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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:

70

Tuesday, November 21st 2017, 9:40pm

Rocket Cruiser Admiral Kolchak, Kronshtadt Harbour, Wednesday, 2 June 1948

Captain Morozov’s ship swung easily at anchor in the lee of Kotlin Island, within sight of the Naval Cathedral of Saint Nicholas. Despite the fact of being in the most secure harbour in the entire Federation, guard boats circled the Admiral Kolchak twenty-four hours a day, and armed sentries kept watch. The Russian rocket cruiser had taken a break from its attachment to the German Kriegsmarine training squadron to visit the repair facilities at Kronshtadt and put right some minor deficiencies discovered on his voyage from the Black Sea. He now waited his turn in the yards.

Kontr-Admiral Giorgi Abashvili’s launch approached the Admiral Kolchak and he could see the white-uniformed sideboys assembling on the quarterdeck. “He is a fine ship, a powerful addition to the fleet,” thought Abashvili. “If only the rocket system could be made more useful, ships like the Admiral Kolchak would revolutionize warfare at sea.”

Boatswain’s pipes whistled as Abashvili’s foot touched the foot of the stair that led to the quarterdeck, and ceased as he stepped onto the quarterdeck; salutes were exchanged and Morozov introduced his senior officers. He then conducted the admiral to the officers’ mess, which would do duty as a conference room for the occasion.

“Morozov,” said Abashvili, “you have a fine-looking ship. I look forward to his service with the Baltic Fleet.”

“Would you wish to inspect the Admiral Kolchak now?” Morozov asked in return.

“In a few moments. You have spent some time now with our allies. What are your impressions?” Abashvili’s directness implied that he sought an open and honest answer.

“Thus far I find them competent enough,” Morozov declared somewhat deprecatingly, “though I understand that the units assigned to the German training flotilla are still working up. Those of my men who have been exchange officers have commented on the occasional problems that crop up with less than fully-trained crews.”

“A situation from which you have been saved,” Abashvili reminded, “by having a hand-picked crew.”

“True sir,” Morozov admitted. “And those German exchange officers I have personally observed have shown themselves quite eager to learn.”

“Eager to learn.” Abashvili raised an eyebrow. “Have any of them gotten ‘lost’ aboard your ship?” The admiral’s remark touched upon the security protocols regarding the Admiral Kolchak’s rocket system.

“No sir. I fact those few officers who are assigned as exchanges have been punctilious to confine themselves to areas into which they are authorised. And they do not ask awkward questions either.” For this Morozov was thankful; of course, he fully expected that as intelligent officers the Germans in question would keep their eyes and ears open. The men he had chosen from his ship to serve temporarily aboard German vessels would no doubt do likewise. “Thus far we have had few true security issues arise.”

“Your reports indicated that recurring presence of a Nordish-flag trawler in your operating area.” Abashvili made a wry smile. “This did not surprise you?”

“No Admiral,” Morozov confessed. “In the light of the recent sightings of British submarines in the Baltic I am in no way surprised that our neighbours take an interest in my ship.”

The interview continued for perhaps twenty minutes more, as Abashvili asked pertinent questions regarding the Admiral Kolchak’s performance during his voyage from the Black Sea, and Morozov summarised the defects that would need to be put right in the shipyards.

“Now Morozov,” pronounced Abashvili with a smile, “I am ready to inspect your vessel.”

71

Monday, November 27th 2017, 12:53am

Memel, The Schichau Works, Tuesday, 8 June 1948

Captain First Rank Konstantin Khrenov seemed to spend much of his time shuttling between German shipyards in response to invitations to attend launching and completion ceremonies; and, of course he attended as many as possible. Not only was it polite, but it afforded him the opportunity to assess the growth of the German Navy; and its growth was startling. By his count no fewer than two dozen German warships been completed and more than a dozen launched in the first half of the present year alone.

Today he was present to view the launching of the latest submarines constructed for the Kriegsmarine – the coastal boats Engelhai and Fleckhai. Little more than a fortnight ago he had observed the completion of the lead units of the class, the Koboldhai and Kragenhai, which would soon go to the Kriegsmarine’s ‘schoolyard’. He noted that material for the next pair of submarines was being assembled nearby, to be laid down as soon as the slipways and docks of the works were ready. Of course, he made no written notes, relying on his memory and the printed programme given to all those attending; he would annotate it as soon as he returned to his hotel. With luck he would be able to obtain a set of the official photographs of the event – often examination of the background of such would reveal interesting details. Eventually the insights of the day’s activities would make their way to the desks of Naval Intelligence. Such was the life of a naval attaché – official observer and countenanced spy.

72

Friday, December 1st 2017, 10:14pm

Rocket Cruiser Admiral Kolchak, Kronshtadt Harbour, Thursday, 17 June 1948

For the last fortnight the Admiral Kolchak had been in the hands of the yards, putting to right the short list of defects exposed during his voyage from the Black Sea. Morozov and his senior officers had personally overseen the repairs, assuring that nothing was skimped or short-changed; and for their part, the shipfitters had done their work well.

Morozov was now ready to take the Admiral Kolchak to sea to test the repairs before returning to the German port of Warnemünde and resume participation in Operation Pioneer. The tugs manoeuvred the cruiser into the channel that led past Kotlin Island – and once having done so Morozov called for one-quarter ahead, saluting the forts that guarded the harbour as he headed out into the Nevskaya Guba.

73

Wednesday, December 6th 2017, 2:52am

Rocket Cruiser Admiral Kolchak, 55 dgs 31 min North, 19 dgs 30 min East, Thursday, 24 June 1948

The Admiral Kolchak sailed in company with a pair of Kriegsmarine air defence cruisers, the Lissa and the Saida, both of which were nearing the end of their training cycle. The weather was clear, a three-quarter moon hung off the ship’s starboard quarter. In the morning they were due to rendezvous with a quartet of Kriegsmarine destroyers for air defence drills. For Morozov and his crew it would be good practice.

*****

The four Arado 334 strike aircraft of the Marine Erprobungskommando had taken off from the naval air station at Pillau half-an-hour ago, flying low above the calm waters of the Baltic. Their mounts were newly arrived in service – a navalised variant of the Luftwaffe’s night intruder – but the crews of the four aircraft had flown such missions for hundreds of hours, mostly on the Henschel Hs130, and some of the ‘old lags’ even on the venerable Bf110. Their goal was to test the ability of the new Aspern-class cruisers to cope with jet aircraft.

*****

Aboard the Admiral Kolchak the watch concentrated upon station keeping, for he held the middle position of the three cruisers as they cruised in line ahead. Morozov had retired to his cabin for the evening, having left orders to be summoned at the first sign of trouble; not that he expected any.

*****

The Arados flew but a few metres above the waves in diamond formation. Their electronic systems were shut down, as well as their wireless units. Their approach from the east presented them with clearly silhouetted targets – the moon illuminating the three cruisers. At a range of three kilometres the aircraft climbed sharply…

*****

The electronic systems officer on the Admiral Kolchak looked aghast at his scope but did not hesitate to sound the alarm. Tocsins rang throughout the ship as crews ran to their stations. Half-dressed Morozov ran from his cabin and gained the bridge just as the four Arados swept over the cruisers from port to starboard – dropping brilliant flares that illuminated all three ships.

“Captain,” explained the electronic systems officer, “they just appeared out of no-where. The alarm was sounded as soon as they were detected.”

Morozov realised that the German aircraft had flown so close to the water that they were under the ship’s detection horizon. No doubt it was a technique that the German naval air arm had practiced many times. But the jet aircraft involved were an unexpected surprise.

74

Wednesday, December 6th 2017, 2:33pm

Well, in consolation, the Asperns probably did just about as well as the Kolchak! :)

75

Wednesday, December 6th 2017, 2:53pm

Well, in consolation, the Asperns probably did just about as well as the Kolchak! :)


Probably not as well. They're bigger, their masts probably taller, with a higher radar horizon. They would do better in a mid-to-long range engagement. Also, few pilots would undertake to fly as close to the deck as the four specialists chosen to execute the 'attack'. Their speed of approach was no doubt a surprise. Yes, it was a set up. 8)

76

Thursday, December 14th 2017, 1:24am

Destroyer Pylkiy, Marinestützpunkt Warnemünde, Wednesday, 30 June 1948

Captain Morozov of the Admiral Kolchak and Captain Kozyukhin of the Pylkiy met in the latter’s day cabin; it was the first real opportunity for the two to discuss their experiences in what the Russian Federation Navy called Operation Pionier – the continuing joint training exercises with the German Navy. It was in some ways an anomalous situation – Kozyukhin commanded the Thirteenth Destroyer Flotilla and was the senior Russian officer for Pionier, but the Admiral Kolchak was to operate as a separate unit. The fact that the Kolchak was still working up and the ships of the Thirteenth Flotilla fully operational accounted for this but in part.

From a locker Kozyukhin brought out a bottle of vodka and two glasses; he poured for both of them, and after setting down the bottle took his glass and offered his guest a toast, “Nostrovia!”

“So, Morozov,” began Kozyukhin, “what are your thoughts on yesterday’s festivities?”

It had been another ‘graduation day’ for the German vessels completing their operational training in ‘the schoolyard’. Two new antiaircraft cruisers, the Lissa and the Saida, had finished their time and would soon be departing for the North Sea. Moreover, Kapitän zur See Maximilian Glaser – formerly chief of staff to Konteradmiral Engel had been promoted Konteradmiral in his own right, and had succeeded Engel in operational command of the German training programme.

“The Germans seem to cycle their new ships like clockwork; and I do not quite understand their haste to do so. Mention was made of a new batch of ships joining us soon?”

Kozyukhin nodded. “Yes, clockwork. Our allies are very efficient. And you are quite correct – Admiral Glaser has advised that four more destroyers and four more frigates will be arriving from their builders’ trials to begin their training. We will be very busy.”

“Just so long as there are no surprises like last Thursday…” Morozov still smarted at the way in which his ship had been caught out by low-level jet bombers at night.

“It was meant to be a graduation exercise for the German cruisers – a test to see if they could detect the low-flying Arados” Kozyukhin added philosophically. “The Admiral Kolchak was the first to give warning in fact.”

Morozov shrugged in Russian fashion. “Flying that close to the water at night demands much experience”.

Kozyukhin agreed. He wondered why the German naval air arm still maintained a land-based striking force despite the aggressive growth of its carrier force and the competing demands for pilots. “Most of their squadrons are based in the West, or so Captain Khrenov has told me; no doubt to strike at any force approaching across the North Sea.” They left unsaid the identity of the power that might make such a foray.

Morozov paused, poured himself another glass, and asked. “So, what manner of games are we expected to play with our new ‘schoolmates’?

77

Saturday, December 30th 2017, 12:45am

Artillery School Ship Brummer, Helsingfors Harbour, Monday, 5 July 1948

The Baltic in high summer can be a most pleasant environment, and it was customary for the Kriegsmarine’s school ships to take advantage of the generally good weather to carry out ‘good-will’ cruises to the ports of the Baltic littoral – the Helsingfors, known to the locals as Helsinki, was always a popular stop in any ship’s itinerary. For Oberleutnant zur See Wolfgang Benzino it was particularly pleasant; the son of an officer of the Imperial Navy he had in fact been born in Helsingfors, and spoke Swedish and Finnish fluently. For him it was like coming home. He was rostered on the Brummer’s quarter bill as ‘assistant information officer’; a suitably vague title that gave cover to his unofficial duties – that of naval observer.

On their way to Helsingfors the Brummer had paid brief calls at the Nordish naval bases as Hangö and Porkala udd; Benzino had noted that some of the older coast defence installations, with their short-range guns, were being down-graded, compared with the prior season’s observations. Not so the more modern coast defences – these sprouted new masts for what passed for the Nordish version of Seetakt, as well as parabolic antenna suggesting improved fire control. Alongside these were even taller masts which Benzino suspected could be part of listening posts, eavesdropping on Germany’s Russian allies only a few miles across the Gulf of Finland. While remaining on board the Brummer he had photographed these with a long-range telephoto lens; the more skilled photographic interpreters in Berlin would appreciate them in due course.

Today though he walked in mufti along the byways of the Old Port – a place he had played as a child – observing the fishing craft that lay moored to the quay. Two rather sleek craft caught his eye – each bore several wireless antennas, far more a fishing craft would be expected to carry. He stopped some distance away from them to observe – and the fact that gulls were not attracted to them struck him as unusual. He risked taking a few quick snaps with his small Leica before heading back to the Brummer – despite his lack of uniform he wished to avoid arousing any suspicion. One well equipped fishing trawler was one thing; two in the same port at the same time was beyond the law of averages.

78

Saturday, January 6th 2018, 7:23pm

Artillery School Ship Brummer, the Gulf of Finland, Monday, 12 July 1948

Oberleutnant zur See Wolfgang Benzino, the Brummer’s assistant information officer, had few regular duties when the ship was at sea; thus the orderly sent to find him had little difficulty. Benzino was in the ship’s library, cataloging some books recently added for the edification of the cadets.

“With the Kapitän’s compliments, Herr Oberleutnant, he requests you join him on the afterdeck.”

The summons was unexpected, and unusual to say the least. “Of course,” Benzino replied and rose to answer it. It took him a few moments to make his way topside and walk aft. There he found the ship’s captain and several other officers gathered, each with a set of binoculars.

“Take a look at that,” said the captain, proffering his glasses and pointing to a blotch on the horizon “and tell me if it looks familiar to you.”

Benzino complied, and in a moment managed to resolve the blotch into the shape of a fishing trawler. “I looks not unlike one of the trawlers I saw in Helsinki…” he said slowly.

“Whoever it is, she has been following us since we passed Hangö,” said the ship’s navigator. Benzino had shared his observations made during their visit to Helsinki. “And that’s rather suspicious.”

Benzino could not agree more, but added. “These are international waters, and unless she closes there is little we can do…”

“True,” the captain admitted. “But it will not hurt to increase our lookouts and track her. As soon as we get more sea room, I believe a course change is in order – and we shall see if our shadow stays with us.”

79

Wednesday, January 17th 2018, 1:27am

Artillery School Ship Brummer, København, 20 July 1948

The Brummer had made numerous course changes as she made her way down the Baltic yet her fishing trawler ‘escort’ remained with her. At one point, four nights ago, they had made a high-speed run in order to shake the tailing fishing craft but in the morning had found her of the starboard quarter, ready to resume following the Brummer.

This uncanny ability to stay with the German vessel confirmed that the craft was in no way a proper fishing craft; Benzino had even begun to wonder if there was a small fleet of such craft operating in the Baltic, strung out in strategic locations. The alternative was even more fantastic – that a homing device of some sort had been brought aboard the Brummer and was broadcasting her whereabouts.

Korvettenkapitän Hans Bartels, the naval attaché in Copenhagen, was piped aboard for what would be taken as a routine visit; but it was nothing of the sort. He was quickly escorted to the captain’s day cabin where Benzino and the other senior officers had already gathered. The topic of discussion readily turned to the continued appearance of the fast fishing trawlers that tracked the Brummer.

“In Helsinki I saw two such vessels moored in the Old Port,” Benzino explained, “so they could be leap-frogging their positions to keep track of us. Without getting aboard one it would be difficult to ascertain whether they have some form of Funkmess.”

Several ideas were mooted, but at the moment the best that Bartels could do seek to ascertain whether any such trawler, or trawlers, had made their way into the capital’s fishing port. “And I would assume that the Brummer is under surveillance by whomever those trawlers are working for, as well as anyone else. I would not put such an operation beyond out British ‘friends’”.

80

Wednesday, January 17th 2018, 9:46am

*innocent whistles* who us? Never, you must be mistaking us for somebody else. 8)