HMS Invincible

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Lord Wyclif, Mar 18, 2015.

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  1. Lord Wyclif Well-Known Member

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    11:30 In the House of Commons, Secretary of State for War, Duff Cooper rose to his feet. “I am pleased to announce to the house, that her majesty Queen Elizabeth, along with the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret are in Belfast for the launching of the new aircraft carrier HMS Victorious. However five of the current eight Fleet Carriers will be spending the summer months at various dockyards receiving much needed maintenance and repair work carried out. Work on the battleship HMS Duke of Gloucester, has been temporarily suspended, and the construction of the two following battleship of the King George V class will not commence until the FY 1943-44. Work on the five Victorious class aircraft carriers, three of which were ordered in March, will also be held back and reviewed again in FY 1943-44. Victorious and Vengeance are expected to be in commission by Christmas. The current surface fleet has three Fleet Carriers and six light fleet carrier with 732 RNAS combat aircraft. A further three maintenance carriers are also available for combat missions as required. Eight battleships are available for fleet surface action if required.”

    The house gave mixed reaction. Conservatives were concerned that naval construction would now be below the numbers required to keep two fleets at operational strength. Labour were concerned at the lack of work in shipbuilding.

    “ An order for 6,000 new Centaurus engined Grendel fighters has been placed for the RAF and another 1,000 for the RNAS. 12,000 Lancaster bombers are on order and as well Shorts Sterling production would recommence, with 5,000 powered by the Centaurus radials.”

    Labour back-benchers were in uproar as they knew many of the aircraft would be built at safer locations in Canada. The Speaker of the House Edward FitzRoy had to call for order several times.

    Mr Cooper continued, “An order will be placed for a new battle tank, armed with a 3” 55 caliber gun firing a 16lbs HE shell and a 17 lbs anti-tank round. The tank would replace the Valentine, Churchill and Matilda’s. It has been estimated that a total of 15,000 vehicles would be required. Contracts have been signed with the Tank Assembly Plant at Port Melbourne, Victoria; Charles Ruwolts Company and the Chullora Tank Assembly Workshops in Sydney. Units will also be built at the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Angus Shops in Montreal, Canadian Tank Arsenal at Longue Pointe, Québeck; Dorman South African Iron & Steel Industrial Corporation and at the Tata works,Tatanagars.

    Several British firms including Leyland, LMS Railway, Morris Motors, Metro-Cammell, Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company, Royal Ordnance Leeds, Royal Arsenal, Harland & Wolf, John Fowler & Co., Ruston-Bucyrus, Vickers at Elswick and English Electric. Vauxhall would also manufacture the tank once production of Churchill was terminated in 1943.”

    Again the was uproar at so much work going abroad. Eventually Mr FitzRoy had to banish two Labour MP’s and one each from the Conservatives and Liberals.

    Prime-Minister Eden and his deputy Clement Attlee congratulated the house for the majority of support and Ernest Bevin, Secretary of State for Labour remarked, “Let us face the future, knowing that in the needs of today, we, as a nation and commonwealth stand united, in facing down Hitler and his axis of evil.”
     
  2. Zheng He Well-Known Member

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    BTW, could somebody please nominate this TL for a Turtledove. I already nominated fester's TL so I can't.
     
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  3. Ash's Boomstick Well-Known Member

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    How do we do that? I'm going to nominate this or the Top Trumps one (Although I bet that one already has been, these are two of my favourite TLs.
     
  4. Jkdelta38 Well-Known Member

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    I nominated it just now
     
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  5. Lord Wyclif Well-Known Member

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    Totally gubsmacked. Thank you very much for your approval. It means a lot.
     
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  6. Lord Wyclif Well-Known Member

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    D6478A49-7DF5-4EF2-84AD-C69CE0642B1F.jpeg Front line 00:00hrs Monday April 27th 1942.

     
  7. Lord Wyclif Well-Known Member

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    Wolfgang Fischer, 10th Panzer;Gustav von Vaerst, 15th Panzer; Georg von Bismarck, 21st Panzer; Ulrich Kleemann 90th Light (to be redesignated Panzer Grenadier); Friedrich Weber 334th Infantry divisions had all pulled back through the Jebel Mghilla under the cover of darkness. Between them they had a total of 168 Panzer III’s, 34 Panzer VI’s plus 100 artillery guns.enough armour for one Panzer Division and enough ground troops for two divisions. Gustav von Vaerst, went on record as saying when the British XXX Corps and the American II Corps advance on Tunis, his divisions should all be re-equipped and will smash their opponents. A dozen transport ships, loaded with new ARV,s were expected in Tunis that night.

    04:00 The men of 3RMLI advanced to the airfield at Depienne and 2 RMLI advanced to the Oudna airfield.

    As dawn broke three squadrons of Stuka dive bombers appeared over head. For a space of twenty minutes they unleashed their payload on General Barre’s forces.

    07:00 As the last aircraft departed the troops of the 3rd Battalion of the German 5th Parachute Regiment plus an armoured formation of twenty Panzer IV’s and Bitossi’s ten L6/40 and seven M14/40 tanks gathered two miles to the south of the town. Slowly they advanced. From within the town French modele 1917 artillery opened fire. The armour kept advancing as another squadron of Stukas arrived and attacked French troops garrisoned on the east bank. House by house, shop by shop, the Axis slowly dislodged the Free French troops. By lunch time the Axis forces has forced the French back to the train station.

    09:00 A small motorised column from the Derbyshire Yeomanry Regiment, attempted to advance along the road from Djebel Aboid, heading for Mateur. They ran into a German blocking force which included some armour, and suffered a defeat. The unit was forced to retreat back towards the rest of the 20th Armoured Brigade, which was following up.

    10:30 Patton arrived in Gafsa and immediately formed HQ, II US Corps in the town. Giuseppe Falugi’s Pistoia Motorised Division engaged the 82nd Armoured Reconnaissance Battalion. Their M10 tank destroyers an M4 Shermans quickly routed the Italian Carro Armato M11/39 tanks and Semovente da 75/18 SPG's. For the loss of two Sherman’s the Americans destroyed 12 enemy AFV’s and captured another 16. It was later discovered these vehicles were abandoned when they ran out of fuel and not by military action.

    The American 2nd Armoured Division swung east, setting off to rendezvous with the 9th Infantry at Sidi Bouzid.

    Bitossi’s Littorio division with L6/40 and M14/40 tanks advanced into Medjez el Bab. They had to cross the eight arched bridge that spanned the 100 yard river. General Barre with 9,000 men held the town. As Hannibal declared, “Whoever has Medjez-el-Bab has the key to the door, and is master of all Tunisia.”

    Throughout the day Hurricanes flew over 100 sorties against the Cuneense Alpine Division. The tanks and artillery of Norrie's 1st Armoured Division also kept up a constant barrage of the Italians in the hills. Dismounted troops from the 7th Motor Brigade made an extremely and cumbersome advance up the steep hills. Casualties were heavy on both sides as the soldiers fought hand to hand and every square inch conceded by the Italians was soaked with English blood.

    12:00 The 51st Highlanders advanced northwards up the coast to the Wadi Akarit. The Giovani and Livorno Infantry Divisions were well dug in. Wellington bombers, taking advantage of the absence of Luftwaffe isolated the battlefield from the Italians HQ, disorganising their communications, attacking divisional and brigade headquarters, and bombing road junctions. Eight Army and XIII Corps heavy artillery regiments began their bombardment in the afternoon.
     
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  8. Lord Wyclif Well-Known Member

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    12:30 The 22nd Infantry Division Cacciatori delle Alpi clashed with the Royal Marines at the Oudna airfield. Casualties were light on both sides.

    13:00 News of the attack on Medjez-el-Bab finally at the HQ of the 78th Infantry Division in Bou Salem 46 miles north west, and with the American 1st Armoured Division whose forward units had reached Teboursouk 27 miles west of Medjez-el-Bab. The race was on.

    13:20 Two squadrons of Grendel fighter-bombers took off from RAF Philippeville took off to support the Free French. At the same time American P40’s left Bône heading for Medjez-el-Bab.

    13:30 The 56th Reconnaissance Regiment raced off towards Medjez-el-Bab. Humber armoured cars, universal carriers and CT5 trucks supported by Bedford 3 toners mounting 17 pounder anit-tank guns.

    14:30 After running out of ammunition the French troops withdrew to the West Bank. The retreating French became victim of swaths of German machine gun fire. It didn’t take to long for the river to run with French blood.

    14:45 French Renault R35 tanks concealed inside houses formed a formidable obstacle and prevented several attempts of the Axis forces to cross the bridge.

    15:00 Colonel Robinett's 13th Armoured Regiment charged forward, but ran into the anti-tank guns of the Herman Goering Division. P40 fighter-bombers attacked the German lines.

    15:10 RNAS Grendel aircraft attacked the Axis positions on the east bank. Fragmentation bombs caused many injuries, and the S gunned fighters strafed support units.

    15:15 With artillery support the American armour again advanced, but the well dug in Germans quickly halted the attack forcing the Americans unto the back foot.

    15:30 The British 1st Armoured Diviaion linked up with the American paratroops at El Guttar.

    16:00 The British reached Oued Zarga 12 miles from the besieged French troops. Overhead support from RAF Hurricane II’s continued all day, however they were now diverted to break up a Stuka attack at Medjez-el-Bab. Four German aircraft were shot down.

    16:30 At Oudna airfield after a day of consistently accurate sniper fire from both sides, the Italians brought their artillery to bear on the entrenched Commandoes. The Marines were well dug in. They had almost two day to prepare the defence of the airfield. Rock sangers, earthworks, barbed wire, minefields, with Vickers machine guns, mortars and 3” shoulder guns were strategically placed within interlocking arc’s of fire surrounded the base. Other earthworks, barbed wire, minefields were all placed within cover of the RMA’s battery of eight 25 pounder artillery and four of the new 17pounder anti-tank guns. There was no return artillery fire from the Marines to disguise their strength.

    17:00 Under guidance from forward air controllers RNAS Grendel’s provided close air support strikes on the unconcealed Italian artillery.

    18:30 Patton and Norrie met up to discuss their options. Bypassing protocol they findings were sent directly to the Supreme Allied Commander Middle East - Field Marshal William Edmund Ironside.
     
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  9. Lord Wyclif Well-Known Member

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    24A2C6CB-65AD-4FEB-A873-BEEF1B99C9FD.jpeg Royal Marines APC at the Ouda aerodrome after being flown in by Hamilcar glider.
     
  10. Lord Wyclif Well-Known Member

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    Tuesday April 28th.

    88 British bombers attacked the U-boat yards at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, destroying all the main shipyard facilities and killing 15; 6 bombers were destroyed in his mission. 33 British bombers attacked German battleship Ulrich von Hutten at Keil, Germany; two Halifax bombers were destroyed. The attack pushed her completion date a further 18 months.

    Through the night Wellington bombers from RAF Tafaraoui and RAF Djidjelli bombed the Axis forces to the east of Medjez-el-Bab.

    Convoy HX186 consisting of Empire Ray, Beaconoil, Pacific Pioneer, Manchester Citizen, Kafiristan, Empire Rowan, Ocean Valley, Empire Emerald, British Faith, Trondheim, Pacific Enterprise, Empire Nomad, Maaskerk, Palembang, Darina, British Ardour, Brant County, Ocean Vision, Brimanger, Jamaica Producer, British Tornus, British Ardour, Empire Nomad and Ocean Valley, which had left Halifax on the 20th had so far a trouble free journey.

    04:30 The flower class corvette HMS Danelle, under the command of T/Lt. J.G. Rankin, RNR made an Asdic contact. With his boat just being in commission for eight days Oblt. Hellmuth-Bert Richard was manoeuvring for an attack on the general cargo ship Manchester Citizen. Together with Peter John Fitzgerald on HMS Churchill, the two destroyers dropped a dozen depth charges each forcing the U446 to the surface. The entire crew were rescued before she disappeared under the cold North Atlantic for the last time.

    05:00 After being pushed on during the night the American 1st Armoured Division along with the American 1st Infantry Division, the Free French Colonial Moroccan Infantry Regiment and the 1st Hunters of Africa Regiment formed a ten mile wide defensive line. It ran three miles west of Mejez el Bab from the Medjerda river south through the hills.

    05:30 The 41 ships of the Allied convoy PQ-15, which had departed Iceland two days prior, was joined by British battleship HMS King George V, American battleship USS Washington, British aircraft carrier HMS Britannia, 5 cruisers, 12 destroyers, and 4 submarines for its journey toward Murmansk, Russia; the convoy was spotted by German aircraft 200 miles northwest of Tromsø, Norway. On the same day, returning convoy QP-11 departed Kola Inlet in northern Russia; it was consisted of 13 merchant ships and was escorted by 6 destroyers, 4 corvettes, 1 trawler, and 4 minesweepers.

    05:45 Italian submarine Corallo sank Tunisian fishing boat Dar El Salam and the British tug HMS West Dean.

    06:15 The U-boat U612 Oblt. Paul Siegmann was spotted by an RNAS Sunderland in the Bay of Biscay. The flying boat swooped in low from the east, with the early morning sun obscuring there view, she wasn’t seen until it was too late. Her first bomb penetrated the bow before exploding in the torpedo room. The submarine disappeared almost immediately, but the resulting shock wave almost brought the aircraft down.

    06:45 The convoy FS03 consisting of three tankers, twelve general cargo ships and four troopships escorted by the warships HNLMS Java, HMAS Perth, HMS Eclipse, HMS Electra, HNLMS Witte de With, USS Pope and USS Stewart rendezvoused 8 miles north west of Jakarta, with Rear-Admiral Fredrick Rutland's Task-force consisting of HMS Fortitude, HMS Formidable the anti-aircraft cruisers HMS Curacoa and HMS Coventry; the heavy cruiser HMS Exeter, the light cruisers HNLMS De Ruyter, HMAS Perth, HNLMS Tromp and the destroyers, HNLMS Piet Hein, HNLMS Kortenaer, HNLMS Witte de With, USS John D. Edwards, USS John D. Ford, USS Pope, USS Parrott, USS Pillsbury, and USS Stewart. The fleet also include HMS Artifex, RFA Bacchus, RFA Cedardale, RFA Oligarch and RFA Winchester Castle.

    07:00 The British 6th Armoured division again attempted to advance towards Mateur travelling along both the road and railway line as they twisted and turned their way down the Melah valley. Despite a dozen air strikes during the day, the defending Italians ambushed the armoured columns at every opportunity.

    07:30 The mixed force of RMLI & US Rangers ambushed an ammunition convoy travelling west from Menzel Bourguiba. They first called in an air strike from four 40mm armed Grendel’s before they attacked with small arms fire. 15 soft skinned vehicles were destroyed.

    08:00 American artillery began bombardment if the Axis forces at Mejez el Bab.

    09:00 At the Oudna Aerodrome the Italians attacked the north-west corner of the defences. Peter Kemp’s Commandoes repulsed the attack with the Italians suffering heavy casualties.

    09:00 The British fleet of Invincible, Perseus, Duke of York, Howe, Imogen, Inglefield, Sutlej and the USS Paul Jones arrived at the Free French Naval Base at Luanda. During their six day voyage each of the ships crews spent their time repairing what battle damage they could. In true Royal Navy style each of the ships looked magnificent with the crews, lined up around the deck edges, splendidly dressed in their whites.

    11:30 U-222 which was getting ready to attack the convoy PQ-15 was spotted by one of Britannia’s swordfish. Several bombs were dropped covering a large area around where the submarine was thought to be. The ASW Trawler HMS Cape Palliser picked up an an asdic contact. Several depth charges later an oil slick was spotted on the surface. This was quickly followed by several pieces of debris and the bodies of German sailors.
     
  11. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    So Germany orders another Battleship. Interesting butterfly.
    New class?
     
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  12. Lord Wyclif Well-Known Member

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    Bismarck class
    Bismarck was laid down in July 1936 and completed in September 1940 sunk 24/05/41.

    Tirpitz was laid down in October 1936 and completed February 1941 sunk 08/02/42.

    H class 6 planned none ever completed.
    Ulrich von Hutten was laid down in July 1939 and launched September 1941 but was never commissioned.

    Götz von Berlichingen was laid down in September 1939 and launched September 1941 but was never commissioned.

    Franz von Sickingen was laid down April 1942 and was never completed.


    Graf Zeppelin was laid down 28/12/35 She was launched on 8 December 1938, and commissioned on April 1940 sunk 29/04/40

    Peter Strasser laid down December 1938 and completed on April 1942
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019 at 6:10 PM
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  13. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    I think the Graf's a strong contender for shortest serving carrier in history.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2019 at 4:50 AM
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