Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

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

Postby RF » Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:11 am

alecsandros wrote:.
IF not, Hawaii will fall to the Japanese....


I think that the scenario that you outline - which is certainly detailed and well argued - can only happen if Japan has no military commitments anywhere else. Otherwise the concentration of forces you detail - and I'm inclined to think they would be insufficient - simply won't be possible.
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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby alecsandros » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:04 am

Francis Marliere wrote:

Just for the sake of the argument (you have the right to imagine whatever you want), I would remark that your scenario does neither care with IJN strategy, doctrine and mindset.

Totaly... it is strictly a mind game over a highly hypothetical endeavour.

alecsandros wrote:I guess that a fleet of 9 carriers, 6 battleships, 20 cruisers and 40 destroyers carrying 5000 elite troops cannot 'disappear' as Nagumo Fleet did historically. It is unlikely that IJN, in your scenario remains undetected.

The hystorical squadron had 6 carriers, 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, 12 destroyers, 6 oil tankers, along with 30 submarines.
A pretty big fleet, IMHO...

alecsandros wrote:
Landing by night from cruisers and destroyers means few men and no heavy equipment. How could an airfield could be build from scratch or even repaired in this conditions ?


Well, with such strong close support, taking one island would not be impossible. Heavy equipment would be unloaded after a bridgehead was obtained.

alecsandros wrote:Well, since Japan is short on land forces and shipping, an attack on Hawaii means no attack on south-east Asia. It makes no sense because the objective of the war is to capture the Dutch Indies oil refineries.

True,
but this pre-emptive Hawaii strike would be their only real option of taking the USN out of the war for at least 1 year. They would have plenty of time to capture the Indonesian oil refineries AFTER they have secured Hawaii.

alecsandros wrote:USN could not stay in operation for so long before 1944. Even if in your scenario, the IJN has dozens of tankers, there is still the problems of wear and tear, battle damage and ammunition. Heavy ordnance cannot IMHO be refilled at sea. Surface units will run out of shells and carriers will lack bombs.

I'm not sure, but my impression is that resupplyuing could and was done by sea, even for heavy ordnance...

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

Postby Francis Marliere » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:06 pm

Still just for the sake of the argument ...

alecsandros wrote:The hystorical squadron had 6 carriers, 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, 12 destroyers, 6 oil tankers, along with 30 submarines.
A pretty big fleet, IMHO...


The fleet is in your scenario still 3 times bigger than the historical one. It's more likely to be seen and reported by someone.
Moreover, Kido Butai was seen in late 1941, as a scout force, not the main body of the fleet. It was not so important, in early December, that the location of the carriers was not known (probably in exercices). In your scenario, it's the bulk of the fleet who disappears and cannot be located for days. The kind of things that would alert the US.


alecsandros wrote:Well, with such strong close support, taking one island would not be impossible. Heavy equipment would be unloaded after a bridgehead was obtained.


I fear you are a bit optimistic. It's long and difficult to unload heavy equipement without a port. The Japanese would have either to wait the capture and reparation of a port (that the US would sabotage) or unload very slowly outside a port (remember Watchtower ...). In both cases, they would be sitting ducks for US bombers and submarines.
Anyway, I don't believe that IJN cruisers and destroyers could carry much heavy equipement ..

alecsandros wrote:True,
but this pre-emptive Hawaii strike would be their only real option of taking the USN out of the war for at least 1 year. They would have plenty of time to capture the Indonesian oil refineries AFTER they have secured Hawaii.


With what forces ?
The land forces used in the capture, occupation and defense of Hawaii - and not in the conquest of the SE Asia, were the only ones that IJA could spare from China.
There is not enough shipping and warships for the conquest of SE Asia since a major part of his merchant and war fleet are now comitted in the supply of 3-6 divisions in Hawaii.

Best,

Francis

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

Postby alecsandros » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:21 pm

Francis Marliere wrote:Still just for the sake of the argument ...

Certainly,

alecsandros wrote:The fleet is in your scenario still 3 times bigger than the historical one. It's more likely to be seen and reported by someone.
Moreover, Kido Butai was seen in late 1941, as a scout force, not the main body of the fleet. It was not so important, in early December, that the location of the carriers was not known (probably in exercices). In your scenario, it's the bulk of the fleet who disappears and cannot be located for days. The kind of things that would alert the US.

... It would represent 90% of the carrier force, 50% of BB force, 50% of cruiser and 33% of destroyer force.

It is a small wonder that a 30-ship strong armada was NOT detected for 2 weeks, and my honest opinion is that a 70-strong ship, occuppying an area twice the size, would also escape.


alecsandros wrote:I fear you are a bit optimistic. It's long and difficult to unload heavy equipement without a port. The Japanese would have either to wait the capture and reparation of a port (that the US would sabotage) or unload very slowly outside a port (remember Watchtower ...). In both cases, they would be sitting ducks for US bombers and submarines.
Anyway, I don't believe that IJN cruisers and destroyers could carry much heavy equipement ..

What US bombers ? By Dec 7 12:00 there weren't any operational.
The submarines would take their chance- but it woudl be extremely difficult to break the screen of the destroyers and Japanese subs.

Heavy equipment required for occupying Kauai... would not be to heavy. Artillery support could be obtained from battleships, cruisers and Vals/Kates.


alecsandros wrote:With what forces ?
The land forces used in the capture, occupation and defense of Hawaii - and not in the conquest of the SE Asia, were the only ones that IJA could spare from China.


After conquering Hawaii, there would be no use to block 30.000 troops there. 10.000 perhaps, at the most.
And of course some would be redeployed from China, if they realy wanted to WIN.

The key in the Indonesian campaign was not the land war, but the sea and air war - and those could have been won just as well (or better) than historically, by the simple fear instilled in the ABDA command after the fall of Hawaii and destruction of USN Pacific fleet.

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

Postby Francis Marliere » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:33 pm

alecsandros wrote:... It would represent 90% of the carrier force, 50% of BB force, 50% of cruiser and 33% of destroyer force.

It is a small wonder that a 30-ship strong armada was NOT detected for 2 weeks, and my honest opinion is that a 70-strong ship, occuppying an area twice the size, would also escape.


If the bulk of Combined Fleet AND 5.000 elite troops leave Japan while war is about to begin, and do not show up somewhere for days, I guess that the US will find that very strange and will be much more alerted than they were historicaly.


What US bombers ? By Dec 7 12:00 there weren't any operational.
The submarines would take their chance- but it woudl be extremely difficult to break the screen of the destroyers and Japanese subs.

There would be some left if the Japanese don't achieve surprise, as I suppose. Anyway, even if all the bombers are destroyed, the airbases are not and can recieve reinforcements.


alecsandros wrote:Heavy equipment required for occupying Kauai... would not be to heavy. Artillery support could be obtained from battleships, cruisers and Vals/Kates.


As far as I understand what you wrote, the heavy equipement is for repairing a captured airbase or buidling it for scratch. And you do need heavy equipement if you want to do it quickly.


alecsandros wrote:After conquering Hawaii, there would be no use to block 30.000 troops there. 10.000 perhaps, at the most.
And of course some would be redeployed from China, if they realy wanted to WIN.


IJA has to keep a strong garrison to defend Hawaii from US counter attack. Even if not all the troops don't stay in Hawaii, with the garrison and the looses, there's a shortage of land forces to attack SE Asia. May your scenario assumes that IJA has more division than it had historicaly ?

Best,

Francis

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

Postby RF » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:02 pm

alecsandros wrote:
The hystorical squadron had 6 carriers, 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, 12 destroyers, 6 oil tankers, along with 30 submarines.
A pretty big fleet, IMHO...
...


Yes - but in my view the IJN should have used 8 carriers for the PH attack and not 6. That way full attack on fuel and repair facilities could have been mounted, including a third wave attack. And after that the force should have supported an assault on Midway Island, especially the battleships.
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Re: Pearl Harbor - all 3 USN carriers are discovered and attacked

Postby alecsandros » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:16 pm

Francis Marliere wrote:
If the bulk of Combined Fleet AND 5.000 elite troops leave Japan while war is about to begin, and do not show up somewhere for days, I guess that the US will find that very strange and will be much more alerted than they were historicaly.

... Historically all IJN carriers, with heavy escort, were sent for training exercises against battleship-sized targets in Oct 1941. As I understand, the PH attacking fleet went directly from the training grounds to Pearl Harbor, without passing through major ports.

A similar operation, but on a larger scale, could have been conducted, provided that the logistical restrictions are dealt with.

the airbases are not and can recieve reinforcements.

From where ? And how would those reinforcements (bombers I suppose) pass over the IJN carriers, and how would they be left intact after landing ?


alecsandros wrote:Heavy equipment required for occupying Kauai... would not be to heavy. Artillery support could be obtained from battleships, cruisers and Vals/Kates.

As far as I understand what you wrote, the heavy equipement is for repairing a captured airbase or buidling it for scratch. And you do need heavy equipement if you want to do it quickly.

In 6 weeks time... that is the expected transit time for the heavy troop convoy, carrying the invasion force.
I suppose it would be doable, even unloading the equipment slowly from the DDs and CAs...


alecsandros wrote:IJA has to keep a strong garrison to defend Hawaii from US counter attack. Even if not all the troops don't stay in Hawaii, with the garrison and the looses, there's a shortage of land forces to attack SE Asia. May your scenario assumes that IJA has more division than it had historicaly ?

I was thinking some of the Kuantung army could be redeployed to attack SE Asia, especialy as the Russians were clearly completely involved in the west, fighting the Germans...

Kuantung army had some 1.000.000 Japanese troops... equipment... etc.

What did this army accomplish between 1942 and 1944 ? Couldn't 100.000 men (10%) be redeployed for SE Asia, provided that the fuel, ammo, and other logistical problems had been met ?

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

Postby Francis Marliere » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:16 am

alecsandros wrote:I was thinking some of the Kuantung army could be redeployed to attack SE Asia, especialy as the Russians were clearly completely involved in the west, fighting the Germans...


Oh, well, may be your scenario assumes that IJA gets smart ? It's no longer a what if, but rather fantasy.

In final analysis, the main weakness of your scenario is IJA agreeing to the capture of Hawaii.
IJA's ennemies are China and USSR (that is to be attacked after China is defeated). The war against USA is a navy one and the IJA don't want to be involved. The generals only spared a few divisions for the conquest of SE Asia, then vetoed any operation that needed a lot of troops such as landings in Ceylan or Australia. They send very few troops in NG and the Solomons untill it is too late.

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

Postby alecsandros » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:28 am

Francis Marliere wrote:I was thinking some of the Kuantung army could be redeployed to attack SE Asia, especialy as the Russians were clearly completely involved in the west, fighting the Germans...


Oh, well, may be your scenario assumes that IJA gets smart ?

[/quote]
More or less...
My point is that Japan had the manpower and equipment to take Hawaii and SE Asia, but they severely lacked in logistical capability.

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

Postby Garyt » Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:54 pm

How about assuming that the IJA gets smart, AND the IJN and IJA co-operate well?

As long as we are talking about fantasy that is :D


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