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World War II: A British History

Hello everyone and this will be my first attempt at an AAR so I hope you will enjoy it.

Normal/Furious
No Mods
No Cheats
Starting: 1936

There have been few events in world history more challenging and political shaping than that of World War II. The story about to be told is the history of the British and British Commenwealth through the struggles of the greatest war this world has ever seen. You'll see it all, World War II in all of its glory from the eyes of the mighty British Empire.

From: Dunkerque to Britain, from Britain to North Africa, from North Africa to Sicily, from Sicily to Singapore, from Singapore to Burma, from Burma to Indonesia, from Indonesia to the end.

It may just change your views of the war...



Table of Contents:

Chapter I: The Road to War (below)
Chapter II: The Gathering Storm
Chapter III: The Road to Calais
 
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Chapter I: The Road to War

Chapter I: The Road to War

Before all wars the events leading up to it can't be overlooked, as in the events leading up to World War II, was it possible for the British and French who still dominated Europe to keep Hitler and Germany from beginning the war in the first place?

~ In 1933 Hitler came to power in Germany and began to dismantle the Treaty of Versailles installed by the Entente Powers during WWI upon Germany restricting the German military to no air force, a minor navy of a few ships and an army that couldn't excede 100,000 soldiers. Not only was the German military in bad positions so was the German economy. Struggling from their defeat in the Great War and the de-militarization of the Rhineland, the economic heart of Germany, the German economym once a major world player was now in shambles and in the 1920's was behind many of the European nations. The greatest industrial and economic powers by 1933 were:

1. The United Kingdom
2. The Soviet Union
3. The United States of America
4. Imperial Japan
5. France
6. India (part of the British Empire)
7. Italy
8. Germany

With Hitler in power in Germany the re-armament of Germany could begin and the British and French would only watch in the process of the German build up. Germany would quickly rise through the ranks of the world not only as a military power but as an economic power reclaiming it's former glory of the pre-Great War era. By 1936, only three years later the Soviet Union was first, UK second and Germany third on the world industrial and economic stage.

German panzers on parade, panzers became a main factor in the re-armament of Germany in the early and mid 1930's.

In 1935 the British imposed sanctions upon Germany after intelligence reports of the German military being over 250,000 strong and the establishment of both the the Air Force and a new and more modern Navy. The sanctions were quickly repremended by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin who deemed sanctions a "Declaration of War" against Hitler's Germany. But the British sent consultants to their only ally on the continent, France. During the discussions that would become known as the Paris Conferences, the French military was convinced that the Germans would be unable to defeat them as long as the Maginot Line was properly defended and the Germans would be unable to hold its own against the combined powers of France and Britain and the British Commenwealth.

Sir Anthony Eden, the main British Diplomat during these talks was far from convinced, "Why should you be settled sitting behind a bunch of medieval walls and towers when in 1914 the Germans didn't attack on the direct border of France but instead moved through Belgium and caught not only France but ourselves off-guard. And praise be to God we got lucky during the Battle of the Marne. I ask can we hope for another 'Miracle of the Marne' '' No! If and when Germany prepares for war, which it is already doing we must move immediatley to defeat Germany before they become too powerful. Can you France be able to manage another crises on the continent without the support of the British Empire, who in her entire history has never been one to care about her land forces in the same comparisions of the Royal Navy or that of the military of France? Sit and be still when the best form of defense and the only form of defense is an overwhelming offense."

Anthony Eden with a French diplomat during the Paris Conferences of 1935. His words were largely ingnored by both the French and British.

Entering the new year of 1936 the British Empire was still one of the most influencial powers in the world, but problems were quickly arising for the victor of the Great War. With a dwindling material base and a rising Germany across the Channel not to mention a weakening France, the British were sitting with a beloved King but one that was old and in his death bed. The small British Army was in no capable abililty to go to war with Belgium, let alone the rising power of Germany.

Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin on January 17, 1936 made a rare and unexpected visit to Berlin to meet with Adolf Hitler and talk about the issue that has become the Rhineland. During the meeting Baldwin was convinced that Hitler had no intentions on re-occupying the Rhineland because this would be considered a German "Declaration of War" against both France and the United Kingdom. On January 18 Baldwin left Berlin confidant that the German army would not enter the Rhineland, and in his last visit with King George V confidantly told him that the Germans would not enter the Rhineland during his lifetime, this turned out to be correct for two days later, on January 20, 1936 King George V died and his son Edward VIII was announced the new King of the United Kingdom, Ireland and India.

Edward VIII, the new King of the United Kingdom was a problem amongst the British Government and economy. He was however more determined than his father to keep the Germans from returning to the Rhineland.

On March 7, 1936 the worst fears of Britain and France were realized and nothing was done to stop them from happening. The German Army had moved back across the Rhineland and began to revamp the Rhine economy to help the German war machine. On March 8, Stanley Baldwin called Parliament together to discuss the problems facing the British people at hand, though Parliament demanded strict and stern actions against the Germans, Prime Minister Baldwin shrugged off parliament and the king and began talks with the French about the re-occupation of the Rhineland. France was still not convinced that war was coming and Prime Minister Baldwin did nothing while Hitler was had finally dismantled the entirety of the Treaty of Versailles.

It became obvious that the problems on the continent were becoming great and far reaching. With Germany moving towards war without any sanctions from Britain or France, the dark days of 1914 were looming over Europe once again in 1936.

German troops march back into the Rhineland with the enthusiastic support of millions of Germans. The allies did nothing to respond to the final violation of the Treaty of Versailles.
 

caffran

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good start. always like to see people's take on the British at war.

have you made any mods or are you just running it 'vanilla'??

later, caff
 

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Another British AAR. Excellent. :)
 

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An interesting beginning, I hope to see more... :)
 

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sounds interesting
 

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@ caffran: no mods only some a-historical outcomes and events, otherwise its the same.

@ El Pip: well, I was expecting that Brits wouldn't miss anything that deals with such a great and proud country. :D

@ Storm501: thanks, hopefully you will enjoy this.

@ Micro94: thanks and glad that you think so.
 

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Chapter I: The Road to War

With the Germans officially destroying the Treaty of Versailles and their moves into the Rhineland by March 7, 1936 the British and French cabinets were in shock and disarray that a defeatist Germany had grown so powerful under the watch and that they've done little to nothing to stop it from happening. And with Hitler firmly in power and loved by the people of his nation, the same of which couldn't be said by those of the French Republic or that of Stanley Baldwin. Hitler began his new plans deep within his majestic capital of Berlin and the British began to look to new plans to enforce their foreign policy, no greater opportunity arose in 1936 to reinforce British policy than the moment the London Times recieved news of the Spanish Civil War sparked on July 17, 1936.

The Spanish Civil War

Immediatley afterwards the Spanish Nationalists declared themselves a Fascist state and quickly gained the support of Benito Mussolini's Italy along with Hitler's Germany sending an emmanse ammount of ships, planes and vehicles along with many a thousands of volunteers to the Spanish frontlines as a testing ground of new aircraft, tanks and submarines. Aircraft such as Bf-109 F and the Donier Do-17 of the Luftwaffe were sent over into Nationalists arms along with Italian airplanes like the Fiat Cr. 42 and the newly built bombers Savoia Marchetti Sm. 79's and put to good use and reports of their performances were sent back to the Fascist capitals.


A damaged Sm. 79 captured by Republican forces outside of Valencia in August or October of 1936. The Italians would send around 550 Sm. 79's to serve in the Nationalist Air Froce and by the end of the war 76 of the 550 were lost in combat and or captured during the course of the war.

The Republican Government was quickly being overwhelmed by the chaos that had recently erupted in the past few days and in a plead to both France and Britain, they asked for support against the war against the rebels. France immediatley remarked a NO! and put in the words of French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval, "What interests best serves France in sending untold ammounts of machinery, money and weapons to Spain when the war is finished will have no positives for us, as we will lose on the very things that France needs in these times and strengthen a nation directly on our border when Germany is a big enough problem as is..."

In stark contrast the plead that reach Great Britain was taken under careful consideration and the British Parliament gathered the next day to discuss the terms of the plead. And in a staunch fury in Parliament the outspoken Sir Anthony Eden pleaded to the British Government to set things straight and enforce her foreign policy correctly.

"By God, what shall we do? Sit and wait as our biggest opponents (Germany and Italy) have already sent their support to the Nationalists and can now see the full effects of the weapons that one day may turn against us! As they already know how to use their weapons to best effects what of us? This opportunity is great and far reaching, we can send a message to both Rome and Berlin that London and the British Empire is here to stay! By the Grace of God sign that damned paper!"

Two days later the British Government passed the Eden Pact sending military and financial support to the Republican Government. Over the course of the next few weeks the UK would send 500 planes, 20,000 rifles and 12,500 volunteers to Spain to fight the Nationalists and their fascist allies. The plans however crippled the British economy for the short term and rapidly fell below the averages of France and Canada in money and supply terms. But in a statement to Hitler and Mussolini: "Britain wasn't playing games anymore."


A British Gloster Gladiator, the Eden Pact would send 400 Gloster Gladiators and 100 Hawker Hurricanes to the Republican Air Force and had a great deal of success against both German but mainly Italian planes serving during the war.

With the support of both Great Britain and the Soviet Union the Republican Government quickly evened the odds against the Nationalist. The war would be long and drawn out pitting the best of the Fascists, Communists and Capitalists to the test against each other. In London alone, some 3,000 men would enlist to serve in the British International Division which included 12500 men: 9,000 from England and Scotland, 1,000 from Wales, 1,000 from Northern Ireland and 1,500 from Canada and Australia.

The British Internation Division would serve in some of the most crucial battles of the war and this included the long drawn out Seige of Seville which sapped both British machinery and the Republican Army. As the war moved into Christmas the Nationalists began to bomb the heart of the Republicans and launched a massive Winter Offensive to relieve the troops being beseiged in Valencia and Seville. Launched in November of 1936, the war which seemed to be in the hands of the Republicans, as it was now looking like it was only a matter of time; the Nationalist forces quickly swepped south towards Valencia and Seville. Spearheaded by the German Condor Legion the Spanish by Christmas had relieved Valencia and split the Republic in half. They proceded south and during the Seige of Seville, which became a seige on the Republican forces holding onto life at Cadiz the Republicans suffered a massive blow when the Republicans surrendered at Cadiz, this included 5,000 British and Commenwealth volunteers, many of whom wouldn't return to their homes.


The effects of the Winter Offensive.


German Panzer II's entering Cadiz in the Winter of 1937. German tanks proved to be a deciesive factor during the Spanish Civil War and were far superior to their Italian, Soviet and British counterparts.

The rest of the year of 1936 was long drawn out for the British Empire and her commenwealth. Enraged by the war and the lost of many loved ones on November 28, 1936 a major factory strike went into effect and on December 3 British hardliners attacked the foreign policy of the British Government which paved the way for Sir Anthony Eden, the mastermind of the Eden Pact but not criticized for the problems, would seize the position of British Foreign Minister.

Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin also suffered much of the blame that was the Spanish Intervention and worker strikes as the budget cuts were made on the British working force to compensate for the immense spending of money to fund the men, supplies and machinery being sent oversea to Spain. Baldwin on December 7 was voted the man to blame for the economic crises sweeping through Britain, and with King Edward VIII wanting to marry an American woman who just recently divorced her husband: Baldwin, Edward VIII and much of the Baldwin Cabinet would resign together on December 11, paving the way for the Chamberlin era to begin which would see Sir Anthony Eden in action as foreign minister and the British economy would suddenly go into an economic boom after the resignation of Baldwin.

Prime Minister Baldwin announces his resignation, only hours later His Majesty Edward VIII would do the same handing over the reigns to the now King George VI and Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin entering the crucial year of 1937 and leaving the troublesome year of 1936.
 

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Not the best result from Spain. I'd worry people may be less keen to support the next foreign adventure given how few men (and how little equipment) made it back from Iberia.
 

unmerged(118324)

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El Pip said:
Not the best result from Spain. I'd worry people may be less keen to support the next foreign adventure given how few men (and how little equipment) made it back from Iberia.

I was hoping with UK and SU support that the Republicans would be able to win, and until the winter of '36 it appeared like it was going to eventually happen.

The next foreign adventures are going to be great and far reaching and eventually cost a certain British Foreign Minister his job...
 

caffran

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in my experience the republicans ALWAYS win.

i don't think the Nationalists have ever won the civil war when i play.

must be me :p

later, caff
 

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Chapter I: The Road to War

@ caffran: Normally the Nationalist win when I play? Very weird don't you think? :p

***​

1937 was a new year for the British Empire and her crown dominions and now lead by a new parliament and a new Prime Minister the British people looked for a new beginning and a put back the setbacks of the year 1936 behind them. Almost immediatley after the resignation of the highly unpopular Stanley Baldwin to go with the fledgling British economy, the fallout stopped and a new revival began and was the hailed, "The Chamberlin Miracle" as the British economy went into a new economical boom. This, although gaining much support by the general public couldn't overcome the parliamentary setbacks and scandals about to occur.

On March 21, 1937. The British people awoke to a huge parliamentary scandal centering around Prime Minister Chamberlin and his Foreign Minister, Sir Anthony Eden regarding their different views about British policy and a possible altercation between the two men.

The Ballroom Dance

It is believed that Prime Minister Chamberlin came into parliament to repent the Eden Act which was still sending supplies to the Spanish Republicans who were in more desparate needs than ever before. In the sessions the Pact was destroyed and on the high seas the Royal Navy confescated all the goods, machines, sailors and ships that were in private, Spanish and British hands. Led by the task force of the First Cruiser Squadron led by the newly promoted Vice Admiral Sir Percy Noble, his flagship being the newly commissioned HMS Surrey along with four other Kent-class Cruisers, the HMS Calypso and Dunedin along with three destroyer squadrons swept out of the Bay of Biscay and opened fire on the "pirateering" ships carrying British goods.

In a mater of three hours his ships seized 46 ships, over 1000 sailors and nearly 15 tons worth of supplies and equipment that was too be used by the Spanish Government.

When word reached Sir Anthony Eden, in a fury he stormed into a largely empty parliament with the Prime Minister still inside and exchanged some "unkindly" words with the "Chancellor and Messiah" of the British Empire. In the end, though the truth may never be known both of the men exchanged punches and were stopped by British Guards and some members of parliament who hadn't left. In the end, the news shocked the people, created large distrust among the Chamberlin Administration and the Spanish and British cut communications for the time being. Through the problems, it was a surprise that Chamberlin didn't fire Eden on the spot and on a radio broadcast said that, "We had a few different views and got into a little fight, but we both being grown men got over the problems and our friendship is back to what it was in the past. A good relationship." Needless to say this altercation would have no love loss between the two men who wouldn't talk to one another again.


Prime Minister Neville Chamberlin, loved by the people but was a controversial figure to say the least. Some within the British Parliament and cabinet had large distrust with him and believed that he couldn't lead the worlds' greatest power in a war against any nation let alone the rising powers of Germany and the ever growing belligerent Imperial Japan.

***​

By the summer of 1936 news reached London of the Imperial Japanese interests in the far-east, a shocking event to say the least especially towards the US, UK and Netherlands who felt their security in the region rapidly fall when Japan declared war on China after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. The Japanese declaration of war saw a quick sweep south of Imperial Japanese soldiers into the northern China and Beijing was quickly overrun and held by Imperial soldiers. The Imperial Navy scored easy victories over the Chinese naval forces and landed around 60,000 marines and soldiers on the outskirts of Shanghai and pressed inland. Generalissmo Chaing-Kai Shek was quick to reorganize the Chinese defenses and the Royal Navy China Station was relocated south and renamed the Singapore Station in the fear of Hong Kong being bombed by the Japanese and British ships possibly being sunk or damaged.

Imperial forces were far superior to their Chinese counterparts and the Soviets and Americans began to aid the Chinese while Japan pushed south and west and looked to exploit other holes and gaps within the Chinese lines. British reporters and spies were quickly sent into the frontlines to make reports of the Japanes weapons and tactics incase a threat may one day arise with the Empire of the Rising Sun.

Japanes advances into China, note the Imperial Navy having ships so close to British Hong Kong.

Japanese soldiers moved out of their beach heads and marched towards Shanghai after a long drawn battle of attrition against Nationalist Chinese forces personally led by Chaing-Kai Shek and his top generals. At the plains of Shanghai they set up last major defense before the bloody battle of Shanghai would occur.

Operation Neptune, as dubbed by the British Ministry saw a long 18-day battle occur about 20 kilometers from Shanghai and the numerically disadvantaged Japanese won a deciesive victory over the Chinese and were now free to enter Shanghai. The British reporters were stunned by the effectivness of the Imperial troops in combat but re-assurred themselves that such victories over the British Empire would be impossible for the Japanese would no longer be fighting third-world Chinese armies, but world-class British ones. How wrong they would be in a matter of five years...

Imperial forces march towards Shanghai.

***​

Back at the home front Chamberlin expressed his concerns in the far-east but declined the plans to send money and supplies to China in response to the Japanese attacks. Although popular among the Prime Minister himself, the results were less than stunning among parliament and more importantly the public. On October 16, the people of London rallied together and in a great war demonstration marched on parliament and Big Ben to show their concerns. The march ultimatley stunned Chamberlin, though the British people didn't want a war involving themselves they took the role of world policeman upon themselves and were largely disapointed that Chamberlin didn't carry out Eden's policy of "British Threat and Response" as they did early on in the Iberian Pennisula during the Spanish Civil War which by this time was finally coming to a close in the favor of the Nationalists.


~ Up next, The Japanese continue to press deeper into China. Sir Anthony Eden unofficially declares Austria a British protectorate and Germany marches to war when Hitler demands Austria to submit into the Greater German Reich.
 
Last edited:

caffran

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:eek: Austria a British protectorate!!!!

are you gunning for an early war?

or just tempting your readAAR's??

later, caff
 

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@ caffran: British protection of Austria is going to cause major problems especially in the British government (Sir Anthony Eden and lead to Chamberlin to try and fix things).

@ trekaddict: war never changes, neither do old rivalries.
 

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  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
It'll end in tears, mark my words.

And besides having a shouting march in the Palace of Westminster? They should settle their differences like proper gentlemen - A duel on Parliament Square.