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Thread: Annals of the OKW- A 1936 Germany AAR

  1. #1
    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    Annals of the OKW- A 1936 Germany AAR

    Greetings. After my moderate success with my Demo AAR (see my sig)which functioned as a tutorial on the HQ AI system, I became intersted in playing a complete game as Germany using as much AI control of my armies as possible, just to see what the AI can do and how it responds to various objectives and so on.

    If you're confused on how to use the HQ AI of your armies, please read my quick tutorial and its comments, it should clear things up for you. This AAR will build upon that foundation and expand on it.

    We'll see how things develop, but this AAR will primarly be written in the form of fictional memoranda, battle plans, and campaign assessments by the various portions of the German armed forces. I'll discuss my strategic thought process, its actual implementation, and then analyze how close my plans came to actual fruition, how well they survived the first contact with the enemy.

    Throughout, this AAR will attempt at a realistic historical feel for my actions, gamey tactics, if they are discovered, will be avoided like the plague, and military operations will take into account a certain amount of realism even if the actual game mechanics fail to do so.

    I've long played HOI2 in this manner and have always found it to be extremely enjoyable, the HQ AI capabilities of HOI3 will permit me to take one step back into a more realistic role of, at most, determining the army structure, lines of advance, etc, rather than ordering every individual attack.

    While historical plausibility will be a goal, note that I am not going to go too far along this path. In other words, I will not make some of the same mistakes as Hitler did. For one thing, in this AAR, unlike in real history, OKW (the supposed supreme command of all German armed forces) will actually be an effective joint forces command, whereas in reality its influence over the airforce and navy was basically nonexistent, and it only controlled the army in the western theater, whereas the OKH (the supreme army command) ran the eastern theater.

    So, enough talking, here are the rules:

    1) Germany, 1936 GC, Normal Normal
    2) Goal? Well, victory, really. We'll see how far we get. At a minimum Russia must be reduced, France a puppet, and the UK and the USA unwilling or incapable of contesting our conquests.
    3) Rules: No human control below the army (third) level, and when at all possible I will try to have the AI operating from the army group level.

    The first post, which will be a meta strategical discussion, will follow in a few minutes. Hope you enjoy the AAR!
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    Corporal Polyphem's Avatar
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    I'll be following this one!

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    This seems interesting.
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    Subscribed. I really enjoyed the large-scale strategic planning in modded HoI2 where the combat system was finally tweaked into something more than the annoying "the epic day-long battle of Stalingrad"-joke of the vanilla version.

    Since HoI3 has an alright combat system straight from the box, I'll be definitively following this one.

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    Compulsive CommentatAAR stnylan's Avatar
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    Should be interesting. It's always nice to see explanatory AARs.
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    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    This will certainly be a good test of the AI. I'm interested!
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    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    From: The General Staff
    To: The Fuhrer

    Your reinstitution of conscription being now nine months in the past and the administrative restructuring of all the armed forces as a joint unified force referred to as the Wehrmacht now being three months old, we thought this an appropriate moment to pause for a bit and asses our current status at the beginning of 1936 make an analysis of the situation, and make some beginning recommendations.

    Before we can do this, however, we must understand how we arrived at our current situation in the first place.

    To do this, it will be necessary to go back a bit and analyize the last century of conflict, with an especial focus on the last great power war. Naturally, a full treatment of this subject can not be adequetly covered in a short memorandum, but we will attempt to hit the highlights. We are aware that alot of what we will mention here may seem obvious at first, but please be patient while we arrive at the implications of our analysis later in this document.

    The fundamental strategic challenge and opportunity of the German nation has remained unchanged since its unification: It is a centrally located great power, it is not ideally located as a sea power, and as such it has tended to suffer in the race for colonial influence during the last century. The fact that previous to this it was not unified and therefore had concerns much closer to home did not help. Its central location gives it the chance to project its power in multiple directions, but has also presented it with the challenge of fighting wars on multiple fronts and being overwhelmed by its strategic commitments.

    The German nation has tended to solve these problems by focusing on tatics and strategies that focus on a war of maneuver, position, and sudden and overwhelming advantage to defeat the enemy quickly.

    While these principles were not forgotten in the previous conflict the German Political and Military elite committed a number of errors, which we will briefly detail here:

    1) Lack of appreciation for how technological change would change the strategic situation. While the army had plans for how to deal with the clear advantage the defender had in the previous war, these efforts were insufficient.
    2) Over reliance on technology: Time and time again the military attempted to apply technological solutions to fundamentally strategic problems while forgetting core strategic principles. They also tended to forget that increased technological capacity did not eliminate the fog of war.
    3) Rigid plans: The Schlieffen Plan suffered from both of the above principles as well as not having much room for error, furthermore it had no real backup or contingencies.
    4) Strategic miscalculation: This, more than any of the other errors combined, is what proved our undoing. We underestimated the capacity of the Russians to withstand the rigors of war, while the Tsarist regime did eventually collapse, its collapse came to late to help the western front in time. Add to this underestimating the French will to resist, the British willingness to commit itself to the defense of its ally, and finally the american ability to effectivily intervene in the war.

    These errors compounded to create a war of attrition that was not to our advantage when we were facing multiple fronts, especially when suddenly faced with a fresh infusion of forces into the western theatre late in the war.

    Certain technological advances since the last war, we believe, have changed certain aspects of any potential future conflict, but we should take care not to forget these fundamental strategic realities.

    Our staff is currently in disagreement as to to what any future conflict will be diffrent, but these core premises are widely agreed upon:

    1) Mobility. The tank, we believe, has come into its own as a weapon of *strategic* importance, its presence in the previous conflict was generally only important at the tactical level. This has changed. Furthermore, improvements in other types of motorized vechiles should enable infantry with motor support to more faster as well. Note that a more mobile war does not guarantee that a conflicts cannot descend into some form of a war of attrition, it will simply be a more mobile form of it. This fact should help us more than our potential foes, as the German Armed forces have long experience with tatics that employ quick maneuvers.

    2) Airforce. Likewise, the airplane has matured into a strategic weapon of war, rather than a strategic scout with incidental tactical abilities. Furthermore, airplanes are sufficently sophisticated that a great degree of specialization is becoming apparent, with very diffrent design philopshies and weapon platforms for all sorts of diffrent potential combat roles.

    3) Naval: The submarine has further matured as well, and we believe it has potential as an indirect weapon of strategic warfare, a topic we will go into later. The aircraft carrier is a topic of some wide disagreement within our Naval section, but its ability to effectivily transport planes has the opportunity to be as decisive as anything else mentioned here or elsewhere.

    Let us now turn to our current situation.
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  12. #12
    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    Current Status Report:

    Here is a map of the area directly around Germany, with the names of the countries color coded according to our general assessment of their intentions towards us or our intentions towards them:



    Red is assumed hostile, yellow is neutral, green is potentially friendly.

    The last meeting with the Fuhrer established these basic goals which have lead to this assessment:
    1) Throw off the yoke of the Treaty of Versailles completely
    2) Ensure a secure resource situation
    3) Reacquire territory lost in the previous war.
    4) Insofar as possible achieve the long held dream of a Greater Germany, that is a Germany wherein all ethnic Germans live in one nation state.

    DIPLOMATIC ASSESSMENT:

    We assume that the Allies, that is the UK (and its various dominions) and France will not be happy with the achievement of any of these goals, and may eventually seek to stop us. It is possible that diplomacy might resolve the potential for conflict, but it is our advice to not *rely* upon it. If we prepare for war and achieve our goals peacefully, that will be fortunate. If we do not prepare for war and fail in diplomatically achieving our goals, we will be at the mercy of the powers that surround us.

    The case of the Soviet Union deserves special attention. The conflict here is primarily ideological, communism and fascism are diametrically opposed to each other. However, on a practical level, in many ways, our interests do not conflict, and we have worked together in the past. During the Weimar Republic period we entered into a treaty with them wherein they helped us skirt around the Treaty of Versailles. In general, we should keep in mind the fact it may be possible to reach practical agreement with them on matters of mutual intrest, but that they are not to be trusted. Conflict with them may be inevitable, but it is not as certain as the UK and France.

    Poland and Czechoslovakia are both countries whom possess significant enclaves of Germans or territory that was unjustly taken from us in the previous war. We may be able to convince them, with words or by force, to give us what we want, but it is assumed they view us, rightly, with wariness and may attempt to use the Allies to protect themselves should it come to war. A full detail of our battle plans in each of these cases will come later, but let it be said we are fairly certain that with a decent rearmament strategy we should be able to defeat both of these nations even should the allies come to assist them.

    Austria, we believe, is ripe for uniting itself into the Greater German Reich, something we believe we should be able to achieve through covert and diplomatic means.

    Hungary is a minor power that shares some ideological similarities and has an interest in the slovak portion of Czechoslovakia, we may be able to bring them into our orbit by giving them some of what they are interested in.

    Italy shares a related ideology and has interests in Africa and the Mediterranean, which sets it at odds with the UK. They do not wish to see a Greater German Reich, but this should be a conflict we should be able to smooth over.

    Further abroad we have Japan, a rising power that seems to be trying to create a sphere of influence within Asia, something that may bring it into conflict with Russia, the UK, the Netherlands, and the USA. Japan may be a valuable partner in our efforts, we share some of the same enemies, and their efforts in the colonial holdings of the UK may distract it from problems closer to home. This means that the Netherlands, which has a clear wish to be neutral, may be pulled into the allied camp if we bring Japan into ours, but on general balance that is a worthwhile strategic trade off. The Netherlands is too weak to hold its colonies against Japan for long, in our estimation, and they do not add much of significance to the Allied war effort in Europe.

    Finally, we have the US. War with the US, in our opinion, should be avoided for as long as is humanely possible, we must make every effort to make them sympathetic to our point of view, or at the very least uninterested in a European war. Unfortunately, our assessment of their current President is that he is likely willing to attempt to lead his country into any war which threatens the Allies.

    MILITARY POWER ASSESSMENT:

    Our intelligence services are only beginning to form networks in some countries, such as Japan and Italy, and even in the Uk and France, where our intelligence networks are more developed, alot of progress remains to be made. One of our first priorities will be to make certain we get more accurate intelligence on our potential rivals and/or allies so we can better plan our strategy.

    Given that caveat, here is our rough estimate of the current number of divisions of the countries we are most interested in:

    United Kingdom: 23
    Soviet Union: 32
    France: 32
    USA: 11

    Our intelligence on Italy's and Japan's military is so bad as to be useless, so they are not included.

    This is a very rough estimate, and it should be noted that these numbers will increase if these nations rearm themselves to any degree.

    Given that, let us look at the industrial capacity of the majors:

    The Allies:
    UK: 159 IC total, 79 IC current
    France: 108IC total 64 current

    Allied leaning:
    USA 284 IC total 170 IC current

    Comintern:
    Soviet Union: 178 total 124 current

    Potential Axis members:
    Japan 94 IC total 51 IC current
    Italy 69 IC total 58 IC current

    Axis:
    Germany 141 IC total 112 IC current

    It's notable that the two powers who most make their impact felt, the UK and France, are only marginally stronger from an industrial perspective if put together than Germany by itself. If we get Italy on our side, and especially Japan, our capacity to build new weapons of war will be much greater than the Allies. This is especially true since the allies have more territory to defend, some of it all over the world.

    If the Soviet Union and the United States join in a war against us, however, at the current moment we would be outdone in terms of industrial and eventually military power.

    DOMESTIC SITUATION:

    Let us look at our own strengths and weaknesses before we finally proceed to lay out our general plan.

    Here we have a snapshot of our general experience in various fields of research:



    The icons in green are theory, the icons in blue are practical experience. Research a subject builds up your theoretical knowledge, whereas practical experience, such as building a certain type of unit or actual combat experience with men and material, builds up our practical knowledge.

    In terms of ground units, we have solid theoretical and practical experience with infantry, a solid theory of armor with weaker practical experience, solid artillery practical and theoretical groundings, somewhat weak practical and theoretical groundings in mobile units (such as mechanized and motorized infantry). Our land doctrines are stong in terms of mobile warfare.

    In the navy, our only decent area is submarines, and our doctrine focus has been entirely towards sealane interdiction.

    Meanwhile, we have a good grasp of fighters and lesser one with medium bombers, and a good general understanding of aeronautical engineering.

    Finally, in terms other areas, we have a strong engineering background, have a good understanding of chemicals, and a bit of theoretical knowledge of rockets.

    ARMY ORGANIZATION AND STATISTICS:

    Here is our current theatre lay out and a quick glance of the organizational structure of our forces:





    And finally a breakdown of our various brigades:









    Our conclusions of what to do from the moment forward will follow no later than tomorrow.
    Last edited by Chilango2; 08-08-2009 at 15:37.
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    OKW seems to have embraced modernisation of the armed-forces. Down with the old guard! To reflect this do you think you should change your service chiefs? Is Doenitz even available yet? If you plan to place your faith in the submarine, the airplane, and the tank, perhaps the sooner we set up a directorate to investigate and improve the gasoline/oil situation, the better.

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    Last time I checked, Switzerland wasn't Sweden.

  16. #16
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    Subscribed sir...and following with bated breath. You provide very informative posts, well-thought out, and chock full of goodness. I'd provide you an award as well but I'm fresh out.
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    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rapvatten View Post
    Last time I checked, Switzerland wasn't Sweden.
    You are correct. the Scheming traitors in the Reich cartography office have been sacked. I'll fix it later. :P

    Post coming up in a few.
    “As both a dream and a fact the American Empire was born before the United States.” -Bernard DeVoto, The Course of Empire

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    OKW seems to have a firm grasp of European geopolitics. I'm interested to see how your prewar operational planning will form up.
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  19. #19
    Mexico City Boy Chilango2's Avatar
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    Recommendations of the General Staff to the Fuhrer:

    Fuhrer, first, we seem to have forgotten a look at our resource situation in our last report, for which we apologize.

    At current, we have 112 IC, given our domestic goods production, this is our current resource situation, rounded as appropriate:

    Energy: 26.9k in stock, +312/day
    Metals: 13.2k in stock, +42/day
    Rares: 6.6k in stock, +19/day

    In terms of crude oil, we produce 1.5 units, and convert an additional 11.2 units from coal, which costs us 112 units of coal per day. We currently have 13k in stock.

    Our refining capacity allows us to convert 70 units of crude oil into 70 units of Fuel per day, i.e a 1:1 ratio. We currently have 4.1k units of fuel in stock.

    Obviously, our resource situation, especially in the crude oil department, is, shall we say, bad. Our metal and rares production will be rapidly outstripped by any industrial growth we experience as well. Since industrial growth is, in our opinion, necessary to achieve our objectives, we recommend devoting diplomatic efforts to trading for these resources while we prepare to aquire them for ourselves, which will require some rearmament, and therefore, time.

    As previously stated, we are doubtful of the outcome of any war that should have us pitted against several great powers over any lenghty course of time. Given our objectives, however, we must begin preparing for exactly such an eventuality.

    If we are to prepare, we must know what we are preparing for, and how long we have to prepare for it.

    The worst resonable scenario our staff can imagine is being caught in a great power war against France, the UK, the US, and the Soviet Union all arrayed against us. Given that this is the worst case scenario, we will endevor to prepare for it, and as such if any lesser scenario occurs we will find ourselves more than sufficently prepared.

    The other question that arises from this worst case scenario is the question of when this hypothetical great power war can be expected to occur. This, of course, depends mostly on our actions, as we are the parties attempting to change the status quo. We should note however that we do not have perfect control over the escalation of hostilities, we can to some degree use diplomacy to attempt to prevent war from breaking out earlier than we wish, but this is not guaranteed.

    Discussions among the various armed services branches and among the general staff have lead to the following generally accepted statements:
    1) We do not want war to start before 1938, any earlier than this, and we will not have the time to properly prepare to face our potential opponnents.
    2) We do not want a war with Russia to begin much later than 1944. The Soviets are currently engaged in a serious industrilization program that has already made their state the second most powerful indsutrial state in the world, behind the US. Their resources will continue to allow them to continue this industrial expansion. Furthermore, the soviets possess a advantage in manpower over us. If they are given too long to build up, there is a risk that they can overwhelm us.
    3) We do not want to tangle with the United States at all, it has the manpower and industry superior to the Soviets, a good technology base, unlike the Soviets, and is protected by a wide ocean and a world class navy. Estimations this far in the future are very sketchy at best, but our estimate is that the *earliest* we could begin focusing on the US would be in 1944, and it would require that all our *other* strategic areas were secure.
    4) We can easily outpace the British and French alone.

    Given these fact, our strategists 'best case' scenario if we must face all of these enemies goes as follows:
    1) War with France and the UK as early as 1939 or as late as 1941.
    2) Conquest of France within the year of the DOW. The UK is a complex question as to when and how to invade, but we can permit them to exist as a force in being in our rear for 2-3 years.
    3) A choice of building up to invade the UK, or defending along the Atlantic coast and preparing for war against the soviets.
    4) War with the soviets as early as 1940 or as late as 1942 with the offensive being concluded within a year of the DOW.
    5) If the Uk has not yet been conquered, it should now be invaded.
    6) Preparation for a cross-atlantic war with the US, hopefully with Japanese help on the Pacific.

    The General staff is aware of the ambitious nature of this plan, but it strikes us as the only way to thread the needle of the various forces arrayed against us. The better we can keep the US out of the war, and the better we can manage the seperation of activity on the eastern and western theatres, the better of we will be. We will not have much room for mistakes, and building a proper navy to challenge the Americans will in itself be an expensive, risky venture.

    Given these realities, we have set a target date of being ready for a war by mid 1939 with the Allies. Given that timeline, these are our recommendations:



    Replace Armaments Minister and Minister of Security. Plan to replace Chief of the Navy.

    Bloomberg should step down as armaments minister, altough his services as Fieldmarshal should be retained if possible. Our practical and theoretical knowledge of infantry is already superior, and it is likely we will be building and researching a significant amount of infantry, as such we are better off with a generalized IC bonus. Bloomberg will be more useful in the field in an case. We can also take this oppurtunity to finish consolidating our armed forces by creating the proposed 'OKW' as the supreme command for land, sea, and air forces, whereas currently this function is filled by Blomberg as Head of the Dept of War. His connection to the army, however, has meant that the OKL and OKM tend not to listen to his commands, which is a dangerous precedent.

    Wilhelm Frick's primary use is boosting our party's popularity. It's popularity is not currently in any danger however. Mr. Karl Sack is not exactly stunning in his abilities, but he lowers our neutrality value, which will allow us to up our draft laws faster, which will give us more leadership to devote to our various needs. If we change our mind, we have other ministers that can achieve the results we had previously.

    There is still some debate within Naval circles on this point, but it is extremely likely that our near term tactical needs at sea will be primarly met by submarines. Replacing our current Minister of the Navy with one with a more appropriate skill set at the nearest opportunity should be considered.

    Institute the Two Year Draft, Full Economic Mobilization, Big Education Investment, and Specialist training.

    The Draft will allow us to meet our needs for officers, spies, etc more easily, and begin preparing our army for war. The three year draft should be instituted as soon as possible thereafter. Full Economic Mobilization will allow us to produce more goods in preparation for the war. Closer to the war we may consider gearing up to a full war economy. This and our minister changes will mean we will begin losing rares and metals, which means we will have to trade for them. The education investment will help us fill out our leadership, we especially need to focus on staffing our universities and laboritories as much as possible to research as much as possible in prepration for the war. Specialist trainign will maximise the experience of our troops during the peace time period. As soon as war is clealry drawing near we should drop this back down to advanced training so that units are more quickly produced.



    In terms of technology, we should focus our efforts technologies that boost our industry, resource extraction, manpower growth, and so on. As war draws near weapon systems will become more urgent, so now is the time to invest in the technologies that will pay dividends over a long period of time.

    More specifically with Land doctrines, we should focus our efforts on the mobility doctrines while trying to develop the other noted doctrines as well. Tactical Command structure and Mechnzied offensive will boost the organization and moral of our motorized and mechanized units. Another critical area is Operational Level Organization, which will enable our units to organize themselves more quickly for subsequent attacks.

    As an aside, note that we currently have a surplus of officers for our current army.



    For our airforce we should strive to acheive air superiority by challenging the enemies fighters and have CAS brigades focus on the front line to help acheive breakthroughs. We should focus on Fighters and CAS with Tactical bombers as a secondary concern.



    Here is our proposal for the basic organizational structure of our army. Divisions will tend to have three brigades, and corps will tend to be composed of three divisions. Armies will in turn tend to be composed of three corps. Our eventual goal is to have every army have one mobile offensive corps as part of itself, consisting of motorised infantry and armour divisions. On the tree on the right you can see we have created just such a situation.

    Our current strength allows us to create most of our plan for 1., 2. and 3. Armee, although the armored corps will require filling out for all three. Currently, each has one armored brigade, we recommend a second armored brigade and a motorized brigade.

    We propose each army in white be given responsibility of the area directly around it, yellow armees will need to be created from scratch.

    Thus, 1. Armee will be chargedwith defending Prussia and attacking into NE Poland, 2. Armee will be positioned to attack into Danzig and Lodz, 3. Armee into southern Poland, heading towards Grodno.

    4. and 5. Armee will protect the broder with France.

    7. Armee will concern itself with Luxembourg and Beligum, while 8. Armee concerns itself with the Netherlands and possibly Denmark.

    6. and 9. Armee, meanwhile will handle the Czech border. Its unfortunate that the border is divided along two theaters, but it cannot be avoided.

    Air support will be attached at the army level.

    In order to finish filling out our present armies and the proposed new armies, we will need the following production:



    This ends our proposal for immediate reorganization, a memorandum on short term strategy will follow in the morning.

    ----

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    Intresting to see what you are planning. I've literally just comlpeted downloading the game, so am about to jump in myself.
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