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RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book

 
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RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/13/2011 10:38:32 PM   
Nikademus


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From: Alien spacecraft
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quote:

ORIGINAL: alan.zimm@jhuapl.edu/DrADZ/???

I offer the same to you, Nikademus, but I think that first an apology is order for some of the more inflammatory characterizations that you flung in my direction. I value discourse on the topic, particularly since I am working on another book on a related subject, and I would like to get all the facts right. And, as an "old wargamer," I value my reputation in this community.

One last thing that made me smile. You refer to Evans and Peattie regarding the need for aviators to practice to maintain their skills. Well, I was taught to fly by my father, and Instructor Pilot, in our own aircraft. I have certifications in hang gliding and parachuting. I have 20 years of navy experience, including two tours on aircraft carriers where I obtained a fair dinkum idea of what is involved in carrier quals. I think my feel for what is involved in aviation is probably a bit more extensive than what you absorbed from Dave and Mark's book, particularly considering that they got that information from me. Check in Kaigun: you will find my name listed as one of the technical experts that Dave Evans and Mark Peattie consulted in writing their books.

It is very clear to me that Nikademus does not comprehend what he reads, or that his preconceived notions warp his interpretations of what he reads, based on a comparison of what I wrote and what Nikademus claimed that I wrote. It is frustrating to me as an author to put together what I feel is a pretty important work, only to have someone misrepresent the book, claim that it is junk, and convince others that the book is not worth reading.



Hi,

I have a problem with this. Maybe I am indeed just too idealistic....or naive. Certainly there are times when I question my overall intelligence level. Working on UV/WitP/AE for over 10 years has certainly taught me humility in the latter regard. My problem is that I simply have a hard time crediting the above to a working professional author....posiing under two pseudo-names no less. Had the author came onboard and said "Nikademus, Thank you for purchasing my book. I am sorry that you did not find the book enjoyable and would however like the opportunity to present some counterpoints to some of your concerns. Mayhaps this will change your appreciation of the situaiton.....etc etc.", it would have been more believable.

Instead, I see a demand for an apology, an arrogant comment comparing that person's inteligence/knowledge to mine, and lastly a conclusion that i apparantly don't comprehend what i read. The crack about the Samauri Sword was a lovely touch. Very nice. The poster(s) didn't see it probably because the Samauri was a "Teenager" and lacked discipline.

I keep coming back to a central question. Would an acredited author act in such a manner? It seems incredulous to myself personally. I know Richard Worth would never sink to such a display, and i suspect David Glantz would act in similar fashion........ and as for reputations re: The Wargaming community......well in 10 years on these boards I cannot recall Gary Grigsby ever once responding to either criticism or flattery.....and there have been some dooseys of the former over the years. I've taken offense for him on his behalf on occasion and defended him. Whether he cares or not I have no idea. I do understand why he would not trouble himself to care what people think of him.

In regards to an apology. No. I will not apologize to the author of the book. I paid money for the book, and put revenue in the author's pocket, I read it in good faith and as others have pointed out, I am entitled to my opinions...and yes, they are opinions only. I did not set out to write a formal review on Amazon.com (though i may reconsider that now)

Since there will be no forthcoming apology, since I have no certifications in Hang-gliding /Paragliding, since I did not serve on a carrier and since I don't understand what i read, there is little need for me respond to the posters' accusations against me or the personal attacks that ensued in light of them, except to say that i wrote what i wrote to give my honest opinion. People are free to take or discard it as they wish. Again I have a hard time imagining that the author of the book would be so put out about it as to act in the manner seen in this thread. As the poster(s) pointed out, the bulk of the reviews have been positive on Amazon....except for one. Mayhaps he or she will be getting a little lecture in his email box coming soon for not liking the book.

If by some chance the poster(s) actually were the author in question....i'd say that they have proven my point re: the tone and agenda of the book. They say that any press is good press. Some may certainly not buy the book based on my informal commentary, most will probably be neutral and see for themselves. Some might even seek the book out and buy it as their interest would be stimulated. Attacking a schlep like me for posting a non glowing opinion on a little sub-forum of a forum devoted to a wargame and berating him for his lack of intelligence, manners and objectivity only puts the author in a bad light. Again....i'd like to give the actual author the benefit of a doubt.

No need for you to apologize on my behalf John.......because its not necessary. Thx to others as well for supporting free speech.



< Message edited by Nikademus -- 8/13/2011 10:41:16 PM >

(in reply to alan.zimm@jhuapl.edu)
Post #: 61
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/14/2011 9:27:06 AM   
goodboyladdie


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From: Ipswich, Suffolk
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quote:

ORIGINAL: JWE

A serious author, who is comfortable with his subject matter and his his conclusions, does not come onto the internet to engage with juveniles and morons.

The fact that he is here, says a lot; both about him and about us. Mr Zimm is interested in the game and that says even more; both about him and about us. He is a resource that we can consult, once he learns our foibles. I, for one, welcome him. I note he has actually got himself a login. That should tell us something, too.

Both Alan and Nik have set forth their views, openly. Okey, dokey. Just like Global Warming, historical truth is not a matter of consensus. Alan and Nik both put their puds on the table, and should be allowed to go private to iron out their differences. Hopefully, one, the other, or both will come back with ... yeah ... well ... ok, I could have 'splained that better, but here's what I really meant. That is what critical commentary is supposed to be about.

Welcome to our space, Alan Zimm. We may not bathe regularly, but neither are we a hive mind; occasionally we show flashes of competence. Get to know us and ya just might like us.

[ed] Oh, Jeez. Look, Nik did a review, and he put some 'personality' in it. And the the author responded, and put some of his own 'personality' in it. Let them work it out, for Cris' sake. This ain''t the Opra Winfrey book club, and Zimm ain't a troll, so back the frik off and let the man speak ! OK !! Woof !!!

Ciao. John


Steady on John. Nobody could call an author of Mr Zimm's stature defending his book trolling, just as nobody is stopping him from speaking. I am merely pointing out that Nik has actually paid money for a book and is entitled to his opinion, just as he is to share said opinion. Please do not tell me to back off from a very reasonable and informative public debate. I think it is brilliant to have subject matter experts involved on this forum. I always read Nik's comments on subject matter with interest, just as I do yours and will hopefully do with Mr Zimm's. As far as I am aware Mr Zimm did not come here to get his backside kissed, but to engage in informative debate.

Very best regards

Carl


_____________________________



Art by the amazing Dixie

(in reply to JWE)
Post #: 62
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/14/2011 12:59:16 PM   
JWE

 

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Gotcha Carl. You are quite right. No worries.

Ciao. J

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Home of DaBabes

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Post #: 63
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/14/2011 3:02:22 PM   
che200


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Joined: 1/14/2007
From: Malta
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After Reading Nicks critique and zimms rebbutal I finished buying the book from Amazon. By the looks of it it will be an interesting read. Welcome to these forums Mr Zimm it will be interesting to get your perspective on Witp matters. Some of the forum members here have a fascination with the pacific war and there is a lot of knowledge in these forums and a lot of passion in the arguments as welll. Hope you and Nick(Who is quite a well read and knowledgeable person) make peace and solve your differences. Now if Tiornu would start to post more around here we would have a worthy competitor to Warships1 Forums.

Welcome Aboard Allan


(in reply to JWE)
Post #: 64
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/14/2011 3:08:38 PM   
che200


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Joined: 1/14/2007
From: Malta
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Already downloaded in My Ipad2  through the Kindle App and got a discount as well

(in reply to che200)
Post #: 65
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/14/2011 3:36:25 PM   
Wirraway_Ace


Posts: 1143
Joined: 10/8/2007
From: Briz Vegas
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nikademus

I keep coming back to a central question. Would an acredited author act in such a manner? It seems incredulous to myself personally. I know Richard Worth would never sink to such a display, and i suspect David Glantz would act in similar fashion........ and as for reputations re: The Wargaming community......well in 10 years on these boards I cannot recall Gary Grigsby ever once responding to either criticism or flattery.....and there have been some dooseys of the former over the years. I've taken offense for him on his behalf on occasion and defended him. Whether he cares or not I have no idea. I do understand why he would not trouble himself to care what people think of him.

Authors come in all types, but I agree with Nikademus that these postings seem unlikely to be the work of the actual author.

(in reply to Nikademus)
Post #: 66
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/14/2011 6:12:56 PM   
Blacksheep

 

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I have no problems with a spirited debate over the concepts advanced in Dr. Zimms book. I have found Nikademus to be one of the most knowledge posters on these forums while I find Dr. Zimm's arguements well documented and compelling. I would like to see their discussions continue along more collegial and scholarly lines. However, I am concerned about the suggestions being bandied about that the poster is someone other than the author. EITHER these accusations have brought to light a sinister criminal conspiracy wherein a person or persons unknown have not only stolen Dr. Zimm's identity but also hijacked his secure e-mail account at John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, i.e. jhuapl.edu, (which as noted on the dust cover of his book is where he is employed) soley to post a rebuttal to a fairly audience of individuals with similar interests OR this is a rather lame attempt to discredit the author's ideas by deflection and innuendo that cannot be countered with facts and reasoning.

Doc if that is you out there -- welcome aboard. I hope you will be an active and frequent particpant in the discussions/speculations and arguements that pepper this forum. If you aren't the Doc and are really a sinister conspirator, then

Bill Gilfillan

(in reply to Wirraway_Ace)
Post #: 67
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/15/2011 12:03:34 PM   
spence

 

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quote:

this is a rather lame attempt to discredit the author's ideas by deflection and innuendo that cannot be countered with facts and reasoning.


That one has my vote. It would be in keeping with some of the previous posts when anyone took issue with the "Superpilot Myth".

(in reply to Nikademus)
Post #: 68
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/16/2011 9:21:19 PM   
DrADZ

 

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Nikademus wrote: "the author later expands his theme of green pilots to include all of KB while building up the PH AAC pilots so its all good . He was incorrect in saying that no veterans were in Div5."

I did not say that there were no veterans in CarDiv 5. 

My assessment of the aviators in that organization was based on references from Japanese sources, plus the facts that the plan was once modified and the one delayed by the Japanese assessment that their training was inadequate.  I have mentioned some of the facts behind that assessment in an earlier post.  Here are some of the Japanese references:

Ensign Honma Hideo, a B5N pilot on Zuikaku, stated:

"Frankly speaking, I feel that many of the aviators on the carriers Zuikaku and Shokaku were really "green" and had very little flying experience.  For example, only three pilots (including myself) had experience doing torpedo attacks using the Type 97 carrier attack plane.  So, compared to the aviators on our other carriers, most of our men were not that experienced as pilots.  Hence, prior to Pearl Harbor, we did mosly basic flying maneuvers, such as take-offs, landings, and a little bit of formation flying. ... most of the men on our carrier were "rookie" pilots."

Also quoted in the book is Genda's assessment: "airplane units of the 5th Carrier Division could not keep up with the 1st and 2nd even to the end because the units were newly organized and were not trained sufficiently."

Vittim89 said: "While the CarDiv 5 pilots may not have been quie as experienced as the CarDiv 1/2 pilots, they were still a product of the pre-war IJN pilot traniing program which was by every account I have read extremely intense to a point bodering on brutality."

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Japanese training for aviators does not appear to stack up to the equivalent of US pre-war training, just by comparing what was accomplished in the syllabus.  Mark Peattie stated that "Japanese naval aviation, unlike the other branches of the service, mainly used its operational units as training facilities rather than training its personnel in specialized schools."  In other words, while a US fighter pilot would go to a special fighter pilot school for advanced air combat maneuvering training and gunnery training, the Japanese pilot arrived at his operational unit without those skill, and without formation flying training.

My opinion is that the brutality of the Japanese training system did not improve the quality of the training.  Sakai relates that pilot trainees were often beaten by their instructors, and there were a lot of things totally unrelated to flying an aircraft that could wash out a candidate. 

According to Genda,a large-scale reshuffling of the Japanese air groups occurred in early September 1941, introducing large number of junior aviators (right out of flight school) to all the aviation units, 1st, 2nd, and 5th CarDiv. I am not sure of the extent of what constituted a "large-scale shuffling."  My suspicion, from piecing together some rather inadequate clues, is that all the flyers on the shotai level and down were new - the second-tour flyers would be in chotai and daitai leadership positions, giving about 15% experienced aviators in the squadrons.  I would appreciate anyone who had better information on this point.

Best regards, alan zimm


(in reply to Nikademus)
Post #: 69
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/16/2011 10:09:02 PM   
DrADZ

 

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Nikademus said: "I was stunned at Zimm trying to further justify the awesome experience of the AAC by citing a brief visit to Oahu by Chennault who "talked" to the men there telling them about his Zero experiences as if this would be enough to turn the Army pilots into Zero killers."

I submit that there are a large number of component in being an effective fighter unit: among them are aircraft capabilities, crew quality, and (using a modern term) TTP, for tactics, techniques, and procedures.  In discussing Chennault's visit I was addressing the issue of TTP.  It was very clear early in the war that you had to use the right tactics against the Zero - you could not dogfight against the Zero (or Oscar) in the heavier Western fighters.  The Battle-of-Britain-experienced British pilots who tried it over Singapore were chopped up badly.  HOWEVER, Chennault's Flying Tigers were successful in engaging Japanese-style dogfighters (Oscars, not Zeros, but still the same philosophy of aircraft, a plane optimized for dogfighting).  My point in relating that Chennault passed on his information on the Zero and his tactical ideas was to indicate that the USAAC pilots were at least exposed to the information and concepts.  In no way did I state that this would "turn the Army pilots into Zero killers."

My view is that the AAC aviators likely took the information on board and (at least some) would have used it had they been aloft in the defense of Pearl Harbor.  This comes from my understanding of how TTP was developed in the inter-war years.  Doctrine publications were (and still are) about 4 years lagging what the squadrons were employing.  The finger four formation and Thatch Weave was developed by Thatch and Flatley pretty much on their dining room tables pushing matchsticks around, and in experimenting with their own squadrons (see Pacific Air by David Sears).  Channault's theories were the kind of thing that these aviators would have lapped up, and likely experimented with themselves.  In citing that meeting, I was not trying to justify the "awesome experience" of the AAC - in no way did I every say that they had awesome experience - but to inform the reader that they had been exposed to the TTTP concepts that would eventually defeat the Zero.

A note on my approach in the book:  I try to present a balanced picture of the factors for and against any idea.  In calculating potential losses in air-to-air combat, I present the answer as a range of results, and I provide the reasons for the high and the low figure.  In the end, I invite the reader to apply their own judgment to the figures.  I see this as trying to present all sides of the story, and not as "contradicting myself" as has been claimed.

Nikademus said:  "He then makes the error of quoting the Flying Tiger's bloated kill ratio claim and fails to mention that the FT org never fought a Zero."

There is no kill ratio ever calculated that is totally accurate.  My point was, whether you believe the loss-exchange ratio was 15:1 or 5:1, the Flying Tigers did survive and were considered a successful organization using Chennault's tactics.

No, I did not mention that they probably were not opposed by Zeros.  I did not think of this point at the time of writing.  Also, they were opposed by Army pilots and not Navy, and I believe that the Navy pilots were considered superior.  This weakens the argument.


Nikademus wrote: "One last tidbit he throws in made me laugh the most. He suggests directly, that one can trust the FT kill claims more than usual because they were mercenaries and thus being paid for each kill the verification system naturally would be more stringent. WTF??!! Shores didn't agree with that. Neither do I."

Flying Tiger pilots were paid a bonus for each kill.  My understanding is that the criteria for a successful claim was that a Chinese Army unit had to recover physical evidence of the crash, like, parts of the aircraft.  Certainly this system would be subject to abuse, but it would seem to me more difficult to submit a false claim when you had to have recovered pieces of the wreck.  US criteria was much less strict - for example, a claim could be put in if a fire was observed on the target, an engine was smoking, or pieces of the aircraft flew off under fire.  During the Guadalcanal campaign claims were about 75 - 100% greater than actual kills.  This figure is fuzzy.

Nikademus said: "As for the SRA preformances and the Philippines....he dismisses the poor performance there as a one off....inadequate trained pilots. He might as well have suggested they were all "in a landing pattern" too."

My reference on this is Edmunds, "They Fought With What They Had," and other books on the first days in the Philippines.  Edmunds relates that the P-40 reinforcements that reached the Philippines arrived only days before the war began.  Many aircraft were barely assembled and did not have their engines run in; some blew cylinder gaskets under full power in their first combat.  IIRC they had a severe shortage of oxygen also, so could not fight above 10,000 feet, and there was also a shortage of the special coolant for the engines (working off memory here).  Most of the aviators in the reinforcing group were nuggets just out of training - and most of these nuggets had a 3 to 6 month hiatus without flying while they awaited transportation to the Philippines and during their transit.  It is unlikely that they had been briefed on the Zero while they were at their holding stations awaiting transportation.  They had no time to fly as a unit and develop any unit cohesion, a process which takes about three months at a minimum, and barely had an opportunity for fam flights over the area.  So, yes, I believe that a case can be made that their performance in the Philippines would not be representative of the performance that could have been achieved by the P-40 units defending Pearl Harbor - they were current in their aircraft and were together as a unit long enough to establish unit cohesion.

Best regards, alan

(in reply to JWE)
Post #: 70
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/17/2011 12:31:21 PM   
DrADZ

 

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Mynok said: My suspicion is that the author is conflating 'lack of training in the specialized torpedo bombing for Pearl' with 'inability to launch a standard naval torpedo attack'. I can see Cardiv 5 not receiving the former, sure. The latter, no freaking way.

The torpedo attack against the stationary targets at PH and standard naval torpedo attacks underway are two very different skills. The first involved making an approach within a very narrow envelope of speed/altitude/attitude in an heavily loaded aircraft at close to stall speed. Missing the envelope would mean the torpedo would miss, or bury itself in the mud, or skip along the surface and break up.

Conventional attacks against underway ships is much different - the attack is launched from higher altitude and higher speed and the launch conditions are more tolerate of deviations. The problem comes from estimating target speed, target aspect and range to target, all critical in getting the fire control solution correct. This is very hard to do, and requires a lot of practice. Plus, the target is maneuvering, and a good captain will put the attackers on his aft quarter, requiring the torpedoes to go into a tail chase. Aircraft of the era, fast as they were, were not faster than the turn rate of the ships.

As a measure of the difficulty, consider that the units that were sent against Prince of Wales and Repulse were specialized torpedo attack units with intensive pre-war training. They were going up against minimal AA fire, particularly after the first torpedo hit on PoW that knocked out her 5.25" and 2-pounders, and the screening DDs did not have dual-purpose main batteries. Yet, only 15% hits.

Overall throughout the Pacific War the US Navy assessed that only 20% of the "good" torpedoes hit their targets - and this includes a number of attacks on merchants and other slow targets.

The 5th Division carrier attack bomber aviators had some training in conventional torpedo attacks prior to shifting over to training for the PH attack. However, I doubt if they had any during the September-November training pre-attack. They could have delivered attacks, but with questionable accuracy. US AA would have been much more intense underway than in the example of the PoW and R, and would have been much more disruptive.

Best regards, Alan



(in reply to DrADZ)
Post #: 71
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/18/2011 11:59:53 PM   
DrADZ

 

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Nikademus said: "Zimm discounts the impact (ironically for me) of the GP bomb hits which had more of an impact on her sinking than he's willing to credit because he's too busy knocking heads together for the ship having been the target of GP bombs in the first place."

I in no way "discounted" the impact of the GP bomb hits. I clearly stated that the bomb hits initiated the following chain of events:
1) bomb hits initiated a fire forward;
2) an order is passed to flood the forward magazine;
3) by a hitherto unexplained error, the after magazine is also flooded, dragging the ship deep into the water;
4) the non-watertight second deck is lowered under the waterline, and begins to flood other spaces below it, dragging the ship deeper into the water;
5) the "bull ring," a centralized ventilation manifold, is flooded. The Bull Ring is a major design error, with insufficient working duct closures of isolate flooding;
6) the ventilation system distributes flooding inside the armored citadel of the ship; the ship's poor material condition allows progressive flooding, which eventually sinks the ship.

But was the dive bombers' attack a reasonable diecision? No, for several reasons:
A) Nevada was already out of the war for three to six months due to the torpedo hit forward abreast the forward turrets (remember, immobilizing the fleet for six months was the objective of the attack);
B) As the Japanese knew, their GP bombs could not penetrate the battleships' deck armor. This, the best that they could ordinarily expect for the attack was to mess up the upper works; repairs would have been sheet metal work and eletrical wiring, not a large problem;
C) The USNWC calculated that it would have taken 65 500# GP bomb hits to sink a battleships of Nevada's size. The Japanese committed about 14 to the attack.

Consequently, without the intervention of the DC error and the design error, the Japanese attack on the Nevada should have inflicted only superficial damage.

Let us suppose that the Japanese instead used those 14 bombers against a more appropriate target, a cruiser. 5 GP bomb hits would have likely sunk the cruiser, so they would have had Nevada out of the war for six months plus a sunken cruiser, instead of just having the Nevada out of the war for at least six months.

I believe the conclusion is that the Japanese attack on Nevada was a bad idea, illustrating some poor decisionmaking on the part of the dive bomber commanders. I fault Fuchida for this in particular. He loitered over the harbor for the period between the end of the first wave attacks and the arrival of the second wave. He could have identified viable targets and directed the attack to optimize the dive bombers' return. Instead, he passively stood by while the dive bombers scattered their attacks away in penny packets, achieving no significant results for their bomb hits. Not one GP bomb hit significantly contributed to the Japanese objective of immobilizing the Pacific Fleet by six months.

I cannot respond to "ironic" - I do not understand the comment. But what made the entire dive bomber effort "ironic" to me is that they had a command communications foul-up - on the deck before they launched someone countermanded their briefed assignments to take on cruisers as their second priority target (after carriers) and instead passed word which many of them interpreted as an order to attack battleships. About 40% of the dive bombers attacked what they believed were battleships. The irony was that there was no way the the Pacific Fleet battleship force could have moved to threaten the flank of the Japanese southern advance - they would have needed at least 20 oilers just to service the battelships, and the Pacific Fleet had only seven. So, the irony is that the battleships weren't going anywhere - the dive bombers' attack was totally irrelevant to the war.

Best regards, Alan

(in reply to Nikademus)
Post #: 72
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/19/2011 3:25:39 AM   
Local Yokel


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Alan, since you have extended an invitation to discuss the points made in you book, I should like to hear more about the conclusions you reached with regard to the fifth midget submarine.

You participated in the mammoth thread dealing with this subject on the j-aircraft board, and I am unclear how far your views have changed as a result of that discussion.

In particular, you then revealed yourself as an adherent to the 'all the midgets' torpedoes are accounted for' argument as a basis for concluding that the fifth midget discovered by HURL never penetrated Pearl Harbor. One of the reasons you then gave for concluding that the fifth midget must have expended at least one of its torpedoes in the attack upon St Louis outside the harbour was that the torpedo or torpedoes in question were launched from waters so shallow that they could not have accommodated a fleet boat.

In your book, however, you make no reference to shallow water as a reason why a fleet boat could not have attacked St Louis. Is this because you now believe that this argument has been discredited, or do you still believe it to be true – and if so, why?

You raise the possibility that the fifth midget fired one of its two torpedoes at USS Helm, and quote from the report of Helm's engagement of a submarine off Tripod Reef. I am unclear as to whether you are suggesting that the submarine engaged by Helm was the boat that fired the torpedo at her – can you clarify?

You make no mention of the torpedoes reported as fired at Breese, Aylwin and Detroit. Is this because you believe that none of these attacks took place? Or, if you believe that they did take place, then who carried them out?

You raise the hypothesis that the fifth midget "did not penetrate into Pearl Harbor, but was discovered outside the harbor, salvaged, and dumped." This, you tell us, has a much higher probability of occurrence than the boat having been found and salvaged in West Loch, but you offer almost nothing by way of justification for this view. So, where do you think the boat was discovered? Who do you believe discovered it? Why was it raised from its resting place? How was it raised to a position in which it could be separated into three sections by means of flame cutting around the hull’s full circumference? Why, having gone to the trouble of raising it, did its salvors then dump it at sea? In the absence of convincing answers to these and other questions, I find it very difficult to understand why you treat such a scenario as being more plausible than the speculation that the boat was raised in the aftermath of the West Loch disaster.

_____________________________




(in reply to DrADZ)
Post #: 73
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/21/2011 4:21:45 PM   
DrADZ

 

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Hi Local Yokel,

Happy to discuss the issue. I remember the exchange on j-aircraft well. The exchange at times got rather acrimonious - from that I should have learned to maintain a more even keel in such discussions. After the exchange with Nikademus I will remember to deal with such discussions in a more circumspect manner. What I found frustrating was the devotion to some beliefs that I found to be totally unsupportable, and the elastic standards of evidence. Some of the folks were absolutely convinced that the 5th midget penetrated the harbor and torpedoed Oklahoma and/or Arizona, and they were looking to prove that. Looking to prove something is very different from an investigation looking to find out what really happened - you tend to accept circumstantial evidence, and reject or not even consider arguments and evidence against the proposition.

The difficulty is that none of the cases proposed in the investigation could muster evidence that resulted in an answer that would meet courtroom standards, i.e., "beyond a reasonable doubt." Most of the testimony - clues - are circumstantial. This is why I took the approach that I did in the book, to outline a model of most the events that would have to occur in order for someone to believe that the 5th midget was actually in that photograph - it was a vehicle to promote discussion. A reader could then plug in their own levels of belief. It was a good approach to address most of the ssues in the debate.

I'll summarize what I think the evidence (such as it is) reveals as the most likely explanation. As you mention in your post, 8 of the 10 torpedoes have been accounted for. I believe that one or two were fired at the St Louis as she departed the harbor. The captain and XO saw the torpedo wake(s), made a bell change to try to evade, and observed the detonation of one of the torpedoes when it hit the reef at the edge of the channel. Besides the testimony of the CO and XO, and the log, there are three others who observed the wake and the torpedo detonation and have left testimony - an officer in the forward superstructure, an officer aft, and another enlisted man. All of them mentioned observing the wake and that the ship was drenched by water from the plume of the explosion.

I believe also that this event explains the radio message that the Japanese received reporting "success" - a torpedo detonating so close to the ship would have been seen as a direct hit from a periscope only a foot or so above the water.

Arguments that the plume of water was actually the explosion of a descending AA projectile I do not believe are valid, for several reasons: first, the fact that the torpedo wakes were sighted; second, the huge difference between a torpedo detonation plume and that of a 5" AA projectile (600 foot plume v. 60 foot); third, the time (1004), was after the withdrawal of the second wave of the attack, and so there was no reason for AA guns to be firing.

The original reports said that two wakes were sighted. At one point the supposition was that both torpedoes detonated on the reef. However, the reports also stated that there was only one explosion. The MRI (minimum release interval, i.e., time between launching two torpedoes) on a Japanese midget sub was on the order of 30 seconds, so the chances that a second torpedo's explosion would be mixed in with the first is unlikely, since a torpedo explosion plume lasts about 14 seconds (up and down). So, either the second torpedo just missed and motored off into the Pacific, or it was fired at another ship at another time. Thus, I introduced Helm's report as a possible place where the second torpedo was expended. In the Helm's report, the torpedo was allegedly sighted by crewmembers as having passed under the stern of the DD. The midget submarine's torpedoes were likely set to a depth of 22-24 feet (appropriate to attacking battleships), so this makes sense, plus the signature of a torpedo passing that close (!) ought to be unmistakable and clearly different from that of, say, a dolphin or other marine mammal (often reported as torpedoes). Helm's report was to me the most creditable of a large number of reports of torpedo attacks against US ships that day.

Any report that is not accompanied by a physical manifestation (like an associated explosion) has to be taken as problematic in that day's atmosphere - there were reports of Japanese paratroops landing on the island, Japanese transports off the beaches, and Japanese aircraft carriers rounding the point; some US DD ship COs off the harbor thought that the explosion of descending AA rounds were actually torpedoes at the end of their runs, and thought that the waters around the channel were infested with submarines. People were seeing a lot of things that just were not there. I've done some work in cognitive science - if you are interested, I can give some explanation of the mental sources of the phenomenon.

I was in the Navy during the Falklands War and I remember reading about all the troubles that they had with false reports of Argentinian submarines, to the extent that they were running out of AS torpedoes, having fired so many at false targets. Human nature does not change.

The bottom line to me is that at least one torpedo was definitely expended against St. Louis, establishing that the midget was outside the harbor. Where the other torpedo was fired is somewhat immaterial - it could just as well have been fired but never seen by an US observer.

You asked about the possibility that the torpedoes could have been fired by a fleet boat, and why I did not discuss the argument regarding whether the fleet boat would have had enough water to operate. I did not discuss it for a few reasons. First, I had not looked at the charts myself. Second, I think it was Will O'Neil who had originally made the point with some chart work, but, later, another person did some work that came up with a different conclusion. While I would hold a bias towards Will's work (he is a Captain, USN (ret), and I know him by reputation as an outstanding analyst, one well familiar with naval charts and submarine operations), I was at such a point in the production of the book that I did not have the time to examine both arguments in detail. I'd bet my paycheck on Will, but I would not publish something like that without personal verification.

Third, the reason that I wasn't compelled to examine the issue in detail was because I was 99% confident that a fleet boat did not expend any torpedoes that day. Lots of reasons. First is that none of the fleet boats reported such an attack. The Japanese navy had a shortage of submarine torpedoes. The Japanese submarines were also under positive control of their admiral similar to the way that Doenitz controlled the German submarine fleet, so there were a lot of messages flying back and forth. Japanese sub captains were under orders to report each attack, results, and number of torpedoes expended. No such reports was made regarding an attack at 1004 on Sunday morning (local) - indeed, no attacks were reported for the entire day, what must have been an extreme disappointment to the Japanese and to Yamamoto, who at one time expressed the expectation that he might get better results from the submarines than from the air attack (!!!!!!!).

Under the circumstances, after firing a torpedo that could easily be interpreted as having hit its target, the Japanese CO would have been proclaiming his success. And, there isn't a reasonable chance that such a message was sent but not received and logged, because the submarine would have transmitted the report repeatedly until it was receipt was acknowledged. And there was no chance that he could "forget" to send the report, since he would have to account for all torpedo useage upon return to base. If anything, the institutional motivation for those sub skippers would have been to report and claim credit with the boss for their agressiveness. I doubt that a message could have been sent and acknowledged and then forgotten - remember when the Japanese received the "success" message, and they instantly concluded from it (IIRC) that something like three midgets had penetrated the harbor and sunk two battleships?

Fourth is the fact that the attack could only have been delivered by one of the two submarines assigned to areas close to the channel: I-20 or I-16. Each of the Japanese submarines was assigned to a particular patrol area, and they were not to deviate from the boundaries of those areas or else risk being torpedoes by their own side. Having a defined patrol area allowed the submarines to attack all shipping in that area without fear of attacking one of their own. Combine authoritarian control by the admiral, and submarine doctrine means that you have to only consider those two submarines, and we know that they did not launch any attacks, as they were concerned about recovering their returning midgets, and spent most of their time deep evading all the US DDs that were patrolling the area. We have good reports on them, as they left their stories as part of the midget submarine tale.

Likewise, suggestions that another submarine made the attack and was later sunk make no sense. The only sub that was sunk before return was one that had a patrol area that come no closer than 60 nm to the site of the attack. Submariners did not deviate from their patrol areas.

Regarding the reported attacks against Breeze, Aylwin, and Detroit, as mentioned above, perhaps one might have been the "missing" midget torpedo, or more likely they were incorrect reports. After all, with only one torpedo left, at least three of those four reported attacks (if one includes Helm's) have to be false reports.

I know from personal experience that the acoustic conditions in the area of the islands is horrible. Plus, ships had been "pumping and dumping" off the harbor for decades. It is not unexpected that there would be lots of false contacts, and lots of depth charge attacks that brought oil and trash to the surface, and thus were reported as submarine "kills."

Given that I believe that the 5th midget expended both torpedoes outside the harbor, what then? The sub crew had a few alternatives, should they not make a rendesvous with their mother ship. Two actions are scuttling, and suicide. The third was to escape the sub, land on the beach, and mix in with the Japanese population on the island. My understanding is that the crews were given the location of a "safe house" where they could go and get help and possibly "escape and evade." I would suggest that this is what Sakamaki was trying to do when he scuttled his boat on the reef and came ashore.

SO, I see the possibilities as follows:

Least probable: after expending their torpedoes, the midget penetrated the harbor and enters the West Loch. Their intention is to get to where they can abandon the sub, scuttle it, and go to the safe house. They make the passage. They blow the boat, either with themselves inside, or they escape into Oahu and are swallowed by history. The boat is found after the West Loch disaster, salvaged, and dumped. I consider this as "least probable" since I would think that the chances of penetrating the harbor defenses undetected after the attack to be nonexistent.

More probable: with battery running down, they beach the sub somewhere around Oahu. They either scuttle & suicide, or abandon and scuttle, like Sakamaki. They are either killed getting ashore or are swallowed by history. Some years later the boat is discovered, salvaged, and dumped. If the boat was found during, say, the Korean War, there would be no reason to exploit the boat for intelligence, and every reason to keep the discovery secret, considering that the US was using Japanese bases to prosecute the Korean War, which could be considered as a violation of Japan's "no war" clause in their constitution. There was no reason the stir the Japanese pot with another reminder of the Pacific War.

So, the boat is salvaged in a "secret" operation, with the sections unbolted and cut apart probably because the whole section was too heavy for the available lifting crane (perhaps a gypsy civilian outfit - if the boat was found in shallow water a shallow-draft barge and crain combination would be needed, and such a rig would likely have a limited lifting capacity). When asked where to dump it, they used the same area as the West Lock debris field - at sea you are not allowed to dump stuff just anywhere. I remember seeing "dumping areas" outlined on many charts, although I did not look at the local Oahu charts to verify that the West Loch field was so designated on public charts (likely, not). But, if someone asked a Navy rep for this operation where to dump the debris, it is very likely that he would have directed them to the same area used previously. So, the appearance of the midget submarine in the West Lock disaster debris field could simply be a coincidence.

Level of evidence for this last scenario is nil (much like the level of evidence for the West Loch scenario). But, as a former naval officer and someone used to working within the naval beaurocracy, and having studied the decision processes of the era, it resonates with me, and tips my "probability meter" further to the right than the West Loch scenario. Could I support it in a court of law? Absolutely not.

Did I answer all your questions?

Best regards, Alan


(in reply to Local Yokel)
Post #: 74
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 8/21/2011 10:14:11 PM   
Local Yokel


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Alan, thank you very much for taking the time to post so comprehensive a reply to my questions about the fifth midget.

I've long since ceased to be amazed by the human mind's capacity for wishful thinking. Consequently, I readily recognise that my own assessment of what became of I-16's midget may have been skewed by what I unconsciously want – or don't want – to believe. In this context, there are such gaping holes in the reliable evidence that some conjecture is unavoidable. People will adopt differing conjectures that reflect the different weightings they apply to that evidence, so your approach is a good one. Nevertheless I reach some different conclusions from yours, so let me come back at you on a few of the points you make.

I am much less certain than you that St Louis was attacked with one or more torpedoes as she transited the entrance channel. There are inconsistencies in the testimony of the witnesses aboard her. I wonder to what extent the belief they had observed a Japanese submarine prompted the conclusion that it had attacked their ship. They believed they had taken the submarine under fire, but this is contradicted by the evidence of the crews of the minesweepers operating to seaward of the entrance channel. The minesweepers' crews say that St Louis fired upon the Oropesa float of minesweeper Crossbill. They reported neither a submarine nor a torpedo explosion. Submarine jitters at work in St Louis' crew?

You are right to raise the possibility of a submarine having attacked Helm as well as St Louis in the light of the minimum release interval between a Type A's two torpedoes. The 30 second MRI you mention is the absolute minimum – it could well take three times that long.

You didn't actually clarify whether you believed that the submarine Helm reported engaging was the one that fired a torpedo at her, but the reference in your book to Helm's action report and your conclusion that a midget submarine was operating "right up to (and, perhaps, on) the coral reef" suggest that you treated this submarine as the one that launched at Helm. However, if you visualise the plot as recounted in Helm's report, you will note that the torpedo reported as running under the destroyer's stern was actually following a track towards the submarine Helm was engaging – consequently the torpedo (if such it was) could scarcely have been fired by the submarine at which Helm was shooting.

Without getting into the details of whether any fleet boat discharged torpedoes or reported making an attack on 7th December, it remains the case that we don’t know what became of I-70's torpedoes. Her TROM gives her patrol area as being 10 miles south of the entrance, making her a prime candidate for any attacks by a fleet boat that may have taken place in its vicinity, St Louis included. Moreover, something was affecting her communications that day, as her TROM also records her as having failed to respond that evening to a wireless hail from Shimizu's flagship Katori. Thus we don't know what she might have reported had she been able. The only subsequent signal reported from her by her TROM is her sighting report of Enterprise on 9th December. Shortly thereafter she was sunk. So, on the evidence available, we cannot exclude the possibility that she made or attempted an attack or attacks on 7th December.

On the shallow water point, I'd better own up to the fact that I may have been the person who came up with a different conclusion to Will O'Neil’s, as I made a study of his article and the charts on which he based his conclusion that the torpedo(es) fired at St Louis must have come from a point of origin in which a fleet boat could not have operated. My problem with his analysis is that he assumes that the putative attacker of St Louis must have released his weapon(s) with a track angle of 90 degrees +/- 15 degrees. I see no reason to confine the track angle to so small and so arbitrary a limit. If you enlarge the permissible track angle range by just 5 degrees (90 degrees +/- 20 degrees) the 'potential firing sector' identified by O'Neil as the area in which the torpedo must have been fired gets enlarged so as to take in water of ample depth to accommodate a fleet boat, such is the steeply shelving nature of the sea bottom near the entrance channel. Since I'm not a professional submariner, my amour propre isn't going to suffer if someone demolishes this analysis, so I wonder whether you would care to take another look at Will O’Neil’s article and tell me whether and if so why I've got this wrong. If I haven't, it puts a hole in the proposition that no fleet boat could have attacked St Louis because the water was too shallow.

Ultimately, my dissatisfaction with the "all the midgets' torpedoes are accounted for" argument stems from its similarities to the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Eliminate too many of the reported torpedo attacks as the product of over-stressed imaginations and you are left with unaccounted weapons in the fifth midget's tubes. Eliminate too few and there are just too many such attacks for them to be the handiwork of that single midget. Like Baby Bear’s porridge, the number has to be 'just right'. That looks like an attempt to force the facts to fit the proponent's hypothesis.

I am with you completely about the improbability of the fifth midget penetrating the harbour after 0846, when the gate was at last closed. However, since I am much less confident than you that this boat remained outside the harbour to attack St Louis and/or Helm, I remain free to speculate that Yokoyama took what seems to me the most obvious course: that of following his orders and penetrating the harbour whilst the gate remained open in the period of nearly four hours up to 0846. If that's what happened then he must have discharged his weapons within. What became of them I have no idea. It's by no means inconceivable that they malfunctioned – the Type 97's were not free from this, though the common malfunction was liable to be disastrous. In such a scenario, recovery as part of the West Loch debris clean-up is possible. It gives context to the enquiries put to one of the divers who took part in the clean-up as to whether he knew anything about rumours of a Japanese midget submarine then circulating. Why on earth would anyone put such a question to a person working at West Loch unless there was some perceived connection between his particular place of work and those rumours?

For me, recovery of the submarine along with the West Loch debris is far more credible than an open sea salvage operation. It better accounts for the midget's separation into three sections. It accounts for those three sections being found close to debris of the right vintage.

Alan, I'm sorry, but I find your speculation that due to the Korean War some secret operation had to be mounted to conceal the midget's raising and disposal very unconvincing. You find some old Pacific War wreck on Oahu and this sets alarm bells ringing about Japanese constitutional sensitivities? What has the USN been doing at Yokosuka for the preceding five years, for goodness sake? Your suggestion that it was carried out by civilian contractors makes this all the more unlikely. You farm the job out to civilian blabbermouths over whose silence you have no control? A little unlikely, isn't it?

Why raise the damn thing anyway? If it's found on a civilian shore the civilians know about it already. If it's found on a military shore it's off limits and likely to attract far less attention than any salvage operation. Which is why I asked where it was found and why it was raised and moved. If it's a hazard to navigation I can see a case for moving it, but not otherwise. And if it has to be moved, I certainly would not want to entrust the job, assuming it is in any way politically sensitive, to some civilian outfit so ill-equipped that they haven't the lifting tackle to hoist it onto a lighter in one piece, with the result that they have to engage in exciting and probably out-of-control flame cutting exercises in the surf or underwater. Incidentally, how do they get their gas axes to those parts of the hull exterior that are, presumably, buried to a greater or lesser extent in the seabed? Contrasted with these objections, recovery in West Loch’s sheltered waters pushes my "I believe" buttons much more positively.

_____________________________




(in reply to DrADZ)
Post #: 75
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/10/2011 3:28:29 PM   
DanNC

 

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Wow.

I have been lurking on these boards off and on for years.  I bought WPO years ago and then waited years for WITP:AE which I finally bought this year. 

Slowly I have been working my way backwards in some of the WITP:AE forums, not only for topics about the game, but more interestingly, the OT historical discussions.

I started reading WWII history in fourth grade and the interest has never ended.  I have too many books, not enough book shelves, so many of my WWII paper backs bought as a kid, are in boxes in the barn.  In spite of the lack of space, I still buy books.    The Military History Book club is having yet another sale, 50% off, so I was building a wish list this morning.  One of the books that looked interesting was "The Attack on Pearl Harbor" but this Zimm guy.    I wanted to know what the WITP:AE Fan Boy's thought of the book so I went a search'n and found this discussion.  Which is more than a pleasant surprise. 

Thank you WITP:AE Fan Boys and DrADZ for the discussions.  What was going to be a 15 minute book buying session this morning has turned into a very good hour long diversion.  I need to go back and finish my book buying and DrADZ's book WILL be bought. 

Later,
Dan

(in reply to Local Yokel)
Post #: 76
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/10/2011 5:19:05 PM   
USS America


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Welcome aboard, Dan, and congratulations on the AE purchase!  

What part of NC are you in?  There are several of us scattered from mountains to sea.


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(in reply to DanNC)
Post #: 77
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/10/2011 5:48:05 PM   
DanNC

 

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Thanks.

I am south of Chapel Hill.

Ironically, before I moved to NC, I visited the area a few times and I always had to stop in Chapel Hill to go to the two excellent used book stores up there.  I moved to Raleigh and I visited the book stores a couple of times.  I have not visited Franklin street in more than a decade. 

After my post, I went and completed my order at the Military History book club.    Almost forgot to order DrADZ's book which is how I found this thread! 

Hopefully today, I will have some time to play AE.  I have been setting up a big 4E and 2E bombing raid with P38 escorts on Rabaul.  I think it is going to be ugly.  The Japanese have about 100 fighters....

I wish I had WPO and WITP:AE when I first started reading history.  Course PCs were at best just some wild idea in a SciFi book set in some far future time.    Both simulations gave me such a better appreciation of the vastness of the Pacific Theater.  A map just does not convey the time issues as well as a WPO TF leaving San Francisco slowly, hex by hex, inching its way to Pearl.  The meaning of "A slow boat to China" really makes sense as you wait for that TF to arrive. 

Later,
Dan

(in reply to USS America)
Post #: 78
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/11/2011 12:18:03 PM   
Zorch

 

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Alan,

Thanks for a great book, and for Action Stations!

(in reply to DrADZ)
Post #: 79
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/18/2011 3:10:58 PM   
DanNC

 

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My box of books arrived this week and I started reading Alan's book.  Work is getting in the way of my reading, but since work buys the books, it is a price that must be paid.    I am only about 50 pages into the book and it has been good reading.  War Plan Orange and AE have given me a completely different perspective on the Pacific war.  Mostly this is due to the map and seeing how long it takes to get from Point A to Point B. I wish we had Google Maps and Wikipedia when I was a kid starting my history reading.  WPO and AE would have been too much too ask for.   

Alan's book and WPO/AE simulations really make me question the mind set of the Japanese leadership.  They were nuts.    It seems like their whole strategy was based on the idea that they would win The Big Battle and the US would sign a peace treaty.  What a gamble to make and then loose. 

Later,
Dan

(in reply to Zorch)
Post #: 80
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/18/2011 3:27:07 PM   
mike scholl 1

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DanNC

Alan's book and WPO/AE simulations really make me question the mind set of the Japanese leadership.  They were nuts.    It seems like their whole strategy was based on the idea that they would win The Big Battle and the US would sign a peace treaty.  What a gamble to make and then loose. 

Later,
Dan




Welcome to the "unreal world" of Japanese Strategic Planning. Just like much of their tactical planning, it depended far too much in the other side doing exactly what the Japanese wished them to do....

(in reply to DanNC)
Post #: 81
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/20/2011 6:12:06 AM   
John 3rd


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Just got the book in the mail today and will start it tomorrow.


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(in reply to mike scholl 1)
Post #: 82
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/23/2011 1:18:27 AM   
DanNC

 

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Zimm spends quite a bit of time documenting problems in Fuchida's(the leader of the attack on the Pearl Harbor) statements and reports through out the war.  One interesting quote was from the Battle of Midway.

On page 259, there is a quote from Fuchida stating that the IJN was about to launch a counter strike against the USN.  The IJN flight decks were full of planes about to launch and they only needed five minutes to clear the decks.  Unfortunately for the IJN, the USN dive bombers appeared and the rest is history.  Except this is not history since this did not occur.

The interesting quote is, "...The Air Officer flapped his white flag, and the first Zero fighter gathered speed and whizzed off the deck.  At that instant a lookout screamed: 'Hell-divers!"

Except that the US dive bombers at Midway were Dauntlesses, not Helldivers.  Unless the Dauntless was called a Helldiver by the Japanese I think we have more evidence that the quote is another Fuchidaism.

Later,
Dan

(in reply to John 3rd)
Post #: 83
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/23/2011 6:53:31 AM   
Zebedee


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DrADZ
I wanted to find out if upgrading to the WITP Admiral’s Edition would be worthwhile before wading into the manual. Advice solicited.


Definitely worth the entry price to upgrade. Huge step forward. Couple of interesting mods lying about too for the grognard with far too much time on his hands but a keener appreciation of some aspects of wargames.

Think you may just have stumbled upon an audience who'd thoroughly enjoy a firehosing. I'm going to sit on the sidelines and dip my toes in the water as I always do for this particular theatre although will certainly be counting pennies come month's end for some discretionary spending.

(in reply to DrADZ)
Post #: 84
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/23/2011 11:42:38 AM   
spence

 

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quote:

Except that the US dive bombers at Midway were Dauntlesses, not Helldivers. Unless the Dauntless was called a Helldiver by the Japanese I think we have more evidence that the quote is another Fuchidaism.



I'm no fan of Fuchida. It seems that there is plenty of evidence that his nose was getting longer and longer throughout his life. But, I believe that "Helldivers" was a generic term for dive bombers current around that time. IIRC the SB2C was nicknamed Helldiver by the manufacturer (Grumman?). I think there was a Hollywood movie about dive bombers (sorta) from the late 30's/1940 or so called "Helldivers" (starring Errol Flynn). So I'll give that one to Fuchida. But at the same time the air group records from the Kido Butai are unanimous in showing that the Japanese airstrike he refers to at that time was below on the hangardecks, not ready to launch.

(in reply to Nikademus)
Post #: 85
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/23/2011 2:27:51 PM   
DanNC

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

quote:

Except that the US dive bombers at Midway were Dauntlesses, not Helldivers. Unless the Dauntless was called a Helldiver by the Japanese I think we have more evidence that the quote is another Fuchidaism.



I'm no fan of Fuchida. It seems that there is plenty of evidence that his nose was getting longer and longer throughout his life. But, I believe that "Helldivers" was a generic term for dive bombers current around that time. IIRC the SB2C was nicknamed Helldiver by the manufacturer (Grumman?). I think there was a Hollywood movie about dive bombers (sorta) from the late 30's/1940 or so called "Helldivers" (starring Errol Flynn). So I'll give that one to Fuchida. But at the same time the air group records from the Kido Butai are unanimous in showing that the Japanese airstrike he refers to at that time was below on the hangardecks, not ready to launch.


I remember the Helldiver movie. But I saw it rerun on TV not in the theater. I just want to make that point perfectly clear. But a US movie, with a Aussie American star, is pretty slim evidence that the word Helldiver was used by the Japanese.

If my memory is working correctly the US Helldiver's, which replaced the Dauntless, did not see combat until 1943. There were quite a few problems with the Helldiver in development and it was not liked by pilots at least initially.

Given that crews were supposed to recognize friendly and enemy planes, they should have known the correct name of the plane. Correct could have been the Japanese name of the plane but I find it odd that the Japanese would call a plane a Helldiver when it was a Dauntless which was in fact replaced by a Helldiver. That is very odd but then History is odd. I could see how Fuchida could have misspoken the name of the plane but, given his other embellishments, I find that hard to believe as well.



Given Fuchida's growing nose and the evidence there was no strike on deck(s) I think this is another Fuchidaism. The trustworthiness of his statements made late in his life have to be taken with a chunk of salt.

The Errol Flynn reference made me look him up. He appears to have some interesting links to AE. Ok that is a stretch. But it was interesting. He bought a tobacco plantation in New Guinea and a copper mine near Port Moresby. He became a US citizen and he wanted to enlist but he was 4F. Around the age of 31, he had a variety of VD's, an enlarged heart with a murmor, had at least one heart attack, back pain for which he was self medicating first with morphine and later on with heroin, and if that was not enough, he had TB and Malaria he pick up in New Guinea. No wonder he died young.

Later,
Dan

(in reply to spence)
Post #: 86
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/24/2011 1:00:44 AM   
spence

 

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The Curtiss SBC-2/SBC-4 (1938 or so vintage of which there are a few in AE in Hornet's early war air group) was nicknamed the Helldiver as was the Grumman (?) F8C of 1931 vintage. The movie I was referring to (with Errol Flynn) in the previous post was called "Divebomber" (1941) and featured Devastators and Vindicators but there was also a movie called "Helldivers" from 1931 or 1932 which was about naval aviation (after a fashion) featuring the aforementioned F8C along with Clark Gable.

I apologize for mixing some fuzzy memories in the previous post.

(in reply to Nikademus)
Post #: 87
RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/24/2011 2:26:57 AM   
Disco Duck

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

The Curtiss SBC-2/SBC-4 (1938 or so vintage of which there are a few in AE in Hornet's early war air group) was nicknamed the Helldiver as was the Grumman (?) F8C of 1931 vintage. The movie I was referring to (with Errol Flynn) in the previous post was called "Divebomber" (1941) and featured Devastators and Vindicators but there was also a movie called "Helldivers" from 1931 or 1932 which was about naval aviation (after a fashion) featuring the aforementioned F8C along with Clark Gable.

I apologize for mixing some fuzzy memories in the previous post.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033537/ Dive bomber with errol Flynn and Fred McMurray.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0022987/ Hell divers. 1931 Clark Gable.

(in reply to spence)
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RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/24/2011 2:56:22 AM   
spence

 

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As reported by Fuchida the use by Japanese seamen of the Japanese equivalent of Helldiver does not seem strange in that multiple American Naval Aircraft serving as dive bombers had had that nickname including aircraft featured in a ten year old movie (by 1942) that may well have been seen in theaters in Japan.

Interesting sidenote: According to IMDb (or whatever that movie database is) the U.S Navy censored the film of aircraft shown landing on the Lexington and/or Saratoga in "HELLDIVERS" by blacking out that most secret of technical innovations: the tailhooks on the a/c.

(in reply to Nikademus)
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RE: Attack on Pearl Harbor, new book - 9/24/2011 3:12:19 PM   
DanNC

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

As reported by Fuchida the use by Japanese seamen of the Japanese equivalent of Helldiver does not seem strange in that multiple American Naval Aircraft serving as dive bombers had had that nickname including aircraft featured in a ten year old movie (by 1942) that may well have been seen in theaters in Japan.



It could very well be the case. But where is the evidence that the Japanese saw the movie, that the same plane name was used in the Japanese version of the movie and that the IJN then used this name? At the risk of "mirroring", US service members were pretty consistent in using the "correct" name for a given plane. It seems if ANY service was going to use "Hell-diver" to nickname a plane, it would be US service members since they were most likely to have seen the movie.

Here is the text in Zimm's book:

quote:

Preparations for a counter-strike agaist the enemy had continued on board our four carriers through out the enemy torpedo attacks. One after another, planes were hoisted from the hanger and quickly arranged on the flight deck. There was no time to lose. At 1020 Admiral Nagumo gave the order to launch when ready. On Akagi's flight deck all planes were in position with engines warming up. The big ship began turning into the wind. Within five minutes all her planes would be launched.

Five minutes! Who would have dreamed that the tide of battle would shift completely in that brief interval of time? ... At 1024 the order to start launching came from the bridge by voice tube. The Air Officer flapped his white flag, and the first Zero fighter gathered speed and whizzed off the deck. At that instant a lookout screamed: "Hell-divers!"


The "..." is for a left out sentence regarding the weather. In Shattered Sword, there is an added sentence to Fuchida's quote, "I looked up to see three enemy planes plummeting towards our ship." Three US dive bombers did attack the Akagi. So that part of the story fits and it is interesting in that the bomb(s) from those three planes hit the Akagi.

In Shattered Sword, the quotes I can find from Japanese sailors about US dive bombers, all said "dive bombers."

Later,
Dan

(in reply to spence)
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