Keynes' Cruisers Volume 2

Sea of Japan, February 16, 1944

The fleet was at sea as a coherent whole for the first time in over a year. Two purpose built fleet carriers and four conversions of various usefulness comprised the primary air striking arm. The three monster battleships with their foot and a half guns were the core of the gun line. A few ships built before the Tokyo Earthquake could have beefed up the numbers, but the value that they contributed did not justify the oil that they would burn. Half a dozen cruisers including Asama and Ibuki were operating to brush aside any screen and to act as limited radar pickets. Two dozen escorting destroyers looked for American and British submarines, although the minefields at Tshumina had probably worked as no ships had been torpedoed in this confined sea since the war began.

Two days to train together, two days to revisit doctrines that had been revised while officers waited for their ships to be repaired. Two days to make a collection of hulls into a plausible fleet. It would not be enough, but it was what the oil reserves would allow.

It looks like Shinano has been completed as a battleship. Hmm... could be interesting....
 
Completing Shinano as a battleship will also allow the IJN to begin work on another Unryuu-class several months ahead of OTL.
I was wondering how to get that 9th aircraft carrier for my ATL Philippine Sea. It still turns out I need to buzzcut Shinano and flattop her, but maybe I can find the steel and dockyard workers somewhere else?
 
I was wondering how to get that 9th aircraft carrier for my ATL Philippine Sea. It still turns out I need to buzzcut Shinano and flattop her, but maybe I can find the steel and dockyard workers somewhere else?
The steel would come from scrapping the protected cruisers Hirado and Yahagi (5,000 tons each), the light cruisers Yodo (1,250 tons), Ning Hai (2,526 tons), and Ping Hai (2,448 tons), armoured cruisers Izumo and Iwate (~9,300 tons each), Yakumo (9,500 tons), Asama (9,560 tons) and the fourth Yamato-class battleship under construction (which was 30% complete when scrapped in OTL).

For shipyard workers, just take them back from the army. In OTL, the IJA made a habit of conscripting shipyard workers in order to screw of the IJN.
 
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The steel would come from scrapping the protected cruisers Hirado and Yahagi (5,000 tons each), the light cruisers Yodo (1,250 tons), Ning Hai (2,526 tons), and Ping Hai (2,448 tons), and the fourth Yamato-class battleship under construction (which was 30% complete when scrapped in OTL).

For shipyard workers, just take them back from the army. In OTL, the IJA made a habit of conscripting shipyard workers in order to screw of the IJN.
I need ~5,000 workers/shipfitters and 25,000 tonnes of steel. Get back with you, if it works. Might want to keep that fourth hull just in case.
 
For shipyard workers, just take them back from the army. In OTL, the IJA made a habit of conscripting shipyard workers in order to screw of the IJN.
I've never heard of this before. I believe you, don't get me wrong. It just jives with everything I've ever read about how wildly dysfunctional everything about Japan's war effort was. This level of pettiness is something else. It is a minor miracle Japan got as far as they did OTL given how much the army and navy loathed each other.
 
Story 2426
Northern Italy, February 17, 1944

He should be dead. That was the only thought in his mind. A mortar shell landed four feet in front and slightly to the left of him. He was in the butterfly wing of death. He had been standing up in a combat crouch running to cover as the other part of the squad was laying down suppressive fire while he and three other men were bounding forward. He should be dead if that mortar shell had exploded. Somewhere, a slave laborer had saved his life with work that was precisely sloppy enough to derail the fuse without raising the suspicion of the German quality control team.

He would think about this shell for years but now he threw himself on the ground and began to fire as the other chunk of the squad prepared to leap forward another thirty yards against the German outpost and skirmish line.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
I've never heard of this before. I believe you, don't get me wrong. It just jives with everything I've ever read about how wildly dysfunctional everything about Japan's war effort was. This level of pettiness is something else. It is a minor miracle Japan got as far as they did OTL given how much the army and navy loathed each other.
Perhaps an advance into the Solomons & the Aleutians was a desperate attempt by the IJN to get as far away from the IJA as possible?
 
Story 2426
Attu, Alaska, February 17, 1944

The hut was shaking as ninety mile an hour winds that had started the previous evening were still going. Thirty seven men were inside the steel shell. A few were sleeping. A few were cooking. Three were reading radio repair manuals in the corner. Near the entrance, two men were taking off their cold weather gear. They had been outside checking the weather station and making an emergency repair to the antenna for the past hour.

One spoke to the other....

"You know, now that I think about it, the blonde was not worth it...."

"But the admiral had two daughters...."

"Yeah, the red head was still worth it...."
 
Perhaps an advance into the Solomons & the Aleutians was a desperate attempt by the IJN to get as far away from the IJA as possible?

Subsequent historical research shows that the Aleutians operation was "a Japanese army idea" tacked onto the Midway operation. Yamamoto allowed it, thus burning up oil he did not have and frittering away two flattops he should have used at Midway.
 
Subsequent historical research shows that the Aleutians operation was "a Japanese army idea" tacked onto the Midway operation. Yamamoto allowed it, thus burning up oil he did not have and frittering away two flattops he should have used at Midway.
The Imperial Japanese, at least in WW2, seemed to consistently assemble Rube-Goldbergesque plans and strategies. And then scramble around trying to fix the fallout of their beautiful plans being pushed back against.
 
Story 2427
February 18, 1944 Maug Islands
Three warships that were, in any accounting of naval power mere afterthoughts, dropped anchor several hundred yards away from the edge of the the sunken volcano. USS Manley and Colhoun lowered boats into the water. An infantry company gingerly climbed into the craft before they slowly and carefully penetrated the gap between the north and the east island. The boats curved to a small shelf of land that was secured by the time the XO aboard the Manley could get his third cup of coffee in the morning.

Over the next twelve hours, an engineering platoon, an underwater demolitions team and most importantly, an air search radar team were landed from the small destroyer transports. As night fell, the sea plane tender USS Chandeleur anchored a few hundred yards off the small encampment. She was the reason for this operation. A Navy Catalina squadron would arrive at first light to extend the scouting perimeter of the Marianas and to protect the supply routes of operations further to the east.
 
Story 2428
Philippines Sea, February 19, 1944

5th Fleet turned to the south. The seven fleet carriers, five light carriers and five fast battleships along with the dozens of lighter escorting warships would rendezvous with the tanker group to refuel before moving further east. Today's strikes against the volcanic Bonin Islands had been successful. Less than a dozen aircraft had been lost or pushed over the side and only seven aircrew men would not be able to fly in three days. For that light cost, an airfield complex had been wrecked, dozens of bombers and fighters destroyed on the ground or flamed in the air and a trio of transports sunk. Even more importantly, hundreds of nugget pilots had tasted combat for the first time. They had passed their first true test with flying colors.

Radar operators would stay awake with their eyes glued to their screens but the rest of the task force could slightly relax as the fleet sought out sea room.
 
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