AHTL: The Battle of the Atlantic (rewrite)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by HMS queen Elizabeth, Oct 30, 2018.

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  1. Threadmarks: Part 1

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    14th September 1939

    The opening shots of the longest battlefield of ww2 begins with u39 firing four torpedos at the aircraft carrier ARK ROYAL lucky all four detonate early. The destroyers escorting ark royal manage to drive the u-boat deep while ark royal launches two swordfish bi plane torpedo bombers carrying two depth charges each are vectored onto the U-boat. Both swordfish drop their depth charges, instead of sinking u-boat surfaces and the crew are taken prisoner but not before the crew scuttle the u-39.

    Three days later on the 17th the Royal Navies luck runs out when u-29 fires three torpedoes at HMS courageous west of the English Channel, Two detonate early but the third hits the carrier causing the carrier to slow to 12 knots, u-29 escapes hounded by two of the four destroyers escorting her. Her two remaining escorts shepherd the stricken carrier into Portsmouthharbour. With 78 dead and 130 injured the carrier is immediately dry docked and repairs to be hull is started, the goal is to get her patched up so she can be repaired away from the south coast.

    The immediate result is the all fleet carriers are taken from ASW operations.
     
  2. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    So the Courageous survives. Could have big butterflies outside of the Atlantic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  3. Threadmarks: Part 2

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    22nd September 1939

    The Royal Navy gets revenge of sorts for the 78 dead and 130 injured. The destroyers HMS Fortuna and Forrester sinks u-27 commanded by kapitanleutnant Franz off the West coast of Scotland, the u-boat is lost with all hands, it marks the first submarine sunk in the war.

    On the 25th September the Royal Navy fights it's first air battle when a DO-18 maritime recon aircraft is shot down by a Blackburn Skua from 803 squadron operating from Ark Royal. The next day Ark Royal forms a home fleet force to cover the recovery of the submarine HMS spearfish which Is severely damaged in the central north sea, while covering the rescue she is attacked by Junkers Ju88 from KG30 which misses but one bomb hits HMS Hood which bounces off her deck. Three Skuas on combat air patrol manages to get in amongst the bombers and shoot three down for all three Skuas taking damage from the bombers defensive fire.

    By 21st September British naval Intelligence learns that two powerful German commerce raiders the Graf spee and Deutschland are at sea. The Admiralty sends the carrier HMS Glorious along with HMS repulse, the cruisers Ajax,Exeter and Achilles after them.
     
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  4. Threadmarks: Part 3

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    7th October 1939

    The German Naval staff concerned about the mounting pressure on the two pocket battleships, orders units of the German fleet lead by the battlecruiser Sharnhorst along with the light cruiser koln and nine destroyers sortie towards the southern coast of Norway. The plan is to draw the home fleet across a line of four U-boats and into range of land based bombers of the Luftwaffe.

    As soon as Admiral Forbes learns that the major units of the krigesmarine are attempting to break out into the north Atlantic, he issues orders for his main units north-east of the Shetlands where they could cover the exits to the Atlantic. These where the battleships Rodney and Nelson, the battlecruisers Hood and Repulse, the cruisers Aurora, Sheffield and Newcastle, the carrier HMS Furious along with twelve destroyers.

    During the night HMS Furious along with HMS Repulse, Sheffield and four destroyers detach from the battle group and head south towards southern Norway. At day break Furious turns into the wind and lunches four Skuas for combat air patrol and four Swordfish tbr,s on a 100 mile search vectors. At 1015 a swordfish spots the German battlecruiser Sharnhorst and three destroyers escorting her. The swordfish manages to make a sighting report before a Ju 88 flying a recon mission sends it spiralling towards the water. On board HMS Furious catches the sighting report and launches 30 swordfish bi plane torpedo bombers carrying torpedoes, the Swordfish are ordered to put as many torpedoes into the Sharnhorst and Koln as possible.

    11:10

    On board Sharnhorst Admiral lutjens orders the group to retreat to Kiel and to get back under Luftwaffe air cover. With the Swordfish having missed their chance to deal a blow to the Germans, return to Furious. The operation is fruitless and with the Germans under fighter protection Admiral Arthur Dowding retreats back to Loch Ewe. During all this both the RAF and Luftwaffe bombers fail to find their targets and by the 11th October both the Krigesmarine and the Home Fleet are safely back in port.
     
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  5. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    Keep it coming...
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Part 4

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    On the night of the 13/14th October
    U-47 commanded by kapitanleutnant Gunther Prein sneaks through defences of Scapa flow and at 00:27 enters Scapa flow proper. Kapitanleutnant Prein spots the Battleship Royal Oak, the Heavy cruiser Norfolk and the seaplane carrier Pegasus which Prein mistakes for a Battlecruiser of the Renown class as only the bow is visible.

    At 01:03 Prein orders for two torpedoes to be fired at Royal Oak the first one runs deep and misses but the second hits the bow. The crew wake up thinking that there has been an explosion in the magazines. Thirty men are sent to investigate the damage. The rest of the crew are ordered to battle stations.

    Prien fires his last two bow torpedoes at Royal Oak both hit blowing out her hull and setting a fire in her powder magazines. HMS Belfast anchored 5 miles away with half power gets her crew to battle stations and slips her moorings when the second torpedo hits Royal Oak. Armour piercing shells are brought up from Belfasts magazines and loaded within 2 minutes. Prein orders a 180° turn and to reload the bow tubes, as U-47 turns Prein orders the stern tubes to be fired at Norfolk. One torpedo misses Norfolk which detonates prematurely the second hits Norfolk but explodes on the armour belt. With the bow tubes needing to be reloaded Prein fires his last stern torpedo at Royal Oak but it runs deep and explodes prematurely. U-47 turns 180 ° and fires a torpedo that has been reloaded from the bow tubes at what Prein believes to be a Renown class battlecruiser it runs straight and true, hitting the bow causing problems for the Pegasus. Most of the crew start to evacuate from Royal Oak all the boy sailors are evacuated along with Rear Admiral Henry Blargrove and most of the crew apart from thirty men trying to get the damage under control. HMS Belfast already at 18 knots and closing fast on U-47 starts to fire her primary armament of 12 6 inch guns at U-47, The first salvo misses to port the second salvo brackets U-47. Prein orders a hard turn towards Belfast and for the bow tubes reloaded as fast as possible. Belfasts captain G.A. Scott orders a hard turn to avoid U-47s probably torpedoes, as Belfast turns her 12 6 inch guns are turned towards u-47. With the bow tubes reloading Prien fires two torpedoes at Belfast which is closing fast at 25 knots. Captain Scott carefully combs the torpedo tracks and fires a full broadside which six shells miss another three shots bracket the u-boat which is turning to flee from the cruiser out for revenge.

    With the reloading of Belfasts main battery in under 8 seconds Captain Scott orders a hard turn to follow the u-boat. The front two triple turrets fire, three shells from A turret bracket the fleeing u-boat but one of the three shells from B turret hit the conning tower damaging it. Unable to submerge U-47 trys and escape unfortunately for Prein the damage is too great. Prein orders for the crew to abandon the U-boat already sitting low in the water due to the damage from the shells missing too close to the U-boat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  7. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    So the naval war gets interesting (in the Chinese sense) earlier.
     
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  8. GTStinger Well-Known Member

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Sinking U-47 alone saves 25+ merchant ships between 1939 and 1941. How much of an impact might that have on supply in North Africa and SE asia?
     
  9. Threadmarks: Part 5

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    14th October 1939

    With Belfast picking up the crew of Pegasus and the crew who remained on Royal Oak doing damage control are evacuated, Rear Admiral Henry Blargrove on Belfasts bridge receives word that the fires are out but the Royal Oak is too severely damaged and Pegasus is too damaged to be saved.

    With both crews either in life boats or on Belfast, The light cruiser returns to her berth where the crews of Royal Oak and Pegasus are taken off. Belfast heads for U-47 to take the crew prisoner. Belfast managed to recover most of the crew but some have succumbed to severe hypothermia. Prein is plucked from the water but is suffering from shock.

    A brave Scotsman manages to make it on board the U-boat and grabs the enigma code machine and the code books before the U-47 sinks underneath the cold waters of Scapa flow.
     
  10. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Earlier material for cracking Enigma.
     
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  11. MKD Well-Known Member

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    Milton Keynes Central
    Operation Primrose a couple of years early then. Interesting.

    NOTE: on 9th May 1941 Sub Lt David Balme of HMS Bulldog led a boarding party that captured an Enigma machine, code books and cipher keys from U-110 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Fritz-Julius Lemp. The U-boat had been damaged by depth charges and driven to the surface where further damage was inflicted by gunfire from the attacking RN vessels. The crew abandoned ship intending to scuttle but the effort failed. Lemp attempted to return to his ship but was never seen again. The U-boat was stripped of anything interesting looking and taken under tow. It later sank apparently much to the relief of those in the know!


    Blaine was awarded the DSC for his actions( apparently the King said to him that due to the security considerations of the capture the award could not be higher)

    ( however I think that the capture of the equipment and code books from U559 by the crew of HMS Petard in 1942 was of far greater use to Bletchley Park )
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  12. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    Aug 3, 2013
    Holy crap, they get an Enigma machine in 1939 and the Bull of Scapa Flow is out of the war.

    I hope he lives, he'll be fertile material for interviews for the rest of his life.
     
  13. Threadmarks: Part 6

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    With the capture of U-47s crew and the capture of U-47s enigma code machine and the code book are given to a young polish man who enters a RAF bomber heading for London.

    HMS Belfast leaves Scapa flow with HMS NORFOLK for Rosyth. It is hoped that both cruisers are able to get a Quick refit. Part of the quick refit is the installation of a radar set to aid there gun crews and to be able to track down other ships.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  14. Threadmarks: Part 7

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    17th October

    Aircraft from KG 30 attack Scapa flow. The depot ship iron duke, two salvage ships trying to raise U-47 and the aircraft carrier Courageous along with the cruiser Edinburgh and the destroyers Fortuna and Forrester.

    Hurricanes from the airfield near kirkwall are launched to intercept the five ju-88 bombers, the hurricanes lead by lieutenant Eric Brown. LT Brown manages to get in close to the JU-88s and shoots one down one. The others manage to line up their bombing runs on the aircraft carrier Courageous.

    Two other hurricanes manage to damage and disrupt the JU-88S bombing runs. One manages to drop there bombs towards Courageous. One bomb hits courageous and others miss. The bombers now lighter dive for the deck and try to escape.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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  15. r1ncewind Well-Known Member

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    Nog to be mean but i think you should proof read that chapter again
     
  16. Cryhavoc101 Well-Known Member

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    OTL Eric Brown while already a competent pilot was a student on Sept 3rd 1939....in Germany and was actually interened for 3 days by the SS before being released and driven to the Swiss border (he was a freind of Ernst Udet having met him at the 1936 Berlin Olympics which is probably why he was released) - and would still have been in training when these events took place. - Instead we could have the lad not go to Germany and instead join an RAFV unit and be posted to an out of the way unit - where he shines on Oct 17th 1939.

    And yes the last paragraph needs attention - it reads as if the Hurricanes bombed Glorious - I know they are RAF but still.... ;)
     
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  17. Threadmarks: Part 8

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    22nd October

    U-boats u-10 and u-50 enter the new home of the Royal Navy at Loch Ewe. There mission is to lay the new magnetic mine. It is hoped that this manages to damage ships entering and leaving.

    Unfortunately for the U-boats the destroyers HMS Hunter and Hardy are on ASW duty. The ASDIC of both destroyers manages to find u-10 and u-50. Hms Hunter increases speed to 20 knots as guns from the shore fire star shells illuminating the entire loch.

    Hunters crew start to prepare for a depth charge run. As Hunter starts dropping depth charges both U-boats turn and try to escape from the ASW destroyer. U-50 runs aground while trying to move out of the depth charges. U-10 manages to escape.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
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  18. Butchpfd Well-Known Member

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    Normally the Tribal class destroyers were not used as Asw units, they were designed as operational fleet escorts. They would do that then, but not normally. You would instead find the older, post WW I, A through D class destroyers being used for station patrol ASW, although if a Cruiser division larger was coming out of harbor, then in addition to the normal patrol destroyers the Tribals escorting the fleet units, would be doing sweeps ahead .
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
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  19. HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    Edited
     
  20. HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    Apr 18, 2018
    Rear Admiral Sir Arthur Dowding

    Ex captain of HMS FURIOUS and current 5th sealord , Head of Royal Navy aircraft carriers and the man helped develop the Royal Navy start multiple carrier operations. A hero for leading the furious battle group and damaging the twins when Grand Admiral Raeder sent them to draw attention from graf spee.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
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