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#141 KingSargent

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 1253 PM

[quote name='glenn239' date='Sat 22 Sep 2007 1405' post='495315']
With TF16ís escorts unavailable due to previous commitment, that left two heavy surface units to face off against Kondo and Nagumo.
Like another CA would matter against the IJN gunfire forces. That's why the USN tried for 33-34 knots in CVs and CA, so they could run from surface engagements.


The assumption made was that Nagumo would send all his strike aircraft against Midway before the American flanking force was discovered.
"ASSuME means making as ASS out of you and ME." Planning on having good luck is pretty stupid. And considering how close the USN strike came to abject failure, it wouldn't have taken much to turn the results around.


Absolute minimum amount of supplies per month required would have been about 500 tons for a 5,000 man garrison (one small ship every 3 months). Hardly seems worth the effort to try and stop that.
Remind me never to use you for a commissary officer.

Does your 500 tons every three months include potable water? Ammunition, parts, and fuel for aircraft? I said a VIABLE base - that means one that can function as a recon and attack base, not a bunch of emaciated SNLFs sitting around getting sunburned.


#142 R011

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 1418 PM

Does your 500 tons every three months include potable water?

Just one liter of water per man per day for thirty days for five thousand men is 150 Tonnes of water, though I think they might want a bit more than that.

Edited by R011, 22 September 2007 - 1553 PM.


#143 Bob B

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 1655 PM

The defending Americans probably would have blown up the famous desalination plant before it was captured. ;)

Out of curiosity, did they really have one of those? :huh:

#144 KingSargent

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 1851 PM

B)-->
QUOTE(Bob B @ Sat 22 Sep 2007 2155) View Post
The defending Americans probably would have blown up the famous desalination plant before it was captured. ;)

Out of curiosity, did they really have one of those? :huh:[/quote]
Yes, they did.

I think a nice slow-acting poison would be better than blowing it up....

#145 hojutsuka

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 2304 PM

I think a nice slow-acting poison would be better than blowing it up....

The use of poison would be contrary to the Hague Convention of 1899 (Laws of War: Article 23).

The United States has generally followed the Laws of War.

As a practical matter, until nearly the end of the war, Japanese held far more US prisoners (both military and civilian) than US held Japanese prisoners, so it would hardly be desirable to get into a p*ssing match to see which side could be more inhumane in its prosecution of the war...

Hojutsuka

#146 gewing

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 2316 PM

The use of poison would be contrary to the Hague Convention of 1899 (Laws of War: Article 23).

The United States has generally followed the Laws of War.

As a practical matter, until nearly the end of the war, Japanese held far more US prisoners (both military and civilian) than US held Japanese prisoners, so it would hardly be desirable to get into a p*ssing match to see which side could be more inhumane in its prosecution of the war...

Hojutsuka




How about just setting a time delayed or radio command explosive to blow up the desalination plant about 4 days after they get there?

#147 Jim Martin

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 0238 AM

The use of poison would be contrary to the Hague Convention of 1899 (Laws of War: Article 23).

The United States has generally followed the Laws of War.

As a practical matter, until nearly the end of the war, Japanese held far more US prisoners (both military and civilian) than US held Japanese prisoners, so it would hardly be desirable to get into a p*ssing match to see which side could be more inhumane in its prosecution of the war...

Hojutsuka



Considering the Japanese conduct, it would be hard to win that one.

Shattered Sword is written primarily from the Japanese perspective, and there are plenty of moments that one finds touching or empathetic. Until you remember that these same people captured American aviators during the battle, interrogated them by torture and then executed them.

#148 Sailor Lars

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 0511 AM

Has anyone mentioned FritzX and it's ilk in this thread yet?

#149 KingSargent

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 1600 PM

Has anyone mentioned FritzX and it's ilk in this thread yet?

No. They were not delivered by dive or torpedo-bombing. We did touch on gliding torpedoes.

#150 glenn239

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 1906 PM

Quote: Like another CA would matter against the IJN gunfire forces. That's why the USN tried for 33-34 knots in CVs and CA, so they could run from surface engagements.

Answer: Praytell, how does Buckmaster's crippled carrier 'run' from a surface engagement at 34kt?

Quote: Planning on having good luck is pretty stupid. And considering how close the USN strike came to abject failure, it wouldn't have taken much to turn the results around.

Answer: Nimitz was operating upon patterns observed in previous Japanese raids. Recall that at Pearl Harbor, Darwin, and in the Indian Ocean, Japanese carriers tended to launch their entire inventory of attack aircraft early in the morning. This habit did not escape the notice of strategists within the United States Navy, and the basis of Nimitz's gamble was that it would be repeated at Midway. He hoped that by the time his flank force was discovered, Nagumo would lack the ability to retaliate.

Quote: Does your 500 tons every three months include potable water? Ammunition, parts, and fuel for aircraft? I said a VIABLE base.

Answer: You may have; I did not.

If the goal was to use Midway as an offensive base, then shipping requirements would be much higher. Perhaps as much as 5,000 or 8,000 tons shipping a month just to supply the air wing. But if the objective was merely to hold on to Midway then this could be done far more cheaply than that. And in that case, I know not of a more useless application of American submarine power than to have them hang around a small outpost awaiting the occassional supply run.

#151 KingSargent

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 2004 PM

[quote name='glenn239' date='Mon 24 Sep 2007 0006' post='495692']
Quote: Like another CA would matter against the IJN gunfire forces. That's why the USN tried for 33-34 knots in CVs and CA, so they could run from surface engagements.

Answer: Praytell, how does Buckmaster's crippled carrier 'run' from a surface engagement at 34kt?
She wouldn't, any more than Hornet could at Santa Cruz. But the question was "Would a more adequate escort have saved her?" An additional CA (non-available anyway) would not have made TF17 strong enough for a surface action with Kondo or Kurita. The USN assigned CAs to CV escort when they built CV that didn't carry their own 8" guns to deal with stray enemy ships popping up. If a surface threat appeared, the CAs would try to fend it off while the CV retired - hopefully to be able to launch her CAG.
If the CV (or anything else - see cruisers abandoned in Ironbottom Sound)) was crippled when enemy surface forces approached, they aren't going to run, they are going to (try to) scuttle.


Quote: Planning on having good luck is pretty stupid. And considering how close the USN strike came to abject failure, it wouldn't have taken much to turn the results around.

Answer: Nimitz was operating upon patterns observed in previous Japanese raids. Recall that at Pearl Harbor, Darwin, and in the Indian Ocean, Japanese carriers tended to launch their entire inventory of attack aircraft early in the morning. This habit did not escape the notice of strategists within the United States Navy, and the basis of Nimitz's gamble was that it would be repeated at Midway. He hoped that by the time his flank force was discovered, Nagumo would lack the ability to retaliate.
"Hoped" is the operative word. As it happened, Nagumo did NOT launch his second deckload until he had determined if there was a threat in the area. In the raids on bases, he did not have to worry about the base sneaking up behind him.
Had Tone's plane launched on time and found TF17 before the USN launched, the battle would have been far different. 93 planes of the reserve strike would be on their way, the frantic re-arming would not have left the IJN CVs accidents waiting to happen, and the decks would be clear to recover and rearm the returning Midway strike.
So either Nimitz was wrong or - much more likely - your interpretation of the situation is wrong.


Quote: Does your 500 tons every three months include potable water? Ammunition, parts, and fuel for aircraft? I said a VIABLE base.

Answer: You may have; I did not.
Well, I certainly did, which makes your facile burblings even more ridiculous. Now you are deciding that all the Japanese wanted was to deprive the US of Midway without establishing their own base. The fact that their T/O included an Air Group for Midway disproves your contention prima facie.


If the goal was to use Midway as an offensive base, then shipping requirements would be much higher. Perhaps as much as 5,000 or 8,000 tons shipping a month just to supply the air wing. But if the objective was merely to hold on to Midway then this could be done far more cheaply than that. And in that case, I know not of a more useless application of American submarine power than to have them hang around a small outpost awaiting the occassional supply run.
That WAS NOT their objective, and your efforts to "prove" they intended to waste much of Japan's oil reserve to land 5000 men to die of thirst are merely compounding your ignorance.


#152 R Leonard

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 2202 PM

Waldron took Torpedo 8 out on a one-way trip. If the IJN had been at the expected target point, the TBDs wouldn't have range to return to the carrier anyway. He left one of the three-man crew of each TBD behind.



At the risk of being perceived as argumentative, this is just another Midway myth. Lt Cdr John Waldron did not leave the third crewman for each of his VT-8 TBDs behind for any altruistic motive whatsoever, but, rather, for no other reason than doctrine, plain and simple. Just as the commanders of VT-3 and VT-6, Lt Cdr Lance Massey and Lt Cdr Eugene Lindsey, did not have a third crewman riding in any of their TBDs, either.

TBDs, indeed, had provision for a third crewman who rode in the center of the cockpit area, between the pilot and the radio-gunner.

In combat operations, when the attack profile was for level bombing, the third crewman went along as a bombardier, operating a Norden bombsight located in the belly of the plane. When the attack profile called for torpedo delivery, the crew consisted solely of the pilot and the radio-gunner; the bombardier was superfluous as he had nothing to do with dropping a torpedo, that task being handled by the pilot.

A third crewman was just so much dead weight on a torpedo mission, of any distance, so they were, as a matter of doctrine, left behind. Same thing happened at Coral Sea . . . twice . . . and on 6 June 42 when the remaining three TBDs of VT-6 went out hauling torpedoes . . . just the pilot and the radio-gunner . . . no bombardier, his services were not required. The old Mark XIII more than made up for the missing weight of one man.

#153 R Leonard

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 2211 PM

You know, reading about the actions of the USN aviators, they knew just how desperate the situation was. From a B-26 pilot trying to kamikaze his plane into Akagi, to TBD pilots on their 20 minute suicide torpedo runs, the US aircrew went above and beyond. There should have been a whole slew of Navy Crosses and MOH's handed out to aircrew for that action. Nearly every torpedo plane pilot did the functional equivalent of throwing himself on a hand grenade.

People talk about the Dam Busters...


Manyof the carrier pilots killed at Midway were posthumously awarded the Navy Cross, in fact almost all, I can only think of one who may have been KIA who was not and his loss is equally often ascribed to friendly fire. Their crewmen, in the VB, VS, and VT squadrons, were posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Carrier pilots awarded a posthumous Navy Cross were:

Ens E. R. Bassett, VF-3
Ltjg. O. B. Wiseman, VB-3
Ens. B. R. Cooner, VB-3
Lt Cdr. L. E. Massey, VT-3
Lt. P. H. Hart, VT-3
Ltjg. C. W. Howard, VT-3
Ltjg. R. W. Suesens, VT-3
Ens. C. A. Osberg, VT-3
Ens. W. F. Osmus, VT-3
Ens. O. A. Powers, VT-3
Ens. D. J. Roche, VT-3
Ens. L. L. Smith, VT-3
Mach. J. W. Haas, VT-3
Lt. S. Adams, VB-5
ARM1c Joseph John Karrol, VB-5 (Adamís radio/gunner)
Ens. E. A. Greene, VB-6
Ens. D. W. Halsey, VB-6
Ens. T. W. Ramsay, VB-6
Ens. N. F. Vandivier, VB-6
Ens. B. S. Varian Jr. , VB-6
Ens. F. T. Weber, VB-6
Ens. W. M. Holt, VF-6
Ens. R. M. Rich, VF-6
Ens. W. W. Wileman, VF-6
Mach. B. W. Reid, VF-6
Lt. C. R. Ware, VS-6
Ltjg. J. N. West, VS-6
Ens. J. C. Dexter, VS-6
Ens. R. A. Jaccard, VS-6
Ens. J. C. Lough, VS-6
Ens. F. W. O'Flaherty, VS-6
Ens. C. D. Peiffer, VS-6
Ens. W. R. Pittman, VS-6
Ens. J. Q. Roberts, VS-6
Ens. J. A. Shelton, VS-6
LtCdr. E. E. Lindsey, VT-6
Lt. A. V. Ely, VT-6
Lt. P. J. Riley, VT-6
Ltjg. J. T. Eversole, VT-6
Ltjg. L. Thomas, VT-6
Ens. J. W. Brock, VT-6
Ens. F. G. Hodges, VT-6
Ens. R. M. Holder, VT-6
Ens. S. L. Rombach, VT-6
Lt. A. B. Tucker, VB-8
Ens. S. W. Groves, VF-8
Lt. B. L. Harwood, VF-8
Ens. H. White, VS-8
LtCdr. J. C. Waldron, VT-8
Lt. R. A. Moore, VT-8
Lt. J. C. Owens Jr. , VT-8
Ltjg. G. H. Campbell, VT-8
Ltjg. J. D. Woodson, VT-8
Ens. W. B. Abercrombie, VT-8
Ens. W. W. Creamer, VT-8
Ens. H. J. Ellison, VT-8
Ens. W. P. Evans Jr. , VT-8
Ens. J. P. Gray, VT-8
Ens. H. P. Kenyon Jr. , VT-8
Ens. U. M. Moore, VT-8
Ens. G. W. Teats, VT-8
AP1c Robert Bruce Miles, VT-8

Carrier pilots also awarded the Navy Cross who survived the battle were:

Lt. H. R. Dickson, VB-5
Ltjg. D. R. Berry, VB-5
Ens. B. G. Preston, VB-5
LtCdr. J. S. Thach, VF-3
Ltjg. W. W. Barnes Jr. , VF-3
Ltjg. A. J. Brassfield, VF-3
Ltjg. R. G. Crommelin, VF-3
Ltjg. W. A. Haas, VF-3
Ltjg. W. N. Leonard, VF-3
Ltjg. B. T. Macomber, VF-3
Ltjg. E. D. Mattson, VF-3
Ltjg. E. S. McCuskey, VF-3
Ltjg. W. S. Woollen, VF-3
Ens. J. P. Adams , VF-3
Ens. J. B. Bain, VF-3
Ens. H. A. Bass Jr. , VF-3
Ens. M. K. Bright, VF-3
Ens. R. A. M. Dibb, VF-3
Ens. H. B. Gibbs, VF-3
Ens. D. C. Sheedy , VF-3
Ens. M. C. Tootle IV, VF-3
Ens. R. L. Wright, VF-3
Mach. D. C. Barnes , VF-3
Mach. T. F. Cheek , VF-3
Lt. W. C. Short Jr. , VB-5
Lt. J. L. Nielsen, VB-5
Ltjg. N. L. A. Berger, VB-5
Ltjg. W. F. Christie, VB-5
Ltjg. C. H. Horenburger, VB-5
Ltjg. H. M. McDowell, VB-5
Ens. J. N. Ammen Jr. , VB-5
Ens. J. D. Bridgers, VB-5
Ens. R. D. Gibson, VB-5
Ens. L. W. Larsen, VB-5
LtCdr. M. F. Leslie, VB-3
Lt. H. S. Bottomley, VB-3
Lt. D. W. Shumway, VB-3
Ltjg. P. A. Holmberg, VB-3
Ltjg. G. A. Sherwood, VB-3
Ens. R. H. Benson, VB-3
Ens. P. W. Cobb, VB-3
Ens. R. M. Elder, VB-3
Ens. A. W. Hanson, VB-3
Ens. R. M. Isaman, VB-3
Ens. C. S. Lane, VB-3
Ens. M. A. Merrill, VB-3
Mach. H. L. Corl , VT-3
C. A. P. W. G. Esders, VT-3
LtCdr. CW McClusky, Jr. , CEAG
Lt. R. H. Best , VB-6
Lt. J. R. Penland, VB-6
Ltjg. E. Kroeger, VB-6
Ltjg. W. E. Roberts, VB-6
Ltjg. E. L. Anderson , VB-6
Ens. G. H. Goldsmith, VB-6
Ens. S. C. Hogan Jr. , VB-6
Ens. T. F. Schneider, VB-6
Ltjg. R. J. Hoyle, VF-6
Ens. J. R. Daly, VF-6
Lt. C. E. Dickinson Jr. , VS-6
Lt. W. E. Gallaher , VS-6
Ltjg. N. J. Kleiss , VS-6
Ens. J. R. McCarthy , VS-6
Ens. V. L. Micheel , VS-6
Ens. E. E. Rodenburg, VS-6
Ens. R. W. Stone , VS-6
Lt. R. E. Laub, VT-6
Ens. I. H. McPherson , VT-6
Ens. E. Heck Jr. , VT-6
Mach. A. W. Winchell, VT-6
CAP S. B. Smith, VT-6
Cdr S. C. Ring, CHAG
Lt. J. E. Vose Jr. , VB-8
Lt. J. J. Lynch, VB-8
Ltjg. F. L. Bates, VB-8
Ens. C. E. Fisher, VB-8
Ens. R. P. Friesz, VB-8
Ens. R. P. Gee, VB-8
Ens. J. W. King, VB-8
Ens. H. J. Nickerson, VB-8
Ens. J. A. Riner Jr. , VB-8
Ltjg. L. C. French , VF-8
Ens. C. B. Starkes , VF-8
Ens. H. L. Tallman, VF-8
Ens. H. E. Hoerner, VS-8
Ens. D. Kirkpatrick, Jr. , VS-8
LtCdr. W. F. Rodee, VS-8
Lt. W. J. Widhelm, VS-8
Ens. G. H. Gay Jr. , VT-8

Regards.

Rich

#154 Marek Tucan

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 0038 AM

Had Tone's plane launched on time and found TF17 before the USN launched, the battle would have been far different.


Wasn®t Tone's plane search pattern such that in case it did launch at time and fly as planned, it would pass both US TF's during darkness and in distance long enought as not to spot them at all?

#155 KingSargent

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 1333 PM

At the risk of being perceived as argumentative, this is just another Midway myth. Lt Cdr John Waldron did not leave the third crewman for each of his VT-8 TBDs behind for any altruistic motive whatsoever, but, rather, for no other reason than doctrine, plain and simple. Just as the commanders of VT-3 and VT-6, Lt Cdr Lance Massey and Lt Cdr Eugene Lindsey, did not have a third crewman riding in any of their TBDs, either.

TBDs, indeed, had provision for a third crewman who rode in the center of the cockpit area, between the pilot and the radio-gunner.

In combat operations, when the attack profile was for level bombing, the third crewman went along as a bombardier, operating a Norden bombsight located in the belly of the plane. When the attack profile called for torpedo delivery, the crew consisted solely of the pilot and the radio-gunner; the bombardier was superfluous as he had nothing to do with dropping a torpedo, that task being handled by the pilot.

A third crewman was just so much dead weight on a torpedo mission, of any distance, so they were, as a matter of doctrine, left behind. Same thing happened at Coral Sea . . . twice . . . and on 6 June 42 when the remaining three TBDs of VT-6 went out hauling torpedoes . . . just the pilot and the radio-gunner . . . no bombardier, his services were not required. The old Mark XIII more than made up for the missing weight of one man.

I was aware that wartime torpedo missions only carried two crew, although I though the third guy was supposed to arm and drop the torpedo in peacetime.

In any case, care to comment on the assertion that Torpedo 8 would not have the range to get back if the strike had gone as planned?

#156 KingSargent

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 1339 PM

Wasn®t Tone's plane search pattern such that in case it did launch at time and fly as planned, it would pass both US TF's during darkness and in distance long enought as not to spot them at all?

I don't think so. They were flying into the sunrise. In any case high-speed warships leave nice almost-phosphorescent wakes that are easy to spot. I've done it myself from commercial aircraft. You can usually see the wake before the ship itself is visible.

Also, consider what the effect on the US CVTFs would be if a search plane was picked up on radar; possibly a moot question, since no appears to have done anything about Tone's plane.

#157 shep854

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 1411 PM

(Going waaay back in memory) IIRC, in his book on Midway, Walter Lord mentioned that visibility on 4 June was on the order of 50 mi. As to the TBD's range, he noted that the mission was right at the limit of their range (200 mi, give or take). The big unknown was how long the VT's would have to search. Waldron knowingly cut into his fuel margins to extend his search for the Japanese TF (according to Lord).

When I mentioned this book to my Dad, who was in the Navy at this time, and served in Enterprise with VF-6 during the Guadalcanal campaign (wounded at Santa Cruz), he scoffed at the books. He said no one really knew what happened; it was total confusion.

#158 glenn239

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 1643 PM

KingSargent writes,

She wouldn't, any more than Hornet could at Santa Cruz. But the question was "Would a more adequate escort have saved her?" An additional CA (non-available anyway) would not have made TF17 strong enough for a surface action with Kondo or Kurita.

The original question I posed was whether Yorktown was abandoned more quickly than otherwise would have been the case because her escorts lacked the ability to protect her from surface attack. This is independent of whether the 6-7 battleships, 5 cruisers and dozen+ destroyers marking time in TF1 and TF8 could have, if sent to the battle, saved her.

"Hoped" is the operative word. As it happened, Nagumo did NOT launch his second deckload until he had determined if there was a threat in the area.


Nimitzís decision at Midway was a textbook example of his doctrine of calculated risk. As it turned out, Nagumoís 1st Carrier Division got tangled up in an arming fiasco, which had an effect analogous to what Nimitz was looking for. You might argue the Americans got lucky. I would agree with you.

Had Tone's plane launched on time and found TF17 before the USN launched, the battle would have been far different. 93 planes of the reserve strike would be on their way, the frantic re-arming would not have left the IJN CVs accidents waiting to happen, and the decks would be clear to recover and rearm the returning Midway strike.

Had Toneís plane found a contact at 0630, then the United States would probably have lost the battle. Midway was a high stakes gamble.

Now you are deciding that all the Japanese wanted was to deprive the US of Midway without establishing their own base. The fact that their T/O included an Air Group for Midway disproves your contention prima facie.


Any discussion on what supplies Midway would require must account for a spectrum of possibilities concerning the offensive tempo (or lack thereof) intended. The minimal amount was so trivial that I frankly canít see the USN wasting much time or resources to try and interdict it.

With respect to the intentions of the Japanese in June 1942, as you must know the attacking force brought with it three months supplies, including everything necessary to maintain the air group you mention.

#159 KingSargent

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 2037 PM

[quote name='glenn239' date='Mon 24 Sep 2007 2143' post='496037']
KingSargent writes,

The original question I posed was whether Yorktown was abandoned more quickly than otherwise would have been the case because her escorts lacked the ability to protect her from surface attack.
Had there been a danger of surface attack, the abandonment of Yorktown would have been as necessary as the abandonment of Hornet at Santa Cruz. The difference is that there were Japanese surface forces known to be approaching Hornet, there were no such forces identified (just a possibility of them) at Midway.


This is independent of whether the 6-7 battleships, 5 cruisers and dozen+ destroyers marking time in TF1 and TF8 could have, if sent to the battle, saved her.
TF 8 was keeping the Japanese from sailing into Juneau and annexing Alaska :P . TF 1 was all that was left on the West Coast, was too slow to operate effectively with Yorktown-class CVs, and the USN had neither the oil or the oilers immediately available to get them to a Midway battle. They had trouble getting Saratoga back out - she did miss the battle. What Nimitz could have scraped together as an escort and oiler for her, I have no idea.


Nimitzís decision at Midway was a textbook example of his doctrine of calculated risk. As it turned out, Nagumoís 1st Carrier Division got tangled up in an arming fiasco, which had an effect analogous to what Nimitz was looking for. You might argue the Americans got lucky. I would agree with you.
Damn straight, Skippy. If there was ever a battle with God's thumb firmly on one pan of the scale, Midway was it.


Had Toneís plane found a contact at 0630, then the United States would probably have lost the battle. Midway was a high stakes gamble.
Very much a gamble for very high stakes, which is why I wouldn't have done it. The actual results justified the gamble, but the results that could be rationally expected surely did not.


Any discussion on what supplies Midway would require must account for a spectrum of possibilities concerning the offensive tempo (or lack thereof) intended. The minimal amount was so trivial that I frankly canít see the USN wasting much time or resources to try and interdict it.
At a minimum, the IJN planned to use Midway as the anchor for their new early-warning "outpost line." At the very least it would have to operate large flying boats and self-defense a/c.


With respect to the intentions of the Japanese in June 1942, as you must know the attacking force brought with it three months supplies, including everything necessary to maintain the air group you mention.
IIRC, those supplies ended up in the Solomons....


#160 R Leonard

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 2105 PM

I was aware that wartime torpedo missions only carried two crew, although I though the third guy was supposed to arm and drop the torpedo in peacetime.

In any case, care to comment on the assertion that Torpedo 8 would not have the range to get back if the strike had gone as planned?


See, I knew you'd take it that way.

No, the guy in the middle seat had nothing to do with arming and dropping torpedoes, peace-time or war-time. Pilot controlled the drop . . . the guy who could see the target and driving the airplane. When the torpedo is mounted a safety lanyard is attached to the motor start switch and the gyro is locked parallel to the axis of the plane. Presuming everything works the way it should, once the torpedo starts to drop, the safety lanyard in the tail pulls away, throwing the motor start switch to the on position; the gyro spools up and sets the torpedoís course on the bearing on which the airplane was traveling at the moment of release. When the torpedo strikes the water, the water trip delay valve closes and the motor starts. The torpedo exploder is armed by means of a water driven impeller switch which trips over once the device has traveled 200 yards . . . all by itself . . . arming does not require a human hand. Iíll be the first to admit that if you play around on the internet long enough you can find a site or two which mentions the bombardier and bombs and torpedoes in the same sentence, but, no, were you to actually talk to someone with a little practical experience at these things you would be quickly disabused of any notion of anyone other than the pilot controlling the drop. And in anticipation of your question, yes, I have, of a long time family friend, and a TBD and TBF driver, who actually dropped a torpedo at Midway and lived to tell the tale.

I'd point out that the three of the four VT-6 TBDs that survived their encounter with the Kido Butai, with roughly the same mission profile, made it back to Enterprise, you know, the carrier keeping company with Hornet. The fourth ditched due to loss of POL from battle damage. That would seem to indicate that a return to their somewhat ill-defined Point Option was at least in the cards. Judging from the tracks of relevant movement of the opposing forces, the VT-8 strike does not appear to have had to travel farther than did the VT-6 strike, maybe even less. We know VT-8 pursued a more direct path than did VT-6; after all, while it took VT-8 a little over an hour and a half to reach the Japanese, it took VT-6 almost two hours. And Lieutenant Laub, the senior surviving officer from VT-6, in his report remarked that there was little time to waste in making the attack due to the length of time they took to reach the Japanese. And he made it back, didnít he.

Do you have a source for your assertion? I'm willing to look at some of my sources and see what they say; to see if the subject is even mentioned in reference to VT-8. I've a rather extensive Midway collection, including copies of reports, including surviving VT squadron reports, including Gayís, and certainly anything that's been printed that is worth the paper upon which it is written, and not to mention, though mostly VF-3 related, originals of not a few documents.

Regards.




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