Victory At Sea

Victory At Sea

Victory At Sea


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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-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-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-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-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-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-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-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-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