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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Kurt_Steiner

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10th-20th July, 2005, North of France

The Army Group B offensive wasted no time and, on 12 July, the Panzers rolled through the streets of Nancy and moved rapidly up the valley of the Moselle, to keep the communication lines open with vanguard of the Russian advanced guard (Army Group C) near La Rothiére on the afternoon 15 July.

On 19 July, General Jerome Garris, the recently appointed CO of the whole Western Front, caught up with the Germans and attacked. The sudden offensiver caught the Germans by surprise were surprised at Brienne, loosing a lot of equipment in the hurried withdrawal. The Army Group B fell back a few miles next morning to a strong position covering the exits from the Bar-sur-Aube defile. There they were joined by the Russian reinforcements and together they decided to accept battle, as retreat was not an option. About noon on 20 July, Garris engaged them at La Rothiere; however, the French artillery, the mainstay of Garris' whole system of warfare, was almost useless because of the enemy air attacks, that also straffed the French columns, which lost their direction and many were severely handled by the enemy fighter-bombers. At nightfall the fighting ceased and Garris retired to Lesmont, and thence to Troyes, leaving behind a small screen of forces to observe the enemy.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Feb 12, 2005
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25th - 30th July, London

One of the reasons that added further hatred in Francis Urquhart to the Beckett's government was the promise made the General Beckett, head of hte provisional government, promised that after the end of the war the British people could choose its form of government through a referendum. And, to add salt to the injury, Cloney wholeheartedly supported the idea. Thus, Urquhart had to smile and take it, but, in his nightmares, he saw a still harlf Syndicalist Britain voting in favour of turning the country into a Republic.

However, the war had to be won first. On 28th July, an armistice between the Entente and the Provisional Government of "Greatr Britain" was signed. The war was over in the British Isles. Two days later, a triumphant Francis Urquhart visited the city, being cheered enthusiastically by the peolpe gathered in the streets to greet the arrival of the liberator force.

It was there, just when he came acorss the former houses of the Parliament, which, amazingly, were still there, he had an idea about the "referendum" that made him to smile broadly.​

 

El Pip

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I always had faith in Urquhart. No incompetent actor would have a hope of outmanoeuvring him.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Feb 12, 2005
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:D:D:D:D:D:D

Well, Urquhart has still a lot to do, methinks
 

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
19.814
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2nd-21st August, North of France

On August 2, Army Group B resumed his offensive. While the Russian generals had suddenly came under the spell of an extraordinary lethargy, the German counterparts were eager for action and, with the Kaiser demanding action, the Imperial Armed Forces were more than happy to follow the instructions of his Warlord.

That day the German line of operations was transfered to the valley of the Marne; A Russian armoured corps, whose commander, Lt. General Putinosvky, was not under that lethargic spell, was assigned to cover the German left and maintain communication with the Army Group C.

General von Guderian und zu Rommel, commander of the bulk of the armoured forces of Army Group B, advanced from Vitry along the roads leading down the valley of the Marne. The HQ of the Army Group was on the night of 7/8 August was at Sézanne, and the rest of his army were distributed in four corps at or near Épernay, Montmirall and Étoges, with reinforcements on their way to join them.

It was then when Garris attacked.

Garris surprised them: he decimated Lieutenant General Olssufiev's Russian IX Corps at Champaubert (10 August). This placed his army between the German vanguard and his main body. Garry turned his attention to the vanguard and defeated Generals Sacken-Osten and Yorck at Montmirall on August 11, and attacked and defeated them again, two days later, at Chateau-Thierry.

Then Garris then turned on Guderian and on August 16 and defeated him at Vauchamps, forcing him to withdraw towards Vertus. These defeats compelled the retreat of the whole invading armies. Garris kept attacking the Army Group A on their flacks, first a at Mormant (19 August), and then at Méry (21 August). He inflicted such heavy punishment upon his adversaries that they fell back precipitately to Bar-sur-Aube.

Perhaps, some people said then, if Garris had been in command of the rench armed forces since the beginning of the war, the grognards would have having dinner at St. Petersburg. However, by then von Guderian and zu Rommel was ready to counter-attack.
 
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Kurt_Steiner

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Feb 12, 2005
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1st -20th September, North of France

In the meantime, Guderian had rallied and reorganized his armies and was driving his scattered forces and was driving Generals Viesse and Gerard before him. Garris counter-marched his main force and fell upon Guderian's left and drove him back upon Soissons. This place had been held by a French garrison that had capitulated just twenty-four hours beforehand, a fact of which Garris was unaware, so Guderian could withdraw with easy, marching northwards to rejoin the rest of the Russo-German Armies at Laon. There, the reinforcements brought the forces at his disposal up to over 190,000 men.

On 7 September Garris fell upon the advance guard of this force at Craonne and drove it back upon Laon, where Garris attacked on 9 Setember, but he was defeated, heavy losses (25% of his force was destroyed in the fight, 6.500 men in all). Thus, Garris retreated to Soissons. On hearing tha Rheims had fallen to the Germans, Garris counter-marched again and, moving around Guderian flank and fell upon Rheims, which he retook on 13 September.

This move forced Army Group A, the southern force, to advance towards Rheims, but his vanguard was intercepted by Garris at Arcis-sur Aube, on 20 September, where two French mechanized divisions attacked one Austrian armoured division and two Russian mechanized brigades.The battle lasted for two days of vicious and mad fighting, but the arrival of Russian and German reinforcements tipped the balanceofthe fight. Evern if Garris wasreinforced with two brigades, he could do little in front of the enemy force, that, by the, had two army cops deployed against him. This forced the issue and while French losses were less than the Austrians (3,000 versus 4,000), Garris was forced to withdraw eastwards and General Anton Schwarzenberg and his Army Group A was free to advance west.

Meanwhile, in the south of France, the Spanish armies were again on the march.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Feb 12, 2005
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1st -20th September, South of France

Since the end of June the Spanish and the French armies had been outmanouvering each other as the Spaniards tried to flank the enemy lines and had Bordeaux surrounded. Somehow, it seemed a particular reenaction of the "Race to the Sea" battles that saw the beginning of the Great War. These actions took place until the end of September, when the frontline extended from Bordeaux to Toulouse.

By then, Urquhart, weary of the Spanish lack of success, had General Arthur Beresford's III Corps on their way to Spain to help with the nextr offensive, followed by Sir Henry Hill's VI Corps a few weeks later. Both corps were ready to join action by early October and took part of the Spanish offensive against Toulouse.

 

Kurt_Steiner

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Feb 12, 2005
19.814
579
20th September, North of France

After some many weeks of fighting, the RussoGerman armies had hardly gained any ground. The Czar and the Kaiser still hoped to bring the French to battle against their combined forces. However, after Arcis-sur-Aube, Garris realised that he could no longer continue with his current strategy of defeating the enemy armies in detail and decided to change his tactics.

He decided to move eastward to Saint-Dizier, rally what garrisons and territorial units he could find, and raise the whole country against the invaders. He had actually started on the execution of this plan, when Kaiser Friederich Wilhem, fearing that the Spanish armies could finally break the front in Tolouse and march north, pressed the generals to march to Paris and let Garris to try to stop them.

The three Army groups moved towards Paris at once, simply outmanovering Garris, who had not enough forces to cover the front. Thus, as the frontline came closer to Paris and it became also shorter, he was able to muster more forces to defend them, but the enemy was able to concentrate more units in any point of their liking. Thus, after four days of advance, the vanguard of the Russian and German forces were at the gates of Paris.

It took two days of vicious fighting for the RussoGerman to reach Montmatre, but, on October 2, Garris contacted to General von Guderian und zu Rommel. and reached a secret agreement with him. Shortly afterwards, he surrendered Paris to the armies of the Kaiser and the Czar. Outraged, Huppert tried to gather as many forces as he was able, but, as he saw that the last French Syndicalist forces followed Garris' orders and surrendered, he prepared to run away. However, he could not go too far away as he was caught by German soldiers outside Paris on the following day.

On October 1st, the French forces that were trapped in Italy had surrendered at Caserta.Hardly six hours later,National French forces landed at Marseille and Toulon simultaneously. After five hours of heavy figthing, the cities were in National French hands. Two thousand National French died on the batttles, and 11,000 Syndicalist soldiers sere taken prisoners. On October 4th, the French forces in the South of France surrendered too to a saddened Field Marshall Querol, who had hoped he would be marching next to Paris.

However, Tucker was nowhere to be seen.

The war was over.
 
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El Pip

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This war is over. I doubt Urquhart's plans for the future involve a great deal of peace, love and understanding.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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This war is over. I doubt Urquhart's plans for the future involve a great deal of peace, love and understanding.
Yesterday I got hold of a copy of "House of Cards", by Michael Dobbs, so you're right. FU is going to go for peace, love, understanding and cute pets.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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October 1st, London

The end of the war was resulting something even more thrilling for Francis Urquhart. The reconstruction of the reconquered areas proved to be a taks worth of his might and cunning, and he was enjoing it. He had been able become the undisputed ruler of the restored British Empire (as the Crown was happy with its role as just a simple figurehead) and, using the Reconstruction issue, to become the de facto Prime Minister of the United Kingdom under the disguise of the "Provisional Government".

It was a quite delicate matter as, in fact, the whole British isles were being under militar occupation and that had to be dealt in such a way to avoid the British citizens to notice that, after all, the newcomers were looking at them with a clear distrust for his long Sindicalist past. In fact, this situation delighted Urquhart because it simply reinforced his powers.

Of course, it was the also delicate issue of the Ulster, but, for now, it had to rest, as Urquhart knew that Washington would not accept "returning to old imperialist attitudes". They prefered their own "modern" ones, of course, FU chuckled inwardly. However, having the US army in Scotland and Wales was less pleasant, as the United Kingdom had been divided in two occupations zones to the changrin of many people in Canada and Britain, specially to Urquhart. Hoewver, for a while, they had to put with it.

However, a pressing question had to be dealt with first.
 

El Pip

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Reassuring to see that American hypocrisy over imperialism is the one universal constant. I'm sure Urquhart is up to the challenge of seeing such an unpleasant attitude justly punished.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Well, you can be sure of two things, Pip.

FU is going to deal with the USA in the most proper and suitable way for him. And I, the demigod of this AAR, is just too happy to provide him with some amusing situations to develop his creative skills...
 

Kurt_Steiner

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October 10th, London

Once back in Britain, the leaders of the Empire found themselves at a loss ofwhat todo next, in expite of the dozens of plans for how to organize the country. Most of the schemes (the more "modern" were drawn up in the 1990s), were outdated and too optimistic about the degree of destruction caused by the fall of the Syndicalistic Regime. For instance, London had been In fact, Britain was devastated during the coup. Hundreds of thousands were homeless. A great part of the industrial capacity and transport infrastructure was destroyed or heavily damaged and now Canada and the United states had to send food and essentials from their shores to help the reemerging United Kingdom.

It was clear that the Urquhart plan of a smooth return for the King and the reestablishment of the pre-revolutionary status quo was born dead. And then there was the question of de-Syndicalizing Britain.

Meanwhile, many among theCanadianleadership feared that tbe Canadian government (or even the King) was to end up bogged down in the chaos of reconstruction, thus neglectiing teir duties to Canada, the Empire and the alliance with the United States. Thus, Urquhart had to change his ideas again and replaced the Provisional Goverment with the so-called Reconstruction Cabinet.

Now, after figthing a costily war, came an even more expensive task: the reconstruction of Britain, that may last for several decades.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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October 25th, 2005, Ottawa

An unexpected reshuffle took place in Ottawa. The recently appointed Foreign Secretary, Peter MacKay, died in a car crash. He had been minister for hardly two weeks and his death gave Urquhart a chance to reorganize the cabinet. MacKay was replaced by Jean James Charest, which was an odd move, as Charest was the leader of the Progressive wing of the Canadian Conservative Party and thus deeply hated by Urquhart. The move qas quite obvious: it was aimed at winning the Quebecois simpathies (in fact, it was a way for Urquhart to tell the Quebecoises that they were part of Canada, whether they liked or not). The Liberal Party saw in the reshuffled a way to attack Urquhart claiming that, with the Prime Minister, the Canadian democracy itself had been reduced to a shame that covered a half disguised dictatorship. An amused Uruqhart asked in the Parliament how many dictatorships were having free and fair elections as Canada had.

Of course, the Liberals led by John Manley had to shut up, as the answer was quite clear: elections determined by a small Anglo-Canadian elite (business figures, media tycoons, military leaders, civil servants, etc) and by the omnipresent propaganda of the government that ‘guided’ Canadian democracy in the ‘right’ direction.

Thus, Canada had a compelte owehaul of the Cabinet, with new faces. Only Urquhart remained:

George Osborne - Chancellor of the Exchequer
Jean James Charest – Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Kenneth Clarke – Secretary of State for the Home Department
Chuck Strahl – Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Gordon O'Connor – Secretary of State for Defence
Stephen Dorrell - Secretary of State for Education
Diane Finley – Secretary of State for Employment
Ronalee Ambrose – Secretary of State for the Environment
Andrew Lawaley – Secretary of State for Health
David Emerson – Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
Phillip Hammon – Secretary of State for Transport
 

Kurt_Steiner

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November 1st, 2005, London

If the reshuffle of the Canadian cabinet had been forced by fate upon Urquhart, a bolt from the blue gave him the unxpected chance to deal with the British Isles. As the Reconstruction Cabinet (RC) was formed with a mixture of Canadian from "exiled British" origins and Britons, a problem arose.

The truth was that Liam Fox, the head of the RC, had little saying in the formation of his cabinet and, the little he had, it became an instant shame for him and a delightful chance for Urquhart to bring the RC under his "benevolent" control. It all began when he appointed Catherine Ashton as Minister for Trade. The troubles waited little to emerge as the press soon discovered some dirty secrets of Mrs Ashton as she had worked for the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work (CCETSW), a Syndicalist organization charged with promoting education and training in social work through the late Union of Britain. Even if Mrs Ashton had been a low key member of the Syndicallst regime, her past made her unsuitable (for many reasons) for the role of Minister and was sacked with a quite unholy speed. That her replacement, Benjamin Peter Mandelson, had also some Syndicalist past and this was too much for Urquhart, the Queen, the press and the country (in this order) and poor Fox had to resign (if he was unable to pick good and reliable members for his cabinet, one could wonder about his politics).

Thus, Kenneth Clarke, an "exile expat" was selected by Urquhart to lead the RC and, to avoid any possible mistake, the Canadian Prime Minister also took care of the selection of the whole cabinet, chosing good but not too bright people that just made the job in the proper way. After all, he had a quite good idea about who was to be the first Prime Minister of the new United Kingdom.

There was no hurry as, first, Britain had to be De-syndicalized, and that process was to include from former ministers to the less important civil servant. It was to be hard to see who had joined for mere survival from the true believers, adn then, from the latter, those who were simply misguided to thoses guilty of crimes against the Crown.

This idea simply made Urquhart to feel warm inside without needing a drink.
 
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El Pip

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The thing about Urquhart is that whenever someone dies in an "accident", I immediately assume it was part of some cunning scheme. So I imagined cut brake lines or similar affected MacKay's car. This may be unfair, it could have been a genuine accident, but that is the effect of his reputation.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Basically, FU was not involved in the car crash. Mr. Appleby Jr is enjoying a happy time hunting Syndies in Britain, so he's not also to blame.

Sometimes people simply die without help, but you're right, Pip. One cannot help but to think that good old FU made some mischief around.

But not this time.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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November 21st, 2005, London

One of the lest pleasant affaires of the post-war for Francis Urquhart was the fate of Ireland. The whole isle was to keep its idependence- including Ulster, with certain guarantees for the Protestants - and the project of the Canadian Primer Minister to turn the Emerald Isle into a full and co-equal dominion of the British Empire, with Elizabeth II as Queen of Ireland, was quietly shelved, to the great anger of Urquhart. Apparently, all the help and support given by Dublin was the price for that. And as the Ulster had been part of Irleand since the revolutionary days, there was no reason to change that, to the great changrin of Uruqhart Ireland would enjoy the Entente's military protection and the fruits of international association.

"No if I have something to do with that", Urquhart promised to himself.

Then, suddenly, Indochina returned to the front page of all the newspapers.
 
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Kurt_Steiner

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November-December 2005, Saigon

When in early November the Syndicalist guerrillas came back to life in Indochina an turned the provinces of Da Nang, Kontum and Pakxe into a hell when there was a sudden explosion of bomb attacks and ambushes that alarmed Washington and Ottawa. Then, afer two weeks of vicious attacks and fighting, the guerrilla vanished, leaving a trail of destruction and a shaken President Clooney and a surprised Prime MInister Urquhart.

Then, by early December, the guerrillas launched an all-out atack that took the US troopsby surprise. Soon, the Vietnamese, US and Allied troops were confided to the main cities of the South of Vietnam and to Haiphong in the north. Laos and Camodia were lost and soon a Syndicalist regime was installed on them.

This led to the Thai reaction, that invaded Cambodia at once. It was then when Clooney began to ponder about the chances of completely withdrawing from Indochina and Japan began to prepare itself to replace the US troops in the area.