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61

Wednesday, October 25th 2017, 10:49am

It's a shame I hadn't clocked this before as Admiral Kolchak's cruise during the recent exercises would probably have had some influence in Admiralty fleet movements, shadowing etc. Maybe uncertainty if he would join the exercise in some capacity.

62

Wednesday, October 25th 2017, 3:23pm

It's a shame I hadn't clocked this before as Admiral Kolchak's cruise during the recent exercises would probably have had some influence in Admiralty fleet movements, shadowing etc. Maybe uncertainty if he would join the exercise in some capacity.

OOC, probably wouldn't have registered at all. Here's the Admiral Kolchak's timeline which I provided to Bruce:

Quoted

Departed Sevastopol - Saturday, April 10th
Arrived at Mers-el-Kebir - Friday, April 16th
Departed Mers-el-Kebir - Thursday, April 22nd
Arrived at Cuxhaven - Monday, April 26th
Departed Cuxhaven - Thursday, April 29th
Arrived at Warnemünde - Friday, April 30th

As can be seen, Admiral Kolchak didn't leave Mers-el-Kebir until Donnerschlag was already completed, and this was intentional on the part of the Russians. (It's the same reason they delayed the return of the Operation Kassiopeya forces, and put off the Northern Fleet's Rubin-2 exercises.)

If you want the RN to try to shadow the ship, I have no objections if you add commentary to that effect (provided the shadow doesn't act like a nuisance or get aggressively close). You won't learn a whole lot about the ship, though, since the NR-222 radar will be shut down and the Amur launchers unloaded and covered by canvas. I gave Bruce some specific information on how the Kolchak is currently operating, so if you have any interest, PM me for more details.

63

Monday, October 30th 2017, 5:42pm

Marinestützpunkt Warnemünde, Sunday, 2 May 1948

Konteradmiral Siegfried Engel took the opportunity of a quiet Sunday morning to record his impressions from his first visit to the recently arrived Russian cruiser Admiral Kolchak. He had come aboard the ship the prior afternoon, in company with the Russian naval attaché Khrenov.

In Russian parlance the Admiral Kolchak was a Bol'shoy Raketny Korabl', or large missile ship, and the Systema-10 (4K1) Amur guided surface-to-air rocket formed the major part of the ship’s armament. Engel hoped that at some point he might see a demonstration of this system but for the moment his Russian allies were guarded in their comments. The ship itself struck him as built for speed and manoeuvre, which he saw as beneficial in the waters of the Baltic, or the Black Sea, where the Kolchak had been built. He was less certain of the ship’s ability to weather the heavy seas of the North Atlantic. Akin in size and role to the Wiesbaden class air defence destroyers of his own service, the principal difference, in Engel’s mind, was the potential of the Amur rocket for long-range fleet defence.

The Kolchak’s captain, Engel wrote, was Captain First Rank Fyodor Morozov, whose previous command was the antiaircraft cruiser Tambov of the Russian Northern Fleet, a highly-skilled professional specially selected to command such an advanced warship. The crew seemed to be hand-picked as well, with a depth of experience Engel envied. As his primary responsibility was to turn the Kriegsmarine’s recruits into sailors he was all too well aware of the strain the Kriegsmarine’s rapid expansion put on manpower. He suspected that the Russian Navy had similar, if less acute, issues, and its luxury of putting an experienced crew aboard a new ship was something Engel did not expect to see for some years.

His tour had included the Kolchak’s ‘battle information post’ command centre, whose layout impressed him with its order and simplicity. Engel noted his surprise to find a small group of French technicians aboard the Kolchak; Morozov had explained their presence as overseeing final adjustments to the Kolchak’s electronic detection and rocket systems.

He concluded that it would take some time to integrate the Admiral Kolchak into the training programme that had been worked out with Kozyukhin and the 13th Destroyer Flotilla; Khrenov made it quite clear that Morozov and the Admiral Kolchak were not part to be part of Kozyukhin’s flotilla, though Kozyukhin would remain as the senior Russian officer afloat. At least it would be permitted to cross-post some officers to gain experience working together; that, of course, was a principal purpose of Wachsame Entschlossenheit.

64

Wednesday, November 1st 2017, 11:23pm

Rocket Cruiser Admiral Kolchak, 54 dgs 24 min North, 14 dgs 39 min East, Tuesday, 11 May 1948

A freshening breeze from the south swept over the bridge of the Admiral Kolchak as Captain First Rank Morozov conned his ship, attended by a pair of German frigates, the Chemnitz and the Mohlsdorf, on a north-easterly course. Since arriving in Warnemünde nearly two weeks ago Morozov had been involved in a series of meetings and briefings and it felt good to be at sea and master of all he surveyed.

The exercise in which the three ships were engaged was a simple cruise-in-company; Morozov had suggested to Admiral Engel that the training programme begin with the basics. His ship was only half-way through its training cycle, while the German vessels were nearing their ‘day of graduation’ as Engel had put it. The Admiral Kolchak had four German exchange officers aboard, two from each of his consorts, while four of his own officers were billeted between the two frigates. He found the German officers to be well trained and attentive to their duties, and, somewhat to his surprise, conversant in Russian; no doubt they had spent time aboard the ships of Kozyukhin’s 13th Destroyer Flotilla.

The lookouts indicated that there was a fishing trawler trailing their formation. Morozov swing the big cruiser glasses that stood on the bridge wing aft and peered at the small ship in the distance. His lines held no particular clue to his identity, and at this distance he could not make out his colours. Given the recent intrusion of a British submarine into the Baltic, Morozov saw no reason to take chances.

“Signal the Mohlsdorf and Chemnitz; increase speed to twenty five knots,” he ordered. “Let us see if the trawler can match that speed,” he thought.

65

Friday, November 3rd 2017, 11:48pm

Rocket Cruiser Admiral Kolchak, Pillau Harbour, Monday, 17 May 1948

After several days of exercising with different vessels of the Kriegsmarine Morozov had brought his ship into Pillau to take on bunkers and provisions before resuming operations. At his insistence the Admiral Kolchak had entered the inner harbour where access to his ship was far easier to control than in the outer roadstead. As his instructions directed him, Morozov had posted armed sentries aboard his vessel to protect the security of the Admiral Kolchak’s rocket system – this despite the assurance of his German hosts that Pillau’s military harbour was quite secure.

“Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you,” Morozov said to himself. It was a passage in a novel he had once read. Over the last several days the Admiral Kolchak and his consorts had found themselves playing cat-and-mouse with a persistent fishing trawler – one that always turned up at the most inconvenient moments during the flotilla’s evolutions. Two days previously, during one such ‘chance meeting’, the Germans had deployed one their Mehrzweckboote to examine the trawler and establish its identity. The trawler’s papers indicated he was Nordish, out of Åland, though the commander of the German patrol craft reported that for a fishing trawler she carried an impressive set of wireless antennas and the trawler itself did not reek of fish. It was to be expected that the Nords would keep tabs on German, and Russian, vessels operating in the Baltic – and the newly-arrived Admiral Kolchak would pique the interest of any naval power.

66

Tuesday, November 7th 2017, 4:21am

Destroyer Pylkiy, 55 dgs 31 min North, 17 dgs 58 min East, Tuesday, 21 May 1948

Captain Kozyukhin stood on the portside bridge wing of his ship, observing the refuelling evolution ahead of him. The destroyer Skoryi was coming alongside the new oiler Hessenland, one of the latest German vessels to cycle through ‘The Schoolyard’ as Admiral Engel described his command. Unlike other exercises, where his ships were the experienced veterans, refuelling at sea was a sphere in which his ships were in need of practice. For too long they had taken on their bunkers and stores in port, and the normal transfers of personnel had taken from them experienced seamen and petty officers. Even for an experienced crew underway replenishment at speed was not something to be taken lightly; it demanded good seamanship and expert ship-handling on the part of all vessels involved.

As the Skoryi slid alongside the tanker Kozyukhin saw the first messenger lines shot from the tanker to the destroyer, followed in quick succession by the fuel line for bunkers and carrier lines for dry stores. After ten minutes signal flags were run up the Hessenland’s mast signalling breakaway – and the lines were retrieved. This particular phase of the evolution was completed; now the destroyer manoeuvred to come alongside again in response to the signals from the Hessenland, to complete the supply transfer.

It would take some time for each of the ships of the Thirteenth Destroyer Flotilla to refuel and resupply. Kozyukhin would have the opportunity to test himself when it was Pylkiy’s turn.

67

Monday, November 13th 2017, 6:29pm

Graduation Day

Marinestützpunkt Warnemünde, Friday, 29 May 1948

The harbour of Warnemünde was filled with ships and the bright spring sunshine washed over their decks, illuminating the white-clad sailors that manned their rails. If the Kriegsmarine used the Baltic as its school-yard, this would be graduation day. Of the assembled vessels the destroyers Torgau, Bautzen, Dessau, and Gustrow had just completed their formal operational training period; the frigates Stockach, Gailingen, Chemnitz, and Mohlsdorf had completed their training period a few days before, but had remained on station for today’s ceremonies.

At the dockside a band played as the motorcade carrying the official party arrived. From the first limousine stepped Generaladmiral von Fischel, the Chief of Naval Operations, who would deliver the keynote address and inspect the ships. With him were Konteradmiral Johannes Bachmann, the official commander of the Lehr-Division, and Konteradmiral Siegfried Engel, the officer responsible for training the vessels here gathered. Staff officers and aides filled several other cars, and after a few moments, all was in readiness to begin.

Von Fischel spoke briefly about the hard work each of the officers and men of the Lehr-Division had given to bring their ships to operational readiness; how they had acquitted themselves well when called upon to react to an unexpected security threat – a veiled reference to the intrusion of a British submarine into the Baltic; and how well they had learned the skills needed to work with allies in a combined task force – a nod to the 13th Destroyer Flotilla of the Russian Federation Navy, who had done much to hone the skills of the latest ships of the Kriegsmarine.

Concluding his remarks, but before embarking aboard the waiting motor launch that would take him on a tour of inspection, he summoned Admiral Engel before him and read an order from the Minister of Defence.

“By order of the Minister of Defence: For exemplary service in preparing the crews of the fleet for operational tasks, and for developing a most positive working relationship with our allies, Siegfried Engel is hereby promoted to the rank of Vizeadmiral.”

Engel stood stock-still as his new shoulder boards were put in place. When the exchange of salutes was finished, the harbour echoed with the cheers of all assembled.

68

Monday, November 13th 2017, 7:03pm

RF Navy, by way of their naval attaché, expresses their congratulations to Vizeadmiral Engel for his promotion.

69

Monday, November 13th 2017, 8:10pm

RF Navy, by way of their naval attaché, expresses their congratulations to Vizeadmiral Engel for his promotion.


Duly noted and proper thanks expressed. :thumbsup: