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Thread: It's a Jolly Old War, isn't it, Stanley?

  1. #1

    It's a Jolly Old War, isn't it, Stanley?

    It is August of 1941. The Second World War, (probably about to become) the most destructive conflict known to man has been raging for...all of five months, actually.

    The heroic Allied powers are Great Britain, France, Poland (in exile, sadly), the various flavors of China, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The less heroic allied powers are Siam, Nationalist Spain, and Romania. Possibly Portugal soon as well.

    The villainous Axis powers are Fascist Ethiopia (which is really going to mess up reggae postwar), Germany, Italy, Japan, Manchukuo et al, Slovakia, and Hungary.

    Let us now turn to the innermost recesses of the British government, and sneak a peak at the British War Cabinet in action.

    MINUTES OF THE WAR CABINET FOR 1 AUGUST 1940
    Present:

    Lieutenant General Alan Brooke (CIGS): Chief of the Imperial General Staff, widely regarded by his peers as the right man in the right place. Widely regarded by those not his peers as an acerbic technocrat and deeply intimidating.

    Admiral of the Fleet Ernle Montacute Chatfield, 1st Baron Chatfield (1SL): First Sea Lord, flag captain of Admiral Beatty at Jutland. Considered by Stephen Roskill to have been the best 1SL of the Interwar Era.

    Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Caswell Tremenheere "Stuffy" Dowding (MRAF): Professional head of the Royal Air Force. Not a people person.

    Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin (PMUK): Conservative PM of the UK, not about to step down any time soon, not for Neville, not for anyone. Churchill once called him an "epileptic corpse".

    Winston Churchill (WSC): disgraced backbench Tory MP; not invited to War Cabinet meetings, he just started showing up.

    Major General Chen Xianzhou (CHXI): Head of Chinese Military Bureau of Investigation & Statistics, liason to European Forces China Command. Wily, possibly inscrutable.

    BEGIN T/S

    CIGS: ...and Montgomery's armoured corps has shattered the Ethiopian army and associated Italian forces at minimal cost to us. We'll be bringing his three divisions back here in case of a French collapse and attempted German invasion.

    PMUK: Excellent, excellent, jolly good. [puffs pipe]

    WSC: Pray ought we consider sending them to France? There may still be time to stabilize the front by some sustained miracle of fortitude and valour.

    CIGS: [pointedly ignoring WSC] Anglo-French forces in North Africa have completely destroyed the Italian army there. Per my recommendations, the Imperial General Staff have begun to draw up plans for an invasion of Italy, to commence as soon as the situation in Europe stabilizes. We intend to use the two armoured divisions being withdrawn from France, along with the two motorized and one armoured division presently in the Middle East, as well as four other divisions currently being raised.

    PMUK: [sucks teeth] Ooh, sounds half risky. I don't much like the idea of sending our boys to the continent.

    CIGS: [tiredly] With respect, Prime Minister, it will prove extremely difficult to defeat the enemy if we do not actually fight him.

    PMUK: [triumphantly] But do we actually need to defeat him? Eh? Eh?

    WSC: -REDACTED-

    PMUK: That was uncalled for, Winston. And very, very hurtful. Moving along!

    MRAF: The enemy persists in bombing Sheffield, sir. Our fighters persist in shooting him down. One issue of some concern: our Hawker Typhoon ground attack aircraft appear to be better interceptors than our purpose-built Spitfire XIV high-performance fighters. I believe that Supermarine has sold us a bill of goods.

    PMUK: Well blow me down! Thank you, Dowling.

    MRAF: Dowding, sir.

    PMUK: So sorry, Dowting. It's the strain of the job.

    MRAF: It's...yes, yes, I quite understand, sir.

    PMUK: First Sea Lord, your report?

    1SL: Unfortunately the situation in the Far East has not materially improved since the loss of K G V and Prince of Wales. Somerville still has the Illustrious and two flotillas of Battle-class destroyers, but until the 1940 and 1941 programmes complete, we do not feel able to reinforce the Eastern Fleet. By late 1942, we should have two more modern aircraft carriers and three modern battleships plus escorts to send out; this will form the nucleus of a balanced fleet. Our submarines continue to do well in Japanese waters, and our China Station forces supported the Chinese landings on Okinawa.

    CHXI: Most appreciated.

    PMUK: That reminds me, how goes the land war with Japan?

    CHXI: We completed a successful double-envelopment at the start of the war, crushing the majority of the Japanese mobile forces at the outset. Then a sustained blitzkrieg campaign culminated in the schwerpunkt to end all schwerpunkts, destroying the enemy on the mainland utterly. Now our forces have commenced a revolutionary new strategy called "Island Hopping", by which we intend to engage Japanese land power with superior amounts of our own land power, and simultaneously cut off and isolate much of their combat power in strategically insignificant locales. We predict that this strategy will position us for an invasion of Mainland Japan by 1944, provided their fleet is defeated in a general action.

    PMUK: [blinks once, very slowly.] Yes, good. [whispers loudly to Brooke:] These foreign fellows have some quaint notions, don't they?

    END T/S

  2. #2
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    Stanley Baldwin in power in wartime! The horror! The horror!
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  3. #3
    General Lordban's Avatar
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    The unavoidable in a HoI3 1.1 game

    Note that George V hasn't shown up He's probably more fit for combat than the battleship which used to bear his name


    Winston Churchill (WSC): disgraced backbench Tory MP; not invited to War Cabinet meetings, he just started showing up.
    So fitting He's lucky Baldwin never found out his knowledge of military affairs in the UK came... from reports destined to Baldwin himself but which he never read
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  4. #4

    Fascists in the King's Royal Rocket Corps!

    [The Deathless King-Emperor George V rules over his subjects with a benign and rather dull hand---unless you're some sort of bloody protestor in one of the more remote colonies or something, in which case you just watch yourself---but the UK's nascent Fascist movement prays to whatever heathen Hun gods they worship that he'll kick the bucket so that his wastrel son Edward can take the throne and make some mischief.]

    The King-Emperor is visiting the latest addition to his multifarious armed forces, the King's Royal Rocket Corps. A small tent city has erupted overnight upon the placid moors of Yorkshire, and about two dozen stubby little Gloster Titmouse flying bombs on their mobile launchers exude an air of lumpy, porridge-filled menace. Little does His Deathless Majesty know that he's being stalked by agents of the sinister Japanophile Baron Sempill (incidentally, a real life Japanese sympathizer investigated by MI5), who intend to knock off his Serene Bufferness first chance they get.

    The King makes awkward small talk with the officers of the KRRC. He can't but dimly feel, in the recesses of his Icke-ian reptile brain, that these men in their grease stained coveralls might not be the Right Sort.

    "So," says King George, "these bombs...fly?"

    Suitably awed by the Royal Presence (and doubtless disconcerted by the fact that the Royal heart hasn't beaten even once since 20 January 1936), Lieutenant Bryant of the KRRC can only nod mutely.

    "I have often thought that bombs could merely...fall," says the King, struggling to make small talk with a lower social order, "but now I see this is no longer the case." If only Albert Frederick were here! He always had the common touch. Pity about that bloody stammer, though.

    "Quite so, your Majesty."

    HRH and Lieutenant Bryant are spared the agony of further conversation as a sabotaged Titmouse goes roaring off the launch rail, straight for the King. Bryant barely has time to shout "bugg-" before it hits.

    The smoke clears. George V stands unscathed, except for a bit of soot blackening. As for the unfortunate Bryant, there is no sign.

    "My goodness," mumurs the King. "That was exciting."

  5. #5
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    The king, completely unflappable!
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  6. #6
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    A typical example of British phlegm
    "Mankind has only one science. It is the science of discontent." -- Count Hasimir Fenring
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  7. #7
    This is great--I especially like how you have historical service chiefs, but have kept Baldwin and George V.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ComTrav View Post
    This is great--I especially like how you have historical service chiefs, but have kept Baldwin and George V.
    Well, mostly. Sir Charles Portal was head of the RAF, and Dudley Pound was First Sea Lord, but I dislike them both a fair amount. Chatfield would have been the more logical choice for 1SL in WWII over Dudley Pound, having been a very successful interwar 1SL (the ideal choice was William Wordsworth Fisher, but he died in 1937), but Winston Churchill disliked him.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
    When you say "Albert Frederick", do you mean the erstwhile Duke of Prussia ca. 1600? Because that would be pretty awesome.

    Also, please refer to His Undying Majesty as the God-King, not King-Emperor. Or perhaps God-King-Emperor would work, too.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    Stanley Baldwin in power in wartime! The horror! The horror!
    He most likely retire to the countryside to ponder the thought of fighting a war.
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  12. #12
    Very entertaining so far, bookmarked!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Minchandre View Post
    When you say "Albert Frederick", do you mean the erstwhile Duke of Prussia ca. 1600? Because that would be pretty awesome.

    Also, please refer to His Undying Majesty as the God-King, not King-Emperor. Or perhaps God-King-Emperor would work, too.
    Sadly, Albert Frederick is merely our universe's George VI. Although who knows how long George V has really been alive? HRH Queen Alexandra DID look curiously ageless...

    I contemplated God-King for George V, but I felt this would be incompatible with his role as head of the Church of England.

  14. #14

    "Somewhere in France", August 14, 1941

    The 7th Armoured Division, known popularly as "The Plains Hedgehogs" due to their inspiring divisional badge, are churning the French countryside into mud as their Crusader II cruiser tanks struggle to....well, not so much turn back the Italian offensive (known to Allied strategists as the "Berg Rush", from the distinctive Ostrich-plumed headgear of the Bersaglieri), but to at least hurt the Italians really, really badly.

    Somewhere ahead of them is the ostensibly elite Italian "Ariete" armoured division. "Ariete" means "ram" in Italian, as in a male sheep, and the British feel roughly the level of respect for their foes that your average New Zealander feels for the animal that provided him with both his sweater and his lunch.

    Cunningly, the Italian armoured formations have advanced far faster than their supporting infantry (who are currently being beaten up by the mammoth 9th Armoured Division, the only 4-brigade armoured formation in the entire British army, passing time as it withdraws towards Brest), and so the doughty Plains Hedgehogs have spent the past week driving around the Ariete, who are now cut off from their supply lines. Not coincidentally, the British Crusaders are now festooned with cartons of various noodles.

    In the distance, French poilus advance, no doubt grateful to be away from the crumbling Maginot line and facing an enemy they can handle. There is the sound of gunfire, and then the British troops are privy to a bizarre solar eclipse which resembles a backwards 98, then a 99, then 100, and then fades away into nothingness. Like the Mons Angel of a previous war, it will be an oft-remembered myth of the fighting in France in 1941.

  15. #15
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    Go Deser---err, go Plains Hedgehogs! Get your quills in 'em!
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    Quote Originally Posted by hmsresolution View Post
    Somewhere ahead of them is the ostensibly elite Italian "Ariete" armoured division. "Ariete" means "ram" in Italian, as in a male sheep, and the British feel roughly the level of respect for their foes that your average New Zealander feels for the animal that provided him with both his sweater and his lunch.
    Hey, that line almost made me choke on my tea!

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  17. #17
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  18. #18

    The Society of Four Georges

    George V descends into the depths of Buckingham Palace in a rickety old steel elevator. He never sweats anymore, but if he could, he would be. How long has it been since he went down here? 1918? His heart still beat back then. A long time ago.

    The elevator reaches the last sub-basement with a clang. If the King-Emperor still drew breath, it would look like a plume of smoke in the chill. The doors open.

    The King-Emperor is standing in front of a huge bronze vault. An immense stylized G covers the front of it, easily ten feet tall. George V marches up to it, purposefully, and places his signet ring in a slot. There is a mechanical click.

    The huge vault door rolls sideways. Light spills out from within, illuminating...

    Georg Ludwig, better know to history as George I of Great Britain. "Ah, Five," he says, in thickly accented English, "it's been a long time since you've come to visit us. I suppose you're wanting your chestnuts pulled out of the fire again?"

  19. #19
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    George V must call upon the older generation of royalty, in a secret mechanical lair under the palace!
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  20. #20
    General Lordban's Avatar
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    Well, that one stands to reason. If Five lives, why shouldn't One?
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