Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Suppose US Pacific Fleet Never Destroyed at Pearl Harbor

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Suppose US Pacific Fleet Never Destroyed at Pearl Harbor

    Suppose the American war with Japan begins without the Japanese strike on Pearl Harbor because the Japanese reject Yamamoto's air raid plan as too risky.

    The Japanese strike at the British and Dutch colonies in Southeast Asia, there is an incident involving US Naval vessels, and the USA declares war on Japan.

    How does the presence of an intact American Pacific fleet affect the progress of the war against Japan?

    If you ask me, the Pacific Fleet, meaning the heavily armored ships of the line, affects nothing...

    I've always felt the American dreadnoughts did not count in the strategic picture because WWII in the Pacific was decided by the aircraft carrier. The US Navy tried to employ the battleships throughout the war, but for secondary duties, including beach bombardment, which was not the best use of their capabilities.

    Therefore, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor succeeded in sinking a bunch of antiquated junk that had never mattered in the first place. The loss of lives mattered, but replacing those casualties was not a problem.

    "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
    --Frederick II, King of Prussia

  • #2
    Therefore, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor succeeded in sinking a bunch of antiquated junk that had never mattered in the first place
    Just how farsighted was FDR? Did he move this "junk" from the West Coast hopping that the IJN would take the bait and get him the war he wanted?
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Actually it possible that the US suffers a bigger blow latter on due to being able to more aggressive.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by craven View Post
        Actually it possible that the US suffers a bigger blow latter on due to being able to more aggressive.
        You've made an awesome point.

        If the Pacific Fleet survived intact, it is possible that some old-fashioned honcho in the US Navy would have attempted a Jutland-style grand naval battle with Japan's first line ships probably resulting in a catastrophic American defeat and total loss of most US battleships.

        "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
        --Frederick II, King of Prussia

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MonsterZero View Post
          You've made an awesome point.

          If the Pacific Fleet survived intact, it is possible that some old-fashioned honcho in the US Navy would have attempted a Jutland-style grand naval battle with Japan's first line ships probably resulting in a catastrophic American defeat and total loss of most US battleships.
          and one or more of the Carriers. Think Midway with the full weight of the Japanese fleet behind it. That adds a few more carriers which probally means the US loses.

          Comment


          • #6
            30+ knot carriers would have been tied down protecting 20 knot battle-wagons.

            The old BB's would not have been much use until enough CVE's were built to protect them.

            The old BB's were worth their weight in gold in the Marianas and Philippines in 1944 because they were well-protected by CVE's and the fleet CV's and fast BB's were free to operate independently.
            Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

            Comment


            • #7
              As far as the Navy's role in the Pacific War the major contributers were the submarine fleet and the carrier strike forces. For a accounting of the damage at Pearl Harbor see the following:
              http://www.pearlharbor.org/ships-and-aircraft.asp

              In my opinion the damage to the ships was not germane to the war other than the loss of lives.
              Too Much To Do Too Little Time

              Comment


              • #8
                I would assume some or all of the following to occur shortly after the outbreak of war:

                Oklahoma and Nevada are sent to the Atlantic fleet and replaced by the three New Mexico class ships there.

                Some of the available BB are sent to New Calidonia, Australia and, possibly the DEI to protect the Australian trade route. This would follow USN use of the newer battleships historically.

                Some would be held in Hawaii as a defense line for the US and as a reserve fleet. These would also be undergoing minor refits for things like splinter shields, new electronics etc., while there. As they got updated they would be rotated with others that hadn't gotten the updates.

                The carriers would have still operated largely independent of the battleline.
                At least one or possibly two would be on the US West coast undergoing a major overhaul... Think Tennessee or California here.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Erm... methinks people tend to ignore or not know much about EJ King & the building programs he pushed into being well before WW II - knowing full well that America very well might soon need them.

                  And he was right!

                  EJ King was/is the only man to ever serve as COMINCH/CINCUS & CNO at the same time - which he did throughout the war. He was one of FDRs most valued advisers, as well. Though very familiar with BBs - having served on several - in his early carreer, he had also served in Destroyers & Cruisers. Ernie was also a sub driver & Commander of the Sub Base at New London. He became a Naval Aviator as the only Captain in his class in 1927 - even before RK Turner - & then came his final & seeming favorite billet as skipper of USS Lexington in 1930 through 1931 before achieving his own Flag .

                  Barring some extraordinary circumstances, a 'Jutland' style battle would most certainly have been completely out of the question!

                  America did not just start popping out new CVs, Fast Battleships (extreme CV protection at high speed & capable of bombardment when required - though the older BBs with 16/45 riffles were a bit better for shore bombardment) among many other warships coming off the ways in less than a year of entering the war... the building programs were already well under way.

                  MZ, even today - when in range - an Iowa could put as much ordinance on target in 25-30 minutes as would require 24 hours for a Carrier... in rate of fire, the older battlewagons would not have been much slower, if at all. Even if they were half as fast, the point is made - but only of value if in range, which the Pacific Isle were.


                  On the Plains of Hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest-and resting... died. Adlai E. Stevenson

                  ACG History Today

                  BoRG

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Admiral Kimmel already knew full well that his fleet was far too weak to pursue any far flung, strategic goals against the Imperial Japanese Navy, without serious reinforcements. Not only that, all of his battleships were long overdue for a stateside shipyard visit to have their anti-aircraft suite drastically improved and modernized, through the addition of 4-1.1" quadruple gun mounts, additional .50 caliber machine guns, or 20mm Oerlikon guns which were just now reaching the fleet.

                    Had war been declared by Japan, Kimmel would have responded by staging a raid on the Japanese held, Marshal Islands in the same manner that was historically done. His battleships would have been largely utilized in protecting convoys and keeping the supply lines open to Samoa and Australia.
                    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                      Admiral Kimmel already knew full well that his fleet was far too weak to pursue any far flung, strategic goals against the Imperial Japanese Navy, without serious reinforcements. Not only that, all of his battleships were long overdue for a stateside shipyard visit to have their anti-aircraft suite drastically improved and modernized, through the addition of 4-1.1" quadruple gun mounts, additional .50 caliber machine guns, or 20mm Oerlikon guns which were just now reaching the fleet.

                      Had war been declared by Japan, Kimmel would have responded by staging a raid on the Japanese held, Marshal Islands in the same manner that was historically done. His battleships would have been largely utilized in protecting convoys and keeping the supply lines open to Samoa and Australia.
                      Precisely. US naval strategy for a Pacific war had long been been in place, and was more or less public knowledge. Bywater's book 'The Great Pacific War' published in the late 1920s was drawn from USN wargames Bywater had been invited to witness in 1925. The USN had almost annually gamed out various Pacific war scenarios. One of the consistent leassons was anytime the navy went charging out looking for a early fight the Japanese usually were able to ambush it. The winning strategy was to preserve the fleet by avoiding large battles early on & wait until the new weapons were ready and the Japanese fleet had been worn down a bit. This strategy was only technically a secret & the results of the regular wargames were known to every admiral in the navy, most mid level officers, senior buercrats in the Department of the navy, sundry Congressmen, and anyone else with a interest in the USN, including the Japanese. One of the rational of Yamamoto for striking at the US fleet at Oahu was their belief it would not come out for a decisive battle until the US had a superiority in capitol ships. So it was thought better to go after the US fleet than wait.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am not quite sure abut that. IMHO there was a fatal underestimation of the Japanese throughout the US military and indeed most of US society. I got the impression that most saw the Japanese as just some backward Asians but not as much of a threat.
                        Now, you are at war with a power that you deem qualitatively infrior and have a sizeable military force... it would have been pretty hard to explain why you do NOT take your battleships and teach these "silly Japanese" a lesson Jutland-style.
                        Reaction to the 2016 Munich shootings:
                        Europe: "We are shocked and support you in these harsh times, we stand by you."
                        USA: "We will check people from Germany extra-hard and it is your own damn fault for being so stupid."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Acheron View Post
                          I am not quite sure abut that. IMHO there was a fatal underestimation of the Japanese throughout the US military and indeed most of US society. I got the impression that most saw the Japanese as just some backward Asians but not as much of a threat.
                          Now, you are at war with a power that you deem qualitatively infrior and have a sizeable military force... it would have been pretty hard to explain why you do NOT take your battleships and teach these "silly Japanese" a lesson Jutland-style.
                          Perhaps Mr and Mrs Joe Six-pack thought this way about the Japanese, but the American military soon learned otherwise, not only after Pearl Harbor, but in the days immediately following the attack, when the British capital ships, HMS Prince of Wales and Repulse were sunk by Japanese aircraft from the 25th Air Flotilla.

                          Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox arrived at Pearl Harbor a few days after the Japanese air attack. As he viewed the destruction and carnage of Battleship Row and Pearl Harbor overall, he knew without the shadow of a doubt that the United States was at war with a modern, well equipped military power
                          "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Acheron View Post
                            I am not quite sure abut that. IMHO there was a fatal underestimation of the Japanese throughout the US military and indeed most of US society. I got the impression that most saw the Japanese as just some backward Asians but not as much of a threat.
                            Now, you are at war with a power that you deem qualitatively infrior and have a sizeable military force... it would have been pretty hard to explain why you do NOT take your battleships and teach these "silly Japanese" a lesson Jutland-style.
                            Absolutely not. The descriptions of USN exercises of the 1920s & 1930s make it clear they understood what would happen if they tried a standup fight with the Japanese main battle fleet before the planned build up was complete. The USN versions of War Plan Orange and Rainbow contemplated raids, ambushes, & periphrial actions were the plan until the new generation of battleships and heavy cruisers was ready. Specifically that would have been the six ships of the North Carolina & South Dakota classes. Plus the completion of the renovation of the older classes with radar fire control, new antiaircarft guns, and improved damage control.

                            A second problem with seeking a decisive battle imeadiatly is the USN had little means of following up. The massive logistics base of 1944, or even the lesser capability of 1943 did not exist in December 1941. The ability to take more than a couple brigades of Marines or US Army & couple airgroups across the Pacific was about all that existed then. Capturing a base halfway across the Pacific & sustaining the fleet out of that point was simply not practical & the USN leaders from King on down knew it. Nine months later it was all the USN could do to keep a single division of Marines & their composite air wing in the fight in the Solomons. Keeping a aircraft carrier task force and a couple battleships on station in the South Pacific was equally difficult. Kimmel, Pye, Ghourmly, Fletcher & the others understood there was no point in risking a decisive battle when there was no way to follow up. The war had been repeatedly gamed out by the fleet and at the US Naval War College & repepatedly proved the winning strategy was to wait until we out gunned the Japanese.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Considering the US began to shift its focus from the Pacific to the Atlantic (ie, Europe) as early as 1938 it is a bit of a stretch to think the US fleet would charge off to the Philippines in 1941. Others have already stated the case in very good detail but by 1942, Plan Orange was in the back of the file cabinet.
                              The Purist

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

                              Comment

                              Latest Topics

                              Collapse

                              Working...
                              X