[QUOTE]If you are saying that the long planned for single central pacific thrust could not have succeeded without SOPAC/SWP campaign. I totally disagree.[/QUOTE]
I'm not saying it *would not* have succeeded. However, there's the distinct possibility (and a higher probability than with a multi-prongued approach, IMO) that Japan could have met such a thrust on more-equal terms, possibly even obtaining the desired "decisive battle." They'd have lost such a battle, IMO, even without the substantial lessons learned in the water and in the air in the SOPAC, but the cost might have been *much* greater to the US.
[QUOTE]The USN had planed for nearly 40 years for just such a strategy and certainly it could have and most likely would have succeeded.[/QUOTE]
I disagree with "certainly" and marginally agree with "most likely" with the caveat that the success might easily have come at a much higher price. Bear in mind that the 30 years of study devoted to the problem was conducted at a time when the real effectiveness of airpower to control the battle and to sink ships was not known. Aircraft lethality towards ships increased by leaps and bounds after 1939. Guam and Saipan alone could have based a thousand aircraft.
[QUOTE]All the attrition inflicted in Sopac would most likely also been attained in the Central Pacific.[/QUOTE]
Maybe, but from where? Sailing TF 38 or 58 up to say, Guam, out of the range of US land based a/c, in the face of an unattrited IJN land air flotilla (since you're assuming no Cactus or no New Guinea campaign, let's assume 11th Air Fleet), is a much riskier proposition than attriting IJN air projection by dragging them into a losing war in New Guinea or the Solomons (where the Allies held the advantage). In each case (to Truk, then to Guam/Saipan/Tinian) the US CVs go it alone against Japanese CVs and land bases wityh well-developed, mutually supporting airfileds. Then there's the ground combat, with US CVs tied down in support of the operation until US land bases can be built (or Japanese ones captured), and all the while with Japanese CVs free to hit you when and how they want.
It'd be Marianas w/o the Turkey Shoot. Several times over. Good way to run the USN/USMC pilot pool into the ground, even if you don't lose half the CVs in the process.
[QUOTE]If anything the attrition would have been more favorable because the US surface radar advantage would not have been nullified as it was early on by Slot geography.[/QUOTE]
Well, so you're suggesting a complete delay in confronting the Japanese until what, SJ radar is available? It's not like SC is going to give you that much of an advantage in a decsisive naval battle fought near Truk or the Marianas in 1942. In the meantime, Japan's unattrited pilot pool expands and gets better.
[QUOTE] The geography in the centpac favors the offense where barren atolls are easily isolated and offer no where to hide.
The small size of the islands do not allow for large scale deployments. [/QUOTE]
This is only true for the, first chain (Marshalls?). Basically, Midway, Wake, Tarawa, and possibly Eniwetok and Kwajalein. Once you're up against Truk or Guam/Saipan/Tinian you're up against a hard know of substantial land masses with multiple airfields capable of mutual support.
[QUOTE]If the centpac offense starts earlier (landing craft shortages not withstanding) then the garrisons are going to be even weaker than historical.[/QUOTE]
I agree with *that* at any event. But I think the only places you're going to grab easily, in the face of a largely unattrited Japanese pool of pilots and a/c, are on the margins.