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Pearl Harbor

Discussion in 'Pearl Harbor' started by silentmidgetassasin, Aug 10, 2004.

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  1. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Thanks for the input, T. A.

    That sounds indeed like the most logical and best pattern to follow. But how would things have gone if an actual battle took place? Would the California and West Virginia would have suffered the fate of Repulse and Prince of Wales instead of just being severely damaged but ultimately put back into service as they actually were?

    :confused:
     
  2. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    The Arizona, the newest of the battlewagons at Pearl Harbor on Dec 7th, had a paltry antiaircraft armament. The ship had a grand total of 8 5in./25 cal MK 11, single mounted guns, and 8 .50 cal machine guns. She had already had 2 of her secondary 5in/51 cal guns removed in anticipation of the installation of 1.1in anti-aircraft gun mounts. These had not yet been installed as of Dec 7th. The two heavy cruisers were a little better off. On average they had 8 5in/25 cal MK11 antiaircraft guns, 24 40mm in 6 quad mounts, 28 20mm single mount guns, and 8 .50 cal machine guns. The light cruisers (of which there were 6 at Pearl Harbor) had comparable armaments for anti-aircraft work. All told, I feel the Japanese naval air arm at that time would have caused just as much damage to the US force at sea as they did at Pearl Harbor with the added effect that these ships would have been forever lost in deep waters rather than the shallows of the harbor.
    If the remaining force had come within gun range The Japanese had two options; the first they could high tail it out of the area, after all the US battleships only had a top speed of 21 kts. The second option, fight it out there and given the US ability to fight surface battles even at Guadacanal, the Japanese would still have had a better than even chance given their torpedos and dedication to unit cohesion and harsh training conditions in the years prior to the war.
     
  3. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Ok, let's assume the fleet comes under air attack at sea with something close to the original results. The likely outcome in that case is:

    Arizona: Survives with one or two bomb hits and two torpedo hits that fail to rupture her torpedo bulkheads. She limps back to port. In full condition Zed, the bomb that caused the magazine explosion could not have done so so Arizona doesn't blow up.

    West Virginia: Sunk after taking 7 torpedoes due to capsizing from massive damage. If the damage is spread over both sides instead she likely still sinks but only after a prolonged struggle to save her. Note in the original case her torpedo bulkheads were not penetrated.

    Oklahoma: Sunk. Her insufficent stability and weak (comparatively) torpedo defense system does her in.

    Nevada: Sunk. The bomb hit forward along with the torpedo hits allows massive flooding over the 3rd (damage control) deck that cannot be brought under control. There are just too many problems with her and Oklahoma due to their age.

    California: Heavily damaged but remains afloat and returns to port under her own power. It was only the in port condition that allowed her sinking at PH to begin with.

    Maryland: Damaged by bomb hits. Still mostly combat ready.

    Tennessee: Damaged by bomb hits. Still mostly combat ready.

    Pennslyvania: In dry dock. Does not participate.

    The newest 4 BB's (Tennessee, Maryland, California and, W. Virginia) are far better protected than the PoW or Repulse were against torpedo attack. These ships had deeper, better designed defense systems than either British ship. Their internal subdivision, particularly their plants, were also better. They were better also in terms of shifting liquid ballast and in fire fighting equipment.
    Arizona was about equal to PoW in terms of torpedo protection, maybe just a bit worse. Nevada and Oklahoma were the oldest battleships at PH and suffered accordingly. Neither really was sufficently protected to stop a concentrated attack. But, both are still better than Repulse.
    The bombs the Japanese used were really, and accurately, crap. They showed little ability to penetrate armor and all of their damage was caused by initial penetration or hitting unarmored areas of the ships they struck.
    The only real advantage the British ships had was in AA fire power and the PoW had better deck protection. But, the latter matters little due to the poor performance of Japanese bombs.
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Any idea how much the US would have to protect the oil tanks at Pearl Harbor? I read that with the oil gone the US fleet would have to put their base on the American continent so the Japs did a big favour by not hitting hard on those tanks??
     
  5. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    It would have been a temporary problem at most. The US would have in short order replaced the tanks. The fuel problem would have been excerbated to some extent until this happened. However, the US had sufficent tankers in the Pacific that early war naval operations would not have been seriously impacted by the loss.
    This is in the same vein as suggesting destruction of the shops for ship repair. The US had two complete mobile advance bases virtually complete on the West coast in Dec 41. These were planned for use in the Western Pacific and were eventually sent there in 1944 (Ulithi Atoll). These bases were essentially complete movable shipyards that could do all but the heaviest ship repairs. One could simply have been moved to Pearl Harbor to cover until the permanent facilities there were repaired.
    Basically, the Japanese were hit right from the start versus the US. The US material advantage was literally overwhelming even in 1941.
    As I pointed out, less than 6 months after Pearl Harbor the US still had a battleline available that equaled or exceeded that of Japan's. This is even after the losses on December 7th.
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Thanx T.A.!

    Got any idea how much faster the war in the Pacific would have ended if Roosevelt had decided "Japan first!"? Or would that have changed much the situation except for Europe of course?
     
  7. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Thanks for the responses, Bill and T. A. ;)

    Think the results could have been a little worse than at Pearl, but as we all know, Japan was fighting a country with twice its population, 15 times its industrial power and 25 its economics. How on earth could Japan have won?
     
  8. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    It actually makes me doubt. When you see the amount of men and matériel that the US used in the 'secondary' theatre of operations that was the Pacific, then you must reconsider what the term 'secondary' means…

    The US' sea power was mostly concentrated in the Pacific, though its forces deployed in Europe were of great strenght as well. So, you could call the ETO a 'secondary' theatre for the USN.

    As long as the Lend & Lease programme was continued and even increased, the British and Soviets could have gone on fighting the Germans, though a full-scale invasion of Europe and a daylight bombing campaign on Germany weren't possible with full American support.

    The British could have ended the North African campaign on their own and even invade Sicily without the Americans, but I doubt they could have kept going through the harsh Italian fighting. And of course Great Britain couldn't have a D-day on her own and deploy and supply 100 divisions at France.
     
  9. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    [/QUOTE]It actually makes me doubt. When you see the amount of men and matériel that the US used in the 'secondary' theatre of operations that was the Pacific, then you must reconsider what the term 'secondary' means…

    The US' sea power was mostly concentrated in the Pacific, though its forces deployed in Europe were of great strenght as well. So, you could call the ETO a 'secondary' theatre for the USN.
    [/QB][/QUOTE]

    Welll it helped that the naval war in the Atlantic was essentially a war against an enemy who at that point was pretty much limited to submarines. This allowed the US to concetrate the majority of its heavy carriers to the Pacific Ocean as the CVE's were more than capable of leading the hunter-killer groups used to combat the submarine menace of the German Navy.
     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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  11. Bill Murray

    Bill Murray Member

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    Thanks for the site Kai. [​IMG] I'd seen most of the photos there before but their were a few that were new to me, especially the color photos of the Arizona, and the sequence of the Nevada trying to sortie.
     
  12. OpanaPointer

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

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    The carriers were here http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/dawk/CarrierChartE.jpg, Enterprise and Lexington, anyway. Saratoga was en route from Seattle to San Diego to complete an overhaul.

    Enterprise had been scheduled to enter port on Dec. 6th but was delayed due to difficulty refueling the tin cans (heavy seas). Her planes were fired upon between the first and second waves. Enterprise really did want to get in on Saturday, she had big softball game scheduled for Sunday. With Arizona.

    (Gee, my firstest post. :D)

    Larry J (Yes, that "Larry J")
     

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