Chapter 5 – The fronts are closing in

Tom D.

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Chapter 5 – The fronts are closing in

21st of April 1940 03:00, Brussels

The Belgian Parliament had assembled in a crisis meeting. It was the second one besides the other when the Germans occupied the Rhineland in 1936. The situation was looking grim: the Belgian army was outnumbered compared to the German armies, but Belgium had prepared itself by setting up a string of defences and bunkers at the border and along the Maas river. It was clear Belgium couldn’t survive on its own, so the government had accepted the proposal of the British to join the Allies. Besides the instructions to the army to prepare themselves the government couldn’t do much more then to await the coming offensive of the Germans, a very frustrating thing.

PM Pierlot stared into the dark after the meeting ended. Somewhere to the east the Germans were preparing their move. The thought alone that it was planned all along without knowing it, or at least not being sure… Some dark years were to come…

21st of April 1940 04:00, the Ardennes

The big majority of the army was still sleeping, including Alexander, when the sirens suddenly awoke in the middle of the night. The sirens, put across the whole camp when the first defences were made, now functioned for the first time. All soldiers immediately stood up and assembled out of the barracks as fast as they could. Alexander could see the whole camp coming to live in a quite disorderly manner: officers were shouting orders, soldiers were ordered to take their positions in the bunkers not far away, all while the sirens kept on sounding. The officer of his battalion came to him and his friends and said that they were needed at bunker A10.

“What’s happening officer, is it the Germans?”

“It is indeed the Germans soldier, they have declared war and we are needed at the border immediately. We expect an invasion just like in Poland. Now get in the truck, to your positions.”

But the Germans weren’t invading the country yet. They were invading the Netherlands and their lost land behind the Maginot Line first, giving the French enough time to send reinforcements. The Soviet Union on the other hand, abusing the current situation, demanded Finland to surrender Finnish territory near Leningrad, to allow for better defence of the city. The Finns, clearly not amused by the demand, refused this. Two weeks later, the Soviets saw their flank secured as the Germans were busy enough and decided to declare war on Finland. It seems not only the Germans may be a threat to Belgium and the Allies.

2J2oUOH.jpg


9th of May 1940 01:00, the Ardennes

Alexander was on duty at the border when it happened. A loud explosion just some tens of metres away from where he was standing. He was so surprised he didn’t respond for some seconds, until another soldier ran to him and pushed him onto the ground, just in time to save him for another explosion which would’ve probably killed him. Still surprised at what had just happened, the other soldiers arrived and took their positions. Just after they arrived, heavy bombardment followed by the German army itself attacked their position. Alexander took his position too and before he knew it he killed the first Germans in his life.

The attack kept going during the whole night while injured soldiers were taken behind the lines and rest was only provided to those who could barely fight anymore. It was only five days later, when the Royal Air Force arrived from across the Channel that the attack was repelled, for now.

HXpSaVh.jpg


Not much rest were given to the soldiers, as the offensive of the Germans rebegan on the 31st of May. Although the defences in the Ardennes did their job perfectly, the morale quickly dropped when news spread that the Germans were able to invade the most southern point of Belgium, while also succeeding in invading the Netherlands from the north, taking Amsterdam.

Only 3 days later, on the 3rd of June, the Netherlands capitulated and fled to London. The news was devastating for Belgium. Pierlot and his most skilled marshals and generals came together the same day to discuss the situation. It was not looking good.

UbjuGIa.jpg


“Generals, marshals, I just want to hear the facts, how bad they may be. How is our situation at the moment?” Pierlot asked.

“To be frank Prime Minister, not good at all. We focussed our defences too much at the Ardennes and the Maas river, believing that if the Germans would invade just like in the Great War, they would leave the Netherlands on their own. But now that those Dutch decided to join the Allies… Simply said, our northern flank is wide open. The Germans are already at the border and they can reach Antwerp in any day from now on.”

“This isn’t good at all... Can we send some divisions to the north to secure our flanks there? Can we even make up some basic defences on the Dutch border?”

“Making defences now is useless, they would be of a low quality, take too much time and would only hamper our own advance. Regarding the divisions, we are losing ground in the Ardennes. I expect our men to lose our position there very soon. Although I hate to suggest this, I think we should better retreat our forces behind the Maas river and try to defend ourselves there. The river will protect us and we can send men to the northern border if necessary.”

“And what about the French reinforcements?”

“Let me see, I received a telegram of the French Field Marshal. He said that they can’t send more reinforcements. The French have been pushed back and lost their position on the Maginot Line. They need all men there, not to forget the Italians are in the south in the Provence, waiting for an opportunity to attack too. Oh, and before you ask, the British are at the moment only sending airforces, no men.”

“I believe retreating behind the Maas river is the only thing we can do. But it won’t save us much, only time. Our fight is hopeless: Plan A(llies) is not providing us much coverage, Plan B(elgium) to defend our country has failed too... I think it is time to prepare ourselves to execute Plan C.”

“What, Plan C Prime Minister? I thought that was just a plan for when we were in dire need, when things would be extremely unfortunate. It wasn’t even meant to exist, you said it yourself that it would probably never be used!”

“I thought so too but we have no choice. If we want to turn this war we must make some sacrifices. And it’s not that when we will execute Plan C that Belgium will be utterly lost. I’ll head to London to discuss matters with the British Prime Minister. If we have the support of the British, we will succeed.”
 

TheAnguishedOne

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Well, good to see the Soviets are enjoying themselves here.
 

Idhrendur

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Well, that's not good. And just what will plan C turn out to be?
 

Tom D.

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Well, good to see the Soviets are enjoying themselves here.
But for how long will they? That's the question ;).

"he killed the first Germans in his life" o_O Who else has he killed!

Great chapter as always :)
Well, the first people in his life of course, but it says enough that the first ones were Germans :rolleyes:...

Well, that's not good. And just what will plan C turn out to be?
I already gave a hint by giving the full names of Plan A & B. But I'm not spoiling it already, next chapter will bring the answer ;).
 

stnylan

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I presume plan C is Congo. But we shall see :D

Always going to be hard if the Dutch fell. Too much border.
 

Nikolai

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Plan (C) apitulate? :eek:
 

Tom D.

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I presume plan C is Congo. But we shall see :D

Always going to be hard if the Dutch fell. Too much border.
Plan (C) apitulate? :eek:
Plan C : Conquer :p
Plan C: Call My Mom.
Haha, love these guessing, especially the Call my Mom one :D. Although you probably have a feeling what it will be, the next chapter next week will bring the solution. Got to keep it interesting ;).
 

atwix

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Moving capital to Belgian Kongo?

Wait... wrong game.
 

Tom D.

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Moving capital to Belgian Kongo?

Wait... wrong game.
Not entirely wrong ;); if for example the Dutch capitulate then their 'capital' moves to Sumatra or however it's called in their colonies in Indonesia. They can keep fighting there.
 

atwix

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Not entirely wrong ;); if for example the Dutch capitulate then their 'capital' moves to Sumatra or however it's called in their colonies in Indonesia. They can keep fighting there.



Belgium plan C: *music* "So bongo bongo bongo I don't wanna leave the Congo oh nonononono! Bingle Bangle Bungle I'm so happy in the jungle I refuse to goooo..." *music*
 

Tom D.

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*music* "So bongo bongo bongo I don't wanna leave the Congo oh nonononono! Bingle Bangle Bungle I'm so happy in the jungle I refuse to goooo..." *music*
Hahaha, it really says Congo :D! Although it seems weird that that song is a soundtrack for Fallout4 (for as far as I know about the game), it really fits here. Thanks for sharing this wonderful peace of music :).
 

atwix

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its in fact a cover from an existing song that dates from right after WWII.

It got used in a broadway musical (forgot name), hence why I was pleasantly surprised to see a cover of it in fallout soundtrack.

It is fitting song for fallout universe I suppose. he talks about civilisation and tech ruining society, which makes the haven of Congo (a vault maybe?) seem a better alternative to all the social strife. and a direct reference like 'they have things like atom bomb' is exactly what fallout universe is about.

I suggest you closely listen to the song text, and you'll understand soon enough why this is a real fitting song for fallout universe.

and also for Belgium in this case.
 
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Tom D.

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its in fact a cover from an existing song that dates fropm right after WWII.

It got used in a broadway musical (forgot name), hence why I was pleasantly surprised to see a cover of it in fallout soundtrack.

It is fitting song for fallout universe I suppose (civilization is dying, he talks about civilisation and tech ruining society, which is exactly what fallout universe is about) and also for Belgium in this case.
Now look at that, we learn something new each day. The least you can say is that it's a catching song. I guess I'm going to play it all day long now ;).
 

atwix

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that is the hit version from 1947 I think. The song text is lot easier to follow here :)

Although the satire theme -a native telling about how a missionary promoted 'civilization' in Congo- is lot more Obvious in the fallout version.
 

Tom D.

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that is the hit version from 1947 I think. The song text is lot easier to follow here :)
It's less catchy but indeed better to follow. The atom bomb reference surprised me, but sounds logic since it's from 1947. A wonder that despite its age it's still available in 2016.
 
Chapter 6 – The execution of Plan C

Tom D.

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Chapter 6 – The execution of Plan C

13th of June 1940 11:00, London

Prime Minister Pierlot had arrived in London to discuss the war effort between the two countries. Pierlot had been warmly welcomed and had already been praised by British media for the stubborn resistance, something which couldn't be said of the Dutch.

After the press meeting both Prime Ministers went to a separate room, only the two of them remained.

“Good midday mister Pierlot, first of all I want to express my grief about what is currently happening to your country. I believe we should help each other the best as we can and jointly fight as true Allies to push the Germans back.”

“Thank you, I’m thankful for the warm welcome I got when I arrived. I too believe we could help each other.”

“So, what is it you wanted to talk about regarding the war effort?”

“I fear that Belgium won't be able to resist much longer. We have to evacuate the country and therefore execute Plan C."

"And what is this 'Plan C' you're talking about?"

"Retreating our forces to the Congo and continue the resistance from there. Of course we can't just leave our country undefended, the public opinion would be outraged, treat us as deserters. That's why we need replacements."

"And you probably want to fill this gap with British divisions? What do we get out of this retreat, it sounds very foolish to just evacuate Belgian forces to the Congo when they can actively fight the Germans in their own country."

"Well... The fact is that our scientists found something unusual in the Congo. It's a sort of material which, after some methods I don't know about, can be used to make a special kind of weapon."

“And that is?”

“The scientists call it 'uranium' and they believe that they can develop a weapon with such destructive power the world has never seen before. But if we want to use this to turn the war, we need forces their to protect our project against the Axis. I hope you understand?”

“Hmm, I see… If such a weapon were to be developed, we could have a very good chance to turn the war. It would be foolish to not use this possibility to our own profit. When do you want our army to cross the Channel?”

“Within three days if possible?”

“Then that’s concluded. Let us toast on this agreement, to Belgium, Britain and may we be victorious!"

"To Belgium!"

16th of June 1940 14:00, the coast of Belgium

The Belgian army had assembled at the coast. After the unsuccessful defence of the Ardennes, the army first retreated behind the river Maas, hoping to stop the invasion there. Together with some French forces most invasions from the north were prevented. Plan C got executed as soon as the British landed in Dunkirk, after which 2 divisions were evacuated overseas. No-one got intelligence on this departure, as it would only cause turmoil and further demoralise the army. From any time now the Germans could overrun the country. There is no time to waste.

20161026192310_1.jpg


Alexander and his division were evacuated to the coast four days later. They heavily protested against leaving their country, but in the end they were lucky to be able to retreat. The other four divisions weren't as lucky...

Only four days later, Liège had been taken by the Germans: the northern advance seemed unstoppable. Viewing their successes in the Benelux and France, Germany decided to invade Denmark and Norway too. It seemed Germany had much higher ambitions than just conquer Danzig and humiliate France after their defeat in the Great War. This seemed to be some sort of desire, a desire to unite Europe under one rule, a German one.


The government, almost trapped by the German advance and the attack on Brussels around the 9th of July decided to flee the city before the Germans would be able to occupy the capital. The king, already in conflict with the government about the organisation of the military, refused to leave the country. He would become a prisoner inside his own palace for the rest of the war.

20161026192904_1.jpg


The final blow was delivered on the 14th of July 1940, after the cities of Brussels and Namur fell. The government officially capitulated after these events, and fled via France to London. But the capitulation didn’t mean Belgium wouldn’t keep on fighting: Belgium would actively keep participating in the war, although being it in the Congo instead of in Brussels. The Congo and Léopoldville would be the new command centre for the newly formed "Armée de Resistance Belge".

20161026193117_1.jpg


Belgium's role in this war was far from over, and maybe... Maybe Belgium would be able to turn the war, one way or another. What is certain is that the war itself was also far from over.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: I have to admit that retreating to the Congo was my plan all along. I experimented with this 'exile' plan (which seems to not only work in EU4 ;)) a few times before I started this run and I will share my tips on a good exile strategy during the AAR. It is a very enjoying strategy, and I liked it a lot.

Important to note is that, as you might know, your troops are disbanded when you capitulate (which is automatic after you don't hold enough victory points/cities or whatever it is called anymore). BUT if you send your troops to your colonies or just overseas, they won't. Which means that I was able to guard the Congo with at least 10 divisions, which is decent if the Axis is coming for you.

I also want to note that this was almost impossible before the latest patch. Before that, the Axis would really focus on Africa and you can't survive an invasion of 40 divisions from Italy and Germany. Now they're more passive and this makes it a valid and possible strategy :).
 
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TheAnguishedOne

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How to make Belgium survive against Germany: abandon Belgium. Not what I expected, but it's an interesting strategy.