Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

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kevin32422
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by kevin32422 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:57 am

I have heard that Japan was considering also an attack on the Panama canal this along with the 3rd air wave attack would have been a disaster for us in my opinion

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by RF » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:23 pm

kevin32422 wrote:I have heard that Japan was considering also an attack on the Panama canal .....
Where did you hear this?
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by kevin32422 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:57 am

They were planning on using the aircraft carrying subs they had along with the attack on Midway the only benefit I can see is it stalling our reinforcements (they would have to sail around south America instead.)

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by alecsandros » Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:06 am

kevin32422 wrote:They were planning on using the aircraft carrying subs they had along with the attack on Midway the only benefit I can see is it stalling our reinforcements (they would have to sail around south America instead.)
IIRC, there was a documentary on HIstory or NG about this.

The plan was to use 3 x I-400 cruiser submarines to attack the Panama canal. Each would be carrying 3 bombers, equipped with 2 x 250kg bombs.
The plan was not put into action because the war ended to soon for it to come to fruition.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by RF » Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:44 am

The weight of attack involved here would be wholly insufficient, particulary as unlike PH there would be no element of surprise. The most likely outcome would be the swift destruction of aircraft and submarines. There would be no question of the US having to sail its warships around Tierra del Fuego.

I posed my question above thinking that the Panama attack was a follow up operation by Nagumo's carrier force, which would have a weight of attack. But this wasn't on the Japanese agenda as Nagumo's forces were required eleswhere - Japan was hopelessly overstretched.

What could have made a Panama Canal attack more realistic a possibility would have been a joint Axis grand strategy between Hitler and Tojo, focussing priority on defeating the USA prior to any move on the USSR. This means Germany invading and conquering Britain in 1940 so that the US faces the Axis alone. Hitler and Tojo then enrol Colombia and if possible Mexico into the Axis, to put the war on to the southern land border of the USA. Colombia can act as a naval and air base for Axis forces on the basis of Colombia recovering its former province of Panama - and the Canal. The Canal can then be attacked by a variety of Axis forces. Incidently another benefit to Hitler is that Germany gets control of the Venezuelan oilfields.

Fortunately for the USA military aggressors don't have much in the way of brain cells......
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by alecsandros » Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:01 am

RF wrote:The weight of attack involved here would be wholly insufficient, particulary as unlike PH there would be no element of surprise. The most likely outcome would be the swift destruction of aircraft and submarines. There would be no question of the US having to sail its warships around Tierra del Fuego.
Well, for argument's sake, they were trying to hit specific portions of the canal, not the entire isthmus. IIRC, they were trying to hit the locks that permitted safe transit of ships from one side to the other...

A lucky bomb hit could have brought huge damage, as the repairs would take a lot of time.

I do not know about the approach strategy of the submarines...

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by RF » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:25 pm

Yes, to hit the specific portion of the Canal facing the Pacific. It is a large and obvious target area, heavily defended.....
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by alecsandros » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:31 pm

RF wrote:Yes, to hit the specific portion of the Canal facing the Pacific. It is a large and obvious target area, heavily defended.....
:D

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by G J Powelll » Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:11 am

I am surprised by many of the comments on this thread.

Nagumo had problems, and was clearly the wrong commander for this mission:
(1) The Kido Butai packed a powerful punch, but had a glass jaw. In particular the IJN had not built up pre-war a large pool of pilots.
(2) He did not know where the 3 USN carriers were, particularly that the Lexington and the Saratoga were out of the equation.
(3) Many in the IJN did not grasp the logistics of this attack, let alone the following war.
(4) Nobody but the RN was really comfortable with night time carrier operations, which affected the recovery of a 3rd wave on 7 December 1941.

But the IJN had to do far more damage to Pearl Harbor than they actually did. Kimmel had oil stock problems in 1941, so as many as the tanks as possible had to be hit. The transfer of supply oilers to the Atlantic was a bigger problem for him than the Yorktown and Bat Div 3. As much carnage as possible to the submarine base and repair yards. The odds were stacked against the IJN, and they needed a far greater return on 7 December 1941. They paid the price on 4 June 1942, even before the full might of US industrial power bore down on them from mid-1943.....

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by RF » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:44 pm

G J Powelll wrote: But the IJN had to do far more damage to Pearl Harbor than they actually did. ....
Agreed, such as destruction of the docks, repair and refuelling facilities. The IJN could have used eight carriers on this mission rather than just the six actually used.
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by G J Powell » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:43 pm

It was just so ineffectual, given the US industrial might that would swing into action against Japan. Nagumo sank 4 obsolete battleships (2 of which, the California and West Virginia, were repaired and modernised), with 6 new battleships of the North Carolina/South Dakoto classes about to come into the USN. He didn't touch any of the 3 USN carriers in the Pacific, and left them plus the Yorktown/Hornet with an undamaged base from which to counter-attack at Coral Sea and Midway. Cue the destruction of the Kido Butai on 4 June 1942. Even the Hiei and Kirishima didn't survive 1942. The failure to even sink the USS Neosho, given Kimmel's logistical problems in late-1941, just summed-up the debacle.

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Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by G J Powell » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:51 pm

The trouble is that the 3rd and 4th carrier divisions were small "light" carriers, rather than true fleet carriers, and they have to cover the concurrent southwards advance in the Western Pacific. I also suspect that putting "more eggs into the basket" would have made Admiral Nagumo even more cautious/conservative off Oahu......

If Admiral Nagumo is going to attack at all, which is unwise without at least two of the Enterprise, Lexington and Saratoga being moored at Pearl Harbor and preferably all three, then a 3rd wave was needed later that day to ensure that the present aircraft carriers are destroyed and to go after the oil tanks, submarine base and other base facilities......

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by RF » Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:21 pm

G J Powell wrote: , then a 3rd wave was needed later that day to ensure that the present aircraft carriers are destroyed and to go after the oil tanks, submarine base and other base facilities......
And in the face of a now alert AA defence and correspondingly the Japanese aircraft losses will start to accumulate.... while Nagumo worries about other carriers that may be just outside PH, about patrolling US submarines that could torpedo his carriers....

The Japanese logistics were totally insufficient to carry out and complete this attack AND give Japan a reasonable chance of winning this war.
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Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by G J Powell » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:44 pm

RF wrote:
G J Powell wrote: The Japanese logistics were totally insufficient to carry out and complete this attack AND give Japan a reasonable chance of winning this war.
I could not agree more. Without taking out the 3 aircraft carriers and the base facilities, they are not even buying themselves breathing space. By inadvertently attacking before declaring war, they just end the isolationist mood in the USA and bring down the unified political will on them. The US Two-Ocean Navy Act of 19 July 1940 will destroy them, even before it is massively expanded further for wartime.

Japan got away with being outnumbered/out resourced through the ineptitude of Tsarist Russia in 1904-05 (surprise attack on Port Arthur, anybody?!), bedevilled by the logistical constraints of the incomplete Trans-Siberian Railway, and somehow thought they could get away with it again......

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by RF » Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:22 am

They only just managed to beat the Russians in 1904-1905.

Indeed without Japan's alliance with Britain in 1902 I could well imagine Germany or even France siding with Russia and joining in that war The Battle of Tsushima would have been very different if the Russians were backed by some of the Kaisers early dreadnoughts....
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