Battle scenes are the hardest to do. Knowing what I want is one thing, getting there is another.
The British 8th fleet turned its attention to what was half of the Italian fleet.
“How long until range?”
“Fifteen minutes for the lead elements and another ten main elements sir. The other flank group has turned toward us and is following.”
Trying to squeeze me and hope to fool me Cavignari? I’m sure it’s all a bluff but if you’ve split your battleships, then Sommerville will have lunch with the rest of your fleet, and we’ll save Malta.
“Good, any report from the scout planes?”
“Their engaging Italian CAP fighters now sir.”
The Skua’s and Gladiators that remained to the Eagle, had been sent to the rear, to find the Italian battleships and maybe that carrier.
“Sir, enemy is with in range of our main guns, Admiral Talini.”
“Thank you lieutenant, have gunners target the London, let the Roma, she may use her man guns if they chose.”
“Of course,” he saluted and went to the radio operator.
The two single turrets, each with a 320mm gun, turned toward the oncoming British ships. They belched and gunners watched through binoculars for shell splashes. Of which two were seen. Orders were sent down to alter the next shots. A few minutes later, they belched again. This time a hit landed on the stern deck of the London. The other went long. Three more shots were fired before the British ships returned fire. It was a free for all.
Last Edit: Nov 7, 2022 10:10:51 GMT -6 by pelwrath
Let's see if I can do this now. The Regina Elena class in WW1 they where classified as battleships when made. In hstory by 1926, they' all ben scraped. I changed that and had them upgraded like the Italain Cavour and Duilio classfrom the same time frame.They would've been more than a macth for any heavy cruiser or smaller and had the speed tokeep out of range of any battlecruiser or battleships they ran into. In my alternate history, they were intended for use out of Ethiopia in the Indian Ocean, but never made it. They had 2 1 gun 12.6" turet bow and stern, those had a 270 degree rotation to them. The secondary armament was 3 double 8" turrets on the port and starboard sides.
Last Edit: Nov 7, 2022 12:25:58 GMT -6 by pelwrath
I'm amazed that I got this much done. Bussy day,runnning around, voting, and picking up a few things. Went in a different direction with todays writing, background story, important but not as dramatic as the main story. Hope I've been able to catch a good feel of the British characters.
Admiral Cunningham had radioed Admiral Sommerville, commander of Force H, about his battle and inability to break through the Italian force. Similar messages were sent to General Wavell, Commander of all Commonwealth Forces in the Middle East, and those in London, who would be most disappointed in the outcome of the battle.
In London, Dudley Pound, the First Sea Lord of the British navy, looked at his Prime Minister. Then at the other gentlemen in the room. John Dill and Hough Dowding.
“Winston, how much of our navy is Malta worth?”
“Dudley, how much is taking the Italian navy and maybe Italy out of the war worth?”
“Mr. Prime Minister. You’ve been in charge for four months and our navy is being mauled by what many consider a less than capable enemy. If you cost us a good portion of Force H, Lord Halifax may try again to see if Italy will sign a peace treaty and or have them approach Germany. Such a loss might even cost you support in Commons. If so, do you think you’d win a national election? Would you want such an election being conducted now?”
“Dudley, we all agreed that Hitler was a danger that couldn’t be ignored and that still holds true. The air battle over Britain isn’t going as well as the Germans hoped for. Yes, these naval losses do hurt us, but they aren’t catastrophic. England is still well defended by her navy and air force. The army is slowly rearming. So far as Malta and the damage to our navy such a bad thing to have, for the loss of a big island and the damage to the Italian navy,” said Air Marshall Hugh Dowding.
Late night watching the election results so not as much time to write. More behind the scenes elements of the story. My daily snippet is below.
“We did it again,” said Benito Mussolini, Il Duce of Italy. His smile ear to ear, chest pumped out as he pounded his fist over his heart.
“Yes, I’ll Duce, however we don’t want to forget that Sommerville and Force H are still bearing down on Malta, and we’ve not heard anything so far,” said Air Marshall Balboa.”
“Aren’t those German planes helping us, Balboa?”
“They are, yet we’re still using our air force to support our troops that have been landed on the island. There’s evidence that the British might counterattack before we’ve built up enough to launch our own offensive.”
“Ugo, what do we have on Malta?”
Ugo Cavallero commander of the Italian Army, replied. “We have our para regiment with a German Battalion. An Alpini and CCNN division will be fully landed today. Another infantry division will be landed in the next twenty-four hours. We have two divisions waiting for us to capture an air filed to be landed then.”
“Balboa, don’t we have our own Stukas that we purchased? If so, use them to help the Germans attack Force H. If Force H doesn’t reach Malta, doesn’t the island fall?”
“That would be a logical outcome but what if their counterattack is successful?” said Ignio Campioni. “Our ability to land more troops is very limited. I’ve no issue, waiting for another division, but being able to disrupt that attack with our Picchiatello’s and other bombers, would be the best use. Our navy has performed wonderfully, and I’ve now doubt they’d do so again but now we’re encountering more frontline ships especially carriers with Sommerville.”
Sorry that I didn't get any writing done yesterday and not much for today.
EoD 11/11/2022 Daily/Total: 187/29,711
My daily snipette is what I wrote today.
The Berghof, FHQ
“Goering, what do we know about our ally’s invasion of Malta, which I don’t remember giving permission for any of our troops to participate in?”
“Mein Fuhrer, you never said we couldn’t. I sent a battalion of the 7th air landing division, under general Student, with some planes. The last report from him is that his battalion and an Italian regiment, three battalions were safely landed in northern Malta. They are now engaged with British units on a defensive line. It appears that two divisions have been landed north of the airborne drop zones.”
“Any reports of the Royal Navy showing up to intervene?”
“Not as of yet,” said Eric Raeder, Grand Admiral of the German navy. They are responding from both Alexandria and Gibraltar.”
“Can the Italian navy protect their landing beaches and supply them?”
“Maybe, if they can secure and airfield and break through those defensive lines, that’ll be a good thing. They’ll need to win quickly or defeat both Force H and Mediterranean Fleet. If they do that, then Malta falls, and the Italians make the Royal navy less capable to defend England.”
“Ask General Student for his opinion of the Italian troops he was fighting with and what equipment they have, and their commanders rank and names. Didn’t they request some fuel oil recently?”
“Yes, replied,” responded Raeder.
“If we haven’t sent it, do so. They did sink a couple of their battleships a little while ago, maybe they aren’t all bad allies.”
Back to writing, with a chest old. fair progress today. Found out that historially one of the commanders for an allied unit didn't match the name I was using. Had both names in my notes. Spent a little seeing which was more aurate and went with that. What's a war story without a wartime romance.
I've only broken my target of 1,000 words twice but those 700-900 word aditions add up. Also, i've a muh better feel for where this is going, the primarly pantser that I am, is having fun this month.
My daily snipette:
Rebecca looked at Geoffrey,
He’s sleeping on his break, and he looks so adorable in that apron, despite the blood stains. I’m proud for and of him. After ten hours straight in triage including a couple cleaning surgery. I thought he was going to lose it. The girls are hazing him, and a couple of doctors helped. Yet, he didn’t get sick and did well in there.
“Nurse Hathaway, enjoying the view?” I know that voice.
“Dr. Peter McCullen, yes, I am. Is his hazing complete?”
“Not sure. He didn’t add to the mess in there, which was a good thing, but beyond minor stuff his medial knowledge isn’t impressive. He must have knowledge in other areas.”
“I see that interpersonal skills still aren’t a requirement for being a doctor in the Royal Army.”
“You replace me with a BBC reporter. How low can you go?”
“Don’t let your jealousy be too evident or affect our working relationship or Geoffrey’s ability to do a darn good job. His first day as a nurse and he’s walks into a combat zone. Besides, I’d hate to inform your wife, Kathleen about our affair.”
“Touchy aren’t we. Kathleen doesn’t mind me or her having a brief liaison every so often. Especially when apart.”
“So, you’re okay with me telling her about our brief liaison?”
Dr. McCullen said nothing, but his eyes briefly darted around the room.
“I thought so. Anything I can help you with, doctor McCullen?”
Last Edit: Nov 12, 2022 11:09:49 GMT -6 by pelwrath
Turning out oaky so far. No major complaints from the characters, though one wants a promotion for putting up with my stop and go writing style. I'll think on that.
I'm torn between the personal side of the characters with war as a back Drop, (Saving Private Ryan and Red Badge of Courage) vs. the war story (The Longest Day and A Bridge to Far) I think I'm trying to both and that I'l end up doingthem both wrong or badly. Is there a sweetspot for that in a story that has a battle/war as it's main theme?
My daily snipette:
Lieutenant-Colonel Amilakvari looked at the rough map.
“What’s troubling you Dimitri,” said his cousin Stanislaw, as he handed him some coffee.
“Why hasn’t their commander pulled back his right flank?”
“Because he’s trying to stabilize his center so he can counterattack and eliminate that small bulge in his line.”
“I’m not so sure. Oh, he’s planning an attack, but I don’t think it’s at our center.”
“Then attack where it will come from before he does.”
“Interesting idea, cousin, and a good recommendation for a captain. If he was to attack, from which of our flaks, would you attack?”
“We’re not or at least from his view, haven’t attacked anywhere else against their line. We know they’re attacking near Fort Musto. So, I’d use what reserves I had an attack our left flank, hoping to break through and surround our center.”
“Yes, that would be a good plan. Tell Commandant Cazaud that his remaining battalion will need to be ready to move against an enemy attack, most likely against our left flank.”
“All for one, and one for all, Dimitri.”
“You read too much from that Dumas fellow.”
“Someone in the family needed to do more than read an army manual.”
Another short total but still progress. No real issues today except for waking up late before writing. Have a bad chest cold, slight sore throat and phlem. No feaver or other.
Notmuch of a snipette for today but hereit is. I know they've been like puzzle pieces so if there are any questions or comments, I've no problem with anyone posting them and I'll try and answer any questions.
Valetta-The Lascaris HQ
The wireless operator finished taking down the message and converting it from code. He double checked to assure accuracy and with a solemn face, went over to General Dobbie and handed it to him. The General nodded as he accepted it.
“Thank you corporal.”
He read the note, twice then said, “Well that’s bully for Cunningham.” With a slight fist pump. “Clyde, my office to figure out new strategy.”
Once in the general’s office with the door closed.
“Has Cunningham broken through to relieve us?”
“No, he had to turnback, though he inflicted major losses on the Italian navy, he also took major losses. Relief now rests with Admiral Sommerville and Force H. We’ll need to beef up our defenses and no more attacks unless it’s to shore up a line or such. I don’t want this out to affect our morale. Sommerville will make it through.”
It was about 13:00 hours when the ambulances pulled in, with the wounded and section of guards. All told about one hundred injured including twenty prisoners were brought.
“Keep the prisoners in their own section. We’ll station guards at the doors inside and out just in case.”
A good session of writing. Could've writen more but I wrote the scenes in my head today. Yet, is there anything worng with going past that...I guess not so next tim when writting, I'l worry more about continuing past what my head has created.
My daily snippet:
British WDF HQ at Sofafr
Major General Richard O’Connor was going over the reports of the raid and was astounded and talking with the commander of the LRDG, which made reconnaissance.
“We captured an entire CCVN regiment after only a half hour of combat?”
“Yes sir, they were totally surprised, and their camps were, as expected, undefended from the rear. Once got in between two camps, and started fighting, they surrendered. The others retreated in fair order, and we might have captured them also. That’s when an Italian motorized unit arrived. I felt it might have been the lead elements of a division, so I issued the fallback order.”
“Well Major Bagnold, that was an excellent job. Over 1,500 prisoners along with trucks and other equipment. Dismissed.”
After the major left.
“I told you I could do this, General Wavell. I can slip through their lines and capture Bardia if not Tobruk with two weeks.”
“I enjoy hearing your confidence but if motorized units arrived, isn’t it possible that they were alerted to your action and came in response? I think there’s a distinct possibility that if this had been a major attack, you might have been correct. Now, I’m afraid that my counterpart, the Duke of Aosta, has been alerted. That and this is for you, but Cunningham despite inflicting major losses on the Italian 3rd fleet, also had some noticeable losses and was unable to reach Malta.”
Nice to get writing after two days of apointments and running around.
The wounded slammed an already busy medical staff. The place was overflowing, especially triage. Geoffrey was becoming all too accustomed to this. Not that it was enjoyable, treating dying and bleeding people would never be enjoyable to him but it was a way for him to help and he was respected by everyone, except Dr. McCullen.
“Warrant Officer Higgins, this isn’t the best place for what we’re doing. Are there any tents here?”
“Geoffrey, I don’t have one person to help you, but I think we have two medical tents in the rear garage.”
Geoffrey looked around, the smiled. He ran over to the coffee station. Four drivers were standing there.
“You four have just joined the Malta Triage Temporary Housing Regiment. There are two medical tents in the hospitals rear garage and you’re all going to help me sent them up. That is unless you’d like the ladies to show you how it’s done.”
They looked at him and nodded. “Glad to help you out, sir.”
They went to retrieve them and found eight cots as well. In two hours, the inexperience crew had them both up. The nurses and staff moved at double time to get what equipment they had outside, inside the tents put four cots in each tent.
W.O Higgins came up to him and hugged him.
“If it wasn’t for Rebecca, I’d give you a kiss for thinking about this.”
So so progress, short of daily goal but still, as the song goes; "Put one foot in front of the other." My concern is the number of characters. I'm making more of them because you need named officers many times, when talking to a battalion commander and such, so I'm concerned that even to those with a military backgroud it's becoming confusing. Not sure how to correct it or if it can be corrected.
EoD 11/18/2022, Daily/Total: 520/34,341
My daily snipette:
Italian Forward HQ
General Marzio had just finished helping the men get his track out of a ditch.
“Grazie, Generale, grazzie.”
“No problem, Roberto, I ride in the car I can help. Now, if you want to thank the lord for us both taking a piss when that mortar shell took out the other car, that might well be worth a rosary novena.”
“Si, Generale Marzio. Now let’s get you to a command post.”
They drove past a column of prisoners headed to the rear, wearing French helmets. And reached the 235th Legion HQ.
Console Generale Alfredo Cintelli, saluted when his CO’s command car, drove up to his tent.
“At ease, Alfredo, tell me about the battle. My radio truck was destroyed by a mortar.”
“Sir, we found the weak boundary between their units and pushed through. I sent the 1st Libyan ahead and we turned toward the center. Your attacked held them in place, while their left flank started to fall back. Word of our breakthrough created a panic, and they began to fall back. Fresh reinforcements arrived and stabilized the line. We couldn’t reach you and called a halt to firm our line, organized prisoners and send them to the rear and bring up supplies. I also requested that our artillery reposition to a slightly closer location. Out attack has advanced five kilometers and captured a little over two enemy battalions with some equipment, and a commander of the Free French that we we’re fighting, a Commandante.”
“Excellent, where is he. In a field hospital with a shoulder wound and broken foot. I’ll take you to him. I can serve as translator if you wish.”
“That would be good, my only French after hello and such would get my face slapped in a bar.”
My total isn't bad but the preping for Thanksgiving is actually taking time away from writing. My diagnosis or stage 1 prostate cancer has been confirmed. Non-aggressive and I'm working with insureance about coverage or observation.This is one of the easiest cancers to treat and cure, with a 95% success rate based on it being caught early. FYI but for those who didn't know, I'm 41 with 22 years of experiance.
The writing is coming along and so is the direction. A draft for me is more written out important scenes with some conenctive tissue, maybe a storyboard would be a good comparison. My daily snipette is below, hope those following are enjoying.
Admiral Cunningham and the wounded remains of the Mediterranean fleet pulled back into Alexandria harbor. The wounded were off loaded, and the Royal Sovereign was again placed in dry dock for repairs. Smaller docks were able to take the light cruiser and destroyers in for repairs.
He went over the battle report, for the fourth time. The loss of so many ships. The Barham, Renown, York, London, 3 light cruisers and 3 destroyers. The Eagle’s lack of planes was made up, but I failed in my mission.
Does it matter how many I destroyed? Vittorio Emanuele, Roma along with the battleship Dante Alighieri, the heavy cruiser Trento, Light cruiser Duca degli Abruzzi, and three other light cruisers, four destroyers and five Spica class torpedo boats were sunk. Well if Sommerville does save Malta, and the Italian losses are just as bad, then maybe I did do some good.
bluewpc: How have you been keepin?
Dec 2, 2022 13:11:54 GMT -6
RAVENEYE: Fffffeeeck those videos. Um, I been keeping safe. Heh.
Dec 2, 2022 13:15:06 GMT -6
RAVENEYE: So glad you checked in, blue.
Dec 2, 2022 13:16:58 GMT -6
bluewpc: glad to have checked in. missed yall
Dec 2, 2022 13:18:30 GMT -6
bluewpc: this were an online home
Dec 2, 2022 13:18:49 GMT -6
RAVENEYE: yes! we hope it can be again. update us when you can, k?
Dec 2, 2022 13:19:33 GMT -6
bluewpc: I will. You know something I need to say. I left America because I absolutely could not stand the normal life. I need adventure and blood. Maybe something to keep in mind for future writings
Dec 2, 2022 13:21:14 GMT -6
bluewpc: After this war Im going to go find another war
Dec 2, 2022 13:21:28 GMT -6
bluewpc: and hey glad to see ya Raven
Dec 2, 2022 13:21:40 GMT -6
bluewpc: Ill let andlo know the site is back up
Dec 2, 2022 13:21:46 GMT -6
RAVENEYE: Some folks are built for it. That detail makes for one heck of a character, no doubt.
Dec 2, 2022 14:04:04 GMT -6
Alatariel: Wow blue, stay safe my friend and good to see ya here again
Dec 2, 2022 18:03:46 GMT -6