Sunday, 2 March 2014

Flight of the Goeben

My interest in the Goeben was piqued again recently by a free Kindle book (The Great War at Sea possibly? I really can't recall nor be bothered to find out which) which had a pretty detailed of her activities along with the more general stuff like blow by blow accounts of Jutland etc. I hadn't realised that she was the longest serving dreadnought ever, only being scrapped in 1974. I particularly felt sorry for Admiral Troubridge being court martialled for failing to engage her, even though he was under orders to avoid engaging a superior force, and faced with a faster ship more than capable of sinking his entire squadron without suffering a scratch in return.

So, I set up this scenario with the Adriatic squadron in a slightly better position to intercept the Goeben after she set sail from Messina in 1914 having earlier evaded most of the French navy and outrun the RN battlecruisers sent to find her. I ran this using Tim Gows 'Iron Ships and Wooden Heads' rules, modifying the stats for the RN armoured cruisers as they were so pitifully inadequate compared to the Goeben in firepower, speed and armour.

Goeben and Breslau sailing happily along en route for Turkey.

Somewhat blurry view from above. The Goebens interesting asymmetrical turret arrangement for her main armament clearly visible.

The Adriatic Squadron sails on with the destroyers detached and the other elderly armoured cruisers line astern of the Black Prince. Most of these outdated deathtraps/ships were destined to be sunk at Jutland.

A plucky DD flotilla approaches Goeben.

While the rest of the squadron makes a slight turn right.

Black Prince sustains minor damage from a long range 11" salvo and turns away.

The RN reform as Goeben and Breslau reduce speed to continue to engage the head of the cruiser squadron. One DD flotilla is driven off as  the other closes in.

Ooops. Goeben ignores the DD and takes a torpedo hit leaving her crippled and dead in the water.
Black Prince is also crippled after the exchange of fire.

But the remaining cruisers and DDs don't make any mistakes and the crippled Goeben is heavily hit, rolls over and goes to the bottom. Breslau cripples the DD flotillas in return and looks set too escape.

Oh dear! A slightly unexpected result as I reckoned the Goeben quite capable of blowing Troubridges squadron out of the water. It shows that Troubridges original plan to use the cruisers to escort the destroyers in for a torpedo attack was correct, in this case helped by Admiral Souchon getting a bit carried away with engaging the enemy and not using his superior speed and range to destroy them from a distance. Unlike real life, in this case he was able to get close enough to Goeben to launch the attack before she simply sailed away into the dstance.

1 comment:

  1. I only hope that the 1/3000th version of me went down with the Goeben, otherwise the shame would be too much.