The KM is out, but there seems little point in shore bombardment as we are not yet attacking on the coast. Give them time!
The KM is out, but there seems little point in shore bombardment as we are not yet attacking on the coast. Give them time!
Still here watching. Are you sure that Slovenia/Slovakia error wasn't due to something like Fosters?
Keep watching - the AI tactics are getting quite interesting.
Rank and File
A Clerk’s War
18th May to 19th May 1939
Once again the Poles struck at night. Perhaps we should have realised when 2nd and 6th Dywizjon Bombowy changed targets to Johannisburg that something was up, but the attack just after midnight was a complete surprise for General Agricola, who was concentrating on his advance into Ostroleka with Felber’s 62.Infanterie. His two divisions (56 and 72) were suddenly assaulted by no less than four enemy divisions, 25 Dywizjon Piechoty and 28th Infantry Division from Grajewo, and the 27 DP and 36 DP (Rez) from Lomza. He has had to break off his attack to try and hold his own position.
Battle of Johannisburg
At least I know why I slept through the night – Dortmund was hit again last night. Its factories are now almost completely shut down (only 20% production), and while coal and steel output is still at high levels, mineral mining has been reduced to nil.
The other news was very bad. We have admitted defeat in the Battle of Ostroleka. With General Agricola’s two divisions removed from the attack, General Felber felt he had no choice but to fall back. Losses were moderate: 389 men to the enemy’s 733. But from a morale point of view, the news was devastating. The war, which had begun so promisingly, was already looking grim. We had been forced back to our start lines. The unspoken fear in the Kanzlei was another trench war on two fronts, bleeding the youth of the Reich.
Fortunately the rest of the day was dominated by reports from the Luftwaffe. The bomber formations are now running like clockwork, attacking the Poles every four hours (1AM, 7AM, 1PM. 7PM). I have consolidated the reports below, and while I have only included casualty figures, it is easy to imagine the loss of morale and organisation the Poles are experiencing under this onslaught.
Rybnik: Grauert with 2 x He 111: 63, 109, 104, 48
Tarnowskie Gory: Lohr with 2x Ju 87B: 33, 64, 56, 20
Poznan: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111: 56, 104, 73, 96
Naklo nad Notecia: Wolf with 2 x He 111: 47, 87, 102, 85
Leszno: Kesselring with 2 x Ju 87B: 40, 53, 67, 32
For some reason there was a delay in re-arming Klitzinger’s 3rd Taktischelufflotte (KG 2 “Hozhammer” and KG 53 “Legion Condor”) after the first operation, and they left an hour after the other bombers. Perhaps it is just overcrowding – there are now 8 air wings operating out of Berlin. Anyway, the 200 or so He 111s under his command only managed 3 raids on the 19th, all on Danzig. They inflicted 58, 78 and 101 casualties on the defenders.
Bombing efficiency analysts sent a memo to senior Luftwaffe officers to inform them that it can be seen quite clearly from the casualty figures that day attacks are more effective, but the Luftwaffe commanders have shown no indication of letting up the pressure, even though some of our units have taken 5% losses already. It appears as though those attacking cities (Poznan and Danzig) are taking the most punishment.
In addition to all these missions, late in the afternoon General Sperrle ordered the 1st Taktischeluftflotte to hit the 38th Infantry Division in Gniezno. Once again, the Heinkels showed how vulnerable the Poles are when advancing in the open – 121 confirmed casualties from the single raid.
Not everything was going our way. Newall’s Strategic Bomber Command hit Dortmund again, and the Polish continued to operate without interference over East Prussia, although only Heller’s two divisions flew today. We don’t know why Pawlikowski’s I Dywizjin Bombowy has been held back, and I suspect our troops don’t care. The Poles concentrated on Goldap, where in three attacks von Sonderstern’s 60.Infanterie Division sustained 188 casualties. The anti-tank regiment was particularly badly hit.
The last news of the day was a telegram from our Embassy in Tokyo. The United Kingdom has announced an embargo on Japan. This is not good for our ally. Without her mainland territories she needs to import raw materials, and many potential suppliers are now out of reach.
With so much happening at the moment, I have arranged to have a small truckle bed installed in my office so that I can work late and start early. I managed to snatch a few hours sleep before I was woken by a junior clerk who handed me a memo. Recognising the letterhead as that of the Army of Benelux, my first thought was that the Belgians had attacked. It was not quite as bad, but still not the way I wanted to start the day: the Danes have occupied Flensburg! They have never accepted the results of the referendum and now their troops have crossed the border. We will have to wait and see what General von Rundstedt, commander of the Benelux Army, will do about this insult to the Reich.
Minutes later another memo from the Benelux Army: at 1AM the Danes attacked us in Leck! General Hartmann reports that his 19.Infanterie Division is being attacked by the 2nd Jutland Division, led by General von Harbou. The veteran Hartmann has no doubt of his ability to hold his position, but the temerity of the Danes knows no bounds.
Battle of Leck
Even while the fighting rages in Poland and Denmark, our researchers continue their work. More studies in Central Planning have been completed, not only increasing the likelihood of counter-attacks, but also improving the self defence capacity of out headquarters units. The theorists of the War College are now investigating how to successfully mount mass assaults.
A few updates from the front arrived. General Guderian has launched a local attack that has shocked the defenders of Leszno, and von Obstfelder has rallied his men and is mounting another counter-attack in Schneidermuhl. Perhaps Maczek will not have it all his own way. In Allenstein, von Wiedersheim reports that Wolkowski has brought another division (10 Dywizjon Piechoty) into the front line. Things are not looking good for 11.Infanterie, now outnumbered three to one. The final message came from Suwalki, where von Sodenstern has realised that Zongollowicz has ordered 55 DP (Rez) to make a tactical withdrawal.
We didn’t have long to wait for von Runstedt’s response to the Danish slap in the face. There were knowing looks among the military advisers near my office when the news came that we are moving 12.Infanterie and 50.Infanterie divisions under General Bramer to retake Flensburg from the Danish Albrechtsen. As expected, the “Black Knight” had moved swiftly and firmly. “Copenhagen, here we come” was the most popular comment in the corridors of the Reichskanzlei.
Battle of Flensburg
I was having a quick breakfast (if a bread roll and cup of coffee can be dignified by that description) when an excited adjutant ran from the radio room. General Hartmann has claimed victory in Leck! The Danes are on the run! At last a victory. Admittedly a very small battle – casualty reports put the Danes losses at 30 men, ours at 22 men.
Shortly afterwards another soldier ran through the corridors yelling about victory. Several people told him he was too late, we already knew. But news from 4.Infanterie has just arrived he replied. It was a second victory! General von Kuchler has thrown back the Poles from Falkenburg! Outnumbered three to one, he has triumphed against the odds. Grabbing a copy of the report, I saw that it was the arrival of the Barkhausen’s 44.Infanterie Division and Geyr von Schweppenburg’s 2nd Leichte Panzer Division that turned the tide. That doesn’t alter the fact that we have won. 4.Infanterie paid a high price though – of its 10,000 men, 588 were killed, against Polish losses of 297.
Barely had he arrived in Falkenburg when Geyr von Schweppenburg ordered an attack on the retreating Poles. Together with General von Brauschitsch’s 24.Infanterie from neighbouring Oppeln province, he has driven into Tarnowskie Gory. It will be an interesting tussle, as both von Schweppenburg and his opponent, the Polish General Anders, are known for their aggressiveness. The consensus among the military here is that von Scheppenburg’s skill in using armour formations (and his two to one superiority) will win the day. The fact that the Poles left their entrenchments for the attack on Falkenburg will also help.
Battle of Tarnowskie Gory
Later in the morning I heard a lot of laughter and, on looking out of my office (yes, I am more curious than I should be – the word “nosy” has been used) I saw a group of Joachim von Ribbentrop’s diplomatic golden boys walking past. From their conversation, I gathered that Mussolini has approached Minister Schacht and asked for financial assistance. In fact, what he has asked for is unlimited credit. He wants to buy from us and repay us after the war. What is more amazing is that we have agreed. The Fuhrer has intervened personally and decided that anything we can do to build up Italy’s economy will be reflected in the size and power of its armed forces. We will see. But I have always believed that hard work is the best way to achieve something, not getting something for nothing.
In the air, the enemy remained active. Heller hit Johannisburg early in the morning, causing 58 deaths. He then changed targets, sending his bombers to Goldap to harass 60.Infanterie Division. Von Sodenstern’s men were bombed throughout the day (3 separate attacks) and took 48 casualties at 8AM, 88 at 2PM and a further 59 at 8PM. What are the Bf 109Gs doing?
Dortmund was punished by the Strategic Air Command again, but this 9AM raid merely stirred the rubble in the factories, while further damaging mining activity. There is wonderful news, however. When the bombers returned at 10PM, there was a surprise waiting for them. Seven fighter wings, led by Christiansen, blocked their way, and an air battle continued into the night. My brother Ernst will have been in the skies above the Ruhr. I am sure he has acquitted himself well. Personal thoughts aside, it is a relief that the commanders of our air forces in the West have finally decided to intervene to prevent the attacks on our cities.
Air Battle over Dortmund: at last our fighters have responded!
As it grew late, I decided to just wait for the days bombing results before lying on my makeshift bed. That is why I was still at my desk when news came in of another Polish night attack, this time from deep in the south, at Ruzomberock. General Engelbrecht and his 4th Gebirgsjager Division have come under attack from 20 Dywizjon Piechoty. Like General Hartmann at Leck, he is confident of his ability to throw back the attackers.
Battle of Ruzomberok
The Poles were not the only ones with a surprise night attack. The capture of Danzig has finally begun. The Poles have 2 divisions in the city (24 and 45 Dywizjon Piechoty) led by Praglowski, a relatively new general. We are attacking with only von Massow’s 21.Infanterie. It seems very risky to me, but maybe there are reinforcements moving up. There is no mention of any reserves in the report, however, so I hope some are on the way. And the Baltsiche Flotte should surely be assisting?
Battle of Danzig
The final reports of the day arrived: bombing analysis. Most of the military and quite a few of the ministerial staff waited for these – they give a good indication where OKH sees problems and opportunities. Once again the Luftwaffe has been busy. Missions took place at 2AM, 8AM and 2PM (except for Sperrle’s second and third raids which were delayed an hour: maybe the additional damage his planes are taking over Danzig is affecting the turn-around times).
Rybnik: Grauert with 2 x He 111: 72, 99, 98
Tarnowskie Gory: Lohr with 2 x Ju 87B: 45, 47, 58
Poznan: Muller-Michiels with 2 He 111: 75, 83, 100
Naklo nad Notecia: Wolff with 2 x He 111: 69, 105, 105
Leszno: Kesselring with 2 x Ju 87B: 42, 65, 55
Danzig: Sperrle with 2 x He 111: 75, 105, 94
I had thought this would end my day, but I had forgotten that frontline commanders were to notify of any changes in the situation during the day.
That General Maczek is a demon! He has once again smashed 32.Infanterie’s counter-attack in Scheidermuhl, and is currently breaking through the lines. Von Obstfelder is still waiting for 8.infanterie to support him. 71.infanterie is moving to help in Poznan, but it seems that von Manstein (with the help of my brother, Heinz!) has that well under control: he has now gained more than 90% of the province. 60.Infanterie (motorised) is moving to the front in Ostrzesow where it could swing the battle, which could go either way.
In Allenstein, von Wietersheim has managed to ambush some of the attackers and is taking far fewer casualties as a result. In addition, he has 20.Infanterie (motorised) trying to support him, so things are looking much better. Unfortunately, in Suwalki, Zongollowicz has achieved an ambush on our troops. Agricola in Johannisburg reports the Polish 1st Infantry Division is in the area, but has not yet engaged, and Engelbrecht in Ruzomberok believes 12 Dywizjon Diepochoty is moving towards him.
All other areas remain fairly steady, but both Guderian in Leszno and von Manstein in Poznan expect victory soon.
Fall Weiss: end of Day 3
I had turned out the light and was trying to get a few hours sleep when I heard cheering and applause. In response to my shouted enquiries I was told that, in recognition of the first victory of Fall Weiss, 4.infanterie has been renamed. By order of the Fuhrer himself, it will now be known as the “Falkenburg” Division. What an honour! On that positive note, I closed my eyes and was immediately asleep.
Last edited by Uriah; 10-12-2009 at 17:19.
I just realised you didn't go down the secret weapons v1 etc route at all.
what was your thinking on that ?
edit : & a good days post as usual !
Last edited by InReality; 10-12-2009 at 19:18.
Well, the war isnt going your way completely, but that just adds to the suspension, I guess.
I just hope that later in the game the Allied AI will make your life difficult because in all my Germany games, there was an absolute lack of activity on the Allied side. They just sat there and didnt do anything. Well, we'll see.
All the best!
No, it was just that because I decided that I wanted a navy, I needed to spend a lot of early research on ship tech. Rocket tech will come, just a bit late.
I have found that if you leave a small force facing the Maginot, the French will attack. So, despite the shortage of troops, I have made sure that every hex is covered. They may still invade, but I hope to finish the Poles in 6 weeks and be able to move West.
In fact, I had a game where the French broke through in 2 places and were looking to pocket the Siegfried line, but unfortunately I had to abandon it due to save game issues.
I have found the Poles tend to fight harder than earlier versions of HOI. Rude awakening, if nothing else.
Don't keep us in suspense too long.
I was annoyed the AI did not attack Danzig straight away, but when I looked, it was held by 3 decent divisions, and I don't think we could have taken it by force without a long and costly battle. So maybe the right decision to wait for a few days for the defence to weaken.
Nearly finished up to end of 21st.
Rank And File
A Clerk’s War
May 20th to May 21st 1939
I woke refreshed if a bit stiff – I will need to find a more comfortable bed. My staff let me sleep through some events, as I saw when I opened my office door. A stack of papers were piled up, waiting for my approval.
At least it was good news. Two more commanders have claimed victories!
General Pfeffer in Marienburg was the first. He reports that just after midnight the Poles broke off action and started to retreat. He did not claim responsibility; in a truly magnanimous gesture he has paid tribute to General von Massow. The attack on Danzig (which in my ignorance I saw as very risky) was obviously designed to save Marienburg. The Poles, hit from the rear, could not sustain their offensive.
The second victory was in Rybnik. General Ludke is a quiet achiever. Without the glamour of the Panzer leaders, he has simply stuck to his job (assisted by Rauert’s Heinkels) and as a result he has seized the first Polish territory.
The Polish air force continues to be a thorn in the side of the Luftwaffe. Not only is Pawlowski hitting Lyck and Heller bombing Johannisberg, but General Lohr has reported that Kalkus and his three interceptor brigades are active over Tarnowskie Gory. Lohr’s Stukas are handling the attacks, but it is an added problem for the pilots. Luckily for Lohr it was a one-off attack, but soon we heard that again Kalkus is dog-fighting over Danzig with Udet’s Stukas.
Perhaps a bit rattled at the massive fighter hedge he met at Dortmund, Newall has altered targets. The RAF was detected approaching Hannover, but obviously Newall was not aware that Major General Waber’s 6th Fliegerkorps was based at the local air field. Nearly 300 fighters were in the air to meet the strategic bombers, and after a few hours of fighting, Waber reported that his pilots had shot down between more than 5% of the attacking bombers. Despite the best efforts of the 6th Fliegerkorps the bombers still managed to reach their targets, however, and Hannover took heavy damage. 3 out of 4 factory complexes were knocked out, but the precious oil production was intact. More importantly, Newall did not return – he must be repairing his damaged bombers.
A publicity photograph released by the Luftwaffe, showing men of the 6th Fliegerkorps near their newly issued Bf 109E fighters, waiting for news of an incoming RAF raid. The changeover from the Bf 109D is going at full speed.
We had our first bulletin from the Kriegsmarine just before lunch, and it was not good. Commander Doenitz has had to return to Wilhelmshaven with 2 Unterseebootsflotte (10th and 11th Unterseebootsflottille) after being attacked by carrier aircraft near the Bressay Bank. The U-boats never identified the carrier (they didn’t even see it) but the markings on the planes showed they were from 9th Carrier Air Group. Not a good start for the submarines, but at least losses were slight – the 10th suffered about 10% casualties and the 11th about 30%. My brother-in-law Christoph is with the 10th, and I trust he is OK. I won’t mention this to Helga. Assman’s 1 Unterseebootsflotte has made it to the Azores and is searching the area for merchant shipping.
At 5PM word came from the Air Ministry. Goering has lost patience von dem Bach-Zelewski, the commander of the Army of East Prussia. He has taken personal command of the two Bf 109G air wings and has ordered 1st Jagdfliegerkorps to clear the skies over Goldap and 2nd Jagdfliegerkorps to gain air superiority over Johannisburg. It did not take long before Major General Lohr with JG 20 was tangling with Heller’s bombers over the open plains of Goldap.
Virtually simultaneously came more good news, this time from Suwalki. Von Sodenstern has beaten Zongollowicz’s 55 Dywijon Piechoty (Rez) and 60. and 52 Infanterie Divisions are advancing. The General reports casualties were within expectations: 426 men. We estimate the Poles lost at least 1,470.
More action was reported at 7PM as General Bergman ordered 14. and 15.Infanterie Divisions to take the province of Swietochlowice from Piekanski’s 27th Infantry Division. He has advised that the going will be tough and not to expect a swift result. The Poles are entrenched in heavy forest and resistance will be difficult to dislodge, despite our two to one advantage.
Battle of Swietochlowice
Late that night, just as the day’s Luftwaffe reports were being handed out, Guderian claimed victory in Leszno. 1st Leichte Panzer Division is already re-organising for its next mission, and Guderian is champing at the bit, restless at the delay necessary after an attack. Given the number of men involved (at the end of the battle there were about 70,000 men involved) our casualties were very low, only 705. The Poles lost over 2,400, and are fleeing in disorder, adding to Guderian’s frustration.
Although very reluctant to do so, the Luftwaffe has been pressured into not only providing daily details of its successes, but what could be seen as its failures: our casualties from enemy bombing. I would wager that Goering is fuming. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was one reason he has taken direct control of the Jagdfliegerkorps.
Lyck: Pawlikowski with 1 x Tactical bomber brigade:
Johannisburg: Heller with 2 x Tactical bomber brigade: 40, 88, 56, 57
Although Pawlikowski’s planes were sighted several times over Lyck, not one casualty was reported. No-one knows why. It could have been a failure in the reporting procedure, or maybe the bombing was ineffectual (the area is heavily forested, Model’s troops have armour and the Polish planes carry light bomb loads). 1 Dywizjon Bombowy was not heard of after the fighters were ordered to the air so perhaps they were deterred by the threat.
Rybnik: Grauert with 2 x He 111: 71
Tarnowskie-Gory: Lohr with 2 x Stukas: 36, 41, 62, 15
Naklo nad Notecia: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111: 55, 88
Danzig: Wolff with 2 x Stukas, 2 x He 111: 93, 104, 116 (only 3 attacks due to interference by Kalkus’ fighters)
Leszno: Kesselring with 2 x Stukas: 34, 48, 59, 27
Naklo nad Notecia: Kitzinger with 4 x He 111: 167, 132
In what seems to be an attempt to relieve some of the pressure on General Agricola in Johannisburg, General Model has been ordered to attack Grawejo. Outnumbered, the 5th Panzer Division has moved forward into the forests to take on General Norwid-Neugebar’s 25 Dywizjon Piechoty and 28 Infantry Division. Several officers here see this as a waste of an offensive asset, but the majority see the attack as the only way to save 56. and 72.Infanterie. Model is certainly taking it seriously, and has achieved an early breakthrough.
Battle of Grawejo
I cat-napped during the night as more news arrived intermittently. Von Obstfelder regained the initiative in Schneidermuhl, managing to ambush some of Maczek’s men, 1st Panzer Division moved up to attack Danzig from the East, Erfurth’s 1.Infanterie Divison suffered a shock attack in Rosenburg, Wolkowicki launched a major assault on Allenstein, Agricola has begun a counter-attack in Johannisburg and von Scheppenburg achieved a breakthrough in Tarnowskie Gory.
General Dennerlein has at last managed to move his Osterreich headquarters near enough to the front to take active command. His objective is to take Krakow, in a pincer movement with Polen Army Sud. We hope he will move quickly, if only to take some of the pressure off the Army of East Prussia by dragging troops south.
The Kriegsmarine liaison officers were happy for once – we have received our first confirmed sinking from the U-boats. The much maligned IIBs have sunk 2 ships on the Danzig-Boston route, catching them completely unawares in the Mouth of the Thames! That should give the Royal Navy something to think about! Talk about a poke in the eye – sinking merchantmen only miles from the enemy’s capital!
Much to everyone’s surprise, Heinrich Himmler has elected to take active duty (perhaps in annoyance at Frick winning the Head of Security position he coveted). He is now leading his 2.Infanterie Division in an attack on 3 Dywizjon Piechoty, commanded by General Orlik-Lukoski. With Guderian having taken Lezsno to his right, he is confident enough to attack Koscian.
Battle of Koscian
Dennerlein has wasted no time. Hours after the arrival of the Osterreich Army headquarters, General Volkmann threw 1st and 6th Gebirgsjager Divisions at the Poles in the province of Krynica. Our resident military experts expect this to be a short battle: the mountain troops should make short work of 1 Nowgrodska Brygada Kavelerii and the Krakow headquarters troops.
Battle of Krynica
Give him his due, Dennerlein can get his men moving. While Volkmann’s men were crossing the border, the Osterreich Army’s bomber attachments were in the air, heading for Zywiec. That should distract Osinski’s 12 Dywizjon Piechoty from its attack on 4th Gebirgsjager in Ruzomberok.
My brother has taken part in his first battle, and it has been a success. General von Manstein has captured the city of Poznan at a cost of 778 men. The tank units are virtually unharmed (the” poor bloody infantry” taking the losses as usual). Polish losses are gauged to be about 1950. The first Polish city is on our hands.
Alarming news came at 4AM. As von Sodenstren’s 60.Infanterie moved forward after the battle of Suwalki, they clashed with the Polish 22 Dywizjon Piechoty, a mountain unit. It seems that Strzlecki, the commander of the mountain troops, has decided that he will not surrender Suwalki without a fight. 60.Infanterie has lost nearly 1000 men so far, so this will be a test of von Sondenstern’s men. He has some good news: in the skies above him, Lorzer’s Gustavs were dealing out punishment to Heller’s two bomber bri
Second Battle of Suwalki. Note the Baltische Flotte providing shore bombardment to support von Massow's 23.Infanterie Division in its attack on Danzig
Heller had enough of the air combat, and switched targets to Goldap, where he was met by von Greim, commanding the other fighter air wing. The Poles no longer can operate with impunity in the skies above East Prussia, and not before time. We have lost hundreds of good men to their bombers.
I was just eating a sandwich for lunch and nearly choked when I heard that we have lost the province of Allenstein. Wolkowicki’s assault has been a total success. Von Wietersheim’s 11.Division, having suffered 1452 casualties, has been forced to retreat, and the Poles are moving forward, having lost 810 men.
The news of the defeat was offset, at least in part, by Geyr von Schweppenburg’s swift victory in Tarnowskie Gory. The attack only started at 9AM yesterday, and by 4PM today he had driven the the 6th Infantry Division from the field, leaving 827 of its men behind. Our losses were minimal, only 222. The pundits were right – von Schweppenburg’s skill and numerical advantage were critical to the easy victory.
For once the rest of the day was fairly quiet. A report from Danzig indicated a shock attack has been successful (at least temporarily) in reducing the effectiveness of the defenders. Von Massow is being helped by shore bombardment from the Baltische Flotte, which has sailed close to shore. 60.Infanterie, even though weakened by its losses, has also shocked Strzlecki’s mountain troops, and von Sodenstern hopes to have 52.Infanterie Division join him soon. In Krynica, the Gebirgsjagers are going well, although it is now apparent that the Poles are staging a tactical withdrawal, probably hoping to buy time for another cavalry unit, Kresowa Brygada Kavelerii ,to join the battle. Good news for General Ruoff – 60.Infanterie (motorised) has joined his attack on Ostrzesow. By advancing from the province of Rawicz, General de Angelis and his fresh troops will put more pressure on the unfortunate and tiring 11th and 26th Polish Infantry Divisions.
Fall Weiss: end of Day 5
I nearly forgot events on the border with Denmark. General Bramer reports that all is well and that sometime tomorrow he expects to have thrown the Danes out of Flensburg. If the Danes think von Rundstedt will stop there, they have not done their homework. He will take it as a personal slight that they attacked his area of responsibility, and will pay them back tenfold.
The daily Luftwaffe reports show a marked decline in Polish activity, while our air force has increased bombing missions with Keller’s 2nd Taktischeluftkorps now available to assist the Army of Osterreich.
I have the advantage of also seeing daily damage reports from the individual units, however, and some of them have 10% of their aircraft unavailable for duty. I am not sure how long this round the clock bombing can continue without serious damage.
Tarnowskie Gory: Grauert with 2 x He 111: 57, 134, 91
Swietochlowice: Lohr with 2 x Stuka: 38, 79, 57
Poznan: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111: 33,
Naklo nad Notecia: Wolff with 2 x He 111: 49, 107, 123
Danzig: Kitzinger with 2 x He 111: 92, 105, 111
Koscian: Kesselring with 2 x Stuka: 32, 54, 39
Zywiec: Keller with 2 x He 111: 85, 111, 70
Goldap: Heller with 2 tactical bomber brigades: 35 (it seems he has been driven off by the Gustavs).
A better day, though the loss of Allenstein after so many died to protect it is a bitter blow. Surely we will not tolerate this affront to the honour of the Reich?
Last edited by Uriah; 11-12-2009 at 11:25.
Very nice update, as usual
The losses inflicted on 'hard' units like tanks, planes, ships should actually reflect a decline in operational capability, not neccessarily loss in human life. For example, the strength of an air unit is measured by operational planes, the strength see units by their general operational 'fitness' (max speed, rounds left, fuel left, damage taken...). On weak units, the losses sadly represent loss in blood.
I wonder if the clerk will add up all the numbers of Fall Weiss once it's over? Like X Germans died compared to Y Poles died.
Well, he is a clerk, so I suppose he will
But I don't know how people say that the interceptors are useless - I see clear evidence of substantial damage to the bombers.
As for your second point, I don't really want to, but suspect I will
Loss of organisation means exactly that: loss of organisation
Soldiers looking for their units, planes scattered across a wide area during fights, ships taking hits at communication and control infrastructure, tanks breaking down, AT guns malfunctioning or repositioning etc...
Rank and File
A Clerk’s War
22nd May to 23rd May 1939
I expected a response to the Polish capture of Allenstein, but I didn’t expect it to be so fast. Just past midnight, General Erwin Rommel moved his 73.Infanterie Division into the province to take Wolkowski’s 44 Dywizjon Peichoty (Rez) head on. (I also didn’t expect to see Rommel commanding an infantry division, as my brother has often referred to him as the best tank commander we have, but I was told he was in line for the next Panzer division and, rather than wait, had chosen to gain combat experience with the infantry).
Second Battle of Allenstein
At 3AM the Second Battle of Tarnowskie Gory started. Von Schweppenburg was advancing after his rout of the 6th Infantry Division when he was met by the 17th Dywizjon Piechoty under Narbutt-Luczynski. The 2nd Leichte should not have much trouble with them.
Second Battle of Tarnowskie Gory
As predicted by General Bramer, the Danes have abandoned Flensburg. Our losses were 309 men, but the Danes were hit badly, losing 1424 of their 9313 men.
I saw among a pile of air mission documentation that the Luftwaffe has ordered our naval bombers to sea – 1st Seeluftflotte to the Eastern Norwegian Trench and the 2nd to the Kattegat. Their mission is to seek and destroy enemy warships. This will bear watching. I keep an atlas in my office and a quick look showed me that the only reason for this deployment is to block access to the Ostsee. Is something happening?
Reports during the day told of an assault in Johannisburg, leading to increased losses by Agricola’s men. Model reported that the Poles are making a tactical withdrawal in Grajewo. 2 Dywijon Piechoty has moved to support the defence of Swietochlowice, but has not yet entered combat.
The Luftwaffe has decided to amalgamate its bombing reports over several days, so after reviewing the battle status reports, I took advantage of the relatively quiet day to actually go home. I am in desperate need of clean shirts, and a good night’s sleep would be pleasant. It seems that I can forget about the British bombers disturbing me, thanks to our fighters.
I wasn’t late for work on the 22nd, but by 8.30AM things were already on the move. There were only three files on my desk, but all were significant.
Before dawn, General Ott ordered the 4th Leichte Panzer, 13.Infanterie (motorised) and 3.Infanterie (motorised) forward. They are to remove 1 Dywizjon Piechoty Legionow from the province of Gostyn. With odds of more than three to one, as well as clear advantage in equipment, Ott is expected to quickly achieve his objectives.
Battle of Gostyn
As the Gustavs have driven off the Polish bombers, Goering has ordered them to now commence operations against the defending troops in Suwalki. We will see how effective the multi-purpose aircraft are at ground attacks.
It was the final document among the file I had found on my desk that was the most interesting. My intuition about the Seeluftflottes was correct. Fall Rache has begun. 1 and 2 Sturm Marine Divisions are boarding ships of 1st Truppentransporterflotte in Stettin and have orders to invade the Danish island of Guldborgssund! Germany will be a true naval power, with the ability to launch seaborne assaults! (Although I admit the island is fairly close and appears undefended).
Battle of Danzig Bay
According to the Fall Rache plans I had seen, it was intended that the Baltische Flotte would move to the coast of Denmark to protect the troopships while the Marines made their way ashore. It what may be coincidence, just prior to the fleet’s departure for the Pommeranian Coast, it was attacked by a small Polish fleet. Within an hour, two Danish submarine flotillas joined the battle. Our two battleships were in no real danger, protected as they were by three destroyer flotillas. However, the naval action meant that our troopships were without an escort as they moved into Danish waters, as the Nordseeflotte could not pass the Danish minefields and coastal guns. This has caused real concern among the Kreigsmarine offices. They are not talking much, but they worry about the vulnerability of the undefended Truppentransporterflotte to a sudden sortie by the Danes from the major naval base at Copenhagen.
The “Wicher”, flagship of 1 Flotylla Niszczycieli.
The “Mazur” torpedo boat (previously the German V-105) – part of 1 dywijon kontrtorpedowcow. What hope did her two 47mm guns have against the two battleships, both with 2 x 2 x 28cm main guns and 14 x 17cm secondary guns?
Von Manstein is still reorganising his men after the capture of Poznan, but General List, whose 18.Infanterie also took part in the successful attack, is ready to proceed. Starting at dusk, he has pushed into the province of Konin. The only Poles present are 28 Dywizjon Piechoty, which has not recovered from the hammering it received in Poznan. To make matters worse for its commander, Zegota-Januszajatis, it looks as though supply lines have not yet been set up to his new position. This should be another quick and easy fight, according to our analysts.
Wreck of the “Wicher”, after it was caught inshore running for safety in Danzig Harbour
We have won our first naval battle. At 8PM, word came from Commander Bohm in Danzig Bay that the Allies have fled. The Poles tried to get back to Danzig Harbour but were trapped inshore and eliminated. “Schlesien” has claimed sinking 1 Flotylla Niszczycieli (Wicher class destroyers) while “Schleswig-Holstein” reports sinking 1 dywizjon kontrtoredowcow (Z class destroyers).
1 Ubads Flotille flees the battle
The Danish 2 Ubads Flotille was sunk by 1 Zerstorerflotille, while the other submarine group escaped. It is not known whether it was damaged. Our only damage was to 3 Zerstorerflotille, and that was slight, just a few unlucky torpedo hits. The Baltsische fleet immediately headed west, eager to reach the Danish coast and the exposed invasion force.
Military updates came in late. Fighting continues along the front, but there have been some significant changes during the day. The Poles are conceding some territory in Ostrzeszow, while in Suwalki, 52.Infanterie under von Salmuth has joined the attack, allowing 60.Infanterie to make a breakthrough. Even better news arrived from Bergmann in Swietochlowice. General Ludke, the hero of Rybnik, has committed his 58.Infanterie to the attack and the shock of 5 full divisions attacking from three directions has the Poles in trouble, though it appears certain they will receive support from 2 DP and 23 DP very soon. Both those divisions are at full strength and will bolster the defence substantially. In Krynica, the Gebirgsjagers have encircled some of the defenders and are inflicting heavy casualties. While the Poles have also encircled our maintain troops in Ruzomberok, they are holding on well. What is heartening is news that our Slovakian allies have ordered a militia division to our assistance. It will not add much firepower, but it will boost morale!
Battle of Swietochlowice
Fall Weiss: End of Day 8
The Luftwaffe’s bombing summaries show that we have not let up our onslaught. It seems to me that some of the credit for our victories on the ground must be due to the pilots of the Heinkels and Junkers (and now Messerchmitts) who are flying incredible hours and sustaining noticeable damage to harry the Poles.
Danzig: Muller-Michiels with 2 x He 111: 117, 46 (command assumed by Wolff on 23rd)
Tarnowskie Gory: Grauert with 2 x He 111: 92, 80, 96, 94, 135, 56
Swietochlowice: Lohr with 2 x Ju 87B: 40, 29, 40, 63, 76, 24
Koscian: Kesselring with 2 x Ju 87B: 50, 43, 31, 54, 67, 51
Naklo nad Notecia: Wolff with 2 x He 111: 90, 83 (ceased attack nightfall 22nd)
Danzig: Wolf with 2 x He 111 and 2 x Ju 87B: 82, 118, 135 (6th Taktischeflotte was delayed while refuelling and re-arming and missed final attack)
Suwalki: Lorser with 2 x Bf 109G: 41, 59, 34
Danzig: Udet with 2 x Ju 87B: 25
The Kriegmarine’s fears were well founded. At 10PM that night, while the marines were still being ferried ashore, the Danes struck. The “Niels Iuel” and the “Peder Skram” appeared amongst the unarmed troopships, firing at will. Both our Seeluftflottes have been ordered to intercept, but will they be in time?
Battle of Pomeranian Coast
Fall Rache: Day 1
still tough going!
You didn't want to try a landing in the province next ot Copenhagen?