Torpedoes exhausted, all guns wrecked and now suicidally close to two Japanese heavy cruisers, HMS Encounter had but one recourse of action left and a rather drastic one at that.
"Hard to port helm, maximum revolutions and brace for impact" were the last commands given from the bridge of HMS Encounter. She sliced through the water at an impressive 10cm, against the now badly limping Hagero with her stiff rudder mustering a mere 3cm in return. The dice were rolled, nothing was certain ... IMPACT.
The IJN Hagero was a very formidable frame but the plucky destroyer torn into her amidships causing more serious flooding and a precious half hull box to be lost. Quick thinking inside the Hagero saved her from complete loss of power, but she teetered precariously close (half a hull box away) to being just an armoured marker buoy.
HMS Encounter was not so lucky, or some would say she had run her luck to the full. Four hull boxes damage broke her back and the RN destroyer was despatched to the depths with a final burst of secondary and main armament from the Hagero as her guns bore on the floating wreck astern.
Again the Japanese officers on the bridge saluted the gallantry of their adversaries.