MEGA After Action November 17, 2000

After Action Report - 17 November 2000

Atlantic Crossing
Terry Callahan

This is a game that was played at Big Muddy's Command Con on Friday, November 17, 2000. Commanding the US task forces were Rolando Vasquez and Jim Broshot, and Kevin Weber commanded the German task force. Each side diced for entry point and decided prior to entry on their task force formation. The Germans were in line ahead formation and the American's capital ships in line ahead while the escorting destroyers in an anti submarine formation around the task force. The Americans selected the ship carrying the A-bombs and we started the game. See if you can determine which ship had the bombs by reading the action report.

The Game was run using Ship Base III computer moderated rules with 1/2400 ship models on a 12 X 6 blue felt table.

Tactical Situation:
It is August 1945 and the War in Europe continues. The failure of the Normandy invasion in 1944 cost the Allies dearly. The American President has sent the first two Atom Bombs to Europe to end the war with Germany. A small speedy task force is carrying the bombs across the Atlantic. German intelligence has found out that the American's are sending a secret weapon to England in hopes of end to the war.

Clear, with scattered clouds, visibility is at 80% sea state is at 3 with wind from the northwest at 16 knots.

German Orders:
Seek out and destroy the American Task Force If engaged by any other American surface units, either destroy them or force them aside. You must engage and destroy the Task Force.

American Orders:
Proceed to England at best possible speed. You must deliver the Atom bombs to the U.S. Air Corps. U-boats have been active in the North Atlantic. Use caution.

Victory Conditions:
American: Exit the other end of the table with the atom bombs. German: Cripple or sink all American units engaged.

The Germans entered on the south-south east corner. The Scharnhorst leading, Tirpitz and Prinz Eugen following. The Americans entered on the western edge of the table with the Alaska leading, then Iowa and New Orleans following. The destroyers are in an anti-submarine formation around the task force, two on the each side and one ahead of the TF.

  1. Scharnhorst sighted and fired a salvo on Alaska at extreme range with no effect. American TF did not fire because the Germans were out of range and would be so for the first two turns.
  2. Scharnhorst fired on Alaska again no effect.
  3. Scharnhorst fires at Alaska, no effect, Iowa opens up at extreme range on Scharnhorst, no effect. Scharnhorst, Tirpitz and Prinz Eugen ranged in on Alaska with no effect. The Iowa fired its bow guns at Prinz Eugen with no effect.
  4. All German ships targeted the Alaska at extreme range with no effect. The Iowa changed its target to the Scharnhorst with no effect.
  5. German TF targeted the Alaska again with no effect. The Iowa bracketed the Scharnhorst at extreme range with no effect. American destroyers began to run in for a torpedo attack. Tirpitz and Prinz Eugen fired on Alaska while Scharnhorst fired on the closest DD USS Paterson. Iowa fires on Tirpitz with no effect. Range is closing slowly. The destroyer USS Uhlman collides with the Iowa and sinks, Iowa sustains only minor damage.(<2%) Iowa steams away leaving the shattered remnents of the Uhlman in its wake.
  6. German TF had closed to 23,000 yards and all fire on the Alaska with no effect. Iowa fired on the Tirpitz with no effect. Alaska joins the battle as the Scharnhorst came within range of her 12" guns. The US Task Force is becoming spread out, the New Orleans, taking evasive maneuvers, falls behind the two larger ships.
  7. Again the Germans target the Alaska without effect. The Alaska continues to range in on the Scharnhorst and the Iowa on the Tirpitz. There is no damage to either side this turn. American ships continue to spread out.
  8. Germans fire all primary guns on Alaska without effect. Their secondaries target the American destroyers as the destroyers launch four torpedo spreads at the German Task Force. The Alaska fires on the Scharnhorst, Iowa at the Tirpitz and finally the New Orleans opens fire on the Prinz Eugen. The American fire was again ineffective. I am beginning to think that neither side can hit the other, with ranges dropping to under 20,000 yards it will soon change.
  9. All German primaries fire on Alaska, and the USS Paterson becomes the object of all German secondaries and sinks under a hail of shells. Americans continue their ineffective fire on the German ships.
  10. This turn was a repeat of turn 11. Shell fire having no effect on either TF.
  11. Germans change targets again, Tirpitz targets Iowa with no effect, Prinz Eugen on Alaska with no effect, and Scharnhorst on New Orleans with no Orleans effect. German secondaries leave the DD Benham with 70% damage. American ships begin to find the range and the Iowa damages the Tirpitz. The Scharnhorst reports some fires when Alaska finds its range.
  12. Ranges are down to less than 12,000 yards and a general melee ensues between the task forces. The Scharnhorst, Tirpitz, Iowa, and Alaska all sustain damage, while the Benham sinks.
  13. The battle is becoming confused. The Iowa takes hits from the Scharnhorst and Tirpitz, while the Alaska escapes damage from Prinz Eugen's gun fire. So far the Germans are getting the best of the Americans with damage to the Iowa and three DD's sunk.
  14. Gun fire continues with the Scharnhorst and Tirpitz inflicting 25% damage to the Iowa. American gun fire is ineffective this turn. The American torpedoes fired in turn 10 reach their intended targets. The Prinz Eugen takes two torpedoes one amidships and another aft, it is mortally wounded. With massive flooding from the amidships hit and its rudder damaged the Prinz Eugen sinks. The Scharnhorst attempts to comb a torpedo spread but takes one hit which inflicts only minor damage.
  15. Scharnhorst and Tirpitz fire on the New Orleans which takes some damage, while the Alaska damages Scharnhorst and Iowa hits Tirpitz again.
  16. Iowa has ranged in on Tirpitz which takes substantial damage. The Iowa is hit by the Scharnhorst and New Orleans is takes hits again from the Tirpitz. The Alaska and New Orleans target the Scharnhorst which takes more damage.
  17. Ranges are now less than 10,000 yards with damage being inflicted on both sides. Tirpitz and Scharnhorst exchange hits with Iowa and New Orleans.
  18. A general melee continues with Tirpitz and Scharnhorst ganging up on Iowa at ranges of less than 10,000 yards. New Orleans begins to try to move away from the battle. Alaska is blocked from firing by the Iowa.
  19. Iowa finds its range on Tirpitz. Tirpitz has damage greater than 50% and its gun fire slackens and its speed begins to decrease more and more. Scharnhorst is hit by both Alaska and New Orleans. Both German ships have slowed down greatly due to damage inflicted by the American ships. The Americans are beginning to pull away from the Germans.
  20. Tirpitz takes a salvo of 16" shells from the Iowa and 8" shells from the New Orleans it's speed is down to 12 knots (1.5"). Scharnhorst is hit again by the Alaska and slows too. New Orleans is hit by Scharnhorst aand now has 40% damage, it loses its forward turret, slows to 18 knots (2.25").
  21. Tirpitz is hit with salvos again from the Iowa and New Orleans. Damage is now at 70% and Tirpitz must retire from the battle, Tirpitz has only one good turret still firing, there are fires amidships, on the super structure and aft, Speed is down too less than 10 knots(1"). New Orleans takes a hit from the Scharnhorst and slows to 16 knots (1.75"). Alaska shows no damage.

At This point the German player conceded the game. The Tirpitz has to withdraw due to greater than 70% damage. This only leaves the Scharnhorst to continue the battle at 1 to 3 ships ratio to the American ships. The Iowa had repaired its damage and an undamaged Alaska was returning to the action. It was only a matter of time before they would pummel the Scharnhorst into a battered wreck.

The American TF though battered and bloody down three destroyers and a damaged New Orleans limped away from the battle victors. Which ship carried the A-bombs? The New Orleans. Because it was steering evasively it had to subtract one inch from it's forward movement and this kept the New Orleans from racing away from the German ships during the game. The Germans had begun to target the New Orleans and could, within the next one or two turns, have sunk the New Orleans and won the game. They thought, incorrectly that the Iowa carried the bombs. The game took three hours real time. All players had a good time.