Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Dad's Army in Quiet Cornwall

Our local squire was very pleased with himself as a new batch of recruits have been outfitted and accepted into the LDV. This allows our small village to report a full platoon ready for action, more or less.

Up until this week our village and the surrounding farms only could muster two complete sections. As this was not enough to count as a platoon the squire changed the records a little that were sent up the chain of command and reported to the district office a platoon with three under strength sections. This technicality allows him to maintain the platoon and his Lieutenant’s pips. If he has his way, the other two nearby villages will bring in another platoon and he can be made a Captain. Although we in the LDV think he is aiming higher. Much higher.

Not sure how London feels about it, but he tells everyone he has brought in support for the unit. I am not sure a captured Ottoman howitzer that stood in the village square and a couple of farming trucks count as support but he is happy.

So begins the LDV here in Cornwall…

While not quite Dad’s Army, the LDV and latter the Home Guard here in sunny Cornwall has little to fear, other than the squire and his business associates. As I am building up this force for Chain of Command I ended up doing this a little backwards.

Normally a gamer will choose a unit or period and start building it and as he or she is doing this they will also conduct research. I started on this ass-backwards (remember war is heck). I was researching Operation Sea Lion academically and found I had a hankering to build a platoon to fight my 1940 Germans.

The academic question seemed simple. How was history, popular or academic, written differently before and after the release that the Allies were reading the German codes.

This requires reading a lot of books and viewing movies and seeing how the war was displayed. And I am OK with that.

The year 1974 is when much of the official disclosures about the code breaking were done in the United Kingdom. A few spotty references can be found in popular works, but for now I will stick with 1974 as the pivot date.

Is this important, for Sea Lion it is very important. We have gone from looking at the plucky British standing up to Hitler with little more than a band of under-equipped volunteers, a few soldiers from Dunkirk and some Spitfires to the understanding (misunderstanding) that the Germans could never launch a successful invasion of Britain. Am I over simplifying, yep but so do the individuals that only see history from the perspective of 2015 and not 1955. Oh bother.


  1. I think the difference is evident in for example "The longest day" scene when a furious german general is shouting into the telephone demanding that someone wakes the Führer up.

    When the longest day book was written everyone thought that Hitler's ego and dallying is what saved the invasion, while we now know that it was the deliberate ruse by the allies and the knowledge through Ultra that the ruse had worked, that saved the invasion.

  2. This could be an interesting endeavor. Balancing who knew what and when could be quite the challenge that you have taken upon yourself.

    1. It also includes what was known but not revealed.

      As for the intelligence itself it had a huge effect. During D-Day the only naval units not intercepted were the German S-Boat as they were to fast. The destroyers trying to get into the western zone of the channel were stopped as the Allies were reading the intelligence in real time.

      As I am limiting myself to Sea Lion I think this is do able. This all started with the alt history community not wanting anyone talking about Sea Lion as we (ha!) all know it was never going to happen or succeed. Tell that to the 1940 Royal Navy.