A Blunted Sickle - Thread II

As previously stated, my condolences on the loss. Take all the time you need. Real-life comes first.

On a positive note though, 100 years! The stories and experiences your grangfather must have had. I admit I'm slightly jealous.
 
Thanks everyone - it's a lot easier to take knowing just how old he was, and I really appreciate all the good wishes. And now, thanks to the wonders of a few hours without the kids as schools are starting to reopen, Belgian beer and as a distraction from trying to come up with an impossibly light electric motor (which several other companies have already given up on) for a funny-looking electric helicopter, have an update!

7th January 1942


Thanks to the rapidly improving British petrol situation, 1st and 3rd armies are able to resume advancing rapidly.

1st Army are able to capture a number of bridges at Küstrin, with reconnaissance units able to reach Landsberg and Schwiebus thanks to unexpectedly good road conditions caused by recent dry weather. Resistance is almost non-existent and if the road conditions hold they expect to be able to cross the Polish border before lunchtime on the 8th.
While II and III Corps are going hell-for-leather towards Poland, I Corps of 1st Army have started work on the reduction of Berlin. Resistance here is much stiffer than they have become accustomed to in the past few weeks, although the performance of the defending units is distinctly patchy. In more than one location only liberal use of direct fire support has allowed the advance to continue at all, while in others they are disgusted to find they are fighting teenage Hitler Youth members who usually crack and run under pressure. Progress is best in the south, where the Guards Brigade are able to force the Teltowkanal in three places and capture Tempelhof airport – putting them just four miles from the Reichstag.

Meanwhile, 3rd Army's advance has not been as spectacular due to the lower priority for petrol, but they still manage to reach the line Chemnitz-Freiburg-Dresden by sunset. As with 1st Army, they are confident of being able to cross the German border on the 8th.

The French advance meanwhile has become for them a purely administrative movement – on the rare occasions that the Germans do engage them units typically don't even slow down, returning fire with vehicle mounted weapons if available and otherwise ignoring the enemy.
Despite starting to suffer from some of the petrol shortages which have been affecting the British so badly (and which have led to 6th Army briefly having to halt in place), the French are able to make some spectacular advances. Indeed, the 1e RSM win the race to be the first to cross the German border in the other direction when they reach the Bavarian town of Füssen and continue on into Austria. Progress elsewhere is also excellent - 7th Army reach the line Bamberg-Nuremberg, while 4th Army reaches Augsburg.

Mussolini gives orders for the Alpini to launch an airborne attack on Innsbruck and seize the Brenner Pass as soon as possible. After conferring with the Comando Supremo, the attack is fixed for the morning of the 11th of January, subject to weather. 14 S.73 aircraft will be modified with ski undercarriages and used to ferry troops to the flat meadows along the Inn, west of Innsbruck. Each wave would be able to deliver around 200 troops, and the Alpini believe that this should permit them to attack the positions defending the Brenner Pass from the rear some time late on the 12th of January.

General Sikorski arrives at Warsaw Central Airport (Okęcie) in a Consolidated Model 32 bomber, borrowed from the AdA for the occasion and accompanied by a heavy fighter escort from both GC I/145 and 303 Squadron. He is greeted on the tarmac by a guard of honour from the ZWZ, in somewhat irregular clothing but with spotless and uniform weapons.

After becoming aware of the surrender of German troops in Denmark, General von Falkenhorst contacts the Norwegian government in Tromsø to request a cease-fire. He does not inform Reichskommissar Terboven of this.
 
Great update. Looks like the Allies rapid advance continues. Poland is defenatly going to be liberated by the Allies I wonder if Italy will even have time to complete that operation.
And my condolences as well.
 

Driftless

Donor
After becoming aware of the surrender of German troops in Denmark, General von Falkenhorst contacts the Norwegian government in Tromsø to request a cease-fire. He does not inform Reichskommissar Terboven of this.
What would that status look like in the field? I'm assuming shooting and aggressive patrolling stops. Overflights? What does the Cease Fire do for the civilians, who may be fuel-short in the middle of winter?
 
So we've reached the Berlin stage of the downfall.

Very good progress for the British and French in spite of the fuel troubles..

I get the feeling that the attempted Italian campaign is going to backfire.

That's very good progress for the Poles.

From what I know of Terboven he won't take the cease-fire well especially if he's been up to his OTL crimes but I think most German don't like him to the point that any takeover he tries would be thwarted

.
 
Thanks everyone - it's a lot easier to take knowing just how old he was, and I really appreciate all the good wishes. And now, thanks to the wonders of a few hours without the kids as schools are starting to reopen, Belgian beer and as a distraction from trying to come up with an impossibly light electric motor (which several other companies have already given up on) for a funny-looking electric helicopter, have an update!
My condolences @pdf27.
On a side note Belgian beer is a good choice.

7th January 1942
snip
Really impressive advance from the British, and Berlin is now surrounded.

Poland provisional government is asserting it's power in ex-German occupied Poland. It's very important for the post-war stability of the country and prestige.

The German garrison in Norway is ready to surrender.

The French advance meanwhile has become for them a purely administrative movement – on the rare occasions that the Germans do engage them units typically don't even slow down, returning fire with vehicle mounted weapons if available and otherwise ignoring the enemy.
Despite starting to suffer from some of the petrol shortages which have been affecting the British so badly (and which have led to 6th Army briefly having to halt in place), the French are able to make some spectacular advances. Indeed, the 1e RSM win the race to be the first to cross the German border in the other direction when they reach the Bavarian town of Füssen and continue on into Austria. Progress elsewhere is also excellent - 7th Army reach the line Bamberg-Nuremberg, while 4th Army reaches Augsburg.
@pdf27 I think the 1e RSM (Régiment de Spahis Marocain - a colonial cavalry regiment from Morocco) was in Syria in 1940. It's more likely it stayed there, as a colonial police regiment. The 2 and 4e RSM were in France in 1940, so they are more likely to be in Europe. The 3e RSM was in Morocco. It's also possible that the French created more RSM between 1940 and 1942, as they mobilized their colonial manpower (5 and 6e RSM were created post-WW2 OTL).

Note that those regiments were mounted cavalry in 1940, I suppose they are, at least, motorized now (for those deployed in Europe).

By the way, it's politically significant that a colonial regiment mostly formed with "indigènes" is the first French unit in Austria.

Mussolini gives orders for the Alpini to launch an airborne attack on Innsbruck and seize the Brenner Pass as soon as possible. After conferring with the Comando Supremo, the attack is fixed for the morning of the 11th of January, subject to weather. 14 S.73 aircraft will be modified with ski undercarriages and used to ferry troops to the flat meadows along the Inn, west of Innsbruck. Each wave would be able to deliver around 200 troops, and the Alpini believe that this should permit them to attack the positions defending the Brenner Pass from the rear some time late on the 12th of January.
Is the Italian Army capable of launching an offensive in the Alps with such a short notice?

Will Mussolini miss the bus as well?
That is the question. I think if the French are concentrating on securing the Brenner Pass, they can be there before the Italians launch their offensive. It's around 150 km away, with only one mountain pass between them, so it's doable in 4/5 days, even in the Alpine terrain. But the French might prefer going for Vienna and Prague (even if they are already liberated by other powers), as those are prestigious and politically significant objectives.
 
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Is the Italian Army capable of launching an offensive in the Alps with such a short notice?

The other questions is, will it go better than OTL 1940 offensive or will it end up something like Pont Saint-Louis (when 9 French soldiers stopped 4,000 Italian ones until Armistice)
 
There is no way Poland would drop their claims on their lost eastern land ttl.
Not any time soon, no. However, nobody is going to support them in going to war to recover it, so right now there isn't very much they can do about it. The ZWZ is able to deal with the remnants of the Wehrmacht being used for garrison duty in Poland - the Red Army is a completely different matter.

What would that status look like in the field? I'm assuming shooting and aggressive patrolling stops. Overflights? What does the Cease Fire do for the civilians, who may be fuel-short in the middle of winter?
It's a cease fire along the lines of "please stop shooting at me while I meet with you to work out how to surrender". Just broadcasting "I surrender" is more than a little tricky for an army spread out over such a wide area.

From what I know of Terboven he won't take the cease-fire well especially if he's been up to his OTL crimes but I think most German don't like him to the point that any takeover he tries would be thwarted.
This assumes they bothered to tell him about the request. Since he's guaranteed to be one of the Norwegian requests, it makes no sense for me to do anything other than keep him in the dark and discreetly ensure he can't "desert" his post.

Is there even someone in charge that can still order the surrender of Germany at this point?
Hermann Goering is officially in charge, and is in central Berlin. He's essentially being used as a fall-guy by the Heer high command who staged the coup a little while back, so I'm assuming that he's being kept well supplied with morphine and generally kept away from actually making any decisions as opposed to signing the orders taking responsibility for them. Sober he's a very bright guy indeed (as came over clearly at Nuremberg), but in the depths of morphine addiction he was pretty useless.

On a side note Belgian beer is a good choice.
Affligem Tripel - not the best I had in the garage, but not bad.

Poland provisional government is asserting it's power in ex-German occupied Poland. It's very important for the post-war stability of the country and prestige.
It also means that they've effectively settled the question of who is in charge in Poland after the war - the Sikorski government are a bit like OTL De Gaulle in that prior to the German occupation they didn't hold any significant offices and hold no democratic mandate.

The German garrison in Norway is ready to surrender.


pdf27 I think the 1e RSM (Régiment de Spahis Marocain - a colonial cavalry regiment from Morocco) was in Syria in 1940. It's more likely it stayed there, as a colonial police regiment. The 2 and 4e RSM were in France in 1940, so they are more likely to be in Europe. The 3e RSM was in Morocco. It's also possible that the French created more RSM between 1940 and 1942, as they mobilized their colonial manpower (5 and 6e RSM were created post-WW2 OTL).

Note that those regiments were mounted cavalry in 1940, I suppose they are, at least, motorized now (for those deployed in Europe).
I've assumed that given the need for men virtually all of the colonial troops with prewar service have been motorised and transferred to Europe, with newly raised troops plus a cadre from the original regiments taking over the colonial policing duties.

By the way, it's politically significant that a colonial regiment mostly formed with "indigènes" is the first French unit in Austria.
Might be worth going back and checking who is in charge of the British unit closest to the Reichstag...
1592393696099.png

Lots of retired colonels in Tunbridge Wells with indigestion after that!

Is the Italian Army capable of launching an offensive in the Alps with such a short notice?
Given the logistics, yes. The Italian air transport fleet is capable of delivering maybe 2 companies of Alpini per day to Innsbruck. Launching the operation isn't particularly challenging - doing something of value with the troops you have available is.

That is the question. I think if the French are concentrating on securing the Brenner Pass, they can be there before the Italians launch their offensive. It's around 150 km away, with only one mountain pass between them, so it's doable in 4/5 days, even in the Alpine terrain. But the French might prefer going for Vienna and Prague (even if they are already liberated by other powers), as those are prestigious and politically significant objectives.
Remember, the French have no idea what the Italians are up to.
 
The other questions is, will it go better than OTL 1940 offensive or will it end up something like Pont Saint-Louis (when 9 French soldiers stopped 4,000 Italian ones until Armistice)
The French are now only 110 km from Innsbruck, which is clearly the target for the 1e RSM. There is unlikely any significant German forces along the route, so the French could reach it in about 2-3 hours (assuming they don’t stop for a coffee break). The Brenner Pass is only another 30 km further away. They should both be firmly in French hands before the Italians even board their aircraft.
 
The Italian just have to show the flag at this point but it's a bit late of and will be seen as the opportunistic move it actually is, not something very prestigious.
 
Remember, the French have no idea what the Italians are up to.
And vice versa. However, I'm not sure that any scenario of Italian Troops attacking the French is likely to lead to a total war. Now having Italy not get into the war in time to accomplish anything, *that* may have more of an effect in Italian politics.

Also, given the tug of war between the Italians and Germans pre-war over the Austrians, having an Entente aligned government post war is going to be interesting. I have *no* idea if restoring the pre-Anschluss government of Austria is acceptable to the Entente or not...
 

Driftless

Donor
The French are now only 110 km from Innsbruck, which is clearly the target for the 1e RSM. There is unlikely any significant German forces along the route, so the French could reach it in about 2-3 hours (assuming they don’t stop for a coffee break). The Brenner Pass is only another 30 km further away. They should both be firmly in French hands before the Italians even board their aircraft.

There could be some variations on the "What the Hell are YOU doing HERE????"
 
And vice versa. However, I'm not sure that any scenario of Italian Troops attacking the French is likely to lead to a total war. Now having Italy not get into the war in time to accomplish anything, *that* may have more of an effect in Italian politics.

Also, given the tug of war between the Italians and Germans pre-war over the Austrians, having an Entente aligned government post war is going to be interesting. I have *no* idea if restoring the pre-Anschluss government of Austria is acceptable to the Entente or not...
They will propably want an ellection to be held if the Hungarian don't overstep their bondaries and think they are a great power.
 
Here is the situation map for 7 Jan 1942. Per pdf's narrative, the French 6th Army has been transferred from the north end of the French line to the south to assist the 4th Army's offensive into Bavaria.

Edit: I slightly modified the map.
 

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