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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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I think you did a good job capturing the tense anticipation followed by the chaotic action of a trench assault. Artillery barrage, rinky-dinky tanks, nasty man-to-man fighting. And yes, certainly, if things ended here, the result of the battle would be a stalemate.

Looking forward to your amphibious assault (read the most recent bunch of comments in Director's AAR to get a sense for the immense difficulties with those) and the subsequent utter defeat of the Americans around Vancouver. :)

Oh, and back to college? My, I'm starting to feel old indeed... :p Well, enjoy it and hopefully you'll have time for the occasional update, in between bouts of drinking, partying and the odd bit of studying (;)).
 

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OT: Page 10 and Chapter 30. Good lord I didn't think I would get that far.

Chapter 30

"Faugh a Ballagh, Clear the Way"
Order #26, by General Liam Lynch 16/07/1916


"An Artists Impression of the Irish Fleet of Vancouver, The Ship in the Foreground is the HMIS Vinegar Hill"

Landing Zone Alaska,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
17th of July, 0901am


The explosion rocked the boat and threatened to capsize it before it could reach the shore. Tetsuo lifted his head back up from between his knees where it had gone when the explosion rang out. He scanned left and right and saw with horror that one of the landing boats, a Merchant ship that had been pressed into service, was rolling on it's side into the water. Thick black smoke was rising from it and men were jumping over board into the water. The wooden paddle boats that had been prepared on the side for the actual disemarkment slid in their mooring lines and when the lines failed, plummeted into the water below. He saw soldiers who had been fully kitted out hit the water and get dragged down under the weight of their gear, the floatation devices they had been given where just not capable to keep them afloat.

"Holy Mary mother of God." Came the voice of S. Sergeant Conner. The hushed voices of Tetsuo's men muttering similar things showed that the Sergeant was not alone in his sentiments. Tetsuo felt stunned as well but he knew he couldn't let it rule him. Not now any way.

"What are you all standing around for?" He asked turning to them "Get to your ready positions now. Staff Sergeant I want these men ready to go the second this metal box they call a ship reaches the shore!" The soldiers rushed to their positions but their eyes kept darting through the water to keep an eye out for mines. Naval Intelligence had said the area was clear of them but as had just been shown that wasn't true.

The ship rocked forward while behind the booming thunder of the main naval guns kept reaching across the water to the ears of the soldiers aboard the landing ships. Every now and again a sight of a geyser of rock and mud rising from the ground could be seen in front of them from where the Navy was bombarding the area in preparation. Tetsuo knew that the shells were supposedly clearing out any possible soldiers waiting for them at the shore and once the men were on the ground they would be shifting fire to try and assist the Canadians in their push to the North of the city. He scanned his head around again to make sure his men were ready, he could see S.Sgt Conner berating some men and keeping them ready to get down the netting ladder into the boat once it was lowered, he could also see the new Leftenant De Valera checking and rechecking his pistol, the mans long features a sea of anxiousness and worry. Tetsuo prayed the man didn't lock up as he had seen some men do before, being scared was one thing but being locked up was another.

It was then that the ships crew started to lower the boats into the water. It would take a few moments and once they were down Tetsuo raised the whistle he had around his neck to his mouth and blew three quick bursts, the signal to start climbing down into the boats. He scrambled over the railing onto the rope ladder, something he had forgotten how much he detested from the last time he had to do it at the Phillipines, and climbed slowly and carefully down towards the waiting boat.

US Supply Dump #212,
Vacouver,
17th of July, 0905am


All hell had broken loose. First the Canadians had opened up with a massive artillery barrage but that had been at the front so the staff at the supply dump had been fine. When the order came in for all non-essential personnel to get to the Front to reinforce the troops at the dump had been fine as they were counted as essential. The the Sergeant while lighting up one of his fat cigars that he got from god knew where looked out over the water and had nearly dropped the cigar. There where ships out there, there where a lot of them and after the debacle off Hawaii there was no way in hell they were friendly.

The ships had started firing and the shells had been hitting around the supply dump for what felt like an eternity by now. The guys at the dump had jumped into their dug outs because there was no way in hell they were staying outside for that. It took a little while for them to notice the shelling had stopped. The Sergeant ordered them back outside and as he was turning out the entrance of the shelter he came face to face with a big man in grey uniform holding a bayoneted rifle to his face. The Sergeant started to reach for his revolver when the man barked out in an Irish accent "Go on you Bastard. Make my day".

Landing Zone Alaska,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
17th of July, 0910am


"We got another bunch of them over here Sir." S.Sgt Conner called out. Tetsuo acknowledged it and went back to watching the unloading of the ships. They hadn't hit anymore mines but a group of US soldiers had tried hosing the boats with a machine gun on the way in and had hit a few of them. The HMIS Buttercup, a destroyer that had been sent to help the wounded from the stricken landing ship, had quickly sent them running when it had turned it's guns on their position. It was now dutifully watching the coast to help the landing forces.

It took a further five minutes before the entirety of the 35th was ashore. Well as many of them as their could be, a full sixth of the Regiment had been knocked out by that mine in either wounded or killed. Much to Tetsuo's relief Col Brady had survived but had been wounded and was already being shepherded back to Victoria where the Irish had established on the ground aid centres. Once the regiment was ashore the easy part of the day was over. Now they had to advance around the Eastern edges of the city and link up with the Canadians to trap the Yanks inside. Other Regiments who's ships where already on the way would be following behind them to help form the ring but the 35th had the job of going first.

"Leftenat De Valera" The tall man looked at Tetsuo "Get the men ready we are moving out."


"A Typical US Army machine gun position. Note the lack of helmets indicating a pre-1915 time when this photograph was taken"

Outskirts of Vancouver,
July 17th, 1030am


They had made it only half way to their destination before running into US troops. A group of US soldiers had set up a position inside a house and were taking shots at Tetsuo and his men. He had a couple down with wounds and a few dead but his men were firing back. They worked their rifles and split into groups. While one was firing the other would advance on the house. Eventually De Valera and his squad reached the edge of the house. Tetsuo saw him throw a couple of grenades into the building, Tetsuo had ordered his men to carry as many of the things as possible, and after the hollow booms De Valera and his men rushed into the building. Tetsuo advanced the rest of his company forward.

Before they reached the house Leftenant De Valera came out the front door reloading his pistol. "The house is clear sir." He said and Tetsuo's men passed it to continue their advance.

"How many were there Leftenant?" Tetsuo asked.

"There where four sir. Three upstairs and one down stairs. One of the grenades got the man in the downstairs and another stunned one of the men upstairs. The others tried to fight back but we took them out without incident." He worked the slide on his pistol to punctuate the sentence.

"Very well. Get the survivor detained and get him back towards our lines. Only detail two men, I want the rest of your squad back in the advance immediately." The Leftenant saluted and turned back into the house as Tetsuo caught up with the rest of the company.

They made it only a few dozen yards before running into more US resistance. This time however the enemy surrendered when they saw how outnumbered they where. When they realised that Tetsuo was in command their eyes nearly bulged out of their heads. They kept moving and occasionally ran into small pockets of groups but the groups started to get more and more frequent the further forward they went. At one point the company was under fire from a Yank machine gun. Staff Sergeant Conner however offered some insight into the matter.

"If they are shooting at you Sir you must be doing something right."

Service Trenches,
US Defensive Lines,
Vancouver,
17th of July, 1122AM


Sgt. Michael Dunne rammed the butt of the shotgun into the Yanks stomach. He then pulled it back, and with all his strength drove it into the back of the Yanks head. The man went down immediately and Michael assumed he was either out cold or dead. Either way he wasn't a threat right now. His hands worked through his pockets and he loaded shells into the Shotgun. He brought back up to his shoulder as another Yank just came around the corner near where he was. He fired into the centre of the Yank and the men fell backwards. Michael moved forward and behind him his squad moved as well.

They had been assigned the job of clearing the Trenches from the Yanks and to get as much new ground under Canadian control as possible, due to their record in the fighting in Vancouver they had been given such an assignment. However the going was getting tough. The Yanks were pushing back right now and pushing back hard, the fact they had the Canadians outnumbered was not helping. He used a mirror to peek over the lip of the trench he was in and saw that more Yank reinforcements were slipping into the thing even though some Canadian machine guns had been rushed forward and were trying to help with the defence.

Michael moved slowly around the corner in a weird bodily contortion with his shotgun held ready to fire while he kept the rest of himself back. The last thing he wanted was to get jumped by someone waiting around the corner. He moved around and moved forward some more. A bayonet missed his head by an inch and he turned and started firing his shotgun into a slit trench running nearby he hadn't seen. By the time he was finished there where three dead Yanks. However at that moment a rifle cracked and Wiggins went down, a hole through his chest.

"Christ get into cover." He screamed at his squad. There was no way they could advance any further.

"It would be nice if we had some god-damn support sarge." Came the voice of one of his men. He turned around to answer when he heard a roar unlike anything he had heard before come from the Yanks position. It was quickly followed by the hollow boom of several grenades detonating. He looked to see what it was and saw a sea of grey uniformed individuals rushing the Americans from behind. Michael didn't hesitate.

"COME ON" he yelled and lead his men towards this new fight. They moved forwards shooting some of the Yanks and they reached closer to the the fight. It was at this point Michael Dunne saw a man in grey uniform ram a Yank in the stomach with an honest to god sword before twisting it out and using it to deflect a bayonet. The man seemed to dance among the Americans slashing and stabbing them while all around him other men in Grey fell on the exposed Americans like demons. One tall man in a uniform turned to Michael and upon noticing that his uniform was Khaki and not Dark Green moved over to his squad.

"Leftenant Eamon De Valera, 35th Okinawa Rifles. Pleasure to make your acquaintance Sgt...." This Leftenant trailed off waiting for Michael to give him his name. Around him the fight started to die down as additional Canadian troops started to poor in to help these new friends against the Yanks.

"Sgt Michael Dunne sir. 16th Vancouver. I'm glad as hell you Irish finally decided to show up." Behind him the man with the sword was ordering men into positions. He then wiped the blade against a fallen Yank and sheathed it. He then noticed the man had Captains pips on his shoulders. He then noticed the man had to be Asian. At this moment in time Michael would have followed that man and his demons to hell itself after that display.

~~~~~~~~~~

The Irish landing at Vancouver was not flawless. Mines that Irish Naval Intelligence were sure were not there managed to sink four Transport ships and three destroyers. The troops on the ground were lucky during the initial wave in that the surprise of the landing was absolute but consequent troops started to come under fire from US skirmishers sent forward to try and slow down the landing. However the damage caused by the initial troops was done. Although they came under fire from pockets of resistance, the first Irish troops on the ground, the 35th Okinawa Rifles, the predecessors of today's Okinawa Army Division, successfully fell upon the exposed rear of a US troop assaulting into the Canadian lines and linked up with the 16th Vancouver Regiment. They were followed throughout the rest of the day by other Irish regiments who helped see to it that by Four PM July 17th the US army in Vancouver was surrounded.

General Liam Lynch, who had assumed command over the area from the Canadians, offered the Americans the opportunity to surrender. When they initially refused he ordered the shelling of the City of Vancouver until Nine PM causing serious damage to the city. The US Army had believed that no Commonwealth force would do such a thing and the Canadian commanders in the area were shocked an appalled by the action. It however meant when General Lynch offered a surrender to the Americans again at 9:30 PM on the 17th of July they accepted it.

The Battle of Vancouver marked the beginning of serious Irish intervention in the war in North America. It also lead to a lot of lessons being learned. It was the first battle in history to use Tanks but out of the eight that had been sent only three of them had seen action. It had shown that the need for better weapons was serious for the Canadians. It had also shown that Naval landings would be costly no matter how well planned, an argument that the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps had learnt a few months earlier during their invasion of Cuba.

However the biggest repercussions of the battle would be felt not in Ottawa, Dublin or London. but in Washington DC.

~~~~~~~~~~

Washington DC,
The United States of America,
July 18th


The messenger hurriedly passed the Secretary of War a note. The whole War department was in chaos after the defeat at Vancouver.

The note however made all of that fade away from his mind.

Theodore Roosevelt looked up at the gathering of officers and officials before him and spoke.

"Gentlemen i have just been passed a note that informs me that following the stress caused by the defeat at Vancouver, that President Wilson has suffered a fatal stroke and died in the White House residence at 4AM this morning. As of now Vice-President Thomas R. Marshall is now acting President of the United States of America. God save America."


*************

Comments Questions Etc?

So there we have it. Vancouver is liberated and once again the day is saved thanks to the Powerpuff Gir- er I mean the Irish military.

Next update is a global update whenever I get it written and I just want to say that when I started this thing I never thought I would get to 30 chapters of writing, or more accurately 20 chapters of good writing and 10 chapters of learning to write.

Thank you to those of you who read this AAR. If you didn't I'm sure this would have been abandoned by now. We have ways yet to go in this and we are nowhere near done just yet.
 

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So there we have it. Vancouver is liberated and once again the day is saved thanks to the Powerpuff Gir- er I mean the Irish military.
I had my suspicions when you introduced HMIS Buttercup. :p

Nice update. A plausible landing, not going too smoothly or being too successful, yet also providing a logical explanation for the collapse of the American lines. And Tetsuo, dancing across the World-War-I-style battlefield slashing down foes with his katana... That is a mental image to behold. :)
 

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I had my suspicions when you introduced HMIS Buttercup. :p

Nice update. A plausible landing, not going too smoothly or being too successful, yet also providing a logical explanation for the collapse of the American lines. And Tetsuo, dancing across the World-War-I-style battlefield slashing down foes with his katana... That is a mental image to behold. :)
Yeah he was only supposed to be a one bit character but I'm just having so much fun with him at this point I don't think I could stop even if I wanted too.
 

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Chapter 31 (a)

"Durch Hunderttausend zuckt es schnell,
und aller Augen blitzen hell;
der Deutsche bieder, fromm und stark,
beschützt die heil'ge Landesmark"

-Die Wacht am Rhein

Eindhoven,
Netherlands,
6th Bavarian Reserve Division


The Corporal was not in a good mood. Then again he rarely was. He had been born to a father who had not loved him and had a terrible childhood. He had tried to get into the Vienna art college but instead he had been cheated of his place because the Jews had a total control on the admissions board and they would not allow a pure German like himself into the institute. He had spent several years living in poverty before finally going to Germany to fight against the Jewish controlled Austrian empire. Then he had been stationed in the Netherlands under a Jewish captain and tasked with fighting to defend the Belgians. Now his Division was inside this horrid city and several times he had come close to death.

"Gentlemen!" Came the voice of the Jew "We have been tasked with the glorious task of shifting these Orange bastards out of that Post office. Get ready and prepare yourself lads."

It was a quick five minutes later when the Dutch had been pushed out of the building, however it had been a heavy cost as once again the Dutch proved they could fight a defensive war well. The Corporal had a small audience in a corner of the room.

"It's because the Captain is a Jew!" he was saying to his audience "His people are nothing but cowards who want as many of us to die fighting other pure nations while his people can take over the business, the government and our wives. I'm telling you it is a global conspiracy so they can take over the world and our captain is -"

He didn't get to finish his sentence as he was hit, hard from behind to the ground. He rolled upwards, ready to fight when he saw who hit him. It was the Sergeant and he was mad.

"YOU DARE?!? YOU DARE INSULT OUR CAPTAIN?" The man roared punctuating his point with a boot to the ribs. The corporal writhed in pain. "That man has lead us time and again through the very flames of hell and you question him? You insult his peoples as well? A peoples our Kaiser, even Great Bismarck, recognized as having duties for the state as well? YOU WOULD QUESTION THE KAISER?" He kicked him again, and again.

The Corporal eventually got on his feet and as he went to say something the front of his head exploded as he was shot by a Dutch sniper. His corpse was on the ground twitching. The Captain, drawn by the noise, came into the room to see the corpse.

"ADOLF!" he cried looking at the body. "What the hell happened here?"

Sergeant Adolf Peifer (neé) Schicklgruber turned to the Captain. "The Corporal was causing trouble. I was disciplining him when an Orange got him."

The Captain looked at the corpse and his Sergeant once more. "Fair enough Adolf. Carry on"

*************
So Questions?

Actually feck the rest. Ladies and Gentlemen we now have Godwins law introduced. Also the (a) above means it is part of the same update. There should be three more short updates like this written during class breaks.

I also have the butterflyed version of why our little Corporal is quite different TTL for those curious.

Short version is that his Father died shortly after he was born. His mother emigrated to Germany and re-married in Munich. Our Little Corporal never exists as TTL Adolf studied art in Munich and grew up to be loyal to the Kaiser. Does this mean no extreme Nationalism in Germany post war?

I ain't telling.
 
Last edited:

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Bwaah! :p Somewhere in this world, the scattered ashes of a certain historical person are furiously spinning in what we'll charitably call their gravesite, as you repurpose him for your own nefarious goals. :D

Also nice to see one of my countrymen put a bullet through that little sh*t's head. I'm sure your game world will go through many a bloody upheaval before the curtain draws close, but at least that particular instance can be avoided. Ah, it must be nice to play god in your own AAR world, righting some wrongs as you go along. :)
 

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Bwaah! :p Somewhere in this world, the scattered ashes of a certain historical person are furiously spinning in what we'll charitably call their gravesite, as you repurpose him for your own nefarious goals. :D

Also nice to see one of my countrymen put a bullet through that little sh*t's head. I'm sure your game world will go through many a bloody upheaval before the curtain draws close, but at least that particular instance can be avoided. Ah, it must be nice to play god in your own AAR world, righting some wrongs as you go along. :)
Righting some, escalating others.
 

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Chapter 31 (b)

"Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again."

- The Tempest, Act 3 Scene 2, William Shakespeare


Dublin,
Ireland


Heuston Train Station was a hive of activity. There may have been a war on but that did not mean for a second that the train station would be any less busy or chaotic. Men and women boarding and disembarking from trains came off the platforms while porters dashed too and fro with luggage. Children played games of running between the massive pillars holding the roof of the station while here and there stray dogs darted around looking for scraps from passengers food. However, apart from all the jolly chaos that was the civilian world stood the soldiers. Pvt. Joseph Furlong was among them. He was a young man, strictly speaking he was too young of a man being only 15 instead of the required 17 years of age to be in the army but the prospect of hot food and clothes does wonders for ones ability to lie. He was the third son of a family of eight and came from the poor inner-city slum area of Ballymun. His father was a fire box worker for the Hibernian train line and through the local "Self Improvement Society" had been able to get his children a basic education through the rail-road network. Now he was about to board one of the very trains his father had worked on for years.

"E Company! Advance onto the transport!" Came the roar of the Sergeant. Cutting through even the loud buzz of a busy train station. They were loaded onto the equivalent of third class coaches and had pretty much no room to themselves and while Joseph had been lucky enough to land a window seat a lot of others hadn't been so lucky. As he waited for the other companies to be loaded onto the train he started to let his mind wander. It started with the idle thoughts of his family, he wondered about his older brother who had emigrated to Alaska years ago and how the war was affecting him. He wondered if he was bound for the American front or somewhere else. As the train started to move he found himself wondering about Ireland and the country he lived in, specifically how it had changed.

Joseph had picked up a passion for reading that was not shared by most of his family. He would read anything he could and one of those things had been history books. He had read how Ireland had been conquered by England, how it had been Planted and how the Protestant Ascendency had happened. He read how the actions of the Ascended class after the Act of Union had so alienated themselves from any support in Westminster that the act had been repelled. How the re-instated and more powerful "Parliament of Ireland" had set about changing the country.

Joseph couldn't help but think that if a man was to travel through time like the character of the novel by H.G. Wells from 1836 Ireland to 1916 Ireland how different things would be. In 1836 Dublin had been only slightly bigger then a medium sized town with the only Industry being the Guinness brewery, the rest of the work force were employed in farming or not at all. Now though Dublin was regarded as one of Europe's greatest Capital cities, it's population was smaller then that of London but it was big. All around Industry could be found, from the Harper Auto-mobile company in Finglas to the Marconi-Guinness Radio factory in Donnybrook. All around people were working less and less on the farms and more and more in the cities. It was not just Dublin of course, Galway steel was as highly regarded as it's Sheffield counterpart while the petroleum in Larne was sold around the world. In Belfast and Cóbh shipping was produced on a scale that matched and in some cases eclipsed that of Great Britain itself. They were all held together by the sprawling rail road network that connected the country like the veins of a human body. It was possible for coal to be unloaded in Cóbh, shipped to Galway to fuel the furnaces of the steel works and the steel in question to be transported to Letterkenny within a week. From Cork to Galway to Donegal in a week!

Now though these changes were being put to the test. The nations entire Industrial strength was being turned towards one goal. War. And if it held together there was no way in hell that the USA or France or, as some mentioned in hushed and conspiratorial tones, Britain herself could stop them.

*************

The second mini-update. I hope to have the next one up quicker and then I might get back to a full length update schedule.

I find it funny that in this AAR there is a train service in Donegal when there is no such service in Ireland today.
 

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Yes, things have certainly changed in 80 years...

I see that Larne got another shout-out. ;)

The thing about train service to Donegal - back in the Old Country (I'm from the Netherlands) there used to be trains everywhere, but the smaller ones just faded away with the advent of buses and personal cars. My grandmother lived in a small town called Neede which had a sizeable railroad station built in 1884 (with connections in three different directions), but by 1937 it closed for passenger service, just hanging on for another couple of years of cargo service. It always makes me a bit nostalgic, seeing as trains seem such an efficient way to move people about - and a nice experience, too: you can look out the windows, get up and stretch your legs...

Anyway, I'm rambling. :) Looking forward to finding out where young Joseph is going to end up.
 

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Chapter 31 (c)

"The Rock *humph*.....aptly named." (translated)

- Souvenirs d'un Soldat, Campagne Ibérique, French Associated Press

HMS Iron Duke,
Cape Trafalgar


If Belgium existed to be a place for Germany to fight France, then Trafalgar fulfilled a similar role with regards to Britain and France. Spain was allied with France and to the British high command this posed a direct threat to Gibraltar as well as Britain's easy access to the Western Mediterranean. For a long time the Spainish military had been willing to adopt a "live and let live" position with regards to the garrison in Gibraltar. It wasn't until French forces started to arrive nearby, as well as the arrival of the French Mediterranean fleet in the port of Cadiz, that caused British high command to bring into action plans to fully reinforce Gibraltar.

The plans on the shelves called for reinforcement by British troops from Italy but that was not an option at this time. Instead Admiral Jellicoe had ignored the needs of the land forces and instead called for a direct attack on the French and Spanish ships in Cadiz. It was because of this that the Royal Navy, and a detachment of the Royal Irish Navy based out of Cork, came to engage the "Entente" naval forces at Trafalgar. The second battle of Trafalgar was a reply of the first with regards of the outcome, even with the over haul the French navy had undergone since the last time French and British ships had engaged in combat, they were no match for the size of the British and Irish navies after the naval arms race the two countries had been engaged in since the days of Parnell.

However this had the affect of causing the French commanders to accelerate their plans for the attack on Gibraltar, the French and Spanish sides both attacked Gibraltar. The garrison of Gibraltar, bolstered by some soldiers that had been evacuated from Italy when the fighting had started there, fought to hold out as well as possible but they were facing rather poor odds. Even with the elimination of any naval threat against supply ships in the area there were no reinforcements to send to them. Two months into the "Siege of Gibraltar" an attempt by the British to relieve the forces in Gibraltar by amphibiously assaulting Cadiz itself was launched. Designed and planned by the First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, the assault was a near total failure. The forces landed at an area that was dug into by indigenous soldiers who managed to hold up the British long enough for French reinforcements to arrive.

The failure of the assault forced Churchill to resign amidst a massive backlash against him. However Gibraltar still held firm and after six months it was finally reinforced in November 1916 by Irish forces that were redirected from their planned deployment to the Canadian front. These reinforcements helped to bring an end to the Entente assaults on Gibraltar although the siege would not be broken until May of the next year.


*************

Good lord this took a while to get up. My apologies to whole maybe five of you who read this, i have been extraordinarily busy for the last while. I'm not going to make any commitments on my next update but I hope for a decent sized one around Christmas.
 

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We-ell, as you can see, I haven't exactly been quick to respond, either. I blame a busy life as well (that, and my habit to read through my AAR list "methodically" - I start with Rome, then EU3, then HOI3, then AGEOD and only then do I make it to Vicky and Crusader Kings. And by that time, my lunch break is usually over).

So, apologies for a late response and no pressure on the next update. I do promise I will get to it, once it goes up, but I can't promise a timeframe. :)

So, a good naval battle, a hairy siege and good ol' Winston messes up another amphibious landing. And he didn't even have to travel as far as the Dardanelles this time. The poor man can't get a break. ;)

I like your current signature line, but while I can see "Battle for Vancouver 3, Vancouver with a Vengeance" work, I sincerely hope we don't end up with Vancouver 4.0/Live Free or Vancouver Hard, depending on what part of the world you're in. :p
 

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Just started this today, and consequently I am back on page four, but it is a very good job indeed, and nice to see a little love for my home.

Any word yet from the Committee to Integrate Foreign Games into Gaelic Zones?
 

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Chapter 32

Between St Petersburg and Sozny Bor,
Russia
26th of February 1917


The truck bumped along the ill-maintained road. Behind it lay a scene of absolute madness. St Petersburg had exploded in violence as the war situation had gotten worse, the fall of Helsinki and the proclamation of an independent Finnish republic had been the final straw. The people of the city, already angered by the rationing had mixed with the soldiers and sailors stuck in the city in the rout from Finland and those that had been forced back by the Germans at Jelgava, this had created a potent situation that anarchist agitators had been able to exploit.

The military barracks had been the first to fall, the soldiers in them almost all to a man just rose up against their officers. After that the few remaining Russian warships in the harbour had been seized by these people who were rapidly forming behind the so-called "Russian Peoples Movement". Police stations, civic buildings and gun shops fell next as the movement gained more and more speed eventually leading to it forming up in front of the Tsar's palace. The scene had been a massacre.

The crowd had been unwilling to attack the palace, after all it was still the palace. And no-one truly wished the Tsar any harm they just wanted to voice their grievances and maybe get the Tsar to try and end the war. If he was also willing to institute a more democratic system that would be nice. The palace guards however, who unlike the protesters were in somewhat dug in positions with machine guns, panicked. They opened fire on the crowd once they came into sight and began what would become a three day fire fight between the Palace guards and the now very angry rebels. All the time the Tsar and his family had been sequestered to interior rooms in the palace as the building was surrounded.

It was during the middle of the night on the second night of this siege that two horses carrying riders had escaped unseen during the night heading in a westerly direction. One of the horses suffered a broken leg in the treacherous terrain and the rider, an older man and war veteran told the younger rider to continue west. The younger rider continued to ride west until he met the small military group he had been expecting. They were four soldiers who had gotten their hands on a truck. It was in the back of this truck that they had been making their way for over a day now, progress had been slow due to bad weather and road conditions. They were set to meet up with a Greek freight ship docked in Sozny Bor which would bring them on to Greece itself.

The Greek merchant navy had earned itself an unusual place in the war in that it's ships were allowed past even the tightest of blockades. They were internationally recognised as neutral shipping and were fully endorsed by the international Red Cross to carry supplies and letters of a purely humanitarian type. They were not immune to searches by belligerent nations and there was more than one occasion were attempts had been made to smuggle war materials in under Greek colours but they were never sunk just seized.

The ship the small group from the truck had climbed on to was an older freighter and after the leader of the group, who spoke Greek, finished calming the rather irate captain down the ship cast off it's lines and set sail westwards.

Ben Nevis,
The North Sea,
5th of March 1917


The ship had been sunk two days ago. It had hit a rouge sea mine in the North Sea and following a scramble for the lifeboats a battle had broken out between the Greek sailors and the Russian party over who would get on them first. In the fight the young rider had been placed in one by a wounded Russian.

"You alone.....you will live."

And with that the life boat had been dropped into the North Sea. For two days the young rider had laid almost flat in the bottom of the boat as it rocked incessantly. He had no supplies when he was put in the boat and after two days of exposure to the elements and no food or water he was at the brink of death.

He never heard the voices calling out at him from somewhere to his left. He didn't hear the sound of the horn bellowing out at him. He barely felt the force of the other boat that hit into his and the hands that dragged him roughly into the other boat as the weather around him gradually got worse. The next thing he noticed was when he was staring at a ceiling while around him everything swung and over him a man in doctors clothing was desperately forcing liquid down his throat. He gasped and through very bad lips with a horse voice he began to murmur the same sentence over and over again while his brain slowly started to come back to life.

HMIS Valkyrie
Ben Nevis,
The North Sea,
5th of March 1917


The Valkyrie was an Irish light cruiser. She was had been drafted into patrol duty in the North Sea due to some weird command decision taken between the British and Irish admiralty that Captain Kevin Lynch didn't even begin to understand. It had been another routine day in the increasingly worse weather conditions when one of the lookouts had spotted the boat. Captain Lynch knew that a Greek freighter was in the area, the Danish authorities had already alerted him to such while the freighter had gone around the Danish coast. But the fact that a single lifeboat would be floating around had been extremely unusual and even in times of war some basic rules still applied to all sailors, so the Valkyrie had laid out an interception course to try and render any assistance to the boat.

On it they had found a single young man, roughly garbed in a mixture of Russian military uniform and civilian clothing. The young man was presumed dead by the men who found him but the ships doctor was certain he was alive, just on the cusp of death. They had gotten him under as the Valkyrie turned back westwards so as to try and make for Scarpa Flow before the really bad weather hit the North Sea. The journey had only barely begun when the bridge phone rang out. The ensign in charge of it called Kevin over and he heard the voice of the ships doctor down the headset for listening in.

"Captain. Our survivor is recovering and is speaking. It sounds like he is saying the same thing over and over again but I don't speak any Russian. Any chance you could get someone down here who does?"

Captain Lynch answered with a yes and turned to his second in command, Commander Thomas O'Khrezney and asked him to join him in the medical bay. Commander O'Khrezney was a fourth generation Irish-Russian from Alaska and like many of the older Russian families that had been in Alaska his family had "Hibernicised" their surname once the territory had become Irish property. He spoke some Russian and barring some of the mechanics down in the engine room he was probably Kevin's best bet of getting information out of this survivor.

They got in the door as the ships doctor waved them over to the young man, no scratch that, he was more of a boy then a man. Kevin nodded towards the boy and Commander O'Khrezney knelt down next to the boy and listened to the soft moan that was his voice. A look of shock crossed his face. He moved in closer and listened again, he then stood up and looked at Captain Lynch.

"Kevin I need to get Petty Officer Razin up here from engineering. I need a second opinion." He said with an edge of tension and nervousness to his voice.

Kevin nodded to agree to this request puzzled by what could be worrying his friend so much. Thomas used the ships telephone and within a few minutes, as Thomas knelt next to the child some more, Razin appeared. Thomas waved the man over, the fact he had been born in Russia before his Father had brought his family over to Alaska meant he was much more fluent. He leaned in as well, listened and leaned in again. He then stepped back quickly and swore very softly.

"Right what is going on?" Kevin felt he needed to know. Thomas and the Petty Officer locked eyes for a second as Thomas turned to look at him.

"Judging from Mikhail reaction my initial translation of what the boy is saying is correct. He is saying "My name is Alexi Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia." Silence followed this statement. Kevin needed only a few moments to decide that this was a situation way out of his pay league.

"Doctor keep good care of this boy. This information does not leave this room is that understood?" Nods of agreement came from the others in the room. "Ok then we need to head back to Dublin. This is way too big for me to handle."


Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia

*************

And I am back. Not the update I was planning to do next but I was inspired and this is one I have had on a back burner for a while now.

Usual drill applies but I do wish to point out I am starting to think of just wrapping this up after the war and moving to it's Darkest Hour port wherein I'll do the interwar years as an abridged prologue

@Brian Shanahan: Thank you kindly. And if it didn't say your Hometown was Limerick I would make a joke about Larne here.

As for Sports I don't have much to say other than Hurling is pretty popular in Alaska as a summer time equivalent to the also very popular Hockey
 

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And so we move from Churchill's folly at Gibraltar to the Russian Revolution - except that the Tsarevitch manages to get away before (presumably) the rest of his family gets massacred by the anarchists or the Reds. With Alexei safe (?) in Ireland, are you planning an Irish-led restoration of constitutional monarchy in Russia, once you get to Darkest Hour?
 

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@Brian Shanahan: Thank you kindly. And if it didn't say your Hometown was Limerick I would make a joke about Larne here.

As for Sports I don't have much to say other than Hurling is pretty popular in Alaska as a summer time equivalent to the also very popular Hockey
First of all nice return, a well written episode.

Secondly, I don't think you can have enough Larne jokes, there almost as universally appropriate as Tipperary ones.

Thirdly, Ice hockey is what you play when you can't find enough grass to play hurling.
 

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@Stuyvesant Maybe, maybe not. It was more of a desire to save young Alexei, I do have a somewhat soft spot for him.

@Brian Shanahan Larne jokes are good. It is the most boring place on earth after all. Tipperary at least has water.

Working on next update. Should cover a few events I want and then we will be into the end game of the war.
 

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Chapter 33

"As the men of Gondor held their gates against the waves of Darkness, the spirits of the Men, of the Dwarves and of the Elves were broken. Against these forces of darkness they had been defeated at Pelenor. All hope was lost.

And then a flute sounded, not just one but thousands. The men, dwarves and elves on the walls rushed to see this noise, so different to the horns of Darkness. They looked to the north, and there they were stunned.

The horse-lords, the Rohirrim, the men of Rohan had arrived. And against their shining lances the forces of Mordor could not stand."


- The Lord of the Rings, Return of the King. J.R.R. Tolkein (1955)​

Bangor,
Maine,
United States of America
23rd of April 1917



The American forces had kept falling back. In the face of wave after wave of British, Canadian and Quebecois attacks it was hard not to. The British had their tanks which guarenteed victory on any flat planes, and while the Ford motor company was working on the American versions it seemed unlikely that the US would have anything to match it before the Redcoats were in Washington itself. The Quebecois did not have tanks, but they fought with a ferocity that was un-matched by anything on the Atlantic front, only the rumours of the Irish samurai division on the Pacific coast matched them, the fact that the Quebecois were fighting to truly prove that they deserved their own government after the fiasco that had been the US backed uprising in Quebec city back in March [1] was encouraging them to fight to their best strength.

The Canadians where fighting for revenge. The Americans had occupied Ottawa and nearly defeated them, when they didn't defeat them they had set about destroying as much of Canada as they could before they were started to get pushed back. To Canadians the war had stopped being one of defence and had become one of offence, and ever since the Canadian miracle weapon that was the HUOT Automatic Rifle, a weapon that gave the standard Canadian soldier the fire power of a machine gun team, the war had become "1812 with Aeroplanes!"


The Canadian HUOT would arm the Canadian and Irish forces until well into the 1930's were they began to be phased out. It's reliability and ease of use made it a smash with Commonwealth troops and very highly prized as a captured weapon among Americans whose only offering against it, the MAR (Massachusetts Automatic Rifle) would be a poor poor substitute.

However at Bangor the offensive had been halted. Outside the city the Americans had dug in behind simple fortifications, the war effort in the West meant that there was no barbed wire available and as such they were stuck fighting in over-glorified firing pits. However they were well deployed. Machine guns, artillery and properly prepared fire pits meant that any infantry charge was stopped dead in it's tracks. General Pershing himself was in command of the defence and he had established a dedicated artillery team of the best trained men to target and kill any British Tanks as they appeared. The situation among the Commonwealth troops was getting desperate. Every day that they failed to take the city was another day for the American's to rally and for reinforcements to arrive. However all the tactics had failed, there was nothing that General Douglas Haig could throw at the Americans that wouldn't result in mass loss of life, possibly breaking the Commonwealth army in it's attempt of victory.

However a possible solution came from the Haig's subordinate General Arthur Currie. He had commanded the Canadian forces that had reclaimed Ottawa and was celebrated throughout Canada as having reached his rank after starting off as a militia artillery gunner before the war. He proposed an assault that the American's would not be expecting.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Commonwealth lines

There was a mist in the air as the sun came up on the 23rd. All around him there was a tension of nervousness and worry in the air. The artillery had not fired, High Command had wanted the total element of surprise and that meant not making the enemy think an assault was coming. Ahead of him a Captain checked his watch, all of the officers watches had been synchronised down to the second, and behind him he started to hear the faint rumble that indicated that the Canadian aircraft where coming. Ahead of him he saw officers put whistles to lips, he himself should have had a whistle but he was not officially in this division, strictly speaking he wasn't even in this armed forces, he was a British cavalry officer that had been part of this division since he was saved from an American patrol by the Canadians.. The piercing noise of the whistle screamed out and around him the wave of men and horses charged forward.

The American lines were a scarce 750 metres away, it would be a short charge but there were a lot of cavalrymen. He could see the Americans scrambling into position as they made ready to repel this assault, it was foolish madness to thing that a cavalry charge could succeed in this day and age but when he had asked the other cavalrymen he had ridden with for the past six months how they had felt they had seemed calm and certain.

"The Yankee's will not stand a chance against us my friend." Were the words of re-assurance his friend Gosheven Rider had told him. And all around him the men who made up the 3rd Cavalry (Native) Division charged, screams of war echoing from their throats.

US Army Headquarters

General Pershing stood looking out at the cavalry force coming towards him. He had told his men to hold fire until the enemy dismounted. Cavalry tactics were not those of the Knights of Europe but of the frontiersmen of the American west. Charge close and dismount, only a fool would try to fight from horseback against a machine gun. He turned his back on the front and went back into the building he had set up his headquarters in. He was certain that they would be broken like so many other attacks. Hell the British didn't even have any cavalry weapons in stock anymore.

He left his aid Captain Patton to watch the assault. As he sipped at his chickory, calling it coffee would just be a downright lie, he counted off in the back of his mind the seconds as he waited for the guns to open up on the dismounted fools. The seconds passed to a minute, then two. The door to his headquarters burst open as Captain Patton came running in.

"They are not dismounting sir!"

But by then it was too late.

3rd Cavalry (Native) Division

The Americans hadn't fired. General Currie had been correct in thinking that they would not expect a cavalry charge of the old school. The men of this division didn't have lances or swords, all they had was their Ross rifles and their bayonets, some also had the traditional Tomahawk battle axe of the Native people's of North America and they proved to be quite deadly with them from horseback as they jumped behind the American defences. It was only as they reached the lip of the American positions did the Yanks start firing, but by then a full division of cavalry had already made it well past the killzone and he knew that behind him the Infantry were rushing forward to take advantage of this gap that had been made by a cavalry charge.

They had looked much more different then the pictures of the ancient knights and their cavalry charges, but these natives had matched them in their success. He knew that the losses would probably be high but Leftenant Tolkein didn't mind. Today he was fighting alongside his friends, and tomorrow they would pass into legend.

*************

I'm assuming you are all familiar with the Australian Light Horse and their successful charge during the battle of Beersheba? As in what has inspired the above successful Cavalry charge of the Canadians?

[1] This uprising was supposed to get covered in a previous update but I just haven't been able to work it in. Partisans took Quebec city for maybe three days before the British re-took it.

Anyway another update about America, next time focusing on our favourite Samurai, and then America is done. Then onto France and Italy.

After all, you didn't think Michael Collins has been just sitting around doing nothing in Rome for two years do you?
 

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"1812 with Aeroplanes!"
Ooh, snappy!

I'm certainly not familiar with the Australian charge at Beersheba, but the update made for a nice read even with my ignorance. In fact, I'm so ignorant that I didn't even see the foreshadowing of A) the cavalry charge and B) Lt. Tolkien making an appearance, despite the quote from Tolkien being right there at the top of the page. :)

what in the blazes is that gun?!? It looks like something a drunken gunsmith would throw together after a Saturday night on a bender, whilst fumbling drunkenly through his darkened smithy ("I'll take the bolt from this gun, and that looks like a barrel that would fit. Ooh! I like that rifle butt, have to add that! Oh, and let's throw on a magazine. This drum one will do."). Did it actually work? :p
 

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Ooh, snappy!

I'm certainly not familiar with the Australian charge at Beersheba, but the update made for a nice read even with my ignorance. In fact, I'm so ignorant that I didn't even see the foreshadowing of A) the cavalry charge and B) Lt. Tolkien making an appearance, despite the quote from Tolkien being right there at the top of the page. :)

what in the blazes is that gun?!? It looks like something a drunken gunsmith would throw together after a Saturday night on a bender, whilst fumbling drunkenly through his darkened smithy ("I'll take the bolt from this gun, and that looks like a barrel that would fit. Ooh! I like that rifle butt, have to add that! Oh, and let's throw on a magazine. This drum one will do."). Did it actually work? :p
That my friend is the HUOT. It is a Ross Rifle that has been modified into a light machine gun. 20 round magazine and not only did it work, it was more reliable and lighter than the Lewis and BAR, It only missed being the hit that it was sure to be due to the war ending as the first ones came off the production line. For examples of other rifles along the same lines check out the Charleston Light Machine Gun from Australia during WW2.

As for Beersheba the Australian Light Horse charged a fortified Ottoman position armed only with Rifles and bayonets. It was costly but it succeeded and is one of the last ever successful cavalry charges in history. The last I believe was during the Polish-Soviet war of the 20's but I would need to double-check.