This is a brief after action report of a Naval Command game I played at the Minehead Wargames Club this week. The game used a fictional scenario set during the 1982 Falklands conflict. I took Command of the British Royal Navy and my opponent Martin took Command of the Argentine Navy and Air Force.
The British objective was to successful re-fuel the carrier HMS Hermes and then clear the area while the Argentine mission was to sink the British carrier.
The game began with poor weather conditions for the first three turns prevented any aircraft operations (aside from high level AEW aircraft). During the opening turns the RFA group altered course to rendezvous with the approaching carrier group while the Argentine fleet raced to intercept.
Before any aircraft could arrive on scene the Argentine Type 209 submarine ARA San Luis (note the proxy miniature as I stupidly left the sub model at home…) attacked and sank the Leander Class Frigate HMS Andromeda with a torpedo.
HMS Broadsword fired a salvo of four Exocet missiles at the ARA General Belgrano, hitting with three (one was shot down by defensive AA fire from a nearby destroyer) causing substantial damage but not enough to put the ship out of action.
After its torpedoed attack the Argentine sub was hunted down by British ASW helicopters and eventually sunk by helicopter launched torpedoes.
Meanwhile the Belgrano closed in on the British Type 42 destroyer HMS Exeter and sunk it with a devastating salvo from her battery of 6″ guns.
By this point the RAS operation was complete with HMS Hermes having fully loaded wits fuel and stores from RFA Stromness allowing the British carrier and its escorts to turn around and start their attempt to out-run the enemy fleet and clear the battle area.
In one last attack the Belgrano was hit and crippled with sea skua launched from one of HMS Broadswords’ Lynx helicopters.
HMS Hermes managed to outrun the enemy ships. The Argentine Air Force carried out repeated air strikes with A4 Skyhawks and IAI Daggers that were well defended against allowing the carrier to escape with minor damage.
Although technically a win for the British (HMS Hermes successfully re-fueled and escaped) the loss a Type 42 Destroyer, a Leander Class Frigate and substantial damage to HMS Hermes from Argentine bombs would have a serious impact on the continuing British campaign to re-take the Falkland Islands.