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Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 3:06am

Azerbaijan News Q1 1936

March 7
Following an increase in Persian naval and border patrols, the Azeri Navy and Border Guards have issued orders to all forces to be alert and vigilant, and exercise all due caution.

March 11-13
An Azeri naval officer, identified as Lieutenant Nizami Zadeh, commander of the gunboat Arablinski, accused the Persian Navy of "wanton nautical thuggery and naked aggression" during a supposed anti-smuggling operation off the Azeri-Persian coast. Lieutenant Zadeh's claims were rebuffed by a Persian naval spokesman, who charged that the Azeri Navy was "a band of brigands protecting other brigands." Lieutenant Zadeh's reply, made on the 13th, insuniated that the Persian spokesman was an ill-bred son of a pig, and suggested that "the Persians would be better served driving taxis in Kolkatta". Captain Gara Amirov, CinC of the Azeri Navy, was informed of the charges and ordered Zadeh to submit to censorship before making any further political statements.

March 19
Persian officials claim that Azeri warships have been shadowing Persian warships on the Caspian Sea and radioing their positions to suspected smuggling vessels. The Azeri response was that Persian warships have harassed Azeri ships and fishing boats in international waters, conducting search-and-seizure operations without cause, and the Azeri Navy would continue shadowing Persian ships so long as Persian ships continued harassing legitimate Azeri traffic.

Kaiser Kirk

Lightbringer and former European Imperialist

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Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 3:17am

The better response would be "As if! The smugglers don't have radios to hear us!"


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 3:18am

And you know this because they are Dutch?


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 3:19am

If they're caught, they'll definately be in deep dutch...

Kaiser Kirk

Lightbringer and former European Imperialist

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Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 3:32am


Originally posted by Vukovlad
And you know this because they are Dutch?

Only in nethernetherland


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 3:38am

Breakdown of Azeri and Persian forces present on the Caspian Sea, as of March 1936:

- 1 Torpedo Boat (Bazarduzu Dagi)
- 2 Torpedo Gunboats (Arablinski, Shikhlinski)
- 6 Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB-1 - MTB-6)
- 2 Riverine Gunboats (Kur, Aras)
- 4 Motor Launches (Stepanakert, Ganja, Salyan, Agdam)

- 2 Gunships (Arak, Zabol)
- 2 Torpedo Boats (Mashhad, Kermann
- 4 Patrol Boats (P-9, P-10
- 2 Minesweepers (Dena, Bazman)
- 2 MTBs (Jarahi, Mand)
- Some other small types

The Azeri Navy has a number of new ships, but is significantly outweighed by the Persian fleet, with a single Arak-class gunship having about the same tonnage as the entire Azeri Navy and Coast Guard combined.


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 3:45am

Turkey is watching these events with great interest.


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 8:27am

[SIZE=3]The "Battle" of Astara - March 26[/SIZE]
Azeri Motor Launch Stepanakert (off Astara, Azerbaijan)
The Azeri launch Stepanakert plowed through the waters, bathed in the midafternoon sun. Lieutenant Radjabov, the launch's commander, scowled furiously through his Russian-made field glasses.

A Persian airplane - his lookouts identified it as a British-made Stranraer - had been sighted a half hour before, buzzing about off to the south. Radjabov had taken Stepanakert to investigate, and found the source of the problem. A little trawler, no more than two hundred tons, had made a mighty effort to outrun a Jarahi-type MTB - an exercise in futility, seeing that the Persian vessel was nearly thirty knots faster. The chase had, therefore, been quite short, and ended when the trawler ran herself onto a sandbar near the Azeri coast.

Of course, Radjabov thought. The Persians don't want to give her up, but she MIGHT be inside our three-mile limit.

"Ship bearing zero-nine-zero, range indeterminate," the lookout announced.

Radjabov sighed and glanced over, knowing already what he would find. There she was - the massive Persian gunship Arak, sweeping down to reinforce the Jarahi and lay further claim to the capture.

"Radio the Gunboat Squadron," Radjabov finally growled. "Tell them we have a major problem."

Azeri torpedo boat Bazarduzu Dagi
Captain Mahmed Suleymanov crumpled the sheet of paper in his fist. "Fools! What the hell are they thinking? Pass on a message that we're moving to intercept - and have Captain Amirov shake some airplanes out of the air-force!"

The gunboat squadron, lead by Bazarduzu Dagi, made a sweeping turn to the southeast, bells ringing for more speed. Arabalinski and Shikhlinski were making their flank speed of twenty-one knots, but Bazarduzu Dagi was barely stretching herself - she could make twenty-nine, and it had been a constant puzzle to Suleymanov why the Navy design board hadn't built the newer ships to match the flagship's speed. Oh well.

A half-hour brought them in sight of the action. The Arak had boarded the little trawler and pulled her off the sandbar, while Stepanakert, dwarfed and outnumbered, watched from nearby. Suleymanov growled in anger: by his reckoning, the capture had been made in Azeri coastal waters... although the Persians could almost certainly argue the point. But Suleymanov had to draw the line, which was why he had gotten the gunboat squadron formed only a month before. Arabalinski and Shikhlinski were new, only a month out from their completed working-up cruises, and with his three large ships Suleymanov wanted to make a statement.

"Go to action stations," Suleymanov ordered. "Course one-one-five, keep formation. Signal the squadron: do not, repeat, do NOT engage unless flagship does." In addition to acting as Bazarduzu Dagi's captain, Suleymanov was having to command the formation as well. No Azeri commander had ever commanded a formation larger than three ships - those of course being motor torpedo boats.

The Arak, having pulled the captured trawler off the sandbar, was now shifting to interdict the Azeri forces come down to investigate. The Jahari, meanwhile, interposed herself between the Stepanakert and the trawler, which under a prize crew was slowly chugging south.

"Signalman," Suleymanov roared. "Transmit to the Persian ships, in regular morse: 'Heave to, and await my boat.'"

"No response, sir."

No surprise, Suleymanov thought darkly. What he wanted to do was inspect that trawler before the Persians had the chance to plant evidence - he was certain that elements of their Gendarmerie were not above it, to prove to their superiors that the smuggling they believed was happening was true.

"Fire off a flare, and repeat the message," Suleymanov finally said. "And course zero-nine-zero." They were closing rapidly on the Persian ship, and while they were in international waters, moving east away from the shore, Persian territory was close. Suleymanov was willing to allow that the Persians might have been confused about the location of the border - in which case, he wanted to set them straight.

"No response, sir."

Suleymanov pounded his fist in frustration on the bridge-rail. "Change course to one-two-zero, ring for flank speed. If they won't pay attention, we'll close them and use a bullhorn!"

Persian warship Arak
Captain Ali Akbar Tafazzoli felt sweat gathering on his brow as the Azeri ships closed in on him. Bazarduzu Dagi he knew well: Arak had made several brushes with her since the the Persian ship's completion: longtime rivals, in a sense. The two new Azeri ships were unknowns, but Tafazzoli knew the three ships together presented a danger even to his much larger Arak: all three ships had torpedoes, and had seven 105mm guns between them.

"She's making a torpedo run," the first lieutenant said, alarm in his voice. "She must be making a torpedo run, closing on us like that!"

Tafazzoli wondered what kind of stunt the Azeris were trying to pull. Another flare came from the torpedo-boat's bridge, another signal to heave-to and wait for a boat. As if we'd accept orders from such ill-mannered dogs. "Signalman," Tafazzoli said carefully, "Warn those mangy horse-drivers to keep their distance! Guns, if she doesn't comply, I want you to fire a burst from the 25mm guns over her bows, don't hit her. I don't want to be starting a war."

The Bazarduzu Dagi apparently didn't take the hint, and the first officer was getting antsy. "All right, guns, give me a few rounds across her bow..."

Bazarduzu Dagi
They were still almost a kilometer away when a flash erupted from the side of the Arak, and a spray of tracers stitched up a line a hundred meters in front of the Azeri torpedo boat. Suleymanov spun to face his gunnery officer, fear calling him to fire on the Persian ship, survival instinct telling him to run. Whatever orders he might have given were made moot as Bazarduzu Dagi's 20mm guns began firing, straight at the Arak.

Moments later the Persian ship returned fire in earnest, the situation spiraling out of control before Suleymanov had time to think. A 50mm shell from Arak crashed amidships, and someone shouted "Fire on the boat deck!" The ship's damage-control team rushed to fight it, jettisoning the ship's torpedoes.

A single 13-cm shell penetrated through Bazarduzu Dagi's upperworks without exploding as the torpedoes went overboard. Suleymanov turned to the helmsman. "Reverse course, and lay smoke! Get us out of here!"

"Flagship launched torpedoes!" the lookout reported.

Lieutenant Zadeh nodded. The Persians were firing on the flagship, and Arablinski's guns were already firing. "Launch torpedoes!" Zadeh ordered. "Fire all guns, they started it!"


Tafazzoli swore. "Fire back, all guns, and launch our own torpedoes at the leader! Rudder hard to starboard!"

Arak emptied her four tubes and heeled away. Bazarduzu Dagi was already burning fiercely*, but the smaller Azeri gunboats had also launched torpedoes, which came streaking towards Arak in a haphazard spread. Despite that, the range was low, and one was well-aimed. With a sense of horrific finality, Tafazzoli watched the trail of bubbles approach his ship at a 45-degree angle, hitting the hull... and failing to explode.

Tafazzoli gasped, not realizing he had been holding his breath. Even the small Azeri torpedo could have caused serious damage to the ship, possibly even have sunk it. Arak's own spread missed as the remaining Azeris turned northward.

"Cease fire!" Tafazzoli ordered.

"We just sank their flagship!" the first officer crowed.

Bazarduzu Dagi
It had taken Suleymanov far too long to rergain control of his ships. The gunboats had at least turned northward to benefit themselves of the smokescreen, and it gave the Azeris enough time to regain control. Suleymanov knew the situation was far worse now than a mere freighter stopped in Azeri waters... it was time, he thought, to go home.

*In truth, laying smoke.

- Bazarduzu Dagi: 87%, 3 wounded.
- Arablinski: 100%
- Shiklinski: 100%
- Stepanakert: 100%
- Arak: 94%, 2 wounded.
- Jahari: 100%
- Unidentified Freighter: 80%


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 8:43am

March 27
The Azeri government is outraged by the apparent violation of Azeri territorial waters by the Persian Navy, and by the Persian forces subsequently firing on the Azeri warships coming to investigate. Azerbaijan rejects Persian claims that the Azeri ships fired first, bringing out the logs of all three ships involved.

The Azeri government has requested immediate third-party mediation to look into the affair, venturing to state that should such mediation show the Azeri Navy was to blame, they will make a full apology. The Navy spokesman qualified his statement: "However, there is still the uncertain issue of Persia's seizure of a ship in what we believe at this time to be Azeri waters."

March 29
An Azeri surveyor has looked over the exact location of the sand-bar the as-yet unidentified freighter grounded herself on, and noted that the spot was precisely 5,690 meters from the Azeri shore, while the nearest Persian shore is 5,710 meters. Based on Azerbaijan's acceptance of the three-mile (5.6km) limit, this puts the spot barely outside both Persian and Azeri territorial waters; however Persia accepts the 12-mile limit.*

Official statement by the Azeri Navy: "The forces involved had every reason to believe the ship was being seized within Azeri territorial waters, and the commander was asking to discuss the issue with his Persian counterpart when the Persian ship opened fire. The Azeri warships returned fire in self-defense, using guns and torpedoes, and then retired behind a smoke-screen."

*Iran accepts the 12-mile limit IRL, so I presume Persia might as well.

This post has been edited 3 times, last edit by "Brockpaine" (May 28th 2008, 9:01am)

Kaiser Kirk

Lightbringer and former European Imperialist

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Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 10:09am

Hmm, seems like the inland sea has come to a boil.
No serious harm done it appears.
< hmm market for directors >

Seems like territorial water limits will come under scrutiny.


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 2:08pm

OOC: Great story! Very enjoyable to read.

Remember folks this is how the South American War started. If only that torpedo hadn't been a dud...
I guess the Azeris should switch suppliers! :D


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 2:49pm

More of a simmer so far


Hmm, seems like the inland sea has come to a boil.

There are ways to keep it from getting too hot.

Petrograd Post, 28 March 1936

Deputy Foreign Minister Potemkin released following statement today:

Russian Federation Government deplore outbreak of armed violence on heretofore peaceful waters of Caspian Sea.

Russian Federation Government remind involved governments that legal status of Caspian Sea is not defined, and so territorial claims upon its waters have questionable basis in law.



*Iran accepts the 12-mile limit IRL, so I presume Persia might as well.

Not on the Caspian. According to the 1921 and 1941 Soviet-Iranian treaties, the Caspian is a condominium, a common property, except for 10-mile exclusive fishing zones.

This remains in force, though there are proposals for methods of dividing the Caspian between the riparian states

This post has been edited 4 times, last edit by "AdmKuznetsov" (May 28th 2008, 3:09pm)


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 4:03pm

Good stuff!


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 4:28pm

Good stuff !

It looks like another place gets hot ;)


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 5:03pm

Good stuff indeed.


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 6:09pm

RE: More of a simmer so far


Originally posted by AdmKuznetsov


*Iran accepts the 12-mile limit IRL, so I presume Persia might as well.

Not on the Caspian. According to the 1921 and 1941 Soviet-Iranian treaties, the Caspian is a condominium, a common property, except for 10-mile exclusive fishing zones.

This remains in force, though there are proposals for methods of dividing the Caspian between the riparian states

Hm, I wasn't aware of that - that changes things. The exclusive fishing zones, however... that might make another incident! :D

*Official voice:* Azerbaijan will accept mediation regarding territorial waters and the Astara incident, and if necessary will retract its claim to territorial waters, but only if the Persians are willing to address their interdiction of Azeri-flagged ships on the Caspian.


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 6:32pm


Not on the Caspian. According to the 1921 and 1941 Soviet-Iranian treaties, the Caspian is a condominium, a common property, except for 10-mile exclusive fishing zones.

Firstly, you should ignore anything regarding the 1941 treaty for obvious reasons and secondly this is Wesworld so the 1921 treaty does not necessarily have to exist.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Rooijen10" (May 28th 2008, 6:33pm)


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 8:27pm

I agree, Roo...

which is why all Deputy Foreign Minister Potemkin said is that the legal status of the Caspian Sea is not defined, and so any territorial claims on it are of questionable legality.


Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 8:31pm

Maybe now would be a good time to define it.


Keeper of the Sacred Block Coefficient

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Wednesday, May 28th 2008, 11:35pm

Very good stuff indeed....