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Oahu defences...
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Kaneoheboy



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Kaneohe, HI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The question with respect to both disappearing carriage batteries (Randolph 2x14" DC & Selfridge 2x12" DC) has been answered by Brian.

To my knowledge, the BBs were not tied in to the coast artillery seascoast defense system at anytime, even at anchor in Pearl Harbor. Smile

-John
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ickysdad



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:40 am    Post subject: OK>>> Reply with quote

John,
But couldn't observers be put in OP's to guide ship board artillery? It seems to me that it wouldn't be that much different then having shipboard aircraft doing it. Just a matter of setting up some radio communications but Just don't know for sure.
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robdab



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 20
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaneoheboy wrote:


To my knowledge, the BBs were not tied in to the coast artillery seacoast defense system at anytime, even at anchor in Pearl Harbor. Smile

-John


Thanks again John,

'Tis as I suspected. Everyone seems to take so much note of the greatly differing viewpoints taken and the poor co-operation resulting between the IJA and IJN but fail to notice that the USN and US Army didn't share all that closely either, at the time. Different and non-compatible methods of doing the same thing.

Are you also knowledgeable wrt the munitions stored within the USN magazines at West Loch and Lualualei ? I am particularly interested in confirming that approximately 5,000 sea mines were stored therein on Dec.7'41 ?

Last but not least, was the "Red Hill Redoubt" still considered an active part of Pearl Harbor's land defenses on Dec.7'41 ? I know that it's structure still existed then but I do not know if it was manned or had a role to play in the more modern defense plan of that Sunday morning ?
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Z-man



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 325
Location: CONNECTICUT

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe the Coast Artillery mainly communicated by telephone. Spotting depended on taking readings from a known baseline at specified time intervals. Take a look at this video from CDSG's youtube page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxmF6sEmzVU
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ickysdad



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:15 pm    Post subject: Ok then... Reply with quote

Does anybody know when the USN developed it's forward spotter program(if that's what it's called) whereupon a forward observer could call down fire?
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robdab



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 20
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Z-man,

Thank you for that youtube footage. If "a photo is worth a thousand words" then that video must be worth at least a million.

The video pointed out that coastal artillery base end stations on land could be located miles apart for very accurate target position calculation. AFAIK even the largest battleship could only carry rangefinders with about 100' of seperation and thus, much less accurate target position locations.

I could clearly see how the concrete parapet of a disappearing gun installation protected it's gunners from flat trajectory return direct naval gunfire.

As well as being able to imagine the carnage resulting should a more modern counter-attack weapon such as an airplane(s) be used to reply.

I would also expect that very long range naval plunging fire would have a serious effect behind the parapet, although I can imagine that hitting such a small spot from long range would be very difficult task, to say the least. 'Tis no wonder that warships did not engage shore guns, lightly.

Once inside though, even a small aircraft bomb or straffing run would fill that open to the sky gun pit with flying metal fragments of great danger to those coastal artillery gunners. Which explains the much larger numbers of CAC gunners carried "on strength" as compared with warships carrying greater numbers of gun tubes under heavy armor.

The great rush to casemate several of Oahu's heavier but wide open to the sky coastal artillery installations, right after the historical Pearl Harbor air raids, is suddenly made clear to me. Trading away 360 degree firing capability for guncrew survival makes great sense when one looks at how effective the Kido Butai's warplanes were at ground attacks on Oahu's airfields that morning.
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ickysdad



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:31 pm    Post subject: Well.. Reply with quote

Yes pictures speak a thousand words but just look at how long Corregidor & Manilla Bay forts held out furthermore against far more then what Kido Butai could deliver. I'm not saying they couldn't degrade the Coastal Artillery's response.
edit...
I noticed how well camouflagged these installations are so I imagine they maybe very difficult to see from either a ship or from the air??????
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ickysdad



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:56 pm    Post subject: Casemated Weapons.. Reply with quote

On pages 41,42,1nd 43 of "Defences of Pearl Harbor & Oahu 1907-1950" it states that casemating was considered very important even prior to Pearl Harbor so it's not known just how important the attack placed on casemating Batteries Closson, Hatch, and Williston. However it was decided to Leave Battery Williston in it's original condition so it could cover all possible landing areas.
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Kaneoheboy



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Kaneohe, HI

PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no information indicating the types and amounts of ammunitions stored in either Lualualei or West Loch prior to Dec. 7, 1941 or thereafter.

As to the Red Hill Redoubt, I have not seen any mention of it being included in the Hawaiian Defense Project's 1940 Revision.

-John
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Z-man



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 325
Location: CONNECTICUT

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's not to say that they couldn't have improvised some kind of forward observer system in an emergency. I know CA batteries were used against land targets / counter battery in the Phillipines, but I'm not sure how they were directed. Also, I think smaller guns (155 GPF's) etc could be fired with the gun sites as well (direct fire?).
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robdab



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 20
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaneoheboy wrote:

As to the Red Hill Redoubt, I have not seen any mention of it being included in the Hawaiian Defense Project's 1940 Revision.
-John

Again, my thanks. I already have a copy but had wondered if there were any other sources of such information out there. It seems to thoroughly cover the US Army's plans for defending Oahu but seems to be light on CAC information.

Are there any maps to be had anywhere which show the Dec. 1941 distribution of CAC observation posts around Oahu's mountains ? I have yet to order the CDSG's RCWs and wondered if that series of battery details also covers the base end stations etc that were the eyes of Oahu's coastal artillery defenses ?
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robdab



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 20
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Z-man wrote:
Also, I think smaller guns (155 GPF's) etc could be fired with the gun sites as well (direct fire?).

Both the 155s and the 240s had concrete bases poured because neither were originally designed for firing at naval vessels quickly passing back and forth across their frontages.

It was found that neither could traverse quickly/accurately/smoothly enough for "firing at moving shipping" work even when mounted on such round bases.

So, both were generally assigned to the beach defense role where they would be primarily firing at the surf line, just inland of that, at slow landing barges heading roughly straight in towards the beach or at anchored invasion transports offshore. More in and out range adjustment work than trying to lead a fast moving warship, far off the coast, when they had only their local "on the gun" sights to provide aiming adjustments.

Certainly eforts were made to tie the various "panama mount" bases in to the around Oahu military telephone grid so that once emplaced on their concrete bases, each battery could fire indirectly as well, rather than just firing over it's own open sights, directly. However, accuracy in such cases should be regarded as being only good enough for "area fire" missions rather than for pin point "bunker busting".
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Kaneoheboy



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 42
Location: Kaneohe, HI

PostPosted: Wed Mar 25, 2009 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The coast artillery position finding stations aka: fire control or base end stations (BES) were connected with the island-wide "Command and Fire Control Cable System." The system consisted of buried cable that ran around the periphery of the island with cables located inland at the north shore as well. Communication between BES and their assigned gun batteries was made possible by the network. Branches connected to the various forts and military bases as well. The system is not to be confused with the commercial landlines that were strung on telephone poles and were aslo an integral part of the overall communications network.

I have posted n the photo section an Oahu Defense Map dated Sept. 18, 1941 existing and proposed OPs, 155mm GPF batteries, etc.
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ickysdad



Joined: 17 Mar 2009
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 5:55 am    Post subject: Thanks.. Reply with quote

John,

Hey thanks alot for posting the map!!!!
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robdab



Joined: 29 Aug 2007
Posts: 20
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kaneoheboy wrote:
The coast artillery position finding stations aka: fire control or base end stations (BES) were connected with the island-wide "Command and Fire Control Cable System." The system consisted of buried cable that ran around the periphery of the island with cables located inland at the north shore as well. Communication between BES and their assigned gun batteries was made possible by the network. Branches connected to the various forts and military bases as well.

My understanding is that each major base area had it's own (manned, not automated) telephone switchboard which managed it's own "on the base phonecalls" and that this buried cable connected the various switchboards.

Can you confirm the reports that I have read of that same buried US cable being accidentily cut by US Army troops digging in above their assigned beaches on Dec.7'41 and later ? It was explained to me that at the majority of Oahu's coastal areas where old lava flows had reached the ocean, there was/is no soft ground in which to bury the cable. The softer gravel roadbeds of the coastal highway and coastal railway were used to hide it instead.

Do you have any information on just how quickly this cable, with it's limited number of telephone wire pairs, became swamped with attempted military phone calls on the morning of Dec.7'41 ?

Quote:
The system is not to be confused with the commercial landlines that were strung on telephone poles and were aslo an integral part of the overall communications network.

Are you really telling us that the only non-secure, civilian, partyline telephone system was used as "an integral part of the overall communications network", for plain language communications between US defensive military installations on Oahu ? Once ashore, would there have been anything stopping Japanese invaders from just "tapping in" and listeneing to any/all conversation there that they chose to ? Or from adding to it ?

Quote:
I have posted n the photo section an Oahu Defense Map dated Sept. 18, 1941 existing and proposed OPs, 155mm GPF batteries, etc.

Many thanks, for the excellent map but a few questions arise as a result.

For example, Battery Sylvester, an 8" BC gun installation out on the north end of the Mokapu Penninsula is shown as being manned on Sept.18'41 whereas we know from several other sources that it was not even built until many weeks after the Dec.7'41 attacks, in fact being named for an American defender killed during those attacks ? Perhaps your map includes some future planning, as well as the "as builts" ?

Some further information wrt Oahu's eastern coast searchlight installations as shown would also be appreciated.

Were these just prepared flat concrete ground pads where towed searchlight trailers might be parked after Admiral Kimmel's long ranged PBY searches reported that invasion was soon expected, or were these permanent 50' steel towers fitted with searchlights and the noisey generators needed to power them ? Or, a mix of types ?

Their effective night ranges for the purposes of CAC fire control ?

Any American information on their expected lifetimes in actual combat ?

Sorry for playing "20 questions" but it is so nice to find such a willing "font of knowledge" as yourself, on a subject that remains so surprisingly un-documented as do the CAC defenses of Oahu. Pearl Harbor has been "done to death" but not much else has seen widespread commercial distribution on Oahu's other defenses. Both Dorrance and Gaines have written much good work but it seems that the Osprey soft cover by Williford & McGovern has received the widest attention.

Thanks again for your efforts to "spread the word" here.
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