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What could have been the strength, of the Pacific Fleet, on June 7th, 1942?

Discussion in 'What If - Pacific and CBI' started by Dracula, Jul 14, 2019.

  1. Dracula

    Dracula Member

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    Anybody can find the historical numbers and types of ships of the IJN and the US Pac Fleet, on December 7th, 1941. But, if the Japanese hadn't attacked in December of '41, and , instead, had delayed the attack just several months, until June of '42, what could have been the potential lineup of the Pac Fleet?

    The lexington, Enterprise, and eventually the Saratoga were readily available. The Yorktown, in early January of '42, the Hornet was in the Pacific as early as mid April, of '42, and the Wasp, in June of '42. Battleship Row could have seen a huge upgrade, as well.The North Carolina and the Washington could have been, in the Pacific, as early as mid '42.
    What could have been?

    Moderator Edit - Thread moved to proper sub-forum
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2019
  2. R Leonard

    R Leonard Member

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    I'd suggest you go here
    Alternate History
    to post questions such as this and also your "how about this scenario" thread. That way those who, and I mean it sincerely, enjoy the "what if" discussion can play to their hearts content.

    Though I have enough of the data at hand, I don't do pointless research unless there is a lot of money involved.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The battleships would not have seen a huge upgrade. With war clouds overhead, the intended modernization to the battleships was postponed indefinitely, with the Colorado being the last to go stateside. Both the North Carolina & Washington stayed in the Atlantic after war had broken out - with no war in the Pacific, why send the there at all...They will stay on the east coast an continue their training. Further, the fleet train would be unable to handle so rapid an increase in combatants.

    The Wasp only went to the Pacific to make up for lost & damaged carriers in that theater. Absent this, the Wasp would not be sent to the Pacific.

    The US fleets would grow as they did historically, since both were desperately in need of combat and supply types.
     
  4. RichTO90

    RichTO90 Well-Known Member

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  5. Dracula

    Dracula Member

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    Sorry, it has been pointed out that this thread should be moved to the Alternative History forum and I agree, that they should be. I will not be making any new comments on these Dracula threads, on the Prelude to War forum. If anybody, has any pull with the MODs of WW2, please ask them to move the Dracula Prelude to War threads to Alternative History. Thanks.
     
  6. Takao

    Takao Ace

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  7. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    In the months preceding Pearl Harbor, we had been sending ships from the Pacific to the Atlantic to beef up our "neutrality" patrol. One particular concern was the Tirpitz. We had brought the New Mexico class ships, the most modernized of the older BBs, to the Atlantic to patrol against her breaking out through the Denmark Straits as Bismarck (and Scharnhorst and Gneisenau) had; so it seems likely that the North Carolinas would be retained in the Atlantic when they entered service. The carrier Yorktown had also been transferred; carriers were valuable either in hunting groups or as convoy escorts. Our next new carrier, Essex, would not be operational until 1943.

    Of course a lot could happen in six months, in either ocean, but the Atlantic was actually the "hot" theater as 1941 turned into '42. We might not see a flow back to the Pacific until our construction program produced enough ships to make the Atlantic secure.

    One possible exception would stem from the entry into service of the new Japanese battleships, Yamato and Musashi. As our South Dakota class came into commission, we would have enough modern BBs to start sending some to the Pacific, although this would be later than the June 1942 date discussed here.

    p.s. our WWI era battleships underwent extensive reconstruction in the 1920s-30s, classes being modernized in the order they had been built, but the program was cut short by the Depression before the last of them, the Tennessee and Colorado classes, could be taken in hand. This made the New Mexicos our most "modern" BBs until the new generation joined the fleet. In particular, the New Mexicos had the Mark 31 gunfire control system, state of the art in the early '30s.

    The Navy remained anxious to modernize the "Big Five", but as Takao noted, the growing threat of war made it unfeasible to take them out of service for a year or more. Instead a more modest program was developed, taking only a couple of months per ship. At the time of Pearl Harbor, Maryland had been done, Colorado was in progress, with the other three to follow. If Pearl Harbor had occurred on June 7, 1942, one of them would likely have been in the yard on the West Coast as Colorado was historically.
     
  8. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

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    I was thinking about this again and did a little research on Washington and North Carolina. They were operational in March-April 1942. Since we were concerned about countering Tirpitz and other German ships, I think we'd probably keep W and NC in the Atlantic, but we could have sent BatDiv 3 - the New Mexicos - back to the Pacific.

    The Atlanta class cruisers might have gone to the Pacific as they entered service; small cruisers were mainly intended for operations with the battle fleet.
     

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