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Refighting the Pacific War - Alternate History and the Battle of Midway

Discussion in 'Alternate History' started by Otto, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Disorientation after long hours in fog??? You really don't have a clue about what you are talking about do you?

    Also, the P-38s will be tied to their charges, giving the Japanese the advantage.

    There were no Ki-43s at Midway. Further, you are missing one very important word in you notation about the Ki-43..."Claimed".


    Quite odd that the various reports from the USSBS(United States Strategic Bombing Survey), which combed through Japanese records after the war, has the Japanese producing 126 B5N Kates and 222 D3A Vals.

    How do you explain the vast gulf between you idea of "no production of Vals and Kates" and the Japanese figure of 126 Kates & 222 Vals?


    What about this surprises you? The IJNAF was increasing by several orders of magnitude and production of the A6M could not keep pace. Not only was the A6M the staple fighter of the carrier forces, but it was the staple fighter of the IJNAF's land-based units as well. Thus, the smaller carriers and less important land units had to carry on with the A5M, while the larger carriers and more important land-based air units were upgraded to the A6M.


    IIRC, only the Japanese consider Yamamoto to be a brilliant Admiral.

    If two carriers of similar class was doctrine, the Japanese broke that on December 7th, with the paring of dissimilar Zuiho with Hosho, and would continue to break it throughout the early months of the war. For example, what other similar, or dissimilar, carrier was Ryujo partnered with during Operation C?

    What were the types and numbers of Allied aircraft that were based in and around Port Moresby during the Coral Sea action?


    Show incompetence please...Considering that Nimitz had ordered her hurried into action almost a month before Midway.

    If she is not sailing to fight at Midway, she is not sailing to ferry aircraft. Any aircraft going to Midway will be in tarps or boxed up aboard a merchie. Or else, they could be transported aboard the Long Island, but they could not be flown off from her.

    Yes, I know...And you never will.

    You don't understand because you don't want to understand. As that will destroy the fiction that you are better than all those historical figures that you "trash" in your " I am smarter than everyone else" What Ifs.


    "Fantasy Island", the island you are describing, was an old TV show...And was not "real."

    Midway, Ok, Eastern Island was hardly "excellent".


    The only incompetence is yours...

    The Japanese carriers were out of range of the fighters. It is rather hard or airplanes to fly when they have no fuel in their tanks. This should be a fairly simple concept to grasp. So, where is your disconnect?

    There was little coordination between the Midway based planes because the attack was hurriedly put together, as the Japanese planes were already on their way to Midway. Had those planes dallied and tried to coordinate amongst themselves or with the American carriers, all of your bombers would have been caught on the ground. Again, this is another fairly simple concept that you continually fail to grasp.

    I don't worry about the P-38s...There were none around for a few thousand miles. Why worry about planes that do not exist?
    OTOH, you are the one wringing his hands about the P-38s.

    Hmmm. Let's see...HINT...What doe the "S" in SBD and SB2U stand for?
     
  2. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    ATL How does a small CAP having to shoot down tough and well armed twin engine bombers, 24 P-38 and SBD attacking from above and TBF and torpedo B-26 from the deck have the advantage? It seems ´that they wont have time to deal either with the large escort or the bombers before their carriers are hit. Remember that a Zero has only 75 20 mm rounds per gun and small caliber MG. A P.38 can take a lot more damage than a BUffalo

    OTL that small CAP had a turkey shoot with completely unescorted SB2U, TBF, etc, Likewise, 36 Zeroes had a turkey shoot against 21 Buffalo and 7 Wildcats over Midway, who did not manage to shoot down a single IJN bomber or fighter.

    Given the excellent resources and intelligence it is difficult to cause more US losses and casualties and to cause less damage than OTL.

    Nimitz knew the strength of the forces attacking Midway and Hawaii, the fact that there were more and better P-38, B-26, etc, defending Alaska against a weak force than defending Midway against the Kido Butai is inexcusable.
    Nimitz was very lucky that Yamamoto split his forces and left intact Zuikaku in Japan, which even with a few planes of her own and of Suikaku would have been invaluable for teh decisive battle. Had Yamamoto incorporated the tow carriers from the Aleutians and Zuikaku, Nimitz would have been trounced.
     
  3. OpanaPointer

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

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    Two Pacific wars. Only one of which was fought on THIS planet.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Fixed that for you...

    In the Alternate Universe where Midway had P-38s...Mel Blanc was a famous mime.

    mjölnir, this one is for you
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJm7EOI9PJ8
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Alternatively, mjölnir should post this warning at the start of all his "What Ifs":

    "ALL CHARACTERS AND EVENTS IN THIS WHAT IF ARE BASED NEITHER ON TRUTH NOR FICTION, BUT ARE THE RESULT OF DELIRIUM."
     
  6. OpanaPointer

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

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    I've spent the last 26 years putting hard information on the web. I think that what-iffing, if it goes by the rules of war-gaming, is okay to see "what might have happened", but if people go making up the rules as they go along it becomes rather pointless.
     
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  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Because there is not going to be 24 P-38s attacking from above...

    You have SBDs and SB2Us glide-bombing from 8,000 feet and the torpeckers down on the deck. This will force a division of your "escorts" to high and low positions. Suddenly your "large" escort is not so "large" after all.

    FYI, the early A6M2s carried 60 20mm rounds per gun, and later would carry 100 rounds per gun...75 rounds per gun is another of your fantasies.

    A P-38 might take more damage than a Brewster Buffalo, and it might not. Those liquid cooled Allisons could prove vulnerable to some 7.7mm golden BBs.

    Then again, these are P-38Es with all the problems associated with the early Lightnings.

    Further, were these P-38Es even capable of carrying drop tanks? The jury is still out on that one...


    Are you certain of that...I don't think you are correct on this point.


    Oh, it would be quite easy for the Americans to bungle the job. Intelligence gave them the where and a rough idea of when. But it was not a crystal ball, and would not fight the battle for the Americans.


    Given that the P-38s were pilot by green pilots who had no combat experience. Given that the B-26 pilots had never dropped a torpedo before and had only been given the very basic rudiments of conducting a torpedo attack. Given that the Marine SBD-2 pilots had little or no time in type and could not even use the SBD to dive bomb. Given the relative inexperience of the TBF crews.

    It is starting to look like it was more inexcusable committing these poor unprepared souls to combat.

    Suddenly your "superior" American aircraft are not that "superior" after all.


    WTF are you talking about?

    You have crowed several times about the superior American intelligence...It would have told Nimitz that the Shokaku, Zuikaku, Junyo, and Ryujo would have been added. So, Nimitz would have known that he would face 8 carriers instead of 4. Thus, Nimitz would have adjusted his plans accordingly. Thus, the Midway that Nimitz fought against 4 carriers would not have been the Midway that Nimitz would fight against 8 carriers.

    Don't feel too bad. This is a common failing of most What Ifs...They have the opponent still fighting the OTL battle with no consideration given to the ATL changes.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    We passed pointless a few weeks ago, we passed ludicrous last week, and are rapidly closing on nonsensical.

    Or am I being to cynical.
     
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  9. green slime

    green slime Member

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    No, you're being two cynical
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I'll just have to try and be more optimistic then.
     
  11. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    What part of ATL there are no outdated or ill-suited planes in Midway (SB2U, Buffalo, TBD, B-17, etc,) or carriers, only P-38, Wildcats, SBD, TBF, B-26, etc, The Wildcats and SBD detached from carriers, the P-38 and B-26 deployed in Midway, instead of Alaska, do you not understand?

    OTL there were only 4 B-26 and they took a lot of damage and most returned, despite having no escort at all and attacking without any coordination (the SB2U with green pilots attacking a battleship and the few torpedo planes attacking the carriers). ATL the few CAP Zeroes have a hell of time fighting experienced Coral Sea SBD pilots (with heavier, 1,000 lb bombs and attacking only the carriers), a lot more B-26 (attacking only the carriers) and 24 P-38. It obviously takes a lot longer and more ammo for a Zero pilot or AAA to shoot down a large number of faster and tougher P-38, B-26, SBD, etc, than a few weaker planes, guaranteeing several bomb and torpedo hits (as occurred to Shoho: 17 bombs and 7 torpedoes and by slower more vulnerable TBD). After dropping their bombs, the SBD and B-26 even become half decent fighters-strafers, instead of sitting ducks, like the SB2U.and TBD.
    Just the strafing power of a fast P-38 and distraction of AAA will provide a big break for the SBD and torpedo planes, guaranteeing hits and less damage to bombers. Likewise the AAA having to split its fire between simultaneously attacking SBD and B-26 also guarantees some hits and less damage to planes.
    The B-26 was faster than other twin engine bombers and had good armament and armor, so in large numbers and with good excort, it becomes a formidable foe. It dropped more bombes and suffered lower percentage losses than any other American twin engine bomber.

    Likewise, in Midway attacking IJN planes meet a large numbers of experienced, Coral Sea carrier Wildcats instead of only 7 Wildcats and 21 vulnerable Buffalo, guaranteeing more IJN planes shot down, fewer bombs on Midway and fewer US pilots killed.
     
  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I don't understand, because using your logic, the only aircraft based at Midway will be the PBYs. As they were the only aircraft that were well-suited for being based at Midway.

    The B-26s are ill-suited because the have not been trained - at all - in how to conduct a torpedo drop, as such, they are ill-suited to the task given to them. The Marine SBDs are ill-suited for Midway, because most of the Marine pilots have no time in type, and cannot be relieved upon to conduct a dive-bombing attack. The Marine F4Fs had only recently arrived at MIdway and were an unknown quantity. And the P-38Es are just a bad joke. What part of this do you not understand?


    Most B-26s returned??? That is an ATL, not the OTL.

    In the OTL, two returned to Midway(half of the attacking bombers) and both of those were written off. Four up and four down...Permanently.


    The dissimilar types of aircraft basically prevented coordination. Despite having taken off at the same time. The B-26s and TBFs arrived over the Japanese fleet almost one hour earlier than the SBDs and SB2Us. Now, before you go off on an SB2U rant again, it was the SBD-2 that was roughly 10mph slower cruise than the SB2U.


    Where, of where have these experienced Coral Sea pilots gone. Oh, where, oh where can they be? Sing it with me...

    The USS Enterprise and USS Hornet missed the Battle of the Coral Sea, so no Coral Sea experience for them.

    The USS Yorktown underwent a squadron shuffle to make good her losses; SB-5 and VT-5 went to the beach at Oahu and were replaced with VB-3 and VT-3. Finally, VF-3 came aboard Yorktown, but it was composed mostly of her VF-42 veterans of Coral Sea.

    Oh, and the pilots of those B-26s and P-38Es have absolutely zero combat experience.


    Mmmm...And these "super" planes performed so well at Midway...Oh yeah, the B-26 didn't, and the P-38E wasn't even around.

    Not to mention that they are going against a larger, better carriers than little Shoho, as well as a larger task force then that of Shoho.

    Finally, one has to look at the attacks on Shoho at Coral Sea, as opposed to the attacks on Kido Butai, to see how vastly different they were.


    At Coral Sea, after dropping their bombs, was when those SBDs were usually shot down. Keeping your dive bombers screwing around the Japanese Task Force is a good way to get them killed for no good return. This is even more funny, considering that you are the one always harping about efficient use of forces...Then, here you go committing the same wastage that you are always harping on.

    Classic...Truly classic.


    Delving deeper into the depths of insanity are we?

    Strafing fighters are not escorting fighters...Or does the concept of bomber escort escaped you? Such strafing attacks by those, supposedly, escorting P-38s is going to leave their charges awfully naked out there. It also guarantees that those dive and torpedo bombers are going to take a beating. Which will be a boost to the triple-A as they now have less targets to shoot at.

    The Japanese thank you.


    It also suffered 100% losses at Midway...


    There you go pretending to know what you are talking about.

    Please re-read the bit in this post that shows that this is just another figment of your overly active imagination.


    Hopefully, at some point in this discussion, you will decide to educate yourself on the various subject being discussed here.
     
  13. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    The SBD-2 was marginally slower than the SB2U only because it carried a much heavier bomb load, more fuel and two .50 cal wing guns, instead of a single .30 cal forward gun. After flying to the target and releasing its bomb, it is much faster than the SB2U and has a higher rate of climb. SBD accounted for 40 out of 91 planes shot down in the Coral Sea. Imagine what they can do assisted by tough, fast P-38 and B-26.

    Again, ATL there are only carrier SBD and Wildcat pilots (detached from the carriers , which are not risked gratuitously), with experience from Coral Sea. The fact that OTL dive bombers and torpedo bombers had little experience is only attributable to incompetence, given the importance of the battle and the resources available. The crews do practice before the battle and an experienced, carrier torpedo aviator can fly with each B-26 crew, replacing one of the men and directing the attack in these, much more survivable and better armed planes.
     
  14. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    40 is to high and exceeds even the kill claims by SBDs at Coral Sea, at best it is 33, and at worst it is less than 30. How many of those kill claims were D3A Vals and B5N Kates? Aircraft that the SBDs would have been very unlikely to have encountered over the Japanese fleet at Midway.

    Statistics don't tell the whole story.

    But, then again...Since the PB4Y patrol bomber shot down 301 Japanese aircraft. Why not just scrap the whole lot of
    P-38s, B-26s, B-17s, F4Fs, SBDs, etc. and just fly in PB4Ys. Anything else is just inefficient use of aircraft.

    So, no aircrew from the USS Hornet & USS Enterprise will participate then. No aircrew from either VB-3 or VT-3, and more than a handful of rookie pilots from VF-3 are struck off also.

    You might have planes at Midway...But there will not be any aircrew to man them.


    This gets my vote for "Dumbest WW2F sentence of the Year" Award.

    Congratulations on that...I thought LJAd was going to get my vote.


    Good luck in that happening, but then again, it is one less gunner manning a gun.
     
  15. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    There are plenty of experienced Wildcat & SBD pilots and a TBD aviator flying in each B-26 or TBF from Lexington and Yorktown.

    It is not the number, but how you use the planes. ATL there are fewer but better planes and pilots.
    What's the point of risking carriers and using a lot of green aviators in lousy planes (SB2U, Buffalo, TBD, etc,), and a lot of Wildcats which get lost and have to ditch for lack of fuel, without accomplishing anything, because they took off very far from the IJN fleet and got lost on the way.so they achieve nothing and incur heavy losses? and a lot of TBD, but attackig alone?
    It is much better to have an adequate number of the best and most survivable planes and the best aviators, deployed from the unsinkable base and attacking together, the SBD taking off long before dawn in the direction the Kidobutai is expected, then the B.26 and TBF and finally the P-38.
    The TBD aviator is replacing the bombardier in the B-26.

    An SBD without bombs and low on fuel can out turn and out dive a Zero (it has a lower wing loading, but it is heavier) and it can fire backwards and it can certainly take a hell of a lot more rounds than a flammable Zero without any armor.

    From wiki SBD, referring to Coral Sea (on May 8, 1942). In October he shot 7 planes in a day with a Wildcat.

    One pilot—Stanley "Swede" Vejtasa—was attacked by three A6M2 Zero fighters; he shot two of them down and cut off the wing of the third in a head-on pass with his wingtip.[6][N 1]
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Mmmm...Because single engine fighter and single engine bomber experience translates so well to a twin engine bomber.


    There maybe fewer planes, but better planes, and better pilots...There are none.


    You neglect to mention that your "better" planes suffered 100% losses...

    4 of 4 B-26s - 2 shot down, 2 written off due to damage.
    6 of 6 TBF-1s - 5 shot down, 1 written off due to damage.


    The B-26 crews are all green, the TBF crews are all green, the P-38 pilots are all green. What part of this progression escapes you? Best aviators...Yeah, right.


    You do realize that he is just a button pusher, don't you. It is the B-26 pilot that has to line up the aircraft so that the torpedo, when dropped, will hit the carrier. It is the B-26 pilot that has to maintain the proper speed and height necessary for the torpedo drop.


    And yet, these SBDs took a beating at Midway.
    http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/USN/LLJun42.htm

    Further, VB-5 & VS-5 took their own lumps at Coral Sea.
    http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/src/USN/LLMay42.htm

    So, as usual, you are still looking at the subject through rose-colored glasses. You need to take them off to see the grimmer reality of your subject.

    Finally, if the SBD was such an awesome fighter...I wonder why the USN, shortly thereafter, discontinued the practice of using SBD on CAP? Things that make you go hmmmm.
     
  17. mjölnir

    mjölnir New Member

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    It is not that the SBD-3 is an awesome fighter, it is that it can fight and strafe much better than an SB2U after dropping its bomb and burning some fuel. It is also that an escorted, experienced pilot in an SBD is much more likely to hit and seriously damage a carrier with a 1,000 lb bomb, than an unescorted, inexperienced pilot in a SB2U with a 500 lb bomb attacking a battleship to avoid CAP.

    Obviously a Wildcat is a better fighter (more power and guns and a single person), and the Hellcat, P-40 and P-38 are even better. The point is that obviously, dozens of P-38, B-26, Wilcats, TBF and SBD can better defend themselves, strafe AAA and place more bombs and torpedoes than unescorted, inexperienced pilots in Buffalo, SB2U, SBD-2 from Midway and unescorted TBD and SBD-3 from carriers. The facts that so many bombers from Midway and the carriers attacked without escort, that the only succesful torpedo hit came from a Catalina, that not a single bomb or torpedo from Midway did any damage, that most of the TBD were lost without scoring a single hit and that SBD had to be used as fighters, while P-38 and B-26 languish in Alaska and Saratoga awaits an admiral points out very deficient planning.
    Just the fact that the invasion fleet far SW of Midway was detected and attacked long before the critical Kidobutai was, despite knowing in advance the direction and time of the attack, denotes extremely poor use of the numerous Catalina and B-17.

    You can see in your list that SBD-2 from Midway, and SBD-3 from Hornet and Enterprise took heavier losses than Yorktown, but all of them and the torpedo bombers took excessive losses owing to poor escort and coordination, so that AAA concentrated on them after massacring the TBD. Many carrier planes were lost ditching for lack of fuel, in part because the planes were launched too far and were poorly guided to the enemy carriers.

    Not only do the P-38, B-26, TBF and SBD-3 from Midway cause a lot of damage on the fleet, on their way back they wipe out the returning IJN wave, which has little ammo (the surviving Zero will have used their 75 20 mm rpg fighting the Wildcats)..
     
  18. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Strafing is a non-issue. It is a good way to get a pilot killed for no good return. But, if you wish to proceed along this point, the SB2U-3 could be fitted with up to 4 .50s facing forward(normally only one was fitted), and the rear-seater also has a swivel .50 caliber. Further, the SB2U could carry a 1,000 pound bomb, however, their were only some 37 1,000 pounders on all of Midway. Not to mention, that the decreased range to both the SBD-3 & SB2U-3 when carrying a 1,000 pounder.

    I am curious though, if the experienced F4F pilots had trouble covering their charges, why are you so certain that the inexperienced P-38 pilots are going to do so much better?


    And the Grumman F-14 is the best.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3XNEWtJF0o
    So when are you going to add them to your Alternate Midway OOB?


    Your logic for this argument is well and truly broken. The point, my poor misguided friend, is that the P-38 pilots, B-26 crews, TBF crews, and the Midway SBD crews are all green and inexperienced. Further, the "better" B-26s and TBFs were chewed up and spit out at Midway. So your "obvious" point is obscured by the reality of the situation.

    Thus, we can only conclude that the inexperienced P-38 pilots will fail in their escort mission, leaving the B-26s, TBFs, and SBDs unescorted. The inexperienced, and now unescorted, B-26s, TBFs, and SBDs will now perform as poorly as the "unescorted, inexperienced pilots in Buffalo, SB2U, SBD-2 from Midway and unescorted TBD and SBD-3 from carriers."

    As I said...Your logic for this argument is well and truly broken.


    The USS Saratoga left San Diego without Rear Admiral Aubrey Fitch aboard.


    Nagumo was running one day behind schedule. As good as US intelligence was, this fact was unknown to US intelligence.

    As such, it denotes you extremely poor knowledge of the subject, and not extremely poor use of the numerous Catalina and B-17.


    Fixed that for you.


    If your supposition is true, then why do you expect the inexperienced pilots of the B-26s, P-38s, TBFs, etc. to do so much better?
    This is one of the many things that cannot be explained in this ATL...Well, outside the use of a magic wand.


    This is just too much! B-26s and TBFs are now dogfighting A6M Zeroes!

    The P-38s, if they are still escorting their charges, have probably expended most of their ammunition strafing, or otherwise defending their charges...Or have you selected the "infinite ammunition" cheat for the Americans in you fantasy? And, I should add, the "infinite fuel" option as well.

    FYI, the returning A6Ms had not expended all their ammunition, and participated in the defense of the Kido Butai from the Midway based attackers.

    I also see that you continue to include the imaginary 75 round ammunition drum in this fantasy...Or is it just another point-of-departure in this fantasy thread?
     
  19. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Thanks for the link Takao, I'd totally forgotten about "Final Countdown". I actually liked the movie, an interesting premise. Not quite as far fetched as mjölnir's story, but interesting none the less.
     
  20. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Yeah, I never get tired of seeing that movie, it is one of my all time favorites.
     

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