Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

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alecsandros
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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 04 Sep 2017 19:53

T. A. Gardner wrote:It would have been better to send a good, fast, carrier than one of the marginal ones the Japanese had even if this reduces the number sent to 5 or 6.
... The good thing of having 3 more carriers was having 3 more decks available for launching and for recovering a/c (and also for spreading the enemy attacks over multiple targets instead of allowing them to concentrate on just a few).

Imagine a situation in which Nagumo has 7 decks , while the USN dive bombers commence their attacks at 10:20AM.
Historically, Nagumo lost 3 decks in 10 minutes, remaining with only 1 deck (Hiryu). With 7 carriers, after losing 3 he would still be left with 4, a substantial number, quite capable of counter-attacking with a "heavy hand" (instead of the tiny airstrikes launched by Hiryu).

The IJN learned and applied this (more or less forced by circumstances), as seen at Santa Cruz Islands (where they put together Zuiho with Junyo/Hiyo (initialy) and with Shokaku/Zuikaku). It was better to have more decks on hand, even if that implied various operational difficulties (various economical speeds, fuel consumptions, different types of spare parts, different elevator speeds and thus re-lacunhing speeds, etc, etc).

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by T. A. Gardner » 05 Sep 2017 00:10

alecsandros wrote:... The good thing of having 3 more carriers was having 3 more decks available for launching and for recovering a/c (and also for spreading the enemy attacks over multiple targets instead of allowing them to concentrate on just a few).

Imagine a situation in which Nagumo has 7 decks , while the USN dive bombers commence their attacks at 10:20AM.
Historically, Nagumo lost 3 decks in 10 minutes, remaining with only 1 deck (Hiryu). With 7 carriers, after losing 3 he would still be left with 4, a substantial number, quite capable of counter-attacking with a "heavy hand" (instead of the tiny airstrikes launched by Hiryu).

The IJN learned and applied this (more or less forced by circumstances), as seen at Santa Cruz Islands (where they put together Zuiho with Junyo/Hiyo (initialy) and with Shokaku/Zuikaku). It was better to have more decks on hand, even if that implied various operational difficulties (various economical speeds, fuel consumptions, different types of spare parts, different elevator speeds and thus re-lacunhing speeds, etc, etc).
But, all carrier decks aren't equal. For example, the Junyo and Hiyo always operated independently of other Japanese carriers because of issues of speed and cycle time for aircraft. These two ships couldn't have operated with Nagumo's four "fleet" carriers without seriously compromising the latter's operations. They were significantly slower, that would have required the other carriers to conform to their restricted maneuverability and speed. Next, the cycle time for strikes on the Junyo and Hiyo were longer and slower than no the "fleet" carriers. That would have complicated getting strikes up, landing them, and lengthened the time between strike launches, probably unacceptably.

Zuiho is the same way. That's why she and other Japanese light carrier conversions didn't operate with the Kido Butai. They were simply not going to keep pace with the big carrier's operations. So, adding decks isn't nearly as important as adding ones that are of equal capability hence why Zuikaku should have been given priority and had her air group restored at the expense of these other marginal carriers.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by Takao » 05 Sep 2017 00:57

alecsandros wrote: Fortification of Midway started in earnest in Fev 1942, and accelerated in April/May. That's not an indication of imminent attack, but it is a clear aspect that mentions the US forces expected attacks over there.
The indications of imminent attack on Midway were coming in from various US Sources.
Mar 4 GCT 2227 COMINCH to CINCPAC
SHOW IMMEDIATELY TO CINCPAC IN PERSON X XCOPEKS FROM COM 14 AND COM 16 AND OTHER RADIO INTELLIGENCE SINCE ABOUT FEBRUARY 15 INDICATE ENEMY PLANS RAID WITH CAR DIV 5 PLUS NITTA MARU AND LARGE SEAPLANES AGAINST US POSITIONS AND FORCES PROBABLY OAHU POSSIBLY PALMYRA JOHNSTON MIDWAY X INSPITE OF SUGGESTIONS OF DECEPTION COMINCH ANALYSIS HAS HERETOFORE TENTATIVELY PLACED DATE OF RAID ABOUT MARCH 11 TO 13 X XHOWEVER THE IMPLICATIONS IN COM14 040919 AND COM16 041228 THAT THE ATTACK WILL OCCUR MARCH 5TH EITHER TOKYO OR OAHU DATE HAVE SOME FOUNDATION AND CANNOT BE IGNORED.
MAR 11 GCT 1620 COMINCH TO CINPAC INFO COS, US ARMY
AIDAC
Full scale effort against HAWAII-MIDWAY may be indicated. Impliment Unity of Command and ensure readiness.
alecsandros wrote:... Which is irrelevant to the discussion here,
operation Drumbeat lasted 1 month and it was followed by more powerfull offensives (such as Neuland), by German Uboats.

As I mentioned before, the climax of the Uboat sinkings on the East Coast happened in May 1942, and June 1942 had practically the same tonnage sunk.
Could not agree more...That U-Boats on the East Coast is irrelevant to discussing Nagumo and 7 carriers at Midway...

alecsandros wrote:Exactly, "had there be no fires".

The report makes it clear that, on such a small displacement, protection of the magazines and avgas, and most of all sufficient redundancy for critical anti-fire systems is next to impossible.
Yes, and the same applies to the CVLs...But, for reasons unknown, your beef is only with the USS WASP...

alecsandros wrote:Exactly, because the CVLs were smaller, thus the force of the explosion(s) would be distributed amongst a smaller volume.
The size difference between the two ships does not necessarily correspond to a size difference between ships' compartments...

alecsandros wrote:Available but without airgroups... Which means exactly nothing...
I take it you did not know that the Air Groups were formed in advance, sometimes well in advance, of the ships' commissioning dates...
The three of the four Sangamons had their air groups formed before Midway. The USS Copahee, USS Bogue, and USS Card also had their air groups formed before Midway.

So, yes...Your "Available but without airgroups" means exactly nothing.

alecsandros wrote:Again irrelevant and misleading,
the UBoat hunting ground changed south, in May they were wrecking havoc in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Venezuelan coastline... Which were protected by the same overstretched US Navy...
Yes, but I am not the one that made the outrageous claim of "tankers sunk within sight of the New Jersey shore during the summer of '42."

alecsandros wrote:Cutting the supply routes between the new and old world was far more dangerous then Pearl Harbor.
Please keep up with the discussion...Nobody is talking about cutting supply routes. We were talking about the "effect" on the American people, as per paulward's
For the American people, the war had finally come to our shores in a way that Pearl Harbor had not.
[/quote]
See...no talk of cutting supply routes.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by Takao » 05 Sep 2017 01:38

alecsandros wrote: ... The good thing of having 3 more carriers was having 3 more decks available for launching and for recovering a/c (and also for spreading the enemy attacks over multiple targets instead of allowing them to concentrate on just a few).

Imagine a situation in which Nagumo has 7 decks , while the USN dive bombers commence their attacks at 10:20AM.
Historically, Nagumo lost 3 decks in 10 minutes, remaining with only 1 deck (Hiryu). With 7 carriers, after losing 3 he would still be left with 4, a substantial number, quite capable of counter-attacking with a "heavy hand" (instead of the tiny airstrikes launched by Hiryu).

The IJN learned and applied this (more or less forced by circumstances), as seen at Santa Cruz Islands (where they put together Zuiho with Junyo/Hiyo (initialy) and with Shokaku/Zuikaku). It was better to have more decks on hand, even if that implied various operational difficulties (various economical speeds, fuel consumptions, different types of spare parts, different elevator speeds and thus re-lacunhing speeds, etc, etc).
Being forced to combine the Zuiho with Shokaku & Zuikaku due to circumstances, does not mean that the Japanese learned and applied this lesson...This lesson was not "learned" 2 months earlier at the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, where the Ryujo operated separately from Shokaku and Zuikaku. Nor, would Japanese CVLs and CVs be intermingled at the Philippine Sea in 1944.


Then again...If the 7 Japanese carrier decks massed into one large group, it is highly doubtful that Nimitz would serve up the three American carriers and a side of toast for the Japanese at Midway.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by paulrward » 05 Sep 2017 06:28

Hello All :

With regards to whether or not the U-boat kills in the first half of 1942 were making an impression
on the American Public, I submit the following:


From the Wikipedia article on The Second Happy Time:
When U-123 sank the 9,500-ton Norwegian tanker Norness within sight of Long Island in the early hours of 14 January, no warships were dispatched to investigate, allowing the U-123 to sink the 6,700 ton British tanker Coimbra off Sandy Hook on the following night before proceeding south towards New Jersey. By this time there were 13 destroyers idle in New York Harbor, yet none were employed to deal with the immediate threat, and over the following nights U-123 was presented with a succession of easy targets, most of them burning navigation lamps. At times, U-123 was operating in coastal waters that were so shallow that they barely allowed it to conceal itself, let alone evade a depth charge attack.

And an excerpt from an article from the New England Historical Society :
On the evening of Jan. 11, 1942, Reinhardt Hardegen, the audacious captain of U-boat 123, jumped the gun. He spotted the big British freighter Cyclops, carrying Chinese sailors and cargo to the British Isles, 300 miles east of Cape Cod in Canadian waters. U-123 sent a torpedo into the Cyclops that cut her in two.
The Cyclops lost 87 passengers and crew. The 95 survivors spent 20 hours enduring cold and wind in lifeboats before they were picked up. Two days later, the Navy made a cryptic announcement: An unidentified merchant ship was sunk off Canada.
Hardegen headed south, toward the Rhode Island Sound. He didn’t have good charts, and was surprised to find the Montauk Point lighthouse beaming a helpful navigational aid.
Shortly after midnight on Jan. 14, Hardegan’s lookout spotted the Norness silhouetted against the brightly lit coast. The huge tanker was carrying 12,200 tons of crude oil from New Jersey to Liverpool.
U-123 sunk the Norness with three torpedoes. Hours after the Norness sank, a blimp spotted the hull sticking out of the shallow water. Several hours later, 39 survivors in lifeboats were taken to Newport, R.I.
By the early morning of Jan. 15, U-123 approached New York Harbor. From the bridge, Hardegan could see the lights of Manhattan skyscrapers. “I cannot describe the feeling in words,” he said “but it was unbelievable and beautiful and great. . . We were the first to be here, and for the first time in this war a German soldier looked out on the coast of the USA.”
Later that night, U-123’s lookout saw the bright lights of the Coimbra bearing down on the submarine. The British tanker, like the Norness, was transporting oil to Britain. She made an easy target against the brightly lit coast. U-123 torpedoed the tanker, and within minutes the explosion sent a fireball 650 feet into the sky.
Thirty-six crewmen were killed; six survived. People in the Hamptons called to report the fire 27 miles away. There was no response from the U.S. military. No airplane, no Coast Guard cutter, nothing. Hardegen didn’t even bother to submerge the U-boat.

And from an internet website, http://uboat.net/allies/merchants/1251.html, in the section on the SS Coimbra, we get the following:
At 09.41 hours on 15 Jan 1942 the unescorted Coimbra (Master John Patrick Barnard) was hit by one G7e torpedo from U-123, which had spotted the lights of the tanker astern while the U-boat was proceeding eastbound following the southern shore of Long Island. The torpedo struck on the starboard side just aft of the superstructure. A huge towering explosion lit up the night sky and the cargo of oil quickly caught fire and spread across the water. Residents from the Hamptons on Long Island could see the fire at sea 27 miles away and alerted the authorities. At 09.59 hours, a coup de grâce hit the tanker underneath the funnel and her stern settled fast, striking the sea floor after five minutes. Like his previous victim, the Norness, the bow of the Coimbra was sticking out of the water. Hardegen commented: These are some pretty buoys we are leaving for the Yankees in the harbor approaches as replacement for the lightships. The tanker later sank completely.
As we can all see, the tanker fire was not only visible from shore, but attracted attention for a great distance along the shore.


What is also known is that, two days later, Hardegen made another kill: the freighter San José. This ship was sunk in shallows 1,000 yards away from the Coast Guard base at Atlantic City, New Jersey.

I would suggest that a ship that was sunk in the shallows 1000 yards offshore is probably visible from the beach.


A further quote from the website http://www.americainwwii.com/articles/s ... an-waters/, yields:
Old hunting grounds continued to yield rich results for the Germans. On February 26, U-578 attacked the Tanker R.P. Resor, carrying 78,729 barrels of oil. The ship burned for two days, shedding smoke that was visible to crowds for miles along the New Jersey coast. Only two of the 50 men aboard survived the blazes.

So, it seems that the people of New York AND New Jersey were 'enjoying the show '.



Moving further south, we get the following from a recently published article from TheDailyPress.Com :

German U-boat mine attacks brought Battle of the Atlantic to Hampton Roads

by Mark St. John Erickson

The 11,615-ton tanker Robert C. Tuttle struck a mine on its starboard side June 15, 1942 and settled to the bottom in 54 feet of water just off Virginia Beach. One crew member died and 46 were rescued.
Two minutes after 5 p.m. on the afternoon of June 15, 1942, thousands of startled spectators from Virginia Beach to Old Point Comfort saw the Battle of the Atlantic come to Hampton Roads in a spectacularly violent fashion.
Steaming in as part of Convoy KN-109 from Key West, the 11,615-ton tanker Robert C. Tuttle exploded on its starboard side, spewing out a plume of smoke so dark and high that it could be seen at the Hotel Chambelin many miles away.
Thirty minutes later, the 11,237-ton tanker Esso Augusta was rocked by a similar blast on its port side, sustaining damage so severe that it lost its steering and propulsion.
Three more explosions would erupt offshore that evening and in the following two days -- all the result of the mines laid across the entrance to the Thimble Shoals channel by German U-boat commander Horst Degen and the crew of U-701 just two days earlier. But the immediate conclusion of the watching crowds and the US Navy vessels and aircraft that responded to the explosions almost immediately was torpedoes.
"An enemy submarine torpedoed two large American merchant ships yesterday within view of thousands of persons at the Virginia Beach resort," the Daily Press reported.
"(They) stared seaward spellbound as bombing planes, a Navy blimp and a half-dozen naval ships roared over the area in search of the daring undersea raider, dropping bombs and depth charges that sent huge geysers of water skyward."
U-701 was long gone from the coastal waters, however, when its mines began to find their targets.
Guided into position by the lights at Capes Charles and Henry, the stealthy submarine had slipped into the channel just past midnight on June 12, when it approached within several hundred yards of shore. "To the port we could see the dark shadows of the dunes, with lights here and there ... even cars and people and lighted houses," Degen would later recall, in a conversation recounted by author Ed Offley in his 2014 book," The Burning Shore: How Hitler's U-boats Brought World War II to America.
" These Americans didn't seem to know there was a war going on!"
Evading a small patrol boat crossing the channel, the German warship went about its work quickly and quietly, dropping 15 mines within little more than a half hour. Then it backed out into the Atlantic and headed south to patrol off Cape Hatteras. Less than two days later, the mines found their first target, taking out the Tuttle with a single blast. Dropping out of its position as the fifth ship in line, the heavily laden tanker sustained a broken keel in the blast, which also killed one of its crewmen. So powerful was the explosion that the shock wave could be felt by spectators on the shore. Within minutes, Navy patrol aircraft and a blimp began circling overhead in search of the enemy submarine, peering down into the seas between the zig-zagging surviving vessels of the attack.
Police began clearing the shore in front of the 24th Street Coast Guard Station, where a surf boat would later land bearing the dead crewman's body and three lifeboats filled with survivors, the Daily Press reported.
The Navy had already dropped numerous depth charges in search of its prey when a second mine blast shook the 11,237-ton tanker Esso Augusta at about 5:30 p.m., disabling its steering and propulsion systems. As the aircraft and ships continued to hunt and drop exploding depth charges, they set off another mine about 6:30 p.m., shaking but not significantly damaging the destroyer USS Bainbridge, notes the reports compiled by retired Navy Capt. Jerry Mason at www.uboatarchive.net.
The Brtish anti-submarine trawler HMS Kingston Ceylonite, which was escorting a tug and
tow up the coast, was the U-boat's next victim, sinking within two minutes after striking a mine at the entrance to the channel about 7:30 p.m. Nearly 20 died in the blast, which left only 14 survivors.
Despite a mine-sweeping operation that found and detonated nine more mines on June 16, the remaining weapon took another victim the following morning, blowing a hole in the side of the 7,117-ton coal ship Santore. Three men died as the vessel capsized and sank in less than two minutes. "I was standing on deck lazily watching a grimy old collier when she blew up in my face," reported United Press correspondent Walter Logan, who had been watching from a nearby escort.

The war had finally come home to Hampton Roads.

I would venture to say that, in reality, the war had come home to virtually the entire Atlantic Coast.


Someone said he wanted names of ships sunk in sight of New York and New Jersey.


Respectfully ;

Paul R. Ward
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Voices that are banned, are voices who cannot share information....
Discussions that are silenced, are discussions that will occur elsewhere !

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 05 Sep 2017 07:34

T. A. Gardner wrote:
But, all carrier decks aren't equal. For example, the Junyo and Hiyo always operated independently of other Japanese carriers because of issues of speed and cycle time for aircraft. These two ships couldn't have operated with Nagumo's four "fleet" carriers without seriously compromising the latter's operations. They were significantly slower, that would have required the other carriers to conform to their restricted maneuverability and speed. Next, the cycle time for strikes on the Junyo and Hiyo were longer and slower than no the "fleet" carriers. That would have complicated getting strikes up, landing them, and lengthened the time between strike launches, probably unacceptably.

Zuiho is the same way. That's why she and other Japanese light carrier conversions didn't operate with the Kido Butai. They were simply not going to keep pace with the big carrier's operations. So, adding decks isn't nearly as important as adding ones that are of equal capability hence why Zuikaku should have been given priority and had her air group restored at the expense of these other marginal carriers.
Complications are what operational commanders are required to solve. Naturaly it would be best to have only first rate carriers, but if you don't, it pays to use the second rate carriers as well. At Santa Cruz they put together Shokaku/Zuikaku with Zuiho...

The "7 carriers" that I proposed would be tasked with different objectives (as per Nagumo's tasks), 3 of them attacking Midway (and only Midway), and 4 doing recon/anti-shipping strikes/combat air patrol. Thus there would be no unnecessary delay in launching the anti-shipping strikes .


I also think Zuikaku could have been prepared for joining Nagumo, with approx 52 machines (survivors from Coral Sea). However, even if Zuikaku was sent to support Nagumo, I think using the other 3 carriers (Junyo/Ryujo/Zuiho) in the same "punch" would have been the optimal solution, because of the multitude of objectives that Nagumo had to cover. Junyo could have been tasked with long-range recon, and Ryujo/Zuiho with combat air patrol, thus leaving the other more powerfull carriers to launch complete and devastating strikes.
Last edited by alecsandros on 05 Sep 2017 07:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 05 Sep 2017 07:35

Takao wrote: Then again...If the 7 Japanese carrier decks massed into one large group, it is highly doubtful that Nimitz would serve up the three American carriers and a side of toast for the Japanese at Midway.
The alternative was to accept that Midway was lost as a forward base for USN ops, and possibly be used for IJN ops. Don't know how acceptable that was for King.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 05 Sep 2017 07:43

Takao wrote:
So, yes...Your "Available but without airgroups" means exactly nothing.
After Coral Sea, USS Yorktown's airgroup was replenished by taking away 50% of USS Saratoga's airgroup... had there been OTHER airgroups available (such as the ones that you imply being on the CVEs), it would have been more logical to use them, and leave Saratoga's airgroup intact, more so as she was the only fleet carrier not committed immediately to the battle of Midway (though plans for her being sent there existed).
alecsandros wrote:.Nobody is talking about cutting supply routes. We were talking about the "effect" on the American people, as per paulward's
For the American people, the war had finally come to our shores in a way that Pearl Harbor had not.
See...no talk of cutting supply routes.
USN was fighting a 2-front war - Atlantic and Pacific - and the Atlantic was given priority because of the "Germany first" policy. That required continous supply convoys - along the coastline, and others being sent to Great Britain , USSR, etc. In turn that required escort , both on the air and sea.

In the first semester of 1942, USN was in a dire situation in terms of available ships for doing escort, with a reported strength of approx 68 units as of Jan 1942 (to cover the entire coastline + transatlantic convoys) , growing to a reported 270 by July 1942 (both by local production as well as by receiving reinforcements from the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy), which was the month in which Uboat sinkings on the east coast finally decreased.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 05 Sep 2017 07:46

Takao wrote: Yes, and the same applies to the CVLs...But, for reasons unknown, your beef is only with the USS WASP...

The CVLs weren't good for the Pacific either... Wasp wasn't... Ranger wasn't...

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by Takao » 05 Sep 2017 21:35

I see paul continunes his clowning around...

He had stated
It will give you some idea of what was going on off the coast of New Jersey in the summer of 1942.
Knowing something about the vessels lost of the Jersey shore in 1942, I asked him to name the names of the ships sunk off the Jersey shore in the summer of 1942...

And what does he provide????? He regales us with several tories from January and February, 1942. Now Paul, I do not know where you hail from...But, January and February along the Jersey Shore, is considered to be WINTER. You specified SUMMER...

Finally, he closes out with one final tale...From VIRGINIA. Now, those familiar with geography will know that Virginia is not even close to New Jersey...Maybe, Paul considers some 150 miles to be "close." But, it is certainly not "visible."

Ok, maybe Paul is a newly minted product of our US Public School System, given his lack of knowledge in such simple skills as seasons and geography...
Here is the short list from the New Jersey Maritime Museum's ship wreck database for losses of the Jersey shore in the summer of 1942.
https://fusiontables.google.com/data?do ... #rows:id=1

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by T. A. Gardner » 05 Sep 2017 22:18

alecsandros wrote: Complications are what operational commanders are required to solve. Naturaly it would be best to have only first rate carriers, but if you don't, it pays to use the second rate carriers as well. At Santa Cruz they put together Shokaku/Zuikaku with Zuiho...
And, both the USN and IJN solved that problem by not operating dissimilar carriers together. There's a reason the Japanese kept their CVL's separate early in the war. There's a reason the US never operated fleet carriers with CVE.
Putting the Junyo, in particular, with the faster CV of the Kido Butai would have been a huge mistake. Japanese doctrine calls for massed air strikes. That requires all the carriers in the group to launch and land on the same cycle. Given that Junyo's is longer, the other carriers are now tied to that schedule. Since Junyo is also significantly slower, the whole group has to move slower to accommodate one ship.
The "7 carriers" that I proposed would be tasked with different objectives (as per Nagumo's tasks), 3 of them attacking Midway (and only Midway), and 4 doing recon/anti-shipping strikes/combat air patrol. Thus there would be no unnecessary delay in launching the anti-shipping strikes .

I also think Zuikaku could have been prepared for joining Nagumo, with approx 52 machines (survivors from Coral Sea). However, even if Zuikaku was sent to support Nagumo, I think using the other 3 carriers (Junyo/Ryujo/Zuiho) in the same "punch" would have been the optimal solution, because of the multitude of objectives that Nagumo had to cover. Junyo could have been tasked with long-range recon, and Ryujo/Zuiho with combat air patrol, thus leaving the other more powerfull carriers to launch complete and devastating strikes.
The problem with this is that the air groups on the Junyo, Ryujo, and Zuiho are unsuited to long range scouting, and this would also go completely against Japanese doctrine of the time where the cruisers with floatplanes are the scouting force. The Ryujo and Zuiho would have had to had their air groups reorganized too as they were a mix of fighters and strike aircraft. For CAP duties they'd only need fighters since their deck capacity is so small. Yes, the US did this with the Independence class CVL later in the war, but there they had the numbers to allow for it.

The Junyo, because of her speed issue is simply an oddball outlier that doesn't fit in well anywhere in the operation. She'd have to operate alone.

It would have been far better to grab 20 or so aircraft and crews off one or another of the marginal carriers and bring Zuikaku to full strength.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 06 Sep 2017 05:50

T. A. Gardner wrote: Putting the Junyo, in particular, with the faster CV of the Kido Butai would have been a huge mistake.
I understand your concern, Junyo was 4-5kts slower then the other carriers, however operation MI didn't call for 30kts speeds for the carriers. The attack speed of Kido Butai on June 4th was about 24kts. So Junyo could have kept up. Where she couldn't keep up was during an enemy air attack, when the carriers were going to full speed - but that was something else.
Japanese doctrine calls for massed air strikes. That requires all the carriers in the group to launch and land on the same cycle.
Yes, but sending 7 carriers (approx 200 machines per strikewave) in one single strike against 2 coral islands is a bit of an overkill... IF , however, Nagumo woudl do this, he would be exposed to much the same risks as he was historically, with insufficient landing/take off space available at a moment's notice.
The problem with this is that the air groups on the Junyo, Ryujo, and Zuiho are unsuited to long range scouting,
Historically IJN carriers performed scouting with their B5N torpedo bombers, in several occasions (Dec 8th 1941 after Pearl, May 7th 1942 before Coral Sea)
and this would also go completely against Japanese doctrine of the time where the cruisers with floatplanes are the scouting force.
and the floatplanes were augmented by carrier strike planes when it was required. At Midway, the cruiser floatplanes were augmented by 2 dive bombers of the new type - D4Y "Judy".
The Ryujo and Zuiho would have had to had their air groups reorganized too as they were a mix of fighters and strike aircraft. For CAP duties they'd only need fighters since their deck capacity is so small. Yes, the US did this with the Independence class CVL later in the war, but there they had the numbers to allow for it.
On June 3rd, Zuiho had 6 A5M and 6 A6M and 12 B5Ns, Ryujo 14 A6M and 18 B5N (+2 spares for each) - that's 26 fighters for combat air patrol, and 30 B5N for long range scouting.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 06 Sep 2017 06:05

T. A. Gardner wrote:Given that Junyo's is longer, the other carriers are now tied to that schedule.
That would be a problem for follow up strikes (and not for the first strike which would be launched by a force of planes already spotted on the flight deck during the early morning). That's why I proposed various carriers to have various missions.

At the very least, Junyo could operate her 20 A6Ms Zero for combat air patrol, greatly improving Nagumo's air defences.

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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by T. A. Gardner » 06 Sep 2017 06:54

alecsandros wrote:I understand your concern, Junyo was 4-5kts slower then the other carriers, however operation MI didn't call for 30kts speeds for the carriers. The attack speed of Kido Butai on June 4th was about 24kts. So Junyo could have kept up. Where she couldn't keep up was during an enemy air attack, when the carriers were going to full speed - but that was something else.
Of course they didn't go all out. Ships rarely do and when they do it's difficult on the crew and the ship, not to mention expensive on fuel. So, a 30 to 33 knot carrier will generally operate at 20 to 25 knots. A 25 knot carrier will operate at 15 to 20 knots.
I know this very well having spent 27 years in the US Navy in engineering and being on ships, including carriers operating at sea.
For the Junyo to operate with the rest of the big Japanese carriers means either they go slower or the Junyo tries to push as hard as it can to keep up. The problem there is going to be fuel. The Junyo will run dry much sooner trying to keep up at 20 to 25 knots.
The other problem comes when the US shows up for an air attack. The Junyo will fall behind the rest of the group as the other ships crank up to top speed to avoid being torpedoed and bombed.

Yes, but sending 7 carriers (approx 200 machines per strikewave) in one single strike against 2 coral islands is a bit of an overkill... IF , however, Nagumo woudl do this, he would be exposed to much the same risks as he was historically, with insufficient landing/take off space available at a moment's notice.
I doubt it would have made any significant difference to Midway's operations. Overkill is what the US later specialized in where they'd bomb an island day and night for a week with half-a-dozen battleships, dozens of smaller ships, and hundreds of aircraft, before invading.
Japan's idea of softening up an island like Midway was two or three strikes by aircraft and an hour of leisurely shelling by a few cruisers and destroyers.
Historically IJN carriers performed scouting with their B5N torpedo bombers, in several occasions (Dec 8th 1941 after Pearl, May 7th 1942 before Coral Sea). The floatplanes were augmented by carrier strike planes when it was required. At Midway, the cruiser floatplanes were augmented by 2 dive bombers of the new type - D4Y "Judy".
That doesn't change that doing so is not what the Japanese considered optimal. That was considered a waste of an asset. The D4Y aboard were supernumerary to the air group and intended for that purpose. But, that's a big exception to sending out a dozen + B5N to do the scouting. Sending the E13A floatplanes made more sense.
On June 3rd, Zuiho had 6 A5M and 6 A6M and 12 B5Ns, Ryujo 14 A6M and 18 B5N (+2 spares for each) - that's 26 fighters for combat air patrol, and 30 B5N for long range scouting.
The A5M by 6/42 is a nearly worthless fighter, so you really have just 20. But, you need some of those for escort of the ship's strike aircraft so let's say its down to a dozen. And, you are wasting the B5N for scouting as they can't scout any further than the floatplanes could nor would they be any better at doing the job.
That would be a problem for follow up strikes (and not for the first strike which would be launched by a force of planes already spotted on the flight deck during the early morning). That's why I proposed various carriers to have various missions.

At the very least, Junyo could operate her 20 A6Ms Zero for combat air patrol, greatly improving Nagumo's air defences.
Maybe, maybe not. The big failing of the Japanese CAP at Midway was its near total lack of coordination by any sort of fighter direction system. Because the Japanese relied on the CAP spotting the incoming strike(s) on their own the intercept usually was under 20 miles from the carrier, often under 10. The extra planes won't stop the strike. They don't have the time necessary.
This was figured out by Allied operations researchers by this point in the war. That's why the USN was pushing fighter direction out further and further. Yes, a bigger CAP helps a lot when you intercept at say, 60 miles out and the fighters work the strike over for as much as 20 minutes. Then, it gets decimated like the Hiryu's did against Yorktown.
An intercept at 10 miles gives you maybe 2 or 3 minutes before the planes are starting in their attack. The defending pilots are just getting lined up on their first targets at that point. You can't stop the raid although you may extract vengeance afterwards...

And the cycle time is an issue. Take the historical situation. Now, the Japanese carrier group is moving slower than historical because they have to accommodate Junyo which is struggling to stay up with the other carriers. The first strike from Midway has returned and the carriers aren't spotted for a second when the US shows up. CAP ops prevent this. Even if there was no confusion over armament of the planes, the second strike would be nowhere near ready to launch. The US might even pull back once their own strikes return, and the slower Japanese strike launch finds itself not being within range now.

alecsandros
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Re: Nagumo with 7 carriers at Midway

Post by alecsandros » 06 Sep 2017 11:34

T. A. Gardner wrote:For the Junyo to operate with the rest of the big Japanese carriers means either they go slower or the Junyo tries to push as hard as it can to keep up. The problem there is going to be fuel. The Junyo will run dry much sooner trying to keep up at 20 to 25 knots.
That would not be an insurmountable problem. Historically Junyo (rated at 26kts) steamed with Ryujo (rated at 29kts) to attack Dutch Harbor. They were required to do refueling at sea, and that's what they did a few times.
The other problem comes when the US shows up for an air attack. The Junyo will fall behind the rest of the group as the other ships crank up to top speed to avoid being torpedoed and bombed.
That would be different depending on the location of Junyo in the Japanese carrier formation. In any case, her slower speed would make re-forming (after the attack) of the formation more slow, but again, not impossible
I doubt it would have made any significant difference to Midway's operations. Overkill is what the US later specialized in where they'd bomb an island day and night for a week with half-a-dozen battleships, dozens of smaller ships, and hundreds of aircraft, before invading.
Perhaps, but usualy that was done with ample intel and a thorough prior observation of enemy combat strength.

Historically, Nagumo was advancing as of May 31st under strict radio silence, with any radio emission being able to alert the enemy of the presence of his force somewhere in the north Pacific. As we know (and as Nagumo dutifully recorded in his action report), because of the dense fog existing on June 3rd, Nagumo was required to send radio signals to his ships for reforming (that he feared betrayed his position and helped the enemy to prepare). In addition to that, his transport ships came under bombing attack from B17s on June 3rd in the morning, - 24 hours before his first strike against Midway atoll.

24 hours notice may not seem like much, but it would be enough for long range bombers to be relocated from Oahu to Midway, and for elements of US Navy in patrol in the northern waters of Hawaii to arive within ~ 300-400km south of the atoll (we should remember the failure of operation K, and the total lack of timely information on US carriers available to Nagumo).

This is different from the "total surprise" that Nagumo HOPED to achieve on the surprised defenders of Midway.

Thus, sending a 200-wave strike from 7 decks (and keeping ~ 40 fighters as CAP) would leave him with only ~ 60-80 machines available for a anti-shipping strike, recon, and any other mission that may come up.

My opinion is that a division of objectives would be more beneifical to IJN Kido Butai then using all ships at the same time to do the same mission...

That doesn't change that doing so is not what the Japanese considered optimal. That was considered a waste of an asset. The D4Y aboard were supernumerary to the air group and intended for that purpose. But, that's a big exception to sending out a dozen + B5N to do the scouting. Sending the E13A floatplanes made more sense.
Certainly, but there weren't enough floatplanes readily available to conduct complete search of the horizon. THat's because they only sent 2 cruisers to help Nagumo... Had they sent 2 seaplane carriers with Nagumo, things could have been much much different. BUt they didn't.

THus, to ensure successfull recon , Nagumo was obliged to enforce his search , by adding some planes. What planes ? The B5N was the longest ranged, and their pilots were historically used for that kind of missions.
The A5M by 6/42 is a nearly worthless fighter, so you really have just 20.
On the morning of June 4th, Nagumo was so low on available fighters that he used several D3As as combat air patrol. I'm sure he would have prefered some Claudes in their stead.
Maybe, maybe not. The big failing of the Japanese CAP at Midway was its near total lack of coordination by any sort of fighter direction system. Because the Japanese relied on the CAP spotting the incoming strike(s) on their own the intercept usually was under 20 miles from the carrier, often under 10. The extra planes won't stop the strike. They don't have the time necessary.
That is what the latest published research shows us - that Nagumo's combat air patrol ultimately failed, catastrophically, to stop enemy air attacks.
However, we should take notice of the details published (in "Shattered Sword" and "Why did the Japanese lose the battle of Midway"): the combat air patrol was fighting non-stop for 3 hours before the dive bomber attack. The combat air patrol attempted to land for refueling/rearming, but either there wasn't enough deck space (because the 4 decks were busy retrieving the return flight from Midway first strike), OR there wasn't any stable deck to land upon (for a lot of time, the 4 carrieres were doing eavasive manouvres to avoid bombs and torps). Even so, the combat air patrol successfully destroyed at least 60 incoming planes, while losing 18 machines to all causes. AFAIK, Nagumo launched several combat air patrols, of 3 to 6 machines from each carrier. He couldn't retrieve them for the above stated reasons, and they expeneded their fuel and ammo, starting to hover around the carriers.

In this proposed scenario, some (let's say 2) carriers would be tasked with mantaining continous combat air patrol. That means no more time wasted in retrieving the MIdway strike. That means no more space and time wasted with arming the 2nd strike. Only CAP. In that way, when the SBD arive, there would be a good chance that some fighters would be in the air at medium altitude, and, allthough a total block of the attack is extremely unlikely, some deflection can be anticipated, and the ultimate result (8 to 10 bomb hits from 54 bombs launched) may be less then the historical one.
And the cycle time is an issue. Take the historical situation. Now, the Japanese carrier group is moving slower than historical because they have to accommodate Junyo which is struggling to stay up with the other carriers. The first strike from Midway has returned and the carriers aren't spotted for a second when the US shows up. CAP ops prevent this. Even if there was no confusion over armament of the planes, the second strike would be nowhere near ready to launch. The US might even pull back once their own strikes return, and the slower Japanese strike launch finds itself not being within range now.
If Nagumo woudl opt for the "classic" method, of doing an all-out strike with all available decks, then at 10:20AM he would be in the same (bad) situation as the historical one, with 7 decks packed with gasoline and bombs, and a huge combat air patrol hovering awround them trying to land (low on fuel and ammo).

As the 55 SBDs beging their dives, total surprise would be obtained, and (at least) 3 carriers hit and left in flames.

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