Cuttlefish -> RE: Small Ship, Big War - The Voyages of the Hibiki (1/26/2007 9:21:43 PM)
December 8, 1941
Location: Khota Bharu
Attached to: TF 5
Mission: Surface Combat
System Damage: 0
Orders: Screen transport groups against expected attack from British naval and air units.
On the bridge of the Hibiki, 2200 hours:
Lieutenant Miharu: Welcome back, Captain
Captain Ishii: Thank you, Exec
Lieutenant Miharu: What did the Admiral have to say?
Captain Ishii: Our orders are unchanged. There have been no sightings of any British naval vessels since the war started. If they are moving to interfere with the landings they are being exceptionally stealthy about it.
Lieutenant Miharu: I confess, sir, I do not know whether to be disappointed or relieved.
Captain Ishii: Admiral Kondo is, I think, disappointed. While the transports unload we are tethered here, but do not be surprised if we receive orders to go hunting soon.
Lieutenant Miharu: Better to engage them here, under cover of our own aircraft, I would think.
Captain Ishii: Do not be too fretted about their aircraft. You see what they have accomplished so far *gestures out at the untouched warships of the Southern Force*.
Lieutenant Miharu: If I may be frank, sir, I think what our own aircraft did at Pearl Harbor might indicate the danger is greater than that. Five battleships sunk!
Captain Ishii: Bah. Those ships were taken by surprise at anchor in a crowded harbor. I'll believe planes can sink a battleship under way when I see it.
From the diary of Seaman First Class Taiki Takahashi
Dec. 8, 1941
I am very tired, but wish to write down at least something of what I have seen so far. I am tired because not only were we under air attack for much of the day but I had so spend much of last night studying aircraft recognition silhouttes. You see, at one point yesterday I pointed up at a bomber passing overhead and made the mistake of yelling to Shun over the roar of the guns "Is that a B-17?" It seemed so huge!
Shun glanced up once, then slapped me on the top of my helmet. "Bakayaro!" he said. "That is a Hudson." Then he went about his business, but after things had quieted down he handed me the cards and said that if I could not recognize every single one of them at a glance by tomorrow he would kick me the length of the ship.
We can hear some artillery fire from onshore but the fighting has moved inland and we can't see much. We can see some smoke rising but that is all. There is another column of smoke rising from that transport that was hit by a bomb this morning but that had diminished by nightfall and they say the ship will be okay.
All day long today the planes came, but none of our warships were hit, just the poor transport. I saw one bomber go down into the sea. One moment it was a plane and the next just a distant splash. The gunners cheered, but I really think that Haruna shot it down. They'll get the credit, anyway, the battleships always do.
They say that we have captured Guam and Wake Island, and that our soldiers are ashore on the Philippines. It sounds like the war is going well. I wonder if Noboru is safe?