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  • ChuckW
    replied
    Alternative to "The Final Countown."

    In my senario, The BlackHawks fly from the phillippines - (Haaawwwwwkkkaaaaaaa!!!!) to attack the Japanese mainland, helped by Captain America & Bucky.....
    Then, FDR enlists the aid of Captain Marvel to fly to Germany and capture Hitler and his goose-stepping gang.
    While this is going on, Glenn Miller and his orchestra entertain the Justice Society of America at their HQ.
    American participation in World War Two lasts less then a week. Order is restored to Europe and Asia, and once again America reigns supreme!!!!!!!

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  • dabrob
    replied
    Originally posted by cst784 View Post
    Twice now in two posts you assert that FDR "ordered" that US armed forces not make a first attack. Can you provide the documentation that shows where this order was made? I am aware of a late November warning message recieved by Hawaii that had wording to the effect that it was desired that Japan make the first overt move but have never seen an order from the White House stating that they should not make the first attack.
    I believe that you refer to the USN war warning message of November 27, 1941 which reads as follows:

    "THIS DISPATCH IS TO BE CONSIDERED A WAR WARNING*. NEGOTIATIONS WITH JAPAN LOOKING TOWARD STABILIZATION OF CONDITIONS IN THE PACIFIC *HAVE CEASED* AND AN AGGRESSIVE MOVE BY JAPAN IS EXPECTED WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. THE NUMBER AND EQUIPMENT OF JAPANESE TROOPS AND THE ORGANIZATION OF NAVAL TASK FORCES INDICATES AN AMPHIBIOUS EXPEDITION AGAINST EITHER THE PHILIPPINES THAI OR KRA PENINSULA OR POSSIBLY BORNEO . *EXECUTE AN APPROPRIATE DEFENSIVE DEPLOYMENT PREPARATORY TO CARRYING OUT THE TASKS ASSIGNED IN WPL46*. INFORM DISTRICT AND ARMY AUTHORITIES. A SIMILAR WARNING IS BEING SENT BY WAR DEPARTMENT. SPENAVO INFORM BRITISH. CONTINENTAL DISTRICTS GUAM SAMOA DIRECTED TAKE APPROPRIATE MEASURES AGAINST SABOTAGE."
    (from the Report Of the Joint Congressional Committee 1946)

    but this is not the message on which I base my assertion. Please see:

    "On 27 November Secretary Stimson sent for General Gerow, in General Marshall's absence (at the North Carolina maneuvers), and asked him what warnings had been sent to General MacArthur and what it was proposed to send. Reporting in writing to General Marshall, General Gerow explained that he had shown Mr. Stimson a copy of the Stark-Marshall message of three days earlier, but that this apparently did not wholly satisfy the Secretary. "The President wanted a warning message sent to the Philippines." General Gerow withdrew to prepare such a message in company with Admiral Stark, and later that day conferred with Secretary Stimson, Secretary of the Navy Knox, and the Chief of Naval Operations.33 As a result such a "war warning" as the President apparently wished was sent out by Navy wireless (for exhibition to Army authorities as well). This went, however, only after a much milder report of "hostile action possible at any moment" had been sent over General Marshall's signature to General MacArthur and duplicated, with certain modifications, to Hawaii, the Caribbean, and San Francisco.34 The milder message to General Short contained this passage:


    --507--

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Japanese future action unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment. If hostilities cannot be avoided, the United States desires that Japan commit the first overt act. This policy should not be construed as restricting you to a course of action that might jeopardize your defense. Prior to hostile Japanese action you are directed to undertake such reconnaissance and other measures as you deem necessary but these measures should be carried out so as not to alarm civil population or disclose intent. Report measures taken. Should hostilities occur you will carry out the tasks assigned in RAINBOW 5. . . .


    which begins in it's proper and confusing context on page 506 at http://ibiblio.net/hyperwar/USA/USA-...-Plans-15.html

    Prior to Dec 7th, the US fleet avoided crossing the international date line with their exercises to specifically avoid the appearance that a pre-emptive stirke was could be made.
    Considering that the US Asiatic Fleet (with something approaching 29 submarines) was based in the Philippines and that USAAF B-17 bomber reinforcements were beginning to arrive there in numbers, I don't think that such was at all clear to the Japanese of that time, even if it was the (somewhat dubious) American intent. FDR's entire admitted purpose in moving the Pacific Fleet's permanent base from San Diego to Pearl Harbor was a deliberate attempt to intimidate the Japanese militarily.

    With the political situation on edge as much as it was in the weeks leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack any Japanese task force that far from any of their possesions and that close to Hawaii can only suggest bad intentions on that forces part.
    No doubt but FDR had already indicated that his country was not yet fully prepared for war and that he didn't want one started by his own people, just yet.

    Technically they are legally at sea but in the political world you are asking for trouble if you take that course of action.
    Which is exactly why the Japanese took so much trouble to sail a route to Oahu across the wintertime northern Pacific which avoided all known merchant shipping routes and why they used rain squalls/storms/night to hide themselves further, as they approached that sleeping peacetime island.

    The Japanese even went so far as to ask for and receive Washington's permission for a Dec.9'41 port visit to Honolulu by their biggest cargo-liner, the Tatuta Maru, on a (fake) citizen repatritaion voyage between Yokahama and San Francisco. Anything to suggest a situation of calm peacetime normalicy, prior to their air attacks.

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  • cst784
    replied
    Originally posted by dabrob View Post
    Why not ? They surely all "got caught with their pants down" in the origianl timeline.

    None of the American commanders that you listed had the advantage of 68 years of hindsight on Dec.6'41 and their President had ordered that American Armed Forces would NOT make the first deadly attack. Although as we all now know thanks to that 2002 minisub discovery off of Oahu, the USS Ward actually did. Under her ASW orders, of course.
    Twice now in two posts you assert that FDR "ordered" that US armed forces not make a first attack. Can you provide the documentation that shows where this order was made? I am aware of a late November warning message recieved by Hawaii that had wording to the effect that it was desired that Japan make the first overt move but have never seen an order from the White House stating that they should not make the first attack.

    Originally posted by dabrob View Post
    I'm NOT suggesting that they would do nothing if an early warning was somehow received but I think it clear that FDR was DEFENSIVELY minded at that time. Surely Oahu's defenses and the US Pacific Fleet would be ordered to deploy defensively, with the expectation of a Japanese attack on Oahu but that is far different from attacking Japanese ships legally at sea somewhere far to the north of Midway. Well OUTSIDE of any American territorial waters.
    Prior to Dec 7th, the US fleet avoided crossing the international date line with their exercises to specifically avoid the appearance that a pre-emptive stirke was could be made. With the political situation on edge as much as it was in the weeks leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack any Japanese task force that far from any of their possesions and that close to Hawaii can only suggest bad intentions on that forces part. Technically they are legally at sea but in the political world you are asking for trouble if you take that course of action.

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  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    Originally posted by dabrob View Post
    Why not ? They surely all "got caught with their pants down" in the origianl timeline.
    DoH! i just realized something!

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  • dabrob
    replied
    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    News on 5th or 6th December of a IJN fleet headed for the Hawaiian islands would only result in a adherance to strict nuetrality? Difficult to see Roosevelt, King, Marshall, Kimmel, or Short as that stupid.
    Why not ? They surely all "got caught with their pants down" in the origianl timeline.

    None of the American commanders that you listed had the advantage of 68 years of hindsight on Dec.6'41 and their President had ordered that American Armed Forces would NOT make the first deadly attack. Although as we all now know thanks to that 2002 minisub discovery off of Oahu, the USS Ward actually did. Under her ASW orders, of course.

    I'm NOT suggesting that they would do nothing if an early warning was somehow received but I think it clear that FDR was DEFENSIVELY minded at that time. Surely Oahu's defenses and the US Pacific Fleet would be ordered to deploy defensively, with the expectation of a Japanese attack on Oahu but that is far different from attacking Japanese ships legally at sea somewhere far to the north of Midway. Well OUTSIDE of any American territorial waters.

    Perhaps expert knowledge will indicate otherwise, but I'd have thought operations within a few hundred miles of Oahu during 48 to 72 hours would not require fuel tankers.
    True enough but the discussion here has been suggesting some USN operations far in excess of those distances.

    Even getting ALL of the Pacific Fleet out of Pearl Harbor that quickly would have been difficult as there were only 6 old fueling barges in service within PH at that time. Just six could not possibly hope to fill all the fuel tanks of every ship in port within that tight a timeframe.

    I would also point out that by that time Esign Yoshikawa of Japan's Honolulu Consulate AND several IJN submarines had already taken up station near/within Mamala Bay and would have reported the paniced exodus of the US Pacific Fleet to Tokyo via radio. Hence, no surprising the Kido Butai.

    The scenario of the original post implies discovery of the IJN strike force far enough in advance, on 5th or 6th December that some actions can be taken to remedy a portion the logistcs shortfalls.
    What actions do you propose ? As previously posted here, the nearest USN Fleet oiler was still a week away, longer if found by an IJN I-boat.

    In any case it is very unlikely the US fleet will go racing about the Pacifc. The fleet and map exercises of the previous years indicate stalking and harrasing the Japanese fleet the probablle course of action.
    With 28 I-boats (and 5 minisubs) lurking in Hawaiian waters and alerted to the rushed sortie of the US Pacific Fleet, I'd suspect that it would NOT be the fast retreating Kido Butai that would be stalkied and harassed via 21" or 18" torpedo.

    Originally posted by Carl Schwamberg View Post
    Getting back to the original question
    Were the discovery/warning to occur 5 December would that be enough time for US submarines to (theoretically) intercept the IJN fleet during daylight on 6 December?
    That would leave the US submarines patroling off Midway too far behind.

    IIRC there were 6 USN submarines in Pearl Harbor at the time but only one was fit for sea duty due to underway repairs. Another US boat arrived at Honolulu on the morning of Dec.7'41 after a passage from the US West Coast and another was inbound towards PH with a US DD escort about 60 miles to the SW. Short answer, maybe one on Dec.5'41, armed with defective torpedoes.

    Was the weather the IJN fleet went through 6 Dec. bad enough to obviate the chance of a USN submarine setting up a torpedo attack? A actual torpedo attack might not be necessary. The Japanese had no idea how effective US submarines might be. How would Nagumo react to a submarine siting on the 6th?
    How likely is it that just one US submarine would miraculously find the Kido Butai amid the rain squalls, at dawn, after its 24 knot southerly overnight run down to 200 miles north-northeast of Oahu ? The Pacific is a BIG ocean.

    He would have had his last intel report indicating the USN was moving the fleet out of the harbor, and possibly of the aircraft on Oahu going on alert. His signals intercept unit aboard the fleet would have picked up the surge of radio traffic from Oahu, and perhaps the US. Does anyone here know exactly what Nagumos orders or guidance were if the USN fleet had sortied ?
    On the assumption that sortied can be read the same as discovered, I present:

    "No shipping was encountered, but if the attack force was discovered prior to "X-2" day the force was to return to Japan without executing the attack. If discovered prior to "X-1" day the decision became the responsibility of the attack force commander, but if discovered on "X-1" or "X" day the attack was to continue. If the United States Fleet interfered in any way it was to be attacked and sunk."

    from http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/.../Wallin-6.html

    Or what Nagumos thoughts were if that event happened ? Is there any indication that he was confident enough in his carriers to seek a decisive fleet action with only two 'BB' in his battle fleet?
    At 2 lightly armored battlecruisers vs 8 US battleships odds, and 3,400 nmiles from home ? Sure, the Combined Fleet's 6 remaining battleships (2 had been sent south in distant support of Japan's "Southern Operation") had sortied to the Bonin Islands in distant support of the Kido Butai but they were still some 2,800 nmiles away.

    Nah ...

    Just the opposite. During planning discussions for the PH mission he had always argued against it because of the risk that he perceived. A quick google search will show that Naugumo's naval career was torpedoes and battleship command. Rather than being confident in his carriers, he relied on Kusaka's opinions whenever a naval warplane decision was required.

    Prange's book "At Dawn We Slept" indicates on page 374 that he and his chief of staff, Kusaka, had already decided that there would only be one, two wave, air attack on Pearl Harbor even BEFORE the Kido Butai had gathered in Hitokappu Bay for it's eastward trans-Pacific trip to Hawaii.

    Nagumo was a man of duty and DID follow his orders to the letter but NO further. Had the Americans discovered the Kido Butai on X-2 day, I'm sure that he would have followed his orders (quoted above) by exercising his perogative as the KB's commander and turning back for Japan immediately.

    While heaving a huge personnal sigh of relief.

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  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    Getting back to the original question

    Originally posted by bubblehead View Post
    3) American submarines pick off targets of opportunity that evening and harry the remainder of the fleet for 1000 miles of their retreat to Japan.
    Were the discovery/warning to occur 5 December would that be enough time for US submarines to (theoretically) intercept the IJN fleet during daylight on 6 December? Was the weather the IJN fleet went through 6 Dec. bad enough to obviate the chance of a USN submarine setting up a torpedo attack? A actual torpedo attack might not be necessary. The Japanese had no idea how effective US submarines might be. How would Nagumo react to a submarine siting on the 6th? He would have had his last intel report indicating the USN was moving the fleet out of the harbor, and possibly of the aircraft on Oahu going on alert. His signals intercept unit aboard the fleet would have picked up the surge of radio traffic from Oahu, and perhaps the US.

    Does anyone here know exactly what Nagumos orders or guidance were if the USN fleet had sortied? Or what Nagumos thoughts were if that event happened? Is there any indication that he was confident enough in his carriers to seek a decisive fleet action with only two 'BB' in his battle fleet?
    Last edited by Carl Schwamberg; 24 Aug 09, 08:07.

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  • Carl Schwamberg
    replied
    Originally posted by dabrob View Post
    Gents,

    Just a couple of points that have yet to be mentioned ...

    Prior to 0755 on Dec.7'41 a state of peace existed between the American and Japanese Empires. Since FDR KNEW that America was NOT yet ready for war, he had specifically issued ORDERS stating that Japan was to be allowed to make the first hostile move. America's armed forces were prohibited, by Presidential order, from starting the war that this scenario suggests. And attacking the Japanese first, out in international waters where they had every right to be, was definitely out of the question.
    Thats treating Roosevelts thinking and that of his key staff as a bit too set in stone. A large carrier strike force, with battleships headed for US territory and military bases might very well be interpreted as warlike. When Roosevelt on the evening of 6th December recieved the reports of Japanese cargo/warship convoys headed south from the South China into the Gulf of Siam, he imeadiatly refered to it as 'this means war', and inititated the actions that led to the war warning order to Oahu the following morning. News on 5th or 6th December of a IJN fleet headed for the Hawaiian islands would only result in a adherance to strict nuetrality? Difficult to see Roosevelt, King, Marshall, Kimmel, or Short as that stupid.

    Originally posted by dabrob View Post
    Only two (2) underway re-fueling capable Fleet oilers, the USS Neosho (which had only arrived at Pearl Harbor on the afternoon of Dec.6'41, fully loaded with avgas) and the old and slow USS Ramapo were in Hawaiian waters at the time that you suggest for this scenario. The Neosho would take another two full days to refill with "bunker C" naval fuel and the Ramapo was further burdened by a deckload of PT boats bound for delivery to the Philippine Islands. The only other uwr capable fleet oiler anywhere near Hawaii was the old and slow US Neches, still some 1,200 nmiles (a week) east of Oahu on Dec.7'41. The USS Enterprise was inbound and very short of fuel after her Wake Island fighter delivery run. In summary, due to logistical shortfalls, the US Pacific Fleet wasn't in any fit state to make a full sortie from Pearl Harbor, let alone to go racing around the Pacific chasing the much faster Kido Butai strike force.
    Perhaps expert knowledge will indicate otherwise, but I'd have thought operations within a few hundred miles of Oahu during 48 to 72 hours would not require fuel tankers. The scenario of the original post implies discovery of the IJN strike force far enough in advance, on 5th or 6th December that some actions can be taken to remedy a portion the logistcs shortfalls. In any case it is very unlikely the US fleet will go racing about the Pacifc. The fleet and map exercises of the previous years indicate stalking and harrasing the Japanese fleet the probablle course of action.

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  • dabrob
    replied
    Gents,

    Just a couple of points that have yet to be mentioned ...

    Prior to 0755 on Dec.7'41 a state of peace existed between the American and Japanese Empires. Since FDR KNEW that America was NOT yet ready for war, he had specifically issued ORDERS stating that Japan was to be allowed to make the first hostile move. America's armed forces were prohibited, by Presidential order, from starting the war that this scenario suggests. And attacking the Japanese first, out in international waters where they had every right to be, was definitely out of the question.

    Only two (2) underway re-fueling capable Fleet oilers, the USS Neosho (which had only arrived at Pearl Harbor on the afternoon of Dec.6'41, fully loaded with avgas) and the old and slow USS Ramapo were in Hawaiian waters at the time that you suggest for this scenario. The Neosho would take another two full days to refill with "bunker C" naval fuel and the Ramapo was further burdened by a deckload of PT boats bound for delivery to the Philippine Islands. The only other uwr capable fleet oiler anywhere near Hawaii was the old and slow US Neches, still some 1,200 nmiles (a week) east of Oahu on Dec.7'41. The USS Enterprise was inbound and very short of fuel after her Wake Island fighter delivery run. In summary, due to logistical shortfalls, the US Pacific Fleet wasn't in any fit state to make a full sortie from Pearl Harbor, let alone to go racing around the Pacific chasing the much faster Kido Butai strike force.

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  • johns624
    replied
    Originally posted by IDonT4 View Post
    Weren't the Kongo's upgraded with heavier armor and torpedo bulges, thus being thm re calssified as battleships.
    Yes, they were up-armoured, but not to the protection standard of contemporary battleships.
    Another point that people seem to be missing is that the North Carolina was a pre-war ship. Yes, I know she was in the Atlantic, but since this is Alternate Timelines, think if she was in the Pacific... She was more than a match for any Japanese BB.

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  • IDonT4
    replied
    Originally posted by johns624 View Post
    There wasn't as much performance difference between the USN and IJN battleships as some of you think. The Nagato-class was a good ship but the Fuso and Ise-classes were nothing to write home about. The Kongo's got their speed from being battlecruisers, not battleships. They gave up armour for speed and as Jutland and the Hood showed, it wasn't a fair trade. The US battleships were a few knots slower but had significantly thicker armour than any of the IJN ships. I don't think the USN brass was as concerned about the Japanese battleships as the attached carriers...they had 6 vs 3-4 in the Pacific fleet.
    Weren't the Kongo's upgraded with heavier armor and torpedo bulges, thus being thm re calssified as battleships.

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  • Konev
    replied
    Johns,

    This thread is an alternative to "FC" not the movie itself.

    I posted alternatives to what possibl happen after 7 Dec.

    konev

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  • johns624
    replied
    There wasn't as much performance difference between the USN and IJN battleships as some of you think. The Nagato-class was a good ship but the Fuso and Ise-classes were nothing to write home about. The Kongo's got their speed from being battlecruisers, not battleships. They gave up armour for speed and as Jutland and the Hood showed, it wasn't a fair trade. The US battleships were a few knots slower but had significantly thicker armour than any of the IJN ships. I don't think the USN brass was as concerned about the Japanese battleships as the attached carriers...they had 6 vs 3-4 in the Pacific fleet.

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  • johns624
    replied
    Originally posted by Konev View Post
    I think another question is once Nimitz's avgas bunkers are low or nearly dry, do you put the rest of it in the still flyable tankers, then send the rest of the CAG to the beach?
    Following that, do you put 1940's avgas in the bunkers, then base a CAG of 1940's aircraft on Nimitz...

    konev
    I think you're in the wrong thread...

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  • 88L71
    replied
    Truk and Rabaul would be good nuke targets...

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  • Konev
    replied
    I think another question is once Nimitz's avgas bunkers are low or nearly dry, do you put the rest of it in the still flyable tankers, then send the rest of the CAG to the beach?
    Following that, do you put 1940's avgas in the bunkers, then base a CAG of 1940's aircraft on Nimitz?

    If so, how many aircraft on the flight deck and the hanger deck could the Nimitz keep on board. I know the Essex-class hit 100 aircraft and the Midway class 150. Could the Nimitz hold 200 aircraft and still conduct flight ops?

    With Nimitz holding 200 and the rest of the CVs (Enterprise, Yorktown, Hornet, Saratoga, Ranger, Lexington) your talking about 600 A/C.

    Obviously the other CAG's would be sprinkled with "advisors" from Nimitz's now-beached CAG. Then even if FDR (with probably SecNavy concurring under two-man control) orders scorching Japan with Nimitz's nuc's, I can see the war with Japan lasting no more than 6 months.

    Which target cities in early 1942 would be worth hitting? Definitely not Tokyo (to paraphrase a line from a movie "somebody has to be there to turn this thing off.")

    For targets in Germany, I recommend Rastenburg (hopefully with one of his Fuehrer conferences in progress), Maybach I and II at Zoessen, Doenitz's HQ in France, a demostration one west of Rome for Il Duce'. Then the big city-busters at Kiel, Bremen and Hamburg to take out a good junk of the subs under construction (plus the training facilities).

    konev

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