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RE: The little ship that could.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 12/26/2013 1:12:13 AM   


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19 th december
0400 hours

Combined fleet, 40 miles south of Talaud Eilanden, exactly 320 miles from the enemy, has arrived at her launch point undetected.
Surprise is total


(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2791
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/26/2013 1:31:48 AM   


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AAR open to Cantona
he deserves it

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Post #: 2792
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/26/2013 8:16:58 AM   


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Chiburi bounces acrossa short, sharp viscous swell. This is the reality so few write about. You hear of the great storms, sometimes even, of the beautiful days.
But of these days, the "normal' days, you hear little. There is no glamour, no glory. What there is , is this. Bloody awkwardness, bloody inconveniance, and tiredness.
Hirate is trying to wash, trying to shave.
No easy task, around him the world bounces, it pitches, it rolls. A million things bang and rattle. The water slops out of the sink, the soap slides away.
The towel, wrapped around the waste, slides down towards the floor. If he tries to hold it up, one less hand to hang onto something, and as that other hand is busy with a razor.........

A curse, easier to let the towel fall. After all, nothing nobody on this tub has not already seen and joked about before.
He peers into what passes as a mirror.
Warships keep glass to an absolute minimum, what passes for a mirror here is actually a highly polished stainless steel plate.
And it sucks
Big time

Chiburi lurches yet again, outside the crash of the swell, the running water thundering down the decks.
Another curse
He waits patiently for a moment, razor poised.
From the steel reflects a scarred, angry red face, ruined by war.
he cuts himself, and curses again
"Keep still you bloody bitch!"
Bloody weather. Bloody little ships, bloody war!
Who's bloody idea was this.?

He has, of course, much to curse. A comfortable life snatched from him. 3 years of pain, of boredom, of terror, of near death, how many bloody times now?
And a face ruined.
And now, somewhere behind him, a new wife, a growing new life.........for all this crap!
He finishes his abulutions, turns to leave.

A strange figure lurches into the heads, finds the toilet, and wretches the pitiful wretch of a man in ultimate sea sick misery.
Hirate freezes
face green or not, there is no mistaking THAT face
The face that all his misery can be laid at the feet of

That miserable ****, herbiesan

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Post #: 2793
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/26/2013 8:37:32 AM   


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Abe watches the strike depart, wings glinting in the rising sun
I have made my play, now I must wait.............and hope.

The Donggala reinforcement convoy has arrived......good
I remain unspotted, still
The strike is enroute.

All is done
'Anyone for a cup of tea?"

It is another hour before the call comes, a lifetime in carrier warfare

"Aircraft!, bearing 100!, range 12 kilometres!, 4 engines sir!"
But have they spotted us in time?

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Post #: 2794
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/26/2013 8:51:48 AM   


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The big Jill vibrates hard around you.
Its a good plane this, fast, long legged, almost comfortable
But you also know she is Oh so vulnerable.

You look around you, and take courage from what you see

It is a long, long time since Japan has flung a strike like this
140 zeros, spread across the sky, weaving above the 45 TBDs, the 20 odd DBs
A beautiful sky, a deep blue sea.
Islands, green, sliding below.

And there, ahead, the tiny little dots, multiplying as the Jill swallows the miles, revealling greater numbers by the second, the enemy fleet.
And above it, in horrifying numbers, the hellcats swarming frantically for altitude

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Post #: 2795
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/26/2013 2:08:17 PM   

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"Look out below. 'Cause here we go!"

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RE: The little ship that could. - 12/26/2013 4:08:27 PM   

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200 plane attack against the Allied Deathstar ... oh, I don't think this is going to end well ...




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Post #: 2797
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/27/2013 4:33:27 AM   


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And now your entire world, your entire life, narrows down to this moment.
There is no time to be afraid
You just have to, have to get a strike

Instantly you push the stick forward, open the throttle wide, and the bomber begins to gain momentum
Above you, the zeros, peeling away, some up, many streaking below you

18 strong, Zuikaku's Jills lead the attack

You see it instantly, to attack straight in, is suicide.
So does your leader, the unit banks gently to the left, now the enemy gunners have a three dimensional problem.......if you get close enough

You sense them more than really seeing them, the hellcats banking in, slicing in from the flank
Your rear gunner fires.......a pathetic hammering in the wave of chattering cannons and guns flling the sky about you

A hellcat screams past, and both men to your left fall flaming, and you can do nothing but hunker down, and grimly pick your target

Zeros, S bending ahead, weaving, rolling, trying to hold of the enemy fighters, planes falling all around you as you reach 300 feet, bank again to the right, and make your run
There is an Essex, there, nearly 3 kilometres away, dead ahead.........two more of your campanions disintergrate, the flack is streaming towards you, the sea erupting ahead, under, below, shrapnel rains and clatters upon your beast, and you know, you will never make it.

Wasp is sliding past your right, towars of bombs about her, and almost alone, their are only four of you left now, you slam the stick over, fighting to hold her nose up, balancing lift, slip, drag, that monstrous wieght strapped to the belly, you need to put in top rudder to keep the bitches nose up, you have never flown so well, been so in the moment, got it so right.............
Stick hard back, groaning she responds, holes string across the wing, a cry, a scream of agony behind you, the release under your hand, a scream of rage, of triumph, of life, you cannot miss...

You roar over wasps bow..moments frozen in time, men scattering, a man, in cooks whites for heavens sake staring at you...and the column of water rises hard against her belly...........Banzia!

And then something slams her from behind, ,drifting, no controls.....spinning, ocean.............

wasp 1 TT hit, one bomb hit
40 zeros lost
Just 11 bombers return

(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 2798
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/27/2013 4:38:39 AM   


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Ashen faced, Genda climbs the ladder to Zuikaku's bridge
Abe does not need a report from him, his face tells the story

And he can count the returns himself

But genda surprises him
"Sir, we are now in Dive bomber range, if we strike Sorong, waingapoe........."
'You recommend a second strike?"
"he cannot come at us, the invasion fleet is too vulnerable. Let us try again sir"

But we must


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Post #: 2799
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/27/2013 4:43:06 AM   


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120 fighters, 40 odd bombers strike south

They should not have bothered

a single DD is sunk, and again losses are heavy.

But genda is correct, there is no reaction North, no counter strike

Abe recovers his shattered airgroups, turns tail, and flees towards Jolo island.
150 odd aircraft, the last of his veteran pilots gone.

A win, but why does everything taste of defeat?

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Post #: 2800
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/27/2013 3:26:26 PM   


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So well written


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

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Post #: 2801
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/28/2013 4:01:08 AM   

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Very well written sir. More please....

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Post #: 2802
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/28/2013 6:16:07 AM   


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December 20th

"But you were dead!"
The tall gentleman smiles wanely, "For a while there, I almost was........driving off a bridge is not conducive to good health you know........even less so when one finds that the brakes have been tampered with"

Admiral Yamamato moves some what stiffly into the centre of Imperial HQ......."I spent nearly a year in a Naval Hospital in Ominato, certain members of my staff were both faithful, and discrete enough whilst I learnt to walk again"

Such a glib sentence yes?.......learnt to walk again. Helpless while that murdering fool Herbiesan drives Japan towards defeat and ruin. Learnt to walk again, while my family, my friends think me dead

"I must say though, that I was a little disapointed in my funeral Gentlemen, but, thats past now........the question is, what now?"

Silence fills Imperial HQ
"Are you assuming power then?"

"I have the Imperial Rescript, the Emperor himself has appointed me. "
Yamamato physically has shrunk, but the eyes that stare at each man in the room remain as hard as ever.

This is the moment, is it not?

One by one, the figures stiffen, the salutes rise

he strides to the map table.
"Order of business...........One, announcment of a new goverment, two, the capture and the bringing to Justice of our late leader, and three, the one that still eludes us, bringing this war to a successful conclusion. Do I miss anything?"

There is no objection

And this, of course is how it goes.
Japan receives a new goverment, the people informed after the fact......
But this does not change.
The war will continue.

(in reply to bartrat)
Post #: 2803
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/29/2013 12:41:32 AM   


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His hands tremble slightly as he holds the paper in his hand

The barsted, the absolute barsted

For two years now Yamamoto we have fought, while your cowardly heart has hidden away, and now, now this!

"I am assuming command of all Imperial forces" Yamamato

The barsted. We bleed, and you assume you can just waltz in on your limp reputation, and take over!

Abe crushes the signal in his hand, angrily tosses it into the wind, where it vanishes into Zuikaku's wake
Not in a million years, not now, not ever!

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Post #: 2804
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/29/2013 12:52:32 AM   


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Chiburi plows on calm, mirror like seas, beautiful, the sky reflecting the occasional berg as they slide ever Northwards

There could be no greater contrast between this trip and her previous one. Other than the cold, this is as good it gets.

Low on the horizon, the land of the Bear, on the other, Northern Japan.
Occasionally she will have to alter course for a fishing boat, waves and smiles are exchanged, its rare indeed for the fishermen to see the Navy this way, not in these lonely waters.

Ukagi rests his bulk easily on his chair, it would be too easy to doze here in the sun, the war so many miles away.
But for his passenger, that is.

"I am taking command of the fleeet". Yamamato

The sly dog. Clever, no?. To escape death like that, to remain hidden, to have such perfect timing in the return.
But who else to bind us together, under the Emperor, to bring Japan a victory the barsted below could not?

I would follow Yamamato to the gates of hell.................

And now I have to take him to our enemies. And for what?
A handful of gold?.

But I am sworn to him, have followed him so many years....he is my liege lord.

Ukagi stares at the world so peacful sliding by, his mind at war with itself.

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Post #: 2805
RE: The little ship that could. - 12/29/2013 1:12:39 AM   


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Chiburi drives on, her diesels beating on, and on, and on.
One would be forgiven, comparing her to Zuiho and all the problems she seemed to have, in asking why are not all ships diesel, why even bother with steam?
Lack of power, I suppose is one. Noise is another, not exactly useful to beat a million drums as you hunt the hidden buka's below.
Reliability, surprisingly, is another.
The heads went on during that last refit, for this pair, in 5000 hours, they will have to come of again, thats just over three months away, for another 10 days down time.

In war, when a ship alongside is a ship lost.

And of course there is this, Diesels in general are going, or they are not, they lack completely the flexibility of steam.

Today, they are going.
But other things are not.

Nestled forward of the beasts, their are four purifiers, one pair for her fuel, the other pair for her oil.
Without them, those diesels will eventually stop, filters clogged, or those 5000 hours rapidly reduce to mere 100's

They are simple beasts, an electric motor drives through a simple bevel gear a vertical shaft.
Mounted on the shaft a series of discs, shaped like upside down soup bowls, stacked atop of each other. These spin at terrifying speed. the oil/fuel is fed in, centrigugal force flinging the crap to the outer bowl edges, the clean liquid flowing up the undersides of the bowls, pumped away.

A seal of water, created on start up, seperates the dirt from the oil or fuel.
It sounds complicated, but is not.

I have never met a stoker, ever, who likes the bloody machines.
Every night, we must shut down the unit, pull it apart, clean it- a filthy filthy business, and re flash it-not unknown to be a cow of a job itself.

Hirate has his unit today scattered all over the plates, puddles of black oil everywhere, oil all over himself. A string of curses , swallowed by the diesel beat, is steadily flowing from him.
In amongst the dirt, the grit, something else, bright brass filings, shavings.
He spins the vertical shaft by hand, feels the grating, senses the rumbling.


The worm drive, obviously, is gone.
he bends over the beast, attacks the sump plug with a spanner.
It gives, and an evil white, milky liquid drains onto his fingers. With it, more flakes, metal bits.


And suddenly, it is all too much

he collapses upon his arse, and the tears flow


Above the beat of the diesels, the clattering clang of a spanner hurled in disgust and despair.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2806
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/1/2014 11:48:05 PM   


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2nd bloody attempt...............grrrrrrrrrrrr

22nd december

Ogowa and Diogowa have returned to Kagoshima. Their fighter unit is Japans Ace in the hole, her reserve unit. They spend the days playing cards, moping about near the fires (snow covers the fields). Diogowa is getting fat again.

Hosho recovers with 55th Division just 5 kilometres away, where the division rests and takes a trickle of reinforcements, mostly skinny young boys barely able to carry their rifles, and old men who barely remember how too.
The division is confined to camp.
Hosho suspects it will remain there until where its political loyalties lie has been detirmined. For himself, he has none, his loyalties are to himself, his company, the regiment.
And sometimes, where the next meal is going to come from.

Combined fleet enters Manilla Bay. CV Taiho is narrowly missed by a SS, the cause of 100 near heart attacks escapes.
Abe will have a million problems to tackle tomorrow. Aircraft replacements, the lack of, is top of the list
Then, of course, there is Yamamato.

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Post #: 2807
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/2/2014 12:00:02 AM   


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Chiburi still plows on across cold dark waters. Okha has slid astern, again the forests of Mother Russia slide down her port flank

As they have so many times before, Okano and Hirate work side by side, the purifier dismantled about them.
There was a spare worm drive aboard, even bearings.
Technically, the machine is Leading Seaman Toyoda's responsibility.
The two men have summed him up together."That idiot could not organise sex in a brothel" Easier to do it themselves, do it right the first time
Do it together

"Are you OK Hirate?"
Hirate nods to the bearing pulley......."ready for it?.......good..........No, I don't think I am brother"
"Want to talk about it?"
Hirate loooks at his Brother in law......."talk about it?. Are you kidding, do you think we are women?"

"Pass the hammer, give it a tap, there, no there.................just asking you stubborn pig"
'No the Trucker........look, do you really think Toyoda knows what the term proper lubrication means?"

They examine the destroyed bearing

Hirate suddenly pauses
"Do you know that our esteemed leader Herbiesan is onboard?"
"here, onboard the Chiburi?" Okano's eyes widen
"Yes, large and arrogant as life itself"
Hirate takes the new bearing, places it into his palm, great meaty oil stained fingers closing upon it. 'And that, I think, is where my problem is"

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Post #: 2808
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/2/2014 12:12:20 AM   


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22nd December, dusk

herbiesan stands alone on the quarterdeck of the Chiburi.
The beat of the diesels barely sooths him.

Anger courses through him.
Betrayal does that.
Yamamato, the Emperor!.
Emperors are titalur heads...............inconcievable that he should get involved, should bring his divine presence into the realm of men itself!

But the barsteds had

Than the gods that he prepared his bolt hole.
He pulls his heavy coat about him tighter. Pity Russia is so bloody cold.

The hatch to the steering compartment creaks open. Two oily dirty hands emerge, followed by the ugliest face he has seen in many a year, red, scarred. Burnt at some time, obviously
Herbiesan stares at the dirty clod contemptously. To think he once thought the revolution was for the likes of him.


The sailor halts, hesitates, but the eyes do not seek his.
Stupid peasant

"Its cold, sailor, get me a cup of cocoa can you?"

"Truk off!" The epitath is spat with violence , with a lifetime of suppressed rage.
And then, in one swift movement, the sailor rushes forward, grabs Herbiesan below the waist, and hurls him overboard.

Chiburi sails on into the night, her diesels drowning out any noise that may, or may not, have come from astern.

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Post #: 2809
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/2/2014 1:10:47 AM   
Long pig


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Great writing my friend, I did not see this coming :)

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Post #: 2810
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/2/2014 3:15:27 AM   
John 3rd

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

Reluctant Admiral Mod:

(in reply to Long pig)
Post #: 2811
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/2/2014 3:29:36 AM   

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No predictable dialogue, no explanations, no fuss... Just chuck, over the side!!


(in reply to John 3rd)
Post #: 2812
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/2/2014 3:49:21 AM   

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Post #: 2813
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/2/2014 8:33:59 AM   

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After spending over 2 years on FF-1079, I can easily see something like this happening without anybody knowing about it. Without anybody on watch on the fantail, the body would not be sighted. Good job here!!


(in reply to PaxMondo)
Post #: 2814
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/3/2014 2:37:45 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 #: 2815
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/4/2014 11:16:10 PM   


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He's gone?" Ugaki shakes his head in disbelief......."How, where?'

The Charge's retort is sharp."Where the Truk do you think he can have with the bloody fairies?"

Silence descends on Chiburi's bridge. Outside, dawn is breaking, and once again snow is falling. The bay is as quiet as the last time they visited, and no doubt, occupied by as many hidden eyes as well.

They have searched the ship, questioned the crew.
But there is no doubt, the passenger is gone.
"Should we search for him?'
Now its Ukagi's turn to apply the sarcasm........"with water barely above freezing temperatures?. Don't be a bloody idiot"

"Then what do we do now?"
Ukagi shrugs........."Quietly rejoin the war, and keep our mouths shut..........unless you have a better idea?"

The Charge hesitates, thinks for a moment. Then grins........."its sort of a relief isn't it?'
" get below, I want to be out of here as soon as bloody possible"

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 2816
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/4/2014 11:19:48 PM   


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December 24th

Abe has underestimated his problems
Manilla is pure chaos.
And, as he suspected, there are no aircraft replacements
"They are loaded aboard Convoy 'XYZ", enroute"...High Command (whoever the hell THAT is at the Moment) signals .

They may as well be on the moon.

We have shot our bolt. Marooned at Manilla, no fuel, empty hangers, and no ideas.
Was Rome like this as the barbarians reached the gates?

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2817
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/4/2014 11:31:27 PM   


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Christmas Eve


Long pig and Bigglesworth stride across the vast concrete desert that is the tarmac of Dilli airfield.
"Impressive, ain't it?" Bigglesworth gestures at the field, the long row of B 29s glistening in the morning sun
"I told you I would take you places old boy" Long pig grins "and I am a man of my promise"

Bigglesworth scowls.....'I must be mad as a hatter, to think I could be in some County pub right now, lovely pint of bitter..........
"And wondering where all the adventure in your life went"
"there's that......"

Long pig and Bigglesworth settle into the massive bomber, introductions to the young crew made, briefings on the bomber given.
Its to be a 30 plane mission, target, Palua port
As the great bombers line up, Long Pig falls into silence, contemplating the scene about him

Dilli is as big a field as one could ever hope to build, supported by a massive number of ground units, fed, by what must be obviously a stupendously long supply chain. It states more clearly than any word, the effort the Allies have put into this chosen avenue of attack, the so called soft belly of the empire.

A soft belly proving to be tougher than dragon scales......

It will be a long, long journey to Palua, one ending over it in violence and terror, as the fighters stream past, as fellow bombers fall.

Shaken, Both men will regain the ground at dusk
6 bombers gone.......

Only one thought hammers through Long pigs mind

"This is being done all wrong"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2818
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/6/2014 8:02:37 AM   


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december 26th

Chiburi continues south, Shikuka her destination

The question has been asked, or should have been even earlier, I would think
What of the gold?

A dozen men, a truck, 675 miles of isolated road to Kuibyshevka through thick forests, mountains and snow .
The inevitable happens, that is what

4 men form a coalition, and attempt to kill the other eight, who have formed one of their own

When it ends, with the pure snow stained red with gore, just three remain.
And if there are three, then one must be on the outer..........

two, who have killed so many, cannot allow one to live.........

They will die together, stupidly, as so many have before them when the glittering poision is about through out history, grasped together, knife in one throat, bayonet in the others belly.

The snow will fall, and cover the frozen corpses, and the crates

In the spring, nature will scatter the remains, and spring rains will wash the camps away.
The crates will be slowly buried in dust, drift wood, droppings

I would think its still there............ironic, no?
It would make a good story, the journey of the crates.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2819
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/6/2014 8:07:33 AM   


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Extract from shattering the sword, a cantona production

The British had achieved it against the U boat
The Americans against the I boats

Why not the Japanese, who since mid 43 had bent heaven to the problem of the American S boat
december 44 comes to a dealy end.
For every merchant ship sunk, a S boat lost in return.
They took a long time to learn the lessons, but now they are being applied brutally.
Japans E boats are killing the underwater Buka's.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2820
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