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1.A. Not underestimating - am suggesting they could have had time to practice and there was no way the USN / RN would have known. And let's say 12 of 16 oilers could have been running in commercial service - hiding in plain sight - while the other 4 work with the task forces. So then capacity to go anywhere is created, even if not easy. No one says they were lousy seamen.foscadh wrote:I think you underestimate the difficulty of replenishing at sea. Keeping hulls at sea is also not all that trivial especially with commercial aircraft flying around.
That was also only one of the reasons. Things like id'ing transmissions from the carriers in Japanese home waters also made for a fair amount of complacency.