The US AAA is going to be terrible.
US Flak at the battle of Dutch harbor around the same time fired at least 20,000 rounds and only shot down one A6M Zero.
Its the USAAF fighters that get airborne who cause the most casualties.
 
The US fleet can be 150 miles from Pearl Harbor by 8 am. The Japanese will not know where they are and you cannot attack what you do not see.

Main US problem, alluded to above, is that the US had not developed fighter control stations such as the RAF and RN were utilizing
 
Any POD that turns that inflicts significantly more losses on the Japanese has a decent chance to butterfly the loss of Wake.

Either the US resupply convoy goes through or Soryu and Hiryu aren’t available for the second assault.
Were any of the troops used in that attack supplied by the carriers or their escorts?
 
One also has to keep in mind that unlike in War Thunder or other video games, the US would not have any super aces capable of single handedly shooting down dozens of Japanese aircraft without loss. An aerial ambush of the Japanese naval aviation forces would still have been bloody. on the other hand, every pilot they lose at Pearl Harbor is one they can’t really come close to replacing properly due to their own standards, so that would have certainly helped the Allies
 
One also has to keep in mind that unlike in War Thunder or other video games, the US would not have any super aces capable of single-handedly shooting down dozens of Japanese aircraft without loss. An aerial ambush of the Japanese naval aviation forces would still have been bloody. on the other hand, every pilot they lose at Pearl Harbor is one they can’t really come close to replacing properly due to their own standards, so that would have certainly helped the Allies
No, of course not the video was just to better ground the idea and make it clearer to everybody what I was going for with the post. That being said if we can remove the Japanese sooner and have an overall shorter war than we had OTL we may not even have a need to deploy the use of our two nukes and so can keep that under wraps for a bit longer. That should change a fair few things moving into the 1950s and beyond.
 
IWith a day or more of warning, the Pacific Fleet isn't caught at anchor. It may move to engage Kido Butai, which I think is the consensus likely outcome, in which case it is attacked under weigh and takes fewer losses as maneuvering ships are harder to hit, but those that are sunk are lost in deep water and cannot be refloated as OTL, plus the loss of life is significantly higher and those crews are not available for the USN as new construction comes online. If the fleet is judged by Kimmel for whatever reason not to be in fighting trim and moves to the SE of Pearl away from KB, then it is not spotted at all and takes no losses. While at sea, the USAAF is not used to coordinating a CAP with the Navy, so there is significant chance that something will go badly wrong and any KB strike is not intercepted.
Someone has asked this before: Did the Kido Butai use search planes in the final days approaching Hawaii to rule out any nearby US surface units?
I have not been able to find that information.
 

GarethC

Donor
Someone has asked this before: Did the Kido Butai use search planes in the final days approaching Hawaii to rule out any nearby US surface units?
I have not been able to find that information.
On the morning of the 7th scout planes from Tone and Chikuma were the first aircraft aloft, but I don't recall anything discussing the transit - did Fuchida mention it in either of his books?

My guess would be no, as you wouldn't want to waste time and fuel turning your carriers into the wind or making the seaplane cruisers stop to recover float planes, when you're belting across the Pacific at 25 knots to make your scheduled launch time.
 

nbcman

Donor
On the morning of the 7th scout planes from Tone and Chikuma were the first aircraft aloft, but I don't recall anything discussing the transit - did Fuchida mention it in either of his books?

My guess would be no, as you wouldn't want to waste time and fuel turning your carriers into the wind or making the seaplane cruisers stop to recover float planes, when you're belting across the Pacific at 25 knots to make your scheduled launch time.
According to the Tone wiki page, one of their float planes flew to Lahaina anchorage to check for USN fleet elements while other float planes were acting as pickets south of the KB as well as to do final weather checks over Oahu. One of Chikuma's float planes flew over PH and reported that there were 9 anchored battleships. So yes, the IJN was screening the KB for attackers coming from the south (towards Oahu).

EDIT: Upon checking Combined Fleet for Tone and Chikuma, there were more float planes launched on 7 December 1941. Hiei and Kirishima both launched float planes for ASW patrols in addition to the two CAs.
 
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Well, this makes a surprise attack by the US battleline impropable, I guess.
Not unless they get enough advance notice and are able to get behind the KB and ambush them from the rear. But you need an ASB to get that to work
 

nbcman

Donor
Well, this makes a surprise attack by the US battleline impropable, I guess.
Not unless they get enough advance notice and are able to get behind the KB and ambush them from the rear. But you need an ASB to get that to work
The only ships that could have gotten behind (north) of the KB was the Lexington group who was about 600 miles southeast of Midway on a ferry mission - but even then they were more west than north of the KB location. It wouldn't have gone well if they tried to intercept the KB in a 1 : 6 CV battle.
 
The only ships that could have gotten behind (north) of the KB was the Lexington group who was about 600 miles southeast of Midway on a ferry mission - but even then they were more west than north of the KB location. It wouldn't have gone well if they tried to intercept the KB in a 1 : 6 CV battle.
Unless the Lexington pulled off the best timing in history and somehow nailed all six decks just before the first wave took off which I rather doubt is possible with one carrier's worth of planes, mind you if it had been done assuming Lexington survived the war it would probably still be around
 

GarethC

Donor
Well, this makes a surprise attack by the US battleline impropable, I guess.
No, the aircraft launch was before dawn. A USN force would be entirely able to close under cover of night and engage without being spotted - if they have read the tea leaves correctly to be going to the right place and have working radar when they get there.

The problem is that it really is quite ASB to guess exactly where to put the Pacific Fleet in order to intercept.
 
No, the aircraft launch was before dawn. A USN force would be entirely able to close under cover of night and engage without being spotted - if they have read the tea leaves correctly to be going to the right place and have working radar when they get there.

The problem is that it really is quite ASB to guess exactly where to put the Pacific Fleet in order to intercept.
Well one problem is that the Japanese did have their 5 submarines too, which launched those mini-subs for the attack. The subs approached Pearl Harbor the day before the attack and launced the mini-subs. If the USN sortied during the 6th of December (or perhaps even during the 5th), they would probably run into one of those subs, which would then send a report out.

Now, if the USN decided to sortie under the cover of darkness on the 6th of December, I don't think they would have managed to reach the Kido Butai by the next morning. They would have less than 12 hours to cover quite a distance, the Kido Butai was over 200 miles north of Oahu when the attack was launched.

So this in turn means that the fleet would have to sortie out at least a couple of days before the attack.
 
How likely would it have been that the fleet would have sailed out toward Kido Butai if it was spotted early? Which ships were even ready to sail on short notice considering that Pacific fleet had two carriers TFs with escorts away and many of the ships in Pearl were there for maintenance. And Kimmel probably understood that the BBs were not fast enough to catch Japanese carriers even if getting near them.

Also the harbor could have been seen quite safe position against an air attack, since in addition to the ship's own AAA it had a lot of fixed army AA around and good amount of army pursuit planes to protect the skies.
 
How likely would it have been that the fleet would have sailed out toward Kido Butai if it was spotted early? Which ships were even ready to sail on short notice considering that Pacific fleet had two carriers TFs with escorts away and many of the ships in Pearl were there for maintenance. And Kimmel probably understood that the BBs were not fast enough to catch Japanese carriers even if getting near them.

Also the harbor could have been seen quite safe position against an air attack, since in addition to the ship's own AAA it had a lot of fixed army AA around and good amount of army pursuit planes to protect the skies.
I'd say it's pretty likely with any sort of warning. Hell, Nevada got underway during the attack. If Kimmel knows there's an attack inbound, he'll order every ship that can raise steam to head to sea. And that fleet will be aggressively seeking battle. Despite the Taranto raid, no one considered carriers to be a threat to battleships at sea. Kimmel would try to close and engage
 
I'd say it's pretty likely with any sort of warning. Hell, Nevada got underway during the attack. If Kimmel knows there's an attack inbound, he'll order every ship that can raise steam to head to sea. And that fleet will be aggressively seeking battle. Despite the Taranto raid, no one considered carriers to be a threat to battleships at sea. Kimmel would try to close and engage
Probably most of the BBs would have been able to sortie out if ordered so. Unlike other ships in the Pearl they were not at the harbor due to maintenance issues, but because they were too slow to accompany the CV task forces. There would have been a problem in getting enough escorts (CA, CL, DD) though as many operational ships were with Enterprise and Lexington.

But the main question in my mind is that what would Kimmel hope to achieve with this, since he has nothing that can both out-gun and out-run the Kido Butai?
 
Kimmel could have conceivably sortied with 7 battleships, 6 light cruisers, and maybe 25 destroyers. Nagumo had 6 carriers, 2 battleships, 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser and 9 destroyers. So if somehow the US fleet intercepted the Japanese fleet, either just before dawn, or after the airstrikes had been launched, the Japanese are in serious trouble. They can outrun the US BBs, but even the US cruisers and destroyers would be capable of doing serious damage and if the Japanese carriers are fleeing and under attack they would have trouble launching aircraft and couldn't hope to recover aircraft. Worst case scenario would be the 350 planes sent against Pearl Harbor returning with no ordnance, little fuel, and no way to land. I suppose they might have turned kamikaze at that point.
 
Probably most of the BBs would have been able to sortie out if ordered so. Unlike other ships in the Pearl they were not at the harbor due to maintenance issues, but because they were too slow to accompany the CV task forces. There would have been a problem in getting enough escorts (CA, CL, DD) though as many operational ships were with Enterprise and Lexington.

But the main question in my mind is that what would Kimmel hope to achieve with this, since he has nothing that can both out-gun and out-run the Kido Butai?
See Scott's reply above. I'd be very curious to find out where you're getting your information that most of the ships in Pearl were there because they were broken? The ships were in port that weekend to give their crews some R&R. As for escorts, that's a pretty solid escort. Plus, if Kimmel has been warned in enough time to coordinate getting the fleet to sea, he'll order Halsey to get his ass back to Pearl ASAP with Enterprise and her escorts to join up with the battle fleet. Likewise, TF12 (Lexington three heavy cruisers and five destroyers) will not be sent on her OTL ferry mission on December 5th. Additionally, Minneapolis was only 8 miles from Pearl on December 7th conducting gunnery drill. And Indianapolis was also in Hawaiian waters then. So that's another two heavy cruisers available.

If we say that the KB is spotted on December 4th, Kimmel will have the entire Pacific Fleet at sea by midday on the 5th. So with a warning on the 4th, this is Kimmel's fleet by December 7th:

2 Aircraft Carriers
7 Battleships
8 Heavy Cruisers
6 Light Cruisers
39 Destroyers
 
See Scott's reply above. I'd be very curious to find out where you're getting your information that most of the ships in Pearl were there because they were broken? The ships were in port that weekend to give their crews some R&R. As for escorts, that's a pretty solid escort. Plus, if Kimmel has been warned in enough time to coordinate getting the fleet to sea, he'll order Halsey to get his ass back to Pearl ASAP with Enterprise and her escorts to join up with the battle fleet. Likewise, TF12 (Lexington three heavy cruisers and five destroyers) will not be sent on her OTL ferry mission on December 5th. Additionally, Minneapolis was only 8 miles from Pearl on December 7th conducting gunnery drill. And Indianapolis was also in Hawaiian waters then. So that's another two heavy cruisers available.

If we say that the KB is spotted on December 4th, Kimmel will have the entire Pacific Fleet at sea by midday on the 5th. So with a warning on the 4th, this is Kimmel's fleet by December 7th:

2 Aircraft Carriers
7 Battleships
8 Heavy Cruisers
6 Light Cruisers
39 Destroyers
Alas said fleet isn't carrying late 1944 levels of AA guns and fighter compliments if it did I'd say it would be too tough a nut for the KB to crack.
 
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