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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

unmerged(85800)

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we shall fight on the...???

let the axis shake with fear at the growing might of british arms!
 

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trekaddict said:
Well. I can show you a screenshot that illustrates how little I can do for them with my measly little Army and the French as allies.

IMAGE

As you can see they are bordering Axis powers on three sides and face the Armies of Germany, the Soviet Union and to a lesser extent Czechoslovakia. They don't evne have access to the sea since they ceded the German cores, so forcing the Baltic with the RN like I had first intended is not an option, at least not alone.
Two questions:
1) Did Germany get Lodz and the province to the south from territorial claims, or just from warfare?

2) What's going on with the Czechs? (and to a lesser extent, Romania, Hungry, the Baltic and the Balkans)
 

trekaddict

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The Germans got that territorry from claims, the Czechs joined the Axis during the Munich thingy. All explained in the course of the AAR, the index is linked in my sig.
 

GeneralHannibal

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trekaddict said:
The Germans got that territorry from claims, the Czechs joined the Axis during the Munich thingy. All explained in the course of the AAR, the index is linked in my sig.
I should have seen the index :eek:o
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 58


September 3rd, 1939

Cabinet Bunker, Map Room

Gort entered the bunker and was immediately greeted by an armed Guard. The Guard showed him into the Cabinet room, where Churchill and the First Lord of the Admiralty were hunched over maps and tables, showing the situation in the North Sea. When they became aware of Gort's presence Churchill rose from his chair and addressed Gort in his usual direct and outspoken manner.
“Marshal Gort, I have an audience with his Majesty in an hour where I will brief him on the initial picture of the war. I have three questions for you. First: What is the general situation as far as known, what can we do to help the poles, and lastly what is at this moment being done. And Marshal, from now on I want that every piece of communication that reaches the IGS is immediately forwarded to this location.” Gort nodded. “Yes, Prime Minister.” He stepped up to the table and began explaining the current situation. “As you can understand from the last war, the initial picture is very much one of confusion. We do have however have something of a picture how the Axis are proceeding so far. The Germans have two main pincers, one out of the area around Köingsberg, the other from Elbing and Poznan, both, it seem, aimed at isolating and surrounding Warsaw. The Soviets and the Czechs are moving forward in their respective areas, simply engaging and pushing back the Poles wherever they encounter them. The Poles are fighting hard, but they are facing combined Armies that outnumber them at least five to one, if not more. They have heavily fortified Warsaw, and it seems as if they are planning to make their last stand there. Sir, it is my duty as Chief of the Imperial General Staff to report that it is our professional opinion that the Poles can keep up organized resistance for one, maybe two weeks at best. Other than that no activity on the ground except for some minor patrol actions in the no mans land between the Maginot and Siegfried lines. At sea the situation is much more clear, but I think that the First Lord here has already told you about the small engagement yesterday?” Churchill nodded. Gort was referring to a small Naval Battle, where a German squadron centred around the old Battlecruiser Schleswig-Holstein had stumbled upon a small group of ships belonging to the Home Fleet, among them HMS Rodney. The following hour had seen the ships exchanging shells, and both the German Battlecruiser and the Rodney had sustained light damage. The Germans had been worse off, with an entire Destroyer Flotilla lost to the Guns of the Home Fleet. The RN had staked out most of the Home Fleet to blockade Wilhelmshafen and Kiel, the two principal German ports at their North-Sea coastline, in order to prevent the Kriegsmarine to send out raiding Fleets like they had done in the first war. “In the Air Fighter Command reports that the Germans in particular are probing the French air defences, but nothing major so far, and only a couple of recce planes have been shot down so far. It seems that most of the Luftwaffe's bombers are in the east, supporting their offensive.”

the same time

Somewhere north of Warsaw

The 7. Panzer Division was steadily advancing into Polish territory. Division had said a while back that the few Polish tanks in the area had to be around here somewhere, so Feldwebel* Willi Kramer, the commander of the Panzer III that had point in the regimental column, had told everyone who had a lookout to be extra careful. Combat so far had been scarce, only a minor shoot-out with some polish Infantry that had been forced to retreat after the combined attacks of Stukas and Artillery. They were currently approaching a small village, surrounded by open fields, perfectly suited for an ambush on the advancing Panzers that had no cover on the approach. The column halted at the tree line and the commander of the Regiment spaced out his vehicles so that they could advance on a broad front, as per the standing orders from Division. Kramer popped the commanders hatch open and surveyed the village through his Binoculars. “What is it, Willi?” his driver asked. “Nothing, and that's the whole fucking problem!” Willi replied. He continued to scan the area while waiting for further orders. The Radio operator had his headphones on and was at the same time sighting the forward machine gun on the village, ready to pour the ammunition onto possible enemies. Kramer could not see any sign of activity, no people were about, no animals on the streets or the fields around the motly collection of houses and huts, all in all it seemed as if the village was deserted. By the third time however something caught Kramer's eye, a haystack that conviniently overlooked the main street. He tapped the Driver's shoulder with his feet, telling him to open his own hatch and have a look. “What is it, Willi?” he asked, repeating his words from earlier. “Haystack, dead ahead, by that barn with the red roof.” At this moment the centre of the haystack moved slightly, and for a second Kramer was sure that he had seen a barrel. He buttoned up, urging the driver to do the same, and ordered his radio operator to notify the Lieutenant. After a minute or so of conversation the operator said: “We are supposed to put a round into that haystack, just to be sure.” Kramer nodded. “Well then, his wish is our command. Hans, load the gun if you please.” The loader did so, and the gunner traversed the turret until it was trained at the haystack. A second later the gun barked once and the shell was on its way, obliberating the haystack and the polish anti-tank gun hidden in it. It seemed as if his single shot opened up the gates of hell, because suddenly a hailstorm of machine-gun and cannon fire opened up from the village, thankfully falling short for the most part, the few shots that hit the Panzer dinged of harmlessly from the hull. The Germans replied in kind, and withn seconds a battle was in full swing, between a squad company of German Panzers and the Polish Infantry hidden in the village.

After a few minutes the Regimental commander called in Stuka support, and ten minutes later the wailing sound of the sirens could be heard, just before explosions flattened the Village. The German Panzers then advanced cautiously, wary of any more traps, through the village, only to find the burning ruins completely deserted. Then, just as Kramer and his Panzer exited the village, again having point, the driver yelled: “Enemy Panzer, at 10 o'clock!” The gunner traversed the turret, while Kramer scrambled to spot the enemy tank his driver had spotted. He could see them instantly, not only one Panzer, but at least a regiment of them, rolling against the Germans over open ground. Polish 7TP's with a gun that could smash through the Panzer III's frontal armour if it was lucky. Luckily for Kramer and his crew their long 5cm gun outranged the poles by a fair margin. Kramer ordered: “Fire, and then fire at will.” The gun barked, again and again, and most of the shells were direct hits. Meanwhile others had come up, the squad now forming a line, and the Germans started to pick off the poles one by one. When they finally got in range the surviving polish tanks returned fire valiantly, but were simply out-classed and out-gunned by their adversaries. Then minutes later the last surviving polish tank tried to retreat, only to be smashed by a last shell from Kramer's guns. All in all he and his crew had accounted for three polish tanks today, a fact that would be announced to the world by three rings around the barrel of the gun that the gunner would paint on it tonight. Ignoring the possible danger from snipers Kramer opened the hatch again in order to get a better overview of the Battlefield. Behind him he could hear a vehicle horn, obviously some officer was trying to make his way forward. When Willi turned around to see who it was his jaw dropped. It was non other than the Division commander. It seemed that the man's reputation for always leading from the front was true after all. The General observed the battlefield with a concentrated look on his face, as if he were to decipher his opponent's thoughts and plans from what he could see. He walked briskly along the line of the Panzers, still arrayed as if in parade formation, and glanced at the smoking barrels of each. When he reached Willi's Panzer he quickly looked into his face, all the while Willi tried to give the impression of standing at attention, something that was extraordinarily difficult in the current circumstances. The General then walked back to his command car, obviously to get back to his command post. Willi hadn't seen the man before, but from what he had seen during the last few minutes had convinced him that the Division would either go to heaven or hell with this man in command.



*Staff Seargeant

[Game Notes: More Naval Battles soon! They will be described in detail. I hope you liked my first tentative steps into ground combat.]
 

Enewald

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Oi, who is this commander?
Römmelchen? :D

Or Guderian, Manstein, Model or someone else? :p

The poles have no changes. A useless war I'd say. :cool:
 

unmerged(85800)

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that was a bloody good description. reminded me very much of some books i've read, which is probably a compliment as they sold quite well. i didnt think rommel had his own division in poland did he? i may be wrong though.
 

trekaddict

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Enewald It is Rommel. Let's just say I have plans for him later on.

BritishImperial Thank you. Rommel didn't get the 7th until after Poland in OTL, but in TTL he got it just before case White.
 

Lord Strange

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Come on Poland, excellently written and thought out, loving it, more RN naval sounds good.
 

El Pip

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trekaddict said:
Enewald It is Rommel. Let's just say I have plans for him later on.
Obviously spending a great deal of time in a Libyan prison camp wondering how he was outwitted by Monty.


Or not. ;)

More naval battles! Woot! :D
 

Griffin.Gen

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Hell yes! Rommel!
Rommel has to be one of my favorite WW2 General!
My favorite is a British one, pretty obvious :)
 

humancalculator

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So will you use Willi Kramer more? :rolleyes:
 

trekaddict

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humancalculator said:
So will you use Willi Kramer more? :rolleyes:

Depends on if he makes it through his next engagement. Seriously though, I won't have that many characters from the opposing force, and just the basic ones, you know, a German Panzerman and some random Soviet grunt. :D
 

humancalculator

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trekaddict said:
Depends on if he makes it through his next engagement. Seriously though, I won't have that many characters from the opposing force, and just the basic ones, you know, a German Panzerman and some random Soviet grunt. :D
:D :D :D

What about any Czechs, Americans, or French? :confused: I really want to know what nationalities will be represented in this. ;)
 

trekaddict

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humancalculator said:
:D :D :D

What about any Czechs, Americans, or French? :confused: I really want to know what nationalities will be represented in this. ;)

Americans: One could argue that we already have one in the person of Felix Leiter, but he doesn't really count I think. Perhaps in the future, in Canada or if the Japs do something stupid. I don't really know yet. Czechs: Definitely something that needs to be considered. The Czechs are to the Axis what Poland was to the Warsaw pact in the 1980s. French: We have Duval and he could certainly make another appearance. Other than that we have Brits, Indish people ( some RIAF or RIA folks ), Italians, Germans and Soviets.
 

humancalculator

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trekaddict said:
Americans: One could argue that we already have one in the person of Felix Leiter, but he doesn't really count I think. Perhaps in the future, in Canada or if the Japs do something stupid. I don't really know yet. Czechs: Definitely something that needs to be considered. The Czechs are to the Axis what Poland was to the Warsaw pact in the 1980s. French: We have Duval and he could certainly make another appearance. Other than that we have Brits, Indish people ( some RIAF or RIA folks ), Italians, Germans and Soviets.
Thanks. ;)
 

trekaddict

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El Pip Dear god, I utterly forgot to reply to your post! :eek:o So anyway, Rommel will definitely pop up a few more times, but for Monty... well... there are some Indian Divisions in northern Kashmire that need a commander. ( Seriously, last time I checked Monty had a command there. )

Chapter 59


September 3rd, 1939

Cabinet bunker room, London

“And what are your plans to help Poland?” Prime Minister Winston Churchill asked. “Gort was uncomfortable with this particular field. The IGS did have plans of course, but much of them depended either on luck or cooperation with the French, and what the advance units of the BEF had reported back to London so far did not look good. He decided that he had to take the chance. If he managed to convey to the PM that these plans could have been carried out had the war broken out in September 1940 instead of 1939 he might even keep his head. “Pre-war we had three plans on how to aid the poles, Operations Goliath, Jumpstart and Trumpet. Operation Goliath was, simply put, to scrap together what troops we can, use the Home Fleet to force the entrance into the Baltic Sea and land our Forces in Eastern Prussia. Operation Jumpstart was to land those forces instead of East Prussia in northern Germany, in particular the area around their Naval Bases at Kiel. The third, Operation Trumpet was to use both our own and French troops to do a reverse Schlieffen and attack through Belgium, with or without their approval.” He could see on the Prime Minister's face that none of the plans met with his approval. Goliath reminded him far too much of Gallipoli and was also far too risky, as it would bring the centrepiece of British Naval power in far to close proximity to the Luftwaffe's home bases, and the Germans could cut off and doom the entire Fleet and Army by simply over-running Denmark. Jumpstart brought the landing far too close to the German Navalbases and again the Luftwaffe, and Churchill, as former First Lord of the Admiralty knew all to well that a stationary fleet was far more vulnerable to even a much smaller foe, especially when he had a force the size of the Luftwaffe at his command. “Marshal, I fear I can endorse none of these plans with the King.” Churchill said, half grinning. “Well, Sir, to be honest I was hoping you wouldn't. The IGS, working together with the Admiralty and the Air Staff has wargamed all three and has come to the conclusion that only Trumpet has any measurable probabilities of success with the forces at hand and even then it is fifty/fifty at best. Besides, it would make us look extremely bad with the neutrals.”

Churchill leaned back into his chair, a thoughtful expression on his face. “So what are we going to do then?” Gort swallowed nervously. This was the breaking point. What he said next would either make or destroy the remainder of his career. Churchill saw that Gort was hesitant to answer and said: “I want an honest opinion. We have had far too many yes-men in the British Armed forces in the past. So Sir, what is the IGS official proposing?” “Doing nothing, Sir. Had the war broken out in 1940 we would have had the forces at hand to do something, but right now... And Sir, the following is said in the greatest confidence and only expresses the personal opinions of me and some of my staff, and is not meant in any official manner. We think that the French would be unwilling to undertake offensive operations anyway.” Churchill was astonished at both what the Gort had said and that the Marshal had been this straightforward. “Why that? The French Army....” Gort took a deep breath and answered. “The French Army, Prime Minister, is no longer the superb fighting Instrument it was in the first War. Mind you, the common soldiers and the lower to mid-level officer corps are very capable and are more than willing to fight it out to the finish as we do, but there seems to be something of a morale problem at the top, not speaking from their civil disturbances. Although this is understandable, considering the losses they took the last time around, we think it could come back and haunt them, and by an extension us, terribly. The Maginot-line is a superb instrument if properly utilized, but now the whole mindset of the Generals is wholly defensive, as they don't seem to dare taking any losses beyond normal attrition of the level they currently have through patrol actions. Besides, their doctrines are based on false assumptions. General Fuller has recently conversed with their best tank man, one Colonel De Gaulle, but what he brought back from that visit tells us that they still think that Tanks are best used for Infantry support. That may sound harsh, Sir, as our own doctrine wasn't too different from that only a year ago, but it seems that the French refused to learn from the Spanish Civil war and everything intelligence has brought us from Germany and the Soviet Union before they smashed our networks.” “Good god....” Churchill was shocked by this news. He had always held the French in the highest regard, even told reporters “Thank God for the French Army” not two days ago, but now... it seemed as if the British Empire would have to shoulder an even greater part of the fighting than expected. “What about the British Expeditionary Force Marshal, what about the strength we can deploy?” Gort handed the Prime Minister a folder that contained a detailed Order of Battle for the BEF, and said: “By April next year we will be able to deploy twenty-four Divisions to France, and another ten by September that same year. All in all a sound force I think. It will of course mostly be Infantry, but the four Armoured Divisions of I (UK) Tank Corps should come in handy, and even more so when we send II (UK) Tank Corps sometime later in the year, probably by October. That however depends on how the priorities for armaments production are set.” With the last sentence Gort was openly pushing for more tanks, and had silently demanded that the Carriers for Force A, currently at the top of the priority list, to be placed at the bottom of the same, but the Marshal also knew that Churchill, being the First Lord of the Admiralty in the first War, always had an open ear for the Navy's demands.



The Royal Armoured Corps' main tank, the Crusader Mk.IIIa, during desert trials in Egypt​


“And what does the IGS propose we do to absolve this situation?” the PM asked after a few minutes, before continuing: “aside from pushing the French towards adopting a more aggressive posture of course?” Gort handed the PM another paper, this time it contained the plans the IGS had made recently in the light of the apparent French weakness in the field. “As you can see, Prime Minister we basically propose to intensify our recruiting efforts throughout the British Empire, and expand the BEF to form the greatest and biggest British Army the world has ever seen. Same woill of course go for the RAF and the Royal Navy. With this we ensure the lasting security of all parts of the Empire, not only short-, but also long-term.” Churchill read the paper, before carefully placing it on the desk. “Marshal, you do know that this won't be cheap nor easy, especially now that we can no longer fall back on America to help us?” Gort nodded. “Indeed I know that. We, Admiral Cunningham and myself that is developed this idea from a White Paper the Admiral wrote after the Imperial conference, and we are confident that it can work.” Churchill lit a cigar. “I have read that particular paper, and let me tell you now that I will endorse it with his Majesty. The Treasury will not like it though, and when the French find out they might fear we plan to abandon them to the Axis.” Gort laughed, and Churchill shot him a questioning look. “We will keep it as quiet as possible of course, but if the Frogs find out then they will have to suck it up or they will indeed stand alone. I would prefer it to be seen this way, Sir: We aren't planning to abandon our allies, we are only developing a contingency plan in case the abandon us.” Churchill joined Gorts laughter, and realized that he had to parted with so many old beliefs over the last year that leaving this particular one behind was not going to be much of a problem. “Then I shall no longer hold you back from doing your duty.” Gort saluted briskly and said before leaving the Bunker: “I will send the liaison over first thing as soon as I am back at Aldershot.” When he was alone again Churchill rose from his chair and took of his glasses. He walked around the desk and began to study the world map at the other end of the room. The situation facing the British Empire was one that was far more complicated and dangerous than last time. Germany and Soviet Russia had formed a formidable alliance, stretching from the Rhine to Vladivostok. In the east Japan was crashing through the last Chinese Divisions, and the Foreign Office expected a surrender any day now, not to speak of the hungry glances Japan was casting on the European possessions in the southern Pacific. In America the UAPR was in a state of hostile neutrality at best, and had not yet giving up dronging on about British Imperial ambitions on former US territory both in the Americas and in the Pacific. Against all that stood the Allied Powers with both principal members in a far from perfect state. The British Empire was still struggling with the biggest political, philosophical and social upheaval since the English Civil War and France was riddled with civil unrest, with the both the far-left and far-right sabotaging the war effort at any given opportunity. This war would be very, very difficult.

[Game Notes: These three operation plans are all things I have done while playing Britain or France, so from a game point of view there is at least some merit behind them. Now many may ask how the British could realize the truth about the Maginot spirit so early on, well, the British Empire we see in TTL 1939 is a) much more capably led, both at the top and throughout the lower ranks and therefore b) has a much more aggressive stance and doctrine, something that extends to the mentality of even the common Tommie, and c) the British aren't so willing to turn a blind eye to French weaknesses as they have been made aware of their own through the reforms of their own armed forces during the last year. Gort is of course probably overstating things to save his own skin, mostly how the French percept their Generals. As you can see I pretty much expect France to fall, even with the help of the BEF. I will military-control France as long as possible and cancel MC as soon as I fell it necessary to pull the BEF from the French front. ]
 

El Pip

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Sometime inaction is the best course of action, but it's never an easy conclusion to reach and stick to for men such as Churchill.

It appears the long term plan for the war is the same as OTL, hide behind the Maginot Line till Britain and France have fully geared up for war and mobilised. That takes till late 1940, no-one launches a campaign in Winter so the big attack sometime early 1941.

As with OTL it's a fine plan, plays to the Allies long term strengths and has but one massive drawback - It supposes the Germans just sit around waiting till the Allies are ready. Quite how nobody spotted that problem I'll never know. :confused:
 

trekaddict

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Well, this time I will be fully geared up to start at least a modest offensive ( to take the Ruhr area and parts of Northern Germany ) even without the French by mid 1940. The thing is for RP reasons I didn't act on Operation Jumpstart.