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Thread: For King and Country

  1. #1221
    Would-be King of Dragons Draco Rexus's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard Chargone, glad to have you stop by. I thank you for your words, they are music to any writAAR!

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  2. #1222
    Would-be King of Dragons Draco Rexus's Avatar
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    CHAPTER FORTY-SEVEN






    Hong Kong
    July 7, 1939


    The heat this July morning was making even the air sluggish, which for the inhabitants of the island that were used to more temperate climes was making life nearly unbearable. There were few duty stations the British Foreign and Colonial Offices deemed as “hardship” locations, but Hong Kong was near the top of the list for both Ministries. When the tension created with the impending arrival of a potentially hostile Japanese army that had been near unstoppable in it’s campaign to reach the South China coastal region was factored in, life for some of the Colony’s citizens had become near intolerable.

    The news of June 30 began a slow panic within the confines of the Colony. The Japanese Imperial 5th Army, following up it successful capture of Chengdu, had not only reached but also captured the city of Maoming in the Guangdong province and thereby reaching the South China Sea. Information that had been gained through the interrogation of a captured Kempeitai* agent had been leaked to the population of Hong Kong that the 5th Army’s general, Lt. General Takashi Sakai, had been ordered by Tokyo that following the capture of the Shaoguan region of the Guangdong on July 2, he was to begin preparations for a possible assault upon the Crown Colony.


    A Hong Kong pillbox


    The completion of a second line of fixed fortifications across the Colony and the New Territories, intended to reassure the Colony’s inhabitants, had rather created the feeling amount many that the situation was hopeless as there was still no troop reinforcements for Hong Kong’s garrison. Many who were unable to deal with the increasing pressure, namely businessmen and their families, begin preparations for leaving Hong Kong, and the Colony began to take on the airs of a besieged city.

    * - Japanese word for military police, literal translation is Law Soldier Regiment.

    **




    Fort Stanly
    Barracks Victoria
    Hong Kong
    July 7, 1939
    10:15 a.m.


    In a voice that rang out across the Colony’s main Army post’s parade ground, an aide to the Garrison Commander, General Maltby, called out from an upper balcony jutting out from the Barracks’ main hall. “Sgt-Major Collinswood, a word if you please!”

    “Sah,” the garrison’s senior non-commissioned officer replied in the booming voice that all NCOs seemed to inherent upon gaining their rank.

    “Sgt-Major, do we have everything ready for our soon to arrive friends?”

    “Yes, sah! If I must say,” Collinswood said from amidst the bustle that was occurring about the post’s parade ground, “our friends will have a quite a warm welcome when they arrive, Major Swifton!”

    “Good show, Sgt-Major, good show,” the Major replied while taking a glance at his wrist watch. Looking back down at Collinswood he continued, “We should be hearing of the impending arrival in the next several hours, so wrap up this lot, Sgt-Major, and then give the lads a break until it’s time.”

    “Yes, sah,” the Sgt-Major replied as he watched the Major turn and look at the approaching staff car that bore the crest of the Colony’s civilian government. Placing his hands on his hips and shaking his head slightly, Collinswood wondered at the Governor’s reaction to the news that he was about to receive from General Maltby. Seeing a soldier glancing about as if in preparation to shirk his duties, the Sgt-Major allowed that thought to be filed away in his mind and barked out, “Higgins! You lazy sheep fornicatin’ barmy bastard! Aye, Higgins, I’m talkin’ to ye! Cor blimey, wot the bloody ‘ell d’you think yer doin’? Did’ya ‘ear me tell you it was yer fornicatin’ tea time? I didn’t bloody well think so, so move yer ass an finish getting’ tha’ gear loaded up you silly bugger!”

    ***

    Fort Stanly
    Barracks Victoria
    Hong Kong
    July 7, 1939
    10:25 a.m.


    Opening the door to the General’s office, General Maltby’s aide Major Swifton stepped inside and pivoting upon his heel announced, “Sir, Governor Young to see you, sir!”

    Swiveling his chair from gazing out past Hong Kong harbour and toward the door and his aide, the General was awarded with the sight of a worried looking Governor Young striding through the open door not even waiting for Swifton to complete his announcement. Rising from his chair and coming around the desk with his hand outstretched, Maltby spoke with a reassuring smile, “Good morning, Governor, to what do I owe the pleasure of your company?”

    Grasping the General’s proffered hand, almost desperately, Young replied in a strained voice, “You must not have heard the news, or you wouldn’t be so cheerful, General.”

    “News? What news, sir,” Maltby replied as he allowed the Colony’s Governor to sit and he perched himself upon the edge of his heavy desk. Clearly resigned to whatever fate he thought was about to descend upon himself and the Colony, Young leaned back his chair and muttered heavily, “One of the Royal Navy scout ships has brought news of a fleet of transport vessels approaching from the west. There can be no doubt about it, General, the Japanese have decided to continue their march and include Hong Kong in their list of spoils taken from the Chinese.”

    “Despite the fact that Hong Kong does not belong to the Chinese, Governor, I’m sorry to inform you,” Maltby said to his civilian superior, “that your despair is unwarranted. That is not a Japanese transport fleet that was spotted by Admiral James’ destroyer flotilla.”

    “What are you talking about, General Maltby,” Governor Young replied with a slightly venomous snarl. “Who else would it be? The Empire has more pressing concerns in the Mediterranean and the in Europe itself than to send troops here to protect Hong Kong!”

    Staring back impassively at the agitated Governor, Maltby wondered why the man had been selected to become the Colony’s governor. Granted he was a very adept administrator and had been able to smooth over several troublesome problems that Hong Kong had been experiencing prior to his arrival, but the man was clearly unsuited to dealing with the stresses of a potentially embattled colony. You should have stayed in the West Indies, Governor, the General said to himself, Hong Kong is going to be the death of your career, and I’m sorry that I’m going to be the one put the bullet in it.

    “Actually Governor, the General Staff has had plans for some time to reinforce Hong Kong with sufficient troops to defend the Colony, and simply wanted to keep it as secret as possible. In fact, outside the Garrison, and several staff officers about the Empire, there has only been a handful of people who truly knew the full scope of the plan. In a the next several hours, however, the cat will be out of the bag, so to speak.”

    “You are talking nonsense, General,” a bewildered Young shot back. “What plan? And more importantly what troops?”

    “Those transports that have gotten yourself and most of the Colony’s population in an uproar,” the General growled with irritation, not only at the speed of the transport’s sighting being dispersed but also at Young’s crumbling resolve at the news, “are actually the vanguard of a fleet of transports coming from Australia and New Zealand that will be delivering our Aussie and Kiwi cousins to assist in the Hong Kong’s defense if the Japanese fail to cease their march at the Colony’s border.”

    “I don’t understand, Maltby,” Young said with a slight quiver of hope in his voice. “The ANZACS? Just how many are we talking about? Will there be enough to stop the Nip’s Fifth Army?”

    “Where is your faith in the British Army and specifically the ANZACS, Governor,” the General replied with disdain clearly evident in not only his tone but his body language. “To answer your question, the transport ships that are approaching are bringing the lead elements of the Australian Overseas Force under the command of General Sir Cyril Bingham-White. Over the next several days Hong Kong will witness the arrival of more transports bearing the remainder of the Australians as well as delivering General Sir Cyril Freyberg and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.”

    “I’ve never heard of these Forces, General,” Governor Young said as he slowly began to clearly pull himself back from the precipice of despair. “And why wasn’t I informed of this plan?”

    Standing from the edge of his desk, Maltby strolled to the large window of his office that overlooked the Barracks’ parade ground. “You were not told, Governor, for the simple reason that you have spies for both Johnnie Chinaman and the Sons of Nippon within your staff, and anything you’re told is soon known throughout the Far East. No, don’t begin to protest, it is not a reflection upon you it is simply a statement of fact. In any event, the Imperial General Staff wanted this move kept as silent as possible…until today, that is.”

    “So how many man are arriving then, General,” the Colony’s civilian leader asked while mentally calculating who upon his staff was leaking information, how he could stop it the leak and what sort of impact it was going to have upon his career. “One of His Majesty's new regiments from each?”

    “Oh, I should say not,” Maltby replied with a chuckle as he glanced back over his shoulder and watched the civilian’s reaction to his next bombshell. “Following the integration of the Royal Australian Army and Royal New Zealand Army with the British Army these regiments are fully on par with His Majesty’s “super-regiments” in terms of manpower and combat capability. General Bingham-White is bringing four infantry regiments with two artillery brigades and General Freyberg has five infantry regiments with an engineer brigade and an anti-aircraft artillery brigade.”

    “Tha-that’s one hundred and fifty thousand men,” Young stammered in exclamation. “The Colony can support that many men!”

    “In the long term, you would be quite correct, sir,” the General replied with a mischievous grin that sent the Governor's almost completely shattered nerves buzzing. After a slight pause, he dropped his next bombshell and took secret pleasure in the reaction he received. “As you recall, we have been receiving a great deal of supplies the last several months and have been stockpiling them about the Colony, but even with them, Hong Kong physically cannot hold that many men, even factoring in the New Territories. Which is why the Foreign Office has been working with the Portuguese, and have received permission for us to spread our forces across Macao to assist in the defense of their territories if the Japanese head that way.”

    Swallowing both his surprise and his anger at being left out of the circle of decision makers, Young lifted his chin while smoothing back his hair and looked General Maltby in the eye. “So now we're responsible for both Hong Kong and Macao? Any other surprises you’d like to share with me this morning, General?”

    Raising his estimate of the Governor’s intestinal fortitude a notch, Maltby replied smoothly but truthfully, “None that I know of, Governor. If you weren’t previously apprised of it, from the signal Admiral James sent earlier this morning, the transports should be able to drop anchor and begin disembarkment operations sometime around noon. You know the old saying, 'Mad dogs and Englishmen...'

    “Fine,” the Governor replied a tad sharply, ignoring the General’s attempt at humor as he stood and began laying plans to have himself transferred back to the Empire’s possessions in the West Indies. Turning away from Maltby, he stomped out of the office and grumped, “Then I will see you at the docks a noon, General.”

    ***

    In response to further incursions by the Japanese Imperial Army into southern China, the Imperial General Staff in conjunction with the Portuguese military High Command announced today that the Crown Colony of Hong Kong and the Portuguese territories surrounding Macao were to be garrisoned by the Australian Overseas Force under the command of General Sir Cyril Bingham-White and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force commanded by General Sir Cyril Freberg.


    General Sir Cyril Bingham-White


    General Sir Cyril Freberg


    From War Ministry sources the Australian Overseas Force consists of the Canberra Rifles, the Royal Adelaide Grenadiers, the Rockhampton Rifles, the King’s Own Tasmanians, and two heavy artillery brigades. Those same sources disclosed that the New Zealand Expeditionary Force include the Christchurch Fusiliers, the Royal Auckland Fusiliers with an attached engineer brigade, the King’s New Zealand Rifles, the King’s Own New Zealanders with an attached anti-aircraft artillery brigade, and the Napier Grenadiers.

    With the arrival of the ANZACs in the Crown Colony between the seventh of July and the fourteenth, an attempt was made to reach the Imperial Japanese Embassy in London for comment, however the Ambassador refused to meet with the press. In Hong Kong, the landing of the Empire’s much beloved Aussies and Kiwis was met with great joy by the Colony’s inhabitants and pre-existing Garrison under General Maltby.


    The ANZACS arrive


    With now near two hundred thousand combat ready troops ready to defend the Colony, a strong signal has been sent to Tokyo to very careful about any decisions made regarding the south of China. As one Foreign Office source stated, ‘The ball is now in the Japanese court, for the Empire stands ready to defend itself in the Far East.’

    Excerpt of article by James Grey
    of The Times on July 15, 1939



    Up next: Just a little more diplomatic wrangling to partake in!
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  3. #1223
    Non sufficit orbis Lord E's Avatar
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    Jolly great news Draco. The arrival of the ANZACS will do Hong Kong bloody well.
    I agree with the general about the Governor, he should be shipped back to the West Indies as soon as possible, I sure hope the General want have to use forces to avoid the Governor going nuts…
    Diplomacy is always interesting, so I shall look forward to the next update
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  4. #1224
    Field Marshal Vann the Red's Avatar
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    Nice, Draco. That should be cause for pause.

    Vann

  5. #1225
    very nice...how did you get macao? military access?
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  6. #1226
    Field Marshal GhostWriter's Avatar

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    Draco Rexus: ...“One of the Royal Navy scout ships has brought news of a fleet of transport vessels approaching from the west...”

    west? how could anyone consider that fleet to be Japanese? and, a question. why weren't those ships far enough out to sea [as in, away from land, and land based aircraft] to approach Hong Kong from the south?

    Draco Rexus: ...“Where is your faith in the British Army and specifically the ANZACS, Governor,”

    good question. those are some of the finest fighting men in the world.

    Draco Rexus: ...“..anything you’re told is soon known throughout the Far East..”

    sigh. some things never change! !

    Draco Rexus: ...“The Colony can not support that many men!”

    judging from the context following this quote, is that correction above needed?

    Draco Rexus: ...In Hong Kong, the landing of the Empire’s much beloved Aussies and Kiwis was met with great joy by the Colony’s inhabitants and pre-existing Garrison under General Maltby.

    as well they should be! !

    this is excellent: a "forward" defense.

    most excellent updates! !
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  7. #1227
    Whoohaa! very shiney, that.

    hehe. the Governer's nerves may not last very long at this rate, methinks he seems to be getting worrying surprises on a regular basis.

    humm. historical, i don't think the Kiwi's ever fought the Japanese. lets see how they do.

    they were regularly used [along with the australians, useually] as shock troops in europe. they generaly took a very high proportion of casualtys as a result due to a combination of bad weather and idiocy/sillyness/error of some sort by those planning the operations. i suspect the later will be less of an issue with you in charge, humm?

    ... they often took their objectives or achived their goals anyway, unless both happend at once And the enemy didn't suck.

    it probibly won't stop the japanese attacking. the first time. lets see if they're more capable of learning from their mistakes than some others, humm?

    anyway, nice update. like i said, very shiney.

    *wanders off humming God Defend New Zealand*

  8. #1228
    Second Lieutenant molobo's Avatar

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    One of the best AAR's I have read. Hoping for good war and screenshots of maps

  9. #1229
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Well that's a nice surprise. Still, Governor Young is his own worst enemy, and quite possibly a greater threat to the Crown Colony that the Japanese or Communists. Couldn't Maltby have a word? Or are there reasons why those on high want such a man to gain experience in such a place? Or is it the King's idea of a joke?
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  10. #1230
    Major prussiablue's Avatar
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    The Empire sure takes Hong Kong seriously. I don't know the rest of you but I sure hope the Japs invades Hong Kong. After all someone has to test the new toys our author has been raving about.
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  11. #1231
    Lt. General therev's Avatar

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    Can't help myself.....
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    I wnat you to know that the ANZACs will be VERY disappointed if all they do is Garrison duty. They are soldiers/warriors and are best used in the heat of battle not at some boring check point!

  12. #1232
    Revolutionary Leader VILenin's Avatar
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    Yeah, I admit to be a little anxious myself to see some of HM's new toys in action, not to mention how this beefed up Empire on a whole fares in the World War.
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  13. #1233
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    Great update!

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    Norway über alles kenneththegreat's Avatar

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    Draco, can we see an exact ORBAT for the British military soon? Please?

  15. #1235
    StoreytellAAR Storey's Avatar
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    Now what’s to stop the Japanese from cutting HK’s supply lines and letting all those men starve to death? Still it does send a strong message that Great Britain plans if necessary to fight.

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  16. #1236
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    [QUOTE=Storey]Now what’s to stop the Japanese from cutting HK’s supply lines and letting all those men starve to death? Still it does send a strong message that Great Britain plans if necessary to fight.

    good point!! they've got bombers, and now troops, but the they're still gonna need his majesty's navy to put up an effective defence.

    and a squadron or two of spit's would help as well.

    later, caff
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  17. #1237

  18. #1238
    Would-be King of Dragons Draco Rexus's Avatar
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    Lord E - For diplomacy, all I'm gonna say is that the Empire's plan is going to take yet another step forward.

    Vann - and indeed it did!

    lifeless - Yep. Besides, with 200K ANZACS (with a few Canadians thrown in for good measure!) on your doorstep and an unknown number of hostile Japanese headed in your general direction, would you open the doors and tap a few more kegs?

    GhostWriter - Crap! You got me. I meant to write that they were coming from the EAST! Oops!

    Chargone - Let's just say that in this time line, the ANZACS are considered as valuable as every other soldier, sailor and airman coming from the British Isles. None are going to be wasted on silly old frontal assaults. Sorry, can't say no more.

    molobo - Thanks much. Sorry I can't promise any within the next coming few updates, especially since I forgot to take any screen shots until well past 1941!

    stnylan - Th answer is yes. or was it no? I can't remember. All I can remember is that at the time, the Empire was equally concerned about the Japanese and the Chi-Coms, and the Imperial General Staff was concerned about the trustworthiness of the Colony's government. Just say there were some interesting times in Hong Kong.

    prussiablue - Patience, my friend, patience. Look at the dates and take my word for it that the balloon goes up right about when it's supposed to. But it's gonna be one helluva ride to get there!

    therev - Trust me... the Empire has a plan for those boys from Down Under!

    VILenin - You too? Glad therev and I weren't the only ones itching for the bullets to start flying!

    GeneralPaisley - Could be!

    Storey - Well, Joe, at this point we still have the RN's Far East Station with the HMS Eagle (CV) and HMS Capetown (CL) two destoryer flotillas and two sub flotillas... plust the availablity of the former Royal Australian Navy and the former Royal New Zealand Navy. And anything else I can scrounge up. And that message was heard loud and clear!

    caffran - Did somebody ask about Spits? I do believe I may have some handy here soon!

    Jape - Sugar from the tea and wind from the sails!


    I'm not going to promise anything folks, but I might be able to get the next post up sometime before Monday (my time that is). Let's all keep our fingers crossed, eh?

    C'ya soon (hopefully!)
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  19. #1239
    Field Marshal GhostWriter's Avatar

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    Draco Rexus: - Crap! You got me. I meant to write that they were coming from the EAST! Oops!

    when i saw west, i thought, "Hong Kong is on the east coast, how can this be." so i look it up in an Atlas, and west is not an impossible direction. due west is, but not southwest which is certainly close enough to write about. i assumed that those troops had trained in England...

    even so, this is a magnificent AAR! !
    B an 0:-), make someone happy, :-) GhostWriter :-)

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  20. #1240
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Of course, it has just occurred to me that a large body of troops sitting in Honk Kong are quite well placed for deployment to all sorts of interesting places.
    To view is human, to comment is divine.
    "Be not afraid" - John Paul II
    "The Christian way has not been tried and found wanting, it has been found to be hard and left untried" - GK Chesterton.
    Current AAR: Stories of King Sean CK2 4.1
    Completed AAR: In Memory of France EU2
    View my full AAR list at The Inkwell
    My library and My blog
    Ask not what AARland can do for you, but what you can do for AARland.

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