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What if... there was no attack on Tarranto?

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  • What if... there was no attack on Tarranto?

    Would this have meant no attack on Pearl Harbour? Would the Japanese Navy tried to lure the US Pacific fleet to a battle at sea or would they have developed there torpedoes for shallow water themselves and still pressed home the attack?

    For those not familiar with the British Attack at Taranto, some details HERE.
    Wolster

  • #2
    godo point.

    Taranto could have been a total failure (had Italian air force not been incompetent) or not have happened at all.

    Japan would then not have had the idea of that kind of a surprise attack. No Pearl harbour, would mean a better war for Japan, or no war with the USA.
    "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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    • #3
      Originally posted by piero1971 View Post
      godo point.

      Taranto could have been a total failure (had Italian air force not been incompetent) or not have happened at all.

      Japan would then not have had the idea of that kind of a surprise attack. No Pearl harbour, would mean a better war for Japan, or no war with the USA.
      Except that the Japanese had intelligence agents on Oahu for years before the Pearl Harbor attack. They knew the shallowness of the depth of the harbor and whether the US Navy used torpedo nets to protect the battleships and carriers when they were in port. To say that the Japanese would be unable to design shallow running torpedoes does not begin to give them enough credit.
      "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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      • #4
        True, but I'm fairly sure that the attack on Pearl was given life only after the Taranto attack was successful.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
          Except that the Japanese had intelligence agents on Oahu for years before the Pearl Harbor attack. They knew the shallowness of the depth of the harbor and whether the US Navy used torpedo nets to protect the battleships and carriers when they were in port. To say that the Japanese would be unable to design shallow running torpedoes does not begin to give them enough credit.
          quite correct. however I wonder if such a daring plan would still be underway... Taranto was a daring surprise to all!
          "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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          • #6
            Taranto could very well have been a blessing in disguise !

            Without the idea to hit Pearl Harbour, the Japanese Fleet may have been able to lure the US Fleet to it's possible destruction on the high seas, where the chance of recovering a ship that's been sunk is nil.
            Scientists have announced they've discovered a cure for apathy. However no one has shown the slightest bit of interest !!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tigersqn View Post
              Taranto could very well have been a blessing in disguise !

              Without the idea to hit Pearl Harbour, the Japanese Fleet may have been able to lure the US Fleet to it's possible destruction on the high seas, where the chance of recovering a ship that's been sunk is nil.
              Certainly not impossible. Still the USN admirals had wargamed a Pacific war annually for over two decades and understood the danger of being ambushed. I think there was a truly disastrous ambush in the 1928 (?) wargame. A second factor was the Japanese habit of following complex plans that fell apart when the enemy did not behave as expected. Midway is but one example.

              Anyone gamed this out recently?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
                Certainly not impossible. Still the USN admirals had wargamed a Pacific war annually for over two decades and understood the danger of being ambushed. I think there was a truly disastrous ambush in the 1928 (?) wargame. A second factor was the Japanese habit of following complex plans that fell apart when the enemy did not behave as expected. Midway is but one example.

                Anyone gamed this out recently?

                yes. and I'd like to redo it.

                for sure a US battle wagon (with 1941 AA guns) in the philipines sea under attack by bettys, Nells even if under cover from US carriers would suffer catastrophic damages, even before meeting te Japanse surface fleet, which at night could cause a massive suprise, enough perhaps to shock US opinion out of the war...

                but it's indeed not easy as japanese plans did lack in flexibility (but tactically the initiative was present, so once a melee started... it's a blood bath)

                yes, the japanese would have had better not to attack the US and wait for the US pacific fleet to attempt to relieve the Philipines and strike there.
                "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tigersqn View Post
                  Taranto could very well have been a blessing in disguise !

                  Without the idea to hit Pearl Harbour, the Japanese Fleet may have been able to lure the US Fleet to it's possible destruction on the high seas, where the chance of recovering a ship that's been sunk is nil.
                  Over the last couple of nights I have been watching a documentry on Pearl Harbour and at the end they war gamed the senario of the US fleet getting advance warning and meeting the Japanese carriers at sea. The end result was that although the Japanese would have lost a lot more aircraft the losses to the US fleet would have been almost total with, as you say, no chance of recovering ships. Also, it was predicted that the loss of life would have been greater as survivers would not have been able to simply swim to shore.

                  One of those war gaming did think that the US losses would have been light as the ships would easily shoot down Japanese aircraft and avoid the torpedoes as they could zigzag. As a counter to this, the case of the Prince of Wales and Repulse(?) were brought up.
                  Wolster

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                    Except that the Japanese had intelligence agents on Oahu for years before the Pearl Harbor attack. They knew the shallowness of the depth of the harbor and whether the US Navy used torpedo nets to protect the battleships and carriers when they were in port. To say that the Japanese would be unable to design shallow running torpedoes does not begin to give them enough credit.
                    My own read is that the Japanese were pretty creative with the limited resources they had available throughout WWII- with marked exceptions- both strategically and tactically, and given it was clear after their disaster at Midway that the game was up and it was going to be a slow train back to Tokyo.

                    Taranto I think was just confirmation of what they already suspected, and given the British were using biplanes it would have just spurred them on.
                    Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
                    (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

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