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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

trekaddict

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Wait...is that a sneaky vague reference to Adlertag? Or am i looking too hard here?
Not there. Aldershot is merely IGS Headquarters.
 

Thomas Kenobi

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Even more so the one behind this keyboard
I do hope you didn't take offence at my previous comment mate. I only used the word "Hun" in keeping with the WWII atmosphere in this thread. I did not mean it as a disparaging remark to the German people in any way.

In any case if I did offend you, entschuldigung.
 

trekaddict

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I do hope you didn't take offence at my previous comment mate. I only used the word "Hun" in keeping with the WWII atmosphere in this thread. I did not mean it as a disparaging remark to the German people in any way.

In any case if I did offend you, entschuldigung.
Naa. I never take that sort of stuff serious. In fact, I like to use that particular phrase myself, despite being a patriot just like the next guy.
 

Thomas Kenobi

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Naa. I never take that sort of stuff serious. In fact, I like to use that particular phrase myself, despite being a patriot just like the next guy.
Glad to hear that :)
 

trekaddict

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Griffin.Gen

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In turn I like to call Americans Spams, Yanks and Septics and the Brits tommies. :D
Bah, All I can think now is the comments the German Soldiers say in Company of Heroes. E.g. They call the British Tommies, the Americans Yanks, and brag "Krupp steel and Porsche Engine, who can beat us?" and many more.
...
I played that game too much.
 

unmerged(85800)

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i don't see what's offensive about tommy. isn't it just a typical name, or at least it was?
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 150




8th March 1941

“The English are our prophesied, our natural enemies.” Generalfeldmarschall Hoepner, Chief of Staff for the OKW said when they left the Berghof to fly back to Berlin. The other man was Generalfeldmarschall Milch, Göring's second in command at the OKL, or at least he had been.
“This time he is wrong. Total rubbish.” “Rubbish you say? That's a total catastrophy.” The two had tried to convince Hitler and Stalin, who was about to return to Moscow, to call off the costly and irrelevant air campaign against the British Isles. Milch had argued for a defensive posture, with some of the German and Soviet Fighter forces staying behind to contain the British while the rest of the European mainland was brought under British control. If the Axis had decided to use the original plan, this would have been followed by a limited U-Boat campaign against the heavily defended resource and supply convoys going to and from Britain and a massive Naval buildup in order to be able to challenge the Royal Navy by 1948 as per the original Plan Z. Now however the two dictators had decided that Britain would be defeated through Air power before they could launch the invasion of Europe that the OKW and STAVKA expected for 1942 at the earliest. “But he still does have a point. If we manage to force them to a peace treaty now, it frees up considerable resources, and we might find it easier to get the French to work with us.” Hoepner grunted. Milch did not know about the thin folder hidden away deep in the archives of the OKW, one that was labelled 'Barbarossa', and that the real reason behind Göring's boastful claim was more to avoid a two-front war. Yugoslavia was crumbling and their final defeat, and the lack of any sort of response from London seemed to signalize that the English saw it the same way. He had spent much of the time since the defeat of the Italians in North Africa plotting their next move. One did not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Algiers would be screaming for a landing in Northern or Southern France last week if they were asked. He discounted the French. The British would do what he would do in their place: Weaken the Axis powers on the fringes and capture additional airbases in the Mediterranean Sea, with the added side effect to draw away Axis forces from the real target: France. There was no doubt in his mind, France would be the target. Not only was this the most logical choise, as it was close to the Air and Naval bases the English relied on, but also because any attack through the Mediterranean area of Operations would make logistics incredibly difficult. Any operation there would also run into a massive amount of Axis aircraft and would have to slog either through the mountains of the Balkans or up the narrow boot of Italy.

No, a landing in northern France was the most logical choice. Wasting away the cream of the Luftwaffe was no help in his task, but he supposed that forcing the English to waste resources on the Air Defence instead of ships, tanks and guns was something worth striving for. And had the Führer not been correct about the fall of France? No one at the OKW had expected the French to collapse this fast, and had he not been correct about Italy not being able to defend northern Africa? Perhaps there was something to his theory. The OKW would wait and see. He left Milch to return to the RLM and returned to his own Office. He wrote up a short message there and soon an aide was typing it into the enigma coding machine lest it be read by the British.




British Army Headquarters, Aldershot

The next day

“This just came in, Sir.” Field Marshal Gort looked up from the construction report on the new building complex for the Ministry of Defence[1], and took the message with an appreciative grunt. The SLU excused himself and Gort opened the envelope. It was a message intercept from the Government Code & Cipher School at Bletchley Park, untranslated, but transcribed. Gort spoke almost flawless German and liked to read the messages he received in the original language, even though it had gone through two more coding/decoding runs using one-time pads at Bletchley. His eyebrows travelled upwards and he read it again. Without taking his eyes off it he grabbed the telephone from his desk and had himself connected to another number. General Browning was preparing to embark with the rest of I (UK) Airborne Corps to North Africa, so had Captain Hackett. They had only been involved with the plan for the first phase of the invasion, Operation Market Garden. For security reasons they were uninvolved with the rest of the grand strategy was in the hands of a different group, and Gort had spent the last week trying to tie the two together. He had argued against separating the two groups, but the PM had insisted on it, and that had been that. “Brigadier Dyer, would you please come to my Office? It's what we talked about three weeks ago.....Yes, it seems the Gerries are starting to ask questions.” The Brigadier was there within minutes and was sitting in the chair on the other side of the desk. “Here, read this.” The Brigadier was cleared for ULTRA if it was related to his job. “From Oberkommando der Wehrmacht to OB West and all associated Commands. Report state of coastal defences in northern France and the preparations to implement Plan A...” The Brigadier looked up. “Do we have any idea what this Plan A is?” “Not the foggiest.” Gort lied. The Brigadier didn't buy it but knew that it was useless to press on. “...and the preparations to implement Plan A. Report disposition of occupation forces along the coast and in the rear areas, report the nature and intensity of Allied air operations. It is expected that some form of Allied landing is expected for northern France for Spring 1942 at the earliest.


Signed, Generalfeldmarschall Erich Hoepner, Chief of Staff, Oberkommando der Wehrmacht”

The Brigadier placed the sheet of paper back on the table and looked at the CIGS. He tried to fanthom what else the Marshal knew, but failed miserably. “I believe Sir, that we should do what we can to encourage that view. It certainly wouldn't hurt us if the Gerries and Ivans were to continue this line of thinking.”

“I tend to agree, Brigadier.” Gort leaned forward in his chair and looked at the Brigadier again. “What can we do about that?” “We should talk with MI6 of course, but I believe that we should also talk to the NID and the RAF, all unconnected to Market Garden and under the strictest secrecy of course.” Gort was inclined to agree. Before he had left together with General Browning, they had both handed in a report that had suggested just that. Gort had been doubtful, but this would force him to act, if only to make sure. “Good. I will talk to the other service Chiefs.”



9th March 1941

Waterloo Station

The station was covered in sandbags, only the famous clock and the doorway that led inside were free. Among those that streamed inside were a large number of soldiers of all the services. Most of the civilians were women and all over the platform one could see pairs saying goodbye. Tears were shed, and many found it difficult to part from their loved ones, especially the two people that stood beside foremost rail car, both in their early thirties. She was slightly shorter than him and the huge bump was a clear sign that she was expecting. Her long, blonde hair was made up in a relatively fashionable way and fell in waves down to her neck. Her sparkling green eyes were fixed on the man. He was wearing a Navy uniform with the cuff stripes of a Commander, and the blue cap that went with the uniform, as his No.1s were in a dirty ball in his bag.[2] He would have them cleaned aboard ship in the small washing room that went with the long term patrol mission. He was looking at the woman, his hand on her stomach. The love that shone in their eyes was obvious to any who passed them, but the two were in their own world. On their left hand they both wore rings that, despite wartime rationing, were made of gold, and were by the looks of it already relative old. They were talking in low voices. The woman smiled again and said: “You come back to me, Ian, promise.” Sandra said although she knew well enough that he could not do that. Ian just grinned wryly and said: “I'll do my best, love.” With that he kissed her again and turned around. As she watched him board the train tears flowed down her cheeks. As the train began to pull out behind a cloud of steam, she turned around. Ian meanwhile was sitting in a compartment that he shared with two nuns and two engineers that were going south to become part of the workforce that would repair HMS Effingham after the damage the Heavy Cruiser had taken from a regiment-strength IL2 strike on a convoy she had been escorting. Ian was the only Officer there and as a reason of that, conversation soon stopped as it became dark and the train left the outskirts of London. Ian was soon asleep, the festivities had robbed him of what little reserves he had had, and he would need all his strength when Severn left the base tomorrow to escort a troop and supply convoy that was meant for the Mediterranean Sea. When the train pulled into the station outside Plymouth, they could not see the damage the German bombers had done to the industrial quarters and the base, but Ian knew it was bad. He might no longer work for Naval Intelligence, but he knew what massed air attacks could do. As he stepped onto the platform he could hear the hammering of anti-aircraft fire in the distance and the flashes behind the horizon. It seemed the either the Germans or Soviets were hitting one of the other harbours along the southern coast again.

He shook his head and turned around. Outside the station he could hear the sirens announcing the approach of yet another formation. The streets were empty, but now he could see the factory workers and whoever was still here at this time of the day were rushing towards the shelters. Ian, like many of his Navy compatriots, rather ran towards the base, where the ships that were at anchor already trained their own anti-aircraft guns towards the sky. The gates of the base were closed, but Ian managed to gain access and ran towards his own ship, moored alongside several other gunboats and Destroyers. Barely acknowledging the guard, Ian rushed up the gangway that was pulled up behind him. He ran up to the bridge, throwing his bag into his quarters on the way. LtCdr Finney was already vacating the seat in the middle. “We are at Action Stations and have the guns trained towards the sea with maximum elevation. The Oerlikons are manned and ready.” Ian nodded and sat down. “Good work, Commander.” Ian stepped outside of the bridge. The roar of the engines was in the air, airraid searchlights were piercing the darkness with sharp beams of light and as he watched they caught something coming in from over the sea. Before he could give the order, the guns of Severn started to bark, the recoil slamming the breeches backwards. The gunboat was not alone. The other ships at anchor opened up, joined by the fixed guns outside the perimeter. The the guns continued to blaze away, even as the bombs began to fall onto the base. Early on the torpedo storage was hit and exploded with a tremendous bang and burning debris set some of the buildings. By now bombs were falling all over the place, and Ian was suddenly thrown to the floor. When he struggled to his feet again, his nose was bleeding. “Sir, Sir, the Exmouth 's been hit!” It was Finney. “She's afire, Sir.” “Cast away the mooring lines and get us out of here. I don't want to be here when she goes up.” Ian ordered and Finney ran over to the speakerphone. “Engineroom, I want full power available NOW!” “You got it, Commander!” came the answer back. Ian pressed his handkerchief against his nose and watched how the crew cast away the lines even as bombs were falling and 3inch mount continued to fire defiantly. The Oerlikons were silent, as the enemy was flying too high for them. Severn slowly drifted away from the quay. Bombs were still falling, searchlights still pierced the night sky and all forms of guns were still hammering away. Buildings were burning, and Ian was glad that the racket over this nightmarish scene was too loud to hear the screams of the wounded. The ship took up speed as she entered the main channel followed by an F-Class Destroyer who bore scorch marks at his side that told the tale of a near miss. Bombs still fell, and as Ian was stepping back inside the bridge, a near miss rattled the ship as a bomb fell into the channel. It failed to explode, but the water thrown up by it showered Severn and a cursing Ian. Soon the two ships passed the outer marker. “The Destroyer is signalling, Commander.”


“We are HMS Fearless. Interrogative identity and general condition.” Ian put away his bloody handkerchief and said: “Send back: HMS Severn, crew and ship..” he looked at his command crew and when he received nods said: “crew and ship in fighting condition at present time.” When he turned away he said: “Thank god it's Sam, good old Sam Beattie.” Fearless under Beattie was acting as leader for the three-ship 23rd Escort Flotilla, with a second Thames-Class Gunboat, HMS Ganges, acting as the third in the bunch. Together the three vessels had escorted many convoys through the gauntlet of the English Channel, and the crews of the three ships and their Captains had gotten to know each other very well. Beattie was only three days Ian's senior in rank, having been promoted after the previous Captain of the Fearless had taken a shrapnell in the throat while on the bridge. Beattie was about the same age as Ian, and because Ian did not really mind serving under him, the two men got on reasonably well.

“But where is Ganges? Has anybody seen her?” Ian asked. “No, Sir. Finney answered. “Let's just hope she makes it to the rendezvous point then.” The RV point was, in accordance with standing orders St Helens on the Isle of Wight. Unknown to them they would have been ordered to sail in three hours anyway, and there they would meet a convoy. “I hope Victory is all-right....” Ensign Oxley said. “Well, if the Axies were that nasty, Neptune himself would come from the deep and smithe them down. And as we haven't seen that happening yet, I am sure she is fine, Ensign.” Ravenwood said. The men on the Bridge grinned and went back to their jobs. Many Captains would clamp down on non-duty related talk like this, but Ian had learned during his time in the NID that humour was doing wonders for loosing the tension that was felt during situations like this one. They all went back to their jobs, in Ian's case to the bridge wing to have a lookout for further enemies. “Any contacts, guns?” “Negative, Commander. Surface and air RDF plots are clear.” the Navigator said. Over the last few weeks the Thames-Class ships had been fitted with left-over Type 291 RDF sets and a Type 271 fin the roof just aft of the bridge along with a pair of plan position indicators that was constantly monitored by the Navigation Officer unless he was actually plotting a course. Normally this would have left the ship with a blind spot to aft where the funnel would have obstructed the waves, but the Canadian Engineers that had escorted the sets over from there where they were produced by the thriving Canadian electronics industry in Montreal, had fitted them in a small hump that solved this problem. “Keep a sharp one on that, Nav.” Ian ordered and sat down in his chair. Lookouts couldn't see more than a mile at best at that time of the night, so he was content to look outside through the windows. The bridge was doused in a low blue light that barely went past the windows and the panels that were fitted to prevent it from shining upwards. Like that the Severn could not be spotted from very far away, as the light was soon swallowed by the night.[3]

After a few minutes he was convinced that his men could do their jobs without him and he decided to go down to the galley to get himself a cup of tea. He didn't have to be a genius to figure out that they were going on convoy escort again so he wouldn't get much sleep over the next few days.





[Notes: Cloak and dagger, w00t. ]


[1] Now, the MoD is basically the Ministry of Defence as it is now, with more competence and without the Admiralty. Now you may ask, how can that be good, when the Admiralty is sixty miles away from the rest of the Services? Well, the IGS, with all the service chiefs sitting on it, has total operational control of all the services. Something had to give, and that was the price for an independent Admiralty. The First Sea Lord will be the professional head of the Fleet and the RN representative on the IGS, whilst the actual execution of the orders by the IGS will be in the hand of the ACNS at the Admiralty in London. The civilian Minister of Defence will also reside at Aldershot, whilst the First Lord of the Admiralty stays in London. Most of this won't be implemented until after the war except for the bit of the IGS being formed into TTL Joint Chiefs of Staff. Churchill won't like giving the war-directing responsibilities away to the IGS, but for the duration he is Minister of Defence anyhow. One of these days I'll type it down and make a definitive statement on that. And before you scream blood and murder, the actual complex will be a bit outside of town, not inside it. The IGS wanted it that way and Winston agreed. So what am I to do?

[2] Surprisingly enough it's next to impossible to find some decent information on the subject of Wartime-issue RN uniforms. I would appreciate any pointers and thereby humbly apologize for the mistakes I surely made.

[3] Once again, I take any advice. If what I have said is rubbish and anyone can tell me what RN procedure was in that regard, please tell me and this section will be edited.
 
Last edited:

Griffin.Gen

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Talk about bad luck, right when you enter your ship the Jerries start bombing the shipyard! Wankers....
 

unmerged(85800)

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Talk about bad luck, right when you enter your ship the Jerries start bombing the shipyard! Wankers....
quite.

i'm excited about the prospect of some good old british trickery (one of those spectacularly fake-looking fake amphibious invasions?)
also very excited about what looks like more impending naval action.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Ian meanwhile was sitting in a compartment that he shared with two nuns and two engineers that were going south to become part of the workforce that would repair HMS Effingham after the damage the Heavy Cruiser had taken from a regiment-strength IL2 strike on a convoy she had been escorting.
Ok. Casualties have been high, but, isn't a bit excessive to use nuns as part of the workforce?

:D
 

trekaddict

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Griffin.Gen That's war. :D

BritishImperial I can't help myself. I'm a huge fan of Operation Mincemeat.

Kurt_Steiner The nuns are merely going into the same direction.
 

trekaddict

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Found this gem on the Interwebz a while back:

"The Development history of the dH.501 Mosquito is a windy one. Originally the aircraft started out as GOR 57/12 in 1957, as a requirement for a Canberra replacement. Changing Governments and priorities delayed the project until 1969 when the first prototype took to the air after English Electric had 'sold' the financially untenable project to de Havilland. Today the Mosquito, like it's wooden ancestor, serves as a low-level infiltrator and general purpose tactical Bomber with the RAF and various allied Air Forces. The airframe proved to be highly adaptable and is still in production, with the new Mk.XVII starting to replace the Mk.XV in the RAF and three other buyers."

The text on the pic is my own.

 

unmerged(85800)

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thats pretty damn cool.
 
Aug 15, 2008
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Kurt_Steiner

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Just a "but". If the RAF has the TSR, there is no need for the B-1 Lancer, as seen here, I guess. Or event the F-111...
 

trekaddict

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Just a "but". If the RAF has the TSR, there is no need for the B-1 Lancer, as seen here, I guess. Or event the F-111...
For the heavy strategic bombers there is a need, because unlike OTL, the TSR2 is a conventional tactical bomber. It is nuclear capable, but mainly meant for interdiction, i.e. conventional, low-level attacks against bridges, depots and the like.

Hence the name I chose. :D
 

Le Jones

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Loved the BoB reference at the beginning.