Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 26 May 2021 02:49

rcocean wrote:
24 May 2021 00:31
I have no idea where you're getting the idea that "Congress" wouldn't have funded a Filipino mobilization, and I have no idea what your constant references to "America First" mean.
You may not have a useful understanding of US politics in that era.
BTW, if you have any sources for your statements & generalization I'd be glad to read them.
''The Borrowed Years' by Richard Ketchum I found useful 896 page primer on the shift of the US from Isolationism to participation in European affairs. Kleins 'A Call to Arms' is another 800+ page examination of the industrial mobilization of the US from the poverty levels of the 1930s & touches on the opposition to rearmament.

''The Warhawks' by Mark Chadwin is a brief 310 page survey of the interventionists who influenced Roosevelt & the US leadership in general. One of the important points Chadwin makes is how support of intervention or isolation cut across party lines a social/economic groups. The same thing is visible in Ketchums analysis. The divisions on this subject within the existing political & social groups created a degree of confusion that was not yet resolving in the first half of 1941 & had after effects that emerged post war.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by rcocean » 27 May 2021 14:59

Thanks for the response. ''The Warhawks' by Mark Chadwin seems like it would be interesting.

Certainly various segments of the population felt differently about mobilization and getting into the European war prior to Pearl Harbor. But Gallup polls show the great mass of Americans (70-80%) never budged from two things (1) they were willing to give aid to England and (2) they didn't want to go to war.

The same is true of defense spending. The American public was in favor of a strong Air Force and Navy. We supposedly had the biggest and best Navy along with England, and the American public wanted to keep it that way. And we were in favor of Army that was adequate for our defense. However many people weren't so hot on a draft, thinking that volunteers if paid enough could fill out the ranks. Charles Lindberg for example wanted us to "arm to the teeth". Anyway, this is why FDR labeled lend-lease an act to defend America, and refused to ask for a declaration of war against Hitler prior to Pearl Harbor. Stimson wanted him to do that in April/May 1941 and FDR refused.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 May 2021 04:04

rcocean wrote:
27 May 2021 14:59
Thanks for the response. ''The Warhawks' by Mark Chadwin seems like it would be interesting.
The Borrowed Years is the real meat. That largest thing I took away from th Warhawks was how the interventionists were distributed across political and social lines. They were not a conservative, or leftist movement.
rcocean wrote:
27 May 2021 14:59
Anyway, this is why FDR labeled lend-lease an act to defend America, and refused to ask for a declaration of war against Hitler prior to Pearl Harbor. Stimson wanted him to do that in April/May 1941 and FDR refused.
Hitler understood the intent to extend the Neutrality Zone further east and to put a US naval/airbase on Iceland. Distracted by the up coming war withe the USSR he passed on any substantial action. What would be the effect of Hitler approving a more aggressive naval action against the US in the Atlantic Some time in April through July?

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Jack Nisley » 30 Jul 2021 03:22

Just saw and read this. Interesting.

Good job of trashing Hart as a "Defeatist" and Coward". "Realist" might be more accurate.

Asiatic Fleet had 1 heavy cruiser, 2 light cruisers, 13 old destroyers and no air cover. IJN had 2 battleships, 1 light carrier, 7 heavy cruisers, 5 light cruisers, 29 modern destroyers, and air control. They had to go south to avoid destruction. Joined with the British, Dutch, and Australians in ABDA, they fought valiantly, but ineffectively, in the Allied loss of the Netherlands East Indies.

If Hart had stayed in the Philippines, he could not have functioned effectively as a Fleet Commander. He would have been a useless mouth to feed from the limited food supplies available because MacArthur didn't move his supplies to Bataan before the Japanese Army arrived. He sent an advanced party off in a PBY on Dec 24 and planned to follow on Dec 25 on 2 more PBYs. Japanese aircraft destroyed the 2 planes, so Hart caught a ride on the submarine USS Shark at 2 AM, Dec 26. He arrived in Java on Jan 1, 1942.

This info is from Blair "Silent Victory", Morison "History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Vol. III, The Rising Sun In The Pacific", and Cressman "Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II".

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Delta Tank » 31 Jul 2021 02:17

Jack Nisley wrote:
30 Jul 2021 03:22
Just saw and read this. Interesting.

Good job of trashing Hart as a "Defeatist" and Coward". "Realist" might be more accurate.

Asiatic Fleet had 1 heavy cruiser, 2 light cruisers, 13 old destroyers and no air cover. IJN had 2 battleships, 1 light carrier, 7 heavy cruisers, 5 light cruisers, 29 modern destroyers, and air control. They had to go south to avoid destruction. Joined with the British, Dutch, and Australians in ABDA, they fought valiantly, but ineffectively, in the Allied loss of the Netherlands East Indies.

If Hart had stayed in the Philippines, he could not have functioned effectively as a Fleet Commander. He would have been a useless mouth to feed from the limited food supplies available because MacArthur didn't move his supplies to Bataan before the Japanese Army arrived. He sent an advanced party off in a PBY on Dec 24 and planned to follow on Dec 25 on 2 more PBYs. Japanese aircraft destroyed the 2 planes, so Hart caught a ride on the submarine USS Shark at 2 AM, Dec 26. He arrived in Java on Jan 1, 1942.

This info is from Blair "Silent Victory", Morison "History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Vol. III, The Rising Sun In The Pacific", and Cressman "Official Chronology of the U.S. Navy in World War II".
You forgot the 29 submarines that were in the Asiatic Fleet on 8 December 1941. There were enough submarines there to inflict serious damage to the Japanese invasion force. Did any US submarines attempt any attacks on the Japanese invasion force? Number of torpedoes fired?

The US Army was not responsible to feed the personnel in the Asiatic Fleet. The US Navy had its own supply system that does not involve the US Army. Do you have information that states that the Asiatic Fleet was dependent on the US Army for food?

Mike

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 31 Jul 2021 05:02

Delta Tank wrote:
31 Jul 2021 02:17

You forgot the 29 submarines that were in the Asiatic Fleet on 8 December 1941. There were enough submarines there to inflict serious damage to the Japanese invasion force. Did any US submarines attempt any attacks on the Japanese invasion force? Number of torpedoes fired?
The torpedo reserve was destroyed 10 December in the bombing of Cavite naval base. That left the submarines with only the torpedos aboard, & a unknown number were docked for maintenance & had none aboard.
The US Army was not responsible to feed the personnel in the Asiatic Fleet. The US Navy had its own supply system that does not involve the US Army. Do you have information that states that the Asiatic Fleet was dependent on the US Army for food?

Mike
After the Cavite base was burned out by the 10 December air attack, then yes, then the Navy had negligible stores ashore.

However: 8th December Adm Hart received a message from CNO Stark to execute War Plan RAINBOW 5. This included the immediate relocation of the Asiatic fleet from the Philippines. <https://dc.etsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi ... ontext=etd> Most surface ships were gone within the week. The last, a damaged destroyer departed 26th December. Hart ordered all submarines unready for combat to relocate as well. The remainder, all older S class, continued with war patrols. As anticipated the shallow waters around PI were not a hiding place for the submarines & they were driven away to deep water by Japanese aircraft. A few sighted Japanese ships, but I don't have any details on attacks made. At least two sighted one of the invasion convoys, but were unable to execute effective attacks. Enemy air cover was cited as interfering.

By the 22 December Manilia Bay had become difficult for the submarines to use, denying them the surviving stores at Cavite. On Christmas day MacArthur declared Manilia a open city, which forced the Navy to cease operations there. The remaining submarines were ordered south to the Dutch East Indies sixteen days after hostilities started.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Jack Nisley » 11 Aug 2021 03:19

I didn't forget the submarines, I just didn't mention them. As mentioned in other posts, they were not effective in countering the Japanese Invasion due to the torpedo fiasco and the "Skipper Problem" - Sub commanders selected based on peacetime qualification did not necessarily have the qualifications needed in wartime. This is thoroughly covered in Blair "Silent Victory" Although several subs attempted attacks, only S-38 was successful on Dec 22, 1941 sinking one ship in Lingayen Gulf. Some of the other attacks were successful off Indochina, in the N.E.I., and on later patrols off the Philippines. I could extract more detailed information from Alden "U.S. Submarine Attacks During World War II" and other sources, but would need specific time frames to cover.

I did not talk about feeding the Asiatic Fleet. I was talking about Hart and his staff, stuck on Corregidor with MacArthur, with limited communications available to carry out his command functions. The Japanese were in Manila on Jan 2, 1942 and any attempt to evacuate after that date would be problematic.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Delta Tank » 11 Aug 2021 18:19

Jack Nisley wrote:
11 Aug 2021 03:19
I didn't forget the submarines, I just didn't mention them. As mentioned in other posts, they were not effective in countering the Japanese Invasion due to the torpedo fiasco and the "Skipper Problem" - Sub commanders selected based on peacetime qualification did not necessarily have the qualifications needed in wartime. This is thoroughly covered in Blair "Silent Victory" Although several subs attempted attacks, only S-38 was successful on Dec 22, 1941 sinking one ship in Lingayen Gulf. Some of the other attacks were successful off Indochina, in the N.E.I., and on later patrols off the Philippines. I could extract more detailed information from Alden "U.S. Submarine Attacks During World War II" and other sources, but would need specific time frames to cover.

I did not talk about feeding the Asiatic Fleet. I was talking about Hart and his staff, stuck on Corregidor with MacArthur, with limited communications available to carry out his command functions. The Japanese were in Manila on Jan 2, 1942 and any attempt to evacuate after that date would be problematic.

Jack
Why would a fleet commander remain on shore while his fleet is at sea?? To me that doesn’t make any sense at all. The greatest force available to the Asiatic fleet were the 29 submarines. Why you did not list them in your post is baffling to me. As you listed they really didn’t try to attack the Japanese invasion fleet. On 8 December we did not know the torpedos were flawed, and we also did not know that it really takes a young aggressive officer to command a submarine. IIRC the US Navy didn’t admit that the torpedo was defective until??? mid 1943 and the guy running the submarines out of Australia refused to admit the torpedo was defective since he helped design it.

On the food supply I think you have to remember that it was not in the plan to feed all the Filipino civilians that were permitted inside the Bataan perimeter. I can’t remember how many there were, but it was a lot. If you read the book in The Army Green Series “The Fall of the Philippines” there were laws that prevented the movement of food across certain political boundaries. Bureaucrats win another one I guess!

Mike

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Jack Nisley » 11 Aug 2021 22:35

Because his fleet was dispersed and he had assigned Radm. Glassford as his task force commander for the surface warships (TF 5). Hart needed to coordinate with MacArthur during the crisis period prior to the outbreak of war because there was no joint command in existence at this time. Also Hart was a submariner and the plan was to base the subs in Manila Bay, which the Japanese bombing of Cavite proved was unworkable.

Reading Morton “The Fall of the Philippines” , the staff work by MacArthur's staff was poor and unimaginative. Don't have a contingency plan for fallback to Bataan, haven't built any fortifications, haven't figured out supply needs, allow refugees into Bataan, don't take emergency measures to obtain/move supplies to Bataan.

I would admit that the Sub Defense Plan for the Philippines was also poor. If you can get a copy of Blair "Silent Victory" through your local library, you should read the part about this time period.

On a personal note. I was born in Bellefonte, PA and grew up in Greencastle, PA. Where do you live?

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Aug 2021 02:08

Delta Tank wrote:
11 Aug 2021 18:19
... If you read the book in The Army Green Series “The Fall of the Philippines” there were laws that prevented the movement of food across certain political boundaries. Bureaucrats win another one I guess!

Mike
That had been aimed at stopping speculators from profiting from controlling large blocs of the rice supply. What I've not seen confirmed is the claim there was a large surplus to skim off the dispersed stocks. Or if it was even realistic to stockpile rice & other non perishable food in a few short months. The embargos were not imposed until the summer of 1941 & negotiations went bad in October. As this argument goes five months at the outside & barely two from the October cabinet meetings when Japan actually decided on war with the US & British alliance. I don't know the PI military budget, or the lead times needed to build warehouses, or transport large quantities of military supply. But, I do know a war with Japan was considered a abstract hypothetical for planning staffs until the summer of 1941.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Delta Tank » 12 Aug 2021 02:12

Jack,

I live in Lock Haven Pa! Been to Bellefonte many times. Both of my children went to Penn State on ROTC Scholarships, one USMC, one US Army. My Mom entered the US Army in Greencastle as an Army Nurse in 1950. I did 18 months in the 28th ID while in college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Both of my Grandfathers served in the 28th ID in France in World War I. I retired from the US Army in 1997 after doing 20+ years in Artillery and Armor.

It is late, so will answer tomorrow. I have read both volumes by Clay Blair on US Subs and his two volumes on German Subs.


Mike

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Aug 2021 02:50

Delta Tank wrote:
25 May 2021 01:37
... Holy Cow!! Just saw the price!! May need a loan!!😁. He didn’t have any children!! Who is getting the money??🤷‍♀️

Mike
Stockholders & CEO of the publisher.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by ljadw » 12 Aug 2021 12:40

rcocean wrote:
27 May 2021 14:59
Thanks for the response. ''The Warhawks' by Mark Chadwin seems like it would be interesting.

Certainly various segments of the population felt differently about mobilization and getting into the European war prior to Pearl Harbor. But Gallup polls show the great mass of Americans (70-80%) never budged from two things (1) they were willing to give aid to England and (2) they didn't want to go to war.

Gallup polls are not a good source : they predicted victory of Dewey in 1948 and of Hillary in 2020 .
Gallup polls show not what ''the American people '' wants, but what wants the person who pays for the poll .
And, Declaration of War by Congress does not depend on what Gallup is saying .

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 12 Aug 2021 12:53

ljadw wrote:
12 Aug 2021 12:40
Gallup polls are not a good source : they predicted victory of Dewey in 1948 and of Hillary in 2020 .
Gallup polls show not what ''the American people '' wants, but what wants the person who pays for the poll .
The full array of 'war polls' those years show a more complex picture.

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Re: Chief of Staff Choices 1939?

Post by Takao » 12 Aug 2021 15:15

ljadw wrote:
12 Aug 2021 12:40

Gallup polls are not a good source : they predicted victory of Dewey in 1948 and of Hillary in 2020 .
Gallup polls show not what ''the American people '' wants, but what wants the person who pays for the poll .
And, Declaration of War by Congress does not depend on what Gallup is saying .
Ummm...
Clinton won the popular vote by about 3 million votes - so the poll is correct. Polls do not factor in the electoral college - which is the only count that matters in the Presidential outcome.

But, yes, polls are subject to selection bias.

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