Bonus points for therev! Sorry I really don't know what you can use them for but now you have the satisfaction of recieving not regular points but bonus points.
Anyhow the much anticipated update! (Seriously guys when I mean shortly I mean shortly!)
June 21st 1941
Offices of Henri-Phillipe Pétain
Pétain nervously tapped his fingers against the smooth polished hardwood which composed his desk. This upcoming meeting would surely decide not only the fate of his nation but the fate of the world. If his cabinet could be swayed to his point of view Pétain could use his executive power to re-open the war with Germany. However it would be another couple hours before he could meet with the entirety of his cabinet.
Slowly he rose from his desk and began to pace about the room. As he approached the window he slowly slid his hands into the pockets of his dress uniform. To his surprise he found a small bundle of paper in his left pocket. Extracting the crumpled piece of parchment he slowly began to un-crumple it.
Figured you could use a little help...
Below that lay a list of hundreds of things including large amounts of fuel, ammunition, food, medical supplies...Everything he needed to launch an offensive. But more so there were directions to over 500,000,000 dollars worth of gold in a basement within a town in Rural Corsica. Pétain promptly moved towards the phone and called up a good friend of his on Corsica. In no time he would know whether he had truly been given divine gifts. However that fact remained inconsequential for with this evidence he might be able to sway the more reluctant members of his cabinet.
Pétain sat back down at his desk and continued to pour over his battle plan. Of course this mass movement of troops would alert the Germans so speed and surprise were necessary. If everything went according to plan, Pétain’s July offensive would corner the German forces in Dax. It would also cut off German forces in Western France by establishing a corridor from Vichy to Le-Havre. This action would also free up a channel port which would allow for reinforcement from his future allies. Defensive lines would be set up along the true Franco- Italian Border and around Dijon.
Suddenly, Jean-Francois Darlan entered the room. Pétain calmly closed his notebook and folded his hands on top of his desk.
“Henri, what’s going on?”
“Jean, we have a chance sitting before us...”
“What sort of chance?”
“...A chance to save the world as we know it, and become heroes as a result.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Jean, what would you say about re-igniting our involvement in this wretched war?”
Darlan glanced around nervously
“Do not worry” Pétain calmly added “I have sent Guy out for groceries, he will not be back until nightfall. Anyone with half a brain could see that he was a German plant”
Darlan’s face flooded with relief
“So Jean what do you say?”
He smirked as he took a seat in the semi-circle around Pétain’s desk “This coming from you, the man who saved France from this ‘wretched war’? I really don’t know. What I do know is that our navy could surely best the Italians and dominate the Mediterranean. But what of our Army could it hold off the Germans long enough for the allies to arrive assuming they do?”
This time it was Pétain’s turn to smile “What if I told you that tomorrow the Germans will launch the greatest land invasion of all time into the Soviet Union? I think that their attention will be elsewhere for a while. At least long enough for our allies to arrive.”
Leaning over to Darlan Pétain asked now the question lies in can we move our colonial forces to the mainland? Will the English let our fleet through the straits?”
Darlan leaned back, “Perhaps, I could leak some information to an English spy, leading him to give the information to his superiors.”
“So do I have your support or not?”
“You can count on it.”
Then at the most opportune moment the remainder of the cabinet walked in through the doors. Leaning back in his chair Pétain began to mentally prepare himself. This was going to be a long meeting.
Pétain looked at his beleaguered face in the mirror. It seemed like that cabinet meeting had lasted forever. Judging from his face Pétain looked at least 10 years older. However the meeting had been an unmitigated success. First to fall into his camp were the ministers responsible for the armed forces. Bridoux was the hardest to win over but once that was done he became an adamant supporter. Next to fall to Pétain’s implacable scheme were the ministers of armaments and defense. It had taken a further hour to sway the remaining members but once it was done it was done. Now the entire nation was gearing for war. Men were being trained, weapons manufactured and troops were being marshaled. He fervently hoped that the colonial forces would be able to cross through the Straits of Gibraltar. Relations between Vichy and Britain had always been strained but there existed presently a state of terse neutrality between the two forces, perhaps that could be used to their advantage. They had been allies not too long before.
The phone rang, interrupting his reverie. Walking over to the phone on his desk Pétain picked up the receiver. On the other line was Etienne a good friend of his on Corsica. “Henri!” he whispered “It’s all true! Everything is here! Including the gold!” Pétain didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. In reality he did a little of both. “Excellent Etienne! You couldn’t have given me better news. Please keep this a secret. At least until the war breaks out. We don’t need the Hun’s knowing about our treasure cove.” Grinning like a madman, Pétain continued refining his planned offensive operation...
June 28th 1941
The Straits of Gibraltar
Admiral Decoux glared nervously out of the Bearn’s windows at the dreaded straits of Gibraltar. Behind him lay the entire French fleet including troop transports carrying just under 4 divisions of men and equipment. How Pétain was planning to police the African colonies, he did not know but it was not his duty to question why, his was to do and die. And die he would, passing through a potentially hostile strait. The English could easily slaughter them much like they had with their vaunted Operation Catapult. Now they were being catapulted into the enemy, they had no need to come to them.
Yet as the fleet continued its approach to the straits still not one gun fired on them, not one searchlight flashed over their ship. Yet most sailors surely believed that the garrison already had them on radar. Finally, as the Bearn passed the much vaunted “Rock of Gibraltar” one officer came up from behind him. “Admiral! We have a message from the Rock!” Decoux rushed over to the officers post and replied personally to the queries. “This is the Bearn over.”
“Well Good luck and Godspeed, God knows you’re gonna need it.”
With that the entirety of the French fleet continued its journey through the straits unhindered by the British.
The Bearn continues to make its way towards Toulon with the remainder of the Vichy French African Squadron
July 1st 1941
Metropolitan Army Headquarters
As Pétain stared into the midnight sky he nearly dreaded the actions before him. Yet everything was in place and if he didn’t spring the trap now any hope of victory would be eliminated. Turning to one of his aides he promptly said “Draft a telegram, please inform Monsieur Hitler that as of midnight tonight our two nations are officially at war.”
“But Monsieur Pétain! Midnight just passed!”
Pétain grinned “I know.”
Vichy plan of attack