Keynes' Cruisers

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by fester, May 19, 2016.

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  1. stubear1012 Well-Known Member

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    I feel sorry for Anna Marie. I wonder how many female agents were wrongly punished or killed after the war because their handler was dead or was not available when the mob came.
     
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  2. fester Well-Known Member

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    a) A lot
    b) Her best option is to run like hell until she sees a town where she knows no one and then go another fifty miles
    c) I don't know what her outcome will be. She is alive as of mid-1942
     
  3. sarahz Well-Known Member

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    you are not a new Zealander are you?
     
  4. mudhead Little-Known Member

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    No. But every New Zealander I know assures me that the portrayal of Australians in Flight of the Conchords is 100% accurate.
     
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  5. sarahz Well-Known Member

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    not necessarily toast, but she will need protection, let us hope that that is organised come liberation if she makes it that far, OTL not every agent was saved from lynch mobs.
     
  6. sarahz Well-Known Member

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    traditionally some would be doing the south Georgia penguin population survey
     
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  7. David Flin Less realistic than a Mills and Boon novel.

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    Technically, it's not entirely clear whether she's an agent or an asset. The first is trained, and the latter typically doesn't know what their role is. She's in neither camp. OTL, assets were (and are) left to fend for themselves once their usefulness has passed. The handler is constantly evaluating the balance between what the asset offers, and what the cost is of maintaining that asset. When the gain drops to zero, zero effort is put into protecting the asset.

    Who is going to protect her? Her handler is too valuable to risk being uncovered, and assets are two-a-penny. Anyone protecting her is automatically going to reveal what they are, and that means blowing their own cover.

    Furthermore, once liberation has come, she's of no more value to the organisation running her. There is no gain to be had in protecting her.

    Indeed, there's gain to be had for another one of your assets to finger her as a collaborator. You exchange a piece that has no more value to you in order to promote a piece you still have in play.

    Handlers and such organisations are not well-known for their humanitarian considerations.

    Unless she is incredibly lucky, which will probably involve getting out from under before Liberation, Anna Marie is almost certainly, to use an ambiguous word, totally screwed.
     
  8. Threadmarks: Story 0770

    fester Well-Known Member

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    October 13, 1941 Tokyo


    The heavy gaijan stumbled out of the bar. His head would hurt tomorrow but he did not care. He had sent another round of messages back to Moscow. They had praised his team’s work from the summer and he knew they would be pleased with the current information. Japan had no interest in going north and was highly likely to be heading south instead.

    As he stumbled back to his apartment, eight secret policemen grabbed him. Four held him as another man chloroformed the suspected spy. Within seconds, they all were moving the heavy body into a waiting truck. The snatch team delivered their target to interrogation and counterintelligence teams that were waiting to begin identifying the depth of the breach that this man had perpetrated.
     
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    fester Well-Known Member

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    October 13, 1941 Valletta, Malta

    Penelope and Aurora led the convoy in. Eleven ships had departed Alexandria. Two tankers and a coaster had started the journey two days earlier from Haifa joined the convoy just north of Benghazi. Force K had met up with the close escort force 150 miles east by southeast of the harbor. The six modern cruisers and eleven destroyers were jumped once by a small air raid by Italian torpedo bombers but the Fulmars from Formidable had scored a pair of kills and disrupted the attack. A single 1,500 ton bulk cargo ship had been lost to an Italian submarine and a larger tanker was being towed into the harbor after she struck a mine 17 miles off-shore. By mid-afternoon all thirteen surviving cargo ships were tied up to a pier. Most were under camouflage nets of some sort and the smoke pots were lit around the harbor to obscure the high value targets from any follow-on attacks.

    By mid-afternoon of the next day, the close escort of four cruisers and six destroyers were formed up outside of the Grand Harbor even as a dozen motor launches and coastal minesweepers re-sanitized the path to the open seas. Behind the escort ten ships from the late September convoy were ready to head back in ballast to Alexandria.
     
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    fester Well-Known Member

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    October 14, 1941, Cavite Naval Yard

    The shipyard was busy. Marblehead was in the Dewey Drydock having her bottom scraped while work gangs were retubing her boilers. Houston was loading ammunition as she was due on the firing range the next morning while barges and lighters were ferrying supplies from Cavite to Mariveles to support the submarines and coastal torpedo boat base that has been established there. The magazines had been declared operational the previous week and the hillside tunnels were far more secure than the above ground bunker at Cavite.


    USS Walker and three of her sisters were being attacked by a voracious gang of paint locusts. Coolies and sailors were scraping the ships down to the original paint and repainting the fast minelayers into tiger stripe camouflage patterns. The other fast minelayer division had already gone through the process and besides losing some visibility, all of them gained stability as years of paint had disappeared and that lessened the top weight of the ships. Besides looking snazzy, each of the converted destroyers would also leave the refit with a single twin 1.1 inch anti-aircraft mount and four new 20 millimeter machine guns. They had to land the single three inch gun and half of their depth charges to accommodate the anti-aircraft guns but they were not fleet escorts, they needed to only be able to defend themselves.
     
  11. fester Well-Known Member

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    In my mind, Anna Marie is 95% Asset and her long run future has far more branches of the probability tree that range from unpleasantly screwed to completely screwed instead of Happily Ever After when Nana can tell great stories to her grand kids in the 1990s
     
  12. Driftless Incipient Geezer Donor

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    In your mind's eye: how self-aware is she of the potential future threat from her own countrymen?
     
  13. Logan2879 Logan2879

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    @fester good update on the Asiatic Fleet with those eight destroyers minelayers and it seems both cruisers are going to get a fast refit, specially Marblehead which her engines are getting fix as her boilers. Also Houston is getting new ammunition thats good to hear now to wait forma her radar and a quick paint job and she is ready to go.

    Other then Walker what destroyers minelayer were sent?
     
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  14. pdf27 Making sparks fly!

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    One thing to remember is that France is an odd case - after the liberation there is a positive benefit to be gained from exposing assets as having worked for you, in that it promotes your organisation as having been instrumental in the liberation and hence increases your political influence in the postwar government. Prior to the liberation she's hugely at risk, but afterwards protecting her should be easy - just make sure she appears with an "FFI" armband and weapon right after the Germans leave and people will draw the correct conclusion.
    Where she's at risk is if her handler/contact gets caught - if the Germans don't nab her then the French will after the war, since nobody will know that she's an asset and she will therefore be assumed to be a collaborator.
     
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  15. David Flin Less realistic than a Mills and Boon novel.

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    The whole point of assets is that, in the final analysis, they are expendable. Exposing the role your organisation played is not the sort of thing they like doing at the best of times, and an exposed asset is without value. The political influence one horizontal with have, even if proclaimed as another Mata Hari, is as close to zero as makes no difference.

    The whole point with assets is that you don't want people to draw the correct conclusion about them. If her handler is working for anyone other than the Free French, then there is no benefit to be gained from protecting her. None whatsoever. If her handler is working for the Free French, then her odds are better, but not by much. There is a need for collaborators to punish, and revealing her as an asset also puts her contacts at risk, because they have been identified as potential assets or handlers, and others are taking note.

    Her handler just isn't going to lift a finger to protect her. It reveals that he is a handler, and even giving her an armband and a rifle and hoping for the best just isn't going to fly. "Oh look. She was working for the FF as a horizontal. That means she was collecting information. Who did she speak to?" Assets are expendable. Handlers aren't.

    If she gets out from under, it will be entirely under her own initiative.
     
  16. fester Well-Known Member

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    At this time, she is about 2% aware of the long run threat to her long run safety. She thinks that being an intelligence resource will offer sufficient protection. That perception may or may not change in the future.

    See everything David Flin is writing!
     
  17. torten Well-Known Member

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    Ah. But when the Liberation of France begins, then gaining a rifle and armband and generally getting involved in fighting the Germans (Especially if the officer moves away without her - won't the agent want to make use of a near useless asset, this is if Anna Marie doesn't do this on her own accord.) will certainly help, and while some people will want to string her up from a lamp post, many will believe her stories of resistance to the Germans and leave her alone (even if she does end up legging it.)

    And being done as a collaborator doesn't mean death. Being tarred and feathered, or having her head shaved and being forced to march through the town with a sign saying "German Whore" isn't a nice ending, but she would still be alive (and therefore she can leg it to somewhere else.)
     
  18. mudhead Little-Known Member

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    Five days earlier than IOTL. Wonder if it's coincidence that he was taken after assuring Moscow that the USSR was safe in the Far East, for the moment. We'll find out soon.

    Good. The 10/12/41 IJNAF raid was devastatingly accurate.
     
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  19. David Flin Less realistic than a Mills and Boon novel.

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    All possible. Her outcome would be in her hands. Her handler's unlikely to lift a finger to help.
     
  20. fester Well-Known Member

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    I have not de-conflicted the names but I am taking the destroyers that were scrapped in 1936/1937 and made them mine-layers:

    163 Walker
    165 Meredith
    166 Bush
    172 Anthony
    173 Sproston
    176 Renshaw
    177 O’Bannon
    94 Taylor

     
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