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Japanese weapons misused in WW2

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by robycop3, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3 Well-Known Member
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    While most WW2 buffs know the Japanese misused their super-battleships Yamato & Musashi, there were other weapons they misused, which, if used properly, would've made Allied victory a lot harder to come by. One such weapon was paratroopers. Early in the war, during Japan's 6 months of victory, they carried out 3 paratroop operations that were completely-successful. But in the conquests of many small islands, when such operations would've almost-certainly resulted in quick, easy victories with few casualties, Japan's military became infected with "Glory Fever". The traditional military, not wishing to be outshined by the relatively-new paratroop units, insisted on traditional modes of attack against many of those places, which let the defenders know an attack was coming & become ready to resist it. An example was Wake Island, which was stiffly-defended by some 450 US Marines for 15 days. They repelled a much-larger Japanese force with artillery aimed at the Japanese ships that sank several with high casualties.

    The Marine commanders said, after the war, that had the Japanese bombed & strafed the island & immediately followed with a paratroop attack, they would've been beaten in one day.

    The most-monumental weapon misuse by Japan was with its submarine force. This began at Pearl Harbor, where 5 midget subs tried to enter the harbor, but were either sunk or sank on their own. (They were mechanically unsound.) One, plagued with such problems, including a faulty periscope, drifted to the other side of Oahu, where its crew escaped it, and one, Ensign Kazuo Sakamaki, survived to become a POW. (The other 9 crewmen in the midgets died.) The regular subs of a rather-sizable force that sailed near Pearl to catch ships escaping the air attack were too far away to participate. The Japanese sub force contributed absolutely nothing to the attack.

    The Japanese had some well-designed attack sub types, plus, they had the "Long Lance" torpedo, arguably the best torpedo any belligerent had up til the last months of the war & their officers & crews were as well-trained as any sub crews on earth! They SHOULD'VE made a large contribution to the war effort, but they contributed very-little, not enough to affect the war's outcome at all. The reason was that their high command misused them. First, they were under a strict schedule of how many torpedoes they could fire at what type of ship. They could fire only one torpedo at a freighter, tanker, troop transport, or other small ship, & then, only at the end of an otherwise-fruitless patrol. The only ships they had free rein on were carriers or battleships. Thus, US merchant ships had a fairly-safe voyage across the Pacific.

    Next, they were often deployed in picket lines,having to stay close to their assigned spots, not allowed to pursue enemy ships trying to flee. This led to many subs being sunk, On May 19, 1944 through May 31, the USS England(named after an ensign killed at Pearl Harbor aboard the Oklahoma) sank SIX subbies deployed in a picket line by simply finding its alignment & rolling it up. This led to some loud proteses by other subby captains, but their CO just told them to hush & obey their orders!

    The Japanese started deploying their attack subbies to re-supply garrisons on islands that were cut off from surface ship traffic. Their crews called these "rat runs", as they both took the subs away from enemy ships and resulted in more casualties. The Japanese also built the largest subs of any WW2 navy for such supply runs, but they were slow & not well-armed, & were a waste of resources, as they used much precious fuel & didn't carry a large payload.

    While Japanese subs sank the carrier Yorktown in 1942, & the cruiser Indianapolis in 1945, both of which made headlines, they didn't alter the course of the war at all.
     
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  2. robycop3

    robycop3 Well-Known Member
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    While the Japanese had the best torpedo, the Long lance, during most of the war, the US, late in the war, deployed the best anti-sub weapon of the war-the Hedgehog Anti-Submarine Projector. Invented by the British in 1942. The US BuOrd improved it greatly, eliminating electrical probs & placing them on rotating platforms so it couls fire straight ahead, or to port or starboard. later ships has a stern launcher as well. (Each projector fired 24 missiles & took about 3 minutes to reload.)

    It fired 24 missiles mortar-style that had contact exploders rather than depth fuses. They exploded only if they struck the sub, & one or 2 hits would usually finish the sub. Their only weakness was that they were effective only to about a 400-foot depth, while depth charges coukld be set for up to 500 feet.

    The USS England sank the six Japanese subs in mid-1944 with hedgehogs.
     
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