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US Naval Forces assigned to Invasion of Japan in WW2

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  • #31
    Let me roll a few things in here, cause what the hell....

    1. 5 inch/38 guns with VT fused shells tied to advanced (for the day) radar controlled centralized fire control systems was extremely effective in the AA role. The screens around the CVs, CVEs & transports for close in AA would have been massive. As Okinawa had proved picket lines would be established for early warning. There would be massive fighter coverage. Several of the Essex Class carriers were going to have fighter only air groups...that's 90 - 110 fighters per ship. Also several CVE task groups with fighter only were to be surged forward to protect fleet anchorages with close in. My uncle was one of those pilots. My Dad was aboard one of those carriers.

    2. Okinawa wa actually a maneuver fight. Much of the maneuver occurred before the landing ever occured. Also the 8th Army practiced maneuver quite often in the Philippines. A lot of folks look to the Central PAcific/Marine Centric fights and think that was the model. The model was the Philippines & Normandy. The US Army, with it's British & Commonwealth allies, had perfected the art & science of invading a large land mass. Okinawa, the largest island the Central Pacific forces invaded, was 470 sq mi. Leyte alone was 2850 sq mi. The 8th Army had inifinite more experience. Armor would have come ashore starting in Wave 5...that was doctrine by this time. By D+24 hours every division ashore would have had a tank battalion and an SP TD battalion ashore. All division artillery as well.

    3. Like Eisenhower before D Day, MacArthur would have received operational control over the Pacific Air Forces in the month prior to the invasion. If there was an airfield it was going to get visited...repeatedly. Any means of LOC chokepoint (rail yards, bridges, key intersections, etc) would be hit. The amount of naval gunfire support would have been mindboggling.

    4. No reinforcements were coming to the home idlands from China. Japan was cut off....completely. The US Pacific Fleet Submarine Force did what the Kriegsmarine could never do....they cutoff Japan from all sea LOCs. Between the aerial mining campaign and the Pacific submarine fleet a rubber duck wasn't going to make it from China to Japan.

    5. Replacement aircraft, men & ships were all lined up to sustain the fight. Just about everything...less a CV or BB...which could be lost would be replaced for the Allies. The Japanese had what they had.

    ALL of this is before the first nuke gets popped.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain


    • #32
      A note on the picket line. The navy had expanded the "Big Blue Blanket" for the invasion to include airborne Early Warning planes using radar developed in Project Cadillac. TBMs and B-17s (PB-1s).

      As soon as the first planes took off from those Japanese airfields both the planes and the airfields would have been targeted.

      Lots of problems with the Japanese battle plan Mainly it didn't reflect the realities on the ground. Their harbors were sealed up tight by that time. Their crops had failed ect...

      Its a good thing that the Japanese had a love affair with Mahan. They were always wanting to fight "Decisive Battles"