Keynes' Cruisers Volume 2

Story 2503
RAF Korat, April 30, 1944

The airbase that had previously been rice paddies before the surrender of Thailand and the kingdom's switching sides. This morning two squadrons of Lancasters completed their first mission. The recently arrived and newly raised bomber squadrons had taken the long way from Bomber Command's birthing centers of OCU and HCUs. First they had flown to Casablanca, and then to Alexandria and hopped to Muscat. Five days of rest and repairs were needed as the bombers flew to Bombay before departing for the combat base. This base was only a few miles from a rail head and next to a decent roadlink to the conquered kingdom's capital. Liberty ships and Empire ships were steadily bringing supplies to Bangkok even as a railroad was being cut across the Burma-Thailand border to connect Bangkok with Rangoon so that the merchant ships could be better used elsewhere.

A few miles down the road, three Free French Maurader squadrons were getting ready to hit targets near Da Nang once the fighter sweep could be confirmed.
 
Wow. Lancs in Thailand. Who would have thought. And the building of this TL's Bangkok to Rangoon railroad won't be built over the bones of slave labour. I do like this TL.
 
Wow. Lancs in Thailand. Who would have thought. And the building of this TL's Bangkok to Rangoon railroad won't be built over the bones of slave labour. I do like this TL.
The Lancaster force to SE Asia is going to be tiny (3 squadrons or so) and RAF SE-ASIA as well as Far East Fleet and the Far East ground forces are mostly happy to be sitting still and mainly laying siege to French Indochina and SW China
 
Story 2504
Naples, Italy May 1, 1944

Smoke pots were lit as an air raid had been spotted out to sea by an trio of motor gunboats relocating to Corsica. Fighters had been scrambled and the radar teams were directing an interception against fast and low intruders. Odds were that the Germans would be bounced on their exit instead of during their attack. Anti-aircraft gunners from half a dozen nations were manning their positions. The unloading of the 92nd Infantry Division as well as first five hundred men of the of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force as paused. The sky soon erupted in dirty black shell bursts. Twin engine bombers seldom rose more than one hundred meters above the sea. Some bombers seldom were more than ten meters above the sea once they had made the turn into the bay. Two cartwheeled into the bay. The rest bored in. Some of the bombs that were skipped exploded against the mole, more sank without result. Half a dozen skipped like the stones thrown by bored boys on a lazy summer day before exploding against the hulls of three merchant ships.
 
Do the allies hold all of Thailand?

Also are there any plans for limited offences into French Indochina? presumably to be done by Free French forces.
 
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Do the allies hold all of Thailand?

Also are there any plans for limited offences into French Indochina? presumably to be done by Free French forces.
Thailand flipped. Very limited Free French ground forces east of Tunisia at the moment as they are all tasked to a higher priority project
 
Story 2502
Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, May 2, 1944

LST 34, 242 and 243 were the first three transport ships in their column. The convoy was assault loaded for a full division ready to go ashore. Overhead a quartet of Avengers circled the convoy from the escort carrier that provided the close watch. An old Omaha class cruiser provided protection against any, rare surface raiders while a dozen war time expedient ships and two Farragut class destroyers probed the warming waters for German submarines.

A flag went up. A moment later, the 11 knot convoy resumed navigating on their base course after six hours of practicing zig-zagging based on the habits of the escort commander in the light cruiser at the head of the landing ships and assault transports. Speed was deemed to be safer than increasing the difficulty of a firing solution. As the convoy got closer to the German bases on the Bay of Biscay, that calculation would likely change, but that was another problem for another day as a division was heading to war.
 
Thailand flipped. Very limited Free French ground forces east of Tunisia at the moment as they are all tasked to a higher priority project
I knew it had flipped, I was including Thailand in the the allies. I more wondered if Japanese forces were able to hold on to any parts of Thailand after Thailand switched sides.
 
I knew it had flipped, I was including Thailand in the the allies. I more wondered if Japanese forces were able to hold on to any parts of Thailand after Thailand switched sides.
Nope, logistics ran through Bangkok plus a pissed off Australian corps to go after hold-outd
 
Story 2503
Corsica, May 3, 1944

The skies had darkened again. Another two medium bomb groups were forming up. The target this afternoon was a set of bridges south of Lyon. A railyard near Marseilles was being bombed right now by a similar sized strike. There was no fighter escort directly attached to the bombers. Instead a dozen squadrons were free roaming looking for targets and seeking opportunities that were becoming scarce. German fighters often would appear on dawn raids and then they would be hidden on side strips and tucked into caves or bunkers to avoid the strafers and fighter bombers that had caused enough wrecks and kills on the ground.

Several hundred miles to the north, the 8th Air Force was assembling a trio of strike packages for targets near Rouen, Amiens and St. Quentin.
 
Story 2504
Lemnos, Greece May 3, 1944

The last escort fighter took off. It was the tail end Charlie of seven scores of Mustangs and five dozen Spitfires. Half an hour behind the butterball on his first mission, two hundred Liberators were climbing for altitude. Three hours later, the bombers were flying through flak as the fighters pounced on the few defenders that were flying off of locally refined aviation fuel. The experten typically survived being mobbed by avoiding the mobbing, but the rookies who had perhaps 200 hours did not know that they were about to be bounced half a dozen to two until their wingman was screaming for assistance and then floating to the ground on a parachute if he was lucky.
 
Story 2505
Narvik, Norway May 3, 1944

HMS Indefagitable turned back into the wind. The morning strike was soon being recovered. The strike commander in a Firefly's rear seat had leapt from his seat as soon as the pilot had brought the plane to a stop. He carried his camera in his hand and handed it off to the technician who took the film deep into the ship. The strike commander went the other direction and headed to the Admiral's briefing room. There, half a dozen men waited for new information. Two tankers, half a dozen lesser ships, and a trio of barges were on fire or sinking. The fighter defenses were slow to respond but fairly thick. Once the raid had been detected, flak was increasingly heavy and reasonably accurate against the torpedo bombers.

Twenty minutes later, signals were raised. One last strike would be launched in the early afternoon where two dozen Albacores and Tarpons would mine the fjord before Home Fleet withdrew to the safety of the vast Northern Seas.
 
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