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Thread: Explorations in Strategy - Italy at War

  1. #661
    Finally caught up on this great AAR, makes me want to buy HOI3, though only if it's compatible with osX... can't be arsed to sit behind ma desktop no more

    Very interesting how you describe the gameplay and I love the roleplaying / historical stuffs. This is a deffinate suscribe, and lurk, with the occasional comments.

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  2. #662
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    Gladiator: That's quite an interesting anecdote about Graziani.

    Maj. von Mauser: Bergonzolli is the commander of my one four brigade division, the three motorized brigade-one armored car brigade division in the desert.

    teamgene: That's true.

    Krogzar: Thank you, always glad to meet my readers.

    I'l try to have an update for tomorrow night! Also, vote!
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  3. #663
    The crazy little mushroom billy bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladiator View Post
    Really? I thought Caesar was better than Scipio...

    About Graziani... Some real historical data. After Ethiopia annexion, he was appointed Governor of Abissinia. He started showing some... hmmm... psychological problems. When Mussolini asked him if all was fine, he said his shape was the best ever, and to demostrate it, he sent a photo of himself fully naked, standing up on one foot, with open arms, and with some weights on both hands....

    Nothing similar to Scipio or Caesar... Generals with real abilities and charisma.
    Hey, I just use him all the time for my armies. Its the mustache I think.
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  4. #664
    Quote Originally Posted by teamgene View Post
    You would have to rate Scipio's oponents higher than Caesar's.
    Scipio fought Carthaginians, while Caesar fought Romans (and Gauls and Helvetians and etc. etc. etc.). Caear was clearly better.

  5. #665
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    billy bob: I dunno, for some reason I always seem to use Pintor instead. Maybe because Graziani was so rather incompetent in real life.

    dublish: Ooooh a challenge! I'd rather not have a historical debate here though.

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  6. #666
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    Hopefully, Graziani will get his chance on western front, when Mussolini will start dreaming to get French colonies...
    Great AAR so far!
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  7. #667
    Good stuff!

    I prefer Graziani to Pintor myself. Graziani was much more colorful.

    -- Beppo

  8. #668
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    Gladiator: Graziani does get his chance, but it'll be a while.

    Beppo: I've just taken a liking to Pintor. Maybe because he's got offensive doctrine.

    Update coming up! Also, go forth and vote!
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  9. #669
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    The Year of Aggression
    Part 8: Operation Anicius Gallus IV, August 26 – September 10, 1939

    This period of two weeks saw the main area of Yugoslav resistance completely encircled, and then broken in twain. Italian forces reached the outskirts of Sarajevo and Belgrade and were in positions to either march in potentially undefended or were actively fighting already. Elsewhere, however, heavy Yugoslav resistance was still causing problems and the only promise of quicker success in these battles came from the arrival of Bastico’s 2a Armata.

    With what seemed to be most of the Yugoslav army rapidly being encircled around a constellation of towns and cities in north central Yugoslavia and pressured by elements of Roatta’s and Gambara’s corps from the northwest, Italian spearheads continued their forward thrusts into the heart of Yugoslavia. With casualties mounting around the pocket, the unsuccessful fight for Bosanska Dubica alone costing just over 350 Italian casualties for 420 Yugoslav deaths, Italian leaders were eager to bypass this dense network of resistance and move on to the important cities of Yugoslavia, particularly Belgrade, in an attempt to break Yugoslav will to resist in that way. To help ensure the well behavior of the Yugoslav near-pocket, two of Bastico’s divisions were already on their way south toward Bosanska Gradiska, a position directly behind the main line of resistance and would cut Yugoslav lines of communication. At the same time, Bitossi was marching southward and was anticipated to link up with Caracciolo di Feroleto, who had bypassed the main Yugoslav resistance by passing directly to its south. Mancinelli, meanwhile, had received orders as to the location of his final destination. It was Belgrade.


    Italian spearheads pushing forward, including one division toward Belgrade.

    By the end of August, the pocket had been made. Bosanska Gradiska was under assault but not fallen yet. The first cut to the Yugoslav lines of communication and supply were by Bitossi, who had linked up with Caracciolo di Feroleto. Bitossi was then directed back into the pocket to assault it from the rear. Caracciolo di Feroleto received new orders that extended his line of march. He was to move to the southern suburbs of Belgrade and ready his division for any supporting action that might be required in taking that city. Additionally, Messe had finally reached Albania and was moving through it toward the southernmost Yugoslav city of any interest, the provincial capital of Skopje. Yugoslavia’s major towns and cities were either already under Italian control or were soon to be under Italian assault.


    Operations in Yugoslavia continuing with success.

    The fall of Bosanska Novi forced the defenders of the pocket to fall back out of Bosanska Dubica, whose position became too exposed to warrant holding. The pocket was under attack from three sides: Bitossi was assaulting Slavonski Brod with success; the two divisions of Bastico’s 2a Armata were near to breaking Yugoslav resistance at Bosanska Gradiska. Unfortunately, the battle for Sanski Most was going somewhat slowly and roughly for the involved units. Ultimately though, all three battles would end with success, and high Yugoslav casualties. By the time Bosanska Gradiska fell on the 7th, nearly 180 Italians gave their lives, but this sacrifice was greatly outweighed by the deaths of over 1,160 Yugoslav soldiers. Sanski Most was, in fact, the next to fall, on the 11th, with nearly 600 Italian and over 1,500 Yugoslav casualties. Except in these places, however, the Yugoslav forces became very slippery and the southern front of the Yugoslav pocket began an attempt to break out to the south, through empty countryside, and restore communications with the rest of Yugoslavia.


    Heavy fighting around the pocket, and the beginning of the Yugoslav breakout.

    On the 5th, the battle for Belgrade began. Mancinelli with two brigades began attacking on a front half that of the Yugoslav defenders, who mustered three brigades and an army headquarters. It proved to be a slow battle from the start, though Caracciolo di Feroleto was nearing the positions to the south that he was to take up in preparation for aiding in the attack. By the 10th, he had reached those positions and was readying his division for battle. Messe had occupied Skopje and was himself marching north, ready to link up with Caracciolo di Feroleto on his right flank and invest Belgrade from yet another direction if necessary. The bloody battle of Sanski Most was nearly ended, though Slavonski Brod was becoming a difficult position to crack. The northern Yugoslav forces, based around this town, were isolated in their own turn but the southern units had effected their escape. The headlong Italian offensive behind the pocket was in danger.


    The front in Yugoslavia, a veritable mess and very reminiscent of Swiss cheese.

    By the end of this period, a considerable part of the Yugoslav army had managed to extricate itself from the difficult position of being encircled, primarily due to the slow progress being made in liquidating the pocket due to heavy resistance at key towns and the lack of Italian units to hold the southern length of front closed. As a balancing factor, Bastico’s 2a Armata had during this time completed its conquest of the north and its forces, admittedly amounting to only four divisions, were either actively participating in the fighting to the south or were nearly ready to participate. Frattini’s division, little mentioned, was effectively guarding Pintor’s rampaging headquarters, which were heading toward the undefended city of Sarajevo, hoping to reach it before Yugoslav units did. The offensive was still going well.
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  10. #670
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    You have what, 10 divisions against the whole Yugoslav Army, which does not have more than 15 divs?
    HoI3 is won by epic manoeuvres, not by sheer power as it was in HoI2...

  11. #671
    Yugoslavia is at the breaking point. Surely this mess of splintered territory and weakened military can't hold up for much longer than another week.

    Also, even though you are using relatively few divisions, you have done a great job at accomplishing the same amount of work as a much larger force. I'm amazed how many breakthroughs you have, and you are able to keep the Yugoslav military so controlled!

  12. #672
    Excellent job, especially since we can see its few divisions and few brigades in the divisions. Yet, they are making it a lightning war, which should be over soon.

  13. #673
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    Enewald: I actually have no idea how large the Yugoslav army is. 15-20 divisions is probably a good estimate though. And yeah, epic maneuvers are fun.

    Kman211: Well, the southern bit there isn't that controlled, given that they've broken out of the encirclement. They'll no doubt make nuisances of themselves.

    teamgene: Yep. There's absolute time and there's relative time. Absolute time accords with the months, seasons and years. In this way, infantry is slow. Relative time accords with the enemy's plans and movements, and as John Boyd notes, you can get inside the enemy's OODA loop (orientation-observation-decision-action IIRC) and thus keep him off balance.

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  14. #674
    Major Jorath13's Avatar
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    Aw! Missed the four week deadline. Oh well, there's other battles to dream over - Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey...
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  15. #675
    Comte de Purchase Merrick Chance''s Avatar
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    You should take this to mean that you have to build a more mobile force. If it took a month to take Yugoslavia with (what percent?) of your forces, the rest of the Balkans, Spain, France, and finally the defence against the USSR will be difficult indeed.
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  16. #676
    Or, you should look at building some CCNN militia divisions for maneuvering purposes and helping to close gaps in encirclements?

    -- Beppo

  17. #677
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Those sneaky Yugoslavs! Nice work, nevertheless.

    Sometimes you just can't quite keep them contained. But the fact they had to extricate themselves in the first place still means you maintain the advantage.

    Keep it up!

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  18. #678
    myth, hate to beat a dead horse, as i mentioned this early in your AAR:

    INF, INF, MIL is the secret!!!

    im wondering if your divisions had a bit more punch and/or manpower if you would even be taking as many casualties as you are.

    still good though. shame about the lack of containment on the encirclement.
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  19. #679
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    Screw MIL, Italy is to proud for that!

    You are still doing a good job, considering the forces you are working with. I a little dissapointed in the success of the Yugoslav Breakout, as it shall be known to History. You need to eliminate those divisions in the north quick!
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  20. #680
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    Jorath13: Some campaigns are always more friction-ridden than others.

    Merrick Chance': Not necessarily. A mobile force would take a long time to make effective, given that I've not done any relevant research at all. I'm avoiding mobile forces by deliberate policy choice. Italy is a state of relatively few resources compared to Germany or the United States.

    Beppo: Nah, I'll pass on that too.

    Rensslaer: Hehe yeah, those Yugoslav units managed to get out of a tight spot, but they're still in quite some trouble. Victory is still in sight.

    The Balbinater: I'm not a fan of militia, really. Plus militia wouldn't work too well in an expeditionary setting, I don't think. :P

    Maj. von Mauser: Hehe, success is a relative notion in this case. They merely had to walk through empty fields and whatnot to actually "break out." There was nothing pressuring them from any direction. Their success will be lost in the Italian victories to come.

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