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RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No Mundy, please]

 
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RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 9/29/2016 1:18:49 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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1/23
On the second night of bombing neither the Americans' common skill nor their comon sense had improved. Most of them still became lost on the way to the target and they still insisted on attacking from an altitude nearest to God.

This time, however, luck seemed to be with them, as was evidenced by the clearly visible explosion, most likely ammunition storage, on the Japanese carrier they hit.

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Post #: 61
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 9/30/2016 12:17:08 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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1/24

The fateful events of the day began to take shape during the routine events of the previous one.

First, a high altitude photo reconnaissance flight over Singapore witnessed a large group of ships, most clearly damaged, leaving the anchorage. The anchorage itself now hosted only a few heavily damaged vessels, some patrol craft and a few submarines. Conspicuously absent were a number of cruisers.

That mystery was solved towards dusk, when a Hudson flying the last patrol of the day over the strait discovered a Japanese force steaming in three columns southwest of Georgetown. This was obviously a crucial report. The Japanese were most likely attempting to bombard the Sabang airfield to stop the nighttime attacks.

Several events kicked into gear as soon as the news reached Sabang. Firstly, the vulnerable and valuable bombers immediately left the field lest they be caught in the bombardment. Secondly, naval attack planes were immediately ordered to consolidate at Sabang. Luckily, these could take off from supporting airfields completely unloaded, with just enough fuel for the trip, as Sabang had enough to arm them in place. As it was, most of the planes had to land after dark, guided by field lights. Finally, the naval forces moved out to meet the enemy.

Just after midnight, the naval squadron defending Sabang detected the Japanese force on radar. Unfortunately for the Japanese, this was no hodge-podge of WWI –era light cruisers or even Jutland survivor battleships. This was most of a fully modernized American BatDiv which had arrived a few days ago, led by 3 battleships and supported by 6 “machine gun” light cruisers.

The first encounter must have been a shock to the Japanese force, who, likely expecting to encounter lightly armed British ships, instead began receiving rapid-fire salvoes from the Americans as soon as the range closed to 11,000 yards. Several lead ships of all three Japanese columns, one of which was led by 3 CAs, the rest consisting of CLs, suffered hits almost immediately. In fine Japanese fashion, Japanese destroyers and the southernmost column of CLs fired off their torpedoes and swung north. The Americans were expecting just this maneuver, and turning all ships head-on to the torpedo threat continued the pursuit. As it happened, all torpedoes of the massive salvo missed.

At this point the Japanese attempted to turn east, but were headed off by the Americans. They swung north again, attempting to beat the slower US battleships, but discovered that the American CLs were just as fast as they were, carried batteries that were much more deadly.

Finally, in a desperate bid, the Japanese force made a full turn to the southeast and attempted to bull through the US battle line, but the supporting CLs and destroyers won that game of “chicken”. The closest of the Japanese got to within 5,000 yards, but when the lead CL received 5 hits from a battleship secondary battery in quick succession, the raiders finally gave up and retired at full speed to the west.

Several hours later they tried again. The American task force was still patrolling north of Sabang Island when it detected the Japanese, now apparently short a couple of the most desperately damaged cruisers, approaching from the west at high speed. This time the Japanese did not bother with the frills of gunnery or maneuver and bore straight in. This put the Americans at a distinct disadvantage, because the slower speed of the battleships prevented them from putting themselves squarely between the enemy and his route of retreat. They did well enough, however, forcing the Japanese to go in with all guns blazing, seemingly oblivious to return fire.

At some point as the two forces angled for the most advantageous vectors, the Japanese even crossed the T of the main American column after firing off their remaining torpedoes. One of torpedoes hit the Arizona, resulting in minor to moderate flooding, but knocking out one of her engine rooms and causing her to fall out of line at a mere 9 knots. Another stuck the unfortunate Sims, instantly breaking her back and sinking her within minutes. Another two destroyers, the Russell and the Hughes, were heavily damaged by gunfire. But the division of American CLs, all guns firing as it moved in at full speed to once again head off the Japanese and cross their T, forced the Japanese commander to once again break off the engagement.

Although the Americans suffered two torpedo hits, the Japanese certainly came out the worst. Two light cruisers had sunk outright, one as a result of a spectacular magazine explosion which blew the ship apart and lit the night for miles around. Another four cruisers, including the sole remaining heavy, were fighting fires of varying size as they withdrew, as were several destroyers.

The final naval encounter of the night happened just after 0600, when a clearly reduced Japanese force attempted to sneak past well north of Sabang. Although the Americans tried their best, they were not able to completely interpose themselves between the Japanese and their escape, settling for sinking one more CL, and causing additional damage to several other ships. Japanese return fire was virtually nonexistent. It was clear that many of their gun mounts had been either damaged or destroyed or had run out of ammunition. Instead, the Japanese focused exclusively on escape, using their speed to gain salvation. Several other ships must have also snuck past in ones and twos in the night.

Unfortunately for the Japanese, their ordeal was far from over. With the morning sun, came the attack planes.

First, a flight of Albacores found a group of two light cruisers and two destroyers and sank both CLs and heavily damaged a DD.

Another group from the same flight came upon an already damaged heavy cruiser, escorted by 3 destroyers, and put another torpedo into her, to be followed by a flight of twin-engine Australian Beauforts, who finished her off with three more.

In the afternoon, after rearming, Albacores from Sabang located a group of four heavily damaged cruisers, two light and two heavy, sneaking along the Sumatran coast. One group did a CL in with 4 torpedoes, while another put 3 more fish into the two CAs. The Beauforts following on their heels finally sank the other CL and one of the heavies.

The final attack of the day happened a bit further north, in the direction of Georgetown, where Swordfish from the Hermes had engaged the final CA. Having exhausted their carrier’s torpedo arsenal in the morning, they attacked the cruiser with bombs, leaving her burning and listing presumably to sink shortly after.

In all, Allied intelligence estimated that the Japanese had lost 8 light cruisers, three heavy cruisers and several destroyers as a result of the gunnery battles and subsequent air attacks. The remaining cruisers were assumed to all be heavily damaged. In return, the US navy lost one destroyer sunk and several ships lightly to moderately damaged.

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Post #: 62
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 9/30/2016 2:31:30 AM   
BBfanboy


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Wow - what a disaster for the IJN! Well done!

Who was commanding the US TF?

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(in reply to Onime No Kyo)
Post #: 63
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 9/30/2016 2:37:19 AM   
AW1Steve

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy

Wow - what a disaster for the IJN! Well done!

Who was commanding the US TF?

Raymond Spruance (with me looking over his shoulder! ) up against Tanaka. I'm pretty sure we killed Tanaka.

(in reply to BBfanboy)
Post #: 64
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/1/2016 5:55:21 PM   
bradfordkay

 

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Bravo! To have such good results for the USN in a night battle that early in the war is exceptional.

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fair winds,
Brad

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Post #: 65
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/3/2016 1:22:12 AM   
Bif1961


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Just goes to show you that fleeing is not always the best option. A well planned Allied fleet action can win the day as it was followed up with torpedo heavy strikes to seek and sink cripples from the night action.

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Post #: 66
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/6/2016 12:54:07 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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1/25

The last of the Japanese survivors were pulling into Singapore. The strait was already mostly clear and even the numerous life rafts and survivor-bearing flotsam had either reached shore, had been picked up by one of the sides or had otherwise disappeared.

Only one group of ships remained; a badly damaged destroyer being escorted by two others. Perhaps they already thought themselves safe. After all, they were surely aware of the limited range of naval attack aircraft.

But Beauforts were no normal aircraft. Their twin engines, light construction and large fuel tanks allowed them an attack range which the Japanese had not hitherto encountered in the straits, even while lugging a heavy torpedo.

In the end, whether through laxity or inability, the Japanese detachment was thoroughly surprised. The first torpedo struck one of the escorting cans just abaft the forward turrets. She went under in minutes, with men still jumping overboard.

The remaining ships used their speed and maneuverability to evade the attackers and retired to the south at high speed.

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Post #: 67
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/6/2016 12:55:13 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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1/26

The Allies had long ago evacuated northern Borneo. Although the bases there were very advantageously located and could have provided a steady supply of fuel, it was simply too dangerous to remain. So the British and colonial troops had been packed aboard whatever tramp steamer or aircraft was available, and shipped off to safer areas, often even without their heavy equipment. Only a skeleton crew of local magistrates, native security forces and coastwatchers remained.

Over the next year, the area had remained relatively quiet. Occasionally a Japanese aircraft would fly over the base. Even more rarely a Japanese convoy would be seen steaming in the distance, hugging the shoreline. Rarer still were the occasions when a Dutch or American submarine would come in to top its fuel tanks off from the supply remaining in the storage tanks still dutifully maintained by the harbor master and his native crew.

It was therefore quite surprising when Allied intelligence intercepted a coded radio transmission from what appeared to be an invasion convoy. Over several days the analysts tracked the signal and attempted to refine the data, until finally they were forced to accept the fact that an invasion of Brunei was indeed on its way.

Because of this, the local forces ashore were anything but surprised when a Japanese convoy appeared offshore just before sundown and began lowering boats and barges. The local constabulary and remaining colonial authorities had had plenty of time to create and stock their food and weapon caches and remove anything of value. What remained was only to watch in wry amusement as several boatloads of Japanese infantry and equipment, inexpertly managed, overturned in the surf, spilling their contents. After some time watching wet and tired Japanese scramble ashore, some dragging lifeless bodies of their comrades, the local contingent faded into the jungle.

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(in reply to Onime No Kyo)
Post #: 68
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/6/2016 12:55:52 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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1/27

After the fall of Canton, its remaining defenders had broken up into two groups. One group, consisting mostly of service and support units, retreated north and disappeared in the hills east of Wuchow. The other, consisting of the more cohesive combat units, crossed the Zhujiang River on boats, rafts and anything else that could be induced to float, and disappeared into the fields and paddies beyond. At that time the Chinese army had neither the strength nor the resources to pursue them, having just completes a grueling assault to end the campaign.

Over the next months the victors of the Battle of Canton had spent their time rebuilding, reequipping and reinforcing, repairing and building new fortifications, gun emplacements and other defensive structures. Eventually, most of the army had again marched off, leaving only garrison formations. Subsequent battles to the east brought in more reinforcement and more battered units. This process, several times repeated, had created in Canton an extensive network of camps and depots that depleted units could use to replace men and equipment, recuperate and train.

The losers of the battle had a much more Spartan existence. Although no one attempted to actively pursue them, their fate was entirely uncertain. They could presumably live off the land by forcibly confiscating sustenance from the local farmers, but their value as combat formations continued to decline. A few times they attempted some maneuvers in conjunction with their hill-based cohorts, which suggested that the Japanese command had actively supplied them at least with radios. But the extensive marching and countermarching did not yield any significant result.

After some time Dutch bombers were transferred to Canton and began to regularly bomb the Japanese camps, causing damage to an already scant inventory of equipment and morale.

Finally, about a week prior, the Dutch pilots reported that the Japanese force had begun to march south. Seemingly oblivious to Dutch aircraft overhead, the ragged Japanese columns reached the banks of the river and began to assemble boats and rafts in preparation for a crossing.

In Canton, meanwhile, about a dozen units were in the final stages of the rebuilding process. Several of the more capable ones were put on alert and marched to the northwest to dig trenches and prepare to defend the city. Several more moved out in various other directions to head off any penetrations.

As it happened, the matter was resolved without additional maneuvers. Several hours before daybreak the Japanese began their crossing. Due to the state of the troops as well as the hodge-podge nature of their boats, the exercise took all morning to complete. It was not until 1400 that all the troops had crossed to the other bank. It took almost another hour to assemble and form and finally move out.

Unfortunately for the Japanese, their trip was not long. The first line of ridges was fortified with two lines of trenches, reinforced machine gun positions, artillery and mortar emplacements, wire and mines. The Japanese were marching into a buzz saw.

As the Japanese ranks reached range, they were met by a hail of machinegun and rifle fire. Artillery and mortars began falling behind them, spraying shrapnel and cutting off their retreat.

The initial reaction of the Japanese was to charge. That did not last long, as the front ranks were cut down by massed fire. The remnants went to ground and spent several hours being further shot to bits.

Finally, all Chinese fire stopped. An eerie silence settled over the battlefield. Minutes went by. And then, almost simultaneously, shill whistles blew all down the line of Chinese positions and thousands of screaming Chinese infantry, bayonets at the ready, charged down the hill.

What was left the Japanese infantry had no hope of opposing such a charge. For a few minutes there were confused attempts to resist, but the wave was not to be stopped, and finally, the Japanese broke and ran.

Most of the runners were cut down immediately. Some got as far as the river, only to be shot or bayoneted at water’s edge. Some jumped into the water and attempted to swim. Chinese infantry on the banks, laughing and slapping each other on the back, took potshots at the swimmers until they finally went under and did not reappear. The officers did not try very hard to stop them.

So died the remnants of one Japanese regiment, two battalions and one so-called division of Chinese traitors. There were very few survivors.

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"Mighty is the Thread! Great are its works and insane are its inhabitants!" -Brother Mynok

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Post #: 69
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/6/2016 12:56:18 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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1/28

The city of Bangkok had not suffered overly much during the war. Certainly the overall mood had changed when the Japanese came in, but if one managed to stay away from somehow catching the eye of the patrols, which were known for arbitrary violence, it was of no consequence. In any case, there were more Thai units in the city than Japanese garrison and security thugs.

Several times some British planes had come over to drop bombs, but the damage was negligible and only served to infuriate the Japanese.

But, in all likelihood, the almost 200 planes that took off from Burmese airfields to attack the city today were not envisioned in any of the defense contingency plans.

The single squadron of Tojos based at the city did remarkably well, accounting for almost a dozen planes shot down and severely damaged, but the tide could not be stopped, and by the end of the day, the air field and its surrounding industry lay in ruins.

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Post #: 70
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/6/2016 12:56:55 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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1/29

The time of the “hill dwellers”, as the Japanese units which had escaped into the hills from Canton had come to be known, was coming to an end.

The ring of encirclement was almost complete and the weak, depleted units had nowhere to go.

The Chinese were in no hurry to start chasing the invaders around hills and dales, however. For now, all the bombers in the area were busy pounding any significant concentration which photo reconnaissance could find.

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"Mighty is the Thread! Great are its works and insane are its inhabitants!" -Brother Mynok

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Post #: 71
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/6/2016 12:57:23 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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1/30

The bombers had come back to Bangkok for the third straight day. It was no longer the unstoppable avalanche of planes, but only a couple of dozen of the large, American B-17s.

After the destruction of the first day, the field was too damaged to allow the handful of remaining Tojos to take off in defense, and the planes, along with a few random transports and other sundry aircraft, were now burning in their revetments.



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Post #: 72
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/15/2016 2:33:13 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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So it seems the the kid has colic. She's ok in the morning, but come afternoon she's either eating or screaming. So far, this parenting gig is a blast!

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Post #: 73
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/15/2016 2:34:59 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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1/31

The ships in the middle of the formation were battered and bruised, but there was nothing wrong with their escorts.

The Japanese submarine found that out to its detriment when it attempted to penetrate the escort formation, presumably to get a shot at the Arizona. It didn’t even make it halfway before it was found on sonar.

In response, it quickly fired four torpedoes at the HMS Decoy and dove. All four missed, but the Decoy, Isis and the French Le Triomphant charged her location and proceeded to drop charges for several minutes.

Although no confirmation of the kill could be made, the oil and debris which bubbled to the surface did suggest at least one successful hit.

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Post #: 74
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/15/2016 2:35:30 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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2/1

February of 1943 did not begin well for the Japanese forces in Bangkok.

The airfield was effectively closed for several days now, and it was only getting worse.

Although the number of attackers was nowhere near the tidal wave of the first day, they were sufficient to undo all the repair efforts that the small base crew could undertake during the night.

They also had enough numbers to hit the periphery of the field, where the few remaining aircraft were attempted to be concealed. In ones and twos the air strength of Bangkok was being whittled away.

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"Mighty is the Thread! Great are its works and insane are its inhabitants!" -Brother Mynok

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Post #: 75
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/15/2016 2:36:02 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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2/2

Photographic reconnaissance of Sinyang had been reporting an increasing accumulation of aircraft for over a week now.

The Chinese command did not come close to disposing of the numbers of bombers needed to completely destroy the field, but the decision was made to use the “loaned” American Mitchells to launch an attack.

The medium bombers were tough birds, with good range, but they simply did not have the capacity to carry enough explosives to completely destroy the field infrastructure.

To make things worse, the area teemed with Japanese AA guns, and at least half a dozen Mitchells came back pretty badly shot up, while one of the supporting Vengeance dive bombers did not return at all.

All in all, however, the day ended with the Sinyang air facilities significantly damaged and at least a couple of planes destroyed.

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Post #: 76
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/15/2016 2:36:37 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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2/3

The water was too shallow, and the position was distinctly suboptimal, but the sheer size of the target meant that the shat had to be taken.

Patrolling around Singapore these days meant that you very seldom saw action, if one doesn’t count crash dives to avoid Japanese patrols. Actual targets you could shoot at were very few and far between. And as a general rule, they also tended to be very dangerous and well escorted.

This target was no exception. It was unclear whether the very large convoy originated in Singapore or Palembang, but as far as could be seen it consisted of at leads a dozen transports and half a dozen escorts.

Engaging the small, fast and agile escorts would have been folly, but the old S-boat did not have the speed to gain position on the fast-moving and zigzagging targets. The only remaining choice was the brave and foolish one.

The result was also one that generally came to anyone other than heroes of Hollywood films. While trying to sneak into firing range, the S-41 was detected and attacked. Luckily for her crew, the damage, while notable, was not fatal. It was hoped that the boat would be able to make the Cocos Islands, where a repair ship awaited it.

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Post #: 77
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/15/2016 2:37:04 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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2/4

The flight from the Indian Ocean to Singapore was actually quite short, just over half an hour. And by the time the main strike arrived the air was clear of opposition.

The British had bombed the air fields at night. They did not cause much damage, only a few craters and one extremely unlucky airplane which was clearly seen to burn as the attackers turned to head for home. But the attack caused the entire city, and most importantly its anti-aircraft defenses and fighters, to be brought to full alert.

The entire morning and early afternoon went by without an attack, as was intended. But just after 1600 a flight of American Liberator bombers attacked the harbor at very low altitude. It did not score any hits, but just as the British raid during the night, its aim was misdirection.

As every Japanese AA gun that could be brought to bear continued to hammer after the retreating bombers, and the sparse CAP chased them over the strait, the main strike came in from the south.

The blue navy bombers had crossed Sumatra just south of Padang and came in at moderate height from a direction from which the Japanese were not expecting them.

Their targets were in the outer road, just as reconnaissance had seen. Whether the assemblage was attacking or retreating would not be known until after the war, but the fact remains that the day’s raid had cost the Japanese one heavy and one light cruiser, moderate damage to a battleship, and seemingly caused the first crack to appear in the defenders’ morale.

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Post #: 78
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/15/2016 2:37:28 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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2/5

It had been almost a year since the city of Sian was occupied by the invaders. Then, the Chinese army had been too weak to resist the mighty force which the Japanese had brought to bear. The city was voluntarily surrendered, while the main forces made its long and hungry trek through trackless mountains to Kienko. There they had reinforced, rebuilt their strength and trained.

The Japanese had followed them, and the Battle of Kineko would long be acknowledged by historians as the turning point of the war in China. Not only did the defenders of the city, the same ones who were not able to defend Sian, hold off the might of virtually the entire Japanese army and dealt the enemy significant losses, they also allowed other Chinese forces in south and central China to attack and take the cities which the Japanese had left virtually bare in their blind rush to gather every combat capable unit.

Now the defenders of Sian were back. They were strong, well supplied, reinforced and prepared. Having left Kienko almost a month ago, they made their way over the same tracks they had trudged 9 months ago, but this time they had a plan, logistics support, food and transport. Joining with the units from northern cities, they arrived on the banks of the Weihe over a week ago, but did not cross or attack. Instead, leaving blocking forces, they headed east, crossed the Bahe River, and approached Sian…from the south.

While this maneuver was made, smaller forces approached from the west, creating a thin but present cordon around the city. The Japanese made no attempt to interfere.

Finally, on the 5th of February, the main force made its move. After a preparatory bombardment by almost 400 guns, 10 corps attacked all over the southern hemisphere of the Japanese defenses.

The Japanese brigade did offer some token resistance, as was evidenced by the several hundred dead and thousands of wounded Chinese. But this resistance lasted only about 30 to 40 minutes. After artillery was brought up to silence the most annoying Japanese strongpoints, the infantry again charged, and this time carried the trenches.

What ensued was something of a bloodbath, as virtually the entire Japanese corps, and almost certainly the entire so-called division of Chinese traitors simply ceased to exist.

The city itself was taken with minimal damage, and needing only half a day to set themselves to rights, the main force of the Northern Army was on the move again.



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Post #: 79
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/15/2016 2:37:54 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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2/6

The next USN strike on Singapore did not go for any finesse. It was a straight-on battering ram which gathered all of the American carriers’ might into one strike and launched it at the shipping in Singapore.

Unlike last time, the Japanese had a few fighters in the air, but not even a dozen. The escorting American Wildcats bore into them, but being tied to their bomber charges, they were not able to use all their maneuverability. As a result, the slashing Japanese attacks cost the Americans two of the stubby fighters. After that, however, the escort simply chased the Japanese off.

With no more aerial opposition, the bombers got to work. The already blasted light carrier, a heavy and several light cruisers or large seaplane tenders and even some destroyers and transports were left heavily damaged and burning. At least one heavy and one light cruiser turned turtle, the rest were obscured by thick black smoke of oil fires as the bombers departed.

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Post #: 80
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/15/2016 4:43:28 AM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Onime No Kyo

2/6

The next USN strike on Singapore did not go for any finesse. It was a straight-on battering ram which gathered all of the American carriers’ might into one strike and launched it at the shipping in Singapore.

Unlike last time, the Japanese had a few fighters in the air, but not even a dozen. The escorting American Wildcats bore into them, but being tied to their bomber charges, they were not able to use all their maneuverability. As a result, the slashing Japanese attacks cost the Americans two of the stubby fighters. After that, however, the escort simply chased the Japanese off.

With no more aerial opposition, the bombers got to work. The already blasted light carrier, a heavy and several light cruisers or large seaplane tenders and even some destroyers and transports were left heavily damaged and burning. At least one heavy and one light cruiser turned turtle, the rest were obscured by thick black smoke of oil fires as the bombers departed.

Awesome! Mighty careless of the Japanese to have those ships there and so poorly CAP'd after your previous port/naval strikes.

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(in reply to Onime No Kyo)
Post #: 81
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/29/2016 2:49:13 AM   
Onime No Kyo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BBfanboy


quote:

ORIGINAL: Onime No Kyo

2/6

The next USN strike on Singapore did not go for any finesse. It was a straight-on battering ram which gathered all of the American carriers’ might into one strike and launched it at the shipping in Singapore.

Unlike last time, the Japanese had a few fighters in the air, but not even a dozen. The escorting American Wildcats bore into them, but being tied to their bomber charges, they were not able to use all their maneuverability. As a result, the slashing Japanese attacks cost the Americans two of the stubby fighters. After that, however, the escort simply chased the Japanese off.

With no more aerial opposition, the bombers got to work. The already blasted light carrier, a heavy and several light cruisers or large seaplane tenders and even some destroyers and transports were left heavily damaged and burning. At least one heavy and one light cruiser turned turtle, the rest were obscured by thick black smoke of oil fires as the bombers departed.

Awesome! Mighty careless of the Japanese to have those ships there and so poorly CAP'd after your previous port/naval strikes.


Yep. Its interesting because intel had nearly 150 fighters there. Steve thinks theyre single engined bombers or other sorts that are being misidentified.

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Post #: 82
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/29/2016 2:50:51 AM   
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2/7

The bright tropical sunrise promised another beautiful day. The clear, blue water shimmered and danced, sometimes revealing the mere hint of shadows of fish just beneath the surface.

The taskforce of naval vessels was almost superfluous in this idea setting. Four small ships and one large one, lost in the blue vastness just north of the Hawaiian Islands, going about their business, meaningless dots in the great oceanic expanse.

An ear splitting explosion shattered the morning idyll.

The large ship in the group, USS Enterprise, staggered as the torpedo struck her starboard side just aft of the forward elevator. Previously damaged in the battles around New Caledonia, the Enterprise had made port in Oahu, received the most crucial repairs and now, stripped of her air group, unnecessary equipment and most unessential crew, was headed to the West Coast for final repairs.

The torpedo opened several compartments to the sea, and in other conditions the hit might have been more serious. But in her lightened state, the carrier was able to bear the damage much better. The crew, though reduced from her normal complement, retained more than enough damage control personnel to manage the hull breach.

History books would dryly note that the Enterprise entered Seattle harbor just over a week later and stood into dock for repairs.

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Post #: 83
RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/29/2016 2:51:24 AM   
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2/8

For the American pilots the Sumatran jungle was becoming a pretty familiar sight. Various squadrons had now crossed the island at least half a dozen times. A handful of planes had crashed on it. But in all that time, the US naval units had never attacked it. Today’s raid would charge that.

Palembang harbor was stuffed to the seawall with shipping. Whether caught in port by the American strikes on Singapore, permanently stationed there, or for some other reason, the road was more full than a front line base, even the premier oil refinery port in what Japan amusingly called its co-prosperity sphere, had any right to be.

The strike consisted of virtually every airframe in the US carrier force that could carry a bomb. And as was becoming strangely habitual, there was no Japanese patrol to greet them.

There were certainly flak batteries on shore to make the task exciting, and for one crew even fatal, but the 150 bombers that attacked Palembang that day, did it in a calm, systematic, orderly fashion, while the Japanese merchant ships below them tried frantically to find some means of escape.

Caught completely flat footed, most of the Japanese ships did not even have the boiler pressure for immediate movement. As steam came up, ships began to slowly shift position. In most cases, the speed was woefully insufficient to produce any sort of safely. And in almost all cases, the movement was chaotic, uncoordinated, and did a significantly better job of interfering with the ability of the few escort vessels to assist, than it did of offering the American pilots more difficult targets.

Several Japanese ships collided. At least 3 ran aground. Two escorts and some smaller coastal steamers were sunk outright. Some other vessels were so badly damaged that they would necessarily settle or capsize within hours. By the time the attackers left, there was not a single undamaged ship in Palembang harbor.

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RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/29/2016 2:51:56 AM   
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2/9

A squadron of American Liberator bombers was winging its familiar way to Singapore. In daylight, the flight path was fairly simple, and generally involved staying between the two land masses which were both visible from a certain altitude.

The task before them would not be so simple, this time. As they approached the island fortress, small black dots of patrol aircraft became visible. This was relatively new, but not entirely unexpected. The bombers moved closer together in their box formations and prepared to receive visitors.

Again, the number of hostiles had not very much in common with the numbers of planed that intel and photo reconnaissance said was stationed in and around the base. They circled the port in three separate bunches, and attacked clumsily, separately.

The first bunch was made up of Tojos, Japan’s newest fighter. These came in from the side, carefully lining up their shots. When the combined “broadside” of the square opened up on them, immediately blowing one of their number into a fireball, they scattered and turned away.

The next bunch, Zeros, was a bit smarter. They came in from above and ahead, making slashing attacks through the formation. Their light armament was insufficient to bring down a B-24 in the time available during such a pass. And although they certainly blew a lot of holes, large and small, in the olive drab airframes and wounded over a dozen crewmen, all of the bombers remained aloft. On the third pass the lumbering beasts even got some of their own back, sending one of the Zeroes into the water far down below.

The last group, a trio of Oscars, barely made a motion in the general direction of attack, making several distant passes and turning away.

This is not to say that the bombers were able to hit their target with impunity. Half a dozen Tojos and zeros continued to harass the formation as singletons, continually forcing minute shifts that threw off final accuracy.

At the end of the day, however, it was Americans 2, Japanese 0

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RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/29/2016 2:52:35 AM   
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2/10

Two corps commanders or, more precisely, former corps commanders, stood facing the grim line. Their fate was sealed, the evidence reviewed, sentence reached and read out.

The Central Army had finally made its move. After the bloody battled of last Spring, when the Chinese forces took Hanhow, Wuchang and Nanchang, the units had spent months digging entrenchments, bunkers and concrete hard points around the captured cities, bringing their own numbers and equipment to order, and training and preparing for the next phase.

The phase had started two months ago, when the day after Christian New Year, the Northern Army had set out for Sian. A little over a week ago, it was the Central Army’s turn, when they stepped out from behind Hankow’s fortifications on the road to Sinyang.

The way had been largely uneventful. The march slowed for several days when the rains turned the dirt road into a swamp. Finally, two days prior, the army had reached contact with Japanese patrols.

The infantry was still pulling in from the long march, weary units, feet and cart wheels covered in mud, assuming the positions around the enemy perimeter, when the two failures hatched their ill-conceived plan.

They remembered, they had subsequently told their interrogators, that Sinyang was defended largely by units that had been beaten and thrown out of Hankow almost a year ago, and even those were mostly artillery and engineering units, easily overthrown.

With all of the artillery still slogging their way up the muddy road, the plan called for a cautious reconnaissance in force, exposing the infantry just enough to ascertain enemy dispositions, strength and pinpointing his major defense hubs and machine gun positions. This was supposed to happen all around the hemispherical perimeter of the city, simultaneously, so as not to allow the enemy to shift significant forces from one side to another. After the Japanese were well and truly engaged in a fire fight, the Chinese would begin to withdraw under cover of corps artillery, AA and AT batteries.

Along the line the order was executed virtually flawlessly. There were, of course, casualties. Men fell to machine gun nests before they could be found, or cut down by mortar shrapnel. But in general, the plan had worked. Everywhere except the areas of the 70th and 72nd corps. Not very large, and nowhere near even half strength, these formations were placed adjacent to one another on the right flank, where flat ground would make a frontal attack almost impossible, and where the enemy would likely place his least combat effective forces.

The day’s debacle began as the rows of Chinese infantry rose from their hastily dug trenches and began to march towards Sinyang. Whereas everywhere else the troops were ordered to hit the dirt as soon as they began to receive fire, soldiers of the two unfortunate corps charged the enemy defenses.

The suicidal rush across open ground had predictable results. Dozens of soldiers were cut down. Where units went to ground, shocked by losses and unable to advance, they were moved still further by officers the respective headquarters, with threats, kicks and exhortations.

When an army observer, making the round of the sector, appalled at the carnage, rushed into the headquarters dugout of the 72nd corps, he found Gen. Han hysterically yelling at someone into a field telephone to “get those men up”. When the observer demanded to know what was going on, he was led away by an officious staffer with the excuse that the General must run the battle. Finally, after 15 minutes of backtalk, the observer, a colonel but vested with the authority of Army command, flew into a rage and demanded to speak with Han immediately. At that point, the general was almost in tears. Upon being pressed by the envoy, he admitted to his idiotic plan.

By the time Army headquarters and dozens of runners could get a handle on the situation, both formations had virtually ceased to exist. Han, and his accomplice from the 70th, were promptly arrested, and sang like birds under questioning.

It seems that the two fools conceived the notion that instead of mapping the enemy strongpoints, their corps’ would heroically rush the hated Japanese, push aside his pitiful engineers, and break through the defensive lines. Seeing this success, Army command would be forced to order a general assault, and after the city was taken, lest Army command admit that the charge was made against orders, the two erstwhile strategists would be made heroes for their heroic charge.

They got the firing squad instead. But that would never bring back the almost ten thousand men their corps’ lost dead and wounded. Bled white, what remained of the formations would have to be sent to the rear to rebuild. And the campaign of Central Army would start with a bloody setback.

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RE: Vignette AAR - AW1Steve and Onime (A) vs Mundy [No ... - 10/29/2016 2:52:56 AM   
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2/11

It was a long way from Singapore to Japan.

The enemy task force must have had a harrowing journey, escorting a badly damaged battleship from one side of the ocean to the other. The ship, sat low in the water from all the briny deep it absorbed though the holes which torpedoes blew in its side. The crew would not be able to seal the breaches, and short of japan itself, there was not a single yard large enough to fix the damage.

So it was that three destroyers had to escort the heavy, slow, limping warrior back.

The American torpedo, and the submarine that launched it, went completely unnoticed until it struck the battleship as it hove in sight of Yakushima Island. The American dove immediately to avoid reprisal as the battleship began to settle to the bottom.



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