With our ships scattered the world on colonial missions, primarily showing the flag, the declaration of war by Great Britian shocked the newly appointed Chief of Admiralty Staff Neospapa. Walking calmy into his new lavishly appointed imperial office, he found the heads of the other 2 branches in the Kaisers Navy. This system seemd confusing to outsiders but more seriously, frustrating the the officers and men in command. The Kaiser in his infinite wisdom, dissolved The German Naval Supreme Command and reorganised into three main departments, each one taking on the role of a pressure group: (1) the German Admiralty, which was reduced to an advisory role, (2) Fleet Command under a Gross Admiral Neospapa, responsible for the fleet and its personnel rather than general policy, and (3) the Reichsmarineamt under Tirpitz, reporting directly to the German Prime Minister or Chancellor but taking orders from the Kaiser, and covering administration, technical and training matters. Other pressure groups included the Naval Cabinet and various commands. Quite a pressure cooker this new command is thought Neospapa.
This will be my first go at an AAR using the WW1 Steam and Iron game. I have previousle dabbled in the RJW and at AAR's. As you can see, I now know how to use pictures! I hope that it will help create the atmosphere of the time. Any feedback/suggestions are appreciated as this is the first campaign I am trying in WW1 and the first AAR in this format. I will post the next installment regarding the condition and locatation of the fleet tonight. As well as plans for battle. I am in lovely New England, very close to the mistress that is the Sea.
Admiral Neospapa looked out upon the fleet assembled in the large port in awe. He knew that while each unit he possesses is superior to that of the enemy, their numbers are far greater. Sometimes quality does not equalize quantity.
Just a few days ago, during the meeting with his colleagues, a plan was developed to combat this numerical weakness. The summized that the enemy would either stage a large raid on the Heligoland Blight or stage a close blockage of German ports.
The benefit of this oppostition was that our ships would be closer to our major North Sea bases and that attrition can occur of the enemy's ships as they will need to negotiate through our waters that we will ensure are mined and patrolled regularly. Once we deplete their numberical superiority, we will stike. The might HSF will come out of hiding and stike the enemy a decisive blow. With their navy broken, the island nation will sue for peace on our terms.
A cunning plan indeed. Admiral Neospapa rested well that night secure in the knowledge that any plan is better than no plan at all.
Thanks for reading Randomizer! All are welcome here as I will need all the help I can get.
Just a question, I am thinking I will stick with the story format mixed with combat descriptions/pictures. Do you this format is better than just posting an OOB and the results? The reason I ask is I am happy to take the time to write the story line, but if it does not add much, it is a lot of work. I could just leave it out.
Post by randomizer on Apr 30, 2014 20:53:43 GMT -5
AAR's can be a huge amount of work and really, the style should be whatever you're comfortable with and have the time to prepare. I am grateful to any Member of the Community who shares their SAI experience regardless of format so for sure I will be keeping a weather eye on this thread. Good hunting herr Gross Admiral!
The High Command did not assign any missions for the fleet. I decided to lay a minefiled of 480 strong just outside the enrance of Harwich. I tasked this job to SMS Straussburg and SMS Rostock as well as AMC Kaiser and a some DD's.
After proceeding at 16 kts we approach Harwich and apparently we have caught the enemy sleeping. No defensive mines seem to exist nor patrols encountered. 10 kts was rung and mines were laid. Just then a ship appears not more than 2 miles away. It is a clear night. My cruisers and DD's ring for full speed. AMC Kaiser cannot hope to fight a real warship, so she stays behind. Just then another ship is spotted. Evenly matched thought the admiral. Identfication was still not possible. Just then a column of water rose up on the closest enemy. A merchant. She soon stops. A second merchant is engaged and halted.
Sunk TR Trafalgar and Elsinore. The TT hit goes to the Flagship.
As we had success in mining Harwich, we tried a repeat. Just in case the enemy was now roused, we added extra cover for our forces and I am sure glad we did!. SMS Roon, Yorck, Prince Heinrick were added to the force last used.
I deployed my subs around Harwich and got a mesage that BB's were out. I proceeded and found 4 ships off the starboard bow. If these were BB's my force would be crushed. As er go closer in daylight, they were identified as 4 Cressy class cruisers without escort. I knew my ships were slower but more powerful, I increased speed and the enemy lined up in parallel course to my starboard. As the shots fell at 10k yards, the british ships were being hit. I ordered a flotilla attack and it was fruitless. As the british ships lost speed, one shot fell on the AMC Kaiser. Then an explosion rocked her. A mine was hit and exploded and sank the ship. We had to avenge her loss. As the ships slowed their secondary batteries became telling. The Roon had lost 5 knots and 58% damage but the British ships were worse off. I can report the loss of the HMS Bacchante, Sultej, Cressy. The HMS Aboukir is heavily damaged.
My minefield also paid off. HMS Active is lost to 2 mines. She is a good light crusier.
Admiral Neospapa inspects the damage done to SMS Von Der Tan from an enemy torpedo. It is great. Almost lossing the ship to a single torpedo is not a good sign. She made it back with 92% damage he knew. The enemy must posses super torpedod he thought to himself. The raid of Hartepool never occured as his ordered demanded. At Dogger Bank, they appeared, a force of 4 first rate Birmingham and Chatham Class CL's and an Apollo Class minelayer CL. A minelaying mission of their own he thought. As the shots fell true, the old CL Intrepid sank quickly under the fire of SMS Moltke, Seydlitz, Von Der Tan. Just then an explosion shook the Von Der tann. The cruisers 8K yards distant hit her with a TT. The admiral was impressed with their accuracy. Slowly the offending crusier, Birmingham came under fire and sank. 55 survivors came off of her and to congratulate their extreme marksmanship, they were all treated to a drink. Admiral Neospapa is happy that no other ships were dmanged.
It had been an eventful partol thus far for the Captain and crew of U-18. Over the past 2 days, they have seen no less than 4 warships pass over them. Many loomed as large a Battleships to a submariner. In reality, they were old 2,600T scout cruisers of the local partol flotilla. But, who wants to believe that they are risking life and limb for a ship the Admiralty considers second class and of use only in harbor defense?
After many sightings of "Battleships", the crew was anxious to get a chance. Just then a ship appeared close enough to calculate a firing solution. At 12:45, 2 torpedos left the tubes. Not a sound was heard in the 5 minutes that followed. Until at 12:50 a large spout of water sprung up on the side of the target, cheering was immediate . This was soon followed at 12:51 by another large water spout that rocked the ship. The crew was astonished at the fact that both torpedos made contact. The sub decided to shadow their adersary. After all a BB can survive 2 hits so close to port. Within 20 minutes it became evident that the ship was settling. They observed the abandoning process and decided to move on secure in the knowledge that they won this battle. They did not know it, but this ship was responsible for the ramming and sinking of their comrade, U-16. Never a sweeter victory!
Adm Neospapa stinking of cordite and sweat finally rests in the Admirals cabin on the Flagship of the HSF, the mighty mighty SMS Prinzregent Luitpold.
She has emerged from battle with visible scars. A large hole portside amidships made by an emeny torpedo. A 12 inch turret destroyed in a second by a 13.5 inche projectile and blistered paint by the fires that followed. On her portside 6 of 8 of the secondary gunds are destroyed and on the starboard side 5 o of 8 destroyed.Her fire control director, high up in the masts lies in shambles. The victim of another heavy shell. A once proud flagship, lies still devoid of most of her fighting ability. Though, she survived, bringing the admiral home.
Adm Neospapa receives a message marked urgent and confidential. It is from his superiors in the policy and plans division. They are demanding a show of force with the HSF. The state his main units have not sortied once sine the start of the war. While this is true, there is a vaild reason. Training. Our men have been drilled to the point of excellence (+2) on most ships. Adm Neospapa took comfort in this.
Just then, a message comes in from the Intelegence Section. It seems the enemy is plannig a sweep of Dogger Bank. How fortuitous he thought. A meeting is summoned on the Flagship detailing the plans he crafted. The OOB is 12 BB's 6 CL's and 18' DD's
The decision not to include the BC's and the old B's was made for him. The port lacked the supplies (OP). This made informing the Captians of the ships not chosen easier as who would want to be left out? In any event, the old B's he reasoned had no place in a modern battle line. They would slow his fleet down and are fragile by today's standards. The BC's were short Von Der Tann due to her torpedo damage from a few weeks ago. He wanted them to guard the anchorage while he was away. In 24 short hours, he would see his reasoning regarding the B's was spot on.
He set off on a bright an clear morning.
He steamed NNW at 16 knots in the gentle swell. The crusiers postitioned far ahead scouting and the DD's as close cover. CL Stettin was the Flagship of the crusiers, the admiral on board reporting nothing eventful and after 13 hours they reached 65 miles off Edinborough. Adm Neospapa was torn, should be head home or turn due south and follow the coast? He decided to turn due south. until he reached Grimsby. 65 miles from shore the mines would be lessened he though. Maybe there will be a merchant or partol. 9 hours later they reach their position. Still nothing. Was the intelligence faulty he thought.
He set a course due East at 18 knots to clear the enemy coast. He reckoned he would then steer SE toward home. Night set in and a mist descended. Increasing speed to 19 knots posed dangers to ship keeping but was necessary as no Admiral wanted a night fight with their battleline!
At 1:32 AM Stettin saw a ship 4,000 yards distant. In a moment, this one ship became 6 all in battle line formation. Stettin immediatly sent a messsage to the Flagship, MADE CONTACT WITH ENEMY. As soon as it was sent, heavy shells surrounded the cruiser. She was soon hit badly. One 12 inch shell carried away the bridge and the Admiral in one moment. At least he sent the message to the Flagship and fulfilled his last duty with honor.
Aboard SMS Prinzregent Luitpold, battle soon followed. Adm Neospapa rang full speed. The Stettin passed on fire and destroyed. The mist ceased long enough to see a fleet 6,000 yards away on his portside. He called for an immediate flotilla attack to shield his heavy ships and cause the ememy to scatter their formation. 6 DD's raced into the mass of BB's. The enemy gunners did not seem to recognize the threat as the secondary guns were still aimed at the battle time. In the next 4 minutes, lookouts spotted no less than 4 TT hits on the emeny battleline. This casused the dissaray he needed. The flagship sighted an enemy battleship at 2K yards. The batteries opened a devastating fire. Soon she was stationary in the water. Observers saw she was the HMS St. Vincent. A respectable foe. In the next moment, a great shudder shook the ship and flames kissed the bridge. She was hit by 3 13.5 in shells fired by the HMS Iron Duke. She has met her equal in battle. All fire was directed to her, before too much could occur S-51 came out toward the looming ship. She was making a topedo run though the Admiral. At 1:42 3 TT struck home. The ship heaved and slowed to a stop. Just then, another BB came up and starting to protect the damaged ship. The flagship was hit by no less than 11 heavy shells at 3K yards. The ship had to be sunk. The CL Hamburg seeing the Flagship hit, dashed toward it. The cruiser was hit many times in this process BUT delivered 2 TT to the HMS Temeraire. This allowed the rest of the line to concentrate their fire on her. Soon she was sunk along with the valiant SMS Hamburg.
Adm Neospapa order a speed of 18 knots. The speed of his damaged flagship. 10 minutes later, ships appeared on his Starboard side. The wrong side he thought as he was just engaged on his Portside. Did he split the batle line as Nelson had done? These ships seemed slower firing and smaller. Finally HMS King George VII appears. Old battleships. 5 soon were in sight along with a bevy of DD's.
Firing was quick as the reduction in speed caused his line to reform nicely. Soon the DD's were going in for a run and many explosions followed. As our DD's fell buring and sinking, 3 thud's occured on the Flagship. 3 TT had hit home. Soon speed fell to 4 knots as 2 had hit the engine room. The other amidships. She would need to reply on her firepower alone as speed was gone. DD swarmed her. Her gunners getting kills and causing the enemy to flee. In the maylay, a large shell from the old B's struch her fire control. She now had none! The next in line Freidrich Der Grosse got between her and the HMS Dominion. The Dominion was outmatched and soon fell away. Another ship approached, the HMS Commonwealth. The BB fired torpedos and they struck the old ship. She faultered. Just then an explosion close by rocked the Flagship. The Freidrich Der Grosse exploded violently. A magazine knew the Admiral. A widrawal was then ordered. As 12 knots was rung, a second battle line appeard to port. The Helgoland and Nassau class BB's would need to take over. After fighting 2 battlelines, the lead ships were slowed and damaged and flooding. SMS Helgoland fired a devatating broadside on the emeny, the HMS Dreadnought. The originator of this design of ships was outmatches and was soon ablaze. The Helgoland was hit by 13 large shells and 25 medium shells before she withdrew after sinking the Dreadnought and the HMS Hibernia.
After leaving the devastated Flagship for the Konig, the Admiral was unable to contact the Stetin. She has been sunk from the earlier action. After 12 hours of steaming at a fleet speed of 4 knots, they reached the saftey of the port minus the Freidrich Der Grosse, Stettin, Hamburg, S-51, S-53.
In his report, he praised the German ships durability and shooting. Also, the fact that new powder handling measures need to be in place to prevet the accident the destroyed the Fredrich Der Grosse. He also praised his small ships for delivering 12 TT hits to enemy ships. The enemy lost these ships.
BB Temeraire, Iron Duke, Dreadnought, St. Vincent. B King Edward VII, Dominion, Hibernia, Commonwealth CL Bellona, Bodeacia 5 DD's.
The battle line nees to repair for a while. It will be an estimated 14 weeks until we are full strength. SMS Prinzregent Luitpold will require 18 weeks to be repaired! He though he will need a new Flasship. Hmm... The Grosser Kurfest is just arriving. Perfect!