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Thread: Mirror, Mirror

  1. #41
    Perpetually Confused likk9922's Avatar
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    Wow, nice. You got a lucky break with Marco Polo there, though.

    Keep up the writing!
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  2. #42
    Trust me, the game gets weirder. I'll just say that there's an Iron Cross flag hanging from Big Ben right now.
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keserian
    Trust me, the game gets weirder. I'll just say that there's an Iron Cross flag hanging from Big Ben right now.
    hhahahhahaha... yay!
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  4. #44
    It's a "yay" until you try invading an island with DAIM installed.

    At any rate, back to writing. My game is up to 1942 right now, so I need to catch up.
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  5. #45
    Perpetually Confused likk9922's Avatar
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    Trust me, the game gets weirder. I'll just say that there's an Iron Cross flag hanging from Big Ben right now.
    Quite a...subtle hint.
    I'm smart enough to know that I'm stupid
    Member of the ahistoric association
    My Hebrew Uganda AAR!- Weekly AAr showcase, 26-07-2007! - Winner, Best HoI Narrative AAr Q4 2007. Over & done with. Kinda completed.
    Fan of the Week, 12-8-07; and 12-10-08
    Earned a Kiss on the Cheek for Participation in the Trial of Fijj
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  6. #46
    Date: March 20th, 1939
    The United Kingdom has offered protection to Poland in case of an attack by either Germany or the Soviets. The President has ordered the Office of Covert Operations to begin infiltration of the Soviets, Germany, and Japan. We should be kept abreast of any surprise moves or sudden military build-ups. It should also give us an idea of what we have to aim for in terms of military construction.

    ******

    Looking out the window, Markson watched the California countryside fly by underneath the plane. Forward of him, he heard the pilot call out, "We're approaching San Diego Naval Yard now." Markson looked out to his left as the naval yard came into view. 'Naval Yard' would be an understatement. Below him stretched what seemed to be miles of piers, dry-docks, runways, armored sub-pens, and aircraft hangers. In several of the construction slips the massive skeletons of brand new Essex carriers reached up into the sky. At one of the piers CV-6 Enterprise was being refit with a torpedo blister, increased anti-aircraft coverage, and a new radar directed fire control system for the AA guns. As well, most of Carrier Task Force Alpha, the Enterprise, Yorktown, Hornet and Saratoga, was sitting in harbor undergoing similar refit and aircraft replacement while Grand Admiral Nimitz waited for the four new Essex carriers.

    On the ground lines of new fighters were landing and taking off on their trial runs before they were shipped out. As he landed, he looked off to the west to see the lines of barracks built for the divisions that were moving through the Naval Yard every day on their redeployment to different positions around the Pacific. Stepping out of the aircraft, Colonel Markson was immediately greeted by the base commander, who began dragging the flight-lagged Colonel from one side of the base to the other. Even in his semi-comatose state, Markson was impressed by the sheer scale of the facility. It was as large as good sized city, and had just about everything that a soldier awaiting his ship to the US positions out in the Pacific could expect. According to the commandant, today was a quiet day. That struck Markson as slightly odd, considering that just about every fifteen minutes a train carrying either troops, munitions, aircraft, tanks, or raw materials didn't pull into the massive rail depot that the commandant's office overlooked.

    "Pray tell, what does a busy day look like?"

    The base commandant laughed, "That's when there are trains backed up waiting be sent into the depot for offload. Usually traffic is the worse when we have mechanized infantry divisions going through. Then you have the soldiers, the maintenance staff, the vehicles, the support brigades, as well as fuel and ammunition for the infantry and the armored vehicles. Strategic bombers are also terrible. They ship the bombers in three pieces: left wing, right wing and fusilage. The pain in the ass is that once it comes in, we have to match each aircraft to the wings that go with that aircraft before sending them on the narrow-gauge rail lines we use within the base. Otherwise you end up with a B-15 with P-47 wings."

    Markson had to chuckle at the image.

    ******

    Date: March 26th, 1939
    Italy has declared war on Albania. Not much to there except, why the heck do they want Albania?

    Date: March, 1939
    I can't tell you exactly when this is, in case this document is stolen, but according to our spies, Germany and Russia have signed an agreement, dictating that they are pretty much going to split Poland down the middle. Poor Poles, they seem to be getting over-run just about every century or so.

    ******

    Colonel Markson sucked in a breath, and then knocked on the door of the Oval Office. A second later, he heard the President call him in.

    "Mister President, I have some more information about the situation with Poland."

    "Go ahead." Roosevelt had suddenly become much more quiet, his joking demeanor disapearing as soon as he saw Markson.

    "As you know, the United Kingdom and France have declared war Germany in response to German aggression. Well, since then we've been pretty much in the dark. Our spies have been able to report little. Recently, however, we've received news that the final resistance in Poland has been crushed by the Wermacht, and that Poland will soon be official surrendering to Nazi Germany. Eastern Poland will be ceded to the Soviet Union."

    The President nodded, deep in thought. After a minute he looked up at Markson, "Very well. Inform our field commanders and report any updates to me."

    ******

    Markson was begining to hate his job as the bearer of bad news. He walked into a conference, and instantly everyone began waiting for the shoe to drop. Well, this wasn't quite a boot, but it sure as hell wasn't a slipper,

    "Mister President," Markson began, looking around the table at each of the advisors, before fixing his gaze on the President, "We just received word that the Soviet Union has declared war on Finland and has begun a war of conquest, no doubt aimed at taking control of the entire country. We don't have any word on how the campaign is progressing, but our analysists do not beleive that Finland will be able to hold out for very long. The Russians have superior numbers and technology, the only thing that could help the Fins is their knowledge of winter warfare and the terrain. Our diplomatic advisors are telling me that this no doubt shows that the Soviets are persuing an agressive and dangerous foreign policy. At this point, they are advising us to approach the Soviets with caution and to be ready to repulse Soviet action against the US or our allies."

    Nodding, President Roosevelt turned from the map at the far side of the room, to his advisors, "What are Soviet capabilities?"

    Field Marshal Patton shrugged, "In terms of armor capabilities, the Soviets are inferior to us, the Germans, and the British. The current Soviet tank, the T28, dates from the early 1930s and wouldn't stand up to our new Shermans. The M4/E8 Shermans that are currently on the drawing board have a 76mm gun that could easily destroy the T28s from almost any range. The other Soviet tank is the T35. It's a multi-turret design that is more at home in the Great War. As for their infantry, they are mostly conscripts drawn from the peasant populace."

    Picking up where Patton left off, Arnold continued, "They have an almost non-existent Air Force, composed of mostly biplanes. As the Field Marshal said, more at home in the Great War."

    Halsey nodded, "Their navy isn't very much better. Some Great War era battleships and support ships. Their officer corps is terrible. It seems like Stalin has done his best to eliminate just about every competent Russian officer.

    The President sighed, "Not withstanding, I want our agents on the ground to monitor every move the Soviets make. Dismissed."

    ******

    Date: March 8th, 1940

    Germany has declared war on Norway and Denmark. Again, what is strategically important about Norway and Denmark?

    Date: May 27th, 1940
    France has fallen to Nazi Germany and a puppet government has been formed. They're calling it Vichy France. The President isn't thrilled and has ordered final preparations for the war to be stepped up to maximum. I have a sneaking suspicion that things are about to get very busy around here; even worse than it is now.


    Date: June 3rd, 1941
    Patton is finally happy with me. He has just received his first shipment of the new M4/E8 Sherman tanks. They have a brand new high velocity main gun that should put a nice hole in any German, Russian, or Japanese tank. Japanese tank. There's a contradiction. The Japanese appear to have totally ignored tanks as a viable option. They seem to be neglecting just about everything in order to get their navy fully put together.
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  7. #47
    Perpetually Confused likk9922's Avatar
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    Italy has declared war on Albania. Not much to there except, why the heck do they want Albania?
    The question everyone asks themselves at least once in their lives.
    I'm smart enough to know that I'm stupid
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  8. #48
    How big is the Japanese navy?
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  9. #49
    At that point in the game, the US has no real idea. All they know is that the Japanese are going to attack... sometime.
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  10. #50
    Right. There's another post coming soon. I just came back from vacation, and have some great ideas of how to write this up, including using a technique I've never done before. I have a game, Steel Panthers: World At War, that I can use to add some more flair to the tactical battles. Stay tuned!
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  11. #51
    Perpetually Confused likk9922's Avatar
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    Right. There's another post coming soon. I just came back from vacation, and have some great ideas of how to write this up, including using a technique I've never done before. I have a game, Steel Panthers: World At War, that I can use to add some more flair to the tactical battles. Stay tuned!
    Cool! Let's see it!
    I'm smart enough to know that I'm stupid
    Member of the ahistoric association
    My Hebrew Uganda AAR!- Weekly AAr showcase, 26-07-2007! - Winner, Best HoI Narrative AAr Q4 2007. Over & done with. Kinda completed.
    Fan of the Week, 12-8-07; and 12-10-08
    Earned a Kiss on the Cheek for Participation in the Trial of Fijj
    Fijj also gave me this moldy cookie for guessing his name-

  12. #52
    Date: March 20th, 1939
    The United Kingdom has offered protection to Poland in case of an attack by either Germany or the Soviets. The President has ordered the Office of Covert Operations to begin infiltration of the Soviets, Germany, and Japan. We should be kept abreast of any surprise moves or sudden military build-ups. It should also give us an idea of what we have to aim for in terms of military construction.

    ******

    Looking out the window, Markson watched the California countryside fly by underneath the plane. Forward of him, he heard the pilot call out, "We're approaching San Diego Naval Yard now." Markson looked out to his left as the naval yard came into view. 'Naval Yard' would be an understatement. Below him stretched what seemed to be miles of piers, dry-docks, runways, armored sub-pens, and aircraft hangers. In several of the construction slips the massive skeletons of brand new Essex carriers reached up into the sky. At one of the piers CV-6 Enterprise was being refit with a torpedo blister, increased anti-aircraft coverage, and a new radar directed fire control system for the AA guns. As well, most of Carrier Task Force Alpha, the Enterprise, Yorktown, Hornet and Saratoga, was sitting in harbor undergoing similar refit and aircraft replacement while Grand Admiral Nimitz waited for the four new Essex carriers.

    On the ground lines of new fighters were landing and taking off on their trial runs before they were shipped out. As he landed, he looked off to the west to see the lines of barracks built for the divisions that were moving through the Naval Yard every day on their redeployment to different positions around the Pacific. Stepping out of the aircraft, Colonel Markson was immediately greeted by the base commander, who began dragging the flight-lagged Colonel from one side of the base to the other. Even in his semi-comatose state, Markson was impressed by the sheer scale of the facility. It was as large as good sized city, and had just about everything that a soldier awaiting his ship to the US positions out in the Pacific could expect. According to the commandant, today was a quiet day. That struck Markson as slightly odd, considering that just about every fifteen minutes a train carrying either troops, munitions, aircraft, tanks, or raw materials didn't pull into the massive rail depot that the commandant's office overlooked.

    "Pray tell, what does a busy day look like?"

    The base commandant laughed, "That's when there are trains backed up waiting be sent into the depot for offload. Usually traffic is the worse when we have mechanized infantry divisions going through. Then you have the soldiers, the maintenance staff, the vehicles, the support brigades, as well as fuel and ammunition for the infantry and the armored vehicles. Strategic bombers are also terrible. They ship the bombers in three pieces: left wing, right wing and fusilage. The pain in the ass is that once it comes in, we have to match each aircraft to the wings that go with that aircraft before sending them on the narrow-gauge rail lines we use within the base. Otherwise you end up with a B-15 with P-47 wings."

    Markson had to chuckle at the image.

    ******

    Date: March 26th, 1939
    Italy has declared war on Albania. Not much to there except, why the heck do they want Albania?

    Date: March, 1939
    I can't tell you exactly when this is, in case this document is stolen, but according to our spies, Germany and Russia have signed an agreement, dictating that they are pretty much going to split Poland down the middle. Poor Poles, they seem to be getting over-run just about every century or so.

    ******

    Colonel Markson sucked in a breath, and then knocked on the door of the Oval Office. A second later, he heard the President call him in.

    "Mister President, I have some more information about the situation with Poland."

    "Go ahead." Roosevelt had suddenly become much more quiet, his joking demeanor disapearing as soon as he saw Markson.

    "As you know, the United Kingdom and France have declared war Germany in response to German aggression. Well, since then we've been pretty much in the dark. Our spies have been able to report little. Recently, however, we've received news that the final resistance in Poland has been crushed by the Wermacht, and that Poland will soon be official surrendering to Nazi Germany. Eastern Poland will be ceded to the Soviet Union."

    The President nodded, deep in thought. After a minute he looked up at Markson, "Very well. Inform our field commanders and report any updates to me."

    ******

    Markson was begining to hate his job as the bearer of bad news. He walked into a conference, and instantly everyone began waiting for the shoe to drop. Well, this wasn't quite a boot, but it sure as hell wasn't a slipper,

    "Mister President," Markson began, looking around the table at each of the advisors, before fixing his gaze on the President, "We just received word that the Soviet Union has declared war on Finland and has begun a war of conquest, no doubt aimed at taking control of the entire country. We don't have any word on how the campaign is progressing, but our analysists do not beleive that Finland will be able to hold out for very long. The Russians have superior numbers and technology, the only thing that could help the Fins is their knowledge of winter warfare and the terrain. Our diplomatic advisors are telling me that this no doubt shows that the Soviets are persuing an agressive and dangerous foreign policy. At this point, they are advising us to approach the Soviets with caution and to be ready to repulse Soviet action against the US or our allies."

    Nodding, President Roosevelt turned from the map at the far side of the room, to his advisors, "What are Soviet capabilities?"

    Field Marshal Patton shrugged, "In terms of armor capabilities, the Soviets are inferior to us, the Germans, and the British. The current Soviet tank, the T28, dates from the early 1930s and wouldn't stand up to our new Shermans. The M4/E8 Shermans that are currently on the drawing board have a 76mm gun that could easily destroy the T28s from almost any range. The other Soviet tank is the T35. It's a multi-turret design that is more at home in the Great War. As for their infantry, they are mostly conscripts drawn from the peasant populace."

    Picking up where Patton left off, Arnold continued, "They have an almost non-existent Air Force, composed of mostly biplanes. As the Field Marshal said, more at home in the Great War."

    Halsey nodded, "Their navy isn't very much better. Some Great War era battleships and support ships. Their officer corps is terrible. It seems like Stalin has done his best to eliminate just about every competent Russian officer.

    The President sighed, "Not withstanding, I want our agents on the ground to monitor every move the Soviets make. Dismissed."

    ******

    Date: March 8th, 1940

    Germany has declared war on Norway and Denmark. Again, what is strategically important about Norway and Denmark?

    Date: May 27th, 1940
    France has fallen to Nazi Germany and a puppet government has been formed. They're calling it Vichy France. The President isn't thrilled and has ordered final preparations for the war to be stepped up to maximum. I have a sneaking suspicion that things are about to get very busy around here; even worse than it is now.

    Date: December 25th, 1941
    What a crappy way to spend Christmas, inspecting the base at Guam. Well, it's changed a lot since I was stationed here in early '35. The naval and airbases are huge. Heck, all of USN Carrier Task Force Alpha is stationed here, and there are enough Marines here to force us to create a small city. I was taken on a tour of the defenses. There are RADAR controlled AA batteries, 16" naval guns mounted in reinforced concrete bunkers, 3" Anti-Tank guns on the beaches, .50 cal machine guns, and the 5th US Garrison has their howitzers already ranged onto the beaches. There is barbed wire and tank obstacles designed not to stop an invasion, but to funnel the enemy troops into killing zones that are covered by multiple machine-guns and anti-tank guns. I feel sorry for any Japanese why try to invade. I visited the Marines, Airmen, sailors and infantry who are stationed here. The morale is high, and they want to know when they can go kick some ass. I told them "soon." I have a gut feeling that it will be soon.

    Date: June 3rd, 1941
    Patton is finally happy with me. He has just received his first shipment of the new M4/E8 Sherman tanks. They have a brand new high velocity main gun that should put a nice hole in any German, Russian, or Japanese tank. Japanese tank. There's a contradiction. The Japanese appear to have totally ignored tanks as a viable option. They seem to be neglecting just about everything in order to get their navy fully put together.

    Date: July 17th, 1941
    The USSR has annexed Romania. It looks like the Soviets aren't exactly our greatest friends. They've installed a puppet government.

    Date: November 30th, 1941
    Japan has attacked Pearl Harbor, we are now at war.
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  13. #53
    Yokoto Hakegui looked out the window of his Zero fighter as his squadron of aircraft approached Pearl Harbor. The landmarks matched up perfectly. The radio was quiet as he watched the torpedo bombers peel off towards the ships. His squadron would provide support for the bombers and torpedo planes. He began to count the seconds as he waited for the planes to finish their first run. Not too long now. He circled above the clouds, waiting. He knew that by now the American ships should be burning from torpedo and bomb hits, and he desperately wanted to see, but at the same time, his duty was to protect the bombers from any stray American fighters that got off the runway.

    His radio crackled, and he expected to hear that the attack was successful, what he heard next made his stomach churn, "Where are the ships? There are warships docked here! The American fleet is gone!" Hakegui waited, hoping to hear better news from the airfield attack group, "There are no aircraft here! No bombers! No fighters!" The fighter pilot cursed, they had no doubt been spotted, and the attack group had already strafed the airfield. Suddenly, a thought flashed into his mind, if there were no fighters on the runway, where were they?

    The question was answered a second later, as he heard the chatter of machine-guns and tracers fly by his nose. He turned his head, just as an American fighter went screaming by him in a fast dive. He realized suddenly that the Americans were coming out of the sun. Pulling up and around to face into the flight of enemy fighters, Yokoto saw one of his squadron-mates explode as an American F6F Hellcat fired a burst into the Zero. As he looked up at the sun, squinting to see, he was amazed at the sight that stretched out. All across the sky were the large blue shapes of F4F Hellcats. He had been briefed about the Hellcats, and knew that they were formidable fighters, capable of taking more damage than a Zero, and armed to the teeth. Th F4F couldn't turn with his Zero, Yokoto knew, but if one got a bead on him, that would be it. He pulled up and around again, following an F6F that had dived after him.

    As he flew below the cloud layer, Yokoto could see why the Americans were so confident at this altitude: the air was filled with anti-aircraft fire from the ground. He watched as a B6N was shot down by a ground machine gun, and narrowly avoided getting caught in a flack cloud himself.

    The fighting was furious, and Yokoto was happy to down two F4Fs in the fighting. Even though they were heavily armored, a burst into the canopy could kill the pilot and take down the aircraft. Getting that shot, was the issue. The torpedo bombers and dive bombers had suffered incredible losses from the F6Fs and the ground fire. Yokoto knew that if they could hold on for just a little longer, the other waves of the assault could swarm the Americans. Over the radio, Yokoto heard the second wave pilots radio their position, and knew they would be engaging shortly.

    ******

    "This is Pearl Harbor Air Defense and Attack Command, all fighters alert, we have more incomings." Peter Lazarus scanned the massive board in front of him. It showed the rough positions of the aircraft groups that Pearl Harbor ADAC was tracking. The airspace was getting increasingly crowded, and the incoming Japanese fighters weren't helping anything. Keying his microphone he adjusted the frequency on his transmitter, "Carrier Group Alpha, where the hell are those fighters?"

    The radio spat static for a moment, then, "This is Enterprise ADAC to Pearl Harbor ADAC, bear with us. Aircraft are closing."

    "Pearl Harbor ADAC to Enterprise ADAC, we have two more enemy waves incoming. We need those fighters."

    "Roger Pearl, aircraft can only fly so fast."

    On this receiving frequency, he heard one of the F6F pilots shout, "They're here! The carrier aircraft are here!"

    Peter turned his chair to look out the window and had to grin, the eastern sky was filled with F6F Hellcats,

    "Enterprise ADAC, nevermind, they're here."

    "Pearl, be advised, P-51s from Honolulu ADAC are fifteen minutes out."

    ******

    Yokoto heard a swear over the radio and scanned the horizon, his heart sinking as he saw the swarm of American F6F Hellcats. If the Wildcats were dangerous, the Hellcats were murder. More maneuverable, with better armor and guns, a Hellcat could incinerate a Zero in one burst, while taking almost an entire magazine to destroy. He turned after a Wildcat in front of him, trying to get a bead on the cock-pit to take down the pilot. More Zeros were inbound from the carriers, but he had a suspicion that the Americans had more of their own aircraft on the way.

    He fired, taking down his third F4F with a well aimed shot into the canopy. If they could just hold the Americans for a little longer, they had a chance to escape.

    ******

    "Christ! Where are these Jap planes coming from?!" Peter was getting worried, the Japanese fighters could swamp the F4Fs and F6Fs at this rate. The Japanese were taking extremely heavy losses, but no one knew how much they would take before retreating, or if they would retreat at all. Peter keyed his microphone, "Charlie Arrow Niner Three, land on runway two, north face." Charlie Arrow Niner Three was an F4F that had been deployed from the Pearl Harbor airbase, and had taken severe damage from a Japanese Zero, and it wasn't the only one. Severely damaged fighters were landing constantly and the air traffic control crews had been swamped, leading ADAC to also direct in aircraft.

    Switching back to the combat frequency, "All fighters, be advised, Japanese third wave incoming." Glancing at the RADAR, he cursed, another flight, muting his microphone he shouted to the officer in charge of identifying the aircraft: matching the radio calls to the RADAR images, "Who's aircraft are those? A Jap fourth wave?"

    "Sir, I have no darn clue."

    Taking a risk, Captain Lazarus keyed his microphone again, "Unknown aircraft, approach bearing four, identify."

    A distinctly mid-west voice answered, "This is Golf Spear Five Two, we're incoming on approach four, request permission to engage those Jap aircraft."

    Lazarus smiled, "Permission granted, give 'em hell for us."

    "We will. Five Two out."

    ******

    Heart sinking, Yokoto watched the gleaming silver war-birds diving into combat. Naval intelligence had little information on the brand new US P-51 fighters. All he knew was the rumors that had circulated on the carrier. They were fast, maneuverable, and just as heavily armed as the Hellcats. He banked hard, falling in behind two of P-51s, aiming for their wings. Suddenly, one split to the left, the other to the right. Following his instincts, Yokoto broke after the one on the left.

    ******

    "Schwartz, he's breaking on you."

    Lt. Robert Schwartz shifted to look out behind him at the Japanese Zero, shifting back he radioed, "Roger, coming back."

    Pulling back and to the right, Johnson counted the seconds as his plane turned. He winced as the Jap fired, and the cockpit was filled with the "pinging" sound of bullets striking the P-51. As he straightened out, he heard the pitch change to the deeper thud of .50 caliber machineguns from his wing-mate. At the same time, he hauled up hard on the stick and pushed the throttle full forward, feeling the entire plane vibrate as the huge Merlin engine roared to full power. Glancing behind, the Jap was still following him, Schwartz's own wingmate hot on the Zero's tail.

    ******

    Cursing, Yokoto realized what had happened. The Americans had broken apart, and whichever one he followed, the other would be sitting on his tail. The zero was climbing after the P-51, and Yokoto watched as his airspeed started to slow. He pulled back hard, feeling the aircraft starting to stall, even as the P-51 climbed higher. Pulling back over his head, and flipping over towards the ground, Yokoto turned his head, eyes following the first P-51 as it flipped over and dived after him.

    Yokoto saw the wings of the P-51 sparkle as the .50 caliber machine-guns fired. Pulling up hard to avoid the ground, the Japanese pilot felt his aircraft shudder from the G-forces. Then a second later, he heard the sound of metal tearing as .50 caliber slugs tore into his right wing. The Zero reacted almost immediately, suddenly starting to roll to the right. Yokoto pulled back on the power as he struggled to keep the aircraft level as it began to descend into the bay. The two P-51s flew over his head, one of them doing a full roll as they climbed back towards the cloud layer. Yokoto glanced at his altimeter and swore, any lower and he was in the water.

    The aircraft bucked, and began to skip as it hit the water, the propeller coming loose and flashing by the cockpit glass. The aircraft bounced a couple times, the already weakened right wing flying loose after the third bounce, before coming to a stop. Yokoto opened up his canopy and jumped out onto the left wing, pulling out his Nambu pistol as an American patrol boat sped towards him. Just as they reached him, he placed the pistol to his head and pulled the trigger.

    It jammed.

    *******

    Robert lined up behind another Zero, squeezing the trigger and landing a direct hit on the Zero's fuel tank. The Japanese aircraft bursting into flames as the incendiary rounds punched into the tank. He absently counted four in his mind, another one and he'd make ace on the first day of the war. He rolled over, diving down beneath the cloud layer, and right into the massive dog-fight below. Everywhere US aircraft were engaging Japanese aircraft. He could see to his right another group of P-51s out of Honolulu, still in formation, diving on a group of Japanese torpedo bombers. Off to his left, he could see a Zero trying to get a clean shot on an F4F. Rolling upright, he reduced power and dropped in behind the Zero, close enough to see the pilot concentrate solely on the F4F in front of him.

    With a squeeze of the trigger, the six .50 caliber machine-guns roared to life, ripping into the thin skin of the Zero and sending it spiraling towards the ground. As he slammed his throttle to full, and buzzed by the F4F, the other pilot flashed him a salute and peeled off to engage a group of dive bombers that had recently arrived. Schwartz counted off in his head, 'Five' with a smile. Ace on the first day.

    *******

    "This is ADAC Pearl Harbor, the Japanese aircraft are retreating. All American land based fighters, assume Combat Air Patrol around Pearl Harbor, carrier aircraft, return to your carriers for re-arm and refuel."

    Peter turned to the communications officer, "Send to Washington, 'We have engaged enemy fighters. Alert Midway and Wake garrisons. Enemy aircraft have been defeated. Minimal fighters losses, minimal damage to base. Aircraft returning."

    *******

    As Robert touched down his aircraft on one of Pearl's run-ways, he counted off as his squadron landed. All aircraft. Good.

    An Army officer was running up to his aircraft, a flight crew short behind. Pulling open the canopy, and turning off the engine, Lt. Schwartz had to wonder what was going on. The army officer shouted above the sounds of emergency sirens, aircraft engines, and the few ack-ack guns still firing at retreat Japanese aircraft, "Lt. Schwartz. You and your squadron and to get airborne immediately. You are being redeployed to Guam to assist our forces there. We will refuel you and get drop-tanks fitted." The Army officer handed him the flight packet, "Now get airborne Lieutenant. We have a war to win."
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  14. #54
    Perpetually Confused likk9922's Avatar
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    Geez, the Japs got destroyed. Great, great sequence, btw. Definately a purely outstanding fight.
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  15. #55
    Fantastic dogfight.

  16. #56
    Thanks. Still writing away over here. The writing is a bit choppy I think, but I'll try to work on that. Unfortunately, I don't have an external proof-reader, and I can't proof-read my own work worth a darn.
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  17. #57
    January 1942,

    Lt. Robert Schwartz had been flying combat air patrols with his squadron for the past week. At this point, he couldn't get any more sick of black volcanic ash. Iwo Jima, probably the most desolate island in the entire pacific. And they had him flying combat air patrols over it. After the first week, Robert reflected, the Japanese had pretty much given up trying to engage the American P-51s. They would fly up to try and engage the A-26 Invaders, and then when the P-51s launched from Guam arrived, they'd immediately scramble back down to the run-ways and the protection of the AA guns and hangers. It was boring as hell. Jump into the cock-pit, fly to a volcanic ash-heap, get a strafing run or two in, and then go home.

    There were rumors that things were about to heat up though. He'd been reassigned to the 4th US Close Air Support Wing. His squadron, another fighter squadron, and two CAS squadrons formed the 4th. The fighters would dive down first to draw fighter and AA fire, and then the CAS planes would swoop in after them, strafing, firing rockets, and dropping napalm. The air above Iwo was filled with fighters and bombers of all sorts and descriptions, from P-51 fighters to B-25 tactical bombers. Yes, Robert had a feeling that things were about to got hot.

    ******

    Lieutenant Peter Hollemback peered up over the edge of his landing barge. He couldn't see Iwo Jima through the fog that was shrouding the island, but he knew it was there. He yawned; it was three in the morning when his squad had been woken up and hustled to their landing craft. The fleet was sitting quietly behind the fog, waiting for it to be burned away by the morning sun. He checked his Thompson for what must have been the sixth time. Darn right he was nervous. He was about to participate in the first amphibious invasion of the war, and even worse, he was on the opening wave. Peter didn't want to know what his survival odds looked like at that moment.

    He could see the sun beginning to rise in the east, and knew that he was sitting on the edge, a mere moment more, and he'd be falling.

    ******

    Grand Admiral Hallsey looked out over the fleet. Battleships, battle cruisers, destroyers, cruisers, and the giant carriers of Carrier Task Force Alpha waited for his signal. Off to his right, he could see the looming shapes of the battle-wagons Montana and her sister-ship the Massachusetts. The Iowa and her sister-ships the Missouri and Florida were off to his left. The battleships were still partially shrouded in the dense fog, making them giant looming shadows amongst the smaller ships of the fleet. As the sun rose, it illuminated the Montana, ringing her superstructure in a brilliant golden light. He heard a shutter click as someone on the bridge took a picture, Hallsey would ask later where the camera came from.

    The gunnery officer saluted, "Sir, firing control reports that we have enough visibility to hit our targets."

    Hallsey nodded, "Aye. Advise the Montana to prepare to fire the first salvo."

    "Sir!"

    Hallsey watched as the giant 16" guns of the Montana began to slowly rotate. Behind her, the Massachusetts began to rotate her guns as well. The Iowa, Missouri and Florida began to maneuver to face broad-side to the island. As the turrets spun, the barrels began to elevate. Once on target, the mechanical whine of the motors died away. And the fleet was once again silent. Hallsey spoke softly, "Inform Montana; fire at will."

    "Aye sir, Enterprise to Montana, Enterprise to Montana. Montana, fire at will. Repeat, fire at will."

    The Grand Admiral held his breath for a moment as he waited. The destroyers and cruisers were starting their turns in towards the beaches. Suddenly, the Montana rocked away from the island, her massive 16" guns thundering. The roar overwhelmed the shouted orders on the Enterprise as pieces of paper flapped in the breeze created by the guns. Hallsey snatched up his binoculars to watch the impacts. Volcanic ash flew high into the air as the massive shells impacted the beach. One of the shells from the fleet must have hit something important, as a huge blast of flame reached skywards. The scream of the general quaters alarm sounded throughout the carrier as flight crews rushed to their stations. A second later, the Massachusetts fired, followed by the Iowa, Missouri, Florida, and then the battle cruisers. The early morning dark was turned to mid-day by blinding light of rockets as the bombardment ships began to fire. The Montana fired again, the deafening roar of her guns once more over-whelming the shouted orders on the Enterprise's bridge.

    Turning to the radio operator, Hallsey shouted over the noise of the bombardment, "Inform the invasion transports. Get the first wave moving."

    ******

    Peter ducked instinctively as he heard the Montana fire. He heard the shells passing over-head, and then saw the explosions on the beaches. The landing officer at the helm shouted, "Lock and load boys, we're heading in." Peter closed his eyes, and for the first time in ten years, prayed.

    As the invasion transports came closer to the beaches, Peter began to realize the full impact of the bombardment. The shells were blasting massive craters into the volcanic ash, and filling the air with the fine grit. The Japanese were firing back, and Peter saw what seemed to be a shell from a shore defense gun strike the Montana on her number one turret. The front two turrets slowly turned towards the offending shore battery, and fired. Three shells struck the concrete casement of the battery, and one of them punched clear through, detonating inside the battery and setting off the magazine. The explosion sent chunks of concrete, steel, and bodies, all over the beach and into the water.

    For a time, the Japanese ignored the invasion transports, firing at the aircraft that were quickly filling the air above the island. The large shore batteries were dueling with the battleships off shore, with little success, and were also ignoring the slow transports. Peter felt the landing barge lurch and stop, and the landing officer shouted, "We're here boys, give 'em hell!" The ramp went down, and the Marines found themselves in their own hell. The already black and charred landscape was crated with everything from the 16" guns of the battleships, to the 4" guns of the destroyers. As the ramp went down, the Japanese machine-gunners began firing on the Marines, cutting down the entire front line of the landing craft as they charged to shore. Mortar shells began exploding all around the Marines, the man in front of Peter had one go off torso-hight, ripping open his stomach and sending his guts spilling over the sand.

    Peter dove into a giant shell crater, hoping it would provide protection against the machine guns and mortars. His radio operator dove in next to him. All around, Lieutenant Hollemback could see his men being cut down by machine-gun and rifle fire. He scribbled a message to his radio operator, and handed it to him. The radio man was soon radioing the fleet for help.

    ******

    It was two hours into the invasion, and the Marines were still pined down. Peter was now sharing his shell-hole with what was left of a squad of Marines. US planes had been strafing the Japanese defenses almost constantly, but it wasn't doing much good. The big-gun ships couldn't fire on the positions because the shell-fragments might kill friendly soldiers, and the planes couldn't deploy Napalm for the same reason. Peter cursed and looked back at the invasion fleet. Smoke from the constant firing of the ships had replaced the fog, and it was almost impossible to see the battleships.

    He watched as two LSTs began moving twoards the beach, and prayed again, hoping that the admirals weren't stupid enough to send them in. They'd be torn to shreds by anti-tank fire. But the huge ships ploughed forwards. A shell struck the bow of one, and exploded. Amazingly, not harming the leviathan. The two ships reached the beach, and the massive clamshell doors began to swing open. One of the ships was less than twenty feet behind his fox-hole. As the doors opened, Peter watched a Sherman tank crawl its way forwards, heading straight for the Japanese trenches. Jumping up, the Lieutenant shouted for his remaining men to follow the tank as it crawled up the ash, ignoring the machine-gun fire that the Japanese were heaping against it.

    Tanks were great for shields, but against dug in infantry, it couldn't be that much help. The tank picked up speed, moving directly at a Japanese bunker that was on of the entrances to the trenches. As it closed, Peter could see a Japanese machine-gunner in the opening of the bunker, firing away at the Marines. Then, rather than firing a cannon, a tounge of flame shot of the turret of the tank, the liquid fire engulfing the bunker and shooting straight through the gun-slit. Peter watched as a Japanese soldier ran out the back of the bunker, covered in flaming napalm. One of Hollemback's riflemen fired, striking the Japanese soldier in the head, and ending his pain.

    Peter shouted for his men to follow, and they charged around the tank as it reached the trenches. Jumping into one of the trenches, Peter opened up with his Thompson, catching a stunned Japanese soldier mid-reload. The man fell back, dropping his rifle as Peter swung into a pill-box, spraying the three inhabitants with bullets. The Lieutenant heard a shout from behind him, and turned to find a Japanese officer charging at him, sword raised. Aiming his rifle, Peter heard the weapon "click" and jam. Cursing, he began drawing his .45, knowing the officer would reach him first. The enemy officer was engulfed in flame, as a flame-thrower wielding Marine fired from the top of the trench. The Japanese soldier fell to the ground, dead, his blackened body frozen in his death-spasms.

    The fighting for the trenches was brutal, and hand to hand. Marines, out of ammo, fixed their bayonets and went hand-to-hand with the defenders. In the end, it turned out to be the flame-tanks that had won the battle for the beaches, destroying several key Japanese bunkers, and allowing the Marines to storm the trenches.

    It took two days of fighting to secure the beaches, and Marine artillery, along with the battleships and aircraft, was still hammering Mount Surabachi in preparation for the assault. Peter knew his unit wouldn't participate in that. Army troops were landing to take the fight inland. The Marines were needed elsewhere. There were rumors flying around that they would attempt an invasion of Taiwan. He hoped it wouldn't be as brutal as Iwo Jima, but even if it was worse, he would be ready.

    This post is dedicated to all those who served with honor and distinction in the Pacific and Europe: the Marines, Army, Army Air Force, and Navy personel who were able to summon the courage to face near-certain death. This is also dedicated to all those who have fought and died protecting the United States and its allies, from the American Revolution to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
    Last edited by Keserian; 30-05-2007 at 19:16.
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  18. #58
    Perpetually Confused likk9922's Avatar
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    Cool update. Really good style.
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  19. #59
    "This is Captain Lazarus, ADAC Taiwan, we have unknown contacts incoming on vector three-one-niner." Peter had been transferred from his position at Pearl. Apparently someone high up had decided that because of his performance at Pearl, he should remain with the front-line units and direct high-risk ATAC. This had brought him to Taiwan. The island was still the location of fierce fighting between the US II Corps and elements of the Japanese Army. To further compound issues, the Japanese were throwing everything that could fly at the American forces.

    Peter swung his chair around to look at the aircraft they had available, then swung back to look over a technicians shoulder at the RADAR. His cigarette dropped out of his mouth as a technician called off the contacts, "We have twenty, thirty, forty... sixty, eighty... shit! It looks like the entire Jap air force is heading for us."

    Gritting his teeth, Lazarus called the aircraft control tower, "Tower, this is ADAC, we have over eighty Japanese aircraft coming in; clear the flight-plan." He heard the cussing on the other end of the line Yep, this was going to be one of those days.

    ********

    "I'll raise you ten."

    "You're bluffing."

    "Call it then."

    Robert chuckled as he hovered over the poker game. It was always fun to watch the other pilots try and play each other. After the fifth week of deployment, they knew each other so well that it was becoming pointless to try and bluff. As he reached for a cup of coffee, Schwartz looked around the corrugated aluminium shack that served as the Mess. Taking a sip, he reflected that the last couple of days had been insane. The Eighty First squadron had been transfered to a pure air-superiority unit, much to the pilot's pleasure. The P-51D was a fantastic fighter, and Robert felt that it was a dishonor to such a fantastic war-bird to use it as a ground pounder. The downside was that the pilots were being called out almost every day and it was taking its toll on the planes and pilots.

    He turned his head as he heard a low thumping in distance. It sounded awfully like heavy anti-air flack. His feelings of dread were confirmed a second later as the air-raid siren began to sound. The pilots dropped cards and grabbed their flight harnesses and gear as they raced outside. Maintenance techs were scrambling to top off the fuel tanks and cram the last foot of ammunition belts into the wings as the pilots raced towards the aircraft.

    Hopping into his cockpit, Lt. Schwartz began to blaze through his abbreviated checklist. Forget checking the radio, it worked yesterday on landing. Never mind the emergency canopy release; if he was using that he was probably already dead. One of the mechanics ducked away from the wing and gave him the all clear as the Merlin V12 engine roared to life. Edge the throttle forward, the aircraft began to taxi onto the runway. Turning and lining up on the runway, turned to check the other planes lining up behind him. Pushing the throttle, he pressed the rudder pedals down, countering the torque of the revving engine.

    The P-51 screamed down the runway, and swept into the sky. He banked hard, gritting his teeth as the black slowly encroached on his vision. The Japanese fighters were approaching from straight ahead now. He hated this approach, it felt like charging right into the lion's mouth. The rest of his squadron formed up on either side, and Robert began trying to gauge the range to the fighters. As the wings of the Japanese planes light up with machine-gun bursts, Schwartz opened up with his .50s. One Japanese fighter exploded in flame, and another began spiraling out of control as one of his squadron member's cannon-fire tore the wing off. Tracer fire went shooting by his wing, and Schwartz pulled hard on the stick, slamming the P-51 into a steep dive towards the ground. The Zero dove after him. Watching his speed, Schwartz felt the aircraft start to shake, the shock-wave around the wings starting to remove his ability to maneuver.

    At the last second, he pulled up hard, his vision slowly blacking out as he felt his weight increase as the fighter pulled through above the ground. Behind him, the Zero wasn't so lucky. The shock wave around its wings prevented the fighter from pulling up, and the Japanese plane had slammed into the ground. Lt. Schwartz flew back towards the battle overhead. Yep, this was another busy day.

    ******

    Sergeant Saul Kleine stuck his head out of the cupola of his tank as they rolled off of the LST. The tank was a brand new Sherman M4/E8 with a high-velocity 76mm main gun. It still had some of its factory markings chalked on the side of the turret; they hadn't had time to wash the tank before they were shipped out. From what Sgt. Kleine had heard, the Japanese were trying to dislodge the United States Marines from their foothold here on Taiwan.

    As the tank slowly rolled through the US Army base that had been constructed on the shore, Saul was impressed by the sheer amount of equipment that was being unloaded. There were pallets of everything from 76mm tank shells to 500 lb. bombs. As the Sherman approached the base perimeter, Saul could hear the sound of automatic weapons fire up head. Then, the ground next to the tank exploded in a shower of dirt and shrapnel. The metal bounced harmlessly off of the tank, but it worried Saul enough to get him to pull his back down inside and shut the cupola.

    The driver cursed as another shell detonated in front of them. Saul scanned the area around them through the periscope. He grinned as he saw what was firing: A Japanese type 95. Saul called into the intercom, “Target, Type 95, bearing two-niner-five, one HE shell.” The loader shouted above the engine noise, “Loaded.” The turret rotated and elevated to target. Saul yelled back, “Fire!” The loader tucked back into a corner as the breech of the 76mm gun came rocketing back into the turret. A second later, the Japanese tank exploded as the HE shell ripped into it.

    Saul spotted a Japanese tank next to the first, and saw the turret light up as it fired. He braced for the impact, and was slightly confused when he felt a dull 'whump.' He shouted the bearing, and felt the Sherman rock to the side as the 76mm gun fired again. Another Japanese tank crested the hill and fired, the shell striking the Sherman and detonating harmlessly against the armored skin. The gunner fired, the shell exploding fifteen feet to the side of the Japanese tank. Another Sherman in the unit fired and found the target; the turret of the Japanese tank jumping clear off the hull and landing next to the tank.

    The Sherman tanks began to form up into a wedge formation. The Japanese tanks were still cresting the hill, and the 76mm gun was firing as soon as a shell could be slammed into the breech. The unit commander shouted over the radio for the tanks to advance. The engine of the Saul's Sherman groaned under the strain as the 30 ton tank began to drive forward. The tracks squeaked as the Sherman tanks approached the crest of the hill. Right in front of Saul, a Type 95 crested the hill. Instinctively, the gunner fired, the HE shell ripping into the almost unarmored belly. The Type 95 exploded, bits of metal pinging off of the Sherman's armor. The driver didn't bother breaking the formation, and drove right into the smoking wreck of the Type 95. Saul ground his teeth as the hulk of the Type 95 was pushed out of the way by the Sherman. That would be hell on the paint job.

    As they crested the hill, Saul exhaled. There must have been fifty Type 95s below them. Against maybe six Sherman tanks. Saul called off a bearing, and the gun thundered again. The Sherman tanks on his right and left fired: one hit, two miss. The commander called a stop, and the Sherman's rolled to a stop, facing down the hill at the approaching Japanese tanks, their guns silent. Saul could hear his loader moving more shells into a ready position for loading.

    As the Japanese tanks moved closer, the commander shouted over the radio, “Fire!” The six Shermans fired. Each of the shells striking their targets. The Shermans began firing again, the 76mm guns out-ranging the Japanese tanks, and easily punching through the light armor.

    ******

    Thirty minutes later, the field was quiet. The burning hulks of the Type 95s littered the slope of the hill leading up to the M4/E8 Sherman tanks. Saul had counted eleven tanks destroyed by his crew alone. The Japanese infantry who had been following the tanks had been repulsed quite quickly when the Sherman's had opened up with their .50 caliber machine-guns. Two more units of Shermans had arrived just on the tail end of the battle, and had aided in repulsing the Japanese infantry. Mechanized units from the US 2nd Army under General Allen were moving up to hold the terrain.

    His unit had been ordered back to the base to be re-armed and given orders. Already his crew were voicing suspicions that there would be an attack soon. Saul just shrugged. It wasn't his place to bother the higher-ups.
    Freedom is bought with the blood of those willing to forsake their everyday lives and privileges to take up the greatest responsibility imaginable: the freedom of their fellow man.

    ~Said to me once by a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.

  20. #60
    The Little Corporal Morpheus506's Avatar
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    So odd to see Shermans as the unstoppable tanks in a fight, after their RL faceoffs with German panzers. I like
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