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Thread: Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two

  1. #4181
    Monarchist Griffin.Gen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    You have a point, but even if someone with a legitimate claim to the throne could be found, both Austria and Hungary are seen as Axis powers, and turning the two small countries into one big one would be seen as rewarding them, so for political reasons the idea is dead. I can't comment on the post-war military/political/economic reasoning against it too much without massive spoilers, but I can tell you that they are against it too.
    Well...
    Austria was known for being "The Third Reich's first victim" and in OTL, Hungary was invaded by the Germans when Horty signed a peace with the Soviets. So yeah.
    To be honest, Otto von Habsburg would probably be able to spur up some resistance in Austria-Hungary, which would be a great help for the Brits fighting the Axis+USSR without the US.
    To be honest, Austria-Hungary could be re-created democratically. That's something the Brits can't really stop.

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  2. #4182
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin.Gen View Post
    Well...
    Austria was known for being "The Third Reich's first victim" and in OTL, Hungary was invaded by the Germans when Horty signed a peace with the Soviets. So yeah.
    Sorry, but OTL and TTL that statement is less than true, it originates from after the war when they tried to whitewash themselves of their responsibility. More on PM, due to OT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Jones View Post
    Dill, Wavell, Paget (good luck) Neame or Nye are the obvious ones.
    It is indeed the obvious ones but it's not an inspiring list is it? I'd probably knock it down to a list of two really.

    Nye always struck me as a better 2ic than a leader, though I suppose as he never got the chance that may be unfair on the chap. I can't support Neame (any general who gets himself captured must be at least a bit suspect) and for all his outstanding bravery I'm not sure that's what you need to be a good CIGS. Paget, while he would undoubtedly be fun to watch, frankly isn't needed (there is no big rebuild required) and with his temperament it would all end in tears.

    So Wavell or Dill and I think I go for Dill. It appears there are far more Allied units knocking around the place than in OTL so Dill's diplomacy would probably be very handy. Plus of course there's no need to send him to Washington TTL, who wants a special relationship with those communistical types?
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  4. #4184
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Come to think of it, I'll probably go with Dill. El Pip is right, we need a diplomatic Eisenhower Type, considering that the allied war effort is much more multi-national than OTL.
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    Come to think of it, I'll probably go with Dill. El Pip is right, we need a diplomatic Eisenhower Type, considering that the allied war effort is much more multi-national than OTL.
    And also historically accurate - given that he replaced poor old Ironside! Undoubtedly the best choice given the diplomacy involved, though remember that much of his success in Washington OTL was down to the fact that he 'clicked' with Marshall.
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  6. #4186
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Jones View Post
    And also historically accurate - given that he replaced poor old Ironside! Undoubtedly the best choice given the diplomacy involved, though remember that much of his success in Washington OTL was down to the fact that he 'clicked' with Marshall.
    Probably, but considering that he has to contend with exiled leaders from four occupied countries and another four who are Commonwealth Members and contributing troops. The Politics must be godawful.
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  7. #4187
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Good news everyone, the next update will arrive soon. However I must ask you for the one after that for a suspension of disbelief, because now my lack of research in the early phases of AAO comes back to bite me in the arse, mainly because I forgot to put the watersupply for Fortress Singapore into consideration.... With most of the civies forcibly evacuated on everything that floats, I think that for the moment the reservoirs and what fresh water sources are on the island can sustain the troops and the remaining population, but for how long, and all that because I idiotically placed the defensive line too far in the south....
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  8. #4188
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    Chapter 218



    That night the next chapter of the war was written far away from the SOE Headquarters and not by British Special Forces, but instead high over the air over the Western Approaches and by a large formation of Soviet TB-3 Night Heavy Bombers. They had launched hours ago when it had still been light enough to see and now they were heading towards their target in northern England. The TB-3 had long since been withdrawn from the daylight raids that had long since been stopped themselves, and now the appearance of RDF-equipped Beaufighters and Mosquitoes was beginning to make even these raids very, very costly. The Soviet formation had been lucky, they had slipped through a temporary gap in the British RDF chain and were now sneaking up the Irish Sea and were now passing the furthest south-west extension of Wales. For several hours the navigation Officer had navigated by the compass and the map that was barely lit by his torch. Unlike the British on their raids into occupied Europe and into Western Germany the Axis powers could not rely on the GEE Navigation system and had to rely on the methods described above. Inaccuracies were unavoidable, but the Red Air Force Sergeant was sure that he would eventually lead his formation to the target.

    The navigation was also hampered by the darkness that was so complete thanks to the overhead cloud cover that was higher than the planes could go the surface of the Western Approaches below them could not be seen. Soon they crossed the coast, but the lack of defensive fire did not tell them that, they had really surprised the defenders. Soon the lead bomber was satisfied that they were over the blacked out target, soon followed by the others when they saw either the explosions on the ground or those flying ahead of them dropping their own load. They turned, and attempted to retrace their course, and only when they failed to see the landing lights as pre-arranged did they know that something had gone wrong.


    That day Ireland woke up to frantic radio broadcasts of what had happened, slowly rage began to grip the nation. It was bad enough that this was done to countries one was at war with, but a neutral country was supposed to be off limits, and now this. Only a few hours late the newspapers arrived and here for the first time one found a slightly more calculated picture. The newspapers close to the Government and generally the bigger parties all decried the foul crime and demanded that drastic action be taken by the cabinet, last but not least an official apology from the Germans and their godless Communist friends. Some, especially those closer to the border with Northern Ireland openly called for war and the entry of Ireland into the Allies. But War was something that no one wanted just yet and most of the commentators on the Radio and in the Newspapers agreed on that the Government had to act and enforce not only Irish neutrality but also Irish Sovereignty over her own territory. That most likely the whole affair had been a tragic accident somehow occurred to no one, not even those who were normally pro-german, even though that particular group had lost a lot of credibility since the Unholy Alliance.

    When the Irish Cabinet met at 11 AM that morning to discuss it's reaction the meeting was essentially useless, since the public on the streets had decided for them, and not even them wanted to face a horde of angry and also sometimes slightly drunk Irishmen who were out for someone to blame. Within hours the masses in front of the German and Soviet Embassies were so large that the police had given up trying to disperse them and when both Ambassadors went to their joint meeting with Eamon de Valera they had to be escorted because they would most likely have been attacked by the crowds. The two diplomats were both wearing smart suits, but they knew that the meeting they were called for wasn't going to be a pleasant one, because judging by how the crowds pelted their cars with rocks and god knew what else. Both had woken to the fact and both knew that the probability of the British bombing Ireland by accident was small indeed, because their navigation system was estimated to be far more sophisticated and unlike in the Axis Air Forces even the oldest bombers were thought to be equipped with the devices that guided the bombers. Both the Soviet and the German Air Force Attachee were pretty certain about these things even though the Abwehr and the GRU knew little about the newer systems the British used due to a distinct lack of well-placed sources.

    On their drive through the city the mood of the two Ambassadors became graver and graver, and when the German Ambassador passed the Polish Embassy he once again was reminded that for all of their hatred of the Empire the Irish were still a Commonwealth country and as such were at least slightly influenced by the British, and that meant that one had to tread carefully. He didn't really know what sort of assets the Abwehr had in Ireland and he suspected that the same was true for his Soviet Counterpart, but was it really that bad that there was no way of getting the Irish to stay neutral? He had read the headlines and frontpage articles of the biggest and most important Irish Newspapers as every morning and to him it seemed that the war party in Ireland was not very strong, and he had communicated as much to Berlin in his early morning brief. He wondered what Berlin and Moscow would conclude on this, because the Führer at least was known to favour keeping the remaining neutrals neutral for the moment because putting an even greater numbers of armies into the Allied camp would make the job of the Ground Forces not impossible but harder, putting off inevitable victory some more. Even if they did not stay neutral, the Irish Army was laughably small, it consisted of barely 30.000 men and three Squadrons of outdated early-model Hurricanes, so what did Germany and the Soviet Union have to fear from them? Such were the thoughts when he met his Soviet Counterpart outside the Office of the Irish Taoiseach. The situation became suddenly more complicated when the British and French Ambassadors exited the Office through the same door they would have to enter through, it was clear that the Irish were talking to the British already, but that was most likely some sort of weapons deal and that was something he would talk to de Valera about.

    An aide announced the two men formally and as they stepped in they saw the head of the Irish Government sitting behind his desk and sipping on a cup of what had to be tea and making a show of reading through some report.

    “Ah, Gentlemen. I am glad you could attend at such short notice.” de Valera said as an opening. “I have been directed by the Cabinet and the Oireachtas to inquire about the recent air attack on neutral Irish soil.”

    The two Ambassadors were seated and the Soviet one spoke first. “It was an unfortunate accident. A formation of a few of our bombers has apparently made a grave navigation error and hit your Island instead of Britain.”

    De Valera suppressed a sarcastic snort. He had seen the damage done and this had definitely been caused by more than 'a few' bombers. According to the Air Corps the night had been exceptionally dark and cloudy, so the navigation error was most likely even true. Normally he would willing to accept that without hesitation, but the public and the Oireachtas wanted an explanation that was more than that.

    “Will an investigation be conducted into the matter?”

    The Soviet Ambassador paused and thought for a second.

    “Of course, Sir. The men responsible will be punished.”

    They had already been arrested by the GRU, and would soon be subjected to a short trial.

    “Good.” De Valera nodded and glanced down at his desk while he was taking some notes.

    “Then that is what I will tell the Cabinet.”

    He paused once more and gathered mental strength for what he had to do next, and he knew that History would either praise him to the highest heights or condemn him to the deepest pits of hell for it.

    “However, in the face of what has happened that will not be enough. I was also instructed to ask for an official apology by both of your Governments that I can represent to my own.”

    That was not what the two Ambassadors had expected. It was known that the Irish were a proud nation, and you had to be if you wanted to survive centuries of British Occupation, but this was less than diplomatic. One did not go around and make demands of the two primary continental powers, not if one wanted peace.

    The signals both embassies sent to their capitals and which were of course read by Bletchley Park in almost real time therefore spoke of an insolent attitude on the side of the Irish, but still recommended that an apology was made and the trial for the aircrew very public, so that the Irish would be placated and kept from drifting closer to the Allied camp.


    In Berlin however the Foreign Ministry had other ideas. Von Ribbentrop hated the Ambassador's guts for no real reason, and just because of that the man had been sent to this relative dead-end posting in the first place, and it was no surprise to anyone that the report that eventually found it's way into the hand of the Führer. A quick exchange of telegrams between Moscow and Berlin followed and then a day later it was agreed between the two dictators that there would be no official apology, and as a matter of fact there would be quite a different reaction. The Irish were less than pleased at having been rebuffed like this, and the result was a quiet meeting between Eamon de Valera and a high Allied dignitary.

    “Ah, Mr. Raczkiewicz. Glad you could come and see me at such short notice.”

    The President of the Republic of Poland in Exile just smiled and wondered what the Irish wanted with him.

    “My pleasure, Taoiseach. I do wonder though what the Republic of Poland in Exile can do for Ireland, since we aren't exactly an industrial power these days.”

    “Neither are we, Mr. President. However, in the light of recent....developments we must seek out even the most unlikely friends, and this is where you come in. We consider Poland among these friends of course,” de Valera replied, and believed this was true. After all, most Poles were fellow Catholics. But that was not why he was talking to the President now, at least not totally. “My point is that even in her current state as an Exiled Nation Poland can do something for Ireland.”

    The Taoiseach paused and looked at the desk full of papers.

    “The political situation in my country at the moment is such that many demand a strong stance regarding the Axis powers but at the same time most believe that a war must be avoided at all costs, and if we were to approach the British for those war materials we need, it might.. no would most certainly be seen as warmongering, and no one has the desire to send another generation of Irish lads to die for the Empire.”

    The Polish President realized what the Irish wanted. They were looking to buy war materials from the British, but Politics and general animosity towards the British Empire prevented Ireland from doing so openly and instead of risking exposure. He could understand why that was so, but wouldn't openly increasing the size of the Armed forces be seen as warmongering anyway, no matter the fact that it were going to be British weapons by default?

    “We cannot be seen buying weapons yet. We can't even be seen thinking about expanding the army beyond what we can supply from stocks already existing. The problem there is that we have enough groups pulling in enough different directions to deposit the bits of our country in the four corners of the world. We must tread very, very carefully here. What I would dearly like you to do was to go to the British Government and offer them the following with the assurance that it is backed by the entire Irish Government.”

    He paused and then red of the list:

    “In a few days or weeks when things have quieted down we will announce that we offer Britain to restore the refuelling rights for Royal Navy and Allied ships, and we want the British to know that all Allied military personnel will be instantly repatriated through Northern Ireland. Allied Governments can from then on expect to have favourable rates when buying goods from the Irish Government for the duration of the war, and we would like to send a small group of Officers to...keep an eye on things.”

    The Polish President did not know just how much the Irish population mistrusted the British, but he could see in De Valera's face that the Irish leader was taking a great risk as it was.

    “Well, I can only say again, yes.”

    With that the two men talked particulars for another half hour before the Polish President left for why he had come here, the Polish Embassy. De Valera meanwhile walked over the a side Office where the Minister of Defence was waiting. The two men were fierce political opponents but united by the desire to safeguard Ireland against any and all outside enemies.

    “Now, you tell me what you need, and not what you want, we can't afford that.”

    Defence smiled thinly and then replied.

    “I would want three Aircraft Carriers, four Dreadnoughts and 20 Light Cruisers, along with forty Destroyers, two-hundred Fighters and as many bombers. But as you said, we can't afford that, so I'll make do with twenty to thirty modern Fighters not including spares, whatever small arms are to be had and, if possible some tanks, enough for two or three Squadrons.”

    It was less than De Valera had feared but still a tall order for Irish resources to pay for. In the end though it made sense. The Irish Air Corps was woefully under-equipped to deal with modern opposition, early-model Hurricanes just weren't cutting the mustard any longer, and they were always hampered by a lack of spare parts. With luck the British would be willing to sell some Spitfires or Typhoons to replace them, which would turn the Air Corps into a small but well equipped force. He doubted that HM Government was unwilling to sell, the question was what could be had.

    The British were pressed very, very hard to meet the demands of not only providing arms and material for two battlefronts in Italy and the Pacific but also to maintain substantial Forces for Home Defence and a lot of exiled Allied Formations from a host of different countries.

    And what was the right course for Ireland anyway? De Valera's personal sense of right and wrong clearly told him that the Allied cause was the one to cheer for, but what did Ireland herself have to gain except death and horror? Then again, wasn't it the morale duty of every Christian and every freedom-loving man to fight for what was right, a case especially true in the case of the Irish who had fought for centuries to gain their own freedom. It was a moral dilemma of the first order, not dissimilar to the one the British must have faced after the fall of France.... What was Ireland to do?


    [Notes: I know I promised some combat, but this idea snuck into my mind.]
    Last edited by trekaddict; 20-03-2010 at 22:39.
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    What was Ireland to do?
    Kick Adolf's ass on Monday and, two days later, Stalin's.
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    I think Ireland will end up coming into the war, not because of any logic or even moral reason but because De Valera would chainsaw his own nose off to spite his face.

    And a long ranged TB-3 raid over water (Operating from Brest I presume given the locations), that is bravery! Given the quality of those aircraft the pilots should get medals merely for climbing into the cockpit, while any error should be excused by the piss-poor quality of, well everything in the aircraft. Alas that's not how these things work for the Soviets.
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    ColossusCrusher True, but I am aiming for at least reasonable plausibility.


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    Le Jones I would have long since started a decent Ireland game if not for the horrible lack of Leaders.

    El Pip De Valera is a politician, and he wants to stay in power, so for the moment Ireland stays neutral because that's what the mob wants.

    As for the Soviet Air Crew, if you have the choice between maybe being shot down/lost at sea and most certainly be shot for cowardice, what would you choose? Besides, they are probably unaware how crap their plane is.
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  15. #4195
    Monarchist Griffin.Gen's Avatar
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    Oh noes, Ireland!!
    Oh well, take what you can get in terms on manpower XD

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  16. #4196
    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin.Gen View Post
    Oh noes, Ireland!!
    Oh well, take what you can get in terms on manpower XD
    Well, in real life, I don't know about the game, the biggest boost the Irish could add would probably be regaining use of the bases Britain conceded unilaterally in ~1937 That would give added range to escorts, both ships and a/c operating in the Atlantic. May be somewhat less important in this game as America isn't a major supply centre but would still help, both in protecting convoys from Canda and the south and also possibly helping hunt down any surface raiders.

    I think OTL a fair number of volunteers from the Republic served in the British forces and everybody ignored if they seemed to be fairly knowledgeable of the use of weapons. This tragedy might however encourage a few more whatever the government says. Especially if they have lost family in the attack.

    On Singapore are you referring to the fact the island largely depended on water supplies from Johor Trek?

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    Griffin.Gen If Ireland enters the war, Berlin falls within seconds!

    stevep

    Re Ireland: IOTL they recruited roughly 40k into the Irish Army by 1945. If Ireland goes to war and if it does with the population behind the effort to the bitter end (think post-PH US) I can see the Irish sending two Infantry Divisions and two Squadrons of fighters. In game terms that would be somewhere between 20 and 30k. The bases are indeed less important than OTL, but it would definitely ease the defence of the western coast of Britain against almost everything, while giving the allies easier access to the Bay of Biscay, which would put the nail into the coffin of the U-Boats. (They are on the road to defeat already.)


    Re: Singapore: Yup.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
    Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two (ongoing) Last updated 08/24/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
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    Possibly the world's most British German as awarded by El Pip here.

  18. #4198
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    You ask: Why has to the new update not been posted yet?

    I say: Bombing airfields and interdicting shipping has never been this much fun.


    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
    Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two (ongoing) Last updated 08/24/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
    Inkwell Entry Visit the Dictionary!

    Possibly the world's most British German as awarded by El Pip here.

  19. #4199
    not a beta for HoI3 Moderator Derek Pullem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    you ask: Why has to the new update not been posted yet?

    I say: Bombing airfields and interdicting shipping has never been this much fun.

    tsr 2?
    "I NOW INFORM YOU THAT YOU ARE TOO FAR FROM REALITY."

    Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, (ex-) Iraqi Minister for Information

  20. #4200
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Pullem View Post
    tsr 2?
    In RAF Low-visibility Grey.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
    Against all Odds: The British Empire in World War Two (ongoing) Last updated 08/24/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
    Inkwell Entry Visit the Dictionary!

    Possibly the world's most British German as awarded by El Pip here.

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