case in point....Fletcher was at the back of Callahan's formation. She had the most up to date radar suite...among others...why not have her lead?
I doubt Callaghan (or Scott) was aware of what Cole and Wylie of Fletcher had been developing in terms of a makeshift CIC.
She was a 5 gun, 10 tube DD.
That could cut either way.
After Scott's second encounter, I would think he would have paid more attention to what the radar could tell him.
Radar, in these waters, was telling folks a lot but without--generally speaking--PPI or repeaters most of a ships' command were not 'seeing' this view. With most ships--I believe--running with 1 A-Scope and very much dependent upon an operators' own limited knowledge and instinct at this point in time (11-42) it's a wonder radar 'saw' much of anything and, far more importantly, could relay it to the ships' captain or gunnery department in a coherent manner.
I would also think that the cruiser captains with the best prior performances would be "consulted".
How was Callaghan (or Scott, or Lee) to consult with his Captains on the run in ?
Am I expecting too much?
I believe you are. The state of radar control at this point in time was simply not up to the task.
Were our Navy traditions so "stiff", that the commanding officer did not bother with opinions other than his own?
No, these guys weren't dumb. Scott, for one, was good but he was laboring under much the same handicap as any other officer. Look at his actions at Cape Esperance and the 'mistakes' made there. At this point in time radar control of surface action, in confined waters to boot, was in its' infancy. How many operators actually had surface combat experience with radar at this point in time ?
I understand that action reports were filed and seen by senior staff. I presume they were to be analyzed to try to avoid repeat disasters.
Exactly how many officers led formations in battle off Guadalcanal and then returned to fight off Guadalcanal again, with experience under their belts ? How quickly could the facts of the previous actions make their way down the chain, so to speak, to be examined and implemented ?
It sometimes sounds like only the "pushiest" officers got their way...the ones who made lots of claims and demands.
I have no idea what this means...
None of us were there so we can't know anything about anything with certainty.
Well, I guess I'm rather fortunate since I was able to interview about 250 crew from various ships (including IJN) engaged in combat off Guadalcanal from August to November (and beyond) and it was very important for the reason you mentioned. For example, I learned a great deal about the Chicago Piano--it worked real well aboard Pensacola and Northampton; I heard many stories about Scott--who was highly respected by his crew--and Frank Jacob Lowry, to name two. Lowry of Minnie was immensely popular with any number of sea stories to demonstrate the point; after First Savo, the Japanese were considered to be first class sailors and they were not to be trifled with...before that time it was considered the IJN didn't have too much going for it at night; most of the crews of these ships--officers aside--were closer to 17 than 21 years, more or less. You're right: we weren't there but we aren't blind as to matters either. It takes digging and good luck. It's out there; case in point: there is a TON of stuff on Northampton which few people have seen but I worked on locating it.
However one would hope our Navy has progressed since.
It's a different world now, I'm sure. I imagine you're making a number of assumptions in support of that comment I likely wouldn't agree with.
I'll be looking through Hornfischer's book later but I would recommend Grace's book on First Guadalcanal in the meanwhile. I would also highly recommend Cook's elderly masterpiece (IMHO) on Cape Esperance, and invite you to reflect long and hard about its' last chapter.