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stnylan

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Someone needs to be dragged up in front of their Lordships to have a very stern talking to.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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I still feel like abandoning the whole of Belgium is a misstep. Yes we know we'll win the war anyway but given the short term implications (all the wavering central power backers joining in early), and the, well...rape of Belgium, we kinda need to try to hold it. We know with hindsight some of it can be held, and that risking the easterb french border in any way is extremely detrimental to the french war effort. So yeah, unless this is a trap to get as many germans into Belgium as possible and then navaly landing behind them, trapping them there, we should probably do something. Losing a big fleet at sea and losing Belgium in the same week or month is going to be too much for the public to bear.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Slow down there, James Bryce.
Yeah yeah, propoganda and uncertainty. What I'm saying is we just want to avoid anything close to that if we can. Although that's going to be impossible in arabia if the british are determined to screw over the arabs.

If Belgium gets fully taken though, it gives far too much power and industrial ports close to England over to the germans, and a much easier front for them to defend. Let's be honest, as far as we want to just defend the western front and not attack, the germans would be perfectlly ok afking on that front too and focusing on russia with the rest of her allies.
 

MacGowan

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AUGUST 18 - AUGUST 25, 1914

THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE JOINS THE CENTRAL POWERS

"The Turks can be killed, but they can never be conquered.”

- Napoleon Bonaparte, 19th century -​







Dogger Bank, North Sea

James winced

he had hated school for as long as he could remember. The way the teacher would read so dully from old dusty books. Or the beatings he received on his way home by the Anderson gang. He had hated every second of his education.

At the age of 14, his father had told him he could quit school and apply for a job as a newspaper boy.

Another salvo.

He had worked there for 2 long years before enlisting in the Royal Navy. The discipline had been a godsend for such an angry and lost youngster.

James fell back and landed on the hardwood floor of the deck.

The crew aboard HMS Fearless had taken him in and looked after him. For the first time in his life he felt a real belonging in the world. A purpose.

They had spotted the enormous German battleship SMS Grosser Kurfürst at 12:00 am, closing in fast. The captain had transmitted the distress and set sail south towards the Grand Fleet.

But, it was too late.

From a safe distance, SMS Grosser Kurfürst unleashed all of her guns at them.

James’ legs and right arm were severely mangled. Torn to pieces from the splinters. He looked out across the deck: Men lay dead or wounded, moaning like ghosts. The ship gave out a loud metallic groan.

Water gushed in onto the deck, filling up every crevice and space. The sailors who could stumbled up on their feet.

Thankfully, James would not suffer the slow agony of drowning as so many of his crewmates would. For when the water finally reached him he had been dead for 2 minutes.







=========================​


London, England

“Good Lord, Cecil, this tea is cold.” Kitchener complained.

“Sorry sir, I’ll have Ms. Coward make you another, it will take no time.”

Kitchener put the tea down and twirled his mustache.

“You know, they’re mad over there.” Cecil said, in a half-measured attempt to break the silence. “proper mad.”

“Churchill and his men?” Kitchener asked.

“Yes, sir.” Cecil replied. “The Royal Navy is in utter disarray, if you ask me.”

“Well, thankfully we didn’t.”

“Pardon me, sir?”

“Did you hear the Yanks have declared neutrality?”



AMERICAN NEUTRALITY:

“The United States must be neutral in fact as well as in name during these days that are to try men's souls. We must be impartial in thought as well as in action.”

- Woodrow Wilson -



“Oh?”

“Yes, President Wilson held a speech in the US Congress a few days ago. I believe the United States will not favor one side or the other, hoping to benefit from this war. It could keep its economy strong providing both sides with food and supplies.”

“Fiendish” Cecil noted.

“Then when the war is over, they would play the role of peacekeeper.”

“Ah, yes.” Cecil replied. “It reminds me of how the Italians are playing the same game. Of which side can bribe them sufficiently enough to bring them into their ranks.”



POPE PIUS X PASSES AWAY:

“Speaking of the Italians,” Kitchener said, looking up at the map in the office. The boot of Europe overseeing the Mediterranean ocean. “The Pope was buried a few days ago.”

“Well he had been terribly sick for a while.”

“Yes. And I’m sure the news of this war did not help.” Kitchener twirled his mustache again, seemingly lost in thought, before crashing back into awakeness. “But let us instead discuss Churchill and his band of mad men.”



SHOWDOWN IN THE MEDITERRANEAN:

“Our fleet in the Mediterranean came across the two British battleships stolen from us by the Ottoman empire: Reşadiye, and the Sultan Osman I. Accompanying them were the German ships; SMS Goeben and SMS Breslau.”

“Odd bedfellows.” Kitchener said.

“Certainly, sir.” Cecil replied. “Churchill has had enough of faffing about, and so the orders came through to board the Ottoman ships, and to terminate the Germans.”

“Safe to say this did not play out.” Kitchener grumbled.

“Indeed, sir. Admiral Berkeley Milne, by a means of divine intervention, sank both the SMS Goeben and the SMS Breslau, the Ottoman ships, however, got away.”



THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE JOINS THE CENTRAL POWERS:

“The man deserves a medal for sinking the Germans, and a hanging for damaging the Ottomans.”

“It is unfortunate.” Cecil replied. “The Ottomans were not happy with our attempt to board them. In fact, General Enver was quick to declare war when he heard of the incident. They closed down The Dardanelles a few days ago.”

“With the Baltic off-limit, and now the ports in the black seas closed, the Russians will starve.” Kitchener furrowed his brows. “The sordid navy may have cost them the war in only a matter of weeks.”

“Terrible news for them.”

“For us.”



SKIRMISH IN EL ARISH:

“Ah, yes, sir.” Cecil nodded. “Who would have ever thought it would be your boys in Egypt who would have the privilege of drawing first blood for the army?”

“I would hardly call it a battle, Cecil. It was over in an hour.”

“That might be so.” Cecil looked up at the map. “But I fear they will soon see proper action. 9 Ottoman divisions are closing in.”



REINFORCEMENTS:

“Reinforcements from India is on its way.” Kitchener replied. “Only a handful of divisions at first, but they should arrive within 2 weeks.”

“Hopefully our boys can hold out until then.”

“Oh, I am perfectly confident that they will, Cecil. Those men are made of steel.”


THE MEDITERRANEAN FLEET:

“With Admiral Berkeley Milne now patrolling the coast of Egypt, we should keep the pesky Ottomans at port. With the sinking of the German Mediterranean fleet all we have to worry about is the Austria-Hungarians in the north, and an Ottoman counter-attack in the east. With the French navy also having ramped up considerably, it is all going our way.”

“Which is more than I can say for the North sea.” Kitchener replied.



THE MASSACRE AT DOGGER BANK:

“What a complete catastrophe this has been.”

“Well not entirely, sir. We did sink 9 000 German sailors last week.”

“Have you read the list this week?”

Cecil looked away.

“We lost;
HMS Fearless,
HMS Bellona,
HMS Sapphire,
HMS Diamond,
HMS Topaze,
HMS Blonde.
That is 2400 sailors. Christ, Cecil I thought we were on top of this mess?”




INTERCEPTION FAILS:

“It was explained to me, sir…” Cecil stalled.

“Well explained it to me.”

“The German fleet quickly attacked Support Fleet B, sir. By the time Jellicoe showed up, Hipper and his fleet broke off and retreated.”

“How did we not sink one ship?”

“Well we did, sir.”



THE SECOND BATTLE OF GERMAN BIGHT:

“Admiral Beatty was left guarding the German Bight, ready to attack if Scheer and the German High Seas Fleet dared to venture out in front. Imagine his surprise when he found Hipper on his rear.”

“And this was the moment Scheer entered?”

“Yes, sir.” Cecil answered. “But only briefly. Caught between the two fleets, Beatty could not do much, but he did put up a fight. Sinking a lone destroyer, no British ship were lost. But we suffered 1 600 sailors casualties.”

“And how many did we get?”

“We believe roughly the same, sir. Give or take.”

“We can take those loses. We can build ships faster than the Germans can draw them up. But politically this is a disaster.”



CHURCHILL SPEAKS AT THE HOUSE OF COMMONS:

I thought it right to take an opportunity of coming here in view of all the events which have recently taken place…

First, you must expect losses both by land and sea; but the Fleet you employed there was your surplus Fleet, after all other needs have been provided for. Had it not been used in this great enterprise, it would have been lying idle in your ports.

Modern Britain has found millions of citizens who all of their own free will have eagerly or soberly resolved to fight and die for the principles at stake. To fight and die as those brave men did, in the largest naval battle ever fought. Why, that is one of the most wonderful and inspiring facts in the whole history of this wonderful island.

- Winston Churchill -



“Churchill’s has had to hold a few uncomfortable meetings, sir. As I’m sure they’ve all had to. But he stood tall in the House of Commons and promised change. Of course von Battenberg has been forced to resign, Fisher is taking over. I mean they’ve all had a role to play in this bloody cockup. If they got rid of Churchill, and Fisher, they’d be left with Jellicoe and Hood.”

“Well in any case they’re doing far better than the Belgians.” Kitchener muttered.



BRUSSELS FALLS:

“Brussels fell on the 21st. 8000 Belgian casualties in all. The French have moved in with British troops covering the rear, but the Germans have a good foothold.”

“We’re not moving in, sir?” Cecil asked.

“The Belgians are surrounded, Cecil.



THE DEFENCE OF LONGWY:

Thankfully, the French held Longwy. The attack lasted over a week and we are looking at 56 000 casualties. 65% belonging to the enemy.”

“Good Lord.” Cecil replied. “Can the French continue to hold the line?”

“They bloody well.



THE WESTERN FRONT:

It’s a mess out there, Cecil. Luxembourg has been annexed, Mons is under attack. The French are reinforcing all along the line, but they’re not listening to us. At some point we will simply have to make a decision for ourselves. French be damned.”

“Ghent.”

“Ghent.” Kitchener replied. “Or Bruges. Whichever still stands by the time we reach it. Lord knows we’ll have a challenge pulling up the supply line that fast. But with the Germans engaged in Mons this will jeopardise their left flank.”

“And ours.” Cecil complained.

“We can dig in at Dunkirk, Cecil. I’m sure the French will appreciate it. Along with our British men and women, watching Belgium burn as we do nothing.”

“sir, we will have nothing but the ocean at our backs.”

“A channel, Cecil. And our island across it. not to mention our boys to the right. Cecil… At some point we will have to get our hands messy.”

“Like the Russians?”



RUSSIA INVADES OTTOMAN EMPIRE:

“The Russians might be fumbling around in the dark, but if they were not committed in fighting our enemy, Lord only knows how more severe the western front would be. Not to mention North Africa. Their push into the Ottoman Empire will tie up forces we need tied up.”



THE GERMANS DEFEND TARNOPOL:

“Yes, well Tarnopol has been a disaster.” Cecil grumbled. “22 Russian divisions, and the Germans still held their position.”

“The Germans lost 7 000 soldiers to that battle, Cecil. I’d hardly call that a disaster. Not to mention that the right flank has been secured, and the mere fact that the battle is not over. Have you not heard? The Russians have launched another attack.”

“Dear Lord.”



THE EASTERN FRONT:

Cecil Looked at the map. Warsaw, Lublin, under fire.

“Poland is being swallowed whole.” He declared.

“Yes, but the Russians have the flanks under control.” Kitchener replied. “Lithuania in the north, and Ukraine in the south."

“But Warsaw will fall any second now. Lodz lost 5000 men just there.”

“Steel yourself, Cecil. The Russians can lose territory for miles, The Germans won’t be in St. Petersburg before winter, and a Russian winter I wish upon no soldier.



THE BALKAN FRONT:

With the Balkans providing more headache for our enemy. They must have thought it would transpire considerably smoother. Montenegro defends a push in the south, Serbia defends a push in the west. This will cause Germany to commit more troops in the Balkans, surely something they did not plan on.
Not to mention the daring Serbs forced German troops out of Petrovgrad. It’s almost autumn, Cecil. If the enemy cannot win a battle in the mountain hills of Serbia during summer, then I feel sorry for the officers they send come October.”


“Come winter the ground will freeze over for all of us. From the Caucasus to Calais.”

“That reminds me, old chap, how is our ear to the ground in France, how is Captain John Robertson?”







=========================


Lille, France

The town was teaming with British soldiers. Brown hats as far as the eye could see. Rifles, and thick leather boots. Men yawning or chatting rubbish with eachother. This was the British war. A bunch of Tommys sitting around waiting on news from the front.

“Excuse me.” John said to a private lying by the wayside, the soldier did not respond. “Excuse me, chap.”

“Take a hike, boy. I’m trying to get me bloody nap in.” he finally responded.

A terrified private next to him pulled at his sleeve. “You fool, you’ve proper done it now.”

“Get off me back...” The rude private looked up and spotted John.

“Cap.... Captain! I did not know you were a captain!” He sprung up into a half-arsed salute.

“So you only treat lower ranked officers this way, private...?”

“Trotter, sir, 7th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, sir! It won’t happen again, sir!”

“I’m sure we can find a proper punishment for the likes of you, private Trotter.” John replied and stood up on a wooden crate on the sidewalk. “Now, would you please be so kind and take me to your superiors? We have important matters to attend to.”

Private Trotter scratched his head. “We do, sir?”



 
Last edited:

TheButterflyComposer

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THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE JOINS THE CENTRAL POWERS
Called it..but this isn't good.

“With the Baltic off-limit, and now the ports in the black seas closed, the Russians will starve.” Kitchener furrowed his brows. “The sordid navy may have cost them the war in only a matter of weeks.”
Naval war seems to be goinh horribly wrong for the russians and the british.

Of course von Battenberg has been forced to resign, Fisher is taking over. I mean they’ve all had a role to play in this bloody cockup. If they got rid of Churchill, and Fisher, they’d be left with Jellicoe and Hood.”
Mm. Interesting.

So the front is far worse for the Entente than otl by the time the dust settles. However, we are in a game and have hindisght. Let's crush ottomans through arabia, smash the austrians in the balkans and the germans in the baltic.
 

Specialist290

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The Ottomans join the fight, another British fleet butchered in the North Sea, and Belgium overrun in three weeks with nary a Tommy in sight. German propaganda is going to have a field day with this.

The scene with Private Trotter got a chuckle out of me :) Hope we see more of him -- England Expects, even if some are fit only for peeling potatoes.
 

El Pip

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"The Turks can be killed, but they can never be conquered.”- Napoleon Bonaparte, 19th century -
Occasionally people ask why the French Empire was so much smaller and less impressive than the British one. There are many reasons, but this attitude is part of it.​

Now that Battenberg has gone back to his cakes we can but hope these ridiculous ideas around "Support Fleets" can be stopped and a proper Grand Fleet assembled. This messing around with small units squanders our numerical advantage and practically begs for defeat in detail, which is already happening.

I don't know why Battenberg decided to deviate so wildly from pre-war doctrine (though as I have mentioned I suspect it's because he has cake for brain) but clearly his foolish experiment has failed and we must unite the fleet at once.

Also if the front can somehow stabilise while the BEF is still loafing around in fields that is actually a massive positive, means it is available to act as an expeditionary force somewhere useful instead of the attritional meat grinder of the Western Front.
 

J_Master

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THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE JOINS THE CENTRAL POWERS
With the Ottomans in the war, it means that, if I remember correctly, there is going to be an event for both Russia and the Britain to occupy parts of Persia, meaning that Britain can more easily open a Mesopotamian front.

“Ghent.”

“Ghent.” Kitchener replied. “Or Bruges. Whichever still stands by the time we reach it. Lord knows we’ll have a challenge pulling up the supply line that fast. But with the Germans engaged in Mons this will jeopardise their left flank.”

“And ours.” Cecil complained.

“We can dig in at Dunkirk, Cecil. I’m sure the French will appreciate it. Along with our British men and women, watching Belgium burn as we do nothing.”
“sir, we will have nothing but the ocean at our backs.”


“A channel, Cecil. And our island across it. not to mention our boys to the right. Cecil… At some point we will have to get our hands messy.”
Finally, high command is asking the question which it should. Thing is, digging in at Dunkirk also means fighting with the sea in your back. Were the Germans to break through where our army and the French army meet, they could drive on the Channel coast, cutting us off from France and probably forcing us to evacuate.

“Yes, well Tarnopol has been a disaster.” Cecil grumbled. “22 Russian divisions, and the Germans still held their position.”

“The Germans lost 7 000 soldiers to that battle, Cecil. I’d hardly call that a disaster. Not to mention that the right flank has been secured, and the mere fact that the battle is not over. Have you not heard? The Russians have launched another attack.”
“Dear Lord.”
Nothing too bad about this. It's one of the few places where Russia can attack with overwhelming numbers. Let them do it and force the Germans to redeploy forces there to back the Austrians up, should take some of the steam out of its Polish offensive
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Also if the front can somehow stabilise while the BEF is still loafing around in fields that is actually a massive positive, means it is available to act as an expeditionary force somewhere useful instead of the attritional meat grinder of the Western Front.
Good point, an ideal position for an EF.
However, it won't do much good for British prestige. Naval losses are big news, and them not contributing to the ground war either at the expense of Belgium is not going to look too good.
 

stnylan

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One can usually rely on the AI to screw up the RN.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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One can usually rely on the AI to screw up the RN.
We really don't want that to happen though. We were planning on the enemy ai doing it. Not us!
 

MacGowan

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MID-WEEK Q&A


Our transport ships have 2500 range. Just how the hell do I ship Anzac and Canadian troops anywhere?
Nobody?
Shame the game (and by extension the AAR) does not have minefields. Sailing up the Denmark straight would be a suicide run in that case
Or North of the North Sea.
I still feel like abandoning the whole of Belgium is a misstep.
Whatever the merits of holding Belgian territory in and of itself, letting the Kaiser get within spitting distance of the English Channel is going to be a public relations nightmare.
Brugge can only be attacked from Antwerp and Brussels.
Damnit, I forgot to check that. Regardless, gentlemen we're moving into Belgium this week.
Also, just looking back, Cecil calls Pancho Villa, "Poncho Villa". I wish it were just a typo, but I can't put it past Cecil to get Villa's name wrong.
On purpose....?
One can usually rely on the AI to screw up the RN.
Yeah.... The AI.....:oops:
another British fleet butchered in the North Sea, and Belgium overrun in three weeks with nary a Tommy in sight. German propaganda is going to have a field day with this.
Naval losses are big news, and them not contributing to the ground war either at the expense of Belgium is not going to look too good.
Well lets give them a proper fight.
With the German flanks engaged in battle there's time for us to move our troops into Ghent and Brugge, even further with our cavalry.
With the Ottomans in the war, it means that, if I remember correctly, there is going to be an event for both Russia and the Britain to occupy parts of Persia, meaning that Britain can more easily open a Mesopotamian front.
I might have declined that event on the account of me being an idiot.
The scene with Private Trotter got a chuckle out of me :) Hope we see more of him -- England Expects, even if some are fit only for peeling potatoes.
Haha! I'm glad you liked Ol' Trotter.

England Expects.



 

Specialist290

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here's an awkward question though: Our transport ships have 2500 range. Just how the hell do I ship Anzac and Canadian troops anywhere?
Honestly not versed enough on the naval mechanics to comment on this. I think rebasing lets you override the operational range, but I'm not sure if you can do that with troops already loaded.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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This British government seems a little toothless. Trying very hard to avoid war at all, and then when they do get in, avoiding fighting in the frontlines in Belgium (what they signed up for), losing on the high seas, refusing free territory in persia to make their job easier...

The UK isn't playing to win. That's concerning for an imperialist power.
 

Herbert West

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Honestly not versed enough on the naval mechanics to comment on this. I think rebasing lets you override the operational range, but I'm not sure if you can do that with troops already loaded.
You can.

Load troops onto transports.

Move transports to sea zone.

Rebase to wherever you desire.

Beware, naval org is wiped out by this.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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You can.

Load troops onto transports.

Move transports to sea zone.

Rebase to wherever you desire.

Beware, naval org is wiped out by this.
It's like poetry.
 

Vlad_Dracul1989

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What would convince Britain to sign 'Peace with Honour' in this story? Would be capitulated France or Russia enough? Or capitulated France AND Russia?

Don't count America. Wilson still makes speeches how the hardcore isolationism is still a thing.
 

El Pip

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What would convince Britain to sign 'Peace with Honour' in this story? Would be capitulated France or Russia enough? Or capitulated France AND Russia?

Don't count America. Wilson still makes speeches how the hardcore isolationism is still a thing.
A hostile power with a large fleet and control of the Channel Ports was seen as an existential threat to Britain, so I could easily see them going full "Very well, alone!" about it even if France and Russia were capitulated. Because a Germany that has won that big is not going to offer terms that would be acceptable. (And because for London 'Alone' means the several hundred million people of the Empire and the resources of a 1/4 of the planet. ;) )

But that assumes the adults take over the Admiralty and the Grand Fleet performs something like OTL. If the Royal Navy continues to be ineptly frittered away then maybe a 'Treaty of Amiens' type peace is possible, a temporary lull that will burst into war again once one or other side has recovered enough.