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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent

 
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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/2/2012 8:11:42 PM   
Canoerebel


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Headquarters Building
Pearl Harbor Naval Station
25 November 1941


War was coming. There could be no rational doubt now. The question was when and where. The consensus was that Japan would attack the Dutch East Indies and/or the Philippines. A few thought Japan might target Russia. Harper wasn’t sure, but he took satisfaction in the emphasis placed on his “Portal” defense, an outcome of the Reluctant Admiral war game exercise.

The Portal moves were already underway. It would take time to reposition troops, ships and other assets, but there was a chance. The Brits had agreed to send a brigade to Cocos Island, a decision that revealed just how much credence had been assigned to Portal. The move would take four weeks. Harper hoped the Allies had that much time.

“The Allies,” Harper smiled. Even though the United States and Britain weren’t yet technically allied, that was just a formality. The two countries would have to work together carefully in ways that nobody might have envisioned a year ago.

American troops and ships were already shifting around the Pacific and even in the Indian Ocean – a tip of the cap to the advance base force personnel stationed at Darwin and bound for Cocos Island.

Would the Allies implement the most extreme aspect of Portal? In essence, this called for stripping the Pacific of combat ships at the start of war and committing them to the Indian Ocean for the defense of Java and Sumatra. The feeling was that Japan would overcommit to the Pacific, giving the Allies perhaps four weeks to two months in which they might achieve local parity or superiority. Then, once Japan adjusted, the Allies could fall back and contend with developments in the Pacific. The Royal Navy was in. Already, orders were in place to strip India of combat vessels to station them at Batavia and Soerabaja.

Harper knew that the United States had an information source somewhere in Japan. He had picked up enough to know that Naval Intelligence had developed a thorough assessment of the Japanese navy’s order of battle. Harper was anxious to see the list, but hadn’t been brought into that loop yet.

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/2/2012 9:58:40 PM   
PaxMondo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ny59giants

Opposite of Cribtop, I'll say good luck to you now Dan and restrict myself to John's AAR. Somebody has to keep a short leash on him.

+1

Adieu!

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/2/2012 10:08:55 PM   
MAurelius


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+2 - indeed - have fun!

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/3/2012 3:50:20 AM   
Canoerebel


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Headquarters Building
Pearl Harbor Naval Station
7 December 1941


Captain John Cole Harper watched columns of thick, ugly, roiling smoke. Reports of damage were coming in quickly. Frantically. There were rumors of Japanese landings here, there, everywhere. Harper knew many of these were exaggerated or imagined. At least he hoped so. Too much was happening too quickly to make an accurate assessment, but he knew for certain that things weren't going well; that the Japanese had targeted Hawaii, the Philippines, and Malaya. How hard wouldn't be known until the smoke began to clear.

Pursuant to Plan Portal, Harper's task was to see that Fire Teams One through Eight were promptly activated. Each of the eight represented important American military moves that were already underway. Each was complex, time consuming, and might not be scheduled for completion for days or weeks. Uunder wartime conditions, however, Fire Team protocol called for each to get underway immediately with whatever might be on hand. Each officer commanding a Fire Team had no more than 24 hours to assemble whatever else he might get his hands on and then to get moving. No exceptions. No excuses.

Harper knew that his RN counterpart at Trincomalee was responsible for Fire Teams Nine through Twenty-One. Since Harper had participated so closely in Plan Portal, many of the RN Fire Team objectives were particularly close to his heart. He didn't have time give them serious thought, but he hoped that Fire Team Two, in particular, would do its job expeditiously and well. This called for immediate embarkation of naval support personnel and gear at Colombo for deployment to Port Blair, Diego Garcia and Cocos Island, in advance of infantry and support troops to follow. If Plan Portal was on target, these positions would be vital to the Allies.

< Message edited by Canoerebel -- 12/3/2012 3:51:49 AM >

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/3/2012 10:08:51 PM   
Canoerebel


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Headquarters Building
Pearl Harbor Naval Station
December 8, 1941

Chaos doesn't help in the dissimination of accurate information, so Harper discounted nearly everything he had heard about the surprise Japanese attack on Britain and America.  On the whole, there was no question that Allies had take some grievous losses.  Harper was pretty sure that Arizona had gone under.  Word was that all the battlewagons on the row were in bad shape.  Unbelieably, Harper had seen follow-up raids by Japanese floatplane bombers.  There was word of enemy landings on some of the islands, but these hadn't been verified.

Scattered reports were coming in from the Far East.  An air attack on Manila had damaged some subs and warships.  Somewhere in the central Philippines a base had supposedly fallen to a Japanese paratroop attack, with something similar taking place on the Malay Peninsula.  There were no reports of damage to the RN, so Harper hoped those ships were set to rendezous in the Singapore/Batavia/Singakawang triangle to provide protection for the key ports in that region.

The biggest question in his mind was whether the Japanese would attack again.  The American military could cobble together about 175 fighter aircraft around Pearl Harbor.  Most of the damaged ships would remain in port.  CA New Orleans was fleeing south along with a couple of light cruisers and destroyers.  Several small combat and patrol boat TFs would sortie to the north in search of the enemy task forces.

Lexington and Enteprise were steaming south and would likely move to Australia.  An old-fashioned "wheel play" was in effect, the Allies shifting in strength to the DEI.  Harper hoped it was the right move.

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/3/2012 10:23:14 PM   
pws1225

 

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Hey CR - for someone who doesn't cotton to the narrative style of AAR, you do it mighty nicely.

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 4:45:32 PM   
Canoerebel


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Eastern Fleet HQ
Trincomalee
8 December 1941 

Captain Ormond Pyle had just endured a memorably jarring lorry ride from Colombo back to fleet headquarters at Trincomalee.  He fire team had completed its assigned task.  At 2200 hours on 7 December, ships transporting naval support detachments had cleared the harbor bound for three “breakwater’ destinations:  SS Pellicula for Diego Garcia, SS Clan Forbes and SS Troja for Cocos Island, and SS Michael Livanos for Port Blair.

The chaotic activity at fleet headquarters surprised Pyle.  During his absence, orders had arrived creating Eastern Fleet, tasked with the coordinated handling of RN and Commonwealth shipping in the Indian Ocean, the Java and South China Seas, and Australia.  Pyle had also been handed an order assigning him to Naval Intelligence.

Britain had been at war with Japan for nearly two days now, so Pyle had picked up a reasonably detailed picture of what had happened to this point:

Hawaii:  The Japanese carrier strike force had apparently retired after the surprise attack on the morning of the 7th.  Arizona had gone under and six other battleships had received moderate to heavy, but not mortal, damage.  The Japanese strike TF was well to the NW in close proximity to what seemed to be a replenishment TF.

Pacific:  The enemy had landed and taken Tarawa.

Philippines:  An IJN carrier TF of undetermined strength had participated in a port strike against Manila to open the war and remained active in the vicinity of Naga on the second day.  The Americans had lost several subs and assorted merchant and support vessels near and at Manila.

Malaya:  The Japanese had landed and taken Kuantan.  Paratroops had taken a small base across the peninsula. 

Overall:  To this point, Allied losses had been relatively light considered the surprise nature of the attack.

Breakwater Defense:  Pyle knew that the Allies had implemented Plan Portal.  In part this called for establishments of “breakwaters” – bastions that would eventually slow or stop the Japanese advance.  The trick had been in identifying places that were sufficient removed from conceivable front lines to give the Allies time to establish the defenses.  In the IO, Cocos Island, Port Blair and Diego Garcia had been selected.  Pyle believed that Coal Harbor on Victoria Island, Canada, was one of the sites chosen in the Pacific.

Ride to the Guns:  In anticipation of a Japanese coup de main against southwestern Borneo or eastern Sumatra, the Royal Navy (along with some American and Dutch combat ships) were on station near Singkawang.  A powerful force flagged by the Prince of Wales had been detached late on the 8th to contest any enemy moves south of Miri.  Two RAF fighter squadrons had been moved to Singkawang from Singapore to provide CAP in case the Japanese got the field at Kuantan up and running.

Palembang:  One Fire Team had the mission of shifting troops from a variety of locations to Palembang.  This base would be a top-priority target for Japan, headquarters believed, so it was unlikely the Allies could establish a breakwater defense here, but they’d give it a try.  The first big unit – the SSV Indian brigade – had already embarked on ships at Singapore and were enroute.

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 6:37:14 PM   
GreyJoy


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Hey Dan, just to let you know that i'm reading and enjoying this new format of yours!

Really lokking forward to see how Plan Portal works against an opponent so aggressive like John!

keep it up!

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 7:18:44 PM   
Canoerebel


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Thanks, gents.  I'm having fun with the writing, but sooner or later I'll transition back to the regular format.  Laziness or busy-ness will interfere.

To bring you up to date in an "overview way" as to what's going on, John III has been aggressive but not particularly successful in his opening moves.  The strike on Pearl Harbor was strong, but he need another to finish off some of the damaged BBs.  Instead, he gets just one.  He's been more effective in and around Manila, but he's just getting flotsam and jetsam (spelling?) - nothing of substance.

On the flip side, the Allies have yet to sink a single enemy vessel.  The only one damaged, that I know of, is an xAK that took a torp near Kota Bharu.

The only licks by the Allies thus far have been a couple of nice air ambushes.  P-40s from Manila moved to Cabantuan and roughed up some Mini KB Kates and Zeroes.  Over near Singkawang, a bunch of bomb-toting Betties sorited against Force Z, but got eaten up by RAF LRCAP.

I am being very lazy.  I haven't yet opened up the game file to see what Japan has extra in the way of carriers.  That could bite me and soon.

The Allies are moving to aggressively establish those "breakwaters" mentioned above.  This is important for my peace of mind.  The Allies will aggressively use ships in the DEI and South China Sea until I decide not to.  I already have alot there and alot more on the way.

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 8:39:55 PM   
Canoerebel


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The positions of Force Z and a Mini KB on the third day of the war. This IJN carrier TF had been position east of Naga the first two days. Force Z just moved to this position, drawing a bomb-laden Betty attack from Kuantan. RAF LRCAP from Singkawang handled the unescorted bombers.

If John had plans to move fast and far in the southern South China Sea, he'll have to bring enough to handle what he will perceive as stiff Allied resistance. His carriers have already flown three missions, so he can't deploy them much longer without rearming.

At Palembang, the Allies have 71 AV with two units arriving from Singapore tomorrow. That will bring the total AV to roughly 170. Enough to prevent a sudden conquest ala coup de main.

The Allies want to effecitvely fight here - both for the sake of fighting well and to give them time to garrison as many places as possible. I need time to accumulate political points (I was down to 15 yesterday).




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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 8:47:50 PM   
Canoerebel


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Two things interesting about today's Score Screen (is that the right name for it?) - notice the number of Japanese ships sunk and the number of IJ aircraft lost today.




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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 8:51:03 PM   
Canoerebel


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Roster of Allied ships sunk (with xAK, PT and minesweepers redacted).




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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 9:34:00 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Canoerebel

but he's just getting flotsam and jetsam (spelling?)


Ah, but what is the legal difference, counselor?

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 10:08:19 PM   
bradfordkay

 

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Flotsam is the floating junk left when a ship goes down. Jetsam is the floating stuff that had been thrown overboard in the hopes of preventing the ship from going down.

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 10:18:30 PM   
Canoerebel


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Then shouldn't the terms be "float-some" and "jettison"????

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 10:28:04 PM   
bradfordkay

 

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It's sailor speak, Dan... it's supposed to be unintelligible. Why is Boatswain pronounced bosun?

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 10:43:49 PM   
Houtje

 

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And why do they say fo'c'sle?

Btw, CR, are you playing with unreliable torps on or off? Any other HR's?

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 10:46:23 PM   
pws1225

 

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Ever met a chief boatswain mate (called "boats" for short)? Entirely unintelligible, drunk or sober, but you'd trust your life to them in a pinch.

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 10:52:56 PM   
Canoerebel


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Hey, no taking seriously my attempt to make a play on words (feeble as it was....)!

Reliable torps are off, unfortunately.  A few minor house rules including the usual "pay PP to cross national border" and "no strat bombing until 1944."

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 11:04:23 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bradfordkay

Flotsam is the floating junk left when a ship goes down. Jetsam is the floating stuff that had been thrown overboard in the hopes of preventing the ship from going down.


Right, but in pre-treaty days what was the legal difference?

Hint: think title.

Bonus round: if flotsam is this and jetsam is that, what's lagan and derelict?

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 11:05:27 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Houtje

And why do they say fo'c'sle?




Because by the time you could say "forecastle" the Spaniards had shot your ears off.

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/4/2012 11:46:35 PM   
pws1225

 

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Or your antlers, as the case might be.

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/5/2012 1:22:46 AM   
Cribtop


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I'm guessing one was legal salvage and/or subject to prize rules, the other was not?

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/5/2012 1:47:33 AM   
crsutton


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quote:

ORIGINAL: bradfordkay

It's sailor speak, Dan... it's supposed to be unintelligible. Why is Boatswain pronounced bosun?



Who knows what a "turk's head" is?

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/5/2012 4:27:23 AM   
bradfordkay

 

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IIRC, a Turk's Head is a huge knot used as a weighted end of a line that needs to be tossed some distance. It gets its name from its resemblance to a head wearing a turban.

Bullwinkle, my guess is that flotsam is covered under the rules of salvage while jetsam - being willfully jettisoned - is free to be claimed by anyone? I would suppose that the big issue is figuring out the difference.

As far as lagan is concerned, I do not have any recollection of that term (doesn't mean that it isn't buried somewhere deep in my memory banks). Derelict is a term for a vessel that has been abandoned in navigable waters, is it not?

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/5/2012 4:55:31 AM   
Cribtop


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Lagan is stuff sunk where it can be salvaged. Derelict is sunk where it is unsalvageable. I looked it up.

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/5/2012 2:22:11 PM   
Bullwinkle58


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Cribtop

Lagan is stuff sunk where it can be salvaged. Derelict is sunk where it is unsalvageable. I looked it up.


Yep. Admiralty law is really neat, especially the old cases from wooden ships days.

Flotsam lodged title in the original owner and not the salvor because there was no intent to abandon. The salvor could be awarded costs by the court, however. Fair is fair. Jetsam lodged title in the salvor because the property was cast adrift on purpose. If the cargo were multiple tons of crated tea, for example, the testimony of surviving crew could be worth up to millions of pounds/dollars either way. Amazing how memories of at-sea disasters could vary . . .

Lagan is flotsam which has sunk to the bottom but which can be reached by salvors. In some cases they had to mark it with a buoy to claim title, and in other cases they didn't. I believe there were also cases where jetsam was marked by a buoy by the disposer and they maintained title due to the use of the buoy even though it was affirmatively abandoned to the sea. Derelict is a collective noun for flotsam or jetsam on the bottom which is beyond the reach of salvors. I believe this designaiton had effect in insurance cases. The word is never used in common English as a collective noun anymore. It always carries an article (the derelict, a derelict) and usually refers to a vessel (or a wino.) But the original meaning was crates of stuff in deep, or rocky, waters.

Sorry, CR.

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/5/2012 3:25:12 PM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58


quote:

ORIGINAL: Houtje

And why do they say fo'c'sle?




Because by the time you could say "forecastle" the Spaniards had shot your ears off.

I always thought it had something to do with grog consumption and hiccups.

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/5/2012 5:55:50 PM   
Cribtop


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Cool stuff, Bullwinkle.

OK, I helped drag this off topic, so I'll try to steer past the flotsam, salvage the jetsam and get back on topic.

CR, it's way too early to have any real read on John's plan, but what does your gut tell you about his grand strategy? Is he sure to go for auto vic? If so, what are his targets?

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RE: The Good The Bad & The Indifferent - 12/5/2012 6:13:28 PM   
MateDow


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bullwinkle58

Yep. Admiralty law is really neat, especially the old cases from wooden ships days.



...and it is amazing how much of that old case law still has relevance in modern decisions.

I am looking forward to following this AAR.

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