PDA

View Full Version : Allied attack on Yamato – 8 April 1945



paulhager
05-15-2011, 10:49 AM
As I near the end of the “Chuck” Heston career, I set up for the obligatory attack on the Yamato in early April 1945. I previously documented this attack in Alexander “Alex” Skarsgård’s 3rd Patrol (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/6421019045/m/1811081619). For Heston’s career, I strove to set up my attack to coincide with the US aerial attack on the Yamato.

Since I knew from the Skarsgård Patrol (http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/6421019045/m/1811081619) that the Yamato would appear a day late (8 April) and at 31° 25’ N, 128° 35 E @ 1032 base time, I set up some distance to the south. TF speed would be 24 knots so my plan was that once I’d made contact, I’d run due south at flank. Because the TF zig zagged, running a straight course should guarantee that I’d stay far enough ahead to delay my attack until the air strike materialized.

The plan worked to perfection. The TF appeared and I began my southerly sprint. At 1236, the TF had completed another zig and was headed at 179° true, speed 24 knots – position was 30° 48’ N, 128° 30 E. Four minutes later aircraft appeared to the SE, bound for the TF. I immediately reversed course, headed for the heart of the TF and the Yamato.

The TF opened fire on the approaching aircraft at 1243. The following screen shot taken at 1245 shows aircraft skirting the port side (eastern flank) of the TF – one has been hit and is trailing fire and smoke.

http://i1084.photobucket.com/albums/j408/paulhager/01_1245.jpg


The first wave swept to the north, turned, and made its attack from between the west and NW. Within a minute after this first attack, the second wave, coming from the SE hit. Here’s a screen shot of 4 aircraft diving on the Yamato.

http://i1084.photobucket.com/albums/j408/paulhager/02_1249.jpg


To this point, no hits had registered on any Japanese ships. The aircraft pressed the attack, which continued to consist of two simultaneous waves: one circled around the TF and attacked from the opposite side (W-NW) of the principal threat axis while a second attacked along it (SE-E). Here’s a screen shot of another attack coming from the W-NW sector.

http://i1084.photobucket.com/albums/j408/paulhager/03_1254.jpg


I captured the first hits in a screen shot at 1255.

http://i1084.photobucket.com/albums/j408/paulhager/04_1255_2Hits.jpg


I can’t say that I caught every hit. Aside from periodically having to con the sub and prepare to radio in a contact report (for game purposes – obviously HQ knew were the Yamato was), the simulation for the attack didn’t show bomb drops. I suspect that there were so many aircraft in play that either the game was unable to show bombs or they were deliberately suppressed. Another possibility was that some of the hits were from torpedoes – some of the aircraft attacking were Avengers.

The following screen shot, taken through the periscope at 1306, shows a large explosion on the bow of the Yamato that is best explained as a torpedo hit.

http://i1084.photobucket.com/albums/j408/paulhager/05_1306_periscope.jpg


When I took this shot, I had already gotten off my report and had a target solution for the Yamato. I was within a minute or so of firing a full salvo from the bow tubes. The lead escort was out of position – it may have been damaged – and my only concern was the nearest port side escort.

I fired the salvo but neglected to do my usual “walking” of the salvo to the stern. In retrospect, it was less an oversight than it was being focused on how the air attack played out. In the event, four of the six passed harmlessly across the bow. Two scored solid hits.

After the torpedoes hit, the Yamato slowed and began to zig. The escorts continued to engage aircraft but also turned to deal with the sub threat. As the sub passed 200’, the troublesome near escort dropped a full pattern from directly above. I ordered flank and a port emergency turn. It appeared that I had emerged unscathed but a quick check revealed that the bow tubes were out of commission and one of the electric motors was off line. I have two repair specialists on board so I wasn’t particularly concerned.

While I focused on eluding the escorts, the battle continued on the surface and in the sky. One of several escorts that was circling the sub’s position was hit amidships at 1315. This escort must have suffered previous damage because it sank soon after this screen shot.

http://i1084.photobucket.com/albums/j408/paulhager/06_1315_escort-hit.jpg


It was around the time the escort was hit that I realized the Yamato wasn’t sailing away. It had begun steaming in a clockwise circle while being pummeled by aircraft. Here are two screenshots from 1323 and 1324, respectively.

http://i1084.photobucket.com/albums/j408/paulhager/07_1323_More-hits.jpg

http://i1084.photobucket.com/albums/j408/paulhager/08_1324_Bracketed.jpg


By 1400, the air attack was over, the skies had cleared, and the Yamato was still steaming at medium speed in a circle. All damage had been repaired on the sub, and I had commenced torpedo reload. The closest escorts were 1,200 yards away but at 400’ depth and with 15 m/s winds, I felt reasonably safe.

At 1427 two tubes had been loaded and the Yamato was between 3,000 and 4,000 yards away, still circling. Perhaps my interference in the movement of the TF had gummed up the air attack in some fashion. Maybe the Yamato was going to despawn soon. The family was preparing to leave for our regular Sunday breakfast out. It had been storming during the night and, although it had slacked off, I couldn’t be sure it wouldn’t intensify while we were out. Suffice that I saved and left the game.

Upon returning, the save bug bit. The TF wasn’t large but the number of aircraft involved must have been in the hundreds. A large number of the ones shot down were on the map as gray sunken ship symbols. When the game has to leave a large number of icons on the map, it seems to tax the graphics engine and/or GUI. I suspect that was what did me in. I’m not really disappointed by this – when/if I finish the Heston career, I’m going to put the game aside for awhile. I have some other projects I’ve been neglecting.

I did learn some things about large aerial battles. Ships are attacked but the effect of individual attacks may not be shown or shown without full graphics. Also, the ship that was supposed to be sunk here was still afloat after the attack. I don’t know if the Yamato was going to circle and eventually sink, despawn in place, or sail to its destination and then despawn. I’ll leave it to others to answer those questions.

donna577
05-15-2011, 03:52 PM
Nice screen shots...did you get the kill credit?

paulhager
05-15-2011, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by donna577:
Nice screen shots...did you get the kill credit?

No. The Yamato was still very much alive when I left the game. I got the corrupted save but and that was the end.

However, one item I didn't mention was that this was a replay of the patrol. I had already sunk the Yamato with bow and stern salvos - 10 torpedoes in all. I became curious about when the air attack would occur and how it would play out so I went back to the in port save, and started the patrol all over. That was another reason I didn't care that much if I lost the game because of the save bug. I still have the original patrol to complete from around 15 April.

MWolfe1963
05-15-2011, 07:48 PM
Yea, saving sucks, I just use pause. I've paused games for days at times to do other things. It takes a minute for the game to smooth out when you come back, but never had a problem.

The Y would eventually despawn in the area it sunk.

Those plane bombs can do great damage, but no US torp planes. I love attacking when planes attack as it usually takes less torps, but sometimes you get robbed of kills. If you do a lot of damage and a plane scores the death blow it often will not give you credit...sometimes it doe's, sometimes it doesn't...Also seems if you can score damage first, you will get the credit.

Great report...keep out of the SS contest.