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Pearl Harbor vs. open seas

Discussion in 'What If - Pacific and CBI' started by sPzAbt 503, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. arthur45

    arthur45 Member

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    There seems to be a misunderstanding about America's attitude about Japan, as opposed to Germany.
    The US bombers dropped far more tonnage on Germany than on Japan during WWII and devoted
    far more resources to her defeat than Japan's. The atomic bomb was originally planned for Germany,
    not Japan, which could very easily be isolated and starved into submission. The Japanese military
    operated under a very different set of ethics than either the Americans or the Germans, both of
    whom were signatories of the Geneva convention, and abided by the rules of war, as they were then
    laid out. The Japanese committed innumerable war crimes,against everyone - Chinese, Russians, Americans, etc.
    Characterizing Japanese military behavior as in any way comparable to that of the Western military forces
    is totally inaccurate.
    is
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Your first sentence is not well supported by the rest of your paragraph. Furthermore the Japanese behavior in many ways was not all that different from the German.
     
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    arthur45,

    The tonnage of bombs dropped on Germany and Japan has very little to do with the matter. The first American raid on Germany took place on January 27, 1943 & the first American raid(B-29s) on Japan(outside of Doolittle's raid) was on June 15, 1944. That gives Germany almost a year and a half head start in the total. Further, the B-29 raids did not really begin in earnest until the fire raids of 1945.

    You are mistaken about Japan not being a "signatory" to the Geneva Convention. Japan did sign the Geneva Convention, but it did not ratify it, therefore, Japan was not bound by the Convention. The United States and Germany did sign and ratify the treaty, therefore, they are considered "parties" to the Treaty, thus are bound by it's conventions.

    The American-Japanese Pacific War can be most equated with the German-Soviet Eastern Front, with neither side asking for or giving quarter.
     
  4. dna

    dna New Member

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    The second scenario: Somehow the fleet was at sea when attacked might go like this: Admiral Kimmel orders the Fleet out for training and they haul anchor in the middle of the night, so they are 50 miles south of Oahu in the Training Area before the Special Naval Attack force surfaces 20 miles south of Oahu. According to Morrison, the Japanese plan allowed for this possibility and called for the first wave to continue south, if the battleships were not in the harbor. So they would have found them, maneuvering in formation of 7 Battleships [Pennsylvania in dry-dock], 2 Heavy Cruisers, 6 Light Cruisers and about 30 destroyers. Almost certainly the fleet would survive the attack, but then there would be the second wave attack and, probably a third attack made up of survivors to the first and 40 reserve Kates. Eventually the fleet would have been ground down by 300 bombers and I imagine that Halsey would’ve had to intervene and put Enterprise at risk. Of course, if the Japanese attacks shifted away from Oahu, then Army and Marine bombers were certain to attack the Japanese fleet to some effect. That could have been enough to cause Nagumo to declare victory and leave before the deed was fully done. Who knows
     
  5. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    The scenario seems to be that the Japanese do not discover the absence of the battleships until they arrive over Pearl Harbor, or to be precise when Chikuma's scout plane arrives around 0630. The first wave will already have launched. They still need to neutralize American airpower for their own protection, so the dive bombers and most of the fighters will probably attack airfields as they did historically.

    So the first wave attacking the fleet will comprise 40 B5Ns with torpedos and 49 with armor-piercing bombs. Level bombing against maneuvering ships was generally ineffective, so the latter are not likely to do much damage. So it comes down to 40 torpedo planes attacking the fleet. Although it's peacetime - and Sunday - presumably the ships will be at some level of alert, and since they are south of Oahu they will probably get word of the Japanese attack shortly before they are attacked themselves. I see a hot reception for the 40 attackers coming in straight and low.

    The second wave poses an interesting question with regard to the 54 B5Ns assigned to work the airfields over again. Have they launched already, and if not would the Japanese try to rearm them with torpedos? As we recall from Midway, changing armament was not a rapid process. Moreover, the ships concerned, Shokaku and Zuikaku, took an inordinately long time to make a similar change in the Indian Ocean in April 1942 when British ships were spotted. Attacks were most effective when dive and torpedo bombers attacked together, but here the Japanese have the dive bombers ready to go and the B5Ns needing a couple of hours to rearm - what do they do?

    It's a good point that any prolonged action would probably get Enterprise involved, indeed make her a prime target. In particular she would be more vulnerable to D3As and their 250kg bombs than the BBs. Japanese targeting for the operation emphasized battleships, but they might be drawn into attacking something considerably more valuable.

    Details - one or both of the CAs in port had engines partially dismantled and would not be able to sortie. On the other hand their sister Minneapolis was offshore conducting exercises and might join the fleet in our scenario (she was the model for John Wayne's ship in the opening scenes of the move In Harm's Way).

    There were 26 fleet destroyers in Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, of which three were in drydock and several more tied up in the navy yard area, which might or might not be ready to get underway. All except two 'leaders' had dual-purpose 5" guns, making them effective AA ships.
     
  6. OpanaPointer

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

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    They received a "negative contact" signal from the plane that scout Lahaina Anchorage before the main force committed.
     
  7. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    If the IJN launches a third wave, especially at ships south of Oahu, there's a very good chance that they will not be able to recover many of the planes due to night and weather. There's also a chance that US planes would be able to follow a third wave back and attack the carriers. B-17s didn't have a good record of success attacking ships at sea but carriers trying to conduct flight ops are either going to have to break off the ops or be a much easier target to hit.
     
  8. OpanaPointer

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

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    And given the temper of the troops at that point we couldn't rule out a few kamikaze attacks.
     
  9. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    How relevant this topic about Pearl Harbor to Japan Navy attacking Vladivostok in an alternative history scenario ?
     
  10. OpanaPointer

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

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    What's their mission, what do they hope to accomplish by an attack on the USSR?
     
  11. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    I would politely say not a lot. The Soviet Far Eastern Fleet was very small and had nothing larger than a destroyer (two cruisers were under construction at Komsomolsk on the Amur River). If the Japanese attacked, it wouldn't much matter whether the Russians were in port or at sea - "at sea" of course meaning the Sea of Japan, surrounded by Japanese-controlled territory with few exits.
     
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  12. knightdepaix

    knightdepaix Member

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    I agree with your idea that the port city is in essence indefensible to Japanese Navy by the Soviet Navy there.

    This was my untyped idea. In other threads, Japan was noted for her probably participation to in general German effort against the SU. If Japan did attack the port city and nearby area, her effort would be more symbolic than realistic goals of handling some Soviet military pressure on Germany. Further discussion is going to be off-topic from this thread about the Pearl Harbor but given that Southern Sakhalin took about 40 years before it became an integral part of Japan; areas away from the few cities and towns in Russian Far East would not be going to help relieve dire resource issues.

    Okay, please return to the topic; I am going to continue this post on other thread.
     

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