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

  1. #6161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    Rommel is making too many mistakes. Even for him too much. His head is going to roll in any moment.
    Well, he'll probably lose his job or something, but definitely will live through the war... right, trek?

    Also, can we expect Strafer Gott to appear anytime soon? I sure hope you haven't killed him off. Same question for Orde Wingate.

    Marc A

  2. #6162
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    Agent Larkin It is indeed.

    As for the Black Prince, I fear not. TTL the idea of a Heavy Tank has been discredited. The British can't afford to build them as they are short on medium tanks as is, and the Axis don't build them because Hitler and Stalin have been deeply disappointed by them.

    Kurt_Steiner The mistake was easily salvaged, and the Germans won't realize they've been had in this matter until after the war.


    MarcusAurelius1 Who knows....

    As for the other two, Gott is probably somewhere in the Mediterranean Department while Wingate is somewhere in that giant entity that is the Indian Army.
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  3. #6163
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    If Nuremburg becomes a Stalingrad-in-the-West, does that mean we get vicious battles in all the Nazi monuments? Followed by their total destruction?

    TTL will make some awesome video game levels.
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  4. #6164
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    Vicious battles, yes. Total destruction, unlikely. Have you seen the bloody things? There will be enough remains for tourists, fear not.


    And yes, TTL will have some indescribably awesome video games.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  5. #6165
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    Chapter 349



    Stingray is the first operation connected to Paperclip which is known to have taken place. When the British took Salzburg and began to march into Germany proper it turned out that Austria was, against initial expectations fuelled by Hitler's hatred for Austria and the sparse loot gathered by other intelligence gathering efforts a good hunting ground after all. At this time Wernher von Braun was about to be killed by a British Bomb (and it can be assumed that Paperclip was instrumental in the hasty air-raid on Peenemünde) but even then Allied Intelligence gathering was, outside of immediate military affairs, very much focused on discovering how far advanced German and by extension Soviet research into Jet Propulsion was.[1]


    The He-280. This picture was taken after the war when Captain Brown flew
    [2] the plane without bothering to wait for re-painting, resulting in him almost being shot down by an RAF Vampire.



    However, what they found wasn't the expected branch station for Peenemünde but rather a massive underground bunker system. So, hesitantly and slowly, armed because the fronts were very much fluid and they could run into enemy troops at any time the British force advanced into the tunnel...



    Paperclip, Fact and fiction, by Michael Stanley, Black Swan Australia, 2009



    The first Armoured Landy smashed through the chain fence around the entrance to the tunnel and soon the rest assumed a covering position around the entrance. Today the Paperclip troop as they had dubbed themselves was not looking for files.

    In fact they weren't looking for anything in particular. All they knew was that for the last eight months before Vienna had fallen this hill had been the scene of intense excavation work.

    Felix had jokingly suggested that the Germans were looking for ancient artefacts again but in the end had conceded that whatever it was they would have to take a look.

    As usual by now they used a universal key to open the door and discovered that the tunnel was easily wide enough to drive a Comet through, never mind a Land Rover.


    In front of them they found a tunnel so long that the front lights of the Landy didn't show them the end, with passages going off to the sides at regular intervals.

    “Whatever this is, it's big.” was Ian's only comment as they slowly drove down the tunnel.


    The Panzerfaust destroyed the frontmost Landy as if it were a tin can. The explosion was magnified by the confined space and sounded louder than it was, and the fireball singed the front of Ian and Felix' vehicle, next in line.

    The projectile was followed by a hail of small arms fire, but the explosion had blinded both sides, so the first few bullets missed Ian's head by inches even as he slammed the Landy into reverse and it jumped backwards. Overhead the thudding sounds of the heavy Browning machine gun told him that their gunner had survived and beside him Felix was blindly firing that stupid shotgun of his in the direction of where the German bullets were coming from. There had been only three of them inside the tunnel and when they broke to the outside they were bathed in light.


    The trap had been expertly executed, but the Germans had not figured that the British would give what was little more than a 'glorified tractor' so many teeth, and the four surviving heavy machine guns, joined by the small arms of the surviving crew had broken up the first assault.

    Ian half-turned them around and then yelled at Lieutenant Hawthorne:

    “Move move move!”

    Gunfire picked up again and even as Ian, now bringing up the rear, completed their turn the Germans emerged from the tunnel and the gunner was hit.

    “Keep going!” Felix yelled and dragged the dying man inside.

    Before he thought even for a second he had climbed back over the seat and was standing in his place. He swung the gun around and opened fire.

    The effect of this on the enemies emerging from the tunnel was devastating. Felix had brought the gun into action less than six or seven seconds after the gunner was hit and there were still at least ten men in the immediate entrance area.

    Heavy slugs meeting human flesh was an uneven contest and the first died instantly, even as the British sped away.

    Bullets dinged off the metal but the British raced through two groups of Germans who were not only surprised at the unexpected toughness and resistance of vehicles and men but also at the gunfire coming from inside.


    They got away two Landys short but without loosing another one. Racing down the road towards Salzburg Felix sat back down in the back and merely said: “We need to go out in bigger groups, because that was too bloody close.”

    Ian agreed, but he doubted that Brigadier Garret, their contact with Alexander's HQ was willing to part with more of the Armoured Landys. The man was as tight-fisted as the worst Glaswegian and he had a disdain for covert work that made him look a lot like Colonel Blimp in Ian's considered opinion.


    Oh well, he decided, time to go over the man's head.


    “Any idea on what they were defending there?” he asked without turning his head.

    “Beats me, Ian.” Felix replied, “though with what little I could see it was either some sort of storage area or an underground factory of some sort. You know, like the magazines in the frog bunkers.”

    “Those had winding tunnels and blast doors though.”

    Felix considered this and as he picked up an empty .50 casing and toyed with it in his hand he considered this.

    They had a French Officer on their staff who, by his own admission, hadn't seen eye to eye with his superiors for at least a decade and considered this the reason why he had been sent to the Allied Command in the first place and, in Ian's opinion, was why they got on so well. This Officer had served with one of the Maginot Line Fortress Regiments as a young Lieutenant fresh out of the Academy and he had described the internal layout of the bunkers at length.

    “No, not ammunition.” he said after a while.

    “What I wonder also is why on earth they continued building it even when we could have shelled the site!”

    Felix shrugged as he looked at the dead soldier. “Who knows. That lot does a lot of things that make sense to them but no one else.”

    “True. But what I'd like to know even more is why on earth they were there and how they could know we would be.”

    “You know,” Felix said, “I wouldn't be surprised if it was a coincidence.” He pondered it some more and then added: “If I had to bet, I'd say that they were trying to recover something deeper inside when we arrived, because I think I did see a lorry parked in the woods.”




    What they didn't know was that there had been crates in the more distant passages.

    Crates filled with obsolete and captured weapons. French Rifles and ammunition, Czech and Polish light mortars and even a few artillery pieces, hand grenades, surplus Carbines, to summarize an arsenal. What they would find out when they returned with a full half-company six hours later was that the Germans had stripped the place clean, with the exception of a few shattered boxes that had contained gas masks.


    The lorries spread out to similar, smaller caches spread out all over southern Germany and over the next half year these and dozens of others would be carefully hidden and small groups of men would be taught how to use those weapons.


    The term 'Werewolf' was not invented at the time, in fact it would never be officially used by the Germans[3] but it had started here. As the Allies would discover after the war the stash Paperclip had stumbled over was supposed to have been a central depot for all of Austria but the unexpected allied offensive towards Bavaria had made it too endangered to use.

    Deciding to leave clearing it out so late had accomplished not the limited interruption of Army logistics (the Wehrmacht was none too happy about having to share it's resources) but rather had now managed to alert the Allies that something was going on.



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

    Comments, questions, rotten tomatoes?

    [1] The author of said book is guilty of hyperbole but that is hardly surprising. As per OTL, there is a certain sexyness to what we'd call Wunderwaffen, though those are more along the lines of “What if the Nazis had managed to field Jet Fighters/Heavy Tanks/V2 Rockets” than godawful crap like the Ratte/E-Series/Amerikabomber. To say that the Allies weren't concerned with enemy jets is wrong, and the Soviets will benefit far more than OTL from German technology (they actually get engines, plans and expertise without having to conquer Germany first) but the British (correctly) assume that before they have to see enemy jets over the front their own will see service. On the whole the book is more “History Channel” than School Textbook.

    The real motivation for Stingray is only tangentially connected to jets, and it will be explained in due time.

    [2] He still holds that record btw. So much awesome deserves some plot armour.

    [3] Like Blitzkrieg IOTL here it's an invention of the Allied press in reaction to a speech. Sort of like “the huns” as a colloquialism for Germans stems from British reaction to a speech made by Kaiser Bill.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  6. #6166
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    If Felix doesn't get into working in Pinewood after this war then something will be seriously amiss. Ian can write all his spy books but Felix could legitimately make Indian Jones at this rate.

    Heck just adapt Indy's back story to being an American Ex-Pat and your done.

    Also I imagine the drive to Bavaria is going quite well then?

  7. #6167
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    The Werewolf? Hitler doesn't stop from wasting resources in stupd ideas, it seems. Good, good.
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  8. #6168
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    Well, they are obsolete, so not too many resources wasted. Werewolves are fun though
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  9. #6169
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    Am I reading correctly that von Braun is killed during the war?
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  10. #6170
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    Wolverines, eh? Looks like the Brits are gonna get good at counterinsurgency... assuming there's enough people to go along with Adolf's plan, that is.

    BTW when are we going back to the Pacific?

    Marc A

  11. #6171
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    Agent Larkin Fear not, both Ian and Felix will be regular visitors to Pinewood. (which, btw, will develop into a large-ish city in it's own right as the other film studios (United Artists chiefly among them) will cluster around it.

    The advance into Bavaria is going well-ish, but it won't stay that way.

    Kurt_Steiner It won't be anything like, say OTL in behind German lines in France or even the Netherlands, but bad enough to really, really worry the Allies.

    Raaritsgozilla For once German intelligence did something smart, because these guns will be impossible to trace.

    ViperhawkZ Yup. Recently I've come to see him as a marketing man and administrator, for the most part the actual science was done by a lot of other people.

    MarcusAurelius1 Depends. At least these ones won't be cornered by a few Hinds.

    As for the Pacific, Soon.
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  12. #6172
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    A slight delay in the next chapter. Yelling at the installer to go faster hasn't helped but still.....

    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  13. #6173
    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    A slight delay in the next chapter. Yelling at the installer to go faster hasn't helped but still.....

    Have fun. Tis fitting that the saviour of the galaxy is obviously Canadian, the most British North Americans ever to live.
    THE CHANNEL TUNNEL DOES NOT WORK!

  14. #6174
    A proper Englishman(or Scotsman) might have been preferable but I won't complain

    How would the ME series look in TTL? the His/Her Majesty's Star Ship Excalibur? Hood? (Couldn't remember the name of any big battle in the war so far)

    And concerning the last update, is it really that wise to drive into an unknown facility like that? I could see that it might save time if it's big but it seems rahter reckless.
    Even if there were no enemy soldiers they would have had a hard time seeing bobbytraps and that sort of things while driving.

  15. #6175
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    New rule: We will not speak of Mass Effect. Never again unless I do it first. Let it be known for the record that I mourn the Bioware of old, alongside Westwood Interactive and wish the horrors of hell down upon EA.


    [/OT]
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  16. #6176
    Trekaddict

    Well, finally made it back and trying to catch up with my favourite threads. Only got a month's work to catch up on.

    Looking good in Bavaria although it sounds like Nuremberg is going to be bloody. Rather suspect that, since there's not a massive river on one side, the simple approach, once its realised how heavily defended it is, would be to encircle and starve/blast resistance out. A bit surprised that you have the main fighting there being done by Indian forces with a Chinese element. Will be a good propaganda boost once it finally falls that the master race's stronghold was taken by despised [by the Nazis] Asians.

    Depending on whether that is the only real fanatical hold-out or not I'm wondering if you might actually see France liberated from the east? Which would be unusual and also rather embarrassing for the French forces stuck in the Alps.

    One quibble on an earlier chapter. Do you mean the character was quoting Tennyson's 'Charge of the Light Brigade' as I don't think Kipling did anything on that. Plus he might have been grounded enough to have despised such a momentous cock-up.

    Steve

  17. #6177
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    Nuremberg: That might be the smartest move, yes, but we all know that War is far from certain. Who is to say what happens, and how much plans actually work out? Asians, yes. Nothing to demolish racial superiority like having one's arse kicked by an "inferior from of life".

    The French won't be stuck there forever, but for the moment they are. We'll see.

    Re the poem: Bugger. I'll have to go back and correct that one day.
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  18. #6178
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    I return from a trip to Europe! Many war things were seen, like Vimy Ridge, Juno Beach, Tyne Cot Cemetery and one of the places that must not be named.

    Very enlightening indeed.
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  19. #6179
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    To say that what happens in this chapter hasn't been influenced by recent events on the gaming front would be a lie. Personally I can understand what they tried to do but dear god they fell flat on execution. Still, I have hope but I have to deal with my disappointment somehow and this is it. Here's to hoping that certain parties realize what sort of a screwup they produced.

    Chapter 350



    “FIRE IN THE MAIN HANGAR!”

    Rear Admiral Shepard turned on his heels but before he could say anything he realized that Captain Jackson certainly almost certainly had already sent damage control teams. Around him Vimy Ridge was shuddering from the near-misses by Japanese bombs. The entire Fleet was under attack but Able-Seven was getting the most of it, on account of her being the Carrier element.

    The small Allied Force was one of several that scoured the South-China Sea free of Japanese vessels and the massive air attack was the sharpest response yet. Two of his destroyers were already gone and Quebec was afire astern.

    Overall the fleet had already lost two Cruisers and six Destroyers, so it was no surprise that Force H was running south towards Singapore and land-base air cover as fast as they could.

    Shepard had privately questioned the wisdom of sending the fleet out in packets but the 'suggestions' coming in from London had been very explicit.

    But now he had better things to do. The hit that had started the fire in the Hangar had not only punched through the deck (stopped by the armour of the hangar deck itself) and ignited a fire consisting of parts of several Seafires but a second one had gouged a bite out of the island and taken almost all electronics on the ship with it.

    Because of this Shepard had devolved tactical command of the fleet to Beattie aboard Hood and was now seriously considering leaving the flag bridge since there was little he could do beyond periodically sending blinker messages that Beattie could well do without. He had the fleet at best speed towards Allied territory and that was all that was to be done.


    WHANG!

    That was more than a mere near miss.

    After a minute Jackson was reporting to his Admiral.

    “It bounced off the armour forward, but there is a second fire in the hangar. And....” he shuddered before pulling himself together.

    “Commander Henderson is dead, Sir.”

    Jackson was visibly shattered by what had happened to his ship and to his First Officer whom he had considered to be a personal friend. What was worse in the short term was that Henderson had directed damage control and fire-fighting efforts in the Hangar.

    Coming to a snap decision Shepard said: “I'll go down there and take over. You fight the ship.”

    Jackson looked at his Admiral. Cuts and bruises everywhere, bleeding from his nose, a gash running along his right arm from which he was also bleeding. His uniform trousers were torn to shreds and he was bleeding out of several cuts there too. Knowing that he was not looking much different, Jackson merely nodded. When he was like this the Admiral was not to be stopped. His thick skull was legendary.

    The Admiral took off his cap and ran a hand through his red hair. “Take care of your people.”


    “Yes, Sir.” Jackson chose to forgo the salute. Not only was the Admiral gone already but his own arm was too damaged to move much.


    Down below Shepard stepped into hell on earth, with fire, dead and wounded seemingly everywhere. He knew however that Vimy Ridge was in no immediate danger of sinking, if only he could get the fires under control.


    As Vimy Ridge and Bonaventure, along with their escorts limped south they slowly drew out of range of Japanese land-based aircraft in Northern French-Indochina and as he ran through the smoke-filled corridors and past damage that wasn't critical enough for immediate attention until he reached a party of men trying to force their was past a warped hatch into the hangar.

    “Any way into the hangar from this deck?”
    “Not around here, Sir!” the Petty Officer yelled after having recovered from seeing the Admiral here in this state. “Up to frame 47 everything is warped and that hatchway over there,” he pointed over his shoulder with his chin “is blocked by that ruddy fire.”


    As he turned to seek another way into the hangar deck he saw a fire-fighting party coming his way. He instantly commandeered it when he was told that they were going to the hatch anyway. When he inspected it he saw that it was already slightly open so there would be no danger of a flash fire.

    There still was a wall of heat when they opened the hatch, but the few flames were quickly extinguished, being a separate, smaller fire that was already being fought from the other side.

    Shepard stepped into the hangar and saw the scenes of semi-organized chaos that came with a ship that suffered battledamage and quickly spotted where he was needed the most. Up forward there was....


    Suddenly Vimy Ridge was shaken by another explosion.

    The last Japanese bomb of the day missed the Carrier itself, but the vibrations from the explosion on the surface of the water was enough to make the massive Canadian ship shudder and it threw the Admiral off his feet.

    What happened next was a mixture of circumstance, negligence on part of panicked replacement crewmembers and plain bad luck.

    Hidden behind the collapsed remnants of a Barracuda two forgotten drums with fuel exploded.

    The shockwave threw the Admiral off his feet again, but most importantly shrapnel from the fuselage tore away the Admiral's left leg below the knee. Burning floatsam and petrol set several men on fire.


    When he came to again a few minutes later he saw the state he was in and knew that his time on this earth was over and when a group of medics approached him he shooed them away.


    As he slowly bled out he used his last strength to reflect that this was an ending worthy of his name and legacy.



    ~**---**~




    Three days later a meeting was taking place in the same room and between the same people that had given the late Admiral Shepard his command.


    “What now, Admiral?”

    “Well, for the most part Vimy and Bony are being patched up at Singapore until they can make the crossing to India where they'll be repaired properly. We can count ourselves lucky, Sir.”

    “How so, Admiral?”

    “Well, were Vimy Ridge one of the pre-war Yank Carriers she would have been lost. As is we'll have to totally rebuild her hangar deck. Even the Island will need extensive repairs, though there a lot is cosmetic.”

    “How long?”

    “Three or four months at most, Sir.”

    “That fast?”

    “Supposing they don't discover any hidden damage Prime Minister.” the Admiral cautioned and took a sip from the glass of best Canadian Whisky he held.

    “Frankly I am more worried about the personnel issue. Jackson is the senior Captain but frankly he's still far too junior for flag rank.”

    “So what do you suggest we do?”

    “He does have the ability to do it. Frankly, he's the best Carrier Officer we have at present and if Admiral Cunningham's reports are anything to go by he should go far, be it in the RCN or the Pom Navy.”

    “He is running the squadron at present?” the Prime Minister asked. The Admiral just nodded and leaned back in his chair.

    'Oh for politicians and their short attention span.' the Admiral thought and said aloud: “Yes, Prime Minister. At the very least until they reach India.”

    “Do the Brits have any docks large enough to take a full-size carrier?”

    The Admiral shook his head. “Two under construction. But even so the facilities there are better than anything Singapore could provide and anything in Australia is currently busy with overhauling Force Z and the rest of the British Pacific Fleet.”


    The Prime Minister looked at the Admiral and frowned.

    “So Admiral Cunningham is still expecting the big clash for this year or early 44?”

    The Admiral nodded. “He is, Sir.”

    The Prime Minister nodded also. “So let's hope we can send our Carriers to help. Considering the mess the Yanks have made of re-taking Guam the Nips will soon come after us.”

    “When they do, by god we will give them their Decisive Battle and show them whose ocean this is.”


    +-+-+-+-+-

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  20. #6180
    Lt. General Raaritsgozilla's Avatar
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    Poor admiral.

    I am more intrigued about what the spoiler at the start is about
    "C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre"

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