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Sending two Kongo class BBs to bombard an island airfield hardly signifies a change on BB doctrine; more so a solution to two BBs idle in theater with no carrier task force to escort.

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20 minutes ago, Ken Estes said:

Sending two Kongo class BBs to bombard an island airfield hardly signifies a change on BB doctrine; more so a solution to two BBs idle in theater with no carrier task force to escort.

You'd asked why I thought the loss of Hiei and Kirishima more productive than the use/loss of other IJN battleships.  They were lost while attempting to bombard Henderson Field, a switch in tactics (not 'BB doctrine') that put great pressure on the USN by forcing it into two night combat actions to prevent bombardments.   The ships and battles were lost, but the pressure on the Americans, (and the danger of Lee's defeat in the 2nd battle) was real.  The US Navy was not flush with night surface action groups after 1st Guadalcanal, and could ill afford the loss of its 2 best battleships.  Yet, this was the outcome in the offering had IJN torpedo salvos been better aimed.

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Surely you understand the interrelationship of doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures? But maybe you have no experience with the evolution of doctrine?

OTOH, maybe you are a clueless wanderer across the pages of naval history. I doubt that you will find much material on the IJN use of BBs in shore bombardment, nor of shore bombardment in general.

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On 7/20/2021 at 7:47 AM, RichTO90 said:

You haven't gotten to the Tina-borne IJN SNLF Paratroop Surf Ninjas taking out the "unoccupied" fire control stations and the "tunnel" from Honolulu to Kaneohe yet I guess?

I just got to the part where robdab admits to getting the value of Pi wrong! This is kitsap gold

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45 minutes ago, Ken Estes said:

Surely you understand the interrelationship of doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures? But maybe you have no experience with the evolution of doctrine?

OTOH, maybe you are a clueless wanderer across the pages of naval history. I doubt that you will find much material on the IJN use of BBs in shore bombardment, nor of shore bombardment in general.

Hiei and Kirishima were lost in Iron Bottom Sound attempting shore bombardment missions.   The US Navy fought two battles to prevent these bombardments from occurring after the experience of the first one.    

In terms of IJN battleship doctrine, my recollection is that there was a distinction drawn between the employment of the battlecruisers and the battleships.   The battleships were to be held in reserve for the decisive naval clash, which would entail a final battle between the USN and IJN battle lines.  The four battlecruisers had a cross-over role.  Not only would they join the battle line for the decisive clash, but before that they would also participate in the preliminary attritional actions of the lighter forces, (2nd and 3rd Fleet) against the enemy fleet.  When Yamamoto orders the 3rd Bat Division to do the bombardment of Henderson, of all the battleships in the IJN, they'd be the ones naturally given the task.  (When Yamamoto threatened to use Yamato if 3rd BAT balked at the task, that would have been non-doctrinal.

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26 minutes ago, Sardaukar said:

Considering relationship between IJN and IJA, shore bombardment had very little room in IJN doctrine or training. 

I've read articles here and there over the years.  From memory, before the order was given to bombard Henderson Field I don't think the IJN had paid that much attention to such a mission, and I doubt they had any doctrine for it.  But the order was given and what the IJN did possess was superbly trained crews and artillery experts with well equipped forces.  These officers then proceeded to create a doctrine for the bombardment.  At Truk they tested AP shells against steel matting to see how well these would rip up the runway, (the Japanese falsely believed that Henderson had steel matting or concrete for the runways).  They also concluded that the Type III Incendiary shells would be highly effective against parked aircraft and gasoline dumps, especially in conjunction with HE.

Because it would be done at night from long range, (I recall either 21,000 or 29,000 yards firing range depending on source), the IJN concluded that special support would be required, in the form of an observation post, observation aircraft, and a series of carefully placed lights on shore to allow the battleships to calculate the range and bearing to target.

The first test of this doctrine invented on the fly went quite well, except that the AP (the majority of ammunition fired) was not effective because the target was soft mud, not what they hoped it would be.   Most of the damage was achieved with the Type III incendiary submunitions working in conjunction with the HE.

Edited by glenn239
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On 7/22/2021 at 2:26 PM, Sardaukar said:

Considering relationship between IJN and IJA, shore bombardment had very little room in IJN doctrine or training. 

 

+1, a relationship of contempt, bordering on hatred.

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11 hours ago, Nobu said:

+1, a relationship of contempt, bordering on hatred.

That fits. In the 'successful' bombardment by two Kongos in October, there was a JA spotter plane aloft to spot for their 150mm guns, but the IJN relied on fires set by early salvos to provide aiming points. As quoted, the main airfield was back in action in a day or two and the fighter strips remained active the next morning.

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One thing about original topic about PH oil tanks. I did read that IJN carriers might not have had enough ordnance to accomplish destruction of oil tanks after hitting the ships.

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Destroying the oil tanks might otherwise interrupt the USN from crossing the Pacific for the decisive showdown the IJN had planned for. Heaven forbid :D

I am beginning to see why Oahu was not invaded on December 7, 1941. It was smart of Japan not to. 

Edited by Nobu
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49 minutes ago, Nobu said:

Destroying the oil tanks might otherwise interrupt the USN from crossing the Pacific for the decisive showdown the IJN had planned for.

I am beginning to see why Oahu was not invaded on December 7, 1941. It was smart of Japan not to. 

Simple question. How? The Navy fuel facilities consisted of 57 tanks, one of them underground, in four different areas, all protected by berms and fire-fighting foam plants/pumps.

Then there were the commercial fuel facilities. As early as 1923, there were commercial facilities on Oahu for 390,000 barrels of fuel oil, 81,000 barrels of gasoline, and 48,000 barrels of diesel and lubricating oils.

Then there were the War Department facilities.

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The fuel facilities could have consisted of a single, easily destroyed shed, and they would have likely been safe from IJN attack. The question is, why would it?

Obscuring the second-wave's capital ship targets with millions of gallons of fuel going up in smoke, and the possibility of giving cooler USN heads an excuse not to travel across the Pacific for The Day for a lack of fuel, were probably not on the IJN's agenda for December 7, 1941. Nor should they have been.

The difficulty in destroying the USN's capacity to fuel itself would have been well known to the IJN, given the years they had to analyze it.

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1 hour ago, Nobu said:

The fuel facilities could have consisted of a single, easily destroyed shed, and they would have likely been safe from IJN attack. The question is, why would it?

Okay, I see what you were saying now. I thought you were saying destroying the tanks would have been an easy task. Teach me to post before I have my first cup of coffee.

Quote

Obscuring the second-wave's capital ship targets with millions of gallons of fuel going up in smoke, and the possibility of giving cooler USN heads an excuse not to travel across the Pacific for The Day for a lack of fuel, were probably not on the IJN's agenda for December 7, 1941. Nor should they have been.

The difficulty in destroying the USN's capacity to fuel itself would have been well known to the IJN, given the years they had to analyze it.

Indeed. The absence of any real thought given to striking harbor infrastructure other than airfields tends to indicate what the Japanese thought they had a reasonable chance of damaging/reducing U.S. capability.

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On 7/23/2021 at 7:30 AM, Ken Estes said:

Spotting aircraft for shore bombardment? Who wudda thunk it.........?

Spotting aircraft were SOP for IJN battleship doctrine, so their use during the bombardment would be routine. 

In reading a couple sources, the other doctrinal innovation that was adapted before the attack was the range of 19,000 yards for the bombardment.  This was because tests at Truk had determined that a 25 degree impact angle was optimal for shell effectiveness. 

Edited by glenn239
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On 7/24/2021 at 3:34 PM, Nobu said:

The fuel facilities could have consisted of a single, easily destroyed shed, and they would have likely been safe from IJN attack. The question is, why would it?

Cavite Naval Station on Luzon was destroyed on December 10th in what was clearly a high-priority raid.  At Pearl Harbor, no such targeting.  The difference between the two was that the Japanese were landing on Luzon and Cavite was the most important local USN base, so bombing it would disrupt US Navy operations, (in particular, submarine operations).  Whereas at Pearl Harbor, the IJN had no intention of conducting major fleet operations in those waters, so not targeting naval facilities there would have no impact on IJN operations .

Quote

Obscuring the second-wave's capital ship targets with millions of gallons of fuel going up in smoke, and the possibility of giving cooler USN heads an excuse not to travel across the Pacific for The Day for a lack of fuel, were probably not on the IJN's agenda for December 7, 1941. Nor should they have been.

The mission was to prevent the US Navy from interfering in the Southern Drive, so the only possibility of the tanks being targeted might be if Nagumo got to Hawaii and the US fleet was absent from Pearl Harbor.

Edited by glenn239
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On 7/24/2021 at 10:24 PM, RichTO90 said:

Okay, I see what you were saying now. I thought you were saying destroying the tanks would have been an easy task. Teach me to post before I have my first cup of coffee.

Indeed. The absence of any real thought given to striking harbor infrastructure other than airfields tends to indicate what the Japanese thought they had a reasonable chance of damaging/reducing U.S. capability.

 

On 7/24/2021 at 8:34 PM, Nobu said:

The fuel facilities could have consisted of a single, easily destroyed shed, and they would have likely been safe from IJN attack. The question is, why would it?

Obscuring the second-wave's capital ship targets with millions of gallons of fuel going up in smoke, and the possibility of giving cooler USN heads an excuse not to travel across the Pacific for The Day for a lack of fuel, were probably not on the IJN's agenda for December 7, 1941. Nor should they have been.

The difficulty in destroying the USN's capacity to fuel itself would have been well known to the IJN, given the years they had to analyze it.

Would it be fair to suggest that a similar lack of attention to logistics, is also what contributed to not using the submarine force halfway effectively against the US West Coast?

Isnt it kind of strange that a navy, obviously hampered by poor supply of fuel, pays so little attention to the American logistics? Has big battleititis so infect the IJN, it just didnt occur to them?

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6 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Would it be fair to suggest that a similar lack of attention to logistics, is also what contributed to not using the submarine force halfway effectively against the US West Coast?

Isnt it kind of strange that a navy, obviously hampered by poor supply of fuel, pays so little attention to the American logistics? Has big battleititis so infect the IJN, it just didnt occur to them?

 

Part of the Pearl Harbor attack plan was a large deployment of 6th Fleet assets in the Hawaiian Islands, to the tune of 21 submarines prowling the waters around Oahu.   The results of this offensive were paltry and highly disappointing to Combined Fleet - one fleet oiler sunk, one aircraft carrier damaged.   They were paying attention to US logistics and they were heavily deployed in waters well trafficked by US warships and supply vessels.  But the results were not good.

The US submarine fleet in 1942 also made a poor return on investment.  The response was in part to purge pre-war officers of command and hand boats to aggressive officers.  Did the IJN have the same problem with pre-war submarine officers and tactics?     Had the German U-boat arm somehow managed to deploy 21 boats to Oahu in December 1941, I would bet from the results of Drumbeat that the results would have been a far higher return on investment.  

Edited by glenn239
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16 hours ago, glenn239 said:

Cavite Naval Station on Luzon was destroyed on December 10th in what was clearly a high-priority raid.  At Pearl Harbor, no such targeting.  The difference between the two was that the Japanese were landing on Luzon and Cavite was the most important local USN base, so bombing it would disrupt US Navy operations, (in particular, submarine operations).  Whereas at Pearl Harbor, the IJN had no intention of conducting major fleet operations in those waters, so not targeting naval facilities there would have no impact on IJN operations .

Cavite was also a much older base with buildings dating back to the Spanish days and everything in closer proximity. 

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7 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

 

Would it be fair to suggest that a similar lack of attention to logistics, is also what contributed to not using the submarine force halfway effectively against the US West Coast?

Isnt it kind of strange that a navy, obviously hampered by poor supply of fuel, pays so little attention to the American logistics? Has big battleititis so infect the IJN, it just didnt occur to them?

If the u-boats couldn't do it, surely IJN sub force wouldn't be able to. Too close making to heavy of a home field advantage for a US that pumped out endless destroyers and transports. 

There was a thinking to cut off logistics which was by cutting off Australia from US lines of communication. "Not that it would matter" in 3, 2, 1.

Speaking of subs, a Japanese sub is joining JS Kaga and two other destroyers on a training mission into the Indo-Pacific from August.

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37 minutes ago, Markus Becker said:

Cavite was also a much older base with buildings dating back to the Spanish days and everything in closer proximity. 

Right, but the IJN bombed it because it was a naval base supporting USN operations in the area where the IJN was conducting landing operations.  The same pattern happened again at Port Darwin and Ceylon - the IJN did attack port infrastructure if operations were ongoing and the port in question posed a threat to Japanese invasion transports or shipping.  At Pearl Harbor, there were no major Japanese operations anywhere near Oahu - Wake was the closest and it was a minor invasion.

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