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RE: The little ship that could.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 5/27/2013 9:24:16 AM   


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22nd sentai sweep Changsha again
1 P40N found, 1 P40N shot down

The field, it seems, is empty.
Very well, time to bomb the field, if we can, to dust.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2221
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/27/2013 9:38:05 AM   


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"Alright then," the charge observes "Thats pretty well truked, isn't it?"
Minobe replies with the only word that can be uttered in these circumstances

There is little room in here, inside this casing area on the top of the boiler. Inside here, the airbox area, it is hot, sooty, black, dirty.
Except for one corner, stark white with chemical spray from an obvious small leak in the pre heater.

"We have been lucky...................we must have been with in a bees penis off a catastrophic failure that last full power run"
Minobe grunts........."explains the feed consumption, at least............I have seen enough, lets get out of here"

They emerge out of the boiler, black from head to toe, sweat streaming, washing the soot in channels from brow and face.
"How long charge?"
"12 hours to cut the bend, 12 to weld another, 12 for the pressure test............."

'Hot work"
"Yes, hot work..........( hotter than you will ever tackle, I am sure)

Minobe begins to strip his overalls off, turns his ample arse his way, a perfect excuse to avoid the Charges face
"Put Hirate onto it"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2222
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/27/2013 9:42:43 AM   


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A big allied fleet, not huge, possibly 8 to 12 CVE escorting transports, is swinging around the corner towards dilli -a recovery?, or another follow on invasion?
The fleet in the Indian ocean appears to be a convoy

The british seem to be trying for a thrust east of moulmien, in the centre of the line.

The enemy fleet carriers, have vanished.

Japan is thrusting every spare man it has into manilla............ it is never early enough to prepare for the worse.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2223
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/28/2013 11:06:12 AM   


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28 th june .CV Bunker Hill, Essex, 2 CVL, probe north of Dilli, hunting a japanese BB placed as bait west of Kendari

It costs japan 130 aircraft

But they put three fish into Bunker hill...........

Its still a long way to Tokyo, yes?

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2224
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/28/2013 4:03:34 PM   


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A long long way.


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

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2225
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/29/2013 10:32:36 AM   


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Hirate, utterly exhausted, gets the pin hole leak tube bend cut free, somewhere after midnight.. It has cost him a arm blistered, from leaning on still too warm pipes, and at least 3 Kg in sweat.
He will stagger out of the casing, faint, pale, trashed.

He will be replaced by an equally plucky young man, the HP welder. By dawn, he too is finished

At 7am, Minobe arrivesin damage central............"we sail at 6 pm, we must be ready"
The weld has gone well, the rest goes down hill, and down hill badly.

There is much to be done to return the boiler to action, the furnace has to be closed up again, the fuel lines reconnected. The backfilling has to be completed, the pressure pump connected, the agonising PFFFT< PFFT< PFFFT, of the air pump endured while the pressure rises oh so slowly.

The weld holds
The mud drum door gasket does not.

The boiler has to be emptied, the door opened, the gasket replaced, the door (all 160 KGs of steel that has to be jacked with crow bars into place) flogged up again, and the whole pressure testing process resumed again.

The clock ticks on

Charge has problems elswhere, the cooling pipe to the port main shaft gland seal has failed (gods, why now), some fool has rotted aft feed tank, and why, for truks sake, is there 4 inches of fuel oil in the aft engineroom bilges?

So in the forward Boiler room, Hirate leads the work.

At 1500 hours, the after end of Zuiho is at sailing presure, Hirates where near.
he cross connects steam, runs the feed pump, the boiler is pressurised, and the call will do

the next 20 minutes are a blur, Hirate, legs trembling with the effort of the day, shouts orders in a constant stream. This is going to be one hell of a flash up.

mentally, the checks flow, water level, light of blower, systems, drains, fuel recircing......get it in!
It, refers to the bangs into place
The light off stick glow flickers, smoke streaming from the cotten waste, the sprayer pumper opens the light off port.
The air flap is opened, manipulated in a mad dance, the fuel cock opened.

No light off.

"get the barsted out!"

10 minutes to 6

They must purge the furnace now for 5 minutes.............
Its three minutes before Hirate see's it --------the fuel valve to the furnace is still open.

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 2226
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/29/2013 10:39:44 AM   


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1900 hours

Admiral Abe turns to his chief of staff
"Status of the fleet?, already commander?"

"Three ships reort problems sir.........CV Aso is still loading Zeros, Destroyer Akizuki reports a feed failure, ..........and Zuiho has failed to report yet sir, she is at steam, but no ready to sail report."

Abe nods
Aso is short of her expected. 30 plus planes he will need. "very well, inform all units, revert to 4 hours notice for sea"
He will stay overnight then, consider the morning.
Every hour alongside will help, of that he is sure

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2227
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/29/2013 10:49:49 AM   


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Two men

Surrounded by half a dozen men, pale, shadows in the boiler room.

"present!, growls Minobe

Hirate, eyes glaring, ice, in such sharp contrast to the sweat, soot stained body, hesitates.
"present!, Petty officer!, I will not repeat myself. "

Hirate, internally fighting, fighting Japanes discipline, culture, a thousand years of tradition, bends, grasps the guard rail

The glow of the furnace, that he has done so much to renew this day, reflects upon his face

Minobe wheels about, glaring at his men. "Today, I had to do the unthinkable, tell my captain, that Our ship was not ready to sail, unthinkabel!, intolerable!
I am heavy with shame............"

He balances the 4 by 2 flat plank in his hand, japans weapon of choice in all things discipline.
"Those who are responsible, must pay............"

The beating is long, hard, terrible.

It shatters flesh, but for the stokers on Zuiho, witness to so much this day, it shatters so much more.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2228
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/29/2013 10:55:28 AM   


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55th div continues south, regaining strength with every mile

Long pig graham, he goes north.
Yesterday, a decision. Go on afraid, or go on bold

Bold is easier
Bold allows an ambush of a careless soldier taking a crap off the track...........a body stripped of a whole lot of useful things

And bold allows a man to pay attention to what is going on.
55th division, heading south
33rd, by the dead mans badges, as well.

How many enemy divisions at Moulmien then?

Graham continues north. One man. how much damage can one man do?
A great deal, if he is bold enough.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2229
RE: The little ship that could. - 5/31/2013 12:53:01 PM   


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2nd July

Extract from Shattering the Sword, a Cantona production

For the Japanese forces, yet again, the allies give the much needed pause.

Over 180 japanese planes were lost hitting the Bunker hill, another day, two at the most, and the ever growing more brittle airforces would have been shattered.

But the allies had withdrawn, and the newly arrived squadrons in the Home islands have now arrived, the shattered units with drawn.
The ring around Timor stiffens again.
The fleet too, uses every hour to recover. Tankers fill slowly with fuel, planes are overhauled, repaired, replaced. Painfully, repairs continue.

herbiesan moves recon and search units to the North, to the east pacific.
cantona needs another way, even Japan can see that.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2230
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/2/2013 2:36:13 AM   


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3 July 1944

he joined in 39
graduated in late 41
Assigned to a 36 plane squadron of Kates, Lt kashima has spent the last 2 years doing just one thing, and one thing only.
Training for the art of the torpedo attack.

How many times has he swooped in low and hard and fast, how many times has he cried torpedo away!, how many times has he banked away, watched his practice fish streak towards the target bouys.
Too many times
Far too many

he dreams torpedo runs, he thinks torpedo runs, he sweats torpedo runs

Lt kashima is not just good at this, he and his fellows are as good as they can possibly be.

It has been a long, long two years, frustration building with the months..when, they have all felt and asked, when would they get their chance?
Maybe, they have consolled themselves, they have been kept in reserve for something special.

Three days ago, they have arrived at Endah, the enemy, they are informed, at Dilli, at maximum range.
Three days ago, they have been told, Dilli must not be approached

"A hornets nest of death"

Three hours ago, a running, wildly excited officer.........'A carrier fleet, west of dilli!.........a combined strike!, all planes will take part!"

Two hours ago............36 strong, flying due east, into clouds and muck and crap like never seen
Fighters above, below, ahead.........oscars, zeros, Tojos', Vals stacked above

An hour ago...........36 kates flying alone, escorts gone..........

30 Minutes ago, and some planes turn back.........if there is a carrier, it is not here.

And now, Lt Kashima presses on, and on.
Too many months. Too many practice runs. Too much shame to return..........just another minute, surely will find the carrier?

27 kates enter clear air.
Dilli, ahead

And the corsairs, the t bolts, the hell cats, swarm upon them...........

His kate is the 7th to go down, Kashima too stunned with rage and disapointment to feel fear before the waters rise to smash him.
His entire flight will follow him.

2 years of training.
2 whole years

what a waste.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2231
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/2/2013 2:44:42 AM   


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3 british divisions enter the area North west of raheang, push out the Japanese regiment.
The centre of the line, the moulmien/raheang road comes under threat.

14 enemy units are reported to the northeast of raheang, and another ten or eleven trecking through the jungle towards this central front.

Japan has withdrawn 3 divisions from the front (20th army), they have gathered at rangoon.
2 divisions east of moulmien now treck towards moulmien
20th army, begin to detrain, and march there as well.

There are three at Moulmien already.
And 55th , 33rd, still coming south, are ordered to stop, wait for 20th army

All going well, just as the allies press on rahaeng, 11 Japanese divisions will be at Moulmien..

japan, incredibly, is planning to attack across the river, take prome, rangoon, and cut of the entire british army.

It could, of course, go the entire other way.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2232
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/2/2013 2:49:34 AM   


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Pilot officer Graham treck north still.

Three japanese soldiers lie dead in the jungles behind him, supply stops he has plundered enroute. Progress has been slow, of course, keeping to the jungle parrallel to the road. But he is not lost, and the jungle hides him.

He is beginning to know this jungle now.
He is even, he thinks wrily, beginning to think it as a friend.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2233
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/2/2013 2:54:04 AM   


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Zuiho remains at anchor.

Like the rest of the fleet, her crew continue to work hard, in the constraints of 4 hours notice for sea. the Singapore shipyards, the great dock especially, remain a hive of activity. CV Hiyo has been rudely removed from her repairs, shoved aside, and now the destroyers, 6 at atime, are taking their turns on the blocks.

Abe is waiting, herbiesan is waiting, patiently, for the next move.
Waiting, using every precious day to try to restore some health into the fleet.

Colombo has 100 plus ships in it again.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2234
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/3/2013 11:39:54 AM   


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4th July 44

The Americans do nothing to celebrate the fourth of July
Today, the war . Well, nothing really happens.

2 am
Singapore harbour

A man lies in his bunk. he is drunk, but not drunk enough. He curses the luck that has bought him to this bucket of a ship, curses the luck that has dogged his career. He could have been the engineer of a Capital ship, should have been.
Bloody idiots, surrounded by bloody idiots.
he gropes for the bottle, it spins away from clutching fingers.
Minobe is drunk. But not drunk enough...........tonight, in his mind, the flames, the screams rise higher than ever.

A man lies in his hammock, staring at the depression in the cocoon above him.
Sleep will not come.
Okano stares at the form of Hirate swinging gently above him.
Hammocks are so willing to form comfortably about you.
Like your burial shroud.............

A man lies in his hammock, staring at the ceiling in the red glow of the mess.
Hirate swings in the hammock, sleep, tonight a million years away.
Murder fills his heart.
Rest, it seems, cannot come, until it is fed.

An old man swings in his hammock......sound asleep.
Tonight, charge sleeps, Zuiho is reported defect free.

Diogawa, Ogawa, Uto, Hidaka do not sleep. cards are being dealt, fortunes won, and lost.
It does not matter, yes?. None expect to spend them.

And takeji paces his bridge, sleep eludes him too.

The war is going bad.
And it troubles him. troubles him, troubles him.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2235
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/5/2013 12:23:35 PM   


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Men, as women know, really are simple creatures

Sex, fun, companionship, more sex.
That keeps them happy.
I think you would agree.
Theres one other thing, of course, and this thing has driven man from the cave to the moon
Power, the pursuit of power.
Political power. Military power.
Mechanical power.
Snarling, 22nd sentai slashes through the skies over central china. You sit in your Frank, 400 plus horsepower at your fingertips, vibrating under your hand, pulling you, powering you through the sky.
Through the stick you can feel it, the air cleaving past , over the wings, holding you up, holding you steady.
But it’s the snarling beast , this great radial, that fills you with confidence, with power, that makes you what you are, fighter pilot, now and forever, Ahmen.
22nd sweep the sky, a different target today, sniffing for the enemy, seeking battle.

Today, young men, we find what we are looking for,

The P38’s glint in the sun, circling lazily , waiting for bombers perhaps.
A good plane this, the 38, designed to fight high, to dive, to blast past its prey, to climb swiftly again
They are not going to do this today.

Low, and slow, forced into a battle of manoeuvre.

Against the Frank, against you, against the 22nd elites, they are going to lose.

The 38 banks hard, trying to get inside you……stick, rudder, smooth, oh so smooth, wings vertical now, g’s climbing, holding you so firm……….and Iwaya cuts inside, behind, tracers spitting, the 38 rolls over, burning.
You keep pulling hard around, another 38……….and BUKA!, its Iwaya again!
Stick hard the other way, rolling over, inverting, diving on the next, you don’t think, you just do.
And a man dies

Its not a battle
It’s a slaughter
22nd snarls in the skies above central china.
And you revel in the power
Power of the engine, , power of your plane
And the power of being able to take another’s life.

(2nd take down 18 P 38, for 3 loss)

Zuiho has rested at 4 hours Notice for sea for over a week now.
At 1600 hrs the word comes
At 2000hrs exactly, Takeji gives his first command
“Slow ahead both”
A quiet start, this, for the next great adventure.

He is not alone. Combined fleet, THE fleet, slips into the dusk.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2236
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/6/2013 12:21:40 PM   
Long pig


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Great writing Herbisan I feel like I am there somehow!
I hope Longpig makes it and will fly again.
I wonder if he will ever get to shoot someone down?

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Post #: 2237
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/7/2013 9:53:41 AM   


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Zuiho heads into the gathering dusk, across the dark brown waters south of singapore.
The sun hangs low, hovering above the dusk mist, beginning its nightly plunge into the horizon. The tropical humidity remains, another hour yet before the evening sea breeze brings relief.

Zuiho, however, is making her own. Stern low, wake boiling behind, bow creaming, she is steadily working towards 25 knots again.
Her decks and companionways swarm with men, leaving harbour stations have fallen out, dusk action stations will soon be called, time between for that last look at land, the last smoke, before descending into the world of grey and steel again.

On her flanks, already becoming hazy in the dying light, the great battlewagons she must escort, and further out, the destroyers, fanning out, the curtain against the Buka's that must be out there somewhere.

Zuiho steams hard. Her decks vibrate with the effort. Already the tension of war is rising. Night will fall, and they will dash for batavia, seek the open sea, avoid the Buka's below, and turn south this time.
Takeji is on the bridge, of course. Silent. Almost still.
It is good to be going again. Good to be free of time to think, and doubt. Now, now there is but one thing. Command.
It is way past time to earn further glory for this little ship.
Way past.
The enemy are coming for Koepang.
So are they.

(in reply to Long pig)
Post #: 2238
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/7/2013 10:35:58 AM   


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0035 hours, 8th of July 44
40 Miles North of Batavia.

Zuiho's labratory lies nestled in the zone between the boiler roms, the Engine rooms, opposite damage control central, aft of the ships office, fwd of the mai switch board.
Its a tiny place, the lab. It consists of a bench, half of which is filled with the permanently mounted chemistry outfit- beakers, glass bottles, mixing dishes, glass rods. Alongside it, the sink. Under the shelf, mysterious bags of stuff with wierd names
There is a fan, and on the aft wall, a cupboard, with overalls, gloves, a mask piece, buckets, and usually, the squeeze pump and all its attachments.
Dip tapes hang from everywhere, swaying and clinking with Zuihos movements
Small indeed!
Usually this is a happy place, for here the small crew live a somewhat independent routine, fuel dips twice a day, chemistry tests twice a day, transfer the fuel, feed as required........and as long as the Charge is happy, they will be happy.
Also, being where it is, its THE gossip central for Zuihos stokers, a happy place for swapping smokes, jokes, stories.
A feature of the place is that every second hidy hole is stuffed with pornography..........

Today, however, it is not a happy place. Today (tonight!) it is a tense place, crowded with sweat stained stokers, faces showing the strain, anxiety written large

half a dozen pairs of eyes are staring at the petrie dish, as the chemicals drip in, one after another. The stirring rod fills the silence ( silence, that is, if you , of course, ignore the background noise of the fans, the blowers, the turbines running so hard)
"Come on you prig!" growls Charge, "Come on!'

Eventually, abruptly, the water in the dish changes color, and the Leading seaman looks at the chart, finger tracing lines, intersecting........

This boilers chloride is more than high...........

The Charge turns to his men.........."Bloody hell, where is that coming from!, Chloride that high......."
'Another blow down chief?"
Grimly, for these reading are bad, very bad, charge nods
'I will let Minobe know" (and what chance of a shut down and bottom blow tonight ney?, what chance of even a decision?, if the old fool is even sober enough....)...."in the meantime, blow the barsted hard"

Charge heads forward.....a futile mission this. Just past midnight, still at high, high revolutions, going somewhere important, chances of slowing down................


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2239
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/8/2013 10:31:37 AM   


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Ogawa shifts uneasily in his seat, the radial burbling, filling his world with its vibrations, its reassuring beat.
His eyes are fixed on the flying officer , above him on the little flying bridge. He waits for the green flag to drop, to send him on his way again.
There is, however, a delay.
A crew man breaks from the flying tower, climbs his wing.
Ogawa bend to hear the words........many are whipped away by wind and prop wash, but he gets the key word
Zuiho steams south across amirror calm sea, a grey cieling at 5000 feet above them. No wind, so she must make her own.
Ogawa cares little of the workings below, but he does know that blowdowns need steady revolutions, and that full power is not a given during them.
So, he will wait.
Waiting is far better than plonking into the sea in front of Zuihos bow.............

Zuiho is running to a full CAP routine, her Jills all out on search. On the horizon, low and dark, barely discernable, the DEI's, sliding down the port flank, steadily, mile after mile after mile.

Action is coming. Soon. he can feel it.
At last.

The green flag falls, and noticably, Zuiho increases speed.
Ogawa thrusts the throttle forward, moves swiftly down and away.

He joins the CAP, joins the swarms of fighters circling above Combined fleet.
Action is coming..........about time yes?

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2240
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/8/2013 10:49:11 AM   


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Extract from"Shattering the sword" a Cantona production.

For nearly two weeks, the Japanese airforce has been absent from Timor, only nuiscance night raids against lautern reminding Allied commanders that Timor was surrounded by a ring of Japanese airfields.

The invasion of Koepang would be the usual high powered affair, 2 marine divisions, masses of support troops.
It begins with a small cruiser force bombarding medan to the north, adding further to the carnage created by the heavy bombers from Darwin, northern Australia

At dawn, under cover of intermittant heavy showers, the marines come ashore, scattering light resistance.
And at dawn, japans airforce returns

The first strike, 32 tojos, , 29 Jills.
35 hellcats rise to meet them, but are considerably hampered by the heavy rain, they do however down 18 of the attacking bombers.
The survivors attack the CV Intrepid, miss, but hit the CVL Langley

The second strike , 46 oscars, 6 val bombers, runs in clear skies, and encounters 30 corsairs, 57 hellcats.
They drive the bombers away, shred the escorts to almost the last man.
Similar results for the third wave of attackers.

By midday, 13000 allied troops are ashore, facing only some 2000
1 CVL damaged, 100 plus enemy aircraft shot down.

It has taken a long, long time, but now, it appears, the allied steamroller is getting to work.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2241
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/8/2013 10:53:16 AM   


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8th July
Central china

Fuchida does not fly today.
But 22nd sentai is involved in savage fighting again over Changsha .
The bombers arrive first, are mauled heavily by the ambushing P51b's, The Tonies arrive, mix in the fur ball, and come off very, very poorly

22 nd clean up the mess, they lose another 3 fighters, destroy 12, lose no pilots to boot
They crack 100 kills
And the best the allies have.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2242
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/8/2013 11:05:27 AM   


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9th of July

0300 hours

Hidake hands the order sheet back to Takeji. He smiles. " Now they are what you call orders allowing one some latitude"
Takeji smiles too, yes, my friend, they are pretty loose no?

"From Abe, to all units"

Combined fleet will sweep into Timor area, operating from due west, engaging and destroying any enemy units encountered. 1st fleet shall strike from Northwest quandrant, and destroy targets of opportunity.
Upon successful completion of carrier operations, all surface units will attack and destroy remaining enemy units

Takeji re reads the order.
No definative objective.
No plans for co ordination.
Just orders to race in, and brawl............

But then, since when has any battle ever not really descended into just that?.

He rises up on the soles of his feet, bounces a little.
Feels zuiho alive around him.
Feels his ship, his sword, alive, ready for his very command.
A brawl
A brawl would suit him just fine.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2243
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/8/2013 11:12:33 AM   


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Herbiesan sweeps his gaze around the table, eyeing his generals, his air marshalls, his naval staff one by one around the table.

"So, is there any sign at all of a second allied thrust?, anywhere?

The table remains silent.
Finally Navy speaks......we only count one fleet CV in Timor area sir,.............

"And you think the others have re deployed?

"They may be lurking south of Timor sir, or in the Arafura sea...........or.

"In short, you have no bloody idea?"

"No sir, we do not"

Herbiesan stares at the map. Damnation. They could be anywhere.
But then -he does know one place some enemy are.

The dictator makes a decision.

"I am ordering every single air group, every ship we have, to Timor. Commit the fleet.
I need a victory gentlemen, give me one!"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2244
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/8/2013 12:21:24 PM   


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Combined fleet, sailing south, to decisive battle (again...LOL)

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2245
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/8/2013 12:44:52 PM   

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nice touch..... surprised no dolphins playing off the bows.

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Post #: 2246
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/9/2013 7:42:05 AM   


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9th of July

Combined fleet continues south, soerabaya slipping by this day down its port flank

Charge finally gets on top of his chemistry problems, but feed is down to 40 percent.
Fresh is also of course down as well. Today Zuiho will pass through several showers, and crewmen will gather fresh water in buckets, scoop it from depressions, catch it in the scuppers. They know the drill. Boilers are thirtsy, men can go on half water rations, the boilers cannot.

It seems impossible to believe, at times, that violence fills the world, that men south of them are dying, that ships are burning, that eagles are spinning down into the insatiable sea.. The sun shines, and yes, the dolphins play about her bows.
But there is a war , and now, as they come south, the radio room is beginning to pick up the chatter that surrounds this legal murder.

The air above Koepang and lautern growls and snarls with combat all day.
The crackling, whining radio focusses in, fades out on the chatter.........they hear men die, they hear men kill....

CV intrepid has been identified, a CVL, the bellue wood.
A CVE, has swallowed two fish.
Apparently, too, has the Nevada

But the troops, overwhelming in numbers, are still coming ashore.

Hidaka can do little but grimly listen this day.
The furnace burns white hot.
And they rush towards it.

(in reply to zuluhour)
Post #: 2247
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/9/2013 8:13:19 AM   


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Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
9th and 10th of July 44

Battleship Yamashiro lies at ease, Waingapo.
She lies at ease, waiting for the dark. About her, her destroyers finalise topping of tanks, the CAP circles. As the sun descends into the sea, men breath easier, they have survived the day.

CV Intrepid operates a mere 240 miles to the east.

Now, as darkness falls, the battleship men prepare to do what day light is making suicidal..steam into the enemy presence, and engage him at close range.
240 miles.
At 26 knots, 9 hours...........

The men of Yamashiro are under no delusions, but they have done this before yes?
They will go in, punch the bukas on the nose, get out..........

Air support, a great deal of it is promised for tomorrow. The airforce is bleeding, but is not white yet.

Darkness falls

Yamashiro's great tower flashes, lights sending thanks to the field here, thanks for the airmens presence. Orders pass to the destroyers, the great anchor clanks aboard, the funnel belches.

"Full ahead all"

They will clear Waingapo, clear the point, turn left, and begin the dash east.

A simple plan.

But the Allies have one of their own

Waingapo holds 22nd flottilla.
Waingapo holds torpedo bombers, fighters, recon.
Waingapo is now a key to timor.

And they intend to kill it.

Ships passing in the night.

Heavy cruiser Boston , 4 destroyers run head long into Yamashiro's battle line 80 miles east of Waingapo, and its hard to say who is more surprised, both lines emerging from squalls simultanously, at a frightingly close 2000 yards, two lines of ships, steaming at high speed, passing in exactly opposite directions.

There are no tactics, no order. Just startled cries, swinging guns, men swarming to action, and a night shattered with simultanous gunfire, tracer, fire and death..

Boston smothers yamashiro, 8 inch shells, 5 inch, bofors........
The battlewagon gives as good as she gets, getting away three telling salvos before the single fish slams her stern, and ruins the party for tonight.

Both ships stagger into the night, ablaze.
A allied DD is split in two by 2 fish, one japanes destroyers bridge is wrecked, a few other hits on each side, and the rain swallows them all.

The battle -this knife fight, is over in 6 minutes...........

Yamashiro will struggle home, the strarboard outer shaft will be ripped from its bearings, destroy the inner shaft, flooding will reach (very prince of wales like) all the way to the fwd Engine rooms.
For the moment though, the battlewagon lives.
For all intent and purposes though, Japan has lost another battleship...............

The landings at lautern, CV Intrepid continue to operate unmolested.......

There is another attempt this night
6 MTB cover themselves with glory, placing 3 torpedoes into 3 AKs north of Koepang, before the destroyers put them down.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2248
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/9/2013 8:18:12 AM   


Posts: 7911
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
10 July

"What do you think will happen Diogawa?"
I don't know Ogawa, but I know this friend. If I was an allied pilot in Timor, I would be getting bloody tired by now. Today, tomorrow, our land based fellows will keep them at it, then we will join the party..........."

Diogawa places his hand on Ogawa's back " But if you think you are going to catch my score..........."

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2249
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/9/2013 8:25:08 AM   


Posts: 7911
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
Pilot officer graham considers the river.
"hello old friend" he whispers.

Tonight, after dark, he will, come heaven or hell, swim across.
Tomorrow, proper English food. A bed, clean clothes.
And chance to do real damage to his Japanese "friends"

Hosho has been very much mistaken. One man can , in war do terrible damage.
Pilot officer Graham carries in his pocket the complete disposition of every japanes unit here at Moulmien, and those south of it.

He may be a pilot for gawds sake, but even he could tell you this, the defences at moulmien are a bloody facade..........

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2250
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