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Query regarding getting a ship into action


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#1 Phil Callcott

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 04:19 PM

Hi,

 

We're looking to refight the First Battle of Narvik from 1940.

 

10 German destroyers were caught napping in a fjord by 5 RN destroyers.

 

The Germans start stood down and either anchored or moored in harbour.

 

The question is:- how long would it take a crew to get from "asleep" to action stations and how much longer to raise anchor or untie from a dock and get under way? On the day some did manage it and got into a manoeuvring scrap - but I cannot find a timeline.

 

Thanks in anticipation,

 

Phil



#2 RazorMind

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 12:34 PM

In the main rules, section 1.2.7 Getting Underway will tell you all you need to know.


"I wish to have no Connection with any Ship that does not Sail fast for I intend to go in harm's way.

Capt. John Paul Jones

#3 Phil Callcott

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 11:59 AM

Hi,

 

Thanks for the note regarding 1.2.7, but that section only covers getting the ship's power plant online from standby in 5 plus moves.

 

At Narvik the Germans were in their hammocks when the first British shell arrived, they had to turn out and get to their battle stations.

How long would that take?

 

They then needed to get the turbines up to speed, five moves or fifteen minutes seems about right on the night.

 

If at anchor the ship would need to be manoeuvred towards the anchor to slacken the anchor chain and reduce load on the windlass before hauling up and securing the anchor(s).

How long would that take?

 

If it was tied up alongside a quay, how long would it take to cast off once the turbines were moving?

 

Would a destroyer need its turbines to be fully online to power the windlass and turrets, etc?

 

Regards, Phil



#4 Cpt M

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Posted 24 July 2017 - 07:58 PM

Getting underway in the case in question wouldn't take that long at all.  From start to finish, any of the ships (anchored, tied to the dock, etc) would be able to fully  operate and maneuver within 5 turns (or 30 minutes (each turn represents 6 minutes), assuming a half hour standby watch is set) and carry out any action required (including gunnery).  Keep in mind, in all conditions (even when tied to the pier) a full watch is always on deck.  And even on one boiler, all the ancillary equipment (anchor windlass, electrical gear, etc.) would be fully operational.  As for the crew, even a single reduced watch is able to get a ship underway, while going to battle stations (where all crew are at their assigned stations ready for action) would take, at worse, a handful of minutes.         



#5 Phil Callcott

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 02:58 PM

Thanks Cpt,

 

On the day five destroyers were dispersed at anchor out in the fjord as there had been carrier air attacks, four were docked in the harbour leaving one destroyer on picket duty at the entrance to the fjord.

 

The Germans had been at action stations (general quarters) for most of the previous 48 hours.

 

They had transported 2000 troops, sunk two coastal defence vessels, landed the troops, engaged land defences, come under air attack and taken Narvik.

 

Oh and having run their fuel tanks empty, 3 destroyers only had refuelled with two more in progress, each refuelling taking 8 hours.

 

The crews were knackered and the picket ship left its post as it ran too low on fuel to continue

.

It docked near to the other four in Narvik closely followed, just as dawn was breaking, by five British destroyers who loomed out of a snow squall a few hundred FEET away, who then proceeded to shoot up the harbour and loose off torpedoes in all directions.

 

The Germans were literally caught napping, taking shell and torpedo hits with their crew still in their hammocks.

 

It was the start of a close and bloody action, which earned the British commander a VC and the German commander a Knight's Cross - both posthumous!

 

Following everyone's contributions I'm giving the Germans a move to wake up, another to get to action stations, plus another five to get under way from start of scenario....

 

Thanks, Phil



#6 Cpt M

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Posted 25 July 2017 - 07:37 PM

<Following everyone's contributions I'm giving the Germans a move to wake up, another to get to action stations, plus another five to get under way from start of scenario....>

 

You may want to start the clock for the '5 turns' at the very beginning.  The first thing the bridge watch is going to do is scream down to the engine room watch to bring everything online (and it doesn't take a full crew to do that).  The two turns to come to battle stations might be a bit much (you'd be surprised at how fast a sailor/soldier can go from totally flaked out to fully alert.  Had to do that myself on too many occasions), but that could be debated either way.  So I'd say turn 1 to 2, you're sitting still and unable to fight, turn 3 you can start using your guns and torpedoes, and turn 5 you can start moving.    



#7 Phil Callcott

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 09:49 AM

Thanks Cpt,

 

I'm tempted to follow your logic, but it's also a case of giving both sides some chance of a victory as a wargame.

 

The RN have 20 x 4.7" guns on five small destroyers plus 40 torpedoes.

 

The Germans have 50 x 5" guns on ten bigger and faster destroyers plus 70 torpedoes (the missing 10 were used to dispatch the two coastal defence ships).

 

Advantages to the RN, they catch half the Germans asleep in port, with the other half anchored in two groups miles away.

 

Advantages to the Kriegsmarine, unknown to the British they have twice the numbers (the RN think that they are up against 6 - not 10).

Even if they were to lose all their ships in port, any surviving British ships will have to fight again against another wide awake and efficient superior force to get out of the fjord and rejoin the fleet.

 

Who would be an umpire?

 

Phil



#8 Cpt M

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 10:05 PM

At this stage of the war, the German torpedoes did not perform well.  Their exploders had a bad habit of malfunctioning (something that was resolved post Norway).  So not all of the advantages go to the Germans.  Also, the battle itself is generally considered a draw.  And in two parts.  The first being the British ambush of the Germans in Narvik harbor (where the Germans were completely surprised) and went completely the British way.  Then second part, when the 5 other German DDs responded from other parts of the fjord, is where things evened up.   



#9 Cpt M

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Posted 26 July 2017 - 11:05 PM

This battle, BTW, is included in the Northern Navies Supplement along with several other actions from the Norway campaign.






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