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

  1. #4901
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    No real shame, but I hate to admit that I am wrong as much as the next guy.
    hate it or not your ability to do it puts you well up on most of the people in the world in my experience.

  2. #4902
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    In Jamacia it is obvious that the Canadian representative, St.Pierre, is a traitor who is using American supplied muscle to try and steal Imperial secrets.

    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Stephenson
    really surprised the canadian rep wasn't stephenson at that meeting.

  3. #4903
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    I'm just wondering what might happen when the Allies get to a place called Montecassino. Bearing in mind the Russian stubborness (Stalingrad, for instance), it can be a bit of a problem...
    looking at the bright side if the allies wind up doing another anzio it will be under british control not that never to be sufficiently cursed mark clark.

  4. #4904
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    Trekkie,

    Update.


    NOW!




    Last edited by Kurt_Steiner; 20-01-2011 at 12:56.
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  5. #4905
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    This piece is dedicated to Richard 'Dick' Winters (*21st January 1918 - † 2nd January 2011) May he his golden jump wings never fail.

    Chapter 274



    General Freyberg had established temporary headquarters in Tirana. On 1st September he had been given startling news. Apparently the heads of State of the minor Axis nations that had been his greatest headaches had both made public speeches where they both ordered their Armed Forces to commence combat operations against the Axis powers. With the bulk of both armies ashore he had halted the advance at the Albanian borders and now waited for orders as to what he was supposed to be doing. Barring no grave reversals and if they really put their feet down his advance South African and Australian units would be able to reach the edge of the Bulgarian-occupied areas by the day after tomorrow, but other than that his means of aiding the Axis nations if so ordered were limited.

    At the very least the Albanian Government in exile which had formed itself in London around the exiled former Minister of Education and expatriate Albanians of reasonable affluence had taken over the most basic reigns of Government, so with luck Freyberg would soon be able to use his Military Police for something other than basic public order duties.

    He'd had to stop himself from pestering Alexander for more information, the Field Marshal had been as baffled as everyone else when the news had reached the Allied powers.

    What he did not know that hasty messages and negotiations had taken place in the Allied leadership. For once the French were easily persuaded and a week after the Romanian Coup amidst news of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia the Swiss were asked to convey a reply to the initial joint message, containing the terms agreed upon.

    The former Axis nations were to immediately cease all hostilities to Allied Air, Naval and Ground Forces wherever encountered.
    They were to immediately withdraw any and all troops from Yugoslavia towards their pre-war borders.
    Their Armies were not to move beyond their national borders, in return the Royal Air Force would offer support wherever possible.

    Some had wanted to add mandatory elections and the installation of some form of Democratic system, but Churchill had vetoed this, pointing out that these countries were unstable enough already and that in any case the Allies would have enough political clout to press for such reforms at a later date. A more immediate problem was that especially the Romanians were under increasing pressure and had started to fall back from the border with Soviet-occupied Bessarabia. There were few things that could be done quickly as the Air Force was already flying long-range attacks from fields in Italy, and until these assets could be moved into Romania that was about as much as was to be expected.

    Only one formation in the Allied order of battle was deployable fast enough: The Paras.

    The Allied Parachute Corps had grown immensely since the humble beginnings of 6 Experimental Parachute Brigade in Wales some years ago. By now the 6th and 1st Airborne Divisions[1] had been joined by the Independent Polish Parachute Brigade that was usually attached to the 6th and the Dutch-Belgian 1st Parachute Regiment which was not available as it was on it's way to the Dutch East Indies. As was slightly more than two Divisions worth could be deployed within hours if the order was given early enough in the day.

    Still, the Para Officers around General Browning were glad that it was too late on the 1st to deploy via Parachute, something no one relished doing in that terrain even in daylight. Instead the planning Staff around Colonel Hackett worked for the next fourty-eight hours flat to gather what intelligence there was and formulate two plans, one for Parachute insertion and one through several key airfields in central and northern Romania[2] that were well known the Allies thanks to the attacks against Ploesti that were...had been flown from time to time.



    It was on 3rd September 1942 then when the Commanding General of the 11th Romanian Infantry Division, his chief of Staff and the Commander of the local Air Force District were standing at the railing of the observation platform of one of the towers and looked south-west. Overhead a Squadron of IAR-80s and a Squadron of British Mosquitoes were watching each other, the Romanian pilots still being very impressed with the speed of the twin-engined aircraft.

    “Any word, General?” the Army General asked his Air Force counterpart.

    “Nothing, Sir.”

    “Then why would they want to meet us at an airfield of all places? I mean if they are deploying aircraft then wanting to use some of our biggest airfields makes sense, but all they told me was that it wasn't going to be that.” the Air Force Officer's Chief of Staff said.

    The two highest-ranking of the group knew in a way what was coming, arranging it had been a nightmare and very, very rushed, but the British had insisted that this was the quickest way to get at least some boots on the ground. He knew that the Germans and Soviets also experimented with units of that sort but would it really work without extensive preparations?

    The planes overhead withdrew, so it was time. A low growl of engines could be heard to the south-west, many, many engines. Soon the source of the noise came into view. Planes, many twin-engined planes, and as they came closer the men on the ground could see that the majestic formation consisted of a virtual cloud of transport Aircraft, for they were British Dakotas bringing in the advance units of the 6th Airborne Division. Some had towed gliders, some had flown alone, because below the stream of Dakotas heading for the other fields some were coming in to land at this one.

    “My god....” the Air Force Officer said at this display of material wealth, “if we ever had that much.....”


    The twelve gliders in this group headed for the flat grassland to the west of the base while the Dakotas circled around, coming in to land one after another. The first Dakota to land immediately taxied towards the control to, making way for more even as the stream continued to roar overhead. The Army General then vacated his position and took the steps of the stairs leading downwards two at a time, trading dignity for speed of reinforcements.

    As he stepped out of the control tower, the first Dakota came to a halt and the door opened. British Paratroopers piled out of it. When the only Officer of the plane walked up to him the General noted the odd unit insignia.

    The Officer was incredibly young for his rank, as he wore the insignia of a Captain and yet seemed to be barely older than the General's own son. The British Officer drew a salute that would have done the Changing of the guard in front of the Palace proud and then introduced himself.

    “Captain Richard Winters, 101st Parachute Regiment, 6th Airborne Division. Sir, General Gale and Colonel McAuliffe are with the Gliders and would like to see the ranking Romanian Officer as soon as possible.”




    “General, the Romanian Officers are here.”

    “Thank you Captain...”

    “Winters. 101st.”

    Salutes and introductions were exchanged and Winters went off to form up his own Company. He found his second in command, an incredibly tall Lieutenant from Boston whose blonde hair betrayed his German heritage, in fact behind closed doors the men were known to joke that he would make the perfect Waffen-SS recruit. However he was a good Officer who, in spite of his faults had distinguished himself during the various operations the Regiment had taken part in.



    The ad-hoc nature of the mission had the 6th flown into Romania without a clear mission except to 'delay the enemy advance for as long as possible', so while his Staff scratched all the units together General Gale and his Romanian counterpart figured out just where the Division was to go.

    In the end the Paras were sent to the river crossings north and east of Roman, as the Siret was the linchpin in the defensive line that the Romanians were holding against the Soviets and Germans of the Soviet Bessarabia Front, and in the nick of time. While the Axis forces there hadn't had plain sailing like in Poland[3], the resistance wasn't as strong as one would expect in an Allied Army, so confidence was high when they followed the retreating Romanian troops of 1st Army across the river. However they were in for a rude awakening when the 101st and 9th (Eastern and Home Counties) Parachute Regiments held one crossing, the next one up north being held by the 7th (Light Infantry) and 12th (Lancashire) Parachute Regiments held the next one up north, with the remainder of both Brigades being the reserve for these crossings. The rest of the Division, most namely the Royal Gurkha Airborne Rifle Brigade covered the northern flank of the Division and held the connection to 1st Para which in turn held the connection to the Romanian XI Corps that held the Mountains in this area.

    The Axis forces had been completely unaware of the presence of the British Paratroopers until reports of massive British air activity filtered back to the HQ of the Bessarabia Front in Odessa and a lot of the planes were identified as the Dakotas the British Paras were known to use.

    However, most hadn't faced either German, Soviet or British Paras even in manoeuvres and dismissed them as glorified light Infantry, surely an armoured thrust would break through them with ease, even if the Tanks used were mostly early-model T-34s, not the new T-34/85 that most of the frontline units were now starting to be equipped with.

    They were in for a rude surprise. The first indication that something was wrong was when the lead tank across the bridge defended by the 101st was brewed up after being hit by two PIAT rounds just after crossing the Bridge, therefore temporarily blocking it, then again when four more T-34 were hit in the sides or the turrets when they tried to suppress the British and lined up along the opposite river bank to that end.

    After this the Soviets used Artillery fire to cover an Engineer vehicle that cleared the Bridge, but when the Column that had at last bothered to deploy dismounted Infantry entered the village on the other side of the river, the Paras executed a textbook ambush in built up areas and cut the attack to pieces with almost no loss to themselves before calmly going about blowing up the bridge, leaving the Soviets only with a nearby ford that was so deep that infantry had to swim across at this time of the year, effectively sealing this crossing and keeping the Soviets on the other side of the river, as up north the 1st Division and the Poles fought a German thrust by an unidentified Motorized Division, a task in which they were assisted by a Squadron's worth of Romanian Panzer IV that were painted with bright and very noticeable British-style roundels in the Romanian colours lest they be mistaken for Germans. Still, it was a rather odd experience for the British Paras who were used to shoot at anyone with the angular forms of the German vehicle.





    +-+-+-+-+-

    Comments, questions, rotten tomatoes?

    [1]The 6th has seniority, as it is a direct descendant of that experimental unit.

    [2] As Romania then was. OTL some of these would probably be in Moldavia.

    [3] After all, Case Yellow and Case Red were both hard fought battles thanks to a stronger BEF and a Belgium that didn't fold and in fact held Brussles long enough for all Axis plans to be shot to hell and back again.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  6. #4906
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    It would be so good if some German generals began to kick Nazi and Red asses and turn their guns against Staling and Hitler...

    NOW!
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  7. #4907
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    Quote Originally Posted by BritishImperial View Post

    and i may have missed something, but why does ironside need to be replaced?
    thinking the wheelchair may be a problem.



    i know i know that was awful but it was just so very very EASY

  8. #4908
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    While I understand the thinking I do think this could be a bit of a waste of the Paras abilities, they are now tied up in Eastern Europe for the foreseeable future and haven't even taken any ground. I suspect once again politics has played a hand, lets hope there are no 'I wish I had two divisions of Paras to drop in there' moments in coming campaigns.
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  9. #4909
    If it's the same Dick Winters, he was from southeastern Pennsylvania, not Boston.
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  10. #4910
    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    If it's the same Dick Winters, he was from southeastern Pennsylvania, not Boston.
    c0d5579

    I read it as it's his 2nd in command, the blonde SS clone who's said to be from Boston, not him.

    Steve

  11. #4911
    El Pip

    In general agree but possibly nothing else could be deployed in time and keeping the Romanians fighting and in such a forward and good defensive position is probably worth the move.

    What the allies could do with here is to support them with any air mobile units they have, which can be deployed by Dakota and have similar combat ability. Coupled with air support they can hopefully help the Romanians hold out until the ground forces get there. However, now the enemy have the chance to response any further air insertion could face opposition from their air power so it could be costly, depending on how much air strength each side can get over the airfields.

    Steve

    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    While I understand the thinking I do think this could be a bit of a waste of the Paras abilities, they are now tied up in Eastern Europe for the foreseeable future and haven't even taken any ground. I suspect once again politics has played a hand, lets hope there are no 'I wish I had two divisions of Paras to drop in there' moments in coming campaigns.

  12. #4912
    Kurt

    Well the 1st one worked but the 2nd could be pushing it.

    Is anyone else concerned about Treks location move. Someone take than plunger off him before he does something nasty.

    Steve

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    Trekkie,

    Update.


    NOW!




    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    It would be so good if some German generals began to kick Nazi and Red asses and turn their guns against Staling and Hitler...

    NOW!

  13. #4913
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Kurt_Steiner It's a bit early for that I think.

    El Pip Well, the plan is to only leave them there until the Canadians and the ANZACs arrive in about a week, and politics or no politics, something had to be done.


    c0d5579&stevep It was indeed the second in Command I was referring to.

    stevep The Allies inserted the entirety (except the French of course ) of their Airmobile asset over a span of two days, and each day gained is one where the ground forces come closer and more Air assets can be forward deployed. It was indeed the only thing that could be deployed without weeks of preparation, because remember that Yugoslavia is bound to be a mess for at least the next few months.

    stevep You'd be surprised about what I have in store for a few of them...
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  14. #4914
    Manners Makyth Man Demi Moderator Lord Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    Yugoslavia is bound to be a mess for EVER
    Even the British cannot fix the Balkans Trek.
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  15. #4915
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Strange View Post
    Even the British cannot fix the Balkans Trek.
    A mess as in 'we have Axis remnant forces, collaborationist and loyalist militias fighting all over and we cannot station anything there'.

    As for post war, it's not all going to be cake and sunshine, but the 90s Civil War isn't going to happen either for the below reasons:

    a) Tito kicked the bucket a while back and the Communists aren't there,

    b) The King of Yugoslavia was involved in the resistance and when he was evacuated he afterwards very reluctantly made a deal with most of the leaders of the various ethnic loyalist militias.

    Just how strong the Federal Government or any institution is in post-war Yugoslavia remains to be seen, but they won't break apart as per OTL.

    Basically: Things are going to be less bad than OTL. The Kingdom just MIGHT break apart at some point, but if it does it's more like the Czech and Sloval republics did.
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  16. #4916
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ciryandor View Post
    Kibbutzim is essentially collectivization.
    with the exception that kibbutz actually work fairly well. there are also various religious communities in canada along the same line as kibbutz that work well also. the real secret to "communism" is to keep the communes to a fairly small size. in a community of a thousand or two you know who the slackers are and social normalization will get them to conform or get out of the community.

  17. #4917
    Monarchist Griffin.Gen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    A mess as in 'we have Axis remnant forces, collaborationist and loyalist militias fighting all over and we cannot station anything there'.

    As for post war, it's not all going to be cake and sunshine, but the 90s Civil War isn't going to happen either for the below reasons:

    a) Tito kicked the bucket a while back and the Communists aren't there,

    b) The King of Yugoslavia was involved in the resistance and when he was evacuated he afterwards very reluctantly made a deal with most of the leaders of the various ethnic loyalist militias.

    Just how strong the Federal Government or any institution is in post-war Yugoslavia remains to be seen, but they won't break apart as per OTL.

    Basically: Things are going to be less bad than OTL. The Kingdom just MIGHT break apart at some point, but if it does it's more like the Czech and Sloval republics did.
    Peaceful breakup of Yugoslavia? That's simply impossible. The country is waaay too much of an ethnic mess unlike Czechoslovakia (Ethnic Borders much more obvious). As OTL, the Serbs are going to want all ethnic Serbs into their Countries, same for the Croats, etc. In other words, there's simply no way it would happen peacefully, as in OTL. Who knows when the Serbs will want to turn Yugoslavia into Greater Serbia like they tried to when Tito died. Who knows what will happen when Peter II dies. Hell, that's if he's able to keep the ethnic-hellhole of a country in one piece until 1970.

    Fan of the week 12/06/10, Thanks trekaddict!

  18. #4918
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    It seems I need to amend my 2010 World Map then. Oh well, it always was a work in progress.
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  19. #4919
    Trek

    I would have to agree with Griffin.Gen here. If Yugoslavia breaks up the way the populations are mixed and the history, both in terms of old hostilities and things like the fact the Serbian borders have moved over time, then I think it's very likely it will be bloody and messy.

    Steve

    Quote Originally Posted by Griffin.Gen View Post
    Peaceful breakup of Yugoslavia? That's simply impossible. The country is waaay too much of an ethnic mess unlike Czechoslovakia (Ethnic Borders much more obvious). As OTL, the Serbs are going to want all ethnic Serbs into their Countries, same for the Croats, etc. In other words, there's simply no way it would happen peacefully, as in OTL. Who knows when the Serbs will want to turn Yugoslavia into Greater Serbia like they tried to when Tito died. Who knows what will happen when Peter II dies. Hell, that's if he's able to keep the ethnic-hellhole of a country in one piece until 1970.

  20. #4920
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Griffin and me have been talking about this via MSN, and we have decided on a course that would be proper.
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