View Full Version : AAR. May scenario 3. Under False Colours.

08-03-2018, 09:22

Captain David McBride and the crew of the Frigate HEIC Nottingham had been fruitlessly searching the Malacca Straits for three weeks without sighting a single enemy sail.


Other than the odd homeward bound Merchantman they may as well have been sailing on the Moon. With half their supplies gone, it would not be long before they had to return to port for replenishment.
As the day wore on and the unremitting heat built up even in his cabin with the quarter light fully open David could hardly stand the temperature.
It was as they were traversing a region of reefs and sandbars that the call from the masthead, which brought him relief as he arrived, up on deck.
"Where away Mr. Partridge? " he inquired to the Second Lieutenant who had the watch.
"Closing on the stern Sir." William Partridge replied.


Snapping open the lens cover on his new Dolland Glass, David observed the other ship with a practiced eye.


Not being able to make out any colours, David ordered the Master to bring Nottingham about to have a closer look at the strange vessel.




With the wind in her favour Nottingham completed her maneuver just shy of long range, and hoisted a signal for the approaching ship to heave to.


When this was ignored, a shot was put across her bows from the forrard Long nine.
With a flurry of action, the Spanish Colours immediately broke out on the now perceived to be enemy ship.


The smell also convinced David that she was a slaver.
As the two ships passed David ordered a full broadside.


The reply, when it came, was weak and uncontrolled, but with inconceivable bad luck, a burning wad ignited the cover on the Jolly boat. Fire parties were told off to deal with the blaze, and soon had it under control.



After some sporadic firing from each ships marksmen, McBride came about to cross the slavers stern and rake him, but before this could be effected, the Spaniard struck as her remaining crew were dealing with the inrush of water from massive damage below the waterline.



Despite the efforts of her crew, the damage underwater was too great and within a few minutes she went down, before the slaves could be freed from their shackles.


As Nottingham recalled her boats and made sail, the tell tail fins of sharks could be seen circling the floating debris on the surface where the Slaver had gone down.
Apparently attracted to the gunfire, a ship flying Portuguese colours now made an appearance on the scene.


This would entail McBride in a stop and search, so once more the Nottingham came about.


After the signal to heave too was again ignored, the customary shot across the bow was made.


The colours came down, but were immediately followed by the Tricolor being broken out revealing that this ship was a French Cruiser.

David was in the perfect position to deliver a raking broadside, and decimated the Frenchman's crew in an instant. The steering was also damaged.



By the time David had tacked across the wind the Frenchman had run on under reduced canvass.

David rapidly overhauled the enemy Frigate and both ships exchanged fire. Nottingham lost a topmast, as did the Frenchman, and both ships took damage twixt wind and water, but once again the crews suffered most heavily forcing the French Captain to strike.


David had barely had time to put his boarding party in charge of the prize, before yet another ship hove into view.


This larger but slower vessel was in a good position to close on the two damaged ships.


Although the newcomer was sporting the Stars and Stripes, McBride decided with a damaged ship, a depleted crew and a prize to manage discretion was the better part, and as the wind was behind him , he slipped off to the southward through the nearby reef with his prize in company.


As it turned out the American was a blockade runner with contraband headed for the Dutch settlements and may have been boarded.


That, however, is a story for another day.


08-03-2018, 09:24
The Butcher's bill.

The Butcher's bill.

1. Ships name………………………….HEICS Nottingham.
Type of Ship………………………...48 gun Super Frigate.
Captain's name……………………..David McBride.
Returned to port (RtP)………………
Captured (C) ………………………..
Killed in action (KIA…………………
Total hull boxes undamaged………3
Total crew boxes undamaged…..…2+ 1 prize crew.

.........................2. Total burdens of all enemy ships sunk or captured 8
.........................3. Did the Nottingham meet its goals? Partially .