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Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 5:20:02 AM   
tigercub


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What if japan started its attacks in the philippines on dec 6 1941 in the late after noon and carried out its dec 7 attack at pearl would they be any more ready on that sunday morning?

I think they have only a few more planes in the air but not more at best?

your view?


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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 8:08:12 AM   
JeffK


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Why wouldnt the US and Brits immediately go to 100% alert???

Dec7 might see no shipping in Pearl Harbor and all those Warhawks flying CAP.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 8:35:03 AM   
tigercub


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you think the ships would be moved in pearl? cap sure! I think they would be setting at anchor still its only about 7 hours
(given time difference) between attacks maybe a DD TF for subs...

most leaders were still thinking not possible to attack the base!

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 9:29:00 AM   
Chris H

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JeffK

Why wouldnt the US and Brits immediately go to 100% alert???

Dec7 might see no shipping in Pearl Harbor and all those Warhawks flying CAP.



More cap and ready a/c I agree. Some ships would be distpatched to elsewhere but the base would not be empty, you don't empty a base because somewhere else is attacked. The US would have no reason to expect thet PH would be attacked. In any case many ships would be unable to get a full crew (even if they had one) and most would not be able to get steam up.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 10:40:48 AM   
wdolson

 

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Some ships were in dry dock and would not have been ready in 7 hours. A lot of ships at Pearl were completely shut down, boilers completely cold. It takes a while to get back up to temperature. The KB might have found the fleet refiring their boilers.

I read a book about the USS Dale which was a Farragut class DD at Pearl that morning. They had just gotten back to harbor 12 hours before, so while the fires were not lit, the boilers were still warm. The lieutenant on watch that morning ordered an emergency start of the boilers which can cause damage, but they got lucky. The Dale was caught in the ship channel during the second strike and Vals wasted a lot of bombs trying to hit her. Some masterful handling managed to get the Dale out to open sea with only minor damage from near misses.

Most of the BBs had completely cold boilers and would have taken a while to get up enough steam. I believe the Nevada had a boiler going or was in some state more active than the other BBs that allowed them to get up some steam.

If the Japanese had attacked the PI first, Pearl might have been more on alert, but they still would have been caught with their pants down. Kimmel and Short did not believe Pearl could be attacked from the air, even though it had in exercises been attacked twice with much success. Nobody in the west believed Japanese aircraft were as good as they were.

Some more ships would be at sea and some fighters probably would have been airborne, but I suspect the Japanese would have done almost as much damage.

Bill

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 11:41:51 AM   
tigercub


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7 hours about ...much less given waiting for orders just to do something!

Wdolson I think you are spot on..most ship as still going to be there even if not all of them! by the time KB attacks

< Message edited by tigercub -- 3/26/2013 11:42:19 AM >


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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 11:48:26 AM   
tigercub


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they would but would have no time to do anything much that would be effective.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 11:52:14 AM   
Chickenboy


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My opinion? Many / most of the ships would have found some way to get underway and out of the choked killing grounds of Pearl. All boilers might not have been up and they may not have even embarked all crew, but I'm guessing they would have found some way out and scattered. Active naval search, active and heavy CAP and active and heavy AAA would have made the Japanese attack very costly.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 12:12:07 PM   
tigercub


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The way I see it is even know they are at war..the ships are still not going to move...in the time they have..because they don't think they are in danger! remember the US has not been at war for a long time its Sunday morning there is an attack over 2,000km away your going to rush out and empty the harbor?

but opinions are what I am seeking..

< Message edited by tigercub -- 3/26/2013 12:17:51 PM >


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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 12:52:27 PM   
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The biggest difference wouldn't have much to do with ships.

The biggest difference would have been sending out a realistic search with the plethora of PBYs sitting in port.

The biggest difference would have been a completely different reaction to spotting the incoming "B17s" on radar.

The biggest difference would have been the KB being spotted and the Americans having an effective CAP overhead waiting to greet them.

Try playing a first turn without surprise and see what happens having CAP over Pearl.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 1:20:22 PM   
AW1Steve


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A funny thing often happens when I set up that situation with the AI. When the KB gets attacked by LBA before the attack, it frequently turns around and goes home! Seeing how nervous Nagumo was about discovery and LBA (both at PH and later Midway) maybe that's not so unrealistic.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 1:55:06 PM   
tigercub


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good points Hans but I am not really talking about the game so much as what they would really have done 7 hrs after the attack in the Philippines ,I think they still would have been very slow to get up to speed...and not as ready as some would think.

but it is a Question with no real answer.

Tigercub

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 2:04:45 PM   
Capt Hornblower


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I'd like to point out something that seems not to have been noticed. Tigercub posits a Dec. 6 attack in the Philippines. If this had happened, Allied commanders in Hawaii would have been on alert for over a day for possible attacks on the islands. The Philippines are on the other side of the IDL. (A Philippines attack in the late afternoon of Dec. 7 would have given an alert time of probably better than 12 hours, since Hawaii would be in darkness on the night of Dec. 6.)

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 2:23:27 PM   
AW1Steve


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Another point is AAA preperation. Many of the AA guns at PH were not in their "wartime positions", in fact many were in storage. And most ships had their AMMO locked up, leading to stories of crews smashing lockers open and breaking locks. If you had 24 hours warning , all guns would have been manned, positioned, and properly supplied with AMMO. Even ships that couldn't be brought up to steam , could be towed to safer locations (like shallower water, or against a pier) and steps could be taken to ensure water tight integrity.

Even if the CAP was decimated or worse, that would provide some protection to the fleet and facilities. And if not, then aircraft could be dispersed.

Aircraft were gathered to ease guarding them , due to a shortage of personel. 24 hours would allow calling up the Territorial Guard and other security forces , allowing for a somewhat better dispersal plan.

Overall, even if not a single ship or aircraft could be moved, 100% manning would make the Japanese attack more expensive and probably less successful.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 2:46:07 PM   
tigercub


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its seems the time difference is greater than I was thinking...

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 3:19:36 PM   
Ddog

 

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Reading the thread made me think, given the communications of the day, does anyone have an idea how long it would have taken to notify the powers that be of the attack on the PI?

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 3:24:51 PM   
Lecivius


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There was a cable, so it would have been pretty fast.

I agree with the others. The ships may have been cold, but a war footing would dramatically have changed the defenses. A much stronger cap, even brushed aside, would disrupt the attack to some degree. AAA would have been ready & waiting. Aircraft would have been better dispersed.. A fleet recall would have the defenses a lot better staffed. The attack would still have caused a lot of damage, but I don't think it would have been as much.

Plus, personal opinion might not have been as great. America was completely incensed at a "sneak attack". This made it personal. Even the political doves were screaming for blood.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 3:29:01 PM   
Canoerebel


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Word of the attack would have been received at Pearl and the USA (and Oz and India and Britain) within minutes; certainly no more than an hour.

Pearl would have been a much stiffer test given five or ten or 20 hours notice.  As Hans notes, those radar operators who were misled about the identity of the incoming planes would have had a completely different reaction.  AA fire would have been much more intense as would CAP.  As others have noted, an already skittish Nagumo would have been that much more skittish.  And how would the USN carriers and aircraft squadrons be used? 

Pearl Harbor would've still been a Japanese victory, but the cost to Japan would have been much greater and the losses to the USN probably would have been somewhat less.

< Message edited by Canoerebel -- 3/26/2013 3:30:03 PM >

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 3:42:57 PM   
obvert


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From my experience in game of a second day Dec 8 strike where PH was emptied, the remaining ships sortied and sent hunting, and lots of planes in the air attacking, it might have been lights out for the IJN if someone had the time and guts to send out the fleet toward the KB. The US CVs might have been called back and at least Enterprise getting close to Hawaii as well.

Even though it was only 7 hours difference in time, early morning patrols would have gone out, been more 'on edge,' (maybe even seen the strikes in the air coming in) and if the KB was sighted (especially if the Japanese did not see the shadowing plane) the entire fleet could have had a chance to wake up and get moving as the attacks rolled in. The CAP and flak would have reduced effectiveness of the strikes and maybe the second wave especially wouldn't have been even close to as effective.

Imagine 20 DDs, 4-5 cruisers and 4-5 BBs leaving Pearl at mid-day and going hunting. It's a long trip back to Japan.

< Message edited by obvert -- 3/26/2013 3:44:55 PM >


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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 4:18:25 PM   
Lecivius


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quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert

From my experience in game of a second day Dec 8 strike where PH was emptied, the remaining ships sortied and sent hunting, and lots of planes in the air attacking, it might have been lights out for the IJN if someone had the time and guts to send out the fleet toward the KB. The US CVs might have been called back and at least Enterprise getting close to Hawaii as well.

Even though it was only 7 hours difference in time, early morning patrols would have gone out, been more 'on edge,' (maybe even seen the strikes in the air coming in) and if the KB was sighted (especially if the Japanese did not see the shadowing plane) the entire fleet could have had a chance to wake up and get moving as the attacks rolled in. The CAP and flak would have reduced effectiveness of the strikes and maybe the second wave especially wouldn't have been even close to as effective.

Imagine 20 DDs, 4-5 cruisers and 4-5 BBs leaving Pearl at mid-day and going hunting. It's a long trip back to Japan.



This scenario was war gamed repeatedly, most recently on History Channel. It was shown pretty conclusively that a sortie would have resulted in the complete annihilation of the Pacific fleet. As it was, several ships, though badly damaged, were repaired & brought back into service.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 4:23:39 PM   
obvert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Lecivius


quote:

ORIGINAL: obvert

From my experience in game of a second day Dec 8 strike where PH was emptied, the remaining ships sortied and sent hunting, and lots of planes in the air attacking, it might have been lights out for the IJN if someone had the time and guts to send out the fleet toward the KB. The US CVs might have been called back and at least Enterprise getting close to Hawaii as well.

Even though it was only 7 hours difference in time, early morning patrols would have gone out, been more 'on edge,' (maybe even seen the strikes in the air coming in) and if the KB was sighted (especially if the Japanese did not see the shadowing plane) the entire fleet could have had a chance to wake up and get moving as the attacks rolled in. The CAP and flak would have reduced effectiveness of the strikes and maybe the second wave especially wouldn't have been even close to as effective.

Imagine 20 DDs, 4-5 cruisers and 4-5 BBs leaving Pearl at mid-day and going hunting. It's a long trip back to Japan.


This scenario was war gamed repeatedly, most recently on History Channel. It was shown pretty conclusively that a sortie would have resulted in the complete annihilation of the Pacific fleet. As it was, several ships, though badly damaged, were repaired & brought back into service.



Interesting. Was it war-gamed assuming a 7-8 hour advance notice of war?



< Message edited by obvert -- 3/26/2013 6:07:45 PM >


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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 4:33:13 PM   
Lecivius


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Correct, it was assumed that Japan had delivered it's declaration of hostilities earlier than actually occurred. Not exactly as mentioned here, but the alert was several hours ahead of the strike.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 4:42:32 PM   
Jim D Burns


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quote:

ORIGINAL: tigercub

good points Hans but I am not really talking about the game so much as what they would really have done 7 hrs after the attack in the Philippines ,I think they still would have been very slow to get up to speed...and not as ready as some would think.

but it is a Question with no real answer.

Tigercub


At a minimum the radar hit that detected the incoming raid would not have been so easily ignored, so I think a good percentage of the fighters would have gotten airborne as it was about an hour out when it was detected. I also doubt the first wave would have been able to get to within striking distance with no allied flak coming up to meet them, so their accuracy would have been affected and a lot more planes would have been downed, probably at least double the 50 or so they historically lost perhaps more.

Remember the first wave saw very little flak and when the second arrived a lot of the ships were in serious trouble, so their flak was probably not very effective and still Japan lost 50 or so. Imagine how bad it would be if every single ship was at close to 100% effectiveness, Japan's planes would have suffered very heavily compared to the total surprise loss of just 50.

I doubt much of the heavy ships in the US fleet would have been at sea yet, but a large percentage of their crews would have been recalled from shore leave as soon as news of the attack in the Philippines had been heard and their alert status would have been on a war footing. Some of the heavy ships may have been able to get underway before the strikes actually arrived, but they'd still be in very close to Pearl and vulnerable to attack I think. In fact with all of Peal's AAA firing I bet any ships a little ways out to sea would have attracted a lot of attention as flak would be less the further away from the shore based batteries they were.

Jim


< Message edited by Jim D Burns -- 3/26/2013 4:44:02 PM >


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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 5:02:41 PM   
Chickenboy


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I don't think the heavies were as stationary as some of you are suggesting.

Nevada was able to get underway within minutes of the first attack. She was making good headway getting out of the channel, but was ordered to beach after she was holed and attacked. Certainly Nevada and escorts could have escaped Pearl and scattered / fled SE to avoid the initial attack.

Given 24 hours notice, are you telling me that none of the other BBs in battleship row could have brought up enough power to get underway? That ALL of the other BBs were in hibernation and that, on a near-war footing, they couldn't turn on boilers to get underway in a day? I'm afraid I find that hard to believe.

Pennsylvania and the other drydocked ships would have been tough to get out in time, but I still argue that the majority of the berthed heavies and support would have cleared the harbor or at least COULD have cleared the harbor in egress.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 5:16:50 PM   
Skyros


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Possible changes would be:

1. CIC manned and responsive.
2. Search Planes possibly sent out that morning, question is in what direction did they search, south and west or North West?
3. Water tight integrity in many of the Battleships would have been improved, especially USS California which had bilge inspection plates removed for Admiral's inspection.
4. AA fire would have been more intense, not sure how fast army would have deployed AA around Pearl Harbor since they were in charge of the defense of the port and island.
5. Aircraft armed and fueled and better dispersed. Hopefully on Cap and responding to CIC instructions. Will never know for sure if we have a repeat of the Philippines or a ready and waiting force.
6. Not sure if the US Carriers would be impacted since they were already acting on a war footing and Enterprise was already supposed to be in port and weather was holding her up.

Just a couple of thoughts. Definitely would have exacted a price on the attackers, Maybe they would have held back the second wave as at Midway and headed back sooner.

< Message edited by Skyros -- 3/26/2013 5:17:47 PM >

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 5:36:08 PM   
castor troy


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Independent of what would happen if the Japanese would have attacked somewhere else first, what sense would that make?

"Hey, we start a war and want to take on the most dangerous place we could think of in the Pacific and what we need the most is surprise. Heck, lets start the fighting somewhere else first!"

A big factor in the huge success at Pearl Harbour was surprise and I just can't see a reason to give it up.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 5:44:25 PM   
castor troy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Chickenboy

I don't think the heavies were as stationary as some of you are suggesting.

Nevada was able to get underway within minutes of the first attack. She was making good headway getting out of the channel, but was ordered to beach after she was holed and attacked. Certainly Nevada and escorts could have escaped Pearl and scattered / fled SE to avoid the initial attack.

Given 24 hours notice, are you telling me that none of the other BBs in battleship row could have brought up enough power to get underway? That ALL of the other BBs were in hibernation and that, on a near-war footing, they couldn't turn on boilers to get underway in a day? I'm afraid I find that hard to believe.

Pennsylvania and the other drydocked ships would have been tough to get out in time, but I still argue that the majority of the berthed heavies and support would have cleared the harbor or at least COULD have cleared the harbor in egress.



I wonder if pre warning would have actually meant the Pacific fleet fleeing rather than trying to take on the Japanese which would have probably been worse (for the USN) and better for the IJN. There were few ppl thinking about what carriers can do PRE Pearl Harbour.

I think being in port with many sailors offboard was far better than being alerted and the fleet on sortie against the Japanese to be caught at Sea. The "best" it could have been for the USN would have been being alerted, the ships ready for the attack but not leaving Hawaii. Still losses within the USN but bloody as hell to the IJNAF in return. How could it have looked like? Three or four times the losses in aircraft and only halve the losses in US BB?

Big question would of course have been what would the USN carriers do, as others have mentioned already.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 6:07:55 PM   
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Halsey may have gone full speed ahead and chased after Nagumo and lost the Enterprise on day 1.

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 6:32:51 PM   
Lecivius


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I thought the Oklahoma had its bilge plates opened, and that was the reason it rolled so fast. Am I wrong?

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RE: Question with no answer - 3/26/2013 6:52:45 PM   
obvert


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Skyros

Halsey may have gone full speed ahead and chased after Nagumo and lost the Enterprise on day 1.


Or surprised them as they were getting strikes ready and holed a few decks!

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