Keynes' Cruisers Volume 2

Does the Army see a manpower shortage developing?
The US Army in TTL is slightly larger than OTL 90 division army and the German Army is in better shape with fewer mass surrenders. Stalingrad was only a modest clusterfuck from the German POV instead of a fiasco mating with a disaster that it was in OTL; Tunisia was not a giant blackhole sucking in modern equipment, trained officers and NCOs as it was in 1943. The Italian front has not eaten up German units and spat them out, so the US Army is looking at a tougher than OTL German opponent when the battles starts in France so there is a reasonable anticipation of needing replacements to keep a larger army closer to full strength for longer.
 
The US had delayed induction from the draft a large number of young men on the condition that they get at least some college education with the intent that these men would by the backbone of the technical specialists and junior officers of the army in 1946 and 1947. In OTL the Army had started to use this pool as replacements by March 1944. More success in Italy has delayed that action by about a month in TTL.
They assigned people alphabetically. One college had 300 new students, 298 of whom were named Brown.
 
Lol... I believe you said something like that last year.. keep up the great work!
Yeah, pandemic hit and I got 7 months of timeline time in over 12 months of writing. The ability to write 300-400 words in between things disappeared for a while. Still it is not really there as my attention is either with kids or I'm over-committed to research and COVID related policy work.
 
Story 2486
Lyme Bay, England April 16, 1944

Seven columns of four ships apiece split apart. Small wooden warships led each quartet of assault transports to their holding area. Even as men from Canada, the United States, Norway and the United Kingdom started to scramble down nets into their landing craft, a monitor and four cruisers began their bombardment of farmers fields. Gunners ashore were shooting 1,000 yard offsets and shells began to splash into the sea before exploding. Mustangs, Spitfires and Thunderbolts patrolled overhead while Mitchells, Mauraders and Typhoons made their bombing runs.

Further off-shore three Polish manned Hunt class destroyers were the close escorts while most of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla along with HMS Spartan and Cleopatra patrolled for any invaders.

By nightfall, the landing parties were ashore. The beach was congested and the umpires had copious notes to distribute. This exercise was mostly a success. Another was scheduled for next week.
 
Story 2487
Near Strasbourg, April 17, 1944

Anna Marie brushed the fabric from her skirt. Some leaves were on her thighs. She caught her breath and looked around. She heard men screaming in pain. A truck that had come from the center of village and was heading to an anti-aircraft battery that defended the city was on fire. The screaming stopped when a dozen anti-aircraft shells that had been splashed by gallons of petrol began to cook-off.

She looked up and off to the north. The strafers were now barely visible as they headed back to England.

12,000 yards away from a young woman who had wanted to walk into the village center to pick up some herbs, have a cup of tea with some gossipping friends and perhaps catch the eye of the few young men available, two quartets of Mustang pilots spread out and up. One quartet climbed for altitude to protect the lower group from any German fighters that were looking to bounce crippled aircraft or rookies that had let down their guard. The other four aircraft stayed low and spread out. They had simple orders; strafe anything with an engine in it; preferably trains or planes, but trucks were fine. This secondary mission only ever activated after the bombers had turned for home and at times the squadron would be either bingo or out of ammo well before strafing could commence, but today, the German day fighters were not up for business in their group's sweep.

So they kept up their hunt for anything with an engine until they had crossed the coast on the Franco-Belgian border.
 
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Lyme Bay, England April 16, 1944

Seven columns of four ships apiece split apart. Small wooden warships led each quartet of assault transports to their holding area. Even as men from Canada, the United States, Norway and the United Kingdom started to scramble down nets into their landing craft, a monitor and four cruisers began their bombardment of farmers fields. Gunners ashore were shooting 1,000 yard offsets and shells began to splash into the sea before exploding. Mustangs, Spitfires and Thunderbolts patrolled overhead while Mitchells, Mauraders and Typhoons made their bombing runs.

Further off-shore three Polish manned Hunt class destroyers were the close escorts while most of the 10th Destroyer Flotilla along with HMS Spartan and Cleopatra patrolled for any invaders.

By nightfall, the landing parties were ashore. The beach was congested and the umpires had copious notes to distribute. This exercise was mostly a success. Another was scheduled for next week.

No E boat attack in this T/L
 
Story 2488
Near Montpelier, France 0300 April 18, 1944

The heavy cruisers Tourville and Duquesne secured their guns. They had bombarded their homeland for thirty minutes. Only in the last twelve did a pair of German coastal defense guns respond. The defending shells never came dangerously close to the cruisers. They twisted and they chased splashes even as the captains altered speeds from twenty six knots to sixteen and then back to twenty four. Full power went to the screws after the rudders stabilized the ships on their course that was a hair east of due south. Fighter cover was promised at dawn, but the fighters would be most useful for every mile closer to Corisca the cruisers could come. There were very few German bombers left operational in southern France, but the captains and the admiral's staff wanted to minimize the minutes that any German bomber could be uncontested to get lucky.
 
Story 2489
Southern France, 0330 April 18, 1944

Jacques checked his Sten. It was loaded and ready with a rag wrapped around the barrel. He looked up and down the line of men. They were ready. Hand signals were raised. In a moment, the column started to move, quietly but not slowly as they were not too concerned about soft noises in the night. The collaborator militias had learned by now that the night belonged to the maquis. The occasional German patrol was still encountered at night, but the risk of clearing the space from a cut phone line was higher than the risk of an ambush in the next hour.
 
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Southern France, 0330 April 18, 1944

Jacques checked his Sten. It was loaded and ready with a rag wrapped around the barrel. He looked up and down the line of men. They were ready. Hand signals were raised. In a moment, the column started to move, quietly but not slowly as they were not too concerned about soft noises in the night. The collaborator militias had learned by now that the night belonged to the maquis. The occasional German patrol was still encountered at night, but the risk of clearing the space from a cut phone line was higher than the risk of an ambush in the next hour.

Well that is a change, the German would not have allowed the resistance to carry out operations without a heavy and overwhelming response followed by reprisals against the population. Ceding the night is a significant concession made by an occupier.
 
Near Strasbourg, April 17, 1944

Anna Marie brushed the fabric from her skirt. Some leaves were on her thighs. She caught her breath and looked around. She heard men screaming in pain. A truck that had come from the center of village and was heading to an anti-aircraft battery that defended the city was on fire. The screaming stopped when a dozen anti-aircraft shells that had been splashed by gallons of petrol began to cook-off.

She looked up and off to the north. The strafers were now barely visible as they headed back to England.

12,000 yards away from a young woman who had wanted to walk into the village center to pick up some herbs, have a cup of tea with some gossipping friends and perhaps catch the eye of the few young men available, two quartets of Mustang pilots spread out and up. One quartet climbed for altitude to protect the lower group from any German fighters that were looking to bounce crippled aircraft or rookies that had let down their guard. The other four aircraft stayed low and spread out. They had simple orders; strafe anything with an engine in it; preferably trains or planes, but trucks were fine. This secondary mission only ever activated after the bombers had turned for home and at times the squadron would be either bingo or winchester well before strafing could commence, but today, the German day fighters were not up for business in their group's sweep.

So they kept up their hunt for anything with an engine until they had crossed the coast on the Franco-Belgian border.
Isn't winchester used by the pilot of an Air-to-Air missile armed fighter that has expended all missiles and is now down to guns only.
 
Well that is a change, the German would not have allowed the resistance to carry out operations without a heavy and overwhelming response followed by reprisals against the population. Ceding the night is a significant concession made by an occupier.
The vichy militias are ceding the night, not the Geemans
 
Isn't winchester used by the pilot of an Air-to-Air missile armed fighter that has expended all missiles and is now down to guns only.

I think Winchester is the modern term. I am not sure what it was during WW2 - sometimes guns would have the last rounds as solid tracer to let the pilot know he was going dry.
 
It might well not happen. Given the updates mentioning constant destroyer sweeps attacking German vessels all over the French coast in this this timeline compared to OTL.

Of course, we don't know the intensity or success rates of those sweeps. But it could well be that the E-boats that pulled this off have already been destroyed elsewhere.

Also the likely matter of more ships being available here might mean the E-boats have less opportunities for attacks or get spotted sooner.

Edit: Also of note - the exercises have started six days earlier than OTL and if they last the OTL schedule of eight days they will end on the 24th of April. The E-Boats attacked on the 28th.

Plenty of variables in play to change the event completely.
 
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There are also Coastal Command wings swapping around from base to base. Some of these wings were integrated units with squadrons made up of Mosquito's, Typhoons and Beaufighters who would attack enemy shipping and military ships/uboats and work them over. They pretty much had a free hand to go after anything they liked the look of normally with devastating effect from the Danish coast down to the Bay of Biscay. Of course it did lead to an incident just after D-Day when one unit worked over what they thought were E-Boats which turned out to be a RN ASW unit looking for U Boats, despite the ships showing the correct signals and colours the RAF pretty much sank most of them and the surviving ships barely made it to port. That one was so sensitive it wasn't declassified until the late 1990's.
 
It might well not happen. Given the updates mentioning constant destroyer sweeps attacking German vessels all over the French coast in this this timeline compared to OTL.

Of course, we don't know the intensity or success rates of those sweeps. But it could well be that the E-boats that pulled this off have already been destroyed elsewhere.

Also the likely matter of more ships being available here might mean the E-boats have less opportunities for attacks or get spotted sooner.

Edit: Also of note - the exercises have started six days earlier than OTL and if they last the OTL schedule of eight days they will end on the 24th of April. The E-Boats attacked on the 28th.

Plenty of variables in play to change the event completely.
Even IOTL there wasn't just one landing exercise - the drills started in late 1943
 
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