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The Sound of Drums - A British Hearts of Iron II AAR

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by Kan' Sharuminar, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. Jos Ballenbak

    Jos Ballenbak Zombiehunter, duh.....

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    What about our allies? Do they have tactical or CAS?
     
  2. Serutan

    Serutan Eatibus Anythingibus

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    Without military control, we can't count on them being around when we need them. So IMO
    that's irrelevant.
     
  3. Serutan

    Serutan Eatibus Anythingibus

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    Kan, what's the impact of HoI 3 going to be on this AAR? Your statements in the Paradox Games thread sound a bit ominous w.r.t. this...
     
  4. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    Kan, update or we will kick your butt back to the game.
     
  5. Kan' Sharuminar

    Kan' Sharuminar Fluffy

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    It was poorly worded, I admit. HoI3 will have no more affect on this AAR than any other game does - it's always been real-life priorities that keep me from updating.

    Next update then, should be next Wednesday. I'll try to make it sooner though.
     
  6. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    It's Wednesday Kan. In fact, for you, it's almost Thursday.

    Where is my update?
     
  7. GinandTonic

    GinandTonic Saphire w/ Schweps + Lime

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    For you Tommy, ze vednesday is over!
     
  8. Kan' Sharuminar

    Kan' Sharuminar Fluffy

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    It'll be posted when it's good and ready.
     
  9. Kan' Sharuminar

    Kan' Sharuminar Fluffy

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    The Sound of Drums - A British Hearts of Iron II AAR
    Part Fifty-Five

    15th-17th October
    The Battle of the Ionian Sea


    The Italian naval build-up since the Great War had been designed to counter the British presence in the Mediterranean. Focusing on smaller, well-built ships, their aim was to avoid open combat while weakening the Royal Navy’s hold on British territories by striking their supply lines. Hit-and-run attacks on enemy fleets could be done with the larger battleships and heavy cruisers.

    Domenico Cavagnari, chief of staff for the Italian navy, had not anticipated the large British build-up of forces in the Mediterranean. He was equally dismayed when the Kriegsmarine was destroyed in the North Sea, allowing the Grand Armada to reinforce the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean. With the loss of Libya, the need to continue the guerrilla tactics intensified, but with the sea thick with British ships the Italian fleet was barely able to leave port.


    Mussolini and Cavagnari

    The situation only became worse when the Grand Armada forced the First Squadra da Marina back to Sicily on the 3rd October. Terrified that the fleet would be blockaded like what had happened to the First Flotte at Rotterdam, Cavagnari ordered that the fleet receive minimal repair and sail east to Taranto at the earliest opportunity.

    As it happened, Kozmos was not about to blockade Sicily, just to patrol the region around it. The speedy departure of the First Squadra was not anticipated by British Intelligence, and it managed to slip away undetected. Even when the escape was discovered, it was decided not to send Germanicus’ First Armada - then patrolling the Adriatic - to intercept as it was rightly believed the Italians would reach Taranto before them.

    Admiral Brisonevi, leading the First Squadra were not heading for Taranto. Italian intelligence, displaying a rare moment of ability since the disastrous Libya campaign, discovered that the Second Fleet was about to enter the Ionian sea. A rare opportunity had presented itself - the weakest of the main Royal Navy fleets in the Mediterranean, the Second Fleet normally patrolled near the African coast or protected the supply convoys.


    The set up for the Battle of the Ionian Sea

    The First Squadra was redirected to intercept the Second Fleet. In terms of size and strength, the Italian fleet just outclassed the British counterpart - 4 battleships and six heavy cruisers could make short work of the Second Fleet’s 2 battleships and 2 heavy cruisers. The main British advantage was that of the HMS Hermes, an older aircraft carrier. As long as it was capable of launching and resupplying its aircraft, they had the ability to scatter the Italian vessels.

    Brisonevi’s main advantage was surprise. Admiral Pound of the Second Fleet still believed that the First Squadra was now in Taranto, a belief which had influenced his decision to come so close to Italian waters. It was as late as midnight on the 15th October, when the First Squadra was just under 100 miles away, that he received a warning that Intelligence were unsure of Brisonevi’s location. Even then he did little, ordering the Second Fleet to turn south towards safer waters.

    The First Squadra achieved total surprise then, when it engaged the Second Fleet at 0854 hours. Taking an enormous risk, Brisonevi had his battleships steam directly for the British lines, ordering them to target the Hermes alone. The opening salvos fatally damaged the unprepared carrier, causing it to sink by the bow and render it’s ability to launch planes useless. The main objective complete, the Italian battleships withdrew, covered by the heavy cruisers.


    The loss of the Hermes

    Pound decided the best action was to continue the fight. The Royal Navy were sending reinforcements - the First Armada could reach him in a day and a half, the Grand Armada in thirteen hours. As long as he stopped the Italians from escaping before the reinforcements arrived, the loss of the Hermes could be justified. It was simply a case of British discipline under fire beating the sheer power of the numerous Italian guns.

    At first it appeared the plan would work - for hours both sides fired at each other with little success. It was only when Brisonevi himself was informed of the nearby Grand Armada that he realised more direct action had to be taken, and once again ordered the battleships towards the British fleet at 1345 hours, this time supported by the heavy cruisers.

    The assault scattered the British light cruisers, sinking the Durbon, as well as crippling or severely damaging the Calcutta, Capetown and Delhi. The Italian battleships took several hits as well, but managed to get off a number of salvos that struck the British battleships, damaging the Barham enough for it to be taken out of the battle. The British heavy cruisers didn’t have a great time of it either, with the York struck several times.

    The attack had nearly destroyed the Second Fleet, and Pound had no doubt another strike would finish him off. Reluctantly, knowing that Kozmos’ Grand Armada was just hours away, he ordered the Second Fleet to break off and make for Alexandria. Brisonevi, also needing to escape, did not order any further action against the Second Fleet, and did not linger In the area.


    Italian battleships firing into the Second Fleet.

    Admiral Kozmos arrived late in the evening, finding only a number of heavily damaged Italian destroyers to engage. Hoping that the First Armada would intercept Brisonevi, he began search and rescue operations for British and Italian survivors alike. The next day he was disappointed to see Germanicus’ vessels arrive - the Italian’s sudden good luck had prevailed once again and they had escaped, at last, to Taranto.

    Admiral Pound’s Second Fleet limped into Alexandria on the 17th October. Although assured that the mistakes in intelligence had been the primary culprit in the Italian victory and the loss of the Hermes, Pound’s offer of resignation was accepted. He had been the British commander during the Royal Navy’s first major defeat at sea, and his actions meant that the Second Fleet was effectively out of commission for several months. He was replaced by Admiral Cunningham, who had the unenviable task of bringing the Second Fleet back up to fighting condition…
     
  10. Darth_Pugwash

    Darth_Pugwash wobble wobble

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    A dratted shame that, but such are the fortunes of war.
     
  11. rabidveggie

    rabidveggie King

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    A minor set back in terms of material lost, but a huge victory for Italian moral. Until that Italian fleet is dealt with a large assault on Italy is out of the question. Hopefully Admiral Cleric can send the Italian fleet to where they belong, rusting at the bottom of the Mediterranean.
     
  12. germanicus12

    germanicus12 First Citizen of Rome

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    How did they bypass my fleet and dock at Taranto?

    I am pretty sure I was near Taranto when the Italians left the battle and steamed north. Wouldn't my destroyer screen have picked them up?
    And why were my planes not in the air watching for them?


    Many unanswered questions and many captains to speak with... This is unacceptable and a disgrace to Great Britain!
    Admiral Nelson must be rolling in his grave at the thought of this sorry excuse for a patrol!
    The daily ration of rum is now withheld for an entire week. Hopefully with this you will learn to become better sailors.
     
  13. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    Sigh, I guess I'll have to wait even LONGER to invade Europe! Bah! The Squadrea must be destroyed! And without any further major losses!
     
  14. aronnax

    aronnax Let your spirit be free

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    Noodle-sipping @#&%!!

    We cannot let this happen again.

    PM Kan, how many Italian ships does intelligence estimate to be left and where are they collected?
     
  15. Serutan

    Serutan Eatibus Anythingibus

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    That wasn't very nice of those olive oil guzzlers...
     
  16. steviejay

    steviejay Now in Black and White!!

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    Hmmm, I suppose to become the dominant force in the Med, a butchers bill was always going to be paid sooner or later. I would much rather lose a ship like Hermes than some of our more modern capital ships.

    Rather than trying to box them in to Taranto, perhaps we could send the RAF out and try to catch them on the high seas? At the very least it may force the Italians into bumbling into the 18 inch guns of our mighty ships or, ideally, move them closer inland where we can get all 'Rotterdam' on their arses.
     
  17. Kan' Sharuminar

    Kan' Sharuminar Fluffy

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    OOC: In gameplay terms your fleet did engage the Italians, it's just that they retreated almost immediately into Taranto. It just wouldn't make sense in the story to say "First Armada intercepts the First Squadra, but just lets them go."

    This defeat will not postpone any plan to invade the continent.

    4 battleships, 6 heavy cruisers and around 50-60 smaller vessels. The First Squadra is the only fleet that contains the heavy vessels, and as such is the only one of any real threat. It's currently in Taranto, but we know there are ships in Sicily as well.

    While I am tempted to begin construction of naval bombers, our next production must be tactical bombers. The Grand Armada can potentially begin a blockade of Taranto now and the First Squadra this instant, however.
     
  18. sheep21

    sheep21 Prince

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    You accepted Pounds resignation?!!

    PM, even the best commanders sometimes fail. Admiral Pound upheld the best traditions of the Royal Navy, he could've turned away but did his duty and engaged the enemy despite the inferiority of his force. Men cannot be expected to work miracles, he did his best with the subpar units he was assigned. One looks to the 1st Fleet & Grand Armada and there modern forces and the to Pound stuck with an ancient and tiny carrier & Barham, one of the least Battleworthy of the QE Class BB's.

    Perhaps we should look at the failing of the admiralty in organizing its fleet, when a fleet in an active warzone is left with such poor units, surely it is as much a failure on the planning side than the Admiral that lost the battle (and I might add broke of the engagement, saving his ships from needless destruction.)

    Perhaps in the future the units of the fleet can be reorganised so that all major battle groups have a fighting chance. Lord knows what would happen if it had been a first rate naval power like Japan that had attacked the 2nd Fleet.

    Respectfully,

    Sheep21 CoGs

    P.S

    I would be grateful if a breakdown of the units in the fleet Admiral Pound had under his command during the battle.
     
  19. Karmic Knight

    Karmic Knight Neurotic To the Bone

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    How many Tactical Bombers do with have currently, just that wing in Norway?
     
  20. Captain2

    Captain2 ಠ_ృ

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    Egads!

    I propose offering a seperate peace treaty to the Italians, we cannot defeat this New Roman Empire!
     

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