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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

trekaddict

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After following your AAR silently for a while now, I finally managed to reactivate my Account, 'against all odds';), in order to reply. I must say this is an amazing AAR and I especially love the Idea of a modern British Empire as a western Superpower. I hope you have planned something special for postwar Germany. :)

Again, very good work and I hope you keep it up. Of course I will follow this furthermore.

Glad to have you aboard. In the beginning it was simply a "what could be done to have the United Kingdom as the leading nation in Europe?" which later evolved because of several documentaries I watched, several books I read to "What could be done to have Britain at the top of the Free World?".

As for post-war Germany, there is a lot planned. :D
 

trekaddict

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Would anyone mind if I did not do a tech update? I had a quick look at the notes and I realized that there is a lot of action coming up.
 

Le Jones

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Would anyone mind if I did not do a tech update? I had a quick look at the notes and I realized that there is a lot of action coming up.

To the action old boy!
 

Lord Strange

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Oooh Action. Please say some more Ruskie routing and Bosch bashing (hehe)
 

Raaritsgozilla

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Tech







Oh ok, action then
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 120


BattleOfFrance21.jpg



21st June 1940, 23:21 PM

Somewhere in Southern Belgium, south of Brussels

The first thing he heard was a loud scream over the constant background rumble of heavy Artillery. No longer being a green recruit, Lance Corporal Bloggs instantly instantly grabbed for his rifle before he was fully awake. He quickly shot off several rounds into the dark, before the squads Bren Gun opened up. From the darkness, grey-clad figures emerged, shooting wildly from the hip. With a strange sort of detachment Bloggs noted that the Germans had for the first time attacked without Artillery preparation. He mechanically worked the action, and then suddenly the Germans reached the trenchline. Suddenly it was all utter and total chaos. Men fought for their lifes, using the rifle butts as weapons, slashing out with bayonets and sometimes beating each other with their bare hands. One of the Germans, a bull of a man, jumped down on Bloggs and wrestled him to the ground. The Germans had an already bloodied Hitler Youth knife in his left hand and slashed downwards. At the last second Bloggs used his arm to block the move and stifled a scream when the knife dug into his arm instead of his throat. His left arm moved upwards and slammed his fist on the temple of the German, not hard enough to knock him out but enough to have him stagger backwards. Bloggs grabbed his rifle and thrust it forward, penetrating the German's stomach with his bayonet. When the enemy soldiers started to gurgle, he squeezed of a round for good measure. When he removed his bayonet from the body, he saw that around him the German attack was faltering. To his left, Private Cobbington was blasting away at the retreating Germans, whilst to his right Private Hamilton was doing the same with a MP-40 he had taken off one of the dead Germans, yelling madly in the process. Bloggs was just about to light himself one, when Cobbington yelled for a second time. “HERE THEY COME AGAIN!” And they were. With tanks. The Germans attacked again, using the tanks for cover. “Bloody hell, STUKAS!” someone screamed, and sure enough, four of the dreaded German dive bombers attacked, setting fire to the Company CP and destroying the main ammunition dump. On the ground the German Panzer IIIs engaged the Company's 2pdr Anti Tank Guns a point blank range. Despite the unequal battle, the British guns fought back defiantly, but the fight was a foregone conclusion. Under constant pounding by tanks, artillery and dive bombers the British 51st Highland Division broke.

Over the next two hours this scene repeated all along the line south of the Belgian capital, pushing the British line back. By daybreak, the intention of the Germans was clear, or at least two possibilities emerged. One was to catch the French Divisions defending against the Soviet/German drive towards Metz and Verdun in the read and the other to force the Allies to abandon Brussels or be surrounded. The BEF fought madly, along with the Belgians, but at the end of the day the Axis forces had created a bulge that reached about 15 miles to the south of the centre of the Belgian capital. Here, under an old tree and on a field that had seen British forces battle their foes once before, a determined counter-attack by a brigade of Mathilda Heavy Tanks stopped the Germans cold, but in the south the drive continued. The Belgian Infantry defending the line to the south of the BEF was also forced back and also refused to break. Despite the setbacks of 22nd June, morale remained high in the Allied Armies. The Belgians, unlike the French knew that the British had not forgotten them or refused to help, far too many Tommies had already died for that to happen. The line around Brussels also held against the massive German onslaught. Wave upon wave clashed against the British and Belgian units that defended the line, and wave upon wave was thrown back with heavy losses on both sides. The Germans suffered worse, but by the end of the day the British were heavily disorganized. Only the strength of British Armour and the determination of the soldiers defending their ally and their homes respectively held the line together. By 14:30 PM the Germans stopped attacking Brussels directly and tried to wheel around to the north to catch the British in the rear. There Dutch Units, aided by what little the RAF could spare and what remained of the Belgian Air Force, defended the last scraps of Dutch territory and what little Belgian territory they had under their control fiercely and also managed to blunt the German advance after being thrown back a few miles.

By mid-afternoon what is today known as the 2nd Battle of Waterloo began. The 51st Highland Division fought a desperate action against the German 4th Panzer Division, and once again the Mathildas saved the day. A counter-attack was driven home as far as possible, but the general state of exhaustion prevented the British from taking advantage of their success. The Germans had failed to take Brussels, but they had thrown the Allies back onto a far less defensible line and had taken the rest of the area around Namur, were close to taking Verdun, the prize that had eluded them in 1915. Sedan had not yet fallen, but the French were preparing defensive positions. The Dutch had managed to hold onto Zeeland, but where heavily exhausted, having expended most of their remaining stocks of supplies for their own weapons. When the darkness gave the Allies a much needed break, the Germans prepared their next blow. Several reserve Infantry Divisions, partially motorized, attacked the Dutch positions in Zeeland, and this time the defences broke easily. There were simply no longer enough men, bullets and guns to hold onto the islands any longer, and the last allied units retreated from the Netherlands. The Germans did not stop at this however. Pulling in several Soviet Divisions that had been mopping up scattered Dutch resistance to the south of Amsterdam, they pushed on towards Ghent. General Ironside and King Leopold III were forced to pull several already weakened Belgian Regiments out of the Battle for Brussels, but figured that the risk needed to be taken, considering that the Battle to the east had boiled down to fierce small-unit actions. The Belgians reached the line just in time to be forced to retreat by a massive Soviet Cavalry charge, despite inflicting gruesome losses on the charging Cossack horsemen. Brugge fell by 22:23 PM after a fierce Air attack, and Ghent surrounded and under constant Artillery fire, defended by several battalions of Belgian and Dutch Infantry and militia that had been formed out of the cities male population. The calamities were not over. In the south the Germans, spearheaded by the 7th Panzer Division and the bulk of the Soviet Army in the west assaulted Verdun again. During the night a series of fierce night battles was fought in the area where the French had battled the Germans in the First World War. Fort Douaumont fell by midnight after a massive attack by several Squadrons of German and Soviet Tactical bombers smashed what had remained of the old fortifications. The city itself was subject to constant artillery and air attacks, and only when the exhausted French units retreated south by about 04:01 AM on the 23rd the shooting stopped and the twin flags of the Axis powers were raised.

The French did however manage to establish a new line to the south of Verdun and concentrate what remained of their Armour in the sector there. Reinforced by units that had been pulled from the Italian border and led by freshly promoted Brigadier General de Gaulle, the tattered French soldiers managed to halt the Germans and Soviets after thrown back only a few hundred yards. The fierce battles had equally exhausted the Germans, and Major General Rommel, the de-facto commander of the German spearhead, was forced to call a halt to the operations. Overall the Germans had failed to take any of their strategic objectives except Verdun, but had achieved more in a single day than ever since the fall of Amsterdam. The Allies had been thrown back from the prepared positions of the line they had fortified since the BEF had arrived, Brussels was threatened, the Netherlands almost completely in Axis hands, and particular the British were had been heavily beaten in the field. The French in the south were showing signs of cracking, and the famed Maginot line was very short of becoming untenable. Aside from the military aspects the psychological ones were even grater and were to have ramifications for years to come. The French were ever more worried and the French General Staff began to openly voice doubts over the outcome, the BEF had lost it's nimbus of invincibility, and the Belgians were abandoning Brussels and moving the Government to Ypern, a fact that was bound to have a heavy impact on Belgian morale both in the field and on what remained of their Home front. The war had taken a nasty turn for the Allies.



[Notes: A new group of Characters introduced! They will be my primary ones for the footslogger variety. Also, at this point I started to mil-con the French, because I needed every Division I could get under my direct control. Once again I am taking a page out of the book of the greater and better narrative AARs and put larger battles into a semi-history book format.
]
 

Lord Strange

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Huzaaah second battle of waterloo, and we win again. As Mr Clarkson once said "Belgium. A country merely invented so that Britain and Germany have a place to fight wars"
 

humancalculator

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Will be able to pull a successful Dunkirk?
 

Uffz. Steiner

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The Overall Allied Situation looks very dire. I hope the BEF, Beglian and French Divisions can repulse the Axis attack. :(
 

trekaddict

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Lord Strange Indeed. :D

humancalculator I should think so. I have naval superiority in the channel and the Transports standing by in Dover. Let's hope I won't need them.

Uffz. Steiner Unlikely. By now it's largely a question of numbers, and they are against me, even with France under my direct control. If I had had another year to build Divisions.....

Hardraade
Grim is an understatement. While the provinces in the game don't really represent this, I figured that what I wrote and will write in the future is more accurate and plausible in this situation.


Gimmick: the map!

Red are changes in the front line.

 

trekaddict

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Eh, there's nothing wrong with fudging the details on the provinces when their in game makeup causes difficulty in describing events. I've had to do it a few times.

I don't really have a problem with it either, I've done it before and will do it again, I just figured that I had to explain myself.
 

Lord Strange

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Hmmm is it possible to do anything with those German/Russian salients? They look precarious....
 

trekaddict

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I find my own position around Brussels far more dangerous, and the salient around Antwerp also invites....
 

Uffz. Steiner

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Maybe a shortening of the front line would help your defense efforts. Of course this means giving up Antwerp and Brussels but otherwise it frees up divisions.
 

trekaddict

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Maybe a shortening of the front line would help your defense efforts. Of course this means giving up Antwerp and Brussels but otherwise it frees up divisions.

True. The question is, will the Germans and Soviets allow the Allies to do so?


@ all: Due to extreme boredom, the next update will, with luck, be posted later tonight!
 

unmerged(61356)

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True. The question is, will the Germans and Soviets allow the Allies to do so?


@ all: Due to extreme boredom, the next update will, with luck, be posted later tonight!

Nice. Looking forward to it.