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John T. Flynn blames Pearl Harbor catastrophe on FDR

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by DogFather, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    Are you refering to US carriers "attacking" PH in wargames held before the war? Alan Zimm´s new book on PH has an interesting take on this. The exercises were not held to test PH´s defences against a Japanese attack. He says these attacks simulated US attacks on the Marshalls, who happened to be roughly as far away from PH as PH was from the west coast.

    With regard to the fuel. The Japanese overloaded their ships with fuel to the degree of carrying oil drum as deck cargo on DD and maybe even on CV. I´m fairly sure that was hard to imagine for the USN

    -Markus
     
  2. DogFather

    DogFather Member

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    OpanaPointer[​IMG]
    From some of the books I have been reading this is how the Japanese put one over on us.

    You can see for this map, Lexinginton and Enterprize were out scouting for the IJN, as part of WP46. They were looking to the south, because they thought the IJN would use the Mandated Islands to refuel. I do not know how well this image will work. But it came from member OpanaPointer. The myth that Adm Kimmel failed to do long distance recon, is just that a myth.
     

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  3. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    I know, he just had the long range recon looking in the wrong direction. By the way Lex was delivering planes to Midway, Big E was exercising, neither was actively looking for an incomming enemy fleet. That possibility never crossed Kimmel´s mind.
     
  4. DogFather

    DogFather Member

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    That not what a book by Edwin T Layton: "And I was there", Pearl Harbor and Midway, has to say about the issue.

    Kimmel was carring out basic demands of WPL 46, sending carriers to Wake and Midway. Carriers were to send out air
    patrols, where intel estimates showed to be the most logical direction, from which an attack on PH would come.

    The week before Dec 7, navy aircraft searched over 2 million square miles without spotting and Jap ships. Yet, Kimmel
    was still censured for failing to conduct adequate long-rang air patrols
    ..... Pg 224
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    2 million square miles is a meaningless number if your only searching the same few sectors.

    If you want to prevent a robber from breaking into your house, you don't just watch the front door.

    Kimmel never passed the word along to Short that the Navy was not searching a full 360 degrees around Pearl Harbor, as a result the Army radar stations only operated for a few hours a day. Now, had Kimmel told Short that the Navy was not "holding up it's end of the bargain", those radar stations would reasonably have gotten much more of a workout.

    Come to think of it has Layton ever had anything bad to say about Kimmel and his failings. perhaps if you want a good PH CT, you should look at the Kimmel-Layton relationship.
     
  6. DogFather

    DogFather Member

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    First of all, I will say this again, I am not suggesting a CT. Short did not know, there were not enough planes to search
    in all directions. Again I will point to the NCI. I have found no errors in what they found.

    Assuming 25 miles visability (which in the Hawaiian area is not found
    everywhere nor always assured), an effective daily search requires the
    daily employment of patrol planes which, in turn, requires that double
    or triple that number (180-270) be available, it being impossible to
    employ the same planes and crews every day, or even every other day.

    If only the dawn circle of 400 mile radius is to be searched daily, the
    total number of planes required to be available is 100-150. The maximum
    warning; is then reduced to about two hours.

    Where planes are not available to cover all sectors, the selection of
    sectors to be omitted is left purely to chance and under such
    circumstances the advisability of the diversion of all planes from other
    duties is questionable unless there be information as to the fact of a
    hostile approach and of the direction, within reasonable limits,
    from which the approach is expected.

    Neither surface ships nor submarines properly may be employed to perform
    this duty, even if the necessary number is available. The resulting
    dispersion of strength not only renders the Fleet incapable of
    performing its proper function, but exposes the units to destruction in
    detail. A defensive deployment of surface ships and submarine over an
    extensive sea area as a means of continuously guarding against a
    possible attack from an unknown quarter and at an unknown time, is not
    sound military procedure either in peace or in war.

    Even if Kimmel had ordered pickets, which he did not have enough resources to do. It still may not have stopped the attack. The Dolittle Raid was discovered by a picket boat, but that did not stop the raid.

    Takao, the search was part of a war plan. Kimmel followed the plan and did the best he could with what he had available.
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Except that Short should have been told of the matter, instead of being kept in the blind by Kimmel.

    Given that the defense of Pearl Harbor was "supposed" to be a joint operation, there was very little cooperation going on between the two commanders.

    No, no he did not. He had Short and all of the US Army at his disposal and, AFAIK, he made no attempt to use them what so ever.

    For that matter. Had not OPNAV requested that aircraft reinforcements be moved to Wake and Midway, and Kimmel have been left to his own devices, would the carriers have even been out there?
     
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The missions of Lexington and Enterprise were to reinforce Wake and Midway with more fighters. There was the standard recon from carrier groups, but they were not looking for trouble, just cautious. The BBs were left behind because Halsey and Brown wanted to be able to flee if they had to.
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The deployment schedules are online. Short answer, they would have been in Pearl. Enterprise had a big softball game scheduled for Sunday afternoon, they were going to play for the base championship against Arizona.
     
  10. ickysdad

    ickysdad Member

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    How hard would it have been for Nagumo to launch a 3rd strike on the 7th???? I've seen this debated quite a few times on other forums.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    We've debated it quite a few times here.

    1) The option to launch a second attack was his. (The first attack came in two waves due to the amount of time needed to get so many planes in the air, but it is still considered one attack.)

    2) His brief was to deliver the most damage with the least cost. He succeeded, striking the targets on his list that were available in the first attack, leaving few "high value" targets behind. (You have use Japanese "high value" here.)

    3) The defenses at Pearl would have greeted a second attack with full war-time status (at least for that time.) The losses in pilots would have been much higher in a second attack, and Nagumo was experienced enough to realize this..

    4) He didn't know where the USN carriers were. Wargaming this attack had predicted at least two carriers lost and others damaged. As the Army had only agreed to the attack if the carriers were then able to support the invasions in the Southern Resources Area, getting them back intact was a major consideration.

    5) The Japanese were on the whole very pleased with his performance, indicating that they didn't see the need for a second attack either.

    etc.
     
  12. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    From what I understand a degrading weather sitution resulted in the second wave not being completely recovered until after 1 PM (I forget the exact timeing but it's not too hard to find). This means that by the time they could do a damage assessement on the returning aircraft, assign targets, and launch a third wave there would be little probabiltiy of recovering that wave before night fall if it is launched on the 7th. In addition the antiaircraft fire experianced by the 2nd wave was considered to be very heavy and they could expect it to get worse. The same is true of arial opposition (they really didn't have a good idea until sometime later just how badly they had damage the USAAF). Smoke obscuring targets would also likely be a factor on the 7th. Now they had landing lights so they could recover after dark but consider what even a few B-17s could do if they caught the carriers steaming in a straight line at a steady spead recovering aircraft and unaware of the B-17's. One of the few situations where they would represent a severe threat to a naval force. If they wait until the next day they can even potentially launch another two wave attack but into the teeth of a prepaired defence and with the chance of a counter blow. Even if they didn't get attacked that day two more waves would almost assuredly allow the US to tell where they were and could lead to them being ambushed by US carriers when their air groups weren't in the best shape.
     
  13. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Adding to one point LWD made, the radar stations would have been up and running for a second attack, IIRC. The would have sorted out the reciprocal error inherent in the RDF gear and shown the Japanese were coming from the north. So Lexington's jaunt to the south would have been avoided and she and Enterprise would have been able (possibly) to head north looking for the KB.
     
  14. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Roosevelt only told the fleet to be at Pearl. If the ships had remained at San Diego the same people would be blasting Roosevelt for not being ready when the Japanese attacked. It was Kimmels decision on what ships went where and when. Short was responsible for the placement of army AA guns and he made the decison to put the guns in storage and unready. Roosevelt had no authority to tell Kimmell how to do his job, it was his right to decide policy and then it was Stark's and Kimmel's job to decide how it was done.
     
  15. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Good summary. Have you ever read the Minority Report to the Summary Report of the Pearl Harbor Hearings? The Republicans do have some valid points about responsibilities all around, but not surprisingly they wanted to pin the blame on FDR if possible.
     
  16. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Some interesting facts about a third wave. The Japanese had studied a third attack on the shore facilities and concluded that the fleet was incapable of inflicting any damage due to a lack of bombsFuchida, there is no evidence that he did ask for a third wave.
     

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