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 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:29 pm 
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Carrying the war to the enemy
Date: February, 1942
Location: various
Time: various

On February 2nd, the U.S military took a giant step towards bringing the war to Nazi Germany, when the Eighth Air Force was established at Savannah Army Air Base in Georgia. The component commands of this formation are VIII Bomber Command & VIII Fighter Command (established on February 19th), VIII Support Command (established on February 24th) and VIII Air Service Command. MG Carl Spaatz was assigned as Commanding Officer HQ 8th Air Force, and it is his task to get his men ready for the coming air campaign.

VIII Bomber Command’s job will be to attack Nazi Germany by carrying out a strategic bombing campaign using heavy, four-engine bombers (primarily the B-17); VIII Fighter Command’s job is to provide fighter escort for the heavy bombers, while VIII Air Support Command’s job will be to provide tactical & strategic reconnaissance, troop transport capability and tactical air support via the use of twin-engine aircraft such as the B-25; the P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bomber and other ground-attack aircraft (such as the P-61 Black Widow) will also be assigned to this command. Lastly, VIII Air Service Command will be tasked with providing service and logistical support to the other components of the 8th Air Force.

One of MG Spaatz’ first official acts after assuming command of HQ 8th Air Force was to dispatch an advance party to England in order to coordinate with RAF Bomber Command and prepare for the arrival of 8th Air Force units in May of this year.

On February 9th, a meeting takes place in a secure conference room at the Pentagon between all of the top military leaders of the United States in order to discuss American military strategy in the present war. The newly-formed group is known as the Joint Chiefs of Staff and is comprised of Admiral William D. Leahy (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff), Admiral Harold Stark (Chief of Naval Operations), General George C. Marshall (Army Chief of Staff) and General Hap Arnold (Chief of the Army Air Forces). At this meeting, a policy was promulgated whereby the United States would aid Great Britain by devoting a majority of its resources towards carrying out military operations against Nazi Germany; at the same time, a holding action would be fought against Japan in the Pacific (the strike currently being planned against Japan as retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor is an entirely separate operation). When Germany was defeated, both the United States and Great Britain would turn their full resources against Japan and bring the war to a close. As part of the holding action against Japan, an order was prepared for three U.S Army divisions to be deployed to Australia & New Zealand so that troops from these countries could remain on duty in the Middle East; the deployment is scheduled to take place between now and the end of March.

On the domestic political front, President Roosevelt had been considering for some time whether or not to exclude Japanese-Americans from the West Coast and to incarcerate them in camps set up for that purpose. To this end, the FBI and the Office of Naval Intelligence had been surveilling Japanese-American communities on the West Coast for years. In addition, the Munson Report (authored by Detroit businessman Carl Munson in mid-1940 and submitted to President Roosevelt on November 7th, 1941) concluded that there was a remarkable degree of loyalty towards the United States on the part of Americans of Japanese descent, and that there was no possibility of an armed uprising by them. A second investigation by Kenneth Ringle from the Office of Naval Intelligence (which began in 1940 and concluded just one month ago) determined that there was no evidence of Fifth Column activity by Japanese-Americans and that mass incarceration should not be considered. Even so, there was still a good deal of institutional racism directed against these people; because of this, President Roosevelt was still considering their removal from the West Coast and their subsequent incarceration.

In a change from Mr. Smith’s original history, FDR chose not to issue an Executive Order directing the removal and internment of Japanese-Americans. Among the several reasons for this are that General John L. Dewitt’s removal from the Western Defense Command had been previously orchestrated by Mr. Smith, the ‘Niihau Incident’ never took place, the incredible valor displayed by Fred Kawamoto and Jean Nishimura with the Blackhawk Squadron over Pearl Harbor and political arm-twisting by J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the FBI. Hoover was repeatedly pressed by President Roosevelt to support the issuance of the order, but he refused (in reality, Mr. Smith told Hoover what to do and outlined his reasons for doing so). When Hoover was again asked by FDR for his concurrence, he declined, threatened to resign as Director of the FBI and then go public with the reasons for his opposition. President Roosevelt quickly realized that Hoover’s popularity with Congress and the American public was such that it would have been politically-dangerous to override him; so, the issue was dropped.

A Fortunate Happenstance
Date: February 16th, 1942
Location: St. Lawrence Harbor, Newfoundland
Time: 4:30 PM local time

While bound for Placentia, Newfoundland out of Casco Bay, Maine on February 16th, USS Truxtun (DD-229), USS Wilkes (DD-441) and the Castor-class stores ship USS Pollux (AKS-2) encountered a poweful gale that had come howling in from the North Atlantic and raised very heavy seas. In a display of beneficial foresight and common good sense, the three ships made for St. Lawrence Harbor and remained there until the storm passed.

In the grand scheme of things, such a development hardly merits more than a couple of entries in the logbooks of the ships involved. However, these circumstances are different. In Mr. Smith’s original history, USS Wilkes left Boston for Casco Bay, Maine on February 15th and met USS Truxtun and USS Pollux en-route. From Casco Bay, the three ships sailed towards Placentia, Newfoundland. Early on the morning of February 18th, these three ships were involved in a terrible disaster that resulted in the grounding of USS Truxtun at Chambers Cove (with the loss of 110 of her crew) and the grounding of USS Pollux off Lawn Point (with the loss of 93 of her crew). USS Wilkes ran aground and took substantial damage but, suffered no casualties.




Operation Joker
Date: February 18th, 1942
Location: Mr. Smith’s office, Empire State Building
Time: 9:00 AM

Among Mr. Smith’s many fields of interest is finding new ways to harass, discomfit and otherwise inconvenience the enemy. To further discuss his ideas, he places a call to Otis Needleman in Chicago. The connection is instantly made, and Needleman’s image comes up on the screen built into Mr. Smith’s desktop.

“Good morning, Otis.”

“Hiya, Jim. To what do I owe the pleasure? Our regular conference call wasn’t scheduled for some little time...”

“I’ve got some wonderful, awful ideas about conducting a psychological warfare campaign against the Nazis occupying France, along with their fawning bootlickers in the Vichy government.” At this, a smile most unpleasant crosses Mr. Smith’s face, as if he were a great white shark contemplating his next meal. Needleman raises an eyebrow in mock alarm and replies “Jim, in all the years I have known you, the only time I’ve seen a smile like that is when you’re contermplating something really horrendous....what gives?”

Mr. Smith chuckles malignantly and says “well, since you ask so nicely, I’ll tell you. Sun Tzu once said ‘supreme excellence consists of subduring an enemy without fighting.’ In other words, if the bad guys don’t have their head in the game, they’re halfway to getting their asses kicked. With this in mind, I direct your attention to one Nathan Bedford Forrest; I have no sympathies for his politics or his racist attitude. This being said, he was one of the most gifted cavalry officers the Confederacy ever had; one of his favorite aphorisms was ‘Keep up the Skeer’, meaning to harass the enemy whenever and wherever possible and to never let up.”

“What do you have in mind?”

“I propose to have the French section undertake a campaign of harassment against the Nazis in France and their Vichy toadies. It will not involve car bombings, assassinations or drive-by shootings but instead, a series of practical jokes designed to unsettle the minds of the Nazis. Do you happen to recall a late 20th-century comedy film called ‘Animal House’?”

“Why of course I do. I saw it in 1978, just after it premiered. Is there some reason why you mention it?”

“Most certainly. In the film, there’s a sequence where Dean Wormer is talking to that prick Marmalard about all the trouble that the Deltas are causing on campus, specifically the toilets exploding every Spring. The practical jokes I intend to have carried out against the Nazis and their collaborators are amateurish and more than a little bit sophomoric. However, when they are conducted at length and in numbers, the Nazis and their pals will quickly come to realize that nowhere is safe; this will certainly unsettle their minds.”

“What sorts of jokes are you thinking of?”

“For one, the French Section will infiltrate a couple of their people into Nazi Headquarters in Paris, then short-sheet the beds of General Otto von Stülpnagel and his top officers; this will be repeated as necessary. Next, pieces of fiberglas insulation will be introduced into the German officers’ laundry. When their uniforms are getting dried, little pieces of fiberglas wool will breakoff and get lodged in the cloth. Before too long, the Nazis are going to be itching like they have a bad case of fleas. Rather appropriate, if I do say so myself.”

“What’s next?”

“Ex Lax will be substituted for the chocolate in their desserts and raw linseed oil will be poured into the gas tanks of their staff cars. Additionally, selected cars (starting with General Stülpnagel’s personal vehicle) will be sabotaged by having their hubcaps temporarily removed so that the lug nuts can be removed and thrown away; afterwards, the hubcaps will be replaced to give the impression that nothing is out of the ordinary. Some vehicles will have one of their spark plugs removed and the cylinder underneath filled with smokeless powder; I don’t think I need to tell you what happens when some poor driver tuns the key. the Last but not least, there are the old ‘Flaming Dogshit’, ‘Potato up the Tailpipe’ and ‘Shotgun shell in the muffler’ tricks...”

Needleman laughs uproariously and says “Jim, those tricks were old when I was growing up. I see no reason why the Nazis and their stooges shouldn’t be acquainted with such classics. If you don’t mind, I’ve got a few suggestions of my own.”

“Go right ahead, I’m listening.”

“When some Nazi asshole gets off work in Paris, the first thing he wants to do is to indulge in the pleasures of the flesh and the grape. How about we arrange to have itching powder put in their rubbers?” Mr. Smith considers this for a moment, then busts out laughing so hard his sides begin to ache. When he recovers his composure, Smith says “you and I are of like mind, Otis. This one is approved. What else are you thinking of?”

“Canned sardines form an important part of the diet of Gerrman submariners, don’t they? Well, what would you say to making up a special run of such, where the fish oil is replaced with Croton oil. This stuff is a very powerful purgative; just imagine what in a U-boat when a crew chows down on these sardines and gets the Hershey squirts at the worst possible moment...like when they’re getting depth-charged. As for the food shipped to the surface vessels of the Kriegsmarine, Croton oil can also be introduced (with similar results, of course). Another thing we can do concerns the use of drugs by the Nazis to bolster the performance of their troops in battle; specifically, methamphetamine. This was issued by all branches of the German military under the brand name Pervitin, and was very popular with pilots in the Luftwaffe.”

“So, you’re saying that more than a few German military personnel were meth-heads?”

“Yes. I propose to screw with the Germans even more by having SmithCorp Pharmaceuticals run off a bunch of counterfeit Pervitin, except that the contents won’t be methamphetamine; it will be a combination of sleeping pills infused with Croton oil. The counterfeit stuff can be introduced into the German military’s supply chain; but to make this gag work, we’ll need the European section to get hold of some Pervitin packages so that the labeling can be duplicated exactly. The effects will come into play when some Luftwaffe pilot or Wehrmacht officer needs a little boost; he’ll take some of the counterfeit stuff and, instead of getting the desired results, he’ll fall asleep and get the runs at the same time.”

“These are also approved. Send word to Harold Smythe in London that he’ll coordinate with the French section and run the operation out of Norfolk House.”

“Understood, boss-man. One last thing does come to mind; do you have a name for the operation?”
A twisted gleam shines forth in Mr. Smith’s eyes as he replies “of course, I do. It’s called ‘Operation: Joker.” These last words are accompanied with a huge grin and a burst of maniacal laughter, reminiscent of the Joker character as voiced by Mark Hamill.


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 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:40 pm 
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Posts: 629
On the making and movement of money
Date: February, 1942
Location: various
Time: various

In order to provide a continuing source of liquidity, Roger Mortimer and the staff at Union State Private Bank and the Crimson Permanent Assurance are making continual forays into the New York, Chicago, Toronto and London stock markets. These activities are carefully structured so as to avoid unfavorable attention from such regulatory agencies as the Securities & Exchange Commission, the Ontario Securities Commission and the Board of Governors of the London Stock Exchange. Buying and selling on the New York and Chicago markets is handled directly by the Crimson Permanent Assurance (with assistance from Union State Private Bank), while operations on the Toronto and London markets are handled by the Canadian and British Sections respectively. Investment strategies are structured so as to minimize the tax burden while maximizing the rate of return; of course, Mr. Smith’s financial operations have an unparalleled advantage because to the availability of information from the future. All told, Mr. Smith’s take from his stock market operations is $750,000,000 per year. To further reduce the tax burden, two-thirds of these funds go to SmithCorp (not to Mr. Smith directly).

These investment activities are entirely separate from Mr. Smith’s Long-Term Growth Fund (which was set up in 1932 when the stock market reached all-time lows, and is scheduled to run until the year 2010). This fund made structured investments beginning with $10,000,000 in the tobacco industry and $30,000,000 each in the food, chemical and electrical equipment industries. LGTF’s plan is to reinvest all dividends paid on the shares that it owns (DRIP; Dividend Reinvestment Plan) and to keep all stock in-house, no matter how many times they are (or will be) split. When the fund closes in 2010, the value of the tobacco stocks will have grown to $630 billion dollars, while the food, chemical and electrical equipment portfolios will be worth $150 billion dollars each (for a grand total of $1.08 trillion dollars). Then, there is Mr. Smith’s possession of the entire 1937 issue of Reichsbank bonds, all $400,000,000 worth. These will be held until 1995 and will be redeemed for their full value; the compounded interest on these bonds means that the initial investment of four hundred million dollars will grow to $200 billion dollars over the next 58 years. In 1995, the German government will be given the option of paying the $200 billion at the rate of twenty billion dollars a year for 10 years, forty billion dollars for five years or fifty billion dollars for four years.

Aside from Mr. Smith’s vast reserves of gold, silver, platinum and precious gems, Union State Private Bank has a credit balance of $10.5 billion dollars and a cash balance of $4.75 billion dollars. He also has just under $11.2 billion dollars on deposit at eight other banks; the Bank of New York, the Manhattan Company, City Bank of New York, Brown Brothers, the Chemical Bank of New York, People’s Bank, First Bank Stock Corporation and Wells Fargo. To arrive at these balances, Mr. Smith established accounts (with an initial deposit of $100,000) at each bank in the first year they were founded, and arranged for regular deposits of a further $100,000 in each account every year between then and now (the principle of compound interest did the rest); of these eight accounts, the one of longest standing is the one at the Bank of New York, which account was established in 1785. Mr. Smith’s account at the Bank of North America was set up when that bank was founded in 1781 and closed in 1928 (one year before the Bank’s collapse in the Crash of 1929); the balance of $3.75 billion dollars was transferred to Union State Private Bank. As of now, the annual deposits in these accounts are being increased to $1,000,000 each. Mr. Smith also has accounts in various foreign banks (arranged as were the accounts in the U.S banks previously mentioned); these are in the Bank of Montreal ($1,505,419,467), the Bank of England (£11,519,750,684), the Royal Bank of Scotland (£9,924,301,784), Barclays Bank (£2,528,355,401), Coutts Bank (£2,358,121,433) and Lloyd’s Bank (£1,501,775,901).

Action, Reaction
Date: February 20th, 1942
Location: Headquarters, Reichsministry of Aviation, Berlin
Time: 10:00 am

As retaliation for the bombing of the Wannsee Villa by the Royal Air Force, Hitler calls Hermann Goering (commander of the Luftwaffe) and says “Herr Reichsmarschall, this infamous crime committed against us by those verdammt Britishers will not stand, I say. I want you to hit them hard and make them bleed.’

“Jawhol, Mein Furhrer; it will be as you say.”

After the call from Hitler ends, Goering considers what targets in London would most wound the morale of the British; then he places a call to Generalfeldmarschall Hugo Sperle (commanding officer of Luftflotte 3) at his headquarters in Paris and says “Herr Feldmarschall, the Fuhrer has ordered the Luftwaffe to retaliate against the British for their dastardly attack on the Wannsee Villa; upon your shoulders rests the responsibility of carrying out the vengeance of the German people.”

“Herr Reichsmarschall, I will be pleased to carry out the Fuhrer’s orders. Dare I ask if you have specific targets in mind?”

“Yes, I do. One of the most significant transportation links in all of London is none other than Tower Bridge itself. If this structure were to be damaged, it would seriously impede motor traffic over the Thames River, as well as shipping traffic up and down the river. Second, there are the Houses of Parliament in the Palace of Westminster and the clock tower known as Big Ben. The Palace of Westminster is the seat of the British Government, and the clock tower is something of a national landmark; just as the Brandenburg Gate is for us. If something, shall we say ‘unfortunate’ were to happen to the Palace, it would shake the confidence of the British people in the RAF to defend them. Lastly, there are the docks of London. These and their associated trades make London the largest port city in the world, and it is of the highest strategic importance that the Port of London’s ability to carry on the shipping trade be reduced; the docks themselves are very hard to destroy, so attacks against them should focus on the nearby warehouses. Additionally, I think that what the British did at the villa was intended to be a decapitation strike; therefore, I think we are fully-justified in hitting Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.”

“I understand, Herr Reichsmarschall. I will detail the IV and V Fliegerkorps to carry out the attack. To deceive the RAF as to our true intentions, there will be diversionary raids from the southwest against Bristol and from the west against Southampton. While these are taking place, the main thrust will come across the Channel and towards London.”

“Understood, Herr Feldmarschall. How long will you need to put the plan into operation?”

“I don’t think I’ll need more than two weeks to bring it all together. You may inform the Furhrer that the attack will take place no later than March 6th. As for the British, I can only imagine what they will think when the bombs start raining down on some of their most important national landmarks. You do realize that night bombing attacks aren’t nearly as accurate as those during daytime?”

“Of course, Herr Feldmarschall. If even three or four bombs fall on either palace, it will have been worth it, just to know that those verdammt Britishers are experiencing what they have put us through. Keep me apprised of your progress and send word the very minute that your bombers take off.”

“Jawhol, Herr Reichsmarschall.”

The vengeance of the Reich
Date: March 6th, 1942
Location: western & northern France
Time: 12:30 AM local time

At Luftwaffe bases across France, the pilots and ground crews of IV and V Fliegerkorps have completed their preparations for the attack on England. The bomber force consists of 415 Heinkel He-111s and 130 Ju-88s (plus 70 Dornier Do-217s from Kampfgruppe 2 and Kampfgruppe 6; chosen for their expertise in accurate night bombing), and will proceed without fighter escort (due to the difficulty in accompanying bombers at night. The ordnance load for each Do-217 consists of twelve SC-250 bombs, while the He 111s and Ju-88s will carry of a mix of SC-250s & ESAC 250 incendiaries.

Late in the evening of March 5th, all is in readiness and the order to take-off is given. The takeoff time was chosen so that the diversionary raids against Bristol and Southampton will arrive over the targets at approximately half-past midnight on the morning of March 6th. At this same time, the bombers designated to attack London take off and proceed to their target. When the aircraft involved in the diversionary attacks reached an altitude of 5,000', they were vectored westwards in order to avoid detection by the British ‘Chain Home’ radar system. Once the strike force reached the airspace over Dinard and St. Malo, it turned immediately northwards and made for an area of the southern English coast between Weymouth and Exmouth. From previous raids by the Luftwaffe, it was noticed that there was a gap in the Chain Home Low radar coverage at this point.

When the raid against London crossed the English coast, it was only a matter of time before it was detected by the Chain Home Low system.

After receiving information from the Filter Room at RAF Bentley Priory that there is a major Luftwaffe raid inbound from France, the duty officer of RAF Box takes it upon himself to inform Air Vice-Marshal Augustus Orlebar about the situation. Immediately, he rouses himself, come to the Plot Room and says “alright, wing commander. What do the Jerries have in store for us this evening?”

WC John Hutchinson replies “sir, it appears as if the Luftwaffe is coming after Bristol and Southampton. They must have come in rather low, because they were only detected by Chain Home Low 15 minutes ago.” AVM Orlebar mumbles a few choice obscenities under his breath, then says “right. Wing Commander, it’s time for us to do the Hun a bad turn or two. Alert the anit-aircraft batteries around Bristol and Southampton that they are to expect some unwelcome guests in the very near future. Also, get the word out to the squadron commanders at RAF Filton, RAF St. Eval, RAF Filton and RAF Middle Wallop and have them get their planes into the air immediately. With any luck, we’ll be able to hit the Jerries where it hurts before the bombs start falling.”

WC Hutchinson snaps to attention and replies “very good, sir.” Then, he starts making telephone calls to the relevant commands. The 3.7” QF and 4.5” heavy AA batteries around Bristol and Southampton are put on alert, with their crews standing ready to defend against the coming attack. At the four RAF bases, alert sirens start wailing. The pilots waste no time in getting into their cockpits, with the time to take off minimized because the ground crews already had the engines started. All the pilots have to do to get into the game is to strap themselves in and take off.

As soon as the Bristol Beaufighters and De Havilland Mosquitoes are at altitude, the squadron leaders are given vectors to meet the oncoming enemy aircraft. They and their pilots firewall their throttles in hopes of heading off the Germans before they can start dropping their ordnance. What follows is a vicious engagement that lasts the better part of the next three hours. The attacking Luftwaffe squadrons going against Bristol and Southampton suffer a loss rate between 10-12%. Targets in both cities were struck repeatedly by demolition bombs and incendiary devices; of the German aircraft downed, 40% of the total can be attributed to the use of SmithCorp proximity fuzes (which are now general-issue for all RAF anti-aircraft batteries).

At 0200 local time, the true thrust of the Luftwaffe attack becomes apparent, as a large formation of bombers approaches London. As soon as this second force is detected, AVM Orlebar alerts the city’s anti-aircraft batteries, while night fighters from RAF Northolt and RAF Biggin Hill are vectored to intercept. In the engagement, Luftwaffe losses over London are very severe (at 16%). However, this doesn’t prevent the Germans from hitting their assigned targets.

Of the hundreds of bombs dropped in the vicinity of Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, one hit the bridge and eight hit the Tower; the bomb which hit the bridge destroyed one of the Bridge’s two lifting engines and jammed the bascule in the down position. For the Tower of London, the complex was hit by a total of eight bombs (one of which scored a direct hit on the White Tower).

It was a different matter for the Palace of Westminster and its surroundings. Big Ben took just two hits from SC-250s; but, seventeen other bombs and an entire planeload of incendiaries overshot the target and came down all over the Palace of Westminster. Given the lateness of the hour, none of the Commons or the Lords were in the building. However, dozens of staff members were killed. Both Houses of Parliament suffered extensive damage, with the roofs of Westminster Hall, St. Stephen’s Hall and the lobby of the House of Commons collapsing. Elsewhere in London, a total of eleven bombs of different sizes and types fall upon Buckingham Palace. Lastly, the warehouses around the London docks were heavily struck, with 30% of the complex going up in flames. At no time was the Royal Family ever in danger, because King George VI, Elizabeth the Queen Mother and their children had all been safely evacuated before the bombs started falling.

One target that was destroyed in the raid on London came about by chance. In the furious air combat taking place over the city, a Do-217 had its tail chewed off by a burst of fire from a Bristol Beaufighter; when the German aircraft came down, the crash destroyed the Victoria & Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens.

Sound & Fury
Date: March 6th, 1942
Location: London, England
Time: 9:30 am local time

A pall of smoke lies heavy over the city of London as firefighters struggle to put out the blazes started by the bombings earlier this morning. In Prime Minister Churchill’s war room deep underneath the Treasury Building on King Charles Street, an emergency session of the war cabinet has been called to address the subject of the Luftwaffe raids. First to speak is the Prime Minister himself, who says “gentlemen, how is it possible those damnable German bombers were able to get so close to their targets before being detected?”

Sir Archibald Sinclair (Secretary of State for Air) replies “Prime Minister, the Luftwaffe staged diversionary raids against Bristol and Southampton that came across the Channel below the minimum detection altitude of Chain Home and slipped through the last remaining gap in Chain Home Low; this is on the southern coast between the cities of Exmouth and Weymouth. At this same time, a third bomber force came across the Channel towards London; had the diversionary raids taken place thirty days from now, those bombers would have been detected as soon as they crossed the coast, due to scheduled upgrades in the Chain Home system. As it stands, Chain Home did detect the bombers heading towards London. We have Sir James Smith to thank for his assistance in the upgrades, as they doubled the detection range of Chain Home Low. Currently, both systems are limited to a 100-degree arc of coverage from the front of the emitters. Sir James’ man Mr. Harold Smythe tells me that both systems will be further upgraded to give 360-degree coverage; essentially, a three-dimensional view of our airspace.”

Churchill leans back in his chair and says “well, Sir Archibald, I think that these upgrades should have absolute priority. The British people would not forgive us if we let something like this happen again.”

“Yes, Prime Minister. I’ll see to it personally.”

Secretary of State for War Sir Percy Gregg joins the discussion and says “Prime Minister, this kind of attack by the Luftwaffe is most unusual, to say the least. Previously, their attacks had been limited to targets of strategic importance. To go after Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and the Tower of London was most unexpected. As for the destruction of the Victoria & Albert Memorial, that was due to pure bad luck.”

“Indeed, Sir Percy. It seems to me that the attacks on Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster were intended to be a decapitation strike; to kill the King and Parliament, just as Guy Fawkes tried to do in 1605. Whatever their reasons were, the Germans have committed an infamous crime and I tell you all that it will not stand!!” Churchill emphasizes his determination by pounding the table in front of him with his fist. The Prime Minister now looks to the new Air Chief Marshall Sir Arthur Harris and says “Sir Arthur, to paraphrase the Duke of Exeter in Shakespeare’s play ‘Henry V’, the British people do ought expect that we should rouse ourselves, as did the former lions of our blood. The retaliation for this dastardly attack must be swift and sure; you will select a suitable German city as a target and send your bombers to deliver a proper reply.”

The man who will soon be known as ‘Bomber’ Harris fixes a steely look on Churchill’s face and says “Prime Minister, I will be very pleased to carry out this operation to the best of my ability. It will take a little time to put everything together; perhaps two weeks, no more. After that, the bombers will fly.”

“Very well, Sir Arthur. I leave these matters in your capable hands. Now, if you gentlemen will please excuse me, I must go and call President Roosevelt and give him the particulars of what happened.” With this, Churchill departs the War Room and heads off down the hall to the room where the Hot Line to the White House is located (a room conveniently disguised as a water closet).

Time: 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time

Back in the United States, Otis Needleman calls Mr. Smith to apprise him of the events in London earlier this morning. The transmission begins and he says “good morning, boss; I’ve got some hot intel for you from Harold Smythe at Norfolk House. The strike against the Wannsee Conference has had an unexpected side effect.”

A look of concern crosses Mr. Smith’s face as he responds “alright, Otis; spill the beans. What happened?”

“The Germans must have thought that the British were trying to take out a significant part of their government when the villa was bombed, so they decided to retaliate in kind. A massive air raid was staged, wherein diversionary attacks were made against the cities of Bristol and Southampton. The true thrust of the attack was against London, and targeted Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster, the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the London Docks. King George VI and the Royal Family were never in any danger, as they had been safely evacuated as soon as the raid warning came in. As far as Parliament is concerned, the timing of the attack meant that there were no members present in Westminster.”

“Churchill and his crew must be going absolutely apeshit over this. What kind of damage are we looking at?”

Needleman refers to the report transmitted to him by Harold Smythe and says “Jim, Tower Bridge is out of service, and Big Ben has been heavily damaged. The Luftwaffe was apparently trying to knock down the clock tower when some of their ordnance overshot the target and landed on the Palace of Westminster; half of the palace is so heavily damaged that it will take weeks (if not months) to repair. As for London’s docks, they are relatively undamaged; however, a full 30% of the warehouses which serve them are on fire.”

“How about Buckingham Palace? What happened to the bombers that carried out the attacks? I rather think that the RAF didn’t let them get away very easily”

“It got hit with a number of bombs and incendiaries. A full one-third of the roof is down, and part of the rest of the building is on fire. As for Luftwaffe losses, the raids against Bristol and Southampton had loss rates between 10% and 12%; the one against London got absolutely hammered. It lost 16% of its aircraft, and who knows how many were damaged and still made it back to their bases in France”

“Well, the Luftwaffe certainly paid to play, didn’t it? Too bad about Buckingham Palace; I always did have a high regard for that place; looks like the butterflies are a-flapping with this one. Send word to Prime Minister Churchill and King George VI through Mr. Smythe at Norfolk House. Tell the PM and the King that I extend the British people my deepest and most sincere condolences for all those who were lost, and that SmithCorp stands ready to provide whatever assistance is needed. ”

“Roger that, boss-man. What are you going to do now?”

“In two days, I’m headed up to Canada to meet with Prime Minister William King, then tour my holdings up there. I won’t be gone for more than two weeks, because I want to be on hand when Doolittle and his boys set out for Japan.”

“Understood, Jim. Do you have anything for me before you go?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. Send word to the Australian Section that they are to detail some of their people to start making specific real estate purchases.”

Otis chuckles softly and says “Jim, you’re already the biggest private landowner on the planet. How much more do you want?” Mr. Smith grins knowingly and replies “the properties I have in mind are those lands which overlie the Olympic Dam polymetallic deposit in South Australia, 343 miles from the city of Adelaide.”

“What’s so special about this deposit?”

“I want Olympic Dam as part of my mining portfolio because, simply put, it’s the biggest goddamned uranium deposit in the world.”

“Just how large is the deposit?”

“Well, in our original history, Olympic Dam wasn’t discovered until 1975; it didn’t open until 1979. When mining began, the deposit was surveyed and found to contain 10,000,000,000 tons of ore that grades out at 2.5% copper, 0.5% rare-earth oxides, 3 lbs/ton of uranium oxide, 6 grams/ton of silver and 0.5 gram/ton of gold. I’ve already got so much gold and silver in my reserves that what’s in the deposit is of secondary importance. What I’m after is the copper, the rare earths and of, course, the uranium. All told, the deposit contains 250,000,000 tons of copper, 50,000,000 tons of rare-earth oxides, 15,000,000 tons of uranium oxide, 66,000 tons of silver and 5,500 tons of gold. The thing is, the rare-earth content of Olympic Dam was never exploited in our original history because the ore was of too low a grade to be commercially exploited with the available technology; a problem which obviously doesn’t apply to me. In terms of the life of the mine, if I assume a production rate of 10,000,000 tons of ore per year, the deposit will last for 1,000 years.”

“Jim, every time I think you can’t come up with new and creative ways of surprising me, you prove me wrong in a big way; my hat’s off to you.” Mr. Smith grins widely and replies “why thank you, Otis; it’s nice to be appreciated. Oh, there’s one thing that slipped my mind; you remember how I have a 25% stake in the entire Canadian mining industry because of my development of deposits that I discovered?”

“Of course, Jim; how could I forget?”

“Well, while I’m up in the Great White North, I’ll be sending a couple of people from the Canada Section to precisely locate the uranium deposits at Cigar Lake, Rabbit Lake and McArthur River. I already own so many uranium properties here in the United States that I’ve practically got uranium oxide coming out of my ears.”

Needleman rolls his eyes knowingly, chuckles slightly and says “Jeez, boss-man; what’s with you and uranium?”

A businesslike grin crosses Mr. Smith’s face as he says “Otis, you should know that I never do anything without a good reason. I intend to sit on those uranium properties until a couple of years after the war, then I’ll ‘discover’ and develop them. Since they aren’t part of my original agreement with Prime Minister King, I’ll have full and complete ownership. Now, as for the method to my madness, do you know how much money was spent on the U.S. nuclear weapons program and the civilian nuclear power program? Well, it’s hundreds of billions of dollars; I see no reason why I shouldn’t funnel as much of that as possible into my own pockets...”

As Otis sits back in his chair, he shakes his head slightly. When the transmission ends, the last thing he hears is Mr. Smith singing in a rather off-key tone of voice; the specific tune (if it can be called that) is a version of ‘We’re in the Money.’

I’m in the money, I’m in the money
I’ve got a lot of what it takes to get along

I’m in the money, the skies are sunny
Old man Axis you are through, you done me wrong...

Crime Time: Interlude

From the files of Otis Needleman
SmithCorp
Director of Operations & Intelligence

July 31st, 1940: Adolf Hitler ordered the OKW (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht) to draft a plan for the invasion of the USSR (later known as Operation: Barbarossa). He was convinced that by eliminating the hatred ideological and racial foe, Germany could consolidated all European raw material and industrial production, therefore the British might “see the sense and sue for peace” (OTL event).

June-July 1940: the Kanalkampf stage of the Battle of Britain ended with the Luftwaffe having an unfavorable kill-loss ratio compared to the Royal Air Force. The Royal Navy maintained Channel Convoys until the end of the War.

August 20th, 1940: the Luftwaffe’s Adlerangriff (Main Assault, aka Adlertag/Eagle Day) began and continued on through the first week of September. The first day fighting was the heaviest (remembered thereafter by the British as the ‘Battle of Britain’ day); the Luftwaffe suffered heavy losses, and daytime air combat dragged on only to save the face of Hermann Göring. In reality, this only added insult to injury because the op-tempo of Luftwaffe air operations had declined considerably. To make matters worse, the top three Luftwaffe aces at the time (Werner Mölders, Adolf Galland & Helmut Wick) were all shot down and taken prisoner by the British

September 7th, 1940: the Luftwaffe switched its bombing operations to focus on carrying out night attacks on major British cities; this changed marked the beginning of the Blitz.

September 15th, 1940: Hitler postponed Operation: Sealion until after the Soviet Question was solved. He also decided to suspend his previous order to cut back all research & development on weapon systems which wouldn’t be ready for action in a supposedly-short war. All Wunderwaffe projects/proposals which had the potential to overcome their advanced British and American counterparts (jet fighters, Elektroboot, the flying bomb, and the ballistic missile) received high priority; Werner von Braun’s research efforts towards developing a ballistic missile were greatly-aided by intelligence that had been gathered about Mr. Smith’s space program and the rockets he had designed.

September 20th, 1940: Adolf Hitler and Marshal Italo Balbo met at the Brenner Pass in northern Italy, for thefirst time since the Fall of France. Unlike the original history (where Hitler held Mussolini in a good deal of respect), Hitler was well aware of Balbo's pro-American and Germansceptic attitude. He was also advised by Göring and Dönitz that keeping Italy and most of the Balkan States neutral was the most cost-effective way to securing ‘Der Drittes Reich’ southern flank; this also put the oil fields of Ploesti out of the reach of RAF bombers. Therefore, Hitler accepted Balbo's explanation that Italy still wasn't ready for war, and licenced Balbo’s production request for the Panzer III and the StuG III; plus Daimler-Benz DB 601 engines (and later, the DB605) and the JU-88 (to replace the Savoia-Marchetti SM.79). Furthermore, licence production of the JU-87 was cancelled after its dismal performance in the Battle of Britain. What Hitler wanted in return was that Italy had to join the Berlin Pact alongside Imperial Japan and conduct a military build-up in Cyrenaica in order to tie down British Commonwealth forces in Egypt. There was also to be a limited garrison on the northern Italian border (as Italy’s betrayal of the Central Powers in the first World War was still fresh in Hitler's memory); Balbo had no choice but to accept Hitler’s conditions.

September 27th, 1940: The Berlin Pact (later knwon as the Tripartite Pact) was signed by Joachim von Ribbentrop, Saburō Kurusu and the Italian foreign minister Dino Grandi.

November 1940: Hungary, Romania and Slovakia joined the Axis; Bulgaria and Yugoslavia maintained their neutrality, while Albania still preserved nominal sovereignty. Greece was never invaded by Italy.

November 10th - 11th, 1940: after an initial setback of the first phrase of the Blitz (thanks to SmithCorp's covert assistance with transistor-based radar sets and proximity-fuzed shells), the Luftwaffe bomber force regrouped and set its sights on the English Midlands, with the first target being the city of Birmingham; by this time however, the Bristol Beaufighter, and De Havilland Mosquito nightfighters (in addition to specially-modified Vickers Wellington AWACS; all equipped with SmithCorp Electronics’ transistor-based radar) were in frontline service. Luftwaffe bombers fleet were intercepted over English Channel and badly ma. The raid on Coventry (scheduled to take place the next night) was cancelled (as were the other major attacks). Henceforth, only nighttime raids were to be conducted; to include small scale treetop-level hit & run harassment strikes by fighter bombers on Greater London. The Metropolis was so large that, even when bombing blindly, something of consequence was bound to be hit. Even so, the extent of damages and casualties was barely on par with the Zeppelin and Gotha raids of the first World War.

December 1940: the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammed Amin al-Husseini contracted a fatal case of influenza (courtesy of one of Mr. Smith agents in the Middle East Section); he died two weeks later from severe respiratory complications.

December 18th, 1940: the OKW issued Führer Directive 21 and formalized Operation Barbarossa.

December 31st, 1940: Generalluftzeugmeister (Luftwaffe Director-General of Equipment) Ernst Udet didn’t show up to a scheduled New Year’s Eve party; Hermann Göring remembered that, after the Christmas Eve party of last week, he and Udet got into a quarrel over his order that the engine overheating troubles on the pre-production models of the FW-190A0 must be completely sorted out before the New Year or else. Göring worried that his old WWI JG 1 “Flying Circus” friend might buckle under pressure, so he sent one of his aides to Udet;s home, only to find that Udet had taken his own life (he had done the same in the original history on November 17th, 1941).General der Flieger Helmuth Wilberg took over Udet’s post (Wilberg’s demise in a plane crash in November, 1941 being butterflied away because of Udet’s early death). Additionally, Walter Oesau is under consideration for the post of General der Jagdflieger.

March-April 1941: the timely arrival of SmithCorp war materiel begins to strengthen the British garrison in Iraq, which made the pro-German "Golden Square" clique of senior officers in the Iraqi military very uneasy; therefore, they started a coup d'état three weeks earlier than in the original history. However, the Iraqi Regent 'Abd al-Ilah's Royal Guard was well trained and armed with automatic weapons by advisers from Mr. Smith’s PMC Decisive Outcomes. Qasr al Zuhur (Palace of Flowers) was held against a siege which lasted for five weeks ( thanks to constant air support from the RAF). Eventually, a force under the command of General Richard O'Connor managed to defeat the Iraqi rebel force at Habbaniya, Fallujah, Basra, and Ashar, to recapture Baghdad and relieve the Palace siege. Rashid Ali al-Gaylani and the other four officers in the "Golden Square" were all captured (with help from Mr. Smith’s agents), tried, convicted of high treason, and executed by hanging. Pro-British 'Abd al-Ilah’s refusal to escape greatly strengthened his prestige among the Iraqi people. The Anglo-Iraqi War also marked the combat debut of an improved version of the Grant light tank (armed with a MAC 35-mm cannon) from SmithCorp Automotive ( the original history’s M5 Stuart). Additionally, Decisive Outcomes covertly trained the Long-Range Desert Group and Major Orde Wingate's Gideon Force, (for which the Iraqi rebels had no answer). Italy, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey denied the use of their airspace to German Fliegerführer Irak, so there was no air reinforcement provided to the rebels via Vichy French Syria; as a result, Operation Exporter was cancelled before it ever got off the ground.

June 10th, 1941: Operation Barbarossa began earlier than planned due to more-favorable weather. As a result of more effective RAF night bombing, Nazi Germany was already on a semi-total war footing. Hitler mood was more sober; in the build-up to the operation, he ordered that large stockpiles of winter clothing should be prepared. Wehrmacht Army Group South was in a higher state of preparedness, as the Balkans Operation had never been considered. Rommel's VII Panzer Korps (15th Panzer Division, 21st Panzer Division, and 90th Motorized Infantry Division) was available for use in Romania [1]; Luftlande Sturmregiment and the 7th Flieger Division were available for major river crossing and bridgehead-taking operations when opportunity presented itself themselves. Not surprisingly, the invasion caught the Soviets completely off guard; in fact, the vanguard of the German invasion passed westbound Soviet trains loaded with oil and grain for Germany itself.

June 11th- 12th, 1941: the Battle of Brody took place in the Ukraine; the largest tank battle recorded in the war thus far. The Soviet army suffered catastrophic losses in men and materiel, while Wehrmacht losses were far lighter; therefore, they were able to maintain a formidable offensive capability

June 13th, 1941: the 7th Flieger Division seized the vital road bridge across the Dvina River at Daugavpils and Jekabpils and rapidly established bridgeheads. This daring airborne operation hastened Army Group North's advance to Leningrad.

Mid-June 1941: Spanish dictator Francisco Franco offered this assistance of his División Española de Voluntarios (more popularly known as División Azul) to help the Nazi war effort on the Eastern Front. Italo Balbo had no choice but to follow suit, sending his Corpo Italiana (composed of only two motorized infantry divisions and one Panzergrenadier division) into Russia. The Corpo Italiana used all-German equipment in order to simplify their logistics, while members of the unit were mixed with the most ardent Fascists; there was also frequent rotation of the officers and NCOs. While the scale was smaller than the original Armata Italiana in Russia, the quality was far better.

June 17th, 1941: the Red Army’s 16th and 18th Mechanised Corps redeploy westward to counter the Kiev-bound advance by Generalfeldmarschall Paul von Kleist's 1st Panzer Group; German-Romanian forces on the Romanian border struck across the Prut River with Rommel's VII Panzer Korps and the 1st Romanian Armored Division (Divizia 1 Blindată, equipped mainly with 126 R-2 light tanks [Czechoslovakia Lehký tank vzor 35]) as a spearhead; breakthrough was achieved, but Rommel had become unsettled by an anti-Semitic pogrom which took place near his Panzer Krops staging ground at Jassy (later known as Iasi) days before the offensive; he tried to stop the pogrom on the grounds that it would disrupt his logistical support (but to no avail), and the genocide kept spreading behind his rapid advance[2].

June 18th -19th, 1941: the Red Army Southern Front committed its strategic reserve (the 2nd Mechanized Corps and the 48th Rifle Corps) in order to intercept Rommel's vanguard on the plains north of the Bessarabian capital Chi inău, west of the winery town of Cricova. General Rommel placed the 90th Motorized Infantry Division (which was equipped with 88-mm FlaK 36 dual- purpose guns) and the 1st Romanian Armored Division to met the counterattack head-on; the Romanians acted as bait to lure the Russians’ T-34 and KV tanks into position where they could be engaged by the 88-mm FlaK 36s, while the 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions conducted a pincer movement; to make matters worse for the Russians, Luftlande Sturmregiment took Dubossary (no called Dubăsari) and secured the Dniester river bridgehead. Both the 2nd Mechanized Corps and the 48th Rifle Corps were almost completely destroyed.

June 22nd, 1941: Battle of Białystok–Minsk. This engagement cost the Russians over 1,600 aircraft of all types, almost 4,800 tanks and over 9,400 artillery pieces. More than 340,000 Russian troops were killed or captured, and more than 75,000 were wounded. The only piece of good news for the Red Army was that 250,000 troops managed to escape the German onslaught.

June 25th, 1941: Rommel's VII Panzer Korps captured Pervomaisk and the Southern Bug river bridgehead; this left the Soviet 6th, 12th and 18th Armies vulnerable to being cut off. Marshal Semyon Budyonny (Stalin's favorite and newly-appointed C-in-C of both the Southwestern and Southern Fronts) was aware of the danger. However, he guessed the city of Kiev was the primary objective of Gerd von Rundstedt's Army Group South (Stalin's "no retreat" order certainly didn't things), so Marshal Budyonny committed part of his strategic mobile reserve (the 18th Mechanized Corps) in an attempt to repulse Rommel.

June 27th, 1941: Battle of Smolensk began.

June 29th, 1941: Generalfeldmarschall Von Kleist's 1st Panzer Group struck southwestward, much to Marshal Budyony’s surprise because it was too late to pull back the 18th Mechanized Corps; he could only wish they could do the job and crush Rommel, then turn back to dealing with von Kleist.

July 1st- 4th, 1941: the Soviet 18th Mechanized Corps and Rommel’s VII Panzer Korps clashed near Novoarkhanhelsk. Despite being outnumbered, Rommel managed to outsmart and outfight the Russians; near the end of the battle, the appearance of the 9th Panzer Division (spearhead of the 1st Panzer Group) in the Soviet rear broke their will to fight. Additionally, the two major pincers of Army Group South finally linked up and create a larger Uman Pocket (thus trapping more Russian troops than in the original history).

July 8th, 1941: Soviet forces trapped in Uman Pocket surrendered to Rommel’s VII Panzer Korps.
Meanwhile, the Battle of Smolensk wasn't over yet. Hitler now issued Directive No 33, which stated that Moscow was no longer the primary objective and that once the Smolensk pocket had been liquidated, Army Group Center was to split its panzer groups to support Army Group North and Army Group South. 3rd Panzer Group’s 57th Panzer Corps (Kuntzen) was to move north to Leningrad and assist the 18th Army, while the 39th Panzer Corps (Schmidt) was to attack northeast from the Volkhov River and assist Army Group North to isolate Leningrad. 2nd Panzer Group was to drive south and link up with the 1st Panzer Group which would cross the South Dniepr River between Cherkassy and Kremenchug. The latter maneuver was aimed at trapping and destroying the Soviet Southwestern Front, capturing Kiev and the Dniepr valley.

July 10th, 1941: von Rundstedt, von Kleist and Rommel met at Army Group South’s field headquarters for the first time (Rommel was even more sickened when he witnessed the mistreatment of POWs and civilians first hand). The three officers viewed Directive No 33 with mixed feelings, as they perceived it as being Hitler’s subtle hint that Army Group South wasn’t fulfilling all of their objectives; on the other hand, if Heinz Guderian's 2nd Panzer Group was placed under command of Army Group South, fulfilling all of the pre-war objectives in this sector would be possible. Therefore they decided to pay a visit to Army Group Center’s field headquarters.

July 18th, 1941: von Rundstedt, von Kleist and Rommel visited Army Group Center’s field headquarters located at Novy Borisov, the day after the head of the Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH) Walther von Brauchitsch. He had instructing the generals that they were to strictly follow Fuhrer Directive 33, and were under no circumstance to attempt to push further east. While General Guderian rejected the reassignment of his 2nd Panzer Group to Army Group South almost out of hand, Fedor von Bock and Hermann Hoth both liked the idea of letting Army Group South take initiative in destroying the Russian Southwestern Front, securing Army Group Center's southern flank; therefore the drive to Moscow could be resumed as early as possible.

July 20th, 1941: the Battle of Smolensk ended with heavy losses to the Red Army in a series of pockets that had been surrounded and cut off. But, the Wehrmacht had to deal with a series of furious Russian counterattacks from their seemingly endless strategic reserves; so, German losses were heavier than in the opening week’s action. In the original history, accounts by German officers of all ranks, their autobiographies and oral histories from German NCOs and soldiers alike (plus surviving German archives), all relate that Directive No 33 was regarded as squandering the chance for Germany to win the war against the USSR. But after the end of the Cold War, Soviet archives were opened and German archives were carefully reexamined. A newer generation of historians argued that for Army Group Center to continue its drive straight towards Moscow (until logistical issues had been sorted out) would have been very risky, as it would have left the Northern and Southern flanks wide open.

July 24th, 1941: Army Group South launched a powerful ‘Right Hook’ flanking attack to seal off the overextended and very vulnerable (thanks to the heavier losses in the Uman Pocket) Kiev salient. Rommel's VII Panzer Korps was expanded and reinforced by the 13th Panzer and 16th Motorized Infantry Divisions. It blasted through the Russian 6th Army, while on Rommel's left, the rest of von Kleist's 1st Panzer Group smashed through the 38th Army; both pincer movements had achived a breakthrough. Audaciously, Rommel went deep, capturing Poltava, Kharkov (before all of its factories and equipment were able to be evacuated east of the Ural Mountains), while the skilled laborers were hastily drafted into the Factory Guards and conducted a futile defense of the city. Kursk was captured in the following days, and von Kleist dashed straight north to link up with Army Group Center.

August 3rd - 8th, 1941: Marshal Semyon Budyonny finally convinced Stalin that all the forces at Kiev salient needed to break out; however, it was too late, Heinz Guderian's 2nd Panzer Group struck south and linked up with von Kleist and Rommel's vanguard. Stalin summoned Budyonny back to Moscow, planned to made him a scapegoat, dismissed him as C-in-C Southwestern Front and placed him in charge of the Reserve Front. However, Budyonny passenger plane was attacked and destroyed by Luftwaffe night fighters while still on the ground [3].

August 24th, 1941: Most of the Soviet Southwestern Front troops trapped in the Kiev pocket surrendered. Nazi propaganda machine hail this as the greatest victory in human history. Rommel was promoted to to the rank of Generaloberst and awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Swords.

August 28th, 1941: After the award ceremony and the banquet, Rommel advised Hitler that POWs and civilians on the Eastern Front should be treated humanely, for they could be turned against the Soviet government. To this, Hitler simply replied "Dear Rommel, you understand nothing about my thinking at all"[4].

[1] von Rundstedt and von Kleist (both with deep Prussian aristocratic family backgrounds), privately disliked Hitler's favoritism toward Rommel, the latter’s cavalier attitude of tactical command, and Rommel’s liberal interpretation or even downright disregard of his superiors' operational command orders, didn't help either. Von Rundstedt and von Kleist viewed VII Panzer Korps' deployment to Romania as a sort of "banishment"; but, ironically this let Rommel maintain a very high degree of freedom.

[2] Rommel would nearly always led his VII Panzer Korps from the front, just as he did in France and (in the original history, North Africa). In the present timeline’s Eastern Front, he did so with extra relish as he heard more and more of the horror stories of the activities of the Einsatzgruppen from his subordinates, when his Korps struck deeper and deeper into the USSR. However, Rommel would carry out Hitler’s Commissar Order without fail, because he read the Winter War’s after- action report during the lull between the Fall of France and the opening of Operation: Barbarossa; Rommel held the Red Army’s political commissars in great contempt, because he thought they were just muddling, military amateurish political hacks, who deserve none of the honor accrued to soldiers.

[3] Karma caught up with Budyonny for his instrumental role in the great purge of the Red Army.

[4] a similar conversation took place in the original history in the year 1943.

December 1941: After Germany declared War on the USA, Hitler also delivered an ultimatum to Italy - either allowed free passage and basing rights for the Wehrmacht or else (at the time, Hitler was paranoid that Italy would repeat its backstabbing trick from the first World War). Again, Balbo had no choice but to comply. Days later, Great Britain and the United States also delivered their own ultimatum to Italy, which urged her to maintain strict neutrality or faced declaration of War, Balbo had no grounds to turn it down, and so began the Mediterranean Campaign.


Last edited by Garrity on Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:21 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:14 pm 
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I hope that Spain and Italy are using the Russian front to get rid of their troublemakers.

Love the butterflies.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:19 pm 
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jemhouston wrote:
I hope that Spain and Italy are using the Russian front to get rid of their troublemakers.

Love the butterflies.

I'm glad you liked it.

The towns that Bomber Harris and his boys are going to go after first are Lübeck and Rostock.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:45 am 
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The German accuracy seems extreme for the time; hitting specific and individual targets at night doesn't seem to pass the smell test. Targeting Big Ben is just too difficult and it would be more realistic to have structures hit by accident in a general area attack on Central London. Similarly, individually targeting the Tower of London, Buck House and Tower Bridge doesn't seem realistic; essentially dropping the latter with a lot of extremely fortunate hits is pretty tough.

Whilst the London defences cause a fair few losses, they seem remarkably ineffective in breaking up the raid. The Luftwaffe are somehow achieving better results than Bomber Command several years into the future with significantly inferior aircraft, navigational aids and tactics.

Contemplating Olympic Dam in the 1940s or even the 1950s is not particularly realistic. There is a lot of infrastructure that needs to be in place to support any large scale mining; at a minimum, Roxby Downs needs to be built, then rail lines put in place, an airfield, a deep water port, road links, desalination, power supply (the Playford coal powered power stations at Port Augusta weren't built until '54 and '63), expanding mining at Leigh Creek to deliver the coal...In addition, it is going to be a real bugger to work there before modern air conditioning and with 1940s/50s vehicle technology. I think you might be severely underestimating some of the issues of operating in Outback South Australia in that era.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:00 pm 
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Simon Darkshade wrote:
The German accuracy seems extreme for the time; hitting specific and individual targets at night doesn't seem to pass the smell test. Targeting Big Ben is just too difficult and it would be more realistic to have structures hit by accident in a general area attack on Central London. Similarly, individually targeting the Tower of London, Buck House and Tower Bridge doesn't seem realistic; essentially dropping the latter with a lot of extremely fortunate hits is pretty tough.

I have to agree; dropping bridges is damned hard work when bombing in daylight from extreme low altitude. (Tower Bridge not London Bridge by the way). Simon's idea of a general but intense area raid on central London (or City of London for the alleged financial effect) and the specified targets being hit by accident is a good one. On the other hand, one might have the Albert Memorial being hit by a shot-down bomber crashing and the (surviving) pilot being decorated by grateful Londoners.

Docks in those days were very hard to damage and quickly repaired. They're not like today's docks that are heavily mechanized and have lots of things that can be damaged. Back then docks were closed by mining, not bombing.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:51 am 
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Night bombing in the early WWII era amounted to "let's bomb city X", and they missed rather more than half the time. A lot of RAF planes were lost while scattering explosives randomly around the German countryside, scaring the cows and not much more.

There's an art to it, and the British spent years developing it. By 1944/45 they had gotten pretty good at it; even then "pretty good" does not stretch to hitting specific targets within the city but rather hammering substantial parts of the city as a whole flat... think "Dresden", not "Desert Storm".


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:18 am 
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In addition, there are a few strange issues with aircraft. It seems quite early for FW-190 night fighter variants and the whole notion of night fighters escorting night raids in 1942 is fairly difficult. How and why the RAF are using Hurricanes and Spitfires at night rather than Beaufighters, Mosquitoes and more suitable planes is a similar question.

The flight path also seems unnecessarily long, allowing RAF night fighters to hammer the raid on its way in, not to mention attriting their numbers through navigational casualties, damaged planes and AAA. If German bombers are taking off from well inside France, they aren't going to have a lot of fuel margin with such a dog leg course.

Far simpler for the usual Luftwaffe practice of the Blitz of sending bombers at night against the general target of London; however, British defences are far from static in that period, even without the addition of proximity fuses. Bomber Command is definitely the more effective instrument at this stage, coming after the 1000 raids, and even they could not come close to these results.

The whole section needs a bit of a rethink.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 8:07 am 
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Hmm... yes, did anybody actually have night-fighters escorting night-bombers in WWII? If nothing else it sounds like a recipe for blue-on-blue incidents. In my mind, night fighters were for shooting bombers down, not for escorting them.


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Bouncy70 wrote:
Hmm... yes, did anybody actually have night-fighters escorting night-bombers in WWII? If nothing else it sounds like a recipe for blue-on-blue incidents. In my mind, night fighters were for shooting bombers down, not for escorting them.

I believe the RAF sent night fighters in independently of the night bombers to hunt the hunters away from their prey, but not close escort.

So far as bombing techniques went: the RAF precision bombed area targets, whilst the USAAF area bombed precision targets, with the same end result.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:26 am 
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Gentlemen:

Based on your learned input, I will have to re-write the previous update. Those targets specifically mentioned will be hit by accident: good idea about doing London's financial district.

As for the V & A Memorial, hmmm....


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:27 am 
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RLBH wrote:
Bouncy70 wrote:
Hmm... yes, did anybody actually have night-fighters escorting night-bombers in WWII? If nothing else it sounds like a recipe for blue-on-blue incidents. In my mind, night fighters were for shooting bombers down, not for escorting them.

I believe the RAF sent night fighters in independently of the night bombers to hunt the hunters away from their prey, but not close escort.

So far as bombing techniques went: the RAF precision bombed area targets, whilst the USAAF area bombed precision targets, with the same end result.


Several excellent books on this, essentially all night fighters were independent of other operations, either acting under GCI in Home Defence duties or independent free chase as Intruder.

For Tower Bridge to accidentally take that amount of damage- considering how hard it is to hit bridges even when one is aiming for them; and considering ho =w much damage it took during the entirety of the Blitz- is stretching credulity a bit too far.

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 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:37 am 
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Simon Darkshade wrote:
In addition, there are a few strange issues with aircraft. It seems quite early for FW-190 night fighter variants and the whole notion of night fighters escorting night raids in 1942 is fairly difficult. How and why the RAF are using Hurricanes and Spitfires at night rather than Beaufighters, Mosquitoes and more suitable planes is a similar question.

I agree, the FW-190 is particularly jarring. The aircraft is carrying the radar equipment needed for night-fighter work, large enough drop tanks to significantly extend range and a 1,100 pound bomb. I doubt if the aircraft would even get off the ground with that lot. There is a reason why people used twin-engine aircraft as night-fighters. Basically it was radar, drop tanks or bomb, pick one of three. Also, tactically its wrong. Assuming the aircraft got into the air, its heavily-loaded and completely incapable of acting as a night fighter during the run in to the target when its services are most needed. By the time its dropped its load and is capable of doing more than wallowing round, the need for its services have gone.

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The flight path also seems unnecessarily long, allowing RAF night fighters to hammer the raid on its way in, not to mention attriting their numbers through navigational casualties, damaged planes and AAA. If German bombers are taking off from well inside France, they aren't going to have a lot of fuel margin with such a dog leg course.

I can see why they would do it that way; later doing things like that were standard practice certainly for daylight raids. Less so for night raids but still done. You're completely right on the fuel issue. These aircraft are very heavily loaded - the Do-17s are actually right up on MTOW. Fuel and bombload are mutually exclusive. The Do-17 had a maximum combat range of 660 kilometers with a 1,000 kg load. That gives us a tactical radius of approximately 200 kilometers at 300 kph. That means they would have to fly direct to London from the coast between Bruges and the Nord Pas de Calais. There were 475 Do-17s in service by late 1940 but by late 1941 they had pretty much all gone. They'd been replaced by Do-217s

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Far simpler for the usual Luftwaffe practice of the Blitz of sending bombers at night against the general target of London; however, British defences are far from static in that period, even without the addition of proximity fuses. Bomber Command is definitely the more effective instrument at this stage, coming after the 1000 raids, and even they could not come close to these results.


RAF Bomber Command was pretty damned good at its job but it bombed whole cities because hitting precision targets at night was beyond the technology of the time. Even then, they quite often missed the city they were aiming at (several small towns got a severe trousering at the hands of Bomber Command and couldn't work out why). Occasionally Bomber Command missed the country they were aiming at (cue obligatory reference to Snark).

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 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:31 am 
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But they only missed the target country by a few tens of miles or so, and by God the Danish and Dutch countrysides knew they’d been given a damn good thrashing...

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 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:34 pm 
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To all & Sundry:

I have edited the text to reflect the information presented in your responses. Please look it over and tell me if I need to do more.

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:27 am 
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It reads rather more straightforwardly than the previous version.

However, the target mix is still spread fairly broadly. There is the Westminster 'clump' of Buck House and Parliament, the Tower clump and the docks in several distinct groups - the Surrey Docks and Walping, West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs and the Royal Docks. Of those, the Docks and the Tower go well together, with any damage to the Tower and Tower Bridge coming from accident rather than design. Westminster could be hit as part of a general raid on the City; the damage to Buckingham Palace may need to be toggled back a little.

How many bombers are the Germans sending? That will influence the total bomb load and subsequently what can be realistically ascribed as their effects; what has been written so far is quite a high hit percentage.

Look into the early raids of Operation Steinbock in '44 to see what Jerry was capable of; getting these type of results from a single raid may be difficult.


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 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:46 am 
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Simon Darkshade wrote:
It reads rather more straightforwardly than the previous version.

However, the target mix is still spread fairly broadly. There is the Westminster 'clump' of Buck House and Parliament, the Tower clump and the docks in several distinct groups - the Surrey Docks and Walping, West India Docks on the Isle of Dogs and the Royal Docks. Of those, the Docks and the Tower go well together, with any damage to the Tower and Tower Bridge coming from accident rather than design. Westminster could be hit as part of a general raid on the City; the damage to Buckingham Palace may need to be toggled back a little.

How many bombers are the Germans sending? That will influence the total bomb load and subsequently what can be realistically ascribed as their effects; what has been written so far is quite a high hit percentage.

Look into the early raids of Operation Steinbock in '44 to see what Jerry was capable of; getting these type of results from a single raid may be difficult.

I know that the docks are spread out over various parts of the city, which is why I didn't specify which ones got hit. As for Buckingham Palace, I seem to recall that a raid on September 13th, 1940 had a single German plane drop five bombs; all of which hit the palace at various locations. One of these had a delay-action fuse that caused the bomb to go off the next morning and excavate a crater that measured 30' long, 20' wide and 10' deep.

On the above basis, I conclude that having eleven bombs hit the palace is not out of the bounds of possibility. As for Westminster Palace, the raids of May 10th and May 11th, 1940 show that the damage I described in the update could very well have happened.


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 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:01 am 
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I did a force structure analysis and the results were interesting

Fliegerkorps IV had 190 He-111s on strength equally divided between He-111H and He-111P

FliegerKorps V had 225 He-111s on strength equally divided between He-111hs and He-111Ps

Fliegerkorps IV also had around 130 Ju-88As on strength.

So, there were 415 He-111s available. Assuming every single aircraft was available for the attack, that means they dropped around 800 tons of bombs in total (that's pretty pathetic by the way).

The number of He-111Ps was surprising.

The Hits on Buck House and the Palace of Westminster don't worry me. the damage to Docklands is optimistic but plausible. Its the hits on Tower Bridge I don't like. Too many even if they are accidental. As I said earlier, bombing bridges from low altitude in daylight is rough and usually ineffective. From medium altitude at night, its pure chance and with a raid this small, one accidental hit would be reasonable. If the bombers aimed for the bridge, they'd probably hit anything but it.

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 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:38 pm 
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Francis Urquhart wrote:
I did a force structure analysis and the results were interesting

Fliegerkorps IV had 190 He-111s on strength equally divided between He-111H and He-111P

FliegerKorps V had 225 He-111s on strength equally divided between He-111hs and He-111Ps

Fliegerkorps IV also had around 130 Ju-88As on strength.

did either unit have any Do-17s assigned to it?

Quote:
So, there were 415 He-111s available. Assuming every single aircraft was available for the attack, that means they dropped around 800 tons of bombs in total (that's pretty pathetic by the way).

the missing aircraft could be ascribed to mechanical issues, navigational errors, etc...

Quote:
The Hits on Buck House and the Palace of Westminster don't worry me. the damage to Docklands is optimistic but plausible. Its the hits on Tower Bridge I don't like. Too many even if they are accidental. As I said earlier, bombing bridges from low altitude in daylight is rough and usually ineffective. From medium altitude at night, its pure chance and with a raid this small, one accidental hit would be reasonable. If the bombers aimed for the bridge, they'd probably hit anything but it.

How is only three hits out of a couple hundred excessive?

As for Luftwaffe aircraft lost in the raids, I had 50% of those that went after London and 30-35% of those that went after Bristol & Southampton lost due to a combination of air combat and AA fire. Does this sound right?


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 Post subject: Re: Crime Time
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:53 pm 
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Garrity wrote:
did either unit have any Do-17s assigned to it?

No; only He-111s and Ju-88As. I would think that gives you the option that Dornier 217s were brought in for the raid. That gives you quite a bit more bombload to play with.

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the missing aircraft could be ascribed to mechanical issues, navigational errors, etc...


German serviceability rates weren't good. They considered 75 percent an achievement and 50% was more common. However if they did a pre-mission stand-down they could probably get a surge capability. I think your force level is quite reasonable and don't have a problem with it other than its a fairly puny raid in tonnage terms.

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How is only three hits out of a couple hundred excessive?


Because the odds are heavily against scoring any hits at all. It's hard to emphasize just how small a target a bridge is. It's tiny and everything is blacked out so its invisible. We found in daylight, thousands of bombs were dropped for a single hit. A good comparison would be going into a completely blacked-out room and trying to hit a postage stamp stuck to the wall. Also, there's another point. There are a lot of tugs on the Thames back then and clearance of wreckage from a dropped deck would be very fast. The Germans usually cleared a dropped bridge in less than a day and replacing the decking was as fast as rolling up a truck and unloading.

Attachment:
Bielefeld%20Various%20(1).jpg
Bielefeld%20Various%20(1).jpg [ 59.67 KiB | Viewed 87 times ]


This gives you some idea of what trying to drop a bridge was like. Note the countryside saturated with bomb craters. eventually the bridge (The Bielefield Viaduct) was dropped in 1945 by 617 squadron using Grand Slam 22,000 (10,000 kg) bombs. Bomber Command had been trying to do that since 1940. Another thing by the way. Bridges are very hard targets and dropping them needs hits with large bombs on the piers and abutments. 2,000 pounders was the minimum needed to cause damage that couldn't be fixed in a couple of hours.

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As for Luftwaffe aircraft lost in the raids, I had 50% of those that went after London and 30-35% of those that went after Bristol & Southampton lost due to a combination of air combat and AA fire. Does this sound right?
[/quote]
The worst loss rate on a night raid I have heard of in the RAF bomber offensive was over Nuremburg where 94 aircraft were lost out of 795. That's around 12 percent. Normally losses in night bombing ran 2 - 5 percent. In daylight raids, the worst was Schweinfurt-Regensburg where 60 aircraft were shot down out of 376 for a score of 16 percent. 16 percent losses is now called the Schweinfurt Number and is the loss rate that makes continued operations impossible. So, on paper, the loss rates you give are far too high. However, they are not out of line for the claims made by pilots after a battle. Usually the rule of thumb is to divide claims by three (at this point by the way, somebody usually jumps up and says "but OUR air force was very strict on claims" to which the reply is "that's why we're onlt dividing by three not ten". Now, the casualties you list work out as 158 aircraft. If we assume that is the original claim and divide by three, we end up with 53 aircraft lost. That's about 12 percent which is the same as Nuremburg and thus plausible.

Which is all a very long and complicated way of saying that the losses quoted are OK as long as they are the initial claims made by the pilots and AA gunners.


Attachments:
Bielefeld-viaduct-1945.jpg
Bielefeld-viaduct-1945.jpg [ 78.89 KiB | Viewed 87 times ]

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