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    Undead Dutchman Dead William's Avatar
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    The Greatest War

    Prefatory:

    HOI2 DD Armageddon Patch 1.2

    Mostly Historical AAR of an a-historical world

    Reason for writing: To get back in the groove of writing so I can finish Reichenberg.

    Difficulty: Normal/normal, options: Tech team annexation on.

    "Cheats":

    1)Removal of most old guards.

    2) Addition of some traits, higher max skill points to some leaders.

    3) In case of particularly heroic offensives/defensives, I sometimes edit in a trait for a leader, Note I do this for both allies and opponents.

    4) Save game editing as opposed to autopromotion, since I got tired of Field marshals Bürgdorf and Hülsing ten games ago.

    5) Possibility of capture of air units, motorized units and mechanized units. (Possibility, not certainty.)

    6) Reload: Only upon crashes. Saves: Before major and minor offensives, due to 5)

    Goals: To have fun, reinvigorate my AAR writing and annoy people.

  2. #2
    Undead Dutchman Dead William's Avatar
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    Introductory

    I was born in 1919, to a family of old Prussian landowners dispossessed by the Polish corridor. My family had filled positions in the army since the days of Frederick the Great and my father had achieved the rank of Oberst (colonel) in the Royal Army of Prussia. I was raised in an atmosphere of bitter resentment against the Versailles ‘Dictate’, and in poverty since the family estates had been sequestered without remuneration. My father got a monthly pension as a disabilitated soldier, but that was hardly enough for our large family to live on. One day my father came home glowing with pride. That was the first day he had heard Hitler. That was the day I heard about Hitler. That was the day that would change my life. Hitler not only changed my life, and that of my family, but the lives of billions of others, right up to the present day. Yet now, with the benefit of hindsight, I wonder if things might not have been better for the world if history had taken a different course. As I write these pages, quoting from the works of others, intermixing them with my own remarks, I wonder if you, the person who reads this, will feel the same way.

    Chapter 1: Preparations


    The Greatest War


    Like many others of my generation I remember that first day of 1936 very well. The Declaration of Goodwill that Hitler gave that day was a masterpiece of the Propaganda Ministry.

    He stood there under the great crane of the Germania Werft in Kiel and spoke of peace with honour and strength through wealth and wealth through trade. He spoke of the self determination of nations and the desire of all men to determine their own future. He spoke of the dignity of man and the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that he would do whatever lay within his power to give his people exactly those.

    The German fleet would be reduced to the absolute minimum needed for the defence of the country. No submarines would be built by Germany, there would be an immediate halt to the production and development of artillery and German industry would be geared almost solely towards the construction of a merchant navy and the increase of industry and infrastructure. In exchange for this they would re occupy the Rhineland, taking control of their own economic destiny once more. Even the French had to grudgingly admit it sounded good.

    After Hitler’s earlier belligerence, this seemed like a dream come true to many politicians. The speech was hailed as one of the greatest steps in world peace ever, a shining example to be followed by other nations of good will.

    In hindsight it was the beginning of the end.

    John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Memoirs of a Freedom Fighter, Library of Congress Publications, 1966.



    Launch of the Admiral Graf Spee

    Late in 1935 a letter arrived, carried by hand by a youthful member of the SS. It stated that a gentleman of some note would like to visit me in three days time, to discuss matters of importance to the state and nation, and if I would be at home to receive him. The messenger would wait to take my reply I agreed to be at home, wondering who the person might be, expecting a local flunky of the SS. I was much astonished when, three days later a car halted at my door, carrying the Führer himself. He greeted me most warmly, despite earlier altercations I had had with members of his party, and then apologized profusely for the actions of those members. I invited him into the study, where he sat in one of my large leather chairs and drank a glass of Sprüdel which I made for him at the side board. He looked less tired and more relaxed than he had been in a while. A tenseness that had been underlying had been removed. We spoke about general things, the economic slump, the infrastructural programs he had ordered, for a while, and then he asked me a question: would I accept an active commission as full general in the regular army, and would I be willing to undertake a possibly dangerous mission as commander. I was admittedly surprised by this offer, since the relationship between myself and the National Socialist Party could hardly be called cordial. So I was wary and asked him what mission he had in mind. He smiled at me, stating he thought it would be a mission I would not only find acceptable, but an honour. I must have looked at him somewhat sceptically, for he smiled more braodly, and then he leaned back in his chair and sipped his water, looking at me from hooded eyes. Then he told me I would be in command of the action to remilitarise the Rhineland. I must admit I was flabbergasted. The Führer seemed delighted at my shock. He stated that he was hoping the reoccupation could occur without military clashes, and that since the nation was not ready for a military confrontation the orders would be to withdraw if the occupying forces were to meet any military opposition. He told me that at such a time both of us would be finished, but at least I would have a pension of a full general. I had to laugh at that. He seemed to realise instinctively that I would accept both mission and commission: this was a service I had to undertake, to serve my Fatherland.

    Then he leaned forward and asked me what I would do if our nation was occupied by foreign oppressors: would I strive for independence or would I continue to live in the squalor of subjugation? I answered I would fight of course. And he asked me if I did not want the same thing for my old comrades at arms. My astonishment this time must have been a sight to behold. He told me, then and there, that if it were ever within his power, all of former German East Africa would receive the protection of the Reich, with its full support but independent from it and a favoured nation trading position. Then he asked me again if I would serve in the army. I assented. He shook my hand and left. My commission to Generaloberst was in my hand that same evening, brought by special courier, as well as a letter stating I would receive back pay for the rank of Generalleutnant from the first of January 1921.

    Field Marshall Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, Mein Leben, translated, My life, BUV (Berliner Universitäts Verlag) 1950 (Translation J.C. Smuts)



    The scrapping of the German Baltic fleet of two ships of force, the KMS Schleswig-Holstein and the KMS Schlesien, four destroyers as the light cruiser Emden was of course, a mere empty gesture, designed to placate foreign observers. Hitler had been convinced in late 1935 by senior officials at the Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine, most notably Vice admiral Alfred Saalwächter that the only way the German navy could seriously compete on the high seas was to build a high seas fleet. A demonstration on a Bavarian lake using a small plane and an old steel coal tug convinced the Führer that airplanes could be very effective in the destruction of naval vessels. Hitler’s own experiences as an airplane passenger during his electoral campaign confirmed this in his mind.
    He ordered that naval construction and naval design be immediately geared towards the production of aircraft carriers and their support ships and that the Kriegsmarine implement plans to facilitate this. He also appointed Saalwächter to the new post of Chief Executive Admiral of the Navy and to the equally new position of Reichsmarineminister, an independent naval ministry no longer under the direct command of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht.
    Nor did the air arm of the navy fall under the Luftwaffe, a demand made by Goering.



    KMS Schleswig-Holstein, on her way to being scrapped, entering Kiel harbour as onlookers wave her a fond farewell.


    Much to the dismay of the Luftwaffe and the Heer (not to mention Himmler and his grandiose plans for the militarization of the SS) Hitler apportioned a great deal of the future income of the Reich to the navy. The hope they harboured in late 1935 that the mercurial Führer would change his mind was never fulfilled: once fully convinced of the power that carriers could project the Führer became almost obsessed with them, demanding daily updates of their progress and successes (and failures) later in the war.

    His initial demand that the carriers be as modern as they could be led to an intensive period of planning and research into naval aviation which had no equal in the world. Großadmiral Saalwächter once told me that he had worried that Hitler’s seeming obsession with the most modern ships possible might lead to no ships at all, come the war we all knew would be needed to prove and re establish Germany’s superiority.

    Baldur von Schirach, Mein Führer und Ich, Translated The Führer and Me, (W. Shirer, Nicolson Publications, 1965)

    Hitler’s appointment of Hjalmar Schacht as Reichswirtschaftsminister and Reichsbankpräsident was inspired. Few others could have stimulated German production as the German-Danish genius. The preferment of the Reichsjustizminister Franz Gürtner over the Reichsinnernminister Wilhelm Frick caused a decrease in corruption and allowed a further expansion of the German economy by removing the excess grease from the wheels of commerce. Further changes in the cabinet were considered by the Führer, but he realised that too many changes at once might cause problems with the supporters of various wings within the Nazi party, or difficulties with the army. Upon the advice of his great favourite, admiral Saalwächter, Hitler held off on more new appointments.

    Götz Aly, Hitler’s Reichsministerien, Münich University Press, 1988

    The re-occupation of the Rhineland was not a true military operation. Hitler was aware that the German army was ill prepared for all out war and did not want to exacerbate the situation by marching in under flags and trumpets thereby annoying France and England. The collapse of the Stresa pact due to the condemnation of the Italian actions in Ethiopia were an added bonus, as were the political situations in France and Britain. The British position was that the Rhineland belonged to Germany, probably most famously expressed by Lord Lothian that the Germans were strolling back into their own backyard.

    The major annoyance in England was that the negotiated settlement that Sir Anthony Eden had wanted to achieve, thereby taming Hitler diplomatically, could not now be enacted. The fact of the matter was that there was no support for diplomatic or economic action to be undertaken against Germany among the British public, let alone support for a military intervention.

    Added to this was the ratification in december 1935 of the Franco-Soviet Treaty of Mutual Assistance. Even the British diplomats had to admit that with the existence of this treaty and the lack of integrated defence along the border Germany would be an easy target for any left wing attacks from France. And considering the fluidity of French politics and the uncertainty about the upcoming elections in France as well, the German desire to have solid positions held on the eastern banks of the Rhine was understandable.

    The actual operation Winterübing (Winter excercise) was fairly anticlimactic. Led by the famous Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck nineteen batallions of infantry, mostly mounted on bicycles and one battalion of cavalry entered the demilitirased zone and occupied positions formerly held by the French and English forces and the defensive positions on the Rhine. Von Lettow-Vorbeck contacted the Führer to report that French forces were massing on the opposite shore, but he was given assurance that the French would not cross. In his memoirs the Führer later noted that this was the moment in the history of the Reich when all could have fallen apart. Any opposition by the French would have caused the withdrawal of the German batallions, and the Fall of the Nazi government. As the Führer gleefully noted, „I have never been so glad of an election.“

    David Howarth, German Military Operations of the Second World War, 1955



    The first battalion, first regiment of the Erste Schutzen-Kavallerie-Division enter Mainz under their newly appointed commander General-oberst Von Lettow-Vorbeck.

    After a short period in early 1936 which the OKW ordered a large number of military supplies, allegedly for use in emergencies most of the German production was given over to expanding industry, especially maritime industry, with the projected growth of he merchant marine being such that it would outstrip the British merchant navy in some years time, and the automotive industry, with the intent of adapting the production capacity later for military use.

    Research was steered towards industrial innovation as well as military applications. Hitler showed great interest in naval research and this fascination led to a great stimulus in the development of naval design.

    Wolfgang Zorn Ökonomische Vorbereitungen zum Größter Krieg. Goebbels, Schacht und Speer und der Vormundschaft der Deutschen Industrie. BUV (Berliner Universitäts Verlag) 1987

  3. #3
    Marshal of the Empire BritishImperial's Avatar

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    interesting to see what hitler can do with a decent navy... i sense they might make it to america?
    Whistle while you work, Hitler is a berk...

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    Oooh, this looks interesting. From the title of the Kennedy book, could we be correct in assuming that the German war machine makes considerable headway into the US?
    Will be following this one closely!
    Good Luck
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    Captain 10th S.C. SouthCarolinian's Avatar
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    wow this looks good
    Kennedy the Freedom Fighter? oh man.

  6. #6
    A faulty cog GrimPagan's Avatar
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    Meh, every time I find a new AAR from you, you have abandoned it. It's like you are, you know, trying to annoy me while increasing your writing skills.
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  7. #7
    Undead Dutchman Dead William's Avatar
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    Chapter 2

    The wars of 1936

    To show that Germany was serious about the matter of disarmament and world peace Hitler announced the retirement of dozens, if not hundreds of officers and the demotion of several dozen more, reducing the number of high ranking general officers by more than half.

    This was seen as a great show of goodwill for the coming Olympic Games. A feeling strengthened by Hitler’s speech in early February to the League of Nations at the at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, calling once more for self government and self determination.

    The first months of 1936 were quiet and uneventful. The Führer attended the launch of Germany’s ‘last cruiser of the old times, the times of war.’ The British and French ambassadors, along with many others, were invited to the launch and given a tour of the ship.

    The cruiser Prinz Eugen was seen as one of the most modern vessels in the world at the time of its launch, but the lack of screening vessels and the obvious fact that no new keels for large ships were laid in any of Germany’s shipyards and that construction had not only been halted on all war ships but that what had been finished had been broken up was enough reason for a quiet celebration at the Navy Office in Washington. Reports from spies showed extensive building of smaller cruise vessels, large numbers of merchant navy ships and extensive testing of seaplanes for long range postal services and passenger services in addition to the impressive strides made in the production of Zeppelins.

    The plans for the seaplanes included refuelling stations in the mid Atlantic if the range was too great, unless landing rights could be negotiated for Bermuda or the Azores.

    Hitler’s clear intent to demilitarize Germany allowed the USA, with an act passed by Congress near unanimously, to lift the military embargo against Germany and start the delivery of large amounts of Helium gas for use in civilian airships. The first recipient of this gas was the giant airship Hindenburg and soon afterwards its sister ship Graf Zeppelin

    The Italian annexation, on april the 12th 1936, of Ethiopia was condemned by all nations, including Germany. The Führer stated that “To attack a historically free and uncontrolled nation merely to questionably expand one’s prestige and power is no longer acceptable in this day and age. To do so is folly and foolishness.”

    The fact that the Führer did not condemn the Italian occupation and annexation as wrong, only as foolish was mostly ignored by politicians and journalists alike.

    Allan Bullock, Hitler, an analysis of a successful dictator, Oxford University Press, 1965


    Admiral Saalwächter once told me that the war could not have been so successfully prosecuted if the intelligence and information gathering of the Reich had not been so excellent. He especially lauded the Abwehr, the counter intelligence organisation led by Admiral Canaris. Under instructions from Hitler personally Canaris developed a master plan to deal with internal and external espionage. The plan, known as Unternehmen Aberglauben, (Operation superstition) was supposedly a part of the operations of the Ahnenerbe dedicated to integrating ‘the true history of the Reich into the consciousness of the literary and educated classes.’ Hundreds of fanatical young students were recruited to fulfil this function. In reality the agents of Aberglauben were instructed to track down spies from all nations, be they friendly, neutral or hostile.
    After locating a spy or spy ring the director of Aberglauben, Dr. Hans Vogler, its director, decided whether the Ring would be infiltrated and turned, guided, or destroyed.
    Turning a ring or individual spy was the ideal. ‘No information was bad information’ as Canaris informed his own spies. Something could be found out about everything and silence denoted a problem with the spy. Providing the enemy with false information was an excellent way of achieving diplomatic and military superiority over them. False information had to be salted with true information so that analysts would consider it believable. There were two ways to achieve the desired result, supplying false information to one’s enemies.
    The first was infiltrating and turning the ring, or members of it. This usually involved large bribes, threats, or both. Blackmail was not uncommon as well, and certain spies were turned by being convinced that National Socialism was the only way for mankind to progress. Most succumbed to threats and intimidation however. An exceptionally able group of young students were recruited from the universities to set up a civilian program, and several vocal members of the working class were recruited from industry to guide the program in the nation’s factories and dry docks.
    If a ring or individual was deemed to be ‘unturnable’ (at that time) the method was to feed either false but believable information or dubious information, so that the enemy might hopefully be lulled in a false sense of superiority or might disregard any useful information from the obviously turned, compromised or useless spy. Eventually most spy rings in Germany were infiltrated, turned or destroyed.
    ......
    Vogler and Canaris considered the elimination of spies to be a last resort when turning and guiding failed. They did on occasion use this method to make certain their opposite numbers felt that the German Abwehr was functioning and a force to be reckoned with. Numbers of spies were extradited as well, sometimes a considerable time after they had been compromised, some of them to continue spying, but now for the Nazi regime.

    Heinz Hohne,Tales of the Spy Master, the Life of Wilhelm Canaris, 1986 BUV (Berlin University Press)



    The greatest intelligence coup of the pre war era was the German realisation that the Polish Intelligence agency had cracked the Enigma machine’s code. Their Office of Ciphers, the Biuro Szyfrów, employed a brilliant young mathematician by name of Marian Rejewski, a man of great ability who managed to crack the Enigma’s code by application of the mathematical Permutation theory. Together with his colleagues Henryk Zygalski and Jerzy Różycki he built two decoding machines, the Bomba and the Zyklometer to quickly transcribe the German code into cleartext.

    German Intelligence's realisation of this achievement came when members of the Abwehr, specifically Unternehmen Aberglauben, noticed that numbers of Polish spies were especially good at observing the manoeuvres of the Heer near the Polish borders. Despite the fact that Enigma was supposed to be uncrackable, Vogler and Canaris decided it had been compromised. They ordered the construction of a new set of Enigma machines, to be used only in emergencies, and far more stringent operating procedures to be used with the existing machines. The Spanish civil war allowed the new procedures to be tested extensively. It has been said that if the Abwehr had not realised the polish achievement, or had not acted upon such as a mere suspicion, the war might have gone entirely different.

    The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet, David Kahn, 1967/1998 Tor Books

  8. #8
    Undead Dutchman Dead William's Avatar
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    So I shamefacedly return to this AAR and these boards after my second long absence. There were some things in my life I had to deal with (all good, but time consuming), but I am back now, and should have more time, time enough for more frequent updates. I'm aiming for one a week, but that may be optimistic.

    BritishImperial, to see what Germany can do with a decent navy look here. (A different game, but still.)

    http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...d.php?t=404607

    Major_Rawne, glad you like it. I will certainly try to keep it interesting.

    TO both. Where else would the German juggernaut end up but in the US?

    South Carolinian, well he might make a better freedom fighter than president. Just has to learn to dodge the bullets from grassy knolls...

    Grim Pagan: Well, I'm back now.

    And since I'm here, can someone tell me how to make a screenshot in HOI2 and where I can then find the bloddy thing?

    Thanks for reading, DW

  9. #9
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    A new reader joins here! A very interesting past, so close, but so different.
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  10. #10
    Master of Shadows. Shadow Master's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dead William View Post
    And since I'm here, can someone tell me how to make a screenshot in HOI2 and where I can then find the bloody thing?

    Thanks for reading, DW
    If you don't mind using a third party program, I highly recommend FRAPS, which is free to download and use, and can be set to place the pics in any folder of your choice.
    "Furthermore I think Carthage must be destroyed". Cato the elder on a mistake that was allowed a long, long, time ago. {circa ~200BC}

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  11. #11
    Undead Dutchman Dead William's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Master View Post
    If you don't mind using a third party program, I highly recommend FRAPS, which is free to download and use, and can be set to place the pics in any folder of your choice.
    Thanks, that should work.

    Now, my origianl save game just won't run anymore, and I have no idea why, its still the same install, with a few tweaked techteams. But since it only wnet until june 1938, little is lost. It also offers me the opprotunity for a rewrite, so watch the space above as well as the one below.

    DW

  12. #12
    Master of Shadows. Shadow Master's Avatar
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    Will do!
    "Furthermore I think Carthage must be destroyed". Cato the elder on a mistake that was allowed a long, long, time ago. {circa ~200BC}

    "Furthermore, I think that Obama Care must be destroyed". Me, current age.

  13. #13
    Undead Dutchman Dead William's Avatar
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    After the remilitarisation of the Rheinland and the final annexation of Ethiopia by Italy a further shock to the European system of balance was the outbreak of the Spanish Civil war. The electoral victory of the left, not accepted by a coalition of right-wing forces, led to an all out war. Hitler saw this as a great opportunity to strengthen Fascism and increase his own credibility as a world leader.

    To do this, he privately sent letters to each of the heads of state whom he thought might be affected, in which he stated why had had decided to send aide to the Nationalist faction. The reasons given aligned quite well with the patrician and oligarchic minded rulers of the day.



    Excerpt from “The Führer’s secret letter concerning the Spanish situation” sent to the British Government in June 1936.

    “At this time the stability and inner strength of Europe has barely recovered from the last Great War. Our economies are barely starting to recover from the great economic downturn we still see the results of daily. At this time it is imperative we do not let the darkness of socialism and communism march over any part of Europe, especially not one so close to the borders of an already unstable France. A victory by socialist forces in Spain, already supported by communist Russia, may cause the radical French socialist and communists to rise in arms, thereby further destabilising Europe’s fragile balance. I beseech you not to misinterpret the fact that I am sending German observers to Spain for anything more than just that: observers. I cannot, in good conscious, forbid the free people of my nation to travel to Spain and take service on either side. Though I can proudly say that most of those who might go are firmly allied with the forces of nationalism and stability. Let this terrible war in Spain disturb our own peace no more than it has to.”

    Excerpt from the Führer’s letter to the Times, New York Times and Le Temps, published on 14th of June 1936

    “These are hazardous times, times fraught with danger, times that may bring us on the brink of another Great War. Germany realises, I realise, that many people in many nations see in the followers of the late Marquis of the Rif, General Sanjurjo, a threat to their dreams of equality and just division of property. I too have felt poverty and I feel that indeed all men deserve at the very least the minimum requirements of life. But I do not think that the way to achieve this is through communism. Not all men are equal, and despite our best wishes, many are not able to take care of themselves. Therefore another way has to be found, and that is that those best suited lead those less suited. And for those leaders take care of their followers. I fear that the plans of Mr Azaňa would not lead to a more fair, a more equitable division of property but to a great loss of life, such as occurred in Communist Russia when Mr Stalin ordered the farms to be collectivised. I fear a similar fate would strike the people of Spain. I do not say the poor do not deserve to have a better life, to have more, but I do say this is not the way to achieve it, and Generals Sanjurjo, Mola and Franco have understood this and taken action.”

    John Keegan, A short History of the causes, course and consequences of the Spanish Civil War. (2nd revised edition) Penguin, 2003

  14. #14
    Undead Dutchman Dead William's Avatar
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    A very short update, but there have been some changes above. A lot of time was taken up by research, but I should be able to write a bit faster now.

    DW

  15. #15
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    The Wars of 1936

    The Spanish civil war was a major opportunity for the Heer to test various weapon systems, strategies and combinations thereof. To prevent undue stress in the relations between Germany and other nations no German fought under the German flag, or the Swastika. All were volunteers, or professionals, in the service of the Nationalist government of Spain. The fact that they were often outside the regular Nationalist chain of command and some were given secret instructions by the German OKH was hardly common knowledge. The German support to the Nationalists was essential to the Spanish victory, especially the advice given by the specialist mountain warriors, who supported the courageous but relatively badly trained Spanish mountain troops, especially in the early stages of the war. The horrendous battles in the mountainous areas of the Iberian Peninsula were instrumental in the defeat of the Republican troops, even if the battles were not fought by the hardened mountain troops but by motley militias. The fact that some of those militias were trained by Germany’s foremost experts on mountain and hill warfare, such as Eduard Dietl, Ferdinand Schörner, Kurt Student and Bruno Braüer did not lessen the fact they were often neither naturally inclined nor by training suited to such conditions. The victories they managed to win cannot be solely attributed to the influence of the Germans but were greatly due to the fanaticism of the Nationalist patriots.

    Strangely enough the most valuable aid early in the struggle came from a genuine volunteer to the cause: Paul Hähling von Lanzenauer. Von Lanzenauer was an admirer of Von-Lettow Vorbeck and had made a study of irregular tactics. No evidence has ever been found that von Lanzenauer was sent to Spain to aid an armed uprising and his presence was pure coincidence.

    John Keegan, A short History of the causes, course and consequences of the Spanish Civil War. (4th revised edition) Penguin, 2003



    The advice and the active support in military operations and actions of Hähling von Lanzenauer were essential in the quick and undamaged capture of various important industrial complexes and strategic bridges and airfields throughout the war. The most famous of these actions is also the most controversial.
    Despite the recent publication of the German archives on the pre-war involvement by Germans in Spain, it is still not clear what Hähling von Lanzenauer was doing in Madrid at the time of the outbreak of the civil war.

    The official records quite clearly state he was on sick leave from his job in the police force, recuperating from a tubercular attack in the highlands of the Sierras in Spain rather than in the German, Austrian or Swiss mountains due to his frail health being unable to cope with the cold nights in the more northern climes. He arrived in Spain in January 1936, travelling first to Madrid. The unofficial record show he was sent to Gibraltar in early May 1936 to reconnoitre and see what tactics might be used to capture the Rock of Gibraltar should war occur. This is borne out by the fact that Hähling von Lanzenauer was paid half pay as a captian in tha Wehrmacht and that he therefore was military spy. It seems likely from contemporary accounts that the truth is a combination of both. Hähling von Lanzenauer was convincing as a visitor recovering from pneumonia because he really was recovering from pneumonia. The OKA (Oberkommando der Abwehr) merely decided to use the materials on hand to achieve their goal of getting as much information on British military installations as they could.


    It appears that Hähling von Lanzenauer met Francisco Franco Bahamonde by accident while taking a walk in the mountains near Madrid. Before being sent to the Canary Islands Franco introduced Von Lanzenauer to several other officers of higher and lower rank. He used his experience as an anti insurgent intelligence officer in the Baden police to train several dozen men in counter insurgency techniques, earning some extra money on top of his (double) half pay, which he received during his illness. (Almost all of this money was sent to his wife, who urged him to rest, not work whilst on his vacation.) Besides this he worked closely with the Spanish Guardia Civil, teaching German drill and surveillance techniques.

    The correspondence that is known; and it seems to be complete, show that Von Lanzenauer was in Madrid on the 17th of July, prefatory to leaving for Germany once more. That night he was approached by Nationalist Conspirators carrying a lettergram from Sanjurjo asking him to take command of the men he had trained and to help them take sites considered strategic. The letter, copies of which rest in the national archives of Madrid and Berlin, requests Hähling von Lanzenauers aid as an officer, a gentleman, an opponent of Communism and a friend. Hähling von Lanzenauer wrote a letter to his wife, telling her he was taking service with the Nationalists. He also sent a letter, via the German military Attaché, to the OKW, offering his resignation form the Army. He was the first foreigner to sign up to either of the Spanish sides. Hähling von Lanzenauer was granted a leave of absence, without pay, during his stay in Spain. This was later altered, in line with Hitler’s policy, to full pay for all ‘military observers’ serving in Spain.

    The Battle for Madrid is probably one of the greatest symbols for the lost hopes of the Republicans and the deep depths to which they were dashed.

    The defence of Madrid was precarious from the beginning, if enthusiastically pursued by the Republican side. When general Fanjul, commander of the Madrid Military district marched his troops out of the barracks on the morning of the eighteenth of July several of the most important buildings of the city had already fallen to Nationalists insurgents under the instructions of Hähling von Lanzenauer. The fall of the national radio station and the capture of Prime minister Santiago Casares y Quiroga were especially harsh if mostly symbolic blows to the Republican cause. Of greater strategic and military value was the capture of the arsenals. All the army arsenals were taken before the dawn of the 18th, the police arsenals being taken in the early morning hours. Hähling von Lanzenauer himself did not take part in any actual fighting after the capture of the radio station, instead directing his small force from inside the National Radio building through the use of runners and coded messages through the public address system as well as a few portable radio sets that had recently been ordered by the Guardia Civil for use during riots.

    This was due to the wounds taken in the capture of the building and to the fact that he considered the National Radio building, next to the City Armouries, to be of the greatest strategic value of all the sites occupied by his men. Realising that he had too few troops to hold all that he had gained, he ordered the destruction of the city arsenals and thereby deprived the Republicans of the means to arm the CNT and UGT unions. The poorly armed union workers therefore were easy victims for the much better armed and trained regular army.

    A result of Hähling von Lanzenauer’s presence in Spain that is often underestimated is the fact that he convinced considerable numbers of the Madrid police force, and especially the elite Asaltos to desert the Republican side and join the outnumbered Nationalist forces under Fanjul. A result of this was that Communist Party members and unarmed mobs of angry citizens attacked a group of Asaltos as they sought to join Fanjul at the Montaña barracks.
    In the resulting skirmish the communist activist and leader Dolores Ibárruri Gómez shouted the words ¡No pasarán! (They shall not pass), words from a speech she had held minutes before on the Plaza Major. Ibárrurri Gómez was killed in the subsequent skirmish and Franco, after hearing of her speech after the fall of Madrid a few days later cynically remarked "Hemos pasado" ("We have passed").

    David Howarth, The German intervention in the Civil war in Spain, London, The Clarendon Press 1968


    The use of irregulars can best be coordinated by trained officers and men. Without the guidance of such men the irregulars tend to loose focus or break. Irregulars, especially those who are native speakers, are invaluable to the proper execution of operations in many locations however. A trained group of professionals; preferably native or near native speakers are always to be preferred over the use of irregulars.

    Excerpt from Hauptmann Paul Hähling von Lanzenauer’s “Vom usance der Kommandotruppen im Spanischen Kriege.“ Translated: On the use of commando forces in the late war in Spain (General introduction to the report to the OKW on the actions of the German commando forces during the Spanish Civil war.)





    The experiences of the German special forces, Luftwaffe and Heer soldiers were formative for the later German strategies during the Second World War. The German superiority in arms (barely) and tactics and strategy, as well as training, (All three considerable) when compared with the ‘overzealous rabble’ of both Spanish factions led to a far greater influence on the progress of the war than their numbers would suggest. Especially in the early phase of the war, the influence of the commandos was disproportionately great. The capture of Madrid in the early days of the war can be ascribed almost entirely to Captain Hähling von Lanzenauer’s Spanish infiltrators. The Ministry of the interior, the Ministry of War and the Telefonica building, all essential for communications, were held until the Flying brigade of the Condor Legion arrived in Madrid to relieve the embattled commandos. The operation, codenamed Armada, was successful enough to become the original for many bold commando raids. The capture of the communications network allowed the Nationalists a few days of action unopposed for the most by any centrally led Nationalist forces. General Miaja later stated that ‘the war was lost in those 4 days in July’ 1936.

    Hugh Thomas, The Spanish Civil war, 4th revised edition, Penguin 2003 (1961)

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    Master of Shadows. Shadow Master's Avatar
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    Nice, good to see an update!

    Did you get the fraps program to work?
    "Furthermore I think Carthage must be destroyed". Cato the elder on a mistake that was allowed a long, long, time ago. {circa ~200BC}

    "Furthermore, I think that Obama Care must be destroyed". Me, current age.

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    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Interesting outcome for the 18th July coup in Madrid. I just wonder if Fanjul, outdated general as he was, would have accepted at all von Lanzenauer.'s advices...
    "Pequeño Padawan Kurtizacoal, por qué me has salido tan cabrón?" - me dijo mi Maestro.
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  18. #18
    Undead Dutchman Dead William's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow Master View Post
    Nice, good to see an update!

    Did you get the fraps program to work?
    Indeed I did, thank you. There won't be many screenshots in the AAR but I like to have the option. ( I will hopeffully start to upload a few other pics soon though, a bit boring in here what?)

    I
    nteresting outcome for the 18th July coup in Madrid. I just wonder if Fanjul, outdated general as he was, would have accepted at all von Lanzenauer.'s advices...
    Merely a way to describe MAdrid falling into Nationalist hands at the start of the civil war. And Fanjul? You'll just have to wait for the next update. That may not be until monday though, for which I apologize.

    Thanks for reading! DW

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    Ummm... I forgot to send the new update from my work to my home... DW is sorry and you may now throw tomatoes at him.

    To make up for it I will copy a page from many succesfull AAR's in this section and add a gameplay section to the next update.

    That will be tuesday since I won't be at work on monday due to a conference.

    Also a question: do you wish for screenshots or interesting photographs? ( I.e. pictures in the AAR?)

    Apologies to any who might read this.

    DW

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    Strangely enough the bond between Admiral Saalwächter and the Führer was based upon more than a common interest in the Kriegsmarine and naval aviation. I was a witness to this encounter myself and am convinced in my mind it was one of the main reasons the Admiral was so appreciated by, and his opinion carried so much weight with, the Führer.

    The Führer was a martyr to gastric troubles and had sought out many eminent doctors to help alleviate, if not cure, the condition. We were visiting Kiel and were having lunch after watching a parade of the Hitler Jugend and he overheard a conversation that was taking place at another table. Admiral Saalwächter was speaking to an officer in the uniform of a Korvettenkapitänsstabsarzt des Sanitätsdienst of the Kriegsmarine (Lieutenant-commander in the Office of Naval Health), a man I later learned was called Johan August von Stierfeldt. They were discussing the recovery of Admiral Saalwächter from a gastric upset. The Führer, ever eager to get rid off his own affliction, ordered the captain to visit him in Berlin. I was not present at that conversation, but I later heard that Stierfeldt asked the Führer a great many questions and ultimately decided the best treatment would be a combination of dieting and more modern techniques, including the ingestion of purified intestinal enzymes. The diet also limited the Führer’s intake of sugar. He managed to do this by providing the Führer with a nearly unlimited supply of an artificial sweetener refined by IG Farben. (Aspartame mixed with a honey extract, red.)
    He also insisted the Führer eat at regular times, get enough sleep and exercise. The exercise was a problem since the Führer was not fond of most sports except walking, which he did prodigiously in natural surroundings or with a specific target in mind, but hated doing in cities. Stierfeldt, prompted by the Führer’s behaviour towards his (Stierfeldt's ) dog, suggested a daily jaunt, on foot, through and to the Tiergarten. After some hesitation Hitler took this advice. After three months he had recovered a great deal of his vigour and lost almost fifteen kilograms. He also slept better and laughed more. At Stierfeldt’s urging he also had his teeth seen to in several sessions by the same dentist and had all the old work redone, removing several repairs from earlier years that were painful or substandard. The improvement in the Führer’s mood and demeanor due to these changes in his health were remarkable and his reactions to setbacks became more reasoned and thoughtful.

    Baldur von Schirach, Mein Führer und Ich, Translated The Führer and Me, (W. Shirer, Nicolson Publications, 1965)


    There were two great companies that controlled vast areas of German prodcution, IG Farben and Krupp AG. Where IG Farben was a powerhouse of chemical research, technical and managerial innovation, Krupp seemed to be slowly sinking into torpor as the company was led more and more according to the whims of its managing director (and husband of the chief shareholder Bertha Krupp) Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach. His son Alfried was also not a star innovator. Worried that the greatest producer of large military hardware in the Reich was not innovative enough to suit the needs of his planned expansion, the Führer invited the Director and his son to the Reichskanzlei and there requested they admit to their technical design staff numerous young and ardent designers from the top schools of the Reich who otherwise would have had to toil for years before achieving such a position. To sweeten the deal Hitler allowed the Krupp technical department to recruit from the Heereswaffenamt its technical chief and head of Research as a special advisor. Lt. General Dr. Karl Becker was allowed the widest latitude of discretion in training the young designers and any old ones he deemed fit, to serve the Heer in the best way possible. Becker’s greatest service was the simplification of the production process and his catch phrase: ‘Simpler is better’ which lodged firmly in the minds of many who served in the Krupp factories at this time. As he once pointed out to the Führer on a guided tour of his other great responsibility, the Heer’s Peenemünde Experimental Rocket facility, “You don’t want to spend hours cleaning gears at the front when ten minutes will do.” His remarks to Ferdinand Porsche regarding the Volkwagen Beetle has entered military-industrial history as well; “If you can design a tank that is this good and this simple, you will never loose a contract with the army.”

    Under Becker’s guidance the Krupp factories produced some of the finest weapons used in the war, including naval guns, tank guns, Ak-aks, Tiger VI F’s and huge amounts of steel and tons of other metals for the use of other vital war industries flowed from the huge foundries.

    Wolfgang Zorn, Ökonomische Vorbereitungen zum Größter Krieg. Goebbels, Schacht und Speer und der Vormundschaft der Deutschen Industrie. BUV (Berliner Universitäts Verlag) 1987


    On the 20th of April 1936, the Führer’s birthday, he was feeling better than he had in years, as he loudly and happily proclaimed. That day he promoted Hermann Göring to the rank of Generaloberst der Luftwaffe (General of the airforce). He also introduced him to Lt. Commander Von Stierfeldt and ordered him to attend a medical examination. It was the first time it was intimated that the Führer was unhappy with the physical and mental degeneration of his old comrade. Göring acquiesced with bad grace, but oddly enough when I saw him again a month later he looked healthier and in better shape than I had seen him in years. There was a twinkle in his eye and he walked with far more vigour in his pace. The treatment that Stierfeldt had prescribed for him was as inventive as the one he had concocted for the Führer: dieting, a strictly monitored regime of household drugs and no others, exercise. But where the lure for the Führer had been the adulation of the masses who encountered him and the animals he could admire and pet, for the aging sky warrior he had suggested that if he lost weight and regained his reflexes he could become a member of the air acrobatics team of the Deutsche Luftsportverband (German Airsports Club), rather than just the titular chairman of the entire club. Though Göring had sometimes, rather wistfully, witnessed the performances of the Air Acrobatics Team, the thought had never occurred to him to fulfil his need for excitement and adrenalin in quite this fashion. The eventual result, a complete abnegation of drugs and most alcohol and a greatly more active interest in actual performances of airplanes and the Luftwaffe had far reaching results for the subsequent use of the Luftwaffe during the war.

    Baldur von Schirach, Mein Führer und Ich, Translated The Führer and Me, (W. Shirer, Nicolson Publications, 1965)


    The Führer was privately informed by Dr. Vogler and Admiral Canaris of the breach in the security of the Enigma machines, a method of communication that he had previously known little about. The Führer showed an immediate interest in the inner workings of the intricate mechanism and asked if the British and French had similar methods of encryption, and if so, what methods were being used to crack their codes. Both the Admiral and the Doctor were unable to answer his question as exhaustively as the Führer then wanted. A presentation was planned in which Hitler would receive a full briefing on the subject, including methods of cracking code, to be held one week later.

    It was at this meeting, of at most ten people, that Hitler first became aware of the true importance of the work of Konrad Zuse and at his meeting were the seeds sown for the stupendous growth of research that led to today’s computers.

    Jürgen Alex, Hermann Flessner, Wilhelm Mons, Horst Zuse: Konrad Zuse: Der Vater des Computers. Parzeller, Fulda 2000



    “I stood with my back to the road as an endless snake of people, young, old, very young, very old, wound its way along it. The city lay shining in the morning light and we could hear the song of birds and the chirping of crickets despite the din of crying children and the comforting murmurs of their parents. Then we heard the engines, roaring, roaring ever closer, the roar of engines moving to the howl of sirens and the terrible, terrible noise of the machineguns as the evil grey planes dived from high and raked the defenseless column again and again, littering the narrow road with the dying and the dead, man, woman, child, horse, cow and pig, all life spent from them lying in the pools of each other’s blood. We stood on the hill and watched the planes, serried rank upon mobile wave, strafing with whips of fire, blood and lead the poor people of Guernica.”

    George Orwell, Reports from the front (London, Penguin pockets, 1937 3rd revised edition, London 2001)

    General Fanjul was less than pleased with the way in which a foreigner had, with tactics he considered deplorable and dishonourable, attained goals that by his estimation could have been, and should have been, attained by the regular army. Fanjul remained convinced, throughout the war, that the methods of warfare instigated, inspired and promoted by Hähling von Lanzenauer were one step short of treason to the Honour of the nation. His troops, who realised all too well what might have been their fate had von Lanzenauer not acted in the way he had, practically worshipped him. Fanjul was apt to criticise every action of Hähling von Lanzenauer, even the most successful ones, which naturally annoyed the men who owed him their lives and caused problems in the line of command and desertions from Fanjul’s regiments. During the later part of 1936 the ‘Heroes of Madrid’ suffered a higher rate of desertion than any other unit, republican or nationalist, in the course of the war. Most of these men reported to other divisions leading to questions higher up in the command structure about Fanjul’s ability to lead. This high rate of desertion of often loyal troops and the continual demoralization of the unit led to the removal from command of Fanjul, his forced retirement and, after the victory of the Nationalists and subsequent lauding of Hähling von Lanzenauer, his suicide.

    Carlos Cibéra, Heroes of Madrid: the magnificent garrison, Madrid 1946 (Translation: William Chappell, for the University of California Press, Sources in the history of the Iberian Peninsula series, 26)

    The Spanish Nationalists advanced quickly, advised by German commanders, using German and Italian equipment, supported by German, but primarily Italian troops. The Republicans, despite the aid of the Soviet Union and the International Brigades, were unable to stop them from rolling over one great stronghold after the other. The first strategic goal after the fall of Madrid was to create a corridor to the various pockets of Nationalists spread over the country, even using airdrops of supplies to keep those units in supply, a system initially set up by Ferdinand Schörner. A highly restricted use of paratroopers (all German) allowed the capture of key positions, as did the infiltration techniques of Hähling von Lanzenauer.
    When Franco had first landed with a considerable force in Seville, he had intended to lead a force from there himself to capture the border with Portugal and connect with the Nationalist forces in the North. The occurrences in Madrid forced him to travel quickly, by military plane, to join the armoured columns then serving under major-general Sáenz de Buruaga, taking command of the faltering and slow advance and entering Madrid on the morning of the 20th of July 1936.

    The nationalists in Seville and Murcia were quickly aided by the swiftly moving armoured forces of Franco, moving from Madrid down through the province of Badajoz, meeting up at the gates of that ancient city with the highly successful advance columns of colonels Assensio and Yagüe, who had acted upon a plan formulated by Franco and Mola and moved north from the staging areas near Seville, originally established by Franco upon his landing on the mainland. Despite the spirited defence of the city by the Republican colonel Puigdendolas Ponce de Leon and his militia, the city fell, partly due to the fact that a considerable number of the Guardia Civil led a successful uprising, Badajoz fell quickly. In the north general Mola advanced upon the city of Guernica, leaving elements of his army behind to hold the line of the Nationalist front near Barcelona.

    After the fall of Badajoz the entire army of the south wheeled away from the Portuguese border towards the Mediterranean coast. Franco’s aim was to conquer the city and province of Murcia and to contain the remaining Republican forces in the Andalusia in the mountainous areas surrounding Malaga. He expected that the lack of supplies they would suffer there would offset the natural defensive position.

    Helen Graham, A short introduction to the Spanish Civil War London, New York 2005

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