Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
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RF
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by RF » Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:18 pm

Bgile wrote:I also agree with irving's thoughts about what might have happened in the Pacific. Lack of carriers would have ruled out any US offensive there.
But only temporarily. I have heard that the US had 13 carriers under construction by the time of the Midway battle so this handicap would only have been a delaying factor. In the meantime the US subs would be the main weapon to degrade the Jap Navy and interdict the seaborne traffic in the Japanese Empire.
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by Bgile » Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:20 pm

RF wrote:
Bgile wrote:I also agree with irving's thoughts about what might have happened in the Pacific. Lack of carriers would have ruled out any US offensive there.
But only temporarily. I have heard that the US had 13 carriers under construction by the time of the Midway battle so this handicap would only have been a delaying factor. In the meantime the US subs would be the main weapon to degrade the Jap Navy and interdict the seaborne traffic in the Japanese Empire.
Temporarily yes, but the first Essex Class CV wasn't ready to fight until well past mid '43 iirc. Also, the US torpedo problems weren't fixed until about then either. The Japanese could have done quite a bit in the meantime. Just the existence of the US CVs in the interim made a big difference in Japanese aspirations.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by RF » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:43 pm

Bgile wrote:
The Japanese could have done quite a bit in the meantime. Just the existence of the US CVs in the interim made a big difference in Japanese aspirations.
I wonder what the Japanese could have realistically done, because of the distance, logistics and risks involved. I think they would have followed their general plan of going onto the defensive and beefing up their forces in the island groups bordering their empire in the central and south-west Pacific. WHich would still suit the US.
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by Bgile » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:00 pm

Probably they'd have captured Port Moresby, and invaded the Pacific Islands as far as Fiji, isolating Australia. Probably Johnson Is as well.

Then they'd have decided whether to invade northern Australia.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by RF » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:04 pm

I remember reading a book by Saburu Sakai some years ago, a Japanese Zero pilot during the New Guinea campaign, who stated that fighter operations and air cover were restricted over New Guinea because the Japanese logistics were already overstretched. The conclusion appeared to be that the capture of Port Moresby by the Japanese was unnattainable, even with no US carriers.

Bearing in mind that the area of the Japanese Empire at its maximum actual geographical extent was some seven times that conquered by Germany at its maximum extent my conclusion is that the Japanese weren't able to fight on a theatre spanning a quarter to one-third the Earth's surface. They needed a smaller theatre with some prospect of a successful defence. This would mean further offensive expansion would be impossible.
I think that the only other alternative would be a release of forces for the Pacific by ending the war in China - and that was not going to happen.
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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by Bgile » Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:26 pm

I believe they attempted twice to invade Port Moresby by sea and were turned back by US carrier operations. The first attempt and the US response resulted in the Coral Sea battle. I'm not sure, but I think the US Guadalcanal invasion preempted their second attempt. They had planned to island hop as far as Fiji ... there wasn't much in the way of allied defenses although Nimitz was concerned and was trying to build them up in preparation for the retaking of the Marianas.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by BlackBirdZGTR » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:58 am

The third strike would of brought victory to Japan at Midway, if the drydock facilities at Pearl Harbor are destroyed then the battered post Coral Sea USS Yorktown would of needed to head all the way to the west coast preventing it from ever being able to take part in the battle of Midway.

A better question to add onto this scenario would be if instead of Nagumo, Ozawa was in charge of the Japanese carrier forces. He is widely regarded as the most capable Japanese commander during WWII and supposedly even argued with Nagumo to attack Pearl Harbor a third time.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by lwd » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:44 pm

BlackBirdZGTR wrote:The third strike would of brought victory to Japan at Midway,
Probably not. Although in some wierd circumstances it might.
if the drydock facilities at Pearl Harbor are destroyed then the battered post Coral Sea USS Yorktown would of needed to head all the way to the west coast preventing it from ever being able to take part in the battle of Midway.
How much work was done in the dry dock? What makes you think it wouldn't be repaired by that point in time anyway? What's the likelyhood of it actually being destroyed?
A better question to add onto this scenario would be if instead of Nagumo, Ozawa was in charge of the Japanese carrier forces. He is widely regarded as the most capable Japanese commander during WWII and supposedly even argued with Nagumo to attack Pearl Harbor a third time.
Why?

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by BlackBirdZGTR » Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:15 pm

Probably not. Although in some wierd circumstances it might.
If the drydock and repair facilities at Pearl Harbor are damaged that means that the Yorktown would not be able to participate in the Battle of Midway, after the historical battle of the Coral Sea's Yorktown would instead need to head to the west coast for repairs as opposed to Pearl Harbor.
How much work was done in the dry dock? What makes you think it wouldn't be repaired by that point in time anyway? What's the likelyhood of it actually being destroyed?
http://www.phnsy.navy.mil/timeline/time ... ktown.html

It does not specifically state when she was in drydock, but she did receive damage below the waterline. If she needed a drydock before she would be considered combat worthy and the drydocks at Pearl Harbor are unusable then she would need to set sail to the west coast, if that were the case it would be impossible for her to take part in the battle of Midway.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by Bgile » Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:44 pm

How easy do you think it would be to make a drydock unuseable? The British filled a destroyer with explosives and rammed one to put it out of action. I imagine a few bombs wouldn't have done the job or the Brits would have done that.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by lwd » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:37 pm

BlackBirdZGTR wrote:
Probably not. Although in some wierd circumstances it might.
If the drydock and repair facilities at Pearl Harbor are damaged that means that the Yorktown would not be able to participate in the Battle of Midway, ....
Not at all. Dry docks aren't that hard to repair and are pretty hard to take out. By June it should be back in operation. As for the repair facilities the buildings aren't too hard to damage but the equipment isn't easy to destroy or even damage. The effects of a third wave as far as repair facilities go would probably not have lasted more than a couple of months.

I was thinking more along the lines that the Japanese loose enough AC on the third wave that they don't fight the Coral Sea and thus have 6 CVs available for Midway.
How much work was done in the dry dock? What makes you think it wouldn't be repaired by that point in time anyway? What's the likelyhood of it actually being destroyed?
http://www.phnsy.navy.mil/timeline/time ... ktown.html

It does not specifically state when she was in drydock, but she did receive damage below the waterline. If she needed a drydock before she would be considered combat worthy and the drydocks at Pearl Harbor are unusable then she would need to set sail to the west coast, if that were the case it would be impossible for her to take part in the battle of Midway.
According to your reference she enterered dry dock on the 1st and left on the 4th if I'm reading that right. That still doesn't address the question of them being repaired by then.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by BlackBirdZGTR » Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:43 pm

Bgile wrote:How easy do you think it would be to make a drydock unuseable? The British filled a destroyer with explosives and rammed one to put it out of action. I imagine a few bombs wouldn't have done the job or the Brits would have done that.
Hmm, good point but would an airstrike with armor piercing bombs do more damage then an out of control boat ramed onto a dock? As well just how strong were the docks at Pearl Harbor compared to those in France?

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by lwd » Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:26 pm

All it takes is some concrete to fix damage even from an AP bomb. The DD at Brest carried a huge amount of explosives and it rammed the doors and detonated partially in the dock.

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by BlackBirdZGTR » Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:09 am

Then... How different are the locks of the Panama canal as opposed to the locks of a drydock? Because from what i read if an attack on the Panama canal were ever commenced the Canal might of been unoperational for over a year?

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Re: Pearl Harbor: Possible third wave

Post by lwd » Mon Jul 06, 2009 2:47 pm

BlackBirdZGTR wrote:Then... How different are the locks of the Panama canal as opposed to the locks of a drydock? Because from what i read if an attack on the Panama canal were ever commenced the Canal might of been unoperational for over a year?
The problem with the canal was that if you blew the right sets of locks the lake that is used to fill them would drain and it would take that long to refil.

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