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Thread: An affair in Morroco.

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    Default An affair in Morroco.

    Introduction.

    With the Major Nations of Spain, France, and England engaged in the struggle for supremacy in the Med, the Moroccan Corsairs saw it as a prime opportunity to indulge in a bit of piracy and seizure of slaves whilst the main policemen were otherwise occupied. Raids on small settlements in Italian states, Greece, Sicily and Malta increased, as did the seizure of merchant ships of all nations, even forcing Great Britain to adopt a defended convoy system. The big mistake, however, was to begin to prey upon the merchant ships of the United States, in the mistaken belief that its fledgling navy was too weak and too far away to respond. The result was that several sorties were made on various occasions by the US Navy over this period.
    In the picture below we see one such small squadron of US ships reconnoitring a Corsair stronghold with a view to a punitive action. Please note the lack of reaction from the fortification's guns despite the American ships trailing their coats within long range.
    The full tale will follow shortly.
    Rob.
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    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    A week later, Captain Andrew Millington in the Frigate USS Essex arrived to reinforce the American squadron, and it was then that the Commodore decided that action could be started to curb the depredations being made on the merchant ships plying their trade in the Mediterranean.
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    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Two days later after a stormy night with gale force winds blowing into the bay of Gizzanoffa, observers on the shore saw a disabled Indiaman being blown inexorably toward the shoals. Standing off at about half a cable was an American Frigate desperately attempting to pass a line to the stricken merchantman before disaster struck. Word was immediately passed to the Dey of Gizzanoffa, Kamel Mudanyaei who decided to investigate the situation for himself.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 11-19-2020 at 15:00.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Taking his telescope to the top of the castle keep this is what he saw. The merchant ship had serious damage and was in process of losing its mizzen mast over the side. The Dey immediately sent instructions to his senior Captain to capture the embayed enemy ships.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 11-22-2020 at 10:03.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    With the wind set dead against them the only vessels able to leave the port were the Galleys and gunboats under oars. Captain Millington who now had a line on the Richard, and was tentatively starting to tow the Indiaman off the lee shore whilst keeping a careful eye on the Galleys leaving the port, released the drogue sea anchor and inched forward until the hawse between the two ships was out of the water.
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    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    All three galleys and the two gunboats were now leaving harbour and the leading Galley captain was looking to clear the shoals in order to make a course change which would enable him to set his sails.
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    Captain Millington knew that his timing was going to need to be precise in order to work, and the strong wind was pushing him closer to the enemy than he had anticipated. They were also moving faster under oars against the wind than he was progressing with it on his quarter.
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    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Suddenly a transformation seemed to take place on the two American ships. The leading Galley’s captain saw an upsurge in activity on the two ships as the towing cable seemed to come adrift. Essex ploughed ahead setting more sail, and the Richard dropped a series of false painted canvas sides displaying its real firepower, as seamen hacked through the dummy Mizzen mast to reveal its standing mast and rigging being unfurled. The speed of the Essex carried it across the bows of the leading Galley, and almost simultaneously both exchanged fire.




    The Galley got off its shot first and he trap had been sprung, but it was the biter which had been bitten, as Captain Millington mad a slight course correction to Port and closing on the Galley raked it with his opening broadside.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 11-22-2020 at 13:40.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    In one fell swoop the Smak’ abu saye had been totally disabled and started to drift away toward the shoals, her decks a scene of devastation and wreckage.
    Not content with this Essex’s bow chasers delivered a punishing blow to the first of the oncoming gunboats whose forward firing smasher could not be brought to bear on Essex’s prow.

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    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    As the gunboats surged forward, Essex struggled to deal with a damage mast caused by the first exchange of shot and completing its slow turn exchanged a broadside with the second gunboat, from its as yet unused cannon, wiping it out in a single exchange. The gunboat also started to drift away.
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    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    At last Captain Maynard in the Richard got in on the action as he began his turn to follow the Essex. With his forrard guns he continued the destruction of the Al Mutaraqa damaging its steering and maiming crewmen with splinters from the smashed gun-ports.
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    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    the wind now took a hand in events, having been blowing strongly into the harbour mouth throughout the night, although it did not lessen in strength, it veered two points to the North.
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    As Essex veered away to avoid the sandbars guarding the mouth of the harbour, it served to uncover the second Galley, which with the change of wind and her turn was attempting to set sails. Richard’s full broadside fired at long range, nevertheless, still served out a deal of punishment.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 11-22-2020 at 14:33.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Essex now served the third Galley, the Alrube in similar manner.
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    Essex’s turn along with the change in wind direction had now pushed her further toward the coast than Captain Millington had intended, and as he endeavoured to bring her about, he came under fire from a small battery positioned on a small islet guarding the harbour entrance. To add to his problems its heavy guns brought down his main topmast weakened earlier by fire from the galley. With this sudden loss of handling capability things were looking dark indeed for the Essex and her crew.
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    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Fortunately for Essex the old guns of the Castle cast in the previous Century were firing cold and at extreme range, consequently doing very little damage. However, it was essential to get Essex out of range before they found the range. With the damaged mast this was easier said than done and a team of hands were working on the damage with a will borne out of desperation.
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    To add insult to injury, the wind chose this moment to veer back more Easterly.
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    To add insult to injury, the wind chose this moment to veer back more Easterly. This caused the drifting derelict Galleys to head for the sandbars where they may prove to be salvageable.
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    On the other hand the drifting gunboats were now in a position where they could be captured easily with a little more persuasion.
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    As the Richard turned away from the Fort the captain of the Alrube delivered a parting shot to her stern.
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    Essex returned the favour, but the lack of steerage threw of her gunners and she missed her aim.
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    She also took the opportunity to give the castle a parting broadside to keep the gunners heads down whilst she tries to get underway.
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    Still not out of the woods Essex sailing an erratic course received another long range shot from the Island battery, whilst Captain Maynard dispatched a prize crew from the Bonhomme Richard to the gunboats, whilst also keeping a weather eye on the antics of the Essex as it came a bit too close for comfort.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 11-23-2020 at 08:48.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Although sailing erratically Essex did get a last shot off from her two stern chasers in return, and the crew were gratified to see a large explosion followed by a gout of flame erupt from one end of the works.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 11-23-2020 at 08:49.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Taking a leaf out of Essex’s book, Bonhomme Richard also got in a final stern shot, whilst the Essex finally limped out of range of the shore batteries, and fortuitously, this accounted for the last Galley.
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    All that now remained for the Essex and Bonhomme Richard to do was see the two Gunboats on their way to a friendly port and recover their ships boats to complete a successful mission.
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    The Butcher's bill.

















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    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    The Fortifications.




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    The AAR is now open for comments.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

  30. #30

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    Thanks for the excellent play through and AAR. Your ships and scenery are pretty amazing!!
    "It's not the towering sails, but the unseen wind that moves a ship."
    –English Proverb

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    Thank you Jim. The basic scenery and small town were for Sven's Battle of the Nile at Doncaster a few years back, The walled town and Castle were done this year intended for my Game at Doncaster this year, but that is another thing which will now have to wait so I'll try and get some mileage out of it in a few solo games during the winter.

    Rob.
    Last edited by Bligh; 11-25-2020 at 14:44.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    Thank you Jim. The basic scenery and small town were for Svens Battle of the Nile at Doncaster a few years back, The walled town and Castle were don this year intended for my Game at Doncaster this year but that is another thing which will now have to wait so I'll try and get some mileage out of it in a few solo games during the winter.

    Rob.
    For anyone who hasn't produced a battle or the follow up AAR it should come as no surprise that it's a huge investment in time and effort. Having produced a few of those in the past, not only is the battle time consuming, but so is the set up and take down plus the post production in slides, text, etc. It's one reason I've not done much for many months. I have limited space to do miniature gaming so the time to set up, play out a battle and then clean up is a significant barrier.

    Seeing the walled town and castle in future would certainly be enjoyable.
    "It's not the towering sails, but the unseen wind that moves a ship."
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    I must admit that finishing the town and castle after the Pandemic broke, did help fill in some of the down time, but yes there is a lot of time in producing an AAR. however, they don't need to be a magnum opus. Just a duel between a couple of Frigates on an evening with a couple or so strategic photos would suffice if anyone wants to dip their toe in the water.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bligh View Post
    I must admit that finishing the town and castle after the Pandemic broke, did help fill in some of the down time, but yes there is a lot of time in producing an AAR. however, they don't need to be a magnum opus. Just a duel between a couple of Frigates on an evening with a couple or so strategic photos would suffice if anyone wants to dip their toe in the water.
    Rob.
    Hear, hear! Even pictures of ships battling away fresh out of the starter box while the new owner puzzles out the rules is great vicarious sailing for the rest of us and keeps the conversation going.

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    Thank you for an excellent A.A.R. of an imaginative scenario, Rob. The beautiful scenery provided the perfect background. That would have wowed the spectators at a show.

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    Glad you enjoyed it Dave. I sailed the next installment yesterday, so will try and get the intro up this weekend.
    Rob.
    The Business of the commander-in-chief is first to bring an enemy fleet to battle on the most advantageous terms to himself, (I mean that of laying his ships close on board the enemy, as expeditiously as possible); and secondly to continue them there until the business is decided.

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