Monday, April 14, 2014

Just Back From Genoa and Savona

On June 14th, 1940 four French "Suffren" class cruisers, along with eleven destroyers executed a night-time bombardment of Genoa and Savona.  In the response the 3rd Cruiser Division (Trento, Trieste and Bolzano) with four "Frecia" class destroyers sortied along with the 7th Cruiser Division (Eugenio di Savoia, Montecucculi and Muzio Attendolo) with five "Soldati" class destroyed to intercept.  Historically, poor aerial reconaissance let the French slip back to Toulon.  For todays game we presume a better job and an intercept occurs in the early light of dawn.

The French squadron

Visibility was 34", increasing 2" every turn, so when sighting occurred both groups of heavy cruisers were easily in range.  At first the French only saw 3rd Cruiser Division.  The French needed to return to Toulon with their cruisers; any Italians ships bagged was a bonus.  Liking the odds the French commodore ordered a slight turn to port to unmask their broadsides at the rapidly approaching Italians.

After a round of ineffective fire, the 7th Cruiser Division put in an appearance.  A dice throw indicated they were close to their countrymen.

After Turn Two movement

7th Cruiser Division
Foch shifted to the new targets and with great shooting put three 8" shells into the leading cruiser Antendolo.  The Suffren, Algerie and Duquense continued to fire at the heavy cruisers with modest results.  The Malin was hit by an 8" shell and lost a turret, but carried on.

Trento, Trieste and Bolzano approaching

The Italian view of their quarry

In what was probably the critical moment of the game, both Italian groups continued to directly close on the French, masking their aft batteries.  This allowed the French to bring all 32 of their 8" guns to bear, while the Italians were limited to 12 8" and 12 6" guns.  Seeing an opportunity to finish off the Attendolo, which had a jammed rudder and the isolated light cruiser group, the larger French destroyers plunged into the fray.  Torpedoes were armed on both sides.

In the knife fight that followed the following ships were torpedoed and sunk, or otherwise succumbed to damage.  Bison, torpedoed.  Valmy, Chacal, and Leopard, torpedoed and sank. Bolzano torpedoed and sank during the damage control phase, as did the Attendoldo.  The Eugenio di Savoia was also torpedoed but stayed in the fight.

The black "splashes" note critical hits to be resolved
Suffering from the combined attention of cruisers and destroyers in the 7th Division, the Foch fell out of line and began to limp towards Toulon.  Her guns were still functional but a fire control hit reduced their effectiveness and many hits with a flooding situation required it.

The Foch, near right, looks back on the battle
Next turn both remaining Italian light cruisers succumbed to damage and sank, leaving only the Trento and Trieste for large units.  On the French side the Jaguar sank.

Next turn the Duquense was hammered by almost everyone who had a clear shot.  In return the Trieste (with Zara filling in) took a number of damaging hits, knocking out some of her fire-power. 

On the following turn the Ascari, Mistrale and Dardo sank, prompting a "fleet" morale test which the Italians easily failed.

Foch developed a severe list but managed to just get the flood under control in what would have be her last turn.  Duquense might never be repaired, being an old ship, but three Italian light and a heavy cruiser were lost.  A great victory could be celebrated in Toulon, a nice change of pace with all the gloom coming from the front lines. 


  1. Looks great, beautiful pics and ships...

  2. Which rule set were you using for this battle?

  3. pretty nice blog, following :)