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The 3rd Battle of Java Sea

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#1 W. Clark

W. Clark


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Posted 30 May 2017 - 12:54 AM

We fought this at Enfilade.


The Third Battle of Java Sea

Time: 1200 hours  Wind: Force 5         Speed: 20 knots     Direction: South

Max Visibility: 16,000 yards     Cloud Cover: Overcast    Squalls: 6

Squall Visibility: 6,000 yards    Sea Haze: None     Relative Bearing: Dead Ahead

ANZAC Squadron: Rear Admiral Crace (RAN)

Heading: 270 degrees     Speed: 25 knots

Heavy Division: RAdm Crace     Light Division: Commodore Collins (RAN)

HMAS Australia CA flag              HMAS Hobart CL flag

HMAS Canberra CA                      HMNZS Achilles CL

USS Astoria CA                               HMNZS Leander CL

USS Chicago CA

USS Louisville CA

Australian DesDiv                         DesRon 2 (-)

HMAS Napier DD                          USS Sims DD

HMAS Nestor DD                          USS Anderson DD

HMAS Nizam DD                           USS Hughes DD

HMAS Vampire DD                       USS Hammann DD

Surabaya Invasion Convoy: Vice Admiral Takahashi (IJN)

Heading: 90 degrees        Speed: 15 knots

Cruiser Division: VAdm Takahashi                  DesFlot 4: RAdm Nishimura (IJN)

IJNS Ashigara CA flag                                           IJNS Naka CL flag

IJNS Maya CA                                                         DesDiv 2

Cruiser Squadron 5: RAdm Takagi (IJN)         IJNS Harusame DD

IJNS Haguro CA flag                                              IJNS Murasame DD

IJNS Myoko CA                                                       IJNS Samidare DD

IJNS Nachi CA                                                         IJNS Yudachi

DesFlot 2: RAdm Tanaka (IJN)                          DesDiv 9

IJNS Jintsu CL flag                                                  IJNS Asagumo DD

DesDiv 16                                                                IJNS Minegumo DD

IJNS Amatsukaze DD                                            DesDiv 24

IJNS Hatsukaze DD                                               IJNS Yamakaze DD

IJNS Tokitsukaze DD                                            IJNS Kawakaze DD

IJNS Yukikaze DD                                                  IJNS Chitose AV

12 AP


The ABDA had suffered multiple disasters on 28 February and 1 March 1942. The bulk of Rear Admiral Doorman’s Striking Force had been defeated and then hunted down and sunk including all of its cruisers. There had been one bright note however in that Rear Admiral Takagi had taken his fears during the battle to heart and had aborted the first Surabaya invasion convoy.


The result of Takagi’s aborting the convoy was that although the Western Attack Force had invaded Java near Batavia; it lacked the second landing at Surabaya. Dutch forces, not having to with stand a two pronged assault were holding the Japanese near Batavia.


Vice Admiral Takahashi, Takagi’s superior decided to try again with additional strength in the form of three more heavy cruisers. During this interval American naval reinforcements for North Australia had arrived (March 9) in the form of three heavy cruisers and a division of destroyers and been placed under the command of Rear Admiral Crace (RAN). Crace decided to try and intercept the expected second invasion attempt against Surabaya. He didn’t know if he could stop the invasion; but he did know that Java was acting as an outwork for Australia and his mission was to keep the Japanese off of Australian soil. He believed that as long as Java held out; no invasion of Australia would occur.


This then is the AAR of this what if scenario of a last hurrah at defending the Malay Barrier. The action takes place during the latter half of GT6 of the “Defending the Malay Barrier Campaign”.


Admiral Crace led the squadron in HMS Australia. At 16,000 yards Australia’s mastheads spotted Ashigara and they opened on one another missing. Crace turned his cruiser column 2 points starboard while Takahashi made a 4 point turn to starboard also.


Admiral Tanka turned DesFlot 2 to port to oppose the Australian destroyer division while Admiral Nishimura increased speed to take on DesRon 2 to starboard.


Over the next 24 minutes the two cruiser columns pounded one another with Australian and US gunnery triumphing over the Japanese. Ashigara was left sinking while Maya was sunk. Haguro with a rudder hit blundered helplessly into the center of the Allies where she was shot to pieces. Myoko lost a fore turret and was slowed to 30 knots. Nachi alone escaped unscathed. On the other hand torpedoes from Myoko sunk Canberra after Haguro had pounded her into a wreck. Australia had lost three turrets and been slowed to 26 knots. Astoria had lost a turret and was slowed to 21 knots between hull and engine hits. Chicago too, had lost a fore turret while an engineering hit had slowed her to 21 knots. Louisville and the three light cruisers were untouched.


To the west; Jinstu had blown up from non-penetrating hits near her fore guns that started a chain reaction among her ammunition parties that spread to her forward magazine. Harusame was sunk by some 9 hits that set her afire and damaged her engines. Murasame lost her forward gun and suffered hull damage that slowed her to 15 knots. Samidare was reduced to 31 knots while Yudachi escaped unscathed. In return, Nestor lost a torpedo mount while Vampire was slowed to 26 knots. The Australians seemed to lead charmed lives until Nestor also suffered a magazine explosion.


To the east Naka and 8 destroyers took on DesRon 2’s 4 Sims class destroyers. Naka lost a gun; Amatsukaze was slowed to 32 knots and Tokitsukaze loss a torpedo mount. In return Hughes was reduced to 32 knots.


Nishimura upon realizing he was the sole surviving flag officer ordered a withdrawal under smoke and aborted the in invasion of Surabaya again.

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