what if the pensacola after delivering her convoy to australia was assigned to the asiatic fleet. if the houston was able to complete her refit at cavite got her radar and the quad 1.1 aa mount that eventually wound up on corregidor installed aboard. the phoenix and chicago were dispatched to australia earlier.
if tommie hart was abdafloat and did the sensible thing and abandoned the malay barrier after the fall of singapor as untenable.
all the recon, bombers and pursuit aircraft plus the langly and seawitch cargo could have been concentrated at darwin and dili on timor the fleet could have based on darwin with dili as an advanced base and its airstrip would have given the fleet aircover. when the kido butai descended on darwin there would have been enough recon to spot them and the fleet get out. the brits-- and dutch probably would have fallen back on ceylon, whereas the us australian and new zealand cruiser would have been a formidable task force, time could have been devoted to stratien out commo problems. the british pressed to release australian dd's from the med or send a like number of brit dd's from the eastern fleet to replace them. and if the dutch joined up at timor-it was dutch the argument could have been made for quite a fight being put up there, and remember tromp, marblehead and houston would not have sufferd bomb damage and boise never hit that rock. alternate history i know but any discussion///
???? THROW IN FORCE Z NOT BEING SQUANDERED AND IN THE INDIAN OCEAN AS A THREAT TO THE JAP FLANK*-
perhaps the brits could have been talked into releasing warspit and the 2 carriers of the eastern fleet to hook up with lexington and yorktown in the coral sea and really gave the japs a surprise-what do you guys think????
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