All’s Fair

So, Lex posted this clip of the Pacific war at sea during World War II.

Yes, we all know it was the birth of Carrier Aviation…blah blah planes are cooler…blah blah end of the battleship…blah blah.

C’mon. Everyone knows WWII is where submarines really earned their money and saved the day.

“We shall never forget that it was our submarines that held the lines against the enemy while our fleets replaced losses and repaired wounds.”
– Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz

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6 Responses to All’s Fair

  1. blunoz says:

    One of my favorite passages on this topic comes from Clay Blair Jr.’s book, Silent Victory.
    “After the United States recaptured Guam and Saipan in the summer of 1944, U.S. submarines basing from those two islands imposed a virtual blockade against Japan. Few ships entered or left Japanese waters without being attacked by submarine; most that attempted it were sunk. Japan ran out of oil for her navy; gasoline for her aircraft, trucks, and automobiles; steel, aluminum, and other metal for her industry; and food for her teeming population. After the war, when the full impact of the submarine blockade became known, many experts concluded that the invasions of the Palaus, the Philippines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, and the dropping of fire bombs and atomic bombs on Japanese cities, were unnecessary. They reasoned that despite the fanatical desire of some Japanese to hang on and fight to the last man, the submarine blockade alone would have ultimately defeated that suicidal impulse.”

    There’s some more good info on this Navy website. “Comprising just 1.6 percent of the U.S. Navy, U.S. submarines sank 30 percent of the Japanese Imperial Navy including eight aircraft carriers, one battleship, and eleven cruisers.”

    All that being said, and having just watched a show on the History channel about Guadalcanal, I know that submarines couldn’t win the war on their own. As Blair stated, it was AFTER we recaptured Guam and Saipan that submarines were able to operate from there and impose the blockade against Japan. We never would have gotten that far without the Marines and the surface Navy and aviator guys stopping the Japanese advance across the Pacific in the Solomons and conducting the island hopping campaign pushing the Japanese back toward their home islands.

  2. fastnav says:

    All true statements.

    Although, I’d really give the credit to the surface and aviators who caused the sinking of four Japanese carriers (as well as the sub who sank the new carrier on its way out of port).

    I personally think that the loss of the carriers is what caused Japan to have to halt their expansion. The island hopping campaign was extremely costly (Okinawa is case in point) and the truth is, Japan had such limited resources that by halting their expansion it was only a matter of time before the American industry beat Japan into the ground.

  3. blunoz says:

    On a somewhat unrelated note, my 7 year old son and I have watched two awesome WWII submarine flicks in the past week: “Destination Tokyo” and “Run Silent Run Deep”.

  4. Rich says:


    Several of your fellow “sandy sub salts” aare laughing our asses off at your bla bla bla comment. Keep them coming!


  5. Kaylea says:

    Posts like this birghten up my day. Thanks for taking the time.

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