Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

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maega
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by maega » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:12 am

Third wave agreed.

The US air force had been totally crush in the previous attacks, the fleet sunk or damaged, the Aircraft Carriers awol. What was there to face another wave? Pearl Harbour was now a sitting duck and in those conditions the beneifts of launching a third strike clearly outweighed the "risks" of remaining a few hours more in those waters.

It was a stupid and costly mistake.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by alecsandros » Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:00 pm

maega wrote:Third wave agreed.

The US air force had been totally crush in the previous attacks, the fleet sunk or damaged, the Aircraft Carriers awol. What was there to face another wave? Pearl Harbour was now a sitting duck and in those conditions the beneifts of launching a third strike clearly outweighed the "risks" of remaining a few hours more in those waters.

It was a stupid and costly mistake.
Clearly.
The Japanese were to anxious about being intercepted by the US CVs. But there were only 3 carriers, against 6 Japanese units...

Why not launch a 3rd wave, and then also scour the area to find IF the 3 carriers were close enough ?

I bet they regretted that decision 6 months later at Midway...

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by Serg » Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:39 pm

Lucky (for japanese) they do not consider such сrazy idea seriously. They take into account heavy losses in first (55 lost or damaged aircrafts out of 183 i.e one third) and especially second wave (85/167 - half of the second wave attack). And prefered to save aircrews for further battles.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by alecsandros » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:02 am

Serg wrote:Lucky (for japanese) they do not consider such сrazy idea seriously. They take into account heavy losses in first (55 lost or damaged aircrafts out of 183 i.e one third) and especially second wave (85/167 - half of the second wave attack). And prefered to save aircrews for further battles.
Official records mention 29 airplanes lost.

Only some of the damaged planes would be incapacitated.

There were at least 70 more reserve aircraft on board the 6 carriers (the raids comprised of ~ 360 planes, while the carrier fleet had 432 on board)

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by Serg » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:21 pm

29 lost in action over Pearl Harbor. This number does not include jettisoned (perhaps as many as 20) and written off aircrafts. Other damaged aircrafts could not be flown until they were repaired by maintenace team. The spare aircrafts would require at least 24 hours to assemble.
The cost of the attack is 78 D3A and 34 B5N that leaving 135-78=57 D3A and 144-34=110 B5N. If the japanese would have retained, for example, about 100 aircrafts against enemy carriers and about 25 B5N for reconnaissance, only 42 attack aircrafts could be employed in a third wave strike and with increasing level of defence they did not achieve the significant result.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by alecsandros » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:19 pm

Serg wrote:29 lost in action over Pearl Harbor. This number does not include jettisoned (perhaps as many as 20) and written off aircrafts. Other damaged aircrafts could not be flown until they were repaired by maintenace team. The spare aircrafts would require at least 24 hours to assemble.
The cost of the attack is 78 D3A and 34 B5N that leaving 135-78=57 D3A and 144-34=110 B5N. If the japanese would have retained, for example, about 100 aircrafts against enemy carriers and about 25 B5N for reconnaissance, only 42 attack aircrafts could be employed in a third wave strike and with increasing level of defence they did not achieve the significant result.
But the US carriers weren't found. And the Japanese fleet position wasn't known to the Americans.

Moreover, it was already 12:00 when planes from the second strike started arriving back to the fleet.

Lanbidng the planes, inspecting damage, reamring and refueling them would take at least 2-3 hours, so an organized strike coudl not be in the air earlier than 15:00 - 16:00.

A third strike in the afternoon woudl require attacking Pearl Harbor at dusk, and returning to the fleet during the night - a very dangerous situation.

Why not wait until December 8th, in the morning , and launch wave 3 + 4, using aircraft from ships reserve, and lightly damaged aircraft which would be repaired in the mean time ? This would give them at least 300 available aircraft...

P.S.: reconnaisance was mostly done by floatplanes...

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by Serg » Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:26 pm

Second two-wave attack would not leave aircraft to search and strike american carriers (which undetected diring the night can appear and attack in any time during or after strike) due to losses. That's why Genda restrict the using of B5N in the third attack. Also Japanese have information that about 50 enemy bombers on the land were available after attack.

Usually BB's floatplanes used in anti-submarine patrol that leaving floatplanes of Tone & Chikuma for reconnaissanse. Japanese did not know the location of the enemy carrier group so they will prefer a 360-degree search. With one plane on each 10-degree sector 36 plans would be required, up to 250 nm i.e several hours of flight time. That means with cruiser contribution ~25 B5N come out of the carriers.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by tommy303 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:14 pm

Japanese losses (shot down or written off) at Pearl were:

21 aircraft (3 A6M, 16 B5N and 2 D3A) in the first wave
34 aircraft (6 A6M and 28 D3A) in the second wave

91 other aircraft from both waves were damaged to varying degrees but repairable.

A total of 54 reserve planes, partially disassembled for ease of storage had been brought along on the six carriers and consisted of 3 Zeros, 3 Kates, and 3 Vals per carrier. In anticipation of battle losses during the attack, these planes were being assembled as the first strike departed and were ready for action in a few hours. During the course of the day's attacks, these reserve aircraft were used for CAP and patrol work over the fleet.

On the whole, I agree with Serg's take on the chances of success of a third wave. The losses that might be sustained in a third strike could logically be higher than that suffered by the second wave.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by alecsandros » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:38 pm

tommy303 wrote:Japanese losses (shot down or written off) ...
On the whole, I agree with Serg's take on the chances of success of a third wave. The losses that might be sustained in a third strike could logically be higher than that suffered by the second wave.
...
Most losses in the second wave were torpedo-bombers which were attacking the fleet.
Firing AA volume above the battleship row gradualy increased, as AA guns were manned and operational.

A third strike would not include the harbor itself, but only inland facilities, which did not have the same defense density...

The destruction of fuel reservoirs would have cause huge problems for the US Pacific Fleet, and it would take months, if not 1 year to rebuild storage capacity there...

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by Serg » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:08 pm

Because fighter opposition developes. On 14 sorties americans make 8-11 kills. What will be if they make, say 50 sorties, against third attack?:-)
Oil tanks were located close to fleet anchorage and will be covered by AA guns and/or smoke.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by alecsandros » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:40 pm

Serg wrote:Because fighter opposition developes. On 14 sorties americans make 8-11 kills. What will be if they make, say 50 sorties, against third attack?:-)
Oil tanks were located close to fleet anchorage and will be covered by AA guns and/or smoke.
I thought about that during my firest reply, but the forum ate it away, and I had to write it again.

Indeed, the few US fighters that got in the air scored a handsome number of kills, but again Zero coverage wasn't to good, as Japanese fighters started flying very low and strafing ground equipment.

In the case of a 3rd and 4th strike, I would expect the Zeros to offer real cover for the bomber formations.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by Serg » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:41 pm

American fighters also were very low, to say exactly, below Japanese because they were as sitting ducks on the runway. And are you remember that the americans have several radar sets on the island? Good chance that radar or ground observers change such situation to the third attack.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by RF » Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:03 pm

I don't see how they could change the situation in the face of determined attack. Radar can pick aircraft up, but as Hugh Dowding said at the start of the Battle of Britain, radar can't shoot aircraft down.
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by Serg » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:03 pm

You did not see difference between aircrafts in the air and on the land?

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by alecsandros » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:08 am

Serg wrote:You did not see difference between aircrafts in the air and on the land?
It is unlikely that the remaining operational US fighters could do real damage to waves 3+4, because they would be heavily escorted and the Zeros would no longer strafe land objectives.

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