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PACIFIC FLEET TACTICAL BULLETIN NO. 3-41
1. The following Battle Plan, additional to those contained in reference (a), is issued for trial use in the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
2. A copy of this Tactical Bulletin will be bound in the rear cover of earn copy of U. S. F. 10 held by U. S. Pacific Fleet units.
3. Battle Plan 2M1
Signal: "Engagement will be conducted in accordance with battle plan indicated" (2M1).
Object: Continuance of engagement under more favorable conditions by seizing the/tactical initiative, and by initiating a reverse action to obtain the tactical advantage of surprise.
Assumptions: That our battleline may or may not be superior in strength to the enemy battleline. That the distribution and disposition of light forces is favorable to the initiation of a reverse action; namely, one or more of the following conditions:
(a) in the van enemy light forces are superior,
(b) in the rear, own light forces initially are superior,
(c) enemy light forces initially are disposed at excessive distance from their battleline,
(d) enemy light forces by their operations during the approach indicate passive or defensive attitude.
GENERAL PLAN: To initiate a reverse action, accepting the temporary reduction in gun power efficiency of the battleline during the maneuver in anticipation of gaining the tactical advantages of surprise, more effective orientation of the battleline, and relatively superior light force distribution and disposition.
TASK ORGANIZATION: Normal Tactical Organization.
(a) Battleline, after light forces in the rear have initiated the reverse action, maneuver by simultaneous ship turn movement, or if in a line of bearing of division guides such that the course is converging on the enemy battleline by more than 20° by division column movement, to a course suitable to commencing a maneuver to circle the rear of the enemy battleline. In the maneuver to "circle the enemy rear" the van ship shall take and maintain, by continuous change of course, the rear ship of the enemy battleline on a bearing 45° on the engaged bow; other ships of the battleline shall by signal be formed in column on, and follow in the track of, the van ship, until another procedure is specified or a definite course signalled.
(b) Light Forces in the Rear, when signal to execute Battle Plan No. 2M1 is executed, will, without further Fleet or Flank Force signal, operate to defend own battleline against
torpedo attack by enemy light forces in the rear, by interposing between such enemy light forces and suitable torpedo firing points, closing to decisive range by use of high speed and maximum course convergence consistent with use of full battery and avoidance of interference with other units of own light forces. When, and if, the relative strength of opposed light forces in the rear permits, the flank force commander shall direct one or more destroyer divisions to pass ahead of own battleline and take station to attack enemy battleline if it has started a chase tails action, and to defend own battleline against destroyer attack from the engaged bow.
(c) Light Forces in the Van, when signal to execute Battle Plan No. 2M1 is executed, will, without further Fleet or Force signal, operate as follows:
Destroyers: To attain suitable position from which to make a torpedo attack on the enemy battleline, should such battleline start a chase tails action. Should the enemy battleline proceed without turning toward own battleline the flank force commander, being guided by the relative strength and position of the light forces in the van, shall, if conditions appear unfavorable to the completion of a successful destroyer attack, direct the destroyers to discontinue the attack, upon the receipt of which order the destroyers shall be operated to defend own battleline from enemy torpedo attack.
Cruisers: To assist own destroyers in making a torpedo attack on the enemy battle-line by attacking at high speed and short range those enemy ships which are situated so as most effectively oppose the attacking destroyers, and to destroy as many enemy destroyers as possible in order to reduce the torpedo menace to own battleline.
Light Mine Layers: To lay drifting mines in the area through which the enemy battleline will pass if a chase tails action is conducted.
H. E. KIMMEL
P. C. CROSLEY,
National Archives & Records Administration, College Park
Record Group 313, CinCLant Confidential & Restricted Files 1941-43. Declassification Review NND 735024
Transcribed by RESEARCHER @ LARGE. Formatting & Comments Copyright R@L.
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