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Solomons August 1942


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#1 W. Clark

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Posted 16 September 2022 - 09:09 PM

 

Beans and Bullets

 

It is mid-August 1942 and both the Allies and the Japanese are trying to run supplies to their troops on Guadalcanal. Both sides are also trying to attrite the other side with bombardments and stopping the other side’s supply efforts.

 

It was a dark and stormy night somewhere behind Rear Admiral Lee, but it seemed clear weather ahead. The moon was in a quarter state. RAdm Lee’s Task Group consisted of the new battleships North Carolina and Washington (roll a 1 for theater events and get your reward) with Lee’s flag in the former. RAdm Lee had DesRon 4 with him as well.

 

Lee’s TG was on a heading of 225 degrees in three columns. USS Selfridge leading with her 1st division (USS Jarvis, Mugford, Patterson & Ralph Talbot) were in the starboard column while her other division (USS Henley, Helm, Blue & Bagley) were in the port column. The bats were in the central column and echeloned back.

 

RAdm Lee’s TG established radar contact at 20,000 yards from what appeared to be a slow-moving column of ships inshore on a heading of 275 degrees. RAdm Lee increased the speed of his starboard column and bats while slowing his port column as he turned about two points to starboard to make it possible to get into a line ahead. His radar could count 10 ships but they all appeared to be of a similar size (We Japanese build our light cruisers small so we can hide in our destroyers).

 

USS Selfridge after about 12 minutes could see a Japanese destroyer at 8,000 yards and they opened on one another. The exchange was one sided as the Selfridge hit (what turned out to be) Mochizuki twice for nothing in return (more of this to come).

 

DesRon 4’s 1st division now fired star shell illuminating the front of the Japanese column and revealing (IJN cruisers Tenryu, Tatsuta and Yubari as well at four Mutsuki class destroyers and three Minekaze class destroyers. Some of the Japanese destroyers also fired star shell illuminating Selfridge and her 1st division.

 

Selfridge and Mugford opened on the second and third IJN cruisers with Mugford scoring a hit on the third cruiser. Patterson firing rapidly hit Yuzuki three times lighting small fires that illuminated her along with the star shell. Other American destroyer fire as well the Japanese return fire was ineffective. North Carolina now chimed in and hit Yunagi (second IJN destroyer division) twice. All other fire was ineffective and the second American destroyer division had not yet fired at all, leaving the Japanese ignorant of its existence.

 

Three minutes later Selfridge and her first division all launched torpedoes at the Japanese line (except for a couple of spreads that were supposedly fake attacks; hey, no boom is no boom). At this point the Japanese trailing destroyer division turned to starboard and closed rapidly on Selfridge and company laying smoke in an obvious attempt to cover something behind them. A torpedo spread from Selfridge hit the Asanagi and slowed her perceptively as well as damping the fire from her forward mounts. The entire Japanese line now erupted with gun fire and hit nothing at all. Return fire from the American destroyers inflicted hits on the Japanese cruisers for no effect, but their fire at the leading destroyers inflicted two hits on Akitsuki. But it was the North Carolina and Washington that each hit Yuzuki and Asanagi respectively ten times each. This sank the Asanagi.

 

The trailing Japanese destroyers now launched all their remaining torpedoes but missed. Selfridge and company continued to pound the Japanese cruisers and lead destroyers with little or no damage in return. The trailing Japanese destroyers turned away under cover of smoke. The bats now turned their attention to the Japanese cruisers (they could finally see them) and North Carolina hit Yubari eight times.

 

At this point with American torpedoes were closing on the anchored Japanese transports (their protection being the purpose of the smoke screen) and the second American destroyer division was doing likewise; we called it a very convincing American victory. It was getting late and Rear Admiral Matsuyama (yours truly) had to get home to his long suffering JRT (Hey, I brought her a slice of pizza).
 
 This AAR was written from the American perspective by the Japanese Admiral.

 

 


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#2 W. Clark

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Posted 17 September 2022 - 11:36 AM

For anyone wondering; we used TSC start OOB (minus the carriers) to generate 4 missions (2 supply, bombardment & patrol) per side. Ships could only be assigned to 1 mission. We rolled theater events and modified the OOB by the result (if applicable). We then each rolled a D12 with 1-3 and 10-12 being the supply missions. 4-6 and 7-9 were the bombardment and patrol missions respectively. There were no contact die roll; the missions rolled were assumed to make contact and set up TSC engagement rules. This was our first naval game in some time (over a year) and we were a bit rusty. 

 

The only change I would make is to allow supply missions a chance to be under way when contacted as per DTMB. I realized that second supply mission was lacking in combat power and assigned it the APDs so it would not be so slow. Buttt; I did not review the engagement parameters and had forgotten that supply missions are at anchor to my complete chagrin.

 

One Sunk Son of Nippon


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#3 healey36

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Posted 17 September 2022 - 01:30 PM

Back when I was a teenager, I recall reading a couple of books on the Guadalcanal campaign and the related naval battles that took place in "The Slot" during the second half of 1942. I can't remember the titles, but I suspect Stan Smith's "The Navy at Guadalcanal" was one of them. My impression was, and remains, that of desperate, horrific fights fought at night, one side equipped with rudimentary radar, the other with very capable night optics, all with the blinding searchlights at close-range. Pretty terrifying stuff, as I recall.  


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#4 W. Clark

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Posted 17 September 2022 - 10:11 PM

Oh, this was desperate on my side for sure. I fired everything one turn for 25 D12 hitting on a 1 & 10 and managed to miss with every die. I just could not keep up with the rapid fire of the American 5". I used smoke and refrained from star shell for the most part to try and slow it down; but was not successful at all. I was the under dog to start with and my dice were just bad.


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#5 simanton

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Posted 17 September 2022 - 10:51 PM

Bad dice happen.....



#6 W. Clark

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Posted 18 September 2022 - 01:00 PM

My dice were so cold, they gave my slim chances of victory frost bite.


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