After Action Report
After Action Report
Posit: Prado Lake
Composition of Forces:
- Cruisin to Victory Squadron (ADM Butts) (8.5 Units)
- ADM Michael Butts commanding COLBERT (3 Units)
- CAPT Jeffrey York commanding AUGUSTA (3 Units)
- CAPT Ty Siouxpanic commanding KENYA (2.5 Units)
- Pasta Rocket Squadron (ADM Breshears) (14 Units)
- ADM David Breshears commanding NORTH CAROLINA (6 Units)
- CAPT Lisa Doan commanding LUTZOW (3.5 Units)
- CAPT Harry Hollins commanding GUILIO GERMANICO (1.5 Units)
- CAPT Christopher Graybill commanding ATTILIO REGOLO (1.5 Units)
- CAPT Gregory Witt commanding SPICIONE AFRICANO (1.5 Units)
A beautiful spring day in sunny southern California quickly turned into a maelstrom of flying steel as two opposing fleets met on the shimmering waters of Prado Lake.
Leading the forces of Cruisin to Victory, ADM Butts, having recently returned to sea duty after a year hiatus ashore, commanded a squadron of three cruisers from his flagship FN COLBERT. Steaming alongside him were CAPT York commanding USS AUGUSTA and CAPT Siouxpanic commanding HMS KENYA.
Opposing them were five ships of the Pasta Rocket Squadron, led by ADM Breshears. Breshears, a veteran cruiser skipper, had recently been promoted and given command of the mighty battleship, NORTH CAROLINA as his flagship. On the morning of 06MAY13, he sortied with the heavy cruiser DKM LUTZOW under the command of CAPT Doan, and the light cruisers GUILIO GERMANICO (CAPT Hollins), ATTILIO REGOLO (CAPT Graybill), and SCIPIONE AFRICANO (CAPT Witt).
The first sortie: Battle was joined as the cruisers immediately spread to the deep part of the pond. The action slowly became more packed as the cruisers began to back down on each other only to scatter again as the behemoth North Carolina would sweep through the action. From the beginning it was clear that two ships were experiencing significant mechanical problems. The recently refit diesel engines of CAPT Doan's DKM LUTZOW were not allowing her to reach maximum speed and severely hampering her maneuverability. Mechanical problems were not exclusive to the Pasta Rockets as the rudders on CAPT York's AUGUSTA were not answering maneuvering orders correctly, making it all but impossible to position the ship for a shot or to avoid enemy ships. Taking quick advantage of this, CAPT Hollins charged his GUILIO GERMANICO into the fray, executed a perfect starboard turn, and backed into firing position. The command to fire thundered out and CAPT Hollins let fly his fifteen round spurt cannon directly into the beam of the AUGUSTA. The action became even heavier as the NORTH CAROLINA roared out with her devastating triple stern salvos twice into KENYA and repeatedly catching COLBERT with deadly fire. As the captains pulled their ships off of the water, to everyone's amazement, AUGUSTA showed no damage at all from the GUILIO GERMANICO's spurt cannon shot.
The second and third sorties: The action from the first sortie remained much the same throughout the second and third sorties. The cruisers of Cruisin to Victory doggedly took any shots of opportunity against the mighty NORTH CAROLINA while desperately trying to avoid her mighty stern salvos and deadly forward sidemounts. The light cruisers of the Pasta Rockets began to figure out how to work together to ambush the larger cruisers. CAPT Graybill's lie-and-wait ambush tactics were particularly telling as AUGUSTA and KENYA became easy targets for his stern gun. CAPT Doan in LUTZOW, despite being in battle for the first time and having underpowered engines, held her own and even took the offensive, scoring against all three of the enemy cruisers with stern salvos. CAPT Hollins also began to experience fire control problems as twice he was in supreme position to loose a mighty spurt salvo only to have his cannon misfire at the critical moment.
The fourth sortie: ADM Butts didn't have to give the command as it was understood exactly what the focus of the final sortie would be: "We have the beast wounded, now we have to finish her." One by one the heavy cruisers of Cruisin to Victory emptied salvo after salvo into the NORTH CAROLINA. COLBERT saw a golden opportunity to sneak a few shots into GUILIO GERMANICO and let fly. It was obvious that CAPT Hollins was wounded and ADM Butts smelled blood. Leaving NORTH CAROLINA to KENYA and AUGUSTA, he ordered flank speed and gave chase to the wounded GUILIO GERMANICO. The strain of fleeing from COLBERT forced massive amounts of water into the hull of GUILIO GERMANICO. Soon it was too much for her pump to handle as her stern began to dip under the surface of the water. Amazingly, she maintained speed as the entire stern half of the ship became submerged and her bow was rising to an absurd angle as her speed gradually began to slow. With a hearty laugh from CAPT Hollins, GUILIO GERMANICO slipped under the surface of the water, the first victim of the battle. Attention was re-focused on the massive NORTH CAROLINA as AUGUSTA emptied her entire magazine against the mighty battleship. LUTZOW, ATTILIO REGOLO, and SCIPIONE AFRICANO took advantage of the lack of attention and continued to pummel KENYA and AUGUSTA while their attention was elsewhere. Though these shots took their toll, they were not enough to turn the tide. COLBERT and KENYA continued to put holes into the NORTH CAROLINA. The mighty battleship took a hard starboard turn and her pump stream dropped from a gushing stream of water to a slow trickle; a clogged pump perhaps? ADM Breshears maintained full speed ahead, but the mighty beast could take no more. She began to settle deeper into the water and finally succumbed to her wounds, the final victim of the battle. Though ADM Butts had been victorious, it had come at a heavy price as the COLBERT had taken massive damage (57 total holes).
The after action report stated the following:
Crusin to Victory Squadron
Captain Ship A O B Pen Sink Total
ADM Butts COLBERT 51 1 5 658
CAPT Siouxpancic KENYA 16 1 4 439
CAPT York AUGUSTA 5 0 1 658
Pasta Rockets Squadron
Captain Ship A O B Pen Sink Total
ADM Breshears NORTH CAROLINA 68 5 1 1800 -1223
CAPT Doan LUTZOW 20 0 2 346
CAPT Hollins GUILIO GERMANICO 15 0 5 300 -185
CAPT Graybill ATTILIO REGOLO 3 0 0 115
CAPT Witt SPICIONE AFRICANO 7 2 1 115
Great fun was had by all and we hope to see all the battlers that couldn't make it get their ships back out on the water soon. Hope to see you all at the battle in June!
Copyright © 2013 Jeffrey York