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Thread: The Butterfly Effect: A British AAR

  1. #1981
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by C&D View Post
    'kay, how 'bout Chuck Norris?
    The British would have to get America's permission to use that particular weapon.
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  2. #1982
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    The British would have to get America's permission to use that particular weapon.
    Not necessarily... Just need to convince him that his estranged wife is being held captive by republican forces, but being moved carefully from stronghold to stronghold throughout Republican held territory, such that he finds and defeats all enemy forces in an attempt to save her despite his own government's reservations and thus goes rogue. Entirely plausible. Well at least when compared to the plot line of Missing in Action XVIII...
    http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...d.php?t=330098

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  3. #1983
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    Ugh. The combination of strategic over-ambition and tactical over-caution does not bode well for Franco's chances of winning the war with the Army of Africa, and the Monarchists are no better coordinated than the Republicans. That salient at Cordoba is looking like an opportunity for a whole lot of Spaniards to die for their leaders' respective causes.

    My guess is that the war may turn on that army in Salamanca - can the Republicans organise a coordinated move on Madrid or Burgos before it fades away from attrition and lack of supply? The close-down for the winter is ominous - there won't be much food in Salamance come Spring.
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  4. #1984
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    The British would have to get America's permission to use that particular weapon.
    When Chuck Norris does a push-up, Spain goes down.

    Had to be said.
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  5. #1985
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    Quote Originally Posted by C&D View Post
    'kay, how 'bout Chuck Norris?
    Chuck Norris doesn't travel anywhere, places move to him!
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  6. #1986
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    Duritz - T26s, Panzer Is, Hotchkiss H35s, Medium MkIIs, there will be no shortage of foreign tanks knocking around Spain. Including some you (hopefully) won't be expecting.
    Given the historical reluctance to send tanks I'd have a hard time imagining much more than those named.

    The Brits didn't have much more than Medium MkII's and Vickers Lt's. At least not that you've told us about!

    The French H35's will be interesting to watch. When did the Souma's reach production? Char B's surely not!

    Pz I's are historical and maybe some Pz II's will make an appearance but Hitler doesn't have anything else to send and won't until 1938 at the very earliest.

    T26's and BT5's are the Soviet options but no reason to think they'll send anything more than they did historically (and maybe they'll send less).

    Where do the Czechs sit in all this? Skoda 35's would be cool but are they really going to get that involved? I can't remember where they sit in all this.

    Maybe the changes in TTL to the US means that they'll look to sell to the combatants? Not really up on their armour but the name Pershing rings a bell... too early for M3 Lee's surely.

    Oh, and some LV33's I guess but Italian tanks only count with the statisticians... you know, those responsible for calculating losses!

    That's all I've got Pip. No one else has enough machines to suggest they'd be in the export business. Of course I've been wrong before, I await bedazzelment!

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  7. #1987
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bafflegab View Post
    Not necessarily... Just need to convince him that his estranged wife is being held captive by republican forces, but being moved carefully from stronghold to stronghold throughout Republican held territory, such that he finds and defeats all enemy forces in an attempt to save her despite his own government's reservations and thus goes rogue. Entirely plausible. Well at least when compared to the plot line of Missing in Action XVIII...
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonnieBaseball View Post
    Had to be said.
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  8. #1988
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    Oh! This is still going... I'm definitely going to have to catch up with this one as quickly as I can... Don't tell me what happens! I'll find out for myself.
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  9. #1989
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    Upshot of all that. No-one did fabulously well on either side, no stand out candidates for leadership (though Azana for the Republicans is probably closest). Thus it comes down to foreign support, hence everyone waits for Amsterdam. I think a lot of the ideological poison has been drawn from the conflict this time so I can see the powers being a bit more 'negotiable' over Spain, willing to trade away 'their' faction for advantages elsewhere.
    Very interesting.

    I suppose the reason that the Republicans seemed "less cool" than OTL to me was that they wre mroe reliant on French support. So the Popular Front will be forced to remain a bit more popular. Which is nice, from the view of shiny utopian Spanish Social Democracy, but it's perhaps less interesting than the NKDV running the Republic.

    I can't see how the ATL Republicans will lose if France is on their side, though; or why Franco-British relations are worse than cordial.
    I am therefore officially rooting for a Franco-German strike on Russia, prompting the Soviets to strike back with their hitherto secret nukes. This will serve as a salutary lesson to all involved and leave everyone suitably chastened.-El Pip

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  10. #1990
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    On the discussion about a certain weapon the US version has yet to be developed yet and I have my doubts about the Spanish version Carlos "Tirada" Norrisimo.

    merrick - Over-reach, disorganisation and incompetence are the order of the day in Spain. Wherever you look there are great chances for many Spaniards to die heroically; Madrid, the Cordoba salient, Salamanca, almost all of Catalonia, pretty much everywhere is important to someone.

    The trapped Salamanca army does have the advantage it will have some local support and supply. Baring the separatists the divisions in Spain are not geographic, both sides can expect to be welcomed by some of the population where ever they go. But I agree come the Spring they will be disparate, and desperate men can be unpredictable....

    Duritz - Curses! My own fault for setting a surprise in such a small field, you have indeed covered the likely suspects, though one nation did slip through. Suffice to say any further teases will have to be more obscure.

    Judas Maccabeus - Hopefully my unfortunate writers block has assisted your catching up, then some good may come of it.

    Faeelin - But surely the idea of the SDE and NKVD both having agents running around Spain engaged in a covert struggle for control of the Republic makes up for this lack of Soviet control interest?

    The ATL Republicans can lose because they have no command and control, no unified plan and because the French are going to be somewhat cautious about spraying them with goodies (for economic and 'fear of losing them' reasons). All of this also applies to the Monarchists though, so it's a question of who gets their act together first and which foreign power bites the bullet and hands out the good stuff.

    As to Franco-British relations, well France is annoyed perfidious Albion worked with Germany to overthrow a (mostly) democratic government on France's border AND was entirely useless during the Rhineland crisis. Conversely Britain has worked out the French are always there when they need you but mysteriously absent the rest of the time. Hence London can see no advantage to the Entente or indeed any point in being nice to France.

    As a final problem they are backing opposite factions in the SCW which can hardly help, particularly as there's no other motivation for either side to patch things up. That is why I would say relations are probably several notches lower than cordial with no prospect of improvement.
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  11. #1991
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    Duritz - Curses! My own fault for setting a surprise in such a small field, you have indeed covered the likely suspects, though one nation did slip through. Suffice to say any further teases will have to be more obscure.
    I missed no nation with machines in sufficient numbers to become an exporter...

    Polish P7T's were only ever a handful.

    Swedish tank forces were so hillariously out of date not even Paradox could mount a case in their defense.

    I've done a bit of research and the US didn't have anything bigger than light machine gun tanks.

    Who did I miss? The Irish?!?

    Oh, unless you mean the land of the rising Sun... surrely not!

    Anyway, enough with this head in the sand [] attitude, on with the updating!

    Dury.
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  12. #1992
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    [QUOTE=El Pip;9772583As to Franco-British relations, well France is annoyed perfidious Albion worked with Germany to overthrow a (mostly) democratic government on France's border AND was entirely useless during the Rhineland crisis. Conversely Britain has worked out the French are always there when they need you but mysteriously absent the rest of the time. Hence London can see no advantage to the Entente or indeed any point in being nice to France.
    [/quote]

    Hrmm. Of course, no British support means that the run on the franc in the later part of the 1930s. This means a weaker French military machine. Meanwhile, you also have a weaker, even more isolationist America.

    Hrmm. Naturally, Britain will triumph over all, but I have my doubts about Europe in the interim.
    I am therefore officially rooting for a Franco-German strike on Russia, prompting the Soviets to strike back with their hitherto secret nukes. This will serve as a salutary lesson to all involved and leave everyone suitably chastened.-El Pip

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  13. #1993
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    Chapter LXXIII: Family Meeting Part I - The Newest Members


    As a rule Britain tried to avoid Imperial Conferences; they always tended to involve the Dominions asking for, and getting, more powers and influence. While the progression from Dominions being told what was happening to being consulted was considered inevitable, and in many cases had already taken place, Whitehall saw no reason to encourage the process. Thus it was with a due sense of trepidation that the civil service arranged the 1936 conference, wondering which previously British area of policy would be subject to increased 'co-operation'. The Dominion Prime Ministers did not disappoint, exploiting the gains made at the Ottawa Economic Conference to have a greater say over trade policy and begin to intrude into military affairs such as grand imperial strategy and defence procurement. Before delving into such matters we must first deal with the expansion of the conference, the conference seeing several changes to the African membership of the Imperial family.

    British central Africa at the time was best described as confusing. Starting in the the south the vast Bechuanaland Protectorate was in fact not a protectorate but a High Commission Territory administered by the Governor-General of South Africa. The poorest of the territories it had resisted all attempts to be 'lumped in' with any of it's neighbours and operated under the 'Indirect Rule' policy of letting the natives get on with their own affairs. Moving up the continent Southern Rhodesia was the complete opposite, rich from tobacco and chrome exports she was the only 'self-governing colony' of the Empire and the only colony represented by the Dominion Office not the Colonial Office in Westminster. Government was through an elected legislative council but from an almost exclusively white electorate. Heading north we logically come to Northern Rhodesia, not as rich as it's neighbour but catching up fast thanks to it's rich copper belt. While only a protectorate Northern Rhodesia had it's own elected legislative council for the urban areas with tribal councils running the rural areas as part of the policy of 'Indirect Rule'. In contrast to it's southern neighbour the electorate was far broader racially, though a good way short of universal suffrage. Finally the small protectorate of Nyasaland completed the region, while it had a governing council the membership was appointed by the Crown directly, a growing source of frustration for the settlers but an arrangement the Colonial Office was keen to keep as we shall see later.

    The mid 1930s had seen a growing desire for amalgamation between the two Rhodesias with the aim of the union having complete self governance, a movement Whitehall had considered most ominous. The key problem for London was balancing the official 'enlightened' line of increased African rights laid down in documents like the Passfield Memo with the reality of practical white minority rule. It was one of the ironies of British colonial policy that the most 'liberal' colony in central Africa was Nyasaland; as it's council was appointed in London it was the only council in the region which actually put official policy into action. The Colonial Office therefore quite correctly feared that any Rhodeisan union without constitutional reform would effectively bury London's good intentions beneath the settler's self interest. The government was therefore tempted to follow the classic British solution, set up a Royal Commission to kick the problem into the long grass and get on with other less intractable problems. This outcome was avoided thanks to a chance meeting of the South Rhodesian Prime Minister Godfrey Huggins with his South African counterpart Jan Smuts at one of the many receptions held during the Conference, a meeting the British civil service would subsequently categorise as yet another good reason to avoid Imperial Conferences.

    The two leaders hit it off immediately, shared Great War service and Huggins earlier enthusiasm for South Africa annexing Rhodesia doubtless helping, and soon discovered they faced the same political challenge; voting reform. In both nations the aim was to produce a system that looked fair, kept London and international opinion happy (or at least quiet) but ensured white majority rule. Drawing on ideas from both nations, and a few from Northern Rhodesia as well, the two men sketched the outline of a new political system; Partnership. The essential concept was to limit the electoral franchise by wealth and education, setting the bar such that the emerging black middle class passed it, but the majority did not, instead being represented by a limited number of 'Tribal MPs'. As a further gesture to London the idea of 'Indirect Rule' would be extended, using councils of tribal elders and chiefs as a form of devolved local government, the aim being to leave most native communities to their own devices on domestic matters.

    When news of this new system reached the British representatives it caused a considerable stir and almost split the government; the Colonial Office insisting the proposed 'Partnership' did not meet the ideals of the Passfield Memo and was likely just a whitewash, on the other side the Dominion Office was far more favourable to the settlers and pointed out the proposal would still be a considerable improvement over the current situation for the natives. Such was the dispute that the two ministries were unable to reach an agreement and the matter was the subject of intense debate until, eventually, the Prime Minister was forced to adjudicate the matter in cabinet. This was a fortunate break for Huggins and the Dominion Office as Chamberlain was personally sympathetic to the 'White Man's Burden' under-currents of their position, as indeed was much of his cabinet. It should therefore be no surprise that Chamberlain came down in favour of unification with a 'Partnership' style constitution and the eventual goal of Dominion status. The Colonial Office did win a key concession, the newly united Rhodesia would retain the self-governing status of Southern Rhodesia 'until such time as the political system has stabilised'. The Colonial Office believed such an entirely arbitrary test would allow them to delay Dominion status until a more favourable solution than 'Partnership' could be devised.


    Sir Herbet James Stanley. Governor of Southern Rhodesia, and a former Governor of Northern Rhodesia, he would serve as the first Governor-General of the united Rhodesia. A complex character he was an avid campaigner for the amalgamation of the region's colonies while also maintaing the official line on native rights. Indeed many in the region still resented him for having reserved vast acreages for native use and stopping settler land grabs while a young Resident Commissioner. As part of the general re-organisation the Bechuanaland Protectorate would be transferred from the South African Governor-General's office to his office. In addition he would gain a supervision role for the Nyasaland Protectorate's Commissioners, both moves part of Whitehall's plan to merge all four colonies and reduce the burden on the Imperial purse.


    The announcement about a unified Rhodesia was something of a public non-event, mainly for the brutally frank reason that few people outside of Africa had much interest in the goings on in the dark heart of the continent. While there was some Imperial murmuring the fact South Africa intended to adopt a similar 'Partnership' style constitution muted criticism, the few Dominion politicians even aware of the issues were reluctant to criticise the internal policies of a fellow Dominion. Domestically there was slightly more opposition, including a minor back bench revolt from some of the National Liberals, but the legislation passed with relative ease. Interestingly the Labour party also split on the matter, the left leaning sections opposing the policy while the TUC faction took a more pragmatic view and gave it cautious, but heavily caveated, support.


    The British interest in Libya began at the top with the British resident Duncan Cumming. The British interest in Libya was as much about denying the region to others as anything else, though there were many in government interested on 'turning a profit' from the British presence. While the Royal Navy preferred the docks and harbours of Alexandria and Valletta the other services maintained a significant Libyan presence and Imperial firms secured all of the rebuilding works initiated by the new Libyan government. The big work however was the Tripoli to Cairo railway, part of the great Imperial venture that hoped to connect up all the British railways in the region. The dream was to run trains from Tripoli in Libya to Basra in Iraq, requiring not only the Tripoli-Cairo line but also a connection across the Nile to the Palestine Railway and gap filling to reach the sprawling Baghdad Railway. While not as ambitious as those who hoped to revive the dream of a Cape to Cairo dream it was a measure of renewed British self confidence that the project had backing at the highest level in Whitehall.


    Before we leave Africa, and the subject of the Imperial family, the conference also saw the formal recognition of the new Libyan state. The previous months had seen the Libyan constitution finalised and Emir Idris successfully installed as King Idris I of the Kingdom of Libya. With the British representatives keen to see the pro-Britain Idris secure the constitutional settlement left the King with considerable powers, though not the absolute monarchy Idris would perhaps have preferred. The final settlement saw Idris 'double hatted' as both King of Libya and Emir of the three provinces of Libya (Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan), each province having it's own regional government but reporting to the central government for 'national' issues. The country itself was doing relatively well though it would take many years to fully recover from the Italian occupation, not least to rebuild the professional middle class that had been thoroughly 'pacified' by successive Italian governors. As expected the British influence on the country was considerable, starting with the large RAF presence at the Mellaha Air Base outside Tripoli and extending to the British firms tendering for the Libyan leg of the new Tripoli-Cairo railway. The new railway formed part of the Idris' plan to stich together his country, inspired by such ventures as the Candaian Pacfic Railway or the Trans-Australian Railway it was hoped the railway would link together the three provinces as a symbol of a united Libya. For the British the key thing was that Imperial firms built it and that it would be inter-operable with their other railway interest, a good example of their policy in microcosm.

    ----
    Notes.

    Sadly I've fallen of the 'Short and to the point' bandwagon and diverted into a vast splurge on central Africa. It was only supposed to be a paragraph.

    In my defence the united Rhodesia flag is quite spiffing. Not much a defence I admit but it's the best I've got.

    OTL the Rhodesia's tried to merge in 1936 but only got a Royal Commission that took 3 years to say "Yes, but later". By then the war intervened and the idea was shelved. Post war Labour ignored the entire issue so it wasn't until the 1950s it was raised again, by which point the face saving fudge was 'Federation' lumping together the richer North and South Rhodesia with the dirt poor Nyasaland in a Federal arrangement. That worked about as well as the other British fedeal ideas (i.e. very badly) so fell apart and the individual parts became indepdent eventually.

    TTL with the last of the old Victorians as PM, not to mention a good smattering of old Imperialists in the cabinet, I think they get the go ahead to 'shoulder the white man's burden' or some such similar rubbish. 'Partnership' was a post-war OTL idea implemented by the British keen to avoid Aparthied spreading from South Africa and is theoretically not a bad idea for a slow change of power (though still clearly racist). Failed miserably when the white politicians didn't take it seriously, so Britain shrugged and went straight to independence and black majority rule. Will it go better TTL? Well Stanley was a fair governor but Huggins wasn't, so it comes down to a clash between the Governor-General and the Prime Minister. Which will be fun.

    Finally Libya, after the annoyance of liberating the place to find Italian fascists in office I dropped the 1939 cabinet in place. The Tripoli-Cairo railway was, as far as I can tell, never really proposed but then post-war pretty much anything extravgant was out of the question. However I can see Idris being keen on a grand 'Libyan' project to unite all the coastal settlements, while Britain goes along as it can connect up all the various colonies, puppets and territories while making Empire construction firms some good money. As an added bonus the surveyors will probably find the Sirte Basin oil fields (OTL the Italians found subsurface oil 1938 so not out of the question)

    Duritz - If I could get Japanese tanks in the SCW I would. I was tempted by a scheme as follows; Very early, stronger anti-commintern pact. Japan gets it's historic bloody nose of the Soviets but, instead of ignoring it, decides she needs to learn about tanks and armoured warfare. Using German connections she ships her prototype tanks to Spain to get some practice along side the Panzers.

    Sadly I just can't see the Japanese military being that humble. Ah well.

    Faeelin - On the positive side France doesn't have the Popular Front so not Matignon Agreements, this will have helped the economy somewhat. On the flip side the fundamentals are still poor and the 1937 pay round will be a flash point, plus of course France, like the US and large chunks of Europe, is still 'on gold'. Should be fun all round in the next French update then.
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  14. #1994
    Nice update, feels like 19. century again.

    And don`t worry about the lenght, all the details are making it real.

  15. #1995
    No need to apologize El Pip--Imperial Conferences i.e. the lion dealing with her cubs is always fascinating.

    Interesting, a full rail net from the central Med to points throughout the ME--there's a grand Imperial project if ever there was one. Throws Idris a bone and makes money for British industry, nicely done.

    "Partnership" sounds interesting. I'd think long-term the emerging black middle class would eventually grow to the point where it might be able to influence towards a more fair system, but that's way down the road and this system seems to let the minority keep things under control while having something more than a fig leaf of liberalism. I'm guessing eventually we'll see a "Greater Rhodesia" Dominion including Bechuanaland & Nyasaland... perahps a reward for contributions in a future war...

    By the way Pip, what became of Italian East Africa i.e. Eritrea/Somaliland?
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  16. #1996
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    Very interesting Pip.

    Amazed, as always, at the level of detail you put into your posts.

    Excellent stuff.

    Later, Caff
    "death is more universal than life; everyone dies, not everyone lives"


    Knowledge is power, guard it well.

  17. #1997
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    Sadly I've fallen of the 'Short and to the point' bandwagon and diverted into a vast splurge on central Africa. It was only supposed to be a paragraph.
    But then again African history from 1930s onwards is so fascinating stuff that one gets carried away all too easily. All those ATL possibilities...
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  18. #1998
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    Gah! Completely forgot while finishing off that update I must extend thanks to Le Jones for confirming a few ideas about that one. That said any mistakes and glaring errors do of course remain my own. Anyway;

    Carlstadt Boy - History is in the details I've always thought, the countless small events that actually shape and divert the flow of history.

    DonnieBaseball - The rail network also serves British strategic interests, the Abyssinian War has once again shown the importance (and vulnerability) of the Suez canal. Having an alternate overland route from the Persian Gulf to the Med is therefore considered a 'good thing' by the IGS and armchair generals throughout the Empire.

    You've hit the nail on the head over "Partnership", London hopes the black middle class will eventually dominate the electorate and provide black majority rule through the back door (hell the really ambitious hope that non-racial parties will emerge and people might vote on other policies! ). IF it gets implemented with commitment and IF there's no backtracking it might keep the colonies just ahead of the game vs black nationalism and could lead to a better transition to independence. That said almost anything has to better than OTL South Rhodesia/Zimbabwe.

    Greater Rhodesia, hmm none of the locals want it is the problem. The Rhodesia don't want their poorer neighbours and the neighbours themselves have a better deal (in native rights terms at least) as is. Possibly Greater Rhodesia may come about as a punishment not a reward!

    Italian East Africa. Tits. Forgot that, so it's possible the Foreign Office did too. Italian Somaliland gets lumped in with British Somaliland probably. Eritrea is a bit more tricky, OTL the UN spent years thinking about it post war so it's not easy. As such, and with the limited number of actual Britons involved, I'd imagine the government would launch a Royal Commission and hope it goes away.

    caffran - It's always very reassuring to get such appreciative posts, so please keep it up. Well as long as you actually are appreciative at least.

    Karelian - That's the problem in the nutshell, so many possibilities if only the 'right' decision is made earlier. Or for more interesting outcomes one can also consider the 'wrong' decision being made as well. The trick is of course to determine which is which.
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  19. #1999
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    Sir Herbet James Stanley. Governor of Southern Rhodesia, and a former Governor of Northern Rhodesia, he would serve as the first Governor-General of the united Rhodesia. A complex character he was an avid campaigner for the amalgamation of the region's colonies while also maintaing the official line on native rights. Indeed many in the region still resented him for having reserved vast acreages for native use and stopping settler land grabs while a young Resident Commissioner.
    GASP! Someone who cares about the natives?! Great scott!

    I didn't think people like that existed.
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  20. #2000
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    Great update.

    Nice talk about the railway/s as well. I wonder what gauge it would be?
    Maybe we could see some more desert 8F's like this Baghdad find:


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