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Thread: Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two

  1. #5701
    General nimrod123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    not any more! now we will use both sheep and cows! and the occasona crazy maroi

  2. #5702
    not a beta for HoI3 Moderator Derek Pullem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    The IJN is going to loose a DD, that's clear. A what cost, if I may ask...
    Only because the story requires it! Let's face it although the Mutsuki is a sorry excuse for a DD it still vastly outclasses the "Q-ship". Kinfd of suprised that the Admiralty didn't add at least one large calibre weapon to the Maru - generally q ships received multiple 4" single mounts and at least a few torpedo tubes
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  3. #5703
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Kurt_Steiner Who knows who knows....

    Agent Larkin Not saying anything except that Ian survives the War.

    nimrod123 Wales is jealous I suspect.

    Derek Pullem Actually the ship has two 3pounders. Not much, I admit but at least something.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  4. #5704
    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post

    Derek Pullem Actually the ship has two 3pounders. Not much, I admit but at least something.
    Damn! That doesn't sound anything like enough against even a elderly DD taken by surprise. Have to see how the boys come out of this. Agree with Derek that a couple of disguised torpedo tubes would be priceless now.

    Steve

  5. #5705
    not a beta for HoI3 Moderator Derek Pullem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevep View Post
    Damn! That doesn't sound anything like enough against even a elderly DD taken by surprise. Have to see how the boys come out of this. Agree with Derek that a couple of disguised torpedo tubes would be priceless now.

    Steve
    Well at least 4 of these

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BL_4_in...al_gun_Mk_VIII

    and 2 21" torpedo tubes

    Alot like this ship

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  6. #5706
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    You all display a shocking lack of faith in my writing skills. Who'se to say I didn't do it like this for a reason?


    That being said, If the RN continues with more Q-Ships they will be more heavily armed. Edgehill was mostly a ship slapped together with what was on hand quickly.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  7. #5707
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    This wont come down to shooting, obviously Takahashi will save the day and Felix will learn a valuable lessons and become a better and more respectful person......

    I obviously continue to root for Takahashi turning traitor and utterly vindicating Felix's prejudiced views. Not because I think his views are right, just because I prefer my heroes flawed and interesting - a bitterly anti-Jap hero with a grudge is more interesting than one who's learnt a happy-clappy life lesson.
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  8. #5708
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    While Takahashi isn't the traitor this voyage is far from over and about to take a turn for the worse..
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
    Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two (ongoing) Last updated 09/22/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
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  9. #5709
    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    While Takahashi isn't the traitor this voyage is far from over and about to take a turn for the worse..
    Trekaddict

    You do realise that wording implies someone else is? Possibly one of the guerillas as I doubt any of the rest of the crew would be interested in ending up in Japanese hands. Or possibly you're doing a double-bluff.

    It does sound like things will get worse before they get better.

    Steve

  10. #5710
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Who knows, who knows.....
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
    Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two (ongoing) Last updated 09/22/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
    Inkwell Entry Visit the Dictionary!

    Possibly the world's most British German as awarded by El Pip here.

  11. #5711
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    Chapter 321



    “Identify yourselves, over.”

    No one on the bridge of Edgehill showed the fear they felt.

    “We better answer.” Ian said.


    “Mutsuki, this is the Imperial Japanese Navy Freighter Kobayashi Maru. We are very glad to see you. We suffered several fires in which we lost our Captain, our map cabin, our long-range transmitter and sustained damage to our engines. We have been navigating by compass only for the last three days, over.”


    Takahashi clearly was good at playing the dumb peasant who had stumbled into a command slot he wasn't ready for. While this conversation went on he ordered the port 3pounder loaded but not run out. He cursed the Admiralty for being to stingy to divert even one four incher form Gunboat production. Now they were stuck with piddly 3pounders from the last war. If he made it back to Allied territory (which looked increasingly unlikely) he intended to make his displeasure known and to hell with his career.

    “Where are you bound for, Kobayashi Maru?”



    On the Bridge of the Destroyer this incident was only treated as a diversion from endless, boring patrols that were rarely broken up by anything, so no one looked any closer at the freighter or noticed how they were steering a course that was meant to keep the old Japanese ship out of firing range for as long as possible while slowly moving the entire thing away and to the west.

    “Originally for Mindanao, Sir. But with all those reports we were given before the fire the Captain decided to make for Manila Bay.”

    That fit, if one allowed for the freighter coasting some while they tried to repair their damage. It also fit that the dumb merchant men who hadn't been smart enough to join the real Navy lost their way after doing so.

    “Be advised that there are Submarines in the area and proceed to your destination as fast as possible.”


    The Destroyer veered off and proceeded roughly along the line Edgehill had been coming on in the other direction.

    No one aboard the British ship dared to believe that it was that easy and in an effort not to seem too eager to get away they crept away at small ahead. On the Destroyer meanwhile the second in Command who considered his Captain to be a dimwitted idiot who had only been given this command because he was Admiral Nagumo's nephew's illegitimate son was bugged by something about the Kobayashi Maru. It wasn't the odd position or the Osaka accent of the speaker on the wireless, it was something about how the ship had behaved too compliant and obliging.

    “Don't we better call this in, Sir?” he asked when the Captain could be torn away from studying his writings on Bushido and the latest propaganda about the decadent British.

    “If you want to...”

    The Second in Command didn't even get into the booth where the operators worked.


    “Sir?”


    “Yes, Petty Officer?”

    “Sir, something is odd about that ship. I am sorry that it did not occur to me earlier but I was only reminded of it when I was going over the message again.”

    “Yes, and what is it?” the Officer asked with mounting impatience.

    “Sir, when we were ashore two days ago I met a friend from the same village. We went to..We started to talk, Sir.”

    “And what did this friend of yours have to say?”

    “He is with the 114th Squadron Sir, and he told me,” the Petty Officer said, omitting that he and his friend had already been somewhat tipsy and had gotten beastly drunk later that night, the real reason why it had taken him so long to remember, “he told me that they were on patrol the other day and they saw a freighter proceeding alone, named Kobayashi Maru and bound for Subic Bay..”

    “That is indeed odd, if it's true.”


    “Well Sir, he said he remembered it because it was the last encounter they had before turning back and the first independent in two weeks.”

    With any other captain the Lieutenant Commander would have turned and had the ship turned around, but the captain was likely to just dismiss the Petty Officer's story as unreliable because it did not come from an officer.

    The Commander however was trying to further his career in the Navy so he took a few moments and decided that it was time to stretch the truth a bit. This rarely happened within the Japanese Fleet but sometimes..

    And sure enough, the captain was suddenly all willing to turn back when he was told that the message had come in through the wireless section from Naval Aviation. The Commander had only implied and never outright stated that it was an order, so he was safe.

    They sighted the ship and suddenly there was no sign of engine damage as the ship sped westards with more than 14 knots, likely the top speed for a ship thirteen years old and in hard use for the last three.


    The Mutsuki speeding to meet Kobayashi Maru/Edgehill



    On Edgehill the sight of the Destroyer coming closer again was final proof that they would have to fight after all. There was no way that they would be able to talk themselves out of this situation again, such luck with even a totally disinterested skipper was beyond rare.

    The first time the Destroyer had come in from a roughly westerly direction so to keep the range open as much and long as possible Edgehill was running almost directly east as fast as her machinery would allow.

    This time the Japanese did not even attempt to communicate and as they came ever closer Ian resigned himself to his probable fate. He sent up a silent prayer for those 'up there' to look after his wife and child and the families of his crew and then gave the order to prepare to unmask the 3 pounders.

    Soon the signal was given when the forward gun on the Destroyer banged out and the shell slammed into the sea far enough to astern to show that either the gunnery officer aboard was not the best one they had or that the old guns on the ship were not quite in range yet.

    “Why aren't they coming on any faster?” Takahashi asked, “not that I am complaining, but aren't Nip Destroyers supposed to be very fast?”

    Felix cringed for a second at the first half of the question but then remineded himself of the Uniform the man was wearing.

    “The Mutsuki-Class is almost as old as some of our crew and the IJN certainly isn't going to send their best crews and ships to second-line duties like this.”


    “Well,” Ian interjected as he came back inside from the wireless compartment, “Mr. Takahashi you better go back there and keep them confused for as long as you can.”

    “Aye, Sir.”

    With that he left and Ian turned to the others.

    “Suggestions, Gentlemen?”

    Goodchild was the first who broke the silence. “Since surrender clearly isn't an option we have to delay them as long as possible, Sir.”

    “Agreed. We won't be able to evade them forever now. Our best option seems to be to run and then to make as good a fight of it as we can.”

    Ian didn't even bother to look at them again before he glanced at the rear bulkhead.

    “You have hauled down the Nip Flag?”


    “As ordered, Sir. Right now we are flying nothing at all.”

    Takahashi stuck his head through the hatch.

    “Sir, they demand we heave to and prepare to be boarded.”

    The Officers on the bridge looked at each other before Goodchild broke the silence.

    “Sir...”

    Ian nodded. “Let's fool them for as long as we can, and keep the ship running. What do you have in mind?”

    “Well, Captain....”

    Over the next half hour the calls by the Destroyer became ever more annoyed and three more warning shots, of which the last one was so close water spray drenched the ratings that hid behind the false parts of the superstructure that covered the port 3 pounder.

    “It's time to enact your plan, Mr. Goodchild.”



    Without actually replying to the irate wireless calls, Edgehill slowed down, slewing slightly to starboard to make it look as if she had trouble with her steering.

    When the oildrums to the rear of the superstructure were lit on fire the smoke that was generated by the oil the various additives also burnt was not even really meant to throw off the Japanese Destroyer's aim or obscure their view, (though Ian did wish for some real smoke generators) but more to confuse their Officers and lure them in without them shooting.

    He admitted to himself privately that it was a mistake to do this now and that an opportunity had been wasted when they had first sighted the enemy but then he had thought that they would be able to bluff the Japanese. After all there were not many Poker tables in Tokyo.

    Now his men would have to pay dearly for this mistake. Their only hope now was to try and survive until nightfall which was still several hours away, it was barely 15:33, two hours after they had started the chase.

    “Full stop.”

    “Full stop, aye.”

    Edgehill moved only on drift and her own inertia as the screws stopped and Ian could not help but ponder the folly of the idea as the Japanese Destroyer drew alongside.

    He shrugged. It wasn't as if they were in a stolen German submarine trying to get way from one of their Destroyers.

    As long as he lived he could never explain the shiver that ran down his spine and the pure disgust he felt at the idea.


    Mutsuki drew into position and Ian yelled: “Now! Run up the colours and open fire!”




    Even before the White Ensign was fully up the canvas was torn away from the Bofors that spat fire at the exposed area, the gunners under orders to walk their fire back and forth until told to stop. The starboard 3pounder barked for the first time. The shell missed the bridge it had been aimed at and instead slammed into the funnel. It was high-explosive rather than armour-piercing and so blew a great gash into it. The next shell however was on the money, at least almost as it hit the few inches of metal between windows and showered the inside with shards of glass. The gun kept firing.

    Edgehill began moving again even before the bang of the second 3pounder round had died away but it was not fast enough. The forward gun on the Japanese Destroyer was hit by a 3pounder shell just as it fired. The British shell, AP this time, easily penetrated the thin gunshield on the open mount and killed two of her crew. The Japanese shell went high and merely severed some of the rigging along the forward mast.

    It was confusion that saved Edgehill, just as the desperate Goodchild had fervently hoped.

    The centre mount between the two funnels did not fire at all while the two rearward guns fired. One missed, the shell falling short while the fourth hit Edgehill just aft of the superstructure where it blew a massive hole into the ship's side, killing five members of her crew while also starting a minor fire that destroyed one of the .50s that were also shooting.

    It was here ironically that Edgehil was superior, for Mutsuki only had two 7.7mm machine guns permanently installed and the remaining .50 continued to fire as fast as possible, and it was this gun that set fire to one of the ship's launches that had been fuelled already in anticipation of having to send out a boarding party.



    But it would not do, because even as the British ship moved away she took another hit which knocked over the oil drums and and spattered burning oil all over the rear of the ship, killing four and severely wounding five more.


    What saved Edgehill in this instant was that the modernisation of the Mutsuki-Class that had been planned for 1941 had not gone through. Had this happened[1] then the two Type 96 AA guns would likely have spelled the doom for the British ship, but the scarcity of resources after the rise of the Army to political dominance had prevented this from happening as the IJN had concentrated on fitting out and modernizing newer and more capable ships.

    As it was, Edgehill began to move away and out of the firing arc of the rearward guns. The forward gun had been damaged and her crew wounded and in the chaos that reigned aboard the Japanese Destroyer no one thought to give orders to remedy this.

    The highest-ranking Officer still capable of giving orders or being alive was the Engineer who was too busy with damage control and containing the spreading fire.

    In the action that had lasted for less than three minutes the two ships had battered each other heavily. Aboard Edgehill there were two dozen wounded and eleven dead, with the ship herself being on fire and having lost a significant part of her lower-range arment.

    Aboard the bridge Ian was holding a broken arm, he and everyone else were also cut in various places by flying glass as one of the windows had shattered under the fire of a Japanese machine gun.

    Neither ship was in any shape to fight and Edgehill was running south as as fast as her engines would make her go.


    +-+-+-+-

    Comments, questions, rotten tomatoes?




    [1] As it did IOTL.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
    Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two (ongoing) Last updated 09/22/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
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  12. #5712
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Dunno why, but, although I've enjoyed the reading very much, the update is a bit too short for my taste

    Good, well done, Trekkie.
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  13. #5713
    Trek

    Well, their been very lucky so far but difficult to see it lasting. Even if their killed the entire bridge crew rather than just put them out of action for the moment the Mutsuki should still be in better shape once it pulls itself together and next time its likely to stay at long range and simply use its superior firepower to pound the Edgehill to ruins. Or provided there's a single radio left it can report the incident and Japanese naval air or other ships are going to be lethal in the Edgehill's present condition. Have to see how the lads get out of this.

    Wondering if their actually going to end up going ashore and working with the guerilla for a while until say a sub could be sent to pick them up. We also have the question of the other orders for Ian and the gang but given the plight their in those are likely to be irrelevant.

    Steve

  14. #5714
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Ahh the old lure them in close then use surprise to batter them technique, a favourite of merchant raiders and Q-ships the world over. I wonder how long till the Japanese adjust their tactical instructions accordingly, though if your putting second string officers in the ships such instructions may be a waste of time.

    I think steve has covered all the approaching problems quite nicely, except for the part about the Japanese now confirming the presence of British supply ships in the area. The IJN will now start taking that problem seriously and it will make future supply runs far more difficult.

    All in all a good update tk, though could you please not end the next one in a cliffhanger!
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  15. #5715
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Kurt_Steiner This thing sort of ran away from me.

    stevep The Japanese now have the problem of actually finding the ship again. You can bet an imperial ton of your favourite tea that they will change course as soon as they have the fire out and are over the horizon, and if they can stay undetected until nightfall thats several hours of blacked out running at full tilt.

    Before I decided to make my characters more fallible I was originally going to have them stranded and fight with the guerilla for a while though now I can say this is not going to happen.

    El Pip As they say, each war makes the old tricks new again. This engagement is the first encounter the Japanese have had with Q-Ships, Edgehill is the first of her type in the Pacific and the Americans don't run any, so it remains to be seen how fast they learn, but learn they will.

    I must say though that the Japanese have yet to make the connection between Edgehill and the partisans. As far as the Navy knows she's merely a commerce raider or intelligence gatherer, and the Army isn't even aware of her yet. The IJN and IJA hate each other as we know and it will likely take the massed appearance of British Weapons to have someone make the connection.

    As for the cliffhanger, I have the next chapter mapped out and it won't have one as it is where Ian and company depart from this plotline. I will revisit this whole thing in the future, but in what form I don't know yet.

    And thanks.
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  16. #5716
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    I just wonder when the Klingons do appear in this AAR
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  17. #5717
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Funny you should say that.....
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  18. #5718
    Major
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    Considering the Klingons were an analogy for the Soviets and that the soviets are the bad guys I'm guessing the next chapter either has the SU in trouble or something in North America?

  19. #5719
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Not really. Though I did have to stop myself several times from just turning this into an adaptation of the Kobayashi Maru Scenario from Star Trek 2.
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