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Les Flammes des Ténèbres: Noctis Lucis Caelum

Fanion-et-grenades3.jpg

Fanion et grenades - the emblem of the Legion​


Ok, folks, here’s my humble stuff ;):

First of all I’d have to say, this small AAR actually serves as the prelude for my coming HOI3 AAR, which I already have some basic plots for it. You can treat this as a small teaser. :) I’ll not reveal namesake for this AAR just yet (perhaps in the future), but you can certainly google for it. :cool:

EDIT: I provided the namesake for this AAR with a link inside the title. This AAR will eventually be a bit like what's in the video. :p

For those who have read my previous AARs, my HOI3 AAR will serve as a continuation for them. For those who have not read my previous AARs, this AAR is set in an alternate universe, so expect things to be “a bit” different than what you might expect normally. However, I cannot reveal the global situation of the world just yet or else I will spoil the plot for my first AAR. What you can assume is that Germany did have territorial losses in WWI, and she declared war on Poland on Sept. 1st, 1939. :p

Ok, now we move on to the actual stuff for you readAARs to read.




Prelude


September 1st, 1939, Pozan, Poland


A lone man nearing fifty judging by his face, stood on the green fields of Pozan, feeling the light breeze gently touching his face, while smelling the faint but sweet scent brought by the wind. Such a peaceful and beautiful place seemed so distant away from her fate of the near future.

It did not take long before a soldier rushed to the side of the lone man.

“Colonel Rommel! We’re ready for action any moment,” the soldier reported.

“Good. Tell the men to stand by for my orders.”


Erwin_Rommel.jpg

(Ok, everybody knows who he is, so no more intro needed. Also, use your imagination to give him an uniform of the Legion.)​


Colonel Erwin Rommel looked around him. There were elements of the Polish defenders on his side, four brigades to be precise. The Poles made fine soldiers, but their fighting efficiencies were questionable when pitted against the Nazi hordes, thirsty like vampires for their blood.


alpha_feb11.jpg


Rommel had a company of SOMUA S-35s with him. Although they were of excellent quality, he knew that twenty tanks won’t make too much of a difference against Hitler’s Panzerarmees, and before that he would have to face the menacing Luftwaffe. The few Bofors guns at his disposal could do little during an aerial attack. Why was this small Légion étrangère task force sent to the fields of Poland for a meaningless if not suicide mission was something Rommel would like to ask, but as a Legionnaire himself, he wasn’t in the position of questioning orders of the Republic.


SOMUA-S35-2.jpg

(Ready to serve! ;))​



“Incoming!” cried a soldier. The Nazis were already raining down death with their artillery barrages. The Poles on his side were already trying to look for shelter. It was clear, however, that none could be found in the fields unless one accounts the Adrian helmet above his head. It was advisable to retreat, but it would have meant that a hole was punched in the Polish defense right from the beginning. It was something Rommel wanted to avoid, however meaningless it might become later.

Probably considered surprising, Rommel had the Legionnaires under his command waiting in their tanks on the field, ready for an immediate counterattack once the artillery barrage ended and the fields flooded with Nazis.

It was a known fact that the armor of the tanks could not stand up to the heavy shells of the German Krupp guns, a fact mentioned to Rommel by his subordinates many times. The Poles believed that he was mad, and refused to coordinate with him. However, Rommel was to implement his plans, with or without Polish participation.

As he watch the rain of shells gradually descended, Rommel drew his sword that was hanging by his side. It felt heavier than ever before as he tightened his grip around the handle. However, Rommel knew clearly that it was the power hidden inside the blade that caused the apparent weight pulling the sword down, an evident fact shown by the faint but gleaming light being emitted by the blade.


sword1.jpg

(Something like this, basically part of Cloud's buster sword from Final Fantasy. I'll definitely change the design more to make it a truly original piece of "art" ;) You can also treat the "battle mode" as another teaser.)​


“Sigh… when was the last time I did this… with father’s sword…” Rommel asked himself as he positioned his body to a certain stance. A stance that made him appeared as an untouchable colossus.


Rhodes0211.jpg

(Ok, a stance definitely not like this. This pic should not actually be here, but I cannot help it. :eek:o ColossusCrusher, I'm sorry, but if you're standing like this guy from Rhodes I'll take it as an invitation to strike your groin. :D Ok, now be serious and we're back to my AAR. :p)​


With his eyes fixed at one of the shells, Rommel lashed out his sword, and struck the incoming shell straight on. Sparks went flying, and the screeching sound of metal colliding with metal irritated his ears. However Rommel finished his blow unhindered, slicing the shell vertically in half. The two halves of the shell fell some distance behind Rommel and exploded, lighting up Rommel’s face with the light of flames.


WWI_shells.jpg

(Well, you don't see things like these sliced up every single day. ;))​


“It will be another long day for me…” thought Rommel grudgingly. Slicing artillery shells wasn’t what he was born to do, considering the irritating screeching sounds produced.

Rommel hated this war, and also hated why he was such a master of warfare.

…​

For those who are guessing what hidden secret does Rommel’s blade have, I suggest you look for a particular blade in the bible, plus you’ll have to start my previous AARs. I cannot give more teasers that will spoil your appetite. :p

Oh, well, I guess I can give one more teaser: you’ll see Rommel face off a Panzer division, alone. ;)
 
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LlywelynII

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GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES: a '39 Principality of Monaco WC AAR

[size=+2]PROLOGUE[/size]


(DISCLAIMER: It is the stated position of the Polish Armed Services that their safeguards would have
prevented the occurrence of such events as are depicted in this AAR. The following is a work of fiction.
Any resemblance to actual places, events or persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
)

I.



II.



III.



IV.



V.



 
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Radu

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Twenty years have passed since the Polish State has reincarnated after having been erased from the map more than a century ago. The rebirth had been a difficult one, inheriting a country ravaged by the Great War, dealing with overlapping territorial interests with its neighbours and even briefly getting sucked into the Russian Civil War as it fought the Red Army to secure its eastern borders. Though Poland managed to successfully transition to a modern,centralized,democratic nation-state by 1922, political stability remained elusive. Its system of government had been modelled after the one in France and it shared the Third Republic's inherent frailty. After just 4 years the Polish experiment in democracy ended when Józef Pilsudski, the man widely regarded as Poland's founding father, assumed power in May 1926. Poland has been a de-facto dictatorship ever since, the military-dominated governments mixed both democratic and authoritarian elements in order to achieve the policy of "Sanacja" or "national healing" whose main focus was the reduction of corruption and propping-up of the national economy.

While the regime collectively known as "Pilsudski's colonels" successfully turned Poland into a prospering regional power, diplomacy saw much fewer successes. Pilsudski's dream of "Prometheism", namely the encouragement of non-Russian ethnic groups to secede from Russia in order to weaken it, died with the victory of the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War and Poland once again had to contend with a powerful Russian Empire this time in the shape of Stalin's USSR. To the West,too, a new danger arose in the form Adolf Hitler, the new German Chancellor whose raging revisionist rhetoric directly threatened Poland due to the still outstanding issue of Danzig as well as the presence of the large German minorities in the country's West.

Despite the non-aggression pacts signed with both Germany and USSR in 1934 and 1932,respectively, efforts to form a power bloc that would counterbalance both Germany and the USSR continued. These failed,however, as the countries with which Poland sought to ally with, Italy,Yugoslavia,Hungary and Romania, one by one drifted away towards Germany. The deterioration of Poland's external position was as swift as it was complete. Although tensions did continue to rise between Poland and Germany ever since Hitler came to power in 1933, the first true sign of danger was the Anschluss of March 1938 that saw the inclusion of Austria into the newly-declared Third Reich and the lack of reaction from France and Britain that followed. It proved not just Hitler's willingness to back his revanchist words with action,it also showed the Allied powers' unwillingness to confront Nazi Germany directly. The fears were compounded by the signing of the Munich Agreement later that year. In a timid effort of reapproachment with Germany, Poland participated in the partition of Czechoslovakia by annexing the Zalozie area in October 1938. The final proof of the Allies' impotence came when Hitler outright annexed the rest of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, installing Tiso in Slovakia and keeping the Czech lands as part of the Reich. In response to Hitler's move, Britain issued a guarantee to Poland's independence effectively ensuring that should Hitler attack Poland this would lead to a major European war. Negotiations over Danzig continued, Hitler even going so far as to offer Poland territories in Lithuania and Ukraine in compensation for his claims. Emboldened by the British guarantee, Poland rejected all these ouvertures.

War had become inevitable.


------------------------------------------

Warsaw,Poland

The invisible cold needles of autumn rain assaulted his face as he got out of the staff car.Advancing with brisk steps through the courtyard towards the General Staff building he remembered the last time his heart raced with such pace. "The Polish-Bolshevik war. Seems like an eternity ... " He was glad he was about to make aquaintance with the real situation, whatever it looked like.The drive had been a nerve-wracking one as he tried to ward off the grimmer of assumptions and cursed the British and their advice to halt the mobilization as a means of "defusing tensions". " Why didn't the British ask Hitler to halt his mobilization for a change ? "

"Marshal.."

Salutes were quickly dispensed with as the meeting got underway.

"Reports are very sketchy so far,sir, but it looks like the real thing. Our units are reporting attacks all along the border. Additionally, our airfields have been attacked and Danzig has come under naval gunfire."

" Good call Jozef ", he thought to himself, remembering Airforce Chief Jozef Zajac's recommendation that the airforce,fighters especially, be moved to newly-built camouflaged airfields.

"The last battle reports are 4 hours old,we haven't gotten anything since then."

" That is a bit long... "

"The most detailed battle report we got was from a strong German attack in Jablonka on the Slovakian border. The 21st Mountain Division's positions were about to be overwhelmed."

With a sigh Marshal Edward Rydz-Smigly prepared himself for the first in what would inevitably be a series of long days and sleepless nights as he leaned over the map.

" As long as the Cavalry Brigades do their job and the lines will hold, we're good. Even if they force us into the Romanian Bridgehead,we can still hold until Britain and France attack ", although the marshal did not feel fully at ease placing his country's survival in the hands of the two powers whose inaction emboldened the brimstone-spitting demagogue in Berlin. Not that he had a choice...

--------------------------------------------

Poznan,Poland

"Quickly!"

The soldiers grabbed the crate marked "Surveillance Equipment" and cracked it open.Lying inside was, quite literally, a secret weapon. The "Karabin przeciwpancerny wzór 35" was Poland's own anti-tank rifle. Its resemblance was that of an ordinary bolt-action service rifle except with a much longer barrel. And at that moment Captain Tarnowski would not have traded the odd-looking firearm for anything in the world. The German tanks were just minutes away.

Another artillery bombardment. It started to get on Tarnowski's nerves. Not because of the destruction itself,but because his shouted orders would be completely engulfed by the explosions thus pausing the preparations.

His infantry platoon took positions at the edge of a patch of woods overlooking the road. The Lieutenant ordered him to hold fire until the last possible moment so that the anti-tank riflemen could get clean shots on the German tanks.

One final artillery bombardment hitting the village that strode the crossroads announced the arrival of the German column.

"One,two,three,five,ten..."

"My God...",Captain Tarnowski muttered to himself.

An entire tank company rumbled across the road. He raised his hand,preparing to give the signal to the anti-tank rifle team next to him. The armored column passed the roadside tree Captain Tarnowski chose as a reference. He signaled.

The first crackle pierced the mechanized rumble-filled air. The lead Panzer II suddenly stopped, the others fanning out from the road. A distant thud from the anti-tank guns in the village was followed by another Panzer II bursting into flames. The German tanks responded with a flurry of autocannon fire. Mortars from the village began to plaster the tanks as the sound of Polish and German armaments blended into a single infernal orchestra. His anti-tank team worked furiously,punching hole after hole in the German tanks that were so far oblivious to them. He counted five burning hulks. The panzers began to back up away from the village as his men started cheering.

The chorus,however, was cut short by mortar shells that began to land in the forest. A rain of wooden and iron splinters tore through the air as the yellow-orange foliage kicked up by the mortars landed back down like snowflakes. Screams echoed through the wounded forest. The trees then seemed to explode and fall to the ground.

"They spotted us!..."

A hail of 20mm autocannon shells ripped through the forest,felling trees and turning men into lifeless,bloody lumps. The hellish symphony seemed to last forever.

Captain Tarnowski looked up as the forest was half-gone,replaced by fallen logs. He started to crawl towards the anti-tank rifle still clutched by the fallen gunner. Just as he was about to grab it, his head turned instinctively towards the vague but menacing feeling at the corner of his eye. He gasped to see a Panzer II open fire.

He could feel his body being jerked violently,but there was no pain...He was lying face-up to the clear sky as the autumn leaves covered his broken body. His mouth shaped the awe-filled gape of a newborn as his stare sank into celestial infinity.
 

unmerged(61296)

"Look behind you Mr Caesar !"
Sep 28, 2006
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FIRST TO FIGHT

The Brandenburger Gefreiter

“They told us that those who were would make History. Well, we Brandenburgers were there before we were there, you know? Classic intelligence cock-up. We got the ‘go’ signal one day too early, and we moved into Poland under complete radio silence just as the rest of the lads were ordered to stay where they were. It was a bloody night, that night of September . We overran a border post, cutting phone lines and slitting the Poles’ throat. Not something I minded, but, you know, when the Fieseler finally located us and dropped a message saying the offensive was postponed for sixteen hours I felt bad about these customs guys. In times of war, it’d be called a daring commando action. But since we were not at war yet, what it felt like was cold-blooded murder.”


The Flakabteilung’s Leutnant

“It was still evening when we got our final briefing, and our battalion commander told us to get some sleep, but of course I couldn’t. I had received my Leutnant’s pips two days before, and I wanted to set an example for my gun crews. So instead of sleeping I got on the nerves of my NCOs, checking the guns and the ammunition, the fire plans… Probably ended up setting a textbook example of smart-ass Leutnant, but you know how it is. They didn’t mind too much – it was our first war, and we were all on edge. We had been told not to expect enemy air raids, the Lufty boys were supposed to destroy Polish planes on the ground. What I wasn’t told to expect was to fire my tubes at charging horsemen.”




The Panzergrenadier soldat

“We were all high on adrenalin when the Gefreiters assembled the battalion’s companies. Mine got to walk point, keeping as close to the Panzerkompanie as possible. Our objective was to spearhead the Panzerregiment’s advance into Poznan, which headquarters said was defended by five infantry divisions. It was scary all right, but we had good officers and top-notch equipment. And we knew we weren’t alone – no less than three divisions were walking with us. A Panzerarmee corps, going to battle shoulder to shoulder. We almost didn’t meet any resistance that day – our orders were to cut deep into the Polish lines, destroying their artillery and supply trains. We got lucky. The infantry guys who met the Poles, they saw battle from up close – and a little too close for some of them.”



The Polish combat engineer

“I was a reservist called out for duty. My unit belonged to the Poznan Army Group, and because the city sat close to the border and commanded important railways it was considered a prime target should war break out. On civvy street, I am an engineer – building roads and factories. So I was assigned to the brigade’s engineer battalion. Our orders were to beef up our defensive positions, blowing up bridges and setting up minefields to channel a potential German offensive. It’s odd, you know, setting up mines. You hope they’ll take a Panzer down, you look forward to it, but you can’t help wonder if they won’t incinerate an ambulance instead… Anyway, we had been resting after a 12-hour straight shift digging up trenches, when the rumble woke us up. At first I thought it was thunder – the day before had been very hot – but when I stepped out of the tent I saw the geysers of flame. They were shelling the 217th Infantry regiment, somewhere to our left.”


The Aufklärung NCO

“We crossed the Warta around 4 AM, north of Szamotuty , to reconnoiter a route for the 14th Infanteriedivision to turn the Polish defenses northwest of Poznan. As we fanned out I took my 221 towards a series of hilltops, from which I knew I could get a good view at the Polish lines. The 221, it is a good car, but whoever designed it didn’t think cross-country was that important. We were running late, so I took the 221 into a small country road at full speed . Had I been less focused on catching up time, maybe I would have spotted the TKS tank. We were on it in an instant – first sign of its presence was when it started firing tracer rounds at us. We panicked, and Semmler stomped on the brakes. The 221 skidded to a halt just as a volley of 20mm rounds tore us into it. Semmler got cut in half, and another round blew up the turret. Me, I got lucky - the third round exploded outside of the cabin, and only knocked me unconscious.”




The Feldgrau

“We first thought it’d be a pushover. There had been the artillery barrage, and Heinkels making bomb runs, you see. We were kids, and we had never seen anything like that before. We crouched and ran from tree to tree as we had been told, but frankly we didn’t think we’d see much action. Boy, were we wrong. We were approaching a village when the Poles reminded us there was a war going on. A camouflaged machine-gun started firing on my section, mowing down three guys. I fell flat on my belly and shouted to my pals behind to do the same. I kind of froze up for a moment, feeling about to retch up bile as bullets flew over me. But all our training finally got back to me and I started crawling towards a collapsed wall.”


The Polish colonel

“It was like nothing I had ever experienced – and I thought I had seen a lot in my days. I was posted at the Poznan Army headquarters, and as soon as we got confirmation that a German division was in contact we tried raising our units to counter-attack. But something was dead wrong – either we got no communication or frantic reports that they were being pinned down by enemy aviation. We had been confident that we’d win the battle easily – five divisions to one! – but as time passed we started panicking. Our best divisions were reeling under the sudden assault, our aviation was nowhere to be seen, and we had lost our heavy artillery to an enemy breakthrough nine miles deep! The situation was desperate, and we ordered the reserves that had been held back to launch an attack on the Germans’ flank. Honestly, we already knew it couldn’t succeed.”


The Lancers’ captain

“They had kept us in reserve, ready to plug a hole in our lines or to envelop a retreating enemy. During the night German bombers had blown up our main depot – thankfully causing only light casualties. The enemy didn’t hit us again in the morning, but no orders came, so we stayed put, cleaning weapons, taking care of the horses. We knew orders would come, and we were impatient to ride into battle. When headquarters finally reached us around eight-thirty, the colonel lost little time in speeches. The enemy was hammering our infantry, and we were there to save the day. We couldn’t count on our artillery, he said, but he knew that we’d come up on the Germans like a thunderstorm and scatter them to Hell. Our morale was sky-high, and as our column started to fan out we felt invincible”




The Infanterie Feldwebehl

“It was a furious combat. We overran the two lines of trenches that faced us, lobbing grenades and firing our Schmeissers into everything that moved. We kept moving forward, leaving knots of resistance to the second wave. It had been a good fight – particularly since we were winning. The Polish soldiers, they fought bravely, but they lacked the experience or the appetite for this kind of combat. They relied on their officers and NCOs too much, while we had been trained to do without when necessary. So, the Polish line broke up around ten, and their soldiers started retreating – a rout, almost. I ran after them for a few meters and dropped on my knee to fire my submachine-gun. I was reloading when I heard the rumble. Man, that was something.”


The Generaloberst

“It was incredible. The Poles used smoke grenades to cover their retreat, greatly reducing visibility. That’s why we didn’t spot the Polish cavalry until it emerged from behind a hilltop. I froze up when I saw them through my binoculars. There was a full regiment of them, at the very least. They surprised our men in the open, dispersed in company-level assault formations, and pushed them hard towards the Polish trenches. Then someone at the Flakabteilung trained his light guns on the cavalrymen, and soon the entire battalion did the same. It was a ghastly sight - most of the shells didn’t explode, they just tore through the horses and the lancers, ripping them to shreds. It was horrible, but it did break the enemy’s assault. And his spirit.”


The report

From OKH Ostfront to OKW : Road to Poznan open as of September the 30th, 6:15 PM. Casualties light, list follows.
 

unmerged(31656)

Second Lieutenant
Jul 8, 2004
115
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jablonka.jpg


A picture is worth a thousand words...


Like a typewriter’s platen my head slowly scanned the landscape from the right to the left before repeating itself. I was nervously gazing out of the glassless window frame, which belonged to a small, old house. The house rested on a little family sized farm on the outskirts of Jablonka. Its wooden structure moaned and creaked with every step, and the splotchy and chipping paint on the walls gave it an appearance of neglect and abandonment. In truth though, this house had only been abandoned a few days prior by a family of scared peasants.

Disheveled and exhausted my fellow comrades in the 21 Dwizja Piechoty Gorskiej had been forced to retreat hundreds of kilometers on foot in a few short days and were now tentatively trying to set up a defensive line. We were mountain troops who were now expected to fight in the middle of a sporadically forested plain, but to be honest that was the least of our worries. After days of forced marches – interrupted only by sporadic fighting as the Germans attempted to cut us off – we were now finally trying to make a final stand.

Every muscle in my body screamed at me with searing pain. I was sore in places I didn’t even know existed. My mind was consumed by an endemically nagging hunger, which only exacerbated my empty stomach’s gnawing and growls. My boots, which I had so eagerly received upon enlistment, now felt like an unbearable burden. Their mud caked exterior made every step a dreadful challenge against gravity. My uniform, which weeks before I had kept so pristine and immaculate to impress the local girls, now was tattered and torn. Its olive-green hues were discolored by my own sweat stains and dried blood. And finally my helmet, which bore the revered Polish White Eagle, was seen less as a form of protection against blunt impacts and more as a tool to abet my vain attempts to escape. Because like an ostrich foolishly burying its head underground in an attempt to escape danger, I would bury my head in my helmet and close my eyes hoping that when I reopened them this nightmare would be over.

Behind me and splayed out all over the floor were some of my exhausted comrades. They were all obviously every bit as muddled and tired as me. They had made a terrible mess of the little house, covering its interior with mud and cannibalizing its few pieces of furniture for fire wood. In one corner rested a few boxes of ammunition and in another their hastily stacked rifles. I on the other hand refused to let go of my rifle and instead nervously gripped it with both hands, not only to try to make myself feel safer but also to stop my hands from visibly shaking.

Suddenly I espied a few black specks outlined against the ominously grey storm clouds forming on the horizon. Instinctively my eyes gaped open and my jaw dropped. I blinked furiously to make sure my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me. And it wasn’t…

Before I could wrestle control of myself and yell out what was happening, our ears were filled with the shrill siren of the dive bombers. Like the roc of ancient myth, these modern birds of prey would swiftly swoop down at their victims while screaming ear piercing cries to demoralize all within range. The explosion of a near miss sent me hurling to the right, and I fell down hard on my shoulder. My ears rang like church bells were tolling within my head. One wall of the house was now gone, the roof had largely been blown off, and shards of wood were raining down all over the place. Looking around everything was chaos as men were harshly awakened by this unexpected and undesired surprise.

Although some of my comrades were already dead –burnt or crushed, most of them had escaped without significant injury because they had been lying down. These men were now hastily fetching their rifles and searching for cover outside. I tried to standup myself and get out of the house, but as soon as I was on my feet my knees buckled and I fell down again in pain. It was only then that I noticed the gashing wound in my thigh, a piece of splintered wood had been thrown by the explosion and only been stopped by a combination of my thigh’s bone, tissue, and muscle. I closed my eyes tightly and gritted my teeth as I yanked the shard out of my thigh. Then I ripped the bottom half of my pants off so I could use the tattered fabric as a rudimentary bandage to stop the bleeding. Using the window sill I hoisted myself up again and this time placed my rifle butt under my arm as a crutch. I almost hesitated in doing this because I was afraid I would get dirt in my rifle’s barrel… the army sure knows how to train soldiers to be good paraders, it’s a shame the same can’t be said of their ability to train us for the reality of war.

I cautiously hobbled myself over bloody and mutilated corpses as I made my way out of the decrepit house. However, without warning the next thing I knew my breath had been knocked out of me and I was looking up at the ever darkening sky. I thought I felt a series of rain drops on my cheek, but when I touched them with my fingers I saw that they were drops of crimson… blood. Despite the nearly unbearable pain in my leg, I rolled over on my side to try to push myself up. But instead I rolled over to find myself staring face to face with another man. My nostrils flared open in repulsion at the smell of burnt flesh and decay emanating from him. And a small waterfall of blood had stained a cascading path down his face. His empty, hollow eyes appeared to be staring at something in the distance over my shoulder. It is hard to read a dead man’s eyes, but maybe they were looking toward heaven above with anticipation and relief

In horror I tried to quickly stand up, but then I realized what had caused me to fall in the first place: my feet where tangled in his intestines and guts. Instinctively I began dry heaving as I attempted to throw up in disgust, but my empty stomach had nothing to surrender. Using every ounce of willpower I could summon, I finally freed myself from this sickening trap and finished limping outside.

All around me men were running back and forth and anarchy reigned supreme. The planes were finally gone now but if the past few weeks had taught us anything, it was that this was only the beginning. The beginning of the end for us. The planes were merely to soften us up before the main onslaught arrived. Still gimping along on one foot and with my rifle acting as an aid, I made my way to a nearby slit trench.

Almost on cue with my arrival, the earth shuddered beneath my feet and a few seconds later I was surrounded by balls of high explosives and piercing shrapnel. I hunkered down in the trench shaking like a leaf, not because of the artillery impacts but pure fear. Every so often a substantial amount of dirt and grass would be thrown over the trench’s rim by a nearby artillery explosion, but in the end I survived this ordeal. It felt like it had lasted hours but in reality I knew it couldn’t have been more than a few minutes.

Cloaked by a small forest, I heard an all too familiar rumble. Thick fumes of black smoke were being belched into the sky like the ominous smoke of a volcano warning everyone of its imminent eruption. And now off in the distance, I could barely make out the movement of the armored goliaths known as Panzers, with diminutive infantry following closely behind, emanating from within the forest. I fell rearwards until my back was resting against the trench’s dirt wall, then I let myself slowly crumble down into a sitting position. I grabbed my helmet and pushed it down hard against the top of my head so I could bury myself beneath its shadow. Then I closed my eyes… hoping that when I open them this nightmare will be over.
 
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September 1st, 1939, Warszawa

Minister of Armaments, Tadeusz Kasprzycki sat behind his desk, head in his hands.

He had just gotten off the phone with general Gamelin. All he had worked for in the past year had turned out to be nothing but empty promises.

Four months ago, after the so-called Kasprzycki-Gamelin Convention, the Franco-Polish military alliance was signed. Commander of the French army; Maurice Gamelin had obliged his nation to provide military help in case Nazi Germany would live up to expectations and attack Poland. General Gamelin promised a "Bold relief offensive" within three weeks.
The attack had come this morning. Gamelin had told him the French forces were alerted and ready to launch their promised offensive within three weeks. But Tadeusz had sensed this wasn’t to be true. Gamelin had pledged him and Poland an empty promise.
During the Great-War Tadeusz Kasprzycki had been a captain with the 'Polish Legion', fighting as a part of the Austro-Hungarian Army. His had learned from his experiences as a staff-officer when a general was not confident enough to live up to his promises, when he was selling bullshit.

The minister shrugged; lifting up his head a bit he looked over the papers cluttering his desk. Outpost reports informing the government of the invasion, a transcript of the declaration of war and a postcard from his son, Jerzy. Tadeusz picked up the postcard and read it like he had done countless times over the past weeks of tension. It was not only the future of his beloved Poland he feared for; his only son was going to attempt and thwart the German incursion.

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September 9th, 1939 Warszawa

A week had passed and the German onslaught had proved to be unstoppable. General Gamelin still promised to keep to the Alliance every day but three weeks would be too long. The Polish soldiers would be buried underneath the rubble by then.
The Polish army had lost the Danzig corridor in the first two days of the offensive. To the south the front had been breached in several places; Lodz and Katowic. The German troops had advanced as far as Tarnow and the river Pilica. Warszawa was threatened. A valiant stand was made however, in the region of Poznan. Here the “Armia Poznan” had held out for a week already, turning back everything thrown at them. This made Tadeusz proud. His son had written him a hasty letter two days ago, which had just reached him.
Around him consternation was all over the place as boxes were being packed and official documents burned in the hearths. But the minister was smiling. His son had gone through his baptism of fire and he was now a man.
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“Give my love to Alicja”. ‘The ever romantic lad’, Tadeusz thought. Jerzy had been friends with her since they enrolled in the same primary school. Over the last year he had sensed his son’s friendship for Alicja had turned into more then friendship. One evening he had spotted them holding hands, sitting on a bench in the park. He had looked for a moment, and then turned away. For him the happiness of his only son was everything. Thus he had coped far better than his wife when young Jerzy had dropped out of school at 17 because of his low marks. Some weeks later Jerzy had shocked his mother when he told them, during dinner, he wished to join the army. Into the footsteps of his father. Tadeusz had thought this a courageous decision and thus enabled his son to enrol in the 35th rifle regiment as an ensign. If he wished he could enter officer-school after a year of service.

Tadeusz folded the letter carefully and put it in his coat pocket. Tonight, during dinner, he would show it to Martyna. Jerzy had always sent his letters first to the ministry for two reasons: the mail was quicker but more important he thought it best his father read all the news first and only then inform his mother.
Putting the letter away, the smile, now a faint one, disappeared from the minister’s face. The Polish army was about to collapse, Poland was about to collapse and with it would go all he loved and cared for. But he was a proud father.



September 23rd, 1939, Between Lvov and Bucharest

‘One more hour’ Tadeusz thought, ’one more hour and we will be in Rumania’. After the Polish army had been shattered before Warszawa the plan had been to evacuate the government to Rumania. Tadeusz and Martyna had gathered their dearest possessions and entrained on the 19th. At first they had gone south to Lublin but the German army headed them off. Brzesc was their next option and from there they made a long, slow journey to Lvov. The exodus had cost them five days so far but a safe haven was near, they were almost in Rumania now.

Just before the train had left the capital on the evening of the 19th, German artillery already rumbling in the far distance, a messenger had run to the platform. ”Minister Kasprzycki, minister Kasprzycki.” he shouted. Heads turned and people looked at him. Both hate and envy on their faces. Hate as he symbolised the empty Franco-Polish alliance. Envy because his high position got him a place on of the last train to leave Warszawa. Shouts were aimed at him from the crowded platform while the messenger handed him two envelopes. A brown one, addressed to “The family of Mister T. Kasprzycki”, written in beautiful handwriting. The second a hasty note addressed to him in. The official brown envelope frightened him. He had a suspicion of its contents. But he did not want to know yet. Tears filled his eyes as he put the brown envelope away and thanked the messenger. Wiping away the tears he quickly opened the other note and read it as he walked back to his seat besides his wife.
Martyna’s curious looks were quickly answered by Tadeusz. ”The Germans have broken through at Poznan.” He grasped his wife’s hand. With a trembling voice she spoke ”Will Jerzy be all right?” He couldn’t look her into the eyes. He stood up. And left the compartment. ”I am sure he will” Tadeusz answered and walked away.

Now he was alone for a moment. Hesitantly he took the letter from his pocket which had been there for five days and finally read it.

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Epilogue

Tadeusz and Martyna Kasprzycki stayed in Rumania until 1944. Through Turkey the moved to Great-Britain before emigrating to Canada where the lived the remainder of their days.​
 
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dag231

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Letter From the Front

Letter From The Front

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My Dearest Alicja,

Another sleepless night.

Dawn is a few hours away, and for the fifth night in a row I have tossed and turned and woken at the slightest noise. I almost wish that something would happen, as the waiting and the anticipation of war is almost as gruesome as any battle could be.

Our intelligence is informing all units along the front that the Germans could invade at any time, but that’s what they said last week before the British signed the defense pact with us. The Germans backed off then and there are many here among the boys who think that they will continue to balk as long as the British and the French stand firm. They think that The Little Corporal – their pet name for Hitler - is just a big windbag full of hot air who talks up a great game just to wring out more concessions from his enemies, but when push comes to shove, will back down when faced with overwhelming odds. The notion that he can invade us while the British and the French are at his back is just ludicrous.

For a supposed student of history, or whatever the German propaganda pumps out about him, even thinking about fighting a two front war is the most asinine thing he could ever do. Didn’t the Germans learn their lessons from the previous war? While they are busy with us and bogged down here, the British and the French will roll right up into Berlin under their noses.

Some of the boys, however, think that our government will fold under the pressure and give in, and give up Gdańsk and the Corridor. A small price to pay to ensure peace, they say. I think that’s a load of rubbish. It’s a slippery slope and if you give the Germans any inch they will demand a mile tomorrow. Better to call their bluff and take them on now. Don’t get me wrong and don’t be alarmed at my sudden conversion towards a desire for battle – I would be much happier to be back at home with you in front of a roaring fire listening to Moniuszko’s Halka then being stuck here sitting in a trench at four in the morning, with only a few rats and bugs to keep me company by the light of the lantern. But if there is a choice to be made between comfort and giving into a bully who is all bluff and bluster, or defending your land with all your might and soul, I will take the latter.

My men and the rest here are ready to do their duty and while we realize that we will bear the brunt of the fighting, we will endure it as proud sons of the motherland should, and we will hold the Germans until the French and the British can come into the fighting and peel off the German divisions. Our fortifications are solid, and we are confident that we can establish a firm line here, one that will make the Germans think twice before trying to take it from us. They will pay in blood for every inch of Polish soil they despoil, that I can promise you.

Our new commander, Colonel Mozdyniewicz wants the Germans to invade sooner than later – his daughter’s wedding is in the fall, and he would like to have established trench lines firmly in place before then so he can move his attention to the planning of the grand day without the inconvenience of having to worry about the Germans. I am still shocked that in this day and age daughters of the nobility are regarded as nothing more than chattel, to be given away to political friends to ensure that their fathers advance their careers, but I suppose that’s what members of the old nobility still do. If we were descendants of Jozef-Kajetan Ossolinski or members of good standing in some other ancient and patrician family, then maybe I would feel differently. But it still seems wrong, though. Our unborn daughter – if God grants us the joy of having a daughter – will marry for love, and hopefully finds a man who will cherish her as much as I do you.

If that young man just happens to be the son of a wealthy industrialist who will be glad to take care of his relations by marriage, all the better - but no pressure on her, I promise.

The Colonel reminds me a lot like your father. Had he lived, I can imagine him here, in the trench, waiting for the Germans with a smile on his face. Completely fearless and nonchalant about it all. Anyone who fought with Sikorski to liberate Galacia from the Russians, like your father did, would have that kind of inner strength. It still saddens me to picture him withering away like he did at the end, and that such a proud family man never had the chance to see his grandson grow up.

Speaking of children, I still like Brygida if it’s a girl – after your grandmother - and Szczepan if it’s a boy - after my father - but since you are the one doing all the hard work, I will leave it your capable hands. I still laugh at my father’s words of wisdom about how the five minutes of pleasure men get in making a child doesn’t make up for the nine months of hell the wife has to go through. That being said, I must be honest and tell you that I am not that fond of Kamil, Kamila, or any other variation of the same theme, regardless of how much your sister thinks that having a “Kam” in the family would be somehow such a great idea. If she is so enamored with the name, tell her to get off her plump rear and get a husband already. The fact that she is almost twenty-one and without a serious suitor just proves how frivolous and self-indulgent she has been.

What about Fabian from the bookstore in town? She seemed to like him and he is handsome enough, I suppose. Not to mention that his father’s store seems quite prosperous. Perhaps a little nudge in his direction from you – or even a well directed push - would kindle a much needed flame.

In your last letter, you mentioned that Gabriel wanted a bicycle for his birthday. If you think we can afford it then I approve, but it will be a tight squeeze for us, especially since your school has cut back your teaching hours. The Colonel mentioned that I was a candidate for promotion when they are up at the end of September, so if that goes through then we can use the bonus to get the bicycle for him. Otherwise, do you think your brother would want to help out? You could always tell him that I could repay him by putting in some extra hours when his harvest comes in. I don’t mind doing the hard work and could save him from having to pick up a day laborer or two. Ask him and then let me know.

Darling, I apologize but I have to end this here. There is some movement in the command tent – maybe the Germans have decided to dip their toe into the water after all. If they have, we will give them the thrashing they deserve.

Give our son a kiss goodnight for me and know that I love you with all my heart.

Thomasz
September 1


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Invasion of Poland


Porucznik Tomasz Wujek of the 17 Dywizja Piechoty, under the command of Colonel Mieczyslaw Mozdyniewicz, was killed during the Battle of the Bzura shortly after the Wehrmacht stormed across the Polish border on September 1. His final letter to his wife, Alicja, was found and turned over to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gniezno, in hopes that she would receive it.

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The Death of a Dream


Sadly she never did, as the Polish intelligentsia was among the first victims of Reinhard Heydrich’s Einsatzgruppen forces who were under orders to eliminate the groups most clearly identified with the Polish national identity.
 
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TRP

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  • Darkest Hour
The life and death of Herman Weiss

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“Well... at least they’re not French”
- Oscar Wilde on Poland

“Well... at least we’re not French”
- Belgians, on Belgium



Friends, this is the tale of a man. His name was Herman Weiss, and he was the greatest war hero to ever grace Poland. But, how you ask, hath our great leader received such merit? Well, I will explain to you his acts of heroism on the very day the man was made a legend. It was 1939, and Europe was in turmoil...

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We meet our hero as Field Marshall of the Polish army, in command of the ‘Władysław Zubosz-Kaliński/Konstanty Druçéki-Lubecki czolgów da whateverivlevski’ Corps. Please, make no attempt at pronouncing the name, we can assure you: You will not succeed.

As Field Marshall Weiss exited his bunker for his usual morning ritual, he noted to his following assistant “You know what Amadei, I think I’m going to relax today. You know, let the bow hang loose a bit, make myself a nice cup of tea, read a good book, call it a day, and go to bed early. How does that sound?”
“An excellent plan sir. It is a beautiful day indeed, and there is absolutely nothing that could go wrong today.”

It was the 1st of September, 1939.

Field Marshall Weiss was, in no aspects, an ordinary Polish commander. For starters, he was a German, working for the Polish military, and on top of that a spy for the Russians tasked to operate as a double-agent within the Romanian Secret Service. In his free time, the man also spent some time in the neighboring Baltic states enjoying typical Baltic activities alike collecting amber, singing, mushrooming and cross-dressing. Weiss was in all ways, a true Osterliche Europeaner. But even the Field Marshall, in his awesomeness beyond awesome and almost infinite foresight, could not predict what was about to happen today.

As the men approached the trenches, Weiss suddenly dove to the side, startled by the whistling sound of a bullet that narrowly evaded his head.
“CEASE FIRE! I’M A POLISH COMMANDER!” He shouted at his mysterious assailer.
“Sorry” echoed a soldier from the distance “Thought you were a German.”
“BLOODY HELL!” Weiss shouted while crawling back up “That was the SEVENTH time this week! I’m tired of these bloody idiots SHOOTING AT ME!”. His assistant nodded affirmatively. “Yes sir, I know. But...”
“But what?”
“Well, I understand these are difficult times for you and all Herr Weiss, and that you are quite annoyed by our forces constantly mistaking you for an enemy and opening fire. It’s just that...”
“Just that what, Amadei?”
“Well, not that I am doubting your tastes, honored sir, but do you really insist on wearing that SS uniform while commanding our men? It might cause additional... confusion.”

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Weiss looked down at his spotless black uniform.
“Well, yes, you know what Amadei? Sometimes you just have to stick to your principles. Plus, the suit really complements my figure, and the ladies dig a man in uniform.”
His assistant nodded “Yes sir.”
The men walked past a Polish artillery position, belonging to the ‘*The hell with it, I’m not writing this*’ brigade. Manned with no less than two of Poland’s most sophisticated long-range bombardment apparel, the “Cannun pozitjun”, as it was known, was sure to repel any invaders foolish enough to attack.

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“Oh sir, by the way, I got a message from our cavalry detachments yest...”
“No, Amadei, we’re not doing the tank joke.”
“We’re not?”
“No.”
“But... our horses are really well-f
“I said no.”
“Aww...”

Their discussion was quickly cut short however, as a panicking soldier appeared shouting at Field Marshall Weiss
“SIR! SIR! TROUBLE’S COMING!”
He wore the uniform of an important courier. You see, back in those days, Poland hadn’t invented this curious thing called ‘Telefunz’ yet, so the leadership simply resorted to senning runner Poles to carry messages around Poland.
“What is the message?”
“The Germans... The Germans have invaded! We are at war!”
“War? What did the government say?”
“Their emergency meeting was inconclusive.”
Weiss raised an eyebrow “Inconclusive?”

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“That would mean Hitler did not keep his promise of ‘Peace in our time’. Surely, he would never do such a thing!? He is an honourable man. I mean, just look at that face!”

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“Preposterous! Hitler would never harm a fly! Look how innocent he is!”

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“I’m telling you sir, HE DID! GERMANY IS ATTACKING AND SO IS RUSSIA!”
“I think you’re lying, courier. I mean, how can I trust you?” Weiss responded
“FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! GERMANY IS ATTACKING! PANZERS ARE ROLLING OVER THE BORDER AS WE S-” Suddenly, the man fell over, his skull punctured by a well-aimed sniper shot. Weiss pinched his eyes together and stared at the horizon, where he could see hordes of screaming German soldiers running towards their position, backed up with steel columns of tanks.
“I see. Amadei?”
“Yes sir?”
“It has come to my attention that we are being invaded by Germany. I believe we should get to our men before the Germans reach us.”

“Do you really think they are attacking sir?” Amadei stared at the incoming grey storm on the horizon.
“Well, they look pretty pissed to me.” Weiss took his binoculars and peered at the screaming Germans storming towards their position, foaming at the mouth and chanting songs including the words “Death”, “Poland”, “Infidels” and “Lebensraum”

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Back at the trenches, Polish soldiers were frantically shouting and running through each other while explosions sounded everywhere, when all of a sudden Weiss was startled by another Polish bullet.
“FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! WHO DID THAT!?”
“Sorry! Thought you were my wife!”
“Oh, I thought you’d mistaken me for a German. Very well, carry on then.”

“Yeah sir, what’s the catch with your German heritage anyway?” asked another soldier standing next to Weiss.
Annoyed, Weiss responded “Okay, I’ll explain. This isn’t hard you know. I am a GERMAN fighting for the POLISH army, who is also a RUSSIAN double-agent spying on Polish forces for Romania.”
“So you’re a Romanian spying on the Russians as a German Polish commander?” Another soldier added.
“No! I spy ON the Romanians FOR the Russians, but I PRETEND to be a Romanian spying on Polish forces as a German commander.”
“So you’re a Polish commander spying on the Germans while pretending to be a Romanian Russian?”
“FOR CHRISTS SAKE NO! Ah, you know what, screw it. Let’s just attack.”
“I agree. BLITZKRIEG!” Shouted the first soldier
“No, Blitzkrieg is their line, you idiot!” the second responded, while hitting the first on the head.
“Then what is ours?”
“Euh... well... euh. Ah, what the hell. BLITZKRIEG!”
Instantaneously, the entire trench lift itself up and attached bayonets to make a courageous attack on the Germans, before surging forward under a thunderous roar
“BLITZKRIEG!”

And that was the tale of Field Marshall Weiss, one of the greatest war heroes to ever grace Poland. Indeed, the Battle of Poznan made him immortal, and even today his name is written in every history book in the world. All around Poland statues have been erected in the honor of this great man, Field Marshall Weiss, the great Commander of Polish forces during the decisive Battle of Poznan, the battle that propelled the man’s name into immortality.



Oh yes, the Poles lost.​
 
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OAM

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First to Fight
First to Fall

A mini AAR on the invasion of Poland
(With general musings on Germany)​

Poland. That word lingered in the minds of the general staff as they sat around in the comfort of their HQ in a bunker in Berlin, looking at the map on the table. Today was the day. The day that wretched country would be wiped off the map. Orders for the Fuhrer demanded it. Most had not minded its existence too much, but it was simply unacceptable being disconnected from East Prussia. Poland refused all reasonable proposals to link Germany to the vital area.

(The modest proposal, rejected time and time again)


This had gone on for far too long, and now war was the only choice. Preparations were made. Indeed, one could say preparations started the instant Hitler came to power. Most knew, deep down, that war was really the only way out of the grave that had been dug for Germany after the Great War. A war for a war, fight fire with fire. The "old empires" (for Germany was not technically an "old" empire) fought and fussed in their old age, or as some put it, on their death beds. The modern world simply had no place for them anymore. A way of the past. It was both unfortunate and fortunate that they were frequently in conflict with Germany. Unfortunate, because they insisted on trying to stop anyone not in their "old and rich" nation club, even if they were bloated with incompetency. It was fortunate, however, because it meant Germany would have the opportunity to end their pathetic sqwabblings on its return to power.

Now as the time to strike. This was as strong as Germany would get before war. No more "freebies" would be given by the world. The Rhineland was remilitarized, and the world hardly noticed. Austria absorbed, and it wasn't even seen as a bad thing by some foreigners. Round one against Prague had brought swift cries, however. Promises had to be made. And later, promises had to be broken. The world would not stand anything more. But Germany had to continue, for it was inconceivable that the great German people be kept down on the bottom of the heap of nations for long. Germany MUST be on top.

Steeling themselves for the long road ahead, the general staff gave the order to commence attack to their charges, and the wheels of war spun into motion. Poland prided itself on having a large army. Germany had better technology and doctrine, however. Would still make for a tough fight.

Poznan was a good example. All things being equal, Poland would win it with a bit of trouble. But there was no rivers or other natural features to aid them. Factor in the technological and doctrinal advantages, and Germany would win. The world was in for a shock, this would turn conventional knowledge of war upside down!


(The battle of Poznan was a good example of Germany superiority, even when outnumbered)


Poland would not be the end of the road, however. France and Britain were sure to take offense to this. After that war, or perhaps even during that war, the Soviet Union would have to be confronted. Communism was a threat everyone could agree on. Military men favored communism when choosing enemies. Too bad, or perhaps not for some of the more hard line in the military, fighting the Soviet Union would be the hardest challenge ever faced, by anyone! The general staff suddenly had some of the best job security in the world...
 

eleazar

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I wish it would rain

It was a quiet, humid, evening at home for Mateusz, as they tended to be in early September. Perhaps more quiet than he might like. His pipe in one hand, a newspaper in the other -- or not. Tonight he did not feel like reading the news reports, and let the newspaper rest in his lap. The report from yesterday, the 3rd of September, he was upset by. He shook in a quiet rage all that evening at the thought of Germany invading his homeland, a homeland that only recently began to recover from the last visit from their neighbors to the West. That they so thoroughly routed his countrymen in Jablonka made him ashamed. Why were Poland's troops not ready? How could they not have expected Hitler to try something, even in spite of the French and British promises? His wife had cooed over him, brooded over him, clucked quietly at him during his sullen sunset. When his foul temper would not be assuaged she gave up and forbid him his marriage bed.

He slept in his chair last night.

Today he spent out in his property, repairing the door to his shed sagging forlorn on its old hinges; organizing his tools once, twice -- as many times as it took until he felt he could concentrate again. Until he felt like himself once more. Then he found his hunting rifle and polished the barrel for a time. His wife came out to visit him then and as she saw him with his rifle she shook her head and made a soft sound of disgust. She left him to his shed and his tools and his rifle and went back inside the house. Mateusz pretended not to notice her.

This evening he ate a silent dinner with his wife, who sometimes glanced at him across his table and asked once "Is it ok?" to which he grunted only a half-angry reply. He did not know quite why he was angry with her. Or why she was angry at him.

It was Germany, he thought sullenly. They would not let the Polish have peace even in their houses.

And so it continued through the evening, quiet. Unhappily quiet. And so he decided it would be a good night to try listening to the radio.

He sat in his chair, unlit pipe in one had, and with the other -- sans newspaper -- he turned the radio cabinet on, the switch making a muffled snap. A quiet hiss electrified the silence, made it seem alive and oppressive. In the dim sunset light that filled the front room of his farmhouse he felt he could see the static in the dust that hung in the humid late summer air.

He sat for a time listening to the silence, or the static, and only barely heard thunder in the distance.

Rain.

It would break the humidity.

He reached to the front of the radio cabinet and absently rolled the tuning dial with his fingertips, not looking at the radio. He looked at the dust in the air and listened to the sound of the static as it changed with the rolling of the tuner.

A high pitched squawk, a stutter of static, and nothing. And now dead silence. The static had stopped, and Mateusz lifted his fingers from the dial, listening intently. A voice just barely audible, reading something perhaps?

He adjusted the volume slightly, the speaker crackling as he did so, until the voice became clear.

'... We report happily that the Germans are being driven back all along the front. The Nation of Poland can not be overrun, not with our brave soldiers manning the lines. This is all as expected. In Poznan we have driven division after division back to Germany with their tails between their legs. We knew this was going to be the case and it is our happy duty to report it to you now. In a few moments we will have more news from our brave troops in the south."

Silence for a time spread through the small room as darkness gathered in the corners. Mateusz sat back, well pleased. This is the news he had been waiting for. To hear so soon that the Polish divisions were now taking the initiative was a good sign.

Thunder again softly in the distance, but closer now. Mateusz looked forward to the cooling rain and silently urged the thunder closer.

The radio crackled and hissed suddenly, then resolved to silence again as Mateusz closed his eyes and dozed. A knock at his door did not rouse him until he heard it a second time. Even then he was slow to rise. The room was mostly dark now. He had not lit any lamps. The radio remained silent.

He opened his door to find a small man in a military uniform. The man looked nervous and glanced around himself as if waiting for someone else to come help him.

"Yes?" Mateusz asked him politely.

"Sir, I am from 25 Dywizja Piechoty, Poznan, and I must ask you to evacuate this town. We need it for the defense of Poland."

Mateusz had a moment of absolute loss for words. The front was over 100km to the West. There were no soldiers nearby.

Mateusz peered out into the deep bronze of a dying sunset. There were some trucks on the road. Soldiers at other homes, pounding on doors. Angry voices. A man's voice insisted to a hidden companion How are these people still in their homes!? Why are they not evacuated already?

"You must be mistaken. The front is much farther west." Mateusz said thickly, slowly. "You are not far enough along." The soldier was a boy, maybe 17. He looked perhaps about to cry. Or possibly he was in pain.

"Sir we have come from the West.” He paused a moment to make the fact settle around them more solidly. “For your own safety you must evacuate. You will go east -- gather what belongings you can and follow your neighbors." He pointed into the gloom. Mateusz's gaze did not follow the small soldiers arm.

"No no. The front is to the West. The radio." He said and pointed back into his own house. His mind seemed to slow to a crawl. He did not know what to tell this young confused solider.

The solider did not respond.

"The radio.” Mateusz explained. “We are winning. Surely you must join your fellows in the West." His own voice sounded foreign to him, thick and slow, his mind crawling around thoughts that would not form. More thunder. Angry voices, womens voices, came from somewhere nearby. Doors opening and closing, and trucks approaching in the advancing darkness.

The soldier looked nervously at his boots, and then to the trucks nearby. He turned again to face Mateusz. "You must go sir. You must! There isn't time for a discussion. Please!" The soldier fussed with his own hands. "Please evacuate your family."

Mateusz noticed dirt caked on the soldiers jacket cuffs. He noticed the scrapes on the boy's hands all of a sudden. It struck him that somehow he may be dreaming.

He inhaled slowly to speak. "The thunder. It will rain soon. I cannot be outside with my wife in the rain."

The solider cocked his head slightly, a puzzled look on his face, listening.

Thunder again, as if on cue. Matuesz pointed to the sky weakly as if to emphasize the point, but said nothing.

"Sir, it will not rain."

A beat passed between them, filled with the cacophony of voices and trucks, men and women yelling. Someone sobbing. Mateusz heard his wife walk up beside him as he glared at the boy in front of him. The soldier looked tired suddenly, worn.

"That is not thunder."


------------------------

"Polish pre-war propaganda stated that any German invasion would be easily repelled, so that the eventual Polish defeats in the September Campaign came as a shock to many civilians, who were unprepared for such news and, with no training for such a disaster, panicked and retreated east, spreading chaos, lowering troop morale and making road transportation for Polish troops very difficult. The propaganda also had some negative consequences for the Polish troops, whose communications, disrupted by German mobile units operating in the rear and civilians blocking roads, were further thrown into chaos by bizarre reports from Polish radio stations and newspapers which often reported imaginary victories and other military operations. This led to some Polish troops being encircled or making a stand against overwhelming odds, when they thought they were actually counterattacking or would soon receive reinforcements from other victorious areas."

--- “Invasion of Poland” Wikipedia 30 Jun 2009: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Poland_(1939)#Details_of_the_campaign
 

arya126

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The Grand Army Of The Poles (GAP)

hello, i am venturing into a science fiction area to hopefully provide a fresh and entertaining story for all of you;). please contact me after the submission period at aryagon126@yahoo.com if u have any comments or wish me to improve or change a certain aspect of it. thank you.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The year is 1939...

An Austrian upstart has grabbed control of Germany and is preparingto steamroll Europe. It is a time of turmoil and disaster is looming for the poles unless a miracle from the mysterious walker of the sky can save them...
*** *** ***
CHAPTER 1
As the German advance slowed to a stop, a single figure strode forward from the polish positions. He kept his features concealed behind his hood and robe but walked as though a great responsibility was upon him.

Simultaneously a figure walked from the smoke surrounding the German forces. Fear gripped the opposition as his face was revealed through the smoke and fog on the field that was upon the field. Shabun Von Lance was leading the blitzkrieg army for hitler.

"Step away stranger. Leave. You have no business with us." Hissed Shabun.
"I will leave when you do. German forces should stick to German land, should they not?" shot back from under the hood.

And with that the hood slid back, pulled by an unseen force (ironic right?). Unrecognized by most, his face scared Shabun so much he stuttered and stumbled back a few steps drawing his personal gun, an impressive Gehwer 43 Submachine gun fully loaded with the deadly 9mm bullets coated with poison so favored by the German officers. Anakin Skywalker had come home.

Anakin stood calmly while he pulled his gun and simply advanced pulling out a metal rod. the two armies wondered what good it would do against a gun until a beam of blue light shot out of it. Much of the German army trembled while the Poles were given new hope. Maybe this mysterious weilder of light could save them from the evil of the nazis?

Anakin declared "I as Jedi knight and General of the GAR hereby arrest you on charges of invading the Polish lands attempting to annex the lands. The Grand Army Of The Republic now gives a contingent of clone troopers led my myself to serve as The Grand Army Of The Poles (GAP).

As if on cue Exactly 144 clone troopers of the Elite Torrent Company jump out from the trenches and lower their rifles into a firing position. A squadron of fighters and bombers passed overhead making their first run on the panicking:eek: German forces just as Anakin beheaded Shabun Von Lance (much to the delight of the Polish) and snatched up his gun.

The battle that ensued was quick and painless for the Polish army but much the opposite for the Germans. The 50,000 Germans were routed and chased to the outskirts of Berlin by the Torrent Company. Heavy Casualties:( and the complete loss of their tanks caused hitler to go into a rage:mad: of fury:rofl: and fear of this skywalker settled in among the German cities.

!@#
CHAPTER 2
He was frightened. He was frightened of the man he would have to face today. If hes a man at all. They say he came from the stars and was raised by the ninjas of space. Others say he laft earth when he was younger, taken by fellow weilers of light. Now he is back. And now he is scaring the world into surrenduring if he comes within 100 kilometers of their border.

How much longer till he would stop? Some said never. He wouldnt stop until he controlledd the entire solar system and could control the sun. Others said he was stranded and the poles were payiong him handsomely for his services. Well whatever his reason it cant explain how he was able to kill stalin and annex the USSR in a week with only 144 men and a squadron of fighters and bombers from anopther galaxy. Or how he bombed the US to ashes and radioactive tomatoes in his personal starfighter withoiut launching a single nucleur strike. Or how all of aisa,africa and the americas was now his. Or rather the poles. And now he was flying to meet up with Torrent company outside of Berlin to coordinate with Poland on the final assault on Berlin.

But this man shouldnt be frightened. Because this man was the Furhuh (sorry if i mispelled that)! And he had his own intergalactic weapon. One who could finally beat this monster. One who would help him take over the world and finish off this skywalker. This man was Darth Malak. He had landed 10 miles from Berlin a week ago and had marched to the capital with his army of 60,000! He promised that they outmatched Skywalkers puny company by far. Then the germans could sweep up the 12,000 Polish men and reclaim all their lost territory and all of the Polish empire.

!@#
CHAPTER 3
On their first half of the journey across the atlantic to rejoin their land forces at Berlin they performed tricks to amuse themselves and to see who could outmanuevr the others. The ARC-170 fighter was obviously better suited to this then the V-wing bomber. Unless you counted anakin's starfighter. It was a flying spectacle weaving through the other aircraft and showing off spectacular tricks, loops, spins, and targeting skills.

But on the second half General skywalker recieved a transmission from the HQ outside of Berlin. Some ships had been detected landing 5 miles north of berlin and Commander Alpha wanted to send a platoon of troops headed by Captain Rex to investigate. Skywalker refused fearing the worst. Sith had come to the Germans aid, and by the looks of it, with many thousands to help.

At base camp they drew up a plan. Anakin and Alpha would lead the Polish army and 2 platoons in a main assault into berlin. But Rex would take 2 lartries with the other 2 platoons in conjunction with 200 choppers from the Polish army all of them filled with troops and deploy in northwestern Berlin to distract the armies. But they did not count on the british inventing the atomic bomb so soon. So all their aircraft were required to watch the outlying areasa for any bombers of fighters of the allies. So the transport wing of aircraft were largely unprotected.

As both sides opened fire with their arty peices bombers started their first runs on enemy lines.Berlin was defended by AA turrets but HQ for the GAP was unprotected save for any E-webs on the ground.

But as they advanced Anakin knew the true threat was yet to reveal himself. He could feel the sith aproaching even as they themselvews advanced and could tell that he had never met this one yet. He was an ancient threat. One that nobody should mess with. One that was now in view. At an unseen signal both armies stopped a half mile apart. Well the sith did anyway. The GAP was amazed and had this gut feeling that this was their doom. their were 60,000 men in sith uniforms sporting blaster technology. They outnumbered both them and the poles combined.

Then the GAP charged. If they were goin to die thenm they would die in a brave honorable last stand. they would make it to those trenches in the middle of the feild. their bombers would tear any heavy defenses to peices. And their general would come up with a plan to rout their remaining forces. It WOULD happen. It had to. As they charged their secret weapons that nobody but skywalker and the drivers knew about came from their underground chambers. An armoured division stood where nothing had seconds before. 200 tanks that could destoy even the most hardened bunker supplemented by almost 1000 newly ordered speeder bikes to taunt and torture their enemy lines. worst of all for the sith were the 20 lightly armored walkers that arose stocked with enough firepower to rival a surprised tank line.

But anakin ignored all this. All that mattered was that he find the sith and kill him before he caused havoc among our lines. As he got within a 100 yads of the sith soldiers a crimson light erupted from an oler metal stick. He was standing in front of the sith. And now he must die.

He sped forward with a burst of the force and summoned everything he had to end this quickly. Lightning spun in all directions from his lightsaber, incapacitating all who neared him. a single porce push knocked away any blaster shots and a single force pull wrenched their weaponbs way from them. When 10 feet were left he slowed and changed into his juyo lightsaber stance so he could fight more effectively. His opponent that his archives labeled as Darth Malak, was apparently favoring the makashi. He charged.

Then they heard so many loud explosions that they feared the worst: that the larties had been shot down by AA fire. But they might have well been shot down because they were about to die anyway. Everything went black.

The bomber had barely made it past the fighters but their mass of fighters had overwhelmed them. The atomic bomb was dropped and it fled. But there were 2 survivors. who were they? Its your choice...
 
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Vladek

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Fortunes of war

Hello, here's my humble contribution to the AAR contest.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prologue.

German - Polish border
14:00 PM, August the 31st, 1939


CHOKING, DENSE, concrete-heavy tension filled the room. Not that anyone was in the mood for chatting, so silence was good. Most of the men inside had been getting little to no sleep for days, and the mark of fatigue was present in nearly every red-rimmed, bloodshot eye. Except for a few coughs and shuffling of feet, all seemed to be made of stone or oak.

That they were live men and not statues, was all too clear the second General der Infanterie Franz von Alpers, commanding officer of the XIXth Armeekorps stepped in, triggering the natural reaction of any self-respecting Wehrmacht officer - men snapped at parade-ground attention, eyes fixed forward, heels clicking as they stood up. Alpers let them stand at attention for a minute or two while he arranged his papers on the long, U-shaped table that occupied most of the officer's mess. Finally, he raised his stead and said in a calm, cool voice :

"Be seated, gentlemen. My staff officer, Oberstleutnant Franz von Effen will hand you over some files - please keep your eyes on them even when I speak. We have little time for barracks-style displays of discipline."

"One hour ago, HQ has informed me that the codeword 'Danzig' has been sent, right from Berlin. The H-hour is 4.45 AM tomorrow, September the 1st. You know what this means. Let me assure you right here and right now : this is not a drill, it's not a mistake, it's not a false alert. War with Poland is now certain."

These words rolled through the room like an shockwave. Even the seemingly indifferent raised their heads to look up at the general, soaking up every word that came out of his mouth.For all the world-famous Prussian discipline, whispers were heard from most men. Reactions varied from anctious expectations of action from young, fierce nationalists, to bitter remarks about "that Bohemian corporal" from the older Great War veterans.

Alpers waited patiently till the whispering died down before continuing. Normally he would not have tolerated such things, but men are only men, and even the usually hard-going Prussian aristocrat felt this was one occasion when he could cut them some slack.

" We're all officers here, so I'm not going to give you any big speech about duty, Vaterland, the German people and the honour of dying for Fuhrer and Reich. I assume something like that is unnecessary. Plus, I think we can all agree that we'd rather see that the Poles do most of the dying part. Now, let us review the tasks assigned to each unit, just like the last Kriegspiel we did. Oberstleutnant von Effen, take over. "

" Thank you, Herr General. Gentlemen, as you all have witnessed during the latest Kriegspiel, the mission of the XXVth Armeekorps is to advance and secure the province of Poznan. The main objective of our offensive is the city of Poznan itself. By D-day + 1 we must penetrate enemy border defences up to 30 kilometers in depth. By D-day + 5 we are supposed to anihilate the main enemy units opposing us and reach the outskirts of Poznan. Finally, by D-Day + 8 the city and most of the
province must be entirely in German hands ... According to the battle plans laid out, the 2nd of 4th Infantry will be responsible for the initial engagements. Keep in mind, gentlemen, that we do not seek an all-out battle all along the line. Focus on breaking the Polish lines, for as you know, the 3rd Panzer-Division will be right behind you, waiting to exploit such opportunities .. Yes, Generalleutnant Harpe you have a question I see ?"

Standing up, Harpe replied :

"I trust, Herr Oberstleutnant that the 2nd Infantry will still receive some tanks for direct infantry support, ja ? At least for the initial phase of operations".

Before Von Effen could reply, another man stood up and spoke. This time it was Generalleutnant Horst Stumpff, commanding officer of the 3rd Panzer.

"Yes, gentlemen, there will be tank support for your infantry. As in the last Kriegspiel, I will assign the 2nd Panzer Abteilung for this task, as well as all our organic artillery. As soon as the breakthrough is complete however, you're on your own. I'm going to take all the Panzers available for the decisive phase - fast pursuit of the enemy to Poznan".


"Good", said von Effen. "Now, are there any more questions ? No ? Then I suggest we all get back to our units on the double. There is a very tight timetable to follow."

As von Effen spoke, Alpers stood relaxed in his chair, looking at the his staff officer, pondering whether he'll ever see the depth of that human enigma. Von Effen had been assigned to his HQ just a year ago, straight from the VIIth Armee's staff bureau. Not much was known about his past, and questions asked were returned to him unanswered together with strong warning to keep such things for himself in the future. Yet Von Effen was hardly a burn-out or misfit that was being cast aside by a jealous rival. A six foot tall, blue-eyed, 38-year old Bavarian, if his record was to be trusted, he had gratuaded in the top ten of his class at Lichterfelde military academy and gone straight to a field command, back in the days of the Weimar Republic, when the army had to make do on a shoestring budget and new officer positions were extremely few and far between. After 3 years in command, promotion and then ... nothing. Well, nothing until a year ago, when a short, simple order sent Von Effen to the XIXth Armeekorps, as chief of staf. Had it been only that, Alpers would have been somewhat surprised, however, Von Effen did not impress him through this shroud of mystery, but through his pure, incredible efficiency. Almost inhuman occasionally, always present, always prepared, Von Effen seemed the perfect staff officer that Moltke would have painted. Nothing took him by surprise, plans were at hand for just about any emergency, at any hour. Alpers had seen
him working for 36-hours straight at a plan for the case of sudden Czech attack and then calmly taking off for a 20-kilometer march, together with the troops. With full battle gear and a load of ammo equal to that of any soldiers, of course. Fatigue, cold, hunger, pain, nothing seemed to have any effect on this big, calm, meticulous war machine. The general had seen the Great War, and had no desire to see its ugly face again ; however, since it had come to that, he was damn pleased to have Von Effen on his side this time.

Reactions. The other side of the hill

Polish Foreign Affairs Ministry, Warsaw
September the 1st, 7:25 AM


As the last speakers were carried in the room and hurriedly hooked up to the phone lines, Jozef Beck stood up and looked out the window. It was a gloomy day, the clouds were thick and black, hanging over the city of Warsaw. Had he been a superstitious man, Beck might had taken this as a bad sign of things to come. But instead the energetic, calm
and fanatical nationalist simply turned to the other men in the room and said :

"Thank God for this weather. The German airforce will surely not be capable of raiding Warsaw today."

Almost instantly, a speaker came to life, and a deep voice made itself heard :

"They are however perfectly capable of raiding most of our western airfields and railway depots. Nothing wrong with the weather in the rest of Poland."

Beck clenched his teeth. Was this all that the chief of the Polish Airforce Jozef Zajac could say ?

"I do trust my dear Zajac that they did cause too much trouble. You did disperse the planes, as planned, didn't you ?"

"That we did. However. you ought to know, if you bothered to read my memos, that dispersal airfields are somewhat different from full-scale airfields. They have rough, dirt-and-grass runways, few, if any hangars, and are quite apart from railheads. This means that we'll have serious difficulties in replenishing stocks of fuel, spares and ammo once they start running low."

"Enough !" barked Beck. "Smigly, you are Chief of the Army. Any reports from the front yet ?"

Smigly, one of the few men actually in the room, did not bother with formalities. He simply said :

"Very few. Some units are still asking if this is really war, other report they're heavily engaged. Everyone is shouting for
reinforcements. As you know, we are pretty much outnumbered overall and heavily outnumbered in some areas. In Poznan for example we estimate the Germans are attacking with some 40.000-50.000 men, supported by tanks and aircraft. All we have there are 4 infantry divisions, most of which are not at full-strength, since our mobilisation will take another 10 days to be complete. Let me say this sir : in Poznan at least, things don't look good".

Beck took a deep breath. He had to calm down.

"Gentlemen, I suggest we don't panic yet. Surely, our western allies will soon put pressure on Germany to stop this maddness. Or else, they will come to our aid. As you all know, I have firm assurance from the French Chief of Staff, General Gamelin, that within a week France will put together some kind of an offensive in the west, enough to force the Germans to redeploy the bulk of their army there. Then we'll stop them".

Smigly looked up and said :

"I pray that you are right, Beck. We all do."
 
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unmerged(144012)

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Churchill; "Chamberlain! Dire news indeed! The nazis have DOWed Poland! The Wehrmacht is leveling the country, Europe BURNS!
Chamberlain; "Oh c'mon W.;) Hitler would never do such a thing. Deep down he's just a misunderstood good chap, we're friends he and I :)
Churchill; "But you don't understand! People are dieing! It's a massacre!:eek:
Chamberlain; "Are you sure?"
Churchill; "YES!:mad:"
Chamberlain; "Positive?:confused:"
Churchill; "yes!:mad:"
Chamberlain; "Absolutely, indoubatibly, a 100% sure?"
Churchill; "Well, um, no..."
Chamberlain; "See!?:) Now go and doublecheck it.
Churchill; "All right then... By the way, Adolf bombed our dairys, we're out of cheese."
Chamberlain; "Oh my GOD!:eek:When will we get more?"
Churchill; "Not for another three days"
Chamberlain; "NOOOOOOOOOO!:eek:"

2rrnj1y.jpg

The german warmachine thrust deep within Poland spreading fire, death and turmoil in their wake.
The polish armies prove useless against this new sort of warfare, "Blitzkrieg" the germans call it,
division after another crumbles and flees from the face of the Wehrmacht, and are cut off by the lightning fast tanks of the german army.
The polish put up a fight where they can, only to be struck in the flank by the germans. The situation seems hopeless, will Warsaw hold?​

Chamberlain; "Get me the polish head of state!"
Moscicki; "Krxchkp?"
Chamberlain; "Eyyy:cool:, it's me Nelly here! How ya' doing?"
Moscicki; "Krtsplkjhn gtrsvhn ptrsk...:("
Chamberlain; "That bad huh? It can't be all that horrible, it's the germans you know?"
Moscicki; "Pfft... jhsrklsj ksrtschksl prstfklklklkl zkrtst?:confused:
Chamberlain; "Yup welcome to my world.;)"
Moscicki; ";)Chklmprst krhptkrs chkrstlkm shabalawa!"
Chamberlain; "LoL, you got that right! Those silly french.:D But hey you guys just hang in there hokay? "
Moscicki; "hkay:p"
Chamberlain; "LoL:)"

00280354dy3.jpg



The sea makes the british useless to intervene, they are not ready for an assault on the Reich.
The most they can do is wish for a miracle. But the theatre of war seems grim.
The Wehrmacht chops the polish armies into pockets, which soon turn into gory fields of death.
Thousands of young men are slaughtered by the minute. This is not war, this is madness... (You thought there's going to be a joke here right?)
de Gaulle; "Ze french armi iz preparing for..."
Chamberlain; "Ah a full scale assault am I right? Attacking the germans from their rear? Perhaps a few pincer moves and onward to München?"
de Gaulle; "Non, I waz zaying preparing for a break."
Chamberlain; "A BREAK!?! You haven't even been to war yet!:mad:"
de Gaulle; "Do not mock uz!"
Chamberlain; "Do not mock?! Damn right i'm gonna mock you! First of all: learn to speak! It's US not UZ you chimp. Second of all: take a shower
I can smell you from here you dirty baquette biter..."

de Gaulle; "We 'av feelings too... :(
Chamberlain; "What!? You gonna cry?"
de Gaulle; "No...:("
Chamberlain; "Oh dear you're crying. C'mon I didn't mean it :( Tell you what, you got cheese?"
de Gaulle; "Yez.."
Chamberlain; "Good. I'm gonna come over, be there in a sec"
- - -
de Gaulle; "Ha :p de Gaulle you've done it again"

11hf3f5.jpg


With little help from the western powers, Poland is left on the mercy of the germans.
Defeat is inevitable, Poland must fold in front of an opponent superior in men and technology,
but not without a fight. Every dead pole is a mark to the germans that this land is not theirs,
this land belongs to a people, that is ready to die for their loved ones, and regardless the opposition,
in the eyes of all gleam a shining new future...
Perhaps...​
 

Jedrek

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Aces High​

A nightmare.
Inferno.
Some hellish dream.
That were the words Olek would summon in order to describe what he was seeing. But he did not have the time to do so. He only thought about survival.

With a sharp turn to the right he barely avioded a salvo coming from a German Heinkel. The fight seemed hopeless. No matter which direction he would chose, there was always another bomber in front of his fighter. A flock of deadly steel birds, spitting lead in every possible direction. And those damned Nazi fighters...

He glanced quickly over his shoulder. Lucklily, all the Messerschmitts have already been engaged by his wingmen. That reassured him a bit; his lads have been Deblin's* finest - and surely knew how to keep the enemy occupied.

Olek pushed the throttle. Eleven's** engine roared, achieving the very top of its capabilities. The fighter surged forward, closing on the nearest flight of German bombers. Their gunners fired furiously, but in vain - bullets whizzed around the Polish airplane, missing the fuselage by mere milimeters. The altitude advantage Olek tried to achieve has paid off - he felt like a hawk, diving to catch its prey.

Olek held off as long as possible, pulling the trigger when he was close enough to see the Germans' eyes. Eleven's four machine guns blazed, bullets ripping chunks of metal from Heinkel's wings. Olek pulled up, and the fighter passed just above the bomber, with landing gear almost touching the fuselage. The Pole glanced over his shoulder once again - and saw a trail of black smoke coming from Heinkel's engine. The bomber evidently slowed down and started losing altitude.

heinkel1812468x283.jpg

He stabilised his flight and made yet another sharp turn, making his fighter face the formation once again. He would not risk another attack - he lost too much speed and had no chance of regain it in before the bombers left his range. Still, an interesting sight caught his eye...

The damaged bomber was diving towards the ground, with fire erupting from his right engine. Olek saw a number of figures jump from the fuselage - the crew started bailing out. He felt a strange tingle in his fingers. It was so tempting - to dive towards them and spit yet another portion of lead, to make the invaders' death a miserable one, unworthy of a soldier...

Still, he resisted the impulse. That would not be honourable. That would be just like bombing hospitals and helpless towns.

He was not like the Nazis.

He could almost have smelt Germans' fear when his fighter passed above their parachutes. In the very same moment the Heinkel has met her doom, crashing at high speed into the ground. A fireball erupted from the crater, and the sense of triumpf overcome the Polish pilot. One by one, they will destroy the invaders, slow them down until the French make their move. And then, after the war... They'll all return to their homes, families, friends. The Germans were foolish to challenge all the Europe at the same time.

Weren't they?

* * *​

pzlp11c01.jpg

His squadron returned to the airfield just after noon. They'd managed to destroy six German bombers, along with two Messerschitts. Three Elvens have been shot down, but only two pilots managed to bail out. Still, the mood was rather optimistic; all in all, they've just scored their first victory. Olek's commander checked the hostile formation's trajectory with other squadrons' locations and the conclusion was shocking: hadn't Luftwaffe's force been thwarted, there would have been no-one to stop it before Warsaw. In short words, they've just saved the capital.

The orders were to remain ready to scramble until dusk, when darkness would make air combat impossible. Olek spent the next few hours circling between his fighter and the briefing room, anxious to take off as soon as possible. He exchanged some gossip with Kuba, his mechanic. Kuba had overheard that the Germans were advancing with increadible speed, and that they have already broken through Polish lines near Jablonka, Greater Poland. Olek, on the other hand, has overheard his commander speaking on the phone, mentioning the aerial destruction of a small town of Wielun, near Czestochowa. And above all the gossip, there were news from Westerplatte, constantly being aired on the radio. During one such transmission, an order from army's HQ came: to scramble as soon as possible and relocate the whole squadron southwards. The word was that the Germans had broken the defences of Ciechanow and were mere thrity kilometers from their airfield.

Without thinking, Olek rushed towards his plane.

* * *

The airfield was in complete chaos. Trucks were being loaded with equipment and spare parts, the personnel swarmed in all directions, hurryingly executing the order to evacuate.
But Olek's attention was focused elsewhere; on a disturbing buzz, only slightly audible through the overall hubbub. Their airfield was hidden in the woods, so he could not pick a precise direction, but he was sure; the buzz was closing in rapidly. And it slowly grew into an unmistakable hum of aerial engines.

Hell broke lose just as the first Eleven - squadron commander's one - rose above the line of trees; with a deafening thunder, the fighter was literally torn apart and dropped back onto the airstrip. A second later, six twin engined planes - Bf 110, Olek guessed - rocketed across the sky at low altitude, shaking the trees as they passed. Pilots started getting off their machines and Olek was quick to follow. As fast as he could, he ran towards the nearest truck, trying to jump upon its already overloaded back. He made it just in time; the lorry started moving just after one of the soldiers onboard caught his arm and pulled him up.

Olek turned round to see the airstrip in flames, with Bf 110s returning - this time flying along the runway, shooting the abandoned fighters like sitting ducks. From the distance, Olek could easily recognise the emblem on their sides - a black eagle, with wings spread widely, just like the one on the German banner. He decided to bury this emblem deep in mind.

For he hoped that one day he'll have a chance to extract swift revenge upon those who piloted the Messerschmitts. To avenge his commander and, above all else, his country.

bf110j.jpg


__________________________________________________​

* -> PZL P.11c. Contrary to HoI2 model chart, this aircraft was comparable with almost every pre-war fighter, with top speed at 360-375 km/h, four 7,62mm machine guns and very high turning rate. However, in 1939 it was (compared to Bf-109E) outdated in terms of speed and firepower - but not agility. Just like Polikarpov I-16 compared to BF-109F during Barbarossa.

** -> Deblin was a city where the Polish Air Force Academy was located. Among her graduates were famous aces - Stanisław Skalski and Witold Urbanowicz.
 

Will Lucky

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Here goes a poorly thought out, poorly done English attempt:).


1st September 1939 - Marian Koscialkowski's House.

2rrnj1y.jpg


Moscicki: Alright Gentlemen, lets take a nice look at this here map, as you can clearly see the British have recently annexed the USSR and we can be certain of British reinforcements at some point which we will surely need.
Beck: I'm quite certain that is the USSR sir.
Moscicki: Nonsence look at that nice pink colour, it has to be the British.
Beck: Let me guess Norway has been annexed by the British as well then?
Moscicki: Are you insane Beck? Look at the difference in colour, god man are you colour blind?
Alright now that is settled lets takes a look at our Political Situation shall we?

10pbrbb.jpg


Moscicki: Alright Mazzy Wazzles, as head of government describe the situation for us.
Koscialkowski: Sir, please not in front of the other ministers.
Moscicki: Your supposed to be my Flamboyant tough guy, act like one.....and I like your new name, better than the other if you ask me and as the supreme leader here it's staying.
Koscialkowski: ...yes sir, alright then we are a Social Conservative government that has elections once every 4 years, we are apparently the OZN party and everyone here is a member of this party. Apparently our party is supported by....around 2% of the population.
Moscicki: What? Can we alter that?
Koscialkowski: I suppose we could hand out a leaflet or two?
Rydz-Smigly: No No No we must have a massive military celebration in our capital show them the greatness we command.
Zajac: And let the Germans waltz all over us? How did you take 2 military positions in the cabinet again?
Moscicki: Smigly, make it so. Zajac do you want a position in government in 1943? Because I know I do so in the mean time thats the greatest objective.
Zajac: But there will be nothing left in 1943 to govern sir.
Moscicki: Silence, get out! Smigly you are going to assume his position for intellectual thinking and loyalty, congratulations.
Rydz-Smigly: Thank you Supreme Leader.


hu1rfn.jpg


Alright lets take a look at our generals, Smigly sum it up for us.

Rydz-Smigly: Well Sir, we have several one Star Generals, two Star Generals and 1 Three star General. According to their Skill levels they have mastered the art of Binary numbers for computers.
Mosckiki: Is that good?
Rydz-Smigly: It will be put to use in our new computer project, we hope to have a computer capable of running HOI1 by the end of the year.
Moscicki: Excellent job my Chief of Staff, Army and Airforce. Kasprzycki, whats the industrial situation?
Kasprycki: Good sir, we have a nice stack of supplies in most regions and as long as nothing too serious happens we should be fine. There is one problem however....we only have $917.
Moscicki: Can we run the nation with that?
Kasprzycki:....I highly doubt it sir we will need more if we are to run the nation.
Moscicki: Suggestions then gentlemen?
Raczkiewicz: I reccondmend charging $5 per person for the Military celebrations and to make it obligatory for residents of the capital.
Moscicki: Excellent idea, alright Mazzy Wazzles make it so.
Koscialkowski: Aye sir, shall we serve oranges as well?
Moscicki: Best thing I've heard all day, be sure to serve them for every citizen or Smigly can expect a 4th position.
Kasprzycki: Sir, Oranges are $5 each here.
Mosicki: Shut up Kasprzycki, treason for talking against the orange as far as I'm concerned. You get a warning this time round but another time and your joining Zajac in the unemployment line.

Grzegorz, you mentioned the Spy got a picture of the front?


alpha_feb11.jpg


Grzegorz: Aye sir, it looks like the Germans are fielding 2 men on the front, one of whom is the general known as Alpers and we have one. However our man looks like the gun he will shoot will get both of them through the head with the one Bullet.
Moscicki: Excellent, someone be sure to send Zajac a lolcat of somesort highlighting his stupidity.
Swirski, Status on the Navy.
Swirski: We don't have a Navy sir, I asked for the money for a Sub at the least but you said no.
Moscicki: Don't worry I spent the money on something worthwhile, trust me. It is all too be revealed in due time. And seeing how your not needed get out. Smigly you get your 4th position after all. Everyone say hello to our new chief of the entire armed forces. I quite like the creativity of the new title.
Smigly: Thank you Supreme Leader.

beta_may20_9.jpg


Smigly: Sir I bring Grave news, 51,000 German Troops have crossed the border and there going up against our 12,000 soldiers
Moscicki: Can't we get any reinforcements to them?
Smigly: I'm afraid sir our army is currently numbered at 12,001. We could mobilise the rest of our forces but that will involve cancelling our military celebration in the capital and they won't be on the front until we are defending the last province.
Moscicki: Any potential strategies we could put too good use?
Smigly: We could always try to turtle in Warsaw and then stream out and beat them back to Berlin, besides our British Allies in the east could build up their reserve of forces and help us when the time comes and seize all the territory for us.
Moscicki: Well I think this is a good time to announce what I did with the $917, we had a chat with our British Allies in the east. They sold us a nice tank for that much. It would seem Molotov has taken the position of foreign minister, he mentioned something about the millions making a difference for workers nationwide or something obviously he couldn't get into the treasury for poor economic decisions....anywho we now have a moving Cabinet room capable of fighting off the Germans and our British Allies are strenghened. We will meet again in the 2nd city of Berlin in 1943 after the re-election gentlemen.
 

Kikaider

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PROLOGUE

In an office, secluded from the revelry of the New Year’s joy, a small, brilliant flash of light goes off before a lone figure. As the light subsides, the figure sees that a small disk is left resting upon the crimson carpeting. The figure, now easily recognizable as a man, approaches the disk, as curiosity understandably takes hold. He reaches for the disk, intending to examine the strange object, when a bright light suddenly shines forth, and before the man appears the ghostly figure of a soldier, an officer by the cut and style of the dress uniform, although the man cannot place the country to which such a uniform would belong.

“What sorcery is this!” cried out Il Duce, as he leaped back in surprise. “How is it that a ghost of a foreign soldier now appears before me?”

The ghost slowly began to speak. “Greetings, Prime Minister Mussolini.” The ghost spoke to no one in particular, and did not face Il Duce as its eyes stared blankly before it. The ghost, more accurately a hologram by today’s definition, continued to speak as if it did not hear the outcry of the Italian Fascist. “I come to you this evening to warn you of a matter of grave import.” The figure gave a few seconds pause.

“Of what do you speak?” asked the agitated Italian. “Answer me! Who are you?!”

“I would expect that at this time you might be wondering who I am and how I came to be here.” No, it was certain now that the hologram could not hear the words of the Italian leader, and as Mussolini began to notice this, he began to calm down and listen to the words of this ‘ghost’.

“My name is not important, as at this moment, I more than likely no longer exist, but know that I am a military scientist in the employ the Federated Territories of North America, a political union between the remnants of the former United States and Canada.” At this, Benito gasped.

“Remnants?” he whispered in shock.

Again the ghost continued speaking without acknowledging the comment. “As a consequence of the history that unfolded in our past due to a madman in Berlin, our world, your future, is on the verge of death, due to the rampant wars and destruction of the Earth and her resources. This recording comes to you from approximately one-hundred and twenty years in your future. We have prepared for you this message, as a hope for a new future, as ours is now lost. Please listen and head our warning as...” Suddenly an explosion rocked the building the recording was being made in, but the hologram, after a moments pause to regain his composure. At this point, Benito realized that for this whole time, the sounds of war echoed behind the figure “As you are the pivot upon which the future rests.”

Mussolini now was quite intrigued with the ghost, and began to accept hearing the message, though he remained still skeptical of its contents.

“Please allow me to show what our past, your future holds, as evidence that you must stop the madman in Berlin, for he deigns to conquer and destroy the world piecemeal.” At this moment, the figure waves a hand and a map appeared before Il Duce, “This is a map of your world three and a half years from now”

2rrnj1y.jpg


“Hah! this map is flawed, it claims Austria and part of Czechoslovakia are part of Germany.”

Again the ghost continued, with the sound of the bombs increasing in the distance, “As you can see, the Reich is able to exert its desires at will.” Mussolini interjected, “But the Danube Pact...” yet the figure kept speaking without hesitation. “France and England sadly do nothing to stop this, and will abandon you should you try.” The last sentence hushed any more protests from Il Duce.

“Please also look at these battle reports from the Polish front of the upcoming war, and see how much overwhelming military strength will be created in the coming days.” As the figure waved his hand yet again, and two more images appeared before Mussolini.

alpha_feb11.jpg

2qcj8yq.jpg


“I cannot tell you specifics, and even as I speak, I am sure that names and numbers will be altered or erased from these reports, as the future is now being re-written, but let this impress upon you the devil you now face. He will come as a torrent of hatred, with an incredible arsenal of destruction and you may be the only one who can re-write our future.”

“We of the future do not expect you to fully accept what we tell you now, but please listen and remember our words. While I cannot tell you the day or the hour, beware the signs the Antichrist in Berlin brings: Re-occupation of the Rhineland, military build-up in disregard to Versailles, occupation of state after state, and a pact with Stalin against the Polish. While the West will shun you now, know that eventually the Lion and the Eagle will come to accept the Kingdom and the three of you may yet save the future. I can offer no advice, but please follow the path that will stop this madman before the end of days is certain.” At this, the figure bowed his head, and with one last explosion, undoubtedly on the building itself, the transmission ceased. Mussolini was bewildered by what he had seen, but he took the words to heart, and thus swore to be vigilant, so that he may see if this future was really the one to unfold.

And thus it was, that on the stroke of midnight, New Years Day, in the 1936th Year of our Lord, the history of the world was forever altered. Can this prodigal soul be redeemed in the eyes of history and become the catalyst that guides the world to a new era of peace? Stay tuned for PASTWATCH: The Redemption of Benito Mussolini!
 

unmerged(59906)

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Aug 15, 2006
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An Alternative Reality





0000 September 1st 1939.
The Royal Castle. Warsaw, Poland.

"Gentlemen, a situation has developed and I find that I am in need of your advice." Ignacy Moscicki, Polish Head of State said to his assembled Cabinet.

"Why don't we look at a map before we discuss your 'situation'." replied Marian Zyndram-Koscialkowski, Head of Government. "Maps have a way of uncovering solutions I have found."

"But .."

"No buts Ignacy, maps are important, trust me. Do you have a map with you Jozef?"

"Of course Marian, I never go anywhere without my map." replied Jozef Beck, Foreign Minister, as he pulled his handkerchief from his top pocket.​

1map.jpg

"Here we are. A nice little map of Europe."

"Still practicing the water colours I see Jozef." asked Zyndram-Koscialkowski

"I am indeed. I am getting pretty good don't you think?" Beck replied proudly.

"Why don't you use paper like everyone else?"

"I find that cotton takes water better than paper, and it is also very easy to hide things on a handkerchief. No one ever seems to check it for some reason."

"I wonder why." said Wladyslaw Raczkiewisc, Minister of Security, distastefully. "Maybe I should add a little extra training for my agents."

"Your calligraphy is wonderful Jozef." commented Jerzy Swirski, Chief of the Navy. "Where did you discover that particular style?"

"It is from the First World War era Jerzy. Some British Private originally made it up to try and prevent official documents being deciphered by the Germans. It wasn't very effective apparently, but it is pretty."

"This private have a name?" asked Raczkiewisc.

Beck thought for a few seconds before replying. "Baldrik I think. He named the style after his Commanding Officer."

"While I am sure we are all in complete and utter awe of Jozef's wonderful map, do you think we could possibly get back my 'situation'?" asked Moscicki petulantly.

"I guess we could do that Ignacy. Was the map any use by the way?" replied Zyndram-Koscialkowski.

"In some ways it will be of use I suppose."

"Do tell."

"Don't rush me."

"You were in a hurry just now."

"Nevermind ... You see that big grey blob on the map to our left?"

"I do yes. Germany right?"

"Yes." replied Moscicki. "I really should have paid a bit more attention to my Cabinet elections. Some of these guys are stupid." he thought to himself. "They declared War on us a few minutes ago. Well, more than a few minutes by now."

"Interesting." said T. Pelczynski-Grzegorz, Head of Intelligence. "We had better vote on this."

"What is there to vote about T? And what does the 'T' stand for anyway? I was always curious about that." Moscicki asked.

"State secret. Just call me T. We have to vote to decide if your news classes as a 'situation'."

"What! I would say War is a 'situation' without a vote." replied Moscicki angrily.

"Now, now, calm down Ignacy. We have to vote on all 'situations'. It is in our constitution that we all ratified last month, including you." stated Zyndram-Koscialkowski.

Moscicki let out a deep sigh. "Get on with it."

The vote took all of fifteen seconds to be unanimous. "Ok Ignacy we agree that we have a 'situation'. Now what are we going to do about it?" asked Zyndram-Koscialkowski.

"Ask the Russians for help." Jozef Zajac interjected.​

1tennis.jpg

"They won't be of any help I am afraid." replied Beck. "All of the Soviet hierarchy is attending the annual Soviet Tennis Championships in Xankandi and they are unreachable. By the time we could get a message to the Caucasus Mountains this will be over."

"We need a report on the relative strength of the Germans in comparison to our own forces. Tadeusz, you are the Industrial genius, how do things stand?" asked Zyndram-Koscialkowski.

"What possible difference is an industrial report going to make? They have a quarter of a million soldiers invading our borders, it is a little late for production reports." Moscicki said with renewed vigour.

"There are some highly interesting things that can be determined from such reports. Please continue Tadeusz."

"Of course Marian." replied Tadeusz Kasparowski.​

1stuff.jpg

"I have taken the liberty of removing all of the inconsequential information. This little comparison covers all of the most important points. Beginning on the left we can see that we are a lot more popular than our German enemy as we have far more correspondance. On the down side we are a little behind them in photo technology so we won't be able to take any pictures to present in Geneva once the War is over."

"Damn. No reparations then?" asked Swirski.

"I am afraid not no. We might want to consider making this a cheap War." replied Kasparowski. "Moving on we come to a most important number. Armour is the new Cavalry as I am sure we are all aware. Fortunately we had the foresight to ensure that all of our tanks are equipped with the latest in furry dice to aid with our tank crews morale. Unfortunately our adversary was just as prepared in this regard.

On the right we have ear muffs. Very important for Infantry morale as it reduces the awful sound of gunfire, explosions, torn off limbs, screaming, that sort of thing. The Germans have proven to be ahead of us in this regard which will put us at a significant disadvantage as most of the fighting will be done by Infantry. I think that covers everything of note." concluded Kasparowski.

"What about the little yellow thing?" asked Moscicki.

"Oh, sorry, I forgot about that. Nothing too major as it is an advanced technology that neither side has. Very expensive in raw materials and research."

"Yes but what is it?"

"Exploding rubber ducks. A sucker punch type weapon of terror."

"Rubber Ducks? How the hell can they be dangerous?" asked Moscicki in disbelief.

"I said 'Exploding' Rubber Ducks Ignacy. You really do not want to be caught in that 'Exploding' part."

"So to recap ... We have no major advantages in Industry and are, in fact, a little behind in some areas."

"Correct Marian."

"I guess we'll need to figure out some other way to win this War. You have been awfully quiet Edward, now would be a good time for you to calm our nerves with some master plan that you have up your sleeve."

"I was wondering when someone would bother to ask the Chief of Staff." replied Rydz-Smigly. "We have known about the German build up along our border for some time and we were also aware of their chosen Foreign Policy at this time. Our best Doctrine analysts have been diligently working to find a solution."

"Well it had better be good because I see no way that we can beat them in a shooting War."

"Who said anything about shooting old boy?"

"This is a War, soldiers shoot eachother and stuff in Wars."

"Did you ever read Mein Kampf?"

"No." stated Zyndram-Koscialkowski.

"Interesting read, and it did provide my Strategists with two non-aggressive alternatives should Hitler decide to attack us."

"Oh?"

"Mein Kampf clearly states that Hitler sees only three solutions to avoid all out War. The first is Diplomacy and we already know how he practices that Art."

"The second?"​

1klee.jpg

"Poker. A Poker tournament to be held along the border between opposing Headquarters personnel to determine a winner. General Kleeberg is the current Army Poker Champion but we have reason to believe that certain German Army Field Officers are extremely well trained in the Art of Poker. Blitzkrieg and Poker are apparently fairly compatible."

"You mentioned three solutions. I certainly hope the last choice will be our saviour."

"Possibly."

"So what is this Master Plan?"​

1kasp.jpg

"Combat by Chess. The ultimate in Grand Strategy. I have it on good authority that German Officers are no longer trained in this Art as it does not fit in with their new Doctrine. As you can see Tadeuszs' brother is very well thought of in this particular area. The most cunning part of the whole plan is that, unlike a Poker Tournament, a Chess Championship can take months and months to finish which will give our Allies plenty of time to save us."

"That is brilliant!" enthused Zyndram-Koscialkowski.

"No it's ridiculous." said Moscicki. "But then again so is our enemy, so it makes things even I suppose."​

1poznan.jpg

"I have already instigated the Master Plan and the first 'engagement' has begun in Poznan."

"How's it looking?' Zyndram-Koscialkowski asked.

"I made sure that General Kasparowski was in a crucial defensive position and he is facing General Alpers in the opening match of the campaign. We are the defenders so we have been forced to use black pieces. Kasparowski opened with the Sicilian Defence which has stymied his opponent for the time being and it looks as if this particular match has settled in to be a long drawn out affair."

"Excellent."

Far from the overwhelming Blitzkrieg that the German High Command had hoped for, World War II settled into a totally static affair with the stalemate unlikely to be broken for some time ...​
 

Khalep

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Chamberlain-eindversie2.jpg

London, Autumn 1940

It was a broken man, this Chamberlain, as he stood there in the cold rain, on the steps of Parliament. He yet wore his proper, black suit, but other than that nothing remained of the man he was but two years ago. Two years and the world had changed forever.

In 1938 Chamberlain had come home smiling and was received with a hail of applause, proudly clutching the famous Munich Agreement. He had truly believed it would form the basis for peace in Europe. 'Peace for our time' as he put it, in hindsight an ironic line to say the least.
When Adolf Hitler forced Czechoslovakia to stand down it's army and surrender half a year later, breaking his promises in Munich, Chamberlain realized what he had done. In handing the well-fortified Sudetenland freely to the Germans he had unwittingly stripped the Czechoslovak Republic of it's only defences, thereby sealing it's fate. It certainly was a bitter blow to the Prime Minister.
This of course was only to be the start of trouble however. In early 1939 the next crisis appeared as Hitler voiced Germany's claims on the port of Danzig, an autonomous city-state in Poland. An embittered Britain gave an unusually strong reply, Poland would be protected, it's borders guaranteed. Even the staunchest conservatives, even Chamberlain, had been convinced; no German word was to be trusted, appeasement had failed.
Then the Germans invaded Poland.​

Chamberlain again held a paper in his hand. Yet, like the man himself, it bared near no semblance to it's counterpart in the days of Munich. It carried no symbols, no signatures, nothing that made it stand out from any other, ordinary scrap of paper. Even it's size was far from impressive, rather the opposite of impressive actually. In truth, it centred around just one scribbled note.
A tear ran down the Prime Minister's cheek.

The Polish campaign had been nothing short of a disaster for the Allies. The performance of the Polish army had been marked by bravery and yet marred by a lack of coherence and a general incapability to match the Germans in numbers, equipment and skill. Take for example the more or less typical battle at Poznan, a border province. The Polish defenders outnumbered the Germans here, a somewhat uncommon event. Also, the Poles held the advantage of terrain as well, being dug in and entrenched, and they had brought a sizeable, if outdated, detachment of artillery. Under normal circumstances they should have won, easily.
In truth, they never stood a chance.
The Germans were well-organized and were supported by a tank-division, a bastion of mobile firepower. The key to their quite inevitable victory however lay in leadership. The German commander was a skilled man with a good mind for organizing coupled with an elaborate military schooling. The Polish on the other hand had no central commander in this battle. They instead relied on a far more decentralized system in which individual divisions acted more or less independently in battle, an old-fashioned line of thought, set up for disaster. The resulting chaos cost the Poles a lot of men and scored the Germans an easy break-through.
With battles like these taking place all over the front the Polish border defence was broken in days. In less than a week the Polish army had been scattered into isolated pockets and the Germans approached Warsaw, by then the Soviets launched an invasion into Eastern Poland. In another week Poland was no more.​

A row of men, mainly members of parliament, formed behind the Prime Minister. Many looked worried, others simply confused. Chamberlain had been called to meet Parliament that morning to defend the controversial orders to move most of the Royal Navy to Egypt to cut the Italian supply lines to North Africa, a desperate attempt at stopping the offensive threatening the vital Suez Canal. Given the urgency of the matter Military Command had already pushed the plans through and the Fleet had long left Britain by the time Parliament started arguing. Chamberlain had been in a difficult position once more. He had stood firm though, defending the orders with the determination of a man with nothing left to lose. His arguments were half-hearted, yes, but he was not about to give in. It therefore left many dumbfounded when the Prime Minister suddenly collapsed and stumbled out of the building mere moments after receiving a note, contents unknown.

Even after the loss of Poland the Western allies still failed to act upon the threat posed by the Germans. They were divided. Some called for a quick, offensive retaliation, but a majority remained convinced static defences such as the Maginot Line would keep the Germans at bay whilst a naval blockade would strangle the German economy, much like in the Great War.
For a few months their reasoning appeared sound. All throughout winter the Germans sat quiet, indeed appearing unable to breach the French lines like they had done in Poland.
Spring was all different though. A revisioned Von Schlieffen-plan, updated to make use of the lightning speed of independent Panzer-divisions and Paratroops, allowed the Germans to dash through the Low Countries in days and plunge into northern France. At the same time an unexpected, near constant German bombing campaign broke the Allied logistic efforts. The chaos that then ensued saw much of the Anglo-French forces scattered and forced to surrender by the end of May.
The disaster of Poland was repeated in France.
What followed was a governmental crisis. With most of Western Europe lost to the Germans in less than a year Labour and even part of Chamberlain's own Conservative Party cried out for a unity-government to be formed under a new Prime Minister. Chamberlain at the time was more than willing to resign, he had failed, and he knew it. In the end however he stayed on, he had to, there was simply no suitable successor. Labour would not accept old-fashioned Lord Halifax, the Conservatives refused the brash Churchill.​

His eyes were desperate, his spirit was broken, his will crushed. A few of his closer friends in Parliament had pushed through the lines, now many rows thick, seeking to offer him some comfort. Little did they know what had happened. Chamberlain soon remedied their ignorance though. His short statement was but a whisper, and only those closest to him heard it directly, this did not stop it from spreading like wildfire though. Confusion turned to shock, worry to panic, a few cries were heard.
'They have landed at Dover.. They are coming..'

The war was over.
 
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The University Student

August's legs were beginning to feel numb as he peddled down the road, the warm September air not yet moderated by autumn. The road was not well paved, nor well attended to – he did not expect such, being so near to home, but it did not make for smooth riding. With a curse and a quick grab of the brakes, he had only narrowly avoided falling.

It was only a few days before the new semester at University, now, and he was worried that he wouldn't get home and back in time for it. A quick chuckle escaped from his lips, revealing his ..apathy, perhaps? August wasn't quite sure, but he pressed on towards home.

The plains he was passing had begun to give way to farmland, though probably not well tended to, judging by the state of the fences. Sweat was slowly dripping down his brow, and he luxuriated in the serene mood that had taken the country. Ever since the British and French assurances, it seemed that little could temper the good mood of his countrymen in town, and he could hardly give a damn what the farmers thought.

But, that was enough of that thought. The entire point of returning home was to relax for a few days, get away from the strenuous studies of university, the talk of the town, and simply relax, have a light talk with family, eat that good home-made food that is so rare.. Yes, that was what life was made for. Not all this sabre-rattling nonsense.

He chuckled again as he remembered his own family's background, and continued down the road, seeing buildings in the distance that reminded him of his home. Was it because his home was right down the street? Likely. He groaned inwardly at another of his own jokes, annoyed that he had spent so long amusing himself as it was.

A chill suddenly went up his spine as he began to pass through the village, noticing how few people he saw about – and more importantly, what he smelled in the air. Diesel, he thought with a shudder. There was hardly any doubt – that stench was unknown to his childhood, and definitely unknown to this village. There was a nagging worry about it in the back of his mind despite his self-reassurances, and he began peddling all the faster to his house.

As the smell and fear faded, he recognized the small divergent path that led to his home, and he softly stopped his bike and gazed at the scenery. The beautiful sky and scenery around him always captivated him, especially since his childhood, and he wondered if there were a thing which could dispel it.

August carefully set his bike aside his home, and opened the door carefully, quietly. It wasn't too early, but early enough that they might be sleeping – and he wanted to surprise them. However, as he stepped into the kitchen – hoping to make breakfast- he saw them all gathered around the table, listening to the radio.

August took off his hat and hung it on the rack, looking at his somewhat delapidated kitchen as the voice blared. The quiet from everyone else was simply too much to bear. “What's happened? Why are you all just sitting there? Aren't you glad to see me?”

His mother smiled weakly, and his father only stared at the radio. His sister stood up, and walked to the stove. “Augustus, would you like some breakfast?” She said with false cheer.

August shook his head. “Tell me what this is all about.”

His father stood up as well, now. “There are reports that the Germans have invaded... The government's asked all able bodied men to enlist.”

August felt something buckle underneath him, just then. He didn't know what it was. Didn't he leave the bike outside? He grabbed the counter for support, and looked at nothing in particular. After another moment of nothing but the radio, his mother spoke up. “Augustus, we can hide -”

August shook his head, and looked to his father. “No. Father, should I get the rifles for us?”

His father smiled weakly, and nodded.

August headed off down the hallway, before hearing the door burst open. He wondered if he would have the choice of going to University, now.
 

unmerged(110232)

Second Lieutenant
Aug 8, 2008
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Falling leaves

poland.jpg
Falling leaves
1 September. The joyful days of Summer are over. Autumn is here, and all things living will slowly succumb to its might, until all that is left is the frozen, barren plains of Winter.

* * *​
They had been marching south during the entirety of the night to face the German threat, and tired and weary they now arrived at their destination. They were to take position on a hill, and with no time for sleep, he had just begun to dig his foxhole. It was no more than knee-deep at its deepest point when the attack suddenly began. Soon, the air was filled with the sounds of gunfire. Enemy machine guns strafed their positions, he stayed low trying to keep himself concentrated. Trying to get up, aim and shoot. Trying to fight.

After a while, the attack weakened, and finally ceased. After the last shot was fired, his exhaustion took its toll, and he closed his eyes.

* * *​

Lieutenant general von Briesen studied the map concernedly. Hill 301 was the southernmost projection of a series of heights, and it overlooked the Kalisz road in a most perilous way. His 30. Infanterie-Division was a part of the X. Armeekorps with the responsibility of holding the northern flank of the 8. Armee during its drive to Lodz. This was an important element in the plans for Heeresgruppe Sud to reach Warszawa. Specifically, the task at hand for the Korps was to secure the road to Kalisz and the city itself.

Von Briesen was tasked with safeguarding the Kalisz road, but right now it was far from safe as Hill 301 provided an excellent artillery position for the enemy. Efforts had been carried out earlier in the day to test the enemy defences on the hill. The tests showed that capturing the hill would seem to become far more costly than first anticipated, as the southernmost elements of the Polish Poznan Armygroup had proven to be surprisingly far to the south. To address this precarious situation, von Briesen sent a message requesting air support to corps commander General Ulex, which he in turn would pass on to appropriate staff within the Luftwaffe.

* * *​
stuka.jpg
The nervewrecking blaring siren of the divebombers. The whistling of the bombs as they hurl themselves towards the ground. Explosions. Piles of dirt thrown up high in the air, splinters of wood zinging around like angry bees stinging anything or anyone in their path.

Dust and earth filled his nostrils. The screams of the wounded crying out for help filled his ears. His eyes were filled with fear.

It kept going on, repeating itself in a seemingly endless cycle. Seconds became hour-long, an hour felt like an eternity. And for eternities he crouched down in his shallow hole in the ground, pressing himself against the dark soil, and even then he was barely able stay below ground level. And then, the call for retreat.

Survivors emerged from the ground, and like shadows they moved down the northern slope. He followed them.

* * *​

The message reached von Briesen in his headquarters. "Enemy withdrawal, Hill 301 in our hands". He immediately informed his superior of the situation. The road to Kalisz lay open.

* * *​

On Hill 301, a ravaged landscape met the eye. Broken trees, fallen trees. Dead trees.
Autumn is here.​
 
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