Greetings! I've been following a few AARs over the past few weeks and the naval AARs seem to have become some of the more challenging. This has inspired me to try my hand at my very own. Now I've made a few AARs over in the TotalWar series, but this will be my first AAR based off of a Paradox game, but hopefully not the last.
I'm not the best HOI2 player by far, and this will be my first attempt at Italy. I may very well fail, but I hope that if I do that I shall fail gloriously for your benefit.
The AAR will tell of my struggles to make Italy into a naval superpower. It will be told through the eyes and minds of various minor characters that you will be introduced to throughout the story. You will get to see and experience the more notable figures of history, but not directly.
HOI2: DD ARMA 1.3 Beta
Difficulty: Very Hard
A.I. Agressiveness: Furious
Share Countris: Off
Democracy Can Start War: Off
End Date: 1964
Full IC Takeover: Off
Tech-Team Takeover: On
1. I will attempt to follow a somewhat historical path for Italy. This means that Italy will join the Axis Powers, and Italy will not invade nations without just cause or reason.
2. The Italian Navy will be modelled loosely on it's historical counterpart. So I will not use "gamey" tactics that do not fit with how a World War II Navy would operate. Submarines will primarily be used for convoy raiding duty. Battleships will be the primary force of the Italian Navy, and Aircraft Carriers will be built sparingly after the war as they were not deemed as critical up until that point.
3. Absolutely no military control of allies or puppets. This rule could prove to be my undoing. Combined with my pitiful IC, all of my faith will be placed in Germany to succeed once I have joined the Axis. If not, Italy may end up as a communist puppet far before the end date of the game. I think this will keep things interesting! I hope you do as well.
Anche se la costa tripolina non fosse che una landa deserta, anche se non vi potessimo mandare un solo dei nostri contadini, nč stabilire una sola fattoria commerciale, noi dovremmo impa- dronircene per non farci soffocare nel mare nostrum. - Emilio Lupi
April 6th, 1918
Alberto Matarazzo felt the warm sea spray cover his face as he stood on the deck of the large ship. He was aboard the RM Andrea Doria, pride of the Regia Marina's battleships. He had enlisted in the Regia Marina with his brother Mario on their 16th birthdays only a month ago and they had both been assigned to the Andrea Doria as the Great War continued to rage on. There was not much action aboard the mighty vessel however, and the Andrea Doria's guns had been mostly silent, except for a few firing exercises. Her goal had been accomplished by her presence alone, the Austro-Hungarian Navy had refused to set sail out of the Adriatic, preferring to cower along the coatlines and bombard distant shores rather than face the might of the Italian Navy. Alberto peered around the massive cannons of Turret "A" to see if he could spot his brother, he was supposed to be here already. The admiral was making his rounds shortly, and there would be hell to pay if anyone was missing. He heard a heavy metal door slam shut, and from around the turret saw Mario darting across the deck. When he arrived, nearly out of breath he gasped, "Am I in time?" Alberto shook his head disapprovingly and looked at his brother, "Barely, you do you always tempt fate so much? And look at your boots! Quick clean them up before someone notices!" His brother knelt down and with a bit of spit managed to get the dirt off of his boots. "I just cleaned them yesterday! I swear this is so tiring," He muttered to Alberto as he stood up. Not a moment too soon either, as a number of officers paraded across the ship in front of them. Both brothers snapped to attention and gave a crisp salute, holding there until they were all gone. Mario looked over to Alberto with a sly smile and chuckled, "That was the most excitement I've had this entire week. I think we're going to drill and train right through the entire war." "Be careful what you say," Alberto told him, "I don't think war is supposed to be fun or exciting. Now lets get back to work." With that, the two brothers went their seperate ways.
The Battleship RM Andrea Doria.
The War to End All Wars was nearly over, and they would miss out on the last few months of needless bloodshed as their ship sailed across the Mediterranean Sea. At the time many would have considered them lucky to have been spared such violence in their youth, but they would forever possess a longing to have done more with themselves and for their nation. The same longing that would rest in the hearts of other Italians after the Treaty of Versailles showed that the world had turned its back on the Kingdom of Italy, implying in its writing that Italy had not done enough. From the embers of the Great War, this would form the catalyst for a new age in Italy, taking a once fractured country and uniting it as never before. This is more than the story of two boys that would become men, this is the story of an entire nation.
The Allies meet to discuss conditions for the Treaty of Versailles.
October 29th, 1922
The streets of Rome were washed in a sea of black. Every city block and every street corner was eclipsed by throngs of people that blotted out the sun beneath them. Looking down from the balcony, Gerardo Peretti was amazed at the spectacle. He was here in Rome to photograph the marchers that had arrived from all over. Just yesterday, the King had announced he would not declare martial law, a move that most feared would have resulted in civil war. Aiming his camera down to the street he took several photographs, as he did so he felt a hand rest firmly upon his shoulder. Without looking over he exclaimed, "I have never seen anything like this before!" The voice he heard reply was a familiar one, "That is because you are witnessing the dawn of a new era." Gerardo looked over to see who was speaking and as he did so he had to practically hold his jaw from hitting the floor. Nervously he responded, "P- Pr- Prime Minister! Congratulations on your appointment sir! May I take your picture please?" Mussolini gave Gerardo large pat on the back and laughed, "Of course! The world must remember today what facism has achieved. Do try your hardest to make it a good picture though." The newly appointed prime minister looked out to the crowd and gave a wave. Down below, the people recognized their leader in his all-black attire, matching their own, and thousands cheered. Gerardo backed away slowly, pulling his camera and tripod back steadily. Mussolini turned to face him and presented a strong stoic face, tilting his head ever so high to slightly offset his receding hairline. The man was naturally photogenic, Gerardo thought to himself as he snapped the picture. Mussolini seemed to eat up the flash of the bulb, and the cheers behind him only made him appear that much more invincible when he posed. Gerardo thanked him and Italy's new leader nodded and said, "Now that the formalities are taken care of, it is time that I address the crowd."
Facist Blackshirts gathering in Rome.
Down on the streets, Mario Matarazzo was cheering. He had looked up at a balcony and saw their leader, Benito Mussolini look out and speak to his supporters. In his black outfit, Mario appeared to match all of the others on the street. There was a euphoria in the air, they had beaten the socialists, the liberals, the capitalists, the communists. All of them were defeated by those who would put their country's well-being above that of social order or class. After the Great War, he had been discharged from the navy, there wasn't a need for soldiers of any kind now. His brother had been retained, being promoted to a higher rank aboard the Andrea Doria. Out of work and bitter, Mario had learned of Mussolini and went to one of his rallies. At the rally he did not hear the typical ramblings of politicians, but instead, the tough talk of a military man who knew how to help his country and its people. When the Blackshirts were formed, Mario was one of the first to join. There he had once again a feeling of belonging and of hope. His brother Alberto did not understand why he joined the facists, but of course he wouldn't. He was content where he was, the rest of the family was still proud of him, he was the favored son. Mario had decided he would forge his own destiny now, Mussolini's movement had swept the nation by storm, and now he was a true part of history. Mussolini had turned around and disappeared back into the building now, but it was clear that the celebration would not end in the streets. Mario knew that things would be different now. He had marched on Rome. They had marched on Rome. A united Italy had marched on Rome.
Mussolini with the Blackshirts during the March on Rome.