Battle of Tristan da Cunha
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Synopsis: Fought between the surviving Germanic States ships from the defeat
of the Argentinian Fleets attempt to re-supply their troops on the Las Malvinas
Islands (Falkands Islands). The Allied forces had overwhelming numbers
South Atlantic Fleet:
CV's - BNS Santa Catarina, HMS Golden Hind, RZS Eriador
BC's - CNS Coquimbo, HMSAS Transvaal, RZS Gondor (Flagship), HMS Renown, BNS Riachuello, BNS Espirito Santo,
Cruisers - BNS Tocantins,
With 8 destroyers.
Battlefleet - (based at the Falkands to protect the beach head.)
CV's: - HMSAS Eagle, HMAS Van Diemen
BB's: - BNS Pernambuco (Flagship), HMAS New South Wales, HMAS Queen Victoria, HMAS Queen Anne
Cruisers - BNS Roraima
(x2). HMAS Hobart, HMAS
With 10 destroyers.
Germanic States Forces:
KM Kaiserin, KM Kaiser
It was the Skua's that found then dive bombed the Kaiser and Kaiserin, slowing them down even more, so that the Battlefleet could catch them and sink them.
Battle of Tristan da Cunha
Having noted the absence of the Germanic States ships from the Argentine Fleet, spotter aircraft were sent to look for them while a strike force was being arraigned on the Allied carriers. The spotters had a hard time locating the pair as they were using the heavy weather to the north to keep themselves from sight. It would be touch and go if the air strike sent after them would get there before dark. In the end they got there with minutes to spare and went straight into the attack. Setting the two Germanic States ships against the setting sun made them both glorious highlighted targets. Both GS ships were handled well and avoided all but two of the torpedoes fired at them. Both ships took one torpedo each. Neither was a critical hit but both ships slowed as the propulsion system was shaken up by the explosions. The dive bombers scored hits as well but none of those hits pierced the armoured deck to hit anything critical, small fires easily controlled only. Their days were numbered.
Having put paid to the Argentine Fleet, the South Atlantic Fleet was sent after the fleeing Germanic States (GS) ships, Kaiser and Kaiserin. With the death of Admiral Charnwood, command of the Fleet fell to Rear-Admiral Columbine aboard the Zealandian battlecruiser Gondor. The Sud Afrika, Kwazulu and other damaged ships were sent off to Simonstown, but what was left was more than enough to catch and dispatch the two Germanic States ships.
The scout aircraft (Skuas with extra tanks in place of bombs) were launched next morning after the fleet had spent the night steaming north. Last sighting of the Germanic States ships the day before showed them steaming north at 15-18 knots. The Germanic pair had altered course during the night to north-west in the hope of throwing off their pursuers, but aircraft travelling ten times their best speed were always likely to find them. So it proved. The Skua sent in that direction reported back 45 minutes later of the whereabouts of the GS ships, it then started circling the ships reporting the position reguarly. A first strike had been ranged on the decks of the three fleet carriers, waiting for the order to launch. The order was given and 120 aircraft took to the skies heading north-west. 50 torpedo bombers, 40 dive bombers covered by 30 fighters made a huge sound. The Germanic States ships could just wait at action stations, knowing what was coming their way.
In went the torpedo bombers at wave height, launching from two different directions to try and catch the two K's in a crossfire. While all German eyes were watching the torpedo bombers, the dive bombers made their entrance coming down at eighty degree angles, the fighters took their turn strafing both ships to keep the AA gunners heads down and giving the bombers their best chance. From a distance it looked like a hive of angry wasps trying to sting to death a couple of intruders. The combined attack tried its best to sting the Kaiser and Kaiserin to death. The eight bomb hits started fires and caused mayhem aboard the GS ships, but it was the four torpedo hits that did the damage. Neither of the GS ships had had any extra anti-torpedo bulging or armour fitted and were very vulnerable. Three hits on the Kaiserin and it lay dead in the water, down by the head. One hit on the Kaiser caused damage but it still went north at 10-12 knots hoping to become invisible from the ships it knew were running it down.
The two Brazilian and one Chilean Battlecruisers were sent to finish off the Kaiserin while the bigger and faster, Gondor, Renown and Transvaal went after the Kaiser. By the time the South American trio got to the Kaiserin it had almost sunk but its battle flags were still flying and calls to surrender went unanswered. Two salvos each from the battlecruisers and the Kaiserin disappeared underwater leaving just the survivors to be picked up.
The three Commonwealth ships were steaming hard north, but had an advantage, as Skua scouts were orbiting the Kaiser giving its position down to the yard. Lookouts on the Gondor spotted the smoke from the Kaiser and headed for the final showdown. At 20,000 yards in hazy conditions both sides opened fire. The Kaiser had only two turrets for four guns firing against the eight gun broadsides of the Commonwealth ships. Once the 14" and 15" shells started hitting the Kaiser the end came quickly. Already heavily damaged from bomb and torpedo hits, a few extra large calibre hits were all it took to take out the two working turrets and stop the Kaiser in its tracks. As with the Kaiserin the Kaiser kept firing with any gun still available and its flags still flying. One of the escorting destroyers was sent in and hit the Kaiser with two torpedoes, the Kaiser slowly rolled onto its beam and sank.
The Germanic States effort to put some backbone into Argentine effort to take and hold the Falkand (Las Malvinas) Islands had ended in disaster. The Argentine Navy had been decimated, its elite forces surrendered on the Falkand Islands when no assistance came. The Argentine mainland forces were defeated and Argentina (and Uruguay) surrendered to the Brazilian and Chilean forces. The loss of the two battleraiders Kaiser and Kaiserin while a loss of face to the Germanic States Navy, the amount of Commonwealth and Allied forces that had been required to be assembled to retake the Falkand Islands was a huge undertaking and stopped those ships being used elsewhere to hurt German endeavours.
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