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Thread: Explorations in Strategy - Italy at War

  1. #2941
    Lt. General BlitzMartinDK's Avatar
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    Enewald :..It is still just early spring!
    Lord Romanus : no minors? What about Finland/Scandinavia ..and India . But liberating Ukraine might be a good idea..ekstra units and seperate manpowerpool..Just holding Ukrasine until they can build something ..?..
    Myth:..a pity you couldn't close that western pocket. You need to cull the soviet army, yet again . And that Moscov Salient looks mighty fragile, all of a sudden. Pity that German HQ/Group towards the east couldn't be harnessed toards a worthier goal..What has your Airforce been doing, pityful as it is? And the Navy Air? How about the secondary fronts: africa, middle east, Baku?
    Btw..I talked to my then-landlord, about 1991-1992. He said, that while he was fighting (as a Danish Volunteer in Viking ..) for the Germans, they got close enough to see the smoke from the refineries in Baku, and had to turn around because of Stalingrad...So you are not the only one to ALMOST get to your goal, and then fail...

  2. #2942
    Field Marshal Maj. von Mauser's Avatar
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    Well, it wasn't for lack of trying (except for Germany).
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  3. #2943
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    Wow.

    Italy's assault breaking on the shores of Moscow's suburbs....

    Red Army looks like it is climbing a mountain, west to east, and is ready to roll down the eastern slope... or turn a corner and trap the Italian forces that aren't quick enough to retreat.

    The size of Russia once again is the victor - too wide a front, too few units, too little help.

    A long slog back to Dacia for a defensive line (if there).

  4. #2944
    Field Marshal Baltasar's Avatar
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    Can't help but think of 'a bridge too far'. So close to victory, yet the Russians manage to salvage the situation and with all those formations in front of you and more trying to establish a coherent frontline, the Italians will have to find a line they are able to defend. They may well have to give up the whole of the Ukraine in the process.

    What are the Germans doing in the meantime? The Russians should've been significantly weakened, they ought to be able to push through.

    Mussolini, while wanting to create an empire, should indeed consider releasing the Ukrainians from the yoke of the Russians. It's a vast country and if the Italians manage to defend it until some formations are ready to join, they might earn themselves a real ally which would have a hard time performing as bad as Hitler does

    And then there's still the Hungarians who could provide support. If nothing else, they can act as a speed bump or even tip the balance of power into Italy's favor if they manage to roll up the Russian front. Considering that the Russians are busy a long way away, that might not be the worst of all ideas.
    Last edited by Baltasar; 26-09-2010 at 03:21.

  5. #2945
    Citizen Sarayakat's Avatar
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    Now would be a good time to deploy nuclear weapons. If the bear cannot be beaten in battle then he must be annihilated by fire!

    Can you hold the Caucasus and the Balkans? At least denying the communists their oil would help to keep them somewhat in check.

    This is awesome!

    EDIT: Do you have plans for another AAR post-crash? If so, can you divulge details?
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  6. #2946
    Lt. General BlitzMartinDK's Avatar
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    Holding the mountains in caucasus would be nice, defensible and stuff. Just a long way home if line gets broken, and possibility of allied landing in the back, from india. Now, if only the Germans would take back india ...

  7. #2947
    General Forster's Avatar
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    This sucks, but I guess it is to be expected given the lack of support by his ally.

  8. #2948
    Captain Axe27's Avatar
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    Maybe it's time to put some Paratroopers in the queue? Perhaps you can start landing some troops in the Caucus and set up defensive perimeters around their Causcus VPs/Resource points, which will force them to divert troops toward you, and will deny them their oil and metal RPs.

  9. #2949
    Lt. General BlitzMartinDK's Avatar
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    but before those have been built, summer will be over!

  10. #2950
    Second Lieutenant Lord Romanus II's Avatar
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    The best thing I could think of is to withdraw, cut that damned pocket off, and then do the whole operation over again! He would run the risk of the germans collapsing entirely after such a withdraw, but with all those troops destroyed, it should be fine. Other than that, get to nuking.

  11. #2951
    General Forster's Avatar
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    Don't believe he has researched nukes.

  12. #2952
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Grrr...

    Regroup. Try again.

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  13. #2953
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    Palmyrene: All the Germans were doing was getting pushed back slowly.

    shepherd352: Good questions.

    walnutr113: As it was, by this point I had the Soviets at about 30% toward surrender with only provinces worth 1, 2 or maybe 5 VPs. Moscow is worth 35 on its own.

    Stuyvesant: Well the most defensible line would probably by the Dacian border. As for drama, well...

    GrenadierSchube: Indeed! Damn Germans!

    Enewald: Hehe as BMDK notes it's still only early spring. I did all this in the snow.

    Lord Romanus II: Well the Germans are still stuck in Finland.

    BlitzMartinDK: Most invaders of Russia fail.

    Maj. von Mauser: Yeah, damn Germans. I did well for about 35 divisions.

    FrodoB: Indeed. A good story though.

    Baltasar: Hungary is dead set on being neutral, unfortunately. As for Ukraine, never considered that. I'm a conqueror.

    Sarayakat: I have given no thought to another AAR yet. No real thought at least. I probably will have one though.

    BlitzMartinDK: How would they land in my back? That's not possible.

    Forster: The war does not end quite yet, however. There remains more to do.

    Axe27: I don't think I've even researched them yet.

    BlitzMartinDK: Winter isn't a serious obstacle, given that the past three months have been winter.

    Lord Romanus II: Hehe, nowhere close to practicable nuking yet.

    Forster: Nope.

    Rensslaer: Indeed, indeed!

    I'll try to make updates a bi-weekly event now, so I'll try for Wednesday evening.
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  14. #2954
    Lt. General BlitzMartinDK's Avatar
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    "BlitzMartinDK: How would they land in my back? That's not possible."
    Invasion from india? -That is, if you take Baku, Turkey, Irak and the Germans push for their former posessions in india..I didn't say it was likely, did I?

    Winter? -what about the mud season? any effects from that to be expected? Good or Bad -for Italy, of curse..?

  15. #2955
    I was pleasantly surprised to see this AAR going still! If I recall correctly it's been about since HOI3's release practically?

    Keep up the great worth Myth!

  16. #2956
    Major Lamahorse's Avatar
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    I really like this AAR. It's all about strategy and it seems that your lack of manpower is the limiting factor. With Hungary staying neutral possibly another epic Balkan encirclement could be on the cards.

    But time may not be on your side. If D-Day comes, it might be tough. :P

  17. #2957
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    BlitzMartinDK: I haven't really noticed the mud. But then, maybe it's because I'm used to snow.

    messenger: Yep, posted a few days before.

    Lamahorse: I actually probably have the best free manpower in the game, at over 1000, but then again it's free, not invested in formations or anything.

    Update coming up!
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  18. #2958
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    The Year of Ruin
    Part 7: Withdrawal I, March 14 – March 25, 1945

    If you listen to many historians, war is a neat activity and everything is laid out for the commanders to see. There is no fog of war, there is no uncertainty, and there is sometimes even no friction. Campaigns are waged, battles are fought and withdrawals undertaken much like clockwork. Real war is about as far from this sort of omniscient historical retrospective as can it can possibly be. The true import of events can only be understood in hindsight; commanders on the ground and politicians at the time can never grasp current events in all their complexity. This is doubly true when events are abstract entities. Mussolini could not imagine at the beginning of hostilities with the Soviet Union that this event would precede three years of incredibly costly fighting with a lame-duck German ally, yet perceiving this would have been far easier for him than a theoretical threshold such as the Clausewitzian culminating point of victory. The previous two weeks had been judged through the lens of history and hindsight. The eleven days between March 14 and March 25 indicate exactly the sort of advantage historians have over actual strategic actors.

    This is to say that the Italians did not perceive that they had already passed their culminating point of victory until much later. The drive on Moscow had been blunted, yes, but six other Italian armies were capable of strong offensive action. Perhaps most tellingly, in the Kazan, Baistrocchi’s army was still completely geared for an offensive. The only Soviet presence on his front was a lonely Soviet headquarters and he was driving his formations toward Stalingrad. He was also moving to erase even the weak Soviet presence that there was in front of him. Other divisions were marching toward the Caspian Sea and, ultimately, Astrakhan. The Caucasus had been effectively wiped clean by Amadeo Duca degli Abruzzi. These generals knew the bad news from Bastico’s front but it did not concern them, not yet. The Soviets might be tumbling southward, but they were still weeks away and these two armies together were strong enough to put up a stiff fight. The delivery of supplies was becoming slightly erratic and occasionally formations would be held up by logistical failure, but such inconveniences did not of themselves spell out defeat or culminating point.


    Baistrocchi’s advance on Stalingrad.

    The strategic situation still seemed hopeful to commanders on the ground even closer to the Moscow thrust. Bastico had been blunted, his vanguard corps was in headlong withdrawal from the salient and one division even seemed to be in danger of destruction, but the Soviet presence in western Ukraine was in grave danger of encirclement should Pintor push forward and link up with the Germans. With Graziani on his medium right and Guzzoni on his far left, this seemed a plausible plan of action to stabilize the front even should Bastico and perhaps Vercellino be pushed up to several hundred kilometers back. Graziani and Vercellino, for their parts, were still fighting offensive battles, and on favorable conditions as well. Herein lay the seeds of another potential thrust on Moscow, from the west rather than the south and east. If the Soviets could be trapped in western Ukraine and then their eastern fronts rolled up from the west, then the Soviet army would be fractured into three major pieces and a number of more minor ones.


    The dangerous Moscow situation.

    The Italians were still achieving encirclements, still destroying entire Soviet formations. Plavsk was the site at which a Soviet armored division and an infantry formation met their end, and this was not the only such victory. The Italians were still winning battles. What sort of withdrawal can be occurring if those withdrawing were not just winning battles, but actually winning offensive battles? Guzzoni was still making inroads into western Ukraine; the Soviet positions there were becoming increasingly bent out of shape. The Germans were also doing their, however small, part, at least in pushing forward the front in places where there were neither Italian nor any Soviet formations. Encirclements, victories and advancing save in a few isolated sectors. This is not the stuff a withdrawal is made of.


    The overall situation on the 23rd of March.

    As is its wont, the change, when it came, burst upon the Italians with breathtaking rapidity. It was literally in the space of two days that the entire situation changed. The blame lay, unsurprisingly, with the Germans. On the 23rd they were forging ahead or, at the very least, holding the line so that the Italians could maneuver and advance. By the evening of the 25th, all German units in the Ukraine were in full withdrawal. The Germans were pulling out of this joint offensive venture with the Italians. The Italians still fielded seven armies, but these armies on their own could not cover the entire front. Even with German assistance, this was impossible. Without German assistance, it became even more so. The causes of the German withdrawal are not clear to this day. Undoubtedly it sprung from the unbalanced mind of their Fuhrer and the German generals themselves lacked the wit and will to defy his twisted purposes.


    The Germans, withdrawing!

    The result was, of course, immediate and obvious. The Italians were to be left unsupported, deep in enemy territory along a front they could not possibly man. Mussolini bubbled with rage, but had no choice. The successes of the previous eleven days, with a casualty rate better than in a long time at just over eight thousand one hundred Italians and over twenty-two thousand four hundred Soviets—and not to mention formations destroyed—these successes were thrown away into the wind, to be lost. There was naught that could be done. The Italians would have to withdraw as well.
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  19. #2959
    Field Marshal Baltasar's Avatar
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    I bet the Führer saw that the Italians would be able to annex Russia, hence the order to withdraw and deny the Italians that triumph

    You need the Hungarians!

  20. #2960
    Captain Axe27's Avatar
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    And this is why relying on the AI is a bad idea.

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