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RE: The little ship that could.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/28/2012 9:29:04 AM   


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They emerge from the mist, at first hazy gray shimmering shapes on the horizon.
But as Zuiho steams on, they solidify into towering pagado masts, and fat ugly little boxes

Battleship Ise, Hyunga, 3 CVEs, and a gaggle of heavy cruisers.
Almost immediately, the great flashing lamps go to work.

Takeji manouvres Zuiho alongside a fat tanker, a first for her, she normally fuels astern. But with mirror calm seas, he deems it doable.
Even as she sucks on the teat, she delivers to destroyers alongside on the opposite side.
For her double bottoms parties, its a nightmare day.
But they do it.

But the close steaming in company continues. Finished refuelling, Zuiho moves along side Yamato, and the light jackstay lines go across.
Its just one of those days history must record, rarely have capital ships sailed so close. Zuihos guard rails are packed with gawkers as they contemplate Yamato's massive bulk.
But no photos are taken, cameras forbidden.

A crime against history I say!

Takeji bounces across the space between the vessels, the lines are re gathered, and Zuiho's XO takes her clear.

It is about then, that Okano lands on her deck. If he was in a foul mood yesterday, today he is dark indeed.
A catalina has stalked the fleet, and out there, 20 miles away, he has engaged.
It has hit him, he has hit it.
And as always, it seems, his dead radio has forced him to fight alone, until ammunition has been expended.

The catalina has escaped, this fleets position firmly fixed.

And this, probably, has swung the discussions held on Yamato.

Zuiho recovers its Captain near dusk.
He too, is angry. The raid on Darwin is cancelled. The slow BBs will go to Singapore, forming the eastern fleet.
Zuiho will go to palua.

And thus , at midnight, they do.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1231
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/28/2012 9:35:02 AM   


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Extract from "shattering the sword", a cantona production.

This latest re deployment of the japanese fleet, probably sums up Japans Navy for the last six months

Gathered in strength in Japan, it had raided deep into the pacific- and found nothing

Then, several forays deep into the seas near the solomons - a few enemy planes destroyed.
An epic journey to the gates of Ceylon - for nothing
The dash to the solomons, to be shredded by submarines
Another dash to the banda sea, in anticipation of an invasion, that we now know, was simply a small tanker convoy.

And now, back to palua

Thousands, and thousands of miles steamed, for very, very little gained, and a great deal lost.

A blind man, in a dark room, she flays about, trying to strike the enemy

And all she does is hurt herself, missing with every ill timed blow.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1232
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/28/2012 10:08:02 AM   


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Near Finchesen
LCDR Kamo Kiyoshi , Captain of destroyer Yagure, takes a deep breath, and wipes the rain from his eyes yet again

Under his feet, his ship slices through calm seas at 33 knots, the water hissing past.
Somewhere, just 500 yards ahead, destroyer Hatsuyuki leads the way
he has to guess that.
It is raining. Not raining. RAINING. A tropical downstorm that blankets them in a watery world, belting down with a thunder that makes him shout his orders.

Only a white road of disturbed wake tells him he is still following Hatsuyuki.
"Are you ready torps?'
'Hiei" the answer comes flat, afraid.
"Hiei?" and again, that edge of fear.
And why not -they race into death.

He steadies himself. He chose this path, did he not?. Command has given him many things. Now it is time to pay the piper...
'You have permission to fire at any bloody thing, don't wait, just shoot"

They race on, the water rushing past, rushing down, rivers flowing of his little ship.
Imperceptably, the darkness is greying. Above this storm, the sun must soon be rising.

Light cruiser Richmond, bursts from this grey at a mere thousands yards, hard on his port bow, heading directly opposite.....
His guns shatter the dawn, and tracer reaches out, slamming into richmond, fire blossoming even as she plunges out of sight, and DD sims emerges in her place.
Ahead, Hatsuyuki too fires as fast as she can, and the whoosh, whoosh, of fish fills the air.
Sims staggers, Hit!, and she too vanishes..............

"Hard to starboard!...........Yagure heals, turbines screaming, guns seeking, seeking........
"Admidships!............if they are coming, they will come..............yes......there!

Guns flash on both sides, 6000 yards, and death screams both ways.
"Engage the lead destroyer!"
Excitement grips him........he should be terrified, shaking with fear, but exhultation grips him.........fight you barsteds, fight!
Something strikes aft, and again, never truking mind, they are giving as good as they are getting........

Hatsuyoki plunges to port -ablaze, and he follows, the rain swallowing them again.
They pass the burning destroyer, close enough to feel the heat, hear the rain sizzle, the steam hiss

The men scream.

This kills the exhultation.
Now, now its desperation, and detirmination.

One AA gun down
Engines good.
Torps reloaded.
Well done.........

And still the rain belts down
And, stops.

And in the pink light, crossing her bow, at 6000 yards.

A carrier
Dozens of them

"Ahead Flank!"
Engage the carrier!

The forward turret spits fire, a rapid pulsating song, and the shells scream, and arrive, slamming CVE Anzio, again, and again, and again

A destroyers, racing in.....
Adroitly, almost arrogantly, he swings Yagure into the heart of the convoy, guns engaging left, right, ahead, the dark dawn shadows bursting into flame all about him

Shells slam the seas about him, mixing salt into the still belting rain.

And then, just like that, the rain swallows them all, and stunning silence falls.

"Ammunition guns?"
"All but all gone sir!"

Course 010!, maintain flank.

And pray

The rain hides them all day, by dusk, it appears, they have escaped.

(6 hits on the CVE Anzio
4 AP, AK struck (several sinking noises)
1 DD sunk
Cl richmond -heavy damage
another dd several hits)

DD Hatsuyoki scuttled, survivors rescued by ss

A glorious action!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1233
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/28/2012 10:34:05 AM   


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Well done, my friend, well done indeed!

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Post #: 1234
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/30/2012 4:21:23 AM   


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0300 hours
Once again Zuiho steams alongside one of Japans precious tankers, topping her own tanks one last time

They invoke many things, do tankers, some times you curse them, but many, many times, you love them
Hidaka Contemplates AO Notoro, and silently thanks the wallowing beast.
She has delivered 700 tons of fuel and precious aviation gas this morning, and three tremendous baskets of hot sweet buns, which have all disapeared like lightning.
They have been a welcome treat this dark night.

With a final farewell blast of the sirens, they part, the tankers West for soerabaya, Zuiho due North east.

They fade into the night, and Hidaka makes his way to the bridge.
Takeji greets him with a nod
"Full now Hidaka?"
"Enough for any number of missions now sir"
"Good. if only there were some to take yes?"

Yes, if only there was. Why not Darwin? Or, more to the point, why not in PNG?
maybe, maybe we will go there ne...............

The crump of torpedoes comes out of the dark
He rushes to the bridge wing, and stares aft.

5000 yards astern, but clear as the sun, Notoro burns...........

Hidaka is beyond being angry.
Beyond even feeling despair.

Submarines. Bloody submarines.
There is no honour in them. None at all....................

(in reply to pws1225)
Post #: 1235
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/30/2012 4:41:05 AM   


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29th august

The Port Boiler room is the usual bedlam of noise, and Hirate has to lean deep into the phone booth to recieve the message.
He should not be here at this moment, having long since qualified for the Engine room, but a wave of sickness has swept through Zuiho this week, some 50 men are down with gastro.
The Stokers are down 7 men, all of them senior rates as well.

Hirate suspects the pork from two days ago............

But it does not really matter to him, a watch is a watch, is a watch. But the message down the phone still makes him grimace
"Routine swing of 1A to 1 b please, blows on both, bottom and soot please Hirate,"
The Charge sounds almost aplogetic down the line.
'Now Chief?'
"As soon as you can"

Boiler swings
With soot blows

Hirate, is of course, not so happy about soot blows.

he puts down the phone, gathers his boys together. "A swing men. Now take your time, and take care. One, its too bloody hot for cock ups!, two, its too bloody hot for cock ups!, and three......."
"Its too bloody hot for cock ups!, aye, petty officer, aye!

Swinging boilers is no easy matter, especially when a ship is steaming hard
There are a million and one things to do.............
Forget one, and IT WILL bite you on the arse.....

It begins............
Double bottoms come down, inject a healthy dose of chemicals into 1B, while Hirate aligns the fuel systems, his boys the various steam systems
The circulation valve is cracked, the feed controller stroked
Auxiliary steam is cross connected, and a blowers rolls into life

Drains hiss clouds of steam, raising the spaces Humidity even further, the heat higher.
Burners are checked, fuel heaters aligned, the second pump coaxed into life (yes, that bitch, 1A, still acting like a mother in law)
A light goes under the boiler, this, thankfully, with out hassles

Drains begin to shut.
Shut the Circulation valve, prove the guage glass!
pressure coming along nicely
water leve dropping,
Yells to the top plates -( you will always be able to tell an ex steamer, they have voices that can reach across valleys)
"Bring her up to plus 4!'
And silent curses when he takes her to 6, and kills 200 psi................

An hour after light off...........temperatures good, within that magical 50 degrees, 50 psi to go..........

"Port engine, port boiler, request permission to connect boilers, requesting steady revolutions.........


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1236
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/30/2012 4:54:44 AM   


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Choppy seas, a stiff breeze, white caps.
And a good swell, welcome back to the Pacific men......
Spead over 100 miles, half of Japans Navy makes its way towards Palua anchorage.
It is a grand sight, from the mighty Yamato, to the dimutive destroyers.
Overhead, the daily ASW patrols begin to growl.
As always, the hidden menace remains on every ones mind.

Takeji sips his morning tea, contemplates the mass of signals, situation reports from the night.

Japan has a fairly simple radio net.
Simple, and very centralised. All reports are passed from local HQ's, or fleets, to area HQ's, and thus to Japan
Japan filters, then sends back to specific commands information deemed necessary (requiring acknowledgement), and orders.

Of course, as any Commander worth his salt knows, there is nothing to stop you listening in to the in going messages, if you can pick them up.
As a rule, Takeji listens , and reads everything..............

Finschhafen hangs on, the two American divisions well and trully wrecked.
But tanks now stream ashore..............

But for those cursed SS, the great plan to make there THE point of issue..................

Hidaka enetrs the bridge
"Ready to launch three ASW planes sir"
Ah good.
"Very well"
Check your six. Inform the flagship........ mmmmmmmmm, need a little more sea room"

"Bridge, engine room, request steady revs sir, connecting boilers"
Port ten, revolutions 230'
Port ten, revolutions 230"
'Do you have enough wind Hidaka?"

"Just sir,"
"Good, get em away, and keep them close. Bloody bukas everywhere it seems"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1237
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/30/2012 5:00:24 AM   


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But it is not so easy to wait, to hold a boiler back.
worse, the bells ring now.
"revolutions 230!"
hirate curses, a flat single expletive. 230 zero -full revolutions on two boilers..........yes, just look at 1A's temperature climb.....
But there is nothing for it......he winds on the air, winds on the fuel, chasing the steam pressure.
truk the temperatures.........

The chocks on the great kate -nearly 4 tonnes of plane and bomb and fuel, are removed, the deck crew scampering away.
Steam races from the bow, straight down the strip.
With a mighty bellow, she crawls down the far too short deck, tail rising, seemingly floating off the end, dropping, dropping, the collective holding of breath, and finally.........rising safely away.
90 seconds later, all three are away.

Zuiho continues her work.......

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1238
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/30/2012 5:06:50 AM   


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"You may conecct boilers"
Umm, wait please, temperatures all shot ........"

"Bridge, engine room. Sir, request steady revolutions........attempting to connect boilers"

But now yamato wants her over there............

And so it goes.
All day the stokers will take to do what usually takes about three or four hours.
All day, they will"wait"
In the end, they will shut down, relight, and try to connect 4 times.
Then, at dusk, they will succeed.
Soot blows, bottom blows, they too will take another four hours.

And of course, this is how it should be. Zuiho is here for just one reason. To launch and recover aircraft.
Everything, everything, is sub to that.
This is how it works.
how it must work.
It has been a hard day below.
But no harder than some.
They will get over it.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1239
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/30/2012 5:11:59 AM   


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Ships have personalities
They have character

I think they feel pain, and know glory.
And disgrace.................

For CL Richmond, creeping south from her shame at Finschhafen, takes the fish in her belly almost without reaction.
But she slides to the bottom in mere seconds, as if, as if, she actually seeks it.

And maybe she does.

Her Captain, her crew, go with her to a man.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1240
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/30/2012 5:15:02 AM   


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'How many sick now?"

the executive officer looks at the pad, frowns, rubs his forhead

"122 men sick sir. gastro like I have never seen. Its coming out at both ends"
Zuiho's captain nods.
'Avoid the heads then?"

'They are hell sir..........."

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1241
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/30/2012 4:55:58 PM   


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'They are hell sir..........."

I can just see that.


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

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Post #: 1242
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/1/2012 4:28:16 AM   


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Hi kaluen

Really appreciate the comments. Writing into a vacuum is not much chop..............

Sickness on a warship is no small thing. In confined quarters, in sometimes less than sanitary conditions, it can spread like wildfire.
Although this is plain old food poisoning (the pork, yes, the pork), having literally 100's of men trying to use the toilets that only can take 20 at a time, is a recipe for disaster.

Next, taking the way some positions on a ship are critically dependant on key personal, it is no small thing to lose them
In reality, by midday Zuiho is crippled.
Her medical team is overwhelmed.
At midday, Takeji makes a decision.
All sick men are sent to the fantail, and the fire hoses come out.
The heads are attacked, the passage ways are attacked.
Every man onboard turns to cleaning stations, if Zuiho (always clean) is not sparkling by days end..................

Only in the hangers does normal work continue

For Zuiho, its a big moment
The new Torpedo bombers have arrived.
Hidake watches the first one tenderly lifted aboard from the barge tender, contemplating the Jills extra bulk.
Longer, wider......heavier.
They will be a tight fit. hanger rash down below will be a given.
But the extra range, and speed........

Hidaka knows his pilots are disgusted that they still fly the AM2. But now, now he truly has a weapon that can out reach the enemy, at a range where he cannot hit them.
Brutal as it seems, and something he can hardly admit to himself. Better to preserve this flight deck than its pilots.

Or himself.

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 7/1/2012 4:30:50 AM >

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 1243
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/1/2012 2:18:35 PM   

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Sickness on a warship is no small thing. In confined quarters, in sometimes less than sanitary conditions, it can spread like wildfire.
Although this is plain old food poisoning (the pork, yes, the pork), having literally 100's of men trying to use the toilets that only can take 20 at a time, is a recipe for disaster.

Just to say . in confined quarters it does not take food .. prestine cruise ships have been crippled by the Norovirus as an example. As far as war ..dysentery changed the battle of El Alamein.

Great story line!!


Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward. - Kurt Vonnegut

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1244
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/1/2012 5:56:07 PM   
Smoky Stoker

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ORIGINAL: 1275psi

They will be a tight fit. hanger rash down below will be a given.

I am unfamiliar with the term. Is "hangar rash" just a lot of little dings on the airplane, or something that happens when shirtless aircrew try to squeeze between the too-large machine and bulkheads?


"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

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Post #: 1245
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/2/2012 9:36:35 AM   


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hanger rash -when some clot rams a wing or a prop into something else.

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Post #: 1246
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/2/2012 9:56:06 AM   


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First fleet


Combined fleet

Doctrine report

The strategic situation has changed
The enemy is firmly on the attack.
In light of lessons learned, First fleet has studied the lessons of the last 18 months, and draws the following conclusions

The only way to achieve victory on our terms, is to now crush the Allied fleet.
The allied fleet, is, the allied carrier forces.
our only weapon capable of doing this, is our carrier force.
In forty days, it will be considerably reinforced.

Thus, from this point on, Combined fleet shall operate under the following broad doctrine.

1/ The Army is on its own.
2/ No operation that requires anything less than a full deployment of every carrier we have, is worth pursuing.
3/ The only operation worth pursuing, are those where an opportunity to destroy enemy carriers is achievable

Combined fleet shall not be deployed until full strength is achieved in forty days time

new fleet organisation:

Combined fleet shall form 3 battle groups

battle group one
minimum 14 DD

Zuiho and shoho shall provide exclusive naval search, and CAP

Ryujo, purely CAP

battle group 2
katsaguri classCV
katsaguri class CV
Nissan cvl
Mizhuro cvl
Again, CVLs will provide CAP and search

battle group 3
6 DD

This battle group shall operate at all times some 80 miles ahead of the main fleet, as picket, and early warning

Further surface task forces shall be formed, and operate on the flanks, ahead of and in support of mobile fleet

main counterstrike forces, shall form around Bat div 1, Bat div 2 -Kongo class BBs, and heavy CA's
They shall seek night engagements.

A new fleet, eastern fleet shall form at Singapore, based around 3 CVEs, and the old BBs as available
It shall form a fleet in being, and act as a decoy force with CV based aircraft sightings south of Ceylon and in the indian ocean.

from his point on, any chance of inflicting 1 for 1 losses in fleet carriers, is acceptable.
American tolerance to further naval disasters is now severly limited, sinking new CVs remains Japans greatest chance of a successful peace.


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1247
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/3/2012 11:17:21 AM   


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Zuiho lies at anchor quietly, the run of sickness now abating.
Takeji calls a wardroom conference

"We can expect to remain here for some time. After that, i fear we will see little rest."
His eyes take all under his gaze
"get your departments into order, I am taking Zuiho to 24 hrs notice"

Notice for sea:

Immediate" ready to obey telegraphs' -everything burning and turning.
1 Hrs notice - boilers online, turning gear in, reduced vacuum
4 hrs -steaming auxiliary -minor repairs
8 hrs - still at auxiliary here in harbour -but one plant can be shut down

24 hrs ......well. can you repair equipment A, and once started, get it back online within 24 hrs?

This, of course, is the question Minobe takes to the Charge
"What can he do?'

24 hrs, a lifetime in war.
And now, an unexpected luxury.

But there are other things to consider.
many machines in this world, (and on warships especially) have the happy knack of working well - until you touch them. Then they seem to get cranky............

But Charge barely hesitates
"we must crack down the Evaporators. At the least. And some cooler cleans must be done. But the evaporators
are critical"

There, my dear Engineer. A decision for you, have you really changed?. Or will you slope shoulders as ever?

Minobe nods.
"'Do them Chief."
And then the unexpected.
"I believe we are going to be here at least a week.......I know you have other things greater than 24 hrs notice.
I will not notice........."

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1248
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/3/2012 11:25:37 AM   


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To Hosho, the war has taken a curious turn

The Prince briefs them in the shade of his HQ tent
The enemy have retired from katha, with out a shot being fired, towards Myitkina.
And their own particular protagonists, the aussies, they too, by any indication, were retiring on Myitkina.

'A trap?, a decoy?"
The prince was inclined to disagree.
But the clown, thinks Hosho, has at least the foresight not to go rushing North again.
"If it is, we are not going to find out. The enemy push at Akyab. Nothing in the centre though towards Mandalaby. Our supplies are low. So we will sit. The longer we sit, the more men we can expect to arrive to help us"

This, of course to a leg weary man, is good news.
But supplies are low.
More men.
How in the hell are we going to supply them all?

Overhead, however, mutely in the air, the ever present growl and whine of the fighters.
The war on the ground has come to a stop.
In the air, the blood still flows.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1249
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/3/2012 2:58:09 PM   
Smoky Stoker

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I just put the "notice for sea" hours in my occasional book, where I save things useful and/or entertaining. In another fifty years, it will be a piece of arcane knowledge that naval historians will flail desperately to find. In return, here is a quote from one of my favorite writers of science fiction -

"Look at this. What do you see?" He nodded at Tony again.
"A laser weld, sir."
"So it would appear. Your identification is quite understandable—and quite wrong. I want you all to memorize this piece of work. Look well. Because it may easily be the most evil object you will ever encounter."
They looked wildly impressed, but totally bewildered. He commanded their absolute silence and utmost attention.

"That," he pointed for emphasis, his voice growing heavy with scorn, "is a falsified inspection record. Worse, it's one of a series. A certain subcontractor... found its profit margin endangered by a high volume of its work being rejected... The welds passed the computer certification all right—because it was the same damn good weld, replicated over and over again..."
He gathered his breath. "This is the most important thing I will ever say to you. The human mind is the ultimate testing device... There is
nothing, nothing, nothing more important to me in the men and women I train than their absolute personal integrity. Whether you function as welders or inspectors, the laws of physics are implacable lie detectors. You may fool men. You will never fool the metal."

-Lois McMaster Bujold; Falling Free


"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 #: 1250
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/4/2012 9:01:09 AM   


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Now that was brilliant smokey stoker!

yes, and all very, very true.

But then, Minobe is not a man of honour.

But I don't think the charge will bend too many rules.
(The Vaps are a big enough head ache as they are!)

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1251
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/4/2012 9:11:19 AM   


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Damiensan enters Imperial HQ
He has been seen rarely these last months, Japans industry running at full tilt now.
As usual, the Dictator is straight to the point
A small document is thrust into his hands:

Intelligence estimate of Allied carrier strength.:

CV Wasp
CV Essex
CV Bunker Hill
CV, name unknown
CV, name unknown
CVL Independence
CVL Bellaeu Wood
CVL Princetown
CVL Cowpens
CVL Motgomery

Total, approx 850 a/c

"Is this posible!?. Is this correct!?. That in 18 months they have rebuilt their carrier arm?"
he can hear the incredulious doubt in his voice........'tell me this cannot be true!"

Ahhhhhhh, when dreams crash. And reality comes thudding in.............

"Its probably worse sir. Add in the CVE's, and the battleships coming off the ways.........."
'And we cannot match this , can we?"
'You can try to catch the wind sir"

'You are dismissed"

They out number me already. They grow strong.
In material. In steel.
But what of their men?
Impossible that they will fight on, and on............

I must force a decisive battle.
I must.

But that inner voice persists:

But we have already had it.................and they fight on.......................

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1252
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/4/2012 5:46:53 PM   


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Great thread, keep it up.


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

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Post #: 1253
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/4/2012 5:53:58 PM   
John 3rd

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TOTALLY depressing...


Member: Treaty, Reluctant Admiral and Between the Storms Mod Team.

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(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 1254
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/5/2012 7:42:23 AM   


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There is a new routine for the pilots.
Every day, as they have since the war begun, they will conduct calethsetics, or what ever the hell you callit (Diogawa more bounces about in a undignified jiggle most days).
But now, at the Captains insistance, they sing Marshall songs before they begin,and one when they finish.
Tostart, they rang out these songs, but today, Hidaka notices with distatste, they die away, mutely stolen by the wind.
He dismisses them, but followsthembelow decks.

The ready room is too hot, and with the evening meal only some 30 minutes away, most of them gather on the starboard "balcony", seeking the shade of the overhanging flight deck.
Wearily they sit, and contemplate silently the vista of this "tropical paradise"
Uto breaks the silence. "You know, this really is a crap hole, isn't it?'
Most murmer agreement.
"Not like Truk," agrees Diogawa "At least there, there are proper shore facilities. Even Some decent bath houses"
"Buggar the Bath houses" Ogawa's voice is tinged with regret "What of the Brothels of Rabual eh?. When will we be going back to them?"
Hidaka silently shakes his head.
He should not, but he must. It is bursting within him. Like a Father to his children, you can only hide the terrible truths of this world for so long.
"I doubt, my friends, that we will ever see Rabual again"

This brings sharp heads towards him.
And uncomfortable shifts of bodies.
"Please explain flight leader?"
Hidaka carefully considers his words.
When he speaks, he speaks carefully, clearly. A teachers words.
They come from the very depths of his heart, and the men listening will feel the emotion there, will sense the utter essence of Hidaka the man in them.
Some, some who look carefully, will see his hands, his lips tremble.............

'The enemy have invested Lae, they have pounded Rabual, they have closed kavieg. Your Brothels are long gone"
He pauses, stares at this lagoon, the gathering mist, the greying shapes of the ships softening in this dusks light.
'My Father was part of the team that went to the washington treaty negotiations. probably explains a little of why I hate those arrogant bukas so much. When he returned, he bought me a book.
I was struggling to learn English, but I tackled it nevertheless."
He smiles, eyes distant, remembering.
"It was a strange book, what you call science fiction. Something strange to us, but so appealing. I wonder if we will ever adopt it.?. Anyway, it was called War of the Worlds, by HG Wells"

'Ahh, I have heard of this book" Diogawa breaks in " An invasion of England by Martians , set in the early 1900's no?"
'Yes, yes, you are correct."

Silence has fallen now, and the men listen carefully.
About them, Zuiho continues, but here time stands still.
In fact, it goes backwards, back to youth, and innocence.

"I will always remember one scene in the book.. The invaders are unstoppable, impacable. They stride about in giant three legged machines, with ray guns, that melt all in their path. Nothing can stand against them, to do so, is to die.'

The word hangs heavy in the air

"The hero makes his way to the coast, and see's his girl taken to sea on a steamer, into the mist. But standing before them, three of the martian machines..........."
And then, as if he reads the words now, Hidaka carries on.
They are engraved, maybe imperfectly, on his heart. but they live there. And now he gives them voice
"But standing silently, there lay the dreadnought Thunderchild. With a whoosh of steam, a mighty roar, she charges the Martian machines. They release their deadly black smoke, but she charges on, guns blazing. A martian machine is shattered, spinning, splashing to destruction. Thinking luck has changed, fortune has smiled at last, the crowds watching begin to shout 'Come on Thunderchild!'
But then, the Martians raise their heat rays, and melt her valiant heart

Earth is theirs. Man is done."

is there a tear there Hidaka?
I think so. Certainly, we hear your heart now.......
"I find it funny you know. I think. They had no chance. None at all. But they fight anyhow. They fight for family, for home, for loved ones. I never thought I would, me a Japanese, learn what Duty really means from the British".

He takes them in the eye, in the silence, in the gather dusk.
The sun is setting.
"I don't think we will see Japan again, my men. I truly don't. I don't think much about my family, about my beautiful land, of Japan, as it hurts too much.
But when the impacable enemy comes, I will know my duty............"

(in reply to John 3rd)
Post #: 1255
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/5/2012 7:44:15 AM   


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Joined: 4/17/2005
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Not depressing John 3rd

A challenge!!!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1256
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/7/2012 4:14:43 AM   


Posts: 7911
Joined: 4/17/2005
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6/9 43

Leadership matters

CL Oyoda, leading 6 of the new Akizuki race into the waters around finchesan. They encounter 3 enemy destroyers.

Its a fiasco, after a single hit on Oyoda, the japanese fall into confusion.
It takes them nearly 4 hours to slip past these ships, time enough for the transports to get away
APA calvert takes 2 hits, the smoke screens laid by the many SC's escorting them is good enough.
Chastened, the japanese retire.

It is a poor effort.

Zuiho remains at anchor.
Hidaka, already, hates the new B6N1's. A week, and still 3 remain unservicable, and to boot, one wing has already been mis judged in length, shattering a zeros canopy.
But they have them now.

He can hardly hand them back.

CV Taiho commissions in Kobe.
Captain kato in command.
May he have better luck in her.

And poor hosho is marching again.
They have abandoned the ridge. 15th Army is now in full retirement mode.

The war is, realitevly quiet.
It will still be 30 days, or more, before japans carrier arm is ready for battle.
It is obvious to Japans high command, the allies are waiting for theirs as well.
Who's will arrive first?
It is a question, the answer of which, may well decide the rest of the war.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1257
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/7/2012 4:38:12 PM   

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Joined: 12/20/2011
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Love this story, especially the bits like the bad pork, and the sailor's units of measure. :-)

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1258
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/8/2012 8:01:46 AM   


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Joined: 4/17/2005
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The war has slipped into almost a slumber.
Only in two places, in the air over Burma, and near gassmatta, is blood spilt

In Burma, air activity has dropped to mere probes, some single one on one combats. Losses on both sides are light.
Both sides, evidently, are re gathering for the next great clash, which now inevitably, will occur in the jungles south of Akyab.

South of gassmatta, frustration supreme.
CL Oyoda's raid has had one effect. Forcing ships to flee every which way, it now seems that dozens flop about, tanks dry.
Frustrating I am sure for the allies.
Worse for the Japanese, who cannot take advantage.
Jakes try to bomb, they miss.

For Zuiho, this week has been a blessing.
For the Charge, a double blessing. Officially Zuiho is now zero system damage, zero float damage. A fact Minobe passes straight faced to Takeji every evening.
In reality, many greatly delayed jobs are being tackled.
The evaporators have been cracked down, cleaned, the filters replaced, this time with out hassles.

Many valves have been re packed, and several pumps overhauled.
In the Port Engine room, several long sections of drain main have been ripped out and replaced. The work list, amazingly, is getting thin.
Maybe an approach to Minobe for a departmental day ashore is in order?

The Navy, however, has its own ideas, similar to the charges nevertheless.

The notices go up on all the boards, team lists...........
The fleet is going to have a sports day.

There are only (well to my mind and experience) two opinions on sports days.
For most, a very, very welcome way to release steam.
For others, a day of curses, extra work and effort.

The cooks, well-send the raw ingredients ashore, let the sailors cook, there is never a shortage of volunteers. So, all good.
But the supply bods - well, some one has to dig all these supplies out of Zuihos bowels, and get them ashore.

Medics hate these days, always some poor barsted is going to crack a skull or break a bone.

90 percent of stokers welcome these days, stokers generally do well.
Tug of wars -a given win.
The rowing regatta -a good shake.
The wrestling, the races, well, the fights can always be won as well.

But for some, these days are a nightmare.
600 men are going ashore today, 600 men in the ships boats

For the Charge, the nightmare begins about 11am
All morning he has been checking the gangway, watching the way the coxswains use or abuse the boats, and asking for fuel states.
Lurch has been kept busy, sweating in the hot sun, topping tanks, checking oils.
One boat breaks down early -well, not so much as breaks down, it comes limping back, shattered prop, bent prop shaft.
Another cooks its simply diesel engine, the fool driving it has beached it.
Diesel cooling systems do not work well sucking sand.

Japans lack of industrial background for so many of its men, is killing the charge.
The true nightmare however see's boat number 4 running out of fuel, right as word is recieved that the Captain will require to return onboard in ten minutes..........

Cursing the coxswain the dumb brute, Charge and Lurch descend the ladder.
The boat is a simple open pinnace, a small 4 cylinder diesel driving it.
Refuelling, bleeding the system will take just the ten minutes, ten minutes of incentive directed at some poor simple peasant.
The sun will burn the back ot their necks, and grease will stain their uniforms.
It is a foul mood chief petty officer (a dangerous beast indeed) who sends the boat on its way again.

But these are the charges troubles, few will notice, nor I supposwe, rightly care.
The fleet has a good day.............

Charge is having a bite of supper, when it happens.
I think, in retrospect, it is a good thing.

The very little pinnace he cursed this morning, is a bare foot securing in its davit, suspended nearly 40 feet above the water, and zuihos bulge, when the aft chain block fails.
It explodes in a catastrphic spray of breaking timber and flying metal, dropping the boats arse into a vertical plunge -throwing the poor coxswain straight out, and down.

The sound of his head fatally striking Zuiho's side is akin to a coconut striking.
But coconuts dont explode in a spray of red.............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1259
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/8/2012 8:25:25 AM   


Posts: 7911
Joined: 4/17/2005
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Hi gridely 380

here are a few more thoughts:

Things that are gone for good:

The whine of forced draught blowers, rising to a shriek as full ahead is rung down..........
The long line, waiting for a spot in the heads, so you can have a bird (basin of water) bath.
The even longer line at meal times.
The eternal friends you make , while waiting in those lines.
The ability for a ship to roll, and plump that meal you waited for so long for, into your lap.
How vital machinery only breaks 12 hours before sailing.
The heat that blasts out of boiler room dorrs and hatches.
The nochalant way the stokers descend down into that heat, as if it means nothing........
The Stokers "veranda' on the Starboard side.
The Cooks on the Port.
The way that the only spanner that will fit, is right at that moment being used in the aft gland space -ie, about as far away as it can get with out going over the side.
How, all those bits of crap, you cleaned out last week-ie, gave a swim- apparently included those bloody special bits you absolutely need right now.
The art of pumping bilges -without pumping oil (not!)
How 24's feel like 48's
The fine art of bilge cleaning, AKA, turning humans into toilet brushes.
Non stop, never ending card games in the mess.
You are always talking boiler chemistry -is it in the box?
Its not! -give it a dose!
Its not! -give her a good blow down!
Duty swaps -whats the going rate?
How dibbies don't have a clue, bloody upper deck monkeys
How stokers don't have a clue, bloody black gang
water tests
That unique sizzle a wrist makes when it contacts a exposed steam line.........
Transfer fuel time -again
revolutions 230! -whoo hoo!, rip into her boys!
revolutions 320! -for ***** sakes -stop sucking me back!
Gawd, that fuel is crap! -she'll burn, just wind the blower up a bit.
More work
Even more work
Burn yourself did ya? - you call that a burn? -check this out!
The knowledge, that if you can handle a steam ship, you can handle anything life throws at you..............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1260
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