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What if... A Pearl Harbor Second Strike


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#1 CoWBoY MoRoN

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 03:25 PM

After the 1st attack the Japanese left the Pacific Fleet's Battleships crippled, but missed the Aircraft Carriers, Submarines and Harbor. With a second strike on strategic ground targets (petroleum tanks, dry docks) Nagumo could have done major harm to the capability of USA to conduct a war in Pacific in the following months.
The risk: exposing his fleet to a suprise counter strike by nearby invisible aircraft carriers (Midway style). But were rookie US pilots a match against Zeros, even with a surprise avantage?

#2 Erich Hartmann

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 05:00 PM

Moron-
Around December, 1941, rookie US pilots WERE NOT a match for a zero with a seasoned pilot at the stick. By Japan's history at that point, they had brave, well-trained pilots in their fleet. Also, no fighter in in the US inventory at the time was a match for the Japanese Zero. It was light, maneuverable, and God help you if one tried to out-turn one in a dogfight.
American fighters such as the Wildcat, Hellcat, and even to some extent - the P-40 -offered firepower and durability, and US pilots later found out that "diving" onto a Zero was the Japanese planes' Achilles heel. But earlier, things were tough for rookie US pilots.



#3 Yankee

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Posted 04 October 2000 - 09:37 PM

Beleive it or not the Japanese Did launch a small air raid on Pearl harbour a second time. It consisted of several Converted Seaplanes to Bombers. The problem was they were picked up on Radar and quickly shotdown.

By that time in the War the US was not as blind as it had been in 1941.

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#4 Henrik Krog

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Posted 05 October 2000 - 08:49 AM

Actually the japanese DID launch two attacks......remember, two waves at Pearl Harbor. The depabe normally revolves around a potential third wave, that just might have taken on a carrier taskforce, that was approaching, escorted by three heavy cruisers and some destroyers, as well as the battle ships left floating and all the smaller vessels. What has always surprised me is the low number of ships that the Japanese were actually able to sink...not even all battleships went down.
Keeping in mind that the Japanese plane losses doubled over several times between the 1st and the 2nd wave as the American defences were getting their act together, they would probably have suffered heavier the third time around.

In my oppinion, had the Japanese tried a separate sortie with their carriers, instead of a third wave, they would have never gotten anywere near the place. In fact I think the best thing they could have done was put a division or three ashore, but then again they were already fully tied up with conquoring SE Asia.

At least thats my 5 cents worth

Henrik



#5 CoWBoY MoRoN

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Posted 05 October 2000 - 07:21 PM

Well i actually know the US were no match against Zero until at least... Mmmh Coral Sea battle (6-8 May 1942). But Nagumo obviously didn't know. Posted Image
You're right of course about the second wave, but it was not a second "strike" as i thought it. From the beginning they planned that second wave.
Maybe japanese should have tried to hunt down the missing carriers? A ground attack was not possible because the slow moving troop transports could not come with the fast carriers, but they had so many cruisers they could have tried to shell the harbor... Afraid of submarines?

#6 Otto

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Posted 14 October 2000 - 10:25 AM

To be honest I'm a little unclear on when you meant this second was supposed to occur Was it during the initial Pearl Harbor attack or are we talking months later?

#7 Yankee

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Posted 14 October 2000 - 04:51 PM

The second attack occured from sub marine based sea planes, i think it may have occured in late 42 or early 43 im not sure of the date, but at the time the Government was afraid that there would be a panic so they put a news cap on the story and didnt allow it to get out. The attack didnt do much the planes were shotdown only managing to bomb some fields and jungle.

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#8 CoWBoY MoRoN

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Posted 16 October 2000 - 03:48 AM

I was thinking of more bombing operations on Hawai for december 1941, not some lame and desperate hydroplane "raid" months later. Posted Image

I think the whole plan was not bold enough, i mean they were beginning a war against USA, they should have hit Pearl Harbor much harder! It's easy to say now, but sinking battleships was an old idea...

An entirely different point: Japanese Subs were never able to threaten Allied logistic axis, unlike the Germans. A more efficient submarine weapon would have help them greatly. They had world best torpedo, what a waste not to build a good sub for it...

#9 Yankee

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Posted 17 October 2000 - 09:01 PM

The Japanese never grapsed the entire German german attack submarine concept they thought "bigger better" thats why they built some of the wars biggest subs ever. They were essentialy huge undersea merchant ships they would go from Japan to France to carrying rubber and other vital supplies for the German war Machine. But never built in large enough number to be truly effective or of any real aid to the Japanese. The Germans would sometimes be able to place disassembled airplanes and Radar peices on the subs to be taken back to Japan with technictions for copying and mass prodcution but other then that it was a flop, plus by late in the war they were so large and had to surface so often they were easy prey for advanced allied sub hunting technology.

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#10 CoWBoY MoRoN

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Posted 18 October 2000 - 12:07 AM

Yes but the German subs were simply the best, and they had the experience from the first world war. But Japanese could have done at least as good as the US Gatto class... They didn't even try.
They saw subs more as scouts than attack weapons, that was a major mistake.
At the beginning of the war, they succeed to sink some US carriers! (WASP, Yorktown)
I don't know much about jap subs, but it seems they never upgraded their weapons, unlike Germans against ASDIC Destroyers and Radar equiped sub hunters bombers.

In the huge Pacific, subs had to be larger than Atlantic, still i think they could have done much better.

#11 Snefru

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Posted 29 November 2000 - 12:17 AM

Yamamatto's plan was to have a first attack of Pearl Harbor in two stages. Each phase had attack aircraft that had a 2 pronged game plan. If the Japanese achieved surprise the famous code Tora Tora Tora (Tiger) would be given. The first stage consisted of a heavy fighter contingent (to handle enemy fighters) and torpedo and dive bombers. If the force achieved surprise the bombers and fighters were to attack the airfields while the torpedo bombers were to head for battleship row and any waiting carriers. If no surprise was attained the fighters were to engage the American fighters while the bombers and torpedo plans attacked the ships. Surprise was achieved.
The second stage was designed with medium fighters and large numbers of bombers. The orders were to attack targets of opportunity in the harbor.
The plan worked very well and surprise was achieved. The overall attack plan however called for second attack if the taskforce commander (Nagumo) felt that the risk of the fleet was small. Nagumo was very cautious about the three American carriers. He did not know where they were. Just as military intellegence can be a powerful ally, it is also a devestating enemy. Nagumo had a 2 to 1 advantage in carriers and a great advantage in capital ships, aircraft, and experience. Nagumo felt that a strategic withdrawl was the better part of valor. A major mistake in hindsight, but he was vunerable during his re-arm and re-fuel stage (as they found out at Midway).
The second strike would have been devestating. Of the eight battleships at pearl harbor all but two would return. The second raid could have rendered even more of these battle wagons to the scrap yard. The harbor would have been heavily damaged along with the petro processing areas. The sub harbors could have been targeted and it is very possible that a ship could have been sunk in the channel mouth thus blocking the port for a long time. The psychological damage to the US Navy and the people of Hawaii would have been devestating as well.
Thank God they decided not to attack again.

#12 Snefru

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Posted 29 November 2000 - 12:18 AM

Yamamatto's plan was to have a first attack of Pearl Harbor in two stages. Each phase had attack aircraft that had a 2 pronged game plan. If the Japanese achieved surprise the famous code Tora Tora Tora (Tiger) would be given. The first stage consisted of a heavy fighter contingent (to handle enemy fighters) and torpedo and dive bombers. If the force achieved surprise the bombers and fighters were to attack the airfields while the torpedo bombers were to head for battleship row and any waiting carriers. If no surprise was attained the fighters were to engage the American fighters while the bombers and torpedo plans attacked the ships. Surprise was achieved.
The second stage was designed with medium fighters and large numbers of bombers. The orders were to attack targets of opportunity in the harbor.
The plan worked very well and surprise was achieved. The overall attack plan however called for second attack if the taskforce commander (Nagumo) felt that the risk of the fleet was small. Nagumo was very cautious about the three American carriers. He did not know where they were. Just as military intellegence can be a powerful ally, it is also a devestating enemy. Nagumo had a 2 to 1 advantage in carriers and a great advantage in capital ships, aircraft, and experience. Nagumo felt that a strategic withdrawl was the better part of valor. A major mistake in hindsight, but he was vunerable during his re-arm and re-fuel stage (as they found out at Midway).
The second strike would have been devestating. Of the eight battleships at pearl harbor all but two would return. The second raid could have rendered even more of these battle wagons to the scrap yard. The harbor would have been heavily damaged along with the petro processing areas. The sub harbors could have been targeted and it is very possible that a ship could have been sunk in the channel mouth thus blocking the port for a long time. The psychological damage to the US Navy and the people of Hawaii would have been devestating as well.
Thank God they decided not to attack again.

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