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Friday, September 3rd 2004, 2:19pm

The Andaman Sea Situation


If you're reading your news, you'll be aware that India has been suffering from some guerilla warfare for several months now. In July 1924, India alleged that the Siamese government was supporting the militants through arms transfers.

Meanwhile, Denmark elected a government which cut back military spending. The appearance of weapons, originally sold to Denmark's ally Siam, in Indian militant hands does not seem to have greatly troubled the government.

The pace in the Andaman Sea is about to pick up. Commodore Green and I have scripted out a story arc that will span the month of August 1924, and will be posting the relevant news items as replies to this one thread over the next week or so.

To ensure that the narrative is not lost amidst comments, we would ask that you not reply to this thread; if you'd like to launch a comment thread elsewhere, CG and I would be more than happy to respond there.

Thank you...

...and the balloon goes up.


Friday, September 3rd 2004, 2:27pm

August 3

India Announces Blockade of Western Siam

In an effort to stem the flow of firearms and ammunition into eastern India, the Indian Navy today announced that it is blockading the western coast of Siam.

“We have shown the world that Danish weapons, including machine guns and grenades, are being smuggled into the hands of anti-government rebels by the Siamese government. We have seized arms aboard Siamese vessels sailing out of Phuket. We have captured men we believe to be Siamese army personnel. Our requests to the Siamese government for an end to this activity have been met with fabrications and feigned ignorance; thus we are forced to take action, to ensure that the rule of law is maintained and to minimize the number of casualties the rebel factions can inflict upon the citizens of India”, said Admiral Sanjay Das from Madras.

Sources at the Indian Navy’s eastern base of Sittwe have told AWNR that a number of smaller Indian warships and at least two cruisers have sortied in the past twenty-four hours. Most are assumed to be bound for western Siam, where the main port is Phuket. No unusual activity has been reported from the other Indian bases at Madras, Mumbai, or Columbo.

“The blockade will be established outside the Siamese twelve-mile limit and will interdict all vessels thought to be destined for India. These will be boarded and searched; if weapons are found aboard, the ship will be seized and the crew arrested. If no weapons are found, the ship will be turned back instead”, Admiral Das added. He would not be more precise in discussing the location of the blockade units, nor would he comment on what ships were involved.

Meanwhile, the violence in Chittagong continues, as two CCC members were shot and killed by the Constabulary in a raid on a flat in the city's centre. Elsewhere, one soldier was killed by sniper fire while patrolling the city's textile sector.


Friday, September 3rd 2004, 9:02pm

The Siamese Sentinel August 4th 1924.

Indian Blockade is “Bully-Boy Tactics”

In a statement made to the world’s press outside the Ban Norasingh (Government House) in Bangkok, the Siamese Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency the Rt.Hon. Laksamana Phaholphonphayuhasena referred to the Indian announcement of their blockade of the port of Phuket as “Nothing more than Bully-Boy tactics”.

He continued by saying that “With the Indians saying that they will stop any vessel that they believe is heading to India, I ask them to inform me if they will pay the fuel bills of the ships that are now forced to sail East around the world to get to African destinations, because EVERY ship that leaves Phuket HAS to pass through the Andaman sea, which leads to the Bay of Bengal, which leads to INDIA”

After taking a few minutes to compose himself, the Minister asked that the Indian government rethink their blockade. “We have supplied the Indians with all the information that our Quartermaster General, General Kriangsak Chomanan, has supplied. We have been as open about this issue as could be asked of us.”


Sunday, September 5th 2004, 1:38am

August 7

Blockade in Place; First Ships Turned Back

The Indian Navy's Second Cruiser Squadron and almost a dozen other vessels have assumed stations off the western coast of Siam. Reports from merchantmen in the area indicate that the cruisers and a trio of destroyers are acting as a back-up to the smaller torpedoboats, minesweepers, and sloops actually interdicting marine traffic at this time.

"It looks like they're trying to catch every ship heading north or west", said the captain of a Bulgarian-flagged freighter steaming into Phuket. "I can't imagine how they could actually succeed, but they're certainly going to make my life difficult on Thursday."

Indian activity at this time has been focused around the city of Phuket, which has been a common point of departure for vessels caught shipping arms into India in the past few months.

In Madras, Admiral Sanjay Das told reporters that the navy is "attempting to minimize the inconvenience to innocent vessels, while identifying and seizing those carrying illicit arms. Vessels we are satisfied carry only legal goods will be allowed to proceed west, provided they steer south of the Andaman Islands."

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Siamese assertions of cooperation are, "essentially non-truths. The arms shipments are not the work of peasants. We hope that the blockade will both prevent the flow of weapons into India and also serve as incentive for Siam to stop attempting to do so."


Sunday, September 5th 2004, 8:02pm

Jyllands-Posten August 9th 1924

K.D.M. Loki to the rescue.

While on a mission to deliver equipment to the Andaman Sea Station at Phuket, the K.D.M Loki came across the steamship “Yil Chang” steaming South East trying to make Phuket. The “Yil Chang” was in a poor state, having been caught in a recent cyclone in the Andaman Sea.

When asked about the reason he had not been able to make port to see out the storm, the ship’s master said that his vessel had been turned back from its intended landfall at Cuddalore, approximately 100 miles South of Madras on India’s South East coast, by vessels of the Indian Navy.

As they were already at sea as the Indians set up their blockade, it is assumed he was spotted by a patrol that was searching for vessels that had been missed. He pleaded with the captain of the lead Indian vessel to allow him to put into a harbour to sit out the storm closing in at the time, but was told that he had better try for Rangoon, as his vessel would not be allowed into any Indian port.

Luckily, no-one was seriously injured by the storm, and the crew of “Loki” were able to give assistance to keep the “Yil Chang” afloat, and escorted the battered vessel back to Phuket.

The Danish Military Attaché in Bangkok was asked to comment on the Indian claims about Danish weapons in the hands of Indian insurgents. Lt. Colonel Petersen said “I see no reason for this behaviour on behalf of the Indian Government. I have checked with the Siamese military and have been assured that all weapons of Danish origin have been accounted for by their Quartermaster General.”

A spokesman for the Siamese Crown issued the following short statement. “We have no understanding for the Indian Government’s position on this matter, we have explained our position and our assurances have fallen on deaf ears. And it is with disbelief and dismay that we witness the actions of the Indian Navy, that it would deny safe harbour to a vessel trying to outrun a cyclone”


Tuesday, September 7th 2004, 1:42pm

August 12

Danish Negligence Injures Four Aboard Indian Destroyer

The Indian Navy is blaming a Danish destroyer captain’s negligence for a collision that injured four men aboard the destroyer G-127 .

“At approximately 1300 this afternoon, the destroyer G-127 ordered a Siamese tramp freighter to prepare for boarding. A Danish destroyer in the vicinity countermanded those orders and entered the scene at high speed”, Admiral Sanjay Das said. “When the freighter refused to stop, G-127 fired a shot across her bow as is standard in such situations. As the freighter continued to proceed, the destroyer mustered a boarding party on deck and began maneuvering to come alongside. At this point, the Danish destroyer attempted to block G-127 's path, forcing her captain to come about.”

Admiral Das continued, “Although G-127 began a tight turn to starboard, it was impossible to avoid a collision and G-127 's forward port side struck a glancing blow on Danish ship’s starboard side. G-127 sustained minor damage to her hull, and several sailors were thrown from their posts, four of whom suffered broken limbs and contusions.”

Sources within the navy say that the destroyer stopped to undertake an inspection of the damage, allowing the Siamese freighter to escape.

Admiral Das said, “While we are relieved that there was no loss of life aboard G-127 , we insist that the Danish Navy apprehend the captain of their destroyer and proceed with a court martial. We further hope that the Danish government will refrain from becoming involved in a situation that is not its concern.”

[OOC: Note that G-127 is reduced to 92% as a result of minor hull damage.]


Tuesday, September 7th 2004, 7:25pm

Jyllands-Posten 12th August 1924

Indians cause collision in the Andaman Sea.

A collision occurred today between K.D.M. D11 and a destroyer of the Indian Navy.
The incident happened while the D11 was escorting 2 merchant vessels out of Phuket, a practice deemed necessary due to the recent practice of the Indian Navy of turning back vessels leaving Siamese waters.

Reports have the collision as happening as a result of threatening ship handling on behalf of the Indian vessel. The Indian vessel was making a run across the bows of the lead merchant vessel at high speed, after firing across the merchant vessels bow with the intent of either boarding her or forcing the vessel to turn aside, when the D11 itself ran alongside the merchant vessels between them and the approaching Indian vessel.

The Indian captain, realising the intent of the Danish captain to protect the merchant vessels, turned hard to Starboard to avoid a collision with the D11, but his vessels momentum was such that his ship slipped at the apex of the turn, carrying her into the D11 for a beam to beam contact. Initial damage reports say that the damage to D11 is minimal, with minor injuries sustained by a few crewmembers, but cannot verify the damage cause to the Indian vessel.

The 2 merchant vessels carried on with their voyage after reaching a point at which it was decided that an escort was no longer required, and the D11 returned to Phuket for minor repairs.

An un-named source within the Naval Dept. of the Ministry of Defence was heard to say that “Someone should put that Indian fool in a rowing boat until he learns how to control a vessel!!”

(OOC - D11 is rated at 95% post collision due to n=minor hull damage)


Wednesday, September 8th 2004, 2:39pm

August 15

Firefight off Phuket

After days of aggressive ship handling and tense encounters, two ships have been sunk in a skirmish northwest of Phuket, Siam. The Indian Navy says that the sloop S-107 was fired on when it attempted to board a Siamese coaster.

S-107's lawful attempts at boarding were met with gunfire from a Danish torpedo boat escorting the coaster”, Admiral Sanjay Das stated in Madras this afternoon. “Although the sloop turned to break off action, the torpedo boat continued firing, forcing S-107 to return fire. However, a large explosion aft caused S-107 to lose way, and orders were given to abandon ship.”

Fortunately, said Admiral Das, “The light cruiser Cochin intercepted the Danish torpedo boat as it attempted to secure the capture of S-107's survivors. When the torpedo boat attempted to flee the scene, Cochin engaged her with her main battery and sank her.”

Cochin rescued thirty-eight members of S-107's sixty man crew, as well as the crew of the Danish torpedo boat. The Siamese coaster was ordered to turn around and return to Siam, which it did.

Admiral Das added, “India certainly regrets the loss of Danish lives in this unfortunate incident, and assures the Government of Denmark that all survivors are receiving the best possible care. However, the potential for conflict with Denmark, which has become greater as a result of Danish intervention over the past few days, compels us to react. Thus the remaining cruisers of the Eastern Maritime District are now en route to the area to bolster the blockade. We call on Denmark to disengage itself from this Siamese/Indian problem before more lives are lost, for India is resolute that it will stop the smuggling of Danish weapons by Siam at all costs.”

[OOC: S-107 sunk; CL Cochin at 97% following minor shell damage]


Wednesday, September 8th 2004, 7:33pm

Jyllands-Posten 16th August 1924

Danish ship sunk while trying to protect Siamese freighter

A report has just come in from the Captain of the Siamese freighter S.S.Taksin, confirming the loss of the K.D.M. Springeren, a Torpedo Boat based at Phuket. Contact had been lost with the Springeren yesterday, when she failed to report in at her allotted time.

According to the S.S.Taskin’s Captain, the Springeren was escorting his vessel when they came under fire from an Indian warship, possibly a destroyer.
The Springeren returned fire, firing warning shots across the Indian vessels bow. The Indian destroyer then fired into the Danish vessel, causing damage to the bow and also to the aft gun mount. The Springeren, outgunned by the larger Indian vessel, swung out her torpedo tubes and fired twice at the Indian vessel. The Indian vessel tried to turn away, avoiding the first torpedo, but was hit astern by the second. The stern of the Indian vessel was lifted out of the water by the explosion and she started the sink rapidly.

The Springeren turned to give assistance and pick up survivors, but as she slowed to take aboard the Indian crew, an Indian cruiser the “Cochin” steamed out into view, and the Springeren was forced to leave the scene, but was seen to throw floats overboard to the Indian sailors.

The ensuing chase was a short one as the Springeren was unable to gain speed with her damaged bow. The Cochin closed the range and opened fire, the Springeren firing her remaining torpedoes in the cruiser’s direction in an effort to dissuade her from the chase. The Danish vessel’s luck ran out as she was struck astern by several shells, one of which hit the magazine for the after gun, causing an explosion that tore the stern open. The captain struck his flag and his crew took to the boats. As they rowed away from their stricken vessel, 3 explosions were heard from the bowels of the ship and she went down quickly.

The Indian cruiser was seen to pick up survivors from both vessels, and she forced the S.S.Taksin to turn back to Phuket


Wednesday, September 8th 2004, 8:40pm

Jyllands-Posten 17th August 1924

Ships Mobilised!

A source within the Ministry of Defence have informed us that, due to the worsening situation concerning the Indian Navy’s blockade of the port of Phuket on the Andaman Sea coast of Siam, the Admiralty ordered the Indian Ocean Squadron at Berbera in Danish Somalia to set sail for Phuket several days ago, to bolster the combined Danish / Siamese forces in the area.

The South China Sea Squadron, based at Bangkok, has already mobilised and is due to arrive in Phuket later today.

The Danish Naval attache in Bangkok, Commander Alexander Moltesen, informed us that "The Indians must realise that we are intent on supporting the Siamese Crown in it's right to free use of the seas. We are bound by the Protection Act to get involved in the defence of Siamese interests, and we have been informed yet again by the Siamese Quartermaster General, General Kriangsak Chomanan, that no further robberies of arms have taken place and he can personally account for all weapons of Danish origin."


Wednesday, September 8th 2004, 9:38pm

The French response

The government of the Republic of France deplore recent increases in the tension in the Indian Ocean, and have alerted air defense and coast defense installations at Crozet Island, Djibuti and the Kerguelen Islands. The status of the regular French naval patrols by the Indian Ocean Flotilla have not been changed.


Thursday, September 9th 2004, 1:19am

Jyllands -Posten 20th August 1924

Score FOUR for our boys!!!!

In an action fought this morning between the vessels of the Indian Ocean Squadron sailing from Berbera to Siam, the cruisers Falster and Vaerge and their supporting vessels came under air attack by aircraft of the Indian Navy.

A flight of 12 aircraft attacked shortly after first light, approaching the Danish Squadron from astern at low level to avoid detection. The Indian aircraft were spotted at long range by the operators of the “Huginn” system aboard Falster, and with the advance warning given by it; all vessels were at action stations before the aircraft started their attack run.

In the report on the action, the captain of the Falster, Capt. Jan Van der Zee, stated that “As the Indian aircraft approached from astern, they had no idea that we were just waiting for them”. As they started to climb to attack altitude, all ships opened fire with their A/A weapons. The aircraft were climbing slowly, laden as they were with bombs, and presented perfect targets. The gunners on both cruisers, having the better gun platforms, took the heaviest toll on the Indian aircraft, both claiming 1 aircraft downed and 1 damaged, witnessed by the trail of smoke trailing behind the 2 aircraft.
Not to be out done by their larger companions, the 2 Torpedo Boats, Havornen and Storen, shared 1 aircraft downed and 1 damaged.

However the action was not all one-sided. The destroyer D13 was not so lucky. It was struck in the bow by one bomb, causing considerable damage and several injuries and also 2 near misses that exploded in the water, shrapnel from which holed her below the waterline, and causing a fuel leak. The decision was made for her to turn back to Berbera for repairs, as she would be unable to keep up with the rest of the squadron.

There are no details concerning injuries aboard D13 or the other Danish vessels, but of the 3 Indian aircraft shot down, and 1 that ditched shortly after, 4 airmen were rescued, and the bodies of 3 others recovered. A burial at sea was conducted.

(OOC: D13 at 70%)


Thursday, September 9th 2004, 4:10am

August 21

Treacherous Danish Attack Thwarted!

A Danish submarine has been captured following a failed attack this morning.

At about 1100, lookouts on the destroyer G-128 reported a periscope in the water off the ship's port bow. The cruisers Hyderabad and Cochin began evasive manuevers while G-128 and another destroyer veered in to make depth charge attacks.

Admiral Sanjay Das told AWNR: "At this time, torpedo tracks were spotted by Cochin , which turned towards the incoming attack. One torpedo exploded in the cruiser's wake, jarring the ship but causing no significant damage. The other weapons missed cleanly."

Although the initial depth charge patterns appeared to have no effect, the Danish submarine Bellona made an emergency ascent about six minutes later. G-128 engaged the submarine with light weapons, damaging the submarine's deck gun. However, it quickly became apparent that the submarine was suffering from internal damage, as smoke began billowing out of the open hatches.

"Bellona had suffered a fire in the engine room, which was rapidly exhausting the boat's air supply. The captain chose to surface, and surrendered rather than have his vessel destroyed", Admiral Das said. "Unfortunately, two of the Danish crew were killed, and several others injured. They are now being treated aboard the Cochin , which is returning to Sittwe to transfer the men to a proper medical facility."

An armed guard transferred over to the Danish submarine, which is now steaming to Sittwe alongside Cochin .

[OOC: CL Cochin has in fact suffered some damage to her rudder and a prop from the near-miss, and is returning to Sittwe for an inspection. She is rated at 89%]


Thursday, September 9th 2004, 4:35am

August 22

India Sorties Additional Ships

The Indian Navy has sortied two battlegroups in the past twelve hours. The Navy has so far refused comment, but witnesses report that the battleship Dara Shikoh and several smaller warships departed Madras just after dawn, on a course for the Andaman Islands.

Meanwhile the battleship Babur , heavy cruiser Male , and three destroyers are currently steaming for Columbo. Their final destination is unclear, but sources within the navy say they will take station in the Maldives, possibly to interdict any Danish reinforcements that may exit the Red Sea in the coming weeks.

The aircraft carrier Otta is known to be steaming for the Maldives as well, and may link up with the Babur group. The Navy did issue a brief statement about the reported raid of two days ago:

"Dhairya scout bombers from the carrier Otta launched a strike against Danish warships bound for Phuket on 20 August. Four aircraft were lost during the mission, while one destroyer was struck and damaged by bombs. The Danish squadron was out of strike range by the time the remaining aircraft had been re-armed and re-fueled."

Elsewhere, a Siamese destroyer and a torpedo-boat have been sunk following a night engagement with Indian destroyers.

"We think they were out looking to rendezvous with a Danish cruiser inbound from Bangkok", said Admiral Sanjay Das. "However, they found G-108 , mis-identified her, and were sunk at close range by torpedoes and gunfire. G-108 recovered just six survivors from the destroyer, and twenty-seven survivors from the torpedo boat. Our own losses were eight killed and nine wounded."

Admiral Das added, "The light cruiser Trincomalee exchanged fire with an unidentified warship we believe to have been the cruiser Jutland at about 0400 this morning, but neither vessel appeared to score any hits. Trincomalee broke off the engagement after shore batteries around Phuket began to fire on her."

Few merchant ships have been seen sailing from Phuket in the past two days, and there is speculation that the Danish and Siamese navies may be planning a breakout. If so, an Indian force of one heavy and three light cruisers stands between an estimated three light cruisers in Phuket and two more somewhere to the west in the Andaman Sea...

[OOC: G-108 at 85% following several hits from the Siamese torpedo boat #3 . The Siamese destroyer Sua-Tayan Choi was destroyed after a torpedo broke her back.]


Thursday, September 9th 2004, 6:16am

Atlantian response

The Government of Atlantis is deeply disturbed by recent events in the Andaman Sea. We urge the two beligerants to come to a peacefull solution to the crisis.

The Government of Atlantis would also like to request that the League of Nations convein to discuss the current situation and to engage in efforts to bring the two partys togeather to bring the crisis to a peacefull end.


Thursday, September 9th 2004, 11:28am

The Iberian government offers to take over the homeland protection duties of the KDM navy, so it's ships are free to move to the Indian Ocean. The Armada also stands by to answer any calls Denmark chooses to make to it's allies.

Iberia also offers the help of it's diplomatic service in trying to defuse the situation.


Thursday, September 9th 2004, 12:38pm

The Italian government concurs with the Iberians. If Denmark should wish to call on her allies, Italian ships are in a good position to help, being in Africa and not the Atlantic or Mediterrenean. (The 1st Cruiser squadron would definitely like to see some action)

The Italian government also vehemently protests at the shocking actions of India. That country should stop this illegal blockade immediately. From experience in the Red Sea, co-operation is the way to stop arms shipments, and definately not a blockade.


Thursday, September 9th 2004, 2:40pm

The Danish Crown welcomes the offer of co-operation from it's allies, but wishes to keep the situation in the Andaman Sea a local issue. It would however, appreciate the ability to free up the Home Squadrons for duties in the Far East if any Iberian or Italian vessels would be available to cover Home waters during the current crisis.


Thursday, September 9th 2004, 4:38pm

August 24

From: RADM Salman Sikdar, CO, Blockade Squadron
To: VADM Hrithik, CO, Eastern Maritime District
Copy: ADM Sanjay Das, CIC

Subject: After-Action Report, Ko Racha Yai

On the evening of 23 August, Danish forces based in Phuket forced the blockade we have had in place since early in the month. Denmark did not benefit from strategic surprise, as the move was expected. Weather in the area had been poor, but was forecast to clear up starting on the 24th. My staff correctly deduced that the Danish force would attempt to take advantage of the bad weather while it lasted.

At 1645, DD G-122 observed that steam was being raised by numerous vessels in Phuket harbour. Coastal artillery emplacements engaged DD G-122 to no effect but she withdrew to the blockade line to avoid unnecessary damage. I directed the force to increase its readiness and withdrew my forward blockade line of sloops, minesweepers, and torpedo boats. These were tasked with maintaining the blockade further out, and providing warning of the approach of the Danish Berberan squadron, which was expected to arrive within a few hours.

My force of cruisers and destroyers remained on station, each cruiser supported by a destroyer, with two additional destroyers and a torpedo boat stationed on the periphery of the blockade arc.

At 1823, DD G-108 reported smoke from multiple sources. At 1826, CL Chennai confirmed the report and identified a Danish cruiser of the Bornholm class, in company with several other warships, steering for the west side of the island of Ko Racha Yai.

As the thrust of the Danish attack was towards my center, I ordered CL Delhi and destroyers on the south end of the blockade to form on my flagship Hyderabad at best speed. We would then proceed northwest to Chennai’s position. CL Trincomalee and destroyer G-123 was ordered to proceed at best speed to Chennai’s position from their location to the north, off the Laem Phrom Thep peninsula.

At 1846, CL Chennai reported that it was engaged with three Danish CL and three DD. CL were identified as Bornholm, Jutland, and Gejser. Chennai was splitting her fire against Bornholm and Jutland, the larger cruisers.

At 1913, CL Chennai reported serious damage from multiple hits. Two minutes later, DD G-108 reported being hit by multiple rounds.

At 1918, CL Trincomalee engaged the Danish force. The Danish force veered north to meet her and she laid smoke before firing torpedoes. No hits were reported. From this time to about 2040, the area was periodically subject to heavy rainfall from a squall line passing to the east. Visibility and accuracy were correspondingly affected.

At 1928, DD G-128 reported multiple smoke plumes east of Ko Racha Yai and subsequently identified them as fifteen merchant vessels ranging from steam-powered junks to a freighter of approximately three thousand tons. A torpedo-boat and a destroyer were escorting these vessels, which were southbound.

I ordered CL Delhi and DD G-127 to join DD G-128 and intercept the convoy, with orders to disable any vessel that did not turn back. CA Hyderabad and DD G-133 continued northwest.

At 1956, CL Trincomalee reported that the Danish squadron had altered course and was en route to the convoy’s position, suggesting that the convoy escort had requested assistance against CL Delhi and escorts. CL Trincomalee and Chennai were ordered to pursue the Danish forces, while I in CA Hyderabad would meet them east of Ko Racha Yai.

At 2019, with dusk settling, CA Hyderabad engaged the lead Danish cruiser, identified as CL Gejser. Hyderabad’s five heavy guns reduced CL Gejser to a wreck by 2024, at which time fire was shifted to CL Jutland. As I was effectively crossing their T, both remaining Danish CL took me under fire with their forward battery, while their aft battery engaged CL Trincomalee and Chennai.

At 2023, CL Delhi reported that it was engaging the convoy escort.

At 2024, after taking two hits from Danish CL Jutland, CA Hyderabad scored a hit. Fire was intense and both I and the Danish commander launched torpedoes, though no hits were observed. CL Trincomalee reported the loss of a single fifteen centimeter gun, while CL Chennai suffered a hit to the conning tower. A fire was observed on the Danish CL Bornholm aft.

At 2035, CL Delhi reported being torpedoed and ceased transmitting. DD G-127 reported a near miss and then reported the arrival of the Danish Berberan squadron, consisting of two CL and two escorts, southwest of her position. As that position was now untenable, I instructed both destroyers to dis-engage. At 2041, G-128 reported that CL Delhi was sinking by the stern.

At 2048, lookouts on CA Hyderabad sighted two MAS boats to the east. DD G-133 moved to intercept the boats, which responded by altering course and laying smoke. Wary of torpedoes, DD G-133 maintained her distance.

At this time, I determined that CA Hyderabad was at serious risk if I remained on my course; MAS boats were to the east, the fresh Danish Berberan force was to my south, and the original Danish squadron, though battered, remained operational to my north. The risk of losing Hyderabad in a night attack were significant, as it was already quite dark. I ordered a disengagement at 2052, and rendezvoused with the remaining vessels of my force northwest of Ko Racha Yai by 2200.

As a result of this decision, I was unable to turn back the Danish convoy, but its escorting destroyer was sunk and the torpedo boat damaged. DD G-127 and G-128 collectively disabled four of the larger merchant ships with accurate fire to the ships’ engineering spaces before disengaging.

The Danish covering force was seriously damaged. CL Gejser sank at approximately 2100, with a number of survivors recovered later by G-128 as she steamed north to rendezvous with me. CL Jutland was heavily damaged by CA Hyderabad’s fire, while CL Bornholm took serveral hits but remained operational. Two of the Danish destroyers were hit repeatedly.

My own casualties are CL Delhi, sunk. I have not yet been able to search for survivors, but DD G-127 reported rafts in the water. It is probable that the Danish forces which sank her have rescued her crew. CA Hyderabad, CL Trincomalee, and CL Chennai all suffered a number of hits, though the heavy armor on CA Hyderabad and CL Chennai minimized the damage. The lighter armor on CL Trincomalee led to proportionally higher destruction. DD G-107, operating with CL Trincomalee, was damaged by destroyer gunfire. I will endeavour to provide a more detailed summary of damage and casualties later in the day.

At this time, I would request additional reinforcement and instruction on whether to locate and re-engage the Danish convoy. CA Hyderabad and CL Chennai remain operational, but have expended over half of their ammunition, while the Danish Berberan cruisers are likely to have full stores.


Sikdar, RADM, Blockade Squadron.


Thursday, September 9th 2004, 5:15pm

Report of the surface action, Andaman Sea, 23 August 1924.

From: -Report of Rear Admiral Christian Albrecht Bluhme,
Officer Commanding,
Far East Stations
Kingdom Of Siam.

To: - Admiral Carl Christofer Georg Andrae, C in C,
Admiralty House,

Report of the surface action, Andaman Sea, 23 August 1924.

(All times are local Siamese times, 7 hours ahead of Danish Time)

As had been previously decided, the convoy break-out was planned for 1900hrs on the 23rd of August, to take advantage of the failing light and the worsening weather, and to allow the Berberan Squadron sufficient time to reach a position where it could give support to the breakout. Due to the worsening weather, and some accurate anti aircraft fire from the Indian blockade vessels, the Naval Air Arm’s 3 Gotha WD14’s based at Phuket were grounded by 1600hrs, and could play no part in the break-out, but they had managed to force the Indians to keep their distance and provided crucial details about the disposition of the Indian blockade vessels earlier in the day.

At 1700hrs, all convoy vessels were ordered to make steam, and prepare to leave port on a flag signal from the convoy escort. The convoy was originally made up of 14 vessels, but this was increased to 15 with the late arrival at 1800hrs of the
S.S.Wang Fu, which had made her way from the port of Kantang on the mainland.

At 1745hrs, the Coastal gun emplacements on the heights of Cape Phrom Thep opened fire on an Indian destroyer, provisionally identified as G-122, which was scouting due south of Koh Kaew Yai Island, trying to observe the convoy preparations. The destroyer hastily departed the area amid multiple water plumes, but no hits were observed.

At 1830 hrs, the diversionary squadrons left port to take up positions, ready to aid the convoy’s break-out. The 12 STC’s were broken into 4 X 3 boat squadrons, 1 to accompany the convoy, sailing close to the civilian vessels and waiting until ordered into action by the convoy commander, while the 3 remaining squadrons would operate independently to harass and confuse the Indian blockade squadron, 1 to the North-West, 1 to the West, and 1 due South.

The 3 Cruisers, K.D.M. Bornholm, K.D.M. Jutland, and K.D.M. Gejser, accompanied by the destroyers K.D.M. D10, K.D.M. D11, and K.D.M. D14, made up the main diversionary force, which steamed out of the port area in a South-Westerly direction to draw away the bulk of the Indian blockade.

The destroyer K.D.M. D15, under Captain Poul Hartling, the convoy commander, the torpedo boat K.D.M. Nordkaperen, and the submarine K.D.M. Flora were to accompany the convoy. All the vessels were formed into 3 lines of 5 vessels, and at 1845hrs, set sail due South, trying for the gap that should open up in the Indian line as it moved to intercept the diversionary force. The K.D.M. Flora would stay on the surface among the convoy vessels, submerging only if a threat is encountered.

At 1920hrs, the operators of the Huginn system aboard K.D.M. Bornholm spotted an Indian light cruiser, identified as the Chennai, on a course that would lead her onto an intercept course once she spotted the diversionary force. The Huginn system was shut down in preparation for a surface action, all ships were brought to action stations and the smaller vessels brought into closer formation to disguise their presence.

At 1945hrs, K.D.M. Bornholm and K.D.M. Jutland opened fire at long range on the Chennai, reporting each others fall of shot on the first salvo to help with ranging due to the worsening weather and light conditions. After several minutes, at 1949hrs, from a position to the south of the rest of the diversionary force, the cruiser K.D.M. Gejser spotted and opened fire on the Indian destroyer G-108. By 2015hrs, both Indian vessels had taken several damaging hits, and were attempting to take evading action.

At 2019hrs, the diversionary force were engaged by an Indian light cruiser, identified as the Trincomalee, and a destroyer, possibly G123, steaming due South from a position West of Cape Phrom Thep. At this time the 3 destroyers were directed to steer north and to intercept the new arrivals.

At 2024hrs a call for assistance was received from Capt. Hartling, in command of the convoy, as he believed that his position had been discovered by a destroyer of the Indian blockade to the south. All the vessels of the diversionary force were ordered to turn South-East and make best possible speed to the convoy’s position. The destroyers; which had taken some hits during the engagement, fired a spread of torpedoes to dissuade pursuit by the Indian cruiser and destroyer which had turned away and made smoke when initially confronted by the 3 vessels.

At 2032hrs, a large vessel was spotted by the K.D.M. Gejser off her Port beam.
She turned to investigate as the poor weather made identification difficult, and by 2033hrs was taking fire from what was later identified as the Indian heavy cruiser Hyderabad. As she had been closer to the Hyderabad because of her flanking position in relation to the rest of the diversionary force, she sustained several hits before K.D.M. Jutland and K.D.M. Bornholm were able to bring their forward guns to bear, while holding the Indian cruisers Chennai and Trincomalee at bay with their after guns; and smoke, torpedoes and gun fire from the escorting destroyers and torpedo boat.

At 2040hrs, Capt Hartling signalled that the convoy was taking fire from an Indian cruiser and 2 destroyers, and that he had freed the STC’s to “go hunting!” The K.D.M. Flora submerged and moved to the Port side of the convoy, allowing the STC’s free range on the Starboard side against the cruiser and destroyers. Some of the convoy vessels were hit and 2 had to drop out due to hits to their engine rooms.

At 2044hrs, after scoring several hits on the heavy cruiser Hyderabad, the K.D.M Jutland took hits in return, causing damage to the aft conning position, the upper forward fire control mount, and the bow. The K.D.M. Bornholm was hit aft, destroying the Huginn system, and starting a small fire. Both vessels and their escorts turned away making smoke and firing torpedoes in an effort to open the range, but though no hits were reported on the Indian heavy cruiser, K.D.M. Bornholm was struck twice but mercifully, both torpedoes failed to detonate. K.D.M. D14 was struck astern by 2 shells which reduced her speed and she dropped behind as the range opened. As the only Danish vessel in range she became the centre of Indian interest, and after taking several more hits, Captain Nils Svenningsen was forced to abandon ship and scuttle his ship to prevent capture of sensitive documents and equipment.

The last sighting of the K.D.M. Gejser saw her in a severely damaged state, stationary in the water with fires along her Port side, and the flag signal “ For King and Dannebrog” flying from her main mast.

At 2045hrs, Capt Viggo Jorgensen, commanding the submarine K.D.M. Flora, spotted the Indian torpedo boat T-14 breaking through a squall line on an intercept course for the convoy. He had moments to compute a firing solution, and fired a spread of 4 torpedoes with a 2 degree spacing as the T-14 crossed his bow. After a run time of 50 seconds the first of 2 explosions was witnessed, followed 5 seconds later by a larger secondary explosion. When the smoke cleared, nothing could be seen of the T-14 except for surface debris, and no survivors were sighted by the either the K.D.M. Flora or the convoy lookouts.

At 2055hrs, the STC’s started their runs against the cruiser Delhi. Using smoke they ran towards the Indian cruiser, circling Port and Starboard, disappearing from sight but getting ever closer to their target.

At 2056hrs, the vessels of the Berberan Squadron, under the command of Commodore Anker Jorgensen, entered the battle catching an Indian minesweeper, later identified as Manas, unawares and reducing her to an ineffective hulk with accurate fire from the cruisers K.D.M. Falster and K.D.M. Vaerge within 3 minutes.

At 2105hrs, 2 large explosions were observed on the Indian cruiser Delhi, as the STC’s scored 2 hits on her. They had launched at the Indian destroyer G-127, but the more manoeuvrable vessel was able to evade the torpedoes. The STC’s broke off contact under cover of smoke to open the range and to allow another run on the destroyers.

At 2116hrs, STC section 3 spotted the Indian destroyer G-133 closing at high speed on their position, and turned away making smoke to help with their escape

At 2116hrs, STC section 2 spotted the Indian heavy cruiser Hyderabad and started to make an attack run, however they were spotted before they could close the range. The cruiser turned away at full power and broke contact under cover of smoke and twilight, firing astern to dissuade pursuit by the STC’s.

At 2122hrs, the Indian vessels broke contact wherever they were involved in combat, and steamed away to the North-West, obviously intent on avoiding a night action.

Over the next 30 minutes, the various squadrons came together around the convoy’s position. At this time the cost of the break-out became obvious, the most serious loss being that of the light cruiser K.D.M. Gejser, which was reduced to a sinking state by enemy action. Capt.Hartling requested of those vessels that were able to, that they assist the damaged convoy vessels. The K.D.M. Vaerge, along with the torpedo boat K.D.M. Nordkaperen were dispatched to the location where the Indian cruiser was sinking to search for survivors

Of the 15 convoy vessels, 4 had been damaged; the most seriously damaged being the S.S. Wang Fu. The 3 more lightly damaged vessels were glad of the assistance, but the master of the S.S. Wang Fu was insistent that his crew had the damage under control, despite the fires aft of the bridge. At 2204hrs an explosion was observed aboard the S.S. Wang Fu, and Commodore Deiter Schmidt, O.C. the Phuket Squadron aboard the K.D.M. Bornholm, ordered the S.S. Wang Fu to heave to and accept assistance from the K.D.M. Bornholm’s damage control crews. At 2210hrs, the officer that headed the damage control crew sent to help aboard the S.S. Wang Fu,
Lt.2c Jan Petersen, signalled back to the K.D.M. Bornholm, requesting a squad of marines as he had discovered something of interest, and was meeting resistance from some of the crew.

The Marine party was swiftly made ready and transferred to the S.S. Wang Fu, and the merchant vessel was taken under military control and the crew were detained to allow a full investigation of what Lt. Petersen had discovered, and allow the damage control crew to make the vessel safe.

After approximately 15 minutes, Lt1c. Adolph Erikssen of the Bornholm’s Marine detachment, returned to the K.D.M. Bornholm with some of the goods from the merchant vessel’s holds, to confer with Commodore Schmidt.

At 2230hrs, I received an urgent signal from Commodore Schmidt concerning the discovery of Danish armaments and munitions aboard the S.S. Wang Fu. At this time I informed our Ambassador to Siam, The Rt.Hon. Christian Magnussen, of our discovery and asked him to contact the Indian Ambassador to arrange a ceasefire, pending a more detailed and complete investigation of the Indian allegations following our discovery.

I ordered the whole convoy with escorts back to Phuket, to prevent any contact with the Indians before a ceasefire has been officially arranged. All ships reached Phuket safely and I will prepare a full list of ships that have sustained damage shortly after consultation with the port engineers.

Respectfully yours,

Rear Admiral Christian Albrecht Bluhme