• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Lighthearter

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Prologue

February 16th, 1941, The Oval Office, Washington D.C.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt stared sadly at the report lying in front of him. It listed the casualties sustained so far in the US invasion of the British isles. It was only the fourth attempt by the Allies to retake Albion since the German invasion almost a year previously. It had started more successful - London had been liberated swiftly. However, the Germans had shipped Student's marines in as well as Luftwaffe bombers. Now Roosevelt was grimly certain that the Germans could halt his advance. He had tried to send reinforcements through the German naval cordon to reinforce the units occupying southern England, but Erich Raeder's Kriegsmarine had halted every attempt.

Maybe Haulsee is right, the president wondered uneasily, maybe it is time to withdraw. He almost shook his head, like he had the last two times the thought had occurred to him. Now, however? Now he just sighed and leaned back.

"Mr. President? Your ten o'clock is here." Roosevelt's secretary announced.

"Send him in then." Roosevelt responded gravely.

A moment later, a man was ushered into the Oval Office. Roosevelt studied him as he entered, though he had seen him hundreds of times before.

Kevin Haulsee was in his late thirties, having been born in a small town in Virginia to a fairly wealthy family. His face was somewhat rounded, with a curved chin, and his hair was either a light brown or a dark blond, depending on who you asked. His eyes were intriguing, for they often shifted color - nothing impossible or alien, but they wavered between blue, green and gray depending on Haulsee's choice of clothes. Also, Haulsee's nose was slightly bent to the left, not, as he said, as a result of its being broken, which had never happened according to him, but because of "an unfortunate habit in my younger days". He stood tall, almost five inches above the six-foot mark, yet was not a physically imposing or intimidating man. In fact, his limbs showed little muscle on them, and he looked thin and clumsy with his "stick appendages".

However, Roosevelt had heard that Haulsee was also a very skilled student of Tae Kwon Do, a Korean style of Martial Arts. Roosevelt was not eager to test that skill in a fight, however. Haulsee had spent fifteen years in Britain, where he had acquired several minor titles that earned him the nickname "Lord Haulsee" in American circles. He had also been darkly called "Von Haulsee" because he had traveled five times to Germany in that time and met Hitler once, all the while making no bones about his distant German ancestry. However, he was as patriotic and loyal an American as could be. He possessed a keen strategic mind, wedded to a razor wit, boundless optimism and a sarcastic streak a mile wide. He missed no opportunity to produce a joke from thin air - even at his own expense. All in all, that made him one of the more pleasant men Roosevelt had ever met.

"Good morning, Mr. President." Haulsee said.

"Good morning, 'Lord Haulsee'." Roosevelt grinned. Haulsee did too.

"I have those situation reports you wanted. Things are not looking good in England."

"I know. What's your advice?"

Haulsee shrugged unhappily. "The same as I've been saying. We have to pull out. We can't fight on seven fronts, Mr. President."

"Seven?!?!"

"Yes, seven. The Atlantic, the Pacific, India/Burma, Australia, Africa, the Home Front and Britain. The Atlantic we'll have to fight on to keep Hitler's navy in check, but I think I can talk to the British-in-Exile and the Canadians about doing that. The Pacific is ours to handle, no two ways about it. The Japanese are poised to attack Australia and are driving into India. We can't let them do that - if India falls, so does Britain. We'll have Churchill and the King here, and that would ruin the morale of the Free British Forces. If we lose Australia the Pacific War might well go to the Japanese. We need to send men to Africa to counterattack against the Italians, but we don;t have to resources right now. The Germans might get to attack into Quebec if Iceland falls, so we have to hold it. And that leaves Britain. We have to take the men that are currently stationed there and reinforce Iceland, then send men to Australia and India. We can use our gunboats to achieve superiority in the Atlantic while our carriers secure supremacy in the Pacific. Africa will have to fend for itself for now."

"Churchill will scream bloody murder if we withdraw from England."

"So?" The bluntness of the question took Roosevelt off-guard. "He'll scream anyway - hell, he IS screaming anyway. And we need to use the time we have to ensure that we win in the long run, not the short. Any victories that we win in Europe now will be erased soon by the Wehrmacht. We have to be in this for the long haul - and it will be very long. This war will not be quick."

"We are winning in England! Student's marines can't stop us. Rommel might have, but he's-"

"In Ireland. Crushing our attack there. Easily."

It was very quiet for a moment in the Oval Office.

"Is it that bad?" Roosevelt asked.

"Worse." Haulsee confirmed. "Hitler really threw us a bone attacking all the Balkan nations and Finland at the same time as he hit Switzerland and betrayed Vichy. I think the French will be taking over Vichy in short order myself."

"I agree - but can we do this? Can we win?"

"Of course we can, Mr. President. As long as we think we can - better, if Hitler thinks we can - then we can. However, it may be a long damn ride. And really damn bumpy. However, in the end, a hundred years from today, someone will say: 'This was The Finest Hour of America.'"

Roosevelt nodded. Though he didn't feel much happier, Haulsee had at least put his mind at rest on some things.

But Roosevelt had a feeling that his adviser was going to do a lot more before it was all over.
 
Last edited:

Lighthearter

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tuore

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I noticed you removed your list of AARs from your sig. :rolleyes:

Looking forward!
 

Enewald

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Finest Hour?

I smell oncoming German Vergeltungswaffen in the air already... and they are aiming for D.C. :D

Don't betray the Vaterland! :eek:
 

Lighthearter

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tuore - Excellent! And it was getting a little long. . . :D

Enewald - I hope that those things don't come for me . . . but I find it depressingly easy to believe that they might.

TheRealKestrel - Shouldn't be a problem. The US AI evidently thinks it's a brilliant idea to spread garrison divisions around random American beaches:wacko:

Interceptors too - even when I have no bases in Europe to strike at Hitler.:confused:

I think Haulsee has his work cut out for him.

- Lighthearter:D
 

unmerged(143535)

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looks like a formidable challenge... hopefully the Germany AI doesn't get too preoccupied with Barbarossa and still garrisons the UK properly.
I know its just gotten started, but any chance of a save game? please? ;)
 

Lighthearter

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looks like a formidable challenge... hopefully the Germany AI doesn't get too preoccupied with Barbarossa and still garrisons the UK properly.
I know its just gotten started, but any chance of a save game? please? ;)
I'm probably more apprehensive and exited then you - I know what the Krauts have! I'm terrified, actually.

And you picked the best night possible to ask for a save - I'll have one up by tomorrow morning!

And you'll get to see the opening situation later tonight - the mini-AAR didn't cover up to February 1941. You shall soon see what demons I must fight.:D

- Lighthearter
 

unmerged(89475)

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We're gonna need alot of tanks and mech infantry...

And Marines. Metric Shittons of Marines.
 

Lighthearter

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screamingeagle - Here's the save!:D

Enjoy, my friend. Now let's see about winning this war . . . .:cool:

frigidmagi - That's the plan in a nutshell. Just add carriers, fighters and tactical bombers to that.;)

- Lighthearter
 

unmerged(143535)

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Thanks for the save! Impressive naval buildup by the Krauts, but...did you or the AI go beserk on the Balkans/ Vichy/ Switzerland? :eek:
 

Lighthearter

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Thanks for the save! Impressive naval buildup by the Krauts, but...did you or the AI go beserk on the Balkans/ Vichy/ Switzerland? :eek:
That was my last action as Germany. I want to face a true Fortress Europe.:wacko:

- Lighthearter
 

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suscribed
 

Enewald

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That was my last action as Germany. I want to face a true Fortress Europe.:wacko:

- Lighthearter
A fortress that has it's men on the wrong end of the fortress and with walls that are non-existing? :p
 

Ciryandor

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So just waiting for Barbarossa then back-stabbing eh?
 

unmerged(143535)

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gotta say though... aren't the Germans a bit thin on the ground forces compared to the USSR (82 vs ~340)?
 

henkalv

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interesting concept, I`l be reading (and playing your save BTW)
 

Lighthearter

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February 16th, 1941

The initial situation was grim - grim indeed.



Europe was a mess of different nations, but it could easily be summed up in a simple display of alliances.



The situation in Asia was little better, showing the Allies on the run from Japanese and Chinese forces.



Meanwhile, the Australians dug in, expecting the Japanese to land swiftly.



Washington, D.C, the Oval Office

Kevin Haulsee and President Roosevelt stood staring at the map on the wall. Well, Haulsee stood, at least. Roosevelt sat in a chair.



"So, Kevin, what do you recommend as our first action?" Roosevet asked.

"I think we should first evacuate our Army Air Corps elements from the island to the mainland. Assuming we save them, that would give us a major advantage in any upcoming action against the Germans."



"Alright, that makes sense. Now, what do we do with our land forces - we're outnumbered two to one even not counting the Luftwaffe."

"We pull back to Dover." Haulsee responded instantly. "It's an easily defensible naval base, and it also is on the North Sea, which I feel more confident about penetrating then the English Channel."



"Okay, makes sense. Anything else happen that I should be aware of, Haulsee?"



"Admiral Halsey ran into a German squadron trying to ferry General Richardson's headquarters unit into England. The USS San Juan is his only combat ship, and he's up against both major Kriegsmarine surface raiding groups. I'll pull him out into the Azores as soon as possible."



"And I called off General Stillwell's invasion of Ireland. He's on his way to Reykjavik even now. There is also a trio of transport squadrons coming south from Iceland to fetch our boys out of England."

"About the best I could hope for, I suppose. Alright, I think I'll leave this in your hands for now, Haulsee. Maybe we can live through this after all."
 

Enewald

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Excuse me Sir, how the hell do you think to conquer England with three divisions? :confused::rofl:
 

Lighthearter

The Ship's Magician
37 Badges
May 15, 2009
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