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

  1. #1201
    Lt. General Modo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kigrwik View Post
    BBs are a little overkill, no ?
    Dude. When playing Germany, using any navy before the USSR is broken up is overkill. But a lot of fun also.

    Quote Originally Posted by kigrwik View Post
    They should be kept safe in order to tackle the Royal Navy, once enough are built (with carriers and land-based aircraft).
    In Arma, I sent my fleet to the Atlantic to hunt for convoys until the US/UK sent their guys to beat me away. By using convoy raiding, I made sure that my fleet wouldn't engage of its own accord, and it did take longer to get attacked. Until the Allies came by, the numbers of shipping sunk were quite scary compared to subs (even lots of subs). This might actually be too powerful in HoI3 1.4, since the AI can't really counter big fleets.
    'I thought we could do it without anyone getting hurt. By using our brains.'
    'Can't. History don't work like that. Blood first, then brains.'
    'Mountains of skulls,' said Truckle.
    'There's got to be a better way than fighting,' said Mr Saveloy.
    'Yep. Lots of 'em. Only none of 'em work.'

  2. #1202
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Not a lot of pictures here: just me writing. There is no need to read it all if you don't want: it is just me setting out my goals for 1940. If you like surprises, don't read it! (Though I suspect there will be surprises anyway).

    Before criticism of my tactics rolls in: I know it is not the most efficient way to rule the world. But it looks like a fun way to me.

    And remember: there is only one supreme commander. (And she will be home from work soon).






    Rank and File
    A Clerk’s War


    1st December 1939

    That Thursday the Reichskanzlei was packed. Even though the Führer’s policy and strategy paper was to be restricted, everyone in the building knew it was to be released today, and everyone hoped to find out something that would indicate the future of the country over the next few years. The general feeling was that France was finished, but nobody (other than a few who knew of the 1936 New Year’s Day conference) had anything but the vaguest idea of what would happen next. What lay ahead for them, their families and loved ones? What would they be doing on 1st December 1940?

    I had given some thought as to how I would get my hands on a copy of the paper. There was no way I would see it in the normal course of events. A special Cabinet meeting was to commence at 7AM, at which the Führer would present his plan to the Ministers, a few senior Wehrmacht officers and a small number of the top administration officials. Each would receive a copy of the paper, of course. Some copies would be printed for restricted filing, and some would be encoded for transmission to overseas embassies. Other than those in the Cabinet room and those who were authorised to receive a copy, nobody would get a glimpse of the future. Security was at the highest level, and Minister Goebbels had taken a personal interest in ensuring that there were no leaks. This was explosive material, the sort of information any foreign country would pay a king’s ransom to obtain. Every contingency had been considered.

    But they had not taken into account the ability of a mid-level clerk with a burning curiosity, a wealth of administrative experience and a reliable staff. It had only taken me a few hours to discover that an office just a few doors from mine had been commandeered to package up copies of the paper for delivery around Berlin. While the Führer made his speech down the hall in the Cabinet Room, a small group of Frick’s hand-picked staff were working away, with a list of names and addresses, a pile of numbered copies and official seals to be close the heavy manila envelopes in which the papers were to be transferred. Special delivery motor-cyclists from Goebbel’s personal staff were ready to take the envelopes away, once all had been checked and sealed.

    Despite all the precautions, I already had a copy of the list of recipients. There had been discussions for weeks about who should be included (and who was not to be trusted). It had not taken much for me to locate which secretaries had been involved in these meetings, and that nobody had thought to swear them to secrecy. After all, what was being discussed was a mailing list, not a secret document. I also had a large supply of the same envelopes to be used for this exercise, and was quite sure that the seal used would be Minster Frick’s personal seal, something I see very often.

    As part of my normal duties, I get to know the habits of many officials in the Berlin area. I know who processes documents quickly and gets file copies ready for the Filing Office, and who lets things slide. More importantly, I know when people are on leave and who their subordinates are.

    So when the delivery motor-cycles roared off, I was already walking up the road to the new Air Ministry. The head of the purchasing division is a respectable Luftwaffe officer known to have never accepted a bribe and to be beyond corruption (unlike his Minister!). What was more important is that he was attending his son’s wedding in München and would not return until Monday. I had a perfectly good reason to speak to his secretary, and an even better reason to find something for her to do away from her desk. It was only a matter of seconds to exchange the sealed envelope I had brought (containing blank sheets of paper) for the official delivery sitting in her in-tray. I also knew that although correct procedure was for all secret documents to be placed in a safe if the recipient was not available, that the secretary did not do this when her boss was away. The safe was some distance away and she waited until she took her lunch break at noon to take all necessary documents in one trip. (Gisela’s gossip about how some of her friends are lazy and unprofessional can come in useful at times). So I had a good 3 hours in which to read the document, reseal it and return it.



    The Reichsluftfahrministerium in Wilhemstraße, just a brief stroll from my office


    Back in my office, with the door shut and securely locked, I opened the blueprint for millions of lives. I should have felt nervous, as what I had done was definitely a capital offence, but I was strangely calm. I think it was because I was supremely confident that I would not be caught. As far as the security police were aware, every copy of the paper was secure. There was no reason for anyone to check, and if they did, everyone involved would swear that all precautions had been taken.

    Although at first glance I would be hard pressed to read the entire document in a few hours, the paper tended to ramble on a fair bit about “our glorious mission” and “our role in world history”. I have had years of reading officialese and have mastered the art of skimming through the rubbish and concentrating on the important bits, so it only took me an hour to read the whole report. I took a few notes and the basic content of the paper is below. (If only there were a way to copy a document – something like a photograph of the writing).

    Our current position

    The starting point is that war with the USSR is inevitable. Our policies and our goals are in direct conflict. Everything else flows from that premise. We have a non-aggression treaty with the Soviets and all our information is that Stalin intends to keep that pact, anxious to take advantage of the secret protocols to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. The treaty will expire in 1941, and our diplomats indicate that it will not be renewed: Stalin hopes by then to be in a position to make new alliances and act against us.

    The main thing, however, is that the Führer does not trust Stalin, and is reluctant to get involved in major activity while the Red Army is on our borders. Our military intelligence is that the Russians already have more than 300 infantry divisions, and about a dozen armoured divisions. We cannot ignore them, and we cannot give them too much time to modernise and grow even stronger. As a consequence, we will attack Russia sometime in the spring or early summer of 1941. The paper returns to the Russian invasion later.

    Having set a deadline for the Wehrmacht to meet, the next question is what is to be done between now and April/May 1941. The expectation is that France will surrender before the end of the year, so we can consider which other opportunities and threats we should address during the next 16 months. To start with, the possibility of the United Kingdom surrendering can be forgotten. Every piece of intelligence we have supports the view that Britain and its allies will fight until they are beaten. So should we consider an invasion of the United Kingdom?

    Assets and Threats

    To decide what realistic options we have, we need to examine our assets. We have about 120 infantry divisions, of which about 10% are motorised. In addition, we have 4 leichte Panzer and 4 Panzer divisions. While our divisions all comprise three infantry regiments with a support brigade, and are thus markedly more powerful than our enemy formations, we are vastly outnumbered by the Red Army. The Luftwaffe is without doubt the most powerful air force in the world. Even so, our experiences in France have shown that against a determined opposition, we cannot rely on airpower alone to win us battles. With 13 interceptor/fighter geschwader and 18 bomber geschwader, we cannot continuously cover the entire battlefield while protecting the Reich. Expanding the Luftwaffe is very expensive and will take some time. The Kriegsmarine has performed well and is getting stronger, but it is important not to get carried away. Despite their losses to date, either la Royale or the Royal Navy could still sink our entire surface fleet in an afternoon. Our navy must be husbanded and used only when the benefits far exceed the risks.



    Heer Strength



    Luftwaffe Strength



    Kriegsmarine Strength



    We also need to examine threats. Obviously France/Switzerland is a current threat, but for the purposes of the planning paper it has been assumed that we, with the Italians, will finish them off one way or another before the end of 1939. At the moment the main threats are the United Kingdom and the Scandinavian Alliance (Finland, although it has joined the Allies, does not appear to have contributed troops to the invasion of Denmark). Always on the horizon is the United States, but for now the USA is not an immediate problem.

    United Kingdom

    The United Kingdom will be a thorn in our side until its home islands are occupied. Once France falls and the British Expeditionary Force lays down its arms, the British Army will be a fraction the size of the Heer, and invasion is a possibility. Unfortunately we have a significant problem to overcome: the Royal Navy. Our military analysts are sure that we can successfully invade the British Isles. The difficulty, according to the logistics experts, will be after we land. To beat the British quickly, we must have a sizeable force, preferably armour and motorised. This will require significant supplies to be sent either across the North Sea and or up the Channel to major port facilities. As our Italian allies have found in North Africa, supplying a fighting force while not in complete control of the sea is a risky business. We have a limited number of convoys available, and even fewer escorts. We know the Royal Navy has a large number of submarines, and in any case, surface raiders could terrorise our supply lines.

    And we need a large force in the UK because our diplomats warn us that an invasion would severely affect our relationship with the USA. The British Commonwealth would no doubt react by immediately sending reinforcements to the Mother Country, but we would also have to prepare for US intervention. This leads to a further point: while the Allies have scores of troopships able to ferry soldiers to the UK, we only have four flotillas. We came very close in the Battle for the Channel Islands to losing half our troopships in one minor sea battle against two battleships. Should that happen while we were carrying out an invasion of the UK the results would be disastrous. In a worst case scenario, our three Sturm-Marine divisions could be ashore in England, perhaps assisted by a Fallschirmjäger division, and then the Royal Navy could surprise the second wave, sinking all our troopships. The beachhead would be rapidly surrounded and our invasion reduced to a scramble to evacuate on whatever boats were available.

    In light of the arguments above, the Führer, much though he would like to complete the conquest of the west, has decided that a combination of a defensive “Atlantic Wall”, a submarine blockade and a strategic bombing campaign must be enough to keep the English under control until the Russians are defeated. This decision has been taken reluctantly, as the Heer is eager to demonstrate its superiority over the British Army, and both the Luftwaffe and the Kriegsmarine are ready to take the challenge. The risks are too high, however, and such an operation would require most of our resources for 1940. While the risks could be reduced by building more transports, increasing our naval bomber force, expanding the Kriegsmarine etc all these would take time. In hindsight, many of these issues could have been foreseen years ago, but nothing is to be gained by speculation what might have been.


    Ostsee and Scandinavia

    With a 1940 invasion of the British Isles ruled out, what are the consequences? The paper identifies several areas of concern. The first is the Ostsee. The sudden attack by the Scandinavian Alliance has seen Copenhagen seized and despite the best efforts of General von Rundstedt, the Swedes and Norwegians still hold the port and thus the gateway to the Ostsee. This has twin effects, both negative. Our navy is split, with the Nordseeflotte unable to access the Ostsee, and the Baltische Flotte trapped. And the Allies have access to our northern shoreline. While we have fortified the Nordsee coast and have troops stationed there to repel an invasion, with Copenhagen held by the Allies, we have an exposed flank in the Ostsee coastal regions, perilously close to Berlin. This must be closed before we send our best troops into Russia. To have our panzers at the gates of Moscow while a British Army lands at Stettin is a nightmare scenario.

    Direct attacks on Copenhagen have proved costly and ineffective. Perhaps after massive bombing we could storm the city, but losses are likely to be high and success is not guaranteed. The alternative is an invasion of Norway and Sweden. This is the option that the Führer has adopted. The preliminary plan is that a large invasion force will land in southern Norway, striking for Oslo. In case of resistance in the capital, the port and airfield at Bergen are to be occupied. As soon as the main force is ashore, a smaller naval force will dash northwards to Narvik, to seize the port there. Part of the southern Norwegian force will head north to link up with the Narvik group. Unfortunately we have no troopships in the Ostsee so a direct invasion of Sweden is not possible. The invasion force must push east after knocking Norway out of the war. It is expected that the invasion will force the Swedes to withdraw troops from Copenhagen. As soon as this occurs, von Rundstedt will launch a massive attack on the city. The combined forces will then drive on Stockholm, which will be subjected to bombardment by the combined Nordseeflotte and Baltsicheflotte.

    The bulk of the forces needed for this mission will be supplied by the Österreich Army, supplemented by the three Marine-Sturm Divisions. At least three Gebirgsjäger divisions will be required, as the terrain in Norway is difficult. Unternehmen Polarlicht will also need the entire Kriegsmarine, and at least 2 Jagdfliegerkoprs and 4-6 Kampffliegerkorps or Sturzkampffliegerkorps. It is intended that our Fallschirmjäger Division will be used, probably to assist in the capture of Oslo and possibly Stockholm, though an airborne invasion of Trondheim is being considered (Fall Schneefall). Overall, up to 20 divisions may be involved, when one includes the attack on Copenhagen.

    Timing will be set by the weather. It will take at least a month after the fall of France to get the necessary troops in position, but the expectation is that it will be at least March, possibly later before conditions allow us to launch a combined operation so dependent on naval and airpower.

    Finland is not mentioned as a target, and the only reference to that country is to “our other arrangements” with Stalin. My understanding is that certain “spheres of influence” were secretly agreed to in the Pact last year. Obviously Finland is part of the Soviet sphere, and the Führer is keen not to disturb that agreement, at least not until he is ready.

    Spain

    The other pressing problem is the Mittelmeerraum. Our Italian allies are performing well in southern France, but elsewhere in the Mittelmeerraum they are in trouble. With our direct access to the Mittelmeer blocked by the British base at Gibraltar, we are forced to watch while the Army of Egypt grinds the Army of Libya to dust. There are many similarities to the situation in the Ostsee, as we face the possibility of British invasions along the southern coast of France or in Italy. In addition, should there be military operations in the Balkans, the British would be in a position to send assistance to enemy forces, and even send another expeditionary force. We need to be able to access the Mittelmeeraum to help the Italians stem the British push westwards, and ultimately to close the Suez Canal.

    The key is Gibraltar. The fortress and its naval base prevent the Kriegsmarine transferring our divisions from Europe to Africa, and would cut our supply routes. To take Gibraltar, we need a sizeable force in Spain, which will never agree to give us access. The Führer is still annoyed by the execution of General Franco and the loss of so many of our Legion Condor “volunteers” in the failed Civil War. So the decision has been made: we will make our own access to Gibraltar by conquering Spain. Unternehmen Stierkampf will see a (renamed) Army of the Ardennes cross the Pyrenees and sweep across the plains of inland Spain. Our Portuguese allies will be called upon to create a diversion in the west, but not much is expected of them, other than tying up a few Spanish units. Speed is of the essence, so the bulk of our armour and motorised troops will be assigned to the task of smashing the Republican Army. (Some regular infantry will probably be needed to break the Pyrenees). We believe that the Spanish have about 15 divisions, and the initial plan is to use up to 25 of our divisions in the attack and the final assault on Gibraltar. As much air as we can spare will be allocated, but the problem is likely to be airbase capacity rather than number of aircraft. Our naval bombers will be assigned to patrol the Bay of Biscay with orders to attack any attempt by the British to reinforce Gibraltar or assist the Spanish: the Kriegsmarine is not to be used as it is considered too risky to send them south at the moment.

    Should France surrender in the next few weeks, we hope to cross the Pyrenees as soon as the winter snows stop. It should take only a couple of months reach Gibraltar, where after a short pause to allow supply to catch up with the forward units and for the air force to acclimatise to their newly captured bases, the assault would begin. It is accepted that Gibraltar may not fall at the first attack, but the intention is that access to the Mittelmeer will be secured by the late summer of 1940. Transfer east of the armoured divisions and the motorised units can begin before the attack on Gibraltar, as assault units would be better suited to that task.

    The Balkans

    As indicated in the Foreign Ministry report, we have information that Mussolini intends to attack Greece in the New Year. Regardless of how foolish we consider this action to be, we must make preparations to step in if required. Should the Greeks give the Italians a lesson in mountain warfare (which our military experts believe is quite likely) then the British may see an opportunity to create a base in the Balkans. As with Spain, Yugoslavia will not grant us access to assist the Italians in Albania, and until Gibraltar falls we cannot send assistance by sea. So, unless there is a coup or a sudden change of heart by the Yugoslav government, we must consider forcing our way through Yugoslavia. As with Norway, the more Gebirgsjäger divisions available the better, as the terrain is very mountainous. Unternehehmen Eisenfaust, if it becomes necessary, will see more than 20 divisions move southwest into the Balkans, with the ultimate aim of assisting the conquest of Greece. Air power will be hard to obtain, with Polarlicht and Stierkampf having priority. On the other hand, speed will be of less importance.

    There is an optional addition to Eisenfaust, which is the conquest of Rumania. The refusal of the Rumanians to sell their oil to us has caused questions to be raised regarding their loyalty and trustworthiness in the event of an attack into the Soviet Union. There is a strong body of opinion in the Wehrmacht that argues that if the Rumanians are not with us (as in becoming full military members of the Axis) then they must be considered to be against us. No firm decision has been made on this point, but some plans for a strike at Bucharest are being drawn up, as Fall Nachhut. Needless to say, our Hungarian and Bulgarian allies are not backward in putting up reasons why such an attack would be wise: both have their eyes on disputed territory.

    Occupied territories

    We have a few garrison and cavalry divisions in Poland, and despite the fact that the Soviet border will soon receive dozens of divisions to line that could act as garrisons, it has been decided to leave these security units in place. France will need at least half a dozen garrison and cavalry units for internal security (mainly for industrial centres and airfields). We must also ensure that all ports and significant coastal areas have a strong military presence. A new Army of the West will be formed that will have responsibility for both coastal guard duty and anti-partisan control. It has been stressed that with considerable numbers of our troops operating in Spain, that supply paths through France must be kept open. There can be no rebel uprisings allowed to destroy railway lines, blow bridges or otherwise slow the transport of military goods to the south.

    Unternehmen Barbarossa

    Barbarossa is the name assigned to the invasion of the Soviet Union. As mentioned before, this will begin the first half of 1941, and is expected to take 2 years. The Soviets have well over 300 divisions and can be expected to have increased this considerably by the time we launch the attack. The Wehrmacht is sure that division for division we are more than a match for the Red Army, but we will be outnumbered by at least two to one. To offset this, we must rapidly increase the creation of new divisions, but at the same time we must increase the technical advantages that we have over the Communists. The aim is to grow the Heer by another 60 divisions by mid 1941, approximately 4 divisions per month. To make this more difficult, the bulk of these must be armour and motorised units. Simultaneously we must increase the Luftwaffe by about 50%, to ensure that we can support all our ground attacks and maintain air superiority over the whole Eastern Front, while at the same time guarding our cities against attack and having a small air fleet in France in case of an invasion. The Kriegsmarine will have a minor role, mainly to assist in the capture of Leningrad and the annihilation of the Northern Red Fleet. If we can get Turkey on side than it may join operations in the Schwarze Meer

    The plan is still very fluid at the moment, but two things are to be addressed immediately. The number of research projects is to be increased by at least two, and a program of regular infantry and panzer production is to be implemented: there can be no last minute rush.

    Any units who are need for any of the planned operations or garrison duty are to be moved to eastern Poland and go into winter quarters. Unnecessary movement is to be discouraged to conserve supply and fuel. And every support is to be given to infrastructure improvement in the East: supply restrictions could be our greatest impediment.

    The final section covered the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe. The Führer made it very clear that these will remain subordinate to the Heer. The two junior branches will get plenty of resources and manpower, and will both grow, but their primary objective will be to support the ground forces. This is easily seen with the Luftwaffe, the bulk of whose planes are usually deployed near the active front line. But in addition, the Jagdwaffe’s priority is to protect our production centres, to allow them to maintain production for the Heer, and the Langstrecken-Großbomber-Fliegerkorps are to damage the enemy’s war production, to make the Heer’s task easier. Similarly, the Kriegsmarine will cripple the United Kingdom’s production capacity by cutting off supplies of raw materials, and will control the seas near areas where our land forces are operating. In some instances it will support invasions and provide shore bombardment. Its long term objective is to build to a position where it is able to guarantee a safe passage across the Nordsee for the Heer to carry out an invasion of Britain, probably sometime in 1943/1944. Our overall strategy is to get the Heer in contact with the enemy ground forces and to crush those forces by a combination of speed and power. All other activities are ancillary and must be evaluated by reference to the primary aims of the Reich.

    When I had finished reading, I sat back to reflect on the report. There was to be no rest for the Wehrmacht (unless a few weeks of enforced quiet during the winter counts as a rest). Next year our soldiers, sailors and airmen will be fighting from near the Arctic Circle to North Africa, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Schwarze Meer. And the following year, we will begin the biggest military operation the world has ever known. This paper will directly affect every family in the Reich, whether because they have men in the Wehrmacht or because their jobs will be affected by the transformation of our economy.

    But for now, I had something more pressing than to do than ponder the future of millions of my fellow citizens. Grabbing my coat, I rushed out of my office clutching the hastily (but very professionally) resealed envelope. A dash to the Air Ministry, a smiling request for a document from a storage area, and the original paper was returned to the in-tray and my facsimile was recovered. It looks like I won’t be arrested today.

  3. #1203
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modo View Post
    I try to do that at work.

    Heavy convoy raiding would be interesting indeed. I managed major sinkage by using BBs in that manner in Armageddon. I wonder how they could do in HoI3...
    I must admit I have toyed with the idea of a heavy raider fleet operating out of Gibraltar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karaiskandar View Post
    +1 Should be interesting.
    Intersting can have severla meanings: if the entire KM was sunk it would be intersting I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoemsiBoemsie View Post
    Good update, waiting for the French to conceide.

    I would suggest to simply take out Yugoslavia, Rumania and Bulgaria. And while you are at it, Hungary and Greece too. Some guy in his HOI AAR on the forums called it Operation Grenzwache. Pretty aptly named in my opinion.

    It clears you southeastern flank, helps out with supplies since it all comes from Berlin and these expeditionary forces they bring suck anyway. Besides, wavering Allies are worse than no Allies. They just get in the way.
    See above: and how dare you suggest an honourable man like the Reichskanzler would turn on his Hungarian and Bulgarian allies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baltasar View Post
    The Reich needs cannonfoo... young men!
    So it would be a duty: I will try that line on Gisela.

    Quote Originally Posted by kigrwik View Post
    BBs are a little overkill, no ? They should be kept safe in order to tackle the Royal Navy, once enough are built (with carriers and land-based aircraft).

    I'd go for a mix of heavy cruisers with some DDs for escort. Say 2+4, with a low-ranking admiral on top.

    *Sigh*. Early WW2 in the Atlantic, the swan song of the heavy surface units, before they were "obsoleted" by the carriers. Maybe I'll dig out and watch "Sink the Bismarck", this time...
    It could happen: but just not for a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Modo View Post
    Dude. When playing Germany, using any navy before the USSR is broken up is overkill. But a lot of fun also.


    In Arma, I sent my fleet to the Atlantic to hunt for convoys until the US/UK sent their guys to beat me away. By using convoy raiding, I made sure that my fleet wouldn't engage of its own accord, and it did take longer to get attacked. Until the Allies came by, the numbers of shipping sunk were quite scary compared to subs (even lots of subs). This might actually be too powerful in HoI3 1.4, since the AI can't really counter big fleets.
    I saw how much damage a couiple of BBs can do: the crtical hits in HOI3 can be devastating. I saw one of my cruisers go from 100 org to nil (and I think it lost about 30 Str) in one round and there was only one ship firing at it: I can only assume a critical hit did the damage.



    OK - bit of a delay now as I am completely up to date and must play before I can write (and I need to rename the Luftwaffe). Maybe an update late in the weekend.

  4. #1204
    Lt. General Modo's Avatar
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    Your character is very good at getting to the most secret stuff. Kinda makes me wonder if he's a spy.
    Last edited by Modo; 30-04-2010 at 12:06.
    'I thought we could do it without anyone getting hurt. By using our brains.'
    'Can't. History don't work like that. Blood first, then brains.'
    'Mountains of skulls,' said Truckle.
    'There's got to be a better way than fighting,' said Mr Saveloy.
    'Yep. Lots of 'em. Only none of 'em work.'

  5. #1205
    Dauphinois à la Noix Karaiskandar's Avatar
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    Wow the Germans forces are going to be really busy next year!


    Intersting can have severla meanings: if the entire KM was sunk it would be intersting I suppose.
    True! especially for the Royal Navy.
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  6. #1206
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    Wow, great update. The great strategic review I was hoping for. And sorry for suggesting that the Fuhrer will break alliances or non agression pacts. He would never do that, he is an honest man.
    Last edited by BoemsiBoemsie; 01-05-2010 at 15:42.

  7. #1207
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modo View Post
    Your character is very good at getting to the most secret stuff. Kinda makes me wonder if he's a spy.


    Perhaps he was the Soviet spy who had access to Hitlers headquaters!
    Machtergreifung at the nation of Paradoxia on NationStates.

  8. #1208
    Well, these are ambitious plans ! Very interesting.

    A possible problem regarding the invasion of Spain: after Vichy, you'll only have a very narrow border along the Atlantic coast. Supply will be difficult through a narrow pass in the mountains.

    You might want to conquer Yugoslavia first, to get access to the mediterranean and then you could drop paratroopers on Barcelona and supply them by sea.

    Or forget the sea and do it all by air. The "air supply" mission is very effective, as long as you have several transport plane squadrons.

    The english should have invaded Portugal, it may well tie up several spanish divisions and prove an effective distraction.

    1940 will be an interesting year !

  9. #1209
    Talking about raiders: you could use some of your transports and a few infantry divisions to land on the western coast of Africa (there are some french and english colonies there) and secure a supply station. You could then rebase some obsolete surface ships far far from the Home Fleet and wreak havoc on the mid Atlantic.

    Or perhaps even use one of the Portuguese colonies, if they haven't already been conquered by their neighbors.

  10. #1210
    "I am sure France is about to go: surely if I get two more victory hexes they must surrender? I am a hex from Digoin, adjacent to Bordeaux... weeks."

    See, I told you that it looked like Paradox had learned hexes were a better idea. Now you're thinking that's what they are.
    If you feel you are not properly sedated, call 348 844 immediately.

  11. #1211
    Great AAR! Finally managed to read all of it, keep the updates coming!

    Your Clerk is running quit some risks there, by reading those documents. Hope he'll be fine.

    *cloaks again

  12. #1212
    Valkyria Black Lotus's Avatar
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    Be careful with your life and the risks you take! If something were to happen we'd lose your updates!
    "Politics. As exciting as war. Definitely as dangerous... Though in war, you can only get killed once. In politics it can happen over and over."

  13. #1213
    General Forster's Avatar
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    Better build more transports. Never good to move troops with the minimum number of ships.
    Greate update and good plans.

  14. #1214
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    The plot thickens

  15. #1215
    Lt. General thebigj_a's Avatar
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    Whew! I just read this whole AAR over the past week. I'm new to HOI and asked in the forums for some AARS to help me learn. I was told this was excellent, and wasn't disappointed! This is some of the best reading I've had, of any type, in a long time!

    As an aside: a while back you mentioned watching the MLB opener. How does an Aussie become a fan of the BoSox, my home team? (Please tell me I didn't read it wrong and that you follow the Yankees. I might have to stop reading this!)

  16. #1216
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Before I start this update, you will notice two changes. one visual, and one in the content.

    The first, and most apparent, are the counters. These are from a mod created by Hr.Cyber, which I found in DiDay's sub-mods. A link to the page where I found them is below (I couldn't find a direct link to the mod). I am sure will agree the counters are an improvement!

    http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...1&postcount=10

    The other, which won't appear in the pictures, but is apparent in the flavour, is one I really like as it gets rid of some things in HOI3 that have grated on me. It places appropriate weaponry with advances and timelines, and was modded by filefool. (Link below)

    http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/...d.php?t=446902

    I recommend both mods and thank the developers. filefool said OK to use but I have not been able to contact Hr. Cyber - I hope he won't mind me using it.




    Rank and File
    A Clerk’s War


    1st December to 3rd December 1939

    Knowledge of the Führer’s plans for next year helped make sense of some of the events of the next few weeks. Of course the paper he presented to the Cabinet and senior administration was only an overview, there were a myriad of details that flowed from the plan. But with an understanding of the objectives it was easier to comprehend the reasoning behind decisions to change priorities and use assets in different ways.

    An example was on my desk when I returned from my visit to the Air Ministry. It was a copy of a letter from Foreign Minister von Neurath to our embassy in Washington. Effective immediately, the USA was no longer to receive the cream of our diplomatic recruits. No more efforts were to be made to keep the Americans neutral. The letter congratulated everyone at the embassy for their efforts, acknowledging that that the USA was firmly in the non-aligned camp. However, the Reich had other priorities and the graduates were required in our research institutes. The embassy was to monitor US politics and warn the Ministry should it seem to be getting too close to the Allies.

    I could imagine the reaction in Washington when the embassy realised they had been downgraded, but the results of the decision were already in effect and could not be easily undone. Over night the Wehrmacht signed off on the delivery of a report into Brückengerät. Since the days of the Nuepreußische Heere our Pionierbattaillon have incorporated a bridgelaying section, but our experiences in Poland, the Low Countries and France have shown that we need to modernise our approach. The complered project had, amongst other research, attempted to convert a Panzer I so that it could be used as a bridgelaying vehicle. Unfortunately problems with the suspension could not be overcome. Approval has been granted to continue the research, concentrating on a similar modification to the Panzer II. (The modified vehicle to be known as the Breckenleger II). Together with developments in pontoon bridge construction, this will allow our pioniere better attack and movement capacity across rivers.



    Trials have shown that a modified Pz I is not viable as a bridgelaying vehicle, so the prototype Brückenleger auf Panzekampfwagen II (above) is to be tested and further developed.


    Normally that would be it: scientists and engineers freed from the completion of a project are given a new assignment, selected from among the dozens of competing promising lines of research. This time, however, two additional projects were given funding. And just as significant, both were long term military theory research projects. The first is targeted at our use of artillery. We have heard that the Soviets are investigating the formation of very large artillery formations. While we will not go down that path, the Heer is interested in the concentration of artillery for large assaults. Training will increase the performance of all our support brigades: anti-air, anti-tank, artillery and rocket artillery. The other is perhaps the opposite: moving away from the rigid fortified lines of our enemies to a more elastic defence that will give more effectiveness to our artillery, more freedom to our headquarters and more likelihood of achieving a tactical withdrawal when under attack.

    All this was very interesting, but it was still the future. In the present, the French were still fighting. Just after midnight, Blaskowitz had launched a new and more serious attack on Sancoins. The British General Thorne still had more than 25,000 men available to hold the province, but Blaskowitz has the use of 29.Infanterie (mot) and 33.Infanterie, so he is only slightly outnumbered. More importantly, one of Thorne’s three divisions is totally disorganised and will not be able to contribute much to the defence. With reports of bad weather sweeping north-west from the Alps, it is essential we keep moving towards the Italians. We have been fortunate so far with the weather and don’t want to get bogged down in the mud and snow when winter settles in.



    Battle of Sancoins


    The Armée de l’Air is obviously under instructions that this is the time to put in a final effort: by 3AM Basset’s fighters were above Sancoins, desperately trying to drive off Müller-Michiel’s 5th Kampffliegerkops. (There has been a complete renaming of Luftwaffe formations, following the ar73 review of correct nomenclature). KG 28 “Krahe” and KG 1 “Hindenburg” are both at full strength and were able to complete their mission, relying on their machine gunners to keep the French at bay. The disruption, combined with the difficulty of identifying targets at night, did mean that the attack was not very effective. Basset harassed the Junkers 88s all the way back to their base, the freshly re-opened air field at Cholet.



    Air Battle of Sancoins



    Air Battle of Cholet


    I was a bit surprised by the stilted language in the next report, until I realised it had been translated from Hungarian. It was from the headquarters of General Pokorny, informing General Dennerlein of the Österreich Army that the French had been defeated in Selongey. In very formal language it thanked Lieutenant-General Jänecke, commander of 1st Gebirgsjägerkorps, for providing assistance in the form of 3rd Gebirgsäger Division. He and General Brand were in the process of consolidating their hold on the province, and would be ready for further operations within a day or so. Losses were well within acceptable limits, only 215 men. French losses were much less, just 202, but according the Hungarians this was due to a lack of vehicles to pursue the French when they pulled out.

    Von Neurath may have been upset at being stripped of most his diplomatic recruits, but he knew better than to disobey direct orders from the Führer. He had been asked to assist in trade discussions, and did so, though we are still being met with closed doors. Our tentative approaches to both the Soviets and our staunch allies, the Italians, to discuss the acquisition of various raw materials were met with silence. The only trade deal we could secure was with our client state, the Slovak Republic, who agreed to provide 350 tonnes per day of a bundle of non-ferrous metals. A welcome addition to our supplies, but hardly enough to make a dent in our deficit. The bureaucrats in the Foreign Ministry have agreed to do better.

    I had anticipated a rush of new orders from OKW West and Heeresgruppe West, cascading to the different Army headquarters in France, Holland and western Germany. I was therefore a bit taken aback when for several days there seemed to be no real change in military operations. There was no new land activity on Friday 2nd, and it was not until the morning of Saturday that we heard of the commencement of another battle, in Montlucon.

    Our panzers are leading the charge, as General Model’s 5th Panzer Division meets General Robert’s defending 37th Infantry Brigade, 1ère Infanterie Division and the demoralised 67th Infantry Brigade with its attached tank unit. Moving from St-Amand-Montrond, our two panzer regiments and two motorised infantry regiments totalling 12,000 men are as usual outnumbered (Roberts has about 27,000 men). Model is by far the better general, however, and Robert’s ability to handle logistics will not help him against the combined arms attack. Within hours, however, it became clear that we would not have everything our way, as the British infantry ambushed our lead tanks, presumably helped by the gloomy conditions and sudden storms that swept across the battlefield. In addition, Model’s marshalling areas in St-Armand-Montrond came under attack from French bombers, while as soon as it was daylight, Basset’s fighters intercepted Major-General Sperrle as he led a combined 1st, 5th and 6th Kampffliegerkorps mission over Montlucon. KG 29 “Reiher” was hit particularly badly, losing 31 aircraft.



    Battle of Montlucon



    First Air Battle of Montlucon



    The rain and stormy weather have made the roads difficult, and tank crews are called upon to perform running repairs on the usually reliable Pzkpfw III.


    Despite the storms and the constant threat of attack by French fighter aircraft, our bomber crews continued round-the-clock bombing of Montlucon. Basset hit them again during the afternoon, and late at night they were met by a single Groupe de Chasse, led by d’Arnaud de Vitrolles. The results of the bombing were perhaps not good as might have been achieved without distraction, but at the end of Saturday Nodel reported that he was nearly three quarters of the way to achieving his objectives. Once Montlucon was ours, the key province of Digoin was only a few hours away.



    2nd Air Battle of Montlucon



    3rd Air Battle of Montlucon


    With all the conflict in the air over the battlefields of France, and with rain and storms covering much of Europe, the RAF attempted another strategic bombing raid on Dortmund. It was met by Felmy and nearly a thousand of our fighters. Newall, stubborn as ever, kept his planes on course and hammered Dormund, but damage was slight.



    Air Battle of Dortmund



    Damage report in the aftermath of the Dortmund raid



    With many aircraft already missing from his formations (No 3 Strategic Air Command alone lost at least 20 planes) Newall headed straight for Dover. Over the Channel he was intercepted by Waber and 6th Jagdfliegerkorps who proceeded to inflict further punishment. Waber radioed that he had located the enemy bombers, and Christiansen responded with 4th Jagdfliegerkorps. Unfortunately Newall had contacted RAF Fighter Command and instead of joining Waber in pursuit of the heavy bombers, 4th Jagdfliegerkorps was detailed to occupy Steele and his three fighter groups over Dover airbase.



    Air Battle of the Mouth of the Thames



    Air Battle of Dover


    Final news from the front was not good, even though it had been apparent for a while that things were not going well in Lunéville. General Engelbrecht had managed a day ago to extricate 4th Gebirgsjager Division, leaving the plucky Slovakians to cover his retreat. They had bought him time with their lives. While we don’t have access to the casualty reports of our allies, we know that Engelbrecht lost about 900 men during the battle, out of about 10,000. As far as we can determine, the Slovak militia was only about 3,000 strong to begin with, and we estimate that it lost 1,500 soldiers. French losses were only 1,007, evidence of their overwhelming superiority in numbers and the value of attacking on three fronts.

    Tomorrow is Sunday, but I will be at work again. It can only be a matter of days before Heeresgruppe West comes up with a strategy to wrap up Unternehmen Stahlknüppel. And I want to be able to track the whole thing.


    Unterseebootsflotte Activity Report

    Coast of Galicia: 1 transport (French): Bordeaiux – Tunis: (Wolf)
    Central King’s Trough: 1 transport (Swedish): Göteborg – Boston: (Fricke)


    Bombing Summary

    Luftwaffe

    Selongey: Dörstling with 6th Kampffliegerkorps , 3rd Schlachtfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 88, 2 x Ju 87B): 124
    Dijon: Kesselring with 1st Schlachtfliegerkorps, 2nd Kampffliegerkorps (1 x Me 109e, 2 x Ju 88, 2 x Ju 87B): 125, 192, 213
    Sancoins: Müller-Michiels with 5th Kampffliegerkorps (2 x Ju 88): 58, 215
    Dijon: Dörstling with 6th Kampffliegerkorps , 3rd Schlachtfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 88, 2 x Ju 87B): 119, 265, 237
    Sancoins: Kesselring with 1st Schlachtfliegerkorps, 2nd Kampffliegrkorps (1 x Me 109e, 2 x Ju 88, 1 x Ju 87B): 94, 125
    Sancoins: Kesselring with 1st Schlachtfliegerkorps, 2nd and 4th Kampffliegerkorps (1 x Me 109e, 4 x Ju 88, 2 x Ju 87B): 78, 234
    Sancoins: Kesselring with 1st Schlachtfliegerkorps, 1st, 2nd and 4th Kampffliegerkorps (2 x Me 109e, 4 x Ju 88, 2 x Ju 87B): NIL
    Dijon: Udet with 3rd Schlactfliegerkorps (2 x Ju 87B): 80, 169
    Montlucon: Dörstling with 1st and 6th Kampffliegerkorps (2 x Me 109E, 4 x Ju 88): 173
    Montlucon: Sperrle with 1st, 5th and 6thKampffliegerkorps (2 x Me 109E, 6 x Ju 88): 182, 34

    Armé de l’Air

    Sancergues: Jauneaud with 2 x TAC: 63, 208, 129, 111
    Sancergues: Valin with 4 x TAC: 285
    St-Amand-Montrond: Valin with 2 x TAC: 112




    Unternehmen Stahlknüppel at end of December 3rd



    Italian East Africa: the shrinking Empire
    Last edited by Uriah; 04-05-2010 at 00:08.

  17. #1217
    Dauphinois à la Noix Karaiskandar's Avatar
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    The new counters are clearly an improvement.
    Awarded Fan of the Week 10. April 2010
    Awarded the Medal of Services or Knowledge towards the betterment of Canada

  18. #1218
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modo View Post
    Your character is very good at getting to the most secret stuff. Kinda makes me wonder if he's a spy.
    He is worse than a spy -he is a bureaucrat!

    Quote Originally Posted by Karaiskandar View Post
    Wow the Germans forces are going to be really busy next year!


    As busy as a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest
    (That's not quite the way we say it in Australia but you get the drift)

    Quote Originally Posted by BoemsiBoemsie View Post
    Wow, great update. The great strategic review I was hoping for. And sorry for suggesting that the Fuhrer will break alliances or non agression pacts. He would never do that, he is an honest man.
    Now I am committed : I just hope I don't end up with egg on my face.

    Quote Originally Posted by MajorMayhem View Post
    Perhaps he was the Soviet spy who had access to Hitlers headquaters!
    The narrator a Communist? Never!


    Quote Originally Posted by kigrwik View Post
    Well, these are ambitious plans ! Very interesting.

    A possible problem regarding the invasion of Spain: after Vichy, you'll only have a very narrow border along the Atlantic coast. Supply will be difficult through a narrow pass in the mountains.

    You might want to conquer Yugoslavia first, to get access to the mediterranean and then you could drop paratroopers on Barcelona and supply them by sea.

    Or forget the sea and do it all by air. The "air supply" mission is very effective, as long as you have several transport plane squadrons.

    The english should have invaded Portugal, it may well tie up several spanish divisions and prove an effective distraction.

    1940 will be an interesting year !
    Supply is an issue whcih is why I am ahead on research and why I hope to conquer Spain with only 20 divs. I may be in Yugoslavia in early spring, so that might create other options. Air is not really a goer: I only have one TRS geschwader, with another on way: apparently the Ju 52 is made of some platinum/gold alloy.

    Quote Originally Posted by kigrwik View Post
    Talking about raiders: you could use some of your transports and a few infantry divisions to land on the western coast of Africa (there are some french and english colonies there) and secure a supply station. You could then rebase some obsolete surface ships far far from the Home Fleet and wreak havoc on the mid Atlantic.

    Or perhaps even use one of the Portuguese colonies, if they haven't already been conquered by their neighbors.
    Get thee behind me Satan!!! I don't need people tempting me with ways to spread my few troops aroudn the world! I do it well enough myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobberChicken View Post
    "I am sure France is about to go: surely if I get two more victory hexes they must surrender? I am a hex from Digoin, adjacent to Bordeaux... weeks."

    See, I told you that it looked like Paradox had learned hexes were a better idea. Now you're thinking that's what they are.
    "Hexes" takes less key-strokes than "Provinces" and I am lazy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Throki View Post
    Great AAR! Finally managed to read all of it, keep the updates coming!

    Your Clerk is running quit some risks there, by reading those documents. Hope he'll be fine.

    *cloaks again
    Nobody notices a Clerk (ask Superman alias Clerk Kent).

    Quote Originally Posted by Black Lotus View Post
    Be careful with your life and the risks you take! If something were to happen we'd lose your updates!
    Sometimes a Clerk's just gotta do what Clerk's gotta do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Better build more transports. Never good to move troops with the minimum number of ships.
    Greate update and good plans.
    I found another transport flotilla in Konigsberg. Obviously completed it after the Ostsee was shut. But still, five is not many: Portugal has seven!

    Quote Originally Posted by Threedog43 View Post
    The plot thickens
    Well, I am confused, so I hope you are.

    Quote Originally Posted by thebigj_a View Post
    Whew! I just read this whole AAR over the past week. I'm new to HOI and asked in the forums for some AARS to help me learn. I was told this was excellent, and wasn't disappointed! This is some of the best reading I've had, of any type, in a long time!

    As an aside: a while back you mentioned watching the MLB opener. How does an Aussie become a fan of the BoSox, my home team? (Please tell me I didn't read it wrong and that you follow the Yankees. I might have to stop reading this!)
    Thaks for the compliment - I have always had at the back of my mind that it would be useful for new starters.

    As for baseball, a long story.

    My daughters all played softball, and I used to watch, then help, then umpire. That led to baseball, and I found I really liked it - great rules, I like the stop-start tempo and the constant one-on-one mental duels. And it is has more statistics than you can shake a stick at, going back more than hundred years.

    At about that time I played an awful lot of Advanced Squad Leader, which was owned by a small company which was being sold. It looked like the game was doomed, but the rights were bought by Multiman Publishing, which was backed by Curt Schilling. At the time he played for either the Phillies or the Diamondbacks, and I started following him. He moved to Boston, and has now retired. So I am stuck on the Red Sox. Saw two games at Fenway a couple of years ago. Uncomfortable seats, obscured view, Boston lost both games, and still the best atmosphere I have found at a game. (I have been to about 15 ball-parks, but two have bene knocked down (Shea and Yankee Stadium MK 1) so I still have a lot to catch up on.)

    So now I bet you wished you hadn't asked.

  19. #1219
    General Forster's Avatar
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    Looks like you will be busy. Spain may be a little slower than you plan. If you are lucky, you'll find the Brits have move out of the Rock to help, leaving a weak garrison.

  20. #1220
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karaiskandar View Post
    The new counters are clearly an improvement.
    I'm glad you agree - they make it much easier to play. I have a DiDay mod game going and it just looked so much better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forster View Post
    Looks like you will be busy. Spain may be a little slower than you plan. If you are lucky, you'll find the Brits have move out of the Rock to help, leaving a weak garrison.
    I hope they do: my memories of HOI2 is Gibraltar having 50+ British divisions.




    PS Thanks to Baltasar explaining how to do it, I have made an index of this AAR which is on post 1. Of course, if you have just managed to read your way here, this isn't much use. But think of how useful it would have been if I had done it before!
    Last edited by Uriah; 04-05-2010 at 03:29.

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