el cid again -> RE: The Irrawaddy Flotilla-600 Missing Vessels? (2/3/2013 5:52:54 AM)
The Flotilla had TWO lives!
The Irrawaddy is navigable to Mandalay year around - but upriver from there - very oddly - where it enters the mountains - in the MONSOON season there is TOO MUCH
water - so it is way too rough - and the river is NOT navigable. In other seasons, you can go to and slightly beyond Myitkiniya. With me so far? For this reason the main upriver port was Mandalay. During the Japanese advance, the fleet general manager, personally, scuttled most of the vessels at Mandalay himself - firing holes in the bottoms with a Bren gun.
AFTER the return of the Allies to the area, many of these vessels were raised and the holes plugged. They either served as is, or were modified in various ways into a large US ARMY fleet of gunboats and landing craft/ships. These included the ONLY COMMISSIONED US ARMY WARSHIPS in any theater in WWII. Unfortunately there is very little information on these vessels preserved.
In RHS/AE Level 1 (i.e. the stock map system version), this river IS navigable. Also in RHS, in 1945, the "Second Irrawaddy Flotilla" appears - at Mandalay - IF the Allies have recaptured it.
The "First Irrawaddy Flotilla" also exists, in part. Only the larger vessels are modeled. There are, as well, some river tankers and a few other river craft. These may - and should - move troops and supplies (and oil) before the Japanese take over. And they MIGHT be evacuated to India - if a player does so soon enough. There is a fully developed river system including the delta with all its ports and channels. But these vessels are numbered since I lacked their names.
This wiki article has a link to a picture of one of the river steamers which can be used as a model. These were steamboats built in Scotland, reassembled in Burma. It was indeed the largest collection of ferries in the world:
Irrawaddy Flotilla CompanyFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company (IFC) was a passenger and cargo ferry company, which operated services on the Irrawaddy River in Burma, now Myanmar. The IFC was Scottish-owned, and was managed by P Henderson & Company from Glasgow. The IFC operated from 1865 until the late 1940s. At its peak in the late 1920s, the IFC fleet was the largest fleet of river boats in the world, consisting of over 600 vessels carrying some 9 million passengers a year.
Seal of Myanma Inland Water TransportThe IFC was formed in 1865, primarily to ferry troops up and down the Irrawaddy River and delta. Soon, the company was carrying passengers, rice, government stores, and mail from Rangoon to Prome and, in 1868, to Bhamo. Click here to see a photograph of Beeloo, a mail steamer of the IFC.
The ferry became indispensable to the oil fields up river at Yenangyaung and Chauk for carrying supplies and heavy equipment. Partly because the railway to Mandalay followed the path of the Sittaung River rather than the Irrawaddy River, the company stayed relevant and useful well into the twentieth century, even after independence from Britain.
The ships, which were paddle steamers, were built in Scotland, before being dismantled and transported to Burma for reassembly. When the Japanese invaded Burma in World War II, Manager of the IFC's Burma fleet, John Morton, ordered the scuttling of all 600 ships in his fleet. This supreme act of denial prevented the Japanese from having a usable, local fleet for transport up the Irrawaddy River. In 1948 the company was reconstituted as the Government Inland Water Transport Board.
 QuoteThe paddle steamers of the IFC inspired the famous lines penned by Rudyard Kipling:
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!
I attempted to attach the image of the Baaloo here but got the message "file is too large" - but you can see it by taking the link from wiki. These are large paddle steamers able to carry hundreds of passengers in a pinch - normally more like a hundred plus cargo. They were modified to carry US field guns in some cases, hence "gunboats."