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

  1. #2881
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    No worries. The design was never supposed to be perfect. It's a rush job, as the class was thrown together with what was available, among them parts salvaged from old V-Class Destroyers. 67 were built, and they reached 35 knots with one of the machines the Severn has. It's top heavy, yes, so it's inadvisable to fire a broadside if the seas are too heavy.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  2. #2882
    Great work still, trekaddict! How behind I get when you keep updating so quickly !
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  3. #2883
    Great update trekaddict and happy birthday for today!
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  4. #2884
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    No worries. The design was never supposed to be perfect. It's a rush job, as the class was thrown together with what was available, among them parts salvaged from old V-Class Destroyers. 67 were built, and they reached 35 knots with one of the machines the Severn has. It's top heavy, yes, so it's inadvisable to fire a broadside if the seas are too heavy.
    Don't worry too much gaiasabre11 is just worried the Severn is better than his latest bit of French-wank which has to be better than anything ever! (Insecure Frenchman? Whatever next? )
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  5. #2885
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    TheHyphenated1 It will slow down over the next few weeks until after the exams are done. After that though....

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    El Pip *shrugs* Oh well. Britannia rules the waves and all that.
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  6. #2886
    Marshal of the Empire BritishImperial's Avatar

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    happy birthday mr. addict.
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  8. #2888
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Thank you all again.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  9. #2889
    Colonel gaiasabre11's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    No worries. The design was never supposed to be perfect. It's a rush job, as the class was thrown together with what was available, among them parts salvaged from old V-Class Destroyers. 67 were built, and they reached 35 knots with one of the machines the Severn has. It's top heavy, yes, so it's inadvisable to fire a broadside if the seas are too heavy.
    35 knots, trek, do you know how fast is that? Seriously I think you should subtract 20 knots from your ship's top speed. We can talk about this later when you receive my new design's pic through PM. You can treat it as a small bday present.
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  10. #2890
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    Hopefully I am not too late.
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  11. #2891
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaiasabre11 View Post
    35 knots, trek, do you know how fast is that? Seriously I think you should subtract 20 knots from your ship's top speed.
    What kind of madness is that? 15 knots for a destroyer sized craft?! Why on earth would converting a V-class lose all that speed, if anything modernising boiler technology should allow for increase speed (or more weapons).

    If that's what you seriously think I had no idea French engineering was so bad.
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  12. #2892
    Colonel gaiasabre11's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    What kind of madness is that? 15 knots for a destroyer sized craft?! Why on earth would converting a V-class lose all that speed, if anything modernising boiler technology should allow for increase speed (or more weapons).

    If that's what you seriously think I had no idea French engineering was so bad.
    I said what I said based on what I saw on trek's design, and I should remind you that France is one of the leading states in the field of engineering. I can discuss his design with you through PM or in this thread a bit further if you wish.
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  13. #2893
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Instead of working on the update, I wrote my entry in the writing contest.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  14. #2894
    Colonel gaiasabre11's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    Instead of working on the update, I wrote my entry in the writing contest.
    I just read it, excellent. I should work on mine as soon as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip View Post
    Don't worry too much gaiasabre11 is just worried the Severn is better than his latest bit of French-wank which has to be better than anything ever! (Insecure Frenchman? Whatever next? )
    Sorry El Pip, I didn't notice this earlier. If you wish to I can send you my "French-wank" for you to compare with trek's Severn. If I'm ever insecure it is when people like you are burning for fine French ships. For example your QM2 is French built.
    Last edited by gaiasabre11; 21-06-2009 at 04:47.
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  15. #2895
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    Chapter 139





    20th October 1940

    Lybia

    “Three...two...one...FIRE!” the Officer yelled. The gun beside which he stood roared, and countless others took this as their cue, and filled the night with thunder and light. Hundreds of Artillery pieces flung hundreds of shells into the air, sending a Royal Artillery greeting card to the Italians that were just beginning to wake up when the shells smashed into the positions that had been dug. The surviving Italian soldiers hunkered down and tried to endure the massive bombardment as well as they could. When the barrage stopped after three hours, the ones that were not shell-shocked, among them the older, experienced NCOs and Officers that had fought on the side of the British in the last war knew what was coming, what had to come. They waited....and waited and saw the British coming at last. They had taken their time. II Corps under General Baird of Stonehaven, called the Indian Corps because it consisted of the 6th through 11th Indian Infantry Divisions of the Indian Army, was moving slow today. The delay between the barrage and the actual Infantry attack ( the Italians thanked God that the British tanks were concentrated further north ) had given them time to put their defences back together as well as they could. Machine Guns were aiming over the flat, even surface, waiting for the British to get into range. Italian Artillery was absent. What Artillery the Italian African Army had and had not been interdicted by the Desert Air Force was north, concentrated around Tobruk and it's vital installations. The Militia here made up with Fascist zeal and tenacity what it lacked in heavy weapons, at least in theory which was about to be tested.

    However....

    It was not what the Blackshirts expected. The British attacked, but it was just a feint. The real, powerfull attack came three miles down the line to the south, carried out with the bulk of three Infantry Divisions. The Artillery kept pounding the line to the north and south of the feint in order to make the impression that they were trying to isolate this section from the rest of the line, straight out of the rule-book of the last war. Or so it seemed. When the Divisions struck, the full might of the three Infantry Division, reinforced by the Corps-level battalion of Rolls-Royce Armoured Cars and little Artillery, smashed through the Italian lines. The Italians did not take long to recover from this, and fell back in good order. General Graziani, commander of the Italian Forces in Eastern Lybia, had quickly realized what the British were up to, and managed to pull back the forces in good order. The Italians fell back towards the first of several lines of defence that had been dug straight through the countryside wherever possible, wherever water and supplies could be brought to the defenders. The lines where nowhere near as strong as the ones in France, or the one at the border for that matter, but they would make the British pay dearly. As the sun rose, II Corps had driven deep into the Italian salient, but in the growing heat of the day dogged resistance not only by the Italian regulars but also by the Blackshirts slowed the advance to a crawl. The British, or rather Indian soldiers were used to the oppressive heat, but they still tired out quickly. At around eleven o'clock the line had moved westwards from just west of Fort Maddalena to just east of El Cuasc, where the Italians had built a massive fort in the middle of the desert over the past months. Even though it lacked heavy Artillery, the many field mortars and machine guns the retreating troops had brought in and left at the fort meant that it could not be just bypassed and and left to starve like so many others of the small Italian camps. It was the nightmare of the assaulting Infantry. The small village had been emptied of any occupants, and surrounded by a star-shaped net of trenches and probably half the monthly Italian production of barbed wire. Inside the better part of an Italian Regiment, along with several dozen stragglers from all sorts of units was waiting, and most importantly the commanders ace in the hole, two Fiat M13/40 'medium' ( light by Allied standards ) tanks. The British tried to take the strongpoint by main force, but were thrown back violently three times. The area around the Italian position was littered with bodies of the Indian soldiers and their British Officers, and the Italian commander wondered why they had not yet been pounded into dust by the dreaded British Artillery. General Baird of Stonehaven knew why. The Artillery had trouble following the initial rapid advance of the Infantry that had much less trouble traversing the non-existent roads in this part of Lybia than their Royal Indian Artillery brethren. A mile-long line of Morris C8 Artillery tractors towing the 25pdrs and several heavier vehicles stretched for miles back, ensuring that the already highly disorganized Indian troops had to attack on their own, right during the hottest part of the day. Luckily for them no sandstorms came their way, so at least they could get on with the job.

    Ranjid Sing was one of them. He was currently clutching his rifle to his chest and cursing the chin straps that held his helmet in place. The two stripes on his sleeve did not much to make him feel safer, nor did the British Indian Flag that was painted on the back of his helmet. No, nothing made him feel safe. The Lieutenant blew his whistle, and the Indian soldiers rose from the dirt, and began to run. The flat area around the Italian strongpoint left little choice but to simply rush the position with numbers and to clear out the houses of the little hamlet as fast as possible. It did not go well. As soon as they rose and began to run, Italian Machine Guns started to cut them down as if the grim reaper himself had touched them. Ranjid managed to get behind the only piece of cover in the immediate area, a knocked out, still smoking wreck of some sort and decided that this was as good a place as any to hunker down. The Italians were putting up a more fierce fight than expected and at the same time the British troops where exhausted from a long day of battling fanatic if not well trained Blackshirts and Italian regulars. They were low on everything, low on Ammunition, low on water and low on strength to expend in the fighting. As a whole II Corps was heavily disorganized, so there was little they could do but wait until the Artillery had moved up. Or so they thought. After about ten minutes the remnants of Ranjid's Regiment had established a position that was about fifty yards from the forward Italian Trenchline. Ranjid himself had managed to work his way towards that line and was wolfing down some rations when the cry “TANK” raced through the trench. What existed in terms of Italian Armour in the area was counterattacking. The two Italian tanks had shown themselves and clattered towards the British line. Luckily one of the two Company PIATs ha survived and although the men had yet to see this newest of gadgets in action against a real tank, some anti-tank capability was better than none at all. The Italian Infantry had no Infantry Anti-Tank weapons at the best of times, and viewed the 'Colonial' troops opposing them with some disdain. For them they were just natives pressed into service to fight for their masters, not sovereign Indian subjects of the British Crown that fought for King and Country. What the Italians also did not know that the PIAT was powerful enough to penetrate even the thickest types of Armour in use at the time, and promptly went on to demonstrate it. The two-man team aimed the metal tube at one of the Italian tanks. The loader crammed the projectile into the rear end, secured it and padded his partner on the helmet. The other man waited for a second and then pressed the trigger home. A tongue of flame came out at the back and at the front when the shaped charge was propelled over the open ground by the attached rocket. It slammed into the Italian tank, exploded and filled the compartment with splinters, just seconds before the ammunition exploded. A second tongue of flame reached out for the second Italian tank, destroying it just as it began to fire it's main gun. The Italians were stunned even more so when the British Infantry began to rush their position, taking advantage of the momentary distraction.

    Ranjid screamed like a madman. He did not hit much as he fired his Lee-Enfield from the hip, but that was of no concern to him. When he reached the outermost hut, the bolt of his rifle jammed. He grabbed it by the warm barrel and used the butt as a club. The Italians were surprised by the ferocity of the attack, and crumbled when the Indians broke into their position, fighting like raving monsters on a rampage. The Regiment went through the hamlet like a Tsunami and had it cleared within twenty minutes. The surviving Italians surrendered easily, and the Indian troops took up position at the other side of the hamlet. No counterattacks materialized, and by the time the Regiment had rounded up and taken care of the Prisoners to the best of the abilities present, the remaining units of II Corps marched past, followed by the long train of Artillery vehicles. Ranjid climbed to the top of the tallest house, where one of his fellow troopers had just hoisted the Union Flag that doubled as the Battleflag for all British forces. A slight wind came up, and although it brought little relief from the heat that still dominated the desert, it was strong enough that Ranjid could feel it on his dark skin. He slung the rifle over his shoulder and took off his helmet. His dark hair clung to his head because of sweat, and he took a handkerchief from one of his pockets and swiped his forehead. As he did so, one of the batteries of Artillery began to set up it's heavy 7.2 inch horwitzers nearby. It reminded him that there was still a war on. He climbed down, the Lieutenant would have new orders by now. Soon the Regiment was on the move again, ever more westwards.

    22nd October

    On it's left Flank II Corps bordered the Operation Area of I (UK) Tank Corps, and General Ironside made good use of the hard-won victory. Army Group North Africa still lacked the strength needed to pull of the pincer movement through the south for which the tanks had been put in this particular position, as the interference by the Italian navy, such as it was at this time was still enough to disrupt the troop convoys considerably. Good news however was coming from Tunesia, where the French had finally ended the stalemate and were beginning to cautiously advance, which was not surprising, given the beating they had taken, which was proportionally much larger than the defeat of the British Expeditionary Force. The Crusaders started rolling in a generally north-western direction after dawn on the 22nd, cutting through the exhausted Italian defenders like a hot knife through butter. The Italians found out that their Anti-Tank guns had trouble penetrating the increased frontal armour of the latest model Crusader Tanks the British were fielding, and so resistance at the frontline dissipated rapidly. The plan called for 'full encirclement if practicable', but that was not to be. The Tankers were as exhausted as the Infantry as the infernal heat was even worse for them than for the others. The Italians scrounged together what forces they could and stopped the deepest penetration of the British Forces a mere twenty miles from the coast. Graziani begged Rome for the permission to retreat from Tobruk lest the British renewed their advance and pocketed the majority of the Italian forces in Lybia around the in itself relatively unimportant Fortress of Tobruk. The Duce however was furious about the reversals suffered by the glorious Italian Army so far and refused to give Permission. In the short term events would prove him right, as the British did not resume their advance. A probe sent out by General Ironside on the 24th came back with grave news when the Peshawar Lancers discovered a massive minefield that lay right along the axis of advance his Corps would have to take. After radioing the news to Brooke, it was decided to scrap the plan and instead to force the Italians out of Tobruk and the Cyrenaica region by threatening their flanks while the Royal Engineers laboured to clear a path through the minefield.

    On the 25th October, the same day their countrymen at home went to the polls to decide whether the Conservative Party was doing a good job of leading the country in a war, II Corps, having regained some combatworthyness attacked the Italian position south-west of Tobruk in the hopes of turning the Italian flank. Supported by a spoiling raid by the 7th Armoured and the 1st Indian Divisions II Corps sliced through the Italian position. The swiftness with which the Italians broke on that day belied the dogged resistance of the recent past, but to know why we need to see the bigger picture. The Italians were unable to fully resupply their troops in North Africa, unlike the British who were bringing in supplies not only from the United Kingdom but also via the Red Sea from India where the Arms Industry was virtually exploding. The Italian Divisions had fought hard for the last week, and were at the end of their strength. Late on the 25th II Corps reached a line that ran roughly straight from the flank of 2nd Armoured Division at the extreme right flank of the Tank Corps eastwards to the lines of I Corps/8th Army east of Tobruk. Now the fortress was under siege from three sides.


    [Notes: The bit in the beginning is one of my favourite plot devices. From now on the term “British” describes all Imperial Forces unless stated otherwise. It's easier for me that way. My reasoning behind the PIAT is that if the Americans can come up with it, why not the British? PIAT means here: Personal, Infantry, Anti-Tank. Up next is a small jump, the next updates will be interesting, in the Chinese sense of the word, as they will cover the General election, amongst.... other things.]
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  16. #2896
    Marshal of the Empire BritishImperial's Avatar

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    ah, i love battle updates the PIAT is somewhat early, but as you say, whatever the americans can do... and your britain is more progressive it seems, anyway.

    here's hoping winnie doesnt get thrown out.
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  17. #2897
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  18. #2898
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    BritishImperial Indeed. Britain is not so much more progressive but rather taking a more sensible and therefore different course than in our history. Using the full power of hindsight, I could have them produce Jets and Centurions by now, but that would be a bit much.

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    all Exams are approaching fast, and there will be a dryspell over the next few weeks. To make up for that, I will make a massive update spree over the next two days. Shocking disclosures! Massive, massive Naval Battles, probably the biggest battle in the ETO!
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  19. #2899
    Colonel gaiasabre11's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    BritishImperial Indeed. Britain is not so much more progressive but rather taking a more sensible and therefore different course than in our history. Using the full power of hindsight, I could have them produce Jets and Centurions by now, but that would be a bit much.
    Whoa, whoa, trek, you don't need PIATs for Italian tanks.

    I can accept the fact that Britain in TTL is more progressive than in OTL, but I hope that goes the same for the other nations to some extent.

    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post

    all Exams are approaching fast, and there will be a dryspell over the next few weeks. To make up for that, I will make a massive update spree over the next two days. Shocking disclosures! Massive, massive Naval Battles, probably the biggest battle in the ETO!
    WOOOOOOOOT!

    Small question: how long will your exams be taking you away? For me, finals are like 2~3 weeks.

    P.S. I hope that the Marine Nationale has a part with your naval battles. I still remember that the MN sunk an Italian BB before, right?
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  20. #2900
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaiasabre11 View Post
    Whoa, whoa, trek, you don't need PIATs for Italian tanks.

    I can accept the fact that Britain in TTL is more progressive than in OTL, but I hope that goes the same for the other nations to some extent.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by gaiasabre11 View Post
    WOOOOOOOOT!

    Small question: how long will your exams be taking you away? For me, finals are like 2~3 weeks.
    That about covers it.

    Quote Originally Posted by gaiasabre11 View Post
    P.S. I hope that the Marine Nationale has a part with your naval battles. I still remember that the MN sunk an Italian BB before, right?
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