Talk:Battle of the Coral Sea

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List of open questions[edit]

As I edit this article, I'm going to list questions here that I haven't been able to answer so far. I haven't read all of the references yet, but I want to get these down before I forget them. If someone has an answer to any of them and a source to back it up, your input is much appreciated. Cla68 (talk) 08:03, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Why didn't MacArthur's land-based army aircraft or the RAAF provide air cover for Crace's force on May 7 and 8? Was he too far away from land? Partial answer in Crave, p. 450 that there was poor coordination between Nimitz' and MacArthur's commands.
  • Which destroyer did Takagi send to pick up the two downed aircraft crews from Indispensible Reef on May 7? Was it Ariake? Cressman appears to indicate that it was Ariake.
  • Did Tamotsu Ema, Zuikaku's dive bomber group leader, survive the battle? A Japanese book listed here appears to have been written by Ema. If so, it appears that he survived the war.
  • Was Kamikawa Maru anchored at Deboyne Island the entire time that that Japanese seaplanes were operating from there, or did it drop the air group off and then return to retrieve them later? What day did the Japanese evacuate the Deboyne base and which ships were involved? Gillison (p. 527) reports that B-25 bombers which attacked Deboyne on May 10 did not see the ship present, but several floatplanes were moored in the bay.
  • Did Zuikaku deliver the Zeros to the Tainan Air Group at Rabaul before returning to Truk after the battle? Yes.
  • Which Japanese submarines were actually assigned as fleet scouts for the operation and which were in the area but on different missions? The sources on this are confusing, with some stating that four submarines were assigned for scouting, but others stating that five or six submarines were in the Coral Sea area. Fixed in article. Two subs off Port Moresby (RO-33 & 34), four in a scouting line in the Coral Sea (I-22, I-24, I-28, & I-29), and two sent to scout Noumea (I-21 and I-27).
  • Did the US, based on radio intelligence, deploy submarines to try to intercept and sink Shōkaku and Zuikaku during their return trips to Japan after the battle? If so, which submarines were deployed and where? Yes, but the US was unable to decipher the coordinates giving the carriers' exact return route. Three subs (Gar, Greenling, and Tautog) were stationed off Truk. Four others were positioned along the direct route between Truk and Japan. Only one sub, Triton sighted one of the carriers (believed to be Shōkaku) but was unable to attack.(Holmes, p. 74). Shōkaku did not return via Truk, instead heading directly for Japan. Tautog sank I-28 as it returned to Truk.
  • Exactly how many men were assigned to Neosho and how many died/survived? Pre-attack muster: 288. Known dead in attack: 20. Post attack muster: 110. Post-attack unaccounted for: 158. Number eventually rescued: 109 from ship, four from open ocean.
  • How many Japanese SNLF troops were in the invasion convoy? Approximately 500 (Bullard, p. 147).
  • Who exactly did Nielsen see at 08:15 on May 7, Marumo or Gotō? The sources aren't clear. Saw Gotō (Lundstrom 2006)
  • How many Allied troops were defending Port Moresby? 1,088 in Dec '41 (McCarthy, p. 12). 3,000 on 2 May '42 between New Caledonia, Port Moresby, and Portugese Timor (McCarthy, p. 31). Two additional battalions, but specific numbers not given, were sent in January '42 and these were the last sent to the city before the battle (McCarthy, p. 82, 112). Willmott (1983), p. 143 states that 4,250 troops were delivered on 3 Jan 42, giving a total of 5,333. That seems to me to mean that even had the Japanese been able to land their 5,500 invasion troops, their success in the land battle was not assured.
  • How many Japanese transports in the invasion convoy? Some sources say 11, some 12. There were 11 transports originally in the convoy, but were joined by a special, anti-aircraft transport a day later. Six of the original 11 were large Army transports with and the remaining five were smaller Navy transports.
  • Morison, p. 38, reports that the B-17s which mistakenly attacked Crace's force on May 7 took photographs of Crace's ships during the incident. Are these pictures available somewhere? A picture of this incident is apparently included in Eric Salecker's "Fortress against the sun", Combined Publishing, ISBN 1-58097-049-4 opposite page 242 (upper image). I've ordered the book and will post my results once I get it. It's possible that AWM photo # 128127 is of the incident in question, but the caption doesn't confirm this.
  • Gillison, p. 519 states that an RAAF Hudson attacked a Japanese submarine south of the Louisiades on May 7 and claimed two bomb hits. Also, on p. 527 three separate attacks on submarines by two Hudsons and a B-25 off Townsville on May 10. Do any of the TROMs for the Japanese submarines known to have been operating in the area confirm these? No.
  • Tenryu's TROM states that seaplane tender Kiyokawa Maru set up the seaplane base at Rekata Bay, Santa Isabel to support the Tulagi landings and remained there while Kamikawa Maru went to set up the base at Deboyne. No other sources confirm this, instead saying that Kamikawa set up both bases and the base on Santa Isabel was in Thousand Ships Bay, not Rekata. Which is true? The seaplane tender TROMs appear to indicate that Kiyokawa Maru was not present but its aircraft unit complemented Kamikawa Maru's unit. The sources appear to indicate that once Tulagi was in operation the Santa Isabel base was abandoned.
I just checked the Australian official histories for information on the first point, but found nothing. Pages 517-524 of Royal Australian Air Force, 1939–1942 imply that the force at Port Moresby was small and too busy preparing to resist invasion while searching for the Japanese ships to do anything else and that coordination between the air forces and navy was poor (Crace's force was attacked by USAAF aircraft who were totally unaware that an Allied force was in the area). I've read elsewhere that the small Australian fighter force at Port Moresby had suffered heavy casualties in raids on the town and had almost no aircraft left by the time of this battle. Nick-D (talk) 10:23, 30 March 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. I need to add that source to the reference list. Once I have the information in the article I'll cross that question off of the list. Cla68 (talk) 02:26, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
According to the translated version of the Japanese official history which was published by the Australian War Memorial, the Port Moresby invasion convoy was carrying all of the Kure 3rd SNLF other than the unit sent to Tulagi. It doesn't provide the number of troops this involved though. The book has a fairly detailed account of the Japanese perspective on the battle which might be useful by the way. Nick-D (talk) 07:27, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Thanks again. I'll try to hold off posting more questions until I read more of the remaining sources, including that one. Now that the unit is identified I'm fairly sure that I can figure out how many SNLF troops were probably embarked. Cla68 (talk) 07:49, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
In regards to your question on the Japanese submarines, the book Sunk. The Stury of the Japanese Submarine Fleet 1942-1945 by Mochitsura Hashimoto states that six subs were involved - RO 33 and 34 reconnoitered Russell Island, the Deboyne Anchorages, the Jomard Channel and the route eastwards of Port Moresby. I 22, 24, 28 and 29 also formed part of the Japanese force used in the battle, though the book is vauge on where they were stationed - perhaps will have some information? Nick-D (talk) 02:51, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
I've just added information on the subs. It's unclear whether I-21 was involved in the battle, so I've removed the specific reference to her as this might be a case of mistaken identity - says that she left Rabaul with the invasion force on her tabular record of movement, but doesn't mention her on the other subs' records... She may have been bound for Australia and was passing through the area during the battle. Nick-D (talk) 03:30, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Your information and source look solid. Just in case, I asked about it at the message board. Cla68 (talk) 04:18, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the help on the submarines. I think that the question on the Japanese sub involvement is now answered. Cla68 (talk) 00:07, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Excellent - happy to help. Nick-D (talk) 07:56, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
"The US was apparently unaware that Shōkaku went directly to Japan without stopping at Truk (Holmes, p. 74)." Without Holmes (DES?) in front of me, I can't refute this, but Blair (pp.230-1 & 233) says U.S. intelligence underestimated her amount of damage, & hence rate of advance, hence Gar, Grampus, & Tautog couldn't catch her at Truk (& she only stayed there briefly), while Greenling was on the wrong side of the lagoon & didn't see her arrive, & Bob Rice's Drum, Pilly Lent's Grenadier, & Stan Mosely's Pollack (in Empire waters) all missed her, again due to underestimation of her roa, & Kilpatrick in Triton spotted her at 6700yd & couldn't close to firing position. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 05:17, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Blair appears to be indicating that Shōkaku returned to Japan via Truk. The other sources I looked at, including her TROM at, imply that she went direct to Japan while her sister ship only made a brief stop at Truk. To try to clear this up, I've again posted the question to the experts at Combinedfleet's discussion forum. Cla68 (talk) 06:43, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I won't exclude Blair got it wrong, if (as it appears) it was widely believed at the time she had; it may not have been known in '75 she went straight home. Certainly no contact was made outside Empire waters.
On Ryūkaku, my reading of Holmes suggests Hypo had IDd Shōhō already, & misread the kanji, adding Ryūkaku to IJN strength. I may, however, have misunderstood the situation. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 19:11 & 19:29, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
No one has answered my question yet on Tully's board, if no one does, I'll try the J-Aircraft forum. In the meantime, we can add the Blair info to the article. Which edition of Blair's book do you have? Also, I mentioned in footnote 13 about the US confusion about Shōhō's name. Cla68 (talk) 23:50, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
I missed the fn ref. :( I'm using the '76 Bantam PB. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 01:40, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Done, and thanks also for the copyediting help. Cla68 (talk) 04:09, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Recent Edits[edit]

I just made a few modifications, this does not disrupt or remove any of your work, contrary to what -MBK004 assumed.

  • "Who Won" to "Tactical and Strategic Implications"
  • I lumped together the ship losses with the aircrew losses.
  • I added back in the strategic implications about Port Moresby, as it includes links to related campaigns like the Kokoda Track campaign and the Battle of Milne Bay.
  • Some minor changes to Midway.

GoldDragon (talk) 01:30, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Your edits seemed ok to me, but I think a couple of editors, in good faith, objected to the changes to some of the existing information and disagreed with one of the points that you made. You might try adding the edits a little at a time which should help at least some of them to "stick". Cla68 (talk) 06:39, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Speaking of losses to aircrew and Japanese training programs, I suggest that it be moved to "A New Kind of Naval Warfare", along with the section where it says that the Japanese pilots performed better. GoldDragon (talk) 17:46, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Miles & miles & miles[edit]

I realize this is a fairly big job, but I'm troubled by the casual use of "miles" & the presumption it means "statute miles" & can readily be converted to kilimeters. Navy writers (not least Morison) may habitually use nautical miles, especially in reference to sea distances.... So, what may be needed (& we would do with having here) is a) thoroughgoing check of mi/nm/km (which IMO is no small task) & b) standardization of usage where confusion may arise (presuming it doesn't already exist). My question amounts to, "What form is the source using, & has it been converted correctly?" Seeing Cla68 has already made a pretty careful pass through here, maybe this can be answered (even has already been handled); if not...? TREKphiler hit me ♠ 12:07, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

I think that's probably a good catch. All the miles used in the sources are probably nautical miles. So I think I need to go through and change the nomenclature in the conversion templates from "mi" to "nmi". Cla68 (talk) 12:59, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Done. Cla68 (talk) 13:26, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Thx. (This is why I prefer to use km... ;D ). TREKphiler hit me ♠ 13:35, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Using kilometers as a measure only serves to obscure the REAL distances involved, by articifially inflating them. Couldn't we just stick with REAL measures of distances instead of the contrived metric ones? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:11, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Have you missed the point? Those "real measures" leave in doubt what the actual distances were: 100 nmi (185 km) or 100 mi (161 km)? Because they're both "100 miles"... OTOH, 185 km can be converted to any other length measurement that suits you. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 00:06, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

Copyedit comments from Maralia[edit]

Lead & Section 1
  1. Why "May 4 – May 8, 1942"? MOS says not to repeat the month.
  2. Left an inline comment in the lead: Zuikaku is not explicitly mentioned, so it is difficult to understand why "the two Japanese fleet carriers were unable to participate" at Midway.
  3. If the parentheses in this quote are used to indicate inserted words, they should be square brackets instead: "(eject) British and American strength from the Netherlands Indies and the Philippines, (and) to establish a policy of autonomous self-sufficiency and economic independence."

More to come as I make my way through the article. Maralia (talk) 22:50, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I fixed the date and clarified the information about Zuikaku. The parentheses appear to have been included in the original quote. Cla68 (talk) 21:15, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
Morning strikes
  • Is it Nielson or Nielsen? Both spellings are used several times.
  • This sentence needs some work: "At 08:15, a Yorktown SBD, piloted by John L. Nielsen, sighted Gotō's force screening the invasion convoy and, making an error in his coded message, reported it as..." In the first part of the sentence, the subject is the SBD; the latter half ("making an error in his coded message, reported...") states the actions of Nielson. Not sure which way to fix this one, since it's not clear whether Nielson himself sighted the force.
Maralia (talk) 21:29, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Nielsen is the correct spelling and I made the necessary corrections and also split the problematic sentence [1]. Cla68 (talk) 12:43, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Remainder of the article
  • I was left a little confused by the section about the sinking of Lexington. After reading that "the carrier's crew was rescued", the subsequent statement that "Two-hundred sixteen of the carrier's 2,951-man crew went down with the ship" was a bit discordant. Presumably the 216 were those who had been killed in the battle, explosions, and fires?
  • The first two sources listed in Web sources need accessdates.
  • In the Notes, the mentions of articles (for lack of a better word), such as those by Hackett and Tully, incorrectly use italics for the titles. They are all listed properly (in quote marks) in the web sources section, but the Notes need to be tweaked to match.

I think that's it. Thanks for being patient as it took me a while to get to (and through) it. A great read! Maralia (talk) 21:11, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Done. Thank you very much for the outstanding copyediting help. Cla68 (talk) 01:44, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Picking nits[edit]

  • "VF-2 Squadron". This is redundant. VF means "fighter squadron"; I deleted. I also tried to clear up the awk phrasing over squadron & ship where I noticed it.
  • "near the maximum range for carrier aircraft." American or Japanese? The USN ROA was around 175nm; IJN's, AFAIK, was quite a bit longer.
  • "The fighters were Type 0s". I changed this from Zero to stay consistent with the other types IDd. Throughout, I also deleted the redundant "Zero", or changed it to "fighter", where it's clear it's IJN; it's not like there were USN Zekes.
  • "within range, about 200 nautical miles (370 km)"? Is this for IJN or USN?
  • "Land-based B-17s attacked the approaching Port Moresby" I deleted "land-based", since I really doubt anybody thinks B-17s are carrier-based... I'd prefer to say where they flew from, rather than "land", anyhow; does anyone ;p know?
  • Done. The B-17s were all based in Australia but staged through Port Moresby to extend their range into the Coral Sea, Louisiades, and Solomon Sea. I probably need to explain that somewhere in one of the footnotes. Thank you for the help in completing the article. I'm going to go ahead and nominate it for A-Class review. Cla68 (talk) 01:52, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
No thanx needed. I want it as good as it can be, too. Oh, & I see I wasn't clear: "within range" of IJN or USN, I mean, given the different ROA. (Already answered, I see...) TREKphiler hit me ♠ 15:20, 15:21 & 15:24, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Looking at it again, I now see I didn't read carefully enough. :( The passage specifically mention's Takagi's staffers; obviously, they know their range. I was wondering if the writer was presuming the ROA was the same, but if this is taken from IJN sources (even indirectly), it would be using the right ones. In short, I goofed. *sigh*
Looking at "orders to fly 277 degrees", I wonder, is that 277 relative or 277 true? (I can't keep the pic in my head where Takagi is relative to Fletcher & Crace...) TREKphiler hit me ♠ 15:30 & 15:38, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Abbreviation for U.S.[edit]

Per Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style_(abbreviations), U.S. is more standard in American English that US. A change from U.S. to US should be discussed. Note that in most WW2 Pacific theater battle articles, as far as I am aware, U.S. has been used. An inconsistency in this article versus others and an inconsistency with the standard does not seem right, especially for an FAC. I've reverted the recent change. Please discuss here for consensus before making such a change.

I've used both versions in articles I've submitted for FA and both were accepted by reviewers. I think either one is probably ok even though the MoS appears to favor U.S. Cla68 (talk) 00:28, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
For consistency, I find U.S. preferable. See for example Battle of Guadalcanal (FA), Battle of Wake Island, and Battle of Iwo Jima. — ERcheck (talk) 00:32, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Then why didn't you change the instances of 'US' to 'U.S.' during your reversion of my edit? Consistency. Binksternet (talk) 01:08, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I thought I did that.... I'll double check. I just did an "undo". So, I take it you don't object? ~ — ERcheck (talk)
All I care about is that the same style be used from top to bottom, except for quotes and titles. When I took a look earlier today, it was half one way, half the other. Binksternet (talk) 04:00, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Note on sources for readers interested in further reading[edit]

Why has no one included the older but best source? National Archives Footage – Battle of Coral Sea Here is part 3. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:00, 26 April 2019 (UTC) Readers of this article may have noticed that the list of sources is quite long. That's because there currently isn't, as far as I know, an English-language "definitive" account of the battle using up-to-date western and Japanese sources which have become available within the last 20 years or so. John Lundstrom has stated in a off-site forum [2] that he and Jim Sawruk have a book on the battle in the works but it will be several years until it's published. Until then, I suggest the following books for those interested in reading more about the battle, because these books appear to have the most up-to-date details, although they limit the scope of their coverage somewhat:

  • Lundstrom, John B. (2006). Black Shoe Carrier Admiral: Frank Jack Fletcher at Coral Sea, Midway, and Guadalcanal. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-59114-475-2. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  • Lundstrom, John B. (2005 (New edition)). The First Team: Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 159114471X. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help); Check date values in: |year= (help)
  • Willmott, H. P. (1983). The Barrier and the Javelin: Japanese and Allied Pacific Strategies February to June 1942. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-87021-535-3. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)

Cla68 (talk) 14:22, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Willmott is excellent on Midway, but IIRC, he treats Coral Sea a bit cursorily. For all that, his is the best account I've seen. (Which is not to say I've read them all. ;p) TREKphiler hit me ♠ 03:39, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Size matters[edit]

Maybe I'm nitpicking for nothing, but I'm stumbling on "small" rather than "smaller". The custom I've seen reserves "small" for ships the size of PCs, & "smaller" for DDs or SSs. Do the accounts cited mean DDs damaged/sunk (as I'd presume, given few PT/PC-size craft involved)? If so, I suggest changing it back. Thoughts? TREKphiler hit me ♠ 03:39, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Your suggestion seems fine to me. Cla68 (talk) 04:01, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
K. Also, would you say OK to remove the 40h's B-17? That strikes me an operational more than a combat loss. (I'm not strongly pro/con either way.) If you're OK, will you take it out? My eyes are starting to play tricks on me... ;p TREKphiler hit me ♠ 04:09 & 04:12, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
A few of the carrier aircraft losses, both US and Japanese, were also operational losses. For example, several US carrier aircraft became lost returning from missions and disappeared. Anyway, I don't mind taking out the B-17. I'll remove it from the total tally but leave a note about it in the footnote. Cla68 (talk) 04:21, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
There is no reason to remove the B-17. Loosmark (talk) 04:33, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
As noted, I'm not fanatic either way, Loos, so if you want it back in, feel free. That sole B-17 running out of fuel just slapped me as an obvious operational loss that could be taken out. For most of the others, I think running out of fuel after an attack quals as "combat", just as Fletcher's DBs ditching at Midway would. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 20:54, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

HMAS Australia (D84) and USAAF friendly identify sources?[edit]

Hi all. I'm working on a rewrite of HMAS Australia (D84), and am trying to sort out information regarding to the USAAF friendly fire incident mentioned in this article (citation/footnote 59). The text I have at the moment is:

A few minutes later, the ships were attacked by another three heavy bombers, flying at a higher altitude to the first group; the bombing was much less accurate. It was later learned that the three aircraft belonged to the United States Army Air Force (USAAF). Although USN Vice Admiral Herbert F. Leary made plans to train aircrews in naval vessel recognition in response, USAAF General George Brett refused to implement them or acknowledge that the friendly fire incident had happened.

At the moment, that's all sourced to Gill's Royal Australian Navy, 1942–1945, p. 50 (with some educated guesswork to identify the USAAF and Brett at their respective points), which according to the footnote misidentifies the aircraft involved (I originally followed Gill, but based on what's said here stripped out that claim). Would someone be able to improve the text to identify the aircraft (and if possible, a reason for the oops) and provide a source (hopefully not all eight cited in the footnote) to supplement Gill? Thanks in advance! -- saberwyn 02:28, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Sight unseen[edit]

This box, {{Campaignbox Battle for Australia}}, is producing peculiar crowding of text on the left of my screen on Safari, while there's a message at the bottom of the campaign box. Can somebody fix? I don't just want to delete... TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 08:45, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Scale of Miles on Map[edit]

In the map the scale of miles seems to be incorrect by a factor of 6. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:35, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

This is what I came here for. The map in the Prelude section, which was copied from 21. USACMH Vol. I 1994, p. 48. plate nr. 14, the scale bar is extremely wrong. Using the scale bar to measure the width of the map area puts it at about 155 miles (nautical or statutory?). Measuring with google maps puts the distance at about 950 statutory miles or 1,500 km. There ought to be at least a note that the scale is incorrect. Usage of the map can otherwise lead to a great misunderstanding of the battle. Der Orso (talk) 10:18, 22 October 2021 (UTC)

Why the exlcusion of Yamamoto?[edit]

First off, this is a truly comprehensive and superlative article that does Wikipedia proud! Thanks to all who have participated in making it what it is today.

My question regards the “Commanders and leaders” box. If Nimitz is included, then shouldn’t Yamamoto be as well, as the former's analog, adjacent to the former’s name? Weren’t both overall theater commanders at the time? From the Wiki article on Yamamoto:

“Yamamoto rushed planning for the Midway and Aleutians missions, while dispatching a force under Naval Major-General Takeo Takagi, including the Fifth Carrier Division (the large, new carriers Shōkaku and Zuikaku), to support the effort to seize the islands of Tulagi and Guadalcanal for seaplane and aeroplane bases, and the town of Port Moresby on Papua New Guinea's south coast facing Australia.”

Thanks much.HistoryBuff14 (talk) 17:53, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Since no one deigned to weigh in, despite 132 watchers, I decided to make the change. It seems a “no brainer” to me and totally uncontroversial. As a courtesy, please do not revert before discussing it here if anyone believes the change should be reverted. Maybe there is some valid reason that I am unaware of why my change is unwarranted. If so, I am educable. Thanks again.HistoryBuff14 (talk) 14:54, 15 February 2017 (UTC)
I personally think neither Yamamoto nor Nimitz should be on the list, since they practically had no real input during the actual battle. They both basically just assigned the forces to this particular area or operation, which in my opinion does not satisfy the criteria of commander/leader of this particular battle. It is enough that they are mentioned in Background section of the article. I would remove both of them from the list since they just make it cluttered. Path-x21 (talk) 11:09, 24 February 2020 (UTC)
As I argued above, I believe Nimitz and Yamamoto should not be on the commanders list, since their input during the actual battle was practically zero. I am therefore removing them from the list. Path-x21 (talk) 17:43, 13 August 2020 (UTC)

Interesting Notes[edit]

The main contributor to this fine article, who saw it through the FA maze, Cla88, is still blocked. I was just going over to my old friend's talk page to congratulate him on it finally making the main page after nearly 8 years (isn't "Wiki-Wiki" supposed to mean, fast/quick?!) when I discovered this sad fact. At this rate, he helped create enough FA's to keep the main page busy for decades. And by the time they get around to the last one he'll still be blocked. This is how the "community" treats its high quality contributors-with indifference or little baubles at best, persecution at worst.

On an even more personal note, the famous photo of sailors jumping off the stricken Lexington, was not in this article. One of those hundreds of tiny figures was my Uncle, Jack Lockhart. --R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 21:09, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

article is misleading?[edit]

It's called the Battle of Midway, not the Battle of the Coral Sea, and took place nowhere near New Guinea, and about a month later than the article claims, and was a decisive US victory. Seems like the article should be entirely rewritten??? — Preceding unsigned comment added by RelicRelics (talkcontribs) 03:39, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

Not sure if this is a joke, but that was a different battle with a different article. Brutannica (talk) 04:19, 5 May 2017 (UTC)
Are we sure this article isn't actually referring to an even earlier battle? Only, if I remember right, it took place about 80 years earlier, in the United States and was called the Battle of Gettysburg instead of the Battle of the Coral Sea. Hmm, maybe I'm off a little bit on precise dates?The Famous Adventurer (talk) 20:09, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

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Japanese Tactical Victory?[edit]

I see that in the summary box, this battle is listed as an Allied strategic victory (which is correct), but a Japanese tactical victory? As far as I am aware, both sides lost a carrier and a destroyer, while Japan lost more support ships, aircraft, and men. Seeing as the Japanese objectives were not accomplished, and each side suffered similar losses, I would say the most optimistic estimate would be a tactical draw, with an Allied strategic victory.The Famous Adventurer (talk) 19:46, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

You're right both sides lost one CV, but Shōhō is in no way equivalent to Lex. Losses in aircraft & manpower aren't (AFAIK) usually counted in the calculation. That said, calling it a draw might not be inaccurate; most sources I've seen, however, credit IJN with a win. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 20:29, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
I have removed the "Result", per Template:Infobox military conflict/doc. "See, Tactical and strategic implications section" might be an alternative but this is quite long and the result is touched upon in the lead. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 22:28, 27 February 2018 (UTC)
A possible solution would be noting that Tulagi was occupied & the planned invasion of Port Moresby was foiled. 2601:204:C900:F045:C003:9E44:1CB4:370B (talk) 10:44, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
But the ship losses were also significant - Lexington would have been very handy at the Battle of Midway, and Yorktown was ready only just in time. I agree with Cinderella157's proposal: this battle had rather complex results, which can't be summarised in an infobox. Nick-D (talk) 10:51, 6 March 2018 (UTC)
The infobox summarized exactly what was in the article. It listed clearly, and explicitly, why it was it was considered a Japanese tactical victory and an Allied strategic victory. The very clear wording in the article would also need to be changed if we are going to remove this parameter. EtherealGate (talk) 03:47, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
MilMos gives voice to Template:Infobox military conflict/doc and adding such nuance. The alternatives in this case would be "See X section" or to leave it blank. As the result is discussed with some degree of detail in the lead, removing the parameter and deferring to the lead appears the most (or at least the slightly more) appropriate of the two options in this case. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 04:08, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Template:Infobox military conflict/doc says to "Omit this parameter altogether rather than engage in speculation about which side won or by how much." It is not engaging in any speculation as it clearly states exactly what is in the article, and is not worded contradictorily. It accurately describe the outcome in this case. EtherealGate (talk) 04:54, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
@EtherealGate, I do not disagree intrinsically with your statement as to what the article might say. However, you should not cherrypick the advice given. It is quite explicit as to the acceptable options: victory x, victory y, see section or omit. I do not oppose the "see section" option. I would suggest that you either self revert or amend to the "see section" option, since your revert is contrary to guidelines. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 11:27, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Am I wrong thinking the sources govern? Everything I've seen says it was a Japanese tactical win, but a U.S. strategic one. If that's true, shouldn't the infobox reflect it--if any result is included? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 19:06, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Sources govern what is said in an article. However, the infobox (and the guidance given for its use) is that it is not the place for nuance - particularly as nuance can be a source of dispute. Hence, in this case, the result should be left blank or direct the reader to where the result is discussed. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 22:28, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
Many Vietnam War pages, as well as many other countless war and battle articles, have no problem with nuance, many even more controversial than this one. Are we going to change them all? The sources here are pretty much in agreement, and there is no dispute among them. Another option could be:
Both sides declare victory
(See tactical and strategic implications)
This example follows the format used in Winter War and could simplify explaining the result somewhat. EtherealGate (talk) 01:01, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
MilMos gives voice to the template documentation as if it were explicitly part of MilMos, so your recent edit is contrary to MilMos. And yes, other infoboxes will be gradually changed to reflect the guideline. I have no issue with the "see" part of your proposal but do, with the "both sides" part. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 05:49, 16 July 2018 (UTC)
The proposed wording is in the X victory format unless you're interpreting that more than one country cannot win a conflict. Your strict interpretation also leaves out any other wording results such as "stalemate", "indecisive", "withdrawal" or simple "treaty" results. In that case, pages like War of the Austrian Succession, King George's War, War of the Spanish Succession, Samoan Civil War, and many more others are violations. The template also does not say we could have complicated bullet lists, so that also means the Wars of the Roses, World War II, World War I, Hundred Years' War and many others are violations. It looks like the template was written to avoid arising disputes, but not when we can use simple results like "status quo ante bellum", "ceasefire", "truce", "compromise" or any other description. I note the template description was also written boldly by yourself. EtherealGate (talk) 08:56, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

The template doc is very explicit and quite clear as to the responses that "may" be used for the result. It leaves nothing much to interpretation - strict or otherwise. I have already addressed the matter of the other articles to which you refer. That they are incorrect, does not establish precedent here. Please see Wikipedia:Other stuff exists#Precedent in usage and particularly, the last point in that section. I note, that MilMos gives specific voice to the advice in the template doc and thereby has the same weight as if it were explicitly part of MilMos.

All of the "simple" results you refer to are "nuance" that require qualification and reflect the interpretation of a sources' authors.

Your note as to my role in the template doc is something of a misrepresentation, since it does not consider the fuller context, of which you may be unaware. My "bold" edit was made in the context of a broader discussion and substantially, it removed "decisive" from the acceptable options. This was because "decisive" can have very different meanings that need to be explained and was found to be contentious - depending on interpretations applied by editors. There were due notifications made at MilHist TP and my recollection is that the broader discussion was started there. The pre-existing advice, going directly to your arguement, was arrived at by considerable discussion and represents a strong consensus. Similarly, weight was given to the template doc because of tendentious editing contrary to the template doc in consequence of a centralised discussion. In short, this represents a broader community consensus that has explicit support here too. I would again ask that you self-revert. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 10:51, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

Well it is obviously not very explicit or clear if we're having this long argument. Since we have reached an impasse, it'd be best to get consensus from others before making huge changes to long-established infoboxes of highly visible articles like the world wars, etc. I also seem to remember a comment by User:Director that said "The template documentation are not "rules" we are obliged to follow. What we are obliged to do is provide the reader with a clear and concise description of the outcome of a conflict. This is basic stuff that's generally understood across our project, that's why we write all sorts of things under "outcome", qualifiers, bullet points, links to all sorts of sections or other articles etc..." EtherealGate (talk) 06:36, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

EtherealGate, I have notified this discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Military history#Battle of the Coral Sea and result in infobox for further comment. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 08:48, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

That's good. EtherealGate (talk) 11:21, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

Few observations:

  • The infobox result parameter should present what secondary sources say the result is, as detailed in the main body of the article, within the constraints of the guidance provided in the template documentation and MILMOS.
  • As currently written, the discussion about which side won, as detailed in the first para of the "Tactical and strategic implications" section, misrepresents the source. It emphasises the contemporary Japanese claim of victory and ignores the fact that Hoyt explicitly calls it a draw.
  • The infobox is not designed to accommodate nuance. If there is no clear victor, then "See aftermath", with a link to where in the article the result is discussed, is the clearest and most concise way to present that information. Factotem (talk) 09:38, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

Broadly speaking, I see the infobox "results" line for clear, unambiguous cases. Where there's less than total clarity in a single term, or where nuance is required, "see below" or "see Results section" (however awkward that seems) makes more sense. In this instance, explaining how & why it's a Japanese tactical victory, but a U.S. strategic one, not only makes sense, it's practically mandatory. (The same could be said about, frex, the Tet Offensive.) As for what Hoyt says, he seems to be in the minority; the sources I've seen agree it was IJN tactical/USN strategic win. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 09:47, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
Your statement seems contradictory to me. "Tactical Japanese victory/US Strategic victory" is a nuance that we really shouldn't be trying to accommodate in the infobox. It begs questions about what made it a tactical success for one side but a strategic success for the other, and to fully encapsulate the result requires something akin to a mini-article in itself. That kind of detail should be explained in the main body, and can be better summarised in the lead text. Don't forget, the infobox is part of the lead, so a wordy description strays close to just unnecessarily repeating what is said in the text anyway. As for the other sources, fair enough, but they should be represented in the main body as well. At the moment and in this context, only Hoyt is used, so that's the only information that can be taken into consideration. Factotem (talk) 11:56, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
"Your statement seems contradictory to me." Notice i said nuanced outcomes should not be dealt with in the infobox. This one is self-evidently nuanced. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 22:40, 21 August 2018 (UTC)
My misunderstanding. Thanks for clarifying. Factotem (talk) 08:13, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

I took it upon myself to amend the infobox to make it congruent with Template:Infobox military conflict but perhaps See Aftermath section would be better? The existing edit was obviously untenable. Keith-264 (talk) 07:05, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

Keith-264, I think the "see" option would be better. In this case, the section is Battle of the Coral Sea#Tactical and strategic implications. Please see an early comment in this thread by Nick-D. My edit was to omit the result as it is indicated in the lead - also an acceptable option under the guidance. Per above, I am not wed my option, so long as the result is an acceptable option IAW the guidance/guideline. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 08:40, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
♠"Thanks for clarifying." No worries. I've been unclear often enough, you had me wondering. :)
♠On the broader issue, AIUI, the guideline already recommends doing what was done here. Do we actually need to change anything, if that's true? TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 10:45, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
User:Trekphiler, before Keith's edit, the result was "Tactical Japanese victory Strategic Allied victory" and contrary to the guideline. Sources and the article indicate the "see" option is better (or omit) but not the previous version. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 11:17, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
I understood the way it is now is preferred, & that's what I was getting at: if the guideline is to do what's now in place, rather than the previous "mixed" version, changing the guideline doesn't seem necessary, just policing the use so infoboxes conform. TREKphiler any time you're ready, Uhura 12:07, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
I support a "See section" in the infobox in this case, as the result isn't cut and dried. As others have noted, infoboxes are not the place for nuance, and these things are better summarised in the lead and explained in detail in a section of the body. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 07:18, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

Revised result to "See option" per above. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 08:16, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

Request for comment[edit]

Moved to Module talk:Infobox military conflict/Archive 4#Request for comment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by EtherealGate (talkcontribs) 04:46, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

Infobox result link[edit]

There is a dispute about which section should be linked to in the infobox result parameter:

  • Link to the "Significance" section which discusses both the immediate result, i.e. which side won, and the longer-term consequences, or...
  • Link to the "Tactical and strategic implications" section, a sub-section of the "Significance" section which discusses only the immediate result.

The second of these, it seems to me, is the most appropriate, given the guidance provided by the infobox usage guideline which clearly constrains the assessment of the result as presented in the infobox to the "the "immediate outcome of the subject conflict". Attempts to implement this, however, have been repeatedly reverted. Rather then engage in an edit war over this, I have re-sequenced the whole of the "Significance" section so that it discusses first the immediate result (and incidentally removes the unnecessary "Tactical and strategic implications" section title now that that block of the narrative comes first), then goes on to discuss the wider impact. I see two advantages:

  • It sequences the discussion of the battle's significance in a more logical flow, dealing first with the question of which side emerged from the battle as victor, then with the longer-term impact;
  • It settles the dispute in a way that should satisfy both sides of the argument.

Happy to discuss. Factotem (talk) 10:49, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

Hi Factotem, an edit conflict with you occurred per my following. I appreciate your intent and will consider it. However, I think a response to my ultimate question is nonetheless pertinant to the matter. Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 12:22, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

Hi EtherealGate, per these recent edits:

  • My amended result in infobox from "See Significance" to "See Tactical and strategic implications" with edit summary: "The section "Tactical and strategic implications" more specifically deals with the result and is a better reference/link, rather than to a main section heading dealing with other issues too - ie, it is the relevant section per guidance (MilMos and template doc)"
  • Revert to "See Tactical and strategic implications" by Factotem with edit summary: "Undid revision 873894821 by EtherealGate (talk) Template documentation specifically says to link to "the section of the article where the result is discussed in detail", which in this case is the Battle of the Coral Sea#Tactical and strategic implications"

For completeness, there have been a series of edits to the result since the above discussion (Talk:Battle of the Coral Sea#Japanese Tactical Victory? commencing 27 February 2018). Of the more recent, edits between 22 Aug and 1 Sep are similar and relevant. There is also a discussion at your TP: User talk:EtherealGate#Battle of the Coral Sea and Module talk:Infobox military conflict. The particular issued was forestalled by the RfC you commenced here and then moved to Infobox military conflict.

Per the template doc, the result parameter is used to ascribe the result of a conflict in terms of "victory" or otherwise:

"this parameter may use one of two standard terms: "X victory" or "Inconclusive". The term used is for the "immediate" outcome of the "subject" conflict and should reflect what the sources say. In cases where the standard terms do not accurately describe the outcome, a link or note should be made to the section of the article where the result is discussed in detail (such as "See the Aftermath section")" [emphasis added].

The template doc is given voice as a guideline by virtue of MilMos (as you are already aware). Tactical and strategic implications is the section where the result of the battle is discussed in detail, including an assessment of why it might be considered a tactical victory for the Japaneses but a strategic victory for the Allies. It is a section within Significance, but that section deals with more than just the "result" - ie how it changed naval warfare and how events then unraveled at Midway and the South Pacific (having already noted in the former section the strategic implications in respect to these in assessing it as a strategic US victory).

It is fairly clear to me that Tactical and strategic implications is the section most appropriate to direct a reader to, to establish briefly, the nuance of the result - IAW the guidance. Beyond what is written in the lead, it is the most concise explanation of the nuance of the result - thereby complying with the spirit and intent of the guidance (per WP:5P5).

Can you please explain how your preference for "See Significance" is preferable in complying with the spirit and intent of the guidance (or revert to the alternative). Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 12:22, 18 December 2018 (UTC)

And don't also forget User:Illegitimate Barrister's (inadvertent) revert of your edit which originally removed the result altogether. The current version is fine, I don't see what problem you can have with Factotem's recent amendment. The "Significance" section already did include the immediate result (as it still does) and discusses the outcome more in depth. It is now re-sequenced to where it is isolated at the top of the section. Furthermore, not everything is always about "winning and losing" and the "aftermath" section doesn't always address who won. Keep in mind that you did not previously bring up any argument about "immediate result", and Factotem's recent solution did not occur to me before. If you're still not satisfied with the current version, then the best result in this case would be to remove the result altogether (which you originally wanted to do) as we can all agree the template says it's optional. If your problem is wanting the tacky Tactical and strategic implications title added back, then that unnecessary title is going to have to change to something that better flows. I wouldn't mind linking to that specific section with a different title. Further, even the very example shown at the top of template doc shows "Protestant victory (see Aftermath section)" which according to you would be a violation as the doc doesn't say we can do that (but it doesn't say we can't either and therefore is not any actual violation). But in any case, the WP:DEADHORSE needs to stop being beat. EtherealGate (talk) 17:17, 18 December 2018 (UTC)