Friday, 17 August 2012

WWII Naval Musing: Early and Late Pacific USN

From ancient triremes to WWII battle-wagons and flat-tops. I live in a strange universe, such are my tastes.

Scratching around in the loft for a "misplaced electrical item" post-home move of some four months now revealed a forgotten pre-Xmas 2011 mini-project of mine. Some 1/3000 Pacific USN ships. The first in the context of  "an alternative battle set-up" could potentially have fought in The Battle of the Java Sea, that is had she not been caught and crippled by the Japanese Imperial Air Fleets (and subsequently scuttled). I present the USN Langley in her 1942 guise as a Seaplane Tender (see below):  

She started her life as a lowly collier (the Jupiter) but was converted in 1920 into the US Navy's first experimental aircraft carrier. Her fate was then twisted her from flat-top first team to backup in 1937 (pre-war contingency planning coming into play methinks, as a seaplane tender she did not count as tonnage to aircraft carriers) to a Seaplane Tender. When the Japanese caught her near Java she was packed with 32 Curtiss P40 Warhawks which if landed could have made a difference replacing the obsolete Brewster Buffaloes in the air defense of Java. With better top cover ABTA may well have had better pre-battle intelligence and fared better psychologically too. The model is still to be based, is from Navwar, code N6206A (see below):

This is a photograph that could never have happened. The USN Langley (then long sunk) with the rebuilt battleships of the Pearl Harbour 'Tora Tora Tora' battleship squadrons, all that is apart from the Arizona which suffered a magazine explosion on the day that utterly destroyed her. They again are Navwar ship models (see below). Codes: USN Mississippi (N6108a), USN West Virginia (N6106B), USN Pennsylvania (N6109B), USN Maryland (N6106A), USN Tennessee and USN California (both N6107A).  

A final close-up of the USN Mississippi (see below). The camera is on my BB and sadly only goes so far in catching detail. I'll have to did around in the loft again to see if I can find it and unearth some other treasures as the same time!

These ships were drawn up to the 'almost ready for battle stage' (I have their cardboard bases stored next to them to complete) as I was reading up about the Leyte Gulf and in particular the Japanese "bluff" which brought about. The Battle of the Surigao Strait. Not a fair sided battle for sure but as one who appreciates "hopeless causes" to aid in the 'grand scheme of things' an utterly enthralling affair. Yes I also have the Japanese units for this engagement, with a few cruisers I suspect needing painting attention.  


Paul said...

Hi mate, I have just purchased some NAVWAR modern stuff myself and am looking at some rulesets that do not suck the life out of me.

Any thoughts?

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Take a look at a set of rules called Ship Wreck:

Yahoo group:

Alternatively there is always Larry Bond's Harpoon, but I found it a little dry and complicated