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How would you have avoided the attack on Pearl Harbor?

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by OpanaPointer, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    From what I've read it was. My point however was that that doesn't mean that the military is asking the president to declare war.
     
  2. CTBurke

    CTBurke Member

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    Singapore Repair Facilities?

    [Takao] >EDIT: I would also add that while Singapore did have drydocks, it had no repair facilities to repair damage. Hardly the ideal base for a portion of the US battle fleet.<

    A certainly agree with the main tenet and "fool's gold" comment. Though Singapore's naval base was slow to build, my impression was that it was designed to be THE port in the Far East for the Royal Navy operations, INCLUDING repairs (though maybe minor ones). I don't know how "authorative" this Internet description is (or how simplistic), but it matches my basic understanding. To wit:

    >"The British had begun building a naval base at Singapore in 1923, partly in response to Japan's increasing naval power. A costly and unpopular project, construction of the base proceeded slowly until the early 1930s when Japan began moving into Manchuria and northern China. A major component of the base was completed in March 1938, when the King George VI Graving Dock was opened; more than 300 meters in length, it was the largest dry dock in the world at the time. The base, completed in 1941 and defended by artillery, searchlights, and the newly built nearby Tengah Airfield, caused Singapore to be ballyhooed in the press as the "Gibraltar of the East." The floating dock, 275 meters long, was the third largest in the world and could hold 60,000 workers. The base also contained dry docks, giant cranes, machine shops; and underground storage for water, fuel, and ammunition.<

    It would *SEEM* that any touted "naval base" should have SOME repair facilities, not just "supplies". "Giant cranes and machine shops" seem to indicate SOME repair capability. When Illustrious and other British ships got mauled in the Med, they eventually got repaired in the States, but my feeling is that rather than Alexandria, Malta, Durban or other sites with drydocks, etc., that there were BETTER facilities Stateside out of range of Axis bombers and thus they got the "contracts". Even Pearl Harbor seemed to have limited repair facilities; most wounded American warships in WW II merely checked into Pearl, then went directly Stateside for major repairs. So do you think Singapore was similar to Pearl in merely "patching up" ships for real "repair" elsewhere?
     
  3. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    The reason the ships "checked into Pearl" was that they weren't going to be tying up the emergency facilities for their repairs. Pearl got Yorktown to Point Luck on time, after all.
     
  4. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    Curious wording -

    The floating dock, 275 meters long, was the third largest in the world and could hold 60,000 workers.

    Hopefully someone would warn them before they flooded the dock!
     
  5. freebird

    freebird Member

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    True, but it wasn't worded as "if by chance we go to war", but that war was inevitable. (given that neither US or Japan would back down)

    Singapore was a fully capbable facility, able to make any kind of repairs.
    The reason that RN ships were sent to the US rather than Singapore is that the US is much closer to the Atlantic, and also because RN bases (including Singapore) were already full with ship construction & refits of RN ships.

    IIRC it was 60,000 tons, not 60,000 workers.
    Most dockyard workers weigh less than 1 ton. :D (I hope...)
     
  6. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    Both ends were open, but there were compartments that would be underwater when flooded. The escape trunks to those compartments opened at the top of the side walls.
     
  7. JimboHarrigan2010

    JimboHarrigan2010 Member

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    I'd have Fighters ready to take off on any radar signal to counter the Japanese attack with the fleet based in san diego
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    WRT Singapore repair facilities, that comes from The Joint Board, "Minutes of the Meeting, November 3, 1941" Volume 14 of the PHA, pg 1063-1064
    (bold-mine)

    So, the U.S. believed that Singapore lacked what was needed to make repairs to warships. The British likely felt differently, and in all probability emergency repairs could have been made. But, whther or not to move U.S. battleships/warships to Singapore rested with the U.S., and their low opinion of Singapore naval facilities would have effected that decision.
     
  9. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Just becuase they are certain war will happen doesn't mean that they have any buisness telling the President when to declare war. They can if asked tell him "we are ready now" or "we'll be ready in 6 months" or "we are not ready". But the decision to declare war has more factors than just military ones and isn't their call in any case. Thus they were asking FDR to delay as long as possible so that the US military would be closer to ready.
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Well, with the Pacific Fleet based at San Diego, you can almost guarantee that there would not be an attack on Pearl Harbor.
     
  11. Marmat

    Marmat Member

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    ... little to do with Singapore, regardless of its facilities. Well after the fact, it's easy to consider Force Z and Singapore as THE RN in the Far East, but Force Z as assembled was strictly a Churchillian creature, as was Tom Phillips to a fair degree; the Admiralty suspected there would be hazards, but hoped for the best.

    Mid-1941,
    Churchill felt required to send a deterrent force to the Far East to enforce the embargoes against Japan. The Admiralty proposed to send eventually the BB’s Nelson and Rodney, four older QE or R Class BB’s, a Battlecruiser and 2 or 3 aircraft carriers, with a sufficient cruiser, destroyer and support force, to be based not at Singapore, but at Ceylon. Churchill preferred to send “the smallest number of the best ships” and proposed to send a KGV BB; “nothing would increase her (Japan’s) hesitation more than the appearance of the force I mentioned, and above all a KGV…A KGV exercises a vague general fear and menaces all points at once.” Argument ensued, the issue was in doubt for weeks, but Churchill eventually won out and only PoW and Repulse were dispatched. Phillips, in command of Force Z proposed on 5 Dec. to send Repulse to Port Darwin to check out its suitability as a base. When news came on the 6th that the Japanese weren't deterred i.e. an invasion fleet was moving off Indo-China, Repulse was recalled. The Admiralty suggested to have Z sail eastwards to join the US Asiatic Fleet, Churchill in alarm suggested that Z “should become unknown as soon as possible”, but Z had already sailed. Phillips thought that there was no way for the Royal Navy to opt out of the fighting and made a qualified gamble, he lost.
     
  12. John Dudek

    John Dudek Member

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    If I posessed "Friends in low places" people, independent of US Military control who warned me that a Japanese air attack was a lead pipe cinch probability and knowing full well of my own military weaknesses, immediately following Washington DC's War Warning of 27 November, I would have sortied the fleet during the first week of December, well to the southeast of Hawaii, under the guise of sending it back to San Pedro, California for fleet manuevers, live gunnery exercises, followed by Christmas Leave. Such independent actions might cost me my CINCUS Admiral rank, but when the Japanese strike Pearl Harbor on 7 December they will hit what amounts to a giant paper bag full of nothing. I would also alert my Army counterpart General Short as to my findings and allow him to govern his own reactions accordingly. As a result, the Pacific Fleet, all its battleships and all three of its aircraft carriers would be intact and ready to take the fight to the Japanese, as soon as they are massively and materially reinforced.
     
  13. John Dudek

    John Dudek Member

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    San Diego was the home of the Pacific Fleet's main naval and carrier air station training facility and marine recruit training depot. San Pedro, California, near Los Angeles was it's main, overall fleet base, before it was ordered to Pearl Harbor in 1940.
     
  14. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    A couple things wrong with that scenario:
    #1 Had the fleet sortied there is nothing to say that they wouldn't have run right into the middle of the Japanese attack force. Which very well could have resulted in the loss of ships and men in "deep water" making rescue/ salvage problematic.
    #2 IF the Japanese arrived at Pearl to find the fleet gone they would have struck targets of oppurtunity to include: Dry Docks, Salvage Piers , Fuel and Ammunition storage facilities among other critical war fighting facilities.

    Leaving the fleet at anchor in Pearl was the wise choice as it afforded minimal exposure of critical assets and provided reasonable security. The fact that the Carriers were not present during the attack does not, necessarily, mean that had the rest of the fleet would have survived if they hadn't been in port.

    So of the 18 ships sunk or damaged during the raid 7 were returned to service within 6 months, 6 of which were back inservice in 1942, of the remainder only two resulted in total losses. I think we would see much different numbers had the fleet been sortied, chances are at least one carrier would have been lost as well.
     
  15. dna

    dna New Member

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    According to Morrison, the Japanese plans allowed for a pursuit of the 7rh Fleet to the south, if search aircraft reported they were not in Pearl Harbor. To do so, they would still needed to neutralize the Oahu airfields. If General Short had pushed the radar-air control-interceptor defense system to go live and manned the AA guns, dozens of Zeroes, Val's and Kates might have been put out of action. So, when they did locate a battle fleet maneuvering at full speed with all guns manned and protected by Halsey's aircraft, their loses might have been substantial enough to delay and/or reduce their attacks on the Indian Ocean, Indonisia, Rebaul and Darwin.
     
  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    I don't remember a high seas pursuit being an option in the orders. I'll have to have a look, if nobody beats me to it. http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/myths/jm-097.html

     
  17. belasar

    belasar Court Jester

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    If that blasted Nimitz class carrier hadn't disappeared before launching her Alpha Strike........
     
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  18. Carronade

    Carronade Ace

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    I don't recall that in Morison or other references either. The 7th and other numbered fleets were organized starting in 1943; at the time of Pearl Harbor it was just the Pacific Fleet. If major US fleet units had not been in Pearl Harbor, the Japanese would have no idea where they were. Kido Butai was two thousand miles from the nearest Japanese base, much further from home, and their supporting oilers were north of Hawaii, on the track back to the home islands.
     
  19. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    How would you avoid a Chinese attack on Guam?
     
  20. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    No problem. Everybody knows General Tso's chicken.
     

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