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NAVAL WARGAME REPORT

Following is a report on a naval wargame that took place using 1:1200 miniature ship models. It is based on an engagment that might have taken place after The Battle of the Coral Sea had the Japanese invasion force continued on and met up with Admiral Crace's task force. Thanks to Roger Reynolds of Milwaukee, WI (A former Chicago Naval Wargamer of some years back) for sharing this with us.

Nav-Con 2011 - Crace’s  Race

This scenario was based on the possibility that the Japanese Port Moresby inva­sion force did not turn back after the air battles in the Coral Sea in May 1942.  Histori­cally, a combined Australian and American cruiser-destroyer group under RAN Admiral Crace had been sent to intercept the invasion group.  Had the Japanese continued on, they may have met; perhaps just south of Normanby Island, coming out of the Goschen Strait, entering Milne Bay as they round the eastern tip of New Guinea.  Distant escort for the Japanese unit consisted of the IJN’s 6th Cruiser Squadron and a couple destroyers.  Pos­sible reinforcements were avail­able from the convoy escort.

The RAN/US force consisted of the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (8-8” guns), light cruiser HMAS Hobart (8-6” guns), heavy cruiser USS Chicago (9-8” guns), and three American destroyers; the PERKINS, WORDEN and WALKE.  The cruisers started in line ahead, with the destroyers a half-mile ahead in line abreast.  About 15 miles, bearing about 345° relative, just coming out of the haze, were the enemy.

The Japanese cruisers; AOBA, KINUGASA, KAKO and FURUTAKA (all 6-8” guns and 8 torpedoes) were in line.  The destroyers WAKABA and YUGURE (both 5-5” guns and 6 torpedoes) were about a half-mile to port.  On the First Turn the two lead IJN cruisers turned left, the rest moved straight ahead at full speed to confront the enemy.  The American destroyers slanted towards the Japanese, with HOBART following them.  AUSTRALIA and CHICAGO turned left and closed up.  Turn One gunnery went to the Japanese as HOBART was struck four times by AOBA and once by KINUGASA.  These 8”ers started a bad fire amidships, as they ignited the float plane refueling point.

On Turn Two, HOBART veered sharply to port as her fire fighting teams swung into action.  All the other ships of both sides continued on as before.  AUSTRALIA scored the only hits of the turn as she plunked AOBA stern sheets with two 8” strikes.  Turn Three saw the Japanese move fairly straight, as did the Allied cruisers.  PERKINS, WOR-DEN and WALKE bore left and laid smoke to try and give partial cover to their cruisers.  WALKE paid dearly as she was summarily eviscerated when six tightly grouped 8” shells from AOBA tore her apart from stem to stern.  On fire and breaking up amidships, the sinking ship drifted to a stop.  The hulk rolled over and disappeared a few turns later.  AUSTRALIA knocked a 4.7” AA mount off the KAKO with two 8” strikes.

The Fourth Turn saw all ships go reasonably straight ahead, which led to a great increase hitting, mostly by the Japanese.  HOBART scored the only Allied hits, punching three vicious 6” shots into YUGURE, removing most of the bow.  WORDEN took single 8” blows from AOBA and KINUGASA.  WAKABA scored one 5” and YUGURE two 5”ers on PERKINS, starting a fire.

Turn Five saw some maneuvering on both sides.  Although the Allied force still continued straight, PERKINS turned sharply right, towards the enemy, to unmask her off-side torpedo mount, having launched the other two mounts earlier.  KINUGASA and AOBA re­versed to port for the same reason.  FURUTAKA must have missed a signal, go­ing straight and rapidly separated from her companions when KAKO, WAKABA and YUGURE made sharp left turns.  This put those three on an opposite course from their opposition.  AOBA still managed to slam WORDEN with a pair of 8” hits, and WAKABA landed her own pair of 5”ers on PERKINS.  AUSTRALIA assailed FURUTAKA with four 8” and one 4” strikes.

With Turn Six the Allied heavy cruisers continued their westerly course, nearing the coastline.  HOBART finally extinguished her fire and turned northwest, towards the enemy.  PERKINS made a sharp right to rejoin the beat up WORDEN.  Badly injured YUGURE executed a hard-to-port, leaving a large volume of smoke in her wake as she tried to dis­engage.  FURUTAKA turned left to rejoin KAKO, which went straight.  KI­NUGASA and AOBA completed their about turn and were heading southwest.  Hitting picked up again, with AOBA smacking PERKINS amidships with two more 8” and KAKO landing a single 8” on AUSTRALIA.  The RAN cruiser returned the attention to FURU­TAKA with single 8” and 4” strikes.  But it was YUGURE that was the center of Ameri­can attention; CHICAGO rammed home two 8” rounds, while PERKINS and WORDEN landed one 5” shell, each; holing the bow yet again and knocking out the gun director.

Turn Seven saw YUGURE slant left and KAKO move right, as the cruiser tried to assist the escape of the ruined destroyer.  FURUTAKA cut right, heading for the en­emy.  The other two cruisers kept on course.  The Allied heavies curved right, HOBART swung in behind the destroyer smoke screens, which were now moving slowly, but clos­ing the enemy.  AOBA and KINUGASA found a hole in the smoke and plugged HOBART with two 8” shots, each, destroying the off-side torpedo mount, while WAKABA added a 5”er.  KAKO put two more 8” rounds aboard AUSTRALIA, one of which was a dud.  CHICAGO whacked FURUTAKA with three 8s, which threatened the magazine, but to no avail.  HOBART and PERKINS added to WAKABA’s woes with single 6”, 4”, and 5” thumps.

There was no fancy maneuvering on either side for Turn Eight, but the hitting slumped a bit.  AOBA shifted to CHICAGO, wrecking a secondary gun director with a pair of 8” hits.  AUSTRALIA took a single 8” shell from KAKO and two from KINU­GASA, which started a fire.  She returned the favor back to KAKO with three 8” rounds.  HOBART plugged FURUTAKA with one 6”er, but then intercepted a Long Lance torpedo launched by KINUGASA.  The light cruiser fell out immediately and sank quickly.

Commencing with Turn Nine the Allied group received reinforcements as the American destroyers SELFRIDGE (8-5”, 8 TT) and HAMMANN (4-5”, 8 TT) roared on with safety valves secured, moving a topmost speed northeastwards, towards their two remaining cruisers.  FURUTAKA joined up with KAKO, but those two were now between their sister cruisers and the enemy heavies.  CHICAGO bore the brunt this time, with AOBA and KINUGASA getting hits in pairs again, crumpling a section of the stern.  KA-KO then took two 8” and two 5” hits from CHICAGO, which came close to flooding out the after magazine.  PERKINS tagged FURUTAKA with a 5”er, while the still viable WORDEN added two more on the cruiser.  Feisty WAKABA struck PERKINS with two of her own 5” guns, setting the American on fire, which went out almost immediately as the destroyer rolled over and sank from her relentless punishment.

With Turn Ten, AOBA turned about as KINUGASA went straight.  WAKABA was trying to withdraw north, as KAKO and FURUTAKA jinked about to cover her.  AUS­TRALIA and CHICAGO completed their turns and settled on a southwest course.  SEL­FRIDGE slammed two 5”, and HAMMANN one 5”, into KAKO; while WORDEN dropped a couple 5” shells on WAKABA, hitting the bridge.  AUS­TRALIA blasted four 8”ers into AOBA, destroying a boiler room and coming close to flooding out B magazine.  But AUSTRALIA was prime target for 6th Cruiser squadron, having her bow holed by taking three 8” rounds from AOBA, two from FURUTAKA, and another courtesy KAKOKI­NUGASA 8”ers hit CHICAGO twice more.  WAKABA tagged WORDEN once with a 5”er.

Turn Eleven turned out to be the last of the game.  All ships continued moving as previously.  AUSTRALIA’s bow was further distorted by another two 8” from AOBA, FURUTAKA adding one more.  CHICAGO slammed KINUGASA with an 8”er, and then the secondaries landed two 5” rounds on WAKABA.  WORDEN help to finish off WA­KABA with another pair of 5s landing amidships.  But at least WAKABA landed two final 5”ers on CHICAGO.  The game was called when CHICAGO took two torpedoes from a KAKO spread.  Already a third damaged, the cruiser could not sustain such staggering de­struction.  She rolled to starboard, sank with most of her crew.

The end results were clear.  The Japanese force, with an aggressive forward de­fense diverted the RAN/US task group.  Even without the torpedo events, they forced the allies from a direct route and scored some key hits.  Initially the allied gunnery was poor, but they picked it up later.  However, with friendly smoke in the way, they had to shift targets frequently and were unable to concentrate on one our two enemies to try and knock them out. 

From a critical damage standpoint, the dice produced what seemed to be an above average number of fires and blank spots on the chart, but below average in all other cate­gories.  Several “Get out of CD” cards were played to good effect.

My thanks to all participants for their enthusiasm and attention to detail on the ship cards that make this report easy to put together.  Gunnery kudos go to Dave Schroe­der of the “mighty” AOBA and Steve Podgorski driving AUSTRALIA.  Torpedo honors go to John Zalanka for sniffing out CHICAGO’s intentions and placing the KAKO spread just right.

Respectfully submitted;

Roger Reynolds
Game Master

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RAN & USN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain

Gunnery

Damage

Mentions in

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dispatch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CA

Australia

8-8", 8-4", 8 TT

Steve Podgorski

18.8%

60.0%

12

CL

Hobart

8-6", 8-4", 8 TT

Bruce Peterson

14.6%

Sunk

  9

CA

Chicago

9-8", 8-5"

Mike Rathbone

10.9%

Sunk

12

DD

Perkins

5-5", 12 TT

Bob Brill

12.0%

Sunk

11

DD

Worden

5-5", 8 TT

Bob Brill

Zero

88.4%

10

DD

Walke

4-5", 8 TT

Bob Brill

24.1%

Sunk

  3

DL

Selfridge

8-5", 8 TT

Bruce Peterson

12.5%

None

  2

DD

Hammann

4-5", 8 TT

Bruce Peterson

  8.3%

None

  2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total  Fleet  Damage   =   76.2%

 

 

Total  Fleet  Gunnery   =   13.9%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Japanese

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Captain

Gunnery

Damage

Mentions in

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dispatch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CA

Aoba

6-8", 4-4.7", 8 TT

David Schroder

40.0%

29.6%

18

CA

Kinugasa

6-8", 4-4.7", 8 TT

John Butler

16.7%

  4.5%

12

CA

Kako

6-8", 4-4.7", 8 TT

John Zalanka

  8.9%

48.3%

16

CA

Furutaka

6-8", 4-4.7", 8 TT

Dave Nelson

  6.3%

52.5%

14

DD

Wakaba

5-5", 6 TT

Rich Rostron

22.5%

Sunk

14

DD

Yugure

5-5", 6 TT

Rich Rostron

  8.3%

Sunk

  8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total  Fleet  Damage   =   40.5%

 

 

Total  Fleet  Gunnery   =   17.7%

 

We would like to make wargame reports a regular feature on our website so if you have any, please email it to us and we will put it on our site.


COMMENTS ON ANGLE DECK ESSEX'S BY HENRY SNYDER

(Scroll letter below this one for Chuck Treese's comments)

Hello Pete

Saw the letters from Chuck Treese and have a few points. The new Wasp A515 in my opinion is closer to the Oriskany. The deck is almost an exact match for drawings in Aircraft Carriers of the U.S. Navy by Stefan Terzibaschitsch. Based on information in that book and others and looking at photographs I have come up with the following.

The older Superior model of the Wasp was close to the 1960's configuration of CV-9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20 and 33 all of which received SCB-27A. The model does not have the stern gun tubs and it appears CV-9, 10 and 15 retained the tubs until decommissioned. Typical shared features include only one Mkl 37 director, flight deck which is straight at the stern, crane aft of the starboard elevator and a single 5" gun just after of the starboard elevator. Oriskany was being built to SCB-27A design

CV-16, 31 and 38 were built to SCB-27. They had 5" gun positions for and aft that were parallel to each other. The Hansa model appears to fit these versions

CV-11, 14 and 19 were also built to SCB-27. They had 5" gun positions for and aft that were parallel to each other. The crane was forward of the starboard elevator and the flight deck angled to starboard at the stern. Attached are two pictures of CV-33, 20 and 34.

CV-33 was made on an older Superior Wasp kit I picked up from Martin Brown.

CV-20 was made from modifying the current Superior kit. I straightened the rear of the flight deck, removed the catapult bridles and reshaped the deck near the island

CV-34 was made from a new Superior kit. A s Chuck mentioned, still a few variations of the Essex class that could be made

Henry

Images: Stern Bow

 

COMMENTS ON THE NEW SUPERIOR ANGLE DECK WASP
By Chuck Treese

Following us is a series of letters sent to us by Chuck Treese on working with the recently released Superior A515 Angle Deck Wasp. Stand by for a new Report which will be posted in 2-3 weeks!

Letter #1

Dear Pete:

I received WASP (A515) today. The bad news is that WASP is not WASP. The good news is that if it were WASP, the model would not be as flexible as to the number of carriers you could create from this model. In reality, this ship is a generic angle-deck ESSEX which most closely resembles SHANGRI-LA or LEXINGTON from which, with a little work, all can be created with little or no difficulty save INTREPID, TICONDEROGA and HANCOCK. For those three, the crane sponson on the starboard side is in the wrong location as in the elevator which for those three should be a little further aft. In checking the available records. I have found the basic things that would need to be done to create all the others which is to pay close attention to either the square or elongated forward elevator and either leave or dispose of the bridle arrestors.

I am very pleased with the overall quality of the model and the first of what I hope will be many will be SHANGRI-LA which requires no modification. It is without a doubt the easiest Superior I have owned in terms of clean-up. Of particular note in my view is the way the mast was attached to the island. It is much sturdier and as such much less likely that it would be damaged by accident. In two words, just great!

Letter # 2

If at all possible, I am more pleased with WASP than I was yesterday. I have finished the clean-up process and have given the first coast of primer to the hull and flight deck, checking for anything I missed in clean-up. I found a few pits under the two forward 5”sponsons which I easily dealt with. I used a primer from Walmart which worked great on this kit. To get enough primer pigment on the completed model, three light coats are in order. The etching on the flight deck really stands out and is probably the best feature overall on this ship.

I believe the way this model is designed with the alignment studs and holes for attaching the flight deck is first rate. Further, I believe that the way the flight deck is scribed without any planking is appropriate for all carrier models. Planking at that scale is very difficult to deal with when you apply decals for flight deck markings and is invariably out of scale anyway.

Now get Wayne to work on a long hull ESSEX such as VALLEY FORGE.*  No starboard side 40mm sponsons (Most of the did not have them.) and an optional island where you can make it either in wartime rig until about 1952 or a post-1952 long-hull with the improved and modified island.

* Your editor is all for that!

Letter # 3 (Several months later)

Within the past few days I have out both of my angle-deck ESSEX’s back in the yard for a complete flight deck redo. I filled all the flight deck etching with Bondo auto-body putty and completely sanded the whole thing removing and/or filling all the etching. I did this to more closely approximate each of the ships I wished to portray.

The second one was to portray YORKTOWN so I had already removed the bridle arrestors from the bow. I had an attack of conscience on INTREPID and could not bring myself to leave my first one as a CVA knowing full well that the aircraft handling crane and flight deck were all wrong for her as well as TICONDEROGA and HANCOCK. It’s like staining MIDWAY with Mahogany stain, Yes, only I would know but that’s the problem!

The next time you produce this ship, may I suggest you mold two flight decks, One should have the bridle arrestors and the other without them. Further remove all of the etching on the flight deck including the elevator etching. Then market WASP without the bridle arrestors as a support carrier and the other as a CVA such as LEXINGTON, BON HOMME RICHARD or SHANGRI-LA.  This would allow you to use the Starfighter decals to delineate the elevators and either the steam or hydraulic catapults as well as the landing areas and ships identification.

Letter # 4

YORKTOWN and LEXINGTON are now complete with the Starfighter Decals I received last week. They are easy to use and give the model just the right touch. As you may remember I don't use a lot in the way of painting on my models. I try to keep them in the spirit of the recognition model with but a few touches of clolr for enhansement. The decals give it just the right amount of detailing so as not to distract you from the lines of the ship itself.

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Chuck for his comments. Chuck is a first rate naval enthusiast and model builder. Hard to disagree with him when he says WASP is not the WASP. The first master of this model was built about 30 years ago by Superior under contract with the manufacturer of a special antennae that was installed on the ship for an Astronaut recovery mission. The model has always been known as WASP. The current model is an upgrade of the original.

Late word from Chuck…

CONVERTING THE ANGLED DECK WASP (Superior A515) TO YORKTOWN (CVS-10)

The Angled Deck Wasp (A515) represents a generic Angled Deck Essex Class Attack Carrier (CVA). More specifically the three ESSEX’s that were converted to angled deck configuration in one yard period (LEXINGTON,  BON HOMME RICHARD – SHANGRI- LA) rather then go through the intermediate step of 27A modification and then have the angled deck added.

To convert an A515 to Yorktown I took the following steps:

  1. There were a few pit marks under the forward five inch sponsons. These were filled with Bondo Putty, let dry (24 hours) and sanded. I then followed this with a wet sanding with 600 grit wet and dry paper.
  2. I filled all of the etching on the flight deck including arrestor wires, catapult tracks, and elevator wells with Bondo and again let it dry for 24 hours. The deck was then sanded including a wet sanding, followed by a very, very light coat of inexpensive primer that I get at Wal Mart. The light coat of primer gives you a preview of the deck and you can pick out any of the etching you missed, and take corrective action.
  3. I assembled the hull and flight deck after carefully clipping off the bridle arrestors attached to the bow end of the flight deck with a pair of wire cutters. After the hull and flight deck are attached file fill and sand the bow to eliminate any remaining portion of the bridle arrestors and their associated etching. Again a quick light shot of primer in this area shows up anything you missed.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the flight deck and bow complete model assembly, prime again overall.
  5. Painting: I try to keep in the original spirit of the recognition model. That is a convenient excuse for having very limited painting skill, so my models are all usually in a haze gray with only very few details like the top of the stacks highlighted in other colors. For Yorktown the completed model was sprayed in Tamiya acrylic AS 7 USAAF Neutral Gray right out of the spray can. I get mine at a local Hobby Town, and they keep an adequate supply on hand for me. It is also available by mail order from Squadron Shops. Highlights were done in Testor's Model Master Semi Gloss Black - Leather - and Gloss White acrylics.
  6. Decals are from Starfighter. Mark Tutton has a great product and his service is on par with the great customer service we all get from Alnavco. One word about decals though. I had a little difficulty with the elevator decals in the 1/1200 set. They were a little too large for the model and I had to cut them down a wee bit. I think the next time I do one of these I will order the 1/1250 set, and that should correct the problem.

Any of you that read this and wish to do a similar conversion but still have questions, go through Pete at Alnavco he always knows where to find me.

Following is a series of photos of Chuck’s WASP:

HERE ARE SOME INTERESTING LINKS:

THE RETURN OF THE ALNAVCO LOG
Back in the late 1960’s and on and off to the 1990’s, ALNAVCO published the ALNAVCO LOG. 
It contained announcements of new products, wargame reports, discussion of naval subjects by our customers, etc.
Publication ceased because of increased printing costs.A good friend and customer, Bruce Gordon, has scanned these,
and we are now starting to make them available to you.
The first year, 1968, has been posted.
Click Here for Alnavco Logs

Wayne Smith has updated the “Special Edition Ship Histories" section of our website

Photos of upcoming Navis/Neptun releases designed by Paper

Return of the Palm Beach Wargamers Club

Information from Paul Jacobs on the history and conversion possibilities of his excellent Saratoga Model Chaumont (SMY37)

Bobby Weymouth Gallery

Mike Meyer Gallery 

Jon Sumida's WWI ship modifications.

Photo Gallery of Desktop Display Dioramas

Photo Gallery 1:2400 Pearl Harbor Diorama from Desktop Display

Need decals for your angle deck Essex carriers?
Here's a link to some excellent decals from Starfighter:
http://www.starfighter-decals.com/12504-essex-scb27c-class-usn-cv-m.html
Special thanks to customers Henry Snyder and Chuck Treese for the "heads-up" on these.