1905 Battle of Singapore

This scenario is a fictional battle where the British attempt to stop the 2nd Pacific Squadron from reaching its destination in 1905. The idea for the game came from this blog post with a memo by the Director of Naval Intelligence, Prince Louis of Battenberg, which includes the proposed British force to be assembled at Singapore:
https://simonharley.com/2022/03/01/prevent-the-russian-baltic-fleet-from-reaching-the-far-east/
Since the memo’s proposed location for the battle (west and south-west of the Straits of Sunda) assumed that the 2nd Pacific Squadron would not go through the Straits of Malacca as it did, the location has been moved to the open water between Singapore and the Island of Borneo.

With the exception of the 4 “Duncans” from Mediterranean, the memo does not list specific ships. The order of battle for the game attempts to reconcile the memo with the fleet deployments listed here:
http://www.naval-history.net/xGW-RNOrganisation1900-14.htm?fbclid=IwAR2ESrVd8GGc80XW1-i7shHVBNvEBki_-zpPa3vnVBVmbFRCZA-kJv2Tk4w
The two ‘PARTIALLY-ARMOURED CRUISERS’ from the China station are taken to be the protected cruisers of the Powerful class, although they may have been the Amphitrite and Argonaut of the Diadem class. The latter class is not yet included in the game code. The British third class cruisers are not included.

The code AI ran both side’s forces.

The sea conditions and orders of battle are listed on Page 1 of the Narrative file:


Force reports:


Plots and commentary:
The 2nd Pacific Squadron cruising formation is that of the Battle of Tsushima. The formation is compact, with no screening or scouting ships. This is consistent with the intent to pass north unobserved. The British force (dubbed the Far East Fleet) cruising formation has two battleship divisions in line ahead, the armoured cruiser division stationed ahead, two divisions of cruisers in a screen ahead and the destroyer flotilla stationed abeam to starboard of the flagship Duncan. The wide scouting screen is deployed to assist in finding the opposing force.
After the initial sightings, the Far East Fleet alters course to close the range. The 2nd Pacific Squadron deploys to port to gain a downwind position. The Far East Fleet later deploys to starboard to engage the enemy battleline.

Once the battle lines open fire, the 2nd Pacific Squadron reverses direction to the south to engage on parallel courses. Since visibility is good and the torpedos carried by the destroyers are short-ranged, the flotillas remain out of action on the disengaged sides of the battlelines.

This simplified plot omits all but the battleships for clarity. Few hits are obtained until ranges fall below about 8,000 yards. As the range continues to decrease, hits from both primary and secondary batteries shatter the leading battleship divisions of both sides. The four Duncan class are sunk (one blows up) and the four Borodino class are damaged. At this point it was assumed that the fleets would disengage.

This plot shows the entire engagement.


End of game status:
The damage to the best ships of the 2nd Pacific Squadron would seem to make it pointless to continue toward Vladivostok, so the British objective was achieved.


Gunnery logs:


Hit Logs for the primary divisions

RJW Naval – Yellow Sea August 10 1904

This scenario is based on the Battle of the Yellow Sea during the Russo-Japanese War. The initial positions are based on the following references:
“The Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 British Naval Attache Reports,” Plate 7.
H. W. Wilson, “Battleships in Action,” Chapter XII.
Julian S. Corbett, “Maritime Operations in the Russo-Japanese War, 1904-1905, Vol 1, Chapter XXII.
Bill M., “The Battle of the Yellow Sea,” The Naval Wargames Society, http://www.navalwargamessociety.org/scenarios.html

The battle might be called ‘Encounter at Encounter Rock’ since several references mention that location. None that I have seen state where the rock is (or was), but an approximate location can be inferred from the first reference above: 24 NM SE of Port Arthur.

Japanese 1st Division with two armoured cruisers attached, east of Encounter Rock.
Japanese 3rd Division, south of the Russian squadron.
Japanese 5th Division, north of the Russian squadron.
Japanese 6th Division and two destroyer divisions near Encounter Rock.
Russian 1st Pacific Squadron, about 10 NM SW of Encounter Rock.

Three additional Japanese destroyer divisions are strung out to the south and southeast of the Russians. Three Japanese torpedo boat divisions have been omitted from the scenario.

The sea conditions and orders of battle are listed on Page 1 of the Narrative file:


Player reports (not needed since there were no human players):


Plot from 1230 to 1440hrs
This plot shows the entire battle, with the Russian movements in red and the Japanese in blue.


Plot from 1230 to 1330hrs
Initial movements and deployments of the units during the first hour. The AI ordered the Japanese divisions to form up, but this required the 3rd Division to pass close to the Russian squadron. As a result, the division’s small protected cruisers took significant damage from the rear Russian ships before joining the rest of the Japanese fleet.
Both sides eventually formed battle lines heading east. Once on roughly parallel courses (with low range rates) and in effective range, the serious shooting began.


Plot from 1330 to 1417hrs
Unit movements continued. The Japanese destroyers took station on the disengaged side of the battle line until the Russian line was significantly weakened. At that point (1400hrs) a general torpedo attack was ordered and the destroyer divisions headed south.


Plot from 1330 to 1417hrs
The battle lines fight in detail. Torpedo salvos aimed to cross the paths of Russian battleships missed because the targets sank.


Plot from 1330 to 1417hrs
Plot showing more clearly where the Russian ships sank (+).


End of game status:


Battleship primary battery gunnery logs
These are less useful than those of dreadnought battles since much of the damage was caused by secondary batteries.


Seekrieg 5 – Tsushima

This weekend the local HMGS-South group played a Russo-Japanese War naval game using the Seekrieg 5 rules. The scenario included battleships from the Battle of Tsushima.

The battle was fought in calm seas and hazy weather, visibility 12,000 yards. The lead ships started about 12,000 yards apart.

Japanese ships in a single line ahead:
Mikasa, Asahi, Fuji, Shikishima, Chin Yen

Russian ships in two divisions, each in line ahead:
Kniaz Suvarov, Imperator Alexander III, Borodino, Orel
Oslyabya, Sissoi Veliki, Navarin, Imperator Nicolai I

Crew quality was randomized, with the Japanese having a probable advantage:

Japanese:
1-20%       +1
21-80%    +2
81-100%  +3

Russian:
1-30%        -1
31-90%       0
91-100%   +1

The battle opened with the Borodino class ships firing at the four new Japanese battleships, the Oslyabya firing at the Chin Yen and the four Japanese battleships firing on the lead pair of each Russian division. The guns of the remaining ships would be out of range for several turns. The Japanese soon switched to firing their primary guns on the four Borodino class and their secondary guns on the older Russian ships. The Imperator Alexander III lost an engine room on the first turn, forcing her to leave the formation. That was the story for the rest of the battle, with the Russian first division taking most of the damage.

After 14 turns and more than four hours of real time, the damage was:

Russian:
Kniaz Suvarov                      3 tiers, speed reduced to 7 knots
Imperator Alexander III    1 tier, speed reduced to 9 knots
Borodino                               light damage
Orel                                        8 tiers, speed reduced to 11 knots,
–                                               no main battery, sinking
Oslyabya                               light damage
Sissoi Veliki                          light damage
Navarin                                  light damage
Imperator Nicolai I             light damage

Japanese:
Mikasa                                    light damage
Asahi                                       light damage
Fuji                                           light damage
Shikishima                             1 tier, speed reduced to 8 knots
Chin Yen                                 1 tier

 

 

RJW Naval – Skagerrak 1905

This weekend the local HMGS-South group played a fictitious naval battle set in the North Sea during the Russo-Japanese War.

The Russo-Japanese War has been in progress since 1904. Historically, the Franco-Russian Alliance of 1894 did not require France to support Russia since no Triple Alliance member state was involved. The Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902 did not require Britain to support Japan since Japan was not at war with more than one state.

In this somewhat altered history, Germany has decided to spend money on the army and not build a large fleet. Anglo-German relations are good. France finds it necessary to support Russia due to the military balance in Europe. Japan, assuming that this is the case, attacks French assets in Asia. Thus France and Russia are at war with Japan and the Anglo-Japanese Alliance (Article 3) is invoked.

Player briefings: Skagerrak 1905 Briefing

Visibility 18,000 yards. Wind westerly at 14 knots. Sea state 3.

Status at the end of the game: sk1905 IO

Damage output file: sk1905 output

Player reports:
sk1905 side 1
sk1905 side 2

Plots of ship movements:
0-40 minutes sk-plot-0-40
40-70 minutes sk-plot-40-70
All sk-plot-all

Computer code (described here)

The British concentrated their fire on the Russian ships and damaged all four of the Borodino class (the most valuable Russian ships). The French placed themselves between the British and the Russians. The Russians fought on, declining to leave the French to fight alone against a much larger British force. After about 3.5 hours of play and 70 minutes of game time, many of the heavy ships were low on ammunition. A minor British win perhaps, but all sides acquitted themselves well.

Tsushima – Russo-Japanese War Naval AAR

This weekend the local HMGS-South group played a Russo-Japanese War naval battle based on the Battle of Tsushima. In order to make the game more balanced, the Russian ships were not handicapped to reflect their historical performance.

Visibility 14,000 yards. Wind SW at 14 knots. Seastate 3

Status at the end of the game: tsus2 io

Damage output file: tsus2 out

Plot of ship movements:
0 to 30 minutes tsus2 plot 0-30
30 to 60 minutes tsus2 plot 30-60
60 to 90 minutes tsus2 plot 60-90

Computer code (described here)

We called the game after about 4.5 hours of play (90 minutes of game time). The damage was fairly even at that point. The Russian battleships were low on main gun ammunition and several were completely out, so their ability to continue the fight was limited.