The focus of today´s news is the Navy and therefore our ship modeler Cabrio whom we not only have to thank for the British Tribal class destroyer but for three more unique, new vessels. Let´s begin with the biggest one of those ships, the Japanese light cruiser Yubari. This fantastic model replaces the Hatsuzuki destroyer on some maps like Wake and Guadalcanal. Our mapper Sarge Surfat even created a special map for the Yubari, so let yourself be surprised!
The IJN Yubari was the only ship of its class and marked the beginning of modern Japanese cruiser production in 1923. Its radical new design differed enormously from that of earlier ships. The goal of the constructors was to build a light, fast ship with maximum firepower. While displacing only 4075 tons fully loaded and reaching a maximum speed of 35.5 knots it was armed with six 140mm guns in four turrets. It saw first combat during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. In October 1941 it was moved to the Japanese naval base on Truk in the Pacific as part of the Japanese war preparations. In December of 1941 she was the flagship during the Japanese attack on Wake and participated in the invasion of Rabaul in January 1942.
Other important operations she participated in were the invasion of New Guinea in spring of 1942 (were she managed to evade 67 bombs and 12 torpedoes) and the battles of Savo and Rendova Island (Solomon Islands) in August 1942 and July 1943. Near Buin on Bougainville she was severely damaged at the bow by an air dropped mine and was therefore send to the Yokosuka and Kure docks for repairs. During the repairs she got new equipment and weapons. The aft single barrel turret was removed and replaced by a triple Model 95 25mm AA gun along with some other AA guns.
In November 1943 she returned to Rabaul and escorted a troop transport to New Britain where she was again severely damaged by American bombers and seaplanes. After returning to Yokosuka repairs began during which the front single barrel turret was also removed and replaced with another triple 25mm AA gun. She returned to active duty in March 1944, mainly as convoy escort. Only one month later she met her fate: After she had dropped troops on an island group southwest of Palau she was torpedoed by the American submarine USS Bluegill. When all repair and towing attempts had failed she sank 24 hours later on April 28th 1944.
Our next model is somewhat smaller than the Yubari but not less interesting. In order to provide small naval vessels to most of our armies in BG42 Cabrio created a British Vosper Motor Torpedo Boat. It is armed with torpedoes, a 20mm cannon and depth charge launchers. To recreate the British tactic of dropping depth charges in front of enemy vessel´s bows to let them detonate beneath the ship we´ve coded the charges to act like sea mines, floating on the water surface for some time. Our Vosper MBT is of the 70 feet class which was produced from 1940 to 1942 by Vosper in Portsmouth. With three V12 Packard engines it reached a maximum speed of 40 knots. They operated mostly in the English Channel and the Mediterranean Sea where they mainly hunted merchant vessels but also often fought desperate battles against hostile torpedo boats.
One of those boats was the MAS of the Italian Navy. The MAS is our latest addition to the naval units and is armed with torpedoes, depth charges and an anti air machine gun. Reaching a maximum speed of 45 knots it was even faster than the Vosper MTB. Currently it can only be found on our map "Operation Corkscrew" but you can be sure that it will be present on more maps in later builds. Out of all the countries the Italians used their MTBs with the greatest success. 48 of the fast MAS were available when WWII started and they were first used in the Mediterranean Sea against British warships and escorts, later also in the Black Sea against Russian vessels.
That´s it for today´s hopefully interesting news. As usual we would like to point out that we are always on the lookout for people who want to join our team, we are also giving modding beginners a chance. Especially modelers and skinners are very welcome. So please visit our website!