Sir John Valentine Carden survives.

Lieutenant Do-it-all is reported to the Military Police for threatening a civilian. Military officers and men are governed not only by military law but civilian law as well even in wartime in a war zone. Civilian ship's crew would be protected by that law and if militant enough, the good Lieutenant could cause the entire ship's crew to go on strike. Diplomacy can often achieve much greater results than threats.
Not necessarily, depends which articles they got the crew to sign.
 
Lieutenant Do-it-all draws Webley revolver and suggests cowering crewman thinks again.
Lieutenant Do-it-all is reported to the Military Police for threatening a civilian. Military officers and men are governed not only by military law but civilian law as well even in wartime in a war zone. Civilian ship's crew would be protected by that law and if militant enough, the good Lieutenant could cause the entire ship's crew to go on strike. Diplomacy can often achieve much greater results than threats.
Quite.

At Calais, even though the docks were still operational, the British dockers sent across with the BEF were among the first to be evacuated.
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
The Evacuation.

The Evacuation of part of the BEF from the Channel Ports in 1940, was a magnificent example of British making it up as you go along. Unlike Gallipoli during WWI, which was planned for or Hamgham during the Korean police action, where overwhelmingly American air power and naval forces, prevented the North Korean forces intervention. This evacuation was very much done on the fly, planned on the back of a fag packet with a pencil. And while the French whose ports were being used, were not consulted or included in the planning. The commander on the ground made the decision to evacuate before he told London, and started the process, then London had to play catch up, and put in place the facilities to carry out the nonexistent plan. All this was done while the British PM, was trying to bolster the resolve of the French and keep them in the war, but what was I believe the first example of shuttle diplomacy.

Let us know look at what happen IOTL, and what we can assume is going to happen ITTL. First of all let’s dispel some of the myths around the Dunkirk story. The little boats, while a magnificent example of British improvisation, didn’t play a major part in the evacuation, the vast majority of men were evacuated by the RN and French Destroyer Fleet, the British cross channel and inter island ferry fleet, and the Merchant Navy. Nor were the majority of the little boats maned by their civilian owners, they were maned by RN personnel, taken from shore bases, or off ships in docks. Dunkirk wasn’t an event that can be seen in isolation, there was as much improvisation in Britain as across the Channel. And it involved the whole nation, not just the Channel Ports.

So how does a soldier get out of Dunkirk and back to Britain, and once there what happens to him, and at this time, other than a few nurses it’s a him. The majority of women who got out of Europe , came from other ports and were ether refugees or British expats. There are three ways he can get home, up a gangplank onto a ship in the harbour, across a plank/ladder onto a ship off the East Mole, or by wading into the sea of the beach, being dragged over the gunwale into a small boat, then from there straight home, or by transferring up a rickety rope ladder onto a ship. The first is easy and provided he has his personal equipment with him, will enable him to carry it and any personal weapons, possibly even squad weapons with him. Squad weapons such as mortars, medium machine guns, any thing that is man portable. Off the East Mole, again provided he has it with or on him. Personal equipment and weapons, but not squad weapons, unless he is very strong, or the tide is right. Off the beach, he will be lucky to keep his clothes on, and items such as a great coat, would be discarded, along with most personal weapons, officers might keep hold of their pistols. He also might be able to keep his tin hat and a haversack, though this isn’t a given.

The first is reliant on the harbour being kept open, and the ships being able to enter/exit manoeuvre along side the dock, and the cranes being available to place the gangplank/ gangplanks in position. If the cranes are out of action, or there isn’t the dockers/crane drivers to operate them, you are going to have to improvise. ITTL it should be possible to keep the docks/harbour in Dunkirk open for longer than it was IOTL, how much longer is the question. Here we need to diverge and look at the various types of troops, and how they are dealt with. Troops fall into three basic categories, organised, semi organised, and unorganised . Organised troops are in large groups under the command of their own officers and NCO’s, in contact with the controlling authority. Semi organised, are groups that while they might have been separated from their parent unit, are still under the control of their own Officer/Officers, NCO/NCO’s, and can be directed by the controlling authority. The biggest problem is the unorganised troops, small groups, mixed groups and individuals who are not under any command, and are not in contact with the controlling authority. These men are basically a mob, hard to organise, not subject to military discipline or authority, just doing their own thing while trying to survive and get home.

Those few organised troops not needed to man the perimeter and defend the port, provided AA coverage, or supply/medical services. Can be sent under their commanders to the port to embark on the first available transport, and get them out, the semi organised again not needed for duties, can be directed again to the first available transport out. The unorganised have to be gathered together, placed under some form of control and sent to transport for evacuation, this needs large number of Military Policemen, who are directed by the controlling authority, difficult in the present situation. One reason why both Gallipoli and Hamgham worked so well, the commanders didn’t have to deal with a mob of unorganised troops, even though at Hamgham there were large numbers of disorganised refugees, they were controlled by the Military Forces in place. Given that there has been more time than there was IOTL, the British should have had the chance to establish more of a grip on the ground and control the troops better. If more of the useless mouthes have been evacuated, plus those unorganised troops present during the first few days. This will lead to the port being much clearer, and less troops ether hiding out in the town or on the beaches. Provided that the first few days are both better organised and proceed more smoothly, provided that a good relationship with the French can be established, after all its their country and ports. Then there should be less confusion and muddle, and a slightly better result over all, with more personal kit and weapons being retained, and some of the squad weapons making it back to Britain.

Now let’s look at the second part of the evacuation, the part that is very rarely talked about, or mentioned in the popular history of the Dunkirk story, events in Britain. The returning troops didn’t just hop off the boat, jump on a bus, pop home for kippers and tea. A massive effort was put in place, to evacuate the returning troops from the arrival ports in Britain, and ether send them to hospital if needed. In the case of the French, transport them to ports of embarkation in the West, Southampton, Weymouth, Plymouth, feed them before embarkation for their return to France. Over one hundred thousand French troops, passed through Britain, before returning to France. To move these men required as massive effort by Southern Railway, who had to collect them from the British Channel Ports, bring them often via London or Guilford, to lines running down to the west. While at the same time accepting trains from the midlands and west of England from different companies, whose drivers didn’t know the route, collecting returned British troops, to return them to their various depots for processing. Note for train drivers, route knowledge is vital, if they are to know where the signals are, what the local speed limits are and where the various points are. The trains were stacked up on the down line outside the various ports just waiting to be called forward and loaded up. While in the ports a first and basic separation had to be made, to insure that troops were sent to the right depot, where they could be reformed into units, feed and where possible re equipped, before being sent to their final destination. On a personal note, my mother was a young girl at the time of Dunkirk who had gone into hospital for an operation, the Westminster I believe. After the operation she was doubled up in her bed with another young girl, top to tail, to make room for wounded troops, who were put in her ward. She came out of hospital with head lice, and it took her aunt weeks to clean them out of her hair. A feeding station was sent up at Ashford station to provide the troop trains with sandwiches and tea. Maned by local women and provided with bully beef and processed cheese from government emergency stores. This was just one of such feeding stations set up throughout Britain, remember some troops were transported to Scotland, and Wales.

All in all this was a fantastic effort by the British establishment, military and rail companies, supported by the British people.





RR.
Yes, the railway planning was an unsung factor in the "success" of the evacuation. IIRC Redhill became a key junction. TBF the British railways stood up well in WWII despite enemy action and the accumulative deterioration in locomotives, stock & permanent way.
 
Yes, the railway planning was an unsung factor in the "success" of the evacuation. IIRC Redhill became a key junction. TBF the British railways stood up well in WWII despite enemy action and the accumulative deterioration in locomotives, stock & permanent way.
Indeed. And they were rewarded for this post-war by being nationalised on the cheap and turned into British Rail. Truly no good deed goes unpunished.
 
Truly no good deed goes unpunished.
Like putting zero super profits into maintenance in either world war, or instead of begging the state for special dispensation instead of paying the wage demanded by the market of the time.

Truly no good deed goes unpunished, like when the exchequer took on the debts of private citizens for years, until the instrument was sufficiently viable to reprivatise.

Might want to engage with the various BR timelines about management, capital goods lifecycles, and capital investment.
 
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Lieutenant Do-it-all is reported to the Military Police for threatening a civilian. Military officers and men are governed not only by military law but civilian law as well even in wartime in a war zone. Civilian ship's crew would be protected by that law and if militant enough, the good Lieutenant could cause the entire ship's crew to go on strike. Diplomacy can often achieve much greater results than threats.
30 Brigade officers had to pretty much do this when the captain of the vessel transporting them to Calais told them the ship was leaving before much of the equipment had been unloaded - despite a power cut on the dockside and a 4 hour strike by the crew the ship was unloaded using the ships own derrick.

The real trick is to report any LMF situations to your local friendly Royal Navy Destroyer crew who will sort it out for you quick as you like
 
Indeed. And they were rewarded for this post-war by being nationalised on the cheap and turned into British Rail. Truly no good deed goes unpunished.
Yes, and No

The railways were so worn down that their assets in an accounting (& economic) sense were literally worthless (Stuart Joy, The Runaway Train ). The compensation paid to shareholders significantly exceeded their value but could be justified easily on the basis that the parlous state was incurred in service to the nation.

That the railways were badly run thereafter is another story.
 
25 May 1940. Calais, France. New
25 May 1940. Calais, France.

Within Calais, Lt-Col Winberg, OC 8th Bn RTR, had dispersed one Company of his tanks to support the infantry defending the port, but kept the second company, made up of six A12 Infantry Mark II tanks and twelve A11 Infantry Mark I, known as Matildas, as his main fighting force. The Battalion’s third Company had been detached and was, as far as he knew, somewhere in the vicinity of St Omer. All his Light Tanks were gone, as were the three Valiants, which had managed to get the convoy through to Dunkirk the previous day.

In addition to the French forces defending Calais, 30th Infantry Brigade (2nd Battalion The King's Royal Rifle Corps, 1st Battalion The Rifle Brigade, 1st Battalion Queen Victoria's Rifles) was supported by both the 229th Anti-Tank Battery and 58th Anti-Tank Regiment. Their 2-pdrs were well emplaced and had good fields of fire against tank attack. The various British anti-aircraft units, especially the 58th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment and 1st Searchlight Regiment, that were originally positioned around the port, had been repositioned to give the defenders as much protection from air attack as possible. The 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns were particularly useful, as they could also be used against ground targets.

Without many light tanks to act as a screen, Winberg had opted for an initial forward defence. He’s placed three sections, each with three tanks, about three miles in front of the British positions on likely approaches to the town. A carrier platoon from each Battalion of infantry accompanied each section of tanks, to provide them with close protection; the extra Boys rifles and Bren guns would give the approaching Germans a half-decent jab. The orders were to engage the enemy when sighted, then withdraw as soon as the Germans started to pose a threat, through a serious of pre-set positions, back to the main defensive line. Engagements had begun almost at first light, giving the 1st Panzer Division’s Reconnaissance forces a lot of trouble. As the morning progressed these three sections gradually withdrew having inflicted serious losses among the forward German units. Two A11s were lost in the fighting retreat, in both cases they were hit in the tracks and there wasn’t the time or opportunity to fix them. One more was hit in the same way, but the officer commanding the A12 in the section, was able to get a tow line onto it and drag it back. He later noted that having an armoured vehicle, with sufficient power, that could tow damaged tanks to the rear would be helpful. The carrier platoons suffered losses, the carriers were lightly armoured, and the 20mm cannons on the Panzer IIs took a toll on them.


What the defenders of Calais didn’t know was that the force they were facing was much greater than they realised. The fighting that had taken place the day before on the road between Calais and Gravelines had been against the 8th Panzer Division, which, along with Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) and the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT), had taken up positions along the canal line to the east of Calais. The 1st Panzer Division was now the main force attacking Calais, having gotten past the French troops at Desvres which had held them up the day before. The 6th and 10th Panzer Divisions were resting and refitting in the vicinity, and the first elements of the 20th (Motorised) Division were beginning to arrive in the area. The fight would be against overwhelming odds, but it would tie down considerable numbers of German troops and inflict many casualties upon them.

NB text in italic differs from OTL. The cruiser and light tanks of 3 RTR were generally knocked out much earlier, the trip to St Omer done for a lot of them. Then, in the usual British manner, 3 RTR were told not to let their surviving cruisers A13 fall into enemy hands. They were then asked to use them to support the infantry, at which point they had already destroyed all but four! You couldn't make it up!
 
So it seems the Germans are going to put a lot of forces into investing the siege of Calais, but this means a lot less pressure on the Dunkirk evacuation point. This diversion of forces will limit the utility of Calais as an evacuation port but its doing another important job, keeping the Germans occupied.
 
We would, but the War Crimes Commission has warned us about the possibility of exposing someone to the British Rail Pork Pie.
Fear not, for though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of the British Rail Pork Pie, I shall fear no evil, for I have confronted the darkness in its many shapes, of Sürstromming, fermented shark and the British Rail Sandwich.
 
The mechanical efficiency varied on different vehicles. I've seen a figure of over 40%.

The T34 can have it's rear plate removed easily. It is surrounded by nuts which is now it is secured. Just as the transmission of the Sherman can have it's front plate removed. However the Sherman's plate is approximately twice the thickness of the T34.
Would like to see actual cite for efficiency, though.

Easily just doesn't happen when a plate is several hundred pounds, and each nut is with hand wrenches. The M4, you could do day to day maintenance without the need for disassembly, not so much with the T-34
 

Ramp-Rat

Donor
Calais.

The events around Calais are in a funny way turning out to be to the British advantage. The Germans who are having problems with their C3, nearly as much as both the French and British, are falling into a trap. According to their own doctrine Calais should be bypassed and left to the follow up units to deal with, while the Panzers move on to the next target. By allowing themselves to be dragged into a fight against dug in forces in prepared positions, who have the possibility of major support, goes against all the doctrine. While there is little to no chance of the British deploying a battleship in support of the besieged garrison, they might send one or two light cruisers, two Leander class would have sixteen 6” guns, while two Town class would have twenty four 6”. Such weapons would make for a very bad hair day, for the recipients of their attention. While other than the French and British troops already in Calais, few if any others will be able to evacuate from the port, it is already serving a useful prepose. It is guarding the southern approaches to Dunkirk and dissipating the German effort. Any German force that gets between Calais and Dunkirk has to worry about attack from two directions, plus intervention by the RN. The German Army hadn’t taken notice of the money spent by the British on the RN, and wasn’t used to the power that it could project on ground forces close to the sea.

Every man, tank, artillery gun, and aircraft that is diverted to trying to eliminate the lodgement at Calais, is one that is not being used in the far more important battle around Dunkirk. If the British do send a couple of cruises to bombard the German forces around Calais, the only possible threat to them is from the Luftwaffe. And unlike in Norway, where the ships were operating without any air coverage, those in the channel, should have some, directed by radar. Sending unescorted Stuka's to try and bomb cruisers, when they don’t have the ordinance, armoured piercing bombs, is a recipe for disaster. The Stuka's were quickly removed from front line service during the BoB, as they were easy meat for the British fighters. Sending them out into the channel to hit moving targets, which they were not trained to do, moving targets that have some AA guns to fire back with, and covered by RAF fighters. This is how to lose a lot of your Stuka's, which should be attacking Dunkirk, in an attempt to prevent the evacuation. And which you need for the continuing campaign in the South of France, which is still the major threat to the German Army, if they want to prevent becoming bogged down in a static war, and giving the French the opportunity to recover from their panic.

RR.
 
Hm, so 8th RTR is going to take a toll on the Germans. Where's 4th/7th RTR at this point?

Calais.

The events around Calais are in a funny way turning out to be to the British advantage. The Germans who are having problems with their C3, nearly as much as both the French and British, are falling into a trap. According to their own doctrine Calais should be bypassed and left to the follow up units to deal with, while the Panzers move on to the next target. By allowing themselves to be dragged into a fight against dug in forces in prepared positions, who have the possibility of major support, goes against all the doctrine. While there is little to no chance of the British deploying a battleship in support of the besieged garrison, they might send one or two light cruisers, two Leander class would have sixteen 6” guns, while two Town class would have twenty four 6”. Such weapons would make for a very bad hair day, for the recipients of their attention. While other than the French and British troops already in Calais, few if any others will be able to evacuate from the port, it is already serving a useful prepose. It is guarding the southern approaches to Dunkirk and dissipating the German effort. Any German force that gets between Calais and Dunkirk has to worry about attack from two directions, plus intervention by the RN. The German Army hadn’t taken notice of the money spent by the British on the RN, and wasn’t used to the power that it could project on ground forces close to the sea.

Every man, tank, artillery gun, and aircraft that is diverted to trying to eliminate the lodgement at Calais, is one that is not being used in the far more important battle around Dunkirk. If the British do send a couple of cruises to bombard the German forces around Calais, the only possible threat to them is from the Luftwaffe. And unlike in Norway, where the ships were operating without any air coverage, those in the channel, should have some, directed by radar. Sending unescorted Stuka's to try and bomb cruisers, when they don’t have the ordinance, armoured piercing bombs, is a recipe for disaster. The Stuka's were quickly removed from front line service during the BoB, as they were easy meat for the British fighters. Sending them out into the channel to hit moving targets, which they were not trained to do, moving targets that have some AA guns to fire back with, and covered by RAF fighters. This is how to lose a lot of your Stuka's, which should be attacking Dunkirk, in an attempt to prevent the evacuation. And which you need for the continuing campaign in the South of France, which is still the major threat to the German Army, if they want to prevent becoming bogged down in a static war, and giving the French the opportunity to recover from their panic.

RR.
In addition, the longer British can hold Calais, the longer they can use Route Z as a shipping route, which compared to having to use Route Y, is significantly shorter, meaning, both that troops can be gotten onto British soil more quickly, and that the RAF has a shorter perimeter to patrol, so significantly fewer LW aircraft will be getting through. This means fewer ships will be sunk or damaged, which can only mean good things for the British down the line.
 
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