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Midway - A Near Run Thing

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  • #16
    Originally posted by AdrianE View Post
    Two days of flawed doctrine bombardment would not have done much other than chop down every palm tree. The Japanese troops rode out the bombardment unscathed in their bunkers as the big shells skipped off the island and failed to explode.

    What was needed was the battleships to stand off so their shells come in at near vertical. They would have then penetrated the ground and shattered the defender's bunkers.

    Read Alexander's Utmost Savagery and you see that was his observation.
    My point is that Midway's two islands, like Tarawa's Betio and earlier Wake Island rises only a comparatively few feet above sealevel. The Japanese warships offshore would be firing those same flat trajectory salvos into Midway, skipping them off the island and failing to explode as well.

    The Japanese had no amphibious tractors, like the Marines did at Tarawa with which to cross Midway's coral reef. They'd be coming in on diahatsu landing craft or riding in whaleboats right into Brooks Channel or Seward Roads right into the sights of Marine and Army automatic weapons that waited behind double fences of barbed wire, mines and booby traps.

    Like I mentioned before, Japanese SNLF troops were nowhere near the caliber of their US or British counterparts and their WW II record shows it.
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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    • #17
      Here's what one of the participants thought about the upcoming battle:

      "The actual landing on Midway was to be accomplished by approximately 1,500 Special Naval Landing Force troops who would storm Sand Island; and by 1,000 Army troops of the Ikki Detachment, to land[16] on Eastern Island. Summarizing the enemy landing plan, Captain Toyama stated:
      We were going to approach the south side (of Midway), sending out landing boats as far as the reef. We had many different kinds of landing boats but did not think that many would be able to pass over the reefs. If they got stuck the personnel were supposed to transfer to rubber landing boats. We had plenty of equipment for a three months' occupation without help, but were not sure of our boats.[17]
      Assault elements in the landing would be backed up by the 11th and 12th Construction Battalions plus miscellaneous base-development detachments. "The Navy," added an operation plan for the Ikki Detachment, "plans to destroy the sortieing enemy fleet."

      One to one odds is not a good way to conduct an amphibious landing against a well fortified, well trained, well armed and vigilant enemy. The Japanese invaders were greatly undermanned for such an assault.
      "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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      • #18
        To illustrate the degree of Marine preparedness and fortification building on Midway:

        "Since Midway was, to my knowledge, the only place (sic) in our armed forces where underground living prevailed, except while in contact with the enemy or under attack, brief comment on our way of life is in order. Breakfast, supper, and a midnight snack with hot coffee were served to all positions from the central galley in food containers by truck. Since we stood a morning and evening stand-by there was not time to serve a noon meal during the day, as the process of distributing food to the widely dispersed gun positions by food container and getting them returned and cleaned for the next meal was a lengthy one. All food was prepared at the main galley in the newly completed barracks where the men would also go during the day in increments to bathe. The lack of a noon meal was quite disconcerting to new arrivals, but they soon became accustomed to it and actually were in much better health. When conditions permitted, movies were held in a blacked-out warehouse during the day and men off watch could go. But the high point of each day was the noon libation of two beers at the


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        Map 1: Midway Islands -- June, 1942


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        page 19
        LT. COL. IRA L. KIMES, Marine air commander during the battle of Midway, stands in front of his camouflaged underground command post on Eastern Island.


        PX * * * Swimming was allowed in certain areas but helmets and side arms had to be worn to the beach and at all other times. (Colonel Shannon's insistence on the wearing of the helmet and carrying of rifles at all times was the subject of an excellent cartoon, which the colonel hugely enjoyed. It depicted a Marine, naked save for a helmet, cartridge-belt and rifle, dipping a toe in the water prior to diving in.)
        All activities away from battle stations had to be carried on during the day, and after the evening stand-by everyone went underground for the night except for the men on watch above ground. Sleeping underground has its good points as it is quiet, there is no early sun to bother one after a night on watch, and there is a great feeling of security from surprise submarine attack. It is true that the dugouts were often hot in the summer months and cold in winter and at first were much too crowded and lacked proper ventilation, but by and large it was a very pleasant existence."
        "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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        • #19
          More information about the final Marine preparations to meet the Japanese invasion of Midway:

          The week which followed 27 May was, for Midway, a period of the most intense activity. Army and Navy aircraft arrived at Eastern Island until it seemed that the field could accommodate no more.[31] One aviation report seriously complained that even the numerous native birds overhead were being crowded out of the air by the concentration of traffic.

          For the ground defense forces (as well as the group of key civilian workers who voluntarily had remained at Midway to assist in final fortification work) the week was equally busy. Not only were the reinforcing weapons installed, tanks tested in the sand, and all defensive concentrations shot in, but the extremely extensive system of obstacles, mines, and demolitions projected by Colonel Shannon was brought to final completion.

          By now Sand Island was surrounded with two double-apron tactical wire barriers, and all installations on both islands were in turn ringed by protective wire. Antiboat mines made of sealed sewer pipe, and obstacles fashioned from concertina-ed reinforcing-steel lay offshore. The beaches were sown with home-made mines consisting of ammunition boxes filled with dynamite and 20-penny nails; although electric detonation was planned, every such mine also had a bull's eye painted on an exposed landward side, so that it could be set off locally by rifle fire. Cigar-box antitank mines were filled with dynamite to be fired on pressure by current from flashlight batteries, and whiskey-bottle molotov cocktails of high-octane gasoline and fuel oil stood ready at every position. A decoy mockup airplane--dubbed a JFU ("Jap fouler-upper" [sic])--was prominently placed on the seaplane apron. Finally, all the underground fuel storage on Sand Island was prepared for demolition by the adjacent planting of large changes of dynamite."
          "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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          • #20
            ..., and still, after a heroic defence, Midway falls.

            Now,... the Japanese have the assets to form two carrier divisions, each of two large and one light carrier. Assuming the USN can repair the flight deck on Enterprise within the month the US will have three carriers to oppose the next Japanese moves.

            Question.

            Who has a breakdoown of the US deployments in Hawaii for July 1942?
            Last edited by The Purist; 30 Sep 08, 21:01.
            The Purist

            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by The Purist View Post
              Question.

              Who has a breakdoown of the US deployments in Hawaii for July 1942?
              Ahh so, we see where this may lead?

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              • #22
                Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                My point is that Midway's two islands, like Tarawa's Betio and earlier Wake Island rises only a comparatively few feet above sealevel. The Japanese warships offshore would be firing those same flat trajectory salvos into Midway, skipping them off the island and failing to explode as well.

                The Japanese had no amphibious tractors, like the Marines did at Tarawa with which to cross Midway's coral reef. They'd be coming in on diahatsu landing craft or riding in whaleboats right into Brooks Channel or Seward Roads right into the sights of Marine and Army automatic weapons that waited behind double fences of barbed wire, mines and booby traps.

                Like I mentioned before, Japanese SNLF troops were nowhere near the caliber of their US or British counterparts and their WW II record shows it.
                totally agree. it would have been a massacre (on both sides).

                I'd add however that 1. the IJN aircraft would have added soe firepower to the attck and 2. we could assume that the IJN ships might hve adapated their shelling tactics faster - they were quite fast learners...
                "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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