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

  1. #6261
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Let's say it took place some two years earlier in early July and it is said to have been a contributing factor to the Hungarian rising which for obvious reasons won't happen in AAO.
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
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    Does it by any chance have something to do with a certain 'miracle' in a Swiss city on the river Aare?
    I should have started this last week...

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    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    It does. That particular Victory did a lot to pull us out of the post-WW2 self-loathing. We still have lingering traces of that even today (as evidenced by me getting insulted for wearing a National team jersey out of a tournament once by some artsy hipster holier-than-thou types) but what self-confidence we have we owe to a combination of that victory and the economic prosperity of those same years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    getting insulted for wearing a National team jersey out of a tournament
    Happened to me on the bus once. Mind you, red and white chequers are not exactly as inconspicuous as football jersey of only one colour.

    As for the Miracle, I've always found it fascinating that one moment of triumph on the sporting field can invigorate a people after years of hardship. I'm hoping you have a similar reason to celebrate on the 1st of July.
    Last edited by poljicanin; 19-06-2012 at 13:08.
    I should have started this last week...

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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    It does. That particular Victory did a lot to pull us out of the post-WW2 self-loathing. We still have lingering traces of that even today (as evidenced by me getting insulted for wearing a National team jersey out of a tournament once by some artsy hipster holier-than-thou types) but what self-confidence we have we owe to a combination of that victory and the economic prosperity of those same years.
    I see... well here's hoping the boys stomp Greece in the next game!

    BTW, whatever happened to General Aung San and his little daughter?

    Marc A

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    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusAurelius1 View Post

    BTW, whatever happened to General Aung San and his little daughter?

    Marc A
    The Free Chinese will spearhead the Allied drive into Vietnam.
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    The Free Chinese will spearhead the Allied drive into Vietnam.
    But... Aung San's Burmese...

    Marc A

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    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    That group is in all likelyhood part of the 1st Burmese Division. Aung San himself... it depends on how versed in Realpolitik he is. I doubt that most of the Burmese would want "maybe someday after a fight against the British f***king Empire total independence" over promised "full internal self Governemnent as soon as you can set it up" especially when the British Regent is travelling the Empire in the name of the Queen and personally stating the Monarchy's commitment to the whole thing.

    That being said, the re-building of the Empire will be neither fast nor easy. It will take decades to get them where they are in the year 2000. The civil rights movements in especially Rhodesia and Australia will be a spectacle to behold.
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
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    Chapter 356




    Soviet B-Class Submarine B 25 shortly before the mission[1]. Based on the German Type IX, these submarines formed the backbone of the Soviet long-distance commerce raiding force, though it was always small when compared to even the British Submarine Service. Six served with the Germans in France, these units where fitted to fire German torpedoes. Surviving vessels remained in Soviet Service until the early 1960s.


    As the Soviet Submarines B 25, B 26 and B 28 had surfaced south-west of the British Naval Base of Scapa Flow they had a hair-raising voyage behind them. Two of them had been depth-charged resulting in minor damage to B 28, and for B 25 the wait at the meeting point had not been a voyage to the Crimean either, but luckily they'd had to wait only about eight hours and the single Black Swan class Corvette that the British Navy had patrolling in this area had eventually left, all strictly according to the schedule that two previous observation missions in the area had brought back, or rather the one that had actually returned.

    One thing had to be said for the British, they were creatures of habit. Captain (NI) Lysenko appreciated that in an enemy though to be fair, only a madman would attempt what he and 178 of his men were doing now. He knew that he was the sacrificial goat with which the Political Directorate of the Northern Fleet, the Political Directorate of the Red Navy and of course the Naval Staff wanted to bring the Fleet back into Comrade Stalin's good graces but that didn't make him feel any better.

    The party goons in Moscow might think that a daring raid would do the trick, but those within the Fleet itself, on the ships rusting away at anchor would have to do the fighting and dying. He knew that there was a rift developing between the leaders in Moscow and the Fleet itself, as it had been since the British had sunk the Battleships.

    Strangely even the political Officers were part of that, they were tainted by association. All of that only increased the willingness of the Staff to sacrifice those beholden to follow their orders. Lysenko sighed and thought about what his family in Sevastopol would think if his letters suddenly stopped coming. He figured that he should be happy that at least his men were properly trained members of the Naval Infantry, not just some sailors who had been handed a rifle and five rounds of ammunition.

    But at the moment he had more important things to do. He nodded to the Sergeant in the boat with him and ducked below the piece of tarpaulin they used to keep their weapons dry. He checked his compass and knowing that the other boats were connected to his with a rope lest they get separated he was satisfied that he was on course.

    He shut off the torch and looked up. There there was not so good news. He had always hoped for cloud cover but that was brewing up there was far beyond that.

    As if on cue, thunderbolts and thunder erupted and within seconds it rained so hard that he had difficulties metres astern. He tried his best to keep the boats on course but he couldn't know that he overcompensated and that even while his men rowed themselves to exhaustion supporting the small engines they weren't heading for the planned landing beach, in itself rare enough a place on these Islands, but rather in a shallow arc to the north-east. It took them almost half an hour to cover little more than a mile from the point where it had started to rain and where he had lost his way without knowing it, being too busy staying alive to check his compass again.

    He would also never know that the very rain that doomed his mission had, for the moment at least, saved his life as they came within two-hundred yards of the Destroyer Fearless as it made it's long and up until that night boring and uneventful rounds around the Islands.

    He didn't realize that something was wrong until they reached the coast at last and the landing beach, supposedly broad enough to be spotted even in the dark was nowhere to be seen. Of course that had pre-supposed that there was a moon which had been accomplished by simple timing and that the weather was clear.

    That obviously had gone wrong.

    Lysenko remembered that the small stretch of beach area was to the west, so they just slowly followed the coast until at last, a widening was visible and the cliffs turned into a steep, but crossable stretch of beach, barely wide enough to take four of the boats.

    He directed his men towards it and thanked his mother's god for feeling solid ground under his feet once again.

    Turning he yelled for his Sergeant, knowing that in the howl of the storm anyone more than a few metres away would have difficulties hearing them. Ten minutes later he knew that he was in deep trouble. Of 180 men that had set out, barely 120 were around, none of the long-distance wireless sets supposedly needed to summon the submarines for pick up, only half the explosives, a third of the infantry mortars and only four machine guns had survived. But at least they were close enough to the target and of course now the storm chose to abate and over the next hour the rain stopped completely.

    Lysenko took a moment to consider his options. He knew that they were not going to be picked up again even if the Submarines bothered to return in the first place.

    The one thing that remained was to reach the base and overwhelm the perimeter guard. If they managed to get inside among the buildings they could hold out long enough to at least accomplish something before the British ground them down.

    To just surrender never occurred to him.



    From reconnaissance photographs Lysenko knew that about half a mile inland a road ran along the coast where presumably the British ran moving patrols.

    Knowing that his own map of the harbour was safely hidden away in his raincoat he recalled it from memory and decided that moving forward now was of the essence. One might as well try to accomplish something before inevitable doom descended on you.

    The surviving Soviet Marines formed up into four ragged groups, picked up their soaking wet equipment, all glad that their weapons were in waterproof bags.

    Up forward Lysenko was worried when the road failed to be there. He knew the intelligence he had was old (just how old he didn't know, even the German Ju-86 high-altitude reconnaissance planes had not ventured this far north for two years) but surely the road could not have disappeared, unless.....

    Suddenly feeling even more dread he signalled a halt and kneelt down. He pulled his raincoat over his head, thus forming a tent and slipped out of the arms. Inside he reached into his pockets and removed the map, using the raincoat to obscure the torch. He had seen the coast curve to the north-west so....

    His worst nightmares were confirmed. They had landed on the wrong side of the causeway, on an Island called South Walls.

    What was worse, there was no way to remedy his error. It had to be guarded on both ends with probably a car patrolling along it's length and now that the storm was dying gunfire on one end was surely heard on the other, all it took was one guard firing a single shot. Approaching it under stealth would be impossible in at best another two hours as the ground was ridiculously flat and dotted with farms RDF stations and generally all the military infrastructure one needed to defend the harbour against air and sea attack.

    He decided not to waste another minute of what life he had left and marched his men towards the northern edge of the Island where there were gun batteries. If they managed to seize a few they could effectively shut down the base for as long as it took the British to wipe them



    British 3.7inch AA guns in static emplacement



    Battery A of No.222 Heavy Anti-aircraft Regiment was, in the Private's considered opinion the most loathsome posting to be had on the British Isles, and all because (again in his considered opinion) the Navy was too cheap to spring for a dozen 3.7s. So of course they had called upon No.222 Heavy AA of the British Army and thus it came to be that he was here, wet, cold and utterly miserable, even more so now that the last of the bloody rain has extinguished the last of his cigarettes.

    He turned to continue pacing back and forth in the muddy patch of the Empire that was his to defend tonight and was about to take this first step with the Soviet Sergeant leapt up behind him, grabbed him with one hand over his mouth and the other arm making a swift move with a knife.


    As the Sergeant placed the dead body of the sentry on the ground Lysenko nodded in approval and only watched as his men rushed to take over the battery without....


    A single shot rang out and before Lysenko could even react, let alone order his men to hold fire the single shot was followed by the quick 'BRAAAP' of a PPSH-41.

    One shot might be dismissed as accidental, automatic fire that was also coming from a gun that made a sound so different than the machine pistols the British used, and sure enough, seconds later searchlight beams began to pierce the night.



    ~**---**~

    The first thing CinC Home Fleet had heard was the dinging of the Action Stations alarm and the announcement over the speakers, and yet there was little he knew. Even in his shore-side quarters (he rarely sortied with the Fleet these days) it was rather unusual to be at Action Stations. Scapa Flow was as secure as a base within air-range from occupied Europe could be, it was night and it was still very much a cloudy one.


    And now he was holding the receiver of the phone as far away as was proper for a senior Officer of the Royal Navy, and he could still hear the Prime Minister well enough to hear the orders.

    “AND THE RUDDY KITCHEN SINK TOO!” *click*

    But Churchill's rage at hearing that that more than a company's worth of Soviet Marines had not only managed to sneak ashore near but now actively threatened one of Britain's primary naval bases. One good thing about this whole mess was that since there were no less than five important convoys en route to and from the United Kingdom so the harbour was practically empty, except for Winston's dummy fleet to fool the very rare German recce plane that made it this far and six Destroyers, as well as the Cruisers Khartoum and Zulu, both still having to work up before their first deployments. Neither had any HE shells aboard. That was being remedied, but the Army would not be happy if the Fleet started shelling shelling their own men, and sparsely populated or not, it was British soil. Right now a mixed force of Royal Marines from the base protection force, RAF Regiment from the airstrip and Army troops that provided the garrison and a huge part of the coastal defences was cursing Uncle Joe, the resumed rain and whoever had the brilliant idea to start this mess in the first place. Tovey just stared at the map on the table and shook his head. A Naval officer commanding a ground action on British soil that would surely include trench warfare, hyperbole or not.

    +-+-+-+-+-

    Comments, questions, rotten tomatoes?

    [1] Yes, it's a Type IX. Yes, there actually was a Soviet Type IX class which was built pre-war, is based on a DESCHIMAG design and because of this related to this 'real' Type IX.

    Got a new chair for my birthday! Sweet! Yes, the leather is fake and the armrests are made of plastic but it has a decent backrest, it isn't worn down so badly that the screws holding it together poke me in the posterior and it the fact that it has armrests in the first place! And wheels that actually turn even!

    The next few updates will be set in Europe. There isn't much happening in Asia until summer anyway.

    And yes, I know this whole raid is utter madness. However, there is method (of a sort) behind this madness. As for geography, I failed to find a decent topograhical map of the Islands that dates from the war, so I was forced to employ Google Earth.
    Last edited by trekaddict; 21-06-2012 at 23:54.
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
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    So the Soviets survive until at least the 60's?

    Interesting, very interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Larkin View Post
    So the Soviets survive until at least the 60's?

    Interesting, very interesting.
    Hmmm I hadnt even noticed that. Interesting
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Larkin View Post
    So the Soviets survive until at least the 60's?
    Disgusting, I'd rather think.
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  13. #6273
    Quote Originally Posted by poljicanin View Post
    Happened to me on the bus once. Mind you, red and white chequers are not exactly as inconspicuous as football jersey of only one colour.

    As for the Miracle, I've always found it fascinating that one moment of triumph on the sporting field can invigorate a people after years of hardship. I'm hoping you have a similar reason to celebrate on the 1st of July.
    Guys

    Well some reader's will disagree with that last bit. Although I might just change my mind if things go pear-shaped on Sunday.

    Good to see this back in business. Interesting idea of a suicide raid on Scapa. Pretty pointless but probably the sort of thing Stalin would go for, especially under those conditions.

    Steve

  14. #6274
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Agent Larkin To be frank, forcing an unconditional surrender on the Soviet Union is not going to happen and London is probably well aware of that. Barring it happening anyway the Soviet Union will survive the war. In what form and what shape is a different matter altogether though...


    Raaritsgozilla When I put in tiny hints like that I usually am curious if someone notices it.

    Kurt_Steiner I'm having plans, believe you me....

    stevep Either way, I did cheer for England on the basis that us vs your lot is always fun to watch.

    As for the raid, it's more the upper leadership of teh Red Navy, but they managed to sell it to Stalin.
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
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  15. #6275
    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    [B]
    stevep Either way, I did cheer for England on the basis that us vs your lot is always fun to watch.

    As for the raid, it's more the upper leadership of teh Red Navy, but they managed to sell it to Stalin.
    trekaddict

    Well, so much for that as a plan. I must agree that on the basis of the performance it would have been a travisity for us to go through. If you're mob play like they did on Friday however you're going to be bloody difficult to stop. Best of luck.

    In terms of the Soviet plan, it was about as successful.

    Steve

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    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Having watched said match via livestream I have to agree, though frankly the penalty phase (or whatever it's actually called) was more down to luck than skill. Which is why I loathe it.


    As for the Soviets: It all has it's purpose. It may not be to the liking of Comrade Stalin though.
    "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." - Carl Schurz
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    Having watched said match via livestream I have to agree, though frankly the penalty phase (or whatever it's actually called) was more down to luck than skill. Which is why I loathe it.


    As for the Soviets: It all has it's purpose. It may not be to the liking of Comrade Stalin though.
    While we're talking about football, will we see a German-Soviet rivalry akin to the Soviet-Canadian rivalry in hockey?

    Marc A

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    They suck too much.
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    Canada will absolutely dominate the ice until the end of time in AAO. No silly American or Soviet teams thinking they can challenge us. Maybe Finland or Slovakia, I consider those two worthy enemies.
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    Now that we've mentioned Ice Hockey I have a thought.

    Did Alaska stay in the United States or did it leave during the second civil war? I only ask as i imagine it would be difficult for the US to have maintained control on it.

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