• 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

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Many thanks to all for the compliments, however I recieved a phone call today saying my little brother cant find my damn copy of HOI II to send me, and with the bajillions of disks I have lying around my room back home it seems a lost cause, still we live in hope. Anyone have an idea where I can go buy a copy here in Switzerland? :confused:
And now on to an update.

Then it is War!​

British Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chaimberlain​

British Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chaimberlain, sat in the high backed reading chair in his office inside the oppulent British Colonial Administration building in central London. He had read the ultimatium several times and could only shake his head in wonder. How could these two Boer Reupublics with a combined population of little over 300, 000 even contemplate threatening the British Empire with war? Bringing his indignant rage under control Chaimberlain decended into deep thought. There was talk in the House of Commons of a possible German intevention on behalf of their Boer "Brothers" and it was true that these hardy bush-men had humbled the British in a war just 20 years earlier.
This however, thought Chaimberlain as he unconcoisly slammed his fist down on the desk, this brazen insult to British power could not go unanswered. If it was war these Boers wanted, it would be war they would recieve!

In Berlin Kaiser Wilhelm II sat in a similar study, surrounded by jabbering advisors, each contadicting eachother as to what the best course of action would be. The meeting had been called upon the arival of an exact copy of the ultimatum sent to the British, which Wilhelm now held in his hands. He held up a gloved fist for silence, and suddenly the room was devoid of all but the noise of the early evening breeze slapping against the window shutters.
"Gentlemen, as much as it pains me to see our German bretheren placed in such a possition by the British, we cannot risk open war over this issue."
There was a moment of hushed conversation before the Kaiser continued.
"We can only hope that the weapons and training we have supplied in keeping with the bargain struck by my grandfather 15 years ago combined with the strength of arms in their German herritage will see the Boer Republics through this crisis."
The majority of the assembled crowd of advisors and ministers nodded in agreeance with their Emperor.
"However, we shall continue to funnel supplies and weapons to the Republics through German West Africa in the hope that this slight aid may tip the balance against the English."
With that, Wilhelm turned and left the study by way of a side entrance, and the room exploded into heated conversation.
 
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stnylan

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I wonder what role France will play in all of this, if any?
 

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stnylan said:
I wonder what role France will play in all of this, if any?
I'm actually more interested in the Dutch role in this. They'll be very sympathetic to the Boers (as in OTL) and Britain can't afford to piss them off too badly for fear of driving them into the German orbit (small country, but strategically located with a long naval tradition)
 

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hmm...i wonder how this will turn out...
 

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Iron-Chef said:
In Berlin Kaiser Wilhelm II sat in a similar study, surrounded by jabbering advisors, each contadicting eachother as to what the best course of action would be. The meeting had been called upon the arival of an exact copy of the ultimatum sent to the British, which Wilhelm now held in his hands. He held up a gloved fist for silence, and suddenly the room was devoid of all but the noise of the early evening breeze slapping against the window shutters.
"Gentlemen, as much as it pains me to see our German bretheren placed in such a possition by the British, we cannot risk open war over this issue."
There was a moment of hushed conversation before the Kaiser continued.
"We can only hope that the weapons and training we have supplied in keeping with the bargain struck by my father 15 years ago combined with the strength of arms in their German herritage will see the Boer Republics through this crisis."
The majority of the assembled crowd of advisors and ministers nodded in agreeance with their Emperor.
"However, we shall continue to funnel supplies and weapons to the Republics through German West Africa in the hope that this slight aid may tip the balance against the English."
With that, Wilhelm turned and left the study by way of a side entrance, and the room exploded into heated conversation.
Just a little nitpick: Kaiser Wilhelm I was actually the grandfather of Wilhelm II. Wilhelm II's father was Kaiser Friedrich III who died of thyroid cancer a few weeks after his coronation.

Otherwise, nice AAR. Will be nice to see how the actual game runs, with Britain possibly still half entrenched in southern Africa...
 

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The Second Boer War, A Preemptive Strike​


Kruger stood hunched over a large map displaying the borders of the Transvaal Republic and its ally the Oranje Free State. Gathered around him in the dull light of the pipe-smoke filled room. Clustered around the map table were the most able military and civilian minds to be found in the Boer Republics as well as the small cadre of foregn advisors from Germany and the Netherlands. Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands had been more than sympathetic to the Boer cause after recieving a messege from Kruger himself pleading for aid against British agression. However, without any African colonies to funnel supplies through there could be little more than symbolic aid from the Dutch, and these men constituted that aid.
Two men stood on either side of Kruger, jabbing now and again at the map, they were the three most skilled and powerful Boer Generals, Piet Cronje, Koos De la Rey and Louis Botha.

Kruger coughed slightly, cursing his old age, before motioning for silence.
"Gentlemen, we are gathered today to discuss the course of action in regards to the British question."
He waited for the room to quiet again before continuing
"There has been no offical response from the British, however, troop numbers on our borders have been steadily building over the past 24 hours, and I believe the British are preparing for war, rather than striving to avoid it."
Cronje stepped forward at this point and slammed his closed fist down onto the map table, "Thus it is the oppinion of both our foriegn advisors and the high command that we should strike now while we still have the advantage of supprise!"

The room remained hushed as the assembled advisors struggled to take in this new flood of information, war with the British? No, we are too weak. Better to make peace!
"As such," Kruger continued, "I have, in concert with my counterpart in the Oranje Free State, President Steyn, ordered a full mobilisation of the regular troops and the militia for a preemptive strike against the British to commence at dawn tomorrow."
"With any luck" added De la Rey, "We can catch the British off guard before they can bring their major advantage to bear, numbers" He subconciously drew lines from the Boer possitions towards the major Brittish forts and settlements at Kimberley, Ladysmith and Mafeking. "We have also been in contact with the Boer population of the Cape Coloney, which will rise up in rebellion against the British and help speed our advance, in addition to this, a vollunteer force has been assembled in German West Africa that will inflitrate through British lines and join up with out advance."

Kruger looked up from the map and sighed heavily before his features became a mask of stoic resolution, "Gentlemen, we have been preparing for this war for 15 years, now everything is in the hands of God, let us all pray our endevor goes to plan, becuase we all know what the consequences will be if it does not"
 
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good update! good luck! but then again this is all in your mind...:)
 

stnylan

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Let the dice roll high! Surprise they will have, but can they hold on long enough?

A request (or a tip) - could you please put in a clear line between paragraphs? It really helps readability on a monitor screen and makes everything look clearer, especially where speech is concerned.
 

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Opening Moves​


The opening moves of what was to become known in seperate circles as the Second Anglo-Boer war or the War of Unification belonged totaly to the Boer armies under De la Ray (who would later be touted as a hero of the conflict) and his superior Piet Cronje. While it cannot be said that the British were not prepared for war, indeed some thousands of British regulars had been stationed on the border of the Cape Colony and the Boer Republics for some time, however the speed and proffessionalism of the Boer advance caught the British commanders completley off guard.

On the 11th of October 1899 forced the opening stages of the war by invading the Cape Colony and Natal Colony. Indeed it was De la Ray himself that lead 4000 Boer commandoes to completley cut off the Natal province from any aid from the massing British foces on the Cape. The British command dispatched Sir Redvers Henry Buller, A Victoria Cross holder and hero of the Anglo-Zulu wars, to break the Boer cordon around Natal. However on ariving at Ladysmith Buller quickly found that thsituation was becomming hopless. Surrounded on three sides by the Boer Republics and with Boer troops having captured all railway crossings into and out of the province, Natal would become one of the most bloody battlefields of the early conflict.

By the 29th of October, several thousand Boer troops supported by heavy artilery had surrounded the town and the siege of Laysmith had begun. Elsewhere the war was already progressing well for the Boers, with superior supply readily available after 15 years of stockpiling, Boer troops had savagly defeated further British reenforcements headed for Natal on the 20th of October at Talana Hill, with the British suffering 800 casualties and 2000 captured for only 150 Boers dead or wounded, as they attempted to assult a heavily fortified pass before being surrounded by the forces of General Erasmus. However, with 15, 000 British troops being stationed inside the garrison-city, Ladysmith would be the first real battle of the conflict.

Dawn was slowly breaking over the African plains as De la Rey looked down on the town of Ladysmith from his possition atop Pepworth Hill, a ridge overlooking the town four miles to the north. Boer sappers had been digging throughout the night, implacing the valuable heavy artilery in carefully concealed and protected possitions along the ridge. De la Ray could only nod in contentment. He held the high ground. His German howitzers could rain death down upon the sleepy little settlment which was the capital of Natal province with little fear of reprisal from the British field artilery regement stationed with the towns garrison.

A slight disturbance of the rocks behind him made De la Ray turn and lower his field binoculars. One of his leutenants was hurridly scrambling up the rock face along the path that lead to the main Boer encampment, his bull brown fatigues making him blend in uncanilly with the surrounding shrubs and grasses.

"General De la Ray, the lookouts have reported movement of the British units stationed within the town"

De la Ray turned and focused the lenses on the mass of tents and horses crowded into the eastern section of the town. Indeed the British units were making ready to move out, their actions betrayed by the gaudy uniforms omplete with kilts and pith helmets that their troops were still issued with despite the impracticality of such attire in the African bush.
De la Ray counted off the division markers under his breath as he squinted through the lenses of the binoculars.

"I count several brigades of foot, supported by cavalry and six batteries of field artillery being marshalled in our direction, in addition two further battalions are being marshalled as a seperate force."
De la Ray turned, his face set in a mask of hard resolve.
"The British intend to assult our possition before dawn is out, and it would be my guess that they will try and block the Nek to prevent General Botha's force from joining us from Oranje, send the appropriate orders leutenant, the battle will soon be joined!"
 
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very nice update! woo! go Boers! :D
 

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Surprise achieved. Now let us see about the endurance. A good map.
 

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Iron-Chef said:
As a complete side note, WHY is it I "dont have permission" to create a signature, everyone else seems to have them.... please forgive my newbness :)


I think you have to have 1 month of membership or 100 posts. I remember being annoyed by it too. Just wait a while and you'll be able to.
 

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Ah, many thanks, now as I will be going away for a few nights to enjoy the hospitality of my councellor of the Rotary club and her two rather ravashing daughters at their holiday house overlooking the lake of Luzern, I better give you all one last update to tide you over. Once more many thanks for the feedback and encouragment from you all, special thanks to both Lifeless and Stnylan who have never let an update go by yet without leaving a comment! Now, back to the story.

Engagment​

Sergent Ian Brindal ducked as a stay bullet whizzed passed his head and smacked into a eucaliypt tree, sending up a small explosion of shredded bark and wood. The night had gone from bad to worse. Brindal was a part of the 800 man detatchment sent to secure the pass through Nelsons Nek and ensure that reeinforcments from Louis Botha's army could not join the Boer siege of Ladysmith. They had set out just as the red light of dawn began to touch the horison, however despite a forced march with bayonettes fixed through the hours before dawn, they had failed the reach the Nek in time to prevent its capture and fortification by Boer commandoes.

The man next to Brindal went down with a three inch hole in the middle of his forehead, a testament to both the firepower of the German made Mauser bolt action rifles the Boers were using, and the excellent marksmanship of the commando unit. Brindal wiped the smattering of the mans blood from his face and grimaced. The Boers held the high ground and were raking his unit with rifle fire from concealed possitions. To make matters worse, their supply train of mules and shore-footed ponies had bolted just before the Boer ambush, leaving the British soldiers pinned down and with little in the way of ammunition or medical supplies.

Brindal pressed himself into the dirt, attmepting to make himself as small a target as possible for the Boer snipers as yet another Englishman went down to his left, his chest a bloody mess of blood and shattered bone.

Brindal could only wait, pick his targets and return fire with what little ammunition he had remaining, occaisionaly yelling encouragment to the twelve, or rather ten men under his command.
If there was a hell, he thaught, it would be called Nelsons Nek.

While the 800 men under the command of the British Colonel Carletson attempted to gain ground on the Nek, Major General John French sat astride his dappel-grey charger. He was the commander of the regiment of cavalry stationed in Ladysmith, and would soon lead the charge against the Boer possitions, in an attempt to dislodge the enemy before they could become immovably entrenched around the settlement.
He looked to his left at the marshalling infantry under Colonel Grimwood and Colonel Hammilton, it would be the task of these soldiers to take the high ground and force the Boers to abandon their heavy artillery.
French nodded to himself, it would be either victory now or a prolongued siege, with that he drew his gold-gilted sabre, pointing it towards the Boer possitions.
"Cavalry, FORWARD!"

De la Rey pulled the battered pair of binoculars from his face. The Brittish heavy guns had launched a bombardment on his possition an hour beforehand. Thankfully his own men and artillery were well protected by both the natural defensive nature of the rocky outcrop and the hasty fortifications constucted throughout the night. Casualties had been light. Now however the bulk of the British force began to sally forth.

He turned quickly to one of his Leutenants.
"Send the signal to General Botha, the British are on the move!"

The Battle of Ladysmith is often touted as both the most decisive battle of the war and perhaps one of the largest blunders in British military history.
General French made several key mistakes. First and foremost among these was the fact that he gravely underestimated the firepower the Boers could bring to bear. It would be this, coupled with the cunning of the Boer Generals De la Rey and Botha that would ultimatly win the day for the Boer armies.

The infantry divisons under Hamilton and Grimwood were tasked with taking heavily entrenched Boer possitions atop Pepworth and Long hills. Boer artillery had a clear field of fire as the British approached over open, unneven ground towards the two hills and the concentrated fire of the twenty Boer artillery pieces, dropping an average of 15 shells a minute on the enemy, took a terrible toll both in lives and moral of the advancing infantry.

Frenches cavalry fared better, their grater mobility making them hard targets for the howitzers. However, after an hour of advancing under heavy fire, the infantry approached their objectives. It seemed that sheer weight of numbers would win the day for the English. However this was not to be.

British military practices had advanced little since the Napoleonic Wars, indeed as the troops advanced on the Boer possitions they did so marching in closed ranks and in perfect time. This would prove to be their undoing. As the unit under Hamilton began to climb Pepworth Hill, comming to within 50 metres of the Boer trenches, they were raked by vicious fire from four Maxim machine guns imported from Germany. With a rate of fire of 500 shells per minute, the guns decimated the neatly advancing ranks of infantry. Accurate rifle fire from Boer snipers had soon dispatched Hamilton, who was shot as he attempted to rally his men for a charge to the summit. With their moral broken and taking heavy casualties, the infantry retreated in dissaray, leaving nearly 1000 killed or incapacitated on the slopes of Pepworth Hill.

Frenches cavalry faced the same fate as it charged Long Hill in support of Colonel Grimwoods infantry. Men and horeses screamed as smoke from rifle and Maxim fire wafted over the battlefield. To deliver the coup de grace, mounted infantry under the command of General Botha succeeded in flanking and surrounding the British force. By the time the general retreat was sounded it was too late. Another 300 British lay dead or dieing, and 3000, including General French, became the first prisoners of war in what was to be a long and bloody conflict.

Ian Brindle looked down the slope of the Nek at the main battlefield behind him. Small pockets of British troops were running in dissaray back towards Ladysmith, only to be run down by the mounted Boer troopers. By the time the British guns opened up in support of the retreating forces the damage had been done. The field was littered with the dead and dieing, still resplended in their red uniforms.

He had long ago expended his last bullet, it was only a matter of time now. Above him a battle-cry went forth from the Boer lines as the khaki clad fighters lept from their trenches and rockie hide outs to charge down the hill. They would meet no resistance from the exhausted British.

"Lay down arms, lay down arms!" Brindle bellowed as the stunned soldiers arround him all but threw their rifles to the ground, noone wanted to join their friends who had already been killed. This battle had been lost.

A huge brute of a man with a flowing black beard and brown hat stepped infront of him, raised his Mauser and brought it down on the side of the Sergents head. Everything faded to black, the next time he woke it would be as a Prisoner of War.

It cannot be argued, that had the group of 800 men under Colonel Carleton managed to take the Nek, thus preventing Botha's "cavalry" from breaking through, the battle may have been, not a British victory, but perhaps a less costly and humiliating defeat. The British had not expected the Boers to posses anywhere near the firepower in cannon, and certainly not the German Maxim guns, and as a result the assults were poorly planned and resulted in over 5000 British casualities (Around 2500 of these were deaths) and a further 3800 prisoners. Boer casualties are estimated at less than 150 men.

Boer Maxim guns, seen here prior to deployment, would prove to be devistating against the massed ranks of British infantry and cavalry, having never faced machine-gun fire before, the British troops were killed, taken prisoner or fled the field in dissaray​
 
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stnylan

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Very nasty shock to the system. The problem for the Boers is, I now suspect, that the British will go to some length to 'correct' the situation.

A very good battle post.
 

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very nice! a new weapon have been introduced to Africa...or should it be Afrika? :)