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Thread: The German Reich and the Second World War

  1. #61
    Lt. General enigmamcmxc's Avatar
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    The Second Siege of Paris (11-29 November)

    Operation Moltke had saw our forces advance across northern France, fail to capture Paris, but start to envelop the city. The initial goal now was to seize the northern bank of the River Oise, as a prelude to a strike south to capture Jouarre. Meanwhile the troops based in Étampes would capture Melun, thus completing the encirclement of the city. With the city encircled, the besieged garrison would be attacked on all sides.

    Nine days of heavy fighting saw the river line secured, creating a straight front from Vernon to Lille. However, the attack from Étampes had brought down upon it a massive French counterattack. It was now clear that the French had moved their main force to defend the Paris region. Further afield the French also launched an attack aimed at retaking Lille. This two pronged assault caused a diversion of our troops, men were rapidly moved towards Lille and Étampes to halt French breakthroughs, leaving only a small force to attempt the attack towards Jouarre.

    In Belgium, Dutch forces captured the fortresses near Liège, and our own attacks produced excellent results capturing territory on each flank of Brussels. For a short few hours it looked like the Belgium army had finally cracked. Twenty-four hours later however, the Belgians had rushed troops in to halt further advances and managed to push back our recent gains on the west flank of the capital.


    The Battle for Paris, and the fighting raging along much of the front.


    The French were now attacking Étampes from several directions, and the fighting there took on a back and forth pattern. The French pushed back our garrison several times, but were then unable to hold the ground from our own counterattacks. In an effort to relieve the pressure on our frontline forces, several diversionary attacks were made on positions around our penetration. It was soon discovered that this massed French army, attacking Étampes, was in fact the very same French force that had only recently defended Paris, thus leaving the city weakly defended.


    HE-111 bombers over Paris, during one of the numerous sorties launched in support of our attacks.


    An attack from three sides was rapidly put in against Paris, and as many available troops were ordered to Étampes to keep the main French army away from their capital and distracted. HE-111 bombers were ordered into the fray, striking French positions in the capital on a daily basis for more than a week in support of the attack. As bombs rained down, infantry pushed forward house to house aiming for the centre of the city. Fighting was sporadic, with the small French garrison holding off our attacks. delaying the fall of the city as long as they could. Eventually, with their cohesion rapidly collasping along with their morale, the French garrison was ordered to abandon the city. On 29 November 1940, after only skirmishes resulting in low casualties and no climatic battle, Paris fell to our forces.



    The loss of the city was a major blow to the prestige and morale of the French nation. The French government had long abandoned the city, and even with Paris now in our hands the French politicians refused to surrender and stop the, now, needless fighting. In an effort to end the war by Christmas, the panzer divisions and excess infantry – not needed to hold the front – started to move towards Le Havre. A strike would be made into Normandy to capture additional Channel ports to remove any prospect of further British reinforcements arriving to help the French, and thus remove the last strands of their support for the war along with any hope of reversing their current predicament.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 12:42.

  2. #62
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    congrats herr general.

  3. #63
    Lt. General enigmamcmxc's Avatar
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    Thanks very much! Long overdue, but we got there ... just like British rail! xD

  4. #64
    Saver of the World robw963's Avatar
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    I appreciate the effort and detail you're putting into this AAR. Keep it up! *subscribing*

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  5. #65
    Lt. General enigmamcmxc's Avatar
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    Thanks for the kind words!

  6. #66
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    Great read.......nice description of the capture of Paris. Soon the rest of the Republic will fall and the Vichy collaborators will be installed. Keep it up!
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  7. #67

  8. #68
    Lt. General enigmamcmxc's Avatar
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    The Battle of Normandy (5 Dec-1 Jan) and Mopping up

    The echo of chirping birds at dawn, on a cold and icy 5 December morning, was savagely interrupted as artillery opened fire on French positions east of the River Orne. Three infantry divisions moved forward with the aiming of clearing the French from their entrenched positions east of the river, before launching an assault on the city of Caen itself. The attack was lavishly supported, but unlike all the other attacks that had been launched with such vigor, this was a ruse. Three other infantry divisions silently moved forward, penetrating the defences around the road hub of Lisieux, sending the surprised French garrison fleeing. This daring attack, striking the most weakly held point of the French line, was a complete success. With a hole in the French line opened, eleven panzer divisions were unleashed with the aim of rapidly crossing Normandy to seize the Channel ports before striking towards Rennes. This mobile thrust, would end the war.

    Any thought of how to contest this new attack was further complicated for the French, when on 7 December Italy joined the war. Her forces had already massed along the southern French border, and within hours were crossing it in numerous locations.

    While success had been achieved in the opening of the fighting in Normandy, the French Army had concentrated and was determined to retake Étampes. It had been their main objective since mid-November, and they finally succeeded in retaking the area on the 9th. With the end of fighting on the horizon, it was decided to not to attempt further counterattacks and waste further lives in retaking this lost position. The same could be said of most of the frontline, from the Belgian border to Paris no fighting had taken place since the fall of the capital and the failed French attack on Lille.



    In just a few days, the panzer divisions had managed to make a fifty-mile unopposed advance into Normandy. Considering the rate of advance during most of the past six months, this was a rather rapid advance. The panzer divisions then broke off into two main columns: one to secure the city of Falaise before driving on Cherbourg, while the second advanced on a more southern route to capture St Lo, and then onto St. Malo. While it was believed the French morale had collapsed, small units continued to man blocking positions denying any further rapid advances. While the armour was also supposed to cut off Caen and aid in the capture of the city, French blocking positions and small scale counterattacks stopped this from happening.


    Panzergrenadiers assault a French blocking position.


    The same three divisions who opened the attack would end up having to capture Caen by themselves. After methodically clearing the French defences east of the Orne, the Corps closed up on the river. One division rushed the river, and nearby canal, in assault boats, while the other two divisions pushed on towards the Bourguébus ridge and Caen’s southern suburbs. With the city enveloped, and most of the defending force lost east of the river, Caen soon fell.

    Adopting a leapfrogging tactic, one panzer division would breach the latest French blocking position, and then the rest would advance to contact the next one. Repeating this tactic, ensuring there was a division uncomitted and fresh, the advance quickly got back on schedule. Cherbourg soon fell without a fight, and a British headquarters was captured in the process. Normandy was declared free of Allied forces on Christmas day, and St. Malo was captured the next day. The main prize of Rennes, the last straw in the back of the French politicians will to fight, was just out of grasp meaning the war would not be over by Christmas. The Italians had made rapid process, near enough destroying the French Armée des Alpes, and were fast approaching the city of Marseille. While a last gasp effort was made by the French air force to contest our control of the skies, they were unable to stop the fall of Rennes on the final day of the year. With the loss of Rennes, Marshal Petain seized power from the bumbling and indecisive French politicians. On the first day of 1941, Petain accepted the peace proposal that had been on the table since the fall of Paris.


    Frontline in northern France, 1 Jan 1941.


    Frontline in southern France, 1 Jan 1941


    While the fighting with the French ended that day, a sizeable British force was still present within France. To ensure no further British soldiers were landed, to attempt an early reversal of the French defeat, the panzer divisions rolled out across western France to secure the Atlantic ports. With the loss of their French allies, the Belgian defences soon crumbled under a renewed assault although it would take until the middle of the month for Brussels to fall. On 18 January, Belgium finally capitulated. A likeminded and pro-German government rapidly assumed power and allied with Germany. Throughout the month, British forces were running amuck. Cut off from each other and from any chance of retreat, British troops kept on the move. A time consuming process developed as troops had to herd and cut off the British, so that decisive battles could take place. The quality of these British formations varied, some fought on until out of ammunition while others surrendered without much of a fight. By the end of the month the British holdouts had been rounded up, bar one notable exception. Manning a section of the Maginot Line, 9,000 British troops – a second rate division by all accounts – fought off several attacks before finally surrendering with their supplies used up at the end of the month.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 12:51.

  9. #69
    Are you going to help the Italians in Africa or are you going to prepare for Barbarossa?

  10. #70
    Lt. General enigmamcmxc's Avatar
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    The Italians appear to be holding there own at the moment. The fight in Egypt is a werid one. I am not sure if it is FTM or the HPP mo, but Egypt is semi-independant and all the fighting appears to be focused on the one province the British hold on the Egyptian side of the border. I will post a few screenshots sometime soon showing their progress.

    As for me, after a little reorganisation and a few sideshows, am going to attempt to tackle the bear :O

  11. #71
    Lt. General enigmamcmxc's Avatar
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    The aftermath of the Battle of France

    Following the conclusion of the fighting with the British troops in France, the ceasefire signed on New Year’s Day was ratified on 1 February 1941 with the Second Treaty of Compiègne. The treaty was signed in the same train wagon as the ceasefire that ended the Great War, the treaty forced the French to make numerous concessions. France was to hand over northern and western France to Germany, while the Italians would keep all the gains they had made. The French metropolitan army was to be drastically reduced in size to 60,000 militiamen, and 97,000 soldiers with tanks prohibited although their colonial army was allowed to remain intact.


    The signing of the peace treaty.


    The following day, all Corps commanders and above who had taken part in the campaign assembled in Paris to witness 100,000 men march and thousands of tanks parade down the Champs-Élysées. With the celebration over and the armistice site destroyed, the military started to immediately redeploy out of France leaving only a small occupation force. Despite solid Franco-British relations, as seen by the stiff resistance the British had given in support of the French, with the armistice signed the British attacked the French fleet in the Mediterranean sinking several ships. Meanwhile, despite excellent relations with the United States, including recently signed trade treaties for fuel and other required necessities, the Americans publically announced the start of the "lend-lease" programme to support the British in their war with the Reich.


    The Victory Parade: most troops marching down the avenue are destined for trains back to Germany.


    With the prospect of an invasion of the British Isles highly unlikely, due to the lack of transport and a surface fleet, the high command set their eyes on other targets. The vast majority of the army started to move back into the Greater Reich, leaving three armies to occupy Gaul, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Likewise, since the need to fight for air superiority over England no longer existed, the Luftwaffe shifted its weight back to Germany leaving only 1,600 twin-engine fighters (out of a total of nearly 4,000 single and twin-engine fighters) to cover Gaul and our own industrial heartland.



    In the opening weeks of the campaign, the Luftwaffe achieved complete air superiority, but like the ground campaign this success did not come cheap. Over 1,700 Allied planes were shot down (Nearly 900 RAF machines were shot down, resulting in 900 pilots and crew killed and a further 625 captured. Over 800 French machines were lost, resulting in 1,320 killed and 800 captured.) while over 1,000 planes of the Luftwaffe were shot down (700 fighters and 350 bombers resulting in 1,000 pilots lost).



    The ground fighting saw 321,351 Germans rendered casualties, while the Italians loss 6,029 men during their push towards Marseilles. In defending their homeland, the French lost a total of 161,271 men, and a further 46,388 were captured by German forces during the fighting while the Italians took an additional 8,000. Per the terms of the Second Treaty of Compiègne a further 500,000 French were taken prisoner following the conclusion of the fighting, and the Italians took 40,000 more.


    A French garrison, having surrendered to our forces, now marches south to join the newly created Vichy military of the French State.


    The Belgians had fought hard throughout the campaign, holding various river lines and fortified locations. Their stubborn resistance had resulted in slow progress, and months of heavy fighting with a fully mobilised and redeployed French military. With their French support lost, their army soon lost ground. But their fighting and prolonged resistance had come cheap, if eventually in vain. 59,986 Belgian soldiers had been killed, and 30,713 captured. With the fall of the democratic government, and installation of a pro-German Belgian one, the Belgian army was cut by two-thirds with a further 200,000 men taken prisoner.


    Gaul, 1941.


    The British Army had, by far, come off the worst due to the Battle of France. They had fought the hardest, for the most part, and suffered for it. 114,828 casualties had been inflicted during the ground fighting, and 553,191 men had been captured. The majority of these half a million captured British soldiers had been taken primarily in two batches: those who surrendered after the fall of Den Helder, and those who surrendered during the mopping up following the end of the Battle of France. The British Army had been completely mauled. Although, it was unknown just how many more British soldiers were now garrisoning their home islands or how much support the British Dominions had so far given.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 13-08-2014 at 01:21.

  12. #72
    Saver of the World robw963's Avatar
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    Good update. But wow! 321,000 German casualties in the French campaign? Steep losses. I hope that doesn't come back to haunt you later on.

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  13. #73
    Lt. General enigmamcmxc's Avatar
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    Very steep! The breakthrough of the French line and march on Paris cost somewhere in the region of 50,000 men. Once those Frenchies, Brits, and Belgiums dug in ... it was a bugger to dig them back out!

    In retrospect, i think i should have never deployed forces on the Eastern Front. That way when i fought my way into France the first time i could have kept on going, leaving a small force to hem in the British beachhead to be dealt with later on. I think it is highly likely that i threw away an early victory, all by myself hehe.

    Not to mention i shoud have used my panzer divisions during my attack on the Netherlands to speed things up. And finally of course, if i had been aware that the AI was so keen on screwing up your plans by invasions (have not played HOI3 since 1.3 iirc) - i would have used my paras to captured the ports.

    It has been fun though.

  14. #74
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    Italy and the Second World War

    On 7 December 1940, (the day Italy joined the war) Mussolini made a public address to his nation announcing the dissolution of Italy, and the formation of the 'Secvndo Imperivm Romanvm'.

    Following the address, and the invasion of France, the Italian state underwent a reorganisation based on its historical predecessor. The islands of the Aegean Sea (now 'Mare Aegaeum'), captured during the Italo-Turkish War in 1912, were reorganised as the province of Asia (expected to be expanded at some point to take over parts of Turkey). Libya was split between the two new provinces of Africa and Cyrenaica. The most recent acquisition, Albania, was retitled Dalmatia, and would also control Roman holdings along the 'Mare Adriaticum'. Lacking the name of a Roman province, the territory of Ethiopia was declared to only be known by its historical name of Abyssinia.

    Following the conclusion of the Battle of France, the gains made by the new Roman Empire were incorporated into the state and split into three provinces: Alpes Cottiae, the northern sector of the new territory, Alpes Maritimae, the southern sector, and Narbonensis, the western fringe of the territory gained.

    Meanwhile fighting had erupted along the border of Cyrenaica and Egypt, as Mussolini ordered his "legions" to retake this historical province. It was reported that British troops were lacking in the area, with Egyptian and Jordanian troops instead manning the frontier. Elsewhere, the 150,000 strong Italian Army in East Africa, was overrunning various British holdings although the British were gaining ground in the Belgium Congo. Within the German High Command, this raised the question: 'had, in just seven months, the British Empire been crushed (in addition to the French)?'



    Having spent most of the last twenty years at peace (bar the involvement in the Spanish Civil War, the colonisation of Abyssinia, and the 're-conquest' of Dalmatia) Mussolini now stepped up a gear following the Battle of France. The fighting in France was over for just 15 days when Rome declared war on Greece. Il Duce’s declared war goal was the liberation of Achaea, Creta, Epirus, and Macedonia. Soon after, he also launched his forces upon Yugoslavia demanding the return of Pannonia Superior, Pannonia Inferior, Mosesia Superior, and the rest of Dalmatia.



    Initial Italian progress was excellent, with major gains being made. However, their advance into Greece was short lived with Italian troops being held in the mountainous north. The Greeks then invaded Bulgaria, and sent troops to aid the Yugoslavians. The Yugoslavians, near enough surrounded, managed to hold the "Romans" along the River Sava and apparently managed to contain the Italian advances elsewhere. Concern for the Italian attack was evident by the Yugoslavians launching attacks into Germany, Hungary, and Bulgaria. The German High Command had been somewhat willing to allow the Yugoslavians to show up the Italians, however with their invasion, however small, they drew down upon them the gaze of the German military. Rapidly, a panzer division was ordered south to throw back the Yugoslavians. As the High Command assessed the situation, they realized more forces would probably have to be pushed into the battle to save the Italians from the situation they have gotten themselves into.

    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 13:05.

  15. #75
    Mussolini can never get anything right, Germany always has to save those silly Italians

  16. #76
    Second Lieutenant srv5's Avatar

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    Great AAR.Subs.

  17. #77
    Lt. General enigmamcmxc's Avatar
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    Opening of the Second Battle of the Atlantic

    During mid-March, the vast majority of the Kriegsmarine slipped anchor and put to sea. The submarine fleet, along with the heavy and light cruisers were to take up residence in the French Atlantic ports and the specially constructed submarine pens the French had built. Over the coming days, several submarines ventured through the English Channel and arrived safely, however the majority took the longer route around the British Isles. With the U-Boats at sea, and the vanguard having arrived in France, it was now the turn of the cruisers. One heavy and one light cruiser steamed through the English Channel, undisturbed, while a further four ships went around the Isles. All made it to port without even an aircraft attacking them.


    A depiction of the so called "Channel Dash", as published the following morning in the national propaganda newspaper. What the reader was not informed was the majority of ships went around the British Isles, and only two went through the Engligh Channel, and the Bf 109s had been redeployed to the eastern fringes of the Greater Reich and could not have provided such cover.


    With the Kriegsmarine now safely based within the French naval bases along the Atlantic coast, coastal raiding was once again undertaken. Previously, our submarines had patrolled the North Sea for fear of straying into waters held by the Royal Navy. These raids had achieved little. These new attacks, based out of France, would provide a much better opportunity. Raiding Britain’s merchant fleet would allow us to strike at our aggressor while our troops, for the time being, are focused elsewhere. Prolonged attacks may just soften up the Island Fortress, for when the time comes to invade.

    The new ventures into the Atlantic had an immediate impact and met with success, with the sinking of a lone cargo ship on the first day of operations. Later that day, a heavily escorted convoy was sighted no doubt carrying much needed war materials. The submarine commanders believing it unwise to strike by themselves, radioed in the convoy’s location to the Kriegsmarine headquarters in France. The cruisers were immediately dispatched to seek the convoy out and claim prizes. The Action of 30 March 1941, or the Battle of the Eastern Biscay Plain as it would come to be known, was a complete disaster.

    The sinking of the lone ship on 29 March, coupled with the radioing in of the convoy’s location either alerted the Royal Navy to the intentions of the Kriegsmarine, or the British had set a trap. By the time the cruisers arrived, the merchantmen were being escorted by the battleship HMS Royal Oak, three small aircraft carriers, as well as numerous destroyers and corvettes.


    The British carriers. Photo taken from a reconnaissance seaplane, launched from the fleet.


    After closing with the fleet, and realising their error, the German cruisers opened fire. The Royal Oak was raked with numerous salvos badly damaging her. Two escort destroyers were also heavily damaged during the opening salvos. The submarines that were in the area, sensing weakness moved in to pick off the unprotected carriers and cargo ships, while the surface battle raged.

    The initial volley of large-calibre naval gunfire was quite one-sided. With a turret out of action, and badly holed, the Royal Oak now turn her working guns to face the onslaught, and retaliate. Squadrons of Fairey Swordfish took off from the decks of the three carriers, heading for the cruisers as well the submarines which had been detected by the corvettes. As two British destroyers limped out of range of the German guns, further ships moved within range to add their shells to the weight of fire heading towards the cruisers. This combined might, turned the battle decisively in favour of the British. The Leipzig was set ablaze and so badly damaged that she was left barely afloat: only her early exit from the battle, her propulsion still working, saved her from being sunk. As salvo after British salvo hit the German battle line, the Graf Spee and Nuremberg were badly damaged. The Admiral Scheer received the most attention, and after one to many hits to her now badly damaged hull she was finished off by a destroyer closing and firing a brace of torpedoes at her. As explosions tore out sections of her already buckled hull, she listed then slid beneath the waves. While the Royal Navy tore into the ships, the British Fleet Air Arm spent most of the afternoon depth charging the submarines with complete success. Only nightfall saved the fleet from complete annihilation, but the British use of airpower had cleared the Biscay Bay of our U-Boats.


    The scorecard.


    While the battle had proved disastrous, it did not stop the convoy raiding of the submarine arm. Three more cargo ships were sunk the day after the battle, and during April a further eighth were destroyed along with 3 corvettes. Two submarines were lost, and with the build-up of Royal Navy ships in the Atlantic it was decided to call off the attacks for the time being. While some boats were able to make it back to base, nine were intercepted en-route and sunk by patrolling destroyers. It was quite clear, the British had won these opening skirmishes of the Second Battle of the Atlantic.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 13:13.

  18. #78
    Field Marshal Baltasar's Avatar
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    Ouch... that hurt... :-(

  19. #79
    Lt. General enigmamcmxc's Avatar
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    It sure did. A pretty bitter blow, and one that will take literally months (in game of course ) to recover from. My next batch of submarines will not be ready until July, then a larger batch in September irrc. Until then, i have about 4 left

  20. #80
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    The Yugoslavian campaign

    On 19 March, the 12th Panzer Division arrived in southern Germany and immediately engaged the entrenched Yugoslavian troops. However, while a powerful striking force the mountainous terrain and dug in Yugoslavians proved too much. The division therefore halted its attack, and waited for the rest of Panzer Group 4 to catch up. After several days, the remaining two divisions of Panzer Group 4 arrived in southern Germany. This combined force renewed the attack. By the 29th, the Yugoslavians had been forced back and all German territory had been liberated. By now the Italians had breached the "Sava Line" (a lightly held defensive line along the Sava River) in several places, but had done little else. In order to remove the threat to our southern flank, Panzer Group 4 was ordered to march into Yugoslavia and end the war in Yugoslavia.


    The vanguard of the panzer divisions, advancing through Yugoslavia.


    In 20 days, Panzer Group 4 advanced 300 kilometres. In the process they forced the Yugoslavians to abandon Zagreb, where the Italians eventually made an unopposed advance into after nearly a week of waiting several miles outside the undefended city. The panzer advance had forced the Yugoslavian army to fall back in numerous places allowing the Italians and Hungarians to advance. By 23 April, the Hungarians were attacking Belgrade from two sides but were unable to take the city. As Panzer Group 4 moved forward, facing more and more resistance as the Yugoslavians mobilised all their forces, the Hungarians and Italians were either unable or unwilling to keep up with the speed of the armoured advance.

    With unprotected flanks, the supply route came under attack. In five days, the panzers advanced a further 70 kilometres placing them within striking distance of the capital. With no support, the panzergrenadiers were engaged in heavy fighting from a determined Yugoslavian counterattack. On 12 May, after driving off the assault a separate Yugoslavian attack cut off the panzer divisions from safe territory, leaving them stranded in a small pocket. Rather than attempting to force the Sava and make the final drive on the capital, the divisions now had to fight to regain control of their supply line. During the forty-eight hours it took to retake the lost ground, the Italians finally caught up on the western flank but more importantly the Yugoslavians had dug in on the east bank of the Sava effectively eliminating Panzer Group 4 as a threat to Belgrade.


    The frontline, just before the fall of Sarajevo.


    For the next four days the Italians battled their way into Sarajevo, while linking up with Panzer Group 4 from the south thus creating two vast pockets of Yugoslavian soldiers. The loss of Sarajevo marked the end of the campaign, the fall of the city forced the hand of the Yugoslavian military and they surrendered. Belgrade had not fallen. On the last flight out of the city, the Yugoslav government fled to Athens to carry on the war.

    Both Bulgaria and Hungary vastly enlarged their domains, while the Italians secured all the objectives they had sought to achieve. Between the Italians, Hungarians, and Bulgarians around 550,000 Yugoslavians had been taken prisoner. Panzer Group 4 lost 3,000 men during the campaign, but inflicted around 9,000 casualties and captured an entire division. The Italian losses have been estimated to be in the region of 30,000 men, the Hungarians around 20,000, and the Bulgarians close to 15,000. Yugoslavian losses are estimated at 70,000, in addition to the losses inflicted by Panzer Group 4.

    While Panzer Group 4 had not been able to land the knockout blow, it had surely brought the campaign to a quicker end. Prior to German intervention our "allies" had bogged down. Being attack from all all sides, by a force that greatly outnumbered them, the Yugoslavian army had managed to halt or slow down the various attacks. It was only after the rapier like thrust of the armoured divisions, that Yugoslavian resistance started to crumble.


    Greek frontline, 30 May 1941.


    Since Panzer Group 4 was to form part of Army Group North, and be used for the planned pre-emptive strike on the USSR, it was withdrawn from the Balkans the moment the Yugoslavs surrendered. Greece, still holding out, would be left to the Italians to finish off.
    Last edited by enigmamcmxc; 29-01-2013 at 13:20.

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