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The Battle of Waterloo-Plancenoit 1815 ...

WWI Naval (February 2014)

The German Choice

Summary :-
This engagement was to be a recreation of the Battle of Doggerbank (off the coast of Norway on the 23rd./24th. January 1915)
The German fleet of 3 Battle-cruisers and the armoured cruiser Blucher together with 4 light cruisers were to attack any British light forces in the area. However the Brits had broken the German code and had sailed within half an hour of the Germans leaving their base and went to meet them.
In our battle the armoured cruiser Blucher had been substituted for another Battle-cruiser (Von Der Tann), There were 5 British Battle-cruisers Lion, Tiger, Princess Royal, New Zealand and the Indomitable. 4 Light cruisers Southampton, Birmingham, Nottingham and Lowesoft. together with a number of destroyers.
The Germans were to have 5 Battle-cruisers as well, the Seydlitz, Moltke, Derfflinger, Lutzow and Von Der Tann, with 4 Light cruisers  Graudenz, Rostock, Kolberg and Stralsund, just to even up the numbers, however I was advised that the Germans were utilizing only 4 Battle-cruisers, There were 2 German SDS (Ship Damage Summary) sheets missing at the end of the day,the Moltke and the Lutzow and I did notice that the Van Der Tann was sitting in the carry box for most of the day, however it had an SDS listing 2 hull damage on it's sheet. Probably a cunning German plan to fool the Kaiser.There were 4 German battle-cruisers on the table.
I was told by Admiral Bryan (Seydlitz) that he had issued the wrong orders into which direction his ships were to sail, so from the very start the German fleet was on the back-foot, and at the end of the day it was a stunning British victory, with 3 German Battle-cruisers being sunk ( Seydlitz, Derfflinger and either the Moltke or the Lutzow) one of these was to escape. The only British Battle-cruiser to sink was the Princess Royal
Historically the Germans had only lost the Blucher at the actual battle but were to get their revenge for that loss at Jutland in 1916 where the British Battle cruisers were to lose 3 of theirs (Queen Mary, Indefatigable and the Invincible)
Many thanks to Greg, David and Robert (the Brits) and to Steve, Lawrence and Bryan (Germans) who made it look like a pretty awesome battle.


If you really want to know what happened at the Battle of Lowestoft from the German point of view read the upcoming Chapter in the book "From Cabin Boy To Count; Forty Two Years Of Service to the Fatherland Afloat and Ashore” by Rear Admiral Graf Von Mack. What was the Connection between The Easter Saturday Rising in Ireland and the Battle? What were the Arguments between the German Commanders before the Battle about? Who Sunk the Von Der Taniwha was the controversy about the posthumous Pour Le Merite for Commodore Von Thoma Really about? Did Von Mack make the right tactical decision to Withdraw? So watch the space above the photos of the WWI naval battle to see all Revealed!
Rear Admiral Graf Von Mack

Excerpt from "Cabin Boy to Count: Forty two years of Service to the Fatherland Afloat and Ashore“ Rear Admiral Graf Von Mack. 
Chapter VI The Battle of Lowestoft
The Lowestoft Raid or Battle of Lowestoft was a strategic defeat for the Imperial German Navy but it must be seen in the context of long term strategy. The raid was to support the Easter Saturday Rising in Ireland which took place the day before 21st April 1916.With the successful running of the blockade by SMS Auk 20,000 rifles, 20 machine guns, 5,000 grenades and a million rounds of ammunition were in the hands of the IRA. A major rising would be a source of difficulty to the British, and so it proved. 
With U890 landing Sir Roger Casement from Germany to supply leadership, the Rising was put down only after three months of fighting. Cork and Dublin were devastated, and guerrilla war in the countryside kept thousands of British troops in Ireland into the next year. 
Air raids on London and the Channel Ports played their part and we in the Scouting Fleet were determined to act as well. Despite the Lutzow being unavailable, we were determined to raid the Royal Naval Base at Lowestoft, and hopefully defeat any light units in the area. 
Admiral Hipper was ill with recurrent malaria at the time so Vice Admiral Bryan was leading us. He and Commodore Von Thoma argued that instead of being in one long battle line if we were engaging enemy heavy units, we should turn in echelon, thus some ships screening the others. I argued against this but as Commodore Von Thoma recommended it I gave Way. 
Von Thoma was commanding our 4 light cruisers and 20 torpedo boats. The Commodore had seen action against Chinese Boxers, Arab Slavers, Herero rebels as well as more recent action in the Baltic and the Channel. Sadly he was to lay down his life that Easter Sunday for the Fatherland. 
The Battle-cruisers, Seydlitz [Flag], Derfliger, Moltke and Von der Tan with their escorts slipped through the sea under grey skies and choppy waves to Lowestoft, were we bombarded the port at 1400 hours for 20 minutes doing damage but seeing no enemy to our surprise. But at 1600 heavy units of the Royal Navy, well supported by light craft, were spotted coming up from the South west, between us and home! It was a trap! We would have to run the gauntlet to get home; to my surprise the signal from our Flag was turn away from the enemy back towards England. I was mystified but obeyed. We on the Von Der Tan and the Moltke were out of range but our sister ships were masking us and were heavily hit. The Derflinger, second behind Seydlitz, was slowing down from from damage by the heavy fire. 
Nothing daunted Commodore Von Thoma, as he was laying smoke and attempting torpedo attacks on the enemy battle line. Our light cruisers skirmished with theirs, and Moltke and Von der Tann were finally getting some hits on the rear two enemy craft which we later discovered were the battle Cruisers HMS Princess Royal and New Zealand
By now, both Seydlitz and Derflinger were engaged by three enemy battle cruisers, the HMS Lion, Tiger and Indomitable. Both our lead ships were slowing down and on fire and could not escape. I resolved to take command of the surviving ships and escape into the gloom, as it was now 1730 with sunset less than half an hour away. 
The Derflinger was slowly sinking when we left, but the Seydlitz was fighting to the end. A salvo from the Moltke sunk the Princess Royal, but just as we were leaving the Von Der Tan took a critical hit, slowing it down. Five TP boats had survived to escape but Commodore Von Thoma was not there. His gallant efforts had sunk two destroyers, the HMS Lance and Meteor. 
We turned back a last attack of the enemy light cruisers, damaging one badly. I had to make the decision to separate form Von Der Tan so as not to slow down the rest of the Fleet. She engaged HMS Tiger and Lion in the gloom, damaging Tiger. Tragically she struck a mine in sight of our coast, and could not bear the additional hull damage. All the Crew were saved. All our Light cruisers survived, but only the Moltke and five torpedo boats of the other classes of ship. In addition to the enemy losses the HMS Indomitable and Tiger were badly damaged. 
Commodore Von Thoma was to be awarded a posthumous Pour Le Merite when it was found that he was not actually married to the Lady he had been living with for years. So he was awarded the Iron Cross First Class instead.
Rear Admiral Graf Von Mack

SMS Von Der Tann leading SMS Moltke

The Moltke, Derfflinger in centre being straddled by British 13.5" shells with the Seydlitz at the rear.

A littte blurred, however Light cruisers ( Friend or foe ????)

British Light cruisers Nottingham, Southampton and Lowesoft

HMS Lion, Princess Royal and the Indomitable

HMS New Zealand and Indomitable being straddled by German 11" guns, should mention that New Zealand and HMS Australia had collided into each other before Jutland, keeping Australia out of the battle, looks like New Zealand  is practising for the upcoming event

German TBD's making waves

German TBD's attempting to launch torpedo attacks on HMS New Zealand

Derfflinger being straddled

German Light cruisers SMS Graudenz following SMS Stralsund. The Stralsund and the Kolberg suffered heavy damage in today's battle and were lucky to survive.

Tiger being straddled leading Lion

Princess Royal, the only British Battle-cruiser to be sunk today

Victory to the British.

Napoleonic Naval (February 2014)

At Sea with Bonaparte

Well the Emperor commanded his Admirals out of port and take on the English blockade.

First 3 French squadrons left port when favourable South-westerly winds appeared, with a fourth squadron joining later (the commanding Admiral was otherwise engaged) while the 3 English squadrons were joined a squadron of Frigates.

The seas set the fleets appeared, the English from the West and the French from the North East.

Well the French fleet won a great victory with 3 English ships (1 Frigate & 2 Ships of the Line) striking their colours with the Frigate and a Ship of the Line being boarded and another English ship set adrift with no sails as was a French ship.
This despite all the poor seamen ship in both fleets, with at least five cases of ships running into other ships and becoming entangled.

Sorry about some of the photos, the weather was poor.