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RE: The little ship that could. - 7/1/2013 11:31:22 AM   


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27th July 44

Takeji leads his men down DD harusume's gangway.
Never has he been so glad to step ashore. Twice , yesterday, he has thought of vacating Captains Akadori's cabin, thought of stepping out of the little steel cell, and flinging himself into the sea.
harasume's captain has given him his cabin, a clean uniform, food, water, and a look of scorn that has seared his soul.

No words spoken, but the message has been horribly clear in the destroyer mans eyes.
"Why are you here, why did you survive?
Only duty has kept takeji alive.
One duty.

Now, as the last of Zuiho's survivors form on the wharf, he must perform it.

They face him, a hundred and fifty sun burnt faces, many still black from zuihos oil.
They face him, expectant.
So many faces many.

Last duty then
", you fought as japanese, you fought as well as anya captain can expect.
But now, now we will be broken up, disperesed.
You go to new ships.

Please serve them, as well as you served me.

He steps down.
A hundred and fifty men are silent.
But a hundred and fifty arms are raised in stiff salute.

And for takeji, this is more than enough to restore his soul

(in reply to Heeward)
Post #: 2341
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/1/2013 11:34:48 AM   


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CL Jintsu patrolling near salajar, is struck by a baufort launched fish, and in the afternoon, a bomb. So is an escorting destroyer

New airgroups are moving in.
The furnace of war is about to go to full throttle again.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2342
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/1/2013 11:46:13 AM   


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The big flying boat touches down smoothly into the filthy waters of manilla bay.
Diogowa, Ogowa gratefully climb down into the waitig boat, never more pleased to be off a plane in their life.
To have been killed by that moron of a pilot...............

A crisp, clean soldiser awaits for them on the wharf, and , surprise, surprise, he has a truck. They travel in silence to clarke field, through the packed streets of the city, passed the choked wharves

They say nothing, but the eyes have little trouble seeing, manilla is booming, the shipping, the trucks, the soldiers everywhere, even the goods piled up waiting for shipment. Many parts of the empire are suffering. manilla is most certainly not.

They arrive at Clarke, that great expance of concrete. It is completely repaired now, but also very quiet.

But there is something that still can stir their hearts, no matter how weary after so many miles

36 gleaming NK1's lined up as if for parade

Ogowa pokes Diogawa, points at the nearest brand new fighter "I want that one"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2343
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/1/2013 11:48:24 AM   


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ps, thankyou again everyone for all the kind comments.
we are a little behind the game now..........and things are happening already for some!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2344
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/2/2013 12:52:10 AM   


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Hows the research coming? Are we going to see our valiant pilots in Shindens, A7's and Jets before the end?

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2345
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/2/2013 10:16:58 AM   


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28 July 44

Okano and Hirate spend an uncomfortable night in a large warehouse. They are fed, given rough kahki uniforms shorn of insigna, given a sleeping mat.
Nearly a thousand men share the warehouse, survivors from the disaster that has overtaken combined fleet. They have some showers, a medic gives them a look over.

Guards surround the warehouse, and no one is allowed to leave

They have little desire to do so, not tonight. Sleep, sleep would be very welcome.

As they settle, Okano murmers "What ever happens Hirate, we must stick together, we are just a number now, tomorrow, keep close, keep an eye out. It would be too bloody easy to be turned into infantry right now.............."

(in reply to Saros)
Post #: 2346
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/2/2013 11:05:05 AM   


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Hirate is woken in the dark
"get up", hisses Okano "things are afoot"

Blearily, Hirate crawls, stands. Okano has left him, is talking earnestly with the smartest dressed petty officer he has ever seen.
The Petty officer glances his way, Hirate stiffens, trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to not look like the shipwrecked orphan he is.

Okano leaves the Petty officer, "Its cost me every thing i own, but......." he looks earnestly into Hirate's eyes "what ever you are asked, the answer is yes!"
Whistles blast the air, and the warehouse bursts into a swarming mass of men, quickly formed into a parade
It is no accident that Hirate finds himself at the front, too the left, okano at his side

An officer begins to march down the ranks, clipboard in hand. The petty officer follows closely, and indicates our Zuiho men

"Hirate sir!"
"Gunnery, correct?"
"Ahh..........Yes sir!"
"Good........get on the truck"
Even as he doubles away, he can hear Okano too giving the same answer, been given the same order

They are crowded into the back of the truck, many others joining them

"Gunnery?" he whispers.'Why in the hell, did you say that, we are stokers for truk sake"
Okano grins " I suspect the ship that picked us has stokers enough, gunners, especially since a refit, not so much. Getting a ship ney?, staying together........"

The truck arrives at the wharf, they tumble out

Okano has chosen well.

By dusk, they are at sea again, strangers on a strange ship, with strange billets, and new, strange tasks

But Guns enough

Battleship Yamato

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2347
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/2/2013 11:07:36 AM   


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hi saros!
Little research happening, cannot afford it
A little on Shindens, but not enough I think

You are optomistic that they will survive to then!

This war is now truly turning brutal

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2348
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/2/2013 11:19:30 AM   


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An invasion fleet arrives at Waigapoe, triggering a savage response from the 11th air fleet

Based at Salajar, 11th fleet HQ ties in maccassar, Kendari, multiple air bases in the celebes.
For the moment, there is no shortage of supplies, of torpedo capable bases
From Soerabaya, multiple bases are full to the brim with replacement groups, and the harbour is full of ships.

CL Jintsu is sunk by a SS

destroyers clash, Nizam is sunk, a tanker too.

The airstrikes go in, battle ship Mississippi is struck by a fish, South Dakota avoids hers
japan loses 50 odd planes, the allies 20 odd.

barely a trickle, compared to the floods to come

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2349
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/2/2013 11:26:38 AM   


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22nd Sentai, at full strength, wing their way south. A long leg this, manilla to Jolo.

Fuchida enjoys the flight, it is one of the most beautiful he will ever undertake. The emerald sea, the seemingly endless vista of island, of hidden bays, of towering mountains, of clouds towering to the heavens.

They wing south, confident, young, proud.
Undefeated, sure in themselves, their planes, their own immortality.

Fighter pilotrs, winging towards battle, towards harsh reality.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2350
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/2/2013 11:33:09 AM   


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28th of July

There is a battle, south of moulmien
The aussie 9th division, against seemingly (to them) every little yellow barsted in Burma.

9th division not only wins.

They crush the enemy attack

reeling, the japanese 5th, 9th, 12th, 56th and 2nd guard divisions stagger back, 10000 dead and injured left in the green hell behind them.

Burma army (mostly) has been broken

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2351
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/2/2013 11:37:39 AM   


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The following officer is posted to CV Hiyo, Executive officer.


There are others, of course, Hiyo is nearly repaired now, due for sea again in 16 days.
She needs men
Good men

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2352
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/3/2013 10:38:45 AM   


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29th of July

A day in the war...........just another day

Destroyers Arare, Natushio race into waigapoe, encounter a heavy Cruiser, 3 light cruisers, 5 destroyers.
They are lucky to escape with minor damage.

swarms of T bolts, P 38's sweep salarjar, the franks, georges, oscars rise and give battle.

30 odd tojos escort 13 betties south, there is a dozen Cap
2 APD's are sunk

30 zeros, 30 jill make up the next strike, , only a light Cap confronts them.
30 fish expended, a LST is sunk

The allies counter, sink a DD and a AK at Boela

In the afternoon, 100 japanese fighters, 20 Jill, 16 Betties burst through the CAP, a bomb strikes the Arizona.
The South Dak is hit by a fish.............but its a Dud.

Just a day in the war. It costs japan nearly 50 planes.......again.

High command studies the situation, studies it carefully. There is a noticable lack of enemy carriers. They have , they claim, endless numbers of CVE's.
But maybe, after losing nearly a dozen this month............

Kaga, Shokaku, Taiho, Chiyoda, Shoho sail from batavia.
3 Kongos too.
Yamato, musashi too are coming .

Just another day of the war...just another day.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2353
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/3/2013 10:52:05 AM   


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Hirate, Okano are "welcomed' aboard yamato, and led through the bewildering maze of her innards.
Things are diffenet on Yamato, very, very different.

They are led to a crowded messdeck. A cold, silent messdeck, one where the welcome is glacial.
"No happy phoenix here friend" whispers Okano as they sling their hammocks.

A Petty officer calls them, and leads them up two decks, into the bowels of what must be a turret, a 4.7 inch turret.
Luck is with them.
4.7 inch shells come up a hoist. A man takes them, passes them up to another man, he passes them into the turret, to the guns.
Hirate, Okano, will be those two men.

The guns are drilling.

For an hour, they sweat, heaving the shells up from below, breathing the stink of cordite.

The drills complete, they are released.
Within ten minutes, they are hoplessly lost..........

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2354
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/3/2013 11:00:16 AM   


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22 nd sentai move out onto the fields at balikapapan, next stop, Maccassar.

Fuchida climbs in, the ground crew gives the thumbs up. he presses the starter, the engine whines, coughs, fires, and bangs with a horrible expensive clattering sound of disaster.

the propeller shudders to a halt


he is not alone

The Frank is a great fighter.
Just a pig to keep in the air.. 4 will remain home, broken

They might, in hindsight, be the lucky ones

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2355
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/3/2013 3:29:43 PM   


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I registered on these forums just now, solely so I can say awesome this story is!

I found this aar a few days ago after stumbling across a link to it. Ive just spent the past few days of my spare time reading this excellent story, finding it hard to stop reading even at 2am and having work early the next morning

Awesome work!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2356
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/3/2013 6:21:28 PM   


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Welcome Cockneyweasel.
Yes, we know how it is.
Awesome read.
You might want to look for "Big war little ship, the adventures of Hibiki" or something like that. It is another story in the same style by Cuttlefish.
Worth every minute too.


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

(in reply to CockneyWeasel)
Post #: 2357
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/4/2013 10:59:00 AM   


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Thankyou, that was an effort then!
(Made my day, those comments, they did!)

Yamato and Musashi steam south, two great giants.
Giants fully aware now, that the hunt has turned against them.
But even the most cornered beast, in extremis, can inflict terrible wounds upon its tormentors before the final kill.
And these two great beasts have claws enough.

The great Yamato, as any warship will, calls her men to stations at dawn.
Hirate and Okano do not get lost, not this time, but they are the last to arrive at the turret.
The I/C, a mean faced little barsted of a petty officer, bawls them out, and for the first time, in a long, long time, Okano feels the slap of the palm across the face.
"Faster, you fool!" screams the petty officer
Okano, almost forgetting himself, sways.......but training, no, the indocrination of recruit school, saves him.
"HIEI!",.........the fists clech, but do not rise.

Later, in the mess hall (food, vastley poorer than Zuiho's mind you), he utters what Hirate, (in deference to his friend) dare not .
'I think this was a mistake"

Hirate looks about him, at the gleaming fittings, the massive steel doors, thinks of the great guns above, the great majesty of this ship.
And knows this. Its all merely metal. Men, mens hearts, are the soul of a ship

And Yamato's is empty.

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 7/4/2013 11:27:43 AM >

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 2358
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/4/2013 11:03:40 AM   


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Fuchida's fghter stays broken. The four men play cards, walk a lap around the field, watch with envy the CAP detach.

The place is hot, dusty, smells , no, stinks of oil and gasoline from the refinery.

Fuchida has a comment. ignorant, yes, but understandable

'Who in the hell would want to fight over this %^&%$ hole anyway?

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2359
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/4/2013 11:13:23 AM   


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Extract from shattering the sword, a cantona production

This day, as the troops wade ashore at Waingapoe, can be countered as a japanese win.
The air raids keep coming in, and the LRCAP from Koepang is simply too porous to stop them
2 APA, 2 AP are struk, 2 L(L) also go down

Battleship south dakato spends another frantic hour dodging fish.
A lucky ship, this one

Japanese SS strike near Koepang, sinking four cargo ships

The allies attempt to bomb macassar, to stop the raids, the bomber pilots returning report "enemy fighters of exceptional tenacity and aggression"

The landing is a regiment of the Americal division, a tank battalion, sea bees, a support unit.
And from the moment they touch horns with the wating enemy,it is obvious that this will never be enough.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2360
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/4/2013 11:24:58 AM   


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East of raheang, and the 8th division attempts to cross the river, to re claim the road to moulmien.
It is a fiasco.

Allied intelligence can remove another japanese formation from the board in Burma.

But something else happes this night, something that speaks volumes in itself
Across Thailand, across the front, in a dozen remote outposts, in the shattered ruins of Bangkok, the Thia army, first as single men, then in platoons,, companys, regiments.......drops its arms, throws their rifles away, and melt away.

The Indian divisions would, if they could, probably join them. But trapped on Port blair island, it would make little difference, not now

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2361
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/6/2013 10:57:26 AM   


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Hirate and Okano climb into their positions at the base of the Port side 4.7 inch turret, the stern most of the three enclosed guns on this side of the ship

There has been a submarine attack, Yamato called to action stations at dawn, the distant crump of charges clear in the dawn mist.
This time, they have no trouble finding the turret, they even make it in time. That baarsted of a petty officer calls them in,
"all correct", then they settle in to do what sailors do...........they wait, ears alert, trying to interpret a war they can faintly hear, but not see.
The petty officer descends to the two stokers
"All settled onboard men?
"yes, petty officer"

the little man grins..........."Your not gunners are you............."
Okano, Hirate look at each other, at the petty officer.........
The smile broadens........and abruptly the petty Officer extends a hand......"Stokers I would guess.don't panic guys, your secret is safe wth me"
Okano, Hirate relax visibly."thank you Petty Officer......its, its been difficult"

The petty officer fishes about in his pocket, produces a packet of smokes, the universal language of acceptance. "Name is Suzuki. Stokers or not guys, all we need here is willing muscles, willing hearts. Can you give me that?"

Our men nod. yes, they can do that.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2362
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/6/2013 11:01:49 AM   


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battleship Yamashiro succumbs to her wounds, sinking Sula sea.
Damage control failures? or death by despair?

I don't think it matters. The day of the battleship is but done.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2363
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/6/2013 11:09:23 AM   


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The battles continue for Waingapoe

An allied task force of cruisers pound macassar, leaving the town ablaze, the airfield cratered like the moon.
22nd sentai has 20 aircraft damaged, the field is closed.
P 38's, T bolts attack Salarjar again, the skies againreverb to the snarl of aerial death

Japanese counter strikes sink 3 AK, 2 DE's

The furnace burns bright, another 100 aircraft stoking the fires...................

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2364
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/6/2013 11:28:04 AM   


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Ogowa turns into final approach, crabbing the left wing down, sliding the beast towards the end of the strip.

the beast

He loves this plane, this beast.. How, how, could he have thought the zero was the best ?

You sit high in the george, allowing you to see over the cowling, to look behind straight at the tail.
100 percent visibility.
A power plant that gives everything its snarl promises

He centres the stick, how responsive...........flairs the beast, touches down onto the dirt. Here the only fault, a undercart too narrow, too prone to collapse.

As usual, the beast tries to shimmy, tries turtle.
But not in these hands.

he taxis, joins the line of fighters along the edge of the strip, stills the beating heart.
For a few minutes Ogowa sits quietly, simply savouring the experience just gone

This is more than a plane. This is THE plane.

he will fly this plane, fight this plane, maybe even die in this plane
It Does not matter
This is a Fighter pilots dream, this plane.

And he thanks the gods, he has been given a chance to fly it.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2365
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/7/2013 7:03:28 AM   


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Some things in war are incomprehensible.

CA Tone is ordered to patrol the waters near macassar, to prevent a repeat of the hammering of the week before

easy enough, ney?

Incomprehensible that she would appear near waigapoe, engaging a small convoy, a cruiser breaking ranks for a DE, 2 rusty liberty ships?
She kills an engineer unit, yes, but why?, why? is she still in those waters come the dawn?

The dauntless dive bombers find her at dawn, hit her 10 times, sink her

We will never know why, there will be no survivors to ask.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2366
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/7/2013 7:21:33 AM   


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This is a famous family name.
Amongst those who really know.

A name that adorns a great many ships, ships that quietly, competently, bravely have done their duties

The Luckenbacks

This Luckenback, a 7000 odd tonner, becomes famous today, famous for all the wrong reasons. Anchored at Dilli today, her crew fight for their lives. The Combat air patrol has taken down 20 off the escorting fighters, utterly failed to stop the bombers.

Now overhead, the twin engined Lilly dive bombers wheel over, commence the dives.
Luckenback gunners are good, they have been here before, cooly they fire at only the bombers that threaten them.

There are three
The fighters get one
They get another
The third is burning, the fighter peeling away from the attack, its work done.

the bomber keeps on coming
In fact, it adjusts its course

There will be some who say the pilot must have been dead.
Those who prefer fantasy to reality, that is

The rest, the survivors that is, will say otherwise, know otherwise

The lilly dives, deliberately, sqaurely into the Luckenbacks bridge, shattering the plucky ship.

Its hard to ignore, when things are getting desperate.
One plane , one ship.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2367
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/7/2013 7:24:38 AM   


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9 liberators bomb soerabaya.

They strike the Kaga, the Chiyoda

Its not been a good day, has it?

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2368
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/7/2013 7:48:18 AM   


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Aug 2nd

Engine snarling, throttle to the wall, you clear the end of the strip. Automatically you operate the undercart, adjust the flaps, slam the canopy shut, already clearing a thousand feet, the beach, the palms, fading below, the ocean glittering.

Noise fills your world, noise, vibration, the great bellow of the engine dragging you higher, higher into the air.
22nd swings left, 30 strong, settling at 7000 feet, driving south as fast as it can
You swing eyes left, right, above, seeking, seeking.
You do not think of your flying, to have to think, well, that is for rookies.
And up here, already dead men.

No, your eyes seek, and look, a nd you tuck in hard on your wingman, and fly as automatically as you breathe
You glance, oh so briefly, below, at the giants there, carving great rivers of white in the blue, blue, sea.

battleships.....always battleships.

there have been rumours, terrible rumours of the carriers sunk................

The radio crackles......Fuchida, terse, crisp...'Bombers.....030, attack!"

Stick back, a zooming, zooming climb, then flinging over, whheeling, almost onto her back, screwing around, and down, the Liberator growing, growing, you fire, the cannons banging, you flash past, wheel, breathe, wheel again, fire, twist, dive, ......
and the battle, brutally, appears done

10 liberators
6 killed

But 4 will attack the giants

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2369
RE: The little ship that could. - 7/8/2013 11:38:54 AM   


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"Faster you fools!, faster!" screams Suzuki, "faster!"
The 4.7 inch AA shell wieghs well over 40 kilograms, quite acceptable for a strong man to lift.
But to lift it, to pass it to a man above you, again, and again, and again............

The turret is thick with the stink of cordite, of sweat, of fear
Endlessly, it seems to Hirate and Okano, the guns have crashed.
the breech opens, smoke drifts , a shell is slammed in, gods knows who is aiming the bloody thing.........and crash, it fires again.
Every muscle screams with the effort, but this does not faze our men
With every round Suzuki screams at them, and the words just melt into the cananopy of sound about them. It means nothing.
Not knowing what is going on....this means everything.

Yamato pounds on, solid, immovable under their feet.
Abruptly, the guns fall silent.
Suzuki turns to them, face suddenly relaxed...'Fun ney?.........and you Stokers think you know work!"

The Liberator has missed
Yamato's guns, this time, at least, have not.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2370
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