Battle of the Sabri Sea
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|Battle of the Sabri Sea|
|Part of the Western Theater of the Siduri War|
Members of HMS Iralia Acapollo's gun crews prior to the final engagement.
|Commanders and leaders|
|Syaran National Fleet|
2 aircraft carriers
18 heavy cruisers
10 light cruisers
21 battleships |
2 aircraft carriers
12 heavy cruisers
8 light cruisers
|Casualties and losses|
4 battleships sunk |
2 battlecruisers sunk
3 heavy cruisers sunk
7 cruisers sunk
5 light cruisers sunk
22 destroyers sunk
6 submarines sunk
1 battleship scuttled
6 battleships sunk |
1 aircraft carrier sunk
4 battlecruisers sunk
5 heavy cruisers sunk
8 cruisers sunk
6 light cruisers sunk
27 destroyers sunk
11 submarines sunk
The Battle of the Sabri Sea was a decisive naval battle in the Western Theater of the Siduri War that took place between 22 and 24 November 1936. It was fought between the combined naval forces of the Inner Sphere known as the Syaran National Fleet against a Common Axis force consisting of three fleets of the Cacertian Royal Navy, two carrier groups of the Royal Tennaiite Navy and three squadrons of the Mansuri Navy. It is the largest naval battle in history by tonnage, and the deadliest by confirmed casualties.
The battle was the effective culmination of the Nuadan Campaign which had raged since October 1934. The Inner Sphere, predominantly the Republic of Syara had endeavored to secure the Nuadan Ocean from Common Axis forces, namely the Cacertian Empire, both to safeguard Inner Sphere trade and isolate Mansuriyyah from resupply and reinforcement by sea. The key to this strategy was the neutralization of the Andria Protectorate, which would deny the Cacertians and Common Axis a staging ground from which to launch operations into the Nuadan. After more than two years of sustained naval warfare however the Syarans had failed to deny the Nuadan to the Common Axis, and increasingly grim prospects on land forced the Syaran Admiralty to commit to a renewed bid to capture Andria and defeat the Cacertians. The Navy of the Syaran Republic mobilized and reinforced the Syaran National Fleet under Fleet Admiral Hristijan Rajcevski with additional ships and support from the Shirvani Dominion, a move that was detected by the Ruvelkan resistance and transmitted to the Cacertian Admiralty.
In response the Cacertians reinforced the Andria Fleet with the Center Fleet, the Southern Fleet, two carrier groups from Tennai and three Mansuri squadrons to meet the National Fleet, under the overall command of Grand Admiral Andrea Doria . Rajcevski learned of this development while en route but elected to seek battle anyway, hoping to exploit the large size of the Common Axis fleets by splitting them apart and defeating them piece-meal rather than in a single engagement. The two forces skirmished on 22 November, but Rajcevski's attempts to isolate and pick part the Cacertian fleets were undermined by Doria's maneuvers and actions of the Tennaiite fleet air arm. The two sides met again in an inconclusive series of engagements on 23 November before a decisive day-long battle on 24 November ended in a decisive Common Axis victory. Rajcevski withdrew the National Fleet back to Syaran waters, while Doria returned to Andria.
The Sabri Sea marked the end of any remaining chance the Inner Sphere had at forcing a victory at sea. The heavy losses suffered to the Inner Sphere forced a significant curtailing of operations in the Nuadan while greatly diminishing the threat posed to Common Axis shipping and sea-lanes. Although the Syarans would sortie out throughout 1937, they were never able to muster the forces necessary to challenge the Common Axis in major fleet engagements. The Sabri Sea would go on to effectively mark the beginning of the end of the war, as remarked upon by Elliana Sarissita-Trento as "the first glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel".
Background and planning
Cacertian dominance of the high seas was widely considered a strategic deterrent to greater Inner Sphere operations in the Western Theater and the Empire’s entrance into the war as part of the Common Axis proved unfortunate, if not unexpected. From their naval base in the island protectorate of Andria, the Cacertian Empire possessed the capability of launching attacks directly against Syara and safely retreat before being properly engaged. Fleet Admiral Dicho Wasilew, senior member of the Syaran Admiralty, recognized that the inability of the Inner Sphere to disrupt Cacertian shipments of goods and resources to Quenmin and Tennai put the IS at a significant disadvantage. By mid-1935 pressure was on the Syaran Navy to do something about the situation. Eventually the Admiralty concluded following engagements with the Cacertian Royal Navy in the Sundering Sea that no major offensive could be launched singularily; it would have to be conducted in stages.
The Cacertian Protectorate of Andria was selected as a target; the isolated island located 700 miles south-west of Nalaya was home to the Andria Fleet and was Cacerta's farthest western holding. It was devised that the Inner Sphere would seize control of Andria, which could then be used as a staging area for incursions on Tennai's southern coastline. Fleet Admiral Rajcevski, a veteran of the Divide War was chosen to lead the Syaran National Fleet. Rajcevski was personally aprehensive regarding the plan, pointing out that it would almost certainly involve direct egnagement with the larger Cacertian battle fleet, but the operation went ahead anyway. Starting around August 1935 the Syaran Navy began amassing off the coast of southern Syara. In total the Syaran fleet was composed of 18 battleships, 8 battlecruisers, 11 heavy cruisers, 14 cruisers, and 42 destroyers. The operation was fairly simple; the Syaran fleet would sail south, engage and destroy the Andria Fleet, and would be followed by amphibious landing of Syaran troops in a follow up task force, who would attempt to capture Andria and her port installations intact.
Cacertian intelligence had been alerted to the buildup of Syaran ships by the Földalatti, the Ruvelkan resistance movement in occupied Ruvelka. Recognizing the only likely target was Andria, Cacertian Grand Admiral Andra Doria was chosen to lead the Cacertian navy in defense of Andria. Under her command the Cacertians assembled the Center, Southern, and Andria Fleet to meet the Syaran naval force.
Although Cacerta had shifted away from the Decisive Battle Doctrine of the pre-Divide War years, heavy battleships and battlecruisers remained the mainstay of the Cacertian fleet, this time with more emphasis on maneuverability and speed than just pure armor and firepower. By the Siduri War the Cacertians fielded a sizeable navy composed of a mixture of destroyers, cruisers, battleships and battlecruisers. Conventional surface combatants remained the decisive arm of the Cacertian fleet. Although Cacerta fielded two aircraft carriers by 1935, poor performances in the Sundering Sea had limited their usage and they remained a secondary consideration. Noticeably poor weather in the Sabri Sea around fall and winter contributed to Cacerta's decision to sally forth without their carriers.
Syara's navy remained focus on fast moving ships, but in the inter-war yeras had developed a number of more conventional heavy ships, including the Zovahr and Makedon-class battleships, and the Moddra-class battlecruiser. In battle the Syarans preferred to divide their ships into "battle clusters", usually under a dozen ships of a mixed squadron of battleships, battlecruisers, and heavy cruisers supported by destroyers. Once engaged in battle, the clusters were to move and operate together as a miniature fleet. Syaran intelligence had identifed the Cacertian fleet movements within three days of the Center Fleet and Southern Fleet moving west towards Andria, which was then relayed to Rajcevski whom was preparing to set sail. Despite his private reservations Rajcevski sailed south anyway, mostly likley recognizing this as Syara's only real chance to deliver a crushing blow to the Cacertian Royal Navy. Rajcevski banked his success on the hope he could pick apart the Cacertian fleet bit by bit and make use of his fast ships to avoid a pitched engagement where Cacertian gunnery skills and armor gave them a significant advantage.
Although Syara had built up a massive fleet in just under two decades, the Syaran fleet lagged behind the Cacertians in a number of fields including gunnery, damage control, and coordiantion. The only real advantage the Syarans had was in torpedoes; Syaran models were considered superior to Cacertian versions due to their longer range, higher speed, and better mechanical reliability. Firing volleys of torpedoes from destroyers and cruisers became a major mainstay of Syara naval tactics.
Order of battle
The Cacertian force was commanded by the Royal Navy's Grand Admiral, Andrea Doria, and was split into three sections. The Royal Navy's Center Fleet, with which she sailed, formed the main force and consisted of twenty battleships and four battlecruisers. The battleships were formed up into two sections of ten ships that were further subdivided into divisions of five. Accompanying them were eight heavy cruisers, eight cruisers, four light cruisers, and thirty destroyers.
Cacerta's South Fleet sailed with the Center Fleet from the Cacertian Isles commanded by Eugenia Davion. Most of her battleships had been reassigned to the North Fleet and, as a result of their faster speed and maneuverability, they provided the reconnaissance for the Cacertians during the battle. Eugenia's force consisted of two fast battleships, eight battlecruisers, six heavy cruisers, and eight cruisers.
The thirty-two ship fleet stationed at Andria formed the third part of the Cacertian force. Under the command of Ulisse Barbato, the Andria Fleet consisted of six battleships, four heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and twenty destroyers.
The Syaran fleet consisted of ten main clusters, for a total of 93 ships including 18 battleships, 8 battlecruisers, 11 heavy cruisers, 14 cruisers, and 42 destroyers.
The Cacertian Fleet under the command of Andrea Doria reached Andria on 20 November 1935, at which point the Syaran fleet was still between Siduri and Springstile and steaming south at 25 knots. The Cacertians at this point were uncertain which route the Syarans would take towards Andria; a more western route past Nalaya's island holdings approximately 300 kilometers off the Nalayan coast, or skirt between Nalaya and the islands and approach from the North-east rather than directly north. It wasn't until the Nalayan passenger steamer Inshallah radioed it's sighting of the Syaran forward picket that the Cacertian intelligence circuit within Nalaya informed the Cacertian fleet admiralty of the Syaran movements. Recognizing that the Syarans were approaching from the north-east, Doria ordered her fleet to set sail to intercept the Syarans. Doria employed the bulk of Eugenia Davion's South Fleet as a force in recon to attempt to identify the Syaran fleet first, at which point the Andria fleet and the Central Fleet would form a pincer on the Syarans, aiming to annihilate the enemy force in full.
The Cacertians left Andria on the 21st and made for Nalaya. Just as the fleet was leaving, the meteorolgy station on Andria informed the fleet that a major storm front was moving in from the north, leading Doria to dryly comment that the Syarans had brought the storm with them to even the odds. Doria decided to commit to battle anyway, and steamed north-east.
Rajcevski had spread out his fleet over a wide expanse, nearly forty miles, by the time he entered the Sabri Sea. Rajcevski had planned to engage in a defeat-in-detail operation in which his clusters would identify and isolate the Cacertian fleet elements piece by piece. Rajcevski believed if he could inflict enough damage on the Cacertian fleet Doria would be forced to withdraw rather than risking too much of the Cacertian surface fleet in a single engagement so far away from Cacertian home waters.
It wasn't until late evening on 22 November that the Cacertians and Syarans finally made contact about 200 miles northeast of Andria. Davion's Southern Fleet made contact with the Syaran forward Cluster at approximately 16:45, when the crows nest on the battlecruiser Esmeralda Messineo spotted the Syaran Slocova-class destroyer Ardent Piety. Davion's two fast battleships, the Rossana Lamalfa and the Pamela Triolo were well within range and began firing on the Syaran ships while Davion informed Doria of her contact with the Syaran recon picket. At around 17:15 Davion recognized that her fleet was sailing towards the Syarans at an angle of roughly 20 degrees, thus her fleet would be within sight of the Syaran's full broadside before all her own guns could be brought to bear on the Cluster. Davion ordered her fleet to adjust heading further north-east so as to run almost parallel to the Syarans, hoping to take advantage of the superior range of her main guns on the fast battleships and battlecruisers. At approximately 17:30 the Syaran Forward Cluster suddenly turned hard to starboard and began sailing right for the South Fleet. The action momentarily stunned Davion and the Cacertians, whom saw the action as suicidal; the Syarans would be facing the full firepower of the Cacertian Fleet while the Syarans would only be able to fire their forward guns. Davion deduced the logic shortly afterwards; it was late in the afternoon and the Cacertian fleet was becoming silhouetted against the setting sun while the Syaran cluster was becoming increasingly enshrouded in darkness. The Forward Cluster, commanded by Senior Captain Milen Zdravkov Zaikov, hoped to take advantage of the situation and inflict serious damage on the South Fleet before disengaging.
The Cacertians still enjoyed a considerable advantage in firepower for the time being however, and at 17:36 scored the first hit of the battle when the battlecruiser Carolina Arco scored a direct hit on the RS Rising Spirit. With the Rising Spirit spewing flames the lead Syaran destroyers unleashed a wave of torpedoes against the South Fleet, forcing the main body of Cacertian battleships and cruisers to turn sharply to prevent a collision. None of the torpedoes hit, but at 17:43 the Cacertian cruiser Antelmo Cisco was hit twice by shells from the RS Unity of Effort. By now the Syarans had closed the range gap and Zaikov ordered a hard turn north to bring about the full firepower of his battle cluster. One of the Syaran ships, the Sarhadi-class cruiser Seeker of Glory, did not receive the order, possibly because it could not see the signal lamps, possibly due to the fire from the Rising Spirit (The Syarans were still under radio silence to avoid giving away their position). The Seeker of Glory did not realize it's mistake until 18:10 at which point it was less than 10 miles from the South Fleet's rear guard composed of the Cacertian destroyers Modica, Chieti, and Sanreno. After briefly engaging the rear guard ,during which it inflicted minor damage on the Modica, it abruptly reversed course and headed east.
Hoping to pull away the South Fleet towards the main Syaran body the Forward Cluster began sailing back east while keeping within range of the Cacertian ships. By 18:30 the setting sun was proving to be a hindrance for the Cacertians who had increasing difficulty targeting the Syaran ships, while the Syarans were able to use the backdrop of the sun to zero in on the Cacertian fleet. Both sides exchanged damage. The RS Sanctuary and Unity of Effort suffered direct hits, while the Cacertian battlecruiser Sofornia Talone and fast battleship Pamela Triolo were were hit. With nightfall imminent both sides broke contact, neither willing to entertain a night battle. The Forward Cluster pivoted further south, eventually linking back up with the Seeker of Glory around 18:50. The South Fleet slowed to a crawl and turned north, still on the lookout for the Syaran main body. The night passed with little incident as Doria attempted to reconstitute her fleets with what information she had, but by early morning on the 23rd the Cacertians still did not know the location of the Syarans.
Actions on 23 November
Neither side had a clear idea of the other's intentions as dawn broke on 23 November. Doria redeployed the South Fleet further south to continue to scope out and shadow the Syaran Forward Cluster, which was now nearly 75 miles from the rest of the Syaran body at around 05:30. Doria reoriented the Andria fleet further north, hoping to still pincer the Syaran body once it had been located while she sailed further east. At around 07:25 the Cremona spotted the RS Bloodied Spirit and opened fire at extreme range, but failed to score any hits. Doria reoriented her Center Fleet upon this news, and recalled the South Fleet to regroup and continue to probe what she believed would be the perimeter of the Syaran body. Intermediate clashes between the two sides throughout the morning. At 08:40 the first vessel was sunk; the Vechad-class destroyer Colossus was hit by shellfire from the HMS Lucrezia Quintilian; the impact detonated the rear magazine and the explosion ruptured the hull leading to the ship sinking in less than three minutes. Out of a compliment of 236 officers and men only four were picked up by the Cacertians.
Following the loss of the Colossus Rajcevski ordered the main body to swing south while being screened by Beta Cluster. Rajcevski hoped to keep leading the Center Fleet south while Gamma and Epsilon Clusters would reverse course and intercept the Andria Fleet further north and defeat it in detail, at which point the focus could be put on disrupting the Center Fleet. Still shadowing Beta Cluster, which she believed was the main body Doria ordered the South Fleet to intercept. Davion gave up pursuit of the Forward Cluster and swung around, attempting to intersect with the movement of the Syarans. But Cacertian coordination was inaccurate; Doria believed she was shadowing the Beta Cluster which was 30-35 miles away and sailing directly south, but at 10:30 Senior Captain Vasko Langov ordered a "mad rush" south-west to cut across the lane of Center Fleet. Beta Cluster, which had only the faster Zovahr-class battleships and not the Galania-class, was able to slip over the Center Fleet and position itself to the west of where South Fleet was expecting to find the Syarans. Meanwhile the Forward Cluster had at this point turned around (not pushing east as Davion had expected) and was now pursuing South Fleet.
At 11:20 Davion found her lead ships suddenly being engaged by Beta Cluster, over 45 miles west of where she was expecting to meet them. Shellfire from the Syaran cruisers Absolute Savior and Ascendant Justice delivered significant damage to the fast battleship Rossana Lamalfa, while the battlecruiser Carolina Arco was hit below the waterline and began to list at 11 degrees to port. Just as the Cacertians were maneuvering to bring their firepower to bear on the Syarans, the Forward Cluster was sighted to the south and began opening fire. Captain Zaikov, aboard the Unity of Effort, was now in position to fire on the South Fleet while most of it's focus was on Beta Cluster.
Under withering fire from two Syaran battle clusters Davion quickly ordered an escape and signaled for the fleet to sail north-east and attempt to re-unite with the Center Fleet. Under heavy Syaran gunfire the South Fleet took numerous hits, the most cataclysmic resulting in the sinking of the destroyer Imola, which was hit by four Syaran 13 inch shells. The resulting explosion split the ship in half and she went down with all hands. By now the Lucrezia Quintilian, which had been hit thrice and was hemorrhaging oil, gave the order to withdraw and began laying down a smoke screen in an effort to conceal the movement of the South Fleet. By 12:50 the South Fleet had managed to slip by the Syaran clusters and was steaming north-east towards Center Fleet. Captain Zaiko ordered a pursuit, hoping to continue to hound South Fleet but Captain Langov of Beta Cluster refused to follow suit. Langov defended his decision by stating he believed the Syarans would not reach South Fleet before escaping Center Fleet, but with it's heavy damage it would have been difficult for South Fleet to outrun the Syarans in time to return to the protection of Center Fleet before losing several ships in the process. The decision to avoid pressing the attack would go down as Syara's biggest missed chance to score a victory in the Sabri Sea.
After failing to engage the South Fleet for much longer the Syaran Forward and Beta Cluster moved south and then swung back north to avoid the reconnaissance efforts of the Central Fleet. Rajcevski meanwhile had spent much of the mid-day attempting to isolate the Andria Fleet, but Admiral Barbato had stayed too close to Center Fleet for the Syarans to risk a confrontation. By 14:00 Rajcevski was back in contact with Forward and Beta Cluster, placing the Syarans roughly 70-100 miles north of the Cacertian main body. Both sides had thus far suffered only minor losses, but the heavy damage done to South Fleet had worried the Cacertians, whom now feared they could be picked apart by the mobile Syaran forces. At approximately 15:20 a Cacertian seaplane identified the movement of the Syaran fleet to the north and transmitted the information back to Doria, whom ordered the Cacertian fleets to sail north. By 17:00 however the major storm front that the Cacertians had been informed of rolled in from the north. Amid 50 foot high waves and turbulent weather Davion wanted to return to port, but Doria refused, arguing they needed to continue action against the Syarans less they let the Syaran fleet slip away. Doria's rank won through and the Cacertian fleet sailed north, but amid the raging storm speed had to be cut down to just 5 knots and the fleets coordination quickly dissipated. Throughout the night the Cacertians attempted to sail north in spite of the ferocious weather, on more than one occasion a ship narrowly avoided capsizing amid the waves. Visibility within the fleet was down to less than 200 meters, not helped by the lack of moonlight and the constant waves.
By 05:00 on 24 November, after a nightmarish and turbulent period of darkness, the Cacertians steadily moved north, still uncertain the exact disposition of the Syaran fleet. The inclement weather had still not subsided; rainfall continued throughout the morning and visibility was just a few hundred meters, but the waves were calmer and the fleet was steadily becoming more cohesive. Doria was still in the process of reorgnaizing the Center, South, and Andria Fleet when the battlecruiser Zanita Testo radioed in contact with the Syaran fleet. Over the next thirty minutes more and more reports came in, at increasingly close ranges, until it became clear that the Cacertians had stumbled into the Syaran fleet, itself which had been caught up in the storm. In staggered, uneven lines the two fleets began to engage one another, their carefully planned tactics and strategies abandoned in the chaos of battle.
The exact order of events for the main fleet action is difficult to catalog since both fleets were thrown into disarray by the sudden confrontation. Heavy fog limited visibility on both sides and often led to complex maneuver becoming impossible, and in several cases ships engaged one another at point blank range. In some cases the exact fates of certain ships are unknown or can only be pieced together by composite information from other sources. Once the scope of the engagement became clear, Rajcevski ordered Beta and Gamma Cluster to swing east and attempt to outflank what he thought was the edge of the Cacertian fleet, while attempting to disengage the main body from the entaglement. Doria meanwhile ordered the 1st and 2nd Battleship divisions to engage the Syaran Forward Cluster while the 2nd Battle Squadron was ordered to steam to the north-east and attempt to form a solid line running east-west to bring as much firepower to bear on the Syaran main body.
At 06:25 Senior Captain Zaiko of the Forward Cluster ordered his ships to advance and close the distance between themselves and the 1st Battle Squadron. When Captain Dejan Mitreski of the High Devotion pointed out that the Cluster would not last long against the Cacertian battleships, Zaiko agreed but commented "at least we'll take some of them with us". Upon seeing the Syaran ships closing in, Division Admiral Martino Calbi aboard the HMS Adriana Acciaioli ordered the 1st Battleship Division to disperse to avoid Syaran torpedoes, preventing the Division from bringing it's full firepower to bear. The Unity of Effort took charge, targetting the Amika Carpio, the heaviest Cacertian ship in the fleet and the flagship of Grand Admiral Doria. The two capital ships squared off at a range of nearly 15 miles, exchanging gunfire despite extremely poor visibility that resulted in multipe misses. The rest of the Forward Cluster attempted to split the 1st Battle Squadron, knowing that be eliminating the Cacertian battleships they would seriously even the odds between the two fleets. The rapid advance of the Unity of Effort, combined with the poor visibility meant the Cacertian flagship was largely alone to deal with the Syaran battleship.
The Forward Cluster was now bearing down on the 1st Battle Squadron, engaging many of the Cacertian battleships that formed the core of the Center Fleet. To the east of the Forward Cluster, Alpha Cluster with the flagship Sentinel of Peace began firing on elements of the 2nd Battle Squadron, while further east Beta and Gamma Cluster continued to try to circumvent the Cacertian battline, but were intercepted by the 2nd Cruiser Squadron and the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron. Delta and Epsilon Cluster swung west, against the bulk of the 1st Cruiser Squadron while Kappa, Itoa, Psi, and Omnicron Clusters engaged the South and Andria Fleets. What had been envisioned by both sides as a grandoise battle of maneuver had rapidly descended into a slugfest between hundreds of thousands of steel on each side.
Although the Unity of Effort had advanced largely unopposed save for the Amika Carpio, the rest of the ships of the Forward Cluster found themselves under whithering fire from the 1st Battle Squadron. At 07:00 the Rising Spirit was hit by three shells from the Lisabetta Bendetti; the hopelessly outclassed destroyer sank beneath the waves in less than ten minutes, taking most of its crew with it. The flagship of the 1st Battleship Division, the Adriana Acciailio found itself under fire from the battlecruiser Resolute Absolution and cruiser Seeker of Glory. With support from the Romigi Fiesi the two Cacertian battleships concentrated fire on the Seeker of Glory, landing more than a dozen direct hits on the cruiser and reducing it to a burning wreck that slipped beneath the surface at 07:23. Syaran vengeance was quick and viscious however; at 07:35 the Resolute Absolution scored a direct hit on the Adriana Acciaillo 's bridge, killing Captain Madelena Vitelli. Three more hits below the waterline caused the Adriana to list dangerously to her port side; only the rapid invtervenion of the Lisabetta Benedetti saved the stricken Cacertian battleship from further damange.
The rest of the Forward Cluster struggled against the 2nd Battleship Division despite the poor conditions. At 07:40 the Nemtya-class cruiser Devotion scored a direct hit on the Onorino Panzarella and followed it up with a torpedo strike on the Anzola Accora, but both ships remained afloat. At around 07:55 the flagship of the the 2nd Battleship Division, the Lisa Firavanti scored multiple direct hits on the Devotion, detonating it's rear magazine and sending it's only rear turret skyrocketing on a pillar of flames. Captain Muziano Adduci, commanding the Tolomeo Geardino noted that the Devotion "...seemed to settle in the water, it's stern completely gone with the aft hull simply fading off into smoke and scattered steel, until the vessel quietly slid underwater and did not return".
Alpha Cluster at this point had arrived to reinforce the Forward Cluster and found itself engaging the bulk of the 2nd Battle Squadron. Recognizing the Sentinel of Peace as the flagship of the Syaran fleet, Division Admiral Lucia Sanudo ordered the 3rd Battleship Division to engage while Rear Admiral Piero Mauroceno attempted to flank the cluser with the 4th Battleship Division. Heavy gunfire from the Syaran battleship, backed up by the cruisers Sacred Promise, Radiant Perception and the Paragon proved devestating; the Azalia D'Orio recieved a direct hit which blew off Turret I, and the Stella Acordolo suffered a magazine detonation that miraculously did not breach the hull, but the ensuing fire engulfed the deck. Recognizing the impact, the 4th Battleship Division attempted to bring about it's firepower on Alpha Cluster but torpedo strikes by the Cluster's destroyer contingent forced the 4th to evade and temporarily remove themselves from the fight. At around 08:30 the Syaran cruisers Paragon and Righteous Fervor fired off torpedoes that forced the 3rd Battleship Division to evade, but the Azalia D'Orio continued on it's course, refusing to move and continued it's advance on the Sacred Promise. The Sacred Promise suffered two direct hits which damaged much of the superstructure, but in retaliation the Syaran battlecruiser struck back and destroyed two of the Cacertian battleships 405mm guns. In pressing her attack on the Sacred Promise, Captain Aurelia Grimani had exposed her battleship to the Sentinel of Peace, which unleashed it's full broadside on the Azalia. Captain Grimani would later state in her memiors that the impact caused the ship to rock on its axis towards the starboard side, which it remained for a few seconds before righting itself.
Realizing their flagship was essentially on her own, the Agnesina Calco and the Desdemona Di Tommaso surged forward to her assistance. Unable to get a good shot on the Sentinel of Peace, the two battleships targetted the destroyer Heavenly Resolve, which was hit four times below the waterline and sank in less than ten minutes, foundering at 08:55. Although outgunned by the two Cacertian battleships the heavy cruiser Radiant Perception moved forward to meet them, firing off a torpedo volley that forced the Agnesia to take evasive maneuvers. Despite taking 2 direct hits by the Desdemona that tore off her forward most turret, the Radiant Perception scored another decapitating Syaran strike by destroying the bridge of the Desdemona and killing Captain Vincenzo Palmio. Another torpedo strike hit the Desdemona and she started to list sharply to port; only the fervent and hasty actions by her damage control team kept her afloat.
Eager to remove the Azalia D'Orio from the crucible, Captain Grimani ordered her ship to turn around, hoping to slim down her profile to gunfire from the Sentinel of Peace. She was unable to avoid a hit to her aft that destroyed one of her 105mm RN-DPVI Dual-Purpose Guns, more troubling was the pillar of black smoke that was soon erupting from her, providing another target for Syaran gunners. By now the 3rd Battleship Division was in tatters and disorganized; her flagship was badly mauled and under ferocious fire, the Stella Acordolo was burning hard, and the Desdemona was in danger of sinking. In an effort to take fire off the flagship the Lucerzia D'Este began sailing towards her, training her guns on the still burning Radiant Perception. She scored a direct hit on the heavy cruiser below the waterline, but the shell failed to detonate. By now the Agnesina Calco had recovered from her maneuvers and began firing on the Sentinel of Peace. The Syaran flagship suffered two hits and minor damange only, but it was enough to distract Syaran attention from the still smoking Azalia D'Orio.
By now the Cacertian flagship had executed her turn and was attempting to steam away from the fight, to regroup further south before returning to fight. Just as Camptain Grimani ordered a further turn south, the battlecruiser Sacred Promise fired off a torpedo at the Azalia, which impacted at the stern right at the base of the turbines. The resulting explosion tore off three of the four propellers for the Azalia, while the fourth was rendered inoperable. The mighty batttleship continued to move south briefly on its own momentum before intertia ground it to a halt, and it was left essentially dead in the water, it's forward facing guns now useless in the battle. The Azalia took several more hits from the Sacred Promise, none of which penetrated below the waterline but reduced the deck to a burning wreck; by 09:25 the Cacertian battleship was incapable of further action and remained listless in the water.
Nearly 20 miles east Beta and Gamma Cluster had attempted to swing around and out flank the Cacertian main body but had been intercepted by the 2nd Cruiser Squadron under Division Admiral Matilde De Fiano. The initial engagement however went poorly for the Cacertians. The 2nd Heavy Cruiser Division found itself sailing north against the full broadside of Beta Cluster, which had been moving ahead of Gamma to try to draw away the Cacertian forward line and expose it to the heavy guns of Gamma's two battleships. First blood went to the Syarans when the Seeker of Truth scored a direct hit on the Turi Finelli, and two minutes later at 07:06 the Division Flagship Lorella De Lucia was hit by shells from the battlecruiser Absolute Savior. The Savior was in turn hit by fire from the Lorella, which blew off it's rear most turret. The Seeker of Truth, supported by the heavy cruiser Sublime Solace continued to hammer away at the 2nd Heavy Cruiser Division, scoring multiple direct hits. At 07:20 shellfire from Gamma Cluster began to join the fray. At 07:30 the Dino Montanino was hit by combined fire from the Forged in Fire and Pious Saint which erupted in a fireball that killed most of the men and women on the deck. She began to list heavily to port and at 07:45 the crew was given the order to scuttle her; she became first Cacertian ship to be scuttled during the battle.
By now the 2nd Cruiser Division was attmepting to undercut Gamma Cluster and help support the 2nd Heavy Cruiser Division. Torpedo volleys from the destroyers Hope and Truth, Breath of Mercy and Ardent Pilgrim warded off Cacertian cruisers briefly before they returned on line and began firing. At 07:33 two shells struck the Breath of Mercy, badly damaging her rudder and crippling her maneuverability. Unable to effectively steer the ship the Breath of Mercy began listing sharptly and moving south straight towards the approaching Argo Barba. Captain Isa Maneri originally thought the act was a bluff or a distraction and did not order her ship to change course until the Breath of Mercy was less than a mile out, at which point a collision was narrowly avoided. Amazingly the crew of stricken destroyer were able to redirect their ship back towards Syaran lines without taking any further damage, although at that point she was unable to return fire at all due to malfunctions in her fire control system.
Gamma Cluster now deviated from it's westward course to swing south to take on the 2nd Cruiser Division and unleashed a torrent of fire against the Syaran ships. Gamma Cluster was now caught in a precarious position, it's destroyer congintent was off their line and increasing space between the still sailing Beta Cluster threatened to leave Gamma alone to deal with the Cacertian squadron. Senior Captain Joakim Lozanchev ordered his two battleships, the Elegy for Erasmios and Forged in Fire to began pelting the approaching Cacertian division, knowing his superior guns could outmatch the Cacertian cruisers. Things went well for the Syarans at first, scoring hits on the Gildo Laudato and Versirate, the later which began was hit below the waterline and began to sink around 07:55, although it's slow rate meant most of the crew managed to escape before she went under an hour later.
To the surprise of the Syarans the undergunned Cacertian cruisers were soon joined by reinforcements from the 4th Battleship Division from 2nd Battle Squadron, whom had mistaken the Gamma Cluster for Alpha Cluster. Fire from the Daria Troise and Delfina Ballestra soon joined the fray, evening the odds. Things quickly went south for the Syarans afterwards. At 08:12 the Forged in Fire was hit thrice and began spewing smoke and fire from amidship. At roughly 08:20 her forward magazine exploded and blew off her forward most turrets. Sealing compartments managed to keep her afloat but by 08:45 it was clear the badly damanged battleship would not last longer; she was scuttled at 09:00.
With one battleship down Gamma Cluster began disengaging and withdrawing north, unable to keep up the fire against the Cacertian onslaught. Beta Cluster did not become aware of the withdrawal of Gamma until 09:15. Further disaster struck when the cruiser Ascendant Justice was hit at least twice by gunfire from the 2nd Heavy Cruiser Division. The Ascendant Justice soon became dead in the water and began to slowly list on her starboard until she was nearly capsized. Her slow rate of sinking meant that most of the crew was able to escape and gather on the overturned ship awaiting rescue. The Maga Scignano began to move closer to pick up survivors before the Ascendant Justice suddenly exploded. Captain Rosita D'Politano was watching the ship from her bridge just as it occurred:
She was burning from what had been the aft of the ship and nearly a thousand men were gathered on the overturned beam and bow, staring at us as we approached. We were maybe a kilometer off when suddenly a massive explosion erupted towards the aft of the ship, consuming more than half of the vessel in it's wake and smoke. Where there had been sailors calmly waiting there was now fire and a torrent of steam and shrapnel. Bits and pieces from the sailors began to rain down on our deck and I was forced to avert my eyes less I vomit in front of the crew.
By now Beta and Gamma cluster were in disarray, reeling from two violent explosions and down two ships. Further damage was inflicted when the destroyer Contrition was hit and sank courtesy of the Cacertian heavy cruisers. At 09:45 Senior Captain Lozanchev ordered his cluster to withdraw North, unable to handle the Cacertian guns. Beta Cluster followed shortly there after.
Clusters Delta, Epsilon, Kappa, Iota, Psi, and Omnicron had been directed west to attempt to take on the bulk fo the South and Andria Fleet but found themselves facing stiff resistance from the Cacertian left wing, which turned into the most destructive fighting of the battle.
Delta Cluster under the command of Senior Captain Davor Raguz had intended to cut south and outflank the 1st Battle Squadron but instead ended up engaged against the 1st Battlecruiser and Cruiser Squadrons. Raguz positioned his two battleships, the Zovahr-class Children of Gaia and the Galania-class Finite and Precious to fire upon the lead Cacertian ships while the heavy cruisder Bloodied Spirit backed up by the destroyers Epitaph, Defender, and Pinnacle moved in for a torpedo strike. Suddenly at 07:000 the Syaran ships came under heavy fire from the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron that had been sailing behind the 1st Cruiser Squadron and was now in range.
Fire from the Cacertian battlecruisers made it's impact almost immediately. At 07:05 the Defender was struck once amidship and exploded in a fireball that reduced the ship to a burning wreck; it remained afloat for almost an hour before capsizing but less than a quarter of the crew survived. The Bloodied Spirit was hit shortly thereafter from Cacertian shellfire. The Bloodied Spirit, wounded but still alive returned fire on the closest Cacertians ship, the cruiser Porro which was hit across the starboard bow and lost her forward turrets. With her bow engulfed in flames she turned around to try to escape the fire and inadvertently exposed herself to the Epitaph, which torpedoed the Cacertian cruiser. She foundered at about 07:20.
Fearful of being outflanked by Epsilon Cluster Rear Admiral Zanita Lamanna ordered the 1st Heavy Cruiser Division and 1st Light Cruiser Division to steam north-west and engage the Syaran ships. At around 07:30 the Syaran battleships Purity of Spirit and Dawn Under Heaven began to open fire on the approaching Cacertians. This time the roles were reversed; the Cacertians were outranged and needed to close the distance. The heavy volume of fire began to take it's toll; at 07:43 the light cruiser Trapini was hit by two shells from the Purity of Spirit and almost immediately went under. The heavy cruisers Elda Simonetti and Marzia Valeri began to return fire at extreme range, hoping to keep the heat off their lighter sister ships.
Things only got worse from their for the Cacertians. At 07:55 gunfire from the battlecruiser Incorruptible struck the Elda Simonetti; the resulting explosion tore through most of the upper deck and detonated a magazine that ruptured the forward turrets. An inferno quickly consumed much of the bow, and at 08:05 the crew was ordered to scuttle her after failing to control the fire. The Cacertians managed to fire back and even the score somewhat; at 08:15 the destroyer Defender and Cleasing Sacrifice were hit. The latter managed to squeeze off a torpedo that hit the Afrarme but the light cruiser remained afloat. Subsequent fire from the 1st Light Cruiser Division sank the Cleasing Sacrifice, which was lost with all hands.
Things went better for the Cacertians against Delta Cluster. At 08:00 shells from the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron struck and crippled the already wounded Bloodied Spirit. She began to capsize on her port side before foundering at 08:20, roughly half her crew going down with her. With the heavy cruiser gone the Cacertian Battlecruisers began to reorient themselves to fire on the Syaran battleships. At 08:15 the Finite and Precious was hit four times, losing her rear turret and began to turn east, trying to return the favor. Syaran return fire struck the battlecruisers Morena Quintilian and Zanita Testo, but in response the Finite and Precious was hit again, this time below the waterline courtesy of an 11 inch shell fired from the Veronica Quintilian. The Syaran battleship began to noticably list, and at 08:24 began to turn away and steam north, only to be hit twice by more Cacertian cannon fire. At around 08:30 the rear magazine detonated and the resulting explosion tore through the Finite and Precious; she began to roll on her starboard quarter and was midway through capsizing when she went under.
The sudden loss of a heavy cruiser and battleship stunned Senior Captain Raguz, who immediately ordered his cluster to fall back and steam north. In a bid to buy time the Syaran destroyers move forward to unleash another wave of torpedoes; in reponse the Pinnacle was hit almost immediately by the 1st Cruiser Division. But the torpedo strikes proved devestatingly effective; the Verovoli was stuck and almost immediately began to flood, forcing the crew to abandon ship after just 15 minutes. The Veronica Quintilian, which was still steaming north to confront the remaining Syaran battleship, was also struck. The explosion casued a minor explosion and jammed two of her guns, while also giving off a large pillar of smoke emitting from her port side near her anti-aircraft guns. From afar, Syaran gunners aboard the Children of Gaia zeroed in on the wounded battlecruiser and opened fire. Six shells hit the Veronica and destroyed most of her upper deck along the bow. She began to sink and foundered at 09:00.
Despite the losses inflicted the battle was clearly going poorly for the Syarans; at around 09:05 the Children of Gaia was hit twice by Cacertian battlecruiser fire and her forward guns were rendered inoperable. Raguz ordered the cluster to disengage at all costs and withdraw; once Epsilon Cluster was informed it too began to fall back, rather than risk fruther confrontation with the Cacertian battlecruisers.
Further west Kappa and Iota Cluster had begun to engage the South Fleet. From the get-go things went poorly for the Syarans. The destroyer Ardent Pilgrim was struck by cannon fire from the 3rd Battlecruiser Division and sank at 07:10. The battlecruiser Lawgiver answered back in support of the battleships Purveyor of Hope and Sacred Spoken Psalms, which engaged the 2nd and 3rd Battlecruiser Divisions. Unlike the engagements further east there were few complex maneuvers by either side; both forces had time to organize into battlelines and were engaged in largely orderly exchanges of fire. At 07:20 the Esmeralda Messineo was hit twice by the Syaran battleships and was forced to drop back for hasty repairs, but the Cacertians answered in kind by inflicting four hits on each battleship. By 07:50 the Sacred Spoken Psalms was begining to list noticeably. The crusier Unwavering Discipline managed to torpedo Socrate Caterina, but in turn was hit by gunfire from the Carolina Acro and was forced to withdraw.
At around 08:15 the Lawgiver suffered three direct hits amidship that obliterated her bridge and much of her superstucture. She remained afloat for nearly two hours as she burned, before slowly sinking at the bow and slipped below. She would be the only ship lost by Kappa Cluster, whom would also be the only Syaran force not to lose a destroyer. Heavy fire from the two Syaran battleships continued to harass the Cacertian Battlecruiser divisions, scoring hits on the Ventura Rovito, the Esmeralada Messineo and hte Sapiente Leo. Of these only the Ventura ended up sinking; at around 08:40 she was struck twice near the starboard quarter which ruptured her deck armor and caused her to sink by the stern; she went under at around 09:15. She was the only Cacertian ship sunk by Kappa Cluster.
Iota Cluster had a more rough engagement; originally misidentifying the 1st Intecepter Squadron as the 3rd Battlecruiser division the Syarans attempted to swing south-east and get behind the Cacertians, only to come under heavy fire from the Interceptors. Things went poorly at first, the cruiser Piety was struck five times and caught fire before it had even fired a shot. She sank around 07:25; just ten minutes later the destroyer Gallant was struck and suffered a catastrophic explosion as her main magazine detonated. She went down with all hands in less than a minute. Two Syaran battleships, the Guardian of Faith and the Shielded Spirit Unscathed returned fire and proved effective; two shells struck the Nadia Di'Netti and killed Captain Milo Nori; the ship went under approximately 30 minutes later after her hull had been breached beneath the waterline.
The Renzo Presta was also hit by the Syaran battleships but managed to score a direct hit on the Guardian of Faith which destroyed two of it's forward turrets, and causing a jam in another. The Shielded Spirit Unscathed was struck at 08:10 and began to list to starboard, at approximately 08:30 Iota Cluster began to withdraw under a shield of destroyer torpedo strikes. This proved moderately successful; the Faith and Spirit succesfully struck the Romilda Marisco, but while attempting to reunite with the rest of the cluster it was sunk by shellfire from the Ianira Agnello. The Romilda was nearly saved by hew crew, but after an hour of desperate action and arduous effort the ship had to be abandoned and it dissapeared under the waves at 09:32.
Cluster's Psi and Omnicron engaged the Andria Fleet, which also went poorly for the Syarans. At 07:15 the battlecruiser Rapid Salvation inadvertently was hit by a torpedo fired by the destroyer Tempest. Over the course of the next hour Psi Cluster came under increasingly accurate fire from Barbato's six battleships, resulting in the sinking of the Rapid Salvation at 08:10 after sustaining more than twenty hits. After losing the destroyer Preservation Omnicron Cluster was ordered to advance and attempt to shield the already badly damanged Psi Cluster from further Cacertian battleship fire. The result was a lopsided defeat for the Syarans, whom lost the destroyers Angel and Valiant, and the battleship Faithful and Fervent. By 09:00 the two Clusters were disengaging and retreating.
Loss of the Unity of Effort and Syaran retreat
Between 08:00 and 09:00 the two battleships Unity of Effort and the Amika Carpio had engaged each other directly and largely on their own, poor visibility and major actions all around serving to obstruct their confrontation. The two battleships had closed their distance to less than 5 miles and were firing away, but the fast movement of both ships meant that most shells missed their mark. At 08:15 the Unity of Effort managed to land two hits that destroyed the Amika's starboard anti-aicraft guns; a third impact minutes later destroyed two of her 150mm RN-SBI guns. The Amika returned the favor at around 08:24 when two round blew off the Syaran battleship's forward-most turret, creating a plume of smoke and flames that the Cacertian gunners zeroed in on. The Unity of Effort took three more hits from the 405mm guns of the Amika, but despite extensive damange to the superstructure remained afloat. The Amika suffered another hit that destroyed one of her 405mm turrets at 08:43, but six minutes later the Amika scored the decisive blow of the engagement. Two of her rounds penetrated the aft deck of the Unity of Effort just between her rear gun array and the superstructure, igniting the main magazine compartment. In her memoirs, Grand Admiral Andrea Doria described the scene:
The impact produced an almost instantaneous reaction. Suddenly a geyser of fire and sparks erupted from just behind amidship, which lasted for a few moments. Then suddenly her hull buckled, as though someone had lifted it up and then dropped it. The most vibrant and massive explosion I had ever bore witness to suddenly burst through the ship, engulfing everything aft of the bridge in a fireball that seemed to dwarf not only the ship but the vast ocean around us. When it finally began to dissapate [the Unity of Effort] was already sinking, her bow raised into the air at a sharp angle, plunging into the water below. Her remaining forward turret fired off a final salvo before she went down. This all occurred in less than thirty seconds, but to the crew it seemed like an eternity. There was no cheer or celebration amongst the bridge, too shocked by the violence of what we had witnessed to say anything.
Of her crew of 1,435, just six sailors aboard the Unity of Effort survived, all but one members of the bridge crew which had miraculously survived the explosion. Watch Officer Dario Pintar later commented:
We felt the sudden shock and it was as if a second sun had appeared behind us that quickly faded, and then the floor beneath us began to slide backwards. We saw the bow rise over thirty degrees into the air, and at that point we knew she was doomed. I turned to Captain Zaiko who was staring ahead, an empty expression on his face. He flatly told us to abandon ship and then remained seated, making no effort to leave the bridge as she went down. Myself and the others made our way to the entry way and managed to climb outside just as the water reached us. I jumped out and was nearly pulled under, but managed to paddle hard enough to reach the surface. She was gone by the time I managed to turn around.
Despite the poor weather and distance involved nearly every ship involved in the battle noticed the destruction of the Unity of Effort. By this point in the battle the situation had turned completely against the Syarans; they had lost four battleships five cruisers, and nearly a quarter of her destroyers. By 09:30 all but Alpha and Beta Cluster were in retreat, and at 09:40 Fleet Admiral Rajcevski ordered the Syaran fleet to retreat. The disorganized route was made possibly only by the equally disorganized Cacertians, whom themselves were heavily damaged; 13 of their battleships had recieved heavy damage, 13 cruisers of all types had been sunk, and their fleets were intermixed and confused. Once it began clear that the Syarans were retreating, Grand Admiral Doria ordered a pursuit, but the Cacertians were in poor shape to do so. By 10:30 Rear Admiral Letta Crivelli had finally gathered 25 battleships and cruisers in good enough order to commence a pursuit, but they were already behind by the time they set out.
The Syarans, badly mauled, were reatreating straight for friendly waters and did not engage in any complex maneuvers. This made them vulnerable, but also cut down on their time, and by 11:45 the Cacertians were losing sight of the Syaran fleet. Letta continued to press her force forward, but was keenly aware she was on the verge of losing the Syarans. At 12:05 however she regained contact, but not in the manner she expected. The heavily damaged destroyer Triumphant Thunder, leaking oil, her engines weak and unable to keep pace with the rest of the Syaran fleet, had turned around and was steaming straight towards the Cacertian battlegroup. It opened fire with it's only operational turret at 12:10, failing to land any hits and was sunk by shells from the Lisa Firavanti. Crivelli commented to her bridge crew that the destroyer was "The bravest little ship I had ever seen". Despite Cacertian efforts they had lost contact with the Syarans by 13:10 and the battelgroup was ordered to reunite with the main fleet, on the off chance the Syarans itended to swing around for another go. It never occurred, and the Syarans returned to Syara on 30 November.
Aftermath and outcome
The Syaran defeat at the Sabri Sea effectively eneded any chance the Inner Sphere had at turning the tide of the war on the open waters. While losses on both sides were heavy, the Syarans had lost much of their heavy tonnage, where as most of the Cacertian losses fell on their older and outdated cruisers. The loss of so many Syaran capital ships was a blow to Syaran morale, already low after failed offensive in Quenmin and Tennai. The Cacertians on the other hand celebrated a massive victory with the rest of the Common Axis, which validated Cacertian dominance of the seas in the face of potential challengers. Despite the crushing tactical victory, the srategic outcome was something akin to a stalmate; the Syaran Navy remained confined to Syaran waters and the Sundering Sea, never again venturing out south towards Andria while the Cacertian fleet did not attempt any major operations towards Syara for the rest of the war, wary of tangling with Syaran bombers so close to the Syaran homeland.
Syaran losses amounted to 4 battleships, 2 battlecruisers, 1 heavy cruiser, 5 cruisers, and 16 destroyers in addition to 19,895 crew members and officers. Cacertian losses were one battlship, two battlecruisers, three heavy cruisers, five cruisers, four light cruisers, and twelve destroyers.
Syaran losses were as follows
- Unity of Effort (Makedon-class battleship)
- Faithful and Fervent (Makedon-class battleship)
- Forged in Fire (Galania-class battleship)
- Finite and Precious (Galania-class battleship)
- Lawgiver (Moddra-class battlecruiser)
- Rapid Salvation (Moddra-class battlecruiser)
- Bloodied Spirit (Kylacky-class heavy cruiser)
- Seeker of Glory (Sarhadi-class cruiser)
- Devotion (Nemtya-class cruiser)
- Ascendant Justice (Nemtya-class cruiser)
- Valorous Salvation (Nemtya-class cruiser)
- Piety (Sarhadi-class cruiser)
- Penance (Slocova-class destroyer)
- Glorious Retribution (Slocova-class destroyer)
- Resplendent Hope (Slocova-class destroyer)
- Rising Spirit (Lira-class destroyer)
- Cleansing Sacrifice (Lira-class destroyer)
- Heavenly Resolve(Vechad-class destroyer)
- Colossus (Vechad-class destroyer)
- Contrition (Vechad-class destroyer)
- Gallant (Vechad-class destroyer)
- Faith and Spirit (Vechad-class destroyer)
- Triumphant Thunder (Lira-class destroyer)
- Defender (Jisova-class destroyer)
- Pinnacle (Jisova-class destroyer)
- Preservation (Jisova-class destroyer)
- Angel (Jisova-class destroyer)
- Valiant (Jisova-class destroyer)
Cacertian losses were as follows
- Azalia D'Orio
- Veronica Quintilian
- Elda Simonetti
- Orsino Doro
- Arstride Farino
- Dino Montanino
- Ventura Rovito
- Milo Nori
- Romilda Marisco
- Zaneta Marin
- Andriana Tiepolo
The Battle of the Sabri Sea was the largest clash of battleships in the history of Tyran. Almost immediately after the battle it entered into the lore of the Cacertian Royal Navy as one of the navy's finest moments. The Sabri Sea is largely remembered as the last great clash of battleships before the aircraft carrier came to dominate naval warfare. While subsequent major naval battles would occur throughout the Great War, the Sabri Sea remains one of the most cited and discussed naval battles in history. The anniversary of the battle is celebrated within the Cacertian Navy to this day, and several books, films, and theater productions have been based around or inspired by the battle.
Most of the wrecks of the battle lay at a depth greater than 2 kilometers under water. Many of the wrecks were discovered by oceanographer Dr. Iwao Harada of Akashi’s Hirakawa University, who between 1992-1996 mapped most of the battle site and identified more than 35 wrecks.