Part XLIV: August 1939
Time to die for the French -- at least the ones who decided to invade Luxembourg and Trier. With the help of 24 divisions from Eupen, Liege and Saarbrücken, the five French divisions in Luxembourg are attacked, while at the same time, Field Marshal von Salmuth with his six infantry divisions is ordered to delay a possible escape of the four French divisions in Trier. Unfortunately, the French have for once a good idea and order a retreat from Trier to Luxembourg which prevents the destruction of their forces. Retrospectively it would have been better to leave Trier unassaulted. The battle in Luxembourg is nevertheless concluded with a victory shortly, as well as the battle of Chartres. Caen is also captured. The spearheads of von Manstein and Guderian, respectively, proceed on their set routes.
The French move a part of their divisions from Trier to Luxembourg, so I try to correct my mistake by aborting the attack on Trier. And indeed, two divisions remain stationed in Trier, which will allow us to destroy them as soon as the second battle of Luxembourg is won.
Meanwhile, a somewhat delicate situation emerges in the south. Von Manstein is cut off and trapped in Orleans, as I underestimated the mobility of the isolated French one division corps which are still active enough to retake undefended provinces. This "encircelement" will be broken by Manstein supporting the ongoing battle of Troyes. Also, as undefended Paris is approached by an enemy division from Evreux, I order Guderian to deviate from his route and crush the French attackers in Evreux.
Hausser, who is in charge of the battle of Luxembourg, becomes a hills fighter.
Then, the events come thick and fast. The Belgian government unconditionally surrenders, giving us full control over Continental Belgium. However, at the same time, the British seize the Belgian transport fleet and annex the Belgian Congo colony. Also, out of nowhere, a British division appears in Liege -- let's just pretend that it never happened before I suffer from another headache ...
I nearly fall of my chair. Really! In a blink of an eye -- I indeed blinked in this very moment! -- the map is crowded with Italians. Just look at them! They probably used strategic redeployments to move their divisions, but it is also possible that among the Italian blueprints I received, a construction plan for a teleportation device was hidden. Either way, of course this is the worst scenario that could possibly happen, as the Italians -- naturally -- destroy my plans to encircle the French divisions in Trier by launching an attack against Trier, thus expelling the French divisions there to Luxembourg. Didn't I say "We do not want forces from Italy" some time ago?! Oh, please, don't tell me that this option only prevents Italian Expeditionary Forces, not Italian trolling operations that are controlled by Rome. I know this ... I know this. On the optimistic side, they will probably capture -- if we're lucky -- another additional French province for us, curtailing Case Yellow by approximately two hours.
Concerning the administrative front: Our reinforcements have arrived almost everywhere, so considering that the French are either way doomed, I shift my industrial capacities to upgrades again, so that we will have more quality forces against the Soviets.
By ordering two additional infantry corps to seize Evreux (sorry, I've forgotten to write down from where they attacked, I hope you won't be too angry ), we are able to stop the French attempts to recover their capital. The Italians also fail to make any serious moves in South France due to the arrival of another French infantry division in Chamberry.
Another round of very inconvenient events. The Soviets annex Latvia, the Polish are able to disrupt one of our interceptor PRs (fortunately, not the one which is currently active) and the British guarantee the Greek independence. I don't know if Benito deserves the troll face more than Churchil here ...
Finally, with the two infantry corps from Evreux, von Rundstedt's HQ and Guderian's spearhead we start the invasion of undefended Brittany, while at the same time, the battle of Troyes is finally concluded with a victory. The Italians manage to capture Nice and Toulon, temporarily (the French are already counter-attacking and will probably win, so it's not really estimable) while the Soviets move now very quickly and annex Estonia. Also, the United States and the United Kingdom sign the Destroyers for Bases agreement, and the French start a serious counter-attack on Troyes with six divisions.
I respond to these numerous inconveniences by influencing Bulgaria and Finland. Finland's hawk lobby slider was maximised due to this. And the French counter-attack on Troyes is quickly dispersed as soon as seizable forces enter the province.