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RE: The little ship that could.

 
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RE: The little ship that could. - 9/26/2012 9:36:22 AM   
1275psi

 

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Tokyo bay

Battleships Yamato and her sister make "a routine move" across from shipyard piers to new berths closer into the city centre.
The upper works of both ships are covered in the apparent chaos of refit, scaffolding, tarps, cables, even the occasional hole or two.
But a closer examination, if you cared to look, would reveal something certain people would rather you did not.
Smoke wisps from funnels, both ships are under power.
Cables may snake over decks, but in the areas of those great turrets, there is clear air.
Room a plenty, in fact, to swing them at will.

One of them, in fact, is doing that now., its crew checking systems, oblivious to the real reason for this mornings work.
Above them, way a top the bridge, the director too is turning, turning its face towards a single building in tokyo.

65th regiment barracks.
Home of herbiesans personal guard.

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Post #: 1501
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/26/2012 9:40:21 AM   
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Extract from shattering the sword, a cantona production



............if the Imperial fleets zeros still had that certain edge, their Judy dive bombers would give Yamaguchi real pause of concern
Shortly after 1000 hrs, 15 of them make their dives upon destroyer Aulic, the first true carrier strike for nearly a year.
15 bombers, 15 misses.
It is not an auspicious start to this battle................

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Post #: 1502
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/26/2012 9:52:30 AM   
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Imperial naval HQ, Tokyo

Captain Hamamato cannot help himself. The sweat just would not stop. Hardly the sign of a man in tight control of the situation.
I can do this. I must. For Japan. For its people. I must.
herbiesan is late.
But then, since when has he kept to a schedule?. Too careful by half this Buka.
Hamamato glances at his watch. 0930 hrs.
If all goes well, 400 marines "on exercise" should be breaking for "rest" in the park nearby. A park perfectly placed between 65th's barracks and this HQ.
They should not be needed. In 15 mintes time, he intends to be taking herbiesans head with a sword that is far from ceremonial..............

Footsteps
It is............the Admiral? What is he doing here?!!
The Admiral, the man who has selected him to be his bullet, stops close, whispers into his ear
"There is a battle, in the pacific. We hold. If we lose it, herbiesan must die..............."
Hamamato turns his face close to this elderly giant he follows..........'But if we win?"
'Then why bloody the peace ney?. We wait"

More footseps. 'The buka at last, grinning that grin he hates so much. 'Gentlemen!, a word of a clash at last yes! Lets go and see if that cantona fellow has found a stomach for a fight yet!"

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Post #: 1503
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/26/2012 9:57:15 AM   
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1200 hours

'The sky is clearing sir"
Yes, yes it is.
"Bring us back to state one XO."

The sky is clearing
Akagi , Hiryu put on a burst of speed, and commence launching.
48 zeros, 26 Judy. They cannot reach the still retiring enemy fleet, but there are enemies about enough...........

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Post #: 1504
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/26/2012 10:01:36 AM   
GreyJoy


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Damned cowards Yankees! Come out and play!

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Post #: 1505
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/26/2012 10:02:30 AM   
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1226 hrs

"Tone signalling sir!"




"Enemy aircraft approaching!"

And no doubt they will not be the last.........
"Full ahead all! Guns free to fire when able! Launch all fighters"
And so it begins, I think................

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Post #: 1506
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/26/2012 10:03:19 AM   
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(thanks for kind comments grey joy)

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Post #: 1507
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/26/2012 3:42:03 PM   
kaleun

 

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What he said.

_____________________________

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

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Post #: 1508
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/27/2012 9:21:05 AM   
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This first attack will set a pattern

3 army liberators...at 5000 feet.
They are seen from zuiho only distantly, attacking a screening destroyer, ignoring what fighters intercept.
They miss, but send still a deadly message. Come into land range..............

The rest of the day passes busily, but with out real event.
The enemy fleets -for there are now two, linger east of green island, another east of shortlands.
This fleet is closer...........if it comes further north, there is a chance.

At dusk Zuiho recovers her planes, sets state two shortly after deep dark.
Yamaguchi dipatches his battleships ahead of the fleet - still going south, and three destroyers seperately.

By midnight, however, it is raining again..................

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Post #: 1509
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/27/2012 9:30:52 AM   
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3/12/43


0200 hours

It takes but a moment for Takeji to awaken.
Instantly his eyes seek the clock............good, an hour of sleep at least.
Takeji is a captain who understands the value of sleep. He is no superman, this he knows. It is going to be vital to be alert whenever the crises comes......
'Yes Commander?"
His XO, proper as always, hands him the flimsy. 'Sorry to wake you. Surface action, 80 miles to our south east. Mutsu reports sinking a single destroyer"
"And our status?"
The Xo shrugs "Akagi is still taking us south. Hidaka reports he is ready for dawn. Minobe has blown soot, nothing else."
The Captain nods
"A bloody strange battle?"
The Xo agrees "I don't understand what the enemy are doing..........we are here, we are seeking a fight"
Takeji stands, walks to the screen. "its still bloody raining!"

Bloody rain.
Bloody, bloody skulking enemy............

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Post #: 1510
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/27/2012 9:43:13 AM   
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To the west, it is not raining

It is here, a bloody day
Cl katori is sunk by a SS -3 fish, no survivors
Army bombers -liberators, mitchells, harass, straff, bomb the APDs trying for kavieng.
With 2 ships damaged by midday, this becomes an obviously useless task. They turn back, decks running with blood.

The three DDs sent south fail to engage anything, retiring at dawn, they are attacked by a small hell diver strike
All 3 will be damaged, one will sink tomorrow.

The CVEs strike at kavieng, lose half their kates for no hits, dodge liberators at 4000 feet this time and run for dodge
It has been, for japan, a day of nearly..........but no cigar.

By dusk, the western thrust ( for what it was ) has turned north.
The enemy stay almost anchored to the waters near Shortlands, or retiring south west towards Tulgia.

Yamaguchi launches but 1 small strike, it hits a destroyer, but the weather, maddingly, stays terible for the rest of the day.

December 3rd has been a day of frustration.
The fleet enters the next night well south west of Ponope.
Yamaguchi gathers his staff. The wieght of the fleet is on his shoulders. The fate of the war.
It is truly time to decide.

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Post #: 1511
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/28/2012 7:51:30 AM   
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Command decision

Yamaguchi stares for empty minutes at the chart.
How, he wonders for a moment, is his esteemed opponent approaching this moment?

Coldly, cooly, with head over heart?

Or falling to the emotion of the moment?
So many around him are calling for the Bushido way, to turn due west, and race into towards shortlands, into the teeth of the foe.
So many.
Cantona
Yamaguchi thinks he knows his man now.
All head. No heart. No risk.
A will be followed by B, followed by C.
He will not risk 1 on 1 battle..............

Two enemy fleets. The main of shortlands. the other, the CVE's south towards Tulgia waters.
Jaws in a trap
But would they snap shut?

Two fleets.
A chance to defeat in detail.

He leaves the chart
Faces his men. 'The enemy northern fleet will not move. This I am convinced of.
"We will race further south men, and seek battle to our advantage"

Command decision
So be it.

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Post #: 1512
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/29/2012 4:33:49 PM   
John 3rd


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I know that writing takes time and I, as an AAR writer, can understand but CAN WE PLEASE GET THE NEXT INSTALLMENTS????!!!!



Thank You

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Member: Reluctant Admiral and Perfect War Mod Team.

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


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Post #: 1513
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/30/2012 12:31:06 AM   
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Takeji stands, knuckles white on the coaming, on Zuihos starboard bridge wing.
he grits his teeth, and again silently curses the dusk.

His "good carrier weather" has vanished like a dream. Now, somewhere on the horizon, the sun sets into an angry dark, wind swept sea.
Rain still beats onto his face. Warm, sweet............and poison to the fleet.
It is not steady, there are still patches of clear, they are simply getting fewer, and fewer.
And the wind, now from the west, grows. 30 knots now?
'The weather gods hate us'
Anger wells in him. he needs to hit something, anything.
But I am Japanese , yes?. I will follow orders, and remain stoic no matter.............

No matter what
""Where are our last fighter?" he barks
"Approaching now"
"get them in then, gods help us. Nobody is going to be bombing us in this S#$t"

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Post #: 1514
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/30/2012 12:43:19 AM   
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Doigawa is last to land, flight deck almost vanishing into the dark below him.
We have mentioned them little, our pilots of late. They have been there though, doing what they do, launching, circling, dodging the weather, circling, recovering
Eating, launching again
All are tired now, the strain stark on many faces.
This business of flying..........is no easy matter.
Not by half

Diogawa banks, hand easy on the throttle........rain beats the canopy........damnation, she is so hard to see, even at 2000 feet.
But Zuihos wake is a white arrow leading him home.
1000 feet, wings dancing, the white caps below.............lining up the lights, dropping, touch of throttle, right wing dropping, a bit of stick, ruddre, more rudder, easy, easy.........Slam!, and down, and third wire again.............
He takes a big breath, slams the canopy back -water beats in.
Men race, push his bird forward.

Hidaka greets him., face now just a floating white patch in the deepening dark. But white teeth gleam.
"My bet would be you are hungry Diogawa"
"From what, sitting on my arse all day?.......but yes, I am actually"
He joins him on the sleek wooden deck. "Where the hell are the enemy commander?'
"Running away............but I think we are going to try to catch them?'

Hidaka is right. Even as they cross the deck for the ladders below, Zuiho swings south again, the swells beating on her flank. renewed smoke pours, curls from her stack, the world vibrates about them.
Battle speed one. Full ahead all.
Into the night.

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Post #: 1515
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/30/2012 12:50:26 AM   
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The battleships lead.
Mutsu, Nagato, other towering pagoda masts.
Seeking prey, clearing a path.

They meet an obstacle.

Two small DE's emerge from the rain at 2000 yards.
A year ago, they would have had a chance. Darkness, the rain, this growing sea would have saved them.
They could have hidden.
Japan now has Radar too............ a new weapon, little understood, only fitted 2 months ago. But Mutsu's operator understands it. If he survives this war, this ability to understand electronics will bring him, along with Japan far indeed.
But here, it just needs to guide him into the dark 2000 yards.

Mutsu fires but 4 salvoes, an escorting destroyer 1 fish, a few rounds.
They pound on, wreckage marking one grave, a glowing flame the other Prye
It glows on, long after it fades astern into the night.

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Post #: 1516
Small things, HUGE consequences - 9/30/2012 12:58:16 AM   
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'Fire on port flank sir!, range 5000 yards!"
"The enemy warship?" Hidaka asks Takeji
"Undoubtably" he raises his glasses " Surprising that she is still afloat"
He adjusts the focus "Ahh there she is"

The destroyer, if that was what she was, lies beam to the sea, almost awash. Sinking cannot be far away now.
The waves have extinguished most of the fires, but the fuel tank that burns astern, lights her well enough.
Funnel gone, bridge gone...........no sign of life.

He lowers his glasses. "A poor target for battleships, I would think." Dismisses the dying ship from his mind "are you ready for another round Hidaka?"
"If this soup will let me..............."

He stops, mid setence
That burning pyre still has life
Still has a working gun
Which is now firing............

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Post #: 1517
RE: Small things, HUGE consequences - 9/30/2012 1:01:48 AM   
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Yamaguchi too, observes the little burning wreck
"Dispatch a destroyer...........finish her quickly please"

A lonely place to die

Another look.............in time to see the flash forward, the men manning the gun, the gun pointing straight at Akagi now.

But no time, of course, to see that single shell that strikes Akagi bridge, a mere 2 feet beneath the fleet commanders feet.

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Post #: 1518
RE: Small things, HUGE consequences - 9/30/2012 1:03:27 AM   
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Can't play turns at moment, laptop flat, recharger other end of country

And swans win grand final! (so many beers ................)

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Post #: 1519
RE: Small things, HUGE consequences - 10/1/2012 8:44:21 AM   
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"Flag has been transferred to Taiho sir"

"Good" There is little else a captain can say

But it is far from good.
Yamaguichi seriously injured. Akagis bridge a mess, her comms a shambles.
But worse, far far worse.
4 hours of almost no progress, while that damn flag is transferred...............is Combined fleet staff that damn precious?
Takeji grinds his teeth. Nobody tells you that the greatest emotion of war could be frustration.
"Hidaka!, any word on the strike?
'It is returning sir..............the "
"yes, the bloody weather beats us again!"

For a few moments silence stalks the bridge.
Yamada has the flag now...........what would he do? What a bloody mess................

A mess that right then, about midday, becomes oh so much worse.

CV Taiho erupts into flame and smoke.................two torpedoes striking home....................


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Post #: 1520
RE: Small things, HUGE consequences - 10/1/2012 3:18:32 PM   
kaleun

 

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Oh $h!t!

_____________________________

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

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Post #: 1521
RE: Small things, HUGE consequences - 10/1/2012 4:55:35 PM   
Gridley380


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The Silent Service strikes again!

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Post #: 1522
RE: Small things, HUGE consequences - 10/2/2012 5:12:16 AM   
sourdust

 

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Yikes - ILR CV Taiho was done in by a single torpedo from SS Albacore. I wonder if she'll prove more resilient in this alternate reality.

(And can you imagine the howls of protest from players if a modern CV was sunk by a single torpedo in the game...)

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Post #: 1523
RE: Small things, HUGE consequences - 10/2/2012 9:12:14 AM   
1275psi

 

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hang onto your hat sour dust.(and welcome)...........

AAR open to Cantona again, please acknowledge a very worthy opponent if you see him about!

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Post #: 1524
RE: Small things, HUGE consequences - 10/2/2012 9:23:14 AM   
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Extract from Shattering the SWord, a cantona production


6/12/43

Think about this.
Kaga remains in port, 9, yes 9 months after a single submarine torpedo hit, with yet another 2 months of repairs to go.
CVL Nissin, repairs slowly still, a week to go.
CVE taiyo lies in Singapore roads, her SS hit will keep her there for 60 days yet.
CVL Ryujo crawls home from her hit with 50 % flooding.........

And now Taiho crawls North, (22 system/44 flood/15 engine). How long, if they can get her home, for her to return to the war?
But the black week barely has begun.

1900 hours. CVE Chuyo, north of Ulithi wears three fish..............she will not be repaired , the sea swallows her quickly
1920 hrs.
CV Akagi, Japans mountain.
Two fish take her this black night. Just two.
Dawn will find her with 20 degrees of list, speed at a mere ten knots, her would be assasin escaping.
2 days. 3 flag shifts.
And now something entirely new for japans fleet.

Fear.




(akagi, 33/66/33) and yes, I have nearly every DD escorting this fleet, and every plane flying ASW!

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Post #: 1525
RE: Small things, HUGE consequences - 10/2/2012 9:30:19 AM   
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8/12/43

Fear stalks them.
This is the worse fear of the war. The one you cannot see, the one that will strike with out warning.
Zuihos men are silent. They will not look you in the eye this night.
Look in anothers eye..............and you might reveal your very soul, or see it reflected.

Her doors below deck are all shut , dogged down. Look outs are doubled and tripled.
Destroyers prowl, starshells shoot at the merest hint of a sighting.
And still the barsteds hunt them.
CV Zuikaka is attacked. She dodges.............for once the SS misses. This is the longest night for many of them. Zuiho has been in battle before, even a surface battle.
But this, this is different. They feel it. All of them.
They are being hunted.
Them
Hunted
By hordes of unseen killers.

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Post #: 1526
RE: Small things, HUGE consequences - 10/2/2012 9:44:20 AM   
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8/12/43

Captain Hara pauses.
It has been a long hard climb from the bowels of his crippled carrier, one his burns has turned into a nightmare of pain and anguish.
But he had to see, had to see for himself. Would his ship live?, was she strong enough for home, or just strong enough to reach Truk
Somethings you just must see for yourself............

He reaches, finally, his shattered bridge, the deck , tilting wildly beneath his feet. Steering, he notes, is repaired. But the rest...........

It is, bloody typically, still raining. Grey sky, greyer mood.
But the sea remains calm...........well calm enough.
His crew look to him.
Calmly, trying to show no pain, or the despair he secretly feels, he takes his beloved steel hat, places it firmly upon his feet.
A indication of his fighting spirit.

"The flooding has stopped. We are winning. Now we take her home yes?. Home men. Home or hell"

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Post #: 1527
RE: Small things, HUGE consequences - 10/2/2012 9:52:03 AM   
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120 miles North west ponape island.



Hidaka watches his last Jill rise, turn left, commnce her patrol
Takeji is with him, here on the little flight bridge. he needs to see...........wants to see all the waters about him.

he has not slept now for 48 hours, plans to conserve gone hopelessly out the window.
Fear stalks him too.

'You will be pleased to hear who has flag now Hidaka, apparently he is senior out here now, well the most senior one of us not half smashed up"
'Sir?"
"Captain Kato, your last captain. I wonder if he is pleased with his chance, or cursing such a poisoned chalice"
Hidaka tilts his head. "he will be decisive, what ever he does. Lets hope his luck can spread a bit"
"Yes, let us hope"



'from CV Hiyo, to all units. new course, , come hard right, 090 degrees"

Kato will try to trust to more than luck. He will now try to dodge.

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Post #: 1528
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/3/2012 11:19:31 AM   
1275psi

 

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The great bulk of The Burma Army has successfully withdrawn to the Moulmien line now, The japanese contingent that is.
Hosho and his division are regathering their strength quickly, resting on shortened supply lines.
Given another month, and this Army will be at full strength again

The Thia and burmese troops however have been abandoned to themselves.
Some have struggled into Rangoon, but many are scattered the length of the rail line heading north.
Desperate, hungry men, sustained now only by hate. Hate for the british, hate for the Japanese who have abandoned them.

In isloated units, they sit on the rail line, too stubborn to surrender, too ill led to do anything else.

They are hungry, Pilot officer Graham is feels well beyond that.
It is seven days since he last ate. Seven days of trying to scuttle North..
5 days ago, he has searched a dead soldiers pack, and found half a handful of mouldy rice, rice rancid enough that only a real effort kept it down.

Now, now he is going to risk his life for possibly less..
There are ten soldiers, at least, in the camp.
Ten.
And a small cooking pot.

In the dark of this night, he can see it, swinging above the flames., the soldiers encircled about it, staring into the fire.
Only mad men burn a fire at night, or men desperate, or beyond care............

Graham crawls another five feet closer in the shadows.
With luck, the flames will blind them.

Ten men
Food.
You never know how good something is until it is gone................

Pilot Officer Graham considers his plan for one last time.
Its a good one.
Has to be.
His life depends on it.



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Post #: 1529
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/3/2012 11:27:16 AM   
1275psi

 

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9/12/43

Akagi 34/65/32
Taiho 25/42/15
Ryujo 15/56/0

And so far to go................

The dodge works this night, dawn see's a fleet of sleepless men, but men un attacked.
Tankers join the second task group, and the morning is spent fuelling. Kato splits the fleet, fuelled ships are to be sent racing north, a desperate attempt to shake the hunt.

But Zuikaku, Shokaku, Shoho and Zuiho must wait until tomorrow..
Another day of tension, if you can call it that.
All day the bombers prowl , and it seems like an endless stream of sightings, attacks, shadows in the water.

There is little else they can do but press on.
The sun sets on them tired, strained, angry .
The moon is full.
Dawn is so far away.

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Post #: 1530
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