RE: The little ship that could. (Full Version)

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1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/6/2013 12:06:06 PM)


Two destroyers try to stop them, . The Voyager is brave. The voyager dies in an avalanche of shells.

"I count a dozen transports sir"

No mercy expected, none given

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM...............the guns of doom speak again.
Lautern becomes a sea of fire, a reflection of hell.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/6/2013 12:50:51 PM)

Machine gun like, the light guns hammer to starboard now, tracer racing across the waters. The AKs burn, flames lurid reflections upon the waters

"make every shot count!, I am making only one pass!"

The gunners do. At 2000 yards, it is hard to miss.

The night turns to day. Flames, flares, starshells, tracer, the crack and crackle of a hundred guns.
Hyuga steams on, Seaman Ban, high in its tower, transfixed by the vision.

Keener eyes are attending to duty.

"Aircraft carriers!, bearing 300!, range 7000 yards!"

A frenzy of action on the bridge. The helm is flung, the battleship heals.
A light cruiser -the Witchita, History tells us, places herself in the way, her guns beat out, spitting death in a torrent of fire.
2 japanes destroyers lurch, spewing flames
Great sparks leap along Fuso's side. Yamashiro flares, flames admidships

BOOM, BOOM, BOOOM!.the great guns beat back the deadly steady reply.
CVE Santa FE leaps, shudders, disintergates............

0400 hours..........and ahead, the sea appears to be a forest of ships.
"general chase!, engage all targets!"

Destroyer Matsu is furtherest out on the flank
Youngest, smallest ship of the pack.

But still with the pack, still with ammunition.........

CV Hornet 2, Essex class carrier..............what and why, never to be known. Racing for safety, racing for the horizon
Matsu's first salvo strikes the flight deck, buries itself into the park of hellcats, Hell divers, avengers.
Strikes, undoubtably, a torpedo.

Even from 6 miles away, Ban will shade his eyes.

term: massive Explosion.
term: ammunition explosion.
Dry words
Inadequate words.

The boil of flame, the thunder of the bang, roiling across the battle......drowning out for a moment the noise of everything else.
Riven, split, cleaved, the great carrier burns white hot

CVE Casabalanca too is run down, her escorting destroyer hunted , stalked, pounded to scrap...............

"Ammunition expended sir!"

0500 hours.
Time to get the hell out.

The guns are silent. men pant, struggle, lie in collapsed heaps, spent, utterly spent.

Bans eyes smart, his ears ring.
Dawn. And he still lives.

Dawn.........and three battlewagons, ammunition gone, shorn of 6 of the original 12 destroyers escorting, turn North for safety.

Ishizaki , face grey with fatigue, eyes still gleaming, curses

On the horizon. Blocking his path .Battleships.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/6/2013 12:55:25 PM)

Shttering the sword, a cantona production.

The Japanese are all but done........... For 6 damaged destroyers, for superficial damage to the elderly battlewagons, a butchers bill...........

CV Hornet 2 sunk
2 CVE sunk
2 more damaged.
1 CVL damaged
6 destroyers sunk
4 CL damaged, 1 sunk
and 12 supply filled transports, a large AP sunk.

No troops will land at lautern this day.

But daylight, and with it, retribution, are at hand.

pws1225 -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/6/2013 1:40:58 PM)


kaleun -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/6/2013 3:19:17 PM)


koniu -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/6/2013 4:19:34 PM)

I hope they survive day. And if not no one can imagine better end for battleship in 1944.

british exil -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/6/2013 4:28:57 PM)

Nice sailing, nice shooting, kill list more than nice. You really smashed his attacking force. Any intel what his infantry losses are like?


1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/7/2013 10:29:11 AM)

They are there, mere specks on the horizon, coming hard.
'range!" barks Ishizaki.
28000 yards sir!............oaklahama class, or I am blind!"

The Captain grins, "War plam orange ney?...........damination, no shells left. HARD to PORT!, we run I am afraid"

The task group wheels for Timor again, the sun now rising.
Weather beaten flanks, rust, the smears along grey flanks where Armour has beaten shell, the bent and smoking plates where shell has beaten armour.
Ban sees them all.

And then the rain swallows them.

They flee east, but they cannot go far. The destroyers are lagging, low on fuel, the fleet must reduce speed.
The rain falls, and falls, and hopes rise.

The radio crackles, cries of defience, of fear, of death. To the north, the crippled Destroyers, valiant Matsu amongst them, are being killed by the avenging hawks.

Hyuga plows on, the men eat, some wash. Ishizaki briefly leaves the bridge, returns, a new uniform, sword at side.
The rain is beginning to lift.

1000 hours, the sun shines, and the sound of aero engines fills the air.

They pass overhead, headed south, 100 Japanese fighters escorting nearly 70 bombers.
The men cheer

Retribution arrives at 1 pm

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/7/2013 10:58:52 AM)

Ban does not feel the exhaustion that courses through him. The gathering dots above them seem un connected to his likely fate.
They have come this far already.Hyuga is invincible!

The Captain speaks carefully. "Guns, get the main armament men out from below, they can do no good down there, place them as reserves for the AA"
Hyuga strains again at full speed. her AA points at the storm above.
Half a dozen Oscars try to shield them, but are swept away.

50 hellcats, 11 Helldivers, 16 avengers. Not many bombers, but enough

The great ships twist, they weave, black smoke and flame sprouts from them in every direction.
"Fuso hit by 2 Torpedoes sir.........she reports I can still make 20 knots!"

"very good"

To ban, the noise, the battle, again seems incomprehensible..........he barely feels the first fish bury itself in Hyugas guts
The navigator curses............"Fwd boiler room reports flooding "
"very good"

Ban sees the second fish, follows it right into the bow, staggers with them all as it slams home.
two bombs land somewhere astern , another torpedo follows the first into her belly.

The great ship slows, lists, the bow deep.
The attack drones away, Hyuga crawls now at ten knots.

The rain, too late falls again

'order yamashiro and Fuso all destroyers to detach "
Ishizaki strides past Ban, still waiting for the messages he has yet to deliver...........the Captain pauses, smiles..."remeber your job son?"
"yes sir!'
"Don't let me down then"

'Signal from yamashiro sir.............."As brothers we have always fought together. We will not leave you"

A single curse, "Truk"
Ishizaki runs his hand over the stubble of his head.......'Alright then.. .....maintain course and speed"

Darkness falls.
Into it the crippled dinosours struggle

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/7/2013 11:10:25 AM)

Extract from shattering the sword, a cantona production

Death of the battleships

The battles of the 8th cost the allies 80 aircraft, the Japanese almost the same, expended in useless attacks on the beach heads themselves
Now, as dawn of the 9th rises, another unseen, but powerful influence begins to come to bear.

Combined fleet remains in the Indian ocean. But the allies are forced to fight as if it is rushing upon them, now, right now, it could be anywhere.
They pull their carriers south of timor, they maintain a solid 200 plus CAP over the main body.

Combat air patrol over lautern is provided by babar.............and it is not enough.

Even as the crippled japanes battleships crawl out of range, the first strike from the nest of fields around timor comes in.
11th airfleet is co ordinating 3 air flottillas here, these men are fresh, their moral good

80 zerso escort 6 betties, 40 francis bombers to the battle zone.

Battleship maryland will be sunk outright, West Virginia takes three fish, the afternoon strikes will sink her too.
Combined fleet is winning this battle from a thousand miles away.

Dawn, it should have been the japanese battlewagons today to go down.
It should not have gone like this.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/7/2013 11:15:53 AM)

It is a submarine that finally gets Hyuga

Three fish, thudding deep inside.
She stalls, leans, and leans.

Stunned, Ban grips the table behind him, struggles against the steepening deck

"Your orders son!" the voice, that voice he will hear for another 70 years, breaks the spell. he slides to the door, out to the platform, the water already a mere ten feet below, the ship rolling now.

He leaps, sinks, rises, and strikes for his lfe

He does not see her go down.
And he will live

'You can do no wrong, than to place your ship alongside that of your enemy"

70 more years. And not a day will pass when he will not fullfill that final order.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/7/2013 11:19:31 AM)

lautern recieves no troops today
2 LST sunk, a DD sunk as well as the 2 battleships
83 a/c lost to 32.

( no troops drowned I am afraid british exile, but we got stronger today, he got weaker, and I have 5 forts)

Fuchida recieves orders
Good orders

The rumours are true
A new Frank unit, 22nd sentai. An elite unit. No, more than that, an elite, elite unit.

It should be fun

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/7/2013 11:21:39 AM)

Fuso 42 flood. Yamashiro a mere 7 system. 8 DDs survived.
Barring SS, they will live.

Herbiesan IS pleased.[:'(]

kaleun -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/7/2013 3:04:51 PM)

Great yarn.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/8/2013 1:01:16 PM)

11 June 44

Threads in the trapestry

The allies begin landing again at lautern, the seas to the south crawling with carriers, although most appear to be CVEs.

CV Katsuragi racing towards palua,her repairs completed, is missed by a ss. CVL Mihuzo accompanies her. It will be an interesting sighting report, no doubt.

But the most exciting thread..............

Combined fleet still loiters where maps lable this spec of ocean, Indian.
Undetected, waiting, waiting

And now, hopefully, finally it seems.
"carriers detected colombo"

The british have returned it seemed, with japanese carriers at palua............

Abe considers the signal. "we will wait another day or two, I think. He must go for Port Blair soon...........surely"

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/8/2013 1:02:33 PM)

manus island, finally, is invaded.
The island has a lot of rats. But no japs.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/8/2013 1:08:34 PM)

Hosho is awakened rather roughly, the soldiers face flushed with excitement. "Seargeant asks for you urgently sir, we have captured a British flyer"

Hosho, interested, (even a life dodging bombs and snipers can become boring) hurries out of the bunkers rear entrance.
The tale is true. They do have a british flyer, unconcious at the moment, but otherwise apparently un harmed.
Hosho views him with curiosity..........has he seen him before.....surely not?
No, he has!..........months ago, in a certain canoe.............that led to a certain battle.........

Hosho's grin grows. Its not a pleasant one. "Take this pig to the bunker!"

John 3rd -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/8/2013 2:51:51 PM)

By GOLLY...that was GREAT!

Well done and congrats on a solid performance by the older Sisters of the Fleet...

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/9/2013 11:02:11 AM)

12 June 44

Forces pour ashore this day at Lautern. Japanese squadrons rest, re organise. The Navy, for now, has shot its single bolt.

Hirate grins. The last figures have been tallied, the last tank dips done. Zuiho has finished refuelling, her tanks, officially at 101%
Minobe owes them a beer. Less than 95%, he gets a bottle of whisky, over 97%.........
Zuiho is chock full. Full of fuel, full, after these quiet days, of water.
And totally tired of cruising these empty wastes.

Rumours are flying about the ship. How they start, how they travel, a great mystery. But many have the same theme.
The British

And, although many do not know it, yet, this time, they are based in fact. The number of fighters at Colombo has dropped, significantly.
Only one CV remains.....or is it two?, in the harbour.
For Abe, todays recon, now a daily routine over Columbo, is news enough.

Cautiosly, slowly, the fleet shakes itself into a new shape.

They begin North.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/9/2013 11:13:38 AM)

Okano is in damage Control central, seeking a new pencil after the midnight watch, when he spies the book, open upon one of the benches.

It is the Scheme of compliment for Zuiho's stokers. 120 pages thick, each one a single page devoted to the men onboard. The first page, Minobe, the last the lowest seaman. Each with a photo, a description of next of kin, qualifications, promotion dates, other comments.
Previous postings.
Three pages are marked with slips of paper

Each has a red star scrawled, scrawled recently , on the top right hand corner he sees, as curious eyes scans the pages.
Each, underlined, has a previous posting...............

CV Hiyo

All posted post fire..................

Three names

Smn Juni
Leading seaman Aso

Po Hirate..................

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/9/2013 11:18:20 AM)

12 June 44

Extract from the diary of the Charge

(yes, its been a long time since we peeked into here.............but like a machine, he keeps the diary going)

.........the number of defects is climbing quickly. Mainly steam leaks, and the burners desperately need re alignment, we are blowing far too much smoke.......
I have no spares. Plenty of spare metal in the shop, but even we are being stretched..........

We have heard nothing of anything since leaving singapore.
I hope, pray, my son remains safe in Japan, nursing rookies..........

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/10/2013 12:26:35 PM)

13 June

Pilot Officer "long Pig" Graham stares blanefully through his one eye. The other is closed by the brutal bruise that covers half his face. One day, he silently swears to himself, these little barsteds would pay...

In the beginning, things had been............strange
The soldiers had robbed him, yelling with delight at the bars of chocolate. The Officer.........
The Officer seemed to know him. Seemed to be amused about him. The word canoe even might have been mentioned, but there had been little English in this hole.
Incredibly, they had spent 6 hours playing chess!

Played Chess as the bombers banged away above

But then, the intelligence officer had arrived, strutting peacock of a prig.........

The questioning he had expected
The beatings..........well, part of the game, what?
But the cruel tortures..............

Now these barsteds seem to be about to play a new game.............

There are 6 men now in the bunker, a Leutenant, 4 common ranks...............and this prig, the intelligence officer.
The little prig leans close again, and repeats, in horribly impecable English.......'And for the last time, the number of Divisions across the river....and do they intend to attack?"

Graham tests his bound hands again, still numb, useless behind him.
Wearily he shakes his head.


Rapid Japanese....the hands grab him.
Sharp words betwen the two Officers...........

Arms force him to his knees, push his head the dull of the cave, the glint of the sword.

Hosho views the scene with disgust
Questioning yes, that is expected.
But this..........
He will have nothing of this. This man has fought, not surrendered with out a fight. A japanese heart, no?
Torture is, is below them...........below the 55th Divisions name surely........

The Intelligence officer, how quickly he has come to hate the man, advances on the prisoner again, "'And for the last time, the number of Divisions across the river....and do they intend to attack?"


"Get him on his knees!"
A sword is drawn

Hosho's eyes catch a form in the corner, the dummy soldier, lying forgotten.
A crazy idea fills his head
'Sir!, you cannot!"

The intelligence officer sneers."and why not?'
'Because Divisional Commander has reserved the pleasure sir...........if you deprive him........."


The sword goes back into its scabbard.
'"get him on his feet. I will take him to Headquarters"

Hosho nods......sir, if i suggest, the front entance would be easier and faster"

Silence fills the bunker. Several of his mens eyes widen............but none speak

"very well"

The Intelligence Officer strides to the entrance.....'bring him"

Hoshos men take Graham by the arms, and hang back ever so slightly

The intelligence Officer moves out of the cave, and Greg Butler across the river shoots true.

Hosho shakes his head. "war ney?"

"Why sir?" one of his men asks, incrediously.......

Hosho shrugs.'I dont really know, insurance perhaps?." he gestures to the britisher, release his bonds, he's not going anywhere"

'Long pig' shakes his hands free...........things, apparently, remain strange

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/10/2013 12:29:16 PM)

6 hours later 55th division recieves new orders.
A relief divisionis enroute. Retire to Rangoon

It is not before time. Starvation, bombing, malaria, disease.
It will be a shadow division that begins its march south

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/10/2013 12:33:11 PM)

Over lautern, Fiasco

No sweeps go in

Poorly escorted, properly escorted (it makes no difference ultimately), the disjointed strikes go in.
170 hellcats await.

81 japanese aircraft are lost for 11 allied, and no allied ships are even threatened with an attack..

A Fiasco, and a frightening taste of what may soon become all too familiar.

Nearly 3 full divisons have gotten ashore.............

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/10/2013 12:35:14 PM)

Zuiho steams on, still heading steadily north.

There are daily updates of the forces in Colombo.
Today the news is, the Carriers are gone.

Enroute to port blair?

If they are, Zuiho will be one of the first to engage.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/10/2013 1:07:12 PM)

Steaming steadily Northward.
This is, of course, all the books of history will ever tell us. Another day of the war. But let us dig a little deeper.
There is the Captains ships book.......

"Steamed steadily North as part of Task force 69. Minor Engineering casualty reported 1300 hours. Rectified 1345 hours
Combat patrol resumed 1400.......


Let us look eleswhere.........
Flight operations log.

Flight deck closed 1300 hours to 1400 hours, insufficient wind across deck.

OK, so another clue.

The Engineers log...................

damnation...........nothing of good there..........Minobes entry is just........."Nothing to report'

But we dig, and if we dig deep enough, there is the rough engineroom log...........and now we know:

It is Lurch on watch, Lurch the steamer, gaining every day confidence and poise. Okano is in the engineroom. Zuiho steams on two boilers only pushing them hard, the others banked, conserving fuel..
The day, as the last week has been, drags interminably on.
'Port boiler, Port engineroom............routine feedpump swing please"
"Roger, swinging feed pumps"

The watertender reluctantly moves upstairs to his pumps, temperatures here are quite hellish now, the less time away from the fan the better.
He checks the standby pump. Suction valve, discharge valve, exhaust valve..........
Crack the drains, steam roars, shut the drains.
On with the gloves, grab the wheel spanner, 2 feet of iron. Open the throttle valve, the turbine springs to life, rolling at half speed.
Drains again, all good. Take the governor control arm, heave it up, hold it against the pressure, the turbine speeds up, fiddle with the pin that holds the governer arm engaged, fiddle with it, fiddle with it, fiddle with it...........grunt with the effort, and it slides into place.

Right, turn to the other pump, the effort to close the throttle, the pump begins to wind down, out pin, shut the throttle.......
Swing eyes to the Boiler water level guage glass..........
Minus 2 inches
Minus 3 inches..........dropping.
What the ???

Lurch sees the level too.......
"What the TRUK is going on up there!...........WHATS the WATER LEVEL!!"

"Minus 4 inches!", the reply is tinged with panic.........
'Truk!.........Lurch turns to his Burnerman.........get your mainstop wheelie..standby!!"

'Minus 5 inches!..........
desperately the water tender is searching for the cause, his pump is running..........the DA is filling........filling too fast!.......What the hell????.
He will not notice until too late, that the pin did not go in..............the online pump is actually only on idle load.

Lurch calls it.
(And no charge could expect anything less)
"PORT Engine room!, Port Boiler room!, Low water level, Pulling fires!, emergency shut down!"

Things happen fast now, my friends.
Fast, smoothly, with out hesitation. they need too.............death awaits if things go too wrong.

Okano calmly does his job.........."Bridge, port engine room, flame out port boiler, crossing boilers, revolutions limited to 096 rpm....." Word delivered calmly, normally......
More words, yelled to clear the scream of the turbines, ..........."Open the cross connect!, open the auxiliary cross conect!, shut condensate BHD Valv, close............
A stream of orders, his men leap to action.

Lurch too follows his so recently learnt drills............there is no time to be afraid, or nervous. The main stop......Shut!, the Auxiliary stop............shut!, fuel recicing...........auxiliary steam crossed, yes.............pumps still going!, feed stop..........stopped.........
Blowers secured............

Zuiho steams on, the rest of the ship oblivious to the work below.

The pin failure will be discovered, the feed restored, the boiler, 45 minutes later re connected.

A bad error, initially.
But a flip side. Lurch is really coming along, no?

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/12/2013 6:37:46 AM)

14 June
55th division is marching.

Hoshos unit trails at the rear. Trails is the word, the entire division has long passed the point of being a military coherent unit. Now it is a long snail of men, the weakest falling behind, the strongest forging ahead to the promise of proper provisions, proper support somewhere south.

There are a lot of weak men.

Pilot officer Graham stumbles along with them. At the moment, despite the swollen face, there is little doubt he is the far, far fitter then those that guard him.

He has not eaten now for 2 days.........
That does not scare him, he's been there before.
Its the way some of the obviously starving japanes soldiers eye him, that does.
he's been there before too...............

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/12/2013 6:43:40 AM)

14 June 44

Indian ocean

Fate turns her hand again
Combined fleet is spotted. No, more than that, tracked, snooped, counted, catalogued

Colombo is reported empty of ships, crawling with fighters.

Truk! says Abe!
Truk! says herbiesan
Truk says a dozen captains

herbiesan had a cunning plan, cantona seems to have out witted it.

The fleet will return to Singapore. 200000 tons of precious fuel wasted.................

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/12/2013 6:51:16 AM)

Forts to 3..........

The bunker spits machine gun fire, sweeping the area before it. The slit is all but hidden, only the flash of the hammering gun gives it away. Before it, the Company of marines inch forward, seeking the flanks.

A man courageously exposes himself, the gun spits, the Marine seeks safety again.
But the slit is fixed now.
Fire suppresses the slit, and mortars fall at its rear, if there is an escape out the back, it is now death.

The Sherman clanks its way forward, impervious to the machine gun.
It fires at almost point blank range, marines burst from its cover, grenades roll, explosions, the chatter of guns, screams.

Flame roars from the tank.............filling the slit...........vague shadows dance, jig, fall..........

The bunker is cleared.
Another Bunker is detected, the tanks roll forward again.

All over lautern, one by one, hour by hour, the marines chew their way forward, deeper up the hills, advancing, advancing.

The japanes stand.
The japanes die

Another day
Forts to 3.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (5/14/2013 10:50:42 AM)

16 June

The defences at lautern are collapsing............

Zuiho finally reduces from her full power sprint, settles back to a more comfortable steaming speed.
Admiral Abe has taken fright at the number of submarines sighted coming his way, and ordered a sprint south to clear the area.
It has hurt.
Zuiho's main machinery spaces are becoming more and more humid, the number of leaking valve glands, pump glands is growing. The steady hiss of leaking steam now a constant back ground noise now in all spaces.

Steam is, of course, water. So now the battle between production of water to its loss, is knife edged. A few more days at sea and it must inevitably turn south, water restrictions for the crew loom large.
The boilers need de coking. They need a clean, internally, externally. Boiler Chemistry is becoming a nightmare.

The crew can do nothing more than battle on.

Zuiho is not alone. The fleet, nearly all of Japans navy suffers too.

This little excursion, we now can say, has been a terrible mistake.

The crews need rest. The ships need it even more.
The allies, now rolling, are not going to give any..............

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