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Post subject: Operations Rurka and Worek
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|On the outbreak of World War II, the Polish navy was massively outnumbered by their Kreigsmarine opponents. This was further exacerbated by the departure to Britain of three of the Polesí four modern destroyers in the days prior to the war (Operation Peking). The remaining naval units were ordered to take a defensive stand, based on the laying of minefields off the Polish coast in the entrance to Danzig Bay. The minelayer Gryf would be escorted by the bulk of the remaining surface units in Operation Rurka, while the three Wilk class minelaying submarines would be covered by Orzel and Sep in Plan Worek.
The surface operation went badly, with all units forced back to base by attacks from German naval attack Stuka 87Cís. Under the protection of the guns of the Cyplowa battery, the Poles were able to drive off a subsequent attack by the German destroyers Lebrecht Maas and Wolfgang Zenker, but the reprieve was shortlived and the Stukas soon returned to sink the Gryff and Wicher.
Wilk attempted to attack the German destroyer Erich Steinbrinck, but was herself attacked by German anti-submarine warfare vessels before she was in position. Damaged and leaking oil, the Wilk then escaped to Britain.
Orzel had orders to attack the old German battleship Schleswig-Holstein after it had famously opened the war by bombarding the fortifications at Westerplatte, but before she had the opportunity she was heavily attacked by the minesweepers M3 and M4. Orzel was damaged in the attack and sought repairs in Estonia, where she and her crew were interned. Refusing such an ignominious fate, the crew escaped, re-took their boat, and without any charts managed to navigate safely to Britain.
Sep fired a torpedo at the Friedrich Ihn but missed. The German destroyer immediately counterattacked, causing Sep severe damage, but she managed to escape. Sep was then attacked by the U14, but the torpedo from the German u-boat exploded prematurely (a precursor to the horrendous torpedo problems suffered by the Germans during their invasion of Norway †in 1940) and Sep escaped again. Too badly damaged to make the voyage to Britain, Sep was interned in Sweden, along with Rys, which had also sought safety in neutral waters after being damaged by German anti-submarine forces.
Zbik achieved the only Polish success of the campaign, when one the mines she laid sank the minesweeper M85. Zbik would also go on to be interned in Sweden.
Set up - This scenario is played as a standard 100 point battle and is an abstract simulation of the events described above.
Poland, 100 points
Inst - Cyplowa Fort (use Heavy Shore Battery model with Custom card)
Aux - Gryf (use Bagley model with Custom card)
DD - Wicher (use Gromiky model with Custom card)
SS x 2 - Orzel and Sep (use Orzel)
SS x 3 - Wilk, Rys and Zbik (use S13 or RO50 models with Zbik Custom card)
Aux x 4 - Jaskolka, Rybitwa, Mewa, and Czajka (use Type 13 model with Jaskolka Custom card)
DD x 2 - Komendant Pilsudski and General Haller (use Sackville models with General Haller Custom card)
PB - Lublin R-XIII Hydro (use Rufe model with Custom card)
Germany, 100 points
BB - Schleswig-Holstein
DD x 2 - Z15 Erich Steinbrinck and Z14 Friedrich Ihn (use Z18 Hans LŁdemann)
DD x 2 - Z1 Lebrecht Maas and Z9 Wolfgang Zenker (use Karl Galster models with TK Z19 Hermann Kunne card)
Aux x 5 - M1, M3, M4, M5 and M85 (use M1)
Aux x 2 - R-Boats (use S-Boat models with Forumini card)
SS - U14 (use Ambra model with TP U20 card)
DB x 2 - Ju87B
1) The Poles had six Jaskolka class minesweepers. Some sources say that all six took part in Operation Rurka, while others say only four did. As four fits my 100 point force perfectly, I have gone for that number.
2) The only offensive aircraft employed by the Polish navy were Lublin R-XIII Hydros. I have included these as they did launch bombing attacks on the Schleswig-Holstein while they still had a base to operate from.
3) The Germans committed many more units to the invasion of Poland than those shown above, but for the sake off achieving a 100 point force, I have only included the units mentioned as having been in action. This left space for four units and 14 points. As my main source, ĎThe Gathering Stormí by Geirr H. Haarr, mentions various non specific German anti-submarine forces attacking the Polish submarines, I have included, from the units actually present during the campaign, a couple of M1 class minesweepers and some R-Boats to account for these.
The Polish 'Custom cards' can be found with the following link:
"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today"