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

  1. #2901
    Colonel gaiasabre11's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    I see it more as leveling the playing field. THe Germans are slightly more advanced than OTL, but not much, a couple of months perhaps, as are the Soviets. The Americans are slightly behind OTL, and the French just lost their homeland. No changes for Japan.
    Not even mentioning Italy... Benito will not like you.

    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post

    Weeeeel... You may not like it.
    If I don't like it I'll also give you something you'll not like: French cheese.

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  2. #2902
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    Chapter 140




    25th October 1940

    Somewhere in London

    Sandra Leiter was worried. Ian's letter was late, not by much yet, but enough to make her worry. Not that this was anything unusual, but she had a desperate need to talk to him, and be it via letters. But that was not why she was here today. She was here today and standing in this queue because it was the local election office. The short and intense campaign that had preceded this General Election had been centred around the prosecution of the war so far and the policy of how to act now. Churchill and the Government were vowing to fight on to anyone who would listen, while the Labour Party was advocating a negotiated settlement. The faction of the Conservative Party that was for Peace, the appeasers had grouped around Lord Halifax, who, while not splitting the party officially just yet, had repeatedly stated that he and his group would leave the Party as it was now if Churchill did not reconsider his options. The PM knew full well that a defeat in this election would not only mean the end of the war but also the end of the Party as he knew it, and had rebuffed Halifax' feeble attempts at blackmail. Instead the Prime Minister had given several speeches in which he had once again stated his firm intention to fight, and asked the United Kingdom and the rest of the nation to support him in “this most important of all wars ever fought by British men and women”. The freshly naturalized Sandra Leiter therefore voted Conservative although she would probably not have done so in peacetime. She wanted the war to continue, not only for her dead Brother's sake, but because also because she knew what would befall Europe if the British Empire made peace now.

    After having made her crosses she walked back towards the tube station that would take her back to the bakery of her Parents where she was currently working. Her hands held on tight to the insides of her coat pockets and what was inside them. The gas mask bag dangled from her shoulder and slapped against her left side over and over again, but she did not notice. Her thoughts were elsewhere, as they had been much lately even before Felix had died. When Ian had so abruptly left her parent's house she had been meaning to tell him, but she had once again been vomiting out all the precious rationed food. Her mother, once she had been able to forgive Ian was more than supportive, and her father was beaming with joy. After all, his little child would in a few months have one of her own. She herself however was less sure. How would Ian react? They had never talked about anything, and she would hate herself if she thrust this upon him against his wishes and he would probably see this child as an end to his freedom and his youth. She stopped and glanced down at her feet. In a few months she would probably not be able to see them anymore, but for now the bump was not noticeable. In the back of her mind a small voice that sounded suspiciously like Felix said to her that she should stop worrying, but she refused to listen. Ian had been through so many reversals and changes in his life lately, and she was worried what would happen if he heard of this latest one. She loved him far too much to scare him away. She needed him in her life, and much to her disgust at herself, she had not realized as much until he had gone to sea. She could not fault him for it, he was a sailor and as such wanted and needed to go out to sea and fight. Yet at the same time she was angry that he had left her behind at such a pivotal time in both their lives. She stopped and stared into the clouded grey sky. “Oh Felix, why did you have to leave me alone at a time like this?” she whispered. Her brother would have given her good advice. Of all people aside from Ian's Canada-based parents he had known Ian the best, and he could have told her what to do. But Felix was dead, and all she could do now was to wait for Ian to return to port the next time and hope that he would still be talking to her. She so needed to talk someone about it all, but her best friend, aside from Ian was out of town, and there was no one else she could trust with the turmoil inside her. She looked up and noticed that she had stood where she was for the last five minutes, and shook her head. She decided to be a big girl for now and resolutely walked towards the tube station, barely in time to catch the next train home. Once there she sat down at the desk in her room and pulled out a sheet from the large stack of pre-war paper and began to write.



    Dear Ian,

    It is far too long since I have seen you, and the way we parted the last time I did was not the way I expected it. I beg you to believe me that I did not intend to scare you away, nor do I hold a grudge against you for going back out there. If Felix taught me something about the military in general and the British Navy in particular, it is that you fight dearly for those you


    She paused at that, unsure how to continue. She put down the pen and looked out the small window. Outside the rain started to pepper against the window and the barrage balloons in the distance. She stared at the bleak picture of London on a rainy day for a few more minutes before she picked up the pen again.

    for those you love. I love you, Ian, and it is no educated guess to say that you love me, unless you lied to me when we last met before Felix' death. Ian, I know it could be weeks before this letter reaches you wherever you are, mail is slow in both directions these days. In your last letter you told me you felt empty in your life without a purpose, just as I am feeling empty without you. Ian, there is something I have to tell you, and I don't know how I am supposed to. You know me, normally I have no problems with speaking my mind. But this is far from a normal situation, and I have had problems digesting it myself. Both you and Felix always told me to be straightforward with difficult things, so here we go.

    Ian, in about seven months you are going to be a father.

    Now that you have picked yourself up from the floor of wherever you were standing or sitting, let me tell you that I am perfectly serious and expecting your child. It must have happened just before you left London, just after you left my parent's house. Two months Ian, and I just noticed a few weeks ago when I started loosing whatever I was eating at any given time. Felix would probably start making death threats just about now, and expect some from my father when you return.

    IF you return that is. I would hate to push you into anything, and I want to make sure you don't feel obligated to do anything, but let me tell you again that I love you, and I hope you still love me now that you have read this letter.

    With deep love, Sandra Leiter


    26th October 1940

    “Have the papews come in yet?” Halifax asked his aide. “Not yet, mylord. Halifax and his wife were having breakfast and were waiting for the election results to come in. Halifax was understandably nervous. Strange as it was, he hoped for defeat of his own party, because if Churchill won, then not only would a senseless and un-winnable war continue, but it would also mean the end of his political career in the Conservative Party one way or another. If he were in any position of power within the Government, he would be receiving the results either by telegram or telephone, but as a technically uninvolved party he had to wait like the man on the street. When he finally did read The Times, he went as white as a sheet. “Hawpew, would you please be so kind and send my congwatulations to Numbew 10?” “Yes, Sir.” When his wife asked what he was going to do now, a visible beaten Halifax had no answer.
    At the same time No.10 was in celebratory mood. It was a landslide victory. Little did they know of things to come.






    [Notes: Sorry for the shortness, but storytelling and all that. ]
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  3. #2903
    Colonel gaiasabre11's Avatar

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    *gasps* not expecting an update so quick!

    *enjoying reading*

    Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. It's my turn to say something about Felix's death.

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO


    I thought I'm the only one who kills off characters that easily.
    Last edited by gaiasabre11; 27-06-2009 at 01:04.
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  4. #2904
    Colonel gaiasabre11's Avatar

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    Folks, here's some news of the RN just from Wednesday. Check the first post of the link I provided.

    click me

    Any thoughts? Mine is that the RN can start getting some FREMMs.
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  5. #2905
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaiasabre11 View Post
    Folks, here's some news of the RN just from Wednesday. Check the first post of the link I provided.

    click me

    Any thoughts? Mine is that the RN can start getting some FREMMs.
    To be frank there's nothing new in that report. FREMMS? I think not - that would require a conscious decision. We'll end up ploughing on with FSC, and I expect the ASW component of that (essentially, the T23 replacement) to be based on the T45 design and construction model. (EDIT: in as much as the basic layout will be T45-esque - the ASW requirements will however require a heavily altered design).

    Having been onboard HMS DARING I can safely say that she is very impressive. Her DC system is particularly improved over T23/T42.
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  6. #2906
    Colonel gaiasabre11's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Jones View Post
    To be frank there's nothing new in that report. FREMMS? I think not - that would require a conscious decision. We'll end up ploughing on with FSC, and I expect the ASW component of that (essentially, the T23 replacement) to be based on the T45 design and construction model. (EDIT: in as much as the basic layout will be T45-esque - the ASW requirements will however require a heavily altered design).

    Having been onboard HMS DARING I can safely say that she is very impressive. Her DC system is particularly improved over T23/T42.
    Yes, it's nothing "new", but I'd like to know what people think about it.

    I agree that the T45 is very impressive (not that I've been on her), but you have messy budget and delays with her. Although I do think that the cheaper and somewhat similiar FREMM can be a cheaper alternative, I mentioned her mainly to tick you blokes off.
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  7. #2907
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaiasabre11 View Post
    I agree that the T45 is very impressive (not that I've been on her), but you have messy budget and delays with her. Although I do think that the cheaper and somewhat similiar FREMM can be a cheaper alternative
    Reminds me of the old joke about an Englishman and a Frenchman walking down a road. A fast car goes past, the Englishman dreams one day he will own one. The Frenchman dreams one day everyone will be forced to walk.

    The T45 is the car, you are that Frenchman.
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  8. #2908
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    gaiasabre11 Well, I can't have everyone survive.


    gaiasabre11&Le Jones I can't really say anything, as the biggest thing we have is a bloody frigate.
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  9. #2909
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    Reminds me of the old joke about an Englishman and a Frenchman walking down a road. A fast car goes past, the Englishman dreams one day he will own one. The Frenchman dreams one day everyone will be forced to walk.

    The T45 is the car, you are that Frenchman.
    Hehehe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    Reminds me of the old joke about an Englishman and a Frenchman walking down a road. A fast car goes past, the Englishman dreams one day he will own one. The Frenchman dreams one day everyone will be forced to walk.

    The T45 is the car, you are that Frenchman.
    Well, we can always have nuclear powered shoes. No carbon emissions, haha.

    Continuing your joke, one day the Frenchman decided to fly, and we have the Rafale.

    btw, here's a possible FSC proposal. click me.
    Last edited by gaiasabre11; 27-06-2009 at 12:25.
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    Oh dear. Halifax is going to have a son and Ian is going to be kicked out of the Conservatives...

    What do you mean with that "you got it wrong, chap"?!?!?!?!








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    As fun as this continued stabbing is, could we please keep it on topic?
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  13. #2913
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Jones View Post
    Halifax for PM!
    Be wise and choose the winning side.

    I wonder if Halifax can get messages through PM (Private Messages). Btw, what will Halifax do from now on? Well, I can always hire him as the official subject of stabbing of fun fun time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaiasabre11 View Post
    Be wise and choose the winning side.

    I wonder if Halifax can get messages through PM (Private Messages). Btw, what will Halifax do from now on? Well, I can always hire him as the official subject of stabbing of fun fun time.
    Halifax' fate will be revealed soon, but most likely only after the exams are through.
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    Chapter 141





    30th October 1940

    8th Army Command post, somewhere east of Tobruk

    General Bucknall slammed his fist on the table and sighed. “Gentlemen, we are running out of time. As we speak, the Eyties are reinforcing their position, and I for one do not intend to spend the rest of 1940 staring stupidly at their fortifications!” “But Sir, our troops are disorganized, and...” the young Staff Officer did not continue. “But nothing, Brigadier.” Bucknall closed his hand around the handle of the cup of Tea he had gotten from somewhere and walked over to the map on the wall. On it was the fortress of Tobruk with the approximate Italian positions marked.




    “No, Gentlemen, we will attack here. Along the road from El Adem and Barida. Two massive, simultaneous attacks, piercing the line in two places. This way the enemy will have to split both his defences and whatever reserves he might have. Especially that Cavalry Division.” What had driven Mussolini to put a non-mechanized Cavalry Division into Africa was a matter that no one puzzled about. No need to interrupt the enemy while he was making a mistake. That was bad manners. “And when, Sir?” One General asked. He was the chief of Staff of II Corps which was tasked with providing support and distraction for this attack. “In three days. We need a full load of Artillery shells, so I suggest you all go back to your units and have them rest. They will need it.” And so, on November 2nd, a barrage from hundreds of guns started walking up and down the Italian line. Starting at 6 AM, the British Artillery fired without pause, using more shells than on a similar day in Flanders in the last war. The barrage lasted for almost seven hours, and by the time the red-hot guns fell silent, the Italian outer perimeter had ceased to exist in the areas where Bucknall intended to attack, and was heavily damaged in others. When the British troops advanced, they met no resistance at all. The Italian commander of the fortress had pulled back his units before first light, correctly guessing the tactic the British were going to use and had manned a secondary perimeter that was based on a line of field fortifications that had been built pre-war. So when the British moved, they did not meet any resistance because there were no defenders, dead or otherwise. Bucknall brushed all concerns aside when he was informed of the lack of enemy resistance, just as he brushed aside any notion of a trap that ever more of his officers were smelling. The furious resistance by the Italians quickly cured him of this misconception. The attack along the Bardia road came to a complete and bloody stop. Luckily for the British, the second push was a bit behind the plan, and by the time they had crossed the original line of defence and approached the new one, only the Cavalry Division was manning the line in this area, with all other troops being withdrawn to the position that held the first push under constant pressure. The Cavalry Division was understrength, and perhaps two Brigades in actual strength, but they still pressed their attack home. The British troops were surprised and amazed when they were facing an old fashioned Cavalry charge, and fell back. However, the initial confusion quickly wore off and machine guns started to do the work, once again proving that the days of pure Horse Cavalry were over. With the destruction of the Cavalry Brigades the advance resumed, and by the time the sun began to set, the British had turned the flank of the position that blocked the Bardia road and had managed to drive a wedge between what remained of the Italian defenders and the city of Tobruk proper. The Italian commander saw the situation and decided to call it a day. When he approached the British lines under a flag of truce, more than six-thousand men were counted as casualties after one single day. Be that as it may, the last biggest Italian fortress this side of Benghazi had fallen.


    5th November

    KMS Graf Zeppelin, moored in Wilhelmshafen


    Admiral Albrecht, commander of the Kriegsmarine's North Sea Fleet threw the paper away in disgust. He would never know how Intelligence had managed to provide English papers this fast, but he didn't particularly care. The headlines with which the Times and others screamed about the recent fall of Tobruk implied that the British regarded this war as good as won, and as a Naval Officer who had seen another war before, he knew how deceptive such notions could be. As a matter of fact, he would ram that lesson home soon. Very soon. He rose and walked out of his quarters and onto the bridge of the Aircraft Carrier. Through the windows he could see that the crew was finishing of loading the last supplies and was preparing to store the parked planes below decks. He watched how a Ju-87T disappeared below the armoured Deck of the ship when Kapitän zur See Baumann approached. “Sir, we are finishing loading now and should be ready to sail within four hours.” Albrecht nodded. He would not rush things, as he knew from his time on the Staff that rushing things was a recipe for disaster. So on the dot four hours later the Fleet sailed. The Kriegsmarine force consisted of the Graf Zeppelin herself, KMS Bismarck and KMS Tirpitz as the centrepieces of this raid, escorted by various Light Cruisers and Destroyer flotillas. The ships sailed in formation but would soon split up, with the two Battleships drawing the British out of position and the Graf Zeppelin providing distant air Cover and attacking the British once their formation was disrupted. Albrecht stood on the bridge wing of the Graf Zeppelin and looked at the Bismarck and her sister through his binoculars. The two massive Battleships were an impressive display of military and Naval power, and would soon show the British that Trafalgar was no longer enough to uphold naval supremacy.

    The German Fleet took a course due north-north-west which aimed them directly at the centre of the British blockade line where currently the Home Fleet was expected to relieve the Channel Fleet's old Iron Dukes so that they could return home. At the same time the British were not expecting any sort of enemy sortie, as Grand Admiral Backhouse had bough several conflicting, and phony, reports that the majority of the Kriegsmarine strength had moved into the Baltic Sea in order to conduct trials on several new ships and to train with the remnants of the Soviet Baltic Fleet. He did not know that the strength of the Kriegsmarine was it sea, and headed straight for the point where currently the majority of British Naval strength in the North Sea was concentrated. The British had more Battleships, but they did not have any carriers.

    7th November

    Admiral Cunningham knew why not. At about the same time when Albrecht sortied, he was walking down the halls of the Admiralty building, fuming after yet another useless meeting with the First Sea Lord. Backhouse once again refused to let the Carriers out, claiming that they were a last-ditch defence against any attempted invasion attempts and that their Air Groups, even if somewhat obsolete in terms of Aircraft, were supposed to be a reserve for the Air Defence of the United Kingdom. Backhouse, secure in his position since the restructuring of the Defence establishment ruled the Royal Navy with an Iron fist, and would have tried to have the Carrier Fleet disbanded were they not at war. The attempted building stop for Carriers that he had tried to enforce had luckily been halted by the Ministry of Defence, as the one place where he had had to give up powers were the responsibilities of the Third Sea Lord, meaning that the procurement policy of the Royal Navy was now under even closer review. Cunningham's first and best hope was that the MoD and the Prime Minister believed in the Carrier as much as he did, although he was sure that like himself many still mourned the impending demise of the Dreadnought. The Admiralty was still very much split, so even as he left the building and entered his staff car, the discussion was raging in the offices. Cunningham leaned back in his seat and took off his cap. In his bag he had various reports, and sighed. He needed to speak to the Prime Minister urgently. More funds had to go to the Fleet Air Arm.

    Admiral Backhouse was at the same time walking over to the Operations Room where Captain Shepard was waiting for him. “So Sheppard, what is it that is so important?” he asked. “Yes, Sir. We have a report from a Sunderland. They patrol the approaches to Wilhelmshafen and report that they have spotted 'multiple capital ships' steaming north-north-west at about fifteen knots. Identified as two Battleships and a Carrier, along with multiple smaller ships. They will be in striking distance of the meeting area within an hour at the latest.” Backhouse went as white as a sheet, and asked with a broken voice: “Has this been confirmed? We can't act without confirmation! We have to have proof!” Sheppard decided to take a risk and asked the Admiral with the least amount of insubordination possible. “Sir, shouldn't we notify the Commander in Chief aboard Rodney?” Backhouse ran over to Sheppard and yelled at the younger Officer in a way that was supposed to make sure the young upstart did understand who was boss. “Are you giving me order about how to do my job, Captain?” Sheppard stayed calm and said: “No, Sir. I am simply following procedure and..” Backhouse stepped back. “To hell with procedure. We can't have the Home Fleet running around like chicken without proof. We will wait.” Sheppard sighed. “Yes, Sir.” No matter what happened, Backhouse would not be blamed. If anything the Admiral was good at shifting the blame if needed. Sheppard was in a dilemma. One one hand it seemed as if Backhouse had totally lost control of the situation, and the way he was pacing up and down the room, ignoring the quick looks of the Officers and ratings present was a sign for that, but had ordered that the CinC was not to be informed. On the other hand two high-performance Battleships that were much more capable than anything the Navy had in the area at the moment were heading right for a gathering of unsuspecting ships, not to forget the fact that they had an Aircraft Carrier at their disposal too. So he could either do nothing and risk a disaster or act against orders and risked his career. He still had not finished deciding when 'it' started.





    [Notes: Oh dear...]
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