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RE: The little ship that could.

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RE: The little ship that could. - 1/6/2014 8:36:47 PM   


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So late in the war and Japan is still holding on.


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

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2821
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/7/2014 8:36:08 AM   


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27th of december 1944

Yamamato shifts uneasily in his seat, trying without success o get comfortable .
Under his immaculate uniform, he is wearing the most inconvienient of garmets, a rather stiff and severe corset, a hidden but essential hang over from his injuries. Medical science has not yet advanced to pins in shattered spines, thus the essential back support, and the attendant discomfort.

He dreads of course, what would happen if one was discovered wearing such a thing.
He shifts in the seat again, back almost ramrod straight. The only advantage in the bloody thing, the way it forces a military posture......and carefully opens the signal

'Most top secret
For Yamamato's eyes only"

The big Emily bounces slightly, it is a long way to Manilla, and Admiral Abe.
But first things first.

'Report on activities of IJNS Chiburi, and passenger X'

Yamamato shifts again, bloody clever to have your own pair of eyes on Chiburi yes? thought you were so clever herbiesan......

Not so clever after all, it seems

"passenger X boarded Chiburi as planned, and ship immediately sailed for Northern waters,'

the rat, fleeing, ney?

"he never arrived. At some point he either met foul play, or committed suicide. I suspect the former. Chiburi has now returned to Shikuka"

Carefully he refolds the Signal, places it in his top pocket.
Below Okiwana slides slowly past.

Somwhere on Chiburi, a patriot.
A pity.

He turns, gestures to a staff member.
he leans to his ear. "Upon arrival..........there is a small escort vessel, the Chiburi.........I need to know where it is, who it is attached to."

So I can order it somewhere else
Somewhere decidedly dangerous..........

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 2822
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/9/2014 9:22:01 AM   


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28th December

Okano commences his third set of rounds through Chiburi’s engineroom. This is the core of naval engineering, the endless prowling about machinery, seeking to detect that crippling defect before it occurs.
There is more to this than meets the eye.
Modern enginerooms, frequently now days, are great gleaming caverns, and every piece of machinery is monitored by remote sensors, the spaces themselves under CCTV vision.
Computers control the machinery, sensors alarming whenever any parameter is broken.
But you still have to visit the space.
Have to.
You meet them, the guys who “have it”
The men who, over the years have developed that intimate knowledge of machinery, almost, dare we say it, that 6th sense
They will enter that machinery compartment, and pause. They just know ………………something down here is not right.
And tonight, as Okano rises from his upside down bucket that serves as his seat, he feels it, knows it

Both engines bellow on, but the bellow has a new noise in it, do you hear it?. No?. Well, can you feel it through your feet?
Surely you do?
Okano glances at the gauge board, eyes darting…………..and he see’s it.
Swiftly he moves to the front of the Port main, bends to one knee
Do you smell it then?............Oh, so you DO hear that noise?
That’s not right, is it!
NO, its not……………
Port main SW cooling pump is on the way out………..and big time by the sound of it.
More work
Port in one hour……………….leave just flew out the bloody window………….

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2823
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/9/2014 10:20:20 AM   


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To think I thought this story was over when Zuiho had her bows blown off. Boy, was I wrong! Good stuff here!!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2824
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/10/2014 8:03:08 AM   


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29th December, 1944

Captain Ugaki sits at the back of the small room, glad to be out of the weather.
He is not glad about very much else.

An hour ago, a signal from Combined Fleet no less.
"IJNS Chiburi assigned to Task force 446, LCDR Iokibe commanding"

Convoy duty, Shikuka to Ominato run, tankers.
The second most deadly run after the straights south of Tiawan..........there must be literally a hundred Japanese ships on the bottom of these waters from this run.
And also, a bloody engine down.
As the briefing begins however, one bright thought, no questions on his movements these last weeks...........

He turns his attention towards this new man in his life, Cmdr Iokibe, the other Captains about him.
Middle aged, face craggy, worn, tired. A face that has seen too many cold rough dawns, too many frozen corpses. A face replicated by all about him, in fact.
This is no easy run, this.
And the war has been going a long, long time now, has it not, yes?
A long time.
A lot of dawns, a lot of dead men.

"Another run,", Iokibe begins " with only one difference,we welcome Chiburi to our little team"
Faces turn to him, he smiles almost nervously, judgement will come quickly, no doubt
Iokibe hands Ugaki a sheaf of papers."formations, standard responses to threats, submarine attacks, doctrine.....Ugaki, we have but one rule really, any SS is to be attacked by all escorts, our tactics and attack formation are all in there, please read before we sail"
"Are there any questions?"
Iokibe smiles, but there is no warmth in it........"Good, we sail at dawn, as usual, lets get some sleep "

The room empties, leaving Ugaki to study the documents
TF 446, it seems, is an old unit, formed almost since the war's beginnings.
Two old, old DDs, Niokaze, Namikaze, far too small for these waters really........
A sister to Chiburi, the Mikura.
Patrol boats No 2, No 8, and DMS W-23
All for two charges, the survivors of all these years no doubt, small tankers Setsuzan Maru, Rizan Maru.
Cargo :oil.

Chiburi, it seems, will fill a gap at the rear of the formation.
And it strikes him then.
Chiburi is no longer free, the war has reached out and grasped her with its impacable grip.
Real war, deadly war.

And Chiburi is not ready for it.

(in reply to pws1225)
Post #: 2825
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/10/2014 8:17:47 AM   


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Yamamato climbs , as best he can, through the many levels of Yamato's great tower.

Shrewdly, Abe has moved his flag to the giant, as if to reinforce who really is in charge of the fleet.
In pain, breathing heavily he reaches the navigation bridge.
Abe awaits, alone

"So, its true, you are not dead"

Yamamato nods gently.'yes"

A long silence
'The convoy is in, you should be getting your planes tomorrow, at the latest"
Abe does not answer, instead, he turns, faces away, looking out across manilla bay, the fleet arrayed in lines before them

"You bring little else but trouble"

Yamatao contemplates this. One must, to get what one wants, at times place yourself in the others shoes.
"I understand your anger Abe, you have fought so well, so long, in such difficult fear I am going to take all this from you?"

Angrily Abe turns
"Are you not?, intend to take the fleet to one last great battle, to die immortalised in history, no?"

I have thought many times of that friend............many times
"Once, yes, I thought that. No, not now keep the honour"

Abes eyes narrow."What are you proposing?"

Yamamato takes a deep breath 'you will continue to command all Navy units, air, sea, land. I, in turn, will take on Army, and with the Emperors help, get them into line, get them to finally co operate fully. You are to become a fleet in being, hit, run, no heroics, no suicidal operations. You will fight through 45.............."

'Another year?!"
"Another year, you must be prepared to live another year Admiral............war weariness will save us..............nothing else can now"

Abe turns away again, a single man atop of a floating city
'Alright, agreed"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2826
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/10/2014 7:37:51 PM   
Smoky Stoker

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The Japanese historically valued experience more than physical fitness. Yamato and Musashi had elevators in their towers.


"Leveling large cities has a tendency to alienate the affections of the inhabitants and does not create an atmosphere of international good will after the war." -Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2827
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/12/2014 12:32:07 AM   


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29th december

They are an old plane now, these Sonia light bombers
Built in 37, they have no place anywhere near the front lines.

Pilot Kato loves his.
His, Number 37, is old, stained, the paint worn from the leading edges, the tail. His seat creaks every time he sits upon it, and its leather is creased and cracked.
But No 37 has never let him down.
Her Bomb load is pathetic, but more than adequate for her current role in life.
Kato loves her manouverability, her solidness, her utter dependability. A simple machine, built for front line duty, for airfields with little support.
Here, in the Northern wastes of Japan, the Sonia still has a role to play.

From 5000 feet kato can see both sides of these straights, can view every inch of the storm wracked seas. And after 3 years here, he can see a Submarines periscopes wake as easily as an eagle sees a hare.

Today, there is known to be at least 5 allied SS in these waters, not an uncommon number. kato fully expects to see one today, at least.

The sky is grey, the ceiling 600 feet, a solid layer, the ocean even darker, wind swept, white capped, angry.

At 0730 exactly, his observer sights the tell tail wake.

The radio bursts into life, calling the old hawks to here, to hopeefully the next kill. Across the breadth of these waters, the Sonias break their endless patrols, and come running.

Kato, as ever (for this is old work now) leaps into action.
Swiftly he banks his old bird, and dives to the attack.

The periscope is already slipping under, her skipper to cunning to expose it in these waters for but a moment.
Kato will have to guess........

The two bombs erupt, disturbances that will be swallowed by the sea.
he circles..........looking, looking.................but there is no oil, no debris.

"I Hope he crapped his pants" his observer wrily notes
"I hope he did more than that............never mind, it might keep his head down..............breakfast?"

"To, Task force 446:

SS attacked in channel, second one sighted. Take appropiate actions and precautions'

Ukagi smiles at the irony. take appropiate actions............what a joke. The SS wait in the straights, they must pass through the straights........what did Northern Command expect, that they would light themselves up like a christam tree?

Bloody fools.

(in reply to Smoky Stoker)
Post #: 2828
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/13/2014 9:31:41 AM   


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30 December 1944
2320 hours

'target Bearing 270 degrees sir, heading 100, range 20000 yards, single vessel, probably a destroyer'

captain Smith nods..........out there in the pitch black some sneaky yellow son of a bitch was expecting to surprise them. Not tonight boy, not tonight.........

CL Santa fe, veteran of so many battles, of so many beatings, slides through the inky night, her guns slowly, steadily tracking the unseen target out there to port.

All is quiet, the hush before battle

"Bridge, radar, target is now 18000 yards, speed 26 knots, course still 100'
'is she transmitting?"
'If she is sir, her gear is not as good as ours........."

A cheeky buggar, hoping to slide into these waters near sorong undetected, a single ship, a salvo of long lances. 12 months ago, still an even chance.
But not now, you rat, not now..........
"Open fire, all ships, open fire"

The dark night is ripped apart........the white hot dots almost streaming out to a single point in the blackness, a point that silently erupts into yellow flame, flashes..........and now the sound of the explosions.

Destroyer hamanani (for that is who this tornado of fire is erupting against), briefly flares, tries to turn away, glows red........and vanishes.
"Cease fire, cease fire, cease fire'
"well done men............"
No fire returned, the action over in minutes.

Cold. hard. Ruthless, a technology inspired kill.

Technology, the art of applying science to the production of mass, efficient killing.

Something the americans are getting very, very good at.

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 2829
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/13/2014 9:36:01 AM   


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30 december
2230 hours

""destroyer namikaze reports torpedo attack upon her, on her flank sir!"
breathless, Ukagi reaches his chair, eyes still adjusting to the dark

heavy rain, a pitching, crashing swell, utter darkness............
Buka......buka!, what the truk is going on!?................desperately trying to picture the convoys disposition.........
"Hands to action stations!...........full ahead Flank...........port 20!"

Blindly, in heaving seas, bitter cold dark, icy rain, Chiburi buries her bow, and races towards the battle...........

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2830
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/15/2014 5:03:21 AM   


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Okano and Hirate stumble to the starboard depth charge thrower, out from the realative warmth of below decks into the madness of the dark quarterdeck. Biting cold grips him, and salt spray, swiftly followed by the shock of a blast of solid sea water slams into him.
His job, with Hirate, is simple, muscle on the end of the rope and pully hauling the next charge into place.
Its a barsted of a business.
Within minutes, he is cold, wet, fingers going numb.

Chiburi is quatering across the swells, pitching and rolling madly, the white caps rolling into the red deck light glare, sliding past.
Others do not. Crashing, flowing over the decks, swirling about the shadows of the crew, legs braced, breakwaters to the torrents.

they are ready, and Okano is able to look about him, trying to pierce the night.

A starshell abruptly bursts an unknowable distance away. The other side of the convoy?" and oh so briefly, the sharp silhouette of one of the destroyers, heeling hard, guns swivelling

The thud of charges .barely heard, more felt above the wind and the waves
he finds himself shivering..........and tries to believe its the cold.

The little ship abruptly changes course, swinging now into the swells, pitching, plowing, ."Standby men!, " the Chief Bosun yells..but no more orders come

And then, like a mountain, the bows of one of the tankers looms, and the thud, thud, thud , of her diesel fills the world

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2831
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/15/2014 5:06:19 AM   


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New years Eve

the heavies strike Manando, they attack Morotai.
This time, the fighters swarm against them, flinging themselves into the formations.

Planes, more Japanese than allied, go down on each side
The fields are only lightly damaged

The battle will continue tomorrow.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2832
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/15/2014 5:17:42 AM   


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Ugaki has taken Chiburi madly up the port flank of the convoy............he is meant, according to his orders, to fall in with Mikura, and on her flank, commit to an attack.

from the start, it has gone horribly wrong
radar, as usual, fails him.
Not so much the glowing little screen, it works tonight, and he finds himself three times scuttling from the bridge to the little box of a room at the bridges rear, leaning over the operators shoulder, desperate to interpret the picture in front of him.
But it is all clutter, indistinguishable blobs, a screen of confusion.

Sonar, sonar pings away , into nothing...

The starsheel gives him a bearing.

"Starboard 30!"

He will move to the sound of the battle then.curse the dark, the rain, these seas!

The tanker is not seen until the last moment, hard on his starboard side,100 yards away, bow wave creaming.........

@#$%^^!!!!............Hard to PORT!, full astern!

Chiburi dances, a great swell raises he bow, breaks, pushes her around, the wall of steel sweeps past, so close you can see the rivets, Chiburi wallows, the world thuds, thuds, thuds, they miss by mere feet...........

The submarine attack is unsuccessful
The counter attack as well.

Chiburi..........well, the less said yes?

I am sure she will get to try again.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2833
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/15/2014 5:19:30 AM   


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The dam breaks

Wuchow falls, shattering almost all the Japanese forces in Western China
Canton is ordered evacuated, Hong kong too.

Another finger around the neck of the chicken.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2834
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/17/2014 8:16:39 AM   


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New years day

There are 36 B-29s this time, glittering, beautiful, deadly.
They fly in a dead straight line towards the target at just 10000 feet.
Mission, to put the last nails into the coffin of Manando airfield, to close it forever.

They follow by half an hour 30 odd liberators, how they have performed is unknown

That the fighters were waiting in swarms, is.

Long pig has climbed to the remote gunners position, settled , as best he can, into a position behind him. The difference in the technology between the wellingtons that are still being used in Thialand to this beast is almost overwhelming.
Pressurisation, these remote controlled guns, auto pilots..................somewhere up here, he is sure, there is a kitchen sink

The remote control operates in a very simple way. The operator points his sights at the target, and what guns that can follow, do........

Childs play.

But childs play with a murderous intent.

'target twenty minutes"
the gunner grins, swings the sights, cocks elecronically the guns.............
it seems brutally impersonal..

The first fighters swing in only minutes later, small darting shapes that streak in from the flanks, dive away underneath, peel away to the rear, to the front.
The guns chatter, the casings rain inside, one thing has not changed from the wellingtons, the stink of the cordite...
"target 2 minutes"
Manando, jungle, a clearing, the strips, the ocean point it nestles on...........the rising flack, the bursts, the faint rattle of shrapnel, the bombs falling, the explosions, smoke, destruction below,
He's seen it many times now, and Long pig never gets used to it, the way the shock waves spread, bounce of each other........

With out loss, the formation turns for home.

The gunner grins again....."Hey Long pig, fancy a go?"
'You sure?"
A hand dismissively waves........... skies clear, no Tojo will catch us now!

Almost eagerly Long pig swaps position. The guns swing so easily to his touch.

And another fighter floats into his vision....

KI 44...........chasing, coming in on the rear quarter..........he hardly has to adjust............range a bit too far........but I won't get another chance......
The guns spit
The Tojo rolls, drunkedly..........flames burst falls away

Well buggar me................

The gunner is not grinning now..........."you barsted!, he should have been mine!"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2835
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/17/2014 8:20:27 AM   


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Even as the battle bursts above Manando, she strikes out.
39 oscars at 100 feet attack 3 destroyers lurking near Ternate, straffing, bombing.
DD Walker takes a bomber..........3 fighters are lost

One, burning, 'gives his life for the emperor', and plants his fighter firmly into the Robinson's bridge.
One man, one plane, one ship.

How many ships to Tokyo?

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2836
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/17/2014 8:26:46 AM   


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(deliberate attack Chumphon...........1 to 2, forts down to 3, 1600 casos both sides)

'Under heavy fire"
'With fierce detirmination"
"Against fierce resistance"
"hand to hand"
"Despite heavy casualties"

Just terms.
how the papers will fill todays pages with descriptions of the battle that bursts upon Chumpon.

A bloody hell,

we might dare to describe it.

'Push on"
"No let up"
'Objeectives will be met, regardless of cost"
the HQ's will speak off it, order it to continue.............

The men, who struggle, scream, kill, die, bleed, collapse with despair, commit the unspeakable to carry it out.

They will never speak of it.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2837
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/19/2014 6:55:38 AM   


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2 jan 45

Ugaki peers out through the bridges screen, the wipers beating fruitlesslly against the driving snow.
It is still utterly dark, and utterly cold.

The bridge side door opens, and the charge enters, blowing his hands, trying to get warm
"You have got to be kidding",he grunbles, do you think we will ever be warm again?
'No....and not likely to be for a while...............are your engines ready?"

"Yes............those two new men are good..........I think I will keep them in the engine room, move Toyoda to day working"
"Toyoda work?..........that is what they call an oxy moron isn't it?'
The Charge laughs..............peers to out through the screen. 'Our convoy Commander drives a hard pace, I hardly had time to get drunk last night"
'the empire needs oil my friend to keep the home fires burning""
"Oh I know sir, 100 million hearts beating as one, and all that , but gods, does it have to involve freezing my balls off?"

Task force 446 sails before dawn, hidden by the driving snow.

There are 5 known ss in the wakkanai straights ahead of them.

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 1/19/2014 7:56:21 AM >

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2838
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/20/2014 7:39:10 AM   


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3 jan 45

From 11th Army, to

Southern Command

Enemy attack continues.
My coastal flank turned.
Continuing resistance.

Should reinforcements fail to arrive within days cannot guarrantee a successful defence.
Will fight to last man, last bullet.

Long live the emperor.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2839
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/20/2014 7:48:16 AM   


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4th jan 45

Hirate leans over the side of Chiburi, arm outstretched.
'Come on you barsted, try!"

The man clinging to the scrambling net raises his oil covered face, despair dark in his eyes.
For a moment their eyes meet.
Two pools of darkness..........unfathomable.

A slight shake of the head, and the man lets go, tumbles into the dark waters, vanishes

"TRUK!" screams truking truking close.

Tanker Setsuzan maru has been sunk.
4 survivors
It should have been truking close.

The single ship convoy plows on, chiburi trawling the wreckage one last time.
But the night remains dark. Soon it will begin to snow again.

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 2840
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/21/2014 9:17:05 AM   


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5th January

Chiburi and the convoy arrive Toyoda at dawn. By midday the single tanker has loaded her pitiful cargo, all 1850 tons of it, and sailed again.
How many gallons of avgas would this cargo bring?
Enough for a few days operations, by a handful of squadrons?.

Hirate , off watch, stares out across the waters, the pale face sliding beneath the waves filling his mind, a memory unshakeable.
So young.............

And now only one ship to defend.

Angrily he flings his smoke over the side.
What a bloody waste.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2841
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/21/2014 9:23:25 AM   


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Abe takes a deep breath

"They are coming, and the target is obvious............Morotai, Ternate. Inform all souther Phillipine commands to come to full CAP. Activate SHO O 3 plan." grimly he eyes his Captains "Yamamato wants us to conserve the fleet. To hell with that, while we have the fuel.............Battleships Yamato, Musashi remain here in Manilla, let Yamamato have his sop. We sail in two hours"

yes, they are coming again.
Our carrier airgroups are rebuilt, the final veterans posted to the vacant billets.

5CV, 4cvl, 7 battleships, 7 cruisers, 40 destroyers.
To battle, again.

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2842
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/21/2014 9:29:18 AM   


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7th January, 1945

Extract from shattering the sword, a cantona production

..................and thus Chumphon falls, the Japanese army prised out in a whelter of blood from its fortifications. It retreats in the only directionit can, towards Victoria point.

There is but 2 brigades left to Japan south of Chumphon

The gate to malaya has been opened, the road is clear all the way to Singapore.............
But how fast will the allies move?

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2843
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/22/2014 9:27:55 AM   


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8th of january

Yamamto sits heavily upon his chair.

Army barsteds.
Chumphon, they said, will hold forever...................

How many ships lost trying to supply them............
And now this, this disaster.

He rises, stirs the small fire in the fireplace, staring deeper into its flames.
he must not, must not allow despair to overcome him.

It is not the Bushido way, the Japanese way.
No. We must fight, yes?. Fight to the bitter end.

He stirs the fire again. Then, firmly, places the poker back into its place.
His staff wait, patiently.

"order every ship capable of carrying oil to singapore."

damn the army
damn them

"there are 2 divisions available at takao, I want them to singapore now............also every spare man from Soerabaya, I want them there now..........
'But sir, the Army will never agree..............."

'DAMN THEM!!!. They will agree!"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2844
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/22/2014 9:55:59 AM   


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Ships, we know, never sleep
In war, sometimes, to sleep, is to die.

On Mutsu, 1500 men are awake, yet dawn is many hours away
For one man, sleep would be impossible, even if opportunity came.

Abe has transferred his flag to this valiant old battlewagon.
If i die in battle..........I die able to see my foe.................

"Another report sir"
Abe nods..........
'A great many ships off Morotai sir, and a bombardment is underway"
'carriers?, battleships?"

"No battleships reported..............enemy carrier fleet is suspected to be 90 miles to the south of the invasion fleet"

No change in his doctrine then................none at all..........

'Is dajangles still open?", any word from army?"

Another report is shuffled from a clipboard............Mutsu's commcen must be humming............
Attacked by 30 B-29s today....and a dozen shotdown.......the field is fully functional."

Oh very good.

Morotai is in range, of course to at least three large fields in the southern phillipines............

Abe strides to the bridge wing, out through the great door, into the night. He breathes deep the cool air.
He feels the motion of this old weapon beneath his feet, he can almost sense the crew all about him, awake, alert..........girding for battle.

last time, of course, he failed
he lived

this time.....................
You are old Mutsu, so am I..............but we are still strong............

He strides back into the crowded bridge..................and it waits for his word.

Bushido .................

'We attack. As planned.. He turns to Mutsu's dimutative Captain..........'Morotai if you please ,and prepare for battle"

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2845
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/23/2014 9:02:47 AM   


Posts: 7911
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
9th of january

It is, quite simply a beautiful day.
It is a day made for sailors. Made for men who answer the call of the sea.
It is a day, simply for those who love the sea, and the ships that sail upon them.

Through the inner seas of the phillipines, across waters still , blue and shimmering, the great beasts power on.
For eight solid hours, they have cleaved their great wakes, furrowed the waters with white trails visible for miles.

And for eight solid hours, nothing has disturbed this great run south.

Abe feels no weariness. It is impossible too feel any.............not here, not now.

Mutsu does not lead. That is for that barsted of a ship, Ise, half carrier, half battle wagon, 40 miles ahead
Then, 20 miles behind her, Fuso and her escorts.

And 100 miles ahead of all of them, the Ashigari surface group.

At times, if he looks closely enough, one can still see in the waters the faint traces of the ships ahead.

A ready road for him to follow. A ready road for this fleet.
About him, 4 CVLs, behind Nagato.

'Another report sir"
Reluctantly he drags his eyes from the sights about him. the flimsies flap in the breeze Mutsu is creating. Carefully he takes them.

The news is good. Better than good. The main carrier fleet has cleared Suriago straight, tanaka tailing. Undetected. At davao, the Amigari destroyer task force has reached its strike point, also undetected.

And he, Abe, would be in position by dawn tomorrow, also, undetected.

And best yet, the enemy invasion continues to unload, rooted to the beaches. And from all reports, still not nearly enough troops to take the place.

Mutsu's captain joins him.'They remain?"
"yes.............his carriers remain exactly where we expect them to be...........he probably has a thousand planes on CAP over the beaches..........the arrogrant Americans think we will just fling ourselves at them............'
Mutsu's captain smiles..........'but we are , are we not?"
Abe strokes his chin........'yes, but not how he might imagine I think. "
He glances at the setting sun.........'forecast is for rain from about midnight........he's left it to late .............."

Abe re enters the bridge, and for the first time since gods knows when, he feels it. Excitement. Rising excitement.
The enemy are still unloading, with an entire navy bearing down upon them......

He has left it too late...........
Arrogant americans, lets see your hellcats save you now.

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 2846
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/23/2014 9:18:18 AM   


Posts: 1142
Joined: 8/9/2010
From: Tate's Hell, Florida
Status: offline
Great story, great writing!

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2847
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/23/2014 9:28:14 AM   


Posts: 7911
Joined: 4/17/2005
Status: offline
Jan 10 1945

Death by fire, death by water, death by violence.

The death of task force 56.

Extract from 'report of proceedings, naval battle of morotai'

it was just afte 2300 hours, 9th of January, when this task force recieved a report that a Japanese Battleship of the Fuso class had been unsuccessfully attacked by submarine 20 miles due south of dajangles.
The commander of the task force, Cmdr Elliot, was surprised, then horrified to learn that this attack was already 8 hours old.
Quick calculations placed this ship, or any other Japanese ship in these waters, within striking range by dawn, should they desire to do so.
Permission to cancel unloading operations was immediately requested to land commander.
This was, after a delay of thirty minutes, denied.
With the massive air support available, and no less than three seperate allied SCTF in the area, the desire to increase the ashore forces was considered worth the risk.

At this time TF 56, 15 ships strong still contained some 10000 men and their equipment, desperately needed ashore.

At 0125 hours, 10 january, it began to rain
At 0200 hours, further reports of un identified warships only 120 miles to the North were recieved.
Again, permission to withdraw TF 56 was sought.
This was approved

By 0400 hours the task force was moving due south, and sighted the Belleau wood task force moving North, and shortly afterwoods 8 Fletcher class destroyers moving North as well.

Dawn was at 0600 hours, a day of scattered rain and poor visibility

At 0645 hours, at 30000 yards, due south of task force 56, also coming north, another SCTF was sighted.

It was not until range was down to 20000 yards, was it realised that the approaching ships were Japanese.................

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2848
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/23/2014 1:42:54 PM   


Posts: 5126
Joined: 5/29/2002
From: Colorado
Status: offline
Bites nails...


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

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 2849
RE: The little ship that could. - 1/23/2014 2:33:19 PM   

Posts: 130
Joined: 12/24/2013
From: USA
Status: offline
Is this going to be like the real battle that Taffy3 had in 1944???
The World Wonders.

< Message edited by bartrat -- 1/23/2014 3:34:06 PM >

(in reply to kaleun)
Post #: 2850
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