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Thread: The King's First Minister - a UK AAR

  1. #41
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Jones
    If I go the papers will find out, which would lead to an awful stink.
    Halifax really is an utter tool! Perhaps the reason it would lead to an awful stink is that it is a bloody stupid, not to mention downright dangerous, thing to do.

    Still as I understand it Hitler would have been amenable to a deal, provided Britain agreed to totally abandon Europe. Surely even that level of stupid betrayal is too much for Halifax. Surely?
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  2. #42
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Berlin shall be your ally!

  3. #43
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    Someone kill the idiot already.

    *waits to hear a shot*

    That's it. If not here.. I ahve certain places to go for that.
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  4. #44
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    Chapter 7, House of Commons, 14 May 1940

    Butler and Churchill, the Leader of the House of Commons and the First Lord of the Admiralty respectively, sat side by side on the Government benches. Neville Chamberlain, desperate to show his support of the new Cabinet, sat next to Butler. The plan, devised hurriedly in the lobby, was simple. Butler would open the debate for the Government, stamping his new status on the MPs, whilst Churchill, the Orator, would close the debate. Butler’s plodding and over-detailed prose had been politely received. Questions and counter-argument had flown back and forth and the House, whilst debating much, had decided nothing. Finally, to wind-up the proceedings, Edward Fitzroy, the Speaker, looked at his fob watch and wearily called for Churchill.



    “Mr Speaker, it is clear that there is uncertainty and dismay at what awaits us. Let me, as the member of this House entrusted with the execution of this mighty struggle, confirm to you our aim. We are in the preliminary stage of one of the greatest battles in history. That we are in action at many points — in Norway and in Holland —, that we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean. That the air battle is continuous, and that many preparations have to be made here at home. I would say to the House as I said to the Prime Minister, and to the Cabinet. I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.” He paused; beside him Butler squirmed uneasily as the rest of the House waited for him to continue.

    “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs — Victory in spite of all terror — Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.”
    As he returned to his seat Butler noted the cheers that had greeted Churchill’s speech. This was going to be difficult.

    [Game Effect] - And up steps Churchill...

    El Pip: Halifax is totally committed to avoiding a showdown with Hitler, but on the right terms. If the terms were too ridiculous even he would have realised the cost was too great.

    Enewald: Not yet

    Trekaddict: As you can see, there are many in Halifax's own Party sharing your view.
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  5. #45
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    But victory for whom.

  6. #46
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Excellent reception to Churchill, let us hope Parliamentary democracy proves it's worth by stopping Halifax be a total knob.

    For as long as Churchill remains master of the pit that is the Commons there is hope the buffoonery of Halifax can be kept at bay.
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  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald
    But victory for whom.
    A hit, a palpable hit...
    The King's First Minister - a UK AAR

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  8. #48
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    Hooray! Now there is hope again for the Free World!
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  9. #49
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    I guess Halifax needs a bodyguard, given the violent tendencies of some of my fellow readers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Jones
    El Pip: Halifax is totally committed to avoiding a showdown with Hitler, but on the right terms. If the terms were too ridiculous even he would have realised the cost was too great.
    Given that Hitler had wanted to settle the war with Britain on generous terms, it may not be that difficult.

    I am curious to see how Halifax handles the whole Dunkirk thing...if it unfolds as it did historically.
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  10. #50
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    Chapter 8, River Dyle, Belgium, 1700 14 May 1940



    The Highlanders retreated past Belsay’s company. Now returned to their parent regiment, 2nd Battalion the Durham Light Infantry, Belsay and his men were resting by the road before relieving another company.

    “Let ‘em through,” he wearily called to his men. Now, as the company parted to let the Scotsmen through, Belsay saw again the ferocity of this German offensive.



    “Company, take cover!” The files split, making use of the cover offered by the roadside. A weary Lieutenant, Hylton, ran up to Belsay.

    “Major Belsay, Sir. Colonel’s compliments, and can you come up to the hill.” Belsay nodded and with the help of Holgate and Rollins roused the weary company. The bombardment was intense, the artillery fire exceptionally accurate.



    Reaching the crest of the ridge Belsay tried to appreciate the situation. The DLI were defending a position 2000 yards across, twice the drillbook recommendation and a thin line against a fierce opponent. Worse still, 2 DLI had been forced back from the riverbank, defending the higher ground a few metres back and allowing the Germans an opportunity to send men in boats across the shallow, gentle, River Dyle.

    “Hullo Dickie, it looks like we’re your relief,” Belsay greeted Second Lieutenant Annand, a young officer whose platoon guarded the sector overlooking a crucial bridge.

    “Sir, if you could provide covering fire for my boys I’d be grateful. They’re creeping over the bridge and making it hot over here.” As if on cue, a bullet whistled by. “I think they’re trying to rebuild the bridge.”

    “Count on it Dickie, and good hunting!”

    Gathering his men, Annand gave a quick brief and as one they ran forward. The Germans, trying to build new bridge from the rubble of the old, were surprised. Corporal Steven “Swampy” Marsh picked off the officers, before running forward to finish off the rest. As their commander reinforced his position, the Wehrmacht defenders became more stubborn.

    “Sir, I’m out of ammo!” That was Marsh. Most of his platoon were also out of ammunition. As the Germans began to push infantry forward to consolidate the position Annand grabbed a handful of grenades and charged forward, running up the road towards the ruined bridge.

    “Covering fire, c’mon, support him,” Belsay cried.

    “Mad bastard,” Holgate muttered.

    Annand, ducking to avoid the German fire, reached the bridge, dodging the German infantry. He paused, caught his breath, and threw grenades into the German position. A score of them fell with the remainder grabbing rifles. A shot plucked at Annand’s shoulder and he staggered back, before throwing himself forward. His platoon dragged him to safety and dressed his wound.

    A sudden burst of fire from his southern-most platoon showed Belsay another attempt to cross the river, this time in boats. Clods of earth were thrown up around the entrenched DLI.



    “Oh Christ. Tom, get your buggers down there, now!” Rollins, grabbing everyone he could find, sprinted down towards the riverbank. At once the rattle of machine gun fire cut him and most of his men down. Belsay broke cover and ran to help the wounded. A hand gripped his arm.

    “Sir, for God’s sake stop pissing about and get back to the company!” A screaming noise sounded over the riverbank. Holgate unceremoniously pushed his Company CO to the ground and, kneeling beside him pointed to the skies.



    “The bastards have got friends,” he offered Belsay a cigarette. “Orders?”

    “Find out who’s left in battalion and pull back I think,” he paused and pointed to the bridge. “The buggers are coming back! Mr Annand, look out!”

    But Annand had seen the renewed effort to capture the bridge. Once again, he ran forward with grenades and struggled to repulse the German effort. An orderly reached Belsay’s position.

    “Sir, orders from the CO. Battalion withdrawal.” Holgate, crouching next to Belsay wordlessly turned and carried the order down the Company lines.

    Annand, the order received, also ordered his platoon to fall back. As the roll was taken it was obvious that Private Hunter was the only man not to survive.

    “To hell with that,” Annand shouted. Grabbing a rifle, he ran forward to the platoon’s former position. Behind him, 2 DLI continued to fall back. Annand, stalking through the scrub and bracken growing along the Dyle’s gentle bank, finally found his errant batman, heavily wounded and unable to walk. A few hundred yards behind them, Belsay and Holgate had stopped to watch.

    “I told you he was a mad bastard,” Holgate mumbled wryly.

    “Quiet! He’s trying to drag him along!” Belsay pulled out his binoculars. “I think. Bloody hell you’re right Sergeant, mad. Here, have a look. Company, give him your help!” As the weary company again took positions, cheering broke out as Annand reached the crest of the rise, pushing his batman in a wheelbarrow. As he collapsed hal.f of Belsay's company ran forward to assist

    Belsay put down his rifle. “Cease fire!” He started to scribble in his notebook. Holgate raised an eyebrow. “It’s for the Colonel. I’m going to recommend young Dickie for a gong.”

    [Game Effect] – 2Lt Dickie Annand indeed gained a VC at the Dyle, though I’ve altered the detail slightly (for example Private Hunter had to be abandoned – he would later die in a Dutch hospital). 2 DLI’s war continues.

    El Pip: Halifax has clearly erred by giving Churchill power to run the war. Though a buffoon he will show moments of cunning...

    Trekadict: Don't get excited just yet.

    Nathan Madien: Halifax, as we'll soon see, isn't coping too well with the war.
    Last edited by Le Jones; 17-11-2008 at 21:01.
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  11. #51
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    Captain Richard Wallace Annand, VC (5 November 1914 - 24 December 2004)


    Lieutenant Dickie Annand, Artist Unknown, 1943.
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  12. #52
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner
    Captain Richard Wallace Annand, VC (5 November 1914 - 24 December 2004)
    Wait...this is a real person?
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  13. #53
    Lord of Slower-than-real-time El Pip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien
    Wait...this is a real person?
    Yep, a proper hard as nails Geordie. (Technically Sanddancer I suppose, but close enough)
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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Pip
    Yep, a proper hard as nails Geordie. (Technically Sanddancer I suppose, but close enough)
    Oh. I thought Le Jones made him up. Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Le Jones
    Chapter 8, River Dyle, Belgium, 1700 14 May 1940

    Are those men actually going to battle wearing Scottish kilts?
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  15. #55
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    [Kurt Steiner]: Excellent picture

    [Nathan Madien/El Pip]: Annand was indeed a real person, like much of the DLI's Officers he actually came from the Durham area (in his case South Shields, as El Pip says making him a Sanddancer). I recently visited the DLI Museum (well worth a visit) and read his story.

    [Nathan Madien]: The Highlanders indeed went into battle wearing kilts.
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  16. #56
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    Chapter 9, The Treasury, 15 May 1940



    Edward Hugh John Neale Dalton, Chancellor of the Exchequer and, with Attlee, one the senior Labour members of the National Government opened yet another red box and sighed. Churchill, bloody Churchill. The man had gone to France and yet still his office bombarded Dalton, personally, with requests that verged on demands. The latest, a plea to buy aircraft from the Americans, was typical Churchill: short, double spaced, with five bullet points setting out his case. Dalton put it in his ‘pending’ tray and sifted through the rest of this morning’s work. His first action upon assuming this most challenging of roles had been to ask each of his senior civil servants to list what was good and bad about ‘their part of the parish’. Finding one of them in this box, Dalton scanned it and sighed again. Like the others, it made grim reading.



    Neither Dalton nor his team could ignore the truth. Britain would be fighting the war on her reserves alone if hostilities continued beyond 1940. Her supplies of oil and other materials were dwindling, and there were critical shortages of skilled workers, despite the soaring numbers of unemployed. Churchill, perceptively, had remarked on another paper the assets that Dalton possessed. “Use the traditional strengths of old Albion!” the paper trumpeted. “Our merchant fleet, the City of London, will be powerful weapons in this war against tyranny.” This touched a patriotic nerve in Dalton. Though a socialist, and a committed reformer, there was something deeply honourable in Churchill’s quest against evil. Dalton, crumpling a paper pleading him to consider selling some of Britain’s overseas investments, would help the Tories fight their war. But, he allowed, would Britain’s reliance on City trading and maritime trade prove an asset or a liability?

    [Game Effect] - I, like Dalton, inherited a pile of crap from the previous administration (in my case the AI!). I’ve gone ahistorical with my choice of Chancellor: I think that Dalton’s appointment (or something like it) would have been one of the concessions required for Labour supporting a Halifax administration. A couple of trade deals go through to shore up the war economy and Dalton will not think twice to cancel those that aren’t working. Fully committed to naval expansion and building up the RAF there is limited space for new projects. And let’s not even start talking about manpower.
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  17. #57
    Marshal of the Empire BritishImperial's Avatar

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    looks like you have plenty of oil to me. as long as hitler doesnt use his uboats too much you'll be fine.
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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Jones
    [Game Effect] - I, like Dalton, inherited a pile of crap from the previous administration (in my case the AI!). I’ve gone ahistorical with my choice of Chancellor: I think that Dalton’s appointment (or something like it) would have been one of the concessions required for Labour supporting a Halifax administration. A couple of trade deals go through to shore up the war economy and Dalton will not think twice to cancel those that aren’t working. Fully committed to naval expansion and building up the RAF there is limited space for new projects. And let’s not even start talking about manpower.
    Interesting reasoning, surely the Conservative majority (well National Government technically) is large enough they don't need to give up the Treasury to Labour? Obviously if it's a unity government some ministries would have to be shared out, but one of the Great Offices?

    I find great hope in this, for the implication is that Halifax can't even command a majority in his own party. This is excellent news and hastens the day he'll be forced from office!
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  19. #59
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    Socialists trust conservatives?
    Those fools, giving way to capitalism!
    Let the germanisch freedoom come, let the tyranny of Churchill fade!

  20. #60
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    Chapter 10, BBC Broadcasting House, London, 16 May 1940



    Neville Chamberlain nodded as the BBC technician explained the various aspects of the booth. As he gave an over-elaborate description of the signals used for the third time Chamberlain rolled his eyes. Thank you, Edward, he thought bitterly.

    It had been an empty gesture that had led to this. Following Churchill’s passionate performance in the Commons Chamberlain had called upon his friend the Prime Minister. He had found an unhappy Lord Halifax worried about Churchill’s popularity and concerned that the Empire would be lost to “Winston’s War”. Chamberlain, sharing the views of Halifax, had offered his full support. Which had led to him making this broadcast to the nation.

    “Good evening, this is the BBC Home Service. This is Bruce Belfrage. And now, a short message from the Right Honourable Neville Chamberlain MP”. The platoon of BBC employees all looked expectantly at Chamberlain. I know, I know, he thought. Clearing his throat, he spoke hesitantly into the speaker.

    “Good evening, I am speaking to you all from Broadcasting House in London. This is my first opportunity to speak to you all since resigning as your Prime Minister.” The thin, nasal voice, paused, before continuing.

    “Six days ago, on the advice of the Cabinet and Parliament, I stepped down and was succeeded by Lord Halifax. Lord Halifax, like me, had made great effort in working for peace. I can think of none who have worked harder. And now, after all of our efforts, Lord Halifax is the man who will lead us through this dark time. I, as his colleague and predecessor, must ask you to support him as you have supported me.”

    He cleared his throat again. Mercifully, the room was emptier now. “Lord Halifax will seek to prosecute this war as fully as we possibly can. But he will also work to preserve peace and to ensure the safety of our home and our Empire. Let us pray for his success, and hope that he can deliver a peaceful conclusion to the traumas we face. I, for my part, thank you all for the support that you have shown me. Let us now gather in support of our new leader. May God bless you all.”

    [Game Effect] – Dissent is high (from all the Cabinet changes), the war is going down the toilet, and the economy is emptier than a Gordon Brown promise, so Halifax wheels out his good friend Neville. Chamberlain, supporting Halifax’s desire for peace and ever eager to remain in the public eye for a potential return to 10 Downing Street would probably have agreed to make a broadcast in support of Halifax’s government.

    British Imperial: Indeed, oil is flowing plentifully. Halifax doesn't get industry and will let Dalton run the economy to meet Churchill's war needs.

    El Pip: I get your point, and I honestly think that Attlee could have squeezed a top cabinet job out Halifax. The role of Chancellor had mixed fortune with Churchill as PM, and given the Tory obsession with the Foreign Office, War Office, Admiralty and Empire the UK-centric roles would have been more obtainable. Attlee and Dalton have done well and will exert a great deal of influence in the National Government.

    Enewald: Labour was key to Churchill's (and in this AAR Halifax's) remaining in power. Left to themselves the Conservatives were far more willing to do a deal with Berlin than Labour.
    The King's First Minister - a UK AAR

    Character Writer of the Week 15/12/08
    Character Writer of the Week 10/08/09
    Character Writer of the Week 04/10/09

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