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Thread: The German Reich and the Second World War

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    The German Reich and the Second World War

    The German Reich and the Second World War


    Europe 1939




    Starting Year: 1936
    Country: Germany
    Difficulty: Hard (changed to Very Hard mid way through the game)
    Version: For The Motherland v3.05
    Mod: The Historical Plausibility Project 2.6.62a

    Note: All links are in green. This post will be updated, and a new link inserted, for every new AAR related post made.



    Table of Contents:

    Part I - Prologue

    Chapter 1 - Extracts from 'A short history of Germany in the 1930s'
    Chapter 2 - Jane’s guide to the German Military, 1939 edition

    Part II - The Polish Campaign (1939)

    Chapter 3 - Case White
    Chapter 4 - The opening days of the war
    Chapter 5 - The Baltic battles
    Chapter 6 - German national newspaper, 26 September 1939
    Chapter 7 - The aftermath of the Polish campaign

    Part III - The Phoney War

    Chapter 8 - German National Newspaper, 17 October 1939
    Chapter 9 - Operation Falcon
    Chapter 10 - The Falcon Raids
    Chapter 11 - Action of 29th January 1940
    Chapter 12- The final air battles of the Phoney War

    Interlude

    The Soviet Union and the Second World War

    Part IV - The Campaign in the West (1940)

    Chapter 13 - Case Yellow
    Chapter 14 - Case Orange
    Chapter 15 - Case Blue

    The Battle of France

    Chapter 16 - The battle of the frontier (18-24 May)
    Chapter 17 - Panzer advance (25-31 May)
    Chapter 18 - Battle of Brussels (1-7 June)
    Chapter 19 - Two months in Holland
    Chapter 20 - German National Newspaper, 11 August 1940
    Chapter 21 - Battle of Hasselt Wood (28 August-20 September)
    Chapter 22 - Operation Moltke (11 October - 1 November)
    Chapter 23 - The Second Siege of Paris (11-29 November)
    Chapter 24 - The Battle of Normandy (5 Dec-1 Jan) and Mopping up
    Chapter 25 - The aftermath of the Battle of France

    Interlude

    Italy and the Second World War

    Part V - Sideshows

    Chapter 26 - Opening of the Second Battle of the Atlantic
    Chapter 27 - The Yugoslavian campaign
    Chapter 28 - Sideshows
    Chapter 29 - Orders of Battle

    Part VI - Case Barbarossa (1941)

    Chapter 30 - Case Barbarossa
    Chapter 31 - June
    Chapter 32 - July
    Chapter 33 - August: Strategy falters
    Chapter 34 - Black September
    Chapter 35 - National propaganda newspaper, 17 October, 1941
    Chapter 36 - October: initiative shifts
    Chapter 37 - November
    Chapter 38 - December: another Christmas at war
    Chapter 39 - Barbarossa: A retrospect

    Interlude

    The winter Olympics

    Part VII - Case Wilhelm (1942)

    Chapter 40 - Case Wilhelm
    Chapter 41 - Operation Hoffmann (18 April – 12 May)
    Chapter 42 - Exploit and preparation (13 - 25 May)
    Chapter 43 - Operation Ludendorff (26 May – 6 June)
    Chapter 44 - The Cauldron Battles (30 May – 13 June)
    Chapter 45 - The fight continues (15 – 24 June)
    Chapter 46 - Operation Hindenburg (25 June – 17 July)
    Chapter 47 - A change of Command
    Chapter 48 - Operation Paradox (13 - 26 August)
    Chapter 49 - The battle of Lake Peipus (6 – 30 September)
    Chapter 50 - Operation Paradox stage 2 (phase 3 and 4) (2nd Oct – 10 Nov)
    Chapter 51 - Battle for Estonia (10 Nov 1942 – 19 Jan 1943)
    Chapter 52 - 1942 in summary

    Interlude

    The United Kingdom and the Second World War

    Part VIII - The winter battles

    Chapter 53 - The Rebel problem
    Chapter 54 - Fighting in the north
    Chapter 55 - The Third Battle of Odessa (24 January – 22 March)

    Interlude

    World War

    Part IX - Case Teutonic (1943)

    Chapter 56 - Operation Teutonic
    Chapter 57 - The Break-in
    Chapter 58 - Mopping up
    Chapter 59 - Completion
    Chapter 60 - Summing up

    Part IX - Case Clockwork (1944)

    Chapter 61 - Christmas Planning Session
    Chapter 62 - Master of the Dnieper (16 Feb – 28 March)
    Chapter 63 - The Battle of Vesele (29 March – 22 April)
    Chapter 64 - The Battle for the Crimea (23 April – 5 June)
    Chapter 65 - The Battle of Boryspil (21 June – 20 July)
    Chapter 66 - The breakout battle (20 July – 20 August)
    Chapter 67 - The Battle of Kursk (1 September – 3 October)
    Chapter 68 - Intermission and encirclement (4 October – 14 November)
    Chapter 69 - The Battle of Kharkov (15 November – 4 December)
    Chapter 70 - Operation Clockwork: conclusion

    Interlude

    The Axis powers and the Second World War

    Part X - Case Armageddon (1945)

    Chapter 71 - The build-up (Late 1944 - Early 1945)
    Chapter 72 - Case Armageddon
    Chapter 73 - The Donets campaign (1 March – 10 April)
    Chapter 74 - The Alekseevka Offensive (9 April – 21 May)
    Chapter 75 - The Moscow Offensive (1 – 26 June)
    Chapter 76 - Treaty of Moscow
    Chapter 77 - German National Newspaper, 8 July 1945

    Part XI - Master of Europe

    Chapter 78 - Various communications across the Reich
    Chapter 79 - The Romanian Campaign (Operation von Mackensen) 20 September – 24 November 1945
    Chapter 79 - Internal security in the conquered territories
    Chapter 80 - Operation Magna Mater (10 December 1945 – 28 January 1946)
    Chapter 81 - Operation Minerva (29 January – 18 April)
    Chapter 82 - Masters of Europe

    Interlude

    Operation Faust

    Part XII - The Battle of Britain (1946)

    Chapter 82 - The opening battle (10 May 1946)
    Chapter 83 - The Main Assault (12 May - 8 June 1946)
    Chapter 84 - Operation Sea Lion II
    Chapter 85 - Invasion (16 June – 27 June)

    Part XIII - Operation Overlord (1946 - 1947)

    Chapter 86 - The Battle of Calais (19 July – 4 August)
    Chapter 87 - Victory in France (9 August – 1 September)
    Chapter 88 - The next wave (1 September – 22 September)
    Chapter 89 - The battles of St. Malo and Carentan (25 September – 6 November)
    Chapter 90 - Operation Faust update
    Chapter 91 - The Battle of Normandy continues (7 November – 27 December)
    Chapter 92 - Winter: 1947 arrives
    Chapter 93 - An anthology of OB West communications
    Chapter 94 - Stalemate (2 February – 30 April)
    Chapter 94 - Construction plans
    Chapter 95 - Allied Breakout Offensive (3 – 9 May)
    Chapter 96 - Betrayal (9 – 13 May)
    Chapter 97 - Withdrawal (14 May – 20 June)
    Chapter 98 - Operation Overlord casualty report, 21 June

    Interlude

    Case Faust
    Case Clausewitz
    International News, 24 June 1947

    Part XIV - The tide turns (1947 - 1949)

    Chapter 99 - Battles on the von Rundstedt Line (24 June – 13 July)
    Chapter 100 - The July Offensive (4 – 31 July)
    Chapter 101 - Withdrawal from the Don River bend (11 August – 28 September)
    Chapter 102 - Battle of the Voroshilovgrad - Rostov line (2 October – 4 November)
    Chapter 103 - The Italians and the Western Front (5 August – 15 November)
    Chapter 104 - Case Bello Gallico (16 – 31 November)
    Chapter 105 - Fall of the Regio Esercito (5 - 25 December)
    Chapter 106 - Italian Armistice
    Chapter 107 - Paulus Offensive (1 January - 19 February)
    Chapter 108 - Battle of Neufchatel en Bray (14 – 31 March)
    Chapter 109 - Battles of Picardy (1 - 23 April) and Amiens (14-18 May)
    Chapter 110 - The von Kleist Offensive (6 – 26 April)
    Chapter 111 - The Soviet counterstrike (27 April – 17 May)
    Chapter 112 - All quiet on the Western Front (and in the east too) (June – September)
    Chapter 113 - Redeployment and planning (September – 31 October)
    Chapter 114 - Case Seydlitz (1 November – 31 December)
    Chapter 115 - United Nations January Offensive (29 December 1948 – 1 February 1949)
    Chapter 116 - Case Büffel Bewegung (31 December – 21 February)

    Interlude

    Interlude: The Far East and the Second World War

    Part XV - Gotterdammerung (1949 - 1950)

    Chapter 117 - Battle of Dnieper Bridgehead (8 March – 20 April)
    Chapter 118 - Case Derfflinger: planning and preparation
    Chapter 119 - Case Bodenplatte II (28 May - 1 June)
    Chapter 120 - Vergeltungs Day (5 June)
    Chapter 121 - Case Derfflinger: the opening battles (6 – 12 June)
    Chapter 122 - The Battle of Italy (13 – 27 June)
    Chapter 123 - Case Derfflinger: the fighting continues (17 June – 14 July)

    Interlude

    Interlude: Notice

    Part XV - Gotterdammerung (1949 - 1950) continued

    Chapter 124 - Operation Eagle (16 July - 1 August)
    Chapter 125 - The Collapse of the Western Front (1 August – 31 December)
    Chapter 126 - The end of the Eastern Front (August 1949 - February 1950)
    Chapter 127 - The final battles (December 1949 – May 1950)

    Part XVI - Epilogue

    Chapter 128 - Extracts from 'The Second World War: A statistical study' by a well-known historian
    Chapter 129 - Extracts from 'Europe: 1890 - 1960' by a well-known historian
    Chapter 130 - Wargames



    Europe 1950
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 13-09-2014 at 03:45.

  2. #2
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    Extracts from 'A short history of Germany in the 1930s'

    Extracts from 'A short history of Germany in the 1930'
    Author: a well-known pro-German late-1970’s revisionist historian



    In 1936, with power consolidated, the three year old German government launched a two-year economic plan to bolster the countries industry and trade. In order to achieve the first of these two goals, thirty new centres of industry were to be created, mainly in the already industrialised west. Thanks to the 1929 Young Plan and the return of stability, after the initial years of unrest during the birth of the new regime, the export of coal was increased dramatically in order to pay for the imports of Scandinavian steel. During 1936 the manufacture of military supplies was dramatically increased. The Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States rapidly became the country’s top three customers along with numerous others across the globe. This trade, built up over time and more slowly than the initial coal exports, allowed for a more varied supplier base to be established. Oil and rare materials were soon able to be shipped into Germany from as far as Asia and South America, although thanks to a deal made in 1937 the main supplier of these two products soon became the United Kingdom. With an increase in taxes, and the export of good and raw materials outweighing imports, a healthy economy was quickly established.

    ….

    While the re-militarisation of the Rhine had been forbidden under the Treaty of Versailles, permission had reluctantly been granted to construct limited defences, prior to 1936, as long as they remained unmanned. This so called West Wall, was completed by the end of 1935, but lacked the depth and strength of the Maginot Line that it faced. In addition, throughout 1936 and 1937, heavy anti-aircraft guns were installed in various industrial sites and cities all along the River Rhine, although these were deemed defensive weapons and drew no international condemnation. It was not until late 1937 when troops finally entered the demilitarised zone, and then it was after the permission of the United Kingdom had been sought and given. The troops did not man the border defences, rather they moved into barracks within major cities albeit within striking distance of the border in case the need arose to react to any aggressive French acts. Over the next two years a large number of new 'garrison' divisions were raised, lacking in various kinds of equipment compared to regular infantry divisions, for the specific purpose of defending the border.



    As 1938 approached, the German government started to venture more and more into international politics. After much sabre rackling and provocation, a fascist coup was organised in France. The coup was a success bringing the Third Republic to a quick, bloodless end. Democracy collasped in France and a fascist government took power. While it was expected to be friendly towards the Reich, this nationlist goverment reinstalled the House of Bourbon to power. Under the leadership of Jean de Bourbon, France remained allied to the United Kingdom and became even more belligerent towards the Reich. The Bourbon government would retain power and would be the one that took France to war with Germany in 1939. A similar coup was organised in Austria and was used to bring about the merging of Austria and Germany, something the old Hapsburg monarchy would have never allowed. The Sudetenland Germans soon called for integration into the Greater Reich. The international reaction was to allow the transfer of these ethnic Germans, and the territory they lived on, to Germany. The old Czech border defences, based in the Sudetenland, were then manned by German troops in case of Czech aggression. Tensions started to rise across Europe. Following the loss of the Sudetenland, the oppressed Slovaks called for independance. As the Czech government started to fall, German troops entered the country to restore order. In doing so Hungary was allowed to take back historical lands, taken by the Czechs at the end of the First World War. The Slovakians were allowed to establish their own state. With France sabre rackling once more, Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact to provide extra security to the Reich.

    ---

    In the past 18 months Germany had moved from a peaceful footing, seeking British approval to remilitarise the Rhineland and staying out of the fighting in Spain, to a belligerent standing. The officer corps wanted to wait until the massive army modernisation programme had been completed before launching a war against Poland to gain a border with the USSR, but with the political actions of France it was decided to strike earlier before the Allies launched a pre-emptive strike. France had been showing signs of preparing for war. During the early days of 1939 they had mobilised their forces, and in response so did Germany. Throughout the year tensions rose and it seemed that in the opening days of September either Germany would start the war or France would in response to Germany’s actions. To attempt to avoid a two front war, with France hours away from attacking, on 4 September 1939 Germany declared war upon Poland to eliminate her as an enemy before she could attack in support of France. Shortly after midnight on 4 September 1939, the Polish ambassador in Berlin was summoned to the Foreign Ministry. There, Constantin von Neurath handed his Polish counterpart a formal declaration of war.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 24-12-2013 at 14:28.

  3. #3
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    Jane’s guide to the German Military, 1939 edition

    Following the Blomberg–Fritsch Affair in early 1938, and the resignation of several high ranking officers within the German armed forces including Blomberg and Fritsch, the German military was reorganised. By mid-1938 the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW) had been established, and an up and coming general-staff officer, Erich von Manstein, was appointed as the first head of the command.


    The head of OKW


    Having signed the 1936 Second Naval Treaty of London, Germany has completed no new ships since 1936. Sources suggest that the German government and OKW have both agreed that it would be a wasted effort to build up Germany’s naval power as the Kaiser did, prior to the First World War. Thus other than a few ships built in the 1920s and 1930s, the Kriegsmarine is built around two pre-dreadnoughts from before the First World War, and three modern heavy cruisers. For a major European nation, Grand Admiral Erich Raeder's tiny fleet is indeed a pitiful and second-rate navy.

    The Luftwaffe (the German air force), under the command of Hermann Goering, commands a vast armada of aircraft as well as holding control of all anti-aircraft guns. Germany has, over the last few years, installed thousands of heavy flak guns around all major cities and industrial zones providing an excellent level of protection from any possible aerial attacks. Due to the limitations of range amongst the bomber fleet of the United Kingdom and France, it is believed that the eastern cities, other than the capital, are less well defended than the likes of those in the Ruhr valley. The power of the Luftwaffe, however, is in her flying arm, boasting a total of just over 6,000 air craft in 248 squadrons. Germany has been very public in the last two years in regards to the size and strength of the Luftwaffe and official figures show the breakdown of plane types as thus: 1,760 AR65 fighter planes in 88 squadrons, 1,520 FW 187 interceptors in 76 squadrons, 1,280 Ju86 medium bombers in 64 squadrons, 1,120 Hs123 dive bombers in 56 squadrons, 240 Ju52 transporters in 12 squadrons, and 160 Do24 naval patrol bombers in 8 squadrons. Some sources also suggest that Goering has established his own private army (dubbed 'Fallschirmjägers'), numbering anywhere from 10-30,000 men.


    The Arado Ar 65 fighter


    The main arm of the Wehrmacht, and the one that has attempted to hide its strength, is the Heer (the German Army). Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, who was due to retire in 1938 was convinced to remain within the military, and promoted to commander-in-chief of the army following the Blomberg–Fritsch Affair. Sources suggest that while the numbers of German divisions have been increasing, the relative strength of the army has remained low due to the conscription period within the army only being for a only a year or two. Thus, while attempting to show some respect for the Treaty of Versailles with divisions not at full strength, Germany has created a large well trained pool of reservists. Sources suggest that the current size of the German military is within the region of 850,000 men, but with the potential to reach at least 1.1 million men within a short time of calling up the reserves. While working towards being one of Europe's largest military forces, most sources agree that the German Army is built around marching infantrymen (although equipped with modern weapons) and horse-drawn artillery. The main striking force of the army is the so called 'Panzer Arm', with estimates suggesting that Germany currently has 2,400 tanks of the latest design - the Mark III - spread over at least 11 divisions.


    The Mark III tank
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 10:38.

  4. #4
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    Case White


    Commander in Chief of the German Armed Forces
    Erich von Manstein

    Commander in Chief of the German Army
    Gerd von Rundstedt

    Most Secret
    Senior commanders only

    OKW headquarters, Berlin
    15 June 1939

    Directive No. 1
    Case White


    Since the situation on Germany's Eastern frontier has become intolerable and all political possibilities of peaceful settlement have been exhausted, a solution by force as been decided upon.

    The German Armed Forces must be prepared to crush the Polish military with a lighting campaign before France and the United Kingdom can muster their strength and strike at Germany. For this purpose 800,000 men, 1,800 Panzer III’s, 1,280 AR65 fighters, 1,280 JU86 medium bombers, and 1,120 Hs123 dive bombers have been assigned to von Rudstedt’s command. The main effort of the navy will be to take control of the Baltic and ensure that no Allied intervention can be given to the Poles.

    Due to the newly founded, and friendly, Slovakia the main strike will be launched against the unprotected Polish southern flank. Armoured wedges will advance fast and towards Warsaw, aiming to capture the main Polish supply and control centre. This will cripple the ability of the Poles to fight and allow a swifter victory. Casualties are to be kept to a strict minimum. To keep up appearances, a powerful initial strike will be made to capture Danzig.

    Direction of operations against Poland (See Appendix I):

    I. Eighth Army will strike north out of Slovakia. Models’ III Panzer Korps will lead the advance aiming for Warsaw, while infantry will cover their flanks.
    II. Guderian's II Panzer Korps, the right wing of Fourth Army, will advance with Model's force to capture Warsaw. The left wing of Fourth Army will defend the German border, and advance to secure Eighth Army's flank as needed.
    III. Ninth Army will defend the German border, north of Fourth Army. They are to be committed to combat as needed.
    IV. Fifth Army, including I. Armeekorps, in Prussia, and I. Panzer Korps (that von Manstein will take personal command of), will capture Danzig and then probe the northern Polish defences.
    V. Third, Seventh, and Tenth Armies will be held in reserve and committed if needed.

    Direction of operations in the West:

    I. The assurances of neutrality given by us to Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland are to be meticulously observed.
    II. The Western frontier of Germany will not be crossed by land at any point, it is important to leave the responsibility for opening hostilities unmistakably to the United Kingdom and France. They are to be made to look the aggresors.
    III. Should the West launch an offensive it is to be contained by Second and Sixth armies of Heeresgruppe C, while conserving their strength as much as possible, to maintain conditions for the successful conclusion of operations against Poland. All interceptor squadrons will be assigned to OBWest to protect the valuable industrial centres.
    IV. Heeresgruppe B, with First Army, will be based in northwest Germany to watch over the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands while being prepared to strike against Denmark if needed.


    Erich von Manstein






    Appendix I



    The thrust lines of all planned offensive actions can be seen. From north to south, the green lines seperate army boundaries:
    Fifth Army
    Ninth Army
    Fourth Army
    Eighth Army (in Slovakia)

    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 10:42.

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    The opening days of the war

    With the Polish government barely informed that a state of war now existed between Germany and Poland, troops had already started crossing the border near Danzig and all along the Polish-Slovakian border during the hours of darkness. Within hours, Great Britain and France declared war on the Reich. In the subsequent days the British Commonwealth would follow suit. As dawn broke across Poland, the sound of Luftwaffe plane engines disturbed the peace. One-thousand fighters were in the air all day long keeping the skies clear of the tiny Polish air force. Wave after wave of medium bombers dropped their payload on key logistic targets in and around Warsaw, while dive bombers added to the crescendo of violence near Danzig. Within hours the French launched their response, not in a ground advance but via an air raid on Leipzig. The French attack caused little damage. Due to the build-up of flak guns, those planes that did not get intercepted were met by a storm of anti-aircraft shells. The French raid suffered heavy losses.


    Soldiers reenact the border crossing for the cameras


    On day two of the campaign, Fourth Army, holding the southern flank and launching one of the two panzer attacks, expanded its operations. Several divisions advanced with the intention of cutting off the city of Katowice and traping the Polish garrison there, thereby securing the flank of the panzers. The Polish response was to launch its air force – 240 fighters strong - into the fray. Clashing with the Luftwaffe the Poles lost 40 fighters without inflicting anywhere near the same level of losses. With this crushing defeat the Polish fighters retreated to airfields in the east and played no further role in the war. Four-hundred miles to the west, the French air force launched a massive fighter sweep that was matched plane for plane by the Luftwaffe. The Fw187 interceptors were no match to the French M.S.406 fighters who inflicted numerous kills before returning to France.


    Danzig is liberated.


    After 60 hours of fighting, Danzig was liberated from two decades of Polish oppression. Fifth Army then turned south, their goal not being to march on Warsaw from the north, but rather to strike south to cut off the main Polish army in the western bulge of the country. At midnight, entering the fourth day of the war the Soviet Union declared war on the Poles, and the Red Army started to advance across the border. Over the next few days the panzer columns slowly advanced north towards Warsaw. Guderian’s I. Panzer Korps, on the extreme right flank, had a hard time advancing having to fend off various Polish attacks. In doing so, they protected the flank of Models’ III Panzer Korps who were able to rapidly advance on Warsaw.


    German tanks advancing through Poland


    On 13th September, the 10th day of the war, III Panzer Korp’s 7th Panzer Division (under the command of von Hubicki) reached the outskirts of Warsaw. Several hours later, the 7th Panzer was joined by the understrength 10th Panzer Division. Both divisions then launched an attack on the southern defenses of the capital, supported by every light and medium bomber within range. With Model’s men having achieved this success, Manstein ordered his II Panzer Korp to halt its attacks south (from Danzig), move into Prussia and launch a direct strike south to attack Warsaw from the north. To support these moves, and to divert Polish forces from moving to reinforce the pivotal battle, I Korps, based in Prussia, was also given orders to strike south on as much of a broad front as possible to tie numerous Polish divisions. In the meantime the Poles withdrew from Katowice leaving the city undefended.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 10:48.

  6. #6
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    The Baltic battles

    On 14 September, several Anglo-French battle groups entered the Baltic Sea. These battleships centric formations steamed through the Baltic towards Poland, but then about-turned. Patrol bombers, operating over the Baltic, reported that these allied ships appeared to be on patrol. It seemed logical that they were attempting to draw out the Kriegsmarine to inflict an early and decisive defeat upon our navy. Soon after, British and French submarines launched several attacks on our merchant navy, although luckily only one cargo ship was sunk.



    Grand Admiral Erich Raeder made the decision that he would launch a sortie to take on these marauding ships. Calling on the support of the tiny submarine fleet and the patrol bombers, the Kriegsmarine took to sea. The French battle group contained only five ships, including two battleships and two heavy cruisers. The Kriegsmarine had two pre-dreadnoughts, and three heavy cruisers supported by an array of destroyers and light cruisers. As the fleets met, the French were overwhelmed as the "pocket-battleships" Deutschland and Graf Spee opened fire first at extreme range. As the fleets closed, the rest of the Kriegsmarine battle fleet opened fire. The French battleship Ocean and the heavy cruiser Tourville were heavily damaged, and the Ocean was barely able to escape from the battle. The cruiser Foch, burning and crippled, was finished off at close range by a destroyer. The battleship Bretagne, as damaged as the Ocean, was sunk by patrol bombers as it too attempted to escape the onslaught.


    Bretagne under fire during the battle


    The outcome of the first naval encounter of the war


    This first battle had ended with the decisive defeat of the French force deployed, although Raeder was desperately disappointed by the escape of the remaining French battleship. As his force steamed towards the British battle fleet patrolling near Denmark, the sole ship of the Polish navy – a destroyer - was sunk while numerous British and French submarines were destroyed by patrol bombers. Within 48-hours of the first battle, the British were now engaged. They had likewise deployed a small fleet to the Baltic. However, the Royal Navy put up more resistance. In a day long encounter, German fire was initially concentrated on the HMS Barham. The KMS Emden firing the fatal shots that capsized her before she exploded. One of our destroyers was lost to British fire, and numerous other ships were damaged. But in the melee, a light cruiser was sunk and in a heavy cruiser on heavy cruiser engagement the Graf Spee sank the Sussex.


    The results of the fight with the Royal Navy


    Within only two days the Allied navies had been expelled from the Baltic with the loss of two battleships, and a third crippled. In terms of men over 1,000 German sailors had lost their lives while an estimated 4,000 allied sailors had been killed in the fighting. A further 900 were pulled safely from the water and taken prisoner.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 10:54.

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    German national newspaper, 26 September 1939

    Poland Surrenders!




    ... started on 13 September after several of our elite panzer divisions attacked the city from the south. The Polish army, having entrenched themselves in the city, ensured the systematic bombardment from artillery and the air force shifting from attacking supply centres on the outskirts to attacking Polish strongholds.

    On 21st September, the panzer troops of Heinz Guderian joined the battle from the south east. Three days later the panzers, of von Manstein, broke through the Polish defences along the Prussian border and the next day swept through the northern outskirts of Warsaw. Due to this unexpected and lighting strike by von Manstein, coupled with the mounting pressure from the south, the Polish defence completely collapsed. By the evening of the 24th our forces were in complete control of the capital. The complete Polish military and political hierarchy were thrown into disarray, and their logistical system collapsed.


    Declassified military situation map, dated 23 September, showing the hopeless Polish position


    It was not until the next day, after the city of Lodz was captured, that the Polish high command issued orders to all their forces to lay down their arms and surrender. Yesterday, at midday, the Polish military surrendered and soon after the Polish government fled the country into Lithuania.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 10:57.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnplastic View Post
    Nice start French fighting in the Baltic Sea?
    Thanks Yeah, it was quite unexpected!

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    The aftermath of the Polish campaign

    In the 21-day long campaign the Wehrmacht suffered 10,897 casualties. The majority of these losses, 9,548, were suffered by the army, with the bloody battle at Torun claiming over 2,000 men alone. In almost constant action, over the Eastern and Western fronts, the Luftwaffe lost a total of 145 air craft, losses being split almost equally to both fronts. During the brief conflict, the Polish military was completely destroyed, their losses amounting to 480,232. The Polish military did not put up as much of a fight as what had been expected, although they were completely outflanked by the southern thrust, and their losses amounted to a figure that was much lower than was expected by von Manstein’s staff. It was found out, after the capture of Warsaw and the military headquarters based there, that the Poles had not completed their mobilisation plans by the time we attacked. In combat with Germany, Polish losses reached 20,611 men, including 40 fighters shot down and a destroyer sunk. A total of 14,621 Poles were captured during combat operations. On the 25th September, 182,000 soldiers, trapped in a pocket west of Warsaw, surrendered to German forces while a further 253,000, east of the German lines, surrendered to the Soviets. The Soviets have claimed they lost only 5,000 men during their invasion while inflicting over 10,000 casualties. The Polish air force, after a brief encounter with the Luftwaffe, fled to eastern air fields were they took no further part in the campaign and their machines were captured by the advancing Russians. The Western Allied interference in the campaign resulted in the loss of numerous ships, and a total of 200 planes. In personal terms, the French have lost 2,730 men killed with a further 580 captured. British losses have amounted to 1,686 men, while 810 more have been captured.



    On 4th October 1939, the campaign was officially declared to have ended. On that day, 100,000 men, including the panzer forces that had brought about swift victory, paraded their way through Warsaw before heading west. The parade was watched by numerous high ranking officials, including von Rundstedt who after the parade likewise headed west to take command of OB West.



    Following our victory over the Poles, in accordance with the agreements reached in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Eastern Poland was annexed by the Soviets. In a worrying turn of events, three days after the completion of the campaign, our spy network within the Soviet Union informed OKW that the Soviet Union had started to mobilise their forces. In response two German armies were deployed along the border. While the rest of the military started transferring west, leaving the command of OKH (the high command of the army, and the headquarters assigned to control operations on the Eastern Front)and being re-assigned to OBWest, an order was issued to raise an additional ten divisions to garrison Poland. This garrison force, along with the armies on the border, would raise the strength of the Eastern Front to around 30 divisions and this, von Manstein and his staff hoped, would provide some form of deterrence from any Soviet thoughts of aggression.


    The new German-Soviet border
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 11:04.

  11. #11
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    German National Newspaper, 17 October 1939

    More French terror raids!
    Dawn raid on Leipzig

    Our valiant soldiers open fire on yet another French terror attack


    It has now been 22 days since the fighting in Poland ended, but today marks the 22nd day of English and French terror attacks on our nation. Nearly every day waves of bombers strike locations across Germany. For some reason these "Allies" have focused on the poor residents of Leipzig, although their terror raids have also bombed Innsbruck, Munich, and Wilhelmshaven. These raids have hit nothing of military value. Rather they have de-housed hundreds of civilians who are about as far away from the war as they could possibly be!

    Interviewing the Reichsmarschall last night, he revealed that the British and French have lost several hundred bombers to the combination of our fighter pilots and flak guns. He was quoted saying "If the English and French terror strikes continue, they will soon have no air force left!" While the commander of the air force has promised the defeat of these raids, he has also asked the population to endure and resist these attempts of foreign intimidation.


    Just one, of the estimated 500 bombers destroyed within the last 30 days.





    Chief of air intelligence, Abwehr to Air Ministry

    Top Secret

    A report on air operations, 18 October 1939


    Reichsmarschall, regardless of the cheerful news propagated to the population by the national propaganda newspapers yesterday, the situation is much different. While we have shot down a large number of enemy air craft and our losses have been relatively small, the constant operations of the last two months have eroded the ability of our forces to resist the on-going air raids. The transfer of forces from the east to west has not helped; it has actually hindered our air defence mission. Our forces are lacking the ground support, and organisation to keep up intercept sorties. Not to mention, the air fields are over crowded, with the result that squadrons cannot get into combat.

    On the other hand, our reports are suggesting that the mounting Allied casualties will limit their attacks for the next few weeks while they too regroup and replace losses. We highly recommend more flak guns are installed around Leipzig, as this will most likely be the primary target of any future attacks due to the weaker defences of the city. Since the campaign in Poland ended, we have only lost 10 pilots and 18 machines in attempting to repel these raids. Enemy losses however, have amount to 40 Amiot bombers, 10 French fighters, and 56 Whtiley bombers all confirmed kills. We have captured 160 Frenchmen, and 200 British air crew who bailed out over our territory.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 11:08.

  12. #12
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    Operation Falcon

    Air Ministry, to all wing commanders

    Top Secret

    Operation Falcon, 1 November 1939


    In an effort to inflict a heavy defeat upon the French air force and open up their defences to allow our own bombing of Paris to commence, on 20 November Operation Falcon is to be launched.

    The operation will be split into three stages:

    I. Fighter and bomber strikes upon the forward French airfields within the border zone, crippling the front line French forces.
    II. Follow-up strikes upon the air bases in the French interior, pushing the French to their reserve fields and limiting the effective range of their machines.
    III. With the French air force defeated, the indiscriminate bombing of Paris can begin. The bombers will be supported by fighter sweeps to keep the remains of the French air force at bay.

    To achieve the first objective, 1,200 Ar 65 and 1,200 Fw 187 fighters are to wrestle control of the skies from the French air force. 1,400 Ju 86 bombers are to then commence daily attacks on the airfields. All dive bomber groups are to be on standby to attack high priority targets as they are identified, and to help stretch the French defences. Once the frontline air bases are destroyed, and the French retreat to their fields closer to Paris, the heavy fighter squadrons will have to take up the burden of operations as our single-engine fighters lack the range to conduct sweeps that far into France. With the French air force defeated, round the clock bombing of Paris is to commence with immediate effect.





    German state newspaper, 30 November 1939


    Luftwaffe score massive victory over French Terror Flyers!


    Our gallant pilots clash with the French near the border


    The Air Ministry, tight lipped over the last month, have today revealed that a massive air operation has just been completed that has inflicted a heavy blow against the French terror flyers. It was announced that last Monday, the 20th, over 2,000 fighters hit French airbases all along the border sweeping the skies clear. With the way open over 1,000 bombers reaped destruction on what was left on the ground. The first day of operations claimed at least 100 French aircraft destroyed.


    One of our fighter squadrons, before they take off to deal with the French terror flyers.


    Over the course of the following eight days, our gallant air force struck at additional air fields. The number of French air craft destroyed rose into the region of 500. Our losses in this operation are understood to have been extremely low, the element of surprise - after a month of inactivity - playing a pivot role along with the sheer numbers involved swamping the French fighters and not allowing them an inch. The Reichsmarschall has declared the French bomber threat to have been neutralised for the foreseeable future, and has promised that the Luftwaffe will keep up the pressure on the French.





    Chief of air intelligence, Abwehr to Air Ministry

    Top Secret

    30 November 1939
    Operation Falcon, after action report to OKW


    On 20 November (Falcon Day), per orders issued at the beginning of the month, Operation Falcon was launched. The operation opened well with the sheer number of our fighters achieving local air superiority, but only for a short time. Our fighters were soon met by an estimated 600 Anglo-French fighters. Regardless, our bombers punched through and delivered their bomb loads over the French airfields. Accuracy was high, although reconnaissance flights have indicated that very few French planes were caught on the ground during the raids.

    After two days of continued attacks, intercepted British reports acknowledged the loss of twenty fighters (and 15 pilots) and numerous more planes heavily damaged forcing them to withdraw from further fighting. French losses were higher, and their forward airfields have been extensively damaged. However after eight days of bombing, several of these forward bases are still intact; our raids have not been as effective as it was believed they would be. In addition, and more seriously, our losses had mounted to unsustainable levels, and our ground forces were unable to keep the planes flying in the numbers required.

    In total we have lost 120 single-engine fighters, 160 double-engine fighters, and 120 medium bombers. This represents ten per cent of the force committed to battle, and in addition 60 dive bombers were also shot down. As noted, few French planes were caught on the ground and only 60 fighters have been confirmed to have been shot down. The French have lost around 40 pilots while we have lost 550, with the French confirming 250 of these men have been taken prisoner.

    The assault has been a complete disaster, however we do believe it will be a while before the French will renew their high level medium bomber attacks.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 11:14.

  13. #13
    Field Marshal TheBromgrev's Avatar
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    Taking out that French battleship is good news. The Allied strategic bombings are trying to make up for it though. Will you move against France now or wait until Spring? One thing to keep in mind with the mod is that when March comes around the UK will mine Narvik and you'll forever lose the Swedish metal strategic effect during the winter months. You'll need to either invade Norway first or knock out the UK before then.

    Also, if you can beat France before Churchill comes into office via event, or someone other than Churchill becomes PM then the UK will sue for peace.
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    My information thread about ww2 naval expansion for the world's naval powers, large and small. Last update October 25, 2014; corrected the Japanese entry.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for the tips! I waited for April, iirc, before i launched any attacks west; although i have done little since then not having time to play. Am also pretty sure the UK have had the event which mines there waters, which as you have just mentioned has lost me my metal access during winter. I think i may need to plan a Scandinavian campaign.

  15. #15
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    The Falcon Raids

    For three weeks, following the aerial disaster of November, replacement planes were moved to forward units, new pilots were drafted in, and ground crews rested. Then, on 16 December, Operation Falcon II was launched. Due to the level of losses suffered during the first operation, and many units still being understrength, the plan was amended. Paris would be the primary target, the war would be brought to the French people, and the destruction of their air force would follow as they attempted to stop us.

    In an attempt to stretch the French aerial defence to breaking point, fighter sweeps would be conducted over as wide an area as possible. 960 single-engine fighters would patrol over the Maginot Line while 960 twin-engine fighters would conduct sweeps over the northern air fields and as far west as Paris. With the same goal in mind of upsetting the balance of the French aerial response, 960 dive bombers would launch a series of strikes against the headquarters of the Maginot Line army while 320 Ju 88 bombers would strike the forward airfields. Finally the main attack would be launched by 960 Ju 86s, these bombers would strike Paris by day while a further 160 would attack by night.

    As dawn broke over France, the Luftwaffe was already busy. The strategy worked to perfection, the French fighters rose to fend off the challenge of the Luftwaffe fighters across numerous areas. The Allied response was too soon, with the Anglo-French engaged in dogfights across the breath of the country they could not react to the wave of bombers that hit the airfields and that were heading towards Paris. The Allied fighter screen had been stretched, and by midday it had been broken. By the early afternoon plumes of smoke was rising up over the suburbs of Paris, the visual symbol for miles around that a number of French factories had been destroyed and that the Luftwaffe was as capable as the French air force for attacking cities. The psychological impact was expected to be immense. The fires, still burning by the time night fell, acted as a guide to the second wave of bombers. More bombs rained down on the French capital, adding to the damage already done in the day.


    A view from one of the many Luftwaffe bombers, during the massive strike on Paris.


    French newspaper report on the raid.


    However, while the day’s activities had been a complete success, various organisational problems and overcrowding on the airfields halted the Luftwaffe from following up the attacks. While the fighter squadrons were able to conduct further fighter sweeps, the bomber squadrons were grounded. With the bombers unable to mount an attack, the whole operation was called off before even 48-hours had elapsed.

    The Christmas and New Year periods were quiet, the French it would seem had learnt not to agitate her neighbour. The break from combat gave the ground crews of the Luftwaffe the ample time they needed to get the bomber fleet ready. As per the second raid, Operation Falcon III was aimed solely at the bombing of Paris, with the shooting down of French fighters a secondary objective. Due to various groups still not up to strength, the burden of providing fighter cover was mostly left to the single-engine fighter squadrons. Of the 1,920 fighters to be committed to this operation, most would be limited to patrols over the forward French airfields leaving a handful of twin-engine fighters to patrol further out.

    On 8 January, the fighters took off and began their mission. It was not long before their Anglo-French counterparts rose to engage them. It was estimated that over the course of the day, the Allies put a similar number of planes into the air as we had. The RAF contingent, especially, had been significantly enlarged to around nine fighter wings or 36 squadrons. Our losses were particularly heavy although after the first day of combat the RAF withdrew the majority of their force. The second day saw the same level of intense dogfights over the Maginot Line.

    During the night of 9/10th January, a massive bombing raid was conducted on Paris. With little experience of night-time operations, the bombing was widespread and not as concentrated as we would have liked. Regardless, the sheer number of bombers involved resulted in extensive damage being done to the French industrial sector of the city, were repairs had barely even started following the previous raid.


    A French paper announces to the nation, the repeated bombing of Paris.


    The strike however, taxed the ability of the bomber squadrons and their ground crews. Once more they were unable to continue operations. Further fighter sweeps were conducted on the 10th, but since it was now obvious that the bombers would not make a second attack the patrols were called off later that day to save fuel, machines, and pilots.

    The Falcon raids, while limited, had resulted in the bombing of Paris that had long been called for. The French had struck our cities, and finally we had repaid them by hitting their capital. Spread over the two operations, a total of only five days of combat, our losses had amounted to 90 pilots lost and 162 captured. 24 bombers had been shot down, along with 148 fighters. The Anglo-French losses had not been insignificant: 56 Hurricanes, 24 Whitley bombers, and 42 French fighters; 105 British pilots killed and 40 captured, and 23 French pilots killed. The political and military benefits of the operations, like the original operation, had been outweighed by the losses.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 11:20.

  16. #16
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    Action of 29th January 1940

    Complaints echoed throughout the offices of the headquarters of the Kriegsmarine. With a proper surface fleet, Grand Admiral Raeder had allegedly grumbled, he could really take the war to the British and French. Although as the government and industrial experts had pointed out in several high-level strategic meetings, now was not the time to start the construction of a proper navy; being at war and all, not to mention that the time needed to design and build such a fleet would take far too long. However, Raeder’s complaints did at least push the government into committing into enlarging the fleet to a size more appropriate for a great power. With that commitment, the submarine fleet was to be greatly expanded.

    Since the great naval victory of 1939, Raeder adopted two policies. His surface fleet, rapidly patched up, would remain in port. As a fleet-in-being, it would surely deter further Anglo-French action in the Baltic. For his tiny submarine force, under the command of Admiral Karl Dönitz, Raeder ordered them to conduct patrols in the North Sea. For four months the submarines patrolled along the Norwegian coast, into the middle of the North Sea, and as far out as the Shetland Islands. While dozens of patrols had been launched, not a single Allied convoy had been sighted nor attacked.

    In January 1940, a report reached Dönitz’s headquarters. Contact had been lost with one of the boats on patrol, their last message: a garbled message about being under attack. Other boats were ordered into the vicinity and reported back that a large Anglo-French taskforce was in the area, including at least one French battleship and one French aircraft carrier. Consulting with the Abwehr provided no clarification on what those ships were doing there. The intelligence section provided three options: 1) A battle group had been dispatched to deal with our submarines after they had been identified 2) they were part of an invasion fleet heading for Norway 3) the fleet was heading for the Baltic and had attacked the submarine after being detected.

    Sensing opportunity, Grand Admiral Raeder decided he would engage the Anglo-French fleet with the intention of sinking the carrier and battleship. Boarding the Schleswig-Holstein, the flagship of the fleet, Raeder ordered the fleet to sea. Prior to setting sail Raeder struck a deal with Hermann Göring, ensuring the fleet would have the support of the Luftwaffe’s naval patrol bomber wing. After three days at sea, Raeder’s force, under the cover of Do24 flying boats, engaged the vanguard of the Allied fleet. Over the course of the day, the Anglo-French battle group would converge on Raeder’s force.

    As more ships came within range of one another, salvo after salvo was fired. Shells splashed about in the water, or ripped into the steel structures of ships. Do24 bombers swooped in dropping sticks of bombs among the Allied ships, but achieved few hits and caused little damage. The anti-aircraft guns of the allied fleet opened up after this initial surprise attack, and French carrier based fighters soon joined the fray driving off the bombers before they could renew their attacks. Scores of allied shells, mostly from the ships of the Royal Navy, struck the Kriegsmarine’s vessels. No ship within Raeder’s fleet was left undamaged.

    By midday, the Allied force had converged on the German fleet in strength. Pressure started to build on the German fleet. With shells raining down around her, splashing into the water and her superstructure, disaster struck. The KMS Schlesien, already in flames, exploded as shells from a British heavy cruiser tore into her ammunition holds. Allied fire now focused on the Schleswig-Holstein, which took a number of direct hits. The bridge managed to avoid this bombardment, and Raeder was lucky to escape injury. The shelling continued and a number of British and French ships were hit. Holed badly, the Emden sunk below the waves; the French battleship Paris taking vengeance for the French losses in the Baltic. As the pressure built on the fleet, the Kriegsmarine were able to sink a British destroyer and two light cruisers forcing the Royal Navy to back off and allow Raeder to pull his force out of the battle and limp back to Germany.


    Goebbels' newspapers, while admitting the loss of the Schlesien, glorified her loss.


    By the end of the day, five ships had been sunk: two German and three British. Numerous others among both fleets had been badly damaged, although the French had escaped from the majority of the fighting. Around 1,500 British sailors were rendered casualties due to the battle, while there were around 2,000 German casualties. A further 100 were captured after being plucked from the water. Forty-Eight aircrew were killed during the battle, and 50 sailors were killed when the initial submarine was sunk three days before this action. The action had failed to achieve either of the objectives set: the French battleship and carrier were still action. The loss of one of the only two big gun ships in the Kriegsmarine was a heavy loss. The order for two new battleships to replace the Schlesien were immediately ordered, but soon withdrawn when minds cleared. Four months later Raeder would get his wish for a proper surface fleet, two battlecruisers were ordered and a research team established for designing a new battleship.


    The losses.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 11:28.

  17. #17
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    The final air battles of the Phoney War

    During the remaining days of January, the Luftwaffe fighter squadrons were completely overhauled. The latest model of fighter plane, the Bf109, was introduced into frontline service. On paper it outclassed the current Anglo-French fighters, but had yet to be tested in battle. As the pilots trained, the air ministry cooked up one more large scale operation to bomb Paris. Dubbed Operation Falcon IV, every single-engine and twin-engine fighter squadron would launch sweeps over the Maginot Line to punch a hole in the French fighter screen and allow further bombing of Paris to take place.

    On 9 February, the fighters of the Luftwaffe once more took off to duel with the Allies forces. For forty-eight hours the fighters attempted to wear down the French fighter screen. Then, on the third day of battle the bombers took off from their bases intent on striking Paris. While the Bf109’s tore into the French fighters, they were not able to do enough damage. In return, the Anglo-French fighters inflicted heavy losses on the twin-engine squadrons and had enough strength and morale to attack the bomber stream numerous times during the course of the day. The bombers hit Paris, but the mission was costly. Over 40 bombers were lost in the one day, the highest loss since the original raid on Paris.

    Once more, due to mismanagement on the ground, only one strike was able to be launched on Paris, although enough effort was made to launch a second, much smaller, raid. This raid, hoping to pass through an open hole in the French aerial defences, was aimed towards Vichy rather than Paris. It did not achieve its objective. Unescorted, the French fighters shot down around 15 bombers and damaged several more. The heavy losses resulted in the mission being aborted. Once back on the ground, these bombers along with the rest of the force were once again grounded, unable to launch any more missions for the time being.


    The remains of a French MS 406 fighter, shot down over our lines


    In four days of operations only 24 Bf109s were lost, however 72 twin-engine fighters and 56 bombers had been shot down. Allied losses were estimated to be 40 French and 4 RAF fighters. For some minor damage to Paris, 80 pilots had been killed and a further 200 had been captured after parachuting to safety. It was believed that around 25 French and 2 British pilots were also killed in the fighting.

    After this operation, the ineffectiveness of the Luftwaffe was finally examined. After a detailed investigation it was deemed the main problem, for the bomber wings, was overcrowding on the airfields. Sharing their fields with numerous fighter squadrons, had left too few resources to keep the bombers maintained and flying. To combat this issue, the fighter squadrons were dispersed to other aerodromes, allowing the bombers their share of the resources they so vitally needed.


    Renown German painter, artistic depiction of a British raid


    Over the next two months, the British and French launched a series of air raids against cities across northern and southern Germany. The raids caused some damage to factories, but nothing on the scale that had been inflicted on Paris and nothing that was not repaired quickly. These raids proved just as costly for the Allies as the Luftwaffe raids on France. 61 British and 49 French bombers were lost. The French additionally launched a number of fighter sweeps over our bases in the Rhineland. The problems that faced our own Falcon missions, the French now faced. 53 fighters of the French air force was lost during their fighter sweeps, while overall Luftwaffe losses for the entire two months amounted to only 15 fighters and 38 twin-engine fighters.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 11:33.

  18. #18
    to bad about the Schlesien, but it was an old ship so it was to be expected. My plan if I go the naval route with the Germans is to trap large parts of the French and British navies in the Baltic after I lure them there and then attack Denmark. I once trapped 3 British carrier, 1 Frech carrier, 5 British battleships, 2 French battleships and a certain amount of other ship i can't really recal now. I guess they really wanted to destroy my navy

  19. #19
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    nice strategy!

    An old battleship, but a bitter blow!

  20. #20
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    Interlude: The Soviet Union and the Second World War

    While French and German soldiers stared across the border at one another, from their respective concrete lines, the Soviet army was planning various attacks upon her neighbours. In accordance with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Germany had agreed the Soviets could have a free hand over Finland, the Baltic States, and Rumania.

    During February, over 300,000 Soviet soldiers were deployed in the proximity of Finland. When the Finns refused to acquiesce with the Soviets demands, the Red Army attacked. The mobilisation of the Soviet forces, several months previously, now made sense; the Red Army had been preparing for this attack since October.



    Finland’s tiny army immediately ordered her forces to mobilise, while the reserves were being called up the regular army attempted to defend the border. By the end of the first fortnight of fighting, the Red Army attacks had been slowed down and a token advance into the Soviet Union had been made. However, by the end of March the tide had turned on the Finns. The Soviet forces, of the Leningrad Front, broke through the southern Finish lines. Little opposed them; the door to Helsinki was open. Elsewhere the Finish Army, now peaking at around 170,000 men having nearly quadrupled in size, was being pushed back and unable to halt the Soviet offensive. On 16 April, with Soviet forces on the outskirts of the capital, Finland gave into all the Soviet demands for an immediate ceasefire. Both sides have been tight-lipped about the losses suffered by their forces, but the best estimates put the casualties in the region of 20,000 for the Finns and 30,000 for the Soviets.



    Finland, before and after the Winter War.


    With Finns defeated, and their war goal achieved, the Soviets stood down their reserves. However, on 28 April, less than two weeks after the defeat of Finland, the Soviets once again called up their reserves. This move, again, sent OKW into panic at the possibility of a two front war. With all of Europe aware of the power of the Red Army, and that the Soviets were mobilising, it was of no surprise when the Rumanians bowed to their neighbours when the demand for Bessarabia was made. Likewise, on 2 June, the three Baltic States silently submitted to the Soviet Union.


    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 11:37.

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