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Thread: The Mat'ka Letters: Slovakia in World War II

  1. #1

    The Mat'ka Letters: Slovakia in World War II


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    On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany declared war on the nation of Poland. France and Great Britain followed suit, leading to what would become World War II. The only Axis nation to assist Germany in the invasion was the tiny state of Slovakia. The nation had been formed after its declaration of independence on March 14, 1939 (and under threat from Hitler that it would be annexed unless it did so). Nine days later it was attacked by Hungary in a short war in which much of its southern and eastern Slovak territories was ceded to Hungary. Germany left Slovakia to her own, but still called on her to assist her with the war against Poland.

    Enter a young man named Nikolas, who joined sometime after the war with Hungary. The young man was a member of the 5th Infantry Regiment of the Second Division, stationed in Bratislava at the outbreak of the war. He had a sweetheart named Martina (known affectionately as Mat’ka for short), with whom he kept correspondence throughout the war. The letters have been preserved and are now being shared openly to the public.


    Last edited by Henry v. Keiper; 24-06-2011 at 08:05.
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  2. #2
    Hello everyone. I've decided to tackle one of the smallest Axis nations in the game, and in a style I haven’t done yet. When all is said and done, I just hope people enjoy it.
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  3. #3
    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    Now this is interesting...

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    Baron of Brownies Hearth's Avatar
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    Now this sounds interesting! Get posting!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    Now this is interesting...
    Thanks. I hope I can make it interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by Hearth View Post
    Now this sounds interesting! Get posting!
    Your wish is my command
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  6. #6
    September 7, 1939


    The front lines on September 1, 1939


    My dearest Mat'ka;

    I know it has been barely a week since we last saw one another, but nonetheless I felt the need to write. Father alerted me before I left that you were staying with your parents in Bratislava, which makes me feel somewhat better. I am unsure how this war will go for us.

    There has been a bit of a buzz around the brigade, with news of promotions and changes in command. For one, or own Lt. Gen. Malar has been replaced by a man named Jaroslav Eminger, who took command early this morning. Even more important, the entire field command has been taken over by a man named Ján Golian. Minister of Defense Čatloš handed over his command yesterday, and I suppose it was enough that he had governmental duties. Word is that Golian is a fine attacker and a capable leader, although I suppose only time can tell such things.


    Command of Slovak troops was handed over from the direct command of Minister of Defense Ferdinand Čatloš (left) to the newly promoted General Ján Golian (right)


    We were greeted yesterday with horrible news: the Germans have nearly completely abandoned Slovakia, sending all their troops west. What allies! First they leave us to the Hungarians, now to the Poles. Already the Poles have attempted to abuse this, and have launched three military strikes against us: one into Ruzomberok, another into Spisska Nova Ves and yet another into Poprad.


    German command abandons Slovakia to the Poles


    Maj. Gen. Stefanik had moved the first division in to stop them, and met the first Polish attack on September 5. Stefanik had prepared an ambush and caught the Poles completely off guard. I suppose after our war with Hungary, they expected Slovakia to be easy prey. Now they're falling back across the border. We were told that they lost 8 men, while only two of ours were killed. Stefanik has moved without a moment’s hesitation to Poprad. Last we heard they were still engaging in combat.


    The opening battles of the war on the Slovakian front


    Be prepared my love, I do not know how long this war will last. We are all unsure. Nevertheless, we march on.

    Please think of me, Mat'ka, as I think of you.

    Nikolas


    OOC: The inclusion of Stefanik in the game is a bit humorous. If you look at the in-game picture and compare it to a picture of Milan Rastislav Štefánik, you’ll see that it’s the same person. The problem with this is that Štefánik died in a plane crash in 1919, some twenty years before this game takes place. We’ll just pretend he’s another Štefánik
    Last edited by Henry v. Keiper; 29-05-2011 at 18:44.
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    Field Marshal Cybvep's Avatar

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    What sort of forces do you have at your disposal?

  8. #8
    I thought about playing Slovakia but now you beat me to it. From what I know you will receive numerous German expeditionary forces sooner or later and then Slovakian army wil be invincible

    Is Slovakia puppeted or independent?

  9. #9
    This looks awesome, i am following!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybvep View Post
    What sort of forces do you have at your disposal?
    Good question - I probably should have made an order-of-battle early on. I'll see if I can make one and provide it on my next update.

    All I can tell you now is that all Slovakia really has at the start of the game is a couple of infantry battalions. IRL they had some mechanized infantry and armor at their disposal (they even lost a tank in the brief war with the Hungarians), but none of that is shown in-game. I was tempted to mod the game, but I'm not that familiar with it and didn't want to bother.

    Quote Originally Posted by mnplastic View Post
    I thought about playing Slovakia but now you beat me to it. From what I know you will receive numerous German expeditionary forces sooner or later and then Slovakian army wil be invincible
    You still can - you can always go at it at a different angle than how I am. You could probably play it better than I will too. And if Germany does send a lot of expeditionary forces, that will be fun. Although it wouldn't change any of my game play either.

    Quote Originally Posted by mnplastic View Post
    Is Slovakia puppeted or independent?
    It's a puppet. It pretty much was a puppet IRL. The only time Germany ever stepped in was 1) at its declaration of independence, and 2) during the national uprising near the end of the war, when the Germans invaded and reestablished the German-friendly government.

    Quote Originally Posted by fullbloodsaiyan View Post
    This looks awesome, i am following!
    Thanks. Glad you're liking it so far.
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  11. #11
    You'll find with being a puppet you have no choice over trade, it gets really frustrating.
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  12. #12
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    this seems really cool, good luck, and dont get overwhelmed by the poles

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Khazorath View Post
    You'll find with being a puppet you have no choice over trade, it gets really frustrating.
    Yes, I noticed that early on in the game. That is frustrating. I wish they could tweak that a little bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by King50000 View Post
    this seems really cool, good luck, and dont get overwhelmed by the poles
    Thank you! And don't worry about me
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  14. #14
    September 15, 1939


    Front lines a week into the war


    My dearest Mat'ka;

    On our way, we passed by some more German troops, all of them heading either west or north. I suppose German boys do not wish to die on Slovak soil. So be it, I say - let us show the Germans we can defend ourselves. I would have told them so, except I realized then that I speak very little German, and most of them, I’m sure, speak very little Slovak. I settled just giving them a piece of my mind, with a colorful word or two. Their commander, on horseback, turned and smiled at me and waved. My friends snickered to one another and encouraged me to add to my diplomacy, but I chose instead to hold my tongue.

    On September 8, I finally had my first taste of battle. Our regiments were formed early in the morning, while it was still dark. I don’t know if you have ever been to the woods around Ruzomberok, my love, but they were much thicker than I remember in my childhood. I could barely see anything in front of me when we were finally given the order to move. As I progressed, it was then that shooting came from above. Ah, training kicked in! I felt not a tinge of fear, my love! Not one! I simply ducked into a prone position and returned fire, aiming at the lights of the Polish gunshots. It wasn’t until I heard a whizzing sound and the snap of tree bark above me that I realized I was in real danger, and for the first time felt the fear of combat. No sooner had I felt this that the Poles fell back, and we were ordered to advance. The Poles continued falling back to their secondary defenses around the town, and against these we exchanged shots for a few days.


    The Battle of Ruzomberok begins


    About September 13 we got support from a nearby German mountain unit that had been in the area nearby. Two days later, under some guidance from Golian, we launched a surprise night assault, the Germans swinging around from the flank while we attacked from the front. The Poles finally gave up and ran, heading back into Poland. Our division lost 341 men, while the Poles left behind about 472.


    A German unit joins in on the attack


    Our first battle! And our first victory! We entered the town later that day to grateful civilians - grateful first for liberation, second that none of the fighting had actually taken place in the town itself. We joined some of the German soldiers for celebrations, and for the first time, my love, I feel my sentiments easing regarding our allies. One of them apparently grew up in the Sudetenland and knew some Czech, so that we could communicate though with some difficulty.


    German and Slovak soldiers share in the joy of victory


    Towards the east, I cannot find good news to share with you. The first division had been bogged down in fighting with the Poles, and then came under attack from the northeast. Stefanik eventually called off the attack on Poprad and withdrew to focus on defending Spisska Nova Ves. From what we understand, we lost about 464 of our own attacking Poprad while the Poles lost 381. Stefanik is still holding out in Spisska Nova Ves, though just barely.

    Word to the north is that the Germans are advancing steadily. They’ve taken Danzig and are pushing through with Warsaw already in sights from the north. Let us hope this draws the Poles away from us.

    Yours in love,

    Nikolas
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  15. #15
    Strategy GuidAAR Rensslaer's Avatar
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    Looks interesting, Henry!

    So will Slovakia scratch out territory of her own, or will she do the fighting only to have Germany take the spoils?

    Looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

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  16. #16
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    looks like from that map that you may be getting more german reinforcements soon, with that western front creeping forward towards your lines

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Rensslaer View Post
    Looks interesting, Henry!
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Rensslaer View Post
    So will Slovakia scratch out territory of her own, or will she do the fighting only to have Germany take the spoils?
    You'll see.

    Quote Originally Posted by King50000 View Post
    looks like from that map that you may be getting more german reinforcements soon, with that western front creeping forward towards your lines
    Not quite. But it does keep the full brunt of the Polish military from crashing down on Nikolas and his friends.
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  18. #18
    September 26, 1939


    The order of battle of Slovakian forces in the war against Poland. Nikolas served under the command of General Kubela


    My dearest Mat'ka;

    When last I wrote, the Poles were attacking towards Spisska Nova Ves. We heard that Stefanik was forced to pull back the second division to the east. We lost 138 more Slovaks with only 151 Poles to account for. They retreated to Roznava while the Poles marched in. Curses to them! The war is not lost, however.

    Golian apparently wanted the tide turned as soon as possible, and ordered us to attack the Poles in Poprad. Our feelings were a mixture of confidence and fear - confidence because of our previous victory against the Poles, and fear because of the previous defeat by Stefanik’s forces against the Poles. High command, however, seemed to believe we could do it, and intelligence said that the Poles had moved some of the units from Poprad


    The attack against Poprad begins


    We attacked in the early morning of September 19. Much of the grounds around the mountains were forested, giving us some cover, though the Poles were brutal in their fire against us. The Poles had dug in around the hills overlooking the city, and were not intent on simply handing the land back. We took the front defenses with some difficulty, managing to push the Poles higher up the hill. Most of us were prepared to pursue, but General Kubela delayed us on the 20th. Somehow he had perceived that we were to receive help from the German mountain brigade again. As much as I would have loved to have seen them again, they had been sent to Poland, and no such help was given.

    This gave the Poles, who were trained in the mountains themselves, to dig in, and when we attacked again on the 21st, they were ready. Nonetheless, we fought hard, knowing the people down in the valley were depending on us to drive out these invaders. We managed to do so, and secured the mountains on the 23rd.

    To the south, when it was seen that the Poles were retreating inward to prepare for the German assaults to the north, Golian ordered Stefanik to attack Spisska Nova Ves again. The second division wasn’t entirely ready, but Stefanik obeyed orders. It ended in a failure, with one Slovak killed and 8 Poles. However, I have heard that the Poles have now completely abandoned Slovak land, and Stefanik is now going in to liberate the territory.


    Slovakian troops are visited by high command


    September 26 we had a special visit from Lt. Gen. Eminger himself, congratulating us on our string of victories. Shortly thereafter we were greeted by Golian as well. Both men were impressive, although their differences were noticeable. Eminger seemed to emphasize the state of Slovakia and how we had shown her people were true warriors; Golian seemed much more amiable, and seemed more interested in our personal lives than our duty as soldiers.


    Slovakia goes on the offensive


    We have been ordered to move east towards Krynica on September 27 - right into the heart of Poland itself!

    Pray for me, my love,

    Nikolas
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  19. #19
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    hopefuly you will be able to gain that 1 province out of this. it will be interesting to see what you will do with the war against poland over

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by King50000 View Post
    it will be interesting to see what you will do with the war against poland over
    I've been pondering that myself. Really, it all depends on what the German AI decides to do. I've already settled in my mind that I will play the role of minor ally, offering aid when I can. You might see Slovak troops on the western front, who knows?

    I'm also wondering how I'll be able to build any new units since Slovakia's tech is nerfed in the game, and since I can't trade I'll be running out of support for my economy soon. But, either way, I press on.
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