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RE: The little ship that could.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 1/15/2013 8:06:54 PM   

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Just ghosting in here, mate. I don't believe the Japanese had water wall nozzles in this time. Or am I mistaken?

In any event, carry on!

(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 1891
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/16/2013 8:10:26 AM   


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Hi Ovbert!
Hi Lecivius

Im not sure either, but i have seen a film of DC exercises on Akagi 1940, and they appeared to have 2 hoses......
anyway, on Zuiho, they do in this story...........(opening for a plot development if needed)

Hope enjoying the show.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1892
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/16/2013 8:16:44 AM   


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18/3 44

A wide, brown river, flowing swiftly here, with a reef of rocks jutting dangerously fangs drawn almost mid stream.
A beating, blazing sun

A canoe, stuck fast, upon the rocks
In it, a comatose figure, burnt bright red from the sun, but unmistakably a British figure, for the airmans cap still sits askew upon its head.

Hosho lowers his glasses.
"A britisher. 100 yen for who ever gets him tonight, he may be a useful prisoner"

On the opposite bank, another Officer, Australian lowers his glasses
"A quid to whoever gets him back , but we better be quick about it, if the Japs don't get him tonight, the crocs bloody will"

Pilot officer "long pig" Graham, delerious, remains oblivious.

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 1/16/2013 8:28:11 AM >

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1893
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/16/2013 8:18:51 AM   


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Carrier ASO joins the fleet at Hiroshima.

Another in 2 days, Taiho returns in 9.
So do both Yamato's

Japan is enjoying this pause for breath. She needs it.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1894
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/16/2013 8:26:13 AM   


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Above Ambon

Adjust the goggles.
Breath deep
Flex fingers
Push the stick forward, drop the nose, throttle to the wall, dive, dive , stoop as a hawk onto the dove.
Fuchida leads 47th down

380 knots, controls hard, solid, fighting, the mitchell growing, growing, the finger twitch, the guns hammer, the stink, the cordite, the little flashes, the tracer dancing, left engine exploding, and past, and hauling her back, and back, blood rushing, rushing, vision fading, fading, breathe!, Gasp!, gasp!, breathe!, and rising, and rising.........., ,
yamaguchi, gods, pulling even harder, flashing across his nose, , drifting, drifting, eyes meet, grins, grins, , banking into the bukas again, , damn you yamaguchi!,, he was mine!

The Mitchells, all three, are gone.

47th now have 44 kills
Fuchida remains on 5.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1895
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/18/2013 8:03:05 AM   


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18 march 44


Zuiho remains at anchor, steaming auxiliary still on the after unit.
For the Charge, for her stokers, its been a tough two days, the little bitch is having a stubborn spell. The Feed controller is repaired, but the boiler has fought the pressure test tooth and nail -the mud droum gasket has leaked -twice, once, it seems, from being replaced poorly, the second time.......well, we blame the gasket itself.

Other problems have mushroomed, from two ventilation fans siezing , one in the hanger, another one that supplies air to the ready room, of all places.............and that has to be fixed quick!
Boiler cleans are due, and there is not a day Charge thinks about that last tube inspection.............

Refit cannot come fast enough.
But the prospect of that, it seems, fades daily.

Zuiho -6 system damage, 2 Eng - which is almost as bad as she has ever been..

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1896
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/18/2013 8:31:02 AM   


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The sun has settled, and the river has darkened. The Jungles, which only minutes before was a mass of trees and bushes, has now solidified into one dark shadow. Silence is settling, broken only by the occasional bird, the ripple of the waters

The canoe remains in place.

From the southern bank, a single man slips into the water, and begins to glide silently across the 50 yards towards his quarry
Unseen, for now, three men, towing a rope, using a small plank as flotation, slip into the water from the Northern bank.

The darkness grows, now, it is very difficult to even make out the canoe.............
Silence, pregnant with expectation, and hidden menace, seems to fill the very air of the 100's of men, who hidden, watch the game at play.

One pair of these eyse belongs to Hosho.
He gestures, a crack, and a flare bursts into life over the Aussie side, exposing instantly the three heads 30 feet from the bank
A japanese machine gun barks, its stattaco fire shattering the silence, tracer white, hot, whipping towards the swimmers.
Almost instantly, fromthe Aussie side, 5 machine guns, guns that have waited so patiently for a target to reveal itself, burst into life, seeking the muzzle flash of the japanese gun

Hosho ducks for cover, grabs the radio......."Mortar party!, as previously sighted!, open fire!

The river is being criss crossed with a mad dance of tracer, the waters edges on both sides torn asunder. More machine guns, and a great many rifles now, the noise rising to a cresendo ........the pooft!, POOFT of the mortars joining in......

Almost forgotten, both swimming parties have retreated, seeking shelter from the storm they have launched
Hosho bends to the Radio.......'Get the boat, get the boat!:, artillry shell, 6 pounder perhaps, crashes into the jungle.

Japanes Mortars are being met by Allied artillery
Spitting dirt, Hosho calls again..............."5th regiment artillert officer!, I need support!"

Four minutes since the first guns, and now 8 Aussie Artillery pieces, who have also waited for a target, now seem to have one.........."Enemy Artillery fire, coming from co ordinate XYZ by ABC!"
Barrells lift.

55 Division HQ's slumber has been broken, the rumble of the guns from the river.
The divisional Commander, the prince, stares into the night, gripped by uncertainty..
"Sir!, its 5th regiment calling for Divisional support!, there is word of boats on the river!, a heavy bombardment!"

The attack at last?
It must be!
"get me my sword!, full approval, emergency counter bombardment on 5 regiments river front!. Get me Corps HQ! NO!, WAIT!, on my Approval, commit Corps Artillery, fire everything!"

Long pig Graham, oblivious, will not feel the shock of the shells near by, nor the canoe be shaken free. forgotten by everyone, it seems, in this hail of fire , he will drift on.
And as fate has it, to the allied bank, and rescue

Japan has gathered here, quietly, nearly 70 % of the artillery available to it.Here, on this river bank north of Moulmien.
In the thirty minutes that it takes to sort out the chaos, to bring silence, it will deliver a massive barrage, into basically nothing.
But it will tell the Allies this. Moulmien is not going to be taken.
Dawn, and the recon is not mistaken. Allied troops are marching North.
They cannot cross the river, they will go around it.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1897
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/18/2013 8:32:51 AM   


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CVL Shoho, CVL Mizuho arrive safely at Japan.
90 odd days to repair, each.

But they are home, and that, at least, is a small win.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1898
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/18/2013 10:30:14 AM   


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"Long Pig" Graham will be able to put "I make things happen" on his business cards after the war  ...

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1899
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/18/2013 10:57:22 AM   
Smoky Stoker

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"Long Pig" Graham will be able to put "I make things happen" on his business cards after the war  ...

Except that he won't know. He slept through all this part.


"Leveling large cities has a tendency to alienate the affections of the inhabitants and does not create an atmosphere of international good will after the war." -Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery

(in reply to Borys)
Post #: 1900
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/19/2013 8:42:07 PM   


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21 March

2 quiet days at anchor.

How does a crew fill those days..............I suppose like a mix of a floating factory , Office, community centre
Men keep the lights on. Men do the paper work. The medics (OH Joy) conduct yearly physicals.
Exercises are conducted, repairs slowly progress.
The rust always waits to be tackled

There is a little spare time ( It is popularily said and believed japanese warships work a 8 day week), most try to sleep. A few gather on the quarter deck, dangle a line.
Few catch anything, there is a disconcerting tendency for a fish to be hooked, only for a gigantic swirl of water or bite to take it.
The sharks are thick.

The fleet remains at anchor, burning fuel.

(in reply to Smoky Stoker)
Post #: 1901
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/19/2013 8:52:37 PM   


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Herbiesan yet again looks at the figures.

Damiensan was right, (but dictators must never admit that should we?)..he's a greedy son of a bitch.
"Is this right?, 400000 tons of oil, 1000000 of fuel only?.........what the hell is going on!?"

The lackey trys to hide the pain on his face.........."Its not lack of supply sir, we have sucked every reserve almost dry in the DEI, our tankers are working well. We simply are using too much, trying to build too many things.............."

Herbiesan nods.
"You are dismissed"

In the quiet of the privy (why do so many men think best here?) he considers his options
The Last CV: Ikoma, has arrived. Industry needs to be reduced, that is obvious. He cannot screw down on the people anymore, not if he wants to keep the rumblings to just that:rumblings

What should his piorities be?
These new E class boats? destroyers?, tankers?, what fighters?, does he really need army bombers anymore?,..........
What fighters should be removed from the fighting?

The trouble with war, of course, is you cannot ever have enough of anything..........

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1902
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/20/2013 3:21:35 PM   
John 3rd

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ORIGINAL: 1275psi

CVL Shoho, CVL Mizuho arrive safely at Japan.
90 odd days to repair, each.

But they are home, and that, at least, is a small win.

Well done getting them home!


Member: Treaty, Reluctant Admiral and Between the Storms Mod Team.

Reluctant Admiral Mod:

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1903
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/21/2013 7:54:37 AM   


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22/ march 44

never heard of the place before, and after the war, destined to never hear of it again
But right now, the focus of the war in Burma centres on the rail head town of Chiang Mai, dead in the centre of the line, and furtherest northern point of japans defences.

Except this statement isn't really correct. Chiang Mai is garrisoned with the bulk of the Thai Army.
An Army that grumbles with discontent, that does not really want to fight, that almost hates the Japanese with equal intensity it hates the british.

Who are coming.
Unable to force the river at moulmien, the british are forcing the jungle north of Chiang Mai. How they can supply themselves, japan cannot understand.
They can barely feed themselves, with rail ways at their backs.
But it does not matter
They are coming.

Overhead, in the blue above the great green hell, Japan still has teeth. 41 P40N sweep Rahaeng. Its a bloodbath, the Franks and Tojos that bounce them are good. Very good

20 are shot down, 12 more will be written off.
9 franks lost.

Herbiesan views the situation in Burma.
It is good.
He orders divisions south. The DEI needs them more than this morass.

(in reply to Lecivius)
Post #: 1904
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/21/2013 8:01:25 AM   


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"The boiler squeeze is successful sir, we will be lighting it off within 6 hors to set Chemistry"

Charge waits for Minobe's reply. The Cabin, as usual, is dark, the shape on the bunk a mere black lump. The room, quite simply, ranks.
3 PM in the afternoon, and Minobe has not been seen for two days.


'I heard you first time Chief", the voice grumbles "the rest of the work?"
'It progresses sir"

"Ahh yes, it progreses. The war progreses...and death approaches ney?"
Charge cannot answer. What answer can he give?

''With your permission sir, I have a lot of work to do"

Silently, he closes the door.
Disturbed, does not adequately describe how he feels.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1905
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/22/2013 8:46:19 AM   


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23 March 44

"Congratulations, Captain"
Takeji extends his hand with genuine pleasure, and shakes Japans newest captains hand " You deserve Carrier Ikoma, and she deserves you"
Zuihos , until a moment ago's XO, smiles, a smile almost of embarressment. "I feel almost guilty sir, leaving you at a moment like this, I feel..........."
"feel that the old girl will not manage with out you?." Takeji grins. "Don't worry, we will forget you quickly enough. Besides, I think we will see you here at the war in short order."
Silence falls.

Damnation, what a time to lose my executive officer.Sailing in 2 hours time, in what is going to be a bloody risky enough venture as it is...........still, he deserves it. He's earnt it. I just hope the replacement is as good as he was........
"Off with you have a plane to catch, and I have a war to attend to. "

And just lke that, Zuiho loses its silent rock, its XO.
A new one, a CMDR Aoki, may, gods willing, catch them before they sail.
If not..............well, the Navigtor will have to take up the slack..........

A knock on the door
Cheerful, bright, looking sober even............what the hell is it with this man?..
"Ready to obey telegraphs sir..........regret fuel only 70%, and we are still a little low on water. Some defects, nothing of note though."
70%. Enough for a run to soerabaya............
"Expect full power Engines...........we are going to be working you hard, I think."

In the silence of the cabin, Zuiho bustling about him, preparing for sea, a final moment to think of the mission ahead

Fighters to sweep Saumalaki, draw the enmy into pitched battle, draw his fighters north
Battleships and CVE's, Hiyo to trail a coat north in the banda sea.

And this task force, 4 fleet CVs, 3CVls, including themselves, to steam south of Timor, and to strike Darwin port, where some 50 plus landing craft and LSTs/APA's have gathered.

No sign of enemy carriers, or heavy units for that matter.
Just flocks of fighters.................and those Bukas lurking below.
Its going to be bloody.
But isnt every day of fighting now just that?. Bloody, bloody, bloody.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1906
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/22/2013 8:49:35 AM   


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Boela airfield

Operations order

47th sentai, in conjustion with our two sister KI 44 units, shall tomorrow at dawn partake in offensive sweeps against Saumalaki.

Fuchida reads the orders.

Offensive sweep.
Its been too long since they got that order. too long by far

Tomorrow, the hunter.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1907
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/22/2013 8:50:16 AM   


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Enemy troops reported entering Chiang mai, burma.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1908
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/23/2013 9:57:00 AM   


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Zuiho powers through the night.
All four boilers are being forced to the limit, the glow of the furnaces as bright as they haveever been.
Her fans scream, her pumps pound.
Men watch carefully, alert, waiting for whatever may come.

'I will be pushing her hard" has promised Takeji.
It has been no idle promise.
Zuikaku and Shokaku are true greyhounds of the seas, and they are commanded by impatient men. Zuiho simply must do her best...........

Hirate, Okano have the morning watch, An engine room apeice. It is, considering the circumstances, a good watch to have.
You are already on watch for the morning action stations, and coming off for the evening stations.
It maximises sleep.

Hirate hangs arms casually from the main steam guard above him, eyes darting from guage to guage.
Revolutions 296 rung down, and repeated.
And today, 296 obtained, full power.
Zuiho trembles. She shakes, her bow wave creams, smoke billows and streams from her stack.

Few, of course, know where they are going. But going quickly they are............

(in reply to Lecivius)
Post #: 1909
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/23/2013 10:05:14 AM   


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Abe reads the signal
CV Taiho task force will sail Japan dusk tomorrow, and make best speed to you.

4 carriers............and the two big BBs. Ships repairing here at Soerabaya almost ready.
He turns to his intelligence officer."Todays sweeps of saumlaki?, any word?"

'120 fighters have swept the base............ 12 lost, 11 hellcats, 7 spitfires shot down. Last sweep reports no opposition
Will rest one day, and try again'

Good, that is a good start............How long to empty Darwin of fighters? how long can 11th air fleet keep this up?
Can he wait until Taiho arrives? And what of fuel? Gods, always, what of fuel?

But it is a start. And he Abe, will carry this through. If for only one reason. Just to remind that cantona fiend, Japan still can bite!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1910
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/25/2013 8:04:21 AM   


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"Are you kidding me?' Takeji looks askance at Minobe......'This is Soerabaya, how can it be there is no fuel left for us?"
Minobe looks about, at the great gathering of steel in the roads, alongside in the harbour "Some very thirsty ships here sir"
"yes but, this is a joke, isn't it?"
Minobe can merely shrug.'I have heard sir, that we are not alone.........fuel is tight"

Minobe is right. Fuel is tight. Not because of inefficient management, more a case of too efficent practices.
Japan has lost few tankers, and in this last 2 months especially, they have been very busy indeed. Not a base (including Palembang) holds more than 20000 tons of fuel, or oil for that matter.
Its afloat, wending its way towards Japan.

The fleet, apparently, is on a short leash.
Its replenishment tankers are at miri, sucking it dry.
The fleet, the attack on darwin, will have to wait a week, at least.
But Abe is determined for it to go ahead. 11th airfleet is given the order:

Maintain the attack.

There are 55 assualt vessels in darwin, 25 more at Bathurst island. At best, 100 fighters protecting them..

Takeji may wonder at the ridicolous situation of Soerabaya being dry.
It sends Abe almost into a rage.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1911
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/25/2013 8:11:51 AM   


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47th Sentai is attached to 11th airfleet

Fuchida flies as part of 47th, a Tojo's Tiger

He flies his 553rd mission.
He banks, he dives, he turns, he fires, he wheels at the 38's, the sky a madhouse of fighters, dancing this dance of death.
3 of the 38's go down, 47th lose a plane, the pilot saved.

Fuchida will land, and eat, and sleep, this day another that will merge into the string of days that never seem to end, and then he will rise, and tomorrow, expect to do it again.
Tomorrow, sweeps again
Fight here, fight south down there.........
They are ultimately the same
Himself, his plane, the sky........the reaper chasing hard.

War, it seems, fighting without end. Until the reaper finaly catches you...........

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1912
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/26/2013 8:38:18 AM   


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26 March 44
544 missions

Think of that number
Think of the time it has taken to accumulate those missions. Think of the crappy airfields, the dodgy maintenance, the in hospitable sky full of thunderheads, rain, clouds.
Think of the number of encounters with the enemy.

And yet, on this glorious morning, there is still that anticipation, still that thrill as Fuchida climbs up and into the 'office" this tatterd worn home of fading timber, aluminium and glass.
It helps, of course, to know that today he does not fly alone, today they fly in real strength.

Boela airfield, a great dirty strip carved through the jungle. Nearly 100 metres wide , with its scattering of tents at one end, the windsocks, the ugly patches of mud and canvas scattered, the even uglier AA batteries inside those patches.

All along its length, openings into the jungle, paths to the reverments, where carefully camoflaged lairs hide the beasts.
A dirty road surrounds the strip, vehicled by a wierd mixture of trucks and old civilian cars (and even a bus).
This is boela airfield.
Front line fighter field, home of the 24th air flottilla, 47th Sentai, 85th sentai, and today, a sentai of navy N1Ki's.

The stillness of the dawn is being brocken now, as the great beasts stir, fire spits from exhausts, propellers spin, gleaming, clouds of smoke drift through the trees.
Tojo's Tigers will lead today.

Fuchida 's hands move automatically, and his fighter shakes, and shakes, the gout of flame and smoke, the savage bark, and the blade spins, the air beats, the vibration begins, low, sweet, life.

The dragons emerge from their lairs, men leading, guiding them, for on the ground they are such blind clumsy beasts.
Fuchida taps the brakes, taps his rudder, carefully guiding her onto the smoother surface of the strip, a burst of throttle, swinging her hard towards the end of the strip, the sea.

She beats, rhythmatically.......I am ready, I am ready, I am ready...............a green flare rises, "Lets go!"
The surge, the swing, the correction, the tail up, the climb, wheels up!, ocean below, the gentle bank, friends left and right, more joining, the great circling, climbing, climbing, yet more friends, above, below...........

The leaders wings wobble. Follow me!

108 japanese fighters turn south. Target: Saumulaki, home of the corsairs............

20000 feet. Oxygen sweet, dry, air outside, cold, crisp, clear. Sea blue, scattered clouds at 10000, so far below. Visibility to eternity.
They fly on, and Fuchida is again surrounded by friends, and utterly alone.
Th sky bounces them occasionally, the great string of fighters bouncing like a train, he can look left, right, watch the array dance.

"Island in sight"

Out of the mist, it begins to emerge.
Enemy territory. American territory. Once ours, now theirs. Grave for so many.
Grave for so many more to come.

'Enemy fighters.........6 strong, 10000 feet climbing towards us"
On the far flank, 9 Tigers peel away, and dive

The island is directly below now, and the leader leads them in a great circle, seeking the enemy. But the enemy does not come.

The tigers rise again, rejoin, one missing. They circle again, eyes , 100 pairs of eyes seeking, seeking.
"Enemy fighters, above!, 3 oclock!
he see's them, 2 sharks, no mistaking those wings, spitfires...........
2 against 100.
But they attack anyway, diving down upon them.........
the contact is brutally fast, diving through, one dies, one kills..............
The great formation circles.

The Japanese bombers from Ambon arrive, flying straight, flying true. The bombs tumble,the field vanishes in clouds of dust and flame.
And then for home.

Mission 544.

Offensive sweep, 3 hours
Minor enemy contact, guns not fired.
Are we achieving anything?

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1913
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/26/2013 8:45:22 AM   


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It is a good question.

Abe reads todays recon reports

Enemy airfield babo is empty of enemy aircraft. Darwin field has greatly increased numbers.
Large convoy entering darwin harbour
No capital ships sighted at this time.

Abe considers the news. "The enemy is covering this convoy. Unfortunately it has increased the strength of darwin. We must drag that North. What bombers do we have?"

The answer is not pretty.
Enough, but not here in this theatre.

"Then get them. Taiho and 3 new CVs are enroute. I need to delay his offensive until they arrive. This is vital!"

4 new carriers. A doubling of his hitting power. If they arrive in time. If the enemy allows him that time.
if, if, if................
In war, especially, always the if................

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1914
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/26/2013 9:08:41 AM   


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Charge is on the focastle with about a dozen of his men, examining each parcel as it comes aboard. Zuiho is alongside the wharf at this moment, borne there by two weasing creaky old tubs pretending to be tugboats. An even more ancient crane is swinging the stores piled higgly piggly on the wharf over to Zuiho, it cannot reach the flight deck, here is its only place it can swing too.

The sun is beating down, the humidity is killing. The men work stripped to the waist, many still oil stained from the tank repair job Charge has taken them from. Zuiho has been given one hour alongside, and by the gods, he needs these stores...........

A cry of glee erupts from his lips as the wax paper torn aside reveals the shiny shape inside.
"A 150 to 15 reducer!, that'll keep the cooks happy"
The men grin. Keeping the cooks happy is always a priority........

Another load bumps aboard, three more remain on the warf, and hopefully that box down there is a feed pump rotating assembly.

Charge, deep in discovery, does not notice the two men approaching.
It is with a start of surprise that he greats Minobe.
Hands full of paper and machinery, he is on his knees before the two men.
"Ah Charge...." Minobe getsures to the little man beside him "This is our new executive officer, Cmdr Aoki"

Charge looks.
Five feet?. At the most? Slim face, slim moustache, uniform neat, clean, Obviously hasn't seen a day of tropical sun in his life......the impressions flow quickly.
He stands, salutes. "Sir"

Aoki looks at him...............and oh so much is said in that look...........
And confirmed a moment later
'I understand this is essentail for the ship Chief petty officer. Normally I make it a rule never to let your types be seen on the upper decks, especially the focastle. Today, I suppose, I will make an exception. Please ensure you leave no mess, and do no damage to my deck with your........." he looks disdainfully at the reducing valve........"toys.

Truk me......thinks Charge..........what have I got here............

"We are requested to move from the wharf at 1600, I intend to be gone by 1500, that gives you 15 minutes. Make it happen, Chief petty officer"

Charge flashes a look at Minobe...........but Minobe, it seems, has taken the opportunity to wander elsewhere , anywhere .
He is poking about in the bits

"Chief petty officer???"
'"Sir, yes sir, I was thinking how to do that sir"

"Don't think, do ney?"

Cmdr Aoki turns, and , gods, swaggers away

The thought cannot be beaten back, it thunders to consciousness.

Truk me...........small man..............with a very big small mans syndrome.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1915
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/26/2013 9:58:40 PM   
british exil

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From: Lower Saxony Germany
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Wondering if any more "accidents" will take place on the next "cruise".



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


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1916
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/27/2013 6:48:57 AM   


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Joined: 4/17/2005
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Hi British exile!

we wait and see............the timing is not yet right.

27 march 44

Its a quiet day

Enemy ss sink just 2 AK empire wide today, some bombs fall on the Burma front
Little else.

Except, of course, a report of Enemy carrier activity near kavieng, with carrier planes striking at Rabual.
Few in number
Big in menace

The Taiho task group hurries south
Abe nashes his teeth, and waits.

Ominously, it is pointed out to him, that barely a single allied Heavy bomber unit has been seen in the last month.
Gathering, no doubt, for the next hammer blow.

Give me a week, he prays, and I will deliver my own..............

(in reply to Lecivius)
Post #: 1917
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/28/2013 6:08:58 AM   


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Joined: 4/17/2005
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29th March

It shouldn't be like this. After 2 and a half years, surely it should not have been like this.
The japanese have swept across Babar in the middle of the day, timing exactly perfect, catching the Corsairs circling after their sweep of Dilli, the morning patrol descending to refuel

91 Tojos, a dozen N1Ki's, zeros, even a unit of Oscars.
But it is the Tigers who bounce.
They have the energy, the height, surprise, even the sun.
11 corsairs are killed
2 Tojo's lost, 3 oscars, 2 nicks.

47th have now 51 kills, and morale is soaring.............

40 bombers unload, undisturbed, un hindered.
30 good hits.

Its not meant to be like this

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1918
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/28/2013 6:21:35 AM   


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Takeji, Hidaka, Diogawa, Ogawa and Uto are gathered in the ready room. The atmosphere is relaxed, drinks are in hand, the temperature finally falling with the setting sun.

By rights, the Captain must be invited to the wardroom, the ready room. Takeji has, from the start, claimed the ready room as a part of his life. He is, after all these months, welcome.
The conversation has spun freely, girls, gambling, bars, home, .
It turns, as it must, from flying, to the war.

Takeji has been nursing a theory for some time, now he is prepared to share it.
"Gentlemen, I really think this. The Battles of the Arafura sea, for Babar and Saumlaki, have had a bigger impact than we appreciate.

"I think we hurt him, hurt him badly. I think pychologically, he is beaten. Look at the passivity in Burma-he refuses to risk the river, the casualties. he tries to go around
Look here, in the Pacific. He tackles but one attack at a time, so careful to gather all his strength, so careful to get all his ducks in a row..
It allows us to recover, again, and again, he has us down...........and we are allowed to get up again."

Silence greats theis.

Ogawa asks the question
"And you think we can still win then?"
Takeji nods. "I think he is on the edge, the public in America are more hammer blow........"

Hidaka speaks. 'And thus Darwin?"
"yes. and thus Darwin. Imagine if we can sink his ships before they even sail............

Its an inticing thought.

But first, fuel, and those extra carriers......

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1919
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/29/2013 8:16:08 AM   


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Throttle to the wall, engine snarling, Fuchida banks his tiger to the very limit, lungs gasping against the crushing pressure of the turn.
The buka, gull wings wobbling, too turns as hard as it can, there, just there in his upper corner..........
Breathe!, breathe!.......
The turn continues, and continues, eternity stretching, water, sky, island spiralling about them, canvas to the drama being painted here at 20000 feet.
The Corsair abruptly chops its throttle, drops, spins away under his left wing
But another is slicing in from behind, slicing in frightingly fast, rudder, stick, hard over!, barrell rolling out of the way, this buka blasting under and past, helemted face, pale looking up, flashing past, grimacing..

Still inverted, earth above, sky below, ..........snap shot?.!.no!
Roll upright, stick hard over the other way, dust, sun, sky, into the stomach, cutting the corner, going vertical, the american too has gone into the climb. Too fast!, the barsteds! too fast!
Fingers flash, full emergency boost..,.the snarl a howl............climb you bitch!...........
A tojo, flaming flashes past, the corsair is turning again. Again! the range closing, the hunt, the anticipation, face a snarl to match his Tigers, fingers clench, guns hammer, tracer reaching, reaching, striking!, striking, wing folding, got you!

Now , turn away, away!, gods!, that barsted almost got me!, this one spraying wildly from behind, spincter clenchng automatically as the white death streaks past.

Fighters everywhere!

A mess, gods. What a mess.

Sky clear .

He breathes again, body sucking in the sweet oxygen, limbs trembling........

A hot day over babar

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 1920
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