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R S Pierre

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Re: R S Pierre
Post by ldwechsler   » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:43 pm

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kzt wrote:Yes, and the USN had spent the last 10 years planning to fight a war with Japan. With elaborate plans in great detail about how they were going to do this, without actually bothering to learn anything about Japan or the the Japanese Navy.

Sound like a scene out of series you might have heard of?



Actually it was really Japan that spent the time preparing for war. They cheated on the naval agreements limiting size and number of ships. They made sure they had English speakers. And they had a disaster.

They were far better prepared than the US for war but had no way of keeping up with US production and weapons development. Another example of limits. They only built a tiny number of new aircraft carriers and even created hybrid carrier/battleships because they needed decks.

They knew they needed to change but were not able to.

There were people in the US who knew about the Japanese and their developments...another link to the RFC books and they became more valuable throughout the war.

Keep in mind that the US had gone out of its way to keep out the Japanese before the war. There were so few Japanese outside of Hawaii and California that the language could not spread. Add to the fact that it was not taught in schools and is very different from English, it is not surprising that there were problems.

Had the Japanese Code of Bushido not demanded death before surrender, the US would have had problems dealing with a lot of Japanese prisoners.

However, note that despite the fact we were also fighting a major war in Europe, we won in the Pacific in less than four years.
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Re: R S Pierre
Post by Jonathan_S   » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:01 pm

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saber964 wrote:
kzt wrote:You should look at how fast things get done in a real war. Look at the USN of 1938 and the USN of 1943. And the USN as a whole in 1940 had barely any idea what the Japanese were doing, what their fleet consisted, or was capable of doing. And the USN of 1940 and most of 1941 most certainly had a peacetime attitude.



That was mostly because of the lack of people who could read and speak Japanese. In late 1941 the U.S. Navy had a grand total of 55 men who could read and speak Japanese in the ONI, it was slightly worse for the U.S. Army at 47. There was a terrible lack of up to date information in the Pacific region in general. I remember reading that USS Wahoo did a war patrol to New Guinea with a ten year old map taken from a National Geographic magazine and a children's encyclopedia. Outside of missionaries and a few academics how many people visited places like the Carolina Island or Solomon Islands. IIRC the total number of non-Japanese Japanese speakers was less than 400 in the U.S. The British was better but not by much.

As told in George Grider's memoir War Fish, of his time in USN subs in WWII (he served on the Wahoo and IIRC was her XO at the time of this mission) they got radioed to divert off their planned patrol to inspect a harbor at Wewak is New Guinea. The official navy charts didn't have any such place labeled - so they found it on an school altas book one of the crew had bought on leave in Australia. But they "just" used that to find the right bit of coastline on the official navy chart (then used the ship's camera to enlarge that for a better view of the harbor).

I think the navy might have had detailed charts of it, but because the USS Wahoo wasn't expected to divert there when she left on patrol there would have been no reason to include harbor charts of that stretch of New Guinea coastline (and it wasn't an important enough port to be labeled on the wide area general chart she did carry)


Still that doesn't negate your larger point that the US War Department was critically short of Japanese speakers or that much of the seas being fought in didn't have anything like up to date surveys.

kzt wrote:Yes, and the USN had spent the last 10 years planning to fight a war with Japan. With elaborate plans in great detail about how they were going to do this, without actually bothering to learn anything about Japan or the the Japanese Navy.

Sound like a scene out of series you might have heard of?
At least the USN had wargamed Plan Orange enough to realize that the early 30s expectations of a direct lunge to reinforce the Philipeans were a dangerous fantasy. (Though I'm not sure the Army really knew or believed the Navy didn't plan to get there for at least (IIRC) 8 months)
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Re: R S Pierre
Post by tonyz   » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:25 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:(Though I'm not sure the Army really knew or believed the Navy didn't plan to get there for at least (IIRC) 8 months)


The Army did know, though as you say belief is another issue. The Chief of Staff who signed off on the the plan was one Douglas MacArthur. Miller's book WAR PLAN ORANGE has the details.
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Re: R S Pierre
Post by kzt   » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:40 pm

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tonyz wrote:The Army did know, though as you say belief is another issue. The Chief of Staff who signed off on the the plan was one Douglas MacArthur. Miller's book WAR PLAN ORANGE has the details.

In terms of military skill and leadership, Dugout Doug had quite the PR machine.
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Re: R S Pierre
Post by ldwechsler   » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:37 pm

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kzt wrote:
tonyz wrote:The Army did know, though as you say belief is another issue. The Chief of Staff who signed off on the the plan was one Douglas MacArthur. Miller's book WAR PLAN ORANGE has the details.

In terms of military skill and leadership, Dugout Doug had quite the PR machine.



He also had the brains. He was kept away from the center of things during WWII. He knew it and used PR to stay more involved. Planning tended to be very good.

Yes, he messed up in Korea. He had been a very good "ruler" of Japan...surprisingly liberal. But he was unprepared for the North Korean invasion and then mousetrapped by the Chinese intervention. But once he got going, he was pretty damn good.
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Re: R S Pierre
Post by robert132   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:27 pm

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ldwechsler wrote:
However, note that despite the fact we were also fighting a major war in Europe, we won in the Pacific in less than four years.


Also note that BOTH theaters early on became wars of attrition, Germany being out-built by both the US and USSR and to a lesser extent the British Empire and Japan being out built by the US mostly.

Because our means of production of both raw materials and finished weapons remained intact and out of reach (mostly) while both Germany's and Japan's were under near constant attack, even without technical advances the outcome was certain, only the amount of time necessary was in question.

The items that required the longest time to build, heavy warships, had mostly started building in the US in 1937 through 1940. Yorktown and Essex class carriers, 3 classes of fast battleships (10 ships with 2 more started after war began) as well as light and heavy cruisers.
****

Just my opinion of course and probably not worth the paper it's not written on.
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Re: R S Pierre
Post by ldwechsler   » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:08 pm

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robert132 wrote:
ldwechsler wrote:
However, note that despite the fact we were also fighting a major war in Europe, we won in the Pacific in less than four years.


Also note that BOTH theaters early on became wars of attrition, Germany being out-built by both the US and USSR and to a lesser extent the British Empire and Japan being out built by the US mostly.

Because our means of production of both raw materials and finished weapons remained intact and out of reach (mostly) while both Germany's and Japan's were under near constant attack, even without technical advances the outcome was certain, only the amount of time necessary was in question.

The items that required the longest time to build, heavy warships, had mostly started building in the US in 1937 through 1940. Yorktown and Essex class carriers, 3 classes of fast battleships (10 ships with 2 more started after war began) as well as light and heavy cruisers.


The important thing to note is that there was not an enormous jump in technology DURING the war. Planes were improved, improved a great deal. But jets only came in at the end. Ships
were not that different. Yes, the tech was far better but not a whole generation.

As I noted, look at Korea and you'll see what happened with technology. And we've had an enormous burst of tech in recent years without a major war.
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Re: R S Pierre
Post by Jonathan_S   » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:10 pm

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ldwechsler wrote:The important thing to note is that there was not an enormous jump in technology DURING the war. Planes were improved, improved a great deal. But jets only came in at the end. Ships
were not that different. Yes, the tech was far better but not a whole generation.

As I noted, look at Korea and you'll see what happened with technology. And we've had an enormous burst of tech in recent years without a major war.
Wait, so because jets became combat operational just over a year before the end of the war they don't count as "DURING the war" :o. The Allies had several hundred jets fighters (Meteors and P-80 Shooting Stars) in commissions at the end of the war and Germany had around 2000 jets (mostly fighters, Me 262 and He 162 with a couple hundred Ar 234 bombers.

Okay nobody got a decisive number operational before the end of the war, but it largely wasn't for lack of trying -- and the Germans, with over 1,400 Me 262s, would have been a force to be reckoned with if the Allies hadn't been able to largely smother the landing fields with conventional fighters.

Plus even withing piston aircraft I think you're underplaying the performance improvements between the pre-war 1938 designs and those becoming operation in '44 and '45. Just because they got eclipsed a few years later by the ongoing jet revolution shouldn't cause us to overlook the significant jumps in tech within piston engined planes.


And a older post touched on all the tech improvements, during the war, to guided or homing weapons - a category that basically didn't exist pre-war but by the end there were intertially guided cruise and ballistic missiles, radio controlled armor piercing bombs, radar guided anti-ship missiles, homing torpedoes for both anti-ship and anti-submarine use.
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Re: R S Pierre
Post by saber964   » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:53 pm

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Jonathan_S wrote:
ldwechsler wrote:The important thing to note is that there was not an enormous jump in technology DURING the war. Planes were improved, improved a great deal. But jets only came in at the end. Ships
were not that different. Yes, the tech was far better but not a whole generation.

As I noted, look at Korea and you'll see what happened with technology. And we've had an enormous burst of tech in recent years without a major war.
Wait, so because jets became combat operational just over a year before the end of the war they don't count as "DURING the war" :o. The Allies had several hundred jets fighters (Meteors and P-80 Shooting Stars) in commissions at the end of the war and Germany had around 2000 jets (mostly fighters, Me 262 and He 162 with a couple hundred Ar 234 bombers.

Okay nobody got a decisive number operational before the end of the war, but it largely wasn't for lack of trying -- and the Germans, with over 1,400 Me 262s, would have been a force to be reckoned with if the Allies hadn't been able to largely smother the landing fields with conventional fighters.

Plus even withing piston aircraft I think you're underplaying the performance improvements between the pre-war 1938 designs and those becoming operation in '44 and '45. Just because they got eclipsed a few years later by the ongoing jet revolution shouldn't cause us to overlook the significant jumps in tech within piston engined planes.


And a older post touched on all the tech improvements, during the war, to guided or homing weapons - a category that basically didn't exist pre-war but by the end there were intertially guided cruise and ballistic missiles, radio controlled armor piercing bombs, radar guided anti-ship missiles, homing torpedoes for both anti-ship and anti-submarine use.



Jets were around before the war. IIRC Whittle had his prototype jet engine in 1937 but couldn't interest anyone in the British Air Ministry to properly fund it. They also considered him a crackpot, just like Goddard. Also the first Jet powered aircraft flew in both England and Germany in 1939.
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Re: R S Pierre
Post by lyonheart   » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:28 am

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Hi Saber964,

You left out acoustic homing airborne torpedoes. ;)

Guys, while the first jets in Italy and Germany flew in 1939, the first British plane, the E39 flew in April of 1941.

The main problem with the Me 262 was it was put in production too soon; because its engines were lousy.

They only lasted ~20-30 hours, and it took a dozen hours or so to synchronize the pair, so the number of actual combat sorties possible might be just a couple, and why you can find video of them being towed around the airfields by horses etc, because they couldn't afford the taxi time on the engines!

The result was that despite the ~1400 built, there were only 2-4 times where even 50 or 60 could be concentrated, which were obviously far too few, and thus couldn't affect the war's direction or extend or delay the end by even a day.

By comparison, the last wartime Spitfires had double the weight and horsepower of the first ones while being over a hundred miles an hour faster, etc.

The incredible development of radar and electronics during the war, which some hold to being the key to victory, was so focused on the war that the civilian implications weren't fully appreciated for decades.

Another example would be the powerful one man antitank weapons, like the Bazooka and Panzerfaust, which were considered impossible or inconceivable in 1939, but in fact were quite common in 1944.

L


[quote="saber964"][quote="Jonathan_S"]quote="ldwechsler"
The important thing to note is that there was not an enormous jump in technology DURING the war. Planes were improved, improved a great deal. But jets only came in at the end. Ships
were not that different. Yes, the tech was far better but not a whole generation.

As I noted, look at Korea and you'll see what happened with technology. And we've had an enormous burst of tech in recent years without a major war.[/quote]Wait, so because jets became combat operational just over a year before the end of the war they don't count as "DURING the war" :o. The Allies had several hundred jets fighters (Meteors and P-80 Shooting Stars) in commissions at the end of the war and Germany had around 2000 jets (mostly fighters, Me 262 and He 162 with a couple hundred Ar 234 bombers.

Okay nobody got a decisive number operational before the end of the war, but it largely wasn't for lack of trying -- and the Germans, with over 1,400 Me 262s, would have been a force to be reckoned with if the Allies hadn't been able to largely smother the landing fields with conventional fighters.

Plus even withing piston aircraft I think you're underplaying the performance improvements between the pre-war 1938 designs and those becoming operation in '44 and '45. Just because they got eclipsed a few years later by the ongoing jet revolution shouldn't cause us to overlook the significant jumps in tech within piston engined planes.


And a older post touched on all the tech improvements, during the war, to guided or homing weapons - a category that basically didn't exist pre-war but by the end there were intertially guided cruise and ballistic missiles, radio controlled armor piercing bombs, radar guided anti-ship missiles, homing torpedoes for both anti-ship and anti-submarine use.quote


Jets were around before the war. IIRC Whittle had his prototype jet engine in 1937 but couldn't interest anyone in the British Air Ministry to properly fund it. They also considered him a crackpot, just like Goddard. Also the first Jet powered aircraft flew in both England and Germany in 1939.[/quote]
Any snippet or post from RFC is good if not great!
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