OOC: Sorry for taking so long with this update. I was...otherwise occupied."His Majesty's desire to secure the best possible arrangement for Germany in a peace with Italy was commendable; however, he tended to confuse the 'best' arrangement with the 'most profitable' arrangement."This made my work
exceedingly difficult as we entered the second year of what would come to be known as the Long War."
-From the private writings of Herzog Johann Albrecht von Mecklenburg, Reichskanzler 1902-1920.
Well - the Italians would, of course, not give all their 'stuff' to the Kaiser, no matter the latter's dimplomatic acumen. The war continued despite von Mecklenburg's attempts to broker a satisfactory agreement.
Shortly after the sinking of the peace negotiations, the R & D department submitted their monthly reports. News were mixed. On the one hand, no breakthroughs were reported and the designs proposed by Dr. Benner's submarine development team for enhanced battery capacity for the German submarines had proven to be unreliable disasters, forcing a return to the drawing-board. On the other hand, the yards in Wilhelmshaven and Kiel had begun to implement strict quality control measures in the building of Von der Tann
and the Admiralty had requested for a codification and implementation of these measures on a wider scale in German shipbuilding.
Italian raiders continued to operate near Kamerun; and the Vettor Pisani
remained a constant thorn in Galster's side in the Mediterranean.
But then, on the 5th of July, Amazone
had a chance to redeem herself for her earlier encounter with the Pisani
. Shortly after dawn, Venetia
, the last surviving La Spezia
-class raider tried to force the German blockade and slip through Gibraltar. What the Italians failed to notice was Amazone
, making slow steam a few miles south of Cartagena.Amazone
fires up her boilers, clears her decks for action and takes up pursuit; the Italian runs
But her fate is sealed: Amazone
has two knots on her and is packing 6-inch guns to the Italian's 5-inchers. Two hours after first contact, the Venetia
goes down, with fourty of her crew; the Germans rescue two hundred more.
It's a clean victory; and one that has the Kaiser shower praise on the cruiser commanders. Pressure from the Palace to accellerate the construction of the Schlachtkreuzer
increases; the Admiralität
resists for now, blaming their limited budget.
Of course, the Kaiser has little to actually complain about. Nothing in the world can compare to the raw tonnage in old battleships the Brits can bring to a fight (almost half a million tons
of armor and gun looking askance at the Baltic and the North Sea); but in what concerns modern battlecruisers and capital ships, Germany is actually ahead
, the Admiralität
making good use of their wartime budget. Germany has four ultra-modern 24k ton Schlachtkreuzer
building; Great Britain, on the other hand, only has three battlecruisers and a new experimental 'Dreadnought' under construction, all of which are in the 18k-20k ton range.
August rolls in. The new quality control measures are implemented in all Imperial Werft
drydocks; and a launch date for the Von der Tann
is set, exactly
two years from now.
France also smashes an Italian counter-offensive and begins drawing plans for a naval invasion of Sicily, to draw Italian forces away from the northern front and leverage her manpower advantage. The German High Command considers what forces can be detailed to support the French endeavour; the heavy cruisers seem to be the best options.
In a preparatory patrol, Hertha
runs into the Bari
, returning from a successful raid off Kamerun. The end result of the engagement surprises nobody - Hertha
has pretty much established herself as the terror of the Mediterranean at this point.
Goddammit, that's three hundred thousand Goldmarken
down the drain. For God's sake, Kaleuns
stop running your boats into ASW ships.Messina
makes the Italians proud in the Mediterranean, running the blocakde on three separate occasions.
And then, finally
scouting submarines report that the Italian fleet (or what's left of it) are making steam toward Sardinia. There is a chance here, if only Büchsel can grab it! The German battle-line mobilises...
And the Italian fleet just runs back to port. Büchsel is frustrated, but claims a strategic victory, as the blockade closes down on Sardinia.
News from Japan! Unlike the Brits and Germans, they have not committed fully to an 'all-big-gun' design: instead, they are building what the German engineers characterise as a 'super-battleship', with a slow top speed but a devastating secondary broadside. The design is clearly inferior to the German Schlachtkreuzer
, but it might be highly effective against the colonial cruisers that the European Powers have deployed in the Far East. Interesting...
That 1% weight reduction is a bare-faced lie
, by the way. Steam turbines are the single
most important engineering upgrade, comparable to All-or-Nothing armor for ship design. They can offer you almost 2 extra knots for the same weight in the 25-26 knot range.
November comes; and the first reports of Italian Armed Merchant Cruisers also make their appearance. The Admiralität
is unsure of how to deal with this new development. Projections show that the Italians could, potentially, convert a merchant vessel to a capable raider in under 4 months.
Now we only need multiple centreline turrets technology...
"**** YOU, SPAGHETTIS, MY SCHLACHTKREUZERS
WILL SHELL YOUR PASTA PLANTATIONS TO THE GROUND. PASTA COMES FROM TREES, RIGHT?
" said the Kaiser.
Yes, yes, all the technology
Well. At least you achieved this
much. Seriously, U-boote
you're kind of a disappointment.