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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Chapter One : Sir Anthony C.H. Melchett Takes Command New

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A Gentleman’s War : The Middle-East Command
(HoI3 TFH - UK AAR)
Chapter One : Sir Anthony C.H. Melchett Takes Command

Zia308B2_o.jpg

“Yippety-Dip!”​

Captain Timothy Malek had to stay up after the party while most of the staff got to go to bed. Their new commanding officer was meant to be there very soon. The new Field Marshal had arrived at the Port of El Iskandariya early yesterday. Well, now two days ago. Seems he had grabbed a lorry from the local Navy boys, loaded it up with his luggage and fuel cans, had borrowed a driver, and had started on his journey to meet his Headquarter unit in Al Qahira.

The man was said to be somewhat skilled in the art of warfare as well as a master of logistics. He WAS a member of the ‘Old Guard’ as he had lived through the trench combat of the Great War and there were rumors he was somewhat prejudiced towards modern warfare.

The Captain started to clean up the staff room. He tried to anyway. The New Year’s Party to welcome in 1936 had been loud and some of the clerks couldn’t handle their booze. It didn’t help that the local ‘champagne’ was made from any fruits and sugars the HQ staff could find to distill.

The headaches that resulted from such booze were famous throughout North Africa.

As he was placing a half-eaten cucumber sandwich into another trash bag he heard a engine come down the street outside the HQ.

“Wow,” said the Captain aloud, “He made good time.”

He stepped outside into the cold night to see a worn out driver helping a officer out of the passenger side of the truck. The man, at first sight, was amazing. He looked like he had stepped out of a Great War recruitment poster.

Slicked back hair, a amazing moustache, and a huge chin.

“Good morning Captain,” Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett said, “please have my things taken to my quarters. I tried to nap on the way here but the roads in Africa are most disagreeable to sleeping.”

Before the Captain to reply the Field Marshall add, “I don’t wish to be woken up till 8 AM and will require a breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausages, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, fried onions, toast, and marmalade. Make sure the toast is cooled before serving of course. And a pot of tea. Good ENGLISH tea. Not any of the native beverages. Right? Good.”

The Field Marshall then marched into the building without waiting for the Captain’s response.

The driver looked at the Captain with pity. “Have fun mate,” he said.

D0KR0JKX_o.jpg

At 8 AM the Captain went to wake the Field Marshall up. The man had been snoring in bed while dressed in a sleeping shirt and robe. His moustache had been carefully kept in check with a tiny net. On top of all that he had a teddy bear.

“Right,” the Field Marshall as he stood up. “Where’s my manservant? Wait, you haven’t even hired a boy to wait on me yet? Oh my word. Go make sure the breakfast is ready and I will be out shortly.”

It took almost an hour before the Field Marshall appeared in his office. He had shaved his face, combed back his hair, and even waxed his moustache.

He was in his full dress uniform with all the medals on display. The medals looked freshly polished along with his shoes.

His breakfast, at least something that reassembled what he had asked for, was waiting for him on the large desk in the Field Marshall’s office. The cooks had tried their best.

“Morning Captain,” said the man as he settled behind his desk. “Present yourself and use that map over there to explain to me what I’ve been put in charge of.”

“Yes Sir. Captain Timothy Malek.”

“Walsh?” the Field Marshall suddenly asked. “You look it.”

“No, sir, mother was Arabic,” the Captain replied. “Know a little about the language. The higher ups felt having me stationed here would be helpful.”

“They call this TOAST?” demanded the Field Marshall. “Was this bread sourdough? And it’s still warm.”

“Er…sorry sir. I can talk to the Quartermaster about trying to find some proper sliced bread. We try to do with what we have and find replacements for what we don’t have. Al Qahira isn’t that bad a place once you get to know who runs what.”

“Ask him about finding me another tin of moustache wax,” add the men as he stared at one of the sausages on his plate.

“Yes sir. Now as for your forces-”

“Wait,” said the Field Marshall with a frown. “I thought this was Cairo?”

“Yes sir. Same place, different names,” stated the Captain.

“Hmmmm,” said the Field Marshall who was too busy investigating his meal to listen. “Is this milk for my tea? Smells weird. Is this GOAT milk?”

“Maybe we should focus on the map so I can tell you about your command?” suggested the Captain who was fighting the impulse just to walk out of the office.

“If you wish,” pouted the Field Marshall as he started to wolf down his food.

YkIzO6Gb_o.jpg

The map was a simple color coded map of North Africa and some of the Mediterranean. There was the normal pins you would find on a military map. The military loved maps with pins on them.

“As you know sir you are here in Al Qahira,” started the Captain pointing out ‘Cairo’ on the map. “The HQ of the Middle-East Theatre. Under your authority is the Middle-East Command, the Malta Command, the Mediterranean Fleet, the 1st Submarine Squadron, and the Middle-East Air Command.”

“Here in Jerusalem is the Middle-East Command HQ and its 7th Infantry Division and its 8th Infantry Division,” he pointed out. “Lt. General Gowrie is in charge of the command and is known for his skills at defense.”

“Why,” said the Field Marshall as he chewed what may, or may not, have been scrambled eggs, “is he in Jerusalem when the Italians are over there?”

He pointed his fork towards the western side of North Africa. “The Italians are THERE. Isn’t the government more worried about them then the natives?”

“Well,” said the Captain, “the Jews and Muslims keep trying to kill each other.”

“Surely they can do that without us watching?” demanded the Field Marshall as he sipped some of his tea.

“We are trying to stop them,” said the Captain slowly.

“Oh…well they still need to move west to face the Italians,” remarked the Field Marshall. He started to peek at the mushrooms with suspicion on his face.

“The problem is the Middle-East Command has five infantry brigades BUT no support brigades,” pointed out the Captain. “So, maybe ask London for some cannon?”

“Yes, yes,” said the Field Marshall without really listening.

The Captain sighed, braced himself, and continued.

“Here in Tel Aviv Yafo,” said the Captain, “just north of Middle-East Command is the Middle-East Air Command.”

“No doubt a mighty force,” commented the Field Marshall as he enjoyed his grilled tomatoes which, at least, looked like grilled tomatoes.

“Lt. General Ludlow-Hewitt is a skilled pilot and is experienced at attacking moving ground targets,” continued the Captain. “He has a wing of tactical bombers. Bristol Blenheim Mark Ones.”

“Good plane are they?” asked the Field Marshall.

osI6Baw6_o.jpg

“Faster than most fighters and good at night bombing,” replied the Captain. “But we only have a wing and that’s not a lot.”

“HmmMhmmm,” was the reply as the man behind the desk tried out his bacon.

The Captain moved on to poke a finger at the Island of Malta. “The Malta Command is here. Really, just a garrison brigade under your direct authority. As you know officers are in short supply.”

“Good troops are they?” asked the Field Marshall trying some of his tea again.

“Not really,” commented the Captain with a shake of his head. “They would likely be better at acting as police in Jerusalem than trying to keep Malta.”

“Hmmmmmm,” said the Field Marshall thoughtfully. The Captain wondered if the man was thinking about his command or just thinking about his tea.

“Now this is the Province of El Iskandariya,” stated the Captain. “Also known as Alexandria. This is where your ships are stationed.”

“The 1st Submarine Squadron is under Commander Ingram, a man known for his skill are hunting down cargo ships, and has two Submarine Flotillas. Both contain Triton-Class, or T-Class, submarines.”

VqSw3g3M_o.jpg

“It was designed for long patrols in the Pacific so it’s not that bad a design,” he added with a almost hopeful sounding voice.

He waited to see if the Field Marshall had anything to say but the man was too busy trying to make a sandwich out of his leftover toast, eggs, sausage, and mushrooms.

“And last is the Mediterranean Fleet,” he said tapping a finger on the port of Alexandria again.

EV6zqMuU_o.jpg

“Admiral Horton is in charge. His Flagship is HMS Courageous. One of the two Courageous-Class Carriers in the Fleet. The other is the HMS Glorious. Both have two wings of Swordfish.”

The Field Marshall just chewed and chewed.

The Captain kept in a sigh and continued. “It also contains the HMS Queen Elizabeth, the HMS Barham, the HMS Valiant, the HMS Malaya, the HMS Warspite and the HMS Revenge. Which are all battleships from the Great War.”

The Field Marshall made a noise that sounded like “BBAAAHHH”. Was that approval or disgust?

The Captain just shrugged to himself and added, “Then there are the Kent-Class Heavy Cruisers, the HMS Devonshire, the HMS London, the HMS Shrophire, the HMS Sussex and the HMS Exeter. There are also the Caledon-Class Light Cruisers, the HMS Coventry, the HMS Curlew, the HMS Delhi, the HMS Despatch, and the HMS Durban. Though we do also have a Leander-Class Light Cruiser the HMS Arethusa.”

The Captain stopped to see if the Field Marshall was reacting to his little lecture. Or even listening. It was hard to tell. The man was looking towards the Captain and sipping the last of the tea with the remains of his breakfast before him. But was he here in the present or still in the trenches trapped in the past memories?

“Then there are the destroyers. One Flotilla of A-Class. And four Flotillas of V-Class.”

“Yes, yes, all very interesting,” replied the Field Marshall with a smile. “By the way have you hired a manservant for me yet? No? Oh well, get one of the clerks to take this away and bring me a pen and some paper.”

“Sir?”

“Well, you wanted me to ask for more cannon, yes? And maybe some transports to ship them here. And maybe more infantry divisions. And a proper garrison unit for Malta, right?”

“eh…yes sir!”

So we end this chapter with the Field Marshall Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett trying to write a letter to the Ministry of Armaments that would make sense.
 
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The Set Up... New

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So I was thinking....I have run the military with the government totally controlled by the AI. And once ran the government with the military totally controlled by AI. And I have tried half-and-half.

But what happens if I just run ONE Front? What if the other Theaters are AI and are fighting their own Fronts? Demanding their own units and focused totally on what is happening there. What happens when I have only my Front to worry about? And the government is also run by AIs, with their own goals and problems?

So...

- The UK's government and MOST of their military have had their AIs turned on.
- I will, sometimes, have to make decisions for the government because it can't sometimes - see my Spanish AAR.
- I will also, sometimes, ask it to build some units for me and also remind it to make convoys.
- But besides that I will be having fun in the Middle-East and likely getting my butt kicked! BBBAAAAHHH!!!!

PS - My old game was downloaded from Amazon around 2015? It was modded, copied, and finally was replaced by a Steam version last night. May it Rest In Peace. With this new version I hope it won't break. I just have to make sure it does not update when I don't want it to.
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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“As you know sir you are here in Al Qahira,”
I fear we have begun with a massive assumption that we will not soon recover from.
Under your authority is the Middle-East Command, the Malta Command, the Mediterranean Fleet, the 1st Submarine Squadron, and the Middle-East Air Command.”
Good to know the throat of the empire is in such safe hands.
“Surely they can do that without us watching?” demanded the Field Marshall as he sipped some of his tea.
Even this esteemed man knows that British Palestine was a bad idea.
“We are trying to stop them,” said the Captain slowly.
And this means that yes, there are stupider people in this empire than Meltchett.
The Field Marshall made a noise that sounded like “BBAAAHHH”. Was that approval or disgust?
Arousal, I think sir.
But what happens if I just run ONE Front? What if the other Theaters are AI and are fighting their own Fronts? Demanding their own units and focused totally on what is happening there. What happens when I have only my Front to worry about? And the government is also run by AIs, with their own goals and problems?
Oh sweet christ...
But besides that I will be having fun in the Middle-East and likely getting my butt kicked! BBBAAAAHHH!!!!
It may well be the only front that still sees active fighting in 6 months time...

Excellent first post. Looking forward to more. The world needs more meltchett.
 
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Surt

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Melchett has been promoted, what a nice surprise, wonder what the Great War captains are doing now ...
 
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RustyHunter

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Happy to join in, I did something similar as the Afrika Korps starting in the 1943 bookmark, and it was pretty fun. I had no idea how to run the AI though, so it basically died on the Eastern Front while I pushed all the way to Morocco and the Caucuses. Hopefully the UK can be slightly more competent!

My first question, will the AI actually provide you with more units? If they do, will units overseas just be transferred to your command, and you have to get them to Egypt yourself? Otherwise, will the AI drop of units in Alexandria and then transfer them to you?
 
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Happy to join in, I did something similar as the Afrika Korps starting in the 1943 bookmark, and it was pretty fun. I had no idea how to run the AI though, so it basically died on the Eastern Front while I pushed all the way to Morocco and the Caucuses. Hopefully the UK can be slightly more competent!

My first question, will the AI actually provide you with more units? If they do, will units overseas just be transferred to your command, and you have to get them to Egypt yourself? Otherwise, will the AI drop of units in Alexandria and then transfer them to you?
I have to go into Production, turn off the AI, punch in what I want, push the buttons for the other Theaters also, then turn the AI back on.
 
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RustyHunter

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I have to go into Production, turn off the AI, punch in what I want, push the buttons for the other Theaters also, then turn the AI back on.
I see, at least you're not totally at the AI's mercy!
 
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Chapter Two : Asking For Reinforcements New

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A Gentleman’s War : The Middle-East Command
(HoI3 TFH - UK AAR)
Chapter Two : Asking For Reinforcements


1lAoGaKv_o.jpg
 
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Surt

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I should definitely rewatch Black Adder.

"I had imagined fewer war elephants and more powder factories."
- Melchett(?)
 
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Bullfilter

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I just have to make sure it does not update when I don't want it to.
OK, tuned in. Shouldn’t have to worry about updates to HOI3 ...
 
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nuclearslurpee

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The man was said to be somewhat skilled in the art of warfare as well as a master of logistics. He WAS a member of the ‘Old Guard’ as he had lived through the trench combat of the Great War and there were rumors he was somewhat prejudiced towards modern warfare.
Methinks Marshall "Old Guard" is likely to be off his old gourd.

The New Year’s Party to welcome in 1940

Not even one episode and we've already started the time-travel. Even El Pip cannot possibly beat this record.

“Well,” said the Captain, “the Jews and Muslims keep trying to kill each other.”

“Surely they can do that without us watching?” demanded the Field Marshall as he sipped some of his tea.
Uproarious.

“The 1st Submarine Squadron is under Commander Ingram, a man known for his skill are hunting down cargo ships, and has two Submarine Flotillas. Both contain Triton-Class, or T-Class, submarines.”

VqSw3g3M_o.jpg
I'm fairly certain I say every time I see this picture, that the Triton class is probably the most badass-looking class of submarines ever constructed, though admittedly I have no doubt that the angle here is doing quite a lot of the work.

OK, tuned in. Shouldn’t have to worry about updates to HOI3 ...
You'd be surprised, every so often the Paradox fellows insist on releasing a "security patch" that breaks all the mods. Never be too comfortable...
 
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Not even one episode and we've already started the time-travel. Even El Pip cannot possibly beat this record.
Yes, I was still pissed off about the Japanese AAR and had 1940 on my mind.
 
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Let's get this show on the road, and the Field Marshall's moustache waxed. Tally ho!
 
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Chapter Three : Redeployment And Settling Down New

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A Gentleman’s War : The Middle-East Command
(HoI3 TFH - UK AAR)
Chapter Three : Redeployment And Settling Down

bQ54iYqk_o.jpg

Field Marshall Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett stepped out of his office around 9:30 AM with a letter he had written for the Ministry of Armaments.

“Captain!” he shouted. “Oh, there you are Malek. Here is the request. Send it right away. I bet we’re not the only ones asking for reinforcements from London.”

“Yes sir,” said Malek as he carefully took the letter to his desk to make sure the address was correct, that it was stamped with a highest priority stamp, and then he handed it over to one of the clerks.

“Make sure this goes out in the earliest mail poach,” he ordered.

As he walked back to the Field Marshall’s office he found himself passing the man who was on his way towards the building’s front doors.

“Sir?”

BJYd4JWO_o.jpg

“Off to have lunch!” stated the Field Marshall. He had put on his heavy overcoat and had gotten a swagger stick from somewhere.

The Captain assumed when the Field Marshall said lunch he meant ‘liquid’ lunch.

“Sir,” said the Captain, trying to keep up with the fast moving man, “it will be noon soon. You’ll boil to death in that outfit. Maybe leave that coat behind?”

“What?” exclaimed the Field Marshall as he reached the doorway. “And go outside NOT in full uniform? That’s like a civilian going to work without a proper umbrella. Bad form, Captain. BBBAAAD form!”

“But sir,” replied the Captain. “We need to pass on orders to the units. For example do you wish to redeploy them?”

“Yes, yes,” said the Field Marshall as he continued to march towards the front doors, “Send the infantry to Alexandria. They can wait for their big guns there. And send the bombers there too. Those airbases are closer to the Italians then Jerusalem is!”

The Guards at the doorway saluted the man as he exited the building and went off into the streets of Al Qahira.

GrkKpwCN_o.jpg

Captain went to use the wireless to give the Middle-East Command and the Middle-East Air Command their orders. The bombers would be in their new home before the end of the day. The infantry would take a little longer.

It was some time after 1 PM when the Field Marshall returned. His face was sweating, his nose was red, but he seemed pleased.

498vcPCS_o.jpg

“Captain! Oh, there you are. I found a lovely place that had whiskery barrels as chairs. Horrible whiskey of course. But you know the old saying…quantity has a quality all its own.”

The Captain nodded and watched as the Field Marshall seemed to sway back and forth as he made his way towards his office.

“Took hours to find, of course,” added the man. “First I looked for a proper pub. An English pub. Then started looking for any pub. Even would have tried a Irish pub. Finally found the whiskey place by following some Yankees. Easy to follow, really, so loud. Do you notice how loud Americans are when they go aboard?”

The Captain followed the Field Marshall as he continued to babble.

“It is amazing how hot is it outside. I mean it’s winter and yet there isn’t a cloud in the sky. Who would have thought the desert could be so bloody hot? You could boil water out there.”

The Field Marshall finally made it to his office door without falling over. He tapped the Captain’s chest with the swagger stick and said, “Tea at 4, of course, Captain. Make it strong. Oh…and maybe bring me some water too.”

The Field Marshall then, carefully closed his door, and wasn’t seen till tea time.

As the Captain entered with the tea tray he noticed the Field Marshall had his head in his hands. So, of course, he made sure to slam the door shut. Very loudly.

“Wot?” said the Field Marshall as he sat up. “Oh, its you Captain. Ah, yes, good English tea. Is that goat milk again?”

“No sir,” replied the Captain as he placed the tray onto the desk. “Condensed milk. One of the cooks had a can of it and we thought you might prefer that.”

“We’ll see,” remarked the Field Marshall as he picked up the glass of water from the tray and drained it in one go. “Hummm…never thought I would say this but…water can be refreshing.”

“Yes sir,” said the Captain. “By the way sent off your instructions to the infantry and air units.”

“What?” said the Field Marshall looking confused. “Oh yes. Anyway, just a reminder, I will be having my dinner about 7 PM. Also, I need a manservant soon. Or the address of a proper barber. Can’t keep cutting my own chin hairs forever. Not good form!”

“Yes sir,” said Malek with a silent sigh. “Milk sir? And how many lumps? Anything else?” He handed the finished product to his superior.

“No, no,” remarked the Field Marshall as he looked over his cuppa. “Hmmm…those are real lumps of sugar, yes?”

“Yes sir.”

The Captain left the Field Marshall to his tea and picked it up the tea tray and empty tea pot about an hour later.

The Field Marshall came out of his office around 6 PM.

“Captain! Oh, there you are. I’m going to go get into my dinner jacket. I’ll have the meal served in my quarters. I look forward to seeing what the cooks have made up for me.”

As the Field Marshall walked away the Captain looked at one of the passing clerks and said, “Dinner jacket?”

The young man just shrugged and walked off.

At 7 PM Captain knocked on the Field Marshall’s bedroom door before opening it for the cook. The cook was carrying a covered tray with the dish the cooks had prepared for the Field Marshall while the Captain was carrying a bottle of wine and a glass.

6C55OJz2_o.jpg

“Wonderful!” exclaimed the Field Marshall who had been busy touching up the moustache wax in front of a mirror. “Place it on the desk there. Smells good!”

He took a seat, placed his napkin on his lap, and watched as the cook lifted the lid to show off the mess hall’s creation.

“Looks interesting,” said the Field Marshall as his expression went from hopeful to slightly concerned. “Would that be filets mignons?”

“Roast kid,” replied the cook with a cheerful smile. “With mashed potatoes and gravy.”

“KID?!?!” said the Field Marshall looking alarmed.

“Kid is another name for baby goat,” inserted the Captain before the man had the cooks shot. He dismissed the cook as he opened the bottle of wine and poured the Field Marshall a glass.

“Tastes earthy,” said the Field Marshall as he tried the wine. “French?”

“Kind of,” stated the Captain. “From vineyards in French North Africa.”

“I assume these potatoes are also from around here?” said the Field Marshall as he started to cut into his roast baby goat. Goat, even baby goat, was somewhat tough and he was having a rough time at it.

“Don’t know sir,” remarked the Captain. “The potatoes and gravy were both instant. They could be from anywhere and anytime. Have a good meal sir.”

The Captain came back about an hour later to find the Field Marshall in a somewhat grumpy mood.

One of the cooks took away the remains of the meal as the Captain helped the man prepare for bed.

The Field Marshall was not in the mood to sleep. Even with his teddy bear tugged in the bed with him the Field Marshall was not willing to go to retire for the evening.

First the Captain had to check under the bed for ‘dirty Huns’.

Then he had to bring the Field Marshall a glass of water.

Then he had to insure the man that his moustache net was on straight.

Only then did the Field Marshall Melchett settle down and go to sleep.

And so Field Marshall Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett’s first day in North Africa came to an end.
 
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Well...it could have gone worse.
 
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This is just remarkable. War as it should be, replete with opportunities. Did he bring his favourite carrier pigeon? And is there going to be a concert party? Very much looking forward to seeing this develop.

First the Captain had to check under the bed for ‘dirty Huns’.
Filthy hun weasels, fighting their dirty underhand war!

Well...it could have gone worse.

Amen, @TheButterflyComposer , amen!
 
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Surt

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Hmm is this going to be one of those worse than real time AAR's (yes you know who i'm thinking of)?
 
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Chapter Four : The Daily Routine - 2.1.1936 To 14.1.1936 New

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A Gentleman’s War : The Middle-East Command
(HoI3 TFH - UK AAR)
Chapter Four : The Daily Routine - 2.1.1936 To 14.1.1936

f2HD43FM_o.jpeg

"I'm eating WHAT now?"​

The first part of the month was a chore for Captain Timothy Malek as he learned the ins and outs of dealing with the strange beast called Field Marshall Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett.

The man LOVED his daily routine. The Field Marshall would wake up around 7 AM and spend about an hour grooming. He would take a short bath, shave his face, wax his moustache, trim his nose and ear hairs, and pluck his eyebrows. He would even shape and buff his finger nails.

He enjoyed the traditional British breakfast around 8 AM. In other words a meal served cold, with plenty of meat and animal byproducts, and hot tea.

The Captain would bring him the daily newspaper but noticed that the Field Marshall only read the funnies, some of the articles on fashion, and anything that had to do with him.

By 9 AM the Field Marshall would also go over all the communiques from London but seemed bored by much of it. For example, when a announcement came that Turkey was aligning itself towards the Soviet Union, the Field Marshall couldn’t even pretend to care.

“Bloody Russians,” said the man on reading the report. “Abandoned us during the Great War. Selfish nutters. Killed their Royal Family, made a boring flag, and started killing themselves. Never trust a Slav Captain!”

And any news out of Ethiopia that dealt with their war with the Italians barely raised an eyebrow.

VeAX3W9H_o.jpg

“You know, I have a theory about the Italians. I think the Italians want to be just like the English,” was all he said with a knowing nod of his head. “They joined us in the Great War you know. Switched sides. Poor things. Just wanted somebody to pay them some attention. That’s what this war is about. They just want to be noticed. The pasta eating twits.”

By noon the Field Marshall would give off a couple of orders then spend a few hours visiting some bars. It seemed he visited different ones every day trying to find one he liked. None of them ever matched his standards but he always seemed to get drunk by the time he returned to the HQ.

He would, normally, be back by 1 or 2 PM and spend the next few hours recovering from a hangover. By 4 PM he would have his hot tea, sometimes with water to help with his throbbing head, and maybe a sandwich or a pastry.

Of course he always complained about the food. “There isn’t enough butter in this sandwich!” “What IS this in the pastry?” “Is this instant tea?” “Was the hot water brought to the tea pot as it should have been?” “My Lord. This is the WRONG fork for eating cake! Wait…where did you get the PROPER sugar for this type of cake?”

By 6 PM he would get ready for dinner and have it by 7 PM. He always wore his red dining jacket and always seemed hopeful at first. The cooks tried their best to experiment on what the man might enjoy but with mixed results.

p1tqda8P_o.jpg

For example one day they served him roast squab with bacon and grapes. But when the Field Marshall realized what they had brought him the poor man curled up under the table and started to sob. It took hours to calm him down and get him ready for bed.

On the other hand he seemed to like figs and desserts with figs in them. Something about helping him stay regular.

Bedtime was around 8 or 9 PM depending on the man’s mood.

Of course he continued to demand that a Butler, manservant, or boy be hired to wait on him properly. “I can’t keep grooming myself,” he complained. “A proper gentleman never grooms himself. He gets others to groom him. Scandal!”

As for the rest of the world things seemed to move on as they normally did.

On the 6th three members of the government were replaced by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. Not only was the Chief of Army and the Minister of Security tossed out the door but so had The Right Honourable Neville Chamberlain FRS. He was replaced by Sir John Simon.

“Good chap,” replied the Field Marshall on hearing this news. “Shouldn’t be insulted by my letter. Might find the muffin story funny. Nobody likes Neville. The lovey dovey peace loving git.”

“Muffin story, sir?” replied the Captain.

The Field Marshall just tapped the side of his nose and said with a smile, “BERREEHH!”

PnUoLYQG_o.jpg

The infantry, by the 11th, were approaching Alexandria. Their march had been no walk in the park. In fact they had seen few parks on their journey. While the regions around the cities could supply them with tins of bread, digestive biscuits, fresh fruit, and loose leaf tea there had been that bad spot in between Jerusalem and Alexandria. Where they had been lucky to find muddy water for their tea.

4J8SDRAu_o.jpg

By the next day they made it to the port where they could finally take proper bubble baths and get a decent shave at a barber. Or at least the officers could. The enlisted men had to cut off any facial hair with gritty mass produced soap and dull straight razors. And sometimes the soldiers could have a quick shower between training and more training to clean off the dust and sweat.

At least by the evening of the 14th of January the Captain was starting to get an idea on how to handle the Field Marshall. Now it was time to start putting the Middle-East Theater into some kind of order. After putting the Field Marshall to bed Captain Timothy Malek went to his own desk, pulled out a map of the Mediterranean, and started to take some notes.
 
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Hmm is this going to be one of those worse than real time AAR's (yes you know who i'm thinking of)?
I assume by "worse than" you mean "faster than", as of course any AAR which can progress in slower-than-real time is naturally a majestic creature and is far better for the time it keeps.

We need look no further for proof of this axiom than Talking Turkey, which has slowed down as it has aged and not coincidentally has improved in quality (from an already high standard, we must grant) over the same period.

By 9 AM the Field Marshall would also go over all the communiques from London but seemed bored by much of it. For example, when a announcement came that Turkey was aligning itself towards the Soviet Union, the Field Marshall couldn’t even pretend to care.
A nice bit of meta self-awareness.

At least by the evening of the 14th of January the Captain was starting to get an idea on how to handle the Field Marshall. Now it was time to start putting the Middle-East Theater into some kind of order. After putting the Field Marshall to bed Captain Timothy Malek went to his own desk, pulled out a map of the Mediterranean, and started to take some notes.
He had better be taking notes on the Marshall's writing style and signature, both essential topics for the forging of orders which will ultimately be necessary to actually set the theater into any proper sort of order.
 
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