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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

TheButterflyComposer

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Have you actually seen the Dutch Navy at this time? It's not even Top 5 in Europe; RN, France, Italy, Germany, Spain (they have battleships! which are crap but still. They also have proper modern heavy cruisers.)
Oh yes, but unlike the Spanish, they still have delusions of grandeur and aren't in a civil war. They'll be pissed to be passed over when everyone around them is getting together for a naval treaty.
 

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Oh yes, but unlike the Spanish, they still have delusions of grandeur and aren't in a civil war. They'll be pissed to be passed over when everyone around them is getting together for a naval treaty.
They've been ignored for the Washington and London naval treaties already, surely the Dutch are used to being ignored by now. If it really bothered them they would start building ships that threatened the balance of power, then people would have to invite them. They didn't, so clearly they can't be that annoyed.
 

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They've been ignored for the Washington and London naval treaties already, surely the Dutch are used to being ignored by now. If it really bothered them they would start building ships that threatened the balance of power, then people would have to invite them. They didn't, so clearly they can't be that annoyed.
You saying that just because it makes no sense, they won't be angry?

BTW, any reason they didn't build more ships since they still had an empire in the far east and knew Japan was gunning for it? Aside from assuming the UK and US would win the resulting naval war and give them the land back?
 

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BTW, any reason they didn't build more ships since they still had an empire in the far east and knew Japan was gunning for it?
They were still in depression but were already negotiating a licence to build Scharnhorst-like battlecruisers with Germany.
 

El Pip

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You saying that just because it makes no sense, they won't be angry?
First couple of times maybe. By now they've either learnt or no-one cares about their ritualistic complaints.

BTW, any reason they didn't build more ships since they still had an empire in the far east and knew Japan was gunning for it? Aside from assuming the UK and US would win the resulting naval war and give them the land back?
They were still in depression but were already negotiating a licence to build Scharnhorst-like battlecruisers with Germany.
This is covered in majestic detail in Butterfly Effect. ( ;) ) But my understanding is that the Dutch knew they would lose a one-on-one war with Japan, so made no real attempt to plan for that scenario and focused everything on assuming they would have the RN and/or USN to help. Dutch naval intelligence believed the IJN cruiser squadrons operated alone and that the main IJN fleet would have to cover the British and Americans, so "all" they would have to do was fight off some heavy cruiser squadrons. Submarines were the initial answer to this, hence the efforts focused on them (IvS being the official German front organisation for illegal submarine development also helped with the development to an unclear but probably substantial degree).

But it was apparent subs were a terrible deterrent and something more visible was required, hence the Project 1047 battlecruisers. Exactly the same concept; take out/deter IJN cruisers and invasion transports while hoping the big stuff was elsewhere, but more capable, more obvious and so hopefully a more useful deterrent. The Project 1047s might, maybe, have had a chance of beating a Kongo class battlecruiser, which post-modernisation was a potent threat that might be detached from the main fleet. It would be a nasty fight (bigger guns to Japan, better armour and speed to the Dutch) and that was sort of the point; be a hard enough target that the IJN need to send a major force, which (in theory) can't happen as the RN and USN are distracting all the IJN's heavy units.

The main problem with the plan was timing, the Project only started early 1939 (first unofficial planning very late 1938) and after a lot of arguing with France did indeed end up as a variant of the Scharnhorst with some changes (licence built British boilers/turbines, Dutch secondary weapons, etc) and a weird Italian derived torpedo protection (because the Germans wouldn't release the plans for that bit). Design development was still ongoing when war broke out, though they had started work on expanding the shipyards as the exist slips weren't big enough, they also needed to build a new commercial slip big enough to build a massive floating drydock, because the existing docks were also too small. Which tells you a lot about how much of a big leap they were over anything else the Dutch had previously built.

Maybe if they had stared in 1936 and gone to anyone other than Germany the ships might have been ready in time. But there was not the political will for that sort of decision and by the time the threat was obvious enough it was too late.
 

Bullfilter

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Have been catching up with the last couple of episodes and enjoying them, as always.
I'm deliberately not mentioning BREXIT as 1) I want to preserve this little group and 2) There are weird parallels to this story.
With Edward, I suppose his potential abdication would be called REXIT these days. :rolleyes: Just like any cover up scandal has -gate added to it, or something long gets -athon.

The tragic Neville-athon [;)] of vindictiveness, over-confidence, hubris and crestfallen failure begins, as all take their eyes off the actual danger none of them can really believe that tawdry little Hitler chap is (a barking buffoon to them in HOI3-speak, rather than the dangerous power-hungry demagogue he turns out to be).
 

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From what I can see, the election would need to be pretty snappy because the longer they wait the more Edward's men can meddle. British elections from the period were not, so far as I can tell, as 'lively' as American campaigns, but...

If the PM is declining in power, influence and health, and the government falls... just how much havoc could the King (through his men) cause by a public appeal - subtly and suitably phrased, of course - for support for his marriage expressed as a vote for a party sympathetic to his cause? Is there a precedent for an election going disastrously wrong (surely there is) and if it did... well, what if the 'odds and ends' were able to form a government after all?

And if the government falls, the election happens and no government can be formed because the party with the numbers won't accept leadership, then... how long does it rock on before someone cracks? If Edward won't give, then... someone else will bend, I think. Someone, sooner or later, will take his side in order to be PM. How the crisis goes would depend on who can do the most effective messaging and blaming...

No matter how confident Chamberlain and his associates are, I still think this can easily come unstuck. Many of the public (and Parliament) will not support him, not in the face of the disapproval of the Church - but many will.

The path that leads to Edward as King with Wallis at his side is a strange and perilous one, but he has a lot more leverage than these men seem to think.

But how strange that this is the thing that causes Edward to develop a backbone.
 

El Pip

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The path that leads to Edward as King with Wallis at his side is a strange and perilous one, but he has a lot more leverage than these men seem to think.
No, he does not. The election could go badly, but the main beneficiary would be the Labour vote. There was a small minority of the public personally sympathetic to Edward, but even they thought he should go because of the damage it would do to the Empire (the popular support and pride for the Empire pre war was ridiculously high) and that was before Wallis was a well known figure. Bear in mind almost everyone who met her (and didn't have fascist leanings) didn't like her, why on earth would the public be any different?

Let us say the Conservatives balls up the campaign, it cannot be on the issue of the King because Labour are running on the same policy and there just are not enough people in the country who like the idea of destroying the Empire and offending God so Edward can make his terrible marriage choice. Outside of that are the King's rabble will not have any other policy, due to the deep differences between them on every other subject - Tory backwoodsmen and Sinclair's Liberals are not natural bedfellows. With the Times, the BBC and most of the media on side (a couple of tabloids aside) those divisions will be blasted open during any election campaign.

So worst case it ends up a Conservative/Labour temporary coalition, they pass the Abdication Act, push it through the Lords (probably no need to use the Parliament Act, I suspect the Lords are on-side with this) and job done, George VI is now king. If Eddie wants to go with a modicum of dignity he will sign it, if he wants to be childishly pathetic to the end then George gives it royal assent as his first act. Parliament is Sovereign, they have the money, the power, the law and popular support on this, there is only one possible way it can end, hence why I think Edward would abdicate after losing the election and then tamely sign the Act. But if he doesn't, there is a tolerable backup plan even if people would rather not use it.

No doubt all this will have repercussions, if Eddie does not sign then Royal Assent will become even more of a sham than it is at the moment, consultation with the monarch more of a formality for protocol. It may even end up being abolished or delegated to Parliament somehow. A few new constitutional conventions will develop, though I doubt any will be passed into law (a decidedly foreign practice) and of course the Labour/Conservative coalition collapses the moment the abdication is sorted, but that would be expected.

But how strange that this is the thing that causes Edward to develop a backbone.
The actual strange thing is how Eddie is deviating from his constitutional role. OTL he always respected that, even at the end, and he did feel the weight of responsibility about protecting the institution. Right now he is skirting the issues and probably just the correct side of the line, but any attempt to intervene in an election, no matter how subtle or through 'friends', or to deny an election when requested would be massively out of character and have terrible repercussions for him and the monarchy.
 

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So worst case it ends up a Conservative/Labour temporary coalition, they pass the Abdication Act, push it through the Lords (probably no need to use the Parliament Act, I suspect the Lords are on-side with this) and job done, George VI is now king. If Eddie wants to go with a modicum of dignity he will sign it, if he wants to be childishly pathetic to the end then George gives it royal assent as his first act. Parliament is Sovereign, they have the money, the power, the law and popular support on this, there is only one possible way it can end, hence why I think Edward would abdicate after losing the election and then tamely sign the Act. But if he doesn't, there is a tolerable backup
I think you are forgetting Paradox Magic, which is much like Christmas Magic in that it comes in the last minute and resolves everything, usually in favour of revisionists. Remember the HOI4 event chain gets around this by him already being married and corinated when the decision fires. Then no word of his government makeup at all, aside from 'Kings Party' and the faces of Churchill, Llloyd George, and Mosley on the decision. He ends up as head of government though, so I'm not sure what happened next...

The actual strange thing is how Eddie is deviating from his constitutional role. OTL he always respected that, even at the end, and he did feel the weight of responsibility about protecting the institution. Right now he is skirting the issues and probably just the correct side of the line, but any attempt to intervene in an election, no matter how subtle or through 'friends', or to deny an election when requested would be massively out of character and have terrible repercussions for him and the monarchy.
Could he not be a little more mindful and not do this stupid thing in this stupid way?
 

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@El Pip - If it is all that cut-and-dried, if the King can be forced out pretty much at whim of Parliament without regard to election results and his own wishes, then where is the tension in this plot? I do believe the author is presenting us with this situation for a reason, and - cue Chekhov's Gun - the machinations are not going to be resolved with a hand-wave, a paper and a "Sign it or we boot you out anyway." If you think the AAR is founded on a credible basis and competently executed then you must concede, as I think, that there is some way for the monarch to prevail. Not necessarily to prevail - but for there to be some chance. Otherwise there simply is not much point to the last 30-plus pages, and I respect our author too much to believe that.
 

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@Director it is because I respect the our author's skill and believe that this AAR is founded on a credible basis that the King will not prevail. Because even if his opponents make every mistake and he plays his hand impossibly perfectly, he cannot prevail as his position is too weak and too unpopular. On this interpretation I submit you are perhaps being a bit short sighted; the question is not will the King win, but how much damage he does on the way out and what the situation looks like when he is gone.

Consider a delayed election where Chamberlain wins, but with a tiny majority that actually depends on National Labour and National Liberal (in OTL the Conservatives alone had a huge majority). Yes Parliament can oust the King because there is a cross-party majority for that, but that does not mean things subsequently carry on as before. A PM Chamberlain having to manage a coalition is a very different beast from OTL, suddenly he has to manage parliament (very much not his skill set) and if Eden and half a dozen others get nervous about appeasement that could collapse the government, rather than just see them sent to the back benches. Appeasement as we know it could not happen under those circumstances and the story of what happens instead is, I submit, is very much an interesting tale.

There are several other possibilities, as I outlined above a no-overall majority election result would be chaotic after the initial votes and could produce some very strange coalitions. The King's rabble cannot win, but they could still be a significant factor in the subsequent parliament and coalition wrangling. If Churchill does cross the floor, is there any way back for him to be a wartime PM? There is plenty of tension and 'point' to the last 30 pages, it just doesn't revolve around the King winning, but instead what happens after he loses. Or that is how I have been reading things anyway. :)
 

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Because even if his opponents make every mistake and he plays his hand impossibly perfectly, he cannot prevail as his position is too weak and too unpopular.
Mmmmmmagic.
 

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Mmmmmmagic.
Oh sure Paradox allows such magic and almost forces it. But Le Jones is far too good a writer to be railroaded by mere game mechanics, so I've been ignoring them and assuming the game will be edited to suit the plot and not vice versa.
 

Le Jones

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1.png


Chapter 41, The Literary and Philosophical Society, Newcastle, 14 August 1936

1600810399582.png


Archibald Sinclair, Leader of the Liberal Party, paced anxiously in that dark part of the library that they had set aside for him. His hosts had respected his wishes to be left alone and so, with the faintly disapproving busts of worthy Victorian Geordies lining the route of his pacing, he collected his thoughts. Somewhere in the building he heard a clock chime. Five minutes to go, he thought apprehensively. In the inside pocket of his blazer he had two letters, one from Lloyd George and one from Sir Warren Fisher. Not Baldwin, or even Chamberlain, but Fisher. This irritated Sinclair, perhaps, he allowed, more than it should. While Lloyd George, a titan of Parliament (like him or loathe him) had taken the time out of what was, in all likelihood, a tremendously busy time, the Government had sent a badly typed letter to both Sinclair and Attlee. It does rankle some, he mused. They think that they have our support and so can be whipped like the National Government MPs. Lloyd George’s letter had been erudite, pithy and, to Sinclair’s chagrin, that of a leader. And so, on his way to his far flung Scottish constituency, (the northernmost in mainland Britain), he accepted an invitation from one of his MPs to speak, and had dragged along Percy Harris, his Chief Whip (although with only 21 MPs the ‘Chief’ bit was rather overplaying it) and now held the draft lines of two very different speeches in his notebook.

He had to address the only issue gripping the country, he knew that; the end of the Olympics, Spain, the enduring British obsession with the weather, Palestine, all had been shunted off the front pages. The only thing that anyone wanted to hear politicians speak about was the King. Baldwin had vanished, Chamberlain was holed up in seemingly endless meetings with his little gang of civil servants, and Eden was coyly focussing on the Anglo-Egyptian treaty. For Labour, Attlee had deftly called for a Party Conference; perhaps he’s right. We might need a manifesto sooner than we thought.

“Archie, it’s time,” Harris said, peering into the gloom.

“I’ll be there presently,” Sinclair said, his fingers, like his mind, flitting between the two speeches.

1600810504518.png


There was a spiral staircase down to the ground floor, and he could see that they’d cleared the tables to make room for more seats. The small venue was packed, most of the members (of course) correctly in evening attire and seated almost at attention, while behind them and to the sides an assortment of interlopers, most of them Newcastle clerks and administrators who worked in the city and had heard of the visit stood, lolled or leaned on bookshelves. There were a number of what to Sinclair, an experienced politician, were clearly reporters from the newspapers. He stood on not quite the lowest rung of the spiral staircase, took a deep breath, and with a nod to his host, Sir Robert Aske, MP for Newcastle East, he strode down a thinly arranged aisle. There was a smattering of applause, the crowd not knowing what he was going to say.

“Thank you, Sir Robert,” Sinclair began, using, as he usually did, his patrician bearing and hawklike looks to quieten the crowd. “It is always troubling, unsettling even, when one has to follow a barrister and magistrate, but there we are,” the quip earned a few laughs, but most of the crowd just wanted him to get on with it.

But not all of the crowd, as from the massed ranks at the back of the room a female voice shouted ‘God Save the King’. It was swiftly taken up by others, and for a few moments the Liberal Leader stood, stock still, and listened to a crowd chanting their support for the King. But for every voice of support there was an equally strident voice in opposition. Sinclair looked down at his notebook. There were still two speeches.

“I, ah, oh,” he said, still racked. Harris, sitting with Aske to his left, looked at him, offered the slightest of nods. He was with him.

“I had come here, this evening, to talk to this society about our duty to ensure that all of the people enjoy the benefits of our economic recovery,” he began rather flatly. “But I see, now, that I must address the issue facing this country, and more evidently, His Majesty.”

“We now watch, all of us, impotently as an unfortunate difference of opinion arises between the King and his ministers,” Sinclair said with more passion. “We have read the reports in the newspapers. At the centre of this great issue is the desire of a Sovereign to marry both a commoner and an American.”

Well that had them, for having picked his speech he had decided to forego the first paragraph of scene setting in favour of, as Churchill, his friend, would have put it, ‘bloody well getting on with it’. “I contend, as does the Party which I lead, that there is no objection that can rationally be made to objecting to the King marrying both a commoner and an American.” He was annoyed at himself for repeating the same turn of phrase, and with an irritated grimace ploughed on. “I do not believe,” he said, his passion rising, “that in these days anybody would feel anything but happiness and joy if the King’s choice fell upon a commoner.”

Harris and Aske, aware that this was one of two options (the other speech, doomed to never be heard, merely called for calm and hinted at support for Baldwin), recovered their surprise quickly and nodded their support. Harris pounded the table in support.

“The King,” Sinclair continued, “is a bachelor. A true match of the heart, I believe the papers today called it a love match, and a democratic one at that, would be popular. Now that Kingship is no longer endowed with the qualities of semi-divinity, but has in effect become a hereditary Presidency, the public is little disposed to interfere with the King’s personal affairs.”

Well Archie, that’s ruptured you, rent you entirely, from Baldwin. He realised suddenly that he hadn’t mentioned the Prime Minister, mentioned anyone apart the King, and briefly Simpson, in his speech. Too late to change all that now. “The only issue, therefore, facing the King and his people must, really, be whether an Act can be passed that would allow a lady whom the King desires to marry a status other than Queen. Before we reject this very laudable proposal entirely out of consideration, and urge the King to remember that which is called his duty. I say this: let no man summon him to make so great a renunciation as he was asked to make unless that man himself was prepared to make any renunciation which might be necessary in the interests of this country.”

The applause that greeted this, tantamount to a declaration of war against Baldwin and for the King, was louder, much louder, at the back of the room, where a younger, less affluent crowd of clerks and draughtsmen had paid a few pence for the privilege of hearing him speak. But among the black tied members there was, just, a majority appearing to approve of his words. Dabbing a handkerchief at a sweat-beaded forehead, he took his seat as Aske rose to offer some closing remarks, before a member of the Society politely, delicately, but obviously, asked the oiks at the back to leave.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

GAME NOTES

Apologising for being overwhelmed with work of late, I offer this; and the essence of this smaller update is that the Liberal leader comes out in support of some form of accommodation of the King. I'm wading through four updates that aren't tied to a particular date: this one, focussing on the Liberals, an update on Duff-Cooper (which is now 'next in the hoist', some spy stuff and an international-type one. But with the AAR focussed, so far, on (largely) Conservative and Civil Service politics, I opted to put this update out as the first of the four. The notion of the Liberal Leader coming out in support of the King may seem far fetched, but it actually isn't and I have combined snippets of real speeches and written comment during the real abdication crisis.

Sinclair appears, from sources various, to have gently drifted from benign indifference / uselessness to rather clear support for King Edward. At a speech in south-west London in early December he absolutely argued that there was no serious objection to the King marrying an American or a commoner and did, as I have portrayed, pointedly fail to express any support for Baldwin. He went on to praise the King and, again as portrayed, made what you may feel sounds (well, reads in our case) like a veiled invitation to Baldwin to resign. In his speech Sir Archibald did not spell out his views on the royal marriage in great detail, but this is perhaps not entirely surprising if he was in the process of shifting his position. I have also, again gently, suggested that this shift in party policy perhaps lacks unanimous support (has it even been debated?). In the event Sinclair found his strategy collapsing beneath him when the King suddenly gave way, and only five days after his rather supportive speech the King had signed the Declaration of Abdication, leaving any declared supporters in a rather vulnerable predicament. Sinclair would bury his earlier declarations in rather awkward Parliamentary 'hand-wringing', seeming to suggest that he could never have supported a morgantic marriage.

Sinclair is an odd character to 'get under the skin of'; he looks like something from a Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes film and is as lauded (largely for his support of Churchill in some key moments of the older man's life) as he is castigated (I'm defer to @El Pip, but he was not, as I understand it, particularly successful at the Air Ministry (he clashed terribly with Beaverbrook).

The 'Lit and Phil' is a truly wonderful Newcastle institution and I urge you to visit if you're ever in the toon; as a youngling I heard some truly awesome (and, actually, awful) speeches in it.

So we have, now, seen the Tories, the Civil Service, and latterly the Liberals. Labour is biding its time, so we will next look at a member of the Baldwin Cabinet who is often cited as a key member of any prospective pro-Edward grouping. It's time for Duffie...


One thing I draw from this update is suppressed state of panic. Baldwin has been taken ill - and for any flaws he might possess he was providing direction, leadership, but perhaps above all stability. Chamberlain's "idea" and slip of tongue show this most clearly - with Baldwin's exit accelerating with each new headline the knives will be coming out.
I think that you're right, as ever. Much of the talk, even with a looming court case, was on a brilliant exercise in brinkmanship. More than just a calling of bluff, the lack of real planning and strategy is brutally exposed.

Of course, the European Court of human rights is separate from the EU and already superseded UK authority before we ever entered the Common Market so...
If I had a pound for every person who hasn't realised this, I wouldn't be trudging up and down the UK peddling my wares...

Explosive stuff, Le J. A primo slice of scheming on display, and my god what an objectionable group they make. More comic book villains than a cinema in the school holidays. Chamberlain is loathsome and I hope to Christ he gets what's his, but boy it will be fun to watch him try and execute his 'plan' before (while?) everything blows up around him. Great stuff all round.
Chamberlain is loathsome, but also clever. I'm glad you're warming to Fisher, he's bonkers, but great to write up...

The updates are arriving thick and fast now! I liked the detail of nobody knowing precisely where the King is. :eek:
Well I've blown that apart with the work inspired delay. The absence of knowledge of the King is based upon a real incident where Macmillan had no idea where QE2 was and was horrified to realise that the direction to go to war (and we're talking nukes at this point) would probably issued by the Queen in some horrible telephone box having been flagged down by a Police motorcyclist sent to find her...

Turns out he's with Baldwin and this was all a gigantic smokescreen for their illicit and passionate homosexual relationship. After this crisis, they both retire out of public life and can vanish into the sunset together.
That would be a great length to go for a smokescreen but I suppose you can't be too careful!
Its the only way to be sure. Chamberlain was bought off by them and is going to deliberately appease Germany into war to cover them even further.
That is a truly horrible concept. "The Adventures of Big Spoon and Little Spoon" is an AAR concept that I'm not gonna explore...

Yeah, our navy is the only thing we have going for us at this moment in history. Our submarines were quite advanced!
Its just odd that Vansittart specified (as he did OTL) five powers (which means someone has to be included while a similar power is excluded) rather than four (which is more obvious).

Speaking of, I think he might be overestimating his ability to rebound from a scandal of this magnitude -- if the King really is going to bring down the Government over this, he and his supporters (though possibly more on the initiative of the latter) will almost certainly be preparing a contingency plan of their own if they have any political savvy at all. Even with the King resolutely trying to stay within his own little bubble of reality, even he can see where this chain of events will inevitably lead to even if he doesn't want to consciously acknowledge it.
Nev's mad power game is in-character to an extent but I'm struggling with the details. I can absolutely see him trying to 'torture' his opponents and purge the party of any who oppose him, but I can't see him wanting to be out of power that long, certainly not months. Snap election, get the 'rebels' voted out (defectors almost never win their old seat back for their new party) and get himself his 'own' majority and mandate. Surely one of the 'gang' gathering would point this out to him? I know many of them are supposed to be a-political civil servants, but this is more a matter of governance - leaving the country leaderless for months is just bad policy and they almost have a duty to point that out.
This is one of my mild stretches to bridge the gap between what I think would happen and HOI4 bollocks. But I can see Chamberlain allowing this torture to run on a bit, so that when he gallops in it's even more as the saviour.

Oh yes, but unlike the Spanish, they still have delusions of grandeur and aren't in a civil war. They'll be pissed to be passed over when everyone around them is getting together for a naval treaty.
They've been ignored for the Washington and London naval treaties already, surely the Dutch are used to being ignored by now. If it really bothered them they would start building ships that threatened the balance of power, then people would have to invite them. They didn't, so clearly they can't be that annoyed.
BTW, any reason they didn't build more ships since they still had an empire in the far east and knew Japan was gunning for it? Aside from assuming the UK and US would win the resulting naval war and give them the land back?
They were still in depression but were already negotiating a licence to build Scharnhorst-like battlecruisers with Germany.
First couple of times maybe. By now they've either learnt or no-one cares about their ritualistic complaints.
Yes, too little too late; same with the army and air force, really.
Which is why I don't think that Van automatically meant the Dutch. I see the idea of the UK, Germany, France and Italy doing something between the Anglo-German nonsense and Washington (in that the UK might try and propose this - I'm not saying that it would even convene). Who is the fifth nation - Poland? Sweden? Netherlands? Christ knows - I'm not all that sure that Van did...

Have been catching up with the last couple of episodes and enjoying them, as always.
With Edward, I suppose his potential abdication would be called REXIT these days. :rolleyes: Just like any cover up scandal has -gate added to it, or something long gets -athon.
Oh I like that! REXIT it is!

No matter how confident Chamberlain and his associates are, I still think this can easily come unstuck. Many of the public (and Parliament) will not support him, not in the face of the disapproval of the Church - but many will.
The actual strange thing is how Eddie is deviating from his constitutional role. OTL he always respected that, even at the end, and he did feel the weight of responsibility about protecting the institution. Right now he is skirting the issues and probably just the correct side of the line, but any attempt to intervene in an election, no matter how subtle or through 'friends', or to deny an election when requested would be massively out of character and have terrible repercussions for him and the monarchy.
I think you are forgetting Paradox Magic, which is much like Christmas Magic in that it comes in the last minute and resolves everything, usually in favour of revisionists. Remember the HOI4 event chain gets around this by him already being married and corinated when the decision fires. Then no word of his government makeup at all, aside from 'Kings Party' and the faces of Churchill, Llloyd George, and Mosley on the decision. He ends up as head of government though, so I'm not sure what happened next...
@El Pip - If it is all that cut-and-dried, if the King can be forced out pretty much at whim of Parliament without regard to election results and his own wishes, then where is the tension in this plot? I do believe the author is presenting us with this situation for a reason, and - cue Chekhov's Gun - the machinations are not going to be resolved with a hand-wave, a paper and a "Sign it or we boot you out anyway." If you think the AAR is founded on a credible basis and competently executed then you must concede, as I think, that there is some way for the monarch to prevail. Not necessarily to prevail - but for there to be some chance. Otherwise there simply is not much point to the last 30-plus pages, and I respect our author too much to believe that.
@Director it is because I respect the our author's skill and believe that this AAR is founded on a credible basis that the King will not prevail. Because even if his opponents make every mistake and he plays his hand impossibly perfectly, he cannot prevail as his position is too weak and too unpopular. On this interpretation I submit you are perhaps being a bit short sighted; the question is not will the King win, but how much damage he does on the way out and what the situation looks like when he is gone.
Mmmmmmagic.
Oh sure Paradox allows such magic and almost forces it. But Le Jones is far too good a writer to be railroaded by mere game mechanics, so I've been ignoring them and assuming the game will be edited to suit the plot and not vice versa.
So...

I have, deliberately, not mentioned the real game that much, I really just tried to play it more or less as the real British did while tweaking occasionally to reflect the looming crisis.

The game, as we'll see in one (game) month, just doesn't understand how Parliament works, particularly in its way of assembling Governments. As @TheButterflyComposer comments rightly, it just waves a wand over things and then in a flash Mosley is suddenly in coalition with Lloyd George and Churchill. Spoiler alert, I'm not even vaguely interested in this madness.

But...

To make the story more interesting, and to align roughly with the game played, I have dialled up, although only mildly, the loyalists while nerfing, slightly, the Government. What does this mean? If an MP was wavering, perhaps thinking of supporting the King, I have tended to interpret the evidence in a way favourable to the rebel bloc. We'll see this, clearly, with Duff-Cooper next update.
 
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DensleyBlair

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There we have it, then. Sinclair’s hand is forced. Whether this particular shock will send out far reaching waves… well, I suppose this is as good a test as any to see whether that long-promised Liberal fightback has any teeth.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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The 'Lit and Phil' is a truly wonderful Newcastle institution and I urge you to visit if you're ever in the toon; as a youngling I heard some truly awesome (and, actually, awful) speeches in it.
Newcastle under Lyme's debate hall is more like a bunker, given that the down swings pretty hard right yet all the land surrounding it belongs to one of the super leftist universities you always here about. Declaring independence from Thatcher's regime etc. When the two collide, strange and disturbing things happen, like Gamers Workshop being created (which makes Warhammer 40k make a bit more sense...).

If I had a pound for every person who hasn't realised this, I wouldn't be trudging up and down the UK peddling my wares...
Very funny to remind people that the only super binding, all encompassing 'shit, were serious, this destroys and overrides national sovereignty for certain' institution in Europe is an instituion that follows a convention written by the British.

Oops.

That is a truly horrible concept. "The Adventures of Big Spoon and Little Spoon" is an AAR concept that I'm not gonna explore...
And yet, as per the laws of the lands, it must go on the list.

This is one of my mild stretches to bridge the gap between what I think would happen and HOI4 bollocks.
The goverment actually did resign in game then?

The game, as we'll see in one (game) month, just doesn't understand how Parliament works, particularly in its way of assembling Governments. As @TheButterflyComposer comments rightly, it just waves a wand over things and then in a flash Mosley is suddenly in coalition with Lloyd George and Churchill. Spoiler alert, I'm not even vaguely interested in this madness.
Why on earth not even vaguely? The conspiracy theories alone are interesting. Given that both chruchill and Mosley had *ahem* 'followers' that did various 'things' for them, I can only imagine the gambit pileup. Small bombs, hostages, dealings with the Irish, dealings with the dockers...thrilling pistol battle in the houses of parliment that ends with Churchill beings just too late (oh no!) to prevent Mosley from plugging chamberlain and Halifax through the testicles, but quickly enough to silence him once the deed was done.

There we have it, then. Sinclair’s hand is forced. Whether this particular shock will send out far reaching waves… well, I suppose this is as good a test as any to see whether that long-promised Liberal fightback has any teeth.
Yes, lets all wait for the liberals to do something!

*it is getting colder here. The lights have gone out. I do not think the liberals are coming.*
 

stnylan

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That has rather firmly nailed his colours to the mast. No going back now. And ... it feels like the dam against the King is starting to break. The Liberals are not once what they were, but they are not nothing, even now.

It feels an appropriately British sort of gathering for a speech of this import.
 

El Pip

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Sinclair is an odd character to 'get under the skin of'; he looks like something from a Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes film
In the attached photo there is something of the 'Young Vincent Price'. That or the sort of more civilised type of vampire that Peter Cushing would be called upon to despatch, as the Liberals have come back from the dead more times than Dracula that at least would be appropriate.

Certainly you've managed to capture why the Liberals are not going to set the world alight because that did not go well, not a disaster by any means but definitely a fumbled opportunity that a properly first rank politician would have done much better with. And it was all done in a very Liberal way; zero democracy, a public school boy making a snap decision that binds the whole party, a bit haphazard, slightly ballsed up and despite notionally being about a point of principle mostly done for narrow political advantage that will entirely fail to bring any actual advantage to the party's electoral prospects.

and is as lauded (largely for his support of Churchill in some key moments of the older man's life) as he is castigated (I'm defer to @El Pip, but he was not, as I understand it, particularly successful at the Air Ministry (he clashed terribly with Beaverbrook).
Sinclair at the Air Ministry is an odd one. It appears he had the traditional approach to being a minister, which in this case was politicians set the grand strategy and then the military professionals do the operations and tactics. He also thought any arguments should be internal, kept inside the Air Ministry and Air Staff, so they could present a united front against their real enemy (the other services), hence he got seen as more of the RAF Air Staff's spokesman than a dominating minister bending the RAF to his will.

He suffered from Churchill creating the MoD (with himself as Defence Minister) siphoning off much of the strategy role and of course Beaverbrook's MAP stole the production work, which soon became MAP trying to steal procurement and spec work (if you don't know what is coming, you can't plan the factories). The Air Staff hated MAPs emergency production plan, they thought it was far too much of a panic and sacrificed long/medium term projects that would cause problems later, so Sinclair came out against it. Basically MAP (and Beaverbrook) were incredibly lucky that the Merlin proved capable of doubling in power over the course of the war and that the basic Spitfire design had so much potential it could stay in production the entire war and still be competitive. Lots of projects were cancelled and if the designs MAP picked in 1940 hadn't had such incredible potential then it would have got nasty in the mid-war years when the pre-war designs ran out of steam and there was nothing to replace them.

But it did work out for MAP, Sinclair was seen to be 'wrong' on that and to an extent he was the political face of area bombing and every other RAF policy that people didn't like. If your basic approach is "set the limits and strategy, then let the experts fight the war" and then the experts are 'wrong' have you been successful or not? Certainly the wider British war effort could have benefited immensely from Churchill deferring more to the Admiralty/CIGS and interfering less, so it's hard to say that was a bad approach. It just didn't work out for him.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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That or the sort of more civilised type of vampire that Peter Cushing would be called upon to despatch, as the Liberals have come back from the dead more times than Dracula
And, much like Lee's Dracula, every time they come back, they lose a bit more soul and seem a bit worse than before.

And it was all done in a very Liberal way; zero democracy, a public school boy making a snap decision that binds the whole party, a bit haphazard, slightly ballsed up and despite notionally being about a point of principle mostly done for narrow political advantage that will entirely fail to bring any actual advantage to the party's electoral prospects.
They're like the Labour and Conservative parties mushed together to concentrate the worst qualities of both (public school wacko runs everything, snap decisions that might as well be based off chicken entrails rather than the facts (or worse, party ideology), and a public image so utterly damaging that people would rather vote for the Welsh nationals.

It appears he had the traditional approach to being a minister, which in this case was politicians set the grand strategy and then the military professionals do the operations and tactics.
What madness is this?