Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The Battle of The Java Sea: Destroyers doing their bit

The tight end-game approaches and the light forces manoeuvre for position, particularly now that the ABDA main battle line firepower is diminished and the IJN are spread out rather than concentrated.

First, a classic "crossing the T" manoeuvre from the IJN Second Destroyer Flotilla, Second Division. Although depleted of torpedoes (well, ABDA thinks/hopes so), the gun line from these three fresh, untouched Japanese destroyers is formidable even against a shot-up heavy cruiser like HMS Exeter. Certainly a lot of trouble for the last floating modern ABDA destroyer heading their way (see below).

Next: For every action these is an equal and opposite reaction. The Japanese First Destroyer Flotilla continues with its death or glory charge against the ABDA cruiser line (see below). In so doing engaging in a gun battle (or as the ABDA player puts it, "shot them up") with the WWI era USN destroyers trailing the ABDA battle-line.

This IJN aggressiveness caused a wistful retirement of the US WWI destroyers after taking punishing hits from the modern IJN destroyers (placed below the last ABDA cruiser on the right hand side, see above and below).

Funny how things work out! Into harms way or their moment of glory? As they will either "cross the T" of or bump into the IJN Second Destroyer Flotilla, First Division, with accompanying Flag Light Cruiser (the IJNS Naka).

A case of out of the frying pan into the fire for the four-stacker's? They are the last destroyer force with a full complement of torpedoes.

Will you now forgive me readers if I confess that we are still waiting to play out the last bit of this epic (will we ever finish it) wargame in a fortnight's time? Sorry I guess we're talk too much as we are unexpectedly enthralled by it. Hope this is not too much of a tease ...


David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

The whole saga has been enthralling and I have really enjoyed this account - we seem to be at the 'reeling-punch-drunk-and-battered-heavyweight-boxers-standing-toe-to-toe' phase (think Rocky 2 for this!)and the narrative is exhausting! Bring on the final round I say!

Very well done sir and all the best!


Paul said...

Bah Humbug! I hate waiting. Nice post.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Cheers DC,

I'm hooked into seeing how this one finishes, it never seems quite as clear cut as I thought it would be


The wait won't be long as I got my dates mixed-up and we actually played it tonight (1st March)

So the next post shouldn't be too long in coming


Al said...

Take us a couple of close-ups of some of your ships would you Geordie?

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

I'll see if I can get the aviator to swoop down a little closer