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Yamamoto

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare in the Pacific' started by Sanddoc, Mar 20, 2021.

  1. Sanddoc

    Sanddoc New Member

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    Ok, this is my third attempt to post, my Rant on Yamamoto.
    I get so involved in what I want to say, that it becomes to long, so on that note I'm only going to highlight
    what I think. Of course we have 80 years to rewrite history, but I think in some cases we knew even then
    what mistakes were made.
    1. Pearl Harbor, to this is where Japan lost the Pacific War., how because he did not take out the oil storage tanks
    enough said. No oil no fleet. From my reading Japan had 177 submarines. He could have blockaded
    Hawaii with them. I don't think the US would have rushed the Atlantic Fleet to the pacific, or course
    Yamamoto could have also sent subs to Panama.. Very bad use of his submarine force
    2. Doing to many operations at the same time. There was no reason to attempt an invasion of Port Morsby, when
    he Yamamoto had also scheduled the Midway operation
    3. Midway, Although Yamamoto lost four carriers, our fighter\bomber\torpedo plans were pretty much none
    existant by the end of the battle plus we lost the Yorktown, (for the second time0
    Yamamoto still had 2 carriers in reserve and three in the Aleutian ilsands ,again too many operation at one time
    yes I know a diversionary tactic... did not work..
    But Yamamoto still had the biggest fleet on the battle field, and still should have pushed on with the attack.
    4. During the Guadalcanal invasion, he would not throw is fleet against the US Navy and island
    piece meal, never brought his fleet down which would have I think won back the islands...
    Of course he was killed in April 1943, so had no part in operation Cartwheel our advance to Rebaul
    I think I have covered Yamamoto, they say he was a good poker player!!!!!!
    OK just one parting shot at Nimitz.. I've not read about Nimitz, don't think I need to. he was a person
    between Adm King and the operation, he was not the operation.
    But lets look at two operations that he was involved in..
    Tarawa, 2 sq miles , no aircraft, and after 19 months of war, Nimitz sends 20 aircraft carries, 6 BB
    submarines, DD, and 18K Marines. In 75 hours of battle over 1K Marines were killed. He Nimitz
    would not delay the invasion and wait for high tide, Marines went ashore in chest deep water with 80Lb
    packs...
    and then there was Peleliu that cost the Marines 9k even the the island was not strategic for any reason
    as we had take the Palau's already
    During operation WatchTower and Cartwheel he was not in anyway responsible for Navy conduct
    IE: Watchtower ended up being nothing but a defensive engagement which at sea is hard to predict
    and under Cartwheel, the command was MacAthur
    I don't think I'm going to follow this posting, just wanted to get it off my chest.
    Best
     
  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    So sad and so ill-informed.

    Don't have the time now, but will be back

    Japan had 63 ocean going subs at the start.

    Japan surrounded Pearl with some 24 submarines and they sank what?

    Another 10 were put off the heavily traveled West Coast, and they sank what?

    Japanese submarine tactics were wholly unsuccessful in heavily trafficked areas.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
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  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Japan did not have the shipping resources to accomplish this. Too few merchants and too many duties to perform.

    Actually, fighter & dive bombers faired pretty well. Not to mention the arrival of USS Saratoga with aircraft reinforcements.

    The Yamamoto's two carriers in reserve at Midway had little in the way of offensive capability, indeed they had little in the way of fighters too.

    The intended Japanese plan was for the carriers in the Aleutians to come down and join the Midway invasion. The American carriers were not expected to be where they were when they were.

    The Aleutians was undertaken to get the naval GHQ to go along with Yamamoto's plan.

    Part of this was fuel reserve restrictions, and part was an unwillingness to fight the battle fleet in restricted waters where they could not maneuver. The American did the same with the battleships, not using them until their hand was absolutely forced to do so.

    We also saw how Japanese battleships faired in these restricted waters, they lost 2.


    Finally, read the 8-volume Nimitz Grey book series if you think he was involved in just 2 operations.
     
  4. OpanaPointer

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

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    It would have taken 9 tankers 30 days or 3 tankers 90 days to completely fill the existing tankage at Pearl Harbor. In a nine tanker scenario if three tankers were assigned to top off the ships as needed the other the other six could top off the tanks in 45 days. One more trip to make sure every ship was topped off.

    However, the IJN didn't have the ability to destroy the tankerage AND kill the fleet. Tanks were solid steel, 1/2 inch thick at the top and 1 and 1/2 inch thick at the base. The IJN fighters used quick firing fuzes on their 20mm guns, to kill planes with aluminum frames, and this would just muss the paint on the tanks. The tanks had false tops, so nobody could seen which ones were full. The tanks had floating tops to keep air and/or rain out of the fuel. The Bunker B fuel had to be heated to 130 F before it would burn.

    The fleet's fuel supply was never in danger.
     
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  5. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    nor was there any place in the mission tasking where one might find the words "fuel", "tanks," or "storage"; not even a whisper.
     
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  6. OpanaPointer

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

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    Takao Yoshikawa addressed that in one of his reports. I don't know if the early drafts mentioned this but I agree the final version doesn't.

    Separate Files, Indices, etc.
     
  7. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    I believe now the fuel tanks were safe. However, if the carriers had been around and had been sunk/got badly damaged, the US Fleet would have a big task to make things right or decide to retreat, I think. Personally I think it was a mistake not to carry on and try to find the carriers by the Japanese Fleet. The fear of getting hit back was too much for them, and retreating was a panic reaction. You either make your task or not. Leaving it half-way is never good enough even if it looks good. Just my opinion.
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    At a conference aboard his flagship the following morning, Yamamoto supported Nagumo's withdrawal without launching a third wave.[123] In retrospect, sparing the vital dockyards, maintenance shops, and the oil tank farm meant the U.S. could respond relatively quickly to Japanese activities in the Pacific. Yamamoto later regretted Nagumo's decision to withdraw and categorically stated it had been a great mistake not to order a third strike

    Attack on Pearl Harbor - Wikipedia
     
  9. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    I thought it was a lack of fuel for the destroyers that was the major factor. The Japanese destroyers were very low on fuel and could not hang around. Leaving the Carriers and battleships unescorted was not a good idea.

    Hindsight is 20/20.

    Of course, one has to wonder why - given the many cruisers, destroyers, and submarines that escaped damage at Pearl...That a 3rd strike would have necessarily targeted the dockyards, maintenance shops, and oil farm...And not the many smaller undamaged warships.
     
  10. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Hindsight is very true.

    The aviators involved had other target priorities. The operation’s main planner, Commander Minoru Genda, was a brilliant and iconoclastic fighter pilot known as “Madman Genda” for his belief that battleships were anachronisms. While a student at the Naval Staff College, he had called for the Imperial Navy to scrap all battleships and build only carriers. When assigned in early 1941 to plan an attack to sink battleships at Pearl Harbor, he instead plotted to aim the bulk of the attack at any carriers that might be in port. His fixation would come close to disrupting the entire attack.

    The plan finally presented to the admirals called for a first wave of 40 Nakajima B5N carrier attack bombers (later code-named “Kates” by the Allies), each carrying a Type 91 aerial torpedo, to open the assault on Pearl Harbor. According to the Japanese Official History, they were to first attack four designated battleships, then shift their attention to carriers. After crippling or sinking these ships, the attack would shift to the remaining battleships, then shift again to cruisers.

    Genda, true to his philosophy, assigned twice as many torpedo bombers per carrier than per battleship, despite the fact that fewer hits would sink a carrier. In other words, he allocated more than enough firepower to sink the carriers, but sent only enough firepower to cripple the battleships. He wanted to guarantee the carriers would never be salvaged.

    Another key contingency emerged at the last minute—and was ignored. The day before the strike, Japanese intelligence reported that there were no carriers in Pearl Harbor. Genda could have redirected the attack to focus on battleships and cruisers. However, a staff officer expressed hope that the carriers might return in the few hours remaining before the attack. Genda brightened: “If that happened, I don’t care if all eight battleships are away.”.

    While the second wave approached the harbor, Fuchida—after dropping his armor-piercing bomb (a miss)—spent 30 minutes circling the harbor. He could have identified targets for the dive-bombers and directed their attacks. Instead, he did nothing. The most senior aviator over Pearl Harbor was a passive observer.

    The remaining second-wave dive-bombers contributed nothing to Japan’s objective of immobilizing the Pacific Fleet for six months. There was only one direct hit on a cruiser, Raleigh, but like the Nevada it had already been torpedoed and would be out of the war for six months. A near miss caused some flooding aboard the cruiser Honolulu, quickly repaired. Three hits landed on a destroyer in a floating dry dock. Another hit on an aircraft tender was later mended in a single day at the San Diego shipyard.

    Overall, the Japanese attack fell far short of its potential. There were eight battleships and eight cruisers in port; four of each were accessible to torpedo attack. The Japanese had more than enough armor-piercing bombs to sink the ships inaccessible to torpedoes, along with two of the four battleships that were either double-berthed or in dry dock, and enough general-purpose bombs to sink all of the cruisers. But instead of destroying 14 of the 16 priority targets, they dropped killing ordnance on only three: Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Arizona. Two other battleships —California and Nevada—later sank because of flooding, damage control errors, and poor construction. This raised the score to 5 of the 16 priority targets, or only 31 percent—a poorly planned and executed attack, no matter how it is dissected.

    Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
     
  11. OpanaPointer

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

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    The fleet had refueled at least once on the way out, they would refuel on the way back from a tanker near Wake, IIRC.
     
  12. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Yes, but I believe it is in H P Willmott's book "Pearl Harbor", where he argues that the destroyers did not have enough fuel for continuing to escort the carriers and still have enough fuel to make it to the post-attack refueling point.

    Unfortunately, I do not have my copy on hand at the moment.
     
  13. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Incorrect.
    16 torpedo bombers were targeted against the carriers, 24 torpedo bombers were to hit the battleships.

    He did nothing, because he could do nothing. There is a reason that Fuchida signaled the start of the attack with flares, and not the radio...

    Yes, the 2nd wave was to primarily attack the carriers that were not there. Instead, the dropped on anything and everything afloat. With the battleships absorbing many attacks that would have been better put against smaller warships. The 250kg bombs could not come close to hopefully sinking a battleship.
     
  14. OpanaPointer

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

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    My copy of Willmott is home with every other book I haven't digitized.
     
  15. OpanaPointer

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

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    They refueled at least once eastbound. Nothing to stop them from doing it again. If they were concerned about endurance they wouldn't have had the tanker meet them so far wets.

    And I quoted myself. C'est la guerre.
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    They refueled west bound too, but the coordinates escape me...But it was too far for the destroyers to operate at battlespeeds and still make the westbound refueling rendezvous.
     
  17. OpanaPointer

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

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    They refueled where the Wake attack force split off. Last time they were all together for a while.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. the_diego

    the_diego Active Member

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    Maybe if Yamamoto was two or three stars lower in rank, and was in tactical command during all the situations mentioned can your rant have substance.

    Pearl Harbor. People are funny. It seems anything that escaped the first and second wave was a major error and crucial setback for the Japanese. Carriers, Oil ships and storage, submarine pens, anything. Ok, so sinking 8 battleships was wrong. The only way I can fault Yamamoto here is his obvious respect for the "gun club." He still believed the war at sea will be decided by battlewagons in line formation.

    Midway. You've lost your four best carriers and and their pilots. You've failed in your primary objective which was to bait the Americans into an all-out gun-to-gun engagement at mid-ocean. What else is there for you, besides risk more ships to carrier attack.

    Guadalcanal. The Japanese really didn't know what to make of the Lunga landings. Three months after the initial landings the place was sufficiently manned and armed that a counter-invasion was already bound to fail.
     

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