Japanese Victory at Midway

Historical what if discussions, hypothetical operations, battleship vs. battleship engagements, design your own warship, etc.
Amare1
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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Amare1 » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:35 pm

Thx for a couple of useful links. Damn I would like to read Shattered Sword but I couldn't find it...

I thought the Japanese cruisers and destroyers might meet some resistance from shore batteries like on Wake, so they could call for reinfrorcing BBs before the landing took place.

It's a good idea, but I think that fighters from CVs coudn't reach Midway because of a couple of reasons.
If the US Navy is defeated, their CVs are destroyed or at least so heavily damaged they can't recover planes from attack on Jap carriers. So count entire US attack group out, except for Hornet SBDs which landed on the island. The planes that remain are CAP fighters. CAP requires a lot of fuel and some of the fighters could already be low on fuel when Japs come. Midway could be reached only by fighters which took off just before Jap attack, fought with them and right after the battle went for the island. Note that CVs wouldn't get rid of CAP and just send them away, and remained without air cover while they try to save their ships. See, sounds pretty impossible.

On the Wake they had improved because they weren't aware of 1st attack so they were caught off guard; they were prepared for the second attack. At Midway radar gave them at least half an hour to prepare for battle, and they were on the battle stations anyway because PBYs discovered Japs during the morning. Plus there were some casualties on ground, as well as some AA guns destroyed. The second attack by Japs could only meet lesser resistance, and not a stronger one.

Plus I read this article about Japanese invasion of Hawaii being a nonsense; I have answer to everything the author explains as the reasons of impossibility of Jap landing. But some other time about that, peace.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby lwd » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:59 pm

Amare1 wrote:.... Damn I would like to read Shattered Sword but I couldn't find it...

I got my copy at Borders but here it is at amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Shattered-Sword-U ... 988&sr=1-1
Public libraries really should have copy as well (ask them to get one if they don't - they are often happy to take requests).
....It's a good idea, but I think that fighters from CVs coudn't reach Midway because of a couple of reasons...

Based on what happened historically the most likely case is for the first raid not to find or at least not to hit all three CVs. As a result the one or two cabable of operations after the first attack may find it necessary to recover more planes than they could hold. If they have time sending some of them to Midway might work. Also if they get hit while their planes are out they might be able to radio them to recover to Midway. A lot of variables.
...On the Wake they had improved because they weren't aware of 1st attack so they were caught off guard; they were prepared for the second attack. At Midway radar gave them at least half an hour to prepare for battle, and they were on the battle stations anyway because PBYs discovered Japs during the morning. Plus there were some casualties on ground, as well as some AA guns destroyed. The second attack by Japs could only meet lesser resistance, and not a stronger one...

I'm not sure anyone is ever prepared for combat especially the first time. There is a real effect to "having seen the elephant". The AA defences at Wake were for the most part only a couple of 3" guns Midway had an order of magnitude more AA guns.
Plus I read this article about Japanese invasion of Hawaii being a nonsense; I have answer to everything the author explains as the reasons of impossibility of Jap landing. But some other time about that, peace.

I think it was written some time ago. It's off base in a couple of places for sure but in the main correct.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Bgile » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:37 pm

Back to the original topic. The USN loses all 3 CVs and Midway itself, and the USN is so incompetent that no Jap CVs are lost due to air attack. We also must assume that the 24 US submarines ordered to converge on Midway as the Jap transports approached are unsuccessful in sinking any significant number of them.

Yamamoto thought that if the Midway operation went well, he would consider an invasion of the Hawaiian Islands several months later.

OK, Admiral King begins to sweat blood. He has always considered Oahu to be the most important US asset in the Pacific. Gen Marshall and Pres. Roosevelt are seriously concerned as well. All thought of an offensive in the Solomons goes out the window, as does any invasion of North Africa.

That means the 1st Marine Division goes to Oahu instead of the South Pacific.

Any Army Divisions available from Stateside get shipped to Hawaii. Say only 500,000 men in order to provide a statside reserve and training cadre for the continued buildup.

Airfields are camoflaged, revetments are built for aircraft, all the normal stuff to prepare for an invasion.

250 B-17s are self deployed from the states. They don't work real well against moving ships, but they can sure pound the heck out of any base the Japs try to set up in the island chain.

250 B-25s are self deployed from the states. Yes, they can make it.

500 fighters of various types are shipped over.

Whatever naval aircraft can be ferried by Saratoga and Ranger are provided.

All aircraft are dispersed and camoflaged.

All of the subs in the US fleet are deployed wherever it makes the most sense, but a fair number are always available near Oahu.

A number of long range radars are installed at various points.

An 800 mile radius (I think) continuous PBY recon effort is instituted, as was probably done anyway.

etc, etc.

I figure it will take the Japs about six months to gather together their stuff. I kinda doubt they have enough to pull off an invasion though, just looking at the logistics involved.

Amare1
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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Amare1 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:19 am

@lwd. Yeah, I thought I would get it on Amazon anyway if I couldn't find it. Thanks for help!

A lot of variables.


It's a lot of variables on whatever topic we can start to talk about! I guess that's why it's called hypothetical naval scenarios...

@Bgile. Very nice ideas, but I'd be glad if I saw some real info on how the US would reinforce Hawaii. For example, in that link lwd posted http://www.combinedfleet.com/pearlops.htm, only about 100,000 troops are said to be on the island. Also, in your opinion the US would have 1000 planes shipped to Hawaii plus about 500 or more which were already stationed there. With this numbers, obviously any thoughts on invasion are out of question.

I really can't tell if they would simply mass troops and planes there like you said (when any invasion would be broken by the planes only, no need for any of half a million men to even fire a single round).
I guess a less drastical move would be made, maybe 150,000 soldiers and about 700 aircraft at the max. In this case we can try to talk about invasion...

... But they can sure pound the heck out of any base the Japs try to set up in the island chain.


I never thought about that, Japs setting up a base. Probably Midway would be filled with Jap planes, and Bettys could reach Hawaii, I'm not so sure if fighter cover could be provided from the same island. Any other possible land bases?

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Bgile » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:49 am

There are many islands in the Hawiian chain. Undoubtedly the Japanese would try to grab one and use it as a seaplane base at the least.

I (obviously) just threw those numbers out in order to make my point that the US was well aware of the importance of Oahu in particular (it was the subject of many high level discussions), and would probably have done absolutely anything the nation was capable of doing in order to keep it.

Also, the USN was afraid of operating their carriers within the range of shore based recon, and Oahu would have given the US that advantage. So did Midway of course, but we are assuming that wasn't decisive and the US somehow screwed up so badly they lost all their carriers for no return.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby lwd » Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:33 pm

Bgile wrote:...and the US somehow screwed up so badly they lost all their carriers for no return.

Actuallly it wouldn't have taken a major screw up to do this. For instance the following could have happened fairly easily and requires the US to do little other than what they did historically. This scenario however wouldn't lead to anything like a Japanese invasion of Hawaii.

POD - The Japanese get their search planes off on time and they do their job properly. This means that the second wave is armed and launched at least one of the US CV formations. Let say Enterprise and Hornet. These two are heavily damaged by this attack wave. At the same time the US planes as historical find the Japanese CVs. The bombings go as historical but whithout the ordinance and fueled planes in the hangers the Japanese CVs are not damaged quite as badly however they are not capable of flight ops. After the strikes return the remaining CVs launch raids at each other with similar results. However because the US no longer has operable CVs the Japanese surface ships control the area. They escort/tow the Japanese CVs back to home waters where they are put in the yards for extensive repairs. They also persue the damaged US CVs with the Kongos and a healthy escort of cruisers and DDs. The US CV having been damaged can't evade so the crews are removed and the ships are scuttled.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Bgile » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:43 pm

lwd,

From my point of view, your scenario requires suspension of my belief that a couple the Japanese CVs would have been sunk anyway.

It also assumes the Japanese CVs are heavily damaged, which would not be any means be "no return". Given your scenario they'd have lost a lot of aircraft.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby lwd » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:17 pm

I'd have to look up the details to see just how serious the damage was from the bombs. Unfortunatly my copy of Shattered Sword has gone missing. At least one of the CVs did stay for quite a while, I'm prettys sure that the Japanese would have had a decent chance of salvaging them without the extra damage from the ordinance and planes in the hangers. Of corse there's also a pretty good chance that US subs get one or more before they get back to Japan. There was one US sub that was in the middle of the Japanese formation early in the battle and would have had decent shot at cripples. I was assuming the "no return" meant no Japanese CVs sunk as at the very least they were going to loose some planes. This scenario is however not at all consistent with a Hawaian invasion and should be considered tactially either a draw or a marginal US victory and strategically a major US victory.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Bgile » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:56 pm

I think Hiryu lasted quite a while, but iirc she was doomed after she was hit ... she just wasn't holed below the waterline and stayed afloat.

There were a lot of submarines, but they were ordered to converge on Midway as the troop transports approached, so not really in position to attack crippled CVs.

Speaking of Midway, even with only 30% fully functional torpedoes it would be hard to imagine the transports being able to move in and sit there unloading troops and equipment without some losses.

If the US lost all their carriers it would have been really serious. I think there would only have been Saratoga and Ranger in the entire fleet then until around mid '43. A really long time. Maybe I'm missing one, but I can't think of another.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby lwd » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:15 pm

Bgile wrote:...There were a lot of submarines, but they were ordered to converge on Midway as the troop transports approached, so not really in position to attack crippled CVs.

Given that the CVs were north of Midway and not going anywhere fast the possibity is still there. Indeed if they are going slow enough B-17's might even have a decent chance at them.
...If the US lost all their carriers it would have been really serious. I think there would only have been Saratoga and Ranger in the entire fleet then until around mid '43. A really long time. Maybe I'm missing one, but I can't think of another.

I'm pretty shure the Essex was operational early in 43. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ai ... tates_Navy Essex was commisioned in 42 and there are a bunch of Esssex class CVs and Independence class CVLs that roll off the line in 43. But until then both navies would be pretty much reduced to gun ships again and the US has 6 new BBs to 2 for the Japanese at that point.

Amare1
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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Amare1 » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:02 pm

Maybe I'm missing one, but I can't think of another.


Swap Ranger with Wasp.

I'm pretty shure the Essex was operational early in 43


If it were operational already then, how come its first action was at the end of August? You probably saw that it came into Pacific in May, after being commissioned in December 1942. So it took six months of crew practicing etc. to just get to area of operations!

If the US lost all their carriers it would have been really serious. I think there would only have been Saratoga and Ranger in the entire fleet then until around mid '43. A really long time.


I think that if your enemy is so badly defeated you always tend to finish him off. The Japanese can either wait for US industry to crush them in mid '43, or play for ''everything or nothing'' and attack Hawaii looking for a peace treaty afterwards.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby RF » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:37 pm

Bgile wrote:
If the US lost all their carriers it would have been really serious. I think there would only have been Saratoga and Ranger in the entire fleet then until around mid '43. A really long time. Maybe I'm missing one, but I can't think of another.


Such loss would I think look more serious on paper rather than in reality.

What follow up would the Japanese adopt? Seize Hawaii, yes. But beyond that how do the Japanese induce a US surrender? I don't see that they can.

I think the main effect of such loss would be to extend the length of WW2 until its eventual US victory.
''Give me a Ping and one Ping only'' - Sean Connery.

Amare1
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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Amare1 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:05 am

OK nobody is actually considering the surrender of USA. There are indications that the American people would not approve an unsuccessful war in the Pacific (everybody would take loss of Hawaii seriously) and that something like peace treay could take place. Of course that many believe this wouldn't happed and the US would have continued fighing until the war ends... But who knows, with a possibiltiy of war reaching the home ground - consider Japanese sudden carrier strikes on the West coast, a possible attack on Panama, communications with Australia already completely lost...

I don't mean invasion of United States of course, and Japs would never be crazy enough to even think about it, but I'm sure to hell that the US press would make it sound like a real possibilty - and create an even better surrounding for peace.

However I can't tell what this peace treaty would do with Hawaii. Americans definitely wouldn't just let the Japs take it and the Japs wouldn't let the Americans have it after an (almost surely) extremely bloody occupation of this island chain. I know you guys don't want to even hear about a ridiculous thing like peace with Japan with them more victorious than us, but what do you think would the ''peace treaty'' contain? Hipotthetically of course.

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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Bgile » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:32 am

If you want to discuss a separate peace with Japan after the Japanese successfully invade Hawaii, I think that belongs under a different topic.

If you want to discuss a Japanese invasion of Hawaii I think that also belongs under a different topic.

People will read this thread thinking they are going to read about how it might have been possible for the Japanese to win the Battle of Midway.

Amare1
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Re: Japanese Victory at Midway

Postby Amare1 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:04 pm

Actually, if you have a look at what the 1st post on this topic says, the Japs have already won at Miedway. The question is what will happen next - invasion of Hawaii, peace or whatever else.


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