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Thread: L'ITALIA DA SOLO -- A non-Axis Italian '36 SF AAR

  1. #241
    Go marines! After the trouble they had in Greece, it's good to see them get some glory.

  2. #242
    Field Marshal King50000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry v. Keiper View Post
    Go marines! After the trouble they had in Greece, it's good to see them get some glory.
    They got glory aplenty in Spain and Portugal

  3. #243
    Quote Originally Posted by King50000 View Post
    They got glory aplenty in Spain and Portugal
    Yeah but not against Germans :x

  4. #244
    Field Marshal King50000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry v. Keiper View Post
    Yeah but not against Germans :x
    True, true. Though the only real fighting they seemed to have had against the Germans were that Headquarters Division, all the other time, it sounds like they received help from regular infantry divisions. Though I may be wrong.

  5. #245
    Lt. General tommylotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King50000 View Post
    True, true. Though the only real fighting they seemed to have had against the Germans were that Headquarters Division, all the other time, it sounds like they received help from regular infantry divisions. Though I may be wrong.
    Actually, there was a pretty intense battle between 35,000 marines attacking 31,000 German defenders in Nimes. The marines lost more men, but the three German divisions were thoroughly beaten and could do nothing to rescue their surrounded comrades.

  6. #246
    Field Marshal King50000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
    Actually, there was a pretty intense battle between 35,000 marines attacking 31,000 German defenders in Nimes. The marines lost more men, but the three German divisions were thoroughly beaten and could do nothing to rescue their surrounded comrades.
    I'm glad to be proven wrong then I thought they were assisted with regular infantry divisions

  7. #247
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  8. #248
    That was devastating encirclement in Provence. I havent seen that many Marines in action before. Your Divisions all still have good organisation so I think you will do pretty well in France.

    A thin grey line is forming to your northwest but I dont think it will hold you back unless the Germans can race down some more troops.

  9. #249
    Lt. General tommylotto's Avatar
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    Chapter Thirty: The Northern Marches (4/5/42 - 4/12/42)

    After the setback at Carcassone, the situation in southern France was stabilized, thanks to the timely insertion of the marine army on the far side of Marseilles.



    The marines were able to distract the Wehrmacht from the Spanish front and encircle and destroy six divisions in the process. While all that was progressing in southern France, the Empire’s main strike force was advancing through the Austrian Alps and Slovakia towards Germany itself.



    On April 5, 1942, two divisions from Mesee’s old Celere corps, now led by Gen. Gandini, won a battle at the appropriately named Bad Reichenhall. On April 7, 1942, two other battles were won by Scatinni’s corps at Kreuth (1130 killed verses 955 lost) and one by Gen. Umberto Principe di Piemonte’s infantry at Langenfeld (2031 killed verses 542 lost).



    The kill ratio was favorable in all three of these battles.



    Later on the seventh, elements of Gen. Carboni’s mechanized corps and Gen. Filberto Duca di Pistoi’s infantry corps encircled and destroyed a German infantry division in St. Polten.



    By April 11, 1942, the Italian armies had advanced across a wide front.



    On the Romanian portion of the front, the infantry corps of Gens. Cei and Nasi remained in their strong defensive positions, and each division was still equipped with its own anti-tank brigade.



    Those defensive positions would soon be put to the test, it seemed, as heavy German divisions from the Russian front were attacking northern Romania and approaching the Italian lines. These inexperienced Italian divisions were stiffened by Gen. Fautilli’s elite mixed mountaineers, embedded in the line at Chisinau.



    Along the Swiss border, Manerinni’s experience infantry corps was called in to assist elements from Gen. Umberto Principe di Piemonte’s infantry corps struggling to root out some stubborn German divisions fighting in the Alps.



    Meanwhile, the mountaineer corps of Gens. Scattini and Roatta as well as the Celere corps were all driving inexorably towards Munich.



    On the Czech portion of the front, three divisions from Carboni’s mechanized corps found themselves unopposed with an apparent clear path to Praha and possibly beyond. Although the Germans were fighting tenaciously at Brno.




    Gen. Clerici’s divisions in the east reached the Solvakian border. They took up defensive positions opposite Russian claimed territory, and tentatively advanced into German occupied Poland. Gen. Bruno’s infantry division seized the German airfield in Przemysl, but immediately found itself being assaulted by a combined arms motorized division. Apparently, Mussolini was not the only one to discover that two motorized brigades combined with two tank destroyer brigades makes a powerful mobile fighting division.



    To the west, in old Czechoslovakia, Pignetti’s infantry corps joined in on the advance towards Germany. However, just to the south of Poland, the entire front seemed to fracture. There were those Italian forces to the east defending against the German forces attempting to return from the Russian front, and there were those Italian forces to the west advancing on Germany itself. At the peak of this volcano was a vast area practically devoid of troops from either side. Elements of di Benedetto corps moved into the gap in an effort to exploit the vast opening.



    On April 12, 1942, Gen. Giorgis moved his single infantry division into Krakow -- the place with which forevermore his name will be associated.

  10. #250
    American Union State President SovietAmerika's Avatar
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    Hooray for advancements! I just hope the Germans don't take over the Balkands and the that the Sovets don't reach them before you can retake the region.

  11. #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
    [FONT="Courier New"][SIZE="3"]


    By April 11, 1942, the Italian armies had advanced across a wide front.
    Big gap there in hungary, right next to the Russian front.. Any backup plans if a couple Panzer divisions come rushing through?

  12. #252
    Field Marshal King50000's Avatar
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    Now, from what other AAR have I seen that suave young marine at the top?

    Edit: If you capture most of the important Polish cities before the Russians can get far with your distraction, and you liberate them, do they become your puppet and leave the allies, or do they become independent and stay with the allies, just with your form of government?
    Last edited by King50000; 17-06-2011 at 04:27.

  13. #253

  14. #254
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    Gah! That cliff-hanger is killing me right now.
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  15. #255

  16. #256
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    I know it is probably a little too late to ask, but when did you annex Slovakia? I reread all the chapters to see, and none of them talk about a war with Slovakia bringing them into the NRE.
    And on a side note, surely the war with Germany will be long enough to where Portugal can finally be fully annexed with an assualt on their African holdings, their Asian colonies not having enough worth to hold together both the fall of Mainland Portugal as well as the Congo.

  17. #257
    Lt. General tommylotto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King50000 View Post
    I know it is probably a little too late to ask, but when did you annex Slovakia? I reread all the chapters to see, and none of them talk about a war with Slovakia bringing them into the NRE.
    It happened back in chapter 26 -- the one that starts with the picture of the vulture. I took a little detour to tell the story of southern Spain before getting back to the northern front.

    BTW, I refer to him as the "dapper" marine, not the "suave" marine. Sorry, I did not know he had been used in another AAR. He looks a little skinny, but he has that sharp look to him. I couldn't resist using him. I am sure I am running out of good ITA photos as my Google image searches are starting to turn up photos from this AAR!

  18. #258
    Field Marshal King50000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
    It happened back in chapter 26 -- the one that starts with the picture of the vulture. I took a little detour to tell the story of southern Spain before getting back to the northern front.
    Ah, I guess thats what happens when I just skim through everything when I look back. My mistake

  19. #259
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    Chapter Thirty One: Kraków (4/11/42 - 5/17/42)



    Chapter Thirty One: Kraków (4/11/42 - 5/17/42)

    In early April in southern Poland, the war was raging to the east and west, but Gen. Giorgis and his infantry division found themselves virtually alone. That portion of the front was apparently devoid of troops from either army. So, Gen. Giorgis tentatively advanced unimpeded all the way north to Kraków.



    Kraków, being strategically situated on the Vistula River, was, before the war, a leading center of Polish economic, academic, cultural, and artistic life. However, after the German invasion in 1939, Kraków became the seat of the Generalgouvernement für die besetzten polnischen Gebiete, the General Government for the Occupied Polish Territories. It was selected by the Germans as their administrative center for all occupied eastern territories not officially annexed by the Reich, presumably because the city was a major transportation hub between east and west. All roads and rails in the area ran through Kraków.

    As soon as the word of the approach of Giorgis’ troops reached Krakow, Governor-General Hans Frank and his staff blackened the sky with smoke as they frantically burned governmental records in the Wawel Castle and evacuated the town. Later that very same day, April 11, 1942, Gen Giorgis moved his lone Italian infantry division into the city. The Italians were not prepared for what they found. The town was relatively unscathed by war, but had been the scene of many unspeakable crimes by the occupying army. The small band of Italians were welcomed by the desperate looking residents as saviors. Though clearly pleased that the Germans had gone, they seemed too dispirited to even celebrate their own liberation. Most just stayed in doors. The streets were mostly deserted.

    Gen. Giorgis immediately started positioning his 8,000 troops and artillery guns in strategically important defensive sectors around the city, anticipating an urban defense.



    Fortunately, one section of the city had already been isolated by a stout wall and all the windows and doors leading towards this natural urban strong point had already been bricked up for some strange reason. In any event, the German’s mysterious handiwork assisted greatly with Italians’ efforts to defend that portion of the city from a potential German counter attack.

    No one in the Italian chain of command realized at that moment that Krakow was the key to the entire war. To the west, the main Italian divisions were advancing into Germany, itself, defended only by lighter divisions thrown together in an ad hoc basis until the heavier German divisions could be returned from the eastern front against the Russians. However, as stated above, the trains and roads all led through Krakow. So, the Germans needed to recapture the Polish city before they could efficiently return the tanks and trucks needed to beat back the Italian invasion of their homeland. There were other dark reasons that Hitler wanted to reclaim Krakow, but it suffices to say that Hitler told his generals that the recapture of Krakow must be made a top priority and all other objectives were rendered of secondary importance.



    Three German panzer divisions started enveloping the city from the north. The actual assault started on April 17, 1942 when two of those panzer divisions, a light armor division and a heavy armor division tried to force their way into the city streets. Gen. Giorgis’s troops had never seen anything like the lumbering armored behemoths designated the Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. E. These monsters had armor that ignored his troops’ ordinary anti-tank weapons, and they were armed with a massive 88 mm cannon. However, the urban setting and defensive posture played into the Italian’s hands.



    Tank commanders had to choose between buttoning up and stumbling half blind through the city streets or exposing themselves at close quarters to Italian snipers. Though out numbered and outgunned, the Italians were giving as good as -- or better than -- they got, but the German assault continued. More tanks were brought to bear by the Wehrmacht.



    As soon as the assault was started, Mannerini’s corps in the Austrian Alps to the west of Innsbruck were disengaged and boarded on trains and sent with all speed to the gap in southern Poland, but it would be a long time before they could come to Gen. Giorgis’ assistance.



    More immediate aid came in the form of Gen. Magli’s 9th tank killer division that was moved into the city to assist with the defense. Gen. Magli’s division was one of those improvised divisions formed from the anti-tank brigades detached from the other divisions in Gen di Benedetto’s corps before the other division went over to the attack. This division had only one infantry regiment, but four anti-tank brigades armed with Italy’s finest anti-tank weapon, the lethal “pezzonovante.” The Ansaldo Cannone da 90/53 was much like the German 88 mm. It was a converted anti-aircraft gun that made a vicious anti-tank gun, only the Italian version has a single-piece barrel, making it easier to manufacture. It also fired a slightly bigger projectile, had a higher muzzle velocity and longer range.



    Once Magli’s pezzonovante’s made their way into the city, the battle started going the Italians’ way. Before, the Tigers could drive buttoned up through the city streets with relative impunity, but now, not even the Tiger’s armor could withstand a well placed solid shot from one of Magli’s big guns.



    The battle stretched from day to precious day. More heavy units pulled from the Russian front headed back towards Germany found themselves stuck in the log jam that was becoming Krakow. These units, unable to make it back west, were thrown into the battle.



    By April 27, 1942, the battle had been raging for ten days, the two Italian divisions were alone in Krakow assaulted by two Tiger divisions, two light panzer divisions and a combined arms division made up of motorized infantry and tank destroyers.



    The streets of Krakow were littered with the burning hulks of German armored vehicles, but more tanks were sent in to push aside the wreckage and continue the assault.



    The attack continued for another two relentless weeks. By May 11, 1942, after 24 days of constant battle, the two Italian divisions were feeling the inevitable effects of the never ending onslaught. The Italian general staff had by then realized the strategic significance of this heroic holding action being fought by Gens. Giorgis and Magli. The two of them were preparing themselves and their men for a fight to the death, like a modern day Travis and Bowie.

    They were given instructions to hold out against the tanks as long as humanly possible, but there was no need for them to sacrifice their lives needlessly. Instead of a suicide mission, their eventual avenue of retreat was secured by Gens. d’Havert and Calcagno.



    By May 17, 1942, the battle had been raging for an entire month. The Germans kept attacking with fanatic zealousness, and yet another panzer division, the 3rd SS Panzer Division joined the attack and was the first German unit to break into the defenses of the walled ghetto. The Italians had reached the extremity of human endurance. Gen. Magli’s division held the line while Gen. Giorgis ordered his troops to retreated from the city, and Gen Magli’s troops followed shortly thereafter.

    These two division were thoroughly beaten and fell back in disarray. However, they were still a cohesive unit and fell back to lines defended by Calcagno’s fresh division.



    The battle of Krakow had cost the lives of 3,608 of Italy’s finest, but they took 5,811 German storm troopers with them. More importantly though, they bought the Regio Esercito precious time. Those heavy German reinforcements needed for the defense of their homeland were delayed an entire month on the outskirts of Krakow.
    Last edited by tommylotto; 14-09-2011 at 23:00. Reason: Removed taboo pictures of a railroad track, a wall and a deserted street

  20. #260
    You should be aware that this might break the rules by putting up images relating to the holocaust, specifically the entrance to Auschwitz, which is a banned subject on these forums.
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