TY. Given your own clear understanding of the complexities (& on some of these issues, it obviously exceeds mine), that's high praise.A damn good post. You get it.
He did, but in his defense, AFAICT, his only bias was against minelaying, & that may be a former submariner's dislike & concern, more than a solid reason.Nimitz did have some blind spots and faults that hurt the war effort a bit.
My sense of Nimitz is, he was flexible enough to take a better option, if offered; if somebody had proposed using Hypo to surveil IJN harbors, coupled with mining or not, he might just have said, "Do it" & freed up English's boats for other duty: the need (or desire) for surveillance trumped using them on the firing line; he couldn't afford surprises. If Hypo could have (reliably) kept him from being surprised (& if he'd have trusted Hypo to do it, which is another issue, after 7/12)...
Unquestionably. I'm of the view mining could have stopped IJN offensive operations entire: mine the approaches, keep them mined, & shoot the minesweepers at need. (IJN minesweeping was so bad, that wouldn't have been a high priority need, either.) The inability of IJN to sortie shuts down ops, even if convoys get through (unless they're willing to risk "own goal" mining losses).I firmly agree that if he (and the rest of the Navy establishment) had paid more attention to mine warfare, as hard as it is to do, the subs would have been far more effective. It will take a year or so before the boats have the mines and the training and can employ the proper laying procedures, but that brings the kill rates and effective blockade a full year earlier than patrolling in killboxes did.
If that results in Sub Force losses, so be it. (Hard as that is for me to say.) There's a war on; some losses are going to happen. IMO, they're less than what obtain OTL, not least from the war being longer than it has to be: that, by itself, might save six or eight boats lost in '45 (including Trigger, which might end up butterflying away one of Ned Beach's better books).
IMO, they did okay as it was. I'd have retired the S-boats a bit sooner & freed the crews, & maintenance people, but that takes boats off the firing line... Ramping up the build rate prewar so you get even a couple of dozen more fleet boats would have cured that, but...I also agree that the subs were the left handed stepchildren and should have had maybe 5% more resources thrown at them.
Beyond that, it's more a matter of training & equipment, &...command failure, I guess. Whose call was it to leave boats in Oz? Nimitz's? If so, it was the biggest mistake he made in the war; basing them in Hawaii would have done more good than any other one thing he could do (including fixing the torpedoes, believe it or not).
Some of that you have to lay on BuC&R (BuShips)... For the torpedos alone, I count maybe 4 (possibly 6 or 7, including some unknowns, & counting Tang).I would suggest that Buord killed at least six (possibly ten) USN boats by not fixing reported simple problems such as broaching fish, circle runs, noise short circuits and excessive magnetic signature in US boats.
I will agree with that completely. And given how tough an opponent the Japanese found the B-17, I don't think the losses needed be 50%. Might be? Yes.Like most tools (see subs comments) if the person using a B-17 in naval warfare does not understand that one has to get down to low altitude and make one's pass over the ship in a beam attack (especially a carrier) and WALK the bombs in (Battle of the Bismark Sea), then one will accomplish nothing. Is it hard on the bombers? Yes. Will casualties be high? Yes. (50%) But will a Japanese flattop or two be dedecked and rendered helpless? YES. Worth it. It is do or die; Torpedo 8 had no chance at all. Those B-17s, in navy aviator hands, would have stood a much better chance.