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The Irrawaddy Flotilla-600 Missing Vessels?

 
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All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> War in the Pacific: Admiral's Edition >> Scenario Design and Modding >> The Irrawaddy Flotilla-600 Missing Vessels? Page: [1]
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The Irrawaddy Flotilla-600 Missing Vessels? - 1/25/2013 4:43:20 AM   
dwg

 

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The Irrawaddy isn't navigable in stock, but IRL it supported the biggest river transport organisation in the world in the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company with some 600 vessels, carrying 8 million passengers and 1.25m tons of cargo annually. Pretty much the entire flotilla was scuttled during the Japanese invasion. There's some interesting background on the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company courtesy of the National Archives here:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/nra/onlinelists/GB%200136%20D-IR.pdf
and more here:
http://www.pandaw1947.com/irrawaddy-flotilla-company.htm
and a snippet of video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBAI1ZfAKgo

I'm still looking for details on the vessels, but even if you make the Chindwin and Irrawaddy navigable it's not really practical to add all 600 vessels, particularly when some of these were simply small pilot launches, but the larger vessels could be a substantial size: 300' and 900 tons, I've found a reference elsewhere to one of them transporting around a thousand troops during the campaign with the help of a couple of 'flats', which were unpowered barges, but looked much like the powered steamers, being similarly double-decked.

The aircraft mentioned in the National Archive link were float-equipped Short Scion Seniors and based at Rangoon.
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RE: The Irrawaddy Flotilla-600 Missing Vessels? - 1/25/2013 12:04:36 PM   
dwg

 

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I did some more searching around for details of IFC vessels last night, unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a lot out there. I did find some details of the launches used by Force Viper when they arrived, unfortunately the two sources I turned up were slightly at odds with each other.

Force Viper definitely used the Burma government launches Rita, Doris and Stella, which from the context of operations described could potentially carry around 35 men each (as the 3 of them could embark the entire 106 man Force Viper), armament one Vickers, with improvised armour, later - when they reached Prome - supplemented with 5 Brens and a mortar.

Another reference gives Force Viper a fourth government launch, Delta, and the 35 foot motor yacht Alguada, which was used for initial training at Rangoon and potentially as a stores vessel on the river, and two IFC launches, Ngagyi and Ngazin, which were only used up to Prome, at which point they were swapped for three launches: Snipe, Xylia and Delta Guard 9, with the 110' yacht Cynthia taking over as stores vessel. When Calvert's Burma Commando II (anyone know if this is the same as Special Services Detachment 2?) joined them for some demolition missions, they used the IFC steamer Hastings, which was 300x40x3' with sandbagged MG positions.

From descriptions, the larger IFC vessels seem standardised on around 300', and, when new, at least some could do 13 knots, however they often seem to have been used with two similarly sized 'flats' in side-tows and 6-7 knots seems more typical for heading upstream(I've done side-towing in a yacht, it's much more like having a single, wider, vessel than conventional astern towing). The cargo flats are described as 600t burthen. Smaller vessels seem to have been around 100'. The best approach to representing them may be to assume each vessel represents both the core vessel and two flats.

(in reply to dwg)
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RE: The Irrawaddy Flotilla-600 Missing Vessels? - 1/25/2013 12:24:01 PM   
dwg

 

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I turned up a partial list of IFC vessels by searching at a site covering Clyde ship-builders, not many details, but it shows the flats were named just like the steamers.

unnamed 1865 A & J Inglis Pointhouse Glasgow Barge
unnamed 1865 A & J Inglis Pointhouse Glasgow Barge
COLONEL PHAYRE 1865 A & J Inglis Pointhouse Glasgow Iron paddle steamer Scrapped
unnamed 1871 A & J Inglis Pointhouse Glasgow Barge
unnamed 1871 A & J Inglis Pointhouse Glasgow Barge
unnamed 1871 A & J Inglis Pointhouse Glasgow Barge
ALOUNGPYAH 1871 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Passenger Cargo Vessel Not Recorded
PATANAN 1874 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Steamship
YUNAN 1874 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Paddle Steamer
TALIFOO 1874 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Paddle Steamer
YANDOON 1874 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
CHIND WIN 1875 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Cargo Ship Not Recorded
KAMA 1875 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
SHIN TSAW BOO 1876 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Paddle Flat Scrapped
PATHEIN 1876 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Paddle Steamer
SHOAY MYO 1876 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Paddle Steamer Scrapped
ISA LAY 1876 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Flat
YANOBOH 1876 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
HENZADAH 1876 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Flat
PANTHAY 1876 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Paddle Steamer Scrapped
ZALOON 1876 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Flat
ALLANMYO 1878 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Flat
KNO KHINE 1878 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Flat
KNONYNAN 1878 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Flat
THAMINE 1878 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Flat
THONGWA 1878 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Flat
TWANTAY 1878 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Flat
KEMEDINE 1878 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Flat
DAGHINE 1879 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
DUNEDAW 1879 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Brig
THOODAW 1879 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
BURMA 1879 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Paddle Steamer Scrapped
MEINGYAN 1879 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Flat
BOTATONG 1879 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
KHAT TEE YA 1879 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Lighter
MAY GLAH 1880 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Iron tug Scrapped
THAUB 1880 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
YANTABA 1880 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
MALAY 1880 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Lugger
MOHYAIT 1880 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Iron tug Scrapped
KHANOONG 1880 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Lighter
THATONE 1881 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
MONYO 1881 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
SEDHAT 1882 Thomas B Seath Rutherglen Barge
POLONGA 1882 Thomas B Seath Rutherglen Barge
STRABING 1882 Thomas B Seath Rutherglen Barge
KADOE 1882 Thomas B Seath Rutherglen Paddle Steamer
KAHNEE 1882 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow unspecified
YONE 1882 Thomas B Seath Rutherglen Barge
YOKA 1882 Thomas B Seath Rutherglen Barge
NANDE 1882 Thomas B Seath Rutherglen Barge
unknown 1883 Thomas B Seath Rutherglen Launch Not Recorded
AP MIN 1883 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Lugger
LEPPADAN 1883 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
PYAPHOON 1883 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
AHLONE 1883 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
SAYAH 1883 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Barge
KALAY 1883 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Schooner
NKYAN 1883 Thomas B Seath Rutherglen Barge Scrapped
ATARAN 1883 Robert Duncan & Co Port Glasgow Steamship
ALGUADA 1886 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Passenger Cargo Vessel Scuttled
TYRO 1898 J McArthur Paisley Tug Scrapped
SANDOWAY 1899 Alley & McLellan Polmadie Barge Not Recorded
YAMETHIN 1899 Alley & McLellan Polmadie Barge Not Recorded
MAYO 1902 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Passenger Cargo Vessel Sunk
FALAM 1908 Yarrow Shipbuilders Scotstoun PS (stern)
TIDDIM 1908 Yarrow Shipbuilders Scotstoun PS (stern)
POPA 1909 Yarrow Shipbuilders Scotstoun River sternwheel steamer Sunk
KOBE 1909 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton River Paddle Steamer Sunk
KABUL 1909 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Paddle Steamer Sunk
CHINCHOW 1909 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Passenger ship Hulked
OTARU 1909 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton River Paddle Steamer Sunk
OSAKA 1909 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton River Paddle Steamer Scrapped
KELAT 1909 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton River Paddle Steamer Sunk
KELVIN 1910 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Pilot Vessel Not Recorded
KANDY 1912 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton River Paddle Steamer Sunk
KENTUNG 1913 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton River Paddle Steamer Sunk
KAWLIN 1913 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton River Paddle Steamer Scuttled
TALIFOO 1914 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Paddle Steamer Scuttled
SHWELI 1914 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton River Paddle Steamer Sunk
MINTO 1914 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Passenger Cargo Vessel Wrecked
SIKKIM 1914 Yarrow Shipbuilders Scotstoun River sternwheel steamer Destroyed by Fire
NINGPO 1915 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Passenger Cargo Vessel Sunk
ANANDA 1915 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Paddle Steamer Scuttled
NYAUKTO 1915 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Passenger Cargo Vessel Sunk
YEDDO 1915 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Passenger Cargo Vessel Sunk
PIMA 1915 Yarrow Shipbuilders Scotstoun River sternwheel steamer Scrapped
NIMMO 1916 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Passenger Cargo Vessel Wrecked
NIKKO 1916 William Denny & Brothers Dumbarton Passenger Cargo Vessel Sunk
SARAK 1917 Yarrow Shipbuilders Scotstoun PS (stern)
SAGA 1918 Yarrow Shipbuilders Scotstoun PS (stern)
SIMA 1918 Yarrow Shipbuilders Scotstoun PS (stern)
SINDE 1919 Yarrow Shipbuilders Scotstoun PS (stern)
PAUK 1920 Yarrow Shipbuilders Scotstoun PS (stern)
SYTHET 1920 Yarrow Shipbuilders Scotstoun PS (stern)
SHILLONG 1920 Yarrow Shipbuilders Scotstoun PS (stern)

(in reply to dwg)
Post #: 3
RE: The Irrawaddy Flotilla-600 Missing Vessels? - 1/25/2013 3:13:57 PM   
Gary Childress


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Uh oh...Don't let Don see this post. Or else we'll be spending our time managing river boats up and down the Irrawwaddy.

(in reply to dwg)
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RE: The Irrawaddy Flotilla-600 Missing Vessels? - 2/3/2013 5:52:54 AM   
el cid again

 

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The Flotilla had TWO lives!

The Irrawaddy is navigable to Mandalay year around - but upriver from there - very oddly - where it enters the mountains - in the MONSOON season there is TOO MUCH
water - so it is way too rough - and the river is NOT navigable. In other seasons, you can go to and slightly beyond Myitkiniya. With me so far? For this reason the main upriver port was Mandalay. During the Japanese advance, the fleet general manager, personally, scuttled most of the vessels at Mandalay himself - firing holes in the bottoms with a Bren gun.

AFTER the return of the Allies to the area, many of these vessels were raised and the holes plugged. They either served as is, or were modified in various ways into a large US ARMY fleet of gunboats and landing craft/ships. These included the ONLY COMMISSIONED US ARMY WARSHIPS in any theater in WWII. Unfortunately there is very little information on these vessels preserved.

In RHS/AE Level 1 (i.e. the stock map system version), this river IS navigable. Also in RHS, in 1945, the "Second Irrawaddy Flotilla" appears - at Mandalay - IF the Allies have recaptured it.

The "First Irrawaddy Flotilla" also exists, in part. Only the larger vessels are modeled. There are, as well, some river tankers and a few other river craft. These may - and should - move troops and supplies (and oil) before the Japanese take over. And they MIGHT be evacuated to India - if a player does so soon enough. There is a fully developed river system including the delta with all its ports and channels. But these vessels are numbered since I lacked their names.

This wiki article has a link to a picture of one of the river steamers which can be used as a model. These were steamboats built in Scotland, reassembled in Burma. It was indeed the largest collection of ferries in the world:

Irrawaddy Flotilla CompanyFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company (IFC) was a passenger and cargo ferry company, which operated services on the Irrawaddy River in Burma, now Myanmar. The IFC was Scottish-owned, and was managed by P Henderson & Company from Glasgow. The IFC operated from 1865 until the late 1940s. At its peak in the late 1920s, the IFC fleet was the largest fleet of river boats in the world, consisting of over 600 vessels carrying some 9 million passengers a year.[1]

[edit] Beginnings
Seal of Myanma Inland Water TransportThe IFC was formed in 1865, primarily to ferry troops up and down the Irrawaddy River and delta.[1] Soon, the company was carrying passengers, rice, government stores, and mail from Rangoon to Prome and, in 1868, to Bhamo. Click here to see a photograph of Beeloo, a mail steamer of the IFC.

The ferry became indispensable to the oil fields up river at Yenangyaung and Chauk for carrying supplies and heavy equipment. Partly because the railway to Mandalay followed the path of the Sittaung River rather than the Irrawaddy River, the company stayed relevant and useful well into the twentieth century, even after independence from Britain.[2]

The ships, which were paddle steamers, were built in Scotland, before being dismantled and transported to Burma for reassembly. When the Japanese invaded Burma in World War II, Manager of the IFC's Burma fleet, John Morton, ordered the scuttling of all 600 ships in his fleet. This supreme act of denial prevented the Japanese from having a usable, local fleet for transport up the Irrawaddy River. In 1948 the company was reconstituted as the Government Inland Water Transport Board.

[edit] QuoteThe paddle steamers of the IFC inspired the famous lines penned by Rudyard Kipling:

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay!"
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay![3]


I attempted to attach the image of the Baaloo here but got the message "file is too large" - but you can see it by taking the link from wiki. These are large paddle steamers able to carry hundreds of passengers in a pinch - normally more like a hundred plus cargo. They were modified to carry US field guns in some cases, hence "gunboats."

< Message edited by el cid again -- 2/3/2013 6:03:31 AM >

(in reply to dwg)
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RE: The Irrawaddy Flotilla-600 Missing Vessels? - 2/3/2013 9:00:13 PM   
el cid again

 

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Supplimenting the information provided by dwg on vessels

three ships - probably small cargo ships - were at Singapore

Pu Lo Chung
Sabana
Tamasek

(the last one was actually nearby on the Riouw Islands if you have that on your map)

(in reply to dwg)
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RE: The Irrawaddy Flotilla-600 Missing Vessels? - 2/4/2013 5:42:37 AM   
dwg

 

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quote:

the main upriver port was Mandalay. During the Japanese advance, the fleet general manager, personally, scuttled most of the vessels at Mandalay himself - firing holes in the bottoms with a Bren gun.

AFTER the return of the Allies to the area, many of these vessels were raised and the holes plugged. They either served as is, or were modified in various ways into a large US ARMY fleet of gunboats and landing craft/ships. These included the ONLY COMMISSIONED US ARMY WARSHIPS in any theater in WWII. Unfortunately there is very little information on these vessels preserved.


Describing it as a 'US Army fleet' perpetuates XIVth Army's sobriquet as the Forgotten Army. The Northern Combat Area Command was US led, but overwhelmingly Chinese (30th, 38th and 50th Divisions), even the US Mars Task Force was one third Chinese (475th Infantry, 124th Cavalry, and the Chinese 1st Infantry Rgt (Separate)), while the British 36th Division was also under command. During the 1945 campaign the Mars Task Force was deployed to interdict the old Burma road, but failed to stop the Japanese withdrawing past them in front of the Chinese 30th and 38th divisions, while 36th Division and 50th Division drove south towards the Burma Road between Lashio and Mandalay with the intention of linking with the Chinese Y Force's drive south from Yunnan towards Mandalay. However Chiang pulled the plug on the Chinese campaign when they reached Lashio on 7th March, with all forces, including the Mars Task Force, pulled out by the end of the month, long before they would have reached Mandalay, which fell to 19th (Indian) Division of XIVth Army's XXXIII Corps in prolonged urban fighting through the middle part of March. However by the point Mandalay fell Commonwealth forces were already in action over 100 miles further south, IV Corps having skirted past the Japanese to the west of the Irrawaddy before putting two bridgeheads over it to take Meiktila on 1st March and hold it against Japanese attempts to retake it, destroying Japanese 15th Army as a combat force. Once the Mars Task Force had been withdrawn the only US combat unit in Burma was OSS Detachment 101 and its Kachin levies.

By this point XIVth Army already had a boatyard in operation at Kalewa on the upper Chindwin, with 536 Artisan Works Company, Indian Engineers, eventually being responsible for building 2 gunboats, HMS Uma and HMS Pamela (25t, 1x40mm, 1x20mm, 2x2xVickers K, 10kts, 200nm range, commissioned 27th April), and several hundred barges, including prefab Ramped Cargo Lighters. Engines, shafts etc were flown in by Sunderlands landing on a buoyed section of the Chindwin. Meanwhile other Commonwealth engineers were busy on the Irrawaddy and Chindwin with everything from DUKWs to steamers. I'm not denying there was US involvement, but the vast majority of the effort on the Irrawaddy was Commonwealth.

(in reply to el cid again)
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RE: The Irrawaddy Flotilla-600 Missing Vessels? - 2/9/2013 10:14:57 PM   
el cid again

 

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I made no claim the US Army marine force in Burma was larger than CW forces - I have no sense of that one way or the other.
But apparently it was a significant force in terms of numbers of vessels, and also in terms of armament. And apparently it
was substantially IFC vessels which were used - raised in fact by IFC itself. My information came from an account by its manager,
who says he personally sank the ships with a bren gun to avoid capture at Mandalay - an effort which took some time due to the
huge number of hulls. He said he simply shot holes in the bottom and let them flood out. Later, he said, they plugged the holes
and returned them to service. Apparently they mounted weapons up to 105mm - although the word used was "howitzers" - by
1945 that was the US Army standard size (and the old 75 mm were mainly guns, derived from the WWII French 75; there was also
an old mountain howitzer but they were pretty much lost in the Philippines).

I value your information and will add your gunboats.

(in reply to dwg)
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