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RE: The little ship that could.

 
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RE: The little ship that could. - 11/28/2012 8:32:33 AM   
obvert


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That was a great set of posts. You put us right there and kept us in it. Thanks for the extra info at the end as well.

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(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1741
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/28/2012 9:23:28 AM   
GreyJoy


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 Thank God Zuiho is still undamaged...but man, it was thrilling and scary!
Losses remain severe but the combined fleet showed those imperialist bastards that she still has nails and fangs to bite back!

Love this AAR!!!!

(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 1742
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/28/2012 3:04:30 PM   
John 3rd


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Well done.

Losses look pretty darned good for 1944!

1 CV and 2 CVL in exchange for a pair of CVL? Not great but not horrible either. Nice work.

Why didn't the Japanese get an afternoon strike off? That must have been...disappointing...

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Post #: 1743
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/29/2012 9:18:59 AM   
1275psi

 

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Are you at a desk, this fine day?
We joke, chained to the desk, chained to our work.

Most of us, have no idea, really.

Action stations. Continous action stations. Means stay at your station(your desck) for as long as it takes.
And for Zuiho, once again, this means a great many hours.
Hours merging into days now.

You are at your desk.
Your station. Are you thirsty?. Are you hungry? Do you need to take a dump?
Can you sleep?. or is sleep going to be so lethal to everyone on the ship, that to do so is an offence punishable by death?

Zuiho is entering day three now. Tonight she will go to relaxed action............one man at a time can go to do the essentials, one man at a time may sleep, at the station.

But they remain chained to their stations, their desks.
But if your life depends on it, you can endure almost anything.

Some, of course, will not sleep.
All night the hangers ring to the sound of repairs, to re arming.
Tonight the fish are coming up, its Zuihos turn to become the strike, shokaku's magazines are empty, as are several others.

But first the fighters
2 will remain damaged. 13 are good.
Our pilots are the lucky ones, they sleep for 3 hours, most of them.
But as dawn threatens the horizon, it is still a small group of haggard men who gather around Hidaka.

"It appears men, that it takes but a single hit to kill a ship like this. lets not allow that to happen ney?'
There is nothing else needed
The engines roar again.
The eagles rise

The enemy will come today.
The most hated ones. The 4 engined bukas

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 11/29/2012 9:28:12 AM >

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Post #: 1744
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/29/2012 9:21:01 AM   
1275psi

 

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A quick note of thanks for the kind comments, they really are encouraging
Hope the suspense worked.

More story tomorrow, exhausted from work here
Roll on the weekend, and some real time to write

Oh one last one to come tonight

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1745
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/29/2012 9:26:25 AM   
1275psi

 

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Northen Burma

Pilot officer Graham wearily, almost angrily climbs from his mozzie

What a cow of a mission. Heavy rain, a navigation error, lost for an hour, and an engine failure.

Bloody miricle he's got down at all.
But things are getting worse..............its the squadron commander.
"Ah, long pig my friend......."
Pilot officer Graham is a large man. He's warned all and sundry a million times.............the next man who mentions that name............

Its not pretty


postings.
Pilot officer Graham is posted to squadron #$% immediately...

Squadrom #$@$^ is flying the elderly vengence bomber..still
squadron #$@#@, commonly called the 'one way trip unit..........."


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1746
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/29/2012 11:09:37 AM   
Borys

 

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Oh no!
Poor Graham, I knew him ...
Reading and enjoying.
Borys

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Post #: 1747
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/29/2012 11:33:02 PM   
british exil


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Will that be the end of Long Pig Graham??

Mat

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Post #: 1748
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/30/2012 5:20:03 AM   
Borys

 

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Will Graham come to a ... GULP ... succulent end?
I am oinksiosly awaiting news of his fate ...
Borys


< Message edited by Borys -- 11/30/2012 7:53:23 AM >

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Post #: 1749
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/30/2012 8:27:29 PM   
1275psi

 

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2/2/44

Takeji guides Zuiho into her new position in the now smaller Mobile fleet
How many of his men , he wonders, have made the connection he has.........Yesterday there were 4 CVL in their task force, sisters all. Now they are one.
And how horribly vulnerable CVLs appear to be.
The fleet crawls north towards Ambon, Japans age old problem-fuel, bites at her heels again. Right now, the destroyers are lining up to suck from the battle wagons, battle wagons periously low on fuel themselves.

If the enemy keep coming, there is going to be little fuel available to use trying to avoid them.
Exhaustion sucks him dry. he needs to rest, must rest. Cannot.
The enemy are still attacking


'Hiyo reports liberators approaching from the south sir!"
'Numbers?!"
3 only sir

Three. A CAP of 60 fighters, including Hidaka and his men. Surely enough?

He is almost right. Two of the beasts will go down, a third however comes right on, and CV Amagi is narrowly missed.

Three against 60
What does it take to kill these buka's?




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Post #: 1750
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/30/2012 8:34:20 PM   
1275psi

 

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What does it take to kill these Bukas!!!

Hidaka's guns hiss empty.
Three passes, three bursts of cannon fire, of machine guns, three passes of smashing, sparkling hits along the beast.and it still keeps flying!
Damnation!
He has, at least, been able to get in........the fire from these bombers has been murderous.
There is something distinctly disconcerting to be fired upon at ranges you cannot fire back at.
Something almost akin to panic, knowing you can hit him, and he won't be hurt, yet a single hit on you can be devastating......

The fleets CAP has flung itself at this attack with almost suicidal desperation, a taril of zeros falling away, burning, spinning, smoking, marking the passage of the battle.
They have chased this second raid right into the heart of the fleet, braving the flak, the enemy guns.
And still the bukas bomb.................

Damnation to hell!!

Hidaka peels away, seeking home, seeking more fuel, more ammunition

Damnation to hell!!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1751
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/30/2012 8:42:23 PM   
1275psi

 

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Zuikaku launches a strike
CVL Independence has been sighted in the Arafura sea, dead in the water
Other than her, and her escorts, the sea is empty
Incredibly, it seems, the enemy retire..........

Thee strike is good, two torpedoes finish the job. and two destroyers escorting her join her on the bottom
CL Concord also takes two hits

But the bukas keep coming, the great Liberators barrelling over the fleet at 8000 feet, the CAP swarming around them

No ships are hurt, but the CAP is sorely pressed indeed.


Zuiho ends today with but 7 servicable fighters, five are heavily damaged.
Her pilots stagger to the ready room, utterly spent.
They are not alone. Admiral Abe considers the battle complete. The enemy have been turned back for now.
He orders the fleet north, seeking fuel, ammunition, and sleep.

Of the three, sleep is the priority.

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Post #: 1752
RE: The little ship that could. - 11/30/2012 9:59:08 PM   
John 3rd


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A CV and two CVL for two CVL. Not good but not horrible either. Will the 3rd CVL make it? Hmmm...


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Post #: 1753
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/2/2012 7:05:00 AM   
1275psi

 

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3/2/44

Two heavy cruisers bombard Hollandia, and damage 80 allied planes

The fleet spends a quiet day action wise, crawling slowly north towards Ambon.
She gains a few aircraft repaired, her fighter pilots gain even more fatigue flying CAP.
Shoho (17 system, 49 flood) and Mizuho(29 system) are dispatched in a seperate force. If the SS do not get them, they should live
Tajeji watches bowless Shoho fade into the evening...........he personally thinks she has a good chance. Travelling backwards surely might confuse any Buka taking aim at her.

At dusk, Zuiho returns to state 2. Her fighter pilots fall out, her Jills take on the ASW patrol mantle in the morning. The battle, it appears, is over. Large numbers of ships have been sighted travelling East through the Horn island gap..
Kaga, 3 CVL have arrived palua.
Combined fleet will be re invigorated there.

The enemy have been checked, time has been bought.
But even a blind man could see this, Victory, a chance of a real victory, has slipped away.

Very well then.
Lets bleed him until Victory for him becomes too expensive to win.
Yes. Japan can do that.
Make them bleed.

(in reply to John 3rd)
Post #: 1754
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/2/2012 11:33:04 AM   
PaxMondo


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Early '44 and you get an even trade?  BRAVO!!!  Until A7M arrive, you are fighting any carrier battle at a real handicap.  Congrats!!!

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Post #: 1755
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/3/2012 8:49:02 AM   
1275psi

 

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4/2/44

3 am
Focastle
Zuiho
Refuelling

The tanker rides low and fat in the water, its crude blunt bow shovelling the black sea away.
Zuiho rides 50, maybe 60 measly feet away, connected by the fat snaking fuelling hose.
Black seas, black night. rain, heavy, heavy rain, whipped into the faces of the men huddled about the fuelling point, on Zuiho's bridge wing, on the tankers oil deck.
60 feet....or 600........in this inky darkness it could almost be anything.
Takeji stands, statue like, on his bridge wing, the water pouring of him.
A steady stream of orders, of steering and revolution changes flow from him.........and his voice holds more than an edge of anger.
It is not going well.........the Tanker is not, damnation to hell, not holding a steady course. And this bloody wind, whipping in on his forward quarter, keeps pushing his bow into her bloody path......

"Port 5 degrees helmsman!", down 2 revolutions!..........
damnation to hell.this is not going well.



In the Port engine room, it is not going well...........
The steady stream of revolution changes , those tiny, inconsequential changes........
'he's chasing his bloody tail" thinks the charge.

The bells ring again
Up two..........
He reaches across to the ahead throttle, and grabs it hard.
The throttle watch keeper looks startled..........
"Just wait a moment.........I see the problem"
Charge bends to his voice pipe......... "Starboard engine, Charge..........if you do not match my revolutions exactly in the next 30 seconds, you will be able to pass pineapples by the time I am finished with you............"
It is not going well down stairs


On the fuelling point, it is not going very well, very well at all.
Hindered by the darkness, deafened by the whipping wind, the pounding rain, the hissing sea, and drowned to boot, communications are breaking down.
Minobe stands behind the fuelling party, trying to shelter the fuelling board -the small board marked with the tank capacities and the valve/pipe layouts.
The rain runs across it, , and what ever marks he tries to make on it are blurring away, running away.........as his temper
The chippee is cursing...mixed in the rain, a small, but potent jet of the black oil is pissing from the coupling.
A steady stream of curses issues from him as he hammers at the spanner, the clanging swallowed by the canalopy of noise about them.
It is not going well.

"Say again 99?"
Lurch places both hands to his head phones.."say again99?
"Thirteen feet 4 inches in 99 sir!'
'Minobe looks up sharply........'ARE YOU SURE!?"
Fear flashes across Lurches face '"repeat level 99 please"
Minobe glowers
"Repeat please!"
With a growl, Minobe advances on Lurch.
The blow he aims should have taken his head of........but for the slick deck of water, of oil.

With a smack, he slams arse first onto the deck.

The men stand still

In a rage, he stands, oil stained.......
'"Give me those TRUKING Head phones!"

It is not going well on Zuiho tonight.

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 1756
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/3/2012 8:55:52 AM   
1275psi

 

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Japanese forces re position.
The fuel position for the fleet begins to ease with the arrival of the tankers.
But for the empire, fuel and oil shortages are beginning to bite again.
Three japanes carriers are completing in the docks, all available within 70 days. After that, japn must make some very hard choices.
But one is obvious.
Tankers.
Build more tankers!





(remain so impressed how as japan I am consistantly facing the problems that japan faced IRL..the modelling in scene one (for this game at least) holds true.
To the developers:this is a masterpiece of a game)

(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 1757
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/3/2012 8:25:27 PM   
Gridley380


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Great battle report!

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Post #: 1758
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/3/2012 9:34:25 PM   
british exil


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Can the Japanese navy hang on long enough till the tankers are built? Will they still hold the DEI to fill up the newly built tankers? Will the tankers have any "customers" that need filling?

So many questions. What will the great leader say and how will he react?


MAt

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Post #: 1759
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/4/2012 8:12:05 AM   
1275psi

 

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5/2/44

Tanks full, Combined fleet increases speed and makes for palua
The four Kongo's peel away, they will remain at Kendari
This battle is finished, but the brutal war continues
For the second time in this war, Zuiho has refuelled from a tanker, and heard of her killing mere hours later

The Bukas remain on the prowl.

Another brutal war also continues. Keeping Zuiho going. And today it begins a particularily dangerous phase.
Big things begin often with very small events.
Hirate, triumphant from fixing the aft diesel, finds the Charge buried under paperwark in damage control central. The little office is a humid stinking hell, his desk a disaster area.
Planned maintenace routines books lie piled up, one atop the other. The refit log, the defect log, the urdef log.
Quick eyes of Hirate's however pick out the only one that matters..........the refit log..........and a new date seems to have been penned into it..............

So the rumours may be true!

But Charge sweeps it away, dragging out a Planned maintenance card.
"Overspeeds Petty officer........1 A boiler blowers........we have a window of a few hours........"

Overspeeds.
Simple really, open the throttle wide on the blower, then the overload nozzle, check she holds at max revs, then hit the overspeed trip...........note the speed she actually does trip at.
Easy.

30 minutes later, in consternation, Hirate approaches Damage central again
"Done PO?"
"She did'nt trip Chief"

A long silence
'Truk"

The books are closed. Charge heads to the boiler room. What wonder has the little lady got for him now?


(in reply to british exil)
Post #: 1760
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/4/2012 8:14:28 AM   
1275psi

 

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'Engineer to the bridge"

Ahh, Minobe............we are going to sprint into Palua tomorrow night, try to avoid any bukas. Any problems downstairs?'
'No my Captain"
"Good"


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Post #: 1761
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/4/2012 8:15:44 AM   
1275psi

 

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intercepted radio message from HQ cantona, to Washington.

............we may have to seriously think about what we are going to do next.................

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Post #: 1762
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/5/2012 9:08:12 AM   
1275psi

 

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6/2/44

In war, lots of things go wrong, or not as planned.
(Sometimes, I think, the winner in war is the one who is the least confused)
Pilot officer "Long pig"Grahams postings don't exactly go as intended
Upon arrival at the field, he is not surprised to find out "vengence bombers old boy?.........retired them months ago, we do have beauforts though.....you can fly them I assume?"

Not quite a mozzie............but not too bad never the less.

Not until of course on his frst mission back over the jungles of Northern Thialand. There Pilot Officer Graham finds himself detached from the rest of the flight, detached, lost, and the sole target for half a dozen sleek KI 61 fighters...........

He's been in the jungle before, but this time, as he floats down towards the green hell, things are a little different.
80 miles east of Moulmien, south of the river.
Not a road in sight

And 6 full enemy divisions between him and home..................

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Post #: 1763
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/5/2012 9:12:38 AM   
1275psi

 

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6/42/44
We step out of the story...............

Oh for heavens sake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


CVL Mizuho................slotted by a ss torpedo just north of Ambon.

An AR, a gazzilion E type escorts are dispatched to another little horror story. I swear, this one (and shoho) I will get home!

............ok, back into it


(High command will leave Zuiho in ignorance of this little incident, the paranoia about SS on Japans carriers is serious enough as it is)

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Post #: 1764
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/5/2012 9:34:19 AM   
1275psi

 

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6/2/44

Just after dawn, the fleet turns due east, some 200 miles due south of Davao
Destination palua. It will be a superficially quiet day, a steady breeze, a small chop, no enemy sightings of any kind.
The hated bukas are still about though, 3 to 4 are known to be near palua. Tonight Abe intends to run in at high speed.........hoping that this might make them just a little less vulnerable.
Below decks, between decks, everywhere, the word of the day is repair.

Two fighters remain broken, one has a cracked main spar, the other requires an engine change, there are no spare engines remaining however..
The firing of the guns, the shock of the near misses has cracked her in several places, especially about the hastily constructed gun bays of last refit. The bright arc of welding dots her in three places today.

Hirate's Aft diesel is a goer again, replaced on the work list of eternal torment by a siezed fire pump.

Its the forced draft blower that is giving Charge kittens.

Blowers are just great fans, about 4 feet deep by 6 feet in diameter, driven by a single row turbine, all nestled in trunking.
They spin at prodigious speeds, 8000 to 11000 rpm.
Much faster, and that fan is going to seperate from the turbine, and the turbine itself is going to run free, and nothing very much will stop either item until they hit the ocean............and God help anyone or thing in their path.

The overspeed trip protects the blower from this.
This one, Charge can tell, is broken.

Here, on the top plates, behind the boiler, temperatures are at 140 degrees f, and the noise is unbelievable, a shrieking howling whine of machinery,
Hells airconditioning..........

"The pilot pin disc must be gone!............" he has to nearly scream over the fans shriek "see............the lever is moving.....the, shaft is going up and down, but the main valve is not getting steam!"
Minobe tries to peer closer, sweat sheening upon his face .
Even down here, the smell of stale whisky passes Charges nostrils.

Charge waits for the engineer to comment ( gods.........he doesn't understand.....surely he can see?.......or is he too bloody pissed again?)
"The Captain says we need full power in 6 hours time.can you ficx it by then?"
NO!!.........its a three day job ....at least!"
Three days!!?
'Yes sir...........!" ( I am walking in quicksand here.......too hard in this noise, this heat, to emphasise what I need him to understand........)., the whole throttle assembly has to come off.........some of these bolts look like moses welded them in himself!"

For another long minute Minobe stares at the valve. Then he straightens. "palua. we fix it at palua"
"But sir.if it overspeeds............"
'Then don't let it charge!, just don't let it!"

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Post #: 1765
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/5/2012 2:44:08 PM   
Smoky Stoker


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I would need an engineer to explain to me whether it is more dangerous to run the forced draft blower in spite of risk, or lose three or four or five knots (?how many?) in submarine waters. Right now I am inclined to damn the risk, and go ahead full speed. Or is the blower not merely "at risk", but certain to self-destruct?

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Post #: 1766
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/6/2012 6:55:49 AM   
1275psi

 

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And there, of course, is the rub of it.
Risk the blower, or lose the boiler (you cannot connect it with one blower at high speeds, the other three will tend to try to bank it, which is NOT good for its circulation), and have speed reduced to 21 knots.

This is, however, war, and as incompetent as he may be at times, Minobe does see here the bigger picture.
Charge cares only for his machinery, the war just gets in the way.
Minobe knows, understands better, that this ship is here to support the war, and tonight, that means full power.

Full power may mean life.

It is a long night for the men down stairs.

The gamble pays off, and the fleet pulls into palua at dawn, un detected, un molested.
It scatters across the lagoon, and rushes to complete its work.
Palua, all are acutely aware, is in enemy heavy bomber range.

But this is the only base in reach with fuel, with torpedoes, and with replacement aircraft.
Another great risk

Zuiho secures her forward boilers at 0600 hours.
They are not going to be here long, everyone knows it.
Three days Charge said.
He gathers a team. he has one day to fix this little problem............

With a scowl, a spit onto the deck, he hefts the biggest sledge hammer on board.
"Ok blower, lets do it"

In 140 degree heat, they begin.

(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 1767
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/6/2012 6:56:32 AM   
1275psi

 

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aaaargh...........no turn in in box!..........how can this be????

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Post #: 1768
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/7/2012 9:10:38 AM   
1275psi

 

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9/2/44

It was just another job, another entry in the defect log, a line of writing in Minobes Engineering Master log, a line in the Captains ships book.

The blower is repaired, its silent now, for Zuiho is cruising on two boilers, heading north from palua.
Just another job



History will never speak of the pain, of the heat, the sweat, the fainting men, the bolts that sheered, the bolts that stubbonly refused to yield, the men who refused to yield as well.

No History will not talk of this battle.



But there will be a footnote.............5 of the six men who work this job have recieved a silent death sentence.
One that will be delayed many a year, but will be carried out in time.

For forced draft blowers are heavily lagged you see, lagging that had to be broken free, by men who have never heard of dust protectors and masks

Lagged with asbestos.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1769
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/7/2012 9:18:28 AM   
1275psi

 

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"Is this wise you think?" hidaka asks
Takeji laughs......'is anything in war wise? Who knows my friend. At least we are free of palua."
"But Kaga remains"
"ah yes...........broken already...........thats what comes from rushing I suppose"

The fleet is steaming north, Zuiho with 4 other CVL, Yamato, Musashi, two heavy cruisers, the usual 9 destroyers. Not a plane flies.
It is, apparently, time for KB to vanish again.

Kaga, is, as Takeji says, broken. Rushed from the repair yards, flung south at full speed, her engineering plant has reacted as one would expect - badly.
She remains at palua, trying her best to sort her problems out.
It won't be easy, palua's AR ship is currently elswhere, trying to save certain other CVLs.

Is this wise?
Only if the enemy get a sniff of her alongside.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1770
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