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  #1  
Old 10-07-2008, 08:11 PM
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Default Q Ships

I was just wondering, what is the likelyhood of having Q ships in the Twilight World. Much like the WWI vessels that were armed and manned by naval crews, but sailed looking like steamers and sailing vessels of the day. Then when the submarine surfaced, the crew went into action and guns were brought out from colapsing cargo containers and false deckhouses to be trained on the now surfaced and vulnerable submarine.

And in the Twilight world, these could be used to deal with pirates, or even to hide the fact that the vessel is on an armed mission or is just an armed cargo vessel, or that the PCs are on an operation and don't want to be unarmed but they also do not want to draw undue attention to themselves being overtly briming with weapons.
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:03 PM
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I believe that Chico and company have the Russians using the old German tactic of disguised commerce raiders. Similar to a Q-Ship, but the prey is different. Instead of being a sub-hunter, the raider hunts for unescorted merchant ships and either sinks or seizes them as prizes and sends them off to a friendly port. Many of the camo tricks (false paint schemes, flying a neutral flag, concealed guns and torpedo tubes, etc.) are the same either way. The Germans sent only nine raiders to sea in WW II, but they sank or captured 890,000 tons of merchant shipping (including victims of raider-laid mines), and one raider, KMS Kormoran, sank an Australian light cruiser as well. The Soviets in the 1950s probably had studied the possiblity of raiders, but nothing of their naval plans for WW III has been released, and given the current Russian leadership, those files aren't going to be released anytime soon.
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Wiser
The Germans sent only nine raiders to sea in WW II, but they sank or captured 890,000 tons of merchant shipping (including victims of raider-laid mines), and one raider, KMS Kormoran, sank an Australian light cruiser as well.
And was itself sunk in the same battle. The wreck of HMAS Sydney was finally found earlier this year deep beneath the India Ocean off the coast the State where I live. It was a big event here in Australia and the Germans' use of disguised raiders is a sore point in this country. The Sydney was lost with all hands but the Kormoran's crew made it to life boats and were captured on the Western Australian coast. Think less of me if you like but I would have shot the entire German crew as spies or pirates. Dressing up a custom built raider (the Kormoran was laid down at the start of the war and was specifically designed to be a disguised warship) is a dirty trick and I wouldn't have shown a shred of mercy to the crew. The Sydney was the pride and joy of the Royal Australian Navy until it was sunk.
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:04 AM
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Thats something to consider!

That old derelict ship you see actualy turns out to be a Russian Q ship who is sitting in port only to gather intel?
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
And was itself sunk in the same battle. The wreck of HMAS Sydney was finally found earlier this year deep beneath the India Ocean off the coast the State where I live. It was a big event here in Australia and the Germans' use of disguised raiders is a sore point in this country. The Sydney was lost with all hands but the Kormoran's crew made it to life boats and were captured on the Western Australian coast. Think less of me if you like but I would have shot the entire German crew as spies or pirates. Dressing up a custom built raider (the Kormoran was laid down at the start of the war and was specifically designed to be a disguised warship) is a dirty trick and I wouldn't have shown a shred of mercy to the crew. The Sydney was the pride and joy of the Royal Australian Navy until it was sunk.
thats pretty hard liner Targan ?

It wont do to start comparing war crimes - it is the war that is the crime.
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
And was itself sunk in the same battle. The wreck of HMAS Sydney was finally found earlier this year deep beneath the India Ocean off the coast the State where I live. It was a big event here in Australia and the Germans' use of disguised raiders is a sore point in this country. The Sydney was lost with all hands but the Kormoran's crew made it to life boats and were captured on the Western Australian coast. Think less of me if you like but I would have shot the entire German crew as spies or pirates. Dressing up a custom built raider (the Kormoran was laid down at the start of the war and was specifically designed to be a disguised warship) is a dirty trick and I wouldn't have shown a shred of mercy to the crew. The Sydney was the pride and joy of the Royal Australian Navy until it was sunk.
For my part, I won't think bad about you for that especially as the allies would have had the right to do it. privateer war had been banned after WWI and Nazi Germany was not respecting the international regulation on that matter: they were indeed spies or pirates commiting war crimes.

On the other hand, I find wiser to consider that they were obeing orders. The allies assumed a similar position as it is proven by the Nuremberg Trial. Nazi leaders were prosecuted, convicted (death or imprisonment sentences) or relaeased (Hjalmar Schacht). Admiral Raeder (commanding the surface fleet) was among them and sentenced to life imprisonment. Admiral Donitz (commanding the submarines) was condemned to only ten years but submarines warfare remain legal. For info Schacht was a banker who finally opposed hitler and had spent at least a year in concentration camps (Ravensbruck and Dachau). Nothings perfect.

Targan, I understand your position but that would imply to execute every soldier involved in illegal action (that will be a lot if not all). We do (martial courts) but when we know the true responsible people, it's always better to spare lives. Moreover, martial courts often sentence to death soldiers who are not guilty of much. The French strike leaders of 1916 (I believe) were executed and obviously they were right. However, the high ranking officers (Marshall Foch, Petain...) were praised as heroes and still are. I consider them to be war criminals as I can't find any justification in killing your own soldiers needlessly by sending them over and over on pointless assaults. I'm not the one saying that as trench warfare as it was conducted in WWI is widely regarded today as pure insanity. Hopefully, for that matter, time as changed and I even have American friends dreaming of getting after Bush for war crimes (not for invading Irak but for being responsible for 35000 U.S. casualties, plus tortures, Guantanamo..., and why not financing terrorism).

Last edited by Mohoender; 10-08-2008 at 02:03 AM.
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Old 10-08-2008, 01:58 AM
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Targ;

I remember that and was waiting with baited breath.

And I am torn. Technicaly, you are right and valid. And I lean towards you that way. But also give credit where credit it due. Did not the kraut crew even with the disadvantage they had <that all pirates have> when they faced the crew of the Syndney?

Sadly when naval warfare comes, a major factor is "LUCK" and it does not always go to the victor.

However, there is nothing wrong with pulling for your country and your countrymen!
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:04 AM
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Ah but the generals were following protocol! Tradition my freind. We must preserve order for the sake of order. Right or Wrong be damned!

It is the institution that is at stake after all, and that must not be challenged.

Then again, maybe I have read "Billy Budd" or watched "Paths to Glory" one to many times. Ah, I know, it was my watching "Breaker Morant" last weekend! Thats it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
For my part, I won't think bad about you for that especially as the allies would have had the right to do it. privateer war had been banned after WWI and Nazi Germany was not respecting the international regulation on that matter: they were indeed spies or pirates commiting war crimes.

On the other hand, I find wiser to consider that they were obeing orders. The allies assumed a similar position as it is proven by the Nuremberg Trial. Nazi leaders were prosecuted, convicted (death or imprisonment sentences) or relaeased (Hjalmar Schacht). Admiral Raeder (commanding the surface fleet) was among them and sentenced to life imprisonment. Admiral Donitz (commanding the submarines) was condemned to only ten years but submarines warfare remain legal. For info Schacht was a banker who finally opposed hitler and had spent at least a year in concentration camps (Ravensbruck and Dachau). Nothings perfect.

Targan, I understand your position but that would imply to execute every soldier involved in illegal action (that will be a lot if not all). We do (martial courts) but when we know the true responsible people, it's always better to spare lives. Moreover, martial courts often sentence to death soldiers who are not guilty of much. The French strike leaders of 1916 (I believe) were executed and obviously they were right. However, the high ranking officers (Marshall Foch, Petain...) were praised as heroes and still are. I consider them to be war criminals as I can't find any justification in killing your own soldiers needlessly by sending them over and over on pointless assaults. I'm not the one saying that as trench warfare as it was conducted in WWI is widely regarded today as pure insanity.
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jester
Ah but the generals were following protocol! Tradition my freind. We must preserve order for the sake of order. Right or Wrong be damned!

It is the institution that is at stake after all, and that must not be challenged.

Then again, maybe I have read "Billy Budd" or watched "Paths to Glory" one to many times. Ah, I know, it was my watching "Breaker Morant" last weekend! Thats it.
I agree but that was a century ago and we don't have to go with the dogmas anymore. Moreover, I'm a pragmatic idealist, I understand and accept the weight of reality but I'm always happy when a tiny bit of justice slips into it .

In France everyone knows about "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" (Freedom, Equality and Franternity) but fewer people know about what should govern our government actions : In the name of the people, for the people and by the people. Politicians worldwide are getting on my nerves but, as a result, I read our constitution (thanks them). However, my position is valid only for France but when I have American friends telling me that they are affraid of their government, I don't like it. (Oops, I'm getting too much in politics again I do a post about that).
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohoender
Targan, I understand your position but that would imply to execute every soldier involved in illegal action (that will be a lot if not all).
Not all. Just the bastards involved in allowing the pride of the Australian fleet to pull alongside for a routine cargo check of a freighter only to have it suddenly uncover hidden gun turrets and torpedo tubes, run up a German flag and rake the Sydney from end to end. For that war crime yes, I'd kill the whole gwerman crew. And not shed a single tear for them.

And as you well know, "I was just following orders" is not an acceptable defence in a war crimes trial. Is not and should not be. Even in basic training I had sufficient explanations given to me to know an illegal order when I hear it.
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jester
Ah, I know, it was my watching "Breaker Morant" last weekend!
Breaker Morant is an excellent film. One of my favourites. Can't recommend it highly enough. One of my ancestors was a member of the Bushveldt Carbineers from Australia and died in the Boer War.
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Old 10-08-2008, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
Not all. Just the bastards involved in allowing the pride of the Australian fleet to pull alongside for a routine cargo check of a freighter only to have it suddenly uncover hidden gun turrets and torpedo tubes, run up a German flag and rake the Sydney from end to end. For that war crime yes, I'd kill the whole gwerman crew. And not shed a single tear for them.

And as you well know, "I was just following orders" is not an acceptable defence in a war crimes trial. Is not and should not be. Even in basic training I had sufficient explanations given to me to know an illegal order when I hear it.
I understood it well. And I was not saying that the German put "the following orders" as a defence. In fact the Ally Command obviously considered it to be the case and they went for the true responsible people. A 18-20 years old kid follow orders blindly when properly given by a higher authority and that might be another crime to hold him entirely responsible. I understand your point and, as someone else said, you are right to support your own but you are considering revenge. As an individual that is perfectly respectable but comming from a government (even in war time) it is murder. As we agreed upon some times ago, Australia is a democracy, they have acted as such and i think all Australians should be proud of such things (also, I'm sure you are).
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:21 AM
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Revenge? Yes. I think revenge is good. I deliberately stoke the fires of anger for wrongs committed against me, even years ago, so that I don't become weak and just 'let things slide'. Any chance I have for revenge I will take because I think it is right.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:48 AM
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Well, revenge in some cases is propper. think of it this way,

"We do wrong, or wrong someone."

And out of revenge we get a smack down in whatever form it maybe.

What is wrong with that? Negative reinforcement is the response for a negative action. We grow up with that very thing from the time we crawl.

A penalty for doing wrong.

We as children reach for a piece of candy in the store that does not belong and we get our hand slapped.

We drive wrecklessly or over the speed limit and we get pulled over and a ticket and fine and whatever other PENALTY is issued. Are they not forms of revenge, or negative reinforcement and do they not alter how we conduct ourselves in the future?

And if I will, I'll end this rant with a quote from Red Dawn

"All that hate will burn you up boy."

"Nah it keeps me warm."
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:54 AM
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I have that movie but at the end it kind of burn them all. I remember an old saying stating something like "Go for revenge, fine, but start digging two graves first".

I like retaliation better and I much prefer Sun Tzu's approach that I would define as such : the best way to win a war is not to have to start it in the first place.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:18 AM
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I think Sun-Tzu's philosophy is to avoid battles not to avoid war. From my interpretation he considered war to be quite necessary to the state. If an advantage could be had by war, he would have certainly suggested taking it.


"It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on." - Sun Tzu
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:22 PM
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Default but..but..eh..eh..now just wait a minute ..??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Targan
Not all. Just the bastards involved in allowing the pride of the Australian fleet to pull alongside for a routine cargo check of a freighter only to have it suddenly uncover hidden gun turrets and torpedo tubes, run up a German flag and rake the Sydney from end to end. For that war crime yes, I'd kill the whole gwerman crew. And not shed a single tear for them.

And as you well know, "I was just following orders" is not an acceptable defence in a war crimes trial. Is not and should not be. Even in basic training I had sufficient explanations given to me to know an illegal order when I hear it.
The resistance fighters in Europe and Asia that were out of uniform but still making attacks ?
The crews of British and American bomberplanes that openly followed the strategy of bombing enemy civillians en masse to terrorize the enemy population to give in ?
Or even the use of nuclear weapons ?

All easily defined as major war crimes by standards that were apllied then as today .

I believe the Q-ships are a British denomination actually -they had several -albeit not as clever or succesful as the Germans.Then again there was more allied shipping to attack.. The Germans called them merchant raiders /Hilfskreuser or some such .

Anyways -had I lived back then or had relatives onboard I would have probably chimed in with you targan-but as I live blessedly far removed from such things I take another -the opposite stand .

(My party is condemned to death in absentia by MilGov for warcrimes etc ..they figure on MilGovs deck of villain cards as the most wanted rebel/bandit leaders in the CONUS.hehe They even compete to "improve "their ranking some times ..anyways -thats neither here nor there )
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Old 10-08-2008, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kato13
I think Sun-Tzu's philosophy is to avoid battles not to avoid war. From my interpretation he considered war to be quite necessary to the state. If an advantage could be had by war, he would have certainly suggested taking it.


"It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on." - Sun Tzu
Agree, he would have loved the cold war . In fact, I should have used "not to fight it" instead of "not to start it".

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Old 10-08-2008, 02:35 PM
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Default anyways -Q-SHIPS

I think that armed merchant ships ,armed trawlers ,auxilliary cruisers -that sort of thing would be th ename of th egame in a T2K naval warfare setting .

Lack of resources would force multicapable ships to be what was deployed -ships that can take a cargo,trade,fight or at least have some capability -like the old armed merchantmen of 200-300 years ago .

Specialized ships with sophisticated weapon systems would be culled from the fleets as lack of spareparts,experts,fuel etc begins to take its toll.

There are a few on our site -a couple of canadian Q-ships I think and of course -the SeeAdler-the most famous merchant raider of all .(Some people say it was the CSS ALABAMA though)

Not so much for luring submarines in though -more to gain the advantage over targets of opportunity or to conduct offensive operations against enemies that seem to be less capable.

as always -all my writing is -in my humble opinion
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:55 PM
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The Raider crews in both world wars generally fought honorably. Only one, Capt. Helmuth von Rucketshell (Widder and Michel) was tried as a war criminal (for leaving survivors in their lifeboats in the mid-Atlantic, and firing on lifeboats in two cases). Convicted and given 7 years by the British, died in prison of heart disease just before he was to be released on health grounds. The other raider skippers were examined by the British and U.S. Navies, but were cleared of any wrongdoing, especially when captains and officers of ships captured by raiders testified on the Germans' behalf. The Germans were sailors first and formost, and treated their captives as humanely as possible, given the circumstances.

Usual method of seizing a ship was to come in close, and if in daylight, drop the disguises (and any false flag) and raise the German flag, and then reveal the guns. If the prey stopped, a boarding party was sent over. If not, fire was opened to stop the ship and knock out any guns. If the target vessel had cargo valuable enough to send back to Occupied France, the Germans would put a prize crew aboard, along with prisoners, and sail her for France. If the ship was too badly damaged, or was too close to an Allied base, she'd be sunk, but not before everything of value was taken off (food, charts, any documents, booze-for the Raider's wardroom, mail-for intelligence examination, etc). They were under orders to avoid fights with warships, but if they were cornered, it was a fight to the finish. One Raider, Komet, had fights on three occasions with British Armed Merchant Cruisers. Two were shot up enough to be sent packing, and the third, HMS Voltaire, was sunk. The Sydney-Kormoran fight was unique-the only time a raider sank a cruiser, but at the cost of the raider herself.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:45 PM
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I can see "disguised" armed merchantmen being used to sink or capture legit merchantment. It doesn't seem like it would take too much effort to fit a SSMs and/or ASTs and their requisite guidance systems to a merchant vessel. A smallish large-calibre naval gun like a 40mm twin Bofors or OTO-Melara 76mm gun wouldn't be too hard to install and conceal either, not to mention small autocannons and hand-held SAMs for self defense.

Using such vessels for ASW wouldn't work so well. Subs don't have to surface to attack like they used to. That was pretty much the only time they were vulnerable to armed merchants.

Small fishing trawlers could be fitted with towed sonar arrays, though, to assist dedicated (naval) ASW vessels. A large merchantman could carry a couple of ASW choppers too.
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Old 10-08-2008, 10:16 PM
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In the T2K world however, such assets will be rare. However, I have wondered if a submarine would turn on on my lil Garmin Fish Finder. It picks up kelp, fish and other obstacles so I would imagine so.

As for raiders, yes, as well as smugglers who disguise themselves as a fishing vessel or similiar.
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:03 AM
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Default And playing with my imagination...

It seems difficult that these type of ships could operate efficiently before the beginning of the nuclear exchange, with airpower and global detection systems still in use. It could not be the same that in World War I or II, with German corsair ships playing their role since the first stages of the conflict. In the Europe depicted in the Twilight World, sea traffic seems nonexistent, so, soviet corsair ships will have little to do. But a world of infinite chances would be opened to any survivor merchant ship and its crew operating in zones less affected by the Twilight conflict. In these zones the sea traffic would still exist and a ship and its crew could became an important piece in the mechanics of any country or city-state.

And playing with my imagination, probably if the crew would be able to keep the ship working and safe from any government hands they will live a comfortable and profitable life. Charisma, savoir-faire, and the knowledge of commerce and local politics would be their better weapons. They could act as commerce raider for an independent patron or a government, as a free or contracted trader, as a pursuer of other traffic raiders... Or do all these things at the same time...

And if I were the captain, no matter my country of origin, I would try to forget about US, Soviet Union, Western Europe and all those old names that have passed to history in a silly and homicidal conflict... after all, the world has changed...

Ahhh!! And, following my imagination exercise and linking with the "French ORBAT" threat, my imaginary captain would do well in keep his eyes wide open for the possible arrival of the french fleet. Better keep them at a distance. They could mean the end of my independent life.

Mmmmmm... I think I have a new plot for a Twilight campaign...
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Old 10-09-2008, 03:33 AM
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Default high seas

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It seems difficult that these type of ships could operate efficiently before the beginning of the nuclear exchange, with airpower and global detection systems still in use. It could not be the same that in World War I or II, with German corsair ships playing their role since the first stages of the conflict. In the Europe depicted in the Twilight World, sea traffic seems nonexistent, so, soviet corsair ships will have little to do. But a world of infinite chances would be opened to any survivor merchant ship and its crew operating in zones less affected by the Twilight conflict. In these zones the sea traffic would still exist and a ship and its crew could became an important piece in the mechanics of any country or city-state.

And playing with my imagination, probably if the crew would be able to keep the ship working and safe from any government hands they will live a comfortable and profitable life. Charisma, savoir-faire, and the knowledge of commerce and local politics would be their better weapons. They could act as commerce raider for an independent patron or a government, as a free or contracted trader, as a pursuer of other traffic raiders... Or do all these things at the same time...

And if I were the captain, no matter my country of origin, I would try to forget about US, Soviet Union, Western Europe and all those old names that have passed to history in a silly and homicidal conflict... after all, the world has changed...

Ahhh!! And, following my imagination exercise and linking with the "French ORBAT" threat, my imaginary captain would do well in keep his eyes wide open for the possible arrival of the french fleet. Better keep them at a distance. They could mean the end of my independent life.

Mmmmmm... I think I have a new plot for a Twilight campaign...

It is a beautiful backdrop for a campaign- a bunch of people with different cool skills traveling around in a sea of endless possibilty on a ship of their own
making friends and enemies and having adventure all the while .No wonder half a score TV shows are about this..

Currently our campaign follows these line -I call it "the high seas campaign".Party is out on a Q-ship if you like -converted vintage yacht ,with a main quest of funding and killing someone high up in the enemy ranks,along the way they encounter all sorts of side missions and NPCs etc etc .

It would please me greatly if any of the craft in the shipping section of our site could be used in your campaign .

www.thebigbookofwar.50megs.com
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:30 AM
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Moltes grÃ*cies HQ!

No need of your link. I had your site bookmarked long time ago (before entering this forum). Nice to meet you here. I will visit your shipping section.
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:58 AM
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[QUOTE=Marc]

Ahhh!! And, following my imagination exercise and linking with the "French ORBAT" threat, my imaginary captain would do well in keep his eyes wide open for the possible arrival of the french fleet. Better keep them at a distance. They could mean the end of my independent life.

QUOTE]

well ,not if it was the LeCLerc..
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:46 AM
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well ,not if it was the LeCLerc..
The Leclerc is a tank (the best in the world according to our politicians ); HQ? That doesn't work well at see anyway. If you mean the Charles de Gaulle ok I understand it.

By the way Marc, if you have a workable ORBAT for Spain I would love it. Some around here had already made some good job on that (something on operations in Italy) but I would love to see another point of view. T2K depict, with almost no details, Guardia Civil as something close to barbarians, I'm not sure about it. I would like to have your opinion on Spain in T2K.

Last edited by Mohoender; 10-09-2008 at 07:03 AM.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Mohoender
The Leclerc is a tank (the best in the world according to our politicians ); HQ? That doesn't work well at see anyway. If you mean the Charles de Gaulle ok I understand it.

By the way Marc, if you have a workable ORBAT for Spain I would love it. Some around here had already made some good job on that (something on operations in Italy) but I would love to see another point of view. T2K depict, with almost no details, Guardia Civil as something close to barbarians, I'm not sure about it. I would like to have your opinion on Spain in T2K.
oops..I was going for that super expensive aircraft carrier that does 2 km/hr at max speed ..
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:30 AM
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It is a beautiful backdrop for a campaign- a bunch of people with different cool skills traveling around in a sea of endless possibilty on a ship of their own
making friends and enemies and having adventure all the while .No wonder half a score TV shows are about this..

Currently our campaign follows these line -I call it "the high seas campaign".Party is out on a Q-ship if you like -converted vintage yacht ,with a main quest of funding and killing someone high up in the enemy ranks,along the way they encounter all sorts of side missions and NPCs etc etc .

It would please me greatly if any of the craft in the shipping section of our site could be used in your campaign .

www.thebigbookofwar.50megs.com
Since when have we ever met anything that can be remotly called friends????

....except the police who uses rubber bullets????
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Old 10-09-2008, 08:54 AM
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thats pretty hard liner Targan ?

It wont do to start comparing war crimes - it is the war that is the crime.
I'm staying out of this quasi-political debate......
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