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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

stevep

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Deathsheadx Yes.

stevepTBH, and not meant personally, I shed Crocodile Tears at how the thing with the goal went. ;) In any case we would have probably won anyway, given the two additonal goals that were made. Also, I can see "The Sun" of tomorrow morning in front of my inner eye....
Probably given the mess our defence was in. Never seen such a shambles. Still bloody frustrating to be denied like that, especially when they had suddenly jerked into life and were playing like a team all of a sudden.

On the Sun I never read Murdoch's rag. Even for the British media it's crap with a capital CRAP. Only decent bit I get from the page three web site.;)

Steve
 

trekaddict

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stevep Well, the British have proven before that they can stand up to the Fatherland. :D

Well, the Allies will fight around the alps, and they will not fail at the gates of Vienna because this time the Poles are helping the attackers.
 

El Pip

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El Pip Hence why I based mine on thee Film Version, because not only are their plans slightly less predictable and ridiculous, but could theoretically even work.
But also about seventeen million times less cool! The A-team without welding or a modified van is sacrilege.
As for Germans at Cricket: Huns ante portas, because we even have a league now!
Indeed I'm looking forward to next month when the world will be treated to the delightful spectacle of German playing France at cricket. To paraphrase AvP - Whoever loses I win. :D Particularly as both sides will then almost certainly be thrashed by such giants of the game as Gibraltar, Guernsey and Norway!

EDITED - Due to an inexplicable Paradox fear of links I must remove the link to the mighty Franco-German matchup. Damned if I can see why, but then I'm not Swedish. Presumably it makes sense to them. :shrug:
 
Last edited:

Le Jones

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Hmmn, thank God Horrocks is there and is doing his bit. I do have a grave feeling about this, Trek...
 

trekaddict

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Hmmn, thank God Horrocks is there and is doing his bit. I do have a grave feeling about this, Trek...
It'll be a very difficult and bloody battle, rest assured. However, there is lot's of Infantry for these mountains while the Tanks fight elsewhere.

EDIT: Remember, TTL's Britain isn't likely to experience a shortage of crack Infantry antime soon, not only are they much more mechanized (one Infantry Regiment per Division is fully motorized, and its planned to mechanize that and another one by 1944) but also they didn't have any mass surrenders and they can use the wealth of Manpower that Africa and India represent.
 
Last edited:

Kurt_Steiner

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That's not the car of an actor/actress?
 

El Pip

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Britain is preparing to unleash the might of Jon Pertwee?
 

Kurt_Steiner

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I wanted to say that it couldn't be. In Spain, at least, yellow is a bad omen for actors. :D
 

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Derek Pullem

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What does this vehicle have to do with the next update?
Knowing you're a fan of the Doctor.......the early career of Lethbridge-Stewart?

Just so long as you don't bring in Ironsides!
 

trekaddict

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Alas no, since his Father is already in the action, a Cavalry Officer in Yugoslavia as things stand. But it's very, very close.
 

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Chapter 241
By the time the Charges exploded the tunnel several hours and time-zones away Darwin saw a sortie of six warships. HMS Hood was in the lead, followed by the Light Cruisers HMS Belfast HMAS Sydney, HMNZS Achilles and a dozen British, Dutch, Australian and New Zealand Destroyers. The group had orders to escort the recently repaired Dutch Destroyers to Surabaia and, if possible aid in the escort of the next Singapore Convoy that was going to go through the straits in a matter of days, accompanies by no less than three Carriers. For the next three days the group crept westwards at a fraction of it's best speed to conserve fuel and to stay within the air cover provided from Australia and the Dutch-held East Indies as long as possible. Commodore Murray was in Sydney, so Captain Beattie aboard Hood was in command, and he didn't like his orders at all, because even though Austeralian and Dutch Fighters were around, he was a Naval Officers and thus the only Air Cover he trusted was provided by the Fleet Air Arm. The Crabs often had problems to find the group to begin with, so never mind finding and fighting the Japanese.

Still, it was the first time he took Hood out without having the Commodore aboard, and he found that he liked it, even though Murray knew better than to interfere in the running and fighting of the ship if he was; after all the man had served under the same arrangement for several years. The ship on the other hand was oblivious to this and Beattie knew that the Old Lady was in better shape than at any given time since the start of the war. During the time in port every bit that could be overhauled without a dock had been and the Crew had enjoyed extended Shore Leave. As a result of a bar brawl and overzealous Military Police Beattie had however to contend with a new Gunnery Officer, Thomas Gordon Brown, a native of Adelaide and thus member of the RAN.

Three days in Beattie had just entered the bridge after the first good night of sleep since leaving Darwin when the Plotting room called the Bridge.

“Contact relative bearing 044, twelve miles, at least six contacts.”
“What? How come we spotted only this late?”
“Our RDF Sets were acting up all night, Sir. Surface and Gunnery only came up again a few minutes ago.”
“Bloody hell....” Beatty growled. “I wish they could have waited to install the PPI until after this mission.”
“Take it like this,” Brown said, “at least the old lassie has the newest RDF set that the Boffins can produce at the moment..when it works.”
Beattie just snorted and then gratefully took a cup from the Able Seaman who had brought them to the Bridge. He took a sip, registered the taste and almost spat the liquid out again.
“In the name of all that's holy...Coffee?”
“'Fraid so, Sir.” the Able Seaman said. “On account that there was no tea to be had anywhere in Darwin, just loads and loads of Coffee.”
“Bloody Colonials. Present Company excepted of course.”
“Of course, Captain.” Brown said with an exaggerated Australian accent.
With the joking over, Beattie and his crew returned to the matter at hand, and Beattie wished for a Carrier or at least a floatplane.
“Send the Stalwart to scout out and identify the contacts.”


HMNZS Stalwart

Less than a minute later the New Zealand Battle-Class Destroyer left formation and headed for the contacts that drew ever closer at slow speed. Beattie had the formation change course away from the incoming to delay contact, because it was more than likely the contacts weren't friendly and if they weren't one Battlecruiser, some Lights and a few Destroyers weren't much of a force. As he waited he paced up and down the Bridge, before suddenly stopping.
“Prepare to notify Darwin of our encounter. Continually updated plot and speed, send it off if the contacts turn out to be not friendly and keep sending until I tell you otherwise.”
Beatty had a bad feeling about this and took precautions, but the waiting went on and on. Then suddenly the silence was broken.
“Sir, message in the clear from Stalwart!” yelled a CPO coming onto the Bridge from the Comms room. “Message reads: 'Enemy identified as Japanese Dreadnought Yamat' Message end abruptly, Sir.”
The silence on the Bridge of the British ship told. If their enemy was the Yamato, then they were in for a world of trouble, because even the Mighty Hood would not have much chance against the World's largest ship of it's type. Beattie quickly caught himself quickly.

“Action Stations! Send the message and get confirmation, and someone inform the formation. They are to go to All ahead Full and turn to 180.”
Beattie's 2IC carried out the orders and then asked: “Are you planning to fight, Sir?”
“We probably won't have much of a choice Number One.”
Against any other enemy Beattie would have had the Destroyers make a single torpedo run against the enemy, but since the British force was severely outgunned and with the loss of Stalwart almost outnumbered he intended to keep the valuable Destroyers alive as long as possible. Instead he sent the Light Cruisers and the Destroyers ahead and decided to have Hood act as a rearguard. The Deputy Flotilla Commander was on old Belfast so if something happened to Hood the mission would be carried out.

“Sir, contact on the horizon!”
“The chase is on, Gentlemen.”

Aboard the Yamato any information as to the composition of the enemy was sorely lacking. Yamato's single surface-search RDF set was out of action and had the course of the mighty ship been different the two main opponents would have met in the dark and thus effectively blind. All the Japanese knew was a British Naval Force was in the area that the Destroyer they had sunk belonged to. They knew that the enemy was warned. The floatplane scouts sent out by Yamato had just now found the enemy and had identified it as “One British Batlteship, two Light Cruisers, enemy formation separating.”
Rear Admiral Kauro was confident that the largest and best Warship in the world could deal with a single British one and a few Cruisers.

“Sir, contact update. We are within sight. Enemy Capital Ship identified as British, either Renown or Admiral-Class Battlecruiser.”
That meant it was either HMS Hood, the only Admiral-Class in the British Navy.

“Sir, we are in range.”
“OPEN FIRE!”



A little more than four hours later Commodore Murray was woken rudely when someone knocked at the door of his temporary Quarters in the best Hotel in Sydney.
“Sir, Sir, we've just intercepted a broadcast from Radio Tokyo!” said a RAN Lieutenant whose face and name Murray would instantly forget once he was reading the message.
'The Imperial General Headquarters announce today that Japanese Naval Forces under Rear Admiral Kauro have engaged and sunk a British Naval Force, including the Battlecruiser HMS Hood which was sunk with all hand.s.'

“Bloody hell. Wake my staff, and someone phone the Ozzie PM.”
If Hood really was sunk then the implications were not merely the loss of a very good crew and a valuable ship but also of prestige and morale. Carriers might be the Andrew's most important weapons, but for the British public the heavy Dreadnoughts were still the symbol of British Naval Power and Hood was after all not called 'Mighty Hood' for nothing. In the public perception of the Britons all over the Empire and inside the Service itself Hood had pulled back the Navy from the precipice all by her lonesomeness when she had sunk Bismarck, and her loss would be catastrophic. On the military side of things Hood was flagship of the Cruiser Force, but more importantly it was an excellent Carrier escort since the Battleships couldn't be glued to the Carriers, and since Hood was in a better state than Repulse and Renown combined, having come off a comprehensive rebuild before joining the BPF.
Soon he found himself in the Hotel's smoking room with his Staff and the RAN Liaison.
“Right. What do we know, how on earth do they know and what can we do?”
“According to..”
The man stopped talking when CinC British Pacific Fleet/Allied Naval Forces Dutch East Indies, Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham stepped in. Waving for the others to remain seated Cunningham, who had obviously spent the last few hours in a plane said:
“Instead of taking my lads out myself I hand the operation over to my Second in Command to fly down here for a conference. I don't mind the Australians getting a Carrier, but what do I hear when I step out of the plane? The Nips claim they have sunk our most famous warship, and within hours London will want to know how we managed to loose her!”
Cunningham was still standing near the door when the interrupted Officer spoke.
“Sirs, several hours ago Radio Tokyo began to broadcast the claim that a Battlegroup centred around the Yamato engaged and sank HMS Hood and several Lights. This has been broadcast by their overseas stations too, so we can expect a reaction from the Admiralty before the day is out. We have lost contact with Hood several hours ago and while the Cruiser Force in itself has since mad e contact with the Dutch and with the British base at Darwin, Hood is nowhere to be found.”
Murray spoke up. “I know Captain Beattie, if he is alive and out of contact he will do his damnedest to get back into it as soon as possible.”
“And what if he isn't?”
“Then Hood has different problems.”
“Great...” Cunningham said. “Commander, is the RAAF prepared to loan us some of those Sunderlands?”
“Yes, Sir. I spoke to the Air Force before I came here and they will have Coastal Command up and about, but it'd be a very lucky shot if we found them.”
“Well try anyway.” Cunningham said, saluted and left the room, leaving his Officers behind. As he stepped out onto the streets of Sydney he was instantly approached by a rating who handed him a message slip.
'Well that was quick.' he thought.
“To: CinC British Pacific Fleet
From: First Sea Lord
'Tokyo Radio has transmitted message of alleged sinking of HMS Hood.
1. Ascertain truth of above statement
2. Send news Immediately. Higher Authorities are anxcious about alleged sinking, fearing impact on public morale

Message Ends”





Somewhere in the Banda Sea a heavily damaged British Ship of war was slowly inching it's way towards Java. They had suffered a hit near the Bridge, which had heavily wounded the Captain and killed most of the rest of the Bridge Crew. The third Officer had offered to take over command from the alternate steering position, but after dragging his dying First Officer and the badly wounded second Officer (who had lost a leg) and resisting numerous attempts by the Corpsman to get him to leave the Bridge even though Beattie was bleeding from a ghastly cut right across his face, a flesh-wound that would have torn his right arm clean off had it been a mere six inches farther left and numerous other cuts and wounds, not mentioning three broken ribs that luckily hadn't pierced his lung and several other splintered and cracked bones. He refused to go below for treatment and so he had himself propped up in the remnants of his chair and continued to fight the ship even as the Corpsman treated him. Hood herself was just as wounded as her Captain and much of her crew. The Royal Marine manned X Turret had been gutted by a direct hit early on but thanks to her anti-flash equipment Hood hadn't blown up, Y turret was stuck in position, several of her secondary and AA-Guns were destroyed and the ship had lost all electrical systems to shock damage from shock damage after the main circuit breaker had blown out thanks to a hit. Flooded magazines, flooded compartments, damaged equipment and a driveshaft that was stopped due to suspected damage that would later turn out to be insignificant slowed Hood down to no more than eleven knots, easy prey for the mighty Japanese Battleship.

What saved Hood was that she had been shooting back and accurately at that before the electrics, the RDF and the Fire director had been destroyed, it had kept the Yamato at distance and inflicted considerable if much lighter Damage on the Japanese. In the end the Japanese Admiral had decided to break off the Action when (false) torpedo and submarine sightings had been reported, after all this all might be a trap to lure Yamato onto heavier British units and he was realist enough to know that against the entirety of Force Z one ship alone had little chance. This reprieve gave Hood enough time to make good their escape by turning towards Java. Beattie, passing out several times for loss of blood still refused to be taken below, only when Yamato was out of sight and HMS Belfast made visual contact half an hour later did he relent. Without his insistence Hood would surely have been sunk since he had personally directed the fire after Brown had been knocked unconscious and been given a concussion when the near-hit on the Bridge had been scored by the Japanese. For that he would later be given the Victoria Cross, but for the moment, seconds before passing out again he said: “Tell Mr. Pertwee to take Command.” and gave the ship to the Third Officer. Thus Lieutenant Commander Pertwee took Command, as new First Officer.


Lt. Commander Pertwee in later years​

[Notes: SORRY! I couldn't help myself! When I found out that Pertwee had not only been in the Fleet but also served aboard Hood at one time it was pretty much inevitable. However, no Nastines, no Cybermen or little blue boxes in the near future, promised, even though Kurt_Steiner has suggested that Hood be equipped with a TARDIS. Mind you, TTL's Doctor Who will be interesting.]
 

ColossusCrusher

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Huzzah, the mighty Hood survives, but seemingly only just..