January 2nd 2011 - Showdown off Terschelling

Von der Tann

Oct 2, 2008
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On January 2nd, the new Jutland season started with the expiry of the traditional Christmas Truce. We began with a very large scenario named Showdown off Terschelling, with most of both navies involved. The German BC are sailing of the Dutch coast and encounter British destroyers, behind which the whole of the Grand Fleet is looming...

No less than eight players were involved. The Royal Navy was commanded by Rich Mercer, with Anav, Bryn Pinzgauer and kotori87 at his side, while the Germans were commanded by bolitho, Hipper, otto Weddingen and myself as the host of the game. Hipper was in command of the reconnaissance forces with bolitho as his escort commander, while I was in charge of the battle line with Otto leading the escorts. bolitho was also in command of the seven pre-dreadnought battleships of II. Battle Squadron further to the south-east and their escorts. The fixed ACH settings were decided by dice roll, which provided us with fragile AP grenades ON and unstable cordite OFF.

Phase I: Contact

In the beginning, around twenty minutes before sunrise on a cold December morning in 1916, our battlecruisers were running a SW course and immediately encountered some British DD running on a SE course. They evaded towards S and then eventually sailed towards NE, while more and more enemy ships were looming from the fog - fortunately, those were only CL and DD. Meanwhile, our battle line was changing course from W to SW to close the distance and watch the developing situation. With the sun rising, the visibility quickly improved despite fog and rain, and countless DD and CL were closing in from SW, W, NW and, eventually, N. Our BC had closed in on the enemy light forces to engage a few CL at point-blank range, but Von der Tann and Seydlitz received torpedo hits, which reduced their speed. Our battle line made a lengthy turn towards NW, N, NE and then E to evade the enemy light forces, and together with the BC and their escorts, they unleashed a murderous defensive fire in which many enemy ships were lost, mostly DD, but a few CL as well.

Phase II: The Run to the North-East

Our battle line was steaming NE with a speed of 20 knots, while the first British capital ships (BC) were closing in from W. Thanks to the excellent visibility (36 km yet again) they were out of range yet, and it seemed provident to maintain the course and not invite the whole of the Grand Fleet for breakfast. Our BC were steaming behind the battle line, followed by the slow pre-dreadnought battleships, which had hardly been in combat yet. The enemy BC were closing in and opened fire on our forward escorts and the reconnaissance forces. But our ships were coming into range as well, and with a course change towards N the range closed even faster. Bayern was the first to open fire, followed by the ships of the Nassau class and Prinzregent Luitpold. Renown went down fairly quickly, probably by a critical hit, but the others stood up well despite the heavy fire and scored many hits in return. SMS Bremse was hit dangerously by a 15" shell, and the approaching ships of the 5th Battle Squadron quickly joined in, showering us with shells. Especially SMS Moltke suffered from the intense bombardment, and the ships of the Nassau class, the hindmost in our battle line, got their share of hits as well, forcing SMS Posen to leave the line. Meanwhile, the Grand Fleet was showing up in the west, with HMS Thunderer in the lead.

Phase III: Melée and battle with the Grand Fleet

With me being busy at the end of the line, a developing situation at its head escaped my attantion, enabling British destroyers to charge through the defensive screen and charge at the dreadnoughts of the König class. SMS Großer Kurfürst was hit by no less than four 21" torpedoes and had to leave the line. Meanwhile, our own heavy fire at the enemy BC and the 5th Battle Squadron was showing results, and after the loss of about half their ships, they both retreated. Despite some damage on our dreadnoughts, most of our battle line was still ready for action except Posen and Großer Kurfürst, which were limping towards safety already, and they now engaged the tip of the Grand Fleet together with our BC. HMS Centurion was destroyed by a critical hit, and a successful torpedo run by Otto and Bolitho damaged one British dreadnought and forced several others to evade.

At this time, one of the British players wished to leave, and we decided to end the battle. The Royal Navy had suffered heavy losses, the end report called the result a modest German victory. The fragile British AP grenades certainly were a factor, and of course, we were able to fight the chasing Brits with the whole of our heavy ships while they could only fight back with a fraction of their overwhelming force, and we were favoured by luck in the beginning with the demise of so many British light forces without a fair chance to hit back.

Despite some troubles at the start with a scenario version that wouldn't load, the rest of the battle went practically flawless. We were eight at the start and were still at the same number in the end, no one dropped or had ridiculously high pings, as it is so often the case. Despite some ship jumping, everything went fine... why can't things be like this at all times?

A most satisfactory battle, gentlemen!

Von der Tann

Oct 2, 2008
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Ships sunk

Kaiserliche Marine:
DD V30
DD S33
DD G37
DD G41
DD V43
DD V46
DD V44
DD S65
DD V69
DD G85
DD G95
DD G94
DD G93
DD G92
DD G90
DD G87
DD G86

Royal Navy:
BB Queen Elizabeth
BB Barham
BB Centurion
BC Renown
BC Lion
BC Tiger
BC New Zealand
BC Indomitable
CL Arethusa
CL Penelope
CL Conquest
CL Cleopatra
CL Carysfort
CL Castor
DD Laverock
DD Landrail
DD Lark
DD Liberty
DD Laurel
DD Lucifer
DD Leonidas
DD Lassoo
DD Lochinvar
DD Lysander
DD Lydiard
DD Lawford
DD Llewellyn
DD Manly
DD Miranda
DD Meteor
DD Mansfield
DD Milne
DD Murray
DD Matchless
FL Lightfoot
FL Nimrod
FL Kempenfelt
FL Faulknor
DD Narwhal
DD Opal
DD Onslow
DD Onslaught
DD Obedient
DD Noble
DD Nessus
DD Nonsuch
DD Mindful
DD Mischief
DD Munster
DD Mary Rose
DD Martial
DD Moresby
DD Maenad

Damage statistics:

SMS Bayern
No hits.

III. Geschwader

SMS König
001 x 21in Mk II(M) Torpedo.

No critical hits.

SMS Markgraf
No hits.

SMS Großer Kurfürst
004 x 21in Mk II(M) Torpedo.
002 x 4in QF Mk IV Gun.

No critical hits.

SMS Kronprinz
No hits.

IV. Geschwader

SMS Prinzregent Luitpold
003 x 15 inch Mk I Gun.

No critical hits.

SMS König Albert
No hits.

SMS Kaiserin
No hits.

SMS Kaiser
001 x 13.5in Mk V 1250 lb Gun.

No critical hits.

SMS Friedrich der Große
No hits.

I. Geschwader

SMS Ostfriesland
002 x 15 inch Mk I Gun.

1 critical hits.
02:54:52 : 15 inch Mk I Gun strikes BB Ostfriesland [propulsion [critical]] Record serial:49488.
02:54:52 : BB Ostfriesland propulsion damage:light [18%]

SMS Oldenburg
012 x 6in BL Mk VII(H) Gun.
004 x 13.5in Mk V 1400 lb Gun.

No critical hits.

SMS Helgoland
009 x 13.5in Mk V 1250 lb Gun.

No critical hits.

SMS Thüringen
003 x 13.5in Mk V 1250 lb Gun.

No critical hits.

SMS Posen
010 x 15 inch Mk I Gun.
001 x 13.5in Mk VI Gun.

1 critical hits.
02:57:57 : 15 inch Mk I Gun strikes BB Posen [propulsion [critical]] Record serial:52656.
02:57:57 : BB Posen propulsion damage:light [20%]

SMS Rheinland
004 x 12 inch Mk X Gun.
002 x 13.5in Mk V 1400 lb Gun.

No critical hits.

SMS Westfalen
004 x 12 inch Mk X Gun.
001 x 13.5in Mk V 1400 lb Gun.

No critical hits.

SMS Nassau
003 x 12 inch Mk X Gun.
005 x 13.5in Mk V 1250 lb Gun.
001 x 12 inch Mk XI Gun.

1 critical hits.
03:25:31 : 13.5in Mk V 1250 lb Gun strikes BB Nassau [steering [critical]] Record serial:77442.
03:25:31 : BB Nassau steering damage:light [23%]

Escorts (CL only)

SMS Graudenz
187 x 2-pdr Mk II Pom-pom.
250 x 4in QF Mk IV Gun.

No critical hits.

SMS Regensburg
002 x 6in BL Mk XII(CP) Gun.
003 x 12-pdr 20cwt HA Mk I.
032 x 2-pdr Mk II Pom-pom.
034 x 4in QF Mk IV Gun.
002 x 4in QF Mk V Gun.
020 x 1-pdr Pom-pom.

No critical hits.

SMS Berlin
No hits, although she suffered some collision damage when colliding with SMS Nassau.

SMS Danzig
001 x 12 inch Mk X Gun.
001 x 6in BL Mk XI(PVI) Gun.