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OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

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OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Sir Arthur Wellesley on Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:00 am

[This is where the action for the Naval Landing Parties will take place, and later establishing a second crossing point with 3rd Division of the Army. All other threads can be found at the Battle Index.]

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  sans nom on Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:17 pm

"There," Chandos said in a low voice, "Those are the Defiance boats. Take us in after them, Torrington." The order was hardly necessary; it was obvious that the captain's boat ahead of them was already pulling for the same inlet.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Tom Oxley on Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:35 pm

Oxley wasn't quite sure why he'd been included in the shore-going party, but he wasn't complaining. He just sat in the middle of the boat, trying to stay out of the way of the sailor sitting on his left, who was rowing. He twisted round a little to see where they were heading for, but couldn't see anything much. It looked like there was some sort of inlet or something, which was where the captain's boat was headed.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  sans nom on Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:50 pm

"Quit fidgetin'," Seward grumbled before Chandos again called for silence. The boats were crammed to the gunwales with seamen and marines, even young ones like the drummer. It was less than ideal for the men at the oars, but they were nearing the shore now, at last.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Tom Oxley on Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:54 pm

"'M sorry," Oxley muttered, putting a hand up to adjust his hat. There wasn't far to go now, and all the boats were converging on a small pebbly beach that didn't look big enough to hold all the boats, as far as Oxley could see. Though they seemed to be managing to squeeze them all in, so he was probably wrong. Or the officers had some trick up their sleeve to manage it.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  sans nom on Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:02 pm

The captain's boat landed first. Chandos' boat was now coming in parallel with a cutter from the Defiance, captained by a sleepy looking lieutenant who nevertheless had a steel-sharp tongue. The boats were close enough to hear each other's words, and he called out "Not another word, damn you, Oxley" in a harsh but low voice.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Tom Oxley on Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:08 pm

"I never..." Oxley began, and twisted round. It hadn't been Chandos' voice, and it had come from behind him. It sounded too much like an officer's voice for it to be one of the sailors, but who else knew he was there?

One of the sailors in the nearest of Defiance's boats looked familiar, but Oxley had seen enough sailors who looked like his brother in the four years since Sam had been pressed... Yet there was that curious fact of the name. He couldn't see which sailor had been addressed, though.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  sans nom on Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:10 pm

"Quit fidgetin', I said!" Seward hissed under his breath.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:03 pm

De Guarde sat squeezed in with the other Jack Tars, his feet pulled up though rather amazingly feeling as if they had more space that the men to his side and front. It was his first landing for a very long time and so it felt more exciting than it should have felt frightening. He'd been unable to spot all the ships that joined in disembarkation but the boats were aplenty and more were coming to offer a hand.

There was a good deal of distance now, between them and the Terpsichore, which was left to be manned with a greatly decreased number of men. Putting his weight in with the others there were no complaints heard from the boy. There had been curious glances but for the most part he concentrated on what he ought to have been doing. It wasn't shouting, or standing at the front, or giving orders.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  sans nom on Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:22 pm

At least they had not been the first boats in. They were in range of the muskets now, the ones they had been hearing for some time, but the marines from the first boats were already lined up on the beach firing back. Most of the men at the oars were old hands who were used to this sort of thing, heading for danger without even being able to turn and look at it, but a few of them grew sloppy in their rowing. "Keep pulling, men! De Guarde, take his oar."

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Harry Quinn (Retired) on Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:43 pm

"Sit still, there. Oxley, if that's you fidgetin' like an eel, I'll have you practisin' standing still for a watch when we get back," Quinn growled softly, seeing one of the Marines twisting round to look at the boat from Defiance.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Tom Oxley on Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:47 pm

"Aye, aye, Sar'nt," Oxley muttered, subsiding. He couldn't have imagined it, could he? It wasn't like it was a common name, after all. He hunched his shoulders a little at the musket fire, hoping he was going to come out of this, hoping that, if it was his brother, that they'd be able to meet up, though chances of that happening were slim.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:48 pm

"Aye, sir." There was a bit of shuffling as he took the slumped man's place. He thought he had just been tired and lax in the rowing, till he saw the man's face.

De Guarde had gained some muscle since he'd dropped from the comfort of the officer's mess, though nowhere near as much as the ol' Tars that kept silent but for an occasional gasp, a grunt of effort or a muttered curse as one man had let the oar come down too quickly and splashed another. The danger was coming nearer, though some of it had already shown its dark face and given harm.

"Watch it, Stokes!" Snapped one such Jack Tar, with the other responding with nothing further than a shrug before his weight was set into it again. The nerves were strung tight for some men, knowing well that they were heading into danger and possible death, and the sounds of musket fire only confirmed it. A bullet whizzed past, took a chip of the edge of the boat and landed harmlessly in the water some time later.

Sound travelled easy across the sea's surface, both the sound of rifles and yells. But the reprimind of the drummer boy caught only a little attention by the young Tar. Just like Oxley to be fidgeting away!

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  sans nom on Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:33 pm

They could hear Bush's voice calling "Terpsichores to me!" amidst the noise that now seemed almost chaotic on the beach. Lieutenant Cartwright already had his marines making ready. He was obviously much more competent than Brandeson had ever been. The men in Kinsella's boat had also joined Bush's party. "In bows," Chandos called as they neared the landing. "Way enough."

"Oars, De Guarde," hissed the man behind the lad. "Up yours." It was a command rather than an insult.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Jun 26, 2009 8:51 pm

Oars came up on command, the men of some of the neighbouring boats were already running onto the coast, some stumbling as they regained their land legs, all following the officer that held command over them.

De Guarde struggled with the heavy oar, at last managing to place it in the upright position. "...Shut it." He snapped back at the man, with his voice strained.

The marines were out there joining in ranks. Quick and efficient, even if the land they crossed wasn't as even and straight as the parade grounds or those of the ship's deck. And they needn't sway side to side with the roll of the ship either, to keep the feeling of standing upright, unmoving!

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  sans nom on Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:32 pm

"Boat your oar," the same man whispered, as all oars were laid into the boat except his. The bowmen and stroke oarsmen were checking the way clear and hauling alongside

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Tom Oxley on Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:47 pm

Could it be his brother in the other ship's boat? The sailors from it were pulling out ropes and weapons and all sorts of other things, and he couldn't stare at them without being reprimanded for it. He contented himself with short, quick glances, but the sailors seemed determined to keep their backs to him. And he thought Sam would have changed enough after four years at sea to make recognising him from behind very difficult.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Mathew De Guarde on Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:56 pm

The oar nearly had the top of one of the front Tar's heads, when it was in the process of being laid into the boat. The boy sighed in relief. All thought of Oxley having gotten a warning by two sources, left his mind for the time though not before he had grinned at what teasing the youth would receive once they were back aboard! Can't sit in one place! All squirming. Like an eel! There he was, stealing glances at another boat. Was he unable to wait for them to disembark? Couldn't be wanting to make friends when they were meant to fight side by side, just then.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Tom Oxley on Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:31 pm

The Marines were beginning to disembark now, standing and moving forward to jump from the boat's bows into the shallow water before quickly moving up to form up, though whether they would be able to keep the smart military formation as they moved towards their target was another matter entirely.

Oxley scrambled out of the boat, feeling in the way and not needed. Cartwright might want him to run messages or something, though, and he fell in in his usual place as a drummer would, though he hadn't got his drum with him. He was wearing his drummer's sword, though, and glanced nervously at Quinn's reassuringly broad shoulders as he organised the men.

He still hadn't seen his brother's face - if it even was his brother.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Richard Bolitho on Sat Jun 27, 2009 8:58 am

As the boat reached the beach, Bolitho leapt out of it at once, splashing through the water as he ran up onto the sand. He saw the Marines forming ranks, which gave him confirmation that Cartwright seemed to have a good handle on things. In truth, all of the crew seemed to have a good handle on things, it appeared. Bush was nearby, shouting to his landing party. Bolitho drew his sword and turned to his own party.

"Come on men, let's show 'em what Terpsichores can do!" he called out.

Then he began to make his way across the beach towards Bush's party, dodging several musket balls as he went.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  sans nom on Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:01 am

"To the captain!" Chandos called as his men jumped out of the boat. They ran with a yell, eager as always to show the French what the Terpsys could do, but also jealously proud of their ship's reputation in front of the other crews from the squadron.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:37 am

Oxley was going to stick with Sergeant Quinn and Captain Cartwright, come hell or high water. He glanced at Defiance's boat's crew, hoping to confirm his hope that his brother was there, but he didn't see him. Hopefully he'd see him later. Maybe...

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  sans nom on Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:53 am

"Bolitho, take your men around the south wall with Mr. Deverell!" someone shouted - a man in a heavily ornamented admiral's coat. "Bennett, your men to the north!" As he continued shouting instructions, a group of the Defiances moved to join the Terpsichores.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Tom Oxley on Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:04 am

Oxley stayed with Sergeant Quinn, wondering just what use he was going to be, not carrying a musket or anything. He could run messages, at least. That was probably why he'd been brought, after all. He loosened his short musician's sword in its sheath, wanting something useful to do.

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

Post  Richard Bolitho on Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:10 am

Bolitho glanced in the direction the voice had come, catching sight of the admiral as he bellowed orders. However, they were not the orders which had previously been given. But Bolitho was not so ignorant as to question the admiral in front of all the men, much less right in the midst of a battle. Though he knew it would likely end up being a fool's errand, he had to follow orders.

"The south wall? If I recall correctly, our orders were to take the north wall," Bolitho muttered, keeping his voice low enough so that the only one would could possibly hear was Bush, "Is Croker that daft that he can't remember his own orders? If he keeps up this sort of confusion, our attack on the fort seems sure to amount to nothing."

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Re: OPORTO, 22nd May - Naval Landing Parties

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