|The Silent War|
|War||World War III|
|Concurrent||The Desert War, Battle of Brighton|
|Date||December 1966 to June 1967|
|Place||Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean|
|Result||Many Allied ships sunk; introduction of Payne-class Frigate|
|Allied Nations||Soviet Union|
|• Admiral Ian Fredricson †
• High Admiral William Körênshtìg • Air Commodore Percy Wallace
|Admiral Alexei Levonov †|
|• 1,000 Merchant Vessels
• 1 Carrier Battle Group
• 3rd Allied Task Force
• 17th Arctic Task Group
• 13th Rapid Response Force
• 83rd Allied Reserve Battle Fleet
•25th Carrier Battle Group
|• Submarine Fleet
• Naval Escorts
• Air Forces
• Capital Ships
• 83rd Reserve Fleet • 600 merchant ships
|Some deep sea fishing vessels.|
Background[edit | edit source]
Many of the Allies manufacturing plants were located in America, Mexico, and Canada. In order to send these new vehicles to Europe they were generally shipped over by boat (as the Carryall was not yet implemented). This led the Soviets to attack these convoys, made of mostly merchant freighters. In response the Allies sent convoys out under escort. An arms race began in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.
Notable Incidents[edit | edit source]
Destruction of the 83rd Reserve (Dec. 1966)[edit | edit source]
Shortly after the first convoys were sunk by Soviet submarine wolfpacks, the Allies mobilized the aging 83rd Battle fleet to protect the next convoy, a group of 40 merchant freighters carrying 800 new combat vehicles to France to battle the advancing Soviets. The convoy came under attack by 24 Typhoons. Taking the convoy by surprise, the Soviets quickly eliminated 18 Torpedo Boats and 2 Destroyers, losing one Typhoon in the process. The Soviet forces surrounded the Allied detachment, but did not surface to fire. The remaining 7 torpedo boats started to unload torpedoes randomly in all directions. One Typhoon was hit a lucky shot that pierced the magazine, causing the ammunition magazine to explode, sinking the Typhoon with all hands. Another two had to be scuttled after being struck by torpedos.
While the PTs reloaded the Typhoons struck, sinking the ANV Dauntless outright, along with Admiral Fredricson, and causing one more Destroyer to be scuttled. The remainder of the Allied fleet attempted to hold off the Typhoons long enough for the convoy to escape the carnage. 12 Typhoons engaged the remaining 7 PT Boats and 5 Destroyers, while the remaining ten Akulas hunted down the convoy. All in all the Soviets lost 9 Typhoons: three to the lucky PT Boat hits, one to a concentrated barrage from 5 PT Boats, four to depth charges, and one which collided with the sinking Dauntless. The Allies lost the entire 83rd Reserve, 34 freighters, and 680 vehicles. These losses led the Allies to hasten the production of the Payne-class Escort Frigate and Carryall Helicopter.
Battle for the Arctic Sea (Feb. 23 1967)[edit | edit source]
A convoy of vessels, led by the large cargo ship SS "Arctic Sea", altogether transporting some 2,000 personnel and around 200 combat vehicles, was traveling through the Arctic Sea when it was ambushed by an element of the 43rd Battle Fleet. Ten Stingrays, two Akulas, and seven Bullfrogs quickly sank the meagre escorts and began to surround the ship. The Arctic Sea sent out a distress signal picked up by the ANV Florida. Not being close enough to help, the Florida contacted the 17th Arctic Task Force, which was only 20 km north of the Arctic Sea. The division dispatched an advance squadron of six Swan Seaplanes and twelve Riptide ACVs. The Swans were immediately attacked by the Bullfrogs, downing two before they could land. The Swans attempted to target the Stingrays and Bullfrogs, but the Akulas kept pushing the Swans back by surfacing, not firing and descending. However the Riptides arrived and the Allied force advanced.
The Riptides launched a volley of torpedoes at one unfortunate Akula, and it was quickly sunk losing all hands. The Soviets had already called for reinforcements, and the remainder of the 43rd arrived. The Allied forces were down to five Riptides and a single Swan. The Allied ships were surrounded and outgunned. However, the remainder of the Allied force arrived, led by the twelve Assault Destroyers. As the battle raged the Arctic Sea attempted to flee, but her propellers were destroyed by a passing piece of ice. The Allied division managed to repel the Soviets at the cost of six Assault Destroyers, twenty-three Riptides, and twelve Swans, as well as more than 800 soldiers who were killed when the iceberg clipped one of the two converted liners that were serving as troop transports. The Soviets lost five Akula submarines, 9 Typhoons, 8 Bullfrogs, and 19 Stingrays. The Arctic Sea and practically all of the other cargo ships had to be scuttled, although the Allies were able to rescue most of the men onboard the transports.
Aerial Battle (March 2-March 3, 1967)[edit | edit source]
The 13th Rapid Response Force, based out of the Azores, had managed to keep the Soviet Akulas out of their sector until this point in the war. The squadron was patrolling on the unusually sunny day of March 2nd when a nearby convoy reported a formation of YaK dive bombers. Eighteen Apollos scrambled and began to engage the YaKs. The Soviet bombers peeled off into the sun, just as a wing of eight MiG fighters arrived behind the Apollo squad. Firing a round of missiles, the MiGs engaged the Apollos, downing one, before peeling off and running at full speed. These hit and run attacks continued through the night into the next day. Allied pilots had downed 6 MiGs losing only three aircraft. Around 7:00 in the morning a convoy was on its way through, when a wolfpack of 2 Akulas and 10 Typhoons arrived.
The Longbows and Apollos responded, sinking three Typhoons, however the MiGs were back. The remaining 24 MiGs viciously savaged the Allied formation, destroying 3 Longbows and five Apollos. Every fighter the Allies had was engaging the MiGs and newly arrived YaKs. The 13th had been issued a single experimental XB-3 Mesofortress, which Air Commodore Percy Wallace was personally preparing to enter the fray in, as the Soviet airbase had been located. His aircraft demolished the Soviet base, decimating the entire complement (the mini-proton missiles hadn't yet be developed, and instead the missiles were high explosive which were effective against buildings.) As the sun set on the 3rd the battle was drawing to a close. The Soviets lost both Akulas and 6 Typhoons, 26 MiG fighters and 14 YaK bombers, while the Allies lost 23 Apollos and 8 Longbows, and the Mesofortress had proved to be a powerful tool for the Allied Air Force.
Convoy 54F[edit | edit source]
Convoy 54F was the first convoy to use the new Payne-class Escort Frigate as an escort. The first five frigates were assigned to the 17th and assigned to protect Convoy 54F. The convoy was carrying 100 Mirage Tanks and 200 Grizzly Tanks to the front lines. The convoy was ambushed only 200 km from Von Esling Air Base by 8 Akulas. The frigates were quick to respond, firing torpedoes into the submarines. For the first time, the Allies had put up an effective resistance against Akulas. Only one Payne was destoyed, sunk by concentrated fire from 4 Akulas. The Soviet were routed and lost 7 Akulas, a staggering 87.5% of the wolfpack.
Battle of The Mid-Atlantic (June 4, 1967)[edit | edit source]
Following the successes of the newly arrived Payne-class Frigate, the Soviets were in disarray. The 23rd Naval Bombardment Group was assigned with the task of destroying the ANV Florida, thus crippling the Allied Atlantic naval forces. The dreadnought Groznyj was assigned as flagship of the operation. Leading the attack from the bridge of the Dreadnought was Admiral Alexei Levonov, a captain widely renowned for his cruel, unyielding efficiency (a rare quality among Soviet admirals). The task force was assembled in the recently turned communist country of Uraguay. This force made its way torward the Florida, which was located only 500 km northeast. On the morning of the 4th the force struck. A group of 4 Hydrofoils were decimated by the Potemkins, while the remainder of the fleet steamed unrelentlessly torward the Florida.
At 8:12 AM a general alert was issued for the Allied fleet, after the patrol could not be located. Suddenly, the Akulas struck, backed up by Stingrays. An attack of this ferocity was not anticipated, and several Payne-class Frigates and Assault Destroyers were sunk. Then, much to the bewilderment of the Allies, a V4 struck an Assault Destroyer, instantly destroying it. A battle raged throughout the afternoon, neither side gaining an advantage, until the 55th Bullfrog arrived to reinforce the 23rd. The 55th slaughtered many Sky Knight drones, ending the plight of the fleet at having to evade the drones. Eventually the Groznjy had come within 100 meters of the Florida.
Ordering the crew to abandon ship Admiral Levonov steered his ship straight into the Florida, destroying his ship and critcally damaging the Florida. The remaining Soviets attempted to fall back, but most were slaughtered. The Soviets only could salvage 8 Stingrays, one Potemkin, and 14 Bullfrogs. The Allies only had 2 Assault Destroyers, 5 Q Ships, 6 Hydrofoils, and 1/2 of their dolphin pod. The Florida was critically damaged and would later sink on the way back to port, a huge blow to the Allies.
New Ship Class Introduction[edit | edit source]
Origins[edit | edit source]
Long before the Silent War started, the Allied Navy was working on an effective way to deal with the Soviet submarine menace from WWII, where Typhoon-class submarines harassed Ironclad-class Destroyers and Jutland-class cruisers. Ironclads tried to fend off the Typhoons using depth charges, but although they destroyed numerous submarines, they were still unable to prevent the sinking of many ships, as there were too few of them, and also because Typhoons would often avoid them, instead going straight for the vulnerable convoy ships. This shortage of anti submarine ships led the Allies to offer a contract for a dedicated anti submarine warfare ship. This need was futrther exacerbated following the introduction of the new Michell-class Assault Destroyer.
The new Assault Destroyer was designed primarily for use against hostile surface ships, and proved less effective against submarines than the Ironclad. After losing several Assault Destroyers to new Akula-class submarines, the Allied Navy once again demanded a dedicated submarine hunter. A few companies responded, but only one won the competition; Gerhardt-Giraud Shipworks, with their Payne-class "Subhunter" Escort Frigate. The new Payne-class was directly based on the improvised civilian "Q-ships" that had proved so effective in the last war. Using the frame and appearance of civilian ships but outfitted with powerful torpedos and military grade hardware, the new Payne-class was an immediate success, able to pose as part of a convoy. They were quickly put into full production after the loss of the entire 83rd Reserve Fleet.
Final Months[edit | edit source]
The final months of the Silent War were very quiet. Only very small skirmishes broke out in the Atlantic. The Allies had dominance until the Imperial blockade of shipping. The 3rd Task Force and submarine wolfpacks both took light casualties, but no major battles occured. Both Navies were decimated, and had lost many men and much equipment. The Silent War was over.
Aftermath[edit | edit source]
Both sides had taken incredible damage. Many of the Allied freighters had been sent to the bottom of the sea. The Allies had lost 54,982 men and women, and some 2.5 million gross tons of shipping and ships had been sunk. Additionally the ANV Florida and the 83rd Reserve Fleet had both been sent to the sea floor. The Soviets lost 29,754 men, 79 Akula Subs and some 458 Typhoons, as well as the Groznjy and its escort fleet. Almost 100 deep sea fishing vessels had been destroyed, mistooken by both sides as the enemy. With the defeat of the Soviet Navy at Port-au-Prince, the Allies suspended all naval operations in the Atlantic.