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Commander_Dusty

Important lessons missed

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Many Naval historians and enthusiasts know about how WW2 changed the role of naval engagements from traditional ship to ship battles to a 3 dimensional air-surface-underwater battle (Planes, subs and surface ships). Though WW1 clearly demonstrated the threat from submarines to expensive capitial ships, the 3rd element, airpower was ignored. The one navy that suffered most (initially) of course is none other than the US navy did famously at Pearl Harbour in December 1941.

 

Though the attack was a total surprise, the tactics employed weren't exactly revolutionary, nor were the weapons used. The most puzzling thing was how one of the worlds premier navies that possessed decent air attack capability (from land based and carrier based aircraft) never managed to prepare themselves sufficiently for such contingencies, despite the numerous warning signs and events that could have provided valuable lessons.

 

Many of us would know of the British demonstrations of air power when they managed to cripple and sink the Bismark in 1941 and the Italian fleet at Taranto in 1940 with nothing more than obsolescent biplanes carrying torpedoes - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Taranto#/media/File:Swordfish_(7582559196).jpg. The Japanese appeared to have learnt much from these successes from which they employed such tactics at Pearl harbour.

 

However, the earliest, and perhaps most damming lesson (Not heeded by the USN to their peril), came not during wartime, but in peacetime, as early as 1921. That year, a number of captured German battleships and surplus USN battleships were sunk by nothing more than air dropped bombs, as demonstrated by General Billy Mitchell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Mitchell#Project_B:_Anti-ship_bombing_demonstration

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Ostfriesland

 

This shocking demonstration naturally angered the navy, which until that time was considered the forefront defender of any seaside Nation, and a symbol and projection of a Nations power. Mitchell, convinced the defence budget was spending too much on warships, especially big slow and vulnerable (not to mention manpower intensive, complex and expensive) Battleships was a major proponent of the future of warfare via air power. Despite the press having a major field day on this shocking revelation (backing Gen Mitchell),  Mitchell was forced to retire from the armed forces who mostly dismissed him for insubordination and disregarded the lesson, and died quietly at his home some 10 years later.

 

Of course, ignoring such lessons and proponents would be costly for many navies when WW2 came about (Bismarks sinking, Attack on Taranto, Pearl Harbor, Destruction of Force Z and the sinkings of Yamato and Musashi), validating Mitchells theories of the future of military strength lying in air power (and Carriers), rather than Battleships.

 

 

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There was no surprise with the attack on Pearl Harbour, The US had put a trade embargo on oil. Japan was put in a situation of Fight or disarm.

The US new when the attack was coming, just didn't know where, Churchill on the other hand knew when, where and how, but didn't tell the US as he wanted them in the war and this was going to get them into the war. Roosevelt also wanted in but the US public did not, so he needed someone else to give them a reason to get into the war. Japan being that reason.

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There was no surprise with the attack on Pearl Harbour, The US had put a trade embargo on oil. Japan was put in a situation of Fight or disarm.

The US new when the attack was coming, just didn't know where, Churchill on the other hand knew when, where and how, but didn't tell the US as he wanted them in the war and this was going to get them into the war. Roosevelt also wanted in but the US public did not, so he needed someone else to give them a reason to get into the war. Japan being that reason.

 

some will for sure smash me for this but. i agree they knew and did nothing, giving the excuss to enter the war and help the british from losing the war.

japan could have won in 1 move if they had landed troops in pearl after the raid or even hit the harbor 1 more time. history shows that they had the time and would also have had a shot at the USN CV enterprise.

with 1 smash they win the war in the pacific or at least prevent the usa from acting for at least a year or more.

1) hit and invade at pearl

2) philippines

3) with same fleet from pearl hit midway

boom north and central pacific would have been theirs.

 

 

so much fun to be an arm chair general with perfect hindsight hahaha.....

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some will for sure smash me for this but. i agree they knew and did nothing, giving the excuss to enter the war and help the british from losing the war.

japan could have won in 1 move if they had landed troops in pearl after the raid or even hit the harbor 1 more time. history shows that they had the time and would also have had a shot at the USN CV enterprise.

with 1 smash they win the war in the pacific or at least prevent the usa from acting for at least a year or more.

1) hit and invade at pearl

2) philippines

3) with same fleet from pearl hit midway

boom north and central pacific would have been theirs.

 

 

so much fun to be an arm chair general with perfect hindsight hahaha.....

 

Not even Yamamoto believed that Japan was capable of a prolonged war with the US and if Japan did manage to capture Hawaii the US would not seek peace with Japan given the nature in which the attack on Pearl Harbour occurred.

 

Such a move would've drawn the war out by maybe two years perhaps three and the Japanese would've been left with the same problem it had at the commencement of the war which was that it had no fuel and with such a large supply chain to feed they would be no more capable of holding those territories.

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Beta Tester
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Newton's first law states,

An object in motion will continue to stay in motion until an outside force interacts with it.

Similarly 

An Object that is stationary will remain stationary until some out sided force reacts on it.

 

Now change object with idea or mentality and you understand resistance to change

 

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People seem to think that governments are all seeing all powerful entities, but anyone who has worked either with or in any government is sure to tell you otherwise.

 

So I believe that without any formal declaration of war the US were unaware of the attack on Pearl Harbour and were thus totally unprepared.

 

There are lots of good reasons why the term "military intelligence" is considered to be an oxymoron.

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Not even Yamamoto believed that Japan was capable of a prolonged war with the US and if Japan did manage to capture Hawaii the US would not seek peace with Japan given the nature in which the attack on Pearl Harbour occurred.

 

Such a move would've drawn the war out by maybe two years perhaps three and the Japanese would've been left with the same problem it had at the commencement of the war which was that it had no fuel and with such a large supply chain to feed they would be no more capable of holding those territories.

 

The fact that if that Japanese declaration of War against the US succeed the Mental effect towards Japan would be different... there are such cases and turn of events will happen and the History in the Pacific will be different if it succeeds..like the 2 points below:

 

  • Japanese Declaration of War receive by the US
  • Nagumo approves that Strike against the Depot's and other facilities that will hinder the Capability of the US to retaliate and recover.

 

I think the most important part of the Pacific War is the Japanese attack on Pearl.. (Sorry for being a BS siding with the IJN but We all want to know the What If's Scenarios and we want to know the side of them during those time let say for Alternate History Scenario's) that is the most crucial Operation of The Imperial Navy that set the nail in the plank. There are so many decision that might lead to an alternate timeline and progression of the war.

  • There is also Appointing Nagumo as the Commander of the Carrier force of Yamamoto.. IF only Tamon Yamaguchi is the one that chosen not him.. 

 

hehe like to discussed much more about this alternate timelines..

 

 

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No nation during WW2 could hope to stand against the US.

Her infrastructure, resources and wealth equal all other participants combined, allied and axis.

In only one area has the US not ever been at an disadvantage, manpower, and for the last 70 years she has demonstrated how manpower is trumped by technological edge.

 

Estimated casualties of an invasion of Japan in 46 2.2 million.

Truman decided to use air power to shift the entirety of casualties to the Japanese.  And before you say Abomb, 110k civilians were killed by Curtis Lemay's Tokyo bombing with incendiaries 20 k more than the biggest Abomb.

Edited by Dantes_Inferno

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No nation during WW2 could hope to stand against the US.

Her infrastructure, resources and wealth equal all other participants combined, allied and axis.

In only one area has the US not ever been at an disadvantage, manpower, and for the last 70 years she has demonstrated how manpower is trumped by technological edge.

 

Correct. Which is why Yamamoto's plan was specifically drawn up to avoid getting into a long war with the US. As a Harvard alumnus and someone who spent several years in the US travelling extensively, Yamamoto knew the US's strengths perfectly and completely opposed going to war with it. However, since he was practically ordered (and threatened, on pain of death) to draw up war plans, he drew one specifically designed to hit the US's weak point: Public Opinion.

 

What his plan envisioned was a declaration of war, followed by the devastating strike at Pearl Harbor to disable the Pacific Fleet AFTER the war declaration was received there, but too soon for the US to have mobilized and reactivated the Pacific Fleet to combat readiness. Following that, a string of victories at American colonial possessions in Southeast Asia would deliver a string of morale shocks against the US on a war they didn't want to fight in the first place. A fifth column would take advantage of domestic US isolationism, and pressure the US to give up control of its colonies in Asia. Japan would then sign an armistice/peace treaty without needing to take away control of US territories. It wasn't a perfect plan, but it was the best possible option that Yamamoto could come up with, and it was essentially identical (in principle) to the style of wars fought between nations in the 19th Century: Continuation of diplomacy by other means.

 

Unfortunately, the plan was stillborn, because the Japanese expected the Declaration of War to be delivered earlier and Pearl Harbor notified. Instead, the 1st Air Fleet struck too early. They had an overwhelming tactical victory, sure, but the deadly "sneak attack" (as opposed to an overwhelming Japanese first strike) inflamed American public opinion. Instead of newspapers reporting the outbreak of war with Japan, followed by America's decisive defeat at Pearl, it reported Japan's unfair, unscrupulous sneak attack followed by the US declaration of war in response. And then this was compounded when Hitler, for absolutely no reason at all, declared war against the US (he was not obliged to at all, given that the Japanese did not declare war on Soviet Russia). This allowed American public opinion to view the conflict as a moral one, of good vs evil, of them against the treacherous backstabbers. Instead of the limited war it sought, Japan found itself in a total war, a war of annihilation where the US would not stop until Japan was broken.

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Correct. Which is why Yamamoto's plan was specifically targetted to avoid getting into a long war with the US. As a Harvard alumni and someone who spent several years in the US, Yamamoto knew the US's strengths perfectly and completely opposed going to war with it. However, since he was practically ordered (and threatened) to draw up war plans, he drew one specifically designed to hit the US's weak point: Public Opinion.

 

What his plan envisioned was a declaration of war, followed by the devastating strike at Pearl Harbor to disable the Pacific Fleet. Following that, a string of victories at American colonial possessions in Southeast Asia would deliver a string of morale shocks against the US on a war they wouldn't want to fight. Similarly, a fifth column would take advantage of domestic US isolationism, and pressure the US to give up control of its colonies in Asia. Japan would then sign an armistice/peace treaty without needing to take away control of US territories. It wasn't a perfect plan, but it was the best possible option that Yamamoto could come up with, and it was essentially identical in principle to the style of wars fought between nations in the 19th Century: Continuation of diplomacy by other means.

 

Unfortunately, the plan was stillborn, because the Japanese expected the Declaration of War to be delivered earlier and Pearl Harbor notified. Instead, the 1st Air Fleet struck too early. They had an overwhelming tactical victory, sure, but the deadly "sneak attack" (as opposed to an overwhelming Japanese first strike) inflamed American public opinion. Instead of newspapers reporting the outbreak of war with Japan, followed by America's decisive defeat at Pearl, it reported Japan's unfair, unscrupulous sneak attack followed by the US declaration of war in response. And then this was compounded when Hitler, for absolutely no reason at all, declared war against the US (he was not obliged to at all, given that the Japanese did not declare war on Soviet Russia). This allowed American public opinion to view the conflict as a moral one, of good vs evil, of them against the treacherous backstabbers. Instead of the limited war it sought, Japan found itself in a total war, a war of annihilation where the US would not stop until Japan was broken.

 

The Fact that it was an Early Sunday Morning all the people who is involved for sending that Message was still on their desk(sort of) waiting to be send to the Americans..

Yamamoto was the person who think that dealing a fatal blow to the American at Pearl would pursue the negotiations with the americans as early as possible but things always not go according to plan.. and the way they plan the attack is the way of a Samurai Thinking. That is why the Japanese Made the Katana in comparison with the 1st Air Fleet which resembles Yamamoto's Katana to deal with the Americans at pearl. if those things go accordingly their might be chance that the A-Bomb Attack on Hiroshima and Nagasaki could be Averted and the formation of Kamikazee will also not go operational.

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"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." Isoroku Yamamoto (allegedly)

 

The Japanese knew the risk, militarism won out over common sense.

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The Japanese knew the risk, militarism won out over common sense.

 

Yamamoto aside I think that the Japanese military had a fairly low opinion of the US and the resolve they would show in pursuing war in the Pacific. Both the US and Japanese underestimated each other. The US underestimated Japan's offensive capabilities and were stung at Pearl Harbour, while the Japanese underestimated the US response.

 

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