Return to Index  

Re: ....answers to the questions

June 19 2015 at 8:18 PM
No score for this post
Nelson  (no login)

Response to Nelson, my answers to the questions you posed to me


> More so how the mention of sighting a 'peak' got into Edwards book, as her wreck is way too far away to even see the very top, let alone to distinguish a 'peak' on Bawean....or did Edwards just use a bit of 'journalistic license' so to speak - may also help with where the interception area was. >

I don’t own and haven’t read the Edwards book. Doesn’t he provide any info in an endnote or such where his belief in the proximity to Bali—or as you have posited, Bawean Island—originated? Compelling how many facets of interest Augustina arouses: her final resting place in the Java Sea, the intercept/massacre point, and the confusing biz regarding the putative peak barely in sight—if it’s not, as you suggest, simply outright license—with a couple of those aspects of course overlapping.

> I certainly wouldn’t argue against it, I just stated that we thought it may not have been a DD at all. And I still think it wasn't Harukaze, as she was way over at Sunda Strait just the night before. >

Conceding that you’ve been at this quest much longer, I wonder if we agree on these classes of candidates for the massacre culprit:

(a) Being that Augustina was a spectator to an aerial assault just over the horizon, almost certainly on an Allied warship, and then likely on USS Pope, shouldn’t the first candidate to consider be one of the DDs escorting the two heavy cruiser groups that closed on Exeter and Company? Some websites credit four IJN DDs, others five, apparently with Akatsuki class Ikazuchi’s role peripheral (at one point she was in pursuit of Dutch tanker Kasuaris/Karuirus, and following that vessel’s scuttling, rescued the crew). Sister Inazuma is an extremely poor candidate, because of her large-scale rescue of the crews of the sunken Allied warships. The other DDs were Fubuki class Akebono and Shiratsuyu class Kawakaze and Yamakaze. Were any of them detached as flankers or even to roam more or less freely?

(b) Another candidate could be a DD detached from the Western Java invasion force to perform recon and/or mop-up duties, OR one damaged in some early combat and returning to an IJN repair facility. In the former instance, one of the older class DDs, such as the four Mutsukis, may be a fair candidate.

(c) As you and Nuyt have doubtless noticed, I’ve changed my mind—only slightly—about the W class minesweepers being entirely ruled out. The IJN had very good aerial recon at that time and thus intelligence about the state of affairs of the ABDA naval force, and must have appreciated that such naval threat had diminished in most places in the Java Sea. There were, to be sure, stragglers, runners, and independent sailers to sink or round up. It may be that it was felt safe enough to detach large minesweeper W-5 for such duty, but one must note that all of the other W class minesweepers were providing close escort to the troopers and merchantmen of the invasion forces (which is how W-2 got bumped off by Mogami’s torpedo in Banten Bay). Likely W-5’s absence from that bay is merely a careless omission....but worth pursuing.

If you can rootle out the results of your earlier research, and drop some warship names—I believe all of them are no longer candidates—I think the readers of the forum would benefit.

> But re the word 'tommy gun', couldn’t it be used by Meijer just as a generic term to mean any rapid firing hand held weapon? After all, if one was being fired at you’re not sticking around to take names and addresses, so could it just be a generic term for a rapid firing weapon that an Allied 'lay' person would call a 'tommy gun'? >

Which is why I mentioned the Nambu and Bren-type LMGs in WWII service, but because one of the sailors leapt down into a lifeboat with said ‘tommy gun’ in hand, I have to rule out an LMG as “just too great a leap”. I have no problem with ‘tommy gun’ used as a generic, i.e., the gun would not necessarily have to be a Thompson, but very likely an SMG rather than an LMG....and there’s the rub.

> If so what is the smallest rapid firing weapon in SNLF or IJN hands at the time? >

I think you mean automatic-firing weapon. The SNLF had Bergmann SMGs, perhaps in two similar calibers—Euro 7.63mm and Nippo 8mm—but the chance of Augustina encountering a warship with SNLF personnel aboard would be mighty slim. I may have to tone down my doubt about army parachute outfits getting Bergmann SMGs, but whether they did so by their final drop, in the vicinity of airfield P1 in southern Sumatra in mid-February 1942, I don’t know.

> Or as Nuyt has said, maybe it was a real (captured) tommy gun, but did the Japs really need to use captured weapons at that stage in the war? >

Again, what chance would there be for an IJN escort-type warship to have captured SMGs aboard? Methinks something stinks.


This message has been edited by Visje1981 on Jun 21, 2015 10:11 AM

Scoring disabled. You must be logged in to score posts.Respond to this message   
Find more forums on Network54Create your own forum at Network54
 Copyright © 1999-2018 Network54. All rights reserved.   Terms of Use   Privacy Statement