Author Topic: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR  (Read 19627 times)

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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2016, 09:14:24 PM »
Great AAR AR. Say 'Hello' to the Devil in Devil's Den for me if you see him there.
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Offline Freyland

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #31 on: June 03, 2016, 07:09:14 AM »
Excellent, as always.

"The deck crew on Big E scrambled to get more fighters, F-18s and F-14s, into the sky as quickly as possible. To the west of the formation, the flights that had completed the destruction of the Mig-29 raid on the ALOCs were returning. They were low on weapons, and several were low on food, but they increased speed to try to interpose themselves between their ship and the oncoming raid."

CMANO must be a complex game, I didn't realize it modeled military rations use.

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2016, 08:20:06 AM »
Ha! I'm typing these pretty fast sometimes and not proofreading as much as I should. Of course, after several hours of aerial combat of the Atlantic I would probably consider myself short of food too...

Offline bob48

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2016, 08:31:32 AM »
Totally agree with all the positive comments and honestly, its been a gripping read. You should write a book, AR.
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Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2016, 09:13:07 PM »
USS San Juan’s captain maneuvered his 688I-class boat towards the southeast quadrant of the oncoming Soviet formation’s perimeter, towards the corner where the Udaloy he had fired his Harpoons at would have been. His sonar operators had heard two distant explosions from the ship’s bearing, followed several minutes later by a third. He was banking on the fact that the ship was well and gone. San Juan proceeded north-northwest at a quiet five knots.

On the surface, the Soviets task group had completed taking the survivors off of the sinking Admiral Kharlamov and were now proceeding south at 18 knots again in an attempt to bring their shorter-ranged SA-N-14 missiles into range of the American task force. The Soviet commander knew it was a major risk, but with his air group destroyed and Varyag still hours away, he saw little choice. Kuznetsov and her consorts steamed on through the icy night.

Over the next hour USS San Juan’s captain was gratified to find his supposition correct, and put his boat through the gap in the Russians’ ASW coverage. Past the outer screen, he approached the three capital ships in the group’s center. He was just beginning to feel confident when his sonar room excitedly reported a torpedo to port. The sonar operators aboard Admiral Chabanenko, the Udaloy II to the west, had caught a whiff of the San Juan’s reactor plan noises on their towed array. Kalinin, at the center of the formation, had launched a Metel ASW torpedo at the general area of the contact.

The torpedo was nearly three miles distant, now real threat to San Juan as it circled in its search pattern, but the American captain knew that the Russians were looking for him now. He increased speed to 20 knots and attempted to break contact towards the Soviet ships, keeping his boat deep. More torpedoes rained down from above, some closer, some further away, until the American felt he had no choice but to launch his fish at maximum range and break contact. The captain ordered four Mk48s fired, two at the Slava to the west of Kuznetsov and two at the carrier. The weapons shuddered out of their tubes and the torpedo room went through the drill of reloading as their boat turned away to starboard.

Unfortunately, the  attack had finally given the Russians the sonar fix on the American boat they had been looking for. Metel torpedoes now began to fall in the water with troubling accuracy. San Juan went to full speed and evaded one, then another, but a third fired by Kalinin splashed down broadside to the American boat and only a quarter mile away. The Americans had no chance and the torpedo struck their boat amidships, instantly flooding the control room and sending San Juan and her crew to the bottom.

However, in their haste to destroy the American sub the Russians had failed to detect the Mk48s, fired at long range but now speeding into their attack runs as they acquired their targets. Slava attempted to turn and run away from the fish, but this only exposed the cruiser’s screws to the Mk48s’ big warheads, which exploded one after the other beneath the warship. The first wrecked the Slava’s propulsion, the second completely separated the fantail from the rest of the ship. The big cruiser’s bow slowly lifted out of the water, then began to slide backwards beneath the dark waves.

Kuznetsov was slower to turn that Slava, which meant she was broadside to the American weapons when their struck, tearing to large holes in the carrier’s flank. Seawater rushed in and Kuznetsov began to take on a list, but heroic work by her damage control parties soon brought the flooding under control. Soon, the big Soviet ship was proceeding south once again, albeit at a much reduced speed of four to five knots. The Soviet commander, furious at his losses, was determined to take some measure of revenge on the Americans in the absence of orders from Red Banner Northern Fleet for him to withdraw his battered force.

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2016, 06:55:14 AM »
Not a great performance by a 688i. The Sovs did well to get a contact early.
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Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2016, 08:45:14 AM »
Those Udaloy IIs are tough ASW platforms.

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2016, 09:00:58 AM »
Yeah, the sonar suite on the Udaloy II is supposed to be on par with western systems. Still, getting a hit on a 688i tooling at 5kts is a pretty good bit of luck.
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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2016, 06:47:33 PM »
Yeah, I think I kept her on the same course and depth for too long.

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2016, 07:12:08 PM »
The Enterprise task group’s commander had monitored the battle around USS San Juan to the north, from the perspective of the crews aboard his airborne E-2Cs who reported the launches of multiple SS-N-14 missiles followed by the disappearance of the contact marking the position of the Slava and the slowing of the rest of the formation. The commander assumed at least one other of the Soviet ships had suffered damage, he hoped the Kuznetsov. Then San Juan’s rescue beacon started transmitting.

The commander knew the next closest sub was one of the older LA-class boats, USS Portsmouth. She would be trying to penetrate the formation from the west, right past the dangerous Udaloy II. The commander was willing to bet money that it had been that ship that had compromised the San Juan. He needed to take the Udaloy out to give Portsmouth a chance. He didn’t want to dilute the alpha strike readying in Enterprise’s hangar bay by sending penny packets at individual Soviet ships, but he only had one weapon in his task force that could reach the Russians. The Spruance-class destroyer USS Thorne still carried eight Tomahawk anti-ship missiles, some of the last ones in the fleet. With precise targeting data on the Soviet ships provided by the E-2s, the commander ordered Thorne to launch her all of them.

The big Tomahawks roared out of the VLS cells on USS Thorne in long fiery columns of smoke before tipping over one at a time and settling into their flight northwards. The stream of missiles took nearly twenty minutes to travel the nearly 200 miles between task forces. IN the darkness, the crew of the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko was slow to detect the incoming threats, but when they did they reacted quickly, launching SA-N-9 missiles and activating their CIWS systems. One Tomahawk after another fell to the Soviet defenses until only two were left. One of these was decoyed by a chaff rocket, but the last one flew into the destroyer’s hull amidships and exploded.

The damage aboard the Admiral Chabaneko was terrible, but her crew considered themselves to be elite and quickly brought the fires and flooding under control, though the captain quickly learned that his ship could barely make more than three knots without opening up more seams to the sea. His weapons were better off, however, and so were his sensors. His bow and towed array sonars were still functioning normally, and only one CIWS array had been knocked off of its mounting. Even so, the Kuznetsov task group was quickly being reduced to a formation of cripples. The commander aboard the carrier radioed headquarters asking for permission to withdraw, but received no response.  That was when the Admiral Chabanenko’s captain called, reporting a faint submerged contact approaching from the west.

The Soviet technicians tracked the contact for nearly half an hour, losing it more than once but then requiring it, always closer to the task group. Growing impatient, the Soviet commander ordered Kalinin to turn and start dropping Metel torpedoes in the vicinity of the contact to flush out what he was sure was an American submarine.

Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #40 on: June 06, 2016, 07:33:37 PM »
USS Portsmouth’s crew didn’t even know they had been detected until the Russian weapons started dropping into the water, uncomfortably close. The captain ordered evasive maneuvers and  a snapshot of two torpedoes towards the nearest destroyer, which he was tracking by the noises emanating from its damaged hull. The enemy ship was still at long range, but it was the only target within reach. The two Mk48s sped on their way.

Admiral Chabanenko’s captain received the report of inbound torpedoes with resignation. He could do nothing to evade with the shape his ship was in. Instead he focused on feeding the best information he could to the Kalinin’s captain, who continued to salvo off SS-N-14 missiles in the American’s direction. After the fourth or fifth missile left Kalinin’s VLS tubes, Chabanenko’s captain was gratified to hear his sonar operators announce an explosion on the American submarine’s bearing, just before both American torpedoes detonated below his own ship’s keel, braking the destroyer’s back in two places and killing much of the crew.

Aboard Enterprise, the task group commander noted with satisfaction the disappearance of the contact marking the Russian Udaloy, then swore as his communication officer reported that Portsmouth’s rescue beacon was squawking. To nuc boats in less than two hours! He might have to divert an air strike towards the Kuznetzov after all.

Just then, explosions wracked both the Kalinin and the damaged Kuznetsov, yellow flashes visible to the F-14s on CAP who had been inching north as the Soviet screen was whittled down. On radar, the technicians watched as the blip marking Kalinin’s position split in two and then disappeared entirely, while the contact marking Kuznetsov steadily grew more faint as the ship settled into the water, listing heavily to port.

The sacrifice of Portsmouth’s crew had not been in vain. While the Soviet defenses had concentrated on the older US submarine approaching from the west, to the east USS Chicago’s captain had used the opportunity to sneak his 688i boat to within close range of the  Soviet capital ships and fire a spread of Mk48s. The Soviets never heard Chicago, whose captain took her deep and imitated a hole in the water while his sonar techs listened to the death throes of the two ships above them.

But Chicago’s work was not done yet. Soon her sonar room reported the thrashing propellers of the two trailing Sovremeny-class  destroyers. Whether they were surging forward to counterattack or rescue survivors, the Chicago’s captain did not know, and didn’t particularly care. He slipped his own boat in between the advancing destroyers and ascended, then when he was practically at point blank range fired two fish at each Soviet ship. The Russians never even had a chance. All four Mk48s ran true, and four powerful explosions reverberated through Chicago’s hull.

The American captain evaded again. He was a professional, after all. But after several minutes he could not resist the temptation to come to periscope depth and survey his work. Through the low-light periscope he took in the sight. To the south, Kalinin was gone, and the port half of Kuznetsov’s flight deck was awash, hundreds of sailors in life vests congregating around inflatable life rafts that were being slid into the water as the ship sank. To the east and west, both Sovremeny’s were sinking and burning, sailors jumping from the superstructures into the icy water. Satisfied, the captain ordered a message sent to Enterprise and anyone else who was listening.

It read: Kuznetsov and escorts annihilated. Go get Varyag for us.   

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #41 on: June 07, 2016, 08:40:01 AM »
2 LAs gone vs an entire Soviet CVBG. Painful all around.
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Offline Airborne Rifles

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #42 on: June 07, 2016, 05:20:22 PM »
As the long night wore on, NATO forces scored more successes, and some losses. Down south along the SLOCs, French Atlantique patrol aircraft detected and sank two soviet submarines attempting to intercept the transiting convoys. Another Soviet submarine was detected by a P-3 along Enterprise’s eastward course. S-3 Vikings from the carrier took over the prosecution and eventually sank a Russian Sierra-class boat.

In the air, the Americans began to press in onto the flanks of the Soviet breach in the GIUK gap. The F-15 jocks of the 493rd Fighter Squadron from Lossiemouth sent sweeps over the gap between Iceland and Scotland, which the Varyag group had recently vacated. The American veterans of fighting in Norway and now the north Atlantic ambushed two groups of Soviet recon aircraft, sending eight Tu-16s of various models down in flames to the waves below. They also used their AIM-120s to take a heavy toll on the Mig-29s sent out from Iceland to interfere. The skies behind the advancing Varyag were becoming decidedly unfriendly for the Soviets. 

The 122nd Fighter squadron of the Louisiana Air National Guard were consolidating in the high arctic, at Thule, in northern Greenland. The pilots in their F-15As were there to defend the Arctic route against Soviet bombers headed to north America, but also to press in on the western flank of the Russian surge into the Atlantic. They set up a patrol area along Greenland’s east coast and raided Soviet recon and EW aircraft transiting the Denmark Strait. Without a supporting AWACS, the hunting was difficult. Also, Soviet Mig-31s were probing the American defenses. Several skirmishes ensued, costing three Eagles and three Migs, whose pilots were able to use their longer-ranged missiles to good effect versus the American AIM-7s.

North of Scotland, RAF Tornadoes and F-15s from the 493rd fended off more probes from Su-27s, with heavy losses to the Russians as well as the downing of two more of the British jets. Inexorably, the gap in the GIUK defenses was shrinking as NATO air power came to bear. It shrunk much further as the AMRAAM-armed F/A-18Cs from Norfolk arrived and, after a quick turnaround by Enterprise’s deck crew, began patrolling north and northwest of the task group, adding their weight to the F-14s and F-18s already there. Their arrival was timely, as several uncoordinated raids by Tu-22Ms occurred in the early morning hours, all turned back or shot down by the American fighters before they could launch their missiles.

Finally, with the aerial defenses of the north Atlantic largely secure, Enterprise’s CAG was ready to launch the strike he had been preparing all night. The weight of Enterprise’s air group would hit the one remaining gap in the NATO defenses, the Soviet’s carrier group centered on the carrier Varyag.

Offline mirth

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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #43 on: June 07, 2016, 05:32:05 PM »
Alpha Strike!
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Re: Northern Fury 8: Hold the Line - a CMANO AAR
« Reply #44 on: June 07, 2016, 06:41:58 PM »
And the climax/conclusion. Thanks for reading!:


With several hours of darkness left in the night, the alpha strike began taking off from Enterprise’s deck. Nine A-6Es with Harpoon missiles, three S-3s with the same, eight F/A-18As armed with AGM-84E SLAMs, four F-14Ds to provide top cover, and two EA-6B Prowlers for EW support.  The strike refueled from KA-6s which had taken off first and topped off their tanks, then they headed east, the Tomcats leading.

A British Nimrod had been shadowing the Soviet task force all night, its crew feeding position reports to the Americans, while F-15s from Scotland had stripped the Soviet formation of its aerial eyes and CAP. Now, Varyag had but one surviving Su-33, and it had flown north to try to protect the Tu-16s from other Eagles.  The strike package from Enterprise covered the three hundred miles between the two task forces in about an hour, heavily laden as they were. In the last few dozen miles the F/A-18s accelerated ahead through the darkness. They would lead the attack.

As the controllers aboard the Nimrod fed the Americans data, the strike aircraft arranged themselves into their pre-planned attack formation. Then, as the lead Hornets passed within forty miles of the Soviet ships, their wings erupted in flame as two SLAM’s shot forward and dove for the sea. Moments later, the sky behind and bellow the Hornets lit up in fiery trails as the pilots of the rest of the strike launched their forty-one Harpoons. 

The Varyag’s formation, like that of the Kuznetsov, had been operating under EMCON to try to confuse American targeting. This would prove to be a fatal mistake. The Hornet pilots had targeted four of the AGM-84Es to thread the gap directly between the two Udaloy-class destroyers that were screening the front of the Russian formation. The SLAM, unlike its cousin the Harpoon, was guided to its target by passive rather than active sensors. This meant that, in the early morning darkness, the first warning the Soviets had that they were under attack was when the four weapons slammed into the Slava-class cruiser Oktyabrskay Revolutsiya and exploded.  The damage was as terrific as it was unexpected, and fires raged out of control along the Russian warship’s length. The Soviet’s best air defense ship was out of play.

The rest of the Soviet formation reacted quickly to the explosions at the center of their formation, powering  up their radars and defensive systems. The crews aboard the two Udaloys activated their sensors just in time to see two more SLAMs headed for each ship. The four missiles all struck home, wrecking both of the destroyers topside and leaving them listing and burning. The entire western perimeter of the battle group was now wide open, and the sensors aboard Varyag and the Kirov-class Frunze told their operators of the swarm of missiles that were sweeping over the wreckage.

The A-6E crews had divided their thirty six missiles, targeting twenty at the Varyag and sixteen at Frunze. Soviet missiles began to streak upward from the Russian capital ships, joined by others from the two Sovremeny’s trailing several miles behind. Just then, the EW specialists aboard both EA-6Bs activated their jammers, sending intense electromagnetic radiation back down the bearings of the Soviet sensors. The Prowlers’ crews also added a HARM each to the maelstrom approaching the enemy ships. Russian SAMs went wild, jinking upwards or diving into the sea, until the American missiles closed the range sufficiently for the Russian radars to burn through.

Harpoons began to explode above the wave tops as the Soviet defenses began to find their mark, but it was too little too late. In all, the Russians did well, knocking down or decoying more than half of the American weapons. Even so, six missiles slammed into Frunze, and nine more dove down into Varyag, all exploding in quick succession. Both ships began to burn fiercely.

The last American aircraft to attack were the S-3 Viking pilots, who used their six Harpoons to make sure of the two burning Udaloys. As the Amaerican formation turned back east, the night sky lit up with two tremendous explosions as Varyag and Oktyabrsaya Revlolutsiya blew up within seconds of each other, the Slava as fires detonated the SS-N-12s in her deck, setting off a chain reaction of other burning ordnance, and the Varyag as fires reached her ruptured aviation fuel storage. The Frunze’s end was less dramatic, but no less sure, as the battlecruiser slid beneath the fuel-oil laden waves, extinguishing her fires as she sank.

To add insult to injury, the sole surviving Su-33 pilot had come screaming back south in pursuit of the Americans who had wrecked his task force, only to be ambushed by the pilots of the four American Tomcats and splashed without ever getting a shot off in return. Moreover, in an attack that would garner criticism after the war, the two Russian Sovremenys, the only survivors of the task force, would fall victim later in the morning to Spearfish torpedoes launched by HMS Talent, which had been trailing the Russians, as the two warships attempted to pick up survivors from the disaster.

By midday on the 18th, Enterprise’s commander could confidently report that he had annihilated two Soviet carrier battle groups and effectively sealed off the ALOCs from Soviet aerial attack. A NATO perimeter of fighters supported by tankers, AWACs, and maritime patrol aircraft stretched in a long arc from Greenland to Scotland, ready to pounce on any Soviet aircraft that tried to fly south of Iceland. The SAM magazines on Enterprise’s escorts were low on ordnance, but other than that the Americans could confidently start planning their counterattacks against Soviet-occupied Iceland.