Chapter Thirty

Don’t worry, dear blog readers, even though it’s taking self FOREVER to get through this book — she has seven books on hold at her local library, but the soonest she can expect any of the seven is 63 days from now, she might as well settle in with TLSOTTCS, at least it’s well-written AND set in the Philippines — this chapter is hilarious.

We’re following the fate of the USS Heermann under the command of Captain Hathaway, and it’s been tacking here and there across the Pacific like a crazy water bug. An excitable crewmember on the second torpedo mount (Each cruiser had ten torpedoes: five for first attack, another five for second attack) mistakenly released two torpedoes with the first wave, so seven went careering across the waves to its intended target. The first seven had been fired with the aid of mechanical rangefinding, but all seven apparently missed their target, the Haruna. Nevertheless, in a great stroke of luck, the torpedoes that passed the Haruna were now headed straight for the Japanese flagship, the Yamato, which happened to be the command ship of Admiral Kurita. The Yamato had her guns trained on the Heermann and was about to blow it to smithereens when someone noticed three torpedo tracks approaching to starboard. So the Yamato‘s commander ordered a hard turn to port. All of a sudden, two more torpedo tracks were spotted to port, so the Yamato turned again. By this time, there were two parallel tracks of torpedos, and the Yamato was forced to steer between them, a track which led them AWAY from the Heermann. So, uh, yay?

By the time the torpedoes “ceased their pursuit, disappearing into the four-thousand fathom depths of the Philippine Trench,” the Yamato was thirty-thousand yards from the Heermann. Double yay!

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