2019-11-19 00:42:09 UTC
About - why both US and the Japanese scuttled warships
Both the US and the Japanese scuttled carriers in the battle of Midway.
The reason I have heard was to prevent their capture. Was this a serious
concern? How would they have used captured carriers and what
complications would they need to overcome?
David Fred, former ETN2 Instructor ET "A" and "B" schools at United
States Navy (1976-1980)
Answered Nov 11 · Upvoted by Leigh Dyer, former Electrician’s Mate at
United States Navy (1980-2000)
Well, the ship hulls, if saved, could, in theory, be reused. But that
wasn’t the reason.
More importantly, especially in the US case, which was far advanced in
radar, Mark 37 fire control (see Battle of the Surigao Strait (Leyte
Gulf Collection). Also, the VT fuse later in the war on US carriers, and
the Mark 37 also operated the vicious AA US ships were capable of.
And for both nations, there were secret documents, coding machines, all
manner of secrets, both large and small, and on a ship that large,
presumably on fire and/or sinking, finding all that material, and
getting it overboard was impossible. Also, each side had developed
various innovations in aircraft. Neither party wanted their “latest and
greatest” to fall into enemy hands.
So, it was not so much the ships that were scuttled, it was their
numerous and varied secret contents.