Victory At Sea

Victory At Sea

Victory At Sea


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Product no.: WGVS-741010001

The Battle for the Pacific was only the beginning. Victory at Sea is the game of naval combat during the Second World War. Throughout 1939-45, the nations of the world duelled across the oceans across the globe, only to discover the fundamental nature of naval warfare changing in the face of rapidly developing technologies. Now you can play out these confrontations on the tabletop with entire fleets drawn from the Royal Navy, US Navy, Imperial Japanese Navy, German Kriegsmarine or any of the other nations featured in Victory at Sea.

From skirmishes involving single destroyers hunting down merchantmen to the clashing of massive battleships, from invasions of islands across the Pacific to mastering waves of dive bombers, Victory at Sea enables you to fight exciting battles that take place on the oceans of World War II.

$60.00
Product no.: WGVS-741510001

Victory at Sea is the game of naval combat during the Second World War. Throughout 1939–45, the nations of the world duelled across the oceans across the globe, only to discover the fundamental nature of naval warfare changing in the face of rapidly developing technologies. Now you can play out these confrontations on the tabletop with entire fleets drawn from the Royal Navy, US Navy, Imperial Japanese Navy, German Kriegsmarine or any of the other nations featured in Victory at Sea.

From skirmishes involving single destroyers hunting down merchantmen to the clashing of massive battleships, from invasions of islands across the Pacific to mastering waves of dive bombers, Victory at Sea enables you to fight exciting battles that take place on the oceans of World War II.

$90.00
Product no.: WGVS-742411001

The Kriegsmarine had to be virtually rebuilt after the First World War. Forbidden to own capital ships and submarines, Germany nibbled away at first one clause of the Treaty of Versailles, then another, until a powerful navy force existed.

At the outbreak of World War Two, relatively few capital ships were in commission, and no aircraft carriers. There was never any prospect of matching Britain in terms of capital ship numbers, but the qualitative advantage of the proposed super-battleships might have made a considerable difference. In any case, the Kriegsmarine was not a navy designed to tackle a major fleet head-on in fleet engagements. Instead, it was a commerce raiding force.

German capital ships were built according to principles tried out in World War One; internal compartmentalisation and damage control measures made them very difficult to sink, while their efficient power plants ensured a good top speed, essential in a raider. Coupled with excellent fire control – using radar and other means – and big guns to make use of it, these vessels were extremely potent weapons.

It has been said that Hitler never really understood naval warfare; be that as it may, the Kriegsmarine suffered from a lack of funding and materials, and from the internal politics of the Nazi leadership. Among its greatest detractors was Herman Goering, who connived constantly to ensure resources flowed into his Luftwaffe to the detriment of the navy. Major warship projects suffered from constant stops and starts as resources were allocated, then redistributed to other projects.

Eventually, as the tide of war turned against Germany, Hitler gave up on his navy and transferred guns originally intended for ships to the coastal fortifications of the Atlantic Wall. The Kriegsmarine continued to fight on with dwindling resources. U-boats and destroyers remained a menace to allied shipping to the very end of the war.

$140.00
Product no.: WGVS-742411002

For centuries, Japan's policy of seclusion (sakoku) saw it concentrate on coastal defences in order to repel foreign vessels. However, with the advances other maritime nations were making, it eventually became obvious that no longer would Japan be able to ignore the rest of the world. As an island power, it needed a modern navy. Turning to Britain for assistance, Japan quickly created a powerful modern fleet. It was this capable and confident navy that came out to fight the American Pacific Fleet.

The Japanese understood the potential of airpower early and created an effective carrier arm. In addition to the carriers, the Imperial Japanese Navy possessed a powerful battleship force, which included the largest and most powerful battleships in the world, the Yamato and the Musashi. The Imperial Japanese Navy's potential was demonstrated in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Using armour-piercing bombs and torpedoes, Japanese aircraft inflicted tremendous damage on the American Pacific fleet as it lay at anchor.

Midway was the turning point of the naval war in the Pacific and, from then on, the Imperial Japanese Navy was unable to make any headway against the increasing carrier strength of the US Navy. With the victorious Allies pushing towards the Japanese islands, the Imperial Japanese Navy fought desperately to keep them at bay. Kamikaze aircraft and other suicide weapons were deployed, and eventually, warships of the Imperial Japanese Navy made death-rides against US forces.

$140.00
Product no.: WGVS-742411010

Two Bismarck-class battleships were built for the Kriegsmarine. Bismarck was the first, named for the Chancellor (Otto von Bismarck). The battleship was laid down in July 1936 and launched in February 1939. She and her sister ship, Tirpitz, were two of the largest battleships built by any European power, and certainly, the largest built by Germany. Whilst the physical power they held was tremendous, they also wreaked psychological havoc amongst the allies. Churchill was determined that the two battleships not be let loose upon the Atlantic.

Bismarck's career, however, was woefully short, spanning just eight months under a single Captain, Ernst Lindeman. During this time, she only took part in a single offensive action that lasted just eight days in May 1941. This operation, codenamed Rheinübung, was to attempt what the Allies feared, a breakthrough to the Atlantic and raid Allied shipping efforts between Britain and North America (along with the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen).

The two vessels were detected multiple times off Scandinavia, prompting Britain to initiate naval blocking manoeuvres. The resultant battle, the Battle of the Denmark Strait, saw the British vessels HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales engage the two vessels. Hood was destroyed for her efforts and Prince of Wales suffered damage, forcing a retreat. However, Bismarck had suffered damage significant enough to put an end to her raiding mission.

Limping for occupied France for repairs, Bismarck was pursued by a Royal Navy set on retribution for the sinking of HMS Hood. She was attacked by 16 Fairey Swordfish biplane torpedo bombers deployed by HMS Ark Royal. A direct hit rendered Bismarck's steering gear inoperable. The following morning, she suffered crippling damage in a battle against two British battleships and two cruisers. She was subsequently, on 27 May 1941, scuttled by her crew and sank with many lives lost.

$30.00
Product no.: WGVS-742411012

The Deutschland-class of warships were relatively small, by battleship standards, but were well armoured and carried the type of armament traditionally seen only on battleships. This led to them being nicknamed 'pocket battleships'. Superb commerce raiders, the Admiral Scheer successfully plied the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, disrupting merchant shipping wherever it went, whilst the Admiral Graf Spee was famously cornered during the Battle of the River Plate and scuttled herself soon after.

$40.00
Product no.: WGVS-742411050

Yamato (大和, "Great Harmony") and her sister ship, Musashi, were constructed shortly before the outbreak of World War II. They were the heaviest and most powerfully armed battleships ever constructed; armed with nine 18.1” Type 94 main guns – the largest guns ever mounted on a warship.

The battleship’s design was an answer to the numerically dominant US Navy – Imperial Japan’s primary threat in the Pacific. Though laid down in 1937 the battleship was not actually commissioned until late 1941, a week after a fated attack on Pearl Harbour. She served as the flagship of the Combined Fleet. It was from her bridge that Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto directed the fleet at Midway in June 1942, though this proved a disastrous defeat for the Japanese. She was thereafter replaced by the Musashi as flagship and spent the larger part of 1943 and 44 moving between ports in a responsive role.

October 1944 was the only occasion on which Yamato fired her main guns in anger, at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Yamato had been tasked with repelling American forces invading the Philippines. Though success lay within Japanese grasp, such was the ferocity of a counterattack of a light escort carrier group of the U.S. Navy’s Task Force 77 that the Japanese enacted a retreat, falsely believing they faced a much larger carrier force.

By early 1945, Naval superiority in the Pacific belonged firmly to the US Navy. In an effort to delay the Allies’ advance, Yamato was dispatched to Okinawa in April 1945, with no expectation to ever return. Her orders were to beach herself and fight until destroyed. This was not allowed to occur when, on 7 April 1945 when she was sunk by US carrier-based bombers and torpedo bombers, with the loss of the majority of her complement.

$30.00
Product no.: WGVS-742412001

The Royal Navy of Great Britain was the world’s greatest navy at the outbreak of the Second World War. However, Britain went to war with mainly First World War-vintage vessels. Since the Royal Navy already possessed many powerful units, construction of the most modern designs was limited. This meant that at the outbreak of World War Two Britain had far more battleships than most other nations, but they had smaller guns than those built to the most modern ships.

Though the main battle force was kept concentrated in home waters, task forces were assigned to many distant areas, but the Royal Navy could not be strong everywhere. Although badly stretched, the Royal Navy lived up to its traditional ‘can do!’ ethos, fighting hard in all theatres.

In addition to the battleship forces, the Royal Navy maintained a handful of fast battlecruisers – some of them quite old – and aircraft carriers. These were backed up by a strong cruiser force and light forces including destroyers, motor torpedo boats (MTBs) and motor gunboats (MGBs).

As the war went on, aircraft carriers became increasingly important and air defences were steadily improved on all ships. Yet the big guns of the battleships and cruisers played a vital role in many theatres of war. British capital ships saw action in the Arctic and the Atlantic against German commerce raiders, in the Mediterranean against Italian forces, and ventured into the Pacific in an ill-fated attempt to stem the Japanese advance. Though the great fleet actions planned for and desired by the architects of the Royal Navy did not materialise during World War Two, the Royal Navy adapted well to the war it was destined to fight and emerged with great honour.

$140.00
Product no.: WGVS-742412002

Although the United States of America contains a vast area of land, almost all of its allies and trading partners are overseas, and those interests require a powerful navy to support them.

The US Navy possessed some of the largest and most modern battleships in the world at the outbreak of World War Two, and despite losses during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, was able to maintain a powerful presence in the Pacific. However, in the vast reaches of that ocean, the battleship was no longer the king of battle. It was fortunate for the Americans that the handful of aircraft carriers then in service with the US Navy escaped destruction; given later events, it is doubtful that a pure battleship force could have defeated the Imperial Japanese Navy.

The aircraft carrier became the main US naval asset during the war in the Pacific, which was very much a conflict between the air assets of opposing fleets. US carrier forces were hard-pressed early on but as the industrial might of the US was brought to bear, new carriers and air groups for them were deployed in such numbers that the enemy simply could not match their strength.

US naval forces were primarily engaged in the Pacific, but some capital ships and larger numbers of destroyers were deployed to the Atlantic theatre where their primary opponents were German U-boats.

$140.00
Product no.: WGVS-742412011

HMS Warspite was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship of the Royal Navy. Built during the early 1910s, she served in the First World War, including at the Battle of Jutland. Modernized in the 1930s, she went on to serve in the Second World War.

Warspite was part of the Norwegian campaign of 1940 and subsequently was transferred to the Mediterranean, squaring off in fleet actions against the Italian Regia Marina. During the Battle of Crete in mid-1941 she suffered damage from enemy German aircraft and spent 6 months under repair in the US. These repairs were completed shortly after US entry into the war, and she set sail across the Pacific to join the Eastern Fleet in the Indian Ocean in early 1942.

She returned home in 1943 to provide gunfire support as part of Force H in the Italian campaign. She again suffered damage, this time at the hand of radio-controlled glider bombs, during the landings at Salerno. She spent almost another year under repair as a result.

Before her repairs were fully completed, she was back at sea, providing fire support the next year, supporting the Normandy landings and on Walcheren Island in 1944. These actions earned her the recognition of being the ship with the most battle honours in the history of the Royal Navy, and also accorded her the affectionate nickname, the "Grand Old Lady".

At the conclusion of the war, she was decommissioned and ran aground undertow in 1947. She has broken up shortly after.

$30.00
Product no.: WGVS-742412018

At one time, the HMS Hood was the largest and possibly most famous ship in the world, representing the supremacy of British sea power. Though attached to Home Fleet, the Hood took part in the sinking of the French fleet at Oran. She was sunk by the Bismarck in 1941 after accurate shelling from the German ship caused a massive explosion on the Hood which sank within minutes, leaving only three survivors - certainly one of the more spectacular deaths of any capital ship.

$30.00
Product no.: WGVS-742412050

Only the mighty Yamato displaced more than the massive, yet very fast, Iowa-class battleships. The last battleship to be commissioned by the USA, USS Missouri is known as the ‘Mighty Mo’ acted as a venue for the Japanese surrender in WWII. Iowa-class ships saw service far beyond the Second World War and were upgraded with modern electronics, weapons systems and cruise missiles – USS Missouri was finally decommissioned in 1992 after a distinguished career.

$30.00
Product no.: WGVS-742412052

USS Idaho, the third of three ships of the New Mexico-class of Battleship, was the fourth vessel to bear the name. She was launched in June 1917 and commissioned in March 1919. She was armed with a battery of twelve 14” guns in four turrets and was protected with heavy armour plate (13.5” thick in the main belt).

During the 20s and 30s, Idaho spent the majority of her time as part of the Pacific Fleet, conducting routine training exercises. She was modernised in the early 30s. During World War II, but before the United States’ entry into hostilities, she was assigned to join the Neutrality Patrols that protected American shipping during the Battle of the Pacific. Following the attack on Pearl Harbour, she was redeployed to the Pacific Theatre, along with her sister ships.

For the remainder of the war she supported amphibious operations in the Pacific, shelling Japanese forces during the Gilbert and Marshall Islands and Philippines campaigns. She also supported the invasions of Peleliu, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Idaho was present in Tokyo Bay when Japan formally surrendered on 2 September 1945. Idaho was decommissioned the next year and dismantled in 1947.

$30.00
Product no.: WGVS-742419901

Preventing attacks on defenceless merchant ships is the other main role of the navy, and it was her that the war was fought, day in and day out, by the humble corvette, frigate and destroyer escort, and later by escort carriers. Commerce raiding formed a critical part of the strategy for several nations – Germany’s Kriegsmarine almost brought Britain to her knees whilst the US Navy similarly strangled Japan’s movement of industrial goods, materials, troops and supplies.

Grouping ships into convoys meant there was more expanse of the empty ocean out there – hopefully raiders would not even find the convoy. It also made escorts more effective, but in the event, a convoy was hit by a surface raider, such as a heavy cruiser or battlecruiser, the target would be devastated in short order. Nevertheless, the convoy system helped a great deal. It would fall to the escorting ships to defend them until either a heavy covering force could come up in support of the merchants could make their escape. Some of the most heroic, and worst mismatched, actions of the war took place in defence of merchants convoys or troopships.

$90.00
Product no.: WGVS-742411056

Originally laid down as an Amagi-class battlecruiser, the stipulations of the Washington Treaty resulted in her conversion to an aircraft carrier. As a result, Akagi (赤城, "Red Castle") was one of Japan’s first large aircraft carriers. Akagi and her near-sister Kaga straddled the line between carrier and dreadnought. To keep both options open, the ships were designed to be quickly converted to capital ships. They carried turret barbettes, magazines and other equipment to support big gun turrets, and the wooden flight deck and hangar deck were designed to be quickly stripped off, making room for turrets to be mounted. However, by the mid-1930s, the admirals believed the aircraft carrier to be the equal of the capital ship and Akagi was extensively rebuilt to improve aircraft handling capacity, ending any possibility of later converting it to a capital ship.

Her aircraft served in the Second Sino-Japanese War in the late 1930s. With the formation of the First Air Fleet in 1941, she became its flagship and remained so until her sinking. Notable actions include the attack on Pearl Harbor, the invasion of Rabaul, bombing Darwin, Australia and the Indian Ocean Raid.

In June 1942, she participated in the Battle of Midway, her aircraft bombarding the American-held atoll. However, US aircraft originating from Midway, and the US carriers Enterprise, Hornet and Yorktown attacked Akagi and three other Japanese fleet carriers. Dive bombers from USS Enterprise severely damaged Akagi, forcing friendly escorting destroyers to scuttle her to avoid her falling into US hands. The loss of four Japanese carriers at this engagement, including Akagi, was a key defeat for Japan, decisively shifting the balance of power in the Pacific theatre.

$35.00
Product no.: WGVS-742412008

The Yorktown-class of aircraft carrier was built in a series of three. Of those, only the USS Enterprise survived the war, with the USS Yorktown sunk during the Battle of Midway, and the USS Hornet during the Battle of Santa Cruz.

USS Yorktown was commissioned in 1937 and named for the battle of 1781. After Pearl Harbor, USS Yorktown transferred to the Pacific and took part in some of the first American offences of the war around the Gilbert and Marshall Islands. She also fought at the Battle of the Coral Sea where her aircraft (along with the carrier Lexington's) sank enemy light carrier Shōhō prior to engaging the main Japanese carrier force the following day (May 8th 1942). During this latter stage of the engagement, the US carriers' aircraft inflicted damage to the IJN carrier Shōkaku, but in turn, USS Yorktown suffered heavy damage. Lexington suffered worse and was later scuttled as a result.

Returning to Hawaii, repairs were estimated to take two weeks, but she was put back to sea a mere 48 hours after entering drydock, in time to play a crucial part in the decisive Battle of Midway. Her aircraft were instrumental in the sinking of two Japanese fleet carriers. Her presence also drew the attention of Japanese aerial attacks away from USS Enterprise and Hornet. Though crippled by Japanese aircraft, there was optimism that she could be salvaged in part. These hopes were dashed on June 6th when torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-168 struck her twice. Further hopes of repair were abandoned, and she sank the following day.

$35.00
Product no.: WGVS-742411017

Submarines: A long-ranged submersible, the Type IX was the most successful U-boat of the war, with each vessel averaging over 100,000 tons of shipping sunk. One Type IX, U-107, made the most successful convoy mission of the war, with nearly 100,000 tons of shipping sunk out of Freetown in Africa. The latest variants of this design were capable of ranges of more than 23,000 miles, allowing them to rove far in search of convoys, while their heavy load of torpedoes allowed them to keep pace with a convoy, attacking night after night.

MTBs: The R1-class of R-Boat (from the German Raumboot, meaning minesweeper) was intended to be used as a shallow water minesweeper but, as the war went on, it became a multi-role craft. Its duties expanded to include patrol, antisubmarine, convoy escort, minelaying, and rescue operations. Some classes of R-Boat, such as the R310, were fitted with torpedo tubes, though performance was very modest compared to craft specifically designed for the role.

The ultimate S-Boat to be operational in significant numbers was the S-100-class, which was produced from 1943 and was said to be the best fast patrol boat of its time. The S-100-class was nicknamed the Calotte, as it featured a rounded armoured bridge. It was powered by three Daimler-Benz engines giving it an overall capacity of around 7,500 hp and developing an outstanding top speed of 48 knots.

$45.00
Product no.: WGVS-743212005

Submarines: The Gato-class of submarine was the first mass production US submarine class of the Second World War, forming the majority of the United States Navy's submarine fleet of the war. It was the Gato-class, and the successors of her design that were largely responsible for the disruption of the Japanese merchant fleet. Individual Gato-class vessels were given names of marine creatures, with the lead of her class named for a type of small catshark.

MTBs: The Elco mounted four torpedo tubes which, combined with its speed, made it a serious threat to larger ships. The largest PT boat used by the US Navy, the Elco is also notable for future President Kennedy commanding one. Crews of these boats relied on their smaller size, speed and manoeuvrability - and darkness - to survive.

$45.00
Product no.: WGVS-743211008

Submarines: The Kaidai-7-class, or KD-7, was developed in the late 1930s, following on from the preceding KD-6 class. With a surface range of 8,000nm at 16kts, and a submerged endurance of 50nm at 5kts, they possessed a slightly better underwater performance to the late-model KD-6s and better surface speed (though not range) than the earlier members of that class. All members of the class were lost by mid-1944. Another ocean-going submersible using 533mm forward and aft torpedo tubes, it served in the South Pacific as well as the waters off Australia. I-177 sunk the hospital ship AHS Centaur off Stradbroke Island. It was presumed lost with all hands on 18 November 1944, while the I-176 was lost six months earlier off of the Solomon's. There were 10 KD-7 submarines built overall.

MTBs: Designed as a suicide craft, the Shin'yo either carried a powerful explosive or two depth charges. The depth charges were intended to be planted by the pilot of the boat, after which he would then make his escape. Although nearly 10,000 were built, they accounted for the sinking of only 5 ships, mainly landing craft.

The Imperial Japanese Navy fielded a number of variants on a standard torpedo boat design, differing mainly in machinery fit which affected displacement, giving the illusion of more variety than existed in practice. 238 boats were built within these designations, all armed with two 18-inch torpedoes and 25mm or 13.2mm guns.

$45.00
Product no.: WGVS-743212006

Submarines: Designed for use in North European and Mediterranean waters, the S-class was manoeuvrable with a noted ability to crash dive extremely quickly. Combined with a large salvo of torpedoes, this was a successful design of pre-war years that was soon updated and put back into production.

MTBs: The Fairmile A was designed from the outset to use prefabricated components that could be produced by small businesses such as furniture manufacturers, which would then be assembled at shipyards. Capable of 25 knots, it mounted a 3-pounder gun and a pair of .303 machine guns, as well as Depth Charge.

Designed with the form of a destroyer's hull, the Fairmile B (like its predecessor, the Fairmile A) was intended primarily as a submarine-chaser, and so was fitted with Depth Charge. Manufactured in large numbers, the Fairmile B was also famously used on the raid on St. Nazaire.

Capable of 26 knots, the Fairmile C was a motor gun boat, mounting two 2-pounders and eight machine guns of various calibres. It was mainly used for close escort duties and some clandestine missions.

Nicknamed Dog Boat,' the Fairmile D was highly adaptable and could be fitted with a range of armament that meant it could act as both motor gun and torpedo boat. Some were used by the Royal Air Force for long range rescue of downed airmen.

$45.00