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Thread: A short history of the German Empire

  1. #141
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    @ Milites: In theory Beck is the perfect candidate for the role, by being well respected by the establishment, a solid military theorist and not attached to any side. Yet Beck (better yet, Freiherr von Beck) might be too reformist for the conservatives and too conservative for the reformists. Next update will deal with some of Becks reforms.

    @ Kurt_Steiner: Having a country where anyone agrees to everything wouldn't make for a very interesting read, would it . Expect to hear more from Schleicher, Papen and the other mudslingers soon.

    @ c0d5579: I chose the reformist path at the general-staff event. This path normally puts Seydlitz-Kurzbach in charge, who was barely a generalleuntant (general-major) at the time. Thats why I chose to put Beck ,a Generaloberst (full general) with reformist credentials, in charge in my AAR.
    Speaking of Guderian, he will feature in the next update about Becks reforms.

    @ Timmie0307: Tanks are a vital part of my favourite HoI-strategy: "when in doubt, throw more tanks at it" .
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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  2. #142
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    The state of the armed forces - the Heer


    Ever since the end of the Weltkrieg, there hadn't been a country that could claim to match Germany on land, at sea or in the sky. Even in times of peace, the Kaiserliche Heer was larger than any other army in the world. The Kaiserliche marine had more battleships and battlecruisers than its three biggest competitors combined and the Luftstreitkräfte dominated the skies of Europe. All Germans could sleep soundly each night, knowing Germanies might was unchallengable. Sadly, it was this sense of misplaced superiority that had spelled ruin for the armed forces. The Heer was large, but spread out along Germanies borders and its colonies, while the Communes Cohorts could concentrate all their forces near Lothringen and the Flemish border. The navy had to police all the seas to guard Germanies interests around the world, while the Republican Navy could concentrate on the North Seas and had a clear advantage in carriers. Even the airforce faced the danger of being outnumbered when faced with the combined power of the Republican Airforce (RAF) and the Armee de l'air at the same time.

    The defence of the Reich
    The strategic conundrum of facing an enemy able to concentrate all its force on a single front had been clear to the Generalstab, even before that appoinment of Generaloberst Beck. Noone had any doubt that war between the Kaiserreich and the Commune was inevitable and a strategy against the Commune had to be found. During Seeckt's tenure the mindset of the Weltkrieg had prevailed and a large number of fortifications where built in Lothringen among the border with the Commune. This line became known as the Wilhelmstellung. The defences continued through the Ardennes along the river Meuse, with Eastern Wallonia being occupied for security reasons, and stopped along the Dutch border. In the unlikely case the French would attempt to strike through the Netherlands, the formidable Rhine would form a barrier along which Dutch troops could rally and hang on until German troops could fortify their position. All along the border, the Commune would bleed before crumbling before a German counterattack, with stormtroopers stiking at weakspots in the enemies defence and heavy artillery supporting the infantry.


    The Panzer II and Panzer I. Their design reflected the Generalstabs disinterest in tank design, being smaller and weaked armoured and thus cheaper to produce than their Commune and Russian counterparts.


    Yet Beck knew that the Commune wasn't about to repeat the same mistakes of the Weltkrieg, especially not with men like Makhno and LeGentilhomme at the helm. Makhno had proven to be a master of unorthodox warfare while commanding his Black Army during the Russian Revolution and LeGentilhomme, the recently appointed commander-in-chief of the Communes armed forces, was pushing for an unprecedented increase in tank production. Even if Germany was preparing to fight in the trenches, the French clearly weren't.

    Modernisation
    Yet the oldfashioned strategies employed weren't Germanies only problem. The age of the equipment used by its forces was starting to hurt its operational effectively, as shown in Lithuania. The first step in upgrading German smallarms had been started during the '30s, with the Mauser 98k carbine replacing the cumbersome Gewehr 98. The MP18 submachinegun, favoured by the Stosstruppen (stormtroopers) of the Weltkrieg, had already been replaced with the MP34. Even the iconic Luger was slowly but surely being replaced with the Walther PPK. The most effective addition to the infantries arsenal was the MG34 all-purpose machine gun, which provided a great boost in firepower. Each division, wether used for assault or defence, was to raise a Stosstruppen-battalion from among the best of its men, to provide the division with the capability for agressive reconaissance, a quick counterattack or as vanguard of an assault.


    The versatile MG34 light machinegun. Besides its use as an infantry-support weapon, it was also used as a basis for the MG81 anti-aircraftgun and mounted as a secondary weapon on the Panzer II. Unfortunately the machinegun was quite expensive to produce, requiring 49kg of steel to produce.


    Beck also expanded the tank warfare programme he had set up after his return to service. Becks first step would be the replacement of the feeble Panzer I with a new generation of tanks. The production of the Panzer II was increased, yet this tank wasn't meant to be anything more than a temporary solution until more advanced tanks would take its place. Unfortunately, the Panzer III cavalry-tank and Panzer IV infantry-tank where still plans on a drawingboard. To provide another stopgap measure, Beck ordered the few remaining cavalry divisions to be reformed into mechanized cavalry, with about half of the regiments in each division swapping their horses for motorized vehicles and by adding a battalion of armoured cars (the Leichter Panzerspähwagen). Less glamorous, but of equal importance was the start of replacing the horse with freighttrucks and halftracks, yet the high cost of this proces meant the conversion wasn't planned to be finished before 1945.


    Generalleutnant Heinz Wilhelm Guderian (b. 1888). A gifted but hot tempered officer, the outspoken Guderian often clashed with his superiors. After yet another incident in 1934, Guderian was 'promoted' to commander of the German troops in Saigon. The drab work of guarding a distant colony gave Guderian ample time to study works on maneuver warfare written by British exile J.F.C. Fuller and French colonel Charles de Gaulle. Guderian compiled his theories into the seminal work 'Achtung Panzer', which impressed Beck enough to recall Guderian to Germany.


    The controversial generalleutnant Guderian, author of Achtung Panzer, was recalled from his commission (or exile) in Deutsch Indochina to teach a the first generation of tank-commanders at Lichterfelde. As expected the hotheaded Guderian soon clashed with virtually everyone of the military establishment, including Beck himself, but his insights where valuable enough for Beck to let him get away with such 'eccentricities'. It was clear that the tank could be a fearsome weapon is used right, breaking through enemy lines. By combining Clausewitz theory of combining ones strenght against a single point, the Schwerpunkt, with Hutiers 'infiltration-tactics' and the firepower a modern army could wield, the recipe for fighting the commune might just have been found.

    #################

    Beck has started reforming the German army for a new kind of war, reforms that are bound to upset the more conservative part of the Generalstab. Next update will deal with the Kaiserliche Marine and Raeders fight to push through Plan Z.
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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  3. #143
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    I gather you chose Blitzkrieg in the doctrine event then?
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  4. #144
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    And the Luftstreitkräfte?
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  5. #145
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    I gather you chose Blitzkrieg in the doctrine event then?
    You've gathered right, although the exact doctrine will differ a bit from the Blitzkrieg we all know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    And the Luftstreitkräfte?
    Expect the Red Baron an his magnificent men in their flying machines to appear right behind the navy. Plan to elaborate abour Richthovens meteoric rise to power. It will be somewhat problematic to write, as the original KR-developers made no effort to hide their fanboyism regarding Richthoven. The man's the youngest Field Marshall in German history!
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  6. #146
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    And please. Use another term. I am sick of explaining that the term "Blitzkrieg" is an British invention, along with the term "King Tiger".
    "That's right, Adolf. The British are coming." - The Eleventh Doctor
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  7. #147
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict View Post
    And please. Use another term. I am sick of explaining that the term "Blitzkrieg" is an British invention, along with the term "King Tiger".
    Thats the very reason why I'm trying to come up with a more Kaiserreichesque. For now 'Mechanized Infiltration' or 'Panzer Maneuver' are on the top of my list.

    And rest assured, if a 'Königstiger' makes it into the AAR, it will be called the 'Bengal tiger' .
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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  8. #148
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    What about 'Panzerkrieg'? It's simple and says everything you need it to. Also I think even though the whole Combined Arms tactic features CAS as well, I think basing the name on the armoured formations makes more sense as they're more instantly recognisable. Just an idea anyway

    In other news, I'm very happy to see the appointment of a progressive, armoured warfare proponent in charge of the Heer. All to often in my Kaiserreich games Germany just goes for old-style trench warfare and makes absolutely NO headway (leaving me as the Entente having to do nearly everything myself with half the men Germany has sitting on the Wilhelmsstellung!).

    I'm looking forward to seeing how the Marine evolves, with all the resources the Empire has in TTL, developing some aircraft carriers shouldn't be too hard. I'm sure the shipyards of Kiel etc would love a big contract like the Graf Zeppelin!
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  9. #149
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  10. #150
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    Manöverkriegsführung. Or Durchbruchstrategie.

  11. #151
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    @ Andreios II: I agree that the German ai needs to learn that sitting behind a fortress doesn't acchieve anything. At least the Communes ai (usually) tries to take me down.

    The shipyards of Blomm & Voss, Germaniawerft and Vulkan AG are capable of producing any kind of ship, but unfortunately the navy is the most conservative branch of the armed forces in KR, which is saying a lot. The SMS Graf Zeppelin exista already and is stationed in Tsingtau. Its sister the SMS Peter Strasser is part of the Mittelmeerflotte. More about the navy in the next update.

    @ Andreios II, c0d5579, GulMacet: Thanks for the suggestion for naming Germanies tactics. I'll definetly make use of them later.
    Current work: The Sons of Castille - a Castille CK 2 AAR, The German Empire during the 2nd Weltkrieg - A Kaiserreich DH AAR

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  12. #152
    Pantomacatalasecesionanis ta

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    Quote Originally Posted by GulMacet View Post
    Durchbruchstrategie.
    'Durchbruch' Bruchmuller approves that one
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  13. #153
    Back from the dead FlyingDutchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    'Durchbruch' Bruchmuller approves that one
    As long as cannons are involved, the old man will approve.

    Hope to post an update this evening. It'll be a double about the navy and the airforce. I'm just trying to make up if I should edit my savegame to include the much improved DH OoB, or go to war with the SMS Ostfriesland.

    Edit: update is slightly delayed.
    Last edited by FlyingDutchie; 03-12-2011 at 23:58.
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  14. #154
    Comte de Purchase Merrick Chance''s Avatar
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    May I just say that the idea of the AOG is a fantastic addition to KR: very sci fi. Are we going to get an entry about the Commune? While I appreciate that in game a war between the French commune and the German Empire is inevitable, I would like to see the swift build up of tensions as the Syndicalists go into polemics about the evils of capitalism/German hegemony.
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  15. #155
    El Presidente of Tropico & etc Ivir Baggins's Avatar
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    Is there going to be an update soon? And is 17 days really a slight delay? I like this AAR; shame if it died.
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  16. #156
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivir Baggins View Post
    Is there going to be an update soon? And is 17 days really a slight delay? I like this AAR; shame if it died.
    17 days is slight by the standards of this forum, and when we combine the holiday seasons, it's a drop in the bucket.

    Seriously, I hate when people think some AAR died just because it isn't constantly updated.

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