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Thread: The Last Great Stand of the British Empire (HPP 2.0 UK)

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    Colonel superjames1992's Avatar
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    The Last Great Stand of the British Empire (HPP 2.0 UK)

    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."



    Nation: United Kingdom
    Version: Semper Fi 2.04d
    Mod: HPP 2.0
    Difficulty: Normal
    Game Start Date: 1/22/12

    Hello. I have never played a game with UK before, so I thought this would be interesting to go along with my German AAR (different sides should provide different challenges).

    The plan is to let France fall against Germany, much like in real life (I may send some limited assistance to the French, but not much) and then re-invade Fortress Europe, like in real life.

    However, the USA cannot be part of the Allies. I will not have a problem inviting anyone else into the Allies faction, but the US will stay out of it. This should help to make this quite a challenge.
    Last edited by superjames1992; 24-01-2012 at 01:20.

  2. #2
    Lt. General eqqman's Avatar
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    An optimist says this is the best of all possible worlds, a pessimist agrees with him.

    Any firm thoughts on how you want to beat the Hun (air, navy, land focus, etc.)?

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    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    A pessimist sees this AAR as just-another-UK-AAR, while an optimist subscribes the thread!

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    You've piqued my interest; I'll subscribe.
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    No US help? I subscribe this thread.
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    Modern Psycho-General CivandEUIII's Avatar
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    subbed, interesting to see how it works out!

    Also hugely relieved this did not end with the report "The Three Mountains achievement broken. Steps to reproduce: ..." - Rufo
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    Colonel superjames1992's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    An optimist says this is the best of all possible worlds, a pessimist agrees with him.

    Any firm thoughts on how you want to beat the Hun (air, navy, land focus, etc.)?
    Early on, air (specifically air defense) will be the priority, as well, as the development of anti-aircraft guns and the like. The Royal Navy will not be expanded much beyond where it is now as I don't see any need to strengthen the Navy to go against Germany or Italy. I may need to strengthen and expand the Navy if I go toe-to-toe with Japan later on, however.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    A pessimist sees this AAR as just-another-UK-AAR, while an optimist subscribes the thread!
    Haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    You've piqued my interest; I'll subscribe.
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    No US help? I subscribe this thread.
    My decision was between either playing with the US or playing as the UK without the UK. I decided for this because I figured it would present an interesting challenge and one that wasn't all that implausible (Hitler isn't stupid and declares war on the US after Pearl Harbor). Of course, in real life, the USA would have likely ended up the war eventually, regardless, but nevertheless, we can just pretend that the USA maintained its isolationist stance (perhaps FDR isn't reelected in 1940?).

    Quote Originally Posted by CivandEUIII View Post
    subbed, interesting to see how it works out!
    Thanks!

    One thing to note is that the HPP mod significantly modifies the UK. India, Burma, and Egypt (among others) are all colonies (and Malaya, ect. are protectorates). Thus, they have their own land and air forces (though, for the most part, they are all British expeditionary forces). India is very important in HPP, though, as it's possession gives us a 25% IC bonus, so it will be protected at all costs. It is likely that I will also send British forces into India, Burma, and Egypt once war breaks out to supplement that local forces already there, however.

  8. #8
    Colonel superjames1992's Avatar
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    Chapter 1
    Trying Times
    January - December 1936


    As the sun rose on January 1st, 1936 the British Empire was at a crossroads. It's power projection was dwindling as it had sunk into a period of decline in the 20th century, yet the United Kingdom still stood as one of the most powerful nations on the face of the Earth.

    The British Isles had not been invaded by a foreign enemy in hundreds of years and that didn't look to change now. Britain's navy was still the most powerful in the world and the only potential rivals at sea were the United States and Japan. Britain and the Americans were at friendly terms and, while a war with an expansionist Japan was not out of the realm of possibility, the Japanese were certainly not capable of invading the British Isles.

    Germany's rise in the 1930s under the Nazi regime led by Adolf Hitler was troubling, but he was no threat to Great Britain, itself. The same could not be said for France or any other mainland European power, however.

    The Soviet Union was also seen as a threat to the stability of Europe. However, it was well-known that the communists and fascists were arch-enemies and it was felt that their expansionist aims would be counteracted by one another.

    Nevertheless, the German reoccupation of the Rhineland in early February served as a bit of a wakeup call as far as the Germans were concerned. The international community would have to keep a close eye on German expansionist aims.



    King George V passed away on January 4th and was replaced by his son, Edward VIII. Edward VIII was in a relationship with an American divorcee at the time, however, and it was not expected that he would be allowed to keep the crown if he wished to marry her. Edward VIII also harbored softer views towards fascism than George V seemed to in his latter days.

    Militarily, the United Kingdom completed two new destroyer flotillas and one new submarine flotilla in March. At this point, it was decided that the Royal Navy was large and modern enough to face any enemy on Earth. As such, all naval military projects were canceled for the time being.

    Instead, a radar station was to be set up at Dover which would allow British intelligence a look into mainland Europe. In addition, anti-air defenses all across Britain were strengthened and government money was inserted into private industry in hopes of stimulating the economy.



    Further monies were poured into the research of rocketry and nuclear weapons. Much of this research would be carried out in Scotland, where it was felt that these projects would be most secure. Actual use of these technologies was years away, but both were potentially war-winning weapons in the future.



    On March 19th, Ethiopia was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy (which was in fact led by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini). This move angered many in the national community, but, after all, Britain had gained her African colonies by invading independent African nations, so to squawk at Italy for doing the same thing would be a bit hypocritical. Besides, going to war over a backwards country in East Africa was the last thing Britain wanted to do right now. Her military was in no shape for a major war.



    In April, King Edward VIII abdicated his throne after news of his affair with Mrs. Wallis Simpson, the American divorcee, became public knowledge. Edward VIII was replaced by George VI, Edward's brother. Edward was made Duke of Windsor and would marry Simpson in 1937.

    Later in April, a full-scale civil war erupted in Spain as fascist forces led by Francisco Franco attempted to overthrow the current Spanish government, which they said was headed by socialists and communists. This was not especially welcome news as it would give Germany and Italy another ideological ally. The Germans and Italians would eventually lend aid to Franco and his cause, though Britain would officially stay neutral in the conflict, though behind closed doors, the British supported the Republicans.



    In August, the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany went off without a hitch. American Jesse Owens won four gold medals as he stole the show. Germany's deep-seated antisemitism was not wholly hidden from display, but the more overt antisemitic displays were hidden from sight.



    The 1936 Berlin Olympics were a crushing success.

    In October, the Republican government in Spain collapsed as the fascists emerged victorious in the Spanish Civil War. The war had lasted scarcely four months, but Francisco Franco's fascists had come out on top and were now fully in control of Spain and its considerable military. This was troubling news, but now wholly unexpected.



    On November 11th, the 18-year anniversary of the end of the Great War, the light cruiser HMS Penelope was commissioned. This would be the lazy commissioning of a Royal Navy ship for the next few years as focus shifted towards the Royal Air Force and the Army, which was utterly deficient.

    By the end of 1936, a brand new nuclear research laboratory had been constructed in Glasgow, Scotland and was helping to advance the British nuclear program by leaps and bounds.

  9. #9
    Lt. General eqqman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superjames1992 View Post
    In August, the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany went off without a hitch. American Jesse Owens won four gold medals as he stole the show. Germany's deep-seated antisemitism was not wholly hidden from display, but the more overt antisemitic displays were hidden from sight.
    HPP's description of the games makes it sound like Spain boycotted them to take a stand against anti-Semitism, but really they were just PO'd that Barcelona wasn't chosen as the host city. They would have staged their own competing version of the games if the SCW hadn't cropped up.

    Quote Originally Posted by superjames1992 View Post
    By the end of 1936, a brand new nuclear research laboratory had been constructed in Glasgow, Scotland and was helping to advance the British nuclear program by leaps and bounds.
    I was shocked to see you can build a reactor already in 1936... what year do you expect to have the Bomb ready, then?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    I was shocked to see you can build a reactor already in 1936... what year do you expect to have the Bomb ready, then?
    zat is not ein reaktor.. zat is ein laborartory vere peeple zuch az myzelf kan study ze possiblitees of Nuclear phisicz.


    And subscribed. Maybe i'll finally want to play as UK
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  12. #12
    Colonel superjames1992's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    HPP's description of the games makes it sound like Spain boycotted them to take a stand against anti-Semitism, but really they were just PO'd that Barcelona wasn't chosen as the host city. They would have staged their own competing version of the games if the SCW hadn't cropped up.



    I was shocked to see you can build a reactor already in 1936... what year do you expect to have the Bomb ready, then?
    Interesting. I was not aware of that about the Spanish.

    I am not real sure, to be honest. Tech levels will still probably push back nuclear development until 1944 or 1945, if I had to guess, but we shall see. I wanted to go ahead and get the cost for the reactors out of the way before the war started.

    Quote Originally Posted by NERFGEN View Post
    zat is not ein reaktor.. zat is ein laborartory vere peeple zuch az myzelf kan study ze possiblitees of Nuclear phisicz.


    And subscribed. Maybe i'll finally want to play as UK
    Haha, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by misterbean View Post
    A new HPP AAR? Subscribed, of course.
    Thanks!

    BTW, one interesting thing HPP does as the UK is that you have the option to declare war on Germany AND the USSR after the invasion of Poland (I don't think this is present in vanilla). I am trying to debate whether this would be the best course of action to take or not. Strategically, it would be kind of stupid, but it could make for an interesting game.

  13. #13
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superjames1992 View Post
    I am not real sure, to be honest. Tech levels will still probably push back nuclear development until 1944 or 1945, if I had to guess, but we shall see. I wanted to go ahead and get the cost for the reactors out of the way before the war started.
    I think if you rush it hard you can have a bomb by 1943, but you'll need a lot of reactors and it comes with costs. 44 for the tech and 45 for the first bomb is pretty typical in my games.
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    Just to clarify, the early access to reactors is part of how the HPP changed the rocket and nuclear tech trees. Each new level of those one-shot techs now requires a certain level of the appropriate test site, and the test site level requirements go up the further along you go. Think of the test sites as the actual government-funded research facilities rather than a nuclear reactor as you'd think of today.

    Only a few countries have early access to the reactors. It's been a while since I checked, but I believe only the US, UK, Germany, and Japan can build them from the start, since only those nations had government-funded nuclear research programs in 1936. The list for rocket sites is longer: US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and USSR (world leader in rocket engine research at Leningrad until the Purges began).

    Anyway, you have quite the challenge coming up.
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    Chapter 2
    Changing Landscapes
    January - December 1937


    1937 began with a bang when in February, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin stepped down, resigning from his post. Baldwin was replaced by fellow Conservative Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain was felt to be a good replacement as the Conservative Party got a nice bump in support following the news.

    Chamberlain looked to continue a policy of peace and appeasement and hoped to maintain the status quo, if possible, in Europe.

    On June 12th, Xinjiang and Xibei San Ma went to war with one another. Xinjiang requested help from the Soviet Union, but their offer was denied.



    Unsurprisingly, on August 27th, Xinjiang was defeated as Xibei San Ma would annex Xinjiang in total. This was not huge news to most of the world, but Xibei San Ma did border British India, so it was of mild concern to the British Empire. Nevertheless, Xibei San Ma still appeared to be little to no threat.

    By late August, the radar station in Dover was beginning to reveal more and more of mainland Europe as British intelligence now had a very good idea of what was going on in neutral Belgium. This could prove very useful in a future war against Germany.



    On September 3rd, 1937, the Empire of Japan declared war on the Republic of China following a border incident at the Marco Polo Bridge. Both sides blamed each other for the incident, but the end result was the same: war! The remaining Chinese warlord states would eventually put aside their differences and join the war against the common enemy: Japan.

    Shanxi would fall in early November as Japan advanced very quickly into northern China.

    With that being said, let us take a look at the deployments of British troops in late 1937.

    Three militia brigades protected Guyana in South America. Also, three further militia brigades were stationed on the Bahamas just off the coast of Florida. Both of these divisions were placed under the guidance of Home Command. The three brigades in Gibraltar were also under Home Command.



    Africa Command was stationed along the Suez Canal in Egypt. Most British force stationed in East Africa and the Mediterranean were under this command.



    West Africa Command was in charge of three militia divisions in West Africa. One division was stationed in Lagos. Another was stationed in Acra. The final division was stationed in Freetown.



    Finally, Asia Command was stationed in Singapore. Asia Command commanded the garrison division in Hong Kong as well as a regular infantry division in Singapore. Also under its command was the Pacific Fleet.





    The production que in Fall 1937.

    Shanxi surrendered to Japan in November 1937 as Japan was making surprisingly substantial progress in China.

    Last edited by superjames1992; 25-01-2012 at 06:24.

  16. #16
    Colonel superjames1992's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    I think if you rush it hard you can have a bomb by 1943, but you'll need a lot of reactors and it comes with costs. 44 for the tech and 45 for the first bomb is pretty typical in my games.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBromgrev View Post
    Just to clarify, the early access to reactors is part of how the HPP changed the rocket and nuclear tech trees. Each new level of those one-shot techs now requires a certain level of the appropriate test site, and the test site level requirements go up the further along you go. Think of the test sites as the actual government-funded research facilities rather than a nuclear reactor as you'd think of today.

    Only a few countries have early access to the reactors. It's been a while since I checked, but I believe only the US, UK, Germany, and Japan can build them from the start, since only those nations had government-funded nuclear research programs in 1936. The list for rocket sites is longer: US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and USSR (world leader in rocket engine research at Leningrad until the Purges began).

    Anyway, you have quite the challenge coming up.
    Interesting, guys. Thanks for the information.

  17. #17
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    Chapter 3
    Tensions Rising
    January - December 1938


    The near year began with new fears as the German Reich peacefully annexed Austria on January 8th, 1938. Austria's National Socialist faction had enough power in the Austrian legislature to force a vote and it was passed, allowing Austria to become part of the Reich without needing a single shot to be fired. It was the first of German's "bloodless conquests", as they came to be known.

    This bloodless conquest was very concerning to the United Kingdom, but there was no reason yet for war over it. The UK was in no position to force war on any country right now and neither was France. Nevertheless, the annexation of Austria served as a wakeup call for the Allies and gave them fair warning to begin building up their military in preparation of the coming conflict.

    On January 14th, the issue was compounded when Italy joined the Axis, forming the Berlin-Rome Axis. Italy had opposed Germany's attempts to annex Austria earlier this decade, but evidently Mussolini had been promised some support by his fascist comrade, Hitler, and had backed down. Now the two formed an alliance that was very hostile to the future of European security.

    Two days later, Germany would mobilize her armed forces. For what? Nobody knew, but it couldn't have been good news.

    On January 21st, three new squadrons of Gloster Gladiators were placed into production. These three squadrons would form a wing of light interceptors that could be invaluable in winning air superiority against the Axis in the now almost-inevitable war.



    1. A new RAF Fighter Group was ordered on January 21st.

    On January 28th, independence movements in India were crushed. It was now becoming clear that at some point India would have to be granted her independence. However, India and her wealth and resources would be extremely important to any future war the United Kingdom might fight against the Axis Powers. As such, having India as part of the Empire was very important. Matters in India could be dealt with after the war's conclusion, but for now, India must remain as part of the British Empire, the Empire where the sun never sets.

    Scattered resistance movements and militia groups took some ground in India, but Indian National Forces were ordered to crush the rebellions. A British Expeditionary Force in India made sure that the orders were properly carried out by the National Forces.

    In February, with the Chinese situation deteriorating in their war against the Empire of Japan, it was decided to begin shipping resources and weaponry to the Chinese. These war materials were delivered covertly through the British colony of Burma. China was not necessarily a friend of the Empire, but if Japan defeated the Chinese, she would have supreme dominance in Asia as the Pacific, which would put British colonial possessions in the area at great danger.



    2. The Chinese situation in China was looking grim in the winter of 1938.

    In response to the German mobilization in January, France mobilized her armed forces in March. Britain still remained unmobilized as it was simply too costly to mobilize before war began. No British possessions would be immediately threatened in a war against Germany, though if Italy got involved in the war, British Egypt would have to be protected. The Italian forces in Libya were weak, however, and this was not expected to be a huge problem.

    Germany also made the decision to recognize the Japanese puppet of Manchukuo, the Japanese possession in Manchuria. This was concerning as it represented warming relations between the German Reich and the Empire of Japan. No one wanted to see Japan ally itself with Germany and Italy.

    In late March, a corps of medium armor was ordered. This corps would be Britain's first medium armor corps and would be made up of five divisions consisting of 15 brigades and approximately 45,000 men once mobilized. In peacetime, much less men were required, though.

    In April, Hungary and Yugoslavia mobilized their armed forces. Slowly but surely, Europe was beginning to heat up. It was beginning to look like the prelude to the Great War was being repeated.

    On June 16th, at Changkufeng Lake, Japanese forces which were probing Soviet defenses ignited a short war between Japan and the Soviet Union. The war only lasted seven days, though, and no exchanges of territory were made. On June 23rd, at the conclusion of the war, Japan formally aligned herself with the German Reich and the Kingdom of Italy as the Empire joined the Axis.

    On July 3rd, at the Treaty of Munich, Germany annexed the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia. Though Germany went through with it, the United Kingdom heavily protested the German belligerent action. The Sudetenland, Hitler claimed, belonged to Germany because of the heavy concentration of ethnic Germans in the area. However, the UK would stand for no more German expansionism and guaranteed the independence of the remainder of Czechoslovakia. If Germany wished to seize the rest of Czechoslovakia for herself, she would have the Allies to contend with!

    To everyone's chagrin, Hungary joined the Axis three days later, on the 6th of July.



    3. The German annexation of the Sudetenland came as a shock to most in Europe, though perhaps it shouldn't have.

    In mid-July, three new fighter squadrons were ready to be deployed. They would form the No. 14 RAF Fighter Group and would initially be deployed to Dover. The Group consisted of approximately 300 aircraft in total.

    With the completion of the fighter group, the freed IC was used to began training another corps of British infantry. It was clear to all that the March to war was on as Britain and other countries furiously expanded their militaries in preparation.

    On July 28th, Czechoslovkia mobilized her armed forces. In addition, Yugoslavia joined the Axis.



    4. With the Czech mobilization in late July, most prognosticators believed war was near at hand.

    In August, another RAF Fighter Group was ordered to be produced. The new fighter group would also consist of approximately 300 Gloster Gladiators. Combined with significant anti-aircraft weaponry in British cities, it was expected that British air space would be essentially impenetrable for German bombers when and if war broke out.

    The remainder of 1938 was relatively quiet. Several radical groups were violently crushed and oppressed. This was not a time in which radicals, whether on the extreme-right or extreme-left, needed to have any place in the British government. Some people harshly criticized the government's use of these methods as being anti-freedom and downright authoritarian, but the government felt that this was a small price to pay in comparison to the alternative.

    In December, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk died. Atatürk had served as Turkish President since October 1923 and had been a instrumental in the reconstruction of Turkey after the fall of the fall of the Ottoman Empire following the Great War. His death was mourned around the world as he was seen to be a great figure in Turkey's rise from the ashes after the Great War.

  18. #18
    Lady of the North Star Demi Moderator Saithis's Avatar
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    Wooow, Gloster Gladiators - I bet the Luftwaffe is shaking in its boots!

    Sounds like you're about ready for the war, nice to see the British army still nicely in peacetime deployments, should make for an interesting show!
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    Wooow, Gloster Gladiators - I bet the Luftwaffe is shaking in its boots!

    Sounds like you're about ready for the war, nice to see the British army still nicely in peacetime deployments, should make for an interesting show!
    LOL, I'm sure to update my RAF forces soon.

    I plan on staying in peacetime deployments until the war starts. Then I will shuffle around the army some and probably send some limited forces to France (though not enough to hold the Germans back as I want the Germans to defeat France for the sake of the story). This game would be pretty lame if I didn't have to attempt a large D-Day-like landing to win it.

  20. #20

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