No promises, and it would be quite a while because right now my top priority is Winter War 1940, but talk to me some more about a possible Free France Campaign, if you will. Ideas, factoids, vignettes, maps, photos?
Here's what I have compiled of the Colonel's input so far:
ColonelY wrote: ↑Tue Feb 25, 2020 9:22 amWant some challenge?
Actually, there is a great campaign that has yet to be created: a Free France campaign, which could contain at least eleven or twelve main historical scenarios...
This includes: the (failed) operation in front of Dakar, the Gabon campaign, the Eritrea campaign, the Syrian campaign, some hard desert fightings (the heroic actions at Bir Hakeim in Libya, then El Alamein in Egypt), the Tunisian campaign, the Italian campaign, a landing in Provence, the siege of La Rochelle (where the Allies were commanded by a Free France general), the Battle of Alsace, the Battle of the Authion...
So naval operations, landings, battles in the desert, many "factions" involved, etc. In short: many ingredients for an epic saga!
ColonelY wrote: ↑Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:33 pmJust an example: it could allow to pay tribute to "Les Rochambelles", the most famous nurses of the Second World War.
Their name pays homage to the Count de Rochambeau, a French officer made famous during the American War of Independence. Its founder was the American Florence Conrad, a former nurse who had participated in the Great War. But the followings is of more interest for us right now:
In 1943, in New York, Florence Conrad recruited young French volunteers who wanted to actively participate in the liberation of Europe. These volunteers went to Morocco to join the 2nd Division Blindée. Arriving in France in August 1944, they faced the fury of the fighting.
At the controls of their ambulances Dodge WC54, these nurses intervene in first lines. Les Rochambelles evacuated the wounded, took care of them and gave them first aid. From Paris to Strasbourg, as far as Hitler's Eagle's Nest, these courageous nurses accompanied the famous French Leclerc's Division.
So, they could for example be added via an event when the time comes, appearing with a "Medical Jeep" core-unit named "Les Rochambelles", couldn't they ?
ColonelY wrote: ↑Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:22 pmFree France campaign:
This one would be somehow challenging to develop amongst others because it is (again! ) rather difficult to gather information about the units opposed to the British and Free French at the beginning of the campaign…
For the Free France units themselves (and their Allies), it’s much easier , even if sometimes different sources say that there was this cruiser involved instead of that one, or few things like this – but it’s in principle not that much.
I’ve read few times the three books entitled “Mémoires de guerre” and written by Général De Gaulle (who has played a crucial role in all this!)… so, it should definitely be possible to find some good and reliable information about this Free France campaign, for sure!
But some adaptation will anyway be required. An simple example? There it is:
The British had brought, among of course many other ships, a carrier in front of Dakar: the Ark Royal. It was then carrying some Swordfish bombers (that’s fine for OoB) AND as fighters some old Blackburn Skua… And these planes are NOT in OoB right now!
So, what shall one do about it?
1. Give up this whole campaign? It would be such a pity!
2. Add this unit, making thus a mod? This is an option, but it may be a little difficule to handle the 3D-models part of it and, for example, the CSD Studio works now without mods…
3. Or simply replace these planes with the closest ones available in the game?
I would vote for this last option!
Well, for me, we do the best we can with the means at our disposal (game possibilities, historical documents, etc.), we stay within the realm of plausibility for everything else... and we keep the fun of playing, the enjoyability!
And that's all.
At least, that's my conception of this game and of the development of the campaigns...
ColonelY wrote: ↑Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:40 pmFor the little anecdote, the Free French piloted themselves two “Luciole touring” aircraft who took off from the carrier Ark Royal in order to throw leaflets of sympathy to the defenders of Dakar inviting them to join them…
A lot of fun and historical anecdotes awaits us within such a campaign!
ColonelY wrote: ↑Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:11 pmOh, and by the way, when I’ve written that the Free French have taken part in the battle of El Alamein, I was of course thinking to the second battle of El Alamein…
The 2nd battle (from the 23th of October to the 3rd November 1942), and not the 1st battle (from the 1st to the 27th of July 1942). To not be confused either with the battle of Alam el Halfa (from the 31st August to the 5th September).
Regarding the option to "simply replace [units not available to the Free France faction] with the closest ones available in the game," most definitely that is possible. The Free France faction is extremely limited as to available units but the regular French faction has a bit more, and I can always borrow from the British and Americans (quite historically, I might add).ColonelY wrote: ↑Sat Feb 29, 2020 11:48 am
The Free France contribution to the war effort wasn't in any way negligible at all, as the Free French forces have actually played a CRUCIAL role in the Second World War; they may even have fought a battle that has changed the ENTIRE course of the war : Bir Hakeim, 1942, versus Rommel's Afrika Korps! (It was their very first opportunity to strike again the Germans on a large scale...)
There about 3'700 men (at least! ) resisted for more than two weeks to an enemy up to ten times more numerous... It is said that it became, per square meter, above Verdun in terms of artillery bombardments and above Stalingrad in terms of air bombardments... The French have had time to prepare themselves (but without knowing what was going to happen to them!); still, it was quite the challenge!
More info here for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNTJRm46ee4
I do really, really hope to see a Free France campaign come to fruition.
Already some more info to this regard:
1. Before this major battle of Bir Hakeim, the Free French had launched raids into the desert to capture some Italians... sometimes they succeded (so maybe a small scenario covering this "tiny" part, before the main battle's scenario?).
2. Many of the Free French were actually wearing the British colonial helmet (so some of the units of the Free French could use in OoB the British "Colonial Infantry" unit with their own flag)...
3. The fighter group "Alsace" and the bombing group "Lorraine" had been fighting since October in the skies over Cyrenaica, alongside the British.
4. French paratroopers were training... and had the opportunity to act several times. Some small scenarios related to their actions could also be added as well...
5. Before this famous battle at Bir Hakeim, the Free French had then two ways to act: to push towards Fezzan, from Chad, the Saharan column prepared for a long time by Leclerc, or to engage in Libya, alongside the British, the mobile forces set up in the Levant by Larminat. General De Gaulle decided to do both; the "Front du Tchad" was to remain a truly French front, but Leclerc had to wait to push hard towards Fezzan until the situation in Cyrenaica turned to the advantage of the Allies... Larminat commanded two light divisions and an armoured regiment; the 1st Light Division, commanded by Koenig, settled at Bir Hakeim...