You now find yourself alone with one other badly damaged cruiser, trapped in the Java Sea on the bloody loosing end of a failed attempt to stall the Japanese advance on
Already sunk, or soon to be finished off are your former Strike Group ships HMS Exeter; HNMS De Ruyter, HNMS Java, HMS Electra, HMS Encounter,
The only surviving destroyers, USS John D. Edwards, USS Paul Jones, USS John D. Ford, USS Alden, out of torpedoes and low on ammo and fuel, were detached from the Force the day before and are trying to escape on their own.
After a quick stop in Batavia to get
The weather couldn’t be better for a
At 11.55pm PERTH started to turn to make a run for Sunda Strait. At the same time SHIRAYUKI, MURAKUMO, HARUKAZE and HATAKAZE all fired torpedoes toward her. PERTH was hit by four torpedoes over the next 15 minutes, 3 on the port side and one on the starboard. She also received numerous shell hits. At 0025 on 1st March 1942, she finally sank a few miles ENE of St Nicholas Point not far from the entrance to Sunda Strait. HOUSTON now received all the attention and sank at 0045, not far from PERTH. In all, the Japanese had fired over 90 torpedoes at our ships.Of the Houston’s 1,060
Japanese losses were four transports, SAKURA MARU, HORAI MARU, RYUJO MARU, TATSUNO MARU and the minesweeper W2 ( Photo). All these ships were believed to have been sunk by the torpedoes fired by MIKUMA that missed the two allied cruisers.
Of the Perth’s 682
Sometimes you have to fight a battle with the Navy you have, not the Navy you wished you had.
The lessons here are legion. How not to run coalition operations, the dangers of fighting in a non-Joint environment, not having a full understanding of your weapons capabilities, wasting limited ammunition, underestimating your enemy. There is a lot to remember as well. Bravery, honor, dedication, and what happens when peace time leaders take charge of a wartime fleet.
BTW, Friday March 01, 2002 was