Post by miletus12 on Jul 6, 2023 11:37:20 GMT
International Journal of Naval History, October 2002 Volume 1 Number 2 Building a Doctrine: U. S. Naval Tactics and Battle Plans in the Interwar Period Trent Hone, Senior Associate, Rubicon Technologies
And so we now will take a look at the mistakes the USN (and maybe some other navies) made as a result of the Washington Naval Treaty.
As a hint: the fleet problems, in the real history, were structured to teach the fleet the wrong lessons.
Actual fleet maneuver formation used in war circa 1942-1943. The idiot who came up with that one was Richmond Kelly Turner.
Take an example of a fleet formation that learned RADAR the hard way?
Continuing with the incoherent lessons learned as illustrated by dysfunctional practice.
That would be a British example of convoy. PQ-18 was a typical British defeat on the Arctic supply run.
And we will illustrate further how interwar exercises taught the wrong lessons:
The illustration description taken from the United States Strategic Bombing Survey of a typical USN 1944 convoy attack shows that the Japanese had learned nothing either about ship dispositions between the wars, either.
The Naval Onion.
The principles of the naval onion or the layered defense was not exactly equivalent to the WWI developed land tactic of defense in depth. It was rather the acknowledgment, or should have been, that the naval problem of survival in a three threat characteristics environment where a surface fleet floated on the boundary layer of a liquid over-capped by a gas, allowed the enemy to swim under the fleet, fly over the fleet and chase that fleet with a surface fleet of his own. Consequently: observation, that was / is detection, acquisition, before track, and engagement was a time distance and vector analysis problem of considerable interest. It would make a great deal of sense to tailor the tactical operations of BLUE along the main axis of expected intrusion into the detection layer, (3) so that specialist BLUE tailored assets could be oriented to meet the type of expected threat along the vector in the next layer (2). In the generic example above, this was the predicted threat distribution ORANGE could mount off Okinawa. ORANGE wanted to reach (1). BLUE obviously wanted to prevent that situation.
The rotten thing about the Fleet Problems, was that this exact situation was predicted as ORANGE TEAM began trouncing BLUE TEAM in aircraft carrier and submarine simulated warfare by 1935. Yet, nobody, BLUE, paid enough attention to the need to develop either reconnaissance or assisted mechanical sensor means to that detect and acquire aspect of the problem. They were blind mechanically, doctrinally, and functionally. .
You might consider one more example:
There were two possible threat axes to the Guadalcanal landings. Northwest from Rabaul was one. Northeast from Truk was the other. The same exact expletive deleted imbecile who botched the TF62 cruising disposition to CACTUS (Lunga Point at Guadalcanal just east of the Henderson Field where the Americans came ashore.) was that idiot, Richmond Kelly Turner, who failed to unload the transports expeditiously, failed to set up the Tulagi seaplane base on time, failed to establish shore based air reconnaissance to the northwest or to the northeast and who scattered his anti-surface warfare assets about as if he was Horatio Nelson about to refight the Battle of Aboukir Bay.
At least Nelson pulled his scattered ships together and used his frigates properly to ascertain the enemy threat axis.
The nitwit, Turner, micromanaged to the point where he divided command three ways, called away the officer in actual tactical command, a FUD who looked like a refugee from The Ghost and Misses Muir.
The result was inevitable. By BLUE failing to establish a correct zone (3) asset reconnaissance distribution (His seaplanes and submarines to the northwest and northeast.), and to employ his surface warfare oriented assets properly in zone (2) (Again northwest.), ORANGE was able to exploit BLUE's blind condition and demolish half of BLUE's available anti-surface warfare assets with paltry hazard to his own forces. Self-imposed disunity of command and cowardice in battle (Captain Bode of USS Chicago), compounded the dispositional errors Turner made in zone (1).
This collection and collation of imbecility, that was Savo Island, should have been thrashed out in peacetime in the 1930s. Those fleet problems burned up millions of dollars in the 1930s exercises. Not only should have the lessons earned about how blind the fleet was to enemy surprise, without a strong and ongoing reconnaissance element in zone (3), apparent, but as a result of those fleet problems, officers of dubious quality should have been identified and cashiered for incompetence, as well as effectors tested out and properly validated in "near war conditions".
The modern USN has returned to the Fleet Problem way of doing things in the mistaken belief that it was the fleet problems that taught it how to fight tactically in WWII. The error is that the fleet problems taught it how to refight Jutland indecisively, as the British already had. The Americans had not learned THE NAVAL ONION, nor had they worked out the human being kinks in their organization, nor had they evaluated themselves honestly in the material condition sense.
Nobody, human or machine, can predict or prepare perfectly how human beings in the aggregate or launch platforms and effectors will interact at the moment, but we, human beings, can cut down the odds against us significantly enough, that we can make remarkably accurate predictions, over time, if we have good is / was data. What that means is that we use game theory. This was not formally developed until John von Neuman published his mathematical encyclical in 1944, but as early as 1895, Alfred Thayer Mahan was applying it to solve the "British" problem.
The point is that you can explain stupidity post-hoc, but cannot justify it pre-hoc, if you can prove that the idiots in charge did know, but failed to do due diligence.
That is supposed to be the reason we have boards of inquiry and courts-martial.