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"Midway: victory and scandal" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2020 7:48 p.m. PST

"Seventy-eight years ago (on June 4-7, 1942), the United States Navy fought and won the Battle of Midway. Courageous American warriors defeated a powerful Japanese invasion fleet, and in the process, sank of four of Japan's six largest aircraft carriers, for the loss of one American carrier.

One of the tragic features of this battle is that, in the early stages of the fighting, wave after wave of attacking American aircraft were shot from the sky, their valiant pilots and gunners slaughtered, in what some have compared to the charge of the Light Brigade and the famous poem written about it. How ironic it must have been the many American pilots who died that day, mostly well educated, had surely read that poem, without premonition that it would someday serve as their symbolic epitaph…"
Main page
link

Amicalement
Armand

nsolomon9901 Sep 2020 12:46 a.m. PST

Short article with a highly questionable theory that if both of the Hornet's Torpedo bomber squadrons had arrived over the Japanese carriers at the same time then all 4 would've been sunk in the morning. The assertion seems to be that because only 1 squadron arrived and was shot down by the Japanese CAP and AAA fire this saved the Japanese carriers.

Frankly, as theories go I think its laughable.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2020 6:35 a.m. PST

Uh, "scandal"?
What scandal?

gamershs Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2020 11:10 a.m. PST

Actually the attacks of the torpedo bombers kept the Japanese carriers busy at a critical time and drew off the CAP so that the dive bombers came in without bring bothered by the CAP.

The biggest problem is that the TBD torpedo bombers were being phased out as they were too slow. The replacement TBF was faster and could have kept up and attacked with the dive bombers and fighters.

I thought the Hornet air group was only about 15 TBDs. The torpedo bomber groups were scattered over 2 task forces and Midway so a coordinated attack would be almost impossible.

Personal logo jdginaz Supporting Member of TMP01 Sep 2020 2:40 p.m. PST

and drew off the CAP so that the dive bombers came in without bring bothered by the CAP.

Old myth, there was more than enough time between the torpedo attacks and the dive bomber attacks for the Cap to climb back up to intercept the bombers.

The biggest problem is that the TBD torpedo bombers were being phased out as they were too slow. The replacement TBF was faster and could have kept up and attacked with the dive bombers and fighters.

The Marines attacked with TBFs and didn't do any better than the TBDs. Inexperience and poor doctrine had as much to do with the failure as the anything else.

I would recommend reading 'Shattered Sword" if you want a better handle on what happened at Midway.

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Sep 2020 3:40 a.m. PST

"Old myth, there was more than enough time between the torpedo attacks and the dive bomber attacks for the Cap to climb back up to intercept the bombers."

Except they would have been almost useless even if they had. The reason the high level CAP had to dive down in the first place was because the low-level CAP had used up all its 20mm ammunition. The Zeroes in use at that time were armed with two 20mm cannons and two 7.7mm machine guns. The machine guns were almost useless against the armored US planes, but the 20mm were devastating. But each Zero only carried 40 rounds per gun and these were very quickly used up. The low-level CAP had used up all its 20mm ammo defeating the earlier waves of torpedo bombers. When the last attack came in, all they had was machine guns and the American Devastators blew right through them--shooting down two Zeros. The low-level planes called for help and the high level CAP dove down to help them. They still had 20mm ammo and slaughtered the Devastators. But they probably used up most of the 20mm ammo to do it (40 rounds would be something like three 3-second bursts). So even if they'd made it back up to their patrol level they might not have been able to do much against the Dauntlesses.

Murvihill02 Sep 2020 7:44 a.m. PST

So in the same breath he admits mistakes happens he claims THIS mistake should not have happened.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2020 12:08 p.m. PST

Thanks!


Amicalement
Armand

R Leonard02 Sep 2020 5:25 p.m. PST

A BS article . . . journalist pretending to know history. And from just where does he draw ". . . Waldron was part American Indian, and his race is thought to have been a factor in the decision made by his commander to discredit his advice . . ." Really? Says who? Or was this just made up from grasping the sheer gossamer of his imagination. Is he forgetting, or my bet doesn't even know, that Waldron's promotion to Commander and his next assignment as CHAG was already a matter of record . . . hardly what one would expect if his ancestry was of such question as to discount his professional opinion. I knew a great many of the flyers in that battle, including my father, discussed the action many times with many of them, including a not inconsiderable number from USS Hornet, and no one ever, EVER, said anything like that. This article is a hatchet job looking for a home.

gamershs Supporting Member of TMP02 Sep 2020 10:17 p.m. PST

There were 6 Navy TBFs at Midway (belonged to VT-8 Hornet air group (in transition?)) and not on the carriers. The TBFs were just starting to be phased in and yes the pilots were inexperience with this aircraft. The Marines were flying TBDs (total of 16) at Midway. I use Morison for my dispositions.

I would suggest that you look at a youtube article that breaks down Midway from the Japanese perspective (actually minute by minute).

YouTube link

The Japanese were doing what was logical from their perspective and knowledge. It was based on incorrect knowledge and bad "luck" but I guess that is what can happen in war.

There were 13 TBDs with Yorktown, 29 TBDs with Enterprise/Hornet and at Midway 16 Marine TBDs and 6 Navy TBFs. Three separate groups of torpedo bombers and limited information exchange. A coordinated attack is not that likely.

R Leonard04 Sep 2020 4:18 p.m. PST

1. TBF's at Midway Island were a detachment of VT-8.
2. There were no, repeat, NO Marine TBDs at Midway, Marines did not operate TBDs.
3 The article referenced is just a bunch of smoke, no substance, just supposition loosely based on some facts and ignoring others.
4. The link provided in the article "one historian" is even more BS from someone who has not his facts straight.
5. The only TBD squadron present on the scene when VB-3, VB-6, and VS-6 gathered overhead was VT-3. VT-8 and VT-6 had already gone in, VT-8 all lost, VT-6 all but three lost.

Questionable internet articles that border on screeds and UTube videos are no places to get your history. There are a goodly number of well and modern researched tomes that can present a balanced story of what actually happened.

Oh, and yeah, Morison does not say anything about Marine TBDs in his MAG-22 order of battle . . . at least not in my 1950 second printing.

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