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Re: Way forward

July 10 2015 at 5:09 AM
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Nelson  (no login)

Response to Way forward


My hope is that at the end of this thread, we’re not simply left with he said, he said. You have restated your belief, which I think has historic validity, and I shall restate mine: that in late February/early March 1942 the Java Sea was a dangerous battleground. Between February 27th and March 1st, three major sea battles would be fought, and the IJN could ill afford to treat the larger Allied fleet units lightly until they had been dealt with. I must restate that it was no time for a light Japanese warship to be in the danger zone on independent duty. Yes, the W class minesweepers may have looked like small DDs to the untrained eye, but at that time and place they were seemingly restricted to escorting the troop transports and cargo vessels of the invasion forces. But, okay, I have named two Japanese DDs that I think are strong candidates for the culprit carrying out the Augustina atrocity. Your point about the sordid war history of certain IJN minesweepers merits equal consideration.

At the beginning of the Java operation, MineSweepDiv 1 consisted of W-1, W-2, W-3, W-4, and W-5, and escorted the troopships of the Western Java invasion force. All of these small warships may be placed in Banten Bay during the night battle of Sunda Strait, February 28–March 1, except for W-5. One notes that since this thread began and presumably as a result of this continuing discussion, W-5’s TROM has been inactivated and may well be undergoing update. So, at this point W-5 cannot be ruled out as the culprit.

To the east, also involved in convoy escort, were MineSweepDiv 11 (W-15 and W-16) and MineSweepDiv 30 (W-17 and W-18), but I know nothing at this point to predict the involvement of any of them in the Augustina murders. Just to iterate, I would not want to have been a member of the crew of a 600+ ton IJN minesweeper steaming independently in the Java Sea, with the likes of Exeter, Houston, and Perth and their fleet destroyers still at large.

Kevin: If you’re still part of this discussion, I think we would appreciate the answers to four questions:

1. What Japanese DDs did you and your research associate consider and rule out as the culprit for the Augustina atrocity? If there are good reasons for the latter conclusions, it would aid this search.
2. What reason do you have for ruling out every Japanese DD involved in Second Java Sea, including Akebono?
3. What reason do you have for believing that Augustina’s officers and crew did not witness, over the horizon, the IJN aerial attack on USS Pope?
4. If not Pope, what other Allied warship was attacked in this area, on this date, and at this time of day, by the mixture of carrier planes and floatplanes observed from Augustina? With that sort of aerial force projected, its target had to be an enemy warship.


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  • Minesweepers and Massacres 2 - Nuyt on Jul 10, 2015, 12:56 PM
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