Decision for S Pac. May 1942

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Carl Schwamberger
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Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Jun 2022 06:57

PoD is the decision on where the Japanese will resume the offensive in late May 1942. The evidence presented by Rochforts team on Oahu fails to support the concept of a Midway/Hawaii or Central and North Pacific offensive. King & Nimitz agree the enemy will move in the S Pacific within weeks, before 15 June. Possibly as early as 1 June. The question is how you the reader in Nimitzs role prepares to counter the expected Japanese attack/s? By extension what are the best supporting moves by King in the next few weeks?

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Huszar666 » 19 Jun 2022 17:58

Morning,

You need to be a bit more specific.
Do the Japanese go to the South or to Midway?

I assume, Nimitz does not know, where the Japanese will go, correct?

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Jun 2022 19:50

Huszar666 wrote:
19 Jun 2022 17:58
I assume, Nimitz does not know, where the Japanese will go, correct?

To answer your question, this is in the OP:
King & Nimitz agree the enemy will move in the S Pacific within weeks,
. That is their decision or what they think.


My question revolves around what the USN does to prepare before the Japanese reveal themselves. That is up until actual eyes on the Japanese fleet from air or submarine reconissance, or air strikes reveals their actual locations.

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by AnchorSteam » 20 Jun 2022 05:32

This is a little confusing, the information they had was accurate and they dealt with it in the right way.
I don't see how more forces could have been massed in the right areas, Midway isn't very large and all USN Carriers were in the right place at the right time.
Most of all, how do you improve on success?

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Takao » 20 Jun 2022 10:36

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Jun 2022 19:50
Huszar666 wrote:
19 Jun 2022 17:58
I assume, Nimitz does not know, where the Japanese will go, correct?

To answer your question, this is in the OP:
King & Nimitz agree the enemy will move in the S Pacific within weeks,
. That is their decision or what they think.


My question revolves around what the USN does to prepare before the Japanese reveal themselves. That is up until actual eyes on the Japanese fleet from air or submarine reconissance, or air strikes reveals their actual locations.
Doesn't clear the waters any...

Is this
A) Nimitz & King get bad Intel and defend SoPac, while the Japanes hit Midway.

Or

B) The Japanese are moving against SoPac, not Midway.

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Kingfish » 20 Jun 2022 13:55

Historically the Japanese began their overland campaign against Port Moresby around this time, while the expansion southward into the Solomons was well underway, so I'm not seeing much of al POD.
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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Peter89 » 20 Jun 2022 15:20

What I never really understood is why the Japanese failed continously to concentrate their forces in 1942. For me it seems they had this "we need to do everything at once in very complex maneuvers" attitude which was extremely risky given Japan's inability to replace naval losses. Low operational readiness didn't plague them the same way as it did the Italians either. But still they wasted the quantitative and qualitative edge in a very shocking manner.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Jun 2022 04:09

Kingfish wrote:
20 Jun 2022 13:55
Historically the Japanese began their overland campaign against Port Moresby around this time, while the expansion southward into the Solomons was well underway, so I'm not seeing much of al POD.
One of the reasons I started pondering it. For good or bad reasons the USN intel was favoring the interpretation that the offensive would continue in the S Pac. Since there were plans and preparations, the FS operation, & the ongoing offensive on New Guinea its not entirely unreasonable. The MI operation in that context was a aberration In he USN PoV. Something you'd not obviously think of.

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Jun 2022 04:13

Peter89 wrote:
20 Jun 2022 15:20
What I never really understood is why the Japanese failed continously to concentrate their forces in 1942. For me it seems they had this "we need to do everything at once in very complex maneuvers" attitude which was extremely risky given Japan's inability to replace naval losses. Low operational readiness didn't plague them the same way as it did the Italians either. But still they wasted the quantitative and qualitative edge in a very shocking manner.
I cant speak to the entire year. There were attempts to concentrate key forces. The six best fleet carriers were concentrated for the Pearl Harbor attack & for Op C. The second failed to reach the decisive result.

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Peter89 » 21 Jun 2022 07:44

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
21 Jun 2022 04:13
Peter89 wrote:
20 Jun 2022 15:20
What I never really understood is why the Japanese failed continously to concentrate their forces in 1942. For me it seems they had this "we need to do everything at once in very complex maneuvers" attitude which was extremely risky given Japan's inability to replace naval losses. Low operational readiness didn't plague them the same way as it did the Italians either. But still they wasted the quantitative and qualitative edge in a very shocking manner.
I cant speak to the entire year. There were attempts to concentrate key forces. The six best fleet carriers were concentrated for the Pearl Harbor attack & for Op C. The second failed to reach the decisive result.
Why did they break up the six fleet carriers? And when two fell out for Midway, why didn't they wait for their repair and replenishment, or used another task force built around light carriers?

The naval actions around Guadalcanal also don't seem to make sense to me, especially the november 12-15 battle.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Huszar666 » 21 Jun 2022 17:52

Doesn't clear the waters any...

Is this
A) Nimitz & King get bad Intel and defend SoPac, while the Japanes hit Midway.

Or

B) The Japanese are moving against SoPac, not Midway.
Yep, exactly.
But let's see, how we can salvage this mess.
I don't know, when exactly the "Midway/AF has a broken water plant" ruse was played, but it should have been before the 24th May, when the new code book was implemented by the Japanese, probably not later than the 20th. Around the same time it was determined that the attack would start on 4th or 5th June (it was the 4th, but only because the Japanese carriers were one day behind schedule).

So, in order to make sense of this thread, and for Nimitz&Co to be in the dark at least until 0900 on the 3rd June (when the PBY spotted the occupational force) or early 4th, when bombs started to fall, one of the following must happen:
1, the ruse isn't played at all
2, the Japanese broadcast could not be decoded
3, someone intelligent in Intelligence (yeah, I know...) on the Japanse side figures out the ruse before the broadcast goes out. (in this case warning flags should go up, that the code is compromised - with interesting ramifications)

What would this insecurity mean?
Nimitz would be forced to split his awailable power, for example, Enterpise and Hornet would be positioned in an equal distance between Pearl and Fiji (some distance East of the Marshalls, for example), while Yorktown completes the overhaul and Saratoga comes up from the West Coast (arrived on the 6th in Pearl). And pray, the Japanese doesn't attack till the 10th or so.
With the insecurity, there would be no definite proof so Midway wouldn't be reinforced this much, and with the two carriers 2-3 days away when the bombs start falling...

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Jun 2022 02:25

Peter89 wrote:
21 Jun 2022 07:44
Why did they break up the six fleet carriers? And when two fell out for Midway, why didn't they wait for their repair and replenishment, or used another task force built around light carriers?
Greater minds than mine would be required to answer that one. It would be easy to say operational issues & retirements led to reduction of the KB, but that does not really answer the question.

After the PH strike the KB was split up & if I recall correctly not reconstituted as six carriers until Operation C.

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Jun 2022 02:32

Huszar666 wrote:
21 Jun 2022 17:52
... Nimitz would be forced to split his awailable power, for example, Enterpise and Hornet would be positioned in an equal distance between Pearl and Fiji (some distance East of the Marshalls, for example), while Yorktown completes the overhaul and Saratoga comes up from the West Coast (arrived on the 6th in Pearl). And pray, the Japanese doesn't attack till the 10th or so. ...
Positioning Enterprise & Hornet TF East of the Marshals. Is something I'd not seen before. Are there advantages in opposing the expected S Pac offensive? Both for the Coral Sea battle and the later Solomons battles they were positioned much further south.

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Peter89 » 22 Jun 2022 07:52

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Jun 2022 02:25
Peter89 wrote:
21 Jun 2022 07:44
Why did they break up the six fleet carriers? And when two fell out for Midway, why didn't they wait for their repair and replenishment, or used another task force built around light carriers?
Greater minds than mine would be required to answer that one. It would be easy to say operational issues & retirements led to reduction of the KB, but that does not really answer the question.

After the PH strike the KB was split up & if I recall correctly not reconstituted as six carriers until Operation C.
IIRC Kaga missed Operation C because she hit a reef or something and needed repairs, but I rather meant the Coral Sea, Midway-Aleutians and Guadalcanal operations.

For me it doesn't make any sense to split up superior forces and allow the enemy to defeat the detachments in detail.
“And while I am talking to you, mothers and fathers, I give you one more assurance. I have said this before, but I shall say it again, and again and again. Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars." - FDR, October 1940

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Re: Decision for S Pac. May 1942

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 22 Jun 2022 16:17

Peter89 wrote:
22 Jun 2022 07:52
Carl Schwamberger wrote:
22 Jun 2022 02:25
Peter89 wrote:
21 Jun 2022 07:44
Why did they break up the six fleet carriers? And when two fell out for Midway, why didn't they wait for their repair and replenishment, or used another task force built around light carriers?
Greater minds than mine would be required to answer that one. It would be easy to say operational issues & retirements led to reduction of the KB, but that does not really answer the question.

After the PH strike the KB was split up & if I recall correctly not reconstituted as six carriers until Operation C.
IIRC Kaga missed Operation C because she hit a reef or something and needed repairs, but I rather meant the Coral Sea, Midway-Aleutians and Guadalcanal operations.

For me it doesn't make any sense to split up superior forces and allow the enemy to defeat the detachments in detail.

I agree, but when on the spot logic can lead in other directions. i used to play and umpire blind or limited intel war games. I repeatedly witnessed people making utterly logical decisions in their PoV and information at hand. Then having those decisions prove bad when further information emerged.

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