Discussion:
Did Japanese navy have to call off Midway landing?
(too old to reply)
Hugo S. Cunningham
2006-01-30 16:52:42 UTC
Permalink
After they lost all four of the aircraft carriers in their task force
(June 1942), the Japanese navy cancelled their assault on Midway, for
fear of what US aircraft could do to their battleships and transports.

But might the risks have been worthwhile? My impression is that the
US carrier aircraft had also endured significant losses, and many of
them (notably the torpedo bombers) were useless anyways. The
Japanese surface forces were ample to blast away US forces on Midway
Atoll, converting it into an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" for the
Japanese. (Did they have a transport with land-based aircraft
suitable for unloading?)

Perhaps, however, the Japanese withdrew because they feared opposing
US carrier strength was larger than in reality.

--Hugo S. Cunningham
Taki Kogoma
2006-01-30 17:12:35 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 30 Jan 2006 11:52:42 -0500, "Hugo S. Cunningham"
<***@cyberussr.com> allegedly declared to
soc.history.war.world-war-ii...
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
After they lost all four of the aircraft carriers in their task force
(June 1942), the Japanese navy cancelled their assault on Midway, for
fear of what US aircraft could do to their battleships and transports.
But might the risks have been worthwhile? My impression is that the
US carrier aircraft had also endured significant losses, and many of
them (notably the torpedo bombers) were useless anyways. The
Japanese surface forces were ample to blast away US forces on Midway
Atoll, converting it into an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" for the
Japanese. (Did they have a transport with land-based aircraft
suitable for unloading?)
The invasion was simply the bait to lure PACFLT into "The Decisive
Battle".

Having already lost the battle, what's the point of taking islands
that they had no logistical capacity to hold?
--
Capt. Gym Z. Quirk (Known to some as Taki Kogoma) quirk @ swcp.com
Just an article detector on the Information Supercollider.
Dave Smith
2006-01-30 21:00:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Taki Kogoma
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
But might the risks have been worthwhile? My impression is that the
US carrier aircraft had also endured significant losses, and many of
them (notably the torpedo bombers) were useless anyways. The
Japanese surface forces were ample to blast away US forces on Midway
Atoll, converting it into an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" for the
Japanese. (Did they have a transport with land-based aircraft
suitable for unloading?)
The invasion was simply the bait to lure PACFLT into "The Decisive
Battle".
?????
Midway provided the US with an air base in the region and was used as a base
for patrol aircraft that provided a great source of intelligence. If the
Japanese plan was really just a ploy to lure the US fleet into battle, it is
hard to understand why so many planes were committed to the attack on the base
at Midway. They could have launched a token raid on the island and kept their
planes prepared for an air attack on the American fleet when they made
contact. I think it is pretty clear that their aim was to capture Midway, and
the battle with the US fleet was engineered by the Americans who had
determined that the Japanese target was Midway and then moved their forces in
to ambush the invasion force. A significant factor in the American victory
was the dilemma for the Japanese over whether or not to launch another raid on
Midway, a situation that lead to them being found in the process of refuelling
and re-arming when the American planes arrived.
Post by Taki Kogoma
Having already lost the battle, what's the point of taking islands
that they had no logistical capacity to hold?
Dave Gower
2006-01-31 16:18:36 UTC
Permalink
"Dave Smith" <***@sympatico.ca> wrote

<... If the Japanese plan was really just a ploy to lure the US fleet into
battle, it is
Post by Dave Smith
hard to understand why so many planes were committed to the attack on the base
at Midway. They could have launched a token raid on the island and kept their
planes prepared for an air attack on the American fleet when they made
contact.
Well, no it is actually easy to understand. On the first day, the Japanese
ships were kept very busy dodging bombs from B-17s. No bombs hit, but the
ships had to do some pretty fancy sailing to make that happen. You can't
engage in carrier air operations when you are jerking your ships all over
the place. The Fortresses were able to fight their way through the Zero
defensive umbrella. A B-17 attack during launch or recovery operations could
have been disastrous. Elimination of American airpower on Midway was
therefore a crucial part of the battle.
Brad Meyer
2006-01-31 21:03:10 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 31 Jan 2006 11:18:36 -0500, "Dave Gower"
Post by Dave Gower
<... If the Japanese plan was really just a ploy to lure the US fleet into
battle, it is
Post by Dave Smith
hard to understand why so many planes were committed to the attack on the base
at Midway. They could have launched a token raid on the island and kept their
planes prepared for an air attack on the American fleet when they made
contact.
Well, no it is actually easy to understand. On the first day, the Japanese
ships were kept very busy dodging bombs from B-17s. No bombs hit, but the
ships had to do some pretty fancy sailing to make that happen. You can't
engage in carrier air operations when you are jerking your ships all over
the place. The Fortresses were able to fight their way through the Zero
defensive umbrella. A B-17 attack during launch or recovery operations could
have been disastrous. Elimination of American airpower on Midway was
therefore a crucial part of the battle.
This touches on the basic flaw in the IJN planning. They had ample
airpower available to send a large raid to midway with a ready reserve
to launch against an enemy fleet, but they scattered that carrier air
far and wide across the Pacific rather then concentrating it.
David Thornley
2006-02-02 00:08:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brad Meyer
This touches on the basic flaw in the IJN planning. They had ample
airpower available to send a large raid to midway with a ready reserve
to launch against an enemy fleet, but they scattered that carrier air
far and wide across the Pacific rather then concentrating it.
Which they started with the Coral Sea operation. It was supposed
to be a minor operation that didn't need more than two large
carriers, but that meant that the Japanese didn't have decisive
superiority when the USN showed up. The net result was that Midway
was a 4-3 carrier battle rather than a 6-4.



--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Brad Meyer
2006-02-02 16:26:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Thornley
Post by Brad Meyer
This touches on the basic flaw in the IJN planning. They had ample
airpower available to send a large raid to midway with a ready reserve
to launch against an enemy fleet, but they scattered that carrier air
far and wide across the Pacific rather then concentrating it.
Which they started with the Coral Sea operation. It was supposed
to be a minor operation that didn't need more than two large
carriers, but that meant that the Japanese didn't have decisive
superiority when the USN showed up. The net result was that Midway
was a 4-3 carrier battle rather than a 6-4.
This touches on a flaw in Japanese organization. They had ample pilots
and a/c to man whichever one of the Sho and Zui twins that were ready
to sale at that point, but lack the organizational flexibility to be
able to put together an air group out of the available pilots. This
would plague them throughout the war and went a long ways towards the
problems they had in employing their pilots to the best possible
advantage. Compare with the more or less ad-hoc groups that operated
on the US carriers during the fall battles and the Guadacanal
campaign. For that matter, compare it with how fast the Yorktown's air
group was filled out after Coral Sea.
Timothy J. Lee
2006-02-02 17:45:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brad Meyer
They had ample pilots
and a/c to man whichever one of the Sho and Zui twins that were ready
to sale at that point, but lack the organizational flexibility to be
able to put together an air group out of the available pilots.
Zuikaku was undamaged after Coral Sea and came back with 24 fighters
and 15 other planes (combined from her and Shokaku's air groups)
in usable condition. Even though another big flight deck (although
with a reduced air group) would have been useful at Midway, the IJN
didn't bring her along. Zuikaku's presence could have given Nagumo:

15 more planes for scouting or other purposes
24 extra fighters which may have been helpful for CAP (imagine if
there were enough CAP fighters in reserve to watch for dive
bombers while others were destroying the TBDs)
another flight deck which could have serviced all of the carriers'
CAP fighters, freeing the other carrier's flight decks so
that they may have been able to launch their strikes before
the SBDs arrived
another flight deck for the USN to have to at least mission kill
to defeat the IJN
Post by Brad Meyer
For that matter, compare it with how fast the Yorktown's air
group was filled out after Coral Sea.
Mostly this was due to an air group from Saratoga that was waiting
in Hawaii when Saratoga went to the mainland US for repairs of torpedo
damage. Some of them just switched places with the depleted air groups
that Yorktown brought back from Coral Sea.
--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Timothy J. Lee
Unsolicited bulk or commercial email is not welcome.
No warranty of any kind is provided with this message.
Brad Meyer
2006-02-03 16:19:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Timothy J. Lee
Mostly this was due to an air group from Saratoga that was waiting
in Hawaii when Saratoga went to the mainland US for repairs of torpedo
damage. Some of them just switched places with the depleted air groups
that Yorktown brought back from Coral Sea.
The important point is that they did not "swap out" the entire
airgroups. IIRC some pilots were transfered and some entire elements
were transfered, but it remained the same air group. In the event,
there was a scratch airgroup at Pearl waiting for Sara by the second
day of the actual battle. The Japanese just were not flexible enough
to adopt such an approach. Useful a/c often sat home because the
remnents of two or three airgroups couldn't be reorganized to fit into
the system anywhere. In a way, it is not dissimilar to the problem the
Union armies had during the American Civil War, when new, largely
green, regts were constanly raised rather then keeping the vetern
regts manned up.
Bill Shatzer
2006-02-02 20:58:36 UTC
Permalink
Brad Meyer wrote:

-snips-
Post by Brad Meyer
Compare with the more or less ad-hoc groups that operated
on the US carriers during the fall battles and the Guadacanal
campaign. For that matter, compare it with how fast the Yorktown's air
group was filled out after Coral Sea.
Well, yes, but the Yorktown's air group at Midway was the
Saratoga's airgroup transferred in toto to Yorktown.

Had the Japanese had a spare complete air group lying around,
they no doubt could have (and would have) made a similar swap.

Cheers and all,
R Leonard
2006-02-02 22:00:57 UTC
Permalink
No, not quite. VT-3 replaced VT-5, VB-3 replaced VS-5, and VB-5 was
redesignated VS-5 for the deployment. VF-3 replaced VF-42, but 16 f
the 27 pilots in VF-3 were from VF-42 (and with the exceptions of
Thach, Lovelace, and Cheek from VF-3 all the experience in the squadron
lay with the VF-42 contingent).
w***@mindspring.com
2006-02-03 16:18:48 UTC
Permalink
Keep in mind Yamamoto was conversant with naval air power and he had no
fighter cover left. He knew the USN had dive bombers left but no idea
how many. He also know the USA could replace lost ships quicker than
could Japan. He had no idea where the carriers were - nor how many were
left. He didn't even know how many the USN had had at Midway. He
thought his planes had sunk 2 - Yorktown was sighted twice and 'sunk'
each time. What he did know was that if he stuck around the SBDs were
going to get some more dive bombing practice and Japan couldn't afford
to lose the ships. Plus it was entirely possible that Hawaii could
transfer more planes to Midway and shift the air power balance even
further to his detriment. Ergo - go home.
Walt BJ
Tony Zbaraschuk
2006-02-03 18:51:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Shatzer
-snips-
Post by Brad Meyer
Compare with the more or less ad-hoc groups that operated
on the US carriers during the fall battles and the Guadacanal
campaign. For that matter, compare it with how fast the Yorktown's air
group was filled out after Coral Sea.
Well, yes, but the Yorktown's air group at Midway was the
Saratoga's airgroup transferred in toto to Yorktown.
Had the Japanese had a spare complete air group lying around,
they no doubt could have (and would have) made a similar swap.
Could have, maybe. Would have, no: we have an actual case to
show that they didn't do it that way. At Coral Sea, Shokaku and
Zuikaku had one carrier badly damaged but most planes intact,
and one carrier lost a lot of planes but was intact. The obvious
solution to the US would have been to transfer intact air group
to undamaged carrier. Which did not happen; neither carrier went
to Midway, where an extra flight deck might have made a big difference.

(They all still sink in 1944 when the Fleet Of Essexes is fully
online and equipped with Corsairs and Helldivers, but the intervening
years might have been interesting.)


Tony Z
--
Much of what are called "social problems" consists of the fact that
intellectuals have theories that do not fit the real world. From this
they conclude that it is the real world which is wrong and needs changing.
--Thomas Sowell
edward ohare
2006-02-03 21:01:42 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 31 Jan 2006 11:18:36 -0500, "Dave Gower"
Post by Dave Gower
Well, no it is actually easy to understand. On the first day, the Japanese
ships were kept very busy dodging bombs from B-17s. No bombs hit, but the
ships had to do some pretty fancy sailing to make that happen.
Referring to the invasion force ships here. I doubt any fancy sailing
was required. B17s and other heavy bombers proved time and time again
their ineffectiveness against ships. All the B17s did at Midway was
consume a lot of fuel. They should have been considered additional
search aircraft, not combat aircraft.

Some of the interviews of the strategic bombing survey are quite
interesting... questioners eagerly seaching for evidence of the
effectiveness of heavy bombers against ships... and finding how high
the disregard of the Japanese was for attacks on ships by these
aircraft.
Post by Dave Gower
You can't
engage in carrier air operations when you are jerking your ships all over
the place. The Fortresses were able to fight their way through the Zero
defensive umbrella.
Uh... the IJN didn't even notice some of the B17 attacks.
Post by Dave Gower
A B-17 attack during launch or recovery operations could
have been disastrous.
A B17 attack during launch or recovery or at any other time had a
miniscule probability of doing any more than killing some fish.
Post by Dave Gower
Elimination of American airpower on Midway was
therefore a crucial part of the battle.
True. Like dive and torpedo bombers that could have been fairly
successful against the invasion transports.
David Thornley
2006-02-05 21:19:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brad Meyer
On Tue, 31 Jan 2006 11:18:36 -0500, "Dave Gower"
Post by Dave Gower
Well, no it is actually easy to understand. On the first day, the Japanese
ships were kept very busy dodging bombs from B-17s. No bombs hit, but the
ships had to do some pretty fancy sailing to make that happen.
Referring to the invasion force ships here. I doubt any fancy sailing
was required. B17s and other heavy bombers proved time and time again
their ineffectiveness against ships.
Against *maneuvering* ships. If you look at the photos taken from
B-17s during the bombing, you will notice curved wakes, showing that
they were dodging.

Moreover, B-17s were quite effective against stopped ships. One
Japanese destroyer captain in the Solomons pulled up to assist another
ship dead in the water, looked up and disregarded the B-17s, and was
promptly sunk.

All the B17s did at Midway was
Post by Brad Meyer
consume a lot of fuel. They should have been considered additional
search aircraft, not combat aircraft.
They also hindered the Japanese from forming up a strike. All the
various attacks before the big one kept the Japanese from getting
a strike going at the US carriers.
Post by Brad Meyer
Post by Dave Gower
You can't
engage in carrier air operations when you are jerking your ships all over
the place. The Fortresses were able to fight their way through the Zero
defensive umbrella.
Uh... the IJN didn't even notice some of the B17 attacks.
They apparently noticed the ones at Midway, from the wakes in the
photographs.

The net result was that the Japanese carriers engaged in evasive
operations, and IIRC lost a few Zeros.
Post by Brad Meyer
Post by Dave Gower
Elimination of American airpower on Midway was
therefore a crucial part of the battle.
True. Like dive and torpedo bombers that could have been fairly
successful against the invasion transports.
Assuming the invasion transports would have been stationary while
unloading, B-17s could have hit them hard. B-17s had been designed
well to hit targets not moving relative to the ground, after all,
and while they repeatedly demonstrated their inability to hit
maneuvering ships they could be deadly against stationary ones.


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
edward ohare
2006-02-08 16:18:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Thornley
Post by edward ohare
Referring to the invasion force ships here. I doubt any fancy sailing
was required. B17s and other heavy bombers proved time and time again
their ineffectiveness against ships.
Against *maneuvering* ships.
Well, gee, that's what we're talking about here!
Post by David Thornley
If you look at the photos taken from
B-17s during the bombing, you will notice curved wakes, showing that
they were dodging.
Dodging what? The attacks of the dive and torpedo bombers, whose
attack intentions they could clearly determine? Or dodging unseen
bombs from B17s two miles up?
Post by David Thornley
Moreover, B-17s were quite effective against stopped ships. One
Japanese destroyer captain in the Solomons pulled up to assist another
ship dead in the water, looked up and disregarded the B-17s, and was
promptly sunk.
Yes, and as I recall the general commentary on this was "to everyone's
surprise". Is this not the first and last instance of an IJN warship
being sunk by B17? Also note "dead in the water".
Post by David Thornley
All the B17s did at Midway was
Post by edward ohare
consume a lot of fuel. They should have been considered additional
search aircraft, not combat aircraft.
They also hindered the Japanese from forming up a strike. All the
various attacks before the big one kept the Japanese from getting
a strike going at the US carriers.
IJN continued arming and refueling during the strikes. Some
hinderance there!
Post by David Thornley
Post by edward ohare
Uh... the IJN didn't even notice some of the B17 attacks.
They apparently noticed the ones at Midway, from the wakes in the
photographs.
That does not prove what they were dodging.
Post by David Thornley
Post by edward ohare
True. Like dive and torpedo bombers that could have been fairly
successful against the invasion transports.
Assuming the invasion transports would have been stationary while
unloading, B-17s could have hit them hard. B-17s had been designed
well to hit targets not moving relative to the ground, after all,
and while they repeatedly demonstrated their inability to hit
maneuvering ships they could be deadly against stationary ones.
Assuming the invasion transports were stationary, the B17s would have
been gone under Nimitz instruction to bring out the heavies if Midway
was in danger of falling. Furthermore, IJN would not have beached
trasports if the Midway airfield was still operating aircraft.

So where is the proof that B17s... or any high altitude bombers, for
that matter... were deadly against stationary ships? (Noting here
that the argument of the effectiveness of B17s against stopped ships
is more or less an admission they weren't effective against moving
ones, which is the real point here.) If high altitude bombing was
actually effective, why was it necessary for the SW Pac to invent skip
bombing?

Also interesting is that the training for the atomic bomb strikes, for
which the best of the best were recruited, was that the bomb be
dropped within a circle of 700 foot radius. How many IJN transports
can fit within a circle of that size? Bombing ships isn't like
bombing cities, where the USAAF could claim a hit if the bombs dropped
anywhere within 10 miles of the center of the target.

I'll stick with this, from Miracle at Midway, concerning the US having
a numerical advantage of 23 aircraft: Therefore, in actual numbers of
aircraft available, the Americans had the slight edge of twenty-three.
Oddly enough, these represented exactly the number of Army bombers
stationed on Midway. In view of the results, these Army aircraft
might well be ranked as neglibible factors, or even as liabilities,
because they consumed enourmous amounts of space, fuel, and man-hours
which could have been used more profitably elsewhere. -- pp 129-30

Its really sad that almost 64 years after the fact, the initial
reports that the USAAF won the battle of Midway have only been
downgraded, in the eyes of some, to the point the USAAF made a
significant contribution.
David Thornley
2006-02-08 22:10:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by edward ohare
Post by David Thornley
Against *maneuvering* ships.
Well, gee, that's what we're talking about here!
Not necessarily.

BTW, IIRC the next day the Japanese destroyer Tanikaze was attacked by
B-17s, which dropped bombs off both bows close enough to drench the
superstructure. Those bombs were definitely not hits, but they were
reasonably close misses. Given more luck, one of them could have hit
Tanikaze.

B-17s were pretty ineffectual against maneuvering warships, but that
didn't mean they could be simply ignored.
Post by edward ohare
Post by David Thornley
If you look at the photos taken from
B-17s during the bombing, you will notice curved wakes, showing that
they were dodging.
Dodging what? The attacks of the dive and torpedo bombers, whose
attack intentions they could clearly determine?
Your chronology is off; there were no simultaneous B-17 and torpedo
bomber attacks.

Or dodging unseen
Post by edward ohare
bombs from B17s two miles up?
That is what the ships in the pictures appear to be doing. Whether
the bombs were unseen is arguable.
Post by edward ohare
Post by David Thornley
They also hindered the Japanese from forming up a strike. All the
various attacks before the big one kept the Japanese from getting
a strike going at the US carriers.
IJN continued arming and refueling during the strikes. Some
hinderance there!
However, *they* *didn't* *spot* the strikes. The photos of the
carriers from the B-17s show mostly empty decks, except for a few
Zeros. Remember also that it took Hiryu some time to get a strike
together after the attack, and it wasn't even a coordinated one.
Post by edward ohare
Post by David Thornley
They apparently noticed the ones at Midway, from the wakes in the
photographs.
That does not prove what they were dodging.
There is one that shows a carrier making a sharp turn to port, with
a stick of bombs detonating to starboard. That does suggest that the
carrier was dodging the B-17 attack.
Post by edward ohare
Post by David Thornley
Assuming the invasion transports would have been stationary while
unloading, B-17s could have hit them hard. B-17s had been designed
Assuming the invasion transports were stationary, the B17s would have
been gone under Nimitz instruction to bring out the heavies if Midway
was in danger of falling.
Again, if the transports were relatively stationary, like say if
they were offloading assault troops, the B-17s could have been
effective. Even if being brought out, they could strike on the way
to Hawaii.

Furthermore, IJN would not have beached
Post by edward ohare
trasports if the Midway airfield was still operating aircraft.
They could not have beached the transports at Midway. Rammed them
against the reef, maybe, but that wouldn't accomplish anything.
Post by edward ohare
Its really sad that almost 64 years after the fact, the initial
reports that the USAAF won the battle of Midway have only been
downgraded, in the eyes of some, to the point the USAAF made a
significant contribution.
They accomplished a few things, but I wouldn't really call what
they did significant. It is really doubtful that the Japanese
could have spotted a strike if they hadn't showed up, and their
contributions in shooting at Zeros and strafing ships (on one
occasion) were pretty minimal.



--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
edward ohare
2006-02-09 16:30:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Thornley
Post by edward ohare
Post by David Thornley
Against *maneuvering* ships.
Well, gee, that's what we're talking about here!
Not necessarily.
BTW, IIRC the next day the Japanese destroyer Tanikaze was attacked by
B-17s, which dropped bombs off both bows close enough to drench the
superstructure. Those bombs were definitely not hits, but they were
reasonably close misses. Given more luck, one of them could have hit
Tanikaze.
Or, perhaps, getting that close used up all the B17s luck.

Seriously, what evidence is there that high altitude bombers of any
type were effective against ships? In the first Midway CV attacks
against all for IJN CVs we have, from memory, 9 B17s with 8 bombs
each, a total of 72 bombs expended without even a near miss. The
SBDs expended fewer than 72 bombs and got three sinkings. The
principle of economy of force comes to mind.
Post by David Thornley
B-17s were pretty ineffectual against maneuvering warships, but that
didn't mean they could be simply ignored.
OK. As someone else posted, evading because it was easy and cheap.
Post by David Thornley
There is one that shows a carrier making a sharp turn to port, with
a stick of bombs detonating to starboard. That does suggest that the
carrier was dodging the B-17 attack.
OK, as I've admitted elsewhere.
Post by David Thornley
Post by edward ohare
Its really sad that almost 64 years after the fact, the initial
reports that the USAAF won the battle of Midway have only been
downgraded, in the eyes of some, to the point the USAAF made a
significant contribution.
They accomplished a few things, but I wouldn't really call what
they did significant. It is really doubtful that the Japanese
could have spotted a strike if they hadn't showed up, and their
contributions in shooting at Zeros and strafing ships (on one
occasion) were pretty minimal.
Good. (Considering here again, the principle of economy of force
considering the B17's main role was, in effect, a fighter sweep.)
David Thornley
2006-02-09 17:17:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by edward ohare
Seriously, what evidence is there that high altitude bombers of any
type were effective against ships? In the first Midway CV attacks
against all for IJN CVs we have, from memory, 9 B17s with 8 bombs
each, a total of 72 bombs expended without even a near miss. The
SBDs expended fewer than 72 bombs and got three sinkings. The
principle of economy of force comes to mind.
There is no evidence that high altitude bombers of any type were
effective against maneuvering ships, provided of course they did
not have guided weapons (and there were none in service in 1942,
to the best of my knowledge).

That doesn't mean that they were completely ineffective against ships.
Post by edward ohare
Post by David Thornley
B-17s were pretty ineffectual against maneuvering warships, but that
didn't mean they could be simply ignored.
OK. As someone else posted, evading because it was easy and cheap.
Or even when it wasn't exactly cheap. The evasive action the
Japanese carriers did at Midway did interfere with their ability to
spot aircraft on deck, and the B-17 attack did interfere with the
Japanese CAP.
Post by edward ohare
Good. (Considering here again, the principle of economy of force
considering the B17's main role was, in effect, a fighter sweep.)
And yet another one of those ineffectual attacks that delayed the
Japanese counterstrike. It was certainly more economical of force
than most of the other attacks. They were expensive bombers to
not hit anything, but at least they came back.


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Brad Meyer
2006-02-09 18:49:42 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 09 Feb 2006 11:30:27 -0500, edward ohare
Post by edward ohare
Seriously, what evidence is there that high altitude bombers of any
type were effective against ships?
Guadacanal campaign.
Michael Emrys
2006-02-09 19:15:23 UTC
Permalink
Seriously, what evidence is there that high altitude bombers of any type were
effective against ships?
Unfortunately, I cannot rattle off the numbers, but quite a few ships in
harbor were sunk by level bombers, both by the Germans and by the Western
Allies. I think the Japanese may have gotten some at one time or another
too. (A lot here depends on your definition of "high altitude", which is why
I didn't use the term. For me, high altitude bombing implies above 20,000
feet. Between that figure and 5,000 I'd call medium altitude, although all
those numbers are arbitrary and should be adjusted for variables. Under
those definitions though, most level bombing of ships was from medium
altitude.)

But as stated, this was only effective against ships moored or anchored. In
all my readings, I have only encounted a paltry handful of cases of ships
hit by level bombing while underway.
In the first Midway CV attacks against all for IJN CVs we have, from memory, 9
B17s with 8 bombs each, a total of 72 bombs expended without even a near miss.
The SBDs expended fewer than 72 bombs and got three sinkings. The principle
of economy of force comes to mind.
Absolutely. Until the advent of homing weapons, release above 1,000 feet was
almost a guaranteed miss against a moving and maneuvering target. Even
divebombers had trouble hitting alert PT and MTG boats, and a near miss
would do for them.

Michael
Eystein Roll Aarseth
2006-02-05 21:24:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by edward ohare
B17s and other heavy bombers proved time and time again
their ineffectiveness against ships.
True, but I think I once read that one of the "selling points" of the
B17 before the war was that it was supposed to attack enemy warships
before they could reach the American coast? Someone had been way too
impressed by General Wotshisname's bombing of surrendered German
warships just after WWI, and then was surprised when the Japanese
"targets" actually moved and (when they noticed the bombers at all)
fired back?

EAa
--
"No naval policy can be wise unless it takes into account the tactics
that ought to be used in war." -- Commander Bradley A. Fiske USN, 1905
edward ohare
2006-02-08 16:19:08 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 05 Feb 2006 16:24:21 -0500, Eystein Roll Aarseth
Post by Eystein Roll Aarseth
Post by edward ohare
B17s and other heavy bombers proved time and time again
their ineffectiveness against ships.
True, but I think I once read that one of the "selling points" of the
B17 before the war was that it was supposed to attack enemy warships
before they could reach the American coast?
Yes, that was one of the selling points, when some people objected to
the US having long range bombers, which they viewed as offensive
weapons not in keeping with the US's position as a non-aggresive type
country.
Post by Eystein Roll Aarseth
Someone had been way too
impressed by General Wotshisname's bombing of surrendered German
warships just after WWI, and then was surprised when the Japanese
"targets" actually moved and (when they noticed the bombers at all)
fired back?
Interestingly, even Nimitz drew a false conclusion from this, pointing
out the advantage of heavily armed and armored aircraft like the B17,
based on the apparent reluctance of IJN fighters to attack them. I
find the assertions of others here that the IJN ships were dodging B17
bombs pretty silly. Like how could they determine that a B17 two
miles up had dropped its bombs? Let alone know whether that drop was
close enough to require any evasive action?
Eystein Roll Aarseth
2006-02-08 20:59:12 UTC
Permalink
I find the assertions of others here that the IJN ships were dodging B17
bombs pretty silly. Like how could they determine that a B17 two
miles up had dropped its bombs? Let alone know whether that drop was
close enough to require any evasive action?
Any prudent warship captain will do his best to make his enemies' job
as hard as possible. Why take the risk of losing your ship if a little
evasive action is all you need to avoid getting wet feet? As long as
you're not engaged in a surface action or is a carrier that's
launching or recovering aircraft at the moment, all you'll lose is a
small amount of extra fuel burned for nothing.

EAa
--
Nelson's genius enabled him to measure truly the consequences of any decision.
But that genius worked upon precise practical data... He felt he knew what
would happen in a fleet action. Jellicoe did not know. Nobody knew.
-- Winston Churchill, "The World Crisis", on Jutland.
Geoffrey Sinclair
2006-02-09 03:57:07 UTC
Permalink
edward ohare wrote in message ...
I find the assertions of others here that the IJN ships were dodging B17
bombs pretty silly. Like how could they determine that a B17 two
miles up had dropped its bombs? Let alone know whether that drop was
close enough to require any evasive action?
1) The ships had binoculars and rangefinders designed to spot things
a long way away.

2) The bomb bay doors being open is a good clue.

3) The steady run in under fire is another clue the bombers are
going to attack.

4) The bombs are rather large and slow moving when they leave
the aircraft, not to mention the aircraft jerking upwards when it
is suddenly 1, 2 or more tons lighter.

5) You take evasive action because it costs relatively little and the
consequences of not doing so can cost so much. If nothing else
maybe you can force the bombers to try again, giving your gunners
more chance to shoot them down. After all the bombers have to
assume where you will be when the bombs finally reach sea level.

Geoffrey Sinclair
Remove the nb for email.
edward ohare
2006-02-09 16:29:45 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 08 Feb 2006 22:57:07 -0500, "Geoffrey Sinclair"
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
5) You take evasive action because it costs relatively little and the
consequences of not doing so can cost so much.
Cool. Not because the probability of being hit is high, but because
the cost of being hit is high. I can go with that.
Brad Meyer
2006-02-09 16:35:19 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 08 Feb 2006 22:57:07 -0500, "Geoffrey Sinclair"
Post by Geoffrey Sinclair
5) You take evasive action because it costs relatively little and the
consequences of not doing so can cost so much. If nothing else
maybe you can force the bombers to try again, giving your gunners
more chance to shoot them down. After all the bombers have to
assume where you will be when the bombs finally reach sea level.
As one of Tanaka's DD captains fopund out three months later near
Guadacanal.
p***@aol.com
2006-02-09 16:37:01 UTC
Permalink
I find the assertions of others here that the IJN ships were dodging B17
bombs pretty silly.
Would you believe the caption for the picture from navy.mil?

"Japanese carrier Hiryu maneuvers during a bombing attack from a B-17."

The assertion that the navy would exxagerate the contribution of the
USAAF is simply pig-headed. Nobody here is saying the B-17s were
effective in the sense that they sank any aircraft carriers. But the
official Navy photographs disprove your original assertion that the
carriers could simply ignore their presence. The photographs also show
that they came within a whisker of making history at Midway. That is a
pretty good showing when you consider that it was practically
impossible to train them in bombing moving targets and that this was
most likely the first real combat sortie for any of those crews.
p***@aol.com
2006-02-06 22:33:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by edward ohare
Post by Dave Gower
Well, no it is actually easy to understand. On the first day, the Japanese
ships were kept very busy dodging bombs from B-17s. No bombs hit, but the
ships had to do some pretty fancy sailing to make that happen.
Referring to the invasion force ships here. I doubt any fancy sailing
was required. B17s and other heavy bombers proved time and time again
their ineffectiveness against ships. All the B17s did at Midway was
consume a lot of fuel.
Oh? I would call this pretty fancy sailing
Loading Image...
edward ohare
2006-02-08 16:19:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@aol.com
Oh? I would call this pretty fancy sailing
http://www.history.navy.mil/pics/faq81-9-1.jpg
Yea, most likely dodging the attacks of torpedo planes and dive
bombers. So nice the USAAF showed up to take the pictures!
Bill Shatzer
2006-02-08 19:12:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by edward ohare
Post by p***@aol.com
Oh? I would call this pretty fancy sailing
http://www.history.navy.mil/pics/faq81-9-1.jpg
Yea, most likely dodging the attacks of torpedo planes and dive
bombers. So nice the USAAF showed up to take the pictures!
No, notice the bomb explosion patterns on either side of the
carrier. The pattern of six distinct explosions in a row
to the port side of the carrier are a distinctive signature of
a B-17 bomb pattern. The number of explosions in the other two
patterns is a bit less easy to ascertain but there are clearly
multiple explosions and they are clearly in a line.

The dive bombers, with only a single bomb each, would scatter
bombs all over in a more or less random fashion and wouldn't
be laying down their bombs in a line - much less six of them.

Torpedo bombers wouldn't leave an explosion in the water
at all.

The photo clearly depicts ships under attack by B-17s.

Cheers and all,
edward ohare
2006-02-09 16:29:20 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 08 Feb 2006 14:12:53 -0500, Bill Shatzer
Post by Bill Shatzer
Post by edward ohare
Yea, most likely dodging the attacks of torpedo planes and dive
bombers. So nice the USAAF showed up to take the pictures!
No, notice the bomb explosion patterns on either side of the
carrier. The pattern of six distinct explosions in a row
to the port side of the carrier are a distinctive signature of
a B-17 bomb pattern. The number of explosions in the other two
patterns is a bit less easy to ascertain but there are clearly
multiple explosions and they are clearly in a line.
On second look... you're right! <G>

(They are certainly explosions from B17 bomb drops because they're all
in a line and they are **far** from the target.)
Post by Bill Shatzer
The photo clearly depicts ships under attack by B-17s.
Yes, it does. I stand corrected.
Post by Bill Shatzer
Cheers and all,
And all. <G>
Dave Smith
2006-02-10 16:21:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by edward ohare
(They are certainly explosions from B17 bomb drops because they're all
in a line and they are **far** from the target.)
Far from the target because the ship took some evasive action. Swing that
ship over to a straight line from it's course before the last turn to port
and it probably would not have been a miss.
Post by edward ohare
Post by Bill Shatzer
The photo clearly depicts ships under attack by B-17s.
Yes, it does. I stand corrected.
Post by Bill Shatzer
Cheers and all,
And all. <G>
Brad Meyer
2006-02-11 06:12:41 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 10 Feb 2006 11:21:00 -0500, Dave Smith
Post by Dave Smith
Post by edward ohare
(They are certainly explosions from B17 bomb drops because they're all
in a line and they are **far** from the target.)
Far from the target because the ship took some evasive action. Swing that
ship over to a straight line from it's course before the last turn to port
and it probably would not have been a miss.
Come to think of it, one could think of a squadron divebomber attack
as a kind of vertical anvil attack similar to the horizontal kind used
by torpedo bombers. As each a/c commences its dive it has some chance
to correct based on how the target is maneuvering to avoid earlier
drops in the sequence of attack. No matter which way the target turns
someone later in the dive is going to get a good shot at it. IIRC most
of the (American) accounts of attacks have hits being scored starting
with the 3rd or 4th a/c in the attack stream.
Scott M. Kozel
2006-02-11 18:05:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brad Meyer
Come to think of it, one could think of a squadron divebomber attack
as a kind of vertical anvil attack similar to the horizontal kind used
by torpedo bombers. As each a/c commences its dive it has some chance
to correct based on how the target is maneuvering to avoid earlier
drops in the sequence of attack. No matter which way the target turns
someone later in the dive is going to get a good shot at it. IIRC most
of the (American) accounts of attacks have hits being scored starting
with the 3rd or 4th a/c in the attack stream.
Getting back to the B-17s, if they had enough of them, say about 20,
they could have devised a rectangular formation intended to box the
carrier in no matter which way it turned, there would be bombs landing
where it turned left, where it turned right, if it stayed straight, or
if it made a loop.

The original plan with the B-17 when it was built in 1935, was for
defensive purposes to protect the U.S. coast from attack by enemy
warships, to fly missions from the U.S. and to bomb enemy warships from
high altitude. Obviously it wasn't needed in that role and was mainly
used for bombing enemy land targets.

How many times did U.S. WWII heavy bombers ever try to bomb enemy
capital ships at sea from high altitude? Probably very few times, I
would surmise, did the opportunity ever present itself, or if it did,
there were much more suitable bombers available to do the job, and in
sufficient quantities, such as with the SBD dive bombers at Midway.
--
Scott M. Kozel Highway and Transportation History Websites
Virginia/Maryland/Washington, D.C. http://www.roadstothefuture.com
Philadelphia and Delaware Valley http://www.pennways.com
Brad Meyer
2006-02-12 06:48:53 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 11 Feb 2006 13:05:25 -0500, "Scott M. Kozel"
Post by Scott M. Kozel
Getting back to the B-17s, if they had enough of them, say about 20,
they could have devised a rectangular formation intended to box the
carrier in no matter which way it turned, there would be bombs landing
where it turned left, where it turned right, if it stayed straight, or
if it made a loop.
Yeah, but as soon as they started putting any thought into the process
(something that seems lacking in the prewar period) they came up with
skip bombing which would be even more effective. One of the advantages
the Americans enjoyed in being able to develop support so many types
of a/c is that they found many that were useful for missions not
envisaged when they were designed even if they turned out to be duds
at what they were designed for.
Joe Osman
2006-02-13 17:58:07 UTC
Permalink
Scott M. Kozel wrote:
<snip>
Post by Scott M. Kozel
The original plan with the B-17 when it was built in 1935, was for
defensive purposes to protect the U.S. coast from attack by enemy
warships, to fly missions from the U.S. and to bomb enemy warships from
high altitude. Obviously it wasn't needed in that role and was mainly
used for bombing enemy land targets.
<snip>

The USAAC wanted the B-17 for strategic bombing but would have no
chance at all of getting any if they told Congress of their intentions.
They had to cast it in a defensive mold to get funding. If the
defensive purpose was really true, they would have taken more care in
navigation, which was very poor in the USAAF at the beginning of the
war.
It certainly was needed in that role on December 7, 1941 when the USAAF
was responsible for the defense of the Hawaiian Islands from aerial
attack.


Joe
Scott M. Kozel
2006-02-14 00:58:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Osman
Post by Scott M. Kozel
The original plan with the B-17 when it was built in 1935, was for
defensive purposes to protect the U.S. coast from attack by enemy
warships, to fly missions from the U.S. and to bomb enemy warships from
high altitude. Obviously it wasn't needed in that role and was mainly
used for bombing enemy land targets.
The USAAC wanted the B-17 for strategic bombing but would have no
chance at all of getting any if they told Congress of their intentions.
They had to cast it in a defensive mold to get funding. If the
defensive purpose was really true, they would have taken more care in
navigation, which was very poor in the USAAF at the beginning of the
war.
It certainly was needed in that role on December 7, 1941 when the USAAF
was responsible for the defense of the Hawaiian Islands from aerial
attack.
B-17s properly handled and in sufficient quantities, would have been a
big help on December 7, 1941 at Oahu. They could have conducted
scouting to a much farther radius than that of Kido Butai bomber combat
radius, at a much higher speed than the PBY, much more defensible than a
PBY, and with several thousand pounds of bombs per B-17 in case they
found something that needed to be bombed.

The Japanese at that point in the war had very little ability to shoot
down a B-17 at high altitude, and the ones at Midway bombed with near
impunity. It is arguable that the limited space at Midway Island was
not effectively used by the B-17s, but in the Hawaiian Islands there
would have been ample airfield space for large B-17 squadrons and their
needed support facilities.

If the Japanese had taken Midway Island and then tried to conquer the
Hawaiian Islands, B-17 squadrons would have been worthwhile for that
campaign.

If they had enough of them, they could have devised a rectangular
formation intended to box a carrier in no matter which way it turned,
there would be bombs landing where it turned left, where it turned
right, if it stayed straight, or if it made a loop. It is hard to say
if they would have gotten very many hits, but it is a shame that at
least they didn't get to try on December 7, 1941, off the Hawaiian
Islands.
--
Scott M. Kozel Highway and Transportation History Websites
Virginia/Maryland/Washington, D.C. http://www.roadstothefuture.com
Philadelphia and Delaware Valley http://www.pennways.com
Brad Meyer
2006-02-14 16:15:12 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 13 Feb 2006 19:58:02 -0500, "Scott M. Kozel"
B-17s properly handled and in sufficient quantities . . .
Aye, there's the rub. What was deemed sufficient quantities by Martin
and Bellanger were many more then were in existence at the time.
Joe Osman
2006-02-14 17:25:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brad Meyer
On Mon, 13 Feb 2006 19:58:02 -0500, "Scott M. Kozel"
B-17s properly handled and in sufficient quantities . . .
Aye, there's the rub. What was deemed sufficient quantities by Martin
and Bellanger were many more then were in existence at the time.
In addition to the B-17s, the 69th Bombardment Squadron (Medium)
dropped torpedoes from B-26 Marauders at Midway. It says at
http://www.afa.org/magazine/valor/0486valor.asp that "Collins and his
crews were given sketchy instruction by the Navy in torpedo bombing,
the most nearly suicidal air tactic of the war,... According to Air
Force historians, the AAF never again sent torpedo-armed bombers into
combat." There is a picture of the crew and small description at
http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/midway/mid-4a.htm.


The USAAF also had a few SBDs (A-24s) which they used in the Louisiana
Manuevers and later in the Pacific.
http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/early_years/ey15b.htm
http://home.att.net/~jbaugher4/a24_6.html
http://www.afa.org/magazine/valor/1184valor.asp

Joe
Michael Emrys
2006-02-14 22:21:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Osman
The USAAF also had a few SBDs (A-24s) which they used in the Louisiana
Manuevers and later in the Pacific.
Did they actually use them in combat? All I know about them is that they
handed their machines over to the Australians at an early stage of 1942. So,
had they first used them in combat? And if so, did they ever attack any
shipping?

Michael
Bill Shatzer
2006-02-14 23:25:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Emrys
Post by Joe Osman
The USAAF also had a few SBDs (A-24s) which they used in the Louisiana
Manuevers and later in the Pacific.
Did they actually use them in combat? All I know about them is that they
handed their machines over to the Australians at an early stage of 1942. So,
had they first used them in combat? And if so, did they ever attack any
shipping?
Some brief use in the NEI and later over New Guinea operating out
of Port Morsby.

The Squadron/Signal "In Action" book notes; "The 91st [Bombardment
Squadron] deployed to the Dutch East Indies where they operated the A-24
'with a spectacular lack of success'. The 8th Bombardment Group,
operating A-24s from Australia did no better. On 29 July, 1942 seven
A-24s on a bombing mission to Buna were intercepted by Zeros, only one
returned. The A-24 Banshee was subsequently withdrawn from frontline
seervice."

Also, one brief note (without details) in another reference about an
attack on Japanese-occupied Kiska in the Aleutians by the 531st
fighter-bomber squadron in August, 1943.

I think that was pretty much it. SFAIK, they were used against land
targets only.

Cheers and all,
Michael Emrys
2006-02-15 05:26:32 UTC
Permalink
SFAIK, they were used against land targets only.
Thanks, Bill. That's consistent with what I recall and brings it into
sharper relief.

Michael
edward ohare
2006-02-11 18:02:42 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 10 Feb 2006 11:21:00 -0500, Dave Smith
Post by Dave Smith
Post by edward ohare
(They are certainly explosions from B17 bomb drops because they're all
in a line and they are **far** from the target.)
Far from the target because the ship took some evasive action. Swing that
ship over to a straight line from it's course before the last turn to port
and it probably would not have been a miss.
Entirely speculative and without basis. You cannot estimate from a
single photograph where the ship would be at the time the bombs it.
You don't know its speed.

If you had multiple photographs you still cannot know without knowing
the time lapse between photographs. As stated above, this is entirely
speculative and without basis.

Getting back to the general issue of bombing of this type, the 509th
Composite Group was composed of the best USAAF personnel available.
Their training included attempt to consistently place a bomb within a
circle with a radius of 700 feet. After training they were successful
at doing this most of the time. The area of this circle is 1,538,600
square feet.

The information I have on Akagi is length 763 feet and beam 92 feet.
Ignoring taper at the bow and stern, we have 70,196 square feet. The
best of the best the USAAF had, the 509th, after extensive training
was effective at hitting a target of 1,538,600 square feet, and what
is being alleged here is that lesser skilled people were effective
against a target 1/20 the size and which, on top of that, was moving.

A little resources contrast, B17 versus SBD.

In terms of personnel, for the cost of personnel for one B17 you could
provide personnel for 5 SBDs or 10 F2As

In terms of engines, for the cost of one B17 you could have 4 SBDs or
4 F2As.

In terms of weight, for the cost of one B17 you could have 5 SBDs or 5
F2As.

And space. The Midway airfield was packed to capacity. In the space
consumed by 19 B17s, you could have perhaps 50 SBDs.

Taking the low number here for the number of single engine aircraft
which could have been at Midway instead of the 19 B17s, which is 50,
what do you think would have happened had there had been 20 additional
F2As and 30 additional SBDs at Midway instead of the 19 B17s, and
they were used to strike the IJN CVs? A reasonable conclusion is no
attacks on Yorktown.

Consider an extreme situation: no USN CVs and no USMC air on Midway.
Pack the atoll with B17s as its sole defense. Well, its been stated
B17s contributed by delaying the launching of IJN strikes, and that,
in essense, their bombing attacks functions as fighter sweeps, and so
let's ask if that by itself would have been sufficient defense of
Midway. Of course not.
David Thornley
2006-02-14 13:51:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brad Meyer
On Fri, 10 Feb 2006 11:21:00 -0500, Dave Smith
Post by Dave Smith
Post by edward ohare
(They are certainly explosions from B17 bomb drops because they're all
in a line and they are **far** from the target.)
Far from the target because the ship took some evasive action. Swing that
ship over to a straight line from it's course before the last turn to port
and it probably would not have been a miss.
Entirely speculative and without basis. You cannot estimate from a
single photograph where the ship would be at the time the bombs it.
You don't know its speed.
This isn't the right way to argue your point.

You are claiming that B-17s were totally ineffective, whereas
most of the rest of us are claiming that they were totally
ineffective against maneuvering ships (although could possibly
have been made effective).

There is evidence that they were potentially effective. Heck,
when they attacked Tanikaze, they got bombs on both sides of
the ship that splashed the superstructure. There's no reason
why one of those bombs couldn't have hit.

Since you're making a claim here, refusing to consider any
evidence that isn't absolutely watertight is the wrong thing
to do. I could similarly ask you for watertight evidence that
B-17s were ineffective, and claim that they just got unlucky.
Post by Brad Meyer
If you had multiple photographs you still cannot know without knowing
the time lapse between photographs. As stated above, this is entirely
speculative and without basis.
No, it's well-founded. The wake is there to show how the ship
moved, and we can mentally back the ship up to where it was
when the wake curved away, then extend it straight and slightly
farther (ships lose speed with hard turns). In the picture I'm
thinking of, that puts the ship roughly where the bombs are.
Post by Brad Meyer
A little resources contrast, B17 versus SBD.
A little more contrast: the Midway-based bombers did not in general
come back, with the exception of the B-17. Sending bombers that
come back is prima facie more economical than sending out bombers
that don't.
Post by Brad Meyer
In terms of personnel, for the cost of personnel for one B17 you could
provide personnel for 5 SBDs or 10 F2As
Wrong. The B-17 would have two pilots, as opposed to five or ten
for the rest. Pilots were expensive to train.
Post by Brad Meyer
In terms of engines, for the cost of one B17 you could have 4 SBDs or
4 F2As.
I don't have figures for cost of naval aircraft, but the figures
I've got for Army aircraft show that the B-17 was about four times
the cost of the cheapest fighters. I presume the SBDs would have
been more expensive.
Post by Brad Meyer
Taking the low number here for the number of single engine aircraft
which could have been at Midway instead of the 19 B17s, which is 50,
what do you think would have happened had there had been 20 additional
F2As and 30 additional SBDs at Midway instead of the 19 B17s, and
they were used to strike the IJN CVs? A reasonable conclusion is no
attacks on Yorktown.
Depends on the pilots. The Midway-based SBDs were ineffectual
because of pilot quality. The aircraft itself was quite capable,
as shown by the results the carrier-based Dauntlesses got, but
unless Midway got much better-trained dive bomber pilots it
would not have mattered how many dive bombers they had.

--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Bill Shatzer
2006-02-14 19:52:48 UTC
Permalink
-snips-
Post by David Thornley
Post by edward ohare
In terms of engines, for the cost of one B17 you could have 4 SBDs or
4 F2As.
I don't have figures for cost of naval aircraft, but the figures
I've got for Army aircraft show that the B-17 was about four times
the cost of the cheapest fighters. I presume the SBDs would have
been more expensive.
I've one source which gives the contract price for the USAAF
A-24s worked out as $38,293 each. Presumably the cost of the Navy
SBD-3s would be essentially the same - the additional cost of the tail
hook and the different tail wheel wouldn't have been all that great -
which were, SFAIK, the only differences between the A-24s and the
SBD-3s.

I don't have the contract price for B-17s. As you do, perhaps
you could plug my number in and calculate just how many SBDs
(or A-24s) might be purchased for the cost of one B-17?

Recognizing of course that "contract" price did not usually
include government furnished equipment such as radios and
guns and that a cost comparsion which doesn't those items will
be less than 100% accurate.

It should be close enough for the purposes of this thread however.

-snip-

Cheers and all,
mike
2006-02-14 23:06:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Shatzer
Post by David Thornley
I don't have figures for cost of naval aircraft, but the figures
I've got for Army aircraft show that the B-17 was about four times
the cost of the cheapest fighters. I presume the SBDs would have
been more expensive.
I've one source which gives the contract price for the USAAF
A-24s worked out as $38,293 each. Presumably the cost of the Navy
SBD-3s would be essentially the same - the additional cost of the tail
hook and the different tail wheel wouldn't have been all that great -
which were, SFAIK, the only differences between the A-24s and the
SBD-3s.
I don't have the contract price for B-17s. As you do, perhaps
you could plug my number in and calculate just how many SBDs
(or A-24s) might be purchased for the cost of one B-17?
One figure I seen for 1939 era B-17 was just over $300,000
less GSE, of which 4 expensive turbos were a part, IIRC

IMO B-17 was near worthless in the Pacific, and the B-24
only slightly better due to its better range.

Now had the Navy had a version of the Boeing like the later
PB4Y-2 Privateer, with no turbos, but rated for torpedoes,
4 engines bombers been of some use at Midway

**
mike
**
Michael Emrys
2006-02-15 05:18:36 UTC
Permalink
IMO B-17 was near worthless in the Pacific, and the B-24 only slightly better
due to its better range.
Now had the Navy had a version of the Boeing like the later PB4Y-2 Privateer,
with no turbos, but rated for torpedoes, 4 engines bombers been of some use at
Midway
Multi-engined bombers were useful in a number of ways in the Pacific even
before it became possible to reach the Japanese home islands, but not nearly
so much as in Europe.

They could be used for search because of their long range. They could be
used against enemy bases because of range and payload. They might have been
used against the refineries of NEI, but only were a very few times.

But they were almost useless against shipping targets unless those targets
were hove to or moored/anchored. Single and twin engined planes were better
due to their greater maneuverability. And there was another factor. Ships,
at least warships, had by midwar possibly the heaviest and most concentrated
AA to be found. It was pretty inevitable that in attacking such heavily
defended targets that you would lose planes and crews. Better to lose
smaller, cheaper planes with smaller crews.

Michael
edward ohare
2006-02-15 16:23:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Thornley
This isn't the right way to argue your point.
You are claiming that B-17s were totally ineffective, whereas
most of the rest of us are claiming that they were totally
ineffective against maneuvering ships (although could possibly
have been made effective).
I haven't made myself clear. That's my fault. Here, let me try this.

B17s, in comparative terms, had very low effectiveness against ships.
B17s, in comparative terms, were very high consumers of resources of
all kinds.

Now, it can also be said that unescorted USN torpedo bombers were
comparatively ineffective against ships during the early war period...
in fact, at Midway, equally ineffective. But torpedo bomber
performance could be improved (and did) by providing escort and
effective torpedos. B17 performance could not be substantially
improved by any available method.
Post by David Thornley
A little more contrast: the Midway-based bombers did not in general
come back, with the exception of the B-17. Sending bombers that
come back is prima facie more economical than sending out bombers
that don't.
Yet we have the same sorts of aircraft launched from CVs that were
successful, and most of the dive bomber losses were operational, not
combat. Tactical errors were the primary cause of the loss of USN and
USMC aircraft. They were not due to lack of capability of the
aircraft.

However, both the high survivability and low effectiveness of the B17s
were due to the capability of the aircraft.
David Thornley
2006-02-16 13:18:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by edward ohare
I haven't made myself clear. That's my fault. Here, let me try this.
B17s, in comparative terms, had very low effectiveness against ships.
B17s, in comparative terms, were very high consumers of resources of
all kinds.
Generally, yes.
Post by edward ohare
Now, it can also be said that unescorted USN torpedo bombers were
comparatively ineffective against ships during the early war period...
in fact, at Midway, equally ineffective. But torpedo bomber
performance could be improved (and did) by providing escort and
effective torpedos. B17 performance could not be substantially
improved by any available method.
Again, correct.

However, when we're looking at Midway in particular, there are two
things to consider.

First, no US aircraft were effective at sinking enemy ships aside
from the carrier-based Dauntlesses, and most US aircraft, including
the B-17s, were effective at forcing enemy responses, such as
maneuvering, processing CAP, and in general interfering with
getting another strike organized.

Second, the B-17s could have been useful against stopped enemy
ships, such as unloading transports.
Post by edward ohare
Post by David Thornley
A little more contrast: the Midway-based bombers did not in general
come back, with the exception of the B-17. Sending bombers that
come back is prima facie more economical than sending out bombers
that don't.
Yet we have the same sorts of aircraft launched from CVs that were
successful, and most of the dive bomber losses were operational, not
combat. Tactical errors were the primary cause of the loss of USN and
USMC aircraft. They were not due to lack of capability of the
aircraft.
The glib answer here is that aircraft don't sink enemy ships, people
sink enemy ships. Clearly, if the Midway-based Dauntlesses had had
pilots as well-trained as the ones on the carriers, they could have
been far more effective. However, the low level of training meant
that they were ineffective and suffered horrible casualties.

If the B-17s on the island had been replaced by SBDs, without
raising the level of training, that would have been a net loss
for the US. If the SBD aircrew had good training, that would
have been a different story.
Post by edward ohare
However, both the high survivability and low effectiveness of the B17s
were due to the capability of the aircraft.
Right - but at Midway the B-17s did as well as the Midway-based
aircraft and the carrier-based TBDs, at far less overall expense.

This is probably the only time in the Pacific War where they
were more cost-effective than lighter bombers at attacking
ships. In other circumstances, either the lighter bombers
actually hit the enemy ships, or it wasn't as important to keep
the enemy busy dodging. (This was not part of the Midway
battle plan, but rather just the way the battle worked out.)


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Michael Emrys
2006-02-08 21:54:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by edward ohare
Yea, most likely dodging the attacks of torpedo planes and dive
bombers. So nice the USAAF showed up to take the pictures!
The B-17 attacks were about an hour to two hours before the torpedo attacks
and two hours before the divebomb attack. There were a few assorted attacks
both earlier and after the B-17 attack by land based planes. But by the time
that the carrier based planes arrived, the B-17s had long since cleared the
scene. This is from the chronology included in _Miracle at Midway_, Prange
et al.

Michael
Cub Driver
2006-01-31 16:29:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Taki Kogoma
The invasion was simply the bait to lure PACFLT into "The Decisive
Battle".
My understanding is that the attempt to take Midway was part of a
three-prong strategy to roll back the potential airfields from which
bombers could reach the Empire, prompted by the Doolittle Raid in
April:

1) Ichi-go to seize the Chinese airfields

2) Capture of Attu and Kiska in the Aluetians

3) Capture of Midway

I can no longer cite the source, but I read this in one of the
Japanese Monograph series written by demobbed Japanese officers in the
late 1940s and early 1950s and published by the U.S. Army of
occupation. It would probably have been the monograph covering
Japanese army air operations in China.




-- all the best, Dan Ford

email: usenet AT danford DOT net

Warbird's Forum: www.warbirdforum.com
Piper Cub Forum: www.pipercubforum.com
In Search of Lost Time: www.readingproust.com
l***@netscape.net
2006-01-30 20:59:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
After they lost all four of the aircraft carriers in their task force
(June 1942), the Japanese navy cancelled their assault on Midway, for
fear of what US aircraft could do to their battleships and transports.
But might the risks have been worthwhile?
Not really. The entire point of the Midway operation was to take
Midway, and trick the USN to send their carriers into an IJN trap.
Once it became obvious who got trapped, Yamamoto had these options:

1) Send the battleships chasing after the USN fleet
2) Immediatly cancel the operation
3) Stick around until dusk and try to trap any USN force persuing them

1) was not going to work. Spruance's carrier aircraft could spot the
IJN fleet coming, and the USN ships were faster than the IJN
battleships.

2) would have cut losses, but abandoned all hopes of inflicting some
measure of damage against the USN

3) promised half a chance to turn the tide, but Spruance didn't take
the bait, so that didn't work.
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
My impression is that the
US carrier aircraft had also endured significant losses, and many of
them (notably the torpedo bombers) were useless anyways.
The USN torpedo bombers were easy targets for Japanese fighters. With
IJN air cover gone, they would be considerably more effective.
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
The
Japanese surface forces were ample to blast away US forces on Midway
Atoll, converting it into an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" for the
Japanese. (Did they have a transport with land-based aircraft
suitable for unloading?)
Trying to land transports in the face of enemy air supremacy would be a
rather interesting exercise.

Still, even supposing the IJN do successfully invade Midway, what do
they do next? The IJN could not supply Guadalcanal effectively, and
Midway is a lot further away (not to mention a lot closer to USN
bases). The US could isolate and retake Midway rather easily.
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
Perhaps, however, the Japanese withdrew because they feared opposing
US carrier strength was larger than in reality.
Actually, the IJN believed they had knocked out two USN carriers, IIRC,
and their sub reported (accurately, this time) sinking another. They
withdrew because they had no more reason to stay there.
Michael Emrys
2006-01-30 21:08:26 UTC
Permalink
My impression is that the US carrier aircraft had also endured significant
losses, and many of them (notably the torpedo bombers) were useless anyways.
The USN torpedo bombers were easy targets for Japanese fighters. With IJN air
cover gone, they would be considerably more effective.
Albeit that with the exception of the ones on the Saratoga, which was not
yet in range, most of the torpedo bombers had already been destroyed and
their crews killed.

Michael
Timothy J. Lee
2006-01-30 23:52:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
The
Japanese surface forces were ample to blast away US forces on Midway
Atoll, converting it into an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" for the
Japanese. (Did they have a transport with land-based aircraft
suitable for unloading?)
The airplanes that were to be based on Midway after capture were
in the Akagi, Kaga, Soryu, and Hiryu and were to be flown to Midway
after it was captured. Since these planes had gone down with the
carriers, the only source of airplanes for a captured Midway would
have been the air groups from the two or four CVLs and seaplanes
from BBs, CAs, and CLs.

Given the great distance of Midway from Japan, and its proximity
to a major US base (Hawaii), Japan holding onto it even if an
invasion were successful would be a rather difficult thing to do.
--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Timothy J. Lee
Unsolicited bulk or commercial email is not welcome.
No warranty of any kind is provided with this message.
David Thornley
2006-01-31 13:37:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
After they lost all four of the aircraft carriers in their task force
(June 1942), the Japanese navy cancelled their assault on Midway, for
fear of what US aircraft could do to their battleships and transports.
But might the risks have been worthwhile?
That assumes that capturing Midway would have been worthwhile at
all. Assuming the Japanese had managed to capture it (and that would
have been very difficult), what would they have done with it?
It could have been bombed at will from US bases, could not have
defended itself, and could not have been supplied. Nimitz could
have retaken it almost at will.

I really don't know what Yamamoto wanted with the island, so I
don't know how determined he was to take it. He clearly was
dissuaded.

My impression is that the
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
US carrier aircraft had also endured significant losses, and many of
them (notably the torpedo bombers) were useless anyways.
The torpedo bombers were mostly gone, but there were dozens of
dive bombers left, and those were the most effective US bombers.

Had the fighting lasted until the 8th, USS Saratoga would have
arrived on scene, carrying her own aircraft and lots of replacement
aircraft.

The
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
Japanese surface forces were ample to blast away US forces on Midway
Atoll,
That's very questionable. Midway was prepared for action, and
as it turned out heavy ships are not normally all that good at
shore bombardment (and light ships could be shot up from
Midway's shore batteries).

Nor would it take too many machine guns to slaughter the Japanese
soldiers wading in the lagoon.

converting it into an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" for the
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
Japanese. (Did they have a transport with land-based aircraft
suitable for unloading?)
No, not really. The Japanese had no good way of supplying the
island with aircraft.
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
Perhaps, however, the Japanese withdrew because they feared opposing
US carrier strength was larger than in reality.
There were two US carriers, with pretty much full strength dive bombers
and fighters. That was enough to dominate the air, even if Yamamoto
had called in other carriers, and enough to devastate transports.


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Dave Smith
2006-01-31 16:33:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Thornley
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
But might the risks have been worthwhile?
That assumes that capturing Midway would have been worthwhile at
all. Assuming the Japanese had managed to capture it (and that would
have been very difficult), what would they have done with it?
It could have been bombed at will from US bases, could not have
defended itself, and could not have been supplied. Nimitz could
have retaken it almost at will.
I really don't know what Yamamoto wanted with the island, so I
don't know how determined he was to take it. He clearly was
dissuaded.
It was a valuable base for the US since it was used for air patrols of the
Pacific. It was a valuable asset for them if for no other reason than to
deny it to the US.
Post by David Thornley
My impression is that the
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
US carrier aircraft had also endured significant losses, and many of
them (notably the torpedo bombers) were useless anyways.
The torpedo bombers were mostly gone, but there were dozens of
dive bombers left, and those were the most effective US bombers.
They certainly turned out to be more effective than the torpedo planes
which were down below diverting AA fire and CAP. It would be hard to spot
incoming planes at altitude when the sky is full of AA shells bursting.
Brad Meyer
2006-01-31 23:05:14 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 31 Jan 2006 11:33:30 -0500, Dave Smith
Post by Dave Smith
They certainly turned out to be more effective than the torpedo planes
which were down below diverting AA fire and CAP. It would be hard to spot
incoming planes at altitude when the sky is full of AA shells bursting.
It is also worth noting that, in the event of an invasion, those TBD's
dropping frags or small bombs over crowded invasion beaches would have
been much more effective then they proved to be with torpedos against
ships. The Japanese had already been thrown back twice when making
opposed amphibious invasions and had a good handle on control of the
air as a basic prerequisite to success.
David Thornley
2006-02-03 14:56:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brad Meyer
On Tue, 31 Jan 2006 11:33:30 -0500, Dave Smith
It is also worth noting that, in the event of an invasion, those TBD's
dropping frags or small bombs over crowded invasion beaches would have
been much more effective then they proved to be with torpedos against
ships.
There were darn few TBDs available, most having been shot down on
the 4th. Saratoga was going to arrive on the 8th, but she was
carrying Avengers.

The Japanese had already been thrown back twice when making
Post by Brad Meyer
opposed amphibious invasions and had a good handle on control of the
air as a basic prerequisite to success.
The Japanese never demonstrated great ability at opposed invasions,
unlike the Western Allies. (The Western Allies starting in 1943,
actually - neither the Guadalcanal nor Torch landings would have
succeeded against a strong and determined defense.) They were
much better at finding a lightly defended or undefended spot,
getting ashore, and operating from there. That wouldn't be
an option at Midway.



--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Brad Meyer
2006-02-03 22:48:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by David Thornley
Post by Brad Meyer
On Tue, 31 Jan 2006 11:33:30 -0500, Dave Smith
It is also worth noting that, in the event of an invasion, those TBD's
dropping frags or small bombs over crowded invasion beaches would have
been much more effective then they proved to be with torpedos against
ships.
There were darn few TBDs available, most having been shot down on
the 4th.
Few is not the same as none. They flew a TBD strike mission on the 5th
so there were at least a few available. FWIW, there is a post battle
picture of the number 7 TBD from each of the three squadrons parked
side by side by side. All three either susvived or were not flown
during the battle.
Post by David Thornley
The Japanese had already been thrown back twice when making
Post by Brad Meyer
opposed amphibious invasions and had a good handle on control of the
air as a basic prerequisite to success.
The Japanese never demonstrated great ability at opposed invasions . . .
Exactly!! Essentially, though, they had learned that they could not
hope to storm defended beaches without overwhelming force, including
control of the air. FWIW I don't think the IJN could have taken Midway
even if they had won the carrier battle.
Timothy J. Lee
2006-02-05 21:34:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brad Meyer
Few is not the same as none. They flew a TBD strike mission on the 5th
so there were at least a few available.
Six TBDs returned after the morning strikes against the IJN carriers.
Three were repaired enough to make a later strike against some IJN
cruisers, though they did not attack, having been ordered to not
attack if they encountered any opposition (which they did in the form
of anti-aircraft gunfire).
Post by Brad Meyer
FWIW, there is a post battle
picture of the number 7 TBD from each of the three squadrons parked
side by side by side. All three either susvived or were not flown
during the battle.
Since all of VT8's planes that attacked the IJN carriers were shot
down, VT8's number 7 plane must not have flown that strike.
--
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Timothy J. Lee
Unsolicited bulk or commercial email is not welcome.
No warranty of any kind is provided with this message.
R Leonard
2006-02-06 03:06:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Timothy J. Lee
Since all of VT8's planes that attacked the IJN carriers were shot
down, VT8's number 7 plane must not have flown that strike.
and all the VT-3 TBDs were lost as well, the only two planes surviving
the squadron's attack on the Kido Butai ditched on their return to
TF-17, so there wasn't a Yorktown based TBD available for a photo-op
either. Perhaps there was just an overly enthusiastic captioneer
somewhere.

Rich
Brad Meyer
2006-02-06 16:16:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by R Leonard
Post by Timothy J. Lee
Since all of VT8's planes that attacked the IJN carriers were shot
down, VT8's number 7 plane must not have flown that strike.
and all the VT-3 TBDs were lost as well, the only two planes surviving
the squadron's attack on the Kido Butai ditched on their return to
TF-17, so there wasn't a Yorktown based TBD available for a photo-op
either. Perhaps there was just an overly enthusiastic captioneer
somewhere.
VT 3-7 was not in flyable condition the day of the battle. VT 8-7 did
not even go aboard Hornet and was ar Ford Is the day of the battle. I
don't know about the third #7 but I suspect it was something along the
same line.
R Leonard
2006-02-06 22:17:00 UTC
Permalink
From what I can find 3-T-7, Bu No 0341, was lost in action on 6-4-42.
If it was, as you say, not in a flyable condition on the day of the
battle and was aboard Yorktown, then it went down with the ship or got
tossed overboard shortly beforehand and could not have been available
for a photo-op. There were no other launches of TBDs from Yorktown
other than the VT-3 strike. There were TBDs remaining aboard Yorktown,
but I believe they belonged to VT-5 and were never intended for use by
VT-3.

I suppose, though, if a plane was left behind at Pearl Harbor then it
was not really a survivor of the battle, is it? If that were true then
the remaining TBFs of the VT-8 detachment become survivors, too. Since
VT-5 and VS-5 were Yorktown squadrons, then they were survivors as
well? Afterall, they did come out on Saratoga to reinforce Enterprise
and Hornet.

Rich
R Leonard
2006-02-07 21:27:58 UTC
Permalink
It also looks like 8-T-7, Bu No 0284, was also lost on 6-4-42 (Ens John
P. Gray and Max A. Calkins, ARM3c). From what I can find, 15 of the
16 VT-8 TBDs were aboard Hornet. The missing one was 8-T-1, Bu No
0304, which was at Pearl Harbor, having been cracked up in a landing
some time before the Midway deployment and was finally stricken on
1-31-44.

6-T-7, Bu No 0294 (Lieut (jg) Lloyd Thomas and Harold F Littlefield,
ARM2c) was also lost in action on 6-4-42. The three flyable VT-6 TBDs
at the end of the day on 6-4-42 were 6-T-3, Bu No 0279; 6-T-4, Bu No
0350; and 6-T-5, Bu No 0368. A fourth VT-6 TBD (6-T-11 Bu No 0338)
also survived the battle but was too damaged for any immediate service
in the following days. 0279 was eventually stricken on 10-12-43; 0350,
on or about 2-14-43; 0368 on 10-12-43; and 0338, also on 10-12-43.

With the previously mentioned 3-T-7 (Bu No 0341) flown by Lieut Patrick
H. Hart, XO of VT-3, with John R. Cole, ARM1c, in the back seat also
lost in the battle, a photo op of surviving T-7s from Midway becomes
increasingly unlikely.

Rich
Joe Osman
2006-02-06 18:54:15 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
The Japanese never demonstrated great ability at opposed invasions,
unlike the Western Allies. (The Western Allies starting in 1943,
actually - neither the Guadalcanal nor Torch landings would have
succeeded against a strong and determined defense.) They were
much better at finding a lightly defended or undefended spot,
getting ashore, and operating from there. That wouldn't be
an option at Midway.
The Japanese invasion that began the shooting war in the Pacific
at Koto Baru in Malaya was strongly opposed by an Indian Dogra regiment
and the RAF managed to hit one of their troopships. The Japanese landed
70 minutes before the bombs started dropping at Pearl Harbor. The
Japanese did their homework beforehand. They made a small series of
developmental landings and than a large practise landing on the island
of Hainan before the actual landings in Malaya and Thailand. Their
landings on the island of Singapore, Wake, Ambon and Corregidor and the
coast of Brunei were opposed also. There were about 1400 Australians at
Rabaul when they landed there.
Their abilities, landing craft designs and landing craft carrier
ship in 1937 at Shanghai surprised the West and led the Americans to
put bow doors on their landing craft and the British to form the
Inter-Services Training and Development Centre to develop amphibious
doctrine and landing craft.
I would bet that on December 7, 1941 the Japanese had more landing
craft than anyone else in the world. Look at how many places they
landed and took over in that brief period at the start of the war. They
captured Malaya, Singapore, Thailand, the Dutch East Indies, the
Phillipines, the Bismarcks, the Gilberts, the Northern Solomons,
Northern New Guinea and Attu and Kiska in the Aleutians. That's an
awful lot of territory.
I don't understand why you think that the Guadalcanal landing
would not have succeeded against a strong and determined defense. The
Marines landed simultaneously on Tulagi and faced very strong
opposition, ending up with 20% casualties among the Paramarines. The
subsequent landings on Gavutu and Tanambogo were also strongly opposed.
Yet the Marines prevailed.

Joe
Andrew Clark
2006-02-07 15:43:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Osman
Their abilities, landing craft designs and landing craft carrier
ship in 1937 at Shanghai surprised the West and led the Americans to
put bow doors on their landing craft and the British to form the
Inter-Services Training and Development Centre to develop amphibious
doctrine and landing craft.
Development of modern British amphibious doctrine and training started in
1935, when the Royal Naval Staff College was commissioned by the general
staff to examine the issues prior to the establishment of an experimental RN
unit. Their study, of February 1936, led to the formation of an experimental
unit later that year. From that unit grew the Inter-Services Training and
Development Centre, so named in 1938 but actually existing much earlier.

The Japanese demonstrations of 1937 certainly hurried the process along, as
did Hitler in Munich in 1936, but the wagon was already rolling.
Joe Osman
2006-02-09 18:12:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clark
Post by Joe Osman
Their abilities, landing craft designs and landing craft carrier
ship in 1937 at Shanghai surprised the West and led the Americans to
put bow doors on their landing craft and the British to form the
Inter-Services Training and Development Centre to develop amphibious
doctrine and landing craft.
Development of modern British amphibious doctrine and training started in
1935, when the Royal Naval Staff College was commissioned by the general
staff to examine the issues prior to the establishment of an experimental RN
unit. Their study, of February 1936, led to the formation of an experimental
unit later that year. From that unit grew the Inter-Services Training and
Development Centre, so named in 1938 but actually existing much earlier.
The Japanese demonstrations of 1937 certainly hurried the process along, as
did Hitler in Munich in 1936, but the wagon was already rolling.
Thanks for setting me straight Andrew. I was repeating something I'd
read on an American site. I'd like to learn more about the development
of British amphibious doctrine prewar. but there isn't much to read and
the articles and books I've been able to find are written by Americans.

One thing I wonder about is the dismantling of the Royal Marines
Division in 1942 They added the infantry battalions to Combined
Operations as Commandos and the Marines in support functions were made
landing craft crew.


Joe
Andrew Clark
2006-02-09 19:50:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Osman
One thing I wonder about is the dismantling of the Royal Marines
Division in 1942 They added the infantry battalions to Combined
Operations as Commandos and the Marines in support functions were made
landing craft crew.
Ah, the dread hand of Wikipedea. The entry is wrong.

In June 1943 COSSAC (Gen Morgan, Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied
Commander, not yet appointed) worked out that the British component of the
Overlord force was still short of 9,000 men to crew landing craft. It was
accordingly decided to disband the Royal Marine Division as a division,
which had been part of the "British Expeditionary Force" since 1942, and
this happened in August 1943. The divisional troops thus released went to
support functions, including landing craft crews, while the RM brigades were
retained as independent units.
Stephen Graham
2006-02-09 21:56:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clark
Post by Joe Osman
One thing I wonder about is the dismantling of the Royal Marines
Division in 1942 They added the infantry battalions to Combined
Operations as Commandos and the Marines in support functions were made
landing craft crew.
Ah, the dread hand of Wikipedea. The entry is wrong.
WHile not extensive, it appears to be reasonably correct, particularly
as regards the fate of the component units of the RM Division.
Post by Andrew Clark
In June 1943 COSSAC (Gen Morgan, Chief of Staff to the Supreme Allied
Commander, not yet appointed) worked out that the British component of the
Overlord force was still short of 9,000 men to crew landing craft. It was
accordingly decided to disband the Royal Marine Division as a division,
which had been part of the "British Expeditionary Force" since 1942, and
this happened in August 1943. The divisional troops thus released went to
support functions, including landing craft crews, while the RM brigades were
retained as independent units.
I would suggest checking this summary history of Royal Marine units
during World War II:

http://www.royalmarinesmuseum.co.uk/RM%20Unit%20Histories%201919-1997.doc

In particular:

101 RM Brigade became 4 Special Service Brigade
102 RM Brigade became 3 Special Service Brigade
103 RM Brigade was disbanded
104 RM Brigade was absorbed by RM Training Group

1 RM Battalion became 42 RM Commando
2 RM Battalion became 43 RM Commando
3 RM Battalion became 44 RM Commando
5 RM Battalion became 45 RM Commando
7 RM Battalion became 48 RM Commando
8 RM Battalion was disbanded but personnel went to 41 RM Commando
9 RM Battalion became 46 RM Commando
10 RM Battalion became 47 RM Commando

(These are all for values of "became" which indicates that most
personnel from the first unit wound up in the second unit and there was
some degree of unit continuity. There was substantial reorganization
involved, however.)

Perhaps you're confused by the existence of 116 and 117 RM Brigades in
1944-5, which were formed largely from the specialized amphibious
assault support units when they were deemed surplus to on-going
operations following the Summer of 1944.
Andrew Clark
2006-02-16 11:46:17 UTC
Permalink
I would suggest checking this summary history of Royal Marine units during
101 RM Brigade became 4 Special Service Brigade
102 RM Brigade became 3 Special Service Brigade
103 RM Brigade was disbanded
104 RM Brigade was absorbed by RM Training Group
I don't think there is that much practical difference between our respective
statements, although I ought for strict accuracy to have said: "The
divisional troops thus released went to support functions, including landing
craft crews, while the *operational* RM brigades were retained as
independent units". 103 RM Brigade was never more than a reserve and
training formation, and 104 was an actual training formation.

The main error that I was seeking to correct was the timing of the
disbandment of the RM division, which Wikipedea gives as 1942 and which was
actually 1943.
Joe Osman
2006-02-11 18:06:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Clark
Post by Joe Osman
One thing I wonder about is the dismantling of the Royal Marines
Division in 1942 They added the infantry battalions to Combined
Operations as Commandos and the Marines in support functions were made
landing craft crew.
Ah, the dread hand of Wikipedea. The entry is wrong.
Which entry are you talking about? I don't use Wikipedia as a
reference, as anyone can change it at will. I read that statement about
the Royal Marines Division several times before Wikipedia even started
existence.
For instance, it's mentioned in Donald F. Bittner, "Britannia's
sheathed sword: the
Royal Marines and amphibious warfare in the interwar years -a passive
response", Journ. Mil. Hist., Vol. 55 No. 3, July 1991, pp 345-364.

Joe
Brad Meyer
2006-02-10 16:22:05 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 09 Feb 2006 13:12:25 -0500, "Joe Osman"
Post by Joe Osman
One thing I wonder about is the dismantling of the Royal Marines
Division in 1942 They added the infantry battalions to Combined
Operations as Commandos and the Marines in support functions were made
landing craft crew.
Just a guess, ut I think it likely that by 1942 anyy future invasions
by British forces were either going to be commando sized or army
sized. They had no equivilent to the island hopping campaign waged by
the US in the Pacific. Dispersing all that amphib expertise amongst
the commdos probably represented the most efficient use of resources.
Joe Osman
2006-02-06 19:03:29 UTC
Permalink
David Thornley wrote:
<snip>
Post by David Thornley
That assumes that capturing Midway would have been worthwhile at
all. Assuming the Japanese had managed to capture it (and that would
have been very difficult), what would they have done with it?
It could have been bombed at will from US bases, could not have
defended itself, and could not have been supplied. Nimitz could
have retaken it almost at will.
I really don't know what Yamamoto wanted with the island, so I
don't know how determined he was to take it. He clearly was
dissuaded.
<snip>

According to John J. Stephan in his book "Hawaii under the Rising
Sun: Japan's Plans for Conquest after Pearl Harbor", University of
Hawaii Press, 1984, the Japanese wanted to use Midway as a start of
their "Eastern Operations" where they would then take Johnston and
Palmyra Islands before landing on the "Big Island" - the island of
Hawaii. They would use Hawaii as a base to keep the remnants of the US
Fleet bottled up in Pearl Harbor or force the US to return the fleet to
the west coast of the US.
I've read that the original Japanese plan was to take Fiji, Samoa,
and New Caledonia in Operation FS before the start of Eastern
Operations, but several factors may have led to the decision to move up
the Midway operation. First was Yamamoto's support for the Eastern
Operations, second was the success of the Western Operations (chasing
the Brits out of the Indian Ocean), third was the USS Hornet/USAAF
carrier attack on Japan proper and fourth was the delay in the initial
stages of Operation FS.
The first step in Operation FS was to take Port Moresby, but the
start of that part of the operation (Operation MO) was delayed by the
US carrier raid on Lae, which was where the Port Moresby invasion force
was assembling. The Port Moresby landing was defeated in the Battle of
the Coral Sea, partly because the Japanese were rushed by the
requirement that they return the carriers in time for the Midway
operation.

A website about the Eastern Operations is at
http://www.users.bigpond.com/pacificwar/Midway/ScopeofMidwayOp.html

A couple of websites about Operation FS and Coral Sea:
http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ajrp/remember.nsf/pages/NT00002FAA
http://www.users.bigpond.com/pacificwar/ CoralSea/CoralOverview.html


Joe
Brad Meyer
2006-02-07 16:20:12 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 06 Feb 2006 14:03:29 -0500, "Joe Osman"
Post by Joe Osman
According to John J. Stephan in his book "Hawaii under the Rising
Sun: Japan's Plans for Conquest after Pearl Harbor", University of
Hawaii Press, 1984, the Japanese wanted to use Midway as a start of
their "Eastern Operations" where they would then take Johnston and
Palmyra Islands before landing on the "Big Island" - the island of
Hawaii. They would use Hawaii as a base to keep the remnants of the US
Fleet bottled up in Pearl Harbor or force the US to return the fleet to
the west coast of the US.
An interesting book. What it doesn't mention is that these studies
were well and far beyond the capabilities of Japanese logistics and
virtually everyone in the IJN knew it. It is interesting to note that
the IJN would never again launch anything so ambitious in logistical
terms. They were stretched to the max to provide tankerage to operate
that many ships that far east. Sending an invasion fleet sufficient to
take Hawaii might just have been possible. Keeping it supplied would
not have been.
Walt
2006-02-06 17:47:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
After they lost all four of the aircraft carriers in their task force
(June 1942), the Japanese navy cancelled their assault on Midway, for
fear of what US aircraft could do to their battleships and transports.
But might the risks have been worthwhile? My impression is that the
US carrier aircraft had also endured significant losses, and many of
them (notably the torpedo bombers) were useless anyways. The
Japanese surface forces were ample to blast away US forces on Midway
Atoll, converting it into an "unsinkable aircraft carrier" for the
Japanese. (Did they have a transport with land-based aircraft
suitable for unloading?)
The Marines of the Sixth Defense Battalion on Midway saw themselves as
sacrificial lambs, destined to the same fate that attended the Marines
on Wake Island the previous December. What might not have been clear
to them was that the Japanese landing on Wake Island was wiped out to
the man. If the Japanese had attempted a landing on Midway, there
probably would have been a repetition of the previous debacle for the
Japanese.

If you watch the John Ford documentary on the Battle of Midway, the
Sixth Marine Defense Battalion colors are easy to make out in the
sequence with the marching Marines.

A link to an article on the defense of Wake:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/Wake/USMC-M-Wake-4.html


Walt
p***@aol.com
2006-02-07 19:52:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Walt
The Marines of the Sixth Defense Battalion on Midway saw themselves as
sacrificial lambs, destined to the same fate that attended the Marines
on Wake Island the previous December. What might not have been clear
to them was that the Japanese landing on Wake Island was wiped out to
the man. If the Japanese had attempted a landing on Midway, there
probably would have been a repetition of the previous debacle for the
Japanese.
The initial assault on Corregidor basically wiped out, too. Corregidor
being shaped like a tadpole, it was directed at the northern side of
the base of the tadpole's tail. As a man who was there working a
water-cooled .30 cal told me, "I killed a lot of Japs that day." The
landings were successful only after they switched to a relatively
undefended beach along the southern shore of the tail.
Walt
2006-02-07 21:48:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by p***@aol.com
The initial assault on Corregidor basically wiped out, too.
I was thinking about this. I don't know off hand of a single incident
where Japanese attacks dislodged American defenders in the whole course
of the war.

Maybe someone else does.

Walt
Joe Osman
2006-02-07 23:26:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Walt
Post by p***@aol.com
The initial assault on Corregidor basically wiped out, too.
I was thinking about this. I don't know off hand of a single incident
where Japanese attacks dislodged American defenders in the whole course
of the war.
Maybe someone else does.
Walt
Americans aren't supermen. They dislodged us from the Phillipines, Guam
and Wake Island. That's a lot of real estate. The first time Japanese
troops fought American-born US Army troops was at Layac in the
Phillipines and in that action two companies of the 31st Infantry broke
and ran.

But all in all the Americans did a better job than the French, British
(except in Burma and Hong Kong), Dutch and Australians against the
initial Japanese offensive. For example, the 1400 Australians at Rabaul
didn't kill very many Japanese at all. The 31st infantry later did a
good job of holding off the Japanese at "The ZigZag" so the rest of the
American and Philipino troops could get into Bataan.

Joe
Louis Capdeboscq
2006-02-14 14:19:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Osman
But all in all the Americans did a better job than the French, British
(except in Burma and Hong Kong), Dutch and Australians against the
initial Japanese offensive.
What ?

By mid-1942, at the time of the high-water mark of the Japanese advance,
100% of the French colonies in the Pacific were under French control,
which is better than can be said of the British, Dutch, Australians and
Americans. :-)

All right, most of these French colonies also had foreign (but nominally
friendly) garrisons but if that counts against them then the same holds
true of almost everyone else (were there foreign troops stationed in US
territory, I wonder ?).


LC
--
Remove "e" from address to reply
Brad Meyer
2006-02-14 16:28:50 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 14 Feb 2006 09:19:33 -0500, Louis Capdeboscq
Post by Louis Capdeboscq
Post by Joe Osman
But all in all the Americans did a better job than the French, British
(except in Burma and Hong Kong), Dutch and Australians against the
initial Japanese offensive.
What ?
By mid-1942, at the time of the high-water mark of the Japanese advance,
100% of the French colonies in the Pacific were under French control . . .
French indochina? IIRC it was the very first to go.
Michael Emrys
2006-02-14 21:46:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brad Meyer
French indochina? IIRC it was the very first to go.
Heh. I was sure someone would fall into that trap. Indochina was occupied
*prior* to the outbreak of hostilities. The OP that Louis was responding to
specified colonies taken *during* the initial Japanese offensive in the
*Pacific*.

Michael
Brad Meyer
2006-02-15 00:31:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Emrys
Post by Brad Meyer
French indochina? IIRC it was the very first to go.
Heh. I was sure someone would fall into that trap. Indochina was occupied
*prior* to the outbreak of hostilities. The OP that Louis was responding to
specified colonies taken *during* the initial Japanese offensive in the
*Pacific*.
Are you suggestiong that the move to Cam Rahn Bay was _not_ part of
the initial offensive in the Pacific? If so, I think you chose a
rather arbitrary point in time.
Michael Emrys
2006-02-15 05:25:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brad Meyer
Are you suggestiong that the move to Cam Rahn Bay was _not_ part of
the initial offensive in the Pacific? If so, I think you chose a
rather arbitrary point in time.
Perhaps somewhat arbitrary, but any dividing line is going to be arbitrary
and this one is at least defensible. You could, you know, date the onset of
war with Japan to 1931 when it began to stir up trouble with China or 1937
when it went big time there. But it didn't become a world war until they
outright attacked western forces and territories on December 7/8, 1941.

Michael
Brad Meyer
2006-02-15 16:31:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Emrys
Post by Brad Meyer
Are you suggestiong that the move to Cam Rahn Bay was _not_ part of
the initial offensive in the Pacific? If so, I think you chose a
rather arbitrary point in time.
Perhaps somewhat arbitrary, but any dividing line is going to be arbitrary
and this one is at least defensible.
No more or less so then any other. I think it typically American to
assume it wasn't really a war until _we_ were attacked.
Michael Emrys
2006-02-15 21:07:11 UTC
Permalink
I think it typically American to assume it wasn't really a war until _we_ were
attacked.
Except that we *weren't* the only ones attacked on December 7/8. That date
marks a distinct escalation of hostilities. If you wish to date the outset
of WW II to the beginning of Japanese operations against China, that's okay
with me; I've expended some thought down that avenue myself. But that's not
how most people, including most historians, count it.

Michael
David Thornley
2006-02-16 13:23:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Emrys
I think it typically American to assume it wasn't really a war until _we_ were
attacked.
Except that we *weren't* the only ones attacked on December 7/8. That date
marks a distinct escalation of hostilities. If you wish to date the outset
of WW II to the beginning of Japanese operations against China, that's okay
with me; I've expended some thought down that avenue myself. But that's not
how most people, including most historians, count it.
To muddy this further, the occupation of southern Indochina was
the beginning of the Japanese attack in the Pacific. It wasn't
to further the war in China, but rather to gain resources and
bases. The December attacks were logical outgrowths of this
move (particularly as that occupation triggered the final US
embargo).

There's plenty of dates from 1937 through 1941 that can be used as
the beginning of WWII, depending on one's preferences, and I've
seen arguments for earlier dates. July 1941 isn't a good candidate
for the start of WWII, but it is one for the start of the Pacific
part of it.


--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-

Louis Capdeboscq
2006-02-15 10:13:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Michael Emrys
Heh. I was sure someone would fall into that trap. Indochina was occupied
*prior* to the outbreak of hostilities.
You were right about there being a trap (hence the smiley), but you
spotted the wrong one.

Indochina was nominally under French control until 1945, though
"friendly" Japanese forces were also stationed there, pretty much the
same situation as New Caledonia except of course that Free France was a
belligerent while Vichy France was not. But technically, both areas were
under "French" control.


LC
--
Remove "e" from address to reply
Joe Osman
2006-02-14 17:45:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Louis Capdeboscq
Post by Joe Osman
But all in all the Americans did a better job than the French, British
(except in Burma and Hong Kong), Dutch and Australians against the
initial Japanese offensive.
What ?
By mid-1942, at the time of the high-water mark of the Japanese advance,
100% of the French colonies in the Pacific were under French control,
which is better than can be said of the British, Dutch, Australians and
Americans. :-)
All right, most of these French colonies also had foreign (but nominally
friendly) garrisons but if that counts against them then the same holds
true of almost everyone else (were there foreign troops stationed in US
territory, I wonder ?).
LC
--
Remove "e" from address to reply
"French" Indochina was French in name only after 1940. The Japanese
coerced the French into signing the Matuoka-Henry Pact, bombed Haiphong
to show who was boss and then occupied the northern part in 1940 and
the southern part in 1941. They did stand aside and let the French and
the Thais have a little border war which the French won at the battle
of Koh-Chang.

Joe
Bill Shatzer
2006-02-14 19:56:03 UTC
Permalink
Louis Capdeboscq wrote:

-snip-
Post by Louis Capdeboscq
All right, most of these French colonies also had foreign (but nominally
friendly) garrisons but if that counts against them then the same holds
true of almost everyone else (were there foreign troops stationed in US
territory, I wonder ?).
Canadian troops were part of the Kiska invasion force and RCAF squadrons
regularly operated out of Alaska and the Aleutians.

Other than that, I'm not aware of any other foreign troops stationed
on US territory as operational units although there were obviously
foreign military personnel present for training, liaison, shore leave
and the like.

Cheers and all
Taki Kogoma
2006-02-08 16:14:21 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 07 Feb 2006 16:48:22 -0500, "Walt" <***@aol.com>
allegedly declared to soc.history.war.world-war-ii...
Post by Walt
Post by p***@aol.com
The initial assault on Corregidor basically wiped out, too.
I was thinking about this. I don't know off hand of a single incident
where Japanese attacks dislodged American defenders in the whole course
of the war.
Well, there were a few tactical withdrawls forced during the
Guadalcanal campaign -- Bloody Ridge comes to mind -- but the
subsequent counterattacks would regain the lost terrain.
--
Capt. Gym Z. Quirk (Known to some as Taki Kogoma) quirk @ swcp.com
Just an article detector on the Information Supercollider.
Joe Osman
2006-02-08 16:36:05 UTC
Permalink
***@aol.com wrote:

<snip>
Post by p***@aol.com
The initial assault on Corregidor basically wiped out, too. Corregidor
being shaped like a tadpole, it was directed at the northern side of
the base of the tadpole's tail. As a man who was there working a
water-cooled .30 cal told me, "I killed a lot of Japs that day." The
landings were successful only after they switched to a relatively
undefended beach along the southern shore of the tail.
The Marines and others (by the time of the landing the Marines in the
4th Marines were in the minority) thought they had repulsed the initial
attack, but had mistaken empty landing craft returning for more troops
as a retreat. The Ist battalion did repulse a later part of the
landing, but I wouldn't say that the initial assault "wiped out".

You can read about it in FROM SHANGHAI TO CORREGIDOR: Marines in the
Defense of the Philippines by J. Michael Miller.
See
http://www.nps.gov/wapa/indepth/extContent/usmc/pcn-190-003140-00/sec17.htm
or http://tinyurl.com/c5caw for the initial attack and the last
paragraph on
http://www.nps.gov/wapa/indepth/extContent/usmc/pcn-190-003140-00/sec19.htm
or http://tinyurl.com/8xjrh for the 1st Battalion's action.

The 4th Marines had been the only thing keeping the Japanese out of
Shanghai and had to keep them out without shooting them. They foiled an
attempt by one Japanese Army group trying to assasinate a Japanese
general taking a tour of inspection of Shanghai by mugging them in a
park using their fists. After being locked away, four of them tried to
escape and the Marine guard broke the jaws of two of them.


Joe
p***@aol.com
2006-02-10 17:32:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Osman
Post by p***@aol.com
The initial assault on Corregidor basically wiped out, too. Corregidor
being shaped like a tadpole, it was directed at the northern side of
the base of the tadpole's tail. As a man who was there working a
water-cooled .30 cal told me, "I killed a lot of Japs that day." The
landings were successful only after they switched to a relatively
undefended beach along the southern shore of the tail.
The Marines and others (by the time of the landing the Marines in the
4th Marines were in the minority) thought they had repulsed the initial
attack, but had mistaken empty landing craft returning for more troops
as a retreat. The Ist battalion did repulse a later part of the
landing, but I wouldn't say that the initial assault "wiped out".
You can read about it in FROM SHANGHAI TO CORREGIDOR: Marines in the
Defense of the Philippines by J. Michael Miller.
See
http://www.nps.gov/wapa/indepth/extContent/usmc/pcn-190-003140-00/sec17.htm
or http://tinyurl.com/c5caw for the initial attack and the last
paragraph on
http://www.nps.gov/wapa/indepth/extContent/usmc/pcn-190-003140-00/sec19.htm
or http://tinyurl.com/8xjrh for the 1st Battalion's action.
Interesting reading. My old guy was somewhere in the North Dock area
with his machine gun, which is considerably west of the landing areas
mentioned in the above. He was later moved to the defensive line east
of Malinta, and was there at the time of the surrender.

I could also find no mention of any assault done by the Japanese right
wing which was planned to land on Topside to the west of North Doc.
Did this landing happen? Could this have been the landing he defended
against? Also, if this landing did not occur, why were troops not
shifted from Topside to the eastern defense, since that was where the
threat to Malinta was that caused the surrender?
Joe Osman
2006-02-06 18:58:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
After they lost all four of the aircraft carriers in their task force
(June 1942), the Japanese navy cancelled their assault on Midway, for
fear of what US aircraft could do to their battleships and transports.
<snip>

(Did they have a transport with land-based aircraft
Post by Hugo S. Cunningham
suitable for unloading?)
<snip>

This is from "Marines at Midway" by Lieutenant Colonel R.D. Heinl, Jr.,

USMC Chapter 3, online at
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USMC/Midway/USMC-M-Midway-3.html#fn18:

The actual landing on Midway was to be accomplished by approximately
1,500 Special Naval Landing Force troops who would storm Sand Island;
and by 1,000 Army troops of the Ikki Detachment, to land[16] on Eastern

Island. Summarizing the enemy landing plan, Captain Toyama stated:


We were going to approach the south side (of Midway), sending out
landing boats as far as the reef. We had many different kinds of
landing boats but did not think that many would be able to pass over
the reefs. If they got stuck the personnel were supposed to transfer to

rubber landing boats. We had plenty of equipment for a three months'
occupation without help, but were not sure of our boats.[17]
Assault elements in the landing would be backed up by the 11th and 12th

Construction Battalions plus miscellaneous base-development
detachments.


So they would have the remnants of the assault force plus whatever
occupation troops they were carrying in their 16 transports plus
several construction battalions to rebuild the defenses.


The Japanese OOB for the "Occupation Force" (as opposed to the
"Striking Force") was:


CruDiv 4:
Atago (CA) (F)
Chokai (CA)
BatDiv 3:
Kongo (BB)
Hiei (BB)
DesRon 4:
Naka (CV)
16 destroyers
CruDiv7:
Kumano (CA) (F)
Suzuya (CA)
Mikuma (CA)
Mogami (CA)
DesRon 2:
Jintsu (CL)
12 destroyers
1 mine sweeper
1 subchaser
16 transports
CarDiv 11:
Chitose (CVS)
Tokisha
Kamikawa Maru
1 destroyer


OOB from
http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/USSBS/PTO-Campaigns/USSBS-PTO-5.html



Joe
Brad Meyer
2006-02-07 16:25:09 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 06 Feb 2006 13:58:22 -0500, "Joe Osman"
<***@verizon.net> wrote:

I don't think 2500 assult troops would have taken Midway.
Joe Osman
2006-02-07 21:28:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brad Meyer
On Mon, 06 Feb 2006 13:58:22 -0500, "Joe Osman"
I don't think 2500 assult troops would have taken Midway.
Assuming that the US lost the naval battle, I think they might
have had a chance as long as they took their time with aerial and naval
bombardment. They managed to destroy most of Wake's rangefinders and
Wake was not as flat as Midway. But the construction at Midway had
begun much earlier than at Wake, so I think it is safe to assume that
the personnel had better protection.
The 6th Defense Battalion, which was an artillery outfit, started
the battle with 750 enlisted and 34 officers. One of the lessons
learned from Wake was that infantry was needed in addition to the
cannoncockers, and Midway had two Raider companies and two Provisional
(infantry?) companies. The Marines in the rather small MAG (Marine Air
Group) would also be of help, as would any naval personnel on the
island. That probably puts the total at something over 1000 if the four
extra companies are included in the 6th Defense Battalion figure. So
the Japanese were short on the three to one rule for an attacker. The
key would have been how many personnel and how much ammunition and guns
the Japanese could destroy before landing.


Joe
Brad Meyer
2006-02-08 16:16:10 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 07 Feb 2006 16:28:19 -0500, "Joe Osman"
Post by Joe Osman
Post by Brad Meyer
On Mon, 06 Feb 2006 13:58:22 -0500, "Joe Osman"
I don't think 2500 assult troops would have taken Midway.
Assuming that the US lost the naval battle, I think they might
have had a chance as long as they took their time with aerial and naval
bombardment.
That is what they didn't have. The logistical clock was ticking. The
tankers were nearly empty and would have to go at least as far as
Japan to fill up (assuming there was sufficient fuel left in Japan
proper. There were no more tankers and no closer filling stations. The
Japanese never had the ability the USN developed, to send a fleet to
sit off an island for a month or three and beat the stuffing out of
it. If the Japanese couldn't take it in a week from June 4th, they
likely would have had to go home in any event to refuel and resupply.
Post by Joe Osman
They managed to destroy most of Wake's rangefinders and
Wake was not as flat as Midway. But the construction at Midway had
begun much earlier than at Wake, so I think it is safe to assume that
the personnel had better protection.
Not only that, construction had had two months of specific upgraded
wartime priority via Sdm Nimitz. IMO to compare the training equipment
and readiness of the Midway garrison with those of Wake or Guam is
foolishness.
Post by Joe Osman
The 6th Defense Battalion, which was an artillery outfit, started
the battle with 750 enlisted and 34 officers. One of the lessons
learned from Wake was that infantry was needed in addition to the
cannoncockers, and Midway had two Raider companies and two Provisional
(infantry?) companies. The Marines in the rather small MAG (Marine Air
Group) would also be of help, as would any naval personnel on the
island. That probably puts the total at something over 1000 if the four
extra companies are included in the 6th Defense Battalion figure. So
the Japanese were short on the three to one rule for an attacker. The
key would have been how many personnel and how much ammunition and guns
the Japanese could destroy before landing.
True. If nothing else, there was the difference between days (hours?)
of preperation at Wake and weeks of preperation at Midway.
Joe Osman
2006-02-09 18:10:08 UTC
Permalink
Brad Meyer wrote:
<snip>
Post by Brad Meyer
Not only that, construction had had two months of specific upgraded
wartime priority via Sdm Nimitz. IMO to compare the training equipment
and readiness of the Midway garrison with those of Wake or Guam is
foolishness.
<snip>

Maybe trying to use comparisons to determine the outcome of any
"what if" situation is foolishness, but if you're going to do it, the
Wake Island (actually Wake Atoll) example is the closest out there to
the Midway situation.
Although they were quite different in size the two units at least
shared the same doctrine and training, which dated back to the 1880s.
You must also be careful and realize that things like the digging in
time and desired type of base was different, but thanks to the USMC's
openess the documentation is there and readily available so you have
enough data to make at least a wild ass guess.


Joe
David Thornley
2006-02-10 13:42:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joe Osman
Post by Brad Meyer
Not only that, construction had had two months of specific upgraded
wartime priority via Sdm Nimitz. IMO to compare the training equipment
and readiness of the Midway garrison with those of Wake or Guam is
foolishness.
Maybe trying to use comparisons to determine the outcome of any
"what if" situation is foolishness, but if you're going to do it, the
Wake Island (actually Wake Atoll) example is the closest out there to
the Midway situation.
Not necessarily - there's Tarawa, for example. Morison notes that
the US Marines at Midway had at least similar defenses to the
Japanese on Tarawa. The Tarawa attack was quite bloody on the US
side, and the US brought much more firepower than the Japanese did.

Compared to Wake, the manpower, equipment, training, and preparedness
levels at Midway were far different, and there was also the fact
that the defenders at Midway could expect much more assistance
than the defenders of Wake.

Given that, even with these differences, the Wake defenders repelled
the first attack and sank Japanese destroyers, the Japanese
prospects at Midway were none too good.

--
David H. Thornley | If you want my opinion, ask.
***@thornley.net | If you don't, flee.
http://www.thornley.net/~thornley/david/ | O-
Brad Meyer
2006-02-10 16:17:30 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 09 Feb 2006 13:10:08 -0500, "Joe Osman"
<snip>
Post by Brad Meyer
Not only that, construction had had two months of specific upgraded
wartime priority via Sdm Nimitz. IMO to compare the training equipment
and readiness of the Midway garrison with those of Wake or Guam is
foolishness.
<snip>
Maybe trying to use comparisons to determine the outcome of any
"what if" situation is foolishness, but if you're going to do it, the
Wake Island (actually Wake Atoll) example is the closest out there to
the Midway situation.
True, but IMO that's kind of like saying a jackass is the best example
of a horse we have handy -- it may well be true, but that doesn't
_make_ it a horse.
Although they were quite different in size the two units at least
shared the same doctrine and training, which dated back to the 1880s.
OTOH, one _knew_ there was a war on and one was surprised. IMO that
difference is much more significant then any of the similarities. IMO
it is also somewhat strange to talk of doctrine dating back to the
1880s (possibly true at Wake although I don't think the USMC was quite
so forward thinking back then to envision a role for air power and air
defence) whne Raider units were included in the garrison at Midway.

For that matter, it is also worth noting that had the Wake relief
expidition gone through, the island (excuse me, atoll) might have been
saved regardless of the outcome of a fleet action.
You must also be careful and realize that things like the digging in
time and desired type of base was different . . .
I am not sure what you mean here, but if it is that the material
condition of the base and garrison, in terms of strength of position,
supply, support, etc., etc., was significantly different at Midway,
that is part of my point (along with the morale and esprite of the
garrison).
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