Author Topic: Semi-Dreadnought Hell East of Brindisi, November 1914  (Read 1149 times)

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Offline MengJiao

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Semi-Dreadnought Hell East of Brindisi, November 1914
« on: April 05, 2020, 07:17:09 PM »
So with the SMS Goeben safe in Constantinople and the RN without an overall commander in the Mediterranean, what would have happened in November 1914 if the Austro-Hungarians had decided to make trouble outside of the Adriatic?  The Italians were neutral.  The RN was moving its battlecruisers out of Malta and the French had only begun to base squadrons there.

Most of the French Fleet was at a stage called “semi-dreadnought” -- something like the Agamemnon with the usual pair of twin 12 inch guns and a lot of 9-10-inch guns.  The Austrians had three similar ships and could have gone down past Brindisi to probe at the French.

For this battle, I assume each side has decided to risk one dreadnought and 2-3 semi-dreadnoughts with cruisers in the front line.  The Austrians have three scout cruisers and the French have three RN armored cruisers.  The Austrians back the first thrust with three dreadnoughts and the French back their semi-dreadnoughts with the top 2 semi-dreadnoughts of all time: HMS Agamemnon and HMS Lord Nelson plus one of the world’s then oldest surviving Armored Cruisers, HMS Euryalus.  For some reason, RN ships named Euryalus often are built in the same class as ships named “Bacchante” (meaning sort of “a drunken priestess”).  “Euryalus” would seem to have no obvious naval associations other than being a fortress in Sicily.
The last time an HMS Euryalus and an HMS Bacchante sailed together into battle seems to have been when the two armored cruisers by those names went to Gallipoli in 1915.  Yet still, they were both Leander class frigates and might in that guise have sailed the seas together well into the 1970s.  In the end Bacchante went to the Falklands in 1982 without Euryalus.

« Last Edit: April 06, 2020, 05:49:12 AM by MengJiao »

Offline MengJiao

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Re: Semi-Dreadnought Hell East of Brindisi, November 1914
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2020, 03:26:04 PM »
So with the SMS Goeben safe in Constantinople and the RN without an overall commander in the Mediterranean, what would have happened in November 1914 if the Austro-Hungarians had decided to make trouble outside of the Adriatic?  The Italians were neutral.  The RN was moving its battlecruisers out of Malta and the French had only begun to base squadrons there.


  So the Austrians (the KuK fleet) are coming in from the NE hoping to get the sunset twilight silhouette on their foes.  The blue silhouettes indicated that a ship might be spotted as something, but not well-determined for identification or targetting:

Offline MengJiao

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Re: Semi-Dreadnought Hell East of Brindisi, November 1914
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2020, 08:36:41 AM »


  So the Austrians (the KuK fleet) are coming in from the NE hoping to get the sunset twilight silhouette on their foes.  The blue silhouettes indicated that a ship might be spotted as something, but not well-determined for identification or targetting:

  HMS Gloucester spots and identifies the lead Austrian semi-dreadnought:


Offline MengJiao

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Re: Semi-Dreadnought Hell East of Brindisi, November 1914
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2020, 07:37:40 PM »


  HMS Gloucester spots and identifies the lead Austrian semi-dreadnought:

   With 12-inch shells hitting the sea around them, the RN cruisers turn in succession:


Offline MengJiao

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Re: Semi-Dreadnought Hell East of Brindisi, November 1914
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2020, 07:34:22 PM »


  HMS Gloucester spots and identifies the lead Austrian semi-dreadnought:

   With 12-inch shells hitting the sea around them, the RN cruisers turn in succession:

   And the Armoured Cruiser HMS Kent is wrecked by shellfire and coasts to a stop:

Offline MengJiao

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Re: Semi-Dreadnought Hell East of Brindisi, November 1914
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2020, 01:01:09 PM »

   And the Armoured Cruiser HMS Kent is wrecked by shellfire and coasts to a stop:

  So about half an hour into the encounter, HMS Kent is dead in the water and HMS Monmouth is on fire, mostly wrecked and has its rudder jammed so that it is turning toward the Austrian squadrons.  The heavier allied ships are approaching, but visibility is worsening and favors the Austrians:


Offline MengJiao

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Re: Semi-Dreadnought Hell East of Brindisi, November 1914
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2020, 03:31:54 PM »

   And the Armoured Cruiser HMS Kent is wrecked by shellfire and coasts to a stop:

  So about half an hour into the encounter, HMS Kent is dead in the water and HMS Monmouth is on fire, mostly wrecked and has its rudder jammed so that it is turning toward the Austrian squadrons.  The heavier allied ships are approaching, but visibility is worsening and favors the Austrians:

  In another half-hour of worsening visibility, the main allied fleet sinks a semi-dreadnought and the forces disengage having suffered roughly equal losses (two obsolete armored cruisers for one semi-dreadnought).  Almost all the damage in the battle was done by 12-inch guns so all the extra guns carried by semi-dreadnoughts don't seem to have been that good an idea....as was understood by 1915 if not in 1914.