Nagumo's 3rd strike at Pearl Harbor



  • You are Admiral Nagumo. You decide on a third strike on Pearl Harbor. You have lost 29 planes and another 74 are damaged. What combination of D3A dive bombers, B5N Torpedo\ Level Bombers and A6M Zeros do you use in this attack?


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    @ABWorsham:

    You are Admiral Nagumo. You decide on a third strike on Pearl Harbor. You have lost 29 planes and another 74 are damaged. What combination of D3A dive bombers, B5N Torpedo\ Level Bombers and A6M Zeros do you use in this attack?

    ALL.  And a frontal assault. 🙂

    I also begin pulling my carriers away.


  • 2017 '16 '15 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I invade Hawaii and send every ship i have for a final battle…while i have the maximum advantage. Keep raiding around the clock until that prep cook shoots down all my planes and sinks my entire fleet.



  • @Imperious:

    I invade Hawaii and send every ship i have for a final battle…while i have the maximum advantage. Keep raiding around the clock until that prep cook shoots down all my planes and sinks my entire fleet.

    Those cooks are unstoppable behind an antiaircraft gun.



  • Send in the kamikazes! Then send everything for in invasion of America. For the Emperor!


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    I think you leave 2 Squadrons of Zeros for defence of the fleet and 1 each of Torpedo and Dive Bombers(depleted ones, maybe 75% strength), just in case that missing Carrier appears.( It was just one carrier wasn’t it?)
    That should  leave about 250 planes for the 3rd strike.



  • Send in a third wave of whatever ad-hoc combination I could manage, but use it as a cover to land a small commando unit of SNLF troops to land clandestinely and capture Admiral Kimmel and all the US’s top Naval brass and any intel they can gather. I remember reading somewhere that Yamamoto proposed something similar, but on a grander scale, with a full on invasion of Oahu and capturing the fleet, towing it back to Japan for scrap, or something like that. The army leaders freaked when they heard the idea and it was dismissed.

    I figure barring that awesome above, I might only send in a small attack force to hit just the Oil tanks, repair shops, and maybe the destroyer moorings, and the sub pen. I would conserve and rest the bulk of my forces and start to try to track down those annoying American carriers.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    I’d send in all the planes I could muster…but if I had to restrict myself to something less than a full strike, my priority would be dive bombers and level bombers because my target would be the fuel tank farms and the shipyard facilities.  Had Nagumo demolished those, he would have done great damage to Pearl Harbor’s ability to support naval operations; I think, Nimitz once claimed it would have set back the US Navy’s war efforts by as much as a year.

    Nagumo’s task force was designed for a smash-and-run raid: very heavy in fleet carriers (Japan never again devoted six of them to a single operation) and surprisingly light in other vessel types.  He didn’t have the resources to launch any kind of invasion, nor probably even a commando raid; I don’t remember his task force having any landing craft or troops.  Extended-duration operations in Hawaiian waters were out of the question because Nagumo was thousands of miles from home with only a few tankers alongside; he had enough fuel to get there and back, but not much more.  Also, refuelling at sea was a tricky operation which left the ships involved vulnerable to attack.  (As I recall, the Japanese performed refuelllings with ships in line-ahead formation rather than alongside in the US fashion.)


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Just found this answering my question.

    Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941
    Carrier Locations

    On 7 December 1941, the three Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers were USS Enterprise (CV-6), USS Lexington (CV-2), and USS Saratoga (CV-3).
    Enterprise: On 28 November 1941, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel sent TF-8, consisting of Enterprise, the heavy cruisers Northampton (CA-26), Chester (CA-27), and Salt Lake City (CA-24) and nine destroyers under Vice Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., to ferry 12 Grumman F4F-3 Wildcats of Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF) 211 to Wake Island. Upon completion of the mission on 4 December, TF-8 set course to return to Pearl Harbor. Dawn on 7 December 1941 found TF-8 about 215 miles west of Oahu.
    Lexington: On 5 December 1941, TF-12, formed around Lexington, under the command of Rear Admiral John H. Newton, sailed from Pearl to ferry 18 Vought SB2U-3 Vindicators of Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 231 to Midway Island. Dawn on 7 December 1941 found Lexington, heavy cruisers Chicago (CA-29), Portland (CA-33), and Astoria (CA-34), and five destroyers about 500 miles southeast of Midway. The outbreak of hostilities resulted in cancellation of the mission and VMSB-231 was retained on board [they would ultimately fly to Midway from Hickam Field on 21 December].
    Saratoga: The Saratoga, having recently completed an overhaul at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington, reached NAS San Diego [North Island] late in the forenoon watch on 7 December. She was to embark her air group, as well as Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF) 221 and a cargo of miscellaneous airplanes to ferry to Pearl Harbor.
    Yorktown (CV-5), Ranger (CV-4) and Wasp (CV-7), along with the aircraft escort vessel Long Island (AVG-1), were in the Atlantic Fleet; Hornet (CV-8), commissioned in late October 1941, had yet to carry out her shakedown. Yorktown would be the first Atlantic Fleet carrier to be transferred to the Pacific, sailing on 16 December 1941.


  • Customizer

    Gentlemen,

    ––I’m marking this discussion so I whenever I get home I can reference a couple of excellent books on the above subject.
    For most of my life, until reading some excellent books, I had also had thought that Nagumo should have ordered a third strike against Pearl Harbor’s above ground fuel tanks and workshops.
    –After all,…Nagumo was assigned to command of the strike force by SENIORITY, not merit,…and Yamamoto was against his appointment because he felt him to lack aggressiveness. 
    ----Anyway, back to my point. A third strike PROBABLY couldn’t have destroyed a large percentage of the above ground fuel tanks.
    –Even if they had destroyed 100% of the above ground fuel tanks,…the U.S. Navy already had a secret huge below ground tank farm in place, and a large percentage was already in operation. The story concerning the vulnerability of the above ground storage tanks was purposely leaked as propaganda to deflect any interest away from the secret below ground tanks.
    –Also,…it was shown that there was an over-abundance of repair capacity in Hawaii,…and it wasn’t only concentrated in the navy shops at Pearl Harbor,…but scattered all over the island,…therefore no more than a small percentage of it was capable of being destroyed by a third attack on the naval base.
    –Another “item” that should be included here is that the stated main objective in Yamamoto’s plan was to sink 4 Battleships, as this was thought to have the most “shock” impact on the military and civilians alike,….and also to sink as many American carriers as possible.

    ----As I said,…I’ll find these books and post their titles. They explain a lot. Pearl Harbor is the most fascinating of many WW2-Pacific conflicts for me,…and I’ve read 60+ books on the subject. Even the “revisionist” and “conspiracy” histories that try to bend history and facts to support their predetermined agendas. I feel the facts should lead to theories/opinions,…not the other way around.

    “Tall Paul”


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Thank you Tall Paul.


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