RE: The little ship that could. (Full Version)

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1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/9/2010 6:43:43 AM)


The weather, mercifully, abates.
It is still angry, and the sky still grey -with the horizon still dotted by showers.
But it is doable.
So they do.

Dawn , and 21 kates, escorted by a mere 8 zeros circle the task group once, waggle their wings, and disapear into the grey.

Zuiho's contribution is 6 kates, the first finger three Okura, Kamisuka, Bando
Ahead, Ogawa and Diogawa form the right flank.

Diogawa feels better now, far better now that they are away - flight itself the best cure for the nerves.
yet again he cranes his neck, searching the skies, checking their charges., checking his position. it is damn difficult flying today -the air rough as guts, bouncing him about -the planes scudding through the occasional whispy cloud, and rain occasionally beading across the screen.
Beside him, Ogawa flies steady, and the barsted is smiling.
The engine beats -this, at least, is well.

Another grey bank of cloud -they rise gently over it - the whispers fleeting across the wings -and abruptly - as a curtain is drawn.
Bright sunlight, a few great clouds, shadows deep under them, gentle giants in the sky
Noumea -the island nestled in the blue -exactly as the map shows it -ten miles to go.
Eyes strain, head cranes -yes -there is the harbour -and disapointment -it is empty.

"make a nuiscence of ourselves"

Okura -leading, waves his hand -and the noses of the kates point gently downwards, the attack will go in..................and there, Oh God, there, in the corner of Diogawa's eye - also abruptly coming out of the shadows of that fat trucking cloud on their flank -the shark shaped crosses of fighters -many, many trucking fighters.............

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/9/2010 7:31:44 AM)

Ogawa does not hesitate –and already his fighter is peeling up, and over the kates, and Diogawa too is following, the sick hard over into his thigh –the throttle slammed forward, and the earth is sliding down the right wing, and now they are barreling down towards them –them –20 plus at least –P-39’s? –yes –airacobra’s –and the distance is close, coming closer at a frightening rate –impressions of the other zero’s with them, following them into the heart of the barsteds –and they have not noticed them!

Training, he thinks –they must have been training –and now its turning into the left, and down, and the first fighter is floating across his bows –and THUD< THUD< THUD< THUD< THUD, the cannon crashes, vibrating the cockpit, cordite, smoke –and now they know they are there, scattering, wheeling –and he has missed, damn, he has missed, pull her around, vertical, vertical, where are you, you, got you, , I will, get you, ………..
The P39 inverts, dives away, and under, and Dioagawa is pulling up –a falling 39, a flame streaks past –and there are shadows behind……………….the barsteds will fight, want to fight.

And now its he who twists, and corkscrews –and the world spins, Noumea below –and the enemy field, and the bloody thjing is full of the Goddam planes – spewing dust as the scramble to meet them –even as the Kates below shed their eggs………

A 39 slides in behind, savage kick on the rudder, stick hard bak, center, then forward, snarling the 39 blasts past and under the left wing, hard into the $%^&$#, , guns again crashing, tracer flying over, above, and damn, missed again.
A zero passes, inverted –afire…………

And the sky is clear.

He is too low now – and the remains –what a terrible word –the remains of the strike are heading westward –full throttle –barely off the deck now, and he swings towards them, looking, looking for any more threats…………….

And breath –gasp the air in now –and the sweat is thick, and slick, but he is alive, damn, he is alive ………….and a final curse –a single, savage expletive.
For he has missed.

You know that moment
That freezing, heart stopping moment. You have committed to the act –and now, a moment, a microscopic second later –you know you have made a terrible mistake.

You have shut the car door –and as it slams –there are the keys in the ignition………

Okura knows this moment – the dive has begun – committed, determined –inexorable –and his rear gunner is shouting –fighters!, fighters!, fighters!, and the escort is peeling over the top of them, diving down at the formation – and the heart stops –20 plus…….. and the field –the field where there should be no field at all –columns of dust –and fighters, more fighters than you can count – lined alog the edges, or already raising dust………

They dive –a shallow dive –bouncing in the air, exhausts shoveling black smoke –emergency boost now –and the target –wharves –cranes – are so far away –30 seconds at least………

The sharks fall upon them –climbing up –slashing at the bombers - then climbing above them, going for the attack again.
The guns chatter –pitiful bursts from the kates –against the stattacco burst of the 39’s –but thank the Gods –there is too the deep thud, thud of type O cannons –3 weaving above and behind them, getting between the sharks and the sheep……

But sheep fall

Lt Bando’s bomber suddenly lights up – and for a horrific moment –he see’s it all –a cockpit aflame –and they sit in the flames………… and mercifully the bomber folds up on itself and falls from sight……..

Over target –must concentrate on the target –and she leaps free now, and hard as they can, he wheels her around and down for the deck – more fighters flashing overhead, cordite fills the air, and the ocean streams below, flashing, glittering, and the sky –so full of grey, is frustratingly, terribly clear of cover now – but for that rain –there, ten miles away, dark on the ocean.

They race for it – and his mirror is filling –two, no, three sharks –coming in.
Glance left, glance right –four against three here – his gunner fires –and tracer spurts, bright white on the blue –and tracer flashes past, red, slow, terrible -, skid, skid –the enemy misses, snarling past

Another is coming in – and two kates fire –and whoever he is –he is not very good –he dodges –and over corrects –is out of the chase , and hope rises

Standoff – two against four –and the two turn away…………….

The flock regathers and beats for home.
And soon, soon it is raining again –grey, horrible.
A grey to match many hearts…………

‘They are returning sir”
Hasegawa nods- how many, how successful?
“Give me the report when you have it…..”

They see them low now, no tight formation this –low on the horizon, straggling –and three at least are trailing smoke……

“I count 16 kates sir –6 fighters”
Five crews lost, 15 men…………and two more eagles……….
This had better have been worth it………..

Zuiho recovers her birds, besides bando she has lost another crew –and one Kate will takes day to repair.
Her crew many days more -, blood flows upon her decks for the first time, staining her wood, seeping into her veins. Today Mars will extract his bill from the happy Phoenix…………

Hasegawa needs only a single glance from Hidaka as he enters the bridge. Hidaka does not speak, his eyes deep with the shock, and sorrow.

‘Signal Yamamoto . Strike on Noumea conducted. Results ……………” damn to hell, results –a third of the strike shredded for a crane killed?. How do you say –results a bloody shambles?’………..’results as expected”

Operations report
Conducted port strike on Noumea.
Strike encountered 20 plus combat fighters –obviously on training mission.
6 enemy fighters shot down.
Port hits –nil
Losses heavy –5 kates, 2 fighters lost. This ship lost 2 kates, 1 damaged, 2 wounded men..

Captains log
……..a bloody bust………… we are retiring – I hope we have achieved something useful…………..

Charges diary

….. a deep gloom today –Zuiho has suffered heavily today, I understand we achieved little for a terrible price………….

On Akagi……….
Yamamoto reads Hasegawa signal.
Surprisingly he smiles
“Excellent –now that should fix their attention…….. Captain Hara – set course for launch point. Full ahead all…………..”

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/10/2010 7:39:07 AM)


Hasegawa sits alone -as captains must, at his table to eat his meal. The glass on table vibrates gently, Zuiho is steaming hard now - and he finds it hard not to think that they are fleeing...............

he has learnt much these days. how powerful is a carrier -a true rapier -sharp as a razor. but oH, how easy to break its blade.............

And again, today especially, he feels old, very old indeed........

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/10/2010 8:37:19 AM)

Hidaka too thinks of the day just gone.
But he does not feel old. No, the blood flows, and now the anger is white hot.

Never again, never again, an attack into the unknown.
never again lives for nothing. we will all die in this war -that he knows now -the maths is incontrovertable -2 attacks, 30% losses - it will only be a matter of time.
But if they must die -then die for something............

Several things are now clear. the kate is deadly -yet also terribly vulnerable. They must find a way to increase the escorts......
they must.
Already men onboard speak of "it wil be over by christmas", at this rate, for Zuiho's fliers, it will be over well before then.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/10/2010 8:41:13 AM)

The gloom onboard penetrates even to down here, amongst the fans, the noise, the heat.
Still on four boilers, pressing hard, the carrier speeds to where ever Yamamoto wishes her to go next.
There is little thought though given to yesterday down here. At full power, with many guages right on the limit, there is little time to think about what ifs, or what may be's.
Right now, its all about controlling, containing the beast...........

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/10/2010 9:00:44 AM)

'And this confirms it sir, the B-17's from the phillipines are operating in India"
Yamamoto grins. Then there is nothing to fear at all......


Extract from Shattering the sword, a cantona production.

The shameful fact is this -the day after Zuiho's little strike spread destruction in the port of Sydney, a mass exodus takes place, the road to the blue mountains becomes choked with frightened, panic citizens, all convinced that japanese troops will be landing at any minute..

It takes a full week for the goverment to sort calm from the chaos, to reassure the public that all is under control -that this surely was a one off raid -confirmed with the strike on noumea.
The Goverment itself faces a stormy week in the parliment -and survives, Churchillian like -a no confidence vote by just one vote.
And the people, shamefaced many of them, begin to dribble back from the hills.

The strike on the 8th, by the full wieght of Kido Bharu -115 Vals, 89 Kates strong -is an arrow that shatters the goverment, and paralyses its military.
Plainly put, as the bombers peel into the attack, is this.
With out air cover -no where in Australia is safe...........
And Yamamoto knows this -and intends to reap a wild harvest

This second attack on Sydney, harbour still awash with debris from the first is monstorous in its execution. Survivors will speak, over and over , of bombers deliberately circling, circling, waiting to see the results of previous runs, before committing themselves.
The survivors too -will speak -almost in awe -of the horrible accuracy of the attacks.

The three heavy cruisers, canberra, Australia, Louisville, are smashed, torn apart, sunk.
The three light cruisers too join them
So do 6 destroyers.
But it is merchant shipping, the AMC's, that wear the attack -the harbour becomes a nightmare of burning, sinking ships -a burning that will choke the city for many days.
Japan claims 20 more ships sunk - a mighty blow to Australias military, and a fair guess
Its the blow to the heart of its people that cannot be measured however............

(The emperor is pleased[:D])

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/12/2010 3:42:41 AM)


Every morning, between the hours of 0800 and 0830, the Charge will discreetly knock on the engineers door, and await Minobes permission to enter his cabin.
Some times it happens -sometimes 0when he is 'ill" it does not.

The Charge detests this part of the day, at times arguing with Minobe is like walking in deep get no where, and all the worlds troubles seem to end up sticking to you..

But today, he actually is looking forward to.

Zuiho is defect free -all systems 100%. For a ship this far from home, and driven so hard lately, he feels justified -just a little, feeling as he does.

Minobe grunts fom behind the door in response to his knock, and the Charge enters.
"daily report sir"
There seems to be a strange gleam in his eye -and the charges antenna goes up......
'And what is brocken today chief?'
"Nothing sir -we are 100% defect free............."
'Bull crud--on a ship like this -go away, and don't come back until you show me that you are paying proper attentuion to our little lady..........."

For a moment he stands there, stunned
you fat arrogrant pr............

'yes sir, very well sir"

And not too gently, the door is closed behind him..

Minobe stares at the door for a moment -his head pounding. is he still drunk.? yes -he feels it. Something tells him that the charge did not get the joke........
damn. Should he chase him, apologise?

Damn, his head hurts.........maybe later..........

Engineer, Minobe........


1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/15/2010 6:32:43 AM)

febuary 10th, 1942

Grand dictator herbiesan reads the first reports coming in from Clarke field, and from Singapore..

The reports are thick, and full of the usual evasive language his generals are Oh so good at.......

Regret misfortune............
Bad luck.............
Un expected...................

65th brigade all but shattered............the attack at Clarke bounced with heavy, heavy casualties.........
The defences at Singapore defiant.............

he has not taken the risk of this war for naught. Heads will roll............

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/15/2010 7:08:41 AM)

Po Hirate nervously watches the guage on 1 bravo boiler - the half way point has been reached in the flash up. The two sprayer punchers have come down from the top plates, and above him the whine of the forced draught blowers is climbing.

he gives the throttle a twitch, adjusts the air box pressure. A glance at the water level -and a curse at the water tender -who has slightly over topped it - too much cold feed aded..........damn him, now the presure is dropping slightly.....
Alright then, more fuel -just a tad.

The guages continue to rise......

"Port engine, port 75% one bravo"

In the engine room, the Engineer Officer of the watch notates his log, switches comms to the bridge. "Bridge Port engine"
'"Sir, 1 bravo boiler approaching 80% -request steady revolutions for next 15 minutes whilst connecting boilers"
"Roger bridge"

Captain Hasegawa again observes the action ahead of him. Shoho is refuelling -and, apparently, having difficulties.
Some one has cocked up badly -and the rig is jammed. Through the glasses he watches two sailors rather periously clamber onto it -obviously about to cut lashings.
'Bridge. Port boiler, connecting boilers........."
Hirate is at 100% -he grabs the great wheel spanner -bangs it onto the deck plates -signal to the sweating, labouring sparayer punchers above and out of sight to open the main stop valve, to connect the boiler, signal for the water tender to set the feed control valve to auto.........

Hasegawa is not surprised at all as the rig falls away into the ocean, carrying two seamen with it...........
'Man overboard Shoho!. Away the seaboat!. half astern all! better to do it themselves than punch a hole in the screen of destroyers.........

Hirate grimaces as the bells on the telegraphs half astern........
'Damn to hell! -steady revs!, steady trucking revs!............and the engine room begins to suck the boilers back.
frantically he wrenches the blower throttles on 1A, and the fuel too -but his eyes are fixed on two guages -the steam temperature of each boiler -they must -simply must be within 150 degrees of each other when connecting.........

'Port ten, ...........slow ahead both" ..........going well -and a good drill too....Hasegawa moves to th starboard bridge wing, judging the distance to the white dots ahead in Shoho's wake.
Behind him the boat skims above the ocean, ready to drop from its cradle.......his executive officer has wrung a good time from the seamen indeed.
Minobe joins him.........'Ahh, engines -they aren't quite as good at fuelling as us yet I think......"
'They will learn I am sure sir"

'bridge port engine! -flamed out 1 bravo boiler!........shutting stops!'

Hirate has no choice - full load on one boiler -none on the other -temperatures going both a ways......
With out hesitation -he pulls the fuel trip - and screams at the top of his lungs -get the stop shut, get it shut!
But the boys are coming down already -and they don't need to say anything -it is obviously already open.....
'Shut the stop! -pulled fires!"
like frightened rabbits, they scamper away...........

One alpha boiler is trying to feed the hungry, hungry turbine -but now, it is also back pressuring 1 bravo boiler........and it cannot do both.
You don't just shut these valves - they are not taps -valves 6 inches in diameter need gut wrenching effort -and human bodies in 140 degree temperatures can only do so much.
The valve is slowly shut -far too slowly.....
It happens quickly, frightengly quickly -the water level in 1A plummets -the pressure plummets -and for the second time in one minute -Hirate reaches for the fuel stop............

'EH?" Hasegawa needs to hear it again - 'Port boiler room flamed out sir -............Port engine trying to cross connect.....

Hasegawa can do nothing, with greatly reduced power Zuiho slides past the struggling seaman..........and cold anger fills him, damn engines -he has looked the total fool.
he glances at Minobe -and the look could kill.............

later, much later, for the second time in a month, Hirate is 'invited to explain himself" in Minobes cabin.
he will not be able to see out of his left eye for three days at least................

Local Yokel -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/15/2010 12:58:01 PM)

Nice account, herb.

Given that Zuiho is operating geared turbines, what reversing arrangement is applied? Reverse gearing, or reversing turbine? If the latter, how does the steam draw of the reversing turbine compare with that of the ahead turbine? I always thought reversing turbines were quite a bit smaller, so I would expect the draw to be less - but I'm probably revealing how profound is my ignorance. [:D]

whippleofd -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/16/2010 1:25:54 AM)


ORIGINAL: Local Yokel

Nice account, herb.

Given that Zuiho is operating geared turbines, what reversing arrangement is applied? Reverse gearing, or reversing turbine? If the latter, how does the steam draw of the reversing turbine compare with that of the ahead turbine? I always thought reversing turbines were quite a bit smaller, so I would expect the draw to be less - but I'm probably revealing how profound is my ignorance. [:D]

Much smaller but SIGNIFICANTLY less efficient. Half astern is similiar to about 4/5 of a full flank bell in steam draw; for the ships I have been stationed on.


1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/16/2010 5:45:50 AM)

Nice to have comments.........

finding info on japanese machinery plants is nigh on impossible -but- a LOT of it was based on british designs.
I have a fair bit of british steam plant experience..
Reading carefully Zuiho's battle damage and loss, and from a couple of discreet sources, I have guesstimated her plant, and drawn a picture of how i envisingioned it to be.
Every major breakdown, or incident she has had, and will have, are based on my diaries of events that i experienced for real on a british designed ship as a seaman/leading seaman, then later on a USA designed ship as a PO-CPO.

The astern turbines on every ship i served on were impulse turbines -they sucked steam at frightening rates (impulse design-whipple is right). me - I just reckon they imersonated certain red light areas I knew times 1000 percent[X(]
astern turbines on each end of the main turbine

The above incident -trying to connect boilers -then to have heavy manouvering occur right at the critical moment -happened to me three times.......................[:@][:@][:@][:@]
(Once was not so pretty iether -that we might have to wait for!)

Again, many thanks for following, hard to tell if its worth doing at times these things -but i hope it grows..........

BigBadWolf -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/16/2010 6:35:09 AM)


ORIGINAL: 1275psi

Again, many thanks for following, hard to tell if its worth doing at times these things -but i hope it grows..........


Yes it is worth it. Excellent writing, even though I can't understand half of the technical stuff, the thrill and the suspense are carried very well. Also, you've done great job on character development.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/16/2010 8:46:07 AM)

i love that avatar......................

11 Feb 42

With a welcome crash, Zuiho’s anchor disappears into the green depths, the great chain rattling rapidly down the pipe.

‘Slow astern both”
‘slow astern both”

‘Ten lengths sir!’
“very good., stop engines.”
A last check. Heavens, home –if you can call this hole home –again. Hasegawa takes one last look over Zuiho’s bow –takes his buffers eye.
Yes, his ship –for now, is secure
“Finish with main engines. 8 hours notice for sea I think………. Pipe Hidaka to the bridge please”

We are safe. For now. We left still a mix. Maybe now, I think, we are a team.
But I still fear a real test…………
And I am so tired……….

Hidaka enters the bridge.
He looks old today…………. ‘Sir? –as requested”
‘Are the replacement aircraft awaiting?”
‘yes sir –they are. We will be 100% replenished by tomorrow –I guarantee it”
‘So easy to replace the planes…………Tanaka and crew not so easy ney?’
yes, yes, there is that. But that is war……….I am beginning to think each day is only a delay.
‘I will train the new men sir –that too I promise”
‘Good.” The old man smiles –and some of those years fall away. ‘This place has been in our hands quite a while now –do you think they have built a bar yet?”
Hidaka smiles too –in fact, he laughs for the first time for many days. ‘I hear 144 regiment was here –there is a bar for sure –that I can guarantee too knowing those men”

Nashiguchi, Ogawa., Diogawa man the rail outside the ready room –they too are examining the shore line carefully. ‘ Do you think there is a bar?” Diogawa wonders aloud. .
Ogawa shrugs –“I hope so –but I am more interested in some food, I am starving”
‘Well, that comes from spewing up everything for the last 3 days –how in the hell did you become a fighter pilot anyway with a stomach like that?”
Diogawa has a point –poor Ogawa still has a touch of paleness about him –the last few days have not been kind for him.

They watch the activity for a few minutes – our pilots are the truly lucky ones, nearly every other man onboard has a job to do in these first hours at rest.
A stream of barges are coming out –fuel, water –stores –and the first kate on its barge.
Men are rigging Jacob ladders, the gangway is already set up –the coxswains reign of terror already underway on the quarterdeck.
Other men are already attacking the caked on salt on Zuiho –lots of other men –wielding fire hoses –brushes and brooms. Zuiho will need that fresh water barge…..

Ogawa turns to Nashiguchi…’Will you be coming ashore with us if we get leave?’
‘I might be, it depends……….”
‘On what?’
‘Or is it, doesn’t your God allow you a drink then?’
Surprisingly –for that last was a barb, given only partly in jest – ‘Nashiguchi laughs ‘ I saw how much you lost at cards last night –am I going to be buying you drinks all tonight!?”
Ogawa grins too – ‘Well, as top pilot –I deserve it!. Besides, how can you resist such a charmer as I?”
‘’yes, how can I?’…………..

Below, the work must continue. Zuiho is down to 2 B boiler, two generators, and fully shut down forward. Turning gear has been engaged, and the turbines will turn slowly now for at least 20 hours, cooling evenly, the condensate and circ pumps steadily whining away. The watch keepers here settle down to the most boring watch of all, and all wonder what this place looks like, and how will they keep busy this watch –and when, if, will the mail arrive?

In the forward boiler room, final shut down processes are being completed –boilers bottom blowed, topped back up –steam recirc valves cracked.
The boiler rooms seem strangley quiet now –metal clinking as it cools –the hiss of steam leaks un detectable when under the blowers noise now plain to hear –and to note.

They will be tackled soon –but not now .

The charge too, rests on the starboard side of the ship, casually conversing with some of his sailors. They all ask about mail, and what is this place like –and he can, like most, only shrug.
But one question he can answer. Yes –there will be a bar –and a bath house, and yes, they will be going ashore –that he feels certain of.

Do I grant leave?
Is this place safe?
Chances of air attack? – low.
Chance of SS attack? –higher I suppose……….
They have earnt it old man. You know it. Yes, but the risk…………… we have done so well, to ruin it now……….
Hasegawa walks out of the bridge, takes the ladder to the flight deck. A line of men are advancing, scrubbing, scrubbing, smiling, chattering, the water splashing freely..
Damn it –yes, they have earnt it.

“Do you hear there. Leave will be granted, 1600 hours to 2359, starboard watch on”

Po Nashiguchi:


1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/16/2010 9:00:30 AM)

Mr Okura, Minister of production, sits un easily in the back of his car.
The driver is, once again, lost, and he wonders just how –for the 100th time – that Japan is ever going to transit from an agrarian society to a modern state. How long since this poor man was on a plot planting rice…………

He will, of course, say nothing. Saying something will only panic him……..

He needs the time anyway……..

The reports are bad……the reason for this journey. Production of army bombers, the sallies –has stalled. 15 days –and nary a one produced.
He has to sort this out –and quickly. Singapore still holds –and the bombing effort weakens daily………….

Yamamoto is –once again –(am I ever not bending over this?) at his great chart.

The war goes well –and , the war goes not so well………
And now this………..That damn dictators next great crazy plan………

He straightens ‘Where is task force swift eagle?”
‘just anchoring sir –Hasegawa requires some time to replenish, and Shoho has some damage too –refueling rig”
Yamamoto nods . A bonus to even still have those ships. No risks like that again..
No, that was stupid……
‘We have our orders gentlemen. Combined fleet must gather its strength –with luck we may bring the enemy carriers to battle again. If they don’t come out for this………”

yes, this must bring them out. It would bring me out……….. If I was Admiral Cantona –I would certainly respond to this……….

‘Inform Hasegawa he has 72 hours, make good his defects, then await orders”

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/16/2010 9:10:52 AM)

Burmese border

For the hundreth time, Corporal Hosho eases his bulk through the jungle, and carefully, quietly raises his glasses to his eyes.
He has done quite a good job, has Hosho, in disguising himself, currently he looks more like a small bush rather than a soldier of the 112th regiment –testimony to his skill.
Patiently he scans across the river, seeking to see any movement, any activity.

Another bush is beside him, private Bando, old school friend and fellow thief…..
‘Anything stirring?” he whispers.
Hosho looks again across the languid waters, brown and dirty. ‘The machine gun nest has grown another two logs, and its master gunner is taking a dump”
‘I hope he has the runs”
‘I hope he dies of the bloody runs” because if you don’t my friend, it will be you who probably will kill me as I cross this stupid stream………

‘anything else?’
Hosho looks once again ‘No, and yes. Their fortifications are getting deeper every day. “

Bando grimaces. ‘’We come all this way, and stop. What in the hell are we waiting for?’
‘A miracle perhaps……….”

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/17/2010 7:11:51 AM)

Feb 12th

There are of course, bars.

Crude, and "temporary" -but destined to become far more permanent, they have Sake -and whisky -but little else.
Rabual may have suffered heavily in Japans take over, but captlism always finds a way.........

Many men, will inevitably find there way to the muddy strip that is the beginning of "a social problem", but many do not.
For many, there is something far better at rabual -something more precious to japanese -especially Japanese confined to a warship where every drop of water is gold.

Its the bath houses.
Some for officers, some for the men.

Febuary 12th will be a good day - for those that step.
Many will not, cannot -duty calling.

Hasegawa will get 2 hours -a meal, deposit mail, recieve orders, then back to read, and swallow those orders.
Hidaka too -will not get ashore -he works -overseeing the new aircraft being stowed aboard, getting them airworthy.
The Charge too will not get to sleep - he will seek his hammock -and sleep a great many hours, recharging batteries run down.
With luck, they may get ashore tomorrow..............

There is only, for the moment one more important peice of news for Zuiho.
Mail is coming...............

The bath house.........


hosho -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/17/2010 11:33:08 AM)


ORIGINAL: 1275psi

Corporal Hosho

That ugly face again? [;)]
I must say this is more like me... mud and guns..., flying... not so much.
(Thanks for the "guest appearence"! Of course you have the "licence to kill" any time. We do not want to bore the faithfull readers too much.)

Impatient to see where is the happy phoenix going next [8|] ... Cheers mate

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/18/2010 9:16:35 AM)


They come onboard, innocent little white envelopes.
Some, some you can tell -will bring joy, and love -these have small hearts, child drawings on them. These letters will bring smiles, and laughter, and sometimes tears - so many things being missed.
Others, others will bring sadness, and sorrow, even mourning. people die, tragedy happens, and , are not there.

And there is , of course, the wide range of life in between.

Ogawa holds his envelope – this little package.
Will it contain a deadly blow to his heart –or something better.
You never, ever really know………..

My darling Son

Ahhhhhh, Mother, Oh , mother, how we miss you, your sweet smile, your scent

We do not know where you are, my Son, but I am sure you will do your part for the empire –be strong Son.

Strong Mother? – My father calls me a coward………..and what can I do to show him I am not? ………….or am I?

Life here continues –your Father has not, I am sorry to say mentioned you since you left –but I am sure, in the quiet of his heart, he misses you too……………

Mentioned me?. I wear the wrong uniform. I will always wear the wrong uniform.
Why doesn’t he understand?

The letter will be a long one, and contains only a few more blows…………



1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/18/2010 9:18:14 AM)

PO Okura receives a letter too. It is considerably thicker –and, Okura suspects, has not seen the censors hand
He opens it on the quarterdeck, back to the world. Not surprisingly, it contains money –a lot of money –a day late –but you never know…….
As usual, the money says more than the letter, his father is, has never been nothing but direct.
Exhortations to do well.
To fight hard
To die –if needs be –like a true Japanese soldier should

But at the bottom, something else. A request. Is the Kate any good?. Is the zero any good?
What, from the front, needs to change?. What is really going on?

Okura will spend much time trying to reply, reply in language his father will understand, but the censor will not……….


1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/19/2010 7:15:28 AM)

13 febuary

While Japanese armies lick wounds at Clarke and Singapore, and Emperor herbiesan orders fresh regiments to sail for these battles, Zuiho lives in her own little world.

She rides again today still at anchor -awaiting orders.
She has refuelled, re ammoed, re stored. Her flight deck spots a full load of aircraft again, and several new faces fill the ready room.
It is a quiet day -externally, but internally -men sweat.

The Am is filled with Damage control exercises -the sailors do well -and most of the senior men are pleased. The tradgedy is though -and only we know this as outside observers -any American sailor would have smiled with derision at the techniques and equipment Zuiho deploys.
Crude, inefficient, are probably in adequate words indeed.

but the men take to the exercise with energy and enthusiasm.................maybe it will be enough anyway.

In the afternoon, for several men -terror.
Promotion boards............

The Charge sits besides Minobe. On the other side of him, the deputy engineer.
In front of them, PO Okano..........

The Charge leads with the next questions. So far Okano has successfully "fuelled the ship", raised an urgent defect signal, ordered spares, explained the duties and responsibilities of the Engineering Officer of the Watch, and other things.....
But now, now down to business.......

He leans forward.....'PO Okano, you are EOOW, Port Engine room, steaming main and aux, at 14 knots. You suddenly observe that main vacuum is falling...........please describe possible causes, your immediate actions please.........

The real test begins.....but Okano knows his stuff, the answers flow nicely........too easily.The Charge interupts 'Good -bit right now -1 A boiler has flamed out"

'Ah -that raises the sweat a little........but he is doing well"...........

The board will go on for 3 hours.., and Po Okano will pass today with flying colours

Terribly pleased, the Charge shakes his hand. 'No more boiler room for you my friend. Port Engine room when we sail -dog watch if you don't mind"

The sailor we know as Lurch takes his turn in front of the table.
Minobe snaps the first question...........'Give me the location of the steam drench valve for port boiler room"
The great man screws his face, and frowns -a giant deer frozen in spotlights.........

it is painful -watching the mind frozen in fear in front of the table. The steam drench valve -a valve he has worked on too.......
'Enough!" barks Minobe " get out! -and learn your systems"

The man stumbles out Minobe turns a baleful eye upon his Charge.....'is that man useful for anything........?"

MateDow -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/20/2010 1:03:56 AM)

Wow. This is a great AAR. It brings back memories of standing engineering watches on an old 600 lb steam plant. your descriptions are wonderful and really paint the picture of what is happening. Thank you for taking the time to write this.

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/20/2010 10:07:53 PM)


no turns in in box, so we wait to see what happens next

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2010 6:37:36 PM)

cantona's computer dead. game on hold for a week i think at least.............

BigBadWolf -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2010 6:45:18 PM)

7 days?! God damn it, we are dead in the water here and he wants 7 days? Unacceptable! You tell him he has 24 hours max! I want that boiler up and running this time tomorrow or heads WILL roll! [:@]


british exil -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2010 6:50:12 PM)

The little ship that could.

The little ship that could wait 7 days!!!

The little ship can't wait 7 days!!!


aprezto -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/21/2010 7:59:03 PM)


I suspect that you've somehow infected Cantona with your computer fortune...

hosho -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/26/2010 11:48:45 AM)

I hate those lazy, broken computers! [:@]

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/28/2010 10:06:04 AM)

waiting for the turn-apparently box is fixed.........

1275psi -> RE: The little ship that could. (11/30/2010 5:55:39 AM)


There is another little world we must mention today. Tucked away under the curve at the flight deck, overlooking the quarterdeck, lives the Chippies workshop. This little cave of wonders is tucked here, away from its steam brothers to allow welding fumes to take to the air, and to keep the dangerous gas bottles in a place where they can be ditched quickly.

Zuiho will today sail"defect free" -which of course, is sheer fantasy. The Charge tries to propel this cantankerous beast across the waters where ever Hasegawa would go -the chippies try to hold her together while they do. from rod gearing repairs, to pie patches, to a new table for the wardroom -if it can be manufactured, here, given half a chance -they will attempt it..

In addition to the million 'domestics' they repair -the chippies tend the anchor windlass -all the winches, the siren, the windscreen wipers - that cracked gun tub............
Oh -Zuiho sails defect free today - but in reality she never will be -these men here too fight the eternal fight against the elements and decay.
But today, today will be a good day. Just after Midday, she slips her mooring, and task force swift eagle sails again.
Soon her bows begin to ride the great pacific swells -but even better -a cutting breeze crosses her decks -and that magic little cave can breath easily again.
The men turn to work, hard to do at times -the great wake is mesmerising.................

And quietly wonder what will break next.

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