Glad to keep it interesting for people, we'll see how they feel once Seelowe is done...
Originally Posted by Krogzar
Originally Posted by SSmith
Originally Posted by eqqman
Originally Posted by SSmith
Vanguard could probably disrupt and even stop the German landings from increasing, but it will come at the cost of exposing my already vulnerable transports to Italy's roaming flotillas. She's fond of sending out cruiser groups that are more than enough to sink lightly defended Aussie Transports and I'm not keen on losing my men to a surprise Italian battleship.
Originally Posted by TheBromgrev
Whether or not Britain surrenders probably depends on how successful its ASW and anti-bombing defences have been, which so far doesn't seem to be much. I have no idea how her national unity is doing but I'm relatively skeptical about her chances of holding out for long. I guess we'll see.
Americans, bah, who needs them! We can defeat them with Australian steel and guts and oh okay maybe we will need some help but...AUSTRALIA!
Originally Posted by Lamahorse
Surprising, isn't it? There's a ton of ragtag reformed divisions from across Europe trying to hold London and it's only going to get worse once ANZAC arrives. All we need is reinforcements from Canada, India and South Africa and then we've got ourselves a proper party going on! Glad you enjoyed the AAR, here's your update.
Originally Posted by SirCliveWolfe
I didn't actually have a lot of time to throw this together, but I whipped it up nonetheless. I have a big exam on the 4th so don't expect much in the way of updating before I sit that exam, sorry guys.
Chapter 3.1 - The Scramble
As 1940 rolled to a close, the Australian Economy was in a full state of emergency. Although the continent sported an excess of metals such as iron and bauxite and a healthy supply of coal, importing was required to successfully power the factories of the east coast. Worse still, the economy was beginning to suffer shortages of crucial rare metals and materials such as tungsten, sulfides, phosphates and flux materials for steel production. Nonetheless, the factories were still working at full steam and the Allies were spared the greatest shortage that plagued the Axis: rubber. It was key that the Royal Navy continued to protect Malaysia and the Dutch East Indies; together these two countries produced nearly all of the world's commercial rubber and the lack of supply would begin to wear away at Germany and Japan.
Australia had no shortage of manpower, with over 200,000 volunteers already signed up for duty and the potential to institute a draft if an emergency situation came to pass. There was also an excess of well-trained officers, who worked hard to keep the Australian Military moving as a well-oiled machine. Australia was also successful in procuring vast quantities of oil with which to build up a large stockpile of fuel. There was no immediate concern about Australia's ability to fuel and supply ships, aircraft and vehicles near or abroad despite attacks on the country's supply lines by Axis submarines.
Around 77% of Australian industry was now focused on the production of new ships and aircraft as well as organizing, training and equipping new brigades of men for the front lines. Although production rates were at an all-time high, so too were Australia's demands and it seemed that she would only be able to put another 20,000 men under arms in the first half of this year - far too few. Much of the military budget was taken up by the production of HMAS Commencement and her planned escort HMAS Brisbane, which received priority on all materials and parts coming into the country. The Army would not see any considerable expansion in the near future, despite the intense demand for frontline troops as Commencement was considered more important than men on the ground.
Admiral Cunningham guides the Home Fleet back to Britain, hoping to put an end to the Kreigsmarine's rampage.
East of Somalia in the Indian Ocean, the Home Fleet desperately raced for Suez and passage home. Having underestimated the Kriegsmarine, a witch hunt was now underway to figure out who was responsible for moving most of the Home Fleet to East Asia. The gross negligence had been rewarded with German landings and it was likely that multiple officers would be charged with treason for the act. Britain was facing her darkest hour and she needed a traitor to blame. Time, however, was limited - some wondered if there would even be time for a trial now that the Germans were on Britain itself.
British forces cross the border into Iraq and begin to take back the desert.
In the Middle East, British and Egyptian forces were pushing back the Royal Iraqi Army and closing in on Baghdad, aiming to put an end to the rebellious middle eastern state. Germany pledged support to the Iraqis but no real help was forthcoming from either the Germans or their Italian allies. Both were heavily preoccupied fighting the British and Balkan Alliance, which were refusing to go down without a fight.
The Bulk of the British Fleet patrols the Dutch East Indies, searching for Japanese opponents.
Far to the east, the Japanese face stern opposition from a huge concentration of British ships. Commanded by Grand Admiral Bruce Austin Fraser, the Royal Navy has at least had great success here, keeping the Japanese confined to relatively safe northern waters and protecting the shores of the Philippines and Dutch East Indies from invasion by the Empire of the Rising Sun. The Japanese had been pressed into a war they clearly could not win and it seemed like only a matter of time before the combined British and American forces pushed on to the Japanese islands themselves.
Although Australia's intelligentsia were limited in number by her population, the dominion still boasted impressive research rates. Most of her financial budgets were funneled into areas of research and development, prototyping new weapons, advancing ANZAC ships and weapon designs and studying combat results in order to better learn new doctrines and approaches to warfare. Conflicts against the Italians and Germans had been extremely informative and new models of aircraft and infantry weaponry were under development while the Navy continued to refine the art of Carrier warfare.
A great deal of Army research was currently allocated to the enhancement and diversification of Infantry Equipment, and this was an area that the Army intended to expand as soon as possible. The repeated battles in Europe had taught them many lessons about what was and wasn't effective in today's warfare and it was clear that adaptation was required to effectively challenge the Axis on the ground. Australia would not settle for her soldiers being second best, and military scientists worked day and night to develop what they hoped would be the next big breakthrough in military technology.
Development of heavy weapons and motor vehicles was considerably weaker. Australia had no native designs of tank and her equipment was in many ways outdated. The only serious area of investment had been in the production of high quality, native models of heavy artillery, which had given Aussie infantry a considerable edge over most of their opponents.
Regardless of the equipment they were geared with, Australian troops were indisputably some of the finest in the world. Not only were they well-trained and eager fighters, but their military doctrine emphasized flexibility, mobility and high levels of autonomy in small units. This was historically something that the British Army had not abided, but the Australian model was proven effective and Australian forces were extremely adaptive in even the most difficult circumstances. This had brought them many a victory where more rigid units would have faltered and the Australians would only continue to train their men as well as humans could be trained.
Australian operational doctrine was a strange blend of traditional German mobility doctrines and British battle plans, which combined with their operational flexibility gave them a serious edge against more traditional opponents without sacrificing the well-disciplined firepower and support capability of British artillery barrages.
If anything had made clear the lack of Australia's faith in the Empire's fleets, it was the expansion of the Australian military over the past few years. The construction of the HMAS Vanguard had spelled a new era for the Royal Australian Navy. Australia was working hard to develop and improve the coordination and combat capability of her navy and, while she did not match any of the Great Naval Powers, she had successfully given the Italians a licking in the Med and Japan did not look to be a serious threat either. It would be enough, at least for now.
The conversion of HMAS Vanguard from a battleship into a carrier had come with extensive costs and difficulties - it was not easy to turn a partially complete ship into a completely new type of ship and although the HMAS Commencement was based on the same external design, her internals had been completely reworked. Vanguard was a mess and extremely inefficient, not to mention heavy. Meanwhile, Commencement had been purpose-built and planned out from the beginning as a Carrier. Commencement would often be referred to as a member of the Vanguard Mk II class, despite its official labelling as just a Vanguard-class Carrier. The Navy was not satisfied with Commencement alone, however, and they continued to research new prototypes and draw up potential blueprints for future Carrier models.
Australian escorts were some of the more outdated of naval powers and had not been a priority for the Naval Research Department. Relying heavily on British support and models, Australia lacked any native submarine designs and her destroyer and cruiser designs were outdated at best. With the high demands of the Carrier Project and increased strain on the Army, it seemed that escort vessels would continue to be an underfunded development zone for the RAN.
HMAS Vanguard's fleet approaches the Straits of Gibraltar, wary of ambush by Italian forces.
Although the Army had desired the distribution of new weapons to ANZAC forces before signing off to any deployments against the Germans, it seemed Australia had no choice in this matter. If the reinforcing units from Libya did not deploy in Britain posthaste, it was virtually guaranteed that the Home Country would fall to the Krauts and the Empire would be all but doomed. Although he was skeptical about their chances of beating the Germans like this, Field Marshal Sir Cyril Bingham-White knew that the only way to defeat the Germans and drive them back to the beaches of Dover would be to amass every available man in Britain. As Vanguard and her charges steamed towards Bristol, Bingham-White began to draw up plans for a withdrawal from occupied Italy.
German Panzers under Italian Command were trapped around the traditional borders of Bosnia.
At last good news came from the front lines: the Balkan Alliance had trapped the German spearhead northwest of Sarajevo and fresh units from Albania were arriving to close the gap and prevent their escape. Three full Panzer divisions, over 250 tanks in all, were in danger of being captured and destroyed by the stubborn Balkan forces. If successful, this would be a bitter blow to an already slow conquest of Yugoslavia and an even worse strike to Italo-German relations. Hitler blamed Mussolini for the Italian commanders overextending his Panzers, and ordered the German forces to attempt a breakthrough and save his Panzers no matter the cost. Mussolini too knew that losing those tanks would forever set Italy's reputation in stone and he ordered every available man to launch a full assault on the Yugoslavian lines.
Burmese and Indian troops face down a huge Japanese Army as it crosses the mountains into Burma.
In East Asia, progress remained slow on both ends. The Japanese were showing high levels of activity and had launched another assault over the border while many other divisions were ordered to fall back into the Chinese Interior. This would open up her supply lines better and it seemed like only a matter of time before the Japanese breached Indian defences in Burma.
Japanese bombers pound the advancing New Zealand Cavalrymen as they try to seize the important port town from Thai resistance forces.
ANZAC forces continue to press the Thai troops at Nokhan, but no breakthrough is made by the New Zealand Mounted Rifles, who take heavy casualties both from guerilla attacks and aerial bombings by the Japanese. Without any air support by the RAAF, Australia's forces are likely to be exposed until they can capture airfields further into Thailand. The ground campaign is already becoming a grueling, bloody affair and it has only just begun...
December 1st-December 11th
Royal Australian Army:
469 soldiers killed in action
Royal Australian Navy:
2 merchant ships sunk
1 escort frigate sunk
Royal Thai Army:
321 soldiers killed in action
This update only covered the Army and Navy tech, while the next one will cover Industry and Air Force tech and probably Australia's political/espionage climate so far. I don't know when it will be, though, so apologies on that one. Hope you enjoyed.
Oh, and just as the last reminder for this quarter, there's only four more days to vote for your favourite AARs in the AARland Choice AwAARds, so if anyone was looking to vote and hadn't gotten around to it, please do so soon!