The Thalassan War
Tiauhai Sea [ 18 November 1941 - 0750 hrs ]
The seas were calm on a November morning as the Giokton submarine I-23 cruised along the Tiauhai Sea. She was one of the several submarines dispatched under the top-secret Operation Barrage, launched after Giokton spies uncovered Andallan plans to further reinforce Liamchia, an Andallan territory on Giok Island. The day before, the SFS Teuvo Antonnen, a Kristian Steffenssen-class troop transport, departed Andalla for Liamtsia with 2,553 soldiers and crew on board...
"Captain, ship spotted on the horizon, bearing three-two-zero. We've found our target."
"Good. All compartments, prepare for dive."
(The bridge is cleared and all hull openings are closed)
"Green board sir, we have pressure in the boat."
"Very well. Dive, dive." (The diving alarm goes off)
(The submarine is now nearing attacking position)
"Forward room, ready tubes one, two and three, depth zero-five feet."
"Aye, tubes one and two ready."
"You boys ready to make history?"
"Readier than ever, captain!"
"Aye, ready tube one... and fire! Tube two... fire! Tube three, standby... and, fire!"
"Torpedoes in the water."
Meanwhile, on the Teuvo Antonnen, a sailor on the bridge spots the torpedoes:
"TORPEDO ON THE STARBOARD, APPROACHING FAST!"
"HAAAARD TO PORT!"
The ill-fated Teuvo Antonnen makes a sharp, abrupt turn to port, startling and confusing many of her passengers. Though the first torpedo misses the ship's bow by several meters, the second one scores a hit on her forward cargo bay at 0832 hrs. The forward cargo bay begins to flood with water while fires caused by the detonation lick up the surrounding cargo. But before any action could be taken, a third torpedo rips through her amidships, causing increased flooding.
Flames engulf the forward cargo bay and threaten to spread to the upper decks, while water rushes through the two holes. The very few damage control personnel are sent to the forward cargo bay to put out the worsening fire, the breach amidships left almost unattended, while the Teuvo Antonnen lists 15 degrees to starboard. At 0855 hrs, an explosion from the forward cargo bay rocks the lower decks near the bow. Damage control teams attempt to suppress the fire, yet their efforts are all in vain. The hole amidships caused by the third torpedo enlarges due to water pressure buckling the hull, increasing the list to 20 degrees and threatening to capsize the vessel. The call to abandon ship is made at 0918 hrs, after the bow begins to go down. As it was peacetime, the ship was not fully-equipped for an emergency and thus lacked enough life rafts. The deck of the ship grows into a chaotic mess as it fills with soldiers and crew waiting for a life raft, while some opt to jump off the ship instead. The crew is ordered to cut out pieces of wood and other buoyant items, then throw them into the sea to give the men in the water something to hold on to.
At 0927 hrs, a loud creaking noise is heard from below decks, as the list increases by 10 more degrees over several minutes. At 0939 hrs, a second noise is heard and a small crack runs up to the starboard deck. Suddenly, at 0943 hrs, the ship capsizes, trapping over 1,600 soldiers and crew below decks. Her keel continues to rise up out of the water, as some of the men are able to escape the flooding decks. The ship stays afloat for a while, her keel pointing upwards. At 1026 hrs, the Teuvo Antonnen begins to sink again. By 1031 hrs, the last of the ship fades beneath the waves, taking over 1,100 men with her.
The survivors, less than half of the 2,552 soldiers and crew, stay afloat in clusters of life rafts, pieces of wood, or even alone. They are picked up 10 hours later by the SFS Lekske, a Gammelbjerg-class destroyer. The rest of the troop transports underway to Liamchia are notified of the presence of Giokton submarines, forcing several vessels to turn around towards Andalla. The next day, the Andallan Congress declares war on Giokto and the first shots of the war on Giok Island are fired against Giokton border emplacements.
The Second Giokto-Andallan War begins.