The fading splash cleared, revealing forces locked in combat across land and sea. Mornington saw two cruisers come past, cutting through the waves with majestic authority at flank speed, loosing a six-inch salvo at a target lost in smoke and distance. Further out, unidentifiable destroyers raked each other with their smaller guns at close range.
The battle on the waves, however, faded into the background against the aerial spectacle. Fighter planes clashed in circling dogfights, stitched tracer fire into the clouds and burst into flaming wreckage. Below them, dodging large-caliber anti-air fire, a flight of armoured dragons dove at the flame-cloaked forms of fire elementals that in turn were strafing targets on the surface.
One of the fire elementals came past then, chased by a pair of Seafires in such close pursuit that one of them had to turn side-on to them as it passed, presenting its belly and wings - blocking out all light for brief and terrifying moment.
Comments (4 so far!)
Many notes to make here. I begin, slightly uncharacteristically, with an explanation of the title. Operation Tiger immediately preceded Operation Splice and was a convoy action carried out in the Mediterranean theatre of the Second World War. A huge force of Royal Navy heavy ships escorted troop transports carrying badly-needed reinforcements bound for North Africa. Despite being hugely outnumbered, twelve aircraft from the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal drove off intense attacks from waves enemy aircraft totalling over 50, intent on sinking the transports.
From the above scenario this chapter derives its origins. This is not the real Operation Tiger, as the alternate timeline of this story has shifted events away from the way things happened in our time. Instead, something else is happening. Something much bigger, as is evidenced by the much larger scale and heightened desperation of the conflict as shown.
- #4436 Posted 1 month ago
The cruisers depicted are the Town-class cruisers, most likely HMS Sheffield and HMS Newcastle (Newcastle probably replacing Southampton which was lost to enemy action). Their twelve 6-inch (152mm) guns spread across four triple turrets were capable of a substantial amount of damage and they could achieve a speedy 32 knots (59.3 km/h). In general, cruisers were used as escorts for the heaviest and most valuable ships like battleships and aircraft carriers as well as carrying invaluable equipment like radars for detecting enemy ships and for directing aerial defence.
Flank speed is generally given as an order to the engine rooms of ships, risking any amount of damage and failure for the absolute maximum power mechanically available to the ship regardless of safety or maintenance issues.
- #4437 Posted 1 month ago
Destroyers were the lightest seagoing warships generally seen in combat, used to defend heavier ships against their own kind. When given a chance, their torpedo armaments were devastatingly lethal to any warship, even battleships, though they lacked range and were hard to aim with.
Dragons in the Fifth Edition of Dungeons and Dragons are intelligent and malevolent species in their own right and certainly not docile or domesticated. There may be time to explore how they came to be in the service of the British Fleet Air Arm, but for now their circumstances are not stated.
Elementals are first seen in "Teller-Ullam" (#41660), and it is likely that the same foe is in control of them here. It is interesting to note that red dragons and fire elementals are both completely immune to fire damage and as such are incapable of using their most potent offensive capability on each other. It is probably for this reason that the fire elementals are concentrating on ships rather than fighting back.
- #4438 Posted 1 month ago
The Supermarine Spitfire was a fighter plane used extensively by the British Royal Air Force in the Second World War. Fast and well-armed, it was well-liked by its pilots and was eventually adapted into a variant that had equipment for launching from and landing on aircraft carriers, so named the Sea Spitfire - the Seafire.
- #4439 Posted 1 month ago
Inspired by (sequel to):
In complete silence they walked ahead to a watertight door a short distance ahead, of the type commo…Splice
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