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

  1. #4821
    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    Kurt_Steiner

    Indeed the war is up next!

    Deathsheadx That was the point of the exercise (forgive the pun please).

    Lord Strange Actually the Aston belonged to one of Ford's henchmen.

    The backdated taxes will be collected the moment the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards march down Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Deathsheadx The Ford Motor Company still exists. Like a lot big Industrialists he managed to save a large part of his assets and has since worked out of Ford of Britain. However, now he is dead the Company will be just one among many and the British Government will have a long, very long institutional memory about this, so Ford will have difficulties in getting a foot on the ground, especially since their every move will be watched. To explain: By my estimation the next three of the next four Prime Ministers (Winston not included) already know about this matter and Ford's involvement. No Government contracts ever, their books audited once every two years at least and constant rumours, stuff like that.
    interesting. is the Ford incident kept private amoungst the Government, Made public, or something that is known by all, but never outright officially mentioned? because I can't see those in charge successfully Marketing the Ford Brand Name in the uk for a good while if it's public.

  2. #4822
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    It's kept private.
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  3. #4823
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevep View Post
    Trekaddict

    Good chapter and nice tie up. I think such prolonged mistrust of Ford Motors would be counter-productive as you can't really blame a company a couple of decades down the line for what a former CE did and it's more likely to mean less competition and the employees of the company having a reason for mistrusting Britain in turn.

    One question. Norman on fleeing to Thetford was thinking "Mind you, his real bosses would be very happy". That implies that the people there, who were Ford's mob, were in turn being double-crossed. That while Ford was trying to trick Britain into a war with the American communists someone was playing him. Will we ever find out who?

    I think Ian and Felix were rather rash to try crashing the gate like that and very lucky to escape alive. However at least he's got his hands on the Aston-Martin.

    Steve
    Well, I can't answer either Question really...At least not yet.
    "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!

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  4. #4824
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Slowly inching towards catching up, on the one hand I now have a clever internet phone so I can read updates on the train to work. On the other I've got distracted by Operation Tidespring over on AH.com.

    Overall I'm making progress, I'm up to Chapter 262, but I'd catch up faster without your spinoffs.

    Big shock on the royal 'accident', very well done there, and good to see the Aussies using have a decent CAC-17 TTL.
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  5. #4825
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    El Pip, I'd love to answer in more detail, but alas, Spoilers.
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  6. #4826
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Chapter 267




    “So as far as we know the group around Ford was behind things?”

    “Yes, Prime Minister.” Ian said.

    They were sitting in the cabinet room at No.10, again opposite the group of men they had spoken to before embarking on the quest that had led them to a rainy field in Norfolk.

    “We are going to look at things in some more detail of course, but so far there is nothing pointing at anything else.”

    “I have read the files you recovered from the Villa and from Mr. Fords Office, but I can still hardly believe that someone had a plan this ridiculous.” Sir John Dill replied. As Chief of the Imperial General Staff he heard all sorts of crazy schemes, not a few of them coming from this very room, but this was really the icing on the cake.


    “Neither do I, Marshal.” Churchill replied before turning back to look at Ian and Felix. “Go on, Captain.”



    “Well, we secured the lorry and headed back towards the Villa. If there were any more people there before, they were gone. We half expected that someone would have set it on fire, but they didn't.”


    Sir John nodded. “Twenty cases with S.M.L.E.s, three with No.4s, ten magazine Brens, and enough .303 rounds to occupy Paris.”

    Ian nodded. “I've been reviewing Five's files on the Eagle Legion, and it appears that a lot of the weapons they bought or stole never appeared again. So far we thought that they'd been flogged to the IRA or the Republican Spanish during the Civil War, but it seems that they managed to hide some right under the nose of Special Branch when they investigated the camp not five miles from the Villa.”

    He paused.

    “But Sir, the problem was back then that we never really found out how many weapons they bought in the first place and if we were to ask the Irish they could probably find another few batches.”

    “Let's not bother about that at the moment.” the PM said. “After all the IRA has been joining the Irish Army in roaring masses and a lot of them are with the IEF in Italy. In any case, have you found any other plots of that sort?”

    “None, Prime Minister.” Felix said. “I have talked to my contacts at Grosvenor Square and they told me that for the most part the Expats have made peace with their situation, and I believe the fact that many of us serve in the British Armed forces shows where our loyalties lie.” Felix said with a hint of hurt in his voice that only Ian detected and only because they knew each other so well.


    “No one doubts that, Commander. Quite the opposite in fact. However, not everyone will see things the way we do.” Churchill said.

    “Therefore I must stress on everyone in this room that everything related to the investigation and the aftermath falls not only under the Thirty Year Rule and the Official Secrets Act but also that any breech of security would incur my most personal displeasure!”

    Everyone knew just how limited the powers of the Prime Ministers were, but also no one wanted to have Winston Churchill as a personal enemy because it was well known that the man could be very, very scary.

    “Yes, Prime Minister.”


    “Oh and Captain, the Commander and yourself are expected at Holyrood Palace tomorrow.”

    That let eyebrows rise.

    “The Queen is recuperating from her injuries there at the insistence of the Royal Surgeon, but she intends to return to London as soon as possible.”

    Churchill cleared his throat and then looked at Ian again. “In any case, she has expressed the wish to personally thank you far what you have done, and someone needs to brief her on these developments.”


    Once outside No.10 both of them climbed into the Aston. Ian had claimed it as spoils of war and was for the moment running it with the petrol coupons that he had accumulated over the three years of war but never used as someone who was nominally stationed in the UK. “Well, it's not the first time we commoners mess with Royalty.” Felix said flippantly as Ian started the engine.

    “That be true, my olde friend, but remember that the bringer of bad news often got the chop in the olden days.”

    “Without disrespect, I doubt the Queen can even lift the sword and besides, we didn't make the news, we're just bringing it.”

    Ian nodded and the Aston moved off into the blacked out streets of London.

    “Again true. Well then. Cold, wet, foggy and generally useless Scotland, here we come!” Ian said with a smirk, telling everyone[1] that he was merely joking.




    [3]

    ~~**~~


    London, January 1967

    The Second Sea Lord was a nervous man. He had been willing and able to ram the design on the table in front of him down the throats of an unwilling Government, for once being actually supported by the treasury (on the account of it being cheaper in the long run to build new than to maintain the old ships, and getting more omph for the pound Sterling) but the duty he had now was a difficult one. Inside the Admiralty bets were taken as to the reaction of the Queen when he presented the ideas of the Admiralty to her, in fact the First Lord of the Admiralty was known to have wagered a case of best Cuban Cigars that the Queen would refuse, and the Second Sea Lord was looking forward to collecting, but he still couldn't help but feel apprehension. As his car rolled towards the shore just downriver from Tower Bridge where he was expected to attend when the Queen re-opened HMS Warspite as a museum he couldn't help but wonder what her father would have done who was known to have vetoed the naming of the Implacable Class after himself, and now he, the Second Sea Lord, was coming with the proposition of naming a class of Nuclear Carriers after the Queen's father.

    The car stopped, and as he stepped outside and began to walk the few yards past the constables that watched the road (after all, the IRA might be all but destroyed but the Irish Government would most likely never get all of them) and towards the gaggle of diginitaries where the presence of the patrol from the Royal Horse Guards was telling that the Queen was already present, he glanced over to where the massive shape of the old Battleship was awaiting the re-commissioning so that her crew might hoist the White Ensign once again.


    “Ah, Admiral Cartwright!”

    Cartwright turned around and saw that someone was trying to get his attention. It turned out that it was his immedate superior, the First Sea Lord who was winking him over to where the Queen and the Prince of Wales[5] were talking to various dignitaries.


    “Do you have it?”

    “Yes, Sir. If all goes well, our next generation of Carriers will be known as the King George VI Class.”




    [Notes: Comments, questions, rotten tomatoes? --- I must say that it was extremely difficult for me to write for a person that is actually still alive, not so due to her being Queen, I've seen enough footage over the years to know how she would behave in a professional environment. If anyone takes offence, please tell me.]


    [1]Most importantly the readers.

    [2] and of Scotland of course, but remember, Ian is the almost stereotypical Englishman. * sips cup of tea* (no really, I drank one when I wrote this, Earl Grey even. I introduced my parents to the blend a couple of years ago, and since then I drink a cup each afternoon during the winter months.)

    [3] I have to admit, until researching Holyrood for this chapter I didn't even know that there is a different Royal Standard for use in Scotland.

    [4] Instead of HMS Belfast. Originally Warspite was going to be moored in the same spot even, but when looking at the clearance of Tower Bridge, I decided arbitrarily that it would be too much of a bother, so she is instead moored across the river from HMS President, the RNR unit.

    [5] Later we will see that TTL they decided to extend the 'Prince of Wales' thing to female heirs too, mainly because there hasn't been a Prince of Wales since George V died in 1936, so when she was born in the late 50s, it was decided to extend this to her. No Prince Phillip ITTL (reasons to be explained later on), so the Royal Family is different. I did this to avoid offending anyone who might dislike my portrayals. George VI issued a broadly worded letters patent after the Duke of Windsor was killed by the Germans, so things are in order.
    Last edited by trekaddict; 21-07-2013 at 19:54.
    "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!

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  7. #4827
    Major Ciryandor's Avatar
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    Wait, is Hood in Bermuda IIRC the earlier chapters' references to the old fleet? Or if not, where the hell is she? Because she seems more appropriate for the location...
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  8. #4828
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    All caught up completely. I'm a little disappointed in Felix, why on earth is he sounding hurt about a perfectly sensible question? Sure if the PM had said 'How many other traitorous Yanks do you suspect?' then I would understand, but just asking if there are any more plots is surely a rational position. Still a little way to got that boy.

    Interesting to see Ian getting an Aston, clearly Bond will be in an Aston straight away rather than his original book incarnation having a Bentley.
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  9. #4829
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Ciryandor Hood always was at Scapa Flow, but Warspite used to be at Bermuda before she was moved back to the UK in order to make it easier for the teeming unwashed ones to go and see her.

    El Pip Yeah, Felix isn't quite there yet, but that can in part be attributed to all the stuff he's seen while he was imprisoned in Germany, also that he can at least in part understand the sentiment of Ford and his gang. He'll get there eventually though.

    And yes, Bond will drive an Aston from the start.
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  10. #4830
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  11. #4831
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Wait and see. :P
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  12. #4832
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    I've read the last dozen or so updates, and I'm really enjoying it, although the other 250 updates to be devoured does fill me with a combination of delight and horror!

  13. #4833
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Well, creating a British Superpower for the 21st Century has a price all of its own!
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  14. #4834
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    Chapter 268



    Comrade Admiral of the Union Lucas stood on the hill where ComPac headquarters were since the dawn of time and looked out over the expanse of Pearl Harbour, where at last, after almost a year of war, the last damages of the massive Japanese attack were being cleared up, even though the twisted metal of what had been one Americans newest Carriers[1], APNS Liberty could still be seen. The wreck of the carrier wasn't blocking the entrance, so the removal was a low priority. Battleship Row on the other hand had been cleared immediately, and even now two Carriers were moored there and APNS Karl Marx[2] was steaming past the Liberty to meet her escorts.

    “Comrade Admiral, the staff is waiting.”

    Admiral Lucas turned around and briskly walked back into the Headquarters. Like most senior Officers in the American Military he was incredibly young for his job by European standards, but unlike the Stalin after the Purges, the Polit Bureau in Washington had learned the hard way that the important appointments needed to be guided by ability, especially during the war. There was still an emphasis placed on political reliability of course, but Lucas' predecessor had been politically reliable but utterly unsuited for this job, he now commanded the Fishery Protection forces on the West Coast of the continental Union.



    Inside the almost palatial Headquarters the staff was sitting in not very comfortable Army-issue metal chairs around an improvised map table.

    “Comrades, the situation is, to put it bluntly, FUBAR.” Lucas opened. “Since the Japs took Midway, we've had three more Carrier raids on this very base, and frankly I am sick of it. Washington agrees and has directed the Pacific Fleet to do something about that. The problem with that is that they still outnumber us almost three to one in Carriers, not speaking of their Battle Line and seem to have no intention of diverting their attentions south like we hoped. That is probably because the British have reinforced the Allied Pacific Fleet yet again, this time with an Australian and a Canadian Carrier, and the Japs know that the Limeys have come a long way since the Nazis trashed their Home Fleet. Sooner or later they will have to take care of them, but Intelligence indicates that the Japs want to take us out completely first before turning on the Allied Forces in the south. Without taking Singapore, the remaining Dutch Colonies and maybe even Australia they can't drive the Allies from the Pacific, and they know that even our small fleet is too big a threat to leave at the flank.”

    Lucas paused and then looked at his Intelligence Officer.

    “Jack, what can our Comrades in Intelligence tell us about British intentions?”

    “Nothing much new, Comrade Admiral. Since they changed their military and diplomatic Codes last month,[3]we can only rely on what they actually tell us and that isn't much beyond staking out operational areas.”

    There was a hint of disapproval in the Officer's voice. He was one who had argued against the agreement as it stood now. True, Island hopping through the central Pacific along the Midway-Wake-Iwo-Jima route was the shortest way to the Japanese Home Islands, but that left everything south of Guam and Okinawa to the British, most importantly the Philippines, which, in the eyes of especially the young Guard of post-Civil War Officers in the Navy, were rightfully part of the American sphere of influence. Of course many also believed that the Philippines would eventually drift into the American sphere anyway as the British had never had long-term interests in the central Pacific, and even if they did not, they posed no threat the the American position in the World's largest ocean.



    “In any case,” he went on, “the British are quite obviously gearing up for offensive operations once the monsoon period ends. Before they changed their codes we intercepted a message that indicated that the Canadian Marine Division was shipped to Java, and during the last port visit I myself saw a large assembly of ships, landing craft and supplies at Darwin and from stories that were told..under the influence...a small Island off Perth..Garden Island I believe.. is being enlarged massively. All this indicates that in 1943 the British plan on going onto the offensive, Comrades.”

    “What about our own actions?” the Pac-Com Information officer asked.

    Lucas answered this one. “Comrade, we can do nothing this year but try and interdict these f**king Jap Carrier Raids on these Islands. We are going to get three more Carriers by New Years, but before that the disparity in Carrier Decks is too overwhelming.”

    Before the Party man could protest, the Admiral raised a hand. “However, in 1943 we will not only have close to equality in the number of Carrier decks but also we will have most of our shore-based Air Squadrons re-equipped.”

    That made the Air Force representative cringe. The APAF had been mauled even more than the Navy, almost 15% of its pre-war strength had been lost in the last year, and what remained was equipped with obsolescent and obsolete planes.

    Taking his cue he spoke up.

    “Comrades, that is my cue. By next year we will have phased out the remaining B-21 and -22 flying with our bombing Squadrons; while our Fighters will finally be getting the improved F-40 mod-41.”



    XF-40 mod-41 prototype.[4]


    “We started production of the mod-41 or rather the F-40/41 under the new designation system some six weeks ago, and the first Squadron should have finished converting to them by the end of the month. They are slated to be transferred to here way before that though, in fact they are scheduled to arrive tomorrow.”

    “Just a flight of B-17s coming in from the mainland...” Captain Tyler, in command of the Air Defence Radars around the harbour said, quoting the unfortunate Officer who had held the same command during the Day of Infamy.

    “Comrade Admiral,” he went on, “we have around three full Squadrons worth of -40/39s on Ohahu alone. I request permission to use a few of them to calibrate the Radars in my Command, most of the new systems haven't even been fully tested yet, and we don't want to repeat the unfortunate performance of the Day of Infamy.”

    “So granted, Comrade Captain.” nodded Lucas.

    “Comrades, what remains now is to determine our course of action beyond the parameters forwarded from our leadership. Ironically we have the landing craft and the fleet train to do it, what we are chronically short of is Capital ships. The Joint Chiefs have laid out a broad strategy and we must be prepared to implement it next year no matter what. I believe that we all know that the liberation of Midway Island must be our first priority....”


    Strategy discussions went on for several more hours and by the time the sun sank at the end of the day, the American Pacific Command had hammered out a very, very rough plan which would soon be given to the various sub-committees for detail planning, because quite obviously the old Warplan Orange wasn't going to happen.

    “Comrade Admiral, I almost forgot.” the Army Staffer said. “It seems the engineers have finally solved the problem of Tanks.”

    That was the biggest failure of the American War Industry. American Tank development had essentially screeched to a halt when the U.S. Army Arsenals had been destroyed in the fighting and much to the shame of the American Army the Japanese had outpaced them recently. The last battles, especially on Guam, had shown that the L3/39[5] Light Tanks were outclassed by the Japanese Type 1, and Washington knew that the European Armies had Armour that was several generations beyond that, in fact when the British Ambassador and the military attaché had witnessed the Victory day Parade last June it was clear that they had been less than underwhelmed by the display of the 44th Independent Tank Brigade, in spite of the diplomatic niceties that had been exchanged. The American Embassy in London had reported back that the latest British Tanks wouldn't even notice the paltry 37mm gun of the L3, and rumour had it that even the improved copy of the L3 that the British were using with their Cavalry on the balkans were due to be replaced by, of all things, an upgraded variant of their own Valentine Light Tank that had seen limited production before the War and the British abandonment of the Light Tank idea.

    “This, Comrade Admiral, is the M4/40 Medium Tank. We have tested the gun against all known forms of armour, ours, theirs and even the few lights the limeys gave us, and it can penetrate all of them easily, especially with the high-velocity AP shells we developed.”




    [6]


    “How soon?”

    “Apparently 1st Tank Division is already half-way through the conversion and can be expected to be operational within two-three months, but since we will have to break them up into independent brigades anyway until we reach the Japanese mainland the first brigade is ready for deployment...end of the week. They are unloading from the transports as we speak, Comrade Admiral.”




    [Notes: Comments, questions, rotten tomatoes?]

    [1] Think of it as an additional Yorktown, no OTL equivalent.

    [2] What? I suck at making up names from a different cultural realm than my own, and besides, this AAR is focusing on the other Anglophone Navy.

    [3] Courtesy of Admiral Canaris.

    [4] NO BUFFALOS! You know who you are.

    [5] Basically the M5 Stuart.

    [6] M4A1, with a slightly less useless gun. No, I am not a fan of the 75mm. Oh and of course a Diesel engine. All American military vehicles have one.
    "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.

  15. #4835
    RE: Footnote 2...

    People, mythical and real -
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  16. #4836
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Each single time I read about the UAPR I have the urge to shout

    "DESTROY THEM"

    even if I know that they are the less evil of all evils... And we could argue about them being "less".
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  17. #4837
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Losing Midway was pretty careless of the Commu-Yanks, you'd think they'd have garrisoned it properly after losing the PI.

    Still they do have the best area of operations, from a post war perspective anyway. The Home Islands and Korea are a much more attractive option to 'convert' to the joys of Communism than the Philippines and East Indies. I wonder if Britain will regret that division of areas, sure it's a short term boost getting the (relatively) easier area, but at what long term cost?
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  18. #4838
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    Each single time I read about the UAPR I have the urge to shout

    "DESTROY THEM"

    even if I know that they are the less evil of all evils... And we could argue about them being "less".
    I get the same feeling. somehow seeing americans calling each other "comrade" makes me want to puke

    but on an other note, Great chapter Trekaddict but just one question:
    What aircraft is the F-40? the mustang? doesn't look like either the warhawk or the Aircobra anyway.


    EDIT: just a thought, wasen't the mustang a fairly poor high-altitude fighter until it got an merlin engine? so how will it preform without it ITTL?
    Last edited by matlef; 12-12-2010 at 00:55. Reason: i wanted to add a question and avoid double-posting

  19. #4839
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Kurt_Steiner Forum rules prevent me from doing a 1:1 comparison, but lets say the UAPR is decidedly less evil than Stalins USSR or the "Great Leap Forward" PRC.

    El Pip The Phillipines were pretty much left to their own devices after the US fell, and the American military was caught even less prepared by the Japanese attack than OTL.

    As for the long term cost, I prefer not to give too much away here (the side stories can be found on alternatehistory.com in the Writers section, which is registered members only due to a past of excessive trolling) but suffice it to say that in the Japan/Korea area the price won't be too high, and it will become apparent later that the division of areas actually benefits the long-term British position in Asia.

    matlef It's even odder to write that. More than once I had to use backspace on a "Yes, Sir." in that update. Also note that I usually name Commie American Officers after R-L personalities I dislike. Tyler (yes, the Tyler) is actually an exception.

    EDIT: saw your edit: The F-40 is the OTL P-40Q proposal sans the Merlin. The Mustang flies ITTL for the British actually, since her designer legged it to Canada a few years back. The F-40 is actually an ok-ish high altitude fighter thanks to a decent two-stage supercharger.
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  20. #4840
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    EDIT: saw your edit: The F-40 is the OTL P-40Q proposal sans the Merlin. The Mustang flies ITTL for the British actually, since her designer legged it to Canada a few years back. The F-40 is actually an ok-ish high altitude fighter thanks to a decent two-stage supercharger.
    How the hell did the yanks develop that? The US was turbos all the way OTL and was exceptionally dismissive of supercharges, till the Merlin turned their heads anyway. Are we then seeing a deep change in US engine philosophy? Are turbo-superchargers seen as a symbol of decadent imperialist capitalism, while mechanical superchargers are an honest, egalitarian power source for the flying proletariat?

    Anyway given the industrial brain drain that's been described (anyone who tk likes appears to have escaped ) how they've pulled that out of the bag? :mystery:
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