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Thread: Rank and File: A clerk's war Germany 1936 (Semper Fi)

  1. #681
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    A Clerk’s War



    16th August to 19th August 1939


    Admiral Raeder has been given permission to take the Nordseeflotte to the coast of Holland where it can not only provide shore bombardment to assist battles near the coast, but can also blockade the Koninklije Marine in Amsterdam. The authority, which came from the Fuhrer himself, was reluctant in tone and warned that the Admiral must not risk the precious ships in a serious encounter.

    Once more the day was routine, with the only activity late in the evening, when we received a brief message from General Petzel in Bitburg. Two French divisions have crossed the border from Luxembourg and the General sounded worried. He pointed out that his 34.Infanterie was exhausted from recent fighting, that the Slovak militia was in even worse shape and that the recently mobilised 10.Infanterie (motorised) is still not fully supplied and equipped. Although only facing two divisions, General Petzel fears that this is just a warm up, that his opposing general, de Verdillac, has many other units in reserve.



    Battle of Bitburg


    The battle raged all night and into the next day, and General Petzel was forced to pull his division out of the fight as his men were on the point of collapse. He handed over control of the battlefield to General Bless, who is still struggling to get his new command organised while fighting what is now a major attack by nearly 30,000 French troops. Our Slovak allies are standing shoulder to shoulder with us, and General Bless states that though they may be classed as militia, he sees them as the equal of our best troops. He will hold as long as he can, but unless he gets reinforcements we may lose not only the factories and resources of Bitburg, but also the massive airbase near the city.

    Perhaps some of the soldiers freed up from our attack on Pirmasens can be used in Bitburg. After a bitter three day battle they will need time to recover though, and may be too late. They will also need to receive replacement soldiers, as we lost 1,655 men in the course of the battle. The French took even heavier punishment, losing 3,016 soldiers.

    Despite our intelligence telling us the Dutch Army is near collapse, they keep on fighting. General Ulex, commander of the Army of the Ardennes is getting frustrated that his men cannot achieve the breakthrough he wants. The Dutch try to defend every province, even when the position is hopeless. Although our losses are negligible, each battle slows our advance and ties up valuable units.

    The Osterreich Army continues to make progress against the Belgians, though General Dennerlein has also mentioned that the number of Belgian divisions has been an unwelcome surprise. He had expected to be attacking Bruxelles by now, but is still some days away from the city. Volkmann has reached Arlon and has immediately clashed with the Belgian 3eme Division. Scouts from 1st Gebirgsjager report that the Belgian unit is only at half strength, and General Volkmann hopes for a short, sharp victory, but I have heard this too often.



    Battle of Arlon


    Commander Fricke, leading our newest Unterseebootsflotte, has recorded his first success. Patrolling the Southern Porcupine Plain, his lead submarines located a convoy travelling from Nauru to Plymouth. Unfortunately he could only sink two ships, but more sinkings boost the strength of the U-boat lobby here in Berlin. With fierce competition for all production capacity, but especially for shipbuilding, I can see these reports being cited many times in the next few months.

    During the afternoon, General Ruoff’s 2.Infanterie (motorised) moved into den Haag, on the Nordsee coast. Since the start of the war, 2.Infanterie has been at the forefront of every attack, stopping only to refuel and receive replacement soldiers before loading up and heading towards the front. Several submissions have been made to OKH and, to recognise the consistent contribution of the officer and men of the division, it has been renamed. From now on it will be known as the “Vorwarts” Division (motorised). General Ruoff assured General von Blomberg that his men appreciated the honour granted them, and that soon he would report from the beaches of the Norsdee, having cut off the Dutch from their southern allies.

    Just as I was leaving at the end of the 18th, a message was rushed to me by a smiling delivery clerk. Someone in the telegraph office must have heard me make a remark about General Volkmann’s timetable for victory in Arlon, because the note from 1st Gebirgsjager was to inform Berlin that the Belgians were retreating and that Arlon was ours. Volkmann lost only 46 men while the Belgian’s had 109 casualties. I must be a little more discrete when being critical of optimistic victory claims. Although there was no real damage this time, I would not like a sarcastic comment to reach the front. An administrative supervisor could easily lose his position if a senior Wehrmacht officer made a formal complaint about derogatory comments that questioned an officer’s professional opinion.



    1st Gebirgsjager sent a photograph of an abandoned Belgian T-13 light tank. Our men have encountered a few of these, but usually in small numbers.


    Finally we have another Panzer division. 2nd Panzer has been formed in Koln, under the command of Major General Dietrich. It had been intended to assemble the division in Bitburg, but the French attack has forced a change, as it would be unrealistic to try to organise the new unit while under fire. The Ministry of Armaments has immediately placed orders for tanks, trucks, self-propelled artillery and everything else necessary for another Panzer division. At the same time, orders were approved for another Messerschmitt Bf 109G geschwader and an infantry division with an attached anti-air regiment.

    Fresh orders have been sent to General Ulex, reflecting the changed circumstances on the ground. With Arnhem and Eindhoven secure, they have been removed as objectives for his Army of the Ardennes. New objectives have been set: Antwerpen and Brugge. It has been stressed that he must start to swing his axis of advance immediately. The drive to the French-Belgian border must begin.

    While that may have been the order, in practice it takes time to alter the focus of a dozen different divisions. Roads must be allocated, supplies rerouted and complex orders drafted. So I was not surprised that the rest of the day passed with no news from the front. Battles on the Westwall and in the west of Belgium continued, as did the increasingly desperate struggles by the Dutch. But the start of the drive on Paris would have to wait until tomorrow.

    Bombing summary

    16th August

    Amsterdam: Udet with 2 x Ju 87G: 50, 139
    Saarlouis: Kesselring with 2 x Ju 87G: 41, 83, 93
    Pirmasens: Schwartzkopf with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: 49, 116, 113
    Leuven: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111: 66, 112, 57
    Amsterdam: Kitzinger with 2 x He 111: 170

    17th August

    Amsterdam: Udet with 2 x Ju 87G: ??
    Saarlouis: Schwartzkopf with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: 73, 123
    Pirmasens: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111: 68, 111
    Amsterdam: Sperrle with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111, 2 x Ju 87G: 116
    Amsterdam: Dorstling with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: ??
    Saarlouis: Lohr with 2 x Ju 87G: ??, ??
    Pirmasens: Kesselring with 2 x He 111, 2 x Ju 87G: 151, 81
    Amsterdam: Sperrle with 2 x Bf 109G, 6 x He 111, 2 x Ju 87G: NIL

    A worrying trend in reporting procedures has been noted. 3 units failed to lodge bombing estimates on the 17th. It is believed that the missions were successfully carried out and that casualties were inflicted, but for some reason no information was passed to the Luftwaffe administration. I will need to keep a close watch on this.

    18th August

    Amsterdam: Udet with 2 x Ju 87G: ??
    Luxembourg: Schwartzkopf with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: 74, 129, 68
    Saarlouis: Lohr with 2 x Ju 87G: ??
    Leuven: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111: 76, 125, 74
    Amsterdam: Dorstling with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111, 2 x Ju 87G: ??
    Saarlouis: Kesselring with 2 x Ju 87G: 71, 91, 92
    Luxembourg: Lohr with 2 x Ju 87G: ??
    Amsterdam: Sperrle with 1 x Bf 109G, 4 x He 111: 94, 78
    Amsterdam: Kitzinger with 2 x He 111: 146



    Udet’s Stukas over Holland: why are we missing their mission reports?


    19th August

    Amsterdam: Dorstling with 1 x BF 109G, 2 x He 111: ??, ??
    Saarlouis: Kesselring with 2 x Ju 87G: 41, 66, 106
    Luxembourg: Schwartzkopf with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: 59, 112, 139
    Den Haag: Grauert with 2 x He 111: 66, 128, 60
    Leuven: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111: 69
    Leuven: Lohr with 2 x He 111, 2 x Ju 87G: ??
    Amsterdam: Sperrle with 2 x Bf 109G, 4 x He 111: 105
    Leuven: Lohr with 2 x Ju 87G: 35
    Leuven: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111, 2 x Ju 87G: ??

    I am trying to discern a pattern in the missing reports. A memorandum has been sent to my superiors but I suspect that the Luftwaffe has more pressing issues at the moment than a request for missing reports from the Filing Division of the Ministry of the Interior. At first glance it seems to be restricted to missions led by Udet, Dorstling and Lohr, but I noted that Lohr filed reports for his last mission. Perhaps it is just a temporary problem. I hope so – few people realise it but correct collection and analysis of information is critical if we are to win this war.



    Westwall at end of 19th August



    Fall Gelb at end of 19th August: Ruoff’s “Vorwarts” Division is already living up to its new name by achieving a breakthrough.



    An Italian fleet with loaded transports in the Gulf of Taranto: where are they heading? With three heavy cruisers and two destroyer flotillas escorting the five transport groups, the Italians are taking no chances.



    Albania-Greece: at some time in the past two weeks the Italians have regained Korce from the Greeks. There was no official notification, and my sources at the Foreign Ministry tell me that the view there is that the Italians are trying to gloss over the fact that they were initially beaten by the Greek army.

  2. #682
    Lt. General Modo's Avatar
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    Are you saving the Kriegsmarine for an early Sealion?

    I keep thinking you are an army short of a good force. If the French have reserves, you'll be back to sitzkrieg soon.
    'I thought we could do it without anyone getting hurt. By using our brains.'
    'Can't. History don't work like that. Blood first, then brains.'
    'Mountains of skulls,' said Truckle.
    'There's got to be a better way than fighting,' said Mr Saveloy.
    'Yep. Lots of 'em. Only none of 'em work.'

  3. #683
    Dauphinois à la Noix Karaiskandar's Avatar
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    I truly like the fact that you're renaming divisions.
    So the Italians are going to land somewhere. I hope it won't turn into a disaster.
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  4. #684
    Field Marshal Baltasar's Avatar
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    Another great update. I too like the renaming of Divisions, gives them a bit more 'character'. Without ciriticising your choice of names, I'd like to point out that the Wehrmacht used to keep the official number of the division but attached the name to it. Several of the SS divisions had names like the division would've been called 2. Infanterie Division (motorisiert) "Vorwärts" , or 2.ID (mot) "Vorwärts" for short.

    If we are really lucky, the Italians will land that force on Malta, clearing out the Brits from the middle of the Med.

  5. #685
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modo View Post
    Are you saving the Kriegsmarine for an early Sealion?

    I keep thinking you are an army short of a good force. If the French have reserves, you'll be back to sitzkrieg soon.
    I am just worried that I could lose the whole fleet in one big battle. I'm still stickig to my original plan the slowly build it up so that by the time I have beaten the Russians I can turn to the British. The subs and Italians are to spread the Royal Navy out until then: if I can catch a small fleet I'll take it.

    My preference would be to have 10-12 more divisions, but I spent the production on my airforce. My whole approach has been to husband my manpower. (I still have more than 1300 MP left.) If the French and the BEF are double stacked along the border I may wiat unitl spring. I am still way ahead of schedule so a few months solid infantry production won't hurt me.

    But you are right: with another Army I would carve through Belgium in no time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Karaiskandar View Post
    I truly like the fact that you're renaming divisions.
    So the Italians are going to land somewhere. I hope it won't turn into a disaster.
    I always do: in fact I generally rename lots of units, ground air and sea. Makes me get a bit more attached to units: it is quite sad if they get badly clobbered. And distressing if they are cut off an annihilated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baltasar View Post
    Another great update. I too like the renaming of Divisions, gives them a bit more 'character'. Without ciriticising your choice of names, I'd like to point out that the Wehrmacht used to keep the official number of the division but attached the name to it. Several of the SS divisions had names like the division would've been called 2. Infanterie Division (motorisiert) "Vorwärts" , or 2.ID (mot) "Vorwärts" for short.


    If we are really lucky, the Italians will land that force on Malta, clearing out the Brits from the middle of the Med.
    I am always open to criticism! I used to try to be a bit more accurate in naming but have slowly drifted away. I didn't realise that the Wehrmacht kept the number as well as the name: if I remember I may put them back. I would use the abbreviated form as otherwise the names don't appear very well. But the main reason I give units names is just so I can keep track of which ones have performed well: just adds a bit of RP (that's role-play to the historical purists!).

    It was only luck that led me to spot that fleet: otherwise I would never have known what my trusty Allies were up to! I just hope they do something useful: not like my Japanese allies who squandered their army and lost have their resources.

  6. #686
    Lt. General Modo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    I am just worried that I could lose the whole fleet in one big battle. I'm still stickig to my original plan the slowly build it up so that by the time I have beaten the Russians I can turn to the British.
    Those ships will be old when that happens. My guess is you'll have a glorious transport escort to accompany the actual (modern) fighting fleet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    My whole approach has been to husband my manpower.
    Conquering new territory (and manpower gain) is slower. You are losing manpower due to close battles that would be resolved faster with overwhelming numbers. You gained less practical knowledge before the war, so you slowed down your research a little. You will have to build many more units before Barbarossa anyway.

    Only the last one isn't a big issue, since Germany has enough IC for serious parallel builds.
    'I thought we could do it without anyone getting hurt. By using our brains.'
    'Can't. History don't work like that. Blood first, then brains.'
    'Mountains of skulls,' said Truckle.
    'There's got to be a better way than fighting,' said Mr Saveloy.
    'Yep. Lots of 'em. Only none of 'em work.'

  7. #687
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    Good to see you back up and running Uriah! You do need more troops. I would certainly recommend another full army. And you cant let down your efforts in the air. France can be a very hard nut to crack I noticed.

    But beware of building a lot of subs. They are not very powerful and convoys are very cheap to build. And I wouldnt be suprised if England is maxed out on resources already. I would go for battleships and light cruisers and destroyers. Work better than carriers.

    I hope you kick the Koninklijke Marine's ass. It is just a pile of old rusty junk and with your Kriegsmarine you will kill it easily. No pun intended for my countrymen of course.

    All the best!

  8. #688
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modo View Post
    Those ships will be old when that happens. My guess is you'll have a glorious transport escort to accompany the actual (modern) fighting fleet.


    Conquering new territory (and manpower gain) is slower. You are losing manpower due to close battles that would be resolved faster with overwhelming numbers. You gained less practical knowledge before the war, so you slowed down your research a little. You will have to build many more units before Barbarossa anyway.

    Only the last one isn't a big issue, since Germany has enough IC for serious parallel builds.
    I didn't really start until I had 38/39 tech for ships: but I can't build everything.

    You are probably right about the close battles, but I have about 10 divisions currently being built. If I have to wait until next spring to hit the French, I should have about 15- 20 more divs.

    I did warn everyone that I never claimed to be good - just detailed!

    Quote Originally Posted by BoemsiBoemsie View Post
    Good to see you back up and running Uriah! You do need more troops. I would certainly recommend another full army. And you cant let down your efforts in the air. France can be a very hard nut to crack I noticed.

    But beware of building a lot of subs. They are not very powerful and convoys are very cheap to build. And I wouldnt be suprised if England is maxed out on resources already. I would go for battleships and light cruisers and destroyers. Work better than carriers.

    I hope you kick the Koninklijke Marine's ass. It is just a pile of old rusty junk and with your Kriegsmarine you will kill it easily. No pun intended for my countrymen of course.

    All the best!
    I think I have four subs under const: I don't intend building any more for a year or so. the aim is not to strangle the UK but to force it to spread its navy so I can pick off little chewable bits.

    You need to see the next update: a lot happened but should get it up tomorrow morning: it is 8pm here.

  9. #689
    Lt. General Modo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    I didn't really start until I had 38/39 tech for ships: but I can't build everything.
    Yes, you can. 100 divisions by mid 1939 is quite doable. You basically build units from day one, because raising the practicals is a very powerful economic tool (both for builds, and for research).

    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    I did warn everyone that I never claimed to be good - just detailed!
    And it's a credit to this AAR. Every update is a great read.
    'I thought we could do it without anyone getting hurt. By using our brains.'
    'Can't. History don't work like that. Blood first, then brains.'
    'Mountains of skulls,' said Truckle.
    'There's got to be a better way than fighting,' said Mr Saveloy.
    'Yep. Lots of 'em. Only none of 'em work.'

  10. #690
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    I love your RP aspect of renaming your units, it makes the whole ARR much better (Though it was already awesome to being with!).
    "Politics. As exciting as war. Definitely as dangerous... Though in war, you can only get killed once. In politics it can happen over and over."

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    Rank And File
    A Clerk’s War



    20th August to 23rd August 1939


    Minister Schacht continues to amaze with his ability to juggle our economy. With all the demands for tanks, planes and ships, as well as supplies, replacements, upgrades and infrastructure improvements, he has still managed to find millions of Reichsmarks (and construction workers!) to build two more factory complexes. Both have been built far from British airfields, in Breslau and Praha. Apparently there is another near completion. Personally I find his political skills quite amazing: how he convinced Marschall Goering that he could not squeeze another fighter plane geschwader out of the system must have been a tremendous performance. And I noticed that he has signed off on orders for another two industrial complexes! How did he get that through the Cabinet?

    Apart from that ray of sunshine, little else came in during the day, except an extensive report from General Engelbrecht explaining why he was still stuck on the eastern bank of the Dijle River. (This was in response to a fairly curt note from General Dennerlein, commander of the Osterreich Army, who I imagine is under pressure from even higher). Despite having an entire leichte Panzer Division as well as his own 4th Gebirgsjagers, Engelbrecht has been held up for a week by the Belgian van der Velken, who has less than 4,000 men left in his two infantry divisions. Our casualties have been light, but we have made little progress, mainly, according to Engelbrecht, due to the enemy’s superlative use of the terrain to block every attempt to cross the river. With grudging respect, he acknowledges that his opponent has skilfully used the heavily forested western banks of the Dijle River (which flows along the battle front and the north flank) to create a nearly impregnable position. He stressed “nearly” – with continuous Luftwaffe bombing and a series of probing attacks he anticipates that van der Velken’s troops will either break or be annihilated within days. Once he has a bridgehead he says the Belgians will be finished.



    Guderian’s men attempt to move a Panzer II across the Dijle River. Until a bridgehead can be secured on the west side of the river, Engelbrecht cannot get to grips with the Belgians.


    Perhaps to contrast the difficulties that terrain can cause, General Volkmann reported that his men are now marching through Arlon, the province his solitary division took yesterday after only a few hours fighting.

    Little more changed on the 21st, though the number of missing bombing damage reports is getting distressingly high. My superiors are now paying attention to my complaints and have promised to escalate the issue if it is not addressed promptly. I have done my part: no-one can blame me if our whole bombing campaign collapses because we don’t know what impact we are having (no pun intended).

    There was some good news: Amsterdam has been captured by General Model and his 5th Panzer Division. (Well, he has claimed the victory, but as far as I can see from the various after action reports, there were about 7 different divisions involved in the fighting by the time General Seyffardt ordered his men to retreat). Losses again low, particularly given it was a built up area. (271 of our men, 978 Dutch). There was a pleasant surprise when Model’s men completed a stocktake: more than 10 million RM worth of foreign currency in the Bank of Amsterdam and large quantities of non-ferrous metals, rubber and oil products in various warehouses round the city.

    The following day was full of excitement, some pleasant, some not so enjoyable.

    Early in the morning we heard that Admiral Raeder’s Nordseeflotte had, despite heavy rain, spotted naval units trying to slip away along the coast of Holland. He gave the order to close and destroy, and ascertained that the enemy was the Koninklije Marine. During the morning there were groups huddled by the radio room and Kriegsmarine officers shouted condensed versions of the ongoing battle down the corridors. It was soon apparent that our fleet had caught the Dutch attempting to flee, presumably to Britain. Three light cruisers were identified: “Sumatra”, “Java” and “de Ruyter”, as well as two destroyer flotillas and four troopship and transport flotillas.



    Battle of the Coast of Holland


    Over a couple of hours there were cheers and whoops of delight as one after another the Dutch ships were caught by the guns of our bigger ships. As the morning progressed the rain stopped and was replaced by intermittent cloud which allowed us to receive reports from low flying “Condors” which arrived to assist the naval battle. “Bismark” accounted for the “Sumatra”, “Van der Tann” sank the “Java” and the “de Ruyter” fell to the “Graf Spee”, which also sank a troopship flotilla. The two destroyer flotillas were caught by the “Scharnhorst” and the “Deutschland”. The “Deutschland” also trapped some transports, and the last two flotillas were claimed by the “Admiral Scheer” and the “Liepzig”. Not a single Dutch ship escaped. None of our ships were lost, though some took heavy damage. The light cruiser “Karlsruhe” took an unlucky hit which has caused it 13% damage, 5th Zerstorergeschwader took 9% damage and both the “Scharnhorst” and “Von der Tann” suffered 5% damage. As a precaution (and because it appeared its mission had been successfully completed) the Nordseeflotte has returned to Wilhelmshaven for repairs.



    “Karlsruhe” fires her 15cm SK C/25 guns during the Battle of the Coast of Holland


    General Model did not linger long in Amsterdam – from his despatches to the Army of the Ardennes he is eager to crush the Dutch and turn south. Pausing only to refuel and re-arm his Panzers, he ordered his infantry back into their trucks and chased after the Amsterdam headquarters troops who have retreated into Alkmaar. He does not expect any difficulty: his report speaks of a disorganised flood of men who have abandoned virtually all their heavy weapons. With his Panzer IIIs and 6,000 motorised infantry he should overwhelm them on the road north.



    Battle of Alkmaar: note the Battle of the Coast of Holland to the north, with Focke-Wulf Fw 200C “Condors” patrolling lazily overhead.


    While the Kriegsmarine was cheering on its Admiral as the Dutch fleet was outgunned and quickly eliminated, the Reichskanzlei Luftwaffe officers were sitting quietly as they heard updates from Den Haag. Shortly before dawn the first reports had come from lead planes of Major General Sperrle’s 1st Taktischeluftflotte as it made what appeared to be a routine bombing run to assist Ruoff’s 2.ID (mot) “Vorwarts”. Together with 6th Taktischeluftflotte they were under attack from hundreds of British Hurricanes and Spitfires. Our escorting Messerschmitt Bf 109Gs tried to protect the lumbering fully loaded Heinkels, but they were vastly outnumbered (and from some reports, outclassed) by the British planes.



    Air Battle of Den Haag: 5AM


    As time passed, more details were received, more losses confirmed. After an hour, the level of the defeat became apparent: JG “Blitzen” had lost 30% of its planes, KG “Storch” had been even harder hit, losing a third of its complement. KG “Reiher” had escaped a little easier, but had still suffered more than 20% casualties. Piecing together the details, it could be seen that our bombers had been met over the target area by at least four fighter groups, which had concentrated on 6th Taktischeluftflotte. The mission was completed, but results were patchy. The Luftwaffe officers relaxed when the word arrived that the bombers were returning to base. The final reports indicate “Blitzen” has lost 36% of its fighters, while the bomber geschwader lost 33% (“Storch”) and 22% (“Reiher”). The desperation of the fighter pilots can be seen from the number that died trying to protect their charges, unfortunately not always successfully.



    Air Battle of Den Haag: 6AM


    At 8AM another of our motorised divisions clashed with Dutch headquarters troops. Can our foot soldiers ever catch up? And have the Dutch anything left bar headquarters units? Everyone hopes the end is near: how can the Dutch continue with no regular troops and all their major cities occupied? General Kostring’s 13.Infanterie (mot) should achieve a quick victory in Haarlem to wipe out the memory of the debacle over Den Haag.



    Battle of Haarlem


    Things were just returning to normal when at 11AM another wave of concern spread through the building: Speerle had been intercepted over Den Haag again! Marshall Steele has obviously decided to teach the Luftwaffe who controls the skies over Holland, and his four fighter groups dealt out more punishment, though our pilots were not quite as surprised as earlier this morning. This time we could see what damage we had inflicted on the British: the best estimates are that the Royal Air Force has lost less than 10% of the fighters that it committed to the first battle. Our bombers did finish their mission, with a bit more success than the first strike.



    Air Battle of Den Haag: 11AM


    But the lesson was not over. Late in the afternoon (about 5PM) Sperrle decided to risk another sortie over Den Haag. Steele was not there, but instead he was met by Leigh-Mallory. Although Leigh-Mallory only had one fighter group, our boys must have been near breaking point (maybe the RAF was wise to rest Steele’s pilots). The bombing runs achieved dismal results and the two Taktischeluftflottes returned to base to lick their wounds. Final losses were:

    Taktischeluftflotte 1: JG “Donner” (6%), KG “Adler” (5%), KG “Kranich” (19%)
    Taktischeluftflotte 6: JG “Blitzen” (41%), KG “Storch” (37%), KG “Reiher” (24%)



    Air Battle of Den Haag: 5PM


    Hopefully the crews will be given sufficient time to repair their planes (and morale) and receive replacement pilots and machines. Surely no commander would order them to continue frontline missions after such a hammering. Thank heavens “Schlageter” was not involved: 40% is too high a chance of my brother getting shot down or seriously wounded.

    It was a subdued exit from the Kanzlei that evening: people left in silence, all thinking of the hundreds of Luftwaffe men who had died that day. Admiral Raeder’s magnificent victory has been virtually forgotten already. On any other day we would all have been heading off to celebrate and bars and bistros around Berlin would have done a roaring business until the early hours. As it was, I think everyone I know had a quiet contemplative night at home. Perhaps the Luftwaffe was not unbeatable: perhaps the British bombers might strike deeper into Germany?

    The human spirit must be naturally buoyant, because the next morning, with sun streaming through the window, I felt positive again. Yesterday was just a blip, a slight pause in our progress.

    Schacht maintained the positive note by announcing another industrial plant would open, on the Ostsee coast at Konigsberg (I find it hard to think of a place further from a RAF airbase!). This was followed in quick succession by Model’s victory message from Alkmaar: not one soldier lost and more than 270 Dutch counted remaining on the battlefield after they fled in disarray. Not a bad start to the day.

    Quite a lot of new orders have issued to our commanders. General Ulex has been told to add the French border city of Lille to his objectives, a definite sign that the axis of advance of the Army of the Ardennes has been swung to the south. To help the the Osterreich Army in its mission to take Bruxelles and secure Ulex’s left flank, 1st Marinekorps has been transferred from the Westwall Army. To replace the two Sturm Marine divisions, a new Panzerkorps has been formed (under General von Mackensen) and put under the command of General Kesselring's Westwall Army. 2nd Panzer Division and 10.Infanterie (motorised) have been assigned to the new korps, and 36.Infanterie (motorised) is to join from Belgian Korps. 10.Infanterie (mot) is holding on in Bitburg, and the Slovak militiamen are still performing very creditably. General Bless, only in command of 10.Infanterie (mot) for a few days, has organised a tactical withdrawal while under attack by vastly superior forces. A promising start for a young general. 34.Infanterie is moving to the front to give assistance, but the French are very strong and have maintained constant pressure. 2nd Panzer Division is already on the road, heading to support General Bless, even though it has minimal supplies as yet.

    The last news for the day was, on the face of it, not good. After 10 days General Heunert has called off his attack on Saarlouis, having lost 2,844 men, compared to 3,027 French. An awful lot of casualties for an attack that was never likely to succeed. However, Heunert has been congratulated by OKH. The sacrifice his men made forced the French to commit more than 85,000 men to the defence of the province. The resulting bottlenecks on the roads have been a magnet to ouor bombers and they have inflicted thousands of additional casualties in surrounding provinces. General Heunert carried out his task of drawing French attention away from Belgium and though the price was high, our General Staff believe it was worthwhile.

    I just hope that events will prove this judgment correct and that all those men were not sacrificed in vain.


    Bombing Summary

    20th August

    Den Haag: Dorstling with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: ??, ??
    Luxembourg: Schwartzkopf with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: 65, 192
    Saarlouis: Lohr with 2 x Ju 87G: ??, ??
    Amsterdam: Sperrle with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: 78
    Leuven: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111: 87, 126
    Dan Haag: Sperrle with 2 x Bf 109G, 4 x He 111: ??
    Amsterdam: Kitzinger with 2 x He 111: 167
    Saarlouis: Kesselring with 2 x Ju 87G: 119
    Luxembourg: Lohr with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111, 2 x Ju 87G: ??

    21st August

    Amsterdam: Dorstling with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: ??, ??, ??, ??
    Luxembourg: Schwartzkopf with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: 68, 140, 132
    Saarlouis: Lohr with 2 x Ju 87G: ??, ??, ??
    Den Haag: Grauert with 2 x He 111: 70, 122, 80
    Leuven: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111: 56, 92,66
    Saarlouis: Kesselring with 2 x Ju 87G: 81

    22nd August

    Luxembourg: Schwatrzkopf with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: 51, 85
    Saarlouis: Lohr with 2 x Ju 87G: ??, ??
    Dan Haag: Sperrle with 2 x Bf 109G, 4 x He 111: 48, 75, 85, 35
    Leuven: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111: 74, 124,71
    Saarlouis: Kesselring with 2 x Ju 87G: 88
    Alkmaar: Grauert with 2 x He 111: 120
    Luxembourg: Lohr with 2 x Ju 87G: ??
    Saarlouis: Kesselring: 4 x Ju 87G: ??
    Alkmaar: Kitzinger with 2 x He 111: 173

    23rd August

    Luxembourg: Schwartzkopf with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: 69
    Saarlouis: Lohr with 2 x He 111: ??
    Den Haag: Kitzinger with 2 x MPF, 6 x He 111: 33
    Leuven: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111: 45, 154
    Saarlouis: Kesselring with 2 x Ju 87G: 91
    Luxembourg: Schwartzkopf with 1 x Bf 109G, 2 x He 111: ??, 76
    Den Haag: Kitzinger with 2 x He 111: 124

    It can be seen that both Dorstling’s 6th and Sperrle’s 1st Taktischeluftflotte have been held back from active duty. But the Luftwaffe has not conceded the air over Den Haag to the RAF, and it is noticeable that during the day Kitzinger delivered far more accurate bombing than was achieved yesterday.

    There were still missing bombing damage reports, though the number missing seems to be declining. I didn't chase anyone up though: it seemed petty to be worrying about bits of paper when so many of the Luftwaffe have been lost in the past few days.



    Fall Gelb at end of 23rd August



    Westwall at end of 23rd August



    French-Italian border at end of 23rd August: we have heard that the French attempted a counter-attack recently but the Italians beat them off.



    North Africa at end of 23rd August



    Italian artillery (en portee) with colonial troops move towards the border with Egypt: how will the British respond?
    Last edited by Uriah; 04-02-2010 at 01:05.

  12. #692
    Black Overlord Mortu's Avatar
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    The motherland approves of this AAR :-)

    Btw, consider cleaning out Afrika before Barbarossa: you will get an additional front against USSR if you attack through Turkey/Georgia border, and even more devastating if you take Persia/Afghanistan and assault from the South. I remember that UK and French forces in the region are anemic and can be devastated with a single 5-div light panzer/motorized korps (I lost 2 para divs in Alexandria, so they did not count, and paradropped 4 more in, but that was after I took over North Afrika, Levant, Sytia and Iraq with Rommel's Afrika Korps.)

    Or better yet, forget USSR and go ahistorical after the US

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    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modo View Post
    Yes, you can. 100 divisions by mid 1939 is quite doable. You basically build units from day one, because raising the practicals is a very powerful economic tool (both for builds, and for research).


    And it's a credit to this AAR. Every update is a great read.
    Maybe that is the issue: I have 345 regiments/brigades, but I made a point of giving every division a support, and many of the headquarters have a support unit as well (in 1.1 and 1.2 I played manually and often my HQ were the reserve units!). Unfortunately the AI doesn't like to risk HQs much so maybe these are wasted. But if I had stuck to 3 brigade divs, I would have about 100.

    And thanks for the compliment: each one is gratefully rec'd. There's a lot of detail in the latest update, but I wanted to show how effective fighter interception could be. (I think I have sufficiently disposed of the arguments that bombers are useless).


    Quote Originally Posted by Black Lotus View Post
    I love your RP aspect of renaming your units, it makes the whole ARR much better (Though it was already awesome to being with!).
    Thanks Black Lotus: as I said, I do it every game, even ones that nobody will ever see: just makes it a bit more personal. And thanks for the praise. While I enjoy writing these AARs, it is a lot of work and sometimes I would like to race ahead in my game. So a little encouragement every now and then is quite welcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mortu View Post
    The motherland approves of this AAR :-)

    Btw, consider cleaning out Afrika before Barbarossa: you will get an additional front against USSR if you attack through Turkey/Georgia border, and even more devastating if you take Persia/Afghanistan and assault from the South. I remember that UK and French forces in the region are anemic and can be devastated with a single 5-div light panzer/motorized korps (I lost 2 para divs in Alexandria, so they did not count, and paradropped 4 more in, but that was after I took over North Afrika, Levant, Sytia and Iraq with Rommel's Afrika Korps.)

    Or better yet, forget USSR and go ahistorical after the US
    If time permits, I intend to take Spain and Gibraltar. If I can do that then I'll intervene in the Med. (I don't want to have to rely on the Italians).

    I set out my general objectives very early, and decided to resist temptation along the way. The USA is on the list, but at the bottom.

    I'm glad the Rodina approves: it means a lot to the narrator to have international approval

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    Hmm the RAF is a bit too effective for my taste.
    Hopefully it won't prevent you from crushing France.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    If time permits, I intend to take Spain and Gibraltar. If I can do that then I'll intervene in the Med. (I don't want to have to rely on the Italians).

    I set out my general objectives very early, and decided to resist temptation along the way. The USA is on the list, but at the bottom.

    I'm glad the Rodina approves: it means a lot to the narrator to have international approval
    ^_^ Just remember, collaboration government instead of total exploitation.

    In the real history, germans really shot themselves in the foot with their occupation policies. While they were welcomed as liberators in much of the western USSR, by 1942 they had full fledged partisan movements on their behinds. Belorussian partisans are particularly well known. Granted there was a large racial/lebensraum aspect to Adolf's decision to treat the slavs as he did, but you are not bound by those ^_. Communists were definitely not loved after they screwed the pooch big time (and repeatedly) in the 1930s (well, from 1917 onwards, but the 30's were still rather fresh in the Ukrainians' memory).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    Maybe that is the issue: I have 345 regiments/brigades, but I made a point of giving every division a support, and many of the headquarters have a support unit as well (in 1.1 and 1.2 I played manually and often my HQ were the reserve units!).
    The numbers look ok. Maybe your eastern border defenses make your western armies look small. You have a non-aggression pact with the Russians, you know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    Unfortunately the AI doesn't like to risk HQs much so maybe these are wasted.
    Each extends HQ range by 50%, which is good for the AI. But one should be enough, two in case of armies and army groups. And they better be battalions (support brigades), not regiments (line brigades). If you have very strong HQs, I'd split those up, as the AI will always keep them behind line units, so having them up to division strength is indeed wasteful.
    'I thought we could do it without anyone getting hurt. By using our brains.'
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    'Yep. Lots of 'em. Only none of 'em work.'

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    Your writing is up to it's usual standards. I wouldn't be all that worried about the French. Once you clean up Netherlands and Belgium, sweep down the coast and then turn in with your armor. Use your infantry and enough armor to punch holes along the rest of the Belgian border, and you will be able to get through. Keep the forces you've got along the maginot line distracting the French. The more that are tied up there, the less that will be availalbe to impede your advance from Belgium.

    Modo, I think he forgot the NA locks you in for 2 years.

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    A great battle with the Dutch navy, cool!! Just dont waste your Luftwaffe on petty attacks against a defeated enemy. The RAF can be really hard to beat. They come in great numbers and are lethal against unescorted bombers.

    Are you focussing on secret experiments yet, like nuclear and rockets?

    PS: the place were you are building a new factory Phaha, I guess that is Prague (Praha) , one of the great cities of central Europe, home to Kings of old. (Sounding like Lord of the Rings here)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karaiskandar View Post
    Hmm the RAF is a bit too effective for my taste.
    Hopefully it won't prevent you from crushing France.
    Nothing, I repeat, nothing, will save France! But I will transfer some interceptors to the attacking armies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mortu View Post
    ^_^ Just remember, collaboration government instead of total exploitation.

    In the real history, germans really shot themselves in the foot with their occupation policies. While they were welcomed as liberators in much of the western USSR, by 1942 they had full fledged partisan movements on their behinds. Belorussian partisans are particularly well known. Granted there was a large racial/lebensraum aspect to Adolf's decision to treat the slavs as he did, but you are not bound by those ^_. Communists were definitely not loved after they screwed the pooch big time (and repeatedly) in the 1930s (well, from 1917 onwards, but the 30's were still rather fresh in the Ukrainians' memory).
    I'm too nice to be really exploitative. I'll definitely be looking to get some manpower and leadership from all my new friends.

    Quote Originally Posted by Modo View Post
    The numbers look ok. Maybe your eastern border defenses make your western armies look small. You have a non-aggression pact with the Russians, you know.


    Each extends HQ range by 50%, which is good for the AI. But one should be enough, two in case of armies and army groups. And they better be battalions (support brigades), not regiments (line brigades). If you have very strong HQs, I'd split those up, as the AI will always keep them behind line units, so having them up to division strength is indeed wasteful.
    I hadn't forgotten about the M-R Pact, I was trying to be a bit realistic: leaving the east naked just seemed a bit gamey. But I do have 18 divisions over there and I think it would be reasonable given the situation I am in now that one of my two eastern Armies shifts to the west.

    Most HQ have a support brigade, a few (spearhead units) have an infantry regiment as I thought it more likely they could be caught by a counter-attack. But none are anywhere near division strength.


    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Your writing is up to it's usual standards. I wouldn't be all that worried about the French. Once you clean up Netherlands and Belgium, sweep down the coast and then turn in with your armor. Use your infantry and enough armor to punch holes along the rest of the Belgian border, and you will be able to get through. Keep the forces you've got along the maginot line distracting the French. The more that are tied up there, the less that will be availalbe to impede your advance from Belgium.

    Modo, I think he forgot the NA locks you in for 2 years.
    I hope you are right: I am getting more convinced (from the intelligence estimates) that there are at least some French on the border. And I have only found one or two British divisions, and I have read in other threwads that the British send a lot across the Channel.

    I thought NA pacts were only for a year? I am more than willing to be proved wrong. And I hadn't forgotten - see above.


    Quote Originally Posted by BoemsiBoemsie View Post
    A great battle with the Dutch navy, cool!! Just dont waste your Luftwaffe on petty attacks against a defeated enemy. The RAF can be really hard to beat. They come in great numbers and are lethal against unescorted bombers.

    Are you focussing on secret experiments yet, like nuclear and rockets?

    PS: the place were you are building a new factory Phaha, I guess that is Prague (Praha) , one of the great cities of central Europe, home to Kings of old. (Sounding like Lord of the Rings here)
    I was happy that the Royal Navy didn't get 3 cruisers and two destroyer flotillas! Unfortunately I don't select the targets for my bombers: they are attached to Armies. No nuclear yet but have just started down the rocket path. (I tend not to go nuclear - it takes a lot of research and takes a very long time, and in previous games the AI wouldn't use them so, in a Mutually Assured Destruction type of decision, I wouldn't either.)

    Another foolish typing error: I will fix it. I am pretty sure (correct me if I am wrong) that Good King Wenceslas of the Christmas carol came from Praha.

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