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RE: The little ship that could.

 
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RE: The little ship that could. - 9/3/2012 10:25:54 AM   
1275psi

 

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Despite the blasts of compressed air after every shell, despite the roar of the fans, B turrett is now a fog stink of cordite and sweat.
26 times now Ashigara has pulled those levers, 26 salvos dispatched,
And the guns are rising a little less every time.
The range is shortening..............

The Gun Captain kicks him again.
Over his shoulder, Ashigara looks up. The fat man is grinning.
"A destroyer sunk!, the others are fleeing"
Good. Very good. Soon this might end.


It does
The turret falls silent, and word comes down to stand down.
The crew pile out, escaping the steel tomb, breath the sweet night air. They mingle under the great guns, admiring there blistering paint
Bets are taken on who has killed the destroyer........

Eyes adjust to the dark, and yamashiro's towering popaganda tower becomes clear in the bright moonlight.
Visibility is outstanding.
Ashigara moves away from the joking, laughing men, takes in the beauty, the power of the scene.
Ahead, he can see two destroyers, dark blotches in the dark, bright rooster tails of water.
Yamashiro herself carves the ocean, the sea hissing and streaming past, beautiful, glimmering in the moon

He can see the white shapes of crew on the tower, the torrent of sparks from the funnel, the smoke pouring and streaming behind.
The deck vibrating under their feet.
And the sweet smell of the ocean...........oh, how sweet the clean air.

Yamashiro leans as she turns slightly, and this reveals Fuso, Kirishima folowing, towing dark mountains, atopped with smoke and flame, bones in their teeth.

Ashigara looks ahead again.
And see's the flashes on the horizon. Sees them even as the bells ring again, ordering them back into that steel tomb

This battle, apparently, has only just begun.
At 12000 yards, line ahead, crossing the T:
3 heavy cruiser, half a dozen destroyers.
The hatch slams behinf Ashigara, the great shell rises.
He begins pulling levers.


< Message edited by 1275psi -- 9/3/2012 10:27:34 AM >

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1441
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/4/2012 9:57:51 AM   
1275psi

 

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"Its risky, we could blow the tank, and us, to hell"
Minobe shakes his head. "Its damn risky"
Charge straightens. 'Shall we open it up, send some poor fool in then?, Our remaining boiler is burning 250 gallons an hour, I have but 1000 left in its ready use tank, there is probably, at least, 1000 sculling below our feet...........and Yamishiro is 6 hours away!"

Minobe stares. (Yes, he is right on THAT........too late to vent the tank now, we cannot send men in with hoses, cannot. But this idea, will it work?". It must. It HAS too)

About them, lies the Charges solution. The vents to this storage tank have been firmly plugged. On the sounding tube, a crude pipe fitting has been attached. From it, a low pressure hose.........

The theory is simple. Start the pump sucking, blow in air, and hopefully, hopefully, push fuel to the pump.
That or blow the tanks side out...........

"Alright..........we try"
Charge grins. He turns to Lurch. 'No more than 1 psi you hear, and for TRUKs sake, wait until you get the word!"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1442
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/4/2012 10:06:51 AM   
1275psi

 

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Again, the steel tomb is filling with the stink of battle
Ashigara's arm begins to ache now, as shell after shell, 1 a minute, slides into the waiting, smoking maw.

A gigantic hammer strikes them, KKKRAAAANNNNNNNNNNNGGG!!.
The Gun captain curses, and all men duck.
But laughter erupts above him. "Eight inch shell, fair on our snout!. They cannot hurt us in here!"
Moments later, another shudder through his feet, another hit, and another.........
Are they winning?

The turret moves left, and the barrel barely rises now, point blank range...........
A cry of triumph above him."Got him!, the barsteds exploded!. We are switching target!"
Still the shells rise to him, still the levers are pulled, still they fire, and fire, and fire...............and cease fire.

Exhausted, men collapse about him.
Shaking, Ashigara sits as well.

The tannoy springs to life.
"This is the captain. We have sunk a heavy cruiser, another burns, the other flees. We have taken many hits, yet remain fully functional. I intend to complete the mission. We bombard the air field in Twenty minutes. That is all".

Yamashiro rings to its cry...banzia!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1443
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/4/2012 10:11:24 AM   
1275psi

 

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Behind Hirate, the fuel transfer pump whines furiously, cavitating its little heart out.
'Come on you bitch!, suck, suck like you are the mother of all whores!, suck!"

Abruptly, its tone changes, the discharge pressure guage hesitates, hesitates, swings to life
"See charge, talk to em nicely, and they respond!"
Charge grins.........no, he smiles now, "remind me to talk to you about whores one day.........."



They will get 900 gallons before the pump fails again
It is enough
Yamashiro will be with them in time.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1444
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/4/2012 10:15:21 AM   
1275psi

 

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5/11/43

Hiyo battle group crawls North, still at 12 knots.
Tankers tomorrow.

Fuel is scarce, but not so scarce enough that each ship in turn will manouvre alongside Yamashiro, Fuso, and Kirishima, and give them salute
Yamashiro wears her scars with pride...........the smears of shell bursts on her flank, the neat hole in her funnel, the great ding in her pagoda mast, the shrapnel holes riddling her upper works..
But her battle ensign still streams, defiant.

The battle ships day, so far, is not done.

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Post #: 1445
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/4/2012 10:19:15 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hoshos company is nestled on the south bank of the great brown river.
On the other side, the remains of Shwebo.
And 4 divisions.


The horizon is aflame, and the guns thunder.
Overhead, the shriek of the bombs from the bukas fall, mived with the bombardment.

The ground shakes beneath his feet.
The enemy, 6 divisions strong, is attacking.
Hosho huddles in his hole. This, he thinks, is going to end in tears...............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1446
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/4/2012 10:20:18 AM   
1275psi

 

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CVE taiho takes a fish north of Timor.
She will live.
Eastern fleet retires on Soerabaya

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Post #: 1447
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/5/2012 8:30:03 AM   
1275psi

 

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11/6/43

Hosho is right

There are more than tears.
A savage defeat is inflicted, and 5 Japanese divisions are thrown across the river, leaving 13000 men dead behind
The allies suffer 2500 casualties.
They will recover, given time.
Japans army however............


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Post #: 1448
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/6/2012 1:36:03 AM   
PaxMondo


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Wow, 5 ID's thrown back.  Ouch.  But then Schwebo is a tough place to make a stand ...

< Message edited by PaxMondo -- 9/6/2012 1:46:14 AM >


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Post #: 1449
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/6/2012 10:02:40 AM   
1275psi

 

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Herbiesan listens in stunned silence.

"Re read the figures please"

The Staff officer visibly flinches. His hand are visibly shaking...
"Sir, the following divisions managed to get across the river befoore the battle:
2nd guards, remains at nominally full strength,
33rd division, at 80%
55th division at 80%"

He hesitates again.
"Read them!". the dictators voice lashes across the room

"Sir!.......ah, ah, the following divisions were thrown across the river............
38th, at 75% , 54th, at 40%, 28th at 15%, 8th at 50%........sir, 20th Army, Burma Army have been shattered.

"The rest?"
57th rests at bangkok, at , at 50%, ............we have no news on the Thai units, they appear to have collapsed totally. Artillery also is badly broken..........."

The silence, the horror in this dark room, is heavy. Heavy and dangerous.
'the Akyab army?
"56th, 5th, 12th, 9th, 18th, and 4th divisions have finally cleared the jungle, and are moving south on Rangoon."

What went wrong?
Plenty my friend
But plenty you could not stop, or forsee.
Heavy bombers close the fields, the fighters vanish, and thus the reaping begins..............
Very well then. Moulmien line it is. And the fields, the fields, this time we must keep them open...........

But. But herbiesan, what of those shattered divisions?. Even if we get them away, where will we rebuild them?. What will we replace them with?
This is the enemies main thrust, his main effort. We must treat it as such.

herbiesan surveys the great map. selects units.
Issues his orders.
With great effort, he controls the rage that fills him.
Must not seem weak, must not display doubt............not in front of them, these idiots who call themselves generals.......
"I attach no blame........we must recover the situation with boldness. 15th Army must recover the retreat. Get the army to moulmien"

he turns to leave, turns about again. 'Amend that. All Thai units to Rangoon. I have never trusted them, lets leave them somewhere from where there is no retreat."





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Post #: 1450
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/6/2012 10:07:37 AM   
1275psi

 

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9th of November 43

Task force Hiyo enters palua.
The anchorage is all but empty. The force hurridly refuels, ammunitions as well as it can, brings on a few essentials.
By dusk, it has sailed again.

There is no word for Zuiho on the destination. Just a simple, 'Follow me" from Hiyo.


Probably only one man is happy on Zuiho this day, the Charge.
The fuel recieved today has been sweet, and pure.
No more donkey poo for his boilers for a while............

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 9/6/2012 10:08:00 AM >

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Post #: 1451
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/6/2012 5:09:31 PM   
british exil


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Any naval battle results? Losses kills?

From the last reports the battles seem to have been brutal over the last few days, losses on both sides.
Esp the sinking of those AK's. Any intel?

Following your reports.

Keep up the good work and keep our heroes safe, if possible.

Mat

_____________________________

"It is not enough to expect a man to pay for the best, you must also give him what he pays for." Alfred Dunhill

WitE,UV,AT,ATG,FoF,FPCRS

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Post #: 1452
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/7/2012 7:40:36 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hi british exile!

OK, here is a snapshot of whats been happening

In burma, he has broken the central front, we retreat.
In the air over burma, he has achieved supremacy at the moment. For example 70 Tojos were deployed over the final shwebo battles, they were essentially destroyed in 3 days.
Oscars die like flies.........
No naval losses both sides

he bombs Koepang , boela, and a few other spots, losses light both sides, I have lost 3 aks I think here in 2 months, my ss have sunk more of his.

kavieng has fallen, the naval battles here see 2 allied CAs, 4 DDs sunk, and i think about 6 APA/AP/AK, to my single CA, and 2 DD
I lost about 30 zeros in some abortive strikes on the PNG coast, murdered by T bolts
Losses of other ships, an AK about every 2 days, losses slow there really at the moment compared to 6 months ago.

So, in reality, its a quiet war naval wise.
I am STILL waiting for the big blow.....................

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Post #: 1453
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/7/2012 5:54:04 PM   
british exil


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Thanks for the quick report.

You'd better get back to the planning board.

Banzi!!

Mat

_____________________________

"It is not enough to expect a man to pay for the best, you must also give him what he pays for." Alfred Dunhill

WitE,UV,AT,ATG,FoF,FPCRS

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Post #: 1454
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/7/2012 11:29:52 PM   
PaxMondo


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You are doing well for this point in time.  BANZAI!!

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Post #: 1455
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/8/2012 9:57:46 AM   
1275psi

 

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Two men sit on the starboard balcony of Zuiho.
Below them a brilliant blue sparkling sea is sliding past, waters so clear one could so easily be fooled that the bottom, miles below in reality, could be seen.
The air is warm , but the breeze cools them. It is the sort of weather, the scene that millions in the future will pay good money for as recreation.
The two men are relaxed, as relaxed as war can allow. Flight deck operations have ceased, and many men are with them, the chance to grab a rest siezed.
Okano nurses his tea, and a small plate of rice and seafood balls sits between him and Hirate.
It is Okano who breaks the silence.
"How do you think this will all end?"
Hirate casually crams a roll into his mouth, garbles his reply "What, the war?"
'Of course, the war?"
Hirate cocks his head. The sarcasm rolls heavily off the tongue "With Victory or death my friend, victory or death"
Okano rolls his eyes "No seriously......how, and when?"

Hirate contemplates the sea, the fleet about them.
"Does it matter, can we control it?". he looks quizzically at his companion of so much " You seem sad, has our current direction upset you?'
"You mean sailing North?. The chance of home?"
Hirate snorts "Home?. Sorry, this is my only home now."
Okanos eyes sink to his feet. His voice is soft, and yes, sad.
"I have six children at home. Six. Two almost finished school, one I have barely held, three that barely know me. A wife who must surely be struggling. How she manages on our pay is beyond me................."

Hirate reaches out, places a hand on Okano's shoulder. His grip is firm, and so much passes in this moment that cannot be said. "All the more reason to live Okano, all the more reason to get home"
'Ha!, victory or death. What chances of victory yes?, what chance of that!"

Hirate's voice hardens. "Look at me my friend, look at me"
He brings his red scared face in close. "I swear Okano, I swear, if its my power, you will see your children again. I swear it. We will survive this war, go home, and grow old together, "
'You swear?"
'I swear. And, we will get drunk together many times"

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 1456
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/8/2012 10:10:05 AM   
1275psi

 

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11/11/43

Hosho's wose nightmare is reality

They march, not in a formation that an army could even in its wildest dream call organised, south. A great long crocodile stream of men, bombed and harrassed daily by the enemy airforce.
British command of the air is in disputable. Yesterday, a poignant sight, they struggle past a large airfield, a field strewn with the wrecks of countless Japanese fighters, forlorn and deserted.
Food, ammunition, medical supplies..all short now. He has 'aquired ' newish boots, but little else he wears is an any sort of repair
They march south. The enemy, as yet, do not follow.
There is a promise of trains further south.
It is this promise alone that keeps him going. In his heart, he feels his rapidly shrinking frame, his wasting limbs, his knawing hunger, will not carry him(or his company for that) much further.

He is, of course wrong. Japans Burma Army, and its men, have not even begun the real descent into the depths of human endurance.........

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Post #: 1457
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/8/2012 10:16:49 AM   
1275psi

 

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12/11/43

CVL Nisshin takes 2 torpedoes south of Tokyo. She should make it.
Hiyo alters her track, hoping to avoid the same fate.

DD Tamanami again covers herself with glory, racing into Kavieng, sinking a large AP and AK, drowning some sort of engineer unit.
The longer the two marine divisions can be kept on Kavieng island, the better.
An ant trail of small japanese warships are lining up, intending to visit on a nightly basis.
The enemy keep creeping north. But how long can they tolerate such a slow advance?
Japan searches desperately for a clue of where the blow must fall.

But they are reduced to the worst case scenario.

Gut feel, and guessing.

A terrible way to fight a war.

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Post #: 1458
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/9/2012 10:16:52 AM   
1275psi

 

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13 and 14th of November

Zuihos cruise north continues.

Word, incredible word, has reached the lower deck

Home.
They are returning to Japan.
Home. To family, to friends. To Home.
Two days
48 hours that will feel like 48 days......




Eleswhere, Hosho continues his painful march south, Toungaro......the next goal, the promised place of rest and resupply, is obliterated by 60 plus Liberators. It stands now, a column of fire at night, of smoke at day, a guide to another exodus.
It stands south of them, offering no hope, no hope at all.
Men about him curse the airforce, unaware of its sacrifices further to the north of them, where desperate attacks try to slow the pursuit.
And pursue they do.
The tanks are rolling now, free and clear of the jungle at last.
Wolves closing in on the herd.



CL Naha visits kavieng, bombards, gets away
2 APD try for Dobo, and dont, sunk by Mitchells flying in at mast hieght.
More troops join the ranks of the hungry on Japans perimeter.

But Zuihos men eat, and consider nothing else but that one word.
Home

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 9/9/2012 10:18:24 AM >

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Post #: 1459
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/10/2012 9:36:59 AM   
1275psi

 

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15/11/43
Extract from "Shattering the Sword" a cantona production

The third and fourth marine divisions had swiftly concluded the Kavieng campaign. But now they would be needed elswhere.
Yet extraction was proving to be almost as difficult as landing.

Daily the reports were coming in, Japanese warships lurking north out of bomber range, threatening any transports.
Something had to be done.
CL Yubari on this night, takes her turn at disruption, and encounters 4 of America's newest fletcher class destroyers at 17000 yards.
Four to one are tough odds, yet with typical Japanese aggression, Yubari turns towards the enemy.
This action goes for some 30 minutes, and is a decidedly one sided affair.
But like some football games against un matched teams, you cannot always count on the expected result.

In those thirty minutes DD Cassian is hit three times, and falls away burning, and DD Fletcher is hit no less than 6 times, and crippled.
Yubari is not hit at all.
She too will run the gauntlet off bombers in the morning, her luck holding.
It is a small, but important moral raising win for the imperial fleet.

Both sides prepare for further rounds.


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Post #: 1460
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/10/2012 9:39:24 AM   
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16/11/43

Capatins log Zuiho

Arrived safely KOBE, 1600 hours
Granted 72hrs leave to all ships company, restricted to 10 miles of naval base.

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Post #: 1461
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/10/2012 9:51:17 AM   
1275psi

 

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Okano's tale will be typical.

The rush to complete the shut down, the panic to finish the work of securing systems
The utter anxiety of waiting for the harbour watchbill to be printed, the exhultation to see that wisely the single men will keep duty tonight
The panic to find a clean shore rig (for this is an arrival utterly unexpected)
Then the endless wait for the word, "leave"

The rush to find a phone in a strange city, the waiting in the inevitable cue, counting again and again the precious coins in his pocket.

The phone, hot, sweaty from the last man.

The crackling line, the endless ringing
His wife, of course, does not own a phone, this call will be going to MR Tans, local landlord of the block they live in. He can afford a phone.
The answer, its old Mrs Tan, patriarc of the street. The awkwardness of being utterly polite, yet desperate to inform his wife, while an elderly lady prattles on, and on, how proud we are, how hard things are, how the arthritis...........and the phone swallows the coins..........one after the other.....
The desperate break in........please, my wife?
Oh, so sorry........... oh, you daughter is here!, I will send her to get her...........and the silence, and the cons, and the silence..........two coins left........footsteps...........

And only sailors can do it.
Pass such essentials so quickly....
I am fine, you are fine, I am in Kobe, come now!, I love you................and the coins run out.........

It does not matter.
She will be here soon, he knows it.

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Post #: 1462
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/12/2012 10:06:05 AM   
1275psi

 

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Ok, quick step out of the story

Found what I call a dodgy, where you can load groups onto a CV, increase their size to 63 or 83, and then unload them.
Told cantona, we won't be doing that.
Now I know where some japanese players find all those endless numbers of AC from!

thoughts any one?

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Post #: 1463
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/12/2012 10:09:42 AM   
1275psi

 

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17/11/43

Ruhyo, ISE, Hyuga, 3 CA, dash from Ulithi towards kavieng

From Truk, 2 CL, and several DDs sail as well.
A large convoy has docked at Kavieng..............and there is a small????, CVE???? CV? task force lingering 120 miles north.
Can the cruisers intercept, can Ruhyo cause the enemy to react, into Truk bomber range?
We will see.

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Post #: 1464
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/12/2012 10:20:04 AM   
1275psi

 

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Kobe is chaos
The fleet, a large part of it anyway, is in.
From everywhere across Japan, those that can travel, do.
Many, of course cannot, and I can think of only a handful of things more painful for loved ones to endure.
They come, wives, lovers, parents, and accomodation becomes impossible to find in this town.
But a way is always found.

All over Kobe, a phenomonen occurs. It occurred then, it occured a thousand years ago, it occurs now, it will occur for as ever as long as sailors re unite with families, with loved ones seperated for too long..
The gentle lies
The wives: Yes, I am well, the children are well, we are eating well, even as the dark shadows persist under the eyes, and faces seem a little gaunt.
The sailors......no, we have not seen danger, the war goes well, no, life is not so hard...........
They will dance and weave these little lies, as long as they are together. For why burden him, or her, with cares and woes one cannot do anything about?
No.
Live for today, tonight.
Each hour together, precious.
Death is the harsh reality of war. But sometimes, sometimes, its prescence can make these hours of life together sweetness itself........

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Post #: 1465
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2012 11:14:18 PM   
1275psi

 

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18/11/43

Fate is cruelly fickle, never more so than in war.

In waters deep south of Truk, CL Naha, Yubari and dd kagearo all operating seperately strike for the enemy task force, while the CVL tails her coat.
Everybody misses..............

Dawn finds them a mere 80 miles from the enemy, the CVL just out of range.
Whatever they were hunting however, is more than the anticipated CVE, 42 hellcats escort the 28 helldivers that sink naha, and the kagearo. rain covers Yubari for most of the day, a second strike in the afternoon sees a bomb bounce straight off her.
Wisely, it would seem, the rest of japans ships in the area retire north.

There are changes at Truk
47th Sentai depart , ultimately bound for Biak. In their place new Navy fighters.
And at last, a proper new fighter, heavier, faster, better gunned.

George awaits her debut.

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Post #: 1466
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2012 11:15:46 PM   
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19/11/43

CA Aoba swallows two fish near Truk.
There is little hope of making it safely, but she will try.

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Post #: 1467
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2012 11:46:37 PM   
1275psi

 

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21/11/43
Despite leave, despite being at 8 hours notice for sea, Zuiho rides alongside Kobe fundamentally defect free.
Small teams have given her boilers a very quick internal brush down, removing a large amount of the choking deposits all that donkey poo fuel deposited there over the last months.
Urgent valve re packs are complete, and oil changes done.

More importantly, vitally in fact, the steering gear compartment spaces again overflow with spare parts.
This is a tale in itself.
CVL Nisshin lies in dock, a truking great hole punched in her side..

Minobe may be a drunk. He may be steam shy. He may, even in some eyes, be seen as incompetent (but Zuiho keeps going no?), but he has been about a long time.
He knows Nisshin's Engineer. Hes got drunk with him many a time.
What happens, happens in many a Navy , I am sure.
In a deal designed to drive a supply officer loopy mad, 40 Zuiho sailors take a truck to the dock, and strip her spares store dry in an overnight raid worthy of the Brinks gang.
Not a scerrick of paper work is raised, and Nisshins own supply staff will remain ignorant of this transaction for many a day yet.

They will, however, in the days to come, find a great many Article in use forms pass over their desks with the words " requeast for stores.........article destroyed by enemy action"

Nisshin takes a fish
Zuiho feeds on her entrails.....


Reamaining at 8 hours notice for sea proves to be wise

"leave is cancelled. All crew to return to ship. Raise steam. Prepare to sail, 0100 hours 25 th."

Enemy fleet CV, or Cvs are operating south of Truk, and getting aggressive. The fleet is restored to full strength in aircraft, and more vitally, her Tankers are again full.
It is time to again roll the dice of fickle fate.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1468
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/15/2012 1:15:17 AM   
kaleun

 

Posts: 4760
Joined: 5/29/2002
From: Colorado
Status: offline
1275, your prose is so poetic.

_____________________________

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

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1469
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/16/2012 5:51:56 AM   
1275psi

 

Posts: 6625
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
Thank you Kaleun, as long as people read, Ill write my little tales.
they are stress therapy!

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 9/16/2012 5:52:00 AM >

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 1470
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