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View Full Version : NvN. AAR March Scenario: The Commodore's Dilemma



Bligh
03-12-2017, 11:04
Admiral Sir Joshua Pound paced up and down the length of his cabin with the Admiralty instructions in his hand.
"As if we don't have enough on our plates with Bellerophon in dry dock, without all this." He waved the document towards his Flag Captain. Josiah Pennyman. " We will simply have to do the best we can with what little we have." He gave a small sigh.


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"Send for Rogerson dear fellow, and he can make fair copies of my orders to each Captain. We will send Amelia as the fastest sailer to collect the Diplomat, Leander and Phoenix as the best sailers excepting the Frigates and with the firepower can fetch the convoy home. We will send Concorde with Swan as it's eyes on patrol, whilst we take Superb with us on this goose chase after the so called 'Big Ship'. You know what these fishermen's stories are like. Anything larger than a sloop is a big ship to them."

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Thus on the following morning's ebb tide in the dawn light the Royal George in company with the Superb, Captain Rufus Taylor set their sails, slipped moorings, and passing under the guns of Fort Wolf entered the blue waters of the Indian Ocean in search of shadows.


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Bligh.

Bligh
03-13-2017, 05:43
AAR. The Battle.

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After five fruitless days of poking into Bays and creeks up and down the coast neither The Royal George nor Superb had seen either hide nor hair of any enemy shipping let alone a "Big ship." Pound passed the word for Superb's Captain Taylor to repair on board, and the two ships hove too in the slight swell.

No sooner was Taylor piped aboard than Sir Joshua got down to what was on his mind.
"I'm beginning to think that this cruise is a waste of time and effort. I intend to call it off if we discover nothing today Rufus.
Meanwhile give your lads some gunnery practice, and at least the time won't have been totally wasted."
After a few pleasantries with Captain Pennyman, Rufus was about to call away his boat, when a hail from the masthead alerted the officers to a new development.
Young Midshipman Martin was waving from the tops and pointing at the ships bows.


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"Sail on the Starboard Bow Admiral. No! no! now there are three of them sir".

With an alacrity that belied his fifty years of age, the Admiral was up the Ratlines and in the tops faster than the ships Second. Both men took turns to look through the glass at the unfolding scene before them.


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"What do you make of it Davis." The Admiral asked the Second Lieutenant as the ships got underway.


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"Looks like a First Rate and a 74 to me sir." Replied Davis." Well I'm blowed, that third ship looks like the Amelia."

" Indeed!" Exclaimed the Admiral."Then let us make all sail and investigate this "Big ship and its consort."


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As the two British ships surged forward with the wind on there rear quarter, the Enemy ships began to move sluggishly across the wind, keeping an attitude to avoid being taken aback.


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Attempting to form line was proving difficult, but the Amelia was at least screened from the approaching British, although her larger consorts were stealing her wind.


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As the enemy turned even further North to avail themselves of the wind, it forced Admiral Pound to steer three points more Northerly or risk letting his quarry slip past.


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Gradually the Spanish, for it was now easy to clearly see their colours, shook themselves out into line of battle.


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Pound came about even more forcing his adversaries even further North toward the distant coastline.


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In order to weather the headland, on a lee shore the Spanish Squadron were forced to sail as close to the wind as the three decker could manage.


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With the wind behind them, and crowding on all sail the British were now in a position to cut the T.


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Then the leading Spanish ship, the Santa Anna fired.
The long range shot caught the Royal George as it turned just avoiding a bow rake. Even so it killed several men, did structural damage and severed the rudder cable.


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The George also had to weather the fire from the forrard battery of the second in line, the San Juan.


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Whilst Captain Tanner in Superb wore ship to come up with the Santa Anna, the George bore straight ahead forcing the second Spanish ship, the San Juan, to Port his helm and quit the line.


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Superb now opened with a rolling broadside as each gun bore on the Santa Anna. The damage from her double shotted Carronades on the upper deck were horrendous. Ripping men apart, along with the fabric of the ship. Moreover two fires broke out and although quickly controlled they pulled men from other duties.


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Thus the return fire, although creating one hole twixt wind and water plus ripping a topsail, was pathetic for such a mighty ship.


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With the rapid reloading power of her Carronades Superb managed another broadside before she cleared the Spanish Flagship. Again men clearing the upper deck fell and the rudder was damaged, just as the George's crew managed to re splice her severed cable.


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Captain Pennyman now ordered the first volley of the battle from the Royal George, and exchanged fire with the San Juan.


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The San Juan was holed twixt wind and water.

The George lost a Top Gallant in the exchange.


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On her Port side, Lt Davis in command of the Upper deck guns was making the most of his double shotted first broadside by raking the Santa Ana's stern.


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The shot ripped the stern gallery and Admiral's quarters to matchwood and then hurtled on to tear the innards out of the whole length of the ship, upending guns and mangling their crews. Admiral Sanchez, and Captain Gomez were both struck down and wounded by the same ball.


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As they were carried below to the Surgeon, the First Officer took it upon himself to Strike to the George.


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However, all was not well on the George either, having suffered from the Santa Anna on the approach, she was now bow raked by the Prize Frigate Amelia, seriously reducing her crew and fire power.


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In order to avoid the wrecked Spanish Flagship, and the shoals, Captain Tanner was forced to take in most of Superb's standing sails and gently nose around the shattered hulk.


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Meanwhile, Admiral Pound, deciding that he could not afford to suffer another broadside from the Amelia decided to board her.
Amelia, running her bowsprit aboard the three decker entangled hopelessly and the securing grapnels thrown from the upper deck of the George only helped lock the two ships together even more.


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Clearing the Amelia's upper deck with a whiff of grapeshot and then using the Bowsprit as a gangplank, the crew of the George poured aboard the Amelia, even as shots were exchanged by the Marines in the tops of each vessel.


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Even so Amelia's prize crew held out for some time until her Captain wounded in the first onrush fell mortally wounded by a musket ball fired by the Captain of Marines.


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The Superb finally cleared the Santa Anna, and the San Juan came about to escape the carnage of the main battle.


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The fighting on the Amelia finally came to an end with the release of her proper crew and the Diplomat who had been masquerading as the Captain's Secretary.


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Captain Tanner now cut through the Squadron in pursuit of Don Diego de Alhambra, Captain of the San Juan which was now running before the wind.


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Inexorably Captain Tanner ate away the distance between the two ships.


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Don Diego finally realising that there was to be no escape to the south put up his helm in order to fight to the bitter end.


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As the two ships closed Tanner got off the first broadside.


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Once again it was his first double loaded and again the Carronades struck home with viscous efficiency.


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The upperworks were torn assunder and it was only Don Diego's timely instruction to the crew to lie down that saved them from the same fate which had befallen the Santa Ana's crew.


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Return fire was also swinging and Superb lost her mizzen mast over the side, with a fire starting between decks which kept the crew busy for several minutes.
The mast gone by the board over the port side, and the loss of her Spanker made the Superb unmanageable, and the sails acting like a sea anchor swung her to Port as the crew struggled to cut the mast free with their boarding axes.


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The inevitable result was that she swung full across the bows of the san Juan, and the two ships came together with a crunch.


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With her sails finally clear of the gun ports and thus no further fear of another fire, Superb offloaded a volley of Grape into the San Juan.


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Following the Marines small arms fire the boarders finished the job in fine style, with her brave Captain the last to fall wounded, protecting his First Lieutenant's body, the San Juan's colour fluttered down within five minutes of the collision.


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With the shock of the action still upon the crews and the Surgeons of all ships hard at work, the wounded Admiral Pound removed to what remained of his quarters, composed himself. After all he needed to compile his report for their Lords of the Admiralty, attempting to recall the sequence of every action as it took place, and each Officer and man deserving of mention in his despatches.


Bligh.

Bligh
03-13-2017, 07:20
The Butcher's bill.

The British.

. Ships name………………………….ROYAL GEORGE.
Type of Ship………………………...FIRST RATE.
Captain's name……………………..Pennyman.

Returned to port (RtP)………………RTP.
Captured (C) ………………………..
Killed in action (KIA…………………
Total hull boxes undamaged……… 5.
Total crew boxes undamaged……1.


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. Ships name………………………….SUPERB.
Type of Ship………………………....THIRD RATE.
Captain's name……………….……..Taylor.


Returned to port (RtP)………………RTP.
Captured (C) ………………………..
Killed in action (KIA…………………
Total hull boxes undamaged………4
.Total crew boxes undamaged…..…6


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. Ships name………………………….AMELIA.
Type of Ship………………………....FIFTH RATE.
Captain's name…………………….. Groat.

Returned to port (RtP)………………RTP
Captured (C) ………………………..C but retaken.
Killed in action (KIA…………………
Total hull boxes undamaged………7
. Total crew boxes undamaged…..…9


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The Spanish .

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Total burdens of all enemy ships sunk or captured...........11
Did the squadron meet its goals?.....................................YES.

Bligh.

Hjl
03-13-2017, 10:30
Nicely done! The Superb performed to its name!

Glad to see another grape user out there.

Bligh
03-13-2017, 12:02
It was actually you Hugh that reminded me about Grape being good for retaining the structure of a ship whilst decimating the crew. I have never found chain that much good.
Rob.

Union Jack
03-13-2017, 18:23
In the tradition of the senior service, one can ask no more of ships and men. Well done.

Bligh
03-14-2017, 02:41
Thanks Neil.
It was a close run thing indeed.
If the wind had been more neutral, the Spanish would not have crowded up to the edge of the world, and with more sea room could easily have won the day. As it was, because I had the wind gauge, the AI kept edging them away from my ships once the auto sail for the enemy limit was reached.
Rob.