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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

ViperhawkZ

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Hmmm... I wonder what would happen if you ISOT TTL's Canada and Hong Kong to OTL on December 21, 2012 :)D)

Marc A
The Americans wake up to find that, overnight, Canada's population had doubled, the common border had been reinforced, and their northerly neighbour had become host to both an international coalition army and a number of nuclear weapons.

Much confusion is had by all.
 

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The Americans wake up to find that, overnight, Canada's population had doubled, the common border had been reinforced, and their northerly neighbour had become host to both an international coalition army and a number of nuclear weapons.

Much confusion is had by all.
Not only hosting Nukes, actually having brand-new, top-modern Strategic Bombers and their own Nukes too.
 

trekaddict

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I suppose that ah.com is alternatehistory(dot)com, but I haven't been able to find the thread there.
It's in one of the members-only sections. Right now in the Writers Forum but due to be moved.
 

Lord Strange

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So some sort of Cold War is still ongoing in 2012?

Does this mean we still have a proper space program?
 

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So some sort of Cold War is still ongoing in 2012?

Does this mean we still have a proper space program?
That Special is non-canon but yes. There is still a Cold War. And a proper space programme.
 

ViperhawkZ

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That Special is non-canon but yes. There is still a Cold War. And a proper space programme.
America is undoubtedly more stable than the USSR was :p
 

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Trekaddict & all

Just got back from the hols and catching up. Sounds like the boys got very lucky and escaped almost unscathed. Also that Felix is planning to visit the area after the war, or possibly before it is completed, for personal reasons.;) Possibly its just the die-hard romantic in me but as soon as you introduced her I had a feeling that was going to happen. Hopefully her and her father are going to make it OK. I am presuming the fraulien is 5'5" rather that 5'0" or the 5'50" you had in the chapter. :laugh:

Not sure however. When Ian and Felix suddenly produced guns and tied them up I got the impression that they had detected security forces closing in on them and were trying to provide some cover for Broadsword. However I fear this won't work. The cover was that Ian was a German officer he had met before and invited him and Felix into their home. This will make the authorities suspicious even if they don't know for sure that the two men their tracking are British agents. The fact that the two fugitives went to that particular house and laid up there for a couple of days while being hunted will also make them ask why there? I think even a western security organisation would put Broadsword and his daughter under very close scrutiny at the least. Something as nasty as the SS with a furious Heyreck leading the chase I fear it will need a hell of a lot of luck for them not to go directly to concentration camp, do not pass Go, do not collect 200 marks etc. :(

On the ISOL that sounds interesting and will try and track it down. [Not sure if I dare check my subscribed threads today and might chicken out and wait until tomorrow, else probably be up until about 4-5am!:eek: On the other hand I am an addict.] Sounds like there will be some interesting culture shock on both sides. [Could be especially interesting on the British side. The has been a strong line of Americphila [sp?] in Britain for a long time but not sure how much of the current view of the special relationship dates from WWII and afterwards. Wonder how the TTL Brits will respond on hearing of a world where Britain and America are best-friends.:D

On the link to the trailer that someone posted it sounds interesting. Gave me the thought that I wonder if Britain might have either considered trying to recruit such black Americans themselves. 'We'll give you the equipment and let you fight Germans. And treat you as equals." Although probably that would have upset the US and we needed them too much at the time. :(

Happy new year everybody, albeit a bit belated.

Steve
 

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Trekaddict & all

Just got back from the hols and catching up. Sounds like the boys got very lucky and escaped almost unscathed. Also that Felix is planning to visit the area after the war, or possibly before it is completed, for personal reasons.;) Possibly its just the die-hard romantic in me but as soon as you introduced her I had a feeling that was going to happen. Hopefully her and her father are going to make it OK. I am presuming the fraulien is 5'5" rather that 5'0" or the 5'50" you had in the chapter. :laugh:
Not saying. Yet.

And indeed, 5'5". :D

Not sure however. When Ian and Felix suddenly produced guns and tied them up I got the impression that they had detected security forces closing in on them and were trying to provide some cover for Broadsword. However I fear this won't work. The cover was that Ian was a German officer he had met before and invited him and Felix into their home. This will make the authorities suspicious even if they don't know for sure that the two men their tracking are British agents. The fact that the two fugitives went to that particular house and laid up there for a couple of days while being hunted will also make them ask why there? I think even a western security organisation would put Broadsword and his daughter under very close scrutiny at the least. Something as nasty as the SS with a furious Heyreck leading the chase I fear it will need a hell of a lot of luck for them not to go directly to concentration camp, do not pass Go, do not collect 200 marks etc. :(

Case in point being is that I forgot to write in a scene I had plotted where the two talk about it and her father convinces her to pretend nothing has happened. She's like most Germans, patriots but well aware what happens if the displeasure of the Government falls on you.


On the ISOL that sounds interesting and will try and track it down. [Not sure if I dare check my subscribed threads today and might chicken out and wait until tomorrow, else probably be up until about 4-5am!:eek: On the other hand I am an addict.] Sounds like there will be some interesting culture shock on both sides. [Could be especially interesting on the British side. The has been a strong line of Americphila [sp?] in Britain for a long time but not sure how much of the current view of the special relationship dates from WWII and afterwards. Wonder how the TTL Brits will respond on hearing of a world where Britain and America are best-friends.:D
That story can be found in the ASB section of Ah.com under "Miss Behavin'"

On the link to the trailer that someone posted it sounds interesting. Gave me the thought that I wonder if Britain might have either considered trying to recruit such black Americans themselves. 'We'll give you the equipment and let you fight Germans. And treat you as equals." Although probably that would have upset the US and we needed them too much at the time. :(

Happy new year everybody, albeit a bit belated.

Steve
TTL there is only a glass and no concrete ceiling and over the next twenty to thirty years that will be slowly eroded away, both by legislation and by societal progress.
 

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Curious question time.

Are we going to be seeing any French Armour TTL?

I swear this question isn't because I've been playing an obscene amount of WoT now. :D
And for NOT AT ALL the same reason I will tell you that post-war, yes, during, probably not.

EDIT: Char B1, and you?
 

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And for NOT AT ALL the same reason I will tell you that post-war, yes, during, probably not.

EDIT: Char B1, and you?
Hmm..... food for thought that. I'm imagining China? As I get the feeling that conflict ain't going to be over come the end of hostilities. Or maybe the Algeria you hinted at.....

Hotchkiss H35. I'm a noob that got hooked in on the prospect of French tanks. PZII is my main.
 

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Chapter 343

2nd May 1943

No one in the Allied camp ever called it the May Offensive, the West knows the attack as the Bessarabia Offensive.

To the Soviet Bessarabia Front it was one. The 1st Canadian Army and the 2nd (ANZAC) Army would fall back before this terrible onslaught, the Romanian Imperialist Traitors would flee like the rabid dogs they were.

It did not happen like this.


The Soviets had indeed achieved tactical but not strategic surprise. The Romanian General Staff had long expected a general Soviet Offensive aimed at crushing Romania and while they had subordinated themselves and their Forces under Allied Command “for the duration” but localized command was for the moment in their hands as the Allied Armies were employed in the defence of their country.

Soviet Forces poured across the Put River on 30th April and did indeed force the Allied Forces to withdraw. Not all units had been surprised though and fanatic pockets of resistance held or slowed down the Soviets considerably.

In Iasi the 11th Romanian Infantry Division, elements of the 4th Canadian Armoured and the 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions were cut off after being chased out of Bessarabia but managed to hold a perimeter around the town and the valuable supply stashes there. With both Armies being supplied from there ammunition was the one thing they were not lacking.

But they were little more than a breakwater and the Red Tide flooded around them. The 1st Canadian Army was falling back towards central Romania in good order though short three Regiments. The Candian Grenadier Guards, the Royal Winnipeg Rifles and and the Regina Rifle Regiment would be sorely missed, especially by 7th Brigade that had lost two thirds of it's strength and would spend the coming weeks guarding the supply lines.


Luckily the Regiments had been formed into Battlegroups and were in themselves intact and also supported by highly motivated Romanian Infantry that was one of the best-equipped Divisions in that Army.

In return the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division borrowed a motorized Infantry Brigade, the 11th, from the Romanians.


However that would take place later as for the moment the two Allied and two Romanian Armies struggled to hold the central and southern Sectors of the Romanian Front against a Soviet Force that while not as well equipped was more than twice as large.

By the 3rd the Soviets had managed to push the Allies back almost fifty miles and were bound to push on further.


During the night leading to the 4th May 1943 the 48th Highlanders of Canada and the rest of the 1st Canadian Division were encamped along the railway line outside Pascani.

Warrant Officer Griffin, as the most senior NCO in his unit also Company Sergeant Major had taken up the duty of drawing up the watch roster when the Company CP had somehow gotten lost in the retreat and was now touring the forward line on his own, not because he had to but because he wanted to. Something in his instincts had told him that he was of better use there as long as the Captain was meeting with the Colonel.

“Sergeant, there's something out there.” one of the guards whispered.

“Then tell me what it is, O'Connor.”

“Dunno, Sergeant. I can hear...something....”

Instead of answering he picked up the field telephone.

“Echo Able Actual, this is Able Red Six, request flares five-zero yards in front of my position, over.”

“Roger that, Able Red Six.”


Half a mile back two mortars belched out flare projectiles and when they lit up the night Griffin took one look at the Soviet soldiers slowly coming closers before he just yelled: “OPEN FIRE!” at the soldiers and “Rapid fire, high explosive, same co-ordinates!” into the phone.

He slammed the phone down, grabbed his Sten and blindly fired into the now onrushing mass of Red Army even as right next to him a Bren began to eat the first belt of ammunition of a long night. Griffin could not see much of what was going on around him and by the sound of things the Soviets were attacking the entire line of not only the Regiment but the entire Brigade. (In fact it was a general attack aimed at dislodging the 1 Canadian Division from the advantageous defensive position that blocked the roadway deeper into Romania.


The same trench earlier in the day. Note the 'surplus' old-style Bren Gun.

But Griffin's Sten jammed. Instead of clearing it he dropped it to the ground and picked up a rifle from the next man who would never need it again. He raised it and fired it as quickly as the action would go. It was strange but even as he slammed in new clips from the dead man's pouch he decided that one day he would raise money for a memorial to James Paris Lee.

The Soviets kept coming on and on and on and Griffin knew that in seconds he would be overwhelmed, but then he heard the most glorious sound of all.



The freight-train like sound of outgoing heavy shells gave them hope and soon the big guns of the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery began to cut great swathes out of the advancing enemy soldiers. Of this Griffin could only see the flashes of the exploding shell and together with the gunfire this turned the whole scene into a nightmarish outtake from hell itself.

When he suddenly noticed that the gunfire had slackened and it then disappeared completely he looked out over the open field where the killed Soviet soldiers lay in their dozens in the flickering light of what seemed to be a hundred small fires. Elswhere fighting was still going on but the 1st Division had handily repulsed this attack. However no one with any experience was fooled into thinking that this was it. The Soviets weren't known for conservation tactics and they still had immense reserves in theatre.

Still, it was time to get the men fed and a cup of Coffee.

He had barely taken a sip and cleared the jam in his Sten when he heard something that even the best Infantry in the world would have trouble dealing with, diesel engines and the clanking of tracks. He knew that this had to be audible to the entire regiment but he still called it in anyway. When they appeared and had made it half-way across the field in the flickering lights of the fires the great guns opened up again, this time immediately going to fire for effect. The gunners fed their guns as fast as they would go and the infantry supporting the tanks was massacred but the T-34s were still coming on. Oh, there were several that threw tracks and other assorted small damages but the attack itself was unimpaired. As Canada's primary field formation the 1st Canadian Army had been issued the newer, bigger PIATs but there were still too few to go around.

Griffin looked around and he still seemed to be in command of this section of the front so he merely had his men stand ready to withdraw to the next line. Were it daylight the crabs would be coming in about now but at night that wasn't possible.

“DISPLACE!” he yelled to be heard over the gunfire and artillery and slowly the Canadian soldiers made a fighting withdrawal to the next line. Of the fifteen men in Griffin's trench only seven remained alive and with any ability to fight.

But when they reached the next line he could see the lovely lines of a 17pounder Anti-Tank gun, camouflaged under a haystack and ready to show the Soviets Canada's displeasure with their recent actions.

The men settled into the trench and even as they did so the gun fired. Griffin looked down to where the Soviets were passing the old line and now there was a burning T-34. Several more guns joined and soon the Soviet attack crumbled between Artillery and Anti-tank fire.


~**---**~


The battle that night wasn't the high-water mark of the Soviet offensive. However now that the Allies were closer to their own supply bases and with the main route still blocked by the Iasi pocket the forward Divisions of the Bessarabia Front were beginning to feel the pinch. Over the course of the next three days they slammed their heads against the Allied lines several more times but the Canadians, ANZACs and the Romanians fought hard and managed to hold. The commander of the 3rd Shock Army, a unit that would later become a great nuisance for the British war effort asked for and received permission to take his motorized and Armoured formations (two armoured, three motorized at this stage of the war) out of theatre reserve and move forward to reinforce the Bessarabia Front.

For the three days it would take to move even only the actual combat formations into position the Bessarabia Front itself attacked again to decided matters before the 'help' ordered to the scene by STAVKA arrived, but with even less of a result. Deciding this were the Romanian 1st Armoured and 22nd Motorized Divisions. The situation was deemed bad enough to necessitate releasing the country's two best fully motorized Divisions that also had the most modern equipment.

Even with British-cast-off Cromwells they were a force to be reckoned with as all those Cromwells were 17-pounder armed.


Romanian Cromwells before the battle

They provided critical reinforcements to the 5th Canadian Armoured and 1st Australian Armoured Divisions that formed the outer edges of their respective Armies. This was also where the Soviets aimed their main thrust on the 3rd.

What developed was a major tank battle that raged for most of the day and in the end the three Allied Divisions had suffered considerable losses but were still more than 80% combat effective but the three Soviet Armoured Divisions had been shattered between air attacks in spite of the airbattle overhead and superior Allied tank doctrine.

It was then that the first phase of the offensive ended but no one on either side was fooled into believing that it was all. The Allies had picked up intelligence that indicated that the 3rd Shock Army was on the move and the Soviets knew that the Romanians were bringing up more forces. It would be a massive battle and the outcome would decide who held the initiative in this area for the rest of the year.


+-+-+-+-+-

Craving for comments!
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Thus the Bessarabia Front attempted it's Battle of the Bulge and failed initially to make a whole in the Allied lines. What there's more than meet the eye, methinks.
 

stevep

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Thus the Bessarabia Front attempted it's Battle of the Bulge and failed initially to make a whole in the Allied lines. What there's more than meet the eye, methinks.
Kurt

Well it sounds very much like the Bulge in that the Soviets made a hole in the line, got an encirclement but have failed to make the deep inroad that their plans relied on. The eventual allied counter attack won't be as smashing as with the Bulge as the allies have less forces than OTL 44 and the Soviets still have a hell of a lot more forces than Germany in 44.

Steve
 

ViperhawkZ

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The 1st Canadian Army and the 2nd (ANZAC) Army
So the Axis chose to attack directly into some of the most effective and dangerous elements of the Allied forces in Europe. Hurrah for Soviet planning abilities!

Kurt

Well it sounds very much like the Bulge in that the Soviets made a hole in the line, got an encirclement but have failed to make the deep inroad that their plans relied on. The eventual allied counter attack won't be as smashing as with the Bulge as the allies have less forces than OTL 44 and the Soviets still have a hell of a lot more forces than Germany in 44.

Steve
The Russkies' supply line is broken by the pocket in Iasi, so an Allied counterattack can probably retake everything up to the modern Romanian/Moldovan border, though the rest of Besserabia will be more difficult.
 

trekaddict

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Kurt_Steiner Had they achieved strategic surprise it might have worked. They'll learn from this.

stevep You summarized it well.

ViperhawkZ STAVKA made the critical error here. They dismissed the Romanians and figured that they could overwhelm the Canucks and ANZACs by striking hard and fast. That the Commander of the Bessarabia Front isn't the smartest cookie in the jar doesn't help and neither does that Stalin wants the Canucks and ANZACs destroyed so that the Red Army can wipe away the hapless Romanians and take the Ploesti fields.

The offensive isn't over yet. The 3rd Shock Army has yet to make itself felt.