How good/bad was the Imperial Japanese Navy's Aircraft Carriers and Carrier Aircraft?
I know they lost in the end, but they still put up a fight, no?
Their carriers were incredibly flawed. They were overall smaller than their American counterparts (though comparable to the British carriers, IIRC), but the had a terrible layout compounded by god awful damage control.
Pretty critical was the hangar layout. The Americans opted for unarmored decks to allow them to carry more aircraft, making up for the vulnerability of such an arrangement by having an open hangar (meaning any explosions wouldn't be contained as much and thus be less damaging). The British, with their armored decks, were content to use closed hangars.
The Japanese, with their smaller carriers, decided to go for unarmored decks, but they stuck with closed hangars. That meant bombs penetrating the decks (which as we all know happened all too often to them) were devastating. Coupled with horrific damage control practices and other major design flaws, the Japanese carriers were incredibly vulnerable, as Midway showed.
Their carrier aircraft were good for how they were designed - IJN doctrine emphasized long range over almost everything else - but it meant that losses were almost always guaranteed to be high. Combine that with other doctrinal failures, like the training of carrier air groups as a whole, and you're left with a force very vulnerable to attrition. Look at Shokaku and Zuikaku after Coral Sea. Although one carrier escaped unscathed, the IJN was unwilling or unable to shift around air units to make up losses, meaning that both carriers were put out of action for some time so that both air wings could be replenished.
I don't know about their carriers but their war ships were formidable and crews were extremely well trained at the start.
US sailors used to say the Japs could drop a shell in your back pocket from a couple of dozen miles out
Their warships were okay, even being hamstrung by godawful DamCon.
But every single one of them, with the possible exceptions of the Yamato and Musashi were hopelessly outclassed by USN designs at the end of the war.
Great post. As an addendum to the part of the war of attrition, the Japanese were incredibly poorly equipped to both build new ships/aircraft and train new crewman for both. They just couldn't hope to match the United States industrial capacity or recruitment and training.
The battle of the pacific is in retrospect one that the Japanese were seemingly destined to lose from the start.
hey this is roger posting from my thinkpad Edge (e530c)
so first of all great question OP, the answer is that they were pretty crappy, just like american light aircraft carriers, the only difference being that the japanese didn't have bull halsey's forward strategic thinking of leaving like 8 light carriers with wooden decks guarded with like 2 escort ships and just glaring very sternly at the japanese, instead the japs just worked on math problems or wrote very long poems about having sex with dolls filled with cherry blossoms or some shit (very confusing group of people, those japanese), then got bombed like idiots and went down with their ships
but that's not why i'm posting, its more to address the falalcy that japanese warships were formodible and could put shells in your pockets (probably already some kind of porn knowing them (no offense)
true the japanese were good at basically building the empire state building on each of their ships, which did look cool; and true the japanese figured out how to angle shots low to fuck with ships under water; which is also cool, but here's what's not true
they sucked at aiming. couldn't aim for shit. why? (i don't know, you'd think they'd be good with all that squinting.) but in addition to their werid slanty eyes they also (and this is crazy) didn't have computerized fire control. that's right they couldn't build computers. the japanese. no computers. so while we just had to aim and use some dials and buttons and light a match (not really sure about all of it) they had like 2 little japanese guys doing math on a sheet of rice paper trying to figure out how to hit us. classic example of american underdog ingenuity making way for democracy. and just like america always does, we kicked the world's ass yet again
so that's the story on that
Why couldn't Japan or Hitler just span converted cargo ship carriers?
Certainly they could be used for scout screening and as support for other groups.
I would think a whole other carrier squadron could have turned the tide in many battles.
The problem wasn't so much a lack of ships, but a lack of naval aircraft and pilots.
After the Battle of the Philippine Sea, Japan had a bunch of empty carriers with no planes or pilots. So they just used the remaining carriers as bait.
Don't forget, they all had wooden decks.
And the hallmark of their flawed naval doctrine, among other things, was that the battleships were there most important. Everything else was just too provide backup.
Not really. One of their widely known methods was to ballpark some colored smoke rounds and adjust. Sure, when they had you zeroed in they were devastating. But until then they were quite vulnerable.
Not only that, but using the range of the planes on the US carriers kept their battery guns hopelessly out of effective range.
Well, the thing is the Japanese had a very formidable fleet and they had been at war for a decade... so they had been recruiting, training, and fighting for years.
When Americans started preparing for war we were so unprepared we trained with wooden weapons.
Well the case was Japan was a fat kid that was cocky because he punked Russia a few years back, and decided to bully the skinny kid that was America. Then America hit the gym for a couple years and came back to punch Japan in the jaw.
Japan was probably still the biggest believer in the Big Gun school of naval war. Even thought they themselves proved air power was the new hotness with Pearl Harbor and sinking HMS Prince of Wales.
Yep. Now we are the fat kid bullying other nations.
"Mooom the Saudis blew up my towers!!"
"Sweetie you've been blowing up Arabs toys for a long time and you've been very rude to him. Leave him alone."
"FINE.... I'll just invade Iraq and Afghanistan..."
My problem with that is battleships were never really used to full effect.. they were pretty much always used to attack other battleships.
Nobody used battleships to destroy cities.
A battleship shelling a city would do more damage than a hundred bombers.
No doubt they were, and most other countries thought so too. Except American naval doctrine in the Pacific centered on the carrier and made use of its reach to smash the battleship doctrine which was by then decades old. Japan simply believed "battleship stronk" would last forever and never adapted. Their decisive victory doctrine never worked out for them either.
Though I have my suspicions that the reason Americans found out about the effectiveness of the carriers was that after Pearl Harbor, they basically went "well this is all we got left right now, YOLO."
Well among other things, the American fleet was a focused group, doing island hopping. Meanwhile, the Japanese fleet was spread out all over the Pacific because their Intel work was garbage.
the best way to imagine my voice is as follows:
1. imagine that i'm a big black guy with a big deep voice
2. imagine that i'm using the mouth of a dolphin that i ripped off to penetrate your mom
3. anally using only the dolphin skin to lubricate (feels like a cat tongue oddly!)
4. imagine that every time i press it deeper towards her pluno splanctic ganglian she says "Roger" a little higher and i say "Roger" a little lower
5. but we always stay in perfect harmony
that's what i sound like
>Why couldn't Japan or Hitler just span converted cargo ship carriers?
The Yamashio Maru-class and the Shimane Maru-class were converted from tankers and the Akitsu Maru-class was converted from transport ships
It's all about the angle of the shot.
You can make those triple-deckers look huge as fuck from the right angle.
Japan did it, and both Germany and Italy were working on doing so as well (on low priority).
Problem is, converted cargo ships are too slow to really keep up with a fleet and lacking in damage control, making them too risky to use in combat. Had Japanese ASW practices not been nonexistent, they would have been useful, but merchant aircraft carriers really aren't suitable for regular fleet operations.
Their 2nd gen carriers (Akagi and Kaga) were comparable to US 2nd gen carriers (Lexington and Saratoga). Hiryu and Soryu were superior to Wasp and Hornet. Shokaku and Zuikaku were superior to the Yorktown class. However this was because they cheated the treaty like motherfuckers, not because the Japs were better at building carriers.
Training carrier air groups as a whole was not a doctrinal failure. It made the Japs more coordinated, which everyone praises, but it made them less robust and slower to react, which everyone forgets. Like most decisions, it was one that had tradeoffs.
I like you, Roger.
This is true, but I've always been taught that Japans navy preferred a "decisive battle" approach to winning wars.
Can someone explain what the REAL actual overall strategy of the IJN was?
Also, as a side note, did the implementation of the Yamato Class BB have any place in the overall strategy of the IJN?
Yamato was designed to be the ultimate battleship. Great AA, Great Armor, and Great Firepower, the problem was she eats resources like a fat mother fucker and resources are something Japan doesn't have. So to fully use her would be a tremendous drain on the already limited resources. That's why at the end of the war Japan just said fuck it and went ahead with operation Tengo setting Yamato off on a suicide run since she couldn't do anything else.
Langley sexiest Carrier of the year, all years
>learning Japanese military strategy from a shitty browser game
>not even mentioning the fact that Yamato was a cushy glamour assignment for senior staff
>or that they didn't want a ship named after ANCIENT FUCKING JAPAN put at any risk of sinking in a battle turned sour
Anyone interested in this sort of thing ought to read Shattered Sword by John Parshall. It sounds like a few Anons ITT have already. While it does ultimately focus on Midway, the author does an excellent job of providing larger context for many of the IJN's doctinal and strategic failures that led to their defeat. He does an especially good job of getting in to the nitty-gritty of the IJN's carrier operations both in the entire theater and during the battle.
The world's standard at the start of the war, below par at the end of the war.
It's obscene how long it took them to get the A7M working, and even then it didn't have time to make it into the war.
The "decisive battle" approach was IJN doctrinal orthodoxy, influenced heavily by Mahan and other writers - who wrote in an era where the battleship was the penultimate naval combat vessel.
IJN officers believed was that Japan was unlikely to sustain a battle of attrition with a major world power (a common-sense assumption), so the idea was to draw out the enemy's main battleship force and then smash them in a battle that would leave the nation without power projection and thus force them to sue for terms. Japanese doctrine emphasized accurate visual gunnery, night maneuvers, the usage of torpedoes by smaller ships, and speed, range, and maneuverability of carrier-borne aircraft - all meant to overwhelm an enemy force by speed, surprise, and shock.
Damage control and safe ordnance handling was de-emphasized in favour of faster reloading, as were heavy and performance-impeding safety equipment like self-sealing fuel tanks on fighter aircraft.
As you note though, there needs to be a real reason for an enemy to commit the bulk of his forces in the first place, and the IJN never really gained the same sort of intelligence advantages the USN were able to develop (cracking the Japanese code, radar, etc.) to make a decisive battle happen at a time and place of their choosing.
Military planners also probably underestimated the potential resilience of industrial nation-states and the ability of democratic governments to mobilize political willpower to keep up the war effort despite a large number of initial defeats (much like bomber advocates of the same period). Pearl Harbour was an attempt to solve the war of attrition issue, but it simply galvanized the USA to sit down for a slugging match.
At least the japs built Carriers and didn't have the fattest fucktard imaginable, Göring, who hated the idea of not being in charge of even a single aircraft in Germany so much that he didn't allow the Kriegsmarine to get aircraft or control over them
Fucking Göring is directly responsible for most fuckups of the Luftwaffe because he was such a fucking useless fat retard
>the answer is that they were pretty crappy, just like american light aircraft carriers
The fuck is wrong with light carriers?
>The "decisive battle" approach was IJN doctrinal orthodoxy, influenced heavily by Mahan and other writers - who wrote in an era where the battleship was the penultimate naval combat vessel.
Mahan wrote in an era before the battleship you dumbass.
>american underdog ingenuity
Fuck, I hate the WW2 Japs, love freedoms, Democracy and all that shit, but this meme has to end.
When the fuck was America the Underdog in a war the last time?
Independence War? Spanish War?
Sure as fuck not in WW2. There were way more Brits/Americans/Australians/New zealanders/Russians/French then there were germans/italians/japs, and the allies had more land and resources too.
That's not true. Graf Zepplin was well on its way to completion before the war began and afterwards it was decided that Germany didn't require a surface fleet of merit and construction was instead put into the uboat fleet.