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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

trekaddict

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Bafflegab said:
I agree, I too don't drink outside of special occasions... Like celebrating my ability to lift 12 oz of fluid at one time... :D
I always drink waaaaay too much coffee.
 

ColossusCrusher

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I drink tea when sick, and I don't like alcohol or coffee. I can get forced into a little bit of wine, but never really by choice except in a few occasions...maybe that's why I'm always tired in the mornings. :D
 

trekaddict

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Bafflegab said:
No such thing. Physically impossible to ingest too much... whatever you drink is what was required, or less, meaning you should drink more. Caffeine may be more important than oxygen... I sure there are studies to support this. :D

Aye. Coffee is even almost as important as oil to the survival of civilization.
 

ColossusCrusher

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Not true!
I don't drink coffee, so clearly it is not necessary to civilization!
Same with oil, just look at the 1700s...or rather, don't. :D
 

trekaddict

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ColossusCrusher said:
Not true!
I don't drink coffee, so clearly it is not necessary to civilization!
Same with oil, just look at the 1700s...or rather, don't. :D
BLASPHEMY!

:rofl:


Anyhow, I'm working on the next update, and this time we will go to Italy.
 

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trekaddict said:
That reminds me, I think that the Point of Divergence must be somewhere farther back than Hoovers assasination, probably somewhere in the mid 1920s, that makes the CPUSA more agressive and hones down Hitlers and Stalins hatred of each other.
No Teddy trustbusting?

Anyway, why would you ever drink coffee when tea is better in all ways?
 

trekaddict

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Faeelin said:
No Teddy trustbusting?

Anyway, why would you ever drink coffee when tea is better in all ways?
Teddy was there and he did bust the trusts. I have decided to adopt El Pips suggestion. Now all I need is a Time Machine to make it happne :D

I prefer Coffee because I am not British, despite apperances. :)

A good cup of Coffee is a part of my morning.
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 24





Rome, Italy

November 8th, 1938

The Duce was furious, and anyone around him knew that if he was like that then it was healthier to stay away, far away, but unfortunately Count Ciano had to stay with him. Mussolini had been incredibly unstable ever since the Germans had allied themselves with the Soviet Union. One time he wanted to join in, just not to be left behind, the next second he talked about declaring war on Germany as a reprisal for stabbing the cause of fascism in the back like this. The inner circle around the Duce wanted neither, but the men who were the real leaders of Italy knew fully well that doing nothing was the worst of two bad options. IF Italy did not ally herself with one of the two power blocks in Europe then she might very well be squashed between the two. The British had sent out some modest feelers in the past, but that had ceased the moment the idiot Churchill had become Prime Minister. Italy needed to go elsewhere, and all that was left was the Axis. It would take some time, but they would be able to convince the Duce to join that alliance, even if it took them years and considerable Axis military successes. Ciano dared to interrupt the Duces rant.

“Duce, we shouldn't do anything now. Undue haste will only compromise our position and...” he was interrupted by Mussolini yelling: “ RUBBISH! That little Corporal in Berlin is making a deal with the Devil, and I will not stand for that!” Ciano inwardly sighed and cursed himself for the umpteenth time that he had accepted this post so readily. Now he was stuck with it and was forced to do what he could to keep Italy in one piece despite the Duce's fondness for military Adventures. He personally believed that the Germans and the Soviets were merely allies of convenience, and that it would fall apart once one of them was no longer satisfied with it. When that time came Italy needed to take a side, and if he was asked ( which he wasn't) then Ciano would prefer close ties with Germany. The Red Army was rubbish, and if the Germans needed them as cannonfodder so be it, as long as it saved Italian lives everything was fair game. “But Duce, may I remind you that if we do nothing then either the Allies or the Axis might see us as a target for one reason or another?” Once again what he thought differed from what he said. He did not have decent information at the moment, but his gut said that the Allies would have their hands full with the Axis Alliance as it were and would not willingly ad yet another country to their list of enemies. The Allies did not stand a chance against the Axis, and if Mussolini's current bug was pushed home all the way then Italy might find herself on the loosing side, and that was something the Count had an irrational fear of. The Duce seemed to calm down a bit, at least on the outside and said: “Are you sure, Ciano?” Relieved Ciano answered. “Yes, Duce. If they loose France the English will sit on their Island and talk about liberating the Continent, and in this situation we might even be able to seize Egypt for the New Roman Empire.” This was Ciano's final trump card. The Duce was obsessed with building a new Roman Empire, and he had always coveted Egypt in particular. Control over the Suez Canal would give Italy power over the eastern Mare Romanum and would cut the 'Imperial Link' between Britain and their far eastern possessions.


The Duce stalked around the room and made a face that told the others that he was in deep thought, or at least as deep as he was able to. Ciano hoped that the Duce would come to the conclusion that everyone in the inner circle desired: Stay out for now, and then join the Axis later when the time was ripe. The Duce might not want to see it, but Italy was far from ready for war, and Ciano recalled the sobering report from the War Ministry he had intercepted a few days ago: 'Munitions at 10% War stocks, rolling equipment at 40% War stocks, General supplies (food, Uniforms e.t.c.) 80% War stocks, Small Arms 100% War stocks, Artillery practically non-existent, Artillery Shells likewise.' The Regia Aeronautica was of a decent size, but woefully outdated, and the Regia Marina, while quite large, relied on old Battleships from the Great War, and Mussolini had personally axed Italy's modest Carrier Program. The Aquila was nothing more than a hulk rusting away in a small corner of Taranto Harbour waiting for the next Fleet Exercise where she would be sued as a target. The British had seen the error of the old ways and had concentrated their Carriers at Alexandria. They apperantly reckoned that the German Navy could be held in check by the Battleships if their Home Fleet and that the Carriers were needed where the Battlefleet needed Air Cover from Enemy Bombers. He feared that the Regia Marina would get squashed by the Royal Navy whatever Italy did, but if a victorious Germany counted to Italy's allies then the Country might still win the war. Ciano was sure that with enough preparation and training the Italian Army would be more than able to repulse any Allied landing attempt once France was defeated. Mussolini still wasn't completely sold on Ciano's course of action.


“We should join now if at all!” he exclaimed with a gesture that he normally reserved for the public speeches to the masses. Ciano replied with a calm voice that belied his inner fury. “Duce, be reminded that the British currently have at least triple our number in troops in Africa and Egypt.” In reality British forces numbered only a few Divisions, scattered all over the middle east, “Should war break out tomorrow then the British would simply overrun our units. We need time to prepare, and when we are prepared and have send additional troops to our colonies then we can join. We will be ready and able to repulse and landgrabs on our costs.” Mussolini nodded. “How much time would the Army need?” Ciano hesitated. This point would surely anger Mussolini and Ciano loved his life. “A year or two at least if we want to reach German standards.” The nervous men in the table could literally see Mussolini's face go beet red. “AM I SURROUNDED BY INCOMPETENT FOOLS?” Ciano was again the only one with enough spine to speak. “Duce, this is no question of incompetence in the Army. We still carry some of the burdens left behind by the socialists.” he said, referring to Italy's last democratic government. “We accomplished a lot, but you know as well as we do that money is scarce at the moment, and the modernization already runs as fast as we can afford.” The Duce banged his fist on the table and snorted: “Find a way to make it go faster.” He then made a dismissive gesture as a sign that he wished to be alone and Ciano only said “Yes, Duce” before leaving the room, like the rest of the Inner Circle glad to be alive and not under arrest. Outwardly his face was impassive, but inwardly he raged against Mussolini.

On the way to the Defence Ministry where he would meet with the General Staff he ahd to pass the British Embassy. As his car moved past the building he looked up at the Union Flag waving proudly on the roof. He would show them. The times when the British Empire was able to dictate its will to the world were over. He would show them. Italy would show them. Italy would become great again.




[Game Effects: My Carriers are all at Alexandria. It really pained me to write the part about Battleships being obsolete because I really like these old Battlewagons.]
 

unmerged(85800)

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its ok. battleships will work excellently against the kriegsmarine and even more pathetic red navy, at least in the first few years, and assuming in your timeline they havent spent any more on their navies.
 

unmerged(61356)

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I was finally able to get myself caught up on this AAR, and I must say that it was a pleasure to do so. I enjoy the way that you not only portray events in the narrative from a military viewpoint, but from a political one as well.

A note on the last update: I really feel sorry for whoever the Italians decide to back in the coming conflict. I'd much rather have them as an enemy than as an ally. ;)
 

trekaddict

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BritishImperial Let's hope so. In any case, the Carriers I am building will take over soon enough.

Hardraade

I am glad you liked it.


As for the Italians, I too think that they will be a nuisance more than a genuine threat.
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 25




Somwhere in Northern Germany,


November 10th, 1938


The two men meeting in this room had both thought the time of these clandestine meetings was far behind them, and yet here they were. One of them spoke after he had contemplated the consequences of what he had just heard. “This is madness. The British can not and will not ignore this.” His opposite nodded and said: “Don't you think I don't know that? The problem is that we don't have much of a choice right now. Besides, I don't think that they will declare war over this. What happens is that the relations between us and them will be a bit frosty and we might have to expect reprisal of some sort, and that is only the worst case scenario. More likely the British will do absolutely nothing. The embarrassment if we succeed will be too great. What I expect from this is that the Tommies will send their own intelligence operations in to investigate our involvement and that will allow us to smoke them out.” The other man in the room threw his hands in the air in defeat. “Still, the risk is too great. Why did he order this...operation anyway? From what I've heard the target is not unsympathetic to our cause....” “ The Führer believes that if Operation Pinie* is carried out then the other one will be more receptive towards our proposals.” “This ridiculous! He will never do that, not after what has happened! He will never sub mit to such blackmail!” “Don't you think I know that? But we can't disobey the Führer. We both swore an oath remember? And I for one intend to keep true to it, no matter how distasteful it may be.” “You are right. Still the risks are too great. We have to convince Hitler that the operation, however great the potential pay-offs may be carries a risk far to great.” The other, older man nodded again. “That is what I am going to tell the Führer when I meet him tomorrow. Let us hope I can forestall this operation.” “And what will I do in the meantime?” The older man chuckled and said: “Prepare it of course, in case I am not successful.” “Yes, Admiral.”

As soon as Admiral Canaris had left the Office Oster rested his head in his hands. At times like this he asked himself why on earth he had joined the Abwehr in the first place. But he had work to do. With that Oster stood up and walked over to the bar that he had was installed in the office. Pouring himself some Irish Whiskey he pondered where to start. He would need some men. He lifted the reciever of the desk phone. “Get me Major Brandt at the OKW.” he waited patiently and when connected said: “Andreas, I need your help with something...” After finishing the phone-call Oster stood up again and looked out of the window at the windswept countryside of Northern Germany. Somehow he felt that he had just taken the step off the edge of a cliff, with nothing but a deep, bottomless Abyss beneath. He shook his head. The Admiral was right, both had sworn oaths, and both had to act in the spirit of it. “Herr Oster, the car is ready.” Oster nodded to the functionary and stepped outside. It was good to get out of this boring piece of the earth and back to Berlin, however drastic and heart wrenching the reason may be. Ge climbed into the back of the spacious Mercedes and only said to the driver: “To Berlin.” before dozing off to sleep. He would need it, as he would get not much of it over the next weeks.


At the same time Wilhelm Canaris was on a small Lufthansa postal aircraft on his way to Hamburg. Oster may have only just been informed about Pinie, but the Naval aspect of the Operation was easier to arrange, and was in fact already in place. Being an Admiral and head of the Abwehr at the same time definitely had its advantages. Luckily Raeder, his old friend from the Great War was in charge of Germany's pityfull excuse for a Navy, and therefore the relations between the Abwehr and the Kriegsmarine were exceptionally good. But unlike Oster Raeder did not know the final purpose of Pinie, yes, not even the name. Upon landing at Kiel he was told that Raeder was not available at the moment, as he was inspecting the Graf Zeppelin but would be along shortly. When the Commanding Admiral of the High Seas Fleet finally arrived back at his office he was genuinely surprised to see Canaris there. “Wilhelm, what can I do for you at this fine morning?” Canaris grinned at the obvious good mood of his friend. “Someone is in a good mood today.” “Yes, the Graf Zeppelin is finally on schedule again and I have received word that the Führer has overruled the Fatty. The planes will remain under the control of the Kriegsmarine.” Canaris gave him a court nod. “This is most certainly good news. That fat bufoon would have wasted away fine pilots and a fine ship. When will she be able to put to sea?” “We expect her to be ready for combat by the end of 1939. But that is not why you are here, right?” Raeder sobered up immediately when the conversation reached that point. As much as he liked courtesy visits from his friend, the work said friend did left practically no time for such visits. “Afraid not, old friend. The matter we talked about a few days ago, I have received the final orders from the Führer himself. I might need one of your ships for it, maybe even two, because as things stand it will be bigger than we anticipated.” “That should not be a problem. Dönitz might be an idiot, but he knows how to follow orders, so we might be able to borrow a U-Boot or two.” Canaris saw a gleam in the eye of the other Naval Officer. “I believe you already have someone in mind eh?” “Indeed I have. You know me just too well.” Raeder laughed.


U-37 in the North Sea

“U-37 under Kretschmer and Prien on U-47. She should be ready by January at the latest, so there is no problem. These are the two best U-Boaters we have, and I believe they can be of service to you.” “As long as you fix the Eels then yes.” Raeder did not find this funny. The torpedoes of the Kriegsmarine had longstanding problems with the detonators, and so far no one had been able to fix them. “If only we could go back to the old contact detonators, but no, orders from Berlin forbid that a while back...” Canaris had his own thoughts about this, but it was not his area of expertise. “So Wilhelm,” Raeder said in an attempt to lighten the mood. “Any success catching English spies lately?” “Not too well I am afraid.” Canaris hesitated as he contemplated on how much he could tell Raeder. “But we are making progress, especially on the Britishers in Berlin.” Both Admirals continued to exchange pleasantries and news about their respective families, but Canaris had to leave soon. If he wanted to stop this madness before it happened he needed to talk to Hitler immediately.


*Operation Pine Tree

[Game Effects: I know people like to portray Canaris and his friends as heroic freedom fighters and all, but tbh, I think the Generals were a bunch of spineless cowards. First they take an oath on a person instead of Germany itself, then ignore the obvious preparations for war and years of war because of said oath and only feel compelled to act when anyone with half a brain can see it is too late? Oh please. Nevertheless, I like reading about it in AARs like Weltkriegschaft, but I always take that with a huge grain of salt, sorry. :) ]
 

unmerged(61356)

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This update has given me quite a bit to think about. Hitler has a plan that involves two of Germany's finest U-boat commanders. That is intriguing enough without the mention that the torpedoes need to be working. Could this operation be aggressive in nature? Could Prien be on his on his way to a certain naval base a little early? I can't wait to find out and insist that the next update follow quickly. ;)
 

trekaddict

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Hardraade said:
This update has given me quite a bit to think about. Hitler has a plan that involves two of Germany's finest U-boat commanders. That is intriguing enough without the mention that the torpedoes need to be working. Could this operation be aggressive in nature? Could Prien be on his on his way to a certain naval base a little early? I can't wait to find out and insist that the next update follow quickly. ;)
I won't tell. I will from now on also not tell you what the next update is about, just to keep you all reading. :p
 

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trekaddict said:
I won't tell. I will from now on also not tell you what the next update is about, just to keep you all reading. :p
Blast!!! Oh well, I suppose that the anticipation will add to the enjoyment.
 

unmerged(61296)

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trekaddict said:
[Game Effects: I know people like to portray Canaris and his friends as heroic freedom fighters and all, but tbh, I think the Generals were a bunch of spineless cowards. First they take an oath on a person instead of Germany itself, then ignore the obvious preparations for war and years of war because of said oath and only feel compelled to act when anyone with half a brain can see it is too late? Oh please. Nevertheless, I like reading about it in AARs like Weltkriegschaft, but I always take that with a huge grain of salt, sorry. :)
Ha ! Couldn't agree more ! Not only were they pusillanimous, their contacts with the Allies showed how unrealistic their plans were. I mean, "we'll depose Hitler, but hey, can we still keep Austria and Czechoslovakia ?" :wacko:
 

Eams

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Atlantic Friend said:
Ha ! Couldn't agree more ! Not only were they pusillanimous, their contacts with the Allies showed how unrealistic their plans were. I mean, "we'll depose Hitler, but hey, can we still keep Austria and Czechoslovakia ?" :wacko:
I was under the impression that a lot of the younger plotters, Moltke, Stauffenberg (Who's to be played by Tom Cruise. What's next? Rob Schneider as Dietrich Bonhoeffer?) and Yorck for instance, were fully aware of the unavoidable loss of everything conquered from 1938 and onwards, while the old farts were still fantasizing about the Greater German Reich and its Grand Army.

Good update as always, trekaddict. But who do you include as Canaris' friends?
 

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Eams said:
I was under the impression that a lot of the younger plotters, Moltke, Stauffenberg (Who's to be played by Tom Cruise. What's next? Rob Schneider as Dietrich Bonhoeffer?) and Yorck for instance, were fully aware of the unavoidable loss of everything conquered from 1938 and onwards, while the old farts were still fantasizing about the Greater German Reich and its Grand Army.

Good update as always, trekaddict. But who do you include as Canaris' friends?

Not sure yet. There will be a time when I have to decide this, but that is still very far off.