WARNING: rotting equine alert

Cedarford wrote:

And VD is only blessed with historical hindsight. That limits his ability to assess the risks at the time. For all we knew in 1942, the Japs were going to forward deploy I-25 and all other subs in an effort to nail troopships going the Australia & the Solomons. The impact of several sunk troopships, thousands of bodies washing up on California beaches, all blamed on Jap spies? A West Coast massacre…

Please, cedarford, turn your brain on for five seconds and realize that I am NOT using even the tiniest bit of hindsight. Our generals and admirals were neither stupid nor less informed than we are now. If they had had any concerns at all about the war being set back as you describe, they would not have done the following in the first three months of 1942:

1. Stripped the West Coast of more than 50 percent of its long-range bombers and fighter planes. Malkin tries to make a case based on two (2!) aircraft batteries being placed in Los Angeles and completely ignores how the greater part of US air strength was sent elsewhere at the same time. While the B-17s did turn out to be less than effective against Japanese warships, this was not known until well after Midway.
2. Sent two of the four West Coast-based carriers to escort those planes to Samoa The only reason Saratoga was on the West Coast from January to May 1942 was that she was in for repairs after being hit by a torpedo by I-16 while on the way to the south Pacific.
3. Sent Wasp first to England, then twice on to Malta delivering Spitfires, inspiring a rather famous message to the ship from Winston Churchill himself: “”Who said a Wasp couldn’t sting twice?”
4. Kept Hornet on the East Coast training for the Doolittle raid. The Doolittle raid itself makes no sense in light of the revisionist pro-internment theory.
5. Kept Ranger on patrol in the Atlantic before sending her to Africa. Twice.
6. Kept the escort carrier Long Island on anti-sub patrol off the Atlantic Coast.
7. Kept the escort carrier Charger on the East Coast to serve as a training ship and aircraft ferry.
8. Transferred four escort carriers, Archer, Biter, Avenger and Dasher, to the Royal Navy for use on trans-Atlantic escorts. Please remember, Malkin specifically argues that the German submarines were no threat to America, that the only real threat was from the 717 planes carried by the Japanese aircraft carriers. The evidence suggests that the military officers in command at the time completely disagreed, as do their modern successors.

It is customary to try to argue that the escort carriers somehow don’t count, that they were not “real” carriers. But not only did they carry as many planes as some of Japan’s smaller carriers – which Malkin herself definitely counts – but they were particularly devastating to the very threat to which cedarford refers, namely, submarines. “…three Jeeps — USS Core (CVE 13), USS Card (CVE 11) and USS Bogue (CVE 9) — and their escorting destroyers sank a total of 16 U-boats and 8 milch cows in a period of 98 days.” These small, but deadly carriers also took part in almost every Allied landing, from Operation Torch to Okinawa.

In fact, not only is Michelle Malkin hopelessly ignorant about her military history – she stated erroneously there were only four US carriers, all on the West Coast, in early 1942 – but I incorrectly mocked her for not knowing about the other five carriers active in pre-Midway 1942 or where they were. In fact, there were SIX other carriers active in US service, as CV-1 Langley operated out of Australia from Jan 1, 1942 until Feb 27, 1942, when she was sunk ferrying P-40s to Java.

Ironically enough, Langley was based in the Philippines at the time the war began.