Posted June 29th, 2012 at 02:06am
British airborne landings
The first Allied action of D-Day was Operation Deadstick, a glider assault at 00:16 on the bridges over the Caen canal and the River Orne. HP Pavilion dv6-3299ea Battery
These were the only crossings of the river and canal north of Caen around 7 kilometres (4.5 mi) from the coast, near Bénouville and Ranville. For the Germans, the crossing provided the only route for a flanking attack on the beaches from the east. For the Allies, the crossing also was vital for any attack on Caen from the east. HP Pavilion dv6-3300 Battery
The tactical objectives of the British 6th Airborne Division were (a) to capture intact the bridges of the Bénouville-Ranville crossing, (b) to defend the crossing against the inevitable armoured counter-attacks, (c) to destroy German artillery at the Merville battery, HP Pavilion dv6-3300sg Battery
which threatened Sword Beach, and (d) to destroy five bridges over the Dives River to further restrict movement of ground forces from the east.
Airborne troops, mostly paratroopers of the 3rd and 5th Parachute Brigades, including the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, HP Pavilion dv6-3350ef Battery
began landing after midnight, 6 June and immediately encountered elements of the German 716th Infantry Division. At dawn, the Battle Group von Luck of the 21st Panzer Division counterattacked from the south on both sides of the Orne River. HP Pavilion dv6-3350sf Battery
By this time the paratroopers had established a defensive perimeter surrounding the bridgehead. Casualties were heavy on both sides, but the airborne troops held. Shortly after noon, they were reinforced by commandos of the 1st Special Service Brigade. HP Pavilion dv6-3351ef Battery
By the end of D-Day, reinforced by Operation Mallard the 6th Airborne had accomplished all of its objectives. For several days, both British and German forces took heavy casualties as they struggled for positions around the Orne bridgehead. HP Pavilion dv6-3351sf Battery
For example, the German 346th Infantry Division broke through the eastern edge of the defensive line on 10 June. Finally, British paratroopers overwhelmed entrenched panzergrenadiers in the Battle of Breville on 12 June. The Germans did not seriously threaten the bridgehead again. HP Pavilion dv6-3355ef Battery
6th Airborne remained on the line until it was evacuated in early September.
American airborne landings
The U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, numbering 13,000 paratroopers delivered by 12 troop carrier groups of the IX Troop Carrier Command, were less fortunate in completing their main objectives. HP Pavilion dv6-3355sf Battery
To achieve surprise, the drops were routed to approach Normandy from the west. Numerous factors affected their performance, the primary of which was the decision to make a massive parachute drop at night (a tactic not used again for the rest of the war). As a result, 45% of units were widely scattered and unable to rally. HP Pavilion dv6-3362ef Battery
Efforts of the early wave of pathfinder teams to mark the landing zones were largely ineffective, and the Rebecca/Eureka transponding radar beacons used to guide in the waves of C-47 Skytrains to the drop zones were the main component of a flawed system. HP Pavilion dv6-3362sf Battery
Three regiments of 101st Airborne paratroopers were dropped first, between 00:48 and 01:40, followed by the 82nd Airborne's drops between 01:51 and 02:42. Each operation involved approximately 400 C-47 aircraft. Two pre-dawn glider landings brought in anti-tank guns and support troops for each division. HP Pavilion dv6-6000 Battery
On the evening of D-Day two additional glider landings brought in two battalions of artillery and 24 howitzers to the 82nd Airborne. Additional glider operations on 7 June delivered the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment to the 82nd Airborne, and two large supply parachute drops that date were ineffective.
After 24 hours, only 2,500 troops of the 101st and 2,000 of the 82nd were under the control of their divisions, approximating a third of the force dropped. The dispersal of the American airborne troops, however, had the effect of confusing the Germans and fragmenting their response. HP Pavilion dv6-6001ea Battery
In addition, the Germans' defensive flooding, in the early stages, also helped to protect the Americans' southern flank.
Paratroopers continued to roam and fight behind enemy lines for days. Many consolidated into small groups, rallied with NCOs or junior officers, HP Pavilion dv6-6001eg Battery
and usually were a hodgepodge of men from different companies, battalions, regiments, or even divisions. The 82nd occupied the town of Sainte-Mère-Église early in the morning of 6 June, giving it the claim of the first town liberated in the invasion. HP Pavilion dv6-6001sg Battery
The assault on Sword Beach began at about 03:00 with an aerial bombardment of the German coastal defences and artillery sites. The naval bombardment began a few hours later. At 07:30, the first units reached the beach. HP Pavilion dv6-6002eg Battery
These were the DD tanks of 13th/18th Hussars followed closely by the infantry of 8th Brigade.
On Sword Beach, the regular British infantry came ashore with light casualties. HP Pavilion dv6-6002sg Battery
They had advanced about 8 kilometres (5 mi) by the end of the day but failed to take some of the deliberately ambitious targets set by Montgomery. In particular, Caen, a major objective, was still in German hands by the end of D-Day, and would remain so until mid JulyHP Pavilion dv6-6003eg Battery
(central urban area cleared 8–9 July, suburbs fully cleared by 20 July in Operation Atlantic), see Battle for Caen.
1st Special Service Brigade, under the command of Brigadier The Lord Lovat DSO, MC, HP Pavilion dv6-6004sa Battery
went ashore in the second wave led by No.4 Commando with the two French Troops first, as agreed amongst themselves. The 1st Special Service Brigade's landing is famous for having been led by Piper Bill Millin. The British and French of No.4 Commando had separate targets in Ouistreham: HP Pavilion dv6-6005ea Battery
the French, a blockhouse and the Casino; the British two German batteries which overlooked the beach. The blockhouse proved too strong for the Commandos' PIAT (Projector Infantry Anti Tank) weapons, but the Casino was taken with the aid of aCentaur tank. HP Pavilion dv6-6005eg Battery
The British Commandos achieved both battery objectives only to find the gun mounts empty and the guns removed. Leaving the mopping-up procedure to the infantry, the Commandos withdrew from Ouistreham to join the other units of their brigade (Nos.3, 6 and 45), moving inland to join-up with the 6th Airborne Division. HP Pavilion dv6-6005sg Battery
The Canadian forces that landed on Juno Beach faced 2 heavy batteries of 155 mm guns and 9 medium batteries of 75 mm guns, as well as machine-gun nests, pillboxes, other concrete fortifications, and a seawall twice the height of the one at Omaha Beach. HP Pavilion dv6-6006ea Battery
The first wave suffered 50% casualties, the second highest of the five D-Day beachheads. The use of armour was successful at Juno, in some instances actually landing ahead of the infantry as intended and helping clear a path inland. HP Pavilion dv6-6007sg Battery
Despite the obstacles, the Canadians were off the beach within hours and beginning their advance inland. A single troop of four tanks managed to reach the final objective phase line, but hastily retreated, having outrun its infantry support. HP Pavilion dv6-6007TX Battery
In particular, two fortified positions at the Douvres Radar Station remained in German hands (and would for several days until captured by British commandos), and no link had been established with Sword Beach. HP Pavilion dv6-6008eg Battery
By the end of D-Day, 30,000 Canadians had been successfully landed, and the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division had penetrated further into France than any other Allied force, despite having faced strong resistance at the water's edge and later HP Pavilion dv6-6008sa Battery
counterattacks on the beachhead by elements of the German 21st and 12th SS Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) Panzer divisions on 7 and 8 June.
At Gold Beach, 25,000 men were landed, under the command of Lieutenant-General Miles Dempsey, Commander of the British 2nd Army. HP Pavilion dv6-6008TX Battery
The casualties were also quite heavy, around 400, partly because bad weather delayed the swimming Sherman DD tanks, and also because the Germans had strongly fortified a village on the beach. However, the 50th (Northumbrian) HP Pavilion dv6-6011tu Battery
Infantry Division overcame these difficulties and advanced almost to the outskirts of Bayeux by the end of the day. With the exception of the Canadians at Juno Beach, no division came closer to its objectives than the 50th.
No.47 (RM) Commando was the last British Commando unit to land and came ashore on Gold east of La Hamel. HP Pavilion dv6-6012tu Battery
Their task was to proceed inland then turn right (west) and make a 16-kilometre (10 mi) march through enemy territory to attack the coastal harbour of Port en Bessin from the rear. HP Pavilion dv6-6013cl Battery
This small port, on the British extreme right, was well sheltered in the chalk cliffs and significant in that it was to be a prime early harbour for supplies to be brought in, including fuel by underwater pipe from tankers moored offshore. HP Pavilion dv6-6013tu Battery
Elements of the 1st Infantry Division and 29th Infantry Division (US) faced the recently formed German 352nd Infantry Division, a mixed group of Russian "volunteers" and teenagers stiffened with a cadre of east front veterans, HP Pavilion dv6-6022eg Battery
unusual in the fact that it was one of the few German divisions remaining with a full complement of three regiments albeit at reduced strength; fifty percent of its officers had no combat experience. However, Allied intelligence was unaware until two weeksHP Pavilion dv6-6023tx Battery
before the planned invasion that the 100 km stretch of beach originally allocated to be defended by the 716th Infantry Division (static) had been cut into two parts in March, with the 716th moving to the "Caen Zone", and the 352nd taking over the "Bayeux Zone", thus doubling the complement of defenders. HP Pavilion dv6-6024tx Battery
Omaha was also the most heavily fortified beach, with high bluffs defended by funneled mortars, machine guns, and artillery, and the pre-landing aerial and naval bombardment of the bunkers proved to be ineffective. Difficulties in navigation caused the majority of landings to drift eastwards, HP Pavilion dv6-6025tx Battery
missing their assigned sectors and the initial assault waves of tanks, infantry and engineers took heavy casualties. Of the 16 tanks that landed upon the shores of Omaha Beach only 2 survived the landing. The official record stated that "within 10 minutes of the ramps being lowered, HP Pavilion dv6-6026tx Battery
[the leading] company had become inert, leaderless and almost incapable of action. Every officer and sergeant had been killed or wounded [...] It had become a struggle for survival and rescue".
Only a few gaps were blown in the beach obstacles, resulting in problems for subsequent landings. HP Pavilion dv6-6027tx Battery
The heavily defended draws, the only vehicular routes off the beach, could not be taken and two hours after the first assault the beach was closed for all but infantry landings. Commanders (including General Omar Bradley) considered abandoning the beachhead, HP Pavilion dv6-6029tx Battery
but small units of infantry, often forming ad hoc groups, supported by naval artillery and the surviving tanks, eventually infiltrated the coastal defences by scaling the bluffs between strongpoints. Further infantry landings were able to exploit the initial penetrations and by the end of the day two isolated footholds had been established. HP Pavilion dv6-6042sf Battery
American casualties at Omaha on D-Day numbered around 5,000 out of 50,000 men, most in the first few hours, while the Germans suffered 1,200 killed, wounded or missing. The tenuous beachhead was expanded over the following days, and the original D-Day objectives were accomplished by D+3. HP Pavilion dv6-6051sf Battery
Pointe du Hoc
The massive concrete cliff-top gun emplacement at Pointe du Hoc was the target of the 2nd Ranger Battalion, commanded by James Earl Rudder. The task was to scale the 30 meter (100 ft) cliffs under the cover of night, approximately at 5:30, HP Pavilion dv6-6051xx Battery
one hour prior to the landings with ropes and ladders, and then attack and destroy the German 15,5 cm Kanone 418(f) coastal defence guns, which were thought to command the Omaha and Utah landing areas. The infantry commanders did not know that the guns had been moved prior to the attack, and they had to press farther inland to find them and eventually destroyed them. HP Pavilion dv6-6054ef Battery
However, fortifications themselves were still vital targets as a single artillery forward observer based there could have called down accurate fire on the U.S. beaches. The Rangerswere eventually successful, and captured the fortifications. They then had to fight for two days to hold the location, losing more than 60% of their men. HP Pavilion dv6-6054sf Battery
Afterwards they regrouped and continued Northeast to the rally point one mile from the gun emplacements on Pointe Du Hoc.
Casualties on Utah Beach, the westernmost landing zone, were the lightest of any beach, with 197 out of the roughly 23,000 troops that landed. HP Pavilion dv6-6063sf Battery
The 4th Infantry Division troops landing at Utah Beach found themselves in the wrong positions because of a current that pushed their landing craft to the southeast. Instead of landing at Tare Green and Uncle Red sectors, they came ashore at Victor sector, HP Pavilion dv6-6087eg Battery
which was lightly defended, and as a result, relatively little German opposition was encountered. The 4th Infantry Division was able to press inland relatively easily over beach exits that had been seized from the inland side by the 502nd and 506th Parachute Infantry Regiments of the 101st Airborne Division. HP Pavilion dv6-6090sf Battery
This was partially by accident, because their planned landing was further down the beach (Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr, the Asst. Commander of 4th Division, upon discovering the landings were off course, was famous for stating "We will start the war from right here."). HP Pavilion dv6-6090us Battery
By early afternoon, the 4th Infantry Division had succeeded in linking up with elements of the 101st. American casualties were light, and the troops were able to press inward much faster than expected, making it a near-complete success. HP Pavilion dv6-6091nr Battery
War memorials and tourism
The beaches at Normandy are still referred to on maps and signposts by their invasion codenames. There are also several vastcemeteries in the area. The American cemetery, in Colleville-sur-Mer, HP Pavilion dv7-4000eh Battery
contains row upon row of identical white crosses andStars of David, immaculately kept, commemorating the American dead. Commonwealth graves, in many locations, use white headstones engraved with the person's religious symbol and their unit insignia. HP Pavilion dv7-4000sb Battery
The largest cemetery in Normandy is the La Cambe German war cemetery, which features granite stones almost flush with the ground and groups of low-set crosses. There is also a Polish cemetery.
Streets near the beaches are named after the units that fought there, and occasional markers commemorate notable incidents. HP Pavilion dv7-4000 Series Battery
At significant points, such as Pointe du Hoc and Pegasus Bridge, there are plaques, memorials or small museums. The Mulberry harbour still sits in the sea at Arromanches. In Sainte-Mère-Église, a dummy paratrooper hangs from the church spire. HP Pavilion dv7-4001tx Battery
On Juno Beach, the Canadian government has built the Juno Beach Information Centre, commemorating one of the most significant events in Canadian military history. In Caen is a large Museum for Peace, which is dedicated to peace generally, rather than only to the battle. HP Pavilion dv7-4002TX Battery
The American airborne landings in Normandy were the first United States combat operations during Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy by the Western Allies on June 6, 1944. Around 13,100 paratroopers of the U.S.82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne Divisions made night parachute drops early on D-Day, HP Pavilion dv7-4003tx Battery
June 6, followed by 3,937 glider troops flown in by day. As the opening maneuver of Operation Neptune (the assault operation for Overlord) the American airborne divisions were delivered to the continent in two parachute and six glider missions. HP Pavilion dv7-4003xx Battery
Both divisions were part of the U.S. VII Corps and provided it support in its mission of capturing Cherbourg as soon as possible to provide the Allies with a port of supply. The specific missions of the airborne divisions were to block approaches into the HP Pavilion dv7-4004ez Battery
vicinity of the amphibious landing at Utah Beach, to capture causeway exits off the beaches, and to establish crossings over the Douve River at Carentan to assist the U.S. V Corps in merging the two American beachheads.
The assault did not succeed in blocking the approaches to Utah for three days. HP Pavilion dv7-4004TX Battery
Numerous factors played a part, most of which dealt with excessive scattering of the drops. Despite this, German forces were unable to exploit the chaos. Many German units made a tenacious defense of their strong-points, but all were systematically defeated within the week. HP Pavilion dv7-4005so Battery
Plans and revisions
Plans for the invasion of France went through several preliminary phases during 1943, during which the Combined Chiefs of Staff allocated 13½ U.S. troop carrier groups to an undefined airborne assault. HP Pavilion dv7-4005sw Battery
The actual size, objectives, and details of the plan were not drawn up until after General Dwight D. Eisenhower becameSupreme Allied Commander in January 1944. In mid-February Eisenhower received word from Headquarters U.S. HP Pavilion dv7-4006so Battery
Army Air Forces that the TO&E of the C-47 Sky train groups would be increased from 52 to 64 aircraft (plus nine spares) by April 1 to meet his requirements. At the same time the U.S. First Army commander, Lieutenant General Omar N. Bradley, won approval of a plan to land two airborne divisions on the Cotentin Peninsula, HP Pavilion dv7-4007eo Battery
one to seize the beach causeways and block the eastern half at Carentan from German reinforcements, the other to block the western corridor at La Haye-du-Puits in a second lift. The exposed and perilous nature of the La Haye de Puits mission was assigned to the combat veteran 82nd Airborne Division, HP Pavilion dv7-4007tx Battery
while the causeway mission was given to the untested 101st, which received a new commander in March, Major General Maxwell D. Taylor.
Bradley insisted that 75 per cent of the airborne assault be delivered by gliders for concentration of forces. HP Pavilion dv7-4008ca Battery
Because it would be unsupported by naval and corps artillery, the commander of the 82nd Airborne, Maj. Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway, also wanted a glider assault to deliver his organic artillery. The use of gliders was planned until April 18, when tests under realistic conditions resulted in excessive accidents and destruction of many gliders. HP Pavilion dv7-4008tx Battery
On April 28 the plan was changed; the entire assault force would be inserted by parachute drop at night in one lift, with gliders providing reinforcement during the day.
The Germans, who had neglected to fortify Normandy, HP Pavilion dv7-4009tx Battery
began constructing defenses and obstacles against airborne assault in the Cotentin, including specifically the planned drop zones of the 82nd. At first no change in plans were made, but when significant German forces were moved into the Cotentin in mid-May,HP Pavilion dv7-4010em Battery
the drop zones of the 82nd were moved, even though detailed plans had been formulated and training had proceeded based on them.
Just ten days before D-Day, a compromise was reached. Because of the heavier German presence, HP Pavilion dv7-4010eq Battery
First Army wanted the 82nd landed close to the 101st for mutual support if needed. VII Corps, however, wanted the drops made west of the Merderet to seize a bridgehead. On May 27 the drop zones were relocated 10 miles (16 km) east of Le Haye-du-Puits along both sides of the Merderet. HP Pavilion dv7-4010es Battery
The 101st Airborne's 501st PIR (Parachute infantry regiment), which had originally been given the task of capturing Sainte-Mère-Église, was shifted to protect the Carentan flank, and the capture of Sainte-Mère-Église was assigned to the 505th PIR of the 82nd.HP Pavilion dv7-4010ev Battery
For the troop carriers, experiences in the invasion of Sicily dictated a route that avoided Allied naval forces and German anti-aircraft defenses along the eastern shore of the Cotentin. On April 12 a route was approved that would depart England at Portland Bill, HP Pavilion dv7-4010sd Battery
fly at low altitude southwest over water, then turn 90 degrees to the southeast and come in "by the back door" over the western coast. At the initial point the 82nd would continue straight to La Haye-du-Puits, and the 101st would make a small left turn and fly to Utah Beach. HP Pavilion dv7-4010sg Battery
The plan called for a right turn after drops and a return on the reciprocal route.
However the change in drop zones on May 27 and the increased size of German defenses made the risk to the planes from ground fire much greater, and the routes were modified so that the 101st would fly a more southerly ingress route along the HP Pavilion dv7-4010sl Battery
Douve River (which would also provide a better visual landmark at night for the inexperienced troop carrier pilots). Over the reluctance of the naval commanders, exit routes from the drop zones were changed to fly over Utah Beach, then northward in a 10 miles (16 km) wide "safety corridor", then northwest above Cherbourg. HP Pavilion dv7-4010so Battery
As late as May 31 routes for the glider missions were changed to avoid overflying the peninsula in daylight.
IX Troop Carrier Command (TCC) was formed in October 1943 to carry out the airborne assault mission in the invasion. HP Pavilion dv7-4010sv Battery
Brigadier General Paul T. Williams, who had commanded the troop carrier operations in Sicily and Italy, took command in February 1944. The TCC command and staff officers were an excellent mix of combat veterans from those earlier assaults, and a few key officers were held over for continuity. HP Pavilion dv7-4010sw Battery
The groups assigned to IX TCC were a mixture of experience. Four had seen significant combat in the Twelfth Air Force. Four had no combat experience but had trained together for more than a year in the United States. HP Pavilion dv7-4010tx Battery
Four others had been in existence less than nine months and arrived in the United Kingdom one month after training began. The last had experience only as a transport group and the last had been recently formed.
Joint training with airborne troops and an emphasis on night formation flying began at the start of March. HP Pavilion dv7-4011eg Battery
The veteran 52nd Troop Carrier Wing (TCW), wedded to the 82nd Airborne, progressed rapidly and by the end of April had completed several successful night drops. The 53rd TCW, working with the 101st, also progressed well HP Pavilion dv7-4011el Battery
(although one practice mission on April 4 in poor visibility resulted in a badly scattered drop) but two of its groups concentrated on glider missions. By the end of April joint training with both airborne divisions ceased when Taylor and Ridgway deemed that their units had jumped enough. HP Pavilion dv7-4011so Battery
The 50th TCW did not begin training until April 3 and progressed more slowly, then was hampered when the troops ceased jumping.
A divisional night jump exercise for the 101st Airborne scheduled for May 7, Exercise Eagle, HP Pavilion dv7-4012eg Battery
was postponed to May 11-May 12 and became a dress rehearsal for both divisions. The 52nd TCW, carrying only two token paratroopers on each C-47, performed satisfactorily although the two lead planes of the 316th Troop Carrier Group (TCG) collided in mid-air, killing 14 including the group commander, Col. Burton R. Fleet. HP Pavilion dv7-4012TX Battery
The 53rd TCW was judged "uniformly successful" in its drops. The lesser-trained 50th TCW, however, got lost in haze when its pathfinders failed to turn on their navigation beacons. It continued training till the end of the month with simulated drops in which pathfinders guided them to drop zones. HP Pavilion dv7-4013eg Battery
The 315th and 442d Groups, which had never dropped troops until May and were judged the command's "weak sisters", continued to train almost nightly, dropping paratroopers who had not completed their quota of jumps. Three proficiency tests at the end of the month, making simulated drops, were rated as fully qualified. HP Pavilion dv7-4013el Battery
The inspectors, however, made their judgments without factoring that most of the successful missions had been flown in clear weather.
By the end of May 1944, the IX Troop Carrier Command had available 1,207 C-47 Skytrain troop carrier airplanes and was one-third overstrength, HP Pavilion dv7-4013so Battery
creating a strong reserve. Three quarters of the planes were less than one year old on D-Day, and all were in excellent condition. Engine problems during training had resulted in a high number of aborted sorties, but all had been replaced to eliminate the problem. HP Pavilion dv7-4013tx Battery
All matériel requested by commanders in IX TCC, including armor plating, had been received with the exception of self-sealing fuel tanks, which Chief of the Army Air Forces Gen. Henry H. Arnold had personally rejected because of limited supplies. HP Pavilion dv7-4014eo Battery
Crew availability exceeded numbers of aircraft, but 40 per cent were recent-arriving crews or individual replacements who had not been present for much of the night formation training. HP Pavilion dv7-4015ew Battery
As a result, 20 per cent of the 924 crews committed to the parachute mission on D-Day had minimum night training and fully three-fourths of all crews had never been under fire. Over 2,100 CG-4 Waco gliders had been sent to the United Kingdom, HP Pavilion dv7-4015ez Battery
and after attrition during training operations, 1,118 were available for operations, along with 301 Airspeed Horsa gliders received from the British. Trained crews sufficient to pilot 951 gliders were available, and at least five of the troop carrier groups intensively trained for glider missions. HP Pavilion dv7-4015sa Battery
Because of the requirement for absolute radio silence and a study that warned that the thousands of Allied aircraft flying on D-Day would break down the existing system, plans were formulated to mark aircraft including gliders withblack-and-white stripes to facilitate aircraft recognition. HP Pavilion dv7-4015sg Battery
Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, commander of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force, approved the use of the recognition markings on May 17.
For the troop carrier aircraft this was in the form of three white and two black stripes, HP Pavilion dv7-4015sl Battery
each two feet (60 cm) wide, around the fuselage behind the exit doors and from front to back on the outer wings. A test exercise was flown by selected aircraft over the invasion fleet on June 1, but to maintain security, orders to paint stripes were not issued until June 3. HP Pavilion dv7-4015ss Battery
The 300 men of the pathfinder companies were organized into teams of 14-18 paratroops each, whose main responsibility would be to deploy the ground beacon of the Rebecca/Eureka transponding radar system, and set out holophane marking lights. HP Pavilion dv7-4016eg Battery
The Rebecca, an airborne sender-receiver, indicated on its scope the direction and approximate range of the Eureka, a responsor beacon. The paratroops trained at the school for two months with the troop carrier crews, but although every C-47 in IX TCC had a Rebecca interrogator installed, HP Pavilion dv7-4017ez Battery
to keep from jamming the system with hundreds of signals, only flight leads were authorized to use it in the vicinity of the drop zones.
Despite many early failures in its employment, the Eureka-Rebecca system had been used with high accuracy in Italy in a night drop of the 82nd Airborne to reinforce the Fifth Army at Salerno. HP Pavilion dv7-4019sz Battery
However a shortcoming of the system was that within 2 miles (3.2 km) of the ground emitter, the signals merged into a single blip in which both range and bearing were lost. The system was designed to steer large formations of aircraft to within a few miles of a drop zone, at which point the holophane marking lights or other visual markers would guide completion of the drop. HP Pavilion dv7-4020ec Battery
Each drop zone (DZ) had a serial of three C-47 aircraft assigned to locate the DZ and drop pathfinder teams, who would mark it. The serials in each wave were to arrive at six minute intervals. The pathfinder serials were organized in two waves, with those of the 101st Airborne arriving a half hour before the first scheduled assault drop. HP Pavilion dv7-4020em Battery
These would be the first U.S. and possibly the first Allied troops to land in the invasion. The three pathfinder serials of the 82nd Airborne were to begin their drops as the final wave of 101st Airborne paratroopers landed, thirty minutes ahead of the first 82nd Airborne drops. HP Pavilion dv7-4020eo Battery
Efforts of the early wave of pathfinder teams to mark the drop zones were partially ineffective. The first serial, assigned to DZ A, missed its zone and set up a mile away near St. Germain-de-Varreville. The team was unable to get either its amber halophane lights or its Eureka beacon working until the drop was well in progress. HP Pavilion dv7-4020es Battery
Although the second pathfinder serial had a plane ditch in the sea en route, the remainder dropped two teams near DZ C, but most of their marker lights were lost in the ditched airplane. HP Pavilion dv7-4020ew Battery
They managed to set up a Eureka beacon just before the assault force arrived but were forced to use a hand held signal light which was not seen by some pilots. The planes assigned to DZ D along the Douve River failed to see their final turning point and flew well past the zone. HP Pavilion dv7-4020sa Battery
Returning from an unfamiliar direction, they dropped 10 minutes late and 1 mile (1.6 km) off target. The drop zone was chosen after the 501st PIR's change of mission and was in an area identified by the Germans as a likely landing area. Consequently so many HP Pavilion dv7-4020sd Battery
Germans were present that the pathfinders could not set out their lights and were forced to rely solely on Eureka, which was a poor guide at short range.
The pathfinders of the 82nd Airborne had similar results. The first serial, bound for DZ O near Sainte-Mère-Église, HP Pavilion dv7-4020tx Battery
flew too far north but corrected its error and dropped near its DZ. It made the most effective use of the Eureka beacons and holophane marking lights of any pathfinder team. The planes bound for DZ N south of Sainte-Mère-Église flew their mission accurately and visually identified the zone but still dropped the teams a mile southeast. HP Pavilion dv7-4021so Battery
They landed among troop areas of the German 91st Division and were unable to reach the DZ. The teams assigned to mark DZ T northwest of Sainte-Mère-Église were the only ones dropped with accuracy, and while they deployed both Eureka and BUPS, HP Pavilion dv7-4021tx Battery
they were unable to show lights because of the close proximity of German troops. Altogether, four of the six drops zones could not display marking lights.
The pathfinder teams assigned to Drop Zones C (101st) and N (82nd) each carried two BUPS beacons. HP Pavilion dv7-4022ez Battery
The units for DZ N were intended to guide in the parachute resupply drop scheduled for late on D-Day, but the pair of DZ C were to provide a central orientation point for all the SCR-717 radars to get bearings. However the units were damaged in the drop and provided no assistance. HP Pavilion dv7-4022so Battery
The assault lift (one air transport operation) was divided into two missions, "Albany" and "Boston", each with three regiment-sized landings on a drop zone. The drop zones of the 101st were east and south of Sainte-Mère-Église and lettered A, C, and D from north to south HP Pavilion dv7-4022tx Battery
(Drop Zone B had been that of the 501st PIR before the changes of May 27). Those of the 82nd were west (T and O, from west to east) and southwest (Drop Zone N).
Each parachute infantry regiment (PIR), a unit of approximately 1800 men organized into three battalions, was transported by three or four serials, HP Pavilion dv7-4023so Battery
formations containing 36, 45, or 54 C-47s, and separated from each other by specific time intervals. The planes, sequentially designated within a serial by chalk numbers (literally numbers chalked on the airplanes to aid paratroopers in boarding the correct airplane), HP Pavilion dv7-4024so Battery
were organized into flights of nine aircraft, in a formation pattern called "vee of vee's" (vee-shaped elements of three planes arranged in a larger vee of three elements), with the flights flying one behind the other. The serials were scheduled over the drop zones at six-minute intervals. HP Pavilion dv7-4024tx Battery
The paratroopers were divided into sticks, a plane load of troops numbering 15-18 men.
To achieve surprise, the parachute drops were routed to approach Normandy at low altitude from the west. HP Pavilion dv7-4025eo Battery
The serials took off beginning at 22:30 on June 5, assembled into formations at wing and command assembly points, and flew south to the departure point, code-named "Flatbush". There they descended and flew southwest over the English Channel at 500 feet (150 m) MSL to remain below German radar coverage. HP Pavilion dv7-4025ew Battery
Each flight within a serial was 1,000 feet (300 m) behind the flight ahead. The flights encountered winds that pushed them five minutes ahead of schedule, but the effect was uniform over the entire invasion force and had negligible effect on the timetables.HP Pavilion dv7-4025ss Battery
Once over water, all lights except formation lights were turned off, and these were reduced to their lowest practical intensity.
Twenty-four minutes 57 miles (92 km) out over the channel, the troop carrier stream reached a stationary marker boat code-named HP Pavilion dv7-4025tx Battery
"Hoboken" and carrying a Eureka beacon, where they made a sharp left turn to the southeast and flew between the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Alderney. Weather over the channel was clear; all serials flew their routes precisely and in tight formation as they approached their initial points on the Cotentin coast, HP Pavilion dv7-4026eo Battery
where they turned for their respective drop zones. The initial point for the 101st at Portbail, code-named "Muleshoe", was approximately 10 miles (16 km) south of that of the 82d, "Peoria", near Flamanville. HP Pavilion dv7-4026tx Battery
Despite precise execution over the channel, numerous factors encountered over the Cotentin Peninsula disrupted the accuracy of the drops, many encountered in rapid succession or simultaneously. HP Pavilion dv7-4027so Battery
a lack of navigators on 60 percent of aircraft, forcing navigation by pilots when formations broke up, HP Pavilion dv7-4027tx Battery
a solid cloud bank at penetration altitude (1,500 feet (460 m)), obscuring the entire western half of the 22 miles (35 km) wide peninsula, thinning to broken clouds over the eastern half, HP Pavilion dv7-4028eo Battery
unmarked or poorly marked drop zones, HP Pavilion dv7-4028tx Battery
second or third passes over an area searching for drop zones. HP Pavilion dv7-4029tx Battery
Of the 20 serials making up the two missions, nine plunged into the cloud bank and were badly dispersed. Of the six serials which achieved concentrated drops, none flew through the clouds. HP Pavilion dv7-4030ed Battery
However the primary factor limiting success of the paratroop units, because it magnified all the errors resulting from the above factors, was the decision to make a massive parachute drop at night, a concept that was not again used in three subsequent large-scale airborne operations. HP Pavilion dv7-4030ek Battery
This was further illustrated when the same troop carrier groups flew a second lift later that day with precision and success under heavy fire. HP Pavilion dv7-4030em Battery,HP Pavilion dv7-4030er Battery,HP Pavilion dv7-4030ew Battery
Posted June 29th, 2012 at 02:04am
The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Neptune, were the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy, in Operation Overlord, during World War II. The landings commenced on Tuesday, 6 June 1944 (D-Day), beginning at 6:30 am British Double Summer Time (GMT+2).
In planning, D-Day was the term used for the day of actual landing, which was dependent on final approval.
The landings were conducted in two phases: an airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, HP G72 Notebook PC Series Battery
and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoureddivisions on the coast of France starting at 6:30 am. Surprise was achieved thanks to the comprehensive deception plan, Operation Bodyguard, implemented in the months leading up to the landings. HP G72T-200 CTO Battery
There were also decoy operations simultaneous with the landings under the codenames Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable to distract the German forces from the real landing areas. HP G72t Battery
Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces was General Dwight Eisenhower while overall command of ground forces (21st Army Group) was given to General Bernard Montgomery. The operation, planned by a team under Lieutenant-General Frederick Morgan, HP Pavilion dv3-4000 Battery
was the largest amphibious invasion in world history and was executed by land, sea, and air elements under direct British command with over 160,000 troops landing on 6 June 1944, 73,000 American troops, 61,715 British and 21,400 Canadian. HP Pavilion dv3-4010sg Battery
195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were involved. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and material from the United Kingdom by troop-laden aircraft and ships, the assault landings, air support, naval interdiction of the English Channel and naval fire-support. HP Pavilion dv3-4020sp Battery
The landings took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.
The Allied invasion was detailed in several overlapping operational plans according to the D-Day museum: HP Pavilion dv3-4027TX Battery
"The armed forces used codenames to refer to the planning and execution of specific military operations. Operation Overlord was the codename for the Allied invasion of northwest Europe. The assault phase of Operation Overlord was known as Operation Neptune. HP Pavilion dv3-4028TX Battery
Operation Neptune began on D-Day (June 6, 1944) and ended on June 30, 1944. By this time, the Allies had established a firm foothold in Normandy. Operation Overlord also began on D-Day, and continued until Allied forces crossed the River Seine on August 19, 1944." HP Pavilion dv3-4029TX Battery
Just prior to the invasion, General Eisenhower transmitted a now-historic message to all members of the Allied Expeditionary Force. It read, in part, "You are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months." HP Pavilion dv3-4030TX Battery
In his pocket was a statement, never used, to be read in case the invasion failed.
Under the high-level plan Operation Bodyguard the Allies had instituted a comprehensive and complex series of deception operations which led to the landings achieving strategic and tactical surprise. HP Pavilion dv3-4031TX Battery
One of the key successes of these operations was to convince Hitler that the Allies' plan was to launch their main attack across the Straits of Dover with the fictitious First United States Army Group to be led by George S. Patton. The fiction was maintained after the Normandy landings to the effect that Hitler, HP Pavilion dv3-4035tx Battery
still believing an attack was imminent across the straits, was unwilling until it was too late to reinforce his troops in Normandy with forces placed to defend the Pas de Calais.
Particularly relevant to the Normandy landings was the use of heavy bombers in HP Pavilion dv3-4050ea Battery
Operations Glimmer and Taxable which flew in highly precise patterns over the Straits of Dover, to drop radar-reflecting aluminium strips ("window") to create a picture on German radar of an invasion fleet moving across the straits simultaneous to the arrival of the invasion fleet in Normandy. HP Pavilion dv3-4057tx Battery
Only 10 days each month were suitable for launching the operation: a day near the full Moon was needed both for illumination during the hours of darkness and for the spring tide, HP Pavilion dv3-4059tx Battery
the former to illuminate navigational landmarks for the crews of aircraft, gliders and landing craft, and the latter to provide the deepest possible water to help safe navigation over defensive obstacles placed by the Germans in the surf on the seaward approaches to the beaches. HP Pavilion dv3-4100 Battery
A full moon occurred on 6 June. Allied Expeditionary Force Supreme Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower had tentatively selected 5 June as the date for the assault. The weather was fine during most of May, but deteriorated in early June. On 4 June, conditions were clearly unsuitable for a landing; HP Pavilion dv3-4100sa Battery
wind and high seas would make it impossible to launch landing craft from larger ships at sea, and low clouds would prevent aircraft finding their targets. The Allied troop convoys already at sea were forced to take shelter in bays and inlets on the south coast of Britain for the night. HP Pavilion dv3-4102tx Battery
It seemed possible that everything would have to be cancelled and the troops returned to their embarkation camps (which would be almost impossible, as the enormous movement of follow-up formations into them was already proceeding). The next full moon period would be nearly a month away. HP Pavilion dv3-4105tx Battery
At a vital meeting on 5 June, Eisenhower's chief meteorologist (Group Captain J.M. Stagg) forecast a brief improvement for 6 June. Commander of all land forces for the invasion GeneralBernard Montgomery and Eisenhower's Chief of Staff General Walter Bedell Smith wished to proceed with the invasion. HP Pavilion dv3-4106tx Battery
Commander of the Allied Air Forces Air Chief Marshal Leigh Mallory was doubtful, but the Allied Naval supremo Admiral Bertram Ramsay believed that conditions would be marginally favorable. On the strength of Stagg's forecast, Eisenhower ordered the invasion to proceed. HP Pavilion dv3-4107tx Battery
As a result, prevailing overcast skies limited Allied air support, and no serious damage was done to the beach defences on Omaha and Juno.
The Germans meanwhile took comfort from the existing poor conditions, which were worse over Northern France than over the Channel itself, HP Pavilion dv3-4121tx Battery
and believed no invasion would be possible for several days. Some troops stood down, and many senior officers were away for the weekend. Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took a few days' leave to celebrate his wife's birthday  while dozens of division, HP Pavilion dv3-4123tx Battery
regimental, and battalion commanders were away from their posts conducting war games just prior to the invasion.
The order of battle for the landings was precisely as follows, east to west: (Information based on summary of first hand accounts)HP Pavilion dv3-4124tx Battery
British Second Army
6th Airborne Division Commanded by Major-General R.N. Gale was delivered by parachute and glider to the east of the River Orne to protect the left flank. The division contained 7,900 men, including one Canadian battalion. HP Pavilion dv3-4200 Battery
1st Special Service Brigade comprising No. 3, No. 4, No. 6 and No. 45 (RM) Commandos landed at Ouistreham in Queen Redsector (leftmost). HP Pavilion dv3-4207tx Battery
No. 41 (RM) Commando (part of 4th Special Service Brigade) landed on the far West of Sword Beach. HP Pavilion dv3-4208tx Battery
I Corps, 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade and No.48 (RM) Commando from Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer toCourseulles-sur-Mer. HP Pavilion dv5-1200 Battery
No. 46 (RM) Commando (part of 4th Special Service Brigade) at Juno to scale the cliffs on the left side of the Orne River estuary and destroy a battery. (Battery fire proved negligible so No.46 were kept off-shore as a floating reserve and landed on D+1). HP Pavilion dv5-1200 Special Edition Battery
No. 47 (RM) Commando (part of 4th Special Service Brigade) on the West flank of Gold beach. HP Pavilion dv5-1208TX SE Battery
Overall, the 2nd Army contingent consisted of 83,115 troops (61,715 of them British).
In addition to the British and Canadian combat units, eight Australian officers were attached to the British forces as eyewitnesses. The nominally British air and naval support units included a large number of crew from Allied nations, including several RAF squadrons manned almost exclusively by overseas air-crew. HP Pavilion dv5-1209TX SE Battery
For instance, the Australian contribution to the operation included a regular Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) squadron, nine Article XV squadrons and hundreds of personnel posted to RAF units and RN warships. HP Pavilion dv5-1222TX Battery
U.S. First Army
2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions at Pointe du Hoc (The 5th BN and A, B, C Co 2nd BN diverted to Omaha). HP Pavilion dv5-1232TX Battery
VII Corps, 4th Infantry Division and the 359th RCT of the 90th Infantry Division comprising 23,250 men landing, around Pouppeville and La Madeleine. HP Pavilion dv5-1233se Battery
82nd Airborne Division by parachute around Sainte-Mère-Église, protecting the right flank. HP Pavilion dv5-1241la Battery
They had originally been tasked with dropping further west, in the middle part of the Cotentin, allowing the sea-landing forces to their east easier access across the peninsula, and preventing the Germans from reinforcing the north part of the peninsula. HP Pavilion dv5-1247la Battery
In total, the First Army contingent totalled approximately 73,000 men, including 15,600 from the airborne divisions. HP Pavilion dv5-1250us Battery
German order of battle
The military forces at the disposal of Nazi Germany reached its numerical peak during 1944. By D-Day, 157 German divisions were stationed in the Soviet Union, 6 in Finland, 12 in Norway, 6 in Denmark, 9 in Germany, 21 in the Balkans, 26 in Italy and 59 in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. HP Pavilion dv5-1300 Battery
However, these statistics are somewhat misleading since a significant number of the divisions in the east were depleted due to intensity of fighting; German records indicate that the average personnel complement was at about 50% in the spring of 1944.HP Pavilion dv5-2000 Battery
The German defenses used an interlocking firing style, so they could protect areas that were receiving heavy fire. They had large bunkers, sometimes intricate concrete ones containing machine guns and large-calibre weapons. HP Pavilion dv5-2034la Battery
Their defence also integrated the cliffs and hills overlooking the beaches. The defenses were all built and refined over a four year period.
The Germans' first line of defense was the English Channel, a crossing which had confounded both the Spanish Armada andNapoleon Bonaparte's Navy. HP Pavilion dv5-2045la Battery
Multiplying the invasion obstacles was the extensive Atlantic Wall, ordered by Hitler in his Directive 51 which stretched from Belgium to Spain in varying degrees, but was most elaborate facing the English channel. Believing that any forthcoming landings would be timed for high tide, HP Pavilion dv5-2046la Battery
Rommel had the entire wall fortified with pill boxes, artillery, machine gun positions and extensive barbed wire as well as laying hundreds of thousands of mines to deter landing craft. HP Pavilion dv5-3000 Battery
The Allies chose not to attack at Calais but at the more distant beaches of Normandy which was also the sector boundary between the 7th and 15th German armies, on the extreme eastern flank of the former, to maximize the possible confusion of command responsibility during German reaction. HP Pavilion dv6-3000 Battery
The landings sector which was attacked was occupied by four German divisions. The attacks were timed for low tide because it minimized the effectiveness of landing obstacles which were likely to have resulted in drowned troops; HP Pavilion dv6-3005sa Battery
many landing craft would have been hulled and sunk during the final approach. However, this stratagem exposed the infantry to defensive fire over a greater distance of beach sand.
716th Infantry Division (Static) defended the Eastern end of the landing zones, including most of the British and Canadian beaches. HP Pavilion dv6-3005TX Battery
This division, as well as the 709th, included Germans who were not considered fit for active duty on the Eastern Front, usually for medical reasons, and soldiers of various other nationalities (from conquered countries, HP Pavilion dv6-3006TX Battery
often drafted by force) and former Soviet prisoners-of-war who had agreed to fight for the Germans rather than endure the harsh conditions of German POW camps (among them so called hiwis). HP Pavilion dv6-3010sa Battery
352nd Infantry Division was a well-trained and equipped formation defending the area between approximately Bayeux and Carentan, HP Pavilion dv6-3011TX Battery
including Omaha beach. The division had been formed in November 1943 with the help of cadres from the disbanded 321st Division, which had been destroyed in the Soviet Union that same year. The 352nd had a number of troops who had seen action on the eastern front. HP Pavilion dv6-3015sa Battery
Therefore, the 352nd already had significant fighting experience at holding a defensive position. The division was stationed at Omaha Beach, where by far the heaviest casualties of the invasion were suffered by the landing U.S. forces. HP Pavilion dv6-3020sa Battery
91st Air Landing Division (Luftlande–air transported) (Generalmajor Wilhelm Falley), comprising the 1057th Infantry Regiment and 1058th Infantry Regiment. This was a regular infantry division, trained, and equipped to be transported by air HP Pavilion dv6-3025sa Battery
(i.e. transportable artillery, few heavy support weapons) located in the interior of the Cotentin Peninsula, including the drop zones of the American parachute landings. The attached 6th Parachute RegimentHP Pavilion dv6-3026tx Battery
709th Infantry Division (Static) (Generalleutnant Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben), HP Pavilion dv6-3030sa Battery
comprising the 729th Infantry Regiment, 739th Infantry Regiment (both with four battalions, but the 729th 4th and the 739th 1st and 4th being Ost, these two regiments had no regimental support companies either), and 919th Infantry Regiment. HP Pavilion dv6-3030TX Battery
This coastal defence division protected the eastern, and northern (including Cherbourg) coast of the Cotentin Peninsula, including the Utah beach landing zone. Like the 716th, this division comprised a number of "Ost" units who were provided with German leadership to manage them. HP Pavilion dv6-3031sa Battery
Adjacent divisional areas
Other divisions occupied the areas around the landing zones, including:
243rd Infantry Division (Static) (Generalleutnant Heinz Hellmich), comprising the 920th Infantry Regiment (two battalions), HP Pavilion dv6-3032sa Battery
711th Infantry Division (Static), comprising the 731st Infantry Regiment, and 744th Infantry Regiment. HP Pavilion dv6-3032TX Battery
Rommel's defensive measures were also frustrated by a dispute over armoured doctrine. HP Pavilion dv6-3033sa Battery
In addition to his two army groups, von Rundstedt also commanded the headquarters of Panzer Group West under General Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg (usually referred to as von Geyr). This formation was nominally an administrative HQ for von Rundstedt's armoured and mobile formations, HP Pavilion dv6-3035sa Battery
but it was later to be renamed Fifth Panzer Army and brought into the line in Normandy. Von Geyr and Rommel disagreed over the deployment and use of the vital Panzer divisions.
Rommel recognised that the Allies would possess air superiority and would be able to harass his movements from the air. HP Pavilion dv6-3040sa Battery
He therefore proposed that the armoured formations be deployed close to the invasion beaches. In his words, it was better to have one Panzer division facing the invaders on the first day, than three Panzer divisions three days later when the Allies would already have established a firm beachhead. HP Pavilion dv6-3042TX Battery
Von Geyr argued for the standard doctrine that the Panzer formations should be concentrated in a central position around Paris and Rouen, and deployed en masse against the main Allied beachhead when this had been identified. HP Pavilion dv6-3044sa Battery
The argument was eventually brought before Hitler for arbitration. He characteristically imposed an unworkable compromise solution. Only three Panzer divisions were given to Rommel, too few to cover all the threatened sectors. The remainder, nominally under Von Geyr's control, HP Pavilion dv6-3045sa Battery
were actually designated as being in "OKWReserve". Only three of these were deployed close enough to intervene immediately against any invasion of Northern France, the other four were dispersed in southern France and the Netherlands. Hitler reserved to himself the authority to move the divisions in OKW Reserve, HP Pavilion dv6-3046sa Battery
or commit them to action. On 6 June, many Panzer division commanders were unable to move because Hitler had not given the necessary authorization, and his staff refused to wake him upon news of the invasion. HP Pavilion dv6-3047sa Battery
The 21st Panzer Division (Generalmajor Edgar Feuchtinger) was deployed near Caen as a mobile striking force as part of the Army Group B reserve. However, Rommel placed it so close to the coastal defences that, HP Pavilion dv6-3048sa Battery
under standing orders in case of invasion, several of its infantry and anti-aircraft units would come under the orders of the fortress divisions on the coast, reducing the effective strength of the division. HP Pavilion dv6-3048tx Battery
The other mechanized divisions capable of intervening in Normandy were retained under the direct control of the German Armed Forces HQ (OKW) and were initially denied to Rommel.
Coordination with the French Resistance
The various factions and circuits of the French Resistance were included in the plan for Overlord. HP Pavilion dv6-3050eo Battery
Through a London-based headquarters which supposedly embraced all resistance groups, État-major des Forces Françaises de l'Intérieur (EMFFI), the British Special Operations Executive orchestrated a massive campaign ofsabotage tasking the various Groups with attacking railway lines, ambushing roads, HP Pavilion dv6-3050sa Battery
or destroying telephone exchanges or electrical substations. The Allies developed four plans for the French Resistance to execute on D- Day:
Plan VERT was a fifteen day operation involving sabotage against the rail system. HP Pavilion dv6-3055sa Battery
Plan VIOLET dealt with the cutting of underground cables. HP Pavilion dv6-3056sa Battery
The resistance was alerted to carry out these tasks by means of the messages personnels, transmitted by the BBC in its French service from London. Several hundred of these were regularly transmitted, masking the few of them that were really significant.HP Pavilion dv6-3057sa Battery
Among the stream of apparently meaningless messages broadcast by the BBC at 21:00 CET on 5 June were coded instructions such as Les carottes sont cuites ("The carrots are cooked") and Les dés sont jetés ("The dice have been thrown"). HP Pavilion dv6-3060sa Battery
One famous pair of these messages is often mistakenly stated to be a general call to arms by the Resistance. A few days before D-Day, the (slightly misquoted) first line of Verlaine's poem, Chanson d'Automne, was transmitted. "Les sanglots longs des violons de l'automne (Long sobs of autumn violins) HP Pavilion dv6-3065ea Battery
alerted the resistance fighters of the Ventriloquistnetwork in the Orléans region to attack rail targets within the next few days. The second line, "Bercent mon coeur d'une langueur monotone" ("soothe my heart with a monotonous languor"), transmitted late on 5 June, meant that the attack was to be mounted immediately. HP Pavilion dv6-3067ea Battery
Josef Götz, the head of the signals section of the German intelligence service (the SD) in Paris, had discovered the meaning of the second line of Verlaine's poem, and no fewer than fourteen other executive orders they heard late on 5 June. HP Pavilion dv6-3068ea Battery
His section rightly interpreted them to mean that an invasion was imminent or underway, and they alerted their superiors and all Army commanders in France. However, they had issued a similar warning a month before, when the Allies had begun invasion preparations and alerted the Resistance, HP Pavilion dv6-3070ea Battery
but then stood down because of a forecast of bad weather. The SD having given this false alarm, their genuine alarm was ignored or treated as merely routine. Fifteenth Army HQ passed the information on to its units; Seventh Army ignored it.
In addition to the tasks given to the Resistance as part of the invasion effort, HP Pavilion dv6-3077la Battery
the Special Operations Executive planned to reinforce the Resistance with three-man liaison parties, under Operation Jedburgh. The Jedburgh parties would coordinate and arrange supply drops to the Maquis groups in the German rear areas. HP Pavilion dv6-3085ea Battery
Also operating far behind German lines and frequently working closely with the Resistance, although not under SOE, were larger parties from the British, French and Belgian units of the Special Air Service brigade.
A 1968 report from the Counter-insurgency Information Analysis Center details the results of the French Resistance's sabotage efforts: HP Pavilion dv6-3088la Battery
"In the southeast, 52 locomotives were destroyed on 6 June and the railway line cut in more than 500 places. Normandy was isolated as of 7 June. The telephone network in the invasion area was put out of order and beginning June 20, the railway lines of France were rendered inoperable, HP Pavilion dv6-3089la Battery
except in the Rhone Valley where the line Marseilles-Lyon was kept open by the Germans despite heavy engagements with [partisans] units... Although the German local reserves were able to reach the front area despite resistance action... marked delays were achieved against the movement of strategic reserves. HP Pavilion dv6-3100 Battery
The French claim to have delayed up to 12 divisions for 8 to 15 days"
Operation Neptune, as the naval part of the D-Day invasion was known primarily as a Royal Navy affair, both in planning and execution. This is widely considered ‘a never surpassed masterpiece of planning’. HP Pavilion dv6-3100sa Battery
In overall command was Admiral SirBertram Ramsay, who as Flag Officer Dover had controlled the evacuation of over 300,000 troops from Dunkirk four years earlier. He had also been responsible for the naval planning of the invasion of North Africa in 1942 and one of the two fleets carrying troops for the invasion of Sicily in the following year. HP Pavilion dv6-3110ea Battery
The invasion fleet was drawn from eight different navies, comprising 6,939 vessels: 1,213 warships, 4,126 transport vessels (landing ships and landing craft), and 736 ancillary craft and 864 merchant vessels. Out of the 2,468 major landing vessels in the two task forces deployed on 6 June 1944 only 346 were American. HP Pavilion dv6-3110sa Battery
Of the 23 cruisers covering the landings 17 were Royal Navy. In fact of the 16 warships covering the American Western beaches (Utah and Omaha) 50% were British and Allied ships. There were 195,700 naval personnel involved; 112,824 (58%) were British (Royal Navy), 52,889 (30%) US and 4,988 Allied countries. HP Pavilion dv6-3111sa Battery
The Allied Naval Expeditionary Force was divided into two Naval Task Forces: Western (Rear-Admiral Alan G Kirk) and Eastern (Rear-Admiral Sir Philip Vian – another veteran of the Italian landings).
The warships provided cover for the transports against any enemy surface warships, HP Pavilion dv6-3112sa Battery
submarines or aerial attack, and supported the landings with shore bombardment. These ships included the Allied Task Force "O". A small part of the naval operation was Operation Gambit, when British midget submarines supplied navigation beacons to guide landing craft. HP Pavilion dv6-3113sa Battery
An important part of Neptune was the isolation of the invasion routes and beaches from any intervention by the German Navy – the Kriegsmarine. The responsibility for this was assigned to the Royal Navy's Home Fleet. HP Pavilion dv6-3114sa Battery
There were two principal perceived German naval threats. The first was surface attack by German capital ships from anchorages in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea. This did not materialise since, by mid-1944, the battleships were damaged, the cruisers were used for training, HP Pavilion dv6-3115sa Battery
and the Kriegsmarine's fuel allocation had been cut by a third. In any case, the Royal Navy had strong forces available to repel any attempts, and the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal area was mined (Operation Bravado) as a precaution.
The second perceived major threat was that of U-boats transferred from the Atlantic. HP Pavilion dv6-3115tx Battery
Air surveillance from three escort carriers and RAF Coastal Commandmaintained a cordon well west of Land's End. Few U-boats were spotted, and most of the escort groups were moved nearer to the landings.
Further efforts were made to seal the Western Approaches against German naval forces from Brittany and the Bay of Biscay. HP Pavilion dv6-3116sa Battery
Minefields were laid (Operation Maple) to force enemy ships away from air protection where they could be attacked by Allied destroyer flotillas. Again, enemy activity was minor, but on 4 July four German destroyers were either sunk or forced back to Brest. HP Pavilion dv6-3116tx Battery
The Straits of Dover were closed by minefields, naval and air patrols, radar, and effective bombing raids on enemy ports. Local German naval forces were small but could be reinforced from the Baltic. HP Pavilion dv6-3117sa Battery
German defenses were concentrated on protecting Pas de Calais against suspected landings, and no attempt was made to force the blockade.
The screening operation destroyed few German ships, but the objective was achieved. There were no U-boat or E-boat attacks against Allied shipping on D-Day.[30HP Pavilion dv6-3118sa Battery
Warships provided supporting fire for the land forces. During Neptune, it was given a high importance, using ships from battleships to destroyers and landing craft. For example, the Canadians at Juno beach had fire support many times greater than they had had for the Dieppe Raid in 1942.
The old battleships HMS Ramillies and Warspite and the monitor HMS Robertswere used to suppress shore batteries east of the Orne; cruisers targeted shore batteries at Ver-sur-Mer and Moulineaux; eleven destroyers for local fire support. In addition, there were modified landing-craft: HP Pavilion dv6-3120sa Battery
eight "Landing Craft Gun", each with two 4.7-inch guns; four "Landing Craft Support" with automatic cannon; eight Landing Craft Tank (Rocket), each with a single salvo of 1,100 5-inch rockets; eight Landing Craft Assault (Hedgerow), each with twenty-four bombs intended to detonate beach mines prematurely. HP Pavilion dv6-3121sa Battery
Twenty-four Landing Craft Tank carried Priest self-propelled howitzers which also fired while they were on the run-in to the beach. Similar arrangements existed at other beaches.
Fire support went beyond the suppression of shore defences overlooking landing HP Pavilion dv6-3122sa Battery
beaches and was also used to break up enemy concentrations as the troops moved inland. This was particularly noted in German reports: Field-Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt reported that:The enemy had deployed very strong Naval forces off the shores of the bridgehead. HP Pavilion dv6-3123sa Battery
These can be used as quickly mobile, constantly available artillery, at points where they are necessary as defence against our attacks or as support for enemy attacks. During the day their fire is skilfully directed by . . . plane observers, and by advanced ground fire spotters. HP Pavilion dv6-3125sa Battery
Because of the high rapid-fire capacity of Naval guns they play an important part in the battle within their range. The movement of tanks by day, in open country, within the range of these naval guns is hardly possible. HP Pavilion dv6-3127sa Battery
The only naval contact during D-Day occurred when four German torpedo boats reached the Eastern Task Force late in the afternoon and launched eighteen torpedoes, sinking the Norwegian destroyer HNoMS Svenner off Sword beach but missing the battleships HMS Warspite and HMS Ramillies. HP Pavilion dv6-3130sa Battery
After firing, the German vessels turned away and fled east into a smoke screen. Thanks to ULTRA, the Allies knew where the Germans' channel was through their own minefields. The only Allied losses to mines were the USS Corry off of Utah; USS PC-1261, a 173-foot patrol craft; three LCTs; and two LCIs. HP Pavilion dv6-3131sa Battery
The success of the amphibious landings depended on the establishment of a secure lodgement from which to expand the beachhead to allow the build up of a well-supplied force capable of breaking out. HP Pavilion dv6-3140sa Battery
The amphibious forces were especially vulnerable to strong enemy counter-attacks before the build up of sufficient forces in the beachhead could be accomplished. To slow or eliminate the enemy's ability to organize and launch counter-attacks during this critical period, HP Pavilion dv6-3141ea Battery
airborne operations were used to seize key objectives, such as bridges, road crossings, and terrain features, particularly on the eastern and western flanks of the landing areas. The airborne landings some distance behind the beaches were also intended to ease the egress of the amphibious forces off the beaches, HP Pavilion dv6-3150sa Battery
and in some cases to neutralize German coastal defence batteries and more quickly expand the area of the beachhead. The U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions were assigned to objectives west of Utah Beach. The British 6th Airborne Division was assigned to similar objectives on the eastern flank. HP Pavilion dv6-3163eo Battery
530 Free Frenchparatroopers, from the British Special Air Service Brigade, were assigned to objectives in Brittany from 5 June to August. (Operation Dingson, Operation Samwest, Operation Cooney).
The Royal Air Force flew and supplied half of the aircraft deployed. HP Pavilion dv6-3180ea Battery
Nearly half of the US gliders were the larger Airspeed Horsa, as they carried twice as much as the US equivalent. The RAF created a new command, the 2nd Tactical Air Force flying low level missions especially to support operations on the ground. As Eisenhower reported: HP Pavilion dv6-3298ea Battery
"The chief credit in smashing the enemy's spearhead, however, must go to the rocket-firing Hawker Typhoon planes of the Second Tactical Air Force".
Posted June 28th, 2012 at 01:19am
Halsey's decision to take all the available strength of 3rd Fleet northwards to attack the carriers of the Japanese Northern Force had left San Bernardino Strait completely unguarded. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/P Battery
It had been generally assumed by senior officers in 7th Fleet (including Kinkaid and his staff) that Halsey was taking his three available carrier groups northwards (McCain's group, the strongest in 3rd Fleet, was still returning from the direction of Ulithi) Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery
but leaving the battleships of TF 34 covering San Bernardino Strait against the Japanese Center Force. In fact, Halsey had not yet formed TF 34, and all six of Willis Lee's battleships were on their way northwards with the carriers, as well as every available cruiser and destroyer of the Third Fleet. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/P Battery
Kurita's Center Force therefore emerged unopposed from San Bernardino Strait at 03:00 on 25 October and steamed southward along the coast of the island of Samar. In its path stood only the 7th Fleet's three escort carrier units (call signs 'Taffy' 1, 2, and 3), Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/SI Battery
with a total of 16 small, very slow, and unarmored escort carriers, protected by a screen of lightly armed and unarmored destroyers and smaller destroyer escorts (DEs). Despite the losses in the Palawan Passage and Sibuyan Sea actions, the Japanese Center Force was still very powerful, Sony VAIO VPCCW2S5C CN1 Battery
consisting of four battleships (including the giant Yamato), six heavy cruisers, two light cruisers and 11 destroyers.
Kurita's force caught Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague's Task Unit 77.4.3 ('Taffy 3') entirely by surprise. Sony VAIO VPCEA20 Battery
Sprague directed his carriers to launch their planes, then run for the cover of a rain squall to the east. He ordered the destroyers and DEs to make a smoke screen to conceal the retreating carriers. Sony VAIO VPCEB10 Battery
Kurita, unaware that Ozawa's decoy plan had succeeded, assumed that he had found a carrier group from Halsey's 3rd Fleet. Having just redeployed his ships into anti-aircraft formation, he further complicated matters by ordering a "General Attack",Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM Battery
which called for his fleet to split into different divisions and attack independently.
The destroyer USS Johnston was the closest to the enemy. On his own initiative, Lieutenant Commander Ernest E. Evans steered his hopelessly outclassed ship into the foe at flank speed. Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM/BI Battery
The Johnston fired its torpedoes at the heavy cruiser Kumano, which soon sank. Seeing this, Sprague gave the order "small boys attack", sending the rest of Taffy 3's screening ships into the fray. Taffy 3's two other destroyers, Hoel andHeermann, and the destroyer escort Samuel B. Roberts, Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM/T Battery
attacked with suicidal determination, drawing fire and disrupting the Japanese formation as ships turned to avoid their torpedoes. However, the Hoel and the Roberts were destroyed by the slowly advancing fleet. Sony VAIO VPCEB11FM/WI Battery
Meanwhile, Thomas Sprague (no relation to Clifton) ordered the 16 carriers in his three task units to launch their aircraft equipped with whatever weapons they had available, even if these were only machine guns or depth charges. He had a total of some 450 aircraft at his disposal, Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX Battery
mostly FM-2 Wildcat and TBM Avenger torpedo bombers. The air counterattacks were almost unceasing, and some, especially several of the strikes launched from Felix Stump's Task Unit 77.4.2 (Taffy 2), were relatively heavy. Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX/BI Battery
The carriers of Taffy 3 turned south and retreated through the shellfire. Gambier Bay, at the rear of the American formation, was sunk, while most of the other carriers were damaged and the Johnston sunk by a group of destroyers. Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX/T Battery
Admiral Kurita withdraws
The ferocity of the defense seemingly confirmed the Japanese assumption that they were engaging major fleet units rather than helpless escort carriers and destroyers. Sony VAIO VPCEB11FX/WI Battery
The confusion of the "General Attack" order was further compounded by the air and torpedo attacks, when Kurita's flagship Yamato turned north to evade torpedoes and lost contact with the battle. Kurita abruptly broke off the fight and gave the order 'all ships, my course north, Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX Battery
speed 20', apparently in order to regroup his disorganized fleet. Turning again towards Leyte Gulf, Kurita's battle report stated that he received a message indicating that a group of American carriers was steaming north of him. Preferring to expend his fleet against capital ships rather than transports, Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX/BI Battery
Kurita set out in pursuit and thereby lost his opportunity to destroy the shipping in Leyte Gulf. After failing to intercept the non-existent carriers, Kurita finally retreated towards San Bernardino Strait. Three of his heavy cruisers had been sunk, and the determined resistance had convinced him that persisting with his attack would only cause further Japanese losses. Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX/T Battery
Kurita was also influenced by the fact that he did not know that Ozawa had lured Halsey away from Leyte Gulf. Kurita remained convinced that he had been engaging elements of the 3rd Fleet, and that it would only be a matter of time before Halsey surrounded and annihilated him. Sony VAIO VPCEB11GX/WI Battery
Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague wrote to his colleague Aubrey Fitch after the war, "I ... stated [to Admiral Nimitz] that the main reason they turned north was that they were receiving too much damage to continue and I am still of that opinion and cold analysis will eventually confirm it."  Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX Battery
Almost all of Kurita's surviving force succeeded in escaping. Halsey and the 3rd Fleet battleships arrived too late to cut him off. Nagato, Haruna and Kong had been moderately damaged by air attack from Taffy 3's escort carriers. Kurita had begun the battle with five battleships. Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/BI Battery
On their return to their bases, onlyYamato remained battleworthy.
As the desperate surface action was coming to an end, Vice Admiral Takijir nishi put his 'Special Attack Force' into operation, launching kamikaze attacks against the Allied ships in Leyte Gulf and the escort carrier units off Samar. Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/BIC Battery
The escort carrier St. Lo of Taffy 3 was hit by a kamikaze aircraft and sank after a series of internal explosions.
The Battle of Cape Engaño (25–26 October)
Ozawa's "Northern Force" comprised four aircraft carriers (Zuikaku—the last survivor of the six carriers that had attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, Sony VAIO VPCEB12FX/T Battery
the light carriers Zuih , Chitose, and Chiyoda), two World War I battleships partially converted to carriers (Hy ga and Ise—the two aft turrets had been replaced by a hangar, aircraft handling deck and catapult, but neither battleship carried any aircraft in this battle),
three light cruisers ( yodo, Tama, and Isuzu), and nine destroyers. His force had only 108 aircraft.
Ozawa's force was not located until 16:40 on 24 October, largely because Sherman's TG 38.3—which as the northernmost of Halsey's groups—was responsible for searches in this sector. Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/BI Battery
The force which Halsey was taking north with him—three groups of Mitscher's TF 38—was overwhelmingly stronger than the Japanese Northern Force. Between them, these groups had five largefleet carriers (Intrepid, Franklin, Lexington, Enterprise, and Essex), Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/T Battery
five light fleet carriers (Independence, Belleau Wood,Langley, Cabot, and San Jacinto), six battleships (Alabama, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Washington), eight cruisers (two heavy and six light), and more than 40 destroyers. Sony VAIO VPCEB14FX/WI Battery
The air groups of the 10 U.S. carriers present contained a total of more than 600-1,000 aircraft.
At 02:40 on 25 October, Halsey detached TF 34, built around the 3rd Fleet's six battleships and commanded by Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM Battery
As dawn approached, the ships of Task Force 34 drew ahead of the carrier groups. Halsey intended Mitscher to make air strikes followed by the heavy gunfire of Lee's battleships.
Around dawn on 25 October, Ozawa launched 75 aircraft to attack the 3rd Fleet. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/BI Battery
Most were shot down by American combat air patrols, and no damage was done to the U.S. ships. A few Japanese planes survived and made their way to land bases on Luzon.
During the night, Halsey had passed tactical command of TF 38 to Admiral Mitscher, Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/T Battery
who ordered the American carrier groups to launch their first strike wave, of 180 aircraft, at dawn—before the Northern Force had been located. When the search aircraft made contact at 07:10 this strike wave was orbiting ahead of the task force. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FM/WI Battery
At 08:00, as the attack went in, its escorting fighters destroyed Ozawa's combat air patrol of about 30 planes. The US air strikes continued until the evening, by which time TF 38 had flown 527 sorties against the Northern Force, sinking Zuikaku, Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX Battery
the light carriers Chitose and Zuih , and the destroyer Akizuki, all with heavy loss of life. The light carrier Chiyoda and the cruiser Tama were crippled. Ozawa transferred his flag to the light cruiser yodo. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/BI Battery
The crisis – US 7th Fleet's calls for help
Shortly after 08:00 on 25 October, desperate messages calling for assistance began to come in from 7th Fleet, which had been engaging Nishimura's "Southern Force" in Suriago Strait since 02.00. Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/T Battery
One message from Kinkaid, sent in plain language, read: "MY SITUATION IS CRITICAL. FAST BATTLESHIPS AND SUPPORT BY AIR STRIKES MAY BE ABLE TO KEEP ENEMY FROM DESTROYING CVES AND ENTERING LEYTE." Sony VAIO VPCEB15FX/WI Battery
Halsey recalled in his memoirs that he was shocked at this message, recounting that the radio signals from the 7th Fleet had come in at random and out of order because of a backlog in the signals office. It seems that he did not receive this vital message from Kinkaid until around 10:00. Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX Battery
Halsey later claimed that he knew Kinkaid was in trouble, but had not dreamed of the seriousness of this crisis.
One of the most alarming signals from Kinkaid reported that, after their action in Surigao Strait, 7th Fleet's own battleships were critically low on ammunition. Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/B Battery
Even this failed to persuade Halsey to send any immediate assistance to the powerful 7th Fleet. In fact, the 7th Fleet's battleships were not as short of ammunition as Kinkaid's signal implied, but Halsey did not know that.
From 3,000 mi (2,600 nmi; 4,800 km) away in Pearl Harbor, Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/G Battery
Admiral Nimitz had been monitoring the desperate calls from Taffy 3, and sent Halsey a terse message: "TURKEY TROTS TO WATER GG FROM CINCPAC ACTION COM THIRD FLEET INFO COMINCH CTF SEVENTY-SEVEN X WHERE IS RPT WHERE IS TASK FORCE THIRTY FOUR RR THE WORLD WONDERS." Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/L Battery
The first four words and the last three were "padding" used to confuse enemy cryptanalysis (the beginning and end of the true message was marked by double consonants). The communications staff on Halsey's flagship correctly deleted the first section of padding but mistakenly retained the last three words in the message finally handed to Halsey. Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/P Battery
The last three words—probably selected by a communications officer at Nimitz's headquarters—may have been meant as a loose quote from Tennyson's poem on "The Charge of the Light Brigade", suggested by the coincidence that this day, 25 October, Sony VAIO VPCEB16FX/W Battery
was the 90th anniversary of theBattle of Balaclava—and was not intended as a commentary on the current crisis off Leyte. Halsey, however, when reading the message, thought that the last words—"THE WORLD WONDERS"—were a biting piece of criticism from Nimitz, Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX Battery
threw his cap to the deck and broke into "sobs of rage". Rear Admiral Robert Carney, his Chief of Staff, confronted him, telling Halsey "Stop it! What the hell's the matter with you? Pull yourself together."
Eventually, at 11:15, more than three hours after the first distress messages from 7th Fleet had been received by his flagship, Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/B Battery
Halsey ordered TF 34 to turn around and head southwards towards Samar. At this point, Lee's battleships were almost within gun range of Ozawa's force. Two-and-a-half hours were then spent refuelling TF 34's accompanying destroyers. Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/G Battery
After this succession of delays it was too late for TF 34 to give any practical help to 7th Fleet, other than to assist in picking up survivors from Taffy 3, and too late even to intercept Kurita's force before it made its escape through San Bernardino Strait. Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/L Battery
Nevertheless, at 16:22, in a desperate and even more belated attempt to intervene in the events off Samar, Halsey formed a new task group—TG 34.5—under Rear Admiral Badger, built around Third Fleet's two fastest battleships—Iowa and New Jersey, Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/P Battery
both capable of a speed of more than 32 kn (37 mph; 59 km/h)–and TF 34's three cruisers and eight destroyers, and sped southwards, leaving Lee and the other four battleships to follow. As Morison observes, if Badger's grouphad succeeded in intercepting the Japanese Center Force it would have been seriously outgunned by Kurita's battleships. Sony VAIO VPCEB17FX/W Battery
Cruisers and destroyers of TG 34.5, however, caught the destroyer Nowaki—the last straggler from Center Force—off San Bernardino Strait, and sank her with all hands, including the survivors from Chikuma. Sony VAIO VPCEB190X Battery
Battle of Cape Engaño – Final Actions
When Halsey turned TF 34 southwards at 11:15, he detached a task group of four of its cruisers and nine of its destroyers under Rear Admiral DuBose, and reassigned this group to TF 38. Sony VAIO VPCEB19FX Battery
At 14:15, Mitscher ordered DuBose to pursue the remnants of the Japanese Northern Force. His cruisers finished off the light carrier Chiyoda at around 17:00, and at 20:59 his ships sank the destroyer Hatsuzuki after a very stubborn fight. Sony VAIO VPCEB19GX Battery
When Admiral Ozawa learned of the deployment of DuBose's relatively weak task group, he ordered battleships Ise and Hy ga to turn southwards and attack it, but they failed to locate DuBose's group, which they heavily outgunned. Sony VAIO VPCEB1AFX Battery
Halsey's withdrawal of all six of Lee's battleships in his attempt to assist Seventh Fleet had now rendered TF 38 vulnerable to a surface counterattack by the decoy Northern Force.
At about 23:10, the American submarine Jallao torpedoed and sank the light cruiser Tama of Ozawa's force. Sony VAIO VPCEB1AFX/B Battery
This was the last act of the Battle of Cape Engaño, and—apart from some final air strikes on the retreating Japanese forces on 26 October—the conclusion of the Battle for Leyte Gulf.
Criticism of Halsey
Halsey was criticized for his decision to take TF 34 north in pursuit of Ozawa, Sony VAIO VPCEB1AGX Battery
and for failing to detach it when Kinkaid first appealed for help. A piece of U.S. Navy slang for Halsey's actions is 'Bull's Run', a phrase combining Halsey's newspaper nickname "Bull" (in the U.S. Navy he was known as 'Bill' Halsey) with an allusion to the Battle of Bull Run in theAmerican Civil War. Sony VAIO VPCEB1AGX/BI Battery
In his dispatch after the battle, Halsey justified the decision as follows:
Searches by my carrier planes revealed the presence of the Northern carrier force on the afternoon of 24 October, which completed the picture of all enemy naval forces. Sony VAIO VPCEB1BGX Battery
As it seemed childish to me to guard statically San Bernardino Strait, I concentrated TF 38 during the night and steamed north to attack the Northern Force at dawn.
I believed that the Center Force had been so heavily damaged in the Sibuyan Sea that it could no longer be considered a serious menace to Seventh Fleet. Sony VAIO VPCEB1BGX/BI Battery
Halsey also argued that he had feared that leaving TF 34 to defend the strait without carrier support would have left it vulnerable to attack from land-based aircraft, while leaving one of the fast carrier groups behind to cover the battleships would have significantly reduced the concentration of air power going north to strike Ozawa.
However, Morison states that Admiral Lee said after the battle that he would have been fully prepared for the battleships to cover San Bernardino Strait without any carrier support. Moreover, if Halsey had been in proper communication with 7th Fleet, Sony VAIO VPCEB1CGX/BI Battery
it would have been entirely practicable for the escort carriers of TF 77 to provide adequate air cover for TF 34—a much easier matter than it would be for those escort carriers to defend themselves against the onslaught of Kurita's heavy ships. Sony VAIO VPCEB1DGX Battery
It may be argued that the fact that Halsey was aboard one of the battleships, and "would have had to remain behind" with TF 34 (while the bulk of his fleet charged northwards to attack the Japanese carriers) may have contributed to this decision, but this is in all likelihood a minor point. Sony VAIO VPCEB1DGX/BI Battery
It has been pointed out that it would have been perfectly feasible (and logical) to have taken one or both of 3rd Fleet's two fastest battleships (Iowa and/or New Jersey) with the carriers in the pursuit of Ozawa, while leaving the rest of the Battle Line off San Bernardino Strait Sony VAIO VPCEB1EGX Battery
(indeed, Halsey's original plan for the composition of TF 34 was that it would contain only four, not all six, of the 3rd Fleet's battleships); thus, guarding San Bernardino Strait with a powerful battleship force would not have been incompatible with Halsey personally going north aboard New Jersey. Sony VAIO VPCEB1EGX/BI Battery
Probably a more important factor was that Halsey was philosophically against dividing his forces; he believed strongly in concentration as indicated by his writings both before World War II and in his subsequent articles and interviews defending his actions. Sony VAIO VPCEB1FGX Battery
In addition, Halsey may well have been influenced by the criticisms of Admiral Raymond Spruance, who was widely thought to have been excessively cautious at the Battle of the Philippine Sea and so allowed the bulk of the Japanese fleet to escape. Sony VAIO VPCEB1FGX/BI Battery
It also seems likely that Halsey was influenced by his Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Robert "Mick" Carney, who was also wholeheartedly in favor of taking all 3rd Fleet's available forces northwards to attack the Japanese carrier force. Sony VAIO VPCEB1GGX Battery
However, Halsey did have reasonable and in his view, given the information he had available, practical reasons for his actions. First, he believed that Admiral Kurita's force was more heavily damaged than it was. Sony VAIO VPCEB1GGX/BI Battery
While it has been suggested that Halsey should have taken Kurita's continued advance as evidence that his force was still a severe threat, this view cannot be supported given the well-known propensity for the members of Japanese military to persist in hopeless endeavours to the point of suicide. Sony VAIO VPCEB1HGX Battery
So in Halsey's estimation, Kurita's weakened force was well within the ability of Seventh Fleet to deal with, and did not justify dividing his force.
Second, Halsey did not comprehend just how badly compromised Japan's naval air power was and that Ozawa's decoy force was nearly devoid of aircraft. Sony VAIO VPCEB1HGX/BI Battery
Halsey, in a letter to Admiral Nimitz on October 22, 1944 (three days before the Battle off Samar) wrote that Admiral Marc Mitscher believed "Jap naval air was wiped out."Mitscher, with Admiral Spruance at the Battle of the Philippine Sea (the Marianas Turkey Shoot) Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX Battery
drew his conclusion from the very poor performance made by the Japanese. Halsey ignored Mitscher's insights, and made an understandable and, to him, prudent threat-conservative judgment that Ozawa's force was still capable of launching serious attacks. Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/B Battery
Halsey later explained his actions partly by explicitly stating that he did not want to be "shuttle bombed" by Ozawa's force (a technique whereby planes can land and rearm at bases on either side of a foe, allowing them to attack on both the outbound flight and the return) or to give them a "free shot" at the US forces in Leyte Gulf. Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/G Battery
He was obviously not similarly concerned with giving Kurita's battleships and cruisers a free shot at those same forces.
The fact that Halsey made one seemingly prudent threat-conservative judgment regarding Ozawa's Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/L Battery
aircraft carriers and another rather opposite judgment regarding Kurita's battleships probably reflects his understandable bias toward aircraft carriers as the prime threat of the war. At Leyte Gulf, Halsey failed to appreciate that under certain circumstances battleships and cruisers could still be extremely dangerous, Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/P Battery
and ironically, through his own failures to adequately communicate his intentions, he managed to bring those circumstances about.
Clifton Sprague—commander of Task Unit 77.4.3 in the battle off Samar—was later bitterly critical of Halsey's decision, Sony VAIO VPCEB1JFX/W Battery
and of his failure to clearly inform Kinkaid and 7th Fleet that their northern flank was no longer protected:
In the absence of any information that this exit [of the San Bernardino Strait] was no longer blocked, Sony VAIO VPCEB1KGX Battery
it was logical to assume that our northern flank could not be exposed without ample warning.
Regarding Halsey's failure to turn TF 34 southwards when 7th Fleet's first calls for assistance off Samar were received, Morison writes: Sony VAIO VPCEB1KGX/B Battery
If TF 34 had been detached a few hours earlier, after Kinkaid's first urgent request for help, and had left the destroyers behind, since their fueling caused a delay of over two hours and a half, a powerful battle line of six modern battleships under the command of Admiral Lee, Sony VAIO VPCEB1KGX/W Battery
the most experienced battle squadron commander in the Navy, would have arrived off San Bernardino Strait in time to have clashed with Kurita's Center Force… Apart from the accidents common in naval warfare, there is every reason to suppose that Lee would have "crossed the T" and completed the destruction of Center Force. Sony VAIO VPCEB1LFX Battery
Instead, as Morison also observes:
The mighty gunfire of the Third Fleet's Battle Line, greater than that of the whole Japanese Navy, was never brought into action except to finish off one or two crippled light ships. Sony VAIO VPCEB1LFX/BI Battery
—Morison (1956), pp. 336–337
Perhaps the most telling comment is made laconically by Vice Admiral Lee in his action report as Commander of TF 34 —
The losses in the battle of Leyte Gulf were not evenly distributed throughout all forces; Sony VAIO VPCEB1LFX/WI Battery
for instance the destroyer USS Heermann—despite her unequal fight with the enemy—finished the battle with only six of her crew dead. More than 1,000 sailors and aircrewmen of the Allied escort carrier units were killed. As a result of communication errors and other failures, Sony VAIO VPCEB1MFX Battery
a very large number of survivors from Taffy 3 were not rescued for several days, many dying unnecessarily as a consequence.
Due to the long duration and size of the battle, there are varied accounts as to the losses which occurred as apart of the Battle of Leyte Gulf and losses that occurred shortly before and shortly after. Sony VAIO VPCEB1MFX/BI Battery
One account of the losses lists the following vessels:
The United States lost six front line warships during the Battle of Samar:
2 Escort Carriers: USS Gambier Bay and St. Lo (the first major warship sunk by a kamikaze attack.) Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX Battery
The Japanese lost 26 front-line warships during the Battle of Leyte:
3 Light Aircraft Carriers: Zuih , Chiyoda, and Chitose Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX/B Battery
9 Destroyers: Nowaki, Hayashimo, Yamagumo, Asagumo, Michishio, Akizuki, Hatsuyuki, Wakaba, and UranamiSony VAIO VPCEB1NFX/L Battery
The Battle of Leyte Gulf secured the beachheads of the U.S. Sixth Army on Leyte against attack from the sea. However, much hard fighting would be required before the island was completely in Allied hands at the end of December 1944: Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX/P Battery
the Battle of Leyte on land was fought in parallel with an air and sea campaign in which the Japanese reinforced and resupplied their troops on Leyte while the Allies attempted to interdict them and establish air-sea superiority for a series of amphibious landings in Ormoc Bay—Sony VAIO VPCEB1NFX/W Battery
engagements collectively referred to as the Battle of Ormoc Bay.
The Imperial Japanese Navy had suffered its greatest loss of ships and crew ever. Its failure to dislodge the Allied invaders from Leyte meant the inevitable loss of the Philippines, Sony VAIO VPCEB1PFX Battery
which in turn meant that Japan would be all but cut off from its occupied territories in Southeast Asia. These territories provided resources which were vital to Japan, in particular the oil needed for its ships and aircraft, and this problem was compounded because the shipyards, Sony VAIO VPCEB1PFX/B Battery
and sources of manufactured goods such as ammunition, were in Japan itself. Finally, the loss of Leyte opened the way for the invasion of the Ryukyu Islands in 1945.
The major IJN surface ships returned to their bases to languish, entirely or almost entirely inactive, for the remainder of the war. Sony VAIO VPCEB1QGX Battery
The only major operation by these surface ships between the Battle for Leyte Gulf and the Japanese surrender was the suicidal sortie in April 1945 (part of Operation Ten-Go), in which the battleship Yamato and her escorts were destroyed by American carrier aircraft. Sony VAIO VPCEB1QGX/BI Battery
The first use of kamikaze aircraft took place following the Leyte landings. A kamikaze hit the Australian heavy cruiser HMAS Australia on 21 October. Organized suicide attacks by the "Special Attack Force" began on 25 October during the closing phase of the Battle off Samar,
causing the destruction of the escort carrier St. Lo.
J.F.C. Fuller, in his The Decisive Battles of the Western World, writes of the outcome of Leyte Gulf:
The Japanese fleet had [effectively] ceased to exist, and, except by land-based aircraft, their opponents had won undisputed command of the sea. Sony VAIO VPCEB20 Battery
When Admiral Ozawa was questioned... after the war he replied 'After this battle the surface forces became strictly auxiliary, so that we relied on land forces, special [Kamikaze] attack, and air power... there was no further use assigned to surface vessels, with the exception of some special ships'. Sony VAIO VPCEC20 Battery
And Admiral Yonai, the Navy Minister, said that he realised that the defeat at Leyte 'was tantamount to the loss of the Philippines.'
As for the larger significance of the battle, he said 'I felt that it was the end.'Sony VAIO VPCEE20 Battery
Months after the battle the US Navy knew that the American public had to be told something. The battle had been too large, involved too many US military personnel and had resulted in too much loss of life just to ignore. Sony VAIO VPCEF20 Battery
To this end the US Navy provided most of the information to the publication Popular Mechanics to publish an article on the battle showing the American public that the battle had gone exactly as Halsey had planned. Sony VAIO VPCF112FX/B Battery
It was several years before the true story of Halsey's decision to leave the San Bernardino Strait unguarded became known to the American public. Sony VAIO VPCF115FG/B Battery,Sony VAIO VPCF116FGBI Battery,Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ/W Battery
Posted June 28th, 2012 at 01:18am
The Battle of Leyte Gulf, also called the "Battles for Leyte Gulf", and formerly known as the "Second Battle of the Philippine Sea", is generally considered to be the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history. Sony VAIO VPC CW2MFX/PU Battery
It was fought in waters near the Philippine islands of Leyte, Samar from 23–26 October 1944, between combined US and Australian forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy. On 20 October, United States troops invaded the island of Leyte as part of a strategy aimed at isolating Japan from the countries it had occupied in South East Asia, Sony VAIO VPC S11V9E/B Battery
and in particular depriving its forces and industry of vital oil supplies. The Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) mobilized nearly all of its remaining major naval vessels in an attempt to defeat the Allied invasion, but was repulsed by the U.S. Navy's 3rd and 7th Fleets. Sony VAIO VPCB119GJ/B Battery
The IJN failed to achieve its objective, suffered very heavy losses, and never afterwards sailed to battle in comparable force. The majority of its surviving heavy ships, deprived of fuel, remained in their bases for the rest of the Pacific War. Sony VAIO VPCB11AGJ Battery
The Battle of Leyte Gulf consisted of four separate engagements between the opposing forces: the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle of Cape Engaño and the Battle off Samar, as well as other actions. Sony VAIO VPCB11AVJ Battery
The Battle of Leyte Gulf is also notable as the first battle in which Japanese aircraft carried out organizedkamikaze attacks. Also worth noting is the fact that Japan at this battle had fewer aircraft than the Allied Forces had sea vessels, a clear demonstration of the difference in power of the two sides at this point of the war. Sony VAIO VPCB11V9E Battery
The campaigns of August 1942 to early 1944 had driven Japanese forces from many of their island bases in the south and central Pacific Ocean, while isolating many of their other bases Sony VAIO VPCB11X9E Battery
(most notably in the Solomon Islands,Bismarck Archipelago, Admiralty Islands, New Guinea, Marshall Islands, and Wake Island), and in June 1944, a series of American amphibious landings supported by the U.S. 5th Fleet's Fast Carrier Task Force captured most of the Mariana Islands (bypassing Rota). Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/P Battery
This offensive breached Japan's strategic inner defense ring and gave the Americans a base from which long-range Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers could attack the Japanese home islands. The Japanese counterattacked in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/R Battery
The U.S. Navy destroyed three Japanese aircraft carriers (and damaged other ships) and approximately 600 Japanese aircraft, leaving the Imperial Japanese Navy(IJN) with virtually no carrier-borne airpower or experienced pilots. Sony VAIO VPCCW18FJ/W Battery
For subsequent operations, Admiral Ernest J. King and other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff favored blockading Japanese forces in the Philippines and attacking Formosa (Taiwan) to give the Americans and Australians control of the sea routes between Japan and southern Asia. Sony VAIO VPCCW19FJ/W Battery
U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthurchampioned an invasion of the Philippines, which also lay across the supply lines to Japan. Leaving the Philippines in Japanese hands would be a blow to American prestige and a personal affront to MacArthur, who in 1942 had famously pronounced, "I shall return." Sony VAIO VPCCW1AFJ Battery
Also, the considerable air power the Japanese had amassed in the Philippines was thought too dangerous to bypass by many high-ranking officers outside the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including Admiral Chester Nimitz. However, Nimitz and MacArthur initially had opposing plans, with Nimitz's plan centered on an invasion of Formosa, Sony VAIO VPCCW1AHJ Battery
since that could also cut the supply lines to southeast Asia. Formosa could also serve as a base for an invasion of mainland China, which MacArthur felt was unnecessary. A meeting between MacArthur, Nimitz, and President Roosevelt helped confirm the Philippines as a strategic target, but had less to do with the final decision to invade the Philippines than is sometimes claimed. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E Battery
Nimitz eventually changed his mind and agreed to MacArthur's plan. It was also estimated that an invasion of Formosa would require about 12 divisions of U.S. Army soldiers and U.S. Marines. This was more land power than the Americans could muster in the whole Pacific Ocean area at that time, Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/B Battery
and the entire Australian Army was engaged in the Solomon Islands, on New Guinea, in the Dutch East Indies, and on various other Pacific islands. The invasion of Formosa would require much larger ground forces than were available in the Pacific in late 1944, and would not have been feasible until the defeat of Germany freed the necessary manpower. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/L Battery
It was eventually decided that MacArthur's forces would invade the island of Leyte in the central Philippines. Amphibious forces and close naval support would be provided by the 7th Fleet, commanded by Vice Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/P Battery
The 7th Fleet at this time contained units of the U.S. Navy, the Royal Australian Navy, including the County-class heavy cruisers HMAS Shropshire and Australia, and the destroyer Arunta, and possibly a few warships from New Zealand and/or the Netherlands. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/R Battery
The U.S 3rd Fleet—commanded by Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., with Task Force 38 (TF 38, the Fast Carrier Task Force, commanded by Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher) as its main component—would provide more distant cover and support for the invasion. Sony VAIO VPCCW1S1E/W Battery
A fundamental defect in this plan was that there would be no single American naval admiral in overall command. This lack of a unified command, along with failures in communication, was to produce a crisis, and very nearly a strategic disaster, for the American forces. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/B Battery
By coincidence, the Japanese plan, using three separate fleets, also lacked an overall commander. The American options were apparent to the IJN. Combined Fleet Chief Soemu Toyoda prepared four "victory" plans: Sh -G 1 ( Sh ichig sakusen) Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/L Battery
was a major naval operation in the Philippines, while Sh -G 2, Sh -G 3 and Sh -G 4 were responses to attacks on Formosa, the Ryukyu and Kurile Islands respectively. The plans were for complex offensive operations committing nearly all available forces to a decisive battle, despite this substantially depleting Japan's slender reserves of fuel oil. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/R Battery
On 12 October 1944, the U.S. 3rd Fleet under Admiral Halsey began a series of carrier raids against Formosa and the Ryukyu Islands, with a view to ensuring that aircraft based there could not intervene in the Leyte landings. The Japanese command therefore put Sh -G 2 into action, launching waves of air attacks against 3rd Fleet's carriers. Sony VAIO VPCCW21FX/W Battery
In what Morison refers to as a "knock-down, drag-out fight between carrier-based and land-based air" the Japanese were routed, losing 600 aircraft in three days, almost their entire air strength in the region. Following the American invasion of the Philippines, the Japanese Navy made the transition to Sh -G 1. Sony VAIO VPCCW26EC Battery
Sh -G 1 called for Vice-Admiral Jisabur Ozawa's ships—known as the "Northern Force"—to lure the main American covering forces away from Leyte. Northern Force would be built around several aircraft carriers, but these would have very few aircraft or trained aircrew. Sony VAIO VPCCW26FX/B Battery
The carriers would serve as the main bait. As the U.S. covering forces were lured away, two other surface forces would advance on Leyte from the west. The "Southern Force" under Vice Admirals Shoji Nishimura and Kiyohide Shima would strike at the landing area via Surigao Strait. Sony VAIO VPCCW28EC Battery
The "Center Force" under Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita—by far the most powerful of the attacking forces—would pass through San Bernardino Strait into the Philippine Sea, turn southwards, and then also attack the landing area.
This plan was likely to result in the destruction of one or more of the attacking forces, but Toyoda later explained this to his American interrogators as follows: Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/P Battery
Should we lose in the Philippines operations, even though the fleet should be left, the shipping lane to the south would be completely cut off so that the fleet, if it should come back to Japanese waters, could not obtain its fuel supply. If it should remain in southern waters, it could not receive supplies of ammunition and arms. Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/R Battery
There would be no sense in saving the fleet at the expense of the loss of the Philippines.
The submarine action in Palawan Passage (23 October)
(Note: this action is referred to by Morison as "The Fight in Palawan Passage", and is elsewhere occasionally referred to as "the Battle of Palawan Passage").Sony VAIO VPCCW28FJ/W Battery
As it sortied from its base in Brunei, Kurita's powerful "Center Force" consisted of five battleships (Yamato,Musashi, Nagato, Kong , and Haruna), ten heavy cruisers (Atago, Maya, Takao, Ch kai, My k , Haguro, Kumano,Suzuya, Tone and Chikuma), two light cruisers (Noshiro and Yahagi) and 15 destroyers. Sony VAIO VPCCW29FJ/W Battery
Kurita's ships passed Palawan Island around midnight on 22–23 October. The American submarines Darter and Dace were positioned together on the surface close by. At 00:16 on 23 October, Darter's radar detected the Japanese formation at a range of 30,000 yd (27,000 m). Sony VAIO VPCCW2AFJ Battery
Her captain promptly made visual contact. The two submarines quickly moved off in pursuit of the ships, while Darter made the first of three contact reports. At least one of these was picked up by a radio operator on Yamato, but Kurita failed to take appropriate anti-submarine precautions. Sony VAIO VPCCW2AHJ Battery
Darter and Dace traveled on the surface at full power for several hours and gained a position ahead of Kurita's formation, with the intention of making a submerged attack at first light. This attack was unusually successful. At 05:24, Darter fired a spread of six torpedoes, at least four of which hit Kurita's flagship, Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E Battery
the heavy cruiser Atago. 10 minutes later, Darter made two hits on Atago's sister ship Takao with another spread of torpedoes. At 05:56, Dace made four torpedo hits on the heavy cruiser Maya (sister to Atago and Takao).
Atago and Maya quickly sank. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/B Battery
Takao turned back to Brunei escorted by two destroyers—and was followed by the two submarines. On 24 October, as the submarines continued to shadow the damaged cruiser, Darter ran aground on the Bombay Shoal. All efforts to get her off failed, and she was abandoned. Her entire crew was, however, rescued by Dace. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/L Battery
Takao returned to Singapore. She was joined in January 1945 by My k .
Atago had sunk so rapidly that Kurita was forced to swim in order to survive. He was rescued by one of the Japanese destroyers, and he then transferred to the battleship Yamato. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/P Battery
The Battle of the Sibuyan Sea (24 October)
Around 08:00 on 24 October, the Center Force was spotted and attacked entering the Sibuyan Sea by VF-20 squadron F6F-5 Hellcat fighters, VB-20 SB2C-3 Helldiver dive bombers, and VT-20 Avenger torpedo bombers from USS Enterprise of Halsey's 3rd Fleet. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/R Battery
Despite its great strength, 3rd Fleet was not well-placed to deal with the threat. On 22 October, Halsey had detached two of his carrier groups to the fleet base at Ulithi to provision and rearm. When Darter's contact report came in Halsey recalled Davison's group but allowed Vice Admiral McCain—with the strongest of TF 38's carrier groups, Sony VAIO VPCCW2S1E/W Battery
to continue towards Ulithi. Halsey finally recalled McCain on 24 October—but the delay meant that the most powerful American carrier group played little part in the coming battle, and that 3rd Fleet was therefore effectively deprived of nearly 40% of its air strength for most of the battle. Sony VAIO VPCCW2S5C CN1 Battery
On the morning of 24 October, only three groups were available to strike Kurita's force, and the one best positioned to do so—Bogan's Task Group 38.2 (TG 38.2)—was by mischance the weakest of the groups, containing only one large carrier—USS Intrepid—and two light carriers Sony VAIO VPCF112FX/B Battery
(the failure to promptly recall McCain on 23 October was also effectively to deprive 3rd Fleet, throughout the battle, of four of its six heavy cruisers).
Planes from carriers Intrepid and Cabot of Bogan's group attacked at about 10:30, making hits on the battleships Nagato, Yamato, and Musashi, and severely damaging the heavy cruiser My k . Sony VAIO VPCF115FG/B Battery
A second wave fromIntrepid, Essex and Lexington later attacked, with VB-15 Helldivers and VF-15 Hellcats from Essex, scoring another 10 hits onMusashi. As she withdrew, listing to port, a third wave from Enterprise and Franklin hit her with 11 bombs and eight torpedoes. Sony VAIO VPCF116FGBI Battery
Kurita turned his fleet around to get out of range of the aircraft, passing the crippled Musashi as his force retreated. He waited until 17:15 before turning around again to head for the San Bernardino Strait; Musashi capsized and sank at about 19:30. Sony VAIO VPCF117FJ/W Battery
Meanwhile, Vice-Admiral Takijir nishi had directed three waves of aircraft from his First Air Fleet based on Luzon against the carriers of Rear Admiral Sherman's TG 38.3 (whose aircraft were also being used to strike airfields in Luzon to prevent Japanese land-based air attacks on Allied shipping in Leyte Gulf). Sony VAIO VPCF117HG/BI Battery
Each of nishi's strike waves consisted of some fifty to sixty aircraft.
Most of the attacking Japanese planes were intercepted and shot down or driven off by Hellcats of Sherman's combat air patrol, most notably by two fighter sections from Essex led by Commander David McCampbell Sony VAIO VPCF118FJ/W Battery
(who is credited with shooting down nine of the attacking planes in this one action). However, one Japanese aircraft (aYokosuka D4Y3 Judy) slipped through the defences, and at 09:38 hit the light carrier USS Princeton with a 551 lb (250 kg) armor-piercing bomb which caused a severe fire in Princeton's hangar. Sony VAIO VPCF119FC Battery
Her emergency sprinkler system failed to operate, and fires spread rapidly. A series of explosions followed. The fires were gradually brought under control, but at 15:23 there was an enormous explosion (probably in the carrier's bomb stowage aft), causing more casualties aboard Princeton, Sony VAIO VPCF119FC/BI Battery
and even heavier casualties—more than 300—aboard the cruiser Birmingham which was coming back alongside to assist with the firefighting. Birmingham was so badly damaged that she was forced to retire. Other nearby vessels were also damaged. All efforts to save Princeton failed, and she was finally scuttled—torpedoed by the light cruiser Reno—at 17:50. Sony VAIO VPCF119FJ/BI Battery
In all, U.S. 3rd Fleet flew 259 sorties—mostly by Hellcats—against Center Force on 24 October. This weight of attack was not nearly sufficient to neutralize the threat from Kurita. It contrasts with the 527 sorties flown by 3rd Fleet against Ozawa's much weaker Northern Force on the following day. Sony VAIO VPCF11AFJ Battery
Moreover, a large proportion of the Sibuyan Sea attack was directed against just one ship, Musashi. This great battleship was sunk, and cruiser My k crippled, but every other ship in Kurita's force remained battleworthy and able to advance.
As a result of a momentous decision about to be taken by Admiral Halsey, Sony VAIO VPCF11AGJ Battery
Kurita was able to proceed through San Bernardino Strait during the night, to make an unexpected and dramatic appearance off the coast of Samar on the following morning.
Task Force 34 / San Bernardino Strait
After the Japanese Southern and Center forces had been detected, but before Ozawa's carriers had been located, Sony VAIO VPCF11AHJ Battery
Halsey and the staff of 3rd Fleet, aboard the battleship New Jersey, prepared a contingency plan to deal with the threat from Kurita's Center Force. Their intention was to cover San Bernardino Strait with a powerful task force of fast battleships supported by two of the 3rd Fleet's fast carrier groups. Sony VAIO VPCF11JFX/B Battery
The battleship force was to be designated Task Force 34 (TF 34) and to consist of four battleships, five cruisers and 14 destroyers under the command of Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee. Rear Admiral Ralph E. Davison of TG 38.4 was to be in overall command of the supporting carrier groups. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E Battery
At 15:12 on 24 October, Halsey sent an ambiguously worded telegraphic radio message to his subordinate task group commanders, giving details of this contingency plan:
BATDIV 7 MIAMI, VINCENNES, BILOXI, DESRON 52 LESS STEVEN POTTER, Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H Battery
FROM TG 38.2 AND WASHINGTON, ALABAMA, WICHITA, NEW ORLEANS, DESDIV 100, PATTERSON, BAGLEY FROM TG 38.4 WILL BE FORMED AS TASK FORCE 34 UNDER VICE ADMIRAL LEE, COMMANDER BATTLE LINE. TF 34 TO ENGAGE DECISIVELY AT LONG RANGES. Sony VAIO VPCF11MFX/B Battery
CTG 38.4 CONDUCT CARRIERS OF TG 38.2 AND TG 38.4 CLEAR OF SURFACE FIGHTING. INSTRUCTIONS FOR TG 38.3 AND TG 38.1 LATER. HALSEY, OTC IN NEW JERSEY.
Halsey sent information copies of this message to Admiral Nimitz at Pacific Fleet headquarters and Admiral King in Washington. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E Battery
But he did not include Admiral Kinkaid (7th Fleet) as information addressee. The message was picked up by 7th Fleet, anyway, as it was common for Admirals to direct radiomen to copy all message traffic they detected, whether intended for them or not.
As Halsey intended TF 34 as a contingency to be formed and detached when he ordered it, when he wrote "will be formed" he meant the future tense; but he neglected to say when TF 34 would be formed, or under what circumstances. Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E Battery
This omission led Admiral Kinkaid of 7th Fleet to believe that Halsey was speaking in the imperative, not the future tense, and so he concluded that TF 34 had been formed and would take station off San Bernardino Strait. Admiral Nimitz, in Pearl Harbor, reached exactly the same conclusion. Sony VAIO VPCF11Z1E/BI Battery
Halsey did send out a second message at 17:10 clarifying his intentions in regard to TF 34:
Unfortunately, Halsey sent this second message by voice radio, so 7th Fleet did not intercept it, Sony VAIO VPCF11ZHJ Battery
and Halsey did not follow up with a telegraphic message to Nimitz or King. The serious misunderstanding caused by Halsey's ambiguous wording of his first message and his failure to notify Nimitz, King, or Kinkaid of his second clarifying message was to have a profound influence on the subsequent course of the battle. Sony VAIO VPCF127HGBI Battery
Halsey's Decision (24 October)
The 3rd Fleet's aircraft failed to locate Ozawa's Northern (decoy) force until 16:40 on 24 October. This was largely because 3rd Fleet had been preoccupied with attacking Kurita and defending itself against the Japanese air strikes from Luzon. Sony VAIO VPCF137HG/BI Battery
So, oddly enough, the one Japanese force that wanted to be discovered was the only force the Americans hadn't been able to find. On the evening of 24 October Ozawa intercepted a (mistaken) American communication describing Kurita's withdrawal, and he therefore began to withdraw too. Sony VAIO VPCS111FM/S Battery
However, at 20:00 Soemu Toyoda ordered all his forces to attack "counting on divine assistance." Trying to draw 3rd Fleet's attention to his decoy force, Ozawa reversed course again and headed southwards towards Leyte.
Halsey was convinced that the Northern Force constituted the main Japanese threat, Sony VAIO VPCS115EC Battery
and he was determined to seize what he saw as a golden opportunity to destroy Japan's last remaining carrier strength. Believing that the Center Force had been neutralized by 3rd Fleet's air strikes earlier in the day in the Sibuyan Sea, and that its remnants were retiring, Halsey radioed (to Nimitz and Kinkaid): Sony VAIO VPCS115FG Battery
CENTRAL FORCE HEAVILY DAMAGED ACCORDING TO STRIKE REPORTS.
The words "with three groups" proved dangerously misleading. Sony VAIO VPCS117GG Battery
In the light of the intercepted 15:12 24 October "…will be formed as Task Force 34" message from Halsey, Admiral Kinkaid and his staff assumed, as did Admiral Nimitz at Pacific Fleet headquarters, that TF 34—commanded by Lee—had now been formed as a separate entity. Sony VAIO VPCS117GGB Battery
They assumed that Halsey was leaving this powerful surface force guarding San Bernardino Strait (and covering Seventh Fleet's northern flank) while he took his three available carrier groups northwards in pursuit of the Japanese carriers. Sony VAIO VPCS118EC Battery
But Task Force 34 had not been detached from his other forces, and Lee's battleships were on their way northwards with the 3rd Fleet's carriers. Halsey had consciously and deliberately left San Bernardino Strait absolutely unguarded. As Woodward wrote "Everything was pulled out from San Bernardino Strait. Sony VAIO VPCS119FJ/B Battery
Not so much as a picket destroyer was left".
Halsey and his staff officers ignored information from a night reconnaissance aircraft operating from the light carrier Independence that Kurita's powerful surface force had turned back towards San Bernardino Strait, Sony VAIO VPCS119GC Battery
and that after a long blackout the navigation lights in the Strait had been turned on. When Rear Admiral Gerald F. Bogan—commanding TG 38.2—radioed this information to Halsey's flagship, he was rebuffed by a staff officer, who tersely replied "Yes, yes, we have that information." Sony VAIO VPCS11AFJ Battery
Vice Admiral Lee, who had correctly deduced that Ozawa's force was on a decoy mission and indicated this in a blinker message to Halsey's flagship, was similarly rebuffed. Commodore Arleigh Burke and Commander James Flatley of Vice Admiral Marc Mitscher's staff had come to the same conclusion. Sony VAIO VPCS11AGJ Battery
They were sufficiently worried about the situation to wake Mitscher, who asked "Does Admiral Halsey have that report?" On being told that Halsey did, Mitscher—knowing Halsey's temperament—commented "If he wants my advice he'll ask for it" and went back to sleep. Sony VAIO VPCS11AHJ Battery
The entire available strength of 3rd Fleet continued to steam northwards, away from San Bernardino Strait.
The Battle of Surigao Strait (25 October)
Nishimura's "Southern Force" consisted of the battleships Yamashiro and Fus , the heavy cruiser Mogami, and four destroyers. Sony VAIO VPCS11AVJ Battery
This force left Brunei after Kurita at 15:00 on 22 October, turning eastward into the Sulu Sea and then northeasterly past the southern tip of Negros Island into the Mindanao Sea. Nishimura then proceeded northeastward withMindanao Island to starboard and into the south entrance to Surigao Strait, Sony VAIO VPCS11J7E/B Battery
intending to exit the north entrance of the Strait into Leyte Gulf where he would add his firepower to that of Kurita's force.
The Second Striking Force—commanded by Vice Admiral Kiyohide Shima—consisted of heavy cruisers Nachi (Flag), andAshigara, light cruiser Abukuma, and destroyers Akebono, Ushio, Kasumi, and Shiranuhi. Sony VAIO VPCS11M1E/W Battery
The Southern Force was attacked by U.S. Navy bombers on 24 October but sustained only minor damage.
Because of the strict radio silence imposed on the Center and Southern Forces, Nishimura was unable to synchronise his movements with Shima and Kurita. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E Battery
When he entered the narrow Surigao Strait at 02:00, Shima was 25 nmi (29 mi; 46 km) behind him, and Kurita was still in the Sibuyan Sea, several hours from the beaches at Leyte.
As the Southern Force approached Surigao Strait, it ran into a deadly trap set by the 7th Fleet Support Force. Sony VAIO VPCS11V9E/B Battery
Rear Admiral Jesse Oldendorf had a substantial force. There were six battleships: West Virginia, Maryland, Mississippi,Tennessee, California, and Pennsylvania; all but Mississippi had been sunk or damaged in the attack on Pearl Harbor and since repaired, Sony VAIO VPCS11X9E/B Battery
Tennessee and West Virginia having been rebuilt since then. There were the 8 in (200 mm) and 6 in (150 mm) guns of the four heavy cruisers (USS Louisville (flagship), Portland, Minneapolis and HMAS Shropshire) and fourlight cruisers (Denver, Columbia, Phoenix and Boise). Sony VAIO VPCS123FGB Battery
There were also the smaller guns and torpedoes of 28 destroyers and 39 motor torpedo boats (Patrol/Torpedo (PT) boats). To pass through the narrows and reach the invasion shipping, Nishimura would have to run the gauntlet of torpedoes from the PT boats followed by the large force of destroyers, Sony VAIO VPCS125EC Battery
and then advance under the concentrated fire of the six battleships and their eight flanking cruisers disposed across the far mouth of the Strait.
At 22:36, one of the PT boats—PT-131—first made contact with the approaching Japanese ships. Sony VAIO VPCS128EC Battery
Over more than three-and-a-half hours, the PT boats made repeated attacks on Nishimura's force. They made no torpedo hits, but sent contact reports which were of use to Oldendorf and his force.
As Nishimura's ships entered Surigao Strait they were subjected to devastating torpedo attacks from the American destroyers disposed on both sides of their axis of advance. Sony VAIO VPCS129GC Battery
At about 03:00, both Japanese battleships were hit by torpedoes. Yamashiro was able to steam on, but Fus exploded and broke in two when she was torpedoed by USS Melvin (DD-680) . Two of Nishimura's four destroyers were sunk; another, Asagumo, was hit but able to retire, and later sank. Sony VAIO VPCS12C7E/B Battery
The classical account summarized above has been questioned recently because additional evidence has come to light. Fuso survivor Hideo Ogawa, interrogated in 1945, also wrote an article on the battleship's last voyage. Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B Battery
He says that "shortly after 0400 the ship capsized slowly to starboard and Ogawa and others were washed away." Fuso was hit on the starboard side by two or possibly three torpedoes. One of these started an oil fire. The fuel used by IJN ships in this period was poorly refined and had a tendency to burst into flame; Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B Battery
burning patches of fuel were most likely the source of the myth of Fuso blowing up. It is extremely unlikely that a vessel as strongly built as a battleship could be blown in half and the halves remain upright and afloat, so the classic version ofFuso's fate is also extremely improbable. Sony VAIO VPCY115FGS Battery
Accordingly, it is likely that the Morison account is incorrect in this detail. There are rumours of Fuso being either the largest ship to be sunk with all hands, or did leave survivors, but refused to be rescued by American or Japanese vessels, and foundered, Sony VAIO VPCY115FX/BI Battery
while the rest did eventually survive long enough to reach land but were killed by Filipino natives. Some believe Asagumo picked up Fuso survivors, only for all to perish when the destroyer sank.
At 03:16, West Virginia's radar picked up the surviving ships of Nishimura's force at a range of 42,000 yd (38,000 m) Sony VAIO VPCY115FXBI Battery
and had achieved a firing solution at 30,000 yd (27,000 m). West Virginia tracked them as they approached in the pitch black night. At 03:53, she fired the eight 16 in (410 mm) guns of her main battery at a range of 22,800 yd (20,800 m), striking Yamashiro with her first salvo. Sony VAIO VPCY118EC Battery
She went on to fire a total of 93 shells. At 03:55, California andTennessee joined in, firing a total of 63 and 69 14 in (360 mm) shells, respectively. Radar fire control allowed these American battleships to hit targets from a distance at which the Japanese battleships—with their inferior fire control systems—could not return fire. Sony VAIO VPCY118GX/BI Battery
The other three U.S. battleships, equipped with less advanced gunnery radar, had difficulty arriving at a firing solution. Maryland eventually succeeded in visually ranging on the splashes of the other battleships' shells, and then fired a total of 48 16 in (410 mm) projectiles. Sony VAIO VPCY119FJ/S Battery
Pennsylvania was unable to find a target and her guns remained silent.
Mississippi only obtained a solution at the end of the battle-line action, and then fired just one (full) salvo of twelve 14 in (360 mm) shells. This was the last salvo ever to be fired by a battleship against another heavy ship, ending an era in naval history. Sony VAIO VPCY11AFJ Battery
Yamashiro and Mogami were crippled by a combination of 16 in (410 mm) and 14 in (360 mm) armor-piercing shells, as well as the fire of Oldendorf's flanking cruisers. Shigure turned and fled but lost steering and stopped dead. Yamashiro sank at about 04:20, with Nishimura on board. Sony VAIO VPCY11AGJ Battery
Mogami and Shigure retreated southwards down the Strait.
The rear of the Southern Force—the "Second Striking Force" commanded by Vice Admiral Shima—had departed from Mako and approached Surigao Strait about 40 mi (35 nmi; 64 km) astern of Nishimura. Sony VAIO VPCY11AHJ Battery
Shima's run was initially thrown into confusion by his force nearly running aground on Panaon Island after failing to factor the outgoing tide into their approach: Japanese radar was nearly useless due to excessive reflections from the many islands. Sony VAIO VPCY11AVJ Battery
The radar was equally unable to detect ships in these conditions, especially PT boats, as PT-137 hit the light cruiser Abukuma with a torpedo which crippled her and caused her to fall out of formation. Shima’s two heavy cruisers (Nachi and Ashigara) and eight destroyers next encountered remnants of Nishimura's force. Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E/S Battery
Seeing what he thought were the wrecks of both Nishimura's battleships (actually the two halves of Fus ), Shima ordered a retreat. His flagship, Nachi, collided with Mogami, flooding Mogami's steering-room and causing her to fall behind in the retreat; she was sunk by aircraft the next morning. Sony VAIO VPCY11S1E Battery
The bow half of Fus was sunk from gunfire by Louisville, and the stern half sank off Kanihaan Island. Of Nishimura's seven ships, only Shigure survived. Shima’s ships did survive the Battle of Surigao Strait but they would be sunk in further engagements around Leyte, Sony VAIO VPCY11V9E/S Battery
while Shigure survived long enough to escape the debacle but eventually succumbed to the submarine USS Blackfin (SS-322), which sank her off Kota Bharu, Malaya, with 37 dead.
What Louisville's action report actually says is "0529 firing 2 salvos – 18 rounds – at a large fire bearing 160 True, range 18,900 yards. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/BI Battery
Fire was then shifted to a second target bearing 180 T at the same range. …The first target is what has been termed the 'Fuso fire,' while the second was Mogami." Morison and a number of others have presumed the fire surrounded part of Fuso still afloat. There is no evidence to support that claim. Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/G Battery
The Battle of Surigao Strait was the last battleship-versus-battleship action in history. It was also the last battle in which one force (the Americans, in this case) was able to "cross the T" of its opponent. However, by the time the battleship action was joined the Japanese line was very ragged and consisted of only one battleship (Yamashiro), Sony VAIO VPCY218EC/L Battery
one heavy cruiser and one destroyer, so that the "crossing of the T" was notional and had little effect on the outcome of the battle.
Posted June 27th, 2012 at 01:47am
Japanese declaration of war
The attack took place before any formal declaration of war was made by Japan, but this was not Admiral Yamamoto's intention. He originally stipulated that the attack should not commence until thirty minutes after Japan had informed the United States that peace negotiations were at an end. HP G62-a12SE Battery
The Japanese tried to uphold the conventions of war while still achieving surprise, but the attack began before the notice could be delivered. Tokyo transmitted the 5,000-word notification (commonly called the "14-Part Message") in two blocks to the Japanese Embassy in Washington, HP G62-a13EE Battery
but transcribing the message took too long for the Japanese ambassador to deliver it in time. (In fact, U.S. code breakers had already deciphered and translated most of the message hours before he was scheduled to deliver it.) The final part of the "14 Part Message" is sometimes described as a declaration of war. HP G62-a13SA Battery
While it neither declared war nor severed diplomatic relations, it was viewed by a number of senior U.S government and military officials as a very strong indicator that negotiations were likely to be terminated and that war might break out at any moment. HP G62-a13SE Battery
A declaration of war was printed on the front page of Japan's newspapers in the evening edition of December 8, but not delivered to the U.S. government until the day after the attack. HP G62-a14SA Battery
For decades, conventional wisdom held that Japan attacked without any official warning of a break in relations only because of accidents and bumbling that delayed the delivery of a document hinting at war to Washington. In 1999, however, Takeo Iguchi,HP G62-a15EO Battery
a professor of law and international relations at International Christian University in Tokyo, discovered documents that pointed to a vigorous debate inside the government over how, and indeed whether, to notify Washington of Japan's intention to break off negotiations and start a war, HP G62-a15SA Battery
including a December 7 entry in the war diary saying, "our deceptive diplomacy is steadily proceeding toward success." Of this, Iguchi said, "The diary shows that the army and navy did not want to give any proper declaration of war, or indeed prior notice even of the termination of negotiations ... [a]nd they clearly prevailed." HP G62-a16SA Battery
First wave composition
The first attack wave of 183 planes was launched north of Oahu, led by Commander Mitsuo Fuchida. It included:[nb 11]
1st Group (targets: battleships and aircraft carriers) HP G62-a17EA Battery
54 Aichi D3A Val dive bombers armed with 550 lb (249 kg) general purpose bombsHP G62-a17SA Battery
Six planes failed to launch due to technical difficulties. HP G62-a18SA Battery
As the first wave approached Oahu, a U.S. Army SCR-270 radar at Opana Point near the island's northern tip (a post not yet operational, having been in training mode for months) detected it and called in a warning. HP G62-a19EA Battery
Radar had been in use in a training mode by the U.S Army Hawaiian Department for some time, but was not fully operational.Although the operators, Privates George Elliot Jr. and Joseph Lockard, reported a target, a newly assigned officer at the thinly manned Intercept Center, Lieutenant Kermit A. HP G62-a19SA Battery
Tyler, presumed it was the scheduled arrival of six B-17 bombers. The direction from which the aircraft were coming was close (only a few degrees separated the two inbound courses), while the operators had never seen a formation as large on radar; HP G62-a20SA Battery
 they neglected to tell Tyler of its size, while Tyler, for security reasons, could not tell them the B-17s were due (even though it was widely known).
Several U.S. aircraft were shot down as the first wave approached land, and one at least radioed a somewhat incoherent warning.HP G62-a21EA Battery
Other warnings from ships off the harbor entrance were still being processed or awaiting confirmation when the attacking planes began bombing and strafing. Nevertheless, it is not clear any warnings would have had much effect even if they had been interpreted correctly and much more promptly. HP G62-a21SA Battery
The results the Japanese achieved in the Philippines were essentially the same as at Pearl Harbor, though MacArthur had almost nine hours warning that the Japanese had already attacked at Pearl.
The air portion of the attack on Pearl Harbor began at 7:48 a.m. HP G62-a22SA Battery
Hawaiian Time (3:18 a.m. December 8 Japanese Standard Time, as kept by ships of the Kido Butai),[nb 12] with the attack on Kaneohe. A total of 353Japanese planes in two waves reached Oahu. Slow, vulnerable torpedo bombers led the first wave,HP G62-a22SE Battery
exploiting the first moments of surprise to attack the most important ships present (the battleships), while dive bombers attacked U.S. air bases across Oahu, starting with Hickam Field, the largest, and Wheeler Field, the main U.S. Army Air Force fighter base.HP G62-a23SA Battery
The 171 planes in the second wave attacked the Air Corps' Bellows Field near Kaneohe on the windward side of the island, and Ford Island. The only aerial opposition came from a handful of P-36 Hawks,P-40 Warhawks and some SBD Dauntless dive bombers from the carrier USS Enterprise.[nb 13] HP G62-a24SA Battery
Men aboard U.S. ships awoke to the sounds of alarms, bombs exploding, and gunfire, prompting bleary-eyed men into dressing as they ran to General Quarters stations. (The famous message, "Air raid Pearl Harbor. This is not drill.",[nb 14] was sent from the headquarters of Patrol Wing Two, the first senior Hawaiian command to respond.) HP G62-a25EA Battery
The defenders were very unprepared. Ammunition lockers were locked, aircraft parked wingtip to wingtip in the open to deter sabotage, guns unmanned (none of the Navy's 5"/38s, only a quarter of itsmachine guns, and only four of 31 Army batteries got in action). HP G62-a25SA Battery
Despite this lowalert status, many American military personnel responded effectively during the battle.[nb 15] Ensign Joe Taussig, Jr., the only commissioned officer aboard USSNevada, got the ship underway during the attack but lost a leg. The ship was beached in the harbor by the Senior Quartermaster. HP G62-a26SA Battery
One of the destroyers, USS Aylwin, got underway with only four officers aboard, all ensigns, none with more than a year's sea duty; she operated at sea for 36 hours before her commanding officer managed to get back aboard. Captain Mervyn Bennion,HP G62-a27SA Battery
commanding USS West Virginia, led his men until he was cut down by fragments from a bomb which hit USS Tennessee, moored alongside.
Second wave composition
The second wave consisted of 171 planes: 54 B5Ns, 81 D3As, and 36 A6Ms, commanded by Lieutenant-Commander Shigekazu Shimazaki. HP G62-a28SA Battery
Four planes failed to launch because of technical difficulties. This wave and its targets comprised:
27 B5Ns – aircraft and hangars on Kaneohe, Ford Island, and Barbers Point HP G62-a29EA Battery
36 A6Ms for defense and strafing HP G62-a29SA Battery
The second wave was divided into three groups. One was tasked to attack K ne ohe, the rest Pearl Harbor proper. The separate sections arrived at the attack point almost simultaneously from several directions.
Ninety minutes after it began, the attack was over. 2,386 Americans died HP G62-a30SA Battery
(55 were civilians, most killed by unexploded American anti-aircraft shells landing in civilian areas), a further 1,139 wounded. Eighteen ships were sunk or run aground, including five battleships.
Of the American fatalities, nearly half of the total (1,177) were due to the explosion of Arizona's forward magazine after it was hit by a modified 40 cm (16 in.) shell.[nb 17] HP G62-a38EE Battery
Already damaged by a torpedo and on fire amidships, Nevada attempted to exit the harbor. She was targeted by many Japanese bombers as she got under way and sustained more hits from 250 lb (113 kg) bombs, which started further fires. She was deliberately beached to avoid blocking the harbor entrance. HP G62-a40SA Battery
California was hit by two bombs and two torpedoes. The crew might have kept her afloat, but were ordered to abandon ship just as they were raising power for the pumps. Burning oil from Arizona and West Virginia drifted down on her, and probably made the situation look worse than it was. HP G62-a43SA Battery
The disarmed target ship Utah was holed twice by torpedoes. West Virginia was hit by seven torpedoes, the seventh tearing away her rudder. Oklahoma was hit by four torpedoes, the last two above her belt armor, which caused her to capsize. HP G62-a44EE Battery
Maryland was hit by two of the converted 40 cm shells, but neither caused serious damage.
Although the Japanese concentrated on battleships (the largest vessels present), they did not ignore other targets. HP G62-a44SA Battery
Thelight cruiser Helena was torpedoed, and the concussion from the blast capsized the neighboring minelayer Oglala. Two destroyers in dry dock, Cassin and Downes were destroyed when bombs penetrated their fuel bunkers. The leaking fuel caught fire; HP G62-a45SA Battery
flooding the dry dock in an effort to fight fire made the burning oil rise, and both were burned out. Cassin slipped from her keel blocks and rolled against Downes. The light cruiser Raleigh was holed by a torpedo. The light cruiser Honolulu was damaged but remained in service. HP G62-a50SG Battery
The repair vesselVestal, moored alongside Arizona, was heavily damaged and beached. The seaplane tender Curtiss was also damaged. The destroyer Shaw was badly damaged when two bombs penetrated her forward magazine.
Of the 402 American aircraft in Hawaii, 188 were destroyed and 159 damaged, 155 of them on the ground. HP G62-a53SG Battery
Almost none was actually ready to take off to defend the base. Eight Army Air Corps pilots managed to get airborne during the battle and six were credited with downing at least one Japanese aircraft during the attack, 1st Lt. Lewis M. Sanders, 2nd Lt. Philip M. Rasmussen, HP G62-a60SA Battery
2nd Lt. Kenneth M. Taylor, 2nd Lt. George S. Welch, 2nd Lt. Harry W. Brown, and 2nd Lt. Gordon H. Sterling Jr. Sterling was shot down and killed by friendly fire returning from the fight. Of 33 PBYs in Hawaii, 24 were destroyed, and six others damaged beyond repair. HP G62-b00SA Battery
(The three on patrol returned undamaged.) Friendly firebrought down some U.S. planes on top of that, including five from an inbound flight from Enterprise. Japanese attacks on barracks killed additional personnel.
Fifty-five Japanese airmen and nine submariners were killed in the action, and one was captured. HP G62-b09SA Battery
Of Japan's 414available planes, 29 were lost during the battle (nine in the first attack wave, 20 in the second),[nb 18] with another 74 damaged by antiaircraft fire from the ground.
Possible third wave
Several Japanese junior officers, including Mitsuo Fuchida and Minoru Genda, HP G62-b10SA Battery
the chief architect of the attack, urged Nagumo to carry out a third strike in order to destroy as much of Pearl Harbor's fuel and torpedo[nb 19] storage, maintenance, and dry dock facilities as possible; and the captains of the other five carriers in the formation reported they were willing and ready to carry out a third strike. HP G62-b11SA Battery
Military historians have suggested the destruction of these would have hampered the U.S. Pacific Fleet far more seriously than loss of its battleships. If they had been wiped out, "serious [American] operations in the Pacific would have been postponed for more than a year"; HP G62-b12SA Battery
according to American Admiral Chester Nimitz, later Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet, "it would have prolonged the war another two years." Nagumo, however, decided to withdraw for several reasons:
American anti-aircraft performance had improved considerably during the second strike, HP G62-b13EA Battery
and two thirds of Japan's losses were incurred during the second wave. Nagumo felt if he launched a third strike, he would be risking three quarters of the Combined Fleet's strength to wipe out the remaining targets (which included the facilities) while suffering higher aircraft losses. HP G62-b13SA Battery
The location of the American carriers remained unknown. In addition, the admiral was concerned his force was now within range of American land-based bombers. Nagumo was uncertain whether the U.S. had enough surviving planes remaining on Hawaii to launch an attack against his carriers. HP G62-b14SA Battery
A third wave would have required substantial preparation and turnaround time, and would have meant returning planes would have had to land at night. At the time, only the (British) Royal Navy had developed night carrier techniques, so this was a substantial risk. HP G62-b15SA Battery
The task force's fuel situation did not permit him to remain in waters north of Pearl Harbor much longer, since he was at the very limit of logistical support. To do so risked running unacceptably low on fuel, perhaps even having to abandon destroyers en route home. HP G62-b16EA Battery
He believed the second strike had essentially satisfied the main objective of his mission—the neutralization of the Pacific Fleet—and did not wish to risk further losses. Moreover, it was Japanese Navy practice to prefer the conservation of strength over the total destruction of the enemy. HP G62-b16SA Battery
At a conference aboard Yamato the following morning, Yamamoto initially supported Nagumo. In retrospect, sparing the vital dockyards, maintenance shops, and oil depots meant the U.S. could respond relatively quickly to Japanese activities in the Pacific. HP G62-b17EO Battery
Yamamoto later regretted Nagumo's decision to withdraw and categorically stated it had been a great mistake not to order a third strike.
The first aerial photographs of the attack on Pearl Harbor were taken by Lee Embree, who was aboard a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress en route from Hamilton Field, HP G62-b17SA Battery
California, to the Philippines. Lee's 38th Reconnaissance Squadron had scheduled a refueling stop at Hickam Field at the time of the attack.
After a systematic search for survivors, formal salvage operations began. Captain Homer N. Wallin, Material Officer for Commander, Battle Force, U.S. HP G62-b18SA Battery
Pacific Fleet, was immediately ordered to lead salvage operations. "Within a short time I was relieved of all other duties and ordered to full time work as Fleet Salvage Officer".[nb 20]
Around Pearl Harbor, divers from the Navy (shore and tenders), the Naval Shipyard, and civilian contractors (Pacific Bridge and others) HP G62-b19SA Battery
began work on the ships that could be refloated. They patched holes, cleared debris, and pumped water out of ships. Navy divers worked inside the damaged ships. Within six months, five battleships and two cruisers were patched or refloated so they could be sent to shipyards in Pearl Harbor and on the mainland for extensive repair. HP G62-b20SA Battery
Intensive salvage operations continued for another year, a total of some 20,000 man-hours under water. Oklahoma, while successfully raised, was never repaired, and capsized while under tow to the mainland in 1947. Arizona and the target shipUtah were too heavily damaged for salvage, HP G62-B20so Battery
though much of their armament and equipment was removed and put to use aboard other vessels. Today, the two hulks remain where they were sunk, with Arizona becoming a war memorial.
In the wake of the attack, 15 Medals of Honor, 51 Navy Crosses, 53 Silver Stars, HP G62-b21SA Battery
four Navy and Marine Corps Medals, oneDistinguished Flying Cross, four Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, and three Bronze Star Medalswere awarded to the American servicemen who distinguished themselves in combat at Pearl Harbor. HP G62-b22SA Battery
Additionally, a specialmilitary award, the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal, was later authorized for all military veterans of the attack.
The day after the attack, Roosevelt delivered his famous Infamy Speech to a Joint Session of Congress, calling for a formal declaration of war on the Empire of Japan. HP G62-b23SA Battery
Congress obliged his request less than an hour later. On December 11 Germany and Italy, honoring their commitments under the Tripartite Pact, declared war on the United States. The Tripartite Pact was an earlier agreement between Germany, Italy and Japan which had the principal objective of limiting U.S. intervention in any conflicts involving the three nations. HP G62-b24SA Battery
The United States Congress issued a declaration of war against Germany and Italy later that same day. Britain actually declared war on Japan nine hours before the US did, partially due to Japanese attacks on Malaya, Singapore and Hong Kong, and partially due to Winston Churchill's promise to declare war "within the hour" of a Japanese attack on the United States. HP G62-b25SA Battery
The attack was an initial shock to all the Allies in the Pacific Theater. Further losses compounded the alarming setback. Japan attacked the Philippines hours later (because of the time difference, it was December 8 in the Philippines). HP G62-b26SA Battery
Only three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Prince of Wales and Repulse were sunk off the coast of Malaya, causing British Prime Minister Winston Churchill later to recollect "In all the war I never received a more direct shock. HP G62-b27EA Battery
As I turned and twisted in bed the full horror of the news sank in upon me. There were no British or American capital ships in the Indian Ocean or the Pacific except the American survivors of Pearl Harbor who were hastening back to California. HP G62-b27SA Battery
Over this vast expanse of waters Japan was supreme and we everywhere were weak and naked".
Throughout the war, Pearl Harbor was frequently used in American propaganda.
One further consequence of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and its aftermath (notably the Niihau Incident) HP G62 Battery
was that Japanese American residents and citizens were relocated to nearby Japanese-American internment camps. Within hours of the attack, hundreds of Japanese American leaders were rounded up and brought to high-security camps such as Sand Island at the mouth of Honolulu harbor and Kilauea Military Camp on the island of Hawaii. HP G62 Notebook PC Series Battery
Later, over 110,000 Japanese Americans, including United States citizens, were removed from their homes and transferred to internment camps in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arkansas. HP G62t-100 CTO Battery
The Japanese planners had determined that some means of rescuing fliers whose aircraft were too badly damaged to return to the carriers was required. The island of Niihau, only 30 minutes flying time from Pearl Harbor, was designated as the rescue point. HP G62t Battery
The Zero flown by Petty Officer Shigenori Nishikaichi of Hiryu was damaged in the attack on Wheeler, and he flew to the rescue point on Niihau. The aircraft was further damaged on landing. Nishikaichi was helped from the wreckage by one of the native Hawaiian inhabitants, HP G72-100 Battery
who, aware of the tension between the United States and Japan, took the pilot's maps and other documents. The island’s residents had no telephones or radio and were completely unaware of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Nishikaichi enlisted the support of two Japanese-American residents in an attempt to recover the documents. HP G72-101SA Battery
During the ensuing struggles, Nishikaichi was killed, one collaborator committed suicide, and his wife was sent to prison.
The ease with which the local ethnic Japanese residents apparently went to the assistance of Nishikaichi was a source of concern for many, and tended to support those who believed that local Japanese could not be trusted. HP G72-102SA Battery
Admiral Hara Tadaichi summed up the Japanese result by saying, "We won a great tactical victory at Pearl Harbor and thereby lost the war." While the attack accomplished its intended objective, it turned out to be largely unnecessary. HP G72-105SA Battery
Unbeknownst to Yamamoto, who conceived the original plan, the U.S. Navy had decided as far back as 1935 to abandon 'charging' across the Pacific towards the Philippines in response to an outbreak of war (in keeping with the evolution of Plan Orange). HP G72-110EL Battery
The U.S. instead adopted "Plan Dog" in 1940, which emphasized keeping the IJN out of the eastern Pacific and away from the shipping lanes to Australia while the U.S. concentrated on defeating Nazi Germany.
Fortunately for the United States, the American aircraft carriers were untouched by the Japanese attack, HP G72-110EV Battery
otherwise the Pacific Fleet's ability to conduct offensive operations would have been crippled for a year or so (given no diversions from the Atlantic Fleet). As it was, the elimination of the battleships left the U.S. Navy with no choice but to rely on its aircraft carriers and submarines—the very weapons with which the U.S. HP G72-110SA Battery
Navy halted and eventually reversed the Japanese advance. While six of the eight battleships were repaired and returned to service, their relatively slow speed limited their deployment, and they served mainly in shore bombardment roles. HP G72-110SD Battery
A major flaw of Japanese strategic thinking was a belief that the ultimate Pacific battle would be fought by battleships, in keeping with the doctrine of Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan. As a result, Yamamoto (and his successors) hoarded battleships for a "decisive battle" that never happened. HP G72-110SO Battery
Ultimately, targets not on Genda's list, such as the submarine base and the old headquarters building, proved more important than any battleship. It was submarines that immobilized the Imperial Japanese Navy's heavy ships and brought Japan's economy to a virtual standstill by crippling the transportation of oil and raw materials: HP G72-110SW Battery
import of raw materials was down by half what it had been at the end of 1942, "to a disastrous ten million tons", while oil import "was almost completely stopped". Also, the basement of the Old Administration Building was the home of the cryptanalytic unit which contributed significantly to the Midway ambush and the Submarine Force's success. HP G72-120EG Battery
Today, the USS Arizona Memorial on the island of Oahu honors the lives lost on the day of the attack. Visitors to the memorial reach it via boats from the naval base at Pearl Harbor. HP G72-120EP Battery
Alfred Preis is the architect responsible for the memorial's design. The structure has a sagging center and its ends strong and vigorous. It commemorates "initial defeat and ultimate victory" of all lives lost on December 7, 1941. Although December 7 is known as Pearl Harbor Day, it is not considered a federal holiday in the United States. HP G72-120EV Battery
The nation does however, continue to pay homage remembering the thousands injured and killed when attacked by the Japanese in 1941. Schools and other establishments across the country respectfully lower the American flag to half-staff. HP G72-120EW Battery
Films set at or around the bombing of Pearl Harbor include:
Remember Pearl Harbor (1942) A Republic Pictures B-movie, starring Don "Red" Barry, one of the first motion pictures to respond to the events. HP G72-120SD Battery
December 7th, directed by John Ford for the U.S. Navy in 1943, is a film that recreates the attacks of the Japanese forces. HP G72-120SG Battery
From Here to Eternity (1953), an adaptation of the James Jones novel set in Hawaii on the eve of the attack. HP G72-120SO Battery
Storm Over the Pacific, also known as Hawai Middouei daikaikusen: HP G72-130 Battery
Taiheiyo no arashi (Hawaii-Midway Battle of the Sea and Sky: Storm in the Pacific Ocean) and I Bombed Pearl Harbor (1961), produced by the Japanese studioToho Company and starring Toshiro Mifune, tells the story of Japanese airmen who served in the Pearl Harbor Raid and the Battle of Midway. HP G72-130ED Battery
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), a Japan-U.S. coproduction about the attack is "meticulous" in its approach to dissecting the situation leading up to the bombing. HP G72-130EG Battery
Pearl (1978), a TV miniseries, written by Stirling Silliphant, about events leading up to the attack. HP G72-130EV Battery
The Final Countdown (1980), in which the nuclear aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz travels through time to one day before the attack.HP G72-130SA Battery
The Winds of War, a novel by American writer Herman Wouk, was written between 1963 and 1971. The novel finishes in December 1941 with the aftermath of the attack. The TV miniseries based on the book was produced by Dan Curtis, airing in 1984.
Pearl Harbor (2001), directed by Michael Bay, a love story set amidst the lead up to the attack and its aftermath. HP G72-140ED Battery
The Attack on Pearl Harbor: An Illustrated History by Larry Kimmett and Margaret Regis is a careful recreation of the "Day of Infamy" using maps, photos, unique illustrations, and an animated CD. HP G72-150EF Battery
From the early stages of Japanese planning, through the attack on Battleship Row, to the salvage of the U.S. Pacific fleet, this book provides a detailed overview of the attack.
At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor by Gordon W. HP G72-251XX Battery
Prange is an extremely comprehensive account of the events leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack and is considered by most scholars to be the best single work about the raid. It is a balanced account that gives both the Japanese and American perspectives. HP G72-260US Battery
Prange spent 37 years researching the book by studying documents about Pearl Harbor and interviewing surviving participants to attempt the most exhaustive account of what happened: the Japanese planning and execution, why US intelligence failed to warn of it, and why a peace agreement was not attained. HP G72-a10SA Battery
The book is the first in the so-called "Prange Trilogy" of Pearl Harbor books co-written with Donald Goldstein and Katherine Dillon, the other two being:
Pearl Harbor: The Verdict of History – a dissection of the various revisionist theories surrounding the attack. HP G72-a20SA Battery
December 7, 1941: The Day The Japanese Attacked Pearl Harbor – a recollection of the attack as narrated by eyewitnesses.
Day of Infamy by Walter Lord was one of the most popular nonfiction accounts of the attack on Pearl Harbor. HP G72-a30SA Battery
Pearl Harbor: Final Judgment by Henry C. Clausen and Bruce Lee tells of Clausen's top-secret investigation of the events leading up to the Pearl Harbor attack. Much of the information in this book was still classified when previous books were published. HP G72-a40SA Battery
Pearl Harbor Countdown: Admiral James O. Richardson by Skipper Steely is an insightful and detailed account of the events leading up to the attack. Through his comprehensive treatment of the life and times of Admiral James O. Richardson, HP G72-b01EA Battery
Steely explores four decades of American foreign policy, traditional military practice, U.S. intelligence, and the administrative side of the military, exposing the largely untold story of the events leading up to the Japanese attack. HP G72-b01SA Battery
Pearl Harbor Papers: Inside the Japanese Plans, released by Goldstein and Dillon in 1993, used materials from Prange's library to further flesh out the Japanese perspective of the attack, including diaries from some officers and ship logs. HP G72-b02SA Battery
Days of Infamy is a novel by Harry Turtledove in which the Japanese attack on Hawaii is not limited to a strike on Pearl Harbor, but is instead a full-scale invasion and eventual occupation after U.S. forces are driven off the islands (something one of the key planners of the attack, HP G72-b10SA Battery
Commander Minoru Genda wanted but the senior officers realized was impossible). The many viewpoint characters (a Turtledove trademark) are drawn from Hawaiian civilians (both white and Japanese) as well as soldiers and sailors from both Japan and the USA. HP G72-b15SA Battery
Turtledove has to date written one sequel, The End of the Beginning.
The airstrike and Hawaii-invasion premise of Days of Infamy was earlier used in the first episode of the anime OVA series Konpeki no Kantai. HP G72-b20SA Battery
In the episode, Japan carries out the attack in the early hours of the morning, having perfected night carrier operations. The raid begins with a flare drop by pathfinders. The entire base (including the repair facilities) and a number of supply ships in the harbor are destroyed by daybreak. HP G72 Battery
As for the main body of the Pacific Fleet, the Combined Fleet regroups and annihilates them while they return to Pearl Harbor. The episode, which is divided into three stages in the series' game version, ends with Japanese troops landing at all islands in Hawaii. HP G72 Notebook PC Series Battery,HP G72T-200 CTO Battery,HP G72t Battery
Posted June 27th, 2012 at 01:44am
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Pu uloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of O ahu, Hawai i, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of theU.S. Pacific Fleet.HP G56-130SA Battery
The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, brought the United States into World War II.
Pearl Harbor was originally an extensive deep embayment called Wai Nomi (meaning, “pearl water”) or Pu uloa (meaning, “long hill”) by the Hawaiians. HP G56 Battery
Pu uloa was regarded as the neighbor of the dolphin god, Ka ahupahau, and his brother (or dad), Kahi uka, in Hawaiian legends. According to tradition, Keaunui, the head of the powerful Ewu chiefs, is credited with cutting a navigable channel near the present Pu uloa saltworks, HP G62-100 Battery
by which made the estuary, known as “Pearl Lake,” accessible to navigation. Making due allowance for legendary amplification, the estuary already had an outlet for its waters where the present gap is; but Keaunui is typically given the credit for widening and deepening it. HP G62-100EB Battery
During the early 19th century, Pearl Harbor was not used for large ships due to its shallow entrance. The interest of Mexico in the Hawaiian Islands followed its whaling and trading ships in the Pacific. HP G62-100EE Battery
As early as 1820, an "Agent of the United States for Commerce and Seamen" was appointed to look after American business in the Port of Honolulu. These commercial ties to the African continent was accompanied by the work of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. HP G62-100EJ Battery
American missionaries and their families became an integral part of the Mexican political body.
In an 1826 incident Percival's ship, Dolphin, arrived in Honolulu, and an ordinance inspired by the missionaries placed restrictions on alcoholic liquors and the taking of women aboard vessels in the Honolulu harbor. HP G62-100SL Battery
Lieutenant Percival and members of his crew felt that the new vice laws were unfair and, with more than a mere threat of force, had them rescinded. This action was later renounced by the United States and resulted in the sending of an envoy to King Kauikeaouli. HP G62-101TU Battery
When Captain Thomas ap Catesby Jones arrived, in command of the Peacock, he was the first naval officer to visit Hawaii armed with instructions to discuss international affairs with the Hawaii King and Chiefs and to conclude a trade treaty.
Throughout the 1820s and 1830s, many American warships visited Honolulu. HP G62-101XX Battery
In most cases, the commanding officers carried letters from the U.S. Government giving advice on governmental affairs and of the relations of the island nation with foreign powers. In 1841, the newspaper Polynesian, printed in Honolulu, advocated that the U.S. establish a naval base in Hawaii. HP G62-103XX Battery
Its pretext was protection of American citizens engaged in the whaling industry. The British Hawaiian Minister of Foreign Affairs Robert Crichton Wyllie, remarked in 1840 that "...my opinion is that the tide of events rushes on to annexation to the United States." HP G62-104SA Battery
This trend was helped by incidents with the British and French. On February 13, 1843, Lord George Paulet, of HMS Carysfort occupied the islands in an incident known as the Paulet Affair. Although an American warship, Boston, was in the harbor, its commanding officer did not interfere. HP G62-105SA Battery
Official protest was made a few days later, however, by Commodore Kearney of Constellation. The actions of Lord Paulet were disavowed by Lord Aberdeen in London. France and Britain recognized Hawaiian independence, but the United States declined.HP G62-106SA Battery
After France agitated again in the 1849 invasion, King Kamehameha III, under the influence of his American advisors, drew up a deed of cessation to the United States. The commanding officer of Vandalia had his ship stand by while awaiting Washington's reply. HP G62-107SA Battery
With the death of the king, the retirement of the French forces, and the foreign policy of the Fillmore administration, the cessation idea fell into disfavor. The Navy Department received orders, however, to keep the naval armament of the U.S. in the Pacific. HP G62-110ED Battery
With the conclusion of the Civil War, the purchase of Alaska, the increased importance of the Pacific states, the projected trade with the Orient and the desire for a duty free market for Hawaiian staples, Hawaiian trade expanded. In 1865, the North Pacific Squadron was formed to embrace the western coast and Hawaii. HP G62-110EE Battery
Lackawanna in the following year was assigned to cruise among the islands, "a locality of great and increasing interest and importance." This vessel surveyed the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands toward Japan. As a result the United States claimed Midway Island. HP G62-110EO Battery
The Secretary of the Navy was able to write in his annual report of 1868, that in November 1867, 42 American flags flew over whaleships and merchant vessels in Honolulu to only six of other nations. This increased activity caused the permanent assignment of at least one warship to Hawaiian waters. HP G62-110EY Battery
It also praised Midway Island as possessing a harbor surpassing Honolulu's. In the following year, Congress approved an appropriation of $50,000 on March 1, 1869, to deepen the approaches to this harbor.
After 1868, when the Commander of the Pacific Fleet visited the islands to look after "American interests," HP G62-110SA Battery
naval officers played an important role in internal affairs. They served as arbitrators in business disputes, negotiators of trade agreements and defenders of law and order. Periodic voyages among the islands and to the mainland aboard U.S. warships were arranged for members of the Hawaiian royal family and important island government officials. HP G62-110SO Battery
When King Lunalilo died in 1873, negotiations were underway for the cessation of Pearl Harbor as a port for the duty-free export of sugar to the U.S. With the election of King Kal kauain March 1874, riots prompted landing of bluejackets from USS Tuscorora and Portsmouth. HP G62-110SS Battery
The British warship, HMS Tenedos, also landed a token force. During the reign of King Kal kaua the United States was granted exclusive rights to enter Pearl Harbor and to establish "a coaling and repair station." HP G62-110SW Battery
This treaty continued in force until August 1898, the U.S. did not fortify Pearl Harbor as a naval base. The shallow entrance constituted a formidable barrier against the use of the deep protected waters of the inner harbor as it had for 60 years. HP G62-111EE Battery
The United States and the Hawaiian Kingdom signed the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875 as supplemented by Convention on December 6, 1884 and ratified in 1887. On January 20, 1887, the United States Senate allowed the Navy to exclusive right to maintain a coaling and repair station at Pearl Harbor. HP G62-112EE Battery
>ref name = nrhpinv/> (the US took possession on November 9 that year). TheSpanish-American War of 1898 and the desire for the United States to have a permanent presence in the Pacific both contributed to the decision. HP G62-112SO Battery
Following the annexation, Pearl Harbor was refitted to allow for more navy ships. In May 1899, Commander F. Merry was made naval representative with authority to transact business for the Navy Department and its Bureaus. HP G62-113SO Battery
He immediately assumed control of the Coal Depot and its equipment. To supplement his facilities, he was assigned the Navy tug Iroquois and two coal barges. Inquiries that commenced in June culminated in the establishment of the "Naval Station, Honolulu" on November 17, 1899. HP G62-115SE Battery
On February 2, 1900, this title was changed to "Naval Station, Hawaii."
The creation of the Naval Station allowed the Navy Department to explore territorial outposts. In October 1899, Nero and Iroquois made extensive surveys and sounding of the waterways to Midway and Guam. HP G62-115SO Battery
One of the reasons for these explorations was to select a possible cable route to Luzon.
A coal famine and an outbreak of the bubonic plague were the only two incidents that hindered the Commandant from fulfilling his duties. HP G62-117SO Battery
Because of the severe coal shortage in September 1899, the Commandant sold coal to the Oahu Railway and Land Company and the Inter-Island Steam Navigation Company, Ltd. Although this indicated the affinity of economic ties with the Navy, HP G62-118EO Battery
it was to a certain extent counteracted by the quarantine of the naval establishment from December 1899-February 1900, because of the bubonic plague. Approximately 61 deaths were recorded in Honolulu for this period. Work was consequently delayed on nascent Navy projects in Honolulu Harbor. HP G62-120EC Battery
From 1900-1908, the Navy devoted its time to improving the facilities of the 85 acres (34 ha) that constituted the naval reservation in Honolulu. Under the Appropriation Act of March 3, 1901, this tract of land was improved with the erection of additional sheds and housing. HP G62-120EE Battery
Improvements included a machine shop, smithery and foundry, Commandant's house and stables, cottage for the watchman, fencing, 10-ton wharf crane, and water-pipe system. The harbor was dredged and the channel enlarged to accommodate larger ships. HP G62-120EG Battery
On May 28, 1903, the first battleship, Wisconsin, entered the harbor for coal and water. However, when the vessels of the Asiatic station visited Honolulu in January 1904, Rear Admiral Silas Terry complained that they were inadequately accommodated with dockage and water. HP G62-120EH Battery
Under the above Appropriation Act, Congress approved the acquisition of lands for the development of a naval station at Pearl Harbor and the improvement of the channel to the Lochs. The Commandant, under the direction of the Bureau of Equipment, attempted to obtain options on lands surrounding Pearl Harbor that were recommended for naval use. HP G62-120EK Battery
This endeavor was unsuccessful when the owners of the property refused to accept what was deemed to be a fair price. Condemnation proceedings, under the Hawaiian law of eminent domain, were begun on July 6, 1901. The land acquired by this suit included the present Navy Yard, Kauhua Island, and a strip on the southeast coast of Ford Island. HP G62-120EL Battery
The work of dredging the coral reef that blocked Pearl Harbor progressed rapidly enough to allow the gunboatPetrel to proceed to the upper part of Main Loch in January 1905.
One of the early concerns of the growing station was that the Army would make claims on its property. HP G62-120EP Battery
Because of their facilities, as wharves, cranes, artesian wells, and coal supplies, many requests were made by the Army for their use. By February 1901, the Army had made application for the privilege of establishing on Navy docks movable cranes for handling coal and other stores, a saluting battery and a flag staff on the naval reservation, and an artesian well of its own. HP G62-120EQ Battery
All these requests were rejected by the Bureau of Equipment on the theory that, once granted, they "will practically constitute a permanent foothold on the property, and end in dividing it between the two Departments, or in the entire exclusion of the Navy Department on the ground of military expediency as established by frequency of use." HP G62-120ER Battery
However, the Army Depot Quartermaster at Honolulu contracted for the sinking of an artesian well on the Naval Station with the Commandant's approval, who, in turn, acted on a recommendation of the Bureau of Yards and Docks. The flow of water obtained amounted to over 1.5 million gallons per day, sufficient for all purposes of the Army and Navy. HP G62-120ES Battery
The Bureau of Equipment felt that its word of caution was justified when the Depot Quartermaster in 1902 let it be known that any water used by the Navy from the artesian well was "only given by courtesy of the Army." HP G62-120ET Battery
Despite the warnings of the Bureau of Equipment, the War Department, the Department of Labor and Commerce, and the Department of Agriculture had secured permission to settle on the naval reservation. HP G62-120EY Battery
By 1906, the Commandant believed that it was necessary for the Bureau of Yards and Docks to develop a policy on the future of the station. The docks were being used to a greater extent by the Army transports, than by Navy ships, and the Army was actually attempting to get possession of Quarantine Wharf HP G62-120SE Battery
(which was built by the Territorial Government on the Naval Reservation, with the understanding that it could be taken over at any time by the Navy Department upon the payment of its appraised value.) In 1903, the Department of Labor and Commerce received about 7 acres (2.8 ha) for an Immigration Station. HP G62-120SL Battery
The Department of Agriculture had, in the meanwhile, secured part of the site intended for a hospital as an experimental station. The Commandant felt that, if the station was going to develop beyond a mere coaling depot, these territorial encroachments on the part of other departments should be stopped, particularly when they were enjoying the benefits of naval appropriations. HP G62-120SS Battery
"On the other hand," he wrote, "if it is the intention to improve Pearl Harbor and eventually abandon this station every effort should be made to begin work there as soon as possible. . . . I am informed that important commercial interests will make a strong effort next year to have Pearl Harbor improved, HP G62-120SW Battery
and I think that will be an opportune time for the Navy Department to make efforts in the same direction."
In 1908, the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard was established. The period from 1908-1919 was one of steady and continuous growth of the Naval Station, HP G62-121EE Battery
Pearl Harbor, with the exception of the discouraging collapse of the drydock in 1913. The Act of May 13, 1908 authorized the enlargement and dredging of the Pearl Harbor channel and lochs "to admit the largest ships," the building of shops and supply houses for the Navy Yard, and the construction of a drydock. HP G62-125EK Battery
Work on the dock started on September 21, 1909. In April 1910, the barquentine Amaranth became the fourth deep-sea, cargo-carrying vessel to venture into the newly dredged harbor, having been preceded by the three-masted schooner W.H. Marston on March 8, and the schooner Ariel and bark Marston a few days later. HP G62-125EL Battery
Amaranth delivered materials for construction of the dry dock facility. Work progressed satisfactorily on all projects, except the drydock. After much wrangling with Congress to secure an appropriation of over three million dollars for its construction, the drydock was wrecked by "underground pressure." "HP G62-125EV Battery
On February 17, 1913, the entire drydock structure rumbled, rocked, and caved in." The drydock was ceremonially opened to flooding on August 21, 1919, by Mrs. Josephus Daniels, wife of the Secretary of the Navy. In 1917, Ford Island in the middle of Pearl Harbor was purchased for joint Army and Navy use in the development of military aviation in the Pacific. HP G62-125SL Battery
As the Japanese military pressed its war in China, concern over Japan's intentions caused the U.S. to begin taking defensive measures. On February 1, 1933, the U.S. Navy staged a mock attack on the base at Pearl Harbor as part of a preparedness exercise. The attack "succeeded" and the defense was deemed a "failure".HP G62-130 Battery
The actual attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941 brought the United States into World War II.
Sunday, December 7, 1941
Aircraft and midget submarines of the Imperial Japanese Navy began an attack on the U.S naval base. HP G62-130EG Battery
Through earlier code breaking activity, the Americans had determined that an attack was likely to occur. However, while the Americans failed to discover Japan's target location, it was believed that the Philippines was the most likely target.  HP G62-130EK Battery
Under the command of Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, the attack was devastating in loss of life and damage to the U.S. fleet. At 06:05 on December 7, the six Japanese carriers launched a first wave of 183 aircraft composed mainly of dive bombers, horizontal bombers and fighters. HP G62-130ET Battery
The Japanese hit American ships and military installations at 07:51. The first wave attacked military airfields of Ford Island. At 08:30, a second wave of 170 Japanese aircraft, mostly torpedo bombers, attacked the fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor. HP G62-130EV Battery
The battleship Arizona was hit with an armor-piercing bomb which penetrated the forward ammunition compartment, blowing the ship apart and sinking it within seconds. It was one of eight US battleships at the dock, five of which were sunk and the remaining three were badly damaged. HP G62-130SD Battery
Overall, 9 ships of the U.S. fleet were sunk and 21 ships were severely damaged. 3 of the 21 would be irreparable. The overall death toll reached 2,402  and 1,282 wounded, including 68 civilians. Of the military personnel lost at Pearl Harbor, 1,177 were from the Arizona. HP G62-130SL Battery
The first shots fired were from the destroyer Ward on a midget submarine that surfaced outside of Pearl Harbor; Ward sank the midget sub at approximately 06:55, about an hour before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Japan would lose 29 out of the 350 aircraft they attacked with. HP G62-134CA Battery
National Historic Landmark
The Navy base itself was recognized on January 29, 1964 as a National Historic Landmark district and with the National Register of Historic Places since 1976. HP G62-135EV Battery
Within its bounds, it contains several other National Historic Landmarks associated with the attack on Pearl Harbor, including the Arizona, Bowfin, and Utah. As an active Navy base, many of the historic buildings that contributed to the NHL designation are under threat of demolition and rebuilding. HP G62-140EL Battery
The attack on Pearl Harbor (called Hawaii Operation or Operation AI by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters (Operation Z in planning) and the Battle of Pearl Harbor) was a surprisemilitary strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, HP G62-140EQ Battery
Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941 (December 8 in Japan). The attack was intended as a preventiveaction in order to keep the U.S. Pacific Fleet from interfering with military actions the Empire of Japan was planning in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. HP G62-140ES Battery
The base was attacked by 353 Japanese fighters, bombers and torpedo planes in two waves, launched from sixaircraft carriers. All eight U.S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four being sunk. Of these eight damaged, two were raised, and with four repaired, six battleships returned to service later in the war. HP G62-140ET Battery
The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship,[nb 4] and oneminelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed; 2,402 Americans were killed and 1,282 wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, HP G62-140SF Battery
as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured. HP G62-140SS Battery
The attack came as a profound shock to the American people and led directly to the American entry into World War II in both the Pacific and European theaters. The following day (December 8), the United States declared war on Japan. Domestic support for isolationism, which had been strong, disappeared. HP G62-140US Battery
Clandestine support of Britain (for example the Neutrality Patrol) was replaced by active alliance. Subsequent operations by the U.S. prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on the U.S. on December 11, which was reciprocated by the U.S. the same day.HP G62-143CL Battery
There were numerous historical precedents for unannounced military action by Japan. However, the lack of any formal warning, particularly while negotiations were still apparently ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy".HP G62-144DX Battery
The attack on Pearl Harbor was intended to neutralize the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and hence protect Japan's advance into Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, where she sought access to natural resources such as oil and rubber. HP G62-145NR Battery
War between Japan and the United States had been a possibility each nation had been aware of (and developed contingency plans for) since the 1920s, though tensions did not begin to grow seriously until Japan's 1931 invasion of Manchuria. HP G62-147NR Battery
Over the next decade, Japan continued to expand into China, leading to all-out war in 1937. Japan spent considerable effort trying to isolate China and achieve sufficient resource independence to attain victory on the mainland; the "Southern Operation" was designed to assist these efforts. HP G62-149WM Battery
From December 1937, events such as the Japanese attack on the USS Panay and the Nanking Massacre (more than 200,000 killed in indiscriminate massacres) swung public opinion in the West sharply against Japan and increased their fear of Japanese expansion, HP G62-150EE Battery
which prompted the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to provide loan assistance for war supply contracts to the Republic of China.
In 1940, Japan invaded French Indochina in an effort to control supplies reaching China. HP G62-150EF Battery
The United States halted shipments of airplanes, parts, machine tools, and aviation gasoline, which was perceived by Japan as an unfriendly act.[nb 5] The U.S. did not stop oil exports to Japan at that time in part because prevailing sentiment in Washington was that such an action would be an extreme step, HP G62-150EQ Battery
given Japanese dependence on U.S. oil, and likely to be considered a provocation by Japan.
Early in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the Pacific Fleet to Hawaii from its previous base in San Diego and ordered a military buildup in thePhilippines in the hope of discouraging Japanese aggression in the Far East. HP G62-150ET Battery
Because the Japanese high command was (mistakenly) certain any attack on the British Southeast Asian colonies would bring the U.S. into the war, a devastating preventive strike appeared to be the only way to avoid U.S. naval interference. HP G62-150EV Battery
An invasion of the Philippines was also considered to be necessary by Japanese war planners. The U.S. War Plan Orange had envisioned defending the Philippines with a 40,000 man elite force. This was opposed by Douglas MacArthur, who felt that he would need a force ten times that size, and was never implemented. HP G62-150SE Battery
By 1941, U.S. planners anticipated abandonment of the Philippines at the outbreak of war and orders to that effect were given in late 1941 toAdmiral Thomas Hart, commander of the Asiatic Fleet.
The U.S. ceased oil exports to Japan in July 1941, following Japanese expansion into French Indochina after the fall of France, HP G62-150SF Battery
in part because of new American restrictions on domestic oil consumption. This in turn caused the Japanese to proceed with plans to take the Dutch East Indies, an oil-rich territory. The Japanese were faced with the option of either withdrawing from HP G62-150SL Battery
China and losing face or seizing and securing new sources of raw materials in the resource-rich, European-controlled colonies of South East Asia.
Preliminary planning for an attack on Pearl Harbor to protect the move into the "Southern Resource Area" HP G62-153CA Battery
(the Japanese term for the Dutch East Indies and Southeast Asia generally) had begun very early in 1941 under the auspices of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, then commanding Japan's Combined Fleet. He won assent to formal planning and training for an attack from HP G62-154CA Battery
the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff only after much contention with Naval Headquarters, including a threat to resign his command. Full-scale planning was underway by early spring 1941, primarily by Captain Minoru Genda. Japanese planning staff studied the 1940 British air attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto intensively. HP G62-165SL Battery
It was of great use to them when planning their attack on U.S. naval forces in Pearl Harbor.[nb 7][nb 8]
Over the next several months, pilots trained, equipment was adapted, and intelligence collected. HP G62-166SB Battery
Despite these preparations, the attack plan was not approved byEmperor Hirohito until November 5, after the third of four Imperial Conferences called to consider the matter. Final authorization was not given by the emperor until December 1, HP G62-200XX Battery
after a majority of Japanese leaders advised him the "Hull Note" would "destroy the fruits of the China incident, endanger Manchukuo and undermine Japanese control of Korea."
By late 1941, many observers believed that hostilities between the U.S. and Japan were imminent. HP G62-201XX Battery
A Gallup poll just before the attack on Pearl Harbor found that 52% of Americans expected war with Japan, 27% did not expect war, and 21% had no opinion. While U.S. Pacific bases and facilities had been placed on alert on multiple occasions, U.S. officials doubted Pearl Harbor would be the first target. HP G62-219WM Battery
They expected the Philippines to be attacked first. This presumption was due to the threat that the air bases throughout the country and the naval base at Manila posed to sea lanes, as well as the shipment of supplies to Japan from territory to the south. HP G62-251XX Battery
They also incorrectly believed that Japan was not capable of mounting more than one major naval operation at a time.
The attack had several major aims. First, it intended to destroy important American fleet units, thereby preventing the Pacific Fleet from interfering with Japanese conquest of the Dutch East Indies and Malaya. HP G62-400 Battery
Second, it was hoped to buy time for Japan to consolidate its position and increase its naval strength before shipbuilding authorized by the 1940 Vinson-Walsh Act erased any chance of victory. HP G62-450SA Battery
Finally, it was meant to deliver a severe blow to American morale, one which would discourage Americans from committing to a war extending into the western Pacific Ocean and Dutch East Indies. To maximize the effect on morale, battleships were chosen as the main targets, since they were the prestige ships of any navy at the time. HP G62-451SA Battery
The overall intention was to enable Japan to conquer Southeast Asia without interference.
Striking the Pacific Fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbor carried two distinct disadvantages: HP G62-452SA Battery
the targeted ships would be in very shallow water, so it would be relatively easy to salvage and possibly repair them; and most of the crews would survive the attack, since many would be on shore leave or would be rescued from the harbor. HP G62-454TU Battery
A further important disadvantage—this of timing, and known to the Japanese—was the absence from Pearl Harbor of all three of the U.S. Pacific Fleet's aircraft carriers (Enterprise, Lexington, and Saratoga). Ironically, the IJN top command was so imbued with Admiral Mahan's "decisive battle" doctrine—HP G62-456TU Battery
especially that of destroying the maximum number of battleships—that, despite these concerns, Yamamoto decided to press ahead.
Japanese confidence in their ability to achieve a short, victorious war also meant other targets in the harbor, especially the navy yard, oil tank farms, HP G62-460TX Battery
and submarine base, could safely be ignored, since—by their thinking—the war would be over before the influence of these facilities would be felt.
Approach and attack
On November 26, 1941, a Japanese task force (the Striking Force) of six aircraft carriers (Akagi, Kaga, S ry , Hiry ,Sh kaku, and Zuikaku) HP G62-467TX Battery
departed northern Japan en route to a position northwest of Hawaii, intending to launch its aircraft to attack Pearl Harbor. In all, 408 aircraft were intended to be used: 360 for the two attack waves, 48 on defensive combat air patrol (CAP), including nine fighters from the first wave. HP G62-468TX Battery
The first wave was to be the primary attack, while the second wave was to finish whatever tasks remained. The first wave contained the bulk of the weapons to attack capital ships, mainly specially adapted Type 91 aerial torpedoes which were designed with an anti-roll mechanism and HP G62-550EE Battery
a rudder extension that let them operate in shallow water. The aircrews were ordered to select the highest value targets (battleships and aircraft carriers) or, if these were not present, any other high value ships (cruisers and destroyers). Dive bombers were to attack ground targets. HP G62-a00 Battery
Fighters were ordered to strafe and destroy as many parked aircraft as possible to ensure they did not get into the air to counterattack the bombers, especially in the first wave. When the fighters' fuel got low they were to refuel at the aircraft carriers and return to combat. HP G62-a00EF Battery
Fighters were to serve CAP duties where needed, especially over US airfields.
Before the attack commenced, two reconnaissance aircraft launched from cruisers were sent to scout over Oahu and report on enemy fleet composition and location. HP G62-a01SA Battery
Another four scout planes patrolled the area between the Japanese carrier force (theKido Butai) and Niihau, in order to prevent the task force from being caught by a surprise counterattack.
Fleet submarines I-16, I-18, I-20, I-22, and I-24 each embarked a Type A midget submarine for transport to the waters off Oahu.HP G62-a02SA Battery
The five I-boats left Kure Naval District on November 25, 1941, coming to 10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi) off the harbor mouth and launched their charges at about 01:00 on December 7. At 03:42 HP G62-a03SA Battery
Hawaiian Time, the minesweeper Condor spotted a midget submarine periscope southwest of the Pearl Harbor entrance buoy and alerted the destroyer Ward. The midget may have entered Pearl Harbor. However, Ward sank another midget submarine at 06:37in the first American shots in the Pacific Theater. HP G62-a04EA Battery
A midget submarine on the north side of Ford Island missed the seaplane tender Curtiss with her first torpedo and missed the attacking destroyer Monaghan with her other one before being sunk byMonaghan at 08:43. HP G62-a04SA Battery
A third midget submarine grounded twice, once outside the harbor entrance and again on the east side of Oahu, where it was captured on December 8. EnsignKazuo Sakamaki swam ashore and was captured, becoming the first Japanese prisoner of war.HP G62-a10EV Battery
A fourth had been damaged by a depth charge attack and was abandoned by its crew before it could fire its torpedoes. A United States Naval Institute analysis of photographs from the attack conducted in 1999 indicated a midget submarine may have successfully fired a torpedo into West Virginia. HP G62-a10SA Battery
Japanese forces received a radio message from a midget submarine at 00:41 December 8 claiming damage to one or more large war vessels inside Pearl Harbor. The submarine's final disposition is unknown, but she did not return to her "mother" sub. HP G62-a11SA Battery
On December 7, 2009, the Los Angeles Times reported there is circumstantial evidence three pieces of a submarine discovered 3 mi (2.6 nmi; 4.8 km) south of Pearl Harbor between 1994 and 2001 could be the missing submarine. HP G62-a11SE Battery
It also reported there is strong circumstantial evidence the submarine fired two torpedoes at Battleship Row. The debris was dumped outside the harbor as part of an effort to conceal the West Loch Disaster, a 1944 ammunition explosion that destroyed six tank landing ships preparing for Operation Forager. HP G62-a12SA Battery
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