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File Name: New Battle of Sinop, 23 December 2015. Alternate History Scenario.

File Submitter: broncepulido

File Submitted: 21 Dec 2015

File Category: MEDC



New Battle of Sinop, 23 December 2015. Alternate History Scenario.

A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for EC2003 Battle for the Mediterranean Battleset and the HCDB-150928 1980-2015 era or the new HCDB2-170207 1980-2025 era Platform Databases. This scenario is designed with advanced Scenario Editor and to be run with HCE 2015.008+ or later.

Image: TCG Goksu (F-497, ex USS Estocin FFG-15) in the BALTOPS 2015 exercise, after the GENESIS-2 conversion, with a Mk41 VLS for 32xESSM forward of the Mk13 GMLS, the helicopter is a USN MH-60R. The US frigates should have been converted in similar lines. Photo by MC2 Amanda S. Kitchner, US serviceperson on duty, and in consequence in public domain, and took from Wikipedia Commons.

This scenario is designed to be played from the Blue/Turkish side or from the Red/Russian side. To avoid a few spoilers you should play a few times first the Blue side, and only later play the Red side.

The Battle of Sinop was an 1853 Russian Black Sea naval victory leaded by Admiral Nakhimov against Turkey, and the last major battle between fleets of sailing ships. The battle is today commemorated in Russia as a Day of Military Honour, but was more a shore bombardment against an anchored fleet than a battle, and ultimately just cause for war, and motivation for Great Britain and France to take sides with Turkey in the Crimean War, provoking the ultimate defeat of Russia.
After the full of naval, military and security incidents year of 2014 and the not less eventful first eleven months of 2015, the World was beginning the so-called Second Cold War. Mostly as result of President of Russia Vladimir Putin (ex-KGB lieutenant colonel) actions, provoking in succession the Crimea, Ukraine, Donetsk, Baltic States, October 2014 Swedish submarine incursion, G-20 Brisbane meeting naval crisis, November 2014 Faslane submarine incident, frigate Yaroslav Mudryy February "Channel Dash", April 2015 Finnish submarine incursion (for many observers causing the pre-mobilization of Finland reserve forces), Russian operations from Latakia in the Syrian Civil War from September 2015, a second Russian submarine incident in Scotland in November 2015, and all seasoned with constant and multiple overflies with military warplanes entangled in potential incidents with commercial flights in Europe. That without counting in other unrelated naval incidents, just as the Iranian seizure of the Maersk Tigris in 28 April 2015 (and neither counting in landlocked actions, as the ISIS operations in Middle East).
As consequence of the repeated unlawful overflights of Turkey by Russian warplanes based in Latakia, and after two months long of repeated warning, at last a Su-24M was shoot-down by Turkish F-16 fighters equipped with AIM-120 AMRAAM on 24 November 2015.
Decided to not allow more Russian abuses, Turkey President's Erdogan Islamist government prepared a plan to show his independence and resolution face to Putin and the Russian forces.
The plan is simple: to control the sea lanes of Black Sea, preventing ulterior reinforcements of the Russian forces in Syria, and also limiting the covert Russian campaign in Ukraine, doing the Black Sea a Turkish lake.
But the operation must be executed without NATO back-up, only with a very little and occasional US support, and with the winter preventing shore-based air operations.
This scenario reflects the current Russian OOB of the Black Sea Fleet at December 2015.

Enrique Mas, 21 December 2015.



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Worth of mention (spoilers apply):














One of the scenario main stars is Russian destroyer Smetlivy, the only one DDG (or any other type of destroyer) in service the meagre Russian Black Sea Fleet. Is the only Kashin (Project 61/61M) remaining in service from 2001, and the only fully modernized to Project 01090 (an oddball, probably at start only a test ship, as many of the Black Sea Fleet warships).

On this scenario Smetlivy has sailed (or not) the Dardanelles Strait/old Hellespont, Sea of Marmara and Bosphorus Strait returning from his mission supporting the al-Assad regime in Syria, to rejoin the Black Sea Fleet, and is (or not) just in the same firing position as the First Cold War Russian destroyers trailing aircraft carriers and other main units of the Western Fleets, to shot a first lucky strike in case of suddenly start of open hostilities (historically in our timeline Smetlivy at the scenario date was in the Aegean Sea near the Island of Lemnos apparently fighting a Greek fisherman, and as frigate Ladny (Project 1135 Krivak I) jointed the Black Sea Fleet through the Bosphorus on 7 October 2015, remained only the frigate Pitlivy (Project 1135M Krivak II) as escort of the cruiser Moskva supporting the al-Assad regime in Syria).

But Smetlivy is clearly a very beautiful ship (see photos):




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  • 2 weeks later...

Worth of mention (spoilers apply):













USS Ross (DDG-71, an Arleigh Burke flight I without hangar) witout helicopter was in the Black Sea only between 3 and 17 December 2015, but I did ignore she was sailing southbound when I designed the scenario. Smetlivy was returned to Black Sea on unspecified date near December 2015:


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  • 2 weeks later...

Spoiler alert. Considerations about USN SAGs doctrine change:















How I suspected and reflected in these two historical scenarios, the US destroyers were operating for years alone and vulnerable, as confirmed in this USNI new report, but the procedure will be changed, and in near term we should count with three destroyers surface action groups:




Historical scenario featuring USS Ross (DDG 71) operating alone:



Historical scenario featuring USS Farragut (DDG 99) operating alone:


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  • 7 months later...

Spoiler alert:











The old cruiser Kerch, slightly modernized Kara-class, is present in the scenario, but that is not possible, as was deleted and probably never to be repaired after a fire in 2014:



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  • 5 months later...

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