Silent Service III – Batfish Plays Silent Hunter

Hiya Batfish! How are things going?

Oh. Hey Tautog.

Well, right now Morgane, K9, and I are scheduling who does what for the sub corners.

…Isn’t the sub corners your thing? 

Well, everyone’s pitching in to help. I thought I’d come check on you since we haven’t determined your role yet –

No really? You didn’t? I am so surprised. 

Well! I just thought you’d want to know what we’re doing and what we’re having you do…

Could you stop staring at my screen like that?

…Is that the Yamato?

Yes. What of it?

Uh, nothing. What game are you playing?

Silent Hunter 4. K9 gave it to me. He buys me games. The new one’s pretty bad though so I play 4 instead. 

And the first thing you do is try to sink the Yamato?

…Call it a personal quest. An obsession. A curiosity of mine. 


What’s with the smirk.

You’re taking the uh, historical thing pretty personally aren’t you?

Well. I’ll sign you up to explain torpedo targeting and working the TDC. How about that?

Yea. Sure. Whatev – Aw shit. I left my periscope up too long. Thanks Tog. I’ll have to retreat now.



It’s just a game, Bats…


If you want I can ask Dolphin to have Yammy be our next target for training.


Actually. If a personal interjection may be permitted. The game may not be inaccurate. While it is true that the Yamato is generally considered to have excellent torpedo protection, the actual data is a lot more complex and oftentimes conflicting or even contradictory. After all the Yamato did absorb a considerably large number of torpedoes, though they were dropped from planes and differ considerably from the submarine ones. In any case the video game is not necessarily wrong in depicting the Yamato as a capable target, and in no small part due to the nature of that particular game’s design. Of course if actual history is required a trip to the library would suffice. Currently in the library’s possession include Thornton’s study, Garzke and Dulin’s book, and –


Well, for the purpose of general education it would be more expedient if –


Silent Service II: Cusk

Hiya Folks! K9 here. Finally got wordpress up and running, so Morgane doesn’t have to post for me. Today we’d like to show you guys a new subgirl!

How’s your day –

Commander, I’m going to need the practice range for ALL of tomorrow. Yes-yes, from 0800 to 1600! I’m on the cusp of a major breakthrough here! If this works we change all of ROCKETRY forever!

This time, it’s the real deal!

Forget what I said last time, this is new data. Look. Look here. This new fuel mixture gives us a pretty solid increase to our current range. Gonna guess we can push 20%, but even so 10% is nothing to sniff at. I’ve lowered the risk of spontaneous combustion too, just as ordered!

…30%. A reduction of 30%.

Whaddaya mean 70% is really high?

Commander this is ROCKET FUEL. Rocket. Fuel. BURN. That’s its job!

Yes, I know! Mahan’s tests concluded that the superstructure of the – it’s not pressure! It’s materials. That was the last missile. This one’s new. Totally different. Mike, are you even reading the weekly briefs the fairies are bringing to your desk?

Why do you think I’m here? You’ve GOT to let me try this. Just one more time!

No, you can’t push it to Jer. She’s already rejected the proposal three times in the past hour! It wasn’t even my proposal was bad. She’s literally getting me on technical trivialities that nobody’s followed for decades!

Aw come on, pretty please?

…okay, fine! I’ll make it “safer…”


Anyway, whaddaya wanna ask?

How was your day?

Good. You could make it great if you’d just sign here and give me permission…

Okay. I’ll do it just this once –

Yay! Love ya commander, you’re the best! Just watch! It’s gonna work this time.

Tell me a bit about your namesake.

What, SS 340? You know if we’re gonna get technical I shouldn’t even be in Pacif – I mean, uh, I wouldn’t have really fallen under current paradigms of shipgirl appearances –

Right. The actual submarine. What can I say? She was a good sub. The Cusk served for twenty-four and a half years. Commissioned just slightly after – well, if we’re gonna get technical she was launched on July 28th of 1945 – World War II, she’s famous for being the world’s first missile submarine.

That’s right. She launched the first guided missile from a submarine in 1947. Affectionately known as the “Loon,” the LTV-N-2 missile was an improved copy of the German V1 Buzz Bomb. Yeah. That thing. Hitler’s terror weapon. Horribly inaccurate but it managed to give the Brits quite the scare. Anyways, by the end of the war, we managed to capture a few and study it. The brass thought it’d make the perfect stealth weapon if one could just launch it from a submarine, and that’s exactly what the Cusk accomplished.

Basically, as one of the first guided missiles built by the navy, it provided the US with a lot of practical knowledge regarding missile design and development. Pretty much all the advanced stuff that came later have the Loon to thank for, and I’d go as far as to say that it’s one of the top three weapons of war that permanently changed the fate of the world. The ability for a submarine to carry ballistic missiles anywhere around the globe and launch them at a moment’s notice … Need I say more?

Anyways. The Cusk then did her time, and did what a submarine was asked to do. Unlike me, she completed all of her missions more or less flawlessly –

D’aww, just like me? Now you’re making me blush. So you did read the reports after all!


How do you feel about the coming Abyssal War?

Victory through technology. If we’re gonna beat the uglies we’re going to have to push our gear to the limit. We only have so many shipgirls that can be deployed at a time. Something like the Loon would easily turn the tide if we can get the thing working and the little ones to start mass producing this stuff – preferably before they show up in force.

So, this girl was actually Sima’s idea. Sima found some info on the Loon and decided that she would be an interesting girl to cover. Morgane and I agreed, and here we are! Cusk. I think she looks great.

When I saw Sima’s first Cusk draft, the first thing that came to mind was the half-brilliant half-crazy aviation and space pioneers that I oh-so wanted to be when I was little. The run up to build speed, the throwing arm cocked back and ready to throw, the look of pure joy on her face from the sheer fun of not knowing what will happen next… She’s living my childhood dream. I can’t help but smile when I see Cusk. Sima’s really gotten better, being able to communicate these things by drawing. Morgane, being an actual scientist, is having a lot of fun with her too. She knows just how to make Cusk the best character she can be, and she’s done a lot more with Cusk than I ever could. (She’s the one who wrote most of the introduction up there!)

Thanks to the Loon, we’ve had a lot more Jojo references. Morgane wanted to do a GERMAN SCIENCE IS BEST IN THE WORLD joke, but didn’t manage to fit it in. Actually, with the Loon we wanted to dive a bit into the whole “German technology is superior” concept. Just how much of it is true? We’ll see just what we dig up.

As a side note, a quick update for Silent Service itself. So far we’ve got 11/12 new subgirls drawn. All of the new subgirls have at least have their personality and details outlined, so from here on out it’s a matter of writing out everyone’s intro, various slice-of-life stories, and finishing up Tautog’s Sub Corner.

Oh. And getting the Bikini Calendar put together. That’s important too.

It’s a whole team effort here, and so far things are running on schedule. Morgane’s busy directing Sima and editing my works, Sune’s been chugging away at Japanese sources and generally dabbing a bit in everything, and I’ve been writing out the subgirls, stories, and sub corners.

And as always, thanks for your support too!


[Mail Call 04/24/17] – General Update Edition

Note: This was posted yesterday, but apparently stuff didn’t sync, so I’ll probably have something up today as well.

First things first. The website’s experiencing troubles (again) over the weekend. What I can say with some honest confidence is that it goes down due to any number of things ranging from attacks to too much server traffic to general shenanigans.

Sorry, folks, but it’s what it is. We’re doing our best.

Thank you for the random questions. Zero’s actually working on the video-related stuff now.

Right now, it looks something like this.

…Yeah, it’ll be something derp-cute, I think, but other than that, it’s on-going.

You’ll see a number of new things in the works. First, we’ve reorganized the site. 2016 and the U.S. Navy Cuisine book now have its own sections on the site, and the Pacific section is now its own thing. As I mentioned a while back, I’ve made a “timeline” of sorts detailing the tidbits and all the random stuff we’ve done for Pacific. That timeline’ll get updated as constantly as I can – there’s a lot of stuff I’m trying to finish up in the meantime.

There’s another book that we’re putting out. It’s called “Fate in History.” The book is Zero’s idea about a what-if of an exhibit of Fate series characters, but as their “historical” counterparts. In particular, we’re going with the hypothesis that the historical origin of Arthur is, well, Roman.

The artist has often been mistaken for November because of his similar looking art style, but he’s not November. In a very roundabout fashion, Maria (it’s a dude, just to clarify) found us a year or so back. If you’ve seen some homebrew’d British shipgirls (sort of like Pacific, only minus the worldbuilding and the lore), he’s the guy.

Now, where do we stand with the other stuff?

We’re working on logistics pertaining to 2016. Again, if you’ll recall it took us nearly a year and a half to sort out Pacific proper, I can say 2016 won’t take that long, but we’re working on it.

Volume 3: My great uncle’s girl (his words, not mine) has been done. I think we’re good for August release, but don’t quote me on that. November is working very hard. Especially now we need to sort out the rigging so that they’re uniform.

Silent Service: All the shipgirls except for one has been fully illustrated. Sima is working on expressions and fun stuff now. By my count we have 7 1/2 US subgirls, one U-boat, one Japanese subgirl, and two Soviet ones. Below you can see an example of an expression. We’ve picked a number of expressions that we feel exemplifies the particular girl’s personality. It’s also a really easy way for us to do some stuff on the site with text and liven the page up a bit.

I think at this point Pacific has yet another inside joke.

The Royal Navy is basically cast as “Sir not appearing in Pacific” because we never get around to finishing any of the British shipgirls. For Silent Service we briefly thought about perhaps bringing the British Trout, but then we realize it’d be really confusing. That, and I’m not quite prepared to settle the lore on what happens with two shipgirls having the same name just yet.

Here in the western-speaking countries, British sources on WW2 are pretty much second only to the US in terms of the sheer quantity of stuff out there that you can get. Well, I’ve got my hands full already with the American side, and currently we’ve really got no one taking the reins on the UK. Its role in storytelling is more or less a counterweight to the US. The UK is still quite capable of influencing international politics, it’s a convenient tool for us to keep the regions that I’m not interested in (e.g. the Middle East, Africa, etc) peaceful, and it acts as a direct counterbalance to the USSR.

At the cost of Germany and to a lesser extent, France, the actual Cold War is less U.S. vs. USSR and more like U.K vs. the USSR, with the US backing the U.K. mostly except for some very unusual circumstances. Again, given a not-collapsing Soviet Union, there is always that latent threat where another war can start in Europe or worse, the spread of communism.

Pacific’s USSR is a very curious mix in that it is largely concerned with its own affairs. Not much revolution-exporting there. To policy analysts, though, there’s that latent danger. Present day, Pacific, the USSR is more or less functional. A strong leader has emerged after nearly three decades of internal bloodshed, and things have been looking up for the last ten or so years.

This didn’t come to a surprise to America’s leadership. In fact, America in Pacific is basically hitting most of our modern technological developments decades in advance of when they would have showed up in real life.

The America in this particular setting is unique. It’s familiar to us, especially those born in the 90s, but it’s still different. On average less people are crowded into large cities, driving down poverty. Manufacturing, materials, and industry are still jobs that are capable of fully sustaining a family if they wish. The average education level still lags far behind that of Europe, with much fewer people choosing to attend college or obtain higher education. However, in contrast, high school completion rates are typically five to ten points higher in comparison to where they were at here. Wages have had steady and slow increases, and Americans, too, are just beginning to reap the fruits of global trade.

These are just examples of some of the small tweaks I’ve carried out, and the resultant changes that follows. You guys have seen my writings. You know how much I love this country. It’s part of why I find Pacific fascinating.

Now, I originally set out to basically (and perhaps naively) wanting to butterfly away much of the issues in which I believed to have turned America into what it is today. It’s not that I don’t want to do so in my fictional work, but I want to make what I do meaningful.

In other words, simply “fixing it” by wiping away the past in an attempt to undo what will be isn’t good enough. What I’m focused on now is trying to understand (deeply) what will happen or what might happen if X didn’t happen. For instance, what happens if the Vietnam War concluded with a North-South Vietnam similar to Korea? Would America have been more or less prone to adventurism? How would the Civil Rights movement turn out if Dr. King wasn’t assassinated, or if he was assassinated a month, a year later? Could we have worked things out with our primary geopolitical adversary? If so, how?

I used to think that I can go in with a cleaver. If I could change X, surely the world would turn out to be better. Fast forward to today and I’m going at history with basically a scalpel. You’ll see – and I hope you’ll appreciate – how different things can be if things happened slightly differently. After all, incremental changes can result in very big differences over time.