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This is my first foray into writing VB fiction. Though this Belle isn't in the game, I thought this would be an interesting tale to write about. This is loosely based on what happened to the real-life vessel, though it has a VB twist. Enjoy and please critique. Last Ride of the Wakeful Starring: HMS Wakeful (H88) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Wakeful_(H88) Wakeful looked at her watch and rubbed her weary eyes. As she breathed in the cool English air, she listened to her crew loading supplies onto her deck as she stared at the French coast. Her orders: rescue as many English soldiers as possible while fighting off the hordes of Morganas attempting to stop the evacuation. “Wakeful,” her captain – a younger man dressed in an unblemished uniform. “We’re ready to set off.” She, not that much of a talker, nodded silently as her crew powered her up and moved towards the French coast. ** As she sailed toward the fire and fury, Wakeful looked to her side and saw other ships – destroyers, an anti-aircraft cruiser, and some auxiliary vessels. She even saw Belles at the head of some vessels. The destroyer walked on her deck to gaze in the eyes of her sailors – young, scared, but determined to save their countrymen. The destroyer herself felt her age as she took every step. After all, she was built long-ago and was only mobilized from reserve status due to this emergency. However, the warship was determined to do her job and do it well. ** In a few hours, the coast of France before Wakeful and her sailors began to bring in tired, ragged soldiers onto her decks. “Ensure that they’re secured,” she informed her captain as evacuees clambered into every nook and cranny. “We’ll take on as many as we can.” As she began to set off, the destroyer saw bombers in the air heading for her. While they looked like those used by their enemies – the hated Lufwaffe, these planes looked more skeletal and spectral – almost wraith-like in the way they moved and sound. While the soldiers ducked and scrambled for cover, Wakeful and her soldiers fired whatever they got at the villains. “Splashed two!” a sailor proclaimed as two of the bombers crashed into the beach. Cheers went out, but they were soon subdued once another ship – the Belle-manned destroyer Havant – exploded in a blast of fire. Without looking, Wakeful cringed as she heard the screams of man and Belle mixed together with the blaze. “We’re leaving!” she cried out as the Wakeful quickly sped out of the area, leaving behind the carnage for a small while. ** It was night when the Wakeful and her precious cargo made it to the English coast. At the docks, aid workers moved quickly to get the troops and wounded off the destroyer. “Get ready to set out again,” she said as her crew nodded silently. However, one sailor – wide-eyed with panic and covered with smoke – stumbled to her with terror in his voice. “Are you mad?!” he cried out. “We should leave this to better ships!” Without thinking, the warship slapped the man, sending him to the ground. “If you can’t work, you have no place on my ship,” the destroyer said through clenched teeth. “Get him off my decks.” As the sailor was taken off, her captain attempted to confront Wakeful, but she brushed him aside. “Just get ready to leave,” she said. “We can’t afford to show weakness.” ** On the next trip, Wakeful didn’t go on her deck, instead staying in her private cabin. While she always prided herself on her stoicism, grit, and alertness in the face of danger, she suddenly felt nervous and sick to her stomach. Was it the fact that she saw a sister die? Was it the attack by the Morgana planes? Was it the terrified sailor who confronted her after the ordeal? While older than her colleagues, she had a great fear of the unknown, especially if she perished in this action. What would happen once it’s all over? Will she just vanish or is there a fate worse than that in store for her? “I can’t afford to lose face,” she muttered to herself as she got up and headed for the door, hearing the shots of gunfire as they neared the French coast again. “For the sake of me and my men.” ** Once again, Wakeful and her men went to work as they took in more soldiers. Due to better positioning by the resident anti-air cruiser Calcutta and the timely arrival of the Royal Air Force, the spectral planes that harassed their efforts were kept to a minimum. As she set off, the warship turned around and headed toward home. Wakeful was surprised that the Morganas didn't send more air units to overwhelm the defenses. “Maybe we were just lucky,” she told her captain as the men were getting comfortable with crumpets, jam, and tea. “Maybe we will survive another day.” ** Suddenly, the engines of a small vessel – one that Wakeful knew didn't belong to her or her colleagues – was heard as a dark fog began to overtake the destroyer. “Torpedo boat!” cried the lookout as secondary guns began to ring out. Wakeful turned around and looked at the new assailant. It was a ghostly-looking vessel, but was armed with two deadly torpedo launchers and various cannons. The torpedo boat’s cannons rang out, raking the destroyer with fire as debris flew around. She ducked as a bit of shrapnel passed over her. However, her men and the soldiers weren’t so lucky as rounds, metal, and wood ripped through the sailors. Even her captain took a piece of wood to the arm, though he was alive from the impact. ** After a few minutes, the vessel broke off its attack and took off for the fog as Wakeful fired her main guns, though she missed the target. “Is the bastard gone?” a cry came as groans were heard all around. The warship doubted it and her suspicions were right as she heard a torpedo being fired. “Hard to port!” she cried as her helmsman tried his best to avoid the deadly payload steaming toward them. As the torpedo whizzed by, the destroyer took a deep breath, but then was rocked by an explosion that threw some of her men in the sea and started a giant fire on her deck. Wakeful picked herself up and looked toward the sea as she saw the torpedo boat steaming toward her, having delivered one torpedo to its target. Now that the destroyer was disabled, it was on its way to finish the job. In a weary fit, the warship directed her main guns to fire again at the assailant, but it was to no avail as the remaining soldiers and the last of her sailors, the captain included, were gunned down around her. As the triumphant enemy moved alongside its stricken opponent to finish her off, tears began to fall from Wakeful’s face and she fell to her knees as her greatest fear was coming true. “I-I don’t want t-to go,” she sobbed as the cannons hit her ammunition storage, resulting in a big explosion that finished off the destroyer in a blazing ball of fire.
Posted this over in the World of Warships forums so I thought, hey why not? I love the history with these sisters so I'd love to get the chance to command them in game, especially Bermuda. Also if anyone knows how to remove this grey crap that would be great. So the crown colony class cruisers were treaty cruisers built under the second london naval treaty, there were 8 sisters in total under two groups, the Fiji (being the eldest sister) and the Ceylon group (being the upgraded versions) And were in many ways, a smaller version of the town class cruisers. We have: Fiji, the unlucky eldest, who got bombed to death before all her sisters could be built even after taking a torpedo and surviving years before hand, planes and Uboats are going to be very common in these little stories, she took multiple bomb hits from over 20 bomb attacks that lasted over 2 hours (unable to find exact number but it was a buttload) before being hit by a shockwave on her port side that tore off her bottom plates then forced her to come to a halt, having been fighting the entire time she had completely exhausted her AA ammunition and was hit by three more bombs, when the hole caused her to list on her port side it forced the crew to flee her as she turned over and sank.The DDs with her dropped floats and turned tale, 241 of her crew was killed and 523 were saved under the cover of night by RN DDs returning. She fought to the end and until her ammo ran dry, setting the example for her younger sisters that came after her, through her death she would also see her sisters were upgraded with more powerful AA guns. Nigeria, the tough tomboy, the one that survives despite being torped by Italian subs, mined, and shot at. She also captured one of the German's enigma machines, just after HMS Bulldog in fact. She was a part of operation pedestal. She was also one of the colony class to loose a main gun in favour of GLORIOUS BRITISH AA GUNS! She was sold to India in 1958, being renamed INS Mysore.....she would ram two destroyers during her time after. Mauritius, the one that needed refits before entering the front lines but made an impact when she got there. She was one of the colony class that lost her fourth turret for AA guns. She was a ship that covered her friends, covered normandy, participated in the landings of Italy, and carried out anti blockade runner duties. She was also one of the ships (along with many DDs) that mopped up German ships off the Brittany coast. Then returned to home fleet covering CVs and making anti shipping strikes herself, She would later fight against German destroyers greatly damaging DD Z31. Kenya, The pink lady (due to her camo) transported troops, gold, and escorted convoys. As well as sinking enemy supply and blockade running ships.Kenya also avoided damage in air attacks by the Germans on 27–28 March. She also took part in the Korean war as many of her sisters did Also her pompoms were removed and replaced with less glorious american AA guns. Trinidad, the ill fated. Who torpedoed herself During an engagement with three enemy destroyers due to a faulty torp and killed 32 of her own men.She did sink one of the German DDs however, after being repaired in Murmansk she set out to return home, she would never make it, for as she tried to return she would be attacked by over 20 german bombers loosing 63 more men including 20 men from the previously sunken cruiser Edinburgh irreversibly damaged she was scuttled by HMS matchless, a DD in her fleet. I would like to do more on this ship but this is about the whole class not just her, maybe next time. Jamaica, oh she's the famous one of the class isn't she? 'The galloping ghost of the Korean coast', 'The fighting J', she's the fighter and the survivor. Rather sad she got scrapped really. Anyway: HMS Jamaica along with her town class wingman(wingwoman?) HMS Sheffield would fight through the entire war and beyond she (and Sheffield) even became a movie stars in 'Battle of river plate' also she may have torpedoed a german battleship by the name of Scharnhorst along with Belfast (there's them town class wingwomen again) and a buttload of destroyers, sound familiar, after a good ol gunfight of course. She was also one of the colony class that lost her fourth gun for AA. And during the Korean war she was dubbed 'The galloping ghost of the Koran coast' most likely helped along by the fact the enemy could have sworn they sunk her three times before haha. HMS Gambia, AKA HMNZS Gambia, was (as you could probably tell) Given over to the New Zealand navy during WW2, to be returned after the wars end. She spent much of her time attacking or covering CVs on the IJN front and it's likely she fired some of the last shots of that war. (helped by the fact she was under attack when the ceasefire was being announced...) She would also sail with her sistership Bermuda after the war, as well as be upgraded along with her. Bermuda, The traveller, (the one that also fights off planes with a stick apparently) sorry I'm trying to contain my patriotism now (although let's be honest I could be playing god save the queen in the background and you wound never know.) She's the youngest of the Fiji group of the class, though not the youngest of the colony class. She made many trips to her namesake and we even have some items from her on my homeland, although some of the other items mysteriously went missing. (yeah right) She travelled often and participated in operation torch with that glorious wingwoman HMS Sheffield, where they both came under attack by Italian bombers, but she did her duty of covering the landings and escaped with not a scratch on her hull. She then returned to the Atlantic (where she belongs) for transport and glorious Uboat hunting duty in the Atlantic, Arctic, and the Bay of Biscay. Notably she had one of her turrets removed during her service time making her closer to the younger Ceylon group rather than the Fiji group she was actually in, why remove a gun you may ask? Well for more glorious British AA guns of course! Like her sister Gambia she was likely one of the last ships to take shots at the Japanese being attacked by aircraft after the ceasefire this time far after the war was done. (apparently even back then tourist wanted to be on Bermuda) Bermuda, being Bermuda, had no problems telling them off and going on her way to grab some prisoners of war up in shanghai. After the war she and her sister ship Gambia (remember her) would aid the island Zakynthos after a severe earthquake. After HMS Vanguard had her upgrade funds...redirected (ouch) Both Bermuda and her sister Gambia would get upgraded, their bridges were made better, their AA guns upgraded, because if there's one thing Bermuda is known for it's bringing down planes, and her secondary guns repositioned and upgraded because why bring down just planes when you can shoot ships too. Unfortunately she would spend the rest of her days practising with the other NATO navies before getting sent for the scraper. (yes I know this one was long sue me I love the ship and knew more about her, let me have my pride) And yes I did make a Bermuda triangle joke in there, honestly I realize it's not going away ever, and at this point I'm just gonna [edited]accept it..... Ceylon, the raider, she's the leader of the Ceylon group (that was redundant) she would have three triple 6 inchers rather than the four the Fiji group (originally) had, she was a raider alright spent most of her time bombarding the living crap out of enemy land positions. Even after WW2 she would continue to bombard the crap out of enemy land positions in the Korean war.....and then she would bombard Egyptian shore batteries later on in her life at port said. (note to self you will never win an argument with this woman) She would later be sold to Peru. HMS Uganda, or HMCS Uganda, or HMCS Quebec, As with her older sister Gambia she was used by another nation with close ties to england, although this time it was after the war was over. (or close enough to it) She would escort Churchill on his way to america, escort troops to Italy, bombard the Italians in operation husky. (seriously with these women) I found something interesting about this one, did you know she was hit with a radio controlled bomb? During 1943 she was hit by a german radio controlled glide bomb that went through all seven decks and her keel, then exploded in the water killing 16 men and knocking out all but one boiler, she would be towed to malta by a helpful little american tugboat by the increadably long and difficult to pronounce and spell name of USS Narragansett. After the repair she was given to the good old Canadians, since they asked so nice, and was sent to the pacific which sucked for the crew because she wasn't made for tropical conditions. (poor bastards had to be baking) After linking up with RN ships in the east of the world becoming the flagship of task force 57 due to her top grade radar (due to that refit I talked about earlier) she would join many bombardments (again don't argue with these women) against the islands in the area such as Formosa and Sakishima Gunto, she would come under kamikaze attack as well in the time she was with her taskforce. Joining the american third fleet after this she would become the only Canadian warship to fight against the IJN. This however caused backlash as the crew had joined up to fight Germans, not Japanese, and a new policy was passed shortly after for all HMCS ships in the pacific wither they wanted to fight or not if so had to revolunteer. So when the new vote came in to continue to fight against the IJN on the 7th of may 605 crew out of 907 refused to volunteer for continuing operations against Japan. As you can imagine the Royal Navy wasn't exactly flowers and sunshine over this especially as the ship couldn't be replaced until July that year, and an embarrassed RCN offered up HMCS Prince Roberts instead a ship that was then undergoing refit, so Uganda detached from the Americans in July and went on her way but on the way to pearl harbour one of her boilers malfunctioned and she limped her way in on August 4th to a....less than pleased American base, some men on which that felt as if the crew had abandoned the war. She would make it back homme to Canada the day the war against them ended. Newfoundland, the youngest sister, just like her older sister Nigeria she was torped by an Italian sub that blew her rudder off (I like a good aft to but....) and had 'repairs' and I say that lightly done at malta, Later, steering by her propellers only, and with the assistance of "jury rigged" sails between her funnels, she steamed to the Boston Navy Yard for major repairs. Then in 1944 she had to be repaired again when one of her own torps exploded killing one unlucky guy and damaging the ship. After this she went on to support the Australians' sixth division and served well in the Aitape-Wewak campaign, she would go on to attack an important Japanese naval base at Truk, and would later take part in the attack against mainland Japan On 9 August she took part in a bombardment of the Japanese city of Kamaishi. Newfoundland was part of a British force which took control of the naval base at Yokosuka. She was another ship of the crown colony class that was present for the Japanese surrender. After the war she would have an engagement with an Egyptian frigate that would net her a kill, she saved 69 of the survivors. She's another ship that ended up with Peru in the end renamed twice.(respectively Almirante Grau/Capitán Quiñones) Ok so that's the last of them (damn that took hours) now the colony class ships are kinda difficult to pin down weapon wise because of how the different ships got different AA upgrades but I'll do my best go get everything generally: Displacement:10,725 tons full load. 10,840 for the Ceylon group Weapons Fiji 12 (4X3) six inch guns (6-8 rpm) AA guns Fiji, (4X2) 4inch dual use guns, 8 2pr pom poms (2X4) and 2 torp launchers 21 inch torps (2X3) . Ceylon and upgraded: Or nine (3x3) six inchers 8 four inch dual use guns (4X2) 12 2pr pom poms (3X4) 2 torp launchers 21 inch torps (2X3) Length: 555ft 6inchs. Beam 62ft Speed: 31knots fiji group, 32 for Ceylon. Also spotter planes in the form of two submarine walrus spotters. Never on Fiji (the ship) or Kenya. (the pink one) Armor: 83 mm (3.3 in) deck: 51 mm (2.0 in) turrets: 51 mm (2.0 in), Director control tower: 102 mm (4.0 in) So there we are, the colony class cruisers, if you noticed something wrong or something I should have added give me a shout!
Pillwalker posted a topic in Ships, Belles, & HistoryThe ship at the beginning is HMS Blankney (L30), a Hunt-class destroyer A short video showing some really neat footage of WW 2 Royal Navy destroyers, including some close up shots. It's very basic and doesn't contain a lot of information but the footage is cool and as a quick summary it works pretty well. Here's another video including RN cruisers