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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Sir Humphrey

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F.A.Q
What is this: This is an AAR (After Action Report) of a game called Hearts of Iron 2. Any political idealogical or persons do not represent my personal view or that of the forum. If you get wound up over the mention of certain aspects of the second world war (I will not, I stress this not, be commenting on any racial views as perused by the Nazi government, terror bombing, or the mass slaughter of people), don't just post saying “sUx0r” or anything. As I said, I will not be writing on any controversial topics as previously mentioned. This is not a historical recount, and I am going to take some artistic licence in some of the characters (some will be fictional). I hope you can all enjoy this.

header0kfsub0qj.jpg

3rd January 1936
The British empire had come out of the great war larger than ever before, with gains carved out of the defeated Central power's empires during the great war. Parts of Africa, the Near East and the Pacific had been carved up along the boarders drawn up by the victorious European powers in 1918. When the great wall street crash occurred in 1929, the world was sent into a global economic recession, and not even the British empire was left untouched by this great economic disaster. In order to pursue economies, the defence of the Empire was cut to the bone, in a desperate attempt by the government to save money. By 1930, with a resurgent Germany under the leadership of Herr Hitler, and the internal political fighting with her traditional ally france, and the machinations of a resurgent Italy, what can lie in store for Britain and her Empire in the future?

It was still quite cool for early January, but with the new naval white paper due for propagation in the coming weeks, the uppermost echelons of the British government were meeting in an informal meeting before the next session of parliament was due to commence. The Right Honourable Stanely Baldwin MP, the Prime Minister, first Lord of the Treasury, Minister of the Civil Service of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Leader of the House of Commons was holding a meeting with the rest of the inner cabinet in the lavish cabinet room. Along with the Prime Minister was the Lord President of the Council, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Secretary of State for the Home Office, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, the Lord Privy Seal, the Secretary of State for War and the First Lord of the Admiralty. As the radiator blazed away, the room began to slowly fill the fumes of burnt tobacco, as the members of the cabinet steadied themselves into the chairs that would comfort them for the next hour at least. As the First Lord of the Admiralty, it would be Sir Bolton Eyres-Monsell who would begin the meeting.

'Gentlemen, it is with great regret that I have the most seriousness of news. What we have feared over the past few months has materialized in such a form that it makes our course of action unavoidable, and in consequence little room to maneuver, however as First Lord of the Admiralty, and as I have consulted with the Chief of the Imperial General Staff Sir Archibald Armar Montgomery-Massingberd, he, along with the heads of his departments, and our Chief Scientific advisor Sir Hugh Sinclair, we [The British Government] have found a viable alternative that will make the chancellor cringe.” A few light laughs were heard around the table, however the Neville Chamberlain took the matter rather more seriously.

'In the proposed white paper gentlemen, and with the information that we have at hand from the Secret Intelligence Service, and the Daily Telegraph, they are both essentially saying the same thing.'There is a brief pause as Sir Bolton receives a throat full of malt scotch from his glass.'As I was saying, the Japanese are pulling out of the naval agreement. They claim that [ruffled though a folder for an an ominous seeming paper] “although the best intentions must be made, we are finding it difficult to embody the essential and most fundamental aspects of the first committee, and although we agree in principal to the aims of the committee, we cannot subscribe to the current or future policy of this committee unless our previous conditions are met...” and so on.'

Stanley Baldwin interjected. 'Rubbish, they have been looking to get out of the naval agreement for ages. The SIS have already reported that they are breaking tonnage limits anyway. What would be another treaty thrown onto their montage of broken agreements?' A few muffled laughs were heard emanating from around the table. 'Tell me Anthony [Eden, Foreign Secretary], what have the Americans to say about this little fact?'

Eden prepared to speak with his carefully refined voice. 'The Americans are pursuing peace as usual, forge discussion, best for the world and all that rubbish. They are concerned with the Japanese more so than what we may be, as they are the Americans main rival in the Pacific. Roosevelt speaks of isolation, but from what I gather from our ambassador in Washington, he is eager for the Japanese to sign the treaty on tonnage. Our ambassador in Tokyo will meet with the Japanese foreign minister next week, so we may just hold our cards close to our chests on this one.'

Stanley Baldwin, after waiting for Eden to finish, finally got a word in. 'Whats happening in Abyssinia? I read the Foreign Office telegrams and is it true that Emperor Sallassie is making a plea to the League of Nations?' He enquired to Eden, who immediately began shuffling through another folder.

'He's making a plea to start a committee. We are supporting his claim, yet the committee will never report, and if it was anything like the Manchuria fiasco, it will take years to start up. At the rate the Italians are ploughing across East Africa, the Emperor may not have much of a country to rule over. There is little that can be done on the matter.' The rest of cabinet seemed neither willing to show interest or care in the slightest way about Abyssinia or its people.

Sir Bolton Eyres-Monsell was about to speak as he took a sip from his slowly empting glass. 'If we may, can we get back to the white paper?' He seemed slightly more tense now. 'With the Japanese prepared to exceed treaty tonnage, this white paper aims to counter that with a new series of ship building, especially for battleship tonnage. As you know, the tonnage ratio was established, but with that increasing, we are being left behind in the great naval game. Would Neville care to look at the front page summery?' The summery was passed around to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and as his eyes read down the paper, his face turned from a pasty white to a creamy colour. 'How on earth do you expect to pay for all this lot? The British people are not going to spend millions of pounds on new battleship tonnage when we are pursuing cuts. This is almost outrageous.'

38748465baldwinpipe1508cj.jpg

Stanley Baldwin

Stanley Baldwin began to speak. 'New tonnage? That would give the Japanese a perfect excuse to leave the treaty talks. No, we shall not pursue this white paper at the moment. I am sorry.' The First Lord of the Admiralty was on the point of Heart break, that was often the case in politics.
 
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Mettermrck

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Well, the quality of the writing is excellent and I can't wait to see where you go with this. Also, the font and your usage of bold and formatted pictures make it a crisp presentation. And what a picture...did you take the time to align that tiny portraits and fade in the Union Jack? Nicely done. *takes notes* :)
 

unmerged(37408)

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Damn,thats some fine writing there! Im wondering when this is going to get alternative history, as for now you follow the path of regular britain. What's with the big warning at beginning? Are you planning to make money of this AAR or what?
 

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Mettermrck said:
Well, the quality of the writing is excellent and I can't wait to see where you go with this. Also, the font and your usage of bold and formatted pictures make it a crisp presentation. And what a picture...did you take the time to align that tiny portraits and fade in the Union Jack? Nicely done. *takes notes* :)

Humphrey! He's taking notes! He's taking notes! He's stealing your ideas!!
rar.gif
 

Mettermrck

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Allenby said:
Humphrey! He's taking notes! He's taking notes! He's stealing your ideas!!
rar.gif

I've also stolen your smiley for my MSN amusement. :D To prevent the total loss of this post, I am curious to see your "point of divergence" in this story. I'll be watching, but will keep my notetaking out of the way.
 

Duritz

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What's this :confused:

Starting out on one's own. Well I never, I feel so violated Humpy! :(

Ah, to hell with it - Knock 'em dead! :D
 

Sir Humphrey

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Thanks so much everyone so far. To be honest I was rather shocked that everyone thought it was so good.
blushing.gif
Thanks alot Met, I whipped it up in Photoshop.

As for the big warning at the front, thats in case I feel that I might post this up at other forums, but I doubt that (I'll keep it exclusive.) Thanks again.
cool.gif


Well this is based on a game that I actually played in detail (OMG screenshots, possibly a first!), but I don't want to give to much away yet. Feel free to take as many notes as you like.
smile.gif


Duritz, I will, and don't you worry, the Australians will not be wasted.
 

unmerged(28944)

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You've got me hooked on one of your AAR's, why not another one while we're at it, eh? ;)

Can't wait to see how this one pans out and how it goes. Bring on the show! :D
 

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Great AAR super writing as per usual :D
 

unmerged(17581)

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Yet another Sir Humphrey AAR! :eek:
 

Sir Humphrey

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Since I love you all so much, heres the next update.
hug.gif


header0kfsub0qj.jpg

12th January 1936

The cabinet room was as stuffy as ever, as the members of the upper most reaches of the government slowly meandered their way into the cabinet room for the next cabinet session. Neville Chamberlain, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was not happy with the white paper that the First Sea Lord had presented to the cabinet, and he had it on good word that the Foreign Secretary was displeased at him, with the rumours of Japanese treaty busting, a leak would be devastating.

As Stanley Baldwin was about to walk into the meeting, Neville Chamberlain grabbed him by the arm and pulled him to the side. 'Stanley my dear fellow, can't you put a stop to this whole battleship tonnage business? Anthony [Eden, Foreign Secretary] is perplexed at Bolton's [Sir Bolton Eyres-Monsell, First Sea Lord] move to start the whole tonnage business, and with the moratorium that was signed at Washington, we can't lay down any more until at least 1st December this year. If this were to leak out, it would be very damaging not only to us, but also to the talks on naval disarmament. This would be perfect ammunition for the Japanese to leave the conference and for the Americans to decide that they must therefor compete with the Japanese. Its a right mess and all.' Neville Chamberlain spoke in a serious and blunt manner to the Prime Minister.

Stanley Baldwin replied in an equally excited manner. 'I will do what I can. What is best for Britain, and this is not the best road Britain can take in this affair.' They were the last two to filter into the cabinet room and the session shortly began. The First Sea Lord listened carefully as the debate ebbed and flowed, and picking his moment, began to speak. 'My fellow colleagues, as you know, there was displeasure displayed upon the white paper that was presented the previous week, but I must categorically state now, that if the proposals are not accepted for 146,000 tons of new battleship tonnage, Britain and her Empire will soon fall behind that of the Japanese and the Americans. Now if you will read the one page summary of the amended [Neville Chamberlain coughs loudly on purpose, disrupting Bolton's speech] tonnage for the fleet, I feel that you may be persuaded.' Sir Bolton Eyres-Monsell calmy said as a copy of the summary was handed around.

Chamberlain, already annoyed at the second attempt to force though the white paper, began to speak. 'And just where do you expect pull 150 thousand tons of battleship from? Presumably from the same place as the butter mountain and the milk ocean.' Chamberlain said, jousting at the First Sea Lord. In response, Sir Bolton replied; 'I am bereft of ribs Neville [With a look of a most vile nature], so if I may continue, the SIS report on the matter concludes that the Japanese are planning on laying the keel of a 51,000 ton super battleship, that would totally outclass anything else in service of on the drawing boards. If Britain is to maintain her command of the sea, then we must have, as a matter of national pride the strongest fleet in existence, and if the treasury [Chamberlain shot a dirty look at him] would allow for this, we can maintain our pride of place.'

Chamberlain was fuming with the First Sea Lord now. 'I'm not quite sure what your game is, but the people of Britain and her Empire are not willing to spend the many millions of pounds that you claim that you will need for the contracts for this new tonnage. I mean that the County Class cruisers you already have already cost around £ 2 million a unit. You must understand that we are coming out of one of the worst financial crisis we ever faced, and not only that we are under numerous treaty obligations that we signed in order to preserve peace. Anthony, perhaps you may state the Foreign Office view of this matter.' Eden, wishing Chamberlain had chosen more opportune words launched into the attack anyway. 'My view, and that of the Foreign Office is that it would be very damaging to our international obligations and to that of our friends both in Asia and Europe. We signed a moratorium on capital ship construction that extends until the 1st December of this year, and it would be very damaging to our image if we were to pursue these measures. Our man in Tokyo, in his meeting with the Japanese Foreign minister Koki. His report was not favourable, yet another day of stalling, however his indication was that the Japanese had no intention of leaving the conference, they are stalling for time, for one reason or another is our best guess. However I would ill advise against any such breaking of treaty limits, especially at this time. To take a paradigm, we do not want a repeat of the naval race just before the last war, for we have neither the wish nor the power to do so. You may wax lyrical about the Japanese, the Germans or even if your desperate the Italians, but this is not the best course of action for Britain and her Empire.' The situation was tense, with a pack of hounds seemingly waiting for the First Sea Lord to make another blundering attack.

Stanley Baldwin, anxious to prevent a split in the cabinet, prepared to cut into the argument. 'Bolton, you must realise we can't push this paper through, even if we wanted to. Things are just to delicate at the moment. Unless the situation changes, which from what I understand they are not likely to. Now, could the issue please be left for a while until the situation has improved. I believe John [Sir John Simon, Home Secretary] has some news regarding the implication to the amendment to the local government regulations act 1921 ....'

productionjan36final6js.jpg


The meeting was effectively over after that, and the First Lord of the Admiralty had been shot down, his white paper effectively languishing in the Admiralty. British parity in Battleships was to be maintained, but Sir Bolton was determined to increase the British tonnage limits, regardless of either the international treaties or the cabinet itself. The main problem for pushing through the proposal was the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Foreign Secretary, but with the two top government positions in opposition, the white paper had little chance of success.

Along the North West frontier of India, the British Indian Army patrolled the tribal lands. In Palestine, the British army patrolled against partisan forces against the mandate of Palestine under British control. Across the seas and oceans and across the face of the globe, the British empire administered and ruled, from the beating heart of the Empire, Westminster.
 
Last edited:

unmerged(17581)

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Sir Humphrey said:
Since I love you all so much, heres the next update.
hug.gif
Awwww.....


Sir Humphrey said:

But....but....battleships are cool...

:(
 

unmerged(28944)

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You know, I have never liked Chamberlain, and I like him even less now. I mean, like anonymous said:

Originaly Posted by anonymous4401

But....but....battleships are cool...

By the by, we are touched by your love for us, Humphrey, now can we have some more? :D
 

Mettermrck

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Britain really laid down a bunch of ships in 1937, so you're approaching that timeperiod..I think all the KGV's as well as the Illustrious carriers. It's going to be expensive! I wonder what the Cabinet is brewing...will it be constitutionally significant or are you simply teasing us? :)
 

unmerged(19363)

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Chamberlain and Baldwin are such penny pinchers, sheesh to get 4 huge capital ships for a price of only 30.6 IC, what a deal! Heck, I've got that in my pocket...


Ah yes, wrestling over the military budget in the face of coming world disorder. Never an easy sell. He's got his work cut out for him.
 

Sir Humphrey

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Heres another lovely update everyone wants.
innocent.gif

Met, its going to be expensive, to expensive, so hopefully Chamberlain will realise they cannot simpley sit around...
wink.gif

Thanks everyone for the comments and support.
smile.gif



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20th January 1936

It was a rain filled night, like so many others of January that year, and in every year since the dawn of time. In a somewhat dampened cabinet room, the inner cabinet were again meeting, the session scheduled late in the evening, due to other commitments, as well as the health of the King, who was gravely ill with an advanced stage of the flue. The inner cabinet of the national government were discussing the state of the Empire's military forces, and the general situation of the armed forces, however neither the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, or First Sea Lord were present.

The Secretary of State for War, Alfred Duff Cooper was filling the room with facts. 'The fact remains Prime Minister, that after the cuts were made in the early 1930s, the defence of the Empire was placed under severe strain. At this point in time, the Imperial Defence Forces are stretched thin on the ground, with most of the Indian army units stationed throughout India, in particularly along the North West Frontier trying to keep law and order in that tribal part of the subcontinent. The most glaring oversight in the Imperial Defence plan, is around the most important area, our jugular if you will. The Suez canal is as vital to the Empire is as air is for us to breath. [Eden drew an audible deep breath when this was mentioned] Without it, we are cut in half, and although I am no expert on colonial and foreign affairs, but from the war office telegrams, there are rumblings in Palestine and Egypt. My dear Anthony [Eden, Foreign Secretary], what is the foreign office saying?'

Eden gently fingered through some papers, and came to the one he was looking for. 'We rate the risk fairly low of any squabbles, however our reports show that the local Arab population is against the migration of Jews to Palestine. Although this falls under the preview of the Colonial Secretary of State, I can state that there is little chance of Palestine boiling over, just the usual local troubles that will blow away in a weeks time.' Eden paused, and awaited the continuation of Duff Coopers lecture.

'As I was saying, the forces are stretched thin, as can be demonstrated by this fact. [He passes a copied summary of the armed forces around] As you can plainly see, we have only a single wing of Blenheim's in the entire near east, including the Western Desert and the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan region as well. The only other friendly air cover as the secretary of state for air will testify is that of the Gloster Gladiator Wing operating out of RAF Base in Hanaidi, but that is grossly understrength. The nearest RAF aircraft are either here in Britain or in India, a most deplorable situation considering that the Italians have near enough 700 aircraft in East Africa alone, and a number of squadrons in Italian Libya as well. I urge the Secretary of State for Air to rectify this.' [The Secretary of State for Air was growing resentful in the light as he was being blamed for the under strength RAF] Cooper continued. 'As for the Far East, that is another disaster waiting to happen if I may be so bold. We have a wing of Blenheim's out of Singapore, but no fighter cover, so if ever attacked, they would be at the mercy of the enemy fighters. The only other RAF aircraft are either in India, or the Aircraft of HMS Eagle up in Hong Kong. A most depressing situation. I received a letter from the Chief of the Australian Staff, asking if Britain could defend Australia from any possible attack, and was afraid to reply with an honest answer. With China in that right mess that its in, it could boil over at any moment and the defence of Hong Kong cannot be guaranteed. How would the air ministry respond to that?' Cooper probed the secretary of state for air, Philip Cunliffe-Lister.

[Shielding his annoyance]'It is hardly the Air Ministry's fault for this situation. I have campaigned long and prodigiously to only have my suggestions fall on the deaf ears of the treasury. It is them who are to blame for the defence problems that face us.' The cabinet slowly turned to look towards Neville Chamberlain who was once again feeling the wrath of the cabinet. 'I cannot just hand out the government money and contracts to any aircraft manufacturer every day of the week. The government must maintain a positive balance of economy, otherwise the effects will be felt for years to come, and just about the only department I haven't received an earful from is the army, which in the current climate of beg for as much as you can from the treasury as you possibly can. Unless everyone can compromise, I can see no action taking place.' Almost in an instant, he had swung the argument back into his favour.

Cooper continued on. 'If I may continue, the army is in good shape, but it is small compared to the continental armies, and we have an empire to police. Here at home, down at Aldershot we have two divisions on the ready, as well as the HQ establishment. Another division in Portsmouth in the South and one in the lowlands, around Edinburgh. Dotted around are grossly understrength defence establishments of the territorial army, most of the members turn up for training once a month, and are hardly fit for fighting duty, should they be needed. Our native troops in Africa are well trained and armed by colonial standards, and most of our key interests have a suitable garrison covering them. At home, the Royal Air Force is the strongest, with Bomber Command fielding three flights of Whitleys and two of Blenheim's. In total Fighter command can field upwards of three fighter flights, however the are mainly along the South coast on the channel. The Royal Navy on the other hand is the strongest of the three service arms, with excellent aircraft carriers, and if I might say, the finest battleships ever to sail the ocean. However, some of the vessels, more noticeable some destroyers and light cruisers are nearly entering the third decade of their service, and although I can suggest that they will continue to serve well, they are slowly being outclassed by new designs at both home and abroad. Now if I could [Cooper is interrupted by the ringing of the telephone beside Stanley Baldwin] continue, but that is the state of our armed forces [Cooper is distracted by the muffled voice of Baldwin on the telephone] and I urge the chancellor to change his chance to a workable white paper that it can be agreed to suit what is best for Britain.' Cooper finally finished, just as Stanley Baldwin placed the phone receiver back down.

The colour slowly drained from his face, as he opened his mouth. 'I must inform you gentlemen, for it is my humble duty to convey, that his Majesty King George V has just passed away. The King is dead. LONG LIVE THE KING! I believe Albert said his last words were “How is the Empire?”' With that statement, silence for the first time that evening abounded through the cabinet room.

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THE KING IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE KING!
 
Last edited:
Oct 31, 2003
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Allenby said:
Humphrey! He's taking notes! He's taking notes! He's stealing your ideas!!
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He isn't the only one taking notes. I love the smaller print, it makes reading much more enjoyable & easy on the eyes. It also helps differentiate the normal room jibberjabber from the actual AAR, very nice presentation, & I hope Sir Humphrey does not mind if I steal it for my own AAR.