The Atlantic Fleet in the Pacific after Pearl..

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by ChuckW, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. ChuckW

    ChuckW New Member

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    I'd like to throw this to the group:

    What might have happened if after Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt 'gave in to' a "Japan First!" faction and ordered the Atlantic Fleet ( via the Panama Canal ) to join up with the remnants of the Pacific Fleet and ".. Take the fight to the Japanese Homeland.." via Midway and the Philippines?
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Since the Yorktown and Hornet were sent to the Pacific right away, that only leaves one carrier to send there. The Wasp. It would be an interesting scenario to see the Wasp join in at Coral Sea or Midway.

    For the Battleships, having them available at the start of the numerous surface engaements around Guadalcanal in Aug 1942, might have forced the IJN into comitting more of their BB's into the fight at a sooner date.

    The impact in the ETO would have been minimal. I dont think Operation Torch would have been delayed because of the lack of an American carrier or battleship.
     
  3. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I think the carrier support was required for Operation Torch, not so much the battleship support. The carrier aviation provided an excellent service in the defence of the landing forces. I believe the air battles have been described in great detail by R.Leonard somewhere on the site.
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I wonder what would have changed the near term course of the war. Having the wasp at Coral Sea might have meant the damaging of the IJN carriers in which they dont play a role at guadalcanal untill late 1942. Or the addition of the Wasp to the Battle of Midway where it might have put up enough air cover to protect the Yorktown from damage.

    I dont think the Torch landings would have been held up because the Wasp wasnt available. The allies might have lost some ships, but not enough to stop the invasion.
     
  5. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    I wouldn't be too keen on an amphibious landing without some kind of air support. And I think most Generals would agree with me. Unopposed the Vichy air force would have done a lot of damage to the invasion flotilla. True enough it might have gone through anyway but the losses suffered could have easily been avoided with air support.
     
  6. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    ...plus the secondary backup via BB coastal bombardments. The avaiability of US BB in the north cape in 42 and 43 resulted in more tactical possibilities for the covering task forces also. Torch would have been possible also. However, the effect of air bombardements (Casablanca 42!) against harbours would have been even more serious than it already was. That are no good news.
     
  7. MP-Willow

    MP-Willow Member

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    The Atlantic fleet moving would have given the German U-boats a great target. That said I am not shure any of the long rage boats would have been ready but if a battle group is moving throught the cannal that is a very tempting target. As shown in the USN wargames before the war and IJN plans to disable the cannal.

    As for more ships in the PTO, we still were trying to get organized, to have more might have helped in the Coral Sea, but it would have been better if we could have been better at night actions. ;)
     
  8. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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  9. MP-Willow

    MP-Willow Member

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    NO, I did not know that, but overall the night was not our friend. Even when the P-61 was deployed, maybe that is why we now seem to covet the night so much.

    Plan_D I love your pic of the GAU_8A, where did you find it? ;)
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Actually, once we had a good radar, we did not fear the night.
     
  11. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Actually, once we had a good radar, we did not fear the night.
     
  12. plan_D

    plan_D Active Member

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    On that ...there...thin-ter-net.
     
  13. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    One thing which should frighten USN was the good torpedo quality of the japanese in comparison with the exceptional worse of US ones...
    But You are right, Radar helps a lot for nightbattles.
     
  14. MP-Willow

    MP-Willow Member

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    true, the USN seemed to have enemic and skidish torps. I would not want to be in one of the subs fiering duds then getting depth chared for it. Not plesant! :(
     
  15. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Whats amazing is the sub fleet identified and fixed by themselves the three main flaws of the torpedo. And they had to do it themselves AFTER repeatedly asking the Beaureu of Ordinance the problems they had.

    It is not a good story for the USN about this, nd the only good coming from it is its a case study for the Army, Air Force and Navy to pay attention to the soldiers in the field about reported weapons problems.

    But there was another problem with the US sub force (and surface fleet)..... many ships were skippered by cautious peacetime indoctrinated officers who sometimes were more concerned about losing their ship than fighting a battle. Not cowardice, but simple overcaution. More than one sub skipper was removed early in the war because they refused to take acceptable risks.
     
  16. delcyros

    delcyros Well-Known Member

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    The german navy faced similar problems with its early torpedos with magnetic pistols. During the Norway campaign approx. 70-85% were duds. All torpedos were fitted with those new magnetic pistols. This was an exceptional worse performance during a critical time. The heavy KM units saved the day for the subs but for some unpleasent losses ( 10 DD, half of the KM destroyer fleet.). It should be noted that two submarines patrolled the harbour and intercepted the RN fleet (destroyer + BB Warspite) but all of the 6 fired torpedos were duds! Even the second attack (4 torpedos on Warspite) after the RN force sunk the KM destroyers failed due to torpedo duds.
    This resulted in the complete removal of magnetic pistols until late 1941 when improved (and reliable) magnetic pistols became avaiable. I suspect that the USN faced similar problems, somehow.
    Eventually the US succeeded in improved torpedos by mid 43, but in this timeframe they still were average at best.
     
  17. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Active Member

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    If USS Wasp was deployed in the Pacific instead of in the Atlantic, its quite possible that Malta could of been lost, and with it one of the most sucessful bastions of British resistance in the Mediterranean.

    When HMS Eagle lost her steering gear in April, Wasp was able to step in and more than fill the slot, delivering some 106 Spitfires in two operations, compared to the 30 or so that Eagle delivered in 3 operations. Without these deliveries, Malta couldn't of mounted an effective fighter defence (some 600 Axis aircraft were lost between March and December 1942 over Malta), and probably would of been subject to an invasion from Sicily. Even as it was, the Spitfires were hard pressed and outnumbered by the Luftwaffe and Reggia Aeronautica.
     
  18. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    i think we are overdoing the importance of Radar during the second war it definitely saved the Brits bacon in the BoB but these were fixed positions and easily surveyed and a new weapon but radar was primitive with no electronic enhancements that discriminated between moving and stationary objects I'm quite sure that they were labour intensive and power draining on the electric systems on a/c.

    And a question for Lanc what cooled the water that was used to cool the H2S Radar in the lanc?
     
  19. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Ummmm........... you cant be joking are you?

    :shock:

    Note - PPI radars were invented during the second world war and used in many applications.
     
  20. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    No I quite serious PPI is one thing keeping it up and running in top shape would be a full time job for a new and developing secret technology that was called RDF they had radar but fairly basic with few bells or whistles probably nothing to remove clutter or preciptation each system would have its own oddities as for training competent operators it was more then likely a learn as you use. At the same point in time they were still unable to construct what we would consider good radios
     
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