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Was the Dispersal of the Japanese Fleet at Midway an Error???

Discussion in 'Naval Warfare in the Pacific' started by bronk7, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    I never thought of that...sounds logical
     
  2. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    Yes, US carriers were disperesed, but they were still within supporting distance of one another. Yamamoto and Hosogaya were not within supporting distance of Nagumo.
     
  3. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    Complacency IS laziness and slackness, is it not?

    As to reading the Japanese mail being lucky...no, that wasn't luck either, but the product of many months of hard work. Nimitz and King were smart enough to trust that information. That's a good command decision, not luck.
     
  4. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    And also by which side does more things right. The USN did more things right at Midway.
     
  5. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I have read some authors that speculated that this fleet disposition, added to his actions during the Guadalcanal Campaign, contributed to Jack Fletcher's relief and subsequently never receiving another combat command.

    RLeonard, do you have any direct insight into this through your contacts?
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    It is not.


    That is not what I said...Hence, the express reason that I put luck in quotes. The Midway was a victory due to the direct result of American codebreaking work, and had little to do with any supposed luck.
     
  7. Bundesluftwaffe

    Bundesluftwaffe New Member

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    For sure the Americans were the better prepared party as well they fought well of course.

    @ Takao: Is this true, one of the Japanese service branches wouldn´t tell the other of such important issues ? Than their rivalry must have been really great. Also the issue of developing planes for 2 servies might be a problem (not so much with the US, they had the resources) but maybe J. had better not developed the Oscar etc. but used the Zero also as land based fighter (or other types). Or even better brought the better type in action earlier noting that Zero wasn´t that effective anymore in eg. 43. However other countries also stick to proven designs (109, Spit)...but that is of course "what if" :)
     
  8. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Did the Japanese have a land invasion force ready? Were their intentions to hit Midway with their navy and air force to coincide with a land invasion fleet? I just want to clarify this with myself.
     
  9. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    I do remember something like that [ who was it that left the USMC at the Canal without air? I thought it was Fletcher ]
     
  10. Bundesluftwaffe

    Bundesluftwaffe New Member

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    From memory: I believe not really, this OP was more to get their "great sea battle", and destroy most of US naval forces. So Midway was a feint, to draw in the US force. This worked, but not as intented by the planner probably :) Also Midway isn´t really important (iirc. from playing WITPAE it is more a kind of outpost, where you put small ships and recon planes maybe some fighters - that´s it. You easily juggle ships/planes from and to Midway, so imho no need for a strong presence there. Except you detect a quite big fleet coming it´s way)
     
  11. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    very good/interesting point here<>yes, they wanted to lure the US out to a fight<>but were not ready/expecting them so early!!??!! ..... I thought there was a landing force?.....
     
  12. Bundesluftwaffe

    Bundesluftwaffe New Member

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    I am not sure, let the guys with better memory answer.

    However, even if they had taken the island, how the f.... did they plan to supply it ?? It can be easily sealed of by subs /planes. Also take a look at a map, the next bigger IJN base was far away. US bases much nearer. Thats said, had most of the US naval force been destroyed, it might be possible to hold Midway for a while until the US recovers....but I would have just ignored a IJ presence on Midway, if I were US commander. Seal island off and let them rot there :) Only capable IJ bombers there could be a thread to shipping of course.
     
  13. bronk7

    bronk7 Well-Known Member

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    yes, very near'' the PH sub base, considering how much farther the subs traveled
     
  14. Smiley 2.0

    Smiley 2.0 Smiles

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    Yes thank you for that insight Bundesluftwaffe! :)
     
  15. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    When an army or navy is complacent, is that not being slack? Complacency is a kind of laziness, if only the mental kind, Surely a force that is up to its game will not be guilty of it. The Japanese were clearly operating well below their best at Midway, certainly below the high standard they showed at Pearl Harbor and in their other early operations.

    I certainly agree with you that Midway was the result of successful American measures and not luck. Succesful codebreaking was one of the most important of these. In this case, the US high command also made good use of its information, and the combat commanders and air and naval crews did their jobs well.
     
  16. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Regretfully, you are wrong on this point...Kido Butai was operating at their "best." And they were operating at the "high standard" they showed at Pearl Harbor and in their earlier operations. The reconnaissance plan that failed to spot the American fleet was the same one they at Pearl, the Indian Ocean, and Coral Sea. The pilots were, for the most part, the same ones also. However, at Pearl and in the Indian Ocean raid, Kido Butai had never really been put to the test. Finally, when Japanese carriers had been put to the test, the results were not all that spectacular...Shoho sunk, Shokaku wrecked, and the Zuikaku had her air group decimated.

    To close, the first time Kido Butai was attacked was on April 9, 1942, by nine British Blenheim bombers...The Japanese never even knew the bombers were there until waterspouts began erupting around the Akagi.
     
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  17. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    Yes, I think I must agree with you. After reading Toll and some other things about the USN in the spring of '42, it is clear that the USN carrier force had improved enormously since December '41. The Japanese carrier force, by contrast, had not faced really first rate opposition prior to Midway or the Coral Sea.
     
  18. steverodgers801

    steverodgers801 Member

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    The Hosho had a very small complement, but it could have been part of a small group, the Ryuho and Junyo were part of the northern force, assigned to bomb Midway it self while the big four, were in reserve for the fleet. Yamamoto would have done well to remember his own saying. When given three options the enemy will usually pick the fourth. The defeat at Midway started with the decision to go into the Indian Ocean, this meant the full KB was not ready to support the Coral Sea operation, resulting in three carriers being put out of service and not available for Midway
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Could the IJN have afforded to have had Yamato and company operating with the carriers. Consider how much of a fuel hog the Yamato's were and how much fuel the Midway operation used as it is.

    For a reference to this see:
    http://www.combinedfleet.com/guadoil1.htm
     
  20. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    IIRC, the Japanese battleships did sit out much of the Pacific War.
     

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