Saipan

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by VBF-13, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Supposing Spruance ran down that retreating Japanese task force. I know why he didn't. Supposing he did. That's the end of the Japanese Navy, right? I think a case can be made for that. That task force was a goner.
     
  2. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    OK, so seeing as how we all accept that, the F6Fs now showing off their dive-bombing talents, we end the War a year earlier. Or, perhaps that's a little optimistic. A lot earlier. I'm talking about the Battle of the Philippine Sea, of course. I just refer to that, sometimes, as Saipan.
     
  3. bob44

    bob44 Member

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    Lets say Spruance did destroy the Japanese fleet at the Battle of the Philippine Sea, would this end the war sooner, I would say no.
    Even after Leyte Gulf, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, B29's bombing Japan, carrier raids on Japan, it still took the ABomb and the threat of the Russians to force a surrender.
     
  4. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    I guess you have me wondering now in what ways if any our strategy would have been different with that fleet our of our way. Again, I think we would have finished it.
     
  5. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Problem was that until the A-bombs ( and 1 year worth of B-29 raids) and the Russians racing through Manchuria everybody (Americans AND Japanese) figures there would be a large scale invasion of the Japanese Home Islands. A very difficult thing to do in the summer of 1944 what with D-Day in France being only a couple of months old. The US didn't have the invasion force (men and units or shipping and landing craft) for such an undertaking in 1944 or even for most of 1945.
     
  6. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    #6 Shinpachi, Nov 29, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
    Though I wrote somewhere, please let me add "Potsdam Declaration" to the above factors as Japanese leaders were unable to surrender without the just cause. They were ready to carry out guerrilla warfares in the homeland like the Vietnamese did in posterity.

    On August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito announced to his people on radio "I let my government accept the joint declaration for the world peace". Without the declaration as an excuse, the war would not have ended so soon.
     
  7. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Aircraft cannot invade and occupy ground. So I fail to see how F6Fs will defeat Japan without USMC and U.S. Army participation.
     
  8. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    We certainly had our hands full in Europe, Short. But just why would you suppose Japan would have required an invasion of those proportions (if I'm hearing you right, a "D-Day")? Wouldn't Japan have rather just been a matter of getting into or about Tokyo Bay? Tokyo was no Berlin. With that fleet out of the way, we could have gone sailing right in there, virtually unopposed, seems to me.
     
  9. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Japan was protected by coastal minefields covered by coast defense guns (to prevent minesweeping) just like Britain, Germany, USA and almost everyplace else of any importance during WWII. Sailing hostile warships into Tokyo Bay would be suicide.
     
  10. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    That's why I said, "into or about." As long as we were adjacent to there, that's close enough. With our forces right off their doorstep, we could have pounded them into submission. No long-range P-51s escorting heavy bombers in required for this job.
     
  11. bob44

    bob44 Member

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    Except for what was left of the Japanese military, including the kamakaze's.
    The Japanese naval power was essentially gone after Leyte. But their land forces were still a pretty good force, including land based aircraft.
     
  12. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Please look at losses in the Okinawa campaign and the estimates of nearly a Million men needed for the invasion force in late 1945 or 1946. Good as the Hellcat was you are expecting an awful lot from it.

    " During the period 26 March-30 April, 20 American ships were sunk and 157 damaged by enemy action." and this with the Kamikazes flying from the Japanese home Islands and Formosa, Thinking you can sail your fleet/s into Tokyo harbor or the inland sea and have things all your own way might result in a very rude awakening.
     
  13. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Like Shinpachi just mentioned, the people of Japan: this includes military, men, women, children...everbody was ready to defend to the death every square inch of Japanese soil.

    The Japanese had been preparing for the invasion, so there were plans backed by ample equipment standing by for home defense.

    Without the Emperor's orders to stand down, it was going to be a blood-bath...even if the Imperial Japanese Navy only possessed a solitary rowboat.
     
  14. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    The Kamikazes were their most potent ace in the hole, there's no question about it, but I'd be wondering whether there would be a way around those, not having had to deal with their fleet, and with good scouting for incoming bunches, so as to head those off early with our fighters. If we could keep those away, we could bring Tokyo to its knees, it would seem to me. Forget about the chain islands and Formosa. Get those Kamikazes while they're in the air. Have the scouts out there to pick them up and enable us to intercept them early while we're assaulting Tokyo. They had escorts shepherding them in and didn't know what they were doing until they got through. They'd have been easy targets, catching them early, having no fighter-capacity to speak of. And I do think being able to put that kind of unrelenting pressure on Tokyo would have ended it for them. The question is, could we have? If we could keep the Kamikazes off our backs, I'd say, yeah, it seems so.
     
  15. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    UH, Tokyo wasn't the only major city in Japan. This strategy would be like the Allies hammering Berlin while ignoring the oil plants, the Ruhr industrial region and other industrial centers and expecting Germany to collapse just from the damage done to Berlin.
     
  16. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that the Japanese resolve was rock solid even after the fire bombing of Tokyo. With a million inhabitants displaced and well over 100,000 killed, the Japanese were still determined to meet any invasion on the shore with extreme prejudice. From military hardware to sharpened bamboo sticks, they were not going to allow anyone to survive...you could darken the skies with Hellcats all day long and in the end, it would come down to the poor bastards wading ashore and facing these people down on thier own terms.

    It would not have ended well...
     
  17. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, and that was the night of March 9/10 1945, over 16 square miles of the city burned in just one night and that 100,000 dead figure is also for just the one night.

    780px-Tokyo_1945-3-10-1.jpg

    That is one heck of a lot of Hellcat bombing runs.
     
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  18. VBF-13

    VBF-13 Well-Known Member

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    Just as a matter of clarity, I was using the Hellcats to finish off the fleet. I didn't suggest they'd be single-handedly taking on the city.
     
  19. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't matter, it's still a lot of SB2C or TBD runs. And you still have to deal with ALL the other Japanese cities.
     
  20. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    You have the benefit of hindsight.

    In mid 1945 this was not the view of many senior US commanders. A plan with much support, still not abandoned by the time the Interim Committee tendered its report on the use of the atomic bomb on the 1st June ('45), was rather to strangle Japan with a ring of bases and intensive bombardment.
    Combined with a tight naval blockade, such a course would, many believed, produce the same results as an invasion and at far less cost in lives. "I was unable to see any justification," Admiral Leahy later wrote, "for an invasion of an already thoroughly defeated Japan. I feared the cost would be enormous in both lives and treasure." Admiral King and other senior naval officers agreed. To them it had always seemed, in King's words, "that the defeat of Japan could be accomplished by sea and air power alone, without the necessity of actual invasion of the Japanese home islands by ground troops."

    The plans for the invasion of the Japanese home islands called for an assault against Kyushu (OLYMPIC) on the 1st November 1945, and against Honshu (CORONET) five months later. Though the Joint Chiefs had accepted the invasion concept as the basis for preparations, and had issued a directive for the Kyushu assault on the 25th of May, it was well understood that the final decision was yet to be made.

    MacArthur was the main proponent of an invasion. Reliance upon bombing alone, MacArthur asserted, was still an unproved formula for success, as was evidenced by the bomber offensive against Germany. The seizure of a ring of bases around Japan would disperse Allied forces even more than they already were, and if an attempt was made to seize positions on the China coast might very well lead to long and drawn out operations on the Asian mainland. He was correct about the bombing and at this time Soviet intentions on mainland Asia were not clear.

    It was General Marshall who presented the plan for the invasion at a meeting at the White House on the 19th of June. He carried the meeting with him, though both Admirals Leahy and King later stated that they did not favour the plan.

    Trumann agreed the following program.

    1. Air bombardment and blockade of Japan from bases in Okinawa, Iwo Jima, the Marianas, and the Philippines.
    2. Assault of Kyushu on 1 November 1945, and intensification of blockade and air bombardment.
    3. Invasion of the industrial heart of Japan through the Tokyo Plain in central Honshu, tentative target date 1 March 1946.

    Of course this was all rendered irrelevant by the success of the Trinity test a month later and the decision to use the weaponised version of the device against Japan

    These were the views and decisions taken by the men in power at the time and without the benefit of nearly seventy years of hindsight.

    Cheers

    Steve
     
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