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VMF-213_Frosty
08-21-2004, 12:36 AM
Watched the history channel tonight which had a documentory about the mission by P-38's to destroy the Betty bomber that Adm Yamamoto was flying in. Here is a hypothetical question for the PF community to chew on. What would have happened if the flight to intercept Adm Yamamoto failed?

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VMF-213_Frosty
08-21-2004, 12:36 AM
Watched the history channel tonight which had a documentory about the mission by P-38's to destroy the Betty bomber that Adm Yamamoto was flying in. Here is a hypothetical question for the PF community to chew on. What would have happened if the flight to intercept Adm Yamamoto failed?

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â"” Ernie Pyle

Tooz_69GIAP
08-21-2004, 06:43 AM
The Japanese would still have lost, but they woulda had a genious behind the defence. It woulda been waaaaay tougher than it was to beat the Japanese.

whit ye looking at, ya big jessie?!?!

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wuggle85
08-21-2004, 07:17 AM
plus it could have caused the war to end in 1946

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China Flanker 1
08-21-2004, 08:15 AM
i know that pilot who shoot yamamoto

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Tater-SW-
08-21-2004, 08:28 AM
Tougher to win? Why? All that matters are RESULTS. Not elaborate planning with nice tracks on the map that look pretty, results. Did the objective succedd, yes, or no.

Seriously, what did Yamamoto do that was so brilliant in the first place?

Insist on attacking Pearl Harbor with a hit and run attack that was only effective in the very short term, and even then missed the prime targets through lack of intel, and planning for contingencies? He spent time in the US as an Attaché, he counseled not to underestimate the US, yet he had the bright idea to hit so close to home we'd not just be at war, but be enraged? (the timing of the declaration added fuel to the fire, but the US populace still would have been instantly out of their isolationist stupor, even if the timing was as planned)

I'd have to look it up, but what part, if any, did he have in the attempted invasion of Port Moresby that was aborted due to winning the Battle of the Coral Sea? (putting timid commanders in charge reflects on HIM, even if that is all he did)

Yamamoto's sluggish, then half-hearted response to Guadalcanal? That was brilliant, too http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif .

How about the "genius" of the Midway plan? Never mind how it turned out, but splitting your forces into 4 groups that aren't mutually supportive? (call it three if you feel that the feint north was useful) Regardless, Midway was a helluva basket to put all your eggs in given the awful logistics of keeping it supplied---particularly if logistics is your absolute worse branch---which it was for the Japanese.

Yamamoto is overrated.

Perhaps there were only on the offensive for 6 months because of Yamamoto. Without him, they might have been on the offensive for 8 months, or a year before becoming defensive. I think it would have changed nothing at all in terms of the timeline to Japanese defeat. His basic mindset was the same as the rest of the Combined Fleet, a warped Mahanian "Decisive Battle" at the expense of fighting a modern war.

tater

Chuck_Older
08-21-2004, 09:27 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by China Flanker 1:
i know that pilot who shoot yamamoto

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which one? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Two pilots got official credit at the time, Barber and Lamphier if I recall correctly. Which one is of your aquaintance?

I have a book that has several photos of Yamamoto posing for a photographer. One of them is in Waltham, Ma, USA, in front of a watch factory. He is smiling, with a class o schoolchildren, circa 1937. I know exactly where the factory is and have driven past it many times. It looks virtually the same today http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/blink.gif Very odd feeling when I saw that photo, I have stood next to that gate myself!


I would argue that Yamamoto was not psychologically the same man who had "run wild" in the first year and half of war, and that he had a defeatist attitude by the time of his death. He had also developed a tendency to split his forces, sometimes unwisely. I would predict no huge change in the outcome of the war, or even the time at which it was ended.

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Treetop64
08-22-2004, 11:44 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tater-SW-:
Tougher to win? Why? All that matters are RESULTS. Not elaborate planning with nice tracks on the map that look pretty, results. Did the objective succedd, yes, or no.

Seriously, what did Yamamoto do that was so brilliant in the first place?

Insist on attacking Pearl Harbor with a hit and run attack that was only effective in the very short term, and even then missed the prime targets through lack of intel, and planning for contingencies? He spent time in the US as an Attaché, he counseled not to underestimate the US, yet he had the bright idea to hit so close to home we'd not just be at war, but be _enraged_? (the timing of the declaration added fuel to the fire, but the US populace still would have been instantly out of their isolationist stupor, even if the timing was as planned)

I'd have to look it up, but what part, if any, did he have in the attempted invasion of Port Moresby that was aborted due to _winning_ the Battle of the Coral Sea? (putting timid commanders in charge reflects on HIM, even if that is all he did)

Yamamoto's sluggish, then half-hearted response to Guadalcanal? That was brilliant, too http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif .

How about the "genius" of the Midway plan? Never mind how it turned out, but splitting your forces into 4 groups that aren't mutually supportive? (call it three if you feel that the feint north was useful) Regardless, Midway was a helluva basket to put all your eggs in given the awful logistics of keeping it supplied---particularly if logistics is your absolute worse branch---which it was for the Japanese.

Yamamoto is overrated.

Perhaps there were only on the offensive for 6 months because of Yamamoto. Without him, they might have been on the offensive for 8 months, or a year before becoming defensive. I think it would have changed nothing at all in terms of the timeline to Japanese defeat. His basic mindset was the same as the rest of the Combined Fleet, a warped Mahanian "Decisive Battle" at the expense of fighting a modern war.

tater<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Best run-down on Yamamoto I've ever read.

China Flanker 1
08-22-2004, 11:55 AM
it is Barber got it,barber's p-38's 12.7mm gun shoot yamamoto's head.these is what a group japan historian found in the inland yamamoto's plane downed. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

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Chuck_Older
08-22-2004, 06:38 PM
There was an autopsy on Yamamoto??

I had always heard he was cremated, then returned to Japan, not returned to Japan and cremated.

In any event, how does a single 12.7mm round indicate it was Barber? Both Lamphier and Barber were flying P-38s and that's 8 .50 machine guns between the two planes, so how can you tell who shot the round?

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JG7_Rall
08-22-2004, 07:04 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Chuck_Older:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by China Flanker 1:
i know that pilot who shoot yamamoto

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which one? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Two pilots got official credit at the time, Barber and Lamphier if I recall correctly. Which one is of your aquaintance?

I have a book that has several photos of Yamamoto posing for a photographer. One of them is in Waltham, Ma, USA, in front of a watch factory. He is smiling, with a class o schoolchildren, circa 1937. I know exactly where the factory is and have driven past it many times. It looks virtually the same today http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/blink.gif Very odd feeling when I saw that photo, I have stood next to that gate myself!


I would argue that Yamamoto was not psychologically the same man who had "run wild" in the first year and half of war, and that he had a defeatist attitude by the time of his death. He had also developed a tendency to split his forces, sometimes unwisely. I would predict no huge change in the outcome of the war, or even the time at which it was ended.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v441/Chuck_Older/BBB3.jpg
Killers in America work seven days a week~
Clash<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Damn! I drove through waltham last week....eerie stuff.

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chris455
08-22-2004, 10:32 PM
IIRC, a large "slug" (.50 cal? 20mm?) hit Yamamoto in the jaw. I'm not certain that it is entirely clear that it was fatal, or that massive internal injuries from his Betty hitting the deck at 200+ knots killed him.

Legend has it that he was still strapped to his seat, and clutching his ceremonial Katana when his body was found.

If you get a chance to watch the History channel special mentioned aerlier, don't miss it. THC goofs things up often enough, but this is really a classy documentary, well reserched and fascinating.

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heywooood
08-22-2004, 10:45 PM
If not that day - then soon after. We had the Japanese communications decoded faster than they did. Ha was a long way from home and had several days of flying ahead of him. As far as importance?...its all about command and control for the US military, objectivewise.

Taking or destroying enemy real estate is effective, but if you can remove key commanders from the battlefield, you historically win your wars much faster.



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MK2aw
08-23-2004, 09:35 PM
Yamamoto's biggest error was in not following up and taking Hawaii when he could of, that would really have but the pacific fleet in a bind (at least for a while).

He also broke up the carrier group after Pearl. Picture the might of the Japanese Navy chasing unprotected British ships and bombing practically defenseless air fields instead of tracking down and destroying their number one enemy the US. They could of destroyed the US fleet in those crucial early days, then turned their attention South.

He then launched an attack to draw out the Americans at Midway because of the Doolittle raid. He could of drawn out the US pacific fleet in a much more planned manner , and not made a decision based on emotion ("we must protect the emperor at all cost" was the emotion).There was absolutely zero planning (no pun intended) in comparison to the months of preparation and practice for Pearl Harbor. Many (including me) say the Japanese had horrible luck at Midway but sometimes you make your own bad luck and the Japanese navy certainly did it by not planning properly for that battle, this was squarely on Yamamoto's shoulders.

A good read is "God's Samurai" by the lead pilot at Pearl Harbor who also participated at Midway.... Mitsuo Fuchida. Even though Fuchida loved and had great respect for Yamamoto, these mistakes were glaring.

All this being said , the Japanese Navy was much better off with him than without him but he was far from perfect.

MK2aw

KIMURA
08-24-2004, 04:01 AM
The lose of the war had very less to do with the death of an Admiral. The fate of Japan was sealed on lacking sources and the lack to have access to them. Neither Adm.Yamamoto nor another smart leader wouldn't be able to turn that. The end of war was in sight from ca.spring 1943 on, if you take account to the overstretched Japanese production capacity the U-boat blokade did the rest.

Upon landing back at Guadalcanal, both Baber and Lanphier argued over who made "the kill." In the excitement following the announcement that Yamamoto was killed, neither pilot was officially debriefed and the confusion continued. The Americans kept the whole thing a secret until after the war so the Japanese wouldn't know their code had been broken. The men were also taken out of the area for fear that they might fall into Japanese hands and reveal the mission. This also kept the confusion going. As for the Japanese, they waited awhile before announcing that Yamamoto had been killed in action but released no details.

To China Flanker. After that report there's not confirmed who shot the Yamamoto Betty down.

On June 13th, 1975, the last surviving Japanese Zero pilot gave a statement on what he witnessed that day. His taped statement is in the Admiral Nimitz Museum at Fredricksburg, Texas. His name was Kenji Yanagiya and he states there were two bombers with Yamamoto in the lead one. He says the P38s ignored the Zeros and flew right toward the plane carrying Yamamoto and shot it down. He saw it crash into the jungle but didn't see a wing fall off. His statement that the Americans didn't bother with the Zeros doesn't jibe with any American statements.

The leader of the Japanese rescue team that reached the plane was interviewed in1984. He stated that the body of Yamamoto was on board. He also stated that he saw no guns on the plane. This would indicate that Lanphier shot down the other plane(he stated he was fired on by a tail gunner) Mitchell always leaned toward Barber as the one who got Yamamoto.

Looking back now from this great distance in time it seems unimportant who did the actual shooting down of Yamamoto. Everyone of those men that took part in the operation were heroes. They all deserve the credit and our highest esteem.



Kimura

[This message was edited by KIMURA on Tue August 24 2004 at 03:11 AM.]

Sakai9745
08-24-2004, 04:43 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Tater-SW-:

Yamamoto is overrated.

tater<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I don't know, Tater. Granted, the results, as you pointed out, would've most likely been the same, but Tooz's and wuggle's predictions aren't too far fetched. Yamamoto had perhaps the best understanding of the US military machine. He studied at Harvard in the 20s, and served in Washington as an attache for, according to sources, the better part of a decade. His insight into US military doctrine, tactics, and ability far exceeded that of any of his counterparts. Furthermore, while a battleship-man, he had the vision to champion for a carrier fleet and develop fleet strategies around them, recognizing the value of air power while it's potential was still a question mark for many around the world.

Somewhat less tangible was the effect his death had on the morale of Japanese forces as a whole.

As it is well documented, when informed by his superiors of their decision to go to war with the US, he said the following:

"If I am told to fight regardless of consequences, I shall run wild for the first six months or a year. But for the second and third years I have utterly no confidence."

Midway was virtually lost by the end of June 4th, a mere three days shy of that prediction.

Again, in the end, it most likely would not have made a difference, but I cannot agree that Yamamoto was 'overrated'. All other things remaining equal, I would dare say that, given the proper tools to wage the war his country desired (ie - the resources and industrial capabilities needed to fight such a war, expanded pilot training to replace the losses, etc), I would put Yamamoto up against the likes of Nimitz, Halsey, or anyone else for that matter any time of day.

Al - SF, Calif

"Defense Dept regrets to inform you that your sons are dead cause they were stupid."

Tater-SW-
08-24-2004, 08:03 AM
All things were not equal. Leaders have to function in the world they lived in, not an imaginary world where everything is equal. Assuming he had a better military/logistical machine is not the way to decide if he is overrated historically/popularly. Patton is overrated the same way, as well, mostly as a result of the movie bearing his name.

I'm well aware of yamamoto's knowledge of the US compared to his contemporaries, that's part of the reason I think he is so overrated. Knowing what he knew, and his statement about "run(ning) wild for 6 months" why would he push for an attack that would so polarize the American people when the GOAL from the start was a negotiated peace? At his level of planning, politics is part of the equation, particularly given the fact that the Japanese had no expectation of winning a war with the US, but rather an expectation that they might be able to get a negotiated settlement in their interest. Ike had to do politics as well, for example, the difference his goal was total victory, not leverage for a negotiated peace.

You are very right regarding the morale effects of his death, I hadn't figured that, and wouldn't know how if I were to try http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif . Good point, probably had some effect, not sure if it shortened the fight, or made the foe more fanatical.

tater

NegativeGee
08-24-2004, 09:13 AM
My take on Yamamoto was not that he was not to do with his exploits in command but more his outlook prior to the begining of the pacific war as Sakai9745 outlined.

He seems a figure caught in a set of circumstances where he thought there was no chance of victory, but he has to lead the military effort- he states his forcast for war at the time, and is vindicated (in a way that could not have been particularly pleasing to him and almost to the day) by history.

That is why Yamamoto is such an interesting historical figure, to me at least.

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Tater-SW-
08-24-2004, 09:36 AM
True enough. I wasn't talking about him in general, but rather as a commander in the field. I'd have to dig the exact quote up, but in Combined Fleet Decoded there is a postwar quote from a member of the Imperial Headquarters who said that before the war the GHQ estimated their chances at "victory" (a negotiated peace, fairly quickly, favorable to Japan) at 10%.

Given that in general, they didn;t think they were facing good odds, I'm surprised they didn't take a more nuanced view to starting hostilities.

tater

Sakai9745
08-24-2004, 10:03 AM
Okay, keeping things out of a fantasy realm, my reasoning for for believing Yamamoto was a admiral to be feared lies in that kind of reasoning he used when his superiors decided to go to war and gave him the task of planning it (interesting sidenote - there was some kind of assasination plot against him in '39 due to his opposition to the more militant Japanese desire to go to war). Taking the abilities of the US and those of his nation, he knew better than to attempt a classic 'slug-it-out' war. Pearl Harbor was his best gamble at trying to cirumvent it and achieve the outlined strategic goals.

Without the benefit of conjecture, no one can say for sure how Yamamoto would've performed at a tactical level. As Commander of the Combined Fleet, he operated at a strategic level. But, if allowed the luxury, I personally believe he had the knowledge and skills that would've made him a dangerous opponent to take on at the fleet level.

Regards,

Al - SF, Calif

"Defense Dept regrets to inform you that your sons are dead cause they were stupid."

Tater-SW-
08-24-2004, 10:23 AM
OK, at the strategic level (he was analogous to Ike in that regard, or Nimitz, anyway (realizing the massive gulf between the IJA and IJN)).

What were Yamamoto's STRATEGIC successes?

Not Pearl, it was a tactical victory, but a strategic/political disaster of the highest order.

Not the invasion of Port Moresby, derailled by a victory at the Coral Sea.

Certainly not Midway.

Nor Guadalcanal and the rest of the Slot.

What, exactly, did he do that was brilliant from a strategic standpoint? Are there any examples?

tater

Sakai9745
08-24-2004, 10:41 AM
Occupation of Southeast Asia and the East Dutch Indies.

Seriously, if Yamamoto was nothing to fear, why invest such an effort in gunning him down?

Al - SF, Calif

"Defense Dept regrets to inform you that your sons are dead cause they were stupid."

BlackShrike
08-24-2004, 11:52 AM
yamamoto alive would have shortened the war slightly. he would have convinced the emperor to sue for peace or surrender .

Sakai9745
08-24-2004, 12:19 PM
Given what I've read of the man, that sure could've been a possibility. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Regards,

Al - SF, Calif

"Defense Dept regrets to inform you that your sons are dead cause they were stupid."

T_O_A_D
08-24-2004, 12:43 PM
Speaking of Yamamoto if you Click this link (http://www.geocities.com/vmf513pics/vmf513_images.htm) There is supposed to be picts of his aircraft in a museum at bottom of page.

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Tater-SW-
08-24-2004, 01:34 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Sakai9745:
Occupation of Southeast Asia and the East Dutch Indies.

Seriously, if Yamamoto was nothing to fear, why invest such an effort in gunning him down?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

At the time, people were unsure of a lot of things. In hindsight, there was zero chance of Japan winning the war from the start. We're looking in hindsight here.

SE asia? A lot of that was an Army show, wasn't it? Regardless, taking poorly defended areas is great, but says little about his abilities as a strategic/tactical genius. Having taken the resource rich Dutch East Indies, how developed was a strategic sense that did virtually nothing to secure the sea lanes. That "oversight" alone is startlingly stupid.

Japan depended on 67 million tons of overseas goods the year before the war. She had 5.6 million tons of merchant shipping, and vitually no escort ships. Japan followed the model of the Royal Navy in many ways, and had information about WW1 and the Battle of the Atlantic. There is no possible way the IJN was unaware of the vulnerability that the UK faced from U-boats, yet they did absolutely nothing to develope ASW capabilities of their own. The failure to have ANY plan for logistics makes the IJN (and Yamamoto) amatuers. Logistics is the the most important factor in any war, bar none.

tater

Sakai9745
08-25-2004, 08:49 AM
This is interesting, Tate. Got a question or two for you. Pls check your PM.

Al - SF, Calif

"Defense Dept regrets to inform you that your sons are dead cause they were stupid."