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

  1. #1681
    Dauphinois à la Noix Karaiskandar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    I am already convinced that Karaiskandar never sleeps, but Baltasar too!


    Don't forget that some ago (not long after converting to Semper Fi) I split my main fleet into two equal portions. What I have in mind is running 1st Schlachtflotte down the Channel at night and into a port on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. I will also move my 4 naval bomber squadrons there. Note that the flagship "Bismark" won't be going: I don't know how this will work out and I don't wnat to risk losing her. I am only a few days ahead, so it will probably be in about two updates.
    Well that's a risky plan to say the least, but if you succeed it would be an oustanding victory against the RN. Your NAVs squadrons are going to play a crucial part.
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  2. #1682
    Field Marshal Baltasar's Avatar
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    Agreed, though I'm currently at a loss as to why you would want to hold back the other squadron except for pure narrative reasons. There's no practical in game value to them if you do not use them and having both squadrons in the Bay of Biscaya would increase your chances quite considerably, especially if you have to deal with mutliple enemy carrier groups, which I do expect to see later on simply because you saw them moving through the channel already.

    Just watch out for enemy CAGs once your Nav bombers stick out their noses. The early models are so inferior, they can be downed by a hard stare from a Gloster Gladiator.

    And I think you must be right about the tech level affecting the Allied bombing. Though I have noticed that org level is very important in bombing casualties, both the bomber and the "bombee". Tired bombers don't inflict many casualties, and the number of kills skyrockets when a unit breaks and runs. I have never read anything to confirm this, but it definitely seems to work that way.
    It'll have something to do with the tech level of the target (read: air defense), the ground attack level of the attacker, the organisation of both and the special training of the attacker (I seem to remember that there are techs to increase effectiveness of certain mission types), at least that'd be a logical calculation for air attacks. Throw in a bit of randomness and you're ready to go.

    At least this theory would explain why the air attacks on your forces produce a rather negletible result while the Luftwaffe manages to inflicht quite severe losses over the course of a few missions.


    Btw, the redeployment of forces towards Romania should be finished by now and time is of the essence. I would assume you'd declare war rather sooner than later, they Romanian forces are certainly no match for the Wehrmacht in any case.

    Are there any plans drawn up for Russia yet? What kind of troops, how many, what distribution?

    Are you going to deploy newly produced transport fleets directly into the Med (via Yugoslavia) and try and invade Malta? That might help the Italians a lot although it might seem a little gamey.
    Last edited by Baltasar; 08-09-2010 at 12:29.

  3. #1683
    1+k manpower seems good, provided you don't build too much infantry during the buildup. I had only 300+ (since I massively built infantry units during 1940 and early 41) when I started Barbarossa. I went with a lot of 3*INF+1*support (ART/AA/AT) but I think 2*INF brigades would have been enough firepower and would have left me with enough manpower to reinforce damaged units.

    Perhaps I should have built more motorised infantry (2*MOT + 1*SP-ART ?) but the problem is that the AI is not extremely good at blitzkrieg, and does not keep fast-moving units in reserve to exploit a breakthrough. So when I play with theater-level AI, I find it better to let it go WWI-like (perhaps even Napoleon-like ?) with lots of foot infantry (and a few heavy units) slugging it through the steppe. Though I usually keep an armored corps and some paratroopers under manual control, in reserve for quick attacks.

    I'm really looking forward to your Barbarossa, though it may reach an epic scale !!

  4. #1684
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    How is that it seems like you have achieved no big encirclements during the recent campaign?
    The front widens and the Spaniards have more units on the field, even if of worse quality.
    Well, I guess Catalonia will soon be a pocket...

  5. #1685
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karaiskandar View Post




    Well that's a risky plan to say the least, but if you succeed it would be an oustanding victory against the RN. Your NAVs squadrons are going to play a crucial part.
    Yes, it has proved to be risky - but you will have to wait and see how it turned out. I will try to do up to 10th tomorrow: the Channel Dash is the 11th.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baltasar View Post
    Agreed, though I'm currently at a loss as to why you would want to hold back the other squadron except for pure narrative reasons. There's no practical in game value to them if you do not use them and having both squadrons in the Bay of Biscaya would increase your chances quite considerably, especially if you have to deal with mutliple enemy carrier groups, which I do expect to see later on simply because you saw them moving through the channel already.

    Just watch out for enemy CAGs once your Nav bombers stick out their noses. The early models are so inferior, they can be downed by a hard stare from a Gloster Gladiator.



    It'll have something to do with the tech level of the target (read: air defense), the ground attack level of the attacker, the organisation of both and the special training of the attacker (I seem to remember that there are techs to increase effectiveness of certain mission types), at least that'd be a logical calculation for air attacks. Throw in a bit of randomness and you're ready to go.

    At least this theory would explain why the air attacks on your forces produce a rather negletible result while the Luftwaffe manages to inflicht quite severe losses over the course of a few missions.


    Btw, the redeployment of forces towards Romania should be finished by now and time is of the essence. I would assume you'd declare war rather sooner than later, they Romanian forces are certainly no match for the Wehrmacht in any case.

    Are there any plans drawn up for Russia yet? What kind of troops, how many, what distribution?

    Are you going to deploy newly produced transport fleets directly into the Med (via Yugoslavia) and try and invade Malta? That might help the Italians a lot although it might seem a little gamey.
    A lot of questions:

    1. I agree there is no point in having a Navy without using it, but I have been loath to lose it for no good purpose. It was split because of the size threshold, but I want to keep a decent fleet to wipe out the Russians in the Baltic to allow myself the option of a naval landing close to Leningrad (once the Red Army is committed at the front).

    2, I am not sure why, but recently the British CAGS have become nearly invincible. My Bf 109Es are getting creamed by them. I think that SF 1.03c beta gave CAGs a boost, but I am losing about 5 aircraft to 3 in 1:1 fights. Could be that the Brits had a coincidental tech gain at the same time, but it is proving v. expensive.

    3. Yes, there is no simple equation for bombing casualties: I just think org is far more important than most people think. It must be more than just tech, because the last few days' play have seen the Spanish give me a bit of a spanking on the ground. This could be because their bombers had a bit of arest and regained org.

    4. The 2nd Pzk is still travelling. I set them on strategic move, and assigned them to the Balkans Army. At some point the AI took them off strat move and put them on road. It may be because they were really chewing up supply: I had about 15 divs on strat move at once. The tentative date for the invasion of Romania is 1 June. That will allow plenty of time.

    5. I wouldn't dignify them with the term plans: general concepts, wishes, dreams probably closer. A lot depends on what I can have ready in time. At least 16 Panzer divs. I think I gave an estimate in November 1939 that I wanted about 150 divs - I am pretty much on schedule. I am looking a drive to Leningrad, but the main attacks being a huge pincer from Poland and Romania, meeting in the middle somewhere.

    6. The aim is take Gibraltar and sail transports around: if that fails then some rush building. But not specifically for Malta: I want Egypt, and will land troops to help the Italains. We can come back for Malta.

    Quote Originally Posted by kigrwik View Post
    1+k manpower seems good, provided you don't build too much infantry during the buildup. I had only 300+ (since I massively built infantry units during 1940 and early 41) when I started Barbarossa. I went with a lot of 3*INF+1*support (ART/AA/AT) but I think 2*INF brigades would have been enough firepower and would have left me with enough manpower to reinforce damaged units.

    Perhaps I should have built more motorised infantry (2*MOT + 1*SP-ART ?) but the problem is that the AI is not extremely good at blitzkrieg, and does not keep fast-moving units in reserve to exploit a breakthrough. So when I play with theater-level AI, I find it better to let it go WWI-like (perhaps even Napoleon-like ?) with lots of foot infantry (and a few heavy units) slugging it through the steppe. Though I usually keep an armored corps and some paratroopers under manual control, in reserve for quick attacks.

    I'm really looking forward to your Barbarossa, though it may reach an epic scale !!
    I am looking forward to it: but it may take some time to play and write. Manpower has always beeen a preoccupation for me: I would like more but losses have been higher than I expected. I must build more planes or the Russians may bleed me dry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    How is that it seems like you have achieved no big encirclements during the recent campaign?
    The front widens and the Spaniards have more units on the field, even if of worse quality.
    Well, I guess Catalonia will soon be a pocket...
    Don't forget that I am not directing Spain: I gave SudFrankreich Army objectives and let it go. I think it may be a combination of things: the AI doesn't do "big" encirclements: the most I have seen are about 3 provinces. The supply issue (which is now reappearing) slows the lead units so reducing the chances of breakthroughs and my withdrawal of a whole Pzkorps (with its repalcements taking several weeks to arrive) must have had an impact - there were just enough troops to man the perimeter.

  6. #1686
    Field Marshal Baltasar's Avatar
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    Since you mention the reappearing supply issue in Spain; are you going to improve the infrastructure in the region, ie building a 'highway' right to Gibraltar? Could you be bothered to show us a general infrastructure map of the Reich? That'd be interesting to see, especially if you could elaborate on your further plannings and ongoing improvements in the area

  7. #1687
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    Regarding CAG invincibility: In the latest versions I had noticed that too. My experience was that they are easy to beat over land, but if your fighters get sucked into fighting them at sea, the full weight of the CAG's home fleet AA is brought to bear against your planes. This lead me to restrict my patrol/interception areas to overland areas only. In RP terms losses are cut because pilots are recoverable as IRL rather than drowned or captured.

    If you haven't tried yet you may find MP a big issue during Barbarossa. The tactical AI is extremely wasteful of men (and supply). I usually find myself down 300 to 500 MP after a year in Russia. With AI control otoh I have run out of MP inside 12 months! All staring with around 1100 I should note.



    edit: Arcade mode is a weird, jury-rigged thing. I never liked using it either. It would be nice if it could be an AI-only thing though to avoid things like the Japan debacle.
    Last edited by Sarayakat; 09-09-2010 at 18:16.
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  8. #1688
    Quote Originally Posted by Baltasar View Post
    Since you mention the reappearing supply issue in Spain; are you going to improve the infrastructure in the region, ie building a 'highway' right to Gibraltar? Could you be bothered to show us a general infrastructure map of the Reich? That'd be interesting to see, especially if you could elaborate on your further plannings and ongoing improvements in the area
    It's maybe too late if he hasn't done yet, an upgrade takes min 1 month + repair time, any way it is only needed 2 provinces into spain the the paths split so much it should be ok until Gibraltar, which 2 peasants with a pitchfork between them might be able to take
    If any serious problems occur a convoy from Bordeaux to Cartagena(?) next to Gibraltar might be enough.

  9. #1689
    The last 3 or 4 posts I have been wondering when you would bring down some naval assets to assert control over Biscay and at least harrass the British into spending their CAG org on defense instead of bombing in Spain. Nav bombers as well. while you prob wont win any big engagements, it will give the Sudfrank Heere time to work and perhaps get far enough inland to be out of range. In past games I have had tremendous success with the Navbombers, set to convoy raiding and flt destruction.

    on the topic of supply, I am in agreement with you that it is integral and a huge part of the game. Arcade-mode would take so much out of planning as to lessen the game in my opinion. However, that said, I still think it needs work. A simple 3 choice option to set supply levels to big (attack), medium (defend) and small (static defense, Garrisons and antipartisan duties) would be a welcome addition.

    fixed antiair guns are relatively cheap to build but are only effective in great numbers (8-10). in HOI they shot at anything that flew through the province but now it seems they only target when attacked?

  10. #1690
    Field Marshal Baltasar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surt View Post
    It's maybe too late if he hasn't done yet, an upgrade takes min 1 month + repair time, any way it is only needed 2 provinces into spain the the paths split so much it should be ok until Gibraltar, which 2 peasants with a pitchfork between them might be able to take
    If any serious problems occur a convoy from Bordeaux to Cartagena(?) next to Gibraltar might be enough.

    I was thinking along the lines of protracted occupation / protection. Once the dust settles, army group Küste will take over and have to defend the area. A highway would be great to guarantee some supply flow and operational freedom, if needed. With North West Africa still in Vichy French hands, the Allies might launch an operation Torch against Spain instead.

  11. #1691
    About the Stuka crashed of the last post, searching my Luftwaffe Squadrons 1939-45 book, i've found it but with a different painting
    "A Stuka Ju 87D-1/Trop from Stukageschwader 3 (STAB/StG 3), Lybia front, flew from Derna around the first battle of Alamein."



    Keep up the good work Uriah !
    Last edited by Neomann; 09-09-2010 at 21:21.
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  12. #1692
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    Excellent updates, Uriah. The accounts of the epic aerial conflicts over northern Spain and the Channel are fascinating reading. Looking forward to seeing how you resolve this . Will the Kriegsmarine belatedly save the day, or have all three combatants fought each other to a standstill already.

    BTW, the tank labelled as a pz II of Model's 5th pz div in the photo on your 07/09 update is in fact a Pzkpfw III, which I'm sure Heinz would much rather be sat in, especially now you have got 50mm armour sorted .

  13. #1693
    Lt. General Uriah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baltasar View Post
    Since you mention the reappearing supply issue in Spain; are you going to improve the infrastructure in the region, ie building a 'highway' right to Gibraltar? Could you be bothered to show us a general infrastructure map of the Reich? That'd be interesting to see, especially if you could elaborate on your further plannings and ongoing improvements in the area
    So far I am just building in the border provinces (the level 4s), but I did have in mind a corridor through Madrid to Gibraltar, maybe with "shoots" to major ports. Mainly for defence: the conquest will be over long before it finishes. At the moment it takes me about 6 months to upgrade infra one level, and cost .57 IC. For obvious reasons most expenditue is in the east.

    I will include an "infra" map in the next update (that I am just about to start: 7AM here)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarayakat View Post
    Regarding CAG invincibility: In the latest versions I had noticed that too. My experience was that they are easy to beat over land, but if your fighters get sucked into fighting them at sea, the full weight of the CAG's home fleet AA is brought to bear against your planes. This lead me to restrict my patrol/interception areas to overland areas only. In RP terms losses are cut because pilots are recoverable as IRL rather than drowned or captured.

    If you haven't tried yet you may find MP a big issue during Barbarossa. The tactical AI is extremely wasteful of men (and supply). I usually find myself down 300 to 500 MP after a year in Russia. With AI control otoh I have run out of MP inside 12 months! All staring with around 1100 I should note.



    edit: Arcade mode is a weird, jury-rigged thing. I never liked using it either. It would be nice if it could be an AI-only thing though to avoid things like the Japan debacle.
    Difficult to stop the AI going over sea: I put them all on Air: Defensive but they persist in heading out to sea and over enemy ports. I have decided I just have to live with it. I am really hoping my interceptor improvements next month give me an edge (once they are all upgraded).

    I watch my MP constantly. Will start Agriculture 7 (1942) very soon, and if losses mount will change Full Occupation to Collaboration all over. The only other thing I can do is make the fighting less infantry intensive by building up my bombers, which necessitates more interceptors which soon gets very IC intensive. But again, you have to do it.

    As I said before, I can't imagine a strategic level game WW2 that doesn't include supply. In my current board game (Case Blue) I would be in Stalingrad instead of in front of Kursk if I wasn't restricted by supply. (Expect my opponent to post that it is his skill that has kept me on the start line for 2 months).

    Quote Originally Posted by Surt View Post
    It's maybe too late if he hasn't done yet, an upgrade takes min 1 month + repair time, any way it is only needed 2 provinces into spain the the paths split so much it should be ok until Gibraltar, which 2 peasants with a pitchfork between them might be able to take
    If any serious problems occur a convoy from Bordeaux to Cartagena(?) next to Gibraltar might be enough.
    See above post: I just can't afford to start yet: not for something that will have no immediate reward. Preparations for the east come first (well, after building more interceptors).

    Quote Originally Posted by Pudd1nator View Post
    The last 3 or 4 posts I have been wondering when you would bring down some naval assets to assert control over Biscay and at least harrass the British into spending their CAG org on defense instead of bombing in Spain. Nav bombers as well. while you prob wont win any big engagements, it will give the Sudfrank Heere time to work and perhaps get far enough inland to be out of range. In past games I have had tremendous success with the Navbombers, set to convoy raiding and flt destruction.

    on the topic of supply, I am in agreement with you that it is integral and a huge part of the game. Arcade-mode would take so much out of planning as to lessen the game in my opinion. However, that said, I still think it needs work. A simple 3 choice option to set supply levels to big (attack), medium (defend) and small (static defense, Garrisons and antipartisan duties) would be a welcome addition.

    fixed antiair guns are relatively cheap to build but are only effective in great numbers (8-10). in HOI they shot at anything that flew through the province but now it seems they only target when attacked?
    I agree with all above (but let me think about the suply situation: I am not sure there is asimple solution toall the problems).

    Quote Originally Posted by Baltasar View Post
    I was thinking along the lines of protracted occupation / protection. Once the dust settles, army group Küste will take over and have to defend the area. A highway would be great to guarantee some supply flow and operational freedom, if needed. With North West Africa still in Vichy French hands, the Allies might launch an operation Torch against Spain instead.

    That is exactly what I have in mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neomann View Post
    About the Stuka crashed of the last post, searching my Luftwaffe Squadrons 1939-45 book, i've found it but with a different painting
    "A Stuka Ju 87D-1/Trop from Stukageschwader 3 (STAB/StG 3), Lybia front, flew from Derna around the first battle of Alamein."



    Keep up the good work Uriah !
    Thanks Neomann: you seem right about the Stuka.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palmyrene View Post
    Excellent updates, Uriah. The accounts of the epic aerial conflicts over northern Spain and the Channel are fascinating reading. Looking forward to seeing how you resolve this . Will the Kriegsmarine belatedly save the day, or have all three combatants fought each other to a standstill already.

    BTW, the tank labelled as a pz II of Model's 5th pz div in the photo on your 07/09 update is in fact a Pzkpfw III, which I'm sure Heinz would much rather be sat in, especially now you have got 50mm armour sorted .
    Thanks Palmyrene: I wondered if the continued air battles might be getting boring, but they just keep happening and are a real threat/drain.

    At the time I included the photo I thought it looked a bit odd for a Pz II (though it was clearly labelled a such). I thought that maybe I was not used to seeing the tank from that angle and the dust was obscuring the lower part. To be honest, I had been looking for a while for a moving Pz II in flat dusty conditions and I didn't think too much (photos are the last things I do in an update so they tend to be a bit rushed - I want to get back to playing ).

    But thanks for pointing it out - though I think that Heinz will get a Pzkpfw 38(t).

  14. #1694
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    [QUOTE=Uriah;11613276]

    And I am glad that you like the maps: just to make it quite clear:

    The mod is called "Retextured Map" and it is by Modestus: it can be found inthe Mods forums under "other mods".


    Thanks Forster (for the comment about the update - all praise for the "new" maps must go to Modestus: see above).

    QUOTE]

    I understand that, but with your readership, I suspect, your could be considered Modestus' advertiser. As I said, it would be nice if Paradox considered the mod for inclusion in later patches or expansions.

    Since I don't have SF yet, can't really comment on how the game plays anymore. I am trying to finish my Doomsday games first.

  15. #1695
    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    (photos are the last things I do in an update so they tend to be a bit rushed - I want to get back to playing ).
    I just *love* the pictures (and the way your captions tie them to the narrative).

  16. #1696
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    Good updates! And I love those new maps. Keep up the good work.

    Looking forward to a real big naval battle in the Gulf of Biscaye. Nice!

  17. #1697
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    Tuesday 8th to Thursday 10th May

    The next morning there was nothing in the news about the meeting on Monday evening. That is a sure indication that something important is planned: Goebbels has shut down any reporting and everyone who was present at the meeting is aware of the need for secrecy. When there is not even a rumour around the capital, something critical is in the works.

    Politically, however, there is plenty for the newspapers. Headlines report that Romania has refused our offer to replace our cancelled Russian oil imports with oil from the Ploesti fields near Bucharest. In fact, if the press is to be believed, the government of Georghe Tatarescu would not even acknowledge our representatives, simply relying that the deal was impossible. Von Ribbentrop advised the Cabinet that King Carol and Prime Minister Tatarescu were focussed on keeping Romania neutral, and would not risk upsetting either Russia or the United Kingdom. (That wasn’t in the daily newspapers – I happened to glance at a copy of the Foreign Ministry memo that passed through the Kanzlei).



    An oil refinery (Creditul Minier) in Ploesti: we need the output and we will obtain it


    Every newspaper has used its editorials to heap abuse on the Romanian government, accusing it of criminal behaviour. I think that soon we will see an ultimatum, followed by war.

    I just hope the Fortele Aeriene Romane does not put up much of fight: the Luftwaffe has its hands full. Fisser’s 7th Jagdfliegerkorps, reduced to 120 aircraft, patrolling the Channel Approaches, met with four carrier air groups, led by Marshall Harris. A fleet with two escort carriers, two light cruisers and two destroyer squadrons was in the area, threatening our U-boats.



    Air Battle of the Channel Approaches: 6AM 8th May


    As has been the case with so many of the battles over the Channel, it raged all day, ending up with a dogfight over Portsmouth. By this time Fisser was down to 110 fighters, and his pilots were facing not just the four CAGs, but also three fighter groups. Admittedly one of the fighter groups was down to 37 planes, but the odds were still stacked against 7th Jagdfliegerkorps.



    Air Battle of Portsmouth: 6PM 8th May


    The Luftwaffe still had the problem of Spain. The day started well as Jodl and 14.Infanterie (mot) completed their destruction of 7th Regimiento in Huesca. Despite having no leader, the cavalry held on for three days in the rolling hills, and Jodl lost 28 men. But the delay came at a price: the lack of organisation and skill meant that the Spanish lost 397 of their 2997 men. Jodl said that he did not expect to see 7th Regimiento for some time.

    In Tardajos, however,Blaskowitz was having a harder time, and was being attacked by both Spanish and British bombers. What was a shock was the confirmed sighting of an RAF Fighter Group over Spanish soil. No British fighter could have the range to fly from the United Kingdom to Tardajos, which means that the RAF has now based fighters somewhere in Iberia: either at Gibraltar or at a Spanish airbase. To make things worse, the first attack of the day was a coordinated affair, with the fighter group providing cover for long range bombers of Coastal Command and bombers from a carrier group.



    8AM 8th May: the RAF appears over Spain, supporting a British bombing mission in Tardajos. General Blaskowitz was understandably concerned and requested fighter cover for 29.Infanterie (mot). He had enough problems with carrying out his attack on Palencia in pouring rain and the threat of thunderstorms.


    The response was quick, and by 11AM Christiansen had his Messerschmitts engaged, though 4th Jagdfliegerkorps could put less than 150 aircraft into the battle.



    Help arrives: a depleted 4th Jagdfliegerkorps takes on the RAF and RN Air Arm over Tardajos: 11AM 8th May


    This battle also went on all day, as Commander Peirse must have had orders to ensure that he disrupted the attack on Delgado’s division in Palencia. Our pilots performed well, destroying one Albacore, 11 Spitfires and 6 Short Singapore flying boats, while losing five Messerschmitts. On the other hand, they could not stop the bombers getting through, and 29.Infanterie (mot) had 137 men killed, though the bad weather no doubt kept the casualties lower than would normally have been expected.



    Still trying to protect the ground troops: Tardajos 5PM 8th May


    Rumours of powerful Russian tanks abound, even though nobody in the Wehrmacht has any firm information. We know that the Communists have been researching tank technology, but have no idea what they have discovered. Our experience so far has been the T-26 used by the Spanish Republicans – not a real threat. But there is still talk of vast numbers of new vehicles pouring out of Russian factories. Whether this is true or not, the Waffenamt has signed off on a new anti-tank gun barrel and sight. This will allow the introduction of a new weapon: the 7.5cm Pak 40 L/46, a vast improvement on the 5cm Pak 38 L/60 with which our anti-tank brigades are currently armed.



    The Technical Specifications of a new anti-tank gun: the Waffenamt is sufficiently impressed of the need for a more powerful gun to give approval for mass production and the replacement of the Pak 38.


    With the current emphasis on our oil production, the panel allocating research funding and manpower had little hesitation in awarding all available resources to a project dedicated to improving our coal to oil conversion.

    While Christiansen would have been pleased with the performance of his pilots on Tuesday, it must have taken too much out of his overstrained units. Their efforts used a large amount of fuel and ammunition stored at Bayonne airbase, as well necessitating many repairs. Combined with the struggle to keep supplies flowing through the basic rail and road systems in the southwest of Frankreich, it meant that 4th Jagdfliegerkorps was not able to mount a single sortie all Wednesday. Both 29.Infanterie (mot) in Tardajos and Curtze’s 20.Infanterie (mot) in Abejar had to endure the British carrier based bombers operating unimpeded all day.



    Infrastructure map of Spain and southwest France: work is being carried out in Bayonne, St Jean-Pied-de-Port, Pamplona, Irún, Hecho and Othez, but it will not be finished for months.


    The bombing did not prevent the two bombed units from both defeating their opponents on the ground. Blaskowitz had a convincing win over Castro Delgado. The Spanish never really recovered from the shock they experienced in the initial attack, and lost 515 of their 5579 men. They did, however, rally sufficiently to inflict 92 casualties on 29.Infanterie (mot). Curtze had a similar win in Berlanga, though the support of 16.infanterie (mot) meant that his casualties were kept to 50 men, while the 23,000 Spaniards lost 539 soldiers.

    As the rail wagons bearing von Mackensen’s 2nd Panzerkorps rolled into Yugoslavia, control of the unit was passed to General Guderians’s Balkan Army. To keep the unit at a manageable size, III Armeekorps was transferred to Dennerlein’s Österreich Army. Of course the railway system in Yugoslavia is nowhere near as modern and efficient as in the Reich (though much work is underway), and progress slowed considerably.



    Infrastructure map of Yugoslavia: work is being carried out in Maribor, Ptuj, Ormoz, Zagreb, Cakovic, Virovitica, Slatina, Valpovo, Osikek, Backa Palacka, Sabac, Novi Sad, Ada, Zrenjamic, Beograd, Vrsac, Beli Monstir, Bajnok, Subotica, Kanjiza, Senta, Kikinda, Jasa Tomic, Kucevo, Petrovac and Zajecar. In addition, some areas of the former Österreich are being improved: Innsbruck, Lienz, Matrei in Osttirol, Wolfsburg and Sölden.


    There was some air activity during the day, but mercifully for the Luftwaffe it was fairly minimal. Waber and 6th Jagdfliegerkorps tangled with four carrier air groups over the Eastern English Channel and over Portsmouth, but only one or two aircraft were lost on either side.



    Air Battle of Portsmouth: 10PM 9th May


    Just before midnight (no, I was long gone from the Kanzlei but I heard about it the next day), General Keitel surprised 2 Brigada Blindada by moving into Boltaña. Why the Spanish High Command placed one of their few armour units in the mountains nobody knows, but 22.Infanterie aims to get to grips with the light tanks before daylight: the 5cm Pak 38 with which the infantry regiments are armed is more than enough to take care of the T-26 tanks which are the best armour the Spanish seem to have.



    Battle of Boltaña


    Still no news of any naval operations, but I had further confirmation that something was in the air: my friend Kapitän Karl Behrens dropped in to say hello very early Thursday morning. He said he had been called to Berlin for a meeting held the previous day and was catching a train back to Kiel where his ships is based (with 5th Zerstörerergeschwader, part of the Nordseeflotte). He was very circumspect about the reason for the meeting, but did mention that every flag officer available had been present. And then he was off, his final words “You’ll find out soon”.

    Preparations in the east are going well, with airbase expansions completed at Memel, Innsbruck, Suwalki, Warszawa, Przemysl and Kraków. More work is to be carried out at Przemysl and Kraków: there are not many airbases in that area. As we have come to expect, the excess capacity is being pushed to factories involved in producing parts and equipment for repair work. Work on the roads and railways that will be integral to a major offensive in the east is still proceeding as fast as possible.



    Infrastructure map of Polen and the east: work is being carried out in Memel, Silute, Grajewo, Lomza, Ostrow Mazowiecka, Gorlice, Ozwenna, Tyrawa Woloska, Namyslów, Wieruszów, Wielun, Zdunska Wola, Suwalki, Ausgustów Bialystok, Sokolów, Bielsk Podloski, Biala Podlaska, Wlodowa, Chelm, Lódz, Warta, Miedzyra Podlaki, Warszawa, Preszków, Poznan, Slupca, Konin, Wlocawek, Plock, Kutno, Swietlowice and Zory


    In Spain the FARE swung back into action, attacking Sperrle’s 1st Kampffliegerkorps as it carried out a mission in support of Keitel’s men as they advanced up the mountain roads of Boltaña. Twice during the day Hidalgo de Cisneros sent his four fighter groups against our Junkers 88s and their escorting Messerschmitts, and weight of numbers were again critical. Seven Spanish aircraft were shot down, but we lost four fighters and twelve bombers. Few pilots survived: the harsh conditions high in the mountains meant that unless an injured airman was found rapidly his chances were slim, and the rocky terrain made locating downed aircraft or parachutes difficult. Keitel’s men not only had to suffer their air support being disrupted, at the same time the FARE was bombing the assembly points of 22.Infanterie in Argelès-Argost. Nevertheless, Keitel drove his men forward, and was rewarded by seeing the Spanish abandon their positions and begin a headlong retreat east. Several tanks were knocked out during the fighting, and Keitel informed Sud-Frankreich Army HQ that they were Soviet BT-5s – a model we have not struck before. With a 45mm gun, these could have been a significant threat to our armour. Only 3 men were lost to enemy ground fire, and though the Spanish lost only 25 soldiers, the fact they could not hold the perfect defensive terrain of Boltaña must have damaged their morale. The FARE had no need to worry about morale: at dusk a lone fighter group was still harassing Sperrle’s bombers, shooting down another 11 bombers at a cost of three more fighters.



    Final Air Battle of Boltaña: 6PM 10th May



    Two Soviet built BT-5 tanks knocked out during the night attack on Boltaña


    General Müller must feel he has the hang of this mountain fighting: after allowing only a day or so for his men to rest he is taking 20.Infanterie back into the high country, chasing Guarner Vivancos into La Pobla de Segur. The Spanish are obviously nowhere near beaten, as General Vivancos has received an extra regiment for his 8a División de Infanterie, taking him to 11,651 men. A couple of Wehrmacht officers here are a little concerned that Müller may be a bit overconfident: with the FARE successfully contesting the air, an assault in tough terrain against a numerically superior enemy may lead to disaster. I think that Müller has the confidence of his men and should win, but I also worry about his potential casualty list.



    Battle of Pobla de Segur


    And that was it for Thursday. I left the Kanzlei a little early, saying that I would be in by 8AM the next day. Tomorrow I think we may see what the Kriegsmarine has in mind.


    Bombing Summary

    Luftwaffe

    Berlanga: Sperrle with 1st Kampffliegerkorps (1 x Bf 109E, 2 x Ju 88): 149, 245, 216, 170, 252, 95

    RAF (RN Air Arm) + FARE

    Tardajos: Peirse with 3rd CAG, 14th RAF Fighter Group, 15th Royal Navy Coastal Command: 59, 56, 22
    Tardajos: Cunningham with 6th and 7th CAG: 55
    Abejar: Denny with 7th CAG: 22
    Aranda de Duero: Cunninghamwith 6th CAG: NIL
    Argelès-Argost: Bayo Giraud with 14th and 15th CAG, 1er Grupo de Bombardeo, Grupo Táctico n.1 FARE: 114, 123


    Unterseebootsflotte Activity Report

    North Bay of Biscay: 1 transport (UK): Dover – Kuala Belait: Dönitz with 2nd U-flotte
    Eastern Charcot Seamount: 2 transports (UK): Plymouth – Kingston: Fricke with 3rd U-flotte
    South-East Azores Fracture Zone: 1 transport (Spanish): Cádiz – Boston: Wolf with 4th U-flotte
    Coast of Cádiz: 1 transport (UK): Cádiz – Tanger: Wolf with 4th U-flotte




    Unternehmen Stierkampf at end of 10th May 1940
    Last edited by Uriah; 12-09-2010 at 05:06.

  18. #1698
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    The Spaniards still pour more men to man the line... impressive!

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    Indeed, but their lines will break sooner or later.
    Hopefully the Romanians won't be able to resist so well.
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    [QUOTE=Forster;11621129]
    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post

    And I am glad that you like the maps: just to make it quite clear:

    The mod is called "Retextured Map" and it is by Modestus: it can be found inthe Mods forums under "other mods".


    Thanks Forster (for the comment about the update - all praise for the "new" maps must go to Modestus: see above).

    QUOTE]

    I understand that, but with your readership, I suspect, your could be considered Modestus' advertiser. As I said, it would be nice if Paradox considered the mod for inclusion in later patches or expansions.

    Since I don't have SF yet, can't really comment on how the game plays anymore. I am trying to finish my Doomsday games first.
    I hope Modestus sees it that way: I try to make sure that I acknowledge the mods I use. I am sure Paradox check the mods forum for useful material: I definitely think the maps are an improvement.

    Quote Originally Posted by kigrwik View Post
    I just *love* the pictures (and the way your captions tie them to the narrative).
    Thanks kigrwik: when I said I hurry when doing them, I didn't mean I don't think about it, more that I don't check accuracy as much as I should. When I started the AAR I inteded that the photos should be more than just eye-candy, that they should make the narrative more real.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoemsiBoemsie View Post
    Good updates! And I love those new maps. Keep up the good work.

    Looking forward to a real big naval battle in the Gulf of Biscaye. Nice!
    Thanks BoemsiBoemsie, seems everyone likes the new maps.

    As for the Battle of the Gulf of Biscay: I don't want to give too much away, but let me say that I am finished 14th May and my fleet has just got there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enewald View Post
    The Spaniards still pour more men to man the line... impressive!
    I was quite surprised that they are still getting stuff to the front. I was sure that the unit in La Pobla de Regur was the same one as led by Vivancos in Rodellar, but it seemed stronger. So I checked my records (well, the exercise book in which I scrawl my notes) and 8a Division had gone from 3 regiments to four and had increased from 8,991 to 11,651, despite losing more than 500 men.

    But not only that: I seem to be meeting new units as I haed south. I hope Madrid has been stripped of defenders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karaiskandar View Post
    Indeed, but their lines will break sooner or later.
    Hopefully the Romanians won't be able to resist so well.
    We can but hope Karaiskandar. The Romanians don't hav much of a garrison on my border.

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