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Thread: Five for Fighting - How Hockey Saved the Allies - An FtM AAR

  1. #301
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    Good job there. Even low-hanging fruit will still taste sweet! Will you help the UK out be leaving a garrison there?
    No, can't really afford the guys to defend, and if anything, I'd like them to do this as often as they try to cross Messina! I wish I had ten islands for them to dump guys onto. I tell you, I have been sorely tempted to retreat at just the right moment in a Messina battle, close the Straits and then counter-attack. But ... it's a bit gamey and I feel somewhat guilty already grabbing supply points. Plus, the downside risk is having to abandon the island because I'm suddenly stuck fighting fair if I get chased from the Straits and an entire stack gets across. My complete lack of success in combat in Denmark came as an unpleasant surprise to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    What the-Canada inflicting casaulties via air assaults rather than merely suffering them?!

    Nicely done polishing off another sizeable Italian force. The lost transports and escorts is a worry though, hopefully you can right that at some point in the near future.
    Yes, bombing enemy troops was very satisfying. They earned it! I hope to do it again soon. On transports, I agree, not sure how much I can do if it's the Italian fleet and not just subs. Actually, I know exactly what I can do, run away and wish my merchant marine bon voyage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    Messina remains the great battleground, its beaches doomed to be littered with Italian corpses!

    Good job in Sardinia, nice to see the Italians pay for their attempted counterattack.
    Thanks, and best of all is that they paid with German armor!

    No update until next Monday. I've been dealing with a blue screen of death problem. It seems to be driver-related or maybe memory, running a test tonight, but I backed up my saves just in case. Mostly I'm taking my wife on a little trip* Thursday night and I haven't already played/written the next chapter.

    * - by 'taking my wife on a little trip' I mean she handled everything and I'll drive. I mostly say "sounds great" or "I don't have to dance, right?" or "hey, I named my daughter 'Red Solo Cup' like you suggested and now she's Queen of England!" She gets a jacuzzi and a fireplace out of the deal, so it's a fair bargain.
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  2. #302
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Forty-Six - Back in the Saddle

    Note - Blue Screen of Death problems were half drivers (fixed) and half memory errors (ordered new memory). Though HoI3 did crash once on me, and then again as I reloaded without re-booting, I've had no trouble since then, and CK2 ran fine as well. Future reports should be of WW2 and not my schedule


    Meantime, my men say it seemed like no time at all, but it's been a week and a half since our last update, and it's good to be inflicting casualties again. As you'll see soon enough, the focus of the rest of the Allies will be shifting to Europe, and for once Canada won't be able to ask "are we the only ones fighting these guys" (when the Russians aren't around)?

    As we closed out last chapter, the USA was inching off Kyushu onto the other Japanese Home Islands.



    The British were wrapping up Southeast Asia as well.



    And Canada made what might well be her last questionable-but-hopefully-not-entirely-pointless technolgy advance. Refining! Hey, I'm importing oil, so my theory was anything which stretches what I have to pay for with hard-earned supplies ought to be worth stretching.



    As June started, we had negative 11 Manpower. Not positive yet, but getting there. We should be producing units for the occupation any time now. (3240-332) Remember, Messina battles are parenthetical warfare.

    Meanwhile, as our allies dawdled in the Pacific, Canada had to hunt down whatever was killing our Merchant Marine.



    I'll make this part short and sweet - we're losing ships in both the Med and Atlantic. We hunted here, then the mid-Atlantic, then back near Sicily. All we got for our trouble was a repeated message about spotting Soviets, until we turned those messages off. We're losing ships, and some might well be to Italian aircraft, but mostly it's German subs and something I could not catch in the Mediterannean. Since all we can build is Convoys and Escorts, we're pulling away as we'll see later in terms of tonnage.

    Speak of the devil.



    As you can see, we've got a boatload of Convoys, and we're not short of Escorts. I add more escorts now these days.

    To celebrate the middle of 1943, the Italians took to bombing Palermo.



    Nice of the Russians to cover up that pointless combat dialog. You know the game is winding down when countries start to disappear. Yes, now is the time when a raid in the Adriatic would pay off, but I'm no longer trying to hurry the Russians along. If anything, I'm holding the elevator for my friends. (471-44)

    The Italians started bombing Palermo again, and I thought, "hey! I have planes in Palermo!"



    So I did a little damage. Better still, volunteers for Canada's tote board!



    I had fun bombing the victims, for a bit. Then I started to think I was dropping leaflets again and depending on papercuts being infected to kill the enemy when I spotted the real cuplrit.



    Once again, the British Navy is an epic failure, no fuel for my airplanes. We lost 19 Convoys and 4 escorts this chapter. While it was a long period of time, all my losses should be attributed to the Brits failure to rid the world of Axis naval power! Someone's failure, anyway, hope it wasn't mine.

    So we had to attack the enemy instead of toy with it. Nearly 35,000 brave Canadians took on 10,000 foolish Italians. We lost 225 men, killed 1300 and captured the rest, but Canada lost another 175 to air attacks despite our transfer of the interceptors to the area and a few reasonably successful intercepts. In the midst of all this we discovered Integrated Support level 1. Marines and Mountain troops add 5% morale. That goes back into the working part of the Tech queue.

    Unfortunately, I was so worried about my BSOD issues that I forgot to take screenshots of Japan (the opening shot was from last chapter's play). However, I was able to load up the prior autosaves and the end save to give three glimpses of how the USA is doing.



    The HQ in the far right image is in Tokyo.

    Stick a fork in her, Japan's done!
    Last edited by InnocentIII; 17-04-2012 at 00:37.
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  3. #303
    Lt. General eqqman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentIII View Post
    The HQ in the far right image is in Tokyo.

    Stick a fork in her, Japan's done!
    Is there a possibility of a Canadian capture of Taiwan to get yourself a share of the spoils?

  4. #304
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    Just a quick remark about the Coastal fort you are building.. Coastal fort doesn't help your defence in Messina, because their troops won't be landing from the sea, but instead are fighting a land battle even though they are crossing a strait, as silly as it sounds. If you want to help your defence, land forts would do the trick. Anyway, good allied progress and the axis are on the run I hope that you'll bring down the evil commies of the east later on?
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  5. #305
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    Is there a possibility of a Canadian capture of Taiwan to get yourself a share of the spoils?
    Thought about it, but it's so late in the war that ownership isn't that valuable. Plus, I'd have to risk 1/3 of my army and 100% of my navy to a bad fight with the IJN, when I can't chase off Italy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb The Great View Post
    Just a quick remark about the Coastal fort you are building.. Coastal fort doesn't help your defence in Messina, because their troops won't be landing from the sea, but instead are fighting a land battle even though they are crossing a strait, as silly as it sounds. If you want to help your defence, land forts would do the trick. Anyway, good allied progress and the axis are on the run I hope that you'll bring down the evil commies of the east later on?
    Thanks for the clarification - I suspected I might be messed up, but didn't check. Fortunately, making a fort wouldn't have mattered anyway!
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  6. #306
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Forty-Seven - The Beginning of the End

    With the Allies at the gates of Tokyo, and Canada approaching positive Manpower, it was getting to be time to take serious action. More importantly, the USSR's eyes have turned green and their shirt buttons are popping off everywhere.



    The Allies need to get a move on to meet the Russians at the Seine, nevermind the Elbe.

    The Russians have Riga and are moving on to Poland. I'm guessing that lone German-held province is really just a POW camp under construction, "no need to move, gentlemen, just make yourselves comfortable". As you can see from the score, it's not like game over. But that's a lagging indicator, the Axis and Allies scores will diverge when Japan falls.



    Once again, it's being left to Canada to show the Allies how things are done. Sooner is better than later.

    My first plan was to let some nearly-exhausted Italians across the Straits of Messina and then block the Straits long enough to annihilate them. This sounds gamey, but really, the game treats them as being across the Straits as soon as they attack. All I'd be doing is making that true. Might be easier said than done, anyhow. I still had to move more forces into position, so I missed my first opportunity.



    I did order up a brigade of real tanks, however. USA Pershings iirc. I don't care how much IC I have to spend, the resource I lack now is time. These will be done July 4. A great day, but perhaps too late to do anything but march in the victory parade in Ottawa. (946-66)

    Then, on the 24th day of August, 1943, the war changed dramatically: Portugal is mobilizing!



    On September 7, while Canada waited to spring its Messina trap, Nationaist China conquered Mengkukuo, to the relief of schoolchildren everywhere.

    Portugal is practically in the Axis on the triangle, but "drifting toward the Allies". Genius doesn't begin cover it. Canada achieved +25% in Infantry Organization with a breakthrough in mid September, we'll try for still more. Not much can benefit us before the war ends, outside of combat techs.

    Meanwhile, the post-war map continues to take shape in the east.



    With another brilliant tech advance, Canada has now reduced it's attrition by 10%. Have I taken attrition? That may explain the rash. We close September with Manpower better than negative 3. Our Messina trap is prepared, but unsprung. The Italians clearly have a talented rogue in their party. So we remove one of the three remaining Mountain Divisions in Messina to make the target more inviting.

    It did not have the desired effect.



    I swear we could hear Admiral Akbar from across the Straits. Apparently, the Italians were defending against a Canadian crossing. Have they not been reading this AAR? Even this late in the war (do crossing penalties go down through techs?), defending across a strait is what Canadians do best.

    aaaand - another one bites the dust.



    Speaking of another one biting the dust.



    We developed our own Engineers on October 7. Another pointless advance as we'll only build higher-tech units from the USA.

    We lost 150 men to Italian bombing after the Sardinia battle was over, though the Brits had interceptors and the enemy was soon chased off. Mid-October saw us down only 1.36 Manpower, but the Italians were not taking the bait in Messina. So we reloaded the victors of Sardinia, and decided to finally take the plunge.



    That's our entire navy and seven divisions. Meanwhile, war waits for no man.



    The way the map of Italy is set up, our ships in the Straits of Messina can unload troops onto both provinces east of Italy's toe. We fought two nearly identical battles here, with invasions of three divisions and four divisions both against HQ units, which have clearly lost their ability to instill fear.



    While we're not getting any supplies, I have three naval bases pre-built, and our stockpile is not too bad.



    Still, I really need to see what I'm up against, and since being dug-in is no longer a real concern...



    Looks like a good start to me!
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  7. #307
    Major Midge's Avatar
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    Unless the Allies get a move on the USSR might have everything up to Rome.
    Your life is your life donít let it be clubbed into dank submission.
    Be on the watch there are ways out.
    You canít beat death but you can beat death in life, sometimes.
    And the more often you learn to do it the more light there will be.
    Your life is your life.
    Know it while you have it.
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  8. #308
    Field Marshal sprites's Avatar
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    Releasing Poland as puppet will slow down the soviet steamroller , but not that much!
    Good job , it's time to go on the offense!
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  9. #309
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    Russia's going berserk, that's beautiful, amazing. Good for them.

    Nice job in Calabria, that'll show those Italian boys what for! I'm guessing that'll be the end of the long-running series of the strait.
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  11. #311
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    Those commies must be stopped at any cost!!!
    Obessively following Nathan Madien's excellent AAR: The Presidents: Vietnam War Edition and check out my own AAR: The American Experience 1912-1964

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    Lt. General eqqman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by H.Appleby View Post
    Those commies must be stopped at any cost!!!
    Hehehe...

    *Any* cost? I have a contract here you can sign, don't worry about the stuff regarding your immortal soul, that's just standard boilerplate...

  13. #313
    Karl Popper Fanboy H.Appleby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    Hehehe...

    *Any* cost? I have a contract here you can sign, don't worry about the stuff regarding your immortal soul, that's just standard boilerplate...
    HEY!!! The devil's on *their* side remember.
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  14. #314
    Second Lieutenant Caleb The Great's Avatar
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    Sorry guys, but if Innocent doesn't gain significant allied assistance in Europe, the Bear will eventually deplete the manpower of the Steamroller of North. Our brave Canada needs tens of infantry and tank divisions just for staying in the continent.
    "There are no desperate situations, only desperate people." Heinz Guderian, "Schnelle Heinz"

    "Fight fire with fire, set the world afire. At the end the battlefield is lost and your gains are nonexistant."

  15. #315
    If the Brits were to become more responsive they could delay Axis counterattacks in Central Europe and Italy while Canada is heading for Rome. USA reinforcing the Allies in Europe would be a nice thing, too. As for the bear, you could stall Soviet progress if you quickly pull an invasion of Croatia and take their VPs before the Russians and Yugoslavs do. Not sure about the Northern parts of German territories, Denmark could be an easy grab but it depends on the amount of Axis forces in that part of Europe.

  16. #316
    General morningSIDEr's Avatar
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    Excellent updates as ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentIII View Post
    I had fun bombing the victims, for a bit. Then I started to think I was dropping leaflets again and depending on papercuts being infected to kill the enemy when I spotted the real cuplrit.
    Wonderful to see the Canadian air force proving as effective as ever.

    Quote Originally Posted by InnocentIII View Post
    Once again, the British Navy is an epic failure, no fuel for my airplanes.
    Even better witnessing another stunning success by the British navy.

    Unsurprisingly Italy continues with her intelligent attacks accross the strait into Sicily and, as the last update shows, the Steamroller of the North remains the only allied power seemingly doing anything in a bid to end the war!
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  17. #317
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midge View Post
    Unless the Allies get a move on the USSR might have everything up to Rome.
    Very true! It's not a question of beating the Germans anymore, but making a respectable contribution.

    Quote Originally Posted by sprites View Post
    Releasing Poland as puppet will slow down the soviet steamroller , but not that much!
    Good job , it's time to go on the offense!
    Hope our friends show up soon, if not in Normandy, then somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saithis View Post
    Russia's going berserk, that's beautiful, amazing. Good for them.

    Nice job in Calabria, that'll show those Italian boys what for! I'm guessing that'll be the end of the long-running series of the strait.
    Thanks, and yeah, looks like the Fort/Coastal Fortress screwup wouldn't have mattered anyway. Hmm, did I stop making those?

    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    It will be good if you can get those men off of Sicily and doing something a little more aggressive.
    Working on it! Trouble is that if I land too many, will I have the ports to supply them, if I land too few, will it be a glorified raid?

    Quote Originally Posted by H.Appleby View Post
    Those commies must be stopped at any cost!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by eqqman View Post
    Hehehe...

    *Any* cost? I have a contract here you can sign, don't worry about the stuff regarding your immortal soul, that's just standard boilerplate...
    We'll teach them hockey, then they'll mostly float around the perimeter and snipe.

    Quote Originally Posted by H.Appleby View Post
    HEY!!! The devil's on *their* side remember.
    To quote Dirk Gently when he heard that the explosion at Heathrow was an act of God: "Yes, but which one?" There's two devils at work here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb The Great View Post
    Sorry guys, but if Innocent doesn't gain significant allied assistance in Europe, the Bear will eventually deplete the manpower of the Steamroller of North. Our brave Canada needs tens of infantry and tank divisions just for staying in the continent.
    Would you take a tank battalion and a few pre-built navy bases?

    Quote Originally Posted by croguy View Post
    If the Brits were to become more responsive they could delay Axis counterattacks in Central Europe and Italy while Canada is heading for Rome. USA reinforcing the Allies in Europe would be a nice thing, too. As for the bear, you could stall Soviet progress if you quickly pull an invasion of Croatia and take their VPs before the Russians and Yugoslavs do. Not sure about the Northern parts of German territories, Denmark could be an easy grab but it depends on the amount of Axis forces in that part of Europe.
    True, but my worry is that when the Allies do land, that the Germans will end up weaker on the Soviet front and we'll just force a collapse all around. The alliance is way behind schedule compared to the USSR.

    Quote Originally Posted by morningSIDEr View Post
    Excellent updates as ever.

    Wonderful to see the Canadian air force proving as effective as ever.

    Even better witnessing another stunning success by the British navy.

    Unsurprisingly Italy continues with her intelligent attacks across the strait into Sicily and, as the last update shows, the Steamroller of the North remains the only allied power seemingly doing anything in a bid to end the war!
    Thanks. Yes, the airforce has proven to be a good deal of fun. I'd be in trouble against a strong air opponent, but as things are, it helps. As to the Allies, will another attack point confuse them, or let them get a move on if it's where I already own land? Hmmm.
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  18. #318
    Ask how many Divisions I have! InnocentIII's Avatar
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    Chapter Forty-Eight - Ashore In Italy

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    In the last chapter, Canada went ashore in Europe proper - with the intent to stay - for the very first time. Supplies were plentiful. We had no port, as yet, but this is Italy itself and the Axis are not lacking for supplies while at home. We felt confident that with the ongoing melt-down on the eastern front that the Germans were not going to be in a position to help out Italy with any serious force. The risk isn't zero, but I have to say, the chances of an Allied landing in Normandy are higher, over the next weeks, than a big German counter-attack. On the other hand, Italy was bound to send what it could to take back conquered land on the peninsula. It's not like they have something more important to defend.



    I let this battle go on longer than I should have, when it started to look like a mere 60% penalty wasn't going to keep me from winning this battle before the invasion forces were ready to attack. Had I known it was just HQ units I'd be landing against I'd have held back some of my men. If I land more men now, however, that uses up the captured supplies. Waiting three days is not an eternity.

    The Italians counter-attacked with a German mechanized unit which was badly depleted - 20.8% STR.



    The 1700 men they sent at Giao Tauro were no match for the 21000 Canadians. In fact, the attack made it appears that the Canadians were ready to launch thei own attack, when in fact they were two days from being ready. Combat lasted only eight hours, but despite an overwhelming advantage, our casualty ratio wasn't much better than 2-1.

    The listed supply situation was only one day, but it looked to me as though we had nearly a month's worth of supplies in our two provinces. Still, we need a port in Italy proper before we can begin to make big plans. I'm holding back on the portable ports. I know they "count" as a port very quickly, and I'm confident that repairing a placed port is much faster than building from scratch, but these aren't exactly Mulberries like the ones used in Normandy historically. They'd allow faster import of supplies, but they would not make for a good source of supply for a large army. On the other hand, once we link up with Sicily, I think a strait doesn't stop supplies from crossing. We'll see soon enough, I hope.

    Then we saw a repeat of the Battle of the Straits of Messina, and for once we weren't looking for the Brits to appear in the east on the morning of the fifth day.



    We had six destroyer flotillas against four, and three light cruisers against a battleship, if I remember the charts right. This is not the fight we wanted, but for once we weren't looking to run away ASAP. After only a few hours, Italy retreated to the port in the besieged province.

    Before the Italian fleet had even reached port, Canada launched its assault on the destination. The two badly-depleted defenders should not be too much trouble for the overwhelming attacking force.



    Apparently, the AI thought the same thing, and it had learned from playing Diplomacy.



    That attack, on the southern of my two provinces, was going to be trouble, but not enough to save the trapped Italians for long. Apparently, the AI thought the same thing.



    [Ed - oops, I thought this was the second attack, SPOILER ALERT!]

    So now I faced counter-attacks on both of my attacking provinces [Ed - wait for it...]. Not enough to win, but Garrison forces have proven before to be slow-moving but otherwise respectable infantry units. Nothing to write home about, but they are far more than the glorified HQs I thought they were when I tried to brush them aside in Africa way back when.

    Meanwhile in the water, they're baaack.



    Note that the Italians have only one DD group this time. I guess the last battle went better than I recall.

    Both Italian naval units have zero ORG, and the Battleship withdraws rapidly iirc. The DD has no ORG and not much more STR. What's worth noting here, however, is the number of Italians units incoming.



    Soon, they don't have any STR at all, and become Canada's first confirmed naval kill.



    The Littorio gets away, regretably. Still, Italy is massing, and we need to do something about that.



    Oh, there's the British navy! We would not have minded had they Kill-Steal-ed the Littorio. We need to speed up the process of winning in Reggio de Calabria before the entire Italian army shows up.



    We finally got our bombers to attack, for some reason they stalled after I moved them into place. The fighters are flying cover as well.



    We've landed, and the ground attacks on the cut-off Germans continue, but I'm pretty sure we've alerted the Axis to our intentions, so time is not really on our side here. The Germans can't send an army, but they might well be able to send enough to cause us some real headaches. Plus, it's not like Italy really needs to defend the French border, and with Canadians ashore, it's not like the Russians pose a bigger threat in the short term. So Canada really needs to close the Axis pocket, and get to work kickings the italians off the southern end of the peninsula.

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  19. #319
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    Now we have some real action! It may or may not help to have the Mountain troops join in from across the strait. You can have them go in, and if the combat odds don't improve, cancel their supporting attack. Hmm, you could also try `support attack`. I'm not too sure what that is supposed to do exactly.

  20. #320
    I think a 'support attack' will cause them to enter the battle as reserves (the way any division coming late to a battle does), but if you win they WON'T automatically move in to the captured province, unlike troops you simply attacked the province with. I ended up using this in Barbarossa a lot, as I needed additional support from neighboring divisions, but I didn't want them to move out of their place in the line after the battle was (hopefully) won.

    P.S. I love this AAR!

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