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What if the Japanese strike at Hickham and Pearl Harbor succeded but the one at Clark failed?

Discussion in 'What If - Pacific and CBI' started by Falcon Jun, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The Japanese did expect to loose 2 or 3 carriers in the PH raid. They might also have expected the remaining ones to be suffering damage of one sort or anther. In this case a covering force could be vital.
     
  2. nevarinemex

    nevarinemex Member

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    My thinking on a Covering Force, is more like those mentioned in the Morison OOB, in The Rising Sun(?). I think. It's been awhile since I read it!There were IJN Close and Distant Covering Forces, I believe, for the landings at Patani, Singora, and Khota Bharu.
     
  3. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    I'm taking my own quote because after several months of looking, I'm stumped.
    Anybody has some data or suggestion to a source that can perhaps tie in with this scenario?
     
  4. nevarinemex

    nevarinemex Member

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    I actually found some data at a Hong Kong tour site! Plus there is a NOAA site for world tidal patterns, where I gleaned some info.

    Back to your original premise as to how can the Japanese strike at Hickham/Pearl succeed historically, yet the Clark raid fail?

    What if a late season typhoon, such as Pongsona in Dec 2002, develops suddenly and barrels into Taiwan on 12/7? Kaosiung and the Pescadore marshalling areas levelled. Ships, supplies and troops destroyed. IJN and IJA Air Fleets grounded and aerodromes devastated.

    The super typhoon veers ENE and as an added bonus eventually slams into Kido Butai trying to refuel with its 100+ kt winds. Think 3rd Fleet Dec 1944. Several IJN carriers damaged. IJN Tankers turn turtle. No carrier air support for the
    second landing at Wake. Or even better, seriously damaged and foundering IJN carriers low on fuel.

    How quickly can the Japanese recover? Do they send a token strike force on 12/8, which does substantially less damage. The FEAF remains extant.
     
  5. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    Thanks for sharing. I'll check it out.
     
  6. Gromit801

    Gromit801 Member

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    Nevar, that's a hell of an interesting "what if" twist.
     
  7. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    I agree, gromit801. Now this raises the question. How efficient was the weather service of the IJN?
     
  8. nevarinemex

    nevarinemex Member

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    My thoughts are that the Japanese advance was a fairly close run thing. Any significant deviation from their plans, pays havoc with achievement of their goals.
    Somewhere I have a bookmark refers to a combined Dutch Australian airfield on the Vogelkop Peninsula. I think it was Babo airfield. It opened and was supplied around
    Oct '41. It was abandoned in Feb/Mar '42.
    I bring this up, as an air bridge can quickly open between Australia and the Philippines. I'm referring to the A-24s in transit. It took a couple of weeks for the Aussies to fabricate the starter solenoids. Still, those A-24's may prove decisive against the Lingayen Gulf landings. That is if the Japanese can still muster enough transport to invade, following a Super Typhoon.

    If the IJN/IJA are thrown off progressing on the Philippines until late Jan '42 I'm not sure that the Islands fall. I'm operating under the presumption that the Pensacola Convoy runs the Torres and Macassar Straits, due to disarray in the IJN. If the Philippines are still astride the Japanese sea lanes to the Dutch East Indies, any invasion is likely to be delayed.
     
  9. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    You have a point about the super typhoons, Nevarinemex. However, going by experience on the passage of typhoons (since I live in the Philippines), more often than not, a typhoon that would hit Formosa, Japan or Hong Kong normally wreaks havoc on the Philippines first.
    So based on this, a super typhoon hitting the Philippines when the planes are parked wingtip to wingtip out in the open would be very destructive on those aircraft.
    The same havoc would also play on the Japanese fleet elements caught in the typhoon. However, the Japanese airbases in Formosa would be forewarned and would be in better shape to ride through the storm.
    Essentially, a super typhoon at that time would be more detrimental to the US forces in the Philippines. The only thing a super typhoon would do is to delay the Japanese landings in Lingayen.
    Now this begs the question: how would such a delay play out for both sides in this scenario?
     
  10. nevarinemex

    nevarinemex Member

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    If the Typhoon approximates the strength and fury of Louise in 1945, it's not going to matter whether Japanese airbases are forewarned. Louise sorta blew up quickly and made a beeline towards Okinawa in the 12 hours prior to hitting.
    I disagree who is more affected by a super typhoon. Gen MacArthur Rainbows from Day One. There are two good reasons. First, the Agno and Carmen Rivers become semi-inpenetrable, so forces North would be cutoff and unable to D1, D2, D3, etc. Second, the Japanese no longer possess a viable invasion vehicle. Third, the moist, soft soil around Clark serves to lower the P26/35/40, B10/17/18 into the muck, protecting their under carriages:p Aircraft play a pivotal role only if there is a viable invasion force.
    The real damage is going to occur to the invasion fleet. The precious, necessary equipment and shipping for the Lingayen/Lamon/Legaspi assaults are going to be strewn about on the western coast of Formosa. This results from the CCW rotation of the storm driving surf towards land rather than open sea. The smaller craft and auxiliaries, so necessary to serve as lighters are swamped or sunk. As many of these vessels are necessary to aid in the conquest of the Dutch East Indies as well. The repercussions could potentially limit the Japanese decisions of what, where and when.
    Another thought. Adm Phillips is sitting in Manila on 5 DEC 41. If he is socked in by inclement weather, he doesn't get back to Singapore for several days. The PoW and Repulse MATADOR, if I've read correctly, more due to Adm Phillips than Captain Tennant.
    That should cheer those who What If PoW and Repulse aren't sunk!:D
     
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  11. Falcon Jun

    Falcon Jun Ace

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    Well said. Though I don't agree with you on some points, you state your argument quite well.
     
  12. nevarinemex

    nevarinemex Member

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    Thank you for your compliment. I'm more interested in the Asian-Pacific
    theater, even though it seems to be considered as more an adjunct to the European War.
    It can understand it though. After all, the Asian-Pacific struggle only affected the course of history to what are now the world's 1st, 2nd, 3rd and fourth largest economies and 1st thru 5th largest populations. Probably just a coincidence, huh?
     
  13. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Well, maybe because those countries involved were not nearly as economically important at the time, as they have now become? In fact, they weren't even sovereign nations at the time: India wasn't a nation. China was, but was de facto split, and had been dominated by various warlords, Korea was already subjugated by Japan, Indonesia was mostly Dutch (IIRC), and large parts of the rest that wasn't British was French... Lets face it, in 1939 the vast majority of the world economy was controlled by the West (Europe and North America), definitely not the East.

    The war in the pacific was played out over a vast area, and should really be considered three different theatres: Pacific Islands (US vs Japanese Navy), Siam to Burma (Biritsh Empire vs IJA) and China (Chinese factions vs IJA).

    Secondly, none of the European powers got involved in the Asia-Pacific conflict until they were already at war in Europe (even though Japan and been inflicting war on China for far longer).

    So given these facts, it isn't really surprising that the Asian-Pacific theatre was considered at the time of secondary importance (which the "Europe First" policy confirms).
     

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