• 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

stnylan

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Please tell me that helmet was a real thing.
 

AtlanticFriend

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Jan 2, 2018
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Please tell me that helmet was a real thing.
The giant ears? Yep. It was a real portable acoustic locator, made by a Dutch firm (and perhaps used by the Dutch army, of this I am not sure). Here's the description I found of it : "The Dutch personal parabola, 1930s. This personal sound locator consists of two parabolic sections, presumably made from aluminium for lightness. They are mounted a fixed distance apart, but the size of the human head varies somewhat. To accommodate this, it appears that the instrument is fitted with inflatable ear-pads. According to a report dated 1935, this device was put into at least limited production."

When you look for man-portable acoustic locators pictures, be prepared for really weird apparatus.
 

roverS3

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Impressive start to the real war... still loving all the flavour you add through the many characters and 'unorthodox' pieces of equipment... Aluminium ears, really, won't those reflect sunlight really well and reveal your position? Probably the least of that design's problems, but still, a pretty big flaw.

Decoy or not, this seems like the only time those C2s can be somewhat useful. As most of the Luftwaffe is in Poland, they only have to be protected on the ground, so they can actually get somewhere... very slowly... rolling up the Siegfried line along the way, before they are all destroyed. In any case, one hell of a decoy strategy, playing right into German idea that the French haven't learned anything new, on a tactics level, since the Great War...very clever, right into their feelings of superiority.
 

AtlanticFriend

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Jan 2, 2018
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Impressive start to the real war... still loving all the flavour you add through the many characters and 'unorthodox' pieces of equipment... Aluminium ears, really, won't those reflect sunlight really well and reveal your position? Probably the least of that design's problems, but still, a pretty big flaw.

Decoy or not, this seems like the only time those C2s can be somewhat useful. As most of the Luftwaffe is in Poland, they only have to be protected on the ground, so they can actually get somewhere... very slowly... rolling up the Siegfried line along the way, before they are all destroyed. In any case, one hell of a decoy strategy, playing right into German idea that the French haven't learned anything new, on a tactics level, since the Great War...very clever, right into their feelings of superiority.
I love weird military equipment. Our species' awfully good at killing itself, in simple, brutal, lethal ways, but we also have this uncanny ability to invent bizarre tools for finding/maiming/killing our brethren.

The 2Cs just had their Viking Funerals. OTL's General de Gaulle, then a mere Colonel, is supposed to have said to his overly prudent subordinates, in the middle of Operation Sicklecut, that their troops would die a soldier's death, which was a lot better than dying at home from cirrhosis. Well, that's what the 51st Tank Regiment got there. They died a soldier's death, and their sacrifice does allow a great victory. Will it last? We shall see.

Now, now. Tankers and foot soldiers just had their shot at glory. Isn't it time for every Navy's boys to try and impress us? I think it is. Next update will be rich in salty water and possibly a hint of palatial intrigue.
 
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H.Appleby

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AtlanticFriend, once again you prove yourself a beautiful writer. Just fantastic.
 

AtlanticFriend

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Jan 2, 2018
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AtlanticFriend, once again you prove yourself a beautiful writer. Just fantastic.
You Sir are much too kind. I should have written a lot more for this last update to make it real good - meh, to make it better. The German HQ scene is way too short, for example. I should have milked it more, so the sudden offensive is not immediately recognized as something major, also the offensive's success should come as a shock to French HQ officers who certainly thought it impossible to drive deep into Germany. Even I, as a player, find it odd that I can! Two or three additional pages could have done the trick. Let this be a warning to aspiring writers: whatever the urge you have to conclude a chapter, ask yourself if it's long (or short) enough.

Needless to say, I will most certainly not follow my own advice on the next update, which I am writing as we speak. Naval action, naval action, naval action. Aaaaaand a bit of political intrigue, because that is my bread and butter.

I am, actually, considering some local political career. On the one hand, I realize I have ten or fifteen good years' left in me and I kinda want to make the best of out that (not to mention megalomania, the urge to have a wild go at inept bufffoons, and a probably typically-French taste for any piece of grandeur I can grab for myself). On the other hand, reading and writing for my leisure at the pub with two pints of strong ale is an appreciable (and a much-appreciated) mid-life luxury. Ah, decisions, decisions....

On a lighter note : last update has been written while listening to Danny Mc Carthy's and Mark Petrie's Rags to Rings (
), and downing a steady diet of two pints of Corbeau Belgian Pale Ale. Both I strongly recommend.
 

Bullfilter

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Enjoyed that episode - always keen for a bit of intense armoured action. Interested to see where the broader offensive goes, even if it is still too late for poor old Poland.
 

AtlanticFriend

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Enjoyed that episode - always keen for a bit of intense armoured action. Interested to see where the broader offensive goes, even if it is still too late for poor old Poland.
Yeah, I was shocked to see Poland melt away like that. It had a sizeable (fifty divisions!) and respectable in-game army (not to mention the real one) and would have deserved a lot better. I do have pictures of Polish volunteer units which fought as part of the French Army in 1939, and you can bet they'll be featured in a future update, ready to make pierogy out of whatever Axis unit stands in front of theirs. Hell, they should be the most motivated soldiers of the French army now, and I pity whatever French officer will have to hold them back. It's going to be like that scene from 'Battle of Britain', only worse.

Considering the overwhelmingly naval nature of the next update, French characters will take a necessary step down, and we'll deal with (mostly) British ones, some historical, some fictional. Because there's no one to think and wage naval war like the Royal Navy, be that in naval intelligence bureaux or aboard warships!
 

AtlanticFriend

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Jan 2, 2018
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Writing, writing, writing... I'm 50% done for the next update.

Job-wise, I'm typing down the recording of a Minister supposed to be keen on, y'know, classical education. I feel the urgent need to send him and his cabinet a pocket edition of an Alexandre Dumas book, so they can see how the French language is supposed to be spoken and written. Whenever we let them speak without adult supervision, it's like 'Veep', without the jokes.
 

El Pip

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Job-wise, I'm typing down the recording of a Minister supposed to be keen on, y'know, classical education. I feel the urgent need to send him and his cabinet a pocket edition of an Alexandre Dumas book, so they can see how the French language is supposed to be spoken and written. Whenever we let them speak without adult supervision, it's like 'Veep', without the jokes.
That's why he's so keen on classical education - he knows he would have benefited from it (or paying attention during the one he had) so is trying to stop others making the same mistakes he did.
 

roverS3

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Writing, writing, writing... I'm 50% done for the next update.
That's very good news.

Job-wise, I'm typing down the recording of a Minister supposed to be keen on, y'know, classical education. I feel the urgent need to send him and his cabinet a pocket edition of an Alexandre Dumas book, so they can see how the French language is supposed to be spoken and written. Whenever we let them speak without adult supervision, it's like 'Veep', without the jokes.
Interesting job you've got there, I'm sure being that close to the actual politicians must give you some extra insight into those circles, always a plus for an AAR like this one...

That's why he's so keen on classical education - he knows he would have benefited from it (or paying attention during the one he had) so is trying to stop others making the same mistakes he did.
Seems about right.
 

AtlanticFriend

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That's very good news.
It sure is for me, as that means I might grab a little additional "reading time". I have Cornelius Ryan's book about the Battle of Berlin, a Mao biography, H.H. Kirst's "8/15 The revolt of Corporal Asch" crying for attention on my bedside table.

What is holding me back right now is the need to read up on naval/submarine English, as I promise you British naval officers, British warships, British diplomats discussing naval issues, and one French submarine crew's tribulations. If I once again become anal-retentive about the story, you'll have to wait for additional French reaction to an unexpected successful invasion of Germany, German reaction to the aforementioned invasion, and possibly even Soviet reaction to this first month of WW2. If I were you, I'd pray I don't get anal-narrative., because the Lord knows when I'd feel the update is indeed complete.

Interesting job you've got there, I'm sure being that close to the actual politicians must give you some extra insight into those circles, always a plus for an AAR like this one...
I cannot complain too much about my job: I've had a nice career, my job puts me in a position to meet interesting people and contribute, however modestly, to interesting projects that can affect a sizable part of the population, and my work as union delegate allows me to fight some good fights (which, as time flies by, certainly satisfies some sort of Three Musketeers-like ego trip in which I'd definitely be Porthos). Venting about semi-literate Ministers and their cohort of special advisors/speechwriters is an added bonus.

But you're right, all of this probably oozes into the updates! I've seen my faire share of Ministers, Prime Ministers and aspiring Ministers, not to mention those who serve and advise them, and boy is it a rather depressing company to keep. I wish they could still be larger-than-life characters like in the old days. Today they're either more modern, more accessible or more likeable - I cannot fight the impression they are, above all, more ordinary. If anything, I'd say I'm guilty of trying to make this AAR's politicians a tad more interesting than they are today, whether for better or for worse. It's like that old Racine/Corneille debate in French literature : like Corneille with mankind in general, I probably depict politicians as they should be, instead of as they really are! ;)
 
Last edited:

TheExecuter

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I am surprised von Leeb would fall for an attack by France's lesser tanks as the main offensive.

No Somua S35s? Then it must be the diversion.
 

AtlanticFriend

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Jan 2, 2018
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I am surprised von Leeb would fall for an attack by France's lesser tanks as the main offensive.

No Somua S35s? Then it must be the diversion.
The SOMUAs have yet to roll out of my factories in any significant number - a bit like the Panzer IIIs.

Game-wise, most of my tanks units are Renault R-40s. Story-wise, it's a hodgepodge of Hotchkiss H-35 (which are being replaced by better-armed H-39), as well as Renault D2s which are seen as an affordable medium tank (better armed and protected than the early Panzer III versions, though much slower).
 

AtlanticFriend

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I read it whole, nowadays there are very few old fashioned narrative style AAR-Writer's out there, and this is one of the best ones !
Loved it !
Yep, that's why I miss For King and Country, Weltkriegschaft and The King's Prime Minister.
 

AtlanticFriend

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Jan 2, 2018
355
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I think my "English submarine vocabulary issues" are solved, thanks to William Tuohy's 'The bravest man', a book about USS Wahoo in WW2. I really should thank ly ex-in-laws for giving me this book. Yes... I .... really......... should................................ thank......................................................
 

J66185

Second Lieutenant
Jun 26, 2018
170
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I think my "English submarine vocabulary issues" are solved, thanks to William Tuohy's 'The bravest man', a book about USS Wahoo in WW2. I really should thank ly ex-in-laws for giving me this book. Yes... I .... really......... should................................ thank......................................................
Ummm.... are you still okay as of now?o_O
 

AtlanticFriend

Captain
Jan 2, 2018
355
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Ummm.... are you still okay as of now?o_O
Fine and dandy! ;)

I'm doing my homework on submarine vocabulary for one part of the coming update - Tuohy's book is great, BTW - and will have to do the same for surface naval warfare as well for the rest of the installment. If anything, Crossfires is doing wonders for my grasp of the English language!
 

AtlanticFriend

Captain
Jan 2, 2018
355
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The next update will probably be the longest to date. I am rather enjoying writing it, but to tell you the truth it forces me to walk a mile in the shoes of British and German sailors. And as I promised you as little French hubris as possible, that has got me thinking. What are my allies thinking? What are my enemies thinking?

On the plus side, that has led me into a lot of introspection about the update which will come after that one. How will France react to a hoped-for but still unexpected victory in the Rhineland? And how will Germany and Germans react to the loss of the entire Koln-to-Stuttgart area? Such introspection bore some fruit, and I am thinking options about chapter 126 which will have Luftwaffe action as well as an apparition from Jean Monnet (but I promise you my current priority is chapter 125! :D)