Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (Full Version)

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kaleun -> Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (12/29/2012 7:45:25 PM)

My game with Scott puttered to an untimely end. I have had no replies to my inquiries so it is time to seek a new opponent.
From Russia with love I shall cross torpedoes with Alex L.

Scenario 2. The usual home rules.

This time, most of the story will be told from the inside of two or three allied submarines.Or not.

This is an Alex L free zone!

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (12/29/2012 7:48:50 PM)

Silent Service.
Chronicles of the allied submarine service

Manila, December 8th 1941.

Lcdr. Ginder, called Jack by his friends was not too happy. Not that he disliked his posting; Manila was a nice, friendly place, with a nice officer’s club and many friendly Filipinas. What he disliked intensely was the submarine he was assigned to command. S-41. A pig boat, not much different of those boats he trained in. Slow, dirty, cramped, older than he, with no range to speak of, which was a good thing since no one wanted to be inside one of those tubs for a long patrol.

Not that he expected any of the new construction boats, but there were newer, better boats in Manila. Someone in the Bureau of Naval Personnel had it in for him.

Still, his submarine was ready for service and a final inspection yesterday with WC Spech his XO everything was shipshape. Considering the age of the boat, that was bound to last until they left harbor, which he intended to do today for a shakedown cruise down to Panay.

The dull explosions over the airfield caught him by surprise. He thought at first that a fuel truck exploded, until he saw the first fighters, flying low over the Manila skies, and he saw meatballs on their wings. He ran towards his boat, and was halfway there when he decided that his shakedown cruise was probably off and he’d better seek new orders. He turned around and sprinted to Far East Fleet Headquarters.
Nobody seemed to know anything. After what seemed an eternity he caught sight of his admiral, standing, with other brass, at a desk covered by dust from near misses.

“Lcdr Ginder, S-41 sir,” he said, “My ship is ready, I need orders sir.”

The fleet admiral looked down at the eager officer. He had no orders to give, not in the chaos of the unexpected attack, still, he wasn’t going to admit that.

“It seems that a Japanese invasion fleet has been seen off Legaspi. Go and intercept them.”

“Aye aye sir.”

He arrived to the pier where S-41 was moored. He was glad to see that the 4 .30 cal machine guns were manned and firing uselessly at aircraft that were, of course, out of range. He ran up the gangway and found WC his XO waiting at the conning tower.

“Get us out, let’s go,” he ordered.

The submarine made its way into the roadway, ignored by the enemy aircraft that attacked, with pinpoint precision, their assigned targets, ignoring everything else.

“Dive as soon as there’s enough depth WC.”

“Aye aye sir.”

The young skipper looked up at the sky, criss crossed by a plethora of enemy planes.

“We will surface when we get out of this mess and try to transit on the surface.”

The XO slid down the ladder to the control room. An enlisted man came out and handed a steel helmet to the captain who donned it against the multiple fragments of spent flak that rained on the conning tower. It seemed like all the flak guns in the harbor were firing at the same time, more of a danger to the men on the ground than to the enemy aircraft.

“Cease firing you two,” he ordered the two sailors at the machine gun stations, "Fire only if something gets near.”

S-41 made its way around Corregidor island and, as soon as she cleared the minefield she slid beneath the waves.

Pearl Harbor. December 7th

Columns of smoke rose all over the city. The airfield, cratered, full of destroyed aircraft, many of its buildings on fire, was useless. Fires on the harbor installations were being contained but, on battleship row, only 5 battleships, Tennessee, California, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Nevada remained afloat. Oklahoma and Arizona had both blown apart in massive explosions when their magazines exploded. Judging by how low she sat in the water, California might not make it either despite the frantic efforts of the shipyard’s men. Tennessee and West Virginia, also heavy with flooding should survive.

As soon as the first wave of Japanese aircraft left the skies, a single Tambor class submarine slipped its moorings and headed out of the harbor, on the surface, unescorted, at full speed. Thresher was dispatched to the position where radio intercepts placed the enemy task force. Not that anyone expected the enemy carriers to stay there, but you never know.

At naval headquarters, the few submarine captains listened to the briefing, and all the bad news. All the newer submarines were sent off on different patrols, to take positions against expected enemy invasions where they were bound to arrive too late to do anything useful. Each captain acknowledged his orders and left, grim determination on his face.

Last one in the room, a new lieutenant commander, Robert James Moore, SS Cachalot received his orders. Rear Admiral Tomas Withers Jr, ComSubPac handed him the sealed envelope and shook his hand.

“Are you a gambler, lieutenant commander?”

“A little sir.”

“Good, for I am taking a gamble with you,” the admiral said, “everyone else is going to important, defensive stations. Their ships cannot be risked, not at this time. Cachalot is old, but she can still fight.”
“Yes sir, Cachalot is ready in all aspects, sir.”

“I am sending you; I am ordering you to take the fight to the enemy, Commander Moore. Take Cachalot into enemy waters. Lay off Yokohama and sink everything you find. Who knows, you might find their Kido Butai,” he spat those two last words, “when they return to their lair.”

“Yes sir,” Commander Moore saluted and left.

One hour later, escorted by two minesweepers, Cachalot made its way out of the smoking ruin that was Pearl Harbor.

Capt. Harlock -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (12/30/2012 3:44:01 AM)


on battleship row, only 5 battleships, Tennessee, California, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Nevada remained afloat. Oklahoma and Arizona had both blown apart in massive explosions when their magazines exploded.

Interesting, since Oklahoma and Arizona were the same two ships permanently lost IRL. What about the USS Maryland?

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (12/30/2012 5:14:50 PM)

December 8th 1941 (Hawaii)

S-41. At sea.

Need to know. Armies and navies rely on it. After all, you would not tell the Marines and GIs now stranded in the Philippines that the vaunted war plan Orange is a shambles. That the US Navy that was to come steaming to their rescue lies at the bottom of Pearl Harbor and that they will wait in vain in the bastion of Bataan.

When ships were made of wood, on the deck of the men of war there was a barrel, sawn in half, where water was available for the sailors to drink from during the day. This was the equivalent of the modern office’s water cooler. Where sailors would congregate and exchange gossip and rumors. Some of them were even true.

It was, of course, the scuttlebutt.

Isolated in their iron tube, news is a precious commodity. The only source is the radio room where messages are received and, some of them decoded. Of course this can only happen on the surface, or at periscope depth, when the radio aerial protrudes above the surface. There is always someone loitering near de door to the cramped radio compartment waiting to catch a bit of information. Not all transmissions are encoded; some, as the desperate S.O.S. from sinking ships is often transmitted in the clear.

“Message from Manila,” the XO said handing his skipper the decoded flimsy.

“Sailfish, Searaven, and Seadragon are assigned to Legaspi too. They sail north of us,” Lieutenant commander Ginder read, “Inform the lookouts, we don’t want to attack them by mistake, do we?”

“Or them us,” Spech answered.

“There is something more skipper, the radio intercepted messages from some merchants; they were intercepted by the enemy off Cataduanes, near Legaspi. It seems they were trying to flee to Manila. The tanker Manatawny, two cargo ships and four coastal transports were sunk. It appears that a light cruiser, Nagara and a destroyer were the only enemy combatants identified.”

Other news seep out of the radio room, Houston engaged a superior enemy force at Banngi, CL Natori, CL Kuma and DD Satsuki engaged by the heavy cruiser received several hits and the light cruisers suffered heavy damage.

Houston however, outnumbered took 9 impacts and is now trying to withdraw toward Soerabaja. There is, however, an enemy task force reported in the Makassar straits.

Rumor has it that an enemy battleship was hit by 4 bombs by Singapore based biplanes.

Rumor also has it that a Dutch submarine hit an enemy transport in Kota Bahru.

SS Cachalot.

Scuttlebutt also runs rampant in the old Cachalot. The enemy has once again raided Pearl Harbor. Pennsylvania, California, West Virginia and Tennessee have been hit again. Other ships have been hit too. In Pearl and in Manila.

The course remains WNW.

Tokyo Radio reports that Kundat, Bataan Island, Tarawa, Kuantan and Kota Bahru have fallen to the Japanese. Who knows how much of this is true.

December 9th

Cachalot, sails on the surface, even in daytime, the waters between Hawaii and Midway being safe from enemy air patrols. Her radio captures transmissions from Pearl. Yet again, the enemy carrier aircraft raid the harbor. Can nothing be done against the enemy carrier force? The radio operators say that Nevada sunk after a magazine explosion. Lcdr Moore cannot confirm or deny this rumor. SubPac has not seen fit to share this information with its submarines. They do not need to know.

The wireless transmissions intercepted by the radio room are now less chaotic and more of them are coded. It may mean that the brass is getting its **** together. The batteries are fully charged. The course is WNW, all ahead full. The lookouts keep a steady watch over the empty sea and sky.

SS-41 arrives on station at Legaspi.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/2/2013 5:10:03 PM)

December 10th.
SS Cachalot

“Message from Pearl sir,” The radioman handles the coded message flimsy to his captain.

He looks at the series of numbers and letters. “Must be important to be sent in this code,” he thinks.

“Thank you,” he turns around and heads for his cabin. He pulls out the codebooks from his safe and begins the process of decoding the message,

TO: USS Cachalot
Be advised CV Enterprise TF and CV Lexington TF to rendezvous W Midway. Proceed per captain’s discretion through area to avoid friendly asw patrols.

“What do you think XO?”

Stubbin, the executive officer ponders over the map.

“We are too far yet from Midway, we can continue on the surface during the day still.”

“What do you think they are up to?” Moore asks.

“Beats me. I don’t think they would send only two carriers against whatever it is that the Japs have over there.”
Moore measures distances with the calipers, “They are very far away from home…”

“What do you think captain?”

“They must have tanker support, Pearl must have located the oilers.”


“Captain to bridge!”

Lcdr Ginder rushes up the ladder. The officer of the watch reports.

“Something off starboard,” he points with his hand.

“Two ships, XO,” Ginder mumbles, “no make that three.”

“Course 330, all ahead slow.”

The submarine turns slowly to its new course, the slow speed decreasing its wake and making her less visible.

“Escorts, I think,” says the XO.

“They must be escorting something, don’t you think?”

The submarine begins to stalk its prey; it will be a long night. The enemy destroyers, three of them weave between SS-41 and the coastline, invisible below the horizon. Over and over the old submarine tries to sneak between the escorts to reach the ships unloading at Legaspi, but there is always an escort dead ahead, no matter how much Ginder twists and turns the submarine, he cannot approach. It will be dawn soon.

“Course 300, all ahead slow.”

The destroyer ahead, a blob of black, darker than the horizon turns.

“Captain, sonar, target has increased speed.”

He punches the edge of the conning tower with his fist; he turns the binoculars towards his enemy.


The black shape of the destroyer now has a bone of white at its prow and is heading directly at SS-S41.

“Full ahead,” he orders into the voice pipe.

“Fire one, fire two!”

The two Mk. 10 torpedoes speed off leaving a trail of steam behind.

“Dive! Dive! Dive!”

He watches the depth meter and, as soon as the conning tower is submerged he orders:

“Full starboard, ahead 2/3rds.”

Blamm! Blamm!

“Capt, sonar reports cracking sounds on the bearing of the torpedoes.”

“All ahead slow, rig for depth charges.”

Now to avoid the two angry escorts that will try to avenge their sister.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/3/2013 9:33:01 PM)

December 11th 41
Once again, during the night, the old, tired submarine attempts to approach the coast and, once more, her efforts are thwarted by enemy destroyers. This time, she is not so lucky. The enemy ships drop depth charges on the pig boat. The charges only rattle her, so to speak, but they do drive her off the coast. There is only minimal damage.

“Message from Manila sir,” the radioman picked the transmission up while they were at periscope depth.

“Set a course for Altimonan. It appears there is another invasion there for us to repel, all alone.”

SS Cachalot.

The submarine cruises on the surface approaching Midway from the South East.

“It sure would be nice if we could refuel there,”

“Sure would XO, but there’s nothing except for some Catalina float planes and gooneys there.”

“Picked up a message from Pearl sir,” the radio man announces through the voice tube, “it was broadcast in the clear, seems like a new air raid.”

“These Japs are bold. Three days in a row, they just sit offshore and bomb the place. Can’t anyone do something about it?”

“Looks like the brass are waiting for them to run out of fuel, or bombs.”

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/4/2013 8:31:45 PM)

December 12 41


Off Altimonan the submarine seeks prey. Sinking a destroyer is not bad, but that’s not what this old iron coffin is for. It is the enemy’s transports that the submarine seeks. They know, Japan is a maritime nation, like England was in 14-18, and a maritime nation, that depends for all its needs on imported goods, can be brought to her heels by submarines. Not by small, short ranged pig boats, but by the newer boats, those that seem to have problems with their torpedoes.

“Our torpedoes run well,” the chief torpedoman said.

The radio picks up bits and pieces of news.

Lingayen invaded. Mersing invaded. Altimonan seized by the enemy. Legaspi taken, Naga taken.

“What are we doing here,” the XO complains.

“At least we sunk something.”

SS Cachalot

The submarine proceeds in deep submergence all through the day. This close to a friendly base, this only means one thing, as Sparks, chief radio man, promptly makes known to everyone.
Enterprise and Lexington are around here somewhere. Their devastators cannot tell the difference between a US or a Jap boat.

The submarine sails, slowly ENE. At night she will surface, to get news, to get air, to charge her batteries.
Pearl Harbor is hit again.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/4/2013 8:32:52 PM)

December 13th

SS S-41

Sailing off Polillo. No contacts. Dived to avoid air patrols, uncertain whether ours or theirs.
Intercepted message from Manila. Enemy carrier force operating in Celebes Sea.

SS Cachalot.

West of Midway, the submarine stays submerged all day, creeping west at minimal speed to conserve batteries. At dusk, she surfaces and catches up on the news, Pearl Harbor bombed again.

Cpt Sherwood -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/5/2013 4:16:04 AM)

Anything left at Pearl? 7 days of attacks? KB must be low on sorties.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/5/2013 7:38:03 PM)

December 14th

SS Cachalot.
Clear of Midway, the submarine sails WNW on the surface. The smoking light is on; the sea is empty of aircraft or ships. The second officer has the watch. He stands in the conning tower watching the sea rolling over the saddle tanks.

“Permission to come up,”

“Go ahead.”

Chief radioman Farlay comes up the ladder, “Sir, something’s up.”

“What’s up?”

“That’s it sir, I don’t know. One moment the airwaves are quiet, the daily raid at Pearl, then nothing, then next everything explodes. All kind of messages, coded, everywhere. Falwkes, second radio, swears one of the transmissions is from Lex, he says he recognizes his friend’s hand. Should we tell the captain?”

“No, let him sleep, for now. Let’s wake up the XO.”

Stubbin, the captain and the second officer study the map and the intercepted transmissions. Something is going on to the east, but what?

The answer comes later, at dusk. A coded transmission, with instructions to relay to crewmen per captain’s discretion.

Dive bombers from Enterprise and Lexington have intercepted enemy replenishment task force NW Midway. 7 fleet oilers sunk. No allied losses.

Then new orders come.

Set up patrol NW Midway soonest. Intercept enemy replenishment forces returning Japan.

BBfanboy -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/6/2013 12:55:31 AM)

Nice! Here's hoping KB is low on fuel after seven days of attacking PH!
He may have to send some sacraficial xAKs out to donate bunker fuel to KB!
Japan will likely be too far for KB to return to. He may have to head for Kwajalein.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/7/2013 2:38:44 PM)

Alex L will be dropping by to take a gander at the AAR.

Hi Alex. Why don't you give it a try at an AAR?

After today this becomes again a No Alex zone until further notice.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/7/2013 4:10:40 PM)

December 15 1941

Sometimes gambles do not work. The Australian prime minister spent most of his political capital with Winston Churchill to get him to agree to return the Australian brigade stationed in Malaya. He strongly suspected he would need it in the homeland, or perhaps to set up a bulwark at Timor. After endless haggling, the brigade loaded up in two armed merchant cruisers, Kanimla and Manoora, and a troop transport, xAP Dominion Monarch. Two destroyers were all that could be spared as escorts but it was thought that a smaller task force had a better chance than a larger one to escape without attracting undue attention.

Vain hope. BB Kongo and Haruna, with heavy cruiser Kumano and seven destroyers ambushed the task force. The AMCs and the two destroyers put up a valiant, yet hopeless fight. Both merchant cruisers and the destroyer Express went down with great loss of life.

Dominion Monarch and DD Jupiter got away and are now heading for Perth. The brigade, originally destined for Darwin will now have to refit and recover before being committed to battle.

On other news, Iba, Cabanatuan, Mersing, Tawan, Tenate and Jesselton all fall to the Japanese steamroller.


A message from Manila announces that all submarines previously based on the Philippines shall now be based at Soerabaja.

SS Cachalot.

From SubPac.
To. Pacific Submarines.
KB Location. 720nm E Midway steaming W.
Intercept if possible.

BBfanboy -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/7/2013 7:58:33 PM)

Ugh - one of those situations where you don't know which hurts more - losing most of an Aussie Bde or wasting the PP trying to save them. [:(]
I guess the xAP got away thanks to the escorts' sacrifice?

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/7/2013 8:53:26 PM)

Yes, the AMCs and the destroyers sold themselves dearly.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/9/2013 4:41:21 PM)

We are back to an Alex L free AAR.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/9/2013 4:43:55 PM)

December 16th 1941

Need to know. What is it? How much does the skipper of a naval ship needs to know?
Not much, unless the skipper is to operate isolated, far from the admiral, alone, thousands of miles inside enemy territory. Unless, of course he commands a submarine. Then the need to know, to make strategic decisions is imperative.

Thus, despite their junior grade, often mere lieutenant commanders and commanders get more information than their senior peers at the bridge of a destroyer or even a cruiser.

SS Cachalot.

The radio intercepts multiple messages. The ComSubPac frequencies sizzle with coded messages. Only one is meant for Cachalot but they recognize the call signs of many other submarines. The messages, save for coded coordinates, are all the same.

All SubPac submarines are ordered to form a barrier between Midway and the Japanese home islands. Cachalot changes course to NNE. Everyone on board knows about the attack on December 14th, everyone on board knows, or suspects what KB will need to do. Head home, husband their fuel, which means steam slow.

The BBC announces that a Dutch submarine sunk an enemy cargo ship, xAK Ryuju Maru near Kuantan.

Wake, Pontianak and Mauban are reported captured by the enemy.

xAP Dominion Monarch, loaded with the remains of the 27th Australian brigade approaches Batavia. The plan is to unload the shaken Australian troopers from the wounded transport, transfer them to two or three different ships and have them continue sailing to Darwin.

SSI-154 has different ideas. She misses but the captain of the transport, while evading the attack changes his mind. He will head for Perth, directly. The Java Sea is too hot for allied shipping as far as he is concerned.


kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/9/2013 4:45:02 PM)

Meanwhile, back in the farm...

Something brewing in the North Pacific.


kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/10/2013 4:05:21 PM)

December 17th 41

Near Toboali, during the night, a task force attempting escape is destroyed by the IJN. CL Durban and CL Dragon try to protect the escaping tankers but to no effect, TKs Strix, Semiran, Manitowoc, and Iris sink and so does Durban. CL Dragon limps away hit by one torpedo and 6 cannon shells.

But that is not the main event, not in the big order of things.

In the early morning sky, a small dot hovers over the southwestern horizon. A lookout with powerful binoculars would identify a Japanese scout plane, here, in the emptiness of the North Pacific. The airwaves ring with Japanese code. There is no need to decode this. “Saratoga seen at such and such position.”

A US Navy search airplane makes a similar discovery and relays it to Pearl Harbor from where it is, in turn, forwarded to the allied carriers.

The Imperial Japanese Navy gets in the first punch.

65 Val dive bombers, 51 Kate torpedo bombers and 42 A6M2 Zero fighters appear over the sky near Halsey’s Enterprise. There are 21 fighters on CAP and more scramble, as fast as the carrier can launch them.

There is no plan, no rhyme or reason. The fighters, F4F 3As, F4F3s and even some F2A-3 Buffalos attack the enemy formations, but the Zeros keep interposing themselves between the fighters and the bombers. 3 Zeros fall at a cost of only 2 Wildcats, but they achieve their mission. The allied fighters only splash 1 Kate bomber and damage two Kate and 2 Val bombers. One more Kate is torn to pieces by flak.

The remainder makes their attack runs. At full speed, the large carrier twists and turns and evades all but one of the enemy bombs, and all but two of the torpedoes. Other ships are hit too. CA Chester hit by 5 bombs, Salt Lake City, 4, DD Balch takes 4 torpedoes and sinks, CA Northampton 2 bombs and DD Fanning one.

The first round goes to Japan.

13 Wildcats and 10 Buffaloes fly high, escorting their wards, 49 SBD3 and 13 SBD dive bombers. They search and find their target. Only 8 Zero fighters are on CAP but far below, the flattops at full speed maneuver into the wind and launch the aircraft that are already spotted, the elevators bring up more fighters. The flak cannons take aim.

The US fighters do their best but cannot keep the constantly renewed fighter cover from getting at the dive bombers. 18 Zeros get to the bombers. But it is not enough. The fighters splash 13 bombers and damage 10 more. Enemy flak kills one.

The dive bombers drop their eggs with telling results:

CV Hiryu, one hit, heavy fires. CV Zuikaku, 2 hits, CV Akagi, one CL Abukuma one.
The surviving aircraft head back to their carriers.

It is not over.

The third round follows shortly. 31 dive bombers and 11 F4Fs arrive over the enemy fleet. 18 fighters are out of position and try to climb desperately to meet the new threat.

CV Akagi hit twice. CV Zuikaku hit by three bombs reported to be heavily damaged and on fire. Shokaku avoids damage and Hiryu on fire and covered by smoke is not targeted.

Second and third round US.

The Enterprise airplanes divert to Lexington and Saratoga. The stricken carrier turns East, towards the US West coast.

It is not over yet.

Mechanics patch up airplanes as best they can. Armorers rearm and refuel them. Pilots take a bathroom break and grab a sandwich. There is time for yet another attack.

Only 13 fighters this time, 5 Buffalos and 8 Wildcats escort 31 bombers, 12 SBD-2 and 19 SBD-3s to the vicinity of the enemy fleet. There are no enemy fighters.

The bombers only see one flat top. They gang up on her.

CV Kaga, bomb hits 5, heavy fire.

Over Lexington, 18 Kates appear. The allied CAP, 5 Buffalo and 10 Wildcats screams into the torpedo bomber formation.

Only two of them drop their bombs on Lexington and both miss.

Fourth round, US.

In Pearl Harbor, as night falls, Admirals tally the score.

One allied carrier heavily damaged. Enterprise is ordered to the West Coast, the distance is the same and there are many enemy submarines lurking around Pearl Harbor.

At least 2 enemy carriers, Kaga and Zuikaku presumed sunk, Hiryu and Akagi damaged.

Better yet, they are far, far from home, and low in fuel.


Major carrier battle NPAC 2 enemy carriers sunk, 2 damaged. Presumed heading Japan. Intercept.

witpqs -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/10/2013 5:01:13 PM)

Holy buckets - nice going! Where did this take place!

BBfanboy -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/10/2013 6:40:19 PM)

Very good results for this stage in the war. Were BBs Hiei and Kirishima, CAs Tone and Chikuma present? I wonder if they were split off to a different TF so they could donate their fuel to the carriers? If so, they will be limping along one hex a turn somewhere between PH and their nearest base. If they were still in the TF, all will be short on fuel and the DDs may even be out of fuel.

As for air battle, it looks like Shokaku, Soryu and Akagi are still in fairly good shape. If they are out of fuel, it might reduce their ability to launch planes quickly. Good luck!

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/11/2013 2:14:59 AM)


Holy buckets - nice going! Where did this take place!

Right by the map in the prior post.
The map was meant as dramatic staging. Guess it didn't work[8|]

BBfanboy -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/11/2013 4:15:41 AM)

The Japanese icons lost their colour - I thought both carrier TFs shown were US.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/11/2013 3:11:25 PM)

They are US carriers TF. One is Lex and the big E, the second one Saratoga. There is also a replenishmet task force from which they fueled.
The Japanese carriers, though suspected of being in the area withdrawing from Pearl had not been definitely located yet.
Also of interest, the flight decks of Saratoga and Lex were loaded with one marine fighter and dive bomber unit with which they had started the game. I forgot to offload the vindicators at Midway[:(]
More to come today.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/11/2013 8:05:29 PM)

December 18th 1941

Alea iacta est. The roll of the die, the luck of the draw. War is sometimes random; a mile further north may mean the difference between life and death, between living to fight another day, or sinking into the deep.

The allied carrier task forces centered on Lexington and Saratoga are ordered back to the West coast. Despite their success, they are still outnumbered. It is not felt wise to risk those assets blindly. The mighty ships turn their prows east.

Behind them, and further south, Enterprise struggles with the flooding from the two torpedoes that hit her. At low speed, to avoid further damage, she braves the waves and heads, she too, towards home.

A sharp lookout sees the two streaks and gives warning.

“Torpedoes, off starboard bow!”

At 7 knots, the flat top has no chance. There is only time to flinch. Two explosions rock the ship. There is no doubt, no hesitation. She was struggling before, now she founders.

“Abandon ship.”

Most of the crew makes it out of her. Some of her escorts chase the enemy submarine, in vain. Others crowd about to rescue as many men as possible.

She is not the only allied ship to sink tonight.

CL Dragon hit by two torpedoes from SS-I-154 goes down with great loss of life.

Other tragedies: Clark falls, so does Victoria Point and Alor Star, Nauru and Guam, the female English voice of Radio Tokyo, already dubbed Tokyo Rose by the servicemen, brags. Many men refuse to believe her when she narrates the loss of Enterprise. They should. She doesn’t need to lie. Not yet.

SS-41. On station off Dadjangas.

Frustration fills the iron hull of the tired, old submarine. They’ve been chasing shadows for the last eleven days. Except for their success against that destroyer, they have seen nothing, attacked nothing, and heard nothing, except bad news. Now there seem to be some enemy ships at Jolo. A light carrier even has been seen there. SS-41 will go investigate.

“Want to bet we’ll be late?” says the chief of the boat.

No one takes him up on his offer.

“At least we have mark 10s,” Joe Cabana, torpedoman’s mate says.

A message intercepted from Skipjack reports yet another torpedo attack that failed after two torpedoes were seen to hit the target yet fail to explode. She evaded the enemy counterattack and sent in the contact report.

It seems the Japanese invasion at Vigan will not be hindered by the US submarines.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/12/2013 7:50:07 PM)

December 19th 1941

Enemy bomber have been hitting Singapore, port and airfield daily. The enemy bombers target Prince of Wales at the dry dock. Despite the battleship’s heavy armor, the bombs always do some damage; worse is the delays they cause on the repairs that the battleship needs to be able to leave harbor safely. Today the naval authorities decide that the battleship must leave Singapore, as is, and try its luck on the passage to Batavia. There is no question of the hurt capital ship attempting the Malacca straits.

The Royal Navy has taken its licks, perhaps not as hard as the US Navy, but she did not have as many assets in place either. There is one thing the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Royal Navy have in common though.

None of them like to play defense.

The British are not stupid. They know they have no assets to slug it out with the Japanese. The US cannot help either. But they have a plan. A plan to hit back, and perhaps slow down the Japanese’s game development.

There is, at Darwin, a small fleet of light cruisers. AT Colombo, CVL Hermes with a wing of obsolescent Swordfish biplanes on deck sits at anchor. During the night, a small task force, CVL Hermes, and the light cruisers Enterprise, Dauntless, Glasgow and Caledon slip their moorings and under Commodore Cpt RRJ Ownlaw, they set out to sea.

SS Cachalot.

Be advised, USS Gudgeon reports being followed by Japanese carrier aircraft, North of Lahaina. KB suspected in vicinity. Attack carriers if feasible.

SS Tambor. LCDR Murphy commanding

Tambor arrives at Pearl Harbor. The chaos may be gone but the devastation remains. LCDR Murphy, conning the submarine into the shadow of USS AS Pelias. Only two battleships remain afloat: Maryland and Pennsylvania. They sit in dry dock. Maryland’s upper works are a ruined tangle of blackened, molten metal. Only her flooding is not too bad, they say. Pennsylvania’s upper works still resemble those of a battleship, of sorts, but she sits low in the water, with half her compartments flooded. Rumor has it that none of those will be ready to leave harbor in less than a year to a year and a half.

An officer tells Murphy that the Japanese only actually sunk two battlewagons. The rest were scuttled, too damaged to repair before the end of the war.

“It will be faster to build new battleships than to repair these old ones,” Nimitz reportedly said.

Murphy looks at Maryland and wonders how bad were the other ships, the ones that were scuttled.

Fuel level 72% heading for Jolo.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/13/2013 5:56:48 PM)

December 21st

At San Francisco, Saratoga and Lexington offload the remains of Enterprise’s flight groups. The two task forces disband together with Enterprises escorts. It will take 5 days for the minor repairs to Saratoga to be completed.

The 56th US Coastal artillery and the 112th US Base force embark, at SFO for Luganville.

Singapore is bombed again and POW takes some more hits. It will still take two days to make the battleship ready (somehow) to sail.

Another tragedy for the allies: CL Mauritius, escorting a transport task force, carrying one of the precious air HQs from Singapore arrives at Palembang only to find a large destroyer surface task force. Despite the light cruiser’s fevered efforts, the two transports are sunk and the air HQ is lost.

In preparation for its evacuation, a single xAK will try to run the gauntlet of the Malacca straits. Perhaps chances are better along the Malaya coast than trying to go south.

The US Navy wants, needs, to go on some kind of offensive. The S boats are too short ranged and slow to be used in the defensive role that they have been used up to now. US sub bases are too far away from the enemy home islands for the fleet boats to be very effective.

Perhaps there is a place, where the US territory is near enough to Japan, to allow the S boats to strike at the enemy merchant fleet.

Orders are given: Construct a submarine base at Attu Is.

How to do it, that, the admirals do not say.

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/14/2013 10:24:53 PM)

December 22nd 1941

xAK Neleus attempts the Malacca straits but SSI-156 cripples her with a torpedo one day out of Singapore. Later in the day, Zero fighters hit her with cannon fire until a 60 Kg bomb puts the ship out of her misery.
Prince of Wales, in a small escort convoy will attempt to run the enemy gauntlet south to Batavia.

The convoy consists of POW SD 60, FD 53, Eng 14, CL Danae SD 12 and DD Vendetta and Stronghold. From Batavia they will sail either to Soerabaja or Perth.

Clark field falls.


At Jolo, the anchorage is empty, the enemy ships gone. The small submarine approaches harbor and refuels. The locals, happy to see the American sailors give them bananas, vegetables and a small live pig. The sub is ordered to patrol off Tarakan.

No battle plan survives contact with the enemy. War Plan Orange is no different. The plan was shattered, perforated, sunk and utterly destroyed. The Americans and Philippinos trapped in Bataan will not see the US Navy arriving, flying the flag, to save the day. They are the expendable pawns on the game of war. Even so, every day that they resist is one more day that the Japanese do not have access to the facilities in Manila bay. It is one more day that the shipyard is denied to them and that means their ships have to go that much further to seek repairs.

At Soerabaja, the harbor teems with US submarines seeking to make their new home there, in the paradisiacal island of Java.

SS: Salmon, Swordfish, Sealion, Seawolf, S-37, S-38, S-40, SS Tarpon, Perch, Sailfish (known as the Squailfish), Seadragon, Searaven, and S-39 are all there. SS Pickerel is there too, but in the shipyard with 42% flotation damage, repair estimate 17 days.

Rear Admiral Pieter Koenraad is the local marine commander and, pro tem, commander also of the US submarines.

It would not do for the poor basterds at Bataan to feel abandoned. Five US submarines, Perch, Salmon, Squailfish, Swordfish and Sealion load up to the rafters with supplies; mostly ammunition and canned fruit, and set off for Bataan. If they evade Japanese patrols and the Japanese minefields around the peninsula, these supplies might give the troops a little morale boost.

BBfanboy -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/15/2013 1:31:21 AM)

OK - I get it: S-41 = pig boat, so they give her a small pig "mascot". Ever smell a pig barn? I expect there will be pulled-pork sandwiches from the galley within two days!

kaleun -> RE: Rumble in the N. Pacific. Kaleun vs Alex L (1/16/2013 7:30:03 PM)

They are really supposed to eat the pig. Some fresh meat is always appreciated.

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