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RE: Small Ship, Big War

 
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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/17/2009 5:31:37 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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April 23, 1945

Location: Ominato
Course: None
Attached to: TF 21
Mission: Surface combat
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 475

Orders: Proceed south and raid enemy shipping

---

Captain Ishii is ashore having lunch with the captains of two other destroyers that will participate in the foray south, Commander Teramuchi of Akiguma and Commander Shunichi of Isokaze. The three men are sitting on tatami mats around a low table. A bottle of sake sits on the table along with a number of empty bowls. The izakaya, a pub featuring both food and drink, is almost exclusively occupied at the moment by navy men.

Commander Shunichi fills his cup with sake and then looks to see if his companion’s cups need filling. He pauses and stares at the small glass in front of Hibiki’s captain.

“What the hell is that you are drinking, Ishii?” he asks.

“Goat’s milk,” says Ishii with a grimace. “This damned war has put a hole in my gut. When I drink sake it feels like I’ve swallowed a hot coal.”

Shunichi shakes his head. “You are not the only captain I know with that trouble,” he says. “But you have more cause than most, with all the action you’ve seen.”

“It isn’t the fighting,” says Ishii. “It’s the waiting and worrying. Like now. We depart tonight, and who knows what we will find?”

“Myself, I am hoping for a nice fully laden troop convoy with but little escort,” says Teramuchi expansively. “Or perhaps a nice group of tankers loaded with fuel for the thirsty enemy ships.”

“It would feel good to strike back for a change,” agrees Shunichi. “And we will have some help, have you heard? The new carrier Ikoma will follow us, to help the submarines with scouting and to pick off stragglers.”

“That is good news!” says Ishii. “Though one carrier will not be enough if we are spotted or have the bad luck to run across enemy carriers by daylight.”

“We must hope for the best,” says Shunichi. “And our fate does not matter, as long as we have the chance to deal the enemy a heavy blow first.” He holds out the bottle to Teramuchi, who shakes his head.

“That is enough for me,” he says. “At least, if I am to con my ship out of the bay tonight.” Shunichi nods, then caps the bottle. He raises his cup.

“Success and good hunting,” he says. “May the gods give us the chance to give the enemy a mighty kick in the pants.” The other two captains lift their glasses and drink. Ishii grimaces slightly at the taste of the thin, warm goat’s milk. He looks at his glass.

“Maybe we can give some enemy captain an ulcer,” he says.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 4591
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/17/2009 1:34:01 PM   
tocaff


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From: USA now in Brasil
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Well in my AAR a Lt has an ulcer and he isn't even on a ship, he's in Washington DC!

Good buildup CF.  Do you give a writing course?  Have you commissioned any researchers to help you? 


_____________________________

Todd

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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Post #: 4592
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/17/2009 8:08:34 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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From: Oregon, USA
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April 24, 1945

Location: 400 miles east-southeast of Sendai
Course: South
Attached to: TF 21
Mission: Surface combat
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 432

Orders: Proceed south and raid enemy shipping

---

Twenty-one Japanese warships - four heavy cruisers, three light cruisers, and fourteen destroyers - steam southward towards enemy-controlled waters. Ahead of them a dozen submarines fan out, seeking targets. Behind them comes carrier Ikoma with seven escorts.

Japanese planners believe they have found a seam in the enemy’s defenses, a narrow slot between the patrol arcs of enemy planes based on Wake and Eniwetok and those on Guam and Tinian. If the Japanese come down past Marcus Island and then angle to the southwest they might just be able to arrive in the enemy’s main shipping lane undetected.

The thousands of sailors aboard the Japanese ships hope so. They are eager, after weeks of being hunted in their own home waters, to strike back. And on this foray being detected might mean more than just having to turn back empty-handed. If they are far enough south it will give enemy carrier forces a good chance to trap and destroy them.

Still, morale is high, in a grim sort of way. More and more these sailors do not expect to survive. They only hope for a chance to take some of the enemy with them. Aboard Hibiki, however, things are a little different. Have they not sailed against the enemy time and again and come back to tell the tale? Is not Captain Ishii capable of seeing them through any situation? And is not the hand of Benzaiten poised over them, ready to fend off doom?

Though they do not know it, perhaps mercifully for at least two of Hibiki’s crew, the Japanese have picked the best possible time to strike. For the enemy is about to deal another mighty blow and their attention is at the moment focused almost entirely upon their new objective – the island of Okinawa.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 4593
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/17/2009 8:30:02 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

Japanese planners believe they have found a seam in the enemy’s defenses, a narrow slot between the patrol arcs of enemy planes based on Wake and Eniwetok and those on Guam and Tinian.


But they don't know about the American code-breaking. Another tense set-up--no wonder Ishii has an ulcer.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 4594
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/17/2009 8:52:40 PM   
tocaff


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From: USA now in Brasil
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Getting in position to strike is hard enough, but a return to safe waters?  

_____________________________

Todd

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

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 4595
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/17/2009 10:12:52 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
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April 25, 1945

Location: 280 miles north-northeast of Marcus Island
Course: South
Attached to: TF 21
Mission: Surface combat
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 389

Orders: Proceed south and raid enemy shipping

---

Nanami Ariga awakens early in the morning in her father’s cottage on Okinawa. For a moment she lies on her narrow sleeping mat, staring at the plastered ceiling. What sound has awakened her? Then she hears it again, a distant rumble of thunder.

Her grandmother enters the room, already dressed and moving briskly despite her years. “Come, child,” she says. “Get dressed quickly.”

“What is it, Grandmother?” says Nanami. There is something in her grandmother’s voice that quickly banishes her sleepiness. “I hear thunder. Is there a storm coming?”

“That is not thunder,” says Rin Shun grimly. “But there is a storm coming.”

As Nanami belts on her kimono and hurries out into the common room she hears the thunder again. It is coming from the south, she judges. But then she hears another sound, low but rapidly building in intensity. It is like nothing she has ever heard before.

Her grandmother is standing outside the front door, looking north. Nanami joins her. Already the sound, a vast droning noise, is growing quite loud. Nanami shields her eyes from the morning sunlight and follows her grandmother’s gaze. What she sees causes her to cry out in amazement and fear.

Airplanes are coming, hundreds of them. Their formations seem to cover the sky. Nanami had never imagined there were so many airplanes in all the world. Many of them are quite high, but other smaller planes are coming in ahead of them, coming in low and fast.

With a roar even above the general din two silvery fighters come in very low, following the road along the curve of the hill. They flash pass the cottage at almost eye level, close enough that Nanami can see the pilots in their cockpits. Nanami sees black bands on the fuselage behind the cockpit and between them the white American star in its circle, then the planes are gone.

Though she cannot hear them the four soldiers in their blockhouse down by the beach are all outside, pointing skyward and yelling to one another. They seem very agitated.

Slowly the planes pass, heading southward towards Kadina. As it becomes quieter Nanami hears the thunder-like rumbling again. It seems louder now. It sounds to Nanami as though it is coming from the village of Kunigami, a short ways to the south.

Her grandmother turns towards her. “Fill all the water jugs you can and take them to the root cellar,” she says. Then the old woman goes into the cottage and wrestles the old Lebel rifle down off the wall. Nanami runs to do as she is bid.

The root celler is located behind the cottage, a short ways upslope on the far side of the neat little terraced garden. Nanami struggles up the path from the pump, carrying two full jugs of water. As she does so her grandmother emerges from the back of the cottage. She has the rifle slung across her bony shoulders. Bags filled with food and other items dangle from both stock and barrel. Nanami puts down the water and runs to help her grandmother with the burden.

“Climb down and I will hand things down to you,” her grandmother says. Nanami lifts the stout wooden door and climbs down the ladder into the cool dimness below, where she is surrounded by the pleasant smells of earth and wicker and roots. This cellar was built by her father some years ago. The walls are lined with wooden planks and sturdy timbers support more planks overhead. It is by far the deepest and sturdiest such cellar Nanami knows of in the neighborhood and she has always wondered why her father built it so. Now she thinks perhaps she knows.

Nanami reaches up and takes the water jugs, the bundles of food, and the rifle. Then she climbs out and runs to fill the last two jugs of water. She pauses for just a moment to look out to sea.

Down the hill, across the road, and down past the beach with its blockhouse slow breakers roll in, sunlight glinting off the curling waves. Farther out is calm water and beyond that is the dappled water that marks the line of reef that runs offshore all along this part of the western Okinawa coast. Beyond the reef Nanami sees lean dark shapes moving slowly up from the south. She is a sailor’s daughter and knows warships when she sees them. She cannot see their flags from here but feels somehow certain they are not Japanese. As if to confirm this she sees a flash and billows of smoke from some of the ships. A moment later comes the thunder sound again.

“Quickly, Nanami!” calls her grandmother urgently. “Forget the water. Come here!” Nanami runs back up the hill as slope echoes to the sound of explosions from somewhere close by to the south.

Nanami helps her grandmother down the ladder and then follows, sliding the wooden door into place overhead. As it thunks into place the root cellar is plunged into darkness. Nanami carefully negotiates the ladder and then finds her grandmother’s hand. The two women sit against the far wall, nestled between two root bins. The faint vibration of explosions is transmitted through the earth and a little grit sifts down from between the tight-fitted boards overhead.

“I am scared, Grandmother,” whispers Nanami. And she is. Her hands will not stop trembling.

“I know, love,” says her grandmother. “Nanami, listen to me. Bad things may happen. You are going to have to be strong. Whatever happens, remember that you must live. You have a young man waiting for you and children in your future. Even if…” Her grandmother’s voice is cut off as a monstrous rumble comes through the earth. Items tumble off the shelves built into the wall on one side of the cellar and crockery shatters. The ground shakes like a wounded animal.

It is the blockhouse, Nanami thinks dazedly. They are shelling the blockhouse.

More explosions follow. The two women wrap their arms around each other and cry out, though the sound is lost amid the crash and din of the shelling. Timbers groan and earth spills down.

Then comes the mightiest blow of all. The concussion bounces the two women like rag dolls in a box. Nanami sprawls on the dirt, deafened. She tastes blood from a split lower lip. Then comes another roar, followed by the crack of breaking timbers. Something crashes into the back of her head and in the darkness of the root cellar Nanami is swallowed by an even deeper blackness.


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Post #: 4596
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/18/2009 1:19:19 AM   
kaleun

 

Posts: 4776
Joined: 5/29/2002
From: Colorado
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Oh Sh*t!

_____________________________

Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
Sun Tzu

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Post #: 4597
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/18/2009 4:11:50 AM   
Cribtop


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From: Lone Star Nation
Status: offline
Damn.

Great stuff as always. I think the two mercifully unaware crew members of Hibiki would be truly surprised to find they are, at least for the moment, in less danger than those on the home front.

Great move to try a rear area raid. It's amazing how many ships are left to the IJN in April '45. That said, it does remind me of how the Confederate army in Georgia, unable to stop Sherman from taking Atlanta, marched to their doom at the battle of Franklin.

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Post #: 4598
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/18/2009 8:20:54 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4369
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
quote:

The concussion bounces the two women like rag dolls in a box. Nanami sprawls on the dirt, deafened. She tastes blood from a split lower lip. Then comes another roar, followed by the crack of breaking timbers. Something crashes into the back of her head and in the darkness of the root cellar Nanami is swallowed by an even deeper blackness.


Uh-oh . . . I think Granny Shun isn't going to get a chance to use that rifle this time.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

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Post #: 4599
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/18/2009 8:32:45 PM   
Hornblower


Posts: 1361
Joined: 9/10/2003
From: New York'er relocated to Chicago
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excellent

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Post #: 4600
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/18/2009 11:01:11 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
April 26, 1945

Location: 240 miles northeast of Marcus Island
Course: South
Attached to: TF 21
Mission: Surface combat
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 361

Orders: Proceed south and raid enemy shipping

---

Rear Admiral Yamamoto’s task force begins to slow as it approaches Marcus Island. The canny admiral intends to approach the island with the care of a burglar approaching an apparently quiet and silent house. Once they pass Marcus they will be in enemy waters. Submarines and increased air patrols from the island report no enemy ships in the area but this does not change Yamamoto’s approach. He intends to detect the enemy before they detect him.

Aboard Hibiki Chief Petty Officer Shun prowls the foredeck. He has been on edge all day. The Chief is not a man given to nerves or flights of fancy but he cannot shake the feeling that something somewhere is badly wrong. It frustrates him that he cannot find a source for these feelings. Nothing seems amiss. Everything aboard ship is running smoothly and the spirits of his men are higher than they have been in a while.

Yet the feeling persists. Shun continues to prowl and the sailors under his restless gaze, detecting his mood, walk very softly indeed.

---

(Twenty four hours previously)

“Wake up, child. Wake up!” Nanami groans in her sleep. Why is her grandmother badgering her so? All she wants to do is sleep a little longer.

Her grandmother persists. Finally Nanami opens her eyes. Yet the darkness of sleep persists. What is going on? Nanami rubs her eyes but it remains pitch black. She feels badly confused and has a terrible headache.

Slowly other impressions reach her fogged brain. While she can see nothing she smells earth and dust and…sweet potatoes? What is going on? And why is there such stress in her grandmother’s voice?

“Grandmother?’ she says. Her voice is hoarse and her bottom lip seems swollen.

“Thank the gods,” she hears her grandmother say. “How do you feel, child?” Her grandmother’s bony hands grips her right hand tightly.

“My head hurts?” she says. “Grandmother, why can’t I see? Have I been sick?”

“We are in the root cellar,” says her grandmother. “Don’t you remember the enemy ships?” Ships? The enemy ships! Suddenly Nanami remembers.

“”Grandmother, are you all right?” she asks.

“My left leg is broken,” comes the matter-of-fact reply. “I am afraid I am not going anywhere for a while. You must go get help.” Nanami sits up quickly, then groans as pain shoots through her head. She feels sick to her stomach.

“I will go immediately,” she manages to say.

“Wait a bit,” she hears her grandmother say. “It has been quiet for a little while now but it would not hurt to make certain.” Nanami nods, then realizes that her grandmother cannot see her.

“All right,” she says. Slowly the pounding in her head recedes a bit. Nanami probes carefully through her own long thick hair and finds a sizeable lump above and behind one ear. She withdraws her fingers quickly after a probe is greeted with a stab of pain. Turning to other matters she carefully stands.

The first thing they must have is light. Nanami extends a hand and finds a wall, then shuffles along until providentially she comes to the ladder. There seems to be a lot of loose dirt and debris underfoot. She climbs the ladder until she comes to the wooden hatch, then gives it a push. Nothing happens.

Disconcerted, Nanami moves up another step and gets her shoulder under the hatch, then straightens her legs, straining upward. Pain lances through her head but she persists and slowly the hatch moves. A crack of daylight appears and dirt patters down. As Nanami succeeds in tilting the hatch a heavy covering of dirt slides off Nanami shoves the hatch aside and emerges into the daylight. Then she blinks, disoriented by more than her headache.

The neat garden terrace is gone, transformed into a hummocked wasteland. Two of cottage’s stone walls still stand but the rest of the structure is utterly gone. Further downslope the hill is studded with shell craters, which are thickest around the blockhouse. Or rather, where the blockhouse used to be. Now there are just upward-jutting teeth of concrete and slabs of rubble.

Still dazed and unable to comprehend the change that has come over her world Nanami climbs out and stumbles down the slope. Here she sees one of her grandmother’s pots, half buried in dirt. There she sees part of a table. And there is an object she cannot at first place. She stands over it, staring down.

It is a human leg, she dimly realizes. Already flies have found it. Nanami lifts her gaze from the horrible sight and looks down at the ruins of the blockhouse. I used to feed them, she thinks numbly. I took soup to them.

Her nausea returns with redoubled force and she turns her head and vomits into the churned-up dirt. When she is done she wipes her mouth and flees back to the root cellar, tears streaming down her cheeks as shock gives way to grief and fear.


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Post #: 4601
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/19/2009 7:30:25 AM   
gladiatt


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Joined: 4/10/2008
Status: offline
Really really great.
Cuttlefish, i think you have by now a kind of duty for all your readers: this chapter about Nanami is good, and we are all awaiting for more .
Congrats !

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Post #: 4602
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/19/2009 12:15:15 PM   
flaggelant


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From: Netherlands
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a great story indeed

by a good writer, showing all facets of the war


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Post #: 4603
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/20/2009 3:20:33 PM   
Ambassador

 

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From: Brussels, Belgium
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Uh-oh, flying legs ?  Lesser writers would have fallen on the ridiculous side of the cliché, but you wrote this magnificently !

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Post #: 4604
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/20/2009 7:14:46 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
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April 27, 1945

Location: 240 miles northeast of Marcus Island
Course: South
Attached to: TF 21
Mission: Surface combat
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 332

Orders: Proceed south and raid enemy shipping

---

Hibiki ship’s log, 27 April 1945:

Task force ordered to hold position to await refueling convoy and locate targets. Weather fair, sea state three. Extra anti-submarine lookouts posted.

---

Nanami has been reluctant to leave her grandmother but after two days it is apparent the old woman is not doing well. She is in much pain and her complexion, as revealed by the light of the lantern that Nanami has lit, seems waxy and grey. As there is no way to get her out of the partly-collapsed root cellar Nanami will have to bring help to her.

The closest doctor is in Kunigami, several kilometers away. The nearest hospital is at Kadina, over 50 kilometers distant. Nanami does not know what is happening to the south. At times she hears the dull, distant thud of explosions and it seems to her that these sounds are growing closer. Still, that is the direction she must go.

She makes her grandmother as comfortable as she can and leaves her with the last intact water jug and most of the food. The only other thing the old woman asks for is the rifle.

“Just lay it right there, dear, thank you,” Rin Shun says. She looks at her granddaughter’s face. “Be careful, Nanami. The people you meet out there, whatever side they are on, will be scared. Frightened people, even good people, can be very dangerous.” Nanami nods, biting her lower lip. She kneels and kisses her grandmother on the forehead.

“I will be back soon, Grandmother,” she says. Then she turns and climbs up the ladder into the daylight. She picks her way purposefully down the slope, carefully avoiding looking wherever swarms of flies gather, and onto the road. Far out at sea she spies some ships but they do not seem to be doing anything other than cruising slowly north.

Nanami hefts her small rucksack over her shoulder and starts walking south, detouring around a large shell crater. In the distance ahead smoke smudges the horizon.


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Post #: 4605
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/21/2009 1:54:22 PM   
grraven2004


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I feel for the civilians. They are the true victims in any war.

_____________________________

Human by birth

Klingon By choice!

Sig changed per Erik's request

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Post #: 4606
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/21/2009 6:34:09 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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From: Los Angeles
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quote:

Hibiki ship’s log, 27 April 1945: Task force ordered to hold position to await refueling convoy and locate targets. Weather fair, sea state three. Extra anti-submarine lookouts posted.


Ohboy. It isn't the sub attacks Hibiki needs to worry about -- it's being sighted and reported.

_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 4607
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/23/2009 1:24:07 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
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April 28, 1945

Location: 240 miles northeast of Marcus Island
Course: South
Attached to: TF 21
Mission: Surface combat
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 304

Orders: Proceed south and raid enemy shipping

---

Nanami has passed the night in an abandoned cottage and early in the morning continues south, still seeking someone who can help her grandmother. Almost at once she begins encountering people moving north. In ones and twos, in small groups and large, terrified Okinawans are fleeing the enemy. All are on foot.

“Come with us,” one man urges.His wife stands nearby holding a baby and two other small children are in tow. “The American devils are close behind. They will cut off our noses and ears if we are captured, and for a pretty young woman like you that will be only the beginning!” He has not seen a doctor. No one has. All doctors and nurses have been taken south to help the Army.

Nanami continues south against this human tide, the lone figure moving that direction. By midday she can hear the rattling of gunfire and explosions ahead. Twice enemy aircraft roar past overhead, prompting people to scramble into ditches. Nanami spares the planes hardly a glance. The day grows warm and the dust raised by the feet of the refugees hangs in the air and coats the bushes along the road.

Soon there are no more refugees. But coming towards her are new figures clad in khaki uniforms. Nanami stops and waits for them to approach. These are Japanese soldiers, also on foot. They do not seem to be marching in formation but rather form a ragged mob strung out along the road. The first few to pass merely glance at her incuriously and continue shuffling north with the best speed they can muster. Their uniforms are dirty and frayed. Nanami tries to stop one to ask if there is a doctor with them but the soldier ignores her.

She grabs another by the sleeve and repeats the question. The soldier shoves her roughly away, cursing her. Nanami sprawls in the dust.

She finds herself looking at a pair of leather ankle-length boots. “Let me help you up,” says a voice. She takes the offered hand and is pulled to her feet to find herself facing a lieutenant. The lieutenant halts the soldier who pushed her and then slaps him twice, hard.

“I apologize for my men,” he says to her. “We have been pushed hard the last two days. The enemy is close behind us. Do you need help?”

Nanami stammers out her story. The officer listens as his men hurry past, then takes her elbow and steers her after them.

“You must come with us,” he says. “It will not do for you to be caught by the enemy. They will be here soon.” He continues to talk as they walk, Nanami hurrying to match the lieutenant’s long strides. It seems that the Japanese defenses on the island are concentrated elsewhere, around Kadina and further south. Here in the north there are only a few scattered detachments and the American columns are moving this way against little resistance.

“I will see that your grandmother is taken care of,” the officer promises. “As we have orders to establish a position at Yona we will pass your cottage tomorrow.” Yona is north of the Shun cottage.

Nanami thanks him profusely. She and the soldiers continue north and soon begin overtaking the slowest of the refugees Nanami passed earlier in the day. Okinawans and Japanese soldiers alike trudge through the dust, all of them fleeing the ruthless American monsters they know follow close at their heels.


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Post #: 4608
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/23/2009 1:59:15 AM   
Hornblower


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"Nanami thanks him profusely. She and the soldiers continue north and soon begin overtaking the slowest of the refugees Nanami passed earlier in the day. Okinawans and Japanese soldiers alike trudge through the dust, all of them fleeing the ruthless American monsters they know follow close at their heels. "  Has a landing taken place ?

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Post #: 4609
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/23/2009 2:16:48 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hornblower

"Nanami thanks him profusely. She and the soldiers continue north and soon begin overtaking the slowest of the refugees Nanami passed earlier in the day. Okinawans and Japanese soldiers alike trudge through the dust, all of them fleeing the ruthless American monsters they know follow close at their heels. "

Has a landing taken place ?


Yes, landings began on April 26th, the day after the bombardment that destroyed the Shun home. The Allied invasion in this case seems to have followed the historical one, with troops coming ashore near Kadina on the western side of the island. Japanese defenses around the airfield there are stronger than they were historically but as with the real invasion the northern part of the island (where the Shuns live) is only lightly garrisoned.

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Post #: 4610
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/23/2009 6:50:14 AM   
Hornblower


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This is really well written.. 

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Post #: 4611
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/23/2009 2:59:02 PM   
kaleun

 

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quote:

She grabs another by the sleeve and repeats the question. The soldier shoves her roughly away, cursing her. Nanami sprawls in the dust.


I just saw "The battle of Okinawa" Reminds me of the movie.

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Appear at places to which he must hasten; move swiftly where he does not expect you.
Sun Tzu

(in reply to Hornblower)
Post #: 4612
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/24/2009 12:35:42 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
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April 29, 1945

Location: 60 miles southwest of Marcus Island
Course: South
Attached to: TF 21
Mission: Surface combat
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 268

Orders: Proceed south and raid enemy shipping

---

There are hunters…

The Japanese task force shifts position to a point south of Marcus Island. They are now in position to intercept an enemy convoy should one be detected. Word comes that a group of oilers dispatched from Hokkaido is nearing rendezvous with them. This will enable the thirsty destroyers to top off their fuel. If they do succeed in launching an attack this will become important, because the enemy reaction is likely to be violent and no one is going to want to slow down to refuel as they head back north.

As yet no likely targets have been sighted, however. But it has only been a few days. The Japanese task force continues to wait, not unlike a great cat crouched patiently on a tree branch over a game trail.

---

And there are the hunted…

Nanami’s bare feet are sore and she is tired. The soldiers continue to push she and the other civilians they have overtaken at a brutal pace. It is hardest on the oldest and youngest among them and there are several families with small children among them. Behind them an occasional artillery shell or enemy plane spurs them on.

Late in the morning they reach the bend of the road below the wreckage of the Shun’s cottage. Nanami eagerly points out the spot to the lieutenant in command and starts up the slope. The officer grabs her by the arm and drags her back, however.

“You cannot stop,” he says sternly. “The Americans will do terrible things to you if they catch you. Stay with these people. I will see that your grandmother is taken care of, as I promised.” Nanami is desperate to help her grandmother but she has spent enough time with these soldiers by now to know it would be useless. Most of them look at the Okinawan civilians with thinly veiled contempt, seeming to regard them as foreigners and potential traitors.

The lieutenant turns to a soldier and, indicating the position of the root cellar, tells him to take care of the old woman. The soldier nods and starts up the slope. As Nanami rounds the bend of the hill she casts one last anguished glance up the slope to where her injured grandmother lies. The Japanese soldier is toiling up the shell-torn path towards her, rifle slung over his shoulder.

---

The soldier understands his lieutenant’s command all too well. They cannot spare the time to care for one sick old woman. The only thing to do is to put an end to her quickly. It is an unpleasant task for the soldier but no more so than shooting a sick and elderly dog.

He finds the square hole in the earth easily enough and stands peering down into the dimness. Yes, there she is, propped up on some sacks, one leg thrust out at an awkward angle. She is not moving and he thinks she may already be dead until her eyes open. He can see them glinting in the gloom.

He unshoulders his rifle and works the bolt. “I am sorry about this, old woman,” he says apologetically. He raises the rifle and sights down along it. It looks like the crone is fumbling with a crutch. Poor old bat, she actually imagines she is going to be rescued, he thinks.

“I’m sorry too,” comes her thin, hoarse voice.

The sound of a single rifle shot, oddly muffled, floats down the hill.

---

Two hours later Sergeant Kozlowski leads his patrol along the same stretch of road. The sergeant is one of those terrifying old leathernecks who is serving in his second world war. He walks easily, rifle in hand, his eyes missing nothing. The men in the patrol follow his lead. They have learned through battles on other islands that if anyone can get them though in one piece it’s Koz. Not that anyone but the old hands in the platoon get to call him that, and then only when they are off-duty.

Kozlowski knows the ruined bunker down by the beach and the shattered cottage up the slope are good spots for snipers. He halts the patrol while he sends a pair of men to check each of them out. The rest of the patrol falls out, grateful for a chance to stop moving for a few minutes.

One of the men he sent upslope comes back around the corner of the battered cottage. “Sarge! Hey, Sarge, come check this out!” calls the soldier. Kozlowski strides up the hill.

Behind the cottage are the ruins of a garden and, over by a hole in the ground, a dead Japanese soldier. He has fallen backwards away from the hole and most of the top of his head has been blown off. A rifle lies near one outflung hand. Kozlowski’s men are crouched by the hole.

“There’s an old woman down there,” says one of his men. “I think she’s dead.” The sergeant peers carefully over the edge, takes in the scene, then swings onto the ladder and climbs down. It is cool down in the cellar and there is a strong smell of earth and roots. The back wall of the neatly-built cellar has collapsed, spilling dirt and timbers across the floor.

The old woman is alive but unconscious. Across her body lies a large rifle. Kozlowski lifts it as one of his men joins him. The other remains on watch up top.

“A Lebel,” says Kozlowski. “I saw plenty of these in France, in the last war.” He turns and looks up at the opening ten feet above. As he fits the pieces of the puzzle together something like a grin spreads across his seamed face. He looks back down at the unconscious figure.

“I don’t know who you are, old woman,” he says, “but you’ve got sand. Anderson!”

The soldier’s face appears framed in the opening above. “Sarge?” he says.

“Get a couple of corpsmen up here. Tell them to bring some ropes and a litter. We’ve got a patient for them.”


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 4613
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/24/2009 12:48:20 AM   
tocaff


Posts: 4677
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From: USA now in Brasil
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Mama Shun has put the old rifle to good use yet again.  

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Todd

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

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 4614
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/24/2009 2:14:15 AM   
Marc gto

 

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From: Batavia,ohio,usa
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wow mama san shun..she has grit

(in reply to tocaff)
Post #: 4615
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/24/2009 4:49:10 AM   
thegreatwent


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From: Denver, CO
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I have a feeling Shun wouldn't be surprised at all. I just hope Nanami will be ok.

(in reply to Marc gto)
Post #: 4616
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/24/2009 5:56:58 AM   
NCSUforest


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From: Blacksburg, Va
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The Marines better be glad that Mama Shun was passed out when they found her.

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Post #: 4617
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/24/2009 6:25:24 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: NCSUforest

The Marines better be glad that Mama Shun was passed out when they found her.


I figure it was the jolt from the recoil of the Lebel that did it. That would have been enormously painful to someone with a broken leg.

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(in reply to NCSUforest)
Post #: 4618
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/24/2009 9:25:13 AM   
gladiatt


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quote:

ORIGINAL: NCSUforest

The Marines better be glad that Mama Shun was passed out when they found her.


i am much more anxious for Nanami: who know what could happen to a nice young women alone in a group of battered soldiers, even if of the same side ???

(in reply to NCSUforest)
Post #: 4619
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 6/24/2009 3:23:15 PM   
ckammp

 

Posts: 799
Joined: 5/30/2009
From: Rear Area training facility
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quote:

ORIGINAL: gladiatt


quote:

ORIGINAL: NCSUforest

The Marines better be glad that Mama Shun was passed out when they found her.


i am much more anxious for Nanami: who know what could happen to a nice young women alone in a group of battered soldiers, even if of the same side ???


Especially if that Jap LT decides to blame her for the death of his soldier!

(in reply to gladiatt)
Post #: 4620
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