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Subject: Halsey Acted Stupidly
jastayme3    10/30/2007 2:43:41 AM
"Your conclusions were all wrong, Ryan. Halsey acted stupidly."-Hunt for Red October Well Ramius was not quite correct. Halsey was quite adept at the sort of "naval blitzkriegs" that marked the last stage of the Pacific War. But on the most famous occasion he did act stupidly. At Leyte Gulf. This is not just 20/20 hindsight. Arleigh Burke guessed at the time that Ozawa was bait. However Halsey's mistake was not in attacking Ozawa. Even knowing that Ozawa was bait he should have done so. However the battleships should have been left behind to cover the invasion force. Halsey had more then enough to handle both goals but failed to practice proper economy of force. The reason Halsey was right to attack Ozawa was that even if the Japanese succeeded, if the carriers were gone they had only gained a respite. But if the carriers remained the Japanese might have time to recover their air power enough to hold their own. If the Philipines fell to the Americans then the IJN effectively did not exist. Therefore it was at least equally important to guard the invasion force. Something like this: If invasion checked but carriers gone, Japan obtains useless lull If carriers available but invasion successful IJN is finished. A navy is just as dead from lack of fuel and with more loss of face. If carriers survive and invasion checked then comes lull, with small possibility of Japan temporarily regaining initiative. And if carriers destroyed and invasion successful, then the rest of the war is large-scale "mopping up"(an odd phrase for Okinawa but in the staffie sense it is pretty much true-albeit it is one big "mop-up". This is indeed pretty close to what happend. But the frightful "near-run thing" could have been made assured with proper force budgeting. And finally when the infamous, "the world wonders" message arrived Halsey turned back, out of pique apparently. It was to late to effect the battle. So he would be better off getting a good pursuit in. And indeed if he had, history might have been less resentful.
 
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Tancred    herald and various   7/2/2009 1:50:35 PM
A couple of things and lets see where it goes.
 
Thanks for mentioning MacArthur who conducted a mainly daft defence of the Phillipines.
 
I think you are overestimating the potential US defence capability. Admittedly both Kimmel and Short maximised the potential for disaster but.
 
Richardson was fired for proposing to put the fleet on rotation to defend Pearl and pointing out that a fleet defending its base is not a deterrent - which translates at Mr President you are being stupid - never goes down well - so some culpability rests with those that failed to listen to Richardson and adopted a deployment strategy that was a failure to begin with. Would have been hard for Kimmel to do what Richardson was fired for proposing UNTIL he had the war warning.
 
US Air OOB was somthing like 107 P40, 40 P36, 21 F4F and 8 F2,  not sure how many serviceable and have excluded P26 and Dauntless which were used air to air in an emergency. Say 175 a/c
 

 

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 1st September 1940

  • Blenheim - 57
  • Spitfire - 208
  • Hurricane - 405
  • Defiant - 24
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 701
 which gives Short maybe 1/4 the a/c Fighter command had - and no GCI and warning system and fighter command did not have defend the whole of the UK. It had to defend the routes from the known German airfields to the UK, defending against a carrier attack on a small island is harder. I think that means that his best option  is standing patrols of possibly a dozen a/c at a time.
 
Which is probably better than nothing and with a sensible dispersal means something between decimation and obliteration of wave 2 of the attack.
 
I think the first IJN wargame - which assumed the US had a warning result in 50% losses of the attacking force, that may have included the ships but they were willing to take it if the USN was in port and I suspect is a fair representation of the losses the IJN could have expected if Short had done his job properly.
 
If there is one major lesson from the US wargames in the 30's its that  you can launch a suprise airstrike on Pearl and noone did anything about it.
 
 
 
 
 
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Herald12345       7/2/2009 3:21:18 PM

A couple of things and lets see where it goes.

Okay.

Thanks for mentioning MacArthur who conducted a mainly daft defence of the Phillipines.

I think you are overestimating the potential US defence capability. Admittedly both Kimmel and Short maximised the potential for disaster but.
 
Am I?
 

Richardson was fired for proposing to put the fleet on rotation to defend Pearl and pointing out that a fleet defending its base is not a deterrent - which translates at Mr President you are being stupid - never goes down well - so some culpability rests with those that failed to listen to Richardson and adopted a deployment strategy that was a failure to begin with. Would have been hard for Kimmel to do what Richardson was fired for proposing UNTIL he had the war warning.

There are potential bureaucratic tricks you can use to rotate a fleet even in peacetime. Gunnery drills and ctuising formation training for example.  These can be scheduled as TRAINING.
 
US Air OOB was somthing like 107 P40, 40 P36, 21 F4F and 8 F2,  not sure how many serviceable and have excluded P26 and Dauntless which were used air to air in an emergency. Say 175 a/c

These numbers are fairly accurate. 

 
Your BoB numbers are severely off.
 

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 1st September 1940


  • Blenheim - 57

  • Spitfire - 208

  • Hurricane - 405

  • Defiant - 24

  • Gladiator - 7

  • Total - 701

 which gives Short maybe 1/4 the a/c Fighter command had - and no GCI and warning system and fighter command did not have defend the whole of the UK. It had to defend the routes from the known German airfields to the UK, defending against a carrier attack on a small island is harder. I think that means that his best option  is standing patrols of possibly a dozen a/c at a time.

 It gives Short roughly 1/3 to 1/2 of the fighter strength that Dowding had. if you look at the REAL numbers. 
 
Short  had no GCI because we were just equipping with the SCR-70s and working out doctrine. There is a BIG problem for you though........
 
 
Let me quote what ships were so fitted with the air search radars and FIGHTER DIRECTOR facilities, most which were at PEARL HARBOR..

U.S. Navy Shipboard Radars -- CXAM

In October 1939, following the successful testing of the experimental XAF radar and several months of educating private company personnel in radar technology, the Navy contracted with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) for six production versions of the XAF. Deliveries began in May 1940, and during the summer these were installed on a half-dozen warships: the battleship California, aircraft carrier Yorktown, and heavy cruisers Pensacola, Northampton, Chester and Quote    Reply

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