Excellent AAR, Uriah ! Your style is very immersive; I'm curious to read the world war reports.
Rank and File
A Clerk’s War
1st June to 30th June 1938
The first week of this month saw the Aircraft Carrier Research Group report that both the deck armour and hangar deck teams have had significant breakthroughs. A recommendation was made that when the new engines are ready (later this month) we commence construction of at least one and possibly two fleet carriers, and that serious consideration be given to producing some escort carriers. The Kriegsmarine was keen for an immediate start, but faced opposition from the Heer which is demanding more and more ground troops for the anticipated war.
The final decision was made by none other than the Fuhrer. He has looked at the plans for the proposed new carrier (tentatively called the “Graf Zeppelin”) and noted that we are at the stage our allies Japan were at several years ago. According to one of the adjutants present at the time, he exploded with rage, accusing Grossadmiral Raeder of trying to embarrass him in front of the Japanese. There was no way that Germany would have observers around the world see us launch an outdated carrier. Unless we were at least at technological parity with the world, no funding would be provided. In vain did the naval engineers refer to the immense lead times in carrier construction: more research would have to be carried out.
TheJapanese carrier “Ryujo”, launched in 1935 and commissioned in 1937: the Fuhrer will not allow us to build a carrier that is already out-of-date
No such problems with the development of a new gun for our light armoured vehicles (including light tanks). All six leichte Panzer divisions will be upgraded with the 2cm Kwk 38 L/55 main gun. To placate the Kriegsmarine after their defeat in the aircraft carrier decision, the research team has been allotted to Cruiser Crew Training
A prototype 2cm Kwk 38 installed in a Sdkfz 222 for trials. It has met all requirements and we will now upgrade our Panzer IIF units.
The Japanese Embassy here in Berlin has decided to pass on its regular military updates from China, and has assured our military analysts that no details will be held back. While there are some doubts as to whether all information will be provided, this is a welcome addition to the reports we receive from our officers with the IJA. The first batch of information (dated 9th June) reveals that the Shanxi divisions continue to have success, pushing deeper into Manchukuo. On the other hand, despite the presence of Communist troops, the Shanghai bridgehead appears to be secure.
Side notes by OKH analysts on these copies of the situation in Manchukuo show concern: unless the Japanese move quickly this could lead to a Shanxi breakthrough.
The situation in Shanghai has not caused the same concern, even though the Communist forces have pushed across the Yangtze River and taken the province of Changzhou.
Some bad news from the Foreign Office in 15th June: the United Kingdom has persuaded Greece to join the Allies. We had no illusions (Greece was always friendly to the British) but we had hoped they would stay neutral. Maybe we could benefit. The Turks may be more amenable to talks now.
When Messerchmitt finished another production run of Bf 109D Interceptors, the Luftwaffe altered the order to the new Bf 109F multi-role fighters. We still gain the benefit of cheaper and faster production, but will have a more flexible aircraft. From the memos flying back and forth, I can see that Minister Goering would like to combat trial a couple of air wings in our coming conflict with Poland. (This was the first time that I have seen a specific country mentioned when the topic is the coming war: things must be progressing for the Minister to assume such information is known to his subordinates).
Our own information from Shanghai described the situation a week after the Embassy provided us with an update: it basically corroborated the early reports, but shows a few provinces had been lost to the Kuomintang. The front line observers, however, say morale is high and the Japanese see the withdrawals as temporary.
News from Shanghai dated 16th June (from our own observers).
On the29th there was a parade for some reason that I can’t now remember. (We have had a lot of parades lately). The only reason I mention it is that the new 5th Panzer Division took part, and we saw the Panzer III regiments for the first time. The tanks are definitely impressive and a vast improvement on the leichte panzers.
A Pzkpfw III negotiates a narrow street on its way to the main parade
Further news from China at the end of the month was a bit depressing. The Shanghai bridgehead is under increased pressure from the Kuomintang. More alarming, however, the Shanxi armies seem to be shattering the Japanese attempts to halt the drive into Manchukuo. This could be serious.
Northern China: worrying indications that the Shanxi break out is getting out of control
Shanghai: Chiang Kai Shek has order his armies to attack from all directions
The Security briefing for June shows research disruption has been held at 3%: mainly agents from France, Bhutan and Tannu Tuva. Industrial espionage is low, the only known cell being from Yemen.
While the news from China is not good, I feel sure our Japanese allies will bounce back. OKH memos assume that the Japanese will tie up large numbers of Soviet divisions in Siberia and Mongolia. A serious defeat in China would probably lead Stalin to think he could reduce that number considerably, and they could be transferred west. With the unsettling revelation that we are seriously considering a real war with Poland, there is a possibility the Russians could be asked to intervene. So the less troops they have available the better. I really hope someone knows what they are doing: I don’t like the thought of a two front war again.
Very good update, yet again. Unfortunate to see the Japanese AI still lacking anything resembling intelligence, being pounded by militias is not really what the IJA deserves.
Sadly it seems like the Japanese generals overestimated the ability of their logistics to provide their troops with enough supplies through a single harbor in Shanghai again and thus refrained from building additional harbors or invading additional ones and linking up the the beachheads.
Personally I started to cheat and give the Shanghai beachhead supplies manually by editing the savefile
Perhaps the AI would be better of if it had used all forces involved in naval landings in Korea and swarmed south from there.
Rank and File
A Clerk’s War
1st July to 31st July 1038
Summer is really here, though I find it hard to believe. The sky is clear and the sun is out, but the temperature here in Berlin is only 10degrees centigrade. I hope it starts to warm up a bit soon.
Work at the Reichskanzlei is routine, but it seems we are getting busier and busier. The whole building and all its annexes are more crowded than ever. Thankfully construction on the new building around the corner at No.6 Vossstrasse is proceeding in leaps and bounds. We hear that despite the demands on the economy, Albert Speer has an unlimited budget and an immovable deadline. One thing is for sure: he won’t have to worry about any strikes by the workmen! We should move into our new offices in the New Year.
As part of the routine, the Luftwaffe informed OKH that new Junkers dive bombers and Dornier tactical bombers have arrived. Surprisingly, only the Ju 87B order was renewed. Or perhaps not so surprising: within days the Heer announced that three infantry divisions were to be formed. I think I can hear the war drums beating – there is no way we would have so many men pulled out of otherwise productive work if the generals did not expect war within the next year or so.
Despite the fanfare made about our new medium tank division, the leichte tanks still form the backbone of our armoured forces, and look likely to do so for a while (producing an armoured division is a long and expensive process). So research continues to improve our existing vehicles. Technical details of a new engine and better armour have been delivered, and work on reliability is expected to be complete before the end of the month.
As promised, the Japanese Embassy has supplied its military position maps and papers, and some of it makes for depressing reading. There are huge battles taking place in northern China, but it the Shanxi armies continue to advance. To make things worse, the Kuomintang is again using air power and is trying to cut off the Japanese forces inland of Shanghai.
The Japanese are committing large numbers of troops in Northern China, but don’t seem to be even slowing the Shanxi advance.
Chinese bombers are being used to blast holes in the Japanese defences, allowing the Kuomintang to drive a wedge through the provinces west of Shanghai.
As a further indication that we are getting close to war, Minister Goering has approved studies into the formation of Fallschirmjager regiments. We have had troop transport aircraft under order for years now: I have noticed they have been moved up in priority. Soon we will presumably have the ability to land our forces directly on top of the enemy! Assuming the transports are not shot down by enemy anti-air. Coincidentally, we started development of an 8.8cm anti-air craft gun the same day the Fallschirmjager project commenced.
On the 18th, the newly created 60. Infanterie Division left for Stettin to board the troopship “Monte Rosa”, bound for Konigsberg and the Army of East Prussia. The extra division has meant that a new Armeekorps (XIII) has been set up in East Prussia – two divisions from I Armeekorps have been transferred to the new Armeekorps. We now have six infantry divisions facing the Poles on the other side of the Danzig Corridor.
The “Monte Rosa”, a cruise ship converted into a troopship, sails for Kongsberg loaded with excited men of 60. Infanterie Division.
Another technological advance was notified late in the month, but this one was kept very quiet. The files that contained all the technical papers were headed “FunkMessGeraet”, but surely all this secrecy cannot be about a radio measuring device? I am not technical, but my quick review of the contents leads me to think this is related to the “radar” mentioned earlier. A company called Gesellschaft fur Elektroakutische und Mechanische Apparte has been working on something called “Freya”. It seems to be some sort of detection equipment: there is mention of a range of 60 kilometres but how it works I can’t say. Regardless, the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine have each ordered several copies of the report, so it seems to have generated a lot of excitement.
A photograph of the “Freya” equipment: although unimpressive in appearance it has created a lot of discussion at very high levels of both the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine.
Two completely new projects have been registered with the Office of Skilled Personnel and both sound exciting. The first is in response to several requests from the Heer. General von Blomberg has consistently complained that he cannot adopt the new tactics of speed and responsiveness if his artillery support is too slow to keep up with his forward troops. So research teams are to design a self-propelled artillery piece, able to keep up with the armour and motorised divisions. This should give our men a real edge in combat.
The second project is to bring into existence the next generation of fighters and light bombers. Work has begun on a new aircraft engine, the BMW 132T Radial. The manufacturer has warned the Luftwaffe not to expect rapid progress – it is anticipated that it will be a year before this section of the project is complete.
Our liaison officer with the Shanghai Army has more bad news. Not only have the Chinese nearly split the bridgehead in half, but large numbers of Communist troops have been sighted. The Japanese commander has reassured him that all is under control, but our man remembers being forced to flee once before when the Chinese stormed the last lines of defence.
More bad news from Shanghai: Communist troops marching south through the corridor carved in the Japanese bridgehead
The Department of Trade continues to be flooded with requests for military supplies, some of them for enormous quantities. Nearly all are rejected, but Minister von Neurath has approved a small consignment to Italy. The funds received were used to buy rare materials from Italy and oil form Rumania.
The month end news from China is not all bad. The good news is that the Japanese commander in Shanghai has been proved correct. A cleverly planned counter-attack has smashed the Chinese leading forces and the Japanese are in hot pursuit. There is little chance of the Chinese plan to split the bridgehead succeeding. The bad news is that in northern China the Japanese are being chopped into pockets, while the Shanxi push deeper into Manchukuo. Casualty figures are hard to obtain, usually not a good sign. We have many officers who have instructed the Chinese in military tactics, and they believe the Japanese are in serious trouble.
The Japanese strike back: the Shanghai bridgehead is secure for now
The Shanxi drive forward: Manchukuo is under threat
With our scientists pushing the boundaries of knowledge further and further, we have become the prime target of enemy agents. Nearly one in twenty hours of research is lost through the interference of spies, a situation we should not tolerate. We seem to be doing everything possible, but the level of disruption continues to rise. To make the situation worse, we are down to only 142 agents abroad, and only one cell is still operating in the Soviet Union. How will Minister Frick recruit more agents to follow those who have already fallen into the hands of the NKVD?
I may have a lot of work and it may be routine, but at least I don’t have the risk of ending up in a Soviet show trial!
Last edited by Uriah; 23-11-2009 at 12:02.
Rank and File
A Clerk’s War
1st August to 31st August 1938
As directed, the Kriegsmarine continues research on its proposed aircraft carrier. The development teams completed an anti-air defence system suitable for the “Graf Zeppelin” class which it appears will never be produced. They were told to go back and start on an even better design, that the Fuhrer demands world leadership in what could be seen as the flagship of the Kriegsmarine (though to me that honour must go to our leading battleship: the “Bismark”).
My Minister, Wilhelm Frick was in a dark mood on the 3rd of the month. Thankfully it was nothing to do with the performance of my unit. I was confident it wasn’t – every piece of paper that enters or is produced in the Kanzlei is meticulously recorded and filed in its correct place. His bad temper was in relation to his other area of responsibility as Head of Intelligence. It has just been confirmed that our last operatives in the Soviet Union have been rounded up and will be sent to trial within days. This means that as we build up to war, we have no knowledge of our ultimate enemy! No wonder he is upset.
On the 6th, the last stretch of our Nord See coast was protected with sea facing fortifications. The Kriegsmarine has requested that similar works be prepared around Kiel, just for added security.
As I had suspected, Junkers had been ordered to give priority to the completion of the order for troop transport aircraft. Modified from existing Lufthansa airliners, the Ju 52 squadrons are now ready. While they can be used to supply troops, their real mission will have to wait for the formation of our first Fallschirmjagers.
A Junkers 52 “Tante Ju” waiting for its real cargo: Fallschirmjager.
The 10th of August was a particularly busy day for us in the Filing Office. The Anti-Tank project sent in its files for the completed Barrel and Sights sub-projects, and the Luftwaffe advised us of the set up of a Close Air Support Ground Crew Training study group. We had hardly cleared the delivery area of these boxes of documents when transfer papers for three anti-aircraft regiments arrived: one on its way to East Prussia, the other two to join headquarters units in the West. Then the necessary orders to form three more brigades of infantry were dumped on us.
As if that wasn’t enough, the Japanese Embassy chose that morning to provide copies of their monthly updates! I have to admit I took a short break to quickly scan these: the situation in northern China is deteriorating: I saw one report of a Manchukuo militia division trying in vain to halt the Shanxi regular troops. News from Shanghai was much better: the Chinese are retreating and long range bombers from Taiwan are helping inflict casualties on the retreating troops.
Manchukuo appears defenceless as Japanese units struggle to move east
Bombers fly across the North Taiwan Strait on their way to hit the fleeing Chinese
The 14th saw yet another infantry division join the Heer: the 61. Infanterie was assigned to XII Armeekorps on the Belgian border. There is no rest for the training units: a motorised division is now being formed.
Two days later the Anti-Tank project wrapped up: the development of the 8.8cm Panzerabwehrkanone 43 was complete. With its 6.43 metres barrel it is an impressive weapon, but more importantly its 10.2 kg shell can penetrate the armour of any tank in existence. Once again, the Luftwaffe has moved to take the technical staff to set up a training school, this time for tactical bomber ground crew.
No enemy tank is safe: the 8.8cm PaK 43 can handle the toughest armour
There was to be no let up for my clerks. The following day the Armoured Car project announced that its Armour development team had solved the manufacture and attachment issues related to thicker armour plating. Once more Minister Goering exercised his political power, assigning the best scientists to his Twin Engine Airframe design group.
That was the same day there was a huge uproar from Minister von Blomberg. This was unusual, he is normally quite reasonable. In this instance though, there had been gross incompetence on the part of a clerk in the Waffenamt. Back in May, the Minister had authorised the formation of three anti-air craft brigades. Somehow this clerk only passed on order for one brigade! I hear he is now working as the purchasing officer for one of the road construction gangs in Tilsit. Anyway, when the dust settled, another 3 brigades were authorised, and I am certain the clerical staff involved have made no mistake this time. In three months there will be definitely be 3 brigades joining the Heer.
Northern China is looking even worse. The headquarters of the IJA has ordered its troops to try and make their way back from the west, but the Chinese are continuously hindering their attempts to do so. At the same time, the Shanxi have no real opposition to their push into Manchukuo.
The Japanese try to pull back, but without much success
At last the pressure on my team died down a bit, allowing us to clear some of the backlog of sorting, copying and filing. In the last 10 days of the month, all we received were the movement orders for 3 new anti-tank regiments and four new artillery regiments. From the attached comments, it seems the Heer has managed to provide virtually every division with a support regiment of some sort.
The final delivery for the month was from the Armoured Car Research team: they have managed to adapt the Pz II (which will no longer be produced) to operate as a Panzer Aufklarungs Abteilung. The new vehicle, the Panzerspahwagen II (called the “Luchs” by the men) is much more likely to survive on a modern battlefield.
The “Luchs” will allow our reconnaissance groups far more protection as they scout forward of our advance.
Final news from China for August showed that the Japanese have ben unable to halt the Shanxi. Lead units are moving closer to Harbin, the Manchukuo capital, and there seem to be no MIA or IJA troops close enough to halt them. Shanghai is now secure, but our liaison officer is bemused at the insistence of the Japanese commanders on driving inland rather then along the coast to capture more ports. He believes that with more facilities to unload supplies a larget army could be supported.
The Manchukuo capital lies open
The Japanese drive inland from Shanghai - is the corrrect decsion?
21 spies were caught this month, according to the Cabinet figures. Perhaps this explains the drop in lost research time, to only 3% (French and Yemeni). The Iraqis are suspected of causing the only industrial sabotage this month. While the sharp decline in enemy activity has been welcomed, it did not remove the overall concern caused by the loss of so many of our own agents – and the fact that we still have not one spy in the whole of the USSR. I hope for my Minister’s sake he can manage to not only recruit some Soviet agents, but also keep them alive for more than a few weeks.
Last edited by Uriah; 24-11-2009 at 00:10.
The Japanese AI really needs some rework. Having them lose in China will affect your plans too, as Japan will be much less of a distraction for the Allies and Comintern.
I have been tempted to intervene, but I did say I wouldn't cheat, so I will just have to grin and bear it. It just leaves more for me to conquer I suppose.
Fascinating tale. I am enjoying this immensely. Hopefully you will have better luck than Eastern Empires is having in his So Wie Wir Kampfen.
Rank and File
A Clerk’s War
1st September to 30th September 1938
September started with diplomatic humour. Unfortunately it was not to last.
On the 4th, as I was walking into the Kanzlei, I happened to pass a group of diplomats entering the Foreign Ministry next door. They were in fits of laughter, and by slowing down slightly, I managed to hear that Communist China had just placed a trade embargo on us. The younger diplomats found this vastly amusing: did Mao Zedong not realise that they had been at war with our ally, Japan, for 15 months?
However, there was not much to find amusing in the next news from the Far East. There were a few questions early in the month when the Japanese Embassy did not provide its normal update on the Sino-Japanese War. We soon found out why. On the 8th September, Manchukuo surrendered to the Shanxi Clique! Although the Manchukuo Imperial Army has decided to continue to fight alongside the Japanese, they are in effect operating in a foreign country. With no supply lines, the troops in Northern China are no longer an attacking army, but a huge, isolated pocket. Our military analysts, particularly the logistics experts, predict heavy losses for the Japanese as they struggle to regain access to a port, or to retreat to Korea.
Prime Minister Zhang Jinghui of Manchukuo: he announced that Manchukuo has surrendered, although the Manchukuo Imperial Army has decided to fight on.
The next news from China was eagerly awaited, but did not arrive for more than a week, and was dated the 16th. (It seems that the only contact with the trapped forces is now by air. Our liaison officer has elected to remain with the Army of Manchuria, at least for now). As expected, the report showed pockets of Japanese forces, with a few of their MIA allies, trying to break through the Shanxi lines and head east and south. Shanxi forces had moved to the Korean border. The Shanghai bridgehead appears to progressing well, but that does not offset the looming disaster in the north of the country. OKH has requested that the next bulletin contain details of the supply situation.
Pockets of Japanese and MIA find their retreat blocked by large numbers of Shanxi
All is well at Shanghai
After the hectic past few weeks, there has been a much appreciated lull in deliveries to the Filing Division. Construction approvals for 3 of the new “radar” installations have been approved, and they should be ready to go into operation in about 6 months. The only other events of note were the development of new carriage and sights for our anti-aircraft guns, and start of a long-term investigation into single engine airframes for our fighters and light bombers.
The Cabinet meeting at the end of the month was dominated by the news from China. This would have annoyed Ministers Frick and Goebbels, whose combined efforts have seen the disruption of our research reduced to 2%. The minutes show internal issues were barely discussed as the Ministers considered the impact of the likely Japanese defeat on out plans.
The latest news from China was available, and as requested it showed the supply situation of the trapped armies. As far as our logistics advisers can tell, the Japanese have considerable reserves in the provinces they still control: the only issue is whether they have sufficient food and ammunition to break through the massive Shanxi force blocking their way to safety. Luckily their fuel needs are negligible, as they have very few vehicles and any aircraft used are based outside the pockets.
A map showing the supply situation in Northern China. Although cut off from supply bases, it seems there are enough supplies to keep the Japanese fighting for a short time. But will it be enough to allow them to break the Shanxi lines?
There was some surprise at the results of a similar exercise carried out for the Shanghai bridgehead. Although all supply must come through the single port of Shanghai, all the considerable forces seem to be amply furnished with everything they need.
The Shanghai bridgehead has no supply issues, despite relying on only one port for everything needed to run the army.
The Cabinet concluded that, although it seemed likely that the Japanese Army of Manchuria would be completely lost, the Japanese would continue to fight. There is a possibility that Korea is under threat, but the IJA is still very powerful and if commanded with intelligence, it should be able to at least halt the Shanxi advance. There have been no indications of Soviet troops leaving the Far East, and this is our major concern. The final decision was that we need to continually monitor developments, but no direct intervention would be made.
A depressing end to the month. I find that at night my thoughts often concentrate on that lonely Wehrmacht officer in the depths of China, remaining at his post with the Japanese headquarters, not knowing whether he will ever return to the Fatherland. I hope that if the situation does become hopeless, if it is clear that the Japanese will not be able to break out, that he can put aside his sense of duty long enough to allow him to get on a transport plane and escape.
Last edited by Uriah; 25-11-2009 at 02:46.
Can anyone tell me why my last post is wider than all the previous? I did everything the same.
The only thing I can think of is that I installed a Windows update in between posts. Would that have affected it?
Any help/advice/comments gratefully received: I think the wider format would annoying for some people and I would like to fix it.
EDIT: Fixed it: Imageshack for some reason altered my setting of "resize image".
Last edited by Uriah; 25-11-2009 at 02:44.
Rank and File
A Clerk’s War
1st October to 31st October 1938
Another diplomatic bombshell: with the world focussed on military developments in the Far East, there have been a series of discrete meetings in Vienna between the Fuhrer and Benito Mussolini. Together they have been discussing the Magyar border issues that have so annoyed the Horthy government. Today came the announcement that Hungary will take possession of Southern Slovakia and the Carpathian Rus up to the Polish border. Within hours, Jozef Tiso declared independence for the Slovak Republik, we declared that we would protect the remaining provinces and the nation of Czechoslovakia ceased to exist.
Jozef Tiso – the new Prime Minster of the Slovak Republic, and our staunch ally
Our relations with France and the United Kingdom have hit rock bottom, and Poland, the Soviets and the USA are all annoyed, though to a much lesser degree. Hungary, of course, is delighted. Both the major Allied countries have stated that they will be more prepared to become involved on the world stage, which is a bit of a concern, as our agents tells us that we are perceived to be increasingly a threat to individual nations. It was not long before we had concrete evidence of this: Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands all started mobilising their armies. More worrying, at least as far as the furrowed brows of our diplomats indicated, was the United Kingdom’s unilateral guarantee of the independence of Poland. The Fuhrer’s private briefing papers (a copy of which “accidently” came unsealed while being filed) were quite insistent that the guarantee was rock solid: war on Poland would automatically mean war with the United Kingdom. As France had an unbreakable alliance with the British, this would bring them into the conflict as well. I hope our Westwall defences have not been built by shoddy contractors – I would be surprised if they were, the penalty for defrauding the State is fairly final.
Although the general population has little knowledge of international events (due to the domination of the Press by the Party), the published news has generated a significant groundswell of alarm. Obviously people have picked up on the tension that permeates government circles: it may take a bit of time and considerable expense to eliminate this dissent. Luckily the collapse of Czechoslovakia has brought the Reich additional industrial facilities, and Minister Schacht has authorised another short-term boost to luxury goods production.
We have not only gained industry; there were a lot of gifted Czech scientists and other professionals who are now available for our use. The Office of Skilled Personnel moved swiftly, and reorganised allocations so that we now can operate 25 research teams. In light of the continual losses reported by security and intelligence, spy recruitment has been increased to over 3 per month, while budding diplomats have been reduced to 35 per month. The Wehrmacht of course has stuck to its guns and still receives 22 officer candidates per day.
Once more the Luftwaffe managed to get the new researchers assigned to one of its pet projects (a new fuel tank for out medium bombers). I suspect that Minister Goering has been expending a fair amount of his political capital to raise the technical standards of the Luftwaffe before combat. Having seen the promises he has made to the Fuhrer about how our fighters will dominate the skies while our bombers will allow the Heer to advance virtually unopposed, I can understand why he wants to ensure his planes are the best available.
It was no surprise, therefore, to see a week later that approval had been given to sign a contract with Messerschmitt for dozens more multi-role Bf 109F fighters.
The Messerchmitt factory at Regensburg: production is now at full capacity
In the middle of the month a dirty and creased bundle of documents arrived. It was from our liaison officer in Northern China. Our man has been codenamed “Xenophon”, for once an entirely appropriate name. He has attached himself to the headquarters of General Ueda, and is currently in the province of Tiantaiyong. The situation is apparently very confusing, and Ueda’s forces are attacking west, trying to free another group of Japanese heading east. Xenophon reports that while it is cold (below zero), conditions are not too bad and supplies levels are sufficient for combat. He believes the Japanese are trying to link up all forces and then drive east. The note is short as he had to pass it to the pilot of a scout plane that was leaving the temporary airstrip and heading to Korea.
A compilation of information received mid-month from Manchukuo – the Japanese are still fighting hard but for how long can they maintain their attacks? Note the bravery of the two Manchukuo units, holding their positions to allow the fleeing Japanese to join the main force.
After that the news from Shanghai was comparatively bland. Operations have been put on hold for a while. Kuomintang and Communist forces are still powerful and the Japanese are waiting for reinforcements to arrive. The Japanese forces in Hainan seem to have settled down for the duration of the war – there is no sign of activity.
Consolidation at Shanghai
I hope that my comments earlier did not give the impression that the Heer had been forgotten. The Fuhrer is an army man, and he knows the need for lots of troops with the best equipment. In addition, he is always keen to read about technical advances for the military, particularly if it means bigger, faster or stronger! So when the industrial research teams reported that we have the capacity to design and construct a heavier tank model, there was no difficulty in gaining immediate approval for a group to start work on the 8.8cm Kwk L/56 – a massive gun for a massive tank.
Theory has not been forgotten – the Central Planning Group have moved to Phase 3 of their long term investigation of ways of improving our ability to mount successful counter-attacks.
It is not all research, either. Between the24th and the end of the month, no less than four infantry divisions joined the Heer. The 62. and 68. Infanterie Divisions have been sent to East Prussia, 69. Infanterie to XII Armeekorps and 71.Infanterie to the Army of Polen Nord. New Marine Sturm and Gebirgsjager Divisions have been called up and are in training. While General von Blomberg had demanded several more divisions, for once the Kriegsmarine won out, and construction has started on two U-boat flotillas.
A final dress parade for the new divisions before they take their positions at the front
Late in the month, another team started work with the Heavy Tank project, examining the practicality of 100mm thick armour. The technical staff had become available when they successfully completed improvements to our anti-aircraft barrels and ammunition.
At this month’s final Cabinet meeting, while Czechoslovakia and China dominated, it was agreed that the Ministers could not ignore domestic issues. Ministers Goebbels and Frick advised that even though we are recruiting more spies, losses still exceed new agents entering the field. We now have only 134 cells operating. Our enemies don’t seem to have any recruitment issues, as despite the capture of 22 spies, we still suffered a 3% loss in research time. This was from French and British – at last the Middle Eastern connection seems to have been broken. Our review of industrial espionage, however, has revealed that new nations are interfering in our affairs: Danish and Norwegian agents have joined the Poles and Yemenis.
Not much to report from Shanghai – though if the Japanese could strike at Nanjing things would be more interesting.
The final discussion in the meeting was about events in China. The maps of Shanghai were quickly reviewed and passed over: some minor battles in the north west of the bridgehead, but Nanjing is well screened. Xenophon’s latest pages were scrutinised and our maps were updated with as much information as we could consolidate. It seems that apart from one division trapped in the north of Manchukuo, the rest of the Japanese have managed to link up, due in part at least to General Ueda’s selfless actions. Xenophon is quite effusive in his praise of the 62 year old veteran. Despite being handicapped by his missing leg, the General is everywhere, exhorting his men to greater efforts and keeping morale up. But, reading between the lines, it can be seen that the situation is becoming dire. The Shanxi units are strong, and the Japanese are gradually getting weaker. I hope that our Xenophon and his General are as successful in their “March Upcountry” to the supply depots as were the original Xenophon and his Ten Thousand in their march across Persia.
Although the reports from Manchukuo are full of confidence, the supply maps tell a different story. It is a long way to food and ammunition, and there are a lot of enemy in between.
Last edited by Uriah; 25-11-2009 at 11:44.
Can hardly wait for the next update. Great stuff.
Great, absoulety great
I love your style, and writing
Real black-white WW2 photos also very good, and well-chosen