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Should the IJN have fought on in 43'?
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Admiral Duncan

 
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The Guadalcanal battles were horrendously expensive in ships and men to the IJN, and with little surviving naval aviation they withdrew the bulk of their forces to build up for 1944. They came back much stronger but by then the disparity was absoloutely massive and they were crushed.

The Guadalcanal battles had been equally brutal for the USN, and while their war production was kicking in it hadn't in early 43' provided the massive amounts of ships and planes we see in 44/45.

So should the Japanese have thrown everything they had into the battle for the Soloman islands after February 1943 while they still held bases like Rabaul?

I'm not saying they could have won, but surely they would have done much better than at the Phillipinnes and Leyte Gulf.
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PostWed Feb 12, 2014 12:50 pm
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The biggest problem in 1943 was that the IJN lost the bulk of it's merchant and tanker ships to USN submarines.  They had oil in the East Dutch Indies, but couldn't get it to the home land where it was needed.  The raw materials for the IJN war machine dried up, and to make matters worse the IJN and the Japanese army cut each others throats for the remaining resources.
PostWed Feb 12, 2014 3:35 pm
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nimitstexan

 

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They should have fought in 1942.

The IJN intentionally withhold the Nagatos and Yamato from the slot as too slow and too expensive (and they were needed for the "Decisive Battle"). But can you imagine the effect they could have had, instead of the Kongos in the November battles? The Japanese would have had a chance of fighting convoys through had they gone all in.

Would it ultimately have changed the war? Probably not; but it would have given the IJN a better return on investment than waiting till 1944-1945, when the US had overwhelming airpower everywhere, to finally commit their battleships
PostSun Jul 13, 2014 3:01 am
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Admiral Duncan

 
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That's a very good point. Yamato v Washington/Sodak would have been interesting.
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PostSat Jul 26, 2014 3:11 pm
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Agreed. I've played a lot of games based around the Solomons battles and if you introduce the Yamato especially, the allies just don't have a response.
PostSun Jul 27, 2014 1:11 am
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There would have been several problems with using the Nagato or Yamato in the Guadalcanal naval battles:
First, there were no HE shells for the Yamato's nine 18.1 guns.  Second, the Yamato and Nagato were slower than the Kongo class BCs.  This means that they would Not have been able to dash in from out of range of Henderson Field's aircraft, fight a night-time sea-battle, then get back away before sunrise.  These larger BBs would have had to endure air attacks from the Cactus Airforce.  Remember what happened to the IJN Hiei when it was damaged and could not get out of range b4 dawn.  Yamato & Nagato would have had to endure that.
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PostSun Jul 27, 2014 5:36 pm
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There would have been several problems with using the Nagato or Yamato in the Guadalcanal naval battles:
First, there were no HE shells for the Yamato's nine 18.1 guns.
Second, the Yamato and Nagato were slower than the Kongo class BCs.  This means that they would Not have been able to dash in from out of range of Henderson Field's aircraft, fight a night-time sea-battle, then get back away before sunrise.  These larger BBs would have had to endure air attacks from the Cactus Airforce.  Remember what happened to the IJN Hiei when it was damaged and could not get out of range b4 dawn.  Yamato & Nagato would have had to endure that.
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PostSun Jul 27, 2014 5:36 pm
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Had not heard about the lack of 18" HE before. That would admittedly have made them useless for bombardment.

That said, the Yamato had a top speed of around 27-28 knots;  that would have been fast enough to minimize exposure to Henderson's planes. Also considering  how well Yamato and Musashi resisted damage at Philippine sea, I doubt the  Henderson SBD's would have made much impact.
PostTue Aug 26, 2014 4:49 pm
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nimitstexan wrote:
They should have fought in 1942.


I completely agree.  The IJN was doctrinally slaved to the Plan Orange ideal of a decisive battle around the Philippines.  What they failed to realize was there was an opportunity for a decisive battle around Guadalcanal, and failed to have their prize fighters in the right place at the right time.  "Fortune favors the Bold", "He who does not risk cannot win" etc.  In my opinion, the IJN blew their chance in 1942.  They had to win before America's industrial might could be brought to bear, and didn't keep the pedal down.
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PostTue Aug 26, 2014 5:49 pm
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Very interesting thread. I knew that in early '42 the japanese were busy in the Indian Ocean and other south-west Pacific places, yet never thought much about late-'42, and why their "big boys" were not busy.

Reading this, and with what I have read before ... yes, a Yamato @ the battle for Guadalcanal would have had a huge impact. Remember, Navy Aircraft Carriers already were not staying anywhere near Guadalcanal for fear of what could come sink them, the Yamato would have scared them even more.
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PostTue Aug 26, 2014 10:26 pm
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Imagine if Yamato, Musashi, Nagato, Ise, Hyuga etc all get committed to the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.  The US fleet probably loses outright.  The USN/USMC did not enjoy dominating air superiority in the early stages and could have been handed a major defeat, particularly in the night battles.  The USN would have been forced to face incredibly tall odds (they didn't know about any IJN shortage of HE shells) or abandon the Marines to certain defeat without resupply.  While that alone may not have won the war, it would have been a huge set back for the Americans.
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PostWed Aug 27, 2014 2:57 am
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Vet good chance in that situation that Australia would have been left high and dry.
PostWed Aug 27, 2014 3:17 am
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Keep in mind that if the Japanese were moving large numbers of BBs into the Guadalcanal area, US intelligence would have picked it up.  The USA had 7 prewar BBs that had been fitted with radar.  Also there were several newer BBs.  If the Japanese had moved large numbers of their BBs to Guadalcanal, these 9+ US BBs could have intercepted them just as US CVs intercepted the Midway attack force.  
It would have been an interesting battle... Cool
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PostThu Aug 28, 2014 1:33 am
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When the Yamato and Musashi were targeted and sunk in 44-45, the US committed literally hundreds of planes to each, and it took that many to sink them. The Cactus air force in 42 had nowhere near this capability, doubly-so as the bulk of their attach planes were SBD's instead of Avengers. SBD's could have damaged Yamato/Musashi, but not sunk them. It took ~ 10+ torps per ship (best if on 1 side) to sink them.

Even if the IJN BB;s had no HE shells, the sheer power of 18" shells would have devastated Henderson field. A few nights of shelling, and they would not have had to worry at all about US air hitting them back.
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PostThu Aug 28, 2014 2:02 am
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Stealth7 wrote:
When the Yamato and Musashi were targeted and sunk in 44-45, the US committed literally hundreds of planes to each, and it took that many to sink them. The Cactus air force in 42 had nowhere near this capability, doubly-so as the bulk of their attach planes were SBD's instead of Avengers. SBD's could have damaged Yamato/Musashi, but not sunk them. It took ~ 10+ torps per ship (best if on 1 side) to sink them.

Even if the IJN BB;s had no HE shells, the sheer power of 18" shells would have devastated Henderson field. A few nights of shelling, and they would not have had to worry at all about US air hitting them back.

The problem with AP shells here is that they are designed to beat heavy armor. They would dig very deep into the coral sand, and not do much damage. That is if they would blow up at all. These softer island ground might not have even enough resistance to detonate a shell in the first place. Without HE shells knocking out an airfield and its planes would be extremely tough.

Also, even if Cactus air force was not even remotely close to the attack that killed ether of those giants, it still could have killed Yamato. Her 6 inch turrets were extremely vulnerable, and a lucky hit could easily detonate a 6 inch magazine, which would blow the bottom out of the ship. A fire in Yamato's after 6 inch turret could not be put out in her sinking, and would have sunk her eventually even if the torpedoes had not of. Never discount Murphy's Law.

Overall, I do not think that Yamato showing up in place of Hiei in the first battle or Kirishima in the second battle would have made a difference. Yamato would have like taken some torpedoes that the smaller Hiei would have avoided. She would have survived the 8 inch hit that crippled Hiei, but her input into the battle would have been minor. Without HE shells, her guns would have just shot right through the US ships. She would have survived very likely, but would have been out for months. In the second battle, to be honest, Washington would probably of sunk her. The same set up would have happened, but Washington would of just hit the larger target more, and likely fired more broadsides. At that range, even Yamato's armor could not withstand what the Washington would have been hitting her with. In the end, I do not think Japan could of come up a winner in ether of the battles, it was just a mauling fest in which the fleets chewed each other up. If Japan wanted to win, they would of needed to win one of the carrier battles much more decisively.
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PostThu Aug 28, 2014 3:04 am
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Both America and Japan moved their battleship forces as far forward as they could but neither side had the ability to keep their BB task forces fueled in addition to the ships already committed. Remember that this was a shoestring operation at the extreme end of the supply train for both sides.
PostSun Mar 15, 2015 7:12 pm
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war at sea 4

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OIL; OIL; OIL;

Just finished reading an article on that; Japan by the 4th quarter of 1942 was receiving about 215,000 tons a month to refine, the IJN'S consumption was 300,000 tons a month.
  The oil fields of the Dutch East Indies were going to take allot more time to reach pre war production.
  The bombardment of Henderson field on OCT.13-14 by Haruna and Kongo a four day operation cost them 4000 tons 1.5% of the months usage. They also showed a great example of fuel usage
  The Hatsuharu class DD carried 500 tons of fuel
at 15 knots it used 1.25 tons an hour  400 hrs operation time
at 34 knots it used 16.67 tons an hour  30 hrs operation time  Combat operations cost about 13 times more on average consumption.
  The battle of Midway alone had cost the IJN more fuel than it had used in any peacetime year before the war.
   Its not that the IJN was afraid to use it, they just had to do it wisely
 Do the math of 10 DD's going down the slot a night even at 15 knots
PostMon Mar 30, 2015 4:20 am
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I've heard (on Forumini I think) that oil was the chief reason the USN lead the way with the carrier Taskforces early in the war, the Battleline just used to much fuel to effectively maintain the offensive.
PostMon Mar 30, 2015 7:27 am
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war at sea 4

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Flakstruk wrote:
I've heard (on Forumini I think) that oil was the chief reason the USN lead the way with the carrier Taskforces early in the war, the Battleline just used to much fuel to effectively maintain the offensive.


 This is true; early in the war the US had the oil, it did not have the delivery capacity until mid to late 43.

  Nimitz could use either the carriers or the BB's not both on long range offensive operations
PostMon Mar 30, 2015 9:44 am
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war at sea 4 wrote:
OIL; OIL; OIL;

Just finished reading an article on that; Japan by the 4th quarter of 1942 was receiving about 215,000 tons a month to refine, the IJN'S consumption was 300,000 tons a month.
  The oil fields of the Dutch East Indies were going to take allot more time to reach pre war production.
  The bombardment of Henderson field on OCT.13-14 by Haruna and Kongo a four day operation cost them 4000 tons 1.5% of the months usage. They also showed a great example of fuel usage
  The Hatsuharu class DD carried 500 tons of fuel
at 15 knots it used 1.25 tons an hour  400 hrs operation time
at 34 knots it used 16.67 tons an hour  30 hrs operation time  Combat operations cost about 13 times more on average consumption.
  The battle of Midway alone had cost the IJN more fuel than it had used in any peacetime year before the war.
   Its not that the IJN was afraid to use it, they just had to do it wisely
 Do the math of 10 DD's going down the slot a night even at 15 knots
Fuel consumption is still one of the most important limitations in military campaigns, including obviously the Afghanistan one. There is a huge push at the moment towards energy efficiency in the Defense sector. In the past it was about value for money at the point of purchase, but now it is about energy consumption.


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