In my first post, I wrote about my passion for The Second World War and especially about the Spitfire and the Battle of Britain.
A second passion arose after I read the book “The Cruel Sea” by Nicholas Monsarrat. It tells the story of a frigate doing escort service in the Atlantic during the second world war. Not only did I read about this battle but also watched the classic movies e.g. The Cruel Sea, Hunt the Bismarck and The Battle of the River Plate. I just loved it all.
But there was no spitfire ship out there for me; something that would eventually change.
I focused on the convoys and Atlantic battles and forgot all about the Pacific theatre. Oh yes! I watched Tora Tora Tora and the Battle of Midway but to be honest did not know much about this theatre of war.
Now not only do I like watching movies and reading books about The Second World War, I also love playing games with this theme. Games like the Medal of honour, Call of Duty (the old version), Blitzkrieg, and of course the flight sims like Sturmovik, European Air War and much more I can’t remember.
Then a couple of years ago I stumbled upon World of Tanks from Wargaming. I just loved the game and have played around 6000 matches. Now I hardly play it anymore because Wargaming did something what I thought was unforgivable, they brought out World of Warships. Thanks to somebody I know at Wargaming I was allowed to play in the Alpha phase and with around 2600 games played I left all other games alone. How I love it.
Unlike World of Tanks, I seem to concentrate more on Warships with a smaller amount of ships. I love playing the Cleveland and Tirpitz but it is the Destroyers that caught my imagination. I levelled up to tier 10 on the US DD line and so far 5 with the Japanese but there is a problem with accruing. I seem to have found the ship I like best already, The USS Fletcher. I know there are a lot more ships to play with but I seem to go back to this one all the time.
It suits my playing style very well being a sort of a lone wolf but still providing cover for your teammates. The Fletcher is also a great all-rounder. It can be sneaky with its torps and just as easily turned into a Gunboat; so I have the Japanese destroyer ninja and American gunboat in one. I’m crazy about it.
Whilst reading about the Fletcher, I came across probably one of its most famous battles in which it participated, the Battle of the Leyte golf, or more precise the Battle off Samar. The Battle of Leyte gulf was fought near the Philippine Islands of Leyte , Luzon and Samar. It was the largest naval battle of the second world war and if you want to know more just Google it. I now only want to concentrate on one battle and that is the Battle of Samar.
The Japanese devised a cunning plan to trap the US fleet by luring the main fleet away after their carriers. The main task force under Admiral Halsey was drawn away from a smaller force (Taffy 3) consisting of 6 escort carriers, 3 Fletcher-class destroyers and 4 smaller destroyer escorts. Taffy 3 was caught off guard and a strong Japanese force with 4 battleships including the Yamato, 6 heavy cruisers 2 light cruisers and 11 destroyers found them and attacked.
Normally the American force should have been wiped from the planet, total annihilation should have followed but then this brave little Fletcher-class destroyer The Johnston with captain E.E. Evans and a gallant crew decided to attack the Japanese force instead of running away. He managed in a daring attack to sink a heavy cruiser and damaged some more under a hail of shells before it was sunk. The other American ships soon attacked so fiercely with help of planes from the carriers that the mighty Japanese fleet pulled away in disarray thinking they were under attack from a more powerful force – talk about a David versus Goliath fight. The losses on both sides were great with on the American side more than 1500 sailors and airmen were killed but the Japanese navy lost much more and pulled out of a battle they should have won.
The Fletcher-class Johnston and its dauntless crew show that bravery and quality of their ship sometimes can turn the odds no matter how bad they seem . People should read this story when they start complaining about the Match Making in World of Warships.
Anyhow, I love playing my Fletcher and after this story, the ship got its Spitfire status from me. It is my Spitfire Ship .
Again I must say that I am so glad that I can fight a war from my armchair with a cigarette in one hand and a beer in the other instead of being on a small destroyer facing overwhelming odds knowing you are not going to survive but still going in. Pffff….
MajorMadMike signing off.