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(AP)   FTW: U.S. Navy marks Battle of Midway's 70th anniversary. Japan's vessels outnumbered U.S. ships 4-to-1, Japan's aviators had more experience, and its Zero fighter planes could easily outmaneuver U.S. aircraft   (hosted.ap.org) divider line 252
    More: Spiffy, F T W, U.S. Navy, Battle of Midway, U.S., vice admirals, Japan, midway, U.S. ships  
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9744 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Jun 2012 at 12:15 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-04 02:32:01 PM

positronica: One of the "What If" scenarioes I like to think about is how the Battle of Midway might have gone differently had Germany not halted construction of Graf Zeppelin and had instead been able to make her operational some time in 1941 or early 1942. The theory being that if Germany had a carrier like Graf Zeppelin in it's fleet, then the US would have tranferred a fleet carrier from the Pacific to the Atlantic in order to counter the percieved threat. Japan's fortunes in the pacific would have surely been different in such a scenario, at least in the short term.


Why would the Germans have rebuilt the Zeppelin when the first one burned up so easily?

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-06-04 02:33:18 PM

whither_apophis: It was a vortex of bad luck for the Japanese, all the above plus fuel lines and unstored bombs on deck when the dive bombers showed up.

/Fortune favors the bold


There are better quotes for this battle: "No plan survives first contact with the enemy." - Helmuth von Moltke.

The Japanese had an elaborate plan, based on their strengths. Unfortunately, those plans did not include knowledge that the Americans had broken their codes and knew Midway was the target, and so the Japanese basically assumed the American fleet would not be there. The USN had time to repair the Yorktown and show up at Midway, and not much more than to prepare an ambush, which meant a plan that wasn't much more than "Attack!." At the point of encounter, then "Fortune favors the bold" becomes operative.
 
2012-06-04 02:33:38 PM

ha-ha-guy: Why would we transfer one of our fleet carriers to go counter some shiatty 1st Gen German carrier?


Churchill would have found a way to talk Roosevelt into it, I would imagine.
 
2012-06-04 02:39:21 PM

positronica: One of the "What If" scenarioes I like to think about is how the Battle of Midway might have gone differently had Germany not halted construction of Graf Zeppelin and had instead been able to make her operational some time in 1941 or early 1942. The theory being that if Germany had a carrier like Graf Zeppelin in it's fleet, then the US would have tranferred a fleet carrier from the Pacific to the Atlantic in order to counter the percieved threat. Japan's fortunes in the pacific would have surely been different in such a scenario, at least in the short term.


Wow!! Your grasp of the facts are amazing. I assume that you are unaware of the fact that the US Navy actually did have carriers in the Atlantic that June.
 
2012-06-04 02:40:10 PM

Lucky LaRue: Of course, the fact that we had broken the Japanese code and were laying in wait for them helped, too... :).


Not only had we broken Purple, the Japanese High Command was convinced Japanese was impossible for Westerners to learn. So signals security wasn't exactly up to scratch
 
2012-06-04 02:42:47 PM
I'm currently reading Unbroken, the story of a WWII Olympic runner and bombadier. Who crashed into the ocean. Pretty awesome story.
 
kgf
2012-06-04 02:44:47 PM

GOB: kgf: capt.hollister: '...and its Zero fighter planes could easily outmaneuver U.S. aircraft'

But they did not outgun them and, more importantly, lacked armor protection and self-sealing tanks making them extremely vulnerable to battle damage.

More important was the Thatch Weave. It was the Thatch Weave that allowed our outdated fighters to compete with Zero's before Lightnings and Hellcats showed up. Tactics can always outweigh technical specs.

This may sound sappy, or corny, but here goes- I am an atheist, but our victory at Midway is the closest I've ever seen to evidence that proves the existence of God (and that He was on our side).

Thach Weave. Also, the fact you think god was helping the US win Midway isn't sappy or corny, just idiotic.


Nah, the only thing I did idiotic was forget morons like you can actually learn to read.
 
2012-06-04 02:45:24 PM

Lucky LaRue: Of course, the fact that we had broken the Japanese code and were laying in wait for them helped, too... :)

My great uncle flew a Dauntless from the USS Hornet at Midway, and scored a hit on the Japanese destroyer, Asashio.


That, and when they wargamed the battle out beforehand, they were cheating on dice rolls.
 
2012-06-04 02:46:16 PM

Whiskey Dickens: Yeah, that Midway thing was pretty cool. Not quite as cool as what the Commonwealth did on June 6th, 2 years later, but Americans need their pat on the head too.

/Way to go buddy, you did great!!


The Commonwealth??? Fark. Everybody knows it was the Russkies that won WWII. The only thing the Commonwealth managed to do was to parachute thousands of troops into the Netherlands just so they could surrender.
 
2012-06-04 02:47:12 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Yes but their Zeros were made of plywood and cloth. Our pilots and planes were better protected.


plywood and cloth?? Are you serious?
 
2012-06-04 02:48:08 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Whiskey Dickens: Yeah, that Midway thing was pretty cool. Not quite as cool as what the Commonwealth did on June 6th, 2 years later, but Americans need their pat on the head too.

/Way to go buddy, you did great!!

The Commonwealth??? Fark. Everybody knows it was the Russkies that won WWII. The only thing the Commonwealth managed to do was to parachute thousands of troops into the Netherlands just so they could surrender.


rather simplistic and WRONG
 
2012-06-04 02:50:10 PM

Coelacanth: Lucky LaRue: Of course, the fact that we had broken the Japanese code and were laying in wait for them helped, too... :)

My great uncle flew a Dauntless from the USS Hornet at Midway, and scored a hit on the Japanese destroyer, Asashio.

That, and when they wargamed the battle out beforehand, they were cheating on dice rolls.


Did he know O'Flaherty or Gaido? O'Flaherty got a medal but Gaido didn't.
 
2012-06-04 02:50:25 PM

Carousel Beast: GatorHater: Yamamoto should have brought all six of his fleet carriers. The USN moved mountains to get the Yorktown operational. Also, the poor design of Japanese carriers and their pathetic damage control training and preparation doomed many brave men to a fiery death.

GO Navy!

Zuikaku was fresh out of pilots; they were slaughtered at the Coral Sea, which was - though it didn't seem so at the time - as much a tactical as strategic victory for the US, despite the loss of the Lexington. Shōkaku was pretty beat up and I don't believe they would have had time to repair her even if they'd been so inclined. Japanese support operations (especially damage control) were inferior in every way, from concept to execution, compared to pretty much everyone.


As I understand, Japan also lacked enough steel to support any serious repairs to their ships, a result of the sanctions that Roosevelt put on them in 1937 (which also partly led to their declaring war on the US). If you look at their order of battle throughout the war, they basically didn't build any new capital ships throughout the war; the US, on the other hand, built something like 20 Essex-class carriers throughout the war and converted dozens more escort carriers.
 
2012-06-04 02:52:21 PM
The crew of a Dauntless had to splash and inflated their life raft...

Sadly, O'Flaherty and Gaido were spotted and fished from the sea by the crew of the Japanese destroyer Makigumo. After interrogation, and when it was clear that the Japanese had suffered a disastrous defeat in the Battle of Midway, O'Flaherty and Gaido were murdered by the angry and vindictive Japanese. The two unfortunate American airmen were bound with ropes, tied to weighted fuel cans, and then thrown overboard to drown. The Makigumo hit a mine off Guadalcanal in 1943 and sank.
 
2012-06-04 02:53:12 PM
"So they had zero fighter planes?"
"Yup."
"Then how'd they fight an air battle?"
"With their fighter planes."
"...So they DID have fighter planes?"
"Yup, zero fighter planes."
"...How did they fight a battle with zero planes?"
"Very well actually, they were dangerous."
"The zero planes were?"
"Yep!"

etc, etc...
"Third base!"
 
2012-06-04 02:53:58 PM

Clemkadidlefark: This past weekend we attended a memorial service for SS209 the USS Grayling which is on Eternal Patrol with all crew.

My darling's father went down with the Grayling September 1943.

USS Grayling SS209 memorial Page

I mention this because had not the sub-mariners of the day performed with astounding courage and determination to harass, harry and engage the Japanese navy so relentlessly, Midway could well have been a different footnote in History ...

"We shall never forget that it was our submarines that held the lines against the enemy while our fleets replaced losses and repaired wounds."
Fleet Admiral C. W. Nimitz, U.S.N.

"I can assure you that they went down fighting and that their brothers who survived them took a grim toll of our savage enemy to avenge their deaths."
Vice-Admiral C. A. Lockwood, Jr., U.S.N.
P.F.S. 59 Commander Submarine Force 1943-1946

May Go have mercy on the souls on eternal patrol.
May God Bless and send His Angelic Protection around all who serve in our military.


As the son of a Fleet boat sailor (APSS-315 Sealion, served aboard from 1962-64) and the grandson of a plankowner aboard USS Spot (SS-413, 3 war patrols), I salute your father-in-law's service and sacrifice. Thank you for continuing to share his story.
 
2012-06-04 03:00:31 PM

elvisaintdead: basemetal: Someone should make a movie about that.

I believe they did.
[www.wearysloth.com image 320x240]

and you just read that in his voice, too


Isn't that the movie where they used stock footage of Korean War-era F2H2 Banshee jet fighters crashing onto a carrier deck?
 
2012-06-04 03:04:56 PM

JonathanChance: elvisaintdead: basemetal: Someone should make a movie about that.

I believe they did.
[www.wearysloth.com image 320x240]

and you just read that in his voice, too

Isn't that the movie where they used stock footage of Korean War-era F2H2 Banshee jet fighters crashing onto a carrier deck?


Not sure about that, but they re-used some of the footage from Tora Tora Tora...and on review of the trivia in the IMDB, I see also Away All Planes and The Battle of Britain provided footage, as well as newsreels of the day.
 
2012-06-04 03:05:16 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: The crew of a Dauntless had to splash and inflated their life raft...

Sadly, O'Flaherty and Gaido were spotted and fished from the sea by the crew of the Japanese destroyer Makigumo. After interrogation, and when it was clear that the Japanese had suffered a disastrous defeat in the Battle of Midway, O'Flaherty and Gaido were murdered by the angry and vindictive Japanese. The two unfortunate American airmen were bound with ropes, tied to weighted fuel cans, and then thrown overboard to drown. The Makigumo hit a mine off Guadalcanal in 1943 and sank.


Bruno Gaido was aboard the Enterprise during the Marshall Islands raids on 1 Feb 1942, and earned a Navy Cross (I think) for jumping into the back of a parked SBD and providing suppressive fire from it's little pissant .30 caliber machine gun against a G3M "Nell" bomber which was determined to crash into the ship. It came mighty damn close... so close, in fact, that pieces of it sheared off the tail of the SBD in which Gaido was sitting.

image2.findagrave.com

Talk about massive, clanging brass balls...
 
2012-06-04 03:07:43 PM

dittybopper: Ricardo Klement: Carousel Beast: GatorHater: Yamamoto should have brought all six of his fleet carriers. The USN moved mountains to get the Yorktown operational. Also, the poor design of Japanese carriers and their pathetic damage control training and preparation doomed many brave men to a fiery death.

GO Navy!

Zuikaku was fresh out of pilots; they were slaughtered at the Coral Sea, which was - though it didn't seem so at the time - as much a tactical as strategic victory for the US, despite the loss of the Lexington. Shōkaku was pretty beat up and I don't believe they would have had time to repair her even if they'd been so inclined. Japanese support operations (especially damage control) were inferior in every way, from concept to execution, compared to pretty much everyone.

Not a single operation the Japanes planned after the war started succeeded.

One thing that almost never gets mentioned is how singularly *BAD* their signals intelligence program was. Of all the major combatants in WWII, Japan had the worst SIGINT program. What makes it even worse for them is that we *KNEW* how bad they were, and we exploited that fact. We figured out where the main Japanese thrust was by assuming that the locator they used, "AF", was for Midway, then we cabled Midway and told them to radio back back to Pearl that their desalination plant was broken, and they'd need a barge with fresh water sent. Couple days later, we intercept a communication from a Japanese SIGINT unit reporting to its higher echelons that "AF is short of water".

It wasn't just that sort of thing, though. For example, they largely failed to break the ciphers used by the coast watchers, even though they were generally easy to solve Playfairs and the like. Something that would have given a competent US, British, German, Soviet, or even Italian cryptanalyst relatively little trouble seemed to be beyond them.


And now, the Japanese are famous for making Sodokus and Ken-Kens...

Go figure.
 
2012-06-04 03:12:21 PM
Some fantastic research suggestions posted here; I'd like to add the following, for those interested in in-depth analysis of the battle and the units involved.

The First Team, Robert Lundstrom (cannot recommend this one highly enough)


A Glorious Page In Our History, Mark Horan/Robert Cressman/Barrett Tillman/Clark Reynolds/Stan Cohen


That Gallant Ship, Robert Cressman (a history of the USS Yorktown)

Subby, thanks for starting this thread.
 
2012-06-04 03:13:38 PM

one0nine: TheShavingofOccam123: The crew of a Dauntless had to splash and inflated their life raft...

Sadly, O'Flaherty and Gaido were spotted and fished from the sea by the crew of the Japanese destroyer Makigumo. After interrogation, and when it was clear that the Japanese had suffered a disastrous defeat in the Battle of Midway, O'Flaherty and Gaido were murdered by the angry and vindictive Japanese. The two unfortunate American airmen were bound with ropes, tied to weighted fuel cans, and then thrown overboard to drown. The Makigumo hit a mine off Guadalcanal in 1943 and sank.

Bruno Gaido was aboard the Enterprise during the Marshall Islands raids on 1 Feb 1942, and earned a Navy Cross (I think) for jumping into the back of a parked SBD and providing suppressive fire from it's little pissant .30 caliber machine gun against a G3M "Nell" bomber which was determined to crash into the ship. It came mighty damn close... so close, in fact, that pieces of it sheared off the tail of the SBD in which Gaido was sitting.

[image2.findagrave.com image 300x216]

Talk about massive, clanging brass balls...


Well, at least he sank fast when the Japanese threw him overboard. That is if he still had his balls. Knowing the way the Japanese "interrogated" their prisoners, he may very likely not have had them at the time of his drowning.
 
2012-06-04 03:13:55 PM
A good accounting of the thinking at CINPAC is in " And I Was There ", by Nimitz's fleet intelligence officer, Edwin Layton.
 
2012-06-04 03:14:29 PM
AngryJailhouseFistfark: positronica: One of the "What If" scenarioes I like to think about is how the Battle of Midway might have gone differently had Germany not halted construction of Graf Zeppelin and had instead been able to make her operational some time in 1941 or early 1942. The theory being that if Germany had a carrier like Graf Zeppelin in it's fleet, then the US would have tranferred a fleet carrier from the Pacific to the Atlantic in order to counter the percieved threat. Japan's fortunes in the pacific would have surely been different in such a scenario, at least in the short term.

Why would the Germans have rebuilt the Zeppelin when the first one burned up so easily?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x487]


Not THAT Graf Zeppelin, the Aircraft Carrier Graf Zeppelin.
 
2012-06-04 03:18:32 PM
Whats that subby about how maneuverable those Zekes are?

farm5.staticflickr.com
 
2012-06-04 03:18:52 PM

Rwa2play: kgf: This may sound sappy, or corny, but here goes- I am an atheist, but our victory at Midway is the closest I've ever seen to evidence that proves the existence of God (and that He was on our side).

[www.theird.org image 640x338]
Agrees.

/Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country.
//He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.


Plus we broke their code and were able to READ YOUR BOOK YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARDS!
 
2012-06-04 03:18:53 PM

JonathanChance: elvisaintdead: basemetal: Someone should make a movie about that.

I believe they did.
[www.wearysloth.com image 320x240]

and you just read that in his voice, too

Isn't that the movie where they used stock footage of Korean War-era F2H2 Banshee jet fighters crashing onto a carrier deck?


Yes...that and Ensign George Gay's plane magically turning from a TBD Devastator into a Hellcat upon crash landing in the ocean.
 
2012-06-04 03:22:00 PM

Marcus Aurelius: It was 4 carriers versus 2 carriers and an island. And what Lucky LaRue said.


Also we had better admirals. Well, Yamamoto was a truly awesome admiral, but Nagumo was not. And since he was the one calling the shots at Midway, that didn't help the Japanese any.

Of course, Yamamoto himself said he had six months at the outside in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor to either win or perish; and Midway was right on the money time-wise. He hadn't won by then, and he knew he was doomed to lose.
 
2012-06-04 03:24:00 PM

Oldiron_79: AngryJailhouseFistfark: positronica: One of the "What If" scenarioes I like to think about is how the Battle of Midway might have gone differently had Germany not halted construction of Graf Zeppelin and had instead been able to make her operational some time in 1941 or early 1942. The theory being that if Germany had a carrier like Graf Zeppelin in it's fleet, then the US would have tranferred a fleet carrier from the Pacific to the Atlantic in order to counter the percieved threat. Japan's fortunes in the pacific would have surely been different in such a scenario, at least in the short term.

Why would the Germans have rebuilt the Zeppelin when the first one burned up so easily?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x487]

Not THAT Graf Zeppelin, the Aircraft Carrier Graf Zeppelin.


The airship Graf Zeppelin didn't burn either. It was scrapped after 10 years of service and over a million miles.
 
2012-06-04 03:30:52 PM
Mishno: Oldiron_79: AngryJailhouseFistfark: positronica: One of the "What If" scenarioes I like to think about is how the Battle of Midway might have gone differently had Germany not halted construction of Graf Zeppelin and had instead been able to make her operational some time in 1941 or early 1942. The theory being that if Germany had a carrier like Graf Zeppelin in it's fleet, then the US would have tranferred a fleet carrier from the Pacific to the Atlantic in order to counter the percieved threat. Japan's fortunes in the pacific would have surely been different in such a scenario, at least in the short term.

Why would the Germans have rebuilt the Zeppelin when the first one burned up so easily?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x487]

Not THAT Graf Zeppelin, the Aircraft Carrier Graf Zeppelin.

The airship Graf Zeppelin didn't burn either. It was scrapped after 10 years of service and over a million miles.


That too. The Graf Zeppelin was NOT the Hindenburg.

/quick, to the HindenPeter
 
2012-06-04 03:34:36 PM

Arkanaut: Carousel Beast: GatorHater: Yamamoto should have brought all six of his fleet carriers. The USN moved mountains to get the Yorktown operational. Also, the poor design of Japanese carriers and their pathetic damage control training and preparation doomed many brave men to a fiery death.

GO Navy!

Zuikaku was fresh out of pilots; they were slaughtered at the Coral Sea, which was - though it didn't seem so at the time - as much a tactical as strategic victory for the US, despite the loss of the Lexington. Shōkaku was pretty beat up and I don't believe they would have had time to repair her even if they'd been so inclined. Japanese support operations (especially damage control) were inferior in every way, from concept to execution, compared to pretty much everyone.

As I understand, Japan also lacked enough steel to support any serious repairs to their ships, a result of the sanctions that Roosevelt put on them in 1937 (which also partly led to their declaring war on the US). If you look at their order of battle throughout the war, they basically didn't build any new capital ships throughout the war; the US, on the other hand, built something like 20 Essex-class carriers throughout the war and converted dozens more escort carriers.


They did build and deploy capital ships during the war.
 
2012-06-04 03:41:42 PM

Mad Scientist: Lucky LaRue: Of course, the fact that we had broken the Japanese code and were laying in wait for them helped, too... :)

HaXXORs!


God bless 'em.

www.pacificwar.org.au
 
2012-06-04 03:43:07 PM

TheShavingofOccam123: Whiskey Dickens: Yeah, that Midway thing was pretty cool. Not quite as cool as what the Commonwealth did on June 6th, 2 years later, but Americans need their pat on the head too.

/Way to go buddy, you did great!!

The Commonwealth??? Fark. Everybody knows it was the Russkies that won WWII. The only thing the Commonwealth managed to do was to parachute thousands of troops into the Netherlands just so they could surrender.


Yeah, Operation Market Garden sure was a cock up. Too bad I was referring to motherfarking D-Day.
 
2012-06-04 03:46:46 PM

clovis69: Speaker2Animals: Guadalcanal was a much sterner test of the American spirit.

Oh yea, the US Navy took some good shots to the nose there and they learned about night fighting the IJN.

Leyte Gulf was very nearly a terrible lesson on keeping your fleet mass together. If the IJN had been more intact the Japanese would have ravaged the US Navy worse than the naval battles at Ironbottom Sound had.


It was for that, and for an avoidable tangle with a typhoon, that King wanted to make Spruance (and not Halsey) the Navy's fourth Fleet Admiral, but Rep. Carl Vinson, a friend of Halsey's and chairman of a committee that oversaw the Navy, put a stop to that. He said if Halsey didn't get his fifth star, the Navy would never get another aircraft carrier approved by Congress. Spruance, typically for a classy guy, never said anything but that he thought Halsey deserved it. King and Nimitz did take care of Spruance, however, in getting a law passed that allowed him to get his full active duty pay as a four-star when he retired -- something no one else received.
 
2012-06-04 03:47:46 PM

Arkanaut: Carousel Beast: GatorHater: Yamamoto should have brought all six of his fleet carriers. The USN moved mountains to get the Yorktown operational. Also, the poor design of Japanese carriers and their pathetic damage control training and preparation doomed many brave men to a fiery death.

GO Navy!

Zuikaku was fresh out of pilots; they were slaughtered at the Coral Sea, which was - though it didn't seem so at the time - as much a tactical as strategic victory for the US, despite the loss of the Lexington. Shōkaku was pretty beat up and I don't believe they would have had time to repair her even if they'd been so inclined. Japanese support operations (especially damage control) were inferior in every way, from concept to execution, compared to pretty much everyone.

As I understand, Japan also lacked enough steel to support any serious repairs to their ships, a result of the sanctions that Roosevelt put on them in 1937 (which also partly led to their declaring war on the US). If you look at their order of battle throughout the war, they basically didn't build any new capital ships throughout the war; the US, on the other hand, built something like 20 Essex-class carriers throughout the war and converted dozens more escort carriers.


Oh please. The Japanese built several fleet carriers during the war (Taiho, Shinano, Unryu and Kitsaragu), the battleships Musashi and Yamato, and quite a few light cruisers, as well as repairing many of their ships from damage. What hurt them the most was training pilots; their training schedule was great in peacetime, but no way could it keep up with combat losses during war.

After Pearl Harbor, support for the Indonesian and Indian Ocean operations, and Coral Sea, the Japanese pilot training program used up every reserve pilot they had replacing lost carrier pilots. After Midway and the Solomon Island battles, they managed to use them up as well, meaning after that their pilots didn't have enough training (or air time for that matter due to growing shortages of fuel) to match the increasing experience of the USN carrier pilots.

Throw in the inability of Japan to learn the art of mass production (many parts of their planes were hand made, and so difficult to replace many planes were grounded for the lack of a suitable replacement part) and you've got a very high quality and well trained force, but with no capability to maintain that high quality once losses start showing up.
 
2012-06-04 03:51:21 PM

ScotterOtter: Yorktown


One of the best film re-enactments of Midway which I have ever seen was in the maxi-series War And Remembrance. Done on a low budget it still managed to capture almost every aspect of the battle, except (probably due to time and budget constraints) the heroic retreat, repair and reinsertion of the Yorktown into the battle.

Watch this series and its prequel sometime- amazing!

http://www.amazon.com/The-Winds-War-Robert-Mitchum/dp/B0001NBNGQ/ref= s r_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1338839217&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/War-Remembrance-Complete-Epic-Mini-Series/dp/B0 0 1CDLATY/ref=sr_1_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1338839217&sr=1-2
 
2012-06-04 03:53:41 PM
Another factor is if you lose all of your carriers, you also lose all of your pilots - specifically your experience pilots, this bit them on the ass in the long run.

Japan had a policy of keeping pilots flying until the got killed - that whole die for the emperor thing. America had a policy of using their experienced pilots to train new pilots.

All the stuff about the maneuverability of the Zero is meaningless if your pilots are becoming less proficient while your enemy is becoming more proficient.

After Midway, the kill ratios began to really skew heavily towards the American pilots, as the war progressed, US pilots were downing Japanese planes like they were PEZ.

And the more I think about the war, I realize that Japan commited the classic blunder. The did get involved in a land war in Asia, plus the really pissed off the United States. You wouldn't like us when we're angry.
 
2012-06-04 03:55:40 PM

Gyrfalcon: Marcus Aurelius: It was 4 carriers versus 2 carriers and an island. And what Lucky LaRue said.

Also we had better admirals. Well, Yamamoto was a truly awesome admiral, but Nagumo was not. And since he was the one calling the shots at Midway, that didn't help the Japanese any.

Of course, Yamamoto himself said he had six months at the outside in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor to either win or perish; and Midway was right on the money time-wise. He hadn't won by then, and he knew he was doomed to lose.


At the time of Midway, Yamamoto had less than a year to live. Since we were "reading the mail", intercepting and breaking Japanese naval communications, we knew his itinerary, and in April 1943, an opportunity presented itself to intercept his aircraft. We did just that, shooting him down, and we put out the cover story that we had gotten his travel plans via intelligence gained from locals.

It's actually an interesting study, Japanese reactions to improbable events, vs. German reactions. The Japanese didn't seem to twig that we were interception their communications. The Germans did react on numerous occasions to stuff like that by doing things like changing short signal and weather code books, or by sending a signal to enact different, emergency Enigma settings (in case of key setting captures).

Hell, I'm of the opinion that by the end of the war, the Germans *KNEW* Enigma was being read. That's why they passed the operational orders for the Ardennes offensive by courier instead of over the radio: While they might not have known the extent of Allied codebreaking, they knew enough to not transmit the orders.

The Japanese, on the other hand, seemed to just chalk it up to bad luck. The Americans landed on yet *ANOTHER* island where we have a but a thin, isolated garrison? Bad luck! The Americans seem to know when and where our merchant ships are going to be, and they place submarines athwart their course? Bad luck! The Americans shoot down our best admiral? Bad luck! The Americans were in exactly the right place to thwart our plans at Midway? Bad luck!
 
2012-06-04 03:55:54 PM
Not to threadjack, but as
 
2012-06-04 04:00:57 PM

kevinfra: Another factor is if you lose all of your carriers, you also lose all of your pilots - specifically your experience pilots, this bit them on the ass in the long run.


You also loose all your mechanics who know how to best work on the planes. It was just a complete gutting of their material and manpower resources brought about by a bunch of factors that all went against them.
 
2012-06-04 04:01:23 PM
Many people dont realize, but our naval aviators were just as good as their Japanese counterparts. This is because after Pearl Harbor, our carriers went into action raiding Japan's forward island bases and kept it up until the Battles of Coral Sea and Midway. So, they had just as much experience.
 
2012-06-04 04:03:34 PM

ACryer: As a Canuck I must say...you Americans can be badass sometimes :)


Your guys were pretty good on D-Day, iirc...
 
2012-06-04 04:03:59 PM

Whiskey Dickens: TheShavingofOccam123: Whiskey Dickens: Yeah, that Midway thing was pretty cool. Not quite as cool as what the Commonwealth did on June 6th, 2 years later, but Americans need their pat on the head too.

/Way to go buddy, you did great!!

The Commonwealth??? Fark. Everybody knows it was the Russkies that won WWII. The only thing the Commonwealth managed to do was to parachute thousands of troops into the Netherlands just so they could surrender.

Yeah, Operation Market Garden sure was a cock up. Too bad I was referring to motherfarking D-Day.


Too bad I was farking joking.
 
2012-06-04 04:13:41 PM

dittybopper: Gyrfalcon: Marcus Aurelius: It was 4 carriers versus 2 carriers and an island. And what Lucky LaRue said.

Also we had better admirals. Well, Yamamoto was a truly awesome admiral, but Nagumo was not. And since he was the one calling the shots at Midway, that didn't help the Japanese any.

Of course, Yamamoto himself said he had six months at the outside in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor to either win or perish; and Midway was right on the money time-wise. He hadn't won by then, and he knew he was doomed to lose.

At the time of Midway, Yamamoto had less than a year to live. Since we were "reading the mail", intercepting and breaking Japanese naval communications, we knew his itinerary, and in April 1943, an opportunity presented itself to intercept his aircraft. We did just that, shooting him down, and we put out the cover story that we had gotten his travel plans via intelligence gained from locals.

It's actually an interesting study, Japanese reactions to improbable events, vs. German reactions. The Japanese didn't seem to twig that we were interception their communications. The Germans did react on numerous occasions to stuff like that by doing things like changing short signal and weather code books, or by sending a signal to enact different, emergency Enigma settings (in case of key setting captures).

Hell, I'm of the opinion that by the end of the war, the Germans *KNEW* Enigma was being read. That's why they passed the operational orders for the Ardennes offensive by courier instead of over the radio: While they might not have known the extent of Allied codebreaking, they knew enough to not transmit the orders.

The Japanese, on the other hand, seemed to just chalk it up to bad luck. The Americans landed on yet *ANOTHER* island where we have a but a thin, isolated garrison? Bad luck! The Americans seem to know when and where our merchant ships are going to be, and they place submarines athwart their course? Bad luck! The Americans shoot down our ...


The Germans may not have "known" as you say, but it was pretty easy to guess--or Hitler was paranoid enough to assume. The Japanese were, it seems to me, strangely backward in their military abilities: They had modern equipment and tech, but seemed unable to grasp the implications of the fact WE had it too. They also had this weird balls-to-the-wall strategy that would have worked in a 19th Century land battle, but was insane when it came to modern air/sea warfare.

For instance: The Japanese knew the US had subs, and that subs were decimating their merchant shipping; but they never instituted convoys that they knew were working for both the Allies and the Axis in Europe to combat sub losses. Why? Nobody knows. The Japanese knew they were running short of raw materials even as early as 1942, but they continued their all-out offensive to build and advance into the Pacific. If they'd concentrated on defending what they had, America would have had a much harder time breaking through.

They may have gotten overconfident by beating Russia in 1905--and nobody in the Japanese Imperial military was experienced enough for some reason to understand that beating Russia in 1905 was only slightly more difficult than tripping a blind midget.
 
2012-06-04 04:14:15 PM

dittybopper: The Japanese, on the other hand, seemed to just chalk it up to bad luck.


How's that axiom go? Something along the lines of "The first time is coincidence. The second time is happenstance. The third time is enemy action."
 
2012-06-04 04:16:06 PM

dericwater: dittybopper: Ricardo Klement: Carousel Beast: GatorHater: Yamamoto should have brought all six of his fleet carriers. The USN moved mountains to get the Yorktown operational. Also, the poor design of Japanese carriers and their pathetic damage control training and preparation doomed many brave men to a fiery death.

GO Navy!

Zuikaku was fresh out of pilots; they were slaughtered at the Coral Sea, which was - though it didn't seem so at the time - as much a tactical as strategic victory for the US, despite the loss of the Lexington. Shōkaku was pretty beat up and I don't believe they would have had time to repair her even if they'd been so inclined. Japanese support operations (especially damage control) were inferior in every way, from concept to execution, compared to pretty much everyone.

Not a single operation the Japanes planned after the war started succeeded.

One thing that almost never gets mentioned is how singularly *BAD* their signals intelligence program was. Of all the major combatants in WWII, Japan had the worst SIGINT program. What makes it even worse for them is that we *KNEW* how bad they were, and we exploited that fact. We figured out where the main Japanese thrust was by assuming that the locator they used, "AF", was for Midway, then we cabled Midway and told them to radio back back to Pearl that their desalination plant was broken, and they'd need a barge with fresh water sent. Couple days later, we intercept a communication from a Japanese SIGINT unit reporting to its higher echelons that "AF is short of water".

It wasn't just that sort of thing, though. For example, they largely failed to break the ciphers used by the coast watchers, even though they were generally easy to solve Playfairs and the like. Something that would have given a competent US, British, German, Soviet, or even Italian cryptanalyst relatively little trouble seemed to be beyond them.

And now, the Japanese are famous for making Sodokus and Ken-Kens...

Go figur ...


That's only because their language lacks the structure necessary to make crosswords with it, so they had to use that which they had borrowed from the Arabs (Indians really).
 
2012-06-04 04:21:49 PM

Gyrfalcon: They may have gotten overconfident by beating Russia in 1905--and nobody in the Japanese Imperial military was experienced enough for some reason to understand that beating Russia in 1905 was only slightly more difficult than tripping a blind midget.


I think that is pretty much it. They kicked the shiat out of the Russians. They "beat" the Germans in WWI at the siege of Tsingtao (which was just a sideshow, but Imperial Japan acted like they rocked). Then they gobbled up Manchuria with basically a division or two of troops while the rest of China was busy having a civil war.

Japan was convinced they were 3 and 0 against "Empires" and figured they'd roll us as well. Well at least the guys calling the shots were. Some of their brass were more realistic, but they were ignored.
 
2012-06-04 04:24:07 PM

Oldiron_79: Mishno: Oldiron_79: AngryJailhouseFistfark: positronica: One of the "What If" scenarioes I like to think about is how the Battle of Midway might have gone differently had Germany not halted construction of Graf Zeppelin and had instead been able to make her operational some time in 1941 or early 1942. The theory being that if Germany had a carrier like Graf Zeppelin in it's fleet, then the US would have tranferred a fleet carrier from the Pacific to the Atlantic in order to counter the percieved threat. Japan's fortunes in the pacific would have surely been different in such a scenario, at least in the short term.

Why would the Germans have rebuilt the Zeppelin when the first one burned up so easily?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x487]

Not THAT Graf Zeppelin, the Aircraft Carrier Graf Zeppelin.

The airship Graf Zeppelin didn't burn either. It was scrapped after 10 years of service and over a million miles.

That too. The Graf Zeppelin was NOT the Hindenburg.
r


Are you sure?
 
2012-06-04 04:25:53 PM
Having the USS Nimitz show up with its F-14s was what surprised the Japanese and saved our bacon.
 
2012-06-04 04:36:06 PM
upload.wikimedia.org
 
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