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Thread: The Great Power Struggle - Change & Conflict in the 20thC

  1. #41
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    Good update, keep them coming .

    BTW maybe we should get some statistics from time to time? Just because they are cool...

  2. #42
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    This is really great. Nice work! I love a good, well-researched alternative history.

  3. #43
    Lt. General SirCliveWolfe's Avatar
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    To All: Hello gents!... I do apologise for the lack of updates. I got called away to an urgent business meeting in Singapore... just got back and I'm a bit jet-lagged, but should have an update by 18:00 (BST) tomorrow

    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    Some very interesting divergences so far, I'm looking forward to what comes next.
    Thank you very much

    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    I also have to say that Chamberlain has a simply smashing monocle on.
    Certainly is...

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Good update, keep them coming .
    Thank you sir!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    BTW maybe we should get some statistics from time to time? Just because they are cool...
    Yeah sure, what kind of stats would you like?

    Quote Originally Posted by schuyguy View Post
    This is really great. Nice work! I love a good, well-researched alternative history.
    Thank you very much, and welcome aboard
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  4. #44
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    Yeah sure, what kind of stats would you like?
    Casualties and casualty ratios? Production numbers? They would be especially useful in cases when you deviate from history.

  5. #45
    Lt. General SirCliveWolfe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Casualties and casualty ratios? Production numbers? They would be especially useful in cases when you deviate from history.
    That will take a little while to figure out so I'll probably do a chapter about the story so far after...
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  6. #46
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    Chapter VII: The Chinese Miracle









    Chapter VII: The Chinese Miracle
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too



    As General Allenby surveyed the peninsular that he had come to command he was a worried man, the main Ottoman defensive line ran from the town of Gallipoli to an imposing ridge on his left. There was a small depression after the ridge, but the flat costal land there was so small as to be a bottleneck. The Bull, as he was known be friend and foe alike, had recently relieved Sir Ian Hamilton of command, from the reports the man had given he saw that the landings had been executed with a high degree of success, but that the usual frontal attacks upon the Turkish positions would be bloody and futile. One of the things that he is often credited for, by modern military historians, is his ability to see diverse and eclectic forces and find a way to use them to their best extent. He quickly realised that, although the ANZAC and Indian infantry were of the highest quality, his best forces for those of the British Gurkhas, a force of hardy men used to fighting upon hills and immensely brave.

    Allenby had been given strict orders when he had been assigned to the theatre, and those orders were to crack the Ottoman lines as quickly as possible, regardless of cost. As such the man knew that he would have to act fast, he was uncomfortable with the casualty projections from another massed assault, but there seemed little other option. For several days the commander of Ottoman forces and his Germany advisor surveyed the steady build-up of allied forces around the area of Gallipoli with obvious interest. Mustafa Kemel knew what to expect, intelligence recently received had alerted him to the fact that the British General had been reinforced with a large compliment of heavy guns recently. He had little doubt of what was to come, the change in leadership, it appeared, had not changed the allied penchant for massing men for a direct attack [1].




    British Gurkhas in position the the ridge near the town of Galliopli



    When one thinks of what life was like in the Ottoman trenches for the week long, heavy, bombardment of their lines, one can only imagine the horrors and fear that must have gripped Turkish hearts. This would have mitigated, of course, by the fact that this had already happened before, the Ottoman’s on the front were, like their German colleagues in Flanders, confident in their knowledge that they would sit out the massive bombardment for exactly a week before the Allied troops would attack on either the hour, or the half [2]. The sheer amount ordinance that was being flung in high arcs by the Allied guns left Kemel safe in the knowledge that he knew exactly where the attack would come from and almost the exact time of the Allied sally at his lines. He brought up his reserve so as to be able to resist the advance in an elastic way, as was the advice of his Teutonic advisor, everything was in place, and once again a British General would pay a high price in his men’s blood for a futile attempt.

    The first thing that struck the Ottoman officer was the lack of force behind this attack. The large guns had ceased and a few units had advanced, but there was not the usual glut of targets for his machine guns. Had the man seen the situation incorrectly? Was this new General trying something new? The answer came quickly as men behind the front lines reported seeing men coming ashore, accompanied by heavy fire and multiple explosions. To the young Turk’s immense relief, the British General had blundered into a perfect trap, he quickly summarised that although the plan had been innovative, his recently positioned reserves were in a uniquely good position to throw the amphibious attack back into the murky water of the Dardanelles. Orders were quickly dispatched to have his mobile reserves deal with the incursion and as the forces on the far right, close to the ridge, were seeing no action to move further some of them back to Gallipoli, Kemel had an idea, not only would he repulse the attack but he would counter it.



    Mustafa Kemel, Field Commander of Ottoman forces




    The theory was sound, although he had a disparity in troops, the Ottoman reasoned that with a seemingly significant portion of his enemy engaged on the shore, if he pushed hard back against the Indian and ANZAC troops in front he could, at least, threaten his opponent’s guns, if not force a rout. He put his plan into action and watched as his troops massed, we can only imagine the look upon his face as his smile must have transformed into a look of gentle surprise, he heard thunder from the north, but looked into the sky and saw not a cloud in sight, suddenly he is reported to stammered and staggered, uttering the, probably apocryphal, words “thunder? Surely not with this… Bull! What have you done?” [3]

    Allenby was a happy man, his diversion had been a brilliant success and even now his infantry were engaging the Ottoman lines. The Gurkha units had already overrun a position on the ridge and were pouring enfilading fire down upon the hard pressed defenders. The first aspect of the diversion had been accomplished through the harassment of London until a battery of French artillery had been delivered from a bewildered command, they did not understand his reasoning as the quick-firing guns that he asked for had been shown to be ineffective against entrenched positions. The General had a unique way of thinking and he had quickly realised that in order to make a bombardment of enemy positions as realistic as possible, he would either mean concentrating all of his artillery together or find another solution. What he realised was that by using the quick-firing guns, of which his opponent had no idea, he could make it seem that all of his artillery was placed to attack Gallipoli, when in fact most of his guns were facing the position his men were attacking.



    The quick-firing French 75mm artillery piece



    The second stroke of genius came from an unlikely source, Bernard Freyberg [4], a New Zealander who had fought in the Mexican civil-war and won a prize fight in New York in order to pay for his passage to Britain at the outbreak of war. Freyberg was an unusual man, of who many considered to be overly fond of fire and explosions, but the British commander entertained his ideas. The first was the reintroduction into the British army of a Napoleonic oddity, the rocket. While the French guns could cover for the artillery already in place, the Allies knew that their opponents had received information showing that heavy guns had been brought to the front, if they were missing from the bombardment, they would have been noticed. Freyberg’s idea was to use simple rockets with large payloads to simulate their effects, when it was pointed out how horribly inaccurate they were, he simply replied that it would not matter as the effect was what was needed, not results [5]. His second action was to row ashore behind enemy lines with a large assortment of fireworks to confuse and hopefully divert the enemy. The small-arms fire which had been reported to Kemel was nothing more than Chinese fire-crackers, bangers and other such things only normally seen on the 5th of November.

    The last moment of inspiration had been the use of the 4th and 12th Light Horse (Australian) Regiments. The units, that had previously seen action the Boer War, were mounted troops who mainly acted as mounted infantry, but did also provide cover for some cavalry roles. They had been used by Hamilton as normal infantry while their steads, mainly hardy Australian Waler horse, had been acclimatising in Egypt. They had performed admirably, but now they were reunited with their equine colleagues, and Allenby employed they as pure cavalry to punch through the breach and rush upon the lightly flanks of Kemel’s forces, encircling them and forcing their surrender [6].



    The Famous Australian Light Horse


    After the long and arduous campaign so far, the long awaited breakthrough had been accomplished and Allenby spurred his troops on toward a new, hastily built, Ottoman defensive line. The Imperial forces were off the peninsular and while they lacked the means to directly take the war further, they cheered as the Royal Navy’s monstrous looking battlecruisers [7] steamed past, the straights were open and the only thing that now separated the Ottoman capital from 16 inch high explosive shells was the ancient Turkish navy and two German ships. The war had changed in an evening, Allenby had pushed a small snow-ball down a slope, and the question was where the avalanche would stop [8].




    [1] Needless to say this is all made up by yours truly

    [2] Depressingly true, the Germans knew exactly when an Allied attack was going to come because of this

    [3] Yeah in HOI terms Allenby would have the ‘trickster’ trait among others

    [4] This guy is amazing, seriously Google him won the VC on the day of the landing doing something similar to here… I think he will also get a VC for his work here

    [5] Not sure if this would work very well, but meh…

    [6] These forces joined Allenby in Palestine and charged enemy guns and trenches, very useful force  

    [7] The dreadnought’s have returned to home waters, but the I-Class so humbled in the North Sea, should do wonderfully well here

    [8] Just released a whole bunch of butterflies now


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  7. #47
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    I've just finished reading the latest update. It's very nice, although the title misled me, as I thought that you were going to describe the war in China . Anyway, it clearly looks like you want to make the British Empire much more successful than it was IRL. Just don't go overboard, as the UK succeeding everywhere will make the AAR too predictable :P.

  8. #48
    Very well researched and written up, I am seiously impressed, and, depressed when one considers the missed opportunities
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  9. #49
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  10. #50
    very nice
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  11. #51
    Lt. General SirCliveWolfe's Avatar
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    Hello All!

    I am very sorry that I have been away for so long, unfortunately I have been involved in a very big project at work (launching a new bank) and have been pretty much just working and sleeping for the last seven months. However, after a short time to recover I am BACK!! and so is this AAR.

    I sincerely hope that my time away has not annoyed any of my readers and hope that you will continue with your support.

    I promise I will not be away again (no more volunteering for work ) until this is finished...

    ...as you have waited so long I have already prepared an update you all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    I've just finished reading the latest update. It's very nice, although the title misled me, as I thought that you were going to describe the war in China . Anyway, it clearly looks like you want to make the British Empire much more successful than it was IRL. Just don't go overboard, as the UK succeeding everywhere will make the AAR too predictable :P.
    Thank you very much sir!... there will be no going overboard, I full expect this war to last just as long as the real one. This campaign was just so mismanaged, it really is too easy for it to go well especially as it was probable that on another attempt the navy could have forced the straights without the army

    Quote Originally Posted by Rancher View Post
    Very well researched and written up, I am seiously impressed, and, depressed when one considers the missed opportunities
    Thank you, very kind words indeed, hope I can keep up to this standard

    Quote Originally Posted by hygge0302 View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by ve3609 View Post
    very nice
    And very nice words too

    anyway... update time!
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  12. #52
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    Chapter VII – Onward to Constantinople!









    Chapter VII – Onward to Constantinople!
    If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you, If all men count with you, but none too much



    The Bull had wrong-footed the world as effectively as the mercurial rugby player Arthur Leyland Harrison [1] as he had achieved what was starting to look implausible, a breakthrough against the central powers. The most immediate effect was that in Eastern Europe, where there had been increasing pressure upon Bulgaria to join the triple powers and put further pressure on Serbia. With Allenby’s victory on the peninsular the Ottomans looked weak and it did not help that while Russia was decidedly worse for wear, they were still in the fight as was Serbia despite immense Austrian pressure. As such Sofia was starting to turn away German diplomats and smile upon those of the Entente [2] as well as taking the more immediate decision to stop supplies being run to the Turks through their territory. This was a bitter blow to the powers as it seemed that the Ottomans were now on their own. Although not an immediate effect, the more long-lasting outcome was the opinion of the United States, which turned from one quietly writing off the Anglo-French and their allies to one that was far more favourable [3].

    Perhaps the most surprisingly wrong-footed were the Anglo-French themselves, although a breakthrough on the Dardanelles was the optimum outcome, no one had really foreseen its happening. As such the swift victory in the east was not immediately followed by a swift naval push as forces had to be concentrated, including a force of three Battlecruisers from Malta and their escorts. As such it was not until the 27th of November that the battle squadron, led by Rear Admiral de Robeck, on the HMS Lord Nelson proceeded towards the sea of Marmara. The planning for the operation had already suffered casualties as the HMS irresistible had been torpedoed by, von Trapp’s submersible, shortly after leaving Malta. Worse was to come for the squadron as although the guns of the forts on the European side had been silenced, mobile batteries on the Asiatic side had not. The line of six Battleships was perturbed by the gunfire, but it was not until the MN Liberte, the last ship in the line, was hit repeatedly that worries grew. The French ship was ordered back, but still having a full store of ammunition, she saturated the Turkish positions with fire. As a result Patey, who was leading his Battlecruiser squadron after De Robeck, was almost unaffected by the artillery.



    The redoubtable Admiral de Robeck




    Admiral Souchen, while actually a member of the German Imperial Navy, was technically the head of the Ottoman force off the coast of the ancient capital. He quickly understood that the situation was almost hopeless, but knowing his duty, he looked for the best possible strategy. He quickly decided to split his six U-boats, sending two toward the British and four out towards the Russians, who had been bombarding the forts at the mouth of the Bosphorus. His two Turkish ships, ailing old battle wagons, would patrol off the city, while he himself would sail first south and then north in the hopes of surprising the Anglo-French force, with the Yavuz Sulttin Salim (the renamed Goeben) and Midilli (the Breslau ). His available force of light cruisers and destroyers were sent towards the oncoming enemy, with the hopes of a fortuitous opportunity of launching a torpedo attack.

    After entering the deeper sea, the HMS Weymouth spotted a periscope and immediately sought to ram the submarine. The quick actions of the light cruiser wrecked and sank the German dive-boat, but not before she had launched her fish. While the Weymouth struggled, her calls for help were quickly overtaken by those of the HMS Implacable as two torpedoes slammed into her, causing her to list heavily, and eventually sink. With the both the light cruiser Weymouth and the formidable Implacable taken out of the action, de Robeck was hesitant to press on and only his very clear orders mad him do so. He did however order Patey to take the lead. This was unfortunate for the Turkish cruiser Mejidaye who had thought that the slower column of pre-dreadnoughts were to be first. Her job was to draw off the light-cruiser escort from the battle wagons, to enable her half-sister ship, the faster Hammidaye, to torpedo the slow ships behind. Mejidaye did her job admirably, gaining the pursuit of the HMS Lowestoft, but the big British cruiser was much superior and her 12” guns made short work of the Turkish ship and her consorts. While the Lowestoft was distracted the Hammidaye and her torpedo boats made their charge. The soon realised the hopelessness of their situation, but bravely charge on being cut to pieces, but immortalised in verse for her action [4].



    The utterly brave Ottoman ship




    The diplomatic situation unleashed by Allenby’s sudden victory had similarly caught the Russians out, they were determined to have Constantinople and the straights for herself in any carve up of Turkey, but the Anglo-French had made it clear that they expected Russian boots on the ground. In fact this may still not have been enough for the British, but it did compel the Bear to act quickly. A disorganised and hurriedly thrown together squadron of battleships was quickly sent under the direct command of Vice Admiral Eberhardt to smash the Bosphorus forts, but unfortunately for them they were heavily engaged by the four U-boats send by Souchen and were compelled to withdraw after the loss of the flagship Estafi. Meanwhile back closer to Constantinople, Commander Martin Nasmith VC, in command of E-14, a British submersible was also making hay. He had managed to get into the path of the two ancient Ottoman warships and although nearly rammed, he had managed to fire a salvo of two torpedoes at the closets of these ships. It was with very good fortune that they both hit, but rather than scoring two hits on his target the Hayreddin Barbarossa he managed to hit both it and the Turgut Reis through a lucky miss on the former. While a torpedo each was not enough to sink the two venerable ships, it did compel their captains to beach them, half submerged and out of the battle.

    All that remained were the two ex-German ships, while de Robeck was concerned that he had not found them, he need not have worried, as smoke was soon seen as Souchen had found him. The endgame was upon them and, at a range of some 17,000 yards the British flagship HMS Lord Nelson, opened the fireing, quickly followed by her sister Agamemnon. The German guns remained silent until the range had been narrowed by a thousand yards and then they too opened up. At around ten to four in the afternoon Yavuz started to receive hits from the Anglo-French force being hit on the casements amidships, her forward funnel and thirdly just above the main belt even with her last turret. She was giving as good as she got and landed a sucker punch on the Lord Nelson hitting her centre turret. As the crews of the adjacent turrets began to flood their magazines and powder stores, a sheet of flame burst forth. There was no time in the moment for anyone to register what was happening, but a moment after the massive flare a shell in the adjacent turret detonated, tearing it open and tossing the rifle and most of it’s mount overboard. Amazingly enough, as quick as the fire had burst forth it had died back as the entering sea water had won the race. The shop was still firing from its rear 12” turret and kept it’s place in line. At around twenty past four the German ship was a blazing wreck only being able to fire inermitiantly and as de Robeck finally pulled his ship from the fight he ordered a torpedo strike by the destroyers, screened by the HMS Yarmouth. Souchen started to turn the Yavuz and the Midilli who had been sitting securely on the Asiatic side of Yavuz, keeping out of range of the Entente battleships was ordered into the fight to intercept the approaching Yarmouth and her destroyers. The MN Sufferen, under the command of the second ranking officer, the Frenchman Gueprette, matched the turn of the Yavuz as did HMS Swiftsure while the Agamemnon stayed true as the Midilli came into range. The British ship opened up with everything she had and although the chance of a 12” on the fast and agile cruiser was slight, the 9.2” guns fared better. A hit was registered just between the last two funnels, followed by a cloud of smoke and steam. The cruiser’s speed fell off as two more shells struck her forward. The drop in speed was leathal as the 12 inchers came into play, both the Yavuz and the Midilli were soon heading beneath the waves.



    The implacable HMS Swiftsure




    With the threat of further U-boat action, de Robeck was forced to retire from further action with the Lord Nelso and Agamemnon, but Gueprette on the Sufferen insisted, as the sole French ship on continuing toward the enemy capital. De Robeck acknowledged the situation and sent the Frenchman on with Patey’s battlecruisers and the Swiftsure. In fact there was only a single remaining U-boat and de Robeck need not have worried as while the German ambassador was arguing that they should remain firm and hold their positions as help was on the way, the Turks were seeing things differently. European Turkey was in real danger of being cut off and not only Greece, but Bulgaria as well, were apparently falling in line with the Entente. If it came to a proper declaration for the Entente by these nations a large addition to the Entente armies in the Balkans would demand that an even larger commitment of men and material by the Ottomans would be needed to counter them in the field in European Turkey. They had been thrown back from the Suez and were continuing their withdrawal from Mesopotamia and Allenby had broken through, the only ‘bright spot’ was the stalemate in the Caucasian mountains.

    As a result while Patey was leading his squadron back toward Istanbul, The Turks were beginning to come to the realisation that if their nation was to survive, their participation in the war must end. In the early hours of the 29th, the head of the Swiss legation was awakened so that his government could assist in ending the Ottoman Empire’s state of war with the Entente and by eight o’clock on the 29th of November Patey was handed the a signal to delay the bombardment, the first of the Centeral Powers had fallen! [5]



    British and French Generals in Istanbul






    [1] He is the only England rugby international to ever win the VC so I have included him, although he was a forward and I couldn’t find much info on his playing days, so the mercurial bit is my own little (probable) embellishment
    [2] Yes Bulgaria is staying out of the war, for now anyway… and they are more probable to join the Entente (see [5])
    [3] Those who would support the Entente in the US have been worried by the RN ‘defeats’ and their seeming inability to win battles against the CP
    [4] This did not happed IOTL, but with enough butterflies, maybe there is a poet on one of the British ships and a poem, similar to the Charge of the Light Brigade has come about
    [5] It is really hard for this not to be the outcome of a successful battle at Gallipoli, the Entente navy was too strong and probably could have forced the straights without the amphibious landing. This will of course see major butterflies, but if you expect a march on Berlin in 1916, you (like the Entente public) will be very disappointed

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  13. #53
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    I say! what a jolly good show...

    Just one question, is'nt two BB's with two torpedoes a little much? I know they wouldn't have made much (if any) difference, but it seems a little lucky?

  14. #54
    Lt. General SirCliveWolfe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenjaminGrey View Post
    I say! what a jolly good show...

    Just one question, is'nt two BB's with two torpedoes a little much? I know they wouldn't have made much (if any) difference, but it seems a little lucky?
    Hi Ben, thanks for staying with the thread after such a long wait...

    Yeah two BB's with 2 torps does seem a little excessive... but... These are not really BB's anymore, the do not have much, if any, torpedo protection, skeleton crews unable to cope with the flooding and very, very bad internal compartmentalisation... and as you said they would not have made a fig of difference even if they had got the jump of the RN units...

    Glad you enjoyed a mostly naval update... because...
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  15. #55
    Lt. General SirCliveWolfe's Avatar
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    Chapter VIII – Charge of Hipper’s Brigade









    Chapter VIII – Charge of Hipper’s Brigade
    'Forward, the Light Brigade! Charge for the guns' he said: Into the valley of Death…




    Admiral von Pohl, commander of the German fleet, was replaced due to ill health by Admiral Scheer. The new man believed that the fleet had been used too defensively, had better ships and men than the British, and ought to take the war to them. His initial plan was to use a combined force of ships and Zeppelins to assault the English city of Sunderland in a raid to draw out elements of the Grand Fleet and destroy them in detail as had happened earlier in the war. Due to the Kaiser’s reluctance to use submersibles to attack neutral shipping, for fear of bringing the United States into the war [1], Scheer had a number of U-Boats that he would use to picket the British ports to warn him of any elements of the fleet setting sail and their direction. Operations were scheduled for early May, but repairs to the Battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz took longer than expected and contrary winds towards the end of the month necessitated a change of plans. Scheer thusly decided that a supposed strike toward the throat of the Skagerrak, the strategic gateway to the Baltic and North Atlantic, against the British Merchant Marine would cause a strong sally by part, but not all, of the Grand Fleet. So on the 31st May 1916, Scheer set sail for the Danish coast with Hipper out in front of him planning to draw elements of Jellico’s fleet upon him. Unbeknownst and unfortunately for the man Room 40 was at work again, they had seen the increased traffic of messages and recognised the coded signal ‘G.G.2490’ when it was sent to signify the order to sail. Jellico in command of the Grand Fleet in Scrap Flow and Hood, commanding Jellico’s scouting force, immediately set sail. Jellico was sighted by a U-Boat heading east, while Hood who was looking to link up with him, was mistakenly reported to Scheer as heading south as he was zigzagging to avoid the know submersible threat [2]. The final act of good fortune for the Royal Navy was when Director of Operations Division, Rear Admiral Thomas Jackson, asked the current location of German call sign DK, used by Admiral Scheer. It was reported that while that call sign was at Wilhelmshaven, it was probable that Scheer deliberately used a different call sign when at sea. Jellico was immediately told that the High Sea’s Fleet was at sea, and he headed to the coast of southern Norway to either cut off an advance into the Atlantic or Baltic [3].

    On the 1st June, at around 12:00 [4] ships Hood’s ships were proceeding eastward at roughly the same latitude as Hipper's squadron, which was heading north. At 12:20, despite heavy haze and scuds of fog giving poor visibility, scouts from Hood’s force reported enemy ships to the southeast and two seaplanes from HMS Endgame were sent to try to get more information about the size and location of the German forces. They located the German force at around 13:30 and successfully reported their disposition to Hood, despite one of the planes suffering an equipment failure [5]. Duly informed Hood concentrated his forces from their steaming formation of three columns into battle-line [6] and moved to cut Hipper off from his base. Hipper had actually spotted Hood’s force a few minutes before the seaplanes had and started to steam south to bring, what he thought was an isolated element of the Grand Fleet onto Scheer. At 13:38, with the range being about 20,000 yards, the British guns opened up on their outranged Germanic foe [7], save for those of the 1st Cruiser Squadron who’s maximum range was only 18,000 yards.




    The HMS Warspite in action


    Hipper quickly realised the perilous nature of his position for, although he had the best of the conditions, he was severely out gunned. He made the decision that this was too good a change to strike a vicious blow against the Royal Navy and took the calculated risk of his forces decimation to in turn lead the British upon the guns of the High Sea’s Fleet. This was a mistake and the coming action was quickly termed “The Charge of Hipper’s Brigade” in a play upon the Crimean action of a similar name [8]. The German force charged Hood, while the British was quickly using his advantage to cross his opponent’s ‘T’ [9], as such the favourable conditions that the Germans had for gunnery was lost as Hipper could only bring his forward turrets to bear while the British guns fired salvo after salvo. Although both sides registered few hits in comparison to the heavy fire they spat out, only some 3% form the Germans and 2.5% for the British [10], the weight of fire from the Royal Navy ships meant that in total hits the continental ships received was much heavier. At 13:45 the first hits from the British battle-wagons registered upon the SMS Derfflinger and SMS Von der Tann with terrible consequences, the Derffinger was hit on its forward turret sparking a flash which, due to the turret commander ordering the magazine doors shut and the magazine flooded stopped further damage. The Van der Tann, however, was not as lucky as at 13:59 she was hit by three shells from the HMS Warspite which detonated her forward magazine in a blinding flash, the bow of ship was visibly ripped away from it and she promptly sunk [11].

    It was not all one way traffic, however, and the HMS Princess Royal was hit with multiple times and holed beneath the waterline, slowly limped out of line and, despite the best efforts of her crew, she would shortly thereafter sink herself. Still the pure hail of fire from his opponent had Hipper in trouble, a point that was emphasised to him at around 14:12 when the SMS Moltke reported serious flooding from multiple hits forward and the SMS Seydlitz a violently exploded after what appears to have been simultaneous hits from both the HMS Warspite and HMS Barham that ignited her magazine in a blinding flash, when Hipper looked back nought could be seen of the proud Battlecruiser. This made his mind up and he ordered a desperate torpedo attack upon the British line, which although it failed to score any hits did succeeded in driving off the Royal Navy vessels allowing Hipper a chance of escape [12]. Meanwhile Raymond Collishaw [13], a distinguished Canadian pilot was attempting to land his Short Type-184 into the path of Hipper in the hopes of firing the torpedo he was carrying. In this enterprise he was utterly defeated as the sea was not the dead flat he needed it [14], it was quite typical of the man to attempt such a reckless maneuverer, but it did put him in position to spot the rapidly approaching force of Scheer and report their position and numbers which Hood immediately reported to Jellico, it was the British turn to bait the trap! [15]




    Painting of Raymond Collishaw later in his career






    [1] This is a slight change, due to the success of surface actions the decision for unrestricted submarine warfare has not been taken

    [2] This is all as per our time line, from here on everything changes, slightly

    [3] Rear Admiral Thomas Jackson did ask this, but no enterprising intelligence expert was there to inform him of this

    [4] Roughly 2 hours ahead of schedule due to the intelligence being better

    [5] A seaplane from this ship did spot Hipper, but equipment failure led to it not being able to report, here there are two planes…

    [6] & [7] Beatty did neither of these things, for unknown reasons…

    [8] Just couldn't resist

    [9] Due to being a little quicker to sport the Germans Hood can do this, especially as he is in line already

    [10] Quite close to the actual numbers, I haven’t really changed these because while British gunnery is better for Hood than Beatty (due to having gun practice) the wind was blowing the funnel and gun smoke back on the Brits…

    [11] The reversion of what happened in OTL… Gotta love Warspite

    [12] Not sure if this would have worked, but I can’t have a complete British victory

    [13] Such and interesting guy

    [14] It sounds odd to have a plane try and torpedo a ship in WWI and not WWII… but it had already happened to a merchantman in Turkey and he would have had zero chance even if the weather had been right…

    [15] The trap is turned round… and the ‘real’ battle is to come

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  16. #56
    Private BenjaminGrey's Avatar

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    For a minute there I thought you were going crazy and a successful air plane torpedo strike!

    ...any chance of an update?

  17. #57
    Lt. General SirCliveWolfe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenjaminGrey View Post
    For a minute there I thought you were going crazy and a successful air plane torpedo strike!

    ...any chance of an update?
    Yeah I debated about the torpedo thing, but it did happen in our WWI... and Collishaw's they type of crazy bar-steward to try it so

    Thanks for reading... and commenting... oh and about that update
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  18. #58
    Lt. General SirCliveWolfe's Avatar
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    Chapter IX – Jutland!









    Chapter IX – Jutland!
    'Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them




    Collishaw’s intervention in the battle was decisive, until Jellico got the call from Hood he was unaware of exactly where the main element of the German fleet was. With definitive information provided by the Canadian pilot, Jellico’s choice became whether to deploy his battle-line from the six cruising columns either deploying using the western or eastern most column, the west would bring him closer to Scheer and deploying east would mean the chance to cross the ‘T’ and allow better visibility for British gunners. The Admiral quickly chose east as there was plenty of time before the sun would set [1] and allow him to use Hood’s battered, but largely intact force to draw the Germans on. Meanwhile the torpedoes had allowed Hipper to escape back to Scheer, but without the crucial information of Jellico’s arrival. Within the British fleet the re-deployment mean a frantic period with many near misses as ships struggle to get into their assigned position. This period of peril and heavy traffic attending the merger and deployment of the British forces later became known as "Windy Corner"


    At 16:30, the main fleet action was joined for the first time, with Jellicoe effectively "crossing Scheer's T". The officers on the lead German battleships, including Scheer himself, were taken completely by surprise when they emerged from drifting clouds of smoky mist to suddenly find themselves facing the massed firepower of the entire Grand Fleet main battle line, which they did not know was even near the area. The pure shock and awe of the Grand fleet’s opening salvo caused panic and consternation on the Bridge of the SMS König which itself took seven hits from Jellico’s flagship, HMS Iron Duke, the Germans were hampered by poor visibility, in addition to being in an unfavourable tactical position, just as Jellicoe had intended. Realizing he was heading into a death trap, Scheer ordered his fleet to turn and flee at 16:37 [2]. Scheer’s forces then expertly performed a 180° turn in unison, a manoeuvre that the High Seas Fleet practiced constantly for just such a situation.




    Heroes both of Jutland



    Jellico was conscious of the threat of a torpedo attack and thusly did not chase directly, but moved south instead. Meanwhile, Scheer, knew his fleet would suffer terribly in a stern chase, doubled back to the east at 16:55. In his memoirs he wrote, "I thought that the manoeuvre would be bound to surprise the enemy, to upset his plans for the rest of the day." but the turn to the east took his ships, again, directly towards Jellicoe's fully deployed battle line. The German 5th Division, shattered both in terms of structural and moral damage, retired to the back of the line apart from the SMS König, which was slowing and was left to her fate eventually being sunk by a destroyer’s torpedo. The 2nd Light Cruiser Squadron, commanded by, Commodore Goodenough, managed to dodge the intense fire of the Germans for to re-establish contact with them 17:00. This helped Jellicoe to cross Scheer's "T" again by 17:15. This time his arc of fire was tighter and deadlier, causing severe damage to the German battleships, particularly the now leading 1st Squadron. The ravaging fire from the British Battlewagons quickly knocked the SMS Ostfriesland, SMS Helgoland, SMS Rheinland and the SMS Nassau out of the German battle-line, heavily damaged and slowing, to be finished off by Rear-Admiral Trevylyan’s Light Cruiser squadron. Hood’s Scouting Force was, meanwhile, still operating independently and reinforced by the rest of the armoured cruisers, understanding that Scheer would probably look to ‘about-face’ once again, started to steam at near flank-speed to the west of the German force. Scheer, meanwhile, realised that the situation he was in was very grave and so resorted to desperate measures. He ordered Hipper to take his last remaining Battlecruiser and the six pre-dreadnoughts on the Fleet and charge the guns of the Grand Fleet hoping that this, combined with a mass torpedo attack, would cause Jellico to turn away and allow his more valuable remaining dreadnoughts to escape [3].


    Hipper’s second charge as a forlorn hope of the day was not as successful as his first, as not only was every one of the ships in his command sent to the bottom of the sea, which was expected, the distraction that he and the torpedoes caused, whilst distracting and driving off Jellico, Scheer ran straight into the combined might of Hood’s reinforced squadron. Although Hood’s forces were heavily outgunned they fought a running battle with Scheer’s remaining fleet managing to cripple the already damaged SMS Grosser Kurfürst, SMS Kronprinz and SMS Markgraf for the Grand Fleet to finish them off while symbolically catching that SMS Kaiser who, after a lengthy gun-fight with the HMS Warspite, dramatically exploded [4]. With the sun finally setting on the rippling water the battle was near over as Scheer pushed his ships hard and by the time darkness fell, Jellico and Hood realised that they would be far too close to the German shore and the possibility of mines and torpedoes to further peruse at sunlight, as such the two fleets steamed away. The High Seas Fleet had managed to give the British a bloody nose, but the cost was appalling with Scheer loosing nine of his sixteen modern dreadnoughts as well as all of his older pre-dreadnoughts and Battlecruisers. The Grand Fleet had suffered at German hands, but it was still a massive victory for, not just the British, but the whole Entente.




    The SMS Kaiser perhaps fittingly sunk along with the Kaiser's hopes of naval dominance







    [1] The battle is about two hours earlier so no worries about dusk

    [2] With better positioning all 20 of Jellico’s dreadnoughts get to fire, causing a little more panic & shock for Scheer so a little more time & therefore damage for the Germans

    [3] With Hipper’s Battlecruisers now unavailable, Scheer looks to the less valuable and pretty much obsolete pre- dreadnoughts

    [4] Having a fast-force still very much in the fight has really paid off

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