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Topic: A third Japanese airstrike?, Should the Japanese have launched it?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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johnbryan Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 01 2008,8:25  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would categorically say "yes."  Nagumo had enough wherewithal for one last airstrike on Pearl Harbor, before having to retire for refueling.  Granted, the US opposition would be several times greater than the first two strikes, both from fighter plane opposition and from anti aircraft fire, but the Japanese could have caused much greater damage, not only to the ships in the harbor, but to the oil and gasoline storage tanks in and around the harbor. It was a major missed opportunity.
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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 02 2008,3:24 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha John,
Among the many and assorted problems, which Nagumo weighed for his decision to cancel a further strike, came from his RDF men. They reported over 50 "talking" aircraft which gave full indication of the hornet's nest that his flyers would meet.
HTH,


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 03 2008,3:03 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Not knowing exactly where the American Carriers were must have weighed heavily on Nagumo's decision.  He understood that he was in charge of a major p[art of the Japanese naval force and knew that hostilities wee just starting.

My only opinion about a third wave would have been to put together a small airwing and basically commit them to a suicide mission. They would launch knowing that the battle force would have turned and made way for Japan.  What the level of sucess would have been is hard to estimate considering that the Americans would be on the lookout for another attack wave.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2008,9:09 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That seems to be a major failing on the part of the Japanese that repeated itself throughout the entire war.  Other than Yamamoto, few Japanese Admirals had a gambler's mindset and temperment.  They could have easily crushed the US Marine invasion of Guadalcanal at its outset, immediately following the Battle of Savo Island.  Once the covering screen of US and Australian Heavy Cruisers had been destroyed,  there was nothing preventing the Japanese Cruisers and destroyers from sinking all of the US transports and supply ships anchored offshore.

Edited by johnbryan on Nov. 07 2008,9:13
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David Aiken Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 07 2008,11:00 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha John,
Each monday morning, the coaches and quarterbacks do the same thing...to look back. But on game day, all is not seen in the midst of the cheering crowds.

Ahhh, that the charm of history, to look back and muse.
Cheers,
David
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 08 2008,2:56 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(David Aiken @ Nov. 07 2008,9:00)
QUOTE
Aloha John,
Each monday morning, the coaches and quarterbacks do the same thing...to look back. But on game day, all is not seen in the midst of the cheering crowds.

Ahhh, that the charm of history, to look back and muse.
Cheers,
David

All too true, although the Japanese leadership seemed to be far too locked into static battle plan scenerios, at the crucial moments when the ability to freely make snap decisions could bear them such incredibly rich fruit with a minimum of losses.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 09 2008,7:55 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi all,

I must chime in here...I agree with the hindsight is 20/20.

I believe the attack to actually be a failure in tactics upon the Japanese.  They only sunk a bunch of old Battleships and damaged a couple of destroyers.  While this was probably effective in the Japanese thought that the US Navy was "Battleship Minded", the attack should have been focused on the fuel/ammo supplies, the repair docks, and the submarine base (US subs sank over 200 Japanese ships) .  At the very least, the Pacific Fleet would have had to pull back to the West Coast and given Japan another 3000 mile cushion.  While the attack was a military planning success, all the Japanese force did was give America a rally cry, and a demand of unconditional surrender.
JB
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 01 2009,4:24 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

After some serious research, I have changed my opinion about a Japanese Third Wave Attack on Pearl Harbor:


Military theorists have surmized that it would have taken several additional attacks, rather than just a third attack to destroy the oil storage farms, harbor workshops and facilites for several reasons. Once the second Japanese attack wave returned to their carriers, The US military would now be on high alert and every effort being made to bring every piece of anti-aircraft artillery and every surviving aircraft into full, battle readiness. A third Japanese attack wave would have run into a veritable buzz saw of defensive fire at having to contend with easily twice as much AAA gunfire and close to 60 locked and loaded US fighterplanes waiting at high altitude and not helplessly squatting on the ground as during the first two attacks.

The very act of hitting those oil tanks is not an easy task as evidenced by what happened at Ploesti in 1943. While B-24's flying at low levels hit a number of the oil tanks, they by no means hit anywhere near all or even half of them, as the burning tanks shrouded many more of them with smoke.

This same task at Pearl Harbor would have been made all the more difficult by the amount of defensive anti aircraft fire being thrown up, not to mention the effects of US fighterplane attacks, throwing off the Japanese bomber's aim. Also, Number 6 bunker fuel has the consistancy of liquid ashphalt and is very difficult to light on fire. Only a direct bomb hit would bring it alight. Also, there were other oil tank farms on the other side of Honolulu for the Japanese to contend with and they would most likely miss them, leaving the ability to refuel US Navy unimpaired.

While the IJN suffered only 29 aircraft lost at Pearl Harbor, 74 other aircraft suffered battle damage, many of them requiring considerable time in the aircraft carrier hangar workshops to fully repair them. It is safe to say that a third Japanese air attack against a now fully alerted and armed Pearl Harbor would easily suffer twice as many losses of aircraft and their irreplaceable flight crews as the first two attack waves earlier that morning.

Lastly, not only was Nagumo running low on fuel, but he also had to worry about the location of those 3 missing US aircraft carriers, not to mention, dozens of US submarines that would doubtlessly be heading in his direction, north of Oahu."  I believe that a third attack would have been counterproductive.
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