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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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DHX

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Well played.
 

Ciryandor

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I'd have to agree that it was very well-done. Mere "accidents of history" as they say it.
 

stevep

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Regicide!

Trekaddict

Well that came as a shock as well. [Been unable to log on the past couple of days so a bit late responding].

I would definitely agree with Ciryandor that I couldn't see any way the authorities would let him, let alone his wife, anywhere near an UXB. No matter how insistent he is it's still a constitutional monarchy and he had little relative power.

It's a brutal slog in the Alps but then expecting that. The fact the enemy have split commands helps but losses are going to be heavy.

Steve

PS Remember what happened to Oliver.;)
 

trekaddict

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Well, the UXB thing... I have my reasons so to speak, and it will become clear in the future.

The Alps: True, true. The Axis command structure only merges at theatre level, i.e. von Kluge in this case as OB South.

I am nowhere as bad as Cromwell. For one the Monarchy will emerge from this stronger than ever before, the Queen is more or less unharmed and I will never even consider turning Britain into a Republic.
 

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I think I need to elaborate on the Command structure level: The Allied Command structure merges at different levels, in some cases (Poles, Dutch, Dominions) at Army level, at Corps level in case of the Irish and several others and at 'Government' level in case of the French who have their own sea-borne supply lines for the eternally stalled Alpine front in southern France.
 

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trekaddict

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Chapter 258


355b1090.jpg

His Majesty, King George VI, 1936 – 1942 (*14 December 1895 - †9th August 1942)

“The King is dead – Long live the Queen.”​


If asked in the years after the war Felix would always say that the actions in the immediate aftermath of the King's death had always been dictated by a mixture of urgency, grief and anger. In something of a last hooraa of his American upbringing he looked at the whole matter with more objectivity but he could understand how Ian felt, the result of now almost a decade within the Royal Navy, the most British of environments.

The orders that had relieved them both of their current duties and reassigned them back to 'Headquarters' as it were had come as a surprise to the both of them, but Ian wasn't too displeased. He had disliked leaving all the hard work of the past months behind, but the chance of being near his...their family was something that he was wishing for as much as anyone who was deployed overseas.

Right now they were standing in front of the same door they had gone through when Felix had returned from the dead and Felix once more marveled over how personal the Londoners seemed to be taking the death of their monarch. Flags on half mast was to be expected, but for an entire city to wear mourning like this... It was unprecedented in his memory.

Speaking of which...

“You all-right, Ian?”


“If we had arrived a day earlier, we could have gone to the burial.”

Ian knocked on the door with more emphasis than necessary until it opened.


In one of the many rooms Ian and Felix found themselves opposite a considerable collection of brass: The Prime Minister, C (the head of the SIS), Lord Mountbatten, and last but not least Sir John Dill, the CIGS. Alarm bells rang within the heads of both of them, and what they were about to hear didn't really shut them off.

It was C who spoke to them.


“Gentlemen, doubtless you are aware what has happened...”

Over the next hour they were briefed about every tiny piece of the King's schedule. Basically the Idea had been for the Royal Family to inspect the area of the Coventry Industrial Estate that had been most heavily bombed. The idea had come from the Palace and even though the MoD had advised against it, the visit had gone forward after the Army had taken care to select an area where all bombs had been cleared, all the while still trying to get the King to call it all off. But then somehow one bomb had been missed and the rest was history.

“And this is why you are here, Gentlemen.”

“Forgive me for saying this, Sir,” Felix said, “and with all due respect, but this sounds like a straight-forward balls up.”


“That it does, Commander.” Sir John interjected, “but prudence requires it that we still conduct a full inquiry. It is not only that but also because we owe it to the Queen to find out exactly what happened to her parents. Basic decency if you will.”

He made what had to be a dramatic pause and said then: “And if there IS something of a conspiracy we want to damn well make sure that no one ever dares to touch the British monarch again. We cannot afford to be seen as weak and indecisive, not in peace and especially not during wartime.”


C then came to why Ian and Felix had been recalled. “And this is why you are here. We want you to conduct the inquiry. The both of you have proven more than adept at this sort of thing..”

C was referring to the time when a Soviet spy had tried to infiltrate Tube Alloys, the precursor to the Torchwood Institute and the Empire's Nuclear Programme that was now chugging along nicely in Africa.

“Yes, Sir.”

That still didn't fully answer the question. Felix was well aware that there had to be any number of people who were not only better suited to this by trade but who also wouldn't have had to be recalled from other important assignments. Then again, he was back in Britain and he and Ian had already decided that the first thing once out the door would be to visit the family, so he didn't complain too much. The one thing he would miss was the Italian food which, even though Italy was still under a rationing system even tougher than the one in Britain, was better than anything else to begin with.[1]

They were given everything, an Office of their own inside the building, an official car (A 1939 Rover 12 without military markings, like all cars operated by the branches of the SIS.) and last but not least two days off to visit their own relatives as a reward for the work they had done in Italy. So they were sitting in the Leiter residence in front of the fireplace with Jonathan and a bottle of the tuscanese Sangiovese wine that Ian had smuggled a case of into the country in his personal luggage. The women had long since gone to bed even though it was a Saturday and so the three of them were burning the Midnight oil.

“So Ian,” Jonathan asked as Felix went to answer a call of nature, “do you really think the King was assassinated?”

Ian shook his head. “No, not really. After all, no one would have anything to gain from it. The propaganda value of a dead monarch might have been immense during the Napoleonic Wars, but today even the Germans should know that it would only backfire on them, and anyway, they and the Russians ha...” he tried to decide what to tell his father-in-law. “Let's just say they might find it difficult to arrange it at the present time.”

Jonathan smiled, nodded in agreement and said: “I never bought that whole '5th Column' thing anyway. But what about the Reds?”

He always referred to the UAPR only as 'the Reds'.

“No, I don't think so either. Again, what would they have to gain? We don't have much in the way of trade relations with them anyway, the Imperial trade with North America almost exclusively goes to Canada, and the Reds can't afford a crisis in the Atlantic when the Nips are on the advance in the Central Pacific.” Ian replied, referring to the fall of Midway to the Japanese two weeks ago. “A crisis in the Atlantic that could well spiral into a full-scale war, and that's the last thing we need right now. You know as well as I do that we are stretched as it is, and if the Yanks decided to attack Canada while most of their and our Army is actually Italy....”

“Wouldn't be good, I grant you that.”

Felix returned and reinserted himself into the conversation.

“What's more, the Yanks know that and they aren't exactly stretched thin, but it stands to reason that most of their Army is on the West Coast. Where else should they be? They got tossed out of the Phillipines when they tried to intervene there and Hawaii is by now probably spilling over with Soldiers.”


Jonathan grimaced when he heard his son refer to the American troops as 'the Yanks' but his son had always been quick to adapt to anything new, and he could see it in his eyes, Felix was proud to serve in 'the Navy'. There was something to be said about being the first and best with everything. No added words to describe you.

“And how are things going in Austria?” asked Jonathan. “The papers tell you only so much...”


“I don't know much more than you do, and some of that I can't tell you, but lets just say that the 9th and the 1st Canadian will definitely have earned the R&R they'll get once this is over.” Ian said.

“It's still as if it were yesterday that he gave me that DSO...” he said out of the blue a few minutes later. He sipped from his glass and when Ian and Felix began to trade memories of their adventures together[2] Jonathan once again marvelled how his son had changed and matured since he had joined the British Navy. Thinking back to the years when they had still lived in Colorado and fought over Felix going to Annapolis instead of West Point he had long since come to realize that his son had found the perfect environment for him to flourish in and that it would have been a waste to force him into the Army. Felix would most likely have died either when the Red Militias burned down the school or a few years later when the remnants of the West Point Cadets had died along with the rest of the Big Red One in the defence of Seattle. Here in Britain he had found work that he liked. The British had taken up the torch of Liberty and had done pretty much everything that certain circles said they would never do. They had stood up to the Axis. They had fought the Axis. They had gone on fighting when France had fallen. They had invaded Europe with all their might and now seemed poised to march into Germany itself. The British had been challenged by the might of Europe and had stepped up to it.

The King had been the symbol of that spirit, and that probably was why the British were so sad and angry at the same time. If there really was someone who had killed him, then woe to the poor soul if Ian and Felix found out who he was.








[Notes: I decided not to show the actual funeral because I would never be able to do it justice. However, if anyone is interested, here the OTL one is described.]


[1] I actually prefer Indian food. There is this place.. they make the best Chicken Curry of all time. And yes, in the middle of Germany.

[2] Those that are public knowledge at least :D
 
Last edited:

Kurt_Steiner

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Where is Sherlock when we need him?

BTW. You have seven years, a month and fourteen days to free the USA or we'll catch hell.
 

Griffin.Gen

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This sure is one hell of a shitstorm. I bet George was assassinated. It would be too anticlimactic if it was an accident.
 

stevep

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This sure is one hell of a shitstorm. I bet George was assassinated. It would be too anticlimactic if it was an accident.

Well there's one obvious possibility, which would fit the circumstances. However that would cause serious problems if the news came out. Mostly for a person I detest, but currently at least he's an ally.

A planned assassination this way would fit in with what happened more than the total cock-up that would be required for an accident. Although it sounded more like a known German bomb they were trying to defuse went off than another explosion from a planted bomb also in the area. Furthermore that would require knowing where the king was going in advance in time enough to plant a bomb in an area that would be under close guard. [Both because it contains an UXB and because of the royal visit].

Steve
 

stevep

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“That it does, Commander.” Sir John interjected, “but prudence requires it that we still conduct a full inquiry. It is not only that but also because we owe it to the Queen to find out exactly what happened to her father. Basic decency if you will.”

Trekaddict - this makes it sound like only the king died from the royal family. I had got the impress that the car they were in was devastated and the queen also died. If so I expect that both parents would have been mentioned here when Dill referring their draughter's feeling. Is the queen mum as she would be now still alive?

Steve
 

trekaddict

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Kurt_Steiner Sherlock, according to the author, is retired by now.

And seven years?

Griffin.Gen As said, for the moment it looks like an accident.

stevep(1) Well, if there really was a plot, we will find out. Ian was right though, on the surface no one has anything to gain from assassinating the King.

Re the bomb: That was badly formulated. Basically what I meant was that the scene was declared safe when the King's party set out from Coventry, but the bomb that killed him was found while he was underway and couldn't be called back. The screwup atm is seen as the fact that no one set up a perimeter and stopped the King there.

stevep(2) GAH! :eek:o I'll edit that immediately. Queen Mum died too.
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 259


'Avro Canada – Biggest Canadian Aircraft manufacturer. Emerged when Victory Aircraft (Canada) was sold by the Canadian Government to A.V. Roe Aircraft ltd (today A.V. Roe Aerospace Group) in order to facilitate Canadian production of the Avro Lancaster/York family. Production of home-designed small aircraft for use in the bush and by the Canadian Military continued. In late Summer 1942 Avro Canada was visited by the Commonwealth Technology Commission...'

Excerpt from the Online Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010


“Gentlemen, to the Queen.”

Major General Sir Phillip Quelch (KCB, DSO and bar) raised his glass to the the new Queen that, according to his calculations was probably right now sleeping somewhere in the Palace, what with London being five hours ahead of Toronto. The General headed up the Commonwealth Technology Commission, de jure meant to coordinate the technological cooperation between the Empire and her Dominions, but in fact little more than a British purchasing group that scoured the Dominions for any and all technologies that might be of use for the European front. When the Prime Minster had raised the idea two years ago, there had been quite some rumblings in the Army, the Air Force, the Navy and the Ministry of Defence, so to signal ones displeasure at the implication that British boffins couldn't provide everything that was needed, General Quelch was appointed as it's head. He had started out the last war as a Horse Cavalry Subaltern who had then transferred to the Tanks, right in time for the Battle of the Somme. Later at Cambrai he had earned his Captaincy and the DSO only to be sent 'into the wilderness' as he liked to call it after the Armistice. Known for his distrust and dislike of everything French, he had later in the late 20s to the mid 30s been the British military Attaché to Spain where he had seen that not everyone had abandoned the Tanks, a tenure which had also earned him the nickname of 'El Pip' after the General had to be restrained from hitting the French Ambassador in the face over 'statements about British intentions' shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. This had endeared him with most of the Army but had still been enough to ensure his semi-retirement up until the outbreak of the war.

Now he was holding the glass of Canadian Whiskey high and toasted to the Queen. He knew that they (him and the tri-service group of Officers following him around) would soon have to get moving again, but one had to toast what would hopefully be the last new Monarch for a long while.

“Well then Gentlemen, shall we find out what the Colonials are up to?”

“Yes, Sir.”

Avro Canada – if someone had asked the General ten years ago he would have laughed into the person's face but now as the group was led through the factory a lengthy hall where an assembly line for Lancasters was busy churning out new planes.

The Administrator in charge was prattling on about how the Company was building bombers and other assorted heavies even though none of the Officers where listening.

“Not that I am not terribly interested in the Lancaster,” Sir Phillip interrupted, “but why is that your company was put on the list when you are 'only' producing bombers and transports?”

The administrator tried not to show his displeasure at the down to the point nature of the British General, but what was one to expect from the Military. No finesse at all.

“Yes, ehrm...” he said, trying to find words. “We have always designed liason and army co-operation aircraft since the factory was established in 1939, and we have taken on a few of the expatriates that are swarming all over the country. Well, one of them was formerly working for one of the American Aeroplane companies...” he paused and tried to remember the name. When he failed he went on: “anyway, he pressured us with a fighter design of his that he had been working on before fleeing ever since we took him on and he managed to get some funding for it.”

That the Administrator felt even more distaste for any sort of initiative than the Military was clear. As it would later turn out the man had sent the plans in as a response to an informal Operational Requirement by the Canadian Ministry for National Defence when one had frantically tried to develop the domestic Aviation industry in the early years of the war. Using one of the Merlins of the same make as the ones that went into the Bombers that the company was producing. When they finally found the man himself, one Edgar Schmue, as he was going over some drawings he began to sing the praise of his most recent achievement.

“We tested it against a Mk.Vc[1] Spit and found that at the altitude where in Europe combat is usually fought, the plane is somewhat slower, but it easily outranges any other single-engined one-seater anyone has in service.”

Sir Phillip noticed then that there was a reason Bomber Command had put the company on the list. If this was true, then it would be the perfect escort Fighter, far more manoeuvrable than the Mosquitoes which had always been something of a 'better than nothing' emergency replacement for the Whirlwind.

“Can we see it?” he asked.

“Oh yes. We just put the engine back together, so if you were willing to wait an hour or two you can see it fly. However we can have a look at it right now.”

The Engineer led the British Commission out of the factory and onto the airfield where there were always some Lancasters or Yorks being flight tested prior to being handed over the the Air Force. In front of a hangar at the far end of the field and optimistically painted in RAF markings, the General and his compatriots found a single engined machine that was clearly something special, and especially the Air Force Officers took in the details of the plane.

“These wings...” one of them said. “They seem to be quite aerodynamic.”

Schmued nodded. “Yes. We designed them that way to increase range. It's based on some work done by that guy who designed the Wellington Bomber, and as said, it's meant to increase range.”

“And what about the cockpit? This has even less rear visibility than the Spitfire.”

“That's my fault. We found that the standard Spitfire canopy won't fit onto the airframe as it is, and making it fit would have forced us to redesign most of the rear fuselage and that would mean unacceptably long delays.”

“So it's ready for production?” Sir Phillip asked.

“Almost. There are still a few things we need to work out, but we can have it ready within two-three weeks. You see, we have only the one Merlin Engine to spare, and it seems as if there is not enough spare production capacity left over to equip yet another type of aeroplane with it.”

“So you made some inquiries already?” the General said with a smile.

“I took the liberty to, Sir.”

“Since when have you been working on this, Mr. Schmued?”

“Since I came to Canada in '39.”

“And where were you working before you...left the UAPR?”

“North American Aviation, General.”


3412009b.jpg

The Avro Canada Mustang Mk.Ie[2]

“And you have tested the range?”

“Yes, General. We did that a week back. We came up on a thousand miles ferry range with the new large drop tanks.”

Eyes went wide with all the British Officers.

“At fighter speeds?”

“Yes Sir. As said, we test flew it against a Mk.Vc, and she held herself up well.”

When the engine was finally declared safe, it was spooled up and caught, and soon everyone heard the familiar sound of the Merlin Engine and soon the Mustang Prototype took to the air, and in that moment it was clear that the Commission would make a favourable recommendation to the Ministry of Defence.




[Notes: The inclusion of Edgar Schmued with Avro Canada was suggested by someone else on another forum where I am also posting this AAR. Even though I prefer British made aircraft for almost everything, once made aware that her designer would never willingly work for the reds, I couldn't sleep at night knowing that the Mustang was flying for the evul Commiez(tm). ]


[1] Basically a Mk.IX.

[2] This being one of the Mustang Mk.X, basically P-51As fitted with Merlins by the British.
 
Last edited:

Kurt_Steiner

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Eagerly waiting for the Mustang Mk IVs!!!!
 

El Pip

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Canadian "Whiskey" and Mustangs. Poor Major General Pip, it's hard to know which is worse, though on balance I'd lean towards the drink; standard Canadian whisky is bad enough, but that diluted sugar mix the Irish call "Whiskey" made by Canadians must be horrific! :eek: ( :D )

I do hope the good Major General gives the RAF contingent a damned good thrashing, if they're impressed by the range of a Mustang with drop tanks they really should have paid attention to how far a Spit can go with drop tanks; They got one across the Atlantic in OTL so 1000 miles really shouldn't be a surprise.

That said I concede it's better the Mustang ends up in Imperial service than with those Communistical types down South. ;)
 

trekaddict

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Kurt_SteinerSo will be the RAF.

El Pip There's a war on, and everyone has to do his/her bit, even if that means drinking such things. As for the Mustang, the range of 1000 miles is how far they've tested them, this is in essence an early-model P-51B, and those did have only ~800 miles range with internal fuel. No one says that this remains so. Prototypes and all that.

In any case, we shall hear from the General again. :D
 

trekaddict

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Argh. Spotted a mistype. It was supposed to be Ferry Range, not just range.
 

Griffin.Gen

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Geez, more Canadian goodness? Do you want me to have a heart attack, trek?
 

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Kurt_Steiner Sherlock, according to the author, is retired by now.

And seven years?

I'm puzzling over that as well. Rough calculations that makes it ~1st November 1949 but means nothing to me - as a non-yank. Not an election year which is the only thing that comes to mind. [Unless the hell is meant literally and some reference to fiction that involves some crisis with a visitor from somewhere very warm:eek:].

stevep(1) Well, if there really was a plot, we will find out. Ian was right though, on the surface no one has anything to gain from assassinating the King.

Re the bomb: That was badly formulated. Basically what I meant was that the scene was declared safe when the King's party set out from Coventry, but the bomb that killed him was found while he was underway and couldn't be called back. The screwup atm is seen as the fact that no one set up a perimeter and stopped the King there.

stevep(2) GAH! :eek:o I'll edit that immediately. Queen Mum died too.

Thanks for clarifying those points. Just realised there's another chapter below to read.:)

Steve