The Forge of Weyland

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Well a wargaming example

On a Church hall floor many years ago

As the Hood I went for an all or nothing play and hit the Bismark with all 8 Shells - great distance guessing.....

We had special rule for that game that the germans ignored the first couple of criticals - but I then managed to roll so many criticals and they rolled so badly on their saves we had multiple simultanious magazine explosions........

That ended that 'Hunt the Bismark' campaign earlry
 
Well a wargaming example

On a Church hall floor many years ago

As the Hood I went for an all or nothing play and hit the Bismark with all 8 Shells - great distance guessing.....

We had special rule for that game that the germans ignored the first couple of criticals - but I then managed to roll so many criticals and they rolled so badly on their saves we had multiple simultanious magazine explosions........

That ended that 'Hunt the Bismark' campaign earlry
Ahem.War games on a Church floor?
 
... used to play Avalon-Hill's Jutland on the church hall floor ... great fun ... and the parents liked it because we learned a little history, it kept us out of mischief, and we left their smokes and booze alone ...
 
The Church Hall floor not the Church Floor.

The Church Hall is usually the village or parish community centre when the local council is too cheap to provide one from its funds.
I played my first wargames in a church hall in 1980, they where happy with historicsl stuff but you couldn't play any sort of fantasy or d and d
 
Appropriately my figure wargaming hobby started at the local Salvation Army Citadel
(though I was initially restricted to Naval scenarios because the models could be scratch made from scrap wood and painted with left over house paint)
 
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That seems reasonable for the Republicans, the Dems OTL were Garner, Tydings, Farley, Hull. All of which are pygmies compared to FDR. The thing at this distance is hard to judge is the reaction to FDR running the unprecedented 3rd term without the Fall of France. Given the 22nd amendment probably pretty hostile without unprecedented cause - war in Europe Good Guys doing fine is not that cause.


I don't think anyone is worried about antagonising Italy. Italian Nationalists are not automatic allies of German Nationalists> international communism. or freedom loving democrats may cleave together for ideological reasons but your autarkic nationalist not quite so much. Realopolitik means there has to be something in it for Italy. Another long war across the Alps is not it.

On the weapons, no point. Unlike WW1 there is no massive shortage of basic kit and the more sophisticated items the Italian need themselves and its not really better than Allied, also you dont have to go back to them for spares.

Ammunition or explosives maybe, workforce visas are available and there is always a need for fieldhands at good rates from a Gold backed currency, with French girls nearby.

As to the SMG 2 weeks into the war - we are probably on the STEN Mk XXIX * by now.

Hi Gannt,

I'll clearly defer to you as I've read your other posts and am consistently amazed by the depth of your knowledge. However, I'm hopeful you can elaborate on the bolded statement.

In my limited understanding of Singapore is that it was the lack of adequate weapons (and training with those weapons) as highlighted in the report obtained from the SS Automedon by the Germans and then forwarded to the Japanese, which they then used to assess the risk and plan their attack. So I have never read anything to say that Singapore was well-stocked (or "not in a shortage", to better reflect your chosen wording).

In Astrodragon's storyline we're still in June of 1940 and justifiably all weapons should be flowing first into Northern France, Belgium, Holland, and then secondarily to adjacent theaters such as Gibraltar, Malta, Egypt, Palestine, etc. Based on current hostilities, the Far East should be distant third on the priorities list for UK production.

In contrast, if you could buy produced or in-production weapons coming off of existing Italian production lines, that just seems like a win-win for everyone.

In terms of ammunition, would it be ideal purchasing howitzers or anti-aircraft cannons from Italy that are not produce-able in the UK? No. But if I'm responsible for the defense of Singapore, as the Japanese are approaching, I'd much rather have a regiment of dug-in Italian 149mm howitzers with 1,000 rounds for each safety stored in underground magazines, than a troop of 25 pounders with 100 rounds each on a cargo ship stuck unloading in Egypt. The caveat is you would have to balance the addition of that immediate firepower against future supply line issues, which may lead to i. a limiting of Italian types and calibers adopted, and ii. a contract clause that after 1,000 rounds per mortar/gun/cannon, then licenses must be extended to UK producers for follow-on ammunition production. You may also look at having Italian producers build out either Bren or Vickers-Berthier light machine guns as they certainly would have both the capability and capacity to do so.... although that may be a longer term solution depending in how quickly the Italians could setup a new assembly line.

So going back to original thought, if you limited purchases (all shipped with minimum of 500 rounds of ammunition per weapon) to 45mm light mortars, 75mm light howitzers, 149mm heavy howitzers and 90mm anti-aircraft cannons, it should create significantly more capability in Singapore, with the trade-off that if you were unable to replenish your ammunition as it was used for training, it would most certainly mess with your supply lines in the long run. The caveat being if you always planned that such a purchase was a temporary bandaid solution, you could always resell those weapons at a later date as equivalent or superior British weapons became available, thus eliminating your supply line problem.

As a final note, in Astrodragon's timeline we're still 5 months ahead of the intercept of the Singapore Assessment document and approximately 16 months prior to the Japanese invasion. So the opportunity is there to not only assess the most appropriate Italian weapons systems (which most certainly could and likely will be different than my initial list above), but to at least get the already-produced weapons to Singapore for training, with subsequent batches (and further ammunition) being delivered as they roll off assembly lines...with the caveat that the first batches could be used for training so that as soon as the follow-on batches do arrive, they are delivered into trained hands.

From a political standpoint I would again defer to you on your statement about lack of need to appease the Italians, but to me that approach just seems arrogant and misses the potential opportunity. If you can spend a couple of pounds/francs and get a potential enemy with a million soldiers, a sizeable navy and air force located in an area of strategic importance to you, to start building weapons for you, you do it.

As a final note, if you can build this new relationship, how does a port visit to Singapore and potentially Saigon of some major ships of the Regia Marina along with the Marine National (sp?) impact the Japanese calculus? "Divided" the Europeans may be seen as weak and ripe for attack. But if those three nations and their navies are potentially "united", the Japanese may re-examine their maps and decide that going North looks much better than going South.
 
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In OTL the RAF, the French AdA and Sweden all ordered Italian fighters and bombers for their own use. The RAF ordered Italian Re 2000 Falco fighters - 600 of them before Italy entered the war.
 
Hi Gannt,

I'll clearly defer to you as I've read your other posts and am consistently amazed by the depth of your knowledge. However, I'm hopeful you can elaborate on the bolded statement.

In my limited understanding of Singapore is that it was the lack of adequate weapons (and training with those weapons) as highlighted in the report obtained from the SS Automedon by the Germans and then forwarded to the Japanese, which they then used to assess the risk and plan their attack. So I have never read anything to say that Singapore was well-stocked (or "not in a shortage", to better reflect your chosen wording).

In Astrodragon's storyline we're still in June of 1940 and justifiably all weapons should be flowing first into Northern France, Belgium, Holland, and then secondarily to adjacent theaters such as Gibraltar, Malta, Egypt, Palestine, etc. Based on current hostilities, the Far East should be distant third on the priorities list for UK production.

In contrast, if you could buy produced or in-production weapons coming off of existing Italian production lines, that just seems like a win-win for everyone.

In terms of ammunition, would it be ideal purchasing howitzers or anti-aircraft cannons from Italy that are not produce-able in the UK? No. But if I'm responsible for the defense of Singapore, as the Japanese are approaching, I'd much rather have a regiment of dug-in Italian 149mm howitzers with 1,000 rounds for each safety stored in underground magazines, than a troop of 25 pounders with 100 rounds each on a cargo ship stuck unloading in Egypt. The caveat is you would have to balance the addition of that immediate firepower against future supply line issues, which may lead to i. a limiting of Italian types and calibers adopted, and ii. a contract clause that after 1,000 rounds per mortar/gun/cannon, then licenses must be extended to UK producers for follow-on ammunition production. You may also look at having Italian producers build out either Bren or Vickers-Berthier light machine guns as they certainly would have both the capability and capacity to do so.... although that may be a longer term solution depending in how quickly the Italians could setup a new assembly line.

So going back to original thought, if you limited purchases (all shipped with minimum of 500 rounds of ammunition per weapon) to 45mm light mortars, 75mm light howitzers, 149mm heavy howitzers and 90mm anti-aircraft cannons, it should create significantly more capability in Singapore, with the trade-off that if you were unable to replenish your ammunition as it was used for training, it would most certainly mess with your supply lines in the long run. The caveat being if you always planned that such a purchase was a temporary bandaid solution, you could always resell those weapons at a later date as equivalent or superior British weapons became available, thus eliminating your supply line problem.

As a final note, in Astrodragon's timeline we're still 5 months ahead of the intercept of the Singapore Assessment document and approximately 16 months prior to the Japanese invasion. So the opportunity is there to not only assess the most appropriate Italian weapons systems (which most certainly could and likely will be different than my initial list above), but to at least get the already-produced weapons to Singapore for training, with subsequent batches (and further ammunition) being delivered as they roll off assembly lines...with the caveat that the first batches could be used for training so that as soon as the follow-on batches do arrive, they are delivered into trained hands.

From a political standpoint I would again defer to you on your statement about lack of need to appease the Italians, but to me that approach just seems arrogant and misses the potential opportunity. If you can spend a couple of pounds/francs and get a potential enemy with a million soldiers, a sizeable navy and air force located in an area of strategic importance to you, to start building weapons for you, you do it.

As a final note, if you can build this new relationship, how does a port visit to Singapore and potentially Saigon of some major ships of the Regia Marina along with the Marine National (sp?) impact the Japanese calculus? "Divided" the Europeans may be seen as weak and ripe for attack. But if those three nations and their navies are potentially "united", the Japanese may re-examine their maps and decide that going North looks much better than going South.
I'm not Gannt the Chartist, but Imperial Japan has to occupy French-Indochina before it gets anywhere near Malaya and Singapore, and in this timeline (Weyland's Forge) the French (especially if they have not gone Vichy, as in the Original Timeline) may well tell the Imperial Japanese where to go if the Imperial Japanese decide to try to get cute in French-Indochina.

Edit:
The French not going Vichy and surrendering (if that is what ends up happening in this timeline) is a game-changer in the Far East.
 
I'm not Gannt the Chartist, but Imperial Japan has to occupy French-Indochina before it gets anywhere near Malaya and Singapore, and in this timeline (Weyland's Forge) the French (especially if they have not gone Vichy, as in the Original Timeline) may well tell the Imperial Japanese where to go if the Imperial Japanese decide to try to get cute in French-Indochina.

Edit:
The French not going Vichy and surrendering (if that is what ends up happening in this timeline) is a game-changer in the Far East.
Very true. At the moment, Singapore looks pretty safe - without FIC its rather far.
Not impossible if Thailand can be bullied, but it makes the job a lot more difficult.
There's also the French Navy - if that doesn't go Vichy, then additional ships will be out east.
Of course, there are all sorts of other things the Japanese can do :D
 
Very true. At the moment, Singapore looks pretty safe - without FIC its rather far.
Not impossible if Thailand can be bullied, but it makes the job a lot more difficult.
There's also the French Navy - if that doesn't go Vichy, then additional ships will be out east.
Of course, there are all sorts of other things the Japanese can do :D
They kind of need to wind up China first - the tail end of the Nationalist offensives of 1940 are playing out and the Communists have still to launch their own attacks later in 1940. Doesn't directly impact the IJN and the SRA forces but logistics and materiel will be stretched until 1941.
 
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the southern indochina bases are taken in june and that was the trigger to both the british and americans that why the f do you want bases there , the only reasons are taking the european colonies asfar i can tell . So that is probably the only trigger wich might make a review maybe possible by the local forces maybe by london as a reaction to that? That gets done by lets say early august and gets reported to london andhopefully sydney maybe and this could somewhat coincide with the end of axis in north africa or near enough is another condition. When they are done the australian pm flies to london to basicly say that he is recalling his troops but that he is willing to send them to singapore as forward defense as planned prewar asfar i can tell . The british provide a divison themselves like they did in otl and maybe send one of the indian divisons from the middle east and green indian divison to make two corps i think and someone needs be given command and percival can be demoted back to staff officer duties .

But this relies that north africa is wrapped up fast enough and australians are panicked enough or atleast commited enough to recall their troops almost right away . Im thinking september is probably fastest that north africa is wrapped up if things go rather well and if not then it could stretch to november and december i think. And it needs to end in september or maybe early parts of october cause otherwise it would be too late to reinforce singapore. Wich im not sure about happening so im thinking a more extensive burma campaign seems more realistic considering how narrow the pod has been sofar and changes have finally started to happen.
What North Africa? :D
The Italians are current doing not much more than make the occasional aggressive noise.
 
7th June 1940 New
7th June 1940

Operation Juno began before midnight, as the battlecruisers slipped their moorings and joined up with the Admiral Hipper and the destroyer escort (Karl Glaster, Hand Lody, Erich Steinbrinck and Hermann Schoemann), heading for Bodo. The original plan had suggested an attack on Harstad, much closer to Narvik, but with the continuing presence of naval units off Norway, this was felt as too dangerous. Instead the ships would bombard Bodo (still a base for Allied operations), and sink any shipping they encountered.

The main force in the Norwegian Sea belonged to the Royal Navy. While the ground force was an Allied operation, the situation in Europe had led to light units being retained there, and with the French heavy ships guarding the Mediterranean to keep the Italians honest, the fleet had been British. This was soon to change; with a reduced threat seen in the Mediterranean, and the need to show more Allied solidarity and joint operations after the battles in France and Belgium, the French navy had detached a group of two heavy cruisers and three destroyers. Given the length of the Norwegian shoreline to be covered, and the danger posed by air attack to operating as single ships, this would allow greater coverage. With an Allied infantry force soon to be landed at Mo-i-rana, this was seen as being very helpful.

While the Royal Navy actually had a sufficiency of heavy ships, it had been difficult to deploy them due to a lack of destroyers. After the earlier battles off Norway, the U-boat threat was seen as the main risk, along with air attack. The land fighting in Belgium had led to some destroyers being held ready for action off the coast if it had proven necessary, but now that things seems to be more stable, some had been released to Rosyth to refuel and be ready to escort HMS Warspite when she arrived.

The main role of the fleet was twofold; to support the troops ashore in Norway and especially the port of Narvik, and to cover any attempts by the remaining German heavy ships to break through so as to be able to attack the Atlantic convoys. The second role had resulted in the despatch of a heavy force centred around the battlecruisers Renown and Repulse to investigate a report that suggested a possible breakout. The main force was at sea to the west of Narvik, and the Aircraft Carrier Ark Royal, with two cruisers and ten destroyers. This would be reinforced on the 8th by the carrier Glorious - escorted by two destroyers, she was flying off 15 replacement Hurricanes today, and once they were gone her decks would be clear for normal flying operations.

The landing force for the M-i-rana attack would sail on the 8th; by this time HMS Warspite and her escorts should have arrived from Rosyth, and they would be the heavy escort for the supply ships. The convoy itself would have a close escort of four destroyers and two minesweepers. The French force would position itself south of these groups, to serve as warning and protection from any southern attack. A surprise attack by some of the Kreigsmarine destroyers was a possibility.



The Kriegsmarine did in fact have two destroyers in the area, but they weren't intending to attack the Royal Navy; they were the escort for a mixed group of small craft carrying around a battalion of troops to reinforce the defences to the east of Mo-i-rana. Admiral Marschall's heavy ships were to move past them, and tempt the heavier ships away from the area. Luftwaffe reports had shown that there were ships operating in small groups away from the protection of the heavy ships, and any of these they found would be sunk. Marschall intended to 'trail his coat' to the west, and then slip the Hipper and some destroyers in to attack Bodo.

The Kriegsmarine was also using the operation to cover the withdrawal of the cruiser Emden from Oslo. No longer seen as needed there, she sailed early on the 7th to meet up with the battlecruisers, and would then operate with Hipper to attack coastal targets and any coastal shipping they encountered.

While Marschall did not expect his sortie to actually stop the Royal Navy operating in the Norwegian Sea - the forces available to them, even without withdrawing any units from other theatres were simply too powerful - he could sink any ships he found away from the main fleet, and cause confusion. This would mean the Royal Navy would have to supply and keep operational more ships, and keep them in larger formations, limiting their tactical use and making them better targets for the U-boats.

8th June

The first contact was early in the morning, when the battlecruisers sighted a small group of ships. These were the oil tanker Oil Pioneer and her escort, the minesweeping trawler Juniper. These were heading back to Britain to take on more oil, and on seeing them Marschall ordered his cruisers to sink them, then head east towards Norway. His radio department had heard the ships reporting his position before the shells from Emden silenced them, and his intention was to split his force and see what he could find further north. Despite the instructions not to risk his ships unnecessarily, he intended to patrol aggressively, confident his battlecruisers could handle any single heavy ship. If he ran into a more powerful force, his speed would allow him to escape the older and slower Royal Navy battleships.

HMS Valiant and her escorting destroyers had arrived off the coast at 0700 that morning, staying well to sea of the troop convoy and serving as their heavy escort. HMS Warspite and the French cruiser force had left Rosyth the previous morning, having refuelled overnight, and would spilt up, the cruisers moving south of the convoy, while Warspite joined with the Ark Royal and Glorious. The news of attack on the tanker and her escort was a surprise, but not totally unexpected. The report had mentioned 'heavy ships', but with no confirmation it wasn't clear if this was correct or the notoriously poor ship recognition merchant ships often suffered from. The sudden ending of the transmissions indicated that whatever it was, it was a German warship. Needing more information, Glorious was ordered to send up six swordfish to sweep the area north and east of the report. The RAF was also notified, and asked to have fighters ready in case the ships were a diversion to pull the force into a Luftwaffe ambush.
 
Operation Juno isn't that well known. This time there are a number of differences.
I couldn't see why Emden was just sent home while the operation was on. I couldn't find any reason why she wasn't fit for action, so she's taking part and will then go back to Germany
There are less British ships moving back to the UK in small groups (as currently Norway isn't being evacuated). In OTL the S/G group also encountered an empty trooper and a hospital ship, but I decided it would make far more sense for them to be involved in the Mo-i-rana operation.
As they aren't evacuating, Glorious has been making a run in with more Hurricanes, and then will join the fleet (allowing Ark Royal to go back and rearm/refuel/get more planes)
HMS Warspite is by author fiat, although the fact the Italians are currently trying to look innocent (at least till things go well south for the allies) means they dont need so much in the Med, and splitting it east/west does seem to make sense (and in the longer term means the two fleets will get practice working together). Given the RN taking over in the East, having a powerful force in Beirut seemed rather pointless, so they are doing something useful (and again, a good political purpose of showing Allied solidarity, important after what's been going on in France/Belgium, the ALlies need to show a united front to the world)
 
@CB13, as said a bolt from the blue attack right now is not really feasible or necessary for the Japan. The IJN in particular needs about a years lead time to recall reservists refit auxiliaries and withdraw air units from China and retrain them for Maritime Strike operations All of this would be ( and was) noticed and reacted to by both the British and Americans so any Japanese move has to consider what would the US do. Without the PI the worst case for the IJN is the superior US battlefleet intervenes while they are already committed to operations in FEIC. Whether the Japanese can bully Thailand from Taiwan in the face of British French and Dutch counter bullying is a moot point.


And without the pressures of war in the Middle East - all of it from Egypt to Iran plus East Africa, where in 1941 the USSR looks like it might collapse the whole of the Indian army may be deployed elsewhere and without the losses from Dunkirk and British aid to the USSR in 41 there is more kit available. If you have the option you don't ship s a division and all its kit from East of Suez to the UK your ship the men and maybe personal weapons and leave the vehicles and heavy weapons behind for the next div and reequip with stuff straight from the Factory.

In terms of the Specifics, in WW1 the issue was small arms and for the Brits especially rifles to equip a massively expanded army. Now they have the WW1 stocks of SMLE and Lewis guns. The Small arms shortage is specifically in SMG - and that comes about because of the threat of German Airborne units and panzer breakthroughs. If you look at British TOE everyone except the infantryman has a Sten - Machine Carbine in British terms. And every unit of drivers drovers and mobile bath operators also has a couple of Brens and a Boys or PIAT. The Brits have more SMG per inf Bn than any other army except the Soviet SMG Bns.

So what they want is a cheap mass produced weapon for everyone, who probably will never fire it Sten fits the bill nothing else in the world at the time does, and the major issue is the mag feed so a little more time on that and shiny,

The 149 - its a medium gun in UK terms 25lb is field. But which one. The two modern ones are just coming into Italian service one only produces 147 or so units by 42 the other has 51 units by eo 41, The UK alone produces 250 4.5'' gun units in 1940 ( well 60lb converted to 4.5) and in 1941 the UK is producing around 400 5.5'' units as well as much ramped up production of the 4.5.

The other Italian pieces are WW1 vintage or in pitifully small numbers The 90mm mnages 350 ish units by 43. The Brits make 1,200 3,7'' AA in 1940 alone. The 210 is a good Heavy piece -210 mm, 20 made by 42.

The easiest way to appease the Italian is to offer them parts of Austria and license built Merlins.

In OTL the RAF, the French AdA and Sweden all ordered Italian fighters and bombers for their own use. The RAF ordered Italian Re 2000 Falco fighters - 600 of them before Italy entered the war.

I have 300 ordered but Via a Portuguese subsidiary. But as only 187 were produced in total everywhere on account of it being crap in practice thats going nowhere, the Portuguese aircraft industry not being likely to produce lots quickly. This is also before May 40 and the rationalisation of UK aircraft production so likely to get swept up in the concertation on a small range of types.

An Re2005 ( or even a 2000) with a powerful engine like the Merlin would be nice though.
 
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