Main Objective: Save the Bismarck
At least 2 Liberty ships must survive and reach the Bismarck
Sink HMS King George V
Shoot down 15 planes or more
USS North Carolina
Theatre of Operation: North/Mid-Atlantic Area
Starting Operation in 10…9…8…7…6…5…4…3…2…1
The sound of her main guns firing were music to her ears. Shells whizzing through the air and hitting her target were a bonus and the smell of cordite was like a drug to her. This is the experience HMS Rodney was feeling right now, and she loved every second of it.
Her eyes took a quick peep of her fellows joining her in this momentous occasion. Right beside her was the flagship, HMS King George V, and just a few meters away were HMS Dorsetshire and HMS Norfolk. All three had savage grins on their faces, and she couldn't blame them really.
The cry of 'Sink the Hood!' was still in the air following the apparent betrayal of the then-symbol of the Royal Navy. While said ship was nowhere in sight, one of the ships that defeated, then captured, then turned her was here, and they would turn their emotions to her for the moment, releasing some of their pent-up anger. The sight of her agony amuses her greatly.
Suddenly, her attention was diverted to her air radar. She could see that numerous, small unidentified contacts speeding through towards them in the southwest direction. She stared at it with confusion and suspicion.
Her brain quickly told her that these were Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish en route to help with the sinking of the Bismarck. But she immediately shot it down, as she reasons to herself that HMS Illustrious and HMS Ark Royal doesn't have planes these numerous, or as fast. The Luftwaffe was also out of the question. The operational range of all available aircraft from captured French air bases fell far too short for them to successfully reach.
As her mind overclocks itself to think of this anomalous situation, she jumps slightly as King George V was shouting at her through the radio already. As she looks at her commander, the flagship was asking her what had taken her attention from the task at hand. The others were also looking at her, expecting an answer immediately.
Before she could do so, the sound of shells whistling through the air alerted them of enemy gunfire. Not a moment too soon, splashes of water erupted all around them, which made them temporarily lose all concentration and break off their engagement. As they put effort into re-engaging the enemy, another noise took their attention.
The screech of propellers cutting through the air made them all look up, and they were shock to see aircraft diving them on them. Their AA guns blazed away, trying to swat the annoying insects out of the sky. But the number of aircraft attacking them were too much for their combined firepower, and soon the aircraft were dropping their deadly payloads.
King George V received the most damage out of all four of them. 4 torpedo hits to the port side caused extensive flooding and caused her to list to dangerous angles. What made the damage worse are 3 bomb effectives that not only caused three separate fires to appear, but to cause her number 3 turret to be destroyed and her number 2 turret to be incapacitated for a while. She reported that her crew were working vigorously to fix the damage done to her.
She, Dorsetshire, and Norfolk didn't leave unscathed either. She was hit two bomb hits which caused a fire to break out on her deck, while Dorsetshire and Norfolk was strafed by the escorting fighters that came with the dive bombers and torpedo bombers.
As the planes disengaged and regroup, the four ships were able to look at their attackers with great detail, and what they pick up was shocking. It was the not the dark, navy blue color, or the aircraft that attacked them were of the mono-wing design, but rather the insignia that was etched on their wings: a single, white star encapsulated by a blue circle, a horizontal blue bar on the background, with another bar that was white-red striped on either side of the circle.
They couldn't believe it. Their hearts tried to reason to them that it shouldn't be possible, but their minds silenced it with the complete confirmation of the facts before them. American planes had just attacked them.
Before they could mentally question this anomalous event, more screeching could be heard. Seconds later, the sound of shells impacting the water, along with the sight of columns of water erupting from multiple impact points. The scenario repeated itself many times, straddling them more and more.
As they braced themselves for the inevitable shell hits, Norfolk suddenly shouted 'Contact!' with all she had. Despite their position, their eyes dart on the horizon, trying to visually identify the contacts the cruiser had detected. It didn't take long.
Seven plumes of smoke had been detected, which indicated a very small task force was attacking them. With a cloudy day, it was difficult to discern the defining features of the task force effectively, especially with the additional smoke plumes that is coming out from their guns. The water plumes did not help either.
But lady luck suddenly gave them a break, and soon they were able to see what made up the task force. Six ships, a mixture of destroyers, cruisers and battleships the most probable composition considering the sizes. But those conning towers…surely not….
There were. Her eyes did not deceive in the slightest. Those conning towers could not be mistaken for anything else. The design of American, German, British, and Russian conning towers can be distinguishable to the trained eye, though there was one that was a complete mystery to her.
She jerked herself back to attention as King George V was giving out orders to redirect their fire towards the incoming enemy squadron. Meanwhile, the enemy squadron was rapidly closing the distance while maintaining their devastating firepower at them. The destroyers especially, as they were close and were gunning towards her commander.
Their guns were now aimed at the squadron attacking them. With little to no hesitation, they opened fire, managing to score hits on the German ship. But by then, it was already too late. The two destroyers of the enemy squadron turned to starboard and began laying a smoke screen to cover tracks.
Rodney could only watch as King George V, heavily damaged and running at severely reduced speed, got hit by a multitude of torpedoes, columns of water erupting from where the impact point is. The extensive damage was too much for the crew of her commander to handle, and soon her already dangerous list tilted even more and more until a part of her superstructure was touching the water.
She stood there, helpless to do anything as her commander rolled over, before sinking beneath the waves in a painfully slow manner. She could see oil fires licking the water, the only indication that King George V was even there in the first place. She could see of what remains of her crew, dead or trying desperately to survive in the frigid waters of the Atlantic.
She stared. Her mind turned blank as she tried to comprehend the sight that happened in front of her. Oh she does comprehend the sight, it's just that her mind is not willing to accept it as the truth.
She returned her attention to the enemy squadron, letting her large, 16-inch guns do the talking. The guns of Dorsetshire and Norfolk weren't silent either. Their guns were sending 'screw you' packages in the shape of 8-inch shells hurled towards the enemy.
The enemy was not amused with that reception. As soon as King George V was hit by destroyer torpedoes, the Bismarck-look-alike turned to starboard and stagger fire her 8, 15-inch guns at Norfolk. Most of the German shells straddled the heavy cruiser, but one managed to hit her. Thankfully, it only hit the smoke stack.
Not to drop off the momentum, the accompanying battleship also turned to starboard, bringing her massive guns to bear at Norfolk. Unlike her German counterpart, this battleship that flies the American flag fired all of its gun at the heavy cruiser. She winced at the tight grouping the shells have.
But Norfolk was getting none of that. She turned to port, evading the mass of lethal projectiles that caused huge plumes of water to erupt when they missed. Her emergency maneuver, however, caused her to be in range of the squadron's cruisers.
Both of them turned to port and their guns roared at the immediate opportunity to hurt the British heavy cruiser. This is also when the German battleship finished reloading and fired again, followed by her accompanying battleship. Norfolk and her crew tried their best to dodge the incoming fire.
This was a great opportunity for her to do massive damage to the squadron that was concentrating on Norfolk, if it wasn't for something that caught her immediate attention. As soon as the heavy cruiser was getting concentrated by the enemy cruisers and battleships, the destroyers came out of their smoke screen and was steaming right towards her. She redirected her massive guns to the oncoming threat and opened fire.
One destroyer swerved to port, while the other swerved to starboard, but the result was the same. Her shells missed her intended target, and the destroyers resumed their normal course towards her. Her main and secondary armaments were being loaded as fast as they could be to deter the approach of her enemies.
When it was painfully obvious that both of them would not stop their advance, she opted for the next best thing. As they simultaneously turn to port, she turned her bow towards them, hoping that this it is enough. She let two of her turrets continue their 'talk' at the enemy.
The first destroyer peels away, signaling that she already put her deadly arsenal in the water. Curiously, the second destroyer was not. Her theory-making could wait however, as she spots the metal fishes swimming towards her way.
Fortunately, her calculated move meant that she wasn't going to eat all those payloads one after the other, and what's even better, lady luck gave her a safe passage between two torpedoes, letting her sail past them. But her troubles were not over yet. Because of her maneuver, she closed the distance between her and the second destroyer.
The second destroyer waited a few seconds before launching her own sets of deadly payload. She could visibly see the underwater missiles leaving their respective pods and into the water. She winced internally. This is going to hurt.
Still, she tried to maneuver herself to minimize the number of torpedoes that will make contact with her hull. She visibly cringed as one, two, no, three torpedoes struck her front starboard side. She could feel her crew rushing towards the damaged area and hastily patching up the holes that was made because of the impact.
A cry caught her attention, and was greeted with the sight of Norfolk, riddled with shell holes and fires breaking out, got hit by shells from the Bismarck -looking clone. With her damage, it was too much. Water rushed in to her hull, and soon she listed to port before sinking beneath the waves.
Movement caught her eyes, and she could see Dorsetshire moving away, keeping her fire up. With that kind of opposition whose accuracy, determination, and tenacity cannot be underestimated, it was the only sound strategy to do. She also contributed by turning her firepower towards those who were chasing the heavy cruiser.
The enemy squadron, however, had other plans. Buzzing noises could be heard above them, and Rodney knew what it meant. The planes that had attacked them during the opening rounds were back, and with them their deadly payload.
She assumed that she would be the one to be focused down, and so she braced for the inevitable damage they would cause to her. However, she was utterly confused when the squadrons of aircraft were completely ignoring her. It didn't take long for her to realize where they are heading.
She watched as all aircraft dived to attack Dorsetshire with all they had. She watched as the heavy cruiser unleashed the might of her anti-aircraft firepower, but in the end, it didn't even matter. Strafing runs from the escorting fighters kept the AA gunners distracted while the torpedo and dive bombers make their attack run. She stood there, helpless, as the strikes got home and destroyed the heavy cruiser within seconds.
As enemy aircraft regroup and turned to return to their carrier, the full might of the enemy squadron was now turned at her. She screamed, probably a combination of rage and agony, as she was pummeled by shells while she returns the favor as fast as she could. Fires lick her superstructure, hull damage increasing insurmountably, and yet, she stubbornly refuses to sink, not when there are spirits to avenge.
But sadly, it was not to be. She felt a massive hit impacting her port bow, and wonders whether it was a hit from the Bismarck-look-alike or from her companion. That train of thought quickly vanished when she noticed seawater rushing in, her damage too much for her crew to handle, and soon the miniature explosions were happening all along her deck.
Ah. She was sinking, breaking apart as the waters of Atlantic were slowly taking her to Davy Jones' locker. If only fate did not intervene…
Sheffield could only look on with horror at the events that unfolded. In a matter of minutes, King George V, Rodney, Norfolk, and Dorsetshire had been killed by a squadron that seemingly came out of nowhere, accompanied by aircraft launched from an unseen carrier. She could see them closing the distance with Bismarck, then forming a perimeter around her.
Her captain ordered an immediate retreat from the area, lest they caught the attention of the enemy's saviors. Frankly, she didn't blame him for his decision. If she were in his shoes, she would've done the same.
As she turned around to return to her squadron, her ears heard buzzing noises. She looked up, and a squadron of Fairey Swordfish flying towards the carnage. Her eyes widen and radios them to break off their attack and head home, but for some reason, they continue on.
She radioed them again, hoping against all hope that they heed her message. It was ignored, and she turned her head while sailing away to watch their doomed attack. She noted that they were still gunning towards the battered German battleship that was now surrounded by the enemy squadron.
She watched as they broke off into three attack formations, then dive towards their target. She watched as the anti-air guns of the squadron erupt furiously at the sky. She turned her attention away as soon as the first Swordfish erupt into flames and fall out from the sky.
Ark Royal watched as the last of her Swordfish take off from her flight deck. She could see them forming up before heading towards the final battle. She sighs happily, knowing that the pride of the Royal Navy shall be avenged soon.
While she waits, she looks at her squad mate that was with her. Renown stood there, her face stony and unflinching. She contemplates whether that is really her expression or it is just a façade to hide her true expression.
Time passed, and soon she looked down on her wrist to see the time. She hummed when she read the time. It was only a few minutes before they would reach Bismarck and aid in the destruction of the one who turned Hood traitor, hopefully.
Minutes passed, and soon she felt that something was wrong. Her feeling were being validated as soon as an hour had passed, and the squadron of Swordfish she had sent ages ago did not return. Worry started to ebb into the forefront of her conscious as time marched forward still.
It magnified as soon as Sheffield returned to formation, her expression struck by fear. She could feel Renown giving her undivided attention to the heavy cruiser, and she immediately asked what happened. She braced for the news to hit her.
The British heavy cruiser took a moment to take her breath before looking at them and telling the events that unfolded. She could feel her breath hitching as the story is told in great detail, the fury Renown is giving off as it progressed, and the sorrow Sheffield is generating as she tells all of it.
As she was done telling her the events, Renown exclaimed in a dangerously calm fashion to go there and crush those meddling infidels. Sheffield argued that they should instead report to the Admiralty on what happened. They both turned to her and asked on what they should do, since she is the command ship after all.
She was left in a very delicate situation. The options before her were viable, but both had terrible risks associated with them. She took her time deliberating her choices, though her unease is visibly seen when both Renown and Sheffield were looking at her intensely.
After much consideration, she said as calmly as she could to go for the Sheffield's advice. She was sure Renown would object with her decision, but surprisingly, with only a huff, she agreed, but she warned that the Admiralty would not like the news. She replied back that they would not, but they would have to accept it.
All three of them turned about and head back to their naval base in Alexandria. They just hoped that the meddlers would be dealt with, this time with surprise on their side, not theirs.
A/N: It took a lot of deliberation in my half on what I want to write: this one or a Steven Universe one. Still, I hope you guys enjoyed this first snippet of a 'What-if' Kancolle x WoWs operation(even though it is set in an AU of Kancolle). Forgive me if this is not up to your standard since this is new territory for me, and can help me in what to improve in the next snippets.