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Thread: Hitler's gamble - An alternative German Strategy

  1. #301
    Is Martin trying to save his damsel in distress from the Bolsheviks or the bureaucrats?

  2. #302
    Mr. Fixit Slan's Avatar
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    @Smittytron: Both!

    Sir NeoCore Slan, OLIR, beta of FtM, appointed judge of Alexspeed's Victoria 2 AAR Contest, Fan of the Week (22-11-2011) and I also play HoItCG.
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  3. #303
    Mr. Fixit Slan's Avatar
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    Well, you might have noticed that a whole week gone by without an actual update to the AAR. But there will be a new Chapter soon, I promise!
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  4. #304
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    Please do
    Having seen and experienced war soldiers are the best reference of how to avoid it.

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    Chapter XXVII
    In which some the Red Army suffers a major setback.



    B+18
    Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightment, Berlin. Herr Weber's office.

    - So, the mission was a success, I take it.

    - Yes, Sir, it was. Although I must say it took quite a while. - After the success in Bucharest, Martin returned to Berlin. His "services" were not necessary in Tokyo. - I seriously don't understand those Romanians. I mean why would they turn our offer down in the first place? - He remembered the points Alexandreina made a few days ago. They seemed much less logical now than they did back then.

    - It doesn't matter. They are under the Reich's protection now, and that is what's important. Anyway, I have some reports here I want you to work on. - Herr Weber handed over some papers to Martin. - You should get to it right away!

    - Yes, Sir. - Martin took the papers and left for his office.



    The Soviet counterattack at Zapadnaja Dvina.


    The papers of the first file were detailed reports about the Soviet counterattack Martin read about in Bucharest. Now he could check where it actually took place: on the Northern edge of the Central Section's advance. The enemy tried to push the 31. and 14. Infanterie-Divisions back behind the Western Dvina river. A day earlier the 13. and 19. Infanterie-Divisions were ordered to flank the Soviet forces near Zabory and the 4. Fallschirmjäger Division was sent to help out the defenders. With the relieving forces in place it didn't take too long to repell the attack.



    With the help of the 4. Fallschirmjäger Division and the flanking of the Soviet forces, the counterattack was successfully repelled.


    Meanwhile the Red Air Force regained some of its initiative by regrouping in Moscow and focusing their remaining power near Smolensk. In response, the Luftwaffe started to concentrate its Fighter forces in that area as well and recalled its Bombers until further notice. The enemy Bombers seemed to be spread out all over the front in Kharkov, Orel, Kaluga, Moscow and Demjansk, while all the enemy Fighters were recalled to defend Moscow. Which, by the way, was only about 300 kilometers from the front now, so two fifth of the road was already behind the Wehrmacht!

    The second file contained photos taken by the Nordee Flotte's aircraft during their raids on Leningrad. The city's anti-air defenses were formidable, but still no real threat to the Torpedo Bombers, which were much more effective against the Soviet Submarines while they were docked. "They are sitting ducks in the docks! Man, I'm a genious!"



    Top left: the harbour of Leningrad from above; bottom left: October 25 Prospekt, a major street in the city; top right: a Soviet Submarine entering the port seeking for protection but finding none; bottom right: one of the few surviving Soviet Submarines on display in Vladivostok.


    The third file only contained a single piece of paper, yet that was the most interesting and most important one. It was a report from the Military Intelligence, measuring the forces in the Southern Pocket as they called the area cut off by the Southern Section and the Paratroopers of the 3. Fallschirmjäger Division. According to this estimates, the Soviet forces trapped in the area, cut from the rest of the Red Army consisted of the following:
    • Seven fully equiped and staffed field HQs from Corps HQs up to an Army Group HQ,
    • 50 Infantry Regiments (10 Motorized, 3 Specialized Mountain Infantry Regiments),
    • a Light Armoured Regiment,
    • 2 Cavalry Regiments,
    • 3 Artillery Battalions,
    • 7 Anti-Tank Battalions,
    • 8 Tank Destroyers Battalions,
    • 10 Anti-Air Battalions,
    • an Armoured Car Battalion,
    • and an Engineer Battalion.

    Totalling over 20 Divisions, plus staff officers trapped in a single encirclement! The Red Army may be huge, but they should certainly feel a blow of this magnitude! And even without the actual composition, telling the people that some 200.000 Soviet soldiers are cut off would cause much rejoice. "Now, would it be better to be with us or against us, Alexandreina?".


    *** *** *** *** ***


    April, 1940. In the Pripet Marshes.


    The Battle of Makhrovka is finally over. It was a bloody battle, with many dead and wounded on both sides. Seargent Martinovic said he feels really sorry for me for the only thing I can remember is this bloody war. He's probably right, it might be nice to have memories of peace. Whatever it is like.

    We took prisoners this time. This morning, when we engaged a group of Soviet troops, a tank squad appeared out of nowhere, hitting them in the back. Some 70 soldiers surrendered. They are sitting around a few campfires now and they are singing. Folk songs I guess. It is beautiful. I wonder if peace has beautiful things like soldiers singing around a campfire, too? Did I sing folk songs when I was in their shoes? I can't remember any songs.

    Seargent Martinovic says we will be moving out in the morning, turning the PoWs over to the Corps HQ. The boys say we have a few more Commies to shoot. They seemed to be rather nice fellows when not trying to kill us. Maybe our boys are similarly nice guys when not on the front, who knows. Seargent Martinovic told me that six Soviet Divisions are trapped in these marshes now. Most of them will probably end up as prisoners of war as well. Where will Corps HQ put 50000 men, I wonder?

    I hope we will leave the marsh soon. The swamps were frozen or at lest relatively cold until now, but the weather is starting to warm up and Seargent Martinovic said that the place will be swarming with mosquitoes any day now. I can't remember why but I'm pretty sure I hate mosquitoes.

    When you lose your memories, you lose a part of yourself. A part of who you are. Do we define our actions or do our actions define ourselves? If you lose your memories, do you lose your earlier actions as well? Or will you make the same mistakes you did before? I frequently find myself wondering about such philosophical things while cleaning my rifle. I like doing that. I like thinking. And I also like my rifle, my trusted ally in this war for survival. He saved my life by taking the life of others on multiple occasions in the past few weeks, and I repay him by keeping him in working order, so he can save my life again and again.

    Two days ago we scored an exceptional hit. A Soviet sniper, sitting on top of a tree about a hundred meters from our position, taking out two of our men already. I noticed him when he ejected the shell from his rifle. The shell of the bullet that just cut through one of our comrades' skull. I took aim and I shot. The sniper fell from the tree, and his death demoralized the enemy enough for us to break their lines at last. Seargent Martinovic said that if I can repeat this feat again, I may even get a new rifle, a better one, but I told I want no other rifle. I won't betray my only ally. He said we may still work something out. We'll see.



    *** *** *** *** ***


    B+27
    Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightment, Berlin. Martin's office.

    After four weeks of fighting, the front has moved about 200 kilometers. If the Wehrmacht can keep up this pace, Moscow will be taken by the end of May, and by the end of Summer, German forces may reach as far as Gorkiy and Stalingrad. The loss of more than 25 Divisions also hit the Soviets heavily, but their lines are holding out for the time being.



    After finally clearing the Southern Pocket on B+37. German Casualties: 2524; Soviet Casualties: 6864. 137305 Soviet soldiers surrendered.


    The Central Section has established a strong presence on the far side of the Western Dvina river now with the help of Major General Hammer and Major General von Cochenhausen. These two gentlemen, taking command of the Divisions crossing the river two at a time, used their expertise in combat engineering to overcome the obstacle posed by the river. Both of them were awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class for their contribution during the operation. Martin wrote a nice little article about the ceremony two days earlier, including an interview with a Soldat who lost an eye in the Battle of Velikie Luki.



    Don't mind the text in the Battle Event. It has absolutely nothing to do with what happened, and Martin's article was much better written and more touching anyway.


    After the Southern Pocket was cleared, the Dritte Armee and the Erste Panzerarmee started planning another offensive. No details were disclosed of course, but it was speculated that the plan would be something similar to how the Southern Pocket was created, although this one may reach all the way down to the Black Sea. Such a maneuver, if conducted properly, could create a huge gap on the Soviet front, since their lines of defense were already stretching thin, and with Japan joining, they had nowhere to get reinforcements from.



    The plans for the next Operation for the Southern Section: Unternehmen Küste. The black arrow shows the main axis of attack while the crossed area shows the forces planned to be encircled. According to Intelligence, about 10-15 Divisions and some 5 HQs are in the area.


    Japan's performance was somewhat discouraging so far. The call to arms took them completely by surprise it would seem, because the bulk of their armies was on peace-keeping duty in Mengkukuo at the time, and only some of these forces were redeployed, most of them remained under Mongolian control. The borders of Manchukuo were properly manned, and so was the short strip of land connecting Korea with the USSR, but the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong had enough forces to risk an attack into Japanese-held Southern China, taking Huizhou. Tokyo confirmed Berlin that troops are already on their way to restore order and also launch a counterattack. Meanwhile the borderguards in French Indochina started advancing into the colony. Their advance was slowed by a Canadian Division in Hanoi, but not stopped. Japanese forces started to surround the city.

    - You see, it was a good idea to leave that warlord Long Yun in place in Western China. - said Martin to his secretary, Erwin over their lunch. - Now the Japanese holdings in China are shielded by a neutral barrier against British attacks. Then there's this Sheng Shicai fellow in Sinkiang. He might be a communist symphatizer, or at least a doublecrossing bastard, but at least he doesn't let the Bolsheviks through while we are clearly stronger.

    - I guess you are right. Although I'm not sure why our Foreign Ministry doesn't want to let this Yunnan join the Tripartite Pact, too.

    - For one thing, it is not really a country, only a province governed by local Chinaman instead of being under direct Japanese control. To let them join, the Reich would first need to recognize them as a separate diplomatic entity. I'm also not convinced how much they could contribute if they did join our efforts. That could provoke the British to invade the province, and that wouldn't be beneficial to our interests in the slightest. Or let's assume that they can repel such an invasion. That would cause even more chaos in the region. I can completely understand why the Reich prefer them to be a neutral wall rather than an allied fence.

    - Yeah, sure. Whatever.


    *** *** *** *** ***


    B+29
    Ministry of Propaganda and Enlightment, Berlin. Martin's office.

    - Did you read that article about the new secret project of the Reich? - Joachim was on a leave, visiting Martin at work. - An old acquaintance of mine from the Rheinmetal suggested that it will be a heavy tank, with enough armour to withstand a direct hit from the heaviest gun the Soviets may have and enough firepower to destroy anything in its way. Can you believe that?

    - Actually, I wrote that article, and I can neither confirm nor deny your source on the matter.

    - Alright, but you could at least give a hint, couldn't you?

    - No, I couldn't, and you know that. If I asked you where the Nordsee Flotte will go and what will it do in the next week, would you tell me?

    - Of course not, but...

    - Then this discussion is over.

    - Ah, whatever. Anyway, what are you working on?

    - Reports became somewhat scarce in the past few days as the front is relatively quiet. So I returned to work on recruitment posters.

    - For the Wehrmacht?

    - No, this one will be for the Luftwaffe. Two full wings' worth of Ju 52s will be finished in a little over a month and they don't have enough pilots for them yet. Thing is, you don't really need that much special training to fly one of those, because it is essentially a passanger plane painted grey. So Air Marshall Grauert decided that they should recruit from the pilots in the private sector to cut down on training time.

    - That sounds logical.

    - Yeah, but I can't come up with a patriotic slogan for a completely safe occuption!

    - Why should you? You can emphasize on the fact that this is a job that basically can be done by cowards, too, while still serving the Fatherland.

    - Actually, that's not that bad of an idea at all... - Martin's brain started to run through the civilian slogans he heard from aircraft companies. His thinking was interrupted by the telephone. - Hallo?... Yes, he is here. Joachim, it's for you. - Martin was quite surprised to get a phonecall from the Kriegsmarine. He was in the middle of a job for the Lutfwaffe, he couldn't start another one for them, too. It was a relief when the operator asked for Joachim.

    - For me?

    - Yes, from your office.

    - But I'm on a leave! Aw man... - Joachim took the phone. - Yes?... Yes... What, again?!... I see... Alright, I'm on my way. - He put the phone back to its place. - Are you still interested in where the Nordsee Flotte will be in the next few days?

    - I never was...

    - They will intercept the Spanish invasion fleet outside of Wilhelmshaven.

    - Again?! What, are they completely nuts?



    The Battle of Wilhelmshaven. The Spanish have chances are slim at best.


    - Seems that way. Now I'll have to get there as soon as possible. Do you have a train schedule?


    *** *** *** *** ***


    B+31
    Joachim's temporary office in Wilhelmshaven.



    The Battle of Helgoland Bight. Admiral Gonzalez Ubieta is about to get the worst defeat of his career.


    - Yes, it was a huge success. The Nordsee Flotte destroyed the entire invasion fleet, transports included, sending five Spanish Divisions to the bottom of the sea. But how did you get in here anyway? - Joachim was rather surprised how Martin could get into his office.

    - I have connections, you know.

    - You flirted your way in, didn't you? I should have told Helga.. I mean Frau Weiss to watch out for you.

    - Look, I'm on official business, alright? Care to give me some details? Everything that's not too confidential.

    - Alright. Like I said, the invasion fleet is dealt with. - Joachim picked up a piece of paper with the sunk ships' names on it - The ARE Miguel de Cervantes, ARE Almirante Cervera, ARE República, ARE Libertad and the ARE Méndez Núnez were all sunk in a series of air-raids. These were all Light Cruisers from the '20s. They also lost the three Transport Flotillas, with most of the soldiers still on them. The few men that made on shore already were taken prisoners. The ARE Jaime I and the ARE Espana, two Dreadnoughts from the time of the Great War, managed to escape. They were chased to the English Channel, but never engaged again. The Flotte returned from there to avoid early confrontation with the Royal Navy without proper Air Cover.

    - Nice! Can I quote you?

    - Does it matter if I say no?

    - Not really.

    - I thought so... What's the news in Asia? I didn't have time to read the papers lately.

    - Japan pushed back the British to Hong Kong.

    - And did they take the city?

    - No, not yet. But I was told that a huge contingent is on its way as we speak. They should be there in a few days. Or a week or two, at most. And the Japanese started to take back control over the peace-keeping forces in Mengkukuo.

    - Peace-keeping forces in Megkukuo? What were they doing there in the first place? And where is this Mengkukuo anyway?

    - It's a Japanese buffer state in China. Sort of like Manchukuo, but smaller and with no army of its own. Still, the fifteen or so Divisions lent to them by Japan seems a bit overkill to me. Anyway, I've been in Japan, and I can assure you, once they start fighting, there's no stopping them.


    Index
    Last edited by Slan; 16-10-2011 at 19:33.
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  6. #306
    Black Hound of Han Enewald's Avatar
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    Spanish armada strikes!

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    Nice work with the Soviet pocket. Let's hope for another...

    But what are the Spanish up to? Seriously, the AI should be able to evaluate the strength of the opposition before attempting a landing. This is where we really need some kind of over-arching faction AI - we're going to invade Germany, guys... give it everything you've got!

  8. #308
    Field Marshal misterbean's Avatar
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    another great update. If you keep this up, you might get home before Christmas.
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  9. #309
    Mr. Fixit Slan's Avatar
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    @Enewald: It does indeed, although probably for the last time

    @SSmith: The landing itself was not that hopeless, actually. Five Divisions against a single Division isn't that bad. They probably didn't expect five Carriers coming down on them. Then again, I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition

    @misterbean: I very much hope so! Although the Japanese incompetence is reminding me of a certain country starting with the letter 'I'...
    Sir NeoCore Slan, OLIR, beta of FtM, appointed judge of Alexspeed's Victoria 2 AAR Contest, Fan of the Week (22-11-2011) and I also play HoItCG.
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  10. #310
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    I don't blame the AI for getting ambushed by your carrier fleet. Nor do I blame it for the landing itself (5 divisions against 1 division, or an empty port, or whatever...). The problem is that throwing 5 divisions against Germany is ultimately futile. An invasion of 25 divisions against multiple ports (and in this case supported by a land offensive across the French border) whilst Germany is fighting in the east might fail but it would be credible attempt to change the course of the war. I just wish the AI was capable of planning operations on that scale.

  11. #311
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    Nice update, your progress into the dastardly Bolsheviks is going well, are the French and other western allies giving you any problems other than naval invasions?

    Mind telling us how many Soviet divisions have been destroyed up to this point?

  12. #312
    Mr. Fixit Slan's Avatar
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    @SSmith: A cooperative AI would be pretty complicated to do. It would need a coordinating layer above the different countries. It shouldn't be impossible, but definitely would need some serious hardware IMHO.

    @DoomBunny: Thanks! The French and the rest of the Allies are just sitting there. Those level ten forts on the border with 2-3 Divisions of fine German soldiers sitting in them are really showing their worth! There are some rare attempts to send the three British Strategic Bomber wings in to do some damage, and sometimes they really do some, but they usually get beaten back pretty fast. Actually, I only have two groups of Interceptors, two wings each in the West, one keeping the British STRs at bay and the other shooting down the French fighters popping up in Metz from time to time.
    As for the total number of Divisions, if I'm not mistaken, that would be 27 up to the last Chapter, not including HQs. 21 of that was in the Southern Pocket and another 6 in the Pripet Marshes. It will get a bit harder to count them though, because *!Spoilers!* the front will get a bit more chaotic in the next Chapter.
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  13. #313
    just read and had a lot of fun. subscribed.

  14. #314
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Nice job in the USSR. Love cutting off divisions!

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    Império Novo - An Axis Portugal AAR for HOI 3 (Updated May '13)
    Fire Warms the Northern Lands - A Prussian Victoria 1 AAR (Awarded the VictAARian Cross for Jan-Jun 2006)
    Castles In the Sky (Vicky 1) * Sforza!!! - A Milan AAR (EU III) (Updated May '13) * I Am Siam (V2 Minor) (tied for Silver VictAARian Cross for Best AAR completed in 2011) * A Long Time Ago... (HOI 1 Argentina)* Check Rensslaer's Inkwell! (list of online writings)

  15. #315
    First Lieutenant HecNev's Avatar
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    I have to admit I'm a long-time lurker of this AAR and now, that I have finally purchased the game after playing the demo for a along time, I'm finally able to post here

    It was always interesting to follow the rather "global" happenings as well as how the character were affected by it.
    Also, dealing with those divisions in the south was pretty nice work!

    Edit: Sry for asking this here, but, while I'm at it: How can i take a screenshot of my current HOI3 campaign?
    Last edited by HecNev; 25-03-2011 at 16:54.

  16. #316
    Sergeant FedGuard's Avatar
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    Well, not attacking your fortress line is actually one of the only smart things the AI ever did. Level 10 forts manned with 3 divisions would be pretty futile to engage.

    One or two more serious pincer movements like that and the SU is done for. Keep it up
    Having seen and experienced war soldiers are the best reference of how to avoid it.

  17. #317
    Mr. Fixit Slan's Avatar
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    @ harezmi: Thanks, and welcome aboard!

    @Rensslaer: Me too! That was only two pockets so far, and there definitely will be more here, and probably even more later on!

    @HecNev: Hello and welcome! First of all, let me tell you how awesome you are if you were able to play the demo for long! It was from the old days when HoI3 was slooooooow
    As for taking screenshots, you can press F11 to get a direct screenshot in .bmp into your '\HoI3\screenshots' folder, and F12 to get a screenshot of the world map.

    @FedGuard: Good point. And you might be right about the SU as well


    @All: Among other things I do right now I've started working on another not-yet released AAR (although I won't become Rensslaer, I promise ), but I will still update this one pretty frequently. Like this weekend
    Sir NeoCore Slan, OLIR, beta of FtM, appointed judge of Alexspeed's Victoria 2 AAR Contest, Fan of the Week (22-11-2011) and I also play HoItCG.
    The Historical Plausibility Project 1.0.4 for HoI3, 2.0 for HoI3 - Semper Fi and 2.7 for FtM

    My latest work from my Ink Well (which is post #200 in the Ink Well thread):
    Hitler's gamble - An alternative German Strategy (Vanilla HoI3 - Semper Fi 2.03c) finished
    Ten Reasons why Europa Universalis III is the worst game EVER (Vanilla EU3 - Divine Wind) finished
    The New Adventures of the United Nations... in Space - A Space Empires V AAR canceled after Season I

    "Always write things on the forums that you’d be happy for your mom to read." - Fredrik Wester

  18. #318
    Sergeant FedGuard's Avatar
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    2 AAR's!
    Slan, you're slipping!

    Nah, keep 'em coming. Although not too much please, it is very time consuming to keep up with all these AAR's. I'm following 5 at the moment and it will be a while before I get up-to-date with Rennslaers Império Novo.

    I assume we haven't heard the last of the fair lady?
    Having seen and experienced war soldiers are the best reference of how to avoid it.

  19. #319
    Mr. Fixit Slan's Avatar
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    @FedGuard: That other one will be for another game. And when I started Hitler's Gamble, I was still writing my Victoria AAR, so it shouldn't interfere too much I hope. As for the fair lady, we'll see how things turn out
    Sir NeoCore Slan, OLIR, beta of FtM, appointed judge of Alexspeed's Victoria 2 AAR Contest, Fan of the Week (22-11-2011) and I also play HoItCG.
    The Historical Plausibility Project 1.0.4 for HoI3, 2.0 for HoI3 - Semper Fi and 2.7 for FtM

    My latest work from my Ink Well (which is post #200 in the Ink Well thread):
    Hitler's gamble - An alternative German Strategy (Vanilla HoI3 - Semper Fi 2.03c) finished
    Ten Reasons why Europa Universalis III is the worst game EVER (Vanilla EU3 - Divine Wind) finished
    The New Adventures of the United Nations... in Space - A Space Empires V AAR canceled after Season I

    "Always write things on the forums that you’d be happy for your mom to read." - Fredrik Wester

  20. #320
    Can't wait for more ! I just don't understand why allies don't attack Germany on a large scale, instead of the light probing of Spain forces. They have the Royal and french Navies and the troops to make it, haven't they ?

    Very fine and instructing AAR

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