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The Rainbow. A World War One on Canada's West Coast Timeline

As the

That situation would occur, as it probably does in many disasters, and not just ne'er do wells either.
That reminds me of a tale from 9/11. Right after the planes hit, a frantic wife called her husband asking where he was and if he was OK. He said that he was at work; all was just great. Work was near the top of one of the towers, and he was at his mistress's place...
Very good writing (again!).
It will take months of work and a bunch of money to repair all of this damage.
Insurance won't cover anything, so it will be up to the federal and provincial governments to step up.


That reminds me of a tale from 9/11. Right after the planes hit, a frantic wife called her husband asking where he was and if he was OK. He said that he was at work; all was just great. Work was near the top of one of the towers, and he was at his mistress's place...
Very good writing (again!).
It will take months of work and a bunch of money to repair all of this damage.
Insurance won't cover anything, so it will be up to the federal and provincial governments to step up.
Insurance might not cover anything. Most policies have exclusions for acts of war.

Edit: My mistake. I initially misread "anything" as "everything". Sorry about that
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That reminds me of a tale from 9/11. Right after the planes hit, a frantic wife called her husband asking where he was and if he was OK. He said that he was at work; all was just great. Work was near the top of one of the towers, and he was at his mistress's place...
Surely his mistress had access to cable news?


Yes, but surely you're not so horny that you miss a giant f**king jet hitting the World Trade Center and bringing it down?
Manhattan is a series of man-made canyons where sound carries great in a straight line along the streets, but not vey well diagonally. One of my neices worked a half-mile away, and her first indication was the dust clouds rolling up the street.

Who knows where the mistress lived anyway?
There she goes
0730, Aug 22. SMS Niagara, Barclay Sound.

“We cannot put off the inevitable for any longer,” said Von Schönberg. “Assemble a party to scuttle Nürnberg.”

When the men had gathered, the captain gave them their orders. “Nürnberg does not have much reserve buoyancy with the two forward boiler rooms flooded. She could sink like a stone when we turn off the pumps. I want to make sure none of you get trapped below. First thing, drive out all the patches in the hull above the waterline you can reach, and open all the portholes. Next move through the ship and open all the watertight doors, save those that are under pressure, and open the companionway hatches as well. Bring the portable pumps topside. Have a pallet slung from Niagara’s derrick to receive them. Once that is done, we can shut down the steam pumps, and vent the remaining steam from the boilers. That should do the job. Nürnberg almost sank on our way up the coast despite our best efforts to keep her afloat. But to be safe, place a scuttling charge in the engine room with a long waterproof fuse.”

“I want a man up on Niagara’s bridge manning the siren, and if there is any sign that Nürnberg is taking the plunge, sound the siren. That will be a signal for the scuttling party to drop everything and run for your lives. Let’s have two of Niagara’s lifeboats in the water, and another two swung out, just in case.” The engineering officer in charge assigned tasks and the men fanned out across the ship. Leipzig cast off from Nürnberg, made a slow circle so that she was facing the ocean, and then dropped anchor 2 ship lengths away.

While all this activity was taking place on Niagara’s starboard side, Princess Sophia arrived and was waved over to the big liner’s port side, where the much smaller coastal liner dropped bumpers and tied up alongside. The ship still had two 10.2 cm naval guns lashed to her foredeck, covered by tarpaulins. Princess Sophia’s small prize crew found themselves being watched by hundreds of faces from portholes along Niagara’s tall side. The interned civilian crew and passengers, who had nothing to look at since dawn except trees and waves, now were allowed to watch some action.

The lookouts spotted and reported several dugout canoes, apparently padded by local indigenous fishermen. “Those would be Toquaht Indians, their village is just over there,” said Herman Meuller, pointing. “One of those fellows came every day to sell us fish, when we holed up here on the Narzisse, waiting for you to show up.” The canoes seemed to show no desire to visit this day, and stayed clear of the German vessels. The lookouts failed to see a motor launch coming from the north, at a distance of 3 nautical miles. The launch ducked out from behind one of the scattering of islands to the north, just long enough to take a gander at the assembled fleet, then returned from the direction it came.

Von Schönberg greeted Princess Sophia’s tired prize crew, who he hadn’t seen since Grenville Channel five days ago, congratulated them, and offered food, but the crew had made good use of the CPR galley, and were already well fed. So he ordered extra crew on board for a work party, seconded Mueller senior the pilot to guide them, entrusted the acting captain with a metal box full of Canadian cash, and dispatched the ship on an errand to fetch building materials from the town of Ucluelet.

A little after 0830 hours Princess Sophia nosed back out of Ucluelet harbor 5 miles to the west. Nürnberg had been venting steam from her aft funnel for a while, and the roaring was trailing off to a hiss. Niagara had a wooden platform loaded up with gasoline powered pumps and hoses suspended from her derrick over the cruiser’s blasted foredeck. The scuttling crew were mostly back topside, having almost finished their sad chore. The cruiser was settling slowly but visibly. Von Schönberg stood watching on Niagara’s starboard bridge wing. Trade Commissioner Meyer and Heinrich Mueller the younger pilot stood watching beside him.

The lookout who Von Schönberg had tasked to watch over the scuttling noticed an unnatural movement at the tip of Nürnberg’s foremast. “There she goes!” he called, and grabbed for the cord that sounded Niagara’s siren. The blast caused the crewmen still on Nürnberg to scatter. Some jumped into the lifeboat holding station off the cruiser’s stern, some ran up the gangway strait up onto Niagara, and one climbed up onto the slung platform with the pumps. The movement of Nürnberg’s mainmast accelerated, and it became clear that the cruiser was capsizing to starboard, away from Niagara.

The sound of rushing water and escaping air rose. When the deck reached an angle of 30 degrees, two sailors burst out of an open engine room hatch midships, ran up the inclined deck, then hesitated at the well deck rail, just forward of the burned-out number 7 gun sponson. The ship continued her inexorable capsize, and the sailors walked down the port side of the hull, now approaching horizontal. The men dived into the water and swam away from the sinking cruiser, to be plucked from the water by a waiting lifeboat.

Nurnberg turned all the way over, showing her keel, and Von Schönberg noticed deep scratches in the hull forward where the ship had run aground in Portland Inlet. Great gouts of air rose from the water around the upturned hull. The torpedo hole, on the cruiser’s starboard side, was now facing Niagara and partly exposed above water. Von Schönberg marveled at how much damage his ship had taken and yet remained afloat. The great puckered rent in Nürnberg’s side vented a boiling torrent of air, and pieces of coal swirled in the disturbed ocean before sinking into the depths, along with, Von Schönberg saw for a moment, a sailor’s Mütze cap. Nürnberg sank bow first. Her screws and rudder rose into the air. The ship hesitated for a moment.

“The ship has struck bottom,” observed Mueller. Von Schönberg was silent. A fierce upwelling of bubbles continued to burst through the surface of the Sound. The parts of the hull remaining above water were seen to rotate on the ship’s long axis as the ship rolled back upright, so that the screws dipped back into the water, and the last piece of the ship to disappear beneath the surface was the empty flagstaff at her stern. The bubbles continued for a while, then trailed off, leaving only a few pieces of floating debris, and an oily sheen in the swirling water.

Von Schönberg stood saluting, until the last of the ship had disappeared, and when he looked away, he saw that the men lined up along Niagara’s rail were also offering salutes. For once, he found himself without anything pithy or inspirational to say.

“Well, we still have much to do before we head to sea,” he said to his junior officers, who were watching him expectantly. “Let us cover the guns with tarpaulins.”

At 0900 hours Princess Sophia came alongside Niagara. Her foredeck carried several bundles of lumber, some bales of canvas, and a couple of pallets of canned salmon. The big liner’s derricks quickly and efficiently loaded the deck cargo aboard. Princess Sophia’s crew also transferred by hand a hardware store’s worth of nails, paint and paint brushes, a small crate of 8mm Mauser rifle cartridges, two dozen — 50 pound sacks of potatoes, and similar quantities of flour, carrots, cabbages, and onions.

“We found a wholesale grocer’s storeroom that your landing party missed the first time you visited the town,” reported a sailor, straining under the load of two potato sacks. After these supplies had been stowed away, Von Schönberg met with a few of his senior officers.

“It is time to put all these civilians ashore,” said Von Schönberg. “Send the good citizens of Ucluelet back to their homes, and land the crew and passengers of the Niagara. The Union Steamship Company of New Zealand has been generous enough to feed and house the… Ucluelet-ers for several days, it is time for them to return the favour. I know we cleaned out the town’s stores, but the townsfolk should have enough food in their pantries and larders to feed the Kiwis until the Canadian authorities show up. And if they run low, well… they can go fishing. This is the frontier after all.”

“We will carry the civilians to Ucluelet on the Princess Sophia. A fitting last voyage for her. I would like to keep our modifications to the Niagara secret, although I expect it is too late for that. The waiters may have caught glimpses of our efforts transferring the guns over. And anyone who knows the ship will notice great lumps of canvas on the decks just where a gun would fit. But I don’t want to make it easy for them. So let us do what we can.” The officers nodded along with Von Schönberg’s instructions.

“Take the ship’s officers and crew directly below. There is only so much room on the Sophia, so some of the locals and the passengers will have to stay on deck. If you keep them on the foredeck, and maneuver so that the bulk of the superstructure is masking Niagara, we may be able to keep any of them from getting a good sightline. Move them along gently, there are women and children. And make sure to let them know they are headed home, or at least for the Kiwis, out of captivity. That should help keep them docile. Go now.”



Soon, Von Schönberg heard a clatter of footsteps descending the port gangway. Herman Mueller returned to Niagara’s bridge, and stood beside his son, and Trade Commissioner Meyer.

“Captain…” he said to Von Schönberg, tentatively.

“I expect you are wondering what is to happen to you, now that we are set to leave Canadian waters,” Von Schönberg said, and Mueller senior nodded.

“After you take Princess Sofia into Ucluelet one more time, your work for us is done. I imagine you want to get far way from Canada.” This time all three men nodded. “Leipzig will be headed for Mexico. This ship is going out to sea, to disappear for a while. We will go where our quarry takes us, but I do not expect to see land again for a long time. Perhaps somewhere in the South Pacific. What we have achieved here for the Kaiser was made possible by your service. You are welcome to take passage on either vessel.”

The Muellers and Meyer looked at each other, in silent conference. “I think Mexico sounds good,” said Mueller senior, and the others agreed. “Yes, Mexico.”

“The country is in revolution,” said Von Schönberg. “But that might make it a good place to disappear.” A babble of voices, including impatient children, sounded from the direction of the port gangway. “You are wanted on Princes Sophia now,” he said to Mueller senior. “You two had better head over to Leipzig straight away,” he said to the other two men. “Haun is strung taut as a pulled bow. He might dash out of port at any moment and leave you behind.” Von Schönberg walked to the starboard bridge wing rail and waved down to a lifeboat still in the water. “Take these men over to Leipzig!” he called. Mueller senior walked to port, and Princess Sophia, the others to starboard and the ship’s boat.

The sound of civilian voices trailed off. Princess Sophia pulled away, turned sharply to present her stern to Niagara, and headed for Ucluelet harbour. The Sound was bathed in bright sunlight, a blue basin sparkling with silver reflections off the wavetops, and wrapped in a bowl of dark green mountains. The big oil tanker Desalba was bringing steam up. Leipzig was also making a fair bit of smoke from her funnels. He could see a pair of welding torches at work, the men hanging over the side on painter’s stages. She also seemed to have divers below. Curious seals bobbed their head out of the water, watching the men, and perhaps hoping for a fish. The lifeboat dropped off the younger Mueller and Meyer, then came back to Niagara and was hoisted up its davits.

At 1030 Princess Sophia emerged from Ucluelet Harbor and steamed out into the Newcombe Channel. Her course took her directly to Leipzig. Mueller hopped off the Sophia’s gangway onto Leipzig’s deck without the liner even coming to a full stop, as pilots sometimes do. He waved back towards Niagara’s bridge. The Leipzig raised her anchors, and at 1100 hours, like clockwork, she was underway and headed for the open Pacific, between the barrier islands of the Sound.

Princess Sophia came alongside Niagara, and her crew came topside.

“Rig scuttling charges,” ordered Von Schönberg. “This little liner has done all she can for us.” A party climbed down the gangway, carrying a wooden crate stenciled Danger Explosives and Bonanza Mine Anyox BC. The sailors disappeared down the companionway, and busied themselves below.

Leipzig shrank into the middle distance offshore. At 1145 she signaled by Morse light,


15 minutes later Leipzig signaled, SHIP SIGHTED WARSHIP MASTS AND THREE FUNNELS

SMS Stettin, identical sistership to Nürnberg.

RMS Niagara dockside in Vancouver

Princess Sophia in Vancouver

Deck plans of Princess Sophia (big files)

Izumo, enter stage left. Izumo is faster than Niagara, but (nominally) slower than Leipzig. That said, Izumo may not be up for a chase at the end of a journey.
Last thing the battered RCN needs now, German reinforcements.
That got me too, it's actually showing us a picture of Nurnberg's sistership Stettin for a comparison, the story cuts off on the line before that with a warship fitting Izumo's description being sighted.
Last thing the battered RCN needs now, German reinforcements.
Oops. No. I just found that really clear zoomable picture of a ship identical to Nürnberg. Maybe the best picture of a cruiser of that class I have yet seen. That will not be Stettin coming over the horizon. Stettin is as OTL in Germany now, getting minor repairs from her role in the Battle of Heligoland Bight.
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And the question is, how much coal does Izumo have left. It is a long way from Japan to Vancouver.
I will not speculate as to what ship might be coming over the horizon, but I would note that Izumo has just been stationed off Mexico, that her itinerary in unknown, and that she is still at this hour a neutral, so is under none of the coaling restrictions that Leipzig and Rainbow were when they visited San Francisco early in the story.
If Mr. 3 funnel warship is the Izumo, and if the IJN want to fight (I dont think the DOW had happened yet) the the Germans need to split and run ASAP. Tje German guns will struggle to penetrate the thinnest portions of the Izumos belt. Closing to torpedo range will likely get the Leipzig buried in 6" gunfire before a coup de grace from torpedoes or 8" shells finished her off.

Of course, it's theoretically possible that Izumo, not yet at war, is just showing up to scare the hell out of the Germans. IE, park next to them and say hi.