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

  1. #5641
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Kurt_Steiner We'll see. At the very least they will get somewhat more stable politics.

    stevep re Italy: Indeed. Churchill is well aware that any demand of 'uncoditional surrender' will come to bite the Allies into their collective seat muscles if it can't be enforced and at the moment the Allies aren't sure enough of their victory to take that risk.

    I didn't actually intend to have Italy re-enter the war that early but recently came to the conclusion that if Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria were allowed to keep their Armies then Italy who surrendered on their own accord, should be allowed to do something too should they so desire, and anyway, writing an Italian Army that is actually competent and well equipped should be great fun.

    Re Hitler's reaction: It will be covered in a near future update, though I'm not sure yet how I will write it. If I do it one way it will be rather graphic or if I don't it will be in the form of someone saying "the SS burnt down X Villages in response".

    Re Grand Strategy: I did actually contemplate that when I played the game but then decided to go straight for Berlin. I might do things differently if I were to play that campaign today (never mind that I'd arrange my fleets differently, forgoe the KGVs alltogether to get another CV deck.. you get the idea).


    In-Universe the Grand Strategy is explained as follows: any immediate move into Poland would leave the Allied Forces stretched out between two major Axis powers whose inner regions where most of their manpower and Industry are located are left untouched, while leaving the Channel Coast in the hands of the enemy. I'll explain the Grand Strategy more detailed in the next update (probably in the form of a post-war book on the campaign) but suffice it to say the main goal for 1943/44 is to knock out the Germans and liberate W-Europe with one half of the forces (there are two more British and one French Army in North Africa, slated to be sent to Germany) while the others keep Ivan in check. It's not the best strategy and the Poles didn't like it at all.



    That said this was formulated before the minors changed side and there wasn't enough time to really adjust for that, so the Poles were suddenly rather happy when they were told that someone needed to keep the Soviet and German forces to the east busy....


    ViperhawkZ This pretty much.
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  2. #5642
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    Chapter 315





    In the Asian and European Theatres alike the year nineteen-hundred and forty-three is seen as the grand turning point, and with good reason. In the Far East Field Marshal Auckinleck found that Malaya, Thailand and French-Indochina were suddenly under the command of Commander in Chief Pacific, effectively reducing his near-future campaigns to the liberation of Burma. Political protests in India and Britain by the Field Marshal's supporters failed the sway the Imperial General Staff who had been over-ruled by No.10 on the issue.

    The European theatre did not have such political machinations, instead Field Marshal Alexander was given considerable leeway in planning the coming offensive within two strict guidelines: For one, his ultimate aim was the destruction of the German War Machine and the liberation of occupied western Europe, secondly to keep the Soviets from interfering with the first aim.



    The approximate frontline as of January 1943.



    The plan as presented to the IGS in late January 1943 envisioned a multi-pronged attack. 21st Army Group, consisting of the 8th and 9th Armies, 22nd Army Group consisting of the 5th and 6th Armies, along with the 23rd Army Group which consisted of the 10th and 11th Army would, after the 8th and 9th had taken Vienna, attack into northern Austria and Bavaria in the general direction of Nuremberg and Munich with the 23rd Army Group attacking towards Prague, 30th Army Group, consisting of 1st Canadian and 2nd (ANZAC) Army would attack into Slovakia towards Bratislava and farther to the east the price that the British had to pay for Allied acceptance of the plan, namely 40th Army Group, consisting of the 1st Polish Army (I Polish Corps and the Cavalry Corps of the British Army) and the 3rd Hungarian Army (six Infantry Divisions and one hastily re-equipped and trained Hungarian Tank Brigade)
    [1]was to attack into Poland, not to actually take any territories (even though only Armageddon would have stopped the Poles from trying anyway) but more to keep the Soviets from falling into the flanks of the western two pincers.

    Once the 21st and 22nd Army Groups had sufficiently pushed back the enemy, the three Allied Armies standing ready in North Africa would be transferred in to form the 31st Army Group that would form up on the left flank of the 21st and attack into modern-day Baden-Würtemberg towards Stuttgart and the French border. At the time the wisdom of dividing the available forces in the face of a numerically superior enemy was questioned, but it was deemed appropriate to keep the enemy off balance.

    But before this could be implemented Vienna needed to be taken and secured.



    ~**---**~



    While on the whole there was no offensive operation conducted by either side on the extreme left flank of the 8th Army, in the rising mountains of the Alps the Mountain troops of both sides skirmished back and forth. On the Allied side the 1st and 2nd Gurkha Mountain Rifle Divisions and on the Axis side the 150th Mountain Rifle and 10th SS Mountain Divisions sparred throughout winter as far as the weather allowed.

    One of these units was 2nd Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifles, 1st Gurkha Mountain Rifle Division. Like all the other Gurkha Regiments the 3rd had been almost exclusively had white British Officers, even though Gurkha NCOs were common and some even rose to receive a Viceroy's Commission within the British Indian Army. With the Empire Act and the associated Government of India Act however these had been converted to King's Indian Commissions which had been theoretically possible since 1920 though exceedingly rare. Even now the highest-ranking Gurkha Officer was merely commanding 3rd Battalion of the Regiment, but 2nd Battalion's Second in Command was a Major who had only been promoted to that rank recently and joined the Regiment in 1934 as an ordinary Rifleman. But alas, thanks to this being a rather bloody war and having been commissioned as a Jemadar in '38, and thus as a Lieutenant when the ranks had been adjusted.[2]

    At the present moment he was in command as the Colonel was off in Venice on medical leave thanks to a crafty Soviet Sniper but he had his CO's full confidence. Major Jamil Dahal was cursing in a way that would have made any dockyard worker flinch, but his wrath was for once not directed at any defaulter within his ranks but rather at the persistent attacks by the Reds in the last two days.

    These mountains were very much like home, but there at least you only had to contend with annoying tax collectors and the occasional petty criminal alongside the forces of nature, but by Krishna these Soviets were more annoying than the others put together.


    Two of the four companies of the Battalion were right now engaged with small groups of Soviet soldiers that came climbing up towards his positions. What they wanted was unknown but then again, his own Division was only tasked with guarding the 8th's flanks.



    Riflemen of Able Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own fighting in an alpine hamlet



    He turned as he felt a gust of cold wind enter the command post and saw that Regimental Havildar Major[3] Saval stepped in.

    “Close the door, would you? Our Islandic friends here might feel the cold.” the Major quipped, referring to the members of his staff coming from the British Isles.

    “Oh Major, to that end I have brought you and these other Gentlemen-Officers here a nice spot of tea.”

    This announcement was met with much enthusiasm and as Dahal looked back at the map he was already holding onto a steaming mug of tea.

    A field-telephone rang and a yell came: “Able is under heavy attack, estimated at least half-battalion strength, he requests Artillery support in front of his position!”

    Dahal glanced at the man in question and barked: “Tell Captain Greene to hold on as best he can, and that I will get him some support post haste.”

    “Yes, Sir.”

    “Williams! Get the 15th on the blower and tell them to lay down fire on grid square Able-Two-G!”

    “Acknowledged, Major.”

    It took less than three minutes before the ever-present rumble of the guns was increased considerably as 15 Field Artillery Regiment, British Indian Army, opened fire with eight of it's fourteen examples of the 3.7inch Field Howitzer. While these guns were elderly they were purpose-designed mountain guns and well up to the task at hand.

    At this range however it made no difference anyway as the high-explosive charges began to rain down on the enemy advance. A month ago Dahal would have seen this as an excessive expenditure of ammunition, but the Division and the Regiment had fought off several do-or-die attacks like this since and it had become quickly apparent that only overwhelming firepower could stop them. And anyway, having a paved road to depend on for supply was a far cry from the mountain and goat paths of his homeland.

    “Any activity in front of Dog?”

    “None reported, Sir.”

    What where the Soviets up to? They had to know if they merely attacked one Company, however strong, they would get the attention of every bit of support the Regiment could muster and even if they hoped to break through with force of numbers he still had two companies in reserve, let alone the rest of the Division to call on for support.

    Could it be that the chap on the other side of the line was getting some pressure from on high to 'do something' about the impertinent imperialist British that dared to guard their flanks with strong forces? It wasn't as if the British and British-Indian Forces were immune to that phenomenon but if rumours were true..

    As he heard reports that the Soviet attack force had withdrawn he kept looking at the map again. The Division was deployed to cover the road that led down from the Semmering Pass and along the southern edge of the Alps as moving down that road would allow anyone to move up directly into the flanks and rear areas of the 51st Highland Division and the 8th Army.

    Division and Corps had been expecting a large-ish attack in this sector ever since the snow fall had stopped three weeks ago but so far nothing had happened, except for these small attacks.

    But anyway, he said and mentally shrugged, this was not his to decide. He was charged by his superiours to defend this little piece of occupied Austria against the enemies of the Queen and he would do so to the best of his abilities.


    What he could and did not know was that there would be no immense attack for the simple reason that Field Marshal Rommel was using every trick he knew to keep Hitler from ordering one. He was convinced that what troops he was allowed to keep south of Vienna were best used in the defence of that city and not squandered away in pointless attacks that would merely use them up against Allied Artillery and Aircraft.

    The Axis forces had dug in into a roughly semi-circle around Vienna and the two Mountain Divisions that kept shoving though never seriously attacking the British were his way of showing the Austrian in Berlin that something was being done. He did not intend to do much attacking until the British were stuck in combat with Army Group Centre...




    +-+-+-+-+-

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    [1] Bear in mind, Poles and the British Cavalry are supposed to do most of the heavy lifting. The Hungarians are mostly cannon fod...ehrm...Infantry support for the Tanks. That said, these are the six best Divisions of their Army.

    [2] The Viceregal ranks between NCOs and Officers holding a 'proper' commission were abolished when the Gurkha Regiments were integrated into the British Indian Army.

    [3] Regimental Sergeant Major
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  3. #5643
    Captain ViperhawkZ's Avatar
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    It makes sense that the Hungarians would support the Poles' ambitions of freeing their homeland. Pole and Hungarian Brothers be etc.
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  4. #5644
    Quote Originally Posted by ViperhawkZ View Post
    It makes sense that the Hungarians would support the Poles' ambitions of freeing their homeland. Pole and Hungarian Brothers be etc.
    - Although actually in this position the Hungarians have every reason to help the Poles, both to demonstrate their commitment to their new anti-Axis stance and even more importantly getting the front as far from their homeland as possible.

    Steve

  5. #5645
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Rommel keeps being in the middle of the Allied way... Erwin, chum, change sides!
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  6. #5646
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    ViperhawkZ True enough, but methinks it's more realpolitik than anything else. They fear what the Germans and Soviets would do to them more than the losses they will suffer. They also know that they have the free world's largest economy to back them up.

    stevep This pretty much. Not that the dear Field Marshal complains, between them the former Axis nations give him more than twenty more Divisions.

    Kurt_Steiner For the moment all you know (at least as long as you aren't reading my side stories) is that everyone's favourite German Officer won't have to kill himself to save his family.
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  7. #5647
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Note ahead: As usual non-english dialogue is in italics.

    15th February 1943

    Chapter 316



    Ironically the first thing Takahashi noticed was that someone had actually installed a Royal Navy issue siren aboard Edgehill. Then he realized that someone was calling them to action stations.

    He fell and tumbled out of his cot and pulled on his uniform even as he dashed through the hatch and adjusted his cap as he dashed onto the bridge.

    “What have we?” he asked whoever was in charge.

    “A bloody great Mavis trying to talk to the Officer in charge.” Leiter answered.

    At that moment Takashi could see the great four-engined flying boat in the pre-dawn.

    “Right then.”

    Takahashi stepped into the wireless compartment and picked up the headset offered to him.


    Kawanishi H6K (Allied Codename 'Mavis')



    “...known freighter, unknown freighter, this is Navy Patrol T-17A, you are entering a military zone. Identify yourselves.”

    Takahashi noted that the speaker was from in or around Tokyo. That made things somewhat less easy, considering that the Kobayashi Maru had been registered in Osaka, a town that Japanese from the capital looked down upon as dumb peasants.

    Well, there was nothing else for it, he thought.

    “Navy Patrol, this is the Japanese Navy Freighter Kobayashi Maru, carrying parts and technical crew for Subic Bay out from Kuchching, over.”

    It made sense, because Fleming and Goodchild had steered the ship on a course that led them to a long circle north of Borneo so that they would be approaching the Philippines from a course that was roughly in the correct line.

    When the wireless contact spoke again Takahshi could hear a faint note of derision in the other man's voice, for he had spoken with a considerable Osaka accent.

    “Why are you proceeding independently?”

    Another very good question. Japanese convoying was rare and their tactics were awful, but after the loss of Admiral Yamamoto to a Dutch Submarine (confirmed only a few weeks ago) the Japanese had started to run some convoys in this area at least.

    “We were ordered to make the best time possible to our destination, Sir.” Takahashi replied and used the honorific because that would play to the man's disgusting superiority complex, “So I decided we could not wait for one to form up.”

    The flying boat circled the ship for a few more minutes before Takahashi was needed again.

    “Be informed, there are possible enemy submarines in the area. T-17A out.”

    With that the flying boat left to resume it's standard patrol. Takahashi placed the headset down on the table and swiped away the sweat that had assembled on his forehead and sighed. He may be speaking Japanese like a local but he was half-British and his loyalties lay with Queen and Country.

    His stomach still clenched when he stepped back onto the bridge and saw that almost everyone was staring at him. He merely grinned and then excused himself to get dressed properly. As he stepped out from the bridge he tried not to see how Smith was only nodding at Leiter.

    What would he have to do to earn anyone's trust around here?


    While this was going on Ian was already on his way back to his cabin. In an hour he would meed with Felix, Goodchild, Smith and Takahashi and then they would deduce on how to approach their mission best. Frankly the intelligence he had been given was slim at best, it seemed that British intelligence efforts in the Philippines were almost non-existent. Most of what he had were estimates by American ex-patriates that Felix had called WAGs, or wild-arsed guesses.

    'Well, that's what you are here for, my lad.' Ian thought as he sat behind his desk. He poured over the map of the area for another ten minutes. They had only a slim number of leads, the best one coming from a wireless transmitter that claimed to be operating from the camp of a Philippine Army Cavalry Squadron that had gone to ground. Luckily they had been triangulated as being most likely operating out of southern Mindanao, in itself the southern-most of the bigger Islands of that archipelago, so at least they would not have to penetrate the inner ring of Japanese Defences right away.


    It was they who were to receive the small arms and wireless parts, though Ian was content with just handing the former out to he locals and dumping the latter over the side if he had to, either way he would increase the boils on the Nips seating muscles in this area.

    Then there were reports (rumours more like, he thought) about similar activities on three dozen minor islands around the area, and judging by his orders their Lordships expected to check most if not all of them.

    'You are to make the utmost effort to contact local resistance forces.'

    He hadn't been told but he knew that if he was semi-successful then the Special Operations Executive[1] would be taking over, that much was obvious.


    Cunningham was not the Special Forces' greatest admirer but Ian had a hunch that the old man was willing to try out anything that might make his job easier and Ian knew that the SBS had been of great help back when Cunningham had still commanded the Med Fleet.



    He grunted in disgust and pushed the map aside. Spending another three hours over this wouldn't do any good, he hadn't managed to find another angle since they had left Australian waters.

    Instead he picked up the picture of his wife and son and when Felix came into the cabin without knocking half an hour later he still found Ian staring intently at it.


    “Am I interrupting something?” Felix asked as Ian made no move to acknowledge his presence.

    Ian jerked back into the present and carefully placed the picture back onto the desk.

    “Not at all.”

    No more was said but they knew each other well enough to be able to tell that they missed their family.

    “So, what's the situation?” Felix asked.

    “Frankly, my dear friend, it's bollocks front and centre.” Ian replied with venom, “But as we have taken the Queen's Shilling so to speak there is little for us to do than try and make it work.”

    Felix nodded and sat down in the chair opposing Ian.

    “Takahashi came through, Ian.” he said, “Smith listened in and gave him a pass.”

    Ian looked at Felix and saw that his old friend and brother-in-law was grudgingly admitting to himself and to Ian that the Anglo-Japanese might not immediately go over to the Japanese.

    “So....” Ian opened up to let Felix continue...

    “Well,” Felix obliged, “at least for the moment he seems to be doing what he is told. Still...”


    “Bloody hell Felix!” Ian exclaimed, “He is a Queen's Officer, and from what I've seen since we left port a damn good one to boot.”

    “Ian, he is half Japanese!”

    Ian was tempted to continue arguing but at that moment Smith and Goodchild stepped into the already cramped cabin so he filed the matter away for a later date.


    “Gentlemen, happy to see you all here,” he said instead, “and once we are all here let us decide how to go about carrying out our orders.”

    Felix didn't really listen. He and Ian had discussed the matter at length and they knew what the other thought to be the most likely approach, but even so he should hear what the others were saying. As Takahashi, now dressed in a full uniform and cleanly shaven
    sat in the remaining vacant stare Felix couldn't help but wonder what the man was up to. Was he plotting to hand them in to his father's countrymen? No, Ian was right about that at least. Takahashi was a Queen's Officer and had so far proven that he knew what he was doing. If he was a spy or a traitor or both then there would be dozens other opportunities. Felix decided that he would have to remain vigilant.

    In a way they were going into the lion's den after all. His father had done a tour in the Philippines as an absurdly young Second Lieutenant and not for the first time since he had learned their orders he wished that he had had an opportunity to talk with his father. The Philippines were.. or had been more correctly, for the United States what India had been for the British in the last century and now the locals were fighting to rid themselves of the Japanese...



    British 1943 Propaganda Poster



    +-+-+-+-+-+-

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    [1] TTL the SOE is does not only do the work they carried out IOTL but also acts as a sort of proto-UKSF. Theoretically directly under the Imperial General Staff but in reality the various SOE sub-stations are run through the Theatre Commanders.
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  8. #5648
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    Might a certain famous American general be in the Philippines, I wonder...
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    You have been busy trek, taken me a couple of days to get up to speed. In no particular order;

    1. Why keep the Kingship of Armenia? Of all the titles the King of Italy could have kept, why that one? Not saying it's a bad choice, I've just don't understand it. That said I did like the change in style and the biased author, I'm always a sucker for and unreliable narrator.
    2. What's up with the Pope these days? He was at best a controversial chap and now the King has renounced all his non-Italian titles (including the ones about the Vatican presumably) that could change the Italian-Vatican constitutional relationship somewhat.
    3. Takashi continues to be Anvilicious.

    An interesting tour around the world, though I do hope you resist the temptation to start any more plots going - you've got enough going on as it is!
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  10. #5650
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Even if some Spaniards felt relieved in 1898 after getting beaten, now the Brits are getting to put their noses there...
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  11. #5651
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    ViperhawkZ No. That....man *spit* died the horrible, humiliating death he so richly deserved. On my personal hate-list Dugout Doug is right up there with George B McClellan, Marshal Ney and General Moore.

    El Pip

    1. Because it's a pretty pointless title but at the same time still gives the illusion that Italy is anything but a minor regional power. How long that holds or how long Umberto II holds on to it is not yet decided.

    2. The Pope is keeping his head down and carries on as usual. With Musso dead and the Nazis not yet defeated he concentrates on his core business.

    3. Well, I think my feelings about certain aspects in 1940s British society are pretty clear by now. :P That said, Takahashi is mostly supposed to be a part of my character development for Felix.

    EDIT: ANd I can only repeat what I wrote when I introduced him, I began to feel that Ian and Felix were beginning to turn into infallible Star Trek TNG-like Characters and as awesome as that show is, this AAR isn't supposed to be anything like that, and I have decided to show that across the board.

    Also, the next update is also part of this particular plotline. For the moment I won't start any more.



    Kurt_Steiner What can I say, these Islands are in a perfect strategic position and the Allies need to take/neutralize them if they want to go anywhere near Japan.
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  12. #5652
    Trekaddict

    Good chapter and we finally find out what the gang are up to. Although it sounds a pretty dodgy operation, smuggling arms to the Philippines in a Japanese cargo ship without any real contact with resistance groups. Going to be great fun finding any of the latter, then getting them to trust the group, especially with the presence of an half-Japanese character. I would have thought it better to have a man or two inserted by subs with a radio so they can actually contact resistance groups. That also means that the groups can plan ahead a bit and tell Britain what they need most. [Could be things such as medical supplies or explosives are at least as important to them as small arms].

    Like the alternative definition of WAGS.

    Agree with the fact that Ian and Felix were getting a bit too Mary Sue.

    By Moore do you mean Sir John of Napoleonic war fame? What did he do to inspire you're hostility?

    Steve

  13. #5653
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    Ian might not have been given all the information either. As far as he knows there is some form of contact with that particular group, and that's all their Lordships gave him. More on that later.

    Oh and to re-define: Full with small arms means that it's full with mostly small arms. I made the mistake of using the definition of full of used by people around where I live.

    Making Ian and Felix more falible was something I kept trying for months, as early as the time where Felix was captured by the Germans, but so far it hasn't really worked.

    My dislike for Sir John is somewhat irrational, kind of like with Lord Halifax, where one thing they did wrong overshadows everything else they did.

    One thing he did was to make way for the future Duke of Wellington.
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    Chapter 317






    The Kempeitai was officially classified as the Military Police Corps of the Japanese Army, but the British would see it as a mixture between the Intelligence Corps, the Royal Military Police and the SS-Totenkopf-Division as the duties carried out by the Corps would have been at home in all three of the organizations mentioned.

    However the extremely young-looking Lieutenant-Colonel belonging to the Kempeitai in the Office of the Commanding General of the Philippine Assistance Corps or Occupation Army on Mindanao, depending on who you asked in what company, was even more arrogant than was usual for his Corps and had sat down in a chair and was busy cleaning the katana he carried instead of a regulation sword with the General's cleaning kit. But this was less unusual than anyone could expect since he was the General's nephew. Nepotism was a problem in the IJA as in any other organized military but the young Colonel had risen on his own merit for the most part.


    When the General walked in he rose and flashed a rare smile. “Uncle, I am happy you decided to see me.”

    He placed his katana back into the scabbard at his side and gave a slight bow.

    “So, what is it that I can do for you, Nephew?”

    “Uncle, you know about the group of wreckers operating in the south of this Island?”

    “Yes, you told be about this when we met two days ago.”

    “Some of my....contacts have found where they are hiding, and now I need some of your troops to destroy them.”

    The General leaned back in his chair and looked hard at his nephew. He was always a bit uneasy when he talked to him, he knew that he would sooner turn his uncle in before he betrayed the Corps or the Emperor.

    “How many?”

    The Colonel leaned back in his chair and thought for a moment. He didn't let it show on his face but he was not perfectly happy with the orders his own general had given him. The local partisans were for the moment still operating off Philippine Army and old American stocks, but these had been vast when compared to the actual number of people trained to use these weapons and even though his superiors dismissed it, there was a distinct possibility that either the Americans or the British would try to resupply them at some point.

    The group he was to destroy was one of the bigger ones too. There were groups of ex-soldiers and civilians all over these wretched Islands but most of those were irrelevant. This one though was one that was born of a unit of the local Army that had managed to maintain cohesion before disappearing into the jungle and was now proving to be more than the 'minor annoyance' his superior back in Manila judged them to be.

    As a good Japanese Officer he would never openly speak against his superiors, not even in the presence of his father's older brother, but if he took too large a force he would be getting a reputation as overly cautious and that was deadly within the Kempeitai.

    “A half-company.” he said with more confidence than he felt though again this did not show on his face.

    The General thought about it for the moment. Technically he was stretched thin as it was, but one did not deny the Kempeitai anything it wanted and at the very least his nephew had had the common decency of asking instead of just demanding one. He would have been well within his rights to do so, but he knew that as a child the Colonel had adored his father and because he was the paternal uncle he was being granted more grace than usual.


    “Very well then.” he said, “I will send a message to the 235th Regiment. They will be waiting for you..”

    The Colonel rose to his feet and gave his uncle a respectful bow.

    “I thank you Uncle. I will return once my mission is complete.”


    Because of this exchange a the Colonel, two Lieutenants and fifty-two other ranks found themselves marching in coloumn along a small side-road twenty miles to the south on the next afternoon. The General had been either unwilling or unable to shake loose any of the myriad of captured Armoured Cars that the Japanese were using for rear area security like most other combatants in this war but at least they had the usual compliment of mortars and machine guns.




    What they did not know was that when the Philippine Army's 111th Cavalry Regiment had been destroyed in the fighting on Mindanao a considerable number of the troopers, along with their horses had survived and dissolved into the background. Eventually they had rallied around B-Troop who had been cut off during the final retreat and though between them they had barely more than a single troop they were still a functional military unit, though for the most part no longer mounted.

    The sentry that had spotted the Japanese however still had a horse which he promptly mounted and raced off on to warn the others. Frantic activity ensued at the camp of the group that still saw itself as the 111th Cavalry Regiment and the highest-ranking surviving Officer, a Captain who had previously commanded D Troop, quickly had his men act on an emergency plan that had served them well in previous Japanese attempts to eradicate them.

    By far the biggest problem that faced the various groups was that the Japanese possessed a great deal of institutional knowledge about counter-insurgency warfare and they themselves very little about fighting guerillia campaigns. Both sides were quick learners but the Philippino fighters were clearly on the short end of the stick. The Japanese had a supply line which, while it was long, was steady and in the absence of American or Allied submarines north of the Dutch East Indies or west of the Mandates reliable, but they also could easily replace any losses they had.

    Not that they had all the advantages. As it was in Europe in the occupied nations with the Axis the Japanese themselves were the best recruiters the partisans had, both for native Philippinos and the large American expatriate community which was even more suspicious to the Japanese because they were both white and thought to be infiltrated by Communist elements. The latter was most certainly not true and the social problems in the Philippines were for the moment forgotten[1] so the hard core of ex-US Officers and assorted soldiers in all the branches formed a core of trained personnel.

    A second and only slightly smaller problems was the supply of weapons. While the economy of the Islands had not been able to support a large buildup or even somewhat modern equipment for what forces they already had, small arms and ammunition had been plentiful and mostly out of local production. By 1943 however these stocks were running low.[2]

    It is therefore understandable that the appearance of British Submarines in the depth of night and the hushed-up and temporary presence of several members of the SOE had been greeted with relief.


    The Captain however had bigger problems at the moment. They were due to meet a British contact in three days, according to their last contact with the Submarine four weeks ago and to do that his men needed to be alive and without the Japanese on their heels.


    Putting out sentries had given him a small warning time and within ten minutes what they had with them in this temporary camp was loaded on their pack horses and the most infirm of his men were mounted. Malaria was an issue, so he hoped that their contact was bringing some medical supplies too along with the weapons and ammunition.

    He would leave the rearguard to five of his men and one of his Sergeants. It was a smaller force than he would have liked, but too many of his men were wounded or sick after the attack on the Japanese convoy last week and the Sergeant's horses were the most rested. They had a machine gun and plenty of bullets for their rifles. They would delay the Japanese for a few minutes and then get clear, making their way south to one of six possible pre-arranged meeting points. Eventually they would find their way back to the force, if they survived that is.


    Once on his horse he gave the order to move out. As he slowly cantered out of the clearing he hard machine gun and rifle fire behind him.






    The Captain led his men south, towards the coast. A pre-arranged meeting point with pre-arranged signals, but other than that he had no idea what he was going to see. As they rode south in column formation he had time to think about things. His men needed no orders to send out pickets and scouts and tonight they could not risk being dispersed any more than they were already. Unless he could extract his men from from this it wouldn't matter.



    Half an hour later the Colonel was standing over the foxhole that contained the remnants of the machine gun crew that had killed six of his men before they had even fully realized it was there. These men had fought well and had obviously been a rear-guard. The main group was of course well away by now, but if their encampment could be discovered maybe something was discovered there. He would find them and he would destroy them.


    +-+-+-+-+-

    Comments, questions, rotten Tomatoes?


    I must admit that the feedback to the last chapter gave me some reasons to re-arrange how a few of the particulars are revealed over this and the next few updates.

    And yes, this is inspired by the exploits of the 26th. When I first read that story a few months ago it has fascinated me and I decided something like this needed to be used.

    [1] When the US Government realized that they had a full-on Civil War on their hands they recalled all their overseas stations. A great many of them went home to join one side or another, but the Far Eastern Department was for the most part stuck where they were and ended up being absorbed by the newly independent Republic. Between the parts of the Asiatic Fleet remaining, the Army and Army Air Corps and the Civvies the Philippine Government found itself with a large number of whites that needed to be fed, clothed, housed and put to work. Most were absorbed as they were into the Armed Forces, but there were considerable social tensions anyway. When the Japanese attacked they faced local forces mostly using old US-origin kit from the early 30s because of all described above there was no money left for the Armed Forces.


    [2] Local production is mostly to be thought of as a few factories producing knock-off copies of Springfields, BARs and .30cal machine guns.
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    For a second I thought I was to see the Kempeitai colonel armed with something like that



    the Nambusword. No photoshop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    For a second I thought I was to see the Kempeitai colonel armed with something like that



    the Nambusword. No photoshop.
    As if the normal nambu wasn't useless enough.

    OT Good chapter, nice to see the Philipines making hell for the Japs.

  17. #5657
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    That brings back memories of the terrible Gunblade, and the rest of that awful Final Fantasy game.
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  18. #5658
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    For a second I thought I was to see the Kempeitai colonel armed with something like that

    the Nambusword. No photoshop.
    That is quite epic uselessness. The triumph of pride and stupidity over common sense is in a strange way impressive, thanks for brightening my day Kurty.

    Taking a wild stab I think our heroes may discover the planned rendezvous being rudely interrupted by that Kempeitai colonel. Just a guess mind.
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  19. #5659
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    Kurt_Steiner What the... I don't even..... I can see the pistol bayonet as such, but this is ridiculous. That said, the Japanese do have the tendency of producing spectacularly useles things that weird everyone else out.

    Agent Larkin Outside China this was probably the area with the most hostile populace IOTL.


    El Pip What strikes me in that regard is the whole "our pilots always do all the attacking, so we don't need armour or self-sealing tanks. That is for decadent, weak westerners."..

    As for the Colonel, something like that may happen, but not in the next update. For a moment we return to blightey for a tech update.
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    Kurt_Steiner What the... I don't even..... I can see the pistol bayonet as such, but this is ridiculous. That said, the Japanese do have the tendency of producing spectacularly useles things that weird everyone else out.

    Agent Larkin Outside China this was probably the area with the most hostile populace IOTL.


    El Pip What strikes me in that regard is the whole "our pilots always do all the attacking, so we don't need armour or self-sealing tanks. That is for decadent, weak westerners."..

    As for the Colonel, something like that may happen, but not in the next update. For a moment we return to blightey for a tech update.


    A hint: Fans of HMS Glorious (me included, I always had a soft spot for her) may want to keep tissues ready, but it's for the good of the service and for Queen and Country after all.
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