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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Faeelin

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Hrmm.

Well, the only question is how long before the American-Soviet split.
 

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That is classic communism, paranoia, repression, an entirely unjustified arrogance and of course euphemism;

"Lapdog" - A country who doesn't think like us.

"Counter-revolutionary" - A person who doesn't think like us.

"Gift from the people" - Absolutely no members of the public involved, guaranteed.

That is a spectacular miss handling of events by the US presidency, but I can see it happening and certainly see it helping a communist revolution. I also understand his paranoia, unless he is very lucky or the enemy very stupid any invasion is going to be welcomed by a huge chunk of the population, especially if some escaped non-Communists Americans are seen to be involved.
 

trekaddict

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Faeelin True. I always intended the US/Soviet relationship to be somehwat like OTL USSR/PRC.

El Pip You learn to write like that when half your country used to be a communist state. :p

I can't really comment on the second part without spoiling things, but let's just say that if there reall is an Invasion this is most certainly true, but that chunk might be smaller than you think. The Union is not Stalins Soviet Russia, but pretty close nonetheless, and I will stop here because I don't want to get banned from the forum.
 

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Bad news. I originally planned to have the next update up by now, but I am having serious trouble with formulating what I want to say, so unfortunately you will have to wait a bit longer. :(
 

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Czechs joined the Axis? Well, what else they could have done, with Germans on one side and the Soviets on the other, working with each other.

I like the bolshevik America, the irony... ;)
 

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Winner As of yet the Soviets and the Germans are not officially allied and the World still believes that the Germans are acting alone, and is baffled by the lack of Soviet reaction to what Germany does in Eastern Europe.

Communist America is IMHO the definition of an oximoron, but I needed them out of the way, as I want a game that goes beyond the "lets wait for the US AI to spam infantry and send them to Europe".

Chapter 14



October 2, 1938
Presidential Residence, Prague, Republic of Czechoslovakia

The sounds of the reception could still be heard in the distance. The official part had ended hours ago and the German delegation under Conrad had long since left for their Embassy, but the Czechs still celebrated as if there was no tomorrow. And General , President of the Republic and the architect of Czechoslovakia's entry into the Axis powers feared that there might be no tomorrow after all. Felt as if he had sold his soul to the devil, and in the back of his mind he agreed with himself. Ever since the de-facto coup three days ago when Benez had refused to even consider his proposal his heart was heavy. The choice he faced was not von Ribbentrop himself had talked to him during a gathering at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin. Back then he could scarcely believe what had been told to him that Germany wanted Czechoslovakia in the Axis, one way or another. The Führer had then described the options. Either join or Germany would nibble away at the republic bit by bit, in the form of fabricated claims on the Sudeten areas. Von Ribbentrop had outlined the options and the General had realized that if Czechoslovakia was to survive as a nation a deal needed to be made with Germany. He was no friend of the Nazis, in fact he despised them with all his heart, but unlike the former President Benez he had seen what needed to be done to preserve the nation and had done it, despite the moral implications. He stared up to the stars and said: “My god have mercy on my soul.” With that he turned back and rejoined the others at the party, determined to make a good face of it, no matter what the future brought. No matter what happened, Czechoslovakia would eventually have to pay for what he had done and it broke his heart.


October 3, 1938

No.10 Downing Street, London

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was not sure what he was supposed to feel about the news from the Continent. Fear of a stronger-than-ever Germany? Fear of Parliament whom he had told only mere weeks before that this actual situation could never happen? Disappointment in the Intelligence Services that had predicted that Hitlers first move would be to gobble up the Sudeten area? He could still remember the sheer terror that had gripped his heart when he had heard about Czechoslovakia's entry into the axis, and this terror still kept him up. After that mess with the poles and the rumblings about the Soviet-German Alliance he knew that the public fallout from this mess would be enormous, considering that one could claim that he had knowingly lied to Parliament when he had made his speech. Some at Fleet Street were already calling for a vote of no confidence and rumour had it that the Labour Party planned to force a Division when Parliament reassembled tomorrow. It was at this moment that Chamerblain realized with a flash that his days at Number 10 were over, well and truly over. Ever since taking over from Baldwin he had struggled to prevent the war that was looming on the horizon. When the Germans had occupied Austria he had urged the French to stay silent. After all, who would want to go to war over a former Central Power? When the Germans had blackmailed the poles into giving up the corridor he had coaxed Parliament into issuing a meaningless guarantee for Polish independence and had been deeply convinced that Hitler had spoken the truth when he had said that he had “no further territorial demands.” He had announced this to the public with great pleasure and had been satisfied when the public reaction to his speech showed that no one really wanted a war. And now he was forced to once again speak to the nation, only this time to tell them that he had either unwillingly lied to them or that he had simply been outmanoeuvred by Herr Hitler and his goons, and he could not decide what was more difficult to do.

Chamberlain leaned back in his chair and took a few moments to reflect on the last few days. He could remember the strange mixture of apprehension, fear, disappointment and amazement when he had heard the news. He had directed the comms room to ask the British Embassy in Prague over the Wireless if this could be confirmed, and upon receiving confirmation it was as if his entire world had collapsed. He knew that it had been naïve to actually believe the tirades of Mr. Hitler, but if he had acted like Mr. Churchill and his followers had demanded then Britain might already be embroiled in yet another war that would make the Great War look like a pub brawl. Chamberlain feared and hated war at the same time, he deemed war as something that was to be avoided at all costs. He did not agree with those who advocated total unilateral disarmament and dared the world 'to do its worst', but he also believed that too much armament might give the false impression that the Kingdom was steering an aggressive course, and he feared that even with the reduced defence spending in the last few years he had pushed things beyond the edge. He sighed, Luckily that was no longer his problem. One way or another his Premiership was over. Then, right on cue a knock on the door ripped him from his thoughts.

“Prime Minister, the press is waiting.” Chamberlain nodded although the aide could nto see him through the door and stepped out of the office. He knew that he had to face the hounds of the press at some point, and he had decided to do it sooner rather than later and just get it over with. He grabbed his notes from a small desk in front of the office where they had been prepared by the aide and walked briskly through the corridors of his temporary residence.
He already dreaded the questions he would be asked by the press but nevertheles decided tat if he had to go he would go with a bang. When he stepped through the front door of No. 10 a group of reporters was waiting for them. Although he did not and would never know this crowd of reporters was much more docile than a similar group would have be decades later, but he felt nevertheless pressured and feared that they would ask questions he had no answers to. To forestall this his press secretary had prepared a statement that he would read of first. With a slightly shaky voice Chamberlain began to speak to the newsreel cameras and the press reporters. After stating the usual political pleasantries he got to the core of what he wanted to say:

“The recent developments in the relations between the Republic of Czechoslovakia and the German Reich are viewed with great concern. Herr Hitler has acted against established treaties and agreements and has pressured a defenceless country to submit to his will. Just like in Poland earlier the Nazis have used their obvious superiority in war making prowess to force their will upon lesser nations. Britain will no more believe in his statements that he has no further territorial demands.”

He continued and when he had finished he added:

“I know that there are those who wish to bring down this administration. I however refuse to believe that I have lost the confidence of Parliament and intend to let the elected representatives of the Nation decide wether they want to continue the current course or one that will lead Britain into dangerous adventures.” With that he stepped back into the house, ignoring the questions that the reporters were shouting after him, knowing what the end result of the debate would be, but refusing to accept it out of personal pride and stubbornness.




[Game effects: I had some serious difficulties with this chapter. Originally the bit about the Czechs was supposed to be a multi-chapter story arc, but after the not exactly planned ending of the last one I realized that my idea wouldn't work, as I had intended to make a whole arc around the military coup. But let's just hope that this is just as good. Expect political manoeuvres, shake ups and more Spitfires. ]
 

unmerged(85800)

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nope, still good, and still britain's chances in this war get ever slimmer.
 

trekaddict

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BritishImperial said:
nope, still good, and still britain's chances in this war get ever slimmer.

Soon something will happen that, to quote Commander Uhura: "doubles our chances to get back from this mission in one piece."
 

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Nitpick: the name of the Czech president is Benes (well, it's really Beneš, pronounced Baenesh). Never mind.

History input: the Czechoslovak army has always been led to absolute loyalty to the democratic political representation, especially its top leadership. During and after the Sudetenland crisis, there were fears the army might refuse to obey the order to leave the borders without a fight, but despite strong opposition from the lower ranking officers (let alone the common soldiers) the military accepted the political decision. The general staff has been deliberately filled with very loyal and rather apolitical officers. The more aggressive (and often more competent) officers were usually retired as soon as it was possible in order to (to put it bluntly) get rid of them.

I guess that in this alternate timeline the general staff has not been purged of the more assertive types :)
 

trekaddict

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Winner said:
Nitpick: the name of the Czech president is Benes (well, it's really Beneš, pronounced Baenesh). Never mind.

History input: the Czechoslovak army has always been led to absolute loyalty to the democratic political representation, especially its top leadership. During and after the Sudetenland crisis, there were fears the army might refuse to obey the order to leave the borders without a fight, but despite strong opposition from the lower ranking officers (let alone the common soldiers) the military accepted the political decision. The general staff has been deliberately filled with very loyal and rather apolitical officers. The more aggressive (and often more competent) officers were usually retired as soon as it was possible in order to (to put it bluntly) get rid of them.

I guess that in this alternate timeline the general staff has not been purged of the more assertive types :)
Pretty much yes. In the updates I never got to write I wuld have explanied that in some more detail. Simply put the General for whom I forgot to enter the name into the text was more loyal to Czechoslovakia as a nation than the republic per se.
 

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trekaddict said:
Pretty much yes. In the updates I never got to write I wuld have explanied that in some more detail. Simply put the General for whom I forgot to enter the name into the text was more loyal to Czechoslovakia as a nation than the republic per se.
If I could remember his name, I'd give you a perfect candidate... (uses google) Josef Šnejdárek. He could have become the chief of the general staff, but he was allegedly deemed to be too "trigger happy". His retirement caused a bit of a stir in 1935.

"I can't imagine a better thing for a soldier than to wage a war to defend his country..." he once said, or something close to that. He fought in the Czech-Polish and Czech-Hungarian wars in 1919, and before that he served in the French foreign legion.

Sorry, I won't spam the thread anymore ;)
 

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Winner said:
If I could remember his name, I'd give you a perfect candidate... (uses google) Josef Šnejdárek. He could have become the chief of the general staff, but he was allegedly deemed to be too "trigger happy". His retirement caused a bit of a stir in 1935.

"I can't imagine a better thing for a soldier than to wage a war to defend his country..." he once said, or something close to that. He fought in the Czech-Polish and Czech-Hungarian wars in 1919, and before that he served in the French foreign legion.

Sorry, I won't spam the thread anymore ;)
Thanks. Such input is always apprechiated and wanted.
 

El Pip

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I think this could just about be better for the country, for all Churchill's immense benefits and the good he did he was far from perfect. If Chamberlain makes it a fight Churchill may have to moderate his position and accept military advice, like less ridiculous adventures in the Middle East.
 

trekaddict

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El Pip said:
I think this could just about be better for the country, for all Churchill's immense benefits and the good he did he was far from perfect. If Chamberlain makes it a fight Churchill may have to moderate his position and accept military advice, like less ridiculous adventures in the Middle East.
I myself have always veen of the opinion that Churchill primarily needed a good Home Secretary and indeed someone to curb his sense of adventure.

I'm not too well-versed in the internal British politics of the late 1930s, anyone care to suggest a decent competent home secretary?
 

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Chapter 15




October 3, 1938
2 minutes later
No.10 Downing Street, London

Chamberlain sat back down in his office and sighed deeply. The press statement had not exactly gone as he had planned, but that could not be helped now and anyhow he had work to do. Finished or not he was still the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as such work was piling on his desk. Much needed to be done. The Navy in person of Admiral Cunningham pressed for immediate production of at least eight flotillas of the new Battle-Class Destroyers and the good Admiral was still waiting for his carriers, the RAF evaluation committee pressed for production of the promising Supermarine Spitfire Fighter Aircraft, the Army emphasised the need for the immediate development of the Crusader II program over at Royal Ordnance, the list went on and on. The most pressing document however was from his assistant Waliburton. It concerned the speech he was going to give in front of the House of Commons tomorrow afternoon, and Waliburton wanted to know if the Prime Minister wished any last-minute changes. Chamberlain quickly skimmed over the speech finding it satisfactory and scribbled is assent on the small space at the bottom of the first page. He knew it would be hard and maybe even a lost cause, but Chamberlain had long since decided that he would fight for his office, as he was still convinced that his course was the only one that would bring Britain and her Empire through these troubles times with the least amount of damage and loss of life. He knew that a war was probably unavoidable, but if he stayed in office and played his cards right then the major clash of Armies like in the great war could be avoided. Unlike men like Churchill or Eden Chamberlain believed that the least confrontational way was the best, that sometimes appeasement was the way to go simply because it avoided violence. Churchill liked to say that every country that deemed itself worth of its high principles needed to stand up for them, and if it could not be avoided with the rifle in hand, but Chamberlain could not agree. War was something to be avoided at all costs and if some of Britain's principles had to be sacrificed so be it. He was ready to fight for what he thought to be right. Churchill and his supporters would not get into this office so easy.


The same time, Chartwell

At the same time Winston Churchill was also reviewing a speech, but unlike the Prime Minister Churchill wrote all of his own speeches, a talent that he had discovered in his early life during his brief stint in the British Army. He did not look forward to tomorrows debate. He wanted to be Prime Minister, no doubt about that, as he was a career politician, but he would have preferred reaching office the normal, proper way after winning a General Election. If high office was pushed to him by fate he did not complain, but he did not like it either. Deciding to take a break for food and a short walk around the property Churchill stood up from his desk and casually strolled to the kitchen. A little while later he was just about to leave the house along with his body guard. But once again fate intervened, this time in the form of Herbert Morrison, officially Churchill's advisor for internal affairs and unofficially Home Secretary in the Shadow Cabinet. Morrison had been a member of the Labour Party until a year ago, but had crossed the aisle when the Party had refused to vote in favour of a defence bill intended to finance the expansion of the Royal Navy's embarrassingly small Carrier Fleet. Morrison had argued that however much on might like peace he also had to be prepared for War, especially in times like this. With this act he had sent shock waves through the Party, that had at last felled Landsbury as the leader as the Hawkish section of the Labour Party had threatened to walk out as well if the Party did not show more support for Chamberlain's modest rearmament programme. Rather than doing that Landsbury had announced his resignation from politics and left the helm of the ailing Party to Clemet Attlee. Churchill had immediately approached Morrison whom he regarded as a gifted politician and organizer especially in domestic matters, an area where Churchill realized that he was lacking both talent and expertise, much to his own regret. “Good Afternoon Herbert.” Winston began. “Everything set up for tomorrow?” “Yes, Sir.” Morrison answered. “It seems that the PM isn't too well liked in the House of Commons, my ehrm... friends on the back benches have told me that if we manage to get the house to vote that some will vote against the government. It seems that Chamberlain's majority is smaller than he expects, it is still going to be a close thing though.” Churchill nodded. He knew that he would have to tread carefully, if he did not want to fail and be stuck with Chamberlain until the parliamentary period was over. “Well then Morrison,” he said, “why don't you join me for a quick walk around the gardens? We have much to talk about and I do not want to waste any time.” Morrison was not exactly overjoyed at the prospect of one of Churchill's long walks around the vast grounds of Chartwell, but at least they would get some work done and the weather was fine enough.
“Lead on, Sir.”

A few minutes later the party with Churchill and Morrison in the front and Thompson, Churchill's bodyguard further back. The two politicians chatted animatedly about the coming debate. “You know, Sir I think this may very well be the only decisive one I'll ever see that brings about the fall of a Government.” Churchill agreed. “That may be. But remember, we will have to tread carefully. Even if we manage to take over we will not have a total majority, I believe that we will have to hold a general Election by 1940 at the latest. That does not give us much time to enlarge that majority and to win the hearts of the population.” Churchill knew that even if Chamberlain crumbled and was defeated the majority would not really be a stable one, and probably not as big as the majority Chamberlain had inherited from Stanley Baldwin a few years back. A General Election would have to be held in early 1940 at the latest, and he was by no means sure that he would be able to win over enough of his fellow subjects to win this election. Churchill inwardly scolded himself for being this pessimistic and simply shook his head. Better not to dwell on things that lay that far in the future and better concentrate on the task at hand. “Morrison, let us concentrate on the task at hand. No sense in mulling over things we cannot influence at the moment. This will only become important when we have formed our Administration.” Morrison nodded. “Yes, Sir.”



[Game effects: None. Morrison will be Winston's Home Secretary if he manages to kick Chamberlain out of No.10, but unfortunately this is not properly represented in the game. The “Minister of Security” and “Head of Intelligence” should IMHO be a single minister, and the freed slot should be a home secretary that could give an small MP bonus or something like that. Ah well, maybe in HOI3.]
 

trekaddict

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Enewald said:
Czechs surrendered, hehe. :p

No surrender? :wacko:

They joined the Axis.
 

El Pip

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Morrison as Home Secretary, unusual choice. The man who tried to build the Tories out of London and the tosser responsible for London Underground being nationalised.

Still I was racking my brains for a better choice, one non-appeasement, qualified and acceptable to Churchill and frankly I struggled. Hence I support this choice.
 

trekaddict

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danielshannon Indeed good Sir.


El Pip As I said my knowledge of British politicians of that time period is rather limited.