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RE: Small Ship, Big War

 
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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 11/29/2007 7:00:30 AM   
flanyboy

 

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Was that guy JFK? I wasnt sure, I couldnt remember an dcouldnt find where they were initally introduced so I couldnt remember if last names were given.

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Post #: 1801
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 11/29/2007 8:20:49 AM   
Grotius


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quote:

Was that guy JFK? I wasnt sure, I couldnt remember an dcouldnt find where they were initally introduced so I couldnt remember if last names were given.


We've never learned Jack's last name, but he sure seems to be JFK. As I recall, one member of the Hibiki's crew thought he had an unusual accent. And his physical description seemed to fit JFK. Also, he was captured after a surface action involving none other than PT-109. :)

quote:

Very, very good! I named my Barnwell after the real one. I wondered if anyone would spot that. I should have guessed someone would, given the amazing range of knowledge the people on this forum have.

LoL, don't give me too much credit! The name rang a bell when I first read it many moons ago, possibly because my dad was in the RAF after WW2 and still likes to remind me of various British contributions to the war effort. But when I read of Frank's encounter with the Hibiki, I remember thinking to myself, "wasn't he an Aussie aviator?" (Don't tell my dad!) I didn't get around to Googling him until tonight, when I was re-reading the dramatis personae. :)

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Post #: 1802
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 11/30/2007 3:26:21 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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July 30, 1943

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

Orders: Proceed to Okayama for refit

---

Shiro Kuramata lies in his hammock aboard Hibiki and enjoys the unusual peace and quiet. There are only about 60 men on board, compared to the usual complement of just under 200, and with all of the work done the destroyer sits idle, waiting for enough of the crew to return to take her to Tokyo.

Shiro had a good leave. He spent two weeks in Tendo surrounded by his large and rather boisterous family. While he was there he developed the film from his camera, and he is now looking over the resulting pictures. The negatives he left back home; should by ill chance something happen to Hibiki he does not want the pictures to be lost.

He has already seen the pictures, of course, but he is looking through them again. Most of them turned out fairly well, he thinks. He studies the first picture, the one Taiki took of he and Riku near the bow. He wonders how both of them are enjoying their leaves.

Here is a picture of the anchorage at Kwajalein. A tanker is in the foreground, and behind it a flat atoll covered with brush and palm trees can be seen. The next shot is looking astern and to starboard from Hibiki on a moderately rough day; spray bursts from the bow of the destroyer in column behind Hibiki, and to the side and farther away is an aircraft carrier. That would be Shokaku, Shiro thinks. He took that one on the way to Timor.

Several pictures of shipboard life follow; a bunch of fellows grinning and waving in the forward mess, several sailors chipping and scraping paint on the aft blockhouse, Riku with a crate of shellfish in the galley, Captain Ishii standing on the port observation platform looking at something through his binoculars. Then he comes to a shot of enemy planes overhead, surrounded by bursts of anti-aircraft fire. The planes are fairly indistinct, but he remembers taking the picture; these are planes from an enemy carrier attacking the task force in the Savu Sea.

The next picture shows Hiryu, down slightly at the bow and with an obvious list. That one was taken during the struggle to save the carrier on the long voyage to Tjilitjap. Shiro wonders if Hiryu ever finished repairs and where the carrier is now.

He has a picture of the old fort overlooking Tjilitjap, and another of a curious little limestone tower of an island at Palau. There follows a shot of Oizuma with Benzaiten draped over his shoulders. Shiro glances over at Benzaiten’s crate; it’s probably time to let the snake out again to feed. Since they are in port the ship’s rodent population is probably back up again a little, anyway.

There are only a few other pictures. One of Mount Tavurvur steaming in the sunlight, and another showing Hibiki's stern covered with haggard looking sailors, survivors rescued from another Japanese destroyer. That one is from one of the trips to Gili Gili.

Shiro has brought more film with him. The film and camera are stowed securely in his duffel, along with some nice cucumber wood for carving and a ream of paper and several pens. He is ready to go to sea again.

---

Excerpt from “Japanese Destroyer Attack!” by Shiro Kuramata, Ballentine Mori Press, 1963. Translated by Captain Ben Packard, USN (ret.). Original Japanese title: “Small Ship, Big War”

The above photo shows the author at the rail of Hibiki. Taken during refit in Okayama during the summer of 1943. Note the new anti-aircraft guns visible in the rear left of the photo.


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Post #: 1803
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 11/30/2007 5:23:59 AM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish

The negatives he left back home; should by ill chance something happen to Hibiki he does not want the pictures to be lost.

The next picture shows Hiryu, down slightly at the bow and with an obvious list. That one was taken during the struggle to save the carrier on the long voyage to Tjilitjap. Shiro wonders if Hiryu ever finished repairs and where the carrier is now.

There are only a few other pictures. One of Mount Tavurvur steaming in the sunlight, and another showing Hibiki's stern covered with haggard looking sailors, survivors rescued from another Japanese destroyer. That one is from one of the trips to Gili Gili.



Hmm. It occurs to me that those are "unpatriotic" photos, which might just get his family in trouble if the authorities discover them.

_____________________________

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

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Post #: 1804
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 11/30/2007 9:05:10 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Capt. Harlock

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish

The negatives he left back home; should by ill chance something happen to Hibiki he does not want the pictures to be lost.

The next picture shows Hiryu, down slightly at the bow and with an obvious list. That one was taken during the struggle to save the carrier on the long voyage to Tjilitjap. Shiro wonders if Hiryu ever finished repairs and where the carrier is now.

There are only a few other pictures. One of Mount Tavurvur steaming in the sunlight, and another showing Hibiki's stern covered with haggard looking sailors, survivors rescued from another Japanese destroyer. That one is from one of the trips to Gili Gili.



Hmm. It occurs to me that those are "unpatriotic" photos, which might just get his family in trouble if the authorities discover them.


This is true. I imagine, though, that Shiro is wise enough to limit who actually sees the pictures.

I wonder what US policy was regarding members of the armed forces and personal cameras during the war?

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Post #: 1805
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 11/30/2007 9:05:27 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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July 31, 1943

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

Orders: Proceed to Okayama for refit

---

Fifty-nine of Hibiki’s crew are due back from leave today. One by one they arrive, many on foot or by taxi from the train station. Others are driven to the docks by friends or family. As they report aboard their names are duly noted. The deadline for being back aboard ship is three o’clock in the afternoon.

As the deadline expires the list of those who have reported in makes its way to Lieutenant Miharu, who himself returned to the ship the day before. There are only two who are not yet aboard. Lieutenant Miharu double checks to make sure they have not actually arrived but somehow failed to make the list. They have not.

This is fairly routine. The lieutenant can recall very few times when everyone made it back on time. Still, the two sailors are going to be rather unhappy when they do finally reach the ship.

---

Seaman Hikaru Shoji is having a bad day. He boarded the train in Hagi that morning right on time, but since then things have gone quickly downhill. Around noon the passenger train slowed and came to a halt. Word came down that a freight train had derailed on the tracks ahead and that it would be some hours before the train got moving again. Most of the passengers settled stoically in to wait, but Shoji checked his watch and realized that the delay would put him in Okayama well after three o’clock.

He accordingly grabbed his duffel and set out down the nearby road to find a ride. He came across a farmer driving a cart full of yams being pulled by an ox. The farmer politely offered to take him to the nearest village, where he could most assuredly find a ride to Okayama. The patriotic people of Japan would gladly aid a man in uniform.

Shoji thanked him and climbed aboard the cart. He rode for the next half hour perched atop the yams, looking at his watch every five minutes or so. Just outside the village a military motorcade came churning down the narrow road. The first vehicle, a large black sedan, swerved to avoid the cart, but the commotion panicked the ox and the cart toppled onto its side in the ditch. Shoji ended up half buried beneath yams, bruised but otherwise unhurt.

The motorcade came to a halt. A colonel got out of a staff car and berated the driver of the lead vehicle for causing the accident. Several soldiers helped set the cart to rights and the yams were once again piled inside. The colonel, seeing Shoji’s plight, offered to give him a ride as far as Kurashiki, the motorcade’s destination. Shoji accepted, and soon found himself riding in the back of a truck surrounded by soldiers.

With his navy uniform on he felt as out of place as a carp in an aviary, and the soldiers took some delight in speculating on why the Imperial Japanese Navy was now using ox carts as transportation. Shoji endured the teasing but was very glad when they got to Kurashiki.

In Kurashiki he found a taxi willing to take him immediately to Okayama. It took almost all the money he had left, but it was his only chance to reach the ship on time. Halfway there, however, the taxi sputtered and slowed to a halt at the side of the road. The driver, cursing, investigated and discovered that a stone had put a small hole in his gas tank, which was now empty.

Now, at 3:30 in the afternoon, Shoji is standing beside to road trying to hitch a ride the rest of the way into Okayama. Perhaps, he thinks, the lieutenant will listen to his tale of woe and have mercy on him when he finally reports aboard ship. He doubts it, though.

---

The other missing sailor, a fellow named Mochizuki, awakens in an Okayama flophouse near dusk with a massive hangover. He dimly remembers drinking heavily the night before as part of a going away party. There was a woman at some point, he recalls. The woman is gone. So is his wallet.

Some of his few currently functioning brain cells remind Mochizuki that he has a few yen tucked into one shoe for emergencies. He looks, and they are still there. A couple of drinks to brace him up, he thinks, and he can then face reporting aboard ship and taking his punishment. If his head wasn’t pounding so badly he might have had second thoughts about the wisdom of this course of action, but as it is it’s the best plan he can come up with.

Sitting in a naval stockade several days later he will reflect that it really wasn’t a good plan at all.


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Post #: 1806
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 11/30/2007 9:10:57 PM   
cantona2


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Hehehehehe. Mochizuki you drunk hehehehe

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Post #: 1807
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/1/2007 2:17:37 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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August 1, 1943

Location: Okayama
Course: East
Attached to: TF 60
Mission: Surface Combat
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 475

Orders: Proceed to Tokyo and await assignment

---

Hibiki prepares to leave the pier that has been her home for over three weeks. Steam is raised in the three Kampon boilers and the ship once again begins to operate on internal power.

For security Hibiki will travel with two other destroyers that have recently completed repair or refit, Akebono and Okikaze. This precaution may not be necessary; though the enemy submarine threat has continued to grow as the year has gone on it is rare for a submarine to be sighted within about 300 miles of the Japanese coast. They seem to prefer to remain outside that limit, where the chance of being detected is much less.

From those outlying waters they have extracted a toll on Japanese shipping. For three destroyers making a swift voyage within sight of Japan, however, there is probably little risk. But there is no need to take chances. The war is dangerous enough without giving some bold or venturesome submarine commander an easy shot.


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Post #: 1808
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/1/2007 6:22:20 AM   
John 3rd


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Hmmm....freshly updated and ready to go!  Where will IJN Hibiki be sent next??

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Post #: 1809
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/1/2007 3:11:38 PM   
tocaff


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Hibiki, will of course head back into the thick of things, wherever that may be as Japan needs more ships than she has.

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Post #: 1810
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/1/2007 9:14:42 PM   
Onime No Kyo


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I'm hoping she gets to tag along with a carrier again. Better chance of keeping safe.

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Post #: 1811
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/2/2007 4:43:18 AM   
Grotius


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Yeah, all those bombardment-screening runs made me nervous. :)

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Post #: 1812
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/3/2007 2:13:15 AM   
Terminus


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Hanging around carriers is going to be pretty bad for their health too...

I just sank the Hibiki in my AI game; I feel kinda guilty...

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Post #: 1813
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/3/2007 5:40:44 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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August 2, 1943

Location: 50 miles southwest of Tokyo
Course: East
Attached to: TF 60
Mission: Surface Combat
System Damage: 0
Float Damage: 0
Fires: 0
Fuel: 432

Orders: Proceed to Tokyo and await assignment

---

As night falls Hibiki and the other two destroyers are still about two hours from Tokyo Bay. As twilight deepens those on board can see lights begin to glimmer along the densely populated Japanese coastline. Blackout restrictions are so far either nonexistent or neglected. They are not needed. The conflict has so far touched very lightly on the home islands, and there is no reason to expect that things will get worse. After all, isn’t Japan winning the war?



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Post #: 1814
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/3/2007 5:44:16 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
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August 3, 1943

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

Orders: Proceed to Tokyo and await assignment

---

Hibiki refuels and then moves out into the bay, where the crew drops anchor at the end of a long line of destroyers rocking in the gentle swell. From here many other warships are visible. At anchor are fifteen other destroyers and half a dozen cruisers. Several ships can be seen tied up at the navy docks, including aircraft carrier Akagi. The big carrier is a welcome sight to Hibiki’s crew. The last they had seen of her was when they left her at Balikpapan after the carrier was damaged by a submarine torpedo in the Java Sea.

Patrol craft seem to be everywhere. There are literally dozens of tankers, oilers, freighters, and transports. These are at anchor, at the docks, or coming and going from the bay. A few travel singly or in pairs, but most others are gathered in large convoys. There are many auxiliary vessels of all types visible.

Here the destroyer will wait for the rest of her crew to return. Hibiki has no orders as yet. The sailors aboard ship, being sailors, immediately start a pool wagering on what the next assignment will be. The current odds favor escorting a convoy to somewhere well away from the front lines. This may be more wishful thinking than a realistic assessment of the chances, however.


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RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/3/2007 8:49:06 AM   
flanyboy

 

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I don't want the Hibiki to be sunk but I hope it isn't convoy duty that would be rather boring. Though the story lines would still be very interesting as you are one of the best writers I have ever seen not yet published. That said the tension would be removed somewhat.

Though I suppose it wouldn't be a realistic life of a destroyer to never escort some resource convoys or what not. (or would it? How much convoy escorting did Japanese submarines really do?)

P.S. You have inspired me to attempt an AAR, I believe I am going to start up an AAR from the allied side it will have a bit of the fog of war and a bit of the grand picture. It will be from the eyes of Dutch Admiral Karel Doorman, yes I wonder how a admiral of a doomed HQ would see things going on in the war. I also am not sure how much he would know given his location. Hopefully he does not die in my first PBEM its the end of December 1941 so far he has attacked and destroyed a Japanese screening force of 1 CL and 4 DDs and attacked another screening force of 2 CAs 1 CL and 6 DDs sinking 4 DDs and damaging the cruisers, no allied ships under him have been lost yet though 5 destroyers have been withdrawn due to damage. Also snuck about 40,000 supply into Singapore.

But anyway I am not really sure how much Doorman would know about the whole war effort, he is only a Rear Admiral though I would like to write an AAR from his perspective (regardless of if he dies in combat or not)

< Message edited by flanyboy -- 12/3/2007 8:54:43 AM >

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Post #: 1816
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/4/2007 3:57:44 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: flanyboy

I don't want the Hibiki to be sunk but I hope it isn't convoy duty that would be rather boring. Though the story lines would still be very interesting as you are one of the best writers I have ever seen not yet published. That said the tension would be removed somewhat.

Though I suppose it wouldn't be a realistic life of a destroyer to never escort some resource convoys or what not. (or would it? How much convoy escorting did Japanese submarines really do?)

P.S. You have inspired me to attempt an AAR, I believe I am going to start up an AAR from the allied side it will have a bit of the fog of war and a bit of the grand picture. It will be from the eyes of Dutch Admiral Karel Doorman, yes I wonder how a admiral of a doomed HQ would see things going on in the war. I also am not sure how much he would know given his location. Hopefully he does not die in my first PBEM its the end of December 1941 so far he has attacked and destroyed a Japanese screening force of 1 CL and 4 DDs and attacked another screening force of 2 CAs 1 CL and 6 DDs sinking 4 DDs and damaging the cruisers, no allied ships under him have been lost yet though 5 destroyers have been withdrawn due to damage. Also snuck about 40,000 supply into Singapore.

But anyway I am not really sure how much Doorman would know about the whole war effort, he is only a Rear Admiral though I would like to write an AAR from his perspective (regardless of if he dies in combat or not)


I expect we might see some convoy duty at some point. It is just part of the life of a destroyer. And while I want this AAR to be at least a little interesting I also want it to be a look at life aboard ship during routine missions as well as the dangerous ones. Besides, I would kind of like to have Hibiki survive at least into 1944. I've gotten pretty fond of the little ship.

As far as Admiral Doorman goes, I have always had a lot of sympathy for the guy. He was in a very tough spot, knew he was probably doomed, and went out doing his duty to the best of his ability. Good luck with the project, I think it could make for an interesting read.

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Post #: 1817
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/4/2007 4:00:16 AM   
Cuttlefish

 

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August 4, 1943

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

Orders: Proceed to Tokyo and await assignment

---

“Welcome aboard Hibiki, gentlemen,” says Lieutenant Sugiyura cheerfully. Standing at attention in front of him are three new crewmen, all recent graduates of the basic torpedo course for enlisted men at the Yokosuka Torpedo School. Though all three of them had some experience at sea before being selected for torpedo school Sugiyura thinks they looks rather young and wet behind the ears.

In a way it is a bit of a surprise. He had not realized until this moment how much the war has changed Hibiki’s crew. He realizes that when the destroyer set out for Malaya at the beginning of the war most of the men aboard probably looked like this, young, inexperienced, and eager. They don’t look that way now.

“You are replacing experienced men, sailors who have helped this ship to distinguish itself in battle,” he continues. “You will be expected to uphold the very highest standards of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Captain Ishii expects nothing less. I expect nothing less. I will be watching you closely.” The men remain rigidly at attention, alert to every word.

“At ease,” says Sugiyura. He walks over to the nearby aft torpedo mount and leans against it, then gestures the three new men over. They gather around.

“Let’s find out what they are teaching you at school these days,” he says. He points to the first man. “Seaman Hosogaya, is it? Yes. Tell me, Hosogaya, assuming the torpedo is already open, what is the first step in removing the oxygen tank for testing or replacement?”

“Sir, you must first make sure that all valves on the tank assembly are closed,” says Hosogaya promptly. Sugiyura nods.

“Good, very good,” he says. He turns to the second man. “Seaman Chuyo, assume we are in dense fog. An enemy cruiser suddenly appears directly on the port beam, range 300 yards, moving at 20 knots. Assuming we calculate a firing solution for the target of ten degrees and launch a full spread of torpedoes, how many hits on average should we expect to get?”

“No hits, sir,” says Chuyo. “The distance is too short for the torpedoes to arm.” Sugiyura smiles.

“Excellent,” he says. “You would be surprised how many torpedo men and even officers forget that fact in the heat of the moment.” He turns to the third man. “I am sorry, your name again?”

“Seaman Senior Kinsei, sir,” responds the third sailor.

“Kinsei, yes” says Sugiyura, “Kinsei, assume the ship is in battle and taking damage. A shell has knocked out the torpedo director station and communications are disrupted. Your officers are dead or disabled. The bridge calls for torpedoes to be launched. What formula do you use to calculate a firing solution?” Kinsei looks nervous.

“Sir,” he says, “you get the line of fire by calculating…by calculating the sight angle. To get this you need to know the speed and bearing on the target…I mean, the angle on the bow. Uh, you divide the angle on the bow by the speed of the torpedo and…no, wait, you need to multiply the target’s speed by the angle first, then…” Sugiyura holds up a hand.

“Enough,” he says. “You will have to do better than that. Much better.” Kinsei looks mortified.

“You will get a chance to redeem yourself,” Sugiyura tells him, not unkindly, then addresses all three. “We will hold instruction and drills until I am satisfied that all of you are up to Hibiki’s standards. For the moment, however, you are dismissed.” The three sailors troop off.

Sugiyura watches them go. There is some work to do there, he thinks, there always is with new crewmen. But he rather likes the teaching aspect of his job. They may get to hate the very sight of him, but that is all right. By the time they leave Hibiki, he is confident, they will be torpedo men any other ship in the navy would be glad to have.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 1818
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/4/2007 5:38:59 AM   
Grotius


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From: The Imperial Palace.
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Very nice scene with the new crewmen, Cuttlefish.

I'm actually hoping for some convoy-escort duty. We haven't really seen Hibiki in that role, and I think it could be quite interesting. Then again, I'm the sort of guy who enjoys playing "Silent Hunter IV" in real-time. :)

(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 1819
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/4/2007 6:29:40 AM   
Menser

 

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I have just caught this thread.... and have spent an entire day,nonstop reading though it. Well done Cuttlefish! Only a couple of well written Novels have caught my attention like that. (Rabble in Arms, The Rommel Papers) You should seriously consider changing professions I'm going to have visions of saluting crabs in my brain for a while. Keep up the creative work.

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Post #: 1820
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/4/2007 10:30:02 PM   
Capt. Harlock


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cuttlefish


“Kinsei, yes” says Sugiyura, “Kinsei, assume the ship is in battle and taking damage. A shell has knocked out the torpedo director station and communications are disrupted. Your officers are dead or disabled. The bridge calls for torpedoes to be launched. What formula do you use to calculate a firing solution?” Kinsei looks nervous.

“Sir,” he says, “you get the line of fire by calculating…by calculating the sight angle. To get this you need to know the speed and bearing on the target…I mean, the angle on the bow. Uh, you divide the angle on the bow by the speed of the torpedo and…no, wait, you need to multiply the target’s speed by the angle first, then…” Sugiyura holds up a hand.

“Enough,” he says. “You will have to do better than that. Much better.” Kinsei looks mortified.



As they say in the Army -- never be last!


_____________________________

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 #: 1821
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/4/2007 11:45:31 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Menser

I have just caught this thread.... and have spent an entire day,nonstop reading though it. Well done Cuttlefish! Only a couple of well written Novels have caught my attention like that. (Rabble in Arms, The Rommel Papers) You should seriously consider changing professions I'm going to have visions of saluting crabs in my brain for a while. Keep up the creative work.


Welcome aboard, and thanks for the kind words. Reading this thing from the beginning is getting to be quite a project. I should probably do that myself, actually. I went back and looked at some of the earlier entries recently and was surprised at how much the writing and format have changed as the AAR has progressed.

It tickled me that you mentioned the crab episode. That was one of my favorites to write. And it’s a nice little coincidence considering the subject of the next entry.

(in reply to Menser)
Post #: 1822
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/4/2007 11:45:43 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
August 5, 1943

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

Orders: Proceed to Tokyo and await assignment

---

Ensigns Izu and Handa stand together on the deck. Nearby a short ladder leads down to where one of the ship’s boats bobs alongside the destroyer. A sailor holds the boat in position while he waits for his passenger. Ensign Handa looks around at the ship.

“I’m going to miss this old rust bucket,” he says. The term is not exactly fair; Hibiki has never been “an old rust bucket”. But the phrase helps disguise the depths of Handa’s feelings for the ship he has served for over two years.

“But you are going to Musashi,” says Izu. “You can’t complain about that.” Handa looks at him.

“Remember the conversation we had a couple of months ago?” he says. “You claimed you would rather stay here than serve aboard Yamato. Still feel that way?” Izu looks around at Hibiki.

“Yes, I do,” he says. “I am pleased for you, but I’m glad it’s you and not me.” Handa sighs.

“I know what you mean,” he says. He grins. “Besides, how am I going to get used to sleeping every night without having to check whether or not my pillow has been replaced by a flounder?”

“The same way I will have to get used to putting on my shoes without checking them for sea urchins,” answers Izu. “It will be difficult, but we will have to adapt.” He looks around. “By the way, where is your sea bag?”

“It’s already ashore,” says Handa with a smile. “I took care of that as soon as Lieutenant Miharu told me I was being transferred, before I told anyone else. I did not want you to leave me any going away presents.” Izu smiles back. Then their smiles fade and they just stand there for a second.

“Better take off,” says Izu finally, “before the pilot gets bored and leaves without you.” He pauses. “Good luck go with you, my friend.”

“And with you,” Handa says. “I will be disappointed if I hear you let anything happen to Hibiki.”

“Don’t worry about us,” Izu says. “Captain Ishii will bring us through the war in one piece, you will see.”

“I hope so,” says Handa. He looks around at the ship one more time, then climbs down into the boat. As it pulls away from Hibiki and heads towards shore Handa gives a final wave. Izu returns it.

As he returns to his duties Izu is a little downcast. But he cheers up a bit when he pictures the surprise waiting for Handa when he collects his bag. A friend of his had overheard the conversation when Lieutenant Miharu gave Handa his new orders, and Izu had moved quickly. If he has it figured right the eggs should start hatching any time now.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 1823
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/4/2007 11:59:16 PM   
Feinder


Posts: 6587
Joined: 9/4/2002
From: Land o' Lakes, FL
Status: offline


-F-

_____________________________

"It is obvious that you have greatly over-estimated my regard for your opinion." - Me


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 1824
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/5/2007 7:35:02 AM   
bradfordkay

 

Posts: 8252
Joined: 3/24/2002
From: Olympia, WA
Status: offline
Now are they Sea Urchin Eggs or those of a Burmese Python?

_____________________________

fair winds,
Brad

(in reply to Feinder)
Post #: 1825
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/5/2007 1:24:30 PM   
tocaff


Posts: 4670
Joined: 10/12/2006
From: USA now in Brasil
Status: offline
Has to be python eggs.  

_____________________________

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 bradfordkay)
Post #: 1826
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/5/2007 10:29:42 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 4310
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: tocaff

Has to be python eggs.  


Maybe the Musashi will adopt the Hibiki method of rodent control!

_____________________________

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 tocaff)
Post #: 1827
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/7/2007 12:41:04 PM   
flanyboy

 

Posts: 1423
Joined: 11/30/2006
Status: offline

(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 1828
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/8/2007 10:41:35 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
August 6, 1943

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

Orders: Proceed to Tokyo and await assignment

---

Taiki sits on a stone bench outside his parent’s small but tidy little home and rubs his stomach. His mother, he is convinced, is trying to keep him from returning to Hibiki by feeding him until he is unable to move. So far the young sailor has been a willing accomplice. The food aboard Hibiki is good by Imperial Japanese Navy standards, but it does not begin to compare to his mother’s cooking.

His father steps out of the house and comes and sits beside him. Taiki glances at him and wonders, not for the first time since coming home, when his father had begun to get so much gray in his hair. He still appears hale and strong, though, and there is a bright, inquisitive look in his eyes. The two men sit in silence for a moment.

“So,” says his father at last, “do you wish to speak of it?”

“Speak of what?” asks Taiki.

“About whatever has been bothering you since you got here,” answers his father. “If you do not want to talk that is fine. But if you do, I will listen. Is it the war?”

“No,” says Taiki, “it is not the war. At least, not directly.” He and his father have always been on good terms, and he trusts the old plasterer’s wisdom. He begins to tell his father about Sayumi. He finds it is a great help to talk about it, as it helps him organize and clarify his own feelings. His father listens quietly.

“She sounds like quite a woman,” he says when Taiki is done. “Though I admit I am not sure what I think about a woman in our…that is, my…profession. She must have a very strong character.”

“She does,” says Taiki. Taiki’s father sits for a moment, thinking.

“We always favored your brother,” he says at last. “It was not fair to you.”

“He is the eldest,” says Taiki. “It is right that he should come first.”

“Yes,” says his father, “but I think we took such pride in his achievements that we overlooked yours. I am proud of what you have done, Taiki.”

“Thank you, father,” says Taiki. He is extremely pleased by this, but wonders what it has to do with the conversation at hand.

“Your mother and I have spoken recently about you,” says his father. “Since your brother’s injury she is worried that it will be hard to find a wife for him. She has been saying that perhaps we should see about getting you married. She is eager for grandchildren, you see. And she sees that perhaps you have much to recommend you as a husband. You are intelligent, hard working, and are now an officer.”

“A non-commissioned officer,” Taiki reminds him. His father smiles.

“I know that,” he says. “And it is a promotion to be proud of. But to your mother an officer is an officer.”

“So…does she have anyone in mind?” asks Taiki, slightly alarmed.

“Not yet,” says his father. “But given the war and the fact that either or both of you might have to make the ultimate sacrifice for the Emperor…well, you may find she is not as picky as you feared. Let me speak with her. By the time you return to Japan I may have had a chance to prepare her somewhat for this unconventional sweetheart of yours.”

“Thank you, Father,” says Taiki sincerely. His father nods in acknowledgement.

“A woman plasterer,” he says musingly. “Women are working everywhere, in the factories and in the fields. This war is changing many things. I wonder if we will recognize all the changes while they are happening. However the war turns out I suspect that this will not be the same Japan we have known.”

“But is that a good or a bad thing?” asks Taiki.

“We will have to wait and see,” says his father.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 1829
RE: Small Ship, Big War - 12/8/2007 10:43:04 PM   
Cuttlefish

 

Posts: 2454
Joined: 1/24/2007
From: Oregon, USA
Status: offline
August 7, 1943

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

Orders: Proceed to Tokyo and await assignment

---

Riku rises early. He dresses quietly and then packs his bag before slipping out of his tiny room. There is no one to greet him. His mother has already left to go to work. His father is present but snoring loudly in his favorite chair, which is surrounded by several empty bottles of sake.

From the back of the house he can hear his sister and her husband yelling at each other. The argument has something to do with money. Riku pays it little attention. He has heard few civil words between the two of them since coming home.

He looks around at the shabby house before opening the front door and stepping outside. Once on the street he takes a deep breath. He is very glad his leave is over and is suddenly eager to be back aboard Hibiki. He will get to the destroyer a day early, but there will no doubt be a lot of work to do before the ship returns to the war.

He quickly finds a taxi and asks the driver to take him to the train station. It feels good to be going home.


(in reply to Cuttlefish)
Post #: 1830
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