Could the IJN have launched a "Third wave" at Pearl Harbour?

Discussion in 'Polls' started by freebird, Feb 3, 2008.

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What would have been the result of a "Third Wave" at Pearl Harbour

  1. The attack would succeed with moderate aircraft losses {15 - 35 aircraft lost}

    66.3%
  2. The attack would succeed with heavy losses {50+ IJN aircraft lost}

    19.3%
  3. The attack would not be very successful with very heavy aircraft losses

    6.0%
  4. The Japanese couldn't have managed a "Third Wave" {explain}

    7.2%
  5. Other

    1.2%
  1. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Would the japanese have been successful launching a "Third wave"?

    If the Japanese had found the US Carriers at Pearl Harbour, should they have risked a third wave?

    If I have the data correct, the first wave landed back on the carriers at 10 am, the second wave at 12 noon. The Japanese spent another hour or two searching for the US Carriers, at which point it was decided by Nagumo that the risks of a third wave were too great.

    If the US Pacific carriers were all accounted for (either sunk at Pearl or seen at anchor in San Diego), the Japanese could have re-armed the first wave aircraft for another attack and launched right away without losing time searching for the Carriers.

    The third wave as advocated by Genda would have targeted the fuel tanks, repair shops, sub base and the cruisers destroyers at Pearl {5 out of 8 cruisers 26 of 29 destryers were undamaged following the second wave}

    What would have been the result?
     
  2. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    It is my opinion that with heavyer losses, that IJN might of taken out the oil tanks and the repair yards that they so crucially missed.
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    If I remember right the first attacks resulted in a 10% loss of Japanese aircraft. A third wave, if netted the same result would of brought more damage but more losses - as high as 25%. IMO that third wave would of had to produce some commanding results.
     
  4. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I believe that they should have gone for a third wave. The IJN had the advantage and should have made the most of it.

    The USA would have been ready but had precious little to be ready with and the lhe losses moderate.
     
  5. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    I think they should have done it.
     
  6. Arsenal VG-33

    Arsenal VG-33 Member

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    I think the Japanese could have succeeded in hitting the remaining vital facilities that were missed during the first 2 raids, but with heavier losses. By the time the 2nd wave arrived, there were already several US aircraft in the air putting up a fight. I think therefore it's safe to assume that a 3rd wave would have encountered perhaps even more airworthy US planes and AA fire.

    Also keep in mind that the US Pacific fleet not yet in port had by then been alerted, which was one of the fears of the Japanese admiral in command. There was the distinct possibility that a USN ship, either surface or submarine, or even a US patrol aircraft, could have spotted them and alerted the rest of the fleet.

    They could have launched the 3rd wave, but they would be tempting fate if they did by remaining in the area waiting for their planes to return from the raid.
     
  7. The Basket

    The Basket Well-Known Member

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    On the one hand...yes.
    They launched an attack and they should have seen it through.

    But they would have had heavier losses...and lost the element of surprise.

    The war was just beginning and it was not going to be won or lost at Pearl. So they were right to break off and fight another day.

    Although in hindsight, the carriers were sunk at Midway so they should have continued the attack. Maybe the motto is that when you're winning...keep at it.
     
  8. Konigstiger205

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    Well in any surprise attack in case you don't wipe out completely your enemy, sooner or later the surprise element is going to disappear...
     
  9. fly boy

    fly boy Member

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    japan could have done a third bombing but that would mean about a hour of reloading and refuling and the US carriers could have found them i think that had they done another strike the war would be longer in the pasific and Eurpoe
     
  10. fly boy

    fly boy Member

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    becuase the japanese planed to bomb dry docks and oil plants
     
  11. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The war in the pacific would have ended exactly on time due to the US receiving a fleet carrier every month beginning in middle 1943, and of course, the atomic bomb in 1945.

    As for knocking out pearl harbor as a shipyard? Forget it. Not enough aircraft and payload to do the trick. Damage it, nothing else. The US would have repaired everything and restocked the oil farms by spring 1942.

    As for losses, losing 20 plus aircrews in the 3rd strike, would bring their one day losses to the equivelant of one whole carrier air group. Not an auspicious way to start the war.
     
  12. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    If the Japanese were able to take out the fuel oil reserves, a third wave would have been worth 50% losses at that stage of the war...
    The US would have been hamstrung for months

    .
     
  13. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    If the Japanese had launched a third wave, and taken out the fuel farm,
    the submarine base with its shops, and a lot of other targets they missed,
    their losses would have been 25 - 35 percent. By then the element of
    surprise was lost. The US would have recovered, but it would have taken
    longer. We may not have been able to save some of the battleships if they
    had been plastered again.

    Charles
     
  14. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    The US would have found enough tankers to get to Pearl and provide enough bunker and avgas to keep the war machine humming. After all, Hawaii isnt that far from the US.

    As for fuel for the battleships? They werent going to sortie anytime soon so its a non issue.

    50% losses? That would have a drastic impact on Japans capabilities. Thats almost like losing 1/2 of your carriers.

    And remember one thing..... the Japanese did not have enough dive bombers and torpedo bombers (used in a level bomber mode) to hit every important target hard enough to destroy it.

    The dive bombers only carried a 500 pound bomb. Hardly enough to cause extreme damage. The level bombers did not bomb individually, but as a group dropping on the "leader". Dropping 5 bombs on a single target would be devestating, but that technique in itself limits the number of targets.
     
  15. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    The IJN could have launched a third wave and probably should have. They could have done a lot of damage to the fuel storage tanks and some repair facilities and probably to a few more ships. The US carriers were too far away to have made successful attacks on Nagumo even if they could have located them. However, Nagumo's losses to triple A and fighters would have been heavy. I can't recall the exact numbers but his losses during the second wave attack were heavier than during the first wave and the Japanese pilots were quoted as saying they were surprised at how fast the defenses at PH reacted. With heavier air crew losses Nagumos's force would not have been as effective later. That was the problem the Japanese faced during the whole war. Finite numbers of men and materiel versus practically an enemy with unlimited resources. A clear case of letting the alligator mouth overload the aspirin ass. Yammamoto tried to tell his superiors that.
     
  16. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    Sure the Japanese could have launched a third wave. And they would have paid a price to take out the dry docks, ship repair facilities and oil storage. It would have caused the US Navy more headaches in the short term but the ultimate result would be the same. Japan sealed their fate by attacking PH in the first place. Yammamoto said he would run wild in the Pacific for 6-12 months, after that he could guarantee nothing. The big gamble by the Japanese turned out to be a very bad bet.

    TO
     
  17. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I dont think they could have (okay yes it could have succeded some what) for these reasons:

    a. They simply would not have because they did not know where the Carriers where.

    b. The element of surprise was lost.
     
  18. joy17782

    joy17782 Member

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    Adler is right . Once surprize is not on your side then whats the point. The loses would have been great in trained crews . Look what happen too them at midway , they lost alot of aircrews they could,nt make up . and oil tanks ,well at that time we were the oil produceing capital of the world . uh thats one of the reasons they attacked us, drydocks well it would have ham string us but too what piont the lost of 35 too 40 aircrews that they couldnt replace , no they did the right thing. take what you can and get them the next time .There people on top knew they could never defeat us .
     
  19. freebird

    freebird Active Member

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    Adler I prefaced the question with "if they had located the carriers", (either in Pearl or known to be in San Diego). I agree with you that the fact they didn't find them historically was a huge part of Nagumo's decision. They made a big mistake by not having a way for their spies to get the message to Nagumo, and time the strike accordingly.

    As for surprise, they certainly would take higher casualties, but they results would have been well worth it i think, even if they had lost 50 or 60 craft. I also said "if they had launched right away", so that the first wave returning at 10 am is turned around and re-launched quickly before the second wave returns at noon. Because they waited until all planes were back, + another couple of hours looking for the carriers they lost the chance.

    Besides the commonly cited "oil tanks" I think that sinking the destroyer fleet would also have been a huge blow to the US, they only had about 100 modern destroyers, so losing 29 at Pearl would be tough.

    Couple of questions for the experts...

    How long would it take a IJN carrier crew to re-arm refuel 20 bombers 10 fighters? {on each of 6 carriers}

    Does anybody have a breakdown of the 29 Japanese planes lost, how many Zero's, Val's Kate's?

    If they did launch a third wave, could they use the Kate's for level bombing instead of torpedos, would that reduce the effects of flak?

    {They would be attacking Dd CL ships installations without armour, unlike the Battleships which were only minimally damaged by bombs due to heavy deck armour}
     
  20. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    9 Zeroes, 15 Vals and 5 Kates I believe.

    TO
     
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