm wrong. According to wiki the first riech was in 1871 with the unification of germany, 2nd was Otto von Bismark and the 3rd we all know.
                              "We Will Stay Here, If We Must All Go to Hell Together"
                              -Col. John R. Cooke, 27th NC

                              Avatar: My Grandfather on the right. His twin on the left. Their older brother in the middle. In their Navy Blues

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