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RE: carrier Battle!

 
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RE: carrier Battle! - 8/9/2011 10:08:25 AM   
1275psi

 

Posts: 6593
Joined: 4/17/2005
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16/9/42

Even nightmares end

Zuiho returns to cruising state.
Her airgroups, the zeros at less than50%, the kates at 75%, are all below decks.

The ground crews work, but they too only work at 30%.

In future years, men and women will find many different ways to “push themselves”
Some, ( I know of one at least) will run a marathon.

It will take them to levels of exhaustion they have never known before.
Recover will take time, days, even weeks.

Materially, within days, Zuiho should be ready to fight again
Mentally, it may take a bit longer.





Herbiesan cannot believe what he reads.
It is, well, it is UNBELIEVABLE!

He takes the Minister of industry in his gaze again. And knows, disposing of his former Minister may have been a mistake. No, was a mistake.

“ So, you are telling me, that with the fleet returning to harbour, after the greatest clash ever, that my pool of spare Type 2 zero’s is six fighters!”

A stunned silence greats the question.
‘Well!!!!?”

‘Sir……….its replacement program…………is, uh……….delayed. I ahhhhh, guessed that we would have enough type 2’s until the 3a’s came on line……but, ahhh
but enemy action it seems…………….”

So, he guessed wrong.

Herbiesan considers the groveling man in front of him, and decides………no, wait.
Too much invested in this man,.with this man.
Bolt holes , ……….investments.
Damnation.

“Sir, we did not expect the war to go this long, surely they were going to surrender, didn’t congress vote on it?”

herbiesan feels it. Again. That feeling of bewilderment, of doubt. Yes. They were meant to. Had to!. But had not!
Even after destroying an entire fleet………….. they fought on.

Doubt could so easily turn to fear…………….
If this victory could not bring a winning peace……….what would?
Anything?

Not for a million years did herbiesan ever consider he would fight such an implacable foe………….




4 wellington bombers bomb 112th regiment this day.
They strike jungle, a river, a hut, and their only significant supply dump.

Hosho contemplates his pack, his meager rice ration, the small bundle of dried fish he has.
He is used to going hungry. The future does not worry him.
Of course. It should.

(in reply to Saros)
Post #: 601
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/9/2011 10:46:29 AM   
hosho


Posts: 121
Joined: 10/21/2005
From: zagreb, croatia
Status: offline


_____________________________

the first ones are remembered

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 602
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/10/2011 2:38:50 AM   
Heeward


Posts: 316
Joined: 1/27/2003
From: Lacey Washington
Status: offline
Congratulations to 1275psi the shiny medal on a silk ribbon around the neck and to his opponent, the block.

A daring plan - by the allies but the gods of war did not smile on Cantonia. To face the majority of the combined fleet in late 42 is quite brave.


_____________________________

The Wake

(in reply to hosho)
Post #: 603
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/10/2011 9:42:57 AM   
1275psi

 

Posts: 6593
Joined: 4/17/2005
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17/9/42

Our Engineer is missing, confined to a discreet corner of the sick bay. Nobody, to be honest, knows what to do with him.
But Zuiho still needs attention.

Amazingly, she mechanically remains in good shape.. She remains almost 100% available. But again, like ducks that slide serenely across the surface, you cannot see the action under the water providing the motion.

It has been a very, very busy day operationally

It begins before dawn, with soot blows on 1A and 2A boilers. Typically, the cool unsettled weather has returned to hot tropical conditions, and the temperatures below begin to soar again
After the blows, both boilers are shut down, and “bottom blown”……….an essential task after so many hours of hard steaming.
By 9 am, the men are bringing both boilers back on line, and by 10, Zuiho again steams on all four.

More soot blows, this time on all four boilers, and again, boilers are taken off line, 1B, 2B’s turn………..and again, bottom blows
These two will remain shut down, the Charge desperately wants to get inside them, and inspect the furnaces. All four boilers, are also again now in need of complete cleans.


Now, for many, that description will mean little. For those that do, I am sure you understand the sheer physical effort this work will require today. How many great valves will be swung open, or swung shut?
How many hearts will stress over water levels, and steam pressures, as the boilers are connected, disconnected?

Do you remember?
More than I care too…………….

The engineers log will be sparse, filled in this day by the charge. Swung, blew down all four boilers.

It will not tell of the three men who fainted, the two who collapsed, or the 101 little dramas that filled the day.

Zuiho will sail smoothly home today.
The legs are still thrashing unseen below






Elsewhere, across the whole fleet in fact, the Charge is not alone.
You cannot steam such a fleet, for so long, so hard, without consequences.


All ships have a system

If you have a small defect: that ‘five minute job’ you report it to the workshop, or the charge, and into a defect book, or list it goes. The day workers, or some times, the off watch men, will tackle these jobs.
They will never end, and on even a destroyer, they will number in the hundreds per month.

Then, there is the planning for refits, jobs that need external assistance. These occupy many hours of the Charges/MEO’s time. They must be planned, parts ordered, and once a list complied, submitted to Fleet by a certain date.

Charges list, planned for the next refit, already includes lifting main turbine lids, boiler and heater tube renewals, and multiple pump rebuilds.

And then there are the defects. Major ones, the ones that limit availability, ones that effect the ships actual ability to do X, Y or Z.
Fleet is informed of these by signal, and deep in Tokyo itself, there is a giant state board, giving the status of each ships availability.
Here, a small staff –terribly small by todays standards, priorities the defects, and makes the arrangements for repair.
Today, the reports flood in; a veritable tale of woe.

There are cruisers with battle damge, light carriers with heavy battle damage.
This is easy to fix….time, a lot of welders, a lot of metal work.
But other ships have deeper problems.
Pumps galore .’damaged carbon seal” is prominent in so many reports.

More than a handful of ships have leaky boiler tubes, or require re bricking.
Soryu has heavy vibration in one shaft

The long and short of it……….

Japans shipyards , in fact, any shipyard in the empire, is going to be very busy next month.
War is more than combat.
War is all about being able to sustain combat.
Today, Yamaguichi reads the defect reports, the docking requests. He had grand plans for next month.
Not now
If he is lucky, he will have but three carriers to use.

This, of course interests us. Zuiho does not know them yet, but she is firmly in them.





(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 604
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/11/2011 9:06:31 AM   
1275psi

 

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18/9/42

A quiet day......mostly

there are several submarine sightings during the day, and one even attempts to attack wide out on the flanks of the flet, but they are going too fast, and the escort is too heavy today.

Ahead, Truk tomorrow evening. but also more of the underwater menace.
Combined fleet, first fleet, 4th fleet all share the same opinion, the enemy must, will concentrate any SS they have off Truk, hoping for revenge

There is only one possible counter, and it has been forseen. Three specialist ASW airgroups fly into the fortress. they have trained exclusively in ASW for nearly a year now.

Tomorrow, a chance to show their metal

Of course, for most on Zuiho, this is all unknown. They continue to attend to the shock repairs. Men are discharged back to duty from the sickbay.
Fuel is consumed, and the cooks are now deep into the larders
It will be good to get home....for that is what Truk now has become.
And of course, there is only one topic to talk about today, does anyone know this Captain Kato, signalled to join witrhin the week?

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 605
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/13/2011 8:09:24 AM   
1275psi

 

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Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
Grrrrrrrrrrr. Bloody virus knocked me out of action yesterday. Thank Heavens for AVG support people!



19/9/42

Zuiho threads her way gingerly into the mighty lake that is Truk lagoon, and after considerable confusion, finds herself at anchor in an area not that far from the main support facilities.

Her crew commence the usual routines, the fresh water wash downs, the rigging of an awning over the bow, the out swinging of the gangway, Jacob ladders, the boats.
Soon a small stream of them will be shuttling too and fro, and of course, every single one will be met with the question………mail?

The injured, Minobe, another seaman, are taken ashore.

The Charge watches his Engineer being assisted down the gangway, physically there is nothing wrong. But it only took a moment of face to face, of looking into those eyes, to see……………….nothing.
There was nothing there.
The Charge watches him depart.

Lurch stands besides him, and at the appropriate moment, spits into the ocean. “And that is one less bloody barsted I have to worry about”
The Charge turns his head, waiting for the rest, inviting it. “ I really wanted to murder that man Chief……….but fate has been kind to us I think”
The Charge nods his head

Yes, it has been, hasn’t it.? 18 days, 18 days since they last sailed. And nothing major broke, and nothing hit our little ship……kind?.no, fate has been more than kind.
“yes Lurch……one problem solved. But there will be more I think in the future”
Lurch laughs, with out humor. ”None as difficult as him surely?
‘No, I suppose not. Strange to see a Japanese man removed from battle un injured, I wonder what will become of him?”

But then a young Stoker is approaching, the boiler is shut down, does he want it on blanket steam, or are we opening up for inspection?

Zuiho’s heart beats still.
Maybe even stronger now, with that infection gone from its system.





Hidaka too looks to the shore. The news of the hour is good, and yet bad. No fighter replacements “for many days expected”
Bad
‘Following pilots posted to Zuiho:”
Good, very good. All of them experienced, some even what you would call crack….
Many however “in transit”
Bad
And finally, news on this captain Kato
He too is a pilot.
With many hours experience it seems

Time will tell, if this is good for Hidaka, or bad..



All over Truk lagoon the fleet comes to anchor.
Tomorrow many will depart for Japan, for rest, refit, upgrades, and repairs. But firstly, there is a most important duty.

‘To all Commanding officers, and airgroup commanders.
Report to wardroom, IJNS Yamato, 1900 hrs.

ADM Yamaguchi is buying the drinks.



(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 606
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/14/2011 7:52:19 AM   
1275psi

 

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Joined: 4/17/2005
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20/9/42

The charge is having one of those days when the phone rings in damage control central

It has begun just after dawn, some fool has transferred 4000 gallons of fuel into the port ready use tank, a tank that usually only holds 3500 gallons.

A right mess to clean up.

Then there is the leak discovered on the port gland cooling pipe, the vap motor (how many bloody times for that to go?!) that has seized.. Again

He has been informed that Zuiho “is not expected to sail for 7 days”. Lacking an Engineer to decide, he has bitten the bullet. 7 days, 4 boiler cleans….who knows when a chance should come again

And the XO has deemed it fit to give half his men leave.
Didn’t he understand how much work was on?

And now here he is, forming urgent signals………2 boilers simply must have some tubes replaced in the heaters, how they survived the last few days..
Effectively, Zuiho arrived “system damage free”.
In reality, here below, she is currently as good as crippled.

A hundred and one things are crowding him, and now the phone is ringing.
“charge, it’s the gangway……….apparently two of your stokers, a Petty Officer Hirate, Petty officer Okano are ashore. They have a message, something about a part you must sign for, feed pump, or something”

the Charge thinks……….”parts?, what parts?. And how in the hell did that pair get ashore?”
“Apparently charge, they insist”
Damnation
“get this signal to the XO, tell him its urgent…………apparently I have to go ashore”


He makes the boat, just, and takes a seat in the stern, and typically, worries about the sound of its engine the whole way, and the state of the fuel guage, it seems low to him.
But they travel with out incident, wait their turn at the packed pier, and with relief, he gets ashore.

His two PO’s are waiting, faces impassive
‘OK you rogues……….where are these bloody parts?”
Okano grins, “this way Chief”
A dilapidated ford awaits them. “Where the hell did you get this?”
‘Hirate stole it”
The charge is inclined to believe it.

With a roar of blue smoke, they plunge up the rough track into “town”, if you could call this nest of inequity a town…….. the ancient sedans suspension protesting every inch of the way.
They arrive shortly. Hirate pushes him out, propels him towards a indefinable grass and palm tree structure.

For a moment,, he is blinded by the smokey darkness, and then the roar of the packed bar greets him

“IT’S THE CHARGE!”
And Okano is leading him to the bar, and suddenly a beer is going to taste ever, ever so good.













(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 607
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/15/2011 1:12:29 AM   
John 3rd


Posts: 11037
Joined: 9/8/2005
From: La Salle, Colorado
Status: offline
Nice


_____________________________



Member: Reluctant Admiral and Perfect War Mod Team.

Reluctant Admiral Mod:
https://sites.google.com/site/reluctantadmiral/


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 608
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/15/2011 9:31:04 AM   
1275psi

 

Posts: 6593
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
Thankyou John 3rd
(not every post can be battle ney?)


a new period in Zuihos life begins I think:


20/9/42

This time, the call ashore for the Charge is real, and very, very urgent.

The Captains ships boat –that Imperial piece of polished wood and white wonder, is at the pier.
The new Captain, Captain Kato, has arrived, or is soon to arrive, the message is a bit confused with that.
What is not confused is that the boat has broken down. Well not broken down, simply run out of fuel.
He curses, once, twice, well, quite a few times…..apparently the whole situation is causing “quite a flap”
The message from the XO is rather more brutal.
“get it going before he needs it Chief, or you are going to bring shame on us all!”

It takes moments to get a couple of men, a few more to find some small cans of fuel (ironic, you burn it at the rate of tons, but you need 5 gallons……….a right royal pain in the arse)
Another boat races them towards shore.
The Captains boat, it seems, is not actually at the wharf, it drifts some one hundred metres from it, in its stern three young men, two Lieutenants –Charge automatically categorizes them as pilots, and another young fellow in resplendent (and very new) LCDR garb.
They all have that slightly worried look of men who don’t quite understand the mechanics of a breakdown.
The Charge barely gives them another look, clambering into the boat, tool bag in hand
He has but one sentence for the Coxswain of the boat……….”Out of the way, you bloody clown”, and then its into the stern, up with the engine box lid.

His Seamen is already filling the tank, as he peers into the darkness of the engine bay………where the hell is the fuel line, Ah, here it is, filter is here……..empty.
Right, lets have at you then.

‘Have you diagnosed the problem Chief?’
He glances up.
It is Mr impeccable, the LCDR………..heavens, so young!
‘Yes sir, I have, fixed in a jiffy………….”

Come on you bloody thing, undo, I need to fill you, bleed your little heart a bit………


“And your name Chief?’
Bloody hell.as if …heavens man, get out of my light!
“They just call me Charge………………sir”
Got you, you prig, now, where is the priming pump, need a 9/16th I think for the injector union

‘”As in first Non commissioned officer engineering?’
Oh for heavens sake
He looks up.
The Young man has,, strangely, almost embarrassingly, extended his hand.
“LCDR Tan………….apparently I am your new engineering officer”

Charge drops his spanner.



Ten minutes later, the boat going now, he, his new boss, the pilots, are safely on the other boat. Captain Kato, apparently, is going to be given full honours

Now they are bobbing back over the lagoon, the bulk of Zuiho growing ever larger.
The two men face each other.
Tan, his face slightly , well, definitely embarrassed, smiles “ Not an auspicious start Chief, you having to rescue me and all”
Charge shakes his head. “Can’t get that uniform dirty sir”
Tan laughs. “No, I better not. I have only had it 6 weeks”

And now the smile is a real grin. “You look worried charge. Well maybe you should be I suppose. Seven weeks ago, there I was, Chief engineering officer Hiroshima Nagasaki rail line. Then some bright spark must have thought: ah, .there is a man who knows steam trains, thus, steam boilers. Thus, in the infinite wisdom of imperial military Japan, thus, steam ships..

‘So, sir, you know not……”
‘Not a lot about ships, no. Oh, I can build you a bridge, calculate anything. Fix a kettle? –impossible”
Again, that laugh.
“but then, from what I hear, this is good for you yes.? Let you run the ship –I run interference with the bridge, do the paperwork –that I do know..
Compared to the Hiroshima line, the Navy has yet to invent red tape paperwork!’

Tans face suddenly becomes serious as they come alongside. “I hear that there is no suppression orders, no hand over prepared. I will get settled in. Tomorrow, you had better show me this wondrous thing they call a ship”

“First thing sir?’
“First thing”
Its enough. Charge likes the man already





Captain Kato disgorges from the sedan at the wharf. He emerges. Tall, thin. A narrow face, small moustache.
Crisp uniform, seemingly impervious to this heat and humidity.
Sword, carefully positioned at the hip.
He returns the salutes, moves swiftly, silently to the boat.
Takes his seat in the stern, and barely moves the entire journey

Gangway.
Assembled officers, pipes, salutes.
He climbs the gangway, swiftly, receives the salutes.

The XO approaches, hand extended “welcome aboard Sir”
‘Thankyou,. First thing. Boats coxswain. Replace him, his skills are deplorable.. I will meet all section I/c’s wardroom, 10 minutes. Non coms, 30 minutes. Ship shall clear lower deck immediately after that. Lead me to my cabin please”

Capatain Kato has arrived.



(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 609
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/16/2011 12:44:17 AM   
Smoky Stoker


Posts: 51
Joined: 3/25/2011
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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi



His Seamen is already filling the tank,


Oh....

This really must be changed. "His seamen are..." or "A seaman is...". Please don't tell me you meant a different spelling of the first noun. Once upon a time it was said within my hearing, of the Engineer Officer of a United States ship, "when he masturbates,he ejaculates fuel oil". I don't think this is what you meant.


_____________________________

"Leveling large cities has a tendency to alienate the affections of the inhabitants and does not create an atmosphere of international good will after the war." -Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 610
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/16/2011 8:04:59 AM   
1275psi

 

Posts: 6593
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
Oh, crap, I just dropped my coffee........LOL

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 611
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/16/2011 10:00:41 AM   
1275psi

 

Posts: 6593
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
21/9/42

The big Emily circles Truk lagoon twice, before alighting between the Zuikaku and Shokaku, its great wake splitting the smooth waters in a creamy arrow.

Few, if any take much attention to the great seaplane, after all, the airspace here is very, very busy.

The two great carriers lie still, baking in the bright sun, their crews busy below preparing for whatever is next.

Truk lagoon is, other than the taxiing plane, relatively still, a great bulk of the fleet having departed for home.
Yet, what remains is beyond impressive, three fast carriers, Zuiho, 8 battleships, eight heavy cruisers, and many, many destroyers and transports.

Around them, barges bob gently, and men move languidly (it is bloody hot, and energy sapping here) storing ships, or painting, or attending to the million and one things a ship demands (just like women ney? –go on, dispute it, I dare you)

On Zuikaku , the Officer of the day, thourghly bored, raises his glasses, and inspects the great Emily.
‘Sweet heavens…………”
“Quartermaster!.pipe Commanding Officer, Coxswain and piping party to the gangway at the rush!…………Now, for Gods sake..now!’

He raises his glasses again, and curses the fate that has put him here.
There is no mistaking the man disembarking from the bomber, even now motoring across in the duty boat
Herbiesan has come to see his fleet……………….




The Charge shakes his head in amazement.
She is rusty, she is battered, she is one ugly mother.
But she is so welcome.

Zuiho rests alongside Truks only Repair ship, and already sucks greedily at her tit.
Steam, water, power……….a welcome mother indeed.

Its allowed him to totally shut down, to go cold.
To really get to work.

Below his men work, no longer having to worry about pressurized systems, or about steam flows, or even the heat emitted.
Now, they can truly “rip into it”
There are promises, twice now, fulfilled, of nightly leave for many.
They know what work has to be done.
They have, for once, time to do it
What more could an Engineer want?


Hidaka greets them as they arrive.
Each greeting is short, simple. Little needs to be said.
Nothing needs to be explained.
His new pilots, sucked from across the empire, are good. Better than that. Many, many are crack.
Hidaka feels content
Somebody up there in high command must like them..




Captain Kato stands, immaculate again on his reviewing stand.
His crew, immaculate too, face him


The air is still.
Once again, Zuiho meets a captain, and a captain meets them

“Men. I am your Captain. They tell me this is a very good ship. A fighting ship.
Good”

He stares at them, his head moving swiftly on that long neck
“I will lead you into battle.
We will win
We will be the best ship in the fleet. I expect nothing else”

And with that, he steps down.
There is no inspection of the ranks



The Charge and LCDR Tan sit face to face in the Engineers cabin
‘Well charge….she is, umm, well, quite a mess downstairs”
The Charge goes to speak, forestalled by a raised hand.
‘But wait, I understand boiler cleans are messy, I am sure she will be ready when he calls”
Tan pulls a book from the pile on the desk.
It reads “urgent repair register”

He flicks through it, frowns at some of the entries.
Looks the Charge in the eye “OK Charge .tell me exactly what you need”



Extract from Shattering the sword.a cantona production

.there is, at this time, little choice. In Burma, southern India, plans are advanced, and Armies begin to move, a move noted by Japans generals. In the solomons, in PNG, the B17’s ramp up the bombing, mostly at night.

And in China, some fool orders an offensive…………..

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 612
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/17/2011 11:20:11 AM   
1275psi

 

Posts: 6593
Joined: 4/17/2005
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(1275psi very happy today -offered a new Job with Aussie LDH project!.....negotiating a new career!)


22/9/42

His tactics are quite simply, ruthless
One at a time each Admiral, each general is shuffled into Herbiesans cabin.

Here the questions are sharp, and to the point

“What is needed to end this war?
‘What is needed for victory/’
“What should happen next?’
and, most important

‘who should lead ?”

And then, without any chance to speak to any other Commander, they are led to individual cabins, and left to stew.



Yamaguchi stands before the man he hates, the man he follows. The man who has, so far, saved Japan

Herbiesan speaks. “Yamaguchi……..you have done well. But you were lucky.
Nevertheless, I will keep you in command. “

A long silence.

“What do we need to do, to end this war?’

Yamaguchi hesitates. How many times has he asked himself this?
‘I truly do not know now sir………I truly don’t”

herbiesan nods. “You are the first, the only one who is not in fantasy land. Today I have heard, invade India, invade Australia, take Tarawa, noumea, raid pearl .I have heard it all.”

He pours a whisky from the tumbler, passes the glass to Yamaguchi “relax Admiral, I only take the head of those who fail me………take a seat”
He swirls the whisky. “You know, the Americans actually composed a surrender note, did you know that?. We were THAT close.” He leans forward, eyes bright with excitement “and you know what bought that about?”

Yamaguchi knows……..if what had happened to the enemy happened to him……..

‘Such a defeat sir.”

‘No Yamaguchi…….not the defeat., we have been defeating them for nearly a year already. It was the blood. So many dead. So many widows. So suddenly. “
‘But sir, this war is, has been bloody all along”
‘BAH!…..that is attrition. Nations as large as America can handle attrition.
A thousand dead a week is not noticeable. 5000 in a day…….that is altogether different, especially when their precious navy is involved.”

Yamaguchi see’s that there is a little truth in this. Of course, for Japan, losses mean only diminution of strength available to fight. Nothing more. They are all dead men walking for the Empire.

Herbiesan drains his glass.
“The Army wants me to invade India, or Japan. Most of your captains want Tarawa taken.
I for one, think that the British are the Allies only hope now. And they CANNOT take attrition. So, this is what we will do.”

Herbiesan moves to the map.
‘”You will feint to Tarawa with whatever can sail, strike a target there, and retire.
Let him see transports, whatever. In the meantime, 4th division, 33rd, then later21st divs, plus anything else we can spare……….Burma.
Refit the fleet, keep just the fast battleships, some cruisers here, a couple of carriers for colour, I think Zuiho, maybe Shoho, Junyo when they are repaired will do.
Move everything else to Singapore”

He takes Yamaguchi in the eye “ You have won us six months in the pacific. I am going to let him crawl all the way up the Solomon chain, then, just as he thinks he is winning, you will come back with the new carriers we are rushing………and crush him”



And so the strategy is decided. Herbiesan still seeks the decisive battle..





Zuiho continues her work
Two more pilots arrive
All four boilers have various tubes removed
The Charge takes Tan through the ship

Tan remains silent mostly through the tour. Only at the end does he have a comment.
“There was one thing very bloody wrong Charge……, I didn’t see a single wheel, steam engines should have wheels”




(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 613
Turds smell - 8/19/2011 7:23:17 AM   
1275psi

 

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23/9/42

Hosho examines his boots.

Boots. Such a simple thing. But armies have been defeated because of poor boots, or for the lack of them.

Boots reflect the true state of an army.
Victorious armies rarely get far , or remain victorious for very long in bare feet.

Hosho’s boots are buggard
Too many miles. Too many dunkings, tropical rains, river crossings.
But mainly too many miles.

And now the news has come down, 112th regiment will march back to Myrintyka, for further deployment.
Hosho sighs. Well, maybe if new boots are not coming to him, or his men, maybe they might be able to go to them.
Maybe.

Around them, the hills are silent, wreathed in mist. Somewhere to the north, the british,. But high command considers them no threat. Rumour has many, a great many enemy units coming south from Chittagong.
Hosho hopes that the future holds boots. This concerns him more than any battles that may come.
Hosho subscribes very sincerely to that term, he died with his boots on.




The wardroom is quiet this evening, the officers of Zuiho in their usual places and clichés. Many are ashore tonight, the delights of Truk are few, but you never know……

Hidaka sifts through the small pile of magazines and papers, seeking any word not yet read for at least the third time.
Mail is promised, but has yet to come.
His mind is elsewhere.

Zuiho has changed. He can feel it. Can one man really make such a difference?
Captain Kato has been rarely seen this day, esconded in his cabin. An invitation to the wardroom has gone un answered.
But Captains rounds will occur tomorrow. Formal rounds with all that implies

Hidaka sweats slightly in the humidity of the wardroom. But Zuiho, somehow, indefinably, feels cold.



It is another quiet day in Truk lagoon. The ships swing on anchors, to the outsider, doing nothing, achieving little.

You can see armies grow, count the troops. You can count planes on a field, watch a growing number of sorties.
There, you can say, is a military that is ready, is strong, is growing.

Ships just apparently sit.


But deep inside this fleet, repairs continue.
And plans are formed.

“from
Commander, Combined fleet
To
All units, Truk


All ships to be ready for offensive action, 29/9/42

Herbiesan has returned to Japan

The turd of a plan he has left Yamaguchi, begins to smell. Soon its presence will permeate through the fleet.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 614
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/20/2011 12:29:13 PM   
1275psi

 

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24/september/1942


Captains rounds

Traditionally, go like this.

They are promulgated several weeks in advance
During the weeks leading up to them, several important things occur.
The first is a great general huck out of every nook and cranny,. Every drawer is opened, every shelf emptied. A million “lost’ things are found, and a gazillion things that are rubbish (but occasionally found to be vitally needed at a later date) go for a swim.
Then, those paint repairs always put of, are done.
The bilges are cleaned – and we might talk about what that entails at some date- a depressing, demoralizing task most times, taking weeks on occasions.
Brass is polished, things shine again

Captains rounds equals -spring clean.
Despite the pain, they achieve the aim, and, really, if you think about it, ultimately leave you feeling good. Your ship looks good, you feel good.

That’s how they traditionally go.

Kato’s are not like this, this is unexpected. But it is easy to think, as most of Zuiho do, easy to assume, that the new Captain intends to inspect the ship, to learn it, to see her for himself.
With so many tasks to do today –a major store ship, ammunition to strike down, three fighters to test run, and the first tube repairs below to pressure test, few have time for anything else.
Effort is made -of course. Japanese ships are always, well, nearly always immaculate.
But after six heavy months, rust stains her flanks, her decks……..Oh lets face it, the race against the rust is being lost at this stage.

Kato begins rounds on the bridge –as tradition demands
“Zuiho for your rounds sir”
‘very good”

He should, as tradition states, now head for the hanger deck. Instead, he takes three steps to the navigators chart table, opens it.
A long silence. “I would like to see the Navigator, there are three chart update notifications not yet actioned…………..”

Zuiho thought………………..they thought wrong.




Way below, unaware, yet, of the storm brewing, beginning to blow through Zuiho, the charge silently curses.
“Again!” he yells.
Three men, Lurch included, stand at the end of the other end of main turbine. They have a ridiculously large crow bar wedged into the end of the now exposed turbine cap.
Below, the oil pump hums. At the charge’s yell, they heave, forcing the turbine to move, almost imperceptibly, but nonetheless, to move.
Bearing bumps.
The Charge curses, again. Thrust clearance on the main bearing, is to be blunt…….truked.

His mind races.
Does the sums.
It’s the 26th today
Japan gets the signal, 27th.
Action a spare, 28th, get it to a plane, 28th, might get it………..3 days after we are meant to sail.

Truk

A shadow behind him. For a moment, a weird feeling, of ? disorientation?. Minobe was so rarely seen here.
Tan, is, as one is learning, smiling again. ‘Problem Chief?”
“I need a new thrust bearing, this one is on the limits”
‘No spare?”
‘No spare”

Tan moves in, eyes the great beast of metal.
‘OK then, we will make one”


Our Engineers are lucky, Capatain Kato never makes it to the chaos of the boiler rooms, with their innards spread all over the spaces.

Maybe it was that puddle of oil in the hanger deck.
Or was it the half eaten roll in the ready room……….or the pornographic magazine in the lounge chair………

There is a cold fury in the eyes as he comes to a halt before the Chippeies shop
“I have seen enough. Rescrub. All leave is cancelled. Rescrub………in three days, we will sail looking like a warship, or there will be men looking for new jobs………”





(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 615
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/20/2011 1:49:27 PM   
PaxMondo


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Seems like Zuiho is quite fortunate ... a real engineer.  A rarity then, almost extinct now.

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Post #: 616
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/21/2011 9:55:56 AM   
1275psi

 

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You know pax mondo.......and this is but an opinion, if there is ever another great war, and the west is defeated, in that statement History will say -there is the cause. (I work for a navy that has now forgotten how to fix its own ships)


But back to the real war


25/9/42

The Charge receives mail………..at last

It is a short letter, brief, and somewhat old.
Yet every word is treasure beyond belief


Father,

I am well, and getting fat. We are posted somewhere where the cherry blossoms bloom……….(ahh, Son, you are safe at home).but we have new planes now, a great new fighter.
They are putting us on a rusty transport, and we are coming your way, I would think.
So, I am well, and I know you are too, my heart tells me this.
Maybe, if the Gods are good, we will meet.

Your son




Charge, and his black gang, simply have mountains of work
One boiler today , needs to be pressure tested. Another, begin to box up. The furnace, pipe repairs should finish on the others tomorrow.
But for the AR men, this work would never have advanced as it has.

Everywhere else, Zuiho machinery wise, is ready.
Only the boilers, and the turbine bearing needs attention.

Such an innocent word, only…………..

But despite the work demanded, irresistibly, Charge is drawn again, and again to the bearing repair.
LCDR Tan may not know one system, one machine yet on Zuiho., but it is obvious, that heavy repair work is in his blood. And when the Charge thinks about it, where else, but on the railways, would you learn anything but this art?

The first time he visits the engine room, he finds the bearing caps removed, and already the turbine has been “jacked” the small amount required. Tan is busily directing Lurch, of all people, how to drive the bearing out, out and around the shaft.
And Tan is grinning

Later in the day, when he comes back, that engineers curiosity and passion driving him, the work party is gone, as is the bearing, housing and all.
Enquiries are swiftly answered. “he’s on the AR, doing a deal apparently”

Charge cannot help himself, he goes aboard the great machine shop ship.
He promptly gets lost, but is directed aft to the sweep deck.

Tan is there, looking absolutely unlike a naval officer should, dirty overalls, sweat pouring of him

“Hi charge!, how are the boilers going?”
it is difficult to answer, ones eyes are drawn to many strange shapes spread about the sweep deck, on the benches. He recongnises the bearing, but some of the stuff?
Tan, almost casually points out the bits –‘This, my friend, is the furnace, the biggest hurdle will be getting enough metal, fortunately,” and the grin becomes almost mocking ‘ your department has an awful lot of dead bearings scattered about the spaces, they will melt down nicely”

Then he points to a great wooden box. “ This is the Form box. Biggest problem is lack of casting sand. But, I have a secret mixture, just don’t tell the cooks……….”

And finally, Tan leads him to a workshop nearby. A AR petty officer is busy on the wood lathe.. Tan almost explodes with enthusiasm ‘and here we are turning up the mould.”
His grin disappears.” You look doubtful Chief”

Charge smiles. “Not doubtful sir, stunned more like…………”
Tan pats him on the back……”Charge, when it comes to running crap, I haven’t a clue. Making stuff however…………”


Elsewhere on Zuiho nearly 700 men have diverted from the process of getting a ship ready for war, ready for the Captain.
This of course, is their opinion.



Captain Kato’s diary

I think my new ship is, in a word, a marvel.
The men, simply , are magnificent. But I cannot let them think that. Hard times are ahead for Japan, and us. This I feel, this I, regretfully know. The blade of this ship is sharp, this I know too, but the steel, the steel needs tempering, needs hardness, needs toughness.
I must forge it. If we are to survive, to win, then we must be stronger than what humanity can bear.
It will be a lonely job. But I will do it.



Captain Kato works on a submission for Admiral Yamaguchi. He wants guns, a great deal more guns fitted to this ship. And a bridge, a proper flying bridge. He wants many things.
It is doubtful he will get them.

Today over 100 allied heavy bombers go to work in the Solomons, and over PNG.
Mc Arthur , most of his pacific fleet rivals either dead, or sacked in disgrace, has taken command

‘carriers, who needs stinking carriers,” he declares “there are plenty of ways to take the war to the Nip”

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 617
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/21/2011 10:01:57 PM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

You know pax mondo.......and this is but an opinion, if there is ever another great war, and the west is defeated, in that statement History will say -there is the cause. (I work for a navy that has now forgotten how to fix its own ships)


It won't even take a war ... my first degree is in engineering and frequently I am involved in recruiting new engineers. Book learned? Yes. Can they actually change a tire on their own car if they have a flat? Mostly no.

i.e. they have learned the theory, but never gone out into the world to apply what they have learned. Worse, few have any interest in ever leaving the work cubes to do so. Couldn't tell SS316 from Inconel from Hastelloy if it bit them, so they can spec something, but would never know if construction followed their specs.

Oh well, I know my grandfather had the same lament about his trade (he was a master electrician and his brother a master boilermaker) decades ago.

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Post #: 618
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/22/2011 12:52:42 AM   
John 3rd


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Status: offline
You have said our new Captain is an Aviator. Will we get some of his back story?


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Reluctant Admiral Mod:
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Post #: 619
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/22/2011 7:39:17 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hi John -not sure yet! -I am making this up as I go you know (grin)

As far as i know he flies..........I will have to research ect, too busy for that at the moment real life pressing!


Engineers are curious creatures.

Not as in strange. But as in curious, like the proverbial cat curious.
Despite the massive effort being undertaken in the boiler rooms, they cannot help themselves.
In ones, twos, in a steady trickle, they migrate to the repair ship tied alongside to “check out the bearing job”

By the time Tan supervises the pouring of the metal into the mould, there is a crowd of over twenty of them, each one quiet as the golden metal flows, each one adding voice to the cheer when later the mould is broken, the special sand scrubbed away.

Charge admires the rough, still steaming mass of metal. This now, this he can understand. There is much, a great big MUCH left to be done –machining, scraping, blueing, yet to be done, before this lump of metal is ready to be fitted. But there is time, time enough yet for it to be done.

Its with difficulty he chases his stokers back to zuiho, back to the challenge of the boilers. Two down, two to go on the tests.
And time here too pressing.


But yet, as his tired body , aching legs and back conveys him back over the gangway to Zuhio, there is a lightness of spirit, a new sense of enthusiasm
Tan knows his craft. This he knows now.
And , on a ship like this, in a war like this, this is a very good thing indeed.





Kato faces Yamaguchi
“I humbly request Zuiho accompanies the mission”
Yamaguchi smiles. ”An operation for the big boys I would think”
Kato’s face hardens “Sir, I must protest. What she lacks in size, she makes up in fighting spirit”
‘But not speed, ney?”
‘as fast as the battlewagons sir”
‘Are you sure of that?’
But a moment of hesitation ‘yes, yes, I swear it., we will keep place”
Yamaguchi scratches his chin………9 extra bombers, but also nearly a dozen extra fighters……
‘very well then. Zuiho can come along for the ride”

(in reply to John 3rd)
Post #: 620
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/22/2011 8:39:05 PM   
dr.hal


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The adage "be careful what you wish for" might apply here! Hal

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Post #: 621
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/23/2011 8:53:13 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hosho has new boots.
I fact, things have considerably changed, and changed for the better.

112th regiment, currently assigned to 25th army, is moving by train (a rattling collection of empty coal carts, flat bed trailers, and other carriages totally non passenger like) south ward through Burma towards Prome
Rumours, as usual, abound. Assignment to 15th Army, and a pending stiffening of defences of Akyab have filled the Officer briefings almost daily.
Hosho cannot give a stuff, to be frank. He has a full belly, and for once, the miles are flowing under his arse, not being conquered by his feet.

Right now the train has stopped, resting on a small siding nestled on a curve in the track.
The main line is on the outer side of the hill they are parked against, with a valley rather steeply sliding away below, to the jungle and river unseen.
It is a rather beautiful valley, green, vibrant, hills either side.
On their side, a steep embankment, fully twenty feet high, muddy, topped by more jungle. The sun is rather evilly reflecting of this bank, and many of the men have abandoned the train, seeking shade between the train itself, and the other track.

Hosho has refrained, he has a rather good position at the head of his carriage, a jury rigged platform, mounting a twin 25mm cannon.
There is shade enough here.

Another train is coming up the track, the third in this hour, another one full (he suspects) of those glum, dark Burmese troops. These are the troops who have relieved them. And not a man amongst his Company regrets that……not a man in the Imperial Army trusts these Burmese troops…….they are, well, they have no loyalty, no courage, no fighting spirit.
Garrison duty is good enough for them.

The train slowly clangs past, swaying violently even at this 20 mph pace.
Hosho yawns, reaches for his water bottle……..and in a continuous movement, is up and moving to the gun

He is not the only one to have heard it….”ACTION!, AIRCRAFT ALARM!”

There is no sound like it in the world, loved, hated. But so well known

The snarl of multiple merlins sweeping into the attack….


The twenty five mm is already manned –and Hosho moves behind, drawing his sword..how natural that act seemed, how, how meant to be it felt , and he points it, his keen eyes already picking out the three low shapes wheeling in .
The sound dies to a hum, as the hurricanes come straight in, wings twinkling. and the cannon opens fire : Crash CRASH<CRASH< CRASH , SNARLING< WHISTLING, the hurricanes blast over, fountains of dirt, smashing cannon fire, screams, dust, blood.

BUKA”s!
His gun swings uselessly, and Hosho is yelling, screaming at them, for another three fighter bombers are sweeping in, and this time two small bombs are falling,.explodig, throwing the engine of the thia train, up, and up, and over, and down, down into the valley, three carriages, so many sausages, following in a nightmare of destruction…….
Two more fighters are wheeling in, down there, down the valley, and his gunners are trying to reload, flinging, jamming the new ammo cases into the breeches, dragging at the cases holding the next.

These three are turning, turning, banking, opening the angles, ready to sweep the length of the trains, his trains, his men, with cannon fire, .
There is no escape, no where to hide, the embankment……….back wall for the firing squad, .
The snarl of the merlins rise to the scream, and no fire comes, for the Oscars, the eagles are there, the hurricanes jerk, fling hard away, racing overhead, the japanese birds hard on their tails…….

And silence, so abruptly shattered, returns.. Mostly.
Hosho looks down the length of his train, at the small bundles , once, moments ago, men, scattered down its length, at the burning, smoking remains of the engine.

A right royal mess

Hosho examines his boots. How many miles, he thinks, will they have to carry him now?




In Burma, Japans Armies are on the move. As are the allies. Overhead, determined to slow, or stop them, the allies send Huricanes, B-26/25’s
The Japanese, employing almost the entire bulk of its KI43 force, try to stop them.
Much, in the future months, depends on whether Hosho’s experience is a one off, or becomes the norm.



Zuiho is coming alive again. 1A, 1B boilers glow again, raising steam, establishing chemistry. The Port boiler room is almost presentable.
The starboard boilers are being washed out, freshly filled, tests complete. Tomorrow, Gods willing, they will be ready for a basin trial.

The Bearing spins in a chuck, in a gigantic Lathe on the repair ship.
It nears completion.

Tan watches the work, watches closely. He thinks about this lathe.
It represents much about the world, about this war, about how he got here.

It’s a british lathe, this lathe, manufactured in leeds, 1914. Probably helped build some of the british fleet they now fight. Post war, bought by a nation hungry for machines…………unable to build its own.

Tan has spent his years on the railways, helped the industrial revolution grow in Japan. How valuable these machines, unseen in those factories, had been.
And he has seen what happens when a voracious military takes them from you.

Tan watches the lathe work, the lathe operator. And he wonders, no, he knows, that across the ocean, his enemies, have thousands, and upon thousands more of these vital war cogs than Japan can dream of.




Herbiesan, again, contemplates his map.
In moments like this, the reality is hard to escape.

The Americans refuse to give up
The British pressure grows in Burma
Australia floats as a fortress.

Three fronts, opened, ostensively, to solve ‘the problem of China’

And now, dam it, that dragon is stirring again.

He looks up, views his Commander in Chief. “The offensive is approved. Let it be known, they broke the truce, not us. Take Wunchow”






< Message edited by 1275psi -- 8/23/2011 8:54:36 AM >

(in reply to dr.hal)
Post #: 622
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/24/2011 8:00:26 AM   
1275psi

 

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It is late , very late in the evening of the 28th.
A small group of men are sitting in Tans cabin
Tan, the Charge, the CPO Chippie, the CPO Grennie, several of the petty officers.

In the background, if you listen very carefully, you can hear the steady sound of a Forced draft blower.
It signifies much, that sound.
After another frantic 24hours, it has all fallen together. Basin trial complete
Captains rounds, complete
All defects, complete

Tan ,( and here, at this moment, has conducted a very impressive evolution) has produced a crate of japans finest beer.

Zuiho sails for war again tomorrow.

Making these sweeter drinks all the more


Hidaka paces the hanger deck, closely inspecting the eagles. He takes them in, each one, lightly touching, peering, smelling that heady mix of oil, fuel, dope, paint.
The hanger is quiet today, his pilots ashore, the crews ashore as well, reward for another good effort.
There are footsteps behind him, and he turns.

Captain Kato joins him
Hidaka , for a moment, recalls another time, another captain, back then, in the early days.
He misses his friend

He stiffens, salutes. A week, and still he does not know this man, has been unable to penetrate the cold barrier he extrudes.

“Are you ready Hidaka?’
‘Yes. Yes, we are sir”

‘Good”. In one swift, practiced movement, as if putting on a well worn suit, he clambers up the zeros side, and settles into its cockpit.
Hidaka joins him, standing on the wing

Kato wobbles the stick, and Hidaka sees’ the easy movement, recognises that here too, is a flyer
Kato looks up “ I have examined our pilots list. Good men all I see”
‘yes, good men sir. A credit to the ship”
“Do you like them Hidaka?”
Like them?. A strange question. How to answer?

Answer truthfully
‘Yes I do sir. Some of them have seen many battles, done many things. “

Kato’s face hardens. The coldness touches his eyes.
“That is a mistake Hidaka. They are arrows, arrows in our quiver. Remember this. In battle, many arrows are shot. None are shot with intention for return”


Zuiho sleeps.
The work is done. She is clean. She is defect free. Fuel, so long awaited, now brims to the limits in her tanks.
In this great lagoon, darkness falls on the great shapes that float so serenely in the calm waters.

Tomorrow, Zuikaku, Shokaku, Hiryu, zuiho, four battle cruisers, 6 cruisers, and Yamato, that massive moving mountain, will cover the sailing of fourth division.
Hyuga, Fuso, accompany the transports.

In theory, nothing stands in the way.
Tarawa is the target.

In practice, every man who matters, the Admirals, the generals, think that this is a pointless exercise.

Sometimes war is very much about will.
There is little in it in the command of this fleet.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 623
RE: carrier Battle! - 8/25/2011 8:49:02 AM   
1275psi

 

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0800 hrs

“Ship is ready for sea sir”
‘very good, standby to release lines”

Throughout Zuiho, the miracle has occurred again
Below, the steaming watch has begun at midnight, raising pressure in all 4 boilers.
They have connected by 0400 hours, and Tan has observed the Charge test main engines by 0500.
Her diesel generators have been tested, her fuel tanks topped up.
Her fire main is pressurised.
To a man, 150 odd men have attended to their duty.
None are late, nor is the department.
Routine

From midnight, 30 odd men have attended to the feeding of 850 plus. Food has been brought up from stores deep below, prepared, served, eaten. The waste removed, the bowls washed, the galley scrubbed, and secured for action.
The next meal already being prepared
Routine

The ships boats are slung out. The anchor is prepared, the gangway to the Repair ship removed. Her ropes, her mast rigged and ready. Men stand at the ready with fenders lowered, protection against the AR’s rough side.
A dozen men, or more, man the lookouts. More man the helm, the bridge, the telegraphs.
Many men
All ready, none missing.
Routine

Nine fighters sit on the aft flight deck, fuelled, armed, chocked. Many men have laboured since before dawn preparing them, performing a thousand intricate and delicate tasks to ensure that these eagles can safely take to the skies.
All ready
Routine

Her guns are manned, ammunition at the breech, in the lockers, guns free, and functional. Directors manned.
More men.
All ready
routine

Her comms men wait at the flags, are at work in the radio shack, sit by the searchlights. Her mediscs, her storemen, the supply branch, the coxswains.

850 men. All, as routine, have done their duty today.
And the XO salutes Kato as he reports

But not in a million years would he ever say “Zuiho’s MEN, have got her ready for sea sir”

History records ships, and Captains

And this, I suppose, is routine too.












Yamaguchi leads them out in line ahead through the North Gap promptly at 0900 hours

At 1000 hours, the formation assumes the standard Japanese circular formation, carriers in the centre, battleships on the flanks, destroyers on the horizon almost on the outer
Heavy cruisers Tone, Chikuma race ahead to the very horizon, advance pickets.

At 1100 hours, clear of the submarine threat (hopefully), the fleet settles down to 15 knots, and ponderously turns due east.
The seas are white horse capped, choppy, the wind brisk. Periscopes will be hard to spot.
Truk falls behind, Zuiho falls out from action stations, assumes the routine of defence watches again.

Once again, she goes to war.







Kato turns to his Officer of the Watch
‘The ship is yours, I will be in my cabin”
He stops for a moment…..and points to the chair on the stbd side of the bridge, the chair he has been walking around all morning.
Hasegawa’s old perch

“have this removed at once, there will be no sitting on this bridge”


As cabins go, it is good enough.
He moves to the bunk, small, narrow, too hard. Sits on it.
So far, so good Kato. He has gotten away, with no incidents. A pig to handle –as they warned him. And the bridge: the visibility!!!!!!

The crew appear good, polished. A testament to Hasegawa then.
He lies down on the bunk.

Zuiho is going to war. And Kato is no fool. Sleep is bankable. And when action comes –as it must, he must be ready.
And he must show he trusts the OOW .

He closes his eyes

At least she rides better than a destroyer. And then , as most old campaigners can attest, it is an easy matter to fall instantly asleep.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 624
ouch - 8/28/2011 10:52:43 AM   
1275psi

 

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No posts for a couple of days -me and my bicycle lost an argument with a car....................


1/10/42...(we have jumped 2 days of nothing)

A quiet 24hrs

Another one of those days that history will not remark upon
..........japanes fleet steamed due east for twenty four hours, arriving in the marshall islands midnight............

Another twenty four hours however with little rest, and much tension.
Three times today, the great silver liberators appear briefly on the horizon, three times they scuttle away before the CAP can intercept.

It is galling, and very frustrating.
At one stage, enemy radio intercepts leave little doubt that the whole world knows where they are........."from Milli......is any barsted covering us, the whole godam Nip navy is coming our way......"

But orders are orders.
Yamaguchi turns the fleet south, increases to full speed.
The heavy ships detach. Action must come at dawn

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Post #: 625
RE: ouch - 8/29/2011 11:46:30 AM   
pws1225

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

No posts for a couple of days -me and my bicycle lost an argument with a car....................



Ouch, that's not good! Hope it's nothing too serious.

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Post #: 626
RE: ouch - 8/29/2011 12:11:12 PM   
1275psi

 

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it is when he gives a false name and address.....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


I am a bit sore yes

For us, there is (or was) the space shuttle. Or a formula one car leaving the starting line. Or the blue Angels streaking across the sky as the super bowl approaches its start.

Great sights. Magnificent sights. Machinery that actually can stir mens hearts.
But we are not unique. Always, since man bolted two pieces of copper together, he has made magnificent things

Yamaguichi stands on his bridge wing, and views a sight that matches the shuttle in every way.

Battleship Yamato, battleships Hiei, Haranua, Kongo, Kirishima, turn together, breaking away from the fleet.
Great bows cream the darkening ocean, and greater barrels swing too, as the great guns test machinery, drill a last time.
Huge white wakes kick from the sterns as the squadron heads for the horizon, and a date against Mili’s guns.
It is a sight, that if you close your eyes, you might just imagine

And don’t you wish, just once or twice, that there was a chance to see such a sight again?



< Message edited by 1275psi -- 8/29/2011 12:13:04 PM >

(in reply to pws1225)
Post #: 627
RE: ouch - 8/29/2011 8:02:07 PM   
PaxMondo


Posts: 5667
Joined: 6/6/2008
Status: offline
Hey, take it easy. Help yourself to an extra "beverage" (medicinal only) and get well.

Haven't been clipped in a long time, but I still have the "cheese grater" on my legs from the contact, so understand exactly what you're going through. Take Care. Heal up.

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Pax

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 628
RE: ouch - 8/30/2011 11:35:22 AM   
1275psi

 

Posts: 6593
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
2/10/42

It is time to bring the sword from its sheath again.

It is hard, this sword now, forged in the furnace of combat, hardened by the shock of battle and blood.
On Zuiho, it is very, very sharp indeed, and its blade is bright.

They gather in the ready room, in the narrow passage outside, necks craning to hear what Hidaka has to say.
‘Airfield strike men, Mili. The battleships should have worked it over. Finish the job. Take off 0500, course to target, 170 degrees, range at launch, 200 miles.”

That is all that is needed to be said.
What once took days of planning, deliberation, discussion………..distilled by experience to what war is truly about.
Essentials

Diogawa and Ogawa stand side by side during this briefest of briefs. As they turn away, begin to gather their things, Diogawa places one hand on Ogawa’s shoulder, gives it a squeeze.
It is enough this squeeze. I will be with you, wingman. I will follow you what may come.

Okura mechanically does his duty, checks his kate a final time. Nods in acknowledgement to his crew, and waits until the have boarded before climbing into the cockpit himself.
It is getting tattered this cockpit, more aluminum than paint now. But every inch is home.

And then to work, throttle set, mixture set, magneto’s on. Check controls yet again, check the deck crew.
The great blade hesitates, kicks, explodes into life, and home becomes the vibrating office
Okura smiles. It will be good to be aloft again


Captain Kato stands on the edge of the flight deck, observing closely his flight deck operations
All is good. Hidaka is as good as his reputation. The deck crews efficient., he takes in the smell, the sound, the vibrations. No finer sight, than a deck packed , waiting to launch.. he turns, calls down to the waiting seaman below. ‘tell the OOW, bring her into the wind , full ahead all”
‘Hie!’
Flags fall. Lights flash. A bell rings. Men scatter from the wheels of each growling beast, and then, one by one, they barrel down the deck, take to the growing dawn, and join the growing formation overhead.




Mili
‘Cease fire”
Silence, stunning silence. Throughout her great length, many ears will continue to ring for hours to come.
Yamato’s great cannons fall silent , the paint cracked and blackened around the gaping mouths of the barrels.
At 8000 yards, she has opened fire, taking down a helpless transport in literally the first salvo. Then, at a mere 3000 yards, she has marched her fire back and forth across the atoll.
Her fire, and that of her companions, has literally altered its shape, cratering it, blasting it, sweeping everything upon it into oblivion..
For the 5th marine regiment, it is a dawn that will remain in memory forever.

Yamaguchi’s strike will have pitifully little to finish off.




Yamaguchi listens to the strike.
Opposition………nil.
Flak……..non existant
“target obscured by many fires…..bombing good. Target neutralized”

Good. Very good. But what now? Does he invade, or do we move to the next island in the chain?. He will need to see the battle wagon expenditures first.
He turns to Zuikaku’s captain. “Let me know when we begin recovery operations, I will take breakfast now”

But breakfast will be delayed.
With a sickening thud, the submarine torpedo strikes…………………


(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 629
RE: ouch - 8/30/2011 3:10:41 PM   
John 3rd


Posts: 11037
Joined: 9/8/2005
From: La Salle, Colorado
Status: offline
Ahhhhhh....crap....


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(in reply to 1275psi)
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