Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Then and Now

ComNavOps is ever one to try to place events into an historical context and try to learn lessons from history.  With that in mind, I’ve often lamented that it will take a major debacle inflicted on the Navy to shake the current leadership out of a peace time mentality and into a warfighting posture.  Indeed, the bulk of that shakeup would, undoubtedly, come in the form of relieving most of the current crop of Admirals and ship’s Captains, just as occurred at the start of WWII.

Just recently, a commenter echoed that exact observation and my immediate reaction was, “Yep, the Navy is in the same place they were just prior to WWII.”   The Navy is just repeating a cycle and, while we see today’s problems more clearly due to the Internet and open media, it’s no different than it was just prior to WWII.

But then I thought about it a little more.  Are we really at the same point as just before WWII?  There are certainly a lot of similarities.

  • Untested weapon systems that the Navy refuses to subject to realistic testing.  Now it’s Aegis.  Then, it was the torpedo.

  • A no-risk attitude inculcated into ship’s Captains.  Now, it’s probably every Captain as evidenced by the never ending firings.  Then, it was, famously, the submarine Captains.

  • An utterly unrealistic presumption of superiority on our part.  Now, it’s the absolute certainty that our enemies can’t match or disrupt our networks, GPS, and communications combined with our dismissive attitude towards Chinese ships and planes.  Then, it was the belief that the Japanese soldier and technology was inherently inferior.

  • A badly flawed belief in one of the main components of our fleet.  Now, it’s the LCS which will make up a third of our battlefleet.  Then, it was the battleship.

On the other hand, there are some striking differences.

  • Arm’s race.  Now China, Russia, Iran, and almost every other country is in a flat out arms race which we seem to have no interest in and what interest we have is being misdirected towards toothless LCS’s and an F-35 the Navy doesn’t seem to really want.  Then, we were in it to win it with North Carolina, South Dakota, and Iowa class battleships, the Essex and Midway class carriers, new destroyers, and new aircraft – and those were all pre-WWII in origin.

  • Obvious enemies.  Now, we’ll barely even name our enemies.  Then, we knew with absolute certainty that we would fight Japan and Germany – the only question was the timing.

  • Strategy.  Now, we have lost all concept of strategy and tactics and are proud of ourselves for re-instituting a watered down version of surface warfare tactical training after decades of neglect.  Then, we conducted extensive strategic wargaming that, by the time war came, had explored every scenario against Japan to the point that it was claimed that Japan showed us nothing unexpected except the Kamikazee.

  • Leadership.  Now, we have leaders who seem fixated on career above all else and exhibit absolutely no integrity or courage of conviction.  Then, we had at least a few warfighters such as Halsey, Spruance, and a few others.

On reflection, then, while today’s situation is part of a peace-war cycle of unpreparedness that we’ve seen before, we seem markedly worse off than prior to WWII.  Given how poorly that war started for us, I’m not sure we can afford the same kind of behind-the-curve performance against China and Russia if hostilities start.


History is screaming words of warning at us and we’re not listening.

37 comments:

  1. Oooooo Harsh.

    I see the signs you’re pointing out.

    And it can be easy to focus on the negative aspects; certainly there have been some well publicised examples.

    (But I do think that these examples can be seen as a good sign, the purging of corrupt individuals sends a good sign. And after all they were found out and publically prosecuted. )

    I think if we look at the position of the USN fleet in the world its is somewhat different that it was before WW2. In size, relative capability and technologically.

    Also America was all but non aligned back then with an Isolationist view. Currently to US finds itself at the centre of significant military, political and financial alliances. With information and technology sharing common place.

    Militarily the US and closest allies now prefer an interventionist policy fighting battles before they become and issue. And these muscles have been continually flexed giving our sailors some of the highest percentage of veteran experience on the planet. And this is training you simply cannot buy.

    Its obviously not all good, and you raise some good points, but its not all “pearl harbour” either. Lessons have been learned.

    Just my 2 cents ;)

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    Replies
    1. What lessons do see that have been learned?

      In what way are we specifically better prepared for high end combat now then prior to WWII?

      Delete
    2. Well in not sure your statements about the US knowing war was coming are entirely accurate. And if it were your actions really didn’t show it. The British had been screaming at you for some years that you were next if we fell. A significant amount of American merchant shipping and lives had been lost almost right off your shore in Atlantic convoy. But the US view was largely that the problems of the rest of the world were nothing to do with them. (The fleet, such as it was, was deployed accordingly)

      This popular view of the people and government of the US, as it turned out, was a bit naive.

      This is NOT the case today.

      The US after co-founding the UN remains globally engaged, as a people and as a government.

      The fleet patrols GLOBALLY, waving the flag, stabilising. Keeping sea lanes open, piracy at bay and operating in a main role of continuous at sea deterrence ( conventionally as much as SSBN )

      The fleet visibly exercises with friend and enemy alike. Providing proof and transparency of capability AND intent. This assures, stabilised and deters.

      The USN fights visibly, for the world to see, showing very literally its intent and capability in the very hardest terms.

      These things stop wars before they start.

      The ability for a situation to arise where the USN is effectively knobbed with a surprise attack without the ability for the US to promptly retaliate simply does not exist anymore.

      These are very formally defined processes. Defined as responses to the lessons that were learned from WW2. And part of the reason the UK and the US operate so similarly and cooperatively, in part as a direct response to the horrors of WW2.

      Delete
    3. "And this is training you simply cannot buy."

      And this is the wrong kind of training for high end combat. We've developed some very bad habits both tactically and in terms of equipment design. The entire military is being "light-sized" to fight low end, peacetime enemies while almost ignoring the high end of the combat spectrum.

      So, yes, we have a great deal of experience, little of it worthwhile. We know how to respect the culture of enemies while we conduct searches. We know how to integrate women into front line units so as to offer a gentler relationship for foreign female civilians. We know how to interact with navies whose largest ship is a patrol boat. We're hard at work developing non-lethal weapons. Etc. What we don't know is how to operate armored brigades as a unit. We don't know how to tactically operate multi-carrier task forces. We don't know how to get Marine Corps armor ashore in the first wave. We don't know how to utilize artillery effectively. Etc.

      Trained? Yes.
      Usefully trained? No.

      Delete
    4. "Well in not sure your statements about the US knowing war was coming are entirely accurate. And if it were your actions really didn’t show it."

      US civilian and military leadership had no doubt about the coming of war. If you're interested, research US Navy war games in the pre-war years. They almost perfectly predicted Pearl Harbor! Persistent reports suggest that President Roosevelt was trying to prepare the American people for war and some suggest that he contrived to create situations that would force the US into the war. US wargaming had long planned for the Japanese conflict and detailed war plans were prepared.

      The problem the US faced was a severe case of isolationism. The country simply did not want to get involved in the world's problems. It took several high profile incidents (Pearl Harbor notable among them) to sway public opinion.

      Delete
    5. Yes, 100% agree, the US Isolationism policy was the issue. And as you say its about the people.

      But the lessons have been learned by every citizen ( well 99% of them anyway ).

      Britain was in a different but equally bad place too. "Peace in our time" is a mantra we will not soon forget.

      BUT

      We are not in that place now, And I think that's the crucial difference.

      Beno

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    6. Now regarding veteran experience. No we have very little near peer experience, but that's a good thing !

      What you have to remember is nobody else has even that.

      NATO does train against each other. And that's better than nothing.

      And again our adversaries don't even have that.

      These things are relative.

      Im not at all saying we are in the perfect place. oh god no !

      Just that the US is not where it was ( by any means ! ) compared to 1940.

      AND THE WORLD KNOWS IT !

      ;)

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    7. "We are not in that place now, And I think that's the crucial difference."

      If the "We" you're referring to is the UK, I can't address that. I just don't know the mood of the UK citizenship or political leaders. If you're referring to the US, we are very much in a "peace in our time" mode. The US is unwilling to confront Russia over invasions of Crimea and Ukraine, won't even name China as an enemy despite a litany of hostile acts, won't respond to the Iranian seizure of US boats and crews, and continues to ignore NKorea. Our current policies are no different than Britain's when trying to appease Hitler. We have not learned any lessons.

      Delete
    8. "Just that the US is not where it was ( by any means ! ) compared to 1940."

      Completely disagree for the reasons listed in the post. We're worse off than pre-WWII. At least then we had the beginnings of a useful military (new BBs and carriers were coming on line in useful numbers, new aircraft were appearing at a stunning rate, new armored vehicles were coming, etc.) combined with a robust shipbuilding industry, extensive war planning (we won't even say China's name, now), and at least a few aggressive military leaders (Halsey, Spruance, Patton, and others). I don't see any of that today.

      Delete
    9. "Trained? Yes.
      Usefully trained? No."

      Take Fire
      Take Cover
      Await Airsupport
      Win

      Take Fire
      Take Cover
      Be Obliterated by russian artillery
      lose

      Delete
  2. Will the LCS really make up 1/3 of the Navy´s fleet? I still can´t grasp any real use for this ship, especially with advanced anti-ship standoff missiles in the arsenal of the Russian and Chinese military.

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    1. The LCS will make up around 1/3 of the combat fleet. We currently have around 180 combat ships. We have 52 LCS planned and, numerically, they'll replace the combat vessels as they retire. The combat fleet will continue to decrease, according to the Navy's own plans so, yes, they'll eventually comprise 50 out of around 150 or so combat ships.

      Delete
    2. LCD ships are targets as far as military preparedness goes

      Delete
  3. This will occur when a supercarrier is sunk, or more likely, blows up with 6000 lives lost, as discussed here: http://www.g2mil.com/navwar.htm

    "If admirals foolishly send carriers to secure the Western Pacific in time of war, they will suffer the fate of the mighty British battleship HMS Prince of Wales along with the heavy cruiser HMS Repulse when they sailed from Singapore to confront the Japanese Navy at the beginning of World War II. As their respected admiral executed World War I era tactics for a great ship battle, his first class warships were attacked by a swarm of pesky land-based aircraft and quickly sunk! This may be the fate of mighty supercarriers, as one retired U.S. Navy officer warned.


    If admirals foolishly send carriers to secure the Western Pacific in time of war, they will suffer the fate of the mighty British battleship HMS Prince of Wales along with the heavy cruiser HMS Repulse when they sailed from Singapore to confront the Japanese Navy at the beginning of World War II. As their respected admiral executed World War I era tactics for a great ship battle, his first class warships were attacked by a swarm of pesky land-based aircraft and quickly sunk! This may be the fate of mighty supercarriers, as one retired U.S. Navy officer warned. "

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    1. Completely missing whatever point you're trying to make.

      Delete
    2. Carrriers probably have even better underwater protection now than they did in WW2, which was on par with battleships. Those carriers that were sunk the main problem was fuel-air explosion from high octane avgas. Which is no longer used.
      Just because you cant see the underwater protection of a carrier doesnt mean its not there.

      Delete
    3. Completely different ballgame when you have warheads detonating underneath keels instead of against torpedo bulges.

      Delete
  4. You wrote: I’ve often lamented that it will take a major debacle inflicted on the Navy to shake the current leadership out of a peace time mentality and into a warfighting posture. Indeed, the bulk of that shakeup would, undoubtedly, come in the form of relieving most of the current crop of Admirals and ship’s Captains, just as occurred at the start of WWII."

    I think a supercarrier exploding will count as a major debacle.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that would certainly count. However, that's also exceedingly unlikely. The current leadership is so risk averse that none would risk a carrier where it could be sunk. That was the problem with the WWII submarine captains. It wasn't that they got their boats sunk trying to be aggressive - instead, they were relieved for failing to be aggressive! The debacle, in that case, was that sub after sub went out and returned having accomplished nothing. Similarly, the likely debacle in a China-US war would be the utter lack of accomplishment while China made gain after gain.

      Delete
  5. I'd also like to point out budgets were tight back then, too. And the Navy (though maybe forced due to budget and naval treaties) worked with what they had and modernized ships.

    Back then the Navy had the rainbow plans. Hell, we had a plan for dealing with Great Britain. It wasn't likely to happen, and probably wasn't all that fleshed out, but we thought about it.

    We weren't afraid to say 'We might fight with X, so we have to have a plan, or the skeleton of one...'

    As far as I know, we have nothing of the sort. It seems the Navy and the nation know that China is our biggest competitor, but we seem unwilling to come up with any plan. That is killing us. Heck, even if we went and made a plan for everyone 'New War Plan Gold: Naval war with Spain..." it allows us to decide what we hope to do, and rank those plans in order of biggest to smallest likelyhood. Then we build the fleet to execute that plan.

    I really think that in a world like that the LCS doesn't exist, or it exists in greatly diminished numbers. The 'presence' role doesn't mean much because having 1/3 of your fleet tied up with only 'presence' abilities is silly if you have to project power.

    Now, there is the risk that you're flat out wrong. War Plan orange had us using the standards to force a mahan major fleet engagement if I remember right.

    But the structure and war games gave us the tactical experience to adapt.

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  6. ...And another thing...

    We had the advantage back then of an extremely vibrant industrial base to pull us out of the fire. Our ability to put ships in the water was simply unmatched.

    We don't have that anymore. And the ships can't be cranked out like a WWII DD or CL could.

    If we go into the war with bad ideas and bad fit ships, that's likely the team we'll have to win with.

    And if our network centric plan falls apart, some ships like the LCS are going to feel awfully lonely and exposed.

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    1. Agree with Jim.

      We have the money, next couple of years, $82 billion for 38 warships.

      http://seekingalpha.com/news/3171837-u-s-navy-plans-spend-81_4b-ships-subs-2021?uprof=45&dr=1#email_link

      The problem is everything is high end or really useless junk (LCS).

      I hope I'm wrong but has the USN done some realistic war gaming when it comes to China? It really is inexcusable today since with the advent of computers and plenty of video games, it should be real easy to war-game all kind of scenarios.

      Delete
    2. The problem with wargames is they highlight problems, which require action to correct. The most glaring example is the stupidity of homeporting ships at Sasebo and expecting it to operate as a wartime supply base.

      Read about it here: http://www.g2mil.com/sasebo.htm

      But if our Navy tried to correct the problem there would be a storm of protests from those who collect large sums of money from that base. Spinmasters would accuse our Admirals of "retreating" and our spineless leaders would back off, or not even try in the first place.

      Delete
  7. You're likely right,
    Not just navy, but most US, or indeed western forces, are not well prepared for any kind of serious adversarial combat.
    There is one enormous difference you've glossed over in your now and then scenarios you sketched out.
    Ohio's packed brimful of SSBN's and a fleet of Minutemen based in the continental USA, both of which are capable of snuffing out any serious threat should a real war breakout, not the brushwars Americas been fighting this last 3/4rs of a century.

    Whether they're right or wrong to ignore these scenarios i dont know. But the complacency, while vile to observe, is likely founded in the belief that MAD will make any such scenario unnecessary.

    So, US military continues to make gains in its abilities to fight asymmetrically, while neglecting its real task which is defending America. Maybe deep down, the military planners no longer believe that's what the military is for.

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    Replies
    1. A nuclear option only works if there is a real commitment to using it. Was Russia deterred by our nuclear arsenal when it seized Crimea and invaded Ukraine? Was China deterred when it seized a US EP-3 aircraft, built artificial islands and claimed territorial rights in violation of international laws, militarized islands it didn't have territorial rights to, established EEZs and exclusion zones that it did not have rights to, and ordered US forces out of the E/S China Seas? Was Iran deterred when it seized US and UK boats and crews? No. Because none of them believed we would use nuclear weapons.

      Even if directly attacked, we will not use nuclear weapons unless first attacked with nuclear weapons. Thus, as general deterrence they are useless. As nuclear deterrents they may or may not have use.

      Delete
  8. Hi CNO,

    Given the similarities between then and now, 80 years later, I was wondering if you might predict when the shooting war with China will start(They're the only peer I think the US will be at war with).

    I ask because the makeup of armed forces for the USN and it's allies will change over the next 20 years.

    For the US, it will retire more "proper" ships for the LCS, and gain more F-35's.

    Australia will up from 6 to 12 subs and gain 12 new front line ships and gain 12 new patrol ships which, from what I read online, will be considerably larger with helos and larger guns. Maybe missiles?. Australi's forces are obviously less than the US but Australia is nearby and tends to join the US in all wars.

    Japan is also gaining new hardware but I'm not aware of an actual paper which outlines their exact acquisition plans.

    So while China, Japan and Australia gains hardware over the next 20 years, the USN will decrease.

    Hence...any idea when a shooting war might start?

    A

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    1. A, currently the Chinese are accomplishing everything they want without combat. They've seized the entire first island chain and are militarizing it. They've isolated Taiwan. They've effectively closed the E/S China Seas to US air and naval forces. They've resolved all disputed island issues by simply flexing their military might. They've neutralized US responses by insinuating themselves so deeply into our economic system that we can't oppose them without harming ourselves.

      In short, they have no need for war since they're accomplishing everything they want.

      War will come when they've completed their military buildup and achieved superiority over the US. That should happen in about twenty years. At that point, they'll overreach on something and we'll finally make a stand but their newly achieved military superiority will give them no reason to back down and war will occur.

      Delete
  9. Then,it was corpsman, midshipman, and seaman. Soon, it'll be corpsperson, midshipperson, and seaperson. No other navy comes close to us when it comes to gender neutralizing ranks.

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  10. Although I overall agree with you, there are a couple of points that I wish to contest.

    "An utterly unrealistic presumption of superiority on our part. Now, it’s the absolute certainty that our enemies can’t match or disrupt our networks, GPS, and communications combined with our dismissive attitude towards Chinese ships and planes. Then, it was the belief that the Japanese soldier and technology was inherently inferior."

    Our opinions of the Japanese were true (only going so far as military concerns, we'll leave the humanities issues at the door).
    Their military doctrine was hampered by years of fighting in the sandbox that was China against barbarians and insurgents (now where does this sound familiar?) and their Naval Technology had quite honestly never advanced past World War One (the steel used in the Yamato's armor was actually inferior to the British WW1 plate used in the built-by-England-before-WW1 Kongou).
    We were just shown the hard way that it doesn't take bleeding edge technology and super-soldiers to win a war; just honest hard work and determination.
    Our opinion of the Chinese military, however, is not true. They have equal or very slightly inferior equipment than we do, and have harsher training.

    "A badly flawed belief in one of the main components of our fleet. Now, it’s the LCS which will make up a third of our battlefleet. Then, it was the battleship."

    The problem is, unlike the LCS (which has 0 provable combat capabilities), the Battleship fleet was a time tested and well proven system that actually would have worked exactly as advertised.
    They were not considered immortal ships, nor were they to head off on their own and hold the world up.
    The Navy was being very realistic about damage and attrition, the need for appropriate escort fleets, and possessed a very real fear of committing the heavy-weight units to minor battles, and so on.
    In fact, it's more accurate to compare the Battleships of then to the Supercarriers of today.
    We use them for the same purpose (showing the flag and showing off), and they are most likely going to meet the same fate once any serious naval shooting war starts up (held largely at the rear until the destroyers and cruisers do the work... except for our lack of cruisers in today's time).

    Secondly, the then-navy had already ordered the first 13 Essex-class carriers by the start of the war! The Carrier was the unproven high-tech unicorn technology at that point in time.
    So, they were gambling then, and it just so happened to have paid off. But it was still gambling. The Yorktown-class Carriers had not yet proven themselves when the navy went all in for the Essex-class.

    Jut some thoughts.

    - Ray D.

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    Replies
    1. "Our opinions of the Japanese were true (only going so far as military concerns ... and their Naval Technology had quite honestly never advanced past World War One ..."

      History suggests otherwise. At the start of the war, Japanese carrier tactics, carrier aircraft, and pilot experience far outclassed ours. Japanese surface ship night warfare equipment and tactics decimated our naval forces around Guadalcanal until we adapted. Japanese torpedoes were far more effective than ours. And so on.

      Delete
    2. Torpedoes, I admit, they were better than the US on (as a result of US Doctrine not placing importance on Torpedoes), but the rest is training and tactics, not technology.
      Both Carrier Technology and Aircraft technology, they were behind the US in (except for the US' lack of a good 20mm cannon).
      Their best carriers, the Shoukaku-class were not that well off when matched against a Yorktown - and we had Essexes on the way already while they would end up reverting to an older Souryuu-class derivative.
      The Zero was a fast flying aluminum can that burst into flames if you so looked at it wrong - and that is what the Japanese pilots thought! They never really would get anything better in numbers.
      Carrier Air Tactics, though, they were initially superior, and that is why they had such disproportionate victories against us initially (because we almost ignored training).

      However, look at their actual ships.
      Their ships were obsolete, their guns were poor and largely single purpose (their 'beehive' aa shell was such a joke that American pilots just flat out ignored them), their AA was abysmal, their boilers were obsolete (with the exception of the Shimakaze, they were WW1 designs), their steel was pathetic, their armor was horrid (literally worse than their WW1 armor, because they designed for ease of production instead of quality).
      The Behemoth armor of the Yamato, and she was only slightly better armored than the Iowa (and there is good chance she was actually worse), and her #3 magazine wasn't even armored from her stern.

      The US also entered the war with the better night warfare equipment, and I mean by far.
      Radar trumps nice optics every time.
      We just refused to train with it until we had taken severe losses.

      So from my perspective, history is supporting the argument I was making.
      They had tactics and training, not technology.
      They took victory (initially) without all the shiny toys that the US was hedging on (and at that point had no idea how to use, because they allowed training to atrophy).
      Again, I agree with your major points, just sharing thoughts on the matter.

      - Ray D.

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    3. You're twisting some facts a bit to support your contention. Also, remember that the premise of the post was the condition of the military pre-war, not as things eventually turned out.

      The US did not have functional radar pre-war. The radar was in its infancy, at best. We did not understand how to use it and its performance was very much hit or miss (mostly miss, exacerbated by lack of training). There were a few CXAM (or its earlier predecessor) sets on some battleships and the carriers. As far as I recall, no destroyers or cruisers had radar pre-war. Japanese night optics proved far superior to the primitive radar we had even as far into the war as Guadalcanal (and, again, the post is concerned with pre-war).

      The Zero was far more maneuverable and better armed. According to Boyd, that's the definition of a superior fighter.

      Their carriers were as good as, or better than ours. We did not have Essex class carriers pre-war.

      Their surface ships, destroyers and cruisers especially, were far superior to ours.

      The initial actions of the war clearly showed just how ill-prepared we were in virtually every respect.

      Finally, let me remind you that the point was that our BELIEF (whether true or not) was that Japanese warfighting capability was far inferior to ours. Whether any given piece of equipment or tactic was or was not superior/inferior was not the point of the post - it was that we believed the Japanese were far inferior and we were proven badly wrong.

      Delete
    4. In December of 1941, all US Fleet Carriers, 6 Battleships, and 5 Cruisers had CXAM.
      Over 100 ships, including the Battleships, most US Cruisers, and even some US Destroyers also had SC Search Radar by this time (although everyone hated that thing).
      Again, this is December 7th, 1941.

      Loss records would indicate that the Zero was only at parity with the closest contemporary US Fighter when US training caught up with our machines.
      Our aircraft were designed to be able to take hits and keep flying (although, admittedly, the pre-war aircraft weren't meant to take from the 20mms used by the Zeros), the Zero would explode when hit by .50BMG.
      Different doctrines resulted in different machines (and neither party abandoned their air doctrines throughout the war, the US just actually trained in ours). Flattening them to the same scale is only going to confuse things.

      The Shoukaku-class - Japan's best carrier - took twice as long to get their air wings in the air as the Yorktown-class.
      This is comparing them to the USS Enterprise and her sisters, mind you, pre-war carriers.
      This was a mechanical limit that the Japanese NEVER managed to fix.
      To compound the issue, they could not spot as many aircraft on deck either, due in large part to their doctrine of hanger reloading.
      In most circumstances, this was a damning flaw in a WW2 Fleet Carrier. One we exploited for everything it was worth more than once.

      "Their surface ships, destroyers and cruisers especially, were far superior to ours."

      The Benson-Gleaves class Destroyer was actually a rough match for the Japanese Asashio-class and superior to the mainstay of the Japanese DD fleet, the 'Special type' Destroyer (Fubuki-class).
      Only when against the Kagerou-class did they begin to pale slightly, but still had calculated advantages (speed, for instance).
      As for Cruisers, you simply cannot be claiming that the Sendai-class or Tone-class were superior to the St.Louis-class or Wichita-class respectively.
      Mechanically, the American Cruisers were superior in every facet but torpedoes (which they had none, and was a oft fatal flaw of the Annapolis Doctrine).

      My point is, our TACTICS and TRAINING was horrible, not our machines.
      However, comparing today's situation (US and China) to then (US and Japan), China has just as good of machinery as we do or (in most cases, unfortunately) even better.
      If things got down to a shooting war, we would not have the technological advantage to allow us time to build an effective force, we would be fighting with the disadvantage across the board.
      That was my point.
      All that being said, I have no intention of arguing with you, it's your blog.

      - Ray D.

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    5. If your numbers about pre-war radar are correct, I'm stunned. Nothing I've read indicates that degree of deployment. Do you have a reference?

      Regardless, having a piece of equipment is not the same as having a functional piece of equipment. The radars that were installed bordered on useless because we had little understanding of the operation, few trained operators, and no tactical understanding of how to employ them. The Japanese optics were far more effective than our radar at least until the final naval battles of Guadalcanal.

      All of my documentation indicates a severe scarcity of installed radar sets pre-war. Navweaps website lists only a few BBs as having radar. My cruiser references indicate only a few, if any, had radar pre-war. I have no reference indicating any destroyer installations pre-war. The first SC test was only conducted in Jun '41 so their couldn't have been many installed by Dec '41! Again, if you have a reference to the contrary, please share!

      I don't mind a good discussion, at all!

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    6. "If your numbers about pre-war radar are correct, I'm stunned. Nothing I've read indicates that degree of deployment. Do you have a reference?"

      The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia
      (http://pwencycl.kgbudge.com/R/a/Radar.htm)
      lists that 'Fleet carriers, Six battleships, Five cruisers' had CXAM radar in Dec 1941.
      It also lists SC Radar as "Available at start of war, SC was fitted to a great many Allied ships, large and small, in 1941."
      Farther (in individual articles about ships and battles), they suggest that such Radar units were present in many of the early war naval battles (even on small ships), but was largely ignored due to their 'unreliability' (which proved to be just unfamiliarity).
      Of the 400 some SC (Mod-0) Radars produced, a majority of them were in later 1941/very-early 1942, because the SC1 replaced them very quickly (mid 1942, to be replaced by SC2 in 1943).

      "Regardless, having a piece of equipment is not the same as having a functional piece of equipment. The radars that were installed bordered on useless because we had little understanding of the operation, few trained operators, and no tactical understanding of how to employ them. The Japanese optics were far more effective than our radar at least until the final naval battles of Guadalcanal."

      Completely agreeing here, and that was part of my point.
      We had the equipment, we refused to use it. We refused to train with it. We refused to practice with it. We refused to learn.
      In today's time, we have (or had) equipment, but we refuse to actually train.
      We're too busy intentionally causing our battleships to list so we can reload the guns faster resulting in impressive looking performances but horrible battle tactics... oh, I'm sorry, I mean staging wargames by a literal script where blue team always wins without losses... oh, I'm sorry, I mean putting on air shows... you get the idea.

      - Ray D.

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  11. The US navy feels more like the Royal Navy of World War 2.

    Few capital ships compare QE+KGV class with the current 10 carriers

    Emphasizing light cruiser over heavy (mothballing ticondergoras and building burkes)

    Inadequate destroyer fleet for fleet escort duties (UK having to build emergency destroyers that are lightly armed vs LCS)

    It does not bode well, since we know the endgame to that is a new world order.

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  12. It may be that the system is so corrupt that even a major accident may not force changes.

    The other branches do not lead to cause for confidence either.

    There has been no serious discussion about the top-heavy nature of the officer core, the corrupt procurement system, the weapons that are costly, and other pressing problems.

    There have been no serious reforms. They are not going to be there to protect the interests of the careers of senior officials and the defense industry.

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