Bits and Pieces of Information
that does not fit anywhere else
- The public was not told the true destruction at Pearl Harbor until the one year
anniversary with details of losses and photographs released Dec 6, 1942. Until then
the public only knew one battleship and a destroyer had been destroyed, other ships and planes damaged ,and hundreds of lives lost.
By the time the information was released, three of
the eight battleships lost were back in service in better shape for war then they had been at Pearl Harbor. And eight other battleships had arrived in the Pacific : one that had been undergoing overhaul stateside, three Pacific battleships that had been transferred to the Atlantic were returned, and four newly commissioned battleships. nbsp; Carrier losses were heavy on both side --Japan had lost 6 of 10 ; the US had lost 4 of 6 (there was a 7th in the Atlantic too old for combat.) The war had progressed with losses, besides the Pacific Battle Fleet, of
the Asiatic fleets of America, Britain, and the Dutch, the Philippines, East Indies, SE Asia, much of China, and many Pacific islands. Then came Fletcher to stop the advance at the Coral Sea, to even the odds
at Midway, and save Guadalcanal. Rommel was stopped at El Alamein, North Africa had been invaded, Hitler was stopped at Stalingrad. The period of rapid enemy conquests was over, but a hard, uncertain fight still lay ahead.
- Other secrets partially kept were the Niihau Incident, that, combined with massacre of white people in Borneo and Java, and the spying in league with unions and civil rights groups were kept under cover to prevent mass executions by vigilantes. Instead, the enemy aliens
were ordered out of the coastal combat zone and bused inland for mutual protection. After the enemy retreat at
Guadalcanal, they were allowed to relocate anywhere outside the 40 mile war zone, but most preferred the security of the relocation centers.
- There are fewer USN ships now than in 1939 at the start of the war in Europe.
Roosevelt promised the US would never be unprepared again. But that was over sixty years ago.
- President Truman in announcing the dropping of an atomic bomb said that it had the explosive power that could be carried by 2,000 bombers. That is the key point about
the atomic bomb : each one replaced four night-time raids of 500 B-29's. The destruction was the same, but 20-30 planes were lost on each mission - 100 crews were saved with each bomb.
- The USN had removed scout seaplanes from its battleships and cruisers during part of the war because of the fire hazard in combat. This logic required depending upon radar, submarine reports and long range air force reconnaissance. The Japanese had these sources plus active scouting and therefore had superior information in monitoring the location and configuration of their enemy in the Mariannas campaign. Though it was of little help, the Japanese fleet was defeated and the islands taken.
- In mid-1943 the US was again down to one serviceable carrier, Saratoga. Enterprise was in much needed overhaul. HMS Victorious just overhauled in Norfolk took up duties under Task Force 14 in the Southwest Pacific on 17 May 1943. Renamed the USS
Robin, she operated 60 British and American Wildcat fighters for air cover. The two carriers sailed on 27th June in support of the invasion of Munda, New Georgia. The carriers in the next few days put up 600 sorties against little opposition. The aircraft were reassigned to their parent units on 24 July. With the arrival of four new carriers in the Pacific, -- the first three Princeton class light carriers and Essex (CV-9) -- Victorious resumed her former name and returned to the Home Fleet.
The designation of HMS Victorious as USS "Robin" (for Robin Hood?) rmay have been a code name because bird names are reserved for minesweepers and there was a USS Robin at the time. Robin I was a 1918 minesweeper, AM-3, (1000 ton, 188 feet) which was
converted to an Ocean Tug in 1 June 1942 serving at Pearl Harbor as AT-140 and then to Samoa and designated ATO-140, 13 April 1944. Contemperaneously, commissioned 6 November 1943 was minesweeper, YMS-311, (380 ton, 136 feet) which earned five battle stars for her World War II service, but was not named Robin II until 1947 as AMS-53. Another Robin minesweeper served 1996-2006
Either way, there are few naval references of the loaned carrier and in diaries of the time she is called
Victorious. returned to the Pacific with the BPF (TF 57) for the Okinawa campaign.
- One of the most foolish sounding mistakes of the Chief of War Plans in Washington, RAdm Turner, was the supposition that the carriers of the
Japanese Pearl Harbor strike fleet that went silent in November 1941 were on a secret mission to attack Sibera.
The truth is the US had asked permission of Russia to use airfields near
Vladisvostok for B-17s. The intent was to intemidate Japan into quietude by making Tokyo and all of Japan vulnerable to our heavy bombers. The Soviets were busy in Europe with occupying Poland , a war
with Finland, then Hitler's invasion, so they declined to antagonize Japan.
Turner knew his history, Japan had made a surprise attack on Russian fleet at Port Arthur forty years earlier and the two nations had unresolved border issues
and twice in recent years Japanese troops had tried to settle bounderies by armed intrusions. It was not out of the question for Japan to want to secure its north-western defenses by adding adjacent Primorskiy Kray to their collection of puppet goverments and neutralize Vladisvostok.
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Last updated on October 7, 2005
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