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  1. #1

    Grande italia



    This is my first HOI3 AAR. I will be taking on the role of Italy and testing out the modifications I have made to the game. The modifications are Italy specific and include new units, new decisions, province changes, more accurate 1936 OOB's for both Ethiopia and Italy and new strategic modifiers.

    This is my second "game" as Italy and second game of HOI3. I will be using SF version 2.04e. Wish me luck.


    LONG TERMS GOALS:

    - Hold Ethiopia
    - Seize Bab-el-Mandeb (the Gate of Tears at the southern end of the Red Sea)
    - Sea lane defence doctrine - battleships over carriers

    After the Italian victory in Ethiopia in May 1936, the large build-up of British forces on the Ethiopian-Sudanese Border unnerved the Italians. Marshal Balbo pitched a “grand plan” for a war against the Allies to Mussolini. It was accepted and a multi-front war began between Italy and the Allies on the 11th May.



    Table of ContentsChapter One: The Second Italo-Abyssinian WarChapter Two: ?War against the Allies?

  2. #2
    INTRODUCTION

    The game starts in January 1936. Italy is locked in battle with the Ethiopian Empire in the Horn of Africa. Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia battles for survival, while the fascist Kingdom of Italy under its leader Benito Mussolini is in a war of conquest. The war resulted from a skirmish on the border of southern Ethiopia and Italian Somaliand. The League of Nations proved incapable of stopping the escalation of the "Abyssinian Crisis".

    Italy under its Dictator Mussolini was determined to revenge recent grievance and put an end to the ongoing conflict between the two nations through a Second Italo-Abyssinian War. After the diplomatic failures of the League of Nations in April 1935, the build-up of the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) and the Royal Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) in East Africa (Africa Orientale) started. In a few months, eight regular, mountain, and blackshirt infantry divisions arrived in Eritrea and four regular infantry divisions arrived in Italian Somaliland. These units alone represented 680,000 soldiers. This number did not include the Italian units already in East Africa, colonial units, or units arriving during the war. For example, there were 400,000 Italian soldiers in Eritrea and 220,000 in Italian Somaliland before the new divisions arrived. The huge army forming up in East Africa also included a great number of logistical and support units. The Italian force also included 200 journalists.

    The Italians placed considerable reliance on their Royal Corps of Colonial Troops (Regio Corpo Truppe Coloniali, or RCTC) - indigenous regiments recruited from the Italian colonial possessions of Eritrea, Somalia, and Libya. The most effective of these Italian officered units were the Eritrean native infantry (askaris) who were often used as advance troops. As advance troops, the Eritreans often suffered heavy casualties accordingly. The Eritreans also provided cavalry and artillery units. The "Falcon Feathers" (Penne di Falco) was one prestigious and colorful Eritrean cavalry unit. Other RCTC units employed in the invasion of Ethiopia included irregular Somali frontier troops (dubats), regular Arab-Somali infantry and artillery, and Libyan infantry. In addition to their own colonial troops from Eritrea, Somalia, and Libya, the Italians had a variety of local semi-independent "allies" who fought for them. This included, the Azebu Galla tribesmen in the north, mercenaries from Yemen and in the south, Sultan Olol Diinle.

    On March 28, 1935, General Emilio De Bono was named as the Commander-in-Chief of all Italian armed forces in East Africa, both in Eritrea and Italian Somaliland. De Bono had under his direct command a force of nine divisions in three Army Corps: The Italian I Corps, the Italian II Corps, and the Eritrean Corps. General Rodolfo Graziani was De Bono's subordinate. He was the Commander-in-Chief of forces invading from Italian Somaliland, the "southern front". Initially he had two divisions and a variety of smaller units under his command. His forces included a mix of Italians, Somalis, Eritreans, Libyans, and others. De Bono regarded Italian Somaliland as a secondary theatre that needed primarily to defend itself and possibly aid the main front with offensive thrusts if the enemy forces there were not too large.


    De Bono in Ethiopia

    General Emilio De Bono was the Commander-in-Chief of all Italian armed forces in East Africa. In addition, he was the Commander-in-Chief of the forces invading from Eritrea, the "northern front." De Bono had under his direct command a force of nine divisions in three Army Corps: The Italian I Corps, the Italian II Corps, and the Eritrean Corps.


    Graziani arriving in the Italian Somaliland

    General Rodolfo Graziani was De Bono's subordinate. He was the Commander-in-Chief of forces invading from Italian Somaliland, the "southern front." Initially he had two divisions and a variety of smaller units under his command. Soon after De Bono advanced from Eritrea, Graziani would advance into Ethiopia from Somaliland with a force of Italians, Somalis, Eritreans, and Libyans.


    De Bono's plan

    At precisely 5:00 am on 3 October 1935, General Emilio De Bono crossed the Mareb River and advanced into Ethiopia from Eritrea without a declaration of war. In response to the Italian invasion, Ethiopia declared war on Italy. De Bono's invasion was slow and methodical on the norhtern front and Graziani was order to take a defensive position on the southern front. In the north in inadequate roadways represented a serious drawback for the Italians as they crossed into Ethiopia. Details of the de Bono's campaign can be found HERE.

  3. #3

    The Second Italo-Abyssinian War: The Badoglio Offensive

    STRATEGY 19: ENVELOP THE ENEMY - The Annihilation Strategy

    People will use any kind of gap in your defences to attack you or revenge themsleves on you. So offer no gaps.The secret is to envelop your opponents - create relentless pressure on them from all sides, dominate their attention, and close off their access to the outside world. Make your attacks unpredictable to create a vaporous feeling of vulnerability. Finally, as you sense their weakening resolve, crush their willpower by tightening the noose. The best encirclements are psychological - you have surrounded their minds.
    (Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies of War)


    The Northern Front



    The Northern Front is now under the personal command of Marshal Badoglio. Just a month and a half earlier Badoglio had replaced the slow and careful Marshal de Bono as commander of the Ethiopian War. When Badoglio had taken over, the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie decided to test the new Italian commander with an offensive of his own. It became known as the "Christmas Offensive", its objective was the splitting of the Italian forces in the north with the Ethiopian center, crushing the Italian left with the Ethiopian right, and invading Eritrea with the Ethiopian left.

    Initially the offensive was successful with the Ethiopians claiming to have destroyed several Italian tankettes and 3000 Eritreans. As the Ethiopian Christmas offensive ground to a halt, it was now time to launch the Italian counter-attack.

    As part of the deal to take over command of the war and win it decisively Badoglio had requested a complete recommissioning of all officers serving on both fronts. In addition to this the Grand Council of Fascism insisted that he receive reinforcements in the form of the III Corps and the IV Corps, both partially formed with units still held up in Benghazi, Libya. Despite the fact that the reinforcements had not yet arrived in full, Badoglio was confident that he could start the counter offensive with the three full corps currently at his disposal, the I, II and Eritrean.


    Badoglio's plan on the northern front

    II Corps - the entire II Corps would advance southeast into the hilly part of the Mek'ele region and occupy it. This would secure the left flank of the Italian advance.

    Eritrean Corps - the entire Eritrean Corps supported by the West Lowlands Celere Division would move south into the mountainous Teseney region and occupy it, securing the Italian right flank.

    I Corps - the 26th Infantry Division and the 4th CCNN Division would hold the gains made under de Bono's leadership in 1935. The 30th Infantry Division and the 5th Alpine Division would spearhead another advance to the south into the mountainous Mek'ele region. In this area reconnaissance had reported where numerous Ethiopian irregular forces were in place - fighting was expected.

    The attack of the I Corps will be supported by the 4th Bomber Squadron, comprising of Caproni Ca.101 light bombers. Interestingly Mussolini's own sons Air Sergeant Bruno and Air Second Lieutenant Vittorio Mussolini will be crewing some of the bombers.


    Reconnaissance reports on enemy positions (along with Badoglio's)

    Once the initial advance was complete and an even front formed, the I Corps would be able to support further advances by either the Eritrean Corps in the west or the II Corps in the east. The overall plan was for the Eritrean Corps with its 'fast tanks' to sweep down the western side of Ethiopia, turning the Ethiopian left flank in the north. The Eritrean Corps would then use a "hammer-and-anvil" tactic, it would form a "hammer" while the steadily advancing I & II Corps would form the "anvil" on which the Ethiopians would be smashed. If possible the Eritrean Corps would use a "hopping" maneuver - requiring the mobile force to "hit-and-run" with the aim to weaken and rout the entire Ethiopian left flank. The shattered forces would then be broken by the advance of the I and II Corps.

    The Southern Front

    Since the beginning of the war the Southern Front had been under the command of General Graziana, known as "the Butcher" for his pacification of Libya. Graziani had been ordered to take a defensive stance under his previous commander de Bono and the orders had not changed when Badoglio took over. However, the Ethiopians appeared to have taken this as a sign of weakness as recently a significant Ethiopian force had marched down from the highland and crossed the Shebelle River with the apparent intention of attacking.


    The southern front

    This has forced Graziani's hand. His plan is to soften this force up with a sustained bombing by the 25th Bomber Squadron and a combined assault of the Libyan Division from the west and his 5th Infantry Division in the east. Graziani expects this will "break the back" of the attack and offer him no alternative but to advance up to the full line of the Shabelle River.

    At the same time, Graziani has ordered the 'mobile' Ogaden Corps based in the lands of the Sultan of Sciavella and under the command of Maj Gen Frusci to attack the forces to the north of Graziani's position, with the intention of pinning them down so that they cant offer their support in the main battle to the south.


    Reconnaissance reports on enemy positions (along with Graziani's)

    These plans were approved by Marshal Badoglio. The long term objective on the southern front, is to push into the north-east and pin down the forces in hills of the Ogaden. Here the former Ottoman General Wehib Pasha, a Balkans War and First World War veteran, had built fortifications for the Ethiopians high up in the hills, aptly named the "Hindenburg Wall" by the Italians.


    The combined effect of both plans is expected to be a crushing spiral:




  4. #4
    Great start, love the picture detail.

  5. #5
    Colonel damnt512's Avatar
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    nice, not much people make an AAR by playing as italy
    "Upon hearing of the Japanese attack on the United States of America at Pearl Harbor, bringing America into the war against the Axis powers, Churchill exclaimed “We have won the war!”"

  6. #6
    Field Marshal King50000's Avatar
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    so are you trying to play it as historically as possible?

  7. #7
    NORTHERN FRONT



    In the early hours of dawn on News Years Day, Major General de Stefanis of the I Corps gave the order to attack, the 5th Alpine Division and the 30th Infantry Divison (with the 3rd Bersaglieri attached) pushed south against the dug in Ethiopian forces. Overhead, Mussolini's sons crewed the Caproni Ca.101's of the 4th Bomber Squandron, which unleashed their payloads on the Ethiopian positions. The battle of Maychew had begun.


    The 3rd Bersaglieri are eager for battle

    The Eritrean Corps heads south on the Italian right flank and the II Corps moves to take the Dankalia highlands (supported by elements of the Eastern Lowlands Corps) on the Italian left.


    Battle of Maychew begins


    The supply situation in the north. The 17th & 18th Bomber Squadron has taken a savaging fron the anti-aicraft fire. The Ethiopian forces from Gojjam province proved to be some of the best trained and equipped in the north.


    Haile Selassie, posing with one of the Swiss made Oerlikon 20 mm AA guns


    After 11 days of intense fighting and bombardment from air, the Ethiopian bande broke under the attack from the 5th Alpine Division and the 30th Infantry Division, winning the famous battle of Maychew for the Duce. That these irregulars held out for so long proved that this might be a tough campaign in the north. As the Italians celebrated hordes of bande jogged and danced their way northwards from the capital.


    Elements of the I Corps - Victorious battle of Maychew


    The Italian left flank had now engaged with the enemy, after the 24th Infantry division advanced into the Dankalia highlands. Pushing forward under General di Pralormo they engaged the Ethiopian bande under Abiye Abebe.


    Elements of the II Corps engaged in the Battle of Serdo


    On the Italian right flank, the Eritrean Corps had pushed through Teseney province and the forward elements of the Eritrean Corps had now engaged the Ethiopian troops which had come north from Gojjam province. The Eritrean Corps was spearheaded by the new and untested CV-33 tankette brigades (the 'fast tanks') and backed by two Eritrean infantry divisions (binary).


    Natives look over a CV-33 tankette

    As the battle opened up it soon became aparant that the enemy forces arrayed against them were both numerous and well equipped - this could slow down the planned "Celere" advance of the Eritrean Corps and ruin Marshal Badoglio's plan in the north. To even up the battle, support was immediately drawn from the rear divisions of the I Corps, the 4th Blackshirts Divison and the 26th Infantry Division.


    The Eritrean Corps and elements of the I Corps engaged in the Battle of Gallabat



    SOUTHERN FRONT

    Ground forces and air assets under the command of Graziani on the southern front:


    In the south Graziani's forces begin their assualt along the entire front. The 29th Infantry Division is the premier fighting force on the southern front, its advance combined with Nasi's Lybian division are to much for the Ethiopians. The 25th Bomber Squadron also had a hand in this victory.


    Caproni Ca.101's returning from a bombing run


    Battles directly under the command of Graziani and the supply situation on the southern front

    To the east, Major General Frusci's advances were also going well. The Arab-Somali troops and the Dubat bands under the command of Maj General Reverberi and Oxilia prove to much for the Ethiopian Bande north of the Shabelle River.


    General Reverberi's battles in the Ogaden desert (Domo)


    General Oxilia's battle in the Ogaden desert (Galadi)


    Charging Somali dubats


    SUMMARY:
    After the first fortnight of Bodoglio's Offensive things are going well particularly in the south where Graziani's forces are not bogged down in fighting in the mountains and have made substational gains in territory.

    In the north the Eritrean Corps and elments of the I Corps are in a serious battle with the well equipped forces from Gojjam province. Perhaps an all out strike by the both Corps would have been a better alternative. Supply lines are thin but holding...

    Will the left arm of the crushing spiral be held up?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Frognastie View Post
    Great start, love the picture detail.
    Thanks mate, more to come. I am trying to bring it down to an operational level when looking at land campaigns. Hoping I have kept enough saves for the next parts.

    Quote Originally Posted by damnt512 View Post
    nice, not much people make an AAR by playing as italy
    Cheers 512, there are a couple of others on the go. Italy certainly hasnt had as much love.

    Quote Originally Posted by King50000 View Post
    so are you trying to play it as historically as possible?
    Historically, as in joining the Axis and trying to hold AOI (Italian East Africa), yes, I will be doing this. Losing is not on the cards. In my first game as Italy I was held up at the Suez and unable to break the deadlock in Syria despite three backdoor invasions from Cyprus.

    There are lots of 'low hanging fruit' in the Balkans. I may not be able to resist them also.

  9. #9

    (Warning! This thread contains animal exploitation)

    THE NORTHERN FRONT


    Marshal Badoglio visits the northern front

    Although the 30th Infantry Division and the 5th Alpine Division had driven back the Ethiopian bande dug in to the high hills of Maychew in early January, taking the province proved a little more difficult. While the initial battle was in progress, the Ethiopian General Mesfin Sileshi had slipped into Maychew with two Divisions of mountaineers. As the weather fouled, battle was joined.


    The Second Battle of Maychew


    Meanwhile on the Italian left flank, the 24th Infantry Division advanced from the Dankalia highlands into the Ethiopian highlands it took heavy casualties dislodging the Ethiopian bande in Serdo province.


    Battle for Serdo province


    An Ethiopian sniper taking shots at the forward elements of the 29th


    The 2nd Division of the Eastern Lowlands Corps had also advanced into the Dankalia highlands and moved in to support the division of the I Corps engaged in the Second Battle of Maychew (see above). This coupled with the momentum of the previous attack of the I Corps proved to much for the mountaineers of General Mesfin Sileshi, his troops broke. After fierce fighting the forward elements of the I Corps occupied the devastated Maychew.


    Second battle of Maychew won


    On the Italian right the Eritrean Corps and elements of the I Corps were still having a hard time dislodging the troops of Gojjam Sefani. With his bombers free from the other battles along the northern front, Marshal Badoglio now ordered an all out air assault using all of the air assets at his personal disposal. The results were devastating.


    Bombing of Gallabat


    Victorious battle of Tembien

    The battle was a costly victory but it broke the back of the Gojjam Sefani and the enemy forces of the north. The cost in Italian dead was "lost" in the official records, the victory achieved by the bomber squadrons and the invaluable assistance provided by Mussolini's aircrew son's taking up the media's attentions.


    On the move, the 2nd Motorised Artillery Brigade attached to the 4th Eritrean Division 'Celere'


    Soon after the battle trouble began to appear on the Italian left where the 24th Infantry Division of the II Corps had routed the Ethiopians in Serdo and taken control of the province. Ammunition, food and water was no longer reaching these forward units. It was either held up with the inactive divisions in the rear in the congested Mek'ele province or was having difficulty getting through the Dankalia depression one of the most inhospitable regions on earth.


    Supply problems on the northern front

    The enterprising Italians quickly brought this situation under control, with a fleet of supply planes:





    The official line approved by the Grand Council: "Twenty-five planes carried water, ammunition and rations for the Italians as they advanced on Emperor Haile Selassie's Army of the Ethiopian Empire. As they supposedly refused to eat the standard pre-packaged processed food that accompanied most armies and because fresh meat would spoil in the extreme temperatures of Danakil, the supply planes dropped living animals for the troops to butcher and cook."


    Italian propaganda video



    Snapshot of Gondar Palace taken by Italian tankette Commander

    The Eritrean Corps barely had time to take in the ruins of Royal Palace at Gondar before driving south. The opposition was weak and it looked like they could easily press onto Lake Tana and the Blue Nile.


    The Eritrean Corps heads deep into the south east of Ethiopia (leaving behind its Corps HQ and stretching its communication lines). Also the sheep appear to have done the trick.


    The battle is soon won

    The sustained bombings, battles and sabotage by the fleeing Ethiopians have ruined the precarious mountain roads that were in place and left only goat tracks to follow.


    The infrastructure map shows significant damage along the northern front (railways are marked in purple).


    Not wanting to be outdone by the Eritrean Corps, the eager 3rd Bersaglieri Brigade and the 30th Infantry Division (of the I Corps) pushed south attacking the Ethiopians in Dese province after receiving approval for this action from Marshal Badoglio. At the same time the 5th Alpine Division pushed west towards lake Tana to link up with the elements of the Eritrean Division which were pushing hard from the northwest towards the lake.

    The Ethiopians in Dese province offered strong resistance but eventually broke. The casualties in the 30th were high.


    The battle of Dese


    The advance units of the II Corps were also not inactive, now that the 3rd Blackshirts Division had caught up, di Pralormo's 24th Infantry pushed south against Ethiopian cavalry and routed them.


    The battle of Bati


    THE SOUTHERN FRONT



    In the south Graziani had sent General Nasi west to probe the Ethiopian forces in the province of Arba Minch. Unexpectedly Nasi's Lybian Division came up against none other than Emperor Haile Salaise's Imperial Bodyguard. The unstoppable 29th Infantry Division plowed north across the Shabelle River and drove away Ethiopian reinforcements that had been holding back Frusci's advance from the east. The river proved no obstacle to the engineering genius of Maj General Frattini who was in command of this division.


    The southern front

    The Lybian Division was receiving a mauling from the Ethiopian Imperial bodyguard, so Grazini order a pull back from the advance before it became a complete bloodbath.


    The lost battle - Nasi would have his revenge shortly



    The Ogaden: advancing Arab-Somali troops with elements of Frusci's mobile column

    In the Ogaden the Somali Divisions now pushed hard into the hills fortified by the Ottoman General Wehib Pasha. These positions defended the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway line. This proved to be an anticlimax as the "Hindenburg Wall" was only lightly defended and the Ottoman General gone. After forcing passage across the Shabelle River the 29th Infantry Division now swung to the west and drove against the Ethiopians holding out in the desert Asawa region.


    The 'Hindenberg Wall' under attack


    The mighty 29th easily routed the enemy forces in Asawa and drove west into the province. Now the reason for this maneuver became apparent. To the south the 6th Blackshirts Division had come up in support of Nasi's mauled Lybian Division, Nasi now launched a renewed advance against the Ethiopian Imperial Bodyguard. At the same time the 29th now proceeded to recross the Shabelle and make the assault on the Imperial Bodyguard a two-pronged attack.


    3 to 1 odds against the Ethiopian Imperial Bodyguard


    So ended two months of fighting in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.

  10. #10
    Field Marshal King50000's Avatar
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    i wish i had known the italians did that, only the italians could come up with air-dropping live animals into a war zone

  11. #11
    I am the one who outs Comm Cody's Avatar
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    Okay I can see the results of your mod, but i have one question, Who controls the red units? Is that an Italian Somali Puppet?

  12. #12
    General tommylotto's Avatar
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    This is great. Level of detail is impressive. I'd lovel to learn more about your mods.
    Check out The Fox And The Lion - An Hoi3 TFH Mod. A full featured mod with many new unit types playable as any nation but with extra emphasis on Italy.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by King50000 View Post
    i wish i had known the Italians did that, only the Italians could come up with air-dropping live animals into a war zone
    Yes, its pretty amazing and great that they have the footage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Comm Cody View Post
    Okay I can see the results of your mod, but i have one question, Who controls the red units? Is that an Italian Somali Puppet?
    Yes, thats right its the Sultan of Sciavella, Sultan Olol Diinle. Represented in game as a puppet. They have cores on parts of Ethiopia and British Somaliland (which I still have to add). They can be annexed by decision and you can also grant them conquered parts of Ethiopia (cores).

    I have also included Monaco, San Moreno and Montenegro (releasable by decision like Croatia).

    Quote Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
    This is great. Level of detail is impressive. I'd lovel to learn more about your mods.
    Cheers tommy, I am also enjoying your AAR.

    Here are the new strategic effects I have added for Italy and the pic change on the Suez:


    A list of the province changes made so far:
    - added Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway
    - added Mogadiscio-Villabruzzi Railway
    - added Massawa-Asmara-Bishia Railway (and to Ed)
    - added Tripoli Railway
    - added Benghazi Railway
    - added former Ottaman General Wehib Pasha's "Hindenburg Wall" (at Dire Dawa)
    - added Cairo to Aswan Railway
    - added Wadi Halfa to Khartoum Railway
    - added Port Sudan to Sennar Railway
    - added Uganda Railway
    - added Usambara Railway
    - added Tanganjikabahn (central Railway) (including British Lake Victoria extension)
    - shifted Eritrean infrastructure from Ed to Asmara (airport, port and anti-air)
    - added one port to "new" Ed
    - changed owner of Gallabat from UK to Ethiopia (widening the Ethiopian northern front)
    - changed owner of Teseny from UK to Ethiopia (widening the Ethiopian northern front)
    - changed Industry of Jima to 1938 to represent Itlaian colonisation
    - added 1 Industry of Mek'ele (to represent strategic importance to Italians re Hoare-Laval Pact)
    - added 1 Industry to Dire Dawa (to represent strategic importance to Italians re Hoare-Laval Pact)
    - added (very minor) rare minerals to Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti (to represent the value of the Aouzou strip)

  14. #14

    Domestic and Foreign Policy - Early 1936



    My stated aims as Italy are to join the Axis. When the wars starts I will attempt to hold East Africa and seize the Gate of Tears. Holding East Africa will allow me to attack Egypt from Libya in the west and the Sudan in the south.

    Before the war, I will not shy away from looking at opportunities for conquest in the Mediterranean. As an example, Greece and Crete appear to be important strategic points for the future conquest of Egypt. Their air bases will support my eastern desert campaign. The important point here is not to make myself to much of a threat as this will cause the British and French to build up in East Africa (experiences from my first game).

    Diplomacy and Trade
    The only diplomatic move I have made so far is to align toward the Axis, although I now think this is irrelevant because I am already in th bottom right corner of the diplomatic triangle. On trade, I have let the AI handle this. It doesn't seem to be doing to well, always running in the red when I look at the top bar. This could have something to do with the war, I am not sure.


    Production
    Upgrades - negligible upgrades made so far, I figure I will start this after the war.

    Reinforcements - set to amount needed.

    Supplies - in an effort to boost the supply situation on the northern front I have been running supplies over the required level. As far as a I know this would push down a proportionate amount to the measly 2IC I have in Africa at the start of the game. Any excess should go into the stockpile.

    Production - see to amount needed.

    Consumer Goods - set to amount needed.

    Production queue - you can see that there are three battleships in construction at the start, this is something I have modded in after researching Italy's battleship construction and refit program before the war. I have also started to build 2 binary divisions of Guards for posting on undefended islands and two light armor divisions (binary, 1 light armor and 1 motorized).


    Technology
    My aim here is to try and keep up to date in a broad range of categories, specialization and paths are detailed below. Leadership is focused on technology with a small portion to Espionage.

    Theoretical and Practical Knowledge

    These Techs assist either the speed of Research (for Theoretical) or the speed of Production (for Practical). In the Land, Naval,Air and Industry Air Sections, there has been a deterioration in both theoretical and practical from our starting position. Only practical experience in Land and Air doctrines has improved as a result of the war. Does this mean I should be building air assets given the high practical?

    Regio Esercito (army) - an upgrade of the 34 militia techs, infantry small arms, armored car Armour for my tankettes (yes I know this is probably crazy). I plan to field a combined militia and infantry based army, with a few light armor divisions and hopefully a few tank destroyer divisions in the future

    Regina Marina (navy) - Battleships are the key component with three active and three in construction/refit. They would form a nucleus around which the Regina Maria would be built using the so called Sea Lane Doctrine. Under this doctrine, cheap Destroyers would protect our vital convoys to colonial Africa and act as screens for the Battleships when they engaged in naval battles. The new carrier doctrine would not be ignored. Its usefulness in the Mediterranean Sea was doubted as Italy controlled many of the islands and a commanding position in the centre. These bases would act as static carriers for the Regina Marina. A research team being applied to look into the construction of Escort Carriers.

    Regia Aeronautica (air force) - the air force was proving a very useful asset in the mountains of Ethiopia. These doctrines are either up to date or well advanced for Italy. The key focus is to keep these techs up to date as much as possible with an emphasis on Naval bomber techs to help against the British and French navies in the future. Advance testing of Naval Bomber strike range indicated that the Mediterranean was well covered.


    Naval bomber ranges of the Italain Savoia-Marchetti SM.79's, from Cagliari, Tripoli and Benghazi.

    Industry - here my priority is to be able to build infrastructure in AOI, this means I have to focus on Industrial Efficiency and Production at the moment. These will also ultimately improve my IC efficiency and effectiveness so that I can build the additional Infrastructure. Supply production tech is quite out of date so I have thrown this one into the pot as well. Later I would also like to build a few Radar stations throughout the Mediterranean so that I can keep a better track of the Royal Navy.

    Land Doctrines - Italy has a large manpower level compared to the other majors. I think my focus here should be on the "Human Wave" army techs which tie into the larger manpower militia type armies. It will be tempting to take bits and pieces from the other doctrines in the future. Operational Level Organization is a good tech to focus on as its out of date and directly helps in combat maneuvers.


    Research projects at start of the game


    Politics
    There are no real changes required here as far as I can see. There are few useful options among the leadership and no new laws to enact. There appears to be a drift way from fascist popularity but it is still dominant at 38%. I will keep an eye on this. Party organization is also dominant at 43.8.


    Espionage
    Spying priority for Ethiopia was maximized with Military Espionage as the principle focus. Priority was also given to Greece, Switzerland and Yugoslavia with the mission to increase the threat from these nations. All of these nations were potential targets for conquest in the future with the aim of increasing IC, resources to support the AOI building program and for strategic considerations. As a side note for a bit of flavor we have adopted support our/ruling party in Monaco, San Moreno and Austria.
    On the home front I will be lowering neutrality for reasons stated above. After the war with Ethiopia I want to focus on increasing the Nazi threat, this will hopefully divert attention away from Italy and comparatively keep down our threat levels.

  15. #15

    Ethiopian Collapse, Mar 36-Apr 36

    The beginning of March spelled the end of Ethiopian resistance on the southern front. Unable to sustain the attack from Graziani's three Divisions, the week long battle in the hills of Arba Minch in western Ethiopia ended with the defeat of the Ethiopian Imperial Guard.


    The Ethiopian Imperial Guard is thrown back, both sides taking heavy casualties.


    Imperial Guard

    After pushing through the light defenders of the 'Hindenburg Wall' the Somali's of Frusci's Ogaden Corps continued their northern advance along the east of Ethiopia, aiming to secure the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway. The Ethiopian defenders had been weak in the sector and it was the same story in Kara K'ore province, the Ethiopians were routed. The weakness in this sector would prove to be a huge strategic blunder by the Ethiopians.


    Frusci's Ogaden Corps crushes the resistance in Kara K'ore, most of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway is now in Italian hands


    Dire Dawa railway station on the "Imperial Railway"


    Supply problems continued to hamper the entire northern front. The 30th Infantry Division of the I Corps had come to a standstill after opening the fighting in early January. The 5th Alpine Division had managed to push onto Lake Tana but it to was now suffering. As a matter of priority supplies were being directed to the forward elements of the Eritrean Corps and the II Corps both engaged in fighting.

    The Celere Divisions of the Eritrean Corps started a determined attack to push across the Blue Nile and break the forward division of the Ethiopian northern front. The great river was both a hindrance and a blessing, hindering a quick advance and protecting them from counterattack. The Eritrean Corps was also given airdrop priority.


    The forward elements of the Eritrean Corps are having a hard time pushing southeast into Fiche province but are easily able to fend off an Ethiopian counterattack from the south.


    Ascari defensive position


    Lack of supplies continues to "dog" the forward elements of the II Corps (24th Infantry and 3rd CCNN) as they push south.


    Back on the southern front the Ogaden Corps had taken Kara K'ore by mid March. From this strategic position they could strike north against the rear of the Ethiopian forces engaged in battle against both the Eritrean Corps and the II Corps. Alternatively they could turn west and mount an attack on the capital. Frusci took the first option and his divisions struck both northwest and north into the rear of the Ethiopian forces in Fiche and Bati provinces. The aim was to link up the Italian northern and southern front with the hope that supplies could be brought up from Italian Somaliland to support the forward elements of the northern front. The section of the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway controlled by the Ogaden Corps would prove very useful for this task.


    The Somali's from the Ogaden Corps open up a second front in both of the battles on the northern front, this time from the south. The weak resistance in Bati immediately breaks.


    Thanks to the determined push of the Somali's the northern and southern fronts link up in the east. The forces of General Mulugueta in Fiche are weakening under the attacks from both the east and the west.


    The 24th Infantry Division and 3rd CCNN Division now reached Bati linking the northern and southern fronts together for the first time. This lead to an improvement to the supply situation that had been hampering the forward elements on the northern front. The stubborn Ethiopian General Mulugueta still held out despite the attack from both the Eritrean Corps and the Ogaden Corps. The 24th and the 3rd joined the attack on Mulugueta's positions in Fiche and his forces finally cracked.


    The losses are high on both sides


    Italian artillery

    With the defeat of the Ethiopian at the Battle of Fiche, the small Dese pocket was formed. In the pocket the Italians had almost managed to cut off the Begemder Sefani lead by General Seyum - 18000 strong.

    With the two Italian fronts now linked up the Ethiopians found themselves in desperate straits. Both the southern and northern fronts had first fractured and now both were broken. With supplies flowing from the south the Italian I Corps and rear elements Italian II Corps would soon be on the move. The weight of these extra divisions would be to much for the mauled Ethiopians. Staking their hopes of a series of counterattacks the Ethiopian forces in the west of the country struck north against the Eritrean Corps. In Debre Markos the 2nd Eritrean Infantry Division barely held their side of the Blue Nile, holding off two Ethiopian counterattacks. They only held out after being reinforced the the 5th Alpine Division. In Fiche province the Celere Divisions of the Eritrean Corps were brilliantly lead by Major General Messe and also fought back two Ethiopian counterattacks. The Eritrean Cavalry inflicted horrendous losses on the fleeing Ethiopians.


    Results of the Ethiopian counterattacks along the northern front


    Result of the Ethiopian counterattack on the southern front


    With the Dese pocket closed, the doomed forces of General Seyum's Begemder Sefani were attacked from three directions, the 5th Alpine from the northwest, the 26th 'Assietta" Infantry Division which had moved south from the rear positions of the I Corps and the 29th Infantry Division (part of the II Corps) from the north east. Cut off and under heavy attack General Seyums forces surrendered after losing a number of men.


    The Dese pocket is wrapped up


    After the defeat of the Ethiopian Imperial Guard on the southern front during the beginning of March, the indomitable 29th had been resting and preparing for a new assault this time on the capital. In early April Graziani lead a multiple directional attack on the capital itself with the tired 29th Infantry Division from the south and elements of the Eritrean Corps (2nd Infantry) and the Ogaden Corps (2nd Dubat). The battle last for two weeks but the 29th Division was to worn out to be effective, the results were disastrous and embarrassing.


    Graziani's disastrous attempt on Addis Abeba

    The Libyan Division and the 6th CCNN Blackshirts Division under Nasi moved into the hills of Arba Minch by mid April and pushed north in a co-ordinated attack with the forces of northern front, namely the 24th Infantry and 3rd Blackshirts Divisions of the II Corps and elements of the Eritrean Corps (the 1st Infantry). The plan here was to drive a wedge between the capital and the large Ethiopian forces still holding out in the west of the country.


    The great battle of Gedo


    Nasi's attack on Gedo was a great success but Graziana's assault on the capital was a disaster. The consequence of this battle was that it would drag out the war for another month as the Italians were now unable to immediately bring enough force to bare on the capital. Another factor which caused the significant delay was the Italian bomber squadrons, after incessant bombing runs in the first three months, they had now become ineffective through casualties, lack of rest and reorganization.

  16. #16
    Colonel damnt512's Avatar
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    i like the details of your AAR, keep it going
    "Upon hearing of the Japanese attack on the United States of America at Pearl Harbor, bringing America into the war against the Axis powers, Churchill exclaimed “We have won the war!”"

  17. #17
    Field Marshal King50000's Avatar
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    i suspect that this war is taking much longer then the military advisors of il duce had predicted
    brilliant still, great detail and historical text

  18. #18
    General tommylotto's Avatar
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    I like the long range strategic planning of attacking Egypt from East Africa. It should be fun to watch, but how are you going to supply those guys once the UK shuts the Suez? If you are going to keep your overseas possessions a nifty tech to research would be the naval tech Basing.
    Check out The Fox And The Lion - An Hoi3 TFH Mod. A full featured mod with many new unit types playable as any nation but with extra emphasis on Italy.

  19. #19

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by damnt512 View Post
    i like the details of your AAR, keep it going
    Thanks damnt. I also hope to keep a track of all battles and campaigns that each Division has fought in over the entire game and complie them into a list.

    Quote Originally Posted by King50000 View Post
    i suspect that this war is taking much longer then the military advisors of il duce had predicted
    brilliant still, great detail and historical text
    Err, mmm, yes. Even the real Italians beat me.

    Its actually my second play through, on the first one I got through by mid April using the same strategy but messed up all my screenshots. Even the AI has done better than I have when I was testing my Mod.

    Quote Originally Posted by tommylotto View Post
    I like the long range strategic planning of attacking Egypt from East Africa. It should be fun to watch, but how are you going to supply those guys once the UK shuts the Suez? If you are going to keep your overseas possessions a nifty tech to research would be the naval tech Basing.
    Thanks for the tip, I wasnt aware of that one. I will definately use it to try and help build a stockpile.

    My other options include combinations of these:
    - building more ports;
    - using low supply troops (natives);
    - take Berbera;
    - paradrops and seaborne invasions on Port of Sudan, Mombasa, Dar Salam and Yemen. Bascially where the Brits are storing supplies. I will try and use my airforce to figure this out.
    - infrastructure building - I have read that supplies are pushed down proportionatly to provinces with IC, although I suspect that this is not true and that they all accumulate at your capital.

    Quote Originally Posted by mnplastic View Post
    I is a very fascinating Ethiopian war description. Keep it going
    Thanks mn. I can only hope that I can keep it going for 10+ months like your epic Lithuania AAR.

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