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Re: Minesweepers

June 17 2015 at 4:14 PM
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Nelson  (no login)

Response to Minesweepers


You posted during the time I was preparing my response to Kevin, which please see.

> Anyway I never said it WAS a minesweeper, just that it was not unthinkable. >


> ....minesweepers were heavily used by the IJN during the Indies campaign in various roles, like convoy duties or even submarine patrol. On several occasions were the large and heavily armed IJN sweepers mistaken for DDs or CLs. >

Agreed, but within tactical limits.

> 24 January 1942: At about 0245, USS PARROTT fires eight torpedoes at W-15 that she mistakes for a destroyer or cruiser. USS JOHN D. FORD also fires a torpedo at W-15 again. >

Okay, clearly that account refers to the battle at Balikpapan, in waters supposed by the Japanese to be clear of Allied warships (yes, a serious miscalculation by the IJN, which led to one of its rare night-time tactical blunders and a serious bloody nose). I do not disagree that the large IJN minesweepers were used aggressively and frequently. One must note, again, that the battle took place at night, with the chances of misidentifying an enemy warship much increased. My point is that the battles in the Java Sea took place on a larger and far more dangerous canvas: a sea where the largest Allied warships lurked and were prepared to fight, ergo, not a place where the IJN would have supposed appropriate for second and third rate escorts until the situation had been resolved to their advantage. Given what we already know or is by inference logical, I still contend the culprit was a free-ranging DD or modified DD. And, yes, I'm aware of the unsuccessful and frustrating attempts heretofore to ID this warship.

My suggestion to Kevin that the tommy-gun-toting evildoers were members of the SNLF is not as remote a possibility as may seem at first glance. The SNLF was used in that theater, and who knows if some unit was aboard a fast transport/modified DD in the event reinforcement or a landing for diversion was required? Just a stab in an attempt to come to grips with this difficult quandary.


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  • Minesweepers and Massacres - nuyt on Jun 17, 2015, 4:47 PM
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