Forum: General Commentary
Topic: Why oil fields not attacked?
started by: bschry
Posted by bschry on May 27 2001,10:03Looking at the Map of Pearl, the oil supply depo would have been a very obvious target. Yet ive never heard mention of it being destroyed. If thats so, how could they have been overlooked by the Japanese in the attack?
Posted by David Aiken on May 28 2001,9:49Aloha bschry,
Remember to use your real name in your signature block so we may know you better.
The oil fields would have been a great target for a third strike. However, ANY smoke covered the targets of the first and second waves...the USS Arizona obscured the rest of Battleship Row from the other high-level bombers.
I corresponded with the (now late) leader of the five Soryu high-level bombers who intended to bomb USS Nevada. They circled over Battleship Row THREE times with the smoke blocking their view each time and they finally dropped on their third trek at 0830, the final bombs dropped in the harbor in the first wave.
Thus the oil tanks were NOT a target in the two waves, only the intended targets were attacked...the ships.
Posted by akudjinn on Jul. 12 2001,6:29I need to check my sources on this but in addition to what David said I understand the oil tanks and repair facilities were on the target lest for the planned third strike.
Posted by Larry Jewell on Jul. 12 2001,7:54
The plan is online at
< Japanese Monograph No. 97 >
1. The Operation of the Air Attack Forces
The force will be 700 nautical miles due north of point Z (set at the western extremity of the Island of Lanai) at 0600 hours X-1 Day and advance on a course of 180 degrees from 0700 hours X-1 Day at an increased speed of 24 knots.
Air attacks will be carried out by launching the first attack units 230 nautical miles due north of Z point at 0130 hours X Day, and the second attack unit at 200 nautical miles due north of Z point at 0245 hours.
After the launching of the second attack units is completed, the task force will withdraw northward at a speed of about 24 knots. The first attack units are scheduled to return between 0530 and 0600 hours and the second attack units are scheduled to return between 0645 and 0715 hours.
Immediately after the return of the first and second attack units, preparations for the next attack will be completed. At this time, carrier attack planes capable of carrying torpedoes will be armed with such as long as the supply lasts.
. General outline.
If the destruction of enemy land-based air strength progresses favorably, repeated attacks will be made immediately and thus decisive results will be achieved.
In the event that a powerful enemy surface fleet appears, it will be attacked.
Now I've always said that there was no second attack planned, but reviewing this it appears I'm wrong. However, all torpedo planes' and dive bombers' targets were to be combatants. The infrastructure wasn't targeted per se.