Flat Top double blind

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Jens F Hansen
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu 15 Nov, 2012 07:48

Re: Flat Top double blind

Postby Jens F Hansen » Tue 24 Jan, 2017 15:30

Coming from Fyn so I do not know yet.

See you.
Adventures famous last words: I think the dragon is sleeping.

Thomas Persson
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu 01 Sep, 2016 19:52

Re: Flat Top double blind

Postby Thomas Persson » Tue 24 Jan, 2017 18:23

Don't stress yourself, we start when you're there.

Stefan Karolyi-Brink
Posts: 337
Joined: Thu 21 Oct, 2010 10:51

Re: Flat Top double blind

Postby Stefan Karolyi-Brink » Wed 25 Jan, 2017 07:32

I'll be there around 1630...

Back to stealth mode..

Thomas Persson
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu 01 Sep, 2016 19:52

Re: Flat Top double blind

Postby Thomas Persson » Thu 26 Jan, 2017 15:31

1941, 22 December 02:00 – 10:00
USN - Jens " Balls of Steel" Hansen
IJN - Stefan Karolyi-Brink
The final hours

The USN were operating three carrier forces ESE of Wale island.

CV Saratoga with CA Astoria, CA Minneapolis, and CA San Fransisco and six destroyers
CV Lexington with CA Chicago, CA Indianapolis and CA Portland and eight destroyers
CV Enterprise, CA New Orleans, CA Northampton, CA Salt Lake City and nine destroyers

The Saratoga arrived at the start of battle and had managed to avoid detection during the previous day, while it awaited the arrival of Lexington and Enterprise.

The USN had located two IJN carrier groups N of Wake Island, heading E, in the previous afternoon. In order to engage these the USN moved their submarine force into the area NE of Wake. The USN had a significant advantage in subs, outnumbering the IJN 7 to 2.

The USN force discovered by the IJN the previous afternoon E of Wake, heading straight for Wake, consisted of two destroyers and a fast transport. They moored in Wake harbor around 22:00 on the 21:st and the transport started offloading marines and supplies in order to reinforce the Wake garrison. The two destroyers immediately sailed E, perhaps on an anti-submarine patrol. With no presence of IJN subs or planes the transfer of men and goods from the transport went smoothly and everything was offloaded by 06:00 on the 22:st.

The IJN carrier forces that were discovered, just before nightfall on the 21:st, by the USN B-17:s N of Wake Island steaming E made an about turn and started heading W.

The IJN carrier forces consisted of:

CV Hiryu, CAV Chikuma, and a destroyer
CV Soryu, CAV Tone and a destroyer

They started a counter clockwise circle of Wake Island, staying within strike distance, to be ready to launch against Wake. As they had reversed direction during the night they, without knowing so, avoided the USN submarine force which was heading out NE from Wake to catch them. USN also launched reconnaissance flight in Wakes NE quadrant but there was nothing to find.

The IJN landing force entered the battle area straight to the S of Wake around 03:00. With the troop transport ships came an IJN surface force consisting of CA Aoba, CA Furutaka, CA Kako, CA Kinugasa, CL Tatsuta, CL Tenryu, CL Yubari and 14 destroyers.

As the USN was concerned mostly with the area N, NE and E of Wake the IJN transport force sailed peacefully N and were within three hours of Wake at game end.
Around 03:00 the IJN launched their Mavis reconnaissance planes from their Kwajalein base straight S of Wake island. The IJN estimate of where the, hitherto unseen, USN carriers would be was remarkably good. The IJN planes flew straight into the sea area where the USN carriers were operating ESE of Wake. Unfortunately for the IJN the planes were sent in to positions right in between the USN carrier groups but just out of visual range. The situation looked quite peculiar with some plane sections virtually surrounded by USN carriers and quite unaware of their predicament. The USN carriers, being equipped with radar, had the IJN planes under observance. The IJN the chose to put the planes in holding position, probably to act as a detection barrier if the carriers would try to pass after sunrise. The USN started to maneuver their carrier forces away from the stationary plane sections and also launched Wildcats to intercept. The first interception attempt failed with the Wildcats losing the Mavis section in the darkness.

The Lady Lex unfortunately made a miscalculation and sunrise came to reveal her to one of the stationary Mavis sections, which immediately reported in the position. The IJN quickly detected two more carrier groups in the area. Revenge was on the way however and aggressive Wildcat sections quickly intercepted and shot down the two of the detected four Mavis sections. One more was shot down going a bit too close to inspect a detected USN carrier group.

The Lady Lex was doomed however. The Nell bombers from Kwajalein were in the air and closing in on the last known position. She did her best to outrun them and two more hours of steaming would have put her out of range, but it was not to be. A Mavis section came in from the N to report her position and then came the airstrike, 48 Nell bombers armed with torpedoes. The USN, following the raid on radar, quickly flew in what fighters were in the air from the other two carriers in the area to support the Lady Lex. The Nells met only six Wildcats at low altitude, the rest were at high altitude, and managed to hold the off without loss. The AA was a different story with a carrier, three heavy cruisers and eight destroyers all firing. Six Nells splashed but the rest launched their torpedoes.

The Lady Lex took five direct torpedo hits, crippling the ship, crumbling the flight deck and ruining the elevators. She was out and the order was given to abandon ship. The cruisers and destroyers spent the next two hours moving Lexingtons crew onto themselves, under cover from the air groups from Saratoga and Lexington. The remaining USN ships headed E for Hawaii while IJN airstrikes and cruiser gun fire started reducing the defenses at Wake Island. The IJN marine infantry landed at 22:00. The Wake Island garrison surrendered on the 23:rd of December at 06:00.

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