The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

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RichTO90
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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by RichTO90 » 09 Dec 2014 00:15

OpanaPointer wrote:Sort, I've slept since then. :lol: :?

I think that if Neosho had been lost they would have just sent another tanker from the Atlantic to take her place.
The problem was there were just the 12 of them and not all of them had been outfitted as fast fleet oilers with the alongside underway replenishment gear and not all of them had been trained up in the method. Note that until the USN started practicing the method in April 1939, it was considered suicidal to even attempt broadside oiling with anything bigger than a DD. Recall too that early on the AO sent to do underway refueling was Neches, which was problematic because she was slow and had early gear installed that limited what could be achieved.

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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Dec 2014 00:25

glenn239 wrote: The linked article...
missed that among the 32+ pages here
glenn239 wrote: ...surveyed four ports for oil stocks in 1941 -

Brisbane - 12,000 tons
Sydney, Melbourne - 8,000 each
Port Moresby - none.
Wellington is not listed, or it had none?

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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by OpanaPointer » 09 Dec 2014 00:27

RichTO90 wrote:
OpanaPointer wrote:Sort, I've slept since then. :lol: :?

I think that if Neosho had been lost they would have just sent another tanker from the Atlantic to take her place.
The problem was there were just the 12 of them and not all of them had been outfitted as fast fleet oilers with the alongside underway replenishment gear and not all of them had been trained up in the method. Note that until the USN started practicing the method in April 1939, it was considered suicidal to even attempt broadside oiling with anything bigger than a DD. Recall too that early on the AO sent to do underway refueling was Neches, which was problematic because she was slow and had early gear installed that limited what could be achieved.
Okay, what ship replaced Neosho and where was she before that? This would give us a picture of availability, I suspect.
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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Dec 2014 00:41

Brazos AO-4 seems to have been in the Alteutians in December. The chart mescal posted shows it having the same fuel capacity & speed as the Neosho, which for what its worth Wiki matches. Also found these two photos. If the captions are accurate then the Brazos was available to stand in for the Neosho.
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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Dec 2014 00:44

Brazos photo #2
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RichTO90
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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by RichTO90 » 09 Dec 2014 02:36

Carl Schwamberger wrote:Brazos AO-4 seems to have been in the Alteutians in December. The chart mescal posted shows it having the same fuel capacity & speed as the Neosho, which for what its worth Wiki matches. Also found these two photos. If the captions are accurate then the Brazos was available to stand in for the Neosho.
Carl, Brazos was commissioned in 1919, had a designed speed of 14 knots, and was lucky to make 12 knots loaded in 1941. Neosho was commissioned in 1939, had a designed speed of 18 knots, and her class lead Cimarron made 19.45 knots fully loaded on trials. Neosho displaced 24,683 tons, Brazos was nearly 10,000 tons smaller. 146,000 barrels versus 55,700 barrels isn't the same capacity - the two aren't comparable at all.

Cheers!

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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by robdab » 09 Dec 2014 03:02

.
Rob Stuart wrote: Christopher, you may have overlooked that the passage you've quoted refers to "fleet oilers", which I believe was a reference to USN-manned oilers capable of refueling at sea and fast enough to support a USN task force. While there may have been no shortage of slower tankers capable of replenishing the stocks at Pearl Harbor, in the early months of the Pacific War the US Pacific Fleet had very few fleet oilers. John Lundstrom's The First Team makes this very clear. In fact, on page 59 he notes that the sinking of Neches on 23 January by I-72 forced the cancellation of what would have been the first US carrier raid of the war. It was to have been launched against Wake.
Rob, I'd like to point you in the direction of "OIL & WAR" by Goralski and Freeburg 1987 with respect to your above statement that there was no shortage of slower tankers capable of replenishing the stocks at Pearl Harbor. I believe that the following selection of quote "factoids" from that title will cause you to re-think your opinion ... my comments/clarifications added (thusly).

pg105 - Donitz finally mustered five of the type-IX U-boats for his operation (PAUKENSCHLAG). All were commanded by veteran officers with distinguished combat records. To all the captains before they left their bases, Donitz admonished; "Woe to the man who comes back empty handed ! And don't attack anything less than 10,000 tons." The restriction did not apply to tankers. Oil-carrying ships of any size were at the top ot the target list.

pg105 & 106- Rear Admiral Andrews. meanwhile, ... despite pitifully weak resources, knew he would soon have to face the enemy. His command stretched 2,000 miles, from the St. Lawrence to the tip of Florida. All he had for this critical line of defense were twenty ships, 100 planes,and four blimps. The largest ships was a 165-foot coast guard cutter. Most of the aircraft were obsolete. In early January (1942) Andrews advised Admiral Ernest King, the navy's commander in chief, "Should the enemy submarines operate off this coast, this command has no force available to take effective action against them, either offensively or defensively."

in early 1942, U-123 and the four other German submarines fully appreciated the lack of U.S. defenses. They moved from Cape Cod to Cape Hatteras with impunity, sinking forty-four unarmed and unsupported merchantmen, More than 70 percent of the tonnage lost was in tankers.

The average tanker carried 130,000 barrels of oil, so each sinking was a painful blow to the Allied war effort. About 85 percent of U.S. oil for the East Coast came by ship from Texas and Louisiana. Caribbean oil, much of it destined for Britain, also moved along the now perilous Atlantic coastal route. The early rate of attrition indicated that half of the Allied oil carrying fleet would be lost within a year. Britain's navy believed that it would run out of bunker fuel in two months. Only a five week supply of motor fuel was on hand. Four large tanker arrivals a day were necessary to keep the British war economy going.

pg 109 - PAUKENSCHLAG's successes and Donitz's persistence finally won approval for a second and slightly larger wave of subs to be sent to the western Atlantic. Four more type-IX subs and seven standard type-VII boats were ordered to join in the kill. The second group arrived in mid-February for Operation NEULAND, New Territory. This time Donitz concentrated even more on the supply of Allied oil, targeting not only tankers but refineries in the Caribbean. Aruba and Curacao facilities produced a half million barrels of oil products daily. On February 16, both refineries were shelled by German U-boats.

pg 111 - Forty three vessels were sent to the bottom by U-boats in March. As British naval historian Captain S.W.Roskill observed, "What made these losses more serious was that a high proportion of the sunken ships were tankers, of which we were woefully short."

On March 12, Churchill wrote to Roosevelt: "I am most deeply concerned at the immense sinkings of tankers west of the 40th meridian and in the Caribbean Sea." He knew that at a loss rate of 200,000 tons a month, Britain would soon run out of oil. Oil stocks in Britain that spring fell below the level considered to be the absolute minimum for safety.

pg 112 - Roosevelt was aware of the British plight but could reply only, "My navy has been definitively slack in preparing for this submarine war off our coast."

The United States also felt the pinch. A Petroleum Industry War Council Committee, established to review tanker losses concluded that if the loss rate suffered thru March continued, it "would result in not enough fuel to carry on the war."

Despite the concern, improvement in defenses was slow.

"Mystery ships" or Q-ships were introduced in March (1942). These were heavily armed, navy manned ships disguised as merchantmen or fishing ships and used as decoys to draw German U-boats. The disguised ships could speedily unveil their weapons and open fire on unsuspecting U-boats. The plan ended quickly when the alert Germans sank two of the six ships. One survivor was decommissioned after nearly capsizing in a storm, and the others were refitted as weather ships.

Three navy destroyers were pulled off North Atlantic convoy duty for coastal defense. As if in scornful response, a German submarine torpedoed and sank one of them, Jacob Jones, when it arrived off the Delaware cape. A few additional wooden subchasers, eagle boats left over from World War 1, and private yachts pressed into military service provided little protection.

As these defensive measures became apparent, the wily Donitz shifted his attack zone, sending the U-boat force to the Gulf of Mexico. The new hunting ground brought instant rewards. Three of every four tankers leaving Texas and Louisiana ports were sunk within two weeks of this new phase of the German campaign. Six submarines concentrated their destructive power in the mouth of the Mississippi Rive. The navy's Gulf Sea Frontier reported the loss of forty-one ships of 220,000 gross tons in May. Fifty-five percent was tanker tonnage.

...........................................................................................................................................................................


Three conclusions are clearly demonstrated by those preceeding "factoids" ...

1.) There were no excess USN anti-submarine escorts available in the early 1942 Atlantic to send off to defend oil shipments bound for Hawaii.
2.) Anchoring 35 or more Allied tankers at Pearl Harbor to replace (hypothetically) 4.5M barrels worth of destroyed oil stockpile storage there was just not feasible if Britain was to stay IN the war. 4,500,000 brls / 130,000 brls/average tanker = 35 tankers. Certainly NOT when the demonstrated historical loss rate to German submarine attacks was heading for 50% Allied tanker losses in 1942 alone.
3.) When the British navy's bunker stocks were down to only a 2 month supply, the entire North Atlantic convoy system was at serious risk of collapse so no Allied commander was going to divert 4.5M scarce barrels of that "liquid gold" to replace destroyed Hawaiian stockpiles.

Can we finally lay this "old chestnut" myth to rest now ?

Had the Japanese bombed and burned the Pearl Harbor (and Honolulu) tankfarms on Dec.7'41, then the US Pacific Fleet would have had no choice but to (largely) soon retire back to the US West Coast or be immobilized by a lack of fuel.
.

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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by RichTO90 » 09 Dec 2014 03:39

robdab wrote:Had the Japanese bombed and burned the Pearl Harbor (and Honolulu) tankfarms on Dec.7'41, then the US Pacific Fleet would have had no choice but to (largely) soon retire back to the US West Coast or be immobilized by a lack of fuel.
.
Indeed. And if pigs had wings they could fly.

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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 09 Dec 2014 04:15

RichTO90 wrote:
Carl Schwamberger wrote:Brazos AO-4 seems to have been in the Alteutians in December. The chart mescal posted shows it having the same fuel capacity & speed as the Neosho, which for what its worth Wiki matches. Also found these two photos. If the captions are accurate then the Brazos was available to stand in for the Neosho.
Carl, Brazos was commissioned in 1919, had a designed speed of 14 knots, and was lucky to make 12 knots loaded in 1941. Neosho was commissioned in 1939, had a designed speed of 18 knots, and her class lead Cimarron made 19.45 knots fully loaded on trials. Neosho displaced 24,683 tons, Brazos was nearly 10,000 tons smaller. 146,000 barrels versus 55,700 barrels isn't the same capacity - the two aren't comparable at all.

Cheers!
Oh, it seems I misread mescals chart.

Try this again:

Cimmaron AO22. Off Cape Horn in Dec 1941 enroute to Singapore. Ordered back to the US 9 Dec 41

Platte AO24. @ San Diego 7 Dec. Joined TF 8 (Enterprise circa 11 January 1942

Sabine AO25. With Base Force Squadron of US Pacific Fleet Dec 1941. Accompanied carrier TF in raids on Wake, Gilbert, Japanese island in early 1942

Salimonie AO26. Unready until Oct 1942?

Kaskaskia AO27. Refiting @ San Diego 7 Dec. Sent to South Pacific in January 42 & operated there for 4-5 months

Sangamon AO28. @ Argentia Newfoundland Dec 41. Selected for conversion to
AVG in February 42

Santee AO29. @ Argentia Newfoundland Dec 41. Selected for conversion to
aircraft carrier in February 42

Chemung AO30. @ Argentia Newfoundland Dec 41. (Sound familiar? How much fuel did Argentia need>)

Chenango AO31. Exact location in December not clear. Selected for conversion to carrier in February 1942.

Guadlupe AO32. Norfolk Virginia in Dec 41

Suwanee AO33. With Atlantic Fleet Dec 41

There are ten of eleven remaining of the class. Not clear exactly which were as capable as the Neosho, judging from assignments at least four.

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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by Rob Stuart » 09 Dec 2014 11:27

robdab wrote:.
Rob Stuart wrote: Christopher, you may have overlooked that the passage you've quoted refers to "fleet oilers", which I believe was a reference to USN-manned oilers capable of refueling at sea and fast enough to support a USN task force. While there may have been no shortage of slower tankers capable of replenishing the stocks at Pearl Harbor, in the early months of the Pacific War the US Pacific Fleet had very few fleet oilers. John Lundstrom's The First Team makes this very clear. In fact, on page 59 he notes that the sinking of Neches on 23 January by I-72 forced the cancellation of what would have been the first US carrier raid of the war. It was to have been launched against Wake.
Rob, I'd like to point you in the direction of "OIL & WAR" by Goralski and Freeburg 1987 with respect to your above statement that there was no shortage of slower tankers capable of replenishing the stocks at Pearl Harbor. I believe that the following selection of quote "factoids" from that title will cause you to re-think your opinion ... my comments/clarifications added (thusly).

[...]
...........................................................................................................................................................................

Three conclusions are clearly demonstrated by those preceeding "factoids" ...

1.) There were no excess USN anti-submarine escorts available in the early 1942 Atlantic to send off to defend oil shipments bound for Hawaii.
2.) Anchoring 35 or more Allied tankers at Pearl Harbor to replace (hypothetically) 4.5M barrels worth of destroyed oil stockpile storage there was just not feasible if Britain was to stay IN the war. 4,500,000 brls / 130,000 brls/average tanker = 35 tankers. Certainly NOT when the demonstrated historical loss rate to German submarine attacks was heading for 50% Allied tanker losses in 1942 alone.
3.) When the British navy's bunker stocks were down to only a 2 month supply, the entire North Atlantic convoy system was at serious risk of collapse so no Allied commander was going to divert 4.5M scarce barrels of that "liquid gold" to replace destroyed Hawaiian stockpiles.

Can we finally lay this "old chestnut" myth to rest now ?

Had the Japanese bombed and burned the Pearl Harbor (and Honolulu) tankfarms on Dec.7'41, then the US Pacific Fleet would have had no choice but to (largely) soon retire back to the US West Coast or be immobilized by a lack of fuel.
Please note that I said "there may have been no shortage of slower tankers capable of replenishing the stocks at Pearl Harbor". In saying "replenishing the stocks" I was clearly envisioning a situation where the PH tanks farms were intact and just needed to be maintained at a level sufficient to support PacFlt operations. I know that the Allies were short of tankers overall, but clearly there were enough tankers available in the Pacific to replenish the stocks at PH, because no PacFlt operation was ever cancelled or postponed due to a lack of fuel at PH.

I agree with those who say that it would have been damned difficult to completely, or nearly completely, destroy the PH and Honolulu tanks farms. However, had the Japanese been able to do so, it would not have come down to a choice between withdrawing the Pacific Fleet to the west coast or losing Britain. Other choices were open to the Allies, including:

1. Temporarily curtail Bomber Command operations, thereby reducing UK consumption.

2. Suspend the Arctic convoys to Russia and curtail other Home Fleet operations, saving fuel and freeing more escorts for the North Atlantic.

3. Assign sufficient VLR Liberators to close the North Atlantic gap much earlier than they actually did.

4. Form special tankers-only convoys to the UK and give them sufficient escorts, including CVE Long Island. (The RCN ran tanker-only convoys from the Caribbean to Canada's east coast for a while.)

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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by RichTO90 » 09 Dec 2014 14:20

Carl Schwamberger wrote:Oh, it seems I misread mescals chart.
It happens. I love Mescal's charts, but sometimes they're a bit hard to follow. :D
Try this again:

Cimmaron AO22. Off Cape Horn in Dec 1941 enroute to Singapore. Ordered back to the US 9 Dec 41
Cimarron was apparently refitted with UNREP gear after she completed her 13th trip to Oahu filling up the tank farm, when she sailed to the East Coast on 19 August 1940. The refit was probably completed at Norfolk late in 1940.
Platte AO24. @ San Diego 7 Dec. Joined TF 8 (Enterprise circa 11 January 1942

Sabine AO25. With Base Force Squadron of US Pacific Fleet Dec 1941. Accompanied carrier TF in raids on Wake, Gilbert, Japanese island in early 1942
Yes, Platte and Sabine apparently were fitted with UNREP gear from the beginning.
Salimonie AO26. Unready until Oct 1942?
She was doing East Coast runs until November 1942 and it appears she was not fitted with UNREP gear.
Kaskaskia AO27. Refiting @ San Diego 7 Dec. Sent to South Pacific in January 42 & operated there for 4-5 months
Kaskaskia was apparently fitted with UNREP gear during that refit.
Sangamon AO28. @ Argentia Newfoundland Dec 41. Selected for conversion to
AVG in February 42

Santee AO29. @ Argentia Newfoundland Dec 41. Selected for conversion to
aircraft carrier in February 42

Chemung AO30. @ Argentia Newfoundland Dec 41. (Sound familiar? How much fuel did Argentia need>)

Chenango AO31. Exact location in December not clear. Selected for conversion to carrier in February 1942.
None of the four apparently were fitted with UNREP gear. All except Chemung were selected for conversion in January 1942 and all were taken in hand for conversion between February and March 1942.
Guadlupe AO32. Norfolk Virginia in Dec 41
An while there she was fitted with guns and UNREP gear. She sailed for Oahu in January and spent the next few months after joining practicing - her first sailing as a fast fleet oiler was 2 June 1942.
Suwanee AO33. With Atlantic Fleet Dec 41
She was also selected for conversion to CVE and entered dry dock 14 February.
There are ten of eleven remaining of the class. Not clear exactly which were as capable as the Neosho, judging from assignments at least four.
It is unclear if Neosho was fitted with UNREP gear on 7 December, but I suspect she was even though some sources I find say only Neches, Sabine and Platte of the Pacific Fleet oilers were so fitted on 7 December with Kaskaskia fitting out. Of the 12 modern fast oilers, four were taken in hand as CVE, leaving eight. Of those, Cimarron, Neosho, Platte, and Sabine were apparently immediately available for UNREP, while Kaskaskia and Guadalupe would have been by May-June 1942 after training. Salamonie and Chemung were apparently not available until 1943 for UNREP. In other words, the loss of Neosho would have reduced the capability for UNREP (excluding Neches) of the entire fleet by 25%. The eleven "slow" fleet oilers would have been even more problematic for UNREP than the faster Neches and I don't find that any of Neches other 14-knot compeers were ever fitted for UNREP.

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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by glenn239 » 09 Dec 2014 14:39

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
Wellington is not listed, or it had none?
Not listed.

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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by glenn239 » 09 Dec 2014 15:00

robdab wrote:.


Had the Japanese bombed and burned the Pearl Harbor (and Honolulu) tankfarms on Dec.7'41, then the US Pacific Fleet would have had no choice but to (largely) soon retire back to the US West Coast or be immobilized by a lack of fuel.
.
Destruction of the fuel tanks would certainly be inconvenient, but I don't think it would have interfered much with the Pacific Fleet's primary mission of establishing communications to Australia, or beefing up the defences on the approach to Hawaii, or making carrier harassment raids. All these things could have been accomplished by dispatching convoys direct from the west coast.

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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by robdab » 11 Dec 2014 00:50

.
glenn239 wrote: Destruction of the fuel tanks would certainly be inconvenient, but I don't think it would have interfered much with the Pacific Fleet's primary mission of establishing communications to Australia, or beefing up the defences on the approach to Hawaii, or making carrier harassment raids. All these things could have been accomplished by dispatching convoys direct from the west coast.
If we assume that Neosho and Ramapo are both destroyed by a more aggressive than historical Japanese air attack on Oahu, and that Neches is also sunk on her historical January 1942 date, I don't see how all of those tasks would be possible ? The just previous discussions here do seem to prove that the USN was very short of UNREP equipped and trained oilers in the Pacific in early 1942. Not having PH as a refueling base adds 2x 2,300 miles=4,600 miles to any USN roundtrip from the West Coast as well ... and with Hawaii either captured or under siege in you alternative history scenario, what American voter is going to care a wallaby's ass worth about Australia ?

Since several IJN submarines carried aircraft for scouting purposes, and that ultra-long ranged 4 engined Japanese seaplanes could also have been brought forward to operate from Hawaii or Johnson Island, one can safely assume that USN UNREP equipped oilers would have been priority targets. The Neches swallowed two IJN submarine torpedoes in January 1942 and was sunk by them, which indicates that the IJN policy about using only 1 torpedo per tanker, had been "adjusted" by then.
.

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Re: The invasion of Oahu, December 1941.

Post by OpanaPointer » 11 Dec 2014 01:46

How about we start with the Japanese having an atomic bomb, eh?
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