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Oibríocht: Soilse na Thuaidh


Sargun II
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[[OOC: Disclaimer, closed RP.]]

"The German barbarian has descended once more onto Europe; the highlander must drive him out!" The Taoiseach finished her rousing speech and slammed her fist on the podium, signalling the start of Operation: Lights of the North.

Departing from Dublin would be the Expeditionary Fleet of:
Eight submarines,
Four corvettes,
One minesweeper,
Six cruisers,
Fifteen frigates,
Five destroyers,
Two battleships,
One carrier, the [i]Taoiseach[/i],
and a complement on that carrier of 54 F4F Wildcats.
The Fleet was escorting six troopships, of which two held 8000, three held 7000, and another held 5000 soldiers for a total of 42000 soldiers. There would be enough landing craft to transport them all, because the troopships were not operating at maximum capacity.

This fleet was, unknown to German intelligence, the majority of the Irish Navy. Production was going on in intense secrecy of seven more carriers, as well as currently working to triple all the existing numbers of other ships. While work on the ships were clandestine and all ports and building facilities around the entire nation were ordered to keep the building zones unable to see from the outside (such as by planes or ships), it was no secret that the Irish were hurriedly working overtime to build more ships. The problem was that they only had one carrier, two battleships, and a scattering of other ships left to defend the homeland.

The submarines, cruisers, frigates, and destroyers would be on intense lookout for any enemy submarines. The battleships and the carrier, at the center of the group, were setting the pace. The troopships would obviously be sought after, so the anti-submarine ships were in equal dispersion around them. Towed by the outermost ships would be fluxgate magnetometers, which would detect shallow submarines. Not only this, but the submarines and frigates would carry ASDICs and depth sounders and bathythermographs, which would be effective up until the moment that depth charges would need to be dropped.

There was no intelligence of a particularly threatening surface fleet, which is why the Irish were continuing to build for anti-submarine warfare.

Edited by Sargun
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General Knudsen had been sitting calmly in his office somewhere in the lowest floor of the mighty Flaktower that crowned Fortress Faroe. As he drank his coffee, he quickly received the news by a soldier that rushed into his office. He put the coffee down carefully and nodded.

"Followed the protocol?"

-"Yes sir, planes are on the air, Berlin has been notified. We are mobilizing our divisions."

"Also mobilize the Militia Divisions. I think that we will need them."

-"Jawohl!"

------------------

[i]General Haas sent a message to britain. "As I predicted, they have decided to wage an aggressive war for no good reason. Keep this in mind..."[/i]

------------------

The defenders were not aware of the magnitude of the invasion yet, but their "Ears" - which were basically a parabollic concrete construction facing out with the sea that focused sound onto a microphone - had picked up the sound of planes from afar, and an u-boot commander had reported the approach of a large fleet. In fact, although several u-boots had seen the foes, they did not dare attack just yet, and waited for the news to spread, to gather reinforcements. They would be able to get thirty boats on the area, however, being able to skillfully coordinate an attack, and more importantly, doing so on time would be a challenge. The commanders used their encryption devices and attempted to converge upon the sea around Faroe while staying out of enemy fire, stealthily, but the sheeps above water moved much faster than the ones below water...

There were only 35 planes available for defence, 30 were BF-109 - a very competent aircraft - while the other 5 were relatively cruder biplanes. Probably the best biplanes ever invented, but all of them paled in comparison of most modern devices. One of those moved forth to scout and relay information back to the base. News would be no good...he turns back towards Faroe right away, deciding that it may not be wise to leave the cover of the Air Defence. Now that they knew where the fleet was coming from, 20 Patrol Boats moved to the opposite side of the island, figuring that there was no point in assaulting the fleet, making themselves a reserve of sorts.

The static defences of Faroe were many. Of course there was the heavy Flaktower with a collection of 12.5 Milimeter guns and some smaller 88mms. It was a formidable target, even naval guns would have issues when dealing with it, it was inland from Torshavn, the city-base. The beaches were basically littered with czech hedgehogs and mines, every now and then remained a pillbox, and the city was also protected by three Bismarck-styled Naval Guns. There were an assortment of smaller Flak Vierling AA sites, but the fact of the matter was that the islands were small enough to give few tactical options, and spamming men to defend the beaches was no viable tactic, there simply weren't enough.

The active defences were different. There were only twentyfive tanks, 5 were the Wotan tank from the first world war, the rest were a mixture of Panzer I and II. There were only one PzIII and one PzIV. This was not nearly enough, but it had been determined that the elite Panzer Forces could not be wasted away on an island, and a tiny one at that. There were 30k (Three divisions) of Regular Soldiers, with three brigades: One 37mm ATG Brigade, One 105mm Artillery Brigade, and one Sniper Brigade. The Panzers would be assigned as the brigade to be with the first Militia Division, another 10k, and then the last extra 10k were also militia, which as a brigade had been issued with Arctic Expert Soldiers, in an effort to mix both expert and rookie to give the group some more cohesion.

The commander within the tower could not decide where he should first go and field his troops. He decided to send one division to man the different pillboxes and bunkers, and take up defensive positions in foxholes, the rest of the troops would be scattered around the city in bunkers, figuring out that just standing in the open to get shot up by naval guns would be no good idea.

The battle's first shot would be fired anytime now. If only the Germanic Union could field its new Surface Fleet, but no, it was almost ready, and almost was not enough.

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The fleet, knowing an important base like the Faroes would undoubtedly have submarines, deployed the subs in a protection formation around the flotilla; destroyers and sub-hunter ships would follow suit, and the carriers and escorts would stay protected. The island of Streymoy held most of the German troops - the vast majority concentrated around the Torshavn city/base - which was a strategic mistake of utmost porportions. Worse yet for the Germans, Torshavn and the surrounding area were low, and surrounded in almost all sides by mountainous terrain: the 15km radius of the tower was already short enough to allow unimpeded air access to the majority of the Faroes, but the mountainous terrain would also provide cover in almost all directions. Another mistake that the Germans made was concentrating all of their forces on the main island, or Streymoy, while keeping static, unmanned defences on other islands: they were a waste of resources and would completely unimpede landing, because without gunfire the Irish could simply just move slowly to maneuver around the defences.

From Dublin, around 140 P-38s flew forth and would meet up with the [i]Taoiseach[/i] and her Wildcats. Flying close behind the P-38s were about 40 P-38s and 40 more F4F Wildcats escorting a dozen transport planes full to the brim with paratroopers. The first air fleet would provide air superiority over the islands of Suduroy, Stora Dimun, Skuvoy, and allow the fleet to pass northwest and head around the Faroes, heading to the islands of Vagar and Mykines. Three transport planes dropped paratroopers over the island of Suduroy, where they were also given supplies enough to construct several crude radio stations and a crude operating center. They would continue to set up a post that would be hiding in a gave on the mountain Gluggarnir facing south-west.

The fleet finally sailed around Mykines and found the western edge of Streymoy, which was guarded on the beachers with some scattered, but few and far between AA sites. There they were encounted the 20 patrol boats that had positioned themselves on the other side of Streymoy; the patrol boats immediately sped up and started heading towards the fleet, their guns firing at the destroyers and cruisers that were in range. The patrol boats, apparently acting under orders, fired their first salvos at the initial sightings of destroyers and cruisers. Their last stand did not last very long, however, as the P-38s swooped down and dropped their payloads while the 12.7mm and 20mm guns provided swarming covering fire. This was accompanied by the booms of the 5"/38 caliber guns firing at the patrol boats as well. The patrol boats' machine guns fired rapidly at the P-38s, but within the few minutes that it took for the air fleet to swamp and drop their payloads, the gunning had stopped. Their strategy, boating as fast as possible at the ships in an attempt to evade the guns, worked relatively well in terms of evading surface ship fire, but their straight paths meant their certain doom at the hands of the P-38s. The minutes-long engagement saw six P-38s taking enough damage from the machine guns to go down, with two deaths, two wounded and two able to bail out safely.
[b]EDIT, IMPORTANT
[/b]The first destroyer seen had taken several hits from the weak torpedoes - but numbers overwhelmed quality and it was weakened significantly. It had also, in a last-ditch attempt to be useful, turned to block other torpedoes and thus took a significant amount of damage. While the ship did not explode, it was sinking rapidly and many sailors were forced to jump and swim to other ships. Actual manpower losses were minimal.

The fleet waited and allowed the rest of the planes above to skim around the edge of the AA sites until they got to the islands of Eysturoy, Kalsoy, Kunoy, Vidoy, Fugloy, Svinoy, and Bordoy, where about three planes per island would drop soldiers who would spend the rest of the day securing the islands. They confirmed via radio that the Germans had indeed focused on the main island - and the capture of these small islands would mean very little, because it was the main island that actually housed the city-base and the importance of the island. They could not use the Faroes as a base if the main island were still captured. The best part of this plan was that the planes were flying behind mountains and relatively low, meaning the Germans would be unable to see what was going on until it was far, far too late.

So the Irish fleet waited until nightfall, when a second air fleet arrived to replace the first: the same number of planes but now with hundreds of transport planes arranged in order and packed to the brim with paratroopers. They flew around the islands as well, to the western edge of Streymoy. Darkness provided cover, cover needed for the air fleet to fly over the beaches of Streymoy and close to the lake named Vatrio. As the pilots gave the signal, thousands of paratroopers began filing out. After receiving the signal, the two battleships started pounding the western edge of Streymoy's beaches, and the destroyers joined in as well. Super heavy air cover would intercept any German planes that were ordered to intercept, and the Flak tower was out of range on the complete other edge of the island. Whenever an AA installation would open fire, several P-38s would dive and unleash their payload or the sites would be targeted by inaccurate by powerful battleship gun fire. Meanwhile, the cruisers and destroyers kept on lookout for any submarine activity while the troops transport ships began to unload their soldiers. Soon, several thousand soldiers would be storming the uncivilized beaches of Streymoy - and, better yet, the transport planes heading back to the fleet would be shining powerful lights down on the beach defenses and installations below. Not only were they attacking the part of the island the Germans had least prepared for battle (minimal AA sites, no flak tower, no naval cannons, and most of the manpower would be in the city), but they had the advantage of night and superior air and naval power.

Edited by Sargun
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The Faroese had expected the attack to begin right away. However, it never came. Knudsen folded his arms and had early on decided to send scouts by horses, they would report that the peripherical islands were taken without resistance. Later, the brave yet futile action of the boats was also noted. The enemy seemed to have the advantage in everything, yet did not attack. Knudsen concluded that they would either attack in the night or that they were waiting for even [i]more[/i] of their forces to arrive from their own Ireland so to overwhelm them. Lone men were dispatched to the mountains surrounding Torshavn, and were told to watch. The cold was deep, as it had always been in those regions and at those higher altitudes compared to the city, but they would endure it, as they had for endless centuries. Scouts worked constantly to shed light on any news...

He receives news from Berlin.

[i]"Due to the gravity of the situation, we are sending you the entirety of our Submarine Fleet. However, our surface fleet is not ready to act. If you can delay them a week, we might be able to send them - with reinforcements. But at this moment, you are on your own. Fight to the last man."[/i]

Knudsen hits his tactical map, where all the information is displayed. He felt himself surrounded by sharks, out in the different gathering areas the folk were quietly singing traditional Rounddances regarding the sagas, yet not spending energy in doing the actual dancing to go along. One of them would say, "You will see, just like in Ormurin Langi, their weapons will break in the most important moment. We will show them that Prussians and Vikings can do combined. Remember that the Celtic man is a member of a lesser kin, a kin of slaves."

The news of the "Flaktower-unprotected" part of the city being captured did not go without notice, as minor fighting happened there when the machinegunners and FLAKs there attempted to defend themselves, but ultimately had little support. The aircraft did not go there, they would always stay within the cover of the Flaktower. The naval guns seemed to do something very unusual, their large turrets would begin turning around to point inland. When the enemy would come, they would fight them one way or the other. When the attack had started, Knudsen realized that they would surely storm soon, and he would be later proven to be correct. He decided to make a series of small guerilla-like units, rather like partisans, to have them scatter around the zone around Torshavn and the mountains. They too had done this with the cover of the night, Knudsen understood that if the higher ground around the city were gained, things would get quite ugly. Twenty thousand of these mixed units would dig in and wait, chamouflaged, while the rest still remained in the bunkers or within the tower itself. It looked as if they would need to demolish the whole city to win.

Still no word from the submarines. The Irish might as well think that they had decided not to fight...no, there they were. They attack somewhat belatedly, some ten minutes after the enemy begins to land troops, and after the new batch of aircraft had arrived to the scene. Too unknowingly to the Irish, the Germans had most of their fleet on the area - almost all of which were submarines. Thirtyone submarines were ready to attack, and do so in unison once that the Thirtyfirst ship, a heavy submarine, the "Polarstern", opens fire. It was the signal that the rest of the fleet had been waiting for. [i]"FEUER FREI!"[/i]

The primary target of the attack was the one air carrier that the enemy had. They took this long to attack because the crews had to make sure to be as stealthy as a snake, as slow as a worm to be within range. At that, only a few were able to be within range, and certainly not the massive Polarstern. But still, what would happen is that several torpedoes at once would suddenly explode under the carrier. Five different submarines had targetted it, and even if in doing so, once that they fired their payload, they would be exposed to annihilation by the rest of the fleet, it was considered that losing the five submarines to obliterate that ship in particular would be justified. That is why redundant submarines had been sent to it - probably one would have sufficed, but they were not going to take any chances. Besides, they would also try to fight on once they had shot. The rest of the ships had stayed around the Irish fleet and opened fire almost in perfect timing - each having picked their own target. This means that their lighter ships would be targetted first, as the battleships would not typically be out in the open without screening. The crews could have aimed for the two battleships, but in contrast, it was not felt that sacrificing more u-boots to down the battleships was nearly as justifiable as the carrier's execution. Submarines would be hit by torpedoes, the lighter class of surface ships would also find torpedoes exploding directly underneath them. The minesweeper and infantry transport ships were, contrary to what the Irish assumed, ignored. Studies had been made, they could have targetted irish submarines, or the irish submarines could now target then, but the fact of the matter is that submarines, while lethal to most ships, were ill-equipped to fight one another, submarines were able to dodge each others' fire well. So they did not even try. The submarines, to prevent the enemy active pinging from finding them as they had sneaked around, simply - and counterintuitively - had surfaced. Sonar only found submarines when these were underwater, at the same time, in the night, they were invisible. Taking this into account, even the ones which did the carrier asault, had a chance to escape or to nail another big ship before being destroyed.

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Brigadier General Hubert ‘Herby’ McGillen would be on the scene commanding the 505th Fighting Irish Paratrooper Brigade as they stormed through the air to their drop zones past the beaches of Streymor near the lake of Vatrio. In all, Herby commanded some 10,000 paratroopers in the largest ever aerial invasion by the New Republic of Ireland. As the pilots began dropping his boys into enemy flak fire, Herby lit a giant cigar, and with a grin on his face, and a wave to the men in his transport craft, jumped into the air to lead his boys into hell. General McGillen could be heard yelling encouragement on his way towards the fast approaching ground, his silk parachute slowing his descent just enough to ensure a non-violent landing.

Officers and senior enlisted men of the 505th would be armed with a M1A1 Thompson submachine gun along with along with a Colt M1911A. Enlisted men meanwhile would be issued a either a M1 Carbine, M1 Garand, BAR or if they were deemed to be a specialty a bazooka, mortars or M2 Browning or M1919 machine guns. Naturally both officers and enlisted men were issued grenades, trench knives, rations, etc. These would be the tools of the trade as the 505th sought to wrestle control of Streymoy from the kraut’s hands.

Surprisingly General McGillen would arrive just shortly after his first wave of paratroopers. When he landed puffing away at his cigar a good 300 paratroopers would already be on the ground spreading out to secure the area. From the ground, General McGillen would command the 505th as well as provide intelligence to his counterparts in the navy and air force. Intelligence reported that German resistance would be minimal but McGillen made sure his troopers were to maintain extra vigilance as they went about their duties. More and more paratroopers would arrive though there were still casualties as the men slowly descended down to the ground. As each new paratrooper arrived they would be sent out to reinforce the men already seeking to secure the area, reinforce the Irish lines, etc. Paratroopers were considered light troops so officers would spread out the specialized men who carried weapons that would enable the paratroopers to defend against armor and fortified positions.

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