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  • 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

trekaddict

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Yeah, well, I wanted to tell you, but then three chaps from the Foreign and Home Office knocked on my door.
 

Lord Strange

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Excellent happenings. Congratulations on your university.
 

El Pip

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Also, as I just got accepted into the university of my choice, I am understandable elated. Hooray.
:D
Huzzahs all round, well done indeed. :D
 

trekaddict

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Huzzahs all round, well done indeed. :D
Thanks!


Anyway, here is a short "Where are they now for some of the Generals.

Monty: CinC North-West in India

Auchinleck: CinC Northern Home Defence in the UK

Wavel: CinC Southern Home Defence

Brooke: In Command of the mobile Reserve.

Hobart: CinC 7th Armoured Division which currently prepares to deploy to France. Is slated to recieve a command of a Corps someday, but has healt problems, so his future is still uncertain.

Slim: Currently on the Staff of the British Army in India. My plan for him is to give him the SOE command East Asia. Be reminded that in TTL the SOE is the equivalent of SOCOM in OTL, and a military organization for the most part.

Gen. Browning: Commander of the 6th Airborne Division, which is training and not to become operational before mid 1940 at best. He is then to become the CinC of the operational formation of the Royal Parachute Corps, the I (UK) Airborne Corps. And the paras will see action, believe me.

Dudley Pound: Currently 2nd Sea Lord. Churchills favourite, and due to become First Sea Lord as soon as Backhouse mucks it up.

Dowding: AOCinC Fighter Command. Will soon be asked by the King himself to become Chief of the Air Staff instead of retirering.
 

Lord Strange

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Huzaah for Clever positioning of Generals! Soon the Jerries and teh Ruskies will fear you!
 

Kurt_Steiner

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And the paras will see action, believe me.
Good! Just be sure of not sending them to conquer a too far away bridge surrounded by German Panzers!

:D
 

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Chapter 91


6th May

“B – Berti”, No.617 Squadron, somewhere over southern Belgium

The Wellington bomber B-Berty was manned by a crew that seemed like a patchwork. The plane captain and second in command of the entire squadron, Flight Lieutenant Gibson, was born in India, the co-pilot was from Finland, having left the country after the Germans and the Soviets had smashed the small Finnish Army in a mere three weeks, the bombardier/radio operator was from London, and the gunners were from all over the United Kingdom. The mission they were currently on did not really help them to relax. Bomber Command's losses on the few day-light missions over Germany that had been flown to test the theories had brought nothing but horrible losses, so they had been aborted until the bombers could be adequately protected, as the new of Westland Whirlwind could be produced in sufficient numbers. Gibson knew that Fighter Command was still not happy that these squadrons were under the direct control of Bomber Command, but rumour had it that Portal and Dowding had met in a pub somewhere and discussed things. Gibson shook these idle thoughts away. “Border coming up, Skipper.” “Good. Lads, keep your eyes open for the Axies. They have a whole lot of fighters in Germany, so watch out. That goes for you too, Carl.” he said without taking his eyes from the cockpit windows. No.617 Squadron was tasked with attacking Soviet units advancing into the southern Netherlands, and this had the consequence that the Squadron was scattered out all over the area, in an effort to cover the most area and to flood the anti-air defences of the Division in this area. While they would not attack the formation itself, the Whimpeys would bomb supply dumps, fuel storage sites and generally everything that would impede the fighting ability of the enemy if it were lost. For this the Squadron had been grouped into two-plane elements, and would bomb their targets, while the attached Whirlwinds would proceed to hammer the airfields and engage any enemy fighters in the area. Gibson doubted that they would be able to completely suppress the Luftwaffe and the Red Air Force, but such was the risk of war, and every German and Soviet soldier killed or diverted to repair the things he and his lads destroyed, was one less to fight the blokes on the ground.

“Target's coming up, get to positions everybody.” he said, although it was not necessary. Their segment had been assigned to bomb a forward fuel dump that supplied the German advance along almost half of the central front. Gibson knew that there was little his and the other bomber could do unless the German fire brigades were asleep on the job, but the bombs they carried would certainly make a good little fire, something worth looking at before they returned to their bases in France. The day was perfect, pristine weather, but Gibson would have preferred some clouds, as the gunners on the ground could have heard, but not seem his bombers. But now they could, and the the evidence of that began to explode in little puffs of black smoke all around the two British bombers. Thankfully they were too high for the light stuff, although that was not much of a consolation. The tactics that Bomber Command still used for it's medium strike squadrons left much to be desired. Until shortly before the war, the doctrine had called for high-altitude strikes carried out in broad daylight by massed formation of unescorted bombers, but luckily the reforms of 1938 had shown that these type of raids were much too dangerous. The current doctrine was better, but Gibson still felt awfully vulnerable up here. He only hoped that some of those with the egg on their hats came up with something that improved this situation. Gibson had his own ideas, but he didn't think that anybody would listen to him anyway.

“Target in sight, skipper!” the bombardier yelled over the inter-com. “Keep her steady....steady....steady....Bombs away!” Behind them the other Wellington, F-Freddy, dropped his bombs in a perfect line almost parallel to those of Gibson's bomber, the two strings of high-explosives raking two neat rows square across the fuel dump. The bombs fell in-between the stacked drums that had been supposed to feed the hungry Panzers at the front farther west. Instantly the entire area was ablaze, with secondary explosions feeding the fire, as fuel drum after fuel drum exploded, each igniting the next one. Them the explosion reached the main fuel tanks, and the three massive tanks exploded in a massive explosion that spewed fuel into the air drenching the surroundings in burning diesel and petrol, setting the entire area around the dump was ablaze, the fire feeding on the spring grass and the bushes all around. The shockwave was so powerful that later on the owner of a farm almost a mile away would find half of a burned fuel drum stuck in the roof of his barn. Meanwhile the two British bombers raced east, trying to get as far away from the site as possible, as it would soon be swarming with Axis fighters. The Flack opened up again, more fourious, and as it seemed more accurate, as the crew could hear fragments bouncing off the thin skin of their bomber. “Fuckin' hell..” the rear gunner observed. “First that ruddy great bonfire back there, and now fireworks? Surely Skipper, what have we done to deserve such a hospitality?” “Shut up back there and keep watch for the Axies, will you?” “Aye, Skipper.” Gibson grinned. He knew that humour like that one was necessary to keep one's head screwed on during the insanity of war, they had a job to do.

Suddenly Gibson registered a flash in the corner of his eye. “Bloody hell, Skipper! Freddy's been hit!” Gibson looked to the left, where he could see F-Freddy belching smoke from a shattered engine. “Sparks, raise them!” Gibson yelled, while he was watching the damaged engine burst into flames. “They won't answer, Skipper!” Eyes wide in horror, Gibson watched the flames spreading until the entire wing was on fire, and then he saw why no one answered. The cockpit windows were shot away, and if they were, so were the pilots. With a heavy heart Gibson and his co-pilot steered away from the stricken bomber that began it's last descent to the ground. “What are we going to do now, Skipper?” Kreeter, the Co-pilot asked. “We hug the ground, my friend. Up here it's going to be swarming with fighters soon, and I'd rather not come between theirs and ours.” With that he pulled the Wellington into a dive as steep as he dared, with the engines to full military power. The wings of the plane struggled to stay attached to the fuselage, and when Gibson pulled up only very short of the ground, almost skimming the tree tops. The bomber buzzed towards the airfield in France as fast as possible,jumping up and down to avoid obstacles, racing past the German and Soviet defenders that were too stunned to act, as they had not been expecting anyone to be foolhardy enough to try something like this. Sometimes the Wellington was over and past their position before they even knew it was there, too fast for them to shoot with anything even resembling accuracy. More often than not the gunfire clawed into the air when the Bomber was already out of range. When they reached the French border, Gibson pulled up in order to avoid the Anti-Aircraft guns in the French Maginot line that had orders to shoot at any and all aircraft under a certain height. Gibson would have preferred to stay low, but he didn't trust the Aircraft recognition skills of the French any farther than he could throw them, and so he rose to the ordered altitude. And then, right on cue, the rear gunner yelled out: “Tally ho, Tally ho, fighters coming in from the rear!”, immediately following up on this exclamation by opening fire with his turret. The four guns spewed fire against the three incoming Soviet I-16s, but none were hit. In return the three small Soviet Interceptors opened fire too, and their fire was much more accurate. To Gibson it felt as if the plane had been hit by a gigantic hammer, with splinters zig-tagging through it at the same time. Gibson steered the plane into a cloudbank before trying to find out what was wrong. The engines were running normally, the controls seemed to work, although the side rudder seemed to be a bit wobbly. The noise of the airflow had increased tenfold, and the inter-com system was out. “Bloody hell, Skipper, we lost Charley! The whole fucking turret is gone!” one of the side gunners yelled. Gibson turned around and saw that indeed he could see the sky where the rear turret should have been. “Jimmy's wounded! He got one in the belly! Bloody hell, Skipper, we have to get down as fast as possible!” Gibson took the plane down to the deck again, this time more careful than the first time. The I-16s seemed to have disappeared, apparently they had lost them. Gibson carefully hugged the countryside, preparing to land the bomber on some French field should anything else go wrong.

“Where the bloody hell are we?” Gibson asked more himself than anyone else. “Near Nancy I think!” Kreeter answered. Gibson steered the Wellington on a roughly western course, as their airfield was south of Reims. It seemed as if there was more damage after all, because the rear rudder had stopped working altogether and he was now forced to steer with what he had left. The plane was dangerously close to falling apart, and he wasn't sure they would make it to back to the airfield. He was therefore understandably relieved when the airstrip came in sight, but this changed fast. It was apparent that the field had recently been visited. The tarmac was cratered and littered with burning aircraft, and almost all of the hangars had been smashed up. He didn't want to contemplate trying to land his damaged plane on the cratered runway, but luckily for him there was an emergency strip close by, only grass, but it would have to do. He gently lined up, and he could already see the ambulances racing from one of the few undamaged hangars. It seemed that something about a Wellington with a missing tail turret seemed to shake them up. He gently pressed the plane down, reducing power as he did so. Kreeter lowered the undercarriage and they heard the comforting 'clunk' when it snapped into place. Gibson eased the plane to the grass, cutting the engines and bringing them to a stop. As soon as the plane had stopped, he turned around and rushed aft where the side gunner was holding the limp body of his mate in his arms. “He's dead, Skipper...”




[Game Notes: And here come the dambusters, although they won't acquire that nickname for quite some time yet. In this timeline the Squadron starts out as a normal bomber unit. I intended to do an entire plot line on the Winter War, but then I realized it wouldn't really work so I ditched it. We will hear more on it later on.]
 

Kurt_Steiner

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King B-... B-... B-... Bertie must be proud of this plane.

;)

With all due respect to the King, of course.
 

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Kurt_Steiner He is actually, although I didn't think of that when I wrote the update.

Enewald A traitor! Arrest him! :mad:
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Enewald A traitor! Arrest him! :mad:
He's not a traitor. He's a Fine. Let's fine him for that.

Perhaps he's refering to the Rote Armee Fraktion :D
 

trekaddict

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Kurt_Steiner

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I only find the number of the SG-1...:(
 

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Lord Strange

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Hmmmmmmmmmm, sounds like our boys are taking a beating. Any action on the ground front?
 

trekaddict

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trekaddict

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In case anyone is interested: Here is the update!

Chapter 92


7th May

Somewhere in Tokyo, Empire of the Rising Sun ( a.k.a. Japan )

The capital of Japan was busy, but western observers would have found it strange. One could easily forget that Japan was not at war, not since the Chinese had surrendered and Mao had been publicly hanged in Tokyo. Many had argued against the creation of the “Chinese Republic” on the mainland, but in the end the supporters of the idea around General Tojo had won out. He had argued with the Emperor and the Prime Minister that, while probably harder in the short term, a creation of a Chinese puppet state on the mainland solved many problems. Firstly, many Chinese, especially those in the areas directly annexed by Japan, would offer less resistance to their new masters, and on the other hand, Chinese troops could be used to root out what remained of the KMT and the Chinese Communists. The argument that sooner or later China would simply out-produce Japan had been shot down with the argument that the existing 'agreements' between Nanjing and Tokyo made sure that this would not happen, because for the next 120 years China would send all products and resources over a limit to be determined by Japan every year to Tokyo free of charge, that way Japan would have the ability to strangle the Chinese economy, especially since the leaders were always 'guarded' by the two Japanese Divisions in Nanjing, for which the commander of the Japanese Armed Forces would pick only the most loyal of men. Tojo Hideki was proud of himself for coming up with this scheme, and even more so because of the one he had proposed to his Majesty and the Cabinet only a few weeks ago. It would not only solve the more distant problems of Japan, but would also put a firm barrier between the British and the Americans, both of which would sooner or later seize the area in order to have better positions against Japan. He would not let this happen, Tojo Hideki assured himself, as he travelled down the coast of Tokyo Bay towards where the Carrier Akagi was anchored. He still did not like Yamamoto very much, but the man carried considerable influence within the Fleet, and so some sort of arrangement was needed, as the entire plan was anchored on the Imperial Japanese Navy, it rose or fell with the Fleet's Carriers, even more so since the most recent additions due to the new international situation. Tojo did not like the Fleet, not only because they constantly tried to usurp the Army's power, but also because he, unusual for an island nation like Japan, was prone to seasickness.

His car passed the entrance to the base, the staff flags on the fenders and the bonnet convincing the guards that they did not need to see his papers. The car sped past the assorted warehouses and headed towards the fleet anchorage where the capital ships were moored. The towering Battleships would have impressed Tojo had be bothered to look outside, but he didn't, and so he only looked up when they reached the jetty from where the boat would take him out to the carrier. He briskly walked up the ramp, not bothering to acknowledge the salutes of the ratings that stood on guard. Admiral Yamamoto was already awaiting him in his flag cabin, equally enthusiastic about the meeting. The two men loathed and respected each other at the same time, and had been forced to work together since that meeting all these months ago, even since Yamamoto had become Navy Minister, seconding his post as commander of the Combined Fleet to Admiral Nagumo. He still kept tight reins on the goings-on in the IJN, so it was only normal that he was still involved in the planning of what had once been the Hawaiian Operation, back when the threat picture had been very different from the one presented today. Therefore, when Tojo entered the cabin, Yamamoto rose, performing the ritual Japanese formal greeting. Coming straight to the point he opened the conversation. “I assume, General, that you have brought the estimates from our attachés in Europe?” Tojo nodded and handed Yamamoto the papers from the briefcase. “There are two major German/Soviet thrusts. One, into northern Holland, on order to pin the Dutch Army in place, one into northern Belgium in order to draw the French, and later the British into northern Belgium, and so we can assume that if the Germans stick to the plan, we can expect a third, heavier thrust into Southern Belgium soon that will trap most of the French Army once it is in place along the Dyle. The British have not yet deployed the BEF, but it can be suspected that it will come too late and be diverted to Belgium.”



“I must admit Admiral, that there are some conflicting sentiments expressed by our Officers in Paris, London and Berlin. Adding things together, it is all very confusing at first. Berlin reports that the Germans and the Soviets expect the French lines to break within the month, Paris reports that the French are cautiously confident that they can hold the line somewhere in Belgium or Northern France, while London...” He took off his glasses and proceeded to clean them with his handkerchief, cursing himself for the display of weakness. “London, or rather the British Empire is the most confusing, Admiral. On the forefront they talk the usual war-time phrases of having unwavering faith in their French Allies, while sources report that there are rumours in Whitehall that their General Staff and the Government are already preparing contingency plans for an eventual fall of metropolitan France. I'm sure you know that they are bulking up the native contingents in all of their Far-Eastern colonies under the pre-text of training manpower for the supposed Imperial Armies that they say they want to form soon. Whatever their real agenda is, they are increasing and stiffening their defences, most importantly in Singapore and Hong Kong. I am sure your operatives and mine report the same things.” Yamamoto nodded. “Indeed, General. Both in Hong Kong and Singapore the British are building fortifications at an unprecedented speed and size. For example this.” Yamamoto pushed a file over the table for Tojo to read. “It seems that the British are scraping together Artillery and everything that could make their defences more impregnable. They are currently expanding their fortifications all around the Island. If we were to attack tomorrow, our Special Naval Landing Forces could easily overwhelm them as per the original plan, but if we are to stick to the timetables which is unavoidable, given our building schedules, we need a revision. The same also applies for Hong Kong.” Tojo nodded. Yamamoto might be insufferable, but he was a competent Officer, and he had the ear of His Imperial Majesty. “Yes, Admiral. That is why I and my Staff have totally re-worked the plan. Let me explain.” Tojo cleared his throat. “This might not be well received by some, but we feel that it is the shortest route to victory. The British will expect us to assault Hong-Kong directly, but we will by-pass it, letting it starve so to speak. We will still carry out the initial Air attacks, both there and..elsewhere, but we will simply lay siege to it, sooner or later they will have to surrender, given that the Navy will cut their supply lines?” Yamamoto just nodded.

“We must however take Singapore. From there the British and, to a certain extent at least, the Dutch will have a base from which they would disrupt operations in the area, at least until we can take the Dutch East Indies and their supply bases in India.” Yamamoto then studied the plan by wordlessly going through the folders for the next two hours, occasionally taking notes on the side. In the meantime a steward brought in tea for both of the Officers, and Tojo kept himself busy sipping it now and then while formulating his responses to any obvious questions Yamamoto might have. “This is of course an almost complete reversal from Nitaka.” the Admiral stated. “Yes it is, Admiral. We failed to consider the rapidly changing geopolitics in the Pacific, and back then we underestimated the Americans and, even more so, the British. The former..well, you know of their recent fleet movements, and the latter, although heavily committed, will definitely send at least one of the Carrier Groups they are building to the Far East as soon as they have eliminated the Axis Navies, or at least reduced the threat to a degree they can handle them with what will be left.” Tojo cleared his throat again and said, placing his hands on the table to emphasize his point. “Admiral, there is a window of opportunity here, and it is closing rapidly.” Yamamoto nodded and said: “Indeed. We can defeat one of our foes on his own, but both together..Even so, I can promise to run wild for one year, after that the initiative will irreversibly shift towards the enemy. We need more time to prepare, at the very least the current building programme needs to be completed. We need these Carriers, General, and I will tell as much to His Majesty and the Cabinet at the next meeting.” “Good. But when will you be ready to commence operations?” “Not before the next year.” “We are in agreement then.”


[Game Notes: I am constructing level 10 land and Coastal Forts in both Hong Kong and Singapore. I don't expect any to hold for longer than a few months at best if they come under attack, but it would tie up Japanese and Chinese Divisions and make live easier in India. I'm turning them into Speed bumps so to speak. I know that level 5 Forts would suffice, but I can't help it. :D ]
 
Last edited:

dannyboy2016

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Excellent. I hope that your garrison in Singapore can hold out against the forces of this so-called empire. If these Japanese attack, I know that you'll focus the full might of the empire against them once you've liberated Europe from Tyranny!
 

Lord Strange

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Oh, i always turn the Far East into a seres of deathtraps, with mountaineers, forts, and los of bombers.