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Saturday 29 June 2024

A Dark night in 1943

 With Rhod not with us, we decided to revisit Coastal Forces (using my rules )

We did the usual E-Boat (Schnellboot) attack on a south bound coastal convoy on the English East Coast.

I deployed my 2 S-booten at the rear of the convoy.

Phil was in the centre...
...and Lawrence on the right.
The convoy was in 3 lines, escorts (right) and 2 lines of merchantmen. I had randomised the counters with dummy markers and removed about 1/4 of them so we would not know what we were facing.
My boats spotted an escort in short order, a Hunt type 2 escort destroyer! - obviously transiting to a southern port.
Phil in the centre spotted a 1500 tonner, not a high value target.
My other boat spotted another ship, a small collier aft of the Destroyer.
Phil spotted another 1500 Tonner, a convoy of tiddlers!!!
Lawrence at the front of the convoy spotted another collier, and in addition an armed trawler. As we were all travelling on electric motors and it was night, the British hadn't spotted us yet.
At last, one of my lookouts spotted a 3000 Tonner, a worthy target, if I could get to it with the destroyer nearby.
Lawrence now spotted the main target, a Tanker!
The British were asleep, still no alarm!
Poor Phil had not seen anything beyond the light freighters.
Lawrence accelerated to attack the Tanker, hoping to hit it before the Trawler could react.
It was always a temptation to loose his fish at long range, but wisely, he held fire and closed the range, hopefully giving the tanker no chance to react.
Phil had continued trying to spot more counters, but it turned out there was a big hole in the convoy where he was!
There were still a few more counters to spot, so all was not yet lost for him.
One of my boats had spotted the 3000 Tonner, so shot both his torpedoes in a ripple fire pattern to give a better chance of a hit.
The Freighter crew was on the ball, and rapidly spotted one of the torpedoes, could he turn in time to comb them? The Hunt class activated his radar, and located one of my boats!!!
...He turned to get all his main armament to bear.
My other boat had spotted another 3000 Tonner and shot his torpedoes at it, the first 3000 Tonner began a sharp turn to port.
The Hunt centred his wheel, and shot a broadside...close, but he missed.
Taking advantage of the confusion, both of Phil's boats shot a torpedo at the ships there.
The smaller freighters had the advantage that they could turn more rapidly.
At the front of the convoy, both the Tanker and Collier looked in trouble!
My Boats, under fire, about faced and headed for Cherbourg at speed!
I deployed a smokescreen to hide my ships from the destroyer.
The Destroyer, though he had Radar, couldn't get a clear shot, so ceased fire.
2 Torpedoes were heading for him, so he increased speed.
Phil's Torpedoes both missed, being successfully combed by the light freighters.
Phil is keen on using the Cannon and Machine Guns on his boats, so closed with one of them.
Lawrence's torpedoes both hit!
One scraped the bottom of the collier, but the other struck the Tanker!
My Torpedo hit the 3000 Tonner, which turned out to be full of ammunition...
Phil's boats shot at the freighter, damaging its bow, but not causing a lot of damage.
The following freighter turned in an attempt to ram the E-Boats for their temerity!
The front freighter too began to turn, returning fire with an elderly Lewis gun!!!
My 3000 Tonner was now a cloud of dust!
My last 2 Torpedoes were heading for their targets, the Hunt easily sped past.
Lawrence shot his last two torpedoes at the Tanker, which had been stopped and badly damaged by the first hit.
The 3000 Tonner I was shooting at now spotted the torpedo heading for him and turned desperately, would he escape?
The Torpedoes from Lawrence's boats both hit the easy target...
...the Tanker exploded in a ball of flame!
In a final act, my last torpedo hit the 3000 Tonner, but the damage caused was insufficient to stop her.

So, we got a Tanker, a 3000 Tonner, and damaged two other ships, without loss. It was a fun game!

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