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  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

El Pip

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Redwood Indians?
That or giant half man-half tree beasts, something like Ents I'd imagine. If this is the case they should be drafted into the Royal Canadian Army immediately.
 

trekaddict

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That's the problem with writing while suffering caffeine deficiency. :eek:o
 

ColossusCrusher

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Bah! Use willpower, not caffeine. :)

Also, I'd say I'm sorry about the semis, but that would be a lie. :D
 

trekaddict

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Bah! Use willpower, not caffeine. :)

Also, I'd say I'm sorry about the semis, but that would be a lie. :D
Alas, Wembley was avenged, so I am not too sad about the Semis. That was Englands biggest ever World Cup defeat after all. :D
 

stevep

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trek, it's the little touches, the ground level interactions that make this AAR so enjoyable.

although...


What are tree Americans?
Agreed with the 1st part. If you're quibbling over the text it might be more apt to mention that the section immediately following footnote 1 is basically duplicated in the 2nd paragraph.

Steve
 

trekaddict

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I had some serious trouble sleeping properly in the last few weeks, and that was written on the tail end of a massive bout of exhaustion. The next one shoudl be better.
 

trekaddict

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A little something extra:

8th Army (British) Order of Battle, July 14th, 1942

V Corps (British)

2nd Indian Infantry Division
1st Gurkha Mountain Rifle Division
8th Infantry Division

I (BR) Armoured Corps

7th Armoured Division
1st Polish Armoured Division
1st Indian Division (mot.)

1st Polish Corps

1st Grenadier Division
22nd Mountain Infantry Divison (Polish)
5th Polish Infantry Division

XXX Corps

51st Highland Division
50th Lowland Division
1st King's Africal Rifle Division
1st Irish Infantry Brigade
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 243



The Irish Expeditionary Corps. For the men of the 1st (Thunderbolt) Division as it was known to the Irish and 1st Irish Division as it was on the lists of the Allied planners it was rather hollow. The Division was strung out all over Italy, only one of it's Brigades was in position and since it was the one with the highest percentage of trained regulars it was even considered operational. Even so the Irish had had a lot to catch up on and the fact that they were chased around by hard nosed British Drill Sergeants had led to some trouble where some of the men had flat out refused to follow orders. To avoid any political problems the matter had been hushed up, the mutineers sent home and the British instructors replaced by Canadian ones. However besides that the Irish were shaping up well, as usual the human material was good no matter how underfunded the Army was. They did have some troubles getting to grips with the high percentage of automatic weapons that were used at the front and sometimes refused to let go of well-establishd Irish doctrine that was laid out almost totally for the defensive. To instill the proper sense of aggression in their charges the Canadians proceeded to claim that they had seen English Home Guard units that were better at basic Offensive Infantry tactics. Lo and behold suddenly the Irish troops were more than willing and able to do the proper and advance against the enemy, and much to their surprise this didn't entail fixing bayonets and madly charging across open space, such as the few World War One veterans in the Officer Corps remembered.

If training with the rest of the Division went as gre...reasonably well as with 1st Brigade then the IEC, once it was fully in place, would be a small but highly effective Fighting Force.

The Tank component, the Blue Hussars was shaping up equally well, and since they were at least trained by Scots and not Englishmen there were less troubles even though one of the 7th AD's Regiments was less than happy because thanks to a deal worked out between Dublin and London two of it's Squadrons would have to wait somewhat longer for it's Comets which had been met with lots of Scottish and Anglo-Saxon cursing. Overall the Irish had inserted themselves well into the massive military community that was fighting the war in Europe in spite of infrequent Clashes with the Irish Regiments in the British Army, foremost the Royal Ulster Rifles. After this had been fixed (supposedly with the involvement of several footballs and large quantities of alcohol) the Brigade was now waiting for the rest of the Division to arrive. The Irish had readily adopted the Regimental System (reformed) as it was known, and so the Brigadier in command was the only one at the Field Commanders meeting who was neither a Major General nor a Colonel. Since he was slated to be promoted to Major General and take over Command of the 1st Irish once another Brigade HQ was in place it was less of an issue, but he still felt out of place.

At the moment he was deep in these thoughts and somehow failed to notice that he was being talked to.

“Brigadier O'Doherty, are you still with us?” General Ritchie, GOC 8th Army, was almost staring at the relatively young Irishman. The 1st Irish was to become part of XXX Corps under Lt. General Ramsden until the rest of the IEC came in a few weeks when it would become a Corps of the 8th Army of it's own.

“Oh yes, Sir.” O'Doherty replied with an implied handwave. “I was just wondering if the rest of the Division can be here before this whole thing kicks off.” After a pause he continued: “It would give you an extra Squadron of Tanks and some very motivated Infantry.”

Ritchie leaned over the map where the disposition of his troops was marked. The 8th Army was to be the forefront of the Allied drive towards Vienna. He would soon loose the 1st Gurkha Mountain Rifle Division as I Mountain Corps was being reformed to drive the enemy out of Italy proper and into the alps, but he would get the two Irish Divisions of the IEC in return once they were operational. On the southern Flank the 11th Army consisting of the Belgian and Dutch Forces under the Command of a very able Dutch General and the 2nd (ANZAC) Army would be his connection to the 6th British Army that was to drive onto Yugoslavia and generally hold the connection to the sea, while in the north his best Flank Guard would be the Polish Mountaineers and the Mountains themselves. Having the IEC at his disposal would indeed be a great advantage especially as the enemy would surely begin to deploy the main body of the Hungarian and perhaps also the Romanian Army, both of which had been no-shows so far, not to speak of any additional German and Soviet Divisions. As soon as the bridgehead over the border was widened enough the 1st Canadian Army, along with the 5th and 9th British Armies would move in and help negate the terrible advantage of numbers the enemy would have in the first few weeks. That 5th was wholly made up of black Colonial troops and the 9th had recently been transferred in from India didn't matter, the troops were well trained and they would fight. Even so having a full additional Division in place would only bring advantages since the logistical systems could easily handle it now that many of the Italian railway tracks had been repaired.

“You are right, O'Doherty.”

He looked around at the Officers present.

“And it will be my recommendation to Field Marshal Alexander that we wait until the 1st Irish is fully in place and operational.”

He turned to O'Doherty.

“General, how long until the Division is in place?”

“2nd Brigade will become operational in three days or so, on or around the 17th of July....I've spoken to the Commander of 3rd Brigade and he expects to have his units off the train by Tuesday next week. Give us until the end of next week and we are ready to go.”

Ritchie preferred honest Officers. Some would have deliberately underestimated things like this, but better take a bit longer but then have ready and prepared units to show for it.

“Good.” he said. “The boss has asked me on when I can be ready and this is what I am going to tell him. Dismissed and return to your units, Gentlemen.”

O'Doherty stayed behind more out of respect for the experienced British and Polish Officers that did the actual fighting of the 8th Army. He watched as Ritchie saluted a British Colonel of Tanks who was wearing the Victoria Cross and proceeded to walk out behind the man. Once outside he sprinted over to the Land Rover that he had managed to pull out of the nose of a notoriously stingy Irish Government and suddenly decided that since he had almost a week of unused leave under his belt he would visit Venice as soon as possible. After all this might be the only time he had an opportunity to do so...




Meanwhile at the camp of the Regiment of Connaught, Sergeant Griffin, temporarily seconded to the Irish from the 48th Highlanders of Canada was pleased with how 'his' recruits were shaping up. The Regiment had been the last of 1st Brigade to arrive and true to form, the Irish Army had decided that this was the place where they had to put the rawest of raw recruits. Still, it was a nice change from the constant patrolling that was the bead of the CEF these days, and purging these impressionable young Irishman from all the crap they had been taught back home and giving them the skills of proper soldering as taught by the European Front instead was gratifying because it would save lives later on when they went into Battle.

From afar the Irishmen were indistinguishable from any other Allied soldier. They wore the the same tunic and webbing albeit with different rank insignia and with an Irish flag on their arms above the same, they wore the same Mk.II helmets and their Weapons were the same too. There were some differences here and there in the other assorted lugguage an average soldier carried around with himself but that was of no consequence. They had taken to the basic Army drill easy enough and more than once he had been surprised at how good a shot some of them were; Griffin suspected that they had once been less reputable users of firearms and explosives, not that it mattered since these divisions within Ireland had pretty much evaporated after the Soviets had bombed them. He was currently standing a respectable distance away from where the Brigade and the Regimental Commander were talking and tried to look as if he wasn't eavesdropping, and he liked what he heard. Apparently the 2nd Brigade HQ was due to become operational tomorrow and that meant not only were these Irishmen about to become a Division at last but also that he would be able to go back to the 48th, his home away from home, Anglos or not. When the Officers turned and left he once again saw the only thing in the Irish Army that he openly disapproved of, they were still wearing the cloth caps that looked as if they were left over from WW1 since the Irish hadn't yet adopted the beret that was replacing these caps with anything but No.1 and No.2 Uniforms within the Commonwealth Armies. He mentally shrugged. If the Irish wanted to look like Idiots, who was he to complain?

With that he turned about on his heels and briskly marched over to the shooting range where a section was practicing speed fire, meant to crank out as many shots as possible while retaining at least a semblance of accuracy. He glanced at the other Canadian with the Regiment, this time from the 22nd, his old unit, and then turned his attention back to the targets downrange. Much to his satisfaction most of the bullets came close enough to them to say that if that had been onrushing enemy Infantry a great many of them would be dead.

“What do you think, Jaques?” he yelled over to the other Canadian NCO.

“Another ten years and I might allow them into my Army!” came back the reply.

“Ten? Twelve at least!”

The Irishmen ignored them as they knew that NCOs in general and Instructors in particular were the same all over the world since the concept had been invented by the Roman Legions.

Griffin watched the soldiers shoot at the targets until he was made aware that the Section Commander was arriving back from the hospital where he had spent the last few hours thanks to a sprained ankle. Griffin noted with satisfaction that the Corporal was slightly limping but didn't show the pain, it meant that he was determined to be at least as good as any of the men under his command.

“The Captain wants you.”

With that Griffin gave the exercise to the others and went on to search for the Officer that wanted to talk to him.


Meanwhile in Vienna the new Oberbefehlshaber Südwest, Generalfeldmarshal von Kluge was wondering how long he would last on this hotseat of the war. His predecessor had been sacked for allowing most of what remained of Axis Italy to fall, and if he read the enemy correctly the remainder wasn't too far from falling either. He was increasingly beginning to feel like the Commander of the Army of the Potomac in the First American Civil War, and the comparison was a good one, Commanders constantly pushed to attack and drive the enemy out and then being sacked when they failed to deliver and so forth. He doubted that the British and their Allies would like being compared to the Army of Northern Virginia, but it was what the situation looked like from his perspective. The main difference was that Rommel, for all his many faults was no Mc Clellan, he was willing to fight and von Kluge hadn't been the only one who had been forced to admit that the defensive Campaign that the young upstart had fought had been brilliantly executed and the fight he was currently leading in the French Alps against the enemy advances there shaped up to be yet another feather on the young man's cap. He took a three-page report from the top of the stack and read it again for the fourth time in the last hour. It was a report on the units he was facing. On paper it wasn't that big a force, considering the relative strength of the Axis forces, but what detracted was that the Soviets were throwing literally everything against the Japanese who were proving to be a much harder nut to crack now that they were backed up by Chinese manpower so no additional forces could be expected from there any time soon, while the Hungarian and Romanian Armies were less than well equipped and motivated. The British on the other hand had no trouble motivating their allies, even the Irish were hell-bent on bringing about the defeat of the Axis powers if the Intelligence reports were to be believed, and two additional Infantry Divisions were two additional Infantry Divisions that could and would be used in Combat, the circumstances of the Irish entry into the war saw to that. The 8th British and 1st Canadian Armies were the most experienced and elite units the Allies had, and to fight them to a standstill would be difficult and costly, but for that he had the Hungarians and Romanians that he would uses as cannon fodder, preserving his German and Soviet Units as long as possible. He, like Rommel, Guderian and Zhukov was well aware that the British Army of today and by extension the other Allied forces wasn't the same force that had been green and fought with obsolescent and obsolete equipment in France, but it seemed that the OKW still hadn't gotten over the prejudices against the British that ran rampant in Berlin. One might thought what one wanted about their Colonial policies, but they were good fighters and he knew that it would be the most difficult fight of his life.




The newest OB Südwest​
 
Last edited:

Kurt_Steiner

Katalaanse Burger en Terroriste
Feb 12, 2005
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If the Irish had to be taught how to attack, we are f***** up.
 
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trekaddict

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Well, the Irish, while trained by their standards are horribly green by the standards of a multi-national army that has been fighting for almost three years.
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 244




“This is a bloody nightmare, Boss.”

“You wanted normal police work, and that's what you are getting, Hunt my lad.”

“Still, plodding around Liverpool like the greenest constable in the Realm on a bloody sunday in this infernal heat makes me almost wish I'd joined the Navy instead of the Police.”

“Aye, I feel you on this. However, just as all the member of His Majesty's Forces we do what we are told.” the Inspector replied in an affected manner.

“I also wish that Jonesey the bloody useless git had not stolen these ration books. What on earth did he have in mind with them anyway? They are one per man anyway.”

The Inspector nodded. “Indeed, Hunt. If he hadn't signed them with his own signature he could have flogged them on the black market for a hefty profit. But what does he do instead? He goes into the shops and tries to get himself above-ration meat.”

Hunt snorted. “What's more we wouldn't have found out anything hadn't...”

“Hadn't your very own butcher of choice told you about something he heard from somebody else.”

“Indeed, Boss. So why was he murdered?” Hunt sighed. “Sometimes I wish I were back on my old plod as a mere DI.”

“Oh quit whining, Hunt. What I wish is that my car hadn't broken down and we wouldn't have to go on foot.” the Boss said. “Ah, here we are.” he went on and stopped. What they were in front of was the police station they were based at.

Once inside Hunt at first went into the bathroom and splashed some cold water on his face and then walked over to his Office where the Boss was waiting.

The Superintendent was sitting in the chair, but before Hunt could do anything the phone rang.

“DCI Hunt Hunt and this better be good.” He listened for a few more seconds and then slammed the phone down.

“Well, it seems that the good doctor has found how our friend was killed. It appears that the hole was made by a 7.63 Mauser which he recovered from the body, but he was killed by stabbing, one right into the old pump.”

“That does indeed shorten the range.” the Super said with his customary sarcasm.

“What he also found was an old Navy tatoo, but we knew that Jonesey was in the fleet during the last round.”

The man in question had been a stoker aboard HMS Iron Duke for most of the war before being discharged when the war had ended. Hunt however suddenly had an idea.

“How about we bring that ladyfriend of his in? I mean she said that they had broken it off last time I spoke to her a couple of months ago when we suspected him of lifting that Army lorry from in front of the Railway station, but she might know anything.”

The Super nodded and then rose from the chair. “You do that Hunt, while I go to report to our lord and master.”

“Righto, boss.”


One of the forged ration books​

A very unproductive three hours later a heavily sweating Hunt Hunt was standing in line in front of the Vending Machine that dispensed cold drinks a gift from a grateful Expat American industrialist whose son's life had been saved by members of the station[1] and thought about the case.

It had started three days ago when his butcher, knowing that he was with CID gave him a tip that someone was using multiple ration books, something that was normally not for the CID to do, but Hunt had agreed to look into the matter, fully intending to hand it over to the appropriate authorities once he had made some inroads. That he had stumbled across the body of Jonesey when calling on a few contacts had changed matters. How he had found himself walking through Liverpool with the Super at his side was another unrelated matter, but suffice it to say the old man had a good point, but alas, the ladyfriend had vanished of the face of the earth, the only thing that he had managed to find out was that the dead forger and petty thief had been dabbling in a lot of things that were less then reputable but quite legal from the look of things. Shellgames for impressionable merchant sailors might be in a grey area but weren't illegal as such as long as no winnings were guaranteed beforehand, and selling car parts wasn't either if somewhat unusual. Still, Hunt was resolved to look into all of these dealings considering that it was unlikely that signature forgery on a ration book was hardly a viable motive especially since the meat ration in particular had been increased a couple of weeks ago.

Once back in his Office with a bottle and cursed the dead man not for the first time in the last few days. It had been especially confusing that the place, normally so orderly had been in a mess. It hadn't been the mess one expected if the place had been searched, no the small room had been reeking of rotten food with plates all over. Hunt hadn't spent much time in it, leaving it to the poor sods who had to catalogue the evidence, but it didn't look like it had anything to do with the murder itself. Normally ration book forgery got one a beating from one's contemporaries, but outright murder? No, there had to be something else behind this.

The telephone rang, and again it was the Coroner. When he replaced it, Hunt was even more puzzled because the knife had been identified as a German-Army issue combat knife from the Trenches of the last war, which wasn't really a clue, Hunt's own uncle had brought one back and there had to be thousands of them all over Britain. There was, like with the case of the murdered turncoats a while back not much to go on, in fact there was zilch to go on. Rumour in the more shady circles of Liverpool had it that there was a smuggling ring with Irish booze in the harbour, but that was a case for Special Branch and perhaps the Coast Guard and Navy.

Hunt sighed. Most likely old Jonesey had simply stepped on the wrong foot at some point and had collected his dues, and even more likely he would never find out what had happened, the underworld of Liverpool was like that.

“Anything yet?” asked his newest sidekick, a fresh young constable with the name of Crabtree. “None at all, Micheal. The bloody bastard has apparently annoyed the wrong people and we have a snowball's chance in hell of finding out who it was. There'd be more to go on if they'd bloody torched the place.”

“Probably not, Sir.”

“Huh? Whatever are you on about?”

“Well Sir, there's been another murder.”

“What on earth does that have to do with us, Crabtree?”

“The point is that it was in the pub our first victim used to frequent and also the man was working at City hall, something with the registration of ration books. They don't think he was bent, but isn't that worth looking into?”

“It is Constable. Get me a car from the garage, I am not going to bloody walk again in this heat.”

“Yes, Sir.”



Hunt drove the raggedy old Austin Seven towards the pub as fast as the car would go, with Crabtree reciting what the men on the scene had telephoned before they had set off.

“It seems that the man wasn't a regular there until quite recently, the owner apparently saw him for the first time two weeks ago. They don't know who he is, but apparently he once let slip that he was some sort of minor worker bee at the Ration board, at least he does carry the Identity Card for it, so according to it his name is Harry Weatherby.”

In front of the pub a sizeable group of Constables had gathered to keep the people back that lived in this relatively good but still below-average neighbourhood and Hunt only got through without having to show his badge because he was well known to many in the force. Inside a starch stink greeted him, not from the body even though the flies were already circling it but rather from what had once been a steak coaling away on the stove in the kitchen before someone had turned it off.

The body lay almost directly in front of the bar, right where the stools would usually be. Much of the bar was covered in blood and spilt drinks, and someone had taken the time to smash the old mirror behind the bar and pour out most of the liquids that had been stored there even though Hunt strongly suspected that the real treasures were stashed away elsewhere. While Crabtree was talking with the other constables and interviewed the owner again, Hunt examined the body closer. The Coroner had already been here and left and the body was awaiting transportation to the morgue so Hunt took the opportunity to get his own look at the situation. The man had most likely died from a similar or the same weapon as the first victim, a stab wound to the heart, but like with Jonesey there was suspiciously little blood, considering that the wound was right over the heart, in spite of the splatter on the bar. It appeared that someone had killed the man elsewhere and then deposited him here, much to the surprise of the owner who had promptly forgotten about his breakfast on the stove and run out the back door he had entered through. No matter what disreputable things he was normally involved in, he wasn't someone who went around and stabbed people to death in his own pub, so Hunt was inclined to believe him for now. Other than that nothing out of the ordinary could be seen at a first glance and yet something was tingling his sixth sense.

“Got anything, Boss?” Crabtree asked.

“Nothing, but something here is off. Aside from the body itself of course.”

Crabtree was looking at the body and seemed to nod in agreement, only to suddenly snip his fingers.

“It's the same pose as the other one was in, Boss. On his back, left arm by his side, right arm draped over the stomach and the hand pointing at the wound.”

“The Heat must be getting to me, but good work.”

“Sir, doesn't this mean that it was the same bloke who killed the both of them?”

“It might, Crabbie.” Hunt said, using the Constable's nickname. “It most certainly looks like it.”

“We could also theorize that they were killed at the same place, seeing as there is by far not enough blood around here for that type of wound.”


“Did the owner say anything?”

Crabtree sighed and pulled out his notebook. “Nothing much, Boss, at least nothing much new.”

Hunt nodded. “Bring him in then, I'd like to talk to him somewhere where the walls aren't melting.”[1]

Somehow he felt that this was going to be one of those cases.

[Notes: Where is this going, hmmm?.]



[1] I doubt the Summer of 1942 in the North of England was anywhere near as hot as I imagined it when I wrote this, but the Summer of 2010 in Germany most certainly was. The sweat was literally dripping of me.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Well. We can say that Jack the Ripper is not to be blamed for this. :D
 

El Pip

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While I share the concern that the Irish will probably get a nasty shock the first time they go into battle (having to train them to attack is a terrifying detail!) I'm sure they'll pull through in the end.

Though the worry has to be that the best Irish soldiers were drained off by British recruitment and so what was left for the Irish Army itself may not be all that special. We'll have to wait and see.
 

Derek Pullem

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Hunt drove the raggedy old Austin Seven towards the pub as fast as the car would go........
"Fire up the Austin"!

(Do you watch anything other than cult British TV - not that that is necessarily a bad thing...)
 

trekaddict

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Kurt_Steiner Hrm. Are you sure?

El Pip That was to be expected since the Irish Army was raised from almost nothing to two Divisions within months. Also, considering that there were apparently some 60k Irish within the Crown Forces at any one time, enough could be transferred to either shore up the existing Irish units or to form a third Division.

Derek Pullem I recently got into Canadian telly. The problem is that in spite of all the crap, British and Commonwealth TV is still several margins better than the *expecitive* *swearword* *swearword* that runs here in Germany. Hell, they even dared to dubb the first Series of NWho into German before they didn't bother anymore.
 

trekaddict

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You can compare post-reunification German TV with the British Aircraft Industry after the war. Lots of good ideas and a few gems but nothing else and by now it's almost totally dead.
 

Lord Strange

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Wait, is this the DCI Hunt, as in "Armed Bastard" Hunt?
 

trekaddict

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Yup, it's him. Admittedly I haven't seen Series Three of Ashes to Ashes yet, so it's more "Hunt as of the end of Sereis Two".
 

Kurt_Steiner

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