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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Le Jones

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Le Jones

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Prologue, Sandringham House, 20 January 1936


upload_2020-3-26_21-26-5.png



The story begins in a fairly humdrum room in a fairly humdrum way, with two middle aged undistinguished Englishmen listening to a humdrum wireless programme on a humdrum wireless set. One of them glanced up at a framed print on the wall, a fairly harmless (and to his mind, pointless) Edwardian depiction of a well-dressed gentleman loading a shotgun and sighed.

“What is the time?”

The other man grunted; he was the older and more senior of the two and found this newcomer’s lack of grace mildly offensive. Being a late Victorian, the older man didn’t directly challenge the younger man’s lack of courtesy but, very English, scowled slightly and shook his head, and then remembered a way to regain mastery of the situation.

“Sandringham time, or Greenwich Mean Time?”

The younger rolled his eyes; he considered the older man a relic, a passed over vestige of stuffiness and protocol. He knew that the older man looked down at him with his fashionable suit and his slick, carefully groomed hair (his master and the mistress were keen that he “looked the part”) but he knew that he had “backed the right team”. His master’s star was in the ascendant, and this lot, with their faded Edwardian protocol and their ridiculous “Sandringham Time”, half an hour ahead of the rest of the country, could go hang. The younger man chose not to rise to the bait. Our time will come.

The truth, of course, is that for all its drabness the room was, for that evening, at least, in the beating heart of an Empire’s drama, and a sovereign’s last days. To hammer that thought home, two Royal Navy Captains, Captains Godrey-Faussett and Campbell, Equerries to His Majesty and the Duke of York respectively, walked past. From their slow pace and muted conversation the younger man wondered if they were as sick of waiting as he was. The wireless spluttered into another sombre retelling of the reason for this vigil.

“The King’s life is moving peacefully toward its close”.

A panicked face peered round the doorway at the two men. “We’re expecting the Cabinet Secretary in twenty minutes. One of you, take an Equerry and meet him at Wolferton Station, would you.” The “would you” was not a request; that was Clive Wigram, the King’s Private Secretary.

The younger man made a great fuss of huffing and grunting as he rose from the chair; as the junior of the two drivers he knew that the older man would insist that the younger man go. But he knew that his master would value any titbits of gossip gleaned from eavesdropping on the conversation between an Equerry and the Cabinet Secretary, so he was pleased to be able to go. As he grabbed his black, stylishly cut overcoat (he knew that the older man would have something heavy, brown and shapeless) he could, nevertheless, not resist a rejoinder. He jerked a thumb at the doorway.

“Does he know we’re on Sandringham Time?” The younger man, who normally kept his East London accent carefully under wraps, released it now.

The older man frowned. “I don’t follow”.

“Well, this Cabinet Secretary geezer; is he coming in twenty minutes or fifty?”
__________________________________________________________________________________________

upload_2020-3-26_21-27-3.png


In another room, this one more ornate and befitting a Royal residence, an apprehensive, professional looking man scribbled another series of observations on the patient. Dissatisfied, he fumbled around in his medical bag, pulled out a couple of small bottles, and, writing again in his notebook, then slammed it shut firmly.

“Lord Dawson”, a careful voice said, falsely casual.

Lord Bertrand Dawson, Physician-in-Ordinary to King George V, rose and bowed, very correctly, to His Royal Highness the Duke of York.

“T-thank you, for everything that you have done,” Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George, known in the family as “Bertie”, said, very carefully. Dawson noticed that the well-known stammer was evident; the strain of this evening’s drama was so obvious that Dawson was not at all surprised.

“Your Royal Highness is too kind”, Dawson said silkily. “I have done nothing but try to ease His Majesty’s suffering”.

“B-B” Bertie closed his eyes and forced the words out “but you have served him nobly. My family is indebted to you. How l-l-long, would you say, he has?” The look on Bertie’s face was one of pure concern, nothing more complicated than a son’s concern for his father.

Dawson realised that, but his own strain forced a more terse reply. “My original prognosis is unchanged” he forced himself to adopt a calmer tone, “Sir. His Majesty will succumb this evening.”

Bertie nodded sadly, and quietly, almost humbly, retreated. Dawson bit his lip. He wondered if he had miscalculated. The King was frail, desperately so, and every observation proved that he was dying, but Dawson now regretted his confident assertion that King George would die this evening. He might survive the night, he realised, and frowned at the realisation that the news of the King’s death would not be made in The Times morning edition, but would instead go in one of the more vulgar evening papers. Decisively, he had made up his mind to influence this; it was for the best, for all of them. The role of the Doctor, Dawson had long ago realised, was much more than just fighting to keep a dying man alive, it was to ease the pain, and, ultimately, know when to administer mercy. George Frederick Ernest Albert, King of United Kingdom and the British Dominions, Emperor of India, deserved mercy, and deserved the news of this passing to be carefully handled. And so Dawson carefully drew cocaine and morphia, and, checking the time (it was a little before eleven in the evening) prepared to give back control to the secretaries and equerries who would manage the transition to the new King.

It was the least that he could do.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

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The Feathers Hotel had been transformed; there were two only telephones in Dersingham, a small village a mile from Sandringham. One was in a booth outside of the Post Office, the other was in a cupboard in the hotel. Declining the discomfort, during heavy snowfall, of the booth, the journalists had all opted to take over the hotel. So began a remarkable engineering effort to create a network that could instantly transmit telephone calls around the world, laying cables in the snowdrifts and stocking up on sufficient tea and biscuits in the frantic understanding that the climax was approaching.

upload_2020-3-26_21-29-45.png


Andrew Fenn was happily dozing when the telephone next to him rang noisily. After waiting an age, he was connected to, well, who?

“Who is this”, he asked curtly. He was a lowland Scot, softly spoken but with a fierce temper when provoked. It made him an outcast in the chummy, clubbable world of Fleet Street and he and his editor were happy to send him around the world. He was hoping to go back to Europe, but the Royal Correspondent was stuck in Scotland (ironically, Fenn thought sourly) so as the best (or only) available man he had been bundled into a car and sent to Sandringham.

“It’s Jack. Any news?”

“The pub food is diabolical,” Fenn said grumpily, “but not as bad as these wet lads make out. Go away, I’ll ring you if I hear anything”.

Fenn slid further down his chair, shaded his eyes with his hat, and within seconds was dozing again.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

We must talk about another figure, there, that evening; pacing in the garden and smoking his third cigarette in as many minutes. He missed her dreadfully; this bedside vigil stuff was excruciating, and the awesome weight of what was about to descend upon him made that longing almost unbearable. The interminable chats from allegedly well-meaning courtiers on how they understood the pain and pressures that he was feeling (how?! Have you lost a father and become head of the biggest empire in history all at the same time?!) made the King’s apartments unhelpful territory, and so, for a few moments, he took some time to gather himself. He wanted Wallis with him, now more than ever, and wanted to deal with the petty bureaucracy of making her his consort now, when his power was at its greatest. But first, he and the family had to survive this evening.

“David,” Bertie’s voice sounded, unhappily, from somewhere in the darkness. “It’s time”. The younger brother approached the older and, as reassurance, placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.

“Thanks Bertie,” he said, without much feeling. “Poor Wallace,” he said, this comment was said feeling, and, very bitterly.

Bertie chose not to reply. Instead, with a touch of assertiveness, he led his brother to the King’s apartments.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

The phrase that Bertie would hate himself for using to describe the scene was a prolonged sinking. The heavy sighing (almost heaving), the seeming caving-in of his form, all reminded Bertie of his capsizing dreadnought. Through rheumy eyes, the King’s gaze darted around his family, and seemed to briefly widen in panic at the sight of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He had been muttering nonsense, but now, finally, fell still. Dawson silently checked for a pulse and, closing the King’s eyes, nodded at the Queen.

Queen Mary turned to her eldest son, bowed, and kissed his hand. “God save the King,” she muttered with restrained dignity.

His Majesty King Edward VIII grasped his mother and, collapsing in her arms sobbed. After what felt like an age, he was left with Bertie.

“That”, Bertie said softly, “was quite a display earlier with mama.”

The King looked bleakly at his brother. It was as if he hadn’t heard, his mind elsewhere. “Poor Wallis”, he muttered, almost to himself. “Poor, poor Wallis”.

upload_2020-3-26_21-31-30.png

__________________________________________________________________________________________

GAME NOTES

Welcome to my new AAR, set in the UK with a 1936 start point. As I commented last year when I finally returned to the King’s First Minister (admittedly to close it!) I like elements of HOI3 and 4; the problem is that I loathe the military C2 structures in HOI4 (as well as land combat) but love sea combat and the way that industrial output is portrayed. It also, crucially, allows easy diversion from a range of PODs (something that dear old HOI3 just didn’t allow – and I love HOI3, but it almost always ended up with a mild alteration of the real world WW2). The last couple of expansions and updates finally allowed me to explore a POD (more on that in a moment) that has been oft imagined; here is my offering.

In terms of format, readers of my other AAR (quite venerable now!) will recall that I often spend as long in the game notes as I do the narrative. I will keep to this trait now, using the game notes both to point out some other elements of the game play, as well giving the historical context of what has happened. So here goes…

The death of King George V, both a real world and game event, seemed to be utterly appropriate for the start of a UK AAR, and this one in particular. All of the characters, bar the drivers (although they or something like them would have existed) and Fenn (based on a friend of mine) are real, down to Wigram and the Equerries Captains Sir Bryan Godfrey-Faussett and Sir Harold Campbell. The main characters of this prologue are, of course, the three Kings, George V, Edward VIII and George VI. Three men, very different from one another (although the two Georges were more alike than they realised) with their own view of Kingship and the British constitutional monarchy.

I struggle with George V and it is with relief that we ‘bump him off’ in our prologue. Rude, not overburdened with brain, and respected, essentially, for not ‘rocking the boat’, he has, of course, been a constant presence in most British lives for a quarter of a century by the time of his death in early 1936. Plagued by ill health through most of the early thirties, the death of his favourite sister in late 1935 seems to have fatally diminished his energy. After taking ill with ‘flu in early January 1936 he never again left his suite of rooms. And so Doctor Dawson provided care…

Ah, the villainous Dawson. Did he euthanise a reigning British monarch? All of the evidence, not least from his own memoirs, suggests (strongly) that he did. Dawson having confidently predicted that the King would not survive the evening of January 20th George clung on, drifting in and out of consciousness and proving far more resilient that Dawson believed. Dawson admitted administering two injections at 2300, the King dying (peacefully) fifty five minutes later. Dawson then rang his wife (not our journalists – although the story of the Feathers Hotel is true) and The Times led with the story, not, thank God (!) the gutter press. The death scene (the lead up massively truncated – I just couldn’t get to grips with endless medical checks and family sniping) was more or less as described, and a number of eyewitnesses corroborate that Edward VIII had an emotional breakdown upon becoming King. Bertie, whom I also find difficult to write about (see TKFM!) comes across pretty favourably, supporting everyone despite his own obvious grief. I always have to avoid the pitfall of portraying him as a humble ‘nice guy’; he could be vicious when he wanted to be and had a formidable temper.

And so ‘David’ becomes Edward VIII. I am still undecided about David, he is known, almost entirely, for just one thing; his affair with Wallis Simpson was known to the family, and most of society. The British press kept a politic silence until well into 1936, but in this prologue those that need to know do (probably accurate to history). He behaved with evident panic and distress upon becoming King, although asserted himself by swiftly ditching “Sandringham Time” (which is also a true George V affectation – it allowed more time for shooting) in an obvious rejection of his father’s lifestyle. Hold on, Dear reader, trouble is acomin’…
 
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Le Jones

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Contents

Part One – The Changing of the Guard

Part Two – The Collapse of the Crown

Cast List

British Royal Family

  • Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David - known by the family as 'David'. Prince of Wales; from 20 January 1936, King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions, Emperor of India.
  • Victoria Mary Augusta Louise Olga Pauline Claudine Agnes - Queen Consort of the United Kingdom and the Dominions, Empress of India; from 20 January 1936 known either by the title the 'Queen Mother' or 'Her Majesty Queen Mary'. Approached by Baldwin to persuade the King to abandon the Simpson marriage.
  • Albert Frederick Arthur George - known by the family as 'Bertie'. The Duke of York and Heir Presumptive to the throne.
  • Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary - known by the family as 'Mary'. The Princess Royal. Considered the family member most sympathetic to the Simpson marriage.
British Politicians
  • The Right Honourable Stanley Baldwin, KG, PC, PC (Can), JP, FRS - Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (National Government). Leader of the Conservative Party.
  • The Right Honourable Arthur Neville Chamberlain - Chancellor of the Exchequer. Unofficial deputy to Stanley Baldwin.
  • The Right Honourable Robert Anthony Eden, KG, MC, PC - known as 'Anthony'. Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Unofficially third in the Cabinet hierarchy.
  • The Right Honourable Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, The 3rd Viscount Halifax, KG, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, TD, PC - former Viceroy of India. Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords in the National Government. Unofficially appointed as the Cabinet's interlocutor with the Duke of York.
 
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stnylan

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Will follow
 
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Captured Joe

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A very promising start.
 

El Pip

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It begins at last! The psychopathic Dawson continues his murdering spree I see, the King was far from the only person he 'eased the path' for. I sometimes wonder if the only real difference between him and Shipman was a sense of style.

I feel I might like Edward VIII more if he had better taste in women and had something even resembling a sense of duty, alas no sign of either of those things appearing. I hold out a small hope that "Poor Wallis" will fall down a well or perhaps suffer a tragic incident and accidentally brutally cuts off her legs while shaving and bleed to death. I'm sure Equerry E. Blackadder would be happy to watch over her to make sure no harm comes to her.
 

Cromwell

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I'm looking forwards to seeing where you take this. King Eddie making friends with his beloved Germans to fight the French and the Soviets or something more traditional? Don't tell me! I'd rather find out as it happens.
 

volksmarschall

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God save the King! And of course, the crown. This surely promises much. Good luck Le Jones, will be following along for the ride -- especially if it it is anything like your King's First Minister.

Cheers!
 

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Have tuned in for a look. I like the game notes section. Looking forward to the story ‘cranking up’ as David starts making waves. Capsized dreadnoughts indeed!
 

TheButterflyComposer

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I do like a good Edward Redeemed story, probably because of Draco Rex.
 
Part One - The Changing of the Guard

Le Jones

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Le Jones

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upload_2020-3-30_6-59-25.png


Chapter 1, Westminster Hall, 27 January 1936

upload_2020-3-30_7-0-3.png


Westminster Hall was quiet now; the public entrance had been closed for another day, and now, in silent contemplation, the King’s sons mounted vigil over his coffin. The King, in the uniform of the Grenadier Guards, looked deep in reverie, or perhaps it was just the fatigue of the last few days overwhelming him. In the early of hours of the morning, the King, supported by the Duke of York, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent, kept guard over his father.

Another figure stood nearby, in the shadows. He watched the sad vigil with a heavy heart, admitting, to himself, to possessing another feeling, fear. No, not fear, but certainly an apprehension; George V had been obsessed with being a neutral, stabilising force in the Kingdom, a job which many believed he had performed well. And now, the figure wondered, what will the son bring? More change, more uncertainty, Stanley Baldwin, the Prime Minister, wondered sadly.

upload_2020-3-30_7-0-38.png


He was joined by another figure, the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden. Eden had been working in his office in the Commons and, having been ‘tipped off’ that the Prime Minister was attending the vigil, had hurried to be with him. The two stood, side by side, until the sons were relieved by the members of one of the Worshipful Companies.

upload_2020-3-30_7-1-3.png


“Anthony,” Baldwin said heavily to his younger colleague, “it is so late that it is early.”

Eden offered an almost bashful smile. As ever, he was impeccably dressed, making Baldwin’s battered working suit look even shabbier than usual.

“You bring news,” I trust?

“Yeees,” Eden said, slightly primly. “The Spanish Ambassador has confirmed that a General Franco will be their representative at the funeral”.

Baldwin huffed acknowledgement. “That’s hardly news, Anthony,” Baldwin said grumpily. To Baldwin one of Eden’s more redeeming qualities was his well-judged ‘titbits’ of gossip.

Eden sailed above his Premier’s disinterest. “With an election around the corner, it is interesting that they send a military figure rather than a politician.”

“Do you think that there’s something to it?”

Eden made a languid sweep with one hand. “I’m not sure, Prime Minister, but I think that we should monitor, with the French, of course. Aside from a couple of frictions we tend to leave Spain to them.”

Baldwin scoffed at that. “Fine, but Sarraut has only just taken over, bless ‘im”, Baldwin chuckled. “Who is the new Foreign Minister?”

“Flandin, I am hoping that he comes to the funeral.”

Baldwin, bored, nodded. He liked the idea of Flandin being Eden’s counterpart, he was a former Prime Minister who had worked well with Baldwin at Stresa and the Franco-Italian pact. Flandin, a measured man, would also well in tempering what Baldwin perceived to be Eden’s flightiness.

The King and Princes now well out of earshot, Baldwin jerked a thumb behind him, towards the coffin of George V. “What d’you make of him, Anthony?”

“King George, or King Edward? Or the Dukes?”

Baldwin sighed. “Edward, Anthony, Edward.”

Eden paused to compose his answer. “I think,” he flashed a sheepish smile, “that our new King lacks,” he paused, looking for the right word, “seasoning. I was surprised at that” Eden made a fuss, again, over picking a word, “performance at the accession reading. As well as,” he continued, a sly note to his voice, “the company that he kept when he broke Royal protocol”.

Baldwin smiled at that one, thinking about the reports from Special Branch. In truth Baldwin, who knew more than most of the King’s liaison with Mrs Simpson, and some of the ‘questionable’ company that he kept, was dammed worried. “Anthony, could you liaise with the Palace? Yes, this absolutely your area. I want no silly audiences between foreigners and the King; and if the thing must be done, I want you in attendance. Or someone sound,” Baldwin realised that this could be interpreted as an insult and hurried a correction, “to stand in for you, if you’re busy on other duties. Use the change of administration in France, and the Spanish elections as an excuse.” He waved a hand dismissively. “I require time to work with our young King before we thrust him onto the stage.”

Eden tried to build on the Prime Minister’s metaphor, in an attempt to bridge the gap between them. “You’re helping him with his lines?”

“Just see to it,” Baldwin said sourly.

Eden sighed, the smile fading. “Well the Palace controls the royal guests, so there is nothing I can do about Norway, Denmark and Romania; they’re all cousins.” He raised an eyebrow suddenly. “Ah…”

“Ah what.”

“I’ve just remembered. The Italians are sending Crown Prince Umberto.”

“No, Anthony, no. Send him for tea at the Dorchester.”

“Prime Minister,” Eden began primly, “it would not do for the Crown Prince of Italy to be exiled off to central London hoteliers for afternoon tea.” Eden pulled a peevish face. “But I do share your concern about he and our wayward King to talking about East Africa. That’s the one to watch.”

“What are they up to in Africa? More of the same?” They evidently meant the Italians.

upload_2020-3-30_7-2-15.png


“They’re upping the war effort, probably for the last push.”

Baldwin heard the emptiness in the phrase ‘last push’, wondering if it was a reflection of Eden’s Great War service. He finally opened up to his Foreign Secretary. For all Baldwin’s clubbable, bluff exterior he was a highly strung man who often agonised over the correct response to make to a situation. “You know, of course, that I sent Duffy to talk to him.”

‘Duffy’ was Duff-Cooper, the Secretary of State for War and a friend of the King’s, whom Eden assumed was the ‘him’ referred to by the Prime Minister. “I did, and I understand that you have spoken with Her Majesty.” Eden was deliberately showing off the strength of his own connections with Court gossip.

Baldwin scowled, but Eden could not determine if this was against him, or the memory of the chat with Queen Mary. “She prevailed upon me the importance of His Majesty keeping the counsellors,” he shot Eden a sharp look, “both political and not political, relied upon by his Father”.

Eden stroked his moustache, a coquettish smile forming. “Sound advice,” he said in a tentative, non-committal way. So stylish, and modern-seeming, he had been approached by the new regime to start building links between the Cabinet and Crown, but was carefully maintaining a neutral stance.

Baldwin didn’t respond. He and the Queen (or ‘Queen Mother’, Baldwin supposed, was now a better title) and a number of key figures in the Establishment feared for the King’s judgment if he insisted on retaining his mistress, Mrs Wallis Simpson. Duff-Cooper, and perhaps Samuel Hoare, were of the view that she could be kept on, providing the King exercised discretion and married someone suitable (‘suitable’, Baldwin wondered, to whom?) while Chamberlain, Halifax and Simon were, Baldwin knew, stuffily disapproving. Baldwin found himself thinking of Arthur Balfour’s famous quip. ‘Nothing matters very much, and few things matter at all’; I wonder how accurate Balfour really was with that comment, he thought wearily.

Grimacing, the Prince Minister walked silently with his Foreign Secretary through Whitehall.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

GAME NOTES

Not a lot game-wise, but I wanted to use the real world vigil of the Princes to introduce a couple of important characters. I apologise for stopping, lingering even, over the death of King George V, but I wanted to highlight one of the more intriguing elements, while ignoring the funeral (which would have been, merely, me typing up a description of something quite formulaic and well known).

The vigil did, of course, happen, as described in this chapter. It is not a fixed custom of British royal funerals, (as some would argue) but has been followed a couple of times (notably in the funeral of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 2002); it remains to be seen whether the current Queen’s death will be marked in such a way. There is no photograph of the Dukes standing watch over their father, so we have to make do with the Reynolds painting (it’s ok, it captures the echoey spaces of Westminster Hall – a remarkable place, quite well) and the photograph of a more routine vigil to give you a flavour of the event.

The vigil then led to the funeral where, in this fictional (but, I hope plausible) setting the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary agree to closely ‘handle’ the King’s interaction. The guest list, at least some of the colourful characters, is true; Franco did (conveniently for what followed) attend the funeral as Spain’s representative, as did the Crown Prince of Italy. For fans of "Yes Prime Minister', there is a brilliant episode where Jim Hacker uses a funeral to conduct international diplomacy, and while slightly morbid is a fair reflection on how these events are used. Eden (and Baldwin) treads a fine line here; with close family members the Foreign Secretary could not insist on attending private functions, although a ‘read out’ could be requested (and the Palace flunkies would be alive to this requirement) and to emphasise the tension with Italy, I have brought forward Italy’s ‘Ethiopian War Logistics’ screenshot; it’s from Mar ’36. For more formal ‘State’ matters, particularly representatives from rival, revisionist powers with whom the UK has matters of contention / Imperial concerns (Italy in a nutshell) the Foreign Office could and would be more assertive.

The gossipy bits about Duff-Cooper and the King, as well as Queen Mary and Baldwin, are also true. Two key conversations in what would later become the ‘abdication crisis’ took place before George V had actually died. Duff-Cooper was, perhaps through temperament and lifestyle (as well as age) the Cabinet member most aligned to the King’s perspective and was sent, in a shrewd move by Baldwin, to go to the then Prince of Wales to explore options for ‘handling’ the matter of Mrs Simpson. He failed to convey much of the disquiet about what was, at that stage, a hypothetical situation to the King. Baldwin was similarly hectored by Queen Mary on the importance of consistency and continuity; she failed to grasp that Baldwin’s power was limited by collective responsibility and a reluctance to meddle in Palace affairs.

Baldwin is an interesting one; he is always portrayed as being a bluff, mildly disinterested old cove, quick with a wry observation but (like Balfour) slow to act; certainly Neville Chamberlain later became exasperated by his perceived inaction. But he was, as I hope I have shown, a complex character; he really wrestled with some of the decisions of state and on a number of occasions was given medical advice to rest. He was long ‘read in’ to the Simpson affair by the time of the accession, and agonised over how to handle the new King. I genuinely think that he pushed the ‘steady steady’ routine too much, or perhaps that he was more fearful than he made out. But certainly, he was not an effective Prime Minister by most assessments.

And then Eden; I am fascinated by Eden, he defies all attempts to get the character right. He is at once a decisive, charismatic operator, and at the same time a skittish young playboy. He really is a fun character, particularly at this stage of his career (with not a canal in sight!).

Bear with me, dear reader, we have a couple of scene setting upsets before the madness really begins.

Stnylan: Thank you for your support, I hope that you continue to enjoy the AAR.

Idhrendur: Well I wanted to start off reasonably well, thank your for reading.

Captured Joe: Thank you, let’s hope that we can live up to that perceived early promise - welcome aboard!

El Pip: Well my friend, I’ve faffed around and then gone for it, frankly. COVID 19 allowed time that I didn't have to sort out the graphics etc, but I delayed 'going live' until I had played the "La Resistance" update, as intelligence and its world is so fun to write about.

Cromwell: Thank you for your comment, there is a plan, based on a game with some personal opinions based on how I think a Britain in 1936 (and beyond) would have responded. In game playing terms I'm currently at 1940.

volksmarschall: Hello old friend, and welcome. The style is going to be heavily based on KFM, although the POD (and the gameplay) will of course be very different. There will be some cameo appearances, but I hope that this becomes its own AAR. Hope you are well, by the way...

Bullfighter: I too like the idea of Game Notes - I took the idea from an AAR a long time ago and find it a useful way to marshal my thoughts, as well as explaining the bits that don't quite fit into the narrative.

TheButterflyComposer: Well you may (or may not!) be rewarded! And yes Draco Rex and his masterful efforts of those years ago is part of this AAR's DNA, as Trekaddict's efforts and, of course, El Pip's were. This is the descendant of KFM, which took elements from all of those wonderful AARs predating it.

Specialist290: Thank you for a) tipping me off on the showcase (wow, didn't see that coming) and b) your kind words. Welcome to the AAR.



 
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J66185

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Fine wine and dining I see.:)
 

Cromwell

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I didn't know about general Franco being the one to attend the funeral, the things you manage to learn through AARland are one of the great parts of this forum.
 

stnylan

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Baldwin I think suffers from being followed by someone largely derided (not entirely justly), and then someone (not improperly) lauded for being something of a saviour. Against that he is kind of lost. Plus no one really wants to remember the abdication crisis, as it is a messy thing and very unsatisfactory. I did rather like his portrayal by Derek Jacobi in The Gathering Storm even if he was cast into the role of antagonist there.

Queen Mary, I think, is a very interesting person largely overlooked.
 

El Pip

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Duff-Cooper was, perhaps through temperament and lifestyle (as well as age) the Cabinet member most aligned to the King’s perspective and was sent, in a shrewd move by Baldwin, to go to the then Prince of Wales to explore options for ‘handling’ the matter of Mrs Simpson. He failed to convey much of the disquiet about what was, at that stage, a hypothetical situation to the King.
You say Shrewd and I can understand the thinking, as you say Duff-Cooper was most likely to get a favourable reception with the Prince. The problem is that Duff-Cooper was relentless adulterer so he probably never quite understood the disgust he was supposed to convey, or that Edward would actually want to marry Wallace instead of keeping her as mistress.

But then again even when Edward was well aware of the situation he just dug his heels in, so maybe Duff-Cooper's mission was doomed from the start regardless.
 

Crimson Lionheart

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Now this is interesting! I'll be following closely with this AAR :)
 

Nikolai

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  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
This is quite the start, I will be following onwards. :)