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Interesting information on war in the Pacific

Discussion in 'War in the Pacific' started by Kai-Petri, Jan 24, 2003.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    " In December 1940, Rear Admiral Paul Wenneker, the German naval attaché, handed over a captured document from a British Blue Funnel cargo ship, S.S. Automedon, to Japanese authorities. The document, which was addressed to Air Marshal Robert Brooke-Popham,the British commander-in-chief in the Far East, indicated that the British Chief of Staff regarded both Thailand and Hong Kong as indefensible against Japanese attack. There is no doubt the document encouraged the Japanese war planners in their decision to advance into South-East Asia."

    From " Japanese Intelligence in WW2 " by Ken Kotani
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    " One of the main reasons for the Japanese Army´s long-term indifference to the United States ( not interested in the US garrisons etc ) was that they were seriously planning a fight with the Soviets,even after the Pearl Harbor attack.According to the Army´s plan, the Pacific war was expected to end by spring 1942, and then they would commence hostilities against the Russians. On January 14,1942, the Operations Department, Army General HQ, informed the Kwantung Army that they would allocate four more divisions to Manchuria by march 1942 when the Kwantung Army had planned to wage a war against the Soviets. When emperor Hirohito visited the Army War College at the end of 1943, he said to the chief aide-de-camp: " I have mixed feelings about the college´s educational tendency to attach too much importance to the Soviet Union, although we are fighting with the United States." Now the IJA ( Imperial Japanese Army ) finally began full-scale studies and information gathering on the United States, but it was too late. Colonel Shinobu Takayama, operations staff, Army General Staff, reflected on his experience: " We should have researched the US power and her state of affairs before the war..."

    From " Japanese Intelligence in WW2 " by Ken Kotani
     
    syscom3 likes this.
  3. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    And it also contained detailed information on the state of the British forces in the Far East. The information greatly surprise the Japanese because they had not expected the defences to be that weak.

    From "Bloody Shambles" by Cull, Shores and Izawa
     
  4. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Otsu incident

    The Navy´s Otsu incident occurred when two IJN flying boats suffered damage during a tropical storm on the way to Davao from Palau on April 1, 1944. On the first aircraft was Admiral Mineichi Koga, the commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet,who died when the aircraft went down.The second aircraft, containing Vice Admiral Shigeru Fukudome,carried a waterproof attache case that contained the IJN code book and "Z plan" document, which explained crititcal information on future Japanese war strategy, written in plain language,not code. The attache case was lost when the second boat ditched. Then Fukudome and the others were caught by local guerrillas on Cebu island. Meanwhile, the Americans found the Japanese flying boats off the island of Cebu, and discovered the secret documents, which they carried to the Australian Army´s intelligence department by submarine;they then copied them. Then the US floated the attache case around the emergency landing area to allow the Japanese to find it.Eventually the case was returned to the Japanese side, under the pretence that it had been found by the locals of Cebu.

    From Japanese intelligence in WW2 by Ken Kotani
     
  5. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Patrick Stanley Vaughan Heenan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Patrick Stanley Vaughan Heenan (29 July 1910 – 13 February 1942) was a Captain in the British Indian Army who was convicted of treason, after spying for Japan during the Malayan campaign of World War II. Heenan was reportedly killed during the Battle of Singapore. According to Heenan's biographer, Peter Elphick, these events were suppressed by British Commonwealth military censors.

    Japanese forces invaded Thailand and Malaya on 8 December. Their air raids were assisted by radio transmissions made by Heenan.

    By February,Heenan had become very cocky, taunting his guards ... that he would soon be free and they would be prisoners. It appears that ... British military police took matters into their own hands. After cards were cut to decide who would ... [kill] Heenan, it is alleged he was taken to the dockside, where a sergeant executed him with a single pistol shot to the back of the head. The body was then dumped in the harbour.
    Elphick also states that the site of Heenan's shooting was Keppel Harbour.
     
  7. arthur45

    arthur45 Member

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    Unfortunately, the Doolittle raid was a total disaster and could have had very large negative effects on the Pacific war in the month that followed. Their WAS no meaningful damage as a result of the raid- I think one ship in dry dock got some paint scraped off. And a boost in morale is a poor justification for a pointless operation. Had the Japanese been able to inform the American public of the small impact of the raid, morale (and credibility of FDR's administration) would have sunk to a new low, which really means something,given FDR's recent shellacking in the Congressional elections after his "depression within a depression" period of 1937-38. Nimitz was dead set against the operation, and as usual, he was right. Had the raid not occurred, he would have had 4 carriers in the Coral Sea to meet the Japanese task force, and most likely would have shifted the carrier mathematics to our favor without having to depend upon a lot of luck (and Japanese mistakes) at Midway a few weeks later. And, as usual, FDR put personal politics ahead of everything else in approving the plan. He was lucky the American public swallowed the absurd claims about Doolittle's raid. And our Chinese friends who suffered the revenge of the Japanese for being where the Doolittle planes landed did not think highly of FDR's operation either. To top it all off in an appropriately pointless fashion, Doolittle was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. For accomplishing nothing.
     
  8. syscom3

    syscom3 Member

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    Arthur, politics is everything in war.

    The Chinese thought it was great. The American people thought it was great. And the Japanese lost face. Therefore the raid was a smashing success.
     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I also think the morale factor was important. Up until the Doolittle raid, most Americans believed the Japanese were close to being unbeatable. The raid showed differently. The Japanese were incredulous that America was able to accomplish it. I'm afraid your feelings about Roosevelt are coloring your viewpoint. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but not very useful when we put ourselves in the shoes of those involved AT THE TIME.
     
  10. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Well said Lou. Here's what's posted in wiki about the Doolittle Raid;

    The raid was planned and led by Lieutenant Colonel James "Jimmy" Doolittle, U.S. Army Air Forces. Doolittle would later recount in his autobiography that the raid was intended to bolster American morale and to cause the Japanese to begin doubting their leadership:

    The Japanese people had been told they were invulnerable ... An attack on the Japanese homeland would cause confusion in the minds of the Japanese people and sow doubt about the reliability of their leaders. There was a second, and equally important, psychological reason for this attack ... Americans badly needed a morale boost.


    Of the targets struck, the most damage inflicted was when the IJN aircraft carrier Ryuho (under construction) was hit in the naval yard in Yokosuka. That hit delayed it's launching until November, keeping it out of the action for seven months. That in itself was a godsend to the USN. At the beginning of hostilities in the Pacific, the USN lost the Lexington (May 42), the Yorktown (Jun 42), the Wasp (Sept 42), the Hornet (Oct 42). The Saratoga was torpedoed and put out of action (Aug 42-Jan 43) and for awhile, it was the USS Enterprise vs Japan until it was bombed and out of action (Sept-Oct 42). That left only the USS Ranger as the only US aircraft carrier capable of combat operations, but it had been re-assigned to the Atlantic and not able to help at all until the Enterprise got back underway. The IJN began the war with ten fleet carriers. Four were lost at Midway and two were damaged at Coral Sea. The two damaged carriers were back in action by August 1942. That gave the IJN a 6 to 1 advantage in fleet carriers in the Pacific from October 1942 until the Doolittle damaged Ryuho finally joined the Combined Fleet in November 1942. That increased the odds to 7-1 in the IJN's favor for the rest of the year. Those figure does not include light carriers. The IJN had six at the start of the war, with one under construction. Two were lost by the end of 1942. The USN had none.

    You are right about the Enterprise and Hornet missing the Battle of Coral Sea because of the Doolittle Raid. After the bombers took off, TF 16 high-tailed it back to safety at Pearl. Japanese intel picked up on radio traffic of TF 16 as it approached Hawaiian waters and deduced that all but one the US carriers were in the Central Pacific. They had no idea of the whereabouts of the other one. As a result, the IJN proceeded with Operation MO (the occupation of Port Moresby) thinking that there were NO US carriers in the region. Imagine their surprise when they were jumped by the the combined air groups from the Lexington and Yorktown. The IJN lost one light carrier, and one fleet carrier was heavily damaged. And the air group from the other was severely depleted that it, along with the heavily damaged one missed the subsequent Battle of Midway. With those two big fleet carriers available to Yamamoto at Midway, things might have not went well for the USN. The carrier odds would have been 6 to 3 in favor of the IJN.

    Funny how things worked out because of a useless raid eh?

    And in reference to your view of the US victory at Midway was due to a lot of luck and Japanese mistakes, well that's how things work in war sometimes. Although I believe that since we were "reading their mail" as a result of breaking their Naval Codes had more to do with the US victory (or Japanese loss if you will) than luck and mistakes. Don't get me wrong, luck and mistakes are often the deciding factors in the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Sh1t happens you know.

    Actually, after the raid and he was returned to the US, LTC Doolittle was promoted to brigadier general, skipping colonel and awarded the Medal of Honor. The term "congressional" is not nor was it ever associated with the nomenclature of the award. It is awarded by the president, in the name of congress to the recipient. And it wasn't awarded for nothing. MacArthur's Medal of Honor maybe, but not Doolittle's.

    None of the planners or particpants, even in their wildest dreams ever thought that this raid would inflict catastrophic much less light damage on the targets selected. It was only intended to be "nuisance raid" at best. Militarily insignificant. A morale booster. A reminder that we weren't finished. A "Doolittle" raid. Looks like it was a successful mission to me.
     
  11. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Dont forget that Midway happened because of the raid. Yamamoto under took the attack because he wanted to get the US carriers. The importance of the raid was that we showed Japan that we were not going to quit and that we could and would hit the home islands. The Japanese high command promised that not one bomb would ever hit Japan.
     
  12. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Bobby, I'm glad you fleshed out your answer. The details made for better and more complete reading. It made more sense to me than just a wiki answer. Thanks.
     
  13. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

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    Glad to help out when I can.
     
  14. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    No. Yamamoto wanted to get the US carriers for two reasons already:

    1. They were the only offensive assets the USN had left.
    2. They had made their presence felt and rather painfully so at at least two occasions: Lea-Salamaua and Coral Sea


    IMO the 'Midway happened because of the Doolittle Raid' theory is after the fact to give meaning to a mere PR stunt that could have had desasterous strategic consequences for the US(at Coral Sea).
     
  15. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    War is political and the morale boost to the US was important and not just a PR stunt. Any operation can go wrong and just because something bad might have happened does not invalidate its value. Midway and Coral Seacould have gone wrong even with the extra carriers so should they have been cancelled.


    Spurred by Combined Fleet commander Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, they also resolved to eliminate the risk of any more such raids by the early destruction of America's aircraft carriers, a decision that led them to disaster at the Battle of Midway a month and a half later.

    Doolittle Raid on Japan, 18 April 1942

    Compared to the devastating B-29 fire bombing attacks against Japan later in the war, the Doolittle Raid did little material damage. Nevertheless, when the news of the raid was released American morale soared. The raid also had a strategic impact on the war. The Japanese military recalled many units back to the home islands for defense, where they remained while battles raged throughout the Pacific.
    Additionally, it provoked Admiral Yamamoto into attempting a hastily organized strike against Midway Island that resulted in the loss of four fleet carriers, many sailors and a number of highly trained aircrew from which the Imperial Japanese Navy never recovered.


    The Doolittle Raid - WORLD WAR II - Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet Museum
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Steve,
    Yamamoto had been planning the operation against Midway for some weeks before Doolittle's Raid. So saying that it provoked Yamamoto into a hastily organized strike is utter nonsense. What the Doolittle Raid did do was to quash all the many arguments(Army and Navy) against Yamamoto's haphazard plan.

    Therefore, Marcus Becker's Reason#2 is also incorrect...Midway was planned before Coral Sea was even fought. Further Lae-Salamaua was tantamount to a "pin-prick" against the Japanese. Then again, Reason #2 is not a reason at all, just reinforcement and examples of Reason#1 "1. They were the only offensive assets the USN had left."
     
  17. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    the raid did happen because of the attack, since it did eliminate opposition and he did the raid to go after the carriers.
     
  18. Markus Becker

    Markus Becker Member

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    I stand by my assesment that it was a PR stunt and a damn risky one.

    At the same time a few bombs were dropped on Tokyo, the Japanese were about to take New Guinea and the Solomons. Loosing that, plus Lex and Yorktown would have been a major strategic defeat and hurt morale a lot. On the other hand, with more carriers a mini-Midway would have been possible, instead of a costly draw.


    Takao,

    Lea-Salamaua was indeed not much compared to later ops but it was quite something compared to previous ones and it took them completely by surprise. IIRC the combination made an impression on the IJN.
     
  19. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Sorry, but no, Midway did not happen because of the attack. While the goal was to sink the American carriers, that was the same goal that had been advanced when the plan was undertake several weeks prior to Doolittle's Raid. Yamamoto and the Naval GHQ came to a compromise that, along with Midway, the Aleutians would be invaded(which is what the GHQ wanted). Army opposition to Midway was overcome by substituting SNLF troops instead of Army troops. The Midway Operational plan was submitted to the Emperor on April 16th - two days before Doolittle's Raid. So, Midway was a "done deal" prior to Doolittle.

    The opposition that was eliminated by Doolittle' Raid was that directed against the overall objective of Yamamoto's grand scheme - Hawaii. Midway(the destruction of the American fleet) was but the opening move of a campaign against the American bastion of the Hawaiian Islands.
     
  20. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    From what I recall Shattered Sword brings to question whether or not he really wanted to go after Hawaii. That the plans were submitted doesn't mean that there wasn't still some opposition. Probably not enough to have prevented the operation but that's another matter.

    Getting back to the Doolittle raid. It clearly was aimed at moral and that makes it a propaganda or if one prefers a publicity operation at heart. However that hardly means it was a "stunt" or that it was a bad idea. It was risky but on the other hand it's impact on allied moral alone was worth it IMO and its effect on Japanese planning post raid was worth even more.
     

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