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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Kurt_Steiner

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Feb 12, 2005
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June 21th, 2005, Barcelona (1)

End of April - May 5th


Since the end of April, Spain had been a big mess. Pressed with more urgent matters, no one had bothered about them. Urquhart was focusing on the invasion of the Union of Britain, Berlin and St. Petersbourg in the crossing of the Rhine and Clooney was strsangely apathetic now that the landings in Englad were succesful and the Enetnte armies were marching South.

Since the end of April there had been a twin administation in Spain. Once, based around Field Marshal Enric Querol and General Saavedra in Barcelona, and the other one in Madrid, with Dueñas. However, this situation was broken around May 5th. Dueñas was ruling in Madrid with the hellp of an anarchist leader, Wenceslao Mera. Since the very beginning, Dueñas's chief of staff, colonel Cipriano Casado, was in pay of Ottawa. His link with the Mi5 was an agent called Noel Howard.

Bit by bit Howard was able to persuade Casado that Mera was behind another coup, this time an anarchist one, and he began to move to destroy the coup before it was born. If that coup ever existed is something that only Howard could say.

While Casado mobilized some units of the garrison, some other reamined quartered, not knowing what was going on. Ironically, was the CNT central zone defense committee leaders Manuel Val and Eduardo Salgado learned that their comrade Mera was preparing a coup, they decided to move first to arrest him to avoid what they considered an awful event that only could bring doom to the new born Republic.

Thus, when Casado heard that CNT troops were on the streets of Madrid, he rushed to inform Dueñas and to order the troops to open fire against hte anarchist "traitors", but not in this order, to be precise.
 
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Asalto

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Someone must really love the smell of coup in Catalan morning? Altough those anarchist fellas obviously lacked real organization for successful putsch. CoUpS, cOuPs everywhere!
 

Kurt_Steiner

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The coup is taking place in Madrid, which is far away from Catalonia.
 

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The coup is taking place in Madrid, which is far away from Catalonia.
My bad, got confused by location in the head of update. Still, those coups are getting way too common out there, they are kinda losing their charm. Soon they'll be getting almost as boring as local elections.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Feb 12, 2005
19.814
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June 21th, 2005, Madrid (2)

May 5th-11th


What followed was, simply, the explosion of a mess that the Canadian intelligence had been nurturing for a few months but, in the end, fell short of the expectations created. The Navy was calm under Admiral Manuel Buiza, and thus remained during the strange events of Madrid. The only trouble came when Buiza replaced an Army officer, colonel Miguel Galán, a well-known hardliner of the old regime that the old government had send to keep the fleet under watch. Fearing that Galán might "object" his replacement, Buiza ordered his arrest. The too trigger-happy and nervous soldiers send to arrest Galán simply solved the question by firing a hail of bullets against the unlucky officer when he made something that resembled a threatening move. Just in case, Buiza ordered the arerst of 200 people of Cartagena that were considered dangerous for his Syndicalist past.

Thus began and ended the crisis in the Spanish fleet.

In Madrid, thnigs were slightly different. The first elements of the 70th (Anarchist) Brigade had been meet by Casado's soldiers hwn the brigade moved to occupy the key buildings of Madrid. They did so in spite of the resistance found along the way and, once they were in possesion of the buildings, waited for the next move. Suddenly, two divisions commanded by Socialist officers, were ordered by Casado to occupy the center of Madrid and protect it from the Anarchist forces.

Then General Dueñas became aware of what was going on. It was 13.15, fouor hours after the mess began. For starters, he contacted the two divisions and ordered them to surround the buildings occupied by the 70th Brigade and wait then for more instructions. Then, he went to Casado's desk and arrested him. What followed too place in Barcelona, when Querol organized a reshuffle of the government, which was purged of any Socialist or Anarchist ministers that it contained. By the last hours of May 5th, any pretension that the Spanish government had any link with the Syndicalist past was over.

As soon this was known, a small "civil war" erupted in Spain. The fight only took place in Madrid when two divisions lead by Syndicalist officers tried to stage a counter-coup, which led to six days of fighting in the city until the Syndicalist forces surrendered. Those six days caused 2,000 casualties in both sides and was to lead, eventually, after the end of the war, to a massive purge of any Syndicalist element in Spain. Ironically, the most Syndicalist force, the XXI Army Corps, which was in Valencia in those days, remained fiercely loyal to the new government, and was to be rewarded with a general amnesty for all its members after the end of the war.

https://postimg.org/image/xmqzhakw1/
 

Asalto

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I'd say Spain is in need of large US-Canadian peacekeeper contingent? Otherwise this mess will go on forever.
 
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El Pip

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The problem with sending in peace keepers is who to side with? Frankly I'm getting confused with the coup, counter-coup and wheels within wheels. Wait for it to calm down a bit first so you can actually pick a side that will last longer than a few hours.
 
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Kurt_Steiner

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Now FU is not giving a damn about Spain as London is at hand and the time of the reckoning so close. If anything, he might remember Gibraltar from time to time....

However, there is Clooney. Good old George doesn't like a bit having Generals running the business anywhere. Also, the messy situation is another reason for him to be more than suspicious about their capabilities, so you could bet that he's going to go for some kind of intervention in Spain.

Is FU going to join his ally in this? Who knows... Strategically speaking, Spain is higly interesting, so it cannot be ignored. However, no one knows what is going on.

However, you should keep in mind something: the Spaniards are forgetting to take care of someone... in this case, a few someones...
 

Kurt_Steiner

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June 21th, 2005, Madrid (2)

May 11th . June 21th


Sine the coup Spain remained calm for a few weeks, when the miltiary Junta issed a convocation of all citizens to a pleibiscite during which the Spaniards would ratify a candidate, proposed by the Chief of Staff and by the General Director of the Spanish Police, acting General Jaime Cárdenas, of the Military Police Corps., and who would become the President of Spain for an eight-year term. Should the people refuse the Junta' chosen candidate, the military would relinquish political control to the civilians, convoking the following year presidential and parliamentary democratic elections, and thus putting an end to the military government. A few days later, the Junta passed a law allowing the creation of political parties and another law allowing the opening of national registers of voters.

To this, Clooney say "no way, José" while Urquhart remained silently mortified by Clooney's attitude. According the US president, that the military imposed a candiadte of their own was hardly democracy and hardly acceptable. This was rendered a smooth point when the "NO" won with 55.99% of the votes, against 44.01% of the votes. Thus presidential and legislative elections were called for the next year.

"Three months", Clooney spoke.

And there were General Elections in Spain.
 

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That Clooney lad is way too principled for usual US president. Usually such facade would be totally sufficient for acquirement of US military aid and similar candies.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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You know... too much time going on to parties with Susan Sarandon takes a toll on your spirit... :D
 

Kurt_Steiner

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June 21th-30th, Union of Britain.

The renewal of the Entente offensive reached the outskirsts of Manchester even before the own Entente generals were capable of understanding the level of success of his own offensive. Sixty Entente divisions overran the enemy resistance: from the 45 divisions, including reserve formations and militias, that the Union of Britain mustered against the enemy, just 34 survived the onslaught when some kind of defensive line was formed around Lincoln on June 24th.

Manchester lasted for hardly four days among scenes of chaos as the remnants of the Syndicalist forces fought bitterley to the last bullet while the forces loyal to the Beckett's government withdrew in face of the Entente advance or, simply, changed sides and joined the fight against the Syndicalist forces.

When Manchester was finally declared a "free city" by Ottawa, the rest of England was part of the so-called Beckett's government, the one that Urquhart did not bother even to notice, the one that could not refuse an offer that Clooney made them on June 30th.
 

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C'est la guerre...
 

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That sounds ominous. I fear Urquhart may have to deal with this troublesome Clooney at some point.
 
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Kurt_Steiner

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July 1st, 2005, Qing Empire

Japan had been uncannily calm for the last months. Suddenly, from being on the verge of a war with the Republic of China, Tokio had ceased its aggresive policies towards its neighbours and remained quiet since then. Omniously, Vietnam, Korea, the Qing and the RoC had joined, eventually, this peace.

It all began, all the sudden, in the Qing Empire. The emperor and his government had been mustering their forces for a more than probable showdown against Japan or (better said, and) the RoC. This had caused the country to shit to a de facto war economoy, that had not brought all the benefits of such a measure but all the troubles of it. Month after month the discontent had kept growing among the displeased Qing citizens and, worrysome, even among the middle class and some small sectors of the nobility.

Thus, when a Levée en masse was attempted by the government, the popularreaction led a week of disturbance and strikes that frigthened the government and the emperor. The lack of reaction (the swift restoration of peace and order was done qite halfheaterdly) gave the tip to many that the government was weak and there was the moment to push for a reform. However, the more extremist reformers, tired of hearing promises of reform that never were fulfilled, and using the discontent among the workers (Government corruption was unrestrained, and the Emperor had frequently disregarded the Parliaments), began a series of massive strikes in the capital.

Thus, on July 1st, 50,000 workers went on strike in all the Qing Empire.

 

Kurt_Steiner

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That sounds ominous. I fear Urquhart may have to deal with this troublesome Clooney at some point.
Apparently, Sir Humphrey the Younger spent a few days watching the Padrino saga...

C'est la guerre...
You may probably think that, but Mr. Urquhart could not comment on that...
 

Kurt_Steiner

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July 1st, 2005, Sedan

It had worked. General Sergei Sokolov stared in sheer bewilderment as the Panzer raced through Sedan and further away. It seemed as if the French, disregarding their ideology, had some infaution about being trashed there, over and over again.

Amazingly, it all had started in Spain. Suddenly, the Spaniards had put an end to the endless quarrrell among themselves, had send the few Syndicalist leaders either to jail or to a unmarked grave, and, all of the sudden, massed their armies at the Pyrenees and invaded France.

Typical Mediterranean madness, Sokolov thought. Then, a T-80 tank, covered with soldiers that were singing Cossacks songs at the top of their lungs, raced close to Sokolov. "Oh, well.... madness everywhere".

it all started when the Spanish right wing crossed the Pyrenean passes to the northward of Maya towards the Nivelle. Marshal Sabatier's army (about 79,000 men), in three entrenched lines, stretched from the sea in front of Saint-Jean-de-Luz along commanding ground to Amotz and thence, behind the river, to Mont Mondarrain near the Nive.

After a heavy cannonade, on 25 June, Marshall Querol attacked with 50,000 men and 100 tanks the French centre near Amotz, where, after hard fighting, it swept away the second line there opposed to it, cutting Sabatier's army in two. The French right then fell back to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the left towards points on the Nive. It was now late and the Spanish, after moving a few miles down both banks of the Nivelle, bivouacked, while Sabatier, taking advantage of the respite, withdrew in the night to Bayonne. The Spanish loss during the Battle of Nivelle was about 2,700; that of the French 4,000, 51 tanks, and all their magazines. The next day Querol closed in upon Bayonne.

 

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You really can't describe this with anything else but madness.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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There's a method in this madness, and an order in this chaos.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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July 10nd, 2005, Bayonne

After a few days of comparative inaction, though during it the French were driven from the bridges at Urdains and Cambo-les-Bains and Querol improved the supply lines. The Spanish marshal, who in his cramped position between the sea and the Nive could not use his armored units effectively, or interfere with the French supplies coming through Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, determined to occupy the right as well as the left bank of the Nive. However, he could not pass to that bank with his whole force while Sabatier held Bayonne, without exposing his own communications through Irún.

Therefore, on July 5, after making a demonstration elsewhere, he effected the passage with a portion of his force only. His losses wereslight, and thence he pushed down the river towards Villefranque, where Sabatier barred his way across the road to Bayonne. The Spanish army was then divided into two portions by the Nive; and Sabatier from Bayonne at once took advantage of his central position to attack it with all his available force, first on the left bank and then on the right.

On the morning of July 6 Sabatier pushed, with 6,000 men and 40 tank, upon the enemy left flank, protected by 3,000 men and 24 tanks which held a position from the sea 4.8 km south of Biarritz. Desperate fighting ensued, but fortunately for the Spanish, owing to the intersected ground, Sabatier was compelled to advance slowly, and in the end, Querol coming up with reinforcements from the right bank, forced the French to withdraw.

On 8 and 9 July there were less sevdere engagements, and finally on 10July Sabatier with 35,000 men made a vehement attack up the right bank of the Nive, defender by 14,000 Spaniards, who occupied some heights from Villefranque past Saint-Pierre to Viex Mouguerre. The conflict about Saint-Pierre was very bloody; but for hours the Sparniards maintained their ground, and finally repulsed the French before reinforcements arrived to their aid. The losses in the four days' fighting in the battles before Bayonne (or battles of the Nive) were about 5,000 Spaniards and 7,000 French.

On the North, the German and Russian Hammers were ready to fall.

Three Army Groups massed against the French positions.The Army Group C, deployed from the Swiss border to Luxembourg, with 900.000 men; The Army Group B, covering from Luxembourg to Brusels with 300,00 men and the Army Group A, about 425,000 strong, extended its lines from Brussels to the sea.

In front of them, the Syndicalist forces hardly mustered 600,000 men. However, If the French armies were weak in numbers, they were now again operating in a friendly country, able to find food almost everywhere and had easy lines of communication. With luck, if the Army of North of Italy led by General Charles Francoise, could withdraw to the Alps and establish a defensive line there, perhaps Francoise could send 60,000 men to the North to reinforce the troops there.
 
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