I haven't denied that naval intelligence benefited from their ability to crack the Japanese codes. I am aware that they used a clever ruse to confirm the Imperial Navy's code for Midway. I have not denied the prompt measures taken to counter the First Air Fleet. I have not denied the operational abilities of Spruance and Fletcher, and i have specifically praised the courage and initiative of Navy aviators.
My entire sin, in your eyes, is ascribing the scope of the victory over First Air Fleet to luck. For some reason, that seems to infuriate you (silly boy). But this is not a case of my being unwilling to accept contradiction when offering a dubious opinion. As i have pointed out, i have seen a filmed interview in which McClusky says essentially the same thing. I cannot link you to that film, but i did provide a quote from the Navy Historical Center (you know, the United States Navy
Historical Center?) stating: Thanks to American signals intelligence, judicious aircraft carrier tactics, and more than a little luck, the U.S. Navy had inflicted a smashing defeat on the Japanese Navy.
, and i provided a link to that page. You have ignored it completely, because it is not consonant with your personal view of the battle. I have not been enraged by being contradicted, because it is not simply me whom you contradict, but the weight of the opinion of reputable historians, and even of the Navy Historical Center. You are the one who cannot deal with contradiction.
Throughout these discussions of the Pacific war, you have beaten the drum of "The Navy, and noone but the Navy." I said to you earlier: It certainly would be a mistake to overrate MacArthur's contribution. It would equally be a mistake to attempt to portray the Pacific War as the Navy and Marines marching from one triumph to another.
But you have continued to attempt to portray the Pacific war as a series of Navy triumphs, to which no one else made a significant contribution. In fact, prior to the remark of mine which i have just quoted (and which was in response to this remark of yours), you wrote: By the end of 1942 our submarines had in addition cut off most of the deliveries of petroleum to Japan from Indonesia. They still had powerful surface naval forces and well entrenched positions on islands throughout the region, however were no longer capable of seriuous offensive operations -- the outcome of the war was no longer in doubt. MacArthur's campaign had very little to do with it.
And this is evidence of another, more disturbing aspect of your willing blindness, and that is your unwillingness to admit any failings on the part of Navy. As this excerpt froman article at History-net-dot-com
points out, the Navy's torpedoes, well into 1943, were a disaster:
For 18 months, several flaws had combined to render the Mark XIV torpedo, upon which submariners’ lives and success depended, virtually impotent. From the onset of Mark XIV production, inherent defects had existed within the design of the torpedo and the Mark VI magnetic influence exploder mechanism. Each flaw that was discovered and corrected exposed another malfunction. As Theodore Roscoe, author of the official naval history of submarine operations, put it, ‘The only reliable feature of the torpedo was its unreliability.’
But you have been pleased to write: It is true that the South Asian air forces played an important role in the interdiction of shipping from the Java Sea. However it was at best a supplement to what the submarine cordon around Japan had already done.
This completely ignores the uselessness of the Mark XIV torpedo, and the frustrations which it caused submariners, and the dangers to which it exposed them. As the linked article points out:
What must never be forgotten is the fact that just over 50 years ago, submariners were forced to engage the enemy for 18 months with ordnance that proved to be at least 70 percent unreliable. Often, Japanese merchantmen would enter port with unexploded Mark XIV torpedoes thrust into their hulls.
Admiral Lockwood, commanding the submarine service in the southwest Pacific had no illusions about the lack of reliable ordnance. From the same source:
Perhaps Admiral Lockwood encapsulated the submariners’ long frustration best when he suggested at a wartime conference in Washington that, ‘If the Bureau of Ordnance can’t provide us with torpedoes that will hit and explode… then for God’s sake, get the Bureau of Ships to design a boat hook with which we can rip the plates off a target’s side.’ Although his submarines never had to resort to such measures, history has tended to overlook their early months of struggle, focusing instead on the final two years of their campaign.
You, too are focusing on the last two years of the submarine campaign, and in the process, are pleased to denigrate the effort of Kenney's Fifth USAAF--which for most of the first 18 moths of the war, was the only effective force for interdicting Japanese shipping coming from the Dutch East Indies. You just can't accept either that the Navy could have done anything wrong, or that anyone else made a significant contribution to the Pacific War.
At the beginning of the Second World War, the Japanese Long Lance torpedo was the finest torpedo in the world. The Kagero
class destroyer was the best destroyer afloat, superior to any American design then in service. The Mitsubishi "Zero" was superior to the Brewster Buffalo and the Grumman Wildcat, in every regard except armor. However, what is significant about all of these excellencies was the cost to the Japanese of their weapons systems. In absolute terms of resources need to produce a fighter plane, or a torpedo, or a destroyer, including the material costs of getting the manufacturing materials and delivering them to Japan, all of these weapons cost far, far more than American weapons systems cost the United States. To take the example of the Zero, in 1940, it cost Japan more than two and half times as much in absolute material terms to produce as the Wildcat. Although there was a brief period of time after the Southern Operation when the difference slipped slightly, the attacks of Kenney's 5th USAAF and the rapidity with which the United States geared up her war industry just made the equation worse for Japan. While the United States quickly replaced her older designs, and manufactured existing designs in the thousands and tens of thousands, the Japanese struggled just to produce spare parts to keep her existing weapons systems in operation. Few new Japanese weapons and weapons system designs were completed and put into service after late 1942. The efforts of Kenney's air forces (which began with the 5th USAAF and the Royal Australian Air Force, and later expanded with two more Army air forces) in the latter half of 1942 and the first half of 1943 were the true effective methods which were being taken to interdict Japanese shipping with the materials from the East Indies (minerals and petroleum) which were crucial to the Japanese war effort. But you, with your sacrosanct credo of "all Navy and only Navy," refuse to see that anyone else could have made a significant contribution.
Furthermore, you have twisted what i have written in your constant chant of Navy superiority. You write: It is true - as you say - that MacArthur's campaign in New Guinea was intended to protect Australia. However it occurred after Japan had completely lost any meaningful capability to threaten the subcontinent.
In fact, you were the one who said that MacArthur's campaign in New Guinea was intended to protect Australia, and i simply acknowledged that that was one
of the goals of the campaign. In the first place, you are wrong to say that the campaign occurred only after Japan had lost the capability to threaten Australia. The battle of the Coral Sea was a draw, and the fact that it turned back a convoy intended to reinforce Japanese troops on New Guinea, doesn't change that events did not occur in that war in a vacuum in which only U.S. Navy operations were significant. Japanese troops were already on New Guinea, and they were fighting to cross the mountains and take Port Moresby after
the battle of the Coral Sea. The Coral Sea engagement took place in May, 1942, and the Japanese landed two more regiments on New Guinea near Gona in July of that year. Gona was at the eastern end of the island, so the Coral Sea engagement was not nearly so important as Navy men like to claim, and apart from the convoy which was turned back in May, the Navy did nothing to interdict further Japanese reinforcements to New Guinea. The new Japanese regiments forced the Australians out of Gona and across the mountains. The Australians sent another brigade to Port Moreseby, and even then, the Australians were obliged to retreat even closer to Port Morseby. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy was off fighting the Midway operation, and the Japanese with impunity made an amphibious landing in the attempt to take Port Morseby in September, 1942, more than four months after the Coral Sea battle. This force was defeated, thanks to the Australian troops,and the the RAAF and Kenney's 5th USAAF, both of which established permanent bases at Port Moresby to support the advance to retake Gona and Buna, and move west along the coast of New Guinea. While that was going on, the Navy was just beginning their Guadalcanal operation. Anyone familiar with that campaign, and especially with the naval battles in the Solomons and the successful Japanese resupply and reinforcement operations to Guadalcanal will be hard pressed to reconcile those facts
with a claim that the Japanese had lost any meaningful capability to threaten the subcontinent. It was only because of the successful defense of Port Moresby, the Guadalcanal operation and the subsequent push over the mountains of New Guinea and west along the coast of New Guinea that the Japanese were finally put out of the ability to threaten Australia. Certainly, despite your unrealistic pride in the Navy, the single engagement of the Coral Sea did not accomplish that end by itself.
I did not claim that the only
purpose of the New Guinea campaign was to protect Australia, and you ignore what i had already pointed out, which was that MacArthur's "hopping" operations on New Guinea relentlessly brought more and more of the Dutch East Indies, and eventually Borneo as well, under the bomb sights of Kenney's Southwest Pacific Air Force. In a period of time when Navy submariners could not rely on their torpedoes, when 70% of those torpedoes failed, it is absurd to claim that the efforts of Kenney's air forces were "at best a supplement" to what the submarine service was doing. Until late in 1943, there were precious damned few American submarines in operation in the Pacific, and by far the lion's share were pre-war models. And until mid-1944, those submariners didn't have a reliable torpedo to accomplish their mission. That high price the Japanese paid to manufacture their weapons systems was made much, much higher by Army air forces, from the very beginning.
I let a lot of this slide before, but your pig-headed insistence that no luck was involved in the Midway operation, and that in spite of the fact that the Navy Historical Center contradicts what you say, leads me to assume that you don't have the slightest grip on the reality of the events of the Pacific War, at any point at which historical reality conflicts with the Navy Gospel of Navy Excellence. Yes, it was largely a naval war, for obvious reasons. That doesn't mean that the Navy, and only the Navy, made a significant contribution, that the Navy never had any faults or failings, and that Navy could and did win it all by themselves. In fact, the end result of the Navy's operations in the central Pacific was to put United States Army Air Corps units in a position to support Navy operations against Iwo Jima and Okinawa, and to put USAAF units in a position to attack the home islands. At every step in the Pacific War, the Army's air forces, and GIs themselves marched every step at the Navy's side. Or maybe you don't think the GIs who died on Guadalcanal, and in every other prolonged invasion operation, and the thousands of USAAF aircrew who died in that war were really doing anything important. Will you now claim that the tens of thousands of casualties suffered by the Dutch and Australians were pointless?
You have a seriously unrealistic view of the Pacific War, and it's all founded in an irrational, blinkered prejudice for the United States Navy.
There is no doubt that the Navy fought the Midway campaign well. There is also no doubt that their spectacular success in nearly destroying the Japanese First Air Fleet (the carriers Zuiho
escaped) was a direct result of a stroke of wonderful good luck in bombing the Japanese carriers when their decks were covered with planes, fuel and ordnance.
Get over it, George.