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Thread: The Bark of the Underdog - Allied Spain AAR - HPP 1.9.2

  1. #81
    Chapter 10: OPERATION SLAPDANCE - The Battle for Big Pancake


    Modern Dutch artillery ready for battle.

    Historical data: The battle for Holland was part of German Fall Gelb plan and lasted from 10 May to 14 May when Dutch forces surrendered after token resistance. Holland capitulated completely after one week. Dutch attitude towards the army had been one of general neglect and their army was consequently hopelessly outclassed. Dutch lost 2,332 dead and 7,000 wounded, German losses were negligible.


    May 8 1940

    Allied Commanders had barely survived the celebrations after OPERATION SNOW WHITE saved Scandinavia against all odds and realistic expectations, when new disaster stroke; The Germans had attacked the Low Countries. As in Denmark, these countries had plumped new depths of gurgling idiocy by not mobilizing their armies, and were certain to capitulate as fast as Germans could drive to Amsterdam. Following the now familiar pattern, Spanish Command launched two simultaneous operations; CINDARELLA to create a defensive perimeter in Luxembourg, Belgium and Southern Holland, and SLAPDANCE to reinforce Amsterdam, which was in danger to be overrun. Generally the geography of the Pancake of Europe favored defense since major rivers Rein, Waal ja Maas formed nice, defensible fronts against the attacker. But if French-Spanish troops could not make it in time, all could be lost. Desperate rush towards to help the Dutch army begun.



    Through the following weeks Luftwaffe bombed defenders strongly, despite massive air battles.


    Classic portrait of German infantryman in Belgium.

    In south Spanish divisions were immediately deployed to help struggling Luxembourg that had brazenly declared war on Germany. The nearest divisions were the three 'crazy' motorized Spanish divisions, including former Legion Condom (or was it Condor?) These formations were the fastest in Spanish army and they arrived 9 May to find defenders of Lux in deep trouble, or already running away. Confidently Spanish defenders opened fire on surprised Germans. The Battle of Luxembourg was to last for many bloody weeks, and many crazy Spanish divisions fought here, including 'Jabberwock', 'Mad Max' and 'Metalhead.'



    In north SLAPDANCE was in full swing, and five Spanish divisions had been deployed in Amsterdam. These divisions were the infamous 'Big Iron', 'Tuco', 'Angel Eyes', 'Blondie' and 'Django.' The fate of the Dutch freedom would hang upon these divisions. The French reinforcements were arriving later, but these were not trusted by Spanish commanders.

    However, soon after their deployment in Amsterdam few things became obvious, and among them was the fact that whole Dutch army was in danger of being captured. Germans had smashed the woefully unprepared Dutch defenders in few hours and now they were in full retreat, soon to engulfed by rapidly advancing motorized German divisions. Original SLAPDANCE plan was quickly altered to meet this situation and Spanish divisions were dispatched to save the Dutch army from its own stupidity.



    'Tuco' and 'Angel Eyes' try to save Dutch army from encirclement. More Spanish divisions are deployed to hold rivers.


    As Spanish divisions rushed through the night they were met with stragglers and fleeing civilians all with stories of incredibly fast advance of German forces, and most with bitter comments about their own government. Some seven Dutch divisions were said to be in quickly shrinking pocket ahead, and time was of the essence. Saving these divisions would go a long way to bolster Dutch morale and defenses.

    But it was not to be. Brave Spanish relief force came under attack by German 36th Motorized division and were forced to defend themselves and hold the gap open for any Dutch soldiers who made it this far. Not many did. For days two Spanish divisions held the gap open in Arnhem, featuring famous That Bridge Too Far, under fierce pressure from five German divisions. Finally no more Dutch soldiers were coming, and Spanish divisions retreated to avoid useless casualties, blowing the bridges with demolition charges as they retreated. Casualties remained low so far, but majority of Dutch army could not be saved. It was estimated that some 10-12 surprised Dutch divisions were lost during the five first days of battle.



    While at same time in Belgium Spanish divisions had made it to the border which they found under attack by Germans, defended by weak Belgian formations. Luckily the armies of Low Countries were at 50% strength, instead of 25% as was feared. Perhaps there was still hope if enemy could be kept away for few crucial weeks. The battle of Luxembourg still raged, and the small country was now completely dependant upon Spanish defenders.

    'They should have been annexed to France during some Europe Universalis session.' commented unsympathetic President Manuel Azaña. 'How could the French player fail to do so?'

    On home front Combat Medicine now reached level 2, reducing attrition by 10% thanks to all those pretty Spanish nurses with thermometers. Perhaps war was not so bad after all?



    16 May 'the Hunn' was assaulting Allied defences all along the watchtowers...we mean along the main battle line. In this somewhat chaotic situation French, British, Spanish, Dutch and Belgian divisions mixed together in their desperation to hold the flagging line. Somehow, despite the confusion with communications, supply and staff work, the line held and most of these battles were won by Allies. Germans seemed somehow surprised by spirited Allied defences. They had expected a stroll in the park, but were now getting a black eye instead.

    Many hard battles were fought along the front, most of them very bloody. Germans were defeated soundly in Ede and Eindhoven, both of which were to become bitterly disputed battlegrounds of the war. As always, Spanish commanders tried to hold the rivers, according to the original CINDARELLA plan. Thousand of German soldiers were shot on riverbanks that became killing grounds. Very soon German infantrymen did not know which they hated more; their Spanish opponents, or those Dutch rivers.


    Operations SLAPDANCE and CINDARELLA 16 May. Across Low Countries shovels were swinging wildly as millions of soldiers dug for their dear lives.





    In Maastrich, near the Dutch border, a major battle had occurred when five German divisions tried to dislodge Spanish-Dutch defenders from their positions. As so often, Germans lacked any armors or combiner-arms formations, and relied upon brute infantry strenght to push through. Again and again this proved ineffective. Now Spanish defenders, who were again bothered by fragmented Dutch divisions that clogged the roads without providing any help, gave brutal beating for their incredibly fanatical German opponents, but suffering high casualties at same time. If it was time for grief, it was also time for pride.

    During this battle many German prisoners were taken, and sometimes intellectual conversations developed between the captured and capturers;

    German prisoner;'...and I still think your flag looks gay. Red-yellow-pink tricolor is so rainbow.'

    Spanish soldier:'So what? As we say in Spain, better gay than Fascists. And what about your leather boots? Not gay, eh?'

    Prisoner:'What do you mean? This uniform was approved by Führer himself!'

    Soldier:'That's what I mean.' (wink)

    Prisoner:'Oh no, not this again. Just because our Führer hired Elton John, Village People and Freddie Mercury to perform at his birthday party does not mean he is gay. OUR FÜHRER IS NOT GAY!'

    Soldier;'Sure, whatever you say. By the way, how is his wife?'

    Prisoner;'Führer is not...uh...he is married to Germany. Yeah, married to Germany. That's it. Married to Germany...'

    Soldier;'Good cover.'

    Prisoner: 'Q _ Q'




    German casualties in Holland.

    By now Spanish Military Doctrine, so-called Republican Fighting Spirit (also knows as Chili Con Carne doctrine) had reached full maturity. After long theoretical and practical incubation period infantry had now reached such full understanding of tactics and logistics that they could deploy even more unfair firepower on the field, while simultaneously taking less space. It was really incredible.

    Now infantry divisions had reached their practical and theoretical maximum in size and firepower, becoming huge machines of death and destruction. Almost impossibly they still had same weight, width and supply consumption as ordinary infantry divisions. Nobody could understand how 16000 heavily armed men weighted the same as 12000 lightly armed, but nobody was complaining.

    As Freddie said; 'It's a kind of magic.'

    Also if Germans were not developing same tactics soon, they would be at disadvantage as soon as Spanish divisions were fully reinforced with all the heavy metal they were to use from this moment onwards. Allied commanders hoped that they did not posses the same depth of infantry warfare. At least they were not doing very well.





    Also terrible flaws in French strategy were revealed. Spanish officers watched in dismay as French wasted their divisions by sending them north, to hold land of absolutely no value for Allied cause. Spanish Armada had now returned to assist the struggling ground forces, and could only gape at French idiocy.

    By their free will French had sent some divisions to perform a 'left hook' against German flank, or so it was thought. Result was the mixed French-Belgian divisions ended up encircled and defeated in some God-forsaken Dutch coast, which was useless to Germans anyway since Spanish fleet blocked all naval movements. It was a sad and useless sacrifice that accomplished very little. There was genuine feeling among Spanish commanders that without them, the French would probably just end up standing on their heads and shooting at wrong direction.



    OPERATION SNOW WHITE update

    Neither Spain nor Germany had forgotten Denmark during the fierce battles that raged through Low Countries. Constantly small skirmishes were fought and German casualties continued to spoil otherwise beautiful landscapes. But occasionally some unusually brave, or desperate, German general launched a major operation against Spanish defences, that were by now very well dug-in. Also nasty Spanish commanders had restructured the defenders with some artillery (a rare luxury in Spanish armies) so that now all five divisions could fight at same time. The results were terrible. 23 May unusually bloody battle finally ended with unusually grim harvest.

    Again Hitler was shouting his head off in Berlin and demanding the immediate imprisonment or execution of his generals. None of this, however, made his soldiers more bulletproof.



    Meanwhile in south there was no time to celebrate the latest victories. The Germans had finally broken through the defences of Luxembourg, forcing Spanish-French defenders to retreat after almost three weeks of intensive battles. It proved that while the armored Spanish formations were obsolete, poorly trained and nearly useless, they still suffered rather low casualties from German small-arms fire, while causing considerable pain with their machine-guns. Despite their heroic efforts Luxembourg capitulated 27 May, annexed by Reich. Alliance was shaken to the core...and hell it was. Nobody even noticed that Luxembourg was no more, and it did not give Germans any major advantages. But now Spanish defenders retreated to forest-clad hills called Bastogne...



    Soon Germans followed, smelling blood. Unfortunately it was their own. Bastogne was fiercely defended by curious mixture of whatever unit available, including some garrison units transported from Spain. Nonetheless they fought determinedly against Fascist onslaught, and slowly the superior firepower begun to tell. More than 10 divisions from all countries, though mostly Spanish, refused to budge and shot all attackers so full of lead they could be used as pencils afterwards.

    Those two attacking German divisions were very brave, but very suicidal. Their losses were slight considering that they attacked against ten-to-one odds.





    And after three weeks of savage fighting the Belgian front was somehow secured. At least the fate of Denmark, always haunting Allied thinking, had been avoided so far. the Low Countries were shaken by sudden onslaught, but felt now much more secure behind the backs of nearly 1.5 million Allied soldiers committed there.


    The CINDARELLA front 27 May.

  2. #82
    Major Comm Cody's Avatar
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    This is perhaps the most greatest and funnyest AAR on the HOI3 forums.

  3. #83
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    well that is a wierd and wonderful reversal of history to see Spanish troops in Amsterdam to save the Dutch, but you did a brilliant job in protecting Belgium and the Netherlands ... only pity is the loss of the might of Luxembourg

  4. #84
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    Spain defeating Hitler. Azaña must be quite surprised
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  5. #85
    Lt. General anweRU's Avatar
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    Let us hope the incompetent French generals do not leave the Maginot Line unguarded at this moment of triumph.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anweRU View Post
    Let us hope the incompetent French generals do not leave the Maginot Line unguarded at this moment of triumph.
    No Triumph don't count your chickens before they hatch. The War is still going to last a long time and many Spanish lives will be lost during it. The Germans aren't all dead yet

  7. #87

  8. #88
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    A nice start defending the Low Countries, but there's definitely a long way to go yet! Even if your forces continue to secure the Maginot Line against French stupidity there is no doubt the Germans will keep pushing and pushing... and exacting a toll on your forces.

  9. #89
    Once again thanks for reading and for feedback. You know you are great people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Comm Cody View Post
    This is perhaps the most greatest and funnyest AAR on the HOI3 forums.
    Thank you for your kind words Cody but personally I think the End of Empire by Redandwhite is infinitely superior to my humble project. But good to hear that you enjoy this.

    Quote Originally Posted by loki100 View Post
    well that is a wierd and wonderful reversal of history to see Spanish troops in Amsterdam to save the Dutch, but you did a brilliant job in protecting Belgium and the Netherlands ... only pity is the loss of the might of Luxembourg
    Most thanks go to Hitler who wisely did not produce any tanks. to give him any fighting edge. The loss of Luxembourg would have been a harsh blow to Allies if it had even joined us, but it never did. Lux joined the war through alliance with Belgium and did not bother to join Allies at all. Technically Lux fought nearly alone against Germany. Balls of Steel, I must admit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner View Post
    Spain defeating Hitler. Azaña must be quite surprised
    Actually President thought this as an excellent way to boos Spanish international prestige and have a payback against Germany. He never seriously considered that UK and France together might lose. He is surprised Spanish armies actually have to fight at all.

    He is bit naive sometimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by anweRU View Post
    Let us hope the incompetent French generals do not leave the Maginot Line unguarded at this moment of triumph.
    No worries about that. Diabolically cunning Spanish commanders were so shocked by French performance that they deployed some light garrisons along the Maginot line. Even if French would take a vacation Spanish units could still hold the M line.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thandros View Post
    No Triumph don't count your chickens before they hatch. The War is still going to last a long time and many Spanish lives will be lost during it. The Germans aren't all dead yet
    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    They're getting better... maybe they'll go for a walk.
    Quote Originally Posted by SSmith View Post
    A nice start defending the Low Countries, but there's definitely a long way to go yet! Even if your forces continue to secure the Maginot Line against French stupidity there is no doubt the Germans will keep pushing and pushing... and exacting a toll on your forces.
    Unfortunately Germans still have some 2.5 million manpower left, so it seems death and misery are about to continue for few moments. But surely German people will rebel against their cruel dictator, and then peace and harmony shall rule. Surely?

  10. #90
    Hopefully the sheer amount of losses the Germans are taking will make them rethink their strategy, or abandon it all together

  11. #91
    Ruler of Somewhere else Thandros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aguerra View Post
    Unfortunately Germans still have some 2.5 million manpower left, so it seems death and misery are about to continue for few moments. But surely German people will rebel against their cruel dictator, and then peace and harmony shall rule. Surely?
    2.5 Million manpower do the Spanish even have that many bullets to kill them with

  12. #92
    Funniest AAR ever
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  13. #93
    Chapter 11: The Red River Blues - Infamous Faaborg Stalker Strikes

    June 1940



    A typical German attempt to cross one of the notorious Dutch rivers during June. Few moments after this photograph was taken the raft was hit by 14092 bullets, 42 mortar rounds and 12 insults.

    At beginning of June it seemed like the summer that year would become extraordinarily beautiful in Western Europe. The gentle skies opened brilliant blue above the streets of Brussel and in Amsterdam tulips blossomed like never before. A strange spectre of normality hung over the cities, mixed with haunting feeling of living on borrowed time. For not far away Rhine run red as German juggernaut clashed with best divisions Spain could throw against it. Incredibly Anglo-Franco-Spanish Alliance had managed to hold everything Wehrmacht had to offer on wrong side of the rivers so far, but now German war machine switched gears for total onslaught.

    However, there was still some room for cautious optimism and some good news were received. At 3 June most remarkable set of double events shook the Allied commanders. It was almost impossible to believe but Spain had, little by little, grown to be a considerable international power by now. Madrid and Barcelona had become buzzing hubs of war-industry, intelligence gathering and unofficial centers of anti-Hitler movements. Recent stunning victories of Spanish arms in Denmark and Holland had earned reluctant respect, even awe, from major Allied powers while in Low Countries and Scandinavia Spain was already a legend of its own. To everyone's surprise, mostly to his own, President Azaña was leading a modern and powerful country equal to Italy in international standing. From Bastogne to Denmark Spanish divisions fought determinedly against overwhelming German numbers, while back home Spanish industry was making miracles undreamed of only few years ago. It was not exaggerated to say that Spain had been reborn as a country between Civil War and 1940.



    Unfortunately the bonuses were rather meager. +5% manpower was equal to one level of agriculture, which was negligible. +5% to counter-intelligence was equally welcome but not necessarily earth-shaking. On other hand .5 increase in LS was major boost. Nearly all of Spanish LS was pumped to officers to keep their rate equal to new divisions being created, but all was welcome. Only few most important scientific projects still received funding, most significantly new infantry weapons were field tested.



    Spanish leaders were stunned to hear that important events had also taken place in UK, but of wholly different kind. For some time already parliamentary crisis had been brewing in London about the way war was waged and decisions that had been taken so far. Opposition was notably led by certain Winston Churchill who bombarded government with questions that were difficult to ignore. The war was going well - but no thanks to once proud UK who had contributed almost nothing so far. English people were furious that government had not participated in Denmark campaign, and that performance of English divisions in Low Countries was so low. Indeed, it was difficult to understand how single Spanish infantry division had firepower and combat strength equal to four English infantry divisions. Noisily Churchill had been insisting that merely comparison between English and Spanish divisions was enough to "take Great out of Britain."



    Famously Churchill won "Mr.Warface 1940" competition with this picture.

    Finally in 3 June Neville Chamberlain resigned due to such failures in British strategy and Churchill was appointed as Prime Minister. As his first action in office (actually the first was to smoke a cigar, but that was unofficial) he declared that Britain would fight to the last drop of Spanish blood and held one of his most famous speeches;
    "... Spain shall fight in France, Spain shall fight on the seas and oceans, Spain shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, Spain shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, Spain shall fight on the beaches, Spain shall fight on the landing grounds, Spain shall fight in the fields and in the streets, Spain shall fight in the hills; Spain shall never surrender."
    This magnificent speech lifted spirits in Allied countries, especially in Spain though some leaders thought the message was "mixed." But since most Spanish commanders were busy shooting Fascists they really had little time to think such matters.

    Also famously Churchill and President Azaña met soon in Paris where General Allied Headquarters were established in Moulin Rouge, Montmartre. Meeting was legendary;

    As they shook hands (Azañas hands shook all the time anyway) Churchill declared confidently 'We are going to win this war!'

    'How can you be so sure, my Imperialistic friend?' Azaña wondered in amazement.

    'Because scissors beat paper!'



    Needless to mention, President Azaña was stunned speechless by this deep military wisdom. Despite their distinctively different personalities and vices, the two Allied leaders soon became rather friendly, perhaps because Azaña so often paid for drinks in bar. This caused heavy strain on Spanish economy, but improved relations.

    These magnificent developement lead Spanish people finally to unite in one front behind the war effort. After more than century of chaos and general stupidity Spain had finally found a new sense of purpose in killing Fascists. This had several important effects, such as sale of war bonds that boosted Spanish economy slightly. People were now motivated to give anything that was needed for victory. It was going to be a long war, but that's the way Spain liked it.



    Routinely defiant British propaganda that did not meet reality.



    After all these monumental events somebody remembered that there was, indeed, war going on. Spanish divisions were critically overstretched since they were holding unrealistically wide front, and Spanish army possessed no reserves, since they were now defending Denmark. Orders were simple; dig in on riverbanks and never let go. Two great rivers Rhine and Meusa were chosen to make the famous 'First last stand.'



    At June 4 Spanish army was fighting desperately on all fronts against crazy German onslaught. German soldiers were really scary, since they possessed almost necessary fanaticism to run into rivers under extremely heavy gunfire. It was sad and frightening to behold, but more painful to Germans than to Allies. Despite heavy fighting most of these battles were won with relative ease, causing heavy casualties to Fascists.

    By now Spain had deployed significant forces in Holland, most of whom were never supposed to be there. Mountain divisions and marines meant against Italy were thrown into line along with garrison units supposed to defend Spain. Spanish army was truly democratic, since everybody who could catch a bullet was simply thrown into battle to do that. There were few luxuries and privileges for officers, such as existed in most armies. Republican army had been recreated from the scratch after the Civil War and had no baggage of traditions to uphold. It was simply a machine for war, even if relatively democratic machine. It also proved highly effective.

    Amersfoort was swampy province next to Amsterdam, and final defence line from which there was to be no retreat. While this province was not protected by major river, the marshy terrain proved most formidable defence any army could ask for. Attacking German infantrymen were mowed down in great numbers as they trudged through thick sludge, while Allies had constructed cleverly dug tranches and pill boxes. Also Spanish Armada patrolled the waters nearby, firing on any German movement and creating extreme pain and frustration. Germans did not mount significant assaults against this province after suffering extreme casualties.





    Maastricht and Arlon were also bitterly fought of, and in Battle of Maastricht desperate Spanish marines and infantrymen fought desperately to keep the tide away until reinforcement arrived. Here the lack of reserves became cause of concern, then of desperation. Exhausted divisions could not be replaced nor given any rest. Divisions simply fought until they reached breaking point, then after few days of hasty rest were again thrown into the line. It was no picnic, but Germans suffered much more casualties. Even tired divisions still had superior numbers and firepower compared to their German counterparts who had to attack over a major river. Somehow the line held for weeks the battle continued. Often the Germans were swimming in their own blood after weeks of intense fighting, riverbanks clogged with casualties. When German onslaught finally pulled back, tired defenders realized they had won a stunning victory.





    But even this was not the most terrible and notorious battle of Western Front. In Ede, slightly south of Amsterdam, Germans were looking to overwhelm defences in what proved to be the only weak link in Allied defences. The battle had begun already weeks ago, but unlike most refused to end. Ede was difficult terrain to hold since here Rhine made a bulge, leaving defenders hold a peninsula of land surrounded by Germans. But retreat was not a realistical option. Enemy had to be kept on other side of the river at any cost, no matter how many divisions had to expanded. As Spain poured more and more troops to hold the blood-soaken soil Wehrmacht send more and more unfortunate divisions to capture it. The stage was set for the bloodiest and most wretched battle that would pass into legends of war. German soldiers would nickname Ede 'Operation Totentanz' or simply 'Valhalla front.' During the June Rhine literally run red for miles, and German casualties floated all the way back to Germany.



    Battle of Ede was weeks old in June 2, note how Belgian divisions take much higher casualties that Spanish divisions. Actually Ede was held only by Spanish divisions, when one thinks about it.

    Again and again unfortunate Germans attacked over the river in ramshackle collection of barges and rubber-boats, only to meet full fury of Spanish defensive fire that routinely caused crippling casualties. On other hand Germans answered with everything they had; massive artillery barrages, bombers, STUKAS and extreme fanaticism that was only equalled by stubbornness of the defenders. As Spanish defenders slowly became exhausted the situation reached critical point when enemy breakthrough would be certain. After two weeks of heavy fighting only two Spanish divisions remained, supported by useless British division who had probably just lost its way.



    Battle of Ede June 16m when "Lucky 13th" Division found out that it was not so lucky after all. Note how broken Dutch divisions are too stupid to retreat from battle. Five Spanish divisions had already retreated, completely exhausted.

    In desperation Spanish High Command begun to throw everything to fill the gap. A new tactic codenamed 'Combat Whoring" was adopted. (German agents mistook this as some sort of auxiliary force. What were they thinking?) Actually this was a method to gather every available point of combat bonus. Best Spanish leaders were recalled and given command of few remaining divisions in combat readiness, then sent into battle. When their divisions broke the leaders were transferred to command fresh divisions, and same happened again. Germans were dismayed to find out that they fought against General Miaja all the time - and he was now skill 6 General, giving +45% combat bonus, nearly equal to major river. (They really hated him by now, and he liked that.)

    But not even this seemed enough. Endless stream of German divisions replaced their dead comrades, though on wireless German generals were discussing the rate of attrition in rather stunned terms. But Hitler was crazy, and German generals were crazy enough to obey him. Now even garrisons straight from Spain were thrown into the line, to keep Ede just for those few extra days.



    Battle of Ede June 20, once again under German bombing. Combined Allied air forces had not been enough to defeat Luftwaffe.

    But around June 20 most unexpected and strange sideshow was taking place away from bloody fields.

    The Energy Crisis

    At evening of 21 June General 'Walrus' Martínez lumbered towards the familiar room in Madrid. It had to be hell of a reason to call him back from Ede, but order was order. Perhaps something staggering had occurred. Had Manuel bought a new dog again? With a brief knock he entered the office.

    To his surprise there were two other people in the room, the smooth little man who was Armament Minister José and older man whom he immediately recognized as Foreign Minister Sebastian. On desk before the President was a bucket, covered with cloth. President waved his hand towards the bucket. 'Welcome Martínez! Have a look.'

    With shrug of his shoulders General took the cloth off and looked inside. He lifted an eyebrow.

    'Well?' Asked the President.

    'Boss, I almost could swear that this is coal.' General answered, scratching his head.

    'Indeed it is, Martínez. You are currently looking at Spanish coal reserves, so please be careful with it.'

    'HAR HAR HAR! That was a good one Boss!' General laughed so heartily windows trembled. 'I always thought you were such a tight-assed old stick but that was a good one! Our coal reserves indeed!' Nobody else laughed. Atmosphere was actually rather serious.

    'Now dear Martínes.' José begun with curious smile. 'Those are actually all of coal reserves in Spain. I'm currently trying to figure out how to run all our factories with that.' General stared at the minister.

    'But how can we be out of coal! It's one of the cheapest and most plentiful resources available! Are we under blockade perhaps?'

    'No.' President sighted. 'Allies rule the seas.'

    'Are we out of money or credit?' General seemed perplexed.

    'No. Our vaults are bulging with gold and dollars.'

    'Then why...?' He left the question float.

    'Let me explain, my well-mustachioed friend.' José continued. 'As you certainly know thanks to our efforts and my genius we tripled Spanish industrial output between 1936 and 1940, allowing us to build this prosperous nation we are now bleeding out in Holland. Unfortunately our coal production, which we do not have, has not tripled, creating large deficit. Today our last storages run out, save this one bucket. No coal, no production.'

    'But the plan was to buy the necessary coal from global market.' General scratched his head. 'Is UK not our ally? How about USA and USSR?'

    'They have no coal.' Foreign Minister Sebastian interrupted.

    'You mean they are not selling us?'

    'I mean that they have no coal.' Sebastian continued. 'All Majors except Germany are making deficit. They have none to spare.' There was heavy silence in the room. General walked up and down the carpet, scratching his head with both hands. It was obvious that he was thinking hard. Finally he looked up.

    'Boss, you are saying that we did not run out of coal. The World run out of coal?'

    'Yes Martínez. The World just run out of coal.' President looked rather tired. 'Damn these HPP rules! In normal HoI3 we would be swimming in coal! How can USSR run out of coal? Like Sun running out of hydrogen!'

    'Unfortunately this is not all.' Sebastian continued. 'We have strong proof that USA is selling all their surplus to Germany under our noses, and simultaneously imports German supplies. In short, they are exporting all their money to Germany and feeding Fascist war machine.' President facepalmed at this point.

    'It was my sad duty to inform our allies that from this day onwards they could expect Spanish production to drop by 40%.' José mentioned with wry smile. 'Naturally they were shocked and demanded us not to downgrade our mobilization level. I politely inquired whether they were willing to sell us the coal we needed, and they politely confessed that they had none. Even mighty UK is currently unavailable for help, which is hardly surprising by now.'

    'By 40%!' General wondered.

    'Indeed. Unless some unforeseen boon strikes us we can produce barely 60IC, most of which will go into keeping our army in fighting order. We could only produce one or two divisions at time, and barely any of our Secret Projects.'

    'Spain HAS secret projects?' General gaped.

    'Certainly Martínez. We have Project Pluto, the top-secret rocket facility that made big headlines in The Times, and Project Southern Hospitality, which is the fortification of Pyrenees. Now both are unfortunately suspended. Have a look in reports, but try not to cry.'

    General looked at top-secret reports about Spanish industry, and immediately took out a big handkerchief, which be sneezed noisily.

    'It's terrible!' He cried, big tears rolling down his moustache.



    'Yes indeed.' President sighed heavily. 'Under these circumstances I had no other option but to downgrade our mobilization laws. I would rather chew my head off than to sign this law, but even José cannot squeeze blood from nothing.'

    'I'm working on it.' Minister said suavely.

    'Well, this will give our people a rest, if nothing else. Now we effectively return back to those "developing country" days. It seems we now became that proverbial underdog that the name of this AAR suggests.' He glanced at his Armament Minister approvingly.

    'By the way José, what is your role here?'

    'I contribute my brilliant brain, my razor wit and my good looks to Allied cause.' He answered with the same, wry smile.

    'So indeed you provide that +10% IC which recently became completely useless?' President asked.

    'Ah, it seems that you are correct and I have administrated myself out of my office.' He flashed a smile. 'However, since I have not had a vacation in four and half years, I could happily consider resigning until the situation has been cleared. Can I have the pleasure of recommending my own follower?'

    'Please do.' President muttered. 'I hope he is made of coal.'

    'Not quite. But we have this magnificent talent who could help us a little. He is stage magician and he can pull supplies out of his ear. That should spare some of our industry for more worthwhile purposes.'

    'Magnificent, but why cannot he do it now?'

    'Oh no, it is only possible when he is minister. Otherwise he sells them in black market.'

    And so Spanish production fell by 40% in one night.



    After the two men had left General sat down to light his pipe. President seemed deeply concerned, which was rather common for him. Civilians were like that. No matter how many Fascists they killed, President kept worrying about some ridiculous matters, such as total defeat.

    'How on earth are we going to win this war, Martínez?' He asked suddenly.

    'Whaddya mean, Boss? The war is going great! I expected us to be in Africa by now.'

    'Nice to hear. I mean, we are only holding ground. When is it going to end? Are German people ever going to rise against their tyrannical dictator?'

    'No dice, Boss!' General laughed. 'We have only two realistic ways to win. One of them is that we beat Germans back to Berlin, haul Hitler out of his bunker and stuff a hand-grenade into his...'

    'Thank you very much.' President wisely interrupted him. 'Take Berlin? Why not Moon next? Is there any more realistic way to end this slaughter.'

    'Sure Boss! If we could activate Liberty Prime from Fallout 3 and send it to Berlin, we could probably win easily.'

    There was heavy silence.

    'I'll see about that.' President said pensively.

    And so war went on, but with 40% less industry. Spain was now in real trouble, and Battle of Ede was still raging. Germans were defeated in dozens of smaller conflicts, such as Bastogne, but Ede was about to collapse. Spanish commanders were uncertain how many German divisions had been annihilated so far, but estimates ranged between 20-30. All other fronts were thinned to provide manpower to hold Ede, and even notorious "Anton Shugar" divisions was transported from Denmark to Holland.

    Meanwhile Faaborg had been under constant if ineffective attacks by Germans. In late June something extraordinary happened. Through their periscopes Spanish soldiers saw, for first time, vehicles of legendary Panzerwaffe. In 27 June division of light panzers took attack formations at far side of Faaborg strait, and then bravely drove into the water, sinking like stones. It seems that they had taken too much encouragement from the bottle. Panzer units took -99% amphibious penalty, taking ludicrous casualties.



    "Battle" of Faaborg June 27.



    Germans could not understand it. All major wars produced their own legends, and it was no different this time. German soldiers were so deeply traumatized by their experiences in Faaborg that they were speculating that some extraordinary, even supernatural, force was fighting against them. As soldiers gossiped and whispered about it during many dark nights, this story slowly emerged into dreaded "Legend of Faaborg Stalker." Story told that often lone German sentries were found dead at morning, clubbed from behind. The culprit was never caught, not even glimpsed, and German morale begun to suffer. Some even claimed that it was ghost of Lenin stalking Faaborg at night, killing Germans with "the Hammer and the Sickle."

    While it is easy to dismiss such stories as products of stress, frustration and too many schnaps, it cannot be doubted that Germans suffered many unexplained casualties in Denmark. Such things happened in major wars, and actions by British or Spanish commandos cannot be ruled out. Did 'Faaborg Stalker' exist? Some claim that this mysterious photo, presented below, gives clue about the identity of the Stalker.



    Others claim that is is only a lousy Photoshop joke. The truth may never be known.

    At beginning of July Germans had not conquered a single inch of European territory during a long, long time. The battle of Ede continued...

  14. #94
    People's Commissar of the Navy Demi Moderator Avindian's Avatar
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    Another fantastic update; shame to hear about the world being out of coal, though Love the pics! Keep it coming!
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  15. #95
    So the degenerate American capitalists are the main thing keeping the Aryan war industry going? Truly the nefariousness and depth of the plots of the Wall Street Jewry are beyond the understanding of mere mortals!
    [Hitler is confused!]

    Ought to drive the Nazi theorists bonkers, that one.

    In other hot topics, "General Miaja - A Sorcerer?"

  16. #96
    Major Comm Cody's Avatar
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    Find Colonel Mustard, and make him a General.

  17. #97
    Lt. General anweRU's Avatar
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    Here's wishing the Spanish Army a victory in Ede!

  18. #98
    Field Marshal loki100's Avatar
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    superb update ... has everything from epic battles to a world coal shortage to panzers proving that steel is heavier than water

  19. #99
    Captain GulMacet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aguerra View Post
    To everyone's surprise, mostly to his own, President Azaña was leading a modern and powerful country equal to Italy in international standing.
    Given Italy is... well, Italy, isn't that some sort of devastating insult against the Spanish people and nation? After all, they single-handedly neutralized the Nazi threat! Also: Research the coal mining efficiency techs, man... I think that would be LS points well spent!

    I know I sound like Counselor Troi, stating the bloody obvious, but still: FUNNIEST AAR EVER!

  20. #100
    General SSmith's Avatar
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    The battle for Ede was just a distraction while the Germans bought up all the world's coal! A devious plan!

    I suspect in fact that the worldwide shortage is only due to HPP's resource storage penalties and will correct itself in time. Just keep an eye out for when supply returns to the market.

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