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RE: The little ship that could.

 
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RE: The little ship that could. - 4/26/2013 9:09:06 AM   
1275psi

 

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27/5/44

"he will live". Konuii, the Medical officer looks up from his pad, " he has a hard head our Minobe has"
Takeji nods..........hard and thick and stubborn, and from all accounts, lucky this time as well......."I heard he says he fell down the ladder......"
"And I was in washington only last week".Konuii shakes his head " Somebody does not like our Engineer very much, it seems"
"There are a lot who don't, it comes with the job..........."

yes, it comes with the job, it is not the role of the Japanese officer to be liked, yes?.........not our job at all. Ours is to install discipline, to do our duty, to see that the men do theres.... but to have one of your Officers almost killed.........unthinkable.
And disturbing.
Very.

Very disturbing
'Should we put him ashore Medical Officer?'
"Can you do with out him for two day, maybe three?'
'We can manage............"
"Then let me keep him for a couple of days, I am sure engineers are not growing on trees at the moment"

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RE: The little ship that could. - 4/26/2013 9:21:21 AM   
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"Some body has assualted Minobe!"
The news flashes across the stokers mess, instantly igniting a hundred heated arguments and discussions.
Who in the hell would dare assualt a Japanese Officer?, no matter who it was?

"Who do you think it was Lurch?".......and Okano stares closely at the big man........."you have a score or two ney?"
Lurch grins..spreads his hands......"Once you know, it might have been me, not this time though..."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes!, I was on watch you know, fwd Boiler room, trying to catch your bloody throttles remember?"

"Aaah yes!..........how can I forget that sweat sound of the safety valves lifting. You owe me a bottle of beer you know for that!"

Lurch scowls.........he is sure Okano slammed the throttles shut deliberately..........
"But it still doesn't answer the big question, who did it?' Hirate joins them.........
Okano scratches his nose, thinks......."Look, there is not a man amongst us who has not felt the fist, Minobe deals it no different to any other........so when you think of it, thats not a reason to try to kill the man, if it was, there would hardly be a Japanese officer alive........no, we have to look deeper"

he turns to Hirate, to that burn scarred face............
"What was that carrier he was on before the war, the one with the fire?, the one where all those men died?............".
'"Now that might be a reason enough............" Hirate finishes the thought for him.

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Post #: 2132
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/26/2013 9:36:03 AM   
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Penang harbour

The fleet rests, gathering its strength again, the mad dash North has succeeded. Ironically, the tankers, plodding along, have also arrived unmolested.
The E boats have done well, it seems.

Refuelling commences, a day long process.

Small boats shuttle everywhere across the muddy waters, the white uniforms contrasting to the brown. The Flagship is busy, Abe gathering the opinions of his captains, the plans for the weeks ahead solidifying.

Takeji and Hidaka sit in the stern of Zuihos captains ships boat as it skips across the chop. The wind is cool, beating back the turgid humidity, the diesel chugging noisily, drowning out the conversation for the sailors about them.

"Do you think it can work?" Takeji asks
"'It worked at darwin, and there they had a lot more fighters.........."
"Which the LBA dealt with remember..this time we will be doing it on our own"
Hidaka does not answer.
For his captain is right.......

Abe believes only a dozen bombers at Colombo, but over 70 fighters! . a tough nut to crack indeed.
Takeji continues........"if the battleships don't close the field, its going to be bloody.."
"If we get into range undetected.."

The two men lapse into silence......... The plan , as relayed is ..........well it has to be described as bold........strike Colombo....

Why not wait, just by being here Port Blair is secure, why not just wait?

Because, thinks Hidaka, we Japanese must attack, must take the fight to them.......

The boat pauses, bounces in the wake..., CVE Unyo glides past at 100 yards, Cl Yuguri and 5 destroyers leading her out into the sea mist.

"The bait is cast I see"

Yes, yes it is...........but what will it catch?


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Post #: 2133
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/26/2013 9:37:59 AM   
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There are no sniper on sniper battles today, hosho never emerges from his hole.
two many bombers, too many fighter bombers, too many bombers, bullets and shells , all seemingly aimed at his little company.

It is raining bombs today on 55th divisions front.

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Post #: 2134
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/26/2013 9:42:32 AM   
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South Of Ichang, China

The Chinese front snoozes on..........barely a shot has been fired for months now. Today, however, there has been a skirmish, some prisoners taken.

The Chinese soldiers are inspected by the veteran leader of this Japanese company.

There have been changes, he notes

New, brand new American rifles..........new uniforms.........and soldiers fit and healthy, obviously better fed than themselves.

Yes, things are definately changing since the burma road was opened.

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Post #: 2135
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/26/2013 11:59:56 AM   
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I went to "C" school to work on three of the four cryptography machines a sub and fast frigate use. Yes, I did spend lots of time in a nice warm jacket in the radio room as it was too cold without it.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 4/27/2013 1:20:10 AM   
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28/5/44

Georgetown (Penang).

OOW log, Battleship Yamato

0430 hrs.
AXL XXXX maru (convoy decoy force) reports being torpedoed enroute to port blair, 120 miles south east Nicobar island.

0520 hrs
Messaage received CVE Unyo, 200 miles south east of Port Blair. 5 enemy warships , speed 20 knots, 100 miles due north Nicobar island
Admiral informed.

0530 hrs
Enemy task force "may contain a carrier'

0600hrs
"Expediate refuelling, final preperations' signalled to all units

0713hrs
Sabang recon reports 5 ships, destroyers, speed 21 knots, course due east, Nicobar island

0810hrs
24th air flottilla put on full alert

0830 hrs
All ships ordered, raise steam

10000 hours
60 superforts bombing Port Blair

1111 hrs
CVE Unyo reports shadowing aircraft, Sunderland flying boat

1300 hrs
Yamato ready for sea, turning all engines, single cable.

1423 hrs

Patrol craft reported sunk 40 miles West of yamato by submarine

1500 hrs
All units ready to sail

1530 hrs
First force, Zuiho, Shoho, Chitose Chiyoda, 3 battleships depart

1600 hours
Furrther report from CVE Unyo
"Heavy weather over enemy task force, am continuing due north'
1630 Hours
Yamato task force sail, course due north, speed 16 knots. Carrier Taiho, Shokaku, Kaga, Ryuho 2 battleships

1700 hours
Soryu task force (5CV) reports clearing harbour successfully.

1900 hours, roads cleared. speed 21 knots ordered.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 4/27/2013 1:27:13 AM   
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On Zuiho all is ready.
As malaya begins to fade over the horizon, the sun sinking into the ocean, the last plane is brought aloft.
Tomorrow, before dawn, her twelve Jills will launch and seek the enemy prowling, and her fighters will spring aloft.

Tension fills the ready room again.
Death again stands outside the door, waiting. Who will he invite to the dance this time?

Zuiho has carried these men halfway around the world for months now, serving them, succouring them.

Now it is their turn.

They are ready to take it.

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Post #: 2138
RE: The little ship that could. - 4/28/2013 8:44:52 AM   
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29 May 44
"commence launching"

It sounds a glamourous life this, working on the decks of a carrier.
I'd prefer to be a stoker myself.

Today, with the sun yet to rise, Zuihos flight deck is a miserable place indeed..........the Indian ocean swell is being pushed by a good 20 knot breeze, and with every shuddering burying of her bow into the marching swells, icold miserable stinging spray sweeps down the decks.

If the blazing sun does not get you, then the water will.

Only the stiff breeze is good today, everything else is difficult, the swells are just that perfect length to prevent zuiho getting into any sort of rythm, she crashes, she shudders, she bounces, her helmsman curses,and fights the wheel

"Commence launching"
THE order that must be obeyed.

It is beginning to rain, adding to the misery, as the first fighters clear the decks, thankfully with out incident.
The second last Jill does not, she lurches ever so slightly as the roll gathers pace, and the wing tip strikes that crappy little tower witha horriffic bang.

Somehow, with a foot of wing missing, and quite a bit of aluminium aiming into the sky like a third fin, the pilot gets her into the air, around and back down again.

Nobody believes him when he says that "fins should all be added to wing tips, she felt fine". he will not be smiling though when, (if, there is always if) Hidaka returns.
Action pending, a bird broken.
Never a good thing in any Commanders eyes.

The cap will clear the grey muck at 2000 feet, and by 9 am, most of it will have risen to 9000 feet, grey bottomed clouds , thick , where a thousand bombers could easily hide.

And there are bombers today, to the North, CVE Unyos dozen odd zeros will spend a busy day over port blair, kiling four wellingtons for 1 loss.

The Jills will spot no enemy surface ships, but 4 British SS are in the area, the trick will be to dodge them of course..........
The day is an anti climax, it seems.
Tomorrow, due west, then , all going well, Colombo.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 4/28/2013 8:47:17 AM   
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The clouds don't need to hide a thousand bombers, just one will do.

Unseen by Zuihos, or any one elses zeros it would seem, the Sunderland flying boat shadows Zuihos task force.

By dusk, the allies have an accurate picture..........Combined fleet is at sea, right there, right bloody there.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 4/28/2013 8:53:05 AM   
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Evening.
"damnation" Takeji curses. He turns to Hidaka. "No recon flight over Colombo this day, so sorry".
Damnation indeed.

"And the reason?"
"None given, just , Ah crap, sometimes I wonder how we fight this war .........."

Hidaka does not press the point. What good would it do anyway. They will strike, it seems, regardless of what is there, or what is not there..........

"signal from flagship sir....new course, due east, battle speed one"

Ahh.......once, my friends, that meant let us attack the enemy. Not now, now we dodge the bukas again.........

Another long night ahead.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 4/28/2013 8:56:40 AM   
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Game comment time:

Ok, for the first time in months, Cantona truly has a fix on KB. Surely this must prompt him to move?. In the last game we played, he was seriously behind (like now) the timetable, and made a hail mary pass , invading Iwo Jima.

It turned out to be not very pretty

I have a creeping suspicion he is about to try something like that again...

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RE: The little ship that could. - 4/29/2013 8:49:38 AM   
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30 May, 44

Indian ocean, 300 miles due east, Sabang.

Midday

Zuiho lolls in the great swells now, still pushing east, but now at 15 knots. The ocean rolls under her bow, it rises, it falls, creaming neatly to each side.
Ahead of her, Shoho too dances her dance, out on her right flank, distant, the other two CVLs.

Further out, small dots, the destroyers, 4 of them leading, 4 more in a closer protective circle, 2 acting as plane guards behind each column.

Overhead, the CAP circles, out of sight, her Jills scour the oceans, oceans that remain frustratingly empty.

Behind them, the fleet follows, yamato attacked overnight, the attacking SS sunk with out getting a shot away.
But the fleets presence is known............



Abe takes the latest signal. Heroic efforts have occurred at Port Blair, today Colombo has been reconned.

Two days ago, 90 ships, including a carrier, rested there.
Now, a mere 20, and the fields swarm with fighters, and newly arrived bombers................

Have they come out to do battle?, or is this a prudent evacuation

But twenty ships is not enough to risk so much for.........

KB is free, today, at least, of those Bukas. let us take advantage of that at least.

Orders are given. The fleet will slip south West, not too far mind you, not too far..............

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RE: The little ship that could. - 4/29/2013 1:19:21 PM   
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4 CVs and 5 CVLs on the lose. This could end-up well...


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


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Post #: 2144
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/1/2013 10:01:30 AM   
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Hi John, actually its 8 CV and 5 cvl out there


1/6/44

Evening.
The ready room is quiet, the men too exhausted to talk. How glamourous, thinks Diogawa, to be a fighter pilot..........
His arse aches, his back is a pillar of pain, he stinks, sweat stained flying uniform rubbing rashes into all the wrong places.

With a thump, Ogawa lands on the couch beside him, the tattered beast protesting.
"Tea?"
"Too tired for tea"
Ogawa gently closes his eyes."You know, we are doing this for Japan, brave men battling, braving death"
"You think.........gods, 10 hours yesterday, 10 today, 10 tomorrow..........."

Diogawa's comment falls on deaf ears, Ogawa is already asleep

Soon, he joins him.



They sleep, but over the horizon, an impacable enemy is gathering.............

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Post #: 2145
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/1/2013 10:10:11 AM   
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2/6/44

Takeji enters Zuihos bridge, immaculate uniform in place. A calm, calm dawn greets him.
He is refreshed, the second night in a row with out incident. Four straight hours of sleep............wonderful.

"Anything to report Navigator?"
"Nothing Military sir.however I think this might interest you"

This, is well known on every ship. This, we have hardly mentioned, but Zuiho uses every single day.
The barometer.

And today, its not falling, it is plummetting.
Zuiho's Captain strides to the stbd wing, stares at the horizon, sniffs the wind.

And to the North, from horizon to Horizon, it is black. Blacker than hades.

And ever so subtly, the wind stirs, and begins to blow.

"Recall the CAP, recall the search. Get me the XO............."


Combined fleet has slipped the enemy. Deep in the Indian Ocean, she lurks. But to her North, a more ancient enemy is racing down upon them.

Cyclone.

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Post #: 2146
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/1/2013 12:01:15 PM   
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Who will escape the cyclone, Japanese or US ships? An enemy both navies fear.

Mat

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

WitE,UV,AT,ATG,FoF,FPCRS

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Post #: 2147
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/2/2013 10:57:36 AM   
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A note:
I know that the game does not model a cyclone, but for the last two days combined fleet has suffered severe weather, the Adamans has been clouded/stormed in, as has moulmien

KB is slowly moving south, not much is happening (still!!!). Why not a storm?, i am not having much trouble imagining the following..............


3/6/44

Its not a full blown cyclone.........but then again, thats debatable. The "severe tropical depression" has fangs enough.
fangs enough to drive combined fleet steadily south wards in front of it.
There are many here, reading this I suppose, who have been through a cyclone or hurricane, and many who imagine they know what that term means.
Takeji has seen two in his life, one the horror of 37 near Japan, where so many of Japans warships were found wanting.

Now, with the storm at its peak, its apparent that many lessons have not been learnt.
The wind is steady, nearly 80 plus knots, strong enough to blow destroyers of course, to lean them over.
Cruisers heel, and roll. Even the giants bury water over the mabn deck, spilling it in waterfalls, only to bury bows again.
The wind, astern, is strong enough to strip the tops of the monstorous seas, to fling them in a white maelstrom of spray , horizontal water blasting against the ships.
Grey skies, white seas, howling winds..........

The winds play games with zuiho, they race about her stern, they catch under her fan tail flight deck, they haul her arse around. The seas roar beneath her, her bow buries, rises, skids down the next swell, she rolls, a madness of movement, but above all the wind, the wind, the wind...........


Below decks.............bedlam.
Ships are dry ....right? designed to keep out the seas, to keep the water outside?. thats the whole idea, isn't it?
Its a mockery of an idea now. Rivers run down the passageways, it flows in streams in the hanger deck, dirty water, full of a million once hidden items.
It sloshes across the floor of the bridge, piles up around the binnacle, spashes aft, roars back, gurgles, and grabs at the angles.
No mess deck is dry, but here the water mixes with the vomit...............

Zuiho struggles on all day, a nightmare of hanging on, of hanging on, and on, and on.
All day her decks will fill with the sounds of crashing furniture, cursing men. The war, today, can go to hell.
Abe wanted to remain poised to strike at Colombo, Mother nature is having her say in that.............

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RE: The little ship that could. - 5/2/2013 11:02:18 AM   
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Its raining at moulmien too.
Belting down, sheeting down. On both sides of the river, 100's of thousands of men seek shelter, curse the wind, the rain, the mud.
Misery shared

Greg butler wastes a day............not a Japanese soldier shows himself............by lunch time, even he gives up in disgust.
The river between the two armies swells, grows, widens.
Two Mighty armies rest at Moulmien. Nature laughs at them, and does her own thing.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 5/2/2013 11:05:30 AM   
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Zuiho battles her storm.

Elswhere, the rest of the war...............

10 Dauntless dive bombers die near Ambon, some heavy bombers hit Dili.
And , again, thats about it.

Zuiho battles her storm. Allied radio warns that this is the quiet before they launch theirs.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 5/2/2013 11:16:39 AM   
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Minobe is about.

Now he stands on the bridge, clinging to the navigators table, pale and grey.

Takeji flashes a smile. THIS weather bothers him not at all. But he deeply worries about his ship...........

Zuiho rolls, an agonising falling over to port, the bow swinging to starboard, the ship totally, momentarily out of control as the Coxswain fights her every inch of the way.
Seas hiss, hiss loudly enough to drown out the wind, the rain...........
Involutrily several men hiss too, swift intakes of breath, and a dozen pairs of arms strain to hold bodies upright, a dozen pairs of legs brace

"She'll do 60 before we are in trouble men" Minobe's voice cuts through solid and confident, "Thank the gods we are not Ryuho ney?"

Yes, thinks Takeji, yes, thank the gods we are not on that adomination of a ship......
'Are we going to ballast Engines?"
Minobe shakes his head.........."No, not yet.......... tankers due tomorrow, we will manage"
The Grey man manages a smile........".I think we are ballasting naturally, truk its wet below............"

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RE: The little ship that could. - 5/3/2013 9:35:06 AM   
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4/6/44

The storm has passed, the rain has stopped, but the wind still blows at nearly forty knots. The swells, huge, high, with great valleys march southward still, still pushing the little ship before it.

It is midday, and a Jill prepares to launch from the heaving deck of zuiho.
Hidaka sits at the controls, the engine idling, making his last preperations for this flight.

He has a simple goal, yet terribly important.
"Find the fleet"

The storm has scattered the mighty Armada, takeji thinks Taiho is south of him, but he cannot dare attempt the radio, break silence.
Even more important, somewhere to the North, should be the tankers.
Should be.

If they are not, then the fleet is in trouble indeed.

It is had for us to imagine his situation in this day, this day of satelites, GPS, instant secure communications.
But there it is. Zuiho steams a wind swept, rolling sea, and beyond her horizon, the world may not exist........

"Do you hear there, we are about to turn across the swell, the ship may roll heavily"

Takeji strides to the stbd bridge wing, stares aft, judging the swells, waiting, waiting. The wind buffets the man, a man totally in his element.
"Hard to starboard!, full astern starboard, full ahead port!"
The great swell is passing up under her stern, lifting it, lifting it, the ship literally begins to surf down the swell.........
The bow buries, and she rolls, rolls............

Even in his cockpit, Hidaka involuteerly grabs the edge of his cockpit, the jill straining against the straps that still hold it down.

Now Zuiho slides sideways down that monstrous swell, beam on to the next giant marching down upon her.
Smoke bellows from her funnel, the foam broils at her stern, the bow turns, turns, begins to bury itself , white water foams, crashes down her flank.........and she is over, and into wind
"Admiships!, half ahead both!, hold her steady 'swain!"

Hidaka brings the Jill to full throttle...the straps vanish, the bow finishes falling, begins to rise.
Brakes off, the bomber rises, 40 knots of wind assist, he claws himself into the air, banks, seemingly floating, turns, and climbs away.

Only at 1000 feet does the grip loosen on the stick.....that, he thinks, is not something he wants to repeat.

The Jill flies North, a lone plane across a wind swept wild sea.
No alternatives, no chance of life if he fails to refind Zuiho. A search based almost on a hunch, on a feel.
Flying one moment blind, one moment in stunning sun, then under the murk again.
Navigating every inch of the flight as he has never done

3 men , alone, a million miles from anywhere............


He finds the tankers, 120 miles to the north, circles the rusty hulks under the low scudding clouds, as the morse lamp flashes in the seat behind him.
Yamato too is found, 40 miles ahead of Zuiho.



Hidaka will get down, bursting both tyres on the impact. But he will get down.
For as long as he lives, this mission will be the one that he will remeber with most pride. No combat mission ever challenged him as this did.


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Post #: 2152
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/3/2013 9:36:55 AM   
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50 liberators bomb Boela, coming in three waves

Japans fighter pilots are learning, it seems

They send nine to hell.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 5/4/2013 2:41:03 AM   
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Here is the BBC news:

News opens today with the speech given by the President of the United States.
In it he announced "that the time of rest is finished" and that "the first Major offensive operation (rumoured to be the re capture of timor) has begun" he also alluded, no doubt to assuage critics (and to bring comfort to our struggling Russian Allies), that further Offensives are also about to be launched".
It also appears that he has deliberately set out to taunt the Japanese, wrevealing in the speach "that no less than 5 further divisions were waiting in the wings for further attacks"

The Prime Minister, who has of late strongly urged more offensive action from the Americans, greeted todays speech with pleasure,. In a speech delivered at the new Lancaster factory in Bristol, he re iterated his commitment to the Burma/Thailand/Malaya front, vowing yet again that the Indian Divisions on Port Blair would especially pay for their crimes against the Empire.

Japan too re leased a statement. "that a million swords stood ready to repel whatever comes"

In further news, the destruction of the Russian central Army appears almost certain, as Mainstiens Panzer armies tighten the noose around the trapped russian armies..........

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Post #: 2154
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/4/2013 2:46:42 AM   
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An allied fleet IS coming, aimed it seems squarely at the Western Tip of Timor.

And now, for Herbiesan, for Japan, for his fleet, the greatest test..............patience.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 5/6/2013 11:08:48 AM   
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7th of June, 44

Combined fleet refuels, and holds station.
Another day at sea. All now is peacful, the days again into the routines of launch, search, recover.
Soot blows, bottom blows, steady steaming, turning into the wind, turning out again

A day with out a single sighting.

All quiet.
Waiting.

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Post #: 2156
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/6/2013 11:11:04 AM   
1275psi

 

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8 June 44

'And no word from anywhere else?"
"No sir...........he's now 8 hours overdue"

The squadron Commander sighs. he was Just getting to like the man, wierd name and all. "Alright, post Flt Officer Graham as missing........who knows, he may be lucky again"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2157
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/6/2013 11:24:19 AM   
1275psi

 

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Joined: 4/17/2005
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8th of June 44
120 miles due north Koepang.

Seaman Ban has been on battleship Hyuga all but 10 days. 10 days of terror, wonderment, awe. 10 days to learn his Captain. 10 days to become utterly devoted to him, to this mighty ship.
Captain Ishizaki has that effect on men.
He will lead them to hell, and they will follow...........

Now he enters the bridge, nodding at the men crowded, even to him, a mere lookout. As usual he is smiling, eyes gleaming.

With out preamble he addresses them. "The enemy are landing at Lautern. There is a carrier task force south of Roti. I would dearly love to hit THAT..........but I think it will dodge. "
He Moves to the front of the bridge, where ahead 4 destroyers lead.
Then he turns, and takes Ban in the eye. Loudly the question slices across the bridge " What is the one thing Nelson said no captain can do wrong, young man?"
Astonished, the youngster pauses...........and the answer, buried somewhere, planted at the naval school so long ago, emerges......."To place ourselves alongside the enemy sir!"

The smile bursts into a grin "Well said. We are going to attack friends. Let us make it a good fight yes?"

Let us make it a good fight...............

A good fight. Ishizaki will get more than that.
And Nelson, somewhere is going to greatly approve.........



"Signal Yamashiro, Fuso, all ships. Course due east. Full ahead all!"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2158
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/6/2013 11:57:58 AM   
1275psi

 

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Joined: 4/17/2005
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9th of June

0030 hours, bridge, battleship Hyuga

Ban stands at the rear of the bridge, trying his hardest to keep out of the way. He has but two jobs this night, this day, both burnt into his heart. Officially, he is but a messenger boy. But his real mission is deeper, far motre vital. An hour ago, as the ship closed for Action, his captain has taken him aside

The smile is gone, but the eyes still shine, intent, intent like iron in them.
"Your job boy is simple. We go to fight, and in all likely hood, die. Your job, your mission............is to live. To live, you hear, to live, so that men one day may hear how we died........."

To live. Hard for a Japanese to do, when battle calls. But he will try.

He will try.

And the greatest Journey Ban should ever experience, begins.................

At 0200, a submarine takes a shot, but the three battle wagons, line ahead, steam on unmolested.
A hundred eyes stare into the dark, Timors North coast racing down her flank...........

"There is a friendly japanese destroyer also attacking from the North men..........lets make our recongnition good "

They steam on, the bridge silent, decks gently vibrating. The guns twitch..........
Lautern is somewhere ahead.

Bans mind , incredibly, has wandered.......... but the world suddenly comes crashing back.
A dozen sets of glasses are aiming to Port...........is there something out there?, what has he missed.?
A shiver of excitement passes through him..............the great guns too, are swinging to port........

Ishizakis voice is barely above normal..........."have they seen us?"
"'Timor is masking us sir...........no, I don't think so....not yet"

There is a little pride.........."and this is called crossing the T"...........Ishizaki lowers his glasses, peers at the binnacle, takes a reading, strides to the bridge wing

Behind , 500 yards astern, all of the great guns are pointing due North.

The moon shines 3/4. The sea glimmers. Water hisses past. 3000 odd men barely dare to breathe.

The Allies, 3CL, 5 DD steam oblivious at 5000 yards, clear upon the moonlit waters. In the dark shadow of Timor, the great shells lie nestled

"All guns, open fire"
So flat, so mundane, so plainly spoke.

To Ban, its as if the world explodes.........a great flashing, the men in front of him abruptly silohetted- the abrupt dark, the thunderous crash, the great jolt...............and the acrid stink of cordite.

And again, and again..........his ears hurt, eyes bulge......the noise is too stupefying, too overwhelming to let fear intrude.
he wants to see..........but senses too inexperienced cannot tell his addled brain anything.

But the Captains voice can........"Shift target right!, let the destroyers finish her!"
And now the bridge seems a chaos of noise and confusion.........orders and reports streaming out or in, and above it all, the BOOM, BOOM, BOOM of the great doom, flashing out.
"secondary batteries engaging destroyer sir!"

"watch for fish men, a bottle of sake for everyone dodged!"

Something strikes Hyuga, ban feels it through his legs...........a shell!, and terror suddenly grips him.

But he cannot die, the Captain has forbid it............

he tries to take in the battle..........and eyes finally see.............there, 10000 yards away...........the enemy ships!, and some are burning.
The ships seem to move so slowly, one a bright, bright glare on the water, but there are other flashes too.

A shell slams Hyuga , somewhere above them..........faintly, screams.
Another, somewhere below, and a searchlight blinks out......

BOOM, BOOM, BOOM.............
"report from our search plane sir!.....many ships!, many ships, including carriers, 20 miles ahead!"

"Starboard 20.........." i am disengaging!".........

There is bigger game ahead.

The guns fall silent. barrells turn to ahead.
Ban notes the clock.....it is only 0220.

Time , in battle, it seems, crawls.

He wipes his brow, tastes the smoke. he lives, and he has not disgraced himself. ban feels inner satisfaction. he has done what so few will ever do, be in a naval battle, a battle that appears won.

Shapes are hauling over the horizon. Starshells burst, revealing lautern, revealing the beach head
Revealing the invasion fleet.
ban is wrong. This is no naval battle won. No. this battle has barely, barely begun

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2159
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/6/2013 12:02:45 PM   
1275psi

 

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Joined: 4/17/2005
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Shattering th sword, a cantona production

To the north of the beachhead, battleships Arizona (so recently mis identified as sunk) and Nevada patrol.
The sound of the guns, 40 miles to the south, are the sounds of Allied tactics gone to hell.

The gate has been poorly guarded . 3 Allied CLs, 2 destroyers lie burning in the waters, The wolf has torn the shepherds throat out, and charged into the pen.
At lautern, the sheep are alone.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2160
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