AHTL: The Battle of the Atlantic

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by HMS queen Elizabeth, Jan 29, 2019.

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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 creware 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
     
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  2. King_Arthur The Once and Present King

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    I'm interested in what direction this will go in.
     
  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 northsea, while covering the rescue she is attacked byJunkers 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 milesearch 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 theGermans, 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. 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 crewwake 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 runsdeep 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 evacuatefrom 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-47starts to fire her primary armament of 12 6 inchguns at U-47, The first salvo misses to port thesecond salvo brackets U-47. Prein orders a hardturn 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 tosubmerge 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.
     
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  6. Threadmarks: Part 5

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    14th October 1939

    While leaving the Admiralty Sir Dudley Pound slips miss places his left foot on a step and falls down two steps dislocating his left hip. His doctor is overheard that the Admirals tumor is getting worse. When he has a full check up admiral pound is told about the tumor and he has to step down as first sealord or the stress will kill him.

    Pound steps down as first sealord later that day. Rear Admiral Lumley Lyster is promoted to Vice Admiral and made first sealord. The first order Lyster gives is for the lion class battleships to be reviewed. If they can't be built before 1942 then they are to be cancelled and the designs scrapped. The second order is for the plans for a single seat mono-plane fighter for the fleet air arm is put to the Fairey aviation company who offer to build a naval version of the spitfire with Hercules radial engine.

    The new proposed fighter is lighter and more agile than the current FAA fighters the sea gladiator and the fulmar. The new fighter is to have folding wings and armed with four 20mm cannon. The problem that the Hercules engine causes is the centre of gravity shifts but thankfully Fairey place a larger fuel tank and a peice of armour plate behind the pilot.
     
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  7. Threadmarks: Part 6

    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 trys to make it on board the U-boat and grab the enigma code machine and the code books before the U-47 sinks underneath the cold waters of Scapa flow. Unfortunately for the RN U-47 sinks underneath the cold waters before the sailor can get on-board.
     
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  8. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    The new fighter is lighter and more agile than the prototype fulmar. The first new fulmar is built in record time and given to the RAE for testing. The eight. 303 machine guns are insufficient to shoot down bombers as the FAA needs to protect their carriers.

    How do they come to that conclusion about the guns?
     
  9. HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    The Admiralty believe that the weight of fire is not enough to stop land based aircraft and tests conducted by the RAF fighter command against their own bombers.
     
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  10. Threadmarks: Part 7

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    With the capture of U-47s crew. 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.
     
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  11. Threadmarks: Part 8

    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 Furious 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 Furious .

    Two other hurricanes manage to damage and disrupt the JU-88,s bombing runs. One manages to drop there bombs towards Courageous. One bomb hits Furious and others miss. The bombers now lighter dive for the deck and try to escape.

    The damage to Furious is not as severe as first thought but the carrier will be in dry dock for a while as the bomb goes through the deck and into the hanger. Fortunately the bomb doesn't explode.
     
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  12. Threadmarks: Part 9

    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 at battle stations .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 into the Irish sea. HMS Hunter manages to rescue some of the crew from U-50.
     
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  13. Threadmarks: Part 10

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    25th October 1939

    Lt Eric Brown transfers to the Fleet Air Arm from the Royal Air Force Volunteer. Later that week the first ten fulmars are delivered to the fleet air arm. Their armed with six .50 vickers machine guns.

    HMS Furious enters Rosyth dry dock. When she is given a check her deck armour is found to have twisted and bent. The Admiralty push for courageous furious and glorious deck armour to be strengthened.
     
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  14. Threadmarks: Part 11

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    3rd November 1939

    HMS Belfast is hit by a mine in the Firth of Forth luckily it causes minimum damage. The Admiralty puts an inital order for 150 fairey fulmar fighter with the possibility of another 150+.

    The first King George V class Battleship is launched along with the first Illustrious class Carrier, it is hoped that these two ships will form the start of the Royal Navies fast battle group along with the heavy county class cruisers Norfolk and Gloucestershire, The light town class cruisers Belfast and Newcastle along with four Tribal class destroyers as escort.
     
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  15. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    OTL HMS Belfast almost sank from that mine strike correct?
     
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  16. HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    Yes she nearly was a total combat loss. The Admiralty had a hard choice to make either scrap the newest light cruiser or give her a full refit
     
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  17. Threadmarks: Part 12

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    5th November 1939

    The lion class battleships are put on hold as DNC Admiral Henderson starts designs on the follow on class of carriers. The limit of 23 000 tonnes is causing real problems with the designs of the new fleet carriers. With the new aircraft getting larger and heavier the DNC propose that the new carriers are built to 27 000 tonnes.

    One of the limiting factors in building the new carriers is the amount of aircraft to be carried. To maximise the amount of aircraft to be carried in sufficient numbers the hope is for two 16.4 foot high hangers serviced by two centre line lifts one at the stern and the other centre of the carrier.

    The carriers are to be called the Implacable class. The plan is for four carriers to be laid down in 1940-41 and built by 1943-44.

    The DNC also propose that the plans for trade protection carrier are dusted off and re-examined. The hope is that civilian yards would be able to construct them so naval yards would be able to construct and repair the fleet.
     
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  18. Threadmarks: Part 13A

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    12th November 1939

    A large convoy departs from Halifax Nova Scotia to it's destination is Liverpool. Part of the convoy is 10 000 Canadian troops in three passenger liners. The battleship revenge and 8 N class destroyers as ASW escort along with 4 tribal class destroyers.
     
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  19. Threadmarks: 13B

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    17th November 1939

    With the convoy nearing the western approaches it's spotted by u-10 under the command of kptln Georg Wilhelm Shultz. Shultz shadows the convoy till dusk falls. He plans to enter past the escort screen and sink the fuel tankers.

    On board HMS Neptune the asdic operator who is half a sleep suddenly hears the sound of high speed screws which can be from one thing a torpedo. The torpedo impacts the tanker st Stephen blowing it in half and lighting up the convoy.

    HMS Nero,s crew who sees the st Stephen blow up starts a search pattern looking for the U-10.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  20. Threadmarks: 13C

    HMS queen Elizabeth Admiral vasieo Ignite the inferno.

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    17th November 1939

    U-10 fires it's second and third torpedos at HMS Revenge. Which hits midships causing problems with the engine room and slowing her to 14 knots. HMS Cossacks captain vian increases speed and fires a star shell, then charges straight towards the surfaced u-boat. Shultz calls for a crash dive as Cossack fires another star shell.

    As u-10 dives to 75 feet. HMS Noone starts a depth charge run setting the depth charges for 75 feet. The first two depth charges explode short of 75 feet. Forcing the submerged U-10 deeper to 150 feet, the next set of depth charges are dropped directly over the u-boat. U-10 sinks to the bottom of the western approaches with all hands.

    HMS Revenge now at 18 knots sends off a request for air support to cover the convoy.
     
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