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Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz

 
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Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/3/2012 1:31:38 PM   
Sardaukar


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Even he appreciated wargaming:

After World War II, U.S. Navy Adm. Chester W. Nimitz credited gaming for helping the Allies prepare. “The war with Japan had been re-enacted in the game rooms here by so many people and in so many different ways,” he said, “that nothing that happened during the war was a surprise—absolutely nothing except the kamikaze tactics towards the end of the war; we had not visualized those.

—Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 1960

http://www.usnwc.edu/Research---Gaming/War-Gaming/Documents/RAGE/Gaming.aspx

< Message edited by Sardaukar -- 10/3/2012 3:10:33 PM >


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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/3/2012 1:43:56 PM   
Gräfin Zeppelin


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I bet they also did not foresee The Japanese transforming Ise/Hyuga into uh half carriers....O.o


Nice find tho. Interesting.

< Message edited by Gräfin Zeppelin -- 10/3/2012 1:44:28 PM >


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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/3/2012 2:38:13 PM   
jeffk3510


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interesting

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/3/2012 3:15:08 PM   
fodder


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Nice quote, thank you.

As everyone here already knows, from the begining of organized armed conflict to the
present day. We have had and do have wargames. Unless you want to kill off your own forces, the only way to pratice war is to game it.

I'd have to say that the most famous war game of all time was the one that didn't take
place at Rennes on June 6, 1944.

The Japenese during WWII cheated at thier wargmaes. Sunk carriers would come back to life.

There's an idea, can we mod that into our game.

Sunk "Japanese" carriers coming back to life?

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/3/2012 4:14:57 PM   
ilovestrategy


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Fodder, I love your sig. "Japan's struggle against reality".

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/3/2012 4:49:25 PM   
dr.hal


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That's not really true, as the long lance torpedoes were unknown in '41..... Also the long range of Japanese aircraft, that too was unknown AND the performance characteristics of the Zero... All were a big surprise....

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/3/2012 5:26:14 PM   
Sardaukar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

That's not really true, as the long lance torpedoes were unknown in '41..... Also the long range of Japanese aircraft, that too was unknown AND the performance characteristics of the Zero... All were a big surprise....


I think he meant strategic aspects.


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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/3/2012 5:36:17 PM   
Chickenboy


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I don't think Nimitz had clearance on the atomic bomb program. Certainly, deployment / usage of these weapons could not have been predicted by the Allied wargames. That had to have been a pleasant surprise, but a surprise nonetheless.

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/3/2012 6:13:39 PM   
SpitfireIX


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fodder

The Japenese during WWII cheated at thier wargmaes. Sunk carriers would come back to life.

There's an idea, can we mod that into our game.

Sunk "Japanese" carriers coming back to life?

That didn't work so well for the IJN IRL, though. To quote Mr. Miagi, "Daniel-San, this not tournament. This for real."


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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/3/2012 6:22:51 PM   
SpitfireIX


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quote:

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

That's not really true, as the long lance torpedoes were unknown in '41..... Also the long range of Japanese aircraft, that too was unknown AND the performance characteristics of the Zero... All were a big surprise....

Chennault tried to warn the Air Corps about the Zero in 1940, but his reports were discounted.

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/3/2012 7:26:38 PM   
Sardaukar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: SpitfireIX


quote:

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

That's not really true, as the long lance torpedoes were unknown in '41..... Also the long range of Japanese aircraft, that too was unknown AND the performance characteristics of the Zero... All were a big surprise....

Chennault tried to warn the Air Corps about the Zero in 1940, but his reports were discounted.


USN took them seriously, especially future ace John "Jimmy" Thach. As response, he created famous "Thach weave" to negate the superior maneuverability of Zero. It was first used in Midway, with good results.

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/3/2012 8:51:00 PM   
fodder


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@ilovestrategy: Thank You and to Sardaukar too.


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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/4/2012 12:41:59 AM   
dr.hal


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sardaukar


quote:

ORIGINAL: dr.hal

That's not really true, as the long lance torpedoes were unknown in '41..... Also the long range of Japanese aircraft, that too was unknown AND the performance characteristics of the Zero... All were a big surprise....


I think he meant strategic aspects.


Ahh... ok, I withdraw the comment..

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/4/2012 12:51:39 AM   
spence

 

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The Long Lance Torpedo upon which the IJN pinned so much faith did not significantly transform the Pacific War. Its greatest moment was the Battle of Tassafaronga but that was a very brief tactical success of really insignificant strategic importance...the Japanese had already found that they could neither reinforce Guadalcanal nor even supply the current garrison with minimal needs.

They even repeated their success a couple of times in 1943 but always as nothing more than a speed bump in the Allied advance.

The Kamikaze was a surprise to the Western (American) mind. It was frankly incomprehensible within Western culture. However it was never given a chance to develop any strategic potential. The destruction of an entire city by a single aircraft and a single bomb likewise was so incomprehensible to the Japanese Emperor that he gave up the struggle.

The "Downfall" Scenario perhaps would be a more realistic game if the Japanese forces would fight to the death under all circumstances, the Allied Player had an unlimited (but realistically produced/deployed) Atomic weapons supply and a non-player Soviet would take over certain territories according to some timetable or other not completely predictable by either player. The Japanese Player could "win" unless the Allied (Western) Player won (even if there was not one single Japanese citizen alive anywhere on the map at the end of the game).

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/4/2012 4:08:20 AM   
ChezDaJez


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quote:

“The war with Japan had been re-enacted in the game rooms here by so many people and in so many different ways,” he said, “that nothing that happened during the war was a surprise—absolutely nothing except the kamikaze tactics towards the end of the war; we had not visualized those.”



Not quite sure they anticipated the Japanese shift from the "banzai" style defense practised at Guadalcanal and other places to the defense in depth the allies encountered at Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa nor the tremendous casualties these defenses inflicted.

Chez

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/4/2012 12:50:56 PM   
spence

 

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quote:

tremendous casualties


I think the essential element alluded to by Adm Nimitz was the completely asymmetric definition of tremendous casualties between the U.S./Western Allies and the Japanese.

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/4/2012 7:44:55 PM   
Nikademus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ChezDaJez



Not quite sure they anticipated the Japanese shift from the "banzai" style defense practised at Guadalcanal and other places to the defense in depth the allies encountered at Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa nor the tremendous casualties these defenses inflicted.

Chez


From a strategic sense, both sides had pretty much fleshed out how it would develop. Devil was in the details. For example both sides envisioned a US fleet/army march across the Pacific to get within range of the HI's and cut em off. Detail difference was where and how the fighting resolved. Carriers became the key component and noone envisioned the massive fight in the South and South-West Pacific. result was still the same though

Another example was night fighting and torpedoes. The US was well aware of the Japanese preference for the weapon, at night. In detail though it failed to prepare it's forces to adequately deal with it and the result was a lot of death, damage and embarrassment. Strategically though the US could still advance and did.

The excessive casualties were another detail. After all the original scenario was the PI's holding out while the fleet came to the rescue. The grinding SoPac/SwPac battles, Pellieu, Okinawa, Iwo Jima. The US in particular was sensitive to casualties and they made a serious impression that the Kamikaze menace added too. By 45 there was war-weariness in the US. The Japanese realized they couldn't win but they hoped to salvage something, anything. The bomb mostly ended that.


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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/4/2012 8:03:37 PM   
Lokasenna


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quote:

ORIGINAL: spence

The Long Lance Torpedo upon which the IJN pinned so much faith did not significantly transform the Pacific War. Its greatest moment was the Battle of Tassafaronga but that was a very brief tactical success of really insignificant strategic importance...the Japanese had already found that they could neither reinforce Guadalcanal nor even supply the current garrison with minimal needs.

They even repeated their success a couple of times in 1943 but always as nothing more than a speed bump in the Allied advance.

The Kamikaze was a surprise to the Western (American) mind. It was frankly incomprehensible within Western culture. However it was never given a chance to develop any strategic potential. The destruction of an entire city by a single aircraft and a single bomb likewise was so incomprehensible to the Japanese Emperor that he gave up the struggle.

The "Downfall" Scenario perhaps would be a more realistic game if the Japanese forces would fight to the death under all circumstances, the Allied Player had an unlimited (but realistically produced/deployed) Atomic weapons supply and a non-player Soviet would take over certain territories according to some timetable or other not completely predictable by either player. The Japanese Player could "win" unless the Allied (Western) Player won (even if there was not one single Japanese citizen alive anywhere on the map at the end of the game).


Don't forget Savo, nor the November battles at Guadalcanal.

I agree that the Long Lance is somewhat overrated (and dangerous if caught aboard ship, due to the O2 fuel), but the Japanese really did have vastly superior torpedoes. I mean the I-19 shot 6 torpedoes and hit 3 ships in two separate TFs, sinking a CV and a DD! And did the USN ever get a torpedo hit on a major combat ship using TBDs/TBFs? It seems that all the sinking of ships from the air was done with bombs. Say what you will about the Long Lance being overrated, but IJN torpedo capability was downright scary when compared to the USN's.

< Message edited by Lokasenna -- 10/4/2012 8:06:18 PM >

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/4/2012 9:30:52 PM   
spence

 

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quote:

And did the USN ever get a torpedo hit on a major combat ship using TBDs/TBFs? It seems that all the sinking of ships from the air was done with bombs.


Two rather notable warships sunk in large part by multiple aerial torpedo hits would be YAMATO and MUSASHI. HIJMS SHOHO also comes to mind. It was hit multiple times by TBD launched torpedoes. HIJMS HIYO was definitely sunk by one or more aerial torpedo hits. Pretty sure that at least 3 of the IJN carriers in the decoy Northern Force at Leyte Gulf were also hit by torpedoes. A number of IJN heavy cruisers also suffered aerial torpedo hits in and around the Philippines in 1944.

US DDs managed some very nice torpedo attacks on IJN warships too: Vella Gulf, Cape St George, Surigao Strait.

The Long Lance was an excellent weapons system but its very long range seldom proved important. It scored its major successes when the range of the engagement was within the range of the corresponding Allied ships' torpedoes.


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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/4/2012 10:12:46 PM   
mike scholl 1

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lokasenna
Say what you will about the Long Lance being overrated, but IJN torpedo capability was downright scary when compared to the USN's.


The "long lance" was an excellent weapon, though it's real strength was it's speed (almost 50 knots out to 20,000 yards) rather than it's range or even it's warhead. Higher speed equals shorter run times equals simpler targeting solutions. And in the first 15-18 months of the war, Japanese torpedo doctrine was much better than the American's. However, once the US Destroyermen were "cut loose" from close control of TF Admirals and allowed to push their own torpedo attacks, Radar quickly gave them the upper hand even in night DD actions. After that, it was the Allies who were "scary".

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/4/2012 11:02:44 PM   
Kwik E Mart


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Sardaukar

Even he appreciated wargaming:

After World War II, U.S. Navy Adm. Chester W. Nimitz credited gaming for helping the Allies prepare. “The war with Japan had been re-enacted in the game rooms here by so many people and in so many different ways,” he said, “that nothing that happened during the war was a surprise—absolutely nothing except the kamikaze tactics towards the end of the war; we had not visualized those.

—Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 1960

http://www.usnwc.edu/Research---Gaming/War-Gaming/Documents/RAGE/Gaming.aspx


...hmmm...saying that nothing surprises you when you are outproducing your oppenent by orders of magnitude is kinda like saying it's no surprise that a semi tractor trailor won a tangle with a mini cooper, no?

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/5/2012 3:30:51 AM   
Justus2


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quote:

ORIGINAL: fodder

Nice quote, thank you.

As everyone here already knows, from the begining of organized armed conflict to the
present day. We have had and do have wargames. Unless you want to kill off your own forces, the only way to pratice war is to game it.

I'd have to say that the most famous war game of all time was the one that didn't take
place at Rennes on June 6, 1944.

The Japenese during WWII cheated at thier wargmaes. Sunk carriers would come back to life.

There's an idea, can we mod that into our game.

Sunk "Japanese" carriers coming back to life?


So Yamamoto was one of the original save-game reloaders??

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/5/2012 3:37:19 AM   
Justus2


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On a more serious note, I read a book about a year ago about a man named Hector Bywater, called Visions of Infamy. He was an author/British naval correspondent who had done significant research on the pacific, and wrote a book, The Great Pacific War, in the 1920s that came pretty close to predicting the general flow of the war (some details/locations were different, and not as much emphasis on air power). But in general terms, Japan opening with a suprise attack, seizing key bases, a slow island-hopping offensive back across the Pacific. Teh IJN made it required reading in their officer academy, and many American officers had read it as well.

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/5/2012 5:02:16 PM   
Nikademus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Justus2


quote:

ORIGINAL: fodder

Nice quote, thank you.

As everyone here already knows, from the begining of organized armed conflict to the
present day. We have had and do have wargames. Unless you want to kill off your own forces, the only way to pratice war is to game it.

I'd have to say that the most famous war game of all time was the one that didn't take
place at Rennes on June 6, 1944.

The Japenese during WWII cheated at thier wargmaes. Sunk carriers would come back to life.

There's an idea, can we mod that into our game.

Sunk "Japanese" carriers coming back to life?


So Yamamoto was one of the original save-game reloaders??



The interpretation of Japanese war-gaming sessions as a rigged 'game' played by power personality players was challenged in Zimm's recent book on PH. Personally i found this section to be one of the most interesting if not the most interesting aspects of the book, especially after reading Parshalls and Tully's layman-ish ballyhooing of Japanese war-gaming (including an unprofessional-like pause in the narrative where the authors suggest that the reader go fix themselves a drink before continuing)

I had alot of issues with Zimm's book but i found his comments here of interest because this was his home territory so to speak....operational studies and planning, including war-'gaming' and it was his view that past authors misunderstand the true nature of war-gaming and focused on personalities in play, not the point of the sessions themselves. To summarize he basically said that what historians like Prange interpret as "Hubris" and wishful thinking in the face of unpleasant results was actually a common and necessary practice in operational planning war-games. The point of war-gaming is not to determine who "Wins" (such as in the session where two IJN carriers were sunk by a surprise USN attack on the flank), but to see how to best execute the operation and ferret out unanticipated factors.

In other words, yes....you do in effect hit the "reset" button, go back to certain points and replay it out and see what result you get. Hence the much quoted scenario of the "Kaga resurrection" This makes sense to me. You don't get a bunch of guys together, make a file cabinets worth of plans and only play out ONE scenario. If that one scenario goes bad and enough of your forces are sunk, you all call it a day and go home. No. You reset the board, partially or completely and play it again to see what other results come by and how one might address them.

Based on what Zimm wrote, if one agrees with him, Parshalls and Tully are guilty of the same thing.....a misunderstanding of what the point behind such planning/gaming is in favor of focusing on the bigger than life personalities involved in it. (hence....go mix yourself a martini)

In the end it wasn't the operational gaming that was flawed, it was Yamamotto's assumption, even conviction that the worst case scenario events which the gaming revealed would not happen in real life because he dismissed the poss that the US would either be tipped off to the operation ahead of time or that it was desirous of a fight and thus had to be enticed to come out to be destroyed. Y can be forgiven somewhat for being in the dark about Nimitz reading his mail, but armed as we all are with Hindsight, the old saying is more true than ever.....assume the worst......don't assume the best. Y assumed the best and planned accordingly, yet hedged a little in the end by advising Nagumo to be wary yet saddling him with a rigid plan.




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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/5/2012 5:04:18 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gräfin Zeppelin

I bet they also did not foresee The Japanese transforming Ise/Hyuga into uh half carriers....O.o


Nice find tho. Interesting.


Better known as a good way to ruin a perfectly useful battleship.

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/5/2012 6:26:50 PM   
SpitfireIX


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Justus2

On a more serious note, I read a book about a year ago about a man named Hector Bywater, called Visions of Infamy. He was an author/British naval correspondent who had done significant research on the pacific, and wrote a book, The Great Pacific War, in the 1920s that came pretty close to predicting the general flow of the war (some details/locations were different, and not as much emphasis on air power). But in general terms, Japan opening with a suprise attack, seizing key bases, a slow island-hopping offensive back across the Pacific. Teh IJN made it required reading in their officer academy, and many American officers had read it as well.

I read that a long time ago (my college library had a copy). I thought it was interesting that the author assumed that the Japanese would treat their prisoners humanely and even courteously.

(Not to say that the Japanese never did so; it was just the rare exception, rather than the rule.)

< Message edited by SpitfireIX -- 10/5/2012 6:27:06 PM >


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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/5/2012 6:54:05 PM   
Justus2


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quote:

ORIGINAL: SpitfireIX

quote:

ORIGINAL: Justus2

On a more serious note, I read a book about a year ago about a man named Hector Bywater, called Visions of Infamy. He was an author/British naval correspondent who had done significant research on the pacific, and wrote a book, The Great Pacific War, in the 1920s that came pretty close to predicting the general flow of the war (some details/locations were different, and not as much emphasis on air power). But in general terms, Japan opening with a suprise attack, seizing key bases, a slow island-hopping offensive back across the Pacific. Teh IJN made it required reading in their officer academy, and many American officers had read it as well.

I read that a long time ago (my college library had a copy). I thought it was interesting that the author assumed that the Japanese would treat their prisoners humanely and even courteously.

(Not to say that the Japanese never did so; it was just the rare exception, rather than the rule.)


Well, based on examples from the Russo-Japan war, though, that was a valid expectation. There was actually suprise on the part of many Westerners that the 'barbaric' Japanese were adopting the 'civilized' ways of war. Due to many causes (rising militarism/fanatacisim, incorporating racist ideology, etc) that behaviour changed dramatically (and tragically) by WWII.

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/5/2012 9:17:41 PM   
warspite1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Justus2

On a more serious note, I read a book about a year ago about a man named Hector Bywater, called Visions of Infamy. He was an author/British naval correspondent who had done significant research on the pacific, and wrote a book, The Great Pacific War, in the 1920s that came pretty close to predicting the general flow of the war (some details/locations were different, and not as much emphasis on air power). But in general terms, Japan opening with a suprise attack, seizing key bases, a slow island-hopping offensive back across the Pacific. Teh IJN made it required reading in their officer academy, and many American officers had read it as well.
warspite1

I read something similar many years ago by the same author (Honan) - although it was just called Bywater. The Man Who Invented The Pacific War. A very interesting read.

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RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/5/2012 10:30:30 PM   
LoBaron


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kwik E Mart


quote:

ORIGINAL: Sardaukar

Even he appreciated wargaming:

After World War II, U.S. Navy Adm. Chester W. Nimitz credited gaming for helping the Allies prepare. “The war with Japan had been re-enacted in the game rooms here by so many people and in so many different ways,” he said, “that nothing that happened during the war was a surprise—absolutely nothing except the kamikaze tactics towards the end of the war; we had not visualized those.

—Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, 1960

http://www.usnwc.edu/Research---Gaming/War-Gaming/Documents/RAGE/Gaming.aspx


...hmmm...saying that nothing surprises you when you are outproducing your oppenent by orders of magnitude is kinda like saying it's no surprise that a semi tractor trailor won a tangle with a mini cooper, no?


This was about the first thought I had when I read the quote.

I doubt that the speed of a the Japanese advance and the complete isolation and anihilation of the Phillipine forces within the first 4 Months was on any Allied playcard, wargaming or not.

With equal industrial backbone Nimitz' definition of surprize might have tilted a slight bit. I think the admiral, as much as I respect him, neclected the 20/20 hindsight factor when making this statement.

_____________________________

S**t happens in war.

All hail the superior ones!

(in reply to Kwik E Mart)
Post #: 29
RE: Interesting quote from Adm. Nimitz - 10/6/2012 12:26:51 AM   
spence

 

Posts: 3899
Joined: 4/20/2003
From: vermont
Status: offline
quote:

The interpretation of Japanese war-gaming sessions as a rigged 'game' played by power personality players was challenged in Zimm's recent book on PH. Personally i found this section to be one of the most interesting if not the most interesting aspects of the book, especially after reading Parshalls and Tully's layman-ish ballyhooing of Japanese war-gaming (including an unprofessional-like pause in the narrative where the authors suggest that the reader go fix themselves a drink before continuing)

I had alot of issues with Zimm's book but i found his comments here of interest because this was his home territory so to speak....operational studies and planning, including war-'gaming' and it was his view that past authors misunderstand the true nature of war-gaming and focused on personalities in play, not the point of the sessions themselves. To summarize he basically said that what historians like Prange interpret as "Hubris" and wishful thinking in the face of unpleasant results was actually a common and necessary practice in operational planning war-games. The point of war-gaming is not to determine who "Wins" (such as in the session where two IJN carriers were sunk by a surprise USN attack on the flank), but to see how to best execute the operation and ferret out unanticipated factors.

In other words, yes....you do in effect hit the "reset" button, go back to certain points and replay it out and see what result you get. Hence the much quoted scenario of the "Kaga resurrection" This makes sense to me. You don't get a bunch of guys together, make a file cabinets worth of plans and only play out ONE scenario. If that one scenario goes bad and enough of your forces are sunk, you all call it a day and go home. No. You reset the board, partially or completely and play it again to see what other results come by and how one might address them.


So Zimm says something that you agree with. How about that.

But it is of course necessary to ignore the fact that Zimm also says that the mission commander (Fuchida) completely screwed up his own attack with confusing signals, that 60% of the 800kg bombs basically didn't even detonate when they hit, that the D3A's mostly wasted their bombs on the Nevada and other battleships, that the torpedo bombers were mostly constrained to a poor approach path, that the IJN attack was just not the brilliant plan faultlessly executed that everybody assumes it was after all.

Meanwhile the fact that the U.S. got over 175 attack planes airborne at Midway before the first "naval attack" armed IJN plane took off is completely irrelevant to the outcome of that battle...absolutely pure luck for the USN it was.

Seems a lot like "cherry picking" to me.

(in reply to Sardaukar)
Post #: 30
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