Friday, 3 December 2010

The Battle of the Java Sea: The Maelstrom [3]

In summary:
  • Saving Grace: Precious time is bought for the ABDA command structure as the torch is passed on
  • The last will and testament of the destroyer HMS Encounter
The emotional rage of the IJN response to the torpedo attack gave Admiral Doorman a fleeting opportunity (with no interfering shell splashes) to pull the crippled De Ruyter out of the line, to flag a general state of distress and signalling in plain English to HMS Exeter "TAKE COMMAND - IMMEDIATE".

On the far left the plucky HMS Electra attempted a torpedo attack on her light cruiser adversary, but scored no hits and in return took a telling hit to her boilers, which left her dead in the water.

Meanwhile aboard the shattered bridge of HMS Encounter a calm, fatalistic sense of professionalism took hold. The helm was swung dramatically to port by some ninety degrees. The damaged engine room machinery painfully whined at maximum revolutions. A shrill klaxon boomed out the ludicrous peacetime warning of "DANGER COLLISION", surreal by its sheer understatement. The last word from the bridge to engine room was a curt "Chief. We're going to ram the bugger. Give me what you've got left then your boys out".

The deliberate self-destructive nature of the action was clear to all watching. On the bridge of the Haguro consternation rose to fever pitch as for some unknown reason the already slowed cruiser was now no longer answering to her helm.

Deep in the stern of the Haguro lay the wreckage caused by the last shot fired by HMS Encounter. A 4.7" standard Admiralty HE shell had exploded wrecking the steering mechanism of the Haguro, on nothing short of a critical hit.

AND SO TIME STOPS ... Noooooo! It hurt us too, but we had played one hour of the two hour historical "day period" of the battle (in a full evening, taken at a leisurely gentleman's chatting pace). The game had to be halted at that juncture, as we all had homes to go to ...certainly To Be Continued, but rest assured it will be played to a conclusion as all all key measurements were taken and reported here :)


Tim Gow said...

Aaaah - the tension! Continue this soon please!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

I know was hoping the original Doorman would take up the reigns again but fate has conspired to keep us apart for over a month now

I will have to find a captain of HMS Exeter to move it forward

I don't want to put this one down, although still tough for ABDA (the sea is literally full of IJN destroyers) it has panned out much more even than historical battle

Partly as Doorman was criticised for not deploying a destroyer screen, they hung back and hence the ADBA cruisers bumped into IJN heavies to the Japanese in a situational advantage

Paul said...

Aggghhhhh! Thats ruined my day now, Great post Geordie.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

I'll try and paint some 20mm tanks in the meantime Paul ;)

But if truth be told I want to finish the darn thing off pronto, but with this silly cold spell in the UK gawd only knows when I'll get back to the wargames table

The wife isn't keen on playing IJN or ABDA, something about if I'd of only known about tjis beforehand ... :(

My oldest son too keen to play (nay break) my toys, whereas my youngest son would try and eat them. My in between daughter's favourite words being "Why Daddy. Play horses now"


Beccas said...

I look forward to part 2.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Cheers Beccas

I see if I can get the Admirals together!