Author Topic: Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found  (Read 1424 times)

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Offline PeteS in CA

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Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found
« on: October 21, 2019, 07:45:27 pm »
Researchers find second warship from WWII Battle of Midway

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MIDWAY ATOLL, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (AP) — A crew of deep-sea explorers and historians looking for lost World War II warships have found a second Japanese aircraft carrier that went down in the historic Battle of Midway.

Vulcan Inc.’s director of undersea operations Rob Kraft and Naval History and Heritage Command historian Frank Thompson reviewed high frequency sonar images of the warship Sunday and say that its dimensions and location mean it has to be the carrier Akagi.

The Akagi was found in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument resting in nearly 18,000 feet (5,490 meters) of water more than 1,300 miles (2,090 kilometers) northwest of Pearl Harbor.
...
“I’m sure of what we’re seeing here, the dimensions that we’re able to derive from this image (are) conclusive,” Kraft said. “It can be none other than Akagi.”

The vessel is sitting among a pile of debris and the ground around the warship is clearly disturbed by the impact of it hitting the seafloor.

“She’s sitting upright on her keel, we can see the bow, we can see the stern clearly, you can see some of the gun emplacements on there, you can see that some of the flight deck is also torn up and missing so you can actually look right into where the flight deck would be,” said Kraft.

Deep-sea explorers find Japanese ship that sank during WWII

Quote
MIDWAY ATOLL, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (AP) — Deep-sea explorers scouring the world’s oceans for sunken World War II ships are focusing in on debris fields deep in the Pacific, in an area where one of the most decisive battles of the time took place.

Hundreds of miles off Midway Atoll, nearly halfway between the United States and Japan, a research vessel is launching underwater robots miles into the abyss to look for warships from the famed Battle of Midway.
...
Sonar images of the Kaga show the bow of the heavy carrier hit the seafloor at a high rate of speed, scattering debris and leaving an impact crater that looks as if an explosion occurred in the ocean. The front of the vessel is buried in mud and sediment after nose-diving about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) to the bottom.

The U.S. bombs that struck the Kaga caused a massive fire that left it charred, but the ship stayed mostly together. Its guns, some still intact, stick out the side.
...
In May 1998, almost 56 years later, an expedition led by the National Geographic Society in conjunction with the U.S. Navy found the Yorktown 3 miles (5 kilometers) below the surface.
If, as anti-Covid-vaxxers claim, https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2021/robert-f-kennedy-jr-said-the-covid-19-vaccine-is-the-deadliest-vaccine-ever-made-thats-not-true/ , https://gospelnewsnetwork.org/2021/11/23/covid-shots-are-the-deadliest-vaccines-in-medical-history/ , The Vaccine is deadly, where in the US have Pfizer and Moderna hidden the millions of bodies of those who died of "vaccine injury"? Is reality a Big Pharma Shill?

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Offline skeeter

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Re: Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2019, 08:01:59 pm »
This is fascinating news - I've been a Pacific war buff for 50 years and have been following RV Petrel's activities for awhile. It's amazing how fast they found these wrecks, they've really got the process dialed.

Jon Parshall, one of the foremost scholars on the battle, has been commenting on RV's Facebook page as well.

Timing is great as there is a Movie concerning same due to be released very soon.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 08:04:52 pm by skeeter »

Offline truth_seeker

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Re: Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2019, 08:14:44 pm »
Battle of Midway win, was huge in American history.

"God must love the common man, he made so many of them.�  Abe Lincoln

Offline PeteS in CA

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Re: Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2019, 08:50:24 pm »
The Battle of Midway pitted US Task Forces 16 (USS Enterprise and USS Hornet) and 17 (USS Yorktown) against the IJN's Striking Force, (Akagi, Hiryu, Kaga, and Soryu).

USN carriers started with converted collier USS Langley (CV-1, ex-Jupiter). Langley was experimental, and by WW2 had been converted to a seaplane tender and aircraft transport. The next two USN carriers were USS Lexington and Saratoga (CV-2 and CV-3). These were converted mid-construction from battle cruiser to carriers. While suitable for use as carriers in the Pacific, they suffered a bit from their lineage and being very early in the development of carrier operations. They were long, with great displacement, not very maneuverable, and for their size their air group was not very large. Their air groups were similar to the later Yorktown class, but their fuel consumption greater and they were much larger targets. Lex was sunk at Coral Sea, while Sara survived the war, though relegated to training duty late in the war.

USS Ranger (CV-4) was the USN's first purpose-built carrier. Using later USN carriers as a base for comparison, Ranger was pretty much an attempt to create a fully capable fleet carrier in a light carrier hull. Because her construction was not the most robust and left little room and stability for upgrade, Ranger was not used in the Pacific, and was mostly used for aircraft transport. Then came the Yorktown class, USS Yorktown (CV-5), USS Enterprise (CV-6), and USS Hornet (CV-8). ~35% larger than Ranger, they were almost "just right" to Ranger's "too light". These combined a lot of lessons learned from earlier carriers and were very capable. Of the three, only Enterprise survived WW2; CV-7 was USS Wasp, which was not in the Pacific during the Battle of Midway.

Saratoga had been repaired from a torpedo hit, but did not make it to the Midway area in time to participate in the battle. Yorktown had been damaged at Coral Sea, but was sufficiently repaired to participate. Though two task forces, all three USN carriers were of the same class and capability.

On the Japanese side, IJN carrier development began with Hosho, which started life as a seaplane carrier and then converted to a regular carrier. By the time of Midway, her size made her unable to carry and operate modern planes. The IJN's next two carriers were Akagi, converted during construction to be a battle cruiser, and Kaga, originally begun as a battleship. Because of their different origins, they were somewhat dissimilar, Kaga being the slower. Japan's first from-scratch purpose-built carriers were Soryu and Hiryu, sister ships, but not identical. These were kind of in between light carriers and full-sized carriers, in size, air group, and robustness. The IJN's last two pre-war carriers were Shokaku and Zuikaku, basically the IJN's "just right".

These six IJN carriers combined for the Pearl Harbor attack, and then split up for other duties. Shokaku and Zuikaku fought at Coral Sea. Shokaku was seriously damaged, while Zuikaku's air group was significantly depleted. Hypothetically, Sho's and Zui's airgroups could have been combined to allow Zui to go to Midway, but the IJN did not operate their air groups that flexibly. Consequently, neither of the IJN's newest and best full-sized carriers were at Midway. Kaga and Akagi lacked the most advanced damage control design. IJN practice also placed the trained damage control specialists in the hangar decks, which were enclosed. That meant that both the fire control mains could be disabled by a single hit, and their damage control parties could be wiped out due to the enclosed hangar confining the blast of bomb hits within the hangar. Another aspect of IJN operations that increased vulnerability is that the process of fueling strikes and arming torpedo planes happened in the hangar deck.

Kaga took multiple hits, though due to her robust hull construction she became a floating inferno. Akagi took only one hit, but a second bomb was a very near miss at the stern, which took out Akagi's steering. Because her fire main and damage control parties were taken out, Akagi basically lost a protracted fight against her fires. Both (as well as Soryu, hit at the same time) had their strikes gassed and armed (except for dive bombers, which were armed when on the flight deck) in the hangar deck (all four IJN carriers were busily landing, replenishing, and launching their CAP, which could not be done with a strike spotted on the flight deck). Most USN bomb hits exploded in the hangars, which meant that the strike planes now provided several thousand gallons of fuel, plus torpedoes and bombs that would bake off.
If, as anti-Covid-vaxxers claim, https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2021/robert-f-kennedy-jr-said-the-covid-19-vaccine-is-the-deadliest-vaccine-ever-made-thats-not-true/ , https://gospelnewsnetwork.org/2021/11/23/covid-shots-are-the-deadliest-vaccines-in-medical-history/ , The Vaccine is deadly, where in the US have Pfizer and Moderna hidden the millions of bodies of those who died of "vaccine injury"? Is reality a Big Pharma Shill?

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Offline PeteS in CA

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Re: Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2019, 08:53:22 pm »
This is fascinating news - I've been a Pacific war buff for 50 years and have been following RV Petrel's activities for awhile. It's amazing how fast they found these wrecks, they've really got the process dialed.

Jon Parshall, one of the foremost scholars on the battle, has been commenting on RV's Facebook page as well.

Timing is great as there is a Movie concerning same due to be released very soon.

What I posted above relied considerably on Parshall and Tully's Shattered Sword, their 2007 (IIRC) book about the battle.
If, as anti-Covid-vaxxers claim, https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2021/robert-f-kennedy-jr-said-the-covid-19-vaccine-is-the-deadliest-vaccine-ever-made-thats-not-true/ , https://gospelnewsnetwork.org/2021/11/23/covid-shots-are-the-deadliest-vaccines-in-medical-history/ , The Vaccine is deadly, where in the US have Pfizer and Moderna hidden the millions of bodies of those who died of "vaccine injury"? Is reality a Big Pharma Shill?

Millions now living should have died. Anti-Covid-Vaxxer ghouls hardest hit.

Offline skeeter

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Re: Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2019, 11:02:18 pm »
What I posted above relied considerably on Parshall and Tully's Shattered Sword, their 2007 (IIRC) book about the battle.
@PeteS in CA read it, a very good account with lots of new info. Parshall's book was especially fascinating because the previous conventional wisdom held that Japan lost the cream of its naval flyers in this attack. Not true - that happened later at Battles of Santa Cruz and Eastern Solomons. What they lost at Midway were their trained mechanics and plane handlers.

BTW Parshall now thinks the strike the Japanese were preparing at the time they were struck was not even as far along as he suggested in Shattered Sword (and certainly not in accord with Fuchida's famous account) due to the violent manuevering Kido Butai was forced to make to avoid previous US attacks.


Offline catfish1957

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Re: Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2019, 11:06:12 pm »
This is fascinating news - I've been a Pacific war buff for 50 years and have been following RV Petrel's activities for awhile. It's amazing how fast they found these wrecks, they've really got the process dialed.

Jon Parshall, one of the foremost scholars on the battle, has been commenting on RV's Facebook page as well.

Timing is great as there is a Movie concerning same due to be released very soon.

Hard to imagine living during World War 2.  Knowing that easily we could have been defeated, and our way of life changed in so many ways.
Anxious times for sure.
I display the Confederate Battle Flag in honor of my great great great grandfathers who spilled blood at Wilson's Creek and Shiloh.  5 others served in the WBTS with honor too.

Offline skeeter

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Re: Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2019, 11:23:13 pm »
Hard to imagine living during World War 2.  Knowing that easily we could have been defeated, and our way of life changed in so many ways.
Anxious times for sure.

Thinking about America in the 40s is especially evocative as we consider the bitter, divisive, America hating left has crawled out from under its rock and now pretty much sets the public tone.

Offline PeteS in CA

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Re: Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2019, 11:48:26 pm »
@PeteS in CA read it, a very good account with lots of new info. Parshall's book was especially fascinating because the previous conventional wisdom held that Japan lost the cream of its naval flyers in this attack. Not true - that happened later at Battles of Santa Cruz and Eastern Solomons. What they lost at Midway were their trained mechanics and plane handlers.

BTW Parshall now thinks the strike the Japanese were preparing at the time they were struck was not even as far along as he suggested in Shattered Sword (and certainly not in accord with Fuchida's famous account) due to the violent manuevering Kido Butai was forced to make to avoid previous US attacks.

The IJN would have lost some, combat being combat, but fighter pilots would have ditched and been picked up, and many who were aboard their carriers would have been rescued along with many others in the crew. In the long run the IJN lacked the kind of training program necessary to replace ordinary combat losses. So the Midway losses plus losses in the Solomons battles gradually whittled down both numbers and the experience/skill level of IJN fliers.

The loss of mechanics, technicians, and plane handlers was catastrophic. They were working in the enclosed hangars when USN bombs exploded in the hangars. Where Yorktown class (and later Essex class) carriers had open hangars that let explosive force vent outside of the hangar, IJN carriers' hangars confined the force of explosions. Beyond the simple loss of life, Akai and Kaga had the most experienced technical/mechanical and plane handling people. They had years of experience and were the best and most efficient, individually and as teams. Soryu's and Hiryu's people were not far behind, if at all. Allowing for some survivors, the IJN probably lost half or more of the people who did the work that got their planes and pilots into the air efficiently.

Also, at that point the IJN had specialists who were trained in damage control but the rest of the ships's crews had little or no damage control. By stationing the specialists in the hangars, the losses among those trained people were also heavy. This loss of experience may have contributed, a couple of years later, to the loss of the new carrier Taiho.

My understanding is that the Striking Force had prepared a second strike to hit Midway a second time, and when they became aware, incompletely, of the presence of USN carriers, they started process of changing their Kates from bombs to torpedoes and possibly the bombs for the Vals from high explosive to some sort of delayed delayed fuse type. While the anti-carriers strike may not have been ready, there still would have been fueled planes and lots of explosives in the hangar deck areas instead of the magazines. Unless the rearming had not even begun, the bottleneck of too few suitable carts would have had the handlers focused on getting the reload complete, leaving what had been offloaded in temporary storage. All in all, I would take Parshall's new assessment to be a changed view regarding the amount of ordnance in the hangars rather than whether there was any.
If, as anti-Covid-vaxxers claim, https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2021/robert-f-kennedy-jr-said-the-covid-19-vaccine-is-the-deadliest-vaccine-ever-made-thats-not-true/ , https://gospelnewsnetwork.org/2021/11/23/covid-shots-are-the-deadliest-vaccines-in-medical-history/ , The Vaccine is deadly, where in the US have Pfizer and Moderna hidden the millions of bodies of those who died of "vaccine injury"? Is reality a Big Pharma Shill?

Millions now living should have died. Anti-Covid-Vaxxer ghouls hardest hit.

Offline PeteS in CA

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Re: Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2019, 12:19:19 am »
Battle of Midway win, was huge in American history.

It was really big. I do not think it reversed the likely outcome of the war, but I'd guesstimate that it shortened it by 6-12 months. Had Midway not happened or had a less lopsided result and the rest of the war been prosecuted with similar determination and skill, US industrial capacity still would have buried Japan.

The Solomons might not have been invaded, shifting effort to New Guinea, but the North Carolina Battleships were already in commission, the South Dakotas would still have come into the war starting in late 1942, with the Iowas coming behind them (probably all six instead of four). The Essex carriers and Independence light carriers would still have have started arriving in early 1943, with more Essexes being completed than there were historically, and probably a few Midways would have come into the war. Then there were the Liberty and Victory ships.

On the Japanese side, IIRC, they produced two improved Soryu-like fleet carriers, the Taiho, and converted the Shinano from a Yamato class battleship to a fleet carrier. Musashi was their last battleship, I think they may have produced a few light cruisers, and some RO-class submarines (smaller than their various I-class boats). The Japanese didn't have a heavy bomber like the B-17, and while they did have fighter models newer and better than the Zero and Hayabusa, they didn't produce them in the numbers needed to fully reequip their navy and army air forces. And once the Mark XIV torpedo got fixed in late 1943, the annoying attrition of merchant ships quickly became terrible.
If, as anti-Covid-vaxxers claim, https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2021/robert-f-kennedy-jr-said-the-covid-19-vaccine-is-the-deadliest-vaccine-ever-made-thats-not-true/ , https://gospelnewsnetwork.org/2021/11/23/covid-shots-are-the-deadliest-vaccines-in-medical-history/ , The Vaccine is deadly, where in the US have Pfizer and Moderna hidden the millions of bodies of those who died of "vaccine injury"? Is reality a Big Pharma Shill?

Millions now living should have died. Anti-Covid-Vaxxer ghouls hardest hit.

Offline skeeter

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Re: Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2019, 12:31:48 am »
The IJN would have lost some, combat being combat, but fighter pilots would have ditched and been picked up, and many who were aboard their carriers would have been rescued along with many others in the crew. In the long run the IJN lacked the kind of training program necessary to replace ordinary combat losses. So the Midway losses plus losses in the Solomons battles gradually whittled down both numbers and the experience/skill level of IJN fliers.

The loss of mechanics, technicians, and plane handlers was catastrophic. They were working in the enclosed hangars when USN bombs exploded in the hangars. Where Yorktown class (and later Essex class) carriers had open hangars that let explosive force vent outside of the hangar, IJN carriers' hangars confined the force of explosions. Beyond the simple loss of life, Akai and Kaga had the most experienced technical/mechanical and plane handling people. They had years of experience and were the best and most efficient, individually and as teams. Soryu's and Hiryu's people were not far behind, if at all. Allowing for some survivors, the IJN probably lost half or more of the people who did the work that got their planes and pilots into the air efficiently.

Also, at that point the IJN had specialists who were trained in damage control but the rest of the ships's crews had little or no damage control. By stationing the specialists in the hangars, the losses among those trained people were also heavy. This loss of experience may have contributed, a couple of years later, to the loss of the new carrier Taiho.

My understanding is that the Striking Force had prepared a second strike to hit Midway a second time, and when they became aware, incompletely, of the presence of USN carriers, they started process of changing their Kates from bombs to torpedoes and possibly the bombs for the Vals from high explosive to some sort of delayed delayed fuse type. While the anti-carriers strike may not have been ready, there still would have been fueled planes and lots of explosives in the hangar deck areas instead of the magazines. Unless the rearming had not even begun, the bottleneck of too few suitable carts would have had the handlers focused on getting the reload complete, leaving what had been offloaded in temporary storage. All in all, I would take Parshall's new assessment to be a changed view regarding the amount of ordnance in the hangars rather than whether there was any.

Kido Butai was under almost constant attack from shortly after launching the midway strike and under relatively intense attack after recovering it. Imagine trying to take a 250kg contact bomb off an airplane and replace it with an 1800kg torpedo while your carrier is cruising at 30knots & heeling over 10 degrees alternately from port and starboard.

One last detail Parshall offered I thought was really interesting is the reason the Japanese May have had problems replacing skilled mechanics while we didn’t was that nearly every American kid was already mechanically inclined going in to the service, knowing his way around a car engine, tractor or other machinery, while the same was not true of the average Japanese kid.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 12:33:11 am by skeeter »

Offline PeteS in CA

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Re: Battle of Midway: Two Sunken Japanese Carriers Found
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2019, 05:27:41 pm »
Kido Butai was under almost constant attack from shortly after launching the midway strike and under relatively intense attack after recovering it.1. Imagine trying to take a 250kg contact bomb off an airplane and replace it with an 1800kg torpedo while your carrier is cruising at 30knots & heeling over 10 degrees alternately from port and starboard.

One last detail Parshall offered I thought was really interesting is the reason the Japanese May have had problems replacing skilled mechanics while we didn’t was that nearly every American kid was already mechanically inclined going in to the service, knowing his way around a car engine, tractor or other machinery, while the same was not true of the average Japanese kid.2.

1. The "almost constant attack" was a product of attack groups, mostly torpedo, coming in uncoordinated from Midway and the several USN CVs. It made the attacks themselves ineffective, but as you pointed out, the IJN carriers had to do violent maneuvering fairly often. Those attacks also kept IJN Zeros constantly having to be serviced and the eyes of lookouts focused low. The latter made for the dive bombers from Enterprise and Yorktown not being noticed until they were close to or at their push-over points.

2. Whether in transportation or farming, US citizenry were much more mechanized than that of Japan. Many US men were hunters in one degree or another, and thus familiar with guns. Re the latter, that head start in training is EXACTLY what the 2nd Amendment refers to when it refers to a "well regulated militia being necessary". My Dad's family spoke German at home. English was his and his siblings' second language, to use the modern term. My Dad and one of his brothers were 4-F, but their brother who was not served in North Africa and Italy. Being bilingual, one might think he was used as a translator, but having been raised on a farm, his mechanic skills were the more valuable and that was how he served.
If, as anti-Covid-vaxxers claim, https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2021/robert-f-kennedy-jr-said-the-covid-19-vaccine-is-the-deadliest-vaccine-ever-made-thats-not-true/ , https://gospelnewsnetwork.org/2021/11/23/covid-shots-are-the-deadliest-vaccines-in-medical-history/ , The Vaccine is deadly, where in the US have Pfizer and Moderna hidden the millions of bodies of those who died of "vaccine injury"? Is reality a Big Pharma Shill?

Millions now living should have died. Anti-Covid-Vaxxer ghouls hardest hit.