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RE: The little ship that could.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 4/11/2014 10:05:36 PM   


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back from sea trials

Aussie land is soon to have two mighty ships.

No news from Cantona yet.......................


Battle ship Yamato slides quietly into Hiroshima bay, her captain takes her as far away from the main shipyard area as he can, and drops anchor. His crew performs their tasks in silence, morose, and bitter.
They have heard already rumours of the battles near dajangas.
Shame hangs heavily over the great battlewagon, heavy like the clouds and rain that wash her decks, add to the rust streaking her flanks.

Her captain stands silently. many stories below a small fishing boat slowly sails past. Two women man it, fishing obviously, both, he see's, are pregnant.
A sad sight...........he wonders at their cheerful waving to the ship if they are aware of how badly they have been let down.........

(in reply to Long pig)
Post #: 3061
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/11/2014 10:19:44 PM   


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Mioko and Miori wave to the giant at rest,. They are wet, cold, both ache , but they are both cheerful, the catch today has been good. They, and many others, will eat well this week

""It is awfully rusty, don't you think Mioko?"
"That would be explained by our husbands abscence on her............." laughs Miori
A silence falls between the two women, the little boat slapping its way through the chop down the vast flank of the battleship
"it was a great honour, I think, for them to have served on such a ship...'
But, where is the little ship they are on now?. is it safe?, are they safe?, will they ever see them again?
Yamato slowly fades into the grey behind them, forgotten now.

As long as she exists, there will be Japan, and the war. And as long as the war exists, they will be alone, with out husbands.
In a way, it would be easier to hate that ship...........

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 4/12/2014 9:06:14 AM >

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3062
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/11/2014 10:22:35 PM   


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Poetry my friend, pure poetry.

(Of the epic kind, of course, no touchy feely stuff here)


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

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3063
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/11/2014 10:28:22 PM   


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Dajangas bay


The Butchers bill is being paid.
The Japanese have come all day, waves of bombers and fighters, many, a terrifying great many, detirmined to make their attack a one way trip.
kamikaze............divine wind
Divine madness.............

They are not , yet, being compelled to turn themselves into human missiles.
Not yet.
The pilots of the francis bombers, of the dive bombers, have all carried their attacks through on their own accord.
They have, in many cases, dropped torpedoes, and just kept coming...........

A twin engine bomber, striking a CVE,..............
Allied CAP has disintergrated
The bombers have attcked at will.

5 CVE sunk
5 destroyers
9 transports
The beaches bombed.


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3064
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/11/2014 10:36:22 PM   


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Hosho settles his arse onto the hot deck near the stern of the fast transport.
he has been sunk once.............lesson learned.
Never, ever, go below decks...........

It is dusk, and 55th division , nearly a third of it in this lift, is going to make the long dash south from Naga to Cagayan.
it will be a long, yet almost exhilirating night of speeding across mirror calm seas, the screws beneath him vibrating and banging away, the wind from the passage cool upon their faces.
They will sing songs, eat good navy food, try to sleep as the moon rises, the dark shapes of the phillipines many islands slide past...

Hosho knows it. They all know it.
Tomorrow...........the war, the great task, again
So tonight.............we enjoy the world, our companions, the full moon, the beauty of it mirrioed on a glass sea.
It is good to be alive.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3065
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/11/2014 10:46:52 PM   


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Chiburi nestles alongside the repair ship, a narrow hose snaking down from the decks above to a small hose pipe connection. Oil, the final part of the puzzle to return the little ship to readiness.

On the other side of the repair ship, 3 destroyers have just arrived, high in the water, on their arses for fuel, guns blackened, tubes gaping, empty
Two have minor battle damage, one, the Susuzuki, has a single hole in her guts.

Okano and Hirate watch the three ships come alongside, watch the tired men manning their rails.

Okano makes a decision. "Come on Hirate............"
"Follow me"
Okano leads Hirate across the brow onto the repair ship, across the crowded quarterdeck, joins the men leaning over the rails down to the destroyer below.
Along the entire length of the destroyer, a hundred tales, a thousand snippets of news are being exchanged, even as fuel, water, steam connections are snaked across between the two vessels, the facts are becoming clear

Susuzuki is the sole survivor of the Chokia task force
"yes, she is one lucky barsted of a ship"
'No, not many casualties..........just three poor stoker barsteds at the repair base.........."

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3066
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/12/2014 8:16:09 AM   


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hello kaleun, my friend too!

Still no word from cantona.

Running out of turns to talk about...............

Totally off topic, my week at sea
Nuship Canberra is a 27500 ton LHD ,one of two of class being built for the RAN.
I cannot comment on the sea trials,other than I am incredibly proud of what we are building for Australia

I spent a full week watching dozens of pieces of kit being run, and photographing everything...........
Its 12 stories from the Centeral Aux machinery room to the bridge............lost track of how many times I did that climb.
She is as big as a footy field inside, and I must have walked 20 kilometres a day............well, thats how I felt at the end of it.
The food was unbelievably good, first class, the work long and hard, so many tired faces at the end of each day.
Its so good to be able to look at something so important to a nation, and say, I have contributed a little part to that........
Good to back

More, a great more blood to be spilt yet.........

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3067
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/12/2014 12:54:10 PM   

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what's your game date now?



(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3068
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/13/2014 8:39:05 AM   


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26th feb 1945

Imperial palace

A long, low room. paper walls. A long narrow, very low table
At its end, the emperors chair.

Upon it, the God man, looking tired, looking decidedly as he really is, human.
Before him, upright, sitting cross legged, the Imperial naval, Army staff, Yamato nearest to the emperor, arrayed in immaculate uniform.

This is the daily imperial conference.
There have been many, but few as momentous as this.

The emperor nods to the Army chief of staff "you may make your report"
The general nods. The enemy have landed at Alor star, and potentially threaten to cut off all but two of our divisions in malaya. We have ordered them to die in place.........."

"carry on"

'At Dajangas the enemy now out number us approximately 2 to 1 in numbers, but are still considered to be too disrupted to mount an attack yet. We have some 5 regiments at full strength marching across Minandao, and the bulk of 55th Division. They may, or may not arrive in time to sway the battle......'
The Emperor remains passive.
So malaya will soon be lost..............Damn that fat fool Churchill.......didn't he have enough of the war in europe?
Does he really think, now? that he will regain his British empire?

You have taken too long, been shamed too many times, Winston, too many times.

'Navy Minister?"

The navy Minister nods too. But unlike the Army , he is eager to report.
"Your Highness, the last two days have seen terrible fighting over the invasion beaches, but we have mainly prevailed. "
he pauses for the effect
"Since the invasion, we claim 70 enemy ships sunk. In the last two days alone, we claim 2 more CVE , a light cruiser, 3 destroyers and 37 various assualt vessels sunk. We have lost approximately 300 aircraft . "

Yamamato speaks "can you verify these claims.........too often our pilots claim wildly, I have seen a shot down Betty claimed once as an Essex class carrier sunk"

The navy Minister merely smiles."sir, I agree, but in this case all one has to do is stand on the hills overlooking Dajangas, and count....."

A long silence fills the room.
70 ships...........a dozen carriers..............and still they keep coming...........

The Emperor speaks again...
"and our losses in the last two days?"
CVL Chitose has been scuttled sir, the Atago sunk by a SS near Tarakan, a small escort vessel near manilla by Submarine"
The Emperor glances swiftly at Yamamato
"The patrol you have any details navy Minister?"

The question catches the Minister by surprise, he looks to a staff officer.
Paper is passed.
"E class Chiburi sir"

"Ah, regrettably, Nil "

Imperceptably Yamamato nods.

Again the Emperor speaks
'The Emperor wishes to express his gratitude to the men fighting to defend the Empire. They Must fight on. Gentlemen, news.
Today, as we meet, there are riots in Washington, Chicago, San Fransico, a large number of American cities. Somebody protested the war, apparently in Denver.
The police shot them.
Dissent, apparently, in America, is considered patriotic............

Keep Killing our enemies...keep killing, and we may yet prevail............"

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 3069
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/14/2014 8:20:14 AM   


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Ogowas eagles rest at Tacobalan.
They have lost nearly a quarter of their number

A quarter

A steep price indeed, to clear the way for the bombers.

Their is little laughter now, few smiles. Just grimness, and fatigue.
For two days, they have fought the Corsairs, the twin tailed devils, the hell and wild cats.
The shining P51's have killed them............and been killed.

But its been the bombers, the Liberators, that have broken them.
It is no easy matter, to kill a bomber that can out reach you.
No matter how good you are.

Ogowa gathers his men about him
"Tomorrow, I am told, we can expect the full wieght of the allied main carrier arm, it has been sighted coming North again"

A murmer runs through his men

He waits or it to fade away.
"We are ordered to maintain a continous CAP over Dajangas, we need to maintain as many planes over the beaches as we can"

"Truly, my friends............this is the decisive battle."

'We must play our part............get some rest............tomorrow, I think, will be a big day"

The men disperse. He seeks out Diogowa
"How are you friend?"
"Tired.......bloody tired. Is that really true?........more bloody hellcats?"
"yes, there has to be..........."

Diogowa looks away, looks at the floor. Then he looks up, meets Ogowa in the eye. 'We have come too bloody far to be killed now, right at the end"
Ogowa places his hand upon Diogowa's shoulder, feels the tension, feels his inner pain. (Please, old friend, don't doubt now, not now..doubt will kill you, kill us all) . "it only ends with a victory. matter what"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3070
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/14/2014 8:34:36 AM   


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DD Susuzuki slices the great swells, her wake creaming behind, the wind from her 22 knots brisk and cool
The Captain braces himself against her movement and faces the two men before him

"So let me get this straight, you two claim that you were verbally ordered to report to this ship as a transfer, yet you have no written orders to back your story?"

Okono , rigid, nods. "Sir!, that is correct sir!"
The captain stares at the men in front of him. His ship, is of course, under radio silence. Their is, of course, no way , yet, to confirm the story........"

"The chiburi?"........he glances at his Engineer "Do you know of it?"
"A tub.......she sailed the same hour we did"

'I see"..................

The Captain makes a decision " I understand that you know your boilers Okano, Hirate. I need steamers. I cannot check your story until we return, or we break radio silence.........But heaven help you if you have deserted Chiburi, tub or not. Desertion is death, remember"

(But then, who ever deserts one ship, to go to another, another going south towards battle)



"We are going to get shot, bloody idiot.why did we ever embark on this mad plan"
Okano smiles, grimly. "Knowing what we know, about a certain crate, certain events, certain you really think Chiburi was going to survive this war?"


"She will 'give her life for the emperor..and that will be that"
Hirate shakes his head.
"I hope you are right"

This time, of course, as we know, Okano IS right.
Chiburi, struck by a fish 40 miles east of Manilla, is gone.

The SS has surfaced, and machine gunned what few swimmers there were............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3071
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/18/2014 11:36:13 AM   


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Just a bump to avoid Page 2 Purgatory.

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Post #: 3072
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/19/2014 12:37:30 AM   


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A turn, at last!
Busy writing now..........

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3073
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/19/2014 12:55:14 AM   


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The land below, the blood soaked beaches of dajangas still lie in darkness, still in shadow. At 20000 feet, the sun glints on the cold wings of the eagles

Ogowa and his men circle, and wait
They are ramped in stacked formation, 50 plus strong, "first shift". To the north, others are coming to join them, already several have departed.
The orders are simple. maintain Continous CAP.
And fight

They are circling left, anti clockwise, a great circle over the bay below.
Diogowa see's them first
"First package enroute"
The first strike.....coming in at 10000 feet, sliding down from the hills.

Other glints..........sliding in from the West, even at this range, there is no mistaking those twin tails.
Forked devils........

Ogowa looks hard...........decides.
"402nd.......your meat"

Snarling, the heavy fighters peel away, diving down, down, joining again the great dance of death

There are Franks ,and Tojos, a great many of them, escorting a great formation of Jills.....the enemy corsairs, Mustangs, the devils, sweep in, and soon, too soon, the black plumes bloom.
Allied, friend?
Too hard to tell from this range.

The remaining George fighters circle on, as death feeds below.

Ogowa checks the guage...........50% tempting to dive to the battle below......
"More 38"s"

Calm. Collected. The report is brisk

yes, there, diving down on his left, angling for the fight ..........
"401st, break left, engage..........."
Ogowa wheels his plane over, throttle to the wall.

And battle begins.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3074
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/19/2014 1:00:39 AM   


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400 miles east of Naga, Phillipines.

"destroyers joining us sir"
Abe nods, raises his Glasses. Three grey wolves, Susuzuki, good, a good ship...........two kagero class.
desperately needed escort is so thin.
Kaga, Zuikaku, Ryhujo, Ibuki (damaged, blackened from recent fires) rise and fall across the swells, headed for Hiroshima.

Gloom fills the bridge. Chitose has sunk today, and Unryu reports from Ulithi that she is effectively finished for a year.
And at Dajangas..........

the enemy still keep coming.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3075
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/19/2014 1:08:41 AM   


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DD Susuzuki is an almost new ship.
Unit machinery layout. (Boiler, turbine, boiler, turbine). Good solid machinery.
Minimilistic, simple.

A man stands at the front of A boiler room , on the steaming platform. His left holds the fuel throttle above his shoulder, his right, the blower fan above that shoulder

A smoke dangles from his mouth

Two sprayer punchers stand at the boiler front, watching for his gestures.
The watertender stands beside him, eyes fixed upon the guage glass.

the telegraphs ring
the gestures, open palm, sweeping down "Out a biggiee!" the clenched fist sweeping now upwards "In a halF!"
The pressure guage barely trembles.

The steamer of the watch stands behind the man on the controls, a critical eye.
he has seen enough though, this man knows his job.
No, this man loves his job.............

Hirate. a steamer again, at last...., feels, hears the fans scream above him, feels the power at his fingertips.
Home again.

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 4/19/2014 2:09:27 AM >

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3076
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/20/2014 8:49:03 AM   


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How fast?
never fast enough

Ogowa picks his P 38, its slides across his front, left to righ, 400 meters, 300 metres...........
There is no time to think, only cold, cold calculation.
The 38 banks, twists
Ogowa rolls, inverted the barsted passes above him, the earth green below...........
he lifts from his seat, negative gee's, .out of here.................

A George goes down, three p38s follow it.................

Ogowa climbs again, below the Jills are diving down, slotting into individual attack packets.

More blood upon the waters.........................

Fuel is all but bingo
Other attack waves are coming in, new enemies rising to meet them.
But he has to go............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3077
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/20/2014 8:52:11 AM   

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How many kills does Ogowa have now? Curious to see his tracker history

Thumbs up, as Always for this great piece of poetry!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3078
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/20/2014 8:59:46 AM   


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Tacloban will work
This is the key. this is where all will hang, or fall.
The fighters return. They taxi, clouds of dust rise. Men swarm.
Fuel, ammunition. Oxygen..........

Diogowa climbs from his fighter, sweat stained, face strained.
He has no ammunition left, but no kills. The Mustang has danced, danced away, and then latched upon him like a leach.

He will never say it.but today, today for a moment, he has felt true fear.

He climbs onto the hard ground, takes the proffered Canteen

"Hot work sir?" His ground captain sweats too.
""Too bloody long ?"
'Fifteen minutes............................"
"Time for a piss then.............
Above, another flight of fighters roar past, replacements for the battle.

The sun beats hot.
The battle rages

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3079
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/20/2014 9:04:44 AM   


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Ogaowa counts the cost.
210 KU --------5 planes strong, 26 pilots,
S-401st,--------14 planes strong, 7 damaged, 34 pilots,
S402 --------28planes, 29 pilots
s407 ---------29 planes, 2 damaged, 36 pilots
s701st--------------14 available, 23 pilots

16 planes lost this day
20 odd killed.

There is no sign of any replacements................

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3080
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/20/2014 11:38:28 PM   


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The shattering of the Japans fantasy of some sort of victory, some sort of honourable peace, of some sort of escape from the encroaching horror , is utterly swept aside, crushed, pulverised with the setting of the sun over Dadjangas.

The allies have managed to get ashore no less than 14 Artillery battalions.
At dusk, with a mighty roar, they fire.

77th brigade, dug in along the face of a ridge called small mans spur.
They are dug in, they are well supplied.
In under an hour, the entire brigade ceases to exist................

The allied tanks roll, and find a few, a very few dazed survivors to dispatch.
The ridge falls. Tomorrow, the guns will turn onto 78th brigade.

This is no attack.
This is extermination.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3081
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/20/2014 11:48:52 PM   


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38th Army, Davao
Southern Command, Manilla

Dajangas has, apparently fallen.
All communications with front line units lost.
Will attempt to establish new line south West of davao.

What, pray, is state of promised reinforcements?

Southern Command
38th Army

Loss of beach defences viewed with shame.
55th division unloaded, marching from Cagayan
128th enroute.
3 others at sea, or enroute.

Please, fight harder.

On the ridges about dajangas, in shattered bunkers, filled in trenches, collapsed caves, in droves filling the ditches and roads, 38th Armies men lie.
They feel no shame at this defeat.

The dead feel nothing.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3082
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/20/2014 11:51:45 PM   


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Hi greyjoy
Ogowa has 771 missions, 5 kills, fatigue for today.....44
Diogowa has 658 missions, 7 kills, fatigue, 46

The eagles must rest for today.
From here on, they must sweep dadjangas, sweep, and sweep, until they destroy, or are utterly destroyed.............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3083
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/20/2014 11:52:39 PM   


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Hello Long pig!

You flew, but nobody intercepted the milk run the liberators had today.........

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3084
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/21/2014 3:32:13 AM   


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"The dead feel nothing."

I just stared that the line for a good 30 seconds. That was awesome... I need a cigarette

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3085
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/22/2014 4:40:48 AM   


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Extract from Shattering the sword, a cantona production

By japanese reckoning, the tally of losses inflicted upon the allies looked impressive.
1 fleet CV sunk, a further 6 damaged
3 CVL damaged
No less than a dozen CVEs sunk
3 battleships sunk, a further 6 damaged
2 Cruisers sunk, 3 damaged
A dozen destroyers sunk, 20 transports of various make sunk
10 to 15000 men drowned.

All, however, bought at terrible cost.
Three battle ships sunk, 3 battle cruisers , 6 Cruisers, 2 carriers, 2 CVL as well.
Innumerable destroyers

There is a hidden thought now , in the mind of every man who wears the Japanese uniform. There is little chance now, of getting through this war with out joining all those before them who now rest at peace beneath the waves.

There is no Navy left, just a shadow of what once was.
A dream of ages past.

The fleet, almost fuel less, will rest at Hiroshima bay, the carriers due to arrive tomorrow.
The ships there, the men in them, have but one choice left.
When to sail, when to fight, when to join the rest of the fleet, at the shrines of the gods.

(in reply to Anthro03)
Post #: 3086
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/22/2014 4:45:31 AM   


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"Bombs gone"

the B29 lurches upwards, relieved of her belly load of death.

many, many thousands of feet below, the expanding clouds of dust, the flowering shock waves.
Tacolaban, being pounded.

Long Pig grins. Right on the button. Bigglesworth merely scowls, something he does a lot now a days.
The big bomber peels away, 4 companions following.

The little yellow monkeys must be feeling the strain at last.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3087
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/22/2014 4:56:51 AM   


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To the east of tacloban, the stream of bombs fall, plowing paddy fields, roads, villages, and beaches.

Ogowa feels the thumps through his feet, but barely pauses in his work.

There should be CAP, there is no CAP.
Fubar...........he is too busy to wonder at what has gone wrong.what can he do about it anyway?
truk all.

The big bombers have missed, and that is good enough.

Again he examines the reports...........dadjangas still not operational (give the barsteds time, that will not be long delayed.......if someone had once told him that the bulldozer would be the war winning weapon, he would have laughed. But not now...........)
60 plus fighters over it today.

HQ, the myriads of HQ's, have gone and done exactly what they always do, Ogowa organised.
The flood of redeployment orders must have kept a staff of hundreds busy all night..........
But how many of these squadron x, y and Z will deploy to................actually really mreans you three stragglers will fly to here, you remaining 6 to here, you 4 will disband and be absorbed into unit z here?
Too many, undoubtably.

When you have no answers to the other mans hand, you shuffle your own cards............

And what?

In a day, two, three at the most, Dadjangas will be secure, the flood of troops will begin un impeded.

he sighs.
My task, he thinks, is easy, at least.

Tomorrow, he will lead every plane they have south, and fight.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3088
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/22/2014 5:04:13 AM   


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The Emperor looks askase.
"You surely do not mean this?"

"many have already done this, many more will do this"
"But they have done this volunteeringly...............nobody has forced them to"
"No..but all know that it is our duty to die for you"

The Emperor cannot reply
"We have many , a great many units that will simply die uselessly if ordered to fly, planes to elderly, pilots too young..this way, this way we can ..............."
'Sell yourselves dearly?"
" is the only way we have left"

A long silence fills the palace room

Finally the emperor speaks.
"No, you will not order any man to become may ask, you cannot order"

This very night, High Commands HQ changes the status of no less then 200 planes from training, to 'special attack"
They will not be the last.

Nor, will any man be asked.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3089
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/23/2014 7:58:51 AM   


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Ogowas eagles line the edges of tacolaban field, great blades spinning
They await the word to go.

It does not come.
You cannot keep engines such as these at idle for too long, they cook. It takes but 10 minutes for Ogowa to wave for a shut down, to stalk to the command hut.

"'There is a delay with the bombers"
Later, the green light....which even as they taxi, turns to red.

"We have lost touch with the other strikes............."

Then, it rains, a heavy, heavy brief shower, and more delays ensue.

The B-29's abort the next attempt to go..................

Ogowas eagles do not fly today

Its been one long FUBAR

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3090
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