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Thread: Explorations in Strategy - Italy at War

  1. #1621
    Lt. General BlitzMartinDK's Avatar
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    What about moving up those westernmost HQ's a bit.. -ohh..you have played all of 1942 allready ...Good advice coming a bit late, then

  2. #1622
    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    womble: A fair proportion of my units are already battered from the heavy fighitng just to close the pocket. A massive continuation like that would probably break them.
    I'm on tenterhooks to see how this pans out then, because it looks like the Russians are going to force a continuation at some point fairly soon, even if you can smash the pocket flat and resume your rear-Dacian defense stance.

  3. #1623
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    Yeah, me too womble. The problems of having no reserve and no breathing space for any divisions to recover is a massive challenge in trying to reform the Dacian line.

  4. #1624
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    Enewald: I don't think that would be such a good idea. I also don't think it'd be possible when my divisions are already only two brigades.

    BlitzMartinDK: Maybe.

    womble: Yeah, this operation clearly showcases friction and the will of the enemy.

    Jemisi: 'Tis why I called it a gamble.
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  5. #1625
    Quote Originally Posted by Myth View Post
    Enewald: I don't think that would be such a good idea. I also don't think it'd be possible when my divisions are already only two brigades.

    BlitzMartinDK: Maybe.

    womble: Yeah, this operation clearly showcases friction and the will of the enemy.

    Jemisi: 'Tis why I called it a gamble.
    Bearing in mind the title of the AAR, do you have any conclusions from your explorations so far? End-42 is about half way through the historical span of the war; would that be a good time to assess the successes of your explorations as you see 'em?

  6. #1626
    Lt. General BlitzMartinDK's Avatar
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    I would guess to few landunits, and too many ships

  7. #1627
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzMartinDK View Post
    I would guess to few landunits, and too many ships
    aye, I'd be interested in this placed in a context ... if I understand the theory, Myth is in danger of losing control of the strategic situation as he can't impose himself in place (the Soviets are too strong) or time (there is nowhere to take the war to?)

  8. #1628
    Field Marshal Maj. von Mauser's Avatar
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    Interesting to see how the Soviets try to save that pocket.
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  9. #1629
    Lt. General Jemisi's Avatar
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    I think we will get that review in time.

  10. #1630
    General Forster's Avatar
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    It would appear the Germans have screwed him for his actions elsewhere by leaving him hung out there by himself.

  11. #1631
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    womble: Yeah I can do something like that, throw it in as part of this year's conclusion. *nod*

    BlitzMartinDK: Not too many ships, just too few land units.

    loki100: Hehe.

    Maj. von Mauser: They're probably not thinking of the pocket too much, to be honest.

    Jemisi: Yep.

    Forster: Nonsense, the Germans are just incompetent as always!

    No update tonight I'm afraid. Full afternoon, and this morning I'll be taking an important call (for me) from the Latvian MoD. Update will come tomorrow evening.
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  12. #1632
    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    The Year of Upheaval
    Part 5: The Gamble in the East V, January 29 – February 10, 1942

    With the close of the pocket on January 28, the decisive part of the operations in Dacia began. It would be during this period of twelve days that would decide the fate of Dacia. The two Italian armies that had closed the pocket were struggling to master the situation both in front of and behind them. Behind them stood an estimated half dozen divisions, including an armored division, and a headquarters. Before them pressed Soviet reinforcements whose numbers were swelling daily, if not hourly.

    Guzzoni in the south had yet again redeployed his forces, perceiving that the events in the north in the last days of January had presaged the closing of the pocket and that his task had become, rather than fending off adventurous Soviet formations, shrinking the encirclement from the south. With his three divisions, of which only one was combat ready, he did not have much chance in combat but the events in the north had begun pulling Soviet divisions northward to break the ring that surrounded them. Thus he was moving simply into empty space. In the north, meanwhile, the battle of Onesti still raged. By the 2nd of February it was consuming six Soviet divisions, and a further one in reserve, as well as eight Italian divisions, with two in reserve. The Soviets formations were battered were suffering major casualties, but so too were the Italians. Onesti would become the pivotal point on the Italian ring separating central and southern Dacia from its northern regions. In the end, within another four days, the Italians would finally triumph and take the town from the Soviets. The cost, however, was high: over five thousand two hundred Italians and five thousand six hundred Soviets died in that one battle alone. Hundreds more were to die in later Soviet attacks on those same positions.


    The battle of Onesti, and the overall situation on February 2nd.

    By the 4th of February the Soviets were pressing the Italian ring at various points on the front, despite the battle for Onesti which was still raging and sucking nearby units into the maelstrom. At Comrat, Major General Ferrari Orsi with two infantry brigades was forced to defend against a Soviet attack comprising three armored and three infantry brigades. Comrat was to become a crisis in the Italian defense, and the far eastern end of the Italian front would be sucked into the defense of Comrat. The Soviets had played their hand well. West of Comrat, all Italian formations were either involved in Onesti or holding the from by the Hungarian border, too far away to be of any possible aid. Behind Comrat, Bastico’s third corps, involved in the eastward sweep inside the pocket toward the Black Sea, had become bogged down against desperate Soviet defensive fights. At Ostrov, a half-strength Soviet division of three infantry brigades would hold the Italians for three days and inflict five hundred and fifty casualties while only taking three hundred and thirty themselves. In the south, meanwhile, Guzzoni’s three divisions were advancing against no resistance.


    The full situation in the evening of February 6.

    Late in the evening on the 6th, the Soviets threw another attack against the Italian ring, at Sarata on the Black Sea coast. Six Soviet brigades, albeit two thousand men short, assaulted two Italian brigades. A Soviet attempt to retake Onesti was repulsed with a few hundred casualties, cumulatively, including on the Soviet flank at Gheorgheni. It was at this point, late on the 10th, that Mussolini, conferring with Badaglio and his army commanders, decided that the game was up. The Italian ring was cracking. Dacia could not be saved. Istanbul would have to be abandoned, and the entirety of the eastern half of the empire would be left to the Soviets. A massive withdrawal was to begin, to a new frontline. It would be a line shorter even than the old Dacian front, and one where four armies would make a stand rather than two. It would be in northern Illyria.


    Pintor beginning the withdrawal from Istanbul and the Straits.

    Mussolini’s decision was quickly vindicated. The Italians were bloodily thrown out of Sarata, suffering nearly twelve hundred casualties whereas the Soviets lost only seven hundred. Simultaneously, Comrat fell. Twelve hundred and fifty Italians fell for that town, as opposed to only five hundred Soviets. Their armored superiority and their strength of numbers were telling. The eastern half of the ring had completely and absolutely collapsed. Graziani ordered an evacuation to begin. The gamble had failed. Now the only task that remained was to salvage the battered 1a and 2a Armatas from the jaws of destruction. Onesti was under attack again, and the Soviets had already begun limited offensive operations northwestward out from the pocket.


    The withdrawal from Dacia had begun.

    It had been a gamble. Mussolini and all his commanders knew that the chances of success were far from guaranteed. Their hopes had reached their apex on January 29th, when the ring had closed and the pocket created. Their hopes had been destroyed by February 10th, when the eastern third of the Italian ring was shattered. All of a sudden, the Italians were in a terrible operational situation. It would take consummate skill to withdraw without loss.
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  13. #1633
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Hmm, those areas have never held properly against northern attackers... Goths failed also there.

  14. #1634
    Field Marshal Baltasar's Avatar
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    Damn, that lack of troops is really telling now. The next line has to hold, otherwise the Russians are right in Italy. Does the navy still earn it's wages by ground attacks? May be you should switch targets to infrastructure, so the Russians are a slowed down a bit.

    How about reinforcements? What troops do you dare to remove from other duties to plug your lines?

  15. #1635
    Lt. General Brad1's Avatar
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    Damn those Russian reinforcements! Well, it was a good plan, but you were lacking in troops for proper implementation of this plan. It looks like your gonna need to find a new way to start reducing the size of the Russian Army, before the Germans completely fail. Good Luck! I'll definitely keep following!

  16. #1636
    Colonel badger_ken's Avatar
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    exciting! I was hoping that your air superiority would hold the Soviets in place - was it just stretched too thin?

  17. #1637
    Finn/Turk! OneArmed's Avatar
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    wow I'm about halfway through here, just found this AAR.

    thanks, it's very well written and entertaining!

  18. #1638
    Lt. General BlitzMartinDK's Avatar
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    It's not a question of daring anymore. If he doesn't get some fresh troops for the meatgrinder, Italy wil speak Russian in 6 months...

  19. #1639
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badger_ken View Post
    exciting! I was hoping that your air superiority would hold the Soviets in place - was it just stretched too thin?
    other problem - and I noticed this when I was on the receiving end of a lot of Japanese CAGs, is that they are not that destructive when applied to land combat - either to attack directly or via infrastructure. So all that carrier based airpower won't do much real damage to the Soviet ground attack.

  20. #1640
    Lt. General anweRU's Avatar
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    Aye, CAG's do ~ one-fourth to one-fifth the damage. I might start a new Italian game once 1.4 comes out. I just had to abandon an HoI2 Armaggedon 1.2 campaign due to crashing-while-saving... This time I won't ursue CVs but concentrate on BBs and army units.

    I'll also have to see how Myth survives the Red onslaught. Interestingly, Germany was exceedingly successful in my 1.3 Japan campaign.

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