Desperate War of Japan in the Pacific|
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RN experimented refueling at sea in 1905. USN studied the logistics to invade Japan. US called it orange plan. USS Maumee (AO-2) fueled warships at sea in 1917. It could fuel 100 to 150kL per hour. It was to be stationed at sea. Speed was 14kt.
Originally IJN had planned intercepting USN fleet near Saipan before the Pacific war. Therefore IJN had not drilled fueling eager. On the contrary to IJN, USN had studied refueling from Hawaii to Guam. The Great White Fleet ran fueling coal, when it came to Japan. It was almost impossible to refuel a lot of coal while running in those days. But oil changed the sea battle.
While IJN worked fast oilers to be fitted refuel equipment just before the Pearl Habor Operation, though IJN war college had studied an air raid of Pearl Harbor in 1936. 1st hokyubutai and 2nd hokyubutai accompanied invading Kido Butai (KB). I list up names and fates of the 7 oilers. The 1st hokubutai consisted of Kyokuto-maru, Kokuyo-maru, Kenyo-maru and Sinkoku-maru. The 2nd hokyubutai consisted of Toho-maru, Toei-maru and Nichiei-maru. They were all sunk in 1944. The Sinkoku-maru was sunk on the Truk Disaster Day.
The destroyers of the Pearl Harbor Operation fueld 600 nm far from Hawaii. The KB ran at 24 kt and 28 kt for 5 hr. It flew aircraft at 230 nm away from Pearl Harbor. The KB received aircraft and ran away at 26 kt till sunset. Running at 20 kt for the rest of the day, the destroyers of the KB met the oilers again and fueled. The dash speed of the fleet was limited by aircraft carrier Kaga (1921-1942). The charging time was limited by fuel capacity of the destroyers.
IJN used 79 oilers of 610 kt in the Pacific War. 71 oilers were lost because of combats. Most of the 71 oilers were not used for fleet oilers but ferrying oil to Japan mainland after the mid of 1944.
The Pacific War was the battle whether Japan or US controlled airfields of isolated islands in the Pacific Ocean. So one of the most stratgic materials was aviation gasoline. Tbl.4 shows wartime merchant tankers of Japan in 1941. Japan began to build simplified merchant ships because of shortage of merchant ships in 1943. As for tankers, Japan built 28 of type 2TL, 34 of type 2TM and 135.|
Gunzo, p17, No61
Senji Hyoujyun-sen Gaisetu ref.1
Japanese wartime standard ship
Tokusetu kyuyu-sen no Syogen
VLCC is a modern oil tanker which ferries crude oil from Middle East to Japan. Japan needed 951 ferries of oil tankers in 2002 Japanese fiscal year. It meant 2.6 ferries a day. Japanese economy depends on crude oil from Persian Gulf to Japan.
Oil tankers shipbuilt of concrete
|Pluto Operation -Pipeline across the English Channel|
One route was starting from Dungeness of UK to Wesel across the Rhine. The length of the pipeline was 700km. There were 19 staions. The other was starting Wight to Rouen in France and the length was 230km. There were 15 stations. Flow rate was 1 million gal per day in 1944. There were 3 staions in Anto and also 3 stations in Rouen. UK built the pipeline 10km per hour on land.
Pipes of 10km length weighs 285t. How could corps of engineers transport the weight and build the pipeline on hills or something for an hour?
Japan imported oil of 244,666kL in 2006, equivalent to 670kL/day. Japan consumed gasoline of 82,208kL in 2007 therefore 225kL daily. Allied armis in Europe theater consumed 20 folds of Japan now, did'nt they? Allied armies transported 19,000t daily on Aug 1944. So the pipelines carried 1/4 weight of all the loads. I suppose US war strategy was limited by gasolie supply mainly.
By the way, How many tankers needed to transport 4,550kL/day across the Atlantic? Size of US wartime T2 tanker was 10,100t. I suppose the tanker could ferried 10,100x1.6=16,160kL. Therefore a T2 tanker had to arrive at UK in 3 or 4 per day. For example, distance between Halifax(44.6N, 63.6W) at Canada and North Strait(56N, 10W) of Scotland and Ireland is 3,900km. If speed of a convoy were 7kt, it needed the voyage of 13 days. Each convoy needed 3 or 4 oil tankers to ferry equivalent to 16,000kL/day at least. The return empty tankers also needed. As for building T2 type tanker, US built 381 during WWII. If Germany thought gasoline transport deep, Germany was not to war against Russia.
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