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trekaddict

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Le Jones Yes indeed. If I can't hold Belgium and the Netherlands, or at least Belgium long enough, I will set the BEF down behind the French lines farther south.

Lord Strange Yes, it is pretty much Market Garden the other way.

humancalculator No. Usually as the UK, I ignore the Battle of France and concentrate on other theatres. I am only defending France for RP reasons.

El Pip It will see action, because I will use the Dutch and Belgian Armies to delay them as long as possible. If I can hold Belgium long enough the BEF will land at Ghent or thereabouts. If not, then not, but they will go to France. As for the meatgrinder: If there is even the slightest danger of encirclement, I pull them out. These Divisions are vital.

BritishImperial I don't really want to, because in the long term the chances of holding France in any form are slim at best, and I won't let it come to Trench warfare. Before I see a 1475. Battle of Ypres I pull the BEF back to the UK.
 

humancalculator

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humancalculator No. Usually as the UK, I ignore the Battle of France and concentrate on other theatres. I am only defending France for RP reasons.
That's what I was guessing you were doing.

Good luck trying to save the French. :eek: :)
 
Aug 15, 2008
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French Armour has the reputation of breaking down even more than a pre-production Panther.
Well, French Armour also has the reputation of being the best armed and protected. So think of it like this, each French Tank can smash up a dozen of panzers before it breaks down. :p (A dozen may be too much :eek:o, but you have to admit French Armours were the best at that time.)

BTW, I do hope you can manage to do some encirclements in the Battle of France, if the French in your AAR can live that long of course.
 

unmerged(85800)

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i have heard (and seen in blitzkrieg) that the Somua S-35 was bloody tough. there just werent enough of them in the right place.
 

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i have heard (and seen in blitzkrieg) that the Somua S-35 was bloody tough. there just werent enough of them in the right place.
Yes. Apparently, the French High Command didn't listen to De Gaule's tip of uniting the Armors into divisions like the Germans did. When they did that, Paris had already fell.
 

trekaddict

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Yes. Apparently, the French High Command didn't listen to De Gaule's tip of uniting the Armors into divisions like the Germans did. When they did that, Paris had already fell.
Yes, but I've read numerous times that while french tanks were powerful they were also somewhat poorly put together, much like a 1980s Rover. :)
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 89



2nd May, 1940

BBC broadcast house


“My fellow Britons, free subjects of the Crown. When this war began, it was the evident will of Parliament and the nation that this should be conceived on the broadest possible basis and that it should include all parties. We have already completed the most important part of this task. A war cabinet has been formed of five members, representing, with the Labour, Opposition, and Liberals, the unity of the nation. It was necessary that this should be done in one single day on account of the extreme urgency and rigor of events. We fought the early stages of this war on the seas and in the air, and now, also on the ground. The great clash of the Armies has begun, and already our enemies are calling for us to cease the bloodshed. Both Hitler and Stalin tell us that this is not our war, that they have no quarrels with the British Empire. This is most certainly not true, as their aeroplanes are bombing our allies and our own troops in the field, fighting our airmen in the skies over France.

This is most certainly our war, this is most certainly our fight. Not only is our honour at stake, but also the fibre of our being, all that has been achieved in the last centuries of British Empire. Tomorrow I will invite the House by a resolution to record its approval of the steps taken and declare its confidence in the government and the prosecution of the war, to declare our unwavering resolution and steadfast confidence in the armed forces of the British Empire. The resolution:

“That this House welcomes the formation of a policy representing the united and inflexible resolve of the nation to prosecute the war with the Axis Powers to a victorious conclusion. There shall be no negotiations with the Axis powers until they have been driven from the countries they so brutally oppress.”

To fight a war of this scale and complexity is a serious undertaking in itself. But we are in the preliminary phase of one of the greatest battles in history. Although our armies are not yet in action we have to be prepared in the Mediterranean, we have to be prepared in Asia. The air battle is continuing, and many preparations have to be made here at home. I say to the you as I said to the war cabinet when it formed: I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory against all Odds - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival. Let that be realized. No survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge, the impulse of the ages, that mankind shall move forward toward his goal. I take up my task in buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. I have all the confidence in our Armed Forces, in the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and the British Army. The British Empire is no longer one nation and it's colonies, it is a coalition and union of free peoples and as such we shall be remembered by history. I feel entitled at this juncture, at this time, to claim the aid of all and to say, "Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength, until victory is won and the free nations of Europe and the world shall march together towards prosperity.”

Churchill stepped away from the microphones and left the recording room. The speech would be broadcast as soon as both his and the King's speech had been transferred to another tape for permanent storage in the BBC archives. Outside the room his Majesty the King was waiting. “Tell me, Winston, do you really think we will be victorious?” “Indeed I do, your Majesty. But it will be a long war, very long indeed. God knows how the world will look like when it is over.”



Fort Eben Emael, Belgium

The nine German DFS 230 Air Assault gliders had silently approached their targets. Captain Koch, the commander of the assault force, was not pleased with the fact that the attack was launched only now. They had been supposed to launch it much earlier, but at least it had still been dark. They had landed, two gliders short after two had somehow become lost in the chaos that was the airspace over Germany, and had attacked the Fort as per the plan. It had called for a swift, lightning-fast assault, but now, as the day came to a close, he was still here. How could it have gone so wrong? The first hint had come in the form of a Belgian grenade that had destroyed one of the remaining gliders upon landing. Unfortunately this glider had contained the only Flame-thrower troop. It also seemed as if the Abwehr had bungled up too, as the level of readiness of the fort had been much higher than anticipated. The troops had been able to crack open two of the casemattes with the new shaped charges, but then the commander of the Force, Oberleutnant Witzig, had been killed when a splinter from a Belgian 75mm had severed his main artery. Luckily or not, depended on how one looked at it, his own glider had landed nearby instead of near the bridge where it had been supposed to go, and this had allowed him and his group to join the leader and headless remnants of the assault force that had re-grouped near the entrance to the fort. They had their shaped charges at the ready and were prepared to attack again, almost nine hours after they had first landed there. Koch glanced around a tree and yelled: “Attack!” before running forward, firing his MP-40 from the hip, just in order to keep the heads of the defenders down. Meanwhile at the same time the commander of the fort knew that he would not be able to hold another determined attack. Two of his main Artillery positions were knocked out, and his troops were running low on small arms ammunition. He had ordered the artillery to keep up the fire as long as possible, and from what he could see one of the Bridges they targeted was knocked out, with the second heavily damaged. The men inside the fort knew that they were doomed. The main body of the Army was in full retreat to the east, towards the Dyle line where they would stop the attack with the help of the French, and the Fort was there to buy the Army time.

Outside the Germans were conducting a mad charge across the open ground towards the entrance. The machine guns opened up and started to cut down soldier after soldier. The attack had started with forty survivors, and now five more bodies were scattered on the field behind them. Behind the steel doors the soldiers heard nothing but the tacking of their own machine guns. Suddenly a huge explosion smashed the door open, pulverizing the barricade and the soldiers behind it. Even before the dust had settled small-arms fire came through the opening, bouncing off the walls of the corridor. Hand grenades followed, exploding among the small group of Belgian soldiers that were desperately attempting to form a new position. Those that were not killed or wounded outright opened their eyes seconds later, only to stare into the the muzzles of the German Mps. After almost a day the Fort had fallen. The garisson had died, but thanks to them, the main body of the Belgian Army had been able to form a new position, and time would tell of that was enough.

[Game Notes: The Belgians are fighting hard. At this point I mil-coned them.]
 

unmerged(85800)

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three huzzahs for gallant little belgium.

and i'm very immature, as 'Captain Koch' made me chuckle. i'm probably pronouncing it wrong.
 

Le Jones

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"Poor little Belgium". Really Trekaddict, a wonderful contrast between Winston's rhetoric and the reality of the German onslaught in the West.
 

Lord Strange

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BELGIUM BELGIUM! Come on. BE better than France!
 

humancalculator

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Thank you for posting in bold........my eyes are dialated from an eye exam earlier this morning, and have been having trouble reading things on the computer screen. :)


Oh, and go gallant little Belguim, who always gets run over by a more powerful neighbor! :D
 
Aug 15, 2008
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three huzzahs for gallant little belgium.
And another three huzzahs for Belgium! :D

I'd actually like to see a screenshot of the Western Front if that's possible. ;)
 
Last edited:

trekaddict

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Enewald At least in the case of one army that's a no brainer. :D

BritishImperial :rofl:

Actually the names of the German Officers are historical

Le Jones Thanks! Although I must admit that it was accidental.

Lord Strange That's not that hard, eh?

humancalculator Hope you get better soon. And anyway, Belgium was only invented so that Britain and Germany would have somwhere to sort out their differences.

gaiasabre11 Here you go:



As you can see, no territory has changed hands yet, apart from Luxemburg, but almost all the border provinces are under heavy attack, and bound to fall soon. Unfortunately I didn't take too many screenshots of the early period of case yellow, and lost most of those that I had of that time when I had these computer troubles a while back, so I have to go by memory and incomplete notes. I also marked notable troop movements. The French are racing north, and the Axis are attacking all along the front.

all Huzzaa! Huzzaa! Huzzaa!
 

ColossusCrusher

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What kind of Chapter 88 doesn't mention 88s? :D
 

humancalculator

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Kurt_Steiner

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El Pip

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I'll join in the general Huzzahing of Belgium, the gallant fellows deserve all the appreciation they get. It appears the BEF will now be able to make it to the battle before it's over, which should make for a continued series of excellent updates like that one. Woot!
 

trekaddict

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Well, El Pip, that's why I created the advanced Battlegroup centred around the 2nd Hussars. They should be able to help and hold the line. In fact you could see this as the birth of the Rapid Deployment Force, only that this one actually makes sense.
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 90




"Battleaxe" guarding the river crossing​

5th May 1940


Oostende

The customs officials had received word from up top that a special delivery was about to arrive from Britain. This was nothing new for them though. Over the past three days ship after ship had arrived from England, transporting munitions and setting up a logistics system for the forces they were going to send. It appeared as if the British had just been sitting there, ready to jump off and plans already made. It would emerge only after the war that the Royal Logistics Corps, working together the Logistics Corps of the Belgian Army, had, in technical violation of the neutrality agreements, made plans for this very eventuality, so that it was simply a matter of transporting men and material to the little country. The officials did not know this, and had they known, they would not have cared. All they cared for were the soldiers disembarking from the massive freighters, steel helmets donned and clutching their rifles. What really caught their attention however were the massive freighters that used their heavy lift cranes to unload the ungainly shapes of the British Crusader MK.IIIc tanks onto the quay, where they were already hotly awaited by their crews. Although this was only the advance party of a much larger British Expeditionary Force, these men gave the Belgian civilians hope, and the knowledge that gallant little Belgium had not been forgotten. The troops were indeed the Royal Irish Fusiliers and the 2nd Royal Hussars disembarking. Captain Niemczyk and the rest of B Squadron, warming up the engines of their tanks and sighting the guns. Niemczyk stood up in the hatch of the turret while the three others laid last hands on 'Battle Axe' as they had named their tank. “Capitaine Niemczyk?” a tired voice asked, stumbling over the Captain's name. “Here.” he answered and looked down, only to see a tired, unshaven man in a dirty field uniform of the Belgian Army. “I am Capitaine-Commandant Lecroix, 2nd Motorized Regiment, 1st Ardennes Rifles. The General would like to have a word with the officers of your Regiment before we put you into the line.” Niemczyk nodded and climbed off the tank. He slapped the driver who was cleaning the tracks on the shoulder and said: “Take good care of her, will you?” “Right-o, Captain.” Lecroix led on and Niemczyk led on, readjusting his black beret while he did so. He was let into a small office in a nearby warehouse, where Lieutenant Colonel Stafford and a Belgian General were already waiting. Niemczyk saluted as per regulations and said: “Captain Niemczyk reporting for duty, Sir.” The General nodded approvingly and came straight to the point. “Unfortunately, Colonel Stafford, until the French arrive, your unit is the only armoured Force we have in this country, and if one thing has been made clear over the last few days, these things are scarily effective against unprepared Infantry.”

“Then French are taking their mighty time to move into position, so Colonel, your forces will probably be the first allied troops to face the Axis. How long will it take your unit to move to a position here, north of Namor?” the General said, pointing at the map. “The Irish have just finished unloading, so two days should be..” Niemczyk was interrupted by the wailing of the air-raid sirens and the almost instantaneous fire of the feeble Belgian anti-air defences around the port. The three officers ran outside, and up top they could already see a group of planes tightly grouped, in order to give the massive defensive firepower against fighters. The few Belgian guns defending the port put up defiant fire, but by the looks of it it didn't even come close. When the bombs started to fall, the three officers were glad that the enemy seemed to be trying to hit the nearby Belgian Army base and the rail-lines going south and east from the city. Niemczyk was horrified when he watched the carnage inflicted on the rail depot. Train cars were blown over as if they were toys, and bombs smashed the station house, reducing a picturesque train station to matchwood. “Bloody hell, where are the fighters?” the General asked no one in particular, referring to the last few Belgian fighters that had survived the axis onslaught on the first day. The bombers retreated, having dropped their payloads, leaving a furiously burning train station and wrecked tracks behind. “Dear god....” Niemczyk mumbled, looking at the fires. “I saw it when the Ivans were hitting the naval Air station round where I live, but that was nothing like this...” Stafford turned around to the others and said: “Captain, General, I think we should get moving ASAP. The Axies won't overlook us forever, and I'd rather be on the move when they come back.” The General nodded and said: “How soon can you be on the move?” Stafford turned to Niemczyk and asked: “Captain?” “The squids say that they have unloaded our tanks in about two to three hours, and perhaps an hour to load everything up?” Niemczyk said, looking back at the freighters where the work had resumed. “Good.” Stafford nodded. “Let's get cracking then, shall we?”

On the dot five hours later the 2nd Royal Hussars were moving out, the lorries of the RIFs driving in between the tanks. Niemczyk was once again standing in his hatch, observing the advance to the front. Somehow that still made his stomach twist a bit, because for all his training, he had never seen action before, and neither had any of his men. The column of men and vehicles of all sorts stretched for miles and miles, with both groups spaced apart in order to minimize the damage an air raid could do. So they advanced, into the unknown of battle. Niemczyk calculated that they would reach their positions in the defensive line, as the reserve to counter any breakthroughs, at about daylight tomorrow, given no interruptions and waiting fuel reserves at their location. He doubted that the RLC had managed to set up a supply chain this fast as the Colonel claimed, but he had no other choice but to trust him. Stafford battlegroup, as the force had been dubbed after it's ranking Officer, was vital for the defence of the central part of the front, and Stafford had made sure that everyone knew this. They had to hold, they had to shore up the Belgians until the rest of the British Expeditionary Force arrived and the French finally moved into position, whenever that would be. Due to this, the battlegroup would advance during the night, although this would place a considerable amount of wear and tear on the tracks of the 2nd Hussar's tank tracks. Luckily someone had thought of embarking the regiment's logistics company with them, so at least some field-repairs could be made, if they were fast enough. The line advanced, past the civilians at the roadside, who stared at the British tanks and lorries with a look of determination in their faces. It seemed as if the notion of 'gallant little Belgium' was still correct. The 2nd Hussars and the 2nd Bat./RIF advanced unmolested for hours. Soon Niemczyk asked himself were the vaunted Luftwaffe and the Red Air Force were. Not that he invited an air raid on his men, far from it, but he was just wondering if all these reports from the border area were true. The answer to this presented itself when they rode past the outskirts of Ghent in order to cross the Shelde river. The cries “Aircraft!” send him into a frenzy, and he cursed the designers of the tank for not including an anti-aircraft machine gun, but when he looked up, he could see, much to his surprise and relief, see RAF roundels on their wings, when they came down close. “These are our own, lads. Hurricanes.” he yelled. The four fighters flew circles above them, and now that he looked at it, he understood the misidentification. They were using the same formation the Luftwaffe had adopted, according to the many intel briefings they had received back in Scotland. What had that RAF bloke called it? Oh yes, 'finger-four'-formation. He turned his gaze away from the British planes and back onto the bridge were his tanks and the accompanying lorries of the Infantry were crossing as fast as the rickety structure allowed. Niemczyk turned back around to Lt. Colonel Stafford, who was essentially doing the same while talking with a redcap over traffic control. Niemczyk knew that that much good luck wouldn't last. Little did he know.


[Game Notes: The TTL Crusader Mk.IIIc is essentially the real life Crusader II Mk.III. There was no Crusader I, and this particular tank has the original 6 pounder and a re-designed turret that prevents the reduction in crew size. But as there are no pictures of my version of that tank, I use normal ones. At this time my Interceptors are flying Air Superiority Belgium. CAS really are vulnerable to fighters it seems.]