This blog is about my hobby, the painting of and gaming in miniatures and my wargames club, the NSWC (I been attending for over 40 years). I have been wargaming in Sydney since 1973 (not counting my school years). At the tender age of 17 (my innocence of wargaming knew no bounds) I discovered the Northern Wargames Association and Napoleonic wargaming and there it all began. I do enjoy the painting a very great deal and a few of the members keep giving me figures to paint for them (Why??).
Steve and Lawerence played a WWII naval game between a British and Italian force, this looked like a good game, I love naval, we don't do enough. See text and pictures below.
Text written by Steve T.
British v Italian battleship action off Cape
Quarter 3 system
11am 28th Nov 1940 south of Sardinia
The British are running a small convoy
through to Malta from
Gibralter and then sending reinforcements onto Egypt. A force consisting of HMS Ramillies, HMS
Renown, cruisers and destroyers is acting as escort. An Italian force of Vittorio Veneto, Giulio Cesare,
cruisers and destroyers have been dispatched to intercept.
The Italians have split into two formations
both searching south from the coast of Sardinia. A force of 5 Italian cruisers and 8
destroyers is to the east while the battleship force with escorting cruisers
and destroyers is further to the west trying to either circle round to the rear
of the convoy or intercept the slow British battleships covering the convoy. British aerial reconnaissance however has
detected the Italian move and 4 cruisers and 7 destroyers have moved to
challenge the Italian cruisers.
The slower battleships cover the approach
of the Italian battleships.
At 11am on a clear, calm autumn day with a
light westerly wind both sides see each others smoke on the horizon.
To the south, steaming east at 20 knots, is
Force H; HMS Ramillies (old, slow battleship with 8 * 15” guns), HMS Renown
(old, battlecruiser with 6 * 15” guns), HMAS Sydney and HMS Orion (modern light
cruisers with 8 * 6” guns), 3 light destroyers and 3 heavy destroyers under the
command of Admiral Thomas.
Directly to the north is the Italian fleet
consisting of; Vittorio Veneto (fast,
modern battleship with 9 * 15” guns), Giulio
Cesare (fast, old, light battleship with 10 * 12.6” guns), Muzio Attendolo and Raimondo Montecuccoli (modern, light cruisers with 8 * 6” guns) and
6 light destroyers is heading south east under the command of Admiral Mack.
Needless to say , opening long range
gunnery by the battleships is ineffective, Giulio
Cesare is masked by the VittorioVeneto and cannot even fire. Confusion in identifying the two British
battleships means the latter opens fire on HMS Renown rather than leaving the
lightly armoured battlecruiser for the Giulio
Cesare lighter guns. HMS Renown
fires on the Attendolo. Early maneuvering by the Italian fleet forces
the Montecuccoli slow to avoid a
collision and leaves it well behind it’s sister ship.
Trying to catch the Royal Navy out, by
using their superior speed, the Italian battleships turn to the south west to
cut behind them. The Attendolo and 3 destroyers with Montecuccoli trailing behind continue
south though to challenge HMAS Sydney and HMS Orion and the 3 heavy destroyers
who, in an aggressive move, charge north.
The heat haze seems to effect the long range gunnery and few hits are
inflicted for some time. One fortunate
shell from HMS Ramillies does however knock out a main turret on the Veneto.
With the range closing fast the cruisers
and destroyers have moved into gunnery range and exchange fire with Attendolo losing one of it’s guns and
the leading Italian destroyer taking a pounding while the British suffer no
hits. The British battleships turn north
east to keep their guns bearing and again exchange largely ineffective fire
with the Italians. Veneto
does hit HMS Renown and slow it down but even with this loss of speed it is
still faster than the aged HMS Ramillies.
In turn HMS Renown knocks out the Cesare’s
Gunnery Control, reducing her subsequent gunnery accuracy.
destroyers and even the Montecuccoli
have now moved into close range of the British and the latter go to rapid fire
mode, pouring shells into their opponents who lack the training to respond in
kind. Despite this, the courageous
Italian light forces push on, intent on torpedoing the battleships. However, they are pummeled from three sides
and suffer horrendously. Attendolo loses half of it’s guns,
torpedoes and slows down. Montecuccoli is battered into a flaming
wreck and sinks in a cloud of steam as the water extinguishes the fires. The 3 destroyers are reduced to ineffective,
floating scrap metal. This isn’t without
some damage to the British, HMS Orion is hit and takes on water losing speed
and HMAS Sydney and the 3 destroyers all take some damage
While their secondary guns engage the
Italian light forces the big guns of the British battleships continue their
largely ineffective firing on the Venetoand
Cesare. HMS Renown manages to, at
last, knock out a main turret on the Cesare. Despite it’s earlier loss of gunnery
accuracy the Cesare achieves an incredible salvo against HMS
Ramillies which knocks out 3 of it’s main gun turrets.
Concerned by this loss of firepower Admiral
Thomas signals a general withdrawal of the fleet. Orders are sent out for the two battleships
to break off and head east. The destroyers
and cruisers are to set up a series of smokescreens to mask the withdrawal
while threatening torpedo attacks against any attempted pursuit. Admiral Mack in turn is shaken by the damage
to his light forces - and unaware of the damage to HMS Ramillies. He has also received news that the Italian
cruiser force to the east have withdrawn having suffered a major defeat to the
British, losing 3 cruisers, while the British have lost only 1. Unsettled by the losses he turns his force
back to port.