Thursday, 3 March 2011

Battle of the Java Sea continued: White Lines of Death

The evil hiss of escaping compressed air was matched by the ABDA commander's sudden sharp intact of breath, sucking in cold air between his teeth. The pictures below should tell the tale why. Danger is fast closing in with the IJN destroyers moving in to launch their deadly cargo.

They decide to launch now rather than take more defensive fire and the sea is filled with white lines of death. Twenty IJN torpedoes to the ABDA four in response (all from HMAS Perth). Also note the end of the RN destroyer HMS Jupiter (see below, top right hand side), blown out of the water by gunfire from the IJN Second Destroyer Flotilla, Second Division. Still she did her duty and protected the ABDA cruiser battle-line from molestation.

The only faint hope for ABDA is that the cruisers are moving fast and the torpedoes are just outside of "effective range". The quantity is going to hurt though. (Note: ABDA poor command structure means the USS Houston and the Dutch Java can still only "follow my lead," though thankfully the IJN are completely unaware of this restriction). The sheer amount of enemy "fish" in the water, something is likely to hit ABDA hard!

On the ABDA starboard flank the USN Davis flush-decker, four stacker puts six of the best in the water to deter the IJNS light cruiser Naka from closing in on the rear of the ABDA cruiser line. Old kit, but it can still be deadly.

Far away from the main battle HMS Electra makes an attempt to retain "creep speed", but these pitiful efforts from the damage control parties cause the IJN player to order her immediate destruction. Accurate gunfire sees HMS Electra mortally wounded and capsize. The RN (and Dutch) destroyers are now all sunk (or sinking).

Next: Torpedo Impact!

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