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RE: The little ship that could.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 9/23/2013 11:48:57 AM   


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Its October 7th
Onboard Hiyo, dark, powerless, quiet Hiyo, a captain writes letters

He writes in his cabin, the light from the setting sun streaming through the single porthole.
Takeji writes, not as a captain, but as a man
He does not write reports, cold orders, but from the heart.
The words race across the page, racing the setting sun.

He does not write to family, but to something else, something, should his fellow servicemen know of it, would consider very, very strange.
He writes to the future.
He writes a letter to a small naval historical society, a small group he has known for many years.
"Guardians of Japan" they call themselves.

Takeji writes, feeling now, as the sun sets, that their mission may be even more important than ever..........

...........when the Gaijun land, as I feel they must, the Old japan, the japan of the Bushido, of the samurai, of ten thousand years, will be utterly , (if we allow it) be swept away.
You must not let that happen. We fight out here, and increasingly, we die, buying time. But time for what?, for herbiesan and his like to push pieces about a map?.
No!, we must buy time, time for the essence of Japan, its very spirit, to be masked, hidden, its purity to be preserved............

It is nearly dark, as he seals the envelope.
Tomorrow, Hiyo "sails" again.
The chances of making it...................

But they must try.

120 miles east of Hiyo, CVE taiyo, escort to a huge convoy, is hit by a SS, not once, but twice.
Amazingly, she sails on, a mere 30 percent flood, speed barely reduced.
The SS are fairly crawling , like green maggots across the map.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2581
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/24/2013 12:12:20 PM   


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October 8th

9 frank fighters.
12000 feet.
Blue sky, green earth. Bright sun , glare, sparkling on armoured glass.
The steady roar of the engine.
Sweat, the salty taste, mixing with the cold, arid oxygen, the rubber mask.
Eyes seeking, head swivelling, again, and again.
Fuchida looks up, into the sun, again. A neat trick, to probe its impossible glare, to actually look, really look, at what might be lurking there, and not to blind oneself
And he see’s them.
Epileptically shaped wings. Long narrow snouts
647 missions, and still the thrill races through him.
Spitfires, a dozen at least, sweeping the sky, seeking them.
Well, they have found them then.
He waggles his wings, circles his finger, points up.
Throttle to full, stick back, and the franks climb, climb hard.

The spits wing over, too late, the altitude advantage is gone.
Fuchida banks hard, seeking the tail of a spit, it out turns him, a shadow on the mirror, a curse, one behind him!
He straightens, pulls hard, climbs almost vertical, one eye the mirror, yet still , head swivelling .
The spit follows, counting on its merlin, counting on its design.
They climb, arrows into the sky, speed slowly, slowly washing away.
Fuchida pulls a little more, the Frank now past the vertical, now easily at 110 degrees, …..pushing on the stick now, holding her from falling onto her back, still climbing, the great blade clawing at the air…………
The spit pilot is not good enough, he does fall away, falls into a spin, belly briefly white in the sky……….and Fuchida is full rudder over, diving upon, and past, smoke in his nostrils, the spitfire hammered under his guns.

He has 8 kills now
22nd has 175

There will be many more battles over battenbang this day.
No bombs will fall upon the troops below.

The invasion of Ambon begins
The Japanese response is swift
49 oscars race in………..bomb carrying, hugging the waves.
Easy targets for the CAP
They die, almost to a man.
Another sector, clear of the diverted CAP, 50 zeros, 21 betty, 6 kates.
CVE Liscombe bay……….sunk
CVE Sangomon, 3 bombs

37 more Oscars, another hit on the Sangomon
But it is the Helens, racing in at 100 feet, that bring the real terror.
14 attack,. Flak takes down5 .But they just keep coming………….
CL Mobile Bay is hit square by two of them., the results devastating.
For the allied sailors watching, there can be no hiding from it.
They were not injured. These were not damaged out of control aircraft. These were not actions of a despairing last effort.
This was cold, calculating. Deliberate.
And that, of course, is what makes it so terrifying.

Extract from Shattering the sword, a cantona production

The allied armies spread across Thailand
Bangkok has been secured, In the east, 3 japanese divisions destroyed, another two broken, Only two now stand between them and Hanoi, the chinese.
5 shattered divisions have been driven towards Battenbang, they can wait.
The main block, at the neck to Malaya, 15th Army. Allied command swings everything it has in that direction.

But the Battenbang army is not shattered. Reinforced, re supplied , , it leaves its defences, and begins to march north.
Counter attack.

Hiyo “sails”
She hugs the coast, crawling east, the tow ropes taunt.
It is an amazingly nice day.. Of the enemy, nary a wiff.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2582
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/25/2013 12:22:14 PM   


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9 October

extract from "Doing it the hard way"
(Chapter 16, Ambon, and beyond)

Its like, they just kept coming in every bloody hour. the word was that no less than 2 of our carriers had been sunk the day before, and that the beach head was as hot as hell.
But this was the South dakato, the ship that just kept on giving. We knew the Japs would come for us, but............

The old grey man visibly shudders, even after so many years. he pauses, re gathers himself, and the interview continues.
"maybe the brass thought she could draw some fire, maybe the reports of warships to the north spooked them. God knows.
But into the beach head we went.

The Japs just kept coming.
My position was right on the fantail, loaded for the port bofor there, and man, what a hot days work.

"were their friendly fighters about? I ask
"heaps, the ex sailor answers 'but they did a poor job.they tell me they killed one attack, did not help the fanshaw bay though, she got hit...........bang!, bang, bang!, and that was that................."

'And then?

Well, we went to work, the big guns pounded the beach, and we filled the sky with flak., "
"But they kept coming?"
"Oh, crap yeah, they just kept coming"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2583
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/25/2013 12:26:33 PM   


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22nd revert to close airfield defence.
To the North, NK1's dice with more spitfires.

3 divisions advance from battenbang, they are not bombed this day

Fuchida rests today.
he has 648 missions, 8 kills, is rated 84 experience
There is not a pilot in the 22nd with out a kill, 20 of them are aces, or more.

Tomorrow, the B-29's are going to try to crush them.
22nd know it. 5th air HQ knows it.
its the Allied way

let em try

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2584
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/25/2013 12:27:57 PM   


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tomorrow, news at ten

The title

giving the allies a bloody, bloody nose............

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Post #: 2585
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/25/2013 1:27:39 PM   


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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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Post #: 2586
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/26/2013 12:32:06 PM   


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Long Pig sits crossed legged, admiring the view.
He sits with Bigglesworth on the top of a small ridge some 3 miles from where they crashed, about 500 feet above the plains of central Thailand
The men are eating bully beef, and bread, gifts from the recon probe that has reached them this morning.
They have been asked if they want to head towards the rear, both, in total unison, have refused

This was, simply too good to miss.

War is ugly, horrid, the curse of mankind.
And yet, there are moments of sheer granduer, drama, that might even be said to define human life

The march of the old guard at Wellingtons centre.........
The march to oblivion at gettysberg
We know the moments.
We won't admit it. But battle can be so exhilerating..............

Especially when their is little danger, and you are the winning side, with overwhelming power to bear.

The bombers have come over, the dust is still settling.
Artillery screams overhead, landing with more than satisfactory bangs on the Japanese lines.....

And now, the tanks are rolling.

Finally, Long Pig understands .
Tanks. Tanks verses infantry.

Now he knows why he sits here, why killing Japanese tanks has been his job for these last weeks.
They roll, the green monsters, they roll. They spit fire, they crush, they bury all that oppose.

The battle rolls past, the great noise, the great drama.
Long pig finishes his sandwich
"Time to go ?"
Bigglesworth takes a last look at "the battle" before them.
"Yeah, The nips are finished.........nothing is going to stop us now"

Nakhon Ratchasima, key to the east, key to the roads to China, falls to the allies.

But this battle is not finished yet.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2587
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/26/2013 12:33:29 PM   


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late night, sorry guys, news at ten delayed.

here is a tit bit.............late 44, and an allied invasion is going to fail..............

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Post #: 2588
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/27/2013 11:53:01 AM   


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Somebody hates me..........
Takeji lowers his head against the stiff breeze, the belting rain, steps again out onto Hiyo's bridge wing, and stares again at the seas about him.
They are, frankly, nasty. Endless rows of waves, white caps everywhere, marching towards Hiyo, beating against her sides, breaking, flinging white spray across her deck.
She does not wallow now, a barely floating rock in the ocean, an island, with the tide coming in.

The wind howls, plucking at his clothing. 100 yards away, the AR is also at a halt, her captain far too clever to strain the tow , even in this weather. She holds Hiyo into the wind, direction due north, and waits to see if her charge will succumb, or not.
The seas rage, the rain pounds down
Takeji feels Hiyo's slow movements beneath his feet, judges yet again the sea about him.
There is no doubt about it............. Hiyo is settling further into the sea, inch by inch.......

he turns to the XO, ..(and what gratitude that he has stuck with him through this, sorry EX, to ruin your beautiful ship)
"There are two Stokers onboard, a Hirate, Okano.........can you get them for me?"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2589
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/27/2013 12:01:43 PM   


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The invasion of Ambon continues.
It is a curious affair this, little in the way of naval support, only the South Dakato, cruising a mile off shore, a few DE's.
Out numbered by transports, APs, nearly all of them.
Of note, the Empress of Scotland, looming over all of them, her great bulk on the horizon.
Her mere presence, here, as part of an invasion force, raises so many questions................

Troops are slowly being shuttled ashore, again, the lack of LST's is noted, a mere three counted this day.
But they are still coming ashore, eventually, there must be enough .

They must be stopped.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2590
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/27/2013 12:09:54 PM   


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22nd Sentai are aligned across the width of the field, the great blades spinning, growling
Fuchida sits in the middle of the line, looking left, looking right.
They are 36 strong today, as strong as they have been in weeks.

Suddenly , overhead, the swift dark shapes of fighters race across the field above them.
The NK1's from Phonm Phenh, right on time.

On the far flank, a hand waves.
We go
Fuchida releases the brake, eases the throttle forward, and joins the race for the sky.

The B-29's must come today, must close them down. North of battambang, an entire Japanese Corp is marching North under a blanket of fighters.

Fuchida climbs
70 plus fighters, Army, navy, climbing together, 40 aces amongst them

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Post #: 2591
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/27/2013 12:26:10 PM   


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extract from "Doing it the hard way"
(Chapter 16, Ambon, and beyond)

The old man continues............
"You know, that really did not start like there would be much trouble. Overhead the CAP was prety thick you know?, P38's, T bolts, hellcats, even a few corsairs..........."
he pauses, eyes searching back through the years..........."man, they looked so good those birds, shining aluminium, pilots looking like Clarke cable had been printed a 100 times ......and at first"

'At first?"
"At first, they did fine........captain broadcasts over the tannoy, incoming50 plus..........never saw one of them, although I hear a DE was hit."
"They were all shot down?"
"damn near enough........but, well, the Jap, he wasn't scared to die right?.and I have always wondered, was that raid a lure?, a decoy, because the next raid sure as hell came in untouched"

A long silence fills this home. On the mantle piece there is a 1/350 scale model of the South Dakato. She is a famous ship. But not for all of her war record, not for all the battles she fought.
No, South dakato rests in history for but one moment.

"They were kates.........old decrepit kates............but their pilots were better than good.
Still, captain dodged the fish, dodged em all..............."

'Except that one"
"except that one"

This torpedo, we now know, struck fwd, struck at the Bhd at frame 70, the BHD that seperated A 16inch turret magazine from B turrets magazine.
It must have penetrated. In fact, we know it did, later investigations would reveal this was a known vulnerability, very remote, but possible...........

"One second, there we were, 30 knots, guns blazing. then, then...........the whole world seemed to light up. I swear to this day, i saw the bones in my hand.
I fell, no, I was pushed straight over the side, down, and into the drink............

'And then?"

'I surfaced..............and half of B turret tried to land on top of me"

BB South dakato. I TT hit. "massive explosion." SINKS.
Confirmed by cantona............."unfreakingbelievable" he says

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Post #: 2592
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/27/2013 12:32:33 PM   


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Even as South dakato vanishes in her mile high smoke cloud, the next act is opening
"To 14th Army, from kendari"

Enemy transports of the beaches,

14th Army gives the same order as always. "Fight to the last man"
It askes for help, expecting none

But there are still ships available. Not many.
They leave patrol zones, and steam south

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2593
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/27/2013 12:54:55 PM   


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"he's getting old" thinks Hirate, as he faces the wet grey man in front of him. Old, and frail. But his eyes remain strong, and that is enough.
Takeji views the two men before him.
Zuiho men, he hardly knows them, but if they are Zuiho men, if they have followed him this far, then he can trust them.

'We are settling, and its more than this goddam rain, weather. I ask you , not order, to go below, find out where. take no risks..............if you cannot find the cause in an hour, get on top that clear?


They descend into Hiyo

Okano leads the way. Down into the hanger deck, where water streams in rivers from above. But this is a desception, scuppers will deal with this. He heads straight for the remaining engine room, a long descent down the port trunk, deck by deck, ladder by ladder, in pitch blackness.

They can hear the waves outside, hear water sloshing, hear her creak, groan. Their torches cast shadows , wierd, frightful shadows.
They descnd, 3 deck, 4 deck...........and 5 deck.
below, in the trunk, 6 deck, the engine room deck.............water, water flowing, dark, oily, evil.
"That was not here two hours ago....."
"No, how deep?"
"Who knows, but its getting deeper as we go, lets hurry!"

Its waist deep on 6 deck, with difficulty, they go through the door into the engine room
Instinctively, they shine light on the baulkheads.............they seem firm

"Where the hell is it coming from?"
"Crap knows..........but its coming in................"

Floundering, they wade through the lower space, searching, searching.finding!

The oil purifier is a fountain.........."What the!?"
"The oil tank must be flood pressurised.gods knows how.............its coming back through.........if we finds the valves.......

"They are in the bilge!"..........panic creeps into Hirates voice..........the waters are still rising.
Okano takes a breath, duck dives..............

Time passes..............

and passes

The water rises..........and the fountain stops.
Okano bursts to the surface, chest deep now.
"lets get the hell out of here"

Above deck, the AR loses her head. She falls away to the weather. The tow rope momentarily loosens, Hiyo swings beam to the weather, rolls, rolls to Port, lurches to port, and remains, listing at 20 degrees

In the engine room, many, many tons of water rushes to the port side, sweeping two stokers with it, racing against the watertight door, burying it, slamming it shut.
Okano, Hirate , gasping, cursing, struggle in the near dark, battle to find something, anything to climb upon
They struggle onto the turbine, an island in a sea of oil

They swing torches to port, seeking where the door, the trunk leads to the upper decks.
The beams reflect on the waters............

Its Hirate who gasps the obvious "We are trapped!"

"Flooding increases Hiyo, damage control parties trapped"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2594
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/27/2013 7:45:27 PM   


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Ugh! This is not looking good.

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Post #: 2595
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/28/2013 5:39:06 AM   


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Fuchida climbs, they all climb, hard, oxygen on at 10000 feet, needed at 20000
The group turns North, and heads towards Bangkok.
On their flank, the George fighters. Below, the central plains of thialand, ahead, blue, the central hills and Jungles
Visibility is brilliant, better than brilliant. On Fuchida’s shoulder, on that horizon, the blue of the sea.
Fuchida takes his wingman into his eye, he will lead today, Fuchida’s job, to keep him alive.

Simultaneously, a dozen wingtips waggle.
The bombers, The B-29’s streaming below, heading towards their home, as crappy as it is.

Fuchida eyes the growing enemy as they swing around, fly parallel to the dozen of the big birds 5000 feet below.
The B-29. Big, Beautiful, The badass of bombers.
They have been used everywhere in this war.
Initially almost invulnerable. Used with impunity.
Used with out escort

“But we have you figured out now, you barsteds” growls Fuchida, as 22nd takes its position, as its formation breaks into three plane elements.
They will dive upon the enemy from above, in tight, almost wing tip to tail, packs of three, down from above, down from ahead
Three planes to one gun.
Fuchida’s wingman waggles
He takes a breath, deep,

(in reply to pws1225)
Post #: 2596
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/29/2013 4:31:05 AM   


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The sea about Hiyo is a little less angry now, the rain has ceased, the wind a little less violent. The tow has even resumed, not with much enthusiasm, notes Takeji, Hiyo's list is still at 20 degrees, he can easily see the men gathered around the stern of the AR ship, waiting, no doubt, to cut him free when Hiyo commences her last plunge.

He cannot blame them.

The ring of the sound powered phone startles them.
Being closest, he reaches for it. Not his expected duty, yes?, but there has been little to do for these last hours.........

A silence, then, hesitantly at first, but slowly growing in confidence, Okano's voice echoes faintly across the dark, sloping bridge.
"Sir, Okano here, we have found and isolated the flood. I have even managed to start that portable pump down here, water level is steady!..................but............."

There is a long silence.........
"Continue sailor"
"Sir, with this list, the only door out is under 15 feet of water, we cannot open it!"

"There is no other way out?"..........even as he asks, he see's the Engineer, see's the shake of the head.........doomed then.....
"Not until Manilla sir"

Always, we grasp at hope.........but this time...........
"Sir?, is the Engineer their?"
takeji passes the phone to Engines, who climbs labouriously up the slope of the bridge
Okano's disembodied voice carries across the darkened bridge
'Sir.......the exhaust trunk leading from the control platform...........if we cut it off above the valve, and somebody opens it up in the inspection hatch leading from the galley, its large enough sir............we could be lifted out"

takeji knows instantly what is being asked. This will, of course, destroy the watertightness of the compartment........
"That will destroy the compartments integrity Okano," the Engineer replies............but his eyes tell a different story as they seek Takeji's. he places his hand over the speaker......."But if the water reaches there, we are sunk ayway........."

Command. I curse it. I see the question now, and well asked it would lost the ship for two men?
But, and I know this too..........Hiyo is finished for this war, and men are what now matter, especially men like those below......

"Do it Engines, every man you can spare if needed......

Hiyo, 43 system, 81 flood, 43 engines

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2597
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/29/2013 4:39:47 AM   


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The sun has set over 22nd's airfield. 31 fighters lie scattered about it, patches of red light, as the ground crews work. In front of the tent that serves as the ready room, 22nd pilots sit, or lie in small groups, waiting their turns to be interviewded by the intelligence men

There is little conversation, just weariness

But that is all there is, on the negative side. Tired they are, but excitement still ripples through thm. No pilots lost today, 3 fighters down, many damaged, but nobody killed.

And, as stories are quietly shared, as the de briefings come in, the enemy tally is growing.
22nd has 4 kills confirmed this day, but they did not fight alone, of course.
the tally will not be confirmed for days yet, but they all have seen them, the 29's going down, one after another, after another

The NK1, it seems, is a bomber killer too

29 of the big barsteds shot down today...........a glorious day indeed!

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Post #: 2598
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/29/2013 4:45:44 AM   


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The enemy invasion of Ambon continues

At Kendari, another commences

But something here is going terribly wrong
Ships arrive, anchor, but few, a very few boats begin to come ashore.
Something, something, is going terribly wrong

The Japanese do not care. They pound what does come ashore...........elements of the 24th, 25th divisions.
The beachead becomes a small, terrible death trap

At midnight , an electrifying message.
"From combined fleet, to 14th Army"
Intend to interdict beach head Kendari at dawn. Please co ordinate counter attack on beach head!"

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Post #: 2599
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/29/2013 4:58:49 AM   

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ORIGINAL: 1275psi

29 of the big barsteds shot down today...........a glorious day indeed!

Wow!! BANZAI!!!



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Post #: 2600
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/29/2013 9:47:04 PM   
John 3rd

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Fantastic Work!


Member: Treaty, Reluctant Admiral and Between the Storms Mod Team.

Reluctant Admiral Mod:

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Post #: 2601
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/30/2013 10:48:14 AM   


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11 OCT 44

And so this is war.
Ugly, furious, animal
Two great empires are grappling to the death
They send great Navies at each other, that fight tooth and nail
The navies consist of ships, individual ships.

Ships, that go at each other these next nights like terriers

And drag with them, poor unfortunate men

The allied landings on kendari sort themselves out, but have barely gotten underway properly, when the message goes out.
'cancel unloading, get underway, enemy ships approaching"

Some, apparently, get the message. Some continue to unload. And, how it occurs, we may never know. 24th, 25th division commence an evacuation of the beaches.

Its a mess.

And then Furatuka, 3 DD arrive, and really, really mess it all up.

(in reply to John 3rd)
Post #: 2602
RE: The little ship that could. - 9/30/2013 11:02:40 AM   


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Blood streams down Hirates arm, source ruined, cut, battered fingers.
It sounded so easy, seperate the ventilation from the deck head. oh, it sounded so easy..
The deck slopes, wet, and slippery. There is no way something can be assembled to stand upon. They have rigged a crude web of ropes, ropes that swing, move underfeet. The heat is oppressive, sweat pours from Hirates eyes.

They have no tools, a chisel, a, not even a chisel, a screwdriver that they are using as a chisel......

But that is not the worst of it.
Their torches are dying.the utter pitch dark of the tomb.............
Its about them, pressing in, breathing down their necks.

There has only been one way to remove the trunk in the circumstances.
Brutally. They have torn at the thin metal, ripped at it, bent it.
Swore at it, cursed it, spat at it.
Bled on it, as it fights back.

Hirate pauses, gasping, arms aching.
The blood drips..........

And the dark closes in.

Hiyo 43 system, 81 flood, 43 eng

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2603
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/2/2013 9:02:47 AM   


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Extract from Shattering the Sword, a Cantona production.

These, then , were another set of those classic japanese attacks, so often executed during the war.
The rapid , no holds barrred approach, the violet contact, the flash and crash of the guns, the hiss of the tubes, the violent death of ships...........

Furatuka and 3 DDs, heavy rain.
Tracked , at times, inward by the allied radar.

This time as the Japanese squadron burst from the rain, at 11000 yards, the defenders are ready
Fish leap from both sides, the Japanese go for the transports, immediately hitting a large AP, gunfire dancing across her cliff like sides
Moments later, another large AP is split in two as a Long Lance strikes home.

7000 yards, the Japanese line is curving, guns going to work at the fleet lying before them
Destroyer Tanihakaze vanishes, a bright flash, a dull boom................wreckage

The Allied destroyers, three of them, stem straight for them, turn, wheel, run parrallel, the guns barking like machine guns
Arashi becomes the victim, at 2000 yards, the distance almost suicidal, she fights the Mustin, the morris
Furatuka is free, her guns seek another large AP, , the liner Mariposa, she is burning

The action breaks, the Japanese curving course takes it out of the bay, clear of the Kendari headland.

The Kendari invasion fleet is left, three large ships burning, the troop landings totally disorganised

2 dead Japanese destroyers, 3 damaged allied

900 drowned soldiers

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2604
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/2/2013 9:17:36 AM   


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Long Pig and Bigglesworth are sharing a bench , enjoying a meal. Of course, thinks Long pig, when one has once been so hungry that the smell of human flesh cooking has almost tricked you, tempted you, eeven Spam can be considered a good meal.
They are sharing the meal with six other pilots and crewmen, various survivors that the Chindits have recovered in the last few days from these central plains of Thialand

It is a very vivid reminder , that here, at least, Japans air force still has teeth.

The plan, for the last two days, has been simple. "A truck will be provided at first opportunity, to transfer you chaps back to Bangkok"

it has not happened. There are plenty of trucks, it seems, coming south, going south, supporting the pursuit of the retreating enemy.
But none headed North

Rumours however, are thick

"There are three Japanese Divisions coming North"
"We are pulling out"
"We are going to counter the counter attack"

The usual trollop of stuff

Bigglesworth elbows Long pig.
"A truck"
"There, under the trees, and look my friend, thats a brocken two pounder in the back, you don't fix them here, but you do in a rear depot"
"Like, say, bangkok?"
"Like bangkok'

casually, so as not to attract attention, the two men leave the table, saunter over to the truck.
swiftly, discreetly, it gains two passengers

Shorthly after, it does depart north

the gun, is yes, a two pounder.
But its not broken, only broken down for ease of transport, a gun for a airborne regiment

the truck drives north 20 miles, then, abruptly, it turns south , the main road, bangkok to Phon Phen, Siagon

It drives all night, hard, where it is desperately needed, the front

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2605
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/2/2013 9:28:11 AM   


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Kinugasu clears the headland. her captain wheeling her around to try again.
4 Allied cruisers emerge from the rain, and engage

before this violent encounter peterst out, the Gambia is burning, the Arashi is sunk, Furatuka a shattered mess.

they came in the usual way, they were met, in the usual way.............

Japan is running out of ships

At Ambon, here too, another battle

Kumano, 3 DDs.
6 allied DDs
Clear weather, a clear night

A totally different encounter. The Allies, radar directed gunfire, the Japanese seeking blindly the enemy, all three DDs quickly crippled
The turn away

But here too, the allied invasion fleet has with drawn someway, such is the reputation of these battles.
Dawn breaks on wreckage strewn seas.

dawn brings the airforces.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2606
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/2/2013 9:30:56 AM   


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4000 japanese troops rise as one, and sweep down the hills towards the invasion beach at kendari

They find...............nothing
Equipment, supplies, bodies, brocken boats, a beached and burning LST
A dog

24th, 25th Division have , for whatever reason, failed.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2607
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/3/2013 11:27:58 AM   


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With a cry of triumph, Okano drags the valve assembly, its jagged metal casing free. It falls into the dark engineroom with a resounding crash. Savegedly Hirate kicks it down the sloping deck.
Both men look up the dark, no, pitch black shaft.

A silence fills the engine room. Both men are painfully aware of the sound below their feet.
Its the sound of running water.

The sea, apparently, will not be denied

Suddenly, from somewhere, a long, long somewhere above them, a call.................

And gods be praised, a rope comes banging down the trunk

Hirate stares at the rope, flicking about in the almost exhausted light of the torch.
Faintly, faintly, he can Okano curse and swear, bang and struggle his way up the ventilation trunk

These minutes stretch, stretch to the impossible to bear.
salvation is so close................

there are moments , I suppose , in life, in all of our lives, when we must think of these things:
death, life, salvation.
God, I suppose
In this hour, Hirate will climb up , climb up from dark and death, to life again

First step, in a journey he does not know will come, but will take him to places he will vever imagine

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2608
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/3/2013 11:36:39 AM   


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Joined: 4/17/2005
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12th of October

The T bolts are circling, cueing up a mile behind the front, waiting their turn to strike the Japanese army ahead of them
Long pig and Bigglesworth are watching them, the side of the road their seat. A truck is going North in the hour, lasts night diversion has been...............well, embarressing.

To the south, the crackle of small arms, the rising columns of smoke

regularily, a T bolt will be called, will peel of, dive overhead, and disapear behind the trees.
A satisfactory rattle of guns, the thud of bombs............

Suddenly, other planes................
They scream down, dozens of them...........
"Jesus!", gasps Biggleswoth..........."Japs!'

Japs indeed
22 nd bounce, 22nd get the kills
One pass..............the T bolts are gone, and 8 columns of smoke, and flame, dotter the plains about them.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2609
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/3/2013 11:41:03 AM   


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Kinugasa sinks

Hiyo, 44/79/43, and still 14 days from manilla, if they are lucky

And, totally by surprise, an allied unit cuts the road south of 15th army
It, and 23rd, and, of course, Hosho and his men, are surrounded.
Worse, there is no doubt now, at least ten divisions are pouring across the hills, down the road, readying themselves, to smash them, and open the door to Malaya

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2610
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