Author Topic: "Strangers In The Night" Ascension Island 1984  (Read 6148 times)

Offline Cliffy B

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"Strangers In The Night" Ascension Island 1984
« on: March 03, 2013, 12:10:29 AM »
That's right!  If any of you guys remember my Falklands story you'll feel right at home with this one  ;)

More details later but so far we have, 2 capital ships, 1 corvette, 1 submarine, and assorted patrol/yard craft flying multiple flags.  Only one will be coming from a kit and I'm only using the hull, 1/3 of the deck and some other sundry parts.  What am I getting myself into.... :-\  Photos to follow tonight hopefully.  I'll be starting construction on one of the caps or the corvette today.

By Poseidon's will I shall finish this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 12:18:16 PM by Cliffy B »
"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 09:18:51 AM »
Looking forward to it  :)

Offline Cliffy B

  • Ship Whiffer Extraordinaire...master of Beyond Visual Range Modelling
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Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2013, 10:29:27 AM »
OK, progress on one of the whiffed "capital ships" as promised!  Can you guess what it is? A hint, she'll be flying the White Ensign.




The first photo shows a Hobby Boss 688 Class SSN and a basswood hull for my corvette for size comparisons.  The bow is on the left in the 1st photo and the right in the 2nd.  I still need to add another layer of square stock before I can put on the main deck as well as detail and paint the interior space I blocked out.  Then I can finish sculpting the bow and stern in the vertical dimension.

More to come later!

Any and all thoughts, comments, ideas, etc... are appreciated as always,
-Mike
"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline father ennis

  • I got paint older than most of you guys ...
  • Our Scifi, armour-building Rennissance Priest...
Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2013, 03:47:37 PM »
Looks very promising !!!  I really find your method of building interesting. One of these day I must try building with basswood,myself. I can't wait to see more.
I may be old but I'm not dead ... yet anyway ... !!!    And NO I did not know Richard III !!!!!!

Offline Cliffy B

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Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2013, 11:50:29 AM »
Update!  Started working on the other "capital ship".  This is the one from the kit and you can see the hull and deck in addition to my custom deck.  I botched the kit big time over 5 years ago and its been in its box since.  Thankfully I barely glued together any of it so now I can salvage it for this build. 

I'm building one of my two very favorite custom designs that I am very proud of.  I've started construction of the various parts of the new after deck and am waiting for some of them to dry before I continue.

Can you guess what it is yet?  Hint, its a 1/700 Trumpy Baltimore Heavy Cruiser kit.


The Corvette/OPV is in the foreground.  I've shaped the hull to the deck line and have glue some sheet plastic to make the bow shear.  Wait for all to dry before I add the final deck sheet and then carve the bow and stern.  I like using Basswood as its strong and durable but still sands and carves easily.  Balsa is just too light and flimsy for my liking but it can be used as well.

Any and all questions, comments, ideas, etc... are appreciated as always,
-Mike
"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline Cliffy B

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Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 10:59:57 AM »
Update on the RN Cap;  should be able to figure out what she is now, at least part of her....


I'll trim the deck plates to the hull shape after they dry.  Once I do all of that I will cut the hole in the main deck so that the interior will be visible once I seal up the hull.  A removable deck house will be constructed atop the hole.


Sculpted the sheets that made up the deck shear and glued the main deck to the OPV.  The sides will get covered with putty after I carve the bow and stern to shape.  Still following Father Ennis?




Come on guys, try and guess what they are!  ;)

-Mike
"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline father ennis

  • I got paint older than most of you guys ...
  • Our Scifi, armour-building Rennissance Priest...
Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 04:21:33 PM »
Yep !!!   You bet I am,alright !!!  I'm thoughly enjoying your builds and how you do it.
I may be old but I'm not dead ... yet anyway ... !!!    And NO I did not know Richard III !!!!!!

Offline Cliffy B

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Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2013, 08:53:57 AM »
How about a good old fashioned surface gun battle in the middle of the night? 

...and cue Sinatra  8)

Quote
"Strangers In The Night" 
A Short Story by: Michael Goughan



HMS Grey Goose (P220)
12nm NNE of Ascension Island
March 31, 1984 0130 Hours

   "Damn its eerie out here!  No moon, no engines, just the sound o' the wind and the sea."
   "You can say that again mate.  Plenty of stars though."
   "Aye, that there are Reggie, that there are..."
   As the two lookouts conversed on the open bridge, HMS Grey Goose (P220) lay motionless beneath their feet.  An engineering casualty left their 40 meter patrol craft to the mercy of the tides almost twenty minutes prior and her small band of engineers were still wrestling with the problem.
   "We stuck Chief?"
   "Aye Cap'n...  Those daft fools on the tender 'ave some explaining to do.  That brand  new number two diesel they installed the other day is a complete write off.  How it ever passed the pre-install run up I haven't the foggiest.  I won't bore you with the technical details but the bloody thing has more things wrong with it than Parliament.  Major issues; head gasket is blown, block is cracked, and it threw two pistons one of which cocked up the cross connection gearing.  I could get the cross connection sorted but we could get a tow and be pier side in probably half the time s'ah."
   "No hope for number one yet?"
   "Negative s'ah.  Whatever hit us earlier bent the shaft.  She won't be turning anytime soon unless you want to go for a swim.  I can run her for power though and she's already rigged."
   "Alright Chief, run her up and I'll go call it in.  Oh, and wait for me when we get back.  I fancy joining you for the chat with the tender."
   "Aye s'ah!"  Both men shared sly grins as the Captain headed forward to the CIC or combat information center.  Before he made it fifteen feet, the emergency lights gave way to the main lights and the familiar hum of his ship returned.

ARA Mendoza (S-42)
0140 Hours

   "So we are unable to dive then, that's what you are telling me el Teniente?
   "Si, el Capitán.  The fire shorted the diving circuits and the manual controls aren't responding.  There's nothing we can do sir, not without a dry docking.  Sir, with all due respect we both knew it was only a matter of time and-"  The Captain held up his hand and let out a sigh of disgust.
   "I discussed this with Command before we left el Teniente, they would hear none of it and deemed the mission more important.  Damn fools..."
   "What are your orders el Capitán?"
   "We proceed with the mission Felix.  We're too close now to abort.  Thankfully our illustrious leaders planned this operation for a moonless night so you have until sunrise to come up with a solution to our problem.
   "El Capitán there's nothing we can-"
   "Think Felix!  We don't need to go to our maximum depth, we just need to get the sail underwater far enough to avoid visual detection until we are within range of our own aircraft again.  Get whomever and whatever you need el Teniente."
   "Si el Capitán.  It will be done"  The Captain turned to a sound powered phone and called the bridge.
   "We'll be riding on the surface for the time being.  Order flank speed and for all gun crews to man and load their weapons.  I'm going topside, have Teniente Soto meet me there."  He returned the phone to its receptacle, gave a parting nod to his Engineering Officer and headed for the conning tower to discuss their mission with the commander of their Marine guests.

HMS Grey Goose (P220)
0145 Hours

   "So we're stuck here for awhile, bloody wonderful."
   "Hey, I'll take this wonderful tropical setting any day over freezing our arses off in Falkland Sound."
   "Too right mate.  Guess this little engine issue means we'll be hanging around a bit-"
   "You hear that?"
   "Hear what Reggie?"
   "Quiet...  Over there."
   "Engines?  Diesels?"
   "Aye.  We're not supposed to have any company nearby right?"
   "We're all by our lonesome until morning."
   "Right, call CIC."

   "Evening lads, as you were."  Announced the Captain as he entered the Goose's CIC.  "Johnny call home and get us a tow please."
   "Chief Brown can't fix it sir?
   "Not unless he can pull a new engine and a new screw shaft out his arse."
   "Why not?  He's pulled every other part on this ship out before.  He forget to stock up before we left?"  That drew a round of laughter from the entire CIC watch.
   "Just make the call you cheeky bastard."  Ordered the Captain, still laughing.
   "Aye, aye sir."
   "Captain?  Sir, you're needed on the flying bridge immediately.  We might have some company."  Announced a crewmen.
   "Never boring is it lad?"  Answered the Captain as he headed topside.

   "Alright lads, what's this about....company."  The Captain paused mid sentence as he began to hear the engine sounds.
   "We're alone out her right sir?"
   "That's right."  The Captain leaned over and picked up the sound powered phone.  "CIC, This is the Captain, report all contacts."
   "Wait one Cap'n.  Radar is just coming back online.  Getting a real weak and intermittent contact bearing 250, about 3000 yards and closing."
   "That's what I was afraid of.  Call the crew to Action Stations.  We have company."  As his order was being carried out he broke open a locker and joined his lookouts in donning their combat gear; anti-flash hoods, helmets, and life jackets.  Afterwards he went below to the pilot house to take command of the intercept, opting to let his second in command run the CIC.  Several minutes later a young seamen reported all stations manned and ready.  "Very well, let's see who are guest is shall we?  Green, if you-.  Wait one."
   "Captain!!!  Sir!"  Shouted a breathless seamen as he broke onto the bridge with a flash message in his hand.  The Captain lowered the phone and upon looking at the message could feel the blood leaving his face.
   "Are you absolutely, one-hundred percent positive lad?"
   "Aye sir, we decoded it three times to be sure."  The Captain stood there for a moment.  Captain was just an honorary title as the Goose was his command, his first command.  He was only a Lieutenant.  He regained his composure as his training took over.
   "Green, order all guns to sight in on the contact and load illumination in the 76.  Lookouts stand by on your glasses.  We're only going to get a short look at this guy and I want a positive ID as quick as you can make it.  Johnny get command on the line now. We have an unknown surface contact to port; probable enemy submarine, range 2000 yards.  Intend to identify and engage.  Send it now lad."
   "Sir all gun crews report ready."
   "Very well."  The Captain reached above his head and took down the ship's internal communications handset.  "Attention all hands, this is the Captain.  We have just received the report we all hoped would never come.  The Argentines have launched attacks on all fronts.  We are now at war lads, conduct yourselves accordingly.  We have an unknown surface contact to port, probably an enemy submarine looking to land commandos.  I intend to identify our guest and when they're deemed sufficiently hostile, blow they're arses out of the water.  Standby all gun crews."  He returned the handset and looked at his men, hoping they didn't notice his shaking hands.  "It's show time lads.  Green, hit the lights."  Forward the 76mm automatic cannon sounded with a sharp crack.  Three seconds later the round exploded high over head and behind the contact thus backlighting them allowing for a crisp silhouette and identification without illuminating themselves in the process.  As the flare descended in its parachute the shape it caught in its magnesium fueled light was unmistakable; a Foxtrot class submarine with, were those guns on deck?  His lookouts confirmed what they all saw.  "All batteries open fire, open fire!"
   All of the Goose's guns spoke at once.  7.62mm, 76mm, and every projectile in between now filled the space between the two vessels.  Now it would be a race to get in the needed blows.  Round after round slammed into the hull of the Argentine submarine, most causing only superficial damage, her pressure hull acting as armored plating.  Two 76mm rounds had landed extremely close to the sub, before the first return fire was received.  Two ten-round bursts from a twin 57mm cannon raked the Goose.  The first fell well short while the second scored a few hits shaking the Goose violently as each one allowed in torrents of seawater.  Joined by a twin 25mm machine gun the 57mm got off one more burst before being silenced by the Goose's after 40mm Bofors.  The 25mm crew was also short lived as a twin 20mm Oerlikon raked the sail at the same time as the 76mm found its mark and blew off the forward portion.  A final 76mm round sealed her fate, penetrating the forward hull and detonating her torpedoes.
   "Down!"  Screamed the Captain, grabbing the closest nearby crewmen and slamming them to the deck.  The explosion rocked the small patrol boat severely as the shock wave enveloped them sending bodies against bulkheads and fittings as if they were rag dolls.  After the cacophony ceased The Captain pulled himself up onto the radar repeater, and through the now spidered bridge windows, caught sight of the burning submarine as she slid below the surface one final time.
   "Bloody Hell....that's one way to start a war eh Cap'n?"  Asked the helmsman as he got to feet.
   "You can say that again lad."  Replied the Captain as the two of them began helping the injured bridge crew to their feet.  "Take them down to the mess and call for the doc."  As the less severely wounded helped a few of their comrades from the bridge the Captain picked up a sound powered phone and called the CIC.  "CIC, Bridge, Johnny you alright?  How's the radio?"
   "I don't know how sir but she's still working.  I'll call for help sir."
   "Good on you lad."
   The Goose wasn't too far off from sinking herself.  The Kevlar and steel armor performed admirably against the machine gun rounds and even some of the 25mm rounds but stood no chance at all against the 57mm rounds.  She was holed five times in her hull, two below the waterline.  Crewmen were busy plugging the holes and setting up portable pumps.  Unbeknownst to the crew, they weren't out of the woods yet.

To be continued...


Enjoy folks!

Some background: the Grey Goose is a 40m Patrol Craft built by Brooke Marine of England.  Anyone familiar with the RAN Fremantle Class PCs will recognize it as they were built from the basic 40m design.  For the story, around 15 or so were ordered with heavy gun armament by a Middle Eastern country but said country had a regime change immediately prior to delivery.  The RN needing patrol craft for the Falklands/Ascension scooped them up and christened them the Wildlife class with the first six being named after the WWII-era steam gunboats.  The Mendoza is a Foxtrot from the Soviets that's been modified with the old fashioned gun armament of the Whiskey and Zulu classes.  The Argentines figuring the guns would lend needed support while deploying spec ops teams along coastlines thick with patrol craft.


Onto my models.


I've revamped my idea to tighten its focus and hopefully allow for a completed project (yeah sure... ;D).  Alright what you see is an RN repair ship/destroyer tender in the center with some LCMs.  Behind is the ASW OPV now with her deck house and stacks.  Alongside her is a USN yard oiler filling her tanks.  On the other side of the tender is the Grey Goose on a submersible barge being utilized as a drydock for small craft with some LCM-8s tied up alongside.  In the foreground is a USN PB Mk IV acting as harbor security, heading out for a patrol.

The "barge" is a scrap piece of basswood that will be replaced.  Its just there for a placeholder for now.

Any and all thoughts, comments, ideas, etc... are appreciated as always,
-Mike

PS...I really don't like the new Photobucket!!!!!!!  Why they have to constantly fix things that aren't broken..... :icon_twisted: :icon_twisted: :icon_twisted:
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 12:07:47 AM by Cliffy B »
"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline Cliffy B

  • Ship Whiffer Extraordinaire...master of Beyond Visual Range Modelling
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Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2013, 05:08:46 AM »
So what did you think of the story?  Update time!



Playing around with some different layouts right now on a Masonite drawing board.  Painted the hulls of the tender, OPV, and YO and then sanded a bunch off to smooth them more.  Whipped up a little submersible barge based on a USN YF barge and sanded the crap outta the little Grey Goose.  Remember how she was just some blocks of square stock glued together in the last photo?  Now she's fully shaped and ready for some putty and a superstructure.  Gave the interior of the tender's hangar a coat of deck gray as well.  I will finish painting the deck before I put in the detailed and painted bulkheads.  The LCMs will become random yard craft with at least one or two becoming pusher tugs for the barge.  The little LCVPs will get lower hulls and be aboard the tender in davits if all goes according to plan.

She's moving along.  Until next time.
"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2013, 09:11:23 PM »
Looks good.....

Offline Brian da Basher

  • He has an unnatural attraction to Spats...and a growing fascination with airships!
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Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2013, 03:23:12 AM »
That's a gripping tale, Cap'n Cliffy! Just one question, wasn't Michael Goughan The Prisoner?

Oh, wait, that was Patrick McGoohan. Sorry about that.

The fleet's coming along very nicely! You have very enviable scratch-building talent!

Ahoy!!!

Brian da Basher

Offline Cliffy B

  • Ship Whiffer Extraordinaire...master of Beyond Visual Range Modelling
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Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2013, 04:07:47 AM »
Thanks guys  :D

Being mistaken for Patrick McGoohan....now that's a first!  I have English and Irish in me (among others) and some Irish ancestors dating back to the 1600's so you're "close" I guess... ;D


This should help you guys visualize what the tender will look like when she's done.  Its not entirely in proportion but its close enough.  The thumbnail has the the PC alongside and the yard craft puttering around.


-Mike

"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline Dr. YoKai

  • Was in High School when mastadons roamed the plains...
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Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2013, 09:34:27 AM »
 Good story - heck of an ambitious build!

Offline Cliffy B

  • Ship Whiffer Extraordinaire...master of Beyond Visual Range Modelling
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Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2013, 11:45:55 PM »
Well add this to never ending list of never finished builds.... :-X :-X :-X

I've added to the story a bit and I'm working on a drawing of the scene to add to it.  We'll see how far I get by the deadline tonight.  Consider the midnight oil lit!
"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline Cliffy B

  • Ship Whiffer Extraordinaire...master of Beyond Visual Range Modelling
  • Its ZOTT!!!
    • My Artwork
Re: Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 10:31:38 AM »
Beer and Metallica came through again, behold!!!  8)


Full size
Make sure to click full size, then the little magnifying glass in the lower right hand corner, wait for the image then click the magnifying glass again to view full size.

I'll either be finishing it in pencil or inking it with a possible splash of watercolor in the end.  Don't know just yet.  Right now it just a pencil drawing and that texture you see in the background in the watercolor paper; 300lb cold press.

The scene is the conclusion of our story with HMS Grey Goose (P220) finally back in Ascension aboard a submersible barge alongside HMS St. Albans Head (A238) getting some much needed repair work.  You can see her 40mm Bofors be lifted away, her screws and shafts have been removed, and her mast laying on its side on the barge of which she'll be needing a completely new one.  There's an LCM alongside offloading some crated parts while another is to port and out of view doing the same thing.  Armament for the tender is 4 twin 40mm Bofors with on mount fire control radars, 2 Phalanx CIWS mounts, and 1 twin Sea Wolf launcher that reloads vertically from a small below decks magazine of about 20 missiles.  I molded her after the Round Table LSLs and the USN LST-1171 Class

Any other questions just ask  :)

I'll post the rest of the story soon, only an hour and a half left!!!!!!!!!  :o

Any and all thoughts, comments, ideas, etc... are appreciated as always,
-Mike
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 10:42:30 AM by Cliffy B »
"Radials growl, inlines purr, jets blow!"  -Anonymous

"Helos don't fly.  They vibrate so violently that the ground rejects them."  -Tom Clancy

"If all else fails, call in an air strike."  -Anonymous

Offline Cliffy B

  • Ship Whiffer Extraordinaire...master of Beyond Visual Range Modelling
  • Its ZOTT!!!
    • My Artwork
Re: "Strangers In The Night" Ascension Island 1984
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2013, 12:16:26 PM »
Well alright the story is done!!!  Enjoy!  8)

Quote
"Strangers In The Night"
A Short Story by: Michael Goughan

Part I

HMS Grey Goose (P220)
12nm NNE of Ascension Island
March 31, 1984 0130 Hours


   "Damn its eerie out here!  No moon, no engines, just the sound o' the wind and the sea."
   "You can say that again mate.  Plenty of stars though."
   "Aye, that there are Reggie, that there are..."
   As the two lookouts conversed on the open bridge, HMS Grey Goose (P220) lay motionless beneath their feet.  An engineering casualty left their 42 meter patrol craft to the mercy of the tides almost twenty minutes prior and her small band of engineers were still wrestling with the problem.
   "We stuck Chief?"
   "Aye Cap'n...  Those daft fools on the tender 'ave some explaining to do.  That brand  new number two diesel they installed the other day is a complete write off.  How it ever passed the pre-install run up I haven't the foggiest.  I won't bore you with the technical details but the bloody thing has more things wrong with it than Parliament.  Major issues; head gasket is blown, block is cracked, and it threw two pistons one of which cocked up the cross connection gearing.  I could get the cross connection sorted but we could get a tow and be pier side in probably half the time s'ah."
   "No hope for number one yet?"
   "Negative s'ah.  Whatever hit us earlier bent the shaft.  She won't be turning anytime soon unless you want to go for a swim.  I can run her for power though and she's already rigged."
   "Alright Chief, run her up and I'll go call it in.  Oh, and wait for me when we get back.  I fancy joining you for the chat with the tender."
   "Aye s'ah!"  Both men shared sly grins as the Captain headed forward to the CIC or combat information center.  Before he made it fifteen feet, the emergency lights gave way to the main lights and the familiar hum of his ship returned.

ARA Mendoza (S-42)
0140 Hours


   "So we are unable to dive then, that's what you are telling me el Teniente?
   "Si, el Capitán.  The fire shorted the diving circuits and the manual controls aren't responding.  There's nothing we can do sir, not without a dry docking.  Sir, with all due respect we both knew it was only a matter of time and-"  The Captain held up his hand and let out a sigh of disgust.
   "I discussed this with Command before we left el Teniente, they would hear none of it and deemed the mission more important.  Damn fools..."
   "What are your orders el Capitán?"
   "We proceed with the mission Felix.  We're too close now to abort.  Thankfully our illustrious leaders planned this operation for a moonless night so you have until sunrise to come up with a solution to our problem.
   "El Capitán there's nothing we can-"
   "Think Felix!  We don't need to go to our maximum depth, we just need to get the sail underwater far enough to avoid visual detection until we are within range of our own aircraft again.  Get whomever and whatever you need el Teniente."
   "Si el Capitán.  It will be done"  The Captain turned to a sound powered phone and called the bridge.
   "We'll be riding on the surface for the time being.  Order flank speed and for all gun crews to man and load their weapons.  I'm going topside, have Teniente Soto meet me there."  He returned the phone to its receptacle, gave a parting nod to his Engineering Officer and headed for the conning tower to discuss their mission with the commander of their Marine guests.

HMS Grey Goose (P220)
0145 Hours


   "So we're stuck here for awhile, bloody wonderful."
   "Hey, I'll take this wonderful tropical setting any day over freezing our arses off in Falkland Sound."
   "Too right mate.  Guess this little engine issue means we'll be hanging around a bit-"
   "You hear that?"
   "Hear what Reggie?"
   "Quiet...  Over there."
   "Engines?  Diesels?"
   "Aye.  We're not supposed to have any company nearby right?"
   "We're all by our lonesome until morning."
   "Right, call CIC."

   "Evening lads, as you were."  Announced the Captain as he entered the Goose's CIC.  "Johnny call home and get us a tow please."
   "Chief Brown can't fix it sir?
   "Not unless he can pull a new engine and a new screw shaft out his arse."
   "Why not?  He's pulled every other part on this ship out before.  He forget to stock up before we left?"  That drew a round of laughter from the entire CIC watch.
   "Just make the call you cheeky bastard."  Ordered the Captain, still laughing.
   "Aye, aye sir."
   "Captain?  Sir, you're needed on the flying bridge immediately.  We might have some company."  Announced a crewmen.
   "Never boring is it lad?"  Answered the Captain as he headed topside.

   "Alright lads, what's this about....company."  The Captain paused mid sentence as he began to hear the engine sounds.
   "We're alone out her right sir?"
   "That's right."  The Captain leaned over and picked up the sound powered phone.  "CIC, This is the Captain, report all contacts."
   "Wait one Cap'n.  Radar is just coming back online.  Ah, there we go!  Alright, I'm getting a real weak and intermittent contact bearing 202, about 5000 yards and closing sir."
   "That's what I was afraid of.  Call the crew to Action Stations.  We have company."  As his order was being carried out he broke open a locker and joined his lookouts in donning their combat gear; anti-flash hoods, helmets, and life jackets.  Afterwards he went below to the pilot house to take command of the intercept, opting to let his second in command run the CIC instead of the opposite.  Several minutes later a young seamen reported all stations manned and ready.  "Very well, let's see who are guest is shall we?  Green, if you-.  Wait one."
   "Captain!!!  Sir!"  Shouted a breathless seamen as he broke onto the bridge with a flash message in his hand.  The Captain lowered the phone and upon looking at the message could feel the blood leaving his face.
   "Are you absolutely, one-hundred percent positive lad?"
   "Aye sir, we decoded it three times to be sure."  The Captain stood there for a moment.  Captain was just an honorary title as the Goose was his command, his first command.  He was however only a Lieutenant.  He regained his composure as his training took over.
   "Green, order all guns to sight in on the contact and load illumination in the 76.  Lookouts stand by on your glasses.  We're only going to get a short look at this guy and I want a positive ID as quick as you can make it.  Johnny get command on the line now. We have an unknown surface contact to port; probable enemy submarine, range 3800 yards.  Intend to identify and engage.  Send it now lad."
   "Sir all gun crews report ready."
   "Very well."  The Captain reached above his head and took down the ship's internal communications handset.  "Attention all hands, this is the Captain.  We have just received the report we all hoped would never come.  The Argentines have launched attacks on all fronts.  We are now at war lads, conduct yourselves accordingly."  He paused for a few moments to let reality of his words sink in.  The stunned looks on his bridge crew's faces reflected his own feelings on the matter.  He raised the handset and continued, "We have an unknown surface contact to port, probably an enemy submarine looking to land commandos.  I intend to identify our guest and when they're deemed sufficiently hostile, blow they're arses out of the water.  Standby all gun crews and damage control teams."  He returned the handset and looked at his men, hoping they didn't notice his shaking hands.  "It's show time lads.  Green, hit the lights."  Forward the 76mm automatic cannon sounded with a sharp crack instantly followed the metallic clatter of the spent shell casing being ejected onto the deck.  Three seconds later the illumination round exploded high over head and behind the contact thus backlighting them allowing for a crisp silhouette and identification.  As the flare descended in its parachute the shape it caught in its magnesium fueled light was unmistakable; a Foxtrot class submarine with...were those guns on deck?  His lookouts confirmed what they all saw.  "All batteries open fire, open fire!"
   All of the Goose's guns spoke at once.  7.62mm, 76mm, and every projectile in between now filled the space between the two vessels.  Now it would be a race to get in the needed blows.  Round after round slammed into the hull of the Argentine submarine, most causing only superficial damage, her pressure hull acting as armored plating, at least against the smaller caliber rounds.  Two 76mm rounds had landed extremely close to the sub, before the first return fire was received.  Two ten-round bursts from a twin 57mm cannon raked the Goose.  The first fell well short while the second scored a few hits shaking the Goose violently as each one allowed in torrents of seawater.  Joined by a twin 25mm machine gun the 57mm got off one more burst before being silenced by the Goose's after 40mm Bofors.  The 25mm crew was also short lived as a twin 20mm Oerlikon raked the sail at the same time as the 76mm found its mark and blew off the forward portion.  A final 76mm round sealed her fate, penetrating the forward hull and detonating her torpedoes.
   "Down!"  Screamed the Captain, grabbing the closest nearby crewmen and slamming them to the deck.  The explosion rocked the small patrol boat severely as the shock wave enveloped them sending bodies against bulkheads and fittings as if they were rag dolls.  After the cacophony ceased The Captain pulled himself up onto the radar repeater, and through the now spidered bridge windows, caught sight of the burning submarine as she slid below the surface one final time.
   "Bloody Hell....that's one way to start a war eh Cap'n?"  Asked the helmsman as he got to feet.
   "You can say that again lad."  Replied the Captain as the two of them began helping the injured bridge crew to their feet.  "Take them down to the mess and call for the doc."  As the less severely wounded helped a few of their comrades from the bridge the Captain picked up a sound powered phone and called the CIC.  "CIC, Bridge, Johnny you alright?  How's the radio?"
   "I don't know how sir but she's still working.  I'll call for help sir."
   "Good on you lad."
   The Goose wasn't too far off from sinking herself.  The Kevlar and steel armor performed admirably against the machine gun rounds and even some of the 25mm rounds but stood no chance at all against the 57mm rounds.  She was holed five times in her hull, two below the waterline.  Crewmen were busy plugging the holes and setting up portable pumps.  Unbeknownst to the crew, they weren't out of the woods yet.

ARA Mendoza (S-42)
0148 Hours


   "Mierda!  What are those fools shooting at?!"  Asked the Captain aloud to the small crew atop the Mendoza's sail.  The distant fire fight had been going on for almost five minutes so far with no clear indication of a winner or even an upper hand so far.
   "The Chaco must have run into a picket boat señor."  Offered Teniente Soto referring to their sister submarine the ARA Chaco (S-44) also carrying a load of Marines.  Before the Captain could respond a brilliant flash erupted from one side of the fight and he felt himself being pulled down to the deck.  As the noise subsided Teniente Soto's face began to appear as the Captain regained his night vision.  The two slowly stood as the Captain made a visual check of his crewmen.  All were fine and staring forward in shock, the unmistakable cigar shaped silhouette of submarine at an very unnatural angle to the surface was clearly visible, as was its rapidly diminishing size.
   "Dios Mios..."  Breathed the Captain as he said a silent prayer for the Chaco's crew.  It was obvious what had happened and what would now happen.  He trained his binoculars to the stationary and listing patrol boat.  "Good," he thought to himself, "they immobilized and severely damaged them."  He picked up a sound powered phone and quickly barked some orders.  Before he could replace it he could feel his submarine turning and hear his gun crews removing ammo from the watertight ready service lockers and readying their weapons for action.  He'd approach the patrol boat from the opposite side of the previous fight allowing for their backlighting and hopefully catch them unaware until it was too late.  Fifteen more minutes and they'd be in range.

Part II

Sea King 43
47nm WNW of Ascension Island
March 31, 1984 0155 Hours


   "Give me another radar sweep please Evans," asked Lieutenant William Fisher.
   "Same as before Will; nothing..." responded Sub-Lieutenant Trevor Evans.
   "Alright, this quadrant is empty.  Make your heading 260 and let's go search another section of empty ocean..."
   "Yes sir, 260 it is," said Barnes as he rotated their Sea King HAS.5 helicopter to the new heading and increased the throttle and they settled in for the short hop to their next patrol grid.  They had already been patrolling for 3 hours acting as a set of long range eyes for their mother ship, HMS Ness (P280) a River-class 80m Patrol Craft.  She and her sister HMS Spey (P284) were coming to the end of a weeklong patrol stint in their usual section of the Atlantic.  Each craft was optimized for anti submarine warfare or ASW and carried a single Sea King to augment to their shipboard systems and help keep the subs at arm's length.  They were the inner barrier around Ascension Island and if a sub managed to get by them they'd be able to do untold amounts of damage to the ships in the harbor.  Their crew chief/ASW operator/radioman, Petty Officer Peter Bailey broke the silence with an urgent call.
   "Bloody Hell!!  Lads, it's started!!"
   "What are you going on about now Pete?" asked Fisher noticeably annoyed.
   "I just got a Gauntlet order!"
   "Very funny Pete.  Come on now, we're at the end of our cycle and due for some downtime and I don't want to-"
   "I'm not joking sir!  I decoded the message four times to be sure.  It's genuine!  Wait one, new message coming in."
   "Oh this has gotta be some sort of end of exercise joke the Yanks are playing on us or something.  Have those bloody commies gone completely mad?!" asked Fisher referring the multi-national military exercise UNITAS that had just concluded a few hours earlier.  Before Evans could respond Bailey was back.
   "Sir, we're ordered to return to the ship immediately for a hot pump and live weapons.  Afterwards we're to take up new patrol positions."
   "Dear Lord...  Roger that Bailey.  Evans I have her," answered Fisher as he took the controls and swung the helo towards Ness.  They flew the whole trip in stunned silence, speaking only when necessary.  It couldn't be real, war with the Argentine Alliance?!  The 90 minute flight seemed like it had just started when the Ness radioed with landing instructions.  Fisher circled their ship and lined up his approach to the stern mounted flight deck, the hooded landing lights glowing a dull red, giving him the faintest of outlines to aid his landing.  Fisher timed his approach with the rise and fall of the sea and set her down gently with a practiced ease.  Before he could blink, crewmen had his wheels chocked and a fuel hose plugged in.  He could hear the sound of his aircraft's liquid food being pumped into her thirsty tanks and watched as his gauges began to climb.  Meanwhile the hangar door had opened and more crewman ran a pair of empty carts out and stopped them between the helo's fuselage and main wheels.  With a few metallic clicks, the practice torpedoes were removed and the carts raced back to the hangar.  Almost before they had even moved another pair of carts replaced them only this time they had live torpedoes on them; war shots!  As the well drilled crew returned their carts another group of men appeared in the hangar only this group wasn't part of their normal crew.
   "Tanks are almost full boss and...what the?!  What are the Marines doing in the hangar?" asked Evans.
   "Better question is why are they in full kit?" responded Fisher.  They got their answer as one of the black clothed men ran up to the sliding side door and climbed aboard as Bailey opened it.
   "Sergeant Gray we meet again," greeted Fisher as the Royal Marine approached the cockpit.
   "That we do Leftenant.  New orders sir.  My lads and I need a lift," replied the Marine as he handed over a set of sealed orders.  Fisher broke the seal and quickly scanned them.
   "This really isn't all some crazy joke then is it Sergeant?"
   "I wish it was sir."
   "Very well, get your lads and gear stowed.  Our tanks are just about full and I don't want to waste any of it sitting on the deck."  The Marine Sergeant was gone before Fisher could finish his sentence.  Two minutes later all were aboard and Fisher was cleared for takeoff.  He eased the now heavier helo slowly into the air, allowing the Ness the move away from beneath him a short distance before he increased altitude and speed and pointed his nose east.
   As they leveled off he shared the details of their first official mission with his crew.  Their faces a mixture of shock, excitement, and astonishment.  So the little Grey Goose had engaged a surfaced submarine in a gun fight and sunk her only to be ambushed by another surfaced submarine, and defeat them as well in another gun fight!  Now they had them dead in the water, stuck on the surface apparently, and needed help boarding them!!  This was going to prove to be a very interesting night indeed.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 12:18:06 PM by Cliffy B »
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