The March of Time - 20th Century History

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Karelian, Mar 8, 2013.

Loading...
  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 102: Field communications

    Karelian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011

    Fratricide, Part III: "Mr. Watson, come here – I want to see you."


    [​IMG]
    One of the most determining features of the war in Scandinavia was the impact of new communication technology that was for the first time widely used by both warring sides. Ever since the Second Schleswig War, the Union had employed Danish experts to develop their communication systems.The Norwegian telegraph network was already quite extensive, as the seafaring nation had eagerly utilized the new benefits offered by swift new communication networks between various harbours at home and overseas.

    [​IMG]

    Railroads and telegraph poles had spread to the country hand-in-hand, and by 1905 they connected the southern parts of the country to a web where information and material could be transported back and forth with the same speed that had already shocked the world during the Franco-Prussian War.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The Norwegian Ingeniørbrigaden had received their first field telegraphs already in 1873, and field phones followed suit by the end of the century, when a prototype developed by cavalry officer Oscar Dahl formed a basis that a Norwegian company N. Jacobsens Elektriske Verksted, further developed into the first field telephone for the Norwegian cavalry in 1897. “Dahl’s apparatus” was a simple, reliable system. The device consisted of two modules, a voice box and ring box.

    By 1903 the Norwegian infantry had followed suit and adopted the same field phone for service, as current Defence Minister Thomas T. Heftye had strongly insisted. An Engineer captain, Heftye served as the Telegrafdirektør, the chief of the Norwegian state telegraph company, when the war begun. He and his colleagues had formed an influential lobby group of young technocratic officers, who had joined forces at the Ingeniørofficerenes Forening (Association of Engineer Officers), helping one another to take over the Old Guard in the military and providing funding for unorthodox new projects and technologies.

    [​IMG]
    Norwegian signalmen setting up field telephone lines in autumn 1905.

    When combined with the good telegraph line network, the field telephones gave the Norwegian generals an unprecedentedly quick way to receive news from the frontlines and issue orders to their troops. But like all curious and ambitious engineers, the Norwegian signal officers had not been sitting idly in the face of the quick technological development that was taking place in the world in the last decades of the 19th century. The pioneers of Norwegian electronic research and industry had gathered to a meeting at Cristiania in 1899 to witness a curious spectacle: premierløytnant Nicolaysen and Jacobsen, the owner of N. Jacobsens Elektriske Verksted, had conducted a succesfull test of "wireless telegraphing based on the Marconi system." Vice-chairman of Ingeniørofficerenes Forening, Johan Ræder, had been impressed enough to install an experimental signal station to his current command post at Kongsvinger fortress during his tenure there in 1903.

    [​IMG]
    Telegrafdirektør Heftye was adamant in his belief that in order to prevail, the Norwegian forces would have to utilize every possible advantage they had. Yet he and his colleaques, as far-sighted as they had been, had no means to truly comprehend the amount of telephone and telegram traffic the beginning of hostilities would entertail. The lack of coherent prewar plans of any kind was one thing, but the lack of coordinated messaging doctrine initially made many generals despair as the phones just kept ringing, vital messages could not be relayed in time as some insignificant details were debated over the phone. Information paralysis threatened to overwhelm the Norwegian military leadership, and the relay stations lacked enough experienced staff to meet the unexpectedly large volume of telephone traffic. During the first week of the conflict, it seemed that an idea that had seemed so brilliant in theory would be a dismal failure in real life.

    [​IMG]
    Then Heftye realized that he already had a professional reserve cadre who had more than ample experience of dealing with such situations. Most of the civilian staff of the Norwegian telegraph and phone companies were women. As early as 1882, it had been a requirement for the central board ladies that they had to be able to learn six hundred names by heart. After Heftye made some quick reorganizations, the panicked calls from the frontline would no longer be answered by equally stressed young signal conscripts at the relay stations, but by the same calm, no-nonsense female voice many of the officers had learned to know from their civilian life. The arrival of "Sentralsandras" enabled the Norwegian military leadership to finally begin to control and properly utilize their new command system, and by the time the Swedish invasion had reached Kongsvinger, the defending garrison was able to hold primarily because the commanders could use the field phone network to rush the reserves around as necessary.

    All the technological information is as per OTL.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
    Ran, Bad@logic, YoGO and 8 others like this.
  2. Orcbuster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Terrific work as always, glad the article i linked to was put to great use!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
    Karelian likes this.
  3. Orcbuster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    The question that springs to my mind the most at the moment is how this will affect Swedish/Norwegian relations in the coming years.

    If the swedes win, the long lasting resentment by this amazingly brutal war will be slow to fade and I don't see long term occupation as an option simply due to resentment at home boiling over combined long term guerilla resistance being a major thorn in the side. In the end the union is not maintainable and annexation of norwegian territory does not seem like a viable long term option.

    If its a stalemate then sweden is basically done for. It cannot keep the war going in the long term and resentment will still be highly prevalent.

    Either way I really don't see the monarchy surviving this unless there is outside intervention quelling the internal strife that is about to hit sweden. "Söta bror" is also definitely not going to be a thing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  4. Karelian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    The Swedish prewar plan was aiming for a quick coup de grâce, essentially a capture of Norwegian capitol, followed on by a dictated peace and a partial occupation that would end when the Norwegians would admit the facts and come crawling back to the Union. Needless to say this hawkish position had marginal support among the population, and had the fatal flaw of lacking a plan B for a case where the Norwegians refuse to surrender.

    Well, I can't blame them. The Swedish initial position was the OTL attitude of cutting their losses and finding acceptable way out of the crisis. But them came the Melsomvik Incident, and the Norwegian government could not back down from their military preparations without losing face - a turn that allowed the Swedish general staff to go ahead with their own preparations, as the weak Swedish government was unable to stop the mutual climb up the escalation ladder in time. By this time the mutual press war had gotten out of hand, and the Swedish public was so badly divided that the government narrowly voted for war, hoping that the conflict would alleviate the situation at home and unify the nation. Not exactly a recipe for success, but a path that fully rational humans have taken again and again in similar circumstances.

    And yet honour dictates that both sides must fight it out, or all those brave young lads fought and died for nothing.

    Well, the Swedish elite feared their voter emancipation of commoners nearly as much as they loathed the Norwegian democracy right next door. In many ways this is a Scandinavian civil war between the old order and the rising tide of mass democracy, even though it is (for now) primarily fought between two nation-states.

    Just when the Powers are busily setting up the Macedonian gendarmie mission and dealing with their own internal and external troubles.
     
  5. Threadmarks: Chapter 103: Dødsgjenger attack!

    Karelian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    23rd of September, 1905, Saturday.
    Øyermoen
    , Eastern Norway.
    [​IMG]

    The oxen bellowed, and their snorting and steady heavy breathing reminded Isak of steam engines. The steam engines, in turn, reminded him of his old life at the sawmill. A life he had felt dull and tiresome until this damned war had taken it away from him, and instantly taught him to appreciate his now-lost routines.

    Back in the day he had hated the garrison, the echoing steps at the stairs and the way the moustaches of their drill sergeant had jumped up and down while he had shouted at them from the bottom of his lungs. He had hated the daily oatmeal and pea soup, the never-ending misery of peeling mountains of potatoes, shoveling horse dung at the stables, polishing boots.

    He had despaired during the marches, feeling the dust and sand at his throat during the summer and freezing and sweating at the same time during winter.

    His gaze was full of hate - and as far Isak was concerned, it did not give him one bit of extra strength. Right now his hatred focused at the muddy dirt roads of Värmland and Hedmark. The way the chilly autumn rains and the heavy traffic of marching troops and supply wagons had turned them to a oozing mess of deep mud in a single week made him feel miserable and furious at the same time.

    Especially when it rained. And as Isak had just recently found out, Norway was a rainy country during autumn. He had wrapped his oilcloth around him, hoping against hope that the wool tunic beneath it would only remain slightly damp instead of freezing wet.

    He was not even supposed to be here. The sawmill needed all the workers as it was, and the mobilization order had come as a bit of a surprise. Karin had been devastated upon hearing the news. His bloody hag of a wife, full of prayer and complaint as she was, was sour company even during her better days.

    Still, it had been surprisingly hard to say goodbyes at the railway station, both to her and the bloody rugrats. His children. All four of them, the same ones who would not just shut up and keep quiet, when all Isak bloody wanted was to lay down for five minutes in silence and contemplate his thoughts after the work day.

    He had promised to write, but both of them had known that it was just something he was supposed to say. Isak remembered how his grandmother had shown him the letter her father had written during the war in 1814. So yes, he was quite convinced that modern and proper Swedish soldiers were supposed to write home.

    But what there was to write about? This was nothing like Kjølberg Bridge, neither Narva or Breitenfeld. He and rest of the older reservists in this miserable column were hauling livestock to artillery horses with ox carts. Then the road turned, the oxen stopped, and Isak threw his cap down and started a roaring tirade of curses, his face red and wet in the chilly autumn rain.

    A large scots pine had been cut down so that it had jammed between two equally old fir trees. The large trunk was thus hanging slightly up in the air, blocking the road. Isak cursed like an old sailor. He handed the reins to Anders, a steady older Härjedaler who drove the following cart. Isak lifted the tarp of his cart, and crawled underneath it to get the saw and axes.

    May the Devil come and drag these hairy-*ssed Norwegian sh*tc*nts straight to Hell for cutting that tree down here in the middle of nowhere! The sun was setting, and this delay would mean that they’d arrive to the designated camp hours later than expected.
    [​IMG]

    On a hill above them Stian looked nervously at his sides. Bjørnbekk, Fossestøl, Totsås, Lunden, Harbækvold...everyone seemed to be in position. He felt like he was just about to dip to icy winter water after badstu - nervous, but determined and full of anticipation.

    They had arrived here near sunset, as per their prewar plan, and cut down the last parts of the pine they had chosen as a stopping point beforehand. Ola and Einar had returned to their encampment a hour ago, wet and miserable, and according to their story thousands of Swedes must have passed by their position by now.

    The distant sound of artillery rumbled at northwest. Right now all they could see in the dim autumn light was a group of small figures walking around next to their carts. Soon it would be dark. Stian whistled like a bullfinch, waved his hand at the others, and then crouched back down, steadily drew a bead on one of the walking figures and pulled the trigger of his Krag-Jørgensen.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2018
    rommel12, Ran, Bad@logic and 5 others like this.
  6. Oldbill Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    " was not even supposed to be here. The sawmill needed all the workers as it was, and the mobilization order had come as a bit of a surprise. Karin had been devastated upon hearing the news. His bloody hag of a wife, full of prayer and complaint as she was, was sour company even during her better days. "

    Very well written! I lived that at one time, during a deployment. That passage rings very true.

    You mentioned oatmeal and pea soup. Were these combined?
     
    Big Smoke and Karelian like this.
  7. Knightmare Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    Location:
    FL
    I don't see how, those are two way different foods.

    And even military chefs wouldn't do that, I suspect.
     
    Karelian likes this.
  8. Oldbill Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    I'm sure your correct, but not asking is making an assumption, after reading "Lobscouse and spotted dog" that's something I try not to do regarding food.
     
    Karelian likes this.
  9. Orcbuster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    I would not be surprised if there was some form of pea soup oatmeal porridge. That doesn't sound half bad actually.
     
    Karelian likes this.
  10. Karelian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    It's one thing for others close to you to know in theory that you might be called to depart from their company towards an unknown fate some day, and to actually receive those news.

    Porridge from pure peeled wheat, called cellulose porridge, was reportedly the most hated dish. All in all military food tented to be equally miserable in all parts of Europe, with local variants:

    [​IMG]
    There are some real treats here:
    Artillery Pie
    (For 22 men)
    3,5kg of bread
    0,5kg of tallow
    1kg of sugar
    Four dozen apples or other fruit

    Melt the tallow, cut the bread to thin slices, dip the slices to melted tallow, set them to oven to dry. Peel and boil the apples, and smash them to a jam with the sugar. Stack the tallow bread slices to a bottom of a crock, cover them with the smashed fruit, cover them with another layer of tallow bread, and repeat until the indegrients are used up. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

    Spanish Brains
    One pair of fresh cow brains
    Eggs
    Bread
    Spices
    Keep the brains in cold water for an hour, and remove the veins. Smash them to a pulp, and whip them like you'd prepare an omelet from eggs. Add one egg, a spoonful of bread crumbs, salt, pepper and a bit of onion. Set the mashed brains to eight slices of fresh bread and bake in the oven for ten minutes. Fry the baked breads on a pan to give them a bit of colour. Cook some rice as a side dish.
     
    Bad@logic likes this.
  11. Orcbuster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Also just as an aside, if a norwegian place name has -moen as a suffix its a good indication that it has been a military spot at some time.
     
    Karelian likes this.
  12. Threadmarks: Chapter 104: Mobilis in mobili

    Karelian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    23rd of September, 1905, Saturday.
    Kristiansand, Marvika Naval Base.


    Captain Adam Müller at Harald Haarfagre had had a long day. His ship and crew had performed the task they had drilled over and over during the summer, and "led the eskadren in towards the Gates of Hell", like Børresen had put it. The fire from the Swedish armada had been massive, but they had clearly been unaccustomed to the heavy seas of the Skagerrak Strait. Still, he could hardly contemplate how they had made it out alive. The duel against Dristigheten and rest of the Swedish battle line from maximum range had been a fine show from his crew. But they had had luck as well. Captain Mørch and his chaps had not been so lucky - the forward turret of Norge was clearly damaged so badly that it would require a drydock to repair it. Captain Rosenqvist and Børresen had led the second column to battle with Eidsvold. On a glance the flagship seemed to be fine, until one noticed that the funnels now resembled pepperboxes. First thing tomorrow they'd have to...

    [​IMG]

    While Captain Müller was contemplating the tasks ahead, the mood in the Swedish submarine that was stalking the approaching Norwegian fleet was grim. With no radio or other signal equipment, the crew of Hajen had left the port 14 hours earlier. Fartygschef Georg W. Magnusson felt that his mission was the brainchild of Richson or one of his few supporters at the Admiralty. Most likely the naval staff had just wanted this odd little vessel out of the way. And here they were, far away in a middle of enemy territory, watching in disbelief as one ship after another appeared to the searchlights of the Kristiansand naval fortress. Those were clearly Norwegian Panserskips - and all three of them were here, with visible marks of battle damage! Had enemy spies managed to forewarn the Norwegians beforehand? Or worse yet, had Børresen actually won? No, that was not possible, or why else would they be here? No matter. Somehow these ships had managed to flee from the trap the prewar Swedish plan had set for them, and now Magnusson and his crew had the devil's luck of being in a spot to actually use their new ship in actual combat.

    This was the complete opposite of torpedo boats though. No guts and glory and full-speed charges straight ahead, just a dastardly shot in the dark. No matter. They were still risking their lives. Not yet. Not yet. Wait for it...Now! The Whitehead torpedo that slowly whirred towards the starboard side of Harald Haarfagre had been fired from 500 meters away. While scoring a hit against a maneuvering warship on a bright daylight would have been a near-impossible feat for the Swedish submarine, hitting a near-stationary target from an ambush position was not beyond the capabilities of the Swedish crew.

    The blastwave and the soaring red-white flame dazed Magnusson and his crew for a few seconds, but as soon as they recovered, the hatches were closed and everyone else rushed to the front of the small vessel as Hajen vanished below the waves. Reloading the torpedo tube was dangerous even in calm weather and broad daylight, let alone now. The paraffin oil fumes made everyone nauseous, and the small ship was still freezing cold. Once they made it out far enough and dared to surface again far in the open sea, the waves threatened to tilt the boat over and forced them to dive again.

    Mood in Kristiansand was chaotic. The admirals and commanders of the coastal defences were no longer in any talking terms, while the soldiers tasked to guard the harbour were being held in arrest and questioned in a night-long goose chase of Swedish spies and saboteurs. Only after one of the surviving crewmen woke up in morning hours and described seeing a torpedo in the water, did the Norwegian admiralty begun realize the nature of the nightly attack. Disbelief was soon followed by near-panic, as the Norwegians begun to urgently reorganize their naval defences against the new threat.
     
    Ran, Gladsome, Orcbuster and 4 others like this.
  13. Threadmarks: Chapter 105: the invasion of Nøtterø

    Karelian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    24th of September, 1905, Saturday.
    Middelborg, Nøtterø, four kilometers south of Melsomvik.

    [​IMG]

    The motley of small and large barges, tugboats and steamboats formed a curious sight, a long string of ships that slowly struggled its way towards northwest along the coast. The Swedish torpedo boats and destroyers escorted the slow transport ships filled with soldiers assigned to the Bohusdetachementet, the Swedish seaborne invasion force. The small Norwegian fishing hamlet and the natural harbour looked deserted when the first Swedish rowboats landed. But as they were securing the harbour, they were soon pinned down by rifle fire. While many men of the island served in the navy, especially at the nearby Melsomvik base, the Norwegian mobilization scheme had also allocated a small, roughly company-strength Landstormen unit to the area. As messengers speeded through the island with bicycles to reach the nearest telegram station, the platoon-sized local Landstorm fought a short engagement with the quickly growing Swedish bridgehead before withdrawing northwards in a rout after the heavier ships of the Kusteskadern begun to fire towards the estimated positions of the Norwegian militia. By noon the Swedish infantry was in control of the island, as the outnumbered Norwegians (and basically all of the civilian population) had fled the island with all available boats.

    Rest of the day there was an eerie calm on the island. Swedish infantry combed the woods, searching for Norwegian franktirør, while the supply units were busily unloading the constant stream of barges and small steamships that crowded the small harbours of Nøtterø. At the Swedish warships the attention was strictly focused towards west, where the Norwegian Panserskips had fled. After Hvaler archipelago had been searched and deemed empty of the Norwegian light units, it was estimated that they had been pulled northwards to defend the heavily mined approaches of Kristiania. Things were going according to plan, and most of the captains were happy to leave it at that.

    As the traffic in and out of the harbour was constant, few in the busy harbours had time to pay any heed or even hear to the faint approaching sound of engines. The escorting ships used their searchlights to illuminate the harbour as well as their surroundings, but the same darkness that had concealed Hajen a day earlier now enabled the Norwegian torpedo boats to sneak up rather close in the cover of the surrounding archipelago. Only when their engines roared to full speed and the boats dashed forward, turning their own searchlights on, did the Swedes realize that they were under attack by dozens of torpedo boats that were quickly closing in from northern flanks of Nøtterø. And just as the Swedish torpedo boats and destroyers were scrambling to meet the threat, the Swedish observes noticed that another group of searchlights flared up on their western side.

    [​IMG]

    Rear Admiral Børresen had just launched a full-scale counterattack.
     
    Big Smoke, Ran, Orcbuster and 3 others like this.
  14. Orcbuster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Oh shit! they are trying to do a repeat of Dynekilen!

    Would not surprise me if Børresen is on a suicide run to sink as many barges as possible In order to buy time for the army to reinforce in time for the mainland landings.

    Suicide run of course is subjective considering the conditions. This will be a very confusing fight.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  15. Karelian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Børresen lives by his conviction of being a latter-day Tordenskiold.
    And while he managed to oust his rival Sparre after the Melsomvik Incident, the submarine attack against Marvika has created a lot of dissent amongst the Norwegian Admiralty. Sparre is rallying his allies. In order to stay at the helm, Børresen needs to deliver.
    https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...-century-history.272417/page-18#post-12357245

    Børresen views the Norwegian Panserskips as the primary element of the navy, whereas Sparre held the opinion that it was infact the lighter torpedo boats, mines and coastal artillery that formed the primary elements of the essentially defensive Norwegian naval strategy.

    Børresen was also convinced that morale counted for a lot in naval war, and has essentially sortied out again as quickly as possible mainly to avenge the loss of Harald Haarfagre. The chance to replicate the victorious tactics of his historical paragon was also a temptation he couldn't resist.

    A night attack from multiple directions is a tactic the Norwegian crews have drilled over and over during the pre-war months.

    [​IMG]
     
    Orcbuster and Oldbill like this.
  16. Threadmarks: Chapter 106: the fall of Sundåsen

    Karelian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    25th of September, 1905, Sunday.
    Sundåsen battery, western bank of Vestfjorden.

    [​IMG]
    "Holtan, range!"
    "Orograph shows 2000 meters, Kaptein!"
    "Set guns to 1900 meters!"
    "1900 meters and descending!"
    "Cannon 2 in position! Cannon 1 in position!"
    "On my command - Fire!"
    "Gun number 2 - Fire!"[1]


    The dawn raid against the Håøya and Sundåsen coastal artillery batteries was bound to be difficult. The fjord was narrow for warships, especially for warships that were being fired upon by heavy coastal artillery. With the naval navigation marks moved and repainted, the heavier ships of Kusteskadern struggled to navigate the treacherous passages. Smoke from the smothering ruins of Middelborg still lingered in the air, as a reminder of the carnage that had taken place around the fishing hamlet the the night before. The Norwegian torpedo boats had been sailing familiar waters, conducting just the type of attack they had been specifically trained for.

    The Swedish transport fleet of barges, freighters and smaller coastal transports had been on anchor in a long line at the archipelago outside the small crammed fishing harbour, and especially the civilian ships had had no chances to get away in time before the Norwegian torpedoes had struck home. Four cargo ships had been sunk, and the exposion of freighter Heros at the harbour itself had destroyed most of the artillery assets of Bohusdetachementet, the Swedish invasion force.

    The exposion had wreacked damage at the harbour, and also started a fire that consumed most of the buildings of the tightly-built fishing hamlet in an uncontrollable blaze the Swedish troops were unable to extinguish. The Swedish armored cruiser Niord had also been ran aground to save the ship from sinking completely after a torpedo hit. All Norwegian torpedo boats had been able to flee at the cover of darkness, but Djerv had taken so much damage the crew had been forced to abandon ship further north.

    Most of the heavier Swedish ships had spent the rest of the night in a futile chase of the Norwegian Panserskips - Børresen had made an appearance at the west, only to disengage after firing the first opening salvoes. He had listened the sound of torpedo explosions with deep satisfaction. Finally things went according to his plans!

    Knowing that the drydock at Karljohansvern was behind the Swedish fleet, and that the Swedes would not let his small fleet to rest and repair for long in any case, he did not want to risk his remaining ships until he'd receive information of the success of the torpedo boat attack.

    Now buying time for the Army was most important.

    At the Swedish side the attack pressured Rear Admiral Dyrssen for action. The timetable for the Swedish operation had already been ruined during the first days of the conflict, and the Swedish General Staff was pressuring the Admiralty with angry telegrams, urging them to deliver their promised control of the seas. Dyrssen had a lot to think about, as Sunday dawn had also brought the Kusteskadern good news, as the Swedish ships on patrol had re-established contact with Hajen.

    The unreliable paraffin engine of the Swedish submarine had nearly suffocated the crew before malfunctioning shortly after the ship had limped to Middelborg. In the end the submarine had to be towed back to Strömstad, but there Fartygschef Georg W. Magnusson was received as hero by his colleagues. He had bought his commander some much-needed respite, but Dyrssen knew that sinking ships was not going to win this war or satisfy the Swedish General Staff.

    And therefore the remaining artillery of the invasion force had been pushed and hauled to the western bank of the island, and pre-aimed at the estimated positions of the Norwegian batteries. The armored cruisers of Kusteskadern sailed forward, supported by minesweepers, and by Sunday dawn the Norwegian batteries defending the southern approaches to Melsomvik naval base fired their first shots in anger against the approaching Swedish fleet.

    The Swedish warships pressed forward and returned fire, while the Swedish artillery at Nøtterø begun to suppress the Norwegian coastal guns at the neighbouring Håøya island and at the opposite bank of the narrow fjord.

    In their intended role, fighting against ships crammed to the narrow fjord and moving towards naval minefields, the Norwegian coastal forts would have almost certainly stopped any navy in the world from pushing through in 1905. But as formidable as the forts were, their open turrets and firing positions were not equipped to meet a controlled barrage from field artillery.

    As the first shells from the Swedish artillery landed right next to their designated target, it was clear that the Norwegian garrison was fighting a losing battle that would be over soon after it had begun.

    [​IMG]
    [1] The battery is a commanded by a certain Birger K. Eriksen, a recently graduated field artillery officer.
     
  17. Oldbill Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2015
    Has "The Kings Choice" had English subtitles put in? I've not found it if so. It'd be worth paying just to see the whole battle.
     
    Karelian likes this.
  18. Karelian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    I'd be really surprised if not. Subtitles are a standard feature in Nordic films after all, and major retailer page lists them as an included feature.
     
  19. Threadmarks: Chapter 107: The Banter of Isak

    Karelian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    26th of September, 1905, Monday.
    Øyermoen, Eastern Norway.
    [​IMG]


    "And there I was in that God-forsaken sh*th*le-excuse-of-a-f*c*ng oxcart - that must have originally belonged to some f*t*ssed half-Danish s*n****ich from Skåne flatlands considering how hopeless it was on both down- and uphill - laying down in a middle of all that semi-rotten stuff they pass by as fodder for all of these poor horses they've drafted to this blood*-f**king mess, when these in*red ***t-f*lled d**-*unts opened fire, and Jesus Allmighty save me how certain I was on that moment that I'd die, I could hear their bullets whistling by me, when one of those *diots - by accident or not, who knows, must have hit our oxen. I couldn't tell if it was Lazy or Stupid, but goddamn, those two eunuchs suddenly discovered swiftness they had preferred to keep hidden despite constant whipping. Away they stampeted, mooing like the trumpet of the Fifth-F**king Angel, and up-and-down went our sorry-*ss Skåne-made s*it-cart, and me, the poor soul still stuck below that Hell's oilcloth, dumb-struck like a mouse on a haysack!

    By the time I came to my senses it was all over, really. I never saw any single hairy-*ssed Norwegian sh*tc*nt, and Anders, bless his soul, soon stumbled next to me and looked like he had challenged the whole neighbouring village to fisticuffs all by himself, laughing with half of his upper teeth missing and face all bloody. He had fallen down the moment the cart had yanked forward violently, and had landed face-down to the ditch. I'm telling you, Norway had beaten him up good there and that, broken his nose and smashed his teeth like old Bad-Gösta from Forsby! Haha, haven't I told you? The guy who won the bet of squeezing the living s*** out of a damn fool who once..."

    Isak was sitting on the wet ground, and he could see the other reservists had noticed the wild glee at his face and the way he laughed just a bit too much. But they chortled along, waved their hands and called him out from his marketsalesman's act at the correct intervals, and were clearly sympathetic and curious. And as far as Isak had to say on the matter, his continued survival merely proved the old proverb where God wants to have no business with some people, while the Devil sees no need to rush either.

    And he was allowed to talk, merely because he was old, mean-mouthed and persistent enough to outlast the others, while also scrawny and scruffy-looking enough to avoid the implication that his constant provocations were genuine challenges and provocations for actual fights. So he and the others kept smoking their pipes and wasting the time. The column would not head back to Sweden until the cavalry had swept the hills clear of franktirør.

    And while Isak was no huntsman, he doubted the Norwegians had just marched back to their camp like fairytale dwarves, merrily whistling with rifles on their shoulders. The lingering skent of smoke coming from the direction of the small farmhouse a few kilometers east from here seemed to stuck to his clothes and his skin. The locals were odd people, superstitious svedjebrukare the whole lot of them on both sides of the border. They stank of smoke all the time anyhow, and as far as Isak cared about things like that right now it served them right to suffer for not being more cooperative and loyal towards their rightful ruler.

    The King. Hah. Cracking jokes about that topic was something Isak was not willing to do now, not with everyone gathered here. He had seen the way the youngest lads watched him with a mix of disbelief and outright anger when he did that last time. There was still an invisible line around certain topics, and Isak knew better than tresspass to the forbidden topics for no good reason. No matter. Norway would teach those chaps quick and well, just like it had done to him last Saturday.
    Provided that they lived long enough to learn.
     
    Ran, Oldbill and Orcbuster like this.
  20. Orcbuster Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Its back!
     
Loading...