Like an elephant charging down a slope, Japans forces come at Babar island.
And not unnaturally, the allies try to stop them.
There are two thrusts, simultanous and supporting.
Yamashirio comes on, Royal Soverign will try to stop her
She is old, this Yamashirio, but even an old elephant coming on can be so very hard to stop
This action, 8000 yards, dinosours at close paces, is fought in the utter dark.
15 minutes later, Yamashirio powers on.
Behind her, the night is lit by Royal soverigns burning, 8 telling salvos and a long lance have finished her
The next action is almost in explicable, a puzzlement to all who will write of this second battle of Babar
5 allied DDs are blasted to oblivion, a hail of fire sweeping them away, with barely a shot returned
3 will sink, 2 stagger away, flaming.
The elephant charges on.
Light cruiser Montpelier takes her turn...............the hunter stands firm, and wields her blunderbust
17 hits crash into her, but Yamashirio's hide is so tough..............she will, and can fight another day.
She swats Montpelier aside, hitting her hard
Ammunition gone, 2 destroyers shorn from her, she turns away for home.
A battleship, 3 destroyers sinking behind, 3 cruisers hit, 4 destroyers burning
2 Japanese destroyers lost
The elephant has charged the gate, hit it, and smashed it open.
Heavy cruisers, Suzaya, Mogami, Takao and 4 destroyers begin there run from just north of Dilli
2 allied DDs attempt to intercept, DD Remey takes 6 hits
And again the inexplicable.............
Their orders are simple, penetrate the anchorage, at any cost.
The gate, opened by Yamashirio, is now but weakly guarded
Just before dawn, in heavy rain, this task force penetrates to the beachhead at Babar
Inbound, they sink 2 DE's.
And the carnage begins
They sink 5 APA, 4 LST, 2 AM, drown 1200 men, force the remaining transports to flee
They expend all their ammunition
Mogamai, Suzaya, the destroyers all their fuel
Obeying orders to the last, the cruisers run themselves aground, the crews joining the defenders of babar
Takao will get away, using her very last drops of fuel to make Ambon.
It has been a sharp blow.
The landings have been disrupted, and thousands have died already
And the day has not even begun
11th airfleet has many planes available.
A great many
And today, there will be no co ordination issues.