Talk:Battle of the Bismarck Sea

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The disembarkation of survivors at Lae[edit]

The article currently indicates that the destroyers Yukikaze and Asagumo picked up and delivered survivors from the first attacks on 1 March to Lae. But we are told that Lae was the destination of the convoy. Why didn't the entire convoy proceed there, and what was the remainder of the convoy doing while the two destroyers headed for Lae? 203.198.237.30 04:27, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Because the convoy speed is always of the slower ship.

Destroyers are faster and so those 2 destroyers picked up the survivers and moved at a greater speed to Lae since they were no longer bound by the convoy speed.

That is why they used 2 destroyers since they were faster and it was temporary lose 2 destroyers or loose 1500 men instead of 700.

The convoy likely maintained speed and course, the 2 destroyers were simply faster and so able to reach Lae and return before the convoy got there.

06:43, 2 March 2006 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Drakron (talkcontribs)

  • Right, that makes sense, thanks. But would they have been more than twice as fast (in getting to Lae and returning before the convoy was appreciably closer)? And even with the time spent sweeping for survivors and disembarking them? If the 2 destroyers could carry 700, I wonder if it occurred to them to use all of the destroyers to take as many as possible. 203.198.237.30 09:58, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

The convoy speed was 7 knots, the Kagero and Asashio class destroyers were capable of reaching 35 knots and destroyers are not troop transporters or cargo ships, they have too much limited cargo capacity to serve in that role. Drakron 16:53, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

  • I get that, I was wondering whether it occured to the Japanese that if they could put 400 troops on each of 2 destroyers (article says 800 were recovered), and have them seemingly return in no time at all, then they could save a large portion of their force by using all 8 destroyers for this purpose. By this point they had lost up to 3 transports, must have known that this fate could await the entire force, and could have been desperate enough to consider the unorthodox. 203.198.237.30 08:34, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

They would spend more fuel that way, later they started to use destroyers as transport and cargo ships but in this case the result would be the same, they could not possible outrun airplanes.

Also keep in mind as they might get away with on massive transport convoy even if a slow convoy many trips would tip off allied forces (that already broken the japanese code) and they would be caught, one trip -even if a slow one- reduced the chances of being spotted.

Drakron 17:02, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

I too was confused at the original text so I decided to edit that paragraph

Original:

Out of 1,500 troops being transported by the Kyokusei Maru, 800 were rescued from the water by the destroyers Yukikaze and Asagumo. These two ships proceeded to Lae to disembark the survivors, then rejoined the convoy the next day. The convoy, without the troop transport and two destroyers, was attacked again that evening, with one transport sustaining minor damage.

New:

Out of 1,500 troops being transported by the Kyokusei Maru, 800 were rescued from the water by the destroyers Yukikaze and Asagumo. These two destroyers, being faster than the convoy since its speed was dictated by the slower transports, broke away from the group to disembark the survivors at Lae. The destroyers would resume its escort duties the next day. The convoy, without the troop transport and two destroyers, was attacked again on the evening of March 2, with one transport sustaining minor damage.

--BirdKr 11:39, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Brutality[edit]

The speculation on the reasons for brutality, at the end, seems out of place. I haven't looked, but I bet we have a whole article on the subject, and should refer to that rather than duplicate unsourced guessing here. Stan 13:46, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't think a brief discussion of the possible reasons behind Japanese and Allied atrocities is completely out of place here since this is a good example of one. My statement about racial animosity playing a part in the brutatlity exhibited by the adversaries towards each other has been removed twice from the paragraph. The authors of the book, "A War to be Won" (Murray/Millett, Harvard, 2000) point out that racial animosity played a very large part in how the Allies and the Japanese conducted their operations against each other.

This article is pretty much "lifted" from the one in Anwers.com and I find it more unbiased that one australian news article that neglects to mention US participation. Drakron 17:07, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

You do realize that answers.com mostly mirrors us, right? Generally its articles are old versions of WP articles. Stan 18:36, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Yes, it does (just noticed) but you also have to realize since the allies won the war they downplay any atrocities they commited and empasize the ones commited by the Axis powers.

Look at the bombing of Darwin entry for that ...

Also you notice this article have no problem with saying a Zero fired on a bomber crew as they parachute down into the sea.

Drakron 18:14, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I don't think a discussion about the reasons behind any of the possible war crimes in this battle is appropriate for this article. Other Wikipedia articles already exist that go into war crimes and atrocities and analysis on why they occurred. I believe the article should just state what happened, without any analysis. Cla68 19:51, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

The picture[edit]

The ship being attacked on the bottom picture is obviously a transport - NOT a destroyer (as previously described) which would have had slimmer hull and gun turrets.

RAAF 100 Squadron[edit]

My father F/L Edward Boxall was a member of the RAAF 100 Squadron. His log shows that the time he took off from the Gurney airfield at Milne Bay was 0325 hours. He was apparently the first squadron member to sight the Japanese convoy in Huon Gulf during the dark early hours of 3rd March. He records dropping flares, not bombs. I have put a newspaper article with his photo and the story of sighting the convoy "by the light of a fitful moon" on my website (sorry down at present) I dont suppose this is of much interest to anyone else, let me know. Bingiyogi 07:02, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

I was going to check it out, but the link isn't working ... SkipSmith (talk) 05:14, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Japanese Casualties[edit]

I looked up the page number in Fire in the Sky for reference 1 (it is page 591). However, the entry on that page states that Japanese casualties were 5000 more than were lost by either side in any naval battle off Guadacanal, not simply 5000. Does anyone know the actual casualty figure for the Japanese? SkipSmith (talk) 05:14, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

The CombinedFleet.com article on the battle states that 3,000 troops were killed and backs up this claim by giving very precise numbers on how many troops were actually rescued by the escorting warships. So we apparently have a disparity in numbers between two, at least, reliable sources. I think the infobox should therefore state 3,000-5,000 as the casualty number with an explanation in the footnote. Cla68 (talk) 06:32, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
That's a good idea, at least for now. When I have a chance I'll try to track down some other sources and clear this up. SkipSmith (talk) 01:21, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, the Japanese-language Wikipedia version of this page states that Japanese losses were "around 3000 military personnel".220.29.92.15 (talk) 16:04, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Japanese Fleet Information[edit]

Convoy under command of Rear Admiral Masatomi Kimura

  • Covering Force:
    • DesRon3 RAdm Masatomi Kimura:
      • DesDiv11 - Shirajuki
      • DesDiv8 - Arashio, Asashio
    • SurfCortDiv1
      • DesDiv19 - Uranami, Shikinami, Urakaze, Tokicukaze, Asagumo, Jukikaze
  • Transport Group
    • Aijo Maru, Kjokusei Maru, Oigawa Maru, Shinai Maru, Taimei Maru, Teijo Maru, Kembu Maru, Nojima

Sinking Information:

  • 2 March 1943
    • Kjokuse Maru sunk off Finchhafen.
  • 3 March 1943
    • Asashio sunk (B-25) 45 nm SE of Finchhafen (07-15S, 148-15E)
    • Arashio, Shirajuki and Tokicukaze sunk 55 nm SE of Finchhafen (07-15S, 148-30E)
    • Oigawa Maru disabled by planes, finished by PT-143, PT-150 (06-58S, 148-16E)
    • Aiyo Maru, Shinai Maru, Taimei Maru, Kembu Maru and Teiyo Maru sunk E of New Guinea (06-56S, 148-08E)

B-25s and A-20s[edit]

I don't have a clue where you are getting your information, because much of it is wrong. It is well-documented that the B-25s and A-20s that carried out the skip-bombing and strafing attacks were from the 3rd Bombardment Group, more commonly known as the 3rd Attack Group. The B-25s belonged to the 90th Bombardment and the A-20s to the 89th. Where anyone would get the idea they were with the 405th is beyond me because there have been numerous accounts of this battle ranging from General Kenney's memoirs to the late General John "Jock" Henebry's book. Jock Henebry was one of the B-25 pilots. Somebody needs to get their act together because as this page is currently written, it is full of errors and disinformation. SamMcGowan (talk) 18:13, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

The Allies' War Crime at the Battle of the Bismarck Sea[edit]

First, I am calling the act of Allied forces in bombing and strafing Japanese shipwreck survivors in the water a "war crime" because German military personnel were found guilty of war crimes and executed as war criminals for firing on Allied shipwreck survivors following other military options. If firing on shipwreck survivors is a war crime when the Germans do it an objective student of history can only conclude that it is also a war crime when the Allies do it. In the absence of that we are dealing with victors' justice.

Second, the main entry gives two reasons for the decision by the Allied command to commit this act. One reason given is that the Allies forces were avenging the victims of a Japanese war crime -- the members of an Allied bomber crew who were fired on by a Japanese fighter pilot while they were in their parachutes or after they landed in the water. The other reason given is that the Japanese survivors were close enough to land that they would probably be able to save themselves unless they were killed in the water. The second reason is sound military reasoning -- but imagine the reaction of an Allied war crimes tribunal if a German or Japanese defendant had tried to use it as justification for firing on Allied shipwreck survivors.

Does any one care to advance the claim that war crimes are only committed by the side that loses? (71.22.47.232 (talk) 02:26, 10 December 2010 (UTC))

Can you please identify reliable sources (per WP:RS) which labels this a war crime? Also, are you proposing any changes to the article based on these sources? - its unclear from your post. Nick-D (talk) 10:16, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
This article describes some actions committed by Americans as "war crimes". Nowhere in this article are any Japanese actions called "war crimes". Why is that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.32.20.245 (talk) 16:04, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Which Japanese actions during the battle are you referring to? Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:16, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Question: If German and Japanese military personnel were charged as war criminals, and then found guilty of war crimes and executed, for firing on shipwreck survivors -- and history shows that they were -- it would logically follow that Allied military personnel who fired on shipwreck survivors were also commiting war crimes. 00:39, 3 March 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.22.47.232 (talk)

In German acticle there is a chapter about U.S. pt boats firing at Japanese soldiers in water with life vests referenced with Nathan Miller: War at Sea. A Naval History of World War II. Oxford University Press, New York u. a. 1996, ISBN 0-19-511038-2, p. 369. --Cvf-ps (talk) 00:19, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Ultra? They got info about Japanese naval maneuvers from German codes?[edit]

The article says, "Kenney read this Ultra intelligence in the office of the Supreme Allied Commander South West Pacific Area, General Douglas MacArthur, on 25 February." However, Ultra refers to the decoding of the German military codes. While the Japanese naval codes were sometimes readable (the Japanese kept changing them throughout the war, and then the new code would have to be broken), this was never part of Ultra, a largely British operation specifically focused on the Germans. CarlFink (talk) 13:48, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

The Japanese diplomatic corps used codes known by the Allies first as Red then Blue and finally Purple (what you get when you mix red and blue). The Japanse Naval code was JN-25. The Japanse cypher machine (not the same as the German machine) was duplicated by the Allies just as the Ultra machine was in Europe. In fact, when the war was over, US forces capured one of the machines and found out that just by chance the Allied technician who built the first duplicate machine (on which all the others the Allies used were based) had ordered the exact same parts from a manufacturer as the Japanse original! Information from JN-25 codes were known by the Allies in the Pacific as "Magic". 70.230.247.186 (talk) 15:29, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

  • The British used the code word Ultra from 1940, for both Japanese and German codebreaking. After the US entered the war, it adopted the British code word. It was applied to all codes everywhere. and was used in the Pacific as well as Europe. As the article makes clear, the code decyphered here was neither Purple nor JN-25, but the transport code, used by merchant shipping. See Drea, MacArthur's Ultra, p. xi. Hawkeye7 (talk) 19:07, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes, the usage of 'Ultra' in Wikipedia articles (as sigint from breaking the German codes) doesn't match the way the word is now used by historians. Nick-D (talk) 22:53, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
However, the Ultra article is correct: Ultra also encompassed decrypts of the German Lorenz SZ 40/42 machines that were used by the German High Command, and the Hagelin machine and other Italian and Japanese ciphers and codes such as PURPLE and JN-25. I'm pretty sure that the code we are talking about was JN-152 but it doesn't say so in my sources. Hawkeye7 (talk) 23:13, 19 March 2011 (UTC)

Photos[edit]

I have seen in other books that this, this, and this photos, labeled as taking place at this battle, actually took place at other locations on different dates. I will try to confirm that later today and relable the photos if verified. Cla68 (talk) 23:30, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

We aren't using the latter two. (Corvette would have rung alarm bells as there weren't any at the Bismarck Sea.) I am inclined to drop the first if there are doubts. Hawkeye7 (talk) 01:13, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
The ship pictured looks to be a warship, but appears to be too small to be a destroyer and I understand that the smallest Japanese warships present at this battle were destroyers. I'll look in a couple of picture books I have at home later today to try to verify. Cla68 (talk) 01:17, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Australian built beaufighters in 30 squadron?[edit]

I'll check but I am sure 30 squadron (RAAF) was using british made mk1 and mk 6 beaufighters during the battle. They got Australian made mk 21 later in the war. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 60.225.154.102 (talk) 11:28, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

I've checked the serial numbers of all the aircraft, and they were mark Is and Mark IVs. Corrected the article accordingly. Hawkeye7 (talk) 12:58, 15 July 2012 (UTC)

Game theory?[edit]

Hello,

The Battle of the Bismarck Sea is a term in the game theory region of economics. It would be super swell if there was a see also link to this, or a note at the top of the article.

208.54.35.131 (talk) 15:29, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Added a bit. If someone actually writes an article on it I will add it to See Also. Hawkeye7 (talk) 19:31, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Skip bombing[edit]

I enjoyed the article on the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. I do wonder, unless I missed it, if you would want to add information about skip bombing. I believe this is what you were referring to when you mentioned Mast-high bombing. As I understand it, the skip bombing technique was very successful and played a significant role in the Allied victory during this battle.

Thank you for your consideration,

Rich

rarostron@yahoo.com — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:306:CE2D:81B0:ED65:1A5B:6424:BBB6 (talk) 16:36, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

  • This appears under "Allied tactics". Although much publicity was given to skip bombing, the article makes it clear that mast height was more effective tactic, although the two were not mutually exclusive. Hawkeye7 (talk) 22:34, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

"fantastic"?[edit]

"Rabaul staff officer Masatake Okumiya said, "Our losses for this single battle were fantastic." Is that really the right word? I presume he used a Japanese word, and would be curious to know how (else) it might be translated into English. Perhaps it was a word that meant "terrific, horrific", or maybe "unbelievable"? Chiswick Chap (talk) 12:44, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Definitely needs to be reworded. Th4n3r (talk) 15:50, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, reword historic quotes. Goooooooo Wikipedia! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 110.174.96.50 (talk) 20:39, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

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