WW1 Naval – Battle of Durazzo

This scenario assumes that the Austrian fleet at Pola sortied in December 1915 to challenge the evacuation of Serbian troops from the Albanian port of Durazzo, and that the Italian fleet with French support sortied to oppose it. For a detailed description of the historical situation and events, see Paul G. Halpern, “The Naval War in the Mediterranean 1914-1918,” Chapter 6.

The Allied side was played by a remote gamer using text output files, plots of contact reports and photos of the table. The Austrian side was run by the code‘s AI.

Player briefing:

The orders of battle are listed in the narrative file:


Due to the circling nature of the battle, an entire battle plot is difficult to read. This animated plot shows the movements in 10 minute increments:

Animated plot showing target lines of primary batteries. The plot includes only the four Austrian dreadnoughts and the four Italian dreadnoughts.

Status at the end of the game:

Gunnery Logs:

Hit Logs:

Shell Diagnostics:
This table gives the performance of the large caliber shells in the battle.

After quite a long game the Italian commander decided to give up the chase of the retreating Austrians. With the exception of three remaining the French dreadnoughts, all the battleships on both sides were low on or out of ammunition. The losses and battle damage were roughly equal. Since it is clear that the evacuation would not have been disrupted, the result is a strategic victory for the Allies. Vittoria!

2 thoughts on “WW1 Naval – Battle of Durazzo”

  1. The plot seemed very unusual with one force (red) circling the other (blue) as it went first one way then backtracked and then just repeated doing that. I assume blue was the AI. I would think it would attempt to bypass red breaking through to either return to base or reach its objective.

    1. The purpose of the code is to support table-top battles, so the AI is programmed to fight rather than leave. It does have an algorithm for retreat (based on losses, ammo, relative force strength) which I’m currently working on.

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