Unleash The Bear

Posted by on Jun 18, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Unleash The Bear

Written by Spartan Franco | Tags:

Russian Coalition

Russian Coalition

The White Navy

Traditionally, the pride of the Russian Coalition’s military strength had always rested with the immense White Army. However, the determined Tsar Vladimir I has ambition to expand his empire’s influence even further afield. In particular, he wants to strike back at the Republique of France and the League of Italian States. Both are allies of the Prussian Empire, but both of these powers are outside the reach of even the White Army’s considerable strength.

However, the Tsar and his military general staff, or Stavka, have long known of the importance of a powerful navy. Since the early 1860s, the mighty White Navy has been built up with a slew of new warship designs. Although still subordinate to the White Army in the Coalition’s military hierarchy, the Navy is about to come into its own as the world war intensifies.

The mighty White Navy charges into battle!

The mighty White Navy charges into battle!

The growth of the White Navy was given an immense boost by the return in 1866 of Markov Helsinki. Though reviled as a traitor by the Covenant of Antarctica, the Tsar’s arch-spy was feted as a hero upon his arrival in Russia.

Markov and those who had joined his cause brought with them many secrets wrested from the Covenant’s most sensitive archives. A great deal of these concerned naval architecture and weaponry, and were incorporated post-haste into the latest ship designs of the White Navy, at the personal demand of the Tsar himself.

The White Navy is split into many Battle Brigades, divided between the many seas and oceans which border the Coalition’s vast dominions. The largest and most powerful subdivisions are the Baltic and Black Sea Fleets, which together account for almost half the White Navy’s strength. Its primary headquarters is the great Baltic island fortress of Kronstadt, just outside the Coalition’s capital, St Petersburg.

However, the Navy also has strong forces elsewhere, in the form of the White Sea, Arctic and Far Eastern Fleets. Thanks to the huge building programme instigated by Tsar Vladimir in 1865, these other fleets are in the process of receiving a great infusion of new tonnage.

The Far Eastern Fleet is especially benefitting from this, as its bases at the fortresses of Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky overlook several major enemies and potential rivals for influence in the Pacific.

Amassing a large volley, the Suvorov Class Cruisers cause massive damage to the Marseille Class Cruisers

Amassing a large volley, the Suvorov Class Cruisers cause massive damage to the Marseille Class Cruisers

The ships of the White Navy are huge, strong and durable – all characteristics of Russian technology in which the Coalition takes great pride. They are heavily-built as much to withstand the environments in which they operate as the attentions of the enemy.

Their hull forms have been likened to huge spearheads, slicing through the water. However, almost all large Russian ships incorporate a unique circular, central citadel structure. This forms a heavily-armoured redoubt within the ship, protecting crucial but otherwise vulnerable locations, such as the bridge, fire control and communications, and their volatile powerplants.

Although still running mostly on smoke-belching coal fired engines, many newer Russian warships incorporate revolutionary Sturginium Thermal Pressure Engines either instead of or as well as their normal motive systems.

This bizarre technology is based on designs stolen by Markov, and is similar to, although cruder than, the incandescent-fuel rod agitators that power many Antarctican ships. The sealed armoured capsules below the citadels on many Russian ships are fitted as much to protect the rest of the vessel from its own engines as they are to shield those engines from damage.

The Myshkin Class Bombers deliver a deadly payload, weakening the foe for a final assault...

The Myshkin Class Bombers deliver a deadly payload, weakening the foe for a final assault...

Historically dedicated to coastal defence, Russian Coalition vessels are traditionally designed for aggressive operations in confined waters. Consequently, they tend to concentrate their main armament forwards, with clusters of superimposed turrets capable of focusing their fire into a massive concentrated punch.

This is especially pronounced with the largest of the White Navy’s warships. The Borodino Class Battleships have a three-turret configuration nicknamed ‘The Devil’s Triangle’ by their crews, while the mighty Moskva Class Dreadnoughts have no fewer than five turrets in series studding their prows and flanks.

Russian light craft show a particular ingenuity in their design. While the Rostov Class Destroyer uses a more conventional hull form, the Novgorod Class Frigates and Veliky Class Escorts both employ unique disc-shaped hulls.

A complex system of propellers and water-jets grants them an extraordinary degree of manoeuvrability over similarly sized vessels used by other powers, giving them a great advantage in confined waters. These vessels, which sit low in the water, make difficult targets and have been likened to floating gun turrets.

Russian naval ordnance, like the ships that carry it, is big, brutish and effective. Their large naval cannons tend to be smoothbore rather than rifled, and are relatively short-ranged. However, Russian direct-fire weaponry makes up for this with larger calibres and heavier shot, allowing for projectiles of ferocious penetrative and explosive power. Many of these destructive new chemical formulas are the product of Markov’s so called ‘Circle’ of subordinate researchers.

Markov’s Circle is also thought to have been responsible for a number of revolutionary defensive refinements. Many large White Navy ships are fitted with unique Generator systems as yet unknown outside the Coalition’s borders. The brutish appearance of many Russian ships belies the presence of such subtle technologies within their massive hulls.

The Borodino Class Battleship closes in for the kill on the Magenta Class Battleship

The Borodino Class Battleship closes in for the kill on the Magenta Class Battleship

Some vessels incorporate Generator systems known as ‘Breakers’ or ‘Jammers’. These seem to use sonic or magnetic field irregularities to disrupt enemy torpedo and rocket projectiles, causing them to detonate prematurely, or simply fail to explode at all.

It is almost impossible to ascertain whether or not a vessel is equipped with one of these nasty devices. Often the first the enemy knows of such a system’s presence is when their rocket salvoes drop harmlessly out of the sky, or torp trails suddenly vanish with no corresponding detonation. By that time, of course, their intended target will already be charging towards them, all guns blazing!

Other vessels carry Generators that can duplicate the effects of enemy equipment, often without the foe even suspecting such, until the power of their own devices is turned against them. However, by far the strangest of these machines, and currently the preserve of the huge Kostroma Class Carriers, is the Glacier Generator. It is nicknamed the ‘Frost-Bringer’ by Prussian Empire naval officers who have witnessed its effects.

The Generator can apparently conjure immense icebergs in a matter of moments. This often comes as a severe shock to enemy ships intent on running down a Kostroma, as they are suddenly forced to take evasive measures as a brand new and very unpleasant navigational hazard rears up before them. Even the more cautious are often left perplexed, as what was an open target for their guns is suddenly obscured by a dense wall of ice.

For so long regarded as secondary to the Army, the White Navy and its commanders are determined to show the Tsar just what they can do. With their new warships, they intend to smash through the enemy fleets that have kept them confined to their own waters for far too long. The White Navy is sailing, and woe to those who stand between it and its destiny!