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Coral Sea, 75 years ago

Discussion in 'War in the Pacific' started by USS Washington, May 5, 2017.

  1. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    "Decimated" has become an odd term. Strictly speaking it means reduced by 1/10, which in military terms is often considered acceptable loss. But, perhaps because the word sounds so dramatic, it's often used to describe something which has been largely destroyed or ruined.
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I think that level was originally chosen because it was an "acceptable" level of loss given that it was originally a form of discipline for "under performing" units. The latter in quotes because the only specific incidents I'm aware of it being used were by Antony in rather suspect circumstances.
     
  3. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    I don’t beleive I said a lot...my words were ‘enough’...
     
  4. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    More than a few IJN destroyers were lost in the subsequent naval battles in the Solomon's and later campaigns CAC, specifically during the Tokyo Express runs. Maybe that's what you were alluding to.

    Lifted this from Wiki:

    Japanese destroyers of World War II - Wikipedia

    Statistics
    Excluding those ships that preceded the first "Special Type", or Fubuki, destroyers, Japan had sixty-eight front-line destroyers in commission at the declaration of war with the Allies (in contrast to the 144 planners had proposed). A further sixty-four were commissioned during the war, but these failed to compensate for the losses incurred and the number of ships available declined steadily until mid-1944. There was a further catastrophic decline in October and November, 1944, when over twenty were lost. Only thirty-one survived hostilities.The high level of destroyer losses has been attributed to the poor effectiveness of their anti-aircraft and anti-submarine weaponry and radar, the aggressiveness with which they were used, and their being squandered on supply missions to Guadalcanal.
     
  5. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I'm honestly surprised 31 destroyers survived the war............
     
  6. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Actually it wasn't but thanks! The Japanese were expanding to protect places like Rabul and then thinking of taking Port Moresby, followed by Northern Australia to deprive us of our airfields thus protecting their northern bases...Battle of Coral Sea reduced their navy to such a point that northern Australia went off the planning map.
    "This plan was presented to the Emperor by Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō and in effect ended discussion of invading Australia. The FS Operation was not implemented, however, due to Japan's defeats in the Battle of the Coral Sea and Battle of Midway and was canceled on 11 July 1942"
    (Still more to do of course but Australia was safe...and we knew it.) The battle probably has more resonance with Australia than it does with Americans...
    "On 31 March, the Australians were joined by the American 8th Bombardment Squadron with A-24 bombers and for two weeks in May by six P-39 Airacobras of the American 36th Pursuit Squadron. Despite the American assistance, the daily air battles over and around Port Moresby by 1 May had reduced No. 75 Squadron RAAF to just three airworthy machines. The American 35th, and the full 36th, Pursuit Squadrons arrived to relieve the Australian squadron. During their time in Port Moresby 75 Squadron had lost 21 aircraft and 12 pilots. The Battle of the Coral Sea, which was fought mostly in the waters south-east of Papua in early May, diverted a Japanese naval attack against Port Moresby and removed the immediate threat. However, by May 1942 the Japanese had established themselves in the arc of islands north and east of the island of New Guinea as well as in the region around Lae and Madang on the north coast of the mainland."

    [​IMG]
    75th Squadron...still protecting Australia's north to this day...
    [​IMG]
     
    rkline56 likes this.
  7. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you CAC that Australians are more likely to remember Coral Sea than Americans. I find it odd, even sad that so few Americans know that Alaska, not a state yet in 1942, was fought over for a year between U.S/ Canadian and Japanese forces. It's crazy to think a WW2 battle was fought in a state, it's different from Pearl Harbor in that there were actually Japanese troops in Alaska, and we had to fight for months in the cold terrible winters of Alaska to finish them off.
     
  8. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Faaarrrk...didn't know that!!
     
  9. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    I think that I remember reading something somewhere about the IJA wasn't terribly interested in the notion of invading Australia at all, but the IJN was. The Army was tied down in China, SE Asia, the Philippines (garrison mainly) and hundreds of little islands scattered across the south Pacific. So scratching up troops and going into Oz would be a stretch for them to say the least.
     
  10. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

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    Yeah similar to what I’ve heard too...but the different factions not agreeing on things wasn’t new...
     
  11. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad I could educamate you!!
     

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