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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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misterbean

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man, ANOTHER update? I'll never catch up!:eek:

edit: still, I finished Book 2 and loved it. Hood sinking Bismarck! the return of Ian! great stuff!
 
Last edited:

stevep

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Trekaddict

Given how much the majority of the Slavs love the Nazis, with such good reason, plus thinking that one of our best double agents during the war came from the country I'm wondering whether it's Vuckovitch or the 553rd that is going to have a nasty surprise. [One can hope anyway.;) ]

Since the pilots mentioned were flying Hurricanes and 109's does that mean some of them were German. Or is this freed Yugoslav pilots captured during the initial conquest?

Good update. I will be quiet the next fortnight or so as I'm visiting my mum on holiday but will catch up when I get back.

Steve
 

trekaddict

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misterbean It's getting better!

stevep We will see. Can't tell you more due to spoilers.

The Royal Yugoslav Air Force was probably the only Allied force that once flew both the Hurricane and the 109 operationally at the same time, IIRC they bought some 109Es from the Germans before the war, and at the same time operated Hurricanes. Both in small numbers but yet another case of life stranger than fiction. THat makes the pilots captured RYAF personell.
 

trekaddict

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Wait...i'm a little confused.

General Maybach is the one that wanted General Vuckovich right? And so he sends the 553rd?

Yup. I need to put in a better chapter break there.
 

soulking

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Yup. I need to put in a better chapter break there.

Ah I understand know.

Also, you know you could always use "-------" as a chapter break.
 

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Ah I understand know.

Also, you know you could always use "-------" as a chapter break.

I normally use Pictures or big empty spaces for that, but I couldn't for the life of me find something that fitted....
 

trekaddict

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More artwork!

ee-lightning-p261.jpg



This goes into the "Jet Fighters" Intermission.
 

trekaddict

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Thanks to a mindboggingly stupid oversight on my part (I failed to notice certain easily obtainable information) the next chapter will need a massive rewrite, so alas will be delayed. :mad:
 

Kurt_Steiner

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It could be worse. Trust me.
 

El Pip

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I may have said it before but the variable geometry Lightning always looks a bit odd, like some-one broke the wings and didn't know how to put them back together again.

That aside Yugoslavia looks to be messy (sadly predictable) and only about to get worse (ditto). While obviously a tragedy it does leave the way open for a raft of MacLean-esque cunning triple crosses. That's what I'm hoping for anyway. ;)
 

trekaddict

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I may have said it before but the variable geometry Lightning always looks a bit odd, like some-one broke the wings and didn't know how to put them back together again.

That may be, but together with modern electronics and a stronger engine it should help keep the Lightning competitive for far longer, considering that it's supposed to be a bit like a F-4 Phantom only without ground attack capability. (We have TSR2 for that.)

That aside Yugoslavia looks to be messy (sadly predictable) and only about to get worse (ditto). While obviously a tragedy it does leave the way open for a raft of MacLean-esque cunning triple crosses. That's what I'm hoping for anyway. ;)

Why do you think everyone's name but that of Felix was lifted straight out of three of his novels? :D
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 252​

Two days after the meeting in the cave Felix stepped out of the watchtower onto the top of the hill the watchtower, or what was left of it stood on. As he readjusted the MP 40 hanging over his left shoulder he thought about how lucky he was not to be in Vuckovichs' shoes. It had been bad enough to tell them that there would be no Grand Allied Army that came sweeping in from the north, what was even worse was the whole matter of keeping the shaky Alliance together. The Slavic hatred of the enemy went only so far, what this country lacked was a figure to rally behind, and Vuckovich knew that he wasn't it, and Felix was sure that the General didn't want to be anyway. The best candidate for this would normally be the President or the Government as such in a Republic or the Monarch in a Monarchy, but in Yugoslavia that was out, the King had been killed in the chaos that Belgrade had turned into after the Germans had broken through in the north. The Yugoslav Government had moved operations from London to Rome two months ago, but they simply didn't have the moral authority to keep the more tentative members of the Rebel Alliance in line.

He sighed and wished for a smoke, but a blackout was in effect (a sign of the military heritage of the Partisans) and so instead he walked around and mingled with the guards who were by now used to the presence of an extra British Officer, even though Turner had remained behind after Felix had ordered him to. Turner might not like it, but there was no reason for him to know what the other resistance leaders looked like. Felix had tried to follow the talks after delivering his own, but since only Vuckovich spoke more than a passable English and Felix no Croatian he felt like the fifth wheel and so wasn't too disturbed when the General asked him to go outside for a second. Felix saw the sense behind secrecy of this sort, the SOE liaisons were told before they set off that some things where need to know and even they never needed to know everything.

As he began to walk around the tower he could hear the loud talking inside stop for a few moments and then start up again louder than before. He shrugged and then began to walk off into the woods to answer the call of nature. When he was done he just turned and was about to walk back to the tower about two-hundred yards from where he was when something slammed into him from behind with a massive force. Felix turned around and looked straight into the face of a figure wearing a German Army uniform, complete with drawn carbine and Coalscuttle helmet. Here the difference between a German conscript and someone who had gone through the SOE courses twice (Once shortly after transferring officially to the SOE, once again after coming 'out of the dungeon' as he liked to call it) told when Felix swiftly kicked the German into the private parts and in one smooth motion took his MP from his shoulder, disengaged the safety and fired a quick burst, as much to kill the enemy as to alert everyone.

As if the short, three round burst had been a signal the forest around him erupted with fire because immediately the Germans and the Yugoslav partisans began to exchange gunfire with Felix caught in the middle. Ducking down as far as he could he ran back to the tower from where the Yugoslavs were returning fire with everything that would shoot. Felix knew that the Germans had most likely surrounded the tower on three sides, the fourth was formed by a cliff, and there was probably going to be no way out.

He was very surprised then when he re-entered the room and saw that General Vuckovich was shuffling everyone out the back door.

Upon being asked, the General merely answered

“No time. We have to get back to the HQ as fast as possible.”


It hit Felix like a ton of bricks and an ice cold shiver ran down his spine. If this super-secret meeting had been betrayed to the Germans, the spy had to be very close to any of the leaders and that most certainly included the General.

“Jesus Christ on a stick!” he exclaimed. “How are we going to get past the Germans then?”


Vuckovich led him and the others to some undergrowth which he pushed aside, exposing the beginning of a very dangerous and narrow footpath that led down the mountains. As he followed Vuckovich and his most trusted bodyguard down the narrow, slippery path he thought about the men who were still fighting near the tower, sacrifcing themselves to let their bosses get away. No one deserved to be killed or even worse, captured by the Germans.

What followed was a dark, cold and rainy night of utter horror. Behind every bush and stone a German could be hiding and the hit their morale had taken didn't help. Even when he told of his adventures during the war to his Grandchildren decades later he would be able to feel the rain running down the back of his neck and the cold despair that crept into every nook and cranny. At one point Felix turned and looked back and he could see that at some point the tower had caught fire and stood as a beacon that marked the death of almost half a company worth of very good men as Felix had observed over the last couple of days.

For hours on end the General relentlessly pushed forward and from a few off-hand comments Felix snapped up as the three of them made their way north-east that there was more to the whole thing than the exposure of his Headquarters and a possible spy there, more than concern for his men. Felix didn't pretend to know the General that well, but he had never been that driven during the last couple of days, even when they had set out to the ill-fated meeting.

By the time the night made way for the next morning they were close to the headquarters and Felix' stomach dropped when he saw a pillar of smoke rise from where it was. Felix was still staring at it and wondering if the Lysander was even still going to come when he saw in the corner of his eye that the General was impatiently waiting for him to get of his mule. Felix obliged and then asked:

“I hope you have a secret entrance here too?”

Vuckovich completely ignored the humour and simply led Felix and his bodyguard into the bushes, weapons drawn and at the ready.


Upon entering the clearing some twenty minutes later, they were greeted with a scene of destruction. Felix looked around and saw Captain Turner standing near the main entrance giving orders to a few of the Partisans.

“I am afraid Colonel Lescovar was killed, Sir.”

“So who's in command, Captain?” Felix asked. “And what the hell happened here anyway?”

“Major Petrovich is. As to what happened, the bloody Luftwaffe is what happened, followed by a nice ground attack. We beat them off just less than an hour ago, but Petrovich has already started getting everyone out of here.”

Felix nodded. Petrovich might be a petty little man who had hated Lescovar for both his job and the promotion that came with it, but at least he was reasonably competent.

“Is he alright, Captain Turner?”

Felix turned, he hadn't even noticed that Vuckovich was standing beside him.

“Oh yes, quite alright, Sir. He insisted on helping with the defence, so someone gave him a rifle and sent him to guard the entrance to the pilotcave, and I saw him again just a couple of minutes ago.

“Who are you talking about man?”


“The Yugoslav King of course, Colonel.” Turner replied.



After he had regained control of his senses and shut of the stream of rather industrial language that he had put forth for almost a minute, he simply marched into the cave entrance, ignoring both the General and anyone else who followed him. He registered with a bit relief that the wireless station was still operating as he stomped past the little side cave and as he pushed the blanket that formed the door to the side he looked into the muzzle of a rifle; and behind that the face of His Majesty, King Peter II of Yugoslavia – dressed in what had once been the uniform of a Junior NCO in the Royal Yugoslav Air Force.



As it turned out as soon as Felix had calmed down and forgiven Turner and Vuckovich the subterfuge, the King hadn't been killed as previously believed when German Stukas had destroyed the Royal Palace in Belgrade. At the time of this attack Yugoslavia had only existed in name, with the Army dissolving along ethnic lines. The General Staff had at the time been fleeing south towards Dubrovnik, even though the city was already under Italian Artillery and Naval Fire which had led to the situation that for the last several days of the Campaign no one had really been in command and the fact that the King had been essentially stuck in the south since the war had begun was forgotten in the chaos, and the Yugoslav Government in Exile, at first in London and now in Rome was mostly made up of diplomats of the local Embassy, so when the reports that filtered to Britain both via the few neutral Embassies that hadn't been evacuated and from the few who had managed to escape the neutral Greece indicated that the King might be dead, they had been believed and when after several months the King had neither appeared in Germany or Moscow for the Newsreel cameras or at the very least dead somewhere, so he had been declared dead along with his much-hated Regent, a cousin of his Father.

What had happened instead was that the King had been visiting a RYAF dispersal airfield where ironically enough half the Yugoslav Force of ME-109 E-3s was stationed when war broke out. Intitially he had tried to return to the Capital, but Italian, Hungarian and Bulgarian Aircraft had made it impossible, so for the remainder of the campaign the King had been the guest of the 6th Fighter Squadron, Royal Yugoslav Air Force.

When the Bulgarian forces had approached the airfield the commanding Officer had set the planes on fire, put the King into the uniform he was now wearing and marched his men into captivity. Amazingly enough the men had at first been held in southern Yugoslavia along with most of the other surviving Air Force personnel in the area and the King had been able to hide in the masses and luckily old enough to grow a beard that greatly aided in this task.

Only when the Partisans had liberated the train that was taking the men north had he given himself up, and here he was now, standing in front of a British Naval Officer wearing a Royal Marines Uniform but experienced in dealing with Royalty, and that Officer was suddenly sure that these men would get out of Italy as soon as it could be arranged. Writing this report would be fun.



Petar_II_karadjordjevic.jpg


[Notes: The sudden appearance of the King is the result of that mindboggingly stupid oversight. Somehow I failed to realize that there was a reason to have a Regent in the first place and thus somehow never bothered to look up the King himself, and if I thought of him I probably equated him with his father in the back of my mind. Mea maxima Culpa. Also, I am far from happy how this turned out, but now that it's done, I can divert my actual writing towards other things over on the WhatIfmodellers board while I plot the next update. It needs to be done very carefully, both for maximum comedic effect and because it's skirting the edges of the forum Rules, even though I have cleared it with a Mod. Originally Turner was supposed to be the Spy, as he shares the name with the Spy from “Where Eagles Dare”, but when that fell flat along with the first draft of this update I decided to turn him into a young but relatively experienced SOE Officer. Remind me to never ever just assume stuff because it is logical. Anyway, IOTL the King died in exile in Colorado in 1974.]
 

Griffin.Gen

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It's not a bad update, trek.
I see that the Yougoslav monarchy will be reestablished?
 

soulking

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The King's sudden appearance isn't that bad. It would seem that both British and German Intelligence were wrong. Now, Yugoslavia and more importantly, the Rebel Alliance (star wars much? :rolleyes:) will have a figure head.
 

El Pip

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Lets hope the King can keep a low profile, I feel he's already used up a lifetime's supply of luck making it this far!
 

trekaddict

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Griffin.Gen Actually this was to turn out completely different, with Felix and the General narrowly escaping the Germans getting back to HQ only to have to escape again in the middle of the German attack while at the same time trying to find out who the spy was.

Yes, the Yugoslav Monarchy is going to be re-established. How successful it will be without the personality of Tito holding it together remains to be seen.


soulking The biggest short-term gain the Allies have of this is indeed a visible figurehead for Yugoslavia in exile, one that the survivors can rally around. As for the Star Wars reference, I was watching a Youtube video where someone had cut the (Space-) Battle of Endor from Return of the Jedi into one continuous scene while I wrote that. :D :cool:

El Pip Luckily the Lysander that will come to pick up Felix has a third seat.
 

trekaddict

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A tiny Retcon in Chapter 249 concerning the name of the two Commonwealth Carriers. They will be revealed in the update after the next one, since part of that will be set on one of them. Griffin, this is all your doing! :D