Author Topic: Pearl Harbor day special ...  (Read 2839 times)

Offline Baruch

Pearl Harbor day special ...
« on: December 08, 2018, 12:22:30 AM »
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US may not always start wars or even lead them, but we do finish them.

The 4th Japanese carrier commander, in the still frame, his ship was the last to go down, and he chose to go down with it.
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2018, 11:53:31 AM »
Japan started and lost a war they could not win and knew they could not win on that day.  Mind-boggling really.
The Christian church, in its attitude toward science, shows the mind of a more or less enlightened man of the Thirteenth Century. It no longer believes that the earth is flat, but it is still convinced that prayer can cure after medicine fails.

-- H. L. Mencken

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2018, 12:56:19 PM »
The IJA didn't care about concerns others had about the war, they wanted to conquer China. To do this they needed oil. The 26 February 1936 revolt by junior officers showed that the Army was in control of Japan. It got them nuked and serves as a reminder of what happens when the military takes control of a country.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Baruch

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2018, 01:02:41 PM »
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Japan started and lost a war they could not win and knew they could not win on that day.  Mind-boggling really.

Hitler was a gambler too.  Gamblers sometimes have winning streaks, that make them think they are infallible ;-(  The first thing that fails in war, is the current plan.  Events always overtakes it.

Japan began with war in Manchuria in 1931 with the Blackwater style Kwangtung Army.  Originally Japan was allied with Britain, and China was allied with Germany.  Until the weakness of China and strength of Japan convinced Germany to betray China in favor of Japan.  At that point, support for China shifted to the British Empire and the US (with out Blackwater style Flying Tigers).  This was a fatal mistake of many, by Japan and Germany.  Japan was never a loyal ally to Germany, they simply wanted Germany to distract the British, French and Dutch Empires in Asia.  This "strike south" strategy came about when the "strike north" strategy proved disastrous in N Manchuria, when the Kwangtung Army encroached on the Mongolian allies of the Soviet Union, and General Zhukov soundly defeated them, in 1939.  So with Japan, they had a "double down" gambler strategy ... if the stakes are high enough and your resources are great enough, even if you are losing (and they were stalemated in China from 1940) you simply throw in more resources into more places.  Germany also followed the "double down" gambler strategy.  When Churchill refused to negotiate, Hitler was forced to prematurely attack the Soviet Union.  Stalin also intended to betray Germany, but wasn't as ready (thanks to Stalin's purge of his entire officer corp).

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Japan is peculiarly successful on their home islands, but peculiar failures outside of it.  Germany has a similar history.  One being isolated by sea, the other by forest.  Each step, in a near sighted way, made sense at the time, to each player.  But few could see the big picture.  Hitler thought he could, better than anyone.  The only person he was afraid of was Churchill (he despised America).

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Hitler's generals knew they couldn't win, by the time they lost at Stalingrad (1943).  They had given the invasion of the Soviet Union two good years of total warfare, and Stalin was no closer to surrendering.  Hitler never studied Napoleon.  Thus the German generals became increasingly dangerous to the Nazi regime.  Even someone as personally loyal as Rommel.  But they could all see that Hitler was going down hill physically and mentally.  The allies cancelled a planned assassination of Hitler for late 1944, because by then, they figured that Hitler was a bigger liability than an asset to Germany.

Those funny Japanese, don't make them lose face or they can't eat!

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« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 02:36:24 PM by Baruch »
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Baruch

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2018, 01:07:20 PM »
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The IJA didn't care about concerns others had about the war, they wanted to conquer China. To do this they needed oil. The 26 February 1936 revolt by junior officers showed that the Army was in control of Japan. It got them nuked and serves as a reminder of what happens when the military takes control of a country.

Correct, the Japanese Army and Navy hated each other.  This was very helpful to the Allies.  The Royal Airforce was separate from the Royal Army, this was very helpful for the defense of Britain.  If the Japanese military had been properly unified (and the Emperor not a puppet) then they could have played a much better game of Go.  The US solved this just in time by founding the Pentagon on 9/11/1941 ... but it wasn't fully operational by 12/7/1941 ... or we might have played a better game of poker.  Dischordant government is fatal all thru history.  Not sure it is just a problem with military dictatorships.  The US has been under the control of the MIC since 1941 ... see a problem with that General Ike?
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2018, 01:34:58 PM »
Japan lacked the industrial base to compete with the US.  Yamamoto, who had traveled extensively in the US while stationed in Washington knew this better than anyone.  He famously commented that he could handle the US Navy for a year but after that made no promises. 

Congress, not always asleep at the switch, had begun naval expansion in 1938 and then again with a massive influx in 1940.  We did not have to design ships from the keel up.  We simply had to build more of what was already underway.  I forget where I read it but someone once observed that if the Japs had sunk every ship in the Pacific on Dec. 7 and lost none of their own by the Summer of 1943 we would have still outweighed them in every category with more modern vessels.  Japanese naval construction during the course of the war was pathetic.  Of course, they had not planned for a long war.  Pearl Harbor was supposed to be the decisive blow.  It wasn't.
The Christian church, in its attitude toward science, shows the mind of a more or less enlightened man of the Thirteenth Century. It no longer believes that the earth is flat, but it is still convinced that prayer can cure after medicine fails.

-- H. L. Mencken

Offline Baruch

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2018, 01:42:10 PM »
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Japan lacked the industrial base to compete with the US.  Yamamoto, who had traveled extensively in the US while stationed in Washington knew this better than anyone.  He famously commented that he could handle the US Navy for a year but after that made no promises. 

Congress, not always asleep at the switch, had begun naval expansion in 1938 and then again with a massive influx in 1940.  We did not have to design ships from the keel up.  We simply had to build more of what was already underway.  I forget where I read it but someone once observed that if the Japs had sunk every ship in the Pacific on Dec. 7 and lost none of their own by the Summer of 1943 we would have still outweighed them in every category with more modern vessels.  Japanese naval construction during the course of the war was pathetic.  Of course, they had not planned for a long war.  Pearl Harbor was supposed to be the decisive blow.  It wasn't.

Correct, but Admiral Yamamoto wasn't at the head of the Government, Gen Tojo was (Army).

Most Naval combat was by aviation, but there were some famous ship-to-ship fights (early, and the Allies lost off of Guadacanal).  Whenever a conventional ship went up against competent aviation, they always lost.  The British lost two battleships to Japanese aircraft, off of Singapore, in 1941 for no good reason.  Churchill was a better strategist than a tactician.  The destruction of the Yamato is the most legendary for Japanese people.  The gun crews (Japanese marines) were sitting ducks to our 50 calibers.  Musashi (sister ship of Yamato) had already been sunk by aviation when the Japanese tried to defend the Philippines.  And then they sent the Yamato on a suicide mission to defend Okinawa.  Each case a total waste of good men.  This is similar to the notion that tank advances without adequate infantry is suicide long term.

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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2018, 01:45:00 PM »
I seem to recall hearing that Japan tried to build ships that were really big and invincible in order to make up for the numerical superiority of the U.S. - but obviously that didn't work.
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"An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature's answer."
Max Planck, Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers (1949)

Offline Baruch

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2018, 02:00:40 PM »
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I seem to recall hearing that Japan tried to build ships that were really big and invincible in order to make up for the numerical superiority of the U.S. - but obviously that didn't work.

It was an older 1930s strategy, that was being overtaken by the carrier men.  Same thing happened in the US.  Early on the US had to court martial Gen Billy Mitchell, to get him to shut up.  It was all about how many battleships you had in the 1920s.  Admirals too, are always fighting the last war.  Gen Mitchell actually predicted the attack on Pearl Harbor, just the way it happened.  But nobody believed him until 12/8/1941.

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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2018, 02:20:31 PM »
Quote
Correct, but Admiral Yamamoto wasn't at the head of the Government, Gen Tojo was (Army).

Technically, Yamamoto wasn't even in command of the Navy.  Nagano was Chief of the General Staff and Shimada was the Naval Minister.  Tojo, who certainly lacked Yamamoto's insight into the enemy, did not become Prime Minister until Prince Konoye resigned in October of 1941 and by then the plans for the attack were well advanced.

Roosevelt's oil embargo had worked too well.  But he did not reckon on the peculiar nature of the Japanese.  While more rational people might have had second thoughts about starting a modern war without the fuel to make it go the Japanese reaction was "we better strike while we still can." 

And then, of course, even Yamamoto had blinders when it came to battleships.  Instead of destroying the fuel depots and base facilities which might have made Pearl Harbor useless as a forward base they concentrated on a bunch of obsolete battleships when the carriers weren't in port.  Of course that is what the British had done at Taranto but even they did some damage to shore installations.  To put it bluntly, Japan fucked itself from the word "go."

The Christian church, in its attitude toward science, shows the mind of a more or less enlightened man of the Thirteenth Century. It no longer believes that the earth is flat, but it is still convinced that prayer can cure after medicine fails.

-- H. L. Mencken

Offline Baruch

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2018, 02:21:34 PM »
A quick summary of German history, in two versions, for Germanophiles.

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login - less detail

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login - more detail on the early period.

« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 02:28:56 PM by Baruch »
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline Baruch

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2018, 02:35:29 PM »
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Technically, Yamamoto wasn't even in command of the Navy.  Nagano was Chief of the General Staff and Shimada was the Naval Minister.  Tojo, who certainly lacked Yamamoto's insight into the enemy, did not become Prime Minister until Prince Konoye resigned in October of 1941 and by then the plans for the attack were well advanced.

Roosevelt's oil embargo had worked too well.  But he did not reckon on the peculiar nature of the Japanese.  While more rational people might have had second thoughts about starting a modern war without the fuel to make it go the Japanese reaction was "we better strike while we still can." 

And then, of course, even Yamamoto had blinders when it came to battleships.  Instead of destroying the fuel depots and base facilities which might have made Pearl Harbor useless as a forward base they concentrated on a bunch of obsolete battleships when the carriers weren't in port.  Of course that is what the British had done at Taranto but even they did some damage to shore installations.  To put it bluntly, Japan fucked itself from the word "go."

Taranto was a pure opportunity ambush.  Thanks to Ultra.  Of course without breaking the Japanese codes, we would have lost at Midway.  It was a very close thing.  Remember, a nation is country designed by a committee ... kind of like the camel vs a horse.

The West totally underestimated the Japanese from the 1890s until the 1940s.  Ultimately it was the US Navy that made itself vulnerable, by advancing the Fleet from San Diego to Honolulu ... in Summer 1940.  They expected the strike against Luzon, and that did happen, but the same day as Pearl Harbor.  And McArthur was as unprepared as the leaders on Hawaii.  And nobody expected the Japanese to be so damaging.
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luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2018, 03:45:00 PM »
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And then, of course, even Yamamoto had blinders when it came to battleships.  Instead of destroying the fuel depots and base facilities which might have made Pearl Harbor useless as a forward base they concentrated on a bunch of obsolete battleships when the carriers weren't in port.  Of course that is what the British had done at Taranto but even they did some damage to shore installations.  To put it bluntly, Japan fucked itself from the word "go."


The IJN didn't have the gear to destroy nearly 100 oil tanks. The tanks were surrounded by berms, a total failure of the tank would cause a puddle that would have been pumped into other tanks. The tanks has false tops, you couldn't tell which ones had fuel in them. The tanks also had floating tops, these kept air out of  contact with the fuel. And the fuel, Bunker B, had to be heated to burn. The IJN used their bombs on ships, not infrastructure. The Zeke's had 20mm cannons, but the shells had "quick firing fuzes" to explode against aluminum airframes. The tanks had walls 1/2 inch thick at the top tapering to 1.5 inches at the bottom. The fighters' guns wouldn't mar that stuff too much, leave alone penetrate it.

And, if every tank had been destroyed the underground storage at Rose Hill would have been in action in June, '42. Tankers would have filled in until then. Alan Zimm calculated that 9 tankers would refill or replace all the tanks in 30 days, or 3 tankers in 90 days.

And, of course, getting the pseudo-samurai pilots to attack "junk" just wasn't going to happen.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2018, 04:57:51 PM »
Quote
And, of course, getting the pseudo-samurai pilots to attack "junk" just wasn't going to happen.


Which of course was the biggest problem, G/S.  That and the fact that of the first wave 50 Nakajimas were carrying 1,760 pound AP bombs and the other 40 Nakajimas were carrying modified torpedoes to operate in the shallow waters of Pearl.   They had trained extensively to attack the battleships and carriers even to differentiating between ships moored to landward as opposed to seaward.  As you say, with that level of training they weren't after "junk" they were after warships.

American pilots, OTOH, seemed to love starting fires!

The Christian church, in its attitude toward science, shows the mind of a more or less enlightened man of the Thirteenth Century. It no longer believes that the earth is flat, but it is still convinced that prayer can cure after medicine fails.

-- H. L. Mencken

Re: Pearl Harbor day special ...
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2018, 05:47:41 PM »
They did sink the demilitarized Utah, a target ship. She is the "other battleship" that was sunk and not refloated after the raid. The IJN pilots showed the usual lack of discipline during the attack. They put EIGHT or NINE* torpedoes into ONE battleship. The result of that was there were no torpedoes available to attack Nevada as she dashed for the sea.

And yes, that was a bad idea. She had to ground on Hospital Point because so many bombs had hit her. The pilots apparently wanted to "sink her in the channel and bottle up the fleet", which was absurd. Nevada was ~600 long and the channel was ~1,000 feet wide. Even perpendicular to the shores she would leave about 200 feet on either end for passage. PLUS there were 14 dredges in the harbor then, so make a path around her for the biggests ships wouldn't have taken long.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

 

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