+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 123 1 2 3 11 26 51 76 101 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 2441

Thread: Crossfires, a French AAR for HoI2 Doomsday

  1. #1
    "Look behind you Mr Caesar !" Atlantic Friend's Avatar
    HoI AnthologyArsenal of DemocracyDiplomacyHearts of Iron IIISemper Fi
    Victoria 2

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    At my favorite pub, swirling AAR ideas around...
    Posts
    2,083

    Crossfires, a Narrative French AAR for HoI2 Doomsday

    CROSSFIRES, a Croix de Feu France that might have been



    This is a Narrative AAR





    Uploaded with ImageShack.us


    What do the Croix de Feu want, what can they accomplish ? A question that few people ask in 1934


    FOREWORD


    While I have always been an avid reader of alternate history, I always felt protected from the temptation to try my hand at writing some myself by the lack of an adequate writing tool and an appropriate medium. So, under the severe gaze of these two watchguards, I lived happily, reading even more history books and playing even more wargames.

    That is, I USED to live happily. And then, one day, I stumbled upon Hearts of Iron 2 and upon this forum, and all sense of safety quickly dissolved. The tool was there, and so was the medium. I could no longer procrastinate, and I now had to risk public ridicule by dabbling into alternate history myself.

    So here it is, an essay at what might have been. Having decided to write, I'll honestly try to make it worth your time, which, in my humble opinion, means this AAR shouldn't be some form of essay about "How France single-handedly conquered the world, her leaders always predicting their enemies' every move and her soldiers dispatching every possible threat with Hollywood-like efficiency and style". It is my humble opinion that alternate history should be like real life history, a heady mixture of both bravery and cowardice, brilliance and blunders, sincerity and hypocrisy. It is also my humble wish that you'll enjoy it. If not, let's agree beforehand that will be my fault entirely.


    Now, before starting a few words about that 1930s France that, judging from other AARs, seems to generate such emotional response.

    The 1930s are for France a time of great peril. The country has bled white for four years in a senseless war that began with an assassin's single shot in Sarajevo and ended up in some attempt to commit mass suicide by European powers. One million and a half Frenchmen have died in the trenches, the youngest and quite often the brightest France had. Five million more have been wounded, having lost limbs, been disfigured, or suffered in their flesh in these 4 years of endless, mindless war. The sacrifice has been horrendous for a country of 39 million inhabitants, and the survivors now want to know their sacrifice has served some purpose.

    The 1930s are a time of great peril. After organizing some victory parades and establishing a sanitary cordon of friendly states around Germany, the French government has gone back to its pre-1914 games of toppling Cabinets over the flimsiest of excuses. The burden of taking care of the country has largely been left to a dedicated but old-fashioned corps of civil servants and officers, and the questions rising from the population are being left unanswered. As for foreign policy, the watchword changes with every new government, and as a result European nations get wary of allying too closely with an increasingly fickle France.

    The 1930s are a time of great peril. Resentment against the governments and the institutions runs deep among the French population. The price of war has been paid in full by the French citizens, and they now want reassurances things will never be the same again. Some want reforms. Some want restorations. Some want revolutions. Communism has taken root in France, where the workers feel they had to bleed in the trenches only so they could be bled again at the workshop. Others feel the Republic is the source of all problems and evils and should be disposed of, but they quarrel about whether to establish a strong totalitarian state, a cold and competent technocracy, or the rightful Bourbon heir to the throne, whoever that might be. Reformers from every political party see the writing on the wall : barring some deep changes, France might once again be gripped by social unrest, violence and insurrection.

    The 1930s are a time of great peril. The Great Alliance that barely defeated the Central Powers lies in shambles. Italy, once an ally, now wants a cut of the French colonial empire. So does Japan, another ally of the last war. Russia, once France's most important ally, is now suffering under strict Stalinist rule and secretly conspires with Germany to weaken Western democracies. The United States, whose intervention was the final straw that broke the back of Prussian camel, now has retired from the world, dealing with an economic crisis and a public opinion which does not want to be embroiled in another foreign war. Great Britain still stands, but like France has paid a terrible price in the Great War, in terms of life, gold, and prestige. Its commitment to enforcing European peace remains to be seen. And Germany ? Germany is on the rise again, her 70 million inhabitants now led by a strange and intense man almost nobody saw coming, and almost nobody sees where he's leading Europe to.

    Yes, the 1930s are indeed times of great peril. Immensely powerful forces are on the move. Great powers are awakening from their uneasy sleep. Time is running short, and France might soon get caught in the crossfire.

    Last edited by Atlantic Friend; 09-10-2010 at 17:22.

  2. #2
    looks interesting. I'll keep my eye on this

  3. #3
    "Look behind you Mr Caesar !" Atlantic Friend's Avatar
    HoI AnthologyArsenal of DemocracyDiplomacyHearts of Iron IIISemper Fi
    Victoria 2

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    At my favorite pub, swirling AAR ideas around...
    Posts
    2,083
    CHAPTER 1 : TRAIN OF THOUGHT




    Uploaded with ImageShack.us


    Aboard the Paris-Nantes express train, January 1934

    The look on the Colonel's face certainly didn't hide his growing exasperation at the papers he was trying to file and work on in spite of the train's commotion and sudden turns, an uncooperative fountain pen and, as it was clear for anybody who knew him well, his loathing of red tape. Shortly after Orléans, the exasperation had turned into irritation, and as the journey was approaching its end, so was the Colonel's already modest supply of patience. Finally, he threw his arms up in mock surrender and vented his anger.

    "That's it ! That's it, no more ! I swear, Richemont, had I known that running a political movement involved so much paperwork I'd have settled for a quiet retirement in Lorient !" said the Colonel, putting away a thick bundle of papers and several newspapers clippings.

    As if, Colonel. As if. thought the younger aide, who knew better than to take such comments at face value. His boss was born to lead, and now that guns had finally fell silent, politics were the battlefield he craved.

    Looking away from the French countryside which was rushing by, Henri Richemont smiled at his mentor's irritation, as the Colonel stirred and streched his legs in the almost empty train compartment. Since he had been wounded in Morocco, the Colonel suffered almost constant pain in his legs, and could neither stand nor sit down too long without feeling the need to change position.

    "Indeed, mon Colonel. One would say it's a small price to pay for running a very successful movement, though."

    That earned him a grunt, belied by the wrily smile on the Colonel's face. Indeed Colonel de La Rocque's Croix de Feu movement was a rising star on the French political scene. His movement had grown out of veterans' associations and had taken traditional parties by surprise. Staunchly Conservative, the Croix de Feu defended traditional values, while at the same time demanding that the Third Republic be thoroughly reformed to end a decade of governmental instability, and put France back on what the press dubbed "the Right Track". In fact, many a French politician and many a Parisian pundit was now wondering where the Croix de feu would stop - and whether they would at all. Hailed as a great patriot by the Right, denounced as a French Fascist by the Left, and looked at with a mixture of hope and apprehension by Centrists of every ilk, Colonel François de La Rocque was France's man of the moment.

    "Speaking of success, Richemont." said the Colonel "Now that this wretched paperwork is - almost - over, maybe we could talk about that memo you sent me recently. I must say I find the proposal it contains rather intriguing, and to be frank if it wasn't for the good work you did in organizing the Croix de Feu chapters in most of Western France I'd be inclined to dismiss it entirely as a hollow dream"

    Finally, thought Richemont, casting a last glance at the setting sun. Now we'll see if it was all a waste of time. Play your cards right, Henri, and you might end up being de La Rocque's chief adviser. If you don't, then it'll be back to practicing law in Poitiers. I'd rather be a kingmaker.

    "Mon Colonel, I'm glad you appreciated my work. As you know, I joined the Croix de Feu two years ago, because I wanted to serve this country even in peacetime, and couldn't stand the idea of joining any other party. My work in the movement has been mainly to resist the Jeunesses Patriotes' and the Action Française's attempts to swing our members and voters away from us, and to broaden our base so as to reach groups traditional Conservative parties usually ignore or take as granted. As such, I had to devise a regional strategy reinforcing our appeal to sympathizers and would-be members, particularly veterans, and members of the middle-class. As a result, not only have we refrained from the violence and excessive rhetoric our rivals so enjoy, we also concentrated in demonstrating the accusations of the Left regarding our supposed allegiance to Fascism were entirely unfounded. I think our results in Britanny and Poitou speak for themselves, and show this strategy is sound to win the country's Silent Majority to our cause. In fact, given the right impulsion, I humbly think it might be the key to a landslide victory in the next general elections... provided we also follow the guidelines I sent you."

    Another grunt signaled the point was well taken, and that it was time to get to the heart of the matter. Richemont took a deep breath. All right, here goes nothing.

    "Mon Colonel, I think it would be a wise strategy to use that same approach at the national level. I gather, from the various phone calls I received from our Parisian offices, that the Croix de Feu will participate in mass protests against the Government next month. The Action Française, the Jeunesses Patriotes, the Solidarité Française, by God, even the Communists want to organize mass demonstrations that you and I know will inevitably result in acts of violence. Mon Colonel, I fully understand that such violence might have its uses - under very specific circumstances, that is. But it also harms our cause more than the Communists' lies, as people will inevitably associate us with such outbreaks, with burnt cars, injured policemen and broken windows. What's more, the Government is bound to react to such violence sooner or later, and we all know that for all its inability to lead this country, it has at its disposal enormous means of repression which could be used against us."

    "Naturally. And as you know, we have been making plans to turn the movement into an official political party to avert precisely this risk. " said de La Rocque, looking at the darkening landscape. Even though he couldn't see much, now, he felt in his bones he was almost home.

    Home. But who am I fooling ? I was never made to stay at home.

    "Get to the point, Richemont, we'll be arriving soon and I have much to do before tomorrow"

    "My point, mon Colonel, is that while we should participate to the protests that will take place in a few weeks, we should also make sure they turn out in such a way that will weaken our rivals, confuse our enemies and ensure our triumph."

    As the Colonel turned away from the window, eyebrows raised, Richemont felt he was now on solid ground.

    "Violence is almost certain, mon Colonel. I know for a fact many Action Française and Communists sympathizers will travel to Paris a few days before the beginning of the protests, and you can bet will be armed with truncheons, razors, knifes and quite a few handguns. And I also know, through different channels, that the Government has ordered two full regiments' worth of Gardes Mobiles to move to Paris before the end of the week, under strict orders to use "whatever force will be deemed necessary" to deal with protesters."

    "Really ?" said La Rocque, his face starting to show real interest. What Richemont was describing indeed seemed a recipe for large-scale unrest, possibly even riots. That meants disorder and chaos. When he was in the colonial cavalry, Colonel de La Rocque always made sure to take advantage of the Arab tribes' complicated quarrels, and now that he was moving in France's higher political circles, he felt the issues and methods were not all that different. Maybe Richemont was right, and maybe there was an opportunity here. Didn't Field-Marshal Lyautey once said that the Chinese used the same word for crisis and oppoirtunity ? De La Rocque couldn't remember.

    "So, how do you plan to ensure our "triumph", under these circumstances, Henri ?"

    "Mon Colonel", said Richemont after pulling a red folder from his briefcase, "this here memorandum, which completes the proposals I've already sent you, says it all. By and large, it will be a question of positioning our forces well, acting fast, and showing some audacity. Just like in the cavalry, really. I have included a plan with potential objectives and desirable jump-off areas. If we play our cards right, mon Colonel, a very different government might be in power when spring breaks"

    To be continued....
    Last edited by Atlantic Friend; 09-10-2010 at 17:24.

  4. #4
    Old Person GeneralHannibal's Avatar
    Hearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    4,889
    Looks interesting.
    "How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct." - Benjamin Disraeli


    "Morality may consist solely in the courage of making a choice." - Leon Blum

  5. #5
    interesting...maybe we'll see a fascist france?
    The Precise History of New England -AAR Writer of the Week 5/21/06-2/28-06
    doot doot doot 4D6574 Owner of 1 Yoyo dollar, $4-anonymous4401
    Fan of the Week 2/8/06-2/15/06

    Was he free? Was he happy? The question is absurd:
    Had anything been wrong, we should certainly have heard.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    "Look behind you Mr Caesar !" Atlantic Friend's Avatar
    HoI AnthologyArsenal of DemocracyDiplomacyHearts of Iron IIISemper Fi
    Victoria 2

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    At my favorite pub, swirling AAR ideas around...
    Posts
    2,083
    CHAPTER 2 : THE TRICOLOR BARRICADES



    Riots rock Paris on that fateful day of 1934...


    Paris, the Concorde Bridge, February the 6th, 1934


    "Allo ! Allo ! Repeat what you just said ! Where are the protesters now ? Allo ! Ah, merde !"

    Trembling with rage and - above all - apprehension, Captain Charles Pélissier of the French Gendarmerie hung up the police emergency phone and turned away from the lamp post it was attached to. For the fourth time in the afternoon, the communication had been lost in mid-sentence, but whether it was the consequence of some sabotage by the rioters, or the notoriously bad state of the French telephone system was unclear.

    Hearing a snicker coming from behind him, he turned around to face the dozen Gardes Mobiles and the handful of armed firemen that were all that stood between protesters and the Assemblée Nationale, where congressmen had gathered for an emergency session to address the riotous situation. He mused a second or two about giving them some sort of defiant speech, but quickly decided against it. One, he sure didn't feel defiant right now. Two, the men facing him obviously knew it. The Gardes Mobiles were his subordinates and kept their comments for when he had his back turned, but Hébert, the firemen NCO, had a permanent smirk on his face whenever the trembling Pélissier gave orders.

    Well, we can't be all trench heroes, now can we ?, thought Pélissier bitterly, And is it my fault if I spent the war in the Gendarmerie instead of the infantry ?

    Charles Pélissier, all in all, had had a good war, with no small thanks to an uncle who had made sure his favourite nephew would not be sent to the frontlines, about which many sickening stories and horrible rumors were already circulating despite of the government's censorship. Operating in the rear, capturing stragglers or shell-shocked soldiers and turning them to the Military Justice officers under charges of looting or desertion had made sure Charles Pélissier lived through the Great War without so much as a scratch. It had also made sure he got himself quite a nice sum of money, usually taken from the "deserters", and conveniently overlooked when filling all the paperwork that followed their arrest. The only moment he had really feared for his life during these four terrible years that had left France bled white, was a few hours after the ceasefire of November, 1918. While his outfit was celebrating victory with some passable red wine confiscated from a convoy inbound for the front, he had learned that some elated Military tribunals had ordered the immediate release of a few hundred jailed soldiers, including quite a few that had made no secret about their intention to settle some grudges with a certain Gendarmerie Lieutenant. Even though none of these soldiers had appeared at the Gendarmerie station, Pélissier had found it preferable, just to be on the safe side, to call in sick for the next two weeks, pretexting the flu. And today, as he had watched the riots spread all over Paris, he had wondered how many of these veterans were now among the protesters. And whether they would recognize him. This last question made him shudder every time.

    "Bloody Hell, here they come again" muttered one of the firemen, grabbing his Lebel rifle.

    At the other end of the bridge, the chants and cries were indeed growing louder. Gunshot and explosions could also be also heard nearby, along with shrill orders given by either police officers or protesters and the sound of cavalry charging. There was no mistaking the fact the protesters were going this way, which made sense since the Assemblée Nationale was merely a stone's throw away. All rioters had to do to was to take the bridge. And all they had to do to take the bridge was to get rid of Pélissier's motley crew.



    The French police orders cavalry charges to try to regain control of the streets


    It had been like that all day, with marching columns of chanting men calling for the overthrow of the Government. Apparently, it had all begun because some Jewish businessman involved in some financial scandal had been found dead in some mountain log somewhere a few days before. The man had committed suicide - or rather, had had suicide committed to him - before he could finger his political protectors, and many people believed it was indeed the most convenient suicide ever. It had been a small thing, when compared to the lingering economic crisis or the latest speech from Hitler in Germany, but even small things could have great effect. Like a lit match falling on dry wood, the story had caused a fire, which had engulfed the Cabinet. Within days, the French Government had found itself under attack by Congressmen and newspapers, and had no choice but to fire two senior officials, including Jean Chiappe, the head of the Parisian police, whose acquaintances with the dead crook had been far too obvious. But instead of letting them go in disgrace, which might have satisfied public opinion, the two officials had received convenient promotions that had further enraged the population. The firestorm was now raging all over France, and in Paris particularly, with general accusations of corruption and cries for public hangings of politicians.

    And now I'm going to die, all because a dead Jew embezzled money ? whined Pélissier for the umpteenth time.

    The first hours of the protests had not been too harsh for the men at this barricade. In this respect, they had been much luckier than many of their colleagues, who had been assaulted, beaten up, and even fired upon, at various locations. First, Colonel Simon had been here with 50 more men, in a show of force that had kept most of the protesters at bay. Groups of veterans, wearing all their medals and including war cripples, had come to the bridge, facing the Gendarmes, and had presented their battle flags while singing the Marseillaise. Obeying to an atavistic instinct common to men who had spent a lifetime in uniform, the Gendarmes and firemen had sharply saluted the flag, and sung the national anthem with them. After the first ten "Marseillaises", though, everybody's throat had been too sore to allow more than muttering. But each time the veterans had gone away after voicing their demands, to join up the main demonstration.

    But a few hours earlier Colonel Simon had gone away to protect the Elysée Palace, fed up with waiting for orders from the new Préfet de Police, who seemed only concerned with what the newspapers would say of him the following day if he ordered to disperse the protesters forcefully - or failed to do so. And now Captain Pélissier had the distinct and terrible feeling the group that was now advancing on the bridge was probably not here to do sing-alongs. For all the discipline they showed approaching purposefully the Gendarmes' makeshift barricade, they openly displayed a variety of melee weapons and even to Pélissier's horror, military rifles. And a few tens meters behind them a mob was gathering like a big storm, approaching the bridge at the cry of "Let's drown the Députés in the Seine !".

    "Oh shit we are all going to die" said one of the firemen flatly, clearly voicing the general opinion. Pélissier, who had no intention of meeting a glorious death as long as he was alive, glanced around him like a hunted animal, looking for some way out.
    Last edited by Atlantic Friend; 09-10-2010 at 17:27.

  8. #8
    "Look behind you Mr Caesar !" Atlantic Friend's Avatar
    HoI AnthologyArsenal of DemocracyDiplomacyHearts of Iron IIISemper Fi
    Victoria 2

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    At my favorite pub, swirling AAR ideas around...
    Posts
    2,083

    Post

    CHAPTER 3 : GRANDES MANOEUVRES




    Colonel de la Rocque during Victory Day commemorations in 1933


    Colonel de La Rocque's mobile PC, near Concorde Bridge, February the 6th,1934

    One thing to say for de La Rocque, he sure knows how to organize his troops, thought Henri de Limur, as he stepped into the radio-equipped truck de La Rocque used as his PC. The truck was parked next to a newspaper stand, on a small esplanade. All around, dozens of Croix de Feu militants had deployed in circles, and had even surrounded the area with barbed wire to discourage any adventurous rioter.

    As La Rocque's personal bodyguard stepped aside to let the plump newcomer enter, de Limur cast a brief glance around him, trying to get used to the tobacco-filled atmosphere. A lone lightbulb hanging from the truck's roof was shedding some crude light over the crammed space. To the left, a radio operator was clearly receiving some report, as he scribbled furiously on a notepad. Next to the radioman, a red folder probably contained the latest reports or dispatches from the various columns of Croix de Feu protesters.

    Turning to his right, de Limur saw somebody had pinned to the side of the habitacle a map of Paris, covered in colored pins probably showing the positions of the various columns of protesters and those of the police forces. He nodded approvingly. For all the differences of opinion that usually opposed him to the Croix de Feu, he too preferred cold efficiency to the romantic chaos that had unfortunately become the trademark of the Action Française. Under the map, a large bucket half-full of sand apparently served as the occupants' ashtray.

    Stepping forward, he saw de La Rocque and was rather surprised to find him wearing his old colonel uniform instead of his usual striped suit.

    Taking a trip down Memory Lane, eh ? pondered de Limur as he shook hands with the Croix de Feu leader and his staff. Maybe de La Rocque was just enjoying playing soldiers again after all. De Limur shrugged. Everybody chased down a dream, and if one could find back one's dissipated youth along the way, that was perfectly fine with Henri de Limur.

    "Colonel, I see you're remarkably installed here." began de Limur, who always made a point to begin a conversation by saying something polite. It was said he had complimented his adversary about his elegant white shirt during a duel - and after that, he had made sure he soaked the garment with the man's blood.

    "And", de Limur added more purposefully, "remarkably positioned...out there". He gestured towards the general direction of the Seine river, where the main columns of protesters were fighting their way towards official buildings.

    The Croix de Feu leader received both compliments with a modest smile and a nod, but remained silent. He and his aides were listening politely, but apparently did not desire to say much.

    Oh please, Colonel, thought de Limur, irritated by the silence in which his words seem to dissolve. Do I have to court you like a young demoiselle, now ?

    "Let's talk frankly, shall we ? I have been sent to you by our own leaders, who have received their instructions from le Grand Charles himself", said de Limur, referring to one of the nicknames of Charles Maurras, the charismatic figurehead and vitriolic columnist who had founded the Action Française out of a galaxy of Royalist nostalgics, local Fascists and antisemites who still hadn't gotten over the end of the Dreyfus affair.

    The Action Française was always calling for the toppling of the Republican regime, and was relying on roving bands of thugs and well-off students who called themselves "Camelots du Roi" to inspire terror to Republican bourgeois, Socialists and Communists alike. What would or should happen to France after the downfall of the Republic was usually best left unspoken, for the Action Française leaders simultaneously desired to reinstall monarchy, restore Napoleonic glory, and to establish a French variant of Italian Fascism. Once the Republican Whore would be dead, they kept repeating, everything would be sorted out very easily. On such flimsy basis great political movements manage to thrive sometimes, providing they keep dodging every key issue, and Charles Maurras made sure the AF never derailed from its "blame-the-Republic" platform.

    "Colonel" said de Limur, really irritated now that the mention of Charles Maurras had utterly failed to cause a stir among the Croix de Feu leadership, "your troops are best positioned to take over the Palais Bourbon, despite our Camelots' best efforts to force the police barricades. If we manage to take the Assemblée Nationale now, then we'll show these corrupt congressmen that France has had enough !"

    "Indeed France has had enough" finally said de La Rocque, "And fear not, my dear Henri, we are going to pay the Assemblée Nationale a visit. I'm going to take the Palais Bourbon, Henri !"

    "But" added one of de La Rocque's aides de Limur couldn't remember the name of, "neither with you, nor for you".

    "What ? What do you mean ?" asked a completely confused de Limur. "I warn you, this is not the time to play riddles and stupid games, not when we are so close to our goal !". Only cold stares replied, de La Rocque merely sighing and nodding, almost regretfully, at someone at the back of the truck.

    Before de Limur could understand what was happening, the Croix de Feu bodyguard rammed the heavy bucket over his head and turned the dazed Royalist around. As a blinded de Limur staggered forward, the bodyguard grabbed his collar and punched him hard in the stomach, before sending his knee in the plump man's groin. The Royalist fell down like an ox in a slaughterhouse.

    "I am sorry, Henri. Really sorry" said de La Rocque to the limp body "but I feel there was no other way to do things. Jacques" he said, addressing the radio, "you may now transmit the order to all our columns. They should all be between our objectives and the mobs, so I want the column leaders to establish contact with the every roadblock in the coming hour. Everything must be ready before sunset "

    Wincing as he looked at the crumpled form of de Limur the bodyguard was now gagging, he stood up and walked forward. "Well, gentlemen, there's no turning back now. It's time to remind this Republic of ours what it owes to the men who fought and died for her!"
    Last edited by Atlantic Friend; 09-10-2010 at 17:29.

  9. #9
    Very interesting... Good use of history in fiction... promted me to look things up to see what was real. That means I'm hooked.

  10. #10
    "Look behind you Mr Caesar !" Atlantic Friend's Avatar
    HoI AnthologyArsenal of DemocracyDiplomacyHearts of Iron IIISemper Fi
    Victoria 2

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    At my favorite pub, swirling AAR ideas around...
    Posts
    2,083
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamc1776
    Very interesting... Good use of history in fiction... promted me to look things up to see what was real. That means I'm hooked.

    Many thanks, Adam. I'll try to use as many real characters as possible, and to stick as much as possible to their real personality.

    Colonel François de La Rocque is certainly a very interesting character. Officer, gentleman, nobleman, not a political genius but a good organizer. If it hadn't been for his decision (or lack thereof) in 1934, the Third French Republic could have fallen one day in February...

    Anyone interested in the guy can read "The Collapse of the Third Republic" by William Shirer or "Le Colonel de La Roque, ou les pièges du nationalisme chrétien" by some French historian I just can't remember right now.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Atlantic Friend
    Many thanks, Adam. I'll try to use as many real characters as possible, and to stick as much as possible to their real personality.

    Colonel François de La Rocque is certainly a very interesting character. Officer, gentleman, nobleman, not a political genius but a good organizer. If it hadn't been for his decision (or lack thereof) in 1934, the Third French Republic could have fallen one day in February...

    Anyone interested in the guy can read "The Collapse of the Third Republic" by William Shirer or "Le Colonel de La Roque, ou les pièges du nationalisme chrétien" by some French historian I just can't remember right now.
    Shirer is always an interesting read.

    Any guest aperences by Marc Bloc? 'stange victory' perhapes

  12. #12
    Old Person GeneralHannibal's Avatar
    Hearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    4,889
    Looks like a coup is going to happen, I'm just not sure what the ideology that will replace it exactly is.
    "How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct." - Benjamin Disraeli


    "Morality may consist solely in the courage of making a choice." - Leon Blum

  13. #13
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
    Hearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonCrusader Kings IIDeus VultEuropa Universalis: ChroniclesFor The Glory
    Hearts of Iron IIIHearts of Iron III CollectionEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: Revolutions
    Victoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessMount & Blade: WarbandEU Rome Collectors Edition
    EU3 Collectors Edition500k clubEuropa Universalis IVEUIV: Wealth of NationsEUIV: Conquest of Paradise
    EUIV: Res Publica

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Taunton, UK
    Posts
    17,318
    Blog Entries
    7
    Looking good so far. What would France be without the occasional barricade?
    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.

  14. #14
    "Look behind you Mr Caesar !" Atlantic Friend's Avatar
    HoI AnthologyArsenal of DemocracyDiplomacyHearts of Iron IIISemper Fi
    Victoria 2

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    At my favorite pub, swirling AAR ideas around...
    Posts
    2,083
    CHAPTER 4 : MANNING THE WALLS






    February the 6th, 1934, a day that will define the French Republic forever



    "Get out of the way ! Get out of the way ! Colonel de La Rocque is coming ! "

    Standing on the footboard of a requisitioned police lorry, Pélissier was shouting at the top of his voice, ordering Gendarmes to stand down and open their roadblocks, waving at any police officer raising his weapon, and making sure they saw his stripes and uniform. Behind that first vehicle, the radio truck and another lorry carried de La Rocque and a chosen group of Croix de Feu.

    He still couldn't believe his luck. When the armed men had approached his hastily-made barricade - merely two police lorries parked front to front - Pélissier had been sure he was living his last moments on Earth. As much as he wanted to run away, he could not command his body to move an inch, and had just looked at the column of Croix de Feu like a rabbit caught in the lights of a rapidly approaching car. And then, just as he thought he would go mad with terror, they had stopped and opened their ranks to give way to a short and energetic middle-aged man who, after a quick appraising glance at the defenders, had addressed a shaking Pélissier.

    "Captain, are you in charge of this roadblock ?"

    Blinking hard, Pélissier had felt he was slowly waking up from a deep slumber.

    "I, er..."

    "I said, CAPTAIN, are YOU in CHARGE of this ROADBLOCK ?" had repeated the newcomer, his voice radiating impatience and authority. His tone did the trick. Pélissier had known this kind of voice since his boyhood. It was the voice of the schoolmaster. It was the voice of the priest. It was the voice of the NCOs during his military service. It was the voice of his first Captain. It was a voice that commanded immediate obedience, and immediate obedience had always been Pélissier's answer to it.

    "Y-yes, I mean, yes sir, I am in charge here, sir" had stuttered Pélissier.

    "I see. Now Captain, I am Major Chaumont, and I am here with these men under orders to help you defend this roadblock against rioters and looters. We wouldn't want this bridge to fall under their control, now would we ?"

    "No, no sir, we don't want that sir" automatically replied Pélissier, falling back into that comfortable feeling he always had when he found himself on the side of authority. Basically, Pélissier belonged to that part of humanity who needed clear instructions to function, and it was often a wonder to him that some people would find it acceptable to disregard, or even disobey, an order given by a superior authority.

    "Good. Consider your men relieved, but you and them, Captain, shall stay here. I might need you later. In fact, I'm pretty sure I will. Here's what I want you to do... " began Chaumont, his piercing eyes locked into Pélissier's.

    The rest of the evening had been calm on the bridge, but explosions and gunshots could still be heard everywhere in the city, along with the shrill sound of police whistles. As the sun set over a troubled country, Pélissier and the firemen noticed thick smoke billowing from various districts. Somebody seemed to have started a fire close to the Republican Guard barracks. No sooner had Pélissier turned around to see if the Assemblée Nationale was also ablaze that a blaring horn brought his attention back to the roadblock. A large khaki truck, equipped with a diamond-shaped radio antenna, was approaching, waiting for the Croix de Feu to push the lorries out of the road.

    Suddenly appearing next to Pélissier, Chaumont had taken his arm in a firm grip and motioned him forward, as the truck grinded into a stop and men began to disembark.

    "Captain, now is the time I need you the most, so do not disappoint me." hissed Chaumont.

    Reaching the truck, Pélissier had almost bumped into a tall man wearing a colonel uniform. Blushing, he immediately snapped into attention.

    "Mon Colonel, I am Captain Pélissier of the Gendarmerie. I have been instructed by Major Chaumont here to help you reach the Assemblée Nationale. This should be easy, sir, as most men positioned over there belong to my outfit"

    "Ah. Good. Good. Go gather your men, Captain, we move in 5 minutes." replied de la Rocque, looking the young officer up and down.

    Hardly someone one could lean upon, and certainly not someone I could depend upon, but he'll do.

    As the little motorcade had prepared to move towards the Assemblée Nationale, de La Rocque turned to Chaumont with a wry smile.

    "MAJOR Chaumont ? My, what a meteoric career you had, sergeant !"

    Chaumont winced apologetically "When I joined, mon Colonel, they told me every private had a Maréchal's staff in their knapsack. Surely you don't mean they lied to me ?"

    "Surely not"
    Last edited by Atlantic Friend; 09-10-2010 at 17:32.

  15. #15
    "Look behind you Mr Caesar !" Atlantic Friend's Avatar
    HoI AnthologyArsenal of DemocracyDiplomacyHearts of Iron IIISemper Fi
    Victoria 2

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    At my favorite pub, swirling AAR ideas around...
    Posts
    2,083
    Quote Originally Posted by stnylan
    Looking good so far. What would France be without the occasional barricade?
    Easier to rule, as every king, emperor and conqueror would attest.

  16. #16
    "Look behind you Mr Caesar !" Atlantic Friend's Avatar
    HoI AnthologyArsenal of DemocracyDiplomacyHearts of Iron IIISemper Fi
    Victoria 2

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    At my favorite pub, swirling AAR ideas around...
    Posts
    2,083
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralHannibal
    Looks like a coup is going to happen, I'm just not sure what the ideology that will replace it exactly is.
    Oddly enough, the question of what exactly was the ideology of the Croix de Feu was open in the 1930s, and the answers that were given had usually more to do with personal bias than with La Rocque's own speeches.

    In RL, de la Rocque clearly was a Conservative Christian, but at the same time he acknowledged that social progress had been best defended by the Left. He admired Mussolini (as Churchill did BTW), but thought Italian Fascism (and dictatorship in general) to be ill-suited for France. He admired the bravery of the German soldiers he fought, but stayed all his life anti-German, refusing any attempt to even get closer to the Weimar Republic. He was considered a Fascist, but was sent to a concentration camp for acts of Resistance. He was a politician, but at the same time hoped Christian spirit could bring together people from the Left and from the Right go beyond politics. He was, however, crystal clear on several points : he hated Communism and Nazism, he hated Germans, he thought Jews or Blacks had to be treated exactly like any other person, as foreigners living in France were meant to be integrated, not discriminated against.

    All in all, a strange character, one of these wild cards that could have shaped an entirely different France. I read some of the political programs he published in 1938, and I must say I was quite surprised at how modern some of his views were.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Atlantic Friend
    Easier to rule, as every king, emperor and conqueror would attest.
    And 'republican' too

  18. #18
    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
    Hearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonCrusader Kings IIDeus VultEuropa Universalis: ChroniclesFor The Glory
    Hearts of Iron IIIHearts of Iron III CollectionEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's AmbitionVictoria: Revolutions
    Victoria 2Victoria II: A House DividedVictoria II: Heart of DarknessMount & Blade: WarbandEU Rome Collectors Edition
    EU3 Collectors Edition500k clubEuropa Universalis IVEUIV: Wealth of NationsEUIV: Conquest of Paradise
    EUIV: Res Publica

    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Taunton, UK
    Posts
    17,318
    Blog Entries
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Atlantic Friend
    Chaumont winced apologetically "When I joined, mon colonel, they told me every private had a Maréchal's staff in their knapsack. Surely you don't mean they lied to me ?"
    I found this really very amusing - a lovely touch of humour to properly round the update off.
    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.

  19. #19
    Lt. General TheExecuter's Avatar
    Europa Universalis 3Victoria 2500k club

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Shuttling back and forth between work and that someone special...
    Posts
    1,690
    Very interesting start!

    "Subscribed"

    Eagerly waiting for the form of the new government!
    The Last Mission A Love Story

    There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.

  20. #20
    Old Person GeneralHannibal's Avatar
    Hearts of Iron 2: ArmageddonEuropa Universalis III: In NomineEU3 Napoleon's Ambition

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Baltimore
    Posts
    4,889
    So France will stay Democratic? I'm still very unsure of what will happen.
    "How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct." - Benjamin Disraeli


    "Morality may consist solely in the courage of making a choice." - Leon Blum

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 123 1 2 3 11 26 51 76 101 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts