Oh boy, someone triggered me today. My weeb friend, who is a fan of that Kantai Collection show, told me that Japan's Navy was more powerful in 1940 that the U.S Navy. Furthermore, he said that if Japan didn't have restrictions on its military today, then it could be as powerful as the U.S's. I'm in the USN, so this irks me a lot. I'm not going to argue what the most powerful fighting force on the planet is, but can we agree that no one tops the U.S in Naval Warfare? Also, ignorant historian h8 thread.
>I'm not going to argue what the most powerful fighting force on the planet is, but can we agree that no one tops the U.S in Naval Warfare?
This board has a 25 year rule.
>that Japan's Navy was more powerful in 1940 that the U.S Navy
And he cites a cartoon about fucking ships. How much do you believe that cartoons about fucking ships are appropriate sources for comparative naval warfare capacities?
Japan got close to having a capacity to surprise attack part of the US fleet. They got there by fucking their economy.
>he said that if Japan didn't have restrictions on its military [25 years ago], then it could be as powerful as the U.S's.
They'd have to have fucked their economy to do so.
The Japanese navy was very, very good. They had that elusive and all-important esprit-de-corps, and leaders with real talent at the helm. They also had certain technological and doctrinal edges; the famous Japanese Long Lance torpedo is a good example, and they way they would aggressively employ it with destroyers. Read after-action reports on some of the famous early Naval battles of WW2; they were fucking good with those torpedoes, and they were very good torpedoes. They had also recognized the importance of naval aviation and incorporated it into their doctrine. They had good fighters, good pilots, and good enough carriers.
What they lacked was staying power. They had a relatively small number of very good personnel, but were not effective at replacing losses. They would keep veterans and aces in the cockpit instead of rotating them back to the flight schools; eventually they would die and take their accumulated wisdom and experience with them. They failed to rapidly adapt and incorporate new technologies that the war revealed to be extremely helpful; radar ranging and gun-direction for warships is a good example. They had some very good optical gun directors, but that's no help at all when you can be hit from over the horizon by American ships using radar.
And they were always in a race against the clock. One of the main reasons they'd chosen to engage the US in a war was the US embargo on oil. They could keep their war machine fueled for only so long, and it was vital they keep the Americans at bay long enough to secure colonial possessions that would allow them to supply themselves. Hence the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor; crush the Americans in a single stroke, and buy yourself time to sieze the oil fields you need and dig in so deep the cost of rooting you out brings them to a favorable negotiated settlement.
This is just the broad strokes for you, but yes, the Japanese had a very, very good navy at the start of the war.
Seeing how you're a navy man, I think you should get how absurd the show is when I tell you this.
I only saw 1 scene cause of a webm, basically there was a fleet of Battleships and Battlecruisers, with 0 DESTROYERS escorting them and the anime grills literally just had aircraft carriers and destroyed them without losing a single plane.
It was though. It's an island country, it's not unreasonable for their navy to be strong. What killed Japan was their inability to fuel, supply and build more ships during the war, and like everyone else, they had under built carriers before carriers proved to be the best at everything. That lack of flexibility meant that the US was able to build a stronger navy and get better use out of their navy during the war.
As an addendum to this, check out the naval battles of Guadalcanal. The first battle was a debacle for the US, plagued by poor communication, disorganization and missed opportunities. They were roughly handled by the IJN and came off much worse. However while the Naval engagement was a loss, it did achieve the larger strategic objective of preventing the bombardment of nearby Henderson field, forcing the IJN to withdraw or face aerial attack from the airfield at dawn. The subsequent loss of most of the troopships destined to relieve the Japanese on Guadalcanal sealed the deal and despite their early success in the naval engagement, the IJN failed to stop US forces on Guadalcanal.
But Japan's navy in 1940 was more powerful than the US'. It was larger, better trained, better equipped, and had incredibly high morale. It failed however to take into account the change in naval warfare, and was unable to replace the losses that it suffered. It also wasn't able to upgrade over the course of the war, something the USN was capable of.
Go back to fucking your shipmates, OP.
From the Battle of Leyte Gulf
"At 03:16, West Virginia's radar picked up the surviving ships of Nishimura's force at a range of 42,000 yd (38,000 m) and had achieved a firing solution at 30,000 yd (27,000 m). West Virginia tracked them as they approached in the pitch black night. At 03:53, she fired the eight 16 in (410 mm) guns of her main battery at a range of 22,800 yd (20,800 m), striking Yamashiro with her first salvo. She went on to fire a total of 93 shells. At 03:55, California and Tennessee joined in, firing a total of 63 and 69 14 in (360 mm) shells, respectively. Radar fire control allowed these American battleships to hit targets from a distance at which the Japanese battleships—with their inferior fire control systems—could not return fire."
So perhaps not OTH? But still at distances that could not be answered by Japanese warships. Radar also played a role in this battle and others like the Battle of the Phillipine Sea, where it allowed for the quick direction of interceptor aircraft and the accurate direction of AAA fire. Also in things like the radar-proximity fuse for AAA shells, turning near misses into hits.
At it's peak, the United States had over 6000 ships at it's disposal during WW2, whereas the Japanese Navy had roughly 4,000. The Nips were better trained, and had technology that the U.S wasn't able to compete with until later in the war, but they lacked strategy after the first year of the war.
"For an observer on the ground with eye level at h = 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m), the horizon is at a distance of 2.9 miles (4.7 km). For an observer standing on a hill or tower 100 feet (30 m) in height, the horizon is at a distance of 12.2 miles (19.6 km)."
So, if the West Virginia had a firing solution at 30,000 yards, that would still be OTH to someone standing atop a tower 100 feet above the waterline. Records do not seem to say what the height of the tallest observation mast or radar mast on that ship is, but I suspect it was less than 100 feet.
In 1940 both navies were roughly on-par in terms of fleet carriers (Japan's six against the United States' five, with a sixth, Wasp, in construction), but the IJN's pilots were more experienced, having fought ROC pilots over China in 1937.
The US also believed the IJN would field the Mitsubishi A5M/Type 96, but the IJN was already transitioning over to the A6M/Zero. At this time the USN was also transitioning from the obsolescent Brewster Buffalo to the Wildcat, which initially struggled against the Zero until better tactics were developed.
US Carrier Doctrine and carrier plane command and control had also not been refined or unified at this time--indeed, there was great debate over everything from how carriers could defend themselves to how many carriers were right for a task force. US carrier doctrine rapidly evolved between 1942 and 1943, something the IJN failed to match. In 1940, though, the US was only on par at best and perhaps somewhat disadvantaged at worst in terms of naval aviation.
>"We realized then and it should not be forgotten now, that our entire superiority was due almost entirely to our possession of radar. Certainly we have no edge on the Japs in experience, skill, training, or performance of personnel." - Vice Admiral Willis Lee, regarding the Battle of Guadalcanal
More powerful, maybe not, but they were certainly comparable.
Surprisingly, Japan was garbage at naval warfare in the premodern era, as was evident when they tried to do anything naval against the Chinese or Koreans (See: Baekgang, the Imjin war).
I think that says more about optics vs radar than saying radar works over the horizon. Also mast was 127' and the radar extended past that. Also saying that firing solutions can only work with the ship's own radar and optics isn't really correct. It's much more effective when integrated, but you can still fire based on reconnaissance information.
That's because it was barely an island nation at that point and was still being unified. It was closer to a bunch of little nations on an island. And then isolationism meant they didn't want to project strength with a navy either.
>taking a Kurdish Wall Tapestry about magical girls at face value
When you buy a ship from another country, it certainly comes with all kinds of manuals and directions about what means what, and where does X cable go.
Does not mean you have to leave everything as it is.
When it comes to things like quality and numbers of ships and the training their officers, sailors and pilots recieved, the IJN could indeed challenge the USN early on in the war. Their weaknesses lay elsewhere, from their nearly complete disregard of the importance of convoy duties and ASW, to the sometimes nonexistant cooperation with the IJA (which only got worse as the war went on). Their biggest problem was probably slavishly following a doctrine of decisive battle (Kantai Kessen) in a war of attrition, against an enemy who could outproduce them in every turn.
>Their biggest problem was probably slavishly following a doctrine of decisive battle (Kantai Kessen) in a war of attrition, against an enemy who could outproduce them in every turn.
u wut m8
Obviously if the other side can out produce you, the other side wins in a war of attrition. The only way to win is decisive battles.
>The only way to win is decisive battles.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY A GAME?
WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY…
* JAPANESE PACIFIC WARFARE 1941-194X?
SET SIDE JAPAN…
SET SIDE USA…
AN INTERESTING GAME. THE ONLY WINNING MOVE IS NOT TO PLAY.
There weren't that many choices at that point. The Kwantung Army had already dragged the IJA in a costly and seemingly endless war. The Japanese Government really couldn't have withdrawn from invading a sovereign country without a huge loss of face, and reports from Nanking had already soured US opinion on Japanese actions in China. The Dutch East Indies remained loyal to the Government-In-Exile.
>if Japan didn't have restrictions on its military today, then it could be as powerful as the U.S's
This is straight up wrong. The Japanese representatives at the Washington Naval Conference accepted the proposal because they were aware of the huge production advantage that the US held over Japan. The 5:3 ratio was the US building down to Japan's level, not the US holding down Japanese production.
On the other hand, the US public was not very happy about the naval arms race, so it's questionable whether the US could ever have brought its full industrial capacity to bear without the threat of imminent war.
>There weren't that many choices at that point. The Kwantung Army had already dragged the IJA in a costly and seemingly endless war. The Japanese Government really couldn't have withdrawn from invading a sovereign country without a huge loss of face, and reports from Nanking had already soured US opinion on Japanese actions in China. The Dutch East Indies remained loyal to the Government-In-Exile.
IJN coup d'etat.
>Obviously if the other side can out produce you, the other side wins in a war of attrition. The only way to win is decisive battles.
Half-true in the case of the Pacific war, decisive sea battles were the way for the USA to win, but not for Japan, since USA wouldn't be deterred by a loss in one or even several of such battles (which was very unlikely to happen anyway), and Japan had no realistic means of slowing (let alone halting) the rate at which USA was outproducing them.
Are you saying Japan would have won a war of attrition?
I think what you're trying to say is decisive battles ended up helping the US. But Japan was playing against the odds forcing them to gamble. At least a gamble has a chance of them coming out on top instead of losing for sure.