Welcome back all, to Palladian Guard for the second half of our Quickfire game, which plays out a counterfactual clash between the Russian and Japanese fleets in the North Sea. Read up on Part I here.
|"Both engines full astern!"|
"It's too late! Brace!"
Then disaster struck as the destroyer Buistry, travelling parallel to the two Japanese cruisers, turned around but rammed the Idzumo accidentally. The little destroyer came off far worse, with some catastrophic flooding, the bows totally destroyed, leaving it totally dead in the water. Worse, it was now right up against rows of Japanese quick-firing guns that raked it from stern to bow, leaving it a blazing wreck.
All in all, it was a very bad turn for the Russians as I lost a destroyer, and two capital ships were now badly damaged. My objective was to break my ships through, so I decided to break combat and run for it!
Seventh Turn. In what would clearly be the final turn, my squadrons were broken up and I gave all my ships individual orders to escape as best they could. The Suvorov was listing dangerously, with several fires still burning, but she ploughed on as best she could. The Izumrud, final ship in the right-hand column, was badly damaged and took several serious engine room hits, slowing it to a grinding halt. The bridge was wrecked by a direct hit with a 12" shell. But the real victims on both sides were the destroyers - several on both sides were sunk this turn as they took broadsides from 6" and 12" guns with no other targets. The Orobo, Ariake, Harasume (Japanese) and Buistry, Bravy, Buiny and Byedovy (Russian) all went down.
The Russians had lost the engagement, but managed to get their capital ships off intact - a win by the letter of the law, but since their higher aim was to get through to the Far East and support the war, we judged it a Japanese success since the Russian fleet was in no fit state for battle.
Fate of the Ships
1st Heavy Squadron
- Battleship Sevastopol - damaged and reduced to 11 kts, hundreds of gun crew dead
- Battleship Suvorov (flagship) - heavy flooding, half the crew dead, very nearly sank in rough seas after the battle
- Battleship Poltava - survived with only superficial damage
2nd Heavy Squadron
- Battleship Retvizan - over half the crew killed, but structurally sound
- Armoured Cruiser Aurora - light damage
- Armoured Cruiser Izumrud - dead in the water, captain killed and crew decimated - surrendered after the battle
1st Destroyer Squadron
- Destroyer Bodvy - sunk by a direct hit from the Fuji's 12" guns
- Destroyer Buiny - escaped - the only ship to suffer no casualties
- Destroyer Byedovy - hit by a 6" gun and capsized
2nd Destroyer Squadron
- Destroyer Bravy - mistakenly rammed the Idzumo, then sunk by QF gunfire
- Destroyer Buistry - sunk by 12" gunfire from the Idzumo
- Armoured Cruiser Yakumo - minor damage
- Armoured Cruiser Idzumo - heavy gun crew casualties
- Armoured Cruiser Azuma - light casualties
- Battleship Fiji (flagship) - over half the crew dead, reduced to 8 kts, serious flooding, captain killed - but survived
- Battleship Hatsuse - heavy gun crew casualties
- Destroyer Fubuki - escaped with severe flooding in the bow but light casualties
- Destroyer Akatsuke - flooded and sank after the battle, crew rescued
- Destroyer Harusame - raked with heavy gunfire, disintegrated with few survivors - sank
- Destroyer Ariake - flooded and capsized
- Destroyer Orobo - flooded and capsized