(The USS Quincy, caught in the searchlights from attacking Japanese cruisers, on fire and sinking as a result of numerous gunfire and torpedo hits. The flames at the far left of the picture are probably from the USS Vincennes, also on fire from gunfire and torpedo damage)
G is doing a nice series with naval thinkers.
God bless 'em. They will need to pull a rabbit out of their hat to paint much hope for the U.S. Navy in the Western Pacific in the coming years.
It is an apt time to mention all of this with the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. As a kid I loved the Walter Lord book Incredible Victory. His famous words are etched in the stone of the WWII monument in DC. I owe my knowledge of Pacific geography to reading the whole Morison series in the 6th and 7th grade. It was in the reference section of our very small county library.
I was also fascinated with a book about the last voyage of the USS Lexington on their way to the Coral Sea and destiny. I was also stunned with the battles around Savo Island (Iron Bottom Sound) and other places: read from the comfort of a hammock on a nice Michigan summer day after doing the chores.
There are a lot of lessons from WWII Pacific battles that apply toward today.
Cdr Salamander is doing his best to raise the red flags. The U.S. Navy and others ignore his thoughts at their own peril.
As I have warned before, the U.S. Navy carrier air wing is fast going obsolete. Which in-turn, puts a whole carrier battle group at risk. We have trimmed down our ASW assets (flying and otherwise) to a dangerous level. For the Western Pacific, the USN best get used to not being able to go some places.
There are also some other problems to consider. What if someday the Chinese Navy doesn't want to be defensive? What if they wage a U-boat war against Alaska, Guam, the Panama Canal, Pearl Harbor and the very vulnerable LA Harbor? A place where most of our just-in-time supply chain goes through?
How many in the days before December 7th, 1941 thought things would never go as bad as they did?
History is full of such examples.
And for those that say wars don't solve anything, tell that to Japan.
The (U.S.) Navy was still obsessed with a strong feeling of technical and mental superiority over the enemy. In spite of ample evidence as to enemy capabilities, most of our officers and men despised the enemy and felt themselves sure victors in all encounters under any circumstances. The net result of all this was a fatal lethargy of mind which induced a confidence without readiness, and a routine acceptance of outworn peacetime standards of conduct. I believe that this psychological factor, as a cause of our defeat, was even more important than the element of surprise.
Admiral Turner commenting on the first battle of Savo Island.