Sir John Valentine Carden survives.

Imperial Japan isn't bombing London and in occupation of large parts of the French coast just across the English Channel from the UK and in a position to invade the UK and take out most of the British Empire's 'war-making industry' once Russia is settled. Nor is Imperial Japan actually at war with the UK up until the end of 1941, whereas Germany is.

I have to wonder if Roosevelt had some kind of blackmail material on Churchill though, the way Churchill went along with the oil embargo as he did. Maybe it was a case of Roosevelt going: 'uhhh, it would be a shame if anything happened to that lend-lease...' putting the UK in a position where the only remotely sensible position was to just declare peace all round.
Crudely, Britain needed the support of the USA a lot more than it needed Japan's
 
I'm pretty sure Operation Battleaxe won't happen here, either because the because the British won't be dislodged from the Tripolitania/Cyrenaica border, or if they are, whatever passes for Operation Brevity will force them back through Halfaya pass anyway, removing the strongpoint.
I only mentioned it as an example of the what the Pz IV was capable of as a short 75mm armed support tank and that the 3" armed CS tanks were not that far removed in terms of armament.

And now one has been captured intact!!!
 
Crudely, Britain needed the support of the USA a lot more than it needed Japan's
Which shows how badly Baldwin and Chamberlain messed up in the original timeline, not stopping Hitler when he could have been stopped (although the mood of the times might have made that politically difficult) and then declaring war when Hitler was most powerful and the UK was least able to stop him. At least in your own The Whale has Wings timeline, the military power of the naval arm of the UK halfway justified Baldwin and Chamberlain's decisions.
 
Imperial Japan isn't bombing London and in occupation of large parts of the French coast just across the English Channel from the UK and in a position to invade the UK and take out most of the British Empire's 'war-making industry' once Russia is settled. Nor is Imperial Japan actually at war with the UK up until the end of 1941, whereas Germany is.

I have to wonder if Roosevelt had some kind of blackmail material on Churchill though, the way Churchill went along with the oil embargo as he did. Maybe it was a case of Roosevelt going: 'uhhh, it would be a shame if anything happened to that lend-lease...' putting the UK in a position where the only remotely sensible position was to just declare peace all round.
It wasn't as simple as that.
It's much more than just sending some more tanks. You need men, and more importantly need good commanders. The problem was, all the good people were either guarding the British Isles or being sucked into North Africa. Clear NA, and you have more kit, but much more importantly, decent commanders to send East. You'll also have less need for warships in the Med, so it's easier to send a proper force to Singapore.
It's not just 1941 though. Even after Torch and North Africa, hells, even after Sicily, when the Mediterranean was arguably secure for shipping, not even then did the British do anything much about the Burma front. And they could have done.
 
It's not just 1941 though. Even after Torch and North Africa, hells, even after Sicily, when the Mediterranean was arguably secure for shipping, not even then did the British do anything much about the Burma front. And they could have done.
Priorities.
In 1943, Japan wasn't going anywhere, and any attack into India would have been crushed. In the Pacific, their airforce was being ground to death.
Germany was a much bigger problem.
yes, sucked to be in Burma, but attacking seriously into/past Burma requires a lot of shipping, and that was needed first for Italy, then for Overlord.
 
Priorities.
In 1943, Japan wasn't going anywhere, and any attack into India would have been crushed. In the Pacific, their airforce was being ground to death.
Germany was a much bigger problem.
yes, sucked to be in Burma, but attacking seriously into/past Burma requires a lot of shipping, and that was needed first for Italy, then for Overlord.
And Italy turned into a crapshoot. Also, the big issue with Italy and Overlord was the landing-craft. In Burma, you already had a solid base to work from, so those things aren't needed.
 
Considering how much the Stug series was used OTL I think it'd stay about the same TTL, if anything I think it'd speed up the move to the Pz4 from the 3 as the 'mainline' tank for the Germans.
For the outside chance, it might inspire the Brits and/or Americans to have their own Stug-style assault gun (see my earlier posts on a 'turretless' M3). I'm not expecting anything like the Tortoise before the end of the war, but maybe something derived from the Birch (and successors) designed from the outset to be used in the direct-fire role.
So something like the British AT series but with more gun varieties and a better engines to keep up with the rest of the armored formation
 
27 May 1940. The BEF.
27 May 1940. Belgium and France.

On both sides of the British Expeditionary Force’s positions fighting was intense all day. On the west the panzer divisions of Army Group A attacked all along the Canal Line, while Army Group B’s attack on the Ypres front and the French First Army’s pocket intensified. The objective of the Kleist group was to get in artillery range of Dunkirk and break through towards Poperinghe and Kemmel where they hoped to meet the troops of Army Group B if they broke through at Ypres. By bringing Dunkirk under artillery fire they could make it unusable for evacuation, and if the two army groups could meet then they would cut off a large part of the allied forces from the sea. The Hoth Group also struck north-east towards Armentières–Lille, to cut off a considerable part of the French First Army.

In the attack aiming at Dunkirk in the north-west the enemy made some progress. The French Secteur Fortifié des Flandres were heavily engaged to the south of Gravelines, with support from a Brigade of 48th Division, and the Company of 8th Bn RTR which had arrived in St Omer previously, suffered heavy losses, but managed to hold the line from Gravelines and the Aa. In this they were supported by six Swordfish of the Fleet Air Arm, under the orders of Coastal Command, which bombed German artillery batteries supporting the panzer divisions.

The rest of 48th Division, with the support of the First Army Tank Brigade, was to hold the road which runs southward from Bergues through Wormhoudt, Cassel and Hazebrouk. The enemy attacked with tanks and infantry, its main attack on Cassel itself began about ten o'clock in the morning of the 27th, coming in from the south and south-east, and it was maintained throughout the day. Attempts to pass around the town were resisted. The 1st Light Armoured Reconnaissance Brigade, which had come under the command of the 48th Division, joined with the Tank Brigade in offering the Germans more difficulties. Late in the evening the enemy's attack on Cassel died away. They had failed to take the town and had suffered heavily in men and armour. Further south they strove all day to take Hazebrouck with tanks and infantry, but the defenders in the town, isolated and surrounded, were unsubdued.

The 44th Division was on the flank immediately south of Hazebrouck. There was heavy fighting, and though Morbecque was lost, the enemy's attacks made no headway against this line. Although armoured columns pushed through the gap between Cassel and Hazebrouck and attacked, but were held off. In the afternoon they withdrew after an expensive and unprofitable day.

From the Lys Canal at St Venant to La Bassée is a distance of about fifteen miles. To guard this, so that the main French and British forces could be withdrawn to the Lys during the coming night, was the 2nd Division's responsibility. Lord Gort's despatch at the end of the day said: '2nd Division, now reduced to less than the strength of an infantry brigade, had fought hard and had sustained a strong enemy tank attack.' It had sacrificed itself to keep open the line of retirement to the Lys and delay the junction of the two German army groups which would have cut off all the French First Army. While the main British forces were on this night behind the Lys according to plan, only part of the French First Army managed to get there, German attacks from the east and from the west met behind them and a considerable part of the French First Army was surrounded, but held out for another four days. The southern part of the pincer movement on Kemmel had made little progress.

On the eastern front the divisions still holding the old frontier position—the 42nd, 1st, 3rd and 4th Divisions—were to withdraw during then night to the Lys, with the French First Army conforming. The moves were successfully carried out. While these moves were in progress a furious battle was developing on the II Corps front south of Ypres which had been exposed by the Belgian withdrawal. There, three German divisions—the northern claw of the German pincer movement, sought to break through to Kemmel. It was General Franklyn's 5th Division which bore the weight of the enemy's attack, and on this front, the battle was to rage for three days till the main BEF forces were inside the Dunkirk bridgehead. So, by the end of 27 May the Germans had achieved nothing of importance. The plan to break through had failed and the gap created by the Belgian withdrawal had been nearly closed. Yet the situation was still critical and the danger continued to increase.

At eleven o'clock that night, Gort learnt from the French admiral's headquarters at Dunkirk that the Belgian surrender was timed for midnight. By midnight on May 27/28 the King of the Belgians had accepted defeat and the Belgian Army had been ordered to cease fire. On the eastern front there was now a twenty-mile open gap between the left of II Corps and the coast near Nieuport.
UK-NWE-Flanders-6.jpg



NB text in italic differs from OTL. Most of this comes from HyperWar: The War in France and Flanders 1939–1940 [Chapter XII] (ibiblio.org). The big difference is that the French don't retreat from Gravelines back to a line which followed canals from Mardick through Spycker to Bergues. This means that the the port and its approaches are not (yet) within artillery range. With Calais also holding out, then the threat to shipping from shore based artillery is lessened, at least initially.
 
I preemptively take offence to the suggestion that a Royal Navy Officer would be averse to a good rum, even if he gets it from the Officer's Mess and not the ration lineup.
 
Um, I'm pretty sure all the pilots in the RAF are officers too.
No a substantial number of RAF aircrew of all types were NCO's. While most N.C.O aircrew were gunners there were Pilots, Navigators, Wireless Operators, Flight Engineers and Bomb aimers.

Most of the pilots from the pre war Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve were N.C.O's.

After the war ex NCO aircrew blocked the promotion ladder in the related RAF trades for a generation.
 
Last edited:
No a substantial number of RAF aircrew of all types were NCO's. While most N.C.O aircrew were gunners there were Pilots, Navigators, Wireless Operators, Flight Engineers and Bomb aimers.

Most of the pilots from the pre war Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve were N.C.O's.

After the war ex NCO aircrew blocked the promotion ladder in the related RAF trades for a generation
Errr, not during WWII they weren't. NCO pilots predominated.
I stand corrected.
 
It caused a few problems. The pilot of an RAF aircraft is ALWAYS in command of the aircraft in the air but there were times when an NCO pilot wasn't the highest ranking member of the crew.
 
It caused a few problems. The pilot of an RAF aircraft is ALWAYS in command of the aircraft in the air but there were times when an NCO pilot wasn't the highest ranking member of the crew.
A good officer knows who is in command and obeys his instructions, no matter what. I was a junior NCO in the Australian Army and occasionally I was in charge of a work detail which included senior WOs. They knew when to shut up and do as I told them. Officers if they are good, do the same.
 
Top