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Old 02-28-2017, 09:19 AM   #1
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What a great story that is in fact true!

Sometimes in life, the guy with the so-crazy-it-just-might-work ideas hits one out of the park and saves the day. This is what happened in 1942 aboard the HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen, the last Dutch warship standing after the Battle of the Java Sea.

Originally planning to escape to Australia with three other warships, the then-stranded minesweeper had to make the voyage alone and unprotected. The slow-moving vessel could only get up to about 15 knots and had very few guns, boasting only a single 3-inch gun and two Oerlikon 20 mm canons making it a sitting duck for the Japanese bombers that circled above.

Knowing their only chance of survival was to make it to the Allies Down Under, the Crijnssen's 45 crew members frantically brainstormed ways to make the retreat undetected. The winning idea? Turn the ship into an island.

You can almost hear crazy-idea guy anticipating his shipmates' reluctance: Now guys, just hear me out. But lucky for him, the Abraham Crijnessen was strapped for time, resources and alternative means of escape, automatically making the island idea the best idea. Now it was time to put the plan into action.

The crew went ashore to nearby islands and cut down as many trees as they could lug back onto the deck. Then the timber was arranged to look like a jungle canopy, covering as much square footage as possible. Any leftover parts of the ship were painted to look like rocks and cliff faces these guys weren't messing around.

Now, a camouflaged ship in deep trouble is better than a completely exposed ship. But there was still the problem of the Japanese noticing a mysterious moving island and wondering what would happen if they shot at it. Because of this, the crew figured the best means of convincing the Axis powers that they were an island was to truly be an island: by not moving at all during daylight hours.

While the sun was up they would anchor the ship near other islands, then cover as much ocean as they could once night fell praying the Japanese wouldn't notice a disappearing and reappearing island amongst the nearly 18,000 existing islands in Indonesia. And, as luck would have it, they didn't.

The Crijnssen managed to go undetected by Japanese planes and avoid the destroyer that sank the other Dutch warships, surviving the eight-day journey to Australia and reuniting with Allied forces.

Sometimes in life, the guy with the so-crazy-it-just-might-work ideas hits one out of the park and saves the day. This is what happened in 1942 aboard the HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen, the last Dutch warship standing after the Battle of the Java Sea.

If you would like to see the photos:Dutch ship evades WWII Japanese bombers with island camo - Business Insider
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:44 AM   #2
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That is a great story! Thanks for sharing.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:33 PM   #3
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Great stuff, Howard! Thanks!

Maybe that's what happened to your shoes....they were there but disguised so you couldn't see them.
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:47 PM   #4
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That's a possibility. Thanks for thinking of that. Poor Oliver, so long to blame.
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Old 02-28-2017, 03:51 PM   #5
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What an awesome story of ingenuity.
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Old 02-28-2017, 05:03 PM   #6
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The link is only viewable if I turn off Adblock so I rely on Howard`s summary. Never heard that story before,fascinating, thanks for bringing it.They did well, northern Australia was bombed many times by the Japanese, we just celebrated the anniversary of the major Darwin attack.
Mini subs even got into Sydney Harbour, sinking some boats. There was a Japanese presence around Australia, making the voyage of the Crijnssen the more amazing.
Of possible further interest is the Krait, an old 40ft or so Asian style fishing boat, which crewed by "Z Special" commandos voyaged from Sydney to Singapore to attack Japanese ships using limpet mines, and back. The crew trained in Broken Bay just north of Sydney, a plaque in Refuge Bay commemorates the exploits.Krait is still afloat well preserved, in the care of a Maritime Museum in Sydney.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:57 PM   #7
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very Interesting. I read up on the Krait and that was also a good story.
Apparently the Krait was originally named Kofuku Maru.
I am struggling with the pronunciation of this. And who is Maru?
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Old 02-28-2017, 07:51 PM   #8
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I believe "Krait" is pronounced "krite", and is the name of an Indian snake.
"Maru" is often the second word in the name of a Japanese ship. Ironic if a previously Japanese fishing boat was sinking Japanese ships in Singapore.
My late (and ex) father in law was a Z Special commando, he fought behind enemy lines in Malaya during WW2. A tough guy you would not want creeping up on you in the jungle.
One of the Japanese mini subs which entered Sydney Harbour sank north of Sydney. The wreck is no go protected burial site, the bodies remain in the wreck. The mother ship shelled Sydney from out at sea.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:12 PM   #9
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wooww.. fascinating!! Thanks for sharing!!
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:19 PM   #10
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Dazzle...
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:33 PM   #11
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Amazing what folks thought good camouflage was over the years. Examples include the phantom armies in the UK in WW II, the town painted on the roof of an aircraft plant in California.

I agree that Firefly's WW I ship doesn't look like a ship but I think it still looks like a target.
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Old 02-28-2017, 08:44 PM   #12
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The major Japanese air attack on Darwin was 19 February 1942. A surprise attack, despite the warning from a missionary Pastor on an outlying island using his pedal generated radio. The attack aircraft were presumed to be US planes diverting to Darwin. Aircraft on the ground were destroyed,and some ships in the harbour, US ships included. I`ve only been to Darwin once, there are plenty of relics and exhibitions of the attack.
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Old 03-01-2017, 04:40 AM   #13
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I believe MARU translates to "of the sea".
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:33 AM   #14
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I believe MARU translates to "of the sea".
Actually, it means "circle". I think it implies a merchant ship is a world of its own.
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Old 03-01-2017, 08:45 AM   #15
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Greetings,
Mr. D. I think MARU has several meanings one of which IS circle. In a world of it's own or it leaves home port but always circles back...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japane...ng_conventions
Listed under "Several theories..."
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:06 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by hmason View Post
What a great story that is in fact true!



Sometimes in life, the guy with the so-crazy-it-just-might-work ideas hits one out of the park and saves the day. This is what happened in 1942 aboard the HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen, the last Dutch warship standing after the Battle of the Java Sea.



Originally planning to escape to Australia with three other warships, the then-stranded minesweeper had to make the voyage alone and unprotected. The slow-moving vessel could only get up to about 15 knots and had very few guns, boasting only a single 3-inch gun and two Oerlikon 20 mm canons making it a sitting duck for the Japanese bombers that circled above.



Knowing their only chance of survival was to make it to the Allies Down Under, the Crijnssen's 45 crew members frantically brainstormed ways to make the retreat undetected. The winning idea? Turn the ship into an island.



You can almost hear crazy-idea guy anticipating his shipmates' reluctance: Now guys, just hear me out. But lucky for him, the Abraham Crijnessen was strapped for time, resources and alternative means of escape, automatically making the island idea the best idea. Now it was time to put the plan into action.



The crew went ashore to nearby islands and cut down as many trees as they could lug back onto the deck. Then the timber was arranged to look like a jungle canopy, covering as much square footage as possible. Any leftover parts of the ship were painted to look like rocks and cliff faces these guys weren't messing around.



Now, a camouflaged ship in deep trouble is better than a completely exposed ship. But there was still the problem of the Japanese noticing a mysterious moving island and wondering what would happen if they shot at it. Because of this, the crew figured the best means of convincing the Axis powers that they were an island was to truly be an island: by not moving at all during daylight hours.



While the sun was up they would anchor the ship near other islands, then cover as much ocean as they could once night fell praying the Japanese wouldn't notice a disappearing and reappearing island amongst the nearly 18,000 existing islands in Indonesia. And, as luck would have it, they didn't.



The Crijnssen managed to go undetected by Japanese planes and avoid the destroyer that sank the other Dutch warships, surviving the eight-day journey to Australia and reuniting with Allied forces.



Sometimes in life, the guy with the so-crazy-it-just-might-work ideas hits one out of the park and saves the day. This is what happened in 1942 aboard the HNLMS Abraham Crijnssen, the last Dutch warship standing after the Battle of the Java Sea.



If you would like to see the photos:Dutch ship evades WWII Japanese bombers with island camo - Business Insider


Found this last night Click image for larger version

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Old 03-03-2017, 08:14 AM   #17
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Another comment about RT's post of a 'dazzle painted' WW I ship. I was in the Union League of Philadelphia on Wednesday night, participating in the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia's winter concert. In the short corridor leading to the Men's Head just down from the Lincoln Room hangs a post WW I era oil painting of two dazzle painted warships. The larger ship on the horizon is pretty obvious; the destroyer in the foreground is seen only a moment later, against the sea. Fascinating. Tried to find the image online...
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Old 03-03-2017, 04:57 PM   #18
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I was in the Union League of Philadelphia on Wednesday night,..
Stayed there a couple of years ago. Loved all the portraits of Democratic Presidents. But they were hard to see. Must have been dazzle painted.
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