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RE: Small Ship, Big War

 
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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/13/2009 5:21:18 PM   
Norm3


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As always, an absolutely incredible read!

You should be charging us!

I definately have waisted too much money on those historical fiction charlatans who write novels! Thanks for sharing all of your continuing briliance!


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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/13/2009 9:36:23 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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March 26, 1945

Location: Inch'on
Course: None
Attached to: None
Mission: Disbanded in port
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 475

Orders: Await further orders

---

Wars end, though war goes on. The guns fall silent. And when the echoes of their thunder die away what remains are the quiet places, the hallowed places, the places where the dead are buried.

Stand at Arlington while the bugler plays “taps” and listen as the last notes echo and fade among the endless rows of headstones. Walk at Flanders Fields amid the neat rows of white crosses, where the poppies still blow. Stand at Groesbeek, at Brookwood, any place where the fallen are honored. There are such places in every nation. Wars end. But the dead remain.

The dead, perhaps, are beyond caring. They have given everything they were, or might have been, in service to their country and passed on. It is given to those of us who remain to honor them, to tend their graves, and to remember who they were and why they died.

We may judge the cause for which they fought, debate the wisdom of their leaders, and argue about the course of the battles in which they fell. But we should never forget. For in forgetting we diminish not only who they were and why they died, we diminish ourselves. When service and courage and honor are neglected the soul is left threadbare. If there is ever to be a time when we no longer have to dig fresh graves to receive the broken bodies of those who died in war, we should never forget.

---

For the Japanese, the dead have not departed. The spirits of the deceased are ever-present. Yasukuni shrine is more than a memorial, more than a museum. It is the home of the spirits of those who have died in service to the Emperor.

The belief in the spirits of the dead has waned in recent decades and is less powerful for those of Jomei’s generation than it is for men like his great-grandfather. Nonetheless, as Jomei and Shiro walk under the thirty-meter tall steel tori’i that leads onto the grounds Jomei cannot help feeling as though he is in the presence of something powerful. Perhaps it is the somber and grand scale of the place.

As they stop at the massive granite water trough to ritually purify themselves before proceeding further Jomei notices something else. His great-grandfather is wearing his uniform, and though the old man is stooped and the uniform hangs on his bony frame the people here are all treating him with great respect. Jomei knows the old man as a kindly whittler and vaguely knows that he was a successful furniture craftsman but this respect is something new. He has read his book, of course, and talked with him about the war, but for the first time he really begins to connect the old man he knows with the man who sailed with Ishii, with Shun, and who saw so many of the battles of the Great Pacific War.

Having poured water over their hands and rinsed their mouths the two Kuramatas proceed through a wooden gate hinged with a massive pair of doors that would not have looked out of place in a medieval castle. Old and young, walking together, they enter the grounds.

---

It is some hours later. Jomei and Shiro sit on a bench while Shiro rests before they proceed to the railway station and the Shinkansen train that will take them back to Tendo. Though it has been a long afternoon Jomei notes that his great-grandfather seems less tired than he would expect from the exertions of the day. The old man, in fact, seems quite alert as he turns a bright eye towards Jomei.

“Well, Jomei-san, what do you think?” he asks. Jomei pauses a moment, choosing his words.

“I am not sure, Great-Grandfather,” he says. In truth he is delighted and awed all at once. The museum was amazing and Jomei could have spent hours more there. But something of the grandeur and sorrow of the place has seeped into him as well and left him more thoughtful than usual for a fifteen-year-old boy. He struggles to put this into words.

“It makes the stories and the history seem more real,” he says at last. “Less like stories more like something that really happened. I mean, I always knew it really happened but…now I know it more. You know? And it all seems less exciting and more…something else.” He trails off.

“I think maybe you do understand,” his great-grandfather says. He pats the boy on the shoulder with a hand that is still strong and callused. “Come on then, boy, we have to get you home before your mother starts fretting about you.” They get to their feet.

“She isn’t going to worry about me,” Jomei scoffs. “She’s going to worry about you.”

The elder Kuramata gives a chuckle. “I guess you’re right about that,” he says. The two begin to walk away. And whether any fond and familiar spirits bid Shiro farewell as he leaves none can really say.



< Message edited by Cuttlefish -- 5/14/2009 10:02:07 PM >

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/13/2009 10:44:32 PM   
tocaff


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Now that was powerful.

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I never thought that doing an AAR would be so time consuming and difficult.
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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/13/2009 11:45:28 PM   
BigDuke66


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And wonderful at the same time.

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/13/2009 11:52:54 PM   
HarryM

 

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Beautifully written!

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/14/2009 10:15:53 AM   
rjopel

 

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Wow.

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/14/2009 10:36:47 AM   
Whipple

 

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Well written. Thank you.

Whipple

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/14/2009 8:06:34 PM   
kaleun

 

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Brings a tear to my eye.

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/14/2009 8:29:22 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish

Having poured water over their hands and rinsed their mouths the two Arigas proceed through a wooden gate hinged with a massive pair of doors that would not have looked out of place in a medieval castle. Old and young, walking together, they enter the grounds.



A simply marvelous post. You have surpassed even your own standard of writing.

But . . . umm . . . (taps forefingers together) . . . isn't Shiro's surname Kuramata instead of Ariga?

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/14/2009 9:08:47 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock
A simply marvelous post. You have surpassed even your own standard of writing.

But . . . umm . . . (taps forefingers together) . . . isn't Shiro's surname Kuramata instead of Ariga?


Whoops, yes. Fixed.

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/14/2009 9:21:47 PM   
Dave3L

 

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The elder Ariga gives a chuckle. “I guess you’re right about that,” he says. The two begin to walk away. And whether any fond and familiar spirits bid Shiro farewell as he leaves none can really say.
 

You have another misprint.  ;)


Still a wonderful addition to the tale.


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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/14/2009 9:34:21 PM   
tocaff


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Maybe CF is just testing us to see if we're really paying attention.  Maybe it's the least we can do is to be his proof readers.

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I never thought that doing an AAR would be so time consuming and difficult.
www.matrixgames.com/forum/tm.asp?m=2080768

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/14/2009 11:39:31 PM   
thegreatwent


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I would be a poor proof reader as stuff keeps getting in my eyes. Thanks for the story CF

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/15/2009 12:44:59 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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March 27, 1945

Location: Inch'on
Course: None
Attached to: None
Mission: Disbanded in port
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 475

Orders: Await further orders

---

“Look, I have my orders,” says the man, a sergeant in the paymaster corps. He reads from his clipboard: “Deliver one truckload of assorted trees and shrubs to destroyer Hibiki to be distributed around the ship for use as camouflage.” Ensign Izu, the officer of the deck, takes the clipboard and reads from it. That is what it says, all right. He looks beyond the sergeant down to the dock, where several laborers stand around a large flatbed truck that is jammed with an assortment of large shrubs and small trees, all in wooden crates or with their root balls wrapped in burlap.

“My apologies for the delay,” says Izu politely, “but I believe I must refer this matter to my captain.” His mental picture of what Ishii would do to him if he allowed this portable forest to be brought aboard without permission includes Ishii removing his skin using one of the dull vegetable peelers from the galley. He turns to a nearby sailor.

“You!” he barks, holding out the clipboard. “Take this to Captain Ishii immediately!” The sailor salutes, grasps the clipboard, and practically sprints away. As Izu expects, Ishii arrives within two minutes. The sergeant and Izu both salute. Ishii acknowledges the salutes and then looks down at the greenery-filled truck.

“And what, Segeant, am I to do with these?” Ishii asks mildly. Izu notes, however, that there are several vertical lines between the captain’s brows. His men know from experience that when those lines appear they had best tread softly.

“You’re supposed to put ‘em around your ship, sir,” says the sergeant. “Break up the straight lines, make the ship look like a little peninsula or something, I guess.”

“It will,” Ishii observes, “make my ship look like a floating floral farce.” He takes a deep breath. “What about some camouflage netting? Could we not use that instead?”

“I am sorry, sir,” says the sergeant. “There isn’t much to go around. From what I hear what’s available is being reserved for the capital ships.”

“I see,” says Ishii. “Very well. Izu, sign for the delivery please. Have the – shipment – unloaded on the dock. And have Seaman Ariga report to me immediately.”

“Yes sir,” says Izu briskly. Ishii nods to the sergeant, who salutes again and trudges down the gangway to begin unloading his truck.

“You know, Captain,” says Izu when the man has gone, “if you like I could get some decorative boulders, maybe a birdbath and some trellises. We could put them here around the…”

“Izu!” barks Ishii. The ensign subsides.

“Yes sir,” he says. “Sorry, sir.” Captain Ishii turns on his heel and stalks away, muttering to himself.


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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/15/2009 1:02:36 AM   
Feinder


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quote:

And have Seaman Ariga report to me immediately.”


It's always useful to have a procurement specialist in the company.

-F-

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/15/2009 1:13:57 AM   
rjopel

 

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Needed the comedy after the somber post before it.

Thanks


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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/15/2009 4:05:39 AM   
vettim89


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Izu is lucky to still have his head attached but when Ishi calms down he may smile a lttle to himself and perhaps appreciate the Ensign's attempt to make lemonade from the lemons handed him

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/15/2009 9:39:02 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
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March 28, 1945

Location: Inch'on
Course: None
Attached to: None
Mission: Disbanded in port
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 475

Orders: Await further orders

---

To place any group of armed men in position to do effective battle with the enemy requires a system of supply. These supplies are procured, allocated, and delivered by a bureaucracy that in most cases vastly outnumbers the troops it is supporting. And like all bureaucracies these organizations are often plagued by inefficiency and waste, aided and abetted by that breed of parasite known as the black marketeer.

The Japanese are notably worse at logistics than are their opponents. This is partly due to the fact that Japan, dragged kicking and screaming into the twentieth century, simply has not had as much time to develop and refine logistics as a science. It is greatly exacerbated by the fact that supply, as a non-combat branch of the armed forces, is scorned and looked down upon. It may be essential but no one wants to do it.

Riku Ariga has repented his past as a smuggler and given away the money he made doing it in a worthy cause. But his knowledge of the system continues to come in useful for he and his shipmates. Under orders from his captain he spends half the day combing the docks and warehouses of Inch’on, poking into corners and talking to people. There is rarely, he knows, a total lack of any given commodity. There is only inefficient use, poor record-keeping, and human greed.

It takes him hours to discover the camouflage netting he is looking for. It takes less time to find a supply clerk with the authority to release it and to learn what he wants in return. And it takes less time than that to appropriate a truck and load the netting aboard, aided by Oizuma and Yoshitake.

Here, however, he runs into a problem. The bundles of netting are large and bulky and it is probably not a good idea to drive through the streets of Inch’on with his booty on display. Someone from a larger ship and with more clout might be looking for the same thing and take the shortcut of liberating his hard-won prize instead of finding his own like an honest scrounger. So Riku covers the netting with a canvas and covers the canvas with empty produce crates, artfully arranged so the truck looks as though it is delivering cabbages. The camouflage netting is thus in effect camouflaged.

As he drives the truck back to Hibiki Riku thinks about organizations and ways to streamline them to reduce waste and improve efficiency. He has some ideas on the subject. Perhaps, he thinks, after the war he may get a chance to try some of them. If there is an “after” for him, that is, and if anything remains on which to build.


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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/15/2009 10:28:35 PM   
Hornblower


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camouflage netting sounds like they may be there awhile...

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/16/2009 2:07:53 PM   
tocaff


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Ariga is doing good just to get a truck with fuel to transport his booty in.  At this stage of the war everything is in short supply for Japan.

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I never thought that doing an AAR would be so time consuming and difficult.
www.matrixgames.com/forum/tm.asp?m=2080768

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/16/2009 7:01:47 PM   
Dave3L

 

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Anyone else besides me feel compelled to keep checking for updates, even though they are experiencing A Palpable Feeling of Doom?

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/16/2009 7:13:56 PM   
Terminus


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No, it's just you... NOOOOOOOOOOT!!!

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/16/2009 7:17:40 PM   
Terminus


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rjopel

Needed the comedy after the somber post before it.

Thanks




"After you fetch us the first shrubbery, you must fetch us another shrubbery, and then arrange them one behind the other, so we get a two-level effect, with a little path down the middle... A path! A path!"


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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/16/2009 11:27:57 PM   
tocaff


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A feeling of doom?  I thought everybody has that feeling when fighting a war.

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I never thought that doing an AAR would be so time consuming and difficult.
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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/17/2009 12:58:10 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Terminus


"After you fetch us the first shrubbery, you must fetch us another shrubbery, and then arrange them one behind the other, so we get a two-level effect, with a little path down the middle... A path! A path!"



Tune in next week when Shun orders Riku to chop down the largest tree in Korea - with a herring!






Attachment (1)

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Post #: 4495
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/17/2009 12:59:18 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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March 29, 1945

Location: Inch'on
Course: None
Attached to: None
Mission: Disbanded in port
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 475

Orders: Await further orders

---

As camouflage netting is put in place over Hibiki the collection of trees and shrubs originally intended for the purpose sits disregarded at the end of the pier, giving a drab naval installation the look of a small, untidy patch of woods. Though the weather is still cool the trees are beginning to unfurl new leaves and the shrubbery glistens with drops of water from last night’s rainfall.

Shiro is down on the dock helping to install a pole that will be used to help support the netting over the ship. During a break he wanders over to the assembled greenery. After contemplating it for a moment he scoots the burlap-wrapped roots a few feet to one side. Then he moves a couple of shrubs before Chief Petty Officer Shinoda’s voice summons him back to work.

This process is repeated throughout the day by various members of the crew. By nightfall the untidy patch of woods has begun to take on the highly formal appearance of a Japanese garden. Someone even moves an old wooden bench into its midst to serve as a centerpiece. It gets repositioned twice before a satisfactory spot is found.

None of this is planned and no one coordinates the activity. Nonetheless by the following day the “garden” has a name: Boldly Hiding Park.


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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/17/2009 1:05:59 PM   
1275psi

 

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I am waiting for the snake to go over the side AWOL - then I will know doom is upon them, not before -fight on Hibiki!

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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/18/2009 6:44:34 PM   
kaleun

 

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quote:

As camouflage netting is put in place over Hibiki the collection of trees and shrubs originally intended for the purpose sits disregarded at the end of the pier, giving a drab naval installation the look of a small, untidy patch of woods. Though the weather is still cool the trees are beginning to unfurl new leaves and the shrubbery glistens with drops of water from last night’s rainfall.

Shiro is down on the dock helping to install a pole that will be used to help support the netting over the ship. During a break he wanders over to the assembled greenery. After contemplating it for a moment he scoots the burlap-wrapped roots a few feet to one side. Then he moves a couple of shrubs before Chief Petty Officer Shinoda’s voice summons him back to work.

This process is repeated throughout the day by various members of the crew. By nightfall the untidy patch of woods has begun to take on the highly formal appearance of a Japanese garden. Someone even moves an old wooden bench into its midst to serve as a centerpiece. It gets repositioned twice before a satisfactory spot is found.

None of this is planned and no one coordinates the activity. Nonetheless by the following day the “garden” has a name: Boldl


How long did you say you lived in Japan?

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Post #: 4498
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/19/2009 6:26:03 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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March 30, 1945

Location: Inch'on
Course: None
Attached to: None
Mission: Disbanded in port
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 475

Orders: Await further orders

---

Japanese resistance stiffens around the airfield at Amami Oshima. The Allies want that airfield, and quickly, and so reinforcement troops are dispatched across the Philippine Sea.

To cover the vulnerable transports the enemy carrier force that has been roaming about the Sea of Japan is recalled to bolster the air defense around the island. As the enemy force passes through the Korea Strait the Japanese attack. A hodge-podge collection of aircraft, trying to take advantage of the constricted waters, is launched against the carriers from airstrips in both Korea and Japan.

The Allied air defense is equal to the task, however. Hellcats and Corsairs swat aside the attacks. Japanese losses are heavy and no hits are scored.

Word of the action is swift to reach Hibiki and the other ships at Inch’on. The official Japanese statement speaks only of “fierce attacks against the enemy” and gives no mention of results. As if this was not indication enough of what actually happened news of the failure quickly spreads from personnel based at nearby airfields which participated in the attack.

Gloomy as this news is, the men of Hibiki are glad to see the enemy carriers go. Their presence in the waters on the other side of the Korean peninsula was a constant threat and their departure is a relief.

What will not become obvious for several days, however, is that the enemy withdrawal has set in motion a chain of actions and reactions that may well be viewed, by Hibiki’s crew at least, as a series of unfortunate events.



< Message edited by Cuttlefish -- 5/19/2009 5:17:01 PM >

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Post #: 4499
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 5/19/2009 2:39:09 PM   
HMS Resolution


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Ah, at last, the untold tale of Lemony Snickett's wartime career with the frogmen!

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Post #: 4500
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