The next few months pass without much to report while we organize and amass forces following the defeat of Japan.In Defence of Spain
In October 1943, Spain enters the war on the side of the Allies.
In November, German infantry divisions attacking out of occupied France cause some problems for Spain, seizing territory on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees. We have a strategic priority to provide assistance to our allies where possible, and with most of my forces simply standing around doing nothing while waiting for new deployments, I decide to lend Spain a hand by landing some marines near Bordeaux. 1st and 2nd Royal Marine Corps are deployed on 2 and 3 Transport Groups, escorted by the big guns of 2 and 3 Surface Groups.
Marines hit the beaches near Bordeaux and Bayonne on 5 December 1943 without issue. They quickly move out to encircle and destroy the German divisions.
2nd Royal Marine Corps, backed by Spanish infantry, advance from the south and push the Germans back into France. Further north, 1st Royal Marine Corps seizes Bordeaux on 13 December and pushes to the Vichy border. The Germans are caught in the noose, and are completely overrun by the end of December 1943. 30,000 prisoners are taken.
It’s been a fun little diversion, but with the immediate threat to Spain eliminated, the Royal Marines board transports at La Rochelle and return to England. We have work to do elsewhere.
In mid-January, the new 12th Corps stands up under Lieutenant General Hobart at Edinburgh, consisting of the 106th, 107th, and 108th Armoured Divisions, as well as the 15th ‘Scottish’ and 1st Indian Mechanized Infantry.
With the deployment of 12th Corps, we institute a number of organizational changes across the army:
- 2nd Airborne Corps is detached from 1st Special Operations Army, attached to 2nd Army alongside 1st Airborne Corps, and redeployed to northern Italy. 2nd Army effectively becomes an all-airborne army.
- 1st Special Operations Army is redesignated as 4th Army. All divisions are currently stationed in and around Edinburgh.
- 12th Corps is attached to 4th Army. 4th Army now consists of 1st and 2nd Royal Marine Corps and 12th Corps.
- 1st Army Group is redesignated as Expeditionary Forces Europe.
- 4th Army is attached to Expeditionary Forces Europe.
- Bernard Montgomery is promoted to Field Marshal and is assigned as Commander, Expeditionary Forces Europe.
Gentlemen, based on the advice of the esteemed war cabinet, it is now time to strike directly into the German homeland. Under Operation Cataclysm, 1st and 2nd Armies will surge northward out of Italy while 4th Army simultaneously conducts landings in Denmark. Both thrusts will have the objective of driving towards the heart of Germany, with the aim of ideally seizing Berlin before the Soviets. If German defences are thrown into sufficient disarray by this two-pronged attack, the Netherlands will be called to war, bringing combined Australian, Dutch, and Canadian corps attached to 1st Army (Dutch) into the fight. This operation will require combined contributions from as many air groups and naval fleets as can possibly be mustered.
Good weather pending, D-Day is scheduled for the morning of 25 February 1944. Good luck to everyone.