Speculations about the Kurokawa's next attack

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Speculations about the Kurokawa's next attack

Post by Dilandu on Fri Jan 15, 2016 5:28 pm

Well, I’ve done some speculation about the possible Kurokawa attack against Alliance convoy…

We knew – by self-confession – that our epic no-goodnik Kurokawa considered himself as an “battleship school” officer. In therms of IJN, it almost certainly mean, that he is also a “Kantai Kessen” supporter – i.e. the doctrine of “decisive, defensive battle on prepared position”, that IJN planned against USN since 1920s.

* The first goal would be to detect the Alliance fleet and establish the contact. Lacking the submarines and long-range seaplanes, Kurokawa have his zeppelins. If he mount the radio on them – which would make sence – they could perfectly serve as reconnaisance and shadowing force, capable to mantain contact with Alliance fleet and report its position.

* The next should be the continious series of submarine and aircraft attacks, to inflict some losses upon the Alliance navy and exaust the crew. Since Kurokawa lacked submarines – unless, of course, the League lend him some – the most probable weapon of choise would still be zeppelins, armed with some sort of suicide gliders, capable of attacking from safe distance.

* Then, would be the night phase. I envision the complex attack agains the Alliance fleet by the squadrons of fast armored cruisers, and, probably, spar torpedo boats (I really doubt that Kurokawa was able to produce reliable self-propelled torpedoes of his own). Probably the zeppelins could be used in general night strike, also - I really doubt that the Alliance have any experiences in carrier's night operations in open sea. After all, Japanese REALLY LOVED night attacks. They trained for years to practice them.

The “Amagi” was a battlecruiser – and not really armed to fight battleships – so, according to pre-war Japanese doctrine, she was supposed to be used as the heavy fire support during the night attacks against the enemy fleet. The goal of battlecruisers/fast battleships was to destroy the defense perimeter of american heavy cruisers and allow the Japanese destroyers to start torpedo attacks against USN battleships. So, Kurokawa MUST have a pretty good understanding of night naval warfare.

* The next phase should be morning attack by the fixed-wing aircrafts – Alpha Strike-style – aimed agains Alliance carriers. The goal would be to crush the Alliance aerial power in one decisive strike.

* After establishing aerial superiority, Kurokawa would, probably, send his battleships to finish the job.

The “Kantai Kessen” strategy was, actually, more complex on this stage; it was supposed that initially, the Japanese fast battleships (“Nagato”‘s, “Yamato”‘s, and remaining “Kongo”‘s) would start the artillery duel on the long range, mantaining the distance – due to their speed advantage over the USN “standard battleships” – and using aircrafts for spotting. The IJN fighters was supposed to deny the use of floatplanes for the American battleships. Only when the USN battleships would be sufficiently weakened, the remaining IJN battleships (“Fuso” and “Ise”-classes) was supposed to join the fast battleships, and close to the final strike.

I doubt that Kurokawa could use this elegant, but complex pattern. He probably haven’t got any fast battleships, and his artillery aren’t really effective on long ranges. So… he would probably just send his “Arata Amagi” to clean the rest of the picture.

Well, it would be interesting to see, how many of my speculations may be close. Smile
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Re: Speculations about the Kurokawa's next attack

Post by Admin on Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:37 am

You're probably right for many of them.

As a line officer from the surface fleet he should be biaised toard ships and not planes.

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Re: Speculations about the Kurokawa's next attack

Post by Dilandu on Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:50 am

As a line officer from the surface fleet he should be biaised toard ships and not planes.

Well, the IJN recognised the aerial power pretty well. Even the battleship admirals agreed, that the aerial power is a major factor in naval warfare. The question was, could the aerial power itself be the decisive factor of major naval battle, or only a supplemental?
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Re: Speculations about the Kurokawa's next attack

Post by Admin on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:03 pm

The IJN, but not surface fleet officers as in any other major navy, they were feeling cheated.

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Re: Speculations about the Kurokawa's next attack

Post by Dilandu on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:29 pm

Admin wrote:The IJN, but not surface fleet officers  as in any other major navy, they were feeling cheated.

Well, the IJN was accustomed to think about themselves as a numerically inferior against superior enemy; so they were much less resistant to any revolutionary tricks that could change the situation. But their main doctrine was, generally, flawed, because it demand a defensive battle on pre-prepared positions. Basically the main problem of all "Kantai Kessen" was "what if the americans would not come"?
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Re: Speculations about the Kurokawa's next attack

Post by Admin on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:53 pm

Well, they never considered this problem and if you look at the reall old US plans they were not that off-target as the navy was planning to come back to Manilla using Guam as a base.

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Re: Speculations about the Kurokawa's next attack

Post by Dilandu on Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:17 pm

Admin wrote:Well, they never considered this problem and if you look at the reall old US plans they were not that off-target as the navy was planning to come back to Manilla using Guam as a base.

They considered... but the whole idea was so appealing for the heads of the staffs, that they were against any deviation. And the USN, as I recall, in 1920s decided, that it would took two-three months only to mobilize the crews, so any "rush toward Philippines" were considered to be impossible.
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Re: Speculations about the Kurokawa's next attack

Post by Admin on Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:10 pm

Well, it was planned to be a 6 month rush. Philippines were expected to hold at least that time.


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