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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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unmerged(241632)

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would have been an interesting scrap had they crossed paths but the concensus is the red baron was killed by an aussy machine gunner from the ground. the proverbial golden bb.
fwiw he was chasing a novice canadian pilot at the time so perhaps we could say he was cleverly led into range of the machine gun by the canadian pilot ;)
 

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Bah, a Communist plot to discredit Canada!

(Come on, let me have this small pride)
 

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trekaddict

Good, an update. Nothing too special yet but will be interesting if/when contact is made. A couple of questions:
a) When did the Americas split off their AF TTL? It wasn't until after 45 OTL but possibly a result of the civil war TTL?

b) Strictly speaking I think the Japanese are being hit from three sides as their also having fun with the Soviets. :)

Steve
 

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Kurt_Steiner The M6 was...not the best idea the US Army Ordnance board ever had, and that with that faulty doctrine of theirs. Mind you, the Sherman was an excellent Tank for its time.

The kit the CommieYanks are using against the Japanese is similar to OTL, just nowhere near as plentyful.

ViperhawkZ
Indeed. He was the highest-profile Canadian Officer who wasn't at the front in europe.

Ehran The death of the Red Baron is one of these cases where a Time Machine would be really handy.

stevep Thankee!

a) Some time in the 1930s after the Civil War, 1937-ish. IOTL the USAF was founded IIRC in 1948. ITTL they saw the sense in having an independent Air Force.

b) The most popolous nationn on earth is between them and the Russians and over the sea of Japan JAAF Air Defence Units have the edge. They aren't pressured there just yet.
 

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I think what most impresses me about the M6 is that you could fit such a small gun onto such a huge tank...

Just struck me that there will be no Sherman TTL, of course there's still M4s but the name only came about because that was what the British called there ones and the name leaked across the Atlantic.

Are the Comu-yanks going for the serial number approach or the 'heroes of the revolution' naming system? Will the M6 end up being called the Bowder an kept in production for years despite being rubbish as no-one dares offend the dear leader's reputation?
 

Kurt_Steiner

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If there are no Fireflies (the tank, not the plane), I may end crying like a baby.
 

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El Pip My main issue with the M6 was that they built it clearly knowing that shipping it anywhere overseas was impossible...

As for production, it won't ever see actual service, the ComuYanks are merely including the prototypes here to impress the British. And they aren't naming their Tanks and aircraft, at least not officially.

Kurt_Steiner
Well, the British don't need it and the Americans can't build it.
 

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Kurt_Steiner[/B] Well, the British don't need it and the Americans can't build it.
They'll be crying in the streets of Catalonia tonight....
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Kurt_Steiner Well, the British don't need it and the Americans can't build it.

Butbutbutbutbut... think of the poor Canadians! Of the poor Australians! Of the poor South Africans! They may try their own projects... (After all, some people have to redeem themselvese for the RAM thing...).

They'll be crying in the streets of Catalonia tonight....

What makes you think that I'm going to wate so long?

Snif...
 

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You see, the Canadians are using the RAM for conversion to APCs and them as well as the Aussies have plants making the Comet by now.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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I see. If there are Comet plants all around the Empire I have not sobs to make. :D
 

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Well, I know that down to the month, but all I am willing to disclose now is that it won't be for some years. They will see war service though.
 

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Chapter 285​


Unlike it's German Counterpart STAVKA was not located far way from the capital city and the political masters of the Red Army. It wasn't an result of the purges but more the different culture that Germany and the Soviet Union had. The Russian Army and it's Soviet descendant had never been as trusted as the German Army had been and the surprise at the expanse of the buildings the OKW used was great in the Generals that Stalin had sent to Germany. Right now Moscow was far more concerned with the fact that the war in the Far East was going exactly nowhere, the Chinese and their Japanese masters had managed to stop the Red Army with rivers of blood and a fanatical determination that did not stem from any love for the Japanese or the Government in Nanjing but more of centuries of cultural hatred for anything Russian and their hatred of the ideals the Soviet Union pretended to represent.


Still even so Stalin had decided that if the Allies won in the West then the Soviet Union would loose in the East, and STAVKA had agreed on the German proposal to move the next planning session forward by three months. It was the right thing to do too, General Zhukov believed. He and Guderian were trying to figure out what to do. Rommel, for all his faults had managed to stop the Allied drive on Vienna but unlike Hitler and, as Zhukov suspected, Stalin the two Officers who had planned and led the attack in the West in 1939 and 1940 were convinced that sooner or alter Vienna would fall.

Planning for this had begun even before the traitorous actions of the Balkan countries and in spite of 'not being needed' Hitler had approved of these plans.

If, or rather when Vienna fell then Army Group South would be dissolved and additional German units, both new and veteran formations would be formed into an additional Army Group West, Rommel's 'old' units would form the core of Army Group Centre while Zhukov would command the purely Soviet Army Group Bohemia/Bohemian Front. It galled Guderian that Rommel continued to bounce back from all his screw-ups but Zhukov knew that Rommel was an excellent field Commander, if not the best logistics man in the German Army. At the very least Gurian's baton pre-dated that of Rommel by six months, so by default Guderian would be the Reich's primary field Commander, with the shining stars of the German Army commanding his Armies and Corps.


Zhukov shook his head at this. He didn't know how the Germans would react, but he knew that Soviet Soldiers would fight at least as fanatically as any on earth when the homeland was threatened. Zhukov was determined not to let the Rodina come under threat.

He leaned back in his temporary quarters in the OHW headquarters at Wünsdorf. They were almost palatial when compared to the rooms STAVKA occupied in Moscow, but he had no eyes for these creature comforts, he was far too tired for that. The meeting in the next bunker over with the German Army Command had been a long and tiring one, they had worked there for almost seven hours without a break and now they had at last formulated what they wanted to do.

'Amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics' was what Guderian had whispered to him when Field Marshal Keitel had asked Rommel for a detailed battleplan for his defence of Vienna.

Rommel had deflected the question as expertly as he had fought the admittedly overwhelming Allied Forces in Italy, saying that right now reorganizing the old and the new units into a coherent force and bringing the training up to the same standards (one of his Infantry Divisions had formerly been static and stationed on occupation duty with OB West in France) precluded any planning beyond the short term and he was confident that he would be able to hold Vienna and the parts of Austria he had under his control at the moment until the winter and the end of the campaign season.



It was something of an open secret that neither side intended to do much more fighting this year.


Eventually it was decided that for the remainder of 1942 the Axis powers would do three things. One was to keep up pressure on the Allied position in Romania and creep as close to the oilfields there as possible, second to use Axis Air assets to disrupt the Allied logistics all over Italy and the Balkans and thirdly to at the very least appear to threaten the United Kingdom itself.

Zhukov was about to lobby STAVKA for a some changes in command of the Bessarabia front. It was frankly a disgrace that prime Soviet Mechanized forces were unable to smash through some Light Infantry, Cavalry and Colonial Troops supported by a few Regiments of the ill-equipped and led local forces!

He knew of course the reputation of the Canadian Corps from the last war and was aware that the British regarded their Paratroops as the absolute elite of the British Army, but these were together what, eighteen Divisions against the entirety of the reserves of the Southern Group of Forces the Red Army could bring to bear, all equipped with the best the Soviet Factories could produce?


Yes, the British and their Colonials were expert at using the terrain to their advantage but turning down the transfer of the elite Mountain Rifle Divisions from the Caucasus because 'they were not mobile' enough were about to come back and bite the commander of the Bessarabia Front.


At the very least the fighting their had finally silenced the last proponents of the Heavy Tank. The KV series had performed abysmally in the theatre and even though the British had only few Armoured Units there their accursed Comet Tanks were more than a match for the T-34. Something would need to be done about this.

But right now it was time to enjoy German hospitality and shuffle flags around on a map. There would be a large exercise that had the objective to defeat an all-out offensive out of Vienna that was supposed to have fallen a week ago. For the purposes of this exercise it was also assumed that it was early spring, with the roads only just dried out...

Zhukov shook his head again. He had again forgotten that unlike in the Soviet Union the average road in Austria wasn't a dirt one but most likely paved and that here the biggest issue was the reliability of bridges over rivers swelled by melting water.

If he was to be honest, he was looking forward to this exercise as he was playing the role of Field Marshal Alexander in this and he would try to emulate British doctrine as best as was possible.


“Feldmarschall?” the voice of Field Marshal Rommel asked.

Zhukov grunted a greeting.

Neither was wearing the full parade dress of their respective Armies and they were professionals enough to recognize the respective skills of the other. They would never be best friends but they respected each others skills and talents.

“What can I do for you, Comrade?”

Rommel ignored the term and said instead:

“There is the issue of Intelligence.”


That was an understatement. The Field Officers present at the meeting had noted the sparse Intelligence available about Allied intentions. Sure, both the GRU and the RSHA were generally aware what units were where but Allied intentions for 1943 were a mystery.

“That is an understatement.” Zhukov replied.

Each hated doing things without information, but 'Fremde Heere West', the section of the OKHs very own intelligence service (and the only part of the German Intelligence Apparatus not in the hands of the SS) and while they never did anything but try to discover enemy intentions and dispositions in the field they could not discover Allied strategy in this case by listening into Allied wireless traffic. Normally one could deduce, or rather more guess, a few things by looking at what units were stationed where and what was in the front, right now they were clearly in a holding pattern. The Allies had pulled their Tanks back from the Hauptkampflinie[1] which was now mostly held by Infantry backed up by the omni-present Allied Field Guns.


“But there is little we can do about that.” Rommel replied and it was very true.

“Very true, Comrade.”

“Still, there is little we can to but soldier on.” the German said with a dismissive gesture.

“And here I have the official report from Fremde Heere West. Or rather, Foreign Armies West.” Rommel said in halting Russian, a skill he had yet to fully master.

The report was written in Russian, so quite obviously meant to be deseminated to the Red Army anyway.


“Feindlagebericht Südfront/Südwestfront

With the end of combat operations in the Ostmark[3] after the recent Axis offensive and the traitorous back stab by the Balkan nations a reappraisal of Allied intentions is needed. Communications Intelligence will hereby play a major part as Allied Security in the rear areas of the front is more difficult to overcome than expected.”

Zhukov snorted at that. Whoever had expected that the British and their puppets would let Italian progressives just walk into their camps and not down their dispositions was clearly a blithering idiot.

“As a result determining Allied intentions was more difficult than expected.

It was however possible to determine the following points.

1)No major Allied Offensive is expected for the remainder of 1942.
2)Allied Forces are expected to spend most of the Winter with rebuilding.
3)The Allies Spring Offensive is expected to first attack Vienna with a minor or diversionary strike in the Eastern half carried out by Colonial Forces designed to secure the Allied hold on the oilfields in Ploesti.

This is based on the following:

1)Intercepted Wireless Communications between various Allied Staffs and forward units.
2)Disposition by Allied units discovered through aerial reconnaissance.
3)Information gathered by friendly local persons and communicated to us by various means.

The Allied Forces are not expected to go on the offensive before next March.”


Zhukov read the short summary of the report twice and did not bother with the twenty additional pages of sources and explanations that were tucked to it.

“Well, that didn't really tell us anything new, now did it?”

Rommel nodded. “But at least it's official, and I think it's accurate.”

“With that I agree.”



+-+-+-+-+-

Comments, questions, rotten Tomatoes?

[1] Main Fighting Line literally.

[2] Fighter-Bomber.

[3] East Mark, the Nazi Term for post-anschluss Austria.
 

unmerged(241632)

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hmm always thought logistics was one of Rommel's more glaring faults as a commander. how many times did he come to grief in north africa over outrunning his logistics or attacking when short of supplies.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Thus, the Allies are going to attack before March :D
 

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Surprise Canadian attack into Vienna in January! Make it so! No Canadian ever said "It's too cold". :D
 

trekaddict

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Ehran Probably true, but the logistical faults in North Africa weren't his faults alone. There's also the Italian Navy for it's reluctance and incompetence to blame, the Royal Navy and the RAF for interdicting the convoys and of course Hitler for only making a half-arsed effort in the first place.

Kurt_Steiner Not necessarily, considering the ARMA weather patterns...

ViperhawkZ The Canucks are defending the Ploesti Oil Fields right now... :D
 

ViperhawkZ

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I found a book at my local library - Shock Troops, by Tim Cook. It's about Canadians in the Great War. It's the second of two books and covers 1916-1918. It's a good book, and I think that many of the soldiers and officers it covers are pretty cool guys. Like Okill Learmonth who, at the battle for Hill 70, caught grenades in midair and threw them back at the Germans. When he was incapacitated, he led from the bottom of the trench, and afterwards he didn't let his men take him to the medics until he had made his formal report. He died from his injuries, but received the Victoria Cross. In another universe, he might have survived and made a great officer in WW2, but alas.

The point of all of this blither being that if I come across a mention of someone who is a) awesome and b) not dead before 1940ish, I'll bring them up here for all us Commonwealth-wankers.

i sleep in midwinter with the windows open and a single blanket. the canadian word for absolute zero temperature is "bracing"

-20 degrees Celsius? Pfft, T-Shirt weather.