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You underestimate the power of the Japanese Mecha...

Your lack of faith [in the Japanese Mecha] is disturbing...

:D
 
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trekaddict

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This merely means that I like my armour tracked and with a single gun in a turnable turret.
 
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Chapter 162

From “German-Soviet Relations during 1938 – 1943”, Dissertation of Pranab Mukherjee, 1967, University of New Dehli, Faculty for History and Historical Research, British India.

“The period between the fall of France and the start of Operation Market Garden is often seen as high-point of the war for the Axis powers and the low point for the Allies. With France occupied and the United Kingdom under constant aerial assault with Fighter Command barely able to hold the line against two other Air Forces that together outnumbered the RAF at that point by a fair margin. It was a time when the two leading members of the Axis powers stepped back to reappraise their situations. In the Soviet Union this meant planning for various other military operations[1] went ahead, in Germany this meant that the rest of the year was to be spent on absorbing the conquered territories and begin the exploitation of resources especially in France. The fight against France and the British Empire had been exhaustive, and even though Yugoslavia was subdued quickly, the Wehrmacht, and to a lesser extent the Red Army, needed time to stand down and refit. The war had wound down for the moment and it was once again the time of the spymasters, with Operations like Fortitude, and as a part of it, Operation Mincemeeat being planned and carried out. The Battle of Kristiansand was the only other big military engagement fought during that time. It therefore pays off to take a closer look at the relations between the Germans and the Soviets in this second calm period ( for them ) of the Second World War. Post-war records and documents show clearly that both sides never fully trusted each other, even at this early stage of the war, at least in the higher Officer Corps and in the higher levels of the respective Governments. On the streets the feelings between the citizens of the Soviet Union and those of Germany were mostly cordial, owed to by the brutal discipline enforced by the NKVD and the Soviet Military police for those units stationed in Germany and in the Soviet Occupation zones in France, mostly the area around Brest and a minor Naval Base near Marseilles. So on the surface it seemed like a cozy relationship. Below the surface however the cracks that had never disappeared and never would for the duration of this partnership. One might expect that these were mainly ideological differences, but the totalitarian systems in Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union were too insignificant on the whole.[2] The problem was that the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany had different ambitions on the same territory.

The singular examples will be discussed later on in this work, but this introduction two particular examples will be highlighted in order to give the reader a basic idea on what to expect and over the diplomatic situation for most of 1941.

One is Moldavia. Romania was drifting into the Axis camp for years before the alliance between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, and by 1941 King Carol II had force the country into full alliance. Like the rest of the minor axis nations he found it difficult to swallow that one was supposed to be friends with the communists all of a sudden, but since Moscow had made noise about recovering Bessarabia ever since Stalin had begun to reassert the Soviet position in Europe, there wasn't much of a choice. The Romanians correctly believed that their oilfields would be a powerful bargaining chip with Berlin. They hoped to trade oil for territorial integrity, and in the end were rewarded by the fact that neither the Soviet Union nor Hungary and Bulgaria managed to make good on the various territorial claims they had.

Meanwhile the Germans wanted more influence over the as yet independent Baltic countries. Stalin had repeatedly stated over the years, privately at first and later publicly that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania were breakaway provinces of the old Russian Empire and therefore by law part of the Soviet Union. The Germans on the other hand had had good relations with the Baltic states even before the Nazis had come to power, and liked to see them as neutrals at the very least. Officially this was to underscore that this was a defensive war, but in reality Hitler simply wanted the Soviet Union not to get even stronger than it already was, and the would make an excellent shortcut to Leningrad if Operation Barbarossa ( Chapter XXV, App.1 ) was ever to be carried out. The original text of the agreement between Hitler and Stalin was lost and is therefore not able to give reference to this statement, but it is most likely that these two examples were taken care of when the official Alliance treaty was signed, because afterwards these two long-time foreign policy goals were never mentioned again.

This however was only one facet of this complicated partnership. The fact that the two dictators had a healthy dose of personal distrust and hatred for each other did not help. Both saw the other has means to an end and nothing more, and both suspected the other one as such.


However, on the military side the co-operation worked better than anyone could have expected. Before the war had started the OKW and STAVKA had carved up Europe, with each side of the line under German or Soviet area commanders, no matter which country the forces belonged to.


Pic.1: Grey: German Command Area, Red: Soviet Command Area​


On the technological side the two nations worked even better together. Chapters XXI through XXIV give a better and detailed look into this matter, but once again this introduction is meant to give the reader a general overview. The Campaigns in the low countries and France had shown the troubles and deficiencies with various arms and weapons systems in use at the time, on both sides. However, the Germans and Soviets started an extensive arms co-operation programme that built on similar ones that had existed in the late 1920s and early 1930s when the Germans had laid the basis for their modern Armoured Force during the Versailles treaty by carrying out secret experiments in partnership with the Red Army. Why these efforts not led to the Germans adopting a vehicle similar to the BT series in time for World War 2 is has not been fully explained as of time of writing, but most likely the Germans, after cutting the programs in the early 1930s simply did not have the technical and industrial power to go from nothing to several Division's worth of the Panzer III and IV models within less than five years. However, in the aftermath of the Battle of France the Germans started a crash programme and by the time the attack on Yugoslavia rolled around, the Panzer III had replaced all other models in service. The Germans knew that producing anything that had the same capabilities and rugged durability as the Soviet T-34 series would take some years even though they had received plans for it as early as 1939. As an interrim the Germans decided to mass-produce an improved version of the Panzer IV with a 75mm gun that entered service just in time for Market Garden. The notion that the Panzer IV/J was an answer to the British Cromwell Tank is therefore clearly false. Another area where the Germans and the Soviets worked together well was aviation. The Me-109 and the LaGG3 and Yak 3 were roughly on par in terms of raw capabilities, but the Germans clearly had the edge in manufacturing processes and technology. Despite this the Germans were initially reluctant to share such sensitive technologies with the Soviets, but during the first annual conference between Hitler and Stalin in Berlin the two dictators decided that defeating Britain had to come first. So the Germans did transfer such technologies as reflective visors for Aircraft and several examples of the newest version of the DB-601 engine, derivatives of which would power several last-generation piston-engined aircraft in the Red Air Force. Another area where the Germans sent massive aid to the Soviet Union were general industrial processes. The Soviets received everything from actual advisers from Albert Speers Ministry; who had taken the post after Todt was killed by a strafing Mosquito Infiltrator in May 194; to technologies that allowed the Soviets to streamline their factories, something that would have a sever impact later in the war.

The Germans however also received technologies from the Soviet Union. Among the most hotly awaited ones were five or six T-34 that arrived in Germany sometime between March 1941, after the Soviets had finally put it into mass production and the Battle of Kristiansand. The vehicles were rigerously tested under a shroud of secrecy and it is rumoured that the Germans tested them with a variety of weapons, from a German-built 75mm gun similar to the 17pdr on the Cromwell and their famed 88mm Flak/Anti-Tank gun. Little is else is known of this programme, but the author has devoted a chapter to this peculiar part of the war. Whatever conclusions the Germans drew from these tests, it is clear that the ( in )famous Panzer V Panther is clearly based on the T-34, or at least shares several design characteristics that echoed even after the war.





Pic 2-6: The vehicles in various stages of testing​
[3]


German/Soviet relations during this time were at their height. During the further course of the war they would deteriorate, but at this time even several high-ranking political leaders on both sides would let themselves believe that this was made to last.”

[Notes: Stating this once and for all: Officially the constituent parts of the Empire are the Imperial Dominions of such and such, but public parlance in the Empire and overseas, and of course myself will use British such and such for convenience. Also, this is not exactly how I wanted this to turn out...Hope you still like.]


[1] :p
[2] In the AAO-verse totalitarian ideologies from the left and right are seen as two sides of the same medal.
[3] These are of course T-34s captured by German forces after Operation Barbarossa. Cudos to achtungpanzer.com from whose site I pinched these pictures.
 
Aug 15, 2008
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Griffin.Gen

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Haha, Iron-Cross bearing T34s!
Although it is not that Iron Cross that I like. :(
 

El Pip

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Huzzah! All caught up after work, port and Last Night of the Proms induced delays.

So Canada is subdued, though still troubled and in no fit state to send anything overseas, not yet at least and in no great numbers thanks to the UAPR threat.

Singapore looks short term strong (almost anyone could have done better than OTL up to and including a Japanese spy - a spy would never dare get so many things wrong for fear of being discovered!) however fixed defences are vulnerable. Japanese ground artillery may not be that special, but it is mobile and they will have time to get their eye in, fearsome as those fixed guns are I worry about their medium/long term survival. The RN need to be planning a relief fleet sooner rather than later.

Finally Soviet-Russian relations, very worrying. While I'm sure the Soviets can and will bugger up manufacturing improvements (most of the big efficiency improving ideas are an anathema to the Soviet system; things like trust and individual initiative) there will be some improvement. Worse though is Speer's appointment, given the vast improvements he marshalled OTL those extra few months will make an alarmingly big difference.

A fine and interesting few updates. :D
 

trekaddict

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Griffin.Gen Same here. :(

El Pip I wish the broadcast were already up where I usually get such things.... :(


Anyway, Canada is subdued, and as long as the UAPR isn't preoccupied elsewhere they can indeed not send too much of a force overseas. That will change however once the Japanese attack, because despite all their boasting, the UAPR is weaker than the OTL US in terms of raw industrial power. Singapore is strong long-term. The Arty-bunkers I described are almost exact copies of the OTL Todt Battery, and the Allies hit these things with everything and still had to send Canadian troops in from the ground to take them out. Also, as said before the main line of resistance is on the mainland, and should that fall, the causeway is blown and the Asiatic troops look stupidly at the field fortifications on the northern coast. British Artillery is mobile too, because there are also several batteries of 25 pounders whose express job it is to do counter-battery fire. Relief won't be possible until my Carrier Forces are built up more, but Singapore is commanded by Slim, has ( theoretically ) enough supplies to last for almost a year if the civies are evacuated as per the plan. How good that plan is shall be shown eventually, but I am confident in Singapore's ability to hold out, especially with the additions to the defence you guys don't know about yet. :D

EDIT: Speer is indeed the bigger menace here, but increased Quality control would certainly not hurt the Soviets, especially if it's the NKVD doing the quality controlling.

gaiasabre11 Slow but steady.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Mmmh... Let's see if with the Soviet techno, the Tiger and the IS-III makes a good mix...
 

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Oh well, the cooperation will never last, and the British Empire will be utterly victorious over the totalitarian hordes!
 

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Oh well, the cooperation will never last, and the British Empire will be utterly victorious over the totalitarian hordes!
Working on that!
 

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so pearl harbor and barbarossa still happen? because those 2 events were the most important for the british empire as they occupied germans in the east and brought the americans in the war against the japs (along with d-day help)..

can the british match the combined (estimated) 700 infantry and amored divisions of the wehrmacht and the red army alone? Can their navy subdue the japs without american assistance while stopping an attempt at sealion? will they win the battle of britain? will i be born a communist or will america be under canadian rule?
 

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Barbarossa not, Pearl Harbour or something like it of course, because lets face it, the Japanese would never give up this chance.

Sealion is a stillborn in TTL. Not only was the British Army stronger to begin with, it also lost less Equipment in France, and the Navy still commands the seas. Most likely the Japanese will also be at war with the Americans and that will take some pressure off the RN. There are no events or anything for war in the pacific, I just go where the AI guides me.

As for land warfare, I hope that my technical superiority by the time I attack Europe can cancel out numbers. I intend to focus on Germany, and destroy as many Divisions as possible while doing so, and for that reason I am focusing on Artillery techs.
 

trekaddict

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Public Service Announcement:


A new AAR by an old, almost forgotten Author has joined our ranks. Some of you might remember his excellent KR Russia AAR which sadly died an untimely end. He is now back, and I am in this promoting his new AAR, and I urge you all to read it:


The Third Reich


by Doge Robert
 

Doge Robert

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This is fitting in the extreme.. :)

Not the fact that you promoted my AAR, of which I am profoundly thankful and honored, but rather the fact that I've finally managed to catch up again and gets the honor of posting right after your most excellent post.. :D

Trek, no matter how many times I say it: You are a good friend, an excelent writer and so darned creative that it has me just a tad bit worried about your sanity.. ;)

Rule Britannia and God save the King.. :)
 

trekaddict

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This is fitting in the extreme.. :)

Not the fact that you promoted my AAR, of which I am profoundly thankful and honored, but rather the fact that I've finally managed to catch up again and gets the honor of posting right after your most excellent post.. :D

Trek, no matter how many times I say it: You are a good friend, an excelent writer and so darned creative that it has me just a tad bit worried about your sanity.. ;)

Rule Britannia and God save the King.. :)
Thank you, I feel intensely humbled. :)
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 163

7th May 1941

10:12 AM

HMNB Portsmouth

“....where the Canadian Army is currently stabilizing the situation and new elections for the Quebec Parliament are to be held within the months, therefore formally ending military rule even though units of the Canadian Army, Anglo and Francophone alike will remain to secure Quebec against roving bands of stragglers and aid in the rebuilding efforts . The French Government has issued a statement in Algiers claiming that the recent incident in Halifax has not been in any way been ordered or condoned by the French Republic in Exile. The speech, made by General de Gaulle in which he publicly backed the idea of an independent Republic of Quebec saying, quote: 'Vive le Québec libre' in his closing remarks was not well received by the assembled Canadians. The following diplomatic incident...” The Officer on duty tuned out the wireless set one of the others in the Office was listening to and turned back to his copy of The Times. He continued to read the article about the recent incident that was dominating the headlines everywhere, even with the enemy. The Germans were milking this particular cow for all it was worth, but...

He was interrupted when a ships siren was heard, only that this one sounded slightly off. He was puzzled for no ships were due back in already and before stepping outside, he ordered the usual emergency services on alert. When he stepped outside he saw what was coming in. “God good....” The ship was heavily damaged. The rear gun mount was gone and a huge chunk of the rear superstructure was missing, with bent and charred metal at the edges. The secondary guns on the first and second deck were mostly gone, and the red pools around them made clear what had happened to their crews. The forward gun mount was seemingly undamaged, but at closer inspection the barrel charred and later inspection would show that it was slightly bent. The rest of the ship was not much better. On the side that the Officer could see, the hull was covered with marks, holes and charred bits, from the now missing RDF antennae down to presumably the keel, and none of the portholes or windows still had any glass in it. It was clear that this little ship had taken a heavy punishment, and he knew that these gun boats never acted alone.





HMS Severn, limping into Portsmouth

Ian was not the only one wounded. He had a splinter from the main steering wheel embedded in his arm, and one of his legs was slightly burnt, but luckily the steering wheel that had wounded his arm had between him and the exploding projectile. Of his original bridge Crew only Brody was unwounded. Oxley, Williams and Ravenwood were in sickbay with heavy wounds while Finney was dead, having lost his head. Severn was even more heavily damaged than it seemed from the outside. The shot that had hit the rear gun while it was being reloaded and had torn it off the ship had also damaged the feed lines for the engines and as a result Severn couldn't do more than five knots. The emergency steering compartment had not been hit, so at least they had control over the direction in which they were creeping. Severn had originally had a serious list, but flooding the starboard magazines had taken care of that. Ian was painfully aware that his ship would be out of action for a long time, if he was lucky. His wounds were bandaged, but he knew that he would have to see a real doctor soon. But first things first. The harbour tugs pushed the wounded gunboat into position and soon the wounded were being carried off the ship into various waiting ambulances. Ian was the last one off after signing his ship over to the people that would inspect the damage. His next order of business was report to the base medical Officer who put his arm into a sling and changed the bandages before offering Ian a back room to put on his spare uniform. Ian's spare uniform was one that still had the peace-time rank stripes that went all around the arm instead of the wartime half circle introduced to save on the materials needed to make them. So dealt with he reported to the office of the base commander. The Commander was an elderly Vice Admiral who had lost a leg at Dogger Bank in the last war and had been taken out of reserve when the Navy had exploded in size over the last few years, and was giving a first report. “We were on our way to Dover together with Fearless. We were suddenly, out of the blue it by at least two Squadron's worth of that Soviet ground-attack plane, and they peppered Severn with everything from rockets to cannon shells. Some of these rockets must have been armour piercing because our rear mount got hit and blown to bits early on. We fired from all pieces, but then our 5” got knocked out, and that was that, because by that time we had lost the hull gunners. For the next twenty minutes it was running the gauntlet. Thank god for HMS Fearless... without them.... Luckily they took less damage....” The Admiral could see that Ian was close to keeling over, and so, an hour later and with three weeks of sick leave on his book, Ian was sitting, or rather sleeping, in a train to London. Even though the conductor went through the train after each stop the look of sheer and utter exhaustion on his bruised and cut face and the sling he was wearing his arm in made sure that he was not awoken. Ian slept a death-like sleep until the train pulled into Waterloo Station in the morning, with only three hours delay due to bomb damage. The conductor put a hand on Ian's uninjured arm and woke him with a low voice. Ian startled awake and gathered the few things he had taken with him. When he walked down the steps from the big clock that showed , he mused that he always seemed to arrive in London when it was early or later in the morning, never in the afternoon or god forbid, the evening. Looking around he could see evidence of war damage, but not too much. Since there where almost no cars, Ian decided not to take a cab and instead walked to the tube station.

Down in the darker caverns of London's public transportation system Ian almost fell asleep again, but the knowledge of where he was going kept him awake as he walked through the streets of springtime outer London. The familiarity of the course he took was almost boring by now. He knew every corner, every shop and every bit of road. It was only a short stretch mind, but still a lot to remember. When he approached the house where his wife and her family were living in, and walked up to the door and knocked. When the door opened a somewhat sleepy Jonathan was standing on the other side, and was baffled that a clearly battered Ian was standing in the cold morning air. “Well I'll be dammed. Come in son, but for god's sake be quiet, they are still sleeping, and I can't have them wake up again.” Ian was slightly puzzled and simply followed Jonathan into the kitchen where Caroline was tiredly sipping from a cup of coffee. Ian creased[sp?] his eyebrows in confusion and tried to figure out the disparity. Something was nagging in his mind, and either it was the exhaustion he felt, the blood loss he had suffered or the simple fact that he was unable to comprehend what was knocking at the door to his conscious mind with increasing violence. The two Leiters watched with tired amusement how the Ian slowly began to understand what was happening. Ian finally comprehend what had happened. “We just got home an hour ago. 01:12 AM. Congratulations.” was the only thing Ian heard before he was slowly making his way upstairs. His throat was dry with a mixture of anticipation, dread and guilt. Guilt that he had not been there for her and would most likely not be for much of the next years. Dread that he would because of that fail as a father and anticipation because despite it all he already felt intense adoration. He quietly opened the door to the room and when he saw what was inside his heart almost stopped.

The sight of what he saw made his heart soar to the greatest heights. Inside Sandra was sleeping peacefully on a bed, a small bundle of cloth beside her. Ian's heart skipped a beat when he realized that this was his child, his son or daughter. He debated what to do wether to go in or stay outside, and decided to wait until she woke up. He knew from what his own mother had told him that she must have been exhausted and incredibly tired, so he slowly began to back out of the room and was just about to close the door when he heard a tired and timid voice ask: “Don't you want to meet your son, Ian?” He flipped around fast enough to make a Guardsman proud and with two steps kneeled at the side of the bed, ignoring the pain that shot up through his leg. He took everything in, the small boy in her arms, the tired but proud smile on her face, her tousled hair and the glow that had been visible for the last nine months and seemed to be even more pronounced now. “I love you.” he said, and caressed her face with his working hand. Sandra grinned once more and said next: “Meet Sean Fleming, some eight hours old.” Ian looked at his son with awe and decided that he had in no way deserved this. Only then did Sandra realize that Ian was wounded in several places. Upon being asked about it, he made a dismissive gesture and said that some ruffians had tried to stop his ship. Then suddenly the baby began to wale, and the two parents began to take care of their child. When the little child was laying in the nearby cradle again, the two stood side by side. Ian had his good arm around her waist and Sandra was leaning into his side. They didn't say anything and just looked at what was laying in the cradle. Sandra laid back down into the bed while Ian promised to go back down and get her something to eat. She just smiled tiredly and was soon fast asleep again. Down in the kitchen her mother and father were waiting. Ian joined them and was marveling what the future held for him. Over the next weeks Ian got used to it all, and found that he liked being a father.




[Notes: Other name candidates were Roger, George, Timothy and Pierce. :D Anyhoo, the epic Naval Battle is on next!]
 
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