Chapter forty: War Cabinet
'... and to the general disposition of auxiliary support
elements, officers of said elements are to answer to (i) the
primary commander of their given area/sector, and (ii) the
ranking Alliance officer in their specific lilne
Anglo-German Alliance General Order Book
section 45f, paragraph iv, 'Command Protocol'.
Winston Churchill gazed in awe as Sir Herbert Appleby -1-, the Permanent Secretary of his Cabinet Secretary, sir Edward Bridges, was ending his "brief" introduction about the incoming meeting of the War Cabinet. If the Prime Minister was right, the shocked faces of the high ranking officers also present in the room, no one had understood a jot of Appleby's tirade. Thus, Churchill was still a bit out of his wits and had to be told that it was his turn to speak.
Thus, after looking for a brief last time to the pleased face of the mandarin who sat by his side, Churchill began.
"Well, gentlemen, I have an audience with his Majesty in two hours and I am supposed to brief him on the general situation of the front line. Thus I would like to know what are we and our German allies are doing right now".
Sir Herbert Appleby: the only man in the
world that Teddy Roosevelt was afraid of
Field Marshall Sir Cyril John Deverell summed the situation in the usual words of "confusion, chaos and fog of war" which could be translated as "we don't have a clue of what is really going on in the front line". However, Deverell knew that to admit that the Imperial High Command was getting informed through the newspapers and the radio would have meant a sudden end of his career, so he skip that part and went for that they knew for sure.
The Germans were advacing on their own with the not too little help of the RAF. After breaking the enemy lines at Usti and Strakonice, the German armoured schwerpunkts had rushed through the plains of West Czechoslovakia and kept the Soviet and Czech forces on the run. However, the enemy command had began to do something more than reacting to the German onslaught and were attacking with great strenght both in Silesia and Austria. In the Oppeln area, General Wilhelm Adam was tring to steam the Red tide but his mission was far from easy. His Armeegruppe (six infantry divisions handsomely equipped with 8.8 cm guns) was under the attack of at least two complete enemy corps (fourteen infantry divisions) under the command of an unknwon Polish general who was knew damn well his job. That General Adam shouldn't have rise above commanding a division didn't eased the situation and it was a fact that his Armeegruppe was in full retreat..
Meanwhile the IV Panzerkorps was rushing towards Lodz without too much ado. In fact its commander, General Werner Kempf, was complaining that he was being slowed by his own success, not by the enemy actions, as he had more troubles dealing with all the PoWs that were giving themselves up to his panzers than fighthing with an enemy that, to had insult to the injury, was running away faster than his Panzerkorps could advance.
In Austria General Wilhelm Keitel was having little problem to stop the enemy. Apparently the Red forces had made a complete balls-up: the attacking forces -a weird mixture of Czech, Polish and Soviet troops- apparently were unable to do anything good against Keitel's forces -2-. In fact the cause for the mess was caused by the commanding structure of the Communist forces. Its CO was a Polish general who hated his Soviet staff, that, in turn, did not trust his superior while the NKVD commissars were patiently waiting for Moscow's order to shot either the general, his staff or all of them.
Amused, Churchill thought that the meeting was to prove to be quite interesting... provided that Appleby remained in silence.
-1- In this ATL, the grandpa of sir Humphrey.
-2- I'm still unsure about if it was Keitel's merit for keeping the enemy at bay or the IA's fault for making a complete balls up by attacking in its usual way, that is, in the proverbial and traditional piecemal order and with any kind of coordination whatsoever.
@trekaddict: I'm afraid to say, Trekkie, that my soft spot about those cats remains unscathed...
@Nathan Madien: A very good read, indeed.
@H.Appleb: Too true The question is. Would the Germans think that the Soviet fialure is caused by faults of the design or by a wrong use of those tanks? Anyway, we shall see. ]
@trekaddict -2-: The Tiffy is a must, sir. You shouldn't even bother to ask. It's included on the menu, with the fish and chips and the whisky.