Author Topic: Maritime Patrol GB Completed Literary Creations Thread  (Read 338 times)

Offline Old Wombat

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Maritime Patrol GB Completed Literary Creations Thread
« on: April 30, 2022, 02:53:42 PM »
The thread for all your completed literary efforts.

Note: These may include back stories to entered physical & graphics builds, if you think they're good enough to be judged on their own merits.
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Robomog

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Re: Maritime Patrol GB Completed Literary Creations Thread
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2022, 02:19:56 AM »

Miles G.1 Gyromagister

by Robomog, on Flickr

Hi all

I've had writers block for over three years now so I'm really happy to have finished this.

It not perfect, I have done very little research so it's possible there are some real howlers in there. I also know little of military/naval  speech and forms of address so all the dialog is straight out of my head.

A special thanks to Mrs Lady Mog for proof reading the draft.

Please look at it as a poor man's Boys Own or Commando Comics sort of yarn.........

..........and enjoy ;)

 The Second World War Comes to Durdle Door

The debacle of Dunkirk was coming to a close, Britain stood alone and weak, its army largely saved but its equipment decimated. Resources were imopossibly stretched and the focus of defence was in the south east. If the channel had not been there the German forces would have rolled over Britain and the history of the Second World War would have been a very different.

One dark night in 1940 an experimental landing craft slipped its line from the E-boat that was towing it and turned towards the Cornish coast. It followed the design of many Tank Landing Craft having a deep well to carry a small tank or a number of soldiers with a pilot cabin aft except this one had been adapted for stealth work. Its pilot cabin was wide and low, instead of one engine it had two for a fast getaway and the well had been plated over to create a shelter.

Tonight it was being used to land some spies to try and gauge the strength of the British defences, to find a weak spot or an alternative place to invade as the high command knew the south east coast was becoming an armed camp and would prove costly to invade, despite the weakness of the British army.

"Can't see damn all" said the Captain lowering his binoculars "we need to find Durdle Door but all I can see is sodding cliffs"

He was perched on the rim of a hatch set into the roof of the pilot house trying to make out land details on this moonless night he could see the outline of the top of the cliffs against the stars, but no real detail. His fellow seamen were having no better luck.

"Should be to our starboard" the Navigator called helpfully.

"I see it !" Said the sailor on his right " the cliffs drop away slightly, a couple of points off the starboard bow.

"Well spotted" replied replied the Captain " Helmsman, steer to port about four points, we will land on the beach away from the cove. Less chance of being seen"

"Aye sir"

The landing craft gradually turned to face the shadowy cliffs and puttered slowly forward on one engine to avoid making too much sound. The sea was relatively calm and the wind light, soon the cliffs towered above them and they could see waves breaking on the shore.

"Tides going out" warned the navigator "we will need to unload the spies fast, and watch out for rocks"


The landing craft lurched and the bow began to rise screeching over a submerged object.

"Stop engines!"

The landing craft scraped to a halt bobbing lightly in the waves.

"Reverse engines, give it all she's got !"

The helmsman started the second engine and revved them up in reverse gear causing  the sea around the craft to boil white as the engines strained to pull the craft from the rocks, there was some grinding and a teeth clenching high pitched squeal but the landing craft stayed put.

"Shit !" Said the Captain "we're stuck, when's the next high tide?"

"In the morning" replied the Navigator, sounding worried "just after first light"

The Captain swore some more, loudly and vehemently for some time.

"OK get the spies off, the sea is not deep they can wade in, and no, I don't care if they get wet"

The tide was receding fast, by the time the spies had gathered all their kit they were stepping onto the rocks from the bow door and the water barely up to their knees as the waded ashore.

Half an hour later the landing craft was fully beached.

It was a long wait till first light constantly scanning the cliffs and beach for soldiers, keeping an eye on the surf to mark the point it was coming back in again,  eventually the horizon became lighter and they could see the waves breaking barely six feet behind their craft.

"Break out the guns" ordered the Captain, " and mount the MG34, we might have to fight our way out of here"

Rifles and sub-machine guns were distributed from the locker and a pintle erected so that a belt fed MG34 machine gun could be fired from the hatch above the wheel house.

The sky got brighter and the crew could just make out some details of the land around them. The sea now was lapping against the stern of the landing craft it would not be long before they could attempt to float the vessel off of the rocks.

"I can see people on the cliff" said one of the sailors.

"Everybody keep quiet" ordered the Captain. "We're still in shadow they might miss us"

The figures disappeared and they breathed a sigh of relief but it was only short lived, they were local defence volunteers and  had gone back to Lulworth Cove, a fishing village in the next cove, to get some meagre reinforcements and fire power, forty  minutes later there were people on the beach and others running across the cliff top.
It was almost fully daylight now as the Captain looked down at the sea lapping around the stern,  it would not be long before he could attempt to float off the rock, he just had to keep the locals at bay.

"Fire when you have a target" He ordered "conserve ammunition, but keep them at arms length, the tide will be high enough soon"

There was a shot from the cliff and the bullet clanged off the plating. Someone forward fired back and the sailor to his right fired a burst of sub machine gun bullets in the general direction of the soldiers on the beach. They stopped advancing and dived for cover.

So far so good thought the Captain, we just have to buy time

Not far inland some one else was waiting for light to come.

Two airman stood impatiently fully clothed for flying with a cup of tea in one hand and a cigarette in the other while the ground crew rolled the Miles autogyro from the hanger, it had been bombed up and fully checked over, when it was light enough they would do an engine run.

" I still don't understand why we have to fly so early" the Gunner complained

" Early slot on the range" the pilot replied " apparently its very busy at the moment testing anti invasion stuff, were just last In the queue"
He took a swig of his tea and had last drag on his cigarette then stubbed it out under his heel.

"Come on, let's fly"

The Gunner did the same and they walked out to the waiting aircraft.

Stepping  onto the stub wing from a convenient box the two airmen climbed into their respective cockpits and strapped in. The Pilot pressed the starter and after four or five turns of the propeller the big radial burst into life in a cloud of blue smoke, he waited a few minutes to let the engine and oil temperatures  stabilise then released the brakes.

The aircraft taxied from the hardstanding and onto the grass and slowly made its way to the end of the runway, after receiving a green light from the control tower he engaged the gears that spun up the rotor overhead. When the pilot gauged he had sufficient rotor speed  he disengaged the rotor and throttled up the engine. In a very short distance the Gyromagister was airborne, its bellowing radial echoing off the airfield buildings.

Amongst all the sound, a telephone was ringing but went unheeded.

It was a nice and calm morning and despite the noise and wind rushing past it felt quite tranquil bobbing along at a thousand feet above the ground. The range was only ten minutes away but was partly hidden in a dip and they almost missed it, fortunately the Gunner spotted it and tapped the pilot on the shoulder.

"Range is over there sir" he said over a crackly intercom pointing to a spot in front of the starboard wing.

"I see it" replied the Pilot "i'll overfly the observation post, let them know we're here"

Banking the autogyro around he gradually lost some hight as they flew across the target area and passed over the a Nissen Hut at about five hundred feet, as the Gyro flew past some people ran from the hut, one of them fired a flare into the sky.

"Red flare!" exclaimed the gunner "that means do not bomb"

"What !" replied the Pilot "what are they playing at ?"

"Wait a minute, look at the signals square sir, they want us to land !"

"This gets stranger by the minute, good job we're an autogyro i'd like to see them try and land a Spitfire here"

"Or a Wellington for that matter"

They were still chuckling as the Pilot expertly drifted the Gyromagister into a short landing on a grassy area behind the hut.

They had barely rolled to a stop and raised their goggles, when an airman leapt on to the stub wing.

"There's a german boat beached a Durdle Door !" he yelled above the idleing  engine "The local volunteers  need some assistance, you're the nearest armed aircraft, the're having trouble contacting the main airfields !"

A massive grin split the Pilots face "Ah action at last, did you here that ?" he asked the Gunner.

"Yes" replied the Gunner "lets get at them"

"Get yourself clear" he said to the airman, theatrically snapping his goggles into place " tell them we're on our way"

The airman shook hands with both the aircrew and jumped from the stub wing, helped on his way by a blast  from the propeller  as the pilot gunned the throttle and taxied the Gyromagister to the edge of the field.  The personnel on the range looked on as the aircraft took off again, as it passed them, its wheels just off the ground,, as one, they saluted.

The Captain was not pleased, the stern of the landing craft was floating now but still it refused to come off the rocks despite running the engines fully  in reverse. They had managed to keep the local militia at arms length but it was only a matter of time before a stray bullet hit someone or something vital. Bullets were hitting them quite frequently now, radom holes were appearing all over the superstructure only occasionally deflected by the plating,  as he said it was only a matter of time.

Moving to the MG34 he sent a rapid burst up at the cliffs, he had little chance of hitting anybody or anything but it did force their heads down and give them a small reprieve. Somewhere up front a rifle cracked and a sub machine gun sent a stream of bullets over the sand, he could just see them ricochet off the rocks or kick up the sand.

As the Gyromagister approached Durdle Door the Pilot saw that some quick thinking soldier had set off a smoke grenade to get his attention and set up a line of flares leading  towards the cliff edge, it could only mean on thing.

"Target coming up on starboard side, attacking !" he warned the Gunner, who in turn slewed the Vickers machine gun around to point it over the side as best he could, taking care not to shoot the undercarriage.

The cliff dropped away to reveal the bay and a landing craft surrounded by a mat of white foam, the gunner managed to fire a couple of bursts at the vessel before the pilot straightened up the Gyromagister and let go the first stick of four bombs, he then banked around allowing the gunner to fire on the vessel again, he was still shooting when four columns of water erupted around the landing craft.

"Damn, missed, Clear to go round again ?"

The Gunner was exchanging an empty magazine for a new one.

"Yes sir, ready"

The German crew heard the autogyro before they saw it, an aero engine overlaid with a strange whining sound, the Captains worst fears were realised, the cavalry had arrived. A few minutes later the aircraft appeared seeming to leap from the top of the cliff, but what was it ? They were all mesmerised by its long fuselage, ungainly undercarriage and the huge whirring propeller overhead, it lost them vital seconds to retaliate before machine gun bullets started hitting the deck and lashing the water around them, four objects tumbled from its belly.

"Bombs, shit. TAKE COVER!" Screamed the Captain

Everybody dived for cover, there were four muffled bangs and the landing craft reared and bucked in the explosions as three columns of water shot up on the port side and another very close on the starboard. It felt like a giant hand had picked up the vessel, shoved it sideways then dumped all the excess water on top causing it to pitch violently from side to side.

"We're off the rocks !" Someone shouted from the bow "it's floating"

"Helmsman, full reverse both engine's NOW !"

The Helmsman's acknowledgement was lost in the roar of the engines as they went from idle to full power in seconds.

The Pilot turned the autogyro around the face the enemy landing craft again, they could see it pitching up and down in the maelstrom caused by the bombs.

"Pretty close Sir" commented the Gunner.

"Not close enough" replied the Pilot.

As they approached the water at the stern of the landing craft started churning.

"Bugger, there on the move" said the Pilot "standby to port,  attacking !"

The landing craft was rapidly picking up speed, the helmsman taking it backwards and out to sea.

" Everybody aft !" Commanded the Captain " we need to concentrate our fire"

He wasn't sure it would work, it was impossible to fire accurately on a small boat on a choppy sea, let alone when you are going backwards while being assaulted by a metal dragonfly. Hopefully the cone of fire would hit something vital and make it go away.

He watched the autogyro as it turned  for its next attack run, when he gauged that it was going to drop its bombs.

"Helmsman, hard a port now !"

The landing craft slewed around, cutting under the aircraft, causing it to overshoot, he could see the rear gunner desperately trying to reposition his machine gun.  The bombs were still on their racks.


All the available firepower was unleashed at the passing autogyro but it flew on unharmed.

"Stop engines, full ahead both !"

For a few seconds the landing craft drifted backwards until the engines overcame its rearward momentum and started pushing forward.

"It's coming back again !" Warned one of the crew.

Looking back to the sky the Captain saw it was almost upon them, he was amazed how quick it had turned back into the attack


"Hard a starboard!"

The combined guns opened up  answered by the single machine gun on the  aircraft with no one making any significant damage.

The Captain  instinctively knew they were in trouble, the landing craft had not reached its top speed and it was turning too slow, the pilot of the aircraft had expertly predicted the turn. They were sitting ducks. He saw the bombs come off the aircraft.

"Everybody down, now!

Still smarting from being out maneuvered, the pilot thanked the powers that be that he had not released the bombs, the gunner was similarly taken aback when he found himself firing into open space.

Somewhere in front of him he had heard something slapping through the tail but the aircraft was still in one piece and flying fine.
The Pilot pulled the Gyromagister into a tight turn and slewed the tail around to face the landing craft again.

"Going straight in, you won't get a chance to fire until we're passed him - attacking !"

The Gyromagister rapidly caught up with the landing craft, the Pilot estimated its speed and predicted the turn then let the bombs go.

Three columns of water rose beside the landing craft in succession followed by an almighty explosion as the the fourth bomb struck the plating right forward near the bow tearing a huge hole over the well and blowing out some of the side plating.

 The landing craft dipped violently and bobbed up and down a number of times before settling down, something started to burn and smoke began to issue from the ragged hole.

"Someone deal with that fire !"

"Helmsman what's the damage ?"

"I think it's superficial sir, the engines and steering are working fine, we will need to check the hull when the fires out"

"Aircraft's turning again sir !"

"OK sort that out, we need to get rid of this bloody aircraft"

Miraculously no-one was killed, a couple of sailors who were sheltering in front of the wheel house sustained some bruises and concussion when they were thrown into the air.

Taking up the MG34 again the Captain turned to face the oncoming threat.

"They've got no bombs left, he told the remaining gunners, only a machine gun. Let's swat this thing !"

"We got him !" Shouted the gunner "right on its nose, its on fire!"

"Not sinking then ?"

"No Sir, still floating"

"Bugger, oh well we did our best" said the Pilot  "how much ammo have you got left ?"

"Just fitted the last magazine sir"

" be a shame to waste it, I'm going to pass down their starboard side from behind and circle"

"Roger sir, I'll empty the gun in their general direction"

"Good man, here we go, attacking"

Bringing the autogyro around the aircraft slowly caught up with the fleeing landing craft,

The Gunner swung his gun to port and took aim, firing as the vessel came into view, he had barely squeezed the trigger when the air became full of whizzing objects, pinging metal  and sharp slapping sounds as bullets passed through the fuselage.

The Pilot Jerked the control stick and pulled the autogyro away from danger, skidding around as a few more bullets fount there target.

The smell of petrol wafted up from the bottom of the cockpit, the Gunner looked over the edge of the cockpit and saw a white trail hazing Into their wake.

"They've got the fuel tank !" He informed the Pilot.

The Pilot glanced over his shoulder "Jesus, we were lucky it didn't ignite, I'm going to try and make the beach, if the fuel go's  before that I'll try and autorotate in, but either way its going to be a bumpy landing"

It wasn't until he had to get back to dry land did the pilot realise how far out to sea he had chased the landing craft. He kept the Gyromagister fairly low working on the premise that its not the speed that will kill you but the drop, he knew he was not going to make the cliff top.

Stuttering back towards the beach he watched the bottom fall out of the fuel guage, soon they were on fumes and seconds later the engine backfired a couple of times and died, the propeller  windmilled to a halt.

"Brace yourself " he warned the Gunner " were going in"

Pushing the rotor into a braking angle, the Pilot brought the Gyromagister into a heavy landing, dropping into the surf and rolling up onto the beach to fetch up gently on some rocks. Battered, bruised, but in one piece.

The airmen quickly abandoned the aircraft, just in case there might be some petrol still in the tank to ignite, and ran further up the beach out of harms way.

The poor Gyromagister did not look well, the fuselage was riddled with holes and in many places the fabric covering was hanging in tatters, the heavy landing had buckled one side of the undercarriage so it was leaning in inelegantly to one side.

They sat down on a large rock and contemplated how lucky they were not to have been hit themselves.

The Home Guard turned up a few minutes later.

"You ok?" The Corporal asked, offering them a cigarette.

They took the proffered cigarette and accepted a swig of brandy that another soldier offered.

"Thank you, Yes" replied the Pilot after lighting up "a few scratches and bruises but in one piece"

The Gunner puffed on his cigarette and gave a silent thumbs up.

"Shame we didn't sink it" said the Soldier, lighting up his own cigarette "we was on the beach taking potshots"

"Shame" agreed the Pilot " but damn didn't we give him a bloody nose !"

There was a great cheer of joy when they hit the autogyro, they saw bits flying off and a trail of white vapour. The aircraft seemed to stagger then pull away heading for the land.

"Cease fire " called the Captain " Helmsman take us home"

"Aye sir"

Gradually the land disappeared over the horizon as they forged deeper into the English Channel, it was broad daylight and the danger now was from the air, or from a random warship wh happened to ne passing by.

Moving deeper into the channel the wind increased and the sea became choppier, they could hear the the waves slapping against the bow and the motion of the landing craft became more pronounced.

Something began to nag in the captains brain, something wasn't right but there was nothing he could put his finger on, the motion of the landing craft had become more sluggish and she seemed to be pushing through the waves rather than floating over them.

He heard the bilge pump cut in under the sound of the main engines.

"Sir, I think were taking on water" said the Helmsman.

The captain turned towards the engine hatch, but the Engineer got there before him and lifted the hatch.

"Christ" he exclaimed " we're awash, the bilge pump is on but nothings happening"

The Captain looked over the rail, there was no tell-tale stream of water coming out the vent.

"Outlet must be damaged " he concluded " Do we have any auxiliary pumps on board?"

"Only stirrup pumps, they may give us a bit more time "

The bow of the landing craft rose and water started squirting from the outlet and when the bow dropped it stopped.

"The outlet pipe is definitely broken" said the Engineer.

"Can it be fixed ?"

"No sir, at least not at sea, not enough room,  besides there is so much water sloshing about down there it would be suicide to try"

What they couldn't have known was that a chance shot from a Home Guard rifle had penetrated the hull and carried away the outlet pipe of the bilge pump, the close and direct hits from the Gyromaster had sprung some of the Hull plates so that every time the bow dipped it took on water. The bilge pump had dutifully cut in when the water level became too high,  but it was just redistributing water around the vessel.

"Find the pumps and any buckets" said the Captain "buy us time, anybody not bailing start lightening the ship, anything that isn't required over the side with it"

He turned to the Helmsman " how far are we from land ?"

"Too far" replied the Helmsman "we may get back to France but I think we will flounder before we can find a safe port"

"No islands or big rocks any closer ?"

"No sir, but let me check some of the other charts"

The Helmsman left the Captain steering the landing craft while he rummaged in the map locker.

Meanwhile the crew were frantically pumping behind him and he could hear banging below and the splash of things going into the sea.

A sailor came to his side and saluted "permission to ditch the weapons sir"

"Yes" replied the Captain " and the MG34, ammo too, anything not bolted down, then the bolted down stuff"

"Yes sir" he saluted again and rushed off

"I think I've found a solution" said the Helmsman rushing back with a more detailed chart.

 "There is a line of rescue buoys in the Channel about here" he ran a finger along the map to where a line of red squares had been marked.

"The're meant for Luftwaffe  pilots but I don't  think they'll mind if we use one"

The Captain smiled then broke into a grin.

"Genius" he said "how far away ?"

"Only half an hour to an hour on this course" he drew a pencil line on the chart, "the chart isn't that accurate and they have been known to drift"

"It doesn't matter its the best chance we've got, well done" The Captain patted him on the shoulder "Take back the wheel, we've got a boat to save"

The sailors actions seemed to be working, if they weren't overhauling the incoming water at least they were keeping pace with it, at one point a Sailor came around with a tray of coffee mugs and an open box of biscuits.

"Can't let them go to waste sir" he explained to the Captain, and after everybody had taken their cup and a huge handful of biscuits each, the tray and the few remaining biscuits went over the side.

One by one the sailors finished their small repast and threw the cups over into the sea.

The gas bottles and hob unit came up shortly after and followed them into the sea.

Half an hour came and went with  no sign of a rescue buoy. They heard some cracking and scraping from the bow and shortly after it was obvious the water was winning.

All the crew apart from two lookouts and the helmsman were now involved in bailing, there was nothing left to throw overboard. Every five minutes the lookouts would be changed so that nobody became too exhausted and burnt out.

Another half an hour went, the landing craft was very low in the water now, it was a miracle the engines were still pushing it along.

"Over there" one of the lookouts shouted "a rescue buoy !"

It was the shout the had been waiting for, the helmsman swung the landing craft towards the buoy and within ten minutes they were along side the conning tower like structure. The landing craft was temporarily tied to the buoy until all the crew were off, the Captain being the last to step onto the platform. He slipped the ropes into the sea and pushed landing craft away.

They watched as the landing craft drifted away pushed by wind and tide,  the stern sank lower and lower in the water until the bow finally raised and it slid underwater by the stern.

The Battle of Durdle Door was over.

The crew of the landing craft were rescued three days later, debriefed and returned to the Kriegsmarine, from the information they gave the German High Command it was deemed unsafe to take the long route and invade Britain in the West, stating that because of the rugged coastline there were very few suitable landing places and those that were suitable appeared to be patrolled and we'll defended.

The experimental landing craft was not developed any further because it would not be ready for the upcoming Operation Sealion.

The spies were never heard of again.

The day after the Gyromagister crashed back onto the beach the Secret Service and the military descended on Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door and slapped a Secrecy Notice on the whole event so as not to panic the greater  population.

Because of their autogyro expertise the Pilot and Gunner were sent to the Calibration Flight at RAF Halton to fly Avro Rotas.

The damaged Gyromagister languished on the beach for about a week waiting to be dismantled and carted away, but one stormy night the wind surge forced the surf up to the base of the cliff, smashing up the brave aircraft and carrying it out to sea. The next morning not a single rivet or scrap of canvas was left.

Despite its good showing the Secrecy Notice meant that news of its successful attack never reached the Miles Aircraft company or anybody that could influence its future, so inevitably the project was scrapped and all design drawings destroyed.

In more enlightened times the story of the Battle of Durdle Door still surfaces, including grainy pictures of the Gyromagister and eye witness accounts which so called "experts" arrogantly pass off as a Cierva C. 30, however they have trouble dismissing a model built by an eccentric "whatif" modeller based on those very same grainy photos.

Perhaps one day the truth will out............

Thanks for reading, any comments and criticisms gratefully accepted, as always.

Damn it's good to be back !!


« Last Edit: June 21, 2022, 02:28:34 AM by Robomog »
Mostly Harmless...............