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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

SirCliveWolfe

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Chapter One


A story? There is always a story, they are almost mythic, about any great event be it calamitous or glorious. An otherwise uninteresting or trivial thing that is remembered through the ages and so it was also on this occasion. Footsteps come thundering down a dark corridor, a door bursts open with a sudden blaze of light which is all to quickly swallowed by the darkness as the portal closes. He is a youngish man, perhaps a little unfit, he breathes heavily as he runs down toward another door. He is quite clearly dressed in an odd fashion to even the casual observer, his calves bulge in their gaudy silk stocking covering with the effort and his powdered wig slides a little on the perspiration. With a seemingly monumental crash he enters a large room where two men are sitting sharing a drink and a cigarette. He turns to the elder one and tries not to slump, he can hardly find the air to utter a sentence and, in almost a whisper speaks, “Your Majesty...” the older man looks upon him kindly knowing the significance of his words and replies with a quoted Psalm “This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes”. So begins the legend of King Edward VIII of England, truly one of the most important people in the history of this great nation.

“The King is dead! Long live the King!”

“The King is dead! Long live the King!”

“The King is dead! Long live the King!”



St James Palace, 21st December 1936, 10:27​

Viscount Hailsham, Douglas Hogg Lord Chancellor, surveyed the scene at this Accession Council and his eyes came to rest upon the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. As an old friend he approached the man with ease
“Ah Douglas, how nice to see you”
“Indeed and you too Stanley, just a shame about the circumstances”
“yes, and the successor too” Baldwin voiced his opinion gravely “he's just too involved with politics, he needs to be reminded that he is the Head of State and not government”

The morning drifted on, the concerns of the Prime Minister were valid and shared by a majority in the higher circles of government and many were discussing the topic as they awaited the arrival of the new Monarch. He seemed to them a man with a good heart, he had regularly visited places of poverty and degradation and had managed to sign up some 200,000 people to his 'back-to-work' scheme, but it was not right. As King of the country and all of the Empire, he really should have been above politics, someone remote from the people and above the 'petty squabbles' of Parliament. Well I just have to put him in his place then won't I, Baldwin thought as he stood next to a fireplace watching the crowd of important officials. From an alcove not far away a man in a plain grey-black suit appeared with the Home Secretary, he was trying to be inconspicuous, Stanley knew from this that he must be one of the MI5 men

“Simpson here sir, sorry to disturb you but we are getting reports about an attempt on the King's life” the matter of fact way in which he put it caught the Prime Minister off guard

“Yes, it's all a little sketchy at the moment Stanley, but it may be a genuine risk, after all he is flying from Sandringham today!” Sir John Simon was the Home Secretary and MI5 were directly responsible to him, his face was a little flushed, at that moment the young Simpson interjected

“Yes but the information is that it could be at almost any location, all we know is that it looks set to be a big attack”

At that moment Baldwin thought that everything had gone quiet, he heard a faint rumble that took an age to get to him. It was as if time stood almost still just ticking over very slowly...

...tick...

The bomb that had been placed in the cellar of the ancient brick built Palace was detonated by it's timer...

...tick...

At that point the King's car had pulled up to the entrance, a courtier was slowly opening the door...

...tick...

The immense blast tore through the floor of the banquet room where almost all of the Accession Council were situated...

...tick...

Sir William Cromwell is lifted off his feat as he returns from the bathroom and smashed against the great marble stair-case, he slumps down as a piece of door wings its way just over his head...

...tick...

The car containing the King and his brother shakes violently and is showered in glass, Edward pulls the, now bleeding courtier into the car as the secret service agent driving attempts to pull away at high speed...

...tick...tick...



Room 752, special bunker below Buckingham Palace, 19:17​

Sir William is shown to the King's secure bunker door by the Sergeant at Arms, he enters slowly still limping from his injuries.
“Ah, Sir William, please take a seat” The King waited for the man to be seated and continued “How are you, I hear you received a heavy blow at the palace?”

“Nothing that I would bother you about your Majesty” Cromwell purred, always one to be casual about his own adversities.

“Well that certainly is good news, now down to business” Edward pulled a cigarette from it's packet and lit it. “You are the most prominent serving member to survive the bomb blast and your an independent. I think that that's important, as I wish you to form an interim government” he paused to take another drag and looked upon the man “you will need a lot of 'old faces' to put the public at ease and, of course, your cabinet should be balanced between all the major parties.” the oldish man managed to recover his usual composure.

“Certainly Sir, I shall proceed to Downing Street at once and do as you ask” he rose to leave, good man thought the King, I have asked him to do a most important task and he asks no questions or offer any arguments, but instead presses ahead with the task as if you had asked a man to dig a footing.​



Somewhere in central London, 21:28​

A elderly man sits behind a desk as a younger agent in a ill fitting grey-black suit enters the room, his name is George Secker. He is well known in the service for getting things done, but also for speaking his mind to the wrong people at the wrong time. He is, therefore, not high ranking, but a man that Sir James, sitting behind the desk believes to be 'sound'.

“I won't dally with you Secker, I want you to find out who was behind the bomb plot. Take whoever you need and as much resources as you want, but you have little time. We must get results and that's why I've chosen you” the man tried to clear his head, he was still hung-over from the night before. Dam this job he thought, why him? Perhaps it was because he did not have any qualms about his work and how to do the job.

“Very well sir, I shall put the team together in the morning and get straight onto the case at once” he spoke with a low tone, still every word hit his head as a hammer “Will you get the files to my office?”

“There already there George, don't let me detaiN you further” Sir James watched as the man got slowly to his feet and left quietly.

“Are you sure he is the right man for the job?” said a man that had appeared from a deep alcove

“Yes I'm quite sure, we'll give him the clues and the trail and I'm sure he'll end up reporting back to us in the way that we want”

“That is excellent news, I shall let him know that the plan is running smoothly” both men knew what they were doing was dangerous, but also that 'him' would reward them greatly.​
 
Last edited:

GeneralHannibal

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So you have abandoned your other HOI2 AAR? Good luck!
 

unmerged(47162)

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SirCliveWolfe youre back in the hoi2 forums! :D excellent start!
 

stnylan

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Very interesting beginning. Quite a plot there by the sounds of it. Call me suspicious, but I rather suspect the King himself decided on a pre-emptive strike where Baldwin was concerned. A very effective description of the explosion though, I like the slow-motion feel of it. Almost like when, in a movie, they switch to slow-time effects.

Excellent.
 

SirCliveWolfe

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GeneralHannibal: Abandoned? hum... not quite, but it is on long term hold. Basically I have found out how little information there is on A-H in this period, I am waiting on research materials. Also the MOD, while being superb is not complete as of yet. I am not happy that, as of yet, I can get a fair/historical(ish) scenario.

Thank you for your good wishes, I hoppe you enjoy it...

lifeless: Yes I have returned... I'm hoping to stay, buit it's a little crowded in here ;) I'm glad you have enjoyed the start :)

stnylan: THE KING!! How dare you sir, that is treasonous talk :mad:

:D I'm glad you have enjoyed the start, I'm not going to comment on you rumour mongering ;) glad the 'slow-motion' stuff came off well
 

Vann the Red

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Welcome back to AAR-dom, SirClive. Splendid start and I eagerly await more.

Vann
 

Lord E

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Good to see you back in the HoI2 AAR section Sir Clive, and this was a really nice start to the new AAR. I have to say if left many questions and it should certainly be interesting to read about what happens now. Who is behind the bomb, how will the King react to all this and what will happen next? Looking forward to it :)
 

unmerged(28944)

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I'm liking the intrigue of this one already, Sir Clive. I shall eagerly await to see how this Edward shall sally forth to combat the enemies of England!
 

coz1

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Excellent to see a new AAR from you, SirClive. And a grand start to it all. I'll be watching this one.
 

SirCliveWolfe

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Vann the Red: Thank you vann, glad you along for the ride....

therev: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! :D and cheers for the knid words... so glad you liked it, it's nice to know that you like my writing so much :) The cabinet meeting shoudl be good... I don't want to say too much at this point, but I don't think that the King will be quite what anyone thinks, we'll see ;)

Lord E: Thank you my friend, I'm just glad that I can still surprise you after so many AAR's ;) All I can say is that you shouldn't be fooled if anything 'steriotypical' happens :D

Draco Rexus: A King that takes control and combats the Enemies of Empire!?!? :eek: why does that seem so familiar :D I'm glad you have posted Draco... I feared that you may look upon this as a 'copy-cat' AAR. Edward shall be quite different to your rendition (thank god, I don't think I could compete!) and the Enemies of Empire will be drastically different... :D

coz1: Glad you on board Coz1, it's always a good descussion with you around :) I'm hoping that switching to a very different style can refresh me.. i'm suffering somewhat of a block over Dreams of Albion at the mo... :(

ALL I may get a shortish update in today just to show off the cabinet (ye gawds it's big!) but a full update will definatly be complete tomorrow... cheers for the comments (and lurks/reads)
 

SirCliveWolfe

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Chapter Two



10 Downing Street, 23nd December​

There was always a lot of milling around when a full cabinet meeting was called, the members of the new government waited patiently, and in some cases impatiently, for the new Prime Minister to arrive. Yesterday had been a busy day with a series of senior members from Parliament and the Lords arriving and being offered posts. Most had accepted, but some as always had refused to be involved in a collation. Most MPs were giving their full support to the new government, a time like this needed all parties to come together for the good of Empire. The large double doors were pushed open and Sir William entered, he quickly surveyed the varied and talented group and went retired to his seat.

“Gentlemen, if you would be so good as to all take a seat and then we can get on with business” Cromwell was flanked by the his permanent secretary and a political advisor, the other men in the room slowly approached their assigned seats and the PM called the meeting to order.

“Well gentlemen here we are, it is with grave sadness that I take this role and I'm sure that you will all agree on that point.” there was a general murmur and nodding of heads before the man continued “As you all know I have been asked by the King to form an interim government, he also requested that I should make it as neutral as possible and 'balance the parties'. I have decided that this would be against the best governance of the country and so like Lord Grenville before me I have decided to create a 'Ministry of All the Talents'. Some of you hold views that are very definitely not my own” there was a slight pause as Sir William looked over to Churchill and an small wave of amusement fell over the gentlemen “This, however, is what is best for the Empire, that is why we are here gentlemen lest we forget in the internal squabbles that are sure to come” he paused once more and sipped on his water “Firstly David here” pointing to the personal private secretary “will read out the positions and then it is down to business, David?”

Prime Minister – Sir William Cromwell
Lord President of the Council – Austen Chamberlain
Lord Chancellor – Frederic Maugham
Lord of the Privy Seal – David Lloyd George
Foreign Secretary – Anthony Eden
Home Secretary – Archibald Sinclair
Colonial Secretary – Samuel Hoare
War Secretary – Robert Crewe-Milnes
Secretary of state for India – Lawrence Dundas
Secretary of State for Air – Maurice Hankey
Dominion Secretary – Leslie Hore-Belisha
Minister for the Coordination of Defence – Ernle Chatfield
Secretary of State for Scotland – Hugh Macmillan
Chancellor of the Exchequer – Montagu Norman
First Lord of the Admiralty – Winston Churchill
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – John Maynard Keynes
President of the Board of Trade – Philip Cunliffe-Lister
President of the Board of Education – Kingsley Wood
Minister Without Portfolio – Max Aitken
Minister Without Portfolio – Reginald Dorman-Smith
Minister Without Portfolio – Sir John Reves Ellerman

It was a bloated cabinet, thy all knew that and out of necessity there were a lot of 'old warhorses' men who thought that their time had come an gone like Chamberlain and Lloyd George. It was an interesting mix, however, the jubilation of the Admiralty when the signal to the fleet was 'Winston's back' was an interesting, but worrying development, the man was loud, raucous and had the ability to dominate the Cabinet. With the niceties over Cromwell turned his assembled ministers.

“Sirs, we are a radically different government to the last and there are some things upon which we all have strong views upon. There are also matters that need radical thinking, such as security that obviously need to be looked into, however on many issues I do not feel the need for great change, such as education for example. Anthony can you advise at this point” the foreign secretary shuffled his papers and began

“Well Sir William, not much has changed really apart from the general flood of condolences and offers of support. We are in the 'happy' position” Eden winced at the term in the circumstances “that we have a lot of goodwill towards us at the moment, it may be a time that we can force hands that would not normally be the case.” this had some members of the cabinet pricking their ears up

“So we could maybe win a concession or two from Mussolini on the Abyssinia issue then Anthony?” Churchill interrupted, his hostility to the Italian actions in the Horn of Africa was well known. He dislike dictators ans Sir William knew that he would push for rearmament.

“That may be a little difficult still, but we could for example push for a little more in the upcoming naval treaties, or something similar. We will need further time to adjust to the situation first, obviously.” at this Churchill's eyes lit up as, maybe a couple of new battleships or the like.

“Well thank you Anthony” Sir William was also intrigued but had to carry the agenda forward “I don't expect that the armed service ministry have had time to digest what their aims are, especially in terms of the budget.” there was a nod of agreement from all but Churchill who was too warped up in thoughts of battleships and glory “The really important point of today's meeting is the economy, we are still emerging from a period of rapid decline, I want ideas on how best to combat this and what is our priority the economy or re-armament?” there was silence for a moment as they all waited for someone to speak. Generally all the men were from one camp or the other, they either in the 'pro-military' camp of the 'pro-economy' one. There would be a heated debate, on that could cause just the kind of split that the country and Empire did not need. It was, therefore, a relief when someone finally spoke, someone who was in neither camp but both and someone who could just see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“Excuse me Prime Minister” interrupted the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster “but would it not be more profitable and efficient to do both?” the men around him were shocked, the man was talking nonsense after all.

“Would you care to explain how John?” said Montagu Norman, the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the tone of one talking to a small and confused child. He was not happy that another prominent economist was in the cabinet especially as the PM had appointed him to no 'real' department, Sir William must really like him.

“I would have thought it was rather simple” Keynes retorted in his usual 'high minded', Oxbridge style. “instead of cutting taxes and encouraging economic development 'willy-nilly' we take the money that would have been lost to the treasury by way of the cuts and we spend it upon high-employment militarisation. The navy can fill the shipyards of the Empire with new hulls, the army and RAF can stimulate the heavy industries and both can employ more people. The logic is sound, we take the money build a strong armed forces and employ say 100 people and they in turn create another 1000 jobs with the money they can now spend as result of employment. The economy booms and we gain a larger military arm.” the gentlemen were astonished, they knew Keynes was fond of the idea of using public works to stimulate growth, similar to the 'socialist' ideas of Roosevelt. They had been wary of him as some sort of 'Bolshevik' but now they were interested.

“Well gentlemen, I hear no cries of dissent which I find surprising” once again a modicum of laughter is heard “Very well, John I want you to work closely with the Chancellor and Lord Beaverbrook (Max Aitken) on this one, it sounds promising. However, we have a lot to do and not much time to do it in, gentlemen we shall meet on the 2nd January of next year and you will present papers upon the futures of your respective departments. Think bold gentlemen, think bold.”

The gentlemen rose and left the room, all in the knowledge that they needed sound proposals in short order, just over a week and with Christmas wedged in like an unwelcome 'stone in the shoe'. Over the next week or so, there was much activity lamps burnt long into the night and morning.
 
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coz1

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You certainly have a distinguished cabinet with many able men. Let us hope their differences remain directed towards government and not their egos. ;)
 

Lord E

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Impressive cabinet. A lot of different men, but I also think this is one of the best cabinets for the Empire at the moment. With Winston at the Admiralty you should have the Fleet in good hands and Keynes running the economy is just brilliant. I sense that this time round Britain will start using Keynesianism a lot earlier than they did originally, and this way you can use that to build up strong forces. Jolly nice :)
 

Vann the Red

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And, we hope, a strong focus on learning who was responsible for the bombing...

Vann
 

stnylan

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Too many chiefs in my opinion, and not enough Indians. I would expect some fairly severe pruning, and sooner rather than later.
 

SirCliveWolfe

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coz1: Hum... maybe it will all turn out ok ;) there again, things have a way of working out quite differently... I'm sure good o'l Blighty will come through in the end... maybe :D

Lord E: Oh strong forces wil be a certenty.. although what they will be used for are a different matter ;) personaly I think that the UK needed Keynesianism before and during the war... but it did not work in the long-term I'm afraid I'm a deciple of Milton Friedman and Thatcherism.

Vann the Red: Ah yes... the dastedly bombers, there nothing like a terrorist attack to change the dynamic in a country... things are going to be 'interesting' :)

stnylan: What a delightfuly interesting comment. I am very glad that you are here, I believe that, regretably, you may be correct... the link I've drawn with Lord Grenville's 'ministry of All the Talents' is intentional and remember that there is a general election to be bickered over... theres always fallout after we return from the 'hustings' which has a tendency to divide a coalation government. :)

All:I will return to George Stecker and his 'dectective work' in the next update (probably tomorrow) and he will find out what he needs to know... :)

Oh, by the way... what do people thing of the layout... I'm not sure, I want it to be nice and easy for people to read I hope it's all ok.
 

GeneralHannibal

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I like this AAR, hopefully you won't lose any files from this AAR.
 

SirCliveWolfe

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GeneralHannibal: Steps have been taken :eek: glad your enjoying it.

therev: [shouting]Glad your enjoying it grandad[/shouts] ;) worse thing is, your probably younger than me! :rofl: Seriously though, I'm glad the layout is fine... tried to do it 'properly' (as in a book) and id did not read well at all, glad your enjoying it. :)