Best Allied PTO strategy?

Discussions on WW2 in the Pacific and the Sino-Japanese War.
daveshoup2MD
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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 14 Jun 2020 07:03

Japan is an archipelago, utterly dependent on the sea lanes. The only significant source of POL for Japan's war effort were the occupied NEI.

The US west coast is the departure point for all significant Allied combat power in the Pacific.

The Alaska-Hawaii-Panama triangle was secure by Q1, 1942. The US-SWPA supply lines were secure by Q2, 1942.

The shortest route from the US West Coast to the Western Pacific (where the sea lanes from the NEI to Japan were ) was via the Central Pacific.

QED - the Central Pacific offensive from Hawaii west through MIcronesia to the Philippines was the best strategy to get US forces to the point where the Western Pacific sea lanes could be interdicted; once that was underway, Micronesia and the PI provide the best bases for advances north toward Japan proper.

The South Pacific and Southwest Pacific campaigns were complimentary to the Central Pacific offensive at best, useless sideshows at worst.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Jun 2020 02:07

daveshoup2MD wrote:
14 Jun 2020 07:03
... The South Pacific and Southwest Pacific campaigns were complimentary to the Central Pacific offensive at best, useless sideshows at worst.
The fighting in the Solomons attritioned the IJN air strength & was a useful diversion into 1943. In that sense those battles fit War Plan ORANGE, the Pacific portion of the RAINBOW Plans, or WPP-46. Once the fleet is built up enough to launch the Central Pacific offensive in autumn 1943 there not much point to a S Pacific offensive, other than diversion & air or naval interdiction of oil shipment.

ChristopherPerrien
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or could havebeen Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 27 Jun 2020 05:16

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
09 Jun 2020 18:33
So far this discussion has moved along without consideration of logistics. Specifically the cost in precious cargo ships. Comparing the days per ton delivered a cargo ship is tied up suggests the SPac offensive is a undesireable option.
Oh yea, it does, LOL.

It becomes a question if all of Macathurs offensives and an interest in the SWPAC and in the retaking of the Phillipines, was ntohing more more than a sideshow to entertain a political opponent of Franklin Roosevelt versus a sound strategic strategy. A central pacific thrust (per Ellis) vs the strategy of a retired gone native/glory seeker per Macarthur. Really a great topic that never will be researched in any depth as it could have been when WWII was of any interest outside of the nerds/geeks/old fools such as we have here, LOL .

Or did,,, 20 years ago:( And it is a shame.

stulev
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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by stulev » 27 Jun 2020 12:59

The destruction of most of the Imperial Japanese Navy took place in the SWP and Philippines theaters of operations

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 Jun 2020 17:54

stulev wrote:
27 Jun 2020 12:59
The destruction of most of the Imperial Japanese Navy took place in the SWP and Philippines theaters of operations
A important point. Much of that destruction occured while the Japanese were still attempting the strategic offensive in 1942. Something the US has no control over.

The question comes to how much, or little, the US can send in 1943 & 1944.Would lower cost holding actions and diversions be more efficient?

Mil-tech Bard
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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 08 Feb 2021 01:48

The SWPA & Solomons campaigns happened the way they did because of the logistics of Australia. That and the fact that the SWPA campaign was mostly Australian troops until late 1943.

Most of the people harping on the additional sea lift costs of the SWPA versus the Central Pacific forget basic things like food, water, port capacity and available civilian work forces.

The Central Pacific was zero, zero, zero and zero in those regards for a major fleet or marine landing force.

It was simply much cheaper in terms of sealift to source most quartermaster, civil engineering & transportation supplies to Australia and New Zealand rather than the USA for the Solomons and New Guinea campaigns. Not to mention that you could put large aircraft depots and forward naval repair facilities in Australia in 1942-43 (Brisbane, Townsville & Fremantle) that simply did not fit in Hawaii.

You don't see the scale of the Australian "reverse lend lease" because it was buried post war in the British Commonwealth Lend Lease Account. You have to hunt in the Quartermaster volumes of the Green book history series to find this Australian Lend Lease at all.

The biggest thing you could have done in terms of improving Pacific sealift was send the China B-29 force to Darwin and task it to mine all the oil ports in the Netherland East Indies in the 1st quarter of 1944.

The sea route from America to British India and the Persian Gulf was the longest in WW2. B-29's to Darwin in lieu of China would have reduced the ship hulls tied up in Operation Matterhorn by 1/3 and likely prevented the IJA Ichi-Go offensive that destroyed the Nationalists Chinese armies in Southern China in early 1944.

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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by EwenS » 08 Feb 2021 12:46

Mil-tech Bard wrote:
08 Feb 2021 01:48


You don't see the scale of the Australian "reverse lend lease" because it was buried post war in the British Commonwealth Lend Lease Account. You have to hunt in the Quartermaster volumes of the Green book history series to find this Australian Lend Lease at all.
I believe that the value of reverse lend lease from Australia to the US exceeded the value of Lend lease from the US to Australia. It included food and clothing.

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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by Mil-tech Bard » 08 Feb 2021 19:06

>>I believe that the value of reverse lend lease from Australia to the US exceeded the value of Lend lease from the US to Australia. It included food and clothing.

It included food and clothing. It was far from limited to it. By cost, food and clothing was likely not the top cost.

There was a whole lot more including 114 LW/AW Australian made radars of various marks, most aircraft radios used by the 5th Air force through October 1944, most long range H/F radios used by US Army forces in New Guinea, the Mark II Identification Friend or Foe units used by Allied air & sea forces through Feb 1943 were provided by the Australian Radio Physics Laboratory, most SWPA coastal shipping by hull count was on Australian made, most unpowered barges in the SWPA through 1944 were Australian made.

It simply made more sense from a shipping volume perspective to ship things like vacuum tubes to Australia and have Australian industry make radars, radios and IFF units. The US Army Signal Air Warning radar units in the UK did the same thing. That is, they used UK made radars filled with Lend lease vacuum tubes (Valves to Commonwealth types).

This is one of the reasons why the logistical arguments about the SWPA being logistically more expensive is one of those "Green Eye Shade MBA" games the US Navy hate MacArthur crowd plays.

When you get down to brass tacks. It was the Central Pacific Drive was the logistical cul-de-sac. The Islands the Central Pacific drive took were like space stations that lacked life support sufficient for all the necessary combat and service troops simultaneously.

Most of the US Army service troops Admiral's Nimitz and King wanted for the Operation Causeway invasion of Formosa were in the former South Pacific theater because that is where there was room, food and water for them in the Central Pacific...and there still were not enough of them.

Hell, all the US Army infantry divisions and one of the USMC divisions for the invasion of Okinawa staged from outside the Central Pacific. The XXIVth Corps came from Leyte while the 27th ID & 1st Marine Divisions came from the South Pacific. Nimitz's strategic reserve for Operation Iceberg was the 81st Infantry Division, which was also in the South Pacific.

The South Pacific at that time was under the SWPA administratively.

It is easy for the US Navy after WW2 to make out that the Central Pacific was more efficient theater in terms of sealift tonnage when it based 40% of it's infantry divisions and more than that of it's service troops in MacArthur's theater to take advantage of Australian bully beef and MacArthur's coastal shipping run by the US Army Transportation corps and crewed by Australians, Melanesians and the US Coast Guard that provided it.

The USMC makes the same sorts of arguments today about being more cost efficient, more "bang for the buck," than US Army troops because of how much of it's logistical tail is hidden inside the US Navy budget.

ChristopherPerrien
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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 20 Feb 2021 16:48

Mil-tech Bard wrote:
08 Feb 2021 01:48
The SWPA & Solomons campaigns happened the way they did because of the logistics of Australia. That and the fact that the SWPA campaign was mostly Australian troops until late 1943. (Brisbane, Townsville & Fremantle) that simply did not fit in Hawaii.

You don't see the scale of the Australian "reverse lend lease" because it was buried post war in the British Commonwealth Lend Lease Account. You have to hunt in the Quartermaster volumes of the Green book history series to find this Australian Lend Lease at all.
A graph/chart of any Austrailian Lend lease?. It reads as much of a joke of any reverse British Lend-lease ,. LOL Yadda , Yadda, that some cows were fed into the supply line. Food and water are of course important to "war effort" locally. But overall Austrailia was a negative providing strategic resource , outside of Aussies willing to die for the defunct British Empire. (yea I know British lend lease was about 25% of US lend lease). Sure Britain sent some vehicles/supplies to Russia, far outweighed by US sending vehicles/suppiles to Britain or US sending vehicles/supplies to Russia.

If you want to talk of strategic "dead-ends" in WWII , you had better be talking of Austrailia , or the British Isles LOL.
nobody wanted to invade either.

And what is with
"It was the Central Pacific Drive was the logistical cul-de-sac"?
Do you mean taking Japan is/was not worth more than taking Australia for the opposing sides.? LOL The South West Pacific Drive was far more "worthless" than the Central Pacific Drive", unless you are Macarthur fan :wink: . Alot of guys died so that az-hole did not decide to run against Roosevelt in 1944.
" The Islands the Central Pacific drive took were like space stations that lacked life support sufficient for all the necessary combat and service troops simultaneously."-
I gotta say- "Australia wasn't much different"- still a resource detriment, which demanded mega- shipping tonnage to support any combat troops." food and water being about 20% of combat troops weight/supply needs at best provided locally , the rest had to shipped in from way past Autrailia, no matter where in the Pacific. Only advantage Austailia has over most Pacific Islands , was they didn't have to ship chicks there. LOL

Perhaps you might address Aussie dock worker's refusing to work when they would not get paid an overtime premium for loading supply or repairing warships, and by default did delay military operations and supply and got American and Austrailan soldiers/sailors killed, during the most serious/vital part of that war. Some downsides to PTO strategy involving "Australia"there.

Take this lighly Mil-tech barb , I know you, and this light topic is just tangential to our interests now. No big deal. :thumbsup:

daveshoup2MD
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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 10 Mar 2021 07:48

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Jun 2020 02:07
daveshoup2MD wrote:
14 Jun 2020 07:03
... The South Pacific and Southwest Pacific campaigns were complimentary to the Central Pacific offensive at best, useless sideshows at worst.
The fighting in the Solomons attritioned the IJN air strength & was a useful diversion into 1943. In that sense those battles fit War Plan ORANGE, the Pacific portion of the RAINBOW Plans, or WPP-46. Once the fleet is built up enough to launch the Central Pacific offensive in autumn 1943 there not much point to a S Pacific offensive, other than diversion & air or naval interdiction of oil shipment.
Japanese air power would have been reduced in any of the four Pacific theaters, as it was historically, from 1942 onwards; after Midway and the destruction of the only strategic weapon Japan had worth the name, there wasn't any Japanese air power worth the name. The Allies could have waged a minor campaign in Papua and NE New Guinea in 1942-43, driving on Buna-Gona and then (maybe) Lae-Salamaua, and then holding the line there with Australian forces in favor of a US drive in the Central Pacific, and the Pacific War still would have ended about the same time in 1945 as it did historically.

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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Mar 2021 12:35

Since the Japanese surrender was based on events like the available atomic bombs, the heavy bomber force that burned its cities, the failing rice harvest of 1945, and Soviet DoW; none of which depended on the S Pac campaign, the war would have probably ended on exactly the same date.

Delta Tank
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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by Delta Tank » 10 Mar 2021 18:26

To all,

When did the US Navy discover (?) that they could go basically anywhere and do almost anything and the Japanese could not stop them?

Mike

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Takao
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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by Takao » 10 Mar 2021 20:58

Invasion of the Gilberts, once the Essex and Independence class carriers were available in sufficient numbers, and the fleet train was there to support them. But, there was still a healthy respect for Japanese land-based air.

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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Mar 2021 22:39

Signals signals intel collected and summarized from the last carrier battle of 1942 through mid 1943 gave a clear picture of the Japanese carrier strength, their problems providing fuel to their surface fleet, and the weakness of the Army aviation. There were clear signs of weakening during Operation CARTWHEEL & subsequent op in S Pac early to mid 1943.

During the first action of the Gilberts campaign, the landings on the Tarawa Atoll we had some knowledge of the Japanese plans to counter attack there. When the shooting stopped the Japanese had been unable to execute the surface ship and air portion of their plan. A submarine was able to reach the atoll and sink the Liscomb Bay, their one success.

daveshoup2MD
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Re: Best Allied PTO strategy?

Post by daveshoup2MD » 11 Mar 2021 05:50

Takao wrote:
10 Mar 2021 20:58
Invasion of the Gilberts, once the Essex and Independence class carriers were available in sufficient numbers, and the fleet train was there to support them. But, there was still a healthy respect for Japanese land-based air.
Yes, but until kamikaze tactics were adopted wholesale in 1945, the Japanese land-based air was dealt with; other than Chicago at Rennell Island and Princeton at Leyte, I'm not thinking of significant American losses due to Japanese land-based air.

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