trekaddict

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My only hope is that the Americans get into gear and draw some of the heat off me. Ironically for the moment the Empire and her Allies are the only one doing any land fighting against the Japanese.
 

stevep

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Not that I've caught up... or even properly started yet... but "noncom" is a period-accurate term for NCO; the acronym didn't gain primacy until later. "Noncom," though, has been around forever and a day.

c0d5579

Interesting. I remember NCO from talking with an history teacher back in the 70's and probably a bit earlier from the old War, Commando etc comics. Never realised it was a recent term. Noncom as I said sounded strange and my 1st thought was it referred to something like medics or other non-combat people. Learn something new. Just hope what passes for my memory nowadays remembers it. :)

Thanks

Steve
 

stevep

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Let's try then the old solution: finish of Europe and then go Eastern... erm... but you have to finish the USSR too...

Kurt

Would agree. The Japanese can't really threaten crucial areas as it would be difficult to really invade India or Australia against prepared opposition. [Or am I assuming too much realistic logistics and the like in HoI?;) ] Germany/Russia pose a serious threat to Britain and potentially the ME at the least.

Also Japan is also fighting the Americans, and I think the Soviets, so better to make hay while their busy with each other. If the Pacific war is resolved then Russia would have resources free and possibly another front they could threaten the empire on. While what an un-distracted America would get up to.:eek:

Steve
 

Kurt_Steiner

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My only hope is that the Americans get into gear and draw some of the heat off me. Ironically for the moment the Empire and her Allies are the only one doing any land fighting against the Japanese.

Those pesky Commies!
 

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stevep(1) The Chinese have actually stopped the Soviets cold at the cost of screwing up their own demographics for the remainder of the Century and beyond. The Soviets can't spare their most mechanized Forces which are fighting against the Imperialist Capitalist evil Allies in Europe, so it's a full-on Infantry vs Infantry slogging match for the most part.


stevep(2) This is actually my strategy. The RN isn't yet strong enough to overpower the IJN, but at the same time the IJN can't go anywhere within striking distance of Darwin without risking the tender attention of the Fleet Air Arm.

Overall a lot more people will die and it will take at least another couple of years to resolve the Pacific. Remember that the Japanese have China on their side. A while back I've also said that the Allies will seek to destroy as much of the Red Army as they can once they've moved past the alps, so it's easy to assume that they are well aware of the situation and try to deal with it.
 

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So far only six Comets are in the Far East, but the Cromwells should still be able to dominate the Battlefield, and there's loads of them around.
 

trekaddict

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It's in the writers section of Alternatehistory.com, but that section is members only. Also, it can be found on the navweps fiction board in several threads, one for each part.


Also, I cleaned out my PM box.
 

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The second half of this Chapter has been co-written by an accquaintance of mine, known as Markus on AH.com and M.Becker on the TBO-verse Forums.


Chapter 262


The Battle of Singapore had one element that the Japanese planners had failed to anticipate at first. The convoys that brought much-needed supplies and replacements to the beleaguered British Fortress were given a much stronger escort than anyone had thought, and with the Naval war in Europe reduced to Light Forces battling away in coastal territories the British had sent most of their Capital units east and each time the Singapore Express left Australia the escort was stronger. Still, the existence of the scattered units of the German Navy in the Baltic Ports and the existence of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, each with nothing bigger than a Heavy Cruiser actually fully operational and a Fleet in Being more than anything else prevented the Admiralty to send the pre-war Carriers to the Far East, even though Admiral Cunningham would have gladly sent Ark Royal on the supply runs to Singapore, for some reason believing that the Ark was more than capable of doing this.[1] Due to this Air cover for the Convoys was always very, very weak and even though the Canadian and Australian Carriers (HMCS Vimy Ridge and HMAS Melbourne) were expected to become operational by the end of the month, he had no inclination of sending two top-modern Carriers into the gauntlet when he needed every deck he had in the ongoing battle against the Kido Butai around the Carolinas even discounting the fact that the Australian and Canadian Governments would have screamed blood and murder.

Air cover as it was was provided by the Royal Netherlands East Indies Air Force and the RAF/RAAF units in the unoccupied parts of the Dutch East Indies and now that the Dutch had handed over their last Boomerangs to others and were equipped with the CAC 17/Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc (tropical) now, much to the horror of the Japanese flyers on Borneo and Sumatra who often had to make do with second-line equipment. This was partially due to the buildup for the massive Naval/Air battle that everyone expected in the central Pacific in the 1943 campaigning season but also due to the demands of the Russian Front and the almost constant, annoying and increasingly strong air attacks flown from the British carriers which also forced the Japanese High Command to keep part of the best of the Naval Aviation Squadrons at a position where they could do nothing to attack the irregular but strongly escorted British convoys that constituted the lifeline of the fortress of Singapore. However while the Allies wouldn't risk their Carriers, the Japanese simply couldn't, as due to the Army's influence and effective complete rule over Japan the Navy's budget for new construction had been reduced so much that they were forced to concentrate on the most necessary hulls, Carriers, Light Cruisers and Destroyers, in fact even the third and fourth Yamato-Class Dreadnoughts were re-ordered as Carriers on the basis of the original hull in July 1942. This left both sides with the Surface forces and this was one are where the Allies were at a disadvantage. Commitment to Carriers as an idea was all well and good, but the production capability of the Empire in that regard was limited and the second wave of Implacable Class Carriers wouldn't arrive until...1943, which was fast shaping up to be the year in which the war in the Far East would take a new direction, whatever that might be on sea and on land.

For the moment though this meant that the Japanese Battle-line was theoretically free to intervene in the southern Convoys (as the Japanese called them) from their bases in the area but in effect only a part of the Japanese Battleline was stationed there, with the oldest ships being held back for Home Defence, only a Battlegroup centred around Yamato and the 'Nagato Sisters' was permanently stationed in Cam Rahn Bay, and while Yamamoto hated dispersing his assets like this (which would indeed later come back to haunt the Japanese) there simply was no other choice.


HMS Hood had formed the escort flagship for convoy SPS-49 and run the gauntlet successfully, loosing one of eight merchants and a Destroyer of the escort force, with no damage on herself and slight damage on HMS Belfast, the biggest damage being a knocked-out turret and two missing secondary guns on one of the other Cruisers. Overall the escort Force was still very much in action, and since they were heading back towards friendly waters and air cover from western Java the enemy surface forces would have to work hard to catch them, even in daylight and...

“Action Stations! Action Stations! Prepare for Air action!” Many would die or be wounded on this day after all.


8997218e.jpg

[2]



“There they are Sir, eight Boomerangs straight ahead. I guess we are out of the woods now.”

Lieutenant Commander Pertwee lowered the binoculars and made a mental note to commend Lt. McNaulty for his on the mark navigation. They were indeed within range of the fighter escort from RAAF Milikapiti at the time he calculated. HMS Hood was out of the woods indeed. His thoughs were interrupted by one of the lookouts:

"What are they? That´s no RAAF-roundel. Looks like a sun ... not the Japs´s."

Aircraft recognition manuals were pored over as the "strange" Boomerangs kept a respectful distance to Hood.

"I got it. They are the Free Chinese Air Force it says here."

"Free Chinese? Nice to see at least some of them are on our side."


Some twenty hours after this rather odd encounter Hood crept into Darwin, again with the punctuality of of a London commuter train. Before the lines had been fully fastened she was swamped with medical personal from Darwin who quickly evacuated the badly wounded to Darwin´s hospitals including one irate Captain Beattie who insisted on staying aboard Hood. To no avail, the medical officer in charge calmly stated Doctor Smith´s orders were leaving him no choice and that he´d rather fight Hood´s crew armed with a spoon than incur the wrath of Doctor Smith: “Whatever you do, you don´t mess with the doctor!”

The next five days were a blur in Lieutenant Commander Pertwee´s memory as he felt he was needed in three different places at any time. One event was standing out clearly though. On the third day the Captain had decided to check himself out of the hospital … only to be (almost) dragged back by several Military Policeman who were send by and showing a lot of respect for the doctor. And they did not come a minute too some. Inevitably some of the Captain´s wounds got infected and now he was being pumped full with penicillin, while his room was allegedly guarded 24 hours a day by the MP. Considering how upset Admiral Cunningham was at the prospect of loosing Beattie “to a bloody bug”, MP keeping the Captain in and visitors out was probably a good idea.



HMS Hood´s temporary Commanding Officer was waking up, seeing the sunlight shine thought the bulleye´s shades, turned around … and was almost standing in the bed! Sunlight? How long had he been sleeping? A quick lock at the alarm clock:

“Miller! God damn it! It´s almost 10 a.m. You were supposed to wake me at six.”
“Doctor´s orders, Sir! You had been sleeping too little for too long.”
“I wonder if there is one man on the entire base who is not afraid of that doctor.”
“I doubt it Sir. But this will cheer you up.”

Pertwee glanced at the papers.

“Give me the summary and a tea.”
“About that Sir”
“I know, I know. Bloody coffee it is.”
“Here Sir. Y-turret has been fixed and we have restored electricity to all parts of the ship. And the engineers were finally able to take a look on the drive shaft. It´s not nearly as bad they they first thought.”

Seeing the CO flushing down a sandwich with a mug of coffee, while going through the detailed reports Able Seaman Miller stopped and stepped out of the room.


Two hours later on the bridge Lieutenant Commander Pertwee got confirmation things were going back to normal. For the first time since the battle against Yamato he had nothing to do. All the departments were once again running smoothly on their own, so he decided to take a stroll around Hood. At first everything seems normal, the sound of hammers, sparks from blowtorches, hoses and cables coming out of every bull-eye and door. Than he noticed something was missing, the Mark IV HACS Director that had somehow survived the battle was missing.

“Yes Sir, they removed it this morning. Damage to X-turret will keep us here long enough to get a new anti-aircraft fire control system. This and most of the HACS was unrepairable anyway, See the blue boxes on the train? That´s the new one.”


Down at the dock a Warrant Officer was making a surprising discovery:

“I´ll be damned if that´s not a Mark 19 director. Modified but clearly an old Mark 19. Didn´t expect to see one of the babies again.”

The Canadian Lieutenant supervising the delivery and the WO exchanged knowing looks.

“Petty Officer Third Class Erwin J. Clark, Yangtze Patrol, USS Luzon”
“Ensign Joseph M. O´O’Donnell, USS Houston”
“The Galloping Ghost of the Florida Coast?! It´s an honour to meet you Sir! And now you need to tell me everything about this. Is it a true, tachymetric anti-aircraft FC we are about to get?”
“It is indeed. Basically we -IBM Canada- tried to sell it to the Navy in 35 but the Admiralty wasn´t interested until after Norway and Dunkirk but that it was why-hasn´t-it-been-delivered-yesterday!”

The WO was nodding emphatically.

“We tweaked it a bit here and there and now it´s good for targets with a speed of up to 340 knots or 390 miles per hour. Unlike the old Mark 19 it´s just fine against diving targets too and it´s but one part of completely new FCS.” Pointing to the blue boxes the Lieutenant continued, “The Tachyometric, RDF-based, Air-Defense and Identification System. Once set up TRADIS will...”


Later in the afternoon Hood was getting even better news. The penicillin was showing its effect and the doctor was finally allowing visitors. Lieutenant Commander Pertwee thus headed to the hospital right away. Once arrived he noticed the rumour of MP watching the Captain was no rumour. There were two MP guarding the door to the Captain´s room. The Captain -very much bandaged and having an infusion in his arm- was in a good mood and as far as LtCdr. Pertwee could tell at least the rumour of him having been handcuffed to the bed was false.

“Now if that isn´t Commander Pertwee. I see you have brought me some reading Commander Pertwee and I hope and pray there is a file in that briefcase too, so I can get out of here, Commander Pertwee.”

All that “Commander Pertwee” visibly confused Lieutenant Commander Pertwee. Much to the amusement of the Captain.

“Talk of a breakdown of communications. You really don´t know you have been promoted?”
“Umm, no Sir. So far nobody has bothered to tell me” he was so off-balance that he gave the Australasian nurse who also was in the room no more than passing attention, “about the file, there are so many files in the briefcase, I could even put in a nail file. I´ll get you one tomorrow, so you can escape from the dastardly doctor´s captivity.”

That statement amused the Captain even more.

“May I introduce, Commander Pertwee, acting CO of HMS Hood. Captain Smith, MD. Chief Medical Officer of HMNB Darwin.”

“You´re The Doctor?”


[Notes: :D]


[1] Of course there being no Force H to speak of...

[2] I know it isn't Hood, but bear with me here...
 
Last edited:

Kurt_Steiner

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So, time to wait til 1943 to see some real action? Oh dear.

Once set up TRADIS will...

For a second I read TARDIS and I was a bit bewildered by sheer amazement...
 

stevep

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So, time to wait til 1943 to see some real action? Oh dear.
For a second I read TARDIS and I was a bit bewildered by sheer amazement...

Kurt

I noticed that as well, Trekkie nearly got there. Also managed to include a very formidable Doctor and you're got a character based on Jon Pertwee.:D Anyone would think he was a fan or something.;)

Steve
 

trekaddict

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The sheer boredom of having to set up my Dad's brand new Computer (even though Win7 has some nifty features) is so bad that I am taking a break from it to reply to the comments here.

Deathsheadx
:D

Kurt_Steiner The Empire has a quite understandable Europe-first Policy, in effect the CinC Far East fights with whatever dregs the war in Europe leaves over. Mind you, that is changing the more armaments factories in India start building tanks, guns and planes. THat won't become a major factor before 1943, but then there will be massive action to be had, by land, sea and air.

The TRADIS/TARDIS thing was intended that way. Blue Boxes ftw!

stevep It's actually the actual Jon Pertwee. He served aboard the Hood during WW2 but luckily for us ("Left hand down a bit it is, Sir!") and others ("In here, Brigadier?") he was transferred shortly before Hood met her destiny. And yes, I am a fan. I even installed a Doctor Who theme for my Firefox.

freelander007
Thanks! The Americans will chip in, but purging their Armed forces at least as bad as Stalin and sometimes appointing commanders for their services to the Revolution doesn't help one's performance, and IMO an amphibious war is far less forgiving than one fought purely on land.
 

stevep

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stevep It's actually the actual Jon Pertwee. He served aboard the Hood during WW2 but luckily for us ("Left hand down a bit it is, Sir!") and others ("In here, Brigadier?") he was transferred shortly before Hood met her destiny. And yes, I am a fan. I even installed a Doctor Who theme for my Firefox.
trekaddict

I know that. I remember when you 1st introduced him. :)

Steve
 

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Goodie. Mind you, somewhere in his future there still is another blue box with the letters arranged slightly differently. :D
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 263

The Austrian mountains to the north of the position near Neudorf that were occupied by the I. Waffen-SS Korps in Western Austria didn't do anything to distract the tired soldiers of both sides that huddled the forward edge of their foxholes to escape the shelling that both sides were dishing out at each other. Normally at least some were devoted to counter-battery work, but in the years before the invention of counter-battery RDF for this one needed to devote guns to actually search for the enemy guns or use aircraft, and the situation on the front prevented that, and the hailstorm of the Artillery exchange was beginning to outpace the great Battles of World War One, but this time the British weren't just content with normal shellfire but today it was followed up by the ground assault. The British 9th Army and the rest of them had done this before, and on the 11th, yesterday, they were close to the innermost line of Axis defences around Klagenfurt, and the 6th SS Mountain, the core of the defenders along with elements from the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, the Führer's pretorian Guard and 2. SS-Panzerdivision Das Reich that had been seconded to bolster the defenders on the western edge of the city. Both General Slim and Gruppenführer Josef Dietrich, the commander of the Defence, knew that any push into the city frontally was virtual suicide but that didn't stop the British from shelling the ever-loving snot out of the dug-in SS troopers, and many an Infantryman on the Axis side remarked that the British were probably married to their guns.

Normally British doctrine dictated that a direct confrontation inside built up areas was to be avoided if at all possible, but here this didn't apply because the western railway hub for the line that supplied the Axis forces in Austria and the simple fact that Field Marshal Alexander was unwilling to tolerate a reinforced Division's worth of the best-equipped troops in the German Army, sitting astride a potentially important supply line and themselves being well supplied to be able to withstand a siege for at least several weeks. Attacking their defences from the flanks wasn't possible either, to the south I (Cavalry) Corps was battling with a similar sized Soviet-German force of Light Divisions and Cavalry and the confused situation didn't allow any movement in that direction, in the north there were only so many approaches that could be taken by a decently sized force, and so the only option was a head on smash into the German defences. The Tank Regiment selected for forcing the Initial breakthrough was standing at the ready.



The tanks of the 13th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers[1] were accompanied by Infantry as they slowly made their way over the shell cratered ground towards the German lines. German and British long-range Artillery had switched from attacking the lines of the other side to attacking each other and the ground forces so the Infantry of 1st Infantry Regiment, 1st Jewish Brigade, King's Jewish Legion walked through mortar and Light Artillery fire towards the clash of arms the men in the entire Legion had desired from the moment they had first heard of the war. The quiet confidence of the tankers was shattered when the first of two new German weapons systems that made their début that day. The forward few tanks were hit by rocket fire. While this was usually nothing special so far only the Allies had had their PIATs, but now a development of what had at first been a 1:1 copy of a few captured PIAT launchers and rockets had entered production and the SS Divisions always got the best of the best. The Cromwell's armour wasn't strong enough to withstand a head-on hit from the Raketenpanzerbüchse a.k.a. Panzerschreck from how the original British PIATs had first been called by the German troops.[2]

0f731bde.jpg

It didn't change the outcome however. The slow determination of the Infantry and the sheer number of Tanks supporting them decided the action even though the Lancers suffered three tanks destroyed outright and four more damaged. When they reached the line of foxholes and trenches savage hand to hand fighting began, especially when the SS troopers realized that the 'British' soldiers weren't what they seemed to be. Still, the British had broken into the inner line of defences around Klagenfurt and limited in geographical scale but still extremely intense urban combat was now unavoidable. The SS reserves that rushed forward once word of the breakthrough raced up the chain of Command ran smack-dab into the the advance elements of the 1st Infantry Regiment's 2nd Battalion (the first was widening the breach with Armour support for the following rest of the Legion) and were at first posed to drive the Jewish soldiers back, but then two Cromwells appeared and the Tank support threw the fierce but disorganized German counter-attack back.

Nagel was part of that. He was no longer a machine gunner, having traded the -42 for a G-41 and also gained another rank since that day in the Italian Alps. His platoon was a pure rifle Platoon, but it had been issued with the Panzerschreck, and one of the still scarce certified gunner/loader teams was within Nagel's section. The two men were now placed on the low roof of the former garage with attached but long since empty petrol pump and waited for the British tanks to come along. The first tank nosed it's way around the corner in the road by the pub and the dark green camouflage paint made it blend neatly in with the shrubbery at the edge of the town. The Infantry close to them was weary now, but even so they leap-frogged forwards to cover the tank that had now been joined by two more, but when he looked through his binoculars he saw to his surprise and anger that the Infantry wore the Star of David Insignia of the King's Jewish Legion, a unit that had become the nemesis of the Waffen-SS, a sign for how low Perfidious Albion had sunk. The ideological war that was waged by the Waffen-SS in particular had escalated far since the news of this unit had become wider knowledge within the German military. Weltanschauungskrieg indeed. Still, they were armed and needed to be killed.

The Untersturmführer[3] waited until the British were closer and only then allowed his men to open fire. The rest of his platoon was stationed across the road in a former photographers shop and the remnants of the shop window and the bits of wreckage in front of it served to disguise the long barrel of a 7.5cm Pak 40, part of the Divisional Anti-Tank Battalion. Machine guns, rifles and the new Panzerschrecks served to round out the weapons. Another platoon was stationed in other houses and shops along the road so that they would catch the British in the flanks and inflict maximum damage. When fire was at last opened, the first and the third of the British tanks ate rockets and 7.5 shells and dutifully exploded. The Cromwell in the middle frantically tried to reverse out of the trap and blindly fired through the oily smoke of the burning leading tank. One of the shells almost hit the former garage, but zipped past and instead smashed into the the windows of a house somewhere down the street, just before the middle tank was brewed up by a hit by a rocket that smashed through the driver's hatch into the interior.

Meanwhile the Infantry had taken cover in everything from house entrances and by the time the last British tank retreated out of range of the Panzerschrecks and put of the firing angle of the AT gun stalemate ensued. The Jewish Infantrymen couldn't advance thanks to two machine guns that covered the street and the Germans couldn't counter-attack thanks to the machine guns and rifles of their enemies. Suddenly Nagel could hear the coughing sound of mortar shells being fired and he wondered what that was supposed to do. There wasn't a single Infantry mortar in the world that could shift them from their positions and yet they were fired...and then it hit him. Smoke grenades. He frantically fumbled two new ammo strips into the non-detachable magazine of his rifle and aimed it down the street, but then the HE shell fired from a tank that had advanced beyond the bend in the street in the cover of the smoke grenades smashed into the upper edge of the Garage's roof, killing the two men on top of it and sending masonry and other bits of the building into the room Nagel and some other was in. When he had recovered from the sudden onslaught and looked down the road again, he could see enemy troops charging at them with Bayonets fitted and yelling like madmen. He fired a few shots at them before they were too close and now he was at a disadvantage, because there was no more time to fit his own bayonet before the inevitable clash. For Nagel the world was reduced to a swirl of bodies, rifles, bayonets, blood and the occasional shot fire. No one ever gave the order to fall back, both sides hated each other too much for that, but at some point Nagel and three others were the only ones left in the house and were forced back. When Nagel finally turned and ran out of the back door towards the next fall-back position two blocks down the road, he had fired all his ammunition and his uniform and weapon were coated in someone else's blood. The sacrifice of the platoon had been in vain, for the remainder of the 1st Infantry Regiment and the tanks of the Lancers had widened the breach to almost half a mile by mid-day and now the remainder of the KJL streamed through this gap. All along the line the most savage fighting of the war to date would rage for several days.

So savage in fact that when the city was photographed from the air after the battle, 98% of all buildings were razed to the ground, and the city hadn't been bombed once, in fact the brutality on both sides was such that the After-Action Reports would be fall under the Official Secrets Act until 1992. But the city wasn't the only place where fighting raged. Up north, on the other side of the Wörther See, XLII Corps was caught slightly off-balance when a spoiling attack against the 10th Indian Mountain Division was supported by several Panthers and most importantly for prototype vehicles on field tests. Two were made by Henschel, two by Porsche, and between them they were Germany's answer to the new Soviet KV1/m-42 and they proved to be all but invulnerable to the PIATs of the Mountaineers who were in essence light Infantry. Appropriately one of the Henschel Prototypes broke down almost immediately when the suspension broke under the Tank's own weight, one of the Porsche Prototypes was mobility-killed when a PIAT projectile smashed into it's left side and unravelled one of the tracks while also damaging the complicated system of drivewheels that both concepts had in common. Other than that the Heavy Tanks preformed admirably if one considered that they had fallen victim to the German tendency to overengineer things. Sometimes it worked (in the case of the Panther) and sometimes it didn't. The two undamaged prototypes were pulled back and the damaged ones had their ammunition detonated when the British approached again, this time supported by tanks and light Artillery that the Division's commander had pinched from the neighbouring 33rd Infantry.

7ff0e92e.jpg

One of the Porsche Prototypes

While the KJL and the Waffen-SS Division in the city did their best to kill each other in town, the defeated counter-attack to the north tilted the balance towards the Allies, even though they didn't know this yet. The battle to the north degenerated into dozens of seperate actions when the British and the German-Soviet Forces to the north battled fiercely for the small towns and villages that dominated the approaches towards the city, with losses high on both sides.

On the whole however the day was slowly going the Allies' way, because the day before Canadian, Dutch, Belgian and Polish Forces to the north had managed to shift a large russo-german force from their positions with surprisingly little effort and were now cautiously following the retreating Axis forces, always wary of a trap. However none was forthcoming on the 11th or on the 12th, the commander of the enemy forces in this sector had simply been out-generald and lost parts of the only road that connected Klagenfurt with their main supply base at St.Veit an der Glann and with Allied artillery and spotters on the Karlsberg, even the city itself was within easy reach. With Allied forces less than two miles from his Headquarters, the General in command disregarded orders from Berlin to hold the connection with one of Hitler's favourite Divisions at all costs and pulled his forces, elements of the two Soviet and German Brigades that had defended the road, out during the night of the 11th to 12th August. On the 13th, with the Battle of Klagenfurt still ongoing, the 9th Army was effectively tied to the city and by extension the rest of the allied front couldn't move forward too much lest they risked a a rupture in the front, but that didn't stop General Slim from using the remainder of his line forces to try and envelop the city, cutting off the single, damaged rail-line and the river-borne lines of communication with the rest of Axis Europe.


Also on the 13th a patrol from the Polish 11th Infantry Regiment captured an almost-dead Soviet Staff Officer, a Captain named Yakov Iosifovich Dzhugashvili who had been wounded when his car had been caught in an allied Artillery barrage after he had surveyed the front on orders of General Zhukov. That the Captain later turned out to be none other than the son of Josef Stalin was of little consequence at the time, what was more important was that the other, dead officer in the car carried a complete set of maps that showed every Axis unit in western Austria down to the brigade level. This unexpected intelligence windfall was treated with great suspicion by Field Marshal Alexander's Headquarters, but it showed that the connection that tied the I. Waffen-SS Korps to the remainder of the German 7th Army and the massive gap in the south where only token forces, mostly Croatian separatist militias and the German/Soviet forces that were more busy with holding down the seething unrest that only got worse the closer the Allied armies drew. When SIGINT and Battlefield reports seemed to confirm what the map showed Alexander acted. Still unwilling to take the map at face value he nevertheless had his staff begin planning to take advantage of it, but most importantly detached the Cavalry Corps from the 9th Army where it had been sitting in reserve most of the time anyway, promoted Major General Shorthouse to Corps Command and in the face of far weaker than though Axis Defences directed the Corps to 'drive into Yugoslavia and make yourself useful to the Allied cause there'.

The Allies weren't the only ones that followed the aftermath of Operation Lightfoot with interest, in Budapest, Bucharest and Sofia a great many eyes were cast towards Austria in these days...

[Notes: Before someone asks, OTL the Allies got their hands on some similar German maps of northern Italy in early '45 by the way of a backchannel the OSS had established with a few SS officers as part of Operation Crossword/Operation Sunrise.]



[1] Blame a youtube vid with the bagpipes scenes from “The Longest Day”.

[2] TTL the PIAT (Personal Infantry Anti-Tank Weapon) is a Bazooka-style Rocket launcher. TTLs Panzerschreck is not made to work against the IS2 (which according to some sources could be penetrated) but rather the Cromwell, so it has slightly less penetration power. Still, we might see the rise of appliqué Armour as an official measure somewhat earlier.

[3] Approx. a Second Lieutenant.
 
Last edited:

Griffin.Gen

aka Vidyaország, KR Developer
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I just love the fact that the KJL is kicking so much ass.
Oh boy, Porsche Prototypes. I pity the Cromwell crews and the German crews as well. Seems the Germans were always plagued by mechanical failures.

Edit: Update on previous page, guys.