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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Carl Grimm

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Posts posted by Carl Grimm


  1. 2 hours ago, Ron Walker said:

    I think that the above might be summed up in a single phrase: "Hitler couldn't tell tactics from strategy". Blitzkrieg was a concept  plagiarised at fourth hand from the British. originally called "Plan 1919". If Germany had not capitulated at the end of 1918, Britain, France and the USA, with total air-superiority would have smashed through the German lines, using hundreds of tanks (and prototypical Armoured Personnel Carriers) and then spread out sideways (a tactical move christened "Expanding torrents" by its inventors) creating a situation where the German Army would have collapsed. Germany in 1918 was bankrupt. Running low on men, low on manufacturing capability and most crucially, very low on food.That made it fragile: just ONE major defeat would have been all that was needed. So "Plan 1919" was designed as a tool to be used against an already fatally weakened enemy. (Which makes it a tactical solution, not a strategic one, although it would almost certainly have achieved a strategic goal.) Hitler was a "one trick pony": ALL he had were "tactical" solutions. Capable, when used against a weak enemy, of delivering a strategic knock-out blow, but NOT capable of doing so against (for example) The British Empire or USSR. If you can't knock out the enemy with a brief "sucker punch", then you need a new plan. And Germany really didn't have one.

    Had Hitler been an trained and educated General instead of a Corporal, things might have been different.


  2. 22 minutes ago, Robert Elbrønd said:

     

    I’m learning a lot. I started out with a von Clausewitz logic stating that a Japanese attack was inevitable. They should have known. Now that has been backed by a substantial amount of knowledge from others and it seems they must have known. It’s just that they did not expect that it be pearl Harbor. No, apparently, and hopefully, not. But if you know, then you’ve got to expect it could be anywhere.  If they even knew it was going to be soon, then a facility like Pearl Harbor should have been on alert.

    Yes, afterwards it was used to great effect too motivate the war effort, but for that purpose a Japanese attack, in itself, would have been enough. I believe that there was people in high places who did not want the public to know what they had done, or more likely, didn’t do. I have no idea exactly who, when, what or how, but I think it reflects that some of the higher-ranking officers and some politicians had an arrogant attitude towards the Japanese and must have underestimated their capabilities, which in turn meant that the people on the ground were left in an unnecessarily difficult situation at Pearl Harbor.

    It always seems to me that the Japanese had big plans, but the tactical commanders "chickened out" (probably the wrong term) at the last minute. Another strike on Pearl might have damaged the fuel supplies and repair facilities. In the Solomons, they sent troops in piecemeal, so the Americans remained in control of Guadalcanal, even though it was touch and go for a while. At Leyte they had the advantage, but the tactical commander bailed out before they could have done a lot more damage. However, all that would have happened is delay the inevitable. But they always seemed to think their individual personnel were superior and could win, and the Americans in turn, early on, thought the Japs were not capable of doing much of anything well.


  3. Yes, they knew and attack was coming, and yes, FDR and Churchill really wanted a reason to get the US into the war, and yes, they knew when they would be attacked. The problem, or problems, were that that they did not expect it to be pearl Harbor and even the Japanese communique did not tell the ambassador and the other Japanese rep, exactly WHERE. They expected it to be on the British in the far east or the Philippines, but not Hawaii.  In case it WAS Hawaii, Kimmel and Short had been warned to be prepared, but they were not made fully aware of the situation, so they thought the most likely scenario would be sabotage by Japanese friendly to their home country. They should have been better prepared, and given better information, they might have been.  Both the Army and Navy intelligence had figured out there would be an attack somewhere, just not exactly where, even after that last message from Japan. The Japanese really wanted the president to get that we would be attacked just before it happened, but really too late to get word of it to the Army and Navy. The Japanese code of honor required the enemy be warned, but it didn't have to be far enough in advance to really be prepared. the Brits would like in retrospect for everyone to think they had it 100% figured out, but they didn't.  Otherwise, they would have had guns pointed north instead of out to sea at Hong Kong.


  4. In fact, the radar site was not even "officially" in operation. It had only been on location a short time and the enlisted men had only gone up early to get in some training. The officer at the control center had knowledge of the B-17s expected in early that morning and I doubt he had experience with radar either. It was "witchcraft" to most at that point... hell, I was USAF radar maintenance from 1961 to 1965 and it was still almost witchcraft to me that 20 years later.

    Included a picture of where my uncle, H.J. Haynes' ship was located in PH that morning. He's one reason I have read everything I can get my hands on about PH. Picture taken with a telephoto lens from the fantail of the Missouri.

    IMG_1177.JPG


  5. 40 minutes ago, Carl Grimm said:

    One thing about the development of radar during the war.  the Brits were at least somewhat advanced in what they had.  The US Navy had radar to send in with landings on the Pacific Islands for control of ground support aircraft and, watch for enemy planes.  I know this because one of my Navy uncles went to radar school in Utah early in the war and was with one of the units. Sometime in '44 this operation was turned over to the New Zealanders because they had British radar which was more dependable. He was then transferred to a Cruiser for the rest of the war. Although he was Navy, from the way they dressed, you would think they were Marines and they also carried M-I rifles. I've been wracking my brain trying to recall what his units were called.  They trained for an individual island landing, landed there and after they were through, they rotated back to a island off California to train for the next landing. There were several of these units rotating through.

     

    Just remembered, they were ARGUS units.

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  6. One thing about the development of radar during the war.  the Brits were at least somewhat advanced in what they had.  The US Navy had radar to send in with landings on the Pacific Islands for control of ground support aircraft and, watch for enemy planes.  I know this because one of my Navy uncles went to radar school in Utah early in the war and was with one of the units. Sometime in '44 this operation was turned over to the New Zealanders because they had British radar which was more dependable. He was then transferred to a Cruiser for the rest of the war. Although he was Navy, from the way they dressed, you would think they were Marines and they also carried M-I rifles. I've been wracking my brain trying to recall what his units were called.  They trained for an individual island landing, landed there and after they were through, they rotated back to a island off California to train for the next landing. There were several of these units rotating through.

     

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  7. 11 hours ago, Robert Elbrønd said:

     

     

     

    In theory a 46-minute warning. Don’t know about communications. It is understandable if new technology wasn’t fully trusted, but, from an European perspective it happened well into the war, and Britain had used Radar to great success in the Battle for Britain. They shared their information. And shouldn’t there at some point be two groups on the screen? It seems that they totally disregarded it, no benefit of the doubt and not just a little bit of extra attention. I wasn’t there and will not judge, but it seems very strange. It’s when you are completely sure, you do your greatest mistakes. Always being in doubt can be stressful, but sometimes it gives you an invaluable second chance.

     

    As I recall, they had to drive down the hill to a pay or public phone to call it in.. Then due to being simply a "training exercise", they closed up shop and returned to their base.  They were probably not even there when the B-17s came in range..

     

     


  8. 11 hours ago, SCOTT said:

    IN FACT THE OPERATOR SAW THE PLANES AND DID REPORT THE BANDITS. HE WAS TOLD THEY WERE AMERICAN PLANES. HE WAS AN ENLISTED MAN AND THE OFFICER WHO TOOK THE CALL COULD NOT HAVE CARED LESS. THE EM WAS NOT BELIEVED WHEN HE IDENTIFIED THEM AS JAPS. HE WAS TOLD TO PACK UP AND COME DOWN TO BASE. SO THE POTENTIAL FOR AN EARLY WARNING WAS THERE BUT NOT ACTED ON. I HAVE OFTEN WONDERED WHAT BECAME OF THAT OFFICER. A POSTING TO ALASKA PERHAPS.?

    THE JAPS CAME IN HIGH, THEY DID NOT KNOW ABOUT RADAR OR THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN LOW. IT WAS EASIER TO LINE UP THE ATTACK FROM HIGHER ALTITUDE. HOW THINGS COULD HAVE CHANGED IF THE AIR RAID HAD BEEN ATTACKED BY AN ALERT AMERICAN AIR FORCE.  THE JAPS WERE MUCH BETTER TRAINED PILOTS AND THEIR TACTICS WERE SUPERIOR. BUT THEY WOULD HAVE LOST MANY MORE PLANES AND PILOTS.

    The radar operators had no way of knowing these were Japanese planes they saw on radar. And they did not know about the American B-17s coming in that morning, so I think they were satisfied with the officers explanation at the time, even though they were coming from farther west than the B-17s would have been.  The B-17s in turn actually came in during the attack, one even landing on a golf course.  Someone mentioned in an earlier post, the radar being close to Pearl Harbor. It was on the north end of Oahu, so communications were not direct and it is a fair drive from there to Pearl... I've been there and the roads are no doubt better today than in 1941. Also the site was new and the enlisted men were there for training, so the officer or anyone else for that matter, did not have a lot of confidence in radar at that point.  Same probably goes for the destroyer attacking the miniature sub near the entrance to PH.  The sub commander was new to the ship and a reserve officer which did not instill much confidence in his sighting.


  9. 1 hour ago, Robert Naumann said:

    Yamamoto just didn't think big enough. He failed to send a third wave to attack the dry-docks,the sub base, and the fuel storage tanks at Pearl. Even though he didn't get our four carriers, taking out these assets at Pearl and using his subs to cut off supplies to Pear Harbor would have set our actions in the Pacific by months if not years. 

    Also he could have sent an invasion fleet with his carrier strike force to invade the smaller Hawaiian islands around Oahu, which were   practically undefended rather than wasting his efforts at Wake, Guam, and Midway.which posed no threat to Japanese operations in the Pacific if the Japanese neutralized our base at Perl Harbor.

    But Yamamoto was not in tactical command. The decision was up to the admiral in charge of the strike force, Admiral Nagumo.


  10. 8 hours ago, Lyle Zerla said:

    The Japanese had reason to believe that a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor would destroy the American fleet.   They had destroyed the Russian fleet at Port Arthur while it was in harbor.  The British destroyed the Italian fleet at Torento while it was in the harbor.  The American fleet was all lined up to make an easy target.   The only thing that helped was that they were in a double row.  The USS West Virginia saved the USS Tennessee and other front row ships protected those behind them.  The Japanese did not hit the dry docks enabling speedy repair to the damaged ships.  The aircraft were lined up in straight rows making easy targets.  Three commanding officers should have been court martialed  Kimmel, Short, and McArthur. 

     

     

     


  11. On ‎11‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 11:42 PM, Philip Whitehouse said:

     

    As for the Pearl Harbor attack, there was a precedent for this in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, (Port Arthur),so perhaps the US planners might have expected it. The Japanese,of course, were fighting a particularly nasty war in China-witness Nanking,1937- so again,there should have been few illusions as to the character of the Japanese regime.

    But this is viewing all in hindsight.

     

    Oh, the US knew an attack was coming all right, they just never considered they would attack that far from home. The US had deciphered enough of the Japanese messages to know something was afoot and even had a good idea when, just not where.  Even worse, after the Pearl Harbor attack and warning MacArthur to be ready, he was caught napping in the Philippines and most of the airpower there was destroyed on the ground.


  12. On ‎11‎/‎7‎/‎2017 at 12:37 AM, T.A.T said:

     

    Some very strange decisions made too...by the Germans. Many have been spoken about here. One of the most perplexing and we'll never know the answer...why they stopped the Battle of Britain when they did? They pretty much had the UK. The British were wrecked, had no more to give. Estimates range from a few days to a few weeks at most. The men were absolutely buggered and would not have been able to go on for much longer....all they had to do was keep it up a few more weeks and they would have had Britain....why did they stop? Who  knows? Did they have false intelligence saying that Britain had more resources then they had? 

    What saved the RAF and in turn GB was when the Germans stopped bombing radar and airfields and started bombing cities. This gave the RAF a reprieve an allowed them to rebuild.  The Luftwaffe had the RAF on the ropes, but let them bounce back. Still, it would have been difficult invading BG due to the British Navy.  Most of the shipping sunk during the Battle of Briton were not Navy, so GB still had what at that time was probably the biggest navy in the world. Crossing 20+ miles of water would have been difficult at best and maybe impossible.

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  13. The FW-190D-9 was no doubt the best prop plane they had and probably if/when flown by experienced pilots were at least the equal of anything the Allies had. Just too few of them and not enough experienced pilots left in the Luftwaffe.  This was the model primarily used over the airfields to try to protect the ME-262s. There was also a TA-152 derivative of the 190, but again, too little too late. More of the Germans expending energy and resources on technology and not numbers, An exception being there were about 35,000 Bf-109s of all versions built, but it was an outdated design by '44.

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  14. 1 hour ago, Vasilis Tsialtas said:

    Just like it happened with the Japs.  The Russians and US knew he was building it and raced to build it first.
    The saddest part is they used it while they didn't had to, specially in a civiian populated city.
     

    Can you imagine the uproar had we not used the atomic bombs, we invaded, lost 100s of thousands of lives (which was expected), the Russians would have had more time to secure more territory and then the public found out we had the means to end the war quickly?

    I had 6 uncles in the Pacific Theater, 4 Navy and two army, one in actual airborne training to jump into Japan. One Navy who survived Pearl Harbor and one who survived an explosion on a carrier when his ship was along side fighting fires. Odds were not in their favor for all to survive.  I for one think the bombs had to be used, and in a way that put so much pressure on the Japanese they had to surrender.

    BTW, in my picture in front of the Missouri, I'm wearing a USS California cap, the ship my uncle was on at Pearl Harbor.

     


  15. The United States was the only country that could take on a two front war, mainly due to being pretty much isolated from attack and having the manufacturing base already in place before we got directly involved.  Also had the Pacific war been almost entirely land based like Europe, it would have been more difficult, even for us.

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  16. 5 hours ago, Robert Naumann said:

    Always wondered why they could not have converted their Focke-Wulf Condor into a 4 motor heavy bomber.

    The Condor was not a very structurally sound plane and to make it into a 4 engine heavy bomber just was not practical.  Would have been better to start with a clean sheet of paper.  As a maritime long range search plane, it was an okay airplane.  It was originally an airliner, so it would have been like us taking a DC-4 and trying to turn it into a bomber.

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  17. As Ron states, the Baltic states and western Russia could have provided a strong ally, had Hitler treated them better than Stalin. That would have made it much easier to conquer Russia or at the very least, driven them much farther east of the Urals.  Then had he developed a heavy bomber force, he could have bombed the heck out of any industry Stalin had moved east. But he still had England at his back and finishing that front before attacking east was still a huge problem for him. Had he not turned England over to Goering to win that front, continued bombed airfields and radar instead of turning to cities, he might have won or controlled his backside.

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  18. There were countless reasons why they lost the war, but it mainly boils down to Hitler's incompetent "micro-managing" of it. His insistence in never retreating to a more defensible position and saving troops to fight another day. Poor logistics, they still depended on horses for a lot of supply and extending beyond his supply lines. Poor timing and being unprepared for the Russian winters. Failure to develop a long range bombing campaign and depending on outdated tactical air power. Failure to take care of one front (Great Briton) before starting another (Russia). Sending an army to North Africa to bail out Mussolini.  Losing a huge work force in killing off Jews and others. I could go on and on for hours with reasons, but like I said, it boils down to Hitler's micro-managing. 

    As for the troops wasted on POWs, etc., I worked with a  guy for years who was wounded in Europe and after recovering sufficiently, he guarded German and Italian POWs here in the states.  Many of his co-guards had the same history and I imagine it was the same for Germany.


  19. I voted P-51 simply because of the overall affect it had on the war, not that it was the best for any or all things. For maneuverability, probably either the Spitfire,or Zero.  Also the F4U was great in some areas. I recall an article years ago where, I believe it was renowned test pilot Scott Crossman, had tested every Allied and most Axis fighters and said the F4U Corsair was the best.  For some things the Mosquito may have been the best, but mainly due to the versatility... fighter, recon, bomber, pathfinder, speed. Also can't forget some other Axis fighters like the FW-190D-9... it was a pretty deadly opponent, but Germany was short on pilots by that time.

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