I have always read about war. Something about it has always fascinated me. How a country like the US can start from a full peace time standing and roll into an industrial powerhouse seemingly overnight. How ships, tanks, planes, rifles, bazookas......everything could be built and sent off to fight in record numbers.
I think that is something that should have fascinated me but it rarely facisnates anyone....except professionals: Logistics. The art form of getting everything required to where it needs to be at the time it is needed. And having served in the Marine Corps as a logistician, I am surprised I never really focused in on it.
A friend at work and I were talking the other day and he mentioned about how the US Navy got its collective ass kicked off Guadalcanal. And he asked me why I thought the US did not pull any of the undamaged battleships down there to fight. For the life of me, I had never thought of that.
There were plenty of battleships available, in 1942 the Atlantic Fleet had: the New York (BB34), the Washington (BB56), Arkansas (BB33), North Carolina (BB55), and the Texas (BB35).
In the Pacific Fleet, of the 9 battleships, one was undamaged during that attack at Pearl Harbor: the Colorado (BB-45).
The reason? It came down to LOGISTICS. What do ships require most? Fuel. How many fleet oilers were there in the Pacific in 1942? 11 total.Kanawha (AO-1), Cuyama (AO-3), Brazos (AO-4), Neches (AO-5), Ramapo (AO-12), Sepulga (AO-20), Tippecanoe (AO-21), Neosho (AO-23), Platte (AO-24), Sabine (AO-25), and Kaskaskia (AO-27)