Sunday, January 9, 2022

good morning jacob


A T T A C K     S O U T H

Operation Z

Attack Pearl Harbor

1st Air Fleet / Vice Admiral Nagumo

6  AIRCRAFT CARRIERS /  First Line Fleet Carriers

Kido  Butai    -    Mobile Force / Name given Carrier Task Force Op Z

SHIP                                                      TONNAGE                        SPEED                    AIRCRAFT

Akagi     *                          36,500                   31 knots        66

Kaga      *                          38,200                   28                  72

Soryu     *                         15,900                    34                  63

Hiryu      *                         17,300                    34                  57

Shokaku        **                26,675                   34                  72

Zuikaku          ***              26,675                   34                  72


 *     Sunk - Battle of Midway / June 1942 - 6 months after Pearl Harbor

 **   Severely Damaged - Coral Sea / May 1942 - missed Midway

***  Lost half of its air group - Coral Sea / May 1942 - missed Midway 



U.S. Aircraft Carriers / Pearl Harbor

 SHIP                                             TONNAGE                                SPEED                     AIRCRAFT

 Lexington     *              36,000                     32 knots           90 

 Enterprise                    19,576                     33                      90 


*  Sunk - Battle of Coral Sea / May 1942 




Early development of the aircraft carrier - 1930s.

 Aircraft capacity was the prime design feature of American carriers.

26 July 1941     

President Roosevelt:

* freezes Japanese assets in U.S.

 recalls Douglas MacArthur to active service

* U.S. Army Commander in the Far East 

 * major general / two stars

 * tasked to mobilize the Philippine Army    

14 August 1941

"The ability of the Philippine islands to withstand a determined attack 

with present means is doubtful."

U.S. War Plans Division 

U.S. Asiatic Fleet, Philippines

Philippines / military status - 1941 / beginning:

                            troops                status

* U.S. Army            4,000               regulars

*  Philippine          20,000               barely trained

* Aircraft                     227

* Air Commander:  L. Brereton, Major General  

* Asiatic Fleet / commander Admiral Hart

`* cruisers                3

* destroyers            13

* submarines         29

 * Navy leaders reluctant to commit naval forces to the Far East

* U.S. Navy - Philippines indefensible 

* British Admiralty - Far East presence no more than bluff

* Royal Navy and U.S. combine to block Japan's access to oil

    in Dutch East Indies 

Japanese threat to Philippines, Malaysia, East Indies:

* Formosa - warships and bombers

* Indochina

* Cam Ranh Bay - troop transports

* Saigon - troop transports


Churchill sends Prince of Wales to Singapore


* half the world's natural rubber

* more than half the world's tin

* Singapore - Royal Navy:  Changi Naval Base

 * guard Britain's Far East Empire 

* "Gibraltar of the Far East"

* vast oil-storage capacity 

* huge dry dock for battleships - yet to be used 

* 15 inch guns point out to sea 

* dense jungle rear of fortress assumed impenetrable 

* this jungle front is left nearly defenseless

* 1937 - British Chiefs of Staff made aware of

  Singapore's vulnerability to attack from jungle

* Britain cannot find the troops to reinforce the Malay peninsula 

* British troops committed to war with Germany  

* U.S. Navy in Philippines prevents Japan from obtaining energy 


* Asiatic Fleet a pushover but do you really want to take on

the U.S. Navy 




3 September 1941

Japan Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe wants negotiated settlement with U.S.

* Military wants deadline placed on negotiations

* Navy Chief Admiral Nagumo warns:

 * "Although I feel sure we have a chance to win a war right now, 

   I am afraid that the chance will vanish with the passage

    of time."   

* Konoe was given less that six weeks to reach a settlement

    over China with the U.S.

 * Japan prepared to wage war with U.S. and Britain by early

     October 1941



6 September 1941

The Japanese military presents its case for war with Emperor Hirohito

"The purposes of war with the United States, Great Britain and the

  Netherlands are to:

1.  expel the influence of the three countries from East Asia

* U.S. in the Philippines

* Britain in Malaysia, Singapore

* Netherlands ruling East Indies 

2.   to establish a sphere for self-defense and the self-preservation

        of our Empire

* South China Sea becomes Japan's protected Caribbean  

 3.   to build a New Order in Greater East Asia."

 * Whites no longer rule Asians

 Army General Sugiyama briefed the Emperor on the previous day.  

The quick takeover of the South Pacific was a military gamble.

* Japan would gain control of much needed oil

   and natural resources

* A defensive perimeter of Pacific islands could make

  Japan invincible

* expect a war of endurance with the United States

  before obtaining a negotiated settlement leading

  to peace 

Emperor Hirohito pleas for patience with continued diplomacy

* chastises his military leaders for their preference for war 

* Prime Minister Konoe has until 15 October to reach deal

    with U.S. or all remedies point to military action

Prime Minister Konoe arranges clandestine meeting with

 U.S. Ambassador Grew requesting immediate summit with


 * Roosevelt cool to idea of being cast as another

    Neville Chamberlain in a "Far East Munich"  

* Roosevelt insists Japan's troops leave China

 * Japan has suffered over a million casualties in China

* Japan's military will never accept this loss of face 

 * No one believes Konoe can deliver on this demand



16 October 1941

Prime Minister Konoe resigns from office after having been ignored

one last time by Roosevelt. 

War Minister General Hideki Tojo is appointed Japan's new leader.

* Tojo the only candidate supported by all military leaders

* U.S. radios war alert to all U.S. Pacific bases in response

to Tojo's rise to power 



20 October 1941

Churchill orders a battle fleet sail for Singapore as a show of force to Japan

* Prince of Wales - battleship / largest, new / King George class 

* Indomitable - brand new aircraft carrier

* Carrier runs aground on Bermuda reef:  2 November 1941

* Battle group deprived of protective aircover  

* Churchill remains committed to providing sea power for


* Repulse - old battlecruiser

* Admiral Sir Tom Phillips / 'Tom Thumb' - commander

* "Bombers are no match for battleships."    


"The presence of the U.S. Fleet in Hawaii is a dagger pointed at our throats."

Combined Fleet, October 1941 


3 November 1941

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's plan for attacking Pearl Harbor is

approved by Emperor Hirohito and the military's

Imperial General Command. 



15 November 1941

George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff

* Reinforcement of Philippines to be complete by April 1942

* Discovery of reinforcement might prompt Japan's attack


* Flight of B-17 bombers due to arrive in Manila first part of


* U.S. aircraft carriers to ship fighter planes to Wake and Midway 

* Provide fighter protection for B-17s from Japanese Zeros 

based in the Marshal Islands 

26 November 1941

Pearl Harbor strike force of 6 aircraft carriers puts to sea from Japan

* Vice-Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, commander

U.S. intelligence reports Japanese troop convoys sighted

   south of Formosa

* Indochina believed to be the destination 

27 November 1941 


U.S. radios warning to all its Pacific commands:









28 November 1941 


U.S.S Enterprise - one of two Pacific Fleet carriers - sails for Wake Island

* ferries squadron of Marine fighters to protect flights to Philippines

4 December 1941 


Operation Z - Japan's carrier strike force - refuels 1,000 miles north

  of Midway

* Fleet turns southeast for final stretch run on Hawaii 



5 December 1941 

U.S.S. Lexington - the second of two Pacific Fleet carriers - sails from

 Pearl Harbor 

* carries Marine aircraft to reinforce Midway Island


6 December 1941 


 Pearl Harbor strike force 600 miles northwest of Hawaii

 Japan's Hawaiian intelligence sources report Pacific Fleet in harbor

* 8 battleships

* 3 cruisers 

* 16 destroyers

* no aircraft carriers - both carriers still at sea

27 Japanese troop transports set sail from Formosa headed for the Philippines


Pilots of 400 aircraft plan strike to wipe out Philippine-based American B-17s







©  Tom Taylor


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