Thursday, March 21, 2013
Prelude to The Battle of the Beacons
Seehund 231 and 124 were on station and about to deploy the beacon. The floating radio transmitter would help guide the series of 1000 plane raids the VVS was about to unleash on the British Isles. A number of other beacons were scheduled to transmit as well today. Something was up and the skipper has become very…well anxious. He was checking things three times and even lubricating things that did not need it. But that was his way and his way had kept them alive through some terrifying times, from storms to depth charge attacks. We still were not sure about that last attack. How had they found us when all the other times we had just chuckled as we slid past underneath them. This last time was different they seemed to have picked something up, possibly the 4 extra packages we were carrying that contained the radio beacons.
It appeared that no physical damage had occurred but one never knew. They had endured a number of unnerving attacks. This time it was their turn. These beacons were not only used to guide the planes but also to attract their mortal enemy the Royal Navy destroyers, sub chasers and frigates that made their life a living hell. There was nothing that could be done about the flying hit men in the sky. That’s what the beacons where for. To guide our killer angels of death who would wipe the skies clean of our nemesis the submarine hunter aircraft. These little beacons out in the ocean will attract a hell of a lot of attention from both sides. They will be defended by our planes and attacked by the RAF. If they do not send enough attackers they will be overwhelmed. If they send many then they will be shot down by many more of ours.
Just like a sunken ship attracts all sorts of predators to feed on the various kinds of new life trying to find a place to reproduce and feed on its newly bare bones. These little beacons will attract many machines bent on killing each other. Machines full of men bent on each other’s destruction. This will be a major battle on the open ocean waged between our ships and planes and their ships and planes. Ours will be under and over the ocean. Thiers will be under, over and on the ocean. We will have the element of surprise and they will have the experience in this kind of warfare.
Our little Pe2s will be weighted down with extra fuel and our Seehunds and XXI submarines will be waiting in stealth mode, waiting for anyone to approach this harbinger of death. These small objects were much like the Sirens of Greek Mythology. Calling in their pray with an irresistible cry, a pulsing signal that will possibly be irresistible to the Royal Navy. The object of this battle was not much larger than a 50 gallon drum and was mostly submerged. Very little was above the water…very little for such an expected reaction. The larger submarines would be rescuing our downed pilots and capturing or killing theirs. Protected by an air umbrella that would in turn be protecting their comrades. Protecting them until they were rescued by Soviet torpedo boats and the 16 XXI submarines lurking in the area. This was a perfect use for the possibly out dated Pe2s. There was nothing outdated by the bombs they carried. Easily large enough to sink a destroyer, frigate or sub chaser. The torpedoes carried by the IL 4s and submarines were for something larger if it dared to show up.
The Royal Navies aircraft that were expected to show up were not as advanced as the ones on land. The Brits could not spend the money or time to rebuild both land and sea planes to fighting trim and so the naval aircraft had been the last to be optimized. Their best models were not plentiful. Our fighters would be the best and most experienced. These battles in the ocean were to be the opening act and meant as a lesson. If the Royal Navy decided to leave the beacons along then they would continue to do their job switching frequencies to avoid being blocked by the British. If the beacons stood then the other attacks would begin. If they were attacked then the attackers would be the hunted. All the mighty preparations on land by the RAF would not assist their flyers over the ocean.
The Soviets planners believe that the Royal Navy will expect the beacons to be unguarded. For the next 6 hours they will be the most guarded objects that have ever floated in the Celtic and North Sea. Is the thousand plane raid using the beacons for directions of targets over the land or as a ruse to draw in the Royal Navy and its ships and planes? The answer depends on the reaction of the British. Force will be met with overwhelming force or the beacons will stay floating alone sending out their signal. Signals that the VVS will happily use to guide them to their targets on land.