Articles By Me (Jon Parshall)

Overview of the Economic Forces In the Pacific War Subtitle: Why The Battle of Midway May Not Have Mattered.

Invasion: Pearl Harbor! Debunking the Japanese invasion of Hawaii.

Oil and Japanese Strategy in the Solomons: A Postulate An examination of the logistical difficulties Japan faced in the Solomons campaign.

A rebuttal of Martin Bennett's 2012 Naval War College Review article, which called into question my 2010 Naval War College Review article regarding Mitsuo Fuchida.

Another Trip To The Drive-thru: Three More Wartime Whoppers Courtesy of Mitsuo Fuchida. Another set of prevarications from the Pearl Harbor attack leader.

Reader Contributions

(Right-click and choose `open in new tab' to view OR save-as to download for document files that are not html)

A Detailed Analysis of the Loss of Cornwall and Dorsetshire Written by Robert Stuart. [pdf file]
Note:Be sure to also download the Appendix:
- Appendix-1-4-Notes [pdf file]
Abstract: The subject of this article is the 5 April 1942 sinking of the heavy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire by Imperial Japanese Navy dive bombers. The article analyzes in detail the circumstances which led to Cornwall and Dorsetshire being found and sunk, including the miscalculations made by the British command which led to them being put in harms way. It also highlights certain missteps by the Japanese which were to recur two months later, at the battle of Midway, with far more dire consequences than on 5 April. (April 1, 2019)

State of the Art: The Japanese Attacks on Hermes, Vampire,Hollyhock, Athelstane, British Sergeant, and Norviken, 9 April 1942 Written by Robert Stuart. [docx file]
Abstract: The subject of this article is the 9 April 1942 loss of the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes and its escort, the destroyer HMAS Vampire, in a devastating attack by Imperial Japanese Navy dive bombers during which four other ships were also sunk, namely the tankers British Sergeant and Athelstane, the corvette HMS Hollyhock and the Norwegian freighter Norviken, while a further seven ships in the vicinity escaped unscathed. The article analyzes the circumstances which led to Hermes being found and sunk, including the blunders made by the British command which led to Hermes not being sent out of harms way, as well as the Japanese missteps which resulted in them sustaining avoidable losses. (July 10, 2018)

91 Bombs: The Japanese Attack on Trincomalee Written by Robert Stuart. [docx file]
Abstract: This article offers a detailed examination of the Japanese attack on Trincomalee on 9 April 1942, which has not been given the attention it deserves. It was the first attack by Kido Butai which did not enjoy the element of surprise, the last attack it made on a port, and the only one in which it used level bombers exclusively. It also foreshadowed Midway in a number of ways and echoed Pearl Harbor in another. It was a powerful attack, involving 91 level bombers armed with heavy bombs, but inflicted relatively insignificant damage. The article lays out what was hit, what was missed, and what should not have been aimed at. (May 8, 2017)

The Third Mobile Operation in the Indian Ocean. Written by Koichiro Kageyama, RAdm (retired), JMSDF. [docx file]
Abstract: The Third Mobile Operation in the Indian Ocean (C Operation) by Koichiro Kageyama, RAdm (retired), JMSDF. This short article was written by Kageyama-san in 1994 or 1995, when he was with the National Institute for Defense Studies, War History Department, in Tokyo. The first half summarizes Operation C from the Japanese point of view, and for aficionados of that operation it provides useful confirmation of the times at which various events happened, information on the Japanese claims of ships sunk and planes destroyed, and a few details not noted elsewhere. The remainder of the paper discusses four lessons drawn by the author. These include inattention to evidence that the IJN's codes had been broken, "confusion in changing weapons" on 5 April, when CarDiv5's torpedo-armed kankos were first ordered to change to 800kg land bombs and then ordered to change back to torpedoes, foreshadowing Midway, and "lack of tenacity in the pursuit of the enemy".

This article, never before published, recently came to light when a hard copy was discovered in the "Birchall fonds" at the Canadian archives in Ottawa. Birchall was the Catalina pilot who discover KdB approaching Ceylon on 4 April 1942 and was shot down for his troubles. After his retirement from the RCAF Birchall corresponded with historians at the National Institute for Defense Studies about Operation C and it can be presumed that this article was sent to him by them prior to his passing in 2004. This translation is being posted here as received and unedited with the permission of its author.

20 Ships, Not 23: Ozawa's Score, 5-6 April 1942. Written by Robert Stuart. [docx file]
Abstract: It is well known that Vice Admiral Ozawa Jisaburo led a successful raid into the Bay of Bengal in early April 1942, but no known detailed study of this operation has yet been made in English. Among the numerous errors often appearing in such accounts as have made it into print is the number of merchant ships sunk. It is usually stated that Ozawa sank 23 ships, but this article shows that in fact his score was 20 ships sunk and 3 damaged. The article identifies all 23 ships and discusses where, when and how each one was lost or damaged. It also identifies the probable source for the often cited but erroneous assertion that 23 ships were sunk.(November 7, 2015)

Operation Jaywick: A Reassessment of Results. An examination of the ships likely sunk in Singapore by Australian based Commandoes on 27 September 1943. Written by Peter Cundall.
Abstract: Although the Australian based Z Special Unit Commando raid of 26/27 September on Singapore has been recounted in many western publications, the identities of the seven Japanese merchant ships allegedly sunk remain unknown, with some ships wrongly attributed as victims of the attack. This article serves to debunk some of the claims and casts doubt on whether seven ships wrere sunk, or as seems more probable, six. Three of the ships sunk or damaged are positively identified from Japanese sources and a further three likely candidates using deductions based on intercepted radio signals are also tentatively identified.

Translation of Kojinsha "Warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Volume 6" -- Shokaku class, Zuikaku, Soryu, Hiryu, Unryu class, and Taiho. Produced by Allan Parry. [pdf file]

The Principle of the Objective--Nagumo vs Spruance at Midway by Craig Burke (Admiral Furashita).

The Turning Point of the Pacific War: Two Views. The Battle of Midway or the Struggle for Guadalcanal by Scott Fisher and Nathan Forney. Thanks, guys!
MS Word 6.0

An interesting article written by Steven Lange on the Japanese Naval Air Force. Thank you, Steven!

MS Word 6.0

lmd: 11/14/2016h2230; 7/9/2018h1508; 4/1/2019h0805