The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.
Open surprise at a governor knowing what he's doing and allowing ungentlemenly warfare on his patch.
The spook not bumbling around and easily getting caught, nor being a super sleuth who managed to figure out the Italian torpedo tech and code books by himself.
The whole mission being well planned, executed and concluded without a hitch, and with valuable information.
And then Whitehall sits on it until time stops. *sigh* Whilst I rarely have sympathy for secret agencies, you really have to feel for the poor bastarfs risking life and limb only for their own nations to continually attack them and never use anything they manage to achieve for any good.
Not much to say on the naval side of things as is my wont, but a very welcome slice of derring-do. How much Whitehall will do this this new kernel of information is anyone's guess, of course. But nice to have it.
And alas this is what happened, more or less, in OTL. The British went to great efforts to get the information, but as @El Pip says shortly it made no sense to shame a nation you're actively hoping to keep onside if / when Ze Germans get silly. I view the whole saga as a good example of the interwar lack of direction in the UK.An interesting little vignette. Butler does get around! He took a risk being such a lubber whilst posing as someone nautical, if not an actual sailor, but got away with it. Given how the breaking of treaties had become such a popular international sport by then, in certain quarters anyway, perhaps it’s not surprising the British didn’t bother complaining. What would it have gained them? A sad situation.
It was deliberate - she was in the Western Med at the time, and would should shortly sail for Malta for a spot of maintenance. It is therefore plausible / possible that she was alongside Gib at the time of the Gorizia episode.Whether it was planned or just a case of serendipity, HMS Bulldog getting a cameo here is quite apropos, considering what she was most known for IOTL.
HOLD THAT THOUGHT - when war comes, later on, the role of Italy is one of the more interesting aspects. In this instance, I kind of agree; and in addition to my "Whitehall faff" point, I suspect it was much to learn about the performance of the ships of a potential adversary than anything else.I can understand not making a formal protest, by this point Italy has already flounced out of the Second London Naval Treaty so it's not going to achieve anything in treaty terms and as everyone was flexing limits it won't make much difference anywhere else. Italy is still seen as having value as a counter to Germany and keeping them 'on side', or at least not going full on Axis, is probably more valuable than any slight benefit from revealing Mussolini's treaty breaking. After all France and the UK did succeed in keeping Italy neutral until France had basically fallen, so on it's own terms that part of the plan worked, sadly it was one of the few that did.
Harington Harington was an interesting character; his quiet, sleepy world became mad in '36 with the SCW, the hilarious Med cruise of Haile Selassie and the rise of Italy. His obsession with Haile Selassie aside (the urgent cables to London on the topic are hilarious), I think that he was a decent administrator; just the right amount of G&S-esque uniform wearing, with some initiative and political resolve.I do feel that governors get a a bit of a rum deal in popular imagination. Oh you do get the duds, but mostly they do important if unheralded work and do it well, despite the best attempts of the foreign office to prevent them doing so. Indeed I also believe that most governors feel that the real "enemy" they have to face is not whatever immediate local situation they have in front of them, but the foreign office and whichever rhubarb is currently Secretary of State. So it was nice to see one given a chance to shine, if at once remove.
Very nice, I couldn't tell which way things would go as the door was being opened, luckily for our heroes the Italians kept to their usual level of competence.
One has to feel bad for the Italian navy, they were not particulary good shots and could be lax at times, but they displayed valor and agressive tactics during the war... and had some absolutely beautiful ships!
if not for a fatal lack of oil, the Italian Navy might have proved itself to be a formidable foe. But... if Germany, Japan or Italy had possessed a ready supply of oil the history of that century would be vastly different.
Ah, Italy. You're right about their ships, they still do style (perhaps stereotypically) very well! As for WW2, Italy was a regional power with a great power mentality; in so many areas, as you highlight, she was just not 'up there' with the big boys. I like and agree with the list, perhaps adding that she was tethered to an ally who didn't share her geopolitical and strategic goals, who didn't really consult (and who wasn't consulted) on strategic decisions and whose operational style was, well, slightly different.And actually funding their radar scientist. And better fire control. And reliable shell factories. And different leadership. And some sort of co-operation between air and sea. And different tactics. And better morale. And not having orders that torpedoes were 'too expensive to fire'. And ideally not fighting the Royal Navy, but only the French which all their tactics, strategy and ship building had been focused on.
Fuel shortages might not even make their top 10 problems now I think about it. Italy managed plenty of sorties and operations in the first two years of the war, they just didn't have much success when they did leave port, though they did manage some. It wasn't till late in '42 that fuel became a problem and the die had long since been cast by then.
I actually love this idea.And I'm wondering how we might utilise this resource for the betterment of aarkind. Recent and past threads have demonstrated a strong thirst for topic threads on the writing process, aars, ideas, narratives and all that stuff. Should there be a separate thread somewhere for the prompt list so we can continue to add to it (even post short story/rough drafts of ideas) and talk about stuff like that and just have a general natter, much like the old bAAR system? Or is it a product of this thread that would die swiftly if I foolishly tore it out?
Oh bugger - started writing the above and then this. Well, you're right.Italy's problems aren't germany's, true. They're under no real threat from Russia, the allies at least speak to them even if they don't like them, and they have a colonial empire. It's shit, but it does/will have oil. Eventually. And all their neighbours are weak or French, so they're basically playing on easy mode, so long as they don't deliberately muck it up for themselves...
Thank you, as ever, mon brave.Just caught up reading through all the updates. Great writing and coverage of events and working through the game-play vs good, believable story.
A fascinating 'what if', and one with which I agree. Italy has a more, arguably, to offer the US / NATO - it's a constitutional monarchy - so possibly more stable, has a bigger empire than Spain, hasn't gone through a destructive civil war. Quite an intriguing thought mon brave.Avoid that and it probably goes like Franco Spain - not a nice place but nothing blatantly and publiclly horrific, propped up by US money post-war as it's anti-communist and then a return to democracy when the leader dies.
Not sure how much oil Italy can get out of Albania in HOI4? I don't recall it being amazing without supplementing it with foreign exports or Libya. At least, not enough to keep up with a mobile land army and a navy burning fuel. But in game, it is very easy for Italy to take over the balkans, get Spain in an alliance or take their med islands, and Turkey as well. Then stay out of every war unless and until the amercians show up, and just pick their side as per usual.
I am in no way surprised. That sort of alternate history would be the wrong-sort-of-fun so obviously Paradox wouldn't include it.
I'm rapidly fed up with the increasingly erratic focus trees, more like a drunken teenager joyriding a stolen Vauxhall Corsa on a deprived small town estate than a logical alternative history. I've bought, but not played, the latest Balkany / Turkey one.Well, I would say they seem obsessed with adding in as many royalist factions as possible to every country they update so...I wouldn't be surprised if they did. I hope at least a mod is working on it.
No, a strong industrial base was not a necessity for an effective Italian fleet, just a necessity for rapidly replacing losses and maintaining naval strength. France and the Soviet Union had a stronger industrial base and arguably no better a navy, and Japan's navy was far stronger on an equivalent or weaker base.
Radar would have been nice to have, but really no-one but Britain did, and both German and Japanese navies managed to fight effectively without it - at least for a while.
Italian fire control was apparently quite good, at least on the 'Littorio' class. Apparently, shell quality-control was to blame for the inaccuracy... but while we could look at British issues with shells cracking rather than penetrating, or German and American issues with fuzing, we can just say that most navies had issues of some sort or another. As for different leadership... they didn't do badly considering they were not able to do a lot of training or make many sorties (see 'lack of oil'). It's true they didn't want to risk the big ships, but you are conflating British strategy with Italian. Britain needed the Italians to come out and fight and lose - the Italians were not well-served by doing that.
And as for leadership - read up on the actions of the light forces. A lot of Italian units fought hard and well, though the men weren't gung-ho for the war.
No, I don't agree that Italy needed all of those things you list. I do think the single most necessary thing was a steady oil supply, making naval operations more frequent, giving operational experience and enabling larger components to be used. Britain would still have won but they'd have needed a lot more forces in the Med, I think. I won;t argue that Italy's navy was good - just that, with sufficient oil, it would have performed better.
There is a difference between shells that don't always do their job when they hit and shells you struggle to even achieve a hit with. One seems much worse than the other.
You are trying to have you cake and eat it. Or perhaps bunker your oil and burn it. Italy was either not coming out to fight due to strategy (fleet in being, etc) or wanted to come out more but couldn't (lack of oil). It can't be both and I think it was neither;
Take Vittorio Veneto. Commissioned and operational August 1940 and straight out to attack Convoy MB.3, then sortieing after the British fleet, then out again in October after MB.5 Then in November the Italian Fleet got Tarranto-ed (that is a verb right?). Veneto went out to fight the Battle of Cape Spartivento in December, shortly after Giulio Cesare got bombed by the RAF and put into dock for a few months and Veneto was the only operational battleship Italy had left. But stil she went out to intercept Force H in February '41. Battle of Cape Matapan was March and it took until August for her to be repaired, but then straight back out to try and intercept the British fleet. Then in September trying to attack the Operation Halbeard convoy, a few more sorties later in the year and then getting torpedoed by HMS Urge in Decemeber and out for repairs until early '42, then straight out to try and attack the Op Vigorous convoy in June.
My point is that the Italian fleet seemed busy enough, lots of sorties made and sailing out. Now I accept that having so much of the fleet in dry dock after Taranto made it easier to spread the fuel around the few available units, but for the early years of the war fuel shortages do not appear to be that much of a limiting factor. Middle of 1942 things do change, fuel shortages do start to bite, but in the early years there is enough stocks to enable a lot of operations. That so many sorties end in nothing is in large part because the aerial recon and naval intelligence keep letting them down and fail to find the enemy (and in fairness the RAF also often fail to find the Italians either).
With some radar, better co-ordination with the air force, better tactics around scouting with light units all those sorties might have achieved something, instead a lot of fuel was spent sailing around failing to even make contact.
I'm well aware of their and exploits and I see them as proof of how bad the leadership and morale in the main fleet was. As you say Italian sailors could and did fight well in some units, so the fact that so many did not points to failures in the leadership of the main fleet. Had the light units attached to the fleet shown the same aggression and flair as the MAS forces you'd expect the set piece naval battles to have gone better.
I'm on the "oil would've helped, but wouldn't have resisted O'Connor, or stopped the Russians, or persuaded Franco to let them try for Gib" faction.
Oooooh. Thank you!
She absolutely would, as I hope that I have portrayed, have been prepared to be a mistress. Any attempt for something more formal came, both here and in OTL, from the King.One of his problems appears to be that he lacks a trusted advisor. he has friends/sycophants in the Belvedere Set and he has inherited his fathers advisors, but it appears he has no-one he trusts and believes who will tell him what he needs to be told but doesn't want to hear. If Duff Cooper did decide to side with parliament and the country told the King "It is love or duty, in this instance you cannot have both." I doubt the King would listen and the result would be cutting his ties with Duff Cooper not a change in the King's thinking.
To be fair I've read that Wallace would also have been prepared to settle as a mistress as even she could see the problems, so if even she couldn't tell him the hard truth I think this is just a fundamental problem with Edward.
I intended to post tomorrow, but I saw the AAR signal in the sky and knew my duty. And also, the wife is watching Strictly. (shudders)AAR prompt, heal the divide between both sides of the fuel strategy debate.
It won't come until they update Africa. Which...I mean, it should happen before south America at least. Probably something like 'Desert Rats and Foxes' or some such tosh. Eurgh.This is not a game event, but by God it should be...
Mm. Yes. Malaysia makes no sense either apparently, as I found out when El Pip blew his top over it.ok, ok, the basis for my niggling frustration is that I hate the way that HOI4 handles the British Empire.
Well...it is an independent country, and only ever went so far as extremely dependant protectorate puppet at various times. Makes much more sense for the british to own suez, and have eypgt puppeted/vassaled. And India shouldnt be a dominion at the start. Makes all Indian history alt history by default.I firmly believe that Egypt was, even before the treaty, far more of an independent concern than India.
Cos Africa doesn't matter in hoi4. At all.It has its own army (heavily dominated by the British, yes, but still much more of a separate concern than the forces of the Raj), manages more of its domestic affairs, and yet is as integrated into the UK as Jamaica or Malta
Tbf, India doesn't matter either.India, meanwhile, led by a London appointed Viceroy with a Secretary of State in the Cabinet, is much ‘freer’ and has, thanks to the ever maniacal focus trees, wanders of as a loosely managed puppet. And as for the Army, Indian Army officers, while nominally of a separate organisation, interracted with their British Army colleagues much more than the Egyptians. At the higher ranks, they came and went within the regular British Army. ‘Indian’ Army divisions contained British Army battalions and yet India is a distinct (puppet) regime. No, no, no.
Goodness me, I'd never call you a tart.But now the hypocrisy – “well, Le Jones, why don’t you release Egypt as a puppet? No? You tart, you hypocrite!” I'm ascribing that to @TheButterflyComposer - or something like it.
Of course!And you’d be right.
Spoken like the spirit of Halifax. What're your plans for the empire then, in game terms? I'm asking, knowing that you can't answer.I get an excuse to achieve parity of dealing with the Empire later, but for now, I do nothing. Let’s move on…
Oooo. That means Italy did a HOI4 Italy and locked Mussolini in the closet, kept neutral at least for a while and (hopefully) just very carefully mucked around in the balakns out of everyone's way.HOLD THAT THOUGHT - when war comes, later on, the role of Italy is one of the more interesting aspects.
Not in HOi4 either. Which I quite enjoy actually. Power with limits, and easy to begin. And...crucially, something to fear (Germany and France).As for WW2, Italy was a regional power with a great power mentality; in so many areas, as you highlight, she was just not 'up there' with the big boys.
Moved to the bAAR for discussion on that topic...Will update the list when I can though.I actually love this idea.
Of course!Oh bugger - started writing the above and then this. Well, you're right.
Imagine if Italy stayed neutral, and basically played it like HOI4. They kept out of the big war, very carefully fiddled with the balkans until they dominated it with force and diplomacy, and basically waited for Germany to collpase.A fascinating 'what if', and one with which I agree. Italy has a more, arguably, to offer the US / NATO - it's a constitutional monarchy - so possibly more stable, has a bigger empire than Spain, hasn't gone through a destructive civil war. Quite an intriguing thought mon brave.
I haven't got it yet. Not sure why I would really. All I know is it once again makes Italy weaker and more pathetic than all of its neighbours, which makes me sad. I like playing Italy.I'm rapidly fed up with the increasingly erratic focus trees, more like a drunken teenager joyriding a stolen Vauxhall Corsa on a deprived small town estate than a logical alternative history. I've bought, but not played, the latest Balkany / Turkey one.
You mean this thing actually works?!I intended to post tomorrow, but I saw the AAR signal in the sky and knew my duty. And also, the wife is watching Strictly. (shudders)
Well, french and Latin are the perennial favourites of prime ministers. Occasionally ancient Greek if they're really posh/clever.This update has also got me thinking - what other Foreign Secretaries have spoken a language traditionally seen as non-European (ie, not French, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian etc.).
You used to be able to just puppet and console command the nations into the proer state condition, but with magical man the guns, paradox made it very difficult for the british empire (and just the british empire) to decolonise itself. Not sure why they did this.Final game note: it would be interested to play a HoI4 game where the Empire is largely split up into subjects of varying levels.
Quite. Every time you do in the decision tree, you get a million manpower or so. Just allowing someone to run a huge puppet empire right from the begining of the game kinda destroys the object of the game (since that's basically what everyone wants to do). But yes, Britian with every colony and dominion a puppet would be insanely strong.which is why I think you can't release
Don't be foolish. New Zealand doesn't have the possibility of a decision tree leading to new pharaohs, caliphs and pyramid building.Plus of course while there was an Egyptian Army it was tiny and Egyptian industry, at least on a strategic scale, was minimal. If you want to play as a tiny British puppet that cannot influence anything or build any armed forces of any size, the game already has New Zealand.
But New Zealand does have the truly catastrophic Bob Semple and Schofield Tanks, as well as the entirely fictitious but just as meme worthy "Big Bob" super heavy tank. All of which are clearly worthy of their own individual focus, because they are memes and that's the sort of thing Paradox like.Don't be foolish. New Zealand doesn't have the possibility of a decision tree leading to new pharaohs, caliphs and pyramid building.
Memes get YouTube time. And lots and lots of social media time. CK2 pretty much runs its own ad campaign at this point. Makes a lot of business sense.But New Zealand does have the truly catastrophic Bob Semple and Schofield Tanks, as well as the entirely fictitious but just as meme worthy "Big Bob" super heavy tank. All of which are clearly worthy of their own individual focus, because they are memes and that's the sort of thing Paradox like.
Can I-Actual alt-history options about New Pharaohs and Caliphs or Egypt doing anything interesting would be the wrong sort of fun, so Paradox will never do anything like that. They have strong views about what is the wrong sort of fun and enforce them rigidly.
More that it was just utterly mad, completely mad. The Italian AI initially played a challenging hand well, but then it just went mad.Oooo. That means Italy did a HOI4 Italy and locked Mussolini in the closet, kept neutral at least for a while and (hopefully) just very carefully mucked around in the balakns out of everyone's way.
I am planning an update on that, perhaps later in the game year when the UK situation is clearer.Ah, the not so famous Irish Bandera, probably the most unlucky and short-lived volunteer unit in the Spanish Civil War. I love details like these.
It was pompous, not just Eden with his traditional love of status and pageantry, but the Egyptians as well. Some of this is the old Victorian courtesy and formality, some of it is the Egyptians playing the Brits at their own game.A wonderfully pompous ceremony, if I may say so. El-Nahas absolutely sounds like a man who wants something, and Eden is as ever a preening old so-and-so who, nevertheless, has done something pretty handy. (I wonder how that renegotiation will go for him in twenty years time…)
You're right, El-Nahas was deliberately flowery to mollify any British fears of losing power / status.I suspect El-Nahas is perhaps knowing quite well what he is doing - a few simple (and largely meaningless) gestures to stroke Britain's pride. Even in the mid-30s it was clear the Empire was going on a trajectory of .. if not dissolution then at least a centripetal evolution. A little patience could go a long way - and in a world where a European nation has just taken over an African one being under the British aegis still conveys some benefits.
This update has also got me thinking - what other Foreign Secretaries have spoken a language traditionally seen as non-European (ie, not French, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian etc.).
Jeremy Hunt? His wife is Chinese (a fact lost on him sometimes, as he famously called her 'Japanese') and appears to be fluent in Mandarin.Well, french and Latin are the perennial favourites of prime ministers. Occasionally ancient Greek if they're really posh/clever.
You may be right, but in that case Malaya and India shouldn't be puppets.I suppose the argument for keeping Egypt as it is currently represented is that it would all go horribly wrong if it was included - the British AI struggles with defending North Africa as it is, if it wasn't even British territory I dread to think what would happen.
Plus of course while there was an Egyptian Army it was tiny and Egyptian industry, at least on a strategic scale, was minimal. If you want to play as a tiny British puppet that cannot influence anything or build any armed forces of any size, the game already has New Zealand. Or Oman if you want to experience the same thing but in a desert. If you are Egyptian I can understand why you might want to play, but for everyone else it seems like something that will cause problems while adding very little.
On Italy, some interesting teasing. I look forward to seeing what they do differently and how it all links back to Eddie's haste to bring about his doom.
Don't be foolish. New Zealand doesn't have the possibility of a decision tree leading to new pharaohs, caliphs and pyramid building.
But New Zealand does have the truly catastrophic Bob Semple and Schofield Tanks, as well as the entirely fictitious but just as meme worthy "Big Bob" super heavy tank. All of which are clearly worthy of their own individual focus, because they are memes and that's the sort of thing Paradox like.
Actual alt-history options about New Pharaohs and Caliphs or Egypt doing anything interesting would be the wrong sort of fun, so Paradox will never do anything like that. They have strong views about what is the wrong sort of fun and enforce them rigidly.
I wonder what monarchy options they will give Egypt then (cos they will. They've done that for everyone so far). Napoleon again?
Mamluks for the Twentieth Century as some weird monarcho-populist movement?
Coptic Pope John XIX becoming ruler of Greater Egypt and gaining cores on the entire continent, in line with his grandiose claim to be Patriarch of all Africa.
The sad thing is, somewhere in Sweden this very discussion may well be taking place.HRE but in Africa is probably meme enough.
And it is glorious (and threadmarked).Just a note to say that The Great Big List of Madhouse AAR prompts and Ideas (from A Royal Prerogative) has been updated and is now up to date.
A backlash against the Establishment in general, not just the monarchy? Not good for stability, there. Not before a world war.“We’ve increased the Police presence around key buildings: Parliament, the Palace, Lambeth Palace,” Baldwin frowned at this, Simon saw it and swiftly clarified, “there has been a lot of criticism in the less supportive media of His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury”.
Yes, time to go for him.Baldwin thought about it for a moment. “No,” he said, after some consideration. “The time for that has passed, gentlemen.” There was a knock at the door and an aide entered and wordlessly nodded at Baldwin. “Time to go,” he said simply.
He climbed into the car, feeling old and tired, wondering for how long this could go on.
Very desperate, but also just laying out how screwed the monarch is if he tries anything. This is NOT his empire.“I have,” Baldwin said wearily, forgetting (but not entirely caring about it) to start with a ‘Sir’, “the endorsement of every one of the Dominion Prime Ministers, I have the Cabinet and the Liberal” he paused, huffing at Sinclair’s recent defection “well I have the Labour leader, I have the Archbishop of Canterbury, I have the Viceroy of India, the Director General of the BBC, all in agreement with my reservations to the Simpson marriage. I have the Houses of Commons and Lords. I have the Duke of York.”
Oh, fuck off.“Ah, Bertie,” the King said sadly. “He and the little wife the golden couple, are they?”
Quite.Baldwin ignored what he angrily believed was the King’s self-pitying martyr act.
Shit.You haven't," the King said, his eyes gazing up as he prepared his words, "convinced Attlee, at least not yet. My people tell me he's offered a hand to the Independents, to the CPGB, for his little meeting."
There he goes...and he's passing the buck onto someone else. Let's hope Chamberlain is up to it, though first we have...“I tried,” Baldwin seemed genuinely distressed, “I tried so hard. We may need to resign the Government. Then, I think a new Prime Minister might have the mandate to demand that he abdicate, or else threaten him with it.”
...whomever Edwards pick is. This is going to be awful.“The Prime Minister is picked by the Sovereign,”
I'm trying to think of what they could have done. Naturally they presumably won handily in ehtopia, and then stayed neutral ish in European affairs and invaded bits of the balkans instead. However, going utterly mad implies they did something strange, like ignore war with france in a German alliance but then went to war anyway when they invaded yuguslavia. Or perhaps a little smarter, if more crazy, and they stayed neutral and invaded the middle east instead. I do that a lot. Quite fun.More that it was just utterly mad, completely mad. The Italian AI initially played
Of course there was. Edward just had no class did he? Oh sure he could dress well and play the dandy, but fundamentally he was a low grade bounder and everything about him was a bit tawdry. I do wonder if that factor also hurt him with the Establishment, certain things are more tolerable, or ignorable, if done with a degree of flair and sophistication, which were just two of the many things Eddie lacked.Baldwin noticed a half empty bottle of a cheap whisky on the side
That is certainly something to look forward to.More that it was just utterly mad, completely mad. The Italian AI initially played a challenging hand well, but then it just went mad.
Of course they shouldn't. But HOI4 does appear to be fundamentally not a very good game, so I am unsurprised that they are.You may be right, but in that case Malaya and India shouldn't be puppets.