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Thread: Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two

  1. #2001
    Marshal of the Empire BritishImperial's Avatar

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    aww, it would have been so good if my 2000th post was this thread's 2000th post.
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  2. #2002
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    Quote Originally Posted by BritishImperial View Post
    aww, it would have been so good if my 2000th post was this thread's 2000th post.
    Almost!
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  5. #2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    [Game notes: Note: Do you hate me now? ][/SIZE]
    Not really, why? Anyway, I was going to get you killed for another previous offence.
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  6. #2006
    Manners Makyth Man Demi Moderator Lord Strange's Avatar
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    Curse you! IT better be a British task force ready to turn the soviets into some communist particles. What are your in game forces actually in the area?
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  7. #2007
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Strange View Post
    Curse you! IT better be a British task force ready to turn the soviets into some communist particles. What are your in game forces actually in the area?
    I currently have two fleets in the North Sea, Home Fleet with the Nelsons and a couple of QEs, all in all 27 flotillas including escorts, the Channel Fleet with four BBs.
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  8. #2008
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    Chapter 99







    12th May, 14:45 PM

    Somewhere in the People's Republic of Iowa, UAPR

    The open fields of Iowa were still littered with the remnants of the battles that had been fought here during the war, an so far no one had bothered to remove the remnants of men and machines littered about. Especially near Fort Atkinson heavy battles has taken place. Here the remnants of the Loyalist National Guard Motorized Infantry Regiment, along with a shattered platoon of tanks from the 1st Armoured Division had tried to hold the rail junction in the city against the advancing Militia formed in Des Moines and reinforced by one of the precious regular Divisions the Communists could call upon. The crumbling US Forces in the west of the country had spared no expense to keep this very last stronghold in the state, and the remains of war in and round the old fort and around the city were tell-tale signs of the fighting that had taken place there. The burnt-out tanks, lorries and abandoned guns were the favourite places for the children of the town to spend their time before they were swallowed up by the youth organizations of the state that grew more and more present in the distant regions of the country that had once said from itself that it was the vanguard of Freedom and Democracy. The Communist State had established itself well in the area, and when the refugees had returned after the front had passed through their area and had started climbing the slopes of the Rocky Mountains to the west, they had found a massive army base north of the town, where the American People's Army had established itself, recognizing the importance of the area just as much as the desperate commanders in San Francisco. Immediately after the tattered Stars and Stripes had been hauled down from the Churchtower had the Hammer and Sickle be raised, Gold the background of the old flag. Now, many years later, the flag had changed, discarding the Hammer and Sickle for two crossed Hammers and golden leaves around them, with a blue line around them, all of on on a bright red background.

    There were many hushed whispers about what was going on in the new Fort Atkinson, but everybody knew that it was better not to talk about them for it would result of the speaker being forever banished. All that was known was that the buses entering the base always left it empty, except for the drivers. The soldiers based there were kind and friendly, sharing their rations with the population during the first, famine-ridden months when the infrastructure had broken down completely. The economy was fully switched to the new model of “gradual socialism”. The basic necessities, like food and clothing, were still produced on a semi-capitalist basis, meaning that quality control was of supreme importance and that anything that passed and that was over the quota could be sold on open, yet watched over markets. Times were still hard. Before the war the town had been the centre of a lively farming community, and now many of the fields lay bare while the collective farm was working on a huge plot to the south east, augmented by the private patches all the farmers were allowed to have. The biggest 'employer' was now a brand-new, gigantic factory that produced bread and all sorts of grain products, mostly fuelled by the collective farm. Between the Army base, the farm and the factory, the town enjoyed a good standard of living, much better than many of the rural villages to the South-West and in the mountains where the people just now were beginning to come of a hand-to-mouth way of living. The Party was struggling to solve these problems, because a well-fed, busy and warm population was a happy population. For this very reason the Central Industrial Peoples Commissariat was dispersing many of the broken-up industrial complexes of the rust-belt throughout the states of the Middle-west where the situation was worst. For example a small town about 200 miles to the south had recently opened a factory that had formerly belonged to General Motors and that was now producing farming machinery.

    The group of Soldiers currently marching through the main street, cheered on by the local population was headed for the train station, where they would board a train to what had once been Omaha, where a huge training ground that served the entire northern middle-west had been established on the ruins of the town. The APA put great emphasis on Armoured and urban combat, both lessons learned the hard way during the civil war. The May Day celebrations had been held eleven days ago, just like all over the country, and the decorations were still there. America had always been a very patriotic country, and the Party used this well. Each home was 'encouraged' to have the flag out on certain days, to show their support for Party and state. On the main street of Fort Atkinson you could also see the monument that had been erected with the funds collected by the youth committee of the local school district, that depicted the battle of Fort Atkinson, where the local Party Secretary had played a leading role, or so the tale went. Moving south from the main street, the Atkinson District School #1 could be seen. The brand-new concrete building did not really fit in with the old, almost colonial architecture, but the new style of “American realism” was taking hold not only in architecture but also in the arts, replacing the old bourgeois forms of the pre-war era. The old school building had been too small for the fast growing city, and so the only thing remaining from the old High-School was the Baseball pitch where the local team was currently training hard for the district championships. On the open ground in front of it, the adolescents of the youth Brigade, that would later join the Armed Forces, were marching and parading around the huge flagpole, located in the centre of the area. Outside the fence, a group of girls wearing the uniform of the Communist youth was handing out pamphlets to the passers-by inviting them to join the parents of the school at a play they would hold in a week to celebrate the liberation of the State by the APA. The passers-by were many, as the factory had just had a shift change and many were walking home or driving their bicycles. There were only few cars, as fuel was still rationed and car production was severely curtailed. The few cars on the street belonged either to administrators or doctors, in general people who had to go somewhere fast and far if needed.

    But May was a special month for the entire UAPR, and all over the town party members were handing out pamphlets, not only in front of the school. In front of the local party Headquarters the choir was practising the national anthem, and many of those going past stopped to listen, either because they believed in what they were hearing or because they feared someone would take stock of those who did not listen and act with the expected national fervour. But all in all life was much better now than it had been a mere year ago. Food rationing had been ended almost three years ago, but the country was still struggling to recover from the damages it had suffered during the brief, but brutal war that had seen the creation of the UAPR. There were still some bands roaming around, many claiming to be US loyalists, but many were in reality not much more than armed rabble, bandits even, just living off the land until they were hunted down by the Army, or in some cases ordinary policemen. Life was beginning to look up again, as the state and the party were beginning to sink untold sums of the countries slim budget into repairing all the damage that had been inflicted, ironically carrying out many of the infrastructure improvements that had been the corner stones of Roosevelt's 1932 Presidential campaign, and increasing the strength of the Armed Forces. The Army received the lion's share of this budget as, in the words of the announcement read over Radio Washington, the Army was the most important pillar of the defence of the popular revolution's achievements. The UAPR looked inwards, something the Chairman had assured the world of via the global radio broadcasts. Still, while relations with the definition of Imperialism and their dominion to the north where, if not friendly, then at least respectful, the Japanese were casting hungry eyes on former and current American possessions in the Pacific. Slowly, but surely the giant was waking.

    [Notes: No narrative in this, just a picture of life in ( communist ) America. It didn't rate a intermission though I might do that some day. This AAR is growing into a huge monster... dear god, what have I done? HELP! ]
    Last edited by trekaddict; 05-02-2009 at 23:49.
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  9. #2009
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    Good update about the commies. But I think that life will be hard again for the Yanks sometime near in the future.

    The next chapter will be the 100th chapter. Hope to see something really special and unexpected.
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  10. #2010
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    sadly america is doing fairly well for itself then.
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  11. #2011
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    I truly wonder what will be in store for the 100th update?
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  12. #2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by humancalculator View Post
    I truly wonder what will be in store for the 100th update?
    I do hope that it is a grand naval battle.
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  13. #2013
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    You can, I suppose, get used to pretty much anything given time. Though I wonder how deep the roots of the revolution are, I suspect there are still relatively few true believers and a majority keen to just get on with their lives in peace.

    It should be interesting in a few years, when peace becomes the norm and memories of the war fade, to see how happy people are then. The Chairman had better pull some more economic tricks out of the bag (or train up FBI up to KGB levels) if he wants to stay in power beyond the short term.
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  14. #2014
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    gaiasabre11 Yes, but unlike you I know what the future has in store for them.

    BritishImperial Pretty much, yes.

    humancalculator

    El Pip Well yes. I suppose you can compare it all to immediate post-civil war Russia or the GDR in the late 50s. As for the FBI, or whatever it is called now, they are having their thumb on it, but it will take time untill they fully spread beyond the urban centres, hence the beginning orientation outwards. They are making a determined effort to win over the youth, and so far it is working. A bit like Stalin and Adolph but not just quite as brutal. Yet.
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  15. #2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    It should be interesting in a few years, when peace becomes the norm and memories of the war fade, to see how happy people are then. The Chairman had better pull some more economic tricks out of the bag (or train up FBI up to KGB levels) if he wants to stay in power beyond the short term.
    Well, the chairman can certainly declare a "War on Terror" and try to win public support like George Bush.

    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    gaiasabre11 Yes, but unlike you I know what the future has in store for them.
    Trek, you know that what you have in store is limited, while what I can hope for is unlimited.
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  16. #2016
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaiasabre11 View Post
    Well, the chairman can certainly declare a "War on Terror" and try to win public support like George Bush.


    It's more likely that either the British Empire or the Japanese are at the recieving end of this. But yes, that's something that has crossed my mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by gaiasabre11 View Post
    Trek, you know that what you have in store is limited, while what I can hope for is unlimited.
    Heheh. well, I meant that I know what happened in the game. How it actually translates into the AAR is still totally unknown, even to me.
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  17. #2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by tredkaddict
    The biggest 'employer' was now a brand-new, gigantic factory that produced bread and all sorts of grain products, mostly fuelled by the collective farm. Between the Army base, the farm and the factory, the town enjoyed a good standard of living, much better than many of the rural villages to the South-West and in the mountains where the people just now were beginning to come of a hand-to-mouth way of living. The Party was struggling to solve these problems, because a well-fed, busy and warm population was a happy population. For this very reason the Central Industrial Peoples Commissariat was dispersing many of the broken-up industrial complexes of the rust-belt throughout the states of the Middle-west where the situation was worst. For example a small town about 200 miles to the south had recently opened a factory that had formerly belonged to General Motors and that was now producing farming machinery.
    Hrm. I thought the UAPR was more like China?
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  18. #2018
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faeelin View Post
    Hrm. I thought the UAPR was more like China?
    Yes, but not quite. "More like China" applies more to the later years, as they are still in the experimental phase of Orthodox communism. There are differences. They aren't putting everything on heavy industry for example, there is still a big 'market' for consumer goods that needs to be supplied.
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  19. #2019
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    Chapter 100






    12th May 1940


    Soviet Battleship Marat, three miles to the north of the meeting point, course 273, Speed: 14 knots

    14:36 PM

    “They are what, Comrade?” Admiral Kuznetzov asked. “Comrade Admiral, we have identified them as British Queen Elizabeth Class Battleships, and there are at least two of them out there.” The Admiral's heart sank, and those around could see him going as white as a sheet. Where two QE were, there were more not far, and the British would manage to defeat him if they managed to bring the whole strength of the Home Fleet to bear. “Are there any other sightings?” he asked with a steady voice that contained only a hint of dread. “None, Comrade Admiral.” “Good. Any indication they have seen us?” “None, Comrade Admiral.” Kuznetzov nodded and said: “Good, so perhaps we can sneak past them and cross their T without them noticing.” Soon the fleet was increasing speed, going to maximum Battlespeed, in their case a whooping 21 knots. The Destroyers interposed themselves, in order to guard the Marat and the October Revolution against their British counterparts, ready to throw themselves at the enemy. The turrets of the Soviet Battleships were trained towards the enemy, but no shots were to be fired. Kuznetzov was hoping that he could evade the British before they became aware of his presence and find the German Fleet that had to be around here somewhere. Together they would turn and smash the enemy, forever breaking Britannia's rule of the waves.


    HM Destroyer Audacity, course 181, speed 15 knots

    Forward lookout

    Able Seaman Goldsteen was not happy about his current posting, but at least up here he could talk with his mate, Leading Seaman Humberland without the Chief always yelling at them. And they were happy that they had this post and were fully aware of it's importance as the Audacity, along with most of her sisters, had not yet fitted with the basic search RDF sets the new Battle Class destroyers had. But as most Captains still mis-trusted the new technology, he would be standing on lookout anyway, looking for things like these three plumes over there, and...wait, what was that? “Ship, bearing Green-oh-one!” he yelled down the voice tubes, while Humberland kept his eyes on the contacts. On the Bridge the Captain could see them now too, and to his horror he identified them as Marat Class Soviet Battleships. Only one Class had such a distinctive superstructure. “Action Stations! Signal the Flagship! And get us on a course back to the fleet. Only seconds later Admiral Callaghan received the message. “Have sighted Soviet Dreadnoughts, identified as Marat Class, possible Marat and October Revolution..Bloody hell, how did they get so close?” He quickly gave orders for the squadron to change course so that they would face them not with their stern only, but with their full broadside. “Oh and Captain?” “Yes, Sir?” “Tell them to form the Line of Battle.” he said with a slight grin. After all, this was what the Navy was here to do, face off and destroy the enemy capital ships.



    Soviet Battleship Marat, a mile to the north of the meeting point, course 273, Speed: 14 knots

    14:40 PM

    “Comrade Admiral, they are changing course!” “Where to....” his sentence was never finished, because he saw what they were doing. Ahead of him not two, but four British Battleships were changing into line formation, making ready to engage his two Battleships. “Hard to port, all ahead full, course 000!” Kuznetzov yelled, in a desperate bid to get away from the spectacle that was forming up ahead. The screws of the ships dug harder into the sea, in a bid to accelerate to the speed that had been ordered. The rudders of the Soviet ships were hard over on the highest possible angle to turn away from the enemy. If any observer had been standing at the bow of the Marat, he could have seen how slowly, but surely, the British ships were wandering out of the field of vision.

    HMS Resolution, course: changing, speed 15 knots and rising

    14:41 PM

    Callaghan was keeping the Soviet ships in his view, even as they changed course in a bid to get away. “Adjust course and speed. Signal Erebus and Terror to take up the rear. Range?” The gunnery Officer answered the last question. “Roughly 20000 yards, Sir.” The Admiral nodded. “We will open fire once we have closed to 12000.” “Yes, Sir.” They all knew that they had a speed advantage of at least two or three knots over the re-built Soviet vessels that were even older than Erebus and Terror, so it was only a matter of time before they caught up with them. He had already asked for support from the Sunderlands that were combing the sea on the lookout for this very Squadron. They would not get away. Given the fact that the Soviets seemed to be making an almost total about turn, and he had to do only minor course corrections, as he had been starting to change course anyway when they had spotted the Soviets. “Range?” he asked again, letting his impatience show through.

    Admiralty, London, course: due east, speed: continental drift

    14:58 PM

    The First Sea Lord had been on a conference with the Second Sea Lord and the RCNC when the news of the sighting had reached him. He had raced back to the Admiralty, only to discover that the British ships had not yet opened fire and that the Soviets had been in a prime position to attack 4th and 7th Heavy Cruiser Squadrons from behind, had they continued on their original course for another three hours. “Signal 3rd Battlesquadron and ask them when they think they can possibly open fire.” “Yes Sir.” Sheppard said and sighed inwardly. This was going to be a long day. Meanwhile Backhouse studied the map. He had been lucky. Explaining why the Soviets had managed to ambush the majority of the Squadrons currently on actual blockade duty would have been hard.


    Soviet Battleship Marat, a mile to the north of the meeting point, course 000, Speed: 19 knots

    It was clear to all that the British were catching up. Two of their Battleships were Iron Duke Class, but they were still faster. “Range?” Kuznetzov asked. “17000 yards, Comrade Admiral.” 'Damn Damn Damn.' the Admiral thought. He would have an hour at best before the leading two QE Class ships could open fire. British gunnery was excellent, and perhaps this time their shells would even work. His only hope was to damage the British to a certain degree that allowed him to escape until it was dark. The political Officer was only now waking from the vodka induced slumber of last night, and his first words were as he was struggling to stay upright: “You will turn and fight, Comrade Admiral, the duty to the Motherland demands it!”


    HMS Resolution, course: 275, speed 21 knots

    16:30 PM

    The tension on the Bridge of the ship was so thick that Callaghan was tempted to try and cut it with a knife. For the umpteenth time he was asking: “Range to target?” Instead of an answer he received something else. “Enemy is changing course to port.” “Match their new course.” More anxious minutes of waiting followed. The Soviets soon settled on course 270, heading west, while 3rd Battlesquadron was following on 275 in order to close the distance between the two lines. “Range?” “About 12100 yards.” “You may fire when ready, Commander. Tell the other ships. 'Engage opposite number.' Adjust course. Signal to the Admiralty, 'Have engaged enemy. Soviet Battleships identified as Marat and October Revolution. Commune of Paris not, repeat not present. Add position, course and speed. Execute.” As soon as the last word had left his lips, the eight 15'' guns spoke with one thunderous voice, immediately followed by 24 more, as the Iron Dukes had lost their centre turret, sacrificed it for more speed.

    Soviet Battleship Marat, course 270, Speed: 19 knots

    The line of British Battleships seemed to explode with fire. The Soviet sailors that could see it knew better. The enemy had opened fire, and the sound of incoming shells was clearly audible. The Marat was straddled by watersprouts, while the October sustained some minor splinter damage from a near miss. “OPEN FIRE!” Kuznetzov yelled. The Soviet ships returned fire, but their shots were off, as they had not yet found the exact range. “Send the Destroyers, draw theirs away!” he ordered. Then he could once more see flashes from the British line. A yeoman then stated the obvious. “INCOMING!”

    HMS Resolution, course: 271, speed 19 knots distance to enemy: 11000 yards

    “Good shooting, guns!” the Captain of the ship exclaimed when the Marat was once again straddled. “Go to rapid fire!” The guns of Resolution once more spat out smoke and fire. The shells rapidly closed the distance to the enemy, but this time there were only seven sprouts of water. “HIT!” the Captain exclaimed. And indeed, one shell, fired by A turret had hit the the Superstructure of the Marat, but had not damaged anything vital as it passed through without exploding. This was offset when a Soviet shell hit the forward armour belt at about the height of B turret with a loud “WHANG”. “Report!” Callaghan bellowed. “Damage control reports in, Sir. It didn't penetrate, no flooding.” “Good.” the Admiral said, just as the ship had completed its 30 second reload cycle and was firing again. Two hits were scored, without damaging anything vital. One shell drilled a hole through the funnel, another one pulverized a secondary gun. At the same time Terror had scored a first hit on the October Revolution, and this one was far more damaging. It penetrated the thin overhead armour of the Soviet's A turret and showered the inside with splinters, cutting the crew to shreds, damaging machinery and putting the turret out of action.

    For the hour the ships steamed westwards at 19 knots, trading shell after shell, but no more truly damaging hits were scored. This however changed when a lucky shell from the October Revolution penetrated the thinner armour of HMS Erebus where the starboard 6-inch gun had been. It exploded instantly, severing several steam lines and putting three boilers out of action.

    HMS Resolution, course: 270, speed 19 knots distance to enemy: 8000 yards

    “Sir, Erebus reports that they have lost three boilers, and have to reduce speed speed to 11 knots.” “Bloody hell.” Callaghan took a quick second to think. “Tell her to make for Rosyth. Give her a half-Flotilla of Destroyers. She is of no use to us here, we need to finish the Soviets before the Commune of Paris turns up.” “Yes, Sir.” Callaghan once more looked out to the space between the lines, where the Destroyers of both sides were fighting their own battle. The British Destroyers however did not only have numbers and technology on their side, but where also slowly overwhelming their counterparts by superior training and tactics. The Battleships fired once more, and this time the next hit was scored by HMS Revenge. The shell penetrated the armoured deck of October Revolution, entering a secondary magazine before exploding. The explosion of hundreds of rounds of secondary ammunition started a brightly visible deck fire that towered over the battlefield, brightly illuminating the Soviet line in the fading daylight. Callaghan sensed an opportunity an ordered: “Shift fire to second target.” Resolution fired again, and 4 out of eight shells hit, setting something of a record for an accurate salvo that would stand until HMS Hood broke it many months later. One shell penetrated the superstructure but failed to explode. One hit the deck in front of B turret, exploded and slightly bent the left-most barrel, slightly knocking it off it's fittings. The third shell exploded against the upper superstructure and knocked off the wireless antenna. The fourth shell however penetrated the deck not too far from the still brightly burning fire, killing half the fire brigades fighting it, and raced downwards into the main magazine. There it detonated.

    “Ohmigod!” the gunnery officer on board Resolution exclaimed when the Soviet Battleship disintegrated. The big, oily cloud of smoke where the ship had been marked the grave for several hundred Soviet sailors. No survivors would be found. “Shift fire back to Marat.” Callaghan ordered calmly. They still had work to do. Now it was three against one.

    Soviet Battleship Marat, course 270, Speed: 18 knots

    The reaction had been similar on the Marat, but they had more pressing concerns. The explosions had showered the Marat with burning fuel and debris, starting numerous small fires. “Make smoke!” Kuznetzov ordered, stepping over the lifeless body of the Political officer that still had the splinter that killed him sticking in his chest. “Have the surviving Destroyers attack the enemy fleet with torpedoes.” The four surviving Soviet Destroyers obediently charged the enemy line, knowing full well what their chances at survival were. They charged ahead anyhow. The Marat covered them to the best of her abilities, with all of her heavy guns. She scored another hit. Revenge, being a bit without luck today, continued that way, as the shell, in an incredibly lucky shot, penetrated the frontal Armour of Y turret, setting of the ready ammunition there. The flames incinerated the turret crew and raced downwards. However the magazine crew, realizing that a catastrophic hit had been sustained, had already closed the anti-flash door and was evacuating their station. The officer in charge was the last one through the hatch and opened the flooding valves before scrambling to relative safety. His quick action had prevented the loss of the ship, and earned him a DSO.

    Up on top the battle was raging on. Marat was momentarily forgotten, as the available guns were concentrated on the Destroyers. One disappeared in a cloud of water and debris, hit by a 15'' shell from Resolution, one simply sank after it was peppered by numerous shells from Battleship secondaries, and one was sunk by the Audacity. Only one managed to launch his torpedoes before it was sunk, but did not hit anything but the open sea.

    HMS Resolution, course: 270, speed 18 knots distance to enemy: 8000 yards

    Admiral Callaghan looked over the area and ordered the Marat to be pursued. One ship out of action another one heavily damaged with it's firepower reduced significantly. “Resume fire on the Marat.” he ordered. The Resolution fired again, scoring no hits. “WHANG” Someone else however was. “No damage to the ships systems, Sir, it didn't penetrate.” “Let's finish this, shall we?” Three British Battleships concentrated on the Marat, and even with the reduced firepower of Revenge, the sheer number of shells ensured that at least some hits were scored, and slowly but surely the British fire was reducing the Marat to a floating wreck knocking out her guns one by one. “Shoot!” the Gunnery Officer yelled. Eight more shells flew towards the Marat, and one hit was scored. A shell penetrated the belt amidships just below the waterline, and for the first time produced actual flooding. Although it was only a single compartment, it was enough to upset the delicate balance of the ship, and before the damage control teams had a chance to seal off the compartment, never mind actually plugging the hole, the ship was taking a 2° list to port. Shortly afterwards two more shells from Revenge slammed into the battered hull, destroying the last port-side secondaries, but the fatal blow was struck by HMS Resolution at exactly 18:00 PM. Three more shells hit the already weakened side armour, ripping it open like a canopener, flooding more compartments, and increasing the list to almost 45° in a matter of minutes. Callaghan ordered fire to be ceased when he saw that men were jumping of the side of the now rapidly capsizing Soviet ship.






    [Notes: I brigade my ships in the following way: Destroyers get AA brigade, Light Cruisers get Radar + AA. Oh, and how is that format for Naval Battles, with the different povs and sudden changes? Also, I took some artistic liberty, as I couldn't find plans for the internal layout of the Marat and the October Revolution.]
    Last edited by trekaddict; 09-07-2009 at 00:03.
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    Huzzah for the Royal Navy! Huzzah for Trekaddict!

    i thought that format was bloody amazing - like i was actually seeing it. certainly fitting for the 100th chapter. great work.
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