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russellmz

what order should you launch/land airstrikes in a carrier game?

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so, i was trying to figure out how you would order your air strikes' launches and landings in a carrier game.

at midway the japanese admiral delayed launching his strike because he had an incoming flight returning from a ground attack and he had to switch his next strikes' weapons from anti-ground to anti-ship. so his planes got caught on the deck in the american strike.

so he ordered his launches/landings wrong.

from the few examples i have looked at, some games just have the players roll a dice and whoever has the bigger number surprises the other guy and gets a chance to attack with the other guys planes on deck.

is there even a way to make it an interesting choice instead of just a random guess?

how do other wargames do it? how would you do it?

some sort of event card?

just make it random like in the other games?

whoever launches first?

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Play Carriers at War - then the aircraft are launched when you tell them to be, they'er recovered when requird, they're rearming or refueling when that is required....computers are great for housekeeping!!

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russellmz,

Believe you dropped a Japanese armament change from your Midway list. Had the Japanese commander made a decision, any decision, and kept to it, he wouldn't have found himself caught flatfooted when the Americans arrived, with planes both being fueled and the ordnance changed. It certainly wouldn't have been pretty, but the carriers wouldn't have been blown up the way they were, for the planes would've been gone and the weapons in the magazines or on their way to the target. If you read the history of Japanese naval decisions in the Pacific, you'll see this tendency toward vacillation and half measures over and over again, together with plans of Byzantine complexity, such as the complete Midway battle plan and its wasted resources used to attack Alaska.

Don't know whether you get into miniatures at all, but you might find Command at Sea, by Chaos Games, valuable, both as a very deep simulation of naval war in the Pacific and a tremendous grog education in the weapons and their capabilities. There's another one coming covering the period after Midway to VJ Day.

Regards,

John Kettler

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russellmz,

Here's a brief discussion of the sequence of events, together with links to a wealth of material on the battle.

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/midway/mid-4.htm

And here's a fuller discussion of the fateful inability to decide exhibited by Nagumo.

http://worldwar2database.com/html/midway.htm

Regards,

John Kettler

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Victory Games "Carrier" handles all of these procedures very nicely, especially for a game that is played as solitaire only. And I'd post a freakin' link to the game directly, but BGG.com is down yet again, which seems to be a nightly occurrence lately....

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Oy! It is a complete and utter urban myth that the Japanese carriers at Midway were packed with planes refueling and rearming when the SBDs hit them. See 'Shattered Sword' for full details.

At the time the Japanese were recovering planes from CAP which of course required a clear deck.

Furthermore, and what really makes me laugh about 'military historians', all of the photographs taken during the dive bombing runs show Japanese carriers twisting and turning WITH COMPLETELY CLEAR DECKS. Why the hell no-one picked up on the blatantly obvious for fifty years says a lot about recieved history.

In reality the mightiest carrier, Akagi, was sunk by a single bomb with no extenuating circumstances at all.

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Hah! If I had to name anyone as the perfect example of received history it would be you Lard.

Even though you can clearly see a photo of Akagi's cleared deck justbefore it is hit you still stand by your received view despite what is before your eyes? Stupidity, moral cowardice or seriously bad eyesight?

If you knew anything about Fuchida you would perfectly well understand why he would try to explain Midway as a total fluke. I'm still boggled as to why US historians have until recently perpetuated his view, perhaps they like to see Midway as some kind of 'divine justice' for Pearl Harbour?

Whatever, if you choose to take someone's view who had a massive invested interest as portraying the whole thing as a minor miracle, over two historians who have objectively deconstructed timings and events to the n'th degree in Shattered Sword, you must admit you have a problem.

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http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/midway.htm

Interestingly enough, has your photo.

But I think I'll still take Fuchida's word that there were planes on the deck.

Interestingly enough, Parshall and Tully claim that Japanese historians can't understand why Americans are still taking Fuchida's word on that. According to them, there are so many holes in his story you could drive New York's entire fleet of Yellow Cabs through it, and this has been known in Japan for several decades.

Whaddaya think about that?

Michael

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Oy! It is a complete and utter urban myth that the Japanese carriers at Midway were packed with planes refueling and rearming when the SBDs hit them.

Well...there were lots of planes on the carriers rearming—the second strike. They just weren't on the flight decks, but had been struck down onto the hangar decks, which is where arming and fueling normally happened on Japanese carriers.

Michael

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Hmm, interesting. After a little digging I see they discredit Fuchida's account. I shall have to add it to the reading list.

But for everybody else, save yourself $35.

http://www.combinedfleet.com/NWCReviewMidwayArticle.pdf

Seems a bit of a quibble, really. They admit there were probably some strike planes on deck, just not packed wall to wall like in the movies.

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Hah! If I had to name anyone as the perfect example of received history it would be you Lard.

Even though you can clearly see a photo of Akagi's cleared deck justbefore it is hit you still stand by your received view despite what is before your eyes? Stupidity, moral cowardice or seriously bad eyesight?

If you knew anything about Fuchida you would perfectly well understand why he would try to explain Midway as a total fluke. I'm still boggled as to why US historians have until recently perpetuated his view, perhaps they like to see Midway as some kind of 'divine justice' for Pearl Harbour?

Whatever, if you choose to take someone's view who had a massive invested interest as portraying the whole thing as a minor miracle, over two historians who have objectively deconstructed timings and events to the n'th degree in Shattered Sword, you must admit you have a problem.

Probably because what I was looking at was a photo taken from a B-17.

Got one from a Dauntless dive bomber?

Jackass.

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Hmm, interesting. After a little digging I see they discredit Fuchida's account. I shall have to add it to the reading list.

But for everybody else, save yourself $35.

Why are you spending $35 for it? :confused: Amazon is offering new copies for $17.95. Used copies can be had for less than that.

Michael

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Because that's what they said they wanted on their website.

Of course, since the guy is from Minneapolis, I could just have him over for dinner and grill him.

But then again, I'm a bit worried about anyone who'd name their cats after Japanese carriers. Seems almost dalemlike, and we all know where that leads...

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Seems almost dalemlike, and we all know where that leads...

Only dalem can inhabit that universe and survive. He's like some kind of organism that thrives under a bombardment of gamma rays.

:D

Michael

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Where does it say that photo is from a B-17?

Mr Emrys has a point that lots of planes were being tooled up and tinkered with downstairs (not upstairs), but once a bomb gets through to the hangar deck and below it is probably going to make a hell of a mess regardless. Especially when the hangar decks are enclosed and have virtually no fire fighting capacity.

The Japanese carriers sank because A) the SBD pilots were good and B) the Japanese designed piss-poor Carriers and had piss-poor damage control. Coincidence, fluke and miracle had nothing to do with it.

Yours,

Jackass.

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Heck even Wiki says that the rearming planes were on the hangar deck, and the "problem" was that the rush to get them rearmed led to ordnance lying around on that deck rather than being returned to the magazines.

But even with all that 3 of the Japanese carriers were scuttled rather than actually sunk by USN attacks.

Luck certainly had something to do with -a Akagi was hit by only 1 bomb, but that bomb exploded amongst the ordanance lying around the hanger deck. A second bomb near-missed Akagi, but slanting in exploded underneath her - bending the flight deck and damaging the rudder. without the torpedoes and bombs lying around hte Hanager deck Akago would surely have been out of action....but might well have made it back to Japan.

The idea that the torpedo bombers of VT-3, 6 and 8 purposely attacked to draw the Japanese CAP out of position is preposterous, and the SBD's finding the Arashi's wake and following to the carriers when they were almsot out of gas was pure serendipity.

not to decry the skill and bravery of the USN fliers, but to say that coincidence, luck and fluke had nothing to do with it is ludicrous.

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I think the battle could easily have gone the other way or at least ended in a draw, with say two carriers lost on both sides. But the IJN did make a lot of mistakes that all added up to put them in a bad way. And while the Americans made mistakes as well, overall I believe they played their hand a lot better and as a result were better placed to capitalize on their luck. And that pretty much is what military art is all about, isn't it?

Michael

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I think the battle could easily have gone the other way or at least ended in a draw, with say two carriers lost on both sides.

At first blush, I'd have said that losing two carriers each would have been a substantial victory for the Japanese.

At a tactical level, they may well have continued with the invasion of Midway. At the operational/strategic level the IJN would have still had lots of carriers, while the USN would only have had ... 1 or 2(?)

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The sources I cited make it quite clear that there's no actual carrier based SBD strike imagery of the attacks on the four carriers. That photo being discussed is from an earlier Midway based B-17 sortie. Believe it's the Navy.mil site which mentions a highly bizarre incident in which one of the carrier planes did get a shot, but an officer confiscated it, and it was never seen again. Bottom line? There is NO carrier based SBD strike imagery against the four Japanese fleet carriers in the attack that turned the tide of the war in the Pacific.

Regards,

John Kettler

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The IJN certainly seemed to make an awful lot of mistakes throughout the campaign - a lot of these are forced by the US SIGINT advantage but a lot of them seem to be a failure of nerve.

One egregious instance is the Guadalcanal transports not being destroyed after all the escorts were sunk but really there seems to be, from my untutored perch, a lot of times when the stuffed themselves.

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Hah! If I had to name anyone as the perfect example of received history it would be you Lard.

Even though you can clearly see a photo of Akagi's cleared deck justbefore it is hit you still stand by your received view despite what is before your eyes? Stupidity, moral cowardice or seriously bad eyesight?

Well, Rob Ross, thanks to Kettler, now you need to explain your superiority complex.

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/midway/mid-4k.htm

One of the Great Mysteries of the Sea?

A Frequently Asked Question, and its None-Too-Pleasant Answer.

After going through our pictorial coverage of the Battle of Midway, researchers often ask "So, where are all the photographs of Kaga, Akagi and Soryu during and after the attacks that sank them?". To which we reply, sadly, "Well, there don't seem to be any!"

The unfortunate fact of the matter is that the only existing views of Japanese ships during the Battle of Midway are those taken by the Army B-17s as they tried to hit the Japanese carriers on 4 June 1942, two photos of the wrecked Hiryu taken from a Japanese aircraft early on 5 June, and several photographs of the cruiser Mikuma after she was bombed on 6 June.

Undoubtedly, there were photographers on board the Japanese carriers during the Battle of Midway, as there were on earlier and later operations. However, either their pictures were destroyed with the ships, or afterwards, when the Japanese Navy went to great lengths to conceal the disaster from the rest of their nation. In addition, some of the attacking U.S. planes carried cameras, but most apparently did not have an opportunity to use them.

It has been related, in a particularly unhappy tale, that a Bombing Squadron Six SBD flown by Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Wilbur E. Roberts and Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class W.B. Steinman had a camera, and that Steinman took a number of photographs. This plane was one of two Enterprise SBDs to land on USS Yorktown shortly before she was bombed. Later in the day, after Yorktown was torpedoed, LtJG Roberts took the camera and film with him as he abandoned ship. After reaching USS Portland (CA-35), he had the film developed and printed. He has reported that the resulting photographs showed a Japanese carrier, which would probably have been Kaga. However, while he examined the freshly developed prints, a more-senior officer came along, saw what they represented, and confiscated them. Roberts never saw them again.

There, the trail ends. No such photographs were included in any of the Midway action reports, and they are not with the Portland photography that became part of the Navy's official photographic collection.

So what photo you been looking at?

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And,

The Japanese carriers sank because A) the SBD pilots were good and B) the Japanese designed piss-poor Carriers and had piss-poor damage control. Coincidence, fluke and miracle had nothing to do with it.

Yours,

Jackass.

"In many ways the Japanese were in the forefront of carrier design, and in 1941, the two Shōkakus — the culmination of prewar Japanese design — were superior to any carrier in the world then in commission" Evans, Kaigun p323

Better than anything we had when the war started.

So, I guess you're left with A.

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And,

"In many ways the Japanese were in the forefront of carrier design, and in 1941, the two Shōkakus — the culmination of prewar Japanese design — were superior to any carrier in the world then in commission" Evans, Kaigun p323

Better than anything we had when the war started.

So, I guess you're left with A.

The article you linked to pointed out a large error in Japanese carrier design; as the hangers were enclosed by workshops etc the engines could not be warmed up unless on the deck, adding 15 minutes to the spot time.

Little of A, little of B.

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