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Back On The Water And The Action Is Good

Photos for this battle are available at http://www.scrapcombatships.com/photos/2003/03-08/.

It was a great day for the SCRAP March Battle. The sky was clear and the temperature was in the 70's. This month SCRAP would be battling in a new area of Irvine Lake. A cove on the other side of the boat dock was our site. It was a nice area with clear water and no moss. Also, there was minimum civilian presence which makes battling in Southern California much easier.

The captains for the day were Joe Dworniczak with the Von der Tann, John Flores with the Moltke, Ty Siouxpancic with the Inflexible and Brian Eliassen with the South Dakota. Todd Olson, who is building a Derfflinger, came out to watch. Piper Malick, who is building a Lutzow and a Exeter, rounded out the days attendance along with his family.

The captains readied their ships and put them on the water. It was decided that it would be Allied vs Axis and the first sortie began. Both sides closed in and the action started. All ships were maneuvering for position while scoring and taking multiple shots. Then, as the Moltke was moving close to shore, it became grounded in the muddy bottom. This was not good for the Axis. First the Inflexible came in and pounded Moltke's exposed Port bow with side mounts. Then the South Dakota closed in and pummeled the helpless ship with numerous volleys from it's triple stern guns. The Von der Tann tried to help it's stranded teammate but the damage to the Moltke was severe. The Allies then disengaged with the Moltke and pursued the Von der Tann. Both sides scored and took more hits and the sortie ended with all ships pumping occasionally.

After the sortie, with the ships in the pits, the magnitude of the damage to Moltke was realized. The entire Port bow section of the ship was shredded with some areas having holes larger than a quarter. It was decided that Moltke could not be repaired in time for the next sortie and would sit out. The teams were changed to SoDak and Von der Tann vs Inflexible with Mark De Antonio taking over the controls for the SoDak.

The ships returned to the water and the second sortie was called. The Von der Tann and the SoDak pursued the Inflexible around the lake and both sides fired several volleys at each other scoring numerous hits. The sortie ended with all ships pumping hard.

After the second sortie no scores were taken since ships had changed sides. It was also during this time that Moltke was reevaluated and it was decided that the ship could be repaired in time for the next battle. After some heavy duty patching with very large pieces of silk span the ship did indeed return to the water. The remaining ships were also patched, returned to the water, and it was time for thr second battle of the day.

Brian handed the SoDak's radio to Mark De Antonio for the first sortie. With all four ships back on the water the teams returned to Allied vs Axis. Battle was called and the two teams again closed in on each other. The action was fierce with all ships firing guns and taking hits. Balsa was flying and pumps were working hard. At one point the Von der Tann got trapped close to shore and took several hits but managed to escape before the damage became critical. The sortie ended with all ships damaged.

After a short break all the ships were back on the water for the last sortie of the day, with Brian back with the SoDak. The Allies tried to concentrate on the Von der Tann and fired salvo after salvo at the ship. The Von der Tann was pumping hard but with it's low amount of penetrable area and it's quality pump, the Axis ship was surviving.

Then the Allies saw that the Moltke was low in the water and pumping hard. They closed in and began to salvo the Moltke with the Axis ship returning fire. All ships were maneuvering for fire positions when the Moltke settled lower into the water and then slipped beneath the surface. The ship was retrieved and the sortie ended.

When the ships were all returned to the pits the reason for the Moltke's sink was discovered and it wasn't due to enemy fire. During the close quarter action, the Moltke had taken an unnoticed ram in the bow. Vertical and about 2" long, the hole formed in the shape of a forward facing scoop. This meant that when the ship was moving forward that tremendous amounts of water was flooding into it. No pump could keep up with that and the outcome was inevitable.

The Captains packed up their stuff and called it a day. It was a great time with lot of action and excitement. Scores for the second battle below.

Team Allies

Captain              Ship                A   O   B  Pen   Sink   Total
Mark De Antonio      South Dakota       22   0   2    0      0     320
Brian Eliassen       South Dakota       *See above
Ty Siouxpancic       Inflexible         14   2   1    0      0     240
Total                                                              560

Team Axis

Captain              Ship                A   O   B  Pen   Sink   Total
Joe Dworniczak       Von Der Tann       35  16  10    0      0    1250
John Flores          Moltke             **                 800     800
Total                                                             2050

* Mark De Antonio captained the South Dakota for the first sortie. Brian Eliassen captained the second sortie.
** No score was submitted but the ship did sink in the second sortie.