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Thread: An affair in Morocco (Part two)

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    Default An affair in Morocco (Part two)

    Characters introduced into the story thus far:-

    Algerine and Moroccan Persona.

    The Dey of Gizzanoffa: Kamel Mudanyaei.
    His Vizier: Amin Giffar.
    The Dey’s: Admiral Kulin Bey.

    American persona.

    The Squadron commander: Commodore Silas Goldberg.
    The captain of USS Constitution: David Frazer.
    The captain of USS Essex: Andrew Millington.
    The captain of USS Syren: Gregory Hardman.
    His Second Lieutenant: Rory McLeish.



    Tweaking the Dey’s nose.

    It was several days since the Essex had wrought its mischief amongst the Algerine ships from the port of Gizzanoffa and Kamel Mudanyaei was still fuming over the loss of his Galleys. He had also lost face and in his position of power. This could prove to be a dangerous situation even though he had eliminated both his uncle and brother, there were still those who would usurp his position at the drop of a dagger.
    It was for this reason that he summoned his Vizier Amin Giffar, and Admiral Kulin Bey, to a war conference at his Palace overlooking the bay.
    At about the same time Commodore Silas Goldberg was hosting a meeting of his squadron captains to promulgate his plans for a future venture against the Dey and his Algerine pirate supporters.
    Having welcomed the junior officers aboard the USS Constitution the commodore’s senior captain David Frazer ushered them down to the Great Cabin of the Frigate. Not so great a cabin when filled with the commodore, his secretary, cabin steward Senior Captain, and five other captains and commanders plus the captain of Marines. Nevertheless, all were finally seated, and having delivered the loyal toast Commodore Goldberg got down to business.
    “As you know gentlemen, ever since Captain Millington’s successful sortie against the Dey, we have been keeping up the pressure by blockade and thus far showing the flag each day in front of the town with one of our ships of the other taking a closer look at the harbour.



    Nevertheless, several small trading vessels have manages to slip in and out of Gizzanoffa over the last couple of days, usually by sneaking in at night or within the sand bars. To bring the Dey to his knees, we must tighten the net. With his people cut off from supplies, the unrest in the town may force the Dey to sue for terms.
    This is all the more important because of what Captain Millington discovered from the slaves freed from the gunboats he took. One of the men released gave us information that many slaves of non-Muslim religions are being held in the town, and we must strive to get them released at all costs. To this end from now on I intend to institute an inshore pre-dawn patrol each day to curtail any trade between the town and exterior markets. Are there any questions or suggestions gentlemen?”
    The cabin was silent for a moment and then the Captains began to discuss ways of effectively stopping the gaps in the blockade.
    Last edited by Bligh; 12-02-2020 at 10:12.
    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 Action from the American side.

    For two weeks the Sloops and Brigs of the American Navy kept a vigil on the approaches to Gizzanoffa.

    On the Thursday of the third week Millington was on another fruitless sweep outside the Port. It was obvious to him that no ships dare leave or enter whilst the American close blockade was in evidence. He therefore gave orders for Essex to sail out of the area in full view from the castle. That night when all was quiet, at the dark of the Moon, the Brig Syren under Captain Gregory Hardman slipped into position off the port. After a fruitless night’s patrol he called all hands to make sail and leave the area.
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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 she moved away, the Syren’s sailing Master Mr. Prentice received a whispered message from one of the mast head lookouts, that a sail had been sighted inshore of their ship, and seemed to be turning away as if to make a run for it.
    Embayed as it was, there was no way that the mystery ship could outrun Syren, and she soon had it fetched to, and as true dawn broke was already dispatching a prize crew across to the unlucky Xebec Polacre “Alsaqr”
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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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    By full light it was obvious to those on the castle that one of their ships had been taken by the cursed American Infidels within full sight once again. The infuriated Admiral Kulin Bey immediately gave orders for his most powerful ship, the Xebec Frigate
    “Al Mukabir” and its escort the Xebec Corvette “Hissan Albahr”, to intercept the American infiltrator and destroy it.

    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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    Soon both ships were underway, this time with a favourable wind to leave harbour.

    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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    However, Syren was already retrieving its cutter and getting the Prize underway.
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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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    By the time she had weighed Anchor herself the enemy were in sight.
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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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    Syren got under way and started a slow turn to Port in an attempt to shield the escape of her prize.
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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 she turned she came under long range fire from the chase gun of the leading enemy Xebec Hissan Albahr. Fortunately her turn to port caused the ranging shot to miss.
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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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    This prompted Captain Hardman to continue his turn to Port, thus totally covering the escape of the Alsaqr.
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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 that moment the Al Mukabir arrived on the scene to add its weight to that of the Xebec, and also in an attempt to cut off the Syren’s escape route.
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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 she turned the fast approaching Hissan Albahr was unfortunate enough to be served with a raking broadside from Syren, which damaged her so seriously that it took her out of the equation for some time whilst her crew attempted a series of repairs to her hull and masts.
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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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    Her continued turn caught out both enemy Captains as they had expected Syren’s captain to try and break out rather than bring the battle to their two superiorly armed ships. Whilst completing her turn, however, Syren was subjected to a Bow chaser shot from the rapidly closing Al Mukabir.
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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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    In response Captain Hardman ordered Syren’s Starboard guns to deliver their opening raking broadside which did serious damage to the slightly weaker structure of the Xebec Frigate.
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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 return blow came from an unexpected quarter as the damaged Hissan Albahr, now once more underway, managed at very close range to fire her few remaining pieces of ordinance into the still rapidly reloading Siren.
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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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    Both crews then exchanged small arms fire from the tops with little obvious success before Syren extracted herself from the closing pincers of the other ships. Being undermanned because of the prize crew, the last thing Captain Hardman wanted was a hoard of pirates invading his ship from both sides at the same time.
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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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    With another dexterous manoeuvre Hardman turned to Starboard across the stern of the Frigate, thus avoiding her reloaded guns.
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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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    Both Algerine ships were now caught sailing in the wrong direction and this was the time for Syren to slip away before the Dey could get any more of his fleet to sea. Not before another exchange with the rear guns of the Frigate, in which Syren’s gunners again proved their superiority even with a vastly depleted broadside.
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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 having suddenly veered for the first time during the encounter forced Syren into tacking as the Al Mukabir strove to gain the ascendency by turning to port herself.
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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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    It seemed as if the forced jibe had given Captain Hardman another lucky chance as he crossed the Al Mukabir’s stern and raked it. A lucky return shot from the Algerines stern chaser levelled the odds, however, by damaging the Syren’s steering.
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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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    She veered off as Sailing Master Prentice issued orders to try and bring her back under control.
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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 neither Algerine ship was in any condition to make capital out of this mishap, and as Syren, jibed across the wind once more all three ships withdrew from the Frey heading for their respective ports to succour their wounds and repair their damage.
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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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    Captain Hardman had the satisfaction to know that he had his prize well on the way to a safe haven and had struck another blow against the stability of
    Kamel Mudanyaei’s regime.
    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 Butcher's Bill.

    Syren got off with her prize very lightly against superior odds mainly by a couple of fortunate flukes, or as Captain Hardman put it in his report " By the superior handling skills and accurate gunnery of my crew."







    Bligh.
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    Last edited by Bligh; 01-04-2021 at 10:58.
    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.

  25. #25
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    Another stirring action off the North African coast and a bold one at that.

    Huzzah for the crew of USS Syren. And Huzzah for the writer of the tale. Nice one Rob.

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