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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Nov 21, 2006
715
0
All,

I have decided to attempt an AAR of my own. Note, this is my first attempt of any kind writing, so we'll have to see how this goes.

As the Title seems to suggest, the AAR will be based on a UK 1936 GC. The game is DD 1.3 N/N. I have started a few games, but never really come close to finishing one... until now. I intend to make this my first real game, to go with my first AAR.

I have already played into 1941, so the AAR will be playing catch-up for the first while.

With regards to updatery, I have great intentions of updating regularily, but as I have noticed with other writers of far greater esteem, sometimes that is easier said than done. Suffice to say, I will do my best.

You are all welcome along for the ride, (however long it lasts) and I hope you will enjoy.
 
Nov 21, 2006
715
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Jake & Ted’s Grand Campaign:
A UK Pub Crawl Through WW2

February 4, 1936

The Old Oak Tavern, Romford.

oldoak.jpg


The Old Oak could be found on South Rd. It was a two story building with a whitewashed main story and a brick upper level. The place was always busy with locals and travelers alike.

“If weakening our stance on the treaty of Versailles keeps balance on the continent, the Krauts move into Cologne is reasonable… What do the French care anyways, they’ve got their vaunted Maginot Line to hide behind.” Jake waved a dismissive hand as he finished speaking. There would be no war in Europe because the Germans made some petulant move into the Rhine. Only four quarts in, and already Ted was heavy into his litany of fear. Jake, of course, would always be there to ensure that Ted wouldn’t dive off into the deep end. Jacob Cameron was relatively tall and had a paunch that showed how well he’d lived to this point, despite the current economic woes. Jake’s boisterous nature and louder than called for voice always ensured that the entire pub knew exactly how he felt about any given issue… Just like he intended. He liked to call it “education of the masses”.

“I’m just worried that this is just a harbinger of future events, and we’ll be back in Flanders throwing away good English lives when it could have been avoided by acting now.” Theodore Landon was a slight man of short stature, and tended to have the look of someone with a nervous tick, despite not being afflicted with anything of the kind. As opposed to Jake, Ted typically kept his questions and assertions to a conversation volume, meaning that most patrons would only hear one side of the debate, and generally wished they didn’t have to hear anything at all. Who knew they wouldn’t be appreciative of Jake’s “schooling”?

“More to the point,” continued Jake, “We are in no position to offer any fight to the Reds. Perhaps the Germans and the Reds will wear themselves out against one another, and we’ll not have to bother.”

“That worked out well for us last time…” Theodore added skeptically.

With an added pinch on the bottom, Jake asked the barmaid to bring another couple ‘o quarts to the table.

“You really don’t think that gets us the beers any faster, do you?” Ted added referring to the gratuitous pinching. “Plus, Joseph is likely to kick us out if you keep that up.” Joseph was the proprietor and was known to be very protective of the staff.

“Bah! You worry about everything. Last month you were worried that our economy was in shambles, and there were no jobs to be found. Then the local factories started to do some hiring for that new Defense Ministry project.”

“Don’t you find it worrisome that the only new jobs available are to construct tanks for new armoured divisions? Where are they intending to use those, eh? And at the same time they cancelled all ship building… And what about the fact that we’re supposedly going to buy all of our infantry supplies from those colonies in northern India? What about those potential jobs?”

“with respect to the infantry, we’re ‘trading’ resources for arms. Perfectly legitimate. Regardless, the tank jobs are paying jobs aren’t they?”

“Well what about that recent report in the Times that said un-named sources were able to provide evidence of malicious covert activities against our government?”

“That same article pointed out that the government was going to invest heavily into anti-espionage activities… Still, you really ought not be worried about so much. It’s not like our government is sitting idly by doing nothing in the world right now. Just today in the paper they talked about diplomatic missions to Spain, Belgium and Yugoslavia. Not to mention Eden’s terrific speech condemning the actions of the Iti’s in Africa, although, really, who cares what happens there?”

“I worry. What is the line where we go from ‘It means nothing’ to ‘That is really bad, and we’re going to do something about it’? When are we supposed to care, and what will we be able to do about it then?”
 
Nov 21, 2006
715
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Jake & Ted’s Grand Campaign:
A UK Pub Crawl Through WW2

March 3, 1936

Slaters Arms, Romford.

slaters.jpg


It was a particularly cold and crisp evening on this Tuesday night, as Jake and Ted crowded through the door of the Slaters Arms. The walk down the London Rd. had been bitter, and into the wind, yet now faced with the warmth of the fire and the taste of the ale, both Jake and Ted were sure their trek had been worth the effort.

The rest of the pub’s patrons seemed to be in better spirits than in days previous, with new found work on some defense contracts, and more government spending, the areas around London were starting to fare a little better.

Alice, the proprietor of the Arms, made sure to seat the newest arrivals relatively close to the warmth of the fire, while ensuring that any thirst from the walk would soon be sated.

The gossip of the evening seemed to be centering on the recent announcement that England would begin to work on improving relations with certain nations in the east and southeastern asian areas.

“I can’t believe that we are guaranteeing the independence of these warlord-run fractionalized Chinese states in the middle of God-knows-where.” An obviously exasperated Ted began.

“First of all, I thought that you were the one that was concerned about the state of the world and how we ought to do something about the aggressive actions of other nations… Secondly… Well, there is no second. Simply, you can’t have it both ways Ted!” Jake sat back looking immensely proud of himself for having caught Ted in what was clearly a juxtaposition of his previously stated views.

“It’s not about having it both ways. It is about focusing on real actions, where there will be obvious repercussions for activities that transgress on our stated foreign policies. How are we supposed to back up our guarantees in the far east, and what will that do with respect to our nation’s stature on the world stage if we fail to act when called upon, or do so in a completely ineffectual manner? We are setting ourselves up for failure. The more effective diplomatic route is that being taken with Siam. I think that it was an extremely wise move for the government to set up the permanent embassy in Bangkok. The increased trade and better relations will surely help our position in Malaysia and Singapore.” Ted was in full rant mode now, well for Ted anyways, which basically meant that he’d taken off his glasses and started to tick off his various points on his fingers as he made them.

“I am constantly amazed at what matters to you, Ted. From guarantees of independence to some godforsaken place to relations with the Siamese… That’s the far side of the earth, more importantly, far from affecting me or you any time soon…” Jake took a long pull on the most recent to arrive glass. Alice had a habit of removing the empty glasses quite quickly, so you never knew just how many you’d had, until your wallet was empty or until the next day when each and every one of them would come pounding back on your brain.

“Nothing is ever far from the British Empire, and what matters to the Empire matters to me. Plus, you should care, we are a global nation, and things that affect any part of our nation will eventually come to affect us. From what I understand, a large portion of our military is currently consisting of troops from India. What would happen if that manpower resource were threatened? Eventually in the case of a major conflict, who would you rather have doing the fighting, them or … you?”

“Whilst any army would benefit from my obvious physical prowess,” Jake slapped the side of his belly. “I can’t say I’d like to be the one at the front of the column… If you will. However, one would think that if the majority of our armed forces come from India, and India were threatened, we ought to be in reasonable shape, given the proximity of the conflict to the source of the troops.” Once again Jake was entirely proud of himself, and his keen sense of the obvious.

“My point was merely that we are using those troops to defend ALL corners of the Empire, from Egypt and the middle east, to our Pacific holdings as well as India, Burma and Malaysia. We would also need those troops to be available in the case of a European conflict.”

“Ok Ted, I will acknowledge your point about the far reaches of the Empire, but the British Isles are sacrosanct, and shall remain so, as we have the RN to mind our shores. Speaking of which, did you see that photo of the fleet gathered in Dover? Apparently, they brought ships from around to world to Dover as part of a major reorganization of the fleet. I can’t imagine what that sight was like in person. Ships for as far as the eye can see.”

“Bill Hepner, who used to work at the docks there, said that there was a new philosophy to use extremely large fleets and project strength with them. It would use fewer naval bases and allow for better distribution of supplies. But as to your first statement about the RN minding our shores, remember that the defense ministry cancelled all current ship builds and had no word on future production. So, our navy remains stagnant in size when, according to the papers, the navies of the US, Japan and Germany grow ever larger and more modern.” Ted shifted uncomfortably in his chair, as the agitation he felt towards world events seemed to manifest itself physically.

“We’re still the rulers of the waves, with a navy lager and stronger than any out there. We’ll be fine. Plus, who has better sailors. We’ve demonstrated our mastery of the waves for centuries.” As ever, Jake clearly remained extremely confident.

“Well, if we don’t upgrade our navy, our galleons are going to demonstrate their mastery of the ocean floor.”
 
Last edited:
Nov 21, 2006
715
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Jake & Ted’s Grand Campaign:
A UK Pub Crawl Through WW2

March 20, 1936

White Hart, Great Yeldham

history.jpg


When they reached the point where Toppesfield Rd. ended, and High St. became Poole, Jake and Ted could hardly wait to get out of the driving winds with the rain that was carried upon it. This was the worst storm yet of a particularly turbulent March. They were fortunate to happen upon the Hart, which promised both a place to stay, and perhaps a pint or two as the evening required.

Mrs. Martin was the proprietor, who in the tradition of all of the owners dating back to Mr. Ffrench himself, welcomed the two travelers with a warm smile and happy hello. Jake and Ted were all too happy to return the greeting and set up at a table farthest from the door, to minimize the chance of an unfortunate draft, reminding them of what they had just escaped.

“Well, Ted, it’s been two months since Eddie has taken on the role of our beloved King, what do you think so far?” Jake had already quaffed half of his glass, moments after it had been place in front of him. He’d also developed a bit of a temper after their car had broken down after their most recent call. Ted had been no help in attempting to push the vehicle out of the mire, something about wrecking his one pair of good shoes. But it’s not like Jake could have gotten out to push the car, he was clearly the superior conductor of the vehicle, despite this particular unfortunate steering mishap. Who knew the road might veer off suddenly if you look away for a couple of minutes while talking to your passenger…

“Well, I’ll tell you, this waiting for a year between death and coronation seems like extremely bad luck. It’s like were expecting something horrible to happen.” Ted was still shaking from the cold, and could hardly take a drink due to the shaking. Hardly but not impossible, and it was an endeavor worth pursuing. How cold someone possibly believe that driving without looking at the road could be a good idea? And on top of that, to think that someone else ought to be the one to get into the muck to rectify the error!

240px-King_Edward_VIII_28193629.jpg


“I thought that you weren’t superstitious?”

“I’m only superstitious when it is an appropriate time to be so…” Ted never liked the idea that there might be some force which dictated success or failure, not by what was invested into solving the issue, but rather by whether or not wood had been touched, salt thrown, mirrors remaining intact, or the sanctity of a ladder’s underside being respected.

“Don’t you worry that if you intentionally treat some situations with superstitious derision that you will end up with some form of a karmic backlash against your fatalistic disdain?”

“Pardon?”

“I mean, aren’t you worried that in those circumstances where you are not superstitious, that you will end up with the worst outcome because to whatever it is that controls the luck of the universe, you don’t seem to care?” Jake was smiling, as he realized from the look on Ted’s face, that Ted had considered this exact scenario, and never fully rationalized an appropriate response.

“This is complete nonsense, all of this talk of fates. You know as well as I do, that we make our own way in this world. Although, given that I have to travel with you, it would seem that your premise may, in fact, be true.” Ted said somewhat snarkily before taking a long sip on his ale, the chill finally starting to subside from his bones.

“Anyway, you were concerned that waiting a year from death to coronation was a bad sign.” Jake prompted.

“Well, not that I have any real basis for thinking something may be untoward, but it just seems to me that our parliament and our King seem to be working at cross-purposes… Well perhaps not that, but more that the relationship between Baldwin and Edward doesn’t seem to be as cordial as perhaps I feel it should. Given this, the rumours of this American, and what seem to be somewhat questionable foreign sympathies, once again, if the rumours are true, I wonder what sort of a monarchial reign we are in for?”

“Who are we to judge the actions of a King?” Jake started.

“You just asked me to!” Interjected an exasperated Ted.

“Well, that was before I realized you thought ill of our monarch.” Jake smiled.

“I don’t think ill of our King. I merely worry that this confluence of events and rumours may not bode well for the longevity of the reign of this particular King.” Ted knew he was being goaded, but could not shy away from the bait, regardless of how hard he tried.

“Fair enough.” Jake didn’t want to upset Ted too much, after all, he still had a car to move. “I personally think that if your purported rumours regarding the not-so-warm-and-fuzzy relationship between our King and Baldy are true, it’ll be Eddy that prevails, after, He’s the King.”

“Jake, it’s not that I’m concerned about who will win between them, it is more that I am concerned that Britain will lose because of a potential division in our nation’s leadership.”
 

nette001

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Indeed, good update, and I am curious to which establishments the crawl will lead us readers.
 

Miihkali

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Strange AAR, but not bad! That's great :D
 

stnylan

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Nah, its a cross of St George. Kind of appropriate considering :)

Very engaging little tale thus far.
 
Nov 21, 2006
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Jake & Ted’s Grand Campaign:
A UK Pub Crawl Through WW2

April 20, 1936

Hay Stack, Canvey Island

haystack.jpg


It was a perfect day. The temperature was moderate; the sun was high with clear skies, making this an ideal time to stop for a midday meal and a pint at the Hay Stack.

Jake and Ted were met by Henry Dellaway who’d owned the place for over 10 years. In the last ten years, Henry had made the establishment on Furtherwick Corner into an integral part of the community’s social fabric. Jake and Ted were ready to dive in an partake of the local fare.

Sitting on their table was a 4 day old copy of the times with a quote as it’s headline. “It is us today. It will be you tomorrow.”

Jake picked up the paper and read the headline aloud. He then followed: “Well that is certainly an interesting attempt at prophecy…”

300px-Italians_in_ethiopia_1935.jpg


“Well, Jake, my personal feeling is the Selassie’s comment is very much to the point. If the League of Nations wasn’t going to stand up for one of its constituent members, when will they make a stand?” Ted turned to order to Ploughman’s plates, one for himself and the other for Jake.

“Didn’t the League apply sanctions and subsequently admonish the Italians for their actions?” Jake added drink orders to the lunch quickly after.

“Surely you don’t think sanctions applied 6 months after the fact, and not including oil was any form of deterrent, do you? And to point out the effectiveness of the admonishing, the Italians just left the League. Of course we knew that things were going to go from bad to worse when Hoare and Laval botched the attempt at ending the conflict last year. Although, how could anyone be expected to have a nation be happy about a decree that it will lose 60% of its territory to an acknowledged aggressor, when the same people that formed the decree were supposed to preclude wars of conquest from being fought in the first place? How would Britain feel if it were decreed by third parties that we should be happy losing two thirds of our Empire to an aggressor?”

Jake sensed that Ted was going to keep going, and blurted “Ted, this is Africa. Not Europe. That is where your premise fails. Mussolini was merely finishing the business started in 1895. This is no precursor to a global Italian threat. Seriously, it has taken them 7 months to beat an army of spearmen, and they took an unreasonable amount of casualties, considering their opposition. What we’ve learned is that the Italians ought to fear any other modern army it will have to face if it were to continue its belligerent ways.”

“I think that the problem here, is not that the Italians were successful, but rather that the League has no leg to stand on should another country determine that they will follow a path of conquest as opposed to one of peaceful means. By not acting in this case, the League has demonstrated that it has no teeth. Mark my words, the world will come to regret this inaction.” Ted sat back gnawing on a hunk of cheese pensively.

“While we disagree about the ramifications to the world, I think that you are also missing some fundamental background to the end outcome. If you were able to get our government to intervene, what would you have them do? We have no appropriate resources in the theatre with which to react in force, we have more to gain from an Italian ally as compared to anything that Selassie can offer, and our populace has no stomach for a fight since the end of the last war, and the current economic ill which we are enduring.” Jake empathized with Ted’s ideals, but felt that ultimately they were hollow when faced with the requirement for real world pragmatism.

“At the very least we could have applied the appropriate sanctions that would have hindered the Italian war effort, including oil. As far as an Italian alliance is concerned, why do you feel that Mussolini will choose an English alliance when the ideologies of Berlin and Rome are so closely matched? I fear that we are courting a mistress who may already be taken.”

Jake sat back and finished his first pint, as the second was delivered to the table. He continued to read the rest of the front page.

“Ted, do you know anything about this kidnapping of this Chinese general?”

280px-Zhang_Xueliang_and_Chiang_Kai.jpg


“It is all fairly confusing really. It would appear that Chiang Kai-shek, the leader of the Kuomintang was apprehended by 2 of his own generals, Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng. Apparently they were upset that he was fighting various Chinese factions, particularly the communists instead of the Japanese. They are claiming this is a patriotic move, but apparently Zhang has been rumoured to be a communist as well. Regardless, when Chiang reached Xi’an, he was taken prisoner by these two. It will be interesting to see if they execute him. All in all, a very odd situation, to say the least.”

“How do you hear about this stuff?”

“Don’t you talk to anyone at work, Jake? I get a lot of the details from the people who make our deliveries overseas. I’m telling you, the papers rarely have the true story, and we have ships arriving every day. You’d be surprised at what these guys hear in foreign ports. That said, you’d be equally or more surprised at who we are letting come to our own shores on those same vessels… I really hope that the counter espionage program you mentioned a couple of months ago is in full stride…”
 
Nov 21, 2006
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Once again, I want to thank everyone for the feedback so far. Welcome aboard! :D

With regards to whether Jake and Ted are going to get mobilised, we'll have to see how the war effort fares and the manpower requirements vs. their military desirability, based on age etc.

That said, if there were pints in the trenches, and they were at the front, I am sure that would be the place to which they would head. :D
 

stnylan

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A very interesting discussion. I think the point about Ethiopia being in Africa, not Europe, sadly rings true for the motives of the men of the time.
 

Miihkali

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Nice update
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