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Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
Considering the US is not devoid of nuclear global reach without its Navy, I seriously doubt any country would do better in the long run by nuking the US fleet on American soil with its opening shot than by fighting the US fleet conventionally and the letting the outcome be what it might.

One might say Japan would have done much better (still would have lost in the end, but there are many different degrees of lossing) by fighting the US pacific fleet in a fleet action shortly after opening of hostility, as envisioned by both sides for 20 years prior, then by trying to copenhagen the US fleet.
It's really was not about them being better in the end or not. It's about their degree of rationality and fanaticism.

Japan new it would lose a drawn out war...but they attacked anyway. They were rational about their attack on the US Navy 7th fleet at Pearl Harbor, knowing full well the risks, and they miscalculated badly.

In our world today there are terror groups and some state sponsors of terror who would also miscalculate. They know full well what the response would be...yet, because of their fanaticism and the irrationality it brings, if they got their hands on a nuke they would use it to "Pearl Harbor," or "Copenhagen," the US if the could precisely because of their lack of rationality and their degree of fantaticism.

That was my point.


<<<<<<<<<<<< MODERATOR'S COMMENT ABOUT THREAD >>>>>>>>>>>>

We have numerous discussions that crop up all the time on the forum about World War II, what happened during that war, and strategies that were involved.

Unfortunatly, those discussions generally take the threads that they occur in far off topic.

So, this thread is for discussing those matters.

But please, no conspiracy theories, no "abject what ifs", and no historical/culutral finger pointing, revenge, political, etc. talk. Keep it on the historical record about the actual combat and campagns, and on the strategies that were actually used and how they influenced the outcomes. The other type discussions will be deleted with warnings, and then, if not halted, will result in suspensions.

Other than that...that is what this thread is for. I will be moving some posts over here from the Aircraft Carrier II thread.


<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< END MODERATOR'S COMMENT >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
 
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chuck731

Banned Idiot
Re: Aircraft Carriers II

OT
Well, someone knew when the attack was coming and sent the flattops to sea on December 4, otherwise those would have been destroyed. He didn't expect that the battleships could be torpedoed in the very shallow Pearl Harbor.
Uh, no. The carriers were at sea on dec 7 by accident, not because the USN was forewarned.
 

Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3
Re: Aircraft Carriers II

OT
Well, someone knew when the attack was coming and sent the flattops to sea on December 4, otherwise those would have been destroyed. He didn't expect that the battleships could be torpedoed in the very shallow Pearl Harbor.
That's pure conspiracy theory, delft. So let's talk specifically about the three Pacific Fleet carriers:

On 7 December 1941, the three Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers were USS Enterprise (CV-6), USS Lexington (CV-2), and USS Saratoga (CV-3).

1st, Enterprise, CV-6: On November 28, 1941, Admiral Kimmel sent Enterprise and her TF-8, which consisted of, the heavy cruisers Northampton (CA-26), Chester (CA-27), and Salt Lake City (CA-24) and nine destroyers under Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., to ferry 12 Grumman F4F-3 Wildcats of Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF) 211 to Wake Island. Upon completion of the mission on 4 December, TF-8 set course to return to Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941 found TF-8 about 215 miles west of Oahu.

2nd Lexington, CV-2: On December 5, 1941, TF-12, formed around Lexington, under the command of Rear Admiral John H. Newton, and was ordered to sail from Pearl to ferry 18 Vought SB2U-3 Vindicators of Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 231 to Midway Island. On December 7, 1941, Lexington, heavy cruisers Chicago (CA-29), Portland (CA-33), and Astoria (CA-34), and five destroyers were 500 miles southeast of Midway.

3rd, Saratoga, CV-3: The Saratoga, having recently completed an overhaul at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, reached NAS San Diego late in the morning of December 7, 1941. She was to embark her air group, as well as Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF) 221 and a cargo of miscellaneous airplanes to ferry to Pearl Harbor.

Finally, the other US carriers: Yorktown (CV-5), Ranger (CV-4) and Wasp (CV-7), along with the aircraft escort vessel Long Island (AVG-1), were in the Atlantic Fleet; the new Hornet (CV-8), was commissioned in late October 1941, and had yet to carry out her shakedown cruise. Yorktown would be the first Atlantic Fleet carrier to be transferred to the Pacific, sailing on 16 December 1941. Langley, CV-1, which had been converted into a sea plane tender in 1939 and thus became AV-3, was anchored in the Philippines on December 7, 1941.

So, they were all out on missions or completing overhaul that had already been planned. The best the Japanese could have done was to catch one, the Lexington in harbor on December 4th, or the Enterprise in harbor probably by December 8th.

No conspiracy, and really, not even an "accident" in the strictest sense of the word, because they were doing exactly what had been planned and they had been ordered to do. For Yamamoto, because his plan did not account for these types of orders/exercises for the carriers in early December, he simply missed them.
 
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TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Re: Aircraft Carriers II

At some point before December 7th the US broke the Japanese diplomatic code and were reading Japanese diplomatic dispatches, however although the US may have been aware of a event planed for December 7th there were no details of what or where. That morning its self the Japanese government dispatched the articles of war. The US was translating ahead of the Japanese embassy but it still covered no details. Had the US been aware of what was coming don't you think instead of a open target the USN and Army Air Corps would have had a welcoming committee of fighters in the sky and every ship in Pearl loaded to the dental work with ammo guns and ammo? Later in the war the US broke the Japanese naval codes which allowed the US to stage just that kind of welcoming party at midway Island.
the primary worry at pearl was the high Japanese population and worries about sabotage.
 

asif iqbal

Brigadier
Re: Aircraft Carriers II

That's pure conspiracy theory, delft. So let's talk specifically about the three Pacific Fleet carriers:


So, they were all out on missions or completing overhaul that had already been planned. The best the Japanese could have done was to catch one, the Lexington in harbor on December 4th, or the Enterprise in harbor probably by December 8th.

No conspiracy, and really, not even an "accident" in the strictest sense of the word, because they were doing exactly what had been planned and they had been ordered to do. For Yamamoto, because his plan did not account for these types of orders/exercises for the carriers in early December, he simply missed them.
Another important point is that Ameirca had 7 carriers under construction while Japan had only one
 

kwaigonegin

Colonel
Re: Aircraft Carriers II

Another important point is that Ameirca had 7 carriers under construction while Japan had only one
Japan and Germany were never able to match the production capabilities of the US. Their strategic goal was to use their existing might to destroy allied forces as quickly as possible, to capture and to hold ground. When that fail the war swung rapidly towards the Allied side. There was no way they could've kept up in a war of attrition with the lack of resources, manpower not to mention their factories being targets of constant air bombardments.
 

asif iqbal

Brigadier
Re: Aircraft Carriers II

As Admiral Yamamoto said, he can run free for 6 months in the Pacific maybe bit longer but anyone who has seen the oil fields of Texas and the factorys of Detriot will know that Japan can't match US in resources

Japan miscalculated the Ameircan response he thought he could strike a blow and then force terms of some sorts that didn't work out

Luckily for Chruchill his dream came true, US joined a war against Germany
 

chuck731

Banned Idiot
Re: Aircraft Carriers II

As Admiral Yamamoto said, he can run free for 6 months in the Pacific maybe bit longer but anyone who has seen the oil fields of Texas and the factorys of Detriot will know that Japan can't match US in resources

Japan miscalculated the Ameircan response he thought he could strike a blow and then force terms of some sorts that didn't work out

Luckily for Chruchill his dream came true, US joined a war against Germany
An interesting side note. I highly recommand the book Nomonhan 1939, by Stuart Goldman. It focuses on a little known, but nonetheless large scale and deadly border war between Japanese occupied Manchuria and the Soviet dominated Outer Mongolia, in which Japanese Kwongtung army was resoundingly whipped by the Soviet army. It traces the relationship between Japan, USSR, China, as well as Germany, France and the UK between 1930 and 1941, and argues the Japanese Kwantung Army's defeat at Nomonhan in 1939 at the hands of Soviet Union profoundly shaped both the geopolitical situation in Europe just before the start of WWII, as well as eventually saved Soviet Union from a coordinated attack from Japan in late 1941, turned Japan against the US, and thus excerted tremendous influence on the course and outcome of WWII.
 
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chuck731

Banned Idiot
Re: Aircraft Carriers II

On Pearl Harbor..

The very best motion picture I've ever seen on Pearl Harbor is ;

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This film was a joint effort by US and Japanese filmmakers. It is extremely factual IMO.

Except the carrier Akagi has her island on the wrong side. :)

Sorry, can't resist. This is the carrier thread, after all.
 
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