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A Great Sea Story
A Great Sea Story
Originally planning to escape to
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
Now, a camouflaged ship
in deep trouble is better than a completely exposed ship.
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
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
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.
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