Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

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jonsidneyb
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby jonsidneyb » Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:24 am

Isn't it hard to judge ones action in hind sight? It is my guess that alot of things could be going through your head while being close to Hawaii. Are the American carriers going to find us while we have our third wave over Pearl? Is there a submarine lurking about that will eventually find us? My guess I would be thinking about what could be gained with the next attack and at the same time be thinking that any moment disaster could strike.

I am not sure if you can judge either way what the right decision would be with the knowledge available to them. I know that I would be concerned about both giving up a possible opportunity and giving up my ships.

lwd
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby lwd » Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:44 pm

Regarding the Coral Sea. I tried to post with quotes and a referance but it isn't working.
Zuikaku had minimal damage but only 40 AC left. From wiki

David89
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby David89 » Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:46 pm

lwd wrote:
David89 wrote:Wouldn't even phosphorus tracers rounds set the fuel on fire?

Possible. If the planes got close enough. Of course this exposes then to a lot of AA fire.

Compared to attacking battleships, even ones with a near obsolete AA armament this is pretty low risk.

And if not then those tanks are very large and more to the point don't shoot back while even a near miss with a 1000lb bomb should be enough to blow a hole in the side of a tank,

There's a berm around the tanks. So if the bomb is inside the berm there is a good chance it will hole the tank. That however doesn't mean the oil is lost. If it's on the other side of the berm little or no effect.

At least half the time a miss will come down inside the berm of an adjacent fuel tank.
causing fuel to escape and catch fire and I very much doubt the burning fuel could have been extinguished given the facilities availible.

What facilities were available? Your post implies significant knowledge in that regard.

I don't know about the specifics of the facilities for extinguishing fires at Pearl, but I believe that like most similar facilities they would be designed to cope with at most a couple of fires, not most of the storage facility going up at once.
A major oil fire would be a problem and if a concerted attack were made on the tanks at least some of them could be expected to burn. The quesiton is how many? Note also that if one starts to burn any addtional bombing in that area is going to face some pretty bad visibility problems. Of course things wouldn't have been good in that regard for a 3rd wave in any case.

That works both ways, the smoke is going to impair the AA gunners as much as any one else.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby lwd » Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:04 pm

David89 wrote:
lwd wrote: Possible. If the planes got close enough. Of course this exposes then to a lot of AA fire.

Compared to attacking battleships, even ones with a near obsolete AA armament this is pretty low risk.

Not really. Especially on Egress. A lot of the army AA was near the fuel tanks as were the naval vessels so as far as the heavy AA faced it would probably be more than even the 2nd wave faced. Then there's all the light AA from 5ocal down to rifles. Also the hazrds from flying through the smoke.


.. If it's on the other side of the berm little or no effect.

At least half the time a miss will come down inside the berm of an adjacent fuel tank.

True. But if you are aiming at individual tanks is that one already destroyed? The first tanks are in many ways the easiest. MIss and you've still got a good chance of hitting another. Later on theirs more smoke, fewer targets and the defvenders are fully alert.
David89 wrote: causing fuel to escape and catch fire and I very much doubt the burning fuel could have been extinguished given the facilities availible.

What facilities were available? Your post implies significant knowledge in that regard.

I don't know about the specifics of the facilities for extinguishing fires at Pearl, but I believe that like most similar facilities they would be designed to cope with at most a couple of fires, not most of the storage facility going up at once.

Good point however the local facilities would also have included fire fighting capablity for ships and other facilities. Certainly if most of the tanks caught fire there is a good chance that they would have been overwhelmed. One of the real questions is how likely the fires would be.
David89 wrote:
... Note also that if one starts to burn any addtional bombing in that area is going to face some pretty bad visibility problems. Of course things wouldn't have been good in that regard for a 3rd wave in any case.

That works both ways, the smoke is going to impair the AA gunners as much as any one else.

Not really. The airdefence will know where the smoke is and can essentially right off that area. Teh attackers have to come in the clear channels.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby Bgile » Mon Nov 03, 2008 7:21 pm

Smoke was often used to mask targets from air attack. That would not be the case if it hurt the defenders more than it helped.

Also, to attack the fuel tanks an attacker has to fly over a lot of land first. You would be shot at the whole way by ships and shore base AA, which will have about 30 minutes warning since the defenders are now aware that they should believe reports from north shore radar. You would fly into a fully alerted defense.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby jazsa80 » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:16 am

A third airstrike would have been in the best interest of the Japanese. To attack the oil storage tanks and the repair facilities would only be beneficial to the Japanese. The board is talking of the readiness of the Us to a defend a 3rd strike but to me it is unjustified. This was a peace time military facility. I would be figuring that AA ammunition would be running low, crews would be fatigued and moral low. Those AA crews that were active and alert would have to be low on rounds after shooting at everything that moves and they were not veterans by any standard. Lets face it, they shot the poopies out of anything in the air and any organised CAP would probably be targeted.

The Japanese, in hind sight, were only at pearl once and every little bit of damage they could inflict would be benificail. I strongly doubt that any organised CAP could put up a decent fight against the ZEROS of the 6 carriers. The US had the poops shocked out of them, and the JAP zeroes were no amateurs. Whether or not they could wipe out the oil storage and repair facilities is a question for debate. But a 3rd strike would only benefit the japanese.

And so i have spoken....

jonsidneyb
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby jonsidneyb » Tue Nov 04, 2008 9:12 am

And what would happen if the American carriers showed up during the third strike. That had to be on their mind. They would probably feel that the American carriers were well aware of the Pearl attack by the time a third strike was under way.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby lwd » Tue Nov 04, 2008 2:00 pm

jazsa80 wrote:A third airstrike would have been in the best interest of the Japanese....

That's your opinion and a possibility however based on the information I've seen it doesn't look very probable.
To attack the oil storage tanks and the repair facilities would only be beneficial to the Japanese.

Only if they were able to inflict significant damage and not sustain serious losses. The probability of that isn't very high. Then if you look at what the objectives, knowledge, and projections of the Japanese were at the time the decision not to launch a third wave was easily justifiable and probably the best at the time.
The board is talking of the readiness of the Us to a defend a 3rd strike but to me it is unjustified. This was a peace time military facility. I would be figuring that AA ammunition would be running low, crews would be fatigued and moral low.

Based on what? PH had been on war alert for some time. The army and navy both had lots of AA ammo. PH was a major supply base for the navy? Why would they be running low on ammo just because the ships shot up some of what they had on board during the two hour attack? As for the army many of the AA positions weren't fully manned until the attack was over. From everything I've read low moral wouldn't have been a problem. People were mad as hell and wanted a chance to get back at the Japanese.
Those AA crews that were active and alert would have to be low on rounds after shooting at everything that moves and they were not veterans by any standard.

By the time the third wave got there they would have been veterans by definition. If you look at some other battles (such as Wake) you will note much improvement by AA crews in subsequent engagements, it really helps to have "seen the elephant". Again the amry had armories on the island and opening them and distributing ammo was one of the first items of buisness. Lack of ammo was a problem on the first two raids but that was because a lot of it was locked up and not at the AA sites. By the time a third wave could have got there that would not have been a problem.
Lets face it, they shot the poopies out of anything in the air and any organised CAP would probably be targeted.

No a few crews were a bit trigger happy but that was mostly early on the 7th. It's not even clear a third wave could have hit on the 7th. An organised CAP would almost certainly not have been shot at as it would almsot certainly not have been in range of the guns.
The Japanese, in hind sight, were only at pearl once and every little bit of damage they could inflict would be benificail.

Would it? Japan was resource poor. The pilot training program for the IJN took about a year to complete and turned out only a few aviators every year. Have you ever heard the term "Pyrric victory"?
I strongly doubt that any organised CAP could put up a decent fight against the ZEROS of the 6 carriers.

Look what happened at Wake. The CAP got shot to peices but if you count in seriously damaged and scrapped Japanese AC they gave a very good account of themselves. But (and again this is hind sight) the CAP would probably not have been well organized and this would have actually resutled in a worse problem for the Japanese. Based on what happened in several other early battles the faster US fighters would probaly have intercepted first. The Japanese as with everyone else at this time believed in a close escort. The Japanese also had shown a marked propensity to go after opposing fighters. The net result of the first intercept is that the US fighters are likely to get one pass at the Japanese bombers and then find themselves jumped by most if not all the Japanese escort. This is going to be very hard on the P-40s. In the mean time the slower fighters and those launched late and or some distance away will end up jumping almost unescorted bombers. By the time the Japanese fighters show up the bombers will likely have been shot up and disorganized. Then they have to make their bombing runs into the teeth of an alerted defence.
The US had the poops shocked out of them, and the JAP zeroes were no amateurs.

And your point is?
Whether or not they could wipe out the oil storage and repair facilities is a question for debate.

It's highly improbable indeed almost impossible.
But a 3rd strike would only benefit the japanese.

A third stike would have been extremly unlikely to benefit the Japanese to any great extent. It would probably have had signigicant negative impact on them and could have been a dissaster for them.
And so i have spoken....

There's an old saying about removing doubt which I will not quote in full at this time.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby minoru genda » Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:47 am

Based on what Nagumo knew at the time I think his decision to return to Japan after the second strike was understandable. He didn't know where the American carriers were and he was expecting as many as six. Nothing to reproach there. But in hind sight considering that only the Enterprise was in position close enough to threaten his force and the few American planes were looking for them to the south of Oahu in the morning of the 8th, then I think it would have been wise to launch another strike even if that caused the lost of 50-60 Jap planes. I read somewhere that in Dec 1941 the Japanese had about 1,500 naval pilots overall.

I also think the chances of American counter attack are very unlikely. I doubt the Enterprise could launch a successful strike againts the Japanese force even if she knew where they were. American carrier was short of planes (left a few in Wake Island and lost a dozen on the 7th) and the Japs would have welcome them with their own zeros that reamined with the fleet at the time of a third strike on Pearl. In fact any ready planes of the Enterprise would almost for sure be launched to defend Pearl from the Japanese third strike. So I think that the only menace to the Jap carrier group could come from US subs. Anybody knows if there were US subs to the north of Oahu on the 8th of December?
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby lwd » Wed Nov 05, 2008 1:40 pm

The Japanese CVs were in range of land based air from PH. Japanese CAP was not particularly effective at preventing attacks especially by dive or high level bombers. The latter weren't much of a threat at most times but if they catch the Japanese trying to launch or recover they can be a real problem. If the Japanese had launched a third wave on the 7th this could have been especially bad. Note that the Japananese expected to loose a couple of CVs on the raid. It is true that the US focused it's searches SW of PH but the potential of a third wave being tracked and giving away the location of their CVs would have been very high. I'm pretty sure there were no subs NW of PH and none would have had a good chance of getting to the Japanese ships unless they sustained severe damage.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby jazsa80 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:36 am

And in repsonse to lwd....

" ".

On another note, dont you just have to blow out the locks on a dry dock and the thing is stuffed?

-Errp.

jonsidneyb
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby jonsidneyb » Thu Nov 06, 2008 6:44 am

Thanks Genda. I have been trying to make the same point.

You do have to look at what Nagumo knew and didn't know.

They expected carriers and they were not there. Nagumo had to worry about what would happen if those carriers showed up.

Nagumo had to be worrying about what would happen if attacked especially while recovering the third wave.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby Bgile » Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:06 pm

jazsa80 wrote:
On another note, dont you just have to blow out the locks on a dry dock and the thing is stuffed?

-Errp.


Yes. A very difficult task indeed. The British tried to cripple the Normandie drydock from the air and failed. They eventually rammed an explosive laden destroyer into the gates and blew it up.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby lwd » Thu Nov 06, 2008 10:59 pm

And How difficult is it to replace even if you do take them out? If the dry dock is flooded one can open the doors and even a near miss isn't going to do any significant damage.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Postby Bgile » Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:34 am

lwd wrote:And How difficult is it to replace even if you do take them out? If the dry dock is flooded one can open the doors and even a near miss isn't going to do any significant damage.


Good question. I expect if the dry dock is flooded and the doors are open it would be hard to damage it significantly. I think they are usually not flooded unless there is a ship moving in or out, though.

I think the doors are the key to the whole thing. I'm under the impression the Germans were not able to repair the Normandie dock.


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