Keynes' Cruisers Volume 2

Inter-Irish Border near Dundalk 0000, April 24, 1944

As the day turned over, the border guards on the Northern side pushed rock and water filled barrels across the road. The border between the two Irelands was closed until further notice.
Interesting

Can't see why this would be desirable. Or even feasible given the 200+ road crossings and as many more tracks.

The main road from Dublin to "Slash City" *crosses into Northern Ireland and back to Ireland several times in as many miles.

Still, I'm sure all will eventually be revealed.

* Derry/Londonderry - whichever you call will annoy one community in Northern Ireland. Hence Slash City.
 
Interesting

Can't see why this would be desirable. Or even feasible given the 200+ road crossings and as many more tracks.

The main road from Dublin to "Slash City" *crosses into Northern Ireland and back to Ireland several times in as many miles.

Still, I'm sure all will eventually be revealed.

* Derry/Londonderry - whichever you call will annoy one community in Northern Ireland. Hence Slash City.

OTL Travel was banned from March 1944 as Ireland refused to expel German diplomats.
 
Story 2496
Near Guam, April 25, 1944

USS Altamaha, and two of her sister ships turned back out of the wind. Their decks were now empty. Replacement aircraft flown by fresh from the fleet reserve air groups would soon be landing on Guam where the aircraft would be refueled and checked once more while the pilots found the head and a sandwich before heading to the fleet carriers that had suffered only light losses in their coverage of landings on pre-war Imperial Japanese home territory. The fleet would be receiving the aircraft by late afternoon and disappear again into the vastness of the Western Pacific while the three escort carriers and a pair of Hickory class gunboats headed back to Pearl Harbor to pick up another load of replacement aircraft and ensigns.
 
Near Guam, April 25, 1944

USS Altamaha, and two of her sister ships turned back out of the wind. Their decks were now empty. Replacement aircraft flown by fresh from the fleet reserve air groups would soon be landing on Guam where the aircraft would be refueled and checked once more while the pilots found the head and a sandwich before heading to the fleet carriers that had suffered only light losses in their coverage of landings on pre-war Imperial Japanese home territory. The fleet would be receiving the aircraft by late afternoon and disappear again into the vastness of the Western Pacific while the three escort carriers and a pair of Hickory class gunboats headed back to Pearl Harbor to pick up another load of replacement aircraft and ensigns.
And that's how wars are won, the logistical tail keeps the tooth sharp.

fester, you do a great job at reminding us that it is not all booms. The behind the flashy scenes are the real key to victory. Luckily the IJA and IJN never figured that out.
 
Near Guam, April 25, 1944

USS Altamaha, and two of her sister ships turned back out of the wind. Their decks were now empty. Replacement aircraft flown by fresh from the fleet reserve air groups would soon be landing on Guam where the aircraft would be refueled and checked once more while the pilots found the head and a sandwich before heading to the fleet carriers that had suffered only light losses in their coverage of landings on pre-war Imperial Japanese home territory. The fleet would be receiving the aircraft by late afternoon and disappear again into the vastness of the Western Pacific while the three escort carriers and a pair of Hickory class gunboats headed back to Pearl Harbor to pick up another load of replacement aircraft and ensigns.
Hickory class gunboats?
 
Story 2497
Scapa Flow, April 26, 1944

Home Fleet left their protected anchorage. A squadron of war emergency destroyers had already exited while the heavy ships sorted themselves out. HMS Rodney led the way. Her older sister followed. This would be the first operation the two cherry trees had been on together in years as refits, convoy operations, weather damage repairs and everything else that placed demands on the Royal Navy's modern (enough) battleship availability pool. Fifteen minutes behind Nelson, the two newest armored carriers to join the fleet after a brief work-up period followed the battleship. They were the key to the entire operation. Ten minutes behind the pair of carriers, two Norwegian manned destroyers took up the rear of the force. All radio communication would be run through them to give the German listening posts a false hand to follow.
 
Scapa Flow, April 26, 1944

Home Fleet left their protected anchorage. A squadron of war emergency destroyers had already exited while the heavy ships sorted themselves out. HMS Rodney led the way. Her older sister followed. This would be the first operation the two cherry trees had been on together in years as refits, convoy operations, weather damage repairs and everything else that placed demands on the Royal Navy's modern (enough) battleship availability pool. Fifteen minutes behind Nelson, the two newest armored carriers to join the fleet after a brief work-up period followed the battleship. They were the key to the entire operation. Ten minutes behind the pair of carriers, two Norwegian manned destroyers took up the rear of the force. All radio communication would be run through them to give the German listening posts a false hand to follow.
I can't recollect if Tirpitz has been sunk already. IF not, is the operation another RN attempt dispose of it before the RAF can grab the glory? I presume the carriers are either Implacable and Indefatigable or their equivalents TTL, maybe extras.

But IF Tirpitz or other surviving KM heavy ships are not the target AND the presence of Norwegian destroyers is significant. . . . A faked Commando operation to draw out LW and KM assets for destruction? And then fuel Hitler's paranoia over a follow up invasion?

Edited for font and correct (destinations) to destroyers.
 
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Story 2498
Near Hokkaido, April 26, 1944

USS Albacore turned away from the coast. Half a dozen men had scurried back aboard the submarine a few minutes ago from a small, inflatable rubber raft. It was now sinking after the assault team had run their bayonets through the side. Twelve blocks of plastic explosives had been placed on the small coastal railroad bridge. The acid that was supposed to eat through the metal still needed another three hours to trip the trigger. The raiders would be at least forty miles off-shore when the bridge came down. The day would be spent under water, and the night would be spent searching for targets better than fishing boats crewed by extended families.
 
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I can't recollect if Tirpitz has been sunk already. IF not, is the operation another RN attempt dispose of it before the RAF can grab the glory? I presume the carriers are either <i>Implacable </i> and <i>Indefatigable </i> or their equivalents TTL, maybe extras.

But IF Tirpitz or other surviving KM heavy ships are not the target AND the presence of Norwegian destinations is significant. . . . A faked Commando operation to draw out LW and KM assets for destruction? And then fuel Hitler's paranoia over a follow up invasion?
TIRPIRTZ was sunk in Winter 1942 by a combined USN/RN task group.
 
Near Hokkaido, April 26, 1944

USS Albacore turned away from the coast. Half a dozen men had scurried back aboard the submarine a few minutes ago from a small, inflatable rubber raft. It was now sink after the assault team had run their bayonets through the side. Twelve blocks of plastic explosives had been placed on the small coastal railroad bridge. The acid that was supposed to eat through the metal still needed another three hours to trip the trigger. The raiders would be at least forty miles off-shore when the bridge came down. The day would be spent under water, and the night would be spent searching for targets better than fishing boats crewed by extended families.
In more Northern climes those would be L fuses.
 
The USS Altamaha was a Bogue class escort carrier. How many aircraft could she and her sisters have been carrying on that mission? These ships could carry a lot, if the planes were disassembled for transport. Perhaps close to 100 depending on type. If a Bogue class carrier was on operational service her air group might be 24 to 28 planes.

But for transporting assembled, airworthy planes for launching only to their destinations, meaning they isn't any need to leave room for landings, how many airplanes could she carry for that type of mission? These are Navy single engined airplanes all with folding wings. Except for SBD Dauntless. Any guesses on how many could be crammed into the hangar deck and onto the flight deck and still permit launchings? Somewhere between 40 and 50 maybe?
 

NotBigBrother

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Near Hokkaido, April 26, 1944

USS Albacore turned away from the coast. Half a dozen men had scurried back aboard the submarine a few minutes ago from a small, inflatable rubber raft. It was now sink after the assault team had run their bayonets through the side. Twelve blocks of plastic explosives had been placed on the small coastal railroad bridge. The acid that was supposed to eat through the metal still needed another three hours to trip the trigger. The raiders would be at least forty miles off-shore when the bridge came down. The day would be spent under water, and the night would be spent searching for targets better than fishing boats crewed by extended families.
IOTL crewmembers from a submarine USS Barb put explosives under a coastal railway in then-Japanese Sakhalin and destroyed a train.
 
IOTL crewmembers from a submarine USS Barb put explosives under a coastal railway in then-Japanese Sakhalin and destroyed a train.
More importantly, I'm trying to hint that more and more USN and RN submarine patrols are coming up dry or if they are scoring kills, they are scoring kills on far smaller ships now than in the past.
 
More importantly, I'm trying to hint that more and more USN and RN submarine patrols are coming up dry or if they are scoring kills, they are scoring kills on far smaller ships now than in the past.
Are we into the deck gun and AAA gun phase of the "Barge / Sampan War" here?
 
Are we into the deck gun and AAA gun phase of the "Barge / Sampan War" here?
Some of the more adventurous skippers are thinking hard about that risk/reward trade-off. At this time, the Japanese still have enough land based air where shooting up a 30 foot wooden sampan may not be the wisest decision for a skipper looking to run up their tonnage score a few tons at a time.
 
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