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  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    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.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

nickvorp

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Congratulations on the award!!! And I heartily echo the general consensus that the "continental drift" line was hilarious in the utmost!
 

Raaritsgozilla

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Congrats on the award Trek! Well deserved
 

trekaddict

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Thank you all for your congratulations and once again for voting for this amateurish work.


Nuext update coming along nicely.
 

Enewald

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gratz for something and yayz for american communism!
May you suffer forever!
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 101


14th May 1940

Hereford, England, United Kingdom

When the War Office had announced that an Army base would be near the small town, it had been expected that the Soldiers would be the usual British recruits, both from the UK and the Empire, but the troops arriving here were clearly more than simply recruits, even though they regularly trained jumps, with planes starting from the small airfield on base. When they were asked, all one got for an answer was that they were the 22 Para Regiment, and nothing more. What actually went on at the base was all hush-hush, the official legend however was that they were to be a reserve Regiment for the 6th Airborne Division that was forming up in. However the troops of the Regiment, in reality 22 SAS Regiment, were anything but meagre reserve troops. Many had already been elite troops when they had left their original Regiments, but the rigorous training they had gone through had made them to what would later be called the “Best of the best of the best of the best of the elite”. Of course, despite all that all of them were still green, as they had not yet seen action of any form, but they were about as good as training could make them. Of the original almost thousand recruits a mere sixty-six had made it past primary selection, basic training and advanced training. Most were returned to their original Regiments, and those that had made it had been shoved into busses in the middle of the night and driven to Hereford. There they had been housed in barracks that were at least one or two levels above the usual for British Military bases, and had started their 'proper' training as Major Stirling had said. Lieutenant Malcom Drake and Sergeant Turner were among those who had passed selection, and were now working to get their patrol up to scratch. It was one of the few commanded not by an NCO, but rather a full Officer, but his proficiency on the range, where he was again holding the unit record, and his leadership skills had made sure that he was not only the first whose 'old' rank was reinstated, but also a patrol leader. Similar had gone for Turner who was acting as the demolitions expert. There was still a lot of experimenting to be done, Major Stirling had insisted that the smallest tactical unit had to be a four-man patrol, as he insisted that this was the optimum compromise between evasion, speed and combat power.

There were many rumours in the Regiment about the CO. Drake suspected that many had been started by Stirling himself, but there was no way to tell if he had really been a Lieutenant only a year earlier, bumped to Major by the King himself, or if he really had worked for MI6 in America. Drake thought that perhaps the first part was true, as Stirling was certainly very young for such a rank. But at least he was one of those officers who shared the plight of their men, he marched when they marched, he slept when they slept and he generally was at least as good as they themselves were. Drake was currently keeping himself busy with disassembling and cleaning his rifle for the umpteenth time and thanked his father that he had insisted on basic shooting lessons since he was twelve years old, barely old enough to hold his Grandfathers old Martin-Henry Mk.II. Drake's Enfield was specially fitted with a telescopic sight, effectively turning him into a sharp-shooter, a role his Grandfather had had during the Boer War. The Enfield, or rather Rifle, No. 4 Mk I, as the Army called it, was a dastardly accurate rifle already, and with the scope even more so. He was the first in the Regiment to be issued with it, the sniper version, dubbed the No.4 Mk.I(T) of the Army's standard Service Rifle. He loved the Lee-Enfield, and had, much to the amusement of the rest of the patrol, given it a name. 'Rosy' was not exactly a good name for a rifle, but she hadn't complained yet. He was just re-adjusting the telescopic sight when a knock on the door interrupted him.

“May I come in, Lieutenant?” the voice of Major Stirling asked. Going with SAS procedure, or rather lack thereof, Drake only threw a pro-forma salute without bothering to get up. Within the Regiment discipline was not enforced via regulations but rather by mutual respect and loyalty. He quickly readjusted the sight a fraction more to the left and decided that he had to do proper sighting at the range this afternoon. “What can I do for you, Sir?” “We have a mission for you and your patrol.” Drake looked up sharply and said: “Has the War Office finally decided that we are to be used in the line?” he said, referring to the misgivings many in the War Office and at the IGS had towards the SAS. Stirling grunted in agreement to Drakes feelings and said: “No, not quite, Lieutenant.” He cleared his throat and paced through the room in circles. “It's not exactly the type of mission we are trained for, but the PM feels we have to get out there and show we exist, so he has roped up a mission for us.” “And why has 12 Patrol been selected?” “Because, Lieutenant, yours is the only patrol that isn't either not yet good enough or out on training. And because you have Private Carver, and he speaks fluent German.” This piked Drake's interests, as it indicated that they had to go behind enemy lines somewhere. “I see I have your attention now.” Stirling said wryly. “Call your men together, Drake. Briefing in two hours.” Two hours later the four men were sitting on the chairs in a small, windowless briefing room. On the far wall behind them the crest of the SAS was painted to the wall, reminding all that stood on the podium here who they were talking to. On the walls to the side where small flags from all the nations of the British Empire pinned to the walls, and facing the men was a small podium, a huge map of Europe on the wall and two Union Flags flanking the map. On the centre of the room the men were lazily scattered over a four of the many chairs.

Then the Major walked onto the podium, flanked by two Navy Officers. As 'outsiders' were present, the patrol jumped to attention, giving salute as per Army regulations. “At ease, Gentlemen.” Stirling said. The two RN Officers stood at the back, and much to Drake's wonder, both seemed to register the lax discipline with amusement rather than the consternation he had expected. “These two Officers here are Commander Fleming and Lieutenant Commander Leiter from the SOE. They will brief you.” The Commander stepped forward and said: “Yesterday a high-ranking member of the Dutch Government has contacted us via our Embassy in Amsterdam. It appears that since the Axies are closing in on Amsterdam they are preparing for all eventualities, and they need, or rather want our help to escort high-ranking members of the Dutch Royal Family to the United Kingdom.” A escort job was not exactly what 12 Patrol had wanted or trained for, but Stirling cut off all complaints by saying that the Regiment needed to prove itself to the brass. “Remember lads, the reputation of the Regiment is on the line so I expect top performance, is that clear?” “Yes, Sir.” the four SAS men said. “Tonight, we will fly you with a Dominie from your own airfield down to Amsterdam, and our people there will give the instructions you need.” The men of 12 Patrol were less than enthusiastic about this mission, but everything was better than sitting around in Hereford while the BEF fought and died in France. The two Naval Officers left them soon, guided by Major Stirling. The men were left alone to discuss this, and all was printable. But the Major had a point, all was better than sitting around and they would have the chance to prove the worth of the Regiment to the Brass. The men then scattered, each finishing business before they met at their quarters to check equipment. The men didn't show the anxiety they all felt. No jokes were cracked, no idle conversation was made to pass the time. Equipment was checked, weapons cleaned one last time and bags were packed.

By departure time, the four men were waiting on the airfield, standing or sitting idly around the small bi-plane. The pilots were not to be brought to divulge anything more than the troops already knew, only that they had to wait for two additional passengers. Much to their surprise the two Officers from earlier turned up, accompanied by Major Stirling and dressed in full combat gear, the only difference was that they were only carrying side-arms. They even wore the same green berets as the Royal Marines. What Drake feared soon became true when Stirling said that the two would come with them to 'evaluate' the combat performance of the patrol. When they boarded the plane, Fleming took Drake aside. “Listen, Lieutenant. I can imagine that this isn't exactly your dream arrangement for the first mission, but trust me, I'd rather be somewhere else too, with my girl in London in fact, so let's get this over with like grown up men, shall we? We won't step on your feet too much, but rest assured, the Lt. Commander and I know how to handle ourselves in a hot zone.” Drake valued honesty very high, so he only said: “Yes, Sir.” They boarded, and soon the small plane rolled down the grass runway of the airstrip. Drake was seated to the right of Fleming, and when he glanced over, he was surprised to see that Ian was using a professional gun-cleaning kit to remove every last speck of dirt from his Webley, before he turned around and said to Drake: “I'd rather prefer using that Thompson I had last time Felix and I went against Jerry, but alas, it was not supposed to be.” Seeing Drakes stupefied expression, Ian just grinned, re-loaded his gun and leaned back in his chair.



[Notes: I have the need for some Infantry action for a change. Besides, 'they' need their entrance now I think, so that all Axis forces fear 'them' for the remainder of the war. Also, while I like snipers as much as the next guy, I am not one of these blokes who take the only Sniper Rifle and then are too stupid to use it.]
 

humancalculator

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Good update, glad to see the SAS come into play. :D
 

Le Jones

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Nice update - good old Davie Stirling comes into play...
 

Sir Humphrey

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Cool update indeedy.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Last time the Dutch family was involved in a bussiness like that it ended in a mess. Funny, but mess, so beware. Read Amona's AAR to know what I mean :D
 

trekaddict

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humancalculator 'They' are my favourite ever Special Forces unit. :D

Le Jones Indeed. Stirling will appear a few more times, as this isn't the only special operation 'they' and their brethren from the other services will go on.

Sir Humphrey Thank you, kind Sir. :)

Kurt_Steiner Who says anything at all is going to happen? Not me, that's for sure. ;)
 

Lord Strange

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Ooh. SAS rescuing the Dutch Royal Family. However pro-British this AAR is (not that that is a problem) this does feel quite realistic.
 

unmerged(85800)

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ah, an early start for the SAS, excellent. i can see history being re-written if they fail in this first mission. i was hoping to see Soap involved at some point :D
 
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Cool update indeed, but will the escort mission for the SAS turn out badly due to actions taken by the Abwehr? :p
 

trekaddict

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Lord Strange Thank you. That is my intention. For example, you won't see the SAS infiltrating Berlin to pinch Hitler. On the other hand you might.... what am I saying, you will see them do the stuff they did in OTL.


BritishImperial Well, its supposed to be an easy mission, no way to tell what will happen. As for Soap.. well... I know what will happen in the future of this timeline. :D


gaiasabre11 *points to above comment*
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 102




14th May 1940

Chequers



“Day 1:
German and Soviet Airborne Troops land near Folkstone and Dover. A second Airborne landing is made near Brighton. At the same time German and Soviet Submarines begin to interdict all traffic in the channel and to blockade HMNB Portsmouth. A second group of Submarines begins to lay an extensive net of minefields to seal of an area of the channel. From ports along the occupied low countries as well as north-eastern France, troop transports, supported and guarded by the majority of the Fighter Strength of the Luftwaffe and the Red Air Force begin to cross the channel in order to reinforce the Airborne landings. Estimated Strength for first wave: ~8 Divisions, plus independent and attached Brigades. Immediately upon landing the advance units the Axis armies extend their perimeter. British Forces fall back in disarray, constantly under attack by enemy divebombers and ground attack aircraft.

Day 2:
Submarines and Aircraft deter all attempts to interdict reinforcement and supply convoys over the Channel by sea. Royal Navy Units are withdrawn to Scapa Flow. No accurate estimate about losses can be given at this point. The Bridgheads near Folkstone and Dover unite, as do the other landings. By this time the enemy has roughly forces that amount to three to four Divisions on land, pushing inland with massive air support. German and Soviet Motorized columns race for Canterbury and Ramsgate from the first, for Lewes, Burges Hill and Storrington from the second Bridgehead, whilst slower moving leg Infantry secures to flanks and strives to connect the two main fronts by capturing the coast. Again the enemy Air Forces are in full support, with Tactical Bombers hammering RAF Aerodromes all over England.

Day 3:
The Southern England Reserve Forces attack the first landing. They make good progress in the beginning, but are hammered by the enemy from the air. British Forces then retreat as a danger of being cut off by...”

Churchill put the folder down and closed it, once more reading the inscription on the cover.

“Defence Studies 1940 – Worst Case Scenario”

“Do you really think this is necessary, Marshal?” he asked Field Marshal Gort over the table. “I think so, Prime Minister. This is all part of the general, top-secret contingency planning my staff and me have done since the war began, and Captain Sandys worked out this scenario before he accidentally electrocuted himself.” Sandys had been trying to repair his radio, but had soon learned the consequences of doing so without bothering to disconnect the power cable. “Isn't this a bit....shall we say, pessimistic?” Churchill said, while taking a new cigar from the case he stored them in. “Worst Case Scenarios are that by default, Prime Minister.” “I know that...Cigar?” “Thank you, Prime Minister.” Gort lit the Cigar and listened to the Prime Minister. Churchill went on. “But from what both you and the RAF told me is that dive-bombing against prepared and, via Fighter Command, protected troops isn't as effective as previously thought?” Gort took a drag from his Cigar and answered. “From what little we actually know of the Polish campaign that isn't propaganda by either side and from what the Stafford Battlegroup reports back from Belgium, the German Stukas and the Soviet Antonovs depend on the morale impact as much as the actual damage they do. It basically boils down to this Sir: You can't attack what you cannot see. So at least in fixed and camouflaged positions our forces would be able hold on. On the move though...” “And doesn't this scenario depend on the French utterly collapsing and the BEF being captured?” Gort just nodded. He took a drag from his Cigar and looked out of the windows of the study they were sitting in. Outside the countryside of Buckinghamshire was beginning to darken, and clouds were gathering not only on the physical horizon. During the last few days the Allied Armies had managed to stop repeated Axis attempts to break the Dyle Line, but even with the additional units of the BEF arriving everyday, especially the 7th Armoured Division that was expected to become operational any day now, the line showed signs of cracking, even though the main Axis effort had now shifted to taking out what remained of the Netherlands. “Any word on that SAS thing?” “None yet, Sir. They must have arrived by now though. We will see how much Stirling's private Army is worth.” Churchill did not answer, and Gort knew why. As CIGS he had tried to stop the formation of the SAS, as he saw it as an unnecessary drain on the conventional Army, but Churchill had insisted that the regiment be formed and sent into action at the earliest, and so the opportunity had been granted to the smallest Regiment in the British Army.

“Anything else, Field Marshal?” the Prime Minister asked. “Not at this time, Sir. Although I would recommend we call in a meeting of the War Cabinet as soon as possible. The first half of the BEF will be in Belgium in a few days, and we should review our plans.” “Noted, Marshal. We need to inform Simon that Mountbatten will replace him as the Chief of the SOE.” Gort grinned, remembering the young Officer who had somehow managed to get directly to the Prime Minister to propose Operation Cartwheel, bypassing Simon and all the establishment. The PM had immediately been sold on Cartwheel, but when he had heard about the bureaucracy within the SOE. He had immediately decided to axe Simon, at least from all aside from his post at the Oversight committee and at MI6, both positions were mostly administrative, as the actual operations were handled by the SOE anyway. He had decided to offer Mountbatten the Operations Division, responsible for planning and carrying out operations and the general operational aspects of all joint-inter agency operations of British Intelligence. How good this would actually work was anyone's guess, but all was better than the system they had now.


Schipol Airport, Amsterdam

The British Aircraft landed and immediately the soldiers on board saw the signs that the field had been visited recently. They could see burning and smoking wrecks of the Dutch G1 fighters like the one that had escorted them in. The small aircraft they were sitting was busy taxiing around the bomb craters and wrecks until it was coming to a halt under what had once been a hangar of some sort, but what was now missing the front door and all windows. Apparently the Dutch had cleared everything out, because none of the tires blew. Upon disembarking, they were standing around, not knowing what to do. The car that had guided the plane had disappeared and the runway markers were out again. The entire airport was dark, and aside from a few small fires no lighting could be seen anywhere. Lacking anything better to do the SAS troopers started to re-check and pack their gear, while Ian and Felix walked about around to 'scout' the area. Suddenly a lorry appeared out of nowhere, missing Felix by mere inches as it sped past. “Fuckin'hell, that was close.” Felix cursed. The ran back to the plane, just in time to see a Dutch officer talking to Lieutenant Drake. “Where are the rest of your group?” Drake pointed at Ian and Felix with a grin and said: “There they come.” “Just SIX men? Are you joking, Lieutenant?” “Not at all, Captain. As a matter of fact, these two squids there are only observers.” The Dutch Captain seemed as if he was going to say something, and opened his mouth to do so, but no sound emerged. Suddenly he looked decades older than he presumably was, and just said in a defeated tone. “Board the lorry please. We have a long way to go.”



[Notes: The Antichrist is dead! Now on the the glorious, supersonic Hawker Hunter, variable geometry winged Lightning and TSR2 Tactical Bomber future, enlightened by independent companies! All of which I have pictures of btw. :D]
 

Lord Strange

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oooh. British Jets, which mean a bright future for the world. Also, I can imagine that Dutch Officer's face when he sees the numbers he's got. Still the SAS will probably hold off 3 panzer divisions with a stick, some glue, and a couple of pistols if they have to.
 

ColossusCrusher

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And here I was hoping that Sealion would have made things interesting...:(
 

KiMaSa

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And here I was hoping that Sealion would have made things interesting...:(
Yes but in this timeline, Operation Sealion is the code name for the British invasion of communist California!
 

Le Jones

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Another good update - very Winstonian in its views. I also like Gort's conservatism - very 'brass hat'!