The ABDA cruiser line of battle braces itself (see below) for the long expected charge of the First Japanese destroyer flotilla. Six attackers in all, still each carrying half a payload of deadly long lance torpedoes.
Thankfully for ABDA the defensive fire from the cruisers was withering. The leading Japanese destroyer that posed the most imminent threat being shattered. All of her upper-works gone, armaments zero, she came on a blazing wreck. Another was left badly damaged, however their heroic sacrifice paved the way for the rest of the flotilla's attack.
On they came. The Japanese numbers meant "something" was likely to get through in the end (see above), if not this turn then maybe the next.
Meanwhile confusion reigned at the head of the ABDA line of battle. The flagship De Ruyter was still suffering from catastrophic loss of power and was barely making any headway. This drew murderous attention from the Second Japanese destroyer flotilla and she suffered yet another critical loss of power leaving her dead in the water.
HMS Exeter chose to plough on into the heart of the battle, lessening the range and confronting the IJNS Nachi to a personal duel. HMS Exeter was down to half gun strength, the IJNS Nachi as well as being a bigger beast to start off with, had three quarters of her guns and was better armoured. HMS Exeter was stalwart, she had been here before, against an even more deadlier foe (Note: The KM Graf Spee in the 1939 Battle of the River Plate) and knew someone had to be "under the guns".
HMS Perth tried gave as much support as possible as she turned in succession.
Ominously the Japanese Second Destroyer Flotilla (led by the IJNS Naka, a light cruiser) split into two torpedo attack groups. One aimed at HMS Exeter (see the three destroyers top right) the other (middle right) at the struggling De Ruyter.
At the requisite GQII phase the Japanese admiral announced: Fish in the water, many, many fish ...