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George_VI

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13 - All Quiet on the Western Front...

On the very last day of 1940, research and development on a new long range heavy bomber for the RAF was complete by Vickers. The new aircraft, named Waterloo, was to be Britain's first four-engined bomber. It incorporated a defensive armament far superior to any earlier aircraft, with an impressive total of 11 .303 machine guns in various positions, and it could carry 14,000 lb of bombs.
KmvvX6R.jpg

On the 19th of January 1941, at the Treaty of Ningxia, a combined effort by Tibet, Russia and the Shanqing Chinese resulted in the dissolution of the Mongolian Khanate, with Russia taking control over all Mongolia, Chahar, and west Turkestan. Both Mongolia and the Ma rulers would be given autonomy as Russian protectorates.
O4DfUtt.jpg

HRH Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, gave up his position on the Imperial General Staff on the 21st of January, in order to let General Harold Alexander bring a new dynamic to British strategy. Some also worried that the monarchy was having too much influence, particularly since the Duke of Gloucester didn't have any actual constitutional role.
OlMkrR0.jpg

On the 5th of March drawings and designs were finished for a new class of aircraft carrier for the Royal Navy. The Admiralty were advocating for the primacy of the carrier, and this new ship could carry as many as seventy aircraft and was far better armoured than the Ark Royal class. It was eventually decided that the new carrier would be named the Victoria class, evoking the memory of that greatest of British monarchs, Victoria, the first Empress of India.
Sgx5E4D.jpg

The same day a new appointment to the cabinet was made, with Admiral Barry Domvile being appointed to the new post of Minister of Military Intelligence. Being a Royal Navy officer, Domvile naturally was more focused on naval matters, and would be helpful in directing the wartime activities of British naval forces.
mzoD17t.jpg

The next day the third and final ship of the Ark Royal class was commissioned, HMS Audacious. She would be sent to join the Royal Navy, just as soon as carrier aircraft became available.
YWBeNNQ.jpg

Finland, a country that had long had a German king on the throne, threw its lot in with Mitteleuropa on the 30th of March 1941, issuing declarations of war against the Entente and Third Internationale as a consequence. Perhaps now, Russia might be stirred into reigning in its errant ex-possessions with both other world powers at war with them.
lSBtcOK.jpg

The new rifle for British forces, the No.5, went into production at various factories on the 5th of April, including with Birmingham Small Arms and Enfield. The new weapon was a shortened variation on the No.4, with a flared muzzle. The smaller weapon was much more suited to jungle warfare, as was being experienced by British troops in Africa. As a result the new rifle took on the name "Jungle Carbine".
cp5qBYP.jpg

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A soldier of the Durham Light Infantry uses the No.5 rifle in the northern Congo, April 1941
The two battlecruisers, Nelson and Collingwood, had earlier been moved to Karachi in India, and were now operating off the coast of East Africa, with the aim of mopping up the remnants of the Kriegsmarine as well as enemy merchant shipping. On the 12th of April the two ships engaged a small German force off the Comoros Islands, with both enemy ships, a German battlecruiser, SMS Zieten, and the carrier SMS Blumenthal, being quickly shot to pieces by the modern British ships.
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Three days later a war broke out in the Caucasus, as Russia endeavoured to crush Georgia, that syndicalist breakaway state in the mountains. By the 7th of May Georgia was no more.
TPbe3SZ.jpg

On the 6th of May the syndicalists in eastern India began their assault against the Dominion of India, in a flagrant act of aggression. The United Kingdom immediately issued a reciprocal declaration against the Bharatiya Commune. No British troops could be sent there at the moment, Britain would have to content itself with sending Nelson and Collingwood to the Bay of Bengal to cut off shipping.
AsJzMdx.jpg


On the 14th of May the two RN battlecruisers encountered three small frigates flying the flag of the Freistaat Madagaskar, the recently created German protectorate. One was quickly blown out of the water by Collingwood, and the other two were hunted down and sunk in short order over the next week.
My3h0l5.jpg

The Danubian Federation collapsed under communard pressure on the 19th, and the syndicalists, surprisingly, agreed to have its fate arbitrated at the peace table along with that of Germany.
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On the 19th of June, in response to British overtures regarding the fate of the Baltic, Finland, Ruthenia and the Ukraine, Russia issued its declaration of war on Germany, and subsequently launched its invasions into the aforementioned German-affiliated states.
Cd5gHRu.jpg


On the 31st of July 1941, the French Republic took the decision to declare war against the Commune. The UK had not been told of this decision beforehand, and from Whitehall the shrill sound of telephones and typewriters could be heard non-stop for almost two days. A furious French ambassador received Britain's intention to abstain from the war for several months "until resources could be got in order". The Foreign Secretary, Walter Runciman, expressed regret that Britain was not yet in a fit state to participate in another war, but "the situation in our country is still one of confusion and inertia resulting from the recovery process at the end of syndicalism". In fact, Britain wanted to maintain the current situation in Germany and Europe to allow it to keep its power at the peace table. Britain was really just stalling for time, employing that classical British non-committal manner to try to get the French off their back.
wtdn8s2.jpg

On the 4th of September the Princely Federation, in the south of India, also decided to make a bid for the Dominion's territory, and declared war at the same time as an insurrection began in Kashmir. The British decision to partake of this new war left the French ambassador in London fuming.
LvsAfVa.jpg

The French communards, on the 29th, attacked the Italian Federation, with both themselves and the southern Italians hoping for the restoration of their stolen lands.
gFSusnW.jpg

By the 3rd of October a substantial British force had broken through north of Lake Victoria, sweeping through Uganda and down across the Kenyan plains towards the sea. The 4th Infantry Division was by then even managing to advance on Mombasa.
Qjco6a1.jpg

On the 4th of November 1941, the second General Election was held. Campaigning as the continuity party, and promising stability in the current war situation, the Liberal Party again swept to victory. The fact that all main parties had agreed not to contest the others' seats until the war was over helped in this outcome, however.
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The day immediately after, the Dominion of India folded to advancing syndicalist forces, and Britain vowed to continue its fight.
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And on the 11th of November (spooky, eh?) 1941, Germany finally collapsed with the capture of the Kaiser's government at Dar-es-Salaam. The arrangements for a post-war Europe were made at the Treaty of Vientiane, with delegates from Britain, the French Commune and Russia attending to secure their ends of the bargaining.
nZWq9E9.jpg

The Europe that came out of it was massively changed. The Treaty dealt with both Germany and its allies, and Austria. The French Commune regained Nancy and Alsace-Lorraine once more. The German puppet of Flanders-Wallonia split into Flanders and Wallonia, although through British arbitration Belgium would be a united country again within a few months. Communard troops had intervened in Luxembourg, securing a syndicalist puppet government in the tiny region. Germany itself was divided into four new states; Prussia, Rhineland, and the North, and South, German Federations. Additionally, Britain pushed for the recreation of the Kingdom of Hanover, with Edward VIII as its monarch. Hanover existed for all of 24 hours before it was annexed by an Order-in-Council, creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Hanover. French syndicalists marching on Munich were stopped by German militias, preventing the French securing a puppet in Bavaria. Rhineland and the North German Federation were quickly secured as independent states by British infantry, and Prussia, assertive as ever, kept itself secured. Poland received Silesia, Pomerania, East Prussia, Memel, parts of western Ruthenia, and Danzig. Russia annexed Finland, Ruthenia, Ukraine, Lithuania and the United Baltic Duchy, although Ruthenia was granted autonomous status.

In the German colonies, all previous British and French colonies were returned to their rightful owners. Britain received South West Africa, Tanganyika, Zanzibar, Togoland, and parts of eastern Congo, as well as the annexation of Yemen. France gained the bulk of the Congo, and the Netherlands was gifted its first African colonies, in West Africa and the Congo. The German puppet states in Malaya and Madagascar attempted to assert their independence, but quick interventions by French and British commandos managed to secure them. The Germany corporate holdings in southern China were returned to the Qing Empire, although Britain took responsibility for Qingdao and several coastal cities, and France for Guangzhouwan.

As for Austria, independent states were created in Hungary, Bohemia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia, and Galicia. Transylvania was annexed to Romania. France managed to secure an independent syndicalist government in Bosnia, but everywhere else was left to its own devices. The Socialist Republic of Italy received Istria, Trieste and the Trentino, while Poland received much of Galicia, including the city of Krakow. The new state in Galicia was quickly invaded by Polish troops who proclaimed its annexation to Poland. Corsica was returned to French control, and Sardinia to Italy.

QaUkxOj.jpg

Europe shortly after the Treaty of Vientiane, but before post-treaty territorial changes in Galicia and Belgium; French troops were already asserting their presence in Poland, were nearing Warsaw
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Africa post-treaty (due to a crash between autosaves, two peace conferences occurred, with not exactly similar results; as a result, the small Dutch colony north of Portuguese Angola is not pictured here)

9knJfB9.jpg

The Far East after peace; the Japanese had quietly seized the Dutch East Indies after the German conquest of the Netherlands, and Germany had sold off Sabah to the Philippines; British control of Malaya and North Borneo was only achieved by commando raids
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British commandos in Malaya, consolidating British control
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China and Asia after peace with Germany; the Qing Empire was already at war with the Japanese Fengtian Government, and France gave the Indochinese states autonomy

FCD4Dpx.jpg

British troops parade through Berlin in the short time they had available, before the creation of Prussia
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The regimental pipes and drums of the Gordon Highlanders perform in Berlin
On the 17th of November 1941, too late to see action against Germany, the first of the Victoria class carriers, HMS Victoria,was commissioned into service with her complement of nearly 70 aircraft and 5500 men. She was to be the first of four of her class.
texTWFY.jpg

aTQD2UA.jpg

The modern-looking and well-armed HMS Victoria in the North Sea

On the 16th of February 1942, at the Treaty of Rome, the Socialist Republic of Italy annexed the Italian Federation, and France regained its Alpine territories in the south east. (Also if you look closely you can see the reunited Belgium just there in the middle).
XYQfGk9.jpg

On the 9th of March 1942, the Gloster Star, an experimental jet aircraft, made its very first flight. The Star was the RAF's first ever jet aircraft, using a revolutionary engine designed by Sir Frank Whittle. Hopefully it could pave the way for greater things for Britain.
KuPVFWK.jpg

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"Onwards and upwards!"; the Gloster Star makes its inaugural flight at Boscombe Down
And finally, three days later, to the delight of the exasperated French, His Majesty's Government declared war on the French Commune.
msFpAVE.jpg


A People and their King
Through ancient sin grown strong,
Because they feared no reckoning,
Would set no bound to wrong...
 

stnylan

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If the French had fought properly back in the Weltkrieg none of this would have happened - the least they can give the British is a few months :D
 

Nikolai

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Finally! The French Syndies will feel the British Lion in action!
 

George_VI

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14 - Trouble in the East

The war against the syndicalists was relatively quiet for the first month, but on the 16th of April the communard destroyer Le Fantasque, while escorting troop transports, was bombed out by Fairey Albacores of the FAA operating from shore bases, at no loss to themselves. (You might also notice that Belgium there in the corner is a communard puppet. All these crashes between peace conferences have made me lose track of who's where).
qtnCx6o.jpg

On the 28th of April the Royal Marine Light Infantry was temporarily disbanded while the corps was brought up to a full wartime strength of ten divisions, with artillery and support units.
3xgWbgu.jpg

By May the rhetoric issuing from the revanchist Japanese Empire became worrying, with overtures being made regarding British possessions in the Far East. Apparently they'd decided that since they'd been deprived of German colonies the first time round, that they might as well make a swing for some British ones.
sRn86h6.jpg

In response, a British fleet was despatched with all haste to Singapore, with the aim of making clear that Britain would not surrender its lands without a fight.
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On the 17th of June the French Commune made the flagrantly aggressive move of invading the Spanish Republic (apparently after the civil war they abolished the monarchy).
Z8tCu5p.jpg

On the 14th of July 1942, the British ambassador in Tokyo received with anger and fury the Japanese declaration of war, with the latter vowing to "rid the east of western imperialists". The ambassador left for Singapore the same day.
eXyudvV.jpg

On the 31st Japanese warships engaged the British fleet in the Straits of Malacca. The battlecruiser HMS Lion was lost to enemy action, along with ten British destroyers and two light cruisers. The Japanese suffered thirteen destroyers and one light cruiser sunk, and one fighter shot down. Britain had not yet managed to spare the troops to send to the Far East; Malaya and Borneo were now virtually defenceless, with troops already crossing the border into North Borneo from the East Indies, which Japan had seized while the Netherlands was under occupation.
jyKkSx2.jpg

Spain was all but broken following its civil war, and could barely stand up to advancing communard troops; Madrid fell on the 26th of August 1942.
pfIfPqQ.jpg

The first large, unified command group of British aircraft was established on the 9th of September; I Strategic Group was the first of the hundred-aircraft Groups that would operate on a higher level than that of individual squadrons. Its hundred Vickers Waterloos began operating over Northern France as soon as possible.
xsbVIi9.jpg

The Spanish finally capitulated on the 22nd of September; French troops occupied Spain for a week before control was handed over to the CNT-FAI, which, despite pretensions, was little better than a syndicalist puppet.
sIDenja.jpg

The Kingdom of Hawaii, freshly independent in the wake of the Second American Civil War, threw its lot in with the Entente on the 1st of October, to avoid Japanese aggression.
RiuKiIr.jpg

By mid-November 1942 the RAF's strategic air offensive against the syndicalists was ramping up, with up to six hundred aircraft carrying out regular raids on industrial targets.
so2BWhF.jpg

86ab4C9.jpg

A Waterloo Mk.I over France, during one of the much rarer daylight raids
By late-November Japanese troops had been landed in Australia itself, with thousands of troops being poured in through Darwin and Perth. The outlook for Australasia was grim, and Britain was mostly powerless to help.
RLIpavI.jpg

Predictions for Malaya proved true; by early December all of North Borneo had been occupied, as had Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Only a small harbour in the north of the peninsula remained defended by Australasian troops.
8RXky7v.jpg

On the 23rd of February, after a short tenure, Admiral Domvile was sacked from the cabinet and replaced by Robert Cecil. Rumours were rife that Domvile had been sacked because of his anti-semitist views, something which doubtless would not have sat well with Herbert Samuel, who was himself Jewish, albeit non-practicing. Officially, Domvile resigned to "play a more active part in the war".
yhxgDOI.jpg

The Far East Fleet had withdrawn from the Straits of Malacca to Australia, but when Sydney fell the British ships were forced to break out for the open sea. On the 20th of April 1943, British ships engaged an IJN force, sinking six destroyers, two heavy cruisers and two light cruisers. The battle was a pyrrhic victory, however, as the British fleet lost three destroyers and two light cruisers, the entire remaining screen force for the capital ships. An Australasian submarine was also caught up in the fray and sunk. The Australasian Confederation was to capitulate in just two weeks, with all of Australia falling under Japanese occupation.
NwH9ZTg.jpg

The lead ship of the new Duke of York class battleship was launched on the 25th of May 1943; this was Britain's newest and best battleship, undoubtedly the best in the whole world.
OT6KIai.jpg

On the night of the 3rd of July 1943, the RAF really made the syndicalists feel the full might of the Entente, as it carried out its first "Thousand-bomber Raid", an enormous show of force that drew on as many aircraft as could be scraped together. A thousand Waterloos, Whitleys, Beauforts and Blenheims all on the same night raided industrial and transport facilities at Rennes, creating a firestorm that could be seen for miles. Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard, the ubiquitous "Father of the RAF" and now Air Officer Commanding Bomber Command, remarked of the operation: "They have sowed the wind, and now they shall reap the whirlwind".
Os7JgIP.jpg

The next day testing and development concluded on Britain's newest rifle, the Sterling Mk.I. The Sterling was the British Army's first semi-automatic rifle, a design which incorporated a thirty-round box magazine and a rate of fire much better than that of earlier bolt action rifles.
YXgsfQy.jpg

By this time, the war with Japan had been ongoing for a full year, with absolutely no British successes to speak of; Singapore had fallen, Australia was subjugated, and the Royal Navy's Far East Fleet was left stranded in New Zealand with no escort ships. On the 7th of July 1943, the Prime Minister, Sir Herbert Samuel, addressed the nation. In his broadcast, he stated that "His Majesty's Government will not, under circumstances other than total and unconditional surrender, negotiate or barter with the Japanese thugs. This nation will not be satisfied by anything other than complete and ultimate victory. Not one British colony shall be let go of. Great Britain will pursue the war against Japan to the very end." That last line was quickly caught upon, and appeared on a series of propaganda posters issued beginning in August 1943.
7xl3tpz.jpg
1Yc7wAo.jpg
Kehx4tr.jpg
 

Bored Student1414

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A far more powerful Imperial Japan seems determined to reenact the OTL Pacific War and this time the Americans are not going to help Britain. Australia has fallen. Horrid. They must be stopped!
The Communards continue to advance. The new Commonwealth's darkest hour has perhaps come or maybe it has yet to come. Fight on and let this war be our finest hour!
 

stnylan

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Will this be their finest hour?
 

Nikolai

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Will this be their finest hour?
It surely is from a much weaker position than IRL. So if it is indeed their finest hour, it's quite a fine hour indeed.:D
 

stnylan

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It surely is from a much weaker position than IRL. So if it is indeed their finest hour, it's quite a fine hour indeed.:D
One can hope! :D
 

George_VI

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15 - Faugh A Ballagh

Since the restoration of the United Kingdom, a question had been lingering in the background of British politics. It was a question that was asked after by many. It was a question that became the cause célèbre for many in the conservative wings of politics, as well as for many prominent Liberal Party politicians. Indeed it was question that had been around since before the restoration, before the Weltkrieg, even. That question was the question of Ulster. The people of Ulster had often been fiercely British; the majority were protestant and unionist, rejecting calls for Irish independence, even at times rejecting the idea that they were Irish at all. When Ireland gained its independence after a brief terror campaign during the Weltkrieg, it had left Ulster to its fate. In a stronger position the British government might have negotiated Ulster's status, but given the conditions at the time the province was more or less abandoned. Ulster unionists had now been petitioning the British government, requesting in the strongest possible terms that Britain regain Ulster as part of the United Kingdom, through diplomacy, or through force if necessary. These petitioners were led in part by one Frederick Crawfurd, an Ulster unionist who had become famous for his gun-smuggling operations and had now been variously in exile or on the run from the Irish government for some time. These calls for Ulster reclamation came to a head in August 1943, now that Germany, Ireland's principle ally, had been destroyed. The Foreign Office had attempted to negotiate with the Irish government, but their requests were rebuffed repeatedly. Left with no choice, the British government announced on the 21st of August the beginning of military intervention in Ireland to liberate Ulster.
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In other news, nine days later three divisions from Africa had been spared and landed at Ceylon to solidify British control over the island. (At this point it's probably helpful to outline the Indian situation. I was at war with both the Princely Federation and the Bharatiya Commune, but when Germany was defeated for some reason a peace treaty was concluded between the Commune and the Dominion of India, leading them to annex the Dominion and make peace with the Entente, even though I remained at war with the Princes. Not sure why that happened, but yeah).
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In September the invasion of Ireland, Operation Jericho, was launched. After the Royal Navy had swept the pitiful Irish navy aside, Royal Marines were landed at Cork, and following a brief battle with Irish territorial units, the city fell on the 1st of September.
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By the 11th of October 1943, the Royal Marine presence was augmented by reinforcements, including British infantry and tanks. After hard fighting in the rugged terrain, not helped by the Irish fortifications, the southern tip of the island was under British control.
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On the 23rd of October the Treaty of Bangalore was signed, dissolving the Princely Federation. As it turned out, it was barely a treaty. No meetings were held between the British and the Bharatiya Commune, and British troops had to occupy the islands they laid claim to. The British forces in Ceylon sufficed, but in the Andaman Islands and the Maldives, British ships landed small parties of sailors to hoist the flag.
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Another cabinet replacement came on the last day of October, with Walter Runciman being replaced as Foreign Secretary by Anthony Eden, who was something of a maverick in the diplomacy world.
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The Rt. Hon. Sir Anthony Eden MC, MP, PC attends a function at Windsor Castle; here he is pictured with HRH Princess Elizabeth of York
The newly-independent Hungarian Republic attacked Illyria on the on the 7th of November. Not willing to get involved in any "Balkan adventures" at this point, Britain stayed out of the incident.
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The fight didn't last long; by the 26th of November Illyria was annexed, leaving the syndicalist Bosnian Republic surrounded on three sides by Hungary and by Serbia on the other.
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At this point British troops were advancing towards Dublin, having roundly beaten the Irish army on the battlefield at most every opportunity. However, the Irish now employed their trademark tactic; irregular warfare. On the 27th IRA cells rose up in Cork and Limerick, attempting to undermine the British advance. They set about their usual series of assassinations, street battles and terrorism. Despite their audacity, the IRA were dealt with in short order by the Royal Marine Light Infantry, who earned a fearsome reputation in the process. Most militants were treated largely as francs-tireurs, and were subsequently executed as unlawful combatants in breach of the rules of war. Many, however, managed to escape into the countryside.
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IRA snipers fire on British troops from a rooftop in Limerick
By mid-December the island was cut in two, with Dublin falling after heavy fighting. The main battle for Dublin lasted three days and resulted in casualties of 1300 for the British and 810 for the Irish. The bulk of the Irish forces were now trapped in a pocket south of the capital, while a few units remained in the northern pocket, which consisted mostly of Ulster itself, including Belfast and Londonderry.
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Fighting for Londonderry was just as brutal, resulting in nearly 3000 Irish casualties and 237 British; the city fell on the 17th of December.
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The final battle of the campaign was the fight for Belfast. The subsequent Battle of Belfast was one of the most brutal episodes known to British military history. With three Irish divisions trapped in the city, Royal Marines attacked, backed up by tanks and close air support from British airbases. On top of that, Ulster unionist paramilitary groups took the opportunity to rise up, and in turn republican groups sprang up as well. The result was a bloodbath with British and Irish troops, militias and irregular paramilitaries shooting it out across the entire city. Belfast fell on the 24th of December, Christmas Eve. The War Office declined to release casualty figures for the battle, marking them as secret documents; they would not be released for at least fifty years. Following the fighting in Belfast, as well as in Londonderry and Dublin, General Ironside, the RMLI commander-in-chief, was considered an expert in urban warfare, and ended the war with the moniker "the Hammer of Ulster".
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That day a treaty was signed at Dublin between the British and Irish governments. The United Kingdom regained full control over Ulster, while recognising the sovereignty of the Republic over the rest of the island, and promising to withdraw all troops from southern Ireland.
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In response to bubbling sectarian tension in Ulster, His Majesty the King issued the following proclamation. Known later as the New Year Proclamation, it calmed the violence somewhat, but the strains would undoubtedly always be there.
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On the 26th of December 1943 a new ship was laid down on the Clyde. Rumoured to have unusually thick armour plating, the work proceeded under heavy security, with the workers bound by the Official Secrets Act to keep quiet about their project.
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The RAF entered into the Entente Air Training Scheme in January 1944, with the first class of a hundred pilots embarking for Canada for instruction in modern aerial warfare on the rolling prairies of North America.
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The three infantry divisions employed to seize Ceylon were deployed in February 1944 to northern Malaya, landing at the port still held by Australasian and Dutch troops. For some odd reason the Japanese had chosen not to defend the peninsula, and the British infantry advanced rapidly, lest the enemy make an appearance. Kuala Lumpur was liberated on the 17th of February 1944.
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On the 9th of February a brand new aircraft for the RAF was ready to go into production. Designed by the relatively unknown Martin-Baker company, the new fighter was designated "Vindicator". The Vindicator was a distinctive machine, with a long nose housing a magnificently powerful Rolls Royce Griffon engine, a sharp, triangular tail, and short, stubby wings that housed a spectacular armament of six 20 mm cannon, making it the heaviest-armed British fighter ever, far surpassing the earlier Venom Mk.II, which had only managed two cannon and four machine guns.
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And early prototype Vindicator, shown without armament; production models would be fitted with a four-bladed De Havilland propeller and a bubble canopy
British troops in Malaya came to Singapore itself on the 26th of February to find the city defended by an inferior enemy force; however, the fortress would be gradually reinforced before British forces could retake it, and General Deverell's troops settled in for a prolonged battle. It was also apparent now that the Japanese had had the arrogance to rename the city to "Shonan-to" in anticipation of holding it indefinitely.
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On the 4th of April 1944 HMS Mary, the third ship of the Victoria class (the second being Elizabeth), was commissioned into active service, bringing the Royal Navy's carrier strength to six ships.
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And on the 8th of May 1944, British scientists announced to the War Office that they had formulated the means to construct an "atomic reactor", which would allow them to carry out nuclear chain reactions. Sir Winston Churchill had taken an especial interest in this, and had secured as many resources for "Project 'Titan'" as the boffins had requested, for there was little enthusiasm for this "hair-brained scheme", as one minister had described it, elsewhere. Churchill did not in the least understand any of what he was being told by James Chadwick, the project's leader, although he was assured that it had the potential to yield a weapon of unprecedented capabilities; that was enough for him.
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The Lord Churchill at field tests with (right to left) Admiral Sir Dudley Pound, Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Portal, and Frederick Lindemann, 1st Viscount Cherwell; the latter two were also high profile proponents of Project "Titan"
 

stnylan

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So starting to take the fight back. Small steps along that road, but important ones. And promise a more deadly equaliser.
 

TheTeaMustFlow

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I would really console-fix the India thing, or at least put the Bharatiya Commune back at war with you. That''s not the kind of peace-treaty weirdness that you can just ignore, and it really hurts suspension of disbelief.
 

Nikolai

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I'd recommend trying to bring Russia into the fight; they could really give France the bleeding they need.
I second this. Inworld, an agreement on dividing the old Mitteleuropa and Germany proper between you two should be a good starting point, no?
 

George_VI

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16 - A New Era

The very first nuclear reactors for Britain were laid down in May 1944, with most being constructed in the most remote places possible; Iceland, and central Africa, hopefully away from any possible threat.
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Construction of "Filtration Unit No.1", August 1944, Burundi
By now, Britain's atomic weapons programme was progressing at a blazing speed, and in May Chadwick informed Churchill that the first bomb might possibly be available for testing by the end of the year.
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At the end of June 1944 Avro completed work on the Victoria, the newest design for an RAF heavy bomber. After very successful test results, the Victoria was put into production. The new aircraft could carry up to 15,000 lb of bombs, and also, for the first time, used a pair of Hispano cannon in the tail as part of its defensive armament.
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The Earl of Oldham visits the first Avro Victoria assembly line
The RAF's heavy bombing campaign on northern France continued over Summer 1944, with devastating results. Such was the success of these operations that Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard, Air Officer Commanding Bomber Command, was appointed Chief of the Air Staff, replaing HRH The Duke of York, who stepped down due to declining health.
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Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Hugh Trenchard delivers a speech to British and French airmen during a visit to French North Africa
Shortly after Trenchard's appointment, the Fairey Fulmar, the FAA's carrier-borne fighter, was replaced in service by the newer Fairey Firefly. Like other new aircraft, it too had a predominantly cannon-based armament, and a more powerful engine.
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By mid-October 1944, Sir Frank Whittle and his team had developed their jet engine designs to the point that they thought it could be used in military aircraft effectively. Design work on jet aircraft for Britain picked up speed.

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On the 7th of November 1944, the Socialist Republic of Italy capitulated to Entente forces, after the combined French and Canadian offensives on the peninsula brought the government to its knees.
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The same day Britain's biggest and best ship yet was commissioned, HMS Behemoth. She was to be the only ship of her class, and boasted extremely thick armour and large 16'' guns. Intended to regain Britain's naval prestige after defeats to Japan, she would be used as a symbol of British might abroad.
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Following the Italian collapse that month, the French Commune's high command was thrown into disarray. After repeated promises from the Italian government that Italy would be defended from invasion, the French now found themselves with an enormous gaping hole in their flank. In their panic, the French tried to organise a force to defend its southern border, but in their hurry orders became garbled. Lines of communication had been severed by RAF air raids, and orders were often sent to the wrong people. As a result, nobody really knew which units were meant to head south. Some stayed put when they were meant to move out, some packed up and moved out when they were meant to stay put. Others moved out and then stopped halfway when they realised they weren't meant to leave, clogging up railway termini and confusing the situation yet more. Fueled by intelligence coming from British agents and French resistance contacts, it was decided to launch the invasion of France. In the early hours of the 14th of November, nine divisions of the Royal Marine Light Infantry landed, unopposed, at Cherbourg, capturing for themselves a deep water port right off the bat. Similar scenes were repeated at Brest, where Canadian units took the city after a brief skirmish with local territorials. By the 16th, 91,000 British troops were ashore in Normandy, with more on the way.
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A Bren gunner of the 2nd Royal Marine Light Infantry advances through the quiet streets of Cherbourg
As if to emphasise the deteriorating situation for the enemy, on the 21st of November 1944, Operation Whirlwind was carried out in the far north of Greenland; the detonation of Britain's first atomic bomb. The test was a success, and proved the destructive power of the new device. The blast scorched the earth for nearly a mile around, and created a cloud that could be seen for miles.
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Operation Whirlwind, the first British atomic weapons test
By the 23rd British troops in France numbered 23 divisions, and had now cut Brittany in two, and were heading inland, opposed only by reserve troops and American "volunteers".
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On the 25th both Rouen and Le Havre fell to advancing Royal Marines, and Paris itself was threatened.
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Infantry of the Prince of Wales's Own West Yorkshire Regiment advancing through the bomb damaged streets of Calais
And, indeed, Paris fell, undefended, to troops of the 9th Royal Marine Light Infantry, on the 3rd of December 1944. As a matter of honour, an attached French brigade was allowed to be the first to enter the city. Parisians greeted the Entente liberators with a mixture of cheerfulness, celebration, and sullen moodiness. The syndicalist government had fled the city four days earlier.
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Officers of the Scots Guards drive down the Champs Elysees shortly after the liberation of Paris
With this final ignominious defeat for the French syndicalists, the Commune's government capitulated on the 4th of December 1944.
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The final military situation in France
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Final casualty figures for the War of French Liberation; the Entente suffered a combined 3.16 million military casualties, the syndicalists 3.59 million. Britain itself got off comparably lightly, with "only" 175,000 military casualties
The Treaty of Brussels ended the War of French Liberation, with the abolition of the French Commune. The French Third Republic was recognised as the sole legitimate government of France. The Socialist Republic of Italy was abolished as well, replaced with the previous Italian Federation. Istria was ceded to Slovenia, while Britain took the city of Trieste itself as a treaty city, the future of which would be decided on later. Belgium was fully restored as a sovereign nation, with free elections to be held soon. Britain guaranteed the independence of newly-free Belgium; Belgium had been the product of British foreign policy a hundred and ten years before, and it would be so again. In Spain, the CNT-FAI was outlawed, and an independent, democratic Spanish Republic proclaimed. In the chaos of the occupation, Russia had made a land grab and seized Polish Galicia after the communard capitulation.
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Britain's first jet fighter, indeed, the first ever jet fighter, made its first flight on the 12th of December 1944. Powered by two Rolls Royce Derwent engines, the Gloster Meteor was fast, sleek and heavily armed.
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The Meteor entered service on the 14th of January 1945; 1 Squadron was fittingly the first all-jet fighter squadron.
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1 Squadron Meteors at RAF Duxford, January 1945
A war broke out in South America on the 20th of February, with the syndicalist Brazilians attacking La Plata, which was, in reality, just a revanchist Argentina. Fertile ground, perhaps, for a grab at the Falklands, so dishonourably lost all those years ago.
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Following on from the Meteor, Britain's first jet bomber aircraft was ready for production in March 1945. The Bristol Banshee was a high-wing design, also powered by two Derwent engines, and carrying a bomb load of up to 4,000 lb. The new aircraft had no forward or defensive armament, relying instead on its speed for protection.
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An early production Banshee on trials at Boscombe Down
On the 13th of April 1945, events in France took a surprising twist, as the Third Republic was abolished, and replaced with the Kingdom of France; Napoleon IV was crowned at a ceremony at Notre Dame cathedral. His Majesty the King attended the coronation in person, and offered his new colleague his congratulations on the restoration of his dynasty.
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And a week later, a cabinet reshuffle saw Isaac Foot replaced as Chancellor of the Exchequer by R.A. "Rab" Butler. (Those of you who are scholars of British politics will recall Butler being "the best Prime Minister Britain never had".)
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The Rt. Hon. Robert Butler MP arrives at Downing Street
Furious in luxury, merciless in toil,
Terrible with strength renewed from a tireless soil;
Strictest judge of her own worth, gentlest of man's mind,
First to face the Truth, and last to leave old Truths behind -
France, beloved of every soul that loves or serves its kind!
 

stnylan

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Well France collapsed quicly the end there. Didn't expect that to be so sudden.

Do take back the Falklands. British territory and all that :)

Of course still the Japanese, and there is always that other traditional British enemy from the heyday of Empire: Russia :D
 

George_VI

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Well France collapsed quicly the end there. Didn't expect that to be so sudden.

Do take back the Falklands. British territory and all that :)

Of course still the Japanese, and there is always that other traditional British enemy from the heyday of Empire: Russia :D
Well, we do need to have somebody left to have a Cold War with after we knock out the Japanese.
 

Bored Student1414

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Glorious victory over the Syndicalists! Japan is next and with the bomb on the way...
I guess the pro-monarchist Action Francaise won the election or something and decided to restore the monarchy. Realistically, I would expect the Third French Empire to collapse and be replaced by yet another Republic after the end of this AAR due to a lack of a British style loyal opposition. The people of mainland France will not accept for long an ultraconservative monarchy picked by a small number of conservative Pied-Noirs and exiled monarchists likely before the reconquest once they shake off their war weariness.
 

George_VI

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May 15, 2016
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Glorious victory over the Syndicalists! Japan is next and with the bomb on the way...
I guess the pro-monarchist Action Francaise won the election or something and decided to restore the monarchy. Realistically, I would expect the Third French Empire to collapse and be replaced by yet another Republic after the end of this AAR due to a lack of a British style loyal opposition. The people of mainland France will not accept for long an ultraconservative monarchy picked by a small number of conservative Pied-Noirs and exiled monarchists likely before the reconquest once they shake off their war weariness.
Not to spoil it or anything, but the end of this AAR is a long way off. The game is already at 1957...