Thursday, 8 December 2011

The Navies of Fezia and Rusland... Part 2

Whereas the Rusland navy is a compact and modern force; ideally suited to operations within its geographical location the same cannot be said of the Fezian equivalent. It is certainly larger than that of Rusland but quantity does not necessarily mean quality. Fezia has a long naval tradition but has found the transition to steam from sail a difficult one. Her heavy industry is very much in its infancy and so most of her fleet units have been sourced from overseas. There is little homogeneity about the fleet and so it is quite usual to have squadrons made up of ships of varying ages and capabilities. This obviously has a cumulative effect on efficiency and it a maintenance and logistical nightmare. As a rule, new ships tend to be very efficient when first acquired but soon deteriorate through overuse and inadequate servicing. With the normally parlous state of the Fezian treasury being a major factor in the maintenance of the fleet the usual practise is to update and refit older ships rather than building new ones unless absolutely essential. This means that at any given point the Fezian navy could be using brand new vessels alongside much older types. This all sounds incredibly chaotic but in reality it works rather better than would be imagined. Invariably Fezia can deploy more ships than her most likely opponents and in a bewildering variety. As a rough rule of thumb the Fezian navy is routinely rotated between the Fezian and the Middle Sea via the all important straits of Istantinople and usually the most modern elements of the fleet are deployed against the most iminent threat.

The ships themselves are very much a mix of the old and the new and without a doubt the most effective part is invariably the cruising forces. These routinely travel the length and breadth of the Fezian empire (at least those parts reachable by sea) and are often used for flag showing or reminding rebellious subjects where the real power lies. The light forces are also effective simply because they are the easiest to maintain and so are more readily available than their larger contemporaries. It is very common to see a Fezian cruiser with an escort of torpedo boats deploying troops for raiding purposes and this is an area they excel in - that of combined operations, principally raiding. Fezians are fond of either very large or very small artillery and so their ships tend to extremes in terms of guns mounted. Battleships tend to very poorly served in respect of quick firing artillery and so most Fezian torpedo boats tend to have more guns than torpedoes in order to successfully engage more torpedo conscious opponents and to offset their own battleships weakness in this area. As a rule Fezian ships are quite large for their type but tend to encourage speed and range over protection.

It can be seen then that the navies of Rusland and Fezia are quite different in terms of ships used and tactical and strategic employment. This makes for a potentially interesting situation where the two protagonists display such varied and opposed capabilities. The scales are finely balanced with neither side having an overall advantage and certainly from the perspective of the Rusland forces the onus is on them to impose their presence on the Fezian Sea. All the Fezian navy needs to do is to ensure its survival and to maximise and maintain the advantage it enjoys in numbers.


SteelonSand said...

Some excellent theory to back up your fleshing out of these 'imagi-navies' - only thing that is missing is some submarines - both should have some wholly ineffective yet strangely threatening submersibles sold to them by unethical Western european agents...

David Crook said...

Hi SoS,

I am sure I read somewhere that the first powered torpedo fired from underwater was from a Turkish submarine so there is a precedent....

That gives me something to think about or rather, something else to think about....:-)

All the best,