Out of curiosity what's the reasoning for them going for Midway first instead of Wake after Pearl? A wither on the vine type deal like the OTL American strategy?
Extra wave at Pearl. Now fighting at Midway. Will carriers even have AvGas available to support Wake?Wake Island is under attack as well, but there are no differences between TTL and OTL except for which Japanese carriers might hit it on the way home
Chapter 9 The Battle of Midway
The engagements around Midway Island between December 9 and 10, 1942 are collectively considered one large battle for the island itself. This was the first carrier versus carrier duel in the Pacific War, and indeed in history, and many mistakes and lessons were learned. Both the Japanese and Americans learned a healthy respect for one another as a result of the Hawaiian Campaign, and the Battle of Midway reinforced it.
Even as the smoke was still bellowing from wrecked ships and shore installations on Oahu, the US Navy was actively seeking the Japanese. Vice Admiral Halsey was senior ranking naval officer in the Hawaiian area by the end of the Third Wave strike on Pearl Harbor, and was informed of noon. He was already assembling the Pacific Fleet to repel any further attacks and was already concerned that Midway might be next.
The American Scouting Force completes refueling 200 miles south Laysan Island by 1350 hours December 7. Halsey takes the fleet and turns east and runs at 18 knots until 0700 hours December 8 to meet with TF 15 (2 CL) which is steaming from just off Pearl Harbor at 31 knots from 1100 hours December 7 until 0700 hours December 8 where it joins Yorktown task force. .....
The Battle of Midway - 1st Day (December 9, 1941)
Meanwhile, at 1500 hours, aware that he has been spotted, Yamamoto orders the 4 cruisers of the 6th Cruiser Division (Aoba, Kinugasa, Kako, Furataka, Rear Admiral Goto commanding) with a pair of destroyers to proceed at full speed to Midway Island and under cover of darkness shell the airfield until it is neutralized and high explosive ammunition is exhausted. By morning the Carriers should be within range to provide air cover in case the American carriers are nearby and thus they should be able to withdrawal without undue risk. At 33 knots there is little fear of submarine attack, and what risk there is deemed acceptable. At this speed the Japanese cruisers will arrive offshore at 0200 hours December 10.
Newton and his 13 ships form up by 1900 hours and steam at high speed (32 knots) to meet the enemy. His destroyers are deployed in an arc ahead of the Chicago (the flag ship) as only one of his ships (the Chicago) has radar and this will provide him a scouting force to spot the Japanese.
There seems to be a tremendous amount of flank speed steaming going on before contact is made.
That too me seems just slightly off as flank speed does two things: burn fuel like it is going out of style (not as big of a deal for the Americans as they have both bases and tanker capacity in the region) and increase the probability of engineering failures. Once contact is made or soon to be suspected to be made, I can see the imperative of getting to the edge ofthe performance envelope, but in movement to contact, 28 knots burns way less fuel than 33 knots for the Japanese... This just strikes me as odd given the Japanese fuel constraints.
Extra wave at Pearl. Now fighting at Midway. Will carriers even have AvGas available to support Wake?