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Thread: The Pearl of the Orient

  1. #101
    Capitán General RPG Leader Cloud Strife's Avatar
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    Khan_

    Yep, though the first half of the engagement did technically happen during early morning, hence the nighttime penalty. I glossed over that detail do to my poor command of the methods night battles were fought. A pity, the Japanese specialized in nighttime surface engagements where their advanced optics brought them success early in the war.

    And i'm just using paint to edit files. If I could get the other two images I had prepared uploaded; one is the mid-battle the other is the results.

  2. #102
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    The Duel: Part II. “The Thrust” - Late March-Early April

    Panay Gulf, 1:30 P.M., April 3rd 1942

    Onboard the ‘Ciudad de Baguio’ the first wave of fighters and dive bombers had been launched into the air. Cloud cover and choppy seas to the north of the battlezone impeded the ability of the Home Fleet to move its line combat ships to the front; luckily the same problem appeared to be effecting the positioning of the Japanese as well. But such conditions did not greatly diminish the ability of both fleets to get their carrier based aircraft aloft. Further reports from float planes indicated that there where anywhere from two to three carriers in the opposing Japanese force but these planes were shot down by the enemy before locations could be transmitted back to Andrada. Instead of wasting precious time by having his cruisers send up more float planes to spot the enemy flattops, Andrada ordered an aerial assault against Japanese line ships.

    ---

    The Skies above the Panay Gulf: 1:38 P.M, April 3rd 1942

    Captain González of the ‘Ciudad de Manila’ led his wing against the three Japanese battleships plowing through the Home Fleet’s destroyer pickets. F4F Wildcat fighters from González’s wing would serve to cover SBD Dauntless dive bombers fielded by the other three carrier wings in combat. Not wasting time over which of the three battleships to target the air wings made for the first of the line. Dive bombers began to climb to higher altitudes before diving nearly vertical once they were nearly overhead of the target. No complicated sights were necessary; hitting the target boiled down to luck and the aerodynamic qualities of the given piece of ordinance. And with a 50% error ratio, quantity of bombs dropped definitely mattered more than quality. The Japanese as a rule failed to create effective anti-aircraft firing arcs, the placement of their AA guns and the training level of their crews was not up to snuff, so instead their doctrine emphasized emergency maneuver to dodge bombs. But even with the enemy battleship steering wildly from port to starboard three out of twenty-six bombs dropped hit and they made contact where it mattered. The lack of armored decks on Japanese battleships allowed bombs to crash below decks, ripping the ship apart from on the inside. When these bombs managed to ignite the ship’s magazines the effects were always nothing less than spectacular.

    With one Japanese battleship dead in the water the Home Fleet’s air wings regrouped for the next phase of the attack. The Japanese battleship column had slowed down giving precious time for Commonwealth dive bombers to return to their carriers for more ordinance and fuel. Meanwhile fighters would attempt to intercept Japanese carrier based aircraft heading towards Home Fleet’s carriers. Unfortunately several Japanese dive bombers and escort fighters had managed to jump the pickets and air patrols to pounce upon the ‘Ciudad de Baguio’. Andrada’s flagship only had six fighters in the sky to cover the ‘Ciudad de Baguio’ from the attacks of 62 Japanese fighters and 14 dive bombers. With only seconds to decide on a course of action and with the buzz of Japanese ‘Zeke’s and ‘Val’s overhead Andrada sent off warnings to the three other fleet carriers to maintain their distance until their planes arrived back. With minimal fighter cover the other three flattops would find themselves in the same predicament if they tried to help. The Home Fleet’s battleships and heavy cruisers were also given orders to move out of harms way. The Japanese did not seem to mind, their pilots wanted blood and the ‘Ciudad de Baguio’ now lay within their grasp. The carrier’s skipper, Capitan Ernesto Ruiz, directed via the intercom all idle hands to man the carrier’s AA guns. Hopefully the six Commonwealth Hellcats in the air could hold the line until reinforcements could arrive.

  3. #103
    Poor Ciudad de Baguio

  4. #104
    Ouch. Caught with their metaphorical pants down

    hmm yeh, Paint doesn't really allow for much tweaking when saving files. Just try saving them as JPEG instead of PNG and you should get smaller file sizes.

  5. #105
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    Khan_

    Indeed, though let's just say the fates were kind to me for sticking with the battle.

    ---

    The Duel: Part III. “Counterattack” - Late March-Early April

    The Skies above the Panay Gulf: 1:42 P.M, April 3rd 1942

    Eight Commonwealth Hellcats were pitted against 62 Japanese fighters and 14 dive bombers; the numbers alone were enough of an indicator as to where the fleet action was going. But the eight plane group Machinist Jorge Conrado took into battle would not shy away from attacking the Japanese head on. If the dive bombers could be neutralized then the other carriers of the fleet could be saved; there was however no stopping the full might of the Imperial Navy from pouncing on the 'Ciudad de Baguio'. Everyone on board from Admiral Andrada to the greenest seaman knew the ship was lost but to evacuate the ship and abandon the fight would free up more Japanese planes to pounce on the rest of the fleet. The only acceptable option left was to fight to the last and die in the last, metaphorical ditch.

    Conrado lead his group straight into the gaggle of dive bombers above the 'Ciudad de Baguio'. His wingman took several direct hits to his fuel tank in quick succession and went up in a ball of flame; there was nothing self-sealing fuel tanks could do about that. The surviving seven Hellcats were also taking a beating but remained airborne; unless Japanese fighters landed clean hits to the vitals of the plane their ammunition lacked the necessary punch. The Hellcats pressed the Japanese for ten agonizing minutes. Though the Japanese were now low on ammunition several direct hits to the 'Ciudad de Baguio's fight deck and a torpedo to the rudder signaled the end. The carrier began to take on water below decks faster than emergency bilge pumps could remove it and water tight compartments and doors could contain it. In a miracle of sorts the carrier's island had weathered the storm, if only to allow Andrada learn that dive bombers had also attacked and sank the heavy cruiser 'Fernando VII' and the battleship 'Tomas Claudio'. But the crew of the 'Ciudad de Baguio' tried to patch up their ship, the Japanese attack force was finally driven off by returning planes from the battleship attack. Andrada contemplated retreating but delayed this action when given notice that the reserve fighter and bomber flight of the 'Ciudad de Manila' had been sent up in another attempt to drive the Japanese back into the sea.


    The Skies above the Panay Gulf: 1:58 P.M, April 3rd 1942

    After making short work of the immobilized hulk of the battleship 'Mutsu', the second attack force made for the battleships 'Nagato' and 'Yamato.' Japanese air support was out in full force as Commonwealth dive bombers scored four direct hits to 'Nagato' thus sending her to join her sister at the bottom of the Panay Gulf. Now only the Yamato was left and prone to attack as Japanese planes headed back to their carriers to refuel and rearm. This monster was the largest battleship ever built and the flagship of the Imperial Navy; a visible symbol of Japan's prowess and position as the world's most powerful navy. Bristling with anti-aircraft guns, every bombing approach was coated liberally with tracers. Never the less the 'Ciudad de Manila' attack force pressed, weaving through the array of AA fire, and landing direct hits to the 'Yamato's conning tower and various places along her deck. Rudder control was lost and in the process of circling around, dead in the water, the 'Yamato' ended her career as the flagship of the Imperial Japanese Navy by exploding with such force that several Commonwealth planes were knocked out of the sky by the resulting shock wave. It would not be until the weeks following the battle that Philippine engineers figured out the cause of the 'Yamato's demise; the erratic movements that were caused by damage to her steering caused powder stores in the ship's magazines to 'smash into each other' thus triggering the explosion. But how she went down did not matter to the Commonwealth pilots in the skies above her sinking remains; the pride of the Imperial Navy was finished and finished off by the Philippine Fleet.

    ---

    The Skies above the Panay Gulf: 2:15 P.M, April 3rd 1942

    News of the annihilation of t he Japanese battleships, including the 'Yamato', reached Andrada aboard the sinking 'Ciudad de Baguio' at 2:15 P.M. The initiative had once again returned to the Home Fleet and Andrada was in no mood to waste this opportunity, even if his strike force had been reduced to three carriers. The three reported Japanese flattops were somewhere close by and he intended to sink each and every one of them. The Japanese were a sporting bunch when confronted with a worthy rival in their eyes and they would not be retreating any time soon; honor dictated that the sinking of the Yamato needed to be avenged. Andrada and Home Fleet never dreamed of disappointing their Japanese adversaries in this respect. But maintaining overall command from a sinking vessel would have to be rectified; Capitan Ruiz confirmed that it was only a matter of time before the ‘Ciudad de Baguio’ went to her eternal rest. The order to evacuate was given and the battleship ‘Admiral Dewey’ moved along side the stricken carrier to become Andrada’s new flag for the rest of the battle. The surviving crew was gathered on the fight deck; though the ship began listing to port, the crew up on the flight deck stayed long enough to salute the American Flag as it was hauled down; the Commonwealth was still technically part of the United States and as such still flew the US Flag from all government assets. The Philippine Flag would however remain were it was, there was a battle still going on and it would be in bad taste to lower the flag from a combat vessel.


  6. #106
    OMG! Amazing UPDATES! You had me on the edge of my seat the whole time! And it's still not done! >_<

    Please don't be long! I wants to read more!
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  7. #107
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    Wow. First you bombed the Emperor, then you sunk the Yamato. Go Phillipines. The Japanese must be really pissed now.

  8. #108
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    Amazing result for the Commonwealth so far, this exchange is definitely going your way. So far. And while the Philippines may struggle to replace lost shipping so will the Japanese.
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  9. #109
    Sinking the Yamato, that's quite an achievement. The Commonwealth Navy sure has pluck.

  10. #110
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  11. #111
    Nice update once again
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  12. #112
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    Everyone

    And now a change of pace. From sea operations we begin to move to amphibious assaults and assorted Army based operations.

    ---

    Southern Cross: Part I. – April to July 1942

    The ‘Kaga’, ‘Akagi’, and ‘Shokaku’ were all that stood between the Home Fleet and the annihilation of Japanese surface ships in the Panay Gulf. The inability of the both sides to close with their respective battlelines made Naval Aviation the decisive battle arm yet again. The remaining City-class carriers of the Home Fleet rearmed their arm wings and sent them once again aloft to do battle with the Japanese. Their first victims however were Japanese heavy and light cruisers attempt to steam away from the battle. Dive bombers crippled the ‘Maya’ and ‘Chokai’ before moving on to the isolated carrier ‘Kaga’. Her fellow carriers had abandoned the fight to cover what remained of the Japanese surface forces. The fate of the ‘Kaga’ strangely resembled what the ‘Ciudad de Baguio’ had endured just an hour ago; three Commonwealth air wings were pitted against a rump Japanese flight. Dive bombers weaved through Japanese AA fire to land six direct hits on the ‘Kaga’s island and another five to the flight deck. Fires began spread from the hanger to the ammunition dump; in three minutes the ‘Kaga’ was a ball of flame. Explosions ripped her apart and in an hours time she would be little more than an ornament at the bottom of the South China Sea. Satisfied that the Japanese were beaten Andrada called off the pursuit and headed back to Cavite.

    --

    Manila Hotel, July 20th 1942

    Victory fever continued to grip the capitol in the weeks following the surface engagement on the waters of Panay Gulf. Andrada had managed to defeat a numerical and technologically superior fleet and send it to the bottom at the loss of one carrier and several by-now outdated surface ships. About the only ones not jubilant at the sight of another naval victory was the Army. For the last couple of months they had done nothing; only a few engagements with the Japanese at the waters edge, though bloody had done nothing to shame the Japanese. Whereas the Navy from the beginning of the war had scored every major victory the Commonwealth could claim as well as the distinction of being the only Allied navy to have a sustained record of success against the Japanese. Something had to be done to get the Army back into the headlines. This is were the brains at Military Intelligence came in.

    “I think you ought to press for an invasion of Indonesia, MacArthur always likes moves that get him produce good copy and he’s starving for attention. The Japs can’t have more than two divisions operating in the Banda Sea islands and our chaps in the Navy could provide support for the Army. I don’t think the Japs will spare more surfaces ships to deal with our Navy when the Americans are beginning to send in more flattops. And besides the Americans are offloading enough material to turn the Commonwealth Fleet into the equal of their Pacific Fleet, i’m sure you of all people could convince Quezon to release divisions for the operation.” Ferdinand Marcos has risen to the rank Major in the Commonwealth Intelligence Services through a combination of the right political connections, talent, and a supreme sense of tact. Now he called upon his Moro War buddy Luis Borbon to show support for his latest scheme.

    “Your plan show merit but I wonder why you gents at Intelligence are pressing for this. I’ve heard of this before, General de Jesus mentioned that the folks at Intelligence were soliciting to him too at the last Staff Meeting. So… why would you wonderfully cryptic folks suddenly start banging at the doors when it’s an open secret that Quezon wants you folks to get caught up reading the Jap’s naval traffic?”

    “That is half the answer,”[i] smiled Marcos. “The Japs changed their naval and army codes last month, right after the Home Fleet gave them a spanking. And we’re at a loss as to how to crack’em. The Americans and Brits are having the same problem. The Aussies and Kiwis are of course useless when it comes to this work and the Chinese have other problems. So that leaves us to pick up after everyone else. That being said we need to generate Jap military traffic for us to be able to decode the new set of signals. I’ll spare you the details and just say that the best way to generate a lot of Japanese communications that would be useful us is a campaign in our general vicinity. Two or three divisions should attract enough attention and transport shouldn’t be a problem; the Home Fleet rules in the seas in this part of the world. So, what do you say?”

    “Well, we do have to earn our keep. But if I suggest anything I fear I may be put in charge of the operation. So in return I expect Intelligence not to leave my command in the dark.”

    “Obviously, we can’t have your efforts stifled before we gain the information we need. We don’t need much just a selection of the right stuff.”

    “And what makes you so sure that a new campaign will give you the ‘right stuff’?”

    “You’ll just have to trust me on this one.” Two days later the operation to liberate Indonesia, ‘Guardtower’, was approved.

  13. #113
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    *throws rotten fruit at Marcos*
    Sieur de Dole

  14. #114
    Quote Originally Posted by aussieboy
    *throws rotten fruit at Marcos*
    *Joins the tomato throwers*
    Undead!

  15. #115
    Capitán General RPG Leader Cloud Strife's Avatar
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    aussieboy and Hannibal Barca2

    He won't be the worst historical figure you'll be introduced to.

    That being said i'm done with gameplay for this the entire AAR and am preparing for my next project/s. Though it won't see the light of day for maybe another three to four months; I want to complete this one first before starting up another AAR. :0

  16. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by Cloud Strife
    I want to complete this one first before starting up another AAR. :0
    Just as long as you keep updating

  17. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by Cloud Strife

    He won't be the worst historical figure you'll be introduced to.
    *Intrigued*
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  18. #118
    Quote Originally Posted by RossN
    *Intrigued*
    Indeed. Very intriguing.

    Great update.

  19. #119
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    Spacehusky

    Of course.

    RossN and Khan

    And I hope this update will be as interesting.

    ---

    Southern Cross: Part II. - July through August 1942

    Luis Borbon received more than he had anticipated. Six divisions, two fighter wings, one bomber wing, and one naval bomber wing were put under his command. The 'Hero of Cagayan and Madrid' became a Lieutenant-General in the Commonwealth Army. The Home Fleet lead by Andrada had cleared the Celebes Sea of Japanese submarines and surface forces and assisted in General Lim's campaign on the island of Celebes. The conquest of Ternate, Ceram, and Dutch New Guinea were left for Borbon to mull over. No allied support could be mustered for the campaign in the Moluccas and the Banda Sea remained rife with piracy and enemy submarines. Ternate and Ceram fell without much resistance but New Guinea was another story. Several Japanese divisions were pressing hard towards Port Moresby. The Owen Stanley mountains were at best a speed bump and Australian officials wholeheartedly supported the Commonwealth advance as a means of releasing pressure on Australian lines. From his advance base at Ambon, General Borbon ordered two divisions of regular infantry and one of marines to land at Sorong on the eastern tip of the island.

    Commanding this force was none other than Ferdinand Marcos, promoted to the rank of Colonel in the Commonwealth Army. Borbon bowed to his arguments that a command would improve his post-War political prospects and was given command of the operation as a result. His experience commanding men was limited to a selection of Illocano volunteers in the Moro War and various desk duties for Military Intelligence. Now came his chance to shine or fail miserably; victory ensured awards and decorations, defeat ensured a return to desk work. The attack would commence at day break with naval support from two heavy cruisers and aerial cover flown in from Celebes.


    ---

    The Beaches around Sorong, New Guinea, 8 AM

    "Where the hell is our air support? And how did the Japs manage to construct seaward bunkers? Gregorio go radio... private?" Marcos with an eye on publicity had managed to get himself placed in the first wave. But the fact his radio operator's face had been turned into a pool of mush was the least of his worries. Foul weather had prevented his air support for taking off in time to join the first wave and his troops were struggling to get their light tanks on the beach. Marcos and his men had found cover against a sand embankment and mulled over how to proceed. The requisite barbwire blocked their advance and to go around would expose him and his men to machine gun fire. After a minute of inaction a covering barrage from light artillery occupied the Japs long enough for Marcos and company to stuff several bangalores into the barbed wire to blow a path through it. Yet this would only be a temporary success as Japanese machine guns redoubled their efforts to mow down Commonwealth troops.

    "Haul some arse men, we need to press the enemy and get marksmen up into those trees." Marcos grabbed the radio and wired in for another artillery barrage to cover his advancing men. A frontal assault would probably overwhelm the Japanese but he needed his divisions intact for the drive inland. Commonwealth artillery batteries opened fire all along the white sand coast and into Japanese positions as snipers moved forward to find cover and regular troops engaged in small arms exchanges with the Japanese. The repeated attacks were wearing down the Japanese and keeping Commonwealth losses low but ammunition shortages were plaguing both sides. In an effort to conserve this scare resource Marcos gave the order to fix bayonets.

    Japanese doctrine emphasized bayonet training but never before had the Japanese defended against a bayonet charge from a Western style army. The Chinese had rushed the Japanese with broadswords and spears to great effect but they had no choice, these soldiers however did. The Japanese too were running low on ammunition and gladly resorted to the bayonet and the sword in proper emulation of their ancestors. Commonwealth soldiers scaled the high ground and emerged in the flats to find the Japanese charging head long as them. Commonwealth soldiers emptied their magazines into the charging Japanese and then greeted them with a charge of their own. Imperial soldiers greeted their Commonwealth foes with cries of 'Tennōheika banzai!' before stabbing whereas Filipinos usually opted to skip the pleasantries and just go for the throat. But in after a grueling hour it was all over. The Japanese fought to the last but Marcos had managed to take the beach without air cover at minimal cost of life. But it remained to be seen if his luck would hold out for him as he advanced along the coast.

  20. #120
    Capitán General RPG Leader Cloud Strife's Avatar
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    A History Lesson - August 1942

    Miles of hell with no rest in sight. Filipino forces hacked their way through jungle and highland in an attempt to overtake the Japanese. The Australians were holding on by a thread and each and every delay Marcos's forces encountered was another inch off the shelf life of the defenders of Port Moresby . Yet even in this time of urgency morale remained high; in contrast to the other Allied nations the Philippines knew of nothing besides victory when engaging the Japanese. There was nothing comparable to the humiliation at Singapore suffered by the British or the sneak attack against Pearl Harbor endured by the Americans inflicted by the Japs on the Commonwealth. This coupled with no fear of Japanese ambush provided much time for thoughtful refection and contemplation among Commonwealth troops.

    The Army commanded by Marcos was a representative of the demographics of the islands. No one ethnicity achieved predominance and only via government intervention and volume of manuscripts had the Tagalog culture of Manila rose to become representative of the islands as a whole. Much as Tuscan served as the template for the creation of a pure, unaltered Italian culture during the Risogimento, Tagalog became the flagship of a movement to grant some order to the various ethnic traditions which formed the Philippines. Yet undoubtedly the attempts to mold the islands into a unitary and centralized state on the European model were doomed to failure from the start.

    In contrast to the nations and peoples that surrounded her the Philippines had no history of great kingdoms, epic national myths, and no tradition of Empire building. Even the so-called primitive African tribes had all the anticedants of what Westerners would categorize as a 'developing nation-state'. The Malays could look back to the achievements of Srivijaya, the Cambodians had their Khmer Empire, and even the Vietnamese had a long history of empire building along the South China Sea. And to tackle the various manifestations of Chinese empire building took up volumes. But time away from the spotlight did have its benefits. The wars and strife which created the 'Han', 'Vietnamese', 'Korean', and 'Chinese' ethnic traditions created strains of animosity that always lay just below a seemingly tranquil surface. The superiority complexes developed by these peoples created intellectual stagnation which cumulated in the rise of the West. Without new horizons or contests to reach out towards, nations such as China withered. The lack of an established national tradition allowed the Philippines to adopt the concept of individualism that allowed a resource poor Europe to order the affairs of the world. First Spanish would bridge the gap between paroical traditions imported from mainland Asia and western educational trends such as Thomism. When the Spaniards and their Friars sought refugee in conservatism the literati of the islands launched an offensive of the pen which prepared the Filipinos. Writers such as Rizal sketched an outline of what the Filipino constituted; he that belonged to a culture neither Eastern or Western but a culture which combined the strengths of both.

    Democracy was the fruit of these efforts. No matter how corrupt local and federal politicians became, the squabbles which convulsed the National Assembly were not in the same league as the revolving-door military governments of Japan or the strongman politics of the Chinese Nationalists. And as a testament to the strength of that Democracy, the debates in the Assembly and Senate continued, citizens went about their business, and the military fought the Japs with no fear that an individual or group of individuals would subvert popular politics in the name of effectiveness. But in the mind of a man of raw intellect such as Marcos, no possibility was beyond reason. Every course of action had a corresponding situation tailored for it.

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