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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Okay now. This is one of these updates I only write because I have to, i.e. in order to create plotlines or plotdevices.

Chapter 66


September 16th, 1939, 12:34 PM

Leiter Residence, Southwark, United Kingdom

The Leiters, plus their temporary addition were sitting around the big table in the living room. Ian was very much enjoying himself, despite the quips he had gotten in the beginning from the old Leiter. But by now he was comfortable, because once Jonathan Leiter had noticed that behind the sometimes juvenile humour stuck a man who was not only competent at what he did, but who was also a masterpiece of integrity and loyalty, and Jonathan was glad to know that his son was in good company. “So tell me, Commander,” Jonathan said while refilling the glasses the men had in front of them, “what will the Hun do next?” Ian smirked and took a sip from what could very well be the last true Kentucky Whiskey in his life, and answered in a hushed conspirational tone: “Don't tell anyone I said this, but we think that Jerry will invade France next.” Jonathan grinned in return. “So basically you don't really know? You are working in intelligence, you know?” Ian hesitated to answer. Admiral Edwards had been quite clear on how much his people were allowed to tell their relations, and he had already told much. “Not that kind of Intelligence, Mr. Leiter. We work counter-intelligence, the lads going behind the lines to count tents are a different department I am afraid.” “I see.” Jonathan's reply was doubtful, but he knew better than to press on. From what he had heard from his son Commander Fleming was not to violate security, and Jonathan was going to respect that. “But I am sure you can tell me how the war is going, at least beyond what the papers say.” Ian leaned back in his chair to grab the newspaper that was lying on a small table in the corner of the room. He quickly studied the headlines and shook his head. The papers were all hailing the heroic last stand of Fortress Warsaw, the efforts of the Royal Navy in the North Sea and the Royal Air Force over eastern France, at the same time asking more and more pointedly why the Allied Armies were still inactive, waiting for the Germans to come west instead of going east, and why the twelve Divisions of the BEF was still assembling in Southern England. He tossed it back onto the stack with an annoyed grunt and answered Jonathan's question. “Once again Fleet Street seems to be unable to grasp the realities of War. I can't tell you too much, but from what I have heard it is simply a matter of troops. Much of it is secret of course, but I you know of course that twelve or eighteen Divisions are not enough to conquer Germany, especially when they are aided by Ivan and we have... well, the French.”

A year ago Jonathan would have attributed the last remark to typical Anglo-French rivalries, but the time he had spent in Britain and on the fringe of the military establishment these last months told him that it was a rather different matter. However, this was not the time nor place to dwell on such things, so he simply ignored it. He was startled when Ian continued. “But what I can tell you is that the Navy is out there, just like it always has been. We....” He was interrupted by the Air-Raid siren going off with the wailing sound that was to become achingly familiar to the entire population of the British Isles. While they rushed towards the next Tube Station Ian asked Jonathan: “What about the others?” “Oh, they'll meet us there I hope. In any case, there is a shelter not too far from the shop, under the train station.” Overhead, almost fading away against the siren, they could hear the distinctive roar of a squadron of Spitfires, obviously off to intercept the enemy somewhere to the south of London. Upon arriving at the shelter both were relieved to see the rest of the Leiter clan already entering the station. When they ran down to the tunnels Ian caught up to Felix and his sister. “Did you see them?” he asked, while guiding Sandra down the stairs. “No, but judging from the roar we heard they are hitting the industrial district a few miles from here.” Felix answered, deciding to ignore what was going on beside him. “I saw a couple of Spits, probably from Biggin Hill, so at least we weren't completely surprised.” Little did they know that the Chain-Home system was getting it's first real test, and that the ongoing feud in Fighter Command between the schools of “Big Wing” and “Small Wing” was to go into another round. However when they reached the tunnel where the trains usually went through they could hear the dull thumps of Bombs hitting the industrial sectors. Ian, always the British who kept up the standard under all circumstances proceeded to light his pipe, using up some of his shrinking stash of Jamaican Tobacco that his cousin had given him as a gift last Christmas. He made a mental note to enquire where his cousin was now, as he missed him terribly. He sat down on one of the benches and was surprised to notice that both the Leiter twins sitting down beside him. They chatted animatedly, and Ian was so engrossed in the conversation that he did not notice the strange looks Felix was giving him. Felix on the other hand could see what was going on between the two, and he was not yet sure what to think about it. Ah well, he was sure that Ian wouldn't do anything stupid just yet, he would however have a talk with him someday.

Leiter residence, an hour later

“So tell me Ian, what are your intentions with my Sister?” Despite the seriousness of the Situation Ian's reaction to the question was so comical that Felix had to fight to keep himself from laughing. Ian on the other hand did a rather good imitation of a fish, wide eyes and gaping mouth, the newspaper he had reading completely forgotten, despite the headlines about the recent Chinese surrender. His face betraying no emotion Felix simply raised his right eyebrow and stared at Ian with a questioning gaze. Felix knew that starting this conversation in front of their Bosses Office in the Admiralty wasn't the best idea, but it was increasingly hard to catch Ian off-guard, and he had decided to seize this opportunity. They knew that the others would not be back for another hour at least, and so Felix took the time to study Ian whom he had never seen this unguarded. Not that he complained, Ian was a good man, but this was his sister, and as her big brother it was his duty to make sure she was looked after, even when it was his best friend. After watching this amusing display for a few minutes he decided to let his friend of the hook. “Listen Ian, you are both responsible adults, but rest assured that I will watch you, understood?” The 'hurt her and die' was not outspoken but could be heard anyway, and despite the difference in rank and the fact that any fight between the two would still vastly be in Fleming's favour Ian gulped, somehow knowing that Felix was dead serious. “Felix, I....” Ian was desperately searching for words, and failed to come up with something appropriate. “Rest assured that I would never do that under my own power and... I don't know.. we will have to wait and see....” Felix interrupted him with a raised hand. “That I know, my dear Ian, but what I said stands. Besides, she could do worse.” He looked back up at Ian and added: “Not much, but there's a war on, you know.” With this the tension dissolved and Ian leaned back, grabbing his newspaper and sporting a broad grin. No more words were exchanged between the two, as they both knew where the other stood on the matter. Another twenty minutes later they could see the others come back, and they settled in for another pleasant evening, barring any more air-raids.

[Game Notes: Now that was really hard to write. I totally suck at certain sorts of subplots, so I will keep it minimal. And NO he won't get inspiration for “Licence to kill”. I sort of liked the idea of seeing Ian Fleming speechless for a change, and that alone was worth it. ]
 

trekaddict

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White_Knight said:
Ian seems to be the calm and ready of everyone, and just how bad are the air raids on Britain?

Not too bad so far, the one shown was probably the heaviest yet, four wings of TACs of which two are escorted.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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So... Air Vice-Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory and Acting Squadron Leader Douglas Bader haven't persuaded Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park yet?

So disgusting... Well, some raids more and he may change his mind.
 

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Kurt_Steiner said:
So... Air Vice-Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory and Acting Squadron Leader Douglas Bader haven't persuaded Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park yet?

So disgusting... Well, some raids more and he may change his mind.

Aye. Even the RAF isn't perfect. However, Park's argument is supported by the simple truth that there are simply not enough Spits yet, in fact I have only one full group. ( four wings ). Once the Squadrons currently outfitting become operational the big wing could certainly come into operation.
 

unmerged(85800)

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the leiter twins are felix's younger siblings? just wanted to clarify as i couldnt remember.
pretty good update considering you didnt want to write it from the sounds of things. i like the subplot too.
 

trekaddict

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BritishImperial said:
the leiter twins are felix's younger siblings? just wanted to clarify as i couldnt remember.
pretty good update considering you didnt want to write it from the sounds of things. i like the subplot too.

No, Felix is one of them. The Leiters have two kids, Sandra and Felix. :)


Edit: when the war has picked up some more I will add a post that will contain general information on all characters I deem impotant enough and that will be edited as we go along.
 

humancalculator

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Good Update! :D
 

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Big Wing is a bad idea for the Battle of Britain; you can't get enough warning to get it assembled fast enough. By the time the wing is airborne, assembled and ready to go the enemy's already dropping their bombs.

Now of course you could follow Leigh-Mallaory's idea and only hit the bombing raid on the way home, but that does somewhat defeat the point of having air defence, unless you genuinely believe you can inflict enough losses so the Germans stop before they've levelled the country.

A romantic involvement with the sibling of a work colleague, Ian is potentially playing with fire there! :eek:
 

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humancalculator Thanks.

El Pip Well, to be honest I am torn between both Ideas, for one thing you are absolutely correct about air Defence, on the other hand if you manage to smash them up enough then they might not come back, not considering how awesome 60 Spits flying in formation would look. Thinking about it now I believe that if the Soviets join the Luftwaffe after the possible fall of France then the Big Wing might prove to be impracticable.

As for the involvment: Ian and Felix are best friends, and what they have been through together is nothing compared to what I have in store for them. :D I think that Felix correctly assumes that it will play out all right.
 

unmerged(85800)

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it worked in friends, after all.
 

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BritishImperial said:
it worked in friends, after all.

That's not exactly the example I had in mind though.... :rofl:

I was more talking about my parents, as they got to know each other through the brother of a friend of my fathers.
 

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Chapter 67




September 16th, 1939 Around mid-day

Somewhere over South-Eastern England

The massive group of Donier DO-17 Medium was hovering over the English landscape, surrounded by nothing but clear skies and and the drone of their twin engines. They had successfully hit several factories in the area, against relatively inaccurate but fierce Anti-Air fire. None of the RAF's fighters had been seen, and from what could be heard over the frequencies of the escorting Bf-110s they hadn't met with any either. The commander of the group knew that he wasn't save until he had landed on his airstrip near Wilhelmshafen, and the fact that he would have about ten minutes of fuel left at best wasn't helping his mood. Still, the mission had been successful, and they had only minor damage to one plane. If everything went well they could have their evening beer in another few hours. He once more scanned the clean skies and admired the tight and perfect formation his men were flying in, before leaning over to his Co-Pilot. “Where is the Royal Air Force?” he asked him. The other man laughed and answered: “In France I guess. I haven't seen any of their fighters.” The two men leaned back in their seats and mentally prepared themselves for the long and boring flight back over the North Sea. “Planes, about three o'clock high!” the upper rear gunner of the plane yelled. The pilot turned, but by the time he could see them it was already clear that they had spotted four of the escorts. The pilot once more cursed the inability of the RLM to provide radios that allowed communication between the bombers and their escorts, but when they came closer he could see that one of them was damaged, probably by AA fire, and seemed to have lost it's rear gunner. Via signal light the pilot of one of the Fighter communicated that they had run into a cleverly laid Flack-trap, and that they had been wanted to provide them with some close escort. The pilot of the Bomber shook his head and laughed, thinking that these pompous bastards in the Destroyers needed to have their ego cut a bit anyway. One of the Messerschmidts stayed with the formation, the other two swarming off again to provide distant escort. The next few minutes were uneventful, and the crew of the Bomber started to pass the time with idle chatter. What could happen to them? The Bomber always got through after all. When they finally crossed the coast the belly gunner reported that he could see the white cliffs of Dover, and the crew all felt the Anti-Air fire to attest to that. Suddenly the fire slacked off and stopped altogether after another minute. The Crew of the Bomber knew that something was odd, but before anyone could voice his concerns the damaged Bf-110 was blown apart in mid-air, and mass of green-painted planes shot through the formation of the Bombers, shooting at anything in their path. The German gunners returned fire, but when the pilot looked out for the enemy he could see that two of his groupmates were missing, and a third was trailing smoke from his port engine. “There they are, 6 o'clock, coming in fast!” Once more the formation was buzzed by the British, loosing another two of the remaining twenty aircraft. This time the pilot got a good look at them and realized that it was that new English fighter he had heard about in the mess a few days ago. When they turned around to attack again he could see the ecliptic wings and the long, sleek airframe, with the sunlight glinting off their canopies. “Scheisse, one of them is coming right for us!” someone yelled, and the pilot could see the plane, the 'Spitfire' literally spewing fire before his world went black forever.


Wing Commander Dashwood pulled his Spitfire into a steep curve after dispatching of his third victim of the day. Ever since he had requested and gotten transfer to a Fighter-Squadron he had trained his people in these sort of hit-and-run attacks that made the best of a still rather limited number of planes, and used the new fuel injector that he had managed to slip into the production version of the Spit. Now the Spitfire could finally make steep-sudden dives, and he had already had to send at least eleven commendations of impressed pilots to his old friend at Supermarine Aviation. The company, at the verge of bankruptcy when the Spitfire had first flown now was a bustling company that had too many orders to fulfil, so many in fact that the majority of the Spits wasn't even manufactured by Supermarine but rather the new shadow factories springing up all over Britain. Dashwood knew only little of this, and his mind was somewhere else anyway as he lined up on yet another Dornier. The rear gunner defiantly returned fire, but the eight Royal Ordnance .303 machine guns in the wings of Dashwood's plane tore a row of gaping holes into the fuselage. Dashwood ignored the tracer fire zipping past his plane when he shifted fire to another bomber. He lined him up in his cross-hair and pressed the button. The Spit rattled under the recoil of the guns, but Dashwood's fire was accurate and the starboard engine burst into flames, sending the Bomber cartwheeling into the sea below them. He was running low on ammunition and decided to break of the action now so that he would have something in case they ran into any more -110s. When he corkscrewed himself back to height he realized that the Squadron was scattered all over, hunting the individual bombers that hat scattered in a vain attempt to escape their smaller and faster adversaries. He activated the Wireless set. “Leader to Rabbit Squadron, break off for home and Tea. For once you deserve it, well done everybody.” The Spits fired a last few rounds and then reformed on their leader. When they did so he could see that much to his relief no one was missing.

Upon landing the pilots of 633 Squadron filed into the hut of the Intelligence officer to deliver their reports and claim their kills. Dashwood had three definitives and a probable, all in all not too bad for a day's work. The ground crews went to work immediately, rearming and refuelling the aircraft and patching up the bullet holes some of them had collected. When he walked over to the hut Dashwood realized that he had probably just fought the combat début of the Spitfire, and for some reason he felt honoured about it. The Spit had faired well, and despite the relatively unmatched fight he had a feeling that she would fare just as well against any enemy fighter opposition, against the Me-109 of the German Luftwaffe or the horribly outdated Soviet I-16s. “So my dear friend, what is your verdict?” the IO asked when Dashwood slammed to door close after the last pilot had delivered his report. “The same I always give after flying a Spit, Jason, a damn fine kite. She has a bit of a temperament during extreme manoeuvres, and is a bit on the slow side when climbing, but I guess that's something for the Mk. II to solve.” The IO placed his feet on his desk and lit himself a cigar. “Why don't you drop that engineer friend of yours a line?” “Oh shut up already! I only tested the plane I didn't get to see the plans until they were done!” Dashwood grinned and lobbed his gloves at the IO, only to have them instantly thrown back. He rose from his chair and walked to the pilot's mess. Rumour had it that the latest convoy from India had brought in a new shipment of Tea, and thanks to his status as a certified Test pilot had enabled him to make sure that 633 Squadron was very high on the priority list for such shipments. He needed a cup anyway, and he was hungry enough to be able to eat the sorry, dried excuse for scrambled eggs they served these days. While walking there he was acutely aware that the Empire was at war. Biggin Hill was currently being enlarged to accommodate another three Squadrons, in the end No.1 RAF Fighter Command would entirely be stationed on this very base, freeing up the other Airfields around Greater London for dispersal operations. Several concrete Anti-Air Gun towers marred the countryside around the Airfield, as a part of the Anit-Air defences of London. They were constructed in a way that kept them out of the immediate Airspace of Biggin Hill, but Dashwood still feared that the influx of new and horribly green pilots might still lead to some accidents, and somehow he didn't trust the aircraft recognition skills of the Gunners from Royal Artillery either. Still the civvies wanted it so it was done, and he couldn't do much about it. At least he got to fly again, and that was something he was willing to do a lot for.


[Game Notes: *cue 'Battle of Britain theme * Inspired by “Battle of Britain”, from about 0:53 onwards. I felt that the Spit needed a certain reputation among the Axis aircrews. *evil grin *, and 'End-of-missionitis is always dangerous for pilots. And as I didn't build TACs in the game, I started it before I realized their value, 633 Squadron is a Spitfire unit, sorry. ]



Also Drako, where on earth do you find all these awesome pics? I admit I nicked quite a few from your AAR and hereby give you credit before I continue to use them.
 

robw963

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exciting update! I'm curious....is it true in RL that German bombers couldn't communicate with their escorts? I found that surprising..the Germans were always so cutting edge when it came to communications.
 

El Pip

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Spiffing update, though I must check that 617 Squadron is still available to be used by a most special squadron of heavy bombers.

An interesting snippet on the radio, though I would say to robw that being cutting edge doesn't actually mean 'usefully applicable', in fact being cutting edge generally means 'very advanced, but temperamental, unreliable and virtually unusable in practice.' ;)
 

unmerged(85800)

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like solar-powered cars :D cool update again, makes me proud to be british. dashwood looks well on the way to several medals, with performances like that. of course, a french AAA operator will probably shoot him down by mistake once the battle of france begins.
 

trekaddict

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robw963 I didn't know that either until I watched a documentary about the Battle of Britain a few days ago where a German Pilot stated that, and true or not it seems fitting enough for that time, as I believe that the Luftwaffe never was the über-force it is always seen as.

El Pip Well, 617 Squadron will most certainly make an appearance, but for starters they will fly Manchesters and Halifaxes, as the Lanc is still a bit into the future. And I agree with you on the rest, just take the Me-262, fast as a cat on Speed, but shortranged and prone to engine failures.

BritishImperial Glad to help on that. Dashwood is indeed on his way up, although I haven't decided yet how high he will climb. For the time being I want to keep him in the air as long as possible. Do Group Captains still get to fly? :D

all Glad you liked it, and trust me, I had immense fun writing that.
 

Faeelin

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Egads. I go away for a week or two and there's ten updates!
 

humancalculator

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Faeelin said:
Egads. I go away for a week or two and there's ten updates!
:D

Anyway, Great update. I love the aircraft ones. ;)
 

El Pip

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trekaddict said:
BritishImperial Glad to help on that. Dashwood is indeed on his way up, although I haven't decided yet how high he will climb. For the time being I want to keep him in the air as long as possible. Do Group Captains still get to fly? :D
Depends how influential they are. ;) Alas though I suspect not, baring test pilots or people who can pull a great deal of strings.