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Topic: Fleet unit preparedness questions, Action/response ability of  us warships< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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krzyzstof Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 02 2004,12:46  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have read that although the battleships of the Pacific fleet were forward deployed to Hawaii in the event of a Japanese attack on in the Western Pacific, say the Phillipeans; they woulld not have been ready to sorte for quite some time. My questions are which units at the time where most ready?  Do we know which ships and crews were considered the best or most proficient or effective? Which vessels were the most modern? (not the newest as I can see dates for launching etc...but in terms of fire control, AAA, most reliable machinery, things like that). Were any of the major surface combatants (BB's, Ca's) in a position to attempt use radar in the event of a ship to ship "big gun" engagement? Over all; with the threat of Nazi Germany deemed the more serious, were the ships of the Atlantic fleet in a higher state of readiness? Did they get the better of the available equipment?
               Thanx, Chris
                                        Chris
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 03 2004,8:10 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha Chris!
If you are looking at "fastest out" then the destroyers win; several  were able to exit the harbor before the attack was over. However, they lacked the range to cruise to the philippines and attack on their own; they weould have gone as part of a larger force. Which groups were more proficient I cannot say.

"Most modern" would be hard to effectively state as ships were in overhaul. Pennsylvania had a radar and Tennessee did not; yet Tennessee's machinery was newer.  Likewise, the destroyer Ward had received a new Sonar set that other destroyers lacked, and she had been built in 1918! I think you could state that "XX ship had the best capacity to do X mission" somewhat well, but you couldn't state which was the most modern.

As far as radar goes, several ships at Pearl were fitted with XCAM (you can see a list here) but these were not tied into the gun directors and I'm not sure how much they would have helped with the actual aiming of the guns.

The Atlantic fleet was at a higher state of readiness in many respects as they were already involved in an undeclared war with the U-boats. One destroyer had already been sunk and two others damaged by December 7th.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 04 2004,2:54 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Aloha 'oe! Tracy,
                 I did see at another site a listing of which vessels had radars but I could'nt tell which ones were what type or how long they had them or if they had ever been utillized in group exercises. I now that things were done much different in that era, so I have no idea how vessels were judged ready for combat servive. Today's carrier battle groups and air wings work up until they are ready for deployment. Would the various warships of that time have done similar things? They must've done the "E" awards, or something like that back then, maybe that would tell me something. I'm not really looking for weak sisters in the fleet. Just trying to understand a little of how things were. Certainly Britain favored HMS Hood, did we also have a "favorite son" among the battle wagons? I saw that Arizona was in a movie, and New Mexico was the Flag ship prior to Pennsylvannia. What made these ships special if anything?
Sort of on a related question; would you know where I might find anything about the Fleet Problem exercise they held in the 20's, 30's, and 1940? or similar Army-Navy maneuvers?
Again I'd like to know more about how they looked at the potential problems and issue. I've read a little on the Color Plans, but that is too vague, little true strategy, and nothing tactical what so ever in them.
Maybe asking too much from so long ago.
Thanks again for your help.
 O wau no me ka mahalo,
                                 Chris
(PS hope my attempt at Hawaiian is not too bad)
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 05 2004,3:09 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Chris, your hawaiian looks fine to a haole like me!
Ho brah, you speak pidgin?  :D

Naval Historical Center has a PDF article on the fleet problems that should help a bit. It is carrier-centric but it should provide some background information.

Generally the units were building up and practicing new tactics before the war started but I am not sure yet of the progression; this is something I am trying to learn however. Many of the ships that came over from the Atlantic had to become proficient in the tactics that prevailed in the Pacific; in theatre with different conditions and a different enemy than the Atlantic. Additionally, the ranks were swelling with new sailors and called-up reserves and so a lot of training was needed in general constantly to help integrate these newer sailors and ships into the fleet.

I'm not sure about "favorite sons" in the fleet; finding pre-war sailors is a lot harder and I haven't found any yet for some of my questions. Arizona was a well-known ship here and there; she'd carried President Hoover on a vacation and had starred in the movie "Here comes the Navy" that you alluded to.

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