Keynes' Cruisers Volume 2

Story 2573 New
Kiev, Ukraine, May 27, 1944

Another train pulled into the railyard. Within minutes of the engine stopping, chocks on hundreds of trucks were being pulled out from underneath the wheels. Within an hour, the first engine had turned over. Soon a steady line of trucks built in Windsor and Detroit were following a quartet of GAZ derived armored cars.

By the time the convoy of trucks were heading to their staging area, another train arrived with a brigade's worth of factory fresh T-34s. The build-up continued.
 
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How much farther east is this version of Bagration starting? Also, has von Manstein been sacked? If not, could he pull off a TTL version of the Kharkov counter offensive?

Looking forward to seeing this play out.
 
No, this is not the Red Ball Express. The unit furthest from the pier is still within a few hours drive. This is well within normal truck mounted logistics range. The Red Ball Express was an ad hoc expedient given the inability of the US to use the French rail system to move logistics forward far enough to where truck mounted logistics than made sense for the last mile distribution.

That’s probably the best one paragraph summary of The Express that I’ve ever read. 👍
 
Story 2574 New
Iwo Jima, May 28, 1944

The American pilot had bailed out of his burning fighter. He had tried to get his damaged Hellcat as far out to sea as possible. There were submarines and float planes waiting to pick up pilots and aircrew who had to ditch from the heavy but fairly inaccurate anti-aircraft fire from the Bonins' garrisons. He had failed. His plane failed last than half a mile out to sea. Japanese sailors in wooden rowboats would soon capture him. The rumors of what happened to pilots who were captured were not good. He thumbed his .45 and decided to take at least one or two of the bastards with him instead of waiting to be beheaded.

Out to sea, the air group commanders were tallying up the reports from their squadrons. Losses were very light as they expected. Three of the four carrier task groups of the 5th Fleet were able to overwhelm any and all opposition. The last group had moved further south to refuel and replenish their magazines. It would take the place of the easternmost group tomorrow as the dozens of ships swapped positions for another day of strikes on the small Japanese outposts.
 
Whelp it just got proven to me yet again that you can know a lot about a topic and still always learn something new. :eek:

This is the first time I have ever learnt about the Red Ball Express that I know of.

So one question question I have about it was efficiency.
Was the Red Ball Express an efficient method in getting supplies to the front or was there a better method that could have been used? (This is looking at the situation as it was on D-Day itself and onwards.)
 
Whelp it just got proven to me yet again that you can know a lot about a topic and still always learn something new. :eek:

This is the first time I have ever learnt about the Red Ball Express that I know of.

So one question question I have about it was efficiency.
Was the Red Ball Express an efficient method in getting supplies to the front or was there a better method that could have been used? (This is looking at the situation as it was on D-Day itself and onwards.)
Given the Allies had bombed the RR infrastructure to pieces, it probably was as efficient as could be expected.

I'd like to see a TL where the WAllies look past the invasion towards conquering of German, and doesn't tear the infrastructure to shreds. Heck, even if solid rail lines allow the Germans to bring more armour forward, we can just kill it closer to our supply bases.
 
Given the Allies had bombed the RR infrastructure to pieces, it probably was as efficient as could be expected.

I'd like to see a TL where the WAllies look past the invasion towards conquering of German, and doesn't tear the infrastructure to shreds. Heck, even if solid rail lines allow the Germans to bring more armour forward, we can just kill it closer to our supply bases.
Wouldn't the Germans have just blown it up as they retreated if we hadn't wrecked it?
 

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The American pilot had bailed out of his burning fighter. He had tried to get his damaged Hellcat as far out to sea as possible. There were submarines and float planes waiting to pick up pilots and aircrew who had to ditch from the heavy but fairly inaccurate anti-aircraft fire from the Bonins' garrisons. He had failed. His plane failed last than half a mile out to sea. Japanese sailors in wooden rowboats would soon capture him. The rumors of what happened to pilots who were captured were not good. He thumbed his .45 and decided to take at least one or two of the bastards with him instead of waiting to be beheaded.
Is he someone with name we know? Maybe George Herbert Walker Bush? I know, he flew on an "Avenger" IOTL but butterflies...
 
Given the Allies had bombed the RR infrastructure to pieces, it probably was as efficient as could be expected.

I'd like to see a TL where the WAllies look past the invasion towards conquering of German, and doesn't tear the infrastructure to shreds. Heck, even if solid rail lines allow the Germans to bring more armour forward, we can just kill it closer to our supply bases.
In retrospect one can see that perhaps the extent of damage wasn't completely beneficial or needed. But the Allied planners how no way of gauging that at the time. It would have been helpful if the Allies could have captured a functional port and started repairing the railways immediately to better support the breakout from Normandy. But they did do all those things eventually. Ports and working railroads. Having those in the Summer of 1944 would have been greatly helpful.
 
In retrospect one can see that perhaps the extent of damage wasn't completely beneficial or needed. But the Allied planners how no way of gauging that at the time. It would have been helpful if the Allies could have captured a functional port and started repairing the railways immediately to better support the breakout from Normandy. But they did do all those things eventually. Ports and working railroads. Having those in the Summer of 1944 would have been greatly helpful.
Agreed. Even later would have been useful as well. IIRC one of the less well known delays was the slowness in clearing the estuary leading up to Antwerp. I think it was about 85 days after Antwerp was captured before it could be used because the German defenders kept ships out of the port until the estuary was cleared and Walcheren was captured.
 
Story 2575 New
Creances, France May 29, 1944

The rifle men advanced. They held their arms loosely as their eyes and ears searched for danger. A few dozen yards behind the first platoon entering the small seaside village was a jeep with a heavy .50 caliber machine gun. That gun team had been supporting this particular platoon for the past forty miles and two weeks of fighting.

Halfway through the village, the men were able to relax. The Germans had retreated. Their only danger was being smothered by overly enthusiastic kisses and body crushing hugs. One civilian was wounded as her foot was crushed by a clumsy machine gunner who had two left feet. He picked her up and spun her around while offering chocolate and cigarettes with his school boy French apologies.

By mid-afternoon, the rest of the battalion had arrived at the seaside village. The base of the peninsula was now secured even as three divisions were advancing on the outer works of the fortress of Cherbourg. They would fortify the village and and establish an outpost line heading inland to protect the corps flank from any German counter-attack coming out of St. Lo. Even as the infantrymen started to dig, the villagers had already begun to administer their justice on the collaborators. Some men were tarred and feathered. One man was beaten to within eight inches of his life --- an American medic had to treat him for a half dozen broken bones on his right side. Half a dozen young women who had been too friendly with their occupiers were now bald --- even though at least one of them had cried that her virtue was intact and asked for a sister from the convent to confirm her claim -- retribution for the hard four years of humiliation was being meted out. A few of the bolder girls tried to chat with the new soldiers who occupied their village for the first time.
 
Story 2576 New
West of Thessaloniki, Greece May 30, 1944

Along a three mile stretch of the Varda River's west bank, stretcher bearers were busy bringing wounded men to the rear. An artillery regiment was firing smoke to give cover to the two brigades that had tried to seize the east bank on the bounce. A pair of 88 batteries along with perhaps a company of Tiger Tanks had stopped the armoured infantry battalions from exploiting the small beachheads that had been seized just after dawn. The long barreled anti-tank guns had claimed at least two dozen Shermans and just as many universal carriers that had been trying to support the riflemen and engineers who had been caught up in enfildaded machine gun fire covering thickly laid minefields.

The South African armoured divisions would now pause for the day and wait for the New Zealand and Indian infantry to arrive for a deliberate assault. The easy advances were over now.
 
Creances, France May 29, 1944

By mid-afternoon, the rest of the battalion had arrived at the seaside village. The base of the peninsula was now secured even as three divisions were advancing on the outer works of the fortress of Cherbourg.

A much larger, faster advance on Cherbourg could have some interesting knock-on effects as far as the pace of advance on the Rhine ... and thus Berlin.

The Soviets are really going to be a lot worse off, geopolitically, in this TL.
 
West of Thessaloniki, Greece May 30, 1944

Along a three mile stretch of the Varda River's west bank, stretcher bearers were busy bringing wounded men to the rear. An artillery regiment was firing smoke to give cover to the two brigades that had tried to seize the east bank on the bounce. A pair of 88 batteries along with perhaps a company of Tiger Tanks had stopped the armoured infantry battalions from exploiting the small beachheads that had been seized just after dawn. The long barreled anti-tank guns had claimed at least two dozen Shermans and just as many universal carriers that had been trying to support the riflemen and engineers who had been caught up in enfildaded machine gun fire covering thickly laid minefields.

The South African armoured divisions would now pause for the day and wait for the New Zealand and Indian infantry to arrive for a deliberate assault. The easy advances were over now.

Axios I presume. Hmm... this time of year at least in more recent times it often has rather little water...
 
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