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

  1. #2561
    I agree with what the people before me said - you really should bring your so called "allies" under your direct (AI) control. It's hard enough as it is with your AI managing your forces, i don't see a reason to make it even harder by having those useless allies along who're doing exactly nothing.

    Apart from that: Great updates, as always. :-)

  2. #2562
    Major NERFGEN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeteranLurker View Post
    Can't recall if I've experienced this myself, but others suggest that if you set an allied objective in your own country, then those allies 'may' (at their whim) send you expeditionary forces. Worth a try, since we already know how sporadic they are in trying to achieve objectives in enemy territory.
    I've experienced it playing as Germany. I set AI allied objectives in my country (meaning I wanted them to garrison some occupied territory). And i've witnessed the entire allied army moving back and forth from Brest to Warsaw several times carefully and entirely avoiding the set objectives.. several times.
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  3. #2563
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    just to chip in 2 roubles worth of comments. I think doing a bit of modding to give yourself indirect control of at least some of your allies is fair enough. Leave say 60% of the Hungarians under their own command and so on (they did all keep quite a lot back to defend their home countries), what you get will still be subject to the vagaries of the army AI, so its not like a HOI2 total take over. I reckon you're have a hard enough time bringing down the Rodina as it is without additional handicaps.

  4. #2564
    i would say keep going as you have so far. it's more of a challenge
    "I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence" - Doug McLeod

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  5. #2565
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NERFGEN View Post
    sorry it was a typo .. c is next to v on the keyboard .. so the AI should cut it .. not vut it

    I'm sure Kiev is a skillfully laid trap for the russioans.. should they arrive thy would immediately be turned to german AI standards and go garrison the strategically important city of Archangelsk. You never know.. a massive assault from the abominable snowmen is always a possibility there. :nuts:
    I cannot work out why the AI abandoned Kyiv: it was still an objective for the Balkans Army. Ours not to reason why ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by VeteranLurker View Post
    Can't recall if I've experienced this myself, but others suggest that if you set an allied objective in your own country, then those allies 'may' (at their whim) send you expeditionary forces. Worth a try, since we already know how sporadic they are in trying to achieve objectives in enemy territory.
    Quote Originally Posted by shepherd352 View Post
    I've set Romania an objective in the South, only to have its forces go to Lenningrad. This insanity appears more likely if the allied counry does not have a border with the country you wan to attack (on that occasion I had reclaimed the lands).

    I've also tried setting an objective on one or my national provinces. In my test, it was the only objective I had set and it was for Hungary (I didn't really want units, I just wanted to test this during a game). Almost 12 months after setting the objective, Italian forces started to appear as expeditionary forces. They appeared nowhere near the objective and were not relevant to any fighting.

    The only time I get useful support from an ally is if I allow them to maintain their own battlefront, extending from their country. I have got useful results from Romania this way but that doesn't help Uriah, as his allies are all separated from Russia.

    I still hope he will bring their deployed forces under control as expeditionary armies. Then he can set the AI and have them support the battle plan, just as the Axis partners did in reality. The performance of these allies will not be great and Hungary will be at serious risk of having insufficient manpower. To be true to history, Uriah should use them in Russia. A more calculating move would be to use them as the occupation forces in Spain and France, freeing up German forces for service in Russia. Either way, if he uses Army AI he is staying true to his goal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blackfriar View Post
    For what little my opinion is worth, I agree with you as what you've said makes a lot of sense. Just as it was fair and a correct judgement to not capitalize on the Leningrad defense/AI exploit; the same logic should hold in this situation. As you said, the point was to let the AI fight it out... let it fight.

    If it was just one allies forces, it could be explained away with some neat back-story of X nation's leader sending forces east in a very elaborate show of nationalistic pride, while mysteriously not committing them... but all of them?!? If the German state wasn't so locked down, who knows the questions people might ask! heh, more seriously...

    Presumably, although they won't add much to the attack, they will come in handy acting as a brake on any Russian counter-attack, but who knows?
    Quote Originally Posted by VonMudra View Post
    I have to admit, I agree here with shepherd. It would indeed be highly realistic to bring your forces under the fold of German leadership. For the most part, all german allies except the finns and romanians operated under German jurisdiction during the war, and even the finns and romanians occasionally loaned divisions to german armies and corps.
    Quote Originally Posted by Throki View Post
    I agree with what the people before me said - you really should bring your so called "allies" under your direct (AI) control. It's hard enough as it is with your AI managing your forces, i don't see a reason to make it even harder by having those useless allies along who're doing exactly nothing.

    Apart from that: Great updates, as always. :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by NERFGEN View Post
    I've experienced it playing as Germany. I set AI allied objectives in my country (meaning I wanted them to garrison some occupied territory). And i've witnessed the entire allied army moving back and forth from Brest to Warsaw several times carefully and entirely avoiding the set objectives.. several times.
    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    just to chip in 2 roubles worth of comments. I think doing a bit of modding to give yourself indirect control of at least some of your allies is fair enough. Leave say 60% of the Hungarians under their own command and so on (they did all keep quite a lot back to defend their home countries), what you get will still be subject to the vagaries of the army AI, so its not like a HOI2 total take over. I reckon you're have a hard enough time bringing down the Rodina as it is without additional handicaps.
    Quote Originally Posted by IliciMan View Post
    i would say keep going as you have so far. it's more of a challenge

    After playing a bit ahead (to 24/7) , I have reluctantly come to agree with many of you - I need to take control of some of the allies. Not so much because I need boots (though that is true) but the scores of units wandering around just behind the front line are starving my troops of supplies. I counted 50 different Italian, Hungarian and Bulgarian units in the vicinity of the front.

    Even if I get the supply back (in Berlin and less the transport cost) there is just not enough getting through to keep my troops cycling properly and I think they are robbing my airbases of vital supply, grounding my planes.

    I could live with that if they did something, but so far I have identifed only three attacks where I have been helped.

    So I will take over 15 Hungarian and 15 Italian divs (most of them 2 brigades), 2 TAC and 3 fighters from each. They will be attached as two separate Armies to OB Sud. To be honest, they are pretty poor: Level III inf (mine are Level V) and the planes are about 1938 models. But at least this way I can use them to do somehting other than gorge themselves on my supplies.

    I think my choice is pretty fair: half the Hungarians remain under control of Budapest, and the Italians have hordes of troops: they have 60 divs left plus nearly the whole airforce. (Cojnsidering my conquest of Spain saved them in Nafrica they owe me) I have left the Bulgarians alone.

    It will be a few days before I play again, so if anyone feels strongly, please make your arguments. As always I promise to take note, even if I don't adopt them.

  6. #2566
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    How exactly do you plan on taking control? I think it's the right choice, personally, but I'd like to know what mechanic you're going to use.
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  7. #2567
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avindian View Post
    How exactly do you plan on taking control? I think it's the right choice, personally, but I'd like to know what mechanic you're going to use.
    Using HOI3 Army Organiser.

    I just identify the units near the front (I didn't want an INF based in Corsica or NAfrica) , load up a save game on HOI3 AO as Italy/Hungary, put all the units desired into one army, take everything else out, select the army and "Make Expeditionary Force".

    Close and start the game - there are all your units.

    PS As always, I made a copy of the save game beforehand, just in case. In my exp HOI3 AO is pretty stable, but youi never know.

  8. #2568
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Rank and File
    A Clerk’s War




    Sunday 13th to Thursday 17th July 1941

    With damage to equipment, infrastructure and other material items absorbing increasing amounts of our industrial capacity, there has been a push to improve efficiency in civil defence. It has paid off after months of investigations and thousands of hours of study. Such esoteric subjects were able to obtain funding a year ago, but now the demand is for more immediately practical knowledge. Approval for research into better interception tactics for our fighters was a clear winner in the battle for scarce resources.



    Surfacing these dirt roads will require an enormous effort, but it must be done, and preferably before winter hits.


    The Balkans Army did not make much of Ruoff’s victory in Sarny, even though it was quite creditable with our losses about half the enemies. This was not from a sudden burst of modesty from General Guderian. It was because all news was overshadowed by the debacle of the loss of Kyiv. Somehow Guderian became distracted from what should have been his focus: the capital of the Ukraine. Russian troops simply marched in, the only resistance being a few locals who did not welcome the return of the Communists. This error will tarnish his reputation for some time.



    Loss of Kyiv



    Russian soldiers stroll into Kyiv, past buildings destroyed during our fight for the city earlier. Note the deserted streets: not one German or allied soldier remained to oppose the Red Army. Total humiliation for General Guderian and the Balkans Army


    It probably didn’t help that almost simultaneously with Guderian’s disgrace General Rommel, his great rival for the title of “Panzer General”, proclaimed that Minsk was in German hands. Although a philosopher may have pointed out the balance of losing one key objective while gaining another, I doubt that “Fast Heinz” would appreciate the subtlety. To make matters worse, the much denigrated General von Kluge and his Österreich Army also announced a major victory as von Lützow secured Chornabai , east of the Dniepr.

    After a relative lull for the past week or so, a rash of new battles started on Sunday. Despite the problems Kleinheisterkamp is now having in Velikie Luki, von Manstein has sent Frießner into the neighbouring province of Zapadnaja Dvina. Aseichev has just one armoured division that he can rely upon (his reserves are virtually worthless in combat terms) but the natural defence of the Daugava is worth several divisions. Those of us here in Berlin who are aware of the whole picture wonder if von Mantein is spreading his troops too thin and attempting to do too much at once.



    Battle of Zapadnaja Dvina


    Thankfully my brother’s unit, as part of Polen Army Sud, is not being used on such difficult assignments. General Harpe is taking 3rd leichte Panzer into the woods of Haradok and we know that Kirichenko has 3rd Tankovaya and an infantry division with which to hold the area, but there is no real danger. Both enemy formations are badly affected by their recent experiences, and we believe the armoured division is particularly brittle. It seems Heinz’s good luck may continue.



    Battle of Haradok


    General von Kluge must have decided that speed is his friend. Von Lützow’s 163.ID had barely moved its stores and support staff across the Dniepr when it was marching north, into Obolon. Obviously expanding our bridgehead is a priority, but this is asking a lot of the soldiers who have just fought a tough battle. Obolon is occupied by more than 40,000 Soviet troops and while many of those are still recovering, many more are quite capable of spirited resistance. Von Kluge does not have a large army, and he too may be over-extending his resources.



    Battle of Obolon


    More good news for the Army of Polen Sud: von Salmuth has crushed the 50,000 defenders of Slutsk. There will be no opportunity for the Red Army to use the swamps of Slutsk to build up strength for an attempt to retake Minsk. Rommel’s victory in Byelorussia is complete.

    The closing moments of the 13th showed that whatever we in Berlin thought, von Kluge is in favour of all out aggression. He has launched an attack on Kamianka, using Haase’s 26.ID. A lack of motorised (let alone armoured) units is not slowing Österreich Army and this battle should also be quick. Already Haase is pushing the Russians back and there is no sense of concern in the updates from his HQ.



    Battle of Kamianka


    Müller-Michels’ attempts to support our attack on Zgurovka have been badly affected by continuous attacks by Falaleev and his three fighter regiments. The Luftwaffe has been forced to send hundreds of Messerschmitts to protect our bombers, and as usual the number of aircraft has led to markedly reduced effectiveness for our ground attacks. (“Markedly reduced” is the latest Luftwaffe euphemism for “totally useless”).



    Air Battle of Zgurovka


    Monday a new infantry division (General Peschel’s 98.ID) was formed. It is just outside Berlin, carrying out a few last procedures before being railed east where it is desperately needed. This morning also saw the departure of 10th PzD, off the join 2nd Panzerkorps in the Balkans Army.



    Loading and unloading a PzIII on a train can be a difficult process


    Österreich Army is spreading its reach further north, really stretching its capacity. Its most recent attack is in Pryluky, where General Bader and 6.ID are attempting to cross the Dniepr. The reason given was to chase three or four Soviet infantry divisions that had escaped to the east, but it looks like faulty intelligence has again led us into a difficult situation. Shestapalov has at least three decent divisions, one of them armoured, with which to cover the retreat of the others. There was better news from Kamianka: after just 24 hours Zhmashenko has admitted defeat. Casualties on both sides were light.



    Battle of Pryluky


    At least someone had the sense to quickly call a halt to the battle of Rezekne. The original plan was attractive: the opposition looked weak and there was a chance of a quick breakthrough. But it soon went wrong. Within hours we had lost 258 men for very little return, and von der Chevallerie requested permission from Polen Army Nord to call of the attack. Von Manstein, sensitive as are all our commanders to casualty figures, immediately approved the withdrawal. The speed of the decision has undoubtedly avoided a disaster.



    Battle of Rezekne


    Rommel is taking advantage of the chaos in the Red Army following the fall of Minsk. 10.ID has struck into Mar’’ina Horta, smashing feeble resistance by 317 Strelkovaya. At least two HQ are the prize, and Polen Army Sud is exhorting General Hartmann to push his man as fast as they can march. (During the night the Russians were able to get away from Hartmann’s troops. At least it was a cheap victory).



    Battle of Mar’’ina Horta


    Even Geyr von Schweppenburg has to admit sometimes that he has been defeated. It took 840 deaths but he has finally accepted that pure courage is not enough to get men across the Dniepr. Pyriatin is a name that 2nd leichte Panzer will not forget for a long time.

    Hopefully such memories will not attach themselves to Jaunpiebalga. With secure supply lines established across the Daugava, von Weichs and 101.ID (mot), backed by the hundreds of panzers of 2nd sPzD, are moving east. The ultimate objective is Pskov, but for now possession of Jaunpiegalga is enough. The Russians, despite having lost their natural tank trap, are still a formidable foe. Going is tough at the moment, but Baltic Army is sure that our heavy armour will overcome the enemy.



    Battle of Jaunpiebalga


    Kremenchuk seems fairly well held now, and the Balkans Army is clearing the southwest of the Dniepr to allow full access across the river. In Svitlovods’k General Herzog is facing a similar enemy force to von Weichs in Jaunpiebalga, but he does not have the luxury of several regiments of heavy tanks to help. As a result, the prospects of success are markedly lower. On the other hand, 36.ID (mot) is better placed to receive reinforcements.



    Battle of Svitlovods’k


    General Wünnenberg may have seen a real opportunity, however. With the Red Army focussing on Dagauvpils he has launched a surprise attack on Dagda, to the rear of that province. The Soviets seem to have been using Dagda as a rest area, with three battered infantry divisions its only garrison. 9th PzD still has to get across the Daugava, but with only scattered resistance he claims to be going as well as anticipated. As long as the VVS leaves him alone we may see the beginning of the collapse of the Daugava line.



    Battle of Dagda


    Here in the OKW annex I get to talk to quite few high ranking officers (some of these Prussian types relax at the end of the day, particularly to an attentive filing clerk and his attractive secretary, particularly if that clerk has contacts in administration with access to hard-to-find quality cognac and schnapps. It was one of these who told me that Köstring’s win in Zgurovka was the end of the Dniepr as a defensive position. We now hold several provinces on the north-east side of the river and our troops are in a position to roll up and down the banks, destroying any opposition.



    Quality control is essential but I find that we lose a lot of cognac as it makes its way along the unofficial route from Frankreich to Berlin


    Also anxious to profit from the disruption caused by the capture of Minsk, Nehring’s panzers are pushing down the roads into Barysaw. Here too resistance is only sporadic every now and then his tanks fire a round or two at a makeshift road block but there is no serious attempt to block his advance.



    Battle of Barysaw


    The last attack of the day was the most important. Vitsyebsk, on the Dvina River, is the fourth largest city in Byelorussia, and has an important airbase nearby. Held by a garrison division and some thousands of soldiers who have fled from the fighting, it is being attacked by Barkhausen’s 44.ID. He has been told that he must take and hold the air fields as soon as possible: we must obtain forward bases for our fighters and bombers.



    Battle of Vitsyebsk



    Vitsyebsk with the Kirov Bridge over the Dvina


    End of Part I
    Last edited by Uriah; 05-05-2011 at 23:59.

  9. #2569
    Major NERFGEN's Avatar
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    I would use the Italians and Hungarians as garrisons in Frankreich, Iberia, and move your troops east.

    I would publicly spank Guderian.. full stop
    With the guts of the last King we wil hang the last Pope

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  10. #2570
    Field Marshal jju_57's Avatar
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    I guess we all live and learn. When playing as Germany I always decalre a limited war. Sometimes I invite Romania and Finland but those would be it.

  11. #2571
    Black Hound of Han Enewald's Avatar
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    Prepare for more 'Province lost' notifications.

  12. #2572
    General Forster's Avatar
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    Still as interesting as ever. I wouldn't worry too much about the nay sayers, Uriah. You are playing on normal difficulty and the way the opposing ais are set up, plus what you did to beaf up the Soviets, will make for slow going when you allow the ai to run things. It will eventually break out and defeat the Russian steamroller. I never stop attacking, even in winter, because that gives the Russian AI time to recover.

  13. #2573
    Private Vinashko's Avatar
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    I have slowly caught up over the last few months, and I greatly appreciate the amount of work that you have put into this AAR. Not only that, but I appreciate the quality of the audience here and the interaction that goes on. I haven't played since 1.3, but I will be picking up the latest updates and trying out how the AI works for myself.

    My favourite 3 parts of this AAR:

    1) The Channel Islands invasion and accompanying naval battles. These seemed like such a close-run thing, and showed your ability to include great stories within this detail-driven AAR.
    2) The siege of La Coruna. I don't know why this minor battle did, but it had me on the edge of my seat.
    3) The whole prelude to Barbarossa. Your level of detail and the comments of the subscribers have given me incredible insight into the many many different "right" ways to wage war in this game.

    Now, if you can still fit your head through the doorframe, Uriah, I have a question. How do you keep your notes? I noticed 10 or 15 pages back that there was a mention of 34.ID and a reference to their holding of the Westwall. Do you keep chronological notes, spreadsheets, notes by division or commander? Or is this just off the top of your head?

  14. #2574
    Research into civil defense is esoteric? Someone is feeling a bit overconfident here.

    I have formed my own armchair general opinion about the loss of Kiev, in favor of Guderian's strategy: By seemingly blundering and losing Kiev to the communists, he has masterfully increased the Soviet committment to the forming pocket in the marches. Even though German intentions are obvious by now, STAVKA might have been lured into a deadly trap by Guderian - it has been conned into conducting offensive maneuvers in a region where the sane option would be retreat. Now, the Soviets will have to think twice about pulling their doomed troops out of the pocket if they still hold Kiev. In fact, issuing such orders and being responsible for the second loss of the Ukrainian capital might be political suicide for any Red Army general.
    Of course, such a gamble hinges on the German ability to actually close the pocket (good luck with getting the AI to do that ).

  15. #2575
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Rank and File
    A Clerk’s War



    Sunday 13th to Thursday 17th July 1941 (Part II)

    By Wednesday the Luftwaffe had sorted out whatever problems had been affecting its performance, and the VVS was turned back harmlessly from both Cesis and Janów Poleski. If a lack of available aircraft has allowed the Russians open slather for the past few days then that lack has been overcome: at Janów Poleski Waber had nearly 900 fighters with which to tear into Golonov’s DB-3s.



    Air Battle of Janów Poleski


    On the ground, progress was slow. Even with substantial troop numbers already across the Daugava, von Manstein is still ordering his divisions to launch attacks on defenders on the other side. Presumably it is to pin the enemy in place and allow our bridgeheads to expand without interference. Erfurth has his nihgt attack on Marachkova well in hand, his two divisions evenly matched with the single defending unit. He has assured von Manstein he will gradually increase the pressure, sapping the ability of the Soviets to withstand the final assault.



    Battle of Marachkova


    No such problems for General Keppler. Working on information received, just before dawn he courageously flung his panzers into the swamps of Zhytkavichy. The information was accurate and Shirobokov had just one nearly defenceless division to protect four HQs. By 9AM the fighting was over, the Russians unable to hold even a temporary line of defence.



    Battle of Zhytkavichy


    The rest of the day was calm, with no more enemy bombing raids and no more attacks from our forces. 3rd leichte Panzer won in Haradok, but the fighting was more intense than anticipated. Although Keppler’s men were unsupported, his opponents were reinforced with another division meaning that our troops were outnumbered nearly three to one. Nevertheless we have taken the province and a quick survey of the casualty lists did not detect my brother’s name. Von Weichs’ casualties in Jaunpiebalga were very low, a tribute to the effectiveness of 2nd schwere Panzer. Kesselring and the Baltic Army had expected this battle to take a few days, so it seems that the sight of nearly impregnable tanks heading their way had an impact on the defenders.



    Another day, another village. A Pzkpfw 38(t) of Keppler’s 3rd leichte passes through an unnamed village in Haradok. The road is usable now, but this is summer.


    Our allies sought to win some favour either late Wednesday or before daylight on Thursday (the confusion is due to the fact that OKW was not informed: it was only be chance we became aware of the battle). The Balkans Army was unable to put together a force capable of retaking Kyiv: General Guderian’s troops were either fully engaged or recuperating in the rear. Only 2nd Panzer Division was currently ready for combat, though 161.ID would be ready shortly. The Italian General Barbarsetti di Prun has sent 24a Divisione “Pinerolo” into Kyiv from Zhytomir and he has taken command of Dietrich’s panzers and is co-ordinating their simultaneous attack from Boryspil’. As soon as Cochenhausen has brought 161.ID to the front it too will join in the assault. If di Prun can move swiftly we may regain the city without heavy fighting as it is held by just weak motorised division. Speed is essential, however, as a fresh infantry division has been identified moving into the outer suburbs.



    Battle of Kyiv



    Soldiers of “Pinerolo” pose by a BT of 185 Motorizavannaya knocked out on the approach to Kyiv


    Keppler has chalked up another cheap victory: the man has a charmed life. Once again he has caught a Russian division on the march, and routed it effortlessly. There is an obvious lack of up-to-fate information in Stavka regarding our operations as we have had numerous occasions where retreating units have walked straight into our advancing troops



    2nd Battle of Zhytkavichy


    After that brief flurry of excitement on the ground, it was up to the Luftwaffe to keep us occupied. Waver flew several missions over the VVSA base at Dorogobuz, eager to keep the Russian fighters as far from our bombers as possible. In this he was for the most part successful In the morning he clashed with General-Major Rog commanding six fighter regiments, and in the afternoon he and his men were involved in a running battle with Kutakhov and 39th, 47th and 54th IAD. (We believe Rog’s three units were too damaged to take part).



    2nd Air Battle of Dorogobuz


    It wasn’t all our way, as Verozheikin hit Wever’s 8th Kampffliegerkorps twice during the day, destroying several dozen aircraft. On his third visit he was not so lucky and the presence of hundreds of our interceptors soon stopped his efforts to halt our bombing.



    Air Battle of Madona


    The Russian bombers had one success, with von Sodenstern losing more than 100 men in Braslaw. As is now becoming noticeable, the Russian bombers immediately switched targets, but this time the tactic did not work. Over Janów Poleski Rychagov’s dive bombers were met by Fisser’s interceptors and that was the end of their bombing spree.



    Air Battle of Janow Poleski


    With all the aerial activity recently (and the vociferous complaints from important officers who had seen their troops getting bombes) it was with no surprise that I saw an approved order for upgrading the airfields at Minsk. We may have only just captured the city but the work gangs are already being recruited and loads of materials are on their way.



    Minsk airfield took severe damage during the fighting for the city and must be repaired as well as expanded. As one can see, at the moment there is a marked lack of both enthusiasm and heavy equipment for repair work. Minister Bayerlein, however, will soon ensure there is plenty of both.


    Even though Wever’s planes suffered from the VVS while carrying out their mission over Marona, the Russian pilots could not affect the outcome on the ground. A tough battle but Feige outlasted the Russians. I recollect that when this battle began nine days ago we thought that von Manstein had overreached himself asking two of his divisions to evict Baranov and 40,000 men dug in behind the Dauguva. Even though the Russians rotated fresh units into the fighting, 8 and 31.ID persisted and have been rewarded. Casualties were high (1,700 on each side) but it must have affected morale at Stavka to realise that 65,000 men were not enough to hold a river line against a determined attack.

    The other victory was also hard fought and cost about 2,000 men on either side. Not far south of Marona Curtze finally triumphed over General Haritonov. Perhaps news of the loss of Marona affected the Russians, as they had held out for more than 10 days against 20 and 28.ID. The way to Kholm, Demjansk and Pskov is now open.


    Finalised Battles for the period 13th to 17th July 1941


    Sarny: 531 (29,994): 985 (36,975)
    Minsk: 955 (27,994): 662 (25,951)
    Chornabai: 2,630 (27,793): 2,301 (39,174)
    Slutsk: 1,260 (27,993): 2,249 (52,523)
    Rezekne: 258 (9,999): 37 (27,091)
    Kamianka: 43 (19,978): 58 (8,995)
    Pyriatin: 840 (9,628): 184 (45,384)
    Mar’’ina Horta: 39 (9,780): 88 (17,107)
    Zgurovka: 1,653 (38,351): 2,339 (68,918)
    Zhytkavisky: 11 (10,000): 27 (16,940)
    2nd Zhytkavisky: 5 (10,000): 6 (8,994)
    Haradok: 571 (9,990): 459 (27,121)
    Jaunpiebalga: 154 (31,997): 608 (39,117)
    Madona: 1,789 (29,986): 1,713 (64,685)
    Daugavpils: 2,044 (29,998): 1,937 (44,297)

    Total Battle Casualties for the period 13th to 17th July

    German: 12,783
    Russian: 13,653

    Prior Battle Casualties

    German: 201,887
    Russian: 206,679

    Total Battle Casualties to date

    German: 12,783 + 201,887 = 214,670
    Russian: 13,653 + 206,679 = 220,332


    Leningrad – Sigulda




    Sigulda – Zaslwaye



    Marachkova: No change, other than a small encirclement. (57% complete)

    Dagda: 213 Motorizavannaya is no longer present, and Wünnenberg is showing his normal confidence of a quick victory over the remaining two infantry units. (83% complete)

    Vitsyebsk: Stavka also realises the importance of the local airbases and has orderd 76 and 80 Strelkovaya to move from the reserve to the front. Barkhausen has responded by launching a major assault. (64% complete)

    Zapadnaja Dvina: Defeat seems inevitable here. Although the Russian commander Aseichev has lost one of his reserve divisions (45 Volnyskaya) he has received two replacements. Frießner, on the other hand, is still trying single-handed to establish a toe-hold on the east bank of the Dauguva. (7% complete)

    Velikie Luki: No change (45%)


    Zaslwaye – Póworsk



    Baryslaw: Having Minsk under control, 7th Panzer and 105.ID (mot) have joined the attack. Although the Soviets have withdrawn the disrupted 57 Ural’skaya and replaced the original commander with General Novoleski, they are barely hanging onto the area. 119 Strelkovaya and 7 Motorizavannaya are moving up from reserve, but it seems unlikely they will affect the outcome. (93% complete)


    Póworsk – Chornabai



    Pryluky: There is chaos in Pryluky as units are moved in and out of combat by the Red Army. 180 and 304 Strelkovaya alone have held their positions at the front, where they have been joined by 26 Zabajkaloskaya (from reserve). The other three reserve divisions have left, presumably determined to be too weak for combat. They have been replaced by 109 Motorizavannaya and 104, 106 and 224 Strelkovaya. Bader, however, has not altered his original plan, and now has the assistance of 34.ID from Bobrovytsya and 35.ID is nearly ready to also join the attack from Zgurovka. (50% complete)

    Kyiv: No change (54% complete)



    2nd Panzer moves cautiously back into Kyiv, every building a potential anti-tank position


    Polis’ke: Unable to contribute any more, Schack and 106.ID have pulled back, leaving Völckers and 108.ID to keep the pressure on the retreating Russians. The four enemy divisions remaining at the front are also dead on their feet, but behind them are another four divisions in better condition. Will the Red Army continue the fight by rotating units or will it simply abandon the province (and the troops to the west)? (14% complete)

    Obolon: The arrival of the “Bitburg” motorised division has not really altered the situation. The new Russian commander, Kurochkin, has three good divisions on the river (73 Har’lovskaya has been removed) and has added 9 Tankovaya and 103 Motorizavannaya to his reserves. (12% complete)


    Chornabai – Mykolayvik



    Bashtanka: 18 Tankovaya is about to collapse and 195 Strelkovaya has been called from reserve. 16 Tankovaya remains in the rear. We now have a pincer attack as 5th Gebirgsjäger is attacking from the north. (57% complete)

    Svitlovods'k: 81 Motorizavannaya has fled but the remaing two divdions are standing up well. (20% complete)


    Bombing Summary

    Luftwaffe

    Minsk: Hoffman von Waldau and 4th Schlachtfliegerkorps: 92, 214 (306)
    Zgurovka: Müller-Michels with 5th Kampffliegerkorps: 291, 165, Nil, Nil, Nil (456)
    Haradock: Grauert with 4th Kampffleigerkorps: 227, 306, 155, 244, 134, 179 (1,245)
    Ergli: Wever with 8th Kampffleigerkorps: 191, 200 (391)
    Madona: Wever with 8th Kampffliegerkorps: 208, 277 (485)
    Vitsyebsk: Sperrle with 1st Kampffliegerkorps: 253, 343, 180 (776)

    VVS

    Braslaw: Rychagov with 1st and 2nd BAD: 124


    Total Bombing Casualties for the period 13th to 17th July 1941

    German: 124
    Russian: 3,659

    Prior Bombing Casualties

    German: 3.016
    Russian: 137,255

    Total Bombing Casualties to date

    German: 124 + 3,016 = 3,140
    Russian: 3,659 + 137,255 = 140,914


    East Front at end of 17th July 1941




    Total East Front Casualties for the period 13th to 17th July 1941

    German: 12,783 + 124 = 12,907
    Russian: 13,653 + 3,659 = 17,312

    Prior East Front Casualties

    German: 204,903
    Russian: 343,934

    Total East Front Casualties

    German: 12,907 + 204,903 = 217,810
    Russian: 17,312 + 343,934 = 361,246

  16. #2576
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NERFGEN View Post
    I would use the Italians and Hungarians as garrisons in Frankreich, Iberia, and move your troops east.

    I would publicly spank Guderian.. full stop
    Moving them all would be quite expensive in supply, and a bit gamey. Maybe during winter. At the moment I need them to hold the line (instead of wandering around picking wildflowers).

    And I thought it was the British officer class that was into spanking?

    Quote Originally Posted by jju_57 View Post
    I guess we all live and learn. When playing as Germany I always decalre a limited war. Sometimes I invite Romania and Finland but those would be it.
    If I were playing normally so would I, but I thought that I would try Hungary. Italy joined by defauit. I asked Bulgaria simply to guard Odessa and they refuse to do that . I hope to ask Finland just for fun, but that is some time away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Prepare for more 'Province lost' notifications.
    I know it will happen: the AI is more than happy to trade territory for security. (And it thiks it needs twice the troops it really does). I just can't understand why it gave up Kyiv: one of only 2 objectives for Balkans Army. All I can think of is that all its units were either fighting or recovering, and the AI felt it had to pull in the line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Still as interesting as ever. I wouldn't worry too much about the nay sayers, Uriah. You are playing on normal difficulty and the way the opposing ais are set up, plus what you did to beaf up the Soviets, will make for slow going when you allow the ai to run things. It will eventually break out and defeat the Russian steamroller. I never stop attacking, even in winter, because that gives the Russian AI time to recover.
    Thanks for the support Forster. I will keep attacking until it gets counter-productive. But I will keep my eye out for a good defensive line that I can use as a launch point for next Spring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinashko View Post
    I have slowly caught up over the last few months, and I greatly appreciate the amount of work that you have put into this AAR. Not only that, but I appreciate the quality of the audience here and the interaction that goes on. I haven't played since 1.3, but I will be picking up the latest updates and trying out how the AI works for myself.

    My favourite 3 parts of this AAR:

    1) The Channel Islands invasion and accompanying naval battles. These seemed like such a close-run thing, and showed your ability to include great stories within this detail-driven AAR.
    2) The siege of La Coruna. I don't know why this minor battle did, but it had me on the edge of my seat.
    3) The whole prelude to Barbarossa. Your level of detail and the comments of the subscribers have given me incredible insight into the many many different "right" ways to wage war in this game.

    Now, if you can still fit your head through the doorframe, Uriah, I have a question. How do you keep your notes? I noticed 10 or 15 pages back that there was a mention of 34.ID and a reference to their holding of the Westwall. Do you keep chronological notes, spreadsheets, notes by division or commander? Or is this just off the top of your head?
    No need to worry about big-heads: Uriah Heep is " .. very 'umble, very 'umble indeed" (he is a villain in Charles Dickens' "David Copperfield" for those who don't know. Though "Uriah Heep" was a heavy metal group in the 70s (popular in Germany I believe) and of course, in the Bible Uriah the Hittite was killed in battle under the orders of King David after the king saw Uriah's wife having a bath on her roof-top, next to the Royal Palace.)

    I have a pretty good memory (would you like me to sing a few tracks off "Very 'eavy, very 'umble"? From 1972 I think.) and I remembered Petzel, the commander of 34.ID had appeared a lot in fighting onthe West wall. But I just have an exercise book next me where I jot down anything significant, I take about 20 screenshots per update and I save every day.

    I also play on ultra slow and have all the message boxes on "Stop!".

    It is time-consuming and sometimes a bit of a slog, but as long as I have a lot of readers I will keep it up. Don't get me wrong, it is enjoyable, but there are many sources of enjoyment and some take less effort.

    I do like writing the "Action" updates but these take even longer. Since Barbarossa I have been hardpressed to keep up to "real-time" ie a week of updates per week. I'm a little more organised now so hopefully soon a letter may arrive from the front.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dáin View Post
    Research into civil defense is esoteric? Someone is feeling a bit overconfident here.

    I have formed my own armchair general opinion about the loss of Kiev, in favor of Guderian's strategy: By seemingly blundering and losing Kiev to the communists, he has masterfully increased the Soviet committment to the forming pocket in the marches. Even though German intentions are obvious by now, STAVKA might have been lured into a deadly trap by Guderian - it has been conned into conducting offensive maneuvers in a region where the sane option would be retreat. Now, the Soviets will have to think twice about pulling their doomed troops out of the pocket if they still hold Kiev. In fact, issuing such orders and being responsible for the second loss of the Ukrainian capital might be political suicide for any Red Army general.
    Of course, such a gamble hinges on the German ability to actually close the pocket (good luck with getting the AI to do that ).
    Well, I agree Civil Defence is essential, but Goering wants the best for his fighter pilots and he wants it now. And with bombing casualties rising, there is no-one in the Cabinet to stop him.

    You may be right about Guderian, but if so he is gambling his reputation. Even if everything goes well, the failure to take Polis'ke early has allowed about 12 divs to escape. If all goes well I may get about 10-12, but nowhere what was originally planned. And I will close the pocket - just not sure when or where or how.

  17. #2577
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    Looking at the last couple of pictures reminds me. There used to be a bug where the AI would see the bottleneck into the Crimea as a trap and refuse to advance (hence all those images of Soviet control in the Crimea even if the rest was conquered). I know it was discussed in the development of the 2.4 patch and Paradox indicated they had found and dealt with it. If so you'll be ok, but you may need to take very temporary manual command to ensure your forces actually advance into the Crimea proper so it may be worth being alert to this.

    As to Kiev, my suspicion is that Guderain has just let most of those units to the west slip out ... but then his overall performance against the Soviets was patchy, especially after the easy victories dried up in late 41.

  18. #2578
    Black Hound of Han Enewald's Avatar
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    Your bridgeheads look more like pockets.

  19. #2579
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Rank and File
    A Clerk’s War




    Friday 18th to Tuesday 22nd July 1941 (Part I)

    Three brand new industrial complexes were officially opened today, all in the east of the country. Deciding to construct all new factories in the east was not by chance: not only will they be safer from RAF bombing raids but we also believe it may help our supply problems a little by having productive capacity closer to the front. I suppose we must trust Minister Schacht and Bayerlein on this. At any rate, the population of Oppeln, Falkenberg and Krappitz have steady employment guaranteed. Of course, with supply such an issue, all resources previously used in construction have been switched to the manufacture of goods for the use of the Wehrmacht.



    Bombs are already rolling off the production lines: all we now need to do is get the Luftwaffe to drop them


    If it hadn’t been for the spectacle of ribbon-cutting and photographs of shiny new machine presses we could have had very little news for Friday. General Nehring trounced the Russians in Baryslaw only to find just hours later that another infantry division had inserted itself in front of his panzers. With his men already on the move, Nehring intends to just roll over the top of the impudent Soviets who have dared to spoil his victory: he has 33,000 armour and motorised troops and the 10,000 Russians are all on foot. This could be a massacre.



    2nd Battle of Baryslaw


    That was it for the day, other than a brief skirmish between a few forward elements of 5.ID as they entered Mala Divytsa. An Aufklärung detachment of von Briesen’s force caught the HQ of 14th Mechanised Corps on its own, but although we have claimed this as a battle, I hardly think that an exchange of rifle fire that ended after three Russian casualties qualifies.



    Battle of Mala Divytsya


    Somehow the city of Leibnitz fell behind in its construction schedule, as its new factories opened today. Well, that’s their bad luck. They missed out on the official ministerial visit and the associated fuss. Could that have been their plan?

    Overnight two victories. Another notch in the belt for General Wünnenberg who drove more than 25,000 Russians from Dagda and a far more important (and probably better deserved) win for General Barckhausen in Vitsyebsk. Barckhausen’s 44.ID faced up to 76,000 men trying to hold not just the city but the nearby airbases. To defeat them in just a few days with less than 1,000 casualties was a commendable effort.



    In many places the population is overjoyed to see the Russian Army thrown out, not just in the Baltic States but also in Byelorussia


    A big lift for morale in the Luftwaffe came when Lörzer and 8th Jagdfliegerkorps landed back at Kaunas after a raid on Leningrad. Our fighters had struck at airbases close to one of Russia’s great cities and had dealt heavy damage to Vershinin’s air regiments. We also managed a few bombing missions today, so maybe the Luftwaffe’s supply and replacement problems are close to be being sorted.



    Air Battle of Leningrad


    There are rumours that OKW and the Cabinet, even the Führer himself, are not happy with the contribution of our allies. While tens of thousands of Italian and Hungarian troops are milling around in occupied Russia, there have been few instances of them being engaged in combat. Perhaps the battle for Rezekne is a response to this. The “heavy lifting” is being carried out by two of our infantry divisions, but General von der Chevallerie has been provided with 1 Pancéloshadoszkál division to give armoured support. It will only have a real effect when the infantry get a pontoon across the Daugava, but it does show that the Hungarian government is sensitive to criticism. (Could this also be the explanation for the Italian willingness to retake Kyiv? I feel there is more to this story).



    Battle of Rezekne


    The Luftwaffe, keen to wipe the memory of the hundreds of our men being killed by unopposed Russian bombers, has been merciless in its treatment of intruders into our airspace. When Khudyakov tried to reach Janów Poleski he found his way barred by Fisser with 600 fighters. With admirable if misguided persistence he tried again at Chutove and was given another lesson by Christiansen and 4th Jagdfliegerkorps. 12th BAD was decimated and 13th BAD was not much better.



    Air Battle of Chutove


    The Gebirgsjägers combined to crush the Russian armour in Bashtanka, though losses were high. Not as high as at Obolon, where von Lützow has suffered a clear defeat. The only bright note was from Baryslaw. Nehring’s men, fired up by their earlier fighting, swept over the unfortunate Soviet infantry, killing or capturing 1,375 in a few hours.

    We can expect positive results from General Hube in Valka. 2nd schwere Panzer has nothing to fear from the two broken infantry divisions that occupy the province (it would be an overstatement to say they are defending it). If they last a day Baltic Army HQ will be surprised.



    Battle of Valka


    A slight hold-up occurred as Barkhausen moved to occupy Vitsyebsk. A Russian motorised division arrived (too late to assist in the defence) and was immediately engulfed by our forces. With a panzer division and two infantry divisions the Russians have no hope of anything but to beat an undignified retreat.



    2nd Battle of Vitsyebsk


    Klepke and his Messerschmitts kept up the Luftwaffe’s pre-emptive strike policy by attacking Kholm. His geschwader are now seriously weakened by the continuous fighting and delays in receiving replacements. He could only fly just over 200 aircraft to the VVS airbase, but still was able to deliver Astakhov’s three regiments a message they won’t forget.



    Air Battle of Kholm


    In the late afternoon directives were sent from OKH to Polen Army Nord and Sud. Objectives have been re-evaluated and adjusted for recent events. With Minsk no longer on the front line, it has been removed as an objective for Polen Army Sud and replaced by Smolensk. For Polen Army Nord, Demjansk has been added to list of targets.

    It never rains but it pours. With General Guderian already in disfavour following his inexcusable loss of Kyiv, Balkans Army HQ has had to admit to one of the most dismal defeats so far in Unternehmen Barbarossa. 3,147 of our men have died in the swamps of Polis’ke and it has all been in vain. The vital province, the only escape hatch for the trapped units of the Pripyat pocket, is still held by more than 100,000 enemy troops. Guderian will be looking for some decisive wins to lift the cloud that has settled over his command.



    The swamps make using a normal stretcher impossible so the retreating men of 108.ID have to pull their wounded comrades out on improvised sleds.


    Sunday didn’t start much better. General Frießner and 103.ID (mot) are on their way to the rear, abandoning any progress they had made on crossing into Zapadnaja Dvina. A thousand men dead, and again nothing to show for it. At least Barckhausen sent good news from Vitsyebsk. The airbases are ours for good this time.

    But Barckhausen’s news was overshadowed by a message from the Österreich Army. General Förster has informed General von Kluge that 7th Gebirgsjäger Division is under heavy attack in Kremenchuk. There is no immediate danger, as his men are well rested and dug in, but the Red Army has found 30,000 men (two infantry and two cavalry divisions) able to mount a serious attack. We had thought that this region was under control, but obviously Stavka has been assembling forces in the rear.



    Battle of Kremenchuk


    General Nehring has decided that speed and daring are the way to go, and 1st Panzer Division did not stop in Baryslaw but continued straight into Mahilyow. His appearance must have caught Susaikov and his men by surprise. Although Susaikov had two reasonable divisions in prepared positions, the sight of Nehring’s panzers racing towards them across the plains was too much and by 9PM the battle was over with the only job left the round up of prisoners.



    Battle of Mahilyow


    I wish the next battle were to be like Mahilyow, as it involves my brother’s unit. Unfortunately 3rd leichte has been ordered to take Zapadnaja Dvina, scene of Frießner’s defeat. The defenders have been weakened by the past few days fighting, but their defences are intact and the river is just as broad as it was before. I hope the Luftwaffe can get organised soon and resume its bombing campaign: a couple of successful missions on the banks of the Daugava would relieve some of my anxiety.



    2nd Battle of Zapadnaja Dvina


    There was a slight break in our concentration on the East Front when a copy of a Foreign Ministry telegram to Tokyo was disclosed. Our military liaison officers have become very concerned that the Imperial Japanese Army is neglecting its forces in Indo-China. Although we applaud the success in China, we have requested that the Japanese government also consider Saigon to be a key objective. All it would need is a few supply convoys and the troops present could hold off the Guangxi armies. While hopes that the Japanese will alter their priorities are slim, it is all we can do.



    The Guangxi Army is now a professional and disciplined force, able to match the Japanese in the jungles of Indo-China.


    Polen Army Sud is plodding forward, this time into Asipovichy. The defenders are not very impressive, but as always around the Pripyat it is the terrain that is the enemy. Brandt has taken the burden without complaint, probably because he realises that this is the first step towards the capture of the Homyel’ and its airfields.



    Battle of Asipovichy


    General von Kluge must consider the Russian attacks in the south can be contained, as he is still pushing on Dnepreptrovsk. Hell has been given two divisions to take Svitlovods’k and so far he is doing well. The Russians are being squeezed from north and south and unless they are reinforced quickly Österreich Army will poised to drive directly east to its objective.



    Battle of Svitlovods’k


    End of Part I

  20. #2580
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    Looking at the last couple of pictures reminds me. There used to be a bug where the AI would see the bottleneck into the Crimea as a trap and refuse to advance (hence all those images of Soviet control in the Crimea even if the rest was conquered). I know it was discussed in the development of the 2.4 patch and Paradox indicated they had found and dealt with it. If so you'll be ok, but you may need to take very temporary manual command to ensure your forces actually advance into the Crimea proper so it may be worth being alert to this.

    As to Kiev, my suspicion is that Guderain has just let most of those units to the west slip out ... but then his overall performance against the Soviets was patchy, especially after the easy victories dried up in late 41.
    Now you mention it, I do remember that being discussed. I thought it was a long time ago, but pmaybe it was before the 2.4 patch. I will keep a eye onwhat happens: probablty after Dnepropetrovsk I'll set Sevastopol as an objective for Osterrreich Ar,y and see what happens. If they sit at the "neck" I'll intervene manually: that would definitely not violate my self-imposed restrictions.

    Yes, Guderian and Baltic Army have let dozens of exhausted divisions escape. But there may be hope yet: I am looking at a much bigger pocket to be closed further east.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    Your bridgeheads look more like pockets.
    Luckily the AI is far more optimistic - once it has a grip on the other side of a river it has shown it will defend it: hopefully it won't do a "Kyiv" on me.

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