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trekaddict

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Only those the Scenario came with. What I mean will be the first real piece of Combat for the Illustrious Class.
 

unmerged(85800)

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i did, i did! if i remember rightly the author of that bird book has a very familiar sounding name...
 

arya126

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sorry i havent seen bond movies yet..no time lol. could it possibly be the code he used?
 

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Chapter 176




21st October 1941


The Private of the Italian Army was, like most of his comrades, angry that he was stuck here and that Rome had obviously forsaken them. As soon as the British had landed on the mainland, High Command had withdrawn what few aircraft that had survived the British onslaught to the air, and had forsaken the troops on the Island. Officially of course they were hailed as heroes and Sicily had been declared a fortress, ordered to hold out until the British and their colonial troops were thrown back into the sea, but those 'in the know' were not optimistic of the chances of that happening anytime soon were slim at best. However, what was about to happen to them was unexpected. He was standing with his back to the sea, lighting a smoke when he suddenly a flash backlit him and cast a long shadow inland. He turned around to see what it was, but before he could, he heard a shreaking, train-like noise and seconds later he was thrown to the ground by a massive shockwave and explosions that slammed into the fields behind him. He scrambled to his feet and again, the sky lit up, and he could see that it came from the sea. As he was a professional soldier, if hampered by short-sightedness that had kept him out of Artillery school, and he knew what it was. He ran back towards the trench where the rest of his company were riding out the shelling, and he could see the Captain already trying to relay the news to Regiment. The British were coming.

Soon Italian Artillery in the rear areas of the coastal defences on the northern coast began to fire back at the assembled invasion fleet in an effort to interdict the Invasion fleet that came.. or didn't. In fact small groups of British warships prowled the coast and shelled everything. The deception was less than successful, but that hat never been the intention, because at dawn, 53rd (Worcestershire Yeomanry) Airlanding Light Regiment, 6th Airborne Divison, Royal Artillery was in position and began to shell every Italian position that could be reached by it's 25pounder guns.



Gunners from A-Battery, II Battalion 53rd (Worcestershire Yeomanry) Airlanding Light Regiment shelling Italian positions.​


With attention drawn to so many hotspots and potential landing sites, his troop movements under constant attack by marauding British Infiltrators, the General in command of Sicily, Generale d'Armata Alfredo Guzzoni ( 6th Army ) was sure that he was unable to cover all landing sites. The most likely spots however were where the Artillery fire and air attacks were the most concentrated: On the northern shore, near Palermo, another spot near near Brolo, the most obvious route, across the strait of Messina where the Paras were doing the shelling, and to the south, near Syracuse, Noto and Pachino. The Italian defences were strong when compared to those Market Garden had faced, as the Italians had substantial forces on the Island since Rome had expected that the first blow, if any, would fall there. The 6th Army comprised of twelve Infantry Divisions, many of the men veterans from the campaigns in Ethopia, Albania, North Africa and Yugoslavia, but four of these twelve Divisions were static coastal defence Divisions that were made up of those that had some ailment or other that kept them from the 'better' units, while the rest were understrength and had nothing like the amount of Artillery and heavy weapons the British had at their disposal. For the British troops landing on the northern shore however it was clear that this would not be like Market Garden, this time the enemy knew they were coming and would fight. So when the landing boats approached Palermo and the surrounding coastal flats, hell broke loose. Italian artillery placed on the hills surrounding the city opened up, the meagre coastal defences of the harbour itself began to shoot and entrenched Italian Infantry soon joined. The British suffered horrendous casualties even before they reached the beach when the landing craft came under fire. When their boats then did hit the beach, the carnage grew, because now everything from Infantry mortars and rifles to the heaviest Artillery on the island began to open up on the landing beaches. It quickly became clear to General Leese, commanding the just landing VI Corps, that his assault was bogged down, and this time there where no tanks to be had to put into the first wave. Wave after wave of British Infantry smashed itself against the Italian trenches and hasty fortifications that refused to budge even under almost constant shelling of their rear areas. An hour into the attack the 8th Punjab Regiment managed to penetrate into the first line of defences but found itself bogged down soon thereafter when they ran into the second and third line, the last of which based on the immediate outskirts of Palermo itself, and so they could do nothing but watch the Italians blowing up the vital harbour installations that VI Corps had been tasked to capture intact. Farther east the landings made slightly greater progress, but here too the lack of armour and dogged Italian resistance mad the going hard, and it all was useless if VI Corps did not manage to capture the largest harbour on the northern shore. Meanwhile Leese was making himself more comfortable with the round of urban combat that he was about to experience.

The Royal Welch Fusiliers were among the units that were scattered across the bloody beach. Lieutenant Llewelyn was currently in cover behind a rock, holding a rifle in his hands that he had taken from one of his men who didn't need it any longer. “BLOGGS! BLOGGS!” he yelled. “Sir!” came the reply from ten yards down the line where Bloggs was huddled against a dune and occasionally fired a few rounds from his own rifle. “Where is Flannagan?” “He's had it Lieutenant, a shell hit his boat.” “Bloody hell, that was our only flamethrower!” “So what we do now, Sir?” Llewelyn leaned back into his cover and tried to think. “Bloggs, have any of our PIAT survived?” “Yes Sir! Mulholland and Williamson have one, they are roughly twenty yards thataways.”



Llewelyn nodded and ordered: “Get them here. We have to take out that machine gun if we are to go anywhere today.” “Yes, Sir.” Bloggs went and the Lieutenant himself crawled forwards to get a better look at the machine gun nest. Bloggs returned after a few minutes with two green and scared privates in tow that had not even managed to assemble their PIAT. “Private, you think you can hit that machine gun nest over there?” Llewelyn said and pointed at the nest in the distance. It was shooting from a blockhouse and covered long stretch of the line, and the Regiment's only way into Palermo itself that they had been tasked with helping to capture. The two privates assembled their PIAT with shaky hands and aimed it at the machine gun that was currently shooting at another unit. The second man slammed a projectile into the PIAT and tapped the gunner on the shoulder. The other men took cover from the backblast and the gunner fired. The projectile slammed into the blockhouse and penetrated the wood with ease. Inside it hit the oven the soldiers were using at night and exploded. Llewelyn hit his little piece of cover and then peaked over the edge. The blockhouse was burning. “Good shot!” he yelled before he saw that the gunner was dead, bleeding from a chest wound. He looked at the dead man for a second and then turned around. He looked at the beach where British troops, both dead and alive, were on the beach as far as he could see in both directions. When he turned around again, he saw what he was really looking for: a soldier carrying a heavy back pack with a wireless antennae sticking out the top. He whistled with his fingers and grabbed the receiver from the man's hands. “Charlie Six, Charlie Six, this is Able Red actual, Red four is open, I repeat, red four is open. Am pushing the attack forward. Over and out.” He shifted his helmet to the correct position, grabbed his rifle and led his men into battle. The blockhouse had been at the edge of Palermo, and he was inside the outskirts of the city almost immediately. He glanced around a corner, and down the street, past an overturned cart, he could see the edge of a barricade, and over the sound of battle, he could hear low Italian voices. He motioned for his men to follow, and began to run down the street, always keeping to the wall on the left side and therefore in the blind spot of the barricade. One he reached the cart, he went to his knees and peeked around the edge of the cart. The barricade was a few dozen yards down the street, with massive brick walls on both sides, so no chance of going around. If he plan of Palermo he had studied before the invasion was accurate, the road led right onto a small square that in turn had roads going off in many directions, so it was an important tactical target. “Bloggs, you and another man take the PIAT. We will give cover fire, and you shoot at the barricade with the PIAT. If anything it should confuse them, and give us a chance to rush them before they all send us to our maker. Hamilton, you are with me. Understood?” Only nods. “Good. COVER FIRE!” The British unleashed fire on the surprised Italian defenders that had obviously not yet realized that the beach defences had been broken and Bloggs kneeled with the PIAT in the open street without any sort of cover and bullets whizzing around him. He fired, and the rocket slammed into the barricade that was made of more overturned cars. When the dust settled, no more return fire came from the British rushed the barricade. Three prisoners were taken.



When the Italian line on the beach near Palermo began to break under the sustained assault, the British units tried to re-organize themselves and take their objectives, but the battle and the confusion that came from it resulted in a quagmire. Sometimes platoon and even squad-sized units fought and advanced towards their objectives, sometimes bigger or smaller groups were led by confused Officers and NCOs and went of in completely the wrong direction. However the Italians began to suffer too. The static Division that had conducted the beach defence were utterly smashed when the British began to break through their lines. Between off-shore artillery, air attacks and the simple fact that they were about to be overrun the Italian soldiers either routed, running towards the main line of resistance in the hills and mountains of central Sicily or surrendering to the nearest British soldier they could find. By the end of the first day VI Corps was at last making inroads and began to drive the Italians away from the beaches, so that the remainder of the Corps and the bulk if I Corps was landed by the end of the day. All in all twelve Divisions were on the beach two days later.

Over the next few days the British cleared the Italians out of an area north of a line running roughly from Mount Ethna to Mazara del Vallo on the south-western coast of the Island. At that point they halted to reorganize and finally sort out the units that were mixed all over the place. Normally such a pause had the danger that the enemy would attack himself or at least massively strengthen his position and resupply. The Italians tried to do the latter, but RAF Beaufighters, Mosquito and Spitfires from Malta and North Africa made sure that none of the few freighters that dared to run the gauntlet made it to the ports on the southern shore that in turn were constantly shelled and bombed. The fighting halted for exactly seventy-two hours as the British re-arranged themselves and used the time to weaken the Italians even more before they attacked again on the 24th. Once again the Italians fought hard, but being weakened by losses, drops in morale and not being supplied ever since the British had landed on the mainland weakened them considerably.

The British were driving south along the coastal planes, ignoring the stronger positions in central sicily that would have taken weeks to root out and instead opted for simply cutting them off from even a remote chance for re-supply and then simply wait for the Italians to starve. The enemy proved to be entirely unable to deal with this situation. Guzzoni had been killed when a Spitfire had strafed his convoy, and the new commander of the 6th Army proved to be entirely unable to deal with being attacked at two points at once, and both of his admittedly very exposed flanks crumbled and collapsed instantly. The next four days were relatively uneventful as the British Cavalry and Infantry units raced along the coast, encountering only minor resistance and suffering even more minor losses, and at the same time as the Battle of Foggia reached it's climax, the Italian 6th Army surrendered.


[Notes: There goes TTL's Husky. My rear areas are clear and I can get on with the war. I'll use my last day of freedom for some gaming, so no updates before the weekend, and again thanks to Draco for finding such awesome pictures. How does he do that?]
 

El Pip

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Able?! Able? What American heresy is that? The British phonetic alphabet had Ace for A.

A massively pedantic point I know, but I remember it from Spike Milligan's autobiography when he complained about having to learn a whole new phonetic alphabet when the UK and USA agreed on a common system. You were just unlucky I happened to remember that while reading through.

Anyway good job on Husky, a bit bloody perhaps but Sicily was well garrisoned so it was never going to be easy.

Enjoy your last days before going back to uni and remember; it only gets tougher as you go on!
 

Ciryandor

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I'll bash you on a few niggles I read from VERY EARLY Chapters. :D Rest assured they're quite major enough for me to go :eek:

1. Clarence "Kelly" Johnson was only 28 at the time of the jet engine test. If Hardraade was his nephew then Whittle must have been employing child labor, or be extremely lucky to have a boy genius he corrupted w/ alcohol!

2. The F-104 Starfighter was indeed a very dangerous aircraft... in the hands of airmen unused to its "high-speed, low-drag" characteristics and ground crews new to jet aircraft. People maintaining the F-22 today would think handling one would be a cinch.

3. The Christie suspension from USA used in WWII by both the Brits and the Soviets, so it's not exactly "stealing", more of adapting the chassis for differing requirements.

And yes, there will be more of this, as ANYONE who would like to tinker with history and use Churchill as a means for it has my eyes on it. ;)
 

trekaddict

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El Pip It's the alphabet used in Normandy, and south of the standard NATO alphabet its the one I am the most familiar with and have to look things up in the least times. Sicily was actually easier than expected because while the Italians there still had high org, they were out of supply for some reason. And thanks... I guess...

Ciryandor As a whole I can say these are mistakes I wouldn't make again, and these are in there because I simply don't have the time to go back and correct them all, but I will address your issues.


1) Nephew can mean any number of things. Where I to write that again, I'd probably make him his older brother or something.

2) I must say that after reading up on it more, my issue with the F-104G ( which I still hate ) is more that our defence minister at the time was clearly corrupt. When he went, he was pro-Mirage III and when he came back he had all but signed the contract with Lockheed, and he was proven to have a very low price later on on other issues.

3) Again, something I wouldn't write today, as I know more about the subject matter now.
 

trekaddict

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I'll use my last day of freedom for some gaming, so no updates before the weekend,
Screw myself.



Anyway, I am playing the UK in HOI2 for the first time in far too long, and on the side I am working on a bit on Carriers.
 

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Well, invasions like that will always tend to be bloody, and Italy isn't really going to roll over, it looks like it'll be a hard slog..
 

trekaddict

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Well, invasions like that will always tend to be bloody, and Italy isn't really going to roll over, it looks like it'll be a hard slog..
Agreed, and this time the Eyties also have the Soviets backing them up. But since this isn't Star Wars, my exhaust ports are all covered with light AA and visual targeting systems. :D
 

Ciryandor

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@trek I can forgive you for Johnson, because it's definitely happened with the generational gap that one's nephew could be older than you, or that one could be a great-uncle to someone who could be your kid. :rofl:
 

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i got to be uncle when i was 11. but nice invasion. how long will it take for stalin and hitler to gather a force and send it down there for rommel? if you have enough tanks try a quick blitzkrieg through rome and send the infantry up to capture the industrial sector/cut off reinforcementrs.
 
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2) I must say that after reading up on it more, my issue with the F-104G ( which I still hate ) is more that our defence minister at the time was clearly corrupt. When he went, he was pro-Mirage III and when he came back he had all but signed the contract with Lockheed, and he was proven to have a very low price later on on other issues.
Don't worry, trek, I'll make sure you Germans get some Mirages in my AAR. :p
 

trekaddict

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Don't worry, trek, I'll make sure you Germans get some Mirages in my AAR. :p
Good. Because everything is better than that shitbucket Starfighter.
 

Lord Strange

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Hmmm, good job. I thought you said yoi were going to convert this to HOI3? Or are you waiting for that to be patched some more?
 

trekaddict

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This will stay a HOI2 AAR. Even if I hadn't finished the game ages ago, I wouldn't convert, mainly because HOI3 lacks the total freedom. For example, I couldn't do as I am doing now and have 179 British and Comonwealth Divisions racing down the Chinese coast to capture it before the Americans can land. :D
 

trekaddict

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And admit you like this, despite the horror Nukes are in real life: