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

  1. #4681
    Trekaddict

    Well, that's not what I was expecting. When you said about the king being dead I was forgetting the king was so young and hence going to point out with monarchy there is [virtually] always available. Not sure how much use that might actually be however. His dynasty is the Serbian one so while those and the Montenegro's may rally many Croats, Bosnians, Slovenes etc. may well be less favourable to an explicitly monarchical leadership for the resistance in the region. This may be moderated somewhat if there are clear promises of markedly greatly devolution however.

    Also I've been on holiday for a fortnight. Why is there only one new chapter? Where are the other 65 that should have been available!

    Steve

  2. #4682
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    1) The Yugoslav Government will attempt to buy over the ethnicities with a model of state that's based on the UK, i.e. devolution as you said. It's not going to be easy though, but in the long run probably better than Federal Yugoslavia under Tito and what came afterwards.

    2) Well, there were some things I needed to take care of in regards to the next one, and I am simply awaiting word before you all can read it.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  3. #4683
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Chapter 253


    The first thing that he had noticed upon setting foot on Italy was the large number of different allied Countries and the even larger number of Soldiers. General William 'Bill' Slim had commanded the fortress of Singapore since long before the Sons of Nippon had entered the war, and he simply wasn't used not only to to units with the most modern and plentiful equipment that was to be had anywhere. In Singapore twelve Mathila II were still soldering on briskly, while here in Europe their modern descendants would literally run rings around them with total impunity. He missed taking care of his boys in the Fortress, but getting an Army Command and knowing that Air Vice Marshal Browning would be more than able to defend the Fortress soothed his soul. It had caused a mild stir within the the Army when an RAF Officer had been given this most prestigious of postings, but Slim was well aware that Singapore was in essence a Career ender, chances of promotion where next to non-existent when one served in a Fortress under Siege, and for that reason now-Air Commodore Dashwood and most of 633 Squadron's pilots had joined slim on the outbound Dakotas.


    He had spent the last three weeks in Palermo trying to learn a whole new form of warfare (to him) that didn't rely on the skilled use of a smaller number of Infantry but was rather full on 20th Century mechanized warfare while Air Commodore Dashwood was busy getting his qualification on the Spitfire Mk. Vk.

    General Slim still felt a certain anxiety when facing the combined Soviet and German Armies but the classic British Stiff upper Lip prevented him from showing it. Mind you, unlike the French and British Forces in 1940 he knew that the Axis Forces weren't invincible, far from it. That they would be a difficult and tough enemy was something he could deal with, the Nips might be using outdated stormtrooper tactics that smelled of the trenches, but they were very tough fighters. And to be perfectly honest it would be nice not to have to ration even anti-aircraft and Artillery ammunition to the degree that he had in Singapore.

    Right at this moment he was sitting in his Quarters in a small town forty miles from the Austro-Italian border in the Hotel that served as 9th Army Headquarters until the breakout into Austria, tentatively dubbed 'Operation Lightfoot' started in a few days. Originally the Offensive had been scheduled to start on the 17th, with the 1st Irish Division fully in place, but now that London and Aldershot had changed their minds about going into Yugoslavia the adjustment of the plans had delayed things for another week, now the jumpoff date was the 5th August 1942. Unlike previously, 9th Army was on the Allied right flank, with the 1st Canadian in the centre and the British 8th Army to the north. While there would be no major offensive aimed at liberating Yugoslavia at least until after Vienna was taken (one wanted to keep his options open, not that the Yugoslav Government knew) 2nd (ANZAC) Army was to go through northern Yugoslavia, liberate Lubljana, move north of Zagreb to either draw the Hungarian Army into open battle or at the very least threaten their homeland and hopefully prompting Budapest to call the majority of it's forces home. The 11th, 5th and 6th Armies were in Reserve, both to save manpower that was precious to the Dutch and the Belgians and later to provide a flank guard once the 8th, 1st Candian and 9th wheeled north towards Vienna and hopefully into Germany while the still forming Indian and African British Forces would secure the lines of supply and engage the enemy in South-Eastern Europe.[1] 1st and 2nd Cavalry Divisions had been formed into the ad-hoc I Cavalry Corps, and the additional Infantry Division had been attached to XL Corps, which was one of the Army's primary subunit, the other being XLI Corps and of course I Cavalry Corps. This additional Infantry Division though was what was making him slightly uneasy.


    The problem wasn't the reaction of the other Allied forces even though rumblings had gone through the Alliance, but rather how the unit would react when it was unleashed on the Germans, for it was the King's Jewish Legion.


    The KJL's Insignia


    The KJL had been born out of the 5th (Jewish) Brigade after the theatre in North Africa had been wound down, and the Brigade had found itself not only without a commanding Officer (Brigadier Ernest Frank Benjamin, formerly of the Royal Engineers had been killed shortly after Tripoli had officially surrendered) but also without a mission as it had been formed to boost Middle East Command for as long as there was a threat to Palestine, this being now eradicated with the capitulation of the last remnants of the Italian 5th and 10th Armies. However instead of disbanding, going back to Palestine, joining the Haganah and becoming semi-legal Paramilitaries it had been decided to revive a concept from the Napoleonic Wars and World War One. The 5th Brigade was to be expanded by a second Jewish Brigade and joined by organic Artillery. The expansion to a full three-Brigades Division with attached Artillery and the Divisional troops came ironically only after the Palestine Riots that had prompted Jewish, Arab and British Authorities in Palestine had actually started to negotiate. Now the Legion had not only grown to Division size but was been endorsed by the King and now shared it's name with a similar unit of World War One fame.




    A knock at the door drew Slim's attention. He motioned for his aide to show the Officer in.


    “Pray be seated, General.”

    The younger man saluted crisply and sat down in the chair opposite Slim. The Office was not much different from the spartan low-class hotel room it had once been, and it suited Slim.

    “You wanted to speak to me, Sir?”

    Slim spent a few moments to study the other man in his Office.



    [2]



    “You lost that eye at Tripoli I understand?”

    With the eyepatch still itching whenever he thought of it, Major General Moshe Dayan thought of the crazed Italian Corporal with a hand grenade and a serious lack of talent for cricket.

    “Yes Sir, courtesy of an Italian hand grenade.”

    Slim looked Dayan in the face as both men stared each other down for a few moments.

    “Let me ask you this, General. How will your men react when we send them against the Germans?”

    Slim saw that Dayan was trying to find an answer that wouldn't be seen as insubordination, and instead of waiting he simply asked another question.

    “No one can doubt their motivation and no one does, rest assured. We all know that they are itching to fight, and with good reason.” Slim sighed and rephrased his earlier question. “What I would like to know is what your men will do when that desire clashes with orders.”

    Dayan had to admit that while he hated being doubted, he knew that the question had merit.

    “They will do as they are told, I can vouch for my Officers and men.”

    “Good,” Slim said with a nod, “then I want to know from you if your men will adhere to the rules of war.”

    Before Dayan could reply, Slim raised a hand to keep him quiet and continued.

    “Or rather I do bloody well order you to make them. Are we clear?”

    “Perfectly, Sir.”

    “And consider this, General Dayan. There is no reason for you to descend to their level...”

    Dayan interrupted Slim as politely as he could under the circumstances.

    “With all due respect Sir, we will adhere to the rules of war as much as the British troops, after all we do have a country to fight for now.”

    Dayan was referring to the partitioning plan in Palestine that, while being condemned by the most radical Zionists was fulfilling a wish the Jewish Diaspora had had for centuries, while giving the other major group with a claim on the area a country of their own. How this worked out in the long run was unknown but at the very least both sides were too busy to be killing each other which was what London had intended with suggesting the plan in the first place.

    Slim smiled and then said:

    “That is all I wanted to know, General. Now get back to your command, we have a war to win.”

    “Yes, Sir.”







    [Notes: I can't take credit for the inception of the KJL, that Idea is borrowed with permission from another alt-Hist WW2 on another Forum. And of course the KJL is supposed to provide a cadre of Officers, NCOs and men with combat experience for the future IDF.]

    [1] That's the plan for Operation Lightfoot at least, how it will turn out in the end is any one's guess.

    [2]The closest picture I could find, please ignore the Rank Insignia.
    Last edited by trekaddict; 12-09-2010 at 14:57.
    "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 09/22/14 Index - Index 2 - Index 3 - Knowledgebase -
    Inkwell Entry Visit the Dictionary!

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

  4. #4684
    Monarchist Griffin.Gen's Avatar
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    Awesome, it's Dayan!
    He's one badass guy.

    Fan of the week 12/06/10, Thanks trekaddict!

  5. #4685
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Hmm, the question is will the rest of the British Army trust a unit that doesn't eat bacon sarnies? I have my concerns about this scheme I must confess.
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  6. #4686
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Griffin.Gen He wears an eyepatch like a pirate. Of course he is badass!

    El Pip
    Well, that will chance once the KJL comes up against the True Believers(tm) in the Waffen-SS. Then they will be sought after.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  7. #4687
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Well, at least the Italian hand grenades are able to redeem their Tanks...
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  8. #4688
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    Well, at least the Italian hand grenades are able to redeem their Tanks...
    Hand grenades don't have as many moving parts and don't rely on actually having Armour and a decent gun.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  9. #4689

  10. #4690
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    Then they will be sought after.
    To be fair I should have seen that coming. After all every other new unit in this AAR has been a stunning success, why not this one?
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  11. #4691
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    soulking ERROR ERROR DOES NOT COMPUTE probably is very close.


    El Pip Admittedly that's due to a personal failing of mine, I just like having my characters hand the Nazis their dues.
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  12. #4692
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    found this in Youtube. still funny as hell!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu2Nq...eature=related
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  13. #4693
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    As awesome as that is, I doubt it was ever aired in Germany. Back when it was new, we were ridiculously touchy about the subject, even more than today.
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  14. #4694
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    sorry, didn't mean to pour salt in old wounds.
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  15. #4695
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misterbean View Post
    sorry, didn't mean to pour salt in old wounds.
    You didn't, trust me. I laughed very had when I watched that.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  16. #4696
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    To be honest, I found it unwatchable, just from a critical perspective.
    The idea, however, is great.
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  17. #4697
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    Quote Originally Posted by soulking View Post
    I would love to see what Hitler thinks of the King's Jewish Legion.
    Easy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlZhe...eature=related
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  18. #4698
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColossusCrusher View Post
    To be honest, I found it unwatchable, just from a critical perspective.
    The idea, however, is great.
    the movie and clip appeared when I was about 13. trust me, at that age, it wasn't so much the Hitler parody that got me
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  19. #4699
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Chapter 254




    The Air War over the Mediterranean Sea was something the planners at Bentley Priory, High Wycombe and Aldershot hadn't planned for to develop this way. With the unexpected (by the Royal Air Force) but welcome surrender of the Italians the Mediterranean Air Force suddenly found itself in the position of having to defend much more of the Italian peninsula, but at this time enough Allied and British Fighter Squadrons were in the Theatre to ensure a more than adequate Air Defence of the supply lines, such as they were.

    After the fall of Rome to the Canadian Army and the development of the South-Italian RDF chain the Allied Air Forces thus had adequate defences in place and also an area on which Bomber bases could be established to attack Southern and South-Eastern Europe and most importantly Ploesti, the Axis' most important source of oil outside the Soviet Union and thus something that needed to be taken out, be it only to further the tensions that the defection of Admiral Canaris had revealed to the British leadership. According to him, Hitler hated being dependent on Stalin's good graces for anything, and having an oil supply of his own was a vital interest to the Führer and his minions. Quite obviously the Allies were interested in attacking it for that very reason and assembled a mighty force of Bombers on airbases all over Italy.[1]

    The Axis Forces assembled an even larger force of in Hungary and Austria in an effort to disrupt Allied repair and supply efforts in Italy. While the sheer number of Axis guaranteed that at least some of the bombers would get through on occasion the technical disparity between the He-111s, Ju-88s, Tu-2s, Pe-8s and other assorted aircraft and the Allied late-model Spitfire Vs, along with an Air Defence principle that had proven it's worth in the Battle of Britain made sure that was success the Axis were having in the air over Italy came at an immense cost, so great in fact that from February 1942 onwards the High Officers in the Luftwaffe and the Red Air Force convinced their leaders that they either needed substantial reinforcements or soon would have to suspend operations. At this time Hitler had not yet usurped the power of the General Staff, so he had to bow to the OKW in this case and in mid-April Axis air attacks were scaled back considerably and only the fastest German and Soviet planes operated over the Italian Peninsula. The Allies meanwhile had the industrial and technological prowess to not only sustain the Bomber offensive in the face of the German defences (and they were remarkable for the standards of the time) but also had with the Lancaster an Aircraft that could punch through the defences and reach targets that were beyond the reach of especially the Luftwaffe that had developed a strange obsession with trying to attack North Africa, which would entail running past the Naval RDF pickets in the Mediterranean Sea, Fighters based out of Algiers, Malta, Sicily; later also liberated Corsica and French-Occupied Sardinia, never mind the French Fighters that had taken over the defence of Continental Africa from the rest of the Allied powers.

    So Operation Blowlamp I, having been launched with little to no success from north Africa and Egypt in 1940 and 1941, was followed in due course by Blowlamp II, III, IV, V and VI in January 1942 with a force of at first 200 British and 100 Allied Bombers, soon joined by 100 additional British and Allied aircraft. A typical Blowlamp raid in this phase of the war consisted of roughly fifty to a hundred Lancasters and at first also a few lingering Halifaxes that conducted a typical Bomber-stream attack on the Ploesti Oil Fields and Refineries, accompanied by escort Fighters and diversionary raids by various Infiltrators on military targets in Austria and Hungary. This was meant to force the enemy to divide his fighter Forces and while the Germans under General der Jagdflieger Adolf Galland knew this, there was nothing they could to but play the British game, more for lack of Fighters than anything else.



    A man with an unenviable task



    When the task of 'keeping the British contained' after the Battle of Britain was taken from JG 26 and JG 1 in December 1941, both wings were moved from northern France to Austria and Hungary to assist in the 'Reichsverteidigung', the Defence of the Reich. Galland was given the unenviable task of turning these two wings into a weaker equivalent of the Kammhuber line in the West. The promotion to Generalleutnant that came with the job and the arrival of four Soviet Fighter Regiments literally fresh from Fighter School in the Ukraine didn't help his mood, because he knew that the Allies would make this a very hard assignment, probably harder than even the struggle in the air above France because for both sides war efforts the success or failure of the Bomber Offensive was vital. In the beginning the advantage was with the Germans even though most of the Soviet pilots were still trained in the sort of low-level combat operations a major land war in the Soviet Union would require[3], but the German pilots of JG1 and JG 26 quickly took their Comrades under their wings (Galland using his prerogative as the local Senior Officer to overrule the Political Officers in the Soviet Squadrons) and so Allied losses began to mount. This shifted when the Lancaster began to reach the Mediterranean in larger numbers to replace the lingering Halifaxes and more and more Spitfires arrived in the Theatre, along with the escort-fighter variant of the Mosquito which, while not being as agile as her axis enemies, was fast and long-ranged enough to conduct the same sort of fighter sweeps ahead of the main force of bombers that had been used in the early stages of the Battle of Britain and kept a low, but almost constant pressure on most of the forward airfields that were irregularly visited by their ground-attack brethren. However by March 1942 the situation threatened to shift again. To explain this it must be known that by late mid to late 1941 it had been decided that the high-performance and unfortunately rather delicate G-Series Me-109s that would have trouble operating from the rough fields that had sprung up all over the combat area of Galland's command also known as Fliegerführer Süd-Ost or South-East Air Command, the biggest and best Aerodromes with the precious tarmac on it were all occupied by the Hungarians, Romanians and Bulgarians. While the Soviets did not have this problem with their rugged La-5 it had been decided that both German Wings would convert to the new Fw-190 A-3 a process complete for JG 26 by the time they had moved and then by March 1942 for JG1. This gave the Axis the edge over the Allies who had flown against inferior Axis Aircraft most of the time in the theatre, at first against Italian products, then against slightly less inferior Me-109s and LaGG-3s, many of which would now find their way to Hungary and Romania, replacing the IAR-80s and Me-109 Es these countries were using.



    IAR-80


    Me-109 E


    Fw-190 A-3
    [/SIZE]


    Thus by the time Operation Lightfoot started the Air War at best hung in the balance, a fact that would heavily influence the outcome of the campaign. However the (numerous) critics of both Prime Minister Churchill who pushed Lightfoot over the half-hearted objections of the Imperial General Staff and of Field Marshal Alexander often overlook that the events of the Black Saturday and all that followed in it's wake were only partially grounded in the situation in the air and that by that time no one had any reason to believe that the sequence of events on the 22nd August were going to happen like they did.

    In any case the preparations for Operation Lightfoot could hardly be kept secret. There were far too many obvious signs, far too many Axis sympathisers and far too many winding mountain passes to prevent word from leaking out, so at best the Allies would have tactical surprise, something that had never stopped an Allied attack before.

    The Allies meanwhile were massively gearing up for the attack. By now the British 7th Armoured Division was fully equipped with Comet Tanks, the Royal Logistics Corps breaking every record in getting them to Italy, while elsewhere the 1st Irish Division had been joined by the one of the Brigades of the 2nd Division. The King's Jewish Legion had moved into the line with the British 9th Army which had started to co-ordinate their initial attack with the 8th British and 1st Canadian Armies. Tens of thousands of men were waiting all over Italy for their turn while Engineers and Logistics troops from all the Allied nations struggled to repair and improve the railway lines, roads, streets and sometimes even mere footpaths that were used to carry supplies forward, all the while the Battle for the Italian Alps/South Tyrol was still going on was albeit clearly going the way of the Allies.





    [Notes: Argh. Not how I wanted this to turn out, mainly far shorter than usual. Sorry for that, but it seemed like a good spot to break it off.]

    [1] Lacking OTL's bomber Strategy and without Harris leading it Bomber Command is significantly smaller than OTL but also can have a lot more planes deployed elsewhere.

    [2] Amerika-Bomber on a smaller scale.

    [3] And did IOTL.
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