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

  1. #6221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raaritsgozilla View Post
    Always GSG9 :ja:
    Commonwealth traitor! *shakefist*
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  2. #6222
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    Once the European Axis navies are [even more] neutralized and everyone finally gets around to invading Japan, you better believe I want the Allies to flaunt their fleet.

    I want a battle line of two dozen carriers and a hundred battleships and thousands of whatever else just cruising up to the beach. I want the Japanese to ask, "How many ships?!" and for the answer to be, "All of them!"

    My favourite scene in any media is, of course, one where the entire fleet - sea ships, starships, airships, what have you - is visible, all at once. And I want very much for AAO to have such a scene.

    Thank you for your consideration. :P
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  3. #6223
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    There will actually be a Naval battle with more than ten carriers involved, and a scene similar to that though not necessarily off the Japanese Home Islands.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  4. #6224
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    I can't remember if he's been written out yet or not but for some reason I can picture that scenario happening to Dönitz. I don't know why.... actually I do it's because of the way he was portrayed in "That Mitchell and Webb look".

  5. #6225
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    The KM is in the permanent doghouse. As BDU and the only KM Officer who has had any semblance of success he's still on active duty, but with the Allies really starting to spam escorts of all sorts and sizes (also, with fewer Convoys running in the first place) and the Air Gap being closed from Ireland, Iceland and the pre-war Carriers (Glorious for example is pretty much reduced to an ASW Carrier with a few fighters for the occasional Condor) this is running out fast. By the end of the year the U-Boat threat will be pretty much defeated, permanently. They wills still run into the occasional sub, but let's just say in 1944 the Germans will have bigger problems.
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  6. #6226
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    There will actually be a Naval battle with more than ten carriers involved, and a scene similar to that though not necessarily off the Japanese Home Islands.
    Awww yeah, that's awesome.
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  7. #6227
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    There will actually be a Naval battle with more than ten carriers involved, and a scene similar to that though not necessarily off the Japanese Home Islands.
    Now THAT's exciting!! I would hazard a guess and say it takes place near that patch of sea where a Turkey Shoot happened?

    Marc A

  8. #6228
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusAurelius1 View Post
    Now THAT's exciting!! I would hazard a guess and say it takes place near that patch of sea where a Turkey Shoot happened?

    Marc A
    No. That's within the American Operations area, so the RN won't stray there until they have to. I'll work something into the next update.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  9. #6229
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    So terribly sorry for leaving you all hanging like this, but this is due to me having been struck by my muse and now I am writing a massive Alt-Hist/Dieselpunk project. So far, the first story has only one chapter published...


    Anyway, I'm almost done with chapter two and I will then finish the next AAO update. I'll alternate in writing for AAO and my other project, but since the chapters for the other thing are at least 4k words each...

    Yeah.


    Sorry again.

    If anyone is interested, PMs can be sent.
    "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 04/27/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
    Inkwell Entry - Now with added obscure Doctor Who references - Visit the Dictionary!

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

  10. #6230
    No worries Trek, like they say : Good things come to those who wait

    An Alt-Hist/Dieselpunk story sounds quite interesting, i'd certainly like to read it anyhow.

  11. #6231
    Lt. General Raaritsgozilla's Avatar
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    Ditto, send it my way
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  12. #6232
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    Self-promotion:

    I'm writing a story on alternatehistory.com featuring AAO's Canada! Find it here!
    “Whenever the Germans found the Canadian Corps coming into the line they prepared for the worst.”
    -British Prime Minister David Lloyd George

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  13. #6233
    Quote Originally Posted by ViperhawkZ View Post
    Self-promotion:

    I'm writing a story on alternatehistory.com featuring AAO's Canada! Find it here!
    ViperhawkZ

    Damn it, that's another subscription to keep up with.

    Seriously, I will read with interest. Wonder what the Canadians and allied forces will think of a democratic US and possibly even more the state of Britain and the modern Commonwealth.

    Steve

  14. #6234
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Chapter 354



    As the British and Canadian Marines marched into Bangkog they had no way of knowing just how closely they had escaped an urban battle. The actual acts by the Thai Government to change sides had been little more than ordering all of their forces to stand down and let Sphere and Pact troops alike pass, with the exception that they were allowed to defend themselves and to stop the Japanese from taking 'any action detrimental to the Kingdom'. The Thai Army was however even worse equipped than the Japanese or Chinese one and because of this they had failed to stop the Japanese from establishing several defensive strongpoints east of the city.


    However if the Japanese expected immediate attack they were disappointed. The Commonwealth Marine Corps halted at the city limits. Their mission was only to secure the city and await their replacements, namely the 1st Burma Infantry Division and the 12th Indian Armoured Division. The Marines on the other hand embarked Thai trains and were shipped back to the British border in the south from where they made their way to Singapore and the waiting transports.

    At the cost of four Destroyers sunk, three Cruisers heavily damaged (with one declared a CTL) and two Carriers temporarily out of action the Allies had not only managed to sweep the Japanese from the Gulf of Thailand and the southern half of the South-China Sea, while also severely attriting the land-based Airpower of the Sphere powers.

    The effect of this was that the convoy that formed up north of Singapore on the 20th was unmolested by Japanese aircraft and undetected by Japanese Submarines.

    In fact the Japanese knew (and where right) that the Allies had no intention of attacking west immediately. The Allied forces had outrun their supplies and the Thai forces were needed to clear the half of the country nominally under Allied control of Japanese stragglers. Ironically the Chinese forces that had been left behind in the Japanese withdrawal as a rear-guard had done no fighting at all, in fact one full Division had expressed it's desire to join the Free Chinese Army lock, stock and barrel.

    The modern notion that during those days the Chinese Army started to bleed men and units to the Allied cause is certainly wrong. This started after the Battle of Formosa had taken place and the Allies 'March Northwards' had clearly reached the point of no return, but even in 1943 the morale of the Chinese State Army began to collapse.

    Another factor was that three Divisions of the Free Chinese Army (nominally, one Chinese Infantry was understrength and would fit out in Thailand for another four months) and the coming attack would be yet another opportunity to fight the hated Japanese.



    Chinese forces of the 2nd Chinese Infantry Division training in Thailand


    The landings were planned for after the rainy season. At present the weather grounded the air forces of both sides and it was clear that neither the Allies nor the Sphere forces were able to do much of anything. This did not include the Allied Commandos that now began to operate openly within Vietnam[1].


    The area just north of the Mekong Delta with Saigon as the first strategic target had been chosen for several reasons. For one landing to take Hanoi or Hue was too far north and too far near the remaining Japanese air and naval strength and secondly the area was well within the range of relatively easy re-supply.

    Taking the administration centre of Vietnam was also a good idea from a politcial perspective. While British at least outwardly supported a French return, behind closed doors at least begun talks with the leaders of the local resistance movement.[2]

    It had been the Vietnamese that had approached the British several months ago and even though London and No.10 were unwilling to recognize any declaration of independence it had been agreed that the British Empire would put pressure on the French to enter into negotiations on the status of the country as soon as the last Japanese forces were ejected from it.

    British reasoning for going behind the backs of the French stemmed from when the Special Operations Executive had first started operating in Vietnam. Reports sent back to London painted a picture of a country ready to fight any unwanted 'assistance' from western powers and a countryside that would make it impossible to suppress any rebellion without either resorting to methods that were beyond even the Nazis or Japanese.

    This picture was heavily exaggerated and not completely accurate in the first place. For one it disguised the fact that the Vietnamese trusted the British only little more than the French and that a great many of the leaders of the Viet-minh were of a political persuasion that lay somewhere between the UAPR and the Soviet Union.

    The so-called 'May Report' is today infamous as everything that followed was at least in part based on it as those responsible for it's drafting in the Foreign and Imperial Office (calling them an anti-French faction goes too far) were also instrumental in shaping British policy as the Prime Minister was at the time primarily concerned with what was going on in Europe, leaving South-East Asia to his underlings in New Delhi and London.


    Because of this those that wanted to de-crease French influence in the region were left to their own devices and formed a British policy for the region that resonates today.

    Most of the consequences of Operation Bricklayer were only to emerge after the war, but in the short run the reasoning presented to the Imperial General Staff was thus:

    With most of the Japanese forces in the area concentrated against the Allies in Thailand pinching out the biggest urban area within easy reach, along with a large part of the logistics that fed the southern half of the Japanese front would make the coming battle only easier. Also, “significant” Chinese Forces (in reality little more than a short Infantry Division and a few independent Mountaineer and Cavalry Brigades) were stationed throughout the Mekong Delta and could either be persuaded to surrender or at the very least contained in the area.

    Either way it would take away Japanese attention from the main front.

    What helped was that the Prime Minister was eager for something to break the anticipated stalemate and to reduce losses.

    Churchill was convinced (and for one the Imperial General Staff agreed wholeheartedly) that mainland South-East Asia would be, at best, a sideshow in 1944, and Allied warplans certainly supported this. If these plans were to be implemented on schedule (primarily the liberation of Borneo and Mindanao by the end of the 44 campaign season, together with drawing the Japanese Navy out to do battle and destroy it at sea) then mainland Asia up to the Chinese border needed to be cleared.

    Any campaign in Vietnam would face tremendous difficulties because of terrain and jungle (in fact the British Army Training Unit Vietnam still trains the Army in Jungle and riverine warfare, even for it's Air Cavalry units.) and many of the techniques pioneered would be applied later in other conflicts but all that lay in the future.

    The British Army and by extension the Allies had some experience in jungle warfare, but as a rule the Army was geared towards the mechanized armoured warfare of Europe.

    Meanwhile inside Vietnam itself the SOE was doing the work it had been founded for.


    Vietnamese guerillas being trained and inspected by SOE instructors[3]


    As usual the Japanese response was disproportionally brutal. The sheer fact that fellow Asians preferred was seen as treason and the Japanese had not treated the locals very well to begin with. This was also reinforced by the small matter that the efforts to establish a pliable and more or less accepted by the people failed. The old imperial structure had been so co-opted by the French that when the Japanese did the same little actually changed in that regard among the populace.

    It became even worse when news that the British were at least willing to talk filtered through and even months before 25 SAS was deployed to Vietnam as a cohesive unit the Japanese were acting in a way that only reinforced their reputation for treatment of local populations.

    In Tokio the Japanese Army began to realize that their days in South-East Asia might be numbered. The Allies had near total control of the sea in the Gulf of Thailand and the area around the southern parts of Borneo, and that translated into air superiority over Thailand and Vietnam as then any Carriers cruising back and forth in the Gulf would only add to the air armada that was flooding into the few hard-surface airbases that the Japanese Army and Naval Air Arms had so hastily abandoned that sometimes even complete planes with only minor faults had been left behind unrepaired.


    Two of several captured A6M Zero fighters captured in Thailand being tested in India.


    One of the above aircraft after transfer to RAF Special Duties Wing Far East


    It went so far that at the two bases closest to the capital the Thais had managed to secure them before the Japanese had managed to even spill the fuel or set the tanks on fire.

    But the Japanese Army would not openly admit that they considered South-East Asia a lost cause. There would be no further reinforcements of Japanese units but several Reserve Divisions of the Chinese State Army were earmarked for transfer.

    They weren't among the most reliable troops and the Japanese were well aware that they would at best slow the Allies down, but it would keep them from influencing and hindering others, especially the best-equipped, trained and most reliable troops that were fed into the ever-hungry meat grinder of the Soviet Front.

    Secretly, and with the approval of Nanjing, a defence of southern China was prepared. Estimates were that the Allies would march into Southern China by mid-1944, not knowing that the Allies had no such desire. If the Sino-Japanese war and the ongoing Sino-Japanese Front had taught the Imperial General Staff and the other Allied military leaders anything it was that China was a grave for Armies, not a Battlefield to be sought out.

    +-+-+-+-

    Comments, questions, rotten tomatoes?


    No, I have not gone potty. There is (some) method behind my insanity and a very good reason why the term “French Indochina” will not appear in this AAR again and instead 'Vietnam' will be used.


    [1] I hinted repeatedly.

    [2] Ironically TTL Churchill and the British political scene are far less enamoured with the French leadership who have proven to be ungrateful, selfish and basically worse allies than the even the Italians during WW1.

    [3] Remember, TTL the left wing of the Viet-Minh is discredited. The Soviets have betrayed the revolution and the Americans can't be bothered and have as yet no intention of messing with the British Sphere of influence, especially if (and pardon my french) a few gooks are the only thing at peril. So out of necessity they turn to the British and
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  15. #6235
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    The SBS taking the role of the SEALs. Nice.

    And Tokio not wanting to know they've lost the war.
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  16. #6236
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    [3] Remember, TTL the left wing of the Viet-Minh is discredited. The Soviets have betrayed the revolution and the Americans can't be bothered and have as yet no intention of messing with the British Sphere of influence, especially if (and pardon my french) a few gooks are the only thing at peril. So out of necessity they turn to the British and
    And what? AND WHAT?!?! I must know.

    Seriously though another fantastic update and anyone who hasn't seen the French not getting Vietnam back by now is either blind or a French Imperialist.

  17. #6237
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    gone potty
    I'm not sure what this means where you heard it, but over here I suspect it means something different entirely.
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  18. #6238
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    Does this mean the Liberation of Hong Kong is at hand?

    BTW I'm heading home in 11 days, so I may be able to help with on-sight research or something like that.

    Marc A

  19. #6239
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    Gone potty - Couple of meanings there.

    As used by or about a British adult it means slightly mad - about as far mad as nutty without reaching bonkers - in context I imagine this is how trek is using it

    Used by a small child or with reference to a small child it means they've used a potty - hence the North American expression pottymouthed

    Of course it would be reasonable to suggest an adult who has 'gone potty' has in fact gone potty.


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  20. #6240
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Agent Larkin There's supposed to be a . there instead...

    The British won't outright hand Vietnam over to the rebels, but they won't stop them either. They will push hard for negotiations, which is relatively easy if you have both sides by the cohones through Arms deliveries.

    ViperhawkZ&PrawnStar "Slightly mad" is what I meant here.

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    No, not yet, but when it comes....
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