A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

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Richard Anderson
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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Jun 2020 01:57

paulrward wrote:
08 Jun 2020 01:04
No, I didn't get it from The Dupuy Institute, so I don't think it was a Scam Site.
To all. This is why this poster was banned. Why was he allowed back. Insulting trolling and refusing to answer a request for sources seems to be his only stock in trade...along with posting spurious drawings of space aliens.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by T. A. Gardner » 08 Jun 2020 02:18

Here's the problem with the Hawaii amphibious assault.

1. You need sufficient forces to overcome the defenses of Oahu. That will require 5+ divisions minimum and the shipping for that. Show up with less and you are asking for defeat.
2. Unlike the surprise attack the Japanese launched from hundreds of miles out, an amphibious assault will require their fleet to get within a few miles of the island. That can't be gotten around.
3. To get within a few miles of the island the invasion fleet will either have to:
A. Wait out at hundreds of miles until the carrier surprise strikes are complete, then steam in taking something like 12 to 15 hours to do--including positioning of transports, etc. It could be longer.
or,
B. The Japanese give up surprise and just steam to Oahu expecting a head on fight.

The US does have patrol planes out. There are USN ships at various points out away from Oahu. There are aircraft in transit to Midway on Dec 7 (several Dutch PBY for example flying to the DEI). The US has radar and other observers around the islands. The Japanese will be discovered many hours before they arrive.

So, to invade, do the Japanese give up surprise entirely or do they try for surprise like they did historically then attempt an opposed landing that the US is fully prepared for?

Either way, the amphibious assault is going in against an alert and ready US Army coast defense system and two US infantry divisions that are deployed and prepared to fight them. There's no way around that. Japan isn't going to sail a huge armada of warships and troop transports to within miles of Oahu undetected. That's an obvious fact. It just won't happen. Robdab has tried in the past to figure a way to do it with surprise. It just doesn't work.
The Japanese won't have full control of the air as I demonstrated. Even after their two historical strikes the USAAC still have about 100 aircraft available including about 50 fighter planes.
The Japanese won't have full control of the sea either. The US fleet will sortie. Even if the battleships are sunk and can't, the rest of the fleet will escape the harbor if they can. At least some of the battleships can still fire their main batteries as well. They could contribute to the defense of the island in that way.

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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by paulrward » 08 Jun 2020 05:22

Hello All :

And, thank you to Mr. Gardner. He has made an excellent summary of the
defenses of Oahu on December 8th. Here are a few details, and some ideas
of a Coup-de-Main.


As of about 08:00 hours local on Dec 8, 1941, the Pearl Harbor air complement was:

3 PBYs flyable
2 F4Fs ditto
14 Scout Bombers ( a mix of SBDs and SB2Us )

4 B-17
1 B-12 ( This is a Martin B-10 variant )
11 B-18 Bolos ( the Douglas DC-3 disguised as a bomber )
5 A-20 Bostons

36 P-40s, a mix of P-40s and P-40 Bs
16 P-36s ( The radial engine predecessor to the P-40 )
4 P-26 Peashooters ( Hey, don't count them out, one of them nailed a Zeke in the Philippines ! )

The fighters have no oxygen masks , and their voice radios use a hand held microphone with a push
to talk switch, making it difficult to use in combat.

Now, if the USN puts it's PBYs ( All three of them ! ) out to scout, the crews, if they ran into a few A6Ms,
might find out that you actually COULD get to heaven in a PBY.......

The B-18s, B-12, and A-20s could be sent out to scout, as could the B-17s. If you could get them
organized amid all the flames, chaos, and confusion on the night of December 7-8.


If the IJN were going to go all in, pedal to the metal, Sidney Or The Bush ! on Oahu, then we
would have to figure they wouldn't have just sent the force they did. So, to the Pearl Harbor
Strike Force we all know and love, let us add the Ryujo and the Zuiho. They each have about
12 fighters ( mainly A5Ms ) and some ASW capability. Also, we would add the other two Kongos,
so Nagumo would have eight carriers, four battlecruisers, and two heavy cruisers.

Following about 24 hours ( say, 350 nautical miles ) behind would be Yamamoto, with the
other six Battleships, the carriers Hosho and Taiyo for ASW protection, and, say, four CAs
of the Suzuya class. They would escorting a transport group with enough bottoms to
transport say four divisions of infantry with some artillery and a few IJA wind-up tin plated
tanks.

Yamamoto would time himself in order to arrive within range to land troops on the morning
of December 9th. This gives Nagumo a second day.


Now, historically, Nagumo was dedicated to performing a Tip and Run attack, which is why
he ran like a thief after his second strike landed. But, if the plan is now to " Take a full ten
minutes, and do a proper job of it ! " , then we have to assume that he will send a third strike
on December 7th. It would take off between 12:00 and 13:00, arrive over Pearl to hit the
Oil tanks and the naval installations, and be back on the flight decks of the Strike Force
by dusk.


December 8th would be more of the same. Nagumo sends out a search for USN carriers at
dawn, and a one phase strike to further damage Oahu. Ryujo and Zuiho keep CAP with their
A5Ms, and also serve as auxilliary flight decks if needed. The six gun ships and the destroyers
sail around the flagship looking important. If Halsey or Wilson Brown ( or Newton ) attempt
to attack the Kido Butai, it will be two carriers against eight. Not good odds for the USN.

In the afternoon, another strike by the IJN against Oahu. Now, if on the morning of Dec. 8th
the 21 plane A6M squadrons had been reduced to 15, then each strike could be escorted by
45 Zeros. The A.M. strike would meet all 56 fighters of the USAAF / USN / USMC. Let us
assume that the Americans fight like tigers, achieving a one to one kill to loss to ratio. And,
let us assume that each side loses 30 fighters.

That means the IJNs afternoon strike will pit another 45 A6Ms, against the surviving 26
American fighters. Anyone want to guess how this second fight will turn out ? Let us
remember Midway, where the USMC got their heads handed to them by the IJN's fighter
pilots. The evening of Dec. 8th might find the U.S. with only 5 or 6 operational fighter
left.


Will the USN sortie ? Well, they could send a couple of light cruisers and a few destroyers
against Nagumo. And meet up with all four Kongo's. No, I have a feeling that Kimmel
might just choose to forego a suicide run.

And, as for the battleships. Well, conceivably you might be able to get the turrets working
on the Pennsylvania, Nevada, Tennessee, and Maryland. But these ships had either flooding
or fire damage, and might have issues getting electrical power to their main battery guns.
You might want to just count them out for the present.

All the submarines could sortie. With their deadly effective torpedoes. :| Yeah. I
think we can count them out, too.

So, the morning of December 9th, 1941, Yamamoto carries out the landings on the North
Shore of Oahu, after bombing the emplaced naval and army guns with both a strike from
Nagumo and shellfire from six IJN battleships. The first units to go ashore are the 16th
and 48th infantry divisions, with the 24th Naval Base Force and some attached units,
followed by the 2nd and 38th Infantry divisions, along with the 8th Tank Regiment and the
17th Field Heavy Artillery Regiment,


And yes, I have checked. The IJN had sufficient transport to carry all of these, with
their supplies, to Hawaii in December 1941.


So, these are the forces. Any ideas from members of this forum as to how this might
turn out ? Remember, as of the morning of December 9th, the Japanese WILL have total
air superiority over Oahu.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by David Thompson » 08 Jun 2020 05:34

paulrward -- Regarding your post in this thread at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=249713&p=2273049#p2273049, answer the question. What is your source?

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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Jun 2020 05:50

paulrward wrote:
08 Jun 2020 05:22
As of about 08:00 hours local on Dec 8, 1941, the Pearl Harbor air complement was:

3 PBYs flyable
2 F4Fs ditto
14 Scout Bombers ( a mix of SBDs and SB2Us )

4 B-17
1 B-12 ( This is a Martin B-10 variant )
11 B-18 Bolos ( the Douglas DC-3 disguised as a bomber )
5 A-20 Bostons

36 P-40s, a mix of P-40s and P-40 Bs
16 P-36s ( The radial engine predecessor to the P-40 )
4 P-26 Peashooters ( Hey, don't count them out, one of them nailed a Zeke in the Philippines ! )
A curious omission in the USAAF reports is that five of the B-17E that flew in were operational...in addition to the four B-17D still in commission on 8 December, plus the three B-17D and one B-17E repairable.

The Douglas B-18 was based on the DC-2, not -3.

Eckert's records immediately after the attack indicate there were 9 A-20A operational after the attack. Since you accept his record for the other aircraft in commission, why use the later Seventh Air Force and Congressional figures?

The "mix" of P240s was actually:

2 P-40C
25 P-40B
27 Total, not 36.

{quote]The fighters have no oxygen masks , and their voice radios use a hand held microphone with a push
to talk switch, making it difficult to use in combat.[/quote]

Source for those factoids please?

(snip)
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by paulrward » 08 Jun 2020 08:06

Hello All :

Hello Mr. Anderson :

The B-17Es that flew in on Dec. 7th came in with no guns, and no bombsights, and no gunners. They
made the ferry flight with Pilot, Co Pilot, Navigator, Radio Operator, and Flight Engineer. So, they
could have taken off on a mission, but with no guns or ability to aim bombs. What was it that Major
Landon allegedly said? " This is a hell of way to fly into a war ! No Gas, and NO GUNS ! "


As for the B-18: The B-18 had the center section of a DC-3, fitted with the wings of a DC-2. The
later B-23 had the same center section, but with extended wings, even longer than those used on
a DC-3. The DC-3 had a center section that was appx four feet wider than a DC-2, and longer wings
than the DC-2. However, the wings were interchangeable between the two types.

Oh, yeah. The co-pilot on a DC-3 is responsible for operating the flaps and landing gear on take-off
and landing. Ask me how I know....


The figures I have for the A-20 are from the Report of the Joint Congressional Investigation, Part 1,
page 54, prior to the attack there were 5 usable A-20s, and 7 more A-20s under repair. After the
attack, the numbers were 5 usable and 5 under repair. And two more A-20s who got scared during
the attack, and went AWOL,,,,,,,


As for the 'mix' of P-40s, it is known that there were both P-40Bs and -Cs at Hawaii. to quote

http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_fighters/p40_5.html
During 1941, a substantial number of P-40Bs and Cs were shipped to USAAC bases
overseas, including the 15th and 18th Pursuit Groups at Wheeler Field, Hawaii and the
20th Pursuit Squadron of the 24th Pursuit Group at Clark Field in the Philippines. In addition,
a dozen P-40Cs had been delivered to the 18th Pursuit Group's 44th Pursuit Squadron at
Bellows Field, Hawaii. Over 60 P-40Cs were destroyed on the ground at Wheeler during
the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941. Only a few were able to get airborne, and
were quickly shot down by Zeros. A few others from Haleiwa airfield and four planes from
the 47th Pursuit Group managed to make some attacks on the Japanese formation, claiming
5 kills. However, at the end of the Pearl Harbor attack, only 25 P-40s remained airworthy.

The differences between the two types were minor, relating to the type of radio installed, and the
fact that the P-40C could be fitted with a belly tank as it came from the factory, while this was a mod
that was later added to the B model. Both types were referred to by the factory as Curtiss Wright H-81s.

Now, in the period after the Attack, the ground crews set to work to get as many aircraft airworthy
as possible, by cannibalizing other damaged P-40s of any type, as well as damaged P-36s. So,
the number of operational aircraft went up steadily in the days after the attack, and probably
changed from hour to hour. So, it may be that at dawn on December 8th, there were only 27
P-40s flyable, but it might have been up to 36 or so by noon. And, some of those P-40s might
have parts from other aircraft types. The one surviving P-40 from Pearl Harbor that was
rebuilt apparently had parts from three different aircraft PRIOR to the beginning of it's restoration.



How do I know about the oxygen masks and microphones? Because many years ago I had the
opportunity to sit down and talk with a pilot who's career had begun in Boeing P-12s, and ended
in F-86Es. ( He described how, on his first flight in the 86-E, he took it supersonic in a dive and
smiled as he realized that he had started out in cloth covered biplanes with an open cockpit !

According to him:

The first oxygen units that were issued USAAC fighter pilots went to the P-43 and P-38 squadrons.
They were a demand type that was fitted on somewhat like a SCUBA apparatus, and the
pilot had to inhale through his nose and exhale through his mouth. Use of a Radio was difficult
with these units. The P-40, as it was not considered to be a high altitude interceptor, was
not initially fitted for these masks, though this was addressed in 1942 as supplies allowed. The
unit was heavy and unwieldy, and tended to come off if the pilot pulled any sort of Gs in a
maneuver. They were NOT popular with the pilots......

The Bomber pilots in the B-17s were issued with a full facial mask, and they were the first
to be issued with the then revolutionary throat microphone. However, these early masks
had a sort of rubber gasket that, when it got moistened with your breath, and then got cold
at 25,000 feet, would freeze to your cheeks and chin, and if you tried to remove it, you could
literally tear skin off your face. Later, the USAAF copied the RAF and put a chamois liner on
them that solved the problem.


The early microphones used on the P-40s were a sort of rounded triangular gadget with
a push to talk switch, made from plastic ( I assume bakelite, at that period in history )
and had a coiled wire like a telephone. They had a hook on the right side of the cockpit,
and the pilot had to reach across with his left hand to grab it to talk. Young 2nd lieutenants
quickly learned from their squadron commanders that they were to shut up and listen,
and not to speak unless it was an emergency. ( He smiled as he said this, in a slightly
embarrassed fashion, so you can make your own deductions as to how he was taught this....)



Mr. Anderson, I have been a licensed pilot for the better part of four decades. I have spent
a lot of time hanging out with other pilots, shooting the breeze and sharing there-I-wuz
stories. And being a pilot who flew open cockpit aerobatics and did illicit dogfighting
didn't hurt my street cred one iota. I learned a lot from older pilots, including one guy
I met one day and helped to save a bird that had gotten tangled up in string, who
turned out to be a Ju-88 pilot who had flown on the Eastern Front from 1942 till 1945.
This guy had LOTS of interesting stories !


Not everything can be found in books.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Voices banned, are voices who cannot share information....

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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 08 Jun 2020 13:14

A less byzantine route to the OP's outcome is that significant fleet units are moored at Lahaina Road on December 7th. Japan reconnoitered the anchorage on Dec 7 hoping for this eventuality. Ships sunk there won't be raised on a war timeline.

Better would have been no Pearl Harbor at all. Use the Kido Butai as a counterpunch to adventures from the Philippines/Singapore/Batavia.

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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by TheMarcksPlan » 08 Jun 2020 13:25

Peter89 wrote:Could the Japanese maintain a quantitative edge until 1943, and fight roughly on equal terms until 1944?
To the extent your hypo involves a 2-3 carrier shift of balance, it's akin to Midway not happening. IMO that only somewhat delays the onset of crushing US naval/air superiority.

Re quality it seems pretty clear the Japanese were doomed there as well. Training standards plummeted from the prewar high and unless something in the ATL changes that dynamic then Japan needs crushing numerical superiority to overcome their qualitative decline.

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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Jun 2020 15:57

David Thompson wrote:
08 Jun 2020 05:34
paulrward -- Regarding your post in this thread at viewtopic.php?f=11&t=249713&p=2273049#p2273049, answer the question. What is your source?
Since he refuses to answer, I feel no requirement to treat him with respect or to respond to him in any fashion. This is the conduct he was banned for before. This is what happens when banning has no meaning.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by PMN1 » 08 Jun 2020 18:19

Peter89 wrote:
07 Jun 2020 21:36
Guys, I really don't see why we can't assume that an all-out, surprise attack could have taken the HI.

Doesn't work like that.....

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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by glenn239 » 08 Jun 2020 18:31

Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Jun 2020 23:47
Peter89 wrote:
07 Jun 2020 21:36
Guys, I really don't see why we can't assume that an all-out, surprise attack could have taken the HI.
Sure, we can assume that, but this is the "what if" section, not the "assume this" section. So how do you get to a fulfillment of your assumption? How do you nearly simultaneously execute a surprise attack on the American fleet and also "take the Hawaiian Islands"?
It can't be done. It is not possible to launch a surprise invasion and defeat the US fleet simultaneously.

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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by Richard Anderson » 08 Jun 2020 19:10

glenn239 wrote:
08 Jun 2020 18:31
Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Jun 2020 23:47
Peter89 wrote:
07 Jun 2020 21:36
Guys, I really don't see why we can't assume that an all-out, surprise attack could have taken the HI.
Sure, we can assume that, but this is the "what if" section, not the "assume this" section. So how do you get to a fulfillment of your assumption? How do you nearly simultaneously execute a surprise attack on the American fleet and also "take the Hawaiian Islands"?
It can't be done. It is not possible to launch a surprise invasion and defeat the US fleet simultaneously.
Yep. The Japanese could possibly do one or the other, not both. There evaluation was the surprise attempt was close to reckless, but the notion of an invasion event didn't even appear on their radar until after the reckless attempt turned out more successful then they ever reckoned.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by glenn239 » 08 Jun 2020 19:21

T. A. Gardner wrote:
06 Jun 2020 18:33
What I'm suggesting is that if Japan tries to take Hawaii they probably will fail, but even if they succeed, it shortens the Pacific War by as much as a year or more. It also likely avoids some of the massive damage the Japanese homeland took.
I don't see how the war is shortened if Japan succeeds in taking Hawaii. The fall of Hawaii will lengthen the war. The question is, what good does that do for Japan, having a longer war in which defeat is still inevitable? If to lose, then best done quickly.
As for Luzon and the PI. If the Japanese fail to invade immediately the Philippine Army of ten divisions ends up being trained and equipped far better than it was.
Equipped with what and trained by whom? Luzon is over 6,000nm from California. Defeat or no defeat at Hawaii, IJN naval strength and land based air in between was overwhelming. The US carrier force would not emerge from Hawaii in any condition for a trans-oceanic counteroffensive. All of American resources will be absorbed in securing Hawaii and the SLOC to Australia.
Six months is more than sufficient for that to happen. At that point the Philippine Army would be at a trained strength of about 3 to 5 divisions. All of that was already happening in the PI. The timeline for the Philippine Army to be fully up and trained was August 1942.
They're cut off on the first day of the war. The Japanese will take Mindanao and commence an advance from the south.
Japan failing to take the PI really has little means to stop the US from continuing to move more troops and equipment / supplies there.
Other than about a million tons of warships, over a thousand aircraft, 6 or 8 divisions and hundreds of picket patrol boats and a 2,000 mile gauntlet of Japanese bases from the Marshalls to Davao for a supply ship to run.

Hawaii simply represents a conquest. If Japan succeeds at all that comes at a very high cost and does little to further their strategic goals. The US could and would work around that problem until they could retake the islands if they actually fell, which really isn't that likely. Japan just isn't very good at amphibious warfare and in particular when there's opposition to a landing.
How specifically does the US "work around" the fall of Hawaii?

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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by T. A. Gardner » 08 Jun 2020 20:25

paulrward wrote:
08 Jun 2020 05:22
Hello All :

And, thank you to Mr. Gardner. He has made an excellent summary of the
defenses of Oahu on December 8th. Here are a few details, and some ideas
of a Coup-de-Main.


As of about 08:00 hours local on Dec 8, 1941, the Pearl Harbor air complement was:

3 PBYs flyable
2 F4Fs ditto
14 Scout Bombers ( a mix of SBDs and SB2Us )

4 B-17
1 B-12 ( This is a Martin B-10 variant )
11 B-18 Bolos ( the Douglas DC-3 disguised as a bomber )
5 A-20 Bostons

36 P-40s, a mix of P-40s and P-40 Bs
16 P-36s ( The radial engine predecessor to the P-40 )
4 P-26 Peashooters ( Hey, don't count them out, one of them nailed a Zeke in the Philippines ! )

The fighters have no oxygen masks , and their voice radios use a hand held microphone with a push
to talk switch, making it difficult to use in combat.

Now, if the USN puts it's PBYs ( All three of them ! ) out to scout, the crews, if they ran into a few A6Ms, might find out that you actually COULD get to heaven in a PBY.......

The B-18s, B-12, and A-20s could be sent out to scout, as could the B-17s. If you could get them organized amid all the flames, chaos, and confusion on the night of December 7-8.
I would suggest that the USN would use their available PBY, along with the two flight capable DEI owned MLD PBY-5 on Ford Island, along with the surviving USN PBY on Ford Island to search for the Japanese fleet (assuming a surprise attack). That gives the USN somewhere around a dozen flying PBY total.

The Marines add 4 SBD from VMSB 232, somewhere between 10 and 20 (5 at Ewa and up to 14 at Ford Island) F4F, and 7 SB2U-3 of VMSB 231 available in addition to the USAAC planes.

The USN also had a number of OS2U Kingfisher and Curtiss SOC floatplanes that survived on Ford Island.
The Marine Corps also has three defense battalions, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th on Oahu totaling about 3,000 men and their equipment.
As for the PBY, if they were used to scout for the Japanese, I doubt seriously that any would be shot down. Wartime history shows that PBY were not frequently engaged by Japanese fighter planes on patrol. All these planes need do is spot and report the fleet’s location, something they’re likely to succeed at.

The USAAC bombers could either be dispatched to bomb the Japanese at sea like at Midway, or they might be held to attack the landings when they occur. In the former, they are unlikely to do more than create some havoc with ships maneuvering to dodge level bombing attacks, while if they engage the landing fleet they’re likely to damage or sink some stationary transport ships as they did in the PI.
More dangerous would be the Marine dive bombers still in service. These could definitely mess up a ship, and the Marines do have sufficient fighters to escort them into combat.
If the IJN were going to go all in, pedal to the metal, Sidney Or The Bush ! on Oahu, then we
would have to figure they wouldn't have just sent the force they did. So, to the Pearl Harbor Strike Force we all know and love, let us add the Ryujo and the Zuiho. They each have about
12 fighters ( mainly A5Ms ) and some ASW capability. Also, we would add the other two Kongos,
so Nagumo would have eight carriers, four battlecruisers, and two heavy cruisers.

Following about 24 hours ( say, 350 nautical miles ) behind would be Yamamoto, with the
other six Battleships, the carriers Hosho and Taiyo for ASW protection, and, say, four CAs
of the Suzuya class. They would escorting a transport group with enough bottoms to
transport say four divisions of infantry with some artillery and a few IJA wind-up tin plated
tanks.

Yamamoto would time himself in order to arrive within range to land troops on the morning
of December 9th. This gives Nagumo a second day.
The problem here remains that surprise is lost for the amphibious landings. The US Army would be fully deployed and ready to defend the island.
Nagumo has maybe 3 or 4 strikes available against Pearl Harbor / Oahu before he has to limit things to defending his carriers and keeping sufficient munitions to engage the US fleet if it attacks.
The added carriers do nothing to change that.
Now, historically, Nagumo was dedicated to performing a Tip and Run attack, which is why he ran like a thief after his second strike landed. But, if the plan is now to " Take a full ten minutes, and do a proper job of it ! " , then we have to assume that he will send a third strike
on December 7th. It would take off between 12:00 and 13:00, arrive over Pearl to hit the
Oil tanks and the naval installations, and be back on the flight decks of the Strike Force
by dusk.

December 8th would be more of the same. Nagumo sends out a search for USN carriers at dawn, and a one phase strike to further damage Oahu. Ryujo and Zuiho keep CAP with their A5Ms, and also serve as auxilliary flight decks if needed. The six gun ships and the destroyers sail around the flagship looking important. If Halsey or Wilson Brown ( or Newton ) attempt to attack the Kido Butai, it will be two carriers against eight. Not good odds for the USN.
More likely, the USN orders all ships to sortie from harbor and then orders them to rendezvous at sea somewhere southeast of Hawaii. The carriers are told to stay at sea and tankers are sent to replenish them.

The tank farms on Oahu are irrelevant to this scenario. The Japanese plan on taking the island and in the few days into this operation, they make no difference to the US whatsoever.

A third, and subsequent strike is met with what fighters are available along with all the AA guns in action. Casualties among the Japanese carrier planes mount. Nagumo becomes worried that he’s close to 30 to 50% of his planes either shot down or damaged (mostly damaged with say 10% shot down). He worries he can’t muster up the necessary planes to defend his carriers should they come under attack.

The USAAF is losing planes too but still has some to put up in defense. The AA defenses are intact.
In the afternoon, another strike by the IJN against Oahu. Now, if on the morning of Dec. 8th the 21 plane A6M squadrons had been reduced to 15, then each strike could be escorted by 45 Zeros. The A.M. strike would meet all 56 fighters of the USAAF / USN / USMC. Let us assume that the Americans fight like tigers, achieving a one to one kill to loss to ratio. And, let us assume that each side loses 30 fighters.

That means the IJNs afternoon strike will pit another 45 A6Ms, against the surviving 26 American fighters. Anyone want to guess how this second fight will turn out ? Let us remember Midway, where the USMC got their heads handed to them by the IJN's fighter pilots. The evening of Dec. 8th might find the U.S. with only 5 or 6 operational fighters left.
Even with this scenario exactly as shown, and it’s likely the USAAC can repair more planes than the Japanese on their carriers, it still puts the Japanese in a major bind. They’ve also had serious losses of D3A and B5N and they’re running out of munitions to arm them with (bombs and torpedoes). They have no means to replenish these at sea.

So, Nagumo is facing a situation where his carrier planes are becoming impotent or he risks his carriers running out of munitions and the USN shows up for a surface fight. He would have to conserve some munitions and his planes for that battle. So, the air strikes end and the USAAC starts to recover what they can.
Will the USN sortie ? Well, they could send a couple of light cruisers and a few destroyers against Nagumo. And meet up with all four Kongo's. No, I have a feeling that Kimmel might just choose to forego a suicide run.

And, as for the battleships. Well, conceivably you might be able to get the turrets working on the Pennsylvania, Nevada, Tennessee, and Maryland. But these ships had either flooding or fire damage, and might have issues getting electrical power to their main battery guns.
You might want to just count them out for the present.
Or not. The USN could field a half-dozen heavy and light cruisers and about 40 + destroyers. The Tennessee and Maryland can use their main batteries and in fact historically were prepared to do so. Their engineering plants were intact. Pennsylvania is problematic being in drydock. Her AA battery was intact and could be used.

The likelihood is the fleet abandons the harbor and heads to sea avoiding a sea battle to rendezvous with the carriers and then probably proceeds to the West Coast to join up with relief convoys and forces going to Hawaii from there.

Defense of Oahu is left to the Army.
All the submarines could sortie. With their deadly effective torpedoes. :| Yeah. I think we can count them out, too.
Poor torpedoes or no, the submarines could still be a real threat and their torpedoes do work sometimes. They would pose a major problem for the Japanese trying to stay stationary off Oahu during the landings.
So, the morning of December 9th, 1941, Yamamoto carries out the landings on the North Shore of Oahu, after bombing the emplaced naval and army guns with both a strike from Nagumo and shellfire from six IJN battleships. The first units to go ashore are the 16th and 48th infantry divisions, with the 24th Naval Base Force and some attached units, followed by the 2nd and 38th Infantry divisions, along with the 8th Tank Regiment and the 17th Field Heavy Artillery Regiment,

And yes, I have checked. The IJN had sufficient transport to carry all of these, with
their supplies, to Hawaii in December 1941.
A landing on the North side of Oahu is a recipe for disaster. There are few beaches to land on there, mostly near Haleiwa. Most of the coast there is cliff face. The US knew that, and I’d think the Japanese would too.

The US defenses there would be the 24th Infantry division, backed by anywhere from 10 to 50 155mm field guns and up to a dozen 8” railway guns, along with the 12” and 16” barbette guns of the coast defense force.

The Japanese face anchoring out in an open Pacific swell of several feet and landing on beaches with breaking waves up to fifteen feet in height or more.

The bottom line here is that landing on the North coast is going to be costly. The defenders are going to pound the snot out of the stopped transport ships off shore.

The Japanese, by doctrine, will only be using their cruisers and destroyers for NGFS. The battleships won’t play a role. They’ll be a covering force to prevent intervention by the USN. That’s Japanese doctrine.

Worse, since each ship is spotting for itself and the NGFS doctrine they have in place means the fire is inaccurate and desultory. The coast defense guns will engage the Japanese NGFS ships if they get into range. On the whole I’d expect some losses there and heavy losses among the transport ships. Japanese air cover is probably going to be minimal and intermittent at best and nonexistent at worst.

The USAAF bombers and, worse, Marine dive bombers are likely to show up and do some more damage.

I’d expect the first wave going in to be about 5,000 men in two regiments. That fits Japanese practice historically. These troops that survive the ride in through the waves and breakers end up on a fire swept beach with no cover and US artillery begins to pound them. The landing collapses into chaos as the Japanese officers order desperate banzai-like charges to get through the American defenses. The US reinforces any breeches in their lines as they greatly outnumber the first wave. If the Japanese manage to get the boats back out to the ships, they start to try to load a second wave. Or, they might be ordered to beach their transports to get more troops ashore.

The whole thing just ends up a disastrous defeat for the IJA.
So, these are the forces. Any ideas from members of this forum as to how this might turn out ? Remember, as of the morning of December 9th, the Japanese WILL have total air superiority over Oahu.
I seriously doubt they would have “total air superiority” for the reasons I listed and as for the rest I gave my thinking on that above.

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Takao
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Re: A proper attack on Pearl Harbor

Post by Takao » 08 Jun 2020 20:42

Richard Anderson wrote:
08 Jun 2020 19:10
glenn239 wrote:
08 Jun 2020 18:31
Richard Anderson wrote:
07 Jun 2020 23:47
Peter89 wrote:
07 Jun 2020 21:36
Guys, I really don't see why we can't assume that an all-out, surprise attack could have taken the HI.
Sure, we can assume that, but this is the "what if" section, not the "assume this" section. So how do you get to a fulfillment of your assumption? How do you nearly simultaneously execute a surprise attack on the American fleet and also "take the Hawaiian Islands"?
It can't be done. It is not possible to launch a surprise invasion and defeat the US fleet simultaneously.
Yep. The Japanese could possibly do one or the other, not both. There evaluation was the surprise attempt was close to reckless, but the notion of an invasion event didn't even appear on their radar until after the reckless attempt turned out more successful then they ever reckoned.
Actually that is not true. Genda first proposed an invasion in his original plan to attack Pearl Harbor. However, IGHQ focus was on the South. A Commander Yasuji Watanabe, returned to the invasion in September, 1941, and fleshed out Genda's plan with 2 divisions(30,000 troops), 80 transports + escorts, 32 destroyers, 8 cruisers, 4 battleships, 2 carriers, 6-8 submarines, and 10 tankers. With 1/2 a division landing at Haleiwa, and the rest in Kaneohe Bay - both landings were to be simultaneous, at midnight of 7/8 December, 1941(Honolulu time).

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