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Old 11-09-2019, 11:52 AM   #2
CTD - it's not just a job
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: The Crossroads of Mid-America
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The US lost all semblance of "air superiority" in the Asiatic theater on December 8th, 1941 by the early afternoon because of a lack of commitment. It seems that no one knew what to do, so most of the B-17s and P-40s that had just been shipped into the Philippines were caught on the ground. Cavite Naval Base was basically destroyed as an operational facility on December 10th, 1941, again from complacency, but also a lack of any air cover. Thereafter, it was "Retreat!"... The Otus and Holland retreated South, while the Canopus went to the Manila docks and was camouflaged in an attempt to look like a part of the dock. Subs were submerged by day, and did maintenance work by night for the next couple of weeks. By Christmas, it was decided that Manila Harbor was no place to be, so the Canopus was moved to Mariveles, and was then scuttled the night of April 8-9, 1942. However, the last of the subs serviced there were gone by the New Year.

Most of the Asiatic Fleet subs were unsuccessful with pressing home attacks. The Sugar boats had Mark 10 torps, which while more reliable than the 14s, still had a tendency to run deep ("Live" warheads). Combine that with pre-war US sub training and the use of Sonar "targeting", and you had the recipe for disaster. So if you want to be "historical", you make some attacks, but miss with just about everything you shoot at. Mis-identify a ship, set the torps too deep, etc., or just plain avoid attacks. Read about some of the attempts at penetrating Lingayen Gulf though - which has deep spots - and you can see the issues they had, especially with the Sugar boats. Even the fellows that went in to attack would have mechanical failures of every imaginable type, even some that were unimaginable, and its a wonder any of them made it to Soerabaja or Darwin.

The US subs were ordered to do "periscope patrols" during daylight hours, where you run the boat at 100+ foot depth (which was considered "deep" at that time), and come up every 15-30 minutes for a quick look-see, then go back down. They were even restricted on the use of the surface at night, in that they were not supposed to surface while the moon was out. That would limit an S-Boat severely, especially in light of the fact that half of the time, they only had one engine available, and sometimes, they'd be dead in the water with a diesel failure on one, and an electrical failure on the other... couldn't even stand still and charge their batteries - which were old and worn-out also... Recommended reading for all of the above, of course, is "Silent Victory" by Clay Blair, Jr., in spite of more "modern" revelations and the rescinding of former "Top Secret" status on some documents.

The game allows you much more leeway in what you do, and not following orders will not result in any brig time. Just so long as you sink something and score some renown points. Surface patrolling is the fastest / easiest way to go, but with an S-Boat and no radar, you do NOT want to be seen by airplanes, so an immediate crash dive is called for upon sighting one. Marking it on the map, and then coming back up 15-30 minutes later, depending upon the circumstances, and then continuing on the surface. lurker did a really good job of researching ship movements in the area, so you can either do as ordered, or hunt where you want to, based upon historical traffic. Either way, sinking something and getting away while in the early Philippine theatre will be two different stories...

"...and bollocks to the naysayer/s" - Jimbuna
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