Post by dickturpin on Jan 14, 2016 17:05:54 GMT -5
Mid 1916 (Part 1)
There was a significant upturn in action in the middle part of 1916.
On 14th May the powerful new German cruiser Brummer and accompanying Destroyers attacked British shipping off the Humber sinking 2 Merchants and a Destroyer, also damaging a further 3 Destroyers.
28th May saw the a German force of Lutzow, Seydlitz and Brummer attack Cromer and sink a merchant. A further merchant vessel was sunk by an A-boat.
On 29th and 30th, a British raiding force of cruisers attacked Rostock, sank the old Battleship Hilderbrand and 4 transports.
The Battleship Markgraff was mined on 28th and had a game of cat and mouse with British light forces off the Dutch coast whilst returning home.
Second Battle of Texel
On 12th June the British Grand Fleet raided the Helgoland Blight and sank 2 Torpedoboats. On the way home, they encountered a German force including Seydlitz and Lutzow. The Battlecruiser Fleet was at sea and used its superior speed to continue the chase. See map.
At 14:28 the Germans were sighted by Commonwealth and they opened fire at 14:31. Benbow returned fire at 14:32. The pursuit of the fleeing Germans saw intermittent action at the limits of visibility as conditions were misty and overcast. Contact was frequently lost. King George V hit Lutzow at 15:57. By 17:20, the Grand Fleet totally lost contact.
At 17:45, the Lion spotted the Germans fleeing eastward in the direction of Denmark, the British having cut them off from their bases. At 17:46 Queen Mary opened fire and the Germans returned fire 1 minute later. A prolonged gunnery exchange occured and Seydlitz was badly damaged suffering severe flooding, 2 turrels knocked out and she was burning. Lutzow's bridge and 1 turret had been destroyed. Ranges were closing to approximately 10,500 yards in the later stages of the action as the Germans speed decreased through battle damage. In fading light, the British launched a destroyer attack between 21:09 and 21:30. The Germans escaped in the darkness. The most serious damage on the British side was the Cruiser Defence that was suffering flooding.
Gunnery ranges in the battle were 10,500 - 21,500 yards.
The Lutzow's shooting was not of the highest order; probably on account of the destruction of her bridge. She failed to score any hits in the battle. Seydlitz scored 4 hits on Princess Royal and 3 on Defence.
Seydlitz was hit by 35 heavy shells and she was lucky to survive. She was hit once by Malaya in the action with the Grand Fleet and suffered 10 hits from Lion, 1 from Princess Royal, 7 from Queen Mary, 7 from Tiger, 6 from Indefatigable, 1 each from Australia, New Zealand and Invincible.
Lutzow was hit by 7 hits; 1 from King George V, 5 from Princess Royal and 1 from Lion.
Last Edit: Jan 14, 2016 17:08:52 GMT -5 by dickturpin
Post by dickturpin on Jan 17, 2016 14:53:36 GMT -5
Mid 1916 (Part 2)
The Germans sank 2 merchants off the Nore on 22nd June.
The Second Battle of Dogger Bank
This occured 7th and 8th July and involved a British force of 15 Battleships, 2 Armoured Cruisers, 7 Light Cruisers and 33 Destroyers against a German force of 11 Battleships, 2 Light Cruisers and 23 Destroyers.
The British had set off to undertake a raid and minelaying operation; the British had taken their "first eleven" consisting of the 5th and 2nd Squadrons plus the more powerul units from the 1st and 4th Squadrons including the 15" and 13.5" vessels. The Germans were also embarked on a raid and had also included their more modern and fast units leaving the Nassau class and Predreadnoughts at home.
The British force had become widely scattered in the fog the main body of the 5th and 2nd squadrons had become detached from the other units.
The isolated Revenge sighted an isolated ship at 12:50 but more and more ships appeared out of the fog. She was hit by a 4" shell at 12:55. A running fight developed as Revenge was joined by Iron Duke, Emperor of India, Benbow and some Destroyers. The British retreated in the direction of the main force which was covered by a torpedo attack by the Destroyers at long range. Contact was finally lost at 14:11.
The Kaiserin was similarly isolated and disadvantaged by visibility. When joined by other units, she remained in the van of the German line. Ranges in the initial engagement were generally 6-10,000 yards but later in the engagement, visibility improved and ranges opened to about 18,000 yards. Kaiserin was hit by 24 heavy shells (14 from Iron Duke, 6 from Revenge and 4 from Benbow). She had suffered significant flooding and was on fire.
Prinzregent Luitpold had been hit by Emperor of India, whilst on the British side, Emperor of India had been hit 3 times (2 from Kaiser and 1 from Oldenberg) Iron Duke had also suffered 3 hits (2 from Konig Albert and 1 from Helgoland) and Revenge had been hit by Kaiserin.
The second phase of the battle began at 16:41 when Cambrian sighted German units at long range. By 17:15 action had been joined and Shannon opened fire. The Battleships were in action at 17:41 and the action consisted of long range gunnery at 17-22,000 yards although HMS Shannon got within about 12,500 yards. The action lasted 2 hours to 19:40 when contact was lost. The Germans suffered 26 heavy calibre hits whilst the British suffered 16 hits. Valient was torpedoed by G173.
Prinzregent Luitpold was hit 7 times (3 from Barham 1 each from Benbow, Iron Duke, Revenge and Monarch) Konig Albert was hit 4 times (2 Centurian, 1 Warspite, 1 Thunderer) Kaiser was hit 4 times (2 Conqueror, 1 Ajax, 1 Valient) Helgoland was hit 3 times (2 Revenge 1 Barham) Bayernwas hit 3 times (2 Benbow, 1 Emperor of India) Thuringen (1 Thunderer) Ostfriesland (1 Valient) Stetin (1 Barham) Grosser Kurfurst (1 Emperor of India) Koenig (1 Benbow) were hit once each.
On the British side, Shannon was hit 4 times (3 Helgoland, 1 Ostfriesland) Ajax was hit 3 times (2 G. Kurfuist, 1 Kaiser) Centurian was hit twice (2 Thuringen) Barham was hit twice (2 P. Luitpold) Warspite (1 K. Albert) King George V (1 Koenig) Thunderer (1 Oldenberg ) Cochrane (1 Barern) Conqueror (1 Thuringen ) once each.
The third phase of the battle saw the British attempt to cut off the Kaiserin that was detached around 19:18 and had been observed falling behind the rest of the German force. She was spotted by Valient and hit at 20:40. The British sailed past the damaged ship and by 00:49 she had suffered 149 Heavy, 29 Medium and 27 Light Shell hits plus 2 torpedoes.
Kaiserin was the first Dreadnought standard ship to be sunk primarily by gunfire without being first mined or torpedoed.
3 German Destroyers were mined on the way home and V189 was lost. Comus had got lost and was torpedoed and sunk by a U-boat.
See map for track charts.
Battle of Sunderland
On 19th August, a German force of Derfflinger and Brummer attacked Sunderland. The Grand Fleet and Battlecruiser fleet were at sea and received a message that Sunderland was under attack. The Acheron was lost as she ran into a minefield as the British forces raced to the scene.
The Germans fled to the north but their speed was gradually erroded from gunnery and they were overhauled by the British.
From 07:31 until 09:02, at ranges from 15,500 - 19,000 yards, Derfflinger was hit 8 times ( 4 Warspite, 1 Lion, 1 Tiger, 1 Malaya) although she was frequently not visible during this period.
From 10:42 until 11:33, the British began to catch their quarry and ranges dropped to 12,500 - 15,000 yards and she was hit a further 17 times (5 Barham, 4 Warspite, 3 Malaya, 3 Queen Elizabeth, 1 Black Prince, 1 Warrior).
At 11:37, she was torpedoed by Noble and slowed. The Grand Fleet passed the cripple at 13,000 yards and pounded her to a wreck.
Brummer was also sunk being hit by 12 Heavy ships.
The British attacked Oostende and lost the Battleships Ceaser (which was disabled by a close range 11" shell and Agamemnon which had been damaged in the bombardment and sank through progressive flooding whilst trying to reach port.
Last Edit: Jan 19, 2016 14:50:44 GMT -5 by dickturpin
Post by dickturpin on Jan 19, 2016 15:45:00 GMT -5
Mid 1916 (Part 3)
Third Battle of Texel
A German force of Lutzow, Konigsberg and 4 Destroyers raided between the Nore and the Dutch coast on 4th September sinking 3 merchants. The British had received intelligence that the Germans were up to something but did not have details of the location. The Grand Fleet including 30 Battleships plus supports and the Battlecriser Fleet with 7 Battlecruisers and supports were at sea and hurried to the scene on reports of the German's presence in the area.
At 13:48, the Germans were sighted by Birmingham and the British force gave chase. The Germans raced east toward the Dutch coast in an attempt to get eastward of their pursuers before turning north. This stategy was unsuccessful and they were caught against the coast. The weather was overcast but the British were generally able to keep the Germans in sight. Between 14:13 and 17:17, the isolated Lutzow was engaged at ranges of 7-16,000 yards. She managed to hit the Tiger twice but was in turn hit by 44 heavy and 1 intermediate calibre shells (15 Queen Mary, 12 Tiger, 6 New Zealand, 5 Australia, 3 Indomitable, 3 Inflaxible and 1 Black Prince). By this time, she was destroyed as a fighting force being on fire, listing and with all heavy guns out of action.
Between 17:18 and 18:06 she was hit by a further 22 heavy shells (Queen Mary 7, Tiger 4, New Zealand 2, King George V 6, Centurion 1, Revenge 1 and Warrior 1) before finally succumbing.
Konigsberg was further south and she was hit by 19 heavy shells (Invincible 4, Inflexible 1, New Zealand 2, Malaya 4, Warspite 3, Monarch 2, Audacious 2 and Royal Sovereign 1) she managed to torpedo Ajax and Ophelia before she went down; Ophelia was sunk.
The Germans also lost G192 to gunfire from British Battleships whilst attempting a counterattack.
The British did not have things all their own way as Hampshire and 2 Destroyers were lost to mines whilst returning to base.
14th and 15th October saw the Germans raiding off the Nore. Bremse and an A boat sank 3 transports.
28th October saw a British cruiser force bombard Danzig.
On 12th November Seydlitz raided off Calais sinking 3 transports. The following day, the British cruisers launched a major bombardment of Kiel causing considerable damage. In a separate action, Renown suffered mine damage.
On 26th November, Bremse sank 2 merchants off the Nore.
The 10th December was a disaster for the Germans as Seydlitz, Bremse and 2 Destroyers raiding off the Humber ran into a minefield and were all lost. On the same day, Rostok was bombarded by British Cruisers.
Christmas day saw an attack on the forts at Oostende by British Predreadnoughts and Battlecruisers. Lord Nelson was torpedoed by U18 but survived.
Agreed. Am still enjoying your narrative a great deal. Thanks.
In my current campaign I'm in a bit of a quandary. September 1915 was a bad month in that I lost 2 submarines to mines and 10 (!) merchants, nine to surface ships and one to a U-Boat, leaving a VP deficit for the month of over 50,000. In return my aggressive mining has paid off some in that I sank five torpedo boats with mines and one by gunfire but three of those were obsolete A or T boats and the others were obsolescent S-90 types. So after decimating the German scouting forces over the summer, as Fall arrives their light forces are successfully striking and I'm not hitting back.
Now it's past the equinox and with lengthening periods of darkness I have warning of a possible mine-laying operation aimed at the East Coast, which is certainly vague enough and covers a massive area to protect. Have not yet decided how to counter it since I'm short of operations points.
Am leaning towards placing the Battle Cruiser Force in the Bight at first light and catching the Germans on their way home. Since wiping out their battlecruisers, I can avoid engaging a superior force of HSF battleships and have a good shot at dealing with any light forces that are encountered. Two battlecruisers are in the shop though and this response also facilitates a German offensive minefield in my back yard. I don't envy the Admiralty's Director, Operations Division... Wait, that's me. D'oh!
Last Edit: Feb 4, 2016 15:44:49 GMT -5 by randomizer
Post by dickturpin on Feb 17, 2016 17:08:54 GMT -5
The new year got off to a bad start for Britain. On 5th January, German Destroyers penetrated the Eastern Channel sinking 3 merchants and shelling Dover. A British raid on the Eastern Blight resulted in the loss of a German Torpedoboat and a Divisional Boat. The D8 managed to unleash her torpedoes before she was finished and these hit and sank Carysfort. Inconstant was mined on the way home and also sank.
Third Battle of Dogger Bank
A German force consisting of Emden, Karlsruhe and 3 Destroyers raided Sunderland on 23rd January. British Light Cruisers and the Battlecruiser fleet moved to intercept and the Germans were pursued across the Dogger Bank.
In the initial engagement, a running fight took place between Phaeton, Caroline and Cordelia and the German Cruisers at 3,500 - 8,000 yards. The British had favorable visibility and Emden was hit 8 times (7 by Cordelia and 1 by Caroline) and Karlsruhe was hit 9 times. Cordelia was hit by 6 medium and 1 light shell, Phaeton was hit by 5 medium shells and Caroline was hit once.
The Battlecruiser Force encountered the Germans in the darkness at ranges of 2-4,000 yards. Emden was hit by a further 2 heavy (Lion and Tiger) and 6 medium (Birmingham) shells whilst Karlsruhe suffered 3 heavy (Repulse, Tiger, Queen Mary) and 2 medium (Birmingham) shells. Both were lost along with G7. The Emden torpedoed Repulse at 05:25 and she was lost to progressive flooding.
February was a better month for the British. A raid in the Baltic by British Armoured and Light Cruisers sank 6 transports on 5th and Rostock was bombarded on 6th.
6th March saw the Battlecruiser Force intercept the brand new Cruiser Nurnberg and accompanying Destroyers off Texel. The G8 and V188 were sunk in the battle. Nurnberg escaped badly damaged and almost made it back to port before sinking. A British raid on Rostock was thwarted by bad weather and Good Hope was lost to a mine on the way home.
On 18th March German A Boats sank 2 British merchants off the Nore.
The Armed Auxilliary Adriatic was mined on 3rd April and on the following day British Light Cruisers sank Hela and 2 Destroyers off the Humber.
On 1st and 2nd May, the old British Battlecruisers and the new 15" gun Light Cruisers raided the Baltic, bombarding Rostok and sinking 5 merchants and a small Destroyer.
Post by randomizer on Feb 18, 2016 16:07:29 GMT -5
Thanks for the update!
Too bad about Repulse, those two ships are really vulnerable to flotation damage, probably how it should be for WW1.
My minelaying operation proved to be something of a dog's breakfast. I sent a light cruiser squadron into the Skagarrak and 3rd Destroyer Flotilla with the two big mine layers and two AV's to the area off the Ems for minelaying and an AV Reach objective. Two Torpedo Boats showed up which aborted the mine laying but the AV mission was a success. I sank two armed trawlers but the German torpedo boats fled to their permanent defensive mine fields and so were out of reach. With daylight fading I turned for home and ran into a couple of German cruisers who fled on sight. Because of the minelayers and AV's, decided not to pursue and turned for home when ML Princess Margaret hit a mine and sank.
South of Norway the 3rd Light Cruiser Squadron briefly contacted some German light forces but lost them in worsening weather conditions. End of turn evaluation showed that this was a 10-battleship sortie by the HSF and whatever their objectives were they scored full point for both.
In the Channel, the 5th Cruiser Squadron was unable to catch a couple of A-boats that left Zeebrugge and sank two merchants in the channel before racing home. I lost a valuable minelayer and two merchants in exchange for two trawlers, the sort of calculus that the RN cannot afford for ever.
Post by dickturpin on Feb 20, 2016 13:48:22 GMT -5
The loss of 2 minesweepers in close succession is a severe blow.
In my campaign, RN has very limited minelaying capacity left; I use minelayers almost every turn and they always seem to be the asset in most limited supply and the most prone to get mined or develop a death wish in proximity to the enemy.