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logistical restraints on Japanese carriers

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare in the Pacific' started by steverodgers801, Apr 16, 2015.

  1. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    Just had a thought since the Japanese had not developed a means to sustain carrier operations at sea, would that be one reason Yamamoto had relied on his BB's so much. It wasn't until 1944 that the US had fully developed the logistic support that enabled their carrier groups to stay at sea. I wonder if Yamamoto had reasoned that the US carriers would be good for one battle so even if they had hit some Japanese carriers they probably wouldn't be able to stay for a second,this assumes that not all four would be sunk. Look at how effective the Hiryu was alone, imagine if two or three had survived. Once the American carriers would have to withdraw then BB's would be king.
     
  2. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't think he/they relied on the BBs much in the 'main'' operations such as Pearl Harbor, ,Midway, Coral Sea, Battle of Santa Cruz, Marianas, etc....they were used to bombard the Canal, but that wasn't so strategic..they couldn't stay around after dawn because of airpower from Cactus...and with the Battle of Leyte Gulf, they had no other choice then to ''try'' to use the BBs....
    the US BBs were ''kings'' at Iwo, and Tarawa but we know how those battles went...very, very tough!.
     
  3. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    He expected his BB's to mop up once the air action was done
     
  4. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    what would be their mission?
     
  5. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    to sink any survivors and prevent any surface attacks on the invasion force
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Umm..."Kings" do not "mop up", that is what stable boys are for.

    Were the battleships expected to mop up, or were they just insurance against any errant American forces that might decide to attack. The mopping up of American damaged ships could have been done just as easily with cruisers and/or destroyers(USS Hornet at Santa Cruz, or the US Task Group 30.3 at Cape Engano). However, mopping up was occasionally done with battleships - USS Iowa and USS New Jersey, part of Task Group 50.9, mopped up fleeing Japanese surface ships after Operation Hailstone. Of course, the USS Iowa and USS New Jersey did have speed advantage of several knots over the Japanese battleships, but it did not help the American BBs in pursuit of Japanese destroyer Nowaki.

    IMHO, the Japanese battleships were insurance against a possible attack by the few operational US battleships that were marking time several days, at top speed, from the battlefield. Since they could not catch any fleeing American ships, and they were so far behind the rest of the Japanese fleet that Japanese cruisers and destroyers would have sunk any remaining American cripples before the Japanese battleships arrived on the field.
     
  7. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    i don't think it was just yamamoto. everyone before 1942 believed carriers were a new concept and that naval fighting, whether close-in around islands, in an inland sea, or at mid-ocean will be decided by BB's in line formation. the fact that the pearl harbor attack proved the effectiveness of carriers against ships (moored at harbor) seemed secondary to 56Y compared to the fact that the US' pacific battleship force has been destroyed. what did that british admiral say about force z' chances of winning without air cover, "bombers are no match to battleships"?

    for midway, battleships were really expected to destroy the remnants of nimitz' surface forces.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Had all things been equal, Admiral Phillips would have been correct. Bombers are no match for battleships. IIRC, Germany & Italy had not used torpedo bombers at such great ranges before, so based on this experience Phillips expected to only encounter level bombers, which could do little harm to his force(barring a lucky hit that sank the USS Arizona).

    But all things are not equal. He did not know of the long range of the Japanese land-based bombers that allowed them to carry torpedoes for a much greater distance than their German and Italian contemporaries.


    I doubt it, Yamamoto's 3 battleship force was a good day's steaming behind the Nagumo's 4 carriers & 2 battleships. Had Nagumo released his battleships Haruna & Kirishima, and his cruisers Tone & Chikuma, they would have mopped up the American cripples before Yamamoto's battleships even got close.

    Basically, Yamamoto's battleships were a day away, and in a crey poor position to do anything useful.
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    if a ship is damaged, but able to move, will it not move away from the enemy?? if it's too damaged to move, then it's as good as sunk anyway...
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Yes...But, not only do Nagumos' Haruna, Kirishima, Tone, and Chikuma have a good day's advance on Yamamoto's trailing battleships, they are also several knots faster as a group.

    So, yet again, we return to the quandary of Yamamoto keeping his battleships "out in left field" where they can do little good. in what is probably the most important battle of the war for Japan.
     
  11. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    His 5.25" (which were excellent) fire directors weren't working correctly either, were they?
     
  12. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    main point is, if the BBs are moving that far to 'mop' up cripples, I don't think the BBs, from either force, would be contributing too much to the battle...the cripples are already ''crippled'' really bad
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    There was evidence at least from the Battle of the Coral Sea that carrier engagments could result in even the carriers of the victorious side being rendered rather impotent. Perhaps the Yamato and company were there to insure naval dominance if this happened.
     
  14. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

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    one day of steaming in a mid-ocean battle seems a short time. it was even planned that some of hosogoya's ships from the aleutian force would veer south and join yamamoto's main force.
     
  15. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    re the BB's, Yamato did not expect the air battle to happen so early. Based on his plan the back up force would arrived around the time the US fleet did
     
  16. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    exactly, and that's what got them into trouble...not planning on what the enemy what capable of
     
  17. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    It comes back to the codebreaking; without that, there was no reason for every available American carrier to be in exactly the right spot off Midway on the morning of June 4.
     
  18. squidly the octopus

    squidly the octopus New Member

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    The IJN brought their battleships along because that was what they had available, not because there was any vital mission for them to accomplish other than perhaps shore bombardment. This was true for both sides in the Pacific War, being heavily invested in battleships as of 1941 and finding out in short order that they didn't actually have much of a mission other than that. I'm sure the USN would have brought some battleships to Midway also, had they had any to bring, even though they were obviously not needed to achieve a historic victory (which we all know in hindsight).

    Had everyone possessed crystal ball prescience before the war, there would have been fewer battleships built and fewer brought along on missions. But lacking that, they had a bunch of battleships and weren't able to reconcile themselves with just leaving them at home as museum pieces...... yet.
     
  19. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    The Pacific Fleet had approximately seven battleships available, forming TF1 based on the West Coast; Nimitz chose not to employ them. These were modernized WWI-era "standard type" ships, comparable to the Japanese battleships other than Yamato.

    The Japanese tabletop war games prior to Midway assigned the Americans both carrier and surface forces, so apparently they assumed or at least wanted to be prepared for us to bring out our battle fleet.
     
  20. squidly the octopus

    squidly the octopus New Member

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    Questionable if they could have made it in time.... was already late May when this decision was made I think.... 3000 miles between SF and Midway.... flank speed of 20 knots at most, and perhaps less, for those old battleships, which wouldn't have been maintained anyway due to fuel requirements (about which I'm not sure of the particulars of unrep resources available for that voyage, but I know such resources were scarce in the Pacific Fleet at that time)............. but score one for Adm. Nimitz if it was possible to get them there and he knew ahead of time that they wouldn't be needed.
     

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