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humancalculator

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Japan was what sprung to mind for me, the whole thing about 'having a bone to pick'. plus, its logical to think that once stalin feels he is secure in the west, he would try to expand in the east. though maybe japan is too obvious an answer? maybe he's going to go for afghanistan and then british india? now that would be terrifying. but hitler would doubtless show more interest.
I am also putting my money on Japan.

I guess we get to wait and see the outcome. :)
 

unmerged(61356)

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I'm going to third the supposition that the Axis will be going to war with Japan. The comments about it being "far away" and that the Russians have and "axe to grind" made me think of Japan right away.

Good update.
 

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Griffin.Gen Well of course. Robbing the Admiralty of it's independence would be un-british!

El Pip The Navy will hit some rather rough patches soon, I'm afraid.

BritishImperial&humancalculator&Hardraade I can't reveal it yet.
 

Lord Strange

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Hmmm, Russia is quite prepared to break the alliance as well..... But who will strike first against their own allies.
Also, I woudl guess that eventually the Air Ministry will have to be reformed, as Air power, at least post war will be much to important, especially for example strategic bombing....
 

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There Air Ministry is gone. Forever. If it is ever reformed, a Super VC10 shall crash into my house.


Seriously though, the functions of the Air Ministry are still there, only with much more input from the RAF and less bureaucratic nonsense, all as part of the Ministry of Defense.


As for the Alliance, so far both the Soviets and the Germans get something from the Alliance, so for now it will stay.
 

Alexey Romanov

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but as long as the British held the entries to the Mediterranean Sea and the Turks kept the Bosporus shut
So why are Turks still keeping the Bosphorus shut and not dealing with Fallschirmjäger and Morskaya Pekhota in Istanbul? If Bulgaria is a part of the Axis, I would expect Turkey to be the next target. If it isn't, I would expect it to be next.

The obvious far away enemy indeed seems to be Japan, so it's probably something else. But I don't see a reasonable way for Soviets to attack PRA. China is fully conquered by Japan, if I remember correctly?
 

trekaddict

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The turks aren't occupied because the Germans and the Soviets have essentially given up on the med. Even if they could take Istanbul, they would have to go with the Soviet Black Sea Fleet and the Regia Marina against the RN Med Fleet, which has Carriers and can just retreat out of the med if threatened, never to be seen again, and so they just won't bother. ( unless the AI does something stupid. )

The target in the Far East is Japan, but it's gonna be a bit before anything happens.
 

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Status report: I have a lot of stuff to do this week with two major projects due monday. However, I will have them finished by friday and since it's my birthday on Saturday, I will take off the weekend from studying, and get some writing done. Expect something by the end of the week.
 
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Status report: I have a lot of stuff to do this week with two major projects due monday. However, I will have them finished by friday and since it's my birthday on Saturday, I will take off the weekend from studying, and get some writing done. Expect something by the end of the week.
Let me guess, univeristy life is getting a grip on you? :p
 

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After having an unforseen day off, I present you the next update. Living relatively far from everything and being incredibly lazy after hours has it's perks for my readAARs.






Chapter 138




5th October

HMS Severn, Western entry to the English Channel


The Thames Class was not classified as ocean going, but her heritage from the old V-Class Destroyers made sure that she handled well for a ship of her size, despite being somewhat top-heavy. Ian however did not mind, as this was his big chance to get away from it all, from the guilt that had weighed him down ever since he had returned from Germany. The Severn was currently escorting a convoy that was bringing in rare materials from Burma, and to the port side he could see the proof of the workmanship of the German U-Boats that were prowling on the convoy lanes around Africa, as one of the Freighters was listing heavily from a non-fatal hit. The convoy would move trough the channel towards Dover, and Ian did not look forward to running the gauntlet past the Luftwaffe and the Red Air Force, because like any Naval Officer he did not trust the promises by the RAF for a 'maximum effort' in Air Cover. The Typhoons and Spitfires of Fighter Command were currently re-building their strength for the inevitable Battle that was to come, and Ian had the nasty feeling that the flyboys would rather focus on that matter than mere mortals and their convoys of Iron Ore. The Thames Class was not a purpose built convoy escort, but her guns were dual-purpose, and therefore the Severn, like her sisters, could put up an impressive barrage of anti-artillery fire, and with depth-charges, and the best in ASDIC and passive listening devices, the class was still very suited for the job. The only indication that it was meant for something different were the two forward firing torpedo tubes in the forward hull, but these would most likely not be needed. HMS Severn was steaming along at ten knots, her powerful machinery not exactly taxed, as the ship could do 36 knots, and, according to the engineer, almost forty if pushed. The current speed made necessary by the slow freighters in the convoy, and it allowed Ian to catch up on some sleep, leaving the ship in the capable hands of his Second in Command, a Lieutenant Commander with the name of Finney. The rest of the day watch bridge crew consisted of a Navigator and Gunnery Officer, Lieutenants Ravenwood and Brody, the helmsman, Ensign Oxley and the wireless operator, a Leading Seaman named Williams. These men were currently on watch and did not yet know what to make of their new Commanding Officer. On the trip out to the meeting point with the convoy he had been capable enough, but the real test for an Officer were situations where you could not as readily fall back on your training.

At the same time as the Severn was steaming along side the convoy and crossed a lone just to the north of Carentan, France, several Red Air Force Airfields in northern France buzzed with activity. The three Squadrons were equipped with Sukhoi Su-2 light bombers, not the best possible aircraft, especially when compared to the German Ju-87, and a new model to replace them was supposedly just entering mass production. For now however field modifications that fitted an increased wing armament and a new engine, making it a slightly less obsolete plane. Despite this the Soviet aviators went about their business with the greatest skill as they were mostly veterans from the previous campaigns of the war. The aircraft of the three Squadrons were lined up along the makeshift runways and turning their engines, eager to get into the air. Intelligence had passed down word of a major British convoy foolish enough to traverse the Channel in daylight, and they were tasked with making the first attack of the day. They roared off the grassy runways and formed into the tight Squadron formation used by Soviet Light Bombers, setting course for the English Channel to intercept the enemy. Coasting out over a stretch of coast just to the east of the Normandy peninsula, the Soviets turned to the north-west, hugging the coast in order to approach the Convoy from an unexpected direction. They needed every edge they could get, and little did they know what was about to happen.

Neither did the British for that matter. Ian was stepping out of his cabin and up the ladder onto the Bridge. In his hand he clutched a cup of Earl Grey Tea, spiced up with some of the Ship's store of rum. The crew was already on the bridge, and when Ian took command and sat down in the Captain's Chair, Lieutenant Commander Finney stepped back and briefed Ian on the state of the ship and the convoy. “No enemy activity encountered, although the Carmen Vita is still restricted to 15 knots. Severn is in top shape. All engines fully functional and capable to provide full power. The ship is at normal steaming stations.” Ian nodded. “Thank you, Number One.” He sipped on his tea and turned his head to the small cubicle where the wireless sets were installed. “Sparks, any word on that aircover?” “No joy, Sir.” “Let's hope that the flyboys appear before it is light. Number One, we put the ship on read....” “Aircraft, Green 177!” “Right. Action Stations.” Ian ordered as he stepped out on the bridge wing. Around him the steam whistle of the ship called the crew to the weapons, and when he stepped to the side of the lookout, the tea forgotten, the 40mm Bofors started to scan the skies, soon joined by their brethren at the Machine guns and the turrets. “There, Captain.” the lookout said, and pointed in the direction. Just as Ian found them, the other escorts, a Destroyer and another, smaller gunboat opened fire. “Guns, fire your own discretion.” The rear turret started to bark as Severn turned to avoid the scattering convoy, as much as it could scatter in the confines of these waters. The smaller rear turret was soon joined by the forward ones, although gunnery was thrown off when the Severn increased speed in order to present a more difficult target. “They are Ivans, Sir.” Finney said as some of the planes roared over the Severn, and Ian could clearly see the Red Stars on the wings. The British anti-aircraft fire was horribly inaccurate, while the Soviet aerial targeting was better, as the bombs started to splash down at the side of the British ships. “Zig-zag course!” Ian yelled, even as the 40mm battery opened fire, adding it's voices to the concert of death. A solid wall of lead and splinters surrounded the Severn and the surrounding water. The Soviets charged on regardless, the second wave ignored the withering, if inaccurate British fire. However, one of the shells from HMS Severn's forward 5'' gun exploded under the central fuselage of one of the Soviet Light Bombers. The splinters ripped through the thin hull and severed several of the wires that connected the stick in the cockpit to the steering fins. The Su-2 lost steering immediately, though this was of little consequence as the splinters tore through the cockpit and reduced the pilot to shreds. The bomber plummeted into the sea, never to be seen again. At the same time three more bracketed the already damaged MS Carmen Vita. Four of the six 300 pound bombs near missed, adding splinter and shock damage to the already damaged ship. Two more hit her almost amidships. One was a dud and did not explode. It smashed through the decks and exited near the keel. The other bomb slammed into one of the cargo holds, filled with small arms ammunition. The result was to be expected. Luckily for the rest of the convoy however, the Carmen Vita had rapidly been falling behind as the convoy scattered, and the debris thrown into the air did not land on any nearby British ships. The Soviets then withdrew, having expended all their bombs and lost another one of their number to the defences of the convoy. Two more freighters had been hit, one sinking, the other one emitting a huge cloud of oily black smoke

Ian glanced at the smoking ship and turned to Finney. “Stand down Action Stations, take us back to normal steaming.” “Aye aye, Sir.” “I just damn hope that the RAF isn't asleep at the switch next time.”

Eastern Lybia

It was one of the many rest camps that had sprung up behind the British side of the line. There the new units that would be streaming in from all over the Empire would be pulled apart and assigned to their respective places in the line, there units that were rotated out of line for rest and replacements went nine times out of ten, and there two Regiments of the 5th Indian Division, the 7th Punjab and the Sikh Regiments tried to get over the religious differences lest their Officers caught them brawling. Two more Battalions, this time of the 9th 'Highland' Division looked at it and tried not to be caught in the middle. Still, aside from some minor incidents, it was calm. Today however something was about to change. It started normal enough. In front of the camp, under the scorching African sun the four Regiments were holding a football tournament, with empty oil barrels doubling as goalposts. Currently the 7th Punjab was leading against 5th Battalion, The Black Watch with 3:2 and five minutes to go. It was the decisive match, as the winner would win the prerogative use of the cold water reserves in the showers for the remainder of their stay, however long it was. The two units, and the sulking loosers of the previous matches cheered on one side or another. One of the Indians, a seven foot giant circled around the hapless defenders from the Black Watch, the round leather ball never more than a few inches in front of his feet. The defending line stood as if it was carved from stone as the large man kicked the ball has hard as he could, missing the head of the goaly by not very much. 4:2 and the deciding goal as it turned out, because then the match was interrupted as one of the guards that had an eye on the road that led back into nearby Egypt came running towards the camp. He approached the Brigadier who commanded the camp, a medium-height soldier who had lost an eye and had a crippled left arm which he still wore in a sling. “Marching column coming up the road, Sir.” The Brigadier looked down the road and indeed he could see a low cloud of dust, kicked up by marching feet, slowly creeping closer. “What unit?” he asked. Several were expected, with even more coming into Egypt each week. “Canna'e tell, Sir. They are too far away.” The Britadier nodded and continued to stare at the cloud of dust.

Sound carried far over the desert, and because of that he heard the drums before he could see any of the marching soldiers. He grinned slightly. He may have lost an eye, but his hearing worked perfectly well, and as a former member of the Coldstream Guards he knew the melody the drums were making. As the marching soldiers drew closer, the drums could be heard. A hundred years ago the men would have carried both the Regimental and the King's Colours, but that practice had sadly fallen into disuse. They were however led by two drummers that beat one of the oldest marching song of the British Army into their instruments. That in itself was something that even the Guards Regiments did not practice much these days, but the Grenadier Guards were making an exception today. Now they were close enough that the Brigadier and the rest of the men could hear singing.

Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules
Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these.
But of all the world's great heroes, there's none that can compare.
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the British Grenadiers.
Those heroes of antiquity ne'er saw a cannon ball,
Or knew the force of powder to slay their foes withal.
But our brave boys do know it, and banish all their fears,
Sing tow, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadiers.
Whene'er we are commanded to storm the palisades,
Our leaders march with fusees, and we with hand grenades.
We throw them from the glacis, about the enemies' ears.
Sing tow, row, row, row, row, row, the British Grenadiers.
And when the siege is over, we to the town repair.
The townsmen cry, "Hurrah, boys, here comes a Grenadier!
Here come the Grenadiers, my boys, who know no doubts or fears!
Then sing tow, row, row, row, row, row, the British Grenadiers.
Then let us fill a bumper, and drink a health to those
Who carry caps and pouches, and wear the loupèd clothes.
May they and their commanders live happy all their years.
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadiers.​

'We are in high and mighty Company.' the Brigadier thought. No matter what had happened in France, no matter where he was, one thing was clear: The British Army was coming to North Africa.



[Notes: I was bored and needed a combat update. It will be some time before the fighting on the ground pick up again. A slight retcon is that the Thames class uses 40mm Bofors. Concerning the match: Over here it is simple. If you have a group of men/boys that are close to coming to blows, just throw a ball amongst them, and they will be kicking it around within minutes.]
 

Lord Strange

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Nice. Enjoyable update, Especially with the Trooping the Colour freshly in my mind...
Also, slight english note- its is "fire AT your discretion"
 
Aug 15, 2008
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Le Jones

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Huzzah for the Guards - a very evocative update, especially the second part.
 

El Pip

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The Thames class do look tough little nuts, though I fear for their long term future if they stay on Channel duty. Even if they don't they appear to be the kind of ship that are so effective they keep getting put in harm's way till they don't come back, think the OTL Tribal destroyers.
 

trekaddict

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Lord Strange As a matter of fact the update was inspired by a "best of" of Trooping the Colour I had the pleasure of watching. And the mistake shall be corrected immediately.

gaiasabre11 Not really. English isn't my first language.


Le Jones Thank you, thank you.

El Pip They are tough little nuts. They won't stay on Channel duty though, as many of the class, built in India and Australia are in the Far East, and also Ian might find warmer locale soon where there is no shortage of heat and noodles. ;)
 

Lord Strange

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Oooh China?
That should be good. Any hints on next update?
 

trekaddict

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unmerged(85800)

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i enjoyed that update, very much.
 
Aug 15, 2008
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gaiasabre11 Not really. English isn't my first language.
Not talking about you, trek. I label anyone who points out grammar mistakes as "grammar nazis", due to my incredible hardship in learning the grammars of the multiple languages I know now. But well on the other hand I actually thanks those folks for pointing out those mistakes, so I give them as much respect as I give to this man.

BTW, trek, I do think the stats for your HMS Severn is somewhat too "exaggerated"? Looking back at your ship design makes me think that it's more than just "a bit" top heavy, and reaching speeds in excess of 30 or even 40 knots seems a bit too over the top. There are also some "flaws" in your design that I haven't point out. I'll probably send you another design of the same class as your ship I made, and we can further discuss about ship designs if you like. Hopefully I can get it to you before your birthday. ;)

oh yeah, also great update, but in the first paragraph, does your "anti-artillery" acutally means "anti-aircraft"?
 
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