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

  1. #2041
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    A Clerk’s War




    Sunday 19th to Friday 31st August 1940


    As I write this, workers are still clearing up after the victory speeches yesterday. Ministers Fricke and Goebbels performed well, with a “spontaneous” crowd of tens of thousands present in front of the old Bundesrat building at Wilhelmstraße 94 for the appearance of the Führer and other dignitaries. I didn’t bother to attend (nobody would have noticed my absence) as I didn’t want to see the happy faces of my fellow citizens. All of Germany was convinced that the war was over, with the British sure to surrender within weeks once they realised they were alone on their little island. How could I look my fellow citizens in the eye when I knew that Foreign Ministry reports stated that the English were resolved to keep fighting, no matter the cost? Even worse, when I knew that within eight months we would be fighting the largest army in the world, that of the Soviet Union?



    Part of the huge crowd at the front of Wilhelmstraße 94: the Führer and several ministers appeared on the balcony


    In the excitement of the successful completion of Unternehmen Stierkampf, there was no interest in the work of road workers in Silute and Memel. Yet the news from the Baltic provinces was as clear an indication of the thinking of the Führer and the Cabinet as anyone could want. After months of work the contracts to repair and upgrade the road and rail links in those provinces on the border were finished. Without even a discussion, fresh funds were allocated for another round of contracts. Significantly, these new contracts will run until 15th March 1941. To my mind, this is the first clue as to when we can expect the next stage of the war to begin.

    Also yesterday, General von Hadeln took command of 285th Sicherung Division. He was not able to attend the celebrations, as he and his men are already loaded onto trains bound for Madrid. It will not be long until the front-line troops in Spain head east. In fact, I noted that an order has been approved to commission another two garrison divisions in 65 days. Spain, Frankreich and Yugoslavia can expect to be stripped of combat units in the next six months.

    As it was, the infrastructure projects approved yesterday were just a glimpse of Minister Bayerlein’s plans. Today the full scale was revealed. 25 provinces reported that improvements had been completed, and an expansion of the Przemysl aerodrome is ready for use. While I was absorbing that, clerks started wheeling in box after box of documentation. Calling for the detail sheet, I saw that the boxes contained tender applications, plans and contracts for 16 projects in Poland, one in Yugoslavia, 18 in Romania and 8 in Spain. As if that were not enough, a further expansion of Przemysl airbase and work on the airfields near Suwalki has also been approved. By the end of March next year several chains of decent transport links will criss-cross the occupied territories in the east. As tens of thousands of vehicles and millions of men drive into Russia, we should be able to provide them with the fuel, ammunition, food and replacement parts that they need to function.



    This is what passes for a road in Eastern Poland: still a lot of work to be done


    First, however, we must crush Gibraltar. Rommel wants to attack the fortress from as many angles as possible, so he intends to eliminate all opposition outside the city before launching a mass assault. General Blaskowitz, denied the honour of capturing the Spanish government in Huelva, has been told that instead he is to seize Cádiz, the only major port other than Gibraltar that remains outside our control. Two Ex-Spanish HQ units are trying to hold off 29.Infanterie (mot) to allow 18th MountainInfantry Division to escape to Gibraltar. Blaskowitz has orders to prevent this.



    Battle of Cádiz

    On Tuesday five road projects in Ostmark (I still think if it as Österreich) were finalised, and the Mininster Bayerlein was apparently satisfied that the transport system is now satisfactory there, as the excess industrial capacity is to be used for equipment upgrades. The only other item that day was the transfer of Kitzinger’s 3rd Kampffliegerkorps to Madrid, attached to Rommel’s Sud-Frankreich Army. The Luftwaffe is making sure that we have sufficient bomber assets available to make life in Gibraltar very miserable.

    Wednesday saw the first step in the expansion of the Jagdkorps. JG 11 “Odin” was assigned to 4th Jagdfliegerkorps, joining “Freki” and “Geri”. This is the first three geschwader interceptor korps, and OKL is hoping it will tilt the balance our way in the Battle for the Channel. “Odin” is currently equipped with Bf 109E aircraft, but these should soon be upgraded. Another interceptor geschwader has been ordered and this will be the new Messerschmitt Bf 109F. Someone has developed an interest in Nordic mythology, as on the same day the long-awaited renaming of the two “Westwall” geschwader took place. JG 14 will now be known as “Huginn” and JG 15 as “Muninn”. Rumour has it that further renaming is being considered by OKL.

    On the 22nd a serious air battle took place in the Western English Channel. Generalleutnant Waber had a total of 280 fighters when he met Air Vice-Marshall Leigh-Mallory with just under 400 carrier aircraft. For once we seem to have inflicted some losses on the British, though we lost a significant number ourselves. My brother’s unit, “Schlageter”, has been particularly hard hit, though Ernst is still fine.



    Air Battle of Western English Channel: 9AM 22nd August: note the tank formation passing through Bournemouth – where could it be heading?


    On Thursday the Luftwaffe took delivery of its third group of transport aircraft. KG zbV2 has joined Abernetty’s 1st Truppentransporterluftflotte. Producing the Ar 232s is hugely expensive, and no more will be constructed for now. Hasty factory conversions are taking place to allow the manufacture of equipment for a new motorised division, as well as a rather less costly garrison division. The motorised division will have an attached tank destroyer regiment armed with the Panzerjäger 38(t) mit 7.5cm Pak 40/3 Ausf. M Marder III Sd.kfz 138, mercifully referred to as the Marder III M.



    Our latest tank destroyer: the Marder IIIM


    Diplomatically, we were asked by Bulgaria whether we would be prepared to extend credit to them to allow them to purchase raw materials. As we have no real use for additional cash and it is in our interest to build up the Bulgarian economy, unlimited credit has been approved for the duration of the war. Of course, our normal restrictions will apply. While we are prepared to sell as much coal and steel as required, it is unlikely that more than a trickle of rare materials will cross the border.

    The big news of the 23rd August, however, was an attack by the British. Leaving the security of Gibraltar, at 11AM General Hobart attacked 16.Infanterie (mot) in Algeciras. De Angelis has identified at least 5 divisions attacking, a total of just under 31,000 men. All of these are second line troops, however, and de Angelis is confident that his 10,000 soldiers can hold them off: the mountain terrain is perfect for defence. There is some speculation as to why the British have left the relative safety of their tunnels and bunkers to move into the open, but the most popular theory is that Hobart hopes to provide an escape route for the defenders of Cádiz.



    Battle for Algeciras


    Perhaps this was the moment Rommel has been waiting for: immediately he announced that preparations for Fall Steingarten, the capture of Gibraltar, were complete. Two hours later the Reichskanzlei was buzzing with the news that General Ott has given the order to advance from Montellano. He has three divisions including an SS Mountain unit. Even with this substantial force victory is doubtful, as the Rock is a natural fortress and the British have had hundreds of years to add to its defences.



    Battle of Gibraltar


    With Gibraltar itself under attack, General Hobart had no option but to call off his own offensive. De Angelis is claiming victory, but most military analysts here consider him lucky. Hobart had inflicted 38 casualties on 16.Infanterie (mot) while his own losses were kept to 44. Given the conditions and the fact that Hobart then had to disengage under fire, this was a creditable result. The analysts consider this a worrying indication of the quality of the enemy units: even if they are second-line, they will not collapse when put under pressure.

    More significant was the victory in Cádiz. With Hobart pulling back from Algeciras, the last hope of rescue was dashed. That was it for the thousands of British and Spanish who were fighting an unwinnable battle. With 293 of his men dead, General Olalde gave the order to surrender. General Blaskowitz achieved his objective (with only 4 men lost), as 18th Mountain Infantry Division will take no part in the defence of Gibraltar. In fact, not one of the British, Belgian or Irish divisions committed to fight in Spain made it back to British territory: a brilliant result for General Rommel who had sworn that any Allied units encountered would not escape.

    There was one obscure report that provoked a lot of interest from the more astute Wehemacht observers. I had overlooked a message from Generalleutnant Christiansen who had been patrolling the Northern Bay of Biscay. Far out to sea, 4th Jagdfliegerkorps (I must get used to seeing “Huginn” and “Muninn”) was surprised to encounter a large formation of Blackburn Skuas. A few of the British bombers were short down, but the majority continued heading north. I had glanced at this and moved on, but I heard a senior Luftwaffe officer pointing out that the only explanation for this was that the RAF is evacuating its aircraft from Gibraltar. If true, this is a signal that the British themselves do not consider the Rock to be impregnable.



    Air Battle of Northern Bay of Biscay: 3PM 23rd August


    A progress update from General Ott on 24th August would support this analysis. While Ott was mainly concerned with informing General Rommel that Eppich’s 5th Gebirgsjägers had joined the assault (from Estepona) and that de Angelis and 16.Infanterie were moving up from Algeciras, he also pointed out that his observations led him to believe that the Gibraltar airbases were now empty (they are very exposed to shelling). The lack of RAF (as opposed to RN Fleet Air Arm) bombing in the past day would support this, so it seems that our task may be easier than expected.



    Fall Steingarten: situation at midnight of 23rd August


    Although the RAF was conspicuous by its absence, Saturday saw the return of the carrier air groups. They did nothing to interfere with our bombing of Gibraltar, preferring to hit our troops moving to the front. Losses were quite low, particularly in comparison to the damage our bombers are inflicting.

    Saturday also saw our seventh Panzer division join the Heer. For now it is based in Breslau, where General von Hubicki will oversee final training. It is to be the kernel of a new Panzerkorps, with another tank division expected to be ready soon, and several motorised infantry units in the last stages of preparation. A new motorised division has been approved, this one to have a self-propelled artillery regiment of “Grilles” in support. (Another useful abbreviation: the actual order documents refer to the “15cm s.i.G 33 (Sf) auf Panzer 38(t) Ausf. K Grille Sd.Kfz 138(1)”. Any additional resources will be used to arm and equip yet another garrison division.



    The rather cramped worked space of the “Grille”. Although they can’t carry much ammunition, a regiment of these guns has proved to be a valuable addition to a motorised formation.


    Our Italian allies have purchased a small amount of coal from us but insist on paying for it, even though I am sure we have agreed to extend unlimited credit to them. Considering we produce far more coal than we can use, we would give it to them for nothing.

    When I left work on Saturday evening all was well, but when I returned on Monday I got a shock. There had been nothing in the newspapers about Spain, so I assumed everything was OK. Yet the first few papers on my desk referred to General Ott calling off his attack. One used the word “defeat” pointing out that we had lost 621 men against the British losses of 588. What was happening? Had the legend of the invincibility of the Rock affected Rommel’s decision-making?

    All this passed through my mind in seconds, and luckily before I could actually say anything I saw another document with a later time stamp. General Schack had moved on Gibraltar with his own 10.Infanterie (mot) and Engelbrecht’s 4th Gebirgsjäger divisions. General Hobart is still holding firm, but he now has two thousand less men than he had three days ago: the result of the continuous bombing and Ott’s persistent attacks.



    Second Battle of Gibraltar: the rain has returned temporarily


    That was the only news for Sunday and Monday was just as dull. Presumably Schack was moving cautiously forward, but there was no information from Sud-Frankreich Army. The Luftwaffe reported a few dogfights over the Western English Channel, but nothing out of the ordinary. It was noticeable that the armoured division spotted moving along the coast several days ago was no longer to be seen.



    Air Battle of the Western English Channel: 6PM 27th August


    In fact the high point of the day was a change in our occupation policies. The Cabinet has decided that recruitment in the Polish territories is too low, and this has been caused by our decision to impose a full military government. Although allowing a Polish collaboration government will cost us some production (they will need to provide a few luxuries to the populace) it will make it more socially acceptable for young Poles to join the Wehrmacht and for tertiary graduates to take up careers in the military or other professional areas.

    Life in the Kanzlei has reverted to pre-war pace: until Thursday nothing exciting occurred to disturb our routine. Then we received disturbing news from General Schack (via Rommel’s HQ). Over the past few days he has been gradually making progress as more and more divisions arrived to join the assault. He now has two motorised, two Gebirger and an armoured division under his command. Sud-Frankreich Army has 3 Kampffliegerkorps, 3 Schlachtfliegerkorps and a Jagdfliegerkorps available, though airbase capacity and supply restrict Luftwaffe performance. All well and good, but the British resistance has stiffened in the past day, and now we know why. The armoured division we spotted on the Channel coast has arrived in Gibraltar to provide additional support! This has thrown General Rommel into a fury: he has contacted Berlin to ask how he is expected to capture a fortress that is being reinforced faster than he can reduce its defenders’ numbers. The response was immediate: 1st and 2nd Seefliegerkorps have left Nantes and rebased to La Coruña, the only airbase able to take 400 aircraft. Orders have been issued to both Stumpff and Geisler that they are to immediately start patrols off the coast of Carvoeiro, and that no troopships are to be allowed to reach Gibraltar. This is a bit unfair – as many Luftwaffe officers have said it is the responsibility of the Kreigsmarine to blockade enemy ports. Unfortunately life isn’t fair, and our two battle fleets are still repairing damage and waiting for replacement Zerstörergeschwader.



    Men of 6th Gebirgsjäger Division march in the summer heat from Estapona towards Gibraltar: in expectation of heavy fighting they have exchanged their soft Bergmütze for steel helmets.


    Friday was unofficially named “Research Day”. Three projects were completed and three new assignments were issued. The areas involved reflect the changing emphasis of the past few months. Two of the completed projects related to the construction of our next generation of light cruisers. New main armour designs and manufacturing techniques will make the next models more able to absorb punishment, while more powerful engines will allow them to close with the enemy more quickly (or escape I suppose, thought the specifications don’t emphasise this). Six months ago the Kriegsmarine had a lot of influence: now it is completely overshadowed by the Heer and Luftwaffe. While one of the new projects has a naval facet, it is strictly aircraft research, developing better naval strike tactics for our naval bombers.

    The other completed research will give our cavalry better small arms. At the moment they are equipped with the Erma Maschinenpistole 1935, a product of Erma Werke. A serviceable weapon, but the Waffenamt believe that with training and new tactics our cavalry will perform better if armed with the MP 40. (For one thing, the MP 40 doesn’t have a disassembly switch near the trigger. Accidently disassembling your weapon while in combat can have severe drawbacks).



    The Erma EMP 35: a good design, but a few drawbacks


    I have mentioned that our naval bombers will get new strike tactics, and the Luftwaffe also secured one of the other research slots. Another study is to be made of fighter ground control, specifically co-ordination with radar sites. Anything to help our pilots is to be considered, no matter the cost. The last research group was earmarked for the Heer, and General von Blomberg surprised many by selecting a project that would concentrate on mass assault tactics. On closer inspection, the research is expected to boost the morale of our men considerably, so it will be very useful if the Red Army puts up a spirited resistance. While we hope our armour and motorised units achieve breakthroughs, no doubt there will occasions where our generals will have to grit their teeth and order a frontal assault by the infantry.

    The month ended with another garrison division leaving for foreign duty, this time to Beograd. General Kotik will command 147th Sicherung Division, the first unit of a future Yugoslav occupation force. There is no respite for the call-up staff: thousands of notices are already being mailed out to notify young men that they are to report for duty with a new Coastal Defence Division, comprising two infantry brigades, an anti-aircraft regiment and a rocket artillery regiment. I hope that the Poles start to attend our recruitment centres soon: our manpower reserves are not infinite.

    Bombing Summary

    RAF/RN fleet Air Arm

    Lebrija: Leigh-Mallory with No.1 RAF Dive Bomber Group: 45, 45, 73, 10
    Lebrija: Dowding with No.5 and 1 RAF Tactical Bomber Groups: 95, 149
    Lebrija: Dowding with No.5 and 1 RAF Tactical Bomber and no.1 Dive Bomber Groups: 182, 212, 222, 192
    Lebrija: Leigh-Mallory with No.1 RAF Dive Bomber Group, 16th and 17th Carrier Air Groups: 68
    Algeciras: Dowding with No.5 and 1 RAF Tactical Bomber Groups: NIL
    Lebrija: Gore-Sutherland-Mitchell with 16th and 17th Carrier Air Groups: 68
    Algeciras: Maltby with 5th CAG: 15, 7, 45, 44
    Montellano: Leigh-Mallory with 4th CAG: 28
    Algeciras: Maltby with 5th and 7th CAG: 53
    Montellano: Leigh-Mallory with 4th and 6th CAG: 60
    Estapona: Maltby with 5th CAG: NIL
    Montellano: Leigh-Mallory with 4th CAG: 4, 24
    Algeciras: Cunningham with 6th CAG: 18
    Estapona: Cunningham with 6th CAG: 30, 33
    Montellano: Denny with 7th CAG: 43
    Montellano: Leigh-Mallory with 4th and 7th CAG: 47, 26

    Luftwaffe

    Cádiz: Löhr with 2nd Schlachtfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 87B): 68, 65
    Cádiz: Hoffmann von Waldau with 4th Schlachtfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 87B): 74, 142
    Cádiz: Löhr with 2nd and 4th Schlachtfliegerkorps (4 x Ju 87B): 136, 156, 218, 151
    Cádiz: Kesselring with 1st Schlachtfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 87B): 131
    Cádiz: Kesselring with 1st and 2nd Schlachtfliegerkorps (4 x Ju 87B): 130, 24
    Gibraltar: Löhr with 2nd Schlachtfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 87B): 78, 138, 97
    Gibraltar: Kesselring with 1st Schlachtfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 87B): 40, 93
    Gibraltar: Kesselring with 1st and 2nd Schlachtfliegerkorps (4 x Ju 87B): 141, 197
    Gibraltar: Dörstling with 6th Kampffliegerkorps (1 x Bf 109E, 2 x Ju 88): 154
    Gibraltar: Sperrle with 1st Kampffliegerkorps (1 x Bf 109E, 2 x Ju 88): 250
    Gibraltar: Dörstling with 1st and 6th Kampffliegerkorps (2 x Bf 109E, 4 x Ju 88): 320, 233
    Gibraltar: Hoffman von Waldau with 4th Schlachtfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 87B): 117, 133, 46, 147, 4, 54, 32
    Gibraltar: Kesselring with 1st and 4th Schlachtfliegerkorps (4 x Ju 87B): 24
    Gibraltar: Löhr with 2nd and 4th Schlachtfliegerkorps (4 x Ju 87B): 244, 201


    Unterseebootsflotte Activity Report

    Eastern Biscay Plain: 1 transport (UK): Plymouth – Gibraltar: Dönitz with 2nd U-flotte
    Coast of Porto: 1 transport (UK): Dover – Kuala Belait: Aßmann with 1st U-flotte
    Goban Spur: 1 transport (UK): Plymouth – Fongafale: Fricke with 3rd U-flotte
    Horseshoe Seamount: 1 transport (UK): Plymouth - Ascension Island: Wolf with 4th U-flotte
    East Azores: 2 transports (UK): Dover – Dubai: Aßmann with 1st U-flotte
    Eastern English Channel: 1 transport (UK): Dover – Hong Kong: von Nordeck with II U-flotte
    Western Charcot Seamount: 1 transport and 1 escort (UK): Bombay – Dover: Fricke with 3rd U-flotte
    Horseshoe Seamount: 3 transports (UK): Singapore – Dover: Wolf with 4th U-flotte
    Coast of Porto: 1 transport (UK): Dover – Trincomalee: Aßmann with 1st U-flotte
    Eastern Charcot Seamount: 1 transport (UK): Plymouth – Trinidad: Fricke with 3rd U-flotte
    Cape St Vincent: 1 transport (UK): Dover – Nicobar Islands: Wolf with 4th U-flotte
    South-East Porcupine Plain: 1 transport (UK): Dover – Kuching: Fricke with 3rd U-flotte
    Galician Bank: 1 transport (UK): Dover – Tobruk: Aßmann with 1st U-flotte
    Eastern Charcot Seamount: 1 transport (UK): Plymouth – Banjul: Fricke with 3rd U-flotte
    Gibraltar Approaches: 1 transport (UK): Dover – Socotra: Wolf with 4th U-flotte
    Eastern Biscay Plain: 2 transports (UK): Portsmouth –Seychelles: Dönitz with 2nd U-flotte
    Horseshoe Seamount: 1 transport (Greek): Athina – Boston: Wolf with 4th U-flotte
    South East Porcupine Plain: 1 transport (UK): Plymouth – Kingston: Fricke with 3rd U-flotte
    East Biscay Plain: 1 transport (UK): Plymouth – Gibraltar: Dönitz with 2nd U-flotte
    South East Azores Fracture Zone: 2 transports (UK): Dover – Colombo: Wolf with 4th U-flotte
    Cape Peñas: 1 transport (UK): Portsmouth – Mauritius: Dönitz with 2nd U-flotte
    Western Biscay Plain: 2 transports (UK): Bombay – Dover: Fricke with 3rd U-flotte
    Coast of Cádiz: 1 transport (UK): Portsmouth – Malta: Wolf with 4th U-flotte



    Axis Military Position Maps




    Greece: the Regio Esercito has broken the back of the Greek army, which is in full flight back to Athina. This could be the end of the campaign.



    Libia: no progress in North Africa, where hundreds of thousands of Italians are content to look at a few thousand British and Iraqis, even though our military advisers have clearly instructed them that Benghazi is a key objective.



    Western China: our embassy in Tokyo tells us the IJA has reported large troop movements by the Kuomintang. Nobody knows what it means.



    Eastern China: the IJA is trying to expand their bridgehead over the Yellow River, but the Kuomintang has called for reinforcements from both the Guangxi Clique and Xibei San Ma.



    IndoChina: the arrival of Kuomintang and Guangxi reinforcements has meant a halt to the any offensive action by the IJA


    Fall Steingarten at end of August 1940




    General Hobart is conducting a tactical withdrawal which is reducing the effectiveness of our attack. The Gibraltar Command garrison division has apparently been evacuated, as it has not been sighted for some days. The armoured division is still on the docks, unable to reach the front lines as yet. My brother’s unit (3rd leichte Panzer) is moving up from Montellano.

  2. #2042
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarayakat View Post
    At last! Congratulations on your victory over the Spanish. Great update as always.

    On a related note, your AAR inspired me to try a game using army level AI. I found the experience very rewarding as that level seems to prevent most of the inefficiencies of theatre or group AI (constant SRs behind the lines, units shipped to the middle of nowhere, etc) while maintaining the feel of delegating the war to ones commanders in the field. Thanks for that.
    Thanks Sarayakat. I'm glad I have encouraged someone else to try the AI: I find it gives a much more rewarding game when I can't control every last thing. Things go wrong and orders are misinterpreted and you have to adapt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pudd1nator View Post
    Congrats on the liberation of Spain.
    As you have mentioned, now is the time to build boots and upgrade all. With the AI doing so much (so little) of the fighting, Barbarosa will be epic.
    Cheers on such a sustained effort.
    I need to leave some MP for replacements, but there will be a lot of building. And I do expect Barbarossa to take me some time to describe

    Quote Originally Posted by Surt View Post
    I don't know if you need more combat troops, but you need a lot of garrisons and MP to free the combat troops in the occupied territories.

    Sending long range bombers to help the Italians WILL break the british.
    Garrisons are starting to arrive: I have quite a few in the builds list. But there will be more. I want as many combat units as I can get inthe east by next March/April.

    And I will try to do a bit of bombing to help. I may hold off unitl Greece falls because I want to see if that will allow the AI to concentrate on N Africa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karaiskandar View Post
    Congratulations for your victory.
    I'm sure that the Spanish campaign will be a valuable lesson for the German armed forces.
    Thanks Karaiskandar: I don't know about the Wehrmacht, but it was a learning experience for me!

    Quote Originally Posted by NERFGEN View Post
    yes, on the other hand does he really need it? He's about to close half of the Mediterranean sea.

    ---------------------

    Congrats on your new holiday grounds. Now germans won't have to wait another 20 years to colonize Spain in summer.

    I'm already drooling at the thought of the epicity of the fight against USSR.

    Now break that little rock and send those limeys (no offense please) back home
    Thanks Nerfgen: our boys are already booking holidays in Ibiza. But no-one is getting home from Gibraltar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    You let AI handle Gibraltar?
    MADNESS!
    As you can see, it is doing OK so far. (I promise it is the AI - I haven't touched a thing other than changing objectives).

    Quote Originally Posted by Surt View Post
    Thats one of the fun parts of this AAR
    I think so: I don't think it would be much fun showing everyone how bad my tactics are. Now I can just blame the AI.

    Quote Originally Posted by bugwar View Post
    If the AI can take out Poland, France, and Spain, surely it can handle
    a bunch of mountain camping Brits???

    At least that is the plan.
    As above, it is working fine (so far).

    [QUOTE=Virus_Qc;11900472]
    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post

    While the Heinemann’s footsloggers fight their way forward, others are luckier and have motor transport. Some even get to ride in luxury (on the few occasions in Spain when it is not raining) in one of the Daimler Sdkfz 8 halftracks that have been issued to a few fortunate motorised units. There is talk that one day we will have complete divisions equipped in this way.


    Epic Mythbusters reference, I'm happy to be the first one finding it too
    At least I hope it's one otherwise I'll look foolish...

    Spain is finally down, maybe the Festivalia Italiana of North Africa will end and the Regio Esercito will start to move again... but I guess they won't move until Athens is captured.
    To be honest, though a Mythbusters fan, it wasn't intentional. I do like the Festivalia Italiana: it describes the lack of motivation in Libia pretty well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Normally, yes. I would not want to trust the Rock to the AI. It will most likely sit around trying to build up giving the Brits time to add more, causing more build up time. I would prefer to narrow the command down to army level and issue the attack orders after attaching all sorts of stuka and med bombers.

    Then, again, we MAY be surprised. The way Uriah's Spanish campaign has gone, I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Glad you finally got it Uriah. I am amazed it took damn near the whole country to get it done though.
    I am letting the AI have its head on Gibraltar (though I was prepared to step in if it started a seige).

    With Spain, I think that the problem is that after the SCW th eNU is about 100%, maning you have to take every damn victory province (the last are Cadiz and Huelva). In hindsight, I should have set spies to reduce NU. As it was it was only the sinking of a few convoys that reduced NU.

    Quote Originally Posted by bugwar View Post
    Good point.

    From what I have read earlier in the campaign, I believe that Uriah has the AI working
    at the Army level with attached air support. Whether he will add additional CAS
    elements to the force tasked to actually securing the rock, I do not know.
    Sud-Frankreich had 3 CAS korps already: I added a TAC because it can reach from Madrid.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baltasar View Post
    Congratulations on the Spanish surrender. Which HQ has control over the former Spanish islands? It could be worth assigning them to the HQ which has the subs under it's command. May be reinforce those islands with a marine divison? Just an idea.

    Taking Gibraltar will be difficult for the AI, even if you set Rommel's troops to Blitzkrieg mode. The AI is very reculant to take high losses / wear down good defensive positions. It might take a while until the AI moves, even if you assign all the Luftwaffe's bomber assets to the task of reducing the Rock. If the Italians are finally making headway in Greece, the bombers might be available for the rock for a short while, but I sense that you will have to send a group or two of them to aid the Italians sooner or later in North Africa.

    With only half a year left before Barbarossa will be launched, I'm still worried about the number of formations available in the theatre. The further the Reich expands, the fewer forces will be available for hot zones. The infantry will have to suffer the most in that operation, so it's even more important to have enough formations to rotate them in and out as needed. It might be worth to consider shortening the military training time. Preparing troops is important, but if you do not have enough boots on the ground, even the most experienced troops can be outmaneuvered and shortening production time by up to 30% is quite a lot of time saved, not only for the infantry but especially for those formations which have a long production time, eg tanks, planes and ships.

    The Luftwaffe also needs quite a number of additional squadrons to be able to controll that rather vast area of operation. We have seen what the Luftwaffe can do when not challenged, I'd rather not want to see the same happening to the German forces during Barbarossa.

    What is the state of the Kriegsmarine's capital ships? It has been a while since they last saw combat, damages should be pretty much repaired by now and it might be worth considering to move them further south to intercept reinforcements for Gibraltar.

    Also, having Barbarossa in mind, it might be worth considering to change the industrial laws from mixed to heavy, simply for the benefit of supply throughput. Am I correct assume that the economic laws have been changed to total war mobilization?
    From memory Sud-Frankreich has the islands: don't have it up right now. (EDIT: Checked - it is OB Spanien so maybe I can attach (why did I think an Army had a Theatre?)) I hadn't though t about them much: the subs are doing so well I haven't planned to rebase further forward. And the Marine divs are booked for a Baltic adventure.

    As above, The AI is doing OK so I'll watch it for now. And the Italians may get some bombers after I see the effect of the defeat of Greece.

    I am building lots of garrisons and cavlary for occupation: I wouldn't build reserves unless it looks critical. My overall build plan is still on track, but I agree I should build more aircraft. That will happen in the next few months: another CAS and TAC. I already have lots of INF onthe way to increase all korps to 3 geschwader, but may start another three.

    The damaged ships are still not 100%, but it is the lack of CL and DD that worries me. That is why I am using the NAVs to block reinforcements (better late than never).

    Industrial laws are already Heavy (have been for a while) and economic are at Total Economic.



    May be a short delay for the next update: Christmas festivity committments and I want to try the new beta 2.04 patch for save-game compatability (please don't make me replay!!!!)

  3. #2043
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    I have tried out the 2.04beta with a savegame and it works fione, except that the "Major Nations" mod I use seems to have a problem with the officer ratio calculation. It always reads 0%, although the base numbers in the save game file are fine. Anyone have any ideas why this would be so? As far as I know "Major Nations" only affects tech and image files - why would it impact the officer ratio?

    I posted a query in the tech area but I expect they are more concerned with bugs rather than compatability, so any ideas? Or more importantly, suggestions as to how I could manually fix this? "Major Nations" is not essential, but I do like to have Marder IIIs in 1940 rather than Jagdpanthers.

    EDIT: I am assuming that the %age would affect combat: or does the combat calculation use the raw data?

    2nd EDIT: False alarm: I have slightly altered the defines.lua in Major Nations and now is OK (and I think I found the problem with the damn CAGS too).
    Last edited by Uriah; 18-12-2010 at 05:47.

  4. #2044

    Falling Rocks, or the Pending Doom of Gibraltar.

    The update is again another enjoyable read; your writing style makes it
    a challenge for me to not root for the Germans!

    The blending of game details with period cultural ties for color is a technique
    that I like. Keep up the good work.

    As for the issue with patch compatibility, it is just a shame that you may have to
    redo the universal timeline each time a game improvement comes out.
    Last edited by bugwar; 18-12-2010 at 05:24. Reason: Missed an update clarifying issue.

  5. #2045
    Field Marshal GhostWriter's Avatar

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    Uriah: ...we have annexed Spain.

    splendid ! !

    Uriah:
    ...Spain, Frankreich and Yugoslavia can expect to be stripped of combat units in the next six months.

    and, not a minute too soon, either ! !

    Uriah:
    ...As tens of thousands of vehicles and millions of men drive into Russia, we should be able to provide them with the fuel, ammunition, food and replacement parts that they need to function.

    at this time, how large is the army ? ? Luftwaffe ? ? concurrent manpower ? ?

    Uriah:
    ...JG 11 “Odin” was assigned to 4th Jagdfliegerkorps, .. the first three geschwader interceptor korps...

    excellent ! ! am looking forward to finding out how this alters air combat ! !

    Uriah:
    ...we were asked by Bulgaria .. to extend credit ..for.. coal and steel . . + :

    Uriah:
    ...Our Italian allies have purchased .. coal from us but insist on paying for it, even though .. unlimited credit to them. .. we produce far more coal than we can use, we would give it to them for nothing.

    OK, this is something that i have wanted to know about for some time: how much does the 100k resource limit effect the game ? ?

    additionally, how much coal and metals do you lose over any one year of the game (range of min to max - plus average - would be nice) ? ?

    Uriah:
    ...not one of the British, Belgian or Irish divisions committed to fight in Spain made it back to British territory

    awesome ! !

    Uriah:
    ...If true, this is a signal that the British themselves do not consider the Rock to be impregnable.

    very interesting ! !

    Uriah:
    ... the actual order documents refer to the “15cm s.i.G 33 (Sf) auf Panzer 38(t) Ausf. K Grille Sd.Kfz 138(1)”.

    i believe that is what Panzer Leader/Blitz calls a 150 mm infantry gun ! !

    although i don't remember it being SP, only towed...

    Uriah:
    ...Accidently disassembling your weapon while in combat can have severe drawbacks).

    that is for sure ! !

    Uriah:
    ...I hope that the Poles start to attend our recruitment centres soon: our manpower reserves are not infinite.

    how much will that help ? ?

    magnificent updates ! !



    Baltasar: AAAHHHH!! GhostWriter, those colours make my eyes bleed

    my apologies. however, it has been my experience that reading the colours is the problem. and, highlighting a post removes the colours...
    B an 0:-), make someone happy, :-) GhostWriter :-)

    "Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we never had to put up a wall to keep our people in." . . . - John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Berlin, 1961


    "Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." - not sure

    thanks for the 6.10.10 update Valdemar ! ! : HOI1 *First Resistance* check it out ! !

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  6. #2046
    Citizen Sarayakat's Avatar
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    @ Uriah - My CWWW2 mod also returns 0% with 2.04. What did you change in the defines to fix?
    Hodor.

  7. #2047
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarayakat View Post
    @ Uriah - My CWWW2 mod also returns 0% with 2.04. What did you change in the defines to fix?
    Actually I cheated: I just renamed the Major Nations defines.lua to "olddefines" so it wouldn't load up. That way the 2.04 defines.lua file is not replaced when you instal the mod. (I use the Generic Mod Enabler so it is pretty easy to do). As I only want the tech and graphics anyway, I am happy.

    But I think if you look in the patch "common" folder, get the defines file and find the line that sets the 140% cap (it is towards the end) that that might do it.

  8. #2048
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Forcing the enemy into a corner that is heavily fortified is not good... let them out and encircle them properly somewhere else?

  9. #2049
    Private tr70whv's Avatar
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    Hello all together! First I have to say: really great AAR! I´m following it since the start (with some breaks due to duty at sea).
    @GhostWriter: about the 15cm infantrygun: yes, it is same weapon. A 15cm Infantriegeschütz 33 attached to the hull of a PzKpfw 38(t).

  10. #2050
    Quote Originally Posted by tr70whv View Post
    Hello all together! First I have to say: really great AAR! I´m following it since the start (with some breaks due to duty at sea).
    @GhostWriter: about the 15cm infantrygun: yes, it is same weapon. A 15cm Infantriegeschütz 33 attached to the hull of a PzKpfw 38(t).
    Duty at sea? Are you in the German Navy? If you mind me asking.

  11. #2051
    Private tr70whv's Avatar
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    Yes, I am. Quite a while.... since 1991.

  12. #2052
    How can you possibly do a tactical withdrawal in Gibraltar...with 4 divisions? XD
    That withdrawal must be something along the lines of one house per day...and the tank division still sitting on the docks meanwhile gets to watch the action barely 200 meters away, completely exposed. Then again, there is no way that a tank would manage to pass through the narrow streets of the city and out onto the airport anyway, I already thought the normal car drivers were suicidally insane for trying to fit their vehicles through the alleyways. So they have no chance but to stay in reserve or open fire from the docks.

  13. #2053
    Colonel NERFGEN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dáin View Post
    How can you possibly do a tactical withdrawal in Gibraltar...with 4 divisions? XD
    That withdrawal must be something along the lines of one house per day...and the tank division still sitting on the docks meanwhile gets to watch the action barely 200 meters away, completely exposed. Then again, there is no way that a tank would manage to pass through the narrow streets of the city and out onto the airport anyway, I already thought the normal car drivers were suicidally insane for trying to fit their vehicles through the alleyways. So they have no chance but to stay in reserve or open fire from the docks.
    The Brits installed elevators on the runway .. enabling the tanks to shoot and then disappear under the concrete...
    It's already a miracle that they fit 5 divisions on that rock. Imagine the nightmare for the cooks


    On a more warmongering tone:
    Yum yum.. reinforcements.
    Bomb their supplies to the last ice age
    Don't give them a minutes' breather.
    Last edited by NERFGEN; 20-12-2010 at 10:27.
    The USSR produced 57,224 T-34 tanks of various specifications during the WW2 timeline. 44,900 became scrap metal (aka destroyed).
    Total USSR AFV 1941-45 losses were 96.600. War winning tank much?

    Aar Tribute to the classicaar: RISK

  14. #2054
    Field Marshal GhostWriter's Avatar

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    tr70whv: ...@GhostWriter: about the 15cm infantrygun: yes, it is same weapon. A 15cm Infantriegeschütz 33 attached to the hull of a PzKpfw 38(t).

    awesome ! ! and, thanks for the info ! ! i am grateful ! !

    tr70whv: Yes, I am. Quite a while.... since 1991.

    i am grateful for your service ! ! ( i was stationed near Nürnberg from Mar.63 to Sept.66.)


    NERFGEN: ...Imagine the nightmare for the cooks

    IRL that would have been horrible for the cooks. and the KPs ! !

    good thing this is only a discussion of that nightmare ! !
    B an 0:-), make someone happy, :-) GhostWriter :-)

    "Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we never had to put up a wall to keep our people in." . . . - John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Berlin, 1961


    "Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." - not sure

    thanks for the 6.10.10 update Valdemar ! ! : HOI1 *First Resistance* check it out ! !

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  15. #2055
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Rank and File
    A Clerk’s War



    Saturday 1st to Thursday 6th September 1940


    The Heer’s plan to transfer combat units east is underway, although no units are yet on the move from Spain. (There are fears that massive troop movements could overstrain the supply network – at the moment priority is being given to Fall Steingarten). A newly formed garrison division is on its way to Bucuresti, ready for the moment for when our armies cross the border. At the same time more cavalry brigades were called up: two divisions are to be created, both of them of two brigades. I understand they are intended for Spain. When the “Drang nach Osten” begins, the Heer wants to have fast units in Spain that do not require fuel: the logistics officers anticipate a huge drain on our reserves from next March/April.

    The RAF, no unable to assist directly in the defence of Gibraltar, made an attempt to distract the Luftwaffe by bombing Dortmund yet again. If they hoped to draw off aircraft they failed in their objective. Generalleutnant Bogatsch and 5th Jagdfliegerkorps have 200 of our new Bf 109F fighters and they been held back for just such an attack. As it was, our radar allowed three other Jagdfliegerkorps to join the defence of the city. Air Vice-Marshall Newall started his mission with 275 bombers, but nowhere near that many made it back to England. Bogatsch’s pilots claim at least 57 bombers destroyed and it may have been more. Our losses were insignificant, less than five aircraft. Even better, the raid was a complete failure, with only one factory complex forced to stop production and a Flakturm knocked out. The British will need an escort fighter able to make the long trip from England before they can seriously affect our manufacturing again.



    Air Battle of Dortmund: 9AM 1st September


    Minister von Ribbentrop has had another diplomatic success, with a deal made business groups from Sweden. They will supply us with steel ingots which we don’t really require, but the Foreign Ministry believes that the trade agreement will improve relations with out northern neighbour. After all, we have money to burn! And significantly, the initial approach was made by the Swedish Embassy in Berlin, so we used none of our diplomatic resources. (With the huge demands of our research institutes and the officer training schools, there are not too many suitable candidates for the diplomatic corps or for the intelligence agencies).

    The day ended with another victory for the Luftwaffe, over Dover. Strictly speaking it was two victories, but the fighting was very confused and many of the units involved in the two actions were the same. In addition, the timeframe of the two air battles was such that it would be hard to say when one raid ended and the other started: our units were rotating in and out over the British airfields. It was the result that was important, and that was an overwhelming success for our fighters. We lost fifteen aircraft during the afternoon, while the RAF, despite the proximity to its base and the assistance of local radar, lost more than 25 of its fighters.



    Air Battle of Dover: 9PM 1st September


    Gisela and I had a small victory dinner on Saturday night (much more enjoyable than attending a rowdy mass demonstration and being harangued by Minister Goebbels). So Sunday was a very restful day; not much achieved but very pleasant nevertheless. Gisela insisted no radio news bulletins, no Sunday newspapers. She said she wanted to forget the war for just one day, and I must admit it was a good idea.

    Unfortunately on Monday morning reality was back in charge. Yesterday we had received bad news from Tokyo. Their ally Siam, whose capital Bangkok had been besieged by Guangxi armies for some weeks, had finally collapsed. The defenders of Bangkok were unable to prevent soldiers of the Guangxi Clique from penetrating deep into the city’s heart, and the government of General Phibun collapsed. An interim government had brief negotiations with the Guangxi, but the result was inevitable. The Guangxi insisted on unconditional surrender, and they held all the cards. By the end of the day, Siam had ceased to exist, incorporated into the Guangxi Clique.



    Elements of the Guangxi Army in Bangkok: the equipment may be outmoded compared to that in Eurpore, but against the Siamese it was more than enough


    Other diplomatic news on Sunday was less concerning, but still not welcome. The President of the USA announced that his country had entered into a full military alliance with the Philippines. Given the long relationship between the two countries this was to be expected, but Tokyo was still very upset, seeing it as further evidence of the USA placing boundaries on the expansion of the proposed Japanese Co-Prosperity Sphere.

    There was better news at home, with 8th Panzer Division (General Steiner) joining 7th PzD at Breslau. When motorised infantry become available, a new Panzerkorps will move to the front. We are not neglecting infantry construction. Our economy is not yet able to maintain a completely motorised army, so the two new infantry divisions that the Heer announced today will be reliant on horsepower of the traditional type. One division is a standard infantry unit of three infantry brigades and a support anti-tank regiment armed with 7.5cm Pak 40 L/46 guns. The other is a Coastal defence division with the normal 2 infantry brigades, an anti-air regiment and a rocket artillery regiment equipped with the 15cm Nebelwerfer 41. (The accompanying documents show that the coastal division is intended for Spain – several more are to be completed before April).



    The 7.5cm Pak 40 has performed well in Spain, as shown by the excitement of this crew. How will it do facing the tanks of the Red Army?


    Our naval bombers located a carrier fleet off the coast of Carvoeiro, but it was escorted by a large number of carrier planes. The solitary RAF unit was apparently down to just 14 planes! Our bombers took some losses and penetrated the fighter screen but the extent of the damage inflicted could not be determined: our pilots wisely elected to head straight for home after their bombing runs.



    Bombing mission off the Coast of Carvoeiro: the British fleet of three carriers escorted by a battlecruiser and two destroyer squadrons had heavy air cover


    The worst news came late on Sunday: General Schack called off his attack on Gibraltar. As before, losses were roughly equal on both sides: 1,890 to 2,066. Is this another planned withdrawal? Or has Rommel decided that the Rock is too hard to crack? And why are these decisions always made on Sunday? A more cynical person would think that Goebbels is managing the new flow and has instructed the Heer that bad news must be released on days when it will not get immediate broadcast. (Though which editor or radio broadcaster would risk annoying the Minister for Security anyway?).

    Monday started with an innocuous press release from the Luftwaffe. The nomenclature division is trying to justify its existence, and this time it was the turn of the naval bomber geschwaders. Stumpff’s 1st Seefliegerkorps will now contain SAG 125 “Eissturmvogel” and SAG 127 “Albatros”, while Geisler’s 2nd Seefliegerkorps will comprise SAG 124 “Baßtölpel” and SAG 125 “Lachmöwe”. Whatever keeps them happy I suppose.

    Then the good news. Yesterdays “defeat” at Gibraltar was all part of Rommel’s Fall Steingarten. Just after midnight Rommel unleashed General Nehring, who enthusiastically sent 1st Panzer Division and three Gebirger divisions (6th SS Freiwilligen and 6th and 4th Gebrigsjägers) into action. As I write this, 41,000 soldiers are pushing into the narrow streets of Gibraltar, while the Luftwaffe is sending mission after mission to devastate the town and port. The motorised units who led the attack are resting, ready to be called upon if necessary. The British will have no respite.



    Battle of Gibraltar: 1AM 3rd September


    There was also a surprise: the Nordseeflotte is now at Cádiz! Großadmiral Raeder made a top secret train journey to Lorient late on Friday, and at dusk on Saturday the fleet slipped quietly out of the harbour and headed south. Most of the voyage was made in darkness, but it was completely uneventful. (Raeder was under strict instructions to not engage any enemy forces). We now have our best fleet in southern Spain, ready to prevent any attempt to reinforce Gibraltar. (I do wonder about Minister Raeder’s workload – how does he meet his ministerial obligations while also commanding the Nordseeflotte.)

    Further good news came from the Luftwaffe. The RAF was given a lesson over Dover, today it was the turn of the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. Up until now these aircraft have been nearly invincible, but the now the Luftwaffe is using the most modern secret 2.04 beta tactics. We still lost half a dozen fighters, but this time we also inflicted nearly double that on the British. The new tactics are a great success and Göring is telling everyone that we will now sweep the Channel clear of enemy fighters.



    Air Battle of the Eastern English Channel: 10PM 3rd September


    The British must have been alarmed at the losses incurred by their carrier planes, or maybe they thought it was an aberration. Whatever the reason, all day Tuesday our pilots reported large numbers of carrier aircraft in the Channel, sometimes supported by RAF interceptors. Every time there was a clash the result was the same: some Luftwaffe losses but severe damage to the carrier units. In the course of the day we must have destroyed more than 20 carrier aircraft. The tide has turned.

    The only sour note was Italy’s cancellation of a contract to supply them with coking coal. They gave no reason but our Embassy tells us it is because of a lack of funds. Mussolini’s pride is once again costing his country dearly: the lost manufacturing capacity could be used to upgrade equipment or provide more supply, and we have already let him know that we would extend credit to Italy for war purposes.

    On Wednesday another English spy ring was broken, and this one was definitely involved in sabotaging our research teams. An audit shows that we are still losing 4% of our research effort to enemy action, but that is a substantial improvement on the 6% we have been losing for a few months. With war with Russia looming, and more and more worrying rumours about the size of the Red Army, we need to be sure that every technical advantage has been gained.

    In the air the RAF and RN carrier based fighters tried desperately to regain dominance over the Channel, but those days appear gone forever. The Luftwaffe is careful not to claim victory, but it is now able to hold its own, and losses were comparable. What seems to make a difference is that our units are being continually replenished, while some of the RAF formations cannot put more than 25% of their aircraft into action.



    Air Battle of the Channel Approaches: 3PM 5th September. No.211 RAF Fighter Group is just over half strength, while Klepke’s 1st Jagdfliegerkorps has 236 aircraft available.


    Stumpff’s bombers, now with their new geschwader names emblazoned on each aircraft, located another small Royal Navy task force off the coast of Carvoeiro. This group consisted of a battleship, two heavy cruisers and two destroyer squadrons. With no air to disrupt the bombing attacks, our Dorniers were able to achieve several hits but no ships were sunk, the darkness affecting accuracy.



    Naval bombing off the coast of Carvoeiro: 11PM 5th September


    Having demolished the myth of Fleet Air Arm immunity, the Luftwaffe entered Thursday the 6th with renewed enthusiasm. Before dawn, Conninghams’s 1st and 2nd Carrier Air Groups and Bowhill’s 9th CAG were engaged by Fisser and Felmy’s Jagdfliegerkorps. With the Royal Navy occupied, Waber took “Udet” and “Pik As” on a mission over Plymouth, the major British base in the western Channel. Boyd’s 2nd CAG attempted to hold off our Bf 109Fs but was unable to prevent a huge psychological blow to the British as our aircraft roared low over the port and airbase, strafing at will. News of the success of our fighters after months of bad news from the Channel swept across the Reich. According to ministerial reports to Goebbels and Fricke, they engendered so much enthusiasm in our brightest young men that recruitments to officer schools and military research centres jumped by 10%!



    The Plymouth Blitz: a huge boost to national morale after the many Luftwaffe disappointments of the past months and the loss of so many of our pilots.


    Was some of this enthusiasm the reason for a rush of blood to the heads of the Cabinet Ministers? Who knows. What cannot be denied is that within an hour of Waber’s pilots landing, an order went out to Großadmiral Raeder. The Nordseeflotte is to immediately move out of Cádiz and patrol the coast towards Gibraltar. Aggressive action is to be taken should any Royal Navy fleet be detected, and no troopships shall be allowed to reach Gibraltar. Neither reinforcement nor evacuation is to take place. As far as I can recollect, this is the first time the Kriegsmarine has been ordered to take an aggressive stance: I hope it does not cost us a fleet.

    During the day I worked with one ear listening for anything about the fleet. At 4PM came the moment I had been half dreading, half anticipating. Großadmiral Raeder had confirmed a British fleet had been identified (I assume by a float plane) and that it contained at least one troopship. As per his instructions, he had called “Battle Stations” and the Nordseeflotte was proceeding to engage the enemy. Not much detail was available, other than the enemy ships were heading towards Gibraltar and that there was at least one carrier present.



    “Scharnhorst” launches one of its three Arado AR 196 floatplanes: it was very likely one of these aircraft that found the British fleet


    The Kriegsmarine officers seconded to work in the Reichskanzlei were very efficient. They found a small noticeboard that is not used much and regularly posted updates on the naval action, usually direct transcripts of messages from the radio room of the “Bismark”. Luckily this board is close to my office and I found a variety of urgent reasons why I should pass that way. I really didn’t need to disguise my curiosity: every time I walked by it was surrounded by dozens of staff, many of them very high-ranking.

    The first bulletin was soon after 4PM, and seemed to be summary of several others, in that it gave a good description of the initial situation. On our side were ranged the seven ships of the Nordseeflotte, led by Flottenchef Raeder on the “Bismark”. Our flagship, the Pride of the Fleet, was already firing its 380mm and 150mm guns at HMS “Curacoa”, 16 kilometres away. The “Scharnhorst” had targeted the ships of the 3rd Destroyer Squadron, at range of 10 kilometres, while the “Deutschland” “Admiral Scheer” and “Königsberg” all directed their fire at the “Trojan Star” troopships. The two light cruisers “Emden” and “Stuttgart” were far ahead of the rest of the fleet and could use both their primary and secondary guns against HMS “Enterprise”, at 6 kilometres well within the effective range of their 149mm and 105mm guns.



    Battle of the Coast of Cádiz: 4PM 6th August 1940


    The Royal Navy fleet was led by Rear Admiral Noble (good work by our radio intercept groups, who had been monitoring some “in clear” transmissions from the Bay of Biscay). The view of the KM analysts is that Noble is not really up to commanding a large fleet and probably should be restricted to groups of six or less vessels. This will be his first real challenge, and already his inexperience and lack of ability to control his ships is apparent. After our opening salvoes only 5 of his 10 ships returned fire. A small group of ships led by the light cruiser “Enterprise”, launched in 1919 and recommissioned in 1939, had dashed forward to screen the larger ships. The “Enterprise” was only five kilometres from the “Königsberg”, while HMS “Curacoa” and the 3rd Destroyer Squadron were within a kilometre of their targets the “Stuttgart” and “Emden”. From 15 kilometres the 8 eight inch guns of the heavy cruiser “Cornwall” were aimed at the “Königsberg”, while the “London” class heavy cruiser “Sussex” was already scoring hits on the “Admiral Scheer”, 11 kilometres away.



    HMS “Curacoa” was only 1 kilometre from our fleet and became the primary target of the “Bismark’s” gun crews.


    The carrier “Unicorn” was far in the rear, protected by the light cruiser screen and the two heavy cruisers. Fortunately for the Kriegsmarine (perhaps the Gebirgers did not feel quite so happy), her air complement had been detailed to bomb our troops in Montellano so Collishaw and 12th Carrier Air Group were far away. For some reason, Noble kept three of his destroyer squadrons far to the rear possibly fearing U-boat attacks on his carrier. Whatever the reason, Raeder was grateful. A swarm of destroyers attacking our fleet which was without any Zerstörergeschwader of its own, would have been difficult to handle.

    There were a few cheers from the Luftwaffe officer present when another note was put up. The spotter aircraft of the Nordseeflotte had been picked up before the fleets engaged, and had now been debriefed and their photographs inspected. It seems this fleet was one that our naval bombers had attacked, and several ships showed signs of recent damage. The “Curacoa” was the worst hit, with several guns out of action, but a few of the destroyers also bore the scars of heavy bomb explosions.

    During the first hour, most damage to our ships was superficial, though the “Königsberg” took a couple of serious hits (it is hard to shrug off the impact of an 8 inch shell). Our fire was far more effective, with the “Curacoa” belching great gouts of flame from holes punched by the “Bismark’s” guns. She was discerningly listing and her speed had dropped noticeably, but her captain maintained his course. A troop ship was also ablaze, and several destroyers were trailing long columns of smoke.



    Battle of the Coast of Cádiz: 5PM 6th August


    By then most ships had closed a little, though a lot of manoeuvring was taking place. Our fleet was still in good condition, apart from the unfortunate “Königsberg” which was now clearly suffering. Damage control parties reported that all was under control, and that she was able to continue fighting. She was now within a kilometre of the troopships and firing every gun that was still able to operate.

    The British were in much worse shape. The “Curacoa” was still firing a few guns at the “Stuttgart” but the complete lack of success indicated that gunnery control had been wiped out. Its performance was matched by the ships of the 3rd Destroyer Squadron, which had barely a ship able to move, let alone threaten their target, the “Emden”. HMS “Enterprise” which rather than closing with our fleet had elected to stay close to the troopships, had suffered far less damage but the distance meant that its salvoes rarely hit the “Königsberg”. The two heavy carriers were unscathed but at more than 10kilometres they also were having trouble hitting the “Königsberg” and the “Admiral Scheer”. Collishaw and his planes were still away over the land. Their prolonged absence led our Luftwaffe officers to believe that no procedures were in place for emergency recall: something to bear in mind when our first aircraft carrier is commissioned early next year. And still the 10th, 15th and 28th Destroyer Squadrons stayed with the “Unicorn”, far from the action.



    Battle of the Coast of Cádiz: 6PM 6th August


    By 7PM Flottenchef Rader’s tactics were clear: he was completely ignoring the heavy cruisers and the aircraft carrier. Every gun on every ship was firing at the British destroyers and light cruisers and their precious charges, the troopships. There were more cheers when it was confirmed that the “Curacoa” appeared doomed. It appeared as though the seas had broken into the main engine compartment and all power had been lost. The ship was lying broadside to the Atlantic rollers and none of her guns could fire (the ammunition lifts useless with no electricity). The lack of electricity also meant that the fire control parties could no longer contain the blazes that were raging at several points on the superstructure and below decks and the pumps had stopped their losing battle.



    HMS “Sussex”: had she and the “Cornwall” closed with the Nordseeflotte, their 8inch guns could have caused problems, particularly if such a move was combined with a mass attack by the three destroyer squadrons. Fortunately Rear Admiral Noble chose to hold his most potent weapons far to the rear, allowing Großadmiral Raeder the opportunity to concentrate his fire on the screening ships.


    At 8PM it was announced that the crew of the “Curacao” were taking to the lifeboats. Their captain had done his duty but further loss of life would be for nothing. From 16 kilometres the “Bismark” had torn his ship to pieces while not one British shell had been aimed at her. The threat of a sudden destroyer torpedo attack was also removed: 3rd Destroyer Squadron was reduced to a couple of burning wrecks, several of its ships already gone, one in an enormous explosion as a fire reached an ammunition store with a failed fire protection system. More than half the troopships were either sunk or abandoned, and the “Enterprise” had lost at least two turrets and had a few fires. As far as we could determine, however, it was still sound below the waterline with no reduction in speed.

    As an aside, we had an urgent call from Sud-Frankreich headquarters. Soldiers of 20.Infanterie (mot) near the coat in Lebrija had reported the sound of guns from out to sea, and the pitch blackness of the Bay of Biscay was occasionally lit by gun flashes. They also claimed to have seen several bright explosions and what they thought was a burning ship on the horizon. Their fears were soon put to rest with the good news that the Kriegsmarine was doing its part to end the British rule of Gibraltar.

    I was debating whether to stay much later when the final bulletin came in. The Royal Navy had accepted defeat and was fleeing from the Nordseeflotte! The message included brief notes on our ships, but none were seriously damaged. The “Admiral Scheer” and “Königsberg” were the worst hit, with both operating at about two-thirds efficiency. “Emden” and “Stuttgart” reported cosmetic damage that would not impact performance. The Royal Navy lost a light cruiser, a destroyer squadron, 70% of the “Trojan Star” flotilla had been destroyed and the light cruiser “Enterprise would need substantial repairs before it was fit for even escort duty.



    Battle of the Coast of Cádiz: 10PM 6th August


    It was a good note on which to leave, tired but pleased that the Kriegsmarine had redeemed itself after the disastrous Battle for the Bay of Biscay.

    Bombing Summary

    RAF/Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm

    Algeciras: Tedder with 6th Carrier Air Group: 7, 18, 18
    Montellano: Bowhill with 9th CAG: 10, 17, 31
    Algeciras: Bowhill with 8th and 9th CAG: 27
    Montellano: Collishaw with 12th CAG: 25, 5

    Luftwaffe

    Gibraltar: Kesselring with 1st Schlachtfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 87B): 108, 69
    Gibraltar: Hoffmann von Waldau with 4th Schlachtfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 87B): 161, 96, 147
    Gibraltar: Kesselring with 1st and 4th Schlachtfliegerkorps (4 x Ju 87B): 344, 208, 44
    Gibraltar: Dörstling with 6th Kampffliegerkorps (1 x Bf 109E, 2 x Ju 88): 157, 100, 181
    Gibraltar: Dörstling with 6th Kampffliegerkorps (1 x Bf 109E, 2 x Ju 88) and 4th Schlachtfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 87B): 254, 249
    Gibraltar: Sperrle with 1st Kampffliegerkorps (1 x Bf 109E, 2 x Ju 88): 197
    Gibraltar: Dörstling with 1st and 6th Kampffliegerkorps (2 x Bf 109E, 4 x Ju 88): 350, 187
    Gibraltar: Löhr with 2nd Schlachtfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 87B) and 6th Kampffliegerkorps (1 x Bf 109E, 2 x Ju 88): 288, 304


    Unterseebootsflotte Activity Report

    Coast of Porto: 2 transports (UK): Dover – Trincomalee: Aßmann with 1st U-flotte
    South Azores Biscay Rise: 1 transport (UK): Portsmouth – Benghazi: Aßmann with 1st U-flotte
    South Azores Biscay Rise: 1 transport (NZ): Auckland - Dover: Aßmann with 1st U-flotte
    Horseshoe Seamount: 1 transport (Greek): Athina – Boston: Wolf with 4th U-flotte
    Coast of Cádiz: 1 transport (UK): Plymouth – Gibraltar: Wolf with 4th U-flotte
    Agadir Canyon: 1 transport (UK): Portsmouth – Seychelles: Wolf with 4th U-flotte
    Western Charcot Seamount: 1 transport (UK): Dover – Trincomalee: Fricke with 3rd U-flotte
    Cape Peñas: 1 transport (UK): Plymouth – Mauritius: von Nordeck with II U-flotte
    Coast of Cádiz: 1 transport (UK): Singapore – Dover: Wolf with 4th U-flotte
    East Azores Fracture Zone: 1 transport (UK): Portsmouth – Dar Es Salaam: Aßmann with 1st U-flotte
    Coast of Porto: 1 transport (UK): Dover – Chittagong: Aßmann with 1st U-flotte



    Axis Military Situation Maps



    Libia: the British and their Iraqi allies have recovered and the Sitzkrieg has resumed



    Greece: for the second time in just 2,000 years, Roman boots are marching towards Athens (though there is some confusion in the direction some Italian units are heading).



    Eastern China: the Imperial Japanese Army is pushing along the coast and many Kuomintang and Guangxi divisions are retreating.



    Western China: although it is difficult to get accurate information about the situation in Western China, Tokyo informs us that the IJA has won a major battle against a combined Kuomintang/Guangxi/Xibei San Ma army and large numbers of Japanese troops are moving south.



    IndoChina: General Tsuda has paused his attacks to adjust for the loss of his Siamese allies. He has plenty of men available, however, and our liaison officers expect his army to be on the move again soon.



    Fall Steingarten: General Nehring has broken through the British defences and hand to hand fighting is taking place in the city. The enemy has tried to set his tanks to create strong points but the narrow winding streets make for restricted arcs of fire. 1st Panzer is using its guns to blast fortified buildings to allow the Gebirgers to advance. The engineer regiments (on is attached to every Gebirgsjäger division) are invaluable, using satchel charges and flamethrowers to winkle out the defenders. The difference between our regular infantry and the second line garrison divisions is now plain to see and the end is near.
    Last edited by Uriah; 02-02-2011 at 14:16.

  16. #2056
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugwar View Post
    The update is again another enjoyable read; your writing style makes it
    a challenge for me to not root for the Germans!

    The blending of game details with period cultural ties for color is a technique
    that I like. Keep up the good work.

    As for the issue with patch compatibility, it is just a shame that you may have to
    redo the universal timeline each time a game improvement comes out.
    Thanks bugwar: I try to mix in a bit of other stuff to alleviate the boredom of the endless war!

    As for rooting for the Germans: are you aware that in Australia that the word "rooting" has a completely different meaning?

    And luckily my save games seem to have survived the change-over: they normally do in a "beta" to "live" transfer. Two complete replays are enough for me - I was dreading another.

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostWriter View Post
    Uriah: ...we have annexed Spain.

    splendid ! !

    Uriah:
    ...Spain, Frankreich and Yugoslavia can expect to be stripped of combat units in the next six months.

    and, not a minute too soon, either ! !

    Uriah:
    ...As tens of thousands of vehicles and millions of men drive into Russia, we should be able to provide them with the fuel, ammunition, food and replacement parts that they need to function.

    at this time, how large is the army ? ? Luftwaffe ? ? concurrent manpower ? ?

    Uriah:
    ...JG 11 “Odin” was assigned to 4th Jagdfliegerkorps, .. the first three geschwader interceptor korps...

    excellent ! ! am looking forward to finding out how this alters air combat ! !

    Uriah:
    ...we were asked by Bulgaria .. to extend credit ..for.. coal and steel . . + :

    Uriah:
    ...Our Italian allies have purchased .. coal from us but insist on paying for it, even though .. unlimited credit to them. .. we produce far more coal than we can use, we would give it to them for nothing.

    OK, this is something that i have wanted to know about for some time: how much does the 100k resource limit effect the game ? ?

    additionally, how much coal and metals do you lose over any one year of the game (range of min to max - plus average - would be nice) ? ?

    Uriah:
    ...not one of the British, Belgian or Irish divisions committed to fight in Spain made it back to British territory

    awesome ! !

    Uriah:
    ...If true, this is a signal that the British themselves do not consider the Rock to be impregnable.

    very interesting ! !

    Uriah:
    ... the actual order documents refer to the “15cm s.i.G 33 (Sf) auf Panzer 38(t) Ausf. K Grille Sd.Kfz 138(1)”.

    i believe that is what Panzer Leader/Blitz calls a 150 mm infantry gun ! !

    although i don't remember it being SP, only towed...

    Uriah:
    ...Accidently disassembling your weapon while in combat can have severe drawbacks).

    that is for sure ! !

    Uriah:
    ...I hope that the Poles start to attend our recruitment centres soon: our manpower reserves are not infinite.

    how much will that help ? ?

    magnificent updates ! !



    Baltasar: AAAHHHH!! GhostWriter, those colours make my eyes bleed

    my apologies. however, it has been my experience that reading the colours is the problem. and, highlighting a post removes the colours...
    A lot of points Ghostwriter: I don't think I need to respond to all of them. I will give a complete OOB just before Barbarossa: a lot of units in the pipeline. Now that all combat is over, shouldn't take long to get to March 1941. As for losses over the 100k limit, Ihav elost a lot of energy from production, and a little steel. I think I have lost a fair bit from conquests but I forgot to write it down: the total exceeds 100k the day you capture a stockpile but vanishes at midnight like Cinderella's coach.

    And Poland's MP won't be a lot, a few MP per month (5?), but I need every man I can get.


    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Forcing the enemy into a corner that is heavily fortified is not good... let them out and encircle them properly somewhere else?
    I didn't force them: they went there willingly!!! And they did come out (briefly). But a few garrison divs won't last long against bombing, then it is just one armour div. Don't worry - Gibraltar is ours.

    Quote Originally Posted by tr70whv View Post
    Hello all together! First I have to say: really great AAR! I´m following it since the start (with some breaks due to duty at sea).
    @GhostWriter: about the 15cm infantrygun: yes, it is same weapon. A 15cm Infantriegeschütz 33 attached to the hull of a PzKpfw 38(t).
    Thanks tr70whv. Now I am nervous: another native German speaker to laugh at my schoolboy attempts to speak the language, AND someone who knows about the German Navy, just when I am writing about a naval action! I await being informed of all the stupid errors made when describing naval tactics and battles: please remember I haven't even seen "Sink the Bismark!" (though I have seen "Das Boot" in German - and have the DVD).

    And the Germans stuck just about every weapon known to man on a 38(t) chassis: they must have had thousands of them to spare.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morrell8 View Post
    Duty at sea? Are you in the German Navy? If you mind me asking.
    Quote Originally Posted by tr70whv View Post
    Yes, I am. Quite a while.... since 1991.
    This is when I started to get worried: someone with knowledge.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dáin View Post
    How can you possibly do a tactical withdrawal in Gibraltar...with 4 divisions? XD
    That withdrawal must be something along the lines of one house per day...and the tank division still sitting on the docks meanwhile gets to watch the action barely 200 meters away, completely exposed. Then again, there is no way that a tank would manage to pass through the narrow streets of the city and out onto the airport anyway, I already thought the normal car drivers were suicidally insane for trying to fit their vehicles through the alleyways. So they have no chance but to stay in reserve or open fire from the docks.
    It must be a room by room pull back. And I do question the AIs decision to send an armour unit: maybe that was the best unit available?

    Quote Originally Posted by NERFGEN View Post
    The Brits installed elevators on the runway .. enabling the tanks to shoot and then disappear under the concrete...
    It's already a miracle that they fit 5 divisions on that rock. Imagine the nightmare for the cooks


    On a more warmongering tone:
    Yum yum.. reinforcements.
    Bomb their supplies to the last ice age
    Don't give them a minutes' breather.
    No-one will escape: that was Raider's job.

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostWriter View Post
    tr70whv: ...@GhostWriter: about the 15cm infantrygun: yes, it is same weapon. A 15cm Infantriegeschütz 33 attached to the hull of a PzKpfw 38(t).

    awesome ! ! and, thanks for the info ! ! i am grateful ! !

    tr70whv: Yes, I am. Quite a while.... since 1991.

    i am grateful for your service ! ! ( i was stationed near Nürnberg from Mar.63 to Sept.66.)


    NERFGEN: ...Imagine the nightmare for the cooks

    IRL that would have been horrible for the cooks. and the KPs ! !

    good thing this is only a discussion of that nightmare ! !
    No problems for the cooks: from the org levels thay have no food left.




    There may be a little delay in transmission over Christmas (a US visitor tells me at home they have to say "these holidays" but not here!). My wife for some reason thinks I should not spend the festive season in the computer room/study. And having made an abject surrender to "robberchicken" in Case Blue, I am about to start repelling the invasion of Europe in GDW's new monster board game "The Battle for Normandy". (A bit like a modern Avalon Hill "Longest Day".)

    So if I don't post for a week, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (OK, and a Happy Holidays too) to all my readers.

  17. #2057
    Dauphinois à la Noix Karaiskandar's Avatar
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    Pretty awesome update, the Luftwaffe and the KM did a great job !
    Merry Christmas and Happy New year Uriah.
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  18. #2058
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    Another great update, with details on a useful naval engagement. Gibraltar seems certain to fall quickly and that will make the UK's job much harder. Your road to Barbarossa seems clear.

    Thanks for this Christmas update. Nobody will mind you playing some other games but we are keen to see how the campaign in Russia will go. As an aside, it was my memories of playing Avalon Hill's Russian Campaign that made the purchase of HOI a necessity. I only play with counters, using military symbols, as this brings back the memories of many fine gaming sessions.

    Have a great Christmas!

  19. #2059
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    Gibraltar is too small to have that many units fighting for it...

  20. #2060
    Field Marshal GhostWriter's Avatar

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    Enewald: Gibraltar is too small to have that many units fighting for it...

    i thought that Uriah said that he solved that problem ! !

    Merry Christmas ALL ! !
    B an 0:-), make someone happy, :-) GhostWriter :-)

    "Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we never had to put up a wall to keep our people in." . . . - John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Berlin, 1961


    "Refusing to forgive is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die." - not sure

    thanks for the 6.10.10 update Valdemar ! ! : HOI1 *First Resistance* check it out ! !

    HOI2 Cat War – Alternate USA AAR, By Amona ; discover this now ! !

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