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Thread: Eine Geschichte des Grossdeutsches Reich - Germany/Road to Doom's Day

  1. #61
    Dauphinois ą la Noix Karaiskandar's Avatar
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    Mexico FTW!
    Incredible turn of events!
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  2. #62
    No kidding. When I saw that war kick off, I nofogged and spent Feb-March '39 watching it instead of Germany, which is how I know about Patton's Appalachian campaign. I somehow totally missed that the UK went with Baldwin until late in '42, but it makes sense in a world where the British public has gotten used to the idea that Germany's going to keep invading her eastern neighbors no matter what, so Churchill still sounds like a voice in the wilderness as of the 1941 general election. I was glad to see that the game made the sensible (to the American voter) choice of kicking Roosevelt out. I wouldn't even have thought anything special of it, but for reading Nathan's "The Presidents" (see his sig), which is way more thoughtful about the situation than this is. Probably because I habitually play on Very Fast...

  3. #63
    I hope my fellow American countrymen go and turn Mexico into a strip of pathetic Pacific land! USA, arise! Go Germany (just no Barbarossa. It NEVER works realistically!)

  4. #64
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Germany is getting quite big. How is this affecting TC?

    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    I was glad to see that the game made the sensible (to the American voter) choice of kicking Roosevelt out. I wouldn't even have thought anything special of it, but for reading Nathan's "The Presidents" (see his sig), which is way more thoughtful about the situation than this is. Probably because I habitually play on Very Fast...
    Thank you for your compliment.

    I am looking forward to seeing what you do next.
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  5. #65
    Nathan - Didn't break the TC limit until well into Barbarossa, due to two things. First, the mod in question can be a little over-powered on IC, therefore TC, and second, knowing that I was going east, I took every TC-maximizing tech available. Well, that, and Greater Germany has the greatest highway system ever.

    Hannibal - Sorry, you're SOL on this one...

    ---

    2. The Drive to the East

    The year 1943 saw the introduction of the weapons that would conquer the Sowjets. Early in the year, the Reichsheer finished arbitration of the Krupp-Porsche dispute over construction of the most modern armored fighting vehicle in the world, the PzKpfW VG "Panther" (PzKpfW being Panzerkampfwagen, literally "armored fighting vehicle" - trans). The Panther was defined by its heavily sloped armor and its long-barreled 75mm gun, ideal for the destruction of the light tanks which made up the majority of the Sowjet armored force. Simultaneously, the Reichsheer adopted a replacement for the MP37, the stamped-metal MP43. The MP43 was revolutionary for a number of reasons, not least of which was that its ease of production made it possible to issue every infantryman, over the next several years, with a fully-automatic weapon. It was a program with the Fuehrer's personal blessing, based on his experiences at the tail end of the Great War.


    Figure 60: The German soldier on the eve of the Sowjet war was the most superbly equipped and trained infantryman in the world


    As of the middle of 1942, the Fuehrer had already made clear that Germany's next move would be to the East, against the Sowjets. A Reichswehr staff study originating in October made the following points:

    1. The Sowjet army numbered more than a thousand official divisions. Including garrison forces, Germany could muster 750 divisions.

    2. Sowjet military thinking had been stunted by the lack of practical experience since Germany had withdrawn from cooperation. The conclusions Germany had reached in Poland and the April Wars had been largely neglected east of the Bug in favor of Premier Stalin's insistence on a static defensive line.

    3. Years of close exposure had shown that the Sowjet frontier was impenetrable during the first four months of the year, first because of cold systems, second because of mud. The ideal invasion period began with the first firming of the ground.

    4. In reference to the third, firming occurred south-to-north; as a result, any offensive Germany wished to launch would probably trigger in the Ukraine before in Byelorussia and the Baltic.

    Based on these four points, the High Command devised a plan focused on a rapid, stunning blow in the Ukraine, designed to fragment the Sowjet defensive line in that region before the weather conditions changed in the north. It was expected that muddy conditions would hamper Sowjet attempts at reinforcing the Kievan front badly enough that a deeper penetration could occur. The Fuehrer approved the operational concept, with the addition of an airborne assault meant to secure the banks of the Dnieper and speed the armored thrust. It was expected that this Ukrainian operation would result in the destruction of as many as a hundred of the Sowjet divisions facing the Reich.

    For the first months of 1943, units moved into position near the Reich-Sowjet border and Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop carefully extracted Germany from the existing non-aggression pact between the two countries, which the Fuehrer had maintained so long as it was convenient. By May, all was ready save for the weather. On May 10, intelligence agents on the Sowjet side of the border reported that the border roads were sufficiently firm to allow rapid movement of the armored forces.


    Figure 61: Fallschirmjaeger landing along the Dnieper Bend, May 1943


    Just after midnight on May 11, 1943, the Reichswehr in Berlin transmitted a single word to all units along the Sowjet frontier: Barbarossa. Simultaneously, Arado transports rumbled off the runways in Romania and Hungary and the guns opened along the Sowjet border. Incredulously, commanders along the border continued reporting the following exchange between front units and STAVKA in Moscow, transmitted in the clear:

    FRONT: We are being fired on; what shall we do?

    STAVKA: You must be insane. And why is your signal not in code?
    The breakthrough was shattering; early results were sufficiently surprising to both sides that the Fuehrer approved the release of von Blomberg and Hausser in the north with massive Luftwaffe support. Despite muddy conditions, they achieved their objectives more than a month ahead of schedule. A week into the invasion, Kiev had fallen in the south, von Manstein was driving for Kharkov, Guderian was driving for Baku, and Hausser was wheeling to cut Leningrad (modern Flottenburg) from Moscow. Along the Don bend, SS general Dietrich engaged in a series of cut-and-thrust battles with Sowjet forces mustering vast numerical superiority, but no backbone. In the Crimea, Lieutenant-General Walter Model had bottled the Sowjets up in Sevastopol (modern Augustendorf). Intelligence sources indicated that rather than the modest hundred-odd divisions that the Reichswehr had expected to eliminate, the German army had achieved numerical parity, if garrison forces were included. It only remained to cleanse the pocket formed in the Pripet Marshes, a task Field Marshal von Blomberg arrogated to himself as the front outraced his relatively static headquarters.


    Figure 62: The front after one week of fighting


    Recognizing the danger, the Sowjet government fled Moscow to Gorky; in the meantime, Reichsheer forces encircled Kursk and Kharkov before cutting the thirty to forty divisions trapped therein to ribbons. It was here that General von Manstein invented the technique that led to his reputation as an expert streetfighter; he paired units of assault guns and Sturmpioniere (asault engineers - trans) at platoon level. In cases where the infantry bogged down, the assault guns were used to level buildings and allow the infantry to continue to advance. The technique was rapidly disseminated, and von Manstein received his Knight's Cross for the stunningly fast reduction of Kharkov.


    Figure 63: "Manstein's Hammer:" Sturmpioniere advance as a StuG III creates a breach in Kharkov


    In a gamble, General Fedor von Bock gathered every division available in the center and thrust into the partially-encircled city of Moscow. On June 4, three weeks after crossing the frontier, he accepted the surrender of the last remaining defenders of the forty-one divisions which the Sowjets had mustered to defend the city. General von Bock established his working headquarters in the Kremlin Arsenal, which was badly damaged by room-to-room fighting, but at least provided a roof for his reception of the Fuehrer, who arrived within days leading a high-ranking Party delegation. The Fuehrer presented him with a field marshal's baton and the Grand Cross of the Iron Cross on the spot before receiving a delegation from the Metropolitan of Moscow, Sergius, who hailed the Fuehrer as liberating Russia from the yoke of Bolshevism.

    The Metropolitan, an aging man who had led the Russian church for the past decade, requested the Chancellor and Fuehrer's permission to call a conclave of Russian church leaders and nominate a new Patriarch. The Fuehrer, according to the diary of his military aide, Otto Gunsche, replied to the delegation, "So long as Russia stays quiet, the old man can call his circus." Publicly, of course, the Fuehrer hailed the liberation of the Orthodox Church from Bolshevism as one more step in the elimination of Communism. It was hardly surprising, given Sergius's decisive influence within the Russian church, his long opposition to Sowjet policies, and the Reich's unique historical status as Russia's conqueror, either that Sergius became Sergius I, Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russians, or that he was, for his nine living months as Patriarch, a vociferous supporter of the Reich against the Bolsheviks.


    Figure 64: German "tourist" officers, including Air Marshal Goering, inspect the wreckage of the STAVKA command center during occupation period


    During this period, thirty divisions, including the six paratrooper divisions which had been allocated to the Dnieper landings, encircled Stalingrad (modern Ostkampfsburg) in the south. On June 13, 1943, the Reichsbanner was raised over the Barrikadi tractor factory, at the same time that General von Manstein dislodged the Sowjets from their makeshift capital at Gorky. A week later, SS General Hausser set up his headquarters in the Hermitage in Leningrad. Germany now faced a decision regarding forming an occupation government; the Fuehrer was absolutely explicit: no negotiation, no puppet governments, no liberation until the Sowjets were utterly destroyed, at which time the German government would negotiate only east of the Urals. Reichskommisariats were established in short order in the Ukraine, in Moscow, and in the Caucasus, setting up local government as the Reichswehr advanced further east. By July 1, 1943, General Guderian had occupied the critical oil fields in the Caucasus. The Sowjet Black Sea fleet was forced from its anchorages and fueling yards, and the Reich sortied its own Black Sea fleet, led by the battlecruiser Niederdonau. In one afternoon, Niederdonau single-handedly sank the Sowjet battleship Parishkaya Kommuna, the cruiser Krazni Kavkhaz, and four destroyers, the first fleet victory for the Reichsmarine since the Great War.


    Figure 65: The Russian Front after six weeks, July 1943


    The Reichswehr continued its eastward thrust unabated, chasing the Sowjets out of makeshift capitals until finally, in December of 1943, the "Union of Sowjet Socialist Republics" was reduced to a final pocket around Vladivostok. Mountainous terrain slowed the relentless armored advance that had pursued this far; however, Lieutenant-General Ringel of the paratroopers was ready to assist. Ringel's troops had a superb fighting record, having reduced the few allies the Sowjets had by daring jumps into Ulan-Bator, Kyzyl, and Irkutsk, often weeks ahead of resupply efforts. The paratroopers loaded into their transports once more, and in the last freezing days of 1943, dropped near, then assaulted into, Vladivostok.


    Figure 66: Arado Ar 232 transport aircraft, the backbone of air transports during the Sowjet War


    The paratroopers held Vladivostok, but the Sowjet government fled one last time, barely outrunning Ringel's troops and escaping to Sakhalin by fishing boat. From Sakhalin, Premier Stalin exhorted the last remnants of the Red Army to resist, calling on the name of "Holy Russia" despite the fact that the Patriarch of All the Russians had deserted him when Moscow fell, calling on all Russian Christians to resist the Bolshevik menace. It was not until February 1944 that armored forces broke through the Sowjet defenses north of Vladivostok and linked up with Ringel's troops, who had been resupplied continuously by air; it is for this reason that today's airborne warfare school's graduation exercise is the Ringeldrill.


    Figure 67: General Julius Ringel, conqueror of Vladivostok


    Ringel and his troops, with no rest or re-equipping, made one last jump during the Sowjet War. On March 6, 1944, the exhausted paratroopers boarded their transports one more time, checked their equipment one last time, and landed in Russian Sakhalin. Premier Stalin was captured during the predawn assault, along with Ministers Kalinin, Beria, and Molotov, among the few survivors of the Politburo. For the horrifying conditions that German troops had found throughout Sowjet Siberia, Stalin, Beria, and Molotov were placed on trial for crimes against humanity; their generals followed for lesser crimes. Among the prime witnesses against them - for their criminal handling of Sowjet armies thrown headlong into the teeth of German armor - was General Andrei Vlassov. General Vlassov was a former Sowjet officer, known for his relative competence and compassion for his men. He was recalled by General Guderian, who had encountered him during the Reichswehr's pre-Hitler Rapallo phase, and offered the possibility of assisting in the pacification of post-war Russia. Seeing that Reich government was better than Sowjet government, Vlassov accepted.


    Figure 68: On March 6, 1944, the final cease-fire order was issued from Sowjet Sakhalin


    During the closing days of 1943, General Guderian, momentarily military governor of the Caucasus, had proposed a radical plan to cement the Reich's position and ready the future was against the Western powers. His plan, in brief, was to overrun Turkey and Iran in a rapid campaign, giving the Reich a border with French Syria and British India in addition to securing the vast oil reserves of Persia. Not to be outdone, Obergruppenfuehrer Hausser proposed a similar plan for Finland, citing the need for Germany to establish absolute dominion in the Baltic. The Fuehrer approved both operations; by Christmas of 1943, Guderian's field headquarters were established in Bandar Abbas, and SS-Gruppenfuehrer Krueger and Lieutenant-General Dietl had made their famous handshake in Ankara. In Finland, Hausser established an occupation government and began the extension of the Reich's superb rail and road network.

    In nine months of constant, brutal fighting, the Reich had reached the Pacific; however, the Fuehrer believed that the vast Sowjet hinterland was ungovernable from Berlin, and asked Minister Rosenberg, the Minister for Eastern Affairs, to head up an Economic Cabinet subcommittee to draw up plans for self-government east of the Urals. It would be a full year before his task was complete and the Reich's eastern border was more or less permanently fixed.


    Figure 69: The Reich's finalized eastern border, 1945


    ---

    Yes. It was that fast. I really expected the Soviets to put up more fight.

    EDIT - Stole another Bundesarchiv pic that shows how Manstein got "Urban Specialist." Because two sentences about von Bock's capture of Moscow didn't really do it justice, I expanded a bit there; he did in fact get promoted to field marshal at this point, the first field marshal of mobile troops (mech/mot. army). Figured I'd throw in Sergius's elevation to Patriarch, which is in essence the Reich's one act of conciliation and explains why Reichskommissariat Moskau had such low partisan numbers.
    Last edited by c0d5579; 20-02-2013 at 18:24. Reason: Spelling.

  6. #66
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    *is speechless by how much you accomplished in so little time*

    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    ...was wheeling to cut Leningrad (modern Flottenburg) from Moscow.
    The German names for Soviet cities...did you make them up?
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  7. #67
    Dauphinois ą la Noix Karaiskandar's Avatar
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    Oh god, poor Soviets, what a campaign!
    Germany is now the leading world power, the allies are utterly doomed!
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  8. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    *is speechless by how much you accomplished in so little time*



    The German names for Soviet cities...did you make them up?
    Yes; the Hitler plan IRL was to raze Leningrad. "Flottenburg" is because Peter the Great built it so the Russians could build a Baltic fleet; it seemed appropriate that its saviors would be the German navy, who insist on preserving it as a base.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karaiskandar
    Oh god, poor Soviets, what a campaign!
    Germany is now the leading world power, the allies are utterly doomed!
    Comparing armies at the end of the war, the Germans finally had ground numerical superiority over the French; however, this is deceptive because so many were garrison divisions. French leg infantry outnumber German leg infantry about 2:1, while Germany is the world leader in armor and airborne forces; the US and Germany are about even for mechanized infantry (including motorized, as they ride to work). There are some problems with a western campaign just now. The Dutch and Belgians both have 60-odd stacks along the German border. I can punch through those, but the French chose to extend the Maginot Line, so I'm very worried about a repeat of WW1. I'm almost worried enough about it to ally temporarily with the Italians.

    Weirdly, because the Soviet War relied so little on air power, I'm pretty sure the Luftwaffe has lost air parity with the western powers. Might be time for a building campaign...

    EDIT: Since I stole the "Nazi Europe" events files from CWTT for this one, I figure I'll start putting together a list of German cities in Russia. What we know so far...

    Leningrad - Flottenburg (Fleet City)
    Sevastopol - Augustenburg (August City, based on Greek "Sebastos" being roughly "Augustus")
    Stalingrad - Ostkampfsburg (Struggle in the East City)

    Baku - Neuessen (The Baku oil fields become the province of Krupp Petrochemie, a fictional branch of Krupp of Essen that did most of Germany's prewar oil exploration research.)
    Kharkov - Mansteinsdorf
    Kiev - Siegestadt (More than any other city, the near-instantaneous fall of Kiev symbolized Germany's God-ordained victory, or somesuch)
    Kursk - Bockstadt (Kursk was the stepoff point for Bock's grab of Moscow)
    Minsk - Blombergsdorf (Minsk was the main object of von Blomberg's sector of front)
    Rostov - Dietrichsburg (Sepp Dietrich's Leibstandarte fought something like six consecutive significantly outnumbered battles crossing the Don at Rostov... it was nothing short of breathtaking watching that one division beat back something like fifteen divisions in detail.)

    I'm fortunate in that I don't have to find German names for most of Poland - even Lvov, relatively far east, was Lemberg once upon a time.
    Last edited by c0d5579; 24-01-2010 at 20:51.

  9. #69
    3. The Foreign Situation, 1944-1946

    Outside of the Reich, the "foreign situation" (the ministerial euphemism for Germany's increasing isolation) continued to develop in a manner that no Reich leader, even the Ostministerium committee under Minister Rosenberg responsible for the drawing down of German involvement east of the Urals, could have foreseen. Rosenberg's own creations, the Social Republics of Primorsk, Siberia, Transuralia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, were peacefully created successor states to the monolithic Russo-Sowjet state; emigration from European Russia to the East was encouraged during this period, with the Reich even going so far as to give monetary grants to Russian settler families who were willing to migrate eastward.

    The Reich itself was partially responsible for its foreign isolation; in addition to rectifying the excessive size of Russia and the Sowjet Union into a series of much smaller states under Reich guidance, the Fuehrer had dictated that Germany would seek to control all of the racially viable countries of Europe in one sphere of interest. This was what gave rise to the executions of Case Gustav in Sweden, and Case Harald in Norway, in 1945. However, events outside the Reich itself eclipsed the internal events of 1944 and 1945. Only in 1946 would Germany share the stage with foreign events in equal measure.

    In both the United States and Great Britain, elections led to changes of government. Of the two, the United States experienced the more profound shifts. Because of the rigors of campaigning, the Republican presidential candidate, Wendell Willkie, died in October of 1944, six weeks before the presidential election, to be succeeded very briefly as President by his Secretary of State, equivalent to a European Foreign Minister, Arthur Vandenberg. Willkie's opponent was none other than former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt; in a race between Willkie and Roosevelt, the man who had reconciled the Second Mexican War stood at a clear advantage over the man who had lost it. However, in a race between Roosevelt and Willkie's running mate, Thomas Dewey, one man had a clear edge in experience and recognition to the American people. Franklin Roosevelt became the thirty-fifth President of the United States by election in November of 1944; he took office once more in January of 1945; in April, he died of natural causes at his Georgia vacation home. In the space of six months, therefore, the United States had four presidents: Willkie, Vandenberg, Roosevelt, and now Harry S. Truman, of the American state of Missouri.


    Figure 70: Harry S. Truman, 36th President of the United States


    Truman was essentially an unknown on the American stage, though during the Willkie administration, he had lobbied continuously for the United States to take a more active interest in Europe, in addition to the ongoing, never-ending war with Japan in the Pacific. Even before the Japanese war began, Truman had been quoted as saying:

    "If we see that Germany is winning we ought to help Russia and if Russia is winning we ought to help Germany, and that way let them kill as many as possible, although I don't want to see Hitler victorious under any circumstances. Neither of them thinks anything of their pledged word."
    The Chancellor and Fuehrer therefore viewed the new American administration with considerable skepticism; it was only with difficulty that Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop persuaded him that the Americans could be brought to sign a non-aggression pact. The Reich's victory over the Sowjets had, after all, persuaded the Americans that a head-to-head confrontation with Germany was madness. With difficulty, the two governments came to an understanding during 1945, and the Truman-Ribbentrop Pact, signed in March of 1946, provided the two governments with a breathing space regarding each other.

    In Great Britain, the general election of 1945 changed the government drastically. Called upon the resignation for health reasons of Lord Baldwin, the election was nothing more or less than a referendum upon the Chamberlain-Baldwin policies in Europe. Where Chamberlain and Baldwin had focused on foreign affairs heavily, the Labour Party led by Clement Attlee had demanded attention to domestic affairs still recovering from the trauma of the 1930s. There was no clear leadership in the Conservative Party during this period; the most notable of the Conservative leaders was a veteran parliamentarian named Winston Spencer Churchill, whose anti-German rhetoric made him an extremist among a party known for its dislike of the Reich. Attlee's stated belief that the old order in Europe had failed, and a new one must be devised with the participation of all concerned parties, won him some approval in the Reich; however, his known communist leanings did not. Nevertheless, in the acrimonious political climate of the 1945 election, the Labour Party mauled the Conservatives and seized a comfortable margin of Commons seats. The result was that Clement Attlee became Prime Minister of Great Britain.


    Figure 71: Clement Attlee, PM (left), with King George VI in 1945


    Attlee's government's behavior was, to say the least, erratic. In 1946, it suddenly withdrew from its alliance with the United States and France, re-issuing pledges of mutual aid but refusing to participate in the ongoing Philippine War. At the same time, the Prime Ministers of Ireland and Great Britain met for the first time, leading to the Ulster Accord of 1946 and the reunification of Ireland. Winston Churchill, as leader of the opposition, blasted these moves, saying:

    We have entered into an era of compromise, of dealing with the Devil. It is no secret to many of the Members here seated, I dare say, that the Empire whose life-blood pumps into Britain today turns its eyes toward London and sees weakness, conciliation, and a spirit of vacillation which does the esteemed Government no credit. I do not believe that the Prime Minister has considered the full ramifications of this act of conciliation to the Irish, for what Ireland is given, India will expect, and the sole conceivable outcomes of such a course can be either war for the Empire's heart, or abandoning the Empire entire.
    Recently declassified documents of the British and Japanese Foreign Ministries give clues to the cause of the Attlee Government's 1946 volte-face. This was, it may be recalled, during 1946, which very nearly proved another 1848. The American and British governments during this period succeeded together in launching an attempt at a palace coup in Japan; for three months, from March to June of 1946, the Japanese Emperor was immured in his Kyoto palace and a quiet civil war raged in Japan out of sight of Western eyes, during which the Japanese Government negotiated a peace with China and continued its military operations in the Philippines, where Manila remained besieged. A considerable amount of Japanese currency reserves were smuggled from the country, at the time for reasons unknown; however, within six months, the Emperor had been returned to his throne and the Attlee Government had both recognized Japan's right to existence, and withdrawn from the network of military alliances which it had led since the First World War.

    It was against this backdrop that Germany began to turn west. In May of 1945, in protest over Swedish trade policy, which had denied the Reich access to Swedish iron ore since the beginning of the Sowjet War in 1943, the Reich declared war on Sweden, choosing to execute Case Gustav, a dual amphibious invasion from south and north. This war was remarkable only for two things: it marked the ascent of the first Waffen-SS field marshal, and it marked the first wartime deployment of Germany's two founding airborne divisions, which had previously mainly operated as training units. They mobilized from their barracks at Stendal to drop into Malmo, Sweden to secure the ferry crossing; the contested drop site was secured only with the assistance of Reichsmarine troops deployed across the strait. The two commanding airborne generals, Major-Generals Student and Sussmann, received strongly contrasting performance evaluations from the action. Student was viewed as something like a demigod for his involvement in the operation, and his career, frustrated by an extended period as a glorified schoolmaster, resumed its normal trajectory. Sussmann was made permanent commandant of the training school at Stendal.

    The Swedish operation was concluded by a rapid crossing of the Norwegian border by SS-Hauptgruppenfuehrer and Field-Marshal Hausser*, in excess of his orders but in keeping with a memorandum sent to him by the Reich Research Council, courtesy of the Reichsfuehrer-SS, indicating that the Reich would benefit from the seizure of the heavy-water works at Vemork. Hausser chose to act on his own initiative, and was saved from dismissal only by the Reichsfuerher's speedy intervention and the fact that the Fuehrer himself had presented him with a marshal's baton in Stockholm.

    To the south, in August of 1945, the Fuehrer recalled the traditional claim of the Prussian Crown to the Swiss duchy of Neuchatel, and launched a brief war to extend the Reich's French frontier. Switzerland stood no particular chance against the mountain troops massed on her border, and one of the last German-speaking states was returned to the Reich. Using the example of Switzerland, the Foreign Minister arrived unannounced on the border with Luxembourg. Escorted by a battalion from the Fuehrerbegleitsdivision (Fuehrer's Escort Division - trans.), the familiar high-pitched voice of Minister von Ribbentrop demanded that, as a holding of the hereditary ducal family of Hesse-Nassau and a member of the German Zollverein (customs union, an early confederation of German states formed by Prussia in the 19th Century - trans.) of 1842, Luxembourg was inseparably part of Greater Germany and must be recognized as such. Even recognizing the historical necessity of the reunion of Luxembourg with the Reich, it was a shabby piece of political theater from the man who had engineered first the extended peace with the Sowjets that allowed the Reichswehr its preparation, and second the new pact with the Americans. It is unclear exactly why von Ribbentrop felt its necessity; however, given the participation of one of the Fuehrer's own bodyguard units, it seems likely that the Fuehrer himself directed this move. Any speculation in this line is, of course, speculation, because the Fuehrer's personal papers are under hundred-year seal. The most likely explanation, given 1946-1947, is that the Fuehrer wished to extend the French border to give the Reichswehr more opportunities. Certainly this seems supported by the extensive fortification program immediately enacted upon the completion of the annexation agreement.

    With all of these preparations completed, the Reichswehr began to prepare for the first major military operation after the Sowjet War, Case Dietrich, to be executed in 1946. Case Dietrich, named for the Visigoth leader of the same name (Theodoric to non-Germans - trans.), was envisaged as an opportunity to secure the Mediterranean as a German sea, and a test of the Reichswehr, which was geared for mobile warfare to an extent that made the Italian Peninsula especially forbidding. The first ten years of conscription in the Reichswehr had seen the promotion of exactly three field marshals: von Rundstedt, von Bock, and Hausser. Surveying his plan, General von Manstein, the primary planner of Case Dietrich, said of his creation:

    Italy will yield two crops, headstones and batons.
    ---

    * Since there were never any SS field marshals, I've had to invent a rank that's not quite Reichsfuehrer, but is higher than Oberstgruppenfuehrer, which is roughly equivalent to Generaloberst.

    I've decided to cut this one short because Case Dietrich marks a dramatic shift in the Reich's military leadership. It'll get its own update. Don't expect any map screenshots, same as this one, because the events concerned are pretty straightforward (war in Italy is either march south, or march north), but there are plenty of pretty Bundesarchiv pics coming up. I might - MIGHT - be tempted to go whole-hog and do battle maps for Italy.

    What happened with the elections? Well... Willkie really did die before November '44. In this game, Roosevelt was somehow reelected (it's a German history, otherwise I'd get out Nathan's election-map tool). At the same time, in both timelines, Baldwin's health is pretty much shot by '45 and the next general election. Since Britain hasn't seen any fruit from the Chamberlain-Baldwin policy of "turn Hitler east," and the home islands are under some economic strain due to maintaining far-away armies fighting Japan in the Philippines, Attlee wins. Then it got weird.

    The US couped Japan (Social Liberal). Then Japan couped the UK (still Attlee government, couple ministers changed). Then France couped Japan (Market Liberal). End result: Japan at peace with a lot, but not all, of her former enemies, UK no longer in the Allies, but issuing guarantees left and right.

  10. #70
    Dauphinois ą la Noix Karaiskandar's Avatar
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    Surprising turn of events.
    What's this "couping" madness?
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  11. #71
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    In the space of six months, therefore, the United States had four presidents: Willkie, Vandenberg, Roosevelt, and now Harry S. Truman, of the American state of Missouri.
    I really like your version of events.

    It turns out Willkie is the modern-day Benjamin Harrison. Just a road bump for the Democrats.

    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    In this game, Roosevelt was somehow reelected (it's a German history, otherwise I'd get out Nathan's election-map tool).
    I have an election-map tool?

    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    The US couped Japan (Social Liberal). Then Japan couped the UK (still Attlee government, couple ministers changed). Then France couped Japan (Market Liberal). End result: Japan at peace with a lot, but not all, of her former enemies, UK no longer in the Allies, but issuing guarantees left and right.
    "Weird" sounds like an understatement.
    Last edited by Nathan Madien; 31-01-2010 at 17:25.
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  12. #72
    Magister Philosophię volksmarschall's Avatar
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    The world situation after you defeated the Soviets has changed so complexly. Japan is at peace with her enemies (for the most part), the Labour Party has taken the United Kingdom and no longer in the Allies, FDR got reelected after two terms split by Willkie from 1941-1944, and now Harry S. Truman is President, you control Europe, and I'm itching to see the next step you take.

    Excellent work, an undiscovered gem if you ask me!
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  13. #73
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    First I like to say great aar you've made amazing progress and second where would I be able to find this great mod?
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  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    I'm fortunate in that I don't have to find German names for most of Poland - even Lvov, relatively far east, was Lemberg once upon a time.
    During the Nazi era, vast Dictionaries with new "Germanized" names for cities in Poland, the Soviet Union and even some cities in Germany (with "un-german" names) were compiled, I'm sure some of them are available on Wikipedia. Most (in)famously there is "Lützmannstadt" an artificial new name for Łódź, given to the city after all the Polish residents were expelled. It is quite "Nazi", though, to refer to Polish cities by their Germanized names so maybe it's better not to go into too much detail...

  15. #75
    Oy. Plenty to reply to...

    Nathan - It's not yours, but you're the one who found it on here, so far as I know. The "vote for experience" argument is the only way on Earth I could see to justify FDR getting reelected after the Willkie years, which were, incidentally, pretty good for the US. And yes, the Year of Four Presidents is probably one for the history books. They all occurred in-game; I just didn't expect FDR to win the '44 election, because, you know, he lost a war to Mexico. So, as usual, I get egg on my screenshot-taking face.

    Volksmarschall - Japan is still nominally at war with the Philippines, South Africa, most of South America, and France, until 1947.

    SectorKnight - Go to the HoI2/Mods/Other Mods forum and look for "New Mod Beta Test: Road to Doom's Day." I'd recommend you PM Swampfox to get the current best-working version - thread fishing is a better guide than a direct link in this case, because of the fact that to get it in playable form, it's in two or three pieces. The version I'm using and his current update are on parallel tracks, but I think he's fixed some of the missing secret-weapon events that I've had to savegame-edit at reasonable (SAMs and AAMs in '46) intervals.

    Leviathan - Might have to dig one out and account for the various in-game events, and the fact that Hitler's policies were guided less by a variety of agrarian nutjobs. Case in point, because he's the least useful of my marshals, Werner von Blomberg sits parked in Moscow as military governor of occupied Russia while everyone else gets to go play and have fun.

    I'm going to spoil the surprise here, unfortunately, because my game appears to self-destruct after the conquest of France in '47. I'll see if it's a one-off or a regular event, but post-47 any updating I do will be minimal. Of course, there's still Italy, the Low Countries, and France to update on, but there it is.

  16. #76
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    I have been meaning to ask...

    Quote Originally Posted by c0d5579 View Post
    ...the familiar high-pitched voice of Minister von Ribbentrop demanded that, as a holding of the hereditary ducal family of Hesse-Nassau and a member of the German Zollverein (customs union, an early confederation of German states formed by Prussia in the 19th Century - trans.) of 1842, Luxembourg was inseparably part of Greater Germany and must be recognized as such. Even recognizing the historical necessity of the reunion of Luxembourg with the Reich...
    Is this the reason why Germany has a core on Luxembourg in the game?
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  17. #77
    4. Case Dietrich

    If the Chancellor and Fuehrer could be said to have a weakness as a strategist on the world stage, it would be an undue love of theatrics. Hence, the invasion of Italy, Case Dietrich, was delayed until March 15, 1946. Given the outcome, the Fuehrer, like Oliver Cromwell before him, may be forgiven his obsession with historical dates.

    In its initial thrust, Case Dietrich relied upon two concentrations of a hundred to a hundred and twenty divisions each. The first of these concentrations was aimed at the overrun of Venice, Milan, and Bologna, and a quick dash south into Florence to separate the Italian northern and southern commands; this prong of the invasion was spearheaded by the plan's creator, Generaloberst Erich von Manstein. While he was not the highest ranking officer in the thrust (that honor fell to Field Marshal Hausser), he was the most intimately acquainted with its details, and he knew full well that its success or failure would dictate his future career. The second concentration included no fewer than thirty divisions of mountain troops, in addition to the vast majority of Waffen-SS infantry divisions, and was under the aging Field Marshal von Rundstedt, with the goal of the annihilation of the Italian northern front between Turin and Genoa. In comparison to von Manstein's rapier thrust, von Rundstedt fully expected an inglorious Great War-style infantry grind across very difficult terrain, with little reward awaiting him in Berlin afterward. His private papers make it quite clear that he was growing increasingly dissatisfied with his military career and was contemplating retirement. By this time, the Field Marshal - one of three promoted prior to the war, and the hero of the Reich's first war in Poland - was seventy years old.


    Figure 72: The two primary German commanders during the opening of Case Dietrich, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt (left) and Generaloberst Erich von Manstein (right)


    The opening moves of the campaign went exactly as predicted; there was simply no way for the Italian army in northern Italy to resist the sudden appearance of sixty armored divisions, among them the corps-sized Waffen-SS divisions Leibstandarte-SS, Das Reich, Totenkopf, and Wiking, especially led by the men who had invented modern mobile warfare. The twenty or thirty divisions that Duce Mussolini had scattered from Milan to Venice simply disappeared under the weight of the Panthers as they crossed the border. Within two weeks, they were in Florence, and on April 1, 1946, Generaloberst von Manstein received his long-coveted baton from the Fuehrer himself in the courtyard of the Palazzo Medici. At the same time, the southern advance was forced to divide, with all of the armored leaders fearing the rugged spine of the Italian Peninsula and the endless potential for banditry. Generals Model and Glokke peeled away their mobile forces to solidify the front between Perugia and Rimini, while von Manstein, without waiting for further reinforcement, attempted to force the gates of Rome itself. The city was lightly defended, and his armored forces were apparently unstoppable; however, the bulk of the Italian army was still located south of the city, and was able to reinforce it rapidly. After a week of fruitless, tank-killing fighting to ther north of the city, he abandoned the attack.


    Figure 73: The streets of Rome proved singularly unsuited to von Manstein's Panthers.


    To the north, von Rundstedt's front was exactly as he had feared. The terrain around Turin was unforgiving, and the Italians had long fortified their French border. The axis of these fortifications was, admittedly, parallel to von Rundstedt's advance, but he had to fight his way down the length of a well-developed trench network. The aging Field Marshal, to his credit, heeded the advice of his mountaineering specialists to a great extent, and by March 28, had forced Turin and trapped no fewer than eighty-five Italian divisions in Genoa. It would be the largest single encirclement and annihilation in German military history, larger even than the titanic battle at Moscow which had netted Field Marshal von Bock forty-one divisional standards. The Turin advance had, however, cost the Reichswehr a full fifty thousand men to achieve in two weeks what many had said would take months. Field Marshal von Rundstedt, unlike von Manstein to the south, chose to pause to allow his troops to recuperate. Von Rundstedt's papers reveal that he was pessimistic about cracking the defenses of Genoa, but he ordered a resumed attack on April 1, 1946. On April 9, he arrived at the city's waterfront, ruined by incessant bombardment. Within three weeks of the war's commencement, he had completed two difficult assaults across well-fortified, impossible terrain. He again paused his forces, rather than reinforce von Manstein in the developing situation to the south. When pressed by von Manstein, he pointed out the losses which his forces had sustained: none of his divisions was above two-thirds strength after the Genoa campaign, and they badly needed the opportunity to refit before shuffling south into the mountains. Von Rundstedt himself accepted an invitation to the mountain warfare school in Bad Reichenhall to speak on the operation; as it turned out, it was a surprise opportunity for the Inspector of Mountain Troops to present him with the edelweiss cap badge of the mountaineers.


    Figure 74: The Edelweiss, traditional symbol of German mountain troops


    To the south, the only movement was in the mountains; Model and Hausser together moved into the mountains near the monastery of Monte Cassino and struck south, aiming to cut the city of Rome off at Anzio. The overwhelming majority of the surviving Italian army - some 120 divisions - concentrated rapidly around Anzio, and Hausser and Model found themselves in the unlikely situation of stretching their ammunition supply to its limits, faced with a superabundance of targets without feeling any particular danger to the Panthers. For three days, the German tanks fired until their barrels fouled and their breechblocks warped. At the end of the Battle of Anzio, the Germans had encircled Rome and the twenty-division armored thrust to the south had broken a force more than five times its size. The Anzio salient, however, created a new problem: the strategic monastery of Monte Cassino must be held at all costs in order to keep the supply lines to Hausser and Model open. Monte Cassino, and by extension Pescara on the Adriatic coast, became critical to the ongoing campaign.


    Figure 75: The monastery-fortress of Monte Cassino in central Italy in the early stages of the battle


    The Italians first attempted a counterattack at Monte Cassino using forces within the Rome Pocket; this attack was initially successful and dislodged Lieutenant-General Glokke's motorized corps from the monastery, but Field Marshal von Manstein himself led a rapid armored march into the mountains, leaving the Italians stunned when he suddenly appeared to their front. Manstein, however, had more important concerns, with Rome still unbowed and the monumental task of shuffling troops south from von Rundstedt's front just beginning. The first of these troops were mountaineers under General Busch, who dug in around Monte Cassino in strength over the last week of April 1946. Busch withstood attacks by thirty identified divisions over the last days of April and the beginning of May. His defense of the monastery in the teeth of the Italian attack allowed von Manstein finally to break the siege of Rome and occupy the city on April 28, 1943. The Marshal met the Pope at the extramural residence of Castel Gandalfo. Pius XII was by now far from the vigorous figure of his early Papacy, reduced greatly in stature by a desire to keep the Church separate from the wars which had shaken Europe for a decade now.


    Figure 76: Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII, the man the British called "Hitler's Pope"


    Pope Pius greeted Field Marshal von Manstein courteously enough, though he protested the extensive damage suffered by the city of Rome generally and the Vatican specifically. Von Manstein promised the Church's property would remain respected during the occupation, but flatly refused to negotiate further, reserving that privilege for the Fuehrer, who arrived on May 1. Chancellor Hitler, a lapsed Catholic, was unexpectedly generous to the Pope. Many, including Himmler and Goering, had hoped alternately for a breaking of the Church's power, or at least access to the vast coffers of the Church. The Fuehrer, however, would have none of it. With the exception of the nationalization of the gold reserves of Switzerland, he had strictly forbidden undue interference with the assets of conquered territories thus far, and the very thought of the sack of Rome, he protested (according to the diaries of those attending the meeting between Pope and Fuehrer), brought tears to his eyes. However, the Fuehrer insisted, the Vatican must be brought under occupation for the duration of the war. The Pope, recognizing his near-captivity, had no choice but to capitulate.


    Figure 77: Occupation troops in Rome astride a Tiger tank


    With Rome fallen, the floodgates opened.

    First, the Fuehrer gave the go-ahead for Case Hannibal, the airborne invasion of North Africa. Four simultaneous drops were attempted. Of these, the drops at Tobruk and Benghazi, under Generals Ringel and Student respectively, succeeded; the western drops, aimed at Tripoli, were deflected by Italian aircraft, leading to the long march of General Student and the 7. Fliegerdivision across the coast of Italian Libya. From May 9 to May 16, Student's men dashed from Benghazi to Tripoli, fighting Italian infantry the entire way. It was a breakneck pace, covering five hundred kilometers in eight days under fire, and it was a pace which no infantry in the world but German paratroopers could have sustained.

    Second, the Reichsmarine massed and engaged the Italian fleet off Taranto and Palermo in a running battle as the Italians attempted to retreat to their last stronghold. The carriers of the High Seas Fleet sank Italian ships literally by the dozen; the Straits of Messina has, as a result, become a treasure trove for maritime archaeologists interested in the period. The most notable casualties were the Italian battleships Andrea Dorea, Giulio Cesare,, and Roma. They were the largest ships identified and destroyed by the combined fleet; however, recent exploration of the Straits has revealed a number of ships previously not identified. Recent explorations have shown that the Italian fleet must have included at least twelve to fifteen battleships, twice the number predicted by the Mediterranean Fleet.

    Third, the Reichswehr broke out from Anzio and Monte Cassino. The entire armored strength of the Reichswehr was concentrated along this narrow front, facing 120 Italian divisions - the sum strength remaining to Duce Mussolini. Naples became became known as der Fleischwolf ("the meat grinder" - trans.). It was an uneven contest from the start; while the Italians could certainly muster more men, and the Duce made every effort to call up every able-bodied man, the German troops were veterans of Russia, of the April Wars, even stretching back to Poland, and they were the best-equipped armored force in the world. Even compared to the battle at Anzio, the Battle of Naples was a terrible slaughter, uniformly on the Italian side. Of the 120 divisions committed by the Italians, 65 ceased to exist before Marshal Badoglio, broken at the destruction before him, called a retreat. In one notorious incident from the front before Naples, SS-Sturmbannfuehrer (equivalent to a major - trans.) Michael Wittmann led a company of the new E-100 heavy tanks into the teeth of an Italian position and destroyed a full battalion of Italian armor without loss to his force. Admittedly, the Italians had chosen to focus very heavily on mobility in their armored force over striking force - a sensible decision given the rugged terrain over which the Italian army was projected to operate - but to withdraw because his ammunition reserves were dry without a single casualty, even a thrown tread, was nothing short of remarkable.

    It was all over on May 28, 1946. The Fuehrer chose to dictate terms at the foothills of the ruined Castle of Canossa, site of the humiliation of the German Emperor Heinrich IV in the year 1077. The Treaty of Canossa was in many ways a rollback of five hundred years of European history and a complete repudiation of Papal temporal authority. Calling back to the medieval Holy Roman Empire, the treaty affirmed that the ruler of Germany was rightfully the ruler of Italy in a unified Reich, and that the Third Reich was the direct successor of the First. Further, it specified that the Donation of Constantine, the legal basis for the existence of the Papal States and hence the Vatican, was a complete fraud. The Pope, and the Church, were landowners, the treaty specified, but not sovereign states. A codicil of the Treaty established that the Pope would be part of a Reich Ecumenical Council, including the various Eastern patriarchs under Reich rule and "such representatives of any other religions under Reich protection as wish to participate" (Treaty of Canossa, Art. XVI).


    Figure 79: Modern view of the ruins of Canossa


    The last phase of the Italian War was not even fought in Italy, but rather in Ethiopia, Italy's puppet state in east Africa. The Reich dropped SS General Krueger's airborne SS corps into the Ethiopian highlands to finish the war, installing a Reich-friendly government in Addis Ababa, returning Eritrea to Emperor Haile Selassie and establishing a Reich ally in neighboring Somalia.


    Figure 80: The Greater German Reich in mid-1946


    Von Manstein's prewar prediction was correct: Germany lost a hundred thousand soldiers in Italy, plus another two hundred and fifty thousand wounded, mostly during the grinding operation outside Genoa and the assault on Rome. In addition to von Manstein himself, the Fuehrer issued ten marshal's batons in a special ceremony in the Colosseum after the war. Among the men so honored were SS-Hauptgruppenfuehrere Dietrich and Steiner, Army Field Marshals von Arnim, Fischer, Model, von Paulus, Rommel, von Scwheppenburg, and von Witzleben, and Grand Admiral Saalwaechter. Lesser promotions followed in equally generous numbers. Two names were conspicuously missing from the list of marshals: Guderian and Himmler. Neither was involved in the Italian campaign; Guderian had command of the notional Indian front, and Himmler was heavily involved in anthropological studies in occupied Iran. He was, needless to say, greatly displeased that his military subordinates had been honored in a fashion that he had not, but there was little which he could do, given the expanse of the empire within the Reich which the SS had become.

  18. #78
    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien View Post
    I have been meaning to ask...



    Is this the reason why Germany has a core on Luxembourg in the game?
    You posted while I was writing (damn NBC's Monday lineup!). I believe that's the reasoning behind it. Luxembourg was occupied but maintained its own administration during WW1. I'm using similar reasoning for Switzerland - the Hohenzollerns held Neuchatel in personal union until the 1850s, and therefore you could make a very stretched legal point that "Germany," as the legal entity that inherited the Hohenzollern holdings, had a legal claim there.

  19. #79
    If I was Himmler I'd not bitch... I'd plot about removing that Hitler fellow now he's done his job...
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  20. #80
    Magister Philosophię volksmarschall's Avatar
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    Italy has fallen, and with most of Europe and Eurasia under your control... maybe a German Civil War is coming! (that would be quite interesting in my opinion). I see a massive showdown in Western Europe next.
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