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RE: The little ship that could.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 9/9/2013 11:08:01 AM   


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22nd of September

The Heavy cruiser Fuchida sports considerable new paint, fresh, the patches clearly deliniating the new steel underneath.
There is a lot of it.
She has had a difficult journey, has this ship.
Yet there is nary a sign of it amongst her crew, they, to Takeji,, seem fresh, alert, clean.
As his boat nestles alongside, and the pipes shrill, it is pleasant indeed to be reminded that the imperial navy still goes on strong, still holds the line in tradition and duty.

he climbs the ladder swiftly, gives his stiffest salute to the officers awaiting, a silent message of appreciation, and follows them to the shaded quarter deck, the awnings white and stiff.

Hirate motors the boat away, cuts the engine, lets his boat drift. He will have a long wait, he thinks, but this, even despite the sun, must be better than the work still awaiting on Hiyo.
Okano was a fool to knock this back.

The quarterdeck is crowded, and these men are anything but naval in bearing and uniform. Merchant skippers, 50 of them. Sullen, downcast.
many, takeji senses, afraid, even, dare he think it, rebellious.

The plan takeji has come up with, is simple. At ten knots, Hiyo is a sitting duck. Alright then. Hide her in a great flock (is it flock?) of ducks
But he has to sell it.

"gentlemen. 50 ships, 20 escorts, Hiyo, a cruiser, 4 destroyers, a repair ship, we hug the coast....."

He see's it immediately. The smiles of pleasure at those words........."20 escorts"

A murmer sweeps the gathering.........."about 19 more then the normal bloody amount......."

They are sold. He feels it.
Alright then. details.
He opens his briefcase, takes out the pages of orders, convoy dispositions, emergency plans, the 101 things that turn a gaggle of geese into something remotely like a convoy...........

The briefing is a long, long one, and Hirate, in the end, does regret it.
Especially when the three bodies , bloated, purple, disintergrating and stinking float past.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2551
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/9/2013 11:13:46 AM   


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September 23rd

Hiyo will sail, 0200 hours, 44 transports, a cruiser, 2 destroyers,a cruiser.
She can do 10 knots, maybe. her bowels remain flooded, her baulkheads, braced to the Nth degree, still hold the seas back.
1 boiler. I engine, a hundred men, a volunteer skeleton crew.
No galley, little lighting, no ventilation, and no one willing to linger below decks.

A long way to Tokyo. A long, long way.

Across seas crawling now with hidden menace.
Hiyo will sail. Indomitable will to carry her every mile of the way.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2552
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/10/2013 11:46:22 AM   


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September 23rd
Fletchers cruise the lower resource areas, some actually probe deeply, very deeply.

Japan flings multiple attacks at them, the allies fly heavy long range CAP.
A depressing day, 30 aircraft lost, for one lousy bomb hit.
The Fletchers sink a DD, 3 PG, but they save the convoys at Soerabaya.

Yet more Fletcher packs are sighted, headed towards Morotia, towards Ambon.
The allies are getting bold.
In turn, Japan prepares a big , new stick.

Hirate peers yet again through the observation port of the boiler, critical eye on the flame.
They have but two tanks available, the ready use tank, a small storage tank aft.
There are no other options. 5000 tons of sea water slosh in Hiyos guts, should any of that get into the fuel tank………

0300 hours, they have cleared the port, he would think. The telegraph sits at slow ahead, the only position it will occupy from here to Japan. Another hour of watch, first of a great many.
With luck

Okano has the next watch. Right now he wanders the empty, echoing hanger. Things have changed, changed dramatically since those first days he walked her gleaming interior.
The hanger is a cave, a dirty, cluttered cave. Timber lies stacked everywhere, pumps are lined up, hoses snake into a dozen crude holes.
Temporary lighting sways with the swell., tools slide despondently with the roll.
It is a depressing sight.
From a gleaming edifice………….to this.
The barsteds.

The barsteds waste no time. The first ss attack begins at dawn, a periscope trailing the convoy, the airwaves alive with its transmissions.
Takeji grimaces.
How many will come crawling?

22nd circle the patchwork of fields of central Thailand
They are strung out, a rough stream , 24 strong, the world below at 10000 feet, the sky deep blue above
The P38s circle too, at 15000, a dozen or so strong, working, working steadily into an attack position
Fuchida watches them coldly, closely, head swivelling over his shoulder.
The enemy are working towards the attack.
Let them.
Then, then they can fight.
This is the nub of it. No matter what comes in this world, no matter what makes Fuchida the man he is, aggression flows through his very being.
It is what makes one what he is
Fighter pilot.
As one.

The P38’s glitter in the sun, wings swinging over, as they commence their dives
A song rises in Fuchida’s mind, unbidden, from god knows where……..

‘ring, a ring a rosy……………

The 38’s burst upon the Franks, seeking the quick kills.
22nd, is not for the dieing…………….
Fuchida banks, a 38 is following, they enter a great turning fight, the sky full of snarling, hunting beasts.

….a pocket full of posies……….
300 yards, 200yards, head swivelling back, the barsted cuts in, cuts in, its nose sparkles, stick, rudder, world swinging, rolling, tracer passing so easily underneath……

……a tissue, a tissue…………..
The 38 , out manoeuvred, swings away, and is nailed by Fuchidas’ wingman, exploding, sprawling across the sky

……….We all fall down………..”,

“Idiot”, mutters Fuchida, as he reforms, swings in behind Iwata, …never follow the enemy down……..
The fight is done, 3 franks lost, pilots to be recovered, 10 P38’s killed, the bombers turned away.

22nd lands at Nakhon Ratchasima, the ground crews racing to re arm.
Japans airforce has returned to the west.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2553
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/11/2013 11:16:26 AM   


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The convoy is 80 miles north of Kuching, when the first shark strikes.
A medium sized AK, on the far port flank.
The all too familiar story, the sudden column of water, the funnel sagging drunkenly, the smoke, the steam, the surge of waters over the sinking wreck.
Takeji barely gives it a glance, he does not need to see it.
A fist clenches. Still nearly an hour to dusk. And already the barsteds are upon them.
He turns to the XO. “Normally, one would have a cup of tea about now. Its going to be a long night. Coffee perhaps?’
The XO laughs. “easier said than done, I think. I do believe though the stokers have plenty of boiling water”

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2554
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/11/2013 11:19:23 AM   


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To any one folowing this, have we all noticed he complete and utter absence of the allied Carier/fast battleship fleet?

I would almost bet on this: cantona is about to launch something Hail Mary like!

And I say this with out any prior knowledge
I am still ahead on points, its late 44, its his only chance I think of a win now ( I think)

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2555
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/11/2013 11:25:08 AM   

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ORIGINAL: 1275psi

To any one folowing this, have we all noticed he complete and utter absence of the allied Carier/fast battleship fleet?

I would almost bet on this: cantona is about to launch something Hail Mary like!

And I say this with out any prior knowledge
I am still ahead on points, its late 44, its his only chance I think of a win now ( I think)

Well, the Allies make up points very quickly in this period taking certain bases, so you may be right, but it might not be points he's after.

What are the differences now? Could you show a large strategic map to get an idea where you think he could possibly hit?

What are your plans to gradually pul in the strings on the Empire to defend the HI?


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

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2556
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/11/2013 2:39:10 PM   

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Guard your Northern Flank, it is the only direction that he come from and get in close to cause difficulties. A landing in Hokkaido ... Other places that are similar are MUCH easier to defend and react to (Okinawa, Korea, Formosa, ...) At this stage, I'm not worried about him getting in B29 range ... my goal is to keep him out of B17 range. In '45 his B17 pools become almost bottomless and once those are within range of the HI the game is over ... he can destroy any 4 - 6 hexes per turn. Meaning, he can land unopposed on the HI and then expand at least one hex per turn. In 30 days you have lost 50% of the HI ... 90 days he has it all ...



(in reply to obvert)
Post #: 2557
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/12/2013 7:51:28 PM   


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24th of September
80 miles North of Kuching.
Dawn. A red line on the horizon. . dark shapes, solidifying in the growing light, fat transports, long tankers.
Gritty eyes, tired eyes. Unshaven face, bristles on the chin. Sweat thick between the thighs, stale on the skin.
Weariness weighs upon Takeji. It has been a long night. The wind, at least, stands cool upon his face.
He raises the cup, sips deeply. One, he thinks, could make coffee a habit.
Hiyo wallows on. The shoring still holds, the pumps remain ahead of the leaks. The black gang, he hears, must be gaining confidence. Today, apparently, they plan to cook a hot meal utilising the boiler heat.
A meal would be good, a bath, better………..

Crumps in the distance. The bells are ringing, another one………………
Takeji drains his Coffee. Tired or not………………”report!,”
Another day.

They come for the 22nd.
The B-29’s first, a great stream of them.
Their timing is perfect, damn them. Only 6 Franks get to them before the bombs begin to rain, the rest of the sentai still climbing frantically to intercept.
Fuchida is still at full boost, still at 1000 feet as the field erupts behind him, still climbing, cursing, cursing.
The fat barsteds are turning away, when the second wave, liberators ,take their turn.
And above them, yet more B-29’s………..

Later, seemingly days later, but in reality, late in the afternoon, Fuchida brings his beast to a silent halt. Rain, heavy rain whips across the field, filling the craters, running down the canopy.
He does not know how he has gotten down.
Slowly he slides the canopy back, raises his face to the rain, lets it beat down upon him. Lets it tell him he is still alive.

22nd has shot down two forts today.
Lost two planes itself
Down to 12 runners.
The field is all but broken. There is no place to retreat too. The end of the line.
The rain feels good.
If they come again tomorrow, they are truked.

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 2558
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2013 6:32:22 AM   


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25th of september

180 miles north of Ambon, a million miles from home.
Deep in the heart of the empire

Captain Mike Williams , age 31 yrs, re emerges onto the bridge of his Fletcher class destroyer, the USN Bush, sniffs the air. Another beautiful day, bright blue sky, mirror calm seas, nothing, absolutely nothing from horizon to horizon, just his ship, the other seven Fletcher class DDs steaming with them.
Empty seas, and that, of course , was the problem. Somewhere to the north, a Japanese convoy, carrying the 31st division west.
they must have missed it by just that bloody much.................

"Morning skipper"
Executive Officer Charmers. Age 54. And very much not a Charmer. gruff, grumpy.
Doesn't the old barsted ever see the sunny side of things?
'XO.......all well?"
'Acceptable sir,", he glances at the clear blue sky, " could do with yesterdays rain though"

Yes, that they could. But Captain Williams is not too deeply troubled. Yesterday nearly a dozen Vals had attacked them, and been given far better than they had delivered.
Fletchers, it was rumoured, where classed as destroyers. In firepower, with those rapid fire 5 inch guns, her twin bofor mounts, she makes a pre war cruiser look positivly weak.
And he, lucky barsted that he is, has one to command.

The Japanese navy has gone missing. Its air power apparently reduced to impotence.
And here we are..........he thinks, 8 ships strong.
Not since 1941 has the allied Navy sailed these waters with such impunity............

The lead destroyer flashes, the bright light flickering.
Behind him, the replying clatter of the light.
'Enemy search plane spotted"
'Assume air defence formation"

Captain Williams goes to work, the destroyer trembles beneath him, the bow carves her path, soon eight wakes cut the seas, streaming south. Guns swing, barrells raise. men in helmets, kapok jackets stand at the ready, the ammunition glitters in the loading trays.
"Closed for action sir"
The Captain grins.....There is already a single val dive bomber painted on her funnel, " our Val is lonely EX, lets see if we can add to it hey"
LCDR Charmers almost scowls. Cocky young barsted. Its as if some of the latest commanders simply ignore what Japan has done to the USN in these last few years............
Treat the enemy with respect...........

"radar bridge...........bogies, bearing 060, hieght 12000, range 50 miles"
From ternate, probably..........give this to the little yellow barsteds, they are brave enough to come again.

9 val, in arrow formation, coming in straight and true.
Captain Williams takes great care to control his voice this time, yesterday, he has to admit, the excitement got to it a little. He doesn't want THAT LOOK, from his XO again
calmly the order goes out "Open fire"

The Bush shakes as the guns begin to BANG< BANG< BANG< BANG< BANG!.rapid, jarring, deadly............
empty cannisters clatter, ejected from turrets , one after another, after another.......

The sky about the vals explodes in dark bursts, a wing, apruptly, chops off one, the rest spinning down.

'Full ahead all"
The formation streams south, 40 guns turning the sky black above them

The enemy dive.
Now the clamour increases manifoldly, the bofors adding to the chaos, the 20mm orelikions chattering as well.
A single bomber chooses the Bush, almost vertical, it plunges down upon them, pieces fly off it, and still carrying its bomb, it plumments into the sea 100 yards astern.

'cease fire"

'Hows that Xo?.............another for the funnel hey?......."
But Charmers can but scowl. The day is but young

Second attack..............21 Jills, racing in from the North this time, hard up the formations arse.........
They drop fish at ranges far too long for their whiley, twisting targets.........they leave 6 of their planes behind, flaming patches of oil upon the waters.

Williams is still smiling.
But Charmers, busy with trying to reform the formation, thinks it a little forced.

Third attack, this one from the North west.........26 twin engined betties.
'I thought somebody said that Japan has with drawn those mothers from active duty............."

That may be, but somebody in these birds must not have gotten the message, th attack comes in co ordinated, from every direction, low, and very very close.
One fish strikes its target, there is an awsome bang..................

And then there were 7

9 Judy, peeling over even as the metal continues to tumble down, Williams is not smiling now, as the bombs, three of them, crash close to port, jarring teeth, shaking the Bush like a dog

Somebody else fails to dodge, two turrets lie silent, twisted, smoking, blood and flesh smeared disasters.

A small break, the formation circles, searching for survivors of the first sinking. Surely that would be it for now?..........

Another raid.
Another raid. One to take the breath away. One that sends a message. No more freebies. A new tactic, crude, but where no allied CAP exists, one that works.
93 oscars swarm into them , skimming the ocean at 100 feet, straffing, wheeving, too many to engage, too many to track, too many to always out turn and beat.

Nothing Hits the Bush, Captain Williams is lucky (for this day)
2 DDs are straffed heavily, two more lie stopped in the water, bombed, crippled.

And overhead, yet more dive bombers, Lillys this time...........

Respect your enemy, or learn a hard, hard lesson............

(3 DD sunk, 2 heavily hit) I will take that.
I have found a new role for my useless oscars..............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2559
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2013 6:35:41 AM   


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The B-29s do not come for the 22nd today, a blessing indeed.
Frantically the field is repaired, good work yes, but still too fighters available..........

B-29's strike at Soerabaya, and lose 14 of their numbers, the Jack is doing its job well in point defence.

But Bangkok falls.
The ultimate disaster for Japan.
All her oil fields now fall into B-29 range..............

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2560
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2013 6:40:26 AM   


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26th September

Hiyo drops anchor Miri.
Takeji plans for a 48 hour stop, time to check the shoring, time to refuel, refresh.

He does not know it, but south of him, near balikapapn, sees three allied DDs sink an entire 8 ship convoy.
before turning in, he will inspect Hiyo carefully, peer into her deepest holes, talk to her black gang (unthinkable on a IJN warship (but this is not a usual situation, yes?), wander her darkened, abandoned hanger.

And wonder if Hiyo will ever again carry her flight group, and take it into battle.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2561
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2013 6:54:06 AM   


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In singapore, a dozen men sit in a circle, the grass cool about them. They sit on a mostly empty field, 8 tattered zeros, a dozen Judy dive bombers behind them.
Poor remnants indeed, of Hiyos flight group.

Since leaving Hiyo, these men have languished at sabang, unsupported, forgotten almost. Now, apparently, they will be sent to stem the menace prowling the seas of the DEI.

20 planes.

Lt Kurihamo is respected by his men, an acehe is "the old man" of the unit. At 23 years of age, a incouragous term, but suitable for the baby faced pilots he flies with.
The men are waiting for a fuel truck, once fuelled, they will fly south, apparently.
Talk fills the circle.
How to stop the enemy?

They have discussed it now, for nearly an hour.
None truly believe tht the bombers can be escorted through, let alone score telling hits..........
Kurihamo cuts the gordian knot.

'When we attack, I will hit. I will guarrantee it. I will dive my plane into my target, and die.
But so will a great many Americans, who unlike myself, are afraid to die. That is how we will stop the americans"

There is silence.
Nobody replies to Lt Kurihamo. None have too.
Silently, invisibly, a pact has been made.

Later that day, Japans first (and fully volunteer) "special attack unit" will depart Singapore
They will not be the last.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2562
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2013 6:55:24 AM   


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kamis activated.
I do not know yet, to what extent I will use them.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2563
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2013 7:04:01 AM   


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September 27th

Diogowa is suiting up, when the messenger races to him, face red with exertion. "You are requested commanders office, immediately!"

Ogowa is already there, as are a great number of the other instructors. ' There is a train to Yokohama, 252nd sentai, training unit......type O's. You are all assigned to it for temporay combat duties, I have no other details. Time is of the essence, get going!'

A truck is waiting for the pilots, a dozen men clamber in, it roars away in a cloud of dust.
"Can't be good" Ogowa mentions " all this rush"
Diogawa turns to his friend...... ' No, it can't be..........have you noticed how we have missed lunch?'

Enemy carriers sighted, 640 miles due east Chichi Jima, course North West..............straight at Tokyo.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2564
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2013 10:09:53 AM   

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< Message edited by ny59giants -- 9/14/2013 3:53:17 PM >


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2565
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2013 1:00:01 PM   

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ORIGINAL: 1275psi

kamis activated.
I do not know yet, to what extent I will use them.


I really plan out my kami conversions because of course the groups cannot convert back, so I want to be sure that my airgroups converted are well supported by my kami ac pools. You also have to be sure you have plenty of kami - grade pilots. Then when I use them, I use them big. 1000 plane strikes. Modelled from Nemo's testing. So, if I'm going to expend 36,000 HI on a strike, my target(s) need to be worth it ... and then, I have a re-assembly plan ... getting the kami airgroup remnants back to a base where they can be re-constituted.

For me, kamis are a big equalizier. They seem to get a higher hit percentage as compared naval attacks.



(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2566
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2013 1:29:20 PM   


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Nearly a dozen fletchers sunk now, some you will soon hear about.

Great advice re the kamis


in the spirit of the game (which has helped make it so good), they will be used as per real life, so no coming over at max altitude, or in huge strikes -the only time that will happen is if Home island is invaded, as was planned in real life.

I fear the kamis will be in packets, a unit here, another there.........

But, as about to be revealed, they are certainly going to get the chance...........

The storm is breaking!!!

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 2567
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/14/2013 2:00:21 PM   

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ORIGINAL: 1275psi

... so no coming over at max altitude ...

Doesn't matter much on your altitude setting. My understanding is that kami attacks are like TB attacks, the attack profile is hard coded. I think they enter at like 11,000 no matter what you set. Setting higher only increases the range that radar will detect you. Besides some of your best kami planes (Tsurugi) have max altitudes of like 20,000 ft ...


ORIGINAL: 1275psi

... or in huge strikes -the only time that will happen is if Home island is invaded, as was planned in real life ....

I beleive they considered everything from the PI to the Kuriles as part of their HI inner circle. Definitely considered Formosa part of the HI ... also note that the latest beta (not sure which version you are playing) decreases coordination a lot. Since kami units are low exp units by definition, sending 1000 planes will end up in the 'drips and drabs' in terms of attack profiles, not the solid 1000 planes that Nemo experienced. I.E. very close to the historical results.

Just some thoughts for you to consider ... the game is great.



(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2568
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/16/2013 12:41:18 PM   


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Ok, I lost two days of AAR with the crash, will have to do a re write.
back tomorrow, I suppose

Not a biggie, chin up matrix!, we still loves ya!

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 2569
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/17/2013 8:33:46 AM   


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September 28th
deep into the night
The atmosphere in Imperial HQ,is tense.
herbiesan faces his command staff, the map, as always , before them.
"They are coming gentlemen?"
"With the dawn sir, yes , and they even boast of it on the radio, vowing to smash our teeth in"

'I see...........'

A dangerous moment. yet, even now, I see an opportunity. Monstorous, even deadly to myself if these men should guess.

But first..........
"The airforce?"
'We are mustering everything we have .........Tokyo should muster 150 fighters, Yokohama, 50 more. We plan no counter attack, they will, we believe, try to set a massive CAP trap"

150 fighters..............maybe enough, maybe not. But how much damage can a raid do.?
I will wear it.
I have to.

'the Navy?"
terrible looks of dock sir, refitting. Only Yamato, Mutsu have feedom of manouvre, there are no destroyers, no other vessels available.........."

"In short, we are caught pants down ney?"
"I regret, sir yes"

yes.........oh, this will be good, they have only thought of Him now.
"Sir, The Emperor is on the Yamato, he wished to view her gunnery at work tomorrow, acceptance work, then a dinner............if we bring Yamato in, she might be caught alongside, or......"
"Or worse........the emperor could be caught in a small boat transfer."
"Yes sir.........but to have him hurt..........."

"Would raise such a anger as ever seen.........yes, unthinkable he could be harmed, I could never stand it. Leave him aboard, Yamato is unsinkable, he will be safest there"

My greatest gamble.
if he is harmed, I must kill my self.
But if the public should believe he has been targetted...........

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2570
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/17/2013 8:55:02 AM   


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The train, as expected, is late

For several hours, 40 odd of Japans finest pilots sit idly on a platform. Rumours fly about, there has been an invasion of Siapan, and invasion of the phillipines, some poor fool insists that its a carrier raid upon Japan itself
Ogowa cannot believe THAT.........that would be impossible

Eventually the train arrives, they pile aboard. new orders have arrived, its to a field north of Tokyo now, the Yokosuka KU-s2 unit, flying the K1 george.
Diogowa is relieved " Go back to a zero after that plane........."

The trip, however takes a un expected turn. Three Kempetai officers, the secret police, work their way through the carriage
"papers please"
Ogowa, Diogowa look up at them with bemusement
"papers please"
'Ogowa makes the universal, empty hand gesture 'We are officers of the Imperial Navy...........who's papers unfortunately lie at the bottom of the sea"
'A likely tale, if it is true, why have you not gained some more?"

"Because fighting men don't have time, friend"...Diogowa growls

It goes down hill from there.............

The train carries on, Ogowa, Diogowa do not. They will be "guests" "until new papers can be arranged" at cetral Tokyo police headquarters. They are free to move about the building, to nap on its benches, but not, yet, to leave

Ogowa growls, scowls

Diogowa does what he does best. Even Ogowa has to smile when he gets a new friend (a regular police man) to bring them a meal.
'Tuna, by gods............"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2571
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/17/2013 8:56:58 AM   


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September 29th
It is bucketing down over the Hiyo, one of those torrential monsoon type showers that pound the waters into froth, drown out all conversation with the hammering upon her steel, that runs across her slanting deckin torrents
Her bow is barely visible from the bridge, her escorts completely lost in the sheets of rain
How the submarine actually hits her this miserable morning is an absolute mystery. But hit her she does, twice.
Dull thuds, dead admidships, she rocks a little. The baulkhead for the remaining boiler room splits 6 feet long, the shoring collapsing.
There is no panic, the men abandon the room in plenty of time, the safety valves released. , Hiyo screaming her frustration and rage.
Takeji slumps onto his seat on the bridge, gives a single, despairing curse.
“Get the men up EX, she can’t survive that”
Her 100 odd men gather on the flight deck, soaked, gathered in miserable groups, a destroyer slides alongside, waiting for the final act.

Okano and Hirate , join them, they have secured the now useless engineroom, shut the hatches behind them, and now, cold, miserable, and yet relieved that the nightmare may soon end, wait for the word.
Hiyo has halted, silence envelopes her, the rain streams down
Time passes. 30 minutes, 45.
She does not sink

The AR Sinsei Maru, comes alongside, that friendly face pale in the rain
He raises a loud hailer, speaks to the lonely Captain of Hiyo across the gap separating them
“Well, are you sinking, or not?, or do we keep fighting?”
Takeji considers the grey sky, the grey seas, the miserable waters, men about him.
Truk you ship, it would be so easy to just give up…………..
Jesselton, 80 miles away
“Another bottle of scotch, we won’t make it”
“Your on”

Rule one of damage control. Never give up the ship.
Hiyo, the ship they couldn’t kill.

It is a beautiful Autumn morning in Tokyo, and her people are busy at work,.
Her factories hum, her streets bustle. After three years of war, everyone, it seems, is at work, or in uniform. There are shortages, of this and that, on the streets, but nothing critical.
Japan , economically, remains strong. The papers hint at merchant ship losses, at the desperate convoy battles (this very night just past saw no less than 6 escorts lost) that carry the resources and oil, and fuel home. But overall, war has not harmed the home islands. Her people remain blissfully un aware of the danger they are in.
The war is where?, Timor?..............the other side of the world yes?
At 9 am, the sirens sound, another air raid practice.
Some respond, the vast majority simply shrug, they are too busy for such nonsense.
But overhead, the air seems to be filling with the growl of fighters, dozens of them, circling. Enough to bring people to a halt in the streets, to look up, point, stare.
Suddenly, things change.
New planes, strange planes, stubby clipped wings.
Tokyo stops, and turns its face to the sky.
21 hellcats.

Ogowa, Diogowa watch from the door of the police station.
There is cold fury in Ogowas eyes, as he turns towards the Kempantai officer. “feel vindicated, you barsted?’

For twenty minutes , the show goes on, the fighters wheeling across the sky. Occasionally, one, or another streams down.
A hellcat crashes near the palace, another in the Ginza, an American floats down, a crowd gathers about him, curious. They stare at him, him at them, until a uniform comes up, and shoots him dead…….
The battle fades way. The streets ring with excitement.
“So that was the Americans, the Yankees . Bold, but so stupid. And how the Bushido boys handled them!
But the sirens ring again………
100 plus this time.
The crowds remain, but now they have fallen silent.
About them, the AA guns begin to bark, new, loud, scary sounds. Children scream, cry. The sky fills with violence.
Down in the docks, in the port, the thud of bombs, the rising smoke and flames…………

Unseen by most, Yamato spears across the waters of the bay, her guns barking. Captain Ishii shouts his orders. He is beyond angry. Externally he remains calm, inside, he could tear the world apart.
Three dive bombers are peeling over, coming at the port side.
That barely touches him. Its HIM, HIM, standing behind him, and if he tries to look out yet again.
Bloody hell,, he’s going to try to look…………..
Behind him, the Emperor of Japan, the son of heaven, moves to the corner of the bridge, seemingly oblivious to the danger screaming down upon Yamato
Captain Ishii curses, “Sir!, please, ……….Hard to starboard!”

Somehow, Yamato escapes……….

The raids come in, again, and yet again, Yokohama too is attacked.
And this attack, bold to the nth, succeeds.
Kaga , in dry dock, is struck by two bombs, the first landing in the dock nearby, punching a hole in her side. The second plunges into the quarterdeck.
Shokaku takes two bombs, both explode on her flight deck, punching small holes
Zuikaku takes three in her dock, all miss her, but explode in the concrete canyons about her. Acetylene cylinders explode, her tormentors will mistake their explosions as her very end.
Shoho shrugs her hit off
Kongo, Kirishima, Musashi take a bomb each, they will do little harm

The damage, overall, is of little effect. All these ships were already helpless, in refit, under repair.
They will all still be available again in 30 to 40 days.
145 allied aircraft have been shot down this day.

The attack, in itself, would , did, shake Japans population. . Maybe it needed it.
But the papers will carry but one story

Assassination attempt upon the Son of heaven!
Americans attack the Yamato, bearing his highness!
100 million swear to fight to prevent this ever happening again!

And somewhere in the Pacific, Admiral King turns to Kinkaid
“Jesus Jim, look what Halesly gone and done . Now he has just made the little yellow barsted angry!"

Hiyo, 43 system, 79 flood, 54 engine

And over Thialand, a dozen tojos lay a trap, and it closes.
They shoot down two planes, mosquitos.
Long pig goes down again.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2572
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/17/2013 9:39:47 AM   

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Joined: 2/28/2011
From: Konin, Poland, European Union
Status: offline
When i read about Long pig only person i can think of is Admiral Benson from Hot Schots! movie.

"You know, I've personally flown over 194 missions and I was shot down on every one. Come to think of it, I've never landed a plane in my life."


"Only the Dead Have Seen the End of War"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2573
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/18/2013 12:03:51 PM   


Posts: 7911
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
October 1st
Hi Koniu!

Long pig is a fellow worker, he sat down and read the entire AAR in one hit, as a “reward” he gets the occasional visit…especially whenever I need a character on the ground at certain flashpoints.
I do however, only have him shot down when the game shoots down his plane, cantona and I usually co operate on this.
Plus it’s a good giggle in the office!!!

The AR Sensei maru is yet again, lashed to the side of the hiyo. A destroyer is towing the darkened carrier at just over three knots, a good effort.
The carrier refuses to sink. Her flooding stands at 75%, her propulsion plant little better/. Fundamentally, she’s been gutted.
Jesselton will be made, whether she is worth taking from there, is yet to be seen.
Below, in the hot humid, wet dark, two stokers bash yet again at the shoring timbers, and wonder just what else the fates will throw their way.

The allied carriers withdraw, vanishing east of Marcus.
Japan remains in shock.
Yesterday, the Americans………….an honourable foe, misguided, misled, decadent. Now, now, …….evil incarnate, 100 million lives swear to never allow the son of heaven to come near harm again………

Two men crouch behind a mound of earth, hidden well in the underbrush. A few feet away, the still surprisingly intact remains of a mozzie fighter bomber. Behind that, across the dry rice paddy, the great scar of its less than controlled return to the earth.
Pilot officer Bigglesworth (yes- Bigglesworth) lies himself down alongside Longpig.
‘I knew you were a Jonah, Longpig……….they warned me about you, how many trucking times have you been shot down now?’
There is no malice in the question, the two men are good friends, 23 combat missions together has cemented them together
Long pig scratches his arse, repositions himself. “Three, I think now. “ he grins. “Stick with me boy, things happen when Flight officer graham goes to war!”
The two men have been busy. One of the mozzie’s nose guns now rests between them, overlooking the fields.. water, supplies lie stacked behind, and better yet, far, far better yet, the growl of an allied aircraft circling overhead.
This time Long pig is not alone. The allied army is but ten miles away, and coming. Of the enemy, there is no sign.
Not yet, anyway.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2574
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/21/2013 4:41:20 AM   


Posts: 7911
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
Hosho addresses his company
They gather about him in the deep bunker carved into the hillside, faces ghosts in the murky light.
55 division has been re orientad to face the north west, 3 enemy divisions have crossed the hills, many more are reprted to be coming south from bangkok.
Dust trickles down from the roof, outside, the bombers are still about their work, as they have been for days now.

Hosho addresses his men, company commander now.
'We have been ordered to stand and fight here. Not one step back. Not one. We fight, we die here.. But I forbid, do you hear me, i forbid anyone to die before they have killed 10 enemy.
This order is irremutable."
The men do not speak. Nor murmur.
These are Japanese soldiers, conditioned to fight to the death, to defend the emperor to the last.
If not fight here, if they retreat again (and how sick of marching are they), do they stop where?...........the imperial palace?
10 enemy for one.

They can do this.
They will

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2575
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/21/2013 4:57:33 AM   


Posts: 7911
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
October 2nd

The patrol comes for Long pig just after midday, a long line of men, shivering, indistinct in the heat,.
They come, spread abreast, slowly, almost disconcently.

At 3000 yards, they re just men, Japanese?, Burmanese?.
"Crap" curses Long pig.'They re going to find many rounds Bigglesworth in that gun of yours?"
"You sure?'
"I am sure"...........Bigglesworth points to the sky "I am sure"

For weeks now, Longpig hs been bombing Japanese troops, a detached, sureal operation, the bombings, the scattering figures not quite real.
This, this is frightengly real.
The Tbolts , just 4 of them, race in from the flank, engines roaring , the 1000 lbers wobbling slightly as they come down upon the line of men.

Longpig ducks his head, the ground shakes, the CRAK! ssualts the ears...

Carefully they raise their heads..........
The dust settles.
The line is no more, here, there, few still forms, one waves a rm, it drops.
A few survivors are stumbling away.

Bigglesworth is right. he has more than enough ammunition.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2576
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/21/2013 5:01:55 AM   


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Joined: 4/17/2005
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Hiyo ..43 system, 75 flood, 52 engine.

Takeji seeks a dozen volunteers, all that will be needed to watch, tend the tow lines. He intends to try again.

The crew transfer to destroyers.
Hirate, Okano volunteer and remain.

They have followed Takeji this far. Too late to turn back now.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2577
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/21/2013 1:37:56 PM   
Long pig


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Joined: 6/6/2013
Status: offline
With long pigs luck he will killed by a 1000 pounder delivered by his own side, keep your head down!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2578
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/22/2013 3:09:17 AM   


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Joined: 4/17/2005
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3rd October
Ogowa, Diogowa finally rejoin their new squadron, the yokosuka KU-s2, and both will immediately fly a CAP patrol today over Tokyo
The allied attack, was clearly now seen as what it was, a raid.
Nevertheless, it was still an effective one. Japan has but one effective carrier today, the Taiho.

Japan needs thirty, thirty five days to rebuild, refit, regather.
Surely Cantona won't give them that time?

(in reply to Long pig)
Post #: 2579
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/22/2013 3:14:54 AM   


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Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
Medan is bombed by B-29's -!!!
Balikapapan fights her raid off

japanese convoys have literrally sucked palembang, balikapapan, soerabaya dry, but only carried most of the precious oil and fuel as far as Manilla, Miri.
The writing is on the wall.
Irionic, Japan actually has more tankers than the oil and fuel she can suck from Palembang. If the Army in Northern malaya cracks, they are quickly going to be out of a job.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2580
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