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Friday, August 9th 2013, 10:40pm

Yugoslav Cruiser Srbija, Bizerte Harbour, Monday, 21 February 1944

The First Striking Group had successfully implemented Operation Pekin; with the assistance of the French Forces Légères d'Attaque and massive air support from French air bases in Tunisia, they had escaped the heavy guns of the Force de Raid, which had played the part of the Red aggressor fleet sent to intercept them. For Commodore Anton Lokar it was a time of rest and preparation, for the exercises in which his ships were take part were far from finished.

The Srbija and her attendant destroyers were moored alongside the long mole that formed part of Bizertes Avant Port; while the crews of the Yugoslav vessels enjoyed liberty in the French port, the officers of the flotilla were busy meeting with their French counterparts, preparing for the next set of exercises, which were to be known as Operation Harmattan. Operation Pekin had shown glaring differences between the operational techniques of the two navies, in terms of equipment, methods and doctrine; while little could be done to address equipment issues at this time, much could be done to improve how the two forces interacted. Lokar had made the decision to adopt, as far as possible, French techniques and had given the liaison officers provided by Amiral Lapeyre near carte blanche to make suggestions. It was somewhat difficult, given the pride in their service, but he and his officers understood that being an effective element in a larger multi-national force meant compromise.

The several days between the official end of Operation Pekin and the commencement of Operation Harmattan also gave opportunity for his ships to refuel, take on fresh water and provisions, and effect repairs; all were needed after their voyage from Bar. The final briefing for the exercise was yet to happen, but Lokar was quite interested in what he had learned so far. Lightning strikes on convoys was the raison d'être for his ships, and he looked forward to testing himself and his command against the best the French might offer.


Tuesday, August 27th 2013, 4:03am

Bizerte Harbour, February 21st, 1944

Lieutenant Jean-Louis Méderel moved through the different corridors of the Yugoslavian flagship, speaking with the different officers and enlisted seamen of the Srbija. As a liaison officer, Méderel was on hand primarily to observe the ship's operation and advise Commodore Lokar about differences between French and Yugoslavian techniques. There seemed to be quite a few differences, as it turned out; Méderel was surprised to discover how many. I suppose it comes from the size of our respective navies, and our anticipated opposition, Méderel mused, pausing outside the electronics room before moving on. As a matter of politeness, he did not wish to intrude in the sensitive area, although an intelligence operator had briefed him about what to look for if he got invited inside. The Marine Nationale can engage an enemy with an expectation of numeric and technological parity, or at least rough equivalence. But the Yugoslavians face a numeric and, to a lesser extent technological, hurdle against their most likely foes. It's interesting to see how they react to the different challenges based on that standpoint.


Monday, September 9th 2013, 10:19pm

Yugoslav Cruiser Srbija, Bizerte Harbour, Wednesday, 23 February 1944

Lieutenant Jean-Louis Méderel, the senior naval liaison officer assigned to the Yugoslav flagship sat in the small cabin provided to him, preparing a report for the commander of the Forces Légères d'Attaque, Contra-amiral Virgile Lapeyre, in anticipation of the next phase of Operation Harmattan. In the last two days he had been afforded ample opportunity to observe the routine aboard the Yugoslav vessel, and identify the differences between French and Yugoslavian techniques; he had already advised Commodore Lokar of many of them - the ones which would have bearing on the upcoming exercises.

His written report for Amiral Lapeyre already contained the same information, but now he focused on his impressions on factors that were of less immediate concern, but ones that might have long-term impact.

"The Yugoslavs face a strategic and tactical dilemma - in the confined waters of the Adriatic their larger ships are a diminishing asset in the face of overwhelming Italian strength at sea. They are dependent upon a single naval base which is open to air attack no matter how strong the Yugoslavs might make its defences. Therefore they are psychologically prepared to fight aggressively should Italy open hostilities, knowing that if they do know attack - even against long odds - they will be destroyed in their harbours. That is, unless, they can get their large ships out of the Adriatic before hostilities commence, which is what Operation Pekin was to test."

He paused his pen and formed the words in his mind. "The necessity to operate in the face of superior Italian strength has led the Yugoslavs to concentrate on gunnery - particularly target identification by day and night. I have seen classes for seamen and officers where the instructor rapidly flashes silhouettes of vessels and demands an instant answer on the identity of the vessel and its nationality; in one such session, the success rate was better than ninety percent. Their electronics are of British origin, and far less powerful than our own; but they make the best use of it. The Yugoslavs appear to be adept at concentrating their fire - particularly for air targets - their doctrine being to destroy as many of the enemy with long range fire as possible and break up the enemy's formation, rather than rely on shorter-range fire to drive off an attack."

He concluded, "I believe that the elements of Operation Harmattan will allow us to make an excellent assessment of the ability of the Yugoslavs to fight in concert with us; they should prove interesting adversaries for 'Red Force' elements."


Tuesday, September 10th 2013, 12:38am

Wednesday, February 23rd. Western Mediterranean off Tripolitania

The cruiser San Calimero sliced though the glass-like water with grace far removed for something her size. The cruiser had recently completed a refit, and the latest trial run involved a high speed run from Tripoli to Genoa. The ordered course took her off Bizerte, well within international waters. As they passed within the closes point to the port, the captain was handed a transcribed radio message containing new orders. After consulting with the senior officers, the cruiser slowed to about a third of her previous speed and began a large lazy circle.
You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.
-Siegfried Sassoon


Tuesday, September 10th 2013, 2:27pm

Outside Bizerte Harbour, Wednesday, February 23rd, 1944

As the San Calipedeo began her lazy circling outside the port, it quickly attracted the attention of the locals. Within thirty minutes, one of the local fishing boats appeared off the cruiser's portside, single engine straining to maintain course and speed. A turbaned and bronzed North African waved something over his head. "Feesh!" he shouted at the cruiser. "Do you want to buy some feesh? One franc for three feesh! I have tasty feesh!"

The next boat appeared five minutes later off the starboard side. "Feesh for sale! Fresh feesh! Seven for two francs!"

The third boat was likewise selling fish for the low price of four fish per franc. But the fourth boatman was selling Persian rugs. "One of a keend, good sirs, they can deecorate your gun turrets! Breeng a touch of the Oreeent to your preetty warsheep!"

Soon the San Calipedeo was surrounded by over thirty North African small boats, their owners (or renters) raising the constant cry of "Feesh for sale!" "Carpeets from Perseea!" "Genueene Sweess watches!" "Indeean curree!" "Six beeautiful daughters of a poor laborer!" "Ceegarettes!" "Feesh!" "Better feesh than his!" "We trade you feesh for your propelleers?" "Magic opeeum!" "I come aboard and show you my carpeets?" "Live seagulls, much tastee!" "Eetalian perfumes!" "Tasty feesh!"


Tuesday, September 10th 2013, 3:05pm

Ah, was not Brock just the only the other day saying 20mm cannon were perfect for dealing with light boats and other such nuisances?

No doubt some of those sellers are actually French intelligence agents with some blanko on their faces and speaking the lingo but with cameras and such hidden under the piles of fish. ;)


Tuesday, September 10th 2013, 3:17pm


Originally posted by Hood
No doubt some of those sellers are actually French intelligence agents with some blanko on their faces and speaking the lingo but with cameras and such hidden under the piles of fish. ;)

It wouldn't surprise me if there were a couple of stray Maltese in such a gathering, with their own cameras... ;)


Tuesday, September 10th 2013, 3:46pm


"We trade you feesh for your propelleers?"

"Hey! How come the ship is not moving while we are at full power?!?" :D


No doubt some of those sellers are actually French intelligence agents with some blanko on their faces and speaking the lingo but with cameras and such hidden under the piles of fish.

It's actually the guy with the big turban in the left boat, slightly to the rear. No doubt a hidden camera inside the turban.

Once out of there, I expect the San Calipedeo to be the best looking ship with all those carpets and stocked with fresh fish. All the officers will have new watches and there will be a few opium addicts and married crewmen. :)

General notice to all Japanese ships:
Stay well away from the North African coast.
Enter the area at your own risk.
Spent money will not be compensated.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Rooijen10" (Sep 10th 2013, 3:47pm)


Tuesday, September 10th 2013, 6:17pm

As the ship is "well within international waters", which I am expecting to be at least 12nm if not off the coast, I find it most odd that so many ships would do this sort of action

[SIZE=1]If you want me to but out, just say so.[/SIZE]
You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.
-Siegfried Sassoon


Tuesday, September 10th 2013, 7:42pm


Originally posted by snip
As the ship is "well within international waters", which I am expecting to be at least 12nm if not off the coast, I find it most odd that so many ships would do this sort of action

Tunisian salesmen go the extra mile for their customers. :)


Originally posted by snip
[SIZE=1]If you want me to but out, just say so.[/SIZE]

You have the right to observe if you want. But putting a cruiser right off the main French naval base in North Africa is not exactly discreet, nor calculated to be beneficial for Franco-Italian relations. Somebody might think you're preparing to be downright un-neighborly... ;)


Tuesday, September 10th 2013, 7:58pm

San Calipedeo resumse trials run to Genoa after stoping to address an engine problem.
You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.
-Siegfried Sassoon


Saturday, September 14th 2013, 8:46pm

Bizerte Harbour, February 24th, 1944
Contreamiral Lapeyre called the meeting to order. "Good morning, gentlemen. Please be seated." He gestured to the open seats. Capitaine Pelletier of the Third Cruiser Squadron, Capitaine Durand of the Eighth Flotilla Torpillieurs, Commodore Lokar of the First Striking Group, and Lokar's second-in-command, Captain Vladimir Belic, moved into their chairs, and Lapeyre's adjutant handed out a leather folder to each of them.

Lapeyre spoke slowly, pausing every few sentences to allow the French-Yugoslavian translator to repeat for Commodore Lokar. "This next phase of the exercise will occur in four different stages," he said. "In the first three stages, our forces will collaborate to undertake joint surface actions from our training scenario book. In the fourth, our united force shall engage in a simulated naval landing on the Kerkannah Islands, in support of a French Army force conducting its own exercises.

"In your folders, you will all find four sealed envelopes with written instructions for the next four stages of the exercise. We will open the first two now. Stage One and Two will take place simultaneously in different exercise zones."


Special Exercise Harmattan-S1

1. OBJECTIVE: A Red Force convoy has departed Red Base One, bound for Red Base Two. The convoy consists of three destroyers and five merchant vessels. Blue Force is ordered to intercept the convoy in the region off the Kerkannah Islands.
2. RED FORCE ESCORT consists of the vessels Roland, Olifant, and Podgorica. RED CONVOY consists of the naval auxiliary vessels Rhéa, Téthys, Le Drâa, La Medjerda, and Le Kremlin-Bicêtre. Capitaine de Vasseau Nicolas Pelletier commands.
3. BLUE FORCE is to consist of the vessels Srbija, Pancevo, Le Malin, and Le Triomphant. Commodore Anton Lokar commands.


Special Exercise Harmattan-S2

1. OBJECTIVE: A Red Force resupply force has departed Red Base One, bound for Red Base Two. The convoy consists of two minelayer-cruisers two destroyers. Blue Force is ordered to intercept the convoy in the region off Cape Bon.
2. RED FORCE consists of the vessels Georges Leygues, Dupleix, Le Fantasque, and L'Indomptable. Capitaine de Vasseau Philippe Durand commands.
3. BLUE FORCE is to consist of the vessels Turpin, Roncevaux, Petrinja, and Pristina. Captain Vladimir Belic commands.


Monday, September 23rd 2013, 1:38am

Operation Harmattan

Bizerte Harbour, 24 February 1944, Morning

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "BruceDuncan" (Oct 14th 2013, 3:12am)


Wednesday, October 16th 2013, 5:08pm

February 25, 1944
Cruiser De Grasse

Contre-amiral Lapeyre removed his hat as he came back into the flag bridge. De Grasse was at sea, positioned midway between the two zones of the exercise. "How are we doing, Andre?" Lapeyre asked the FLA's training officer, Capitaine de Corvette Jean Andre Fleurett.

"Belic's group is cracking along to the southeast," Fleurett reported, gesturing toward the S2-Blue Group. "They cut Cape Bon quite closely - the coast artillery reported their lights to us. Formation, according to the umpires, looks good: Pristina leading Petrinja, then Turpin and Roncevaux. Good spacing, prompt attention and responses to signals, the lot." Fleurett tapped the track charts laid out on the table. "Given what I'm seeing of the reports, if their navigation is bang-on, S2-Blue will cross the T of S2-Red Force here in the next fifteen minutes."

"What's Capitaine Durand doing?" Lapeyre asked. Ostensibly, Durand had superior force: two heavy contre-torpilleurs, the Le Fantasque and L'Indomptable, and two minelayer-cruisers, Georges Leygues and Dupleix - a total of twenty-eight 138mm guns. Belic's S2-Blue group had only the sixteen 138mm guns from Turpin and Ronceavaux, and the eight 120mm guns of the two Yugoslavian destroyers. But for the purposes of the exercise, any damage against the minelayers would be counted doubly-effective.

"The contre-torpilleurs are steaming line abreast about sixteen hundred meters ahead of the minelayers, zigzagging for antisubmarine sweeps," Fleurett replied. "The minelayers are in line ahead - Dupleix trailing - and also zigzagging. But since none of the ships are using their JDRKE, the zigzags are looking rather predictable."

Lapeyre nodded. Most French warships built or modified since 1940 had a device called JDRKE fitted to their helm systems which allowed a captain to set a base course for the ship to follow. The JDRKE would then use a set of mechanical gearings to steer the ship along a random zigzag course following that base course. In most circumstances, the French Navy didn't approve JDRKE for use by Opposition Forces during exercises.

"What's your prediction for when they meet?" Lapeyre asked.

Fleurett frowned in concentration. "Not sure. In most cases, I'd put my money on Durand. But Belic's running things tightly enough that I think Blue's got a decent shot at crossing Durand's T and getting off the first shots. But Le Fantasque and L'Indomptable are tight ships, and they're going to react fast. If they are alerted before Blue opens fire, I think Durand will win it. He's got the advantage of more and larger guns, and he's well-practiced at controlling multiple ships. Belic's doing very well, but he doesn't have that level of experience yet. And the internationalism of his force will also play against him with communications and doctrine."

Lapeyre nodded. He'd intentionally assigned Turpin and Roncevaux to Belic's force, knowing that of all the Forces Legere d'Attaque captains, Guillaume and Robert had demonstrated the best traits suitable for following an inexperienced squadron leader: an exacting discipline and a disinclination for disobeying orders they thought were inept, yet still an intelligence and independence of action necessary for a small-unit action. "Has Belic made any mistakes, yet?"

"None that we've seen in our big picture," Fleurett replied. "My only hesitation is his steaming order. He's up at the front of the formation with Pristina and Petrinja following, while the Turpin and Roncevaux are in the rear. That puts the vast majority of his firepower in the latter half of his formation. It's gained him better control of the group, so long as Capitaines Guillaume and Robert maintain strict adherence to his signals and formation; but I think he's going to regret that choice as soon as he gets into action."

"Estimated time to engagement?"

Fleurett glanced at his chart. "The forces should be detecting each other in the next ten to fifteen minutes. After that..."

* * * * *

Aboard the MN Le Fantasque, Capitaine Phillipe Durand felt the tension rise as the sound-powered telephone buzzed. The starboard bridge talker snatched it up. "Bridge..." The talker turned toward Durand. "Detecteur reports surface contact bearing two-zero-five steady, detection time zero-one-zero-five hours, estimated range nineteen thousand meters. Target on course one-zero-zero steady, estimated speed twenty-four knots! Detecteur reports possible second contact."

"Action stations!" Durand snapped. He mentally filtered the information onto his mental map of the sea-scape surrounding his flagship, and reflexively discarded all irrelevant courses of action. "Helm, port standard rudder - make your course zero-nine-zero. Engineering, I want ready steam for thirty knots."

Durand then picked up the handset for the squadron. "JAVELOT to group! Contact two-zero-five, range nineteen. Orders: action plan seven, with deployment zero-nine-zero. Confirm!"

"INDRE confirms Action Plan Seven!"

"PILGRIM confirms Seven."

"AMLIET confirms Action Seven..."

"Range to target one, eighteen five hundred, range to second contact eighteen seven hundred, possible third contact at two-zero-seven, range eighteen nine hundred," the portside talker reported.

"All targets within maximum range of main battery," the Le Fantasque's gunnery chief advised. "Firing solution from DEM is steady, battery at readiness, gunnery offsets engaged."

"INDRE to JAVELOT, INDRE still seeking solution," the L'Indomptable's captain reported.

"Fire as you can, INDRE," Durand ordered. At these ranges, the Yugoslavian gunners will have difficulty with their 120mm guns - they're probably still out of range, if their ballistics are anything like the French 120mm guns. I don't mind keeping half of their destroyers out of range for now, after all! "Gunnery, fire."

The ship's gunner picked up his own sound-powered phone. "Shoot!"

Le Fantasque's six 138mm guns fired in unison. At forty-four degrees elevation, the guns could reach out nearly twenty-two thousand meters. By the simple expedient of offsets - the gunners fired a thousand meters ahead of and to the closer side of the target ship - an approximation of a naval artillery duel could be carried on with relative safety.

Twenty seconds later, as Le Fantasque fired her second salvo, there came a flash from L'Indomptable's battery as she joined in. From the southern horizon there was still darkness as Blue Force momentarily held their fire.

* * * * *

Fleurett unfolded the communication from his umpires. "They've engaged, sir," he reported to Contre-Amiral Lapeyre. "Looks like Le Fantasque got the first spotting with her radio-detection sets, and Durand turned away to the east - probably to avoid possible torpedoes - and opened fire at eighteen thousand meters."

"Care to update your predictions?" Lapeyre asked.

"Durand's going to win this, or at least draw," Fleurett said. "Belic was detected too early to launch torpedoes, and Durand's turn east is keeping the Yugoslavian destroyers out of range, or at the very edge of it. Belic needs to close Red before Durand brings the minelayers into the gunnery fight; I don't think Durand's going let him get close enough."

* * * * *

JAVELOT: Radi call-sign for Le Fantasque / Durand.
INDRE: Radio call-sign for L'Indomptable.
PILGRIM: Radio call-sign for Georges Leygues.
AMLIET: Radio call-sign for Dupleix


Wednesday, October 16th 2013, 9:46pm

Captain Vladimir Belic had hoped that he might surprise his opponent, Capitaine Phillipe Durand, and catch him unawares; but the first radar-directed salvo from one of the French contre-torpilleurs had shattered that illusion. Behind him were strung out the remaining three ships of his flotilla, in perfect formation to have crossed the "T" of the Red Force squadron. "Damnation!" he thought.

The radar operator reported that the Red Force was turning hard to port, putting them on a parallel course to the Blue Force flotilla.

"Signal to all units. Turn ninety degrees to port, come to flank speed. Concentrate fire on the minelayers. Engage with guns only," Belic ordered.

Aboard the Pristina the helmsman spun his wheel and the ship heeled as she made the high-speed turn. In her engine room the engineers cranked the boilers to their limit as they fed steam to the turbines; the Pristina charged ahead.

The order to turn was executed by the remaining units in the Blue flotilla. Aboard the Roncevaux Capitaine Robert wondered if their flotilla commander was a madman, heading directly toward the enemy. "They out-gun us by a substantial margin," he thought. "Some of us are going to be shot to pieces."

Then a glimmer came to his mind's eye. Yes - the four Blue force vessels were heading directly towards the enemy, reducing their profile to a narrow angle; they would force the Red Force vessels to constantly change their elevation, reducing their chances of hitting their opponents. "Trafalgar!" said Robert in a whisper.

The oncoming Blue Force vessels opened fire at sixteen thousand meters, their forward turrets concentrating their fire on the larger cruiser-minelayers at the rear of the Red Force column. With the necessary offsets it was unclear to anyone whether hits were scored or not, as the range continued to close in the dark of night. The electronic blips on the Pristina's radar screen grew closer.

"I failed to allow for radar," Belic thought. "If we can damage the minelayers we might manage a draw; otherwise..."


Thursday, October 24th 2013, 4:48pm

Contre-torpilleur Le Fantasque
The wee hours of February 25th

Capitaine Durand listened carefully as the bridge talkers rattled off information. He glanced over one shoulder at the half-lit glass sheet which the tactical officer was updating with courses and speeds; but it was more reminder than anything else.

As Le Fantasque and L'Indomptable engaged the Blue Force squadron, the minelayer-cruisers had turned to the northeast and opened up their engines. Durand hated seeing them run - they were bigger and much better protected than his own ships, but the terms of the exercise had made them too fragile an asset to put in the fight: each "hit" against them would score double damage, with an increasing possibility of catastrophic loss.

Unfortunately, Captain Belic has chosen a particularly bold course, Durand mused to himself. By charging north in an attempt to catch the fleeing minelayers - the objective Red Force needed to protect - Belic had closed the gap with the much closer contre-torpilleurs. A dangerous thing to do heedlessly...

"Once they steady on course, launch torpedoes," Durand ordered, turning to his weapons officer.

"Torpedoes, aye!"

"Then turn away to the northwest," Durand added, "and order L'Indomptable to form up on us after firing torpedoes."

The clock ticked slowly by as the ship's main battery continued to fire half-salvoes; then the weapons officer announced "Simulated torpedoes launched."

"Steer three-one-zero," Durand ordered.

* * * * *

Aboard the Georges Leygues, Capitaine de Vaisseau Caitrin shook his head in dismay. The Georges Leygues had fired only three salvoes from her stern guns as she turned away from the attacking Blue Force; she was now running northwest, away from the fight, at most of thirty-three knots, putting increasing distance between herself and Blue Force. That sat uneasily with Caitrin, who had always preferred to fight it out with an enemy, particularly one of approximately equal strength. But no, instead we're laden down with simulated troops and gasoline... and thus are floating bombs, too dangerous to get involved in this fight.

"Range to enemy?" Caitrin asked.

"Estimate twenty-one thousand meters to the lead Blue Force ship, and increasing," the weapons officer reported. "We're definitely out of the range of the Yugoslavian 120mm guns. The two Rolands are trailing behind, and they're about out of range, as well. In any case, they're firing at the contre-torpilleurs now."

Caitrin nodded. "Did we take any hits?"

The umpire, sitting on the bridge near the teledetecteur officer, shook his head. "They've fired a lot of rounds, but the Blue Force umpires are reporting significantly shorter ranges than I'm seeing on these instruments. We're going need to resolve the ranges, but for the moment, we've determined no hits on the minelayers."

"Now we get to see if Le Fantasque and L'Indomptable escape, too... and what damage they've caused to the Blue Force," Caitrin said.


Tuesday, October 29th 2013, 3:05pm

February 25, 1944
Contre-torpilleur Le Fantasque

Capitaine de Fregat Georges Parmentier set down his handset and stepped up to where Capitaine Durand was directing the Le Fantasque. "Capitaine?"

Durand turned. "Georges. I take it the umpires have made a determination?"

Parmentier nodded. "Yes sir. Le Fantasque has taken one 120mm hit aft at an angle on the belt; no damage; and two 138mm hits amidships which have started fires in the torpedo fueling spaces; and one 138mm hit aft which has disabled 'C' turret. Your ship is limited to eighteen knots speed. L'Indomptable has also been hit by three 138mm rounds and her speed is falling to twenty-two knots."

"Blast," Durand muttered. "Damage control, simulated fire in the torpedo spaces and 'C' Turret. Engineering, speed limited to eighteen knots." Durand raised an eyebrow at Parmentier. "Good thing we 'launched' torpedoes, wasn't it?"

"Indeed, Capitaine," Parmentier replied mildly. He knew from the umpires aboard the Blue Force ships that Capitaine Belic hadn't altered course significantly enough during his charge and pursuit; and so was still steaming straight into the teeth of a simulated torpedo spread.

"If we can knock the Turpin and Roncevaux out with our torpedoes, then even with limited speed and damage, Le Fantasque and L'Indomptable can take the Yugoslavian destroyers," Durand said, loudly enough for the crew to overhear. There were nods of assent from relevant officers and senior seamen. Parmentier just returned to his chair, waiting for the senior umpire observing Blue Force to report on the torpedoes.

The news came very quickly indeed, and Parmentier stepped over to the conn to speak to Durand. "Capitaine."


"The umpires declare that Petrinja was hit amidships with heavy damage," Parmentier said. "And Pristina suffered a close detonation that will limit her speed to twenty-two knots."

Durand frowned. "Turpin and Roncevaux?"

"Undamaged," Parmentier said.

"Harumph," Durand growled. "That hasn't significantly changed the equation." He stayed quiet for a few moments. "Le Fantasque and L'Indomptable will turn southwest and continue to engage the enemy until deemed sunk, covering the escape of the minelayers. Can't win this one now, but we'll draw it instead." He snorted. "The Guard dies, it does not surrender."


Wednesday, October 30th 2013, 8:44pm

Captain Vladimir Belic received the report of the umpires in silence. Red Force had launched a simulated torpedo attack, scoring several hits on the Petrinja that would take her out of the fight; Pristina had taken damage and would be limited to speed to twenty two knots. Thankfully Turpin and Roncevaux were untouched. He ordered the finding repeated to all ships and ordered the Petrinja to cut her engines and conduct the necessary damage control drills.

He walked to the radar plot and asked for an update.

"Two larger Red Force units continuing northeast at high speed, out of effective gun range at this point. Two smaller Red Force units slowing..." the operator replied.

The four units of Blue Force had been sailing roughly abeam of each other, hoping to close the gap between them and the fleeing Red Force. Now it seemed that damage to the two Red Force contre-torpilleurs might bring them in range; but with Petrinja out of the fight, the potential margin for victory was slight.

"Course change sir!" called the radar operator. "Two smaller Red Force elements are now closing."

"Durand must be changing course to cover the retreat of the minelayers," Belic thought.

"Signal to squadron," Belic ordered. "Check fire all guns; execute course change forty five degrees to starboard. Prepare to launch torpedoes portside as your targets bear."

He hoped that the radar units on the Red Force units would not immediately notice the aspect change in their targets; the course change would not only allow his ships to fire their torpedoes but would also allow them to bring all their batteries to bear. It took a moment for the ships to steady up on their new course.

Aboard his flagship Capitaine Durand was surprised with the Blue Force guns fell silent; he did not think his torpedoes had done that much damage. His detecteur operator reported that Blue Force had slowed.

"Launch torpedoes," Belic ordered. The contre-torpilleurs behind him did likewise. "Two can play that game Capitaine Durand," he thought.

"Broadsides!" Belic ordered, and Pristina's guns came back to life.


Saturday, December 7th 2013, 12:20am

I'd been enjoying this storyline tremendously, and am saddened that it has been over a month since an update. While I am in no way complaining, I more than realize how life can effect plans. I only wanted y'all to know how much I liked reading it, and wait with baited breath for its continuation.


Saturday, December 7th 2013, 12:28am

I'd been enjoying this storyline tremendously, and am saddened that it has been over a month since an update. While I am in no way complaining, I more than realize how life can effect plans. I only wanted y'all to know how much I liked reading it, and wait with baited breath for its continuation.
I am grateful that you appreciate our efforts, and rest assured, we are working to being this to an appropriate conclusion. But sometimes life intrudes... :whistling: