Keynes' Cruisers Volume 2

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by fester, Sep 13, 2018.

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  1. Curtain Jerker Well-Known Member

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    Oct 26, 2018
    My money is on the bolded scenario.

    I'm extremely curious as to the aftereffects of a post-war Western-aligned Germany that isn't divided into East and West. Excited to see where the author takes us.
     
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  2. Draconis Emperor of the North Pole.

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    You might have seen a more comprehensive prosecution of Nazi war criminals if postwar politics are different.
     
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  3. Threadmarks: Story 2141

    fester Well-Known Member

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    Pikermi Greece, July 22, 1943

    A machine gun started to fire into the smoke. Mortars spat out high explosive shells on a small patch of ground on the elbow of a ledge overlooking the road between Athens and the beach where the 1st Greek Division had started to land an hour ago. Seven miles off shore, French light cruiser Gloire shifted her guns ever so slightly before shells arced skyward. A minute later, the Greek speaking Foreign Legionnaire called in a correction. The paratroopers waited, holding their rifles in their hand as the cacophony of the battle became ever louder. Two minutes later, the cruiser was on target. She began to fire for effect, twenty seven shells a minute on a stretch of land larger than most multi-field football complexes but smaller than the polo grounds. As the shells burst into the maelstrom of smoke, steel and stones richocheting into bunkers, sand bags and bodies, the wounded and dying began to cry out in Italian. The defenders had forced back a hasty attack by two disjointed companies of paratroopers before dawn. Now an almost complete battalion along with odds and sods of the other three battalions that had landed in the area around the town overnight was preparing for a deliberate attack. Once this hill could be taken, or at least the Italians pushed over the crest and out of sight of the road, the infantry divisions now landing four miles away could get out of the bottleneck that the jagged crags of Attica created.

    Even as the French shells were ripping apart their native land, the Greek paratroopers started to scramble forward. A few Italian machine guns fired into the smoke at the spectral shapes some thought they saw or the bowel curling warcries that others heard. No Italian artillery was falling on the paratroopers, the wires had been cut an hour ago and the few forward observation posts had been taken by storm by little groups of paratroopers throughout the night. Any batteries firing on the hill would be firing blind and danger close. The paratroopers advanced, some dying back on the land that they had been driven from three years ago. But most fired a few shots, sprinted two dozen yards, finding cover, and then firing a few more shots as their compatriots advanced. An attacking platoon was destroyed in seconds as the X turret from Gloire fired long on her last salvo. Three six inch shells detonated in a tight cluster fifteen yards in front of the exposed men. It did not matter. As soon as the last shells landed, the entire battalion attacked in company wedges. The Italian defenders could see the human wave pick up speed only one hundred yards down the hill. They did not have enough time, their mine fields were not thick enough to winnow the rush, their wire had been smashed by the preliminary and supporting naval bombardment.

    Forty minutes later, the hill was secured. The road to Athens was being wedged open.
     
  4. fester Well-Known Member

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    You think I know that yet :)
     
  5. Draconis Emperor of the North Pole.

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    Another Allied capital will soon see its liberation. Just wow.
     
  6. mudhead Little-Known Member

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    Do you mean the Polo Grounds in New York, or just any polo ground?
     
  7. fester Well-Known Member

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    A
    Any polo ground
     
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  8. formion Well-Known Member

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    Winston is preparing his speech on the hill of Pnyx, the birthplace of democracy, with a nice background view of the Acropolis.
     
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  9. TonyA Curmudgeon like, but nastier

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    Ah, North and South Germany, "Wie gehts, y'all?"
     
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  10. jwgview Well-Known Member

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    What about the possibility of civil war in Poland?
     
  11. Unknown Member

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    It'd still be better for Poland than OTL, IMO...
     
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  12. formion Well-Known Member

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    Between whom? Communists in OTL had veeery little support before the arrival of the Red Army. Even if only Poznan is in WAllied hands, the London Poloish government still has more legitimacy than any stalinist puppet.
     
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  13. Winestu Well-Known Member

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    Given that Poland, as you say, is an ALLY;
    and that, from the Polish point of view, Poland was invaded by both Germany AND the Soviet Union;
    and that Poland only recently gained its independence after being occupied by its larger neighbors;
    and the Poles will find out about Katyn, if they haven’t found out already;
    and that Western Allied armies will either be on Poland’s border or in Poland...
    I’d say the Poles will be able to choose whatever government they want and there’s nothing Stalin can do about it short of going to war with Poland and the rest of the Allies.
     
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  14. Lascaris Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2005
    And the road out of Athens and the Peloponnese is being shut close. The allies I presume landed on the east coast from Laurion to Marathon, with the Greek I infantry division hitting the beaches at Rafina, with more landings both to its north at Nea Makri/Marathon and to its south at Porto Rafti and Laurion (which is the big port in the east coast at the time and a rail connection to Kifisia). Which means that their advance will put them right to the north of Athens proper cutting off one of the two main roads out of it. And with Attica taken the only road out of the Peloponnese is taking a boat from Rio and Patras to the opposite coast, straight into waiting partisans and bad roads.
     
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  15. Aristomenes Lord Of Morea

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    I hope the landing in Attica is reinforced with a lot more forces than just a division. What forces do the Germans have north of Athens? Are there any panzer divisions stationed in Thessaly or around Thessaloniki that could counter-attack? And if the landing proves to be a success and South Greece is liberated quickly, would Turkey be tempted to declare war to the Axis earlier than OTL? In OTL they declared war to Germany in February 1945, when the nearest German soldier was hundreds of miles away from Turkey's borders, hence the nickname "Evasive Neutral".
    https://www.amazon.com/Evasive-Neutral-Germany-Britain-Alliance/dp/0826202624
     
  16. formion Well-Known Member

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    Nov 25, 2011
    In OTL that was the OOB of the Axis in the Peloponnese:
    2 Italian infrantry divisions of the 11th army. However, there was a 3rd division (Sienna) that was transferred in summer 1943 to Crete. So I guess that in TTL there are 3 Italian infantry divisions.
    4 German divisions, 3 infantry and 1 panzer. It should be mentioned that in OTL there were the equivalent of 3 more German divisions in Crete and Rhodos. Now, with the Peloponnese much more exposed than in OTL, I guess at least some part of those troops are redirected in the Peloponnese.

    Overall, I think that there would be at least 7 Axis divisions in the Peloponnese (possibly up to 10), one of them panzer. This order of battle is excluding the garrison of Athens that was in OTL an Italian field division in addition to various other units. A large part of said garrison had to cover the entrance to the Saronic Gulf and the naval forts in the area.

    As Lascaris said, the Axis in the Peloponnese have to cross the sea to other side via Patras. That being said, the ports on the north side were basically fishing villages with little infrastructure and Patras harbor never had a great deal of big ships during the Axis occupation. The evacuation would need to be done mostly via boats under constant air threat (Cretan airfields are close by). That doesn't bode well for evacuating heavy equipment.

    Lets say the Axis manage to evacuate most of their troops minus equipment. Immediately after landing there are faced with 2 options: try to reach via the mountains Lamia, a train station at the other side of the mountains. Basically they would have to cross 170km of this terrain https://www.travelstyle.gr/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/oreini-naupaktia.jpg , on foot, in a partizan-infested region. The Allies on the other side, to reach Lamia they have to cross 210km of mostly flat terrain that has the best road network in Greece at the time. Moreover, there is not a single large enemy formation between Lamia and Athens according to the OOB.

    The most reasonable choice for the Axis is to retreat towards Epirus, via the same difficult terrain but at least with no danger of being totally cut-off in >1500m mountains. That is a long trek. The next railhead to that direction is 300km away and they would have to cross even more mountains.

    Wth the landing in the east of Attica basically a whole Axis field army is cut off and has no good choices. In the best case senario a large part of this force is bagged. In the worst case senario, this force looses its heavy equipment, suffers serious attrition and is out of action for weeks at least.


    Edit: @Aristomenes In OTL the only panzer division was in Peloponnese. The Germans had only 1 mountain division near Thessaloniki that could be transfered by train. Too bad that in OTL the partizans blew up strategic bridges to the south. So, the only reserves available in the Axis OOB are 2 Italian Infantry divisions in Thessaly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019 at 8:04 AM
  17. Threadmarks: Story 2142

    fester Well-Known Member

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    Rome, July 22, 1943

    The last bomber turned away. The anti-aircraft batteries south of the city finally stopped firing. They had been in action for over an hour. Six hundred bombers escorted by swarms of fighters had fought through the fighters and the flak. Most of the marshalling yards were destroyed. Incidentally several neighborhoods were burning bright and brilliantly as centuries old wood burned brilliantly.
     
  18. Threadmarks: Story 2143

    fester Well-Known Member

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    North of Larissa, Greece, July 23, 1943

    The radium coated watch hands glowed ever so slightly on the partisan's wrist. It was two minutes past midnight.

    His eyes darted back and forth. Something was wrong. Had the ops team been caught and knifed? They shouldn't have been. Two squads had swept the target area an hour ago and they would have found any preset ambush. By now, they had become good enough at noting infiltrators that no one should have been able to get past them on their overwatch on the far side of the objective. Another forty men were pulling security on this side of the target. What was happening.

    A muted crack and then a deep rumble rolled through the ground. Several miles to the north, another team had success. Composition B and timers were a wonderful combination for people who enjoyed destruction. But they were not his worry. What were his boys doing wrong?

    Nothing... the night lit up brilliantly for a moment and then the shock wave rolled through the air over his head. The railroad was cut in three more places. His men were just running four minutes late. It was time to find cover and avoid the Italian and German patrols that now knew where to look.
     
  19. Threadmarks: 9th Army Order of Battle for Operation ODIN

    fester Well-Known Member

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    Operation ODIN is the invasion of Attica with 9th UK Army as the operational HQ

    1st Greek Corps
    1st Greek Infantry Division (veteran/Libya)
    2nd Greek Infantry Division
    1st Greek Parachute Brigade (mostly built around the Sacred Bands....)
    23rd UK Armoured Brigade

    21st Indian Corps

    4th Indian Infantry Division
    6th Indian Infantry Division
    8th Indian Infantry Division
    31st Indian Armored Division


    5th Corps (South African command)
    2nd New Zealand Division
    56th UK Infantry Division
    4th South African Armoured Division
    6th South African Armoured Division
    22nd South African Infantry Brigade

    Odds and sods of all sorts of random trouble makers and pyromaniacs and useful lunatics as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019 at 11:55 AM
  20. Driftless Geezer

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    "And away we go!"
     
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