Operation: Cherry Blossom | World of Warships


When the guys came to me
asking for ideas for a new operation, I remembered that not so long
ago we had worked on a video dedicated to Cleveland-class cruisers and we had recreated the
Battle of Empress Augusta Bay with the help of computer graphics, where the US cruisers had
participated and performed well. The operation
is based on actual events, so its name will be historical
as well—Cherry Blossom. The operation’s story is based on the
events that happened in November 1943 near Bougainville Island
and the town of Rabaul, which was the base
of the Japanese Navy at the time. Bougainville Island, lying
some 400 kilometers southeast, was the key to Rabaul, that’s
why it was crucial for the Japanese to maintain control
over it at all costs. At that time, Japan had a powerful strike
force, combining Air Forces and Navy, concentrated in Rabaul for
the future advance southwest. Rabaul—a very powerful and
fortified base—presented a hard target, and the US military needed
to find a way to approach it. They had an idea to land
troops on Bougainville Island, which lies some 200 miles away from
Rabaul, and construct runways there. After this, Rabaul would constantly be
within range of the American aviation. And that would prevent Japan
from using it as a naval base. By the end of 1943, Japan had
created a network of naval bases throughout almost
the entire Pacific region. Its aviation and fleet
controlled every plot of land within an area of about
50 million square kilometers. When the Japanese realized that US
troops had landed, basically, next door, they assembled
all the ships they had and sent them to Bougainville to put
a stop to this operation somehow. In their turn, the Americans
learned about the Japanese squadron exiting the Rabaul harbor
thanks to air reconnaissance and sent everything
they had at hand to intercept. The two squadrons
met in Empress Augusta Bay on the night of November 1, 1943. The weather was quite bad. The US squadron consisting
of four cruisers and eight destroyers deployed in a battle
formation, waiting for the enemy, who could emerge at any moment.
All eyes were on the screens of the newly-installed
radars on the American cruisers. Players will be able
to participate in this operation with US, French,
or British Tier VIII cruisers. The Japanese side will mostly
have cruisers and destroyers from Tier VI to Tier IX. Radar picked up
the first contact at 02:30 a.m. The Japanese squadron including
six destroyers and four cruisers approached from the northwest. The US destroyers were first to launch
an attack against the enemy ships. The map represents the bay and
a couple of islands located nearby. Players will have
to pass through the bay and then return to the islands,
which house Japanese bases. Allied landing troops
will be on a shore in the bay. You’ll need to defend them
against the Japanese forces and then carry out
a counterattack on the islands with Japanese airfields
and some warships near them. To better immerse players
in the atmosphere of a night battle, we recreated a tropical
storm. An impenetrable shower, lightning flashes, and the
dark waters of the ocean. This directly affects
the visibility on the map and makes the
operation more difficult. Due to poor visibility and rough seas,
US torpedoes missed their targets. However, the Japanese
squadron broke formation while dodging American torpedoes. At that moment,
the US cruisers joined the fight and concentrated their
fire on light cruiser Sendai. It was a complete
surprise for the Japanese, although they were trying
to detect the US ships themselves using star shells and flares. Our team of FX designers developed
special effects for this operation. They added local sources of light, which allow us to illuminate
specific areas on the map. The Japanese forces
will use star shells or flares, which will have special visual
effects for them on the map and will also have an impact
on the specifications of ships. The longer you are under the
influence of a star shell or flare, the harder it will be for you
to play in this operation; the Japanese will hit you fiercely, that’s why you should do your
best to avoid illuminated areas. With this map, we moved away
from our standard approach a little; it doesn’t have many islands, so players
will have to fight mostly in open water. Many players asked us for this, but it’s possible that many will suffer
as a result, because open areas of water present quite a serious challenge
for everyone in the battle. You’ll likely have to maintain the
distance between you and the enemy and maneuver to avoid fire from
opponents and collisions with allies. The Japanese ships
maneuvered chaotically and that led to heavy cruiser Myoko
ramming into their own destroyer. When the Japanese cruisers opened
fire from their main batteries, their fate was sealed. The US cruisers replied with
extremely dense and accurate gunfire. Having lost three ships,
the Japanese forces withdrew from Empress Augusta Bay
under the cover of darkness. The US squadron emerged
from the battle almost undamaged. But that wasn’t
the end of the engagement. The very next morning, the US squadron
came under a powerful air raid, which was repelled with great
losses for the Japanese side, thanks to the radar and excellent
AA defenses of the US cruisers. We introduced an
interesting feature for this map when the night ends
and morning begins. Players will notice
a gradual change in lighting, the moon will disappear, and dark
clouds will become pleasantly pink. Water will start to glare
brightly under the sun. With the break of dawn, the second phase of the operation
begins and allied carriers arrive. And these carriers bring
allied aircraft with them that will engage the enemy aviation
and assist you in the operation. The Japanese have two airfields that
you will need to destroy in the end. The main events of this
operation spanned four days. Players will have
the opportunity to experience all the adrenaline of these
four days in just 20 minutes. We worked on this operation for a long
time and put our heart and soul into it. We hope you’ll enjoy it and spend a lot
of quality time playing this operation.

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