Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

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Kingfish
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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by Kingfish » 21 Aug 2017 20:18

alecsandros wrote:The size , composition and intentions of the Japanese fleet were not fully known by US Inteligence services (for instance the attack on Dutch Harbor was not anticipated, or if it was, no plans were made to counter it). They did have some very good information , but those informations were not complete and were not considered to be complete not even on June 5th or 6th.
It may not have provided Nimitz with the shoe size of every IJN carrier pilot, but it was detailed enough to convince him to send his only operational carriers into a clearly lopsided battle.

Here we have increased the IJN carrier air wing by a good 30-40% in one super-sized Genda box. I could easily see Nimitz reading this report and coming to the conclusion that such a force is geared towards a far bigger prize than two lonely sandbars in the middle of the Pacific. The prudent thing would be to draw in and circle your wagons around Oahu. The odds for both sides flip rather dramatically with that option.
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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 22 Aug 2017 05:37

T. A. Gardner wrote:The oddest thing about this is that there was really no reason the Zuikaku couldn't have gone to Midway. She was undamaged following Coral Sea. While her air wing was decimated, it was easily possible that the Shokaku's remaining planes and air crews could have been transferred to the Zuikaku along with some from the smaller or secondary carriers as replacements to bring the group up to strength.
One modest argument would be that Zuikaku's hosted airgroup after Coral Sea was unbalanced, comprising of 25 A6M, 10 B5N, 17 D3A.

However, my opinion is that Zuikaku could , at the very least , provide fighters for the combat air patrol above Nagumo's fleet.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 22 Aug 2017 05:49

Kingfish wrote:
Here we have increased the IJN carrier air wing by a good 30-40% in one super-sized Genda box. I could easily see Nimitz reading this report and coming to the conclusion that such a force is geared towards a far bigger prize than two lonely sandbars in the middle of the Pacific. The prudent thing would be to draw in and circle your wagons around Oahu. The odds for both sides flip rather dramatically with that option.
Naturaly it would have been more prudent,
but probably not allowed by Adm. King. Japanese ultimate goal was not known, and fears mounted on a possible raid (or worse) on the west coast.
That's why Admiral Pye was tasked with covering the west coast: "During the Battle of Midway, Pye received orders for the seven old battleships (Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee), the escort carrier USS Long Island, and eight destroyers of TF 1 to sortie to patrol off of the West Coast against possible Japanese attack there should the carrier forces at Midway be defeated" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_S._Pye

It would be very difficult for USN to opt between protecting Hawaii or the West Coast with the heavy carriers (especialy as neither was known to be a definitive target).

If Midway were lost, Oahu could be bombed by long-range bombers stationed there, while Japanese submarines could easily refuel/rearm in the atoll and perform strikes along the west coast.

Taking into account all of the above, it would be probable, IMHO, that Adm. King would decide to concentrate all available fleet carriers in the vicinity of Midwy atoll, heavily reinforced by Navy, Marines and USAAF. If he could rush USS Saratoga (with approx 36 operational a/c and 70 spares) , he could obtain approx 270 carrier-based a/c (and 70 spares), plus approx 90 combat planes and 30 recon planes on Midway.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 22 Aug 2017 06:55

At best (for King), he could obtain 360 combat planes, 70 spares and 30 recon, versus Nagumo's 310 carrier-based a/c (plus at least 12 spares), reinforced by the 21 A6Ms of the 6th Kokutai (transported by the 4 fleet carriers), and with help of approx 12 seaplanes based on the cruisers and battleships.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by Eugen Pinak » 22 Aug 2017 12:34

alecsandros wrote:Suppose Yamamoto decided for a different organization for Op. MI, and place all carriers (excluding Hosho, kept near the invasion force due to his slower speed) under Nagumo's command, with the task of destroying Midway defences and destroy in battle USN expected carrier counterstrike.
That's exactly what Yamamoto did (save "Zuiho", that was left with cruisers).
alecsandros wrote:
Kingfish wrote:

Here we have increased the IJN carrier air wing by a good 30-40% in one super-sized Genda box. I could easily see Nimitz reading this report and coming to the conclusion that such a force is geared towards a far bigger prize than two lonely sandbars in the middle of the Pacific. The prudent thing would be to draw in and circle your wagons around Oahu. The odds for both sides flip rather dramatically with that option.
Naturaly it would have been more prudent,
but probably not allowed by Adm. King. Japanese ultimate goal was not known, and fears mounted on a possible raid (or worse) on the west coast. That's why Admiral Pye was tasked with covering the west coast: ...
In real life Nimitz had no desire to make "do-or-die" defense of Midway because he refused to risk his remaining carriers and King supported his decision. I fail to see, why he would do otherwise in the alternate history.
And Pie's TF-1 was tasked to "covering the West Coast" to get it out of harm's way - no Japanese raid was seriously expected.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 22 Aug 2017 12:59

Eugen Pinak wrote:
That's exactly what Yamamoto did (save "Zuiho", that was left with cruisers).
Yes, but Junyo and Ryujo , while formally under Nagumo's command, were tasked with another mission (attacking Dutch Harbor) , while in this proposed scenario they would be tasked with staying with the other 4 (5) carriers.
alecsandros wrote: In real life Nimitz had no desire to make "do-or-die" defense of Midway because he refused to risk his remaining carriers and King supported his decision. I fail to see, why he would do otherwise in the alternate history.
And Pie's TF-1 was tasked to "covering the West Coast" to get it out of harm's way - no Japanese raid was seriously expected.
What "remaining carriers" are you reffering to ? The only "remaining carrier" that I know of was USS Saratoga, rushed to Pearl Harbor and from there to Midway ASAP. The only reason why Saratoga missed Midway, despite her small number of operational machines left after transfers done to USS Yorktown, was because of her lack of escorting destroyers and fuel requirements, along with the relatively long (a few days) stay on the west coast.

Task Force 1 was covered by USS LOng Island CVE1, which was rushed out of the Atlantic ocean and into the Pacific specifically because there were no other existing carriers there. Abit of a big trouble for countering something that wasn't "seriously expected".

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by Eugen Pinak » 22 Aug 2017 14:25

alecsandros wrote:
Eugen Pinak wrote:
That's exactly what Yamamoto did (save "Zuiho", that was left with cruisers).
Yes, but Junyo and Ryujo , while formally under Nagumo's command, were tasked with another mission (attacking Dutch Harbor) , ...
Dutch Harbor attack was to be made before final destruction of Midway defences and great battle with US fleet.
alecsandros wrote:
Eugen Pinak wrote:In real life Nimitz had no desire to make "do-or-die" defense of Midway because he refused to risk his remaining carriers and King supported his decision. I fail to see, why he would do otherwise in the alternate history.
And Pie's TF-1 was tasked to "covering the West Coast" to get it out of harm's way - no Japanese raid was seriously expected.
What "remaining carriers" are you reffering to ?
"Enterprise", "Yorltown" and "Hornet".
alecsandros wrote:Task Force 1 was covered by USS LOng Island CVE1, which was rushed out of the Atlantic ocean and into the Pacific specifically because there were no other existing carriers there. Abit of a big trouble for countering something that wasn't "seriously expected".
Task Force 1 was covered by USS "Long Island" after the Japanese were defeated at Midway. There is no data on her original assignment before the battle. And this cover was possible only because no combat was expected, because "Long Island" was too slow to operate even with the "slow" US battleships.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by Kingfish » 22 Aug 2017 14:34

alecsandros wrote: Naturaly it would have been more prudent,
but probably not allowed by Adm. King. Japanese ultimate goal was not known, and fears mounted on a possible raid (or worse) on the west coast.
That's why Admiral Pye was tasked with covering the west coast: "During the Battle of Midway, Pye received orders for the seven old battleships (Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee), the escort carrier USS Long Island, and eight destroyers of TF 1 to sortie to patrol off of the West Coast against possible Japanese attack there should the carrier forces at Midway be defeated" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_S._Pye

It would be very difficult for USN to opt between protecting Hawaii or the West Coast with the heavy carriers (especialy as neither was known to be a definitive target).
You are making my point for me. If a possible strike on Oahu or the west coast was keeping King up at night then the obvious thing not to do is send the precious US carrier fleet 1,000 miles in the opposite direction..
If Midway were lost, Oahu could be bombed by long-range bombers stationed there,
Midway is at the extreme range of the G4M, with no divert field in between. Losses would soon reach unsustainable levels for no appreciable gain.
Taking into account all of the above, it would be probable, IMHO, that Adm. King would decide to concentrate all available fleet carriers in the vicinity of Midwy atoll, heavily reinforced by Navy, Marines and USAAF. If he could rush USS Saratoga (with approx 36 operational a/c and 70 spares) , he could obtain approx 270 carrier-based a/c (and 70 spares), plus approx 90 combat planes and 30 recon planes on Midway.
Again, if the threat to Oahu / west coast is looming large why would King bet all his chips on Midway?
The gods do not deduct from a man's allotted span the hours spent in fishing.
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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 22 Aug 2017 16:14

Kingfish wrote: Midway is at the extreme range of the G4M, with no divert field in between. Losses would soon reach unsustainable levels for no appreciable gain.
Of course,
But neither variable (range and loss to damage inflicted ratio) could be adequately known by King. Range of G4M varied enormously with payload. Damage inflicted could be minimal , or critical if any of the large oil tank farms would have been hit by bombs.

In any case, King couldn't risk handing Yamamoto/Nagumo another forward base to set up his submarines and long range patrols.

Again, if the threat to Oahu / west coast is looming large why would King bet all his chips on Midway?
Because it was the only sure target. If he didn't commit to Midway, Midway would be lost (either by direct battle or attrition, in doesn't matter), Yamamoto would have a good position to prepare a serious strike on Oahu, and/or to disrupt communication lines along the west coast / Hawaii (with submarines).

THEN, he would not know when/where/what will (and IF it will!) attack the west coast / Oahu. He didn't have enough fleet to cover both strategic zones, thus he would be obliged either to split his 4 fleet carriers (2 on the west coast, 2 on Oahu), or to make a bet and keep all of them in 1 place, while the enemy had 50% chances of attacking in the other.

What would he tell Congress after Nagumo would have raided Los Angeles , while 4 fleet carriers were roaming in circles around Oahu ?

All those aspects would make the probability of a heavy defence around Midway more then 70%-80%, IMHO. THis could be helped by the fact that , with 3 fleet carriers + Midway garrison, Fletcher would be in rough aircraft parity with Nagumo's reinforced fleet (approx 360 US planes total versus approx 320 IJN planes total).

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 22 Aug 2017 16:23

Eugen Pinak wrote:
Dutch Harbor attack was to be made before final destruction of Midway defences and great battle with US fleet.
That doesn't mean they would be near Midway when the great battle would occur. :lol:
Eugen Pinak wrote: "Enterprise", "Yorltown" and "Hornet".
And your point is ?
alecsandros wrote: Task Force 1 was covered by USS "Long Island" after the Japanese were defeated at Midway. There is no data on her original assignment before the battle. And this cover was possible only because no combat was expected, because "Long Island" was too slow to operate even with the "slow" US battleships.
Are you implying Long Island was rushed from the Atlantic to the Pacific in order for her NOT to cover the battleships ? Odd.

USS Maryland, USS Colorado and 3 destroyers, all from TF1, were patrolling the west coast as of May 31st.
5 more BBs, USS Long Island and 5 DDs joined them on June 5th.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by Takao » 23 Aug 2017 14:20

alecsandros wrote:
Are you implying Long Island was rushed from the Atlantic to the Pacific in order for her NOT to cover the battleships ? Odd.
With the Long Island's speed, she does not rush to do anything...Would you care to share your source for the Long Island being "rushed" to the Pacific, as the Nimitz Gray Book has no mention of this.

alecsandros wrote:USS Maryland, USS Colorado and 3 destroyers, all from TF1, were patrolling the west coast as of May 31st.
5 more BBs, USS Long Island and 5 DDs joined them on June 5th.
Gee...The seven OBBs sat out the Battle of the Coral Sea on the West Coast too. Were they waiting for some mythical end run by Nagumo's carriers then? Of Course not. Just as they were not waiting for some mythical end run at Midway.

Who ordered this "screening" of the West Coast? It certainly was not Nimitz, nor, so it seems, was it King. So, who was it? This pointless screening did nothing but burn up valuable bunker oil.

Worth noting that Pye never held another sea-going command.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 23 Aug 2017 15:49

Takao wrote: With the Long Island's speed, she does not rush to do anything...Would you care to share your source for the Long Island being "rushed" to the Pacific, as the Nimitz Gray Book has no mention of this.
Hello,
Long Island departed for San Francisco on May 10th 1942.
She was rushed because in April/May 1942 she conducted convoy escorts along the east coast, which was under heavy attacks from German Uboats. Donitz was pushing with 30 Uboats/month, and losses were mounting on a staggering rate. The US Navy required every ship that it could muster to at least contain the sinkings. With USS Wasp dispatched to help the Royal Navy in her efforts to reinforce/replenish the Malta defenders, and USS Ranger performing convoy duty to the Carribean area, USS Long Island was the only operational carrier (albeit small and slow) available in the East Coast.

Taking the only available escort carrier and sending it to the Pacific shows how dire the situation was in early May 1942 for the USN on the Pacific front.
alecsandros wrote: Gee...The seven OBBs sat out the Battle of the Coral Sea on the West Coast too. Were they waiting for some mythical end run by Nagumo's carriers then? Of Course not. Just as they were not waiting for some mythical end run at Midway.
Exactly, they "sat on the West Coast". From what I know, they weren't doing any sort of patrols whatsoever.
Who ordered this "screening" of the West Coast?
Don't know, but the patrols lasted until mid-September (but not with the same force as in early June), IIRC.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by Takao » 23 Aug 2017 16:51

alecsandros wrote: Hello,
Long Island departed for San Francisco on May 10th 1942.
It would be even earlier than that once you factor in the time to cut orders and make arraignments...
That is almost a month before Midway, and at a time when attacks against Midway and the Aleutians were only speculation.
If anything, this proves that she was not rushed to the Pacific for Midway, and it certainly proves that she was not rushed to the Pacific to cover Pye's OBBs.
alecsandros wrote:She was rushed because in April/May 1942 she conducted convoy escorts along the east coast, which was under heavy attacks from German Uboats.
She was not providing convoy escorts...She was training and qualifying carrier pilots.
alecsandros wrote:The US Navy required every ship that it could muster to at least contain the sinkings.
Ships were not what was required...Aircraft for ASW patrols were. The USAAF and USN had a big blow up over this, as the USAAF did not want to relinquish any patrol aircraft to the USN, no matter how badly they were needed to protect East Coast shipping traffic.
alecsandros wrote:With USS Wasp dispatched to help the Royal Navy in her efforts to reinforce/replenish the Malta defenders, and USS Ranger performing convoy duty to the Carribean area,...
Except, the USS Ranger was not performing convoy duty at the time, she was transporting Curtiss P-40s to Accra. Ranger left Narragansett Bay on April 22, and returned on May 28th.
alecsandros wrote:Taking the only available escort carrier and sending it to the Pacific shows how dire the situation was in early May 1942 for the USN on the Pacific front.
Let's see...taking a very small carrier, not fit for combat, but quite capable of training carrier pilots, and sending it to the Pacific, where there is an ongoing carrier war, and the demand for trained carrier pilots is growing...

Sounds like a move based on common sense, than one based on desperation. You know...Train the pilots where they are needed, rather than training the pilots thousands of miles away and not needed.
alecsandros wrote:Exactly, they "sat on the West Coast". From what I know, they weren't doing any sort of patrols whatsoever.
You claimed differently earlier in this thread...
alecsandros wrote:Don't know, but the patrols lasted until mid-September (but not with the same force as in early June), IIRC.
Your recollection is in error. The patrols ended on or about June 16th. The only operations they would conduct would pertain to training. Task Force 1 relocated to Pearl in mid-August, not mid-September.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 23 Aug 2017 17:32

Takao wrote: It would be even earlier than that once you factor in the time to cut orders and make arraignments...
That is speculative.
That is almost a month before Midway, and at a time when attacks against Midway and the Aleutians were only speculation.
Rochefort strongly believed in "target AF " as being Midway, and told Nimitz as such. Nimitz visited Midway on May 2nd, and promised to make all necessary arrangements to significantly strengthen all defenses.
If anything, this proves that she was not rushed to the Pacific for Midway, and it certainly proves that she was not rushed to the Pacific to cover Pye's OBBs.
You do not understand the problems the USN had on the east coast, while you also disregard the fact that USS Long Island was assigned to Task Force 1, under Pye's command.
alecsandros wrote: She was not providing convoy escorts...She was training and qualifying carrier pilots.
... And escorting convoys to Newfoundland...
alecsandros wrote:The US Navy required every ship that it could muster to at least contain the sinkings.
Ships were not what was required...Aircraft for ASW patrols were. [/quote]
That is false, read OEG51/1946
alecsandros wrote: Except, the USS Ranger was not performing convoy duty at the time, she was transporting Curtiss P-40s to Accra. Ranger left Narragansett Bay on April 22, and returned on May 28th.
Thus being unavailable.
alecsandros wrote: Let's see...taking a very small carrier, not fit for combat, but quite capable of training carrier pilots, and sending it to the Pacific, where there is an ongoing carrier war, and the demand for trained carrier pilots is growing...
Let's see, Wasp wasn't fit for Pacific combat either , but she was sent anyway...
alecsandros wrote: You claimed differently earlier in this thread...
Where ?
alecsandros wrote: Your recollection is in error. The patrols ended on or about June 16th. The only operations they would conduct would pertain to training. Task Force 1 relocated to Pearl in mid-August, not mid-September.
The battleship patrols continued until September (including patrols based on Oahu), Long ISland was reassigned on June 17th.

In any case, the presence of 7 BBs with 1 CVE and 8 DDs "burning alot of fuel" along the coastline shows that the threat was taken seriously, and not otherwise.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by glenn239 » 23 Aug 2017 18:01

Lundstrom (BSCA) suggests that Pye's "California Surfing" sortie during the BoM was unauthorized, hence why he never held another seagoing command.

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