Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby alecsandros » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:08 pm

RF wrote:l forces, and drawing the Japanese into a war of attrition at the end of a very long supply line that can be easily interdicted. An American retake would be easier for the attacker than the original Japanese invasion, which would have to be immediate and all out to succeed, and not be piecemeal.
Also the Americans would be greatly aided by a resistance /guerrilla movement on Hawaii itself.

QUite possibly,
But they would still require a significant carrier force.
The Japanese would probably field at least 300 warplanes on the islands, so the Americans would need 4-500 to achieve air superiority. That would imply 5 or 6 of their fleet carriers, OR 12-15 escort/light carriers. This puts them in mid-1943.

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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby Steve Crandell » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:23 pm

alecsandros wrote:
RF wrote:l forces, and drawing the Japanese into a war of attrition at the end of a very long supply line that can be easily interdicted. An American retake would be easier for the attacker than the original Japanese invasion, which would have to be immediate and all out to succeed, and not be piecemeal.
Also the Americans would be greatly aided by a resistance /guerrilla movement on Hawaii itself.

QUite possibly,
But they would still require a significant carrier force.
The Japanese would probably field at least 300 warplanes on the islands, so the Americans would need 4-500 to achieve air superiority. That would imply 5 or 6 of their fleet carriers, OR 12-15 escort/light carriers. This puts them in mid-1943.


How are the Japanese going to provide fuel for 300 aircraft 3,800 miles from Japan without completely giving up all other operations in their sphere of influence? Actually I'm not sure they could do it at all even if they did the latter. I'm thinking about how difficult it was for the US to provide fuel and weapons for the aircraft on Henderson field.

Are you also planning to keep six aircraft carriers at the islands indefinitely?

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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby alecsandros » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:02 am

Steve Crandell wrote:
alecsandros wrote:
RF wrote:l forces, and drawing the Japanese into a war of attrition at the end of a very long supply line that can be easily interdicted. An American retake would be easier for the attacker than the original Japanese invasion, which would have to be immediate and all out to succeed, and not be piecemeal.
Also the Americans would be greatly aided by a resistance /guerrilla movement on Hawaii itself.

QUite possibly,
But they would still require a significant carrier force.
The Japanese would probably field at least 300 warplanes on the islands, so the Americans would need 4-500 to achieve air superiority. That would imply 5 or 6 of their fleet carriers, OR 12-15 escort/light carriers. This puts them in mid-1943.


How are the Japanese going to provide fuel for 300 aircraft 3,800 miles from Japan without completely giving up all other operations in their sphere of influence? Actually I'm not sure they could do it at all even if they did the latter. I'm thinking about how difficult it was for the US to provide fuel and weapons for the aircraft on Henderson field.

Are you also planning to keep six aircraft carriers at the islands indefinitely?

The only way I can think of would require complete capturing of US fuel stores in Hawaii at the initial time of the presumed Japanese invasion...

With 300 warplanes located there, it would not be needed to keep the fleet carriers around.

But , IF the Japanese would have enough fore-warning before the American counter-attack, they would almost certainly send ALL of their carriers (11 or 12 in 1943) , with about 700 warplanes on board. [assuming, extremely hypothetically, that no carriers were to be lost in 1942/early 1943]

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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby RF » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:41 am

alecsandros wrote:But they would still require a significant carrier force.


Yes, but not on the scale you envisage - I would expect a maximum of three, and more likely two.

The Japanese would probably field at least 300 warplanes on the islands,


Before the PH attack on 7 December 1941 the Americans regarded the biggest risk to their airfields as not air attack but ground sabotage. In a Japanese occupied Hawaii I would expect a substantial resistance movement and guerrilla army that would make the airfields almost inoperable - targeting not just aircraft but the fuel and ammunition supplies. Unlike say in the Philippines, the US would be able to supply, equip and reinforce such a guerrilla army with for example, small night time landings of marines and other forces.

As has already been mentioned, the Japanese cannot deploy on a long term basis such a force without it impinging on their other campaigns, particulary given the need for air power over China.

The IJN is also overburdened with commitments - possibly four carriers could be deployed in the central Pacific area, but supply logistics come into this and the Japanese are in an unfavourable position due to their commitments elsewhere. On paper the Japanese would appear to have a local superiority but that is deceptive. There would in fact be some similarity with Rommel's position at El Alamein in Sept/early October 1942 - so close to his objective, but at the end of a very long supply chain, so much so that he was immobilised.
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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby alecsandros » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:20 am

RF wrote:
alecsandros wrote:But they would still require a significant carrier force.


Yes, but not on the scale you envisage - I would expect a maximum of three, and more likely two.

The Japanese would probably field at least 300 warplanes on the islands,


Before the PH attack on 7 December 1941 the Americans regarded the biggest risk to their airfields as not air attack but ground sabotage. In a Japanese occupied Hawaii I would expect a substantial resistance movement and guerrilla army that would make the airfields almost inoperable - targeting not just aircraft but the fuel and ammunition supplies. Unlike say in the Philippines, the US would be able to supply, equip and reinforce such a guerrilla army with for example, small night time landings of marines and other forces.

As has already been mentioned, the Japanese cannot deploy on a long term basis such a force without it impinging on their other campaigns, particulary given the need for air power over China.

The IJN is also overburdened with commitments - possibly four carriers could be deployed in the central Pacific area, but supply logistics come into this and the Japanese are in an unfavourable position due to their commitments elsewhere. On paper the Japanese would appear to have a local superiority but that is deceptive. There would in fact be some similarity with Rommel's position at El Alamein in Sept/early October 1942 - so close to his objective, but at the end of a very long supply chain, so much so that he was immobilised.


... this would depend on the modality and immediate aftermath of the presupposed Japanese invasion of Hawaii.

IF this presupposed Japanese invasion would manage to keep the oil supplies, port facitilities, airfields, ARTILLERY BATTERIES, etc, mostly intact, then a counter-attack would be exceptionally difficult to conduct without at least 500 warplanes available, which would imply at least 6 fleet carriers.

It would look like the Guadalcanal campaign [in which the Japanese poured vast resources in 1942 - allthough they had otehr commitments elsewhere], only that the Japanese would have much, much more problems in resupplying, but also they would have a much, much more heavily fortified chain of islands to defend.

===

IF , on the otehr hand, the initial invasion would turn into a pyrrhic victory, and the main facilities would be destoryed by the US troops, keeping Hawaii would be near-impossible to do.

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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby RF » Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:43 pm

alecsandros wrote:
IF , on the otehr hand, the initial invasion would turn into a pyrrhic victory, and the main facilities would be destoryed by the US troops, keeping Hawaii would be near-impossible to do.


Given that any Japanese invasion of Hawaii would be no easy pushover, such pyrrhic victory is the likely result.
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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby Garyt » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:14 pm

In a Japanese occupied Hawaii I would expect a substantial resistance movement and guerrilla army that would make the airfields almost inoperable - targeting not just aircraft but the fuel and ammunition supplies. Unlike say in the Philippines, the US would be able to supply, equip and reinforce such a guerrilla army with for example, small night time landings of marines and other forces.


I don't know about that. The white minority made up less than 25% of the population - and I cannot see the native population wanting to step up in a resistance movement, as they themselves were overthrown by Europeans around 1900. The Japanese population was around 25% of the island population, outnumbering europeans, and these europeans consisted of many Portuguese and Spanish. I don't see a strong resistance movement - more along the lines of apathy. I would think most whites with ties to the US would be rounded up and kept in prison camps, so I don't see a very effective resistance.

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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby Garyt » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:15 pm

Given that any Japanese invasion of Hawaii would be no easy pushover, such pyrrhic victory is the likely result.


Don't know about that either, not sure how much of a "scorched earth" policy would be practiced by the US in the event of a surprise invasion.

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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby Dave Saxton » Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:38 pm

Garyt wrote:
In a Japanese occupied Hawaii I would expect a substantial resistance movement and guerrilla army that would make the airfields almost inoperable - targeting not just aircraft but the fuel and ammunition supplies. Unlike say in the Philippines, the US would be able to supply, equip and reinforce such a guerrilla army with for example, small night time landings of marines and other forces.


I don't know about that. The white minority made up less than 25% of the population - and I cannot see the native population wanting to step up in a resistance movement, as they themselves were overthrown by Europeans around 1900. The Japanese population was around 25% of the island population, outnumbering europeans, and these europeans consisted of many Portuguese and Spanish. I don't see a strong resistance movement - more along the lines of apathy. I would think most whites with ties to the US would be rounded up and kept in prison camps, so I don't see a very effective resistance.


Given Japan's track record through out Asia on how they behaved as occupiers, it will not take long before any apathy is quickly overcome. Those occupied and oppressed by the Imperial Japanese Empire almost universally grew to hate Imperial Japan with a passion that still exists to this day, regardless of race or ethnicity.
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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby Garyt » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:53 pm

Yeah, the Japanese were not the best landlords.

However, considering the US or more specifically residents of Hawaii of US descent had armed conflict with the Native people s of Hawaii in 1887, 1889, 1893, 1895, 1924 and 1938, I'd think the US was not the best landlord either. Granted the last two were armed action by US government forces against native workers, so they were not truly "armed conflict".

But that is why I see the Polynesian and Asian cultures on the Island being at best ambivalent towards any type of guerilla action. I'd thin the 25% of the population that was of Japanese descent would not have a problem with Japanese rule.

Maybe we would have a restructured society on Hawaii, but the Whites of US citizenry or descent would be replaced by those of Japanese heritage as the new oppressors.

the US would be able to supply, equip and reinforce such a guerrilla army with for example, small night time landings of marines and other forces.


I'm also not sure how this would happen given there is a 2400 mile or so distance from Hawaii to the US west coast. I would think these would be spotted by Japanese patrols well before they could land. Even with vessels with a 20 mph cruise speed and with 9 hours of true darkness the vessels would have to be within 180 miles by the start of night. And they could not make it out as darkness would be gone by the time they land. And 180 miles is well within search craft range.

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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby Garyt » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:32 pm

Also, a thought on how possible it would be for the Japanese to conquer the Island. The Japanese army of about 30,000 defeated the British army of about 70,000 in Singapore, which was considered an "island fortress". I'll also add that ammunition was in short supply for the Japanese.

Not saying it would be easy by any means, but certainly possible.

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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby RF » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:28 pm

Garyt wrote:Yeah, the Japanese were not the best landlords.

However, considering the US or more specifically residents of Hawaii of US descent had armed conflict with the Native people s of Hawaii in 1887, 1889, 1893, 1895, 1924 and 1938, I'd think the US was not the best landlord either. Granted the last two were armed action by US government forces against native workers, so they were not truly "armed conflict".

But that is why I see the Polynesian and Asian cultures on the Island being at best ambivalent towards any type of guerilla action. I'd thin the 25% of the population that was of Japanese descent would not have a problem with Japanese rule.


US rule in Hawaii was nothing like the harsh, brutal rule of the Japanese. As Dave Sexton has already commented there is a lasting hatred of the rule of Japan in many Asian countries even today, as evidenced by their opposition to any new ''militarisation' of Japan.

I think all races would be driven to oppose the Japanese. The Polynesians would have their very survival at stake, the Europeans of Spanish/Portuguese descent would be treated the same way as they were for example in the Philippines and in Macau - and remember that Macau was invaded and occupied even though Portugal was a neutral country. The local Japanese community I think would be very harshly treated by the IJA who would treat them as being pro-American. The rest of the population, being largely American, plus the likely considerable number of US servicemen who would not surrender to Japan, would form the backbone of the initial resistance. The harshness of the Japanese reaction to resistance would greatly increase that resistance across all communities.

Resistance would be organised and largely directed from outside, with the targeting of airfields and fuel supplies as first priority. Reducing Japanese search capability would be a key objective, allowing clandestine landings of weapons and men in increasing numbers - the distance from the west coast I don't think would be too great a problem.

With respect to the Polynesians and their suggested inability to fight - I think that when the proverbial ''push gives to shove'' they would fight in a guerrilla war as hard as the Ethiopian natives did under Italian rule from 1936 to 1941. That war is largely forgotten - but all the same it happened, and was a major factor in the liberation of Ethiopia in 1941 by British Empire forces, initially led by Orde Wingate.
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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby RF » Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:32 pm

Garyt wrote:Also, a thought on how possible it would be for the Japanese to conquer the Island. The Japanese army of about 30,000 defeated the British army of about 70,000 in Singapore, which was considered an "island fortress". I'll also add that ammunition was in short supply for the Japanese.
Not saying it would be easy by any means, but certainly possible.


But that surrender was brought about by a weak British command, who fell for Yamashita's bluff. Compare that with American-Filipino resistance in Bataan and Corrigedor, which would likely be repreated in Hawaii, not least because it was much closer to the mainland USA.
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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby Steve Crandell » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:29 pm

Oahu's defenses were very strong from a military point of view, and the Japanese would not have had shore based air power with which to oppose them. Their only air support would have to have been provided by carriers, which were themselves vulnerable to air attack. Ships couldn't come close enough to provide shore gunfire support to an invasion because of the heavy shore batteries. Diamond Head alone was a significant fort, and there were others, including 16" guns. The latter were able to traverse 360 degrees, unlike the Singapore defenses. There were 360 degree heavy mortars in Diamond Head and other places. There were railway guns. This is not a push over, and the IJN would have been very far from home with no significant logistics capability. The US on the other hand had some aircraft which could be easily modified to self deploy from the US, like the heavy and medium bombers and the P-38 fighter.

The initial invasion would have been by far the most difficult part, and that ignores the resistance in the very unlikely event it would have succeeded.

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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby Dave Saxton » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:17 pm

Steve Crandell wrote:Oahu's defenses were very strong from a military point of view, and the Japanese would not have had shore based air power with which to oppose them. Their only air support would have to have been provided by carriers, which were themselves vulnerable to air attack. Ships couldn't come close enough to provide shore gunfire support to an invasion because of the heavy shore batteries. Diamond Head alone was a significant fort, and there were others, including 16" guns. The latter were able to traverse 360 degrees, unlike the Singapore defenses. There were 360 degree heavy mortars in Diamond Head and other places. There were railway guns. This is not a push over, and the IJN would have been very far from home with no significant logistics capability. The US on the other hand had some aircraft which could be easily modified to self deploy from the US, like the heavy and medium bombers and the P-38 fighter.

The initial invasion would have been by far the most difficult part, and that ignores the resistance in the very unlikely event it would have succeeded.


The Japanese would probably establish an airbase and logistics center on one or more of the nearby islands (which would be relatively easy to take and hold) so they would not need to maintain a large naval task force in the area over an extended period of time. Meanwhile they would isolate and cut off US military forces and facilities throughout the Islands, and only later take Oahu when they are good and ready, only after establishing complete air superiority.
Entering a night sea battle is an awesome business.The enveloping darkness, hiding the enemy's.. seems a living thing, malignant and oppressive.Swishing water at the bow and stern mark an inexorable advance toward an unknown destiny.


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