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Thread: Explorations in Strategy - Italy at War

  1. #1161
    General ColossusCrusher's Avatar
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  2. #1162
    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    womble: Deep breaths.
    I actually wasn't ranting, just yet, as I hadn't, at that point reached the surrender of the Soviets... I was rehearsing the tirade, though. To no purpose, as it turns out: I managed to get the USSR to surrender to me!!!

    [does a little dance of joy]

    I sat there looking at the "Russia surrenders: Annex or Puppet" screen for a good five minutes, hardly daring to believe my eyes. Finally, some reward for taking Moscow and Stalingrad! And I didn't even have to draw a line of Italian territory North-South so that German forces crossing it would be conquering on my behalf for once...

    It's (mostly) green from Casablanca to Vladivostok and Vichy to Luanda... I have to thank the Germans, Japanese and Manchurians for some convenient expeditionary forces. Spain next. If they won't give me transit rights to get to Gib, I'll just have to carve myself a corridor. And since they won't give up anyway, I'll just have to conquer the whole country. 36 Divisions of Russian Front veterans should do it, don't you think?

  3. #1163
    Colonel badger_ken's Avatar
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    long-time lurker, enjoying the thread (and I don't even own HOI3)!

    Just want to say, and I hope you take this the right way , that the Spanish backstab actually makes this a lot more interesting - hard-fought victories are a lot more fun.

    Good luck!

  4. #1164
    I love a good twist and this certainly counts. I am really interested in seeing how you react. I think Franco is going to regret his actions....

  5. #1165
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    Lapce: The likelihood of them destroying my army is pretty small. As for what I'd do in a situation where I'm stuck between the USA to the west and the USSR to the east...well, I'd be largely safe from the USA, given my control of the entries into the Med, so I'd try to wage an elastic defense against the Soviets until they finally decide that moving against me amounts to mass suicide.

    Sokraates: Well, that too.

    quetzilla: Maybe...

    ColossusCrusher: Yep.

    womble: Sounds like you're having a good Italy game. As for your Russian Front veterans...I dunno. They may not be enough to smack the Spanish up a bit.

    badger_ken: Oh, I completely agree. If the enemy's not fighting back...well, what's the point, really?

    Emerjent: He may do.

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  6. #1166
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    The Year of Strategic Crisis
    Part 2: Operation Valeria Victrix I, January 15 – January 26, 1941

    It was time for the Regio Esercito to unearth its old plans. In 1938, after its intervention in Spain during the Civil War, Field Marshal Nasi had drawn up with Generals Pintor and Grossi an operational plan called Valeria Victrix, after one of the Roman legions that participated in the final conquest of Iberia and the establishment of the provinces of Hispania under Roman suzerainty. The plan as conceived was comprised of two components: a defensive component in which Grossi’s army south of Cartagena and Pintor’s army north of it would wage an elastic defense to wear down and perchance destroy Spanish formations. Once the Spanish were weak enough, the plan was then to go onto the offensive and fundamentally destroy the Spanish army. Valeria Victrix as it was originally conceived did not anticipate taking any more territory, save for a strip along the Iberian east coast, to take Valencia and Tarragona and ease Italian logistics.

    The strategic situation was different three years previously, however. Nasi’s army group was comprised of two armies rather than the one it fielded in January 1941. The small southern bridgehead was undefended at that time, whereas by this second war Gibraltar had been taken and had to be held to protect the Mediterranean from an even greater Allied presence than that already in Tel Aviv. The defense was thus in a very difficult situation. Rather than one army dedicated to defending Cartagena from the south and the other from the north, there was one corps in the north and half a corps in the south, with the other half of this latter corps holed up in Gibraltar. Indeed, by the 21st of January the southern bridgehead had fallen, save for the Rock. Two Italian divisions were surrounded by at least four Spanish divisions, each on its own probably a regiment larger than either of the Italian divisions, and amongst these four besieging divisions there was an armored division to boot. The situation seemed grim.


    Gibraltar, isolated.

    Fortunately, one strategic asset that Italy had in abundance was a flexibility born of uncommitted armies, interior lines of communication and, above all, sea power. Also by the morning of the 21st, Campioni’s carrier fleet was steaming off the coast, just over the horizon from Valencia. It was keeping in port the last Spanish light cruiser, the ARE Baleares, as well as a flotilla of destroyers. The first relay of Italian transports had also arrived in theater, depositing half of Pintor’s army, Roatta’s corps, at Cartagena. These new forces were moving southward to replace the half-corps in that area, which itself would be budged closer to the center, which was simply a gaping hole leading straight to a cluster of headquarters in and around Cartagena (and there were indeed a great many headquarters here: Nasi’s army group headquarters, Grossi’s and Pintor’s army headquarters and also Roatta’s corps headquarters, though this last was in transit to the south as well).


    Hispania shrinking, but reinforcements marching to their area of operations.

    By the afternoon on that same day, Da Zara’s carrier fleet had also reached the theater. Positioning his ships to the south of the Balearic Islands, his warplanes were soon launching strikes on the port of Eivissa. Da Zara was eager to blood his new command in real combat operations. Unfortunately, while gaining experience, his pilots failed to sink either the light cruiser or any of the destroyers. This may have been because, so eager to participate in the planned hammer blow against the Mediterranean Fleet as Da Zara was, he forgot to find a commander for his carrier wings. Nevertheless, despite this small oversight and subsequent incapacity, the defense of Hispania was well in hand. Valeria Victrix was being quickly updated and, indeed, somewhat improvised by Nasi, Grossi, Pintor and Bastico.


    Da Zara’s leaderless carrier planes striking Spanish ships at Eivissa.

    Of the three armies in the east, two went west. These were Pintor’s 7a Armata, which was still Italy’s elite and, further, had experience in Spain already, and Bastico’s 2a Armata, which by this point was Italy’s second army in terms of experience and prestige. Graziani’s 1a Armata was destined to remain in Romania during this crisis. While half of Pintor’s army was redeploying itself to the southern sector of front, Bastico’s army went north. Indeed, it was not actually going to Cartagena. Instead, it was to make a landing at Valencia in the face of Spanish resistance. This resistance was comprised of only one division—three regiments—but this was potentially enough to stymie a difficult landing. Bastico’s entire army was going ashore here, and its only support came from the diversionary activities of a single division of Grossi’s army, the only in the vicinity that was within range to help, from the south.


    Bastico’s landing at Valencia.

    By the 25th, Gambara’s corps was finished with its duties in Cyprus and was redeployed and ready for action in Spain. Gambara was not, however, destined to wage war alongside Roatta. Gambara achieved semi-detached status here, still being part of Pintor’s army but taking his orders directly from Nasi for the time being. This was the result of sheer distance, and the independence of Gambara’s mission vis-à-vis Pintor. Gambara was inserted into Tarragona, the final of the three Spanish ports on their Mediterranean coast. It was a landing made against no resistance. Indeed, there was not a Spanish unit within two hundred miles of the city. Gambara had the opportunity of exploding across the entire north of Spain.


    Gambara’s corps, having landed at Tarragona.

    Operation Valeria Victrix was now in play; all its constituent pieces were in action. Italy held command of the sea, with the minuscule Spanish fleet declining to make an appearance, due to the inevitability of its destruction. Grossi’s army was shielding Cartagena until Bastico’s army came ashore. Pintor’s army was already in action around Vicar in the south, and Gambara’s corps was firmly ashore at Tarragona. In a crisis, the forces for Valeria Victrix had grown immensely, and with these forces grew Mussolini’s intention to use them to solve the problem of Spain.
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  7. #1167
    Those scary divisions around Gibraltar are actually just individual brigades if you look closely. Even against just mini divisions, Gibraltar is urban terrain and has significant fortifications... they don't stand a chance.

    Oh, I forget, did you sink the spanish battleships back in the SCW intervention? because otherwise they're still around, just locked out of the med :P. I sank a number of british battleships with those two starters in my Spain game...

  8. #1168
    Second Lieutenant Ahriman's Avatar
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    Impressive work reacting to that Spanish DOW, on to Madrid! You'd better finish them off quickly so you can get troops back to Romania. I suspect there may be some angry Russians around in a few months time.

    How are the Germans doing coming down from southern France? You don't want them to get too much of the spoils. Although the narrow front and horrible supply problems will slow them down.
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  9. #1169
    Sergeant coolluigi007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ahriman View Post
    How are the Germans doing coming down from southern France? You don't want them to get too much of the spoils. Although the narrow front and horrible supply problems will slow them down.
    If Germany does do that, won't the providances go to Vichy France?

  10. #1170
    Second Lieutenant Ahriman's Avatar
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    Only if they're in the Axis, I didn't think they were.
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  11. #1171
    Sergeant coolluigi007's Avatar
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    Hmmm, wierd. I thought if you launched a attack from a allied country that country gets whatever territory you capture, and i though that they had some form of alliance with Germany, but i could be wrong.

  12. #1172
    Vichy doesn't have any Alliance with germany when it gets created. Besides, Germany has a border with spain after annexing france.

  13. #1173
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    Hi myth,

    you kept me entertained for the last couple of days reading your AAR. Thanks for that and good luck in Spain.
    Keep it up.

  14. #1174
    I think Franco's move was timely enough. Hopefully you can get the peninsula in hand before you need some of those troops back for the Eastern Front. I do think you ought to go ahead and DoW Portugal while you have the divisions in the right area.... unless they went Axis already and I missed that. Always possible.

    Keep up the good work, but how about another screenie of Spain with your planned offensive mapped out?

    -- Beppo

  15. #1175
    Corporal Meastro444's Avatar
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    Very imformative AAR, I have learned much from you, thanks .

  16. #1176
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    That was a nasty surprise. Are the British helping their unlikely ally?
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  17. #1177
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    quetzilla: So they are! I obviously didn't look close enough at the screenshot. As for Spain's BBs, I think I did sink one back in '38. Otherwise, they're somewhere where they can't get to me or me to them.

    Ahriman: Well the Germans are still fighting in Sweden and Norway at this moment so it'll take them a little while to bring down enough troops to be significant.

    coolluigi007: No, Germany has a border with Spain south of Bordeaux.

    Ahriman: Vichy's not, no.

    coolluigi007: What quetzilla said. *nod*

    quetzilla: Yep.

    Peasant-at-war: Thanks! Glad you're enjoying it!

    Beppo: Portugal's still neutral as far as I'm aware. But no screenie possible, for some reason I could only order divisions into adjacent provinces through the entire war. I think it may have had something to do with logistics, but that's assuming it's not a bug.

    Meastro444: Glad you like it!

    FlyingDutchie: No, they're not. Typical, really.
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  18. #1178
    Great work! This is the best HOI3 AAR I have read thus far.


    Seems you will have spain wrapped up in a few weeks/months


    Have you still got any troops on the iraq border?


    Keep up the good work.

    Eagerly awaiting update...

  19. #1179
    Quote Originally Posted by coolluigi007 View Post
    Hmmm, wierd. I thought if you launched a attack from a allied country that country gets whatever territory you capture, and i though that they had some form of alliance with Germany, but i could be wrong.
    Don't think Germany is allowed to move via Vichy in any case, so they'd have to fight through their 2-province land border with Spain, or fish some transports round to land at Cadiz. But you're mostly right; the exception being when your ally is also your puppet. Then you start taking territory for yourself once you cross the line.

  20. #1180
    I am the Law Sokraates's Avatar
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    Quite some action in the last update. You really seem to live by the credo: The best defense is offense. A full blown one with amphibious landings, too.

    Hopefully your forces in Gibraltar will be able to hold. Are you planning to reinforce them?
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