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Subject: The Battle of the GIUK Gap - Again rss

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Kenneth Bailey
United States
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Okay, we decided to play another game of 2nd Fleet. We did the Advanced Scenario at Low Readiness again (I like this one because there's less to set up intially). I was playing the NATO Forces again and he was playing the Soviets. Anyways, I liked the format I used last time, so I'll use it again.

USS Newport News
It seems that tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States were flaring up again. We did a refit before coming out and we were supplied with the Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles. Our orders were to lay low and if tensions were to increase, we were to attack one of the airbases on the Polyarny Penninsula.
Tensions did break out and we did launch our Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles and after surfacing long enough to get a contact from base we found out that our attack was pretty ineffective. Soviet conscripts were sweeping up the base hours after our attack.
We did manage to escape from the Spitsbergen area and make a couple of attacks on enemy submarines. Those were pretty effective. We managed to sink one of them and cripple another.
We heard sonobouys going off all around our boat. Surely we were detected. And sure enough, the attacks followed, it crippled our boat and we decided to go deep and try to make it towards the ice pack. Unfortunately, we kept picking up sporadic contacts from enemy submarines. They were following us. In our crippled condition, we wouldn't make it to the ice pack......
Tensions ended a couple of days after the Newport News made her last transmission. The sub was lost but a handful of the crew managed to survive. One of her sailors was holding the captain's diary, which was how we got the above report.

USS Roosevelt
Within 2 days of the beginning of tensions, we were able to take up station in the area of operations. Immediately, we put up a CAP of F-14 Tomcats and went to work on reported submarine activity in the area of the Labrador Sea. Contacts were intermittant but we had a general fix on a Soviet SSN in the area.
We sailed towards the detection area and within 16 hours we were in positions. We commenced ASW operations against our target and eventually sunk it. Our Submarines managed to attack and destroy another target in the area.
With the submarine threat taken care of in this area, we started to steam north towards the teeth of the Bear. We kept our CAP up and slipped between potential Soviet SSBN's that were believed to be operating in the area.
We finally got to send our Air Wing into action after placing F/A-18's on CAP. We had our F-14's go out to escort a group of B-1's, P-3's and Nimrods that were going to strike a blow to the Soviet Navy by sinking her newest Aircraft Carrier. The Sukhois from the Carrier came out to play and they were chewed up by our F-14's. The attack went in and shook up the Kremlin but did not damage her. We lost contact shortly after our attack and didn't have a chance again.
Then we got to put our A-6's in action against a Soviet Surface group. The group was nearly obliterated between our A-6's and various other aircraft. Hostilities ended shortly after this. (My friend had to go home).

HMS Illustrious
We were steaming rapidly out of Holy Loch. Tensions were definately building up. We were tasked to deal with Ivan's submarines. We were not to engage the Soviet Surface fleet that was believed to be operating in the area. We hurried up to get in position in the Norwegian Sea.
We managed to find some Soviet Submarines and dispatch them without too much trouble. Unfortunately we were found by one of the Soviet Surface groups. They managed to sink us and quite a few of our escorts. Fortunately, we were able to get out of the ship before she sank.

USS Reuben James
Another war, another convoy across the Atlantic. Our job was to escort a convoy of replenishment ships heading towards Norway. Fortunately, the big boys were tangling with Soviet subs so that made our job pretty easily. The Soviet bombers were busy with other targets so they didn't harass us. We made it to Bergen uneventfully.

Eventually we linked up with the Invincible's Task Force and managed to help take out a Soviet Sub.

Bodo Airfield
Our base was the base that was used by a couple of Bucaneer squadrons from the British. As a result, we got pounded and beat into the ground. The Bucaneer squadrons did manage to damage some Soviet bases though.

P-3 Squadron Based out of Keflavik
We stayed busy throughout the conflict. If we weren't launcing ASW attacks on subs, we were attacking Soviet Surface groups. We managed to score hits on the Kiev and Baku, sinking the Kiev and damaging the Baku. We also managed to damage the Frunze. Our attacks against the Kremlin were not as successful though.

All in all, it was a pretty good game. This time, I managed to take out more Soviet units. I hade my Carrier group by the second turn and that helped out immensely because I was able to get it in position sooner than last game. He managed to capture some bases on the periphery but I was able to keep Keflavik and Reykavik secure.

As in the last game, Keflavik proved to be pivotal. The P3's there can be pretty devastating when used. I also rolled a 0 for reinforcements on one of my turns, so I got the B-1 unit which proved to be deadly in conjuction with the P-3's. I moved the F-111 from Upper Heyford over to Keflavik so I always had some sort of interceptor going out. This proved helpful as it kept the CAP home (Soviet CAP over carriers is not very effective).

However, the game ended as the tide was turning. I was finally getting my pieces in position to start picking off the Soviet Navy. This was forcing him to move his fleet back towards the air cover of Polyarny. I think if the game had lasted a couple more days worth of game time, I would have come out on the victorious side. I still love the Fleet series of games. Very fun and seem like they give a good idea of Naval operations without getting too bogged down in the details.
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Paul Lister
United Kingdom
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Thanks for bringing back some happy memories! This was my fave scenario from the great Second fleet, though i have long lost the game and the last time i played it must be 20 years ago at least
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