Thursday, 8 June 2006





News has just reached our Khartoum office of a naval engagement two nights ago between elements of the Red Sea Fleet and the forces of Turkey at the entrance of the Gulf of Aqaba and within range of the vaunted ‘Guns of N’ah Faroun’. Despite the lack of an official communique being released by the Admiralty at the time of writing, our own sources have managed to obtain a summary of events which will, in the fullness of time, be fully supplemented by the official announcement.

It appears that a small squadron of gunboats; supported by the Monitors HMS Chaos and her sister ship HMS Mayhem carried out a moonlight sweep of the Aqaba barrage to engage and destroy the patrolling Turkish vessels tasked with the protection of this vital waterway. It further transpires that the two monitors were to provide heavy support for their smaller charges as well as ensuring that any larger Turkish vessels would be ‘kept honest’ by the weight of their combined broadside of four 9.2" Armstrong Breechloading Rifles. These would also, if the need arose, provide some measure of comfort against the unwanted attentions of the ‘Guns of N’Ah Faroun’. The voyage was made in easy stages and carried out by hugging the African coast and then cutting across the Red Sea in a high speed dash to time their arrival at the Aqaba barrage for the early hours of the morning. This was the trickiest part of the operation as it was deemed desirable to avoid the Turkish shore batteries including the aforementioned Guns of N’Ah Faroun. The journey was carried out by dint of some superb navigation on the part of the Squadron Commander and the arrival at the appointed place was made almost exactly at the time planned for the commencement of the operation. The arrival took the Turks completely by surprise and when the Royal Naval vessels opened fire on their hapless victims, it was some time before any effective resistance could be mounted. In the space of some fifteen minutes four Turkish patrol boats had been sunk and their vanquished crews seemed only too pleased to be hauled aboard the victorious Royal Naval vessels. During the course of this very brief and one-sided exchange some minor damage was sustained by HMS Chaos. Whether by chance or design the wardroom of this gallant vessel received numerous hits from small calibre weaponry and a minor conflagration broke out. This was rapidly extinguished but not before the drink cabinet was smashed beyond redemption and the contents, much to the obvious consternation of the ship’s officers, destroyed. Fortunately no casualties were sustained either in the brief enemy fusillade or the ensuing fire. Unconfirmed reports are being circulated that the Executive Officer broke his toe whilst attempting to single-handedly rescue the wardroom piano from the fire. For this gallant action, above and beyond that which is expected of one of Her Majesties Officers, the as yet unnamed hero has been subsequently recommended for a decoration. It is with some relief that we can also report that the portrait of the Queen was undamaged.

As a direct result of the ferocity of the Royal Naval attack, several enemy vessels were observed fleeing into the dark in some disarray and apparent confusion. Sometime later, a loud explosion was heard and it was assumed that the Turks had in fact, in their eagerness to avoid the vengeful guns of the Royal Navy, retreated into their own minefield!

However, whilst the assault had been executed in a highly successful fashion, the withdrawal would be a different matter entirely. It appears that Turkish surface forces attempted no pursuit of the gallant Royal Navy raiding force. At first light however, a patrolling Turkish Dirigible made contact and proceeded to shadow the plucky squadron. This halcyon state of affairs would not remain so for very long as a shortly after 9am local time, several elements of the Ottoman Air Fleet began a two hour intensive aerial assault. It was estimated that approximately twelve Dirigibles of varying sizes were used to bomb and strafe the hapless flotilla as it made its way to safety. Despite the ferocity and intensity of the Turkish attack the squadron emerged mercifully unscathed. Several near misses were recorded and some minor casualties sustained but no fatalities. Clearly the Turkish stomach for this fight was not as earnest as when engaging lightly armed Bedouin tribesmen! It was reported that some damage was inflicted on these aerial leviathans as one vessel was seen to withdraw from the action, trailing vast plumes of smoke.

Contact with the squadron ceased shortly after the aerial action concluded (we understand that this was planned and not the result of enemy action) as they are proceeding to an unknown destination for repairs. At the last time of reporting, the Turkish Air Fleet had departed – no doubt boasting of a great success to Istanbul – and no obvious attempt at following had been observed.

The readers of this august journal can rest assured that as soon as any official account of this action is available we will endeavour, with all due haste and alacrity, to publish the same as fully as we are able.

In the meantime however, the subjects of Her Majesties domains can take comfort from the fact that once again our gallant and courageous servicemen have acquitted themselves manfully in the teeth of the battle’s roar. For as long as our Navy and the men that serve in her continue to remain true to the heritage of centuries, Britannia will continue to rule the waves.



1 comment:

Tas said...

Their Lordships of the Admiraly are pleased to inform you that Lieutenant Herbert RN, has been awarded with the Military Cross for his valour in action in that whilst servng in HMS CHAOS, said vessel being in action against Turkish vessls, did gallantly and nobly endanger himself in the retrival of valuable Wardroom artifacts from irrepairable damage and thus did facilitate gin and tonics in appropriate surroundings once action was broken off.

Their Lordships send their most sincere congratulations and look forward to awarding this decoration in person when the opportunity permits.

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!