Re-Fight of the Battle of Coronel - November 1914

Skytrex - 1/3000th SMS Scharnhorst. Purchased in the 1990's.

Today we re-fought this battle using some old World War One naval models purchased from Skytrex in the early 1990's.

The game was played using the computer moderated rules Dreadnoughts Rising. I fully recommend these to any naval wargamers out there.

Brief overview of the historical background to the battle:

The Battle of Coronel was a First World War Imperial German Naval victory over the Royal Navy on 1 November 1914, off the coast of central Chile near the city of Coronel. The East Asia Squadron(Ostasiengeschwader or Kreuzergeschwader) of the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) led by Vice-Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee met and defeated a British Squadron commanded by Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock.

On 4 October 1914, the British learned from intercepted radio messages that Spee planned to attack shipping on the trade routes along the west coast of South America. Having correctly guessed the intention of the German commander, Rear-Admiral Sir Christopher Cradock patrolled the area with the 4th Cruiser Squadron.

On 31 October, he ordered his squadron to adopt an attacking formation. Both sides are thought to have expected to encounter a single ship until they sighted each other at 16:40 on 1 November.

That is where our battle commenced.

HMS Good Hope. Commanded by yours truly.

Part of the East Asia Squadron - commanded by my Wargaming Friend.

The game started with the two squadrons heading directly towards each other, screened by two light cruisers. The first ships to spot each other where the German vessel Nurnberg, and the British light cruiser HMS Gloucester.

SMS Nurnberg

HMS Gloucester.

Both admirals decided to wait until the squadrons were within 8 miles of each other before they opened fire. It would be fair to say that very little damage, if any, was done until both sides close to within 4 miles.

A Fountain of water rises near to HMS Good Hope

HMS Monmouth and the merchant cruiser HMS Otranto.

The British Admiral focused his firepower upon the two German armoured cruisers.

The two squadrons had been throwing heavy shells at each other for nay on an hour and a half, and had only received one hit each. It wasn't until they were at very close range that the concentrated fire of the batteries started to tell.

The British squadron under the concentrated firepower of the German armoured cruisers.

The Scharnhorst receives a direct hit.

The battle continued until nightfall, when both squadrons withdrew. The German squadron had begun to cause heavy damage to the British squadron and it was agreed that the game should be declared a German victory.

The German Squadron suffered light damage, and were down to 50%. ammo, the Good Hope and Monmouth were subject of more severe damage, and where also under 50% ammo at the end.

A good game.

The final positions.


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