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Thread: The Butterfly Effect: A British AAR

  1. #4101
    Captain caffran's Avatar
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    Nice to see you back El Pip, even if it is only a pit stop.
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  2. #4102
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    Two major wars, border incidents...Warships being sunk...I say, the future looks bright indeed.
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  3. #4103
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    Despite their different directions both policies shared one key flaw; just because you ignore an issue does not mean the issue will ignore you.
    I can't think of truer words.
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  4. #4104
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    How splendid to get a little Butterfly fix. I hope that all of the change in your life is going well and look forward to it settling so you can return to us.

    Vann
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  5. #4105
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Agent Larkin - A very positive reaction.

    Kurt_Steiner - I'd like to say the next update will be something unusual, but I don't think it will be. But just because something is usual doesn't make it less surprising when it actually happens, hopefully.

    Carlstadt Boy - Thanks.

    caffran - It has reminded me why I liked writing it so much, but then it's also reminded me of why all the updates take so long - that entire part on the Mutsu was just added because I got distracted by mad Japanese Admirals.

    Karelian - I do hope so.

    Nathan Madien - If more people had paid attention to those words the world would be a very different place.

    Vann the Red - I'm halfway there, while I have a wonderful new wife I don't have a wonderful new home, and possibly may not the ways things are going.

    Still, if the house buying does fall through at least I'll have more time to write, you've got to look on the bright side.
    The Butterfly Effect: A British AAR - "An an insane project of terrifying detail". The finest slower-than-real-time AAR on the board. Updated 16th June with hot and spicy dirigible action and all the exploding airships you could ever ask for.

    Inevitable Defeat - Slovakia '44 - The award winning characters Tiso and Tuka attempt to save Slovakia from defeat and destruction. Winner of an AARland Choice Comedy Award. The Slovak, for want of a better word, economy is feeling the strain of total war while being a German puppet. Updated 19th July 2014.

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  6. #4106
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    Still, if the house buying does fall through at least I'll have more time to write, you've got to look on the bright side.
    This reminds me of a guy I work with. He spent $600 on a dog, meaning he had no money to pay the rent for that particular month.

    I guess the bright side counts for something.
    Last edited by Nathan Madien; 13-07-2011 at 03:20.
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  7. #4107
    Welcome back Pip--and congrats again. : )

    Ominous hints re Japan ... I'd thought a stronger France (even indifferent) would be a help to the Empire in the FE, but ...
    A whale is a shark built to Admiralty specifications.

  8. #4108
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    Ah-haaaa! ...A Cunningly Concealed update, eh?

    Thanks for that, and may there be many more. I was always fascinated by the IJN and their warships; like their aircraft they were astonishingly advanced for the day - indeed nobody in the West was quite expecting how good they would be until it was a bit too late!

    Good luck with the domestics, and keep up the grand work sir.

  9. #4109
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    Will we see 'Le Corbusier vs The World?', battling with slide rules over mountains of broken glass and shattered concrete?
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  10. #4110
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Nathan Madien - But he had a dog, worst case he could have set the dog on his landlord and thus solved his rent problem.

    DonnieBaseball - A stronger France still things like the OTL France; Europe first, elsewhere with what's left.

    RAFspeak - I wouldn't call Japanese kit advanced (though some of it was), more unbalanced. Japanese design tended to emphasise one or two key traits to the detriment of absolutely everything else, (plus of course blatant lying about Washington Treaty limits.)

    This is all well and good if the enemy doesn't know how to counter that trait, but if they develop a counter-measure you are in trouble. For instance super manoeuvrability is only any use if the enemy dogfights, if they use their power and speed advantage instead (which you cannot match without losing that super manoeuvrability) you are toast.

    Sir Humphrey - That master of concrete horror will be confined to France I can promise you that!
    The Butterfly Effect: A British AAR - "An an insane project of terrifying detail". The finest slower-than-real-time AAR on the board. Updated 16th June with hot and spicy dirigible action and all the exploding airships you could ever ask for.

    Inevitable Defeat - Slovakia '44 - The award winning characters Tiso and Tuka attempt to save Slovakia from defeat and destruction. Winner of an AARland Choice Comedy Award. The Slovak, for want of a better word, economy is feeling the strain of total war while being a German puppet. Updated 19th July 2014.

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  11. #4111
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    Chapter CXII: Call, Raise or Fold


    The Hotchkiss H35 was not a war winning wonder weapon, but in the summer of 1937 it gave a very good impersonation of one. After a series of bloody defeats the Monarchist Armies in southern Spain had abandoned any attempt to fight the H35s in open country and instead focused on ambushes and city fighting. In this endeavour they received the dubious assistance of the German government who supplied several batteries of obsolete 3.7 cm Pak L/45s, an early 1920s design complete with wooden wheels for horse transport. The L/45 was technically capable of penetrating the armour on a H35, but only from point blank range and even then only the thinner armour on the hull, putting in on a par with the near suicidal ‘Flandin Cocktail’ (or petrol bombs as everyone bar the propagandist called them). That said it did bring the Monarchists a brief respite and even a few tactical victories, H35 crews used to being invulnerable obligingly charging dug in guns and blundering into ambushes. Sadly for the Monarchists this did not last, the surviving members of the recently renamed 1st Armoured “El Carpio” Division (and their French ‘advisers’) did not waste the experience from those expensive lessons. As the division adopted its tactics, and the remaining crews struck a better balance between aggression and caution, the Republicans were soon able to re-establish their dominance.

    Despairing of the L/45 the Falangists turned on the German ambassador, Wilhelm Faupel, and demanded something better. In this they were to be disappointed, the Wehrmacht staff had noticed the French tanks shrugging of the best the L/45 could throw at it and duly began gently panicking. The ‘anti-tank’ Panzer III was still stuck in development hell and the new PaK 36 anti-tank gun was only just entering general service, basically there was very little in the German arsenal that could actually stop a H35 and the German military leadership wanted all of it on the French border, leaving nothing to send to Spain. This left Hedilla and the Falangists with little choice but to turn to the British, much to the disgust of the German ambassador and the disquiet of Berlin. The one hope for German influence in southern Spain was British indifference, a not entirely hopeless cause.

    Initially the appearance of the H35 had not aroused much concern in the British mission to Spain, certainly the Royal Armoured Corps contingent were interested in this new tank but only from a technical standpoint. As it was clearly being sent to the South, and as its abilities were then a mystery, it was put down as a curiosity but nothing more. The first big Republican victories in the south prompted a re-assessment and the supply, after some haggling, of the then brand new Boys anti-tank rifle to the Falangist armies. The complete failure of the Boys to make even a dent in a H35 and the resumption of the surging advance of the “El Carpio” division after it adapted to the L/45 finally roused the British; setbacks in the South were acceptable (even desirable, from a long term political view point) but total defeat was not.


    The Lorraine 28, a 4x6 ‘cross country’ truck that France supplied to Spain in considerable quantity to help bulk out the infantry ranks of the 1st Armoured Division “El Carpio”. Having been replaced in French service with the far superior Laffly S20TL 6x6 trucks the French cavalry jumped at the chance to sell them to Spain and spend the funds on something more useful. As was the case with so much of the equipment sent to Spain the poor quality of the opposition transformed an unloved and obsolete vehicle into a popular and lusted after asset. Through a combination of evolving tactics and problems at the Hotchkiss factory limiting the supply of new H35s the “El Carpio” division was drifting away from it’s original French pattern, gaining additional ‘Motor Dragoons’ to support the amour and shedding tanks squadrons to consolidate the remaining H35s into full strength units. The Lorraine 28 was a vital part of this change, allowing the ‘Motor Dragoon’ units to keep up with advancing tanks even on rough terrain. The tactical value of these changes would be discussed in tank establishments in France and across Europe.


    The decisive point was the Fall of Cordoba; though lacking the defensive lines found around Madrid or Bilbao, Cordoba had been well fortified and offered the defenders all the advantages of urban combat, this made the handsome and swift Republican victory all the more unnerving. British policy had been to limit supplies to Spain of obsolete equipment for financial (both the revenue and the savings on disposal/storage costs) and security (protecting ‘advanced’ technologies) reasons. After the Fall of Cordoba this policy changed, it became clear that the French decision to supply the H35 had raised the stakes and Britain had to either escalate in turn or risk forfeiting her influence in Spain. To the disquiet of the ‘dove’ faction in the government the cabinet decided to match the French raise; the Monarchists would get their modern anti-tank gun. Though they did not realise it at the time, the British government was starting down the slippery slope that would see Hawker Hurricanes, cruiser tank prototypes and countless experimental small arms flowing into Spain before the end of the year.

    The obvious choice was the Ordnance QF 2-pounder, an infinitely more capable weapon than the L/45 that fired a larger shell, faster and more accurately. Though this came at some cost, the 2-pdr was slightly larger and far heavier than its continental equivalents, the result was a weapon that could kill a H35 at 1000 yards and penetrate even the tougher turret at well over 800 yards. Equally importantly, thanks to a rapid production ramp up at the start of the Abyssinian War the production lines were in place and there were plenty of guns available. The only issue stopping it's shipment had been one of political will, once that had been overcome the gun was soon on its way to Spain. Given the crisis that would engulf the issue it is worth noting that while the escalation was not universally popular, neither was it particularly controversial. Opposition to escalation was generally confined to the usual suspects; the pacifist who didn’t want Britain to even have arms, let along supply them to the others; the neutral faction who didn’t want Britain to have anything to do with Spain and finally those who did want British involvement in Spain, but supporting the Republicans not the Monarchists. While all three groups issued many a doom laden warning, none of them managed to predict the particular crisis that would engulf the 2-pdr’s entry into the Spanish Civil War.

    ---
    Two week between updates? That's not to shabby at all. Though the fact that this entire update was supposed to be expressed in the single line "Worried by the success of the H35 Britain agreed to supply modern anti-tank guns to Spain" does explain the slow progress of this AAR. Still the exciting consequences of sending modern guns to Spain will show up next time (*fingers crossed*)

    All tech is OTL, including that very funky French 4x6 truck, some of the French APCs of the time were very clever indeed. If only they'd been reliable, produced in decent numbers and used properly... On which note fans of French tanks may be pleased to note those funds and ideas flowing back to France, if they learn those lessons all Paris will have to do is start awarding contracts on technical and industrial ability, not political clout, and they may get a few decent armoured divisions!
    The Butterfly Effect: A British AAR - "An an insane project of terrifying detail". The finest slower-than-real-time AAR on the board. Updated 16th June with hot and spicy dirigible action and all the exploding airships you could ever ask for.

    Inevitable Defeat - Slovakia '44 - The award winning characters Tiso and Tuka attempt to save Slovakia from defeat and destruction. Winner of an AARland Choice Comedy Award. The Slovak, for want of a better word, economy is feeling the strain of total war while being a German puppet. Updated 19th July 2014.

    Furious Vengeance - A 1944 UK AAR - My actual best work - Winner of the 2009 Iron HeAARt Award

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  12. #4112
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post

    The Lorraine 28, a 4x6 ‘cross country’ truck that France supplied to Spain in considerable quantity to help bulk out the infantry ranks of the 1st Armoured Division “El Carpio”. Having been replaced in French service with the far superior Laffly S20TL 6x6 trucks the French cavalry jumped at the chance to sell them to Spain and spend the funds on something more useful. As was the case with so much of the equipment sent to Spain the poor quality of the opposition transformed an unloved and obsolete vehicle into a popular and lusted after asset. Through a combination of evolving tactics and problems at the Hotchkiss factory limiting the supply of new H35s the “El Carpio” division was drifting away from it’s original French pattern, gaining additional ‘Motor Dragoons’ to support the amour and shedding tanks squadrons to consolidate the remaining H35s into full strength units. The Lorraine 28 was a vital part of this change, allowing the ‘Motor Dragoon’ units to keep up with advancing tanks even on rough terrain. The tactical value of these changes would be discussed in tank establishments in France and across Europe.
    This looks silly. Then again, it's a French design.
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  13. #4113
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    This looks silly. Then again, it's a French design.
    Actually looks like an interesting way to make a vehicle capable of taking broken terrain. But not as much as the Dutch Trado suspension.

  14. #4114
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  15. #4115
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    An unexpected pleasure, Pippy. I wonder if the despair at penetrating the H35 with the armament of most inter-war designs in WoT influenced this post any?

    Great to hear from you and I can't even begin to imagine what crisis the sending of modern anti-tank guns to Spain might precipitate.

    Vann
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  16. #4116
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    Are you back full time Pip, or just teasing us?

    Either way another cracking update
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  17. #4117
    My first reaction to the Lorraine pic was "what an odd place to put spare tires; and they're too small?!?!"

    The 2-pdr should do wonders for the Nationalists--for a while. Assuming the war drags on of course, this will lead to stronger Republican tanks, then the 6-pdr to the Nationalists, and so on.
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  18. #4118
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    Perhaps I'm becoming a bit used to weird things (hey, you should have met my former father-in-law), but I didn't find the Lorraine so odd.
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  19. #4119
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Nathan Madien - It's a bit bulky certainly and does look a bit unusual, but I do quite like it in a brutalist way. Not sure I'd like to go into combat in something with such a huge profile though!

    C&D - I was unaware of Trado until now, so thanks for that. It looks a very cunning solution to the problem, I wonder what happened to it post war?

    Kurt_Steiner - Of course the problem with that idea is doing it yourself means getting shot at. Getting other people to fight while you loaf about from a distance is far safer, even if it can be a bit frustrating.

    Vann the Red - I'm not going to confirm the WoT angle, but you may be warm.

    caffran - I hope to be back pretty much full time, well as full time as I ever was. House buying continues to meander along and I will be off on holiday soon so don't expect more frequent posting. Maybe after the summer when/if I get my writing room in a new house.

    DonnieBaseball - I wonder how many people at the time thought that the first time they saw it?

    You've got the long term reaction right, the guns vs armour race has been escalated, but there will be some more attention grabbing short term consequences.

    Kurt_Steiner - You can relax it's not just you, so at least you have company in being used to weird things. Not sure if that's any help, but it's the best I've got.
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  20. #4120
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    Kurt_Steiner - You can relax it's not just you, so at least you have company in being used to weird things. Not sure if that's any help, but it's the best I've got.
    Don't worry. In the last few days I've met a lot of unconventional people
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