• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(85800)

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depends whether its any good. if its 75% complete you may as well carry on, unless its pointless or crap.
 

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The quality isn't the problem but rather the story-telling, I feel like it's too aprupt, but TBH I can wait to get started with the war.
 

trekaddict

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I've decided to go ahead with it, the enxt post will contain the update and some explanations.
 

trekaddict

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Note ahead: When I planned this I expected to reach the beginning of the war by this chapter at the latest. So much for planning, but hey. This new string of updates will be the conclusion of Pinie. I kept the German preparations vague on purpose, in order to have room for the execution. When the war finally starts its going to be a relief actually, because I have tons of Ideas, including the most amazing, coolest and incredible HOI2 screenshot ever. Better all learn the lyrics of “Land of Hope and Glory” and “Rule Britannia”, because there will be naval action galore, and even more Tank Battles. Anyway, after Pinie I will jump ahead to a short time before the balloon goes up, because all in all 1939 was pretty boring. I think I'm not overstating when I say that this war will be epic. Naval gun actions! Carrier Battles! Massive armoured battles! Massive paratrooper drops! Invasions! Politics! Intrigue! Cool pictures! Massive Britishness! France-bashing!

Enough promotion now. On with the show!

Sorry for the large jump forward in time btw, but all in all most of 1939 was boring and I am covering some time with this, but I fear I failed to convey the sense of desperate urgency I wanted to bring across.

Chapter 48


Sunday, May 28th, 1939

Barcelona, Spain, aboard U-37, 0:23 AM

The two U-Boats were slowly slipping out of the harbour in the dead of night, hiding in the dark like thieves. After refuelling at the Spanish port they would go on, trying to slip through Gibraltar, where the Brits had massively increased their naval patrols in the face of the brewing crisis in Europe. There was a risk involved with this stop, but with most of the public attention focused to the south of Spain where Franco's forces were mopping up the last pockets of republican resistance, and two more additional German ships that used this refuelling point wouldn't raise uncomfortable questions. The route had taken them through Gibraltar, and the two Skippers had been worried about this. Kretschmer and Prien had conferred about how to slip past the British Naval patrols and decided to approach by night. They waited until it was dark, then snuck past the destroyer patrols decks awash, as invisible as possible but still able to make near maximum speed with their Diesel Engines. Kretschmer was atop the bridge of his boat, smoking a late-night cigar, something that would have been impossible during wartime, but right now he enjoyed it. A few meters to starboard he could see U-47 sliding into the channel, heading towards the same sea buoy U-37 was headed for. Both skippers knew only the basics of the whole operation, and were not pleased about having to play taxicab for the ten soldiers in their boats. The men had come aboard all these days ago, unknown, wearing nondescript Wehrmacht Uniforms, devoid of any insignia, not even the Reich-Eagle was present. The only man Kretschmer knew was Otto Skorzeny, and the two man had shared quite a few cigars atop the sail when the boats surfaced to recharge their batteries during the night. So far everything had gone to plan, only when they had gone through the English Channel there had been a time when they had held their breaths.

A small British Battlegroup, centred around a Battleship Kretschmer had identified as HMS Royal Oak, had crossed their paths and the escorting Destroyers had nearly detected them, using aggressive new tactics. But the danger had passed and everyone had started to breathe again. Now here they were, sneaking past the Royal Navy's own back yard, trying to deliver men to a destination and do things that could lead to a war they were not prepared to fight. In the last few years the BdU, Vice Admiral Dönitz had war gamed the new naval situation after the fall of the United States to the Bolsheviks and had concluded that this new situation, paired with the ever increasing escort forces would make the task for the convoy escorts of the Royal Navy far easier, especially if the Heer failed to knock out France quickly. But he preferred not to think about such things. He was an officer of the Kriegsmarine, and as such he always did what he was told, and he had enough trust in his own skills to be confident that the U-Boats could still crack the British convoys.

The same time

London, Admiralty Building

Fleming and Leiter were standing in the Admiral's office, waiting for the old man to arrive. After months of investigations, countless interrogations, beers at pubs with shady informants, hundreds of hours wasted on stakeouts, a hundred kilograms of pipe tobacco ( according to Fleming's supplier ), and what seemed like the exhaustion of India's tea and coffee resources they were no closer to learn about the German operation to kill the Duke of Windsor. “Well, Gentlemen, what do we have?” the Admiral asked, not taking a second for a greeting after storming through the door. “Nil, zip, nada, Sir. Absolutely nothing beyond what we already know. We know that the target is the Duke of Windsor, and thanks to a recent intercept from Moscow, directed to our friend Mr. Philby we know they plan to hit him at his home in southern France. But we do not know how, or when for that matter.” The Admiral frustrated combed his grey hair with his left hand. “I let you run this on your own, with minimal interference, and that is all you have?” Slightly worried Ian answered. “Yes, Sir. I spoke with the Duke's head of Security, but it seems that he believes that the threat is just scaremongering. His Royal Highness refuses to go back to London, where we could easily protect him, and he even underhandedly accused us of making the whole thing up in the first place.” The Admiral didn't react at first, but then he exploded. “He is questioning the integrity of my people! That...” what followed was barely audible and the two other Officers in the room were pretty sure it was very unprintable. Felix dared to speak up first. “Now what are we going to do, Sir?” “We are running out of time, they could strike any day now, and suffice it to say, if we let this happen and someone finds out that we knew beforehand, if someone even suspects we knew it could loose the last shred of credibility with the population.” the Admiral said. He rose from his chair and started pacing through the room, a sure sign that he was agitated. He poured three glasses of Brandy, shoved two of them in the unsuspecting hands of Ian and Felix, and sat back down. “Sit down, and that's an order.” The Lieutenant Commander and the Lieutenant were seated within seconds. “Now, let us go through all material we have, step by step.”

Ian opened his briefcase and removed several manila folders, and said,while handing them to the Admiral: “As you know, Sir, before we first arrested Philby and his friends we heard rumours that a person high in the Imperial society was to be assassinated or at the very least abducted. We followed up on this, but in the end nothing much turned up. Back then the special section was also established, but once again we couldn't find any substantial proof, we therefore went on to do other tasks like counter-intelligence, still working on that thing in the background. We didn't have any breaks until a few months ago, when we arrested Philby and took up the rest of his lads. But then again, all trails went cold, and until today we've had no joy, no matter what we tried.” The Admiral sighed, with a mixture of frustration and anger, unsure of what to do next, but unable to say so. The two others saw this, but neither Fleming nor Leiter dared to interfere. After a few minutes the Admiral stood up, grunted a quick “Wait here” at his subordinates and left the room, much to the bewilderment of those that stayed behind. He returned a full hour later, with none other than the Prime Minister in tow. Ian and Felix snapped to attention, but where greeted with the order to follow the two men to another room, one that could have been transplanted from one of London's many Gentlemen's clubs. When everyone was situated Churchill opened the conversation with the simple words, directed at Ian and Felix: “Gentlemen, how would you two fancy a little trip to France?” When none of the two answered Churchill went on: “This is a matter of the utmost urgency. If the Duke refuses to see reason over the Telephone you two must convince him to return to England, or at the very least convince him to increase his security. We have a group of very able men on standby, and they will accompany you to France and stay there until this whole bloody mess is over.” Felix, who hadn't spoken much during this evening, voiced some concerns: “But Sir what about the French? How will they react to if we start swapping lead with Jerry on their soil?” “If don't find out then they shan't complain, if they do then, well, their loss. We cannot and will not let this sort of thing happen to imperial subjects, no matter where.”


[Game Effects: Well, Pinie is nearing the Grand finale. Will our two heroes get to France in time? Will Skorzeny succeed in his task? Will war break out over this operation? Stay tuned!]
 

Griffin.Gen

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48 chapters of British awesomeness. But still no War?
I actually think this is the most number of chapters for only 2 years in an AAR.
And yet, I've been able to read this in a couple of hours D:
Nothing wasted though, it was an awesome read indeed.
God save the King :D
 

unmerged(85800)

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give him a nice cup of tea with sleeping pills in it, then felix can throw him over his shoulder and lug him back to england before its too late.
 

El Pip

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Come on, come on. This entire plot line has been a succession of cliff-hangers, I'm not sure the nerves can take much more of it. It's all been far too urgent.

I for one would welcome a few boring updates for the sake of my constitution. :D
 

TheHyphenated1

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@ Griffin.Gen - Actually, sir, I believe I hold that record. 59 Updates for a whopping 6 months and 9 days :D .

@ trekaddict - I regret not managing to comment here since passing on WotW two (two!) months ago. Eek. Nonetheless, I'm caught up now and must again commend you on your splendid AAR. Always good to see Kretschmer and Prien around to cause trouble.
 

trekaddict

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Griffin.Gen Actually the AAR started in September 1938.... :D My updates are always soewhat short, but that's simply my writing style.


KiMaSa The Duke's final fate is secret.

BritishImperial :rofl: , but see above.

El Pip Now we can't have you dying of cardiac arrest because of me. Updates will be forthcoming, in fact I expect to wrap up Pinie within the next one or two weeks.

TheHyphenated1 To have you reading is enough.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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What if the Soviets are given up false info to Philby? What if the Duke is not the real target?

Ah, who knows.

What if he really is the real target...
 

trekaddict

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He is the target, rest assured. The Soviets don't know (yet) that Philby has been turned.
 

trekaddict

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I must admit something. From this point onwards I make Pinie up as I go along. No pre-planned plots, no nothing. Now I'm so anxious to know what is going to happen that the next update is already half done! :D
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 49




Monday, May 29th, 1939

RAF AW.41 Albermarle, somewhere France

Two of the ten men stuffed into the cramped interior could not have been more different from the others. Fleming and Leiter seemed to be the only commissioned officers aboard, aside from the pilots. The others were rather mixed breed, at it seemed that MI6 recruited its operatives from all over the Empire. Felix had made several futile attempts at conversation, and now he was sitting here, brooding over his misfortune and the fact that he was sitting in a plane that was racing south, in complete ignorance of French sovereignty and Airspace, unable to turn around now, simply because no fuel was aboard. They would land the plane at an Airfield, close to the Duke's residence,
that was quietly owned by a front for MI6's Station F (France). Unfortunately the Duke's residence was uncomfortably close to the Spanish border, so the potential assassins had an easy getaway, something that they might need, especially now that a part of the Mediterranean Fleet had sortied from Malta to protect the evacuation of British assets from Spain's mediterranean Islands to France. Much to Churchill's amusement this operation was entirely unrelated to the reason why the single British plane was racing south with all the speed it's strained engines could produce. They could only hope they were not too late, and that the Duke and his consort did not object to squeeze into an already cramped aircraft, loaded with men, light weaponry and ammunition. It had surprised Leiter that such a relatively simple operation went in so heavily armed, but apparently No. 10 refused to take any chances with a member of the Royal Family, no mater the personal preference. Leiter decided to get some sleep, they wouldn't land for another hour or so at least.

The same time, southern French Coast.

The two German U-Boats had used the darkness to make a surfaced speed-run to a point only a few miles and were now disembarking the twelve Brandenburgers. After they had been set ashore, the two U-Boats would continue on to Italy, where they would make an official port visit to Tarento. Meanwhile Skorzeny and his men would do whatever they did and then make their way to Spain, from where they would be flown home by a plane of the Condor Legion. At the moment however Skorzeny was standing besides Kretschmer on the cramped conning tower of U-37, watching the men rig the boats atop the deck, loading their weapons and equipment. None were talking, all of them too preoccupied with their tasks, with running the plan once again through their minds. The mansion where the target lived with his wife, a few servants and trusted aides, and, at least according to a highly placed source in the French Military also four or five security guards. Skorzeny slapped Kretschmer on the back and threw his cigar into the ocean, after one of his men had signalled that on both boats the men were ready to disembark. They mounted their inflatables and both U-Boats dove just enough to set the decks awash to allow the Brandenburgers to row to shore. Skorzeny cast one last look at the tower of U-37 that was slowly receding into the darkness of the night before turning around and studying the shore. The photographs he had taken together with Steiner had been accurate, the shore was suitable to land not only his men, in fact a whole company could have disembarked here without anyone noticing. When they finally reached the shore the Germans dis-inflated their boats and buried them on the beach, before taking their equipment and heading inland. The target was about two miles inland, in a small clearing in the woods, only connected to civilization by a single, curvy road that led to the nearest Rout Nationale. Otto recaptured every stage of the plan. Half of his men would circle around to the north, cutting the mansion off from both retreat and reinforcements. The last was highly unlikely but the French Naval base a few dozen miles off was enough to worry the planners back in Berlin. Meanwhile the rest of the group would would hit the house from the shore side tree line, with two giving sniper support from the outside. All the men were changing into British Army uniforms, displaying the rank they held in the Wehrmacht and were armed with British weapons, with three men even luggin a Vickers Machine Gun. The plan was it to blame it all on the British and to create upheavals in their society. The Uniform 'Major' Skorzeny wore was uncomfortable, with the unfamiliar cloth and the cut so different from what he was used to. He had to admit though that the cap he wore was definitely more comfortable than its German counterpart and the Tommie helmets of his men had more than once been the source of many jokes among the men. When they were ready Skorzeny hissed to his men: “All speak English and only English from now on, understood?” After several “Yes, Sir”s Skorzeny quickly went through the plan again.


French Airfield, a few miles from the mansion

The plane hadn't even rolled to a stop when two lorries already raced towards it. After disembarkation the MI6 operatives loaded their weapons onto them, strapping on steel helmets, holding their Thompson's in their hands. Fleming and Leiter shared a look. They were still dressed in the dark blue Royal Navy uniforms, both only armed with their pistols, and somehow they felt a bit naked when compared to the others. The Commander of the MI6 detachment was a former Royal Marines Sergeant, who was not exactly pleased that he was under the command of what he saw as two Amateurs, not knowing that the two had both seen their fair share of action and where more than capable to lead at least a small unit action. Felming was obviously relishing this opportunity for excitement, and Felix realized that he was not unlike the Prime Minister in this respect. While checking his colt again Felix saw that Fleming was boarding the first lorry while talking to the Sergeant in a hushed voice. “Listen, Sarge, I do not care if it would be safer for me back there. I am in command here and I will not sit back and let someone else do my dirty work, is that understood?” “Yes, Sir.” the Sergeant answered, realizing that, for all his faults, the Lieutenant Commander was no coward, and he was going to respect that. A few minutes later they drove off, racing down the narrow road at a dangerous place while on the Airfield the plane was refuelled, in order to be able to bring them home the second they returned. It amazed Felix that they didn't encounter a single Vehicle on their way, but the quick briefing in London had mentioned that this part of France was pretty deserted. No words were spoken and none where needed, and the ride was spent in complete silence.

The road to the Mansion, May 30th, 03:22 AM

The six German soldiers were laying in wait. They had set the Ambush two hours ago, and were waiting for the shooting to start back at the mansion, where Skorzeny and the rest of the group where waiting for the clock to strike 03:30 AM. The ambush was a classic. Located just beyond a corner, three Germans were dug in on each side with the Vickers located in the back, able to shoot at the whole street. If there was to approach more than one car the machine gun would take out the last one first, to cut off the retreat, while the rest would saturate the front of the convoy with hand grenades and pre-laid charges that were buried at the side of the gravel road. Feldwebel Kramer was the lookout, and he was therefore the first to see the two lorries racing down the road. He quickly dashed back to his superior, and hoped that the Major and his men were in place, as he was about to blow their cover. When he reached the ambush again quick orders were given and a close observer could have overheard the cocking of weapons. The Vickers was ready and the belt was ready to feed its deadly load into the gun. The Lieutenant in charge waited until the trucks had almost passed the charges before yelling: “FIRE!”


[Game Effects: :p The Geographic description of the Duke's residence is inspired by real life. Note that in TTL the Tommie gun is domestically produced in Britain as US sources are no longer available. ]
 

robw963

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trekaddict said:
...including the most amazing, coolest and incredible HOI2 screenshot ever.
If all the other stuff promised doesn't happen, I'll be excited with this alone! *eating popcorn nervously*
 

unmerged(61356)

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Now that was one very good and very suspenseful update. It seems that the German plan is going to succeed very spectacularly unless Fleming and Co. can get by that ambush somehow. I don't know about that, though. It looks like the ambush is pretty foolproof.

This all has me very concerned. Not so much for the Duke as for Fleming. After all, if he gets caught in that ambush a certain literary figure will never be born. I'm afraid that I'm going to have to insist that you get the next update ready as soon as possible.
 

trekaddict

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robw963 Hehe. Believe me, it was a true "WTF?!?!?!?" moment.

Hardraade I believe telling you that Mr. Fleming will survive is no great spoiler, as I have great plans for him. As for the update, I am working on it now. With luck I'll get it up sometime tonight. ( CET )

Atlantic Friend With luck all the French find when they finally arrive are a few bodies in their underpants and lots of shell casings. But I can imagine that Winston is calling Paris at this very moment.
 

unmerged(85800)

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i'm fairly confident you wont kill off fleming and leiter. well maybe leiter. the suspense is killing me though.
 

unmerged(61296)

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Sep 28, 2006
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trekaddict said:
Atlantic Friend With luck all the French find when they finally arrive are a few bodies in their underpants and lots of shell casings. But I can imagine that Winston is calling Paris at this very moment.
- Brigadier Clouseau ! Look, dead bodies in their underwear. And riddled with bullets ?

- Ah, suicidal nudists, Gendarme Picard. I've seen it happen before. :D