Not an auspicious start to their deployment.....
It might work, I haven't decided whether the Joliot-Curies stay in Paris in the ATL - just possibly their prestige might have some impact - but without a strong rationale I have my doubts this would make enough of a difference.As I recall the main idea was that bunches of British and French scientists jumping up and down in front of the Americans screaming 'this is important: you have to act now' gets them going quicker.
This is where I end up on this question I think.In all probability to get clearer title to shared nuclear secrets, both Britain and France must contribute more scientists and engineers to locate in New Mexico or the other MP sites. That might accelerate work a bit, but I suspect the project had plenty of top level minds working on it OTL and adding 10 or 20 percent more won't result in commensurate acceleration.
I don't feel any more confident than poor Sqn/Ldr Maxwell...Not an auspicious start to their deployment.....
A glass or two of something strong to get him in the mood, for sure, but not in England. He's such a philhellene (and we know he has a Greek wife, per part 4.3) that I imagine him settling back in Athens. But it's a long road for him first.^^^ I can picture a post-war tweed sport coat clad Theo sitting in his study back in England, sipping a good scotch - neat - and dictating that account to a steno taking down notes for his memoir
I had someone like him in my ASB TL, who I always imagined being played by Jean Reno. My idea for this TL was a Serbian or Russian emigre serving in the Legion Etrangere, the Count of Czerny-Gadika, but couldn't quite make him work.Hmmm perhaps a descendent of brigader gerard is around too
I felt we had to have an alt-Gazala in this TL, and this seemed like the right place for it. On the one hand, whatever German general pulled this off (not Rommel; the Russians got him) will be Goebbels' darling for some weeks, a good distraction from the disasters on the Eastern Front. On the other hand, Girolamo - and OKW - probably look at the map after this and think, "gee, thanks. We get some real estate of limited strategic value and a longer supply line." Very like their thoughts after OTL Gazala, in fact.Definitely a plausible screw up, and we shall have to see how things turn out but I suspect correct decision making from the Supreme War Council. Thessaly is of fairly limited value to the Allies, and if they can use the diverted reinforcements to hold Singapore, Burma and the main Indonesian chain, I really think they're in a far better position.
I also note the losses of the Italian airborne, I really wonder if Girolamo Leoni is going to see this as the same Axis success that Theo Barker does.
As in just about impossible. Japanese troops would have grave difficulty just reaching the Thailand-Laos border, much less advancing west in strength.Without Thailand joining the war on the Japanese side the invasion of Burma at least is far harder and slower.
I can't see the British committing large forces to Indochina when the outcome is almost certain defeat (Japanese air superiority, mainly).Extract from Marianne and John by Charles Montague, ch.13
... some 50,000 Allied troops went into internment in Thailand.
Bangkok has a useful extra card to play, at this point. They will have strong incentive to look after them as an asset, though at first the Thai authorities would certainly be overwhelmed.50,000 Allied troops interred in Thailand is very interesting. If the cards are played right, can they be kept in fighting shape and be reactivated to defend Thailand? Would that work or be an implicit expectation for a neutral in this situation?
OTL Singapore had fallen three weeks earlier than Phnom Penh in the ATL. The Japanese timetable is looking tight. Soon we will see what Wavell meant by "the crisis in Borneo and Java Sea". In war everything goes on all the time, and it is particularly difficult to tell a coherent narrative of such a vast theatre with multiple simultaneous developments. This section I found the hardest to write as I kept having to cross-check that I hadn't teleported units or ships.The timeframe is obviously different, but are Malaya and Signapore still ultimately screwed or is that alleviated?
I think it's a virtual certainty, on diplomatic/ political grounds. The prospect of the French losing another vast territory without substantial British assistance would horrify Churchill. In the ATL the British have more resources available than OTL, which makes it harder still to resist deploying them. I can hear the memo being dictated now: 'we cannot endure seeing the valiant French brought low in Indochina while our copious forces sit idle within reach,' etc. The British/ Imperial forces available are such (because there is no North Africa campaign, only a relatively small Greek commitment, and fewer Middle Eastern commitments) that Wavell can afford to send Indian 4th and British 18th on a weak hope of stabilising the situation in Indochina, and still have stronger forces than OTL available to defend Malaya, North Borneo and the western DEI. For example, he should have Indian 5th & 10th, British 6th and Australian 9th divisions, none of which he had OTL.I can't see the British committing large forces to Indochina when the outcome is almost certain defeat (Japanese air superiority, mainly).
Yabbut 50,000 men is a helluva lot to throw away on a gesture.I think it's a virtual certainty, on diplomatic/ political grounds. The prospect of the French losing another vast territory without substantial British assistance would horrify Churchill.