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Thread: Weltkriegschaft

  1. #721
    So Hitler has beaten France, but will England go down without a fight. Afterall, they've got all the time in the world . . .

    Most excellent.
    "Do you have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something at somepoint in your life."
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    And when he cried the little children died in the streets.
    -Epitaph on a Tyrant by W. H. Auden

  2. #722
    trekaddict - Indeed. He may show up unexpectedly .

    TheExecuter - Yes. Just as success manifests, final victory and peace slip out into the gloom.

    Slaughts - Make no mistake; Hitler and the Wehrmacht have no intentions of letting the British go unchecked.

    Kurt_Steiner - Yes it is.

    stnylan - Ah. So it will seem to many people on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Ironhewer - Thanks! As to the sitation -- For England: No Dunkirk. Against England: Stanley Baldwin is PM. Shall this be the Empire's finest hour? Stay tuned for Chapter III!
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  3. #723
    Quote Originally Posted by TheHyphenated1
    Ironhewer - Thanks! As to the sitation -- For England: No Dunkirk. Against England: Stanley Baldwin is PM. Shall this be the Empire's finest hour? Stay tuned for Chapter III!
    Those massive aircraft losses don't bode well for the British either, but I doubt you've built enough squadrons over the past 6 months to mount a proper defense of the coast.

    At least the Soviets aren't able to do anything to you. I've heard tales of the Reds DoWing Poland just to clear a path though, so watch out.

  4. #724
    dublish - Correct. No new squadrons formed yet. Nobody in the Reich is going to let Stalin pull any fast ones, though!
    Weltkriegschaft
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  5. #725

    Chapter III: Part I

    Chapter III: The Lion’s Den

    Part I


    June 7, 1936

    It was a clear and sunny morning in the British crown colony of Hong Kong, unusually so. The streets of Kowloon City busily hummed with the half-dozen languages spoken by the laborers, fishmongers, bureaucrats and Christians going about their Sunday business. At the city’s heart, the orderly traffic of Nathan Road descended into a jostling mass of horse-drawn carts, rickshaws, bicycles, automobiles and pedestrians. Here and there, a vendor was trying to hawk his wares in the middle of the street, drawing angry shouts from passing motorists.

    Wai Chungtai skillfully wove his bicycle through the crowd, heading northward. He looked more lingeringly than usual at the landmarks along his way, but stopped to speak to no one. He had a long ride ahead of him. Wai was fifty years old, and pedaling more than a few miles always gave him sore muscles during the night. It was strange, he thought, not to be worrying about that as he turned onto the wide thoroughfare of Tai Po Road.


    Kowloon City was the second most populous area of Hong Kong.


    Tai Po Road led him gradually out of Kowloon City and into the hills that overlooked Hong Kong -- and the most difficult part of his ride.

    For six years, Wai had worked as an electrician at the German consulate -- until it had been closed at the outbreak of the war. Without a job, he had been forced to take work as a dishwasher, but the income this provided was insufficient to support his household of seven. He had purchased a pair of shears and hired himself out as a gardener, calling on many of the westerners he had met through his work at the consulate.

    One of them, an Austrian businessman known in Hong Kong as Louis Seng, had been happy to employ him tending the hedges outside his large home in the district of Yau Tsim Mong. By the end of his first day, the two had become rather friendly, talking to one another amicably over the porch-rail. As Wai was mounting his bicycle to head for home, Seng had handed him a HK$100 note.

    Wai had bowed deeply. “Thank you Herr, ah --”

    “Oh, sorry. My western name is not Louis Seng but Louis Senner”

    “Senner?” he had asked. “Are you perhaps a relation of Klaus Senner, the dye exporter?”

    “Yes, he was my uncle.”

    “I used to be a personal pilot for him in the twenties. He went to Shanghai quite a lot.”

    Louis had invited him into his spacious parlor, and they had spoken for several more hours about their recollections of Klaus Senner -- whose death in 1929 had led Wai to first take work at the consulate. Funny, Wai had thought, how such coincidences arise.

    Three mornings later, he had collapsed while working in Senner’s garden. The doctors at Kwong Wah Hospital informed him that he had advanced stomach cancer. The British chief physician gravely told him that he would probably have just a few months to live.

    Now, Wai bit his lip against the pain inside him -- it had been growing worse in recent weeks. He was halfway to his destination now. Kowloon City was no longer in sight, and the twin mountains of Golden Hill and Beacon Hill rose around the Tai Po Road, which was nearly empty. Wai enjoyed the luxury of not having to spend all his attention on getting through the traffic. His mind slipped back into its calming reverie.

    Several days after returning to work, Wai had been asked into the parlor again. Another westerner in a dark suit was sitting silently next to Senner, who gestured towards a finely upholstered divan under the window.

    When he had sat down, Senner looked him at him directly. “You worked for the Germans and yet live under British rule. Who would you rather see win the war, Herr Wai? Great Britain or Germany?”

    Wai had been taken aback. “Pardon?”

    Senner had asked the question again.

    “I --” Wai had said, trying to discern which answer was expected, “hope to see a return to peace.”

    “Herr Wai,” the Austrian had chided, “please do not show disrespect to my guest and I. Who would you rather see win?”

    Furrowing his brow, Wai tried to recall the details of a speech by Adolf Hitler which he had read in the consulate. “Because the French and English soldiers were the -- mongers of war -- it would be better to see them frustrated in their aggression.”

    Senner laughed. “Yes. I agree with you, Herr Wai.”

    He had then asked Wai a strange series of questions pertaining to his skills as a pilot, the aircraft he had flown and the condition of his eyesight.

    “Herr Wai, I believe you are in a position to be of great help to Hong Kong.”

    “How can I be of help to Hong Kong, Herr Senner? I am about to die, I fear.”

    “That is precisely why you are able to perform this service.”

    The memory was so clear. The Tai Po Road was now coursing downhill into Sha Tin. Wai stopped pedaling to give his legs a rest. At last, he saw to his right the smaller road that would take him east, under the shadow of Mong Fu Shek. Amah Rock to the British, the giant stony outcrop was said in legend to have once been a fisherman’s wife and her son, who had climbed the hills every day to watch the sea for his return, unaware that he had been lost in a storm. As a reward for her faithfulness, the stories said, the goddess Matsu had turned them to stone to reunite her spirit with that of her husband. Wai wondered whether his own spirit would reunite with his parents after he died. A fleeting excitement rose in him at the thought. He had not seen his mother in twenty-five years, his father in seven. Soon.

    In Louis Senner’s parlor, he had sat in silence, uncomprehending of what he had heard.

    “Surely you have seen the aircraft carrier that has come to Hong Kong?”

    “Yes. It is docked at the Tamar naval base in Victoria Harbour.”

    Senner nodded. “That ship is called the HMS Eagle. Its presence will soon bring the fighting to Hong Kong.”

    “Really?” Wai had almost shouted. “How can this happen?”

    “When you worked at the consulate here, you probably heard about the Kriegsmarine. Is that correct?”

    “Yes I have. The Kriegsmarine is the name for the navy of Germany.”

    “The Kriegsmarine will be forced to come to Hong Kong if that ship remains here. If that is so, there shall be a terrible battle. Hard British soldiers from India would be sent here, and quartered in the homes of civilians, such as your family. Then the German army, which is called the Heer, would be forced to also come to Hong Kong, where a second terrible battle would be fought, but this time in the streets and in the neighborhoods. Do you believe these things that I am telling you, Herr Wai?”

    “I do not know.”

    Senner had frowned. “Please do not make me remind you a second time to be respectful toward my guest and I. What is your answer to the question I have asked you?”

    “I believe that the Germans will come… But I also believe that the British would be able to drive them out of Hong Kong.” Having said this, Wai had looked fearfully at the two westerners.

    “You are a smart man, Wai Chungtai. I acknowledge that this is a possibility. Even if the Germans are defeated, however, many of Hong Kong’s people would be killed during the struggle. Would you want to see that happen?”

    “No.”

    Senner’s face had grown very grave. “You will die very soon, Wai. There is a way that you could prevent that battle from taking place, but it would probably cost you your life. Are you willing to do this?”

    “What about my family? I am the only wage-earner for a household of seven, including myself.”

    “Nor would you be able to support them when the cancer has killed you. However, if you undertake this action, my friend can assure you that your family will be taken care of. This would be a token of thanks, in honor of the service you would perform for all the civilian people of Hong Kong.”

    “How do you mean this?”

    “My friend would be able to obtain £10,000 that will be given to your family. According to Friday’s exchange rate, that is HK$162,000, Herr Wai.”

    Wai had goggled.

    “Your family will be able to live comfortably, and your children can be educated in a fashion that you could not provide even if you lived another twenty years.”

    “What will my wife be told about the money?”

    “My friend and his friends can tell her whatever you like, Herr Wai. I would suggest that she be told that the money has been disbursed from one of my uncle’s trusts in honor of your faithful service. Is this amenable to you?”

    “Yes.”

    Senner had nodded to his silent companion. “Then, Herr Wai, it is time that I tell you how you may perform this most honorable service.”

    Presently, the road under Wai’s bicycle narrowed. A chain link fence was ahead, a lone sentry standing before the gate. Dismounting, Wai walked it forward, rummaging through his satchel for his papers.

    The sentry leaned idly against the fence, a lit cigarette flapping between his lips. “Your pass please.” Then, belatedly and perfunctorily: “Sir.”

    Wai took some annoyance at the younger man’s tone, but it would be unseemly to make issue of it today. He handed the sentry his stamped pass without comment. In a single motion of his wrist the man accepted it and handed it back. “Go right in… Sir.”

    Sitting in Senner’s parlor, Wai had listened wordlessly to the details of his task.

    “There is an aircraft you will be provided with. It is faster and a little bit more powerful than the ones you flew for my uncle, but that should not pose a problem. The aircraft will be fully fuelled, and a bomb will be placed in the back. You will fly out of a small airstrip in Sha Tin, and climb up over Victoria Harbour. There, you will see the Eagle sitting off the naval docks. You will then aim your plane towards the center of the ship’s large flight deck and crash deliberately into it at full speed.”

    “Crash? Full speed?”

    Senner had nodded. “That is correct. If you do exactly as I have said -- and do not crash half-heartedly or only glancingly -- it will be the impact and not the flames that will kill you. This way, you will not feel a thing, even for a moment.”

    “How can that be, Herr Senner?”

    “Please trust me in memory of my uncle, Herr Wai. If you crash in the manner I have instructed you, your body will die before your nerves have a chance to signal your brain.”

    He had looked pleadingly at the two men. “I -- have no choice now in carrying this out, do I?”

    Senner looked at the his blond companion, and then back to Wai. “It is the thing which you must do.”

    “May I discuss this with my wife?”

    “No. It is best that way. She will be told that you died some other way, which will be easier for her to accept. In some things, Herr Wai, we must act in a person’s best interest without their knowledge. Is that not so?”

    “It is so.”

    “And of course,” Senner had added, “you are absolutely forbidden to discuss your service with anyone else whatsoever. If you do so, you shall endanger myself, your family and the many innocent people in Hong Kong who will be harmed if that ship remains here. Do you understand?”

    “I do, Herr Senner.”

    The next day, Senner had taken Wai by car to a tiny private airstrip carved out of the hills overlooking Sha Tin. There, he had given him a pass stating that he was an authorized employee of an aircraft-owning person. Walking across the asphalt, Senner had pointed out the plane.

    “Look at the silver plane on your left -- the one without company markings. That is known as a Beechcraft Staggerwing, after the peculiar arrangement of its wings.”


    The Beechcraft Staggerwing was highly regarded for its speed and power.


    Wai had taken it for a test flight over Sha Tin -- the aircraft was uncommonly powerful, but he soon became proficient at its controls. When he returned to the airstrip, Senner had complimented him on his skill as a pilot. “Your aim will be true, Wai Chungtai.”

    All throughout the last days of May, Wai had risen at six and bicycled from his home in Kwun Tong -- near Kowloon City -- down to the docks at the north side of Victoria Harbour. From this position, he could observe the giant ship from directly across the deep channel dividing the Kowloon Peninsula from Hong Kong Island. He had endeavored to commit to memory as much of the harbor’s layout as possible, so that he could be guaranteed of striking true when the time came.


    The HMS Eagle, photographed off the Chinese coast on its cruise to Hong Kong, May 1936.


    On the first day in June, Senner had informed him of the appointed date. He would find the plane serviced and ready when he arrived that morning.

    Wai now saw the plane prepared just as had been promised. He looked around for a post for his bicycle, until he realized that he would not be needing it again. He set it down rather awkwardly on the ground.

    The Staggerwing glinted brightly in the morning sun. A low step ladder was already in place next to the door. Wai opened it and climbed into the cockpit. Behind him, where passengers would normally sit, was a cluster of large metal cylinders. His stomach turned, and he felt a stab of pain. He turned back toward the controls and went through his pre-flight procedures.

    Would he see his parents today? Ever? He smiled, knowing that he would soon have the answer whatever it was.

    He threw the magneto switches, and after four coughs the engine roared to life. The double-bladed propeller turned into a blur rotating first clockwise, then counterclockwise, then back again. He opened the throttle and taxied into position on the short runway.

    Wai realized that he had forgotten to take special notice of his last step on the ground, which he had promised himself he would do. For a moment he debated shutting down the engine and getting out, but decided against it. He began his takeoff run.

    With the throttle up, the Beechcraft accelerated very quickly. Just before the end of the runway, Wai pulled the yoke up sharply and the ground rapidly fell away. He continued to climb, until even the mountains overlooking Sha Tin were far below him. The altimeter read 4000 feet. He leveled off, and brought the aircraft into a gradual turn to the southeast.

    He was now over the water of Tolo Channel. Visibility was good, and in the distance he could see the mountains on Hong Kong Island that looked down on Victoria Harbour.

    Far below, the Staggerwing’s shadow passed over the narrow neck of land separating Tolo Channel from the harbor at Sai Kung Hoi.

    Wai hoped that his children, wife and parents-in-law would remember his farewells to them that morning -- for only he had known that they would be final. He checked his wristwatch. Ten forty-five. His wife and oldest daughter would be at the market right now, buying for seven. He felt a tear come to his eye.

    The aircraft passed back over land just north of Hang Hau. He was now flying southwest, in a straight line toward Hong Kong Island. He looked out over his wing, and could see the many white rooftops of Kwun Tong. His family’s house was down there -- somewhere.

    The deep blue channel of Victoria Harbour was relatively empty, saving a number of small market boats and pleasure yachts. He began to look for the Eagle.

    He gasped as the pain in his stomach stabbed again. That, he realized, was one more thing he would no longer have to worry about.

    Wai brought his eyes back up to scan the harbor. He saw it almost immediately, sitting off the naval docks, parallel to the island’s coastline. The tan flight deck that formed the top of the huge carrier could almost be mistaken for a pier from this altitude.

    He banked slightly to align himself with the centerline of the ship.

    I will feel no pain.

    Throttle opened fully, he sent the Beechcraft into a rapid descent, as he had been instructed.

    The carrier grew larger and larger as the ground approached.

    Wai could hear nothing but the pounding of his own heart. The altimeter was dropping. He thought he might lose consciousness and miss the ship.

    Full speed, straight down and I will feel nothing.

    He angled the plane sharply downward. He was gripping the yoke so hard that he could no longer feel his hands. The White Ensign was now clearly visible flying from the mast.

    For an instant there was a blur that could have been people, and then all he saw was deck.

    Wai Chungtai whispered his mother’s name -- and disappeared into a plume of fire and tarry black smoke that stained the morning sky.
    Last edited by TheHyphenated1; 25-11-2010 at 06:33.
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  6. #726
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Oh boy... Now what did you do? AFAIK there is no way you can target specific units with stuff like that except by event.
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  7. #727
    Second Lieutenant SeleucidRex's Avatar

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    great post and narrative. ick, i wouldn't want to kill myself like that, even if it would save my hometown a battle.
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  8. #728
    trekaddict - Truth be told [Spoileroid Alert, highlight to read]: this represents what is seemingly a glitch in the game. HMS Eagle just turned up damaged on the morning of the seventh. No hostile warships for thousands of miles. No battles recorded, nothing. Therefore, the damage clearly came from something not represented in the HoI2 system, namely Wai Chungtai's suicide attack.

    SeleucidRex - Thank you very much sir! As Senner said, if you did it right it wouldn't hurt a bit .
    Last edited by TheHyphenated1; 31-07-2008 at 09:52.
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  9. #729
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    I see.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  10. #730
    First Lieutenant ShadowWarrior's Avatar
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    That last bit was great, my heart beat raced as much as Wai's supposedly did.

    On the comment of Trekaddict, I thought in the line of Naval Bombers doing a Port bombiing raid to align with your story, but I read your hidden message and found it rather akward.
    Could it be possible that she was rebased from England and got involved in a naval battle along the way?
    "In our eyes, the German boy of the future must be slim and slender, as fast as a greyhound, tough as leather and hard as Krupp steel." („... der deutsche Junge der Zukunft muß schlank und rank sein, flink wie Windhunde, zäh wie Leder und hart wie Kruppstahl.”) - Adolf Hitler

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  11. #731
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    Germans using the Selbstodt idea... Adolf, what are you up to?

    Great update
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  12. #732
    My bet: The Italians did it..

    Nice update. I wonder if this will have any in-story consequences for Hong Kong or the British presence in East Asia...

  13. #733
    ShadowWarrior - Thanks! As for the explanation (because grayed-out text is just fun ): I have save games from 0200 June 7, 1936 and 0400 June 7, 1936. These times correspond to the 10AM - 12PM window, Hong Kong time. In the first, HMS Eagle is sitting there undamaged. In the second, she has been damaged. Because the game is already completed, for narrative purposes I regularly load the saves from other nations to check details (c.f. Chapter II: Part VII, where I had to make sure that the HMS Exeter was in place for Attlee to tour and Friedmann to meet him there). I checked Italy (which had no ships for thousands of miles -- prompting my earlier use of the term 'hostile') , Great Britain (for which no battle was recorded, and for which the ship had been safely in port for weeks), Guanxi Clique (just to make sure they weren't trying to pull a fast one) and a few others that don't come to mind at the moment. The UK is not at war with anyone other than Germany and Italy, which rules out attack by Japan, which is the only power right now that even has any number of Naval Bombers. In that vein, the Regia Aeronautica didn't have anyone any closer than Africa either.

    According to my overall AAR-writing philosophy, the HoI2 engine is merely a method of representation, or abstraction of "true" events (notice the quotation marks -- I'm not that far-gone yet ). Imagine someone who meticulously read the history about WW2 and tried to faithfully re-enact the whole war using the HoI2 system. My process is almost exactly the reverse of that. Therefore, in areas that fall outside the scope of the system, I have some leeway (e.g. when a province has been captured or not, because as we all know, provinces are not occupied instantaneously). In other cases though (like ship damage), I more or less have to take whatever crazy things my "representation system" throws at me, and explain them away as plausibly as possible.

    In the end, someone can believe whatever they want about how the damage physically appeared in the save game. Could it have been a computer glitch, some crossed synchronicity of assembly language commands? Maybe a bug that allowed the port defenses to attack their own ship? Maybe a flaw in my graphics card (HA!), a power surge or a savefile corruption? Absolutely. For my own purposes, though, and the purposes of Weltkriegschaft, once I had conducted a satisfactory examination for "normal" causes, I was forced to accept the solution that gave the engine the benefit of the doubt (I'll admit, from a strictly literalist point of view absurdly so). Or, put another way -- I do my best to make an obviously limited representation look good, competent and comprehensive.


    Kurt_Steiner - Thanks! What is the Selbstodt idea? I'm not familiar.

    dublish - Thank you! See my lengthy and very gray reply to ShadowWarrior regarding your bet. Actually, there will be both in-story consequences and in-game consequences .
    Last edited by TheHyphenated1; 31-07-2008 at 23:46.
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  14. #734
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    That my friend makes sense.
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  15. #735
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    One rather feels that he is another victim in all of this.
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  16. #736
    American Fascist Slaughts's Avatar
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    Seems both Senner and the other westerner were agents of the Abwher or the unknown guy was part of it and Senner was just a sympathetic Austrian Nazi official.
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  17. #737
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    I just caught up, TheHyphenated1, and am impressed enough to de-lurk, as I have been on these forums since april.

    Looking forward to whatever is next,

    Charis

  18. #738
    "Look behind you Mr Caesar !" Atlantic Friend's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=TheHyphenated1]
    Kurt_Steiner - Thanks! What is the Selbstodt idea? I'm not familiar.
    QUOTE]

    From the heights of my three years of learning German, I'd say it's suicide. "Selbst" is "self", IIRC, and "Todt" is "death".

  19. #739
    What a rush of comments all at once there!

    trekaddict - I'm glad!

    stnylan - Quite so. He was clearly exploited.

    Slaughts - We haven't seen the last of them .

    Charis - Thank you very much indeed! I do appreciate your taking the time to comment.

    Atlantic Friend - Aha, of course! Thank you. I was reading that as someone's name...
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  20. #740
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHyphenated1
    Atlantic Friend - Aha, of course! Thank you. I was reading that as someone's name...
    Actually during the final days of World War 2 in Europe the Germans contemplated using a Kamikaze-style suicide tactic to stem the Allied Bomber offensive using fanatical Nazi Luftwaffe pilots and barely trained but equally fanatic Hitler Youth. IIRC they even formed a group or two, and I have this amazing book about German Aviation projects from 1933-1945 (ISBN 3-8289-5315-8) which contains an incredible number of aviation projects from simple trainers over helicopter prototypes to simply outrageous stuff like the Sänger Space plane concept, and in it you can find a picture of a manned version of the V-1 vengance weapon that was supposed to ram the Allied Bomber. They actually flew these things, but as far as I know the only 'success' these suicide units had were made with normal fighter Aircraft.
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    Possibly the world's most British German as awarded by El Pip here.

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