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RE: The little ship that could. - 10/12/2015 6:56:40 AM   
1275psi

 

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Nov 20th
100 B-29s strike takao

Some damage, more consternation than pain.

We again........wait.

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big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3871
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/12/2015 7:01:57 AM   
1275psi

 

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"All pilots of 401st report to the mess"

Ogowa meets them with a grin

"I have been told that Genzan airfield, Korea, is ready to receive us. I have also been
told that the Russian has fallen into a nice routine of sweeping the base, hunting Oscars"
He strokes his moustache.

Its not a very impressive one. But it doesn't need to be.
The men of 401st Sentai would follow it anywhere.

"Time to test the Shinden......we depart in an hour"

_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3872
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/12/2015 7:14:30 AM   
1275psi

 

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They arrive just on dusk.

Genzan field look, is, war worn

Wrecks dot the boundries, patches of dirt indicating recently filled bomb holes
dot the area like swish cheese.
The AA guns track them almost from the moment they appear overhead.

And the ground crews work with that direct simplicity that only imminent
attack can produce.
Fuel, ammunition, clean the screens.
Get em under cover, get them dispersed.

No maintenance, this is a fly in, fight, fly out operation.

Diogowa blots his copy book. Too used to Hiroshima's cement taxi ways, he wheels off
the main strip at speed, bounces on the rough, and puts his propeller into the dirt.

He is not alone

31 of these eagles have travelled here, tomorrow only 27 will fly.
The Shinden is a fragile promise.


Nobody sleeps well........there is the rumble of artillery (unsettling indeed), and the certainty
of action tomorrow
Dawn comes too quickly (or not quick enough for some)

Frost lies upon the ground, and breath hangs in the air.
The day will be brilliantly clear.

By 0900 hrs Ogawa leads 26 other fighters at 16000 feet, waiting for the bears to come

It is not long, before they do.........

_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3873
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/12/2015 1:01:12 PM   
kaleun

 

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Taching!

_____________________________

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

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Post #: 3874
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/13/2015 7:09:08 AM   
1275psi

 

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The allied fleet leaves Honkers, heads south

High Command remains still baffled over the move........sure, that we will find out
in time enough.

One of our last tankers is caught sneaking through the central phillipines.
The four intercepting destroyers looked tired though..and that tells a tale in itself




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big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3875
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/13/2015 7:20:30 AM   
1275psi

 

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'bandits.......below, nearly a dozen"
Ogowa see's them instantly....a dozen strong, Yaks, LA'7s......straggling along at 10000 feet
following the valley south.
Hunting, for sure

Now, un aware, hunted.

'Attack!"
Throttle forward to the wall, that almost frightening acceleration, winging over, winging down,
speed climbing, the altimeter spinning
They see him
TO Late!
They scatter
The stooping eagles are simply too fast, too fast, too bloody fast

Barracuda's amongst the minnows

It happens Oh so quickly......picking a target, Oda sliding close past, the enemy turning, growing, guns hammering
the flashes, the explosion, the bank, the next one, frantic to avoid..
closing, closing, there, on him, the bloody jammed guns,!...
Oda, he can bloody almost sense his crap eating grin,, as he takes down what should have been his...

And it is over.

9 kills
No losses
No damage

Oda now has 14....the leading Ace in the IJNAF.....

Crap eating grin and all............




Ogowa will take them home to Hiroshima this evening.
Who's next?




_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3876
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/14/2015 7:19:39 AM   
1275psi

 

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Nov 22

As 401st Sentai rest again at Hiroshima, Ogowa and Diogowa again take to their second
favourite ride, their Bicycles.

Its a cold ride, no snow falls, but gloves are needed.

Both men are shocked at the surroundings now about the little house, the mud, the soldiers, the AA guns.
Yamato has a small floating pier leading to it, it is beginning to look suspiciously
ready to become a more permanent feature.

The biggest shock is in the house.
Both women, the elderly Father are drawn, grey, tired.

Ogowa, between teas, sneaks a look into the pantry..and it is, as he suspected,
almost bare.

"Are you still getting the food parcels?"
Both women look embarrassed, uncomfortable

'Well, are you?"......

I have promised these people. I have promised
"Hie"

"Then, where is it, why are you going Hungry?"

It is the Father who answers
'Everyone in this village is going hungry.to receive such a generous bounty....and
to not share it"

"Everyone?"
"Everyone"

Only silence can greet such an answer, silence and discomfort.


Later, in the mess, Diogowa can only express his disgust
"The military brought this misery upon the people, and yet we eat, and eat well, and they starve.
I thought we were here to serve them, not feed of their shrinking carcass?!

But Diogowa only has it half right.

In Japan, as winter advances, there is no where, where food is in surplus.

_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3877
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/18/2015 3:45:38 AM   
1275psi

 

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November 23rd

Musashi sails.

Okano and Hirate have been given plum jobs by Tan, Hirate the aircraft hanger services,
Okano the boats
Both will spend a busy day, despite the very short journey the battleship makes out into the bay.

She will travel barely a mile, then moor, and commence Ammunitioning.
it will take all day....some 180 of the 18 inch main shells, nearly 600 rounds of 6 inch.

Of the 4.7, and 25 MM rounds........the numbers seem endless.

Tan, the Gunnery officer, the Captain, all have seemingly turned a blind eye.
The 25 MM guns, especially single mounts, seem to be sprouting like mushrooms.


Other non conventional activities accompany the ammunitioning. 4 large barges deeply laden
with sand nestle alongside.
Nearly 500 men are put to work making sand bags, they too begin to sprout around every platform,
every gun.
Another 200 men are at work bringing up from below buckets of soot and crushed charcoal,
mixed in buckets the decks are stained black, a task that almost breaks the
Executive Officers heart.
The hours lost, wasted, scrubbing those decks to a pure shine...................

Hirate now has to supply all 4 float planes with what ever they need, a task
considerably easier than Zuiho, but one his team needs more practice on. Soon his voice
will ring in both hanger entrances, and deep inside Musashi under her concrete quarterdeck.

Ogowa works nearby, supervising the steam pinnace, the gantry crane launching it,
then a frustrating day of refuelling the shuttle of boats too and from shore.

Musashi rings with activity


late in the day both men are able to briefly rest on the lower Port boat space.
A mile away, yamato
And behind her.......Home

Ominously though, Yamato too is busy.
her Guns turn, her director turns, the barrels rise, fall, rise again

Drilling

And nestled too........ammunition barges.


"I think, my brother, the time draws near"

how to answer that?

Impossible

Silence falls upon them.

Above them, the hydraulic whine and rumble as 2700 tons of metal swings to port. Musashi, too, begins gunnery drills.


_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3878
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/19/2015 2:44:09 AM   
Smoky Stoker


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quote:

ORIGINAL: 1275psi
Of the 4.7, and 25 MM rounds........the numbers seem endless.


Nitpick, but given that amazing miniature Yamato you constructed,you may want to know. By 1941 all the Japanese battleships had 12.7 Cm/40 Type 89 guns. Caliber is an even five inches.


_____________________________

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

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Post #: 3879
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/20/2015 8:49:34 AM   
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On the 24th, the mystery British task force makes several pin **** raids on Taihoku
A night strike by Nicks miss an American CVL

Encouraged, large numbers of planes again flow south west from Japan, the British, it is assumed
are testing the waters.

Let them come


be our guest...........



But what idiot invites death through the front door.............

_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3880
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/20/2015 8:52:42 AM   
1275psi

 

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The enemy fleet sail south of Takao, course due East towards Naha, Okiwana

We attack

80 zeros, escorting just 8 Judy bombers

The enemy fleet is not even sighted.........and only 13 fighters return.

a 500 plus CAP

Doom, my friends, the final doom, approaches

_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3881
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/20/2015 8:57:58 AM   
1275psi

 

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From
First fleet
to
CARDIV 1
BATDIV 1


You are to be ready to sail, no matter what material state, within 3 days.
Any non essential personal, including Midshipmen, are to be put ashore.






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big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3882
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/20/2015 9:01:25 AM   
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I never do this, but allied fan boys might enjoy

Morning Air attack on TF, near Ishigaki at 89,68

Weather in hex: Light rain

Raid detected at 120 NM, estimated altitude 16,000 feet.
Estimated time to target is 31 minutes

Japanese aircraft
A6M5 Zero x 27
A6M5c Zero x 36
A6M8 Zero x 34
D4Y2 Judy x 8

Allied aircraft
Corsair II x 61
Corsair IV x 27
Hellcat I x 66
Hellcat F.II x 31
Seafire IIC x 17
Seafire L.III x 87
Wildcat V x 18
FM-2 Wildcat x 100
F4U-1D Corsair x 160
F4U-4 Corsair x 26
F6F-3 Hellcat x 21
F6F-5 Hellcat x 199
F8F-1 Bearcat x 101

Japanese aircraft losses
A6M5 Zero: 3 destroyed
A6M5c Zero: 11 destroyed
A6M8 Zero: 9 destroyed
D4Y2 Judy: 6 destroyed

Allied aircraft losses
Hellcat F.II: 1 destroyed
FM-2 Wildcat: 1 destroyed

_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3883
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/20/2015 11:41:29 AM   
PaxMondo


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Looks like a kami trap to me. The CV's are loaded with just fighters. You would need +1000 AC strikes to penetrate that. Your surface TF is likely going to be a brilliant move as he won't have any bombers loaded .... so heavily CAP your surface TF and send them in. A couple of good rolls and you might really hurt him. Depends upon how he setup his shielding surface TF ... and you might approach from a blind side.

BANZAI!!!!






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Pax

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RE: The little ship that could. - 10/20/2015 1:23:53 PM   
kaleun

 

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What Pax said

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

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Post #: 3885
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/21/2015 10:03:33 AM   
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The enemy carrier fleet loiters near Naga

japan does not take the bait.

But in Hiroshima harbour, a hundred turbines are being warmed through




Musashi's damage Control central is deep within her bowels, buried under
feet after feet of steel.

Hirate cannot but think of it as anything else but a steel tomb

Tan looks up as he enters, smiles. Sweat sheens his young brow. About him, yet again,
papers piled high
"I am still losing the damn war" he groans
"I am giving you your battle positions. Hirate......aft damage control party, hanger deck.
Okano..aft steering."

his eyes skip around the compartment, to the roof, to the open air so, so far away
"Good luck to you........we are going to need it"


Musashi, ready to sail, 2 days

Combined fleet, what is left, is forming up again



_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3886
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/22/2015 9:48:01 AM   
1275psi

 

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Hi Graham!

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Post #: 3887
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/22/2015 9:54:20 AM   
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26th
The carriers depart Hiroshima, bound for Nagasaki, where kaga is 3 days away from
a sort of readiness.

Task forces are being formed
Signals cross the waves

Final preparations, and a great many final farewells...........

_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3888
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/22/2015 10:02:35 AM   
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Ogowa and Diogowa are in Ogowa's office, discussing the advance of the enemy carriers
The question is simple, is the Shinden suitable for the plans the high Command
has ordered?

With its short range, probably not.
But until it is activated, Hiroshima bay must be covered.
Tomorrow, CAP will be 60%

There is a knock on the door, a staff officer...who is rudely shoved aside
Kempati Officers...

"Officer Ogowa, Diogowa?"
"yes, what is it?"

"You are under arrest'

Shock. Horror..........confusion, and anger,,,,,,,
"ON What Charge?."..must keep calm, must

"The Charge is theft, theft of vital supplies"
'Eh?"
"Food. theft of food"

_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3889
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/24/2015 1:14:21 AM   
1275psi

 

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"Are you mad?
Ogowa stares at the two secret police man, anger boiling just below the surface
"Do you mean, with this unit about to deploy to fight the Americans in final battle,
you are arresting us?"

"Yes"

Behind them, one of Ogowa's officers slips into the office, see's the drama, vanishes silently again

"I thought" inserts Diogowa "it was our job to protect civilians, not starve them for our own aims"
The Policeman sneers,, and places a hand upon his holstered gun.
Ogowa pauses, and nods
"Very well" Ogowa speaks slowly, through gritted teeth "lead the way"

The four men leave the office, move across open ground towards the waiting black car.

There are twenty of Ogowa's men waiting there
LT Oda, he of 14 kills, steps forward....

"Where are you taking our squadron leader?"
"He is under arrest, for theft of food......"
Oda laughs
"Theft?......you do know that we are on an airfield?
The policeman hesitates.
"A grand target for American bombers.........a target under orders to "disperse
all vital supplies"......we are merely dispersing vital supplies to surrounding areas"

"Surely you jest"
"I jest not"
A gun appears by magic in Oda's hand......"Our Commander will lead us into battle...you
will not be stopping him"

Stand off

Retreat

The siently snarling policeman retreat to the car, it vanishes into falling snow

Oda salutes
The gun has vanished, and it is as if the policeman have never been
(but they do not give up THAT easily ney?)
They will be back, no doubt.

"Orders just in sir.......Yamato Task force is sailing, we are to initiate "winter blanket"
'Now?"
Now.

Ogowa smiles. These days ahead may solve all problems, yes?..........

'very good.......all to your planes, alert all units, you know what we have to do"


Hiroshima airfield bursts into action
And soon the fighters are flowing south

_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3890
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/24/2015 1:19:07 AM   
1275psi

 

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Dusk
28th November

The massive allied task force creeps east
Closer, closer......


Ogowas eagles settle on the chains of islands leading to Okiwana

His Shindens, near the very tip of Southern japan, the georges further south

Many other fighters from Japan join them

Winter Blanket: Every fighter we have or can support on LRCAP
The carriers to charge ahead, fighters dedicated on only one thing, covering the battleships...

Everything: to cover the battleships.


We commit.
Let the gods of war decide our mens fate.



_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3891
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/24/2015 1:21:51 AM   
1275psi

 

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'Bridge, one Engine room"

"Bridge"

Tan takes a deep breath. Saviours the moment

150000 shaft horsepower at his finger tips
"12 boilers connected, all departments ready.to proceed to sea"

"very good'

A minute later, deep in the heart of Musashi, the telegraphs ring
"Slow ahead all"

_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3892
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/24/2015 1:24:29 AM   
1275psi

 

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two women, and an old man stand on a cold beach

5 miles away, two giant grey mountains move slowly to sea, dwarfing the cruisers and destroyers
about them.


The old man murmurs what all of Japan believes

"As long as Yamato lives, Japan will be safe"






_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3893
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/24/2015 1:55:35 AM   
zuluhour


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Damn it man! I'm a AFB and can't put this down.

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Post #: 3894
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/24/2015 7:26:11 PM   
Major Shane


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+1

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Post #: 3895
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/25/2015 3:36:13 AM   
1275psi

 

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29/11/45

"Bombs gone'

The B-29 does its usual lurch as the tons of bombs drop away, Longpig struggling
with the controls momentarily before he wins over.


"turning to Port...watch for fighters men, the little rats are about"

They are too, a scattering of long nosed Tonies, some elderly zeros.
But none will come near them this flight, and Amani Oshima seems to be lightly defended on the
Flak front

In short, another milk run.

3 missions in 5 days, and barely an enemy fighter seen.....

he shifts easily in his seat, grins at Bigglesworth
1 more mission, and that was it...........tour done.

Just more milk run...........just one more.



_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

(in reply to Major Shane)
Post #: 3896
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/25/2015 3:55:18 AM   
1275psi

 

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29/11/45

Musashi passes a quiet night.
But few will sleep.

Deep in her bowels many drink, drink, and live, for tomorrow we die...

Others write letters, letters that will never be delivered in all likely
hood. But thoughts of love and family and despair are better put on paper, to
be written, to be released, than to remain trapped in hearts forever


Hirate has no time for this
Musashi has 4 Pete float fighters, they have to be bought out of the hangers,
craned up onto the deck, placed on the Trolley, pushed into position.

Then there is the fuel, and bullets.

Hirate observes the young men who will pilot them, and quickly decides that not one of
them would be on par to those he knew on Zuiho, would never be like that fine fellow Ogowa.



Okano has little to do, so he prowls the decks, learning locations of fire plugs, of the doors,
of the station he will command.

He has 24 men, young men. But enthusiastic.
And all utterly confident in Musashi's ability, in her strength, her armour.


Dawn rises
The seas are calm
Kanoya lies a smudge upon the horizon.

Japan
Home, kirth, Kin.
Eternal

Land we are sworn to defend.


_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3897
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/25/2015 4:01:53 AM   
1275psi

 

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Ogowa faces his men

A bitter breeze sweeps Okiwana field,

'We have just one mission........to locate Yamato, to cover her fat arse. She is going
to make for here...........if she survives the day"

he pauses
Tomorrow, my brothers, we face their best.
Hellcats, bearcats, those gull winged barsteds"

We are better than them..........we are better than them.......
Let us show it"

_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

(in reply to 1275psi)
Post #: 3898
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/25/2015 4:13:21 AM   
1275psi

 

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Captain Ariga, Commander of this task force, nods

The reports are good

From Kanoya to Okiwana, every airfield has been occupied during the day with every
fighter available.
All ordered to cover him tomorrow come hell or heaven

Operation winter blanket.

Kaga, Taiho, Unryu and Ibuki racing to join him. Fighters only.
Planes enough, surely, to cover him from whatever the allied beast carried.

The enemy is 100 miles from Okiwana

And theoretically..........in striking range.


All in position
I have done all that I can, its in the roll of the dice now.......

"Signal all units........we attack, follow me"

"Navigator, all ahead flank!"
150000 shaft horsepower
Musashi will need every one

< Message edited by 1275psi -- 10/25/2015 5:14:35 AM >


_____________________________

big seas, fast ships, life tastes better with salt

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Post #: 3899
RE: The little ship that could. - 10/25/2015 1:10:26 PM   
zuluhour


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"All in position
I have done all that I can, its in the roll of the dice now....... "

they have no idea

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Post #: 3900
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