Peter Robbins, 17 July 2022
Today I had a chance to dig a bit deeper into two of the more fun scenarios in the naval wargame Kriegsmarine by WDS. I had a great mission of The Battle of the Barents Sea, and a not so successful run of Sink The Bismark! I’m going to show you what can go well in a mission and what can go not so well. So, you get a two-fer AAR today as a result!
The summary for the Battle Of The Barents Sea scenario is provided by WDS as:
The Battle of the Barents Sea
December 31, 1942: In late December 1942, the British ran two smaller convoys (JW 51A and JW 51B) along the Murmansk route in the bitter arctic winter. The Germans were waiting for the second, with the Lutzow, Admiral Hipper and escorting Destroyers, while the convoy was escorted by 2 CL, 5 DD and some lighter ships. With snow squalls causing havoc, the British were able to prevent the Germans from inflicting major damage on the convoy. The German failure was one of the key factors in Hitler turning his back on the surface fleet. [NOTE: Historical Weather is highly recommended in this scenario.]
click images to enlarge
Above is the order of battle in the northern section of the scenario. Playing the scenario as the Axis I had light cruiser Admiral Hipper, and three destroyers in the north.
Close shot of Admiral Hipper. I turn her to engage the ? question mark to our SSE.
Above is the unknown “??DD” I am reacting to. The destroyers have already begun to target it and started firing. I am hesitant to close at too high a speed as not to come into firing distance of the primaries of any potentially accompanying CL (Light Cruisers) or CA (Heavy Cruisers) in the area.
Above is a closer look at CL Lutzow and the three destroyers it is accompanying in the south. In the zoomed out map at bottom left, this is the set of Red dots near the clouds at south of the overall map. They are a good ways off, and will only come into play towards the end of the scenario as we merge overall.
Above, back in the northern sector of the scenario where the enemy has been spotted, I turn the destroyer line starboard to a course of SE. I want to close in quickly with the destroyer line on a different compass approach than our cruiser Admiral Hipper. I throw the throttle to Flank Speed (using the top speed button). Their top speed will inherantly get them at the detected enemy quicker than the slower cruiser.
During our turning and re-positioning, we’d collectively lost our determination of the ship type we’d detected with radar. It now shows up as “??” for unknown size and type. As you can see in the image above, the Purple circle is our radar’s limit. The Red line is our secondary gun limit. The Yellow line is our visual imit. The blue arcs are Admiral Hipper’s torp limit, and the cyan blue is our cruiser’s AAA range.
Oh boy, in the above shot you can see, our radar is now depicting larger ships, of likely cargo vessel type. We may be making our way into the target rich environment we were hoping for.
And even more targets become visible on radar as well as become detectable as “AR” depicted in the user manual as AR – Repair Ship. Very lucrative targets if I can take a few out. There is one destroyer visible, likely the one we had previously detected, protecting north of the enemy convoy.
in a few days, the battle continues!
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