A Devastating Alternate Second World War

December 30, 2009

Shattered World - Micro Segment 55.5.1
November 8th 1949 to November 12th 1949

November 8th 1949

New Axis offensive in Libya begins with a barrage of chemical ballistic missiles, intensive bombing, massive fighter engagements, and ground attacks up the coast towards Benghazi and northeast across the desert in the general direction of Tobruk. It is a desperate ploy by the Axis, a final effort to capitalize on British woes in Egypt before the Americans can put Army Group Africa into a vise by clamping down from the west. 

November 9th 1949

With a morale boost from the Axis offensive underway in Libya, insurgent elements across Egypt step up their attacks on British troops and assets. The anti-British insurgency is no longer in a position to seize power(aside from a few isolated pockets), but it remains capable of giving the British a major headache. In addition to the violence of the insurgency itself, a general strike called by Islamists and nationalist unions continues to paraylize parts of the Egyptian economy and slow down the flow of materials. Worst of all for the British, the Suez canal and the port at Alexandria both remain closed due to ships sunk by insurgent forces and other sabotage. 

November 10th 1949

In the straights of Gibraltar, the US Navy clearly has the upper hand. Despite heavy losses of destroyers and cruisers to Axis naval maritime guided rockets and bombs, the sheer numbers of U.S. ships have swamped the defending Italian navy. Italian naval forces, aided by a large German naval air presence, continue to fight desperately but they are fighting a rising tide and a torrent of U.S. airpower continues to hammer southern Spain as more and more US ships surge into the straights. By late in the afternoon, some U.S. torpedo boats and destroyers are already probing out into the western Mediterranean itself while a massive line of U.S. battecruisers virtually wipes out a smaller force of Italian cruisers in the straights proper.[The Battle of the Pillars]
   Back at the Canaries, the islands seem ready to sink from the weight of U.S. men and material. Ominously, from the perspective of Axis intelligence officers scouring over aerial reconnaissance photos, the amount of transport vessels present on the islands seems to have risen considerably in the past several days. Indeed, the buildup is so sudden and so massive that a flash message goes out from Berlin to all Axis forces in Iberia, southern France, and Algeria. AMERICAN INVASION OF IBERIA, NORTHWEST AFRICA APPEARS IMMINENT. ALL FORCES OF SOUTHWESTERN COMMAND ARE TO MAINTAIN UTMOST VIGILANCE.  

November 12th 1949

After a month of hellacious fighting in the tunnels and bunkers of the few remaining Japanese pockets of resistance; Okinawa is at last declared fully secure(for the third and final time). 

TO BE CONTINUED in Micro Segment 55.5.2....


Anonymous said...

Nice update.

The Axis offensive in Libya kind of reminds me of Midway. Even if they win, they are going to lose in the end.


Golladay said...

Already started the thread on the main board.

Say the Axis haven't issued any frantic retargetments of any available MRBMs to the Canaries, are they simply unavailable, dedicated to other tasks, or being held back for the landing sites that the American Military arrive at?

Or could it be the Axis command simply told the Submariners and Maritime Assets that they will have to hold off the coming swarm?

Food for thought.

lordroel said...

thanks for the great update , this will give the board some things to disuse fore awhile.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Regarding ICBM's on the Canaries - there are practical limitations at play. The Germans have their ICBM assets pretty much completely committed to the attacks on Britain and North Africa.
Targeting the Canaries is do-able but will take some time. (technically the Germans could launch their ICBM's from existing bases and hit the Canaries...but the accuracy is going to be very bad if they don't move them closer)
They could rail them into Iberia in perhaps a week


Archangel said...

Nice update, Bobby!

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Definitely a good update even though it was short. Question - when you say the US lost cruisers were they all light ones and that was why the Italians took it on the chin the way they did in the Battle of the Pillars? (i.e. it was light cruiser versus light cruiser and suddenly they ran into a line of battle cruisers and it was good bye to the Italian cruisers?)

Since the Italians only have the one battlecruiser left I am assuming that what they lost were mainly light cruisers.

Also I would second those who say the Germans should be hitting the Canaries with missiles - as packed as those islands are even a few hits will do major damage - imagine the consequences of a nerve gas hit in a barracks area or a direct hit on an ammo or fuel dump.

Especially since the Germans have seen the consequences of letting the Americans build up - the Japanese failed to ever drive one American landing into the sea and I dont see them doing it either.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Oh and I seriously doubt that every Japanese defender is dead on Okinawa - considering in OTL they kept coming out of the tunnels for literally weeks at Iwo after the island was "secured" to say nothing of Saipan, Peleliu, etc..

Have a feeling that there will still be raids, suicide attacks, etc.. for quite some time to come.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Where is everbody? First update in six months and only eight comments (including this one) in two days? I know its New Years but you guys shouldnt have hangovers that big!!!

Seriously - Bobby when you say heavy losses of cruisers and destroyers for the US are we talking about 8-12 cruisers and 28+ destroyers as postulated by Golladay on the discussion board? That would be a huge hit if it was that large - or are we talking smaller numbers? It seems the Italians have lost ships but that they havent used their main fleet yet - i.e. no mention of battleships, battlecruisers or their aircraft carrier.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Probaby in the region of ~8 cruiser losses, mostly lighter ones.(and others damaged to various degrees of course)
Figure, ~15 destroyers sunk and more damaged.

This is a very heavy loss by any standard....but not crippling given the sheer size of the USN taskforces involved. The USN is simply willing and able to absorb these losses.

Part of the reason the Italians sent in their cruisers for a straight up fight instead of withdrawing them is that they were over-confident after seeing all the reports of U.S. cruisers being hit.(dozens and dozens of them, of course only a minority of them resulted in sinkings)

Anonymous said...


a few questions:

1. How many ships did the Italians lose and what kind?

What's the status of the Italian aircraft carrier?

I think the Italians are probably holding this one in reserve for now.

2. As for the invasion of Iberia, I think this will be an interesting campaign with a mostly US(with some UK/Canadian elements) force aided by Spanish(mainly former Republicans and Basque) guerillas facing German, Italian, Spanish Nationalist, Portoguese and even French Vichy forces.

The US invasion forces probably have the edge in nukes and airpower. Going to be nasty for the Axis.

3. When will the next part come up?

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Dozens and dozens of cruisers were hit? Do you mean dozens and dozens of cruisers and destroyers or just cruisers? If its dozens and dozens of cruisers alone that means the USN must have the majority of their navy trying to transit into the Med.

Anonymous said...

With the Pacific front vs. the Japanese winding down, the US probably have the majority of the USN fleet in the Atlantic.

The IJN is preety much out of commission.

CJ said...

As for the "dozens and dozens", it seems more likely that someone in the RM simply believed the exaggerated reports from RA and Luftwaffe pilots of their prowess.

Compare the profile of a US 'Sumner' or 'Gearing' class destroyer with that of an Italian 'Capitani Romani' or German 'Kreuzer M' CL. I can buy pilots who are used to what their own ships look like and are being shot at seeing the multiple twin turrets and thinking "cruisers".

Look at OTL pilot claims - destroyers became cruisers and cruisers became battleships, a hit becomes a kill.

Anonymous said...

As for the Med. I think it will soon become a Allied lake.

The Italians probably lost a significant portion of its navy in the battle for the Pillars and the bombing of Spanish ports. And the remaining Italian Regina Marina is probably something of a speedbump to the USN atlantic fleet(and the RN).

The Turkish navy is a joke. In OTL, they mainly had destroyers and subs since they were limited by the treaty of versailles. In this timeline. I reckon, they are larger but not by much.

With the invasion of Spain and North Africa and the destruction of a significant portion of the Italian navy and the breakout of the USN into the Med. The Germans and Italians will probably have to withdraw their troops in the Middle East or have their supply and escape routes cut off.

Also expect heavy troop losses on the Middle East Axis forces as they withdraw to Sicily and the Italian mainland.(US/UK Subs, air power interdiction etc.).

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

I seriously doubt the Italian Fleet is a speedbump - while they lost some cruisers and destroyers at the Pillars I highly doubt they lost the majority of their fleet. The hard core of battleships, battlecruisers, heavy cruisers, is still intact (at least so far) and the entire Italian Air Force will be contesting the Med (and the USN isnt going to send a lot of carriers into the Med unless they want to lose a lot of carriers).

It will be a while yet before the RM is a memory - and remember the Germans have been establishing a naval presence of subs, destroyers, and other small ships in the Med since the Eurasian War - so its not just the RM and the Turks the Americans and RN will be facing.

Good comment by the way CJ - if you compare a Capitani Romani cruiser to a large American destroyer they are very similar - especially if you are either doing your spotting at a distance (the standoff missiles) or screaming at full power on the deck after the attack.

Still I would think that if they fired at destroyers they would have a lot of destroyers either sunk or very heavily damaged - we are talking about missiles originally designed to take out carriers. If four hits can take out an RN carrier then one hit on a 2400 ton DD would be deadly - she is either sunk or in the docks for a long long time.

Bobby you may want to ramp up your destroyer losses if the dozens and dozens of hits were mostly on destroyers - unless they have new standoff missiles that are made to go after lighter targets and thus smaller, with a smaller payload that a DD could take a hit and still be operational.

CJ said...

RE: Destroyer Losses
I think a great deal of it depends on luck and where the hit occurs. Carriers are funny things and are susceptible to damage in different ways than other surface combatants.

Then again, consider the case of the USS 'Laffey' DD-724. At Okinawa, she was hit by four bombs, six kamikazes, and strafing - and survived.

I'd also guess that many of the damaged/sunk ships were hit by torpedoes, regular bombs, shore batteries, and ships guns - not just AShMs.

Anonymous said...

Awesome update Bobby, cant wait for the next one, shame Ole still whinges though.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Ole whinges - hmmm well that says it all right there - can't even be bothered to properly spell when he insults me, let alone actually leave his name

Laffey is a prime example of what I was talking about by the way CJ - she survived but she was hardly in any condition to fight on - if dozens and dozens of ships have been hit hard then the USN has to have taken a big hit in its ability to keep the convoys properly covered - and those convoys are all that is keeping Great Britain in the war

without her the US alone most likely wouldnt continue the war - and could be where the war ending stalemate comes from

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Bobby what happened to Operation Orange Fire - are you going to do a new post soon detailing the next four days since you are now up to Nov 12?

Anonymous said...

The Regina Marina, it is a speedbump when compared to the USN who probably have the majority of their forces in the Atlantic.

They lost a large chunk of their forces at the Pillars.

Their naval air force are mainly prop planes vs. US jet carrier planes.

And to top it all of they are losing a lot of their planes to in Spain and at the West Med.

As for the German Kriegsmarine in the Med. Let's just say German naval air is probalby the most dangerous threat to the USN, however Kriegsmarine surface ship forces in the Med is another speedbump but the U-Boats in the Med are a worse threat but not as bad as the Atlantic.

The Turkish navy is a joke, worse than a speedbump maybe just there for yucks. In OTL, the Turkish navy in world war two comprised of some destroyers and some Subs(all Italian made) in this timeline, they probably have a cruiser and more of the rest but not by much.

Also not to mention the French, the Vichy French probalby have some cruisers and a battleship or two. Another speedbump.

Oh yeah, the entire Italian airforce??? another joke.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

The Italian air force now has jets in it so its hardly a joke. This isnt OTL here where Italy was a second rate major power - they have advanced prop planes as good or better than the US prop planes and first generation jets that they are producing themselves.

And whoever you are, anonymous, you might want to actually read the timeline - Vichy doesnt have a fleet here. Thats OTL, not ATL.

Anonymous said...

Yes and while the Regina Marina have some jets, the majority or even most of their planes are prop.

And the majority of US planes are jet fighters.

Yes the Italians have good prop planes but against Panther and Eagle jets, no contest. And yes, there will probably be heavy US air losses(mainly from German luftwaffe jets) but the Italians will probably get mowed down.

In the fight for air superiority over the Med, its between the US/UK vs. the Germans. The Italians are significant bit players(add in the: Turks, Hungarians etc.).

And whoever you are Olefin, I read the timeline, how do you know the Vichy don't have a fleet. I believe the French fleet still haven't been completely destroyed and there is still probably a Vichy and a Free French Fleet albeit quite small. Obviously you don't control this timeline, Bobby does.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

No I dont control the timeline and have never made any statement that I do but Vichy in the ATL doesnt even have a coastline - take a look at it on a map.

Acquitaine does but its on the Atlantic. Vichy isnt in control of any French colonies either - it only controls (and that depends on your point of view) the area it occupies in what used to be pre-war France.

As for the French Fleet Bobby has timeline posts as to its destruction by the Italians in the North African ports that it retreated to.

Plus there has been a lot of discussion on this over the years, especially by CJ who put up a very informative post in the discussion board on the fate of the French fleet.

As for Eagle jets - they arent carrier capable yet (course Bobby may make them that way any day) and the only ones currently in theater are on the Canaries and in England (there might be some in Egypt but bobby hasnt mentioned it yet) - they wont be a factor in the Med until the US lands and gets air bases. The Panther is a good jet but not that good - otherwise the USN wouldnt be taking the heavy losses that Bobby keeps mentioning.

Italy isnt a bit player here - again this isnt OTL.

As for who I am - if you have been on the discussion or blogger board you know who I am as I have been around for several years here, not as long as CJ or CT or others but not a nube either. I do know what I am talking about in general although that is a point of contention with others (and I definitely bow to CJ here as an authority on naval matters in ShatteredWorld).

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

By the way I really love how this is worded

After a month of hellacious fighting in the tunnels and bunkers of the few remaining Japanese pockets of resistance; Okinawa is at last declared fully secure(for the third and final time).

the third and final time part brings to mind an image of a US general saying Okinawa is finally safe and secure - and then having to duck for cover as artillery fire lands nearby blowing up his jeep and eventually the tent he was making the announcement to the press in

I can almost see someone in the press saying "Boy sure looks secure to me General!" as the incoming keeps coming in.

Shows how even the smallest details can bring the timeline to life if you think about it for a while.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

yep, thats exactly the effect I was going for. Although mortar fire or a couple Japanese infantry emerging from a tunnel with grenades is probably the more likely scenario.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

I figured that was what you meant - brought to mind that scene from Patton where the British general says that the German Air Force wont be giving Patton any trouble - and then right afterward that air strike comes in and blows the heck out of his HQ area

just lacks the whole "shoot me right in the nose" to make it complete

Anonymous said...

And too much detail is a waste of time...

Anonymous said...

As for Okinawa. OK, you get lingering guerilla warfare from the Japanese but Okinanwa is more or less secure.

Now as for Japan, I highly doubt it that the US will invade the Japanese home islands, I think with US resources focusing on Europe and North Africa and the growing threat in South America, Japan is on the backburner for now.
Not to mention, the huge manpower needed to invade the Japanese home islands.

I think the USN will probably blockade Japan and starve it to submission.

Now if Japan holds out too long. Then there is that rice blast bio warfare agent which will kill off Japan's rice harvest.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

But which cant be used in China or Korea for fear of it getting out of hand and killing off China's rice harvest. And all it would take is one ship, sub or plane carrying the bio agent to get to the coastal enclaves and then things could get very bad, very fast.

Dont see the US using that and taking that kind of risk when they can just sit back and wait for the surrender eventually - that is until the Germans force a stalemate in the West and Japan makes peace with them part of the deal with Germany.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - by the way asked Bobby about details of the Battle of the Pillars and got this back -my question:
was the force of Italian cruisers that got taken out mostly light
> cruisers? I assume the Italians didn’t send in a bunch of heavy
> cruisers or their lone battlecruiser?


Light Cruisers. Basically the bulk of the Italian cruiser forcer was sunk. (yes, this was a really bad move on the part of the Italians, some admirals are getting fired!)

Their one truly modern heavy battlecruiser(the one that withdrew after the Americans took the Canaries) is at port somewhere in the central Med. Also their one completed carrier is hiding at port in the central Med under cover of massive AAA defenses.

That should answer some of the questions as to what kinds of cruisers tried to take on the US battlecruisers and lost.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the US blockade of the Japanese home islands will take awhile to get a Japanese surrender.

The USN has enough forces to blockade Japan without hindering their other fronts.

However, the Germans are perfectly willing to sacrifice the Japanese. Even if the Germans force an armistice in Europe. The Germans are not in a position to save Japan.

As for the Regina Marina, didn't the Italians have at least 3 battleships in their roster(Roma, Trieste etc.). I think probably 2 of those were sunk at the Pillars.

So with the bulk of Italian navy sunk at the Pillars. The only thing which could really bloody the USN is the Luftwaffe.

I think the North African campaign will be a disaster for the Axis.

Besides the USN, there is also the Royal Navy which hold the Eastern Med.

I think the Regina Marina will probably be sacrificed while providing cover for the Axis retreat from North Africa.

Anonymous said...

Now as for South America.

I can see the SAFB doing blitzkrieg into Brazil and Ecuador(led by Argentina and Peru with Paraguay in a bit role) and sure they will probalby take a large chunk of both countries but will probably fail when they run into very rugged jungle and mountain terrain(Andes and Amazon). And there is also the USN Carrier battlegroup off the Coast of Chile. and the huge presence of the USN in the South Atlantic.

Would be an interesting thought whether the US can provide troops for South America.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Sorry but no BB were lost at the Battle of the Pillars. I asked Bobby specifically about it and the force the Italians sent in was a force of light cruisers and destroyers, no BB or Battlecruisers or even Heavy Cruisers.

They thought that the USN had had its head handed to them by the air attacks and that they were just cleaning up - and ran into a very intact line of battlecruisers that basically cost the Italians a lot of ships.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Considering that Peru, by itself in OTL conquered 2/3 of Ecuador in a short war I dont see the Ands (which make up basically all of Peru by the way) stopping them in any way. And the Amazon would be an issue if they sent troops there - but Brazil in the 40's doesnt have any major cities there. The battles will be coastal ones there - and Brazil has a very long coast that will basically end up being too big to conquer in any war.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if the USS Montana was at the pillars too.

Last I heard of it, it was damaged a few years back in the Pacific.

I think it probalby was at the Pillars.

As for Peru, true, I think they will probably occupy most of Ecuador in a SAFB attack on the ODAS.

Now as for Brazil, it will be different. Bigger country, rugged, interior, better army and a large population to mobilize from will make knocking it out difficult.

Also disadvantageous for the SAFB(Argentines) to fight on the coast, with USN naval superiority in the South Atlantic. The Brazilians can count for US air and naval support as well as amphibious assaults to the rear.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Unless the USS Montana sunk and they built a new version that was a battlecruiser it wasnt at the Pillars.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Bobby can you break down the losses the US took a little more as the update is a little confusing.

Was the Battle of the Pillars just the battle of the Italian cruisers versus the US battlecruisers, heavy cruisers and light cruisers and the previous losses due to missiles, bombs, torpedoes another battle or operation?

Or were the US losses you have mentioned in cruisers and destroyers what they took both in the air strikes and initial effort plus the follow on Battle of the Pillars?

Only asking as it looks like the USN took it on the chin first, then the Italians sent in a large light cruiser and destroyer force and got wiped out with no US losses - and that doesnt make any sense that they didnt scratch the US forces at all (or at least how it reads).

You would figure in any gunfight of that magnitude they would have had ships damaged and forced to retire - heck even Ziggy Sprague scored on the Japanese with his destroyers and destroyer escorts at the Battle of Samar and he faced a similar overwhelming force - and from what you are describing they lost as much as 60 percent or more of their total light cruiser and destroyer force as a Navy.

This was a gunfight not an air battle at the Pillars from your description - and no matter how overwhelming US firepower was you are talking about a force of 10-14 or so light cruisers and 15-25destroyers being wiped out without inflicting any appreciable damage.

Not challenging what you wrote or the results of the battle - just want to get a better idea of what happened there if you don't mind. I have no doubt that the Italians would have been hit hard as you wrote - just looking to flesh out the Battle a little more if you dont mind.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

I'm going to resist getting into any more detail than I have already given.

To make that up, I intend to get the next micro-segment done sometime soon, and hopefully also the next part of the "orange fire" interlude.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Good enough for me Bobby - cant wait for the next updates!!

Anonymous said...

Battle of the Pillars?

Probalby the US did a "crossing the T" tactic on the Regina Marina.

In this case, the US ships probably all have radar, excellent fire and control and not to mention surprise on the Italians who were too overconfident. And they probalby outnumbered the Italians too. As well as intelligence of Italian ship disposition(air and sub observations).

Some of the Italian ships probably have radar by this time(In OTL, even the Italian battleships did not have radar but were partly offset by excellent fire and control and accurate sighting).

And to top it all of, the Italians attacked probably in the daylight(again too overconfident). Probably with Axis aircover(the Italians did not think they had air superiority though in this case). The Italians probably in thinking the USN has lost a lot of ships the Commanding admiral probably thought to take advantage and attack immidietly before the USN recovers. Unfortunately for him, what was waiting for the Italian attacking force was a huge compliment of US cruisers and battleships. Already in position.

Basically the Italians got mauled really fast, and the remnants who tried to retreat was picked off by Allied subs and torpedo boats.

Axis aircover was dispersed by US carrier planes.

lordroel said...

for me it is also good enough Bobby , i cant wait for the next update

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Just a question on Egypt - are Sadat and Nasser still on the loose? From what I remember neither of them had been caught - and they would definitely have been part of the rising. I know how you like to sprinkle famous OTL faces in the ATL and have been expecting them to appear.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

I apologise for being unable to just go along with the story.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Ok whoever you are anonymous who just put up a post in my name time to either put your real name up or give it a rest. Posing as another member is a big no no here.

So, whoever you are, give it a break right now.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here (the real thing)

For whoever has issues with my wanting more information on updates and who impersonated me - how about coming on the board so we can discuss issues head to head and we can know who is actually posting? Anyone who knows my writing style and how I ask questions knows the difference between what I post and what is posted by a cowardly liar who puts up a post in my name who doesn't even know how to properly spell apologize.

CJ said...

Olefin, this would not be a problem if you just registered.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here (the real one)

or it would not be a problem if people would act decently and not act like jerks - I sign my name to my posts so people know who it is - whoever this coward is hides behind Anonymous and then does this stunt - you and I disagree a lot but you dont hide behind anonymous to do it.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here (the real one)

And I will say this and then let it lay - this update shows signs of being rushed and not properly thought out

Battle of the Pillars - a massive line of battle cruisers is not only not attacked but apparently not even seen by hundreds of Axis aircraft and who knows how many ships in a small area who then expend their ordinance on destroyers instead.

Name me one naval or air battle in OTL where big ships like battleships or battlecruisers were present and instead of targeting them the attackers went after destroyers or light cruisers and ignored the big boys?

And these were veteran anti-surface air forces who know the difference between a 2400 ton destroyer and a 29,000 ton battlecruiser or between a 600 or so foot light cruiser and an 811 foot battlecruiser.

Observers on the ground with binoculars could have seen the BCR's waiting in the straits - I've been there before and you can see straight to Africa on a good day.

Also - since when does the Italian Fleet act like the IJN on the death ride and throw away the majority of their remaining surface fleet - Bobby has said that losses of cruisers and destroyers amounted to between 60-70% of their total in the Italian Navy - wich means almost half their navy went down.

Hey you want to destroy the Italian fleet be my guest - its going to happen anyway. But to throw them away like this in a hurried, almost suicidal way that makes absolutely no sense except to those who are cheering on the Axis acting stupidly?

Tell me if the USN had thrown away their battlecruiser force like this would you and CT and others have just said "well its Bobby's story, so what if the USN acted completely against every tradition they have?"

lordroel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Bobby you should consider a rewrite this update where you take your time, do it right and issue it as one big update along with the new mini one you mentinoed that you are writing now to have it make sense.

Let the Italians take their hit to the fleet - but have it make sense and not be Death Ride II, another Axis fleet taking a butt kicking for no reason and acting stupidly.

There is no way in a strait that narrow that the literally hundreds of observers between planes, ships, subs and on the ground would have missed a battle line of ships that if lined up end to end, with no space between them, would occupy almost one sixth of the strait! And this happened in BROAD DAYLIGHT in the afternoon - not at night and not during a storm. This wasnt a radar failure - and unless the US has some kind of mass blindness weapon or its the Day of the Triffids would that many people miss a large number of massive ships that are undamaged and ready to fight!

And before I hear the usual caterwhauling from the pro-Allied part of the board you know darn well that if the USN had taken that kind of beating in a way that made no sense that we would have heard it by now - just as the Pearl Harbor attack was rewritten by Bobby after inputs from people who said it needed to be changed.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Ok Olefin, the stuff you are complaining about is not even stuff thats there in the segment, geez.
Earlier you were saying you liked the update, so I'm confused.

Let me make this clear : This is MY story that I have written over the course of the past ten years, as a hobby. If there are things you disagree with that, that is fine. I have made changes in the past based on your input - when I thought it was valid. You have crossed over into coming off as demanding lately.
The tone you are striking here is very rude and very much not appreciated.

As of now, I am no longer going to answer all your questions and requests for more details. Its not worth my time or worth having you pick apart every answer I give and then demand that changes be made to the timeline.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Hey its your story so go ahead. If you want the Italians to make a suicide attack in broad daylight against ships that ahyone with 20/20 could have seen from the shore and given them a warning then you do.

And dont worry I wont be asking for details anymore. Please dont send me email asking for input into possible updates or ideas you have as well as you have done in the past. Since you see my questions as bugging you, then please dont bug me with your questions or ideas either.

Have a good day.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

You constantly email me asking for more details, and then the minute we get into an argument you come on here and flip it on me and try to make it sound like I am the one pestering you?

Thats not right.

I can count the number of times I have emailed you asking your opinion on something on one hand.

I've always bent over backwards to try to answer your questions and when other people bashed you I always gave you the benefit of the doubt, and then the first time we get into an argument you hit me with these low blows about being too slow, not having any fans, and bugging you too much(the last of which is a flat out lie)

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Actually I have the emails Bobby that show how we discussed stuff like the possible Arab revolt, a possible invasion of the Canaries, and other events - and they were more than what could be counted on one hand. As for this

argument you hit me with these low blows about being too slow, not having any fans, and bugging you too much(the last of which is a flat out lie)

you said I was bugging you so I returned the favor

I said that the board had been reduced to a few people which is the truth - and I in no way said you didnt have any fans.

I also said that you have a personal life and that it came first, that while you where gone we did the best we could to keep the board alive by writing stories - and by we I mean myself, Roel, Archangel, CJ, Golladay, etc.. and that we did it because we loved the story and we knew you were busy and wanted to keep the board alive.

Now do you want to keep going on here because you are mad at me that I dared point out that your first update in six months was implausibly written in a major point - a point that Roel agrees with as well if you would bother to read the discussion board? I sent you private emails and you are going on a public vendetta here on the board in reply to them instead of emailing me back.

Now do you want to continue having a fit here on the blogger board accusing me of things I didnt say ( I never said you were slow, never said you didnt have any fans, never said you bugged me too much except in reply to the same accusation from you).

Or do you want to calm down, take a chill pill and actually consider that maybe, just maybe I and Roel may be right and a small rewrite is needed for a more plausible battle where the Italians dont steam up to a line of battle cruisers in broad daylight with inferior, outranged ships that would have been under fire for over a half hour before they even got close to being in range and basically say "kill me, kill me"

or you can just keep going on as you are

Scott said...

I've enjoyed every bit of Bobby's story. Along the way there's been points that I've disagreed with, and that's ok. This whole thing, this wonderful creation from Bobby's imagination, has kept me entertained for untold hours. There are not many works of fiction that are completely free of 'holes' and Shattered World is not exception. I can easily live with any problems that I think I see in the timeline, it's a work of fiction and isn't being written based on the actual account of the actions of 1000s of people who are all being attentive to the minutiae of their tasks. One person cannot account for all of the variables in a global event, I think Bobby's doing a great job.

Discussion about the timeline is ok, trying with a degree of force to direct the author to redo work because it does not meet the standards of an individual, that seems a bit excessive.

Bobby, thanks for the story, I look forward with great anticipation to the next installments.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Thanks Scott, I appreciate it.

To Olefin : I probably over-reacted on this, but its just the _tone_ you took on this that set me off. Offerring a friendly suggestion is one thing, phrasing your input like a demand is quite another

CJ said...

As a purely grammatical issue, I feel the need to point out that the anonymous poster did spell correctly when the used the word "whinge". The word "whinge" means to complain fretfully, or to whine. It's more of a British or Australian expression, and isn't really used in the United States. But it was spelled correctly.

CJ said...

Bobby, overall I still think the timeline is good. I just think some folks tend to forget that it's a general timeline, and not a super-detailed story.

Speaking for myself, I've found over the years that a number of things you've written that caused me to raise my eyebrow actually made sense and worked once I did some research. You might not have planned it that way, but they end up being not difficult to explain and are more believable than they first appear.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Yeah, I plot things out better at a strategic level than I do at a tactical level. I.E. - the ebb and flow of whole campaigns at the army level rather than corps and division level operations.

I think my works better for what I am doing. I'm describing a global war, not one single front. If I tried to research every little detail...you think I'm slow now? LOL

But seriously - I think my way works as well because it keeps it fairly organic.

So, I try to strike a balance between giving enough detail versus keeping it high level.

Anonymous said...

>This whole thing, this wonderful creation from Bobby's imagination, has kept me entertained for untold hours.

Absolutely agreed.

And thank god it hasnt turned into something like The Big Red One ATL, Bobbys one is completely plausible and has a great flow.

Cant wait for the next segment!

Anonymous said...

Caracalla here...

Bobby keep up the good work! In the end it is your story, and you can write it anyway you want!!!!

Anonymous said...

I still hope that there could be two ending (Axis or Allies victory)

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

CJ here is your answer (also on discussion board but reproduced here for those who continue to be anonymous)

[quote]Moving back to the larger battle, Bobby never said that no USN carriers or battleships didn’t take damage from Axis air raids. And someone please show me where Bobby said that the RM just lost 60-70% of its cruiser and destroyer force? Because I’m not seeing where Bobby said that. I can find where he said they lost the “bulk” of their cruiser force, but not 60-70% of their cruisers and destroyer force.[/quote]

Here is where Bobby said this - can send you the email if you want - this was sent to him when he told me how many light cruisers and destroyers they lost.

from me
> So basically the Italians have their BB's, the one battle cruiser, their heavy cruisers and about 40% >or so of their light cruisers and modern destroyers still left along with one carrier in commission and >the other being repaired as fast as possible.

from Bobby - i.e. So Sayeth Bobby

More like only 30% of their light cruisers are left, and 45% of their modern destroyers. Rough numbers of course, I wont try to be any more specific than that.

That is why I said that the battle was implausible - no way in hell does Italy risk that much of their surface navy without finding out what was out there.

And a simple transmission in Italian saying "American battlecruisers in the Straits!" would have been enough

And I highly doubt the battle was in the open sea either or the widest part of the straits - the Italians basically pulled back to the Med after the Canaries - so why go out now.

Face it CJ the battle is implausible.

Make the cruiser force Japanese - sure I believe it.

Make them German with a Nazi party Admiral who believes that Hitler is God - no problem.

Italians - no way in heck. Doesnt happen. As I said to Bobby - THIS MYTH IS COMPLETELY BUSTED. (love that show)

Oh and CJ we asked Bobby specifically about the massive US losses mentioned in the update - as in what happened in the day in question where the battle occurred. The answer as was communicated was that the losses had just taken place and the Italian cruisers sortied expecting to find mostly damaged or sinking US ships

Thus we arent talking about 4 days here - we are talking about one day.

So if this is battle is plausible to you then I have a nice bridge to sell you. Very good view of Brooklyn

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Olefin, I've already conceded that my answers to your questions don't really hold up. So I retract those statements.

I still feel that the battle is plausible in a strategic sense. Just go by what is in the actual segment and disregard my earlier answers.

I.E. - a large U.S. cruiser force soundly defeated a smaller Italian cruiser force. This basic premise is not implausible, its just that my initial answers to your questions were rushed and not well thought out, because when I plan the timeline I think in a strategic sense not a tactical sense.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Just to hammer this home.

My descriptions in the timeline segments should be taken as being all-inclusive. I.E. - the fact that I mentioned that a U.S. cruiser force defeated an smaller Italian cruiser force does not rule out all the other expected things that would be occurring in this context. That is - the air war is still raging, the submarines are still prowling, etc, etc, etc.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

That I could agree to Bobby - that way it isnt a huge amount of the Italian fleet sailing to its doom, instead its a smaller force of cruisers and destroyers that went out there and got its head handed to it.

Its the scale of the disaster that made it implausible - when a smaller Italian force consists of 70% of their light cruisers and 55% of their destroyers then its a big force.

Keep in mind just how big a loss that would have been

modern destroyers - counting only OTL planned or built since the 20's (what the Italians considered modern) and the ten destroyers they built in 1949 would give them over 90 destroyers and most likely they built more than ever planned in OTL. Just the Capitani Romani class of CL is 12 strong and they may have built more than planned.

Of course they have lost DD's and CL since the war started - but losing that huge a percentage would mean they did an almost all out battle - and if that was happening then the BB's and BCR would have been there without question.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

and you are right Bobby - I think we may need to go back to the old format where we post questions after an update is posted and then you answer just the ones you want to answer and we then treat those - and only those as canon

the current system of emailing you has obviously broken down.

CJ said...

See here is the problem Olefin - you don't share what you know and where it came from. So you respond to others or go off on a tangent based on what are essentially "secret facts" since you have a bad habit of not always telling people that Bobby told you something - not that that's going to be a problem anymore.

If the current system is broken, it's because you broke it.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Hey CJ we had enough BS for one day. I messed up and didnt share the follow up numbers he gave me because we were having a discussion between us where I couldnt believe that many had been lost. It was a private conversation that went very public, and not by my choice.

At least you could see why I was saying the battle wasnt plausible with those numbers he gave me. With them removed it becomes very plausible.

Anonymous said...


The tone in this topic has become very heated. Please everybody, take a deep breath and look at funny lolcat pictures for a while to calm down a bit.

In any case, good update Bobby. Can't wait to see what happens next.

With the Axis aware of the buildup in the canaries, it would seem that putting a wrench into the american buildup would be a priority. I assume the Germans will very soon move VX tipped missiles south to Iberia to attack the islands. Britain might get some breath from the missile bombardments, and the German missile launch teams will be under the guns of the american airplanes.

How good might German deception and concealment efforts in Iberia be? The Russians and Japanese are quite skilled in these tactics, so the Germans might have taken a page out of their book, with hidden airfields, decoy facilities, gun emplacements playing dead until the right time, and Command facilities moved away from major population centres. It's the smartest thing to do in such a situation imo.

Anonymous said...


Of course, this efforts can only take the Axis so far against massive US numbers, good reconnaissance, and maybe a spy network based on former Republican spanish. Any interesting challange for any General.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

You have to wonder if the Germans have learned from the Japanese experience on Okinawa as to how to cause casualties to the US. If you look they used caves, concealment, ambush, etc.. to cause devastating casualties.

However, and this may be more important, they also learned that the US tanks are very susceptible to be knocked out by the use of anti-tank rockets at close range, which the Japanese employed again and again to deadly effect on Okinawa. The terrain in Spain and Portugal provides a lot of places for such attacks.

And I agree that the tone here was bad yesterday but I hope it gets better from now on.

Anonymous said...

hi im new here, and i had a question. are these stories made up or did they really happen? im guessing theyre made up, but just wanted to be sure.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

they're made up, this story is a fictional "alternate history" where world war two happens in a different

glad you've liked it!