Keynes' Cruisers Volume 2

When in doubt, call for Uncle Victor....
Uncle: Every single gun in the division going after a target.
Victor: Corps level barrage...
Edgewire...
EVERY
#=/#
GUN
WITHIN
RANGE
of
ENEMY
Commonwealth artillery practice to be able to have a quick massive shoot at targets of opportunity. Forward observers could call in strike from every uncommitted gun in a regiment (24 tubes), divisional artillery (72 tubes), corps ( several hundred tubes) or army (Thor's hammer incarnate) plus regular preplanned fires. Given the Western Allied way of war is to throw steel instead of blood and the sea lanes are far more productive for the WAllies, there are massive shell stockpiles that are being used to make German and Bulgarian rear guards regret their life choices
The GPMG may be the queen of the battlefield but Artillery is God. And mobile artillery ie tanks is a bunch of queens and a god deciding the fate of all around her. lol

Never seen it as listed "officially" but a friend told me the very-unofficial name/call was "Fire In direct Support of Troops"... Aka "FIST of God", it's kind of why none of the military folk I know take the idea of a prepared military position being "overrun" by zombies seriously.

Randy
 
Time and the author will tell. But if the King and the Army want to keep their jobs (and heads), the British are better than the Soviets. Maybe some kind of civil war? Replacing the one in Greece OTL where the British/US and Soviet spheres of influence clashed?
Well, Bulgaria with its many mountains is ideal for guerilla activity. I think in a scenario like in TTL, there is a good chance that Greece will annex part of Bulgaria up to Ardas river. A more defensible border was sought out by Greece in OTL Paris Peace Conference. Since they had been invade by Bulgaria 3 times in the past 30 years (1913, 1916, 1941) and a brutal occupation of greek Thrace and east Macedonia, they wanted to anchor the border on the Rhodope Mountains.

A potential butterfly of the timeline, is the enlargement of the bulgarian occupation zone in Greece, since there was an active front and the Germans could provide only so many divisions. That would have been... harsh for the greek civilian population. In OTL even though the Bulgarians occupied a much smaller area than the Italians and the Germans (Germans occupited most of Greece after the italian armistice), executed more Greeks than the Germans and Italians combined: 40,000 executed by Bulgarians compared to 21,000 by Germans and 9,000 by Italians. A great portion of the rest of the population were expelled from the zone in an effort to ethnic cleanse it. It is worth mentioning that this happened despite minimal guerilla activity in the Bulgarian Zone. A more extensive bulgarian occupation will produce more deaths and ethnic cleansing.

Therefore, I think greek resolve regarding future borders will be even more hardened. Moreover, in TTL Greece has a functioning army and boots on the ground at Bulgaria. If we compare this to the OTL were the greek government had just a single brigade while there was a civil war going on, it is easy to see the more advantageous greek position.

Why am I mentioning this? In OTL Paris Peace Conference, the Communist Party of Bulgaria was making territorial demands regarding not just south Dobruja but also parts of northern Greece. If the TTL is forced to sign off the area south of Ardas river, I can see the communists lead a guerilla campaign against the "bourgeois - chiflik holding traitors".
 
Well, Bulgaria with its many mountains is ideal for guerilla activity. I think in a scenario like in TTL, there is a good chance that Greece will annex part of Bulgaria up to Ardas river. A more defensible border was sought out by Greece in OTL Paris Peace Conference. Since they had been invade by Bulgaria 3 times in the past 30 years (1913, 1916, 1941) and a brutal occupation of greek Thrace and east Macedonia, they wanted to anchor the border on the Rhodope Mountains.

A potential butterfly of the timeline, is the enlargement of the bulgarian occupation zone in Greece, since there was an active front and the Germans could provide only so many divisions. That would have been... harsh for the greek civilian population. In OTL even though the Bulgarians occupied a much smaller area than the Italians and the Germans (Germans occupited most of Greece after the italian armistice), executed more Greeks than the Germans and Italians combined: 40,000 executed by Bulgarians compared to 21,000 by Germans and 9,000 by Italians. A great portion of the rest of the population were expelled from the zone in an effort to ethnic cleanse it. It is worth mentioning that this happened despite minimal guerilla activity in the Bulgarian Zone. A more extensive bulgarian occupation will produce more deaths and ethnic cleansing.

Therefore, I think greek resolve regarding future borders will be even more hardened. Moreover, in TTL Greece has a functioning army and boots on the ground at Bulgaria. If we compare this to the OTL were the greek government had just a single brigade while there was a civil war going on, it is easy to see the more advantageous greek position.

Why am I mentioning this? In OTL Paris Peace Conference, the Communist Party of Bulgaria was making territorial demands regarding not just south Dobruja but also parts of northern Greece. If the TTL is forced to sign off the area south of Ardas river, I can see the communists lead a guerilla campaign against the "bourgeois - chiflik holding traitors".
I also think that Greece, due to its greater participation to the war effort might ask and receive Albanian Epirus (since Albania was theorically with the Axis). Maybe Cyprus too but that's perhaps a bit much.

And yes, I have a soft stop for Greece.
In fact, as a Frenchman, I have a soft spot for Ireland, Greece, Romania, Armenia, Lebanon, Poland and paradoxically Russia (this one often saddens me since the two countries have a tragic common history). In general, I have a soft spot for countries which traditionally have cultural ties with France and a large diasporia in my country (seriously: Lebanese food... Who can live without it?).
 
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I also think that Greece, due to its greater participation to the war effort might ask and receive Albanian Epirus (since Albania was theorically with the Axis). Maybe Cyprus too but that's perhaps a bit much.
Honestly, I think Albanian Epirus would be certainly annexed. From where the frontline is located, I think that northern Epirus is already under greek occupation. The region has a greek orthodox majority and the Greeks have bled there twice over the last 4 years. It would be very tough not to annex it post-war. In OTL it was not annexed because Greece was a very minor Ally with basically no army and Albania was already communist-controlled and neither Tito nor Stalin wanted a communist state to lose territory. Now Albania, if I understand correctly, it is occupied by Italians and Greeks.

In fact, as a Frenchman, I have a soft spot for Ireland, Greece, Romania, Armenia, Lebanon, Poland and paradoxically Russia (this one often saddens me since the two countries have a tragic common history). In general, I have a soft spot for countries which traditionally have cultural ties with France and a large diasporia in my country (seriously: Lebanese food... Who can live without it?).
I feel you in this. I think it is natural. Likewise, as a Greek, I have a soft spot for countries that had cultural ties with Greece. For us, common citizens regardless the country of origin, cultural ties and common historic experiences are more important than treaties and political ties. For example, I cannot think of better ambassadors to France than the passengers of Mataroa and (my favorite lecturer) Helene Ahrweiler. Or the ties with the Armenians, born out of common misery and catastrophe, rather than politics.

Speaking of Lebanese, I don't think I have met more francophile people as a group than the Maronites.

By the way, in "The Unwanted Clairvoyant", I am rooting for the Alexandretta landing as it butterflies the liquidation of the Cilician Armenians and the Great Famine in Lebanon. So, yeah, cultural ties can shape my preferences in alt history (not that avoiding genocide on its own is not a valid reason).
 
Story 2540
Barrow-in-Furness, July 24, 1944

The yard was not as busy as it had been. The tidal wave of wartime construction had been wrapping up. A single light aircraft carrier was still demanding significant attention. Her sister still looked more like a construction project than a warship. Half a dozen destroyers and an equal number of small submarines were in various stages of upkeep, modernization and rectification of issues identified during trials. The order that the yard managers were counting on to keep the workforce busy for the next year was eleven additional Pacific submarines. The telegram today had ended that hope. Ten were to never proceed to the procurement of long lead time items. One was to be significantly redesigned as a trials and test vessel. The transition away from war was happening even as thousand gun barrages opened up holes on the Western Front.
 
I also think that Greece, due to its greater participation to the war effort might ask and receive Albanian Epirus (since Albania was theorically with the Axis). Maybe Cyprus too but that's perhaps a bit much.
To remember the somewhat ironic Greek paraphrasing of the beatitudes "blessed the possessing the land". If TTL the Greek army or partisans are in control of North Epirus, they likely get it. For Bulgaria I short of have my doubts, by all accounts the US state department feared Greece would just get a large not particularly friendly Muslim minority. Of course the irony is that at the time when said minority had to chose between Greece or Bulgaria with Turkey not an option it tended to lean towards Greece. But overall the full extend of Greek territorial demands against Bulgaria at Paris is entirely unlikely. The minimum that was 2,000 km with about 40,000 people mostly not ethnic Bulgarian might be somewhat more feasible.
 

Driftless

Donor
The slowing of war orders early may well result in Fairbanks-Morse getting he OK to build the FM H-10-44 locomotive https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FM_H-10-44 earlier, and sadly, dieselization to move along faster.

I have always loved steam locomotives, but the sparks from coal-fired locomotives have contributed to a goodly share of prairie and forest fires over the years in the often tinder-dry and combustible Western US. From that standpoint alone, diesel was a big improvement.
 
Story 2541
West of Besancon, France July 25, 1944

'fuck, fuck fuck'

"Medic, medic to the right'

"Keep your sights low"

The German rearguard had struck again. Half a dozen mortars and a trio of machine guns had the company bracketed. The scouts were tangled up with another fight further east. The Frenchmen would be on their own until the Pennsylvania National Guard was able to get their acts together.

The veteran sergeant looked left. The BAR team was already starting to lay down a base of fire. One of the replacements had been gut shot fifteen yards away. The corporal closest to the dying nineteen year old had already injected the first syringe of morphine. Another syringe was being made ready. It would do little beyond make passage to the other side easier and lower the volume of screams. He looked right. The other squads in the platoon were starting to move to cover and flank the German position.

Over the next fifteen minutes, the Germans would fire their mortars for a minute and then relocate. Any helmet that came off the ground was soon targeted by the machine gunners. The Americans were firing back. Five minutes ago, one of the company machine guns was finally in good position to start sending bullets back down at the Germans. That seemed to slow the return fire as the German gunners became a little more cautious and displaced more frequently. Jaroshek had crawled over to the rifle section of his squad. The corporal was a veteran of Italy. The rest of the men had joined the division since they had landed in France as replacements. One seemed competent. The rest were shitting their pants at their first hard contact. He got into the fighting positions that they had scraped out and fired a clip from his carbine before rolling a few yards to the right. He did not care if he came within a dozen yards of hitting a German, he just needed those replacements to keep firing in the general direction of the Germans.

Even as the replacements increased the weight of fire, B Company tried to flank the German position. They ran into a small minefield covered by another machine gun.

An hour later and two more wounded men, the squad pulled back a couple of dozen yards to a small roll in the ground. The replacements took off their helmets and the veterans slapped them on the back of the head --- this was a good spot for a dozen mortar rounds to drop on them--- keep your helmets on. They drank water from their canteens and then grabbed more ammunition. Even as they rested for a few minutes, a platoon of Hellcats came to a stop a few score yards down the road. The tank destroyers had not had many German tanks to destroy in months. However, they had gotten quite good at getting German infantry to give up or die in place. The LT came over and briefed the sergeant on the plan-- real simple, advance with the tank destroyers, keep an eye out for mines and draw fire until the heavy Brownings and the big cannons could fire. Simple enough.

"Up and at em boys, at a steady walk"

A Company soon was breaking cover as the tank destroyer commanders fired their heavy machine guns, the light company mortars and the heavy battalion mortars and the artillery battalion attached to the regiment fired a mix of smoke and high explosives. Strings of bullets came from the German position. Most were going high through the smoke. Over the next five hundred yards, Jaroshek only fired a half dozen times, each time when he was near a private that needed the re-assurance that he was not letting down the veterans in his squad. The tank destroyers were guided around a small minefield and then they started to fire at anything that looked hostile. As the American riflemen came within a few dozen yards of the German positions, bayonets were fixed, grenades were taken out of pouches, and then they charged behind a wall of steel --- An hour later, C-Company had started the division's advance again even as A and B company reloaded and recovered. The MPs had only a few wounded prisoners to process --- the Germans had their chance to do just enough but had decided to be heroes instead.
 
Story 2542
East of Mons, Belgium July 26, 1944

The 5th and 6th Royal Norfolks began the morning cautiously advancing. Small rearguards had claimed a few lives here and there for the past week. Drivers were often more dangerous than Germans. This morning a trio of Austers were already orbiting overhead as the lead riflemen began to enter the city where their fathers and uncles had made their first contact with the Germans thirty years ago. By morning tea, the only impediment to the advance of the 53rd Brigade was exuberant civilians celebrating their liberation. Libations were offered in exchange for kisses, hugs, and twirling young women. The companies were delayed until after lunch as order was restored and the supply lines assured and then the riflemen kept on heading east with the goal of arriving on the outskirts of La Louviere before nightfall.
 
Story 2543
Kuroshima, Japan July 27, 1944

The fighter strip was busy. Mechanics had been awake since 0300. A full fighter group of Mustangs had taken off just before 0600. Twenty minutes behind the fighter sweep, several dozen Marauders were clawing for altitude. Their target was the docks in Keelung's harbor. A small coastal convoy had arrived the night before, and there was a chance that half a dozen ships could be sunk before they were unloaded. If the bombers missed today, they would mine the harbor shut tomorrow.

A few miles away, the first of the super-heavy bombers was being bedded down at the brand new airfields that had been the entire purpose of seizing these islands. Over two hundred bombers were scheduled to be on the island by Labor Day. Now only a dozen were in their revetments and each had at least a dozen mechanics going over them as if they were colicky babies.
 
East of Mons, Belgium July 26, 1944

The 5th and 6th Royal Norfolks began the morning cautiously advancing. Small rearguards had claimed a few lives here and there for the past week. Drivers were often more dangerous than Germans. This morning a trio of Austers were already orbiting overhead as the lead riflemen began to enter the city where their fathers and uncles had made their first contact with the Germans thirty years ago. By morning tea, the only impediment to the advance of the 53rd Brigade was exuberant civilians celebrating their liberation. Libations were offered in exchange for kisses, hugs, and twirling young women. The companies were delayed until after lunch as order was restored and the supply lines assured and then the riflemen kept on heading east with the goal of arriving on the outskirts of La Louviere before nightfall.
The Allies already in Belgium in July? That's going to change things....
 
Ahh too bad. I love Harry Truman - if I ever get the free time I want to write a book on the batshit crazy 1948 election.

Assuming you are referring to Wallace here in the part I bolded? Also assuming Roosevelt dies more or less on schedule I'm curious how a Wallce presidency shapes up.

WAllies done better shouldn't lead to Democrats party bosses thought Wallace is OK. Perhaps other OTL initial short lists candidates like Sam Rayburn etc. got selected?

There's also a seldom cover issue: how Chetniks (only briefly discussed by member at #4,224 and #4,225) doing at this moment? While many in the thread speculating Greek Civil War butterflied away, but would we got a much earlier and bloodier Yugoslavia Civil War? Which mix ideology and ethnic strife?

I've also got a feeling TTL Operation Bagration objective was Race to Balkan, which was precise opposite of OTL.
 
WAllies done better shouldn't lead to Democrats party bosses thought Wallace is OK. Perhaps other OTL initial short lists candidates like Sam Rayburn etc. got selected?

There's also a seldom cover issue: how Chetniks (only briefly discussed by member at #4,224 and #4,225) doing at this moment? While many in the thread speculating Greek Civil War butterflied away, but would we got a much earlier and bloodier Yugoslavia Civil War? Which mix ideology and ethnic strife?

I've also got a feeling TTL Operation Bagration objective was Race to Balkan, which was precise opposite of OTL.
The liberal Democrats did better in 1938 which is what is driving the change.

And yes, TTL Bagration objective was to destroy German forces in the Ukraine and not German forces in Belarus per OTL.
 
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Story 2544
Riga, Latvia July 28, 1944

The train left the station. Almost 5,000 men with their personal gear and light crew served weapons were aboard the cars that were designed to hold in some comfort perhaps 2,000 men. The journey would not be far, just a few hours to the southwest where they would resume taking defensive positions for to cover the leaping withdrawal of Army Group North. Two divisional fragments were being left in Riga with the heavy weaponry of a corps that could not be evacuated in time. They would trade for time as two dozen divisions headed towards the fortifications and supply dumps in East Prussia.
 
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Story 2545
Boston, July 29, 1944

The heat hung heavily on her skin. A single paddle fan attempted to move the languid air about the small room. Elaine bit into the eraser on her pencil and scratched out a few more notes on the sheet of paper that was on her small desk. Three hours of studying had already been committed to for the day. She wanted to put in another three before dinner with half a dozen friends. Twenty minutes later, she finished the chapter and allowed herself the reward of running to the corner store for a cold tonic and then a check at the mail box. A battered letter from Patrick was her reward.

He was well, or at least was well as of a month ago, and she had not received a Western Union telegram, so he likely was still well.

The rest of the day passed quickly.
 
The train left the station. Almost 5,000 men with their personal gear and light crew served weapons were aboard the cards that were designed to hold in some comfort perhaps 2,000 men. The journey would not be far, just a few hours to the southwest where they would resume taking defensive positions for to cover the leaping withdrawal of Army Group North. Two divisional fragments were being left in Riga with the heavy weaponry of a corps that could not be evacuated in time. They would trade for time as two dozen divisions headed towards the fortifications and supply dumps in East Prussia.
This is huge. In TTL's Courland Pocket, 2 instead of 26 divisions are trapped. The soviet thrust towards East Prussia and Poland will be slower with 200,000 Germans in two field armies escaping south.
 
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