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RE: The little ship that could.

 
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RE: The little ship that could. - 9/16/2012 5:59:01 AM   
1275psi

 

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22/11/43

Where has the year gone?, can it have passed so fast?
Takeji stands on Zuihos bridge wing, collar raised against the bitter wind blowing across the bay.

He is wearing his light coat, and wishing deeply for his heavy one, as he holds Zuiho against the wind, the drift, waiting for the rest of this massive formation to gather itself.
Winter is coming, he can feel it. Winter, dark times, bleak times, call it what you will.
Japans summer is done. None will admit it, not even himself. But they feel it, all of them.

The formation gets its poo together.
And about time.
Without a backward glance to his homeland, to his life, to Japan, Takeji turns Zuiho into the setting sun.
Winter is coming.

"half ahead all"
So be it. He has never been afraid of the dark.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1471
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/16/2012 6:17:30 AM   
1275psi

 

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Pilot Officer Graham is a big man, a Jovial flying fellow, a man of ready laughter, of the quick smile, the quicker quip.
He is, in almost every sense, the perfect caricature of the British flying officer.
But read that first line again.
Pilot officer Graham is a big man, and right now, here in the pilot seat of his Blenhiem, this fact may well shortly kill him.

Up to the last 5 minutes, this milk run, bombing japanese troops at Toungoo, had been just that. Lead his pack of six companions in low and hard, drop the packages into the deep green, avoid the occasional twinkling tracer coming the other way, bank, and head home for tea, just like they had been doing for week now.
The sight of sixty (for gods sake, where in the hell do the Japs raise 60 from!) fighters swarming down upon them had been , to keep to the caricature "a right roayal surprise, let me tell you!"

The folowing, horrribly, was less than one.
The Blenhiems try to scatter, the blenhiems go down.
Including his.

Blenhiem cockpit, exit small.
Pilot officer Graham......... large.

'In a right sort of tight spot hey?'
No kidding.

He rides her down, less piloting the dying aircraft, keeping her on some sort of even keel, than willing her down with curses and courage towards the railway below.

The jungle smacks them, and his plane disintergrates about him, around him............but not him, or his cockpit.
The awful noise lasts merely a moment, and to his astonishment, despite the tree in the cockpit with him, he lives.

For a few minutes he just sits, attempting to grasp the miracle of his survival.
Unscratched, un injured. Crew gone, hopefully, at altitude.

Lucky man, my son, a lucky man.

The stink of fuel pokes him into action, it takes 35 minutes to clear the wreck, shaking somewhat on the ground.
A second stroke of luck.
20 yards away, the railroad.

And that, of course, is where the luck for pilot officer graham turns sour.

The railroad. The same rail road the entire 15th army is retreating down...........


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Post #: 1472
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/16/2012 6:30:39 AM   
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Hosho watches the Blenhiem steak overhead, his company cheering about them.
They watch it disapear ito the green, hear it smack the canopy, and growl in animal satisfaction at the sound of destruction.

"One less buka hey!" Bando grins beside him, gaunt face almost spilt by the grin.
'yes" growls Hosho, trying to hide the hope he feels stirring again inside him 'one less Buka"

One less, no actually, 6 less today, and to their astonishment, once again the sound of Japanese aero engines overhead.
And why not?
They have marched a long way south now, the fields at Rangoon, moulmien, they would be coming into play now surely?
Now, if they can keep the bukas of the trains,.............

Trains are death traps. But he doesn't care anymore.
He must rest, or die anyway.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1473
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/17/2012 10:39:12 AM   
1275psi

 

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23/11/43
Thoughts of home, the distractions of rest, are abruptly and rudely swept away within an hour of clearing into the pacific
With land still in view, the SS makes its attack.
BB Hiei is its target, only 1000 metres to Zuihos stern, it is not long before the thuding hammers ring through the ocean, the depth charges tapping, banging on her hull.
Men will grimace, and silently curse.
The war, forgotten with such difficulty, returns, ugly and real.

Bang, goes the next set, bang, bang, welcome back Zuiho, bang, welcome back fear and doubt, bang, returning now, endless stress and strife.

The attacks go on for some time, fading behind her streaming wake.

The sub is reported sunk. Few believe it has been.. It does not need to be said.
There must be more.

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Post #: 1474
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/17/2012 7:01:00 PM   
Gridley380


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

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?


Making a group that big is, IMO, gamey in the extreme.

However, resizing awkwardly sized groups by a few A/C to make them easier to use is just fine.

If you do an edit to strip the mandatory resizes out of the various naval airgroups I might go for an HR allowing limited use of the 'big wing' groups just to allow me to size my F/DB/TB squadrons the way the current needs of the war and replacements are, not the way they turned out historically.

My $0.03 (gotta allow for inflation!)

Loving the story!

< Message edited by Gridley380 -- 9/17/2012 7:04:46 PM >

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Post #: 1475
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/18/2012 3:38:07 AM   
PaxMondo


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Re-sizing is certainly a well known tactic that both sides would need to agree about.  We also now know that re-sizing can tax the game engine with large air battles.

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Post #: 1476
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/18/2012 5:47:45 AM   
koniu

 

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First
Great story telling 1275psi. Nothing make morning coffee taste batter that reeding your story.


Second
I don`t think that resizing is gamey. But there must be some rules for that.
What is gamey i think is resizing unit, splitting it and again resizing parts of unit so after rebuild they have size of 200 or more.

Single resize of units in my opinion is fine.






< Message edited by koniu -- 9/18/2012 5:51:34 AM >


_____________________________

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Post #: 1477
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/18/2012 11:22:21 AM   
1275psi

 

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Thank you for comments, think will close that now, Cantona and I both agree not to do it, one of the things that has made this particular game so good is our mutual agreement and detirmination to play "in real life".
The engine works best that way.




24/11/43

Its raining. Pissing down, bucketing down, beating down in a torrent that deafens you. It comes crashing in streams through the forest, turning trails to creeks, roads to rivers.
It falls from thick heavy black clouds, clouds swirling around the peaks abouts them.
For the tenth time today, Hosho looks up into this sodden sky, and smiles.

Before them, the train that will take them south. One more day, just one more day of this, free from air attack, and they are home free.
He is wet, he is cold, he is hungry. But hope still smolders.
The moulmien line. Its rivers, its hills, its shorter supply line.
They will hold them there. They will. Yes. get him, his company there, and they will.

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Post #: 1478
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/18/2012 11:29:29 AM   
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Pilot officer Graham, for the hundreth time, curses the rain, and gives thanks for it.
thanks, for the concealment of it.
Curses, for the way it muffles all sound, the way it is rapidly turning his life to misery.

Right now, he rests behind a gigantic fallen tree, 50 metres from the rail line.
He has to cross that rail, cross it, and begin to move west, to Akyab, so many (don't think of that yet friend) miles away.
Twice he has tried, twice forced to scuttle back from japanese troops marching out of the wet headed south.

Right now he can see the barrells of heavy artillery bouncing ever so slowly past, too slowly past.

Again he stocktakes.
canteen, yes.
Pistol, 6 rounds, yes.
A knife
A round of ham sandwiches, which will have to be consumed soon.
A bar of chocolate
And some sort of vagualy remembered escape and evade course.
"Well, friend, life, hope, all that," he whispers to himself.
He will wait for dark. Then try again.

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Post #: 1479
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/18/2012 11:35:08 AM   
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/11/43

Po Okano, Po Hirate stand at the bench.
We met them at this same bench a war and a lifetime ago.
They work, now, as then, as one, on actually, the same pump.
It has worn out over this time, gradually fading in strength. Now they fix it again, silently handing tools to each other, manipulating the parts with calloused fingers, steady hands.

The pump has faded.
But the bonds between these two have only strengthened. grown stronger.
You will see men like these during memorial days, bound still together after countless years.
War has few upsides.
But this is one

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Post #: 1480
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/18/2012 11:43:00 AM   
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24/11/43

Takeji hands Hidaka the intelligence report.

"3 battleships, multiple escorts, a suspected carrier, lurking due east of rabual, about half way to the marshalls. Our high command thinks they think they are undetected"
'ha!, as if"
"yes, as if, whatever that means commander...........the state of the group?"
"ready to go. The Jills remain a bitch. When do you expect us to commence spotting?"
Takeji cocks his head towards Akagi, riding the swell on the port quarter, big and proud. "if Yamaguchi seeks a fight, 3 days."
Hidaka nods his head.
"There will be fight this time, a battle?"
Takeji laughs. "What, you want me to get your hopes up again? This is a war you know..........."

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Post #: 1481
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/19/2012 11:03:58 AM   
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25/11/43

180 miles due east of siapan.

At sea.

What does that term mean to you?
For the many who read this little tale, who have been there, done that, what memories does it bring, what comes first to mind?
For those who have not had the pleasure, what of you?

At sea

Zuiho rides the swell today, steaming steadily south at 15 knots, 20 knots of breeze across her bows. The swell is typical pacific, big, rolling, white caps crowning the rolling hills. The sea shines green under the sun, the wind smells fresh, the bow wave creams white and angry, hissing its displeasure.
All around her, Combined fleet, a grand sight indeed, battle grey dotting the ocean in every direction.

The day is pasing routinely, and for once, quietly. Takeji works in his cabin, Hidaka supervises final tunes on his eagles, the pilots exercise, sleep, attend to other duties.
Our Stokers take their watches, pass through them, and grab what rest they can in between..
It is, really, just a day at sea.
A working day like any other I suppose sailors like to think they are special in some way (and we are) but I also think they are like anyone else.
Busy doing their jobs as best they can.
Getting through the day, doing the things that have to be done


But then, take a stride out onto that quarterdeck. Take in this mighty sea that Zuiho conquers minute by minute, this mighty fleet about them.
Breathe the air, feel that deck move beneath your feet.
Its more than a job. Its a life.

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Post #: 1482
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/19/2012 11:09:39 AM   
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In Burma, the glorious rain continues to fall.
Only 55th division awaits to move by rail.
The Armies of Akyab are ordered to move now as well, the great withdrawal is gathering pace
The British, it appears, are re gathering, re building. soon, they know now, they can take Burma back for little cost.


Of course, the people of japan will never hear of this "little reversal"

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Post #: 1483
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/20/2012 9:12:39 AM   
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Hosho sleeps, the rattle of the rails beneath lulling him into oblivion.
He can sleep on. Its still raining.

55th division makes Moulmien.





200 miles due east green island, solomons

Captain Aihara is considered by his crew as an extremely agressive submarine officer.
But fortunately, he is not stupidly so.
Early this morning, the beat of heavy screws, many of them, brings ssI-16 to periscope depth. What he see's on the horizon is tempting, tempting indeed, a battleship, the Alabama in fact, still out of range, but coming this way.

"Down scope!", take us down.
He stalks for the next hour, but as the hour continues, things begin to get .........interesting.
reports of screws, many, many screws begin to flow from his sonar men.

he risks a glance.

A bad move, SS I-16 then suffers a viscous attack, 20 patterns strong.
They are shaken, shaken badly, but survive.
The temptation to attack is strong, but ...........
He stalks some more, going deep, deep, and silent, while the canalopy of screws passes overhead.
With batteries almost exhausted, he sneaks another look.
For over a minute, a lifetime, he stares through that scope, and knows instantly what he must do.

SSI-16 slips away, surfaces after dark. He has not attacked, but what he reports is more valuable than gold. It electrifies Japans military

"Have sighted 9 to 11 CV, CVL, 3 BBs, 30 to 40 other ships, 200 miles east Green island, speed 15 knots, course south east."



At last.
Too many ships for a decoy, surely.
Yamaguchi, 40 miles from Ulithi, smiles with relief. His plan remains good.
It is simple. Refuel, then swing past Truk.
Then, as the army counter lands on kavieng.........battle.

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Post #: 1484
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/20/2012 1:02:23 PM   
Smoky Stoker


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天皇陛下萬歲 !

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Post #: 1485
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/20/2012 1:03:18 PM   
Smoky Stoker


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(= banzai!)

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Post #: 1486
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/22/2012 7:51:24 AM   
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27th of November, 1943

Once again the ships boats scurry from the fleet to the flagship, cueing up at the gangway, bobbing in the chop of Ulithi anchorage.
None linger long, and Zuihos returns in short order.
The orders are nearly half an inch thick, filled with steaming orders, formation orders, emergency orders, and interestingly, confirmation of the new battle doctrine.

Takeji and Hidaka pour over their orders. Zuiho will provide naval search, and full CAP. She will be part of "the big boys" task force, Akagi, Shokaku, her sister, taiho.
They will trail Ryuho by 80 miles, the trip wire , that hopefully (and quite brutally) absorb the enivitable strikes that must come..
Takeji reads the orders , and is pleased. Yamaguchi seeks battle.
If the enemy do not come out, then the invasion of kavieng, as doomed as it must be, surely will draw something worth killing.

His confidence is shared by all about him. Nearly 700 aircraft, 15 decks.
How could such power be denied?
It is no exaggeration this.: few worry about the days ahead, more worry on how to actually lure the enemy to actually fight.

Pride cometh, before the fall.

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Post #: 1487
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/22/2012 7:56:58 AM   
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Even as the great fleet gathers again, DD Suzakaze pinches the arse of the allies at kavieng.
She races in, kills3 YMS minesweepers, and more importantly, a mine layer as well. She gets away scott free.

The enemy fleet sits east of green island.
What the hell are they doing?

herbiesan waits for the battle to commence.............or not commence.
Does it matter if it does not?
No. The American public grows weary of this war. And they have so , so far to go.

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Post #: 1488
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/23/2012 1:34:25 AM   
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28/11/43

Pilot officer Graham does yetanother stocktake.

Its grim. No food left. None, at all.
Still stuck at the great log, still unable to cross the railline.

But all is not too bad. Graham has, always had, a great sense of History, and this, he knows, is viewing history
Great armies in retreat.
The retreat from moscow, sans snow, must have looked like this. The trains have ceased, but now the rear guard, the wounded, the starving, the crippled and brocken trickle past in a never ending stream.
Most, he notes, are Thia or burmese troops. If the Japanese look in poor shape, these look pitiful.

he continues to watch them pass, trying to ignore the pain in his gut.
He will wait, he thinks now. The pursuit , and rescue, cannot be far behind.

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Post #: 1489
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/23/2012 1:38:34 AM   
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29/11/43

Hosho shovels the rice into his mouth, grateful for every bite.
Moulmien.
A chance for 15th Army to rest, to recuperate, hidden away in the hundreds of holes already dug.
japan has done a lot wrong in this campain. But not this.
Moulmien bristles with defences long, long prepared.

he finishes his rice.
"Still in the fight you old barsted" he thinks to himself, "we are still in the fight"

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Post #: 1490
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/23/2012 1:42:28 AM   
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CVl Ryujo, part of the main battleship body of combined fleet, is torpedoed less than an hour out of Ulithi.
The damage is severe, putting her out of the war for a long, long time, perhaps forever.
She will reach Ulithi, and a repair ships comforting arms, just.

Yamaguchi can do little except shrug, and keep on going.
The enemy are still there..............

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Post #: 1491
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/23/2012 2:32:38 AM   
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30/11/43

Dawn is breaking , the dark shadows on Zuiho's bridge begin to solidify into men.
The watch is changing, tired men replacing men just a little more tired.
It is hard to sleep with Ryujo's fate so fresh in ones mind.

Takeji takes his morning tea as per usual on the starboard wing, recieving the morning reports from his department heads.
Minobe, eyes bloodshot. a few problems below, a siezed feed pump.yes, first for a while, yes, already working on it.........
Gunnery officer....all correct. As they should be. Their last line of defence...........heavens help them if they should be needed, Zuiho cannot be as lucky as last time surely..........
The medic............only 4 men sick.
And so on, and on
Hidaka, last.
Ultimately, of course, all the others mean nothing, if he cannot do his job, deliver death over the horizon, bat death away coming at them.
"Permission to commence launching sir"
"Approved "
Takeji finishes his tea. Returns Hidaka's salute
Briefly, briefly, eyes meet
(Yes, my flight commander, this I feel, may be the battle you seek. Do you really feel the bravado you show?)
(I will show you my Captain, show you that we can fight)
But there is more than that that passes so briefly between them

This will be no easy battle. Death stalks them over the southern horizon.
"They are coming North Hidaka, last reported 350 miles due east of Kavieng, headed straight at Truk"
"Numbers sir?"
'Lots of carriers................anything that tries to approach seems to die"
Takeji turns away, stares at the dawn. Every one of his bombers is assigned to search. "Get them away Flight Commander, we must know what we face"
'Hiei!"


'Bring her into the wind OOW!, commence flight operations!'


Search.
This is Zuihos mission. Seek, seek the enemy, track him, guide the strikes in.
The most dangerous of missions.
Find the enemy, and stalk him.
While his fighters stalk you.
All twelve of her Jills will rumble away, dwindling into the grey of the south. No sooner then they have gone, and six of her eagles are brought aloft. They rumble away, joining the growing crowd of the CAP overhead. The remaining twelve will wait below, reserved for whatever attack develops.
By the time the rising sun has brocken clear of the horizon, Zuihos day has long been underway.

The enemy are coming North, hoping , it seems, to catch the destroyers, light cruisers lining up to attack Kavieng in their turn.
At Midday, yamaguchi makes his decision

Combined fleet, 240 miles North west of Truk, turns due south
His heart, every mans heart in his fleet, seeks battle

And now we wait, and see if the enemy does.

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Post #: 1492
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/23/2012 4:50:18 PM   
kaleun

 

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Cue in dramatic music.

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

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Post #: 1493
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/24/2012 7:23:15 AM   
1275psi

 

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Oh yes kaluen, Oh yes, the orchestra I think is about to burst into bethovens 5th!


1/12/43
This, it now is evident, is chess at its most brutal.
The japanese fleet skirts to the east of truk, Ryujo leading the way.
The allied fleet splits into two task forces, one nearer to Green island, the other further east.
They send a destroyer racing north towards truk, the sacrificial pawn.

We ignore it

But the pieces are now in place.
We seek the battle, and to hell with him.
2 CVE, 6 DD race at full speed from palua direction, down the PNG coast, aimed straight at kavieng
A cl, 4 dd do the same from Ulithi

2 CL, a dd, to further confuse the picture, will race towards kavieng from the north west as well.
6 APD race south, loaded with troops for counter invasion of Kavieng, the allies have left but a base force, a small garrison.

And combined fleet is ordered due south, speed 15 knots. They have but one order. Keep going until battle is joined.

Decisive battle.
We place ourselves into the hands of Mars.

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Post #: 1494
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/24/2012 7:27:16 AM   
1275psi

 

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Of sabang, a Japanese battle ship (Ise) misses an allied task force sniffing the area by 40 lousy miles
The heavy cruisers Shorpshire, Sussex, easily avoid the army bombers that attack them.
There is, surprisingly, no sign of the Hermes, that must still be in the Indian ocean. If the allies hang about, 80 betties await the dawn.

But this is a side show.
We wait now.

Decisive battle.

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Post #: 1495
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/24/2012 4:59:24 PM   
Gridley380


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

Oh yes kaluen, Oh yes, the orchestra I think is about to burst into bethovens 5th!


1/12/43
This, it now is evident, is chess at its most brutal.
The japanese fleet skirts to the east of truk, Ryujo leading the way.
The allied fleet splits into two task forces, one nearer to Green island, the other further east.
They send a destroyer racing north towards truk, the sacrificial pawn.

We ignore it

But the pieces are now in place.
We seek the battle, and to hell with him.
2 CVE, 6 DD race at full speed from palua direction, down the PNG coast, aimed straight at kavieng
A cl, 4 dd do the same from Ulithi

2 CL, a dd, to further confuse the picture, will race towards kavieng from the north west as well.
6 APD race south, loaded with troops for counter invasion of Kavieng, the allies have left but a base force, a small garrison.

And combined fleet is ordered due south, speed 15 knots. They have but one order. Keep going until battle is joined.

Decisive battle.
We place ourselves into the hands of Mars.


Sounds like a very historical Japanese plan - lots of little forces racing around, each with their own mission.

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Post #: 1496
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/25/2012 8:00:22 AM   
1275psi

 

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2/12/43

Zuihos day begins at 0200 hours, with her airgroup crews gathering under the red lights, the cramped hanger creaking and groaning from the swell about them. Despite the hours they have worked, this is a new day, another day. Battle may come, it may not. But duty must be done.
The TBDs are attended first.

The chain blocks rattle, and the bombs come up from below, 800 kg eggs, sheening from the oil film that coats them. They are plain, black, almost innocous. No lewd chalk messages for these bombs. They remain all business.
They are manhandled in turn onto the three carts Zuiho has, and these in turn are manhandled under the waiting bombers.

Winches turn, soon they will nestle in place.
The hint of gasoline fumes fills the air, as each precious gallon is pumped into the tanks. The smell will linger as always, despite the great fans beating ceasingly all about them.

Bobing takes 7 minutes, soon each plane.......now tons of silent death, are manhandled to the lift in turn, the bells tingle, and up into the dark they go each in turn.
In less than half an hour, all nine bombers are spotted, crazed shadows in the flight decks subtle hidden lighting.
Crew chiefs climb in, final checks are done, and soon the bellow of engines, the stink of fumes covers the deck.


Our pilots have eaten, weary quiet men. Some have prayed at the small shrine, some have snatched a last smoke.
The bombers will depart soon, the fighters within another hour.
Dawn is still a long way away.


Takeji enters the bridge shortly after the first engine breaks into life.
He takes the forcast. Scattered cloud, 5000 feet. The occasional scattered shower. A stiff southerly breeze, 20 knots.
Good carrier weather.
Mentally, he stocktakes one last time. What have they forgotten?. What will they discover left undone?
But they are ready.
They must be.
'Engine room reports full power available sir"
'"very good"
For the thousandth time, he curses Zuiho bridge, curses his view.
'Flight bridge reports ready to launch sir"
"very good. Revolutions 230!, Port ten. new course 180"
Another day begins for Captain Takeji

Hidaka will fly today.He waits now as the last of his CAP fighters rumbles into the dawn.
12 fighters will remain down, waiting for the dawn.
Around him, Uto, Diogawa, Ogawa.
'Pull up a chair friends. Today might be a good day to be very, very ready"
Another day begins for them.

Action stations is called at 0430, the usual time, the usual routine.
In damage Central, Minobe takes his usual chair, slumps into his usual position, slips into the usual silence
Lurch takes his position, recieves the damage control station reports.
"Ship at state one sir"
'report it"
'Sir"
And then there is nothing to do. Count his china graph pencils, avoid minobes eyes.
And wait
Another day, deep in Zuihos bowels begins.

Hirate reports after repair ready and closed up.
Carefully he selects one of the sweet rolls he stole enroute, wipes the dust of it ( yes, he dropped the bloody thing), begins breakfast.
He sits down carefully, braces against the swell.
Another day.


Okano orders open the main engine drains, swings the main throttle, watches the Charge come down the hatch into the Port engine room. The nod, and the charge disapears below, undoubtably to fiddle with the 2nd condensate pump govenor replaced last night.
But the bells ring again to 230 revs,.yes, charge picked up on that, the second pump is coming on...........
He rejoins them on the steaming platform, bends to Okano's ear
"I expect it might be another busy day, they were spotting the bombers last i saw"
"Action you think chief?"
The Charge sips a cup of tea, (third claw on the job), shakes his head.
"Doubt it. Just another day I would think"


Zuiho greets the dawn.
Our men are in place
But there is one last player, one who is with us every day.
Sometimes gentle, sometimes carprious, sometimes beautiful.
The sea slides past, grey and white capped this dawn.
Always there, always implacable.
Always hungry.

(in reply to Gridley380)
Post #: 1497
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/25/2012 9:44:12 AM   
1275psi

 

Posts: 6568
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
0700
The showers sweeping across the deck of zuiho may be blinding her, but they are not making her deaf.
The airwaves are filling with the reports of battle

Cl Kumo calls in at 0530, engaging enemy destroyer, reports losing her 15 minutes later, but now calls what will be her last call "many carrier bombers attacking, in sinking condition"
She is south east of them, but too far away to be helped

Ahead, 160 miles away, the allies have placed a screen of destroyers, their main fleet still way south, level with green island still.
The enemy still will not come and fight!

But to the west, north of munda, they do
CVE Chuyno, Unyo are battling for their lives.
Battling.
And winning

Two flights of heavy bombers, flying at a mere 4000 feet have bombed, and missed.
Now, a strike from a small carrier near Wewak, is attacking.

battle at a distance
Impersonal battle, battle via radio.
But non the less lethal for that.
The hellcat is good, but tied as escort to TBDs, not so good.
And the Zeros are piloted by the elite..................

Hidaka enters the bridge, dripping wet, cursing
He turns his head to the radio........"who?"
'Strike on Unyo, to our west, a long way to our west"

They listen, the battle crackling, filling the silence of zuiho's bridge

The strike, apparently, is destroyed to the last plane

"good, very good." Hidaka asks the obvious " Are we going to strike?"
"The range is too far"
"Bloody Americans!"

Takeji smiles ""Keep your shirt on Commander. This muck is moving west rapidly. If the enemy do not come north, Yamaguchi will keep going. We have those destroyers to think about. You will get your battle"


Takeji is, as History shows, right.
The battle of kavieng has begun.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1498
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/25/2012 11:15:12 AM   
GreyJoy


Posts: 6094
Joined: 3/18/2011
Status: offline
Amazing stuff!!!!

I've been following this AAR. Never post not to ruin the beauty of it.... but this time i cannot hold myself: this is an amazing story. Love it. love the way you write. Love the tense you give us.

Thanks a lot

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1499
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/26/2012 9:27:29 AM   
1275psi

 

Posts: 6568
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
0900 hours
2/12/43

With rain still beating across her deck, Takeji stands Zuiho down to second degree of readiness.
Opportunity is taken to feed the men.

Charge waits in line
History will tell you of battles, and this second level of readiness, I think we all know.
Nobody, of course, speaks about the more important details.
It has been many, many hours now since action stations was called, and the stand down signals the race.
Charge loses. Now he stands in the line for the heads, desperate to relieve himself.
War is glamourous, glorious at times.
Nearly crapping yourself is not..................


There is no rest for Takeji, Zuiho still manouvres, she is recovering fighters now, and the messages still flow in
"Search leg nine reporting in sir...........at end of search, returning. No surface contacts, one catalina sighted"

So. There it is. the enemy remain, other than those bloody destroyers, out of range. Trying to draw us south into LBA no doubt. I do not think Yamaguchi will be fooled............

'Sir, another message"
'Give it"
"Ryujo reports that she is in clear air, is launching a strike sir"
"target?"
"Not mentioned sir"

Damnation. Are we cursed by the rain gods!

'I wish them luck"
It is all he can do at the moment............

(in reply to GreyJoy)
Post #: 1500
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