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

  1. #5081
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Now that would be telling....


    But yeah, battles like Tarawa and Iwo Jima will be very different.
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  2. #5082
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    Communist Marines. That's probably not going to go well is it? Many of the vital skills you need (like improvisation and independent thinking) are probably the same ones the Central Committee is keenest to see stamped out.
    hmm and here i thought the major requirement to be a marine was the willingness to charge a pillbox on command.

    be awfully interesting to see how these marines compare to the real deal in action.

  3. #5083
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    Just a (late-ish) reminder for everyone to vote for your favorite AARs in the AARland Choice Awards!
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  4. #5084
    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post

    Navy was professional enough to force himself to an honest statement. “Between them the Allied Navies outnumber us significantly. The second run of People's Republic Class Carriers[2] won't be ready before the end of the year and until then the British Pacific Fleet is the only significant Carrier Force in the Pacific, and in spit of breaking even with the Japanese and outnumbering us severely they keep building. Only yesterday they have announced the launch of yet another Implacable Class Carrier. I doubt they have much to learn from us at this time, except maybe in Carrier aircraft.”
    How many Essex class carriers are in each run? Along with probably how many older carriers survived the civil war or were aborted by it? Similarly with British carrier strength at this point?

    While the USN/APN and their economy are in rough state at the moment they should be able to potentially produce and maintain a very large navy. Even if totalitarian fanaticism cripples things later on there will still be a lot of people filled with revolutionary fervour and still a hell of a lot of trained people. As you say, unlike other communist states OTL the US does have a substantial naval tradition.

    “Agreed.” Army said after thinking things over. After all, his command ran these camps and even the Navy's vaunted Marines went through these Army Camps.
    Sounds like the basis for a perpetual motion plant. All they have to do is hook up to all those old US marines spinning at near light speed in their graves. Given the degree of rivalry that existed between the services [not to mention between the marines and the rest of the navy] this will be popular, not. Almost as bad as what we did with the FAA in the 20's and 30's, although it sounds like at least the marines stay under naval command.

    “Comrade Admiral?”

    It was a young woman in her early twenties, wearing the Army-style uniform of the Defence Militia and his 'personal' driver. It was good not to be otherwise shackled down.
    Sounds like rank still has it's privileges, even in a people's republic. I wonder how many stops they make on the way.

    Steve
    Last edited by stevep; 10-04-2011 at 08:59. Reason: Correcting typo

  5. #5085
    Quote Originally Posted by Ehran View Post
    hmm and here i thought the major requirement to be a marine was the willingness to charge a pillbox on command.
    Must admit I have heard similar. Reports that during the war to liberate Kuwait the British forces were very glad that the amphibious landing was a feint and that they had nothing to do with the US marines because of concerns about their preference for frontal assaults.

    be awfully interesting to see how these marines compare to the real deal in action.
    Probably not to dissimilar. Problems like managing initiative are pretty much universal in states that tend toward the totalitarian but even the darkest such systems often motivate a lot of people to fight ferociously for them, at least in the early days of the system. That is I would expect them to be very tough fighters, probably also well equipped as elite troops for their service.

    Don't forget that even democratic systems often prove very resistant to learning lessons. Plenty of cases for Britain in WWII and think of the fun and games with US torpedoes in mid-war!

    Steve

  6. #5086
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    As usual your apprechiated and extensive comments get an extensive, by the numbers reply.


    1) Four Essex per run, and these aren't going to be the last.

    2) Of the older CVs only a handful survived. I never pinned down exactly how many American Carriers survived, but it were no more than three. The Enterprise was sunk/scuttled, and her replacement was sunk at Pearl Harbour, so right now the Americans have no more than five CVs.

    3) Including the Canadian and Australian CVs, nine, the four historical Lusties and so far three more Implacables. More on the way.

    4) For this America the Pacific is an all-out effort. While it's never going to be as bad as it was for the Soviet Union or China OTL, how much of that can be maintained after the war is so far an open question. (I have my own Ideas so far but yeah..)

    5) Well, the Marines are merely using Army training infrastructure for things both have in common, i.e. basic Infantry tactics. A whole lot of people are spinning, starting with George Washington and stopping with Pershing and Patton..

    6) He's a warm-blooded human male. Whatever the system, some things are the same wherever you go.

    7) So have I, but after reading a lot of stuff about the USMC during The War I can tell you there's more to Marines than that.

    8) You pretty much nailed it. The Marines are the elite force in America, lacking any need for Paras, and in the absence of Soviet-Style Guards Divisions. Also for the moment the training being conducted heavily relies on the old US doctrine (including the faulty Armoured one), and even though that wont last after the war for the moment we can estimate what will happen by taking OTL as a yardstick.

    As for learning lessons, that was actually part of the basic premise for this AAR: "What if Britain was forced by the circumstances to wake up and take the lessons of WW1 and technology since then to heart?" In America this also holds true to a certain degree. For example thanks to the experiences of the second Civil War, their Light Infantry Tactics are the best in the world, while at the same time their Armoured tactics are slightly updated from what they were in the early 1930s. Not that that matters against the Japanese.
    Last edited by trekaddict; 09-04-2011 at 16:36.
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  7. #5087
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevep View Post
    Must admit I have heard similar. Reports that during the war to liberate Kuwait the British forces were very glad that the amphibious landing was a feint and that they had nothing to do with the US marines because of concerns about their preference for frontal assaults.
    I think that proves my point, that's how bad they are when the officers are allowed to think for themselves. Imagine how much worse they'd be with a politically chosen Commissar directing them instead of people selected on ability...
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  8. #5088
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    I think that proves my point, that's how bad they are when the officers are allowed to think for themselves. Imagine how much worse they'd be with a politically chosen Commissar directing them instead of people selected on ability...
    Well actually I took the liberty of them finding out that political reliability does not equate military competence during the Civil War. There are political officers but they have very little Military authority. Think 1970s-1980s Soviet Union in this regard.

    EDIT: That's actually because I have tried and so far been unable to write the utter stupidity of the early Stalnist Commissar system without sounding either too dismissive or waaaay too cheesy.
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  9. #5089
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    the Canadian and Australian CVs
    I bet our Kiwi cousins are pretty ticked that they didn't get one, eh? Then again, the Boers must be, too...

    Still, as a Canadian of patriotic disposition, I revel in actually having a modern (for the time) blue-water navy.
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  10. #5090
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    The RNZN is too small, they have difficulties keeping the Achilles (a CA) operational.

    And fear not, the RCN (no renaming in my universe!) will remain a Carrier-capable Navy.

    The priority will be with ARmy and Air Force and the Vimy Ridge will be in service well past her sell-by date, but she'll be replaced.
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  11. #5091
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    If Vimy Ridge there gets into combat before she's obsoleted, let's hope it's as much of a crushing defeat for Canada's enemies as her namesake!

    And of course, I was just kidding around with the New Zealander Carrier - they'll probably justify the Aussie's as being half theirs, what with the ANZACs still in existence.

    Likewise, the South Africans will remain the redheaded stepchild of the Dominions until they up and leave, amirite?
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  12. #5092
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperhawkZ View Post
    If Vimy Ridge there gets into combat before she's obsoleted, let's hope it's as much of a crushing defeat for Canada's enemies as her namesake!
    Oh yes, she will see combat in this war. And after this war too.


    Quote Originally Posted by ViperhawkZ View Post
    And of course, I was just kidding around with the New Zealander Carrier - they'll probably justify the Aussie's as being half theirs, what with the ANZACs still in existence.
    The ANZACs will remain best buddies, and do a lot of military co-operation. ANZAC Division anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by ViperhawkZ View Post
    Likewise, the South Africans will remain the redheaded stepchild of the Dominions until they up and leave, amirite?
    Pretty much. The 'divorce' between the Commonwealth and South Africa is inspired by the way Rhodesia/Zimbabwe left OTL.
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  13. #5093
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevep View Post
    Must admit I have heard similar. Reports that during the war to liberate Kuwait the British forces were very glad that the amphibious landing was a feint and that they had nothing to do with the US marines because of concerns about their preference for frontal assaults.




    Don't forget that even democratic systems often prove very resistant to learning lessons. Plenty of cases for Britain in WWII and think of the fun and games with US torpedoes in mid-war!

    Steve
    while there is something to the balls to the wall aggression theory of combat in warfare it does tend to be expensive as a regular habit.
    if you want to see something to make you cry read about the first 6 months the americans ran this side of the atlantic convoy system. what the uboats called the happy time.

    used to know some guys in the canadian army and they much preferred exercising against the marines to the army. seems the marines took losing much more personally than the army guys did.
    looking on the bright side though at least the marines are taught to shoot adequately.

  14. #5094
    trekaddict

    Many thanks for the detailed response.

    On the US carriers did they have more than 3 pre-Essex? OTL I think they had 5 [excluding the old Ranger and Langley] but Hornet and Wasp came pretty late so would have thought they would have been aborted by the civil war.

    Expect they will be producing a lot more Essex's and successors over time. OTL the USN was so massively superior to everybody else and it's nearest 'rival' was a friendly and exhausted Britain. TTL Britain [plus empire] is much more powerful and there are deep political differences so could easily see at least a medium level prolonged naval race.

    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    As usual your apprechiated and extensive comments get an extensive, by the numbers reply.

    On point 7, by 'the war' do you mean WWII or the Kuwait conflict?

    Steve

    1) Four Essex per run, and these aren't going to be the last.

    2) Of the older CVs only a handful survived. I never pinned down exactly how many American Carriers survived, but it were no more than three. The Enterprise was sunk/scuttled, and her replacement was sunk at Pearl Harbour, so right now the Americans have no more than five CVs.

    3) Including the Canadian and Australian CVs, nine, the four historical Lusties and so far three more Implacables. More on the way.

    4) For this America the Pacific is an all-out effort. While it's never going to be as bad as it was for the Soviet Union or China OTL, how much of that can be maintained after the war is so far an open question. (I have my own Ideas so far but yeah..)

    5) Well, the Marines are merely using Army training infrastructure for things both have in common, i.e. basic Infantry tactics. A whole lot of people are spinning, starting with George Washington and stopping with Pershing and Patton..

    6) He's a warm-blooded human male. Whatever the system, some things are the same wherever you go.

    7) So have I, but after reading a lot of stuff about the USMC during The War I can tell you there's more to Marines than that.

    8) You pretty much nailed it. The Marines are the elite force in America, lacking any need for Paras, and in the absence of Soviet-Style Guards Divisions. Also for the moment the training being conducted heavily relies on the old US doctrine (including the faulty Armoured one), and even though that wont last after the war for the moment we can estimate what will happen by taking OTL as a yardstick.

    As for learning lessons, that was actually part of the basic premise for this AAR: "What if Britain was forced by the circumstances to wake up and take the lessons of WW1 and technology since then to heart?" In America this also holds true to a certain degree. For example thanks to the experiences of the second Civil War, their Light Infantry Tactics are the best in the world, while at the same time their Armoured tactics are slightly updated from what they were in the early 1930s. Not that that matters against the Japanese.

  15. #5095
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Well, the question is for how long the American keep up the Carrier race once things go Nuclear. (In terms of propulsion that is.)

    EDIT: The Pre-Essex excluding Ranger and Langely are just those that are left, as Wasp was never finished. By the time they thought about the Naval Strength they had other priorities.
    Last edited by trekaddict; 10-04-2011 at 10:29.
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  16. #5096
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    Chapter 284



    The American Border Patrol service was, aside maybe from the City and District Police´, the biggest non-military armed entity in the Nation. That was with a good reason, because to the north the 'longest defended border in the World' needed to be at least semi-secured even though no one was kidding himself about sealing it completely. To the south the Mexiand border was more easily secured but it was still a major effort, and the Border Patrol services were happy that they were supported by the home-defence Army units. Right now the six men manning this particular crossing, one of only three opposing British Columbia, were looking out of the window of the drab little Office they were cramped in and watched as a group of Military Officers was making best friends with an equally big group of men wearing strange and unfamiliar uniforms.

    Intellectually they knew that these were a mix of Canadian and British Officers, but the most the Americans at this post usually saw during their three-day shift was the daily RCMP patrol that was driving past the post on a road half a mile beyond the Canadian border. The younger ones among the border guards eyed the American military men with envy, like most of the ABPS men that weren't too old for military service they had some disability that kept them from the ranks.


    The American reception committee was comprised of two each from the Army, Navy and Air Force, joined by a band from the 52nd Infantry Brigade that spent several minutes with playing the anthems of all the nations involved, and the oldest man among the border guards who had already served with the Customs Service when there had been still large-scale smuggling of boot-leg Canadian Whiskey across the border and noticed that the band seemed reluctant when they had to play 'God save the Queen'.

    The highest-ranking American present, a full Army General (and the Commander of the North-Western Sector of Forces) climbed up a hastily erected podium that was draped in American, British and Canadian flags and made the usual speech about friendship between nations and death to the enemy, followed by the Canadian Air Force Officer who led the Allied delegation. The ceremony wasn't very expansive but still lasted almost half an hour before a long Army bus painted in the dirty brown inherited from the US Army and the Allied Officer filed in one after another and the Border Patrol men noted that a Royal Navy Commander, the last one in, hesitated for a second and looked downwards on the road they would take towards Fort Teller. After three seconds he turned his head emphatically and stepped into the bus.

    Felix felt that his stomach twirled, but he knew that it was best to keep his ancestry from the Reds as long as possible, as he and Ian agreed. If they were to make contact with however wanted to talk to HM Government they needed every edge they could get.

    The traces of American Accent that remained in Felix' voice were barely noticeable even if one knew him as well as Ian and Sandra did, in fact these days he spoke more with an accent that most people would see as a mixture between a West Country and London one, putting this down to years and years in the Andrew and work in London where it was custom to speak the Queen's English.

    “So, anything special?” came the voice of the ranking Officer in the delegation and the only one among the Officers knowing the real mission of the two Naval Officers that had joined them at such short notice.

    “Nothing yet, Air Marshal.” Felix replied as he tore his eyes away from the countryside and looked at the round face of Air Marshal William 'Billy' Bishop who, taking time off from his duties with the recruitment efforts for all the Canadian services. It was a political compromise. The Canadians had at first been somewhat perturbed that the Americans had again circumvented Ottawa and dealt directly with London, and so it had been decided that the senior Allied Officer had to be Canadian, the higher the profile the better.

    For Felix the last two hours had been a trip down memory lane like he hadn't experienced since talking to Donovan in London some months ago and he had instantly pegged the Red General as someone probably coming out of the Middle-Western states, likely Iowa or something thereabouts and wished he could make a side-trip of his own. Even though they hadn't been given an official schedule yet Colorado Springs was likely not on the list. Felix yearned to see his home at least once more in his life and it pained him to be so near and yet so far from Cheyenne Mountain.



    “So, which part are you from, Commander?” Bishop asked and Felix was startled that his face was this easy to read.

    Bishop smiled and glanced at the driver who was most certainly not working for APA Supply and Logistics, saying: “Don't worry, Commander. Your secret is safe with me. That look on your face is one I see at least twice a day when I recruit for the Eagle Units and yours is a good one.”

    “Colorado.” Felix said with a low voice, like most Expats refusing to use the new internal Divisions the Americans had adopted.

    “Denver?”

    “Colorado Springs, Sir.”

    Bishop said no more and instead turned back towards the others.


    “Do you notice something odd?” Ian asked, and Felix really looked outside with a professional eye for the first time, and it didn't take him long to catch on to what Ian meant.

    “You're right...” he replied and saw that they were clearly being driven on a route that gave them the maximum exposure to what the Reds wanted them to see, as there was a suspiciously high number of units going the other way along this road. Felix had never been to Washington State but he knew that Seattle was the next harbour of any useful size and going north was not the direction you had to go in to get there.

    “Bloody hell....” Felix said and realized that he had somehow expected one of the old military parades his father had taken him to when he was little, totally forgetting that this wasn't the United States any more, this country now had more in common with the Soviets than with a Democratic Power like the Empire.

    “Well, they sure know how to put on a show.” Ian said and leaned back in his seat.


    It was true, and about to get even better. The Americans had realized that the British would see and evaluate the equipment, training and look of the American Military by their own standards and were painfully aware that the British were unlikely to be impressed if they were merely shown an M4 driving past on a road, so two Tank Brigades had been taken out of the normal training rotation and had spent the last six days polishing every piece of equipment to almost mirror quality and were now parading past the Allied Officers at a pace and with a precision that would be fitting for the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace.

    They spent near three hours in the buses, and while refreshments were handed out, Ian noting the absence of the supposed American staple drink of Coca Cola, which Felix didn't honour with more than a mockingly angry glance at Ian.

    “Funny.”



    The first stop was about half-way between the border crossing and Fort Teller, roughly an hour later. They filed out of the buses and were told that from here on out they would be flying wherever they went. Ian was all the happier, because, as he told Felix, the seats were about as comfortable as the one he'd been graced with during his school days every Sunday morning.

    Watching with a mixture of amusement, curiosity and diplomatically feigned interest the two and the rest of the Allied delegation were subjected to what was for all intents and purposes a parade where the combat vehicles were driven past them, and they were being told that they would see more demonstrations and so on over the next few days.

    Still being a sailor at heart, Felix was more interested in visiting the Naval Base at San Diego which he knew had to be on the list being that it was thought to be the biggest base on the West Coast and the home of the American Pacific Fleet when it was not based at Pearl Harbour. He knew that Ian felt the same, and so they suffered through a procession of vehicles that was admittedly impressive but different from how it would have looked in Britain. For one the Allies did not field any Half-tracks and the Reds seemed to be using theirs for everything, even more so than the Germans, with everything from quad .50s, almost identical to the ones used by the Allies but extremely rare in the American Forces, to light field guns.

    The biggest surprise however was the procession of tanks that followed. There weren't that many, as after all what Tanks the Americans had were likely to be sitting around for the most part. It was an open secret that the American Marine Divisions all had an organic Tank Battalion but that was about the extent of the Armoured Warfare that the Imperial General Staff expected the Americans to have if they were intent on hopping across the Islands towards Japan, and that didn't make the Allied Officers any more inclined to believe the American boasts about their newest Heavy.


    XM-6/39 Heavy Tank



    Still, at least the Japanese were about to be squeezed from two sides and that was making the jobs of everyone except themselves easier.

    “Tell me,” Ian asked one of the American attendants who officially were merely there to answer any questions the members of the delegation might have, “how many of those do you expect to build a month?”

    “I can't tell you that off hand.” the man replied in a broad Mississippi accent, “but you must understand that we have just started series production.”

    Ian at least suspected that this wasn't true, but then again from what he'd read between the lines during the pre-mission briefings the SIS and the CSIS had next to no sources at all in the American Tank Arsenals south of the Great Lakes and along the central rivers, estimating the actual strength of the American land forces was hard.

    'No surprise there then.' Ian thought and said no more for the moment.

    Later, in the Hotel they had been assigned to and that had clearly not seen much traffic in the last few years Ian couldn't help but feel watched wherever he went. It was almost certain that the rooms were bugged and he and Felix had agreed before setting off that they had to assume being overheard unless they were totally alone.

    “So, how was it today?” Ian asked as he joined Felix with a glass of what seemed to be genuine Kentucky Burbon (no ice) in his hand.

    “Different.” Felix said and that told Ian everything he needed to know. They had no formal code to use but that didn't matter as they knew each other well enough to be able to read the other without it, so both knew that the other hadn't been contacted.

    Ian knew that Felix was unsure about the point of what they were doing here with nothing more than a rough idea where and when they would be contacted and none at all by who it might be. They had talked about this at length on the plane over the Atlantic[1] and were agreed that being vigilant from the start was the way to go.

    “And the rest?”

    Felix half-turned and glanced at Ian before stepping out on the balcony overlooking the small town of Cascade Falls, some six miles from Fort Teller.

    “Better than I expected actually, and I am genuinely looking forward to this.”

    It was true, but there was something else, a tiny flicker of something deeply hidden away in his mind. He suspected that not even Ian knew this, but he knew that this would be his last and utterly final goodbye to a Country and to a home that was no more.



    +-+-+-+-+-

    Comments, questions, rotten Tomatoes?


    [1] The term brainstorming is some ways off yet.
    Last edited by trekaddict; 17-04-2011 at 12:54.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  17. #5097
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    Last edited by trekaddict; 16-08-2014 at 20:35.
    "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 08/16/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
    Inkwell Entry Visit the Dictionary!

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

  18. #5098
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Yay, an update!

    I'm going to read it and to enjoy it, as I always do, but, first, after a brief look, I must say something first:

    "Oh shit! An M6!"
    "Pequeño Padawan Kurtizacoal, por qué me has salido tan cabrón?" - me dijo mi Maestro.
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  19. #5099
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Well, it seems that the Commieyanks are as paranoid as good Uncle Joe. I wonder what kind of toys are readying for using against the Japanese.
    "Pequeño Padawan Kurtizacoal, por qué me has salido tan cabrón?" - me dijo mi Maestro.
    Palo Dixit: posible Anticristo, vacalentacialanonanista, Culé y Salido que provoca manifas por donde pasa.
    Palo Dixit redux: Escatológico bipolar

    AARs en curso o acabados -Ongoing and finished HoI2 AARs-
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  20. #5100
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    Woohoo! Billy Bishop! The Red-Baron-shootingest man on Earth!
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