|Battle of Crete|
|War||World War III|
|Date||June 16, 1967|
|Place||Sea of Crete|
|Result||Both fleets mostly destroyed, Allies keep strategic goal|
|Allied Nations||Soviet Union|
|• Admiral Cash Moores
• Captain Archippos Segal
|• Admiral Yefim Polzin |
|• Allied 3rd Task Force
• Barbary Brotherhood
|• Soviet Black Sea Fleet|
|• Heavy||• Medium|
Background[edit | edit source]
During WWIII the Soviets, despite their best efforts through Akula wolfpacks and air strikes, could not completely destroy the Allied 3rd Task Force . This is not to say that the Soviet attacks did not have any effect; by the time of the last battle, most of the fleet had been sunk, and even the ships that remained had taken damage. But the Soviets had thus far been denied their prize; the Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, a Von-Esling class Aircraft Carrier that had harassed and bombarded Soviet positions around the entire sea. While it had to keep moving in order to not draw too large a counterattack, a situation on Crete forced its hand. The Allied Nations had a major base that had been a thorn at the sides of the Soviets for far too long, and it was under threat.
Fort Stavros was providing reinforcements and supplies to Peacekeepers, Reservists, and even resistance groups in Greece and the Balkans for several months, and was one of the reasons Soviet operations in southeast Europe was taking so long, the other being the Strategic Air Command out of Turkey. While the Soviets could do little against the Century bombing, it could take out Fort Stavros. However, simply attacking from air was out of the question, as Fort Stavros had been the first to receive new “Icarus” anti-air vehicles, and would tear apart any Twinblade or Badger that approached the skies over Crete. Instead, the Soviets gathered several conscript regiments recently shipped and landed them in Crete. While the Peacekeepers at Fort Stavros fought back across the whole island, against such numbers they couldn’t stand for long. They urgently called Admiral Cash Moores of the 3rd Task Force to come to their aid.
Moores was worried. While he was obligated to help give air support to the Peacekeepers in Crete, doing so would mean advertising himself to any Soviet fleet that might be sent to him; unknown to him, the Soviets sent the Black Sea Fleet for just that purpose. Knowing his battered fleet would not stand against any concentrated Soviet threat, Moores did the unthinkable. Contacting one Agent Chance of the ACIN, he requested she find a way to hire the many pirates of the Mediterranean, and find a way to keep them from backstabbing them. Chance did so with events that are still sealed Most Secret, and soon both fleets would have to face the Soviets, lest the entire Mediterranean be lost to Communism.
Force Composition[edit | edit source]
Soviet Forces[edit | edit source]
The Soviet Black Sea Fleet had broken through the Straits of Bosphorus through sheer weight and firepower, doing much damage to Istanbul in the process. They had only managed this feat by exactly timing when the Allied Strategic Air Command had launched most of its sorties so no Centuries would destroy the fleet. Still, the Black Sea’s Fleet took some damage, but this was repaired at the captured docklands of Thessaloniki, and soon it was at full strength and ready for deployment. Its first task was to hunt and find the Mustafa Kemal Attaturk and destroy it, and had done so for several weeks. It finally caught up to it while it was attacking a Soviet walker column.
The flagship of the Black Sea Fleet was the Yarovenko, one of the better taken care of Potemkin-class battlecruisers in the Soviet Navy, primarily because it was rarely out of dock. Along with it were several Rodina-class destroyers, which were uncommon in the Soviet Navy due to their lack of use with ground operations. Here, however, they were very much needed, since they were designed for now-rare open combat on sea. A swarm of Stingrays provided most of the bulk of the Soviet fleet. While the Black Sea Fleet had many Akulas, these were more useful sinking Allied shipping and other strategic targets, and few were at the Battle of Crete.
Allied Forces[edit | edit source]
The Allied 3rd Task Force was at reduced strength, with many ships sunk and all the dolphins dead. Few of the remaining ships did not have damage from previous battles. The Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, however, had been given preferential treatment in repairs (including having repair crews brought over from the other ships) and was in prime condition.
The rest of the fleet, however, was much more unconventional. Agent Chance promised the various pirate captains of the Mediterranean all the money in the briefcase on her person to be split between them, assuming of course they behaved themselves. She promised to return in a few days to brief them further. Within those days the pirate bands fought amongst themselves in savage duels and skirmishes, until one Euria “Mad Bones” Metaxas emerged as the leader. That is, until Archippos Segal put a knife in Metaxas’s back and said he was the leader.
Like all over the world, the pirates of the Mediterranean weren’t evil people, but men and women forced by war and the Allies' waning humanitarian efforts to prey on others or perish. With Allied military efforts concentrated on stopping the Soviets, pirates had begun to spring up in the Caribbean, African coasts, and Indonesia. In some places, they even had aircraft, though not near Crete. The Mediterranean Syndicate was involved with the pirates, and were generally the only people willing to deal with them, trading ships and weapons for the pirate’s booty (though the Syndicate’s resources were just as often taken.) Thus, here and across the world, pirates used Syndicate speedboats for their task. At Crete, they needed time to reach the fleet action itself, and would likely arrive after the Soviets attacked.
Red Tide[edit | edit source]
At 2:34 PM, a patrolling Hydrofoil spotted the Soviet fleet, which had already located the Allied fleet and were bearing down on them. Immediately, the Mustafa Kemal Attaturk immediately withdrew all its drones (allowing the walker column to attack its target) in order to reload them for the coming battle. Admiral Moores organized his Assault Destroyers in a spherical manner around his flagship. The Fleming, being the Assault Destroyer in the best shape, was put on “point”, activating its Black Hole Armor to draw all enemy fire. The Hydrofoils were kept back and also converted their turret from Icarus guns to Scrambleguns, given the complete lack of Soviet aircraft. In this formation, the Allied fleet altered course and headed straight for the Soviets, since a delaying action would harm ground efforts on the ground.
The Yarovenko raised its guns to their maximum elevation and fired off the first shots. This also meant the Mustafa Kemal Attaturk was also within effective range of its secret weapon. The aircraft carrier fired off its last remaining Blackout Missile at the Potemkin Warship. The large battlecruiser was disabled for a time, preventing it from immediately turning the Allied fleet into wrecks by itself. However, the remaining Soviet ships were ordered not to stop, and broke formation quickly to rush at the Allies. Even without the heavy guns of the Yarovenko, the Soviet fleet could still smash the Allies.
However, before the Allies could react, two RU-20 torpedoes sped towards the Chadwik, nearly blowing it into two and sinking it. The Akulas had sped ahead of the main fleet and, undetected by the Allies, fired from behind the Allied fleet. Since to turn back would mean death, the Assault Destroyers continued their course as most of the Hydrofoils turned back, setting up their Scrambleguns on the way. While if any Akula surfaced its torpedoes would be disabled, this meant there were less hydrofoils at the front to disable any guns, or fight off any aircraft. However, this was also advantageous to the Allies, as the Akulas were stuck doing nothing instead of moving on to ambush the Mustafa Kemal Attaturk or move on to attack any Allied targets in the whole of the Mediterranean.
The now depleted Allied fleet had nearly reached the Soviet fleet. The ANV Mustafa Kemal Attaturk came to a full stop while the rest of the fleet moved on and launched all its drones at the Soviets. While the Sky Knights were not tasked for anti-ship attacks, it was hoped this might destroy enough of the fleet to make the Soviets withdraw. Unfortunately for the Allies, this did not turn out to be the case. The Stingrays began criss-crossing rapidly to avoid the bombs, which resulted in not one of them being downed. Most significantly, though, the still-disabled Yaravenko was hit by two bombs, crippling one of the turrets.
Davy Jones' Locker[edit | edit source]
At last the two fleets met and began exchanging fire. The Allies kept a cluster formation, while the Soviets began to envelop the Allies. The point vessels was nearly obliterated in the first few salvos, and the point was quickly put on the Heyrovský, who's turret was already damaged. At this point the aircraft carrier was in clear danger of being attacked by the Stingrays, so it steamed forward into the protective umbrella of the Heyrovský''s protection. Worse still, the Yarovenko had regained its power and immediately destroyed a Hydrofoil with a single shot. The Allied fleet was looking as good as destroyed.
However, at that crucial moment, the Barbary Brotherhood arrived on the horizon. Shouting insults and screams over the radio, they sped in disorganized clumps, many racing with the others to reach the Soviets first. The Stingrays detached from battle to meet them head on, taking off a good deal of pressure from the Allied fleet. Soon, the two swift forces met and began skirmishing in a frenzy of circling and charging, with bullets and tesla bolts darting across the froth. The pirate ships, however, were no match for military vessels and began dropping like flies, despite the manic fervour of their crews.
However, some pirates became restless. The Tradewind 110 crews were discouraged because they had more men but less weapons than the others, mostly being used to transport men onto beaches themselves. Rather than obey orders to draw fire from other speedboats, all of them agreed at once to attack the larger haul; the Yaravenko. While a few Stingrays chased after them, most of them reached the Potemkin-class battleship and pulled up to its side, throwing up ropes and climbing aboard. Much of the crew of the Yaravenko had to take up arms to defend the ship, once again taking it out of action, meaning the Allies (having lost many ships in the meantime) finally had the advantage and began pressing it, while the Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, with no real threats to chase it, withdrew entirely before the Soviets even knew it was gone.
Though the main prize was gone, the Soviets were determined to capture victory. However, instead of fighting a pointless battle, the Allies chose to withdraw. Out of a sense of gratitude, they informed the pirates of this choice, advising them to do the same. The remaining Hydrofoils sped ahead to catch up with the Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, while the remaining two Assault Destroyers steamed to Crete itself, beaching themselves and driving inland and out of range of the Soviets. The pirates in the meantime scattered themselves, fighting a running battle with the Stingrays over a much larger area, unintentionally preventing them from hunting the fleeing Allies. With no enemies left to fight, the Soviet destroyers turned from their now impossible chase to the Assault Destroyers and transferred crew to the Yaravenko, killing all the pirates on board and destroying the speedboats docked to it. The field of battle belonged to the Soviets, but they had lost their main objective.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
The Mustafa Kemal Attaturk survived the battle and started supporting ground operations again, which eventually broke the back of the Soviet invaders and allowed the Allies to force them off the island. Even before that, the extra support from the Aircraft Carrier meant that Vindicators could be spared to harass the AA-weak Black Sea Fleet, damaging it and forcing it to withdraw beyond their range, which needless to say included the Mustafa Kemal Attaturk within it. The only worry the aircraft carrier had was from submarine attack, which never came due to constant movement and misdirection.
The few remaining pirates did indeed get their payment and eagerly went to port to spend it all on drugs, booze, and company. However, they were killed in supposedly-unrelated violence soon after, and the money disappeared. Unknowest to the Allies, the Mediterranean Syndicate arranged for it to go to their coffers, and used it to further fund piracy around the world. Proof of this was found by the interweb group Nemo, and was intended to be shown publicly. However the group was more concerned about their campaign of harassment against neo-pagans celebrating the Summer Solstice, and the matter was soon forgotten.
For many civilians, this would be the first mention of pirates, and many did not like it. While some had a romantic view of them (no doubt shaped by many a childrens' tale), many others were outraged at the use of such criminals. The Allied Nations responded by a barrage of PSAs about pirates, and how they needed help. The sideways approach helped cool public opinions about it, though the promises to address the matter after the war did not come to fruition due to the occupation of Europe.
Now that the war is over, the wrecks of the ships sunk have become one of the most popular diving spots in the world, as well as serving as holiday homes for dolphin pods wanting to visit the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, occasionally a yacht has been boarded by the very same pirates who fought there.