Weird War II: Fate of the European Theatre

The Sands of Time

Orders for Transport and
Open-Ended Operations in
French Morocco

No. 1337 Section, Office of Strategic Intelligence

Intent

In preparation for an eventual invasion of Vichy French North Africa all branches of the Allied Intelligence services are pooling their resources, the OSI included. Despite your recent successes in the unnatural fields, your team’s relative newness to the organization, as well as its personnel composition, makes it ideal for this assignment. It is as such that No. 1337 Section will be transported to the Western North African theatre to assist in the multi-national, cooperative effort.

Insertion

No. 1337 Section will be being delivered into hostile territory via captured Italian Royal Air Force cargo plane at low level at night to limit exposure. The actual insertion will be conducted via paradrop at night in the vicinity of Fes. Once the Section is able to establish a hide and facilitate movement to Fes they should attempt to make contact with a local agent in the Jurdh Qadhar public house.

Intelligence

Fes is a heavily occupied city by the Vichy French, and propaganda and crude jokes aside, a team of 4 stands no chance in direct combat. The surrounding area is also home to several Berber horse tribes which have little love for the Vichy, true, but also do not care for foreigners in general; caution should be used when in contact with them. Little to no support will be available while in the operational area, however contact may be established nightly via radio code with an orbiting aircraft.

Codenames and Codewords

Gossamer – Fes Local Agent
Legio Nine – US DoW Team in area
Aigle Sept – French Foreign Legion Unit
Bright Dancer – Radio Contact Plane
Long Fire – Flash Traffic
Slow Market – Extraction Request

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Dogs of War AAR

File No. 178349-11J

Overview

While on assignment of Dourshire for advanced training with the OSI, No. 1337 Section uncovered what appears to be an attempt by the German SS to begin a paranormal guerilla effort on the British Isles. Although the town affected, Millbrook, was severely decimated in the attempt; intact infrastructure will allow for a resettlement program, perhaps after the end of European hostilities by returning veterans. On whole, the engagement should be considered a success despite the loss of life on home soil.

Mysteries Solved

No. 1337 Section was able to determine the cause of both the loss of communication and the disappearance of local townsfolk. The captured POWs indeed confirmed, and were secondarily identified, that thy were members of the Waffen SS and that the Wehrwolfen program is in full force.

Mysteries Uncovered

Does the Waffen SS, or another German organization, realize how close they came to eliminating OSI Leadership? With the lack of communication between the initial team and German high command will more guerilla Wehrwolfen operations be launched? Haw was the Wehrwolfen able to clear out the town within a single night, mostly undetected?

Operational Successes

With the defeat of the unit it is believed that no, or only a limited, number of, attempts will be made to infiltrate a guerrilla unit onto the Isles, unnatural or otherwise. No. 1337 Section also was able to limit the exposure of the incident with both civil and paramilitary authorities.

Operational Setbacks

Due to the ferocity of the combat engagement in the caverns, very little material intelligence was able to be recovered by No. 1337 Section or the follow-on team limiting the confirmability of information recovered by interrogation.

Assessment

With limited prep time and even more limited resources No. 1337 Section was able to pull a success out of the proverbial hat. The bodies of the deceased were disposed of by proper OSI procedure and due to the circumstances the field expediency nature may be overlooked. No. 1337 Section should be commended for their adaptability and forethought in this instance and OSI looks forward to like reports regarding them int he future.

Recommendations

While the OSI cannot condone the combat tactics that resulted in the loss of material intelligence, the bravery of the individuals involved cannot be overlooked. In particular the US enlisted member of the team has been recommended for their Bronze Star after reading reports of the combat engagement. OSI sees no reason to attempt to countermand this decoration, but advises the team that the OSI is primarily an information gathering organization, and a combat unit second.

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Interim: Dourshire Manor

REPORT FOR ADVANCED TRAINING
TO: All New Recruits, OSI
FROM: Sir R. Anthony Eden, Foreign Secretary/ Director OSI

First and foremost, welcome to a new and noble cause. No less noble than your previous efforts, to be sure, but you will be fighting battles with higher stakes against enemies with more sinister purposes in a war within the war the world knows about. You were selected for various purposes, chief among them your ability to work with one another, and so you will not be separated. Many of our recruits from among the armed forces come to us in this manner so no worries on any special treatment or whatnot.

While many of you will find the comforts of home, and perhaps some more so, at Dourshire, remember that you are not here to be comfortable. Be confident that your instructors are experts in their field, some of them having created the field itself. And after every field exercise, when your muscles are screaming and your mind is numb, remember that while a soft bed awaits you that night, many of your compatriots, in the OSI and without, do not have such luxuries.

Upon completion of your training here the only celebration will be your first assignment, well perhaps we’ll share a brandy first, but then on you go. Most of you will not return to Dourshire, while dying is a very real threat in our line of work, it is mostly due to the fact that you will be constantly employed. People of your level of knowledge and understanding are few and far between and until some miraculous day that we have all the recruits we need, you will likely be working several operations at once.

Remember your true duty, and on the day we defeat this horrible and sinister enemy, you may find a moment’s peace and rest. More likely we will simply have a new enemy rear it’s head, but by then maybe you’ll be ready to train the next generation instead of having to go fight the next fight. Well there’s hope anyway.

Cheers, Sir Eden

GM

Since this is basically the conclusion to Act I of the story I’ll be using it as an opportunity to modify a few things. Think of it like a patch. Nothing major, but Encumbrance will be slightly tweaked, I will be redoing the equipment cards (for a couple reason, but mostly to highlight the free taggables since, to my memory, no one has used one yet), I will be redoing the character sheets (partly do to the rule changes, but also since I have access to my actual computer now and will be making them form fillable and “nicer” and will be printing new ones after each advance), and adding the Reputation and Research systems. I’m also making a ruling on the defense rolls, particularly in regards to Fitness being used versus Shooting, but also defense against Mental and Magick attacks.

We’ll spend the first of next session making sure everyone is up to date and understands anything new. I’m also extending the offer of a free Stunt trade to all characters, not just Bill and Mina… you know, to keep it fair. Also, partly to reflect the training at Dourshire, and partly due to the defense ruling, everyone will be granted a free skill advance (not restricted, excepting Magick). No one has been utilizing the between session skill swaps either, not that I’ve been bringing them up, so we’ll also discuss any potential there if anyone sees need or want.

Then we’ll move on to the next actual mission (briefing incoming).

I’ve also reorganized parts of the Wiki, in particular the The War So Far section to make it easy to see changes. Additionally I created two topics in the forum, one for wanting more stuff, one for wanting more information: feel free to use them, just be sure at least I get tagged in the response or I may not see it.

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Hitting the Wall AAR

AFTER-ACTION REPORT on the
RECCE SWEEP by
NO. 1337 SECTION, LRDG at
EL AGHEILA

OVERVIEW:
Lieutenant Danderfinch’s unit was dispatched as a part of the reconnaissance action in response to reports that a German Wehrmacht force had landed in North Africa and was moving to contact with Commonwealth forces in an attempt to push them back out of Libya and towards Egypt.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
The Section was intended to observe and report position and composition of advancing German forces. While this was achieved, one such unit moved into contact with No. 1337 Section preventing them from evasive maneuver and forced combat. The unit, with assistance from both the British Navy and Royal Air Force, was defeated and resulted in the capture of a high ranking SS officer.

ANALYSIS OF OUTCOMES:
While the entirety of the LRDG was successful in their mission it was too little, too late as the Afrika Korps hit El Agheila before reconnaissance could be assessed and battle prepared for. While the front moves eastward, the LRDG will need to be utilized again as a mobile recce and screening force.

ANALYSIS OF PERFORMANCE:
While casualties amongst No. 1337 Section were high, Lieutenant Danderfinch, nor his Noncommissioned Officers are considered at fault. In fact, it was only due to their quick thinking, resourcefulness, and expertise that they were able to save the lives of the men they were able to.

In consideration, especially due to combat being engaged with a superior force, the Section’s performance should be considered exemplary. While an individual Panzer III and accompanying forces being defeated does not seem strategic in nature, this task being accomplished by a single infantry section should do much to demoralize the enemy.

SUMMARY:
No. 1337 successfully engaged with, and defeated, a superior German force while accomplishing their task of reconnaissance in support of the Western Desert Force. The additional capture of an SS officer should provide valuable intelligence for use in the campaign.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
No. 1337 Section will be stood down for the remainder of the war, it’s casualties being to high to make reinforcement tenible. Remaining personnel of the Section will be reassigned according to their specialty and experience. This should not be considered a failure of the Section Officer and in fact, Lieutenant Danderfinch is recommended for another command as it becomes available.

Staff Sergeant Dupris, showing special heroism and devotion to his fellow soldiers, in an attempt to prevent casualties and cover their withdrawal under heavy fire is recommended for, and awarded, Her Majesty’s Highest Honour, the Victoria Cross. It is with remorse that Headquarters cannot, at this time, accompany this decoration with a promotion due to the uncertain nature of his future assignment and unit composition.

Lieutenant Danderfinch is to stand awarded a Military Cross, with Bar in lieu of second award. His leadership and command potential continues to bloom and he stands as a noble example to his peers among the British Army.

Additionally, the attached military canine “Indy” is recommended to be awarded an honourary Military Cross for his service and actions during the engagement with the Afrika Korps. A Wound Stripe is also awarded to the dog. These awards, while to be considered honourary, shall be allowed to be worn on the dog’s harness in instances that accompanying personnel would be in Dress in any manner keeping with the respect and form due the awards.

Due to wounds received in combat Corporal Edge is awarded her first Wound Stripe, as well as Staff Sergeant Weise being recommended for his second Purple Heart.

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Hitting the Wall

RECCE SWEEP FOR LEFT FLANK, WESTERN DESERT FORCE
TO: No. 1337 Section, LRDG
FROM: Major-General (acting) William Gott, Commanding

PRELIMINARIES:
Section Sergeants will prepare for long-range patrol operations with special attention paid to stealth and communications capabilities. Potential for operations to extend as needed and so consumables will need to be secured and checked.

GROUND:
Barren desert up to the coast, lake, and river bed with sparse vegetation approaching those regions. Little to no changes in elevation prohibiting vantage points. Tracks and trails used by native, nomadic residents scattered about the region.

SITUATION:
With the combined Italian and Libyan forces surrender in North Africa Headquarters has called for an operational pause. Due to our continued success in the region several units have been pulled from the front lines to be redeployed to the ongoing conflict in Greece and the surrounding nations.

MISSION:
Prime units are to continue to fortify and reinforce, as able, in and around El Agheila. Separate and Light units will be used as reconnaissance and screening forces to the West and South as needed. No. 1337 Section, in specific, will be a part of the force flanking to the South as part of the reconnaissance action.

EXECUTION:
It is believed that a large force of German Wehrmacht, designated as the Afrika Korps, has landed in Tunisia and therefore all caution is advised. The primary purpose of this operation is recce and combat should be avoided unless victory can be assured or the contact cannot otherwise be avoided.

SERVICE SUPPORT:
Air and naval support is being held in reserve, but can be contacted for release in case of major engagement. Many adjacent units will be present and therefore potentially available for support if needed. Primary focus will be on the holding of ground at El Agheila so support may be withdrawn at any time.

COMMAND AND SIGNAL:
Callsigns-
Willow Six: Western Adjacent Unit
Willow Eight: Eastern Adjacent Unit
Birch: Naval Gunfire Liaison
Spruce: Royal Air Force Liaison

Sign, Pass, and Countersign will be as follows: Lion, Javelin, and Market.

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Man About Town AAR

AFTER-ACTION REPORT on the
SPECIAL SERVICES RENDERED by
NO. 1337 SECTION, LRDG at
CAIRO, EGYPT

OVERVIEW:
<<redacted>>

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
<<redacted>>

ANALYSIS OF OUTCOMES:
No. 1337 Section performed at a level worthy of commendation. All objectives were achieved and local authorities were given opportunity to save face as well. All other outcomes were negligible and compartmentalized. The Home and Foreign Offices both are appeased.

ANALYSIS OF PERFORMANCE:
The command staff of No. 1337 Section should be considered to have redeemed themselves for any slight in the eyes of Headquarters, British Forces in Egypt. British Military Intelligence asks that the involved personnel be made available, other assignments permitting, in the future.

SUMMARY:
<<redacted>>

RECOMMENDATIONS:
While, due to the sensitive nature of the assignment, particulars can not be discussed, both Lieutenant Danderfinch and Sergeant Dupris have been recommended for, and granted, decoration: the Military Cross and Distinguished Service Order respectively. Additionally, due to wounds received in combat action against the enemy: Sergeant Dupris is awarded a Wound Stripe, and American sergeant Wiese is recommended for the Purple Heart.

Additionally, Sergeant Dupris will be awarded the rank of Staff Sergeant, Lance Corporal Edge will become a Corporal, and 2nd Lieutenant will assume the rank and responsibilities of full Lieutenant. All promotions to be rendered and effective immediately. All staff to remain with No. 1337 Section, LRDG.

Due to this, and previous, success it is advised Headquarters assign the section to the planned Western Desert Force to participate in the upcoming Operation Compass. No. 1337 Section’s experience and familiarity with the terrain leading to, and around, Benghazi should be of particular use as a recce element for the leading edge of the counteroffensive.

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Man About Town

DETACHMENT FOR SPECIAL SERVICES
TO: No. 1337 Section, LRDG
FROM: Major-General (acting) William Gott, Commanding

PRELIMINARIES:
Lieutenant Dunderfinch, as well as Sergeant Weise and Lance Corporal Edge, are to stand detached from No. 1337 Section, Long Range Desert Group in order to await assignment from the Special Services Section, Home Office.

GROUND:
Headquarters, British Forces in Egypt has been assured the detachment will not be required to leave the vicinity of Cairo without seeking further authorization.

SITUATION:
The Home Office, under advisement from Major Tornwood, British Intelligence, has requested the services of the command team of No. 1337 Section, Long Range Desert Group. Those personnel are to stand detached from their unit and regular duties until such a time as they are released by the Home Office.

MISSION:
<<redacted>>

EXECUTION:
<<redacted>>

COMMAND AND SIGNAL:
N/A

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Benghazi Cages AAR

AFTER-ACTION REPORT on the
COMBAT OPERATION TO LIBERATE ALLIED POWS by
NO. 1337 SECTION, LRDG at
BENGHAZI, LIBYA

OVERVIEW:
The Command Staff and Elements of No. 1337 Section participated in the liberation of several POWs held at Banghazi in cooperation with the newly formed Special Air Service.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
The overall objective was to infiltrate the outskirts of Benghazi, Libya where the presence of several British, French, Polish, and Dutch soldiers, who were members of the 8th Army, had been confirmed by intelligence assets within the Libyan provisional forces. In specific: No. 1337 Section was to be responsible for the transport of the SAS Squadron, and safety of the POWs, after recovery, until the return to friendly lines.

ANALYSIS OF OUTCOMES:
Despite an attack by two Italian Air Force attack aircraft while en route to the target, No. 1337 Section successfully completed their insertion, assisted with the SAS operation, and then evaded enemy patrols until returning to Egypt.

ANALYSIS OF PERFORMANCE:
Due to the death of Lieutenant Botterfeld, Lieutenant Dunderfinch assumed total command of the operation and his leadership carried through both his unit, and the SAS. Sergeants Gabriel, of the SAS, and Weise, the American attache, were both instrumental in the successful conclusion of the mission. Lance Corporal Edge also preformed meritoriously in her her attentive and constant care of the POWs after their release from captivity.

SUMMARY:
No. 1337 Section, LRDG successfully facilitated the ingress and egress of the attached SAS squadron assisting the liberation of almost 30 POWs.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
Regardless of the meritorious and heroic actions of all personnel involved, Headquarters, British Forces in Egypt has decided to forgo any and all recommendations for award due to the previous unauthorized actions of No. 1337 Section. While not all personnel of the Section were involved in the previous incident it is believed that Lieutenant Danderfinch’s leadership, if not corrected, could be passed on to those under his command.

Should further actions by No. 1337 Section stay within the standards expected by those serving with the British Army, this hold on awards and promotions will be lifted.

Despite this hold on any official decoration, the unit should be commended for its actions and will be Mentioned in Dispatches for its part in the rescue. Major Tornwood, in particular, has taken note of Lieutenant Danderfinch and his staff and has, on several occasions, made his disapproval with Headquarter’s decision known.

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Benghazi Cages

RAID FOR INTELLIGENCE AT BENGHAZI, LIBYA
TO: No. 1337 Section, LRDG
FROM: Major-General (acting) William Gott, Commanding

PRELIMINARIES:
Section Sergeants will prepare for long-range patrol operations well beyond held-lines and points of contact. Communications will be paramount, but so will ensuring the section is prepared via consumables for a potentially long-term operation.

GROUND:
Low plain desert with limited cover provided by sparse vegetation, low-lying dunes, and dry wadi at and near the border. As the section pushes further into Libya you will begin encountering more and more rocky terrain, ridgelines and cliffs.

SITUATION:
With the Italian forces inability or unwillingness to hold us to our lines, our counter offensive has enjoyed continued success. It is believed, however, that while this situation has garnered us certain opportunities that those opportunities are both finite and perishable. As such these opportunities must be capitalized on before the Italians either realize their mistakes and restructure their defense, seek and receive assistance from the German allies, or both.

MISSION:
LRDG units, with their experiences with infiltration and reconnaissance across the Western Desert, will be paired elements from the newly created Special Air Service and assist with raids across the Italian held areas behind their own lines. In No.1337s case this will be in being paired with a small element from L Detachment with their objective being a large concentration of English and other Commonwealth POWs at Benghazi.

EXECUTION:
A direct assault on Benghazi is believed would result in the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of our boys being held there. So despite it relative closeness to the front lines it has been decided that an overland route would more than compensate for the loss of time with it’s assumed element of surprise.

Due to the combined nature of the units operating, Headquarters has defined the responsibilities of both as such: The LRDG shall be responsible for communications, transportation, maintenance, and egress from the raid area; The SAS shall be responsible for the raid itself, as well as the securing, protection, and safety of the POWs. In short, to and from Benghazi this will be an LRDG operation, while there the SAS boys will have command.

SERVICE SUPPORT:
As a part of ongoing operations naval aircraft are striking at targets along the coast. While the overall schedule for these strikes is well above your paygrade it would be pertinent for you to know that a strike by Royal Navy Typhoons will take place in the evening in three days time. Whether you intend to utilize that strike as cover, or attempt to direct it yourself, it is recommended you recover the POWs on or before that time.

COMMAND AND SIGNAL:
Callsigns-
Dagger Three: L Detachment SAS Men
Rapier Five: Adjacent LRDG Section
Sword Seven: Adjacent L DEtachment SAS Men
Raincloud: Typhoon Flight

Sign, Pass, and Countersign will be as follows: Griffon, Tower, and Early.
At this point in the war it is unknown how deeply or completely our forces or intelligence network have been infiltrated. Take care in utilizing the proper sign, pass, and countersign techniques with any and all unknown faces.

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By The Book AAR

AFTER-ACTION REPORT on the
INCIDENT AT AND AROUNDHALWATH’ by
NO. 1337 SECTION, LRDG at
THE VICINITY OF CAIRO, EGYPT

OVERVIEW:
The Command Staff and Elements of No. 1337 Section participated in several incidents of unauthorized activity within the city of Cairo and the surrounding area including the “forgotten city of Halwath”.

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES:
As an unauthorized action, Headquarters, British Forces in Egypt had no official objectives in the incidents in and around Cairo or ‘Halwath’. However, given the reports of the participating elements of No. 1337 Section several components of Headquarters, to include Intelligence Section and Special Section, have displayed an interest in either the findings of the LRDG unit, the personnel of the unit itself, or both.

ANALYSIS OF OUTCOMES:
No. 1337 Section, LRDG did recover an amount of gold that was turned over to interviewing staff from a supposed “forgotten city of Halwath”. Members of the section also reported contact with an unknown number of German combatants from a previously unknown unit. Despite the presence of the gold and uniform items handed over by the elements of No.1337 Section, when investigating units returned to the supposed area of ‘Halwath’ at position //REDACTED// no trace of the city, German combatants, or combat was found. It is the opinion of Headquarters, British Forces in Egypt that No.1337 Section, LRDG be allowed to returned to regular duties with the 8th Army, but that certain members remain under surveillance as personnel are available to ensure the veracity of their claims.

ANALYSIS OF PERFORMANCE:
With the inability to confirm combat operations, Headquarters had decided to rule the death of the member of No. 1337 Section as an accident and will be reporting as such to the Home Office for relay to the man’s family.

SUMMARY:
No. 1337 Section, LRDG participated in several activities that were not only unauthorized, but could be construed as either unethical or improper. Only the gold retrieved by the unit and claims of German combatants retain any merit.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
Despite the evidence provided by No. 1337 Section, the inability of the investigating unit to verify the origin of the evidence and the questionable nature of claims made by certain members of the unit leaves several, if not all, of the events in doubt.

While it is believed that a reprimand to be placed in the personal records of Lieutenant Danderfinch would be more than warranted; certain members of Headquarters, in particular Special Section, believe that his actions were in keeping with both the high standards of the British Army and in the interests of the British Empire. As such any such disciplinary action is being withheld. However, Lieutenant Danderfinch is highly cautioned to consider the implications of the misuse, or apparent misuse, of his unit and its personnel in the future.

While their reports indicate several actions that would normally be recommended for commendation, the unauthorized and questionable nature of the activities in question leave Headquarters little choice but to discount them.

It should be noted that the elements that remained behind in Cairo were subject to the bombing by Italian air forces and performed admirably. Unfortunately Sergeant Gerald Dupris was wounded in the action and remains in critical care at the field hospital on the outskirts of Cairo.

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