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

  1. #5401
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Pullem View Post
    Not if they found Daquing. If they found that field then the whole Southern Resource Area strategy is to some extent irrelevant. Simply occupying Indochina would be sufficieint
    Maybe not. It took four years of horrific work for China to get the field into even basic production in the 1960s, then a few more years to work it up to full production.

    While I'm sure Japan will do the horrific conditions they have to be slower than that with two decades older technology. On that basis from a late 1930s find Daqing can't be available till the mid 1940s at best, and that's assuming Daqing doesn't need some clever post war technology to make it viable.
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  2. #5402
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    From what I've heard and read the Japanese should be able to extract at least some oil, enough to keep them going for slightly longer, especially since unlike OTL they aren't actually loosing their entire Merchant fleet to Allied Subs, instead they are physically removed from the Dutch East Indies.

    That said, the performance of the Soviet AI has been an absolute disgrace in the Far East, and it's getting hard to explain why they never pushed really deep into Manchuria.
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  3. #5403
    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    From what I've heard and read the Japanese should be able to extract at least some oil, enough to keep them going for slightly longer, especially since unlike OTL they aren't actually loosing their entire Merchant fleet to Allied Subs, instead they are physically removed from the Dutch East Indies.
    trekaddict

    I suspect their probably losing most of the merchant fleet anyway. With the war in the Med won earlier the British and allied subs can concentrate on the Far East. Given that the Japanese need to supply large and active armies in SE Asia, plus try and take out what they can from the areas they hold, plus their crap ASW, I would expect much of it is already on the bottom.

    Steve

  4. #5404
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    That's true, but as alluded to earlier the Allied Sub Fleet is tiny compared to OTL. After the destruction of the Italian Navy and Merchant Fleet at the hands of ABC when he was in the med there wasn't much need for Submarines, and all that construction went elsewhere.

    Mind you, the scream for more Subs is being screamed as we speak and what fleet subs there are will be crowding into the Pacific soon, together with new ones being built.

    As for Japanese losses: OTL a lot was sunk ferrying stuff from the DEI/Phillipines home, what I meant is taht here this isn't as much of a drain. Most of the Merchant traffic at the moment is actually in the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. Also note that there is a mini-blitz going against Vladivostok to safeguard this traffic.

    They'll still run out of Merchies only slightly later than OTL and can keep going somewhat longer. Please remember that I stated that there was a Japanese Air Raid on Rangoon as late as 1945.
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  5. #5405
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Anyhow, the Space Race Piece is done.
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  6. #5406
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  7. #5407
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    Against my previous statement, a link is below.



    SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

    Link

    END SPOILERS END SPOILERS END SPOILERS
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  8. #5408
    ahhhh. that hit the spot Trekchu

  9. #5409
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    From what I've heard and read the Japanese should be able to extract at least some oil, enough to keep them going for slightly longer, especially since unlike OTL they aren't actually loosing their entire Merchant fleet to Allied Subs, instead they are physically removed from the Dutch East Indies.

    That said, the performance of the Soviet AI has been an absolute disgrace in the Far East, and it's getting hard to explain why they never pushed really deep into Manchuria.
    perhaps any of their decent commanders are busy getting killed by the good guys in austria etc.

  10. #5410
    Rule Britannia, Britannia rules the stars....
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  11. #5411
    Man Of Many Wiles Demi Moderator Lord Strange's Avatar
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    That just made me smile, thank you trek.

    I do hope we carry on into Space a bit more: the Americans seem very determined, and I mean Mars is a very fetching shade of Imperial Pink....
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  12. #5412
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    Britain can into space!

    Oh, and happy birthday, Canada.
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  13. #5413
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  14. #5414
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Deathsheadx Happy to help!

    Ehran Maybe. It does kind of make sense from a propaganda and military viewpoint to keep the varsity commanders, such as they are (Zhukov, Konyev, etc) in Europe. Some of the Choice Bits of the USSR are within Bomber range the moment the Brits start to fly them out of the Balkans.

    talt Not quite, but getting there.

    Lord Strange Well, suffice it to say that the Space Race will go on 'beyond Apollo' thanks to certain things that failed to materialize IOTL. At the very least the British will retain the ability to go beyond Low Earth Orbit, i.e. something more capable than the Space Shuttle...

    ViperhawkZ Well why not? If one cuts out all the BS that went on IOTL and uses someone less...attention seeking, shall we say, than von Braun and uses a Brit as the public face it should be possible.

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  15. #5415
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    ViperhawkZ Well why not? If one cuts out all the BS that went on IOTL and uses someone less...attention seeking, shall we say, than von Braun and uses a Brit as the public face it should be possible.
    Or indeed just cuts out Ze Germanz completely, thus side stepping any real moral problem at all. In the OTL Cold War saving a few months by using German brains was important in the race, TTL I can't see speed being much of an issue.

    Neither Germany nor what ever is left of the Soviets will be in any position to go into space and the Commie US will not have the advantages the USSR got or have much of an indigenous programme (most OTL US rocket chaps hung around Lindbergh and similar chaps, I doubt they did well out of the 2nd Civil War). So I think Space Command can take a moral position and still get into space; what the various rocket men of Britain needed most was money, not morally flexible foreign experts who probably should have been tried for war crimes.
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  16. #5416
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    The moral issue was a part of why it took so long as it did. I hope I made it clear that the British only really started trying when the Americans started throwing money at the problem. For lack of expertise it took them longer than expected (but some new talent did emerge, as it always does) and the brain drain was not quite complete. (My country, right or wrong types mostly)
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  17. #5417
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    Also, we have only 6 days left of mankind possessing an orbiter.
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  18. #5418
    Quote Originally Posted by stevep View Post
    Ehran

    I sometimes point out that the American civil war as 1776-83, since that was a case of families and communities being deeply divided over the issue of how their governed and the bulk of the forces on both sides, [ignoring the large French contribution for the rebels and early use of Hessian mercenaries by the British], came from the colonies.

    In comparison there was an independence conflict in 1861-65 where a distinct geographical area sought to govern itself but was brutally suppressed by the central government. [Not to ignore that the issue the war was in many ways about, slavery, is morally repulsive].

    Steve
    I would like to note that the ACW was not about slavery for the most part. As has been mentioned here, the actual war was about Lincoln wanting to make a show to the southern states about how they did not have the right to secede. But the reason they seceded is far more complex and slavery actually has little to do with the actual secession compared to some other issues, such as tariffs, and states' rights were some of the biggest causes of the civil war, since the tariffs were devastating to the southern economy while they helped it in the north. This can be argued to be a case of sectionalism, although many modern historians agree that the north and south economies complemented each other. You might argue that it was about slavery in a way because the southerners were scared Lincoln was going to abolish it, and because of the recent conflicts in the west instigated by whether or not new states would allow slavery. But the truth is that the abolition of slavery was not a goal of the north (officially in government anyway, the abolitionists didnt do much to help avoid the civil war), until Lincoln made it so with the Emancipation proclamation which gave it the boost it needed to make some headway and put an end to the war. It caused many african americans not already in the military to sign up, and caused a general moral boost along with support from the slaves of captured land in the south. In fact, 5 of the states of the union still supported slavery, albeit without the fanaticism of the deep south, until the proclamation.

    Sorry for taking this off topic again. I just couldnt let that go, me being american and all.

    I am reading up on this, as in my absence you seemed to have racked up at least another 100 updates or so. My eyes are going to hurt by the time I finish reading this....

  19. #5419
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    A little plot bunny that wouldn't leave me alone. So there you go.

    Chapter 300B


    12th August 1957

    Harland and Wolff Dockyards



    The old girl was in a bad way. As the old Admiral watched he saw the workers stripping her down to the bare metal. The electronics were mostly gone already and tomorrow the superstructure would be dismantled.

    It was why the old Admiral was here now. During her heyday he had been a plankowner aboard the old Carrier and he had taken her through the gates of hell against any of the King's enemies and later too for his daughter. He had fought to have her preserved as a museum like Hood or Warspite but the Government had decided against it. He hated using his clout as a War hero but even that had not save his beloved ship.

    So here he was, going aboard her bridge one last time even though he was unsure what that would accomplish.

    As he walked up the plank the civillian workers stopped and looked up.

    A great many of them were ex-Navy and some even had served aboard the old carrier when she had faced the combined Kriegsmarine and Red Navy, when she had covered convoys and operations in the Mediterranean Sea and when later she had fought against the fearsome Japanese Navy in the Pacific.


    So it didn't surprise the Admiral that more than one of the workers stood to attention and saluted when the man in the uniform of an Admiral of the Empire came onboard this old warhorse.

    He returned each and every salute and looked around the flight deck. He had inspected No.901 NAS at the base outside of Belfast earlier this morning and he could remember the time when that very same unit had flown cloth-covered bi-planes off this very deck to attack an enemy that would have torn the old Stringbag to pieces with a look alone given half a chance.

    He had looked at all the young faces standing in front of their sparkling brand new aircraft and wondered if these men could do what their fathers had done during the dark years of the war. They and their aircraft certainly looked the part.

    Shaking his head he stepped over to where the forward elevator was being dismantled and kneeled down to the deck in spite of his advanced years. He couldn't help but smile when he saw that the scar on the inside of the shaft was still there and he remembered the horror he had had on his mind when that Okkha had hit there. The planes had all been in the air and the warhead of the Japanese suicide rocket plane had failed to explode but the elevator had still been wrecked. Somehow no one had ever bothered to repair that scar when the rest of the ship had been fixed. The fire had still been murderous and the ship had been near death for hours.

    He rose and walked towards the Island, remembering so many times during the final campaign against Japan when the RDF on top of it had detected the waves upon waves of Kamikaze coming in. He glanced up and saw that the antennae was already gone.

    At this time he had been a distant observer but when victory had been declared he had insisted on riding this very ship into Tokyo Bay where he had signed the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the British Empire. During the voyage he had studied her log and the command of 'all hands to the brooms' had been given more often than he'd liked.

    Reching the hatch inside he let his hands wander across the writing over the door and across the battlescars. Now these he could remember how they had happened and he still admired the gutsy German pilots that had attacked in spite of the murderous anti-aircraft fire.

    One inside he ignored all the surprised looks as he slowly climbed up the steep stairs through deck by deck until he reached the bridge deck. He paused near his old ready room and stepped inside on a whim. When he saw that his old desk was still there for some reason he had to fight to hold back the tears.

    “Sir?” came a voice from behind him. The Admiral turned and when the dockmaster, himself an old hand from the Belfast saw who the Officer was he snapped a salute that would have been fitting for passing out day at Dartmouth.

    “We kept it because the Island was the last place we stripped, beginning from the wireless room upwards.” was the answer to the unspoken question.

    The Admiral smiled as he remembered all the days he had spent behind this desk and suddenly he knew that he couldn't leave it where it was.

    “Mr....”

    “Miller, Sir.”

    “Mr. Miller, would it be possible for me to...”

    “Of course. I'll have it dismantled and taken down with care.”

    As a former Navy man Miller understood the Admiral. He himself was a plankowner on HMS Belfast and he could at least rest safe in the knowledge that the people at Singapore would be taking good care of her. Watching the old man struggle with his tears as he watched part of his soul being turned into razor blades tugged at his own strings too. Technically the desk was headed for the skip, but if the Admiral wanted it then so be it.

    “Thank you.” the Admiral said with sincerity.

    “No problem, Sir.”

    Miller followed him out and with a flash suddenly knew what he had to do.

    “Would you excuse me please, Sir?”

    “Of course.” the Admiral said.

    He walked onto the bridge and a lone tear escaped when he saw the gutted innards of the space from where he had seen so much. The raids on Truk and the Mandates. The raids along the occupied coast of Europe. The Retribution raid after the destruction of the Home Fleets line of Battle by the Graf Zeppelin.


    There was enough history in this ship to fill scores of books and she would be sent to the breakers.

    He stepped out on the Bridge Wing to where he had stood observing the Allied and the American Battlegroups that had been sent to Tokyo bay, the last time he had been aboard her. He could see the Carriers and Dreadnoughts before his inner eye as if it had been yesterday. He mourned for many of the men he had served with during that time and they only ever got fewer with the passing of time.

    He turned on his heels and walked back onto the bridge and into the superstructure. He knew where he was going, but the item he had been searching for was already gone. It would probably end up in some Admiralty Office or museum.

    With slight disappointment he turned, only to see Miller standing behind him.


    “We removed it this morning, Sir.” he said apologetically. “Is there anything else you would like to see, Admiral?”

    The Admiral shook his head.

    “If you could leave me alone for a second, please?”

    “Of course, Sir.”


    With that the Admiral walked down the stairs and out onto the flight deck.


    He walked to the forward edge of the flight deck. Unlike her more modern and less worn out descendants she had never been fitted with an angled flight deck and had spent most of the time since the war as a training ship and in reserve, but as the Admiral stepped to the forward edge of the flight deck he was faced with yet another memory.

    “You are hereby requested and required to repair aboard His Majesty's ship..”

    It had been a very long time since then and as he reached the forward edge of the deck, careful to avoid the holes where the catapults had already been removed and in his mind's eye he could see it as clearly as it had been yesterday as the scores of Seafires and Barracudas soared into the air, it had been times when one could really be proud to be one of Her Majesty's sailors.

    That this still was true was confirmed by the sight in the next dock over where workers were striving to build the hull of another ship that would bear this name.

    “Admiral Cunningham, Sir?” came Miller's voice from behind again.

    Cunningham turned on his heels and saw that Miller was there with most of his men.

    “Sir, we were going to send a deputation to you tomorrow with this, but since you came here we decided to present it to you right away.”

    Without further ado he stepped to a small table where a cloth covered object was waiting to be revealed. He pulled back the cloth and the Admiral could see that it was a ship's bell. Inscribed on it he could read:


    H.M.S. Illustrious
    1939
    Last edited by trekaddict; 03-07-2011 at 19:38.
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  20. #5420
    Major Ciryandor's Avatar
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    A minor niggle: It is Harland and Wolff who are doing the dismantling. Your auto-correct must have rectified that. In any case, excellent update foreshadowing a lot of future events.
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