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RE: The little ship that could.

 
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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/28/2012 12:41:59 AM   
1275psi

 

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The fleet sails

The van, 6 destroyers, Aoki Kikuji commanding

The point, CV Hiyo, Battle ships Fuso, Yamashiro, Tone, Chikuma, 4 destroyers., Admiral Abe, (scowling and sour) commanding.

Fleet unit one, CV Shokakau, Zuikakau, Taiho, Akagi, Shoho, Zuiho, Ryuho, battleships Nagato, Mutsu, a CL, 8 Destroyers, Admiral Yamaguchi commanding.

Fleet unit two, CV Hiryu, Soryu, Unryu, Amagi, Ryujo, Mizuho, Nissin, the four fast BBs, CA Myoko, Haguro, 9 destroyers. Admiral Yamada...spoiling to fight.

And finally, Tanaka leads Yamato, her sister and 6 heavy cruisers and 9 destroyers.

There will never be the like again.
They slip into the dusk, a mighty line of grey, fading, fading.
Into glory?, or utter ruin?
But definately into history.............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1321
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/29/2012 1:54:05 AM   
1275psi

 

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Dawn

How is it, thinks Takeji, that the night can so amplify the terrors.
The menace below the waves stay hidden, regardless of the daylight or the dark, do they not?
But how sweet the dawn, nevertheless.

Zuiho plows across a clam sea, dolphins at her bow, as if to welcome her back.
There has been no attack over night, and now her decks bustle with preparations to launch the first patrols.
The Jills are bigger, but they have more powerful engines as well.
Still, getting them off will be fun.
Getting them back down, even more so.
But go they will.

By 0600 hours, the first ones are undertaking that stupid slow crawl down the deck, floating away from her bow, joining the ever growing crowd in the sky.
Zuiho trembles, running hard as possible, Hidaka seeking every inch of wind speed.
Today he gets it.
Barely
The Jills may be fine aircraft, but Zuiho remains the same tiny deck in the ocean.

Breakfast is being served when the first attack occurs, the alarm bells scattering the men from their meal..........

"Ship closed for action sir"
"good"

It has taken his ship 2 minutes. Good. very good. They look to me now. I will not disapoint them. I must not.
The enemy attack has occured ahead, Nagato the prey.
5000 yards.
Not too close..........
The buka has missed. But a brave barsted at that.

Already two destroyers are healing over, slicing to where the fish have launched. Amusingly, Nagato has swung her tubes that way too.....
A waste of time, .............

Zuiho steams on, silence filling her.
They know the drill now. The destroyers will thrash about, the charges will go down. the enemy will slip away.........
And breakfast will go cold.


Abruptly though, accompanied by a thousand shouts, the surface of the ocean erupts, and the black shape of the submarine bursts into the sun, clearly, clearly out of control.
For a moment, frozen, she slides across the blue.

Hell erupts.
Destroyers Nenohie, Yugiri ponce, guns hammering, the submarine already plunging down, out of sight again.

"Get her, get the buka!" Takeji hisses, gripped by the excitement "Kill it!"
The charges pound, the ocean leaps..and the black barsted bursts to the surface again.
Men pour from her tower, falling, jittering, sprawling, as a dozen guns rip fire into her,impacts dancing on her, sparking, flashing, puffing, ripping into her guts............

And then she is gone, and silence falls over the fleet again.


To nobody Takeji speaks. "One less. many more I am sure. But one less now. "

But how many more?


(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 1322
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/29/2012 2:09:34 AM   
1275psi

 

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Captain Hara of Akagi stands as he will for many hours yet, near the binnacle of his tiny bridge.
A bridge bursting at the seams with the Admiral and his bloody staff.

Why, he wonders not for the last time, did he not place his flag on Taiho? let Kato handle the menace.....
But, it seems, Yamaguichi shares a fondess for this old lady, much like the late yamato did.
Hara looks around him
On this bridge, he counts the helmsman, two lookouts, the Officer of the watch, his communications officer, the flight Officer, a messanger, the quartermaster.
And himself.
Crowded around the chart table, Yamaguchi, genda, two staff officers, another communications man.

Gods........just to have his bridge back.
To have some bloody room , some bloody quiet so he could actually drive his ship..........

Almost with contempt, he observes that little crowd, that ridicolous small chart.
To try to run a war about that!
Why, why do we not have a seperate combat control room, something seperate?
Why, why , do we insist that command must be enacted from the bridge?

He sighs. Nothing to be done about it. Not now.
But he does, at least know what is going on.
SS sailfish sunk. Good
But a AO departing Davao, part of their mobile fuel station, sunk by another.
Other interesting snippets.
More bombing saumalika
And now Koepang.
many planes at darwin, and a lot of shipping.............tankers, AKs.
A possible build up?
The DEI's are all but wide open. .
But, oh, how he would, they all would, like an attack on Java.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1323
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/29/2012 2:16:01 AM   
1275psi

 

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65th brigade
Planted at Finchesan, to ambush whatever would come, a year before it did.
Fought the marines, and shattered them
Fought with honour.

Driven out, fighting, rearguard unit always, slowly falling back up the PNG coast.
Retreating with honour

Trapped, besieged.
Starved of supplies
They defy the Americal, the 37th divisions, even as everything else falls apart around them.
They hold, with honour.

Tonight, they shock attack, these last 800, screaming and yelling obscenities, into the wall of fire.
No Japanese can surrender with honour.
Never..

65th brigade is dead.
Honour , or not. Dead is dead.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1324
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/29/2012 2:17:42 AM   
1275psi

 

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Another enemy unit cuts the road to Katha

With out recon, with out air cover, with only hope on their side, 54th Division will again shock attack tonight.

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Post #: 1325
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/29/2012 11:08:42 PM   
kaleun

 

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Awesome storytelling.
Hoe far ahead is the game from the story, I wonder.

_____________________________

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

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1326
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/30/2012 2:38:43 AM   
Smoky Stoker


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Have I mentioned how good your story-telling is? Let me do it again.

Even so, it helps when the action speeds up.

_____________________________

"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 kaleun)
Post #: 1327
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/30/2012 8:06:07 AM   
hosho


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second to that!
it does not get any better than this....
well done you old dictator!

_____________________________

the first ones are remembered

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Post #: 1328
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/30/2012 8:39:31 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hi guys

I am level pegging with the game at the moment

Regretfully, being a school teacher and all, Cantona is on Holidays.Again!

So I am waiting for a turn............on tenterhooks.

Hosho mate..........me thinks you are headed towards a terrible battle.........15th Army is going to have to rescue the lost divisions at Katha

Comments very appreciated.

(in reply to hosho)
Post #: 1329
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/30/2012 5:54:15 PM   
Gridley380


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If I'm reading your TF composition right, most are over 15 ships. My understanding is that TFs larger than 15 ships suffer coordination penalties.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2012 9:18:43 AM   
1275psi

 

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yes, in carrier combat.
But i will split the forces up a little when that happens.
In the meantime, its all about the ss menace.............................

(in reply to Gridley380)
Post #: 1331
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2012 9:25:49 AM   
1275psi

 

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"radio room calling sir"
Captain Hara takes the telephone from the Quarter master, struggling past the bodies crowde d on his bridge.
"Yes, what is it?"

'Sir, we are intercepting a message from SS Flying fish.very close!. They are sending in the clear!"

damnation...............

Struggling to keep calm, Hara covers the mouth piece. "What does it read?"
"have sighted , am trailing enemy battle fleet. Four battle ships Kongo class, many destroyers. he is giving our course and speed too sir!'

Double damnation!. The buka must be close.
Another 3 hours to dawn.
"Thankyou, try to get a fix"
"Hie!'
Triple damnation. The men have had so little rest already.
"Quarter master, general quarters!".

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1332
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2012 9:28:49 AM   
1275psi

 

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"Akagi flashing sir!'
Takeji does not answer. No need, he will get the message soon enough.
Flashing in the dark can only spell one thing............trouble.
'Enemy SS suspected inside screen, possibly astern of you. Take appropiate action"

Another Buka.

'Quarter master, sound general quarters please..........."

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1333
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2012 9:34:18 AM   
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The attack comes just 15 minutes later, aimed at the Kongo, aimed from somewhere astern and starboard of her.
It is a good attack, a brave attack.
But the fish are duds, a rare thing now.........

The fleet put there arses to her, and increase to 24 knots, leaving the flying fish behind.
But they will listen to her sighting reports again at dawn, and an hour after that, and an hour after that, despite the air patrols efforts to keep her under.
Flying fish does not have to score today. those radio messages are almost as deadly...............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1334
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2012 9:41:42 AM   
1275psi

 

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Katha ridge is all but empty
Only 38th division remains, spread over an impossibly long front.
Its commander, LGEN Kameji will today try to do the impossible. Bluff the enemy that Katha ridge is still defended by 100000 men, not 16000.
A hundred cooking fires will be lit, and every man is charged to to expose themselves at least twice, in different places.
The single gun battery he has, will fire all day, its guns scatterd the length of the ridge.

The tactic works.

By dusk, 20th, 23rd Armys have put 45 miles between them and the aussies, moving ever closer to the safety of shwebo.
The Aussies, however, are not idiots.
They have 'cottoned on"
"Rear guard action, to cover a retreat"
Not a pretty sentence
And bound to be a very unpretty action.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1335
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2012 9:49:19 AM   
1275psi

 

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The road to Shwebo is now cut.

In two places

The retreating forces have enemy troops facing them.
Who?
How strong?
how many?

It doesn't matter. To get home, Katha Army has to retake the road, has to keep pushing south
Has too!

The Tiger of malaya will not let doubt sieze him
His orders are simple

'There is the road gentlemen. We shall march down it, just as we did in malaya!"
A grin.
"like old times ney?. we are not retreating, merely attacking in another direction!"
The smile will crack.
And that hardness that took Singapore will blaze forth

"Officers will lead from the front, and will not hesitate. The attack will carry through!"
"Forward!"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1336
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2012 9:57:42 AM   
1275psi

 

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54ths attack........................melts away.

Too much enemy fire power.
Too many bombs
Too few tanks left running.
Too few men

But mainly, too many bombs.

16th, 18th naval guard units now cease in all but name, to exist.
One, caught fair in the fields by waves of medium bombers, fails to even attack
The other, hammered by dive bombers, breaks apart, melting away, seeking for what little cover it can find.

The division itself simply attempts to advance, is pinned down.
The 8th will see a day of fighting for the single road, the Indians , a full bloody division of them, holding its northern side, the Japanese the south.

Nothing of course, will pass up it.

Even if the Tiger clears his road, he will have to fight for this one.


A single road
40 square miles of paddy fields
A few scattered grass and palm built huts, a few trees.
But then, wars are never decided on the battle fields generals would decide them upon..............

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Post #: 1337
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2012 10:00:11 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hosho boards another train

2 days to Shwebo.
then, any bloody money...............more marching.
Hosho peers at the miserable remains of his boots

"I need to kill myself a well heeled britisher, and soon........."


He will get his chance, I feel, soon enough.

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Post #: 1338
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2012 10:02:58 AM   
1275psi

 

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Midnight, 9/10/43

"Fire one!, fire two!, fire three!, fire four!"
The fish burst from the tubes
Running hot, running true.

SS Flying fish has called her brothers

And now, now they come calling....................

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Post #: 1339
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2012 1:45:31 PM   
BBfanboy


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Hi 1275. Just wanted to thank you for posting this great AAR. You have done a great job of personalizing the impersonal battle reports and strategic dithering behind the scenes!

I am really enjoying the narrative - tension within a panel board of scene-setting pictures. Reads like a graphic novel.

_____________________________

I have not yet begun to fight! OTOH I have not yet begun to flee. Hmmmmm - choices, choices -always with the choices.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/31/2012 2:35:56 PM   
pws1225

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

Hi 1275. Just wanted to thank you for posting this great AAR. You have done a great job of personalizing the impersonal battle reports and strategic dithering behind the scenes!

I am really enjoying the narrative - tension within a panel board of scene-setting pictures. Reads like a graphic novel.


+1

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Post #: 1341
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2012 9:07:18 AM   
1275psi

 

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There's a thing hard to convey about tropical waters near the equator. When the moon is full, the night is not dark.
When the seas are calm, phosporous from a ships wake, her bows, her stern, glimmers and sparkles, you can see it for miles.
Ships stand as black card board cut outs, shadow puppets on a stage, lit by the beaming moon.

From the prowling Bukas, there is no hiding in this play.

But what plays for the donkey, plays for the Ass as well.
The fish arrow towards the Nagato, running hot, it will be less than a minute for them to knife across the space sepaerating life and death.
They spread slightly as they come, the subs skipper watching keenly through his scope
Normally, he cannot miss.
Nor will he today.

But those fish leave a wake, shining arrows under this baneful huge full moon, and somebody, some nameless hero spots them from the Wakazuki, spots them within moments of launching.
Wakazuki, passing astern of Nagato..
Wakazuki, engine bells ringing, heeling, turning, accelerating, driving herself straight into the path of the fish.
wakazuki, bucking, buckling, crashing to a horrific stop as her bow , her forward guns, her forward mess decks and all those in them is sliced off by that column of water, that thudding KRRUMMMP, that will kill her.
Kill her but let Nagato live...........



< Message edited by 1275psi -- 8/1/2012 10:41:46 AM >

(in reply to pws1225)
Post #: 1342
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2012 9:19:27 AM   
1275psi

 

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The bells ring, the alarms call.
On Zuiho, they are not needed.
All have heard the destroyers death.

Through out her breadth and length, they go to their stations.
And wonder, are we next..........


"Ship closed up sir"
3 minutes, 20 seconds. We are getting tired.
"Very good"
Takeji trains his glasses on the stricken ship, now passing down the Port side. Already the waters lap her bridge, her mast sagging. faint white shapes struggle upon her.
They will not stop for her, of course.
To linger, to assist, to come to a halt near her.
Madness.

But then, we know the price do we not?
The gamble we take, when we put on this Uniform, swear our service.
A swift death is the best we can hope for , yes?. anything, gods, anything but a crippling injury.
Anything but that...........

'Inform the engine room that we may have to manouvre heavily"
"Hie!"


"Prepare to manouvre heavily"
Okano grimaces
"They must think we are idiots down here" he mumbles to himself. What else do ships do when under attack?. Steam straight and true at 15 knots?
"Open the main engine drains, open up air ejector recirc, second condensate pump!"
He reaches for the great valve handle near the guage panel, twists it savegly open, the main circ pump rumbles into life.
0316 hours. 45 minutes of watch to go. Or there was. Damn certain they will all still be down here, locked down under the dogged down hatches to well after dawn.
Damn bloody submarines!


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1343
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2012 9:31:16 AM   
1275psi

 

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Yamato is targetted next.
Trailing 10 miles astern of Zuiho, they merely observe the attack - the flares arcing every which way, the rumble of the charges like distance thunder.
Yamato, thankfully, is missed.
Dawn finds the force entering the Banda sea. Open ocean of a sorts.
Important decisions have to be taken soon.
CAP has been constant, rotating every hour or so, that and the ASW patrols. Pilots, ground crews, planes even, are growing tired, beginning to get cranky.
The fleet will soon need to make its dash. That means fuel. replenishment with the lumbering tankers they are rapidly overhauling.
Yamaguichi bites the bullet "Suspend flying operations. Recover all planes. Prepare to refuel. All ships to fuel to maximum capacity"

Not for the first time he wonders at the wisdom of this mission.
Many, he knows, feel this to be a giant gamble.
But then, they are not privy to everything, are they?

He feels the signal paper he has in his pocket yet again. In a way, a talisman. the rock he clings to now.
It is a simple signal, one of three identical ones he has recieved over three days.

"Very heavy radio traffic Pearl Harbour"

cantona is going to come.
He can feel it.

Good. let us make damn sure that nothing will come from Darwin, that Timor is safe.
Then I can truly turn on what ever the Britisher decides.............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1344
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2012 9:34:34 AM   
1275psi

 

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The Tiger of Malaya repeats history.

In pouring rain, his armour pounces on, disintergrates the Indian brigade blocking the road.
20th, 23rd Army pour south west
By tonight, they will be 6 miles clear of kathea ridge, 51 ahead of the Aussies.
Now, now, can 54th division hold?



(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1345
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2012 9:46:12 AM   
1275psi

 

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extract from "the Hungry war" -the battle for Burma

battle for katha ridge was joined before dawn, the 7th Australian division looping around the Northern flank of the defences, the 9th pressing in the centre.
38th division could not hold.

LGEN Seki Kameji, however, unlike many Japanese generals, refused to see his division destroyed or surrounded.
In a series of brilliant local counter attacks, he covered the retreat of his division due south to the Irrawady.
But here, luck, and allied air power finally caught up with him.

Despite having 16 vengence bombers torn out of the sky by the handful of zeros contesting the skies over the battle, the allies were not to be denied.
Every single crossing of the Irrawady , every boat, barge, raft, floating log, is bombed, straffed, napalmed.
38 th division finds itself by late afternoon trapped into a mile long, 100 yard wide pocket.
The end, as predicted, is not pretty.

Kameji gets 12000 across.
He has threatened that any man who crosses with out a gun will be shot, (and many, in fact are), so many, a great many will drown trying to obey those orders.
6000 many
They will float, a stream of bloated corpses, a great many miles, those 6000. A stink that will fill the air, stain the river for many, many months.
They are too many, even for the crocodiles to clean away.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2012 9:49:03 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hosho, and 15th army, entrained at last, are rumbling north.

They have travelled many a mile, has 15th Army.
But nearly always, there has been that sound of friendly fighters some where up there.

No longer

Japans northern airfields are now abandoned.
Shattered fields. Shattered planes. Shattered hopes.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2012 10:14:24 AM   
1275psi

 

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Refuelling.

Even Japans Navy has advanced in some technology.
No longer the astern method, today she will slide alongside the tanker, take station, and fuel alongside.
Quick release fuel probes, automatic tensioners, they are in Japans future. But, this at least, is a step forward.
Takeji takes one last look at the tanker ahead.
Takes a deep silent breath.
"We make our approach!" revolutions 230!"
"revolutions 230!'

Below, the whine of the blowwers, the wind rushes past faster, the waters hiss.
"Port 1 degree!"
Admidships!"
Hold this heading, 270!"
''270 sir!"

Coming along nicely.............gap 50 yards, maybe 45.
Nose swinging slightly as we cross her wake...........'Steady swain!"
'Sir!"
coming up, coming up............
"Half astern both!, astern 180!"
bells clanging......
"half astern both, astern 180 rung down and repeated sir!"



bells clanging............
charge swings the repeater to half astern, twirls the revs to 180.
"Half astern!, 180!"
Hirate , sweat flinging from his red face, spins the great astern throttle, the charge, the ahead in the opposite direction.
Both eyes rigidly afixed on the steam pressure.

It never moves.............
The tacho plunges to zero, plunges past, stops, rock steady, 180 astern..............



braking nicely, nicely............mark!
"half ahead both!, revolutions 090!
"half ahead both, revolutions 090!. revolutions 090 rung down and repeated sir!'
"Very good!"



"half ahead, revolutions 090!"
again charge, as swift as a blink, matches the bells.
Again the men grunt as he swings open the ahead, Hirate slams shut the astern

easy peazzie..........


Takeji judges the two ships
revolutions 088!
revolutions 091revolutions 089...............ah yes. Thats got her.

"XO, you may commence fuelling."


A gun shhots the dildo acroos, the thin line trailing. men race, catch the line. begin to pull it in.

Other men on the tanker attach a heavier line, and then an even hevier one.
A geat line of menon Zuihos flight deck, cooks, Stokers, stewards, stores rates, any body spare (but never the gunners, not now, they are fully manned, pointed at those menacing waters), haul in the ropes, the great hose following.

Men bolt it to the refuelling point.
Now is the moment of great danger. they cannot manouvre now, cannot escape until that hose is gone.

two gleaming axes, sharp, rest close at hand.............

the fuel pulses across.
Minobe takes a sample. Wrinkles his nose.
"This is pony poo!" he curses
Takeji is leaning over the bridge wing, directly above them at the refuelling point " problems engines?"
"I can smell the sulphur content from here sir...........very poor rate fuel oil!..we are going to smoke like hell with this rubbish!"
Takeji shrugs. "we get what we get Engines........"

And yes, we know this...........but you will be the first to complain when I ask for boiler cleans and soot blows before schedule....."


Minobe can do nothing but accept what he gets. Japan has little enough fuel to be picky now........

An hour later, it is done.

They break free.


For the rest of the day, across a still banda sea, the fleet will steam, south by south west.

Darwin empties of shipping...............








(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1348
RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2012 10:42:18 AM   
1275psi

 

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gawd i wish i could spell............

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RE: The little ship that could. - 8/1/2012 11:13:51 AM   
pws1225

 

Posts: 851
Joined: 8/9/2010
From: Tate's Hell, Florida
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

gawd i wish i could spell............


Yea, you spell worse than I do, but you sure can write!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1350
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