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Discussion Starter · #241 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 158

The Japanese invasion of the Philippines started on 8 December 1941, ten hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Under the pressure of superior numbers, the defending US forces withdrew to the Bataan Peninsula and to the island of Corregidor at the entrance to Manila Bay.


3 April 1942 on Bataan the entire Orion-Bagac defence line was subjected to incessant bombings by 100 aircraft and artillery bombardment by 300 artillery pieces from 09:00 to 15:00, which turned the Mount Samat stronghold into an inferno. Thereafter, over the course of the next three days (Good Friday to Easter Sunday 1942), the Japanese 65th Independent Mixed Infantry Brigade (C/O Lieutenant-General Akira Nara 奈良晃)


and 4th Division (C/O Lieutenant-General Kitano Kenzo 北野憲造) spearheaded the main attack at the left flank of II Corps. Everywhere along the line,


the American and Filipino defenders were driven back by Japanese tanks and infantry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #242 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 159

The situation was hopeless and to continue to resist would not accomplish anything, except to waste the lives of his men.


8 April the commander on Bataan, Major-General Edward Postell King Jr.,decided to surrender.


9 April Col. Everett C. Williams,


Maj. Marshall Hill Hurt


and driver Cpl. William Edison Burns Jr., volunteered to make contact with the Japanese.


Major-General Kameichiro Nagano agreed to meet Gen. King near Lamao near the frontlines. The Japanese retained Col. Williams and sent Maj. Hurt back to Gen. King,


who together with operations officer Col. James V. Collier,


his aides Maj. Wade Rushton Cothran,


Maj. Achille C. Tisdelle and Maj. Hurt boarded two jeeps and drove towards the meeting point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #243 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 160


Gen. Nagano told Gen. King that a representative of the Japanese 14th Army, Col. Motoo Nakayama (中山源夫), senior operations officer for the 14th Army,


would head the negotiations at the Balanga elementary school, which became very difficult, as Col. Nakayama urged Gen. King to surrender all U.S. troops on the Philippines, which King refused. Finally 9 April 1942 only General King´s force on Bataan,over 75,000 men (15,000 American and 60,000 Filipino),


surrenderedto the Japanese,


the largest United States surrender since the American Civil War's Battle of Harper's Ferry 12-15 September 1862,


when General Dixon Stansbury Miles surrendered with 12,419 men


to General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson.

Though the fight there had been an American one, it was (also) Churchill´s nightmare, as he had to fear that it would attract too much attention in the United States and make Roosevelt to re-think the “Europe First” strategy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #244 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 161

01.04.03. Churchill´s Nightmare Ceylon


Since 1518 Ceylon had been a colony, first of the Portuguese, then the Dutch, followed by the French and from 1796 by the British. Ceylon was of the utmost strategic importance, first because of protection of the main British colony, India, and, second, because the nation owning Ceylon was able to control the Indian Ocean. Once Japanese battleships, aircraft carriers and submarines were based in Ceylon, their domination over the Indian Ocean would be consolidated.

On 8 March 1942, the First Sea Lord Admiral Pound informed Prime Minister Churchill that he regarded Ceylon to be Japan’s next target. He warned its loss would ‘undermine our whole strategic position in the Middle as well as the Far East'. Churchill knew that,


after the loss of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse 10 December 1941,


the Fall of Singapore 15 February 1942, with 80,000 British POWs the largest surrender of British-led forces in history,


and the Bombing of Darwin 19 February 1942, with 236 killed, 300–400 wounded, 30 aircraft destroyed, 11 vessels sunk, 3 vessels grounded and 25 ships damaged, this was the most dangerous moment of his political career. Just weeks earlier, 29 January 1942, he had to face-down a no-confidence vote in Parliament, formulated by the conservatives and accusing his “incompetent and defensive military leadership”. After a great speech Churchill won with 475 to 25 votes, but there was little doubt it would bring down his battered coalition government, if Ceylon fell. To do the best to avoid this,


Ceylon’s Commander in Chief, Vice-Admiral Sir Geoffrey Layton, newly appointed 5 March 1942,


and Civil Defence Commissioner Oliver Ernest Goonetilleke initiated preparations and precautions. These included building several new airstrips, and placing RAF squadrons on the island.

However, what Churchill did not know those days, in reality the Japanese did not have the men, shipping or land-based air power to spare for an invasion and occupation, and did not even intend to make a temporary occupation as a raid. The island did not face a real threat of invasion at any point during the war.
 

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Discussion Starter · #245 · (Edited)
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 162

01.04.03.01. Ceylon British Eastern Fleet


Admiral James Fownes Somerville had arrived at Colombo


on the carrier HMS Formidable and assumed command of the Eastern Fleet on 24 March 1942 only. By the end of March 1942 he had assembled the Eastern Fleet, which consisted of British, Australian, Indian and Dutch ships, the latter refugees from the fall of Malaya, together three carriers, five battleships, two heavy and six light cruisers


(in fact five, as the Dutch HNLMS Sumatra (40, C/O kapitein ter zee (Capt.) Henri Jan Bueninck, RNN) was unfit for frontline duties), 15 destroyers and six submarines. Somerville divided his Fleet into a “fast” and a “slow” force,
 

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Discussion Starter · #246 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 163

Force A (C/O C.-in-C. Admiral Somerville) with his old but modernized flagship, the
battleship


HMS Warspite (03, 1915, C/O Capt. Fitzroy Evelyn Patrick Hutton, RN),


the Aircraft Carriers (C/O Rear-Admiral Denis William Boyd, RN) with


HMS Formidable (pennant 67, 1940, C/O Capt. Arthur William La Touche Bisset, RN),
 

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Discussion Starter · #247 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 164


with Commander Flying Cdr. Charles James Norman "Skins" Atkinson, RN, with


888 Squadron (C/O Capt. Francis Dayne Gadfrey Bird, RM, 12x Grumman F4F Wildcat Martlet II),


820 Squadron (C/O Lt.Cdr. W. Elliott, RN, 12x Fairey Albacore I) and


818 Squadron
(C/O Lt.Cdr. Thomas Henry Brown "Harry" Shaw, RN, 9x Albacore I, 1x Fairey Swordfish I) and
 

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Discussion Starter · #248 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 165


HMS Indomitable (92, 1941, Flagship, C/O Capt. Thomas Hope Troubridge, RN), with Commander Flying Cdr. Charles Richard Vernon “Dick” Pugh, RN, with


880 Squadron (C/O Lt.Cdr. Francis Elton Christopher Judd, RN, 9x Hawker Sea Hurricane Ib),


800 Squadron (C/O Lt.Cdr. John Martin Bruen, RN. 12x Fairey Fulmar II),


827 Squadron (C/O Lt.Cdr. Patrick George Osric Sydney-Turner, RN, 12x Albacore) and


831 Squadron
(C/O Lt.Cdr. Peter Lawrence Mortimer, RN, 12x Albacore),
 

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Discussion Starter · #249 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 166

still British Eastern Fleet

the 4th Cruiser Squadron with
heavy cruisers

HMS Cornwall (56, 1928, C/O Capt. Percival Clive Wickham Manwaring, RN) and

HMS Dorsetshire
(40, 1930, Capt. Augustus Willington Shelton Agar, RN) and
 

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Discussion Starter · #250 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 167

the fast light cruisers


HMS Emerald (D 66, 1926, C/O Capt. Francis Cyril Flynn, RN) and


HMS Enterprise (D 52, 1926, C/O Capt. John Campbell Annesley, RN),


six destroyers of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla, four British,


HMS Paladin (G 69, C/O Cdr. Anthony Follett Pugsley, RN),


HMS Panther
(G 41, C/O Lt.Cdr. Robert William Jocelyn, RN),
 

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Discussion Starter · #251 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 168


HMS Hotspur (H 01, C/O Lt. Terence Desmond Herrick, RN),


HMS Foxhound (H 69, C/O Lt.Cdr. Geoffrey Hendley Peters, RN),


and two Australian HMAS Napier (G 97, C/O Capt. Stephen Harry Tolson Arliss, RN),


HMAS Nestor
(G 02, C/O Cdr. Alvord Sydney Rosenthal, RAN),
 

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Discussion Starter · #252 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 169


six submarines with their depot ship HMS Adamant (F 64, C/O Capt. Robert Spencer Warne, RN),


two British HMS Truant (N 68, C/O Lt.Cdr. Edward Francis Balston, RN),


HMS Trusty
(N 45, C/O Lt.Cdr. William Donald Aelian King, RN),
 

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Discussion Starter · #253 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 170


and four Dutch, HNLMS K-XI (N 53, C/O luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Adolf Hendrik Deketh, RNLN),


HNLMS K-XIV (N 22, C/O luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Pieter Andréa Mulock van der Vlies Bik, RNLN),


HNLMS K-XV (N 24, C/O luitenant ter zee 2e klasse (Lt.) Baron Carel Wessel Theodorus van Boetzelaer, RNLN) and


HNLMS O-19
(N 54, C/O luitenant ter zee 2e klasse (Lt.) Hendrik Florentijn Bach Kolling, RNLN(R)
 

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Discussion Starter · #254 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 171

still British Eastern Fleet

and


Force B as supporting force (C/O Vice-Admiral Algernon Usborne Willis, RN, Flag Officer 3rd Battle Squadron and Second in overall command) with

the 3rd Battle Squadron with the slow WW1 Revenge-Class battleships


HMS Ramillies (07, 1917, C/O Capt. Desmond Nevill Cooper Tufnell, RN),


HMS Resolution (09, 1916, Flagship, C/O Capt. Arthur Robert Halfhide, RN),


HMS Revenge
(06, 1916, C/O Capt. Llewellyn Vaughan Morgan, RN)

and
 

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Discussion Starter · #255 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 172


HMS Royal Sovereign (05, 1916, C/O Capt. Reginald Henry Portal, RN),



the first purpose-built aircraft carrier HMS Hermes (D-95, 1923, C/O Capt. Richard Francis John Onslow, RN, with


814 Squadron (C/O Major William Hynd Norrie Martin, 12x Fairey Swordfish I torpedo bombers),
 

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Discussion Starter · #256 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 173

the 5th Cruiser Squadron with the old light cruisers


HMS Caledon (D-53, 1917, C/O A/Capt. Henry John Haynes, RN) and


HMS Dragon (D 46, 1918, C/O Capt. Robert John Shaw, RN) and


the Dutch light AA-cruiser HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck (D 20, C/O kapitein-luitenant ter zee (Cdr.) Jonkheer Edzard Jacob van Holthe, RNN) and
 

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Discussion Starter · #257 · (Edited)
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 174

still British Eastern Fleet

eight destroyers of the 7th, 9th and 12th destroyer flotillas, five British,


HMS Griffin
(H 31, C/OCapt. Hugh St. Lawrence Nicolson, RN),


HMS Arrow
(H 42, C/O Cdr. Alec Murray McKillop, RN),


HMS Decoy
(H 75, C/O Lt. John Melvill Alliston, RN),


HMS Fortune
(H 70, C/O Lt.Cdr. Richard Dickon Herbert Stephen Pankhurst, RN),


HMS Scout
(H 51, C/O Lt.Cdr. (retired) Hedworth Lambton, RN),


 

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Discussion Starter · #258 · (Edited)
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 175


two Australian, HMAS Norman (G 49, C/O Cdr. Henry Mackay Burrell, RAN), ´


HMAS Vampire (D 68, C/O Cdr. William Thomas Alldis Moran, RAN),


and one Dutch HNLMS Isaac Sweers (G 83, C/O kapitein-luitenant ter zee (Cdr.) Willem Harmsen, RNLN).

In addition Somerville had nine sloops (two British and seven of the Royal Indian Navy, HMS Falmouth (L 34, C/O Cdr. Ughtred Henry Ramsden James, RN), HMIS Hindustan (L 80, C/O A/Cdr. Ivan Bryan Warburton Heanly, RIN), HMIS Indus (L 67, C/O A/Cdr. Jesser Evelyn Napier Coope, RIN), HMIS Jumna (U 21, C/O Cdr. Walter Richard Shewring, RIN), HMS Shoreham (L 32, C/O Lt.Cdr. Eric Hewitt, RNR), HMIS Sutlej (U 95, C/O Captain Philip Armitage Mare, RIN), HMIS Clive (L 79, C/O Lt.Cdr. (emergency) Richard Robert Caws, RIN), HMIS Cornwallis (L 09, C/O T/Lt. William Thomas Cullon, RINR), HMIS Lawrence (L 83, C/O T/Lt. Charles Fyfe Smith, RINR)), five British corvettes (HMS Aster (K 188, C/O Lt. Walter Laurcence Smith, RNR), HMS Hollyhock (K 64, C/O Lt.Cdr. Thomas Edward Davies, RNR), HMS Marguerite (K 54, C/O Lt.Cdr. Arthur Norman Blundell, RNR), HMS Tulip (K 29, C/O Lt.Cdr. Archibald Wilkinson, RNR) and HMS Verbena (K 85, C/O Lt.Cdr. Denys Arthur Rayner, RNVR)) and several others, like minelayers, for instance the fast Dutch minelayer HNLMS Willem van der Zaan (M 08, luitenant ter zee 1e klasse (Lt.Cdr.) Gijsbertus Petrus Küller, RNN), and an old monitor under his command.

The C in C signalled to the Fleet once it had assembled, 'there is many a good tune played on an old fiddle'. In addition to the age of the ships, there was no Fleet support, such as tankers or stores.

Before and barely after Somerville assessed his new command, several intelligence reports came in.
The Allies’ signals intelligence (SIGINT) units had managed to break back into Japanese code JN-25B and on 3 March, the Far East Combined Bureau (FECB), the SIGINT centre at Colombo, was able read its first JN-25B message since 4 December. This message revealed that five Japanese submarines were to be based at Penang, on the northwest coast of Malaya, which clearly indicated that submarines would be operating in the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean and was taken as a possible indication of pending surface operations in the same area. By mid-March, SIGINT was aware that Carrier Divisions 1 (IJN Akagi and IJN Kaga) and 2 (IJN Soryu and IJN Hiryu)


were at Staring Bay, its forward base in Celebes, and that Carrier Division 5 (IJN Shokaku and IJN Zuikaku) was on its way to join them. During the second half of March, firmer indications of what the Imperial Japanese Navy’s carrier task force’s (Kido Butai, KdB) next operation might be were seen. FECB later recorded that “about 20 March 1942 certain JN.25 messages concerned an operation by a Japanese carrier force, accompanied by another force (thought to be heavy cruisers), in the D area, including an air raid on DG on 2 April.” The identity of “DG” was not known at that point but was deduced on 28 March from additional decrypts. FECB “estimated that D was the Ceylon area and DG a town in Ceylon—probably Colombo.”

Admiral Somerville first summoned the head of FECB’s cryptanalysis branch to discuss the reliability of this intelligence and was persuaded that it was correct: Japan was sending a strike force into the Indian Ocean, a Japanese force of two or more carriers, battleships of the Kongo class, several eight-inch cruisers, two six-inch cruisers and accompanying destroyers was believed to be at sea already. Somerville immediately called a conference of his captains. If correct, this was a powerful, but opposable force. The expected time of arrival was 31 March. As a full moon was forecast for 1 April, Somerville and his advisers were convinced the attack would be launched before dawn that day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #259 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 176

Sunday, 29 March 1942 the Eastern Fleet was disposed as follows:

At Colombo/Ceylon were HMS Formidable, HMS Dorsetshire (refitting), HMS Cornwall, HMS Enterprise, HMS Dragon and 5 destroyers,

at Trincomalee/Ceylon HMS Warspite, HMS Emerald, HMS Hermes, HNLMS Jacob van Heemskerck and one destroyer and


at Addu Atoll (a hastily assembled secret Admiralty base on the southernmost tip of the Maldive Islands, 600 miles south-west of Ceylon) HMS Resolution, HMS Ramillies, HMS Royal Sovereign, HMS Indomitable and eight destroyers.

With the Japanese approaching Somerville´s plan was to concentrate the battlefleet, carriers and all available cruisers and destroyers and to rendezvous on the evening of 31 March in a position from which the fast division (Force A) could intercept the enemy during the night of 31 March/1 April and deliver a night air attack,


because the only known advantage of the British was the radar equipment of ships and several planes. The remainder (Force B) had to manoeuvre so as to be approximately 20 miles to the westward of Force A. If Force A intercepted a superior force, Somerville intended to withdraw towards Force B.

Tuesday, 31 March by 16:00 all the forces had rendezvoused in the prearranged position 80 miles S.S.E. from Dondra Head, the southern point of Ceylon, and the fleet shaped a course to the northward, but nothing happened, no contact at all to the Japanese and the same the following days. But information would have been possible, as in the morning of the same day Nagumo's occupation force (see below), comprising three light cruisers,


four destroyers and two transports, made a landing at Flying Fish Cove, Christmas Island. It was unopposed because of a mutiny by Indian soldiers against their British officers and the Island was surrendered. A Japanes naval brigade, phosphate engineers and 700 marines came ashore and rounded up the workforce, most of whom had fled to the jungle. 12 of Nagumo´s planes also bombed the radio facilities there.


An allied submarine, USS Seawolf (SS-197, C/O Lt.Cdr Frederick Burdett Warder), had even sighted the ships laying at anchor during the invasion, fired at the Japanese flagship and finally hit it, but none of this was relayed to the Eastern Fleet.

Nagumo, in the meantime, was maintaining a fuel-efficient pace. He had decided to delay his attack further, from 4 April to Easter Sunday 5 April. He thought that - just as the Americans at Pearl Harbor - the British would be less alerted and attending church.

3 April Somerville felt convinced that something must have occurred to delay the Japanese attack or alternatively that their objective had been inaccurately appreciated. He therefore detached HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Cornwall at 09:40 to Colombo, the former to resume her interrupted refit and the latter to act as escort to the Australian troop convoy SU 4


(the American transport USAT Willard A. Holbrook


and the Australian MV Duntroon). Somerville also detached HMS Hermes with her attendant destroyer HMAS Vampire to Trincomalee to prepare for Operation Ironclad, the pre-emptive invasion of Madagascar. At 18:20, Force A proceeded ahead at 19 knots for Addu Atoll, Force B following astern at 14 knots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #260 ·
Dieppe Raid, 19 August 1942, Part 177

01.04.03.02. Ceylon Japanese Fleets


31 March 1942 the Japanese had started the “Indian Ocean Raid” (known in Japan as “Operation C”), the naval sortie by the fast carrier strike force of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) against Allied shipping and bases in the Indian Ocean.


Overall commander for the raid was Vice-Admiral Nobutake Kondō (近藤信竹).


5 April 1942 the “Easter Sunday Raid” was launched by the overall naval commander Vice-Admiral Chūichi Nagumo (南雲忠一).

The IJN attacked the Royal Navy with the

a) Second Southern Expeditionary Fleet of the IJN, directly commanded by Admiral Nagumo, with
the 1st Carrier Division with


IJN Akagi (赤城 Red Castle, Nagumo´s Flagship, C/O Captain Kiichi Hasegawa 長谷川喜一, with 27x A6M2, 18x D3A1, 27x B5N2),
 
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