So I did some re-reading of Beans, Bullets and Black Oil the last two nights in reference to whether or not transport of WITP:AE "Fuel", aka Bunker C used in most ships (not boats) via Cargo Ships (in 55G drums) was unrealistic.
Thus far, I am not finding any evidence of the USN using Cargo Ships as an alternative when shipping Bunker C or Fuel in-game. In reality, almost all of Diesel, Aviation Gas, Gasoline and other lubricants and solvents were packaged in drums and utilized this way (the game uses Supply to simulate these).
The broader theme that W.R. Carter conveys is that the USN contracted private and merchant marine tankers to onload Bunker C at San Pedro, CA, Pearl Harbor, Australia, etc.; then they were ordered to the USN bases like Noumea, Suva, Efate, Luganville and Funafuti and paid to anchor/dock and then the Navy's own Oilers and Tankers would be ordered to these locations, pull along side and transfer the fuel to their own holds, then sprint off to prearranged meeting locations to replenish task forces.
The capital ships were directly refueled by the Oiler and many, if not all of the Destroyers were refueled from the largest of the TF capital ships. This saved time and lowered the risk from Japanese subs finding the TF while they were crawling at 10kts with lines attached. Oilers were typically assigned to Task Forces for days or weeks at a time, depending on what operations were underway and how many refuellings would be needed (and obviously how much Bunker C was in their holds).
To recap, so far the evidence sides with charter tankers from US to specific ports, where they refueled the USN Oilers until empty. I have found no mention of cargo ships being utilized for transporting Bunker C.
Of course that begs the question: Why did the WITP:AE Devs decide to allow a mechanic where Fuel could be transported (with reduced efficiency) in Cargo ships?
Right now the correct answer is "I don't know".
If I had to guess... perhaps the team felt that on top of all the myriad of things we as the player must keep track of in WITP:AE, NOT having the rule in tests may have shown a serious logistical nightmare in keeping fleets fueled. Which was a reality in WW2 as we all know. Maybe it just made the simulation a real grind without a good enough benefit?
We really need to hear one of the Devs answer.
Meanwhile, I will keep researching.
P.S. I DO remember that shore-based Storage Tanks were built at strategic locations in the South Pacific, but I haven't come across those parts of the book yet to know what commodities were stored.
< Message edited by Moltrey -- 6/12/2021 5:16:53 PM >