Coronel and the Falklands

The book “Fatal Choices, Wargames, Decisions and Destiny in the 1914 Battles of Coronel and Falklands” by Seth Owen includes historical and non-historical wargame scenarios associated with the cruise of the German East Asia Squadron. Several of these were played as solo exercises using this computer code. The code is not intended for small scale actions. The main drawback in using it is that orders can only be changed every 5 minutes. Using the options for automatic target selection and opening fire mitigates this to some extent.

The Battle of Cocos

The fight between the Sydney and the Emden. The damage the Sydney sustained seems to be more than in the actual battle.

Status at the end of the game: cocos-io-10-10

Damage output file: cocos-output

Plot of ship movements: cocos-plot-10-10

The Battle of Samoa

A hypothetical battle between an Australian squadron including the battlecruiser Australia and von Spee’s squadron. The Australia takes significant damage. The Gneisenau runs out of 21 cm shells (her primary battery), in part because while the Australia was firing at Scharnhorst, Gneisenau could keep up a higher rate of fire. According to the NAVWEAPS site, the Scharnhorst class had 87.5 rounds per 21 cm gun.

Status at the end of the game: samoa-io

Damage output file: samoa-output

Plot of ship movements: samoa-plot

The Battle of Coronel

The historical battle between Cradock’s squadron and von Spee’s squadron. The Scharnhorst runs out of 21 cm shells and the Gneisenau nearly runs out. This may be because the range was generally longer than in the actual battle, or because the penalties on rate of fire for poor visibility are not severe enough.

Status at the end of the game: coronel-io

Damage output file: coronel-results

Plot of ship movements: coronel-plot

The Battle with Canopus

The fight between the pre-dreadnought battleship Canopus and the armored cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. Both armored cruisers ran out of 21 cm shells and the Canopus was finished off with the 15 cm secondary batteries. Torpedoes may have been a better choice. If this encounter had occurred historically, low ammunition after the Coronel battle would probably have caused von Spee to avoid Canopus.

Status at the end of the game: canopus-io

Damage output file: canopus-output

Plot of ship movements: canopus-plot

The Battle of Coronel including HMS Defence

A battle between Cradock’s squadron, reinforced by the armored cruiser Defence, and von Spee’s squadron. This is a lot closer fight than the actual battle. With Scharnhorst sunk and Gneisenau out of 21 cm shells, von Spee’s squadron would probably break up into individual raiders.

Status at the end of the game: defence-io

Damage output file: defence-output

Plot of ship movements: defence-plot

The Battle of the Falklands

The historical battle between Sturdee’s battlecruisers and von Spee’s armored cruisers. The battlecruisers took more damage than in the actual battle, possibly because von Spee’s armored cruisers did not try to run.

Status at the end of the game: falklands-io

Damage output file: falklands-output

Plot of ship movements: falklands-plot

The Battle of Stanley

A hypothetical battle between Sturdee’s  squadron and von Spee’s squadron, assuming that von Spee attacks before Sturdee is underway. The scenario in the book started with the Gneisenau and the Nurnberg approaching Stanley and the rest of von Spee’s squadron 15 nautical miles away. To give von Spee more of a chance, this exercise assumes that he approached with his squadron together. Timings for Sturdee’s ships getting underway are from Corbett, not from Owen’s book.

Status at the end of the game: stanley-io

Damage output file: stanley-output

Plot of ship movements: stanley-plot (the outlines of Stanley harbor and Port William are not shown on the plot, but were used for the game)

Initial positions showing coastlines: stanley-coastlines

Updated plot with shorelines: stanley-plot-shorelines

 

 

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