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KNIGHTS OF THE SEA II
With great thanks and appreciation to SYN_Vander, SYN_Waxworks, SYN_Bandy and all the crew of Syndicate Squadron, I'm pleased to announce a new Rise of Flight campaign Knights of the Sea II!
The first Knights of the Sea was run some years back by Syndicate and was a great success. My hope is to resurrect this wonderful campaign event for the enjoyment of all in the Rise of Flight community. We will go full live June 4th and 11th. There is no practice / dry run.
The Germans renewed unrestricted submarine warfare in the spring of 1917. The British countered with a naval and bombing offensive to disrupt U-boat movements. The German Marinekorps supported their U-boats with a strong defence of the ports and attempts to hinder enemy naval activities off the Flemish coast.
The campaign features several rather unique missions, planesets, ships and a real gem, the Tirpitz Coastal Defense Battery at Ostende. This is a massive battery of 4 extremely large caliber guns mounted in hardened turrets which the Entente is tasked with destroying using a sea based artillery spot. The battleships' fire must be corrected manually via a grid map coordinate system, transmitted from the spotting aircraft. While this mission is active, there is a counter battery spotting mission available to the central side to direct fire to the attacking battleships just offshore. Another interesting feature of the campaign is a Gotha raid on the English coastal harbortown of Harwich. Completion of this mission requires destruction of one of two strategic targets at Harwich Harbor and safe return of at least one Gotha. In addition to these there are a great many other standard bombing missions which target airfields, ships, submarines, and recon missions.
The campaign runs for 6 hours, 0300 to 0900 in game time. At mission start it is dark with mostly clear skies and a bright full moon.
The sun rises around 0530 but there is plenty of daylight to fly by 0430 for those who don't care for night flying. Also, the bulk of the missions don't require a pre-dawn start so those who don't wish to fly at night can simply join in 90min after mission start and fly into the day.
The pre-dawn start is primarily to give the long range bomber missions a chance to get a bit of a head start on their flights. The Gotha England raid for example, takes nearly 3hrs to complete, 90 min across the channel, 90min home, not for the faint of heart! But, for those with an unquenching thirst for gritty realism, there's nothing quite like it. There is a 5m/s breeze from the West which must be factored in to any offshore navigation.
One of the great things of the campaign, in my opinion, is that it gives nearly everyone a chance to do what they prefer. Fighters are free to defend coastal and naval targets, escort friendly bombers, intercept enemy bombers or just go hunting. Two-seater missions offer everything from the long range Gotha England raid to relatively short hops across the mud to attack trains, trucks, and airfields. There are also several missions available to attack/defend a barrage net of German drifter ships who are constantly being reinforced and relieved by other drifter ships, and a damaged German U-boat that cannot submerge and is limping home to Zeebrugge Harbor. There are also missions to attack/defend German minesweepers both nearshore and offshore as well as a U-boat hunt in a zone east of Felixstowe. As anyone can see, the map has a LOT going on!
- Gotha England Raid - Requires at least one of two strategic targets destroyed and at least one Gotha make it home and land safely.
The two targets are: - 1. Ships at Harwich and 2. Fuel Tanks and Sheds Harwich
- St. Pol Aerodrome (Factory Facilities) - Factory facilities adjoining the airfield must be destroyed, not aerodrome itself.
- Furnes Aerodrome (Factory Facilites and Hangars) - Factory facilities adjoining the airfield and aerodrome hangars. **Aircraft based at aerodrome will have 5 min. to takeoff or be lost.
- Ships at Dunkirk Harbor - Ships at Dunkirk must be sunk.
- Attack and Sink Drifter Barrage - Several small drifter ships tending a net barrage at sea must be sunk.
- Attack and Sink Drifter Reinforements - Reinforcement drifter fleet must be sunk.
- Recons - 1x small recon 2x large area recons NOTE: RECONS CANNOT BE DONE UNTIL SUNRISE!!!
- Furnes Aerodrome (Factory) - Factory complex and workshops adjoining the airfield must be destroyed, not aerodrome itself.
- Arty Battery - Destroy Entente artillery battery marked on the map
- Truck Convoy
*Conditional* - Tirpitz Anti-Ship Arty Spot - Fly artillery spot mission for coastal guns firing on attacking ships. The Entente sea arty spot against the Tirpitz Battery must be active for this mission to be available. Attacking ships are right offshore of the Tirpitz guns.
-Coolkerke Aerodrome (Factory Facilities) - Bomb factory facilities adjacent to aerodrome
-Ghistelles Aerodrome (Factory Facilities and Hangars) - Bomb factory facilities adjoining the aerodrome and aerodrome hangars. **Aircraft based at aerodrome will have 5 minutes to take off or be lost**
- Brugges Naval Base -
The two targets are: 1. U-Boats at dock 2. Fuel tanks and sheds next to docks. *Recons are need after bombing to complete (bomb damage assessment)*
- Intercept Damaged U-Boat - Sink damaged U-Boat offshore of Zeebrugge making for harbor
- Attack Minesweepers (nearshore) - Sink minesweepers nearshore off Zeebrugge
- Attack Minesweepers (offshore) - Sink minesweepers offshore of Zeebrugge, beyond the barrage net
- Felixstowe Sub Hunt (Patrol Convoy Route)- Locate and sink two U-boats operating in a zone east of Felixstowe harbor.
- Attack Coastal Battery- Destroy coastal artillery battery SW of Ostende (not the Tirpitz guns)
- Attack Tirpitz Battery- Use spotter plane to activate artillery bombardment from battleships just offshore of the Tirpitz guns at Ostende. When ships are in firing position, they will fire a green flare. Signal back with green flare from spotter plane and proceed to spotting location to correct fire from the ships onto the Tirpitz battery.
- Truck Convoy
Original Mission Description:
-The side which completes the most objectives will win. The Germans have the advantage and will be awarded a free objective at the beginning of the mission so that they win any ties.
-The Entente must attack and destroy the U-boats being made ready for sea at Bruges. A German minesweeper squadron is in operation off Zeebrugge, and if it is destroyed more U-boats will be lost to mines.
-The convoy route must be patrolled and any U-boats sunk.
-There were reports that a returning U-boat had struck the barrage in the night. This damaged U-boat may be unable to submerge, as well as any other U-boats at Ostend or Zeebrugge.
-A German cruiser-minelayer is reported to be at sea. If it can be damaged it will be unable to sow its mines.
-The docks at Bruges should be bombed, as well the German Gotha aerodrome and coast defences.
-The German naval guns are difficult to bomb, but a spotter can direct the fire of Royal Navy cruisers during a once-only bombardment.
-There are several recces to be performed, and any enemy balloons and transport are to be destroyed.
-The Marinekorps has been ordered to sink the enemy drifters maintaining the barrage off the Flanders coast, as well as any sailing as reinforcements. Also, ships at Dunkirk are to be attacked, with troopships and tankers especially valuable targets. If a British merchant ship could be sunk while supposedly safe in the Harwich harbour, it would be a tremendous achievement for the German armed forces.
-Other targets for the Gothas are the fuel depot at Harwich or the St Pol air depot.
-The British have pushed field artillery forward to defend their troops along the Yser and these guns should be eliminated.
-There are several recces to be performed.
-All enemy balloons and transports are to be destroyed.
NOTES -Only the fuel dumps need to be destroyed at Harwich.
The Bruges dump consists of the fuel tanks and surrounding sheds.
-Seaplanes and flying boats which are lost can land on the water and will show up on the map!
-While it is difficult to attack Gothas on their way to England, squadrons from Bray made interceptions on the return. For credit for bombing missions in England, at least one Gotha must have flown to Harwich and back to base.
-The St Pol and Coolkerke bomb attacks are on the factory facilities adjacent to the airfields, rather than the airfields themselves.
-Both Furnes and Ghistelles aerodromes will be deactivated if their workshops are damaged and the hangars destroyed. ** Any machines based there will have five minutes to take off, or they will be lost**
-Should five Gothas be destroyed the Entente will be credited with the bombing of their base at Coolkerke.
-The coast bombardment can only be conducted once. It may begin shortly after it is light enough for balloons.
-German seaplanes have radios and can direct fire on the bombarding ships.
-Balloons are vulnerable just before dawn.
-Further recces of Brugges and Coolkerke are needed to complete the bombing missions. No recces possible before dawn!