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Author Topic: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]  (Read 51087 times)

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
You mean was executed after an unfair trail>

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
You mean was executed after an unfair trail>
Uh? I meant exactly what I said, she died a hundred years ago. Did you see me make any kind of other implication?  :confused:
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline Enioch

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Battle of Helgoland Bight AKA The Ride of the Relics




"This is an outrage! The blood and glory of our brave men is not something to cast aside and recycle for a cheap publicity stunt! And the names of the fallen and of our veterans, men and ships alike, are not toys to play with for one's entertainment!"

-Grossadmiral v. Galster, apocryphal quote; said to have been uttered in rage after the von Papen Hertha plan was made known to him.



Aftermath of the battle in the North Sea: the French surface fleet has been utterly mauled. They only have a single 37k Dreadnought to face the two Bismarcks which, together, measure 98k tons(!). They are also left with only five battlecruisers (with three more 40k-ton hulls building) to the Germans' eleven. They have no answer whatsoever to the Germans' heavy cruiser force: their light cruisers are smaller than even the German early-20th-century analogues; and the German Zerstörer outmass and outgun the French contre-torpilleurs hull-for-hull by a considerable margin.



Hindenburg and Galster know very well that the amazing results of Heligoland were exactly that: unbelievable. Yes, the Vaterland has a good chance of dealing with the French relatively quickly after that disaster, but fate is a fickle mistress. Also, there is no love lost between the military leaders and Von Papen, especially since the Reichskanzler is eager to capitalise politically on the Navy's victories, interpreting them as validation of his warmongering policies.

Galster very nearly loses his temper publicly when a memo reaches the Admiralität from the Reichskanzler's office. The funds have been set apart for the construction of a new heavy cruiser of the Hansa class - but the Kanzler insists it should be named Hertha.

Testimonies by Galster's co-workers mention that the Grossadmiral received the news like a physical blow. What von Papen demanded would entail the formal decommissioning of the old Hertha, so that her name would become available; it was, he thought, an utter usurpation of the old cruiser's identity, simply for propaganda purposes. Many of the other high-ranking officers agreed. Scheer, for one, who had served as Hertha's commanding officer during the Italian war, was dramatically opposed to von Papen's proposal.

And there was more than the ideological considerations in play here. Von Papen wanted a ship to start building now, based on an already existing design. Remember, however, that the Hansas were not particularly effective designs, with almost 500 tons of wasted, unoptimised space and a top speed of 31 knots, compared to the coal-fired, 32-knot Prinz Heinrichs. This was a bad investment.

It took Tirpitz's intervention, and a direct order from the Kaiser, to get the project through. His Majesty himself met with Galster to discuss the matter: he is said to have been morose himself at what it would imply.



With the French fleet well and truly blockaded in their harbours, the German U-Boote assume fleet support duties. They still manage to nab two blockade runners to the west of the Channel.

And then the French strike back.









SCHEISSE.

3 August 1920: the French submarine Circé is attempting to sneak past the German patrols. She runs across Wettin, returning home from a North Sea patrol, and snapshots three torpedoes. Two strike the German superdread on her starboard bow, cracking four bulkheads and killing sixty sailors. The Wettin is never in danger of sinking and her Zerstörer escorts drive the Circé away, but the return to Wilhelmshaven does a number on the transverse bulkheads of the ship and the mangled bow. Yardhands scream obscenities and descend upon the ship like a swarm of locusts; the most optimistic estimates put her back in action in just under half a year.

This is closely followed by the loss of the Makrele, one of the Piepers, with all hands, near the eastern exit of the Channel.

Her sisters draw some French blood in return, but still, the losses sting. For the first time in, well...ever, the Germans are on the receiving end of a competently-led and competently-pursued submarine warfare campaign.



And another nasty surprise awaits the Germans on the 21st of August.



Two ancient German coastal submarines (U-1, yes, the first German submarine ever built and the U-12), both modernised training vessels now, are sailing along the Dutch coastline, when they make out dark shapes towards the north. Fregattenkapitän Ulrich Baumann of the U-1 orders an immediate crash dive and tracks the course of the presumed hostiles, his trainee crew and officers scared out of their wits. Modernised or not, if these are French and if a destroyer sniffs the submarines out...

They are French, Baumann decides, judging by the dark silhouettes. A raiding force, attemtping to hit-and-run in the Bight. Cold sweat runs down his spine.

But the sailors know their duty. Baumann extends his small radio aerial; and sends a brief, encoded warning message on the emergency bands. If the French are paying attention - if a single destroyer in that raiding force has an alert radioman monitoring German frequencies...



The French sail past, shrouded in darkness. No challenge is given.

Shortly after they sail out of view, the terrified Germans turn their old boat around - and make best speed for the safe, shallow waters of the Dutch coast.



Back in Helgoland, the alarm has roused all fleet units currently on station. Helgoland Command is tearing out their hairs; they are trying to contact the Admiralität for orders, but comms are down because of technical difficulties - it will take at least an hour to restore them, an hour that Vize-Admiral Leberecht Maass, the CO of the Helgoland Naval Base does not thing he has.

Helgoland is currently lacking any active modern Schlachtkreuzer for her defense and the Bismarck is patroling. All that Maass has available are the three old Schlachtkreuzer Von der Tann, Goeben and Seydlitz; the heavy cruisers Prinz Heinrich, Prinz Adalbert and Hansa; and a handful of old Zerstörer. He does not know where the enemy is, nor what their force composition is. And he cannot believe how the French have managed to slip an operation like that past the German Intelligence and codebreakers.



If there is a modern battlecruiser out there (or, heaven forbid, more than one), sending the lightly armored cruisers and the old Schlachtkreuzer against her in the dark could be suicide. But he has no other option. If he does not challenge the French, they might slip by and strike at Helgoland or even Wilhelmshaven; this would be a nightmarish repeat of the Thames Estuary raid, only with the roles reversed. He needs to find and stop them in the Bight - sacrifice his ships if he has to, to mission-kill or at least delay the enemy, until the heavy Schlachtkreuzer can respond from the North Sea.

And so he sends out what forces he has, in two task groups. One comprises the three old Schlachtkreuzer, with Konteradmiral Behncke in command. The other is led by promising Kapitän zur See Karl von Müller, who has left his darling Frauenlob for a posting with the new heqvy cruiser forces. His squadron is escorted by little Bremen, her old boilers screaming under the stress, but her crew eager for battle.



Behncke decides to split up his forces, to cover a larger area. The Schlachtkreuzer move north; the cruisers turn south, to skirt the Dutch coast.



It is a questionable decision, but it pays off, as V1, scouting ahead of Goeben makes contact with the enemy at 06:12. And, shortly after that, in the early light of dawn, the lookouts of Goeben manage to identify the massive ship leading the enemy force.



*DRY ****ING GULP*

That's 10 14-inch rifles, staring down the old German Schlachtkreuzer.Oh, thinks Behncke, this is going to suck. His ships are so outclassed that it's not even funny.



But he is an Admiral of the Kaiserliche Marine and he knows his duty. And he is in command of Goeben, the glorious, aptly-nicknamed Berserkershiff, with probably the best crew in the fleet under his command, and he is desperate, with his back against the wall. He cannot retreat - the Marseille is faster and will utterly rip him apart at long range. But he has another option.

SCHLACHTKREUZER ****ING RAN AN DEN FEIND!

[OOC Note: Take a look at the 'Crew Quality' score of the Goeben. "-1" means "Untrained, why the hell are you bringing this ship into battle?"; "0" means "Trained"; "1" means "Experienced". "2" is "Elite" - a status that ship crews can only achieve by participating in multiple actions AND never entering reserve status. Goeben has been in active service since her commissioning and has participated in every war since then. Her crew are the very best of the best, hardened veterans every one.]



Bremen is in sight, to the south; she turns to scout out the French force. Meanwhile, the German capitals turn to the north, unshadow their broadsides and open fire. Twenty-four old 11-inch rifles boom, before the French can get the range.

Goeben straddles the target with her very first salvo at long range. Seydlitz misses by a small margin, and her fire control crews rush to adjust the firing calculations. And Von der Tann shoots straight and true, smashing an 11-inch shell into the Frenchman's superstructure.



Quickly followed by another hit from Von der Tann, and one from Seydlitz, as she finds the range.

The Marseille responds by charging down the German formation. Her guns boom, and shells straddle the Goeben. Behncke is brave, but not suicidal: he knows what these heavy guns can do to his old ships. He turns away, keeping the French ship at mid- to long range for as long as possible, buying time for reinforcements to arrive.



He is proven right when, two minutes later, the Marseille scores a hit on the Goeben's forward port turret, penetrating the armor and killing the entirety of the gun crew. Goeben loses a quarter of her active broadside, but she does not flinch.



In fact, she turns to the east and outright challenges the Marseille to a mid-range battle. The Frenchmen, foolishly, accept, instead of either pushing in (to score crippling, multiple-hit broadsides) or opening the range (to pound the German capitals from outside their range).



And they pay for it in blood. It does not matter how good your guns are, Frenchie, if you are obliging enough to sit inside the range of twenty-two rapid-firing 11-inchers.



Fourty minutes after first contact, Goeben breaks the Frenchman's nose. One of her 11-inch shells buries itself in the deck of the Marseille just in front of her "A" Turret; it doesn't penetrate, but the shell explosion is enough to jam the turret.

That's a third of the Frenchman's firepower out of commission.



Seydlitz, her FC directors now perfectly locked on target follows her sister's example with a devastating broadside. She scores four hits (out of eight shots fired) on the Frenchman, whose fire now is surprisingly erratic. Perhaps a fire control position was knocked out?



Behncke cannot believe his eyes, but somehow -somehow- he is winning this!



Seriously, Goeben has been the focus of the French fire so far, and she has only received a total of two hits!



And then, von Müller finally arrives to reinforce and enters the fray from the south. The three heavy cruisers flank the Marseille from her fore portside and open fire with their 9-inchers at around 8k yards.



At this range, the Frenchman's 9-inch belt and 9-inch turrets are butter - and the cruisers have a total of thirty six guns to bring to bear. As Prinz Adalbert pumps two shells into the battlecruiser's bridge, Hansa penetrates her aft turret and blows it off its bearings.



Welp.

And then the cruisers fire again, from an even closer range. Heinrich scores a hit, followed by two more from the Hansa...



...who, it turns out, is calmly and methodically knocking out the Marseille's turrets.



Von Müller signals the flagship: ENEMY NEUTRALISED. ENGAGING IN PURSUIT OF ENEMY LIGHT FORCES. RECOMMEND YOU FALL BACK AWAY FROM ENEMY TORPEDO SHIPS.

Behncke agrees, and turns his task force away. The French battlecruiser is harmless now: a de-fanged prey for the German Zerstörer. And her escorts - the light cruisers and destroyers that are running away from the German heavies in terror...

Well. They're roadkill, really.



G7, G9 and G12 are detached to sink the French hulk. A torpedo strikes her amidships at 08:03; she sinks slowly by the bows, giving the German ships plenty of time to pick up survivors. More than five hundred sailors are rescued, from her crew of eight hundred and fifty.



Meanwhile, von Müller is in pursuit of the enemy light forces, taking multiple DDs under fire. His slowest ship is the Hansa, with a maximum speed of 31 knots. Hilariously...



...neither the French light cruiser...



...nor the French destroyers can outrun him. But the French scatter, to such an extent that Müller cannot follow them all. He still runs down and annihilates four French destroyers before pulling back to Emden.



German ship losses: one coastal patrol skiff. Not even one of the Piepers, mind you - just a nameless armed trawler that a French submarine happened to run across.





It's a massacre; and the Germans quickly find out why, from their prisoners. The Marseille-class ship Rouen had just been commissioned; and had been sent on this raid after considerable political pressure before her shakedown cruise was complete.

The German sailors are horrified when they find out. No bloody wonder the Frenchmen couldn't score hits. They had never had the chance to train with their ship's guns, before being sent off to war.

Seriously, France. What. The. ****.

This has gone far beyond a patriotic war. This is now a mission to save the Frenchmen from their leaders.


« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 10:04:01 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
BECAUSE THAT IS CERTAINLY A GOOD IDEA.

GERMANS TRYING TO SAVE OTHERS FROM THE TRAPPINGS OF DEMOCRACY. NOPE. NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT. /kappa

ALSO, RIP FRAU ZELLE.  :(

'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline The E

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
The German sailors are horrified when they find out. No bloody wonder the Frenchmen couldn't score hits. They had never had the chance to train with their ship's guns, before being sent off to war.

Seriously, France. What. The. ****.

This has gone far beyond a patriotic war. This is now a mission to save the Frenchmen from their leaders.

I.

What.

France. WHY. WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
You mean was executed after an unfair trail>
Uh? I meant exactly what I said, she died a hundred years ago. Did you see me make any kind of other implication?  :confused:

Oh, sorry, I made that sound confrontational, whilst I wasn't intending to.

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
So now that France has no real, actual navy to speak of, blockade and take all their stuff?  ;7

Oh, sorry, I made that sound confrontational, whilst I wasn't intending to.
No worries.

Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline StarSlayer

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Death ride of the matriarch Valkyries?



Not Yet Kameraden! Not Yet!

I love how even in their twilight years the original Schlachtkreuzers still sally forth and gain victory for the Vaterland

Crew Quality 2 Indeed!
“Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
So now that France has no real, actual navy to speak of, blockade and take all their stuff?  ;7

Of course. The highly skilled political and diplomatic leadership of Germany is sure to not miss this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity. :\/

France. WHY. WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU.

More than a decade of peace, during which their nominal ally, Germany, pretty much handled the 'war at sea' matters. The French have pissed away what little nautical tradition they had; and their fleet (despite being comprised of several good ships) is corrupt, underfunded and undertrained - a black hole for the French bureaucracy to 'disappear' money into.


*snip*

I love how even in their twilight years the original Schlachtkreuzers still sally forth and gain victory for the Vaterland

Crew Quality 2 Indeed!

You ain't seen nothing yet.

'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Of course. The highly skilled political and diplomatic leadership of Germany is sure to not miss this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity. :\/

Another miserable 10 point victory?
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Your optimism is a bright light in the darkness, Spoon. I must protect that smile!

Updated the threadmarks
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline The E

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]

The next part.

Watch out for non-vampiric Bismarck.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 
Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Hearts of Iron IV is revamping it's national focuses to go down the full-on alternate history path for it's major powers (After one of the expansions allowed you to reform Austro-Hungary as Hungary :D ) - For anyone interested in this particular German empire it's a neat treat.

Alternatively you can download the Kaisserreich mod which is an alternate history that assumes that Germany won WW1. Also, quite a neat followup to this campaign.

  

Offline Enioch

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"There is no space for compromise with the enemy. They will submit to our terms, or we will dictate them from Paris."

-Franz von Papen, shortly before the Geneva peace negotiations.

"The great men of a nation reach out to all mankind. They are unifying, not divisive; internationally conciliating and still great nationally."

-Gustav Streseman, as a response.



August: and Bremen enters the yards. Her old engines are almost ready to give up the ghost; a rushed drydock visit is the only way to keep her in the fight.

In a cruel twist of fate, Frauenlob is called to take up her patrol duties.



Three months into the war, and the French make a first attempt at peace. It is hard to ignore the current German superiority, especially in the naval battlefield; on land, both Powers are posturing along their borders, fortifying their positions.

Hindenburg is invited to reveal the Ministry of War's position on the matter. His speech is clear: Germany must either commit to a total war, that will allow her the necessary time to fully mobilise her ground forces in assistance of her Fleet; or (and this is his personal recommendation) she needs to reach an honourable peace with France. This...ugly war is not truly worth pursuing, against the allies of yesteryear.

Streseman agrees; and his recommendation to the Kaiser is for a peace agreement that will humiliate the French as little as possible, and ensure a stable Kerneuropa in the future. Wilhelm, apparently still a fanatical Mecklenburgian and believer in the German-French Alliance agrees.

Von Papen does not.





Using the term 'sabotage' to describe what he does to the peace negotiations is being too lenient. His ambition, as it is seen from personal writings at the time, is to mirror and surpass Bismarck's 1870 accomplishment; he is not interested in anything more than a total defeat of the French.







With the breakdown in peace talks, operations resume. With French shipping blockaded, German submarines can only score a limited number of kills; but the minelaying submarines do manage to claim a minesweeper. In turn, the French submarines sink six German freighters. Nothing that can rival the frightening effectiveness of the German raiders in previous wars, but a notable threat nonetheless.







The surface fleet, on the other hand, performs admirably. A French convoy is sunk in the Mediterranean and French installations are bombarded in Tonkin; meanwhile, German codebreakers intercept French communications regarding a planned raid in the Baltic and German fleet elements mobilise in time to intercept.



The French do their best to avoid a direct clash, in all three occasions.







October: and the month seems to begin with the usual reports from the submarine and raider fleets. The French seem to be carving a small chunk off the German merchant marine, as usual...



...and then, at noon of the 29th of October, a German fleet patrol near Texel runs across a French raiding force.



The Germans have brought two Wittelsbach-class Schlachtkreuzer: the usual pair of Wittelsbach herself and the Derfflinger. The German capitals are escorted by the two old cruisers Frauenlob and Bremen: the latter has only just left drydock and is shaking down her repaired engines. Frauenlob is only here to be relieved of patrol duty if the Bremen's repairs are satisfactory, and then to return to her position as escort to the Zähringen squadron.

At 12:54, the Germans spot a French cruiser approaching from the south and turn to intercept.



She's a light cruiser of the Du Chayla-class: a new, capable cruiser-killer, with a 3-inch belt and a 5-gun broadside.



And, the Germans realise, as the lookouts spot smoke rising from the south-western horizon, she's not alone. At least two French battlecruisers are here to assist her.

In all fairness, these are not particularly fearsome battlecruisers. They are old and, in fact, in everything but their speed and secondary battery, they are inferior to the Wittelsbachs.



And so, the Germans engage, establishing a firing line to the north, the Wittelsbachs serving to shield the cruisers from fire. Some hits are scored, on both sides, with the French notably scoring a penetrating waterline hit on Derfflinger's bow-

-a hit that slows her down, a crucial knot or so. A cry of distress from her lookouts; a panicked evasive turn towards the north, as a torpedo barely passes in front of her...





...and hits the Frauenlob amidships.



The old cruiser groans and bucks like a wild horse - and her old spine breaks like a twig. Her boilers go up, in a cloud of smoke and injection-oil; and her two halves slowly drift apart, burning. There is no time for the few survivors to take to lifeboats; only 84 men are saved.





And, not giving the aghast Germans time to get their bearings, the French follow up with another devastating torpedo strike on the S14. The little tin-can crumbles under the blow. Only 36 survivors.



No. Nonononono. The Germans are, now, very, very angry. The Frauenlob was a symbol, almost as famous a ship as the Hertha for her daring service in the British War. Her being torpedoed is what started this war and her survival at the time, in spite of the cowardly enemy's strike, had been seen as an act of God and a miracle, a sign of favour and good luck. Her loss, now, to a torpedo, of all things, is a black and red angry thing, that coils inside the German sailors' hearts and cries for blood and murder.

The Derfflinger and Wittelsbach train their guns - main and secondary batteries - onto the nearest Tourville-class; and their hulls disappear behind a wall of fire and smoke as they let loose with every gun barrel they can bring to bear.



Bam.

The Tourville loses a turret in a gout of smoke; and two more turrets jam in their bearings. She staggers, and slowly falls behind, out of formation.



As S17 detaches to pick up survivors, the Schlachtkreuzer keep up the accurate fire, continuously driving the French towards the south.



And they do not conserve ammunition. Less than an hour after first contact, the Derfflinger loaders report that they have expended more than half of their shells.





The trailing Tourville has been turned to swiss cheese. She is now completely out of formation, more than thirty kilometres behind her sister, wreathed in smoke and fire, her guns silent. The Germans now turn their attention to the lead ship-



-who is giving the best accounting of herself than any other ship in the French navy has given so far.

Meet the Lyon - an old ship, but a good ship. Her captain, Capitaine de Vaisseau Marc de Champs-à-Loire, is an officer of the Old School, a believer in strict discipline and in frequent training. He takes the Derfflinger under fire as she enters the range, and in a short while scores more than ten hits on her with main and secondary guns, raking her superstructure and punching several holes beneath the waterline.

But he is dealing with two of the best ships in the German Navy - and, eventually, the Lyon dies, under concentrated fire.



The G8 is called to give the coup de grâce at close range.



OK, you? You fought well. The Germans grudgingly admit it; and the Zerstörer willingly pick up the French survivors from the water.



The two Schlachtkreuzer turn towards the north-



-and pass by the second Tourville's burning hulk. Surprisingly, she has not yet struck her colours. The Germans have no time for cleanup - it's clear that she is sinking, and so Derfflinger just puts a contemptuous shell into her from near point-blank range and continues on her course, back to Home Waters.



The butcher's bill. Frauenlob and S14 are gone, and the Derfflinger has suffered considerable damage at the hands of the Loire. But the French have lost two of their last-

-wait.



-WHAT!?





SON OF A *****.

The second ship - the burning, disarmed, mauled hulk - was the Tourville herself: the name ship of her class. And she, somehow, manages to reach a French harbour, in time to be saved.

Well. ****.

That said, these Frenchmen - the crews of the old battlecruisers, who actually know what they're doing - the Germans can respect. Seriously. Two obsolete 12-inch battlecruisers and their escorts have caused more damage to the German fleet than all their newest 14-inch capitals put together. And they get to save a ship that, by all accounts, should be long-sunk.



Mad props to the Old Guard, I guess. Perhaps you can save your country from the criminal incompetence of your fellow officers.



For now, though? Thanks for the prestige.





November - and those goddamned French subs become even more effective. Not deadly, not by a long shot - but a constant annoyance.

So, the Germans push again, this time through the Channel and against La Rochelle, once more. Just to send a message.



Hipper is in command: the Jagdhund has his flag on the Mackensen and is escorted by the Graf Spee. He is deployed in a raiding / reconnaissance-in-force mission: his objective is to draw out what little forces the French still have in the region and sink them or, failing that, to hammer coastal installations and merchant traffic.



He is co-ordinating with the U-Boot Command: the U-103 has already snuck near the French harbour and is spotting for him. The presence of at least one French capital ship has been confirmed in the area.



Unfortunately, night falls before Hipper can manoeuver into position to engage - and his fuel tanks are running low, as the Mackensen never had the time to properly resupply before the operation.



And then, at 19:00, the lookouts spot enemy ships in the gloom. Terrifyingly, they seem to be light forces - light cruisers and destroyers, less than two thousand yards towards the north and well within torpedo range. Hipper scrambles to evade-

-and then something - a God's hammer - strikes the Mackensen's bridge, blowing it to smithereens.



Hipper is lucky in his misfortune. He is used to commanding from the relatively open conning towers of the older Schlachtkreuzer; the monolithic conning towers of the Zähringens, although safer, are too stifling and not to his taste. He is, therefore, commanding from the bridge when the French shell hits.

His mangled body is retrieved from the wreckage, a few minutes later. He has lost his right arm and his right eye to shrapnel; and his right leg is broken in three places and dislocated at the hip. He is unconscious; but he will survive the engagement, if barely, thanks to prompt medical aid.



By this time, the lookouts identify one of the enemy ships as the French battlecruiser Duquesne - and the two German Schlachtkreuzer, with no orders to the contrary, move to engage at close range, unshadowing their broadsides.



The Graf Spee fires once, to find the range, and scores a hit with her ranging salvo; the Mackensen is still scrambling under the hammerblow, and it takes a minute for her captain, Marcus von Weissberg to realise that he is command of the force. During that time, the ship is hit again, with an overpenetrating hit on her bows that causes minimal flooding. Her bridge is still burning, marking her as a target in the night gloom.



But then, her gunnery crews hit their stations. 20:08 - she scores two hits on her silhouetted enemy, while the Frenchman fires back, jamming one of her turrets. 20:09 - she finds the range. 20:10 - both her and Graf Spee fire together, in a concentrated massive salvo. In two minutes, the Duquesne is hit 13 times. She fades into the darkness, behind a smokescreen laid by her destroyers-





-but then, two minutes later, the Graf Spee's gunners reacquire her and pump another 7 shells into her. And that's all the French ship can take. Her ammo stores go up in a fireball that turns the night into day.



Weissberg does not risk continuing the engagement. He has accomplished his orders; and with Hipper wounded and his bridge destroyed he does not dare press on.



He turns his ships towards the north and leaves La Rochelle behind.







Well, it was the Dunkerque. Not a particularly good ship, design-wise; but still, one of the older breed, going own swinging. Going up against two Zähringens on this old tub? Mad props for bravery, Frenchmen; we'll have a drink to your honour in the Knappen of Wilhelmshaven .





And then, Hindenburg finally reports to the Kaiser that the Heer is fully armed, prepared and supplied, to break the land war stalemate. Germany is ready for the Winter Offensive; it is time for the Navy to rest.

Artillery roars and flowers of death bloom over the trenches. December is here - and the first snowfall of the season is drowned in blood, smoke, mud and fire.


« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 10:03:37 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
LA GARDE MEURT MAIS NE SE REND PAS.

(Aten't dead.)

Goddammit Frenchmen. First you sacrifice a modern battlecruiser for nothing - and then you send out these relics that die (or do not die, as the case may be) in the most glorious fashion imaginable, fighting to the last.

It is so obvious that the old veterans have taken out the old ships in contempt, saying to the criminally stupid youngsters "Regardez bien, les minables, c' est comme ça qu'on se bat contre les Boches" and it makes me want to cry and salute them.

Seriously. These are the most worthy adversaries Germany has faced so far. Glorious, magnificent bastards.
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Look at all this pointless death and bloodshed!



It's great.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline The E

  • He's Ebeneezer Goode
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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Frauenlob, nooooo

o7, little old tub.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Had it coming imo
Cheeky little boat was long overdue for sinking.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline Enioch

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
Had it coming imo
Cheeky little boat was long overdue for sinking.

Get out.

EDIT: Can you guys let me know if you can download working .gifs from giphy and other similar sites? I seem to be constantly getting corrupted versions and I suspect they've done something to stop downloads (or their sitecode is ****ed up worse than ours)
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 09:21:17 am by Enioch »
'Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent'  -Salvor Hardin, "Foundation"

So don't take a hammer to your computer. ;-)

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Enioch's naval shenanigans - RTW as Germany - [Image Heavy!]
I checked giphy for you, I can download and open their gifs just fine, without any corruption or what not.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them