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Thread: "One and Indivisible" (A Russian Kaiserreich AAR)

  1. #1
    Major Teivel's Avatar
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    "One and Indivisible" (A Russian Kaiserreich AAR)

    EDIT: Note to new readers, this AAR has been Resurrected and is alive and kicking. The game transitions from Armageddon to Darkest Hour in the most recent update, hence my request to have it moved. I'm still working back through the older posts and cleaning up typos and broken images but most of my focus is on producing new chapters and keeping the story moving. Glad to have you on-board. Just be aware, I started this AAR years ago so hopefully the writing quality improves over the course of the chapters.




    This will be a hybrid.
    When i say hybrid i mean the sytles i use will be mixed, ranging from narrative through gameplay, history book and anything else that takes my fancy.
    Russia: 1936 Kaiserreich scenario.

    In order to adjust to the alternate history as i'm using it though, there will be a three part prologue. Sit through it and i promise we can get into the business end of things relatively quickly.

    Anyway, hope you enjoy.
    Last edited by Teivel; 01-11-2013 at 13:51.

  2. #2
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    Prologue pt 1: Per Mare Per Terram

    July 1918


    Yekateringburg

    The cool Russian night stung at the faces of the two Bolsheviks as they patrolled the fenced courtyard. They had no great desire to be standing out, exposed to the touch of the Yekateringburg night. They endured however because the orders had come from the Cheka. Yurovsky and his gang had arrived recently, to inspect their prisoners again no doubt, and had seen fit to order the extra patrol.
    Comrades, let the fire of the socialist spirit warm you through the night he had said.

    One of the guards sighed. It was a sad fact that for all their zeal, neither he nor his partner was experiencing any divine relief from the night. With a quick glance to ensure the Cheka men were still out of sight inside of the residence he slipped a hip flask to his lips and gulped at the clear liquid inside. As the alcohol burnt its way down into his core the cold seemed to almost instantly lose its bite. Socialist spirit was good, but a hard shot of soviet spirits seemed to inevitably do a better job.

    With crunch of the frosted grass beneath his hard worn boots the guards let their eyes wander in response to their fortified blood alcohol levels.

    What were those Cheka so worried about?. This was a town of fervor, there was nowhere for the captives to go. But Of course it was not the Cheka that had to perform the socialist duty of security while the others warmed themselves inside.


    The guards tried to ignore the smells wafting from inside the building. The tell tale smell of a wood fire was evident, intermixed with the fragrance of cooking meat...

    And was that bootpolish?

    The Bolsheviks had their answer in moments as the camouflaged figures enveloped them from behind, for a brief second they could glance at the tips of the intruders faces, smeared over and camouflaged.

    As the swift slice of blades silently coloured the ground in fresh crimson, the silent killers dropped to a crouch and waved back into the night. In equally silent answer a column of wraiths emerged and advanced, Moisin-Nagant Carbines clutched onto each of their frames.


    The atmosphere in the basement was quite possibly colder than even the air outside. Anastasia clung too her Fathers reassuring bulk. She was seventeen and more by all accounts a woman of great energy and strength but still the constant echo of their guards pacing beyond the door or the raucous laughter from the upper level were enough to drive her into the embrace of her loving father. These Bolshevik pigs had kept them barred and caged for as long as she could reasonably remember but no matter how long this torture went on, the laughter continued.

    The noise stopped. For a second Anastasia could here nought but the a distant echo, perhaps a word of inquisition from one of their captors upstairs.

    Then all hell broke loose.

    There was a flurry of gunfire and a wave of screaming. Death rattles were met with the crack of more rifle fire followed by abrupt silence. They’re going to shoot us. Anastasia clung tightly to her father, she was joined quickly by her three sisters and mother. Her father remained stoic and still. He turned his eyes down to them for a moment. He said nothing, the strength and reassurance in his eyes was enough.

    The door blasted open and a fearsome man stormed into the room eyes thick and bloodshot, vodka on his breath and revolver in hand. He levelled it directly at her fathers eyes screaming over the gunfire now clearly reverberating down the stairs. “TRAITOR TO THE PEOPLE, TRAITOR!”

    He clicked back the hammer. Anastasia screamed out nyet at the top of her lungs and tightened her grip. The Cheka man brought the solid weapon down across her face, carving a gash across her vissiage. The shock discharged the weapon into the ceiling forcing the rest of her family to recoil involuntarily. Anastasia crumpled up against the wall. She retained consciousness but the putrid taste of blood filled her mouth.


    Anastasia and her sisters in 1906.



    The enraged Bolshevik again cocked his weapon and brought it to bear on Anastasia’s mother addressing her father with eyes that seemed so hollow. “Would you have me kill her first, would you have your women defend you to the last?”

    “Comrade, is everything all right?”

    The Cheka man turned instinctively to identify the source of the new voice, resting his finger on the side of the trigger guard as he did. In a fraction of a second his eyes captured the light reflecting off the camouflaged uniforms of the new arrivals. It fed this information to his brain which was still processing it as three 7.62mm rifle slugs tore their way into his torso and neck. Before he could finish turning, Yakov Mikhailovich Yurovsky was slumped on the ground, dead.


    Yakov Yurovsky, Cheka executioner


    One of the new arrivals advanced and checked to ensure Yurovsky was indeed dead while the other quickly moved towards the clustered family. “ Is everyone alright here.” Before the shock ridden family could respond the man by the Yurovsky's body interceded in English “Is that them?”

    “No doubt about it, the youngest Grand Duchess Is bleeding but they’re otherwise uninjured.”


    “Get them ready to move then.”

    Anastasia shook her head bringing her eyes forcibly back into focus. She registered her father drawing himself up and addressing the men in gruff English. “ Who are you?”

    The one that seemed all tucked his rifle back under his arm and stood , glancing behind him as if he expected a wave of Bolsheviks to come streaming down the stairwell any second. He matched eyes with the stern faced head of the captive family.

    “Lieutenant Warwick, Royal Marines, We’re getting you out of here.”
    Last edited by Teivel; 19-05-2013 at 18:39.

  3. #3
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    So the British have the royal family. Will they hand them over to the Whites or spirit them out of the country?

    Nice start....
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  4. #4
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Nice start, indeed. I have some kind of slight infatuation for the Tzar and Anastasia, so I'm glad with this beginning.
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  5. #5
    Alas, a true Tsarist Russia!
    Until the Taegukgi is added!

  6. #6
    Major Teivel's Avatar
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    Prologue Part 2: Arkhangelsk.


    HMS Queen Elizabeth. Off the coast of the Archangelsk Perimeter.


    Admiral Beatty eyed the dawning sun with grave concern. The cover of darkness was rapidly receding. As it did it revealed the assembly of Royal Navy ships lurking off the so called 'Archangel perimeter'. The Bolsheviks 6th army had been probing the perimeter around Arkhangelsk and Severodvinsk for a number of days now, seeking to surround and destroy the 10,000 or so foreign troops that had secured the pocket. Throughout the night things were quiet enough but the morning signaled a change.

    The first shells fell far short of the task force sending titanic plumes of water into the morning air. The reds had captured a good stock of heavy Russian army artillery and they were dug in kilometers away, lobbing shells at the anchorage. As long as the ships remained out at sea and at a distance the Reds were almost impotent but Beatty had already lost a destroyer and two landing craft trying to run the gauntlet into harbour to resupply the intervention force.

    “Signals, Indomitable to engage enemy artillery position at her discretion. Ordinance economy to be maintained.”

    It was a painful situation, the mighty British capital ships could bring to bear more firepower than every red gun in Russia but with an indefinite time on station and the ever present danger of a run in with the High Seas fleet on their return tip Beatty had issued orders for the sparing use of ammunition.
    With a mighty roar that echoed through the bay the battle cruiser HMS Indomitable hurled six twelve inch shells into the distance. It was a reassuring sound. Far too soon though, the echo was eclipsed by the thumping of Bolshevik shells landing in the city and docks.
    Damn those reds were persistent.


    Battle Cruiser HMS Indomitible


    “Signals, Furious to begin airborne ferry operation immediately.”

    Allied Airstrip: Archangelsk Pocket

    “When the aircraft takes off, remain calm. Do not exit the observer’s cockpit until the crew onboard HMS Furious assists you."

    Lieutenant Warwick watched somberly as the white Russian translator conveyed the instruction to the royal family from the RFC instructor. The women all looked exhausted, the past few days had been a montage of day and night travel that had taken them through white and red territory alike. There had been a few close calls and the attrition on the unit had been relentless, particularly amongst the Russian volunteers that had bolstered the marines at every turn.

    He was proud of his men. They had spent days behind enemy lines, in near constant action and yet remained in fairly good spirits. They had been able to escort the Royal family to within the Archangelsk perimeter before the Bolshevik 6th army had closed in and enveloped the city. It had been an incredible feat.

    They had all been put to shame by this former Russian leader though. Warwick had been dumbstruck by the energy this man seemed to show. He had been close to his family every step of the trip, reassuring and tending to his daughters and nursing his son... He doubted the man had slept at all in the last 48 hours or so and yet he was busying himself, readying his daughters to be transferred by air to the aircraft carrier furious lying with a substantial British task force off shore.

    Warwick was concerned however. The Bolsheviks had been pressing hard for positions overlooking the harbours, paying no heed for casualties. If they were able to bring field pieces into position then direct fire onto the airfield would scuttle the entire plan.

    Within minutes though Warwick could hear the tell tale whine of an aero engine even over the fall of shells and distant gunfire. The RFC ground crew immediately addressed the royal party, briefing them one more time. They were going through the pre-flight one more time when puffs of smoke appeared in the distance.


    Aircraft onboard HMS Furious prepare for launch



    Hastily unlimbered Bolshevik field artillery burst into life. Many of the Bolshevik gun crews had not originally been artillerymen and had struggled at dialing in accurate indirect fire. Now though, by unlimbering their weapons suicidally close to the allied line and firing over virtually open sights they were at last able to send a focused rain towards the harbour, the airfield.. and the approaching aircraft.


    HMS Queen Elizabeth. Off the coast of the Archangelsk Perimeter.

    Beatty cursed under his breath as the Strutter bi-plane fell to earth in a blaze of flame, ripped apart by shrapnel. Even a cursory observation through his optics made it clear that the makeshift landing strip was taking more than enough fire to close it to any additional attempts. Damn it! The marines had escorted these Russians hundreds of kilometres and he was about to let them down over the last two or three...Nor was it just them..if the reds have been able to bring artillery onto those positions then the entire perimeter may be collapsing...

    “Admiral, signal from HMS Broke. Destroyer breaking formation, will embark objective directly.”

    Admiral Beatty turned his optics out instantly. Sure enough the tinny Faulknor-class destroyer had turned sharply and was steaming directly into the heavily shelled bay. On some level Beatty wasn’t surprised, Captain Bertram Ramsay was prone to this sort of thing. He’d been involved in the raids at Ostend and Zeebrugge and was a key proponent of amphibious warfare.

    “ That man’s insane.” The American liaison officer contributed as he watched in disbelief.

    Beatty smiled. “ Not quite Lieutenant, he’s English.”

    While the American’s face flashed momentarily with confusion, Beatty turned his attention to the XO.

    “Commander, how’s the fleet on the Draught?”


    “The Queen Elizabeths need about ten meters plus a safety margin, slightly less for the battlecruisers.”


    The admiral’s face had taken on a gleam that the famous battlecruiser commander had not worn since the earlier days of the war.

    Admiral Beatty turned his gleaming visage back to the American Liutenant that was growing steadily whiter as he realised what the British Admiral was thinking.
    “And that, lieutenant, is something I have in common with the good Captain.”



    “Signals, new orders, fleet wide.”

    Let’s give these bastards something to think about.

    -
    Last edited by Teivel; 27-06-2013 at 08:44.

  7. #7
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    If he manages to keep the Syndicalists from old Bilghtey then I'm in!
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  8. #8
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Let me guess... the whole fleet is going to go as close as possible to the shore to unleash a bit of a steely hell?

    Glorious beginning, indeed.
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  9. #9

  10. #10
    Should I suppose that George V regretted his retraction the offer of hospitality to his Romanov cousins after the 1917 Revolution, and sent the Marines to rescue them?


    By the way, something you might want to know (although you probably know already given how you wrote the last part of the first scene): Nicholas II wouldn't need a translator, given how his command of English was excellent. He spoke English with his cousins when they meet, calling Wilhelm II "Willy" and George V "Georgie".


    An advice: Don't get discouraged by outcries for "MAPS" or "UPDATE". The quality of your writing certainly requires time and effort, and it will be enjoyable to wait for the next scene.
    Last edited by Kang Seung Jae; 12-02-2009 at 16:03.
    Until the Taegukgi is added!

  11. #11
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    Yay! The Royal Fleet to the rescue!

    Wonderful idea to save the Romanov's and take them to Canada...one hopes they can return and crush the bolshevicks and syndicalists bent on enslaving the whole world...

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  12. #12
    Not a Sahib Milites's Avatar
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    A very well written set up. I, for one, am eagerly awaiting what the marines will have to get through in order to save the Russian blue bloods.

  13. #13
    Major Teivel's Avatar
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    Hey guys, sorry to dissapoint but i'm going to have to delay tonights update till tommorow morning. it's 90% written but i want the time to get the pictures and polish together.

    I've already fragmented into a four part prologue rather than three so i'd rather finish this one tommorow morning rather that fragment further.

    @ Kurt_Steiner: I think he may just deliver

    @trekaddict : It's that a little too much to ask from a family that's just been expelled from their home by the reds... of course time can change all things.

    @TheExecuter: welcome onboard

    @Milites: Suffice to say Warwick and his team aren't out of the woods yet.

  14. #14
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Well, in KR Britain goes Syndicalist, and if Beatty and the Navy do not manage to prevent that, then all the action has been for naught I fear.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  15. #15
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    Well, in KR Britain goes Syndicalist, and if Beatty and the Navy do not manage to prevent that, then all the action has been for naught I fear.
    Well, there is still Canada
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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Teivel View Post
    Hey guys, sorry to dissapoint but i'm going to have to delay tonights update till tommorow morning. it's 90% written but i want the time to get the pictures and polish together.

    I've already fragmented into a four part prologue rather than three so i'd rather finish this one tommorow morning rather that fragment further.

    @ Kurt_Steiner: I think he may just deliver

    @trekaddict : It's that a little too much to ask from a family that's just been expelled from their home by the reds... of course time can change all things.

    @TheExecuter: welcome onboard

    @Milites: Suffice to say Warwick and his team aren't out of the woods yet.
    No mention of me?
    Until the Taegukgi is added!

  17. #17
    Major Teivel's Avatar
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    @ Kang Seung Jae : don't think i'm forgetting you mate, it's good to have someone who knows a few things onboard to catch me if i ever slip up.

    Anway, here we go, it's past midnight and here's the end of the Prologue in three easy slices.

  18. #18
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    Prologue: Archangelsk : Storm of steel.



    The commandeered ambulance raced down the pockmarked road towards the harbour. When the royal navy officers ashore had relayed the orders from the fleet Warwick had been more than a little sceptical. That said, any opportunity to get out of this damn cold, heaven forsaken country was good enough for him. It was a symptom of that enthusiasm that within minutes of receiving the message the much battered Russian royals were tearing towards the icy sea in a hastily appropriated ambulance driven by a sleep deprived Royal Marine.

    “So how do you reckon they’re going to get a transport though this sort shelling sir?”
    One of Warwicks younger marines asked the question with a note of concern although the Liutenant couldn’t tell if that was for fear of the shells or the manic way in which he was piloting the virtually airborne vehicle.

    The ambulance crested the last hill between them and the harbour and even the vehicles engine seemed to go silent for a second. Warwick kicked at the accelerator in compensation. From the open topped flatbed of the vehicle a familiar Russian voice broke the moment. “We believe that your admiral appears to have everything well in hand.”

    He’s got that right. The admiral had brought his dreadnoughts in close...very close.

    The British dreadnaughts had sailed right into the bay before turning in line to present their broadsides towards the coast. The result was a semicircle of steel moving at very low speed. In their new positions the battlewagons would be incredibly stable and be able to fire their entire armaments directly into the red positions over the naval equivalent of point blank range. Of course at that range 180 meter long behemoths wouldn’t exactly be easy to miss. Lieutenant Warwick was trying to decide whether it was a brave or a stupid move for the great ships to go head to head with the Red artillery positions. Then it started.

    -

    6th Army forward artillery battery.



    A russian 76mm artillery gun


    Comrade Glazkov cried out at the top of his lungs. “Fire faster comrades! Drive these imperialists back into the sea!” A devoted party member from Petrograd, Glazkov had been attached to the scratch field artillery batteries. He was charged with maintaining the fervor amongst the forward artillery positions. It was a glorious duty. The chance to be the hammer of socialism as it smashed the first great wounds into the carapace of capitalism.
    With a dull thud one of the British capital ships fired a 12 inch gun. Glazkov frowned as his gun crews dropped their shells and charges and took cover behind their field guns until the shell's explosion boomed out somewhere distant.

    For the rank and file amongst the army of workers, soldiers and peasants, naval artillery was a completely alien foe. Glazkov had been struggling to tear his units out of paralysis every time the English fired. “Comrades, what do you fear?! These puny shells? For every one they launch the guns of the red army fire a hundred back. Resume your fire Comrades! Let...”

    Glazkov trailed off as his eyes registered the flashes , one after another after another. He was in the process of diving to the ground when a 15” projectile atomised his battery.

    -

    HMS Queen Elizabeth

    Admiral Beatty watched as the entire frontline disappeared into a screen of flame and smoke. The hillsides were shockingly illuminated as 15 inch shells travelling at mach 2 tore them apart. Even for a man that had been at Jutland it was an incredible sight.

    “Barham, Orion, Valiant and Malaya have all taken hits, no serious damage “


    The Bolsheviks couldn’t resist firing at the dreadnoughts. The admiral had to admire the courage of the opposing gunners, continuing to fire in spite of the awesome bombardment. But they lacked targeting discipline. Those fragmentation shells would struggle to scar the paintwork on the Barham.

    “Adjust fire to silence those positions. Fire at will.”

    And the Queen Elizabeth’s mighty guns roared again..


    two 15 inch guns on display in England.

    -
    HMS BROOKE

    “All ahead flank!”


    The destroyer cut through the line of battleships at close to thirty knots.
    “My lord in heaven above.” The ships XO noted as the destroyer at last got a clear view of the virtual firestorm ahead. A conservative estimate was that some 250 tons of ordinance was pulverising that perimeter per minute.
    Captain Ramsey figured the admiral would rub his nose in this one good and proper once they were back in port. Beatty’s battleships, as well as devestating the enemy positions, were throwing up so much ejecta that the Bolsheviks were once again shooting blind.

    With a twang a thin sliver of shrapnel deflected off the reinforced bridge window.

    Not that shooting blind necessarily meant they couldn’t hit anything.
    “Hold Course helm, take us into mooring.”

    The XO turned hesitantly towards the Captain, his face highlighted as the dawn light plied itself against the flashes of high explosives. “With respect captain, if we tie up we’re going to present the a static target for every gunner still alive up there.”

    Captain Ramsey had a dangerous smile and the dance of incendiary light seemed to only highlight his commando gleam. “Well you’ll just have to get our guests onboard quickly then commander. Hold course”


    Captain Bertram Ramsay


    Archangelsk


    “Hold the hell on!”

    Warwick wrestled with the wheel as the transport slipped, shook and vibrated down the slick road at breakneck speed. The marine lieutenant had been under artillery fire before, hell he’d been at Gallipoli. But this wasn’t like that, this was more like an earthquake. And if I can ever hear again it’ll be a miracle. As if in Answer to the thought the Australia fired another broadside sending a solid boom ripping into the marines eardrums.

    With a screech of steel rims on icy pavement the ambulance pulled to a stop In front of the pier. The entire party rapidly disembarked to take shelter in the Royal Navy command post that had been set up in the interior of a dock warehouse. The glass had long since shattered under the constant percussion but the somewhat frazzled royal party was able to find some relief by the indoor fires.

    A clean faced Naval ensign marched briskly over to address Warwick. As he approached his face seemed to scrunch up for a second, probably in response to addressing a man who after days without rest or grooming, not to mention countless drenchings in an array of aromatic forms of mud and slush, resembled and smelt like some sort of crazed savage.

    The man’s salute was practiced and mechanical.
    “Ensign Trenchard, naval liaison Archangel. I presume you are the escort for the Russian royals?”

    Warwick wanted to make a joke, quip, anything to bring this iron rod back into the reality but after these last few days he was just too tired..
    “Liutenant Warwick, Royal Marines, we have your royal family for you if you’d be so kind as to show us to your boats.”

    “I’m afraid lieutenant that most of our boats are unserviceable and I cant risk any more of my shore team with the Reds this close to our position.”

    In later years Warwick would reflect that he’d actually decided to hit the ensign, fatigue though had ground his muscles to a halt before he could make so much as a threatening move.

    “With all due respect, Ensign, while I have great concern for the welfare of your bloody headquarters staff, I have orders to get these people out of here. Now presuming you don’t intend to ask the Czar of all the Russia’s and his teenage daughters to swim to the bloody fleet how exactly do you propose we get out of here?"

    Ensign Trenchard didn’t seem at all taken aback. Instead he looked over the marine lieutenant’s shoulder and smiled.
    “Behind you Lieutenant.”

    The Lieutenant turned momentarily, his eyes widened and for the umpteenth time in the last few days, he dived for cover. It seemed a fitting response to the naval destroyer bearing directly down on them at close to 30 knots.
    Last edited by Teivel; 25-05-2013 at 17:11.

  19. #19
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    I bet that the Czar is not going to forget this experience...
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  20. #20
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    Prologue: Archangelsk: Extraction.



    “Full reverse, Hard to port.”

    The Broke’s engines groaned as the ships boilers pumped energy into the screw propellers in a frantic attempt to slow the ship down. The destroyer bore straight down on the dock at 28 knots, 26 knots, 24 knots. Everyone aboard the Brooke strained mentally and desperately willed the ship to slow down. All of them hoped that the captain’s orders to slow had not come too late.

    --

    At the last moment Warwick watched the seemingly ballistic vessel veer hard to his right. The solid steel construct spun parallel to the pier and slammed into the stone structure with a metallic echo.

    The senior service was really making a show of it today.

    “All right everyone, onboard now!”

    --

    Warwick slumped on the deck as the destroyer powered away from the mooring, leaving behind the titanic storm of shot and shell that had slowed to a steady beat now that the Bolsheviks were mostly either dead or retreating. Icy spray cut across the deck burning against his almost numbed extremities.

    It was over. He almost smiled as he saw the navy crew smarm around the frazzled royal party. The young Alexei almost ran back to the stern and yelled back at apocalyptic scene. The lieutenants Russian was far from something to brag about but he could get the general meaning just fine. “Das Vidanya Bolshevik bastards.”


    --
    6th army forward artillery position

    Comrade Yuri Glazkov grunted as he ripped the inch long shell fragment from his left arm and doused the wound in spirits. The burning sensation coalesced with the agony of a hundred different injuries across his battered body. His face resembled a charred mess, shards of steel having sliced their way across his visage but somehow...somehow he was alive.

    They thought they could kill you Yuri . But they can no more kill you than they can kill the revolution.


    The smoke from the murderous bombardment was at last thinning and there, in the harbour he could see it, a lone British destroyer steaming towards the task force.

    The swine are on that ship Yuri. They are escaping. You won’t let that happen.

    Hauling himself to his feet Yuri staggered over to the last gun in his annihilated battery. A cursory inspection revealed that unlike the others it was still, by some miracle in (semi) working order. With a firm yank the weapons breach opened and the spent shell fell onto the blasted ground. Levering it as best he could with his battered hands the Petrograd party member slung a new shell into the weapon and shut the breach. Eyes to the sights he dialled the weapon into the aimed position.

    One more blow of the hammer Yuri.




    HMS Brooke

    The Shell smacked into the Broke’s aft section and detonated with a deep concussion. Shrapnel ricochets slapped across the deck cutting down a pair of crewmen. Warwick rushed forward to check the royal party; for the most part they seemed alright if a little rattled. The women were quickly ushered into the interior of the destroyer soaked and shaken but the Tsarevitch was nowhere to be seen.

    Then came the cry from the spotter. “MAN OVERBOARD!”

    The first thing Warwick noticed was a small white figure emerge in the immediate wake of the destroyer.

    The second thing he noticed was the sound of heavy boots hitting the deck.

    The third was an all too familiar figure running past and diving over the rails.

    Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov arced into the ocean with the mooring line in hand. The smack of the water against his body was brutal, the frigid waters instantly saturating his clothing. The crew on the destroyer watched in shock and awe as the 5’6” Russian royal fought his way tooth and nail through the churning white waters and hooked the rope around the flailing boy and gestured frantically back at the ship. Not waiting for an order, the British sailors began the process of pulling in the now taught line.


    HMS Queen Elizabeth.

    Beatty’s XO had trained his optics on the Brooke as it broke away from the bay and responded immediately to the hit.
    “Looks like captain Ramsey’s not entirely out of the woods yet Admiral.”

    The ever indomitable admiral was far more concerned than he appeared. His orders were sharp and in quick succession.
    “Helm, turn 340. Signals, destroyers to cross the line and make smoke.”
    Damned if I’m going to let the bolshies ruin a perfectly good destroyer.


    One of the burly ratings from the forward gun position hauled the 14 year old Alexei aboard and laid him out on the deck where what passed as the destroyers medical staff moved rapidly to get him inside. As far as Warwick could tell the boy looked almost frozen but otherwise uninjured.


    Tsarevitch Alexei in 1917.


    The boy’s father was not as lucky, While his son had been hauled aboard successfully , Nikolai was being buffeted against the hull by the near arctic waters having progressively given up his hold on lengths of the line to reduce the weight and allow the Tsarevitch to be hoisted aboard extremely quickly. Now the battered and fatigued ruler was at last slowly but surely hoisted up the side of the destroyer.

    Yuri watched one of his fingers snap backwards under the strain of shutting the damaged weapons breach behind a shrapnel shell. Perhaps he was mad or perhaps the blood loss had robbed him of his senses but he could feel no pain from the broken digit... Once again he dialed in his gun.

    For justice thunders condemnation, and I am the soviet’s answer. The gun boomed one more time.


    Nikolai felt the hypervelocity fragment slice into his torso. Propelled by the force of shell exploding many meters away, the slug carved a path through flesh and muscle before embedding itself in the hull of the vessel. As the man who had once been Czar of all the Russia’s was hauled aboard the destroyer he felt the warmth of his royal blood soak into his frigid clothing. As the sailors and Russian volunteers carried him towards the ships interior he turned his hazed vision upon the spectre of Arkhangelsk... “goodbye my homeland.”
    Then everything faded into blackness.


    Captain Ramsey could hardly believe his eyes as the mighty dreadnought HMS Queen Elizabeth cut along his stern forming a steel bastion against the sporadic enemy fire. Three more shells smashed into the side of the vessel but failed to make any impression against her 12 inch steel belt. As a wall of destroyers sailed across the bay spewing thick black smoke into the air the Captain at last relaxed slightly.

    Within minutes they were out range and on their way to join their escort home.


    HMS Brooke makes its escape
    Last edited by Teivel; 25-05-2013 at 17:17.

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