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

Leipzig has nothing that can seriously damage Izumo,
so they ran, of course
Leipzig has a ram bow, though I don't know if it was merely a cosmetic design or genuinely reinforced for ramming. She also does have torpedoes. Using either depends on surprise at short range.
 
Fine installment. Izumo did have some success, in that Canadian waters are finally secure. (Of course, the raids would be almost done anyway; there's not much left to burn.)
When Kapitaen zur See Karl Von Schönberg reaches Valhalla, which hopefully is a long time away, he'll have things to discuss with General Sherman and Captain Porter of the Essex about warfare on the enemy's economy and infrastructure. Perhaps Semmes of the Alabama can get a furlough from the 9th circle to participate.
 
Leipzig has a ram bow, though I don't know if it was merely a cosmetic design or genuinely reinforced for ramming. She also does have torpedoes. Using either depends on surprise at short range.
The ram bow is functional, although ramming was not part of naval doctrine like it was in the first days of steam powered iron warships. OTL, at the battle of the Falkland Islands and others, German light cruisers were able to hit British armoured cruisers, and they outranged the British 6" guns, but did little damage. The closest was when Nürnberg started a cordite fire on HMS Kent. The fire flashed down the ammunition hoist, and could have led to the loss of the British ship, but was put out in time.

Like you say, the torpedos need to be launched from close range. The tubes are side mounted underwater. When OTL SMS Emden torpedoed the Zemchug in Penang harbour, the Russian cruiser was lying at anchor.

No, the only way for Haun to win in this scenario is not to play.

Here are some detailed plans of SMS Emden ,which was an incremental improvement on Leipzig, and shares most details of the layout. Note the Cork Filling in the compartment behind the ram.

 
Another thought on Leipzig's challenges..... After running that hard for that long, they have to be going through coal quickly. Where is their collier Bengrove at this point? The last we heard of her was early in the post, so I'm assuming Bengrove headed away from potential trouble. How will Leipzig re-coal, without a collier, unless there was a contingency plan to rendevous at some point to the south. But even that raises risks, as there will be more American (neutral) ships in the shipping lanes perfectly happy to make note of warship positions.
Leipzig will need coal, but they are headed for neutral Mexico. They did just use up a lot of coal, but they topped up in Ucluelet harbour on the August 20th, and the cruiser has a range of 4690 nautical miles at 12 knots. Bengrove is far behind.
 
Bravo once again, a rather invigorating chase scene to be sure. Leipzig is a lucky duck, with all of her time away from port and the extensive stresses she's been putting on her machinery for quite a period, she easily could have blown boilers like poor Nurnberg did historically as she attempted to escape the slaughter at the Falklands.
 
Is the chess match via signal light during wartime enemies a historically inspired event?
Nope, I just made it up. That exchange wasn’t technically in wartime. Japan did not declare until 1900 hours local time/ noon the next day Tokyo time. I wanted to capture the feeling that the German and Japanese officers knew each other, and had been friends and allies until war was declared.

I guess I was inspired by a scene in the movie version of Blackhawk Down, where the helicopter pilots were ribbing each other about the previous night’s Scrabble game while they were flying into a raid over Mogadishu.
 
Bravo once again, a rather invigorating chase scene to be sure. Leipzig is a lucky duck, with all of her time away from port and the extensive stresses she's been putting on her machinery for quite a period, she easily could have blown boilers like poor Nurnberg did historically as she attempted to escape the slaughter at the Falklands.
Yes, it has been months since Leipzig was in a shipyard, and she has put in a lot of miles in that time, some at full speed. OTL that wear didn’t really show until the Battle of the Falkland Islands in December.
 
Yes, it has been months since Leipzig was in a shipyard, and she has put in a lot of miles in that time, some at full speed. OTL that wear didn’t really show until the Battle of the Falkland Islands in December.
How much did she run at full speed before the engines started breaking down? The wear showed at Falklands, but had it been seen earlier? And how much has Leipzig run ITTL?

Also, while Izumo is also somewhat worn down, has she previously done any full speed? That's what really hammers reciprocating engines.
 
How much did she run at full speed before the engines started breaking down? The wear showed at Falklands, but had it been seen earlier? And how much has Leipzig run ITTL?

Also, while Izumo is also somewhat worn down, has she previously done any full speed? That's what really hammers reciprocating engines.
I assume she hit it during the R-J war, not sure how many battles she was in but I imagine she was run fairly hard at least a few times.
 
I assume she hit it during the R-J war, not sure how many battles she was in but I imagine she was run fairly hard at least a few times.
I meant "since her last refit". All nautical reciprocating steam engines had to be completely overhauled on a regular basis. AIUI, a freighter running from Britain to Brazil and back would need such an overhaul after each voyage - and the faster she ran, the higher the repair bill.

One assumes Izumo would have had her engines seen to no more than 18 months before, and perhaps as little as six months.

And high speed made a huge difference. The pre-Dreadnought battleships of the Royal Navy could make 18 knots - but only for a few hours before the engines were ruined. But they could cruise at 12 knots for several months.
 
Last edited:
I meant "since her last refit". All nautical reciprocating steam engines had to be completely overhauled on a regular basis. AIUI, a freighter running from Britain to Brazil and back would need such an overhaul after each voyage - and the faster she ran, the higher the repair bill.

One assumes Izumo would have had her engines seen to no more than 18 months before, and perhaps as little as six months.

And high speed made a huge difference. The pre-Dreadnought battleships of the Royal Navy could make 18 knots - but only for a few hours before the engines were ruined. But they could cruise at 12 knots for several months.
USS Oregon was able to keep an average of 11.5 knots on her long trip by way of the Strait of Megellan so she could join the Party at Cuba
 
I meant "since her last refit". All nautical reciprocating steam engines had to be completely overhauled on a regular basis. AIUI, a freighter running from Britain to Brazil and back would need such an overhaul after each voyage - and the faster she ran, the higher the repair bill.

One assumes Izumo would have had her engines seen to no more than 18 months before, and perhaps as little as six months.

And high speed made a huge difference. The pre-Dreadnought battleships of the Royal Navy could make 18 knots - but only for a few hours before the engines were ruined. But they could cruise at 12 knots for several months.
On the BC coast, in the 1890s to 1940s and later, the passenger liners on the Triangle Run between Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle would run at full speed almost all the time on reciprocating engines. It was how the steamship lines retained market share, by being fast. These ships also received a lot of scheduled maintenance, but I am not convinced that triple expansion engines are necessarily hand grenades.

HMCS Rainbow, OTL and ITTL is an exception. She was truly worn out already.
 
On the BC coast, in the 1890s to 1940s and later, the passenger liners on the Triangle Run between Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle would run at full speed almost all the time on reciprocating engines. It was how the steamship lines retained market share, by being fast. These ships also received a lot of scheduled maintenance, but I am not convinced that triple expansion engines are necessarily hand grenades.

HMCS Rainbow, OTL and ITTL is an exception. She was truly worn out already.
The liner engines are dsigned for weekly maintenance in port--something most warships are not. Different trade offs result in different results for being run FAST. The liner knows that parts will be available, and the engine can be designed accordingly. The cruiser--not so much.
 
On the BC coast, in the 1890s to 1940s and later, the passenger liners on the Triangle Run between Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle would run at full speed almost all the time on reciprocating engines. It was how the steamship lines retained market share, by being fast. These ships also received a lot of scheduled maintenance, but I am not convinced that triple expansion engines are necessarily hand grenades.

HMCS Rainbow, OTL and ITTL is an exception. She was truly worn out already.
It seems people on the internet lately have been convinced that VTE is some kind of ticking time bomb which does not allow high speed endurance sailing almost at all, I’m not sure where this has spread from but obviously it’s not especially true. Of course VTE has its issues and eventually does have to slow down after rather prolonged streaming at very high speeds however, the notion that this cannot be done at all is very confusing. Ships didn’t just get the ability to perform prolonged high speed steaming at the invention and adoption of the turbine, VTE was used for decades perfectly fine.

It has its limitations but it’s not some insane maintenance hog that spontaneously explodes after being prodded into extended speed runs.
 
How much did she run at full speed before the engines started breaking down? The wear showed at Falklands, but had it been seen earlier? And how much has Leipzig run ITTL?

Also, while Izumo is also somewhat worn down, has she previously done any full speed? That's what really hammers reciprocating engines.
I assume she hit it during the R-J war, not sure how many battles she was in but I imagine she was run fairly hard at least a few times.
Izumo pushed it quite hard during the Russo-Japanese war, but as noted, there almost certainly was an overhaul that essentially rebuilt her engines. That said, the extended hard usage she saw, and Izumo was used quite hard, coupled with the pre and post war high tempo patrols, certainly would have had a permanent effect on her. I'm not an expert here, but triple expansion engines in older shups seemed to drop a knot or two in performance regardless of refits. Little things dont help either, fouling for instance should affect her larger hull form, although her crew should be able to sustain a longer run of stoker heart attacks from back breaking work.

Izumo also has had quite a long voyage herself.

--

On the BC coast, in the 1890s to 1940s and later, the passenger liners on the Triangle Run between Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle would run at full speed almost all the time on reciprocating engines. It was how the steamship lines retained market share, by being fast. These ships also received a lot of scheduled maintenance, but I am not convinced that triple expansion engines are necessarily hand grenades.

HMCS Rainbow, OTL and ITTL is an exception. She was truly worn out already.
YYJ, before writing more about CA's, I want to compliment you in a "serious" way. Despite my quiet guess that you and I have different thoughts politically, you've written this in a way that isn't aggressively political. In a time where that seems rare, I do appreciate it. You've kept it moral, but haven't demonized, and I do appreciate it.

(Not that we probably disagree THAT much politically; I mean I'm a Mormon, and while that may mean that my social views are generally old fashioned, the biggest things probably see us agree).

Anyway, hope that wasnt too sappy or anything. I doubt I'm alone on this though.

-
NOW, on the CAs, CLs and engines.

The engines from the time, while certainly not the engineering spectaculars of the 21st century, were pretty reliable. The idea that Leipzig escaping (in the short term) is unlikely is absurd. It was designed with newer, better engines and, like most CLs, was designed with escaping from CAs in mind.

Remember, CAs were about protecting commerce, providing flagships to foreign stations and even standing in the battle line. They really weren't going to chase down lighter cruisers ten years their junior. Izumo finding them at all, let alone tracking Leipzig thru the night, is quite unlikely. Being clear, the larger size of Izumos power plant and the older state of it probably makes it more likely for some portion of it to fail first.

Izumo being here does exactly what CAs were made for, that is that she either protects the entire BC coast with her presence OR she istantly chases Leipzig and prevents her from ever being a threat. CAs aren't sprinters but do work darned well. As noted above, Izumo may well be able to continue a chase for a long time. There aren't many places for Leipzig to go, and there's a decent chance of neutrals quietly giving intel to Canada. It isn't like Leipzig can just run anywhere as the Pacific is REALLY big and Leipzig doesn't have a coalier.

----

Regarding the outcome of an engagement between them, that's been well covered. Several engagements lay out the pattern: both sides take hits, the light ship gradually losing functionality and the CA shrugging it off with generally light damage. The range closes and the CL is murdered. A torpedo attack may land a hit, though I'd not bet on it, but even then it will almost certainly be at the cost of the CL.

(Ok, there is always the chance of an ammo detonation or something, but I do not bet on 4" shells doing that to the Izumo. Crazier things have happened though.)

While Leipzig is made with a ram, and would be pretty effective against similar or smaller sized ships, a 3000 ton ship ramming a full size CA should raise some red flags in our heads. Size does matter...
 
How much did she run at full speed before the engines started breaking down? The wear showed at Falklands, but had it been seen earlier? And how much has Leipzig run ITTL?

Also, while Izumo is also somewhat worn down, has she previously done any full speed? That's what really hammers reciprocating engines.
The East Asiatic Squadron had a drydock in Tsingtao, where I expect they would get their regular maintenance.

Nürnberg had a complete overhaul at the end of 1912 in Tsingtao. She left Tsingtao October 16, 1913 for Mexico and arrived November 8th. She patrolled up and down the Mexican coast, and evacuated civilians for that time, and traveled as far as Panama.

July 7, 1914, Leipzig arrived at Mazatlan to relieve Nürnberg. Nürnberg went to San Francisco for unspecified repairs July 14th to 18th, and then to Honolulu. We meet her there ITTL at the start of this story.

So Leipzig is the fresher ship, coming more recently from her home base.

Nürnberg has been at sea for 11 months at the start of the story ITTL, and OTL. Yet she made 23 knots at the Battle of The Falkland Islands. Nürnberg kept up this speed from almost first light until 18:30, when she suffered two boiler explosions.

OTL, both Leipzig and Nürnberg travelled tremendous distances after the dates covered ITTL. I do imagine most of that time was spent at cruising speed.

Both ships also took part in the Battle of Coronel in November, which I imagine would involve some high-speed.

Izumo left her home base at Yokosuka November 20, 1913 and arrived in Mexico December 25. So she had been on station for 9 months when she appears ITTL.
1920px-The_German_East_Asia_Squadron_1914_1915-en.svg.png

ITTL, Nürnberg was at cruising speed for most of the story until August 21, other than a few dashes of several hours each. In most cases these were limited by the speed of the Princess Charlotte who she was travelling in company with. Princess Charlotte could achieve 21ish knots if pushed.

ITTL Leipzig ran from San Francisco to Ucluelet at 18 knots, which is well above her most economical cruising speed, but 4 1/2 knots lower than her top speed.

Both Nürnberg and Leipzig ran at near full speed for much of August 21st, from sunrise to the battle of Esquimalt, so about 10 hours, but for both ships this was punctuated by periods at lower speed. Then in the privious chapter Leipzig was running at 3 knots below her top speed for 7 hours, then 3 hours at top speed, then another 2-3 hours at top speed after she spotted Izumo at dawn.

Thanks for asking that question. It turned me onto this cool source.
 
Leipzig also has some battle damage, which may have an effect on her machinery's ability to hold up under long stresses. I'm thinking especially of the damage from the exploding dynamite hauler, which shook the entire hull.
 
Leipzig also has some battle damage, which may have an effect on her machinery's ability to hold up under long stresses. I'm thinking especially of the damage from the exploding dynamite hauler, which shook the entire hull.
True. My understanding is that previous damage would have been noticed earlier though. If, for a case in point, the dynamite caused ruptured steam lines (which is a possibility) Leipzig would have noticed immediately due to her engine rooms becoming steam baths is the worst way ever.

Thar said, some types of damage can slow the ship and not really be fixed in the circumstances here. The dynamite could have, for instance, warped the hull. I find this unlikely as an external force warping the hull would also rupture the hull, but it is a possibility. With all the deep set fires Nurnberg had I wouldnt be surprised if her hull form had warped to a degree that cut her speed. This was a recurring issue with British carriers in a later war.

Anyways, given the damage Leipzig took I doubt it would have effected her machinery.

(Take my words as gospel! I took 2 whole naval engineering classes in college! Muh professional)
(That's sarcasm, by the way :) )

----

Setting aside Izumo for a moment, Han had best be cautious about British cruisers coming up the NA coast. His course is predictable by nature and he really only has 1 engagement worth of ammunition left. (Well, 1 engagement+ some merchants sunk).

Rainbow should go down in history of having done a spectacular job. Had she been either less well screwed or less lucky then she'd have been gunned down at range while inflicting minimal damage.
 
Top