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RE: The little ship that could.

 
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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/10/2013 8:54:53 AM   
1275psi

 

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11 July
Zuiho is low on water, but not on fuel. her thirsty escorts are, a day is wasted as the destroyers top tanks. There is nothing for it, there will be high speed steaming soon, fuel must be topped.
Today all ships refuel.
Today, also, an allied plane spots the fleet.
So be it.
We are still coming.
Timor remains at least 2 days away yet.

Koepang falls, to the last man.


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2251
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/10/2013 8:58:34 AM   
1275psi

 

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11 July

Signals recieved Zuihos bridge, this long, long day:

From Tanaka, Yamato battle group.

have engaged enemy forces Kepang area.
have destroyed 10 AP/AK vessels, and escorts.
many enemy soldiers in the water.

Am retiring undamaged.


From , Nishirihuma, Chokai heavy cruiser task force

have engaged enemy
8 APA, AP, 2 destroyers sunk, 9 LST sunk

CA Aoba lost to enemy air attack, DD shigure lost to Torpedo
Cruisers Mikuma, Tone, Furataka damaged by carrier borne aircraft
Am retiring



from
25th air flottilla
Regret that enemy heavy bombers have closed Waingapo airfield, Endah airfield
Regret will not be able to assist in current operations............


from, 11th airfleet, sajar island

Search confirms 1 fleet carrier, 2 CVL operating due south Koepang


From Abe
to all units, Combined fleet

Fleet will refuel 13th July, then advance south of Timor island, attacking, as planned, remaining allied forces.

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 6/10/2013 9:13:09 AM >

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Post #: 2252
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/10/2013 9:21:35 AM   
1275psi

 

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July 12th

From , 11th air fleet
To
Combined fleet

Air search today............Main enemy carrier fleet detected, 120 miles due north darwin. 8 carriers reported, 3 battleships. Numerous, repeat numerous task forces detected south babar island


From
Abe
to combined fleet

'All units shall refuel tomorrow from tankers.
"I intend to then continue east, , and engage in battle."

"Air commander Hidaka, requested bridge"

Takeji sees his commander enter his bridge. I know this man so well now. Like a son. A japanese warrior ...........may his kind never fade.
"We are going to attack, we will need every bird my friend"

Hidaka smiles, the salute is rigid. 'At last!'
yes, at last.
It may be our last, but if not here, where?
he's coming, and we will meet him.

.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2253
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/10/2013 9:29:09 AM   
1275psi

 

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A strong arm puls a gasping Graham from the river. "Steady on mate, I have got you"
Exhausted, the tattered pilot raises his head to give his thanks...."Hey, I know you!" Sniper greg Butler exclaims "I nearly shot you once"

"A good.......bloody thing too.........."

The sniper, so fit and clean and healthy, in contrast to this man at his feet, waits patiently for him to gather his breath. "Come on buddy, hot meal, a wash, a medic, a bed, your home now"
'No, not yet!..........A HQ, I need a HQ. .........." he takes his rescuers eye "Do you know how I got through the lines....?"

"A good question, there's millions of the buggars over there"
'No!, that it!, I know exactly whats over there..........and its not nearly as many as you think!"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2254
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/10/2013 9:34:31 AM   
1275psi

 

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(results battles 12/13 July, Timor)

japanese losses,
1 DD
CA Aoba
2 heavy cruisers damaged , 1 badly damaged

Nearly 100 a/c lost, 60 on the ground!

Allied losses
15 APA/AK
3 P/C
7 LST
1 APA
3 AMC
1 DD
40 allied planes

Oh, and we drowned 7000 men, and a bucket load of vehciles.

Yes, his carriers are in the straights. We need to refuel, then we will be one days steam out.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2255
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/10/2013 7:56:03 PM   
zuluhour


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possible "snap shot" of battle area?

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Post #: 2256
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/11/2013 12:34:22 PM   
1275psi

 

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On the far horizon, the lamp flashes.
“Good luck, good hunting, we will wait for you”
Takeji reads the flashing lamp from the retiring tankers.
Thankyou, faithful friends, you are brave beyond words.
He sighs, girds himself, and re enters the bridge.
A dozen eyes turn to him, waiting, as they ever do, for their captain.
“Are we ready gentlemen?”
They nod, one by one. Fellow warriors, fellow Japanese. . But more than that, now, Trusted friends.
Zuihos men
They tell him they are ready, then, of course, they are. There is no doubt.

“Well then, get your tin hats men, I think, that we will soon need them”
They salute, and confident in themselves, their captain, their ship, move from the bridge to their stations through out Zuiho.
Takeji barely has time to settle, and the signal man calls
“Taiho signalling sir…….new course, 100 dgrees, speed 15 knots. Prepare for battle”




The fuelling hoses are stowed
Her tanks are full.
Once again, oh once again, the old man stalks Zuihos passageways, machinery spaces.
Charge’s eye roves, seeking anything, anything, that may effect the battle to come. He knows, knows this. A tangled fire hose, a portable pump with out fuel, a valve jammed from non use or neglet.
For want of a nail………..
As he roves, he talks, shares smokes, pats.
He has done this before, many times now. They expect it now.
But he does it for another reason. He does it for himself. There is comfort in this routine. Comfort in talking to his men, to feel their confidence. Comfort in visiting his machinery, to hear it, feel it beat on, carrying them to whatever the gods decree.
He finishes his rounds in the commanding engineroom, his second home, port engineroom. It is nearly 2 am, dawn action in 2 hours.
He takes out a spanner. That bloody governor needs a twiddle, pointless going to bed……….


Okano too checks his equipment. Smoke masts, respirators, crowbars, extinguishers, the 100 and 1 things in the fwd damage control locker.
Fate decrees, come dawn, he will be hear for dawn action stations. He suspects that this is where he will remain for tomorrow.
He finishes, looks about. Dawn is soon. He sits, pulls out a battered paperback. Tries to read, but the words will not flow.
A garage, a small home, family…………..they are too far away


Hirate turns the small valve, adjusting the gland steam controller. Strides back to the engineroom steaming platform, taps the vacuum guage (even though he knows he really shouldn’t).
His eyes rove around the engineroom, seeking something, anything, to keep his mind occupied.
The bells ring, a revolution increase, zuiho heels slightly………..changing course.
Dawn soon. Come on then, lets get this over with………….

Lurch peers into the furnace, grimaces. Moves to the blower throttle, gives her another 100 rpm.
Battle tomorrow……….good. Ships steam hard in battle,, and steaming hard is something he loves to do.

Minobe sleeps.
An easy thing to do, even before battle, when you truly no longer give a damn


Diogawa, Ogowa, Hidaka sleep too, sprawling about the ready room, faces unshaven, flight suits sweat stained, tattered.
Diogawa snores, a loud, wheezing rattle.
Uto sits opposite them, and wonders.
He wonders where such men come from
He wonders where else such courage, faith in each other comes from.
He wonders how he could be so lucky to meet , and serve with such as these.
And he wonders, how his father could waste men such as these in a senseless war



The fleet steams for a point 120 miles due east of Koepang
100 miles north of Darwin, the main enemy body
In Darwin itself, 180 plus ships reported, in port, or in task forces.
Further east, near babo island, vast numbers of more ships
Lautern, 20 bombers reported, 80 fighters
Darwin, 60 bombers, 40 fighters………
There are obviously more than that.
Tomorrow, every last japanes e plane available will attack. Combined fleet will advance
Time to see if cantona still fears Combined fleet, or not………….

(in reply to zuluhour)
Post #: 2257
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/11/2013 2:29:43 PM   
obvert


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Another one!

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"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/11/2013 7:51:17 PM   
zuluhour


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I'm not shaving until the smoke clears.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/12/2013 4:51:35 AM   
kaleun

 

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I have a bad feeling about this.

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

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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/12/2013 11:17:21 PM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: kaleun

I have a bad feeling about this.

+1

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Pax

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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/13/2013 12:40:15 AM   
BigBadWolf


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quote:

ORIGINAL: kaleun

I have a bad feeling about this.


In times of war, people can get shot for spreading defeatism...

Just saying

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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/13/2013 11:15:40 AM   
1275psi

 

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14 July 44
The battle begins poorly.
CVIkoma is torpedoed just after midnight by the (its seems this way, does it not?) inevitable lurking submerged buka.

Abe detaches her, and the fleet steams hard south east, to 80 miles due east of Roti.
he has chosen the place of battle carefully.

he needs to.

What the enemy has east of him, is simply inconcievable in size and shape.................










0400 hours, flight deck Zuiho

They gather about him, pressed close, like football players gathering encouragement before a match. Hidaka takes them in the eye, each and every one.
"CAP, wehave been assigned exclusively to the CAP........." he grins, and eyes sparkle....."Someone somewhere must think highly enough of us"
He pauses, and eyes harden."I for one swear this...........no bomber will get through"

The men growl.
None will get through...........

All swear it.

This, my friends, has been a long journey. Now, as the sun prepares to break upon the world again, revealing a grey, low, sodden sky, we must remeber this, these men are what Zuiho is about.....everything, everything on this ship must have, always has had, one focus.
Bring them to a battle, bring them to the point where they can inflict death upon the enemy.

18 fighter pilots
12 bomber crews

They scatter across the flight deck, climb into their eagles, the zeros fwd, the bombers aft, loaded with fish, a standby strike for today.
The blue exhaust drifts, the flames crack and bang from the exhaust pipes, bright points of light in the grey dawn.
Hidaka stands in his cockpit, eyes searching the little flight deck.
he see's the man he seeks.....his Captain,.
A salute
A salute returned.
Now, the time for gestures, for theatre is finished. he sits, adjusts his straps, goggles. The engine beat rises, and the fighter rumbles away.

Uto follows, Diogawa follows, Ogawa too.
They all rumble down the deck, bank left, join the growing crowd in the sky.

The CAP grows

It needs to.

The bombers are coming............



< Message edited by 1275psi -- 6/13/2013 11:17:03 AM >

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Post #: 2263
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/13/2013 11:30:16 AM   
1275psi

 

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0500

Takeji fiddles with his tin hat. It is an item he has never gotten used to. He seriously doubts its usefulness, trying to imagine it helping if a 1000 pounder strikes is a pretty useless exercise.............

He has drunk his tea. Zuiho steams at 20 knots, almost in the centre of this vast formation of ships. they are on station, his eagles are away, the guns point skyward............

Incredibly, he thinks, I am like all of my men.........simply waiting for some damn thing to happen.


He does not have to wait long
The phone rings, a seaman leaps to it.
"HIE!, HIE!, Hei!'
The phone bangs back into place, making Takeji wince...........there is much nervous tension today, ney?
"Enemy snooer shot down!, 30 miles to the west sir!"

he nods......and searches the sky. The greyness is clearing, scattered clouds.........the circling zeros small glinting dots scattered at 9000 feet in every direction.

The sea, dark, beautiful, deep..........

"taiho reports enemy raid inbound!, bearing 010 degrees !"

glasses, focus..........ahead, seeking the horizon..........

Action out there?.so hard to tell.

Another report.7 unescorted bombers, apparently................


A soft start.

japan has radar too now, and taiho picks this next raid at 60 miles

"30 plus inbound"

30 plus against 200.............
Takeji tightens the strap on his hat. Only 30. But this is war. Any damn thing can happen.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/14/2013 8:30:39 AM   
obvert


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_____________________________


"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill

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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/14/2013 9:54:31 AM   
1275psi

 

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This is what seperates them, the good from the very good.
Diogawa's zero is banking hard right, hard, hard right, wing tip to sea, the g forces tremendous, and yet he holds the stick softly, calmly, as the world , sky, sea, sun, revolves around them.

The carriers are below, the sky black with flack, a violent backdrop to this deadly dance.
5 Dive bombers are coming in hard at the carriers on his right shoulder, and things are happening fast, very fast.
he swings the stick hard opposite, rolling left, rudder , swinging hard, the bombers passing across and in front.....but there is a gull winged buka bearing down with stunning speed, stick hard into belly, keeeping the roll going, the corsair sliding under and past, the bombers sweeping up into the screen, firing, firing, and pulling hard again as yet another tracer stream streaks his way, and past.

'let none through"

A curse, throttle as full as possible, full emergency boost, swinging in, the corsairs, two of them, weaving between them and the bombers....a zero cuts in beside him, passes, going for the bomber, going in as hard and close , the corsair swings back...thatch weave, the zero disintegrates under the smashing fire...and Diogawa takes his chance, and sends the gull winged buka to hell.

His guns hiss empty, he looks about, the sky, as it always seems to happen, is suddenly empty.

"let none through"

They have not.
This raid, 30 strong, is gone

Breathing hard, he seeks Zuiho, joins circuit, slams the deck.
A dozen willing hands push him forward, a canteen, oh so welcome, is passed to him
Uto, he see's is sitting in his fighter, man feeding his guns with the chains of cannon shells. He raises a finger A kill for the dictator then.

He has a moment to take in the world about him...........another raid is coming in, and all about the carriers are manouvering, the sky dotted with the bright colors of the flak , the emerald sea, the falling cherry blossoms.
Bombs land near the Aso, the Kaga, but none hit.

And then men are pushing them back again, and it is time to be away, to be chief clown in the circus above.

(in reply to obvert)
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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/14/2013 9:58:45 AM   
1275psi

 

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Ogawa is last to land, the deck indistinct in the dusk. Guided more by the gleaming wake of Zuihos passage, than anything, he lands heavily.

It has been a long day.

'Let none through"

They have not.

He climbs out, moves to the small flight tower, where six or seven of his fellows sit , legs crossed, heads down

Diogawa rises, faces him, tears filling his eyes

"Hidaka is gone"

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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/14/2013 6:03:29 PM   
kaleun

 

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

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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/14/2013 10:47:01 PM   
John 3rd


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Could be just shot down and NOT DEAD??!!

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Member: Reluctant Admiral and Perfect War Mod Team.

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


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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/14/2013 11:39:28 PM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: John 3rd

Could be just shot down and NOT DEAD??!!

+1

MIA or KIA?

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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/15/2013 2:31:44 AM   
1275psi

 

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The exploding zero..........




Abe stares at the faint line of light marking the setting sun.
He has lost the Ikoma............7th carrier lost to submarines in this cursed war. Reports fill his hand, at least 6 or 7 more are to his west, chasing him.
But they have reached the point he requires, with little air loss.
Lautern is in range now, easy range for his Kongos.

Which, he is certain now, the enemy expect.
The bulk of the enemy fleet has moved east, his carriers towards lautern
He knows, just knows in his bones what the enemy dispositions will be tomorrow.

The decision, really, is not so hard. Strike, with out the enemy being able to strike back.

"launch point as planned remains. Inform all ships. On execute, new course 160 degrees, battle speed one!"



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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/15/2013 2:47:30 AM   
1275psi

 

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takeji turns towards the figure entering his bridge.........and is momentarily confused, this is not his flight commander, where is Hidaka?.........and then the pain arrives.
He must swallow it, hide it for now. There will be, gods willing, time for mourning later.
CMDR Nikaido............a shadow, a quiet man. Unnoticed almost these months past, yet he has three kills....

he is senior, so he commands.

"Our orders are in, Jills naval strike, in reserve, fighters, CAP, as usual"
"very good sir, we will be ready by 0300, is the target as planned?"
"As planned"

The commander turns to go, hesitates. Turns back. "I cannot fill his shoes totally sir, but I will try"

Takeji cannot answer back, something fills his throat.

(in reply to 1275psi)
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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/15/2013 2:56:47 AM   
1275psi

 

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Extract from "falling cherry blossoms" a japanes fighter pilots war.

His loss shook us to the core.
But it had been a day of shocks.

Even tied to escorting the bombers, the corsairs had proven to be a deadly, deadly beast indeed..
Now, on this day 15th of July, we were to take the fight to their very lair.
Few of us doubted it would be nothing else but be a bloody affair.. But there seemed to be little choice. Timor was gone, the allied menace was reaching the soft underbelly of our empire.
Something had to be done.

So we did, the only thing a japanese could.
We attacked.

(in reply to 1275psi)
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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/15/2013 3:00:48 AM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

The exploding zero..........




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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/15/2013 3:11:19 AM   
1275psi

 

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Extract from "Shattering the Sword" a cantona production.

Abe pulls it off. The allied fleet, as expected, moves towards lautern. His battleships prowl its approaches. A great many of his fighters, bombers await for the chance to attack the japanese fleet, to finish the cripples the night should bring.

Instead, they will spend the day fighting the waves of attacking bombers and sweeping fighters
lautern will be bombed, bombed heavily, 3 LST sunk, a battleship torpedoed.
They will kill nearly 100 aircraft alone in the skies over Timor. But, they will find nothing to attack in return.

From 40 miles North of Derby, Abe strikes.
It is a long, long rnge strike, 150 fighters escorting 57 bomb carrying Jills to Darwin.

Significant CAP rises, most of it too late.

30 zeros fall, 26 Jills as well, but the strike goes in.

As strikes goes, it is not war winning, in sheer numbers, it is probably borderline in value.
In restoring honour, in sending a message, it is a strike incalcuable.

2 destroyers, a dozen AP/APA's are struck, and yet again, darwin harbour fills with the stench of burning, sinking ships, spilling fuel oil.

Combined fleet recover the strike, and turn due west, less a carrier, for sure, but confident, that this battle can be chalked up as a win.


At the end of this battle, as KB retires, Diogawa 7 kills, Ogawa 6, Uto 3, Zuiho 75 in total
A jill lost, and 1 zero (hidaka) lost.


AAR for cantona closed again mate!

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 6/15/2013 3:12:13 AM >

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RE: The little ship that could. - 6/15/2013 4:33:35 AM   
Smoky Stoker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi

The commander turns to go, hesitates. Turns back. "I cannot fill his shoes totally sir, but I will try"

Takeji cannot answer back, something fills his throat.



"Hei!"

An affirmation designed to be forced up by the diaphragm when the throat closes itself, when the mind is stunned and cannot calculate but knows some response is required.

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Post #: 2276
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/16/2013 7:45:21 AM   
1275psi

 

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July 16th

Duty

The tanker men know duty
be at point X, be there at time Y, be there in submarine infested waters serving on floating bombs
Be there, and wait

They have waited, and now Combined fleet draws eagerly from their tanks.
These tankers are all but empty, more are coming down from the north, in two days, the fleet will be ready again.

Abe reads the reports, grimaces. The fog of war..............his pilots claim many sinkings.
But enough?

No
Not the way the allies churn out ships.(and who, may he ask, did not consider THAT fact , when he started this war ney?)

he will have to try again


but there are too many carriers with depleted airgroups to face the monster in the east................
Very well then. detach them to soerabaya, refill them, keep out here, away from the stalking buka's, , and in , what, a weeks time?..........try again.

How to stop the monster?
The un aswerable question.

(in reply to Smoky Stoker)
Post #: 2277
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/16/2013 7:57:23 AM   
1275psi

 

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Diogawa climbs wearily from his rack, wanders unsteadily to the washroom, (zuiho is bouncing about today in the steep Indian ocean swells), faces the stainless steel basin.

Gods, he hates it when Zuiho rolls like this..............
"keep steady, you pig" he growls

he turns the tap, it gurgles, farts, belches, but no water comes.
"TRUK!"........of course, water rations.
Again.

Ogowa joins him, frowns.........."No water yet?"
Diogawa replies with a healthy burst of bile language..........meaning "obviously not you slightly ignorant young man", but not exactly with the same polite tone one would expect from a Japanese officer and fighter pilot.
It is nearly 0600 hors, water , 15 minutes of it , is promised at 0600 exactly, they will have to wait if they want to shave today.

They wait, silently.
There is little to say. Much to think.
If hidaka can be killed..................


Anyone can be

Ogowa breaks the silence. "That training offer.what do you think?, do you..........."
"Think we should take it?"

The water bangs into life, and they begin the morning abalutions.

A good question, A good question indeed. I have seven kills now...........and I have nothing to prove. But can I leave this ship, my friends, now,?, now when they need me even more?


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2278
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/16/2013 8:03:24 AM   
1275psi

 

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July 18th

Combined fleet kills a SS hunting them
She detaches depleted air groups, refuels again, marks time

The allies do not

Bombers over kendari, maccassar, a dozen places. Timor is developing, a cancer in full bloom.

Battleships pound Moulmien, and the allies have finally forced its flank. The Army there begins to retreat. To stand is to be destroyed in detail.

The collapse is coming, swiftly, brutally. Bangkok is a sea of flames, the superforts laying acres waste. Enemy bombers, fighter bombers roam at will, and nothing now opposes them.
There are 16 divisions in Burma, Thailand. Too many to feed. But to few to fight.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2279
RE: The little ship that could. - 6/16/2013 7:21:00 PM   
british exil


Posts: 1524
Joined: 5/4/2006
From: Lower Saxony Germany
Status: offline
A terrible blow to the morale of the airwing. Hidaka will be missed, but will he be remembered? The war is taking it's toll and many have fallen or will fall.

Can we have Hidaka's profile, missions flown, kills?

Mat

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(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2280
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