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Thread: Explorations in Strategy - Italy at War

  1. #1341
    Lt. General BlitzMartinDK's Avatar
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    Well. I still think it might have been worth it to hold Crimea. If only for propaganda purposes! ..And you wouldn't need to hold that crossing to the east, as long as you have a navy patrolling the area. Might lure the soviet fleet out to be pounded (if it isn't sunk already), and gain you some experience for your carriers. But of course you can also do this later..Invade and hold..

  2. #1342
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    coolluigi007: Thing is that I really didn't pay attention to the Germans at all. I don't have any screenshots of them. The closest thing will be another full map screenshot for the conclusion of this chapter.

    True Grit: Always glad to inspire others to do things!

    BlitzMartinDK: Unfortunately, propaganda doesn't have much worth in game.

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  3. #1343
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    The Year of Strategic Crisis
    Part 10: The Defense of Anatolia I, May 2 – June 16, 1941

    As compared to the trials and tribulations that Graziani, and to a lesser extent Bastico, went through during the one and a half months of late spring and early summer, the events that unfolded in Anatolia were nearly perfectly serene. During this time, Pintor realized that the logistical support he was receiving was inadequate for an offensive out of eastern Anatolia and through the Caucasus into the region between the Black and Caspian Seas. With this realization, he decided instead to pursue a defensive strategy in the middle of Anatolia.

    Such a defensive strategy would be abdicating control over the entire eastern half of Anatolia to the Soviet Union. Feeling that this could upset political leaders in Rome, Pintor marshaled strong arguments in defense of his strategy. Firstly, due to logistical reasons, he was unable to launch an offensive himself. Secondly, due to geographical reasons, even if he could, it would merely result in his army being dispersed over hundreds and hundreds of kilometers of frontage between the Black and Caspian Seas, resulting in a very weak defense and the likelihood that any Soviet counteroffensive would easily push the 7a Armata back into Anatolia, if Soviet operational skill did not manage to isolate and destroy it despite Pintor’s hypothetical best efforts. Thirdly, a defense so deep into Anatolia would ease Pintor’s supply problems by putting his army close to the supply depots at Ankara and Istanbul, while at the same time greatly exacerbating Soviet logistical difficulties, which themselves would have to deal with the rugged and sparse nature of the logistical network in eastern Anatolia. These difficulties would prevent the Soviets from massing overly large forces against Pintor’s army. Pintor spent the first three weeks of May redeploying his forces westward. His headquarters went to Ankara, with corps headquarters forward of that city. In the north, the defense would be made among the mountains and rivers.


    Gambara deploying his corps toward the envisioned defensive positions.

    In the south, Roatta would have a harder task, as Pintor well knew. The river was to his rear, not to his front and among his positions as it was for Gambara. The terrain was also, to some extent, less mountainous than to the north. This was the sector Pintor was most worried about. There was some slight prospect for a defense in depth at least to behind the river in some parts of the front if absolutely necessary, but a full withdrawal to the river would create a gap between the front and the sea and would bend the entire front out of shape. Pintor would have to rely on a static defense and aggressive support actions to keep his defensive line secured.



    Pintor recognized that there were dangers to his plan. His forces would be stretched thin to cover the entirety of Anatolia from its Black Sea coast to its border with Syria. He would have no reserves. If he miscalculated and the Soviets were indeed able to bring up sufficient forces to the front to penetrate his lines and throw in sufficient and sufficiently mobile forces to exploit into the depths of western Anatolia, it was unlikely that the 7a Armata would survive the defeat. Beyond the local rear, there was no chain of advantageous positions further westward that would allow his eight divisions to cover the entire front. Furthermore, in a true war of maneuver against armies to whom Tukhachevskij’s doctrine of deep battle was still a fresh memory, even if under Stalin’s regime after 1938 an undesired one, his infantry divisions would be hard pressed to match the capabilities of their attackers. By the 16th of June, his defensive line, such as it was, was ready. The Soviets, meanwhile, began their long crawl forward across the rugged terrain and poor roads of eastern Anatolia.


    Pintor’s full defensive line across the Anatolian peninsula.

    Pintor could only remind his military and political superiors that every action in war was a gamble to some degree. He believed that his strategy offered the best chance of short-term integrity to the province of Anatolia. In the long-term, he reported to Badaglio and Mussolini, he would need reinforcements.
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  4. #1344
    Would hate to think what would happen if you lost Anatolia, that's obviously out of the question....right?

  5. #1345
    How are the Germans and your other allies doing? In this particular war you rely on them very much.
    The situation in Anatolia looks good unless the Soviets dont pull up more troops. What about conquering Syria and establishing a safe land connection to the palestina front?
    Honestly I didnt count with the turn of events in the southern Ukraine, I thought it will be a cakewalk to the Ural mountains.

  6. #1346
    Lt. General BlitzMartinDK's Avatar
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    If your navy is unoccupied at the moment, you might consider raids by invasion. You would just have to make sure, you could extraxt the troops by sea..just a division or two, marching into a port here and there...And then sailing away before the counterattack..might even add to the russian supply-problem in anatolia?

  7. #1347
    Lt. General Jemisi's Avatar
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    I think Pintor's army will hold the line. It may bend here or there if the Soviets manage any kind of concentration of forces, but with the mountain tracks as a supply route the enemy should be held up.

  8. #1348
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    Maj. von Mauser: Well, if the Soviets had a major heavy bomber air force, it might have been worth it to keep them away from Ploesti, but they don't so it's not.
    Wait! You're telling me that Hitler was wrong in his obsession with the Crimea?!?

    More on topic, your plan in Anatolia seems like a sensible gamble, given the tools and geography at your disposal. I wonder how hard the Russians will push there - I guess it will depend primarily on A) the Germans and B) how badly the AI wants to punish you for ravaging the Ukraine.

  9. #1349
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    Mozla: Is it?

    foriavik: Why would you ever think it would be a cakewalk?

    BlitzMartinDK:There are only five (six?) ports on the Black Sea, three/four of which are mine already (one in Turkey, one in Bulgaria, one/two in Romania) and until Crimea is reconquered I still have Sevastopol as well. That leaves Batum. Besides, what troops would I have available for such raids?

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    Stuyvesant: Indeed, we'll see.
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  10. #1350
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    Let's get to the part when Myth gets conquered already. :-)
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  11. #1351
    Crazy Canuck! True Grit's Avatar
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    The defence you've set up seems quite reasonable to me. Italy vs USSR = be conservative more often than not. If you're of a mind to hold in place for a while, perhaps letting the Germans apply pressure to the north is your best bet. I'm sure they'll continue to stack the front of your lines, but if the Germans are successful, especially in their southern line of attack, you could be in a fine position to dictate when/where the engagement finally happens. Who knows, if the Germans can draw off enough reserves to their area of attack, you could trap Soviet forces with more of those ambitious Italian amphibious assaults in the east end of Anatolia. I would imagine the proper situation would take months to develop though.
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  12. #1352
    Field Marshal Maj. von Mauser's Avatar
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    Well, we will see how this goes.

    How many Armies do you have? 7? It seems like I haven't heard about all of them. Are there any you think would reinforce Pintor?
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  13. #1353
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    Anatolia is rough terrain to fight a modern war. However,you would be in deep trouble with those deployments in real life, as the mountains run E-W, giving the Soviets several channels to attack your flimsy defenses. Too bad HoI3 doesn't seem to take into account several-province long valleys...

    I take it the Turks haven't been rising up against their occupiers? The Italians were the first to abandon their Anatolian adventure & leave in the Turkish War of Independence (1919-22)...

  14. #1354
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    delra: You're quite bloodthirsty, aren't you?

    True Grit: Hehe, a landing at Batum and dash southward would be an enormous logistical undertaking.

    Maj. von Mauser: Not seven, five. I originally had seven, but remember that I amalgamated a couple. I've got these three armies against the Soviets, Vercellino's in the Middle East and Grossi's in Spain. The only reinforcements Pintor will get will be new formations.

    anweRU: Yes, I can see that big east-west valley in the middle of Anatolia. I've not had any uprisings in Turkey yet IIRC. I've had one in Greece, one in Spain, one in Illyria, maybe one in Dacia. But not much on the whole, really.

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  15. #1355
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myth;10627756
    [b
    Maj. von Mauser:[/b] Not seven, five. I originally had seven, but remember that I amalgamated a couple. I've got these three armies against the Soviets, Vercellino's in the Middle East and Grossi's in Spain. The only reinforcements Pintor will get will be new formations.
    Are any of those new formations on the way? There's obviously lots of places a couple of new divisions could help out.

  16. #1356
    Master of Orion delra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    delra: You're quite bloodthirsty, aren't you?
    I really like to see AAR authors suffAAR. Especially Americans intercepting transports with a panzer army group travelling to Canada kind of suffering. :-)

    And since I always left Romania and Turkey as puppets, I'd really like to see how it works out when you annex them and have to handle Soviets on your own.
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  17. #1357
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    Jemisi: Hopefully! As you may recall, in 1940 I finally began expanding my army a bit, so the fruits of that decision will soon be falling from the trees into my lap. Or something, I took that metaphor a bit too far.

    delra: Well, we'll see how I do as the year advances.

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  18. #1358
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    The current odds between the forces in Anatolia look amazing.

  19. #1359
    Field Marshal Baltasar's Avatar
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    Actually, you could as well leave Anatolia completely. First of all, it's much easier to defend at the Dardanelles and secondly, you'll be very hard pressed defending against the crawling Russians coming over the mountains in the east if you try to hold on to Anatolia. No reserves at all and very thinly streched forces... smells like a plan for a desaster.

  20. #1360
    Quote Originally Posted by delra View Post
    And since I always left Romania and Turkey as puppets, I'd really like to see how it works out when you annex them and have to handle Soviets on your own.
    If you've got just a bit more (okay, maybe I had a lot more... including an army of 3 MOT + SPART, and about 30 brigades of German Expeditionary forces) land power than Myth in this AAR, Russia's handleable if you've just got Romania annexed. I gave up on sea power when the Brits sent a 6-BB fleet to slap me about for sinking all their other ships and the French navy. Having to split between Dacia and Anatolia is going to stretch any Italian army...

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