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A Fist of Dirt - A Third Reich 1936 AAR


A Fist of Dirt -
A Greater German Reich 1936 AAR​



Nation:
Germany

Axis allies at the start of the AAR, May 15th 1944:
Slovakia (Military controlled)
Hungary (Military controlled)
Romania (Military controlled)
Italy (Controlled by the AI)
Nationalist Spain (Controlled by the AI)
Vichy France (Controlled by the AI)
Croatia (German puppet-nation, and military controlled, but restricted to the Balkans)
Norway (German puppet-nation, and military controlled, but restricted to Norway)

Game and version:
Hearts of Iron 2, Historical Stony Road (HSR) 2.07

Difficulty:
Hard / Hard

Exceptions and modifications:
Even though HSR house-rules say otherwise, military control over some Axis-allies will be used.

Militia-Divisions have been modified and their value cut to roughly 1/3, including IC-cost etc. This is mostly due to a strong personal dislike of the militia-units, and to be able to use them as independent and deployable brigades, who also can be specialized brigades with various attachments.

There have been some concerns regarding how that effects the AI, who might have a strategy using militia-divisions, but I have so far not seen any real exploit nor downside of it, and the AI are able to build more independent brigades in compensations for the removal of militia-divisions.

There are how ever one exception, which is Nationalist Spain, who have produced some 120 “brigades”, which is also the reason for why Spain is not military controlled, nor does it take an active part in the war. As an example so are Gibraltar only guarded by German-Italian divisions.

The IC-cost for military headquarters have been reduced in order to be able to produce more of them. The primary reason for this is organizational. As player, I almost never use HQ-units as fighting units, but rather as a tool for organising theatres of war and various armies.

Nor here have I seen the AI exploit the reduced IC-cost, and if it was, so would I not mind.

Narrative style:
3rd person narrating, various reports, in-game character dialogue.

Disclaimer and general information:
Certain things that characters in this AAR do say, were said and/or written by those individuals in real life. I have, however, in some cases taken the liberty to slightly edit and change how it exactly was said. The overall content and the meaning of what was said to though remain.

Perhaps worth mentioning, this is my first AAR ever, so please overlook any mistakes made in terms of graphics etc that have not been properly editted. If possible, I will seek to correct any wrong-doings myself.

Explanation of the AAR:
The AAR is based on the Grand Campaign stretching from 1936 and onwards. How ever, the period 1936 to May 1944 have already been completed, and the events that took place during that period will be told in the prologue.


The start of the interactive AAR will begin at May 15th 1944.

How posts in the AAR are to be interpreted:

As mentioned so will the AAR mostly be told out of a 3rd person perspective, narrative, describing past or current events. The text used for that context will be in the same style as you are reading now.

Conversations and dialogues between characters in the AAR will be written in Italics, and there will also be the additions of marks around the text, as well as pointing out that someone is saying something. That also goes for people thinking or writing something.

Reports etc that are used in the AAR will be introduced by the explanation that it is an report, and the report will also start of with a title etc.

Hence, it ought to be clear for the readers what they are actually reading.

The AAR will also jump between various theatres of war in Europe, and Government, Heeresgruppe, Armee, and Korps-headquarters. Any shift in location will be announced with the text beginning with a headline, underlined and bold, explaining the location, date, and in some cases the situation at hand.

Pictures:
Screenshots from the game will be used. Often will these screenshots have been edited with text, explaining for the reader what it is he, or she, is watching. Such texts will be written in black against a white background.

Observe: Due to forum rules so will also the graphics in most screenshots have been edited, and possible offensive material been removed. Were such things to appear, it will be a mistake, and I will seek to remove such offences if its pointed out.

This is mostly due to the graphics that the HSR-mod have.


Other authentic pictures will also be used, and will too be slightly edited in order to be in line with the rules of these forums.

Game strategy:
No detailed strategy for the continuation of the game has been defined other than seeking to achieve victory, or peace with honor for Germany.

As player, I am currently seeking to hold on to captured territory and to defend the nation against the allied and Russian onslaught.

This may, and probably will, change as the AAR continue and depending on the outside contributions to the AAR.

Outside contribution:
Other posters who post opinions, suggestions etc in the AAR-thread can find themselves appear in the AAR. Posts, opinions, and suggestions can, and will be used, on certain characters appearing in the AAR.

Depending on what kind of posts etc that are contributed in the thread, individuals making such posts are likely to be used as inspiration to either historical or fictional characters in the AAR, or to more or less form the base of certain characters in the AAR.

How ever, as author of the AAR, so do I preserve the right to edit contributions, but will seek to hold the original text of the contribution as intact as possible out of respect for those who have contributed.

In other words, anyone feeling to come with suggestions and advice concerning the gameplay - feel free to do so since it will be grealy appriciated. I only write for as long as I have played in the game.

Notice and be aware:
The following prologue is rather long. Some events, months and years are more detailed than others.
 
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Prologue - Recollections of what once were…

The Reich chancellery, Berlin. May 1944.

Der Fuhrer were alone in his office. He had earlier that day received that latest news regarding the worsening situation on the Ostfront and that the counter-attacks against the Russian attack by Von Kluge and Von Manstein had been repulsed.

Von Manstein had earlier sent a message asking for a permission to withdraw his left flank southwards since it had become exposed. The Fuhrer had of course denied such action, but Von Manstein now reported that he had been forced to withdraw as far south as Kharkov…

Neither von Kluge or von Manstein had been able to halt the Russian break-trough, and the Russians were now coming dangerously close to Kiev. “This is spite of their reassurances and my orders to stand fast!”, Der Fuhrer thought. “Even von Leeb in the north has reported that he is withdrawing units from the Leningrad-area”.

Immediately after having received the latest reports from the east so had Hitler called to a conference in Rastenburg, ordering all senior field-commanders in the east to attend. “There…”, he thought, “…I will set them straight.”

While waiting for his adjutant to enter the room, informing him that everything was ready, the Fuhrer of Germany started to think back, and remember past events…

Several corps –and divisional commanders had been sacked in the last couple of weeks, and many of them would face charges of “Cowardice in the face of the enemy” for having their forces retreat from the Russians. “Examples needs to be set”, Hitler said out loud to himself.

He walked up to the window and looked out at the rainy streets, “Everything that I have done for the Reich in the last 8 years are about to be ruined in a matter of weeks because of generals lacking the stomach to fight. Everyone giving their blood on the Alter of the Fatherland in defence of the Reich should be proud, and they should not be wept. The constant cries for withdrawals by the Wehrmacht is an insult against the Reich and those who are giving their lives protecting it…”, he continued.

He continued to look out trough the window, and recollected memories from the early successes and victories…

His first victory had been when he had sent troops into the Rhineland at January 6th 1936 without France and the United Kingdom had opposing him, other than sending formal protests. “My most nervous moment in life”, he thought, “Had the French sent in their military, there would have been nothing else for us to do that to retreat.

The people on the streets had rejoiced over the news that the Rhineland were back with the Reich, all the way. The Kriegsmarine under Reader had of course made use of the moment and presented their “Plan Z”, a plan designed to increase the size of the Kriegsmarine. Hitler had of course approved it, but also at the same time appointed Dönitz as FbU (Fuhrer der Unterseeboote), which was not really what Reader had hoped for. During February, the SA had been wiped out by the hands of the SS, which now were given an increased role.

“During those days so did I realise that I needed a bodyguard which, even though small, would obey me without questions and even would fight against their own brothers. Rather 20 men from one city - under the condition that they could be absolutely trusted, than an unreliable mob.”, he thought.

The planning for the Olympics had also been initiated. “Turned out to be a huge success - as expected”, he reflected.

In line with the pre-war diplomatic strategy so had Germany started efforts to bring Hungary closer to Germany, and it turned out to be successful.

During June so had China erupted into a war between different factions, but it had not been anything that Germany concern themselves about, nor did it care, but did rather seek to bring Austria closer to the Reich, and signed an agreement with Austria as a first step to a union between the two nations. In July so did Franco raise the flag of rebellion in Spain. The Italians immediately sent men and material to aid the Nationalists. When learning of that neither France nor the United Kingdom would support the Spanish Republic, Germany sent its “Legion Condor” to Spain, mostly consisting of air-units that would have the opportunity to try out their equipment and tactics. The Bolsheviks had of course sent men and material to support the republicans.

During August, Germany decided to take a more direct approach to the Spanish civil-war and sent a ‘Marine-Kampgruppe” to the Bay of Biscay consisting of the “Graf Spee”, “Admiral Scheer”, “Deutschland” and three cruiser-groups. And under the watchful eyes of the Kriegsmarine, so did “Gruppe Condor”, made up by four infantry-divisions, land in Oviedo and a declaration of war was made against the republicans in Spain. Due to the war, so were also a new experimental division raised using men from the polizei, and it was simply named “Polizei-Division”. Reinforcements were how ever needed in Spain, and several divisions were sent. The Nationalists under Franco did also at this time propose a military alliance with Germany, and the agreement was signed in September.

In November, the construction of two new battleships begun - the KMS Tirpitz and the KMS Bismarck, followed in December with the start of construction of Germanys first air-craft carrier, the “Graf Zeppelin”.
 
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1937

In February 1937, Germany entered into the “Anti-Comintern” with Italy and Japan. “I don’t really know what Stalin though about that, but shortly thereafter, he executed most of his senior officers”, Hitler pleased thought to himself with a smile on this lips. “But I wonder if it hadn’t been wise if I had done the same, taking the latest development in the war into account…”

In June 1937, Japan became even more entangled in China, fighting several Chinese warlords and factions. During the summer of 1937 so did Hungary enter into a military-alliance with Germany, and the construction of the Autobahns begun. During August so did FbU Dönitz receive the first deliverance of 29 new u-boots of the new IX-class.

Seeking to bring the dragged out war in Spain to an end, so did Germany in November 1937 present the republican side with a peace-offer, which was rejected. That had called for renewed efforts and more air-units were re-based to Spain. The war had been going on for too long, and Madrid (a republican stronghold) were subjected to a vicious bombing-campaign.


1938

Finally, in January 1938, so were the republicans beaten in Spain after a brave last ditch defence. The German units in Spain shortly thereafter returned to Germany, a bit wiser, and with ideas of new tactics for aerial warfare.

Either way, Hitler stood in his office, thinking to himself.

”I have my opinion of Franco...We ought to keep these Red Spaniards on the back burner...They're lost to democracy, and to that reactionary crew round Franco too...

I am quite sure that very few of the so-called Reds in Spain were really communists. We were badly deceived, for, had I known the real state of affairs, I would never have allowed out aircraft to bombard and destroy[…].

They were impressive people. I must say, in general, that during the civil war the idealism was not on Franco's side; it was to be found among the Reds...one of these days we'll be able to make use of them...The whole thing will start all over again. But with us on the opposite side.”


In march 1938, Austria could not resist to become part of the Greater German Reich, and his Fatherland had become part of his new Reich, also adding much appreciated military formations into the Wehrmacht order of battle. This was followed shortly after with the decision to turn the SS into an elite military corps - the Waffen SS, and the “SS-Leibstandarte A.H“. was created. The battle cruiser/pocket battleship “KMS Gneisenau” did also perform its sea-trails during the spring, and was delivered to the Kriegsmarine.
 

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1939

In January 1939 so had the motorization of German divisions begun, and four infantry divisions were converged into motorized ones.

The rest of Czechoslovakia fell to Germany shortly there-after. “Those weak British”, he thought, “They really fooled themselves”. He had created the new state of Slovakia, and installed Tiso, a priest, to govern it.

“It is better to arrange it that way instead of having to waste troops to control it. They are happy about their independence, and are providing us with their surplus resources. Excellent solution”.

Germanys ally, Hungary, also gained territory, “Rhutenia” from what was formerly Czechoslovakia. Hitler laughed out to himself, : “Chamberlain seemed such a nice old gentleman that I thought I give him my autograph.”

Strengthened by this triumph, Germany shortly thereafter issued claims of the city of Memel, which was ceded by the Lithuanians.

On March 26 1939 so did Italy issue an ultimatum against Albania, which was refused. This caused the Italians, on the same day, to declare war upon Albania. Meanwhile, the transfer of Germans divisions from their various locations trough-out the Reich to positions near the Polish border begun.

This caused a reaction from the British who guaranteed the Polish independence, and the Polish entered into a military alliance with the British.

“Like that would have made any difference”, Hitler said to himself, still looking out at the rainy streets.

The OKW had in the following month raised some concern regarding the armed forces of Slovakia, and their tactics. Efforts were made to increase the quality of their forces, and it was also decided that Slovakia’s forces would be under the operational control of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW). The OKW also had a similar situation with Hungary, and they also received aid in order to modernize their forces and tactics. Also, an agreement was made making the OKW operationally in charge of the Hungarian forces for operations in the east. Slovakians divisions were attached to the German 17.Armee, and the Hungarians formed their ‘Karpatische Armeegruppe’, which also was attached to the 17.Armee.

With the British involved in the Polish question that emerged lately, there were some concerns as of how they would react if Germany placed Poland under pressure. If Germany would be forced to use armed forces to get its demands accepted, that would mean war. Not only with the Poles, but probably also with the western democracies. Since many of the west-European nations have invested large resources into fortifications during the interwar-period, so were much of their strategy based on that. If Germany were to be able to be successful in an eventual western campaign, so was it essential that such fortifications was dealt with. It was decided to turn certain Fallshirmjäger-formation in to specialists within that area. These Fallschirmjägers were trained towards the goal of capturing the strongest fortress in north-western Europe - Eben-Emael in Belgium. This also triggered the idea of forming entire Fallschirmjäger-Divisions, and at the end of April so had a new division been raised and were undergoing training - The 7th Fallshirmjäger-Division [7th. Flieger Division], commanded by a pioneer within airborne warfare, Student.

At the same time so did Romania have a sudden change of its government, and the Foreign Minister were immediately sent on a mission to Romania in order to explain the views of Germany, and were successful in his mission. The second ship with the “Plan Z”, “KMS Admiral Hipper” passed its sea-trails and were delivered to the Kreigsmarine. The success with the creating of the “7th Fallschirmjäger-Division” sparked the forming of yet an other airborne divisions, the “22nd Luftlande-Division”. Recruitment for units like these was easy, and the number of recruits required was reached almost instantly.

In May 1939 so did some economists call for a more liberal approach concerning the economy. But after some brief consideration within the cabinet, so had it been decided that the economy must remain under strict control of the state. Shortly after that decision had been made, Ernst Toller committed suicide.

The Oberkommando der Heeres were now in a period in which they formed several specialized divisions, and during the whole spring and the beginning of the summer so were several new Gebirgs-Korps, consisting of specialized Gebirgs-Divisions (mountain) raised. Even the Waffen-SS followed that trend, with the creation of the “6. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division Nord”, and shortly thereafter the “7. SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs-Division Prinz Eugen”.

The airplane constructor Focke Wolf did also present plans for a new long range naval bomber to the Luftwaffe, the Focke Wulf 200C. The design was seen as so good, that resources for its development was given approval and precedence.

At 30th of July, Germanys non-aggression pact with Poland expired.

“And the Poles did not even contact us regarding signing a new pact…The fools. Not that I would have honoured it, but still”, Hitler said to himself.

At the duration of the whole of August so were the Kriegsmarine busy transferring its ships to ports in the eastern Baltic sea, away from potential British bombers, and especially the Royal Navy.

On August 22nd so did the non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union expire. But Ribbentropp had instantly been sent to Moscow to work out a new deal with the Russians, and did on the 24th report back that he have reached success in his negotiations. He and the Russian foreign minister had signed a document that would be referred to as the “Molotov-Ribbentropp pact” , leaving Germany free hands to deal with the Poles. In return so were the Soviet Union granted freedom of action in the Baltic states, and would also be ceded half of Poland,. That was of course not stated in the official document, but kept as a undisclosed.

Much of the rest of the world were in chock because the renewed pact, and both the United Kingdom and France started to gear up for war.
 

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On August 30th, Germany issued the Poles with an ultimatum regarding the city of Danzig. The Poles refused, so the German armies crossed the borders of Poland from three sides on September 1. The United Kingdom and France, including their puppet-states issued declarations of war against Germany on the same day. FbU Dönitz were given approval, and orders, to start targeting British and French shipping with his U-boots. The U-boots had already been sent into the Atlantic during the last week of August, as an act of precaution.

France, on the other hand, appeared to have acted a bit impulsively with their declaration, now finding itself at war with both Germany in the east, and with Spain in the south. France did almost instantaneously go back on their decision and started to negotiate a peace with Spain, who in turn only demanded a return to status quo for peace. To much dismay for the British, so did France pull out from the military alliance. The confrontation with Poland and the British Commonwealth did also trigger Göring to recall commercial pilots to service within the Luftwaffe.

The strategy against the Polish was simple. Capture Danzig within the first day, armoured penetrations in the south towards Crakow, to then swing around north and head from towards Warsaw. A wide front push from the west towards Poznan, and flanking attacks from East-Prussia once Danzig had been captured.

The 5.Armee struck against Danzig, the 6.Armee against Poznan. XIV.Panzerkorps reached Crakow on the 4th, followed by the IX. Waffen-Gebirgskorps d.SS. The Russians took the opportunity of the worlds focus on the situation in Poland, and moved to annex Estonia. The 18.Armee followed in the tracks of the XIV.Panzerkorps, while the 7.Armee struck at Radom.

At September 8th so did the VII. Panzerkorps and the III.Panzerkorps rout the defenders of Warsaw and entered the city. Leading elements of the 7.Armee shortly after took over control of the city from the III. Panzerkorps. The war was now a forgone conclusion, and even though the armies continued eastwards trough Poland, so did the OKW start issuing orders redeploying formations to the western border.

The 17.Armee went into action in southern Poland after the fall of Warsaw, pushing the Polish back. XIV. Panzerkorps stuck at Zamosc, and defeated the Polish defenders.

At September 12th so did Spain surprise the world, as well as Germany, when they stormed the British fortress of Gibraltar, and managed to capture it. No British ships could no longer enter or leave the Mediterranean, except trough the Suez-channel. Dönitz rejoiced over that news, because now, the British trade-shipping would not longer be able to use the safe route. The would now have to pass around Africa, or cross the Atlantic, being easy prey for Dönitz U-boots. The U-boots now received orders to take up position off the coast of Africa.

During mid-September, “KMS Blucher” entered service within the Kreigsmarine

At the 15th, the 16.Armee attacked the Polish at Suwalki, and the 12.Armee took up occupational duties in south-western Poland.

At the 20th September so were the last pocket of Polish resistance collapse at Grodno, and the Polish surrender followed directly after. Germany instantly moved to an outright annexation of Poland. And did in the coming days cede eastern Poland to the Soviet Union, in line with the M-R pact.

“That was a good and solid victory”, Hitler thought to himself. “Unfortunately so did the generals oppose my idea of launching a campaign in the west as soon as October. They wanted to have time to shift the forces from the east to the west, reinforce them, and plan for an offensive in the west taking place during spring 1940. I could see the reasons they presented, but time was one thing we did not have…”, Hitler said to himself.

He continued: “I ought to have seized the initiative in 1938 instead of allowing myself to be forced into war in 1939; for war was, in any case, unavoidable. However, one can hardly blame me if the British and the French accepted at Munich every demand I made of them!”

Meanwhile, the British were conducting a strategic bombing campaign against the Ruhr, and Germany started to reinforce that whole region with large numbers AA-batteries. New fighter-formations were also formed. The industry had to be protected.

October was a month of restructuring. Polish captured equipment were distributed among the armed forces. Dönitz, due to his successful U-boot campaign against the British, were promoted to Befehlshaber der Unterseeboote. The Waffen-SS was also expanded with the deployment of the “3.SS-Panzer-Division Totenkopf”, placed under the command of Eicke. “He was not really a great military mind, but at least he were later to show that he could get the job done”, Hitler thought.

Daimler-Benz also reported during October that they had finished the development of their new medium tank, the “Panzerkampfwagen III”, or “Panzer III” which it would later be referred to as.

At the end of October, German forces crossed the border to Denmark, who in spite of instantly seeking protection among the allies, capitulated within a day. This did how ever cause the Belgians to seek security from the allies. During the short war against Denmark, so were also a plot against Hitler revealed. Many ranking officers were involved in it, and they were forced to pay the ultimate price for their involvement. The generals Von Brauchitsch, Decker, Kubena, Fressman, Fromm, Höppner, Kalmukoff, von Stulpnagel, von Witzleben, Böhm, Carls, Schaffarz, von Erdmansdorff, Fellgiebel, Zborzil, Zaiser, Jeschonnek, Feurstein, Hickman, and Halder all faced trails and were executed.

The allied bombing campaign against industries in north-western Germany continued during the winter. In November so did the Soviet Union issue demands on Finland, which the Finns refused. This in turn lead to the Soviet Union invaded Finland, who in turn put up a stiff resistance against the attacking Russians.

At December 15th did Germany declare war on Norway, which was followed up with German landings at Kristianstad by the 20. Gebirgs-Armee and divisional size airborne landings in the south of Norway.
 

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1940

Norway did of course seek protection from the allies, who landed a force at Narvik. This caused a drop in the industrial efficiency, due to the disruption of metal from Scandinavia. Oslo was without delay encircled, but it would take until January 10th until German forces stormed the city. The Waffen-SS continued to expand with the deployment of the “SS-Division VT” in mid-January.

The campaign in Norway were slow in progress, and still during April, German infantry-division were fighting their way north towards Narvik. Lack of transport-airplanes had made an airborne assault on Narvik impossible. A minor revolt also took place in Copenhagen during April, but it was easily beaten down. Most of April was used preparing for the offensive in the west, with the deployment of ground formations to the border-areas, as well as basing the Luftwaffe closer to the border.

The Finnish winter war ended on May 15th, with the return to status-quo, and the Finns were forced to hand over the terrain captured by them. On May 17th, the British forces at Narvik had finally driven out.

Before the Norwegian campaign had been brought to an end, Germany started its offensive in the west. Given the fact that France had not yet entered the war, it was a two-phased plan:

1) Attack Belgium and the Netherlands from north-western Germany. Once that was done, organize the participating armies along the Belgian border, along with forces in the Luxemburg-area.

2) Launch the main attack on France from Belgium, with smaller thrust into France trough Luxemburg.

On May 21st, the German armies attacked the Netherlands and Belgium with the massive support of the Luftwaffe, who requested aid from the allies. Luxemburg entered into an alliance with the allies on May 22nd. The German airborne effort in the Netherlands and Belgium were also initiated on May 22nd, and Germans Fallschirmjägers secured the Dutch dams and captured the Belgian fortress of Eben Emael, to the great surprise of the Belgian. The main obstacle of conquering Belgium had now been removed. On the 23, the Belgian government went into exile, and the government of the Netherlands went into exile on the 25th.


On June 18th, Belgium and the Netherlands were under the control of Germany. Germanys forces had formed up along the Belgian-French border, and did in 04,00h did the 12.Armee with the aid of several artillery-brigades (attacking trough Lille), 7.Armee (attacking trough Reims, 16.Armee (at Valciennes), 1.Armee stormed Strassbourg, 6.Armee (providing infantry support at Troyes) several Panzerkorps breaking trough in Troyes, Compiegne, ) cross the border, with the support of Luftflotte 3.

On June 20th, the Dutch capitulated. Hitler shocked his head while looking out the window: “Why did they even resist in the first place?”

SS-Division Totenkopf, under th e command of Theodore Eicke reach Dijon on the 23rd. The 12.Armee followed up their break-trough at Lille, and reached Amiens, also on the 23rd. The 16.Armee reached Compiegne at the 25th. The Spanish went on the offensive in southern France on the 26th, forcing the French defenders to retreat north. The 6.Armee continued to advance towards Auxerre, reaching it on the 26th.

On June 27th, the Soviet Union raised demands against Romania regarding Bessarabia, which the Romanian were forced to hand over to the Russians. “The Romanians must really have been shaken by that, because by nightfall, their Foreign Minister were in Berlin seeking to make Romania part of the Axis. We granted it, of course”, Hitler continued to himself: ” It would have been unwise to decline and pass over on the oil from Ploesti, and at least some control over it”.

Attacks on Vichy and Le Mans were carried out on the 27th by spearhead formations., and on the 28th so did the XXXVIII. Panzerkorps enter Le Mans.

The 16.Armee had struck against the coast, and captured Dunkerque on the 28th, and did now control a line stretching from Dunkerque to Compiegne. The SS-Division VT did after bitter fighting force the French defenders away from Vichy on the 29th, and took control over the region.

The start of July saw a lot of action on the French north coast, were retreating French formation had fallen back to. From Dunkerque to Dieppe to Le Havre, fighting were taking place around the clock, calling for reinforcements of armoured formations. The SS-Division VT continued its push and reached Clermont-Ferrand on the 2nd of July and the XIV. Panzerkorps reached La Rochelle on the 4th of July. Several armies were now involved in the fighting taking place in the north, while German armoured and motorized formation roamed free in the south of France. During mid-July, the French did manage to counter-attack at Dijon, forcing several Germans corps to retreat. Serious efforts were instantly taken to repulse the French thrust. On July 17th, the LIV.Korps (mot) from the 16.Armee won the battle of Paris and quickly entered the city. The fall of Paris made Mussolini to act, who offered to enter the war on Germanys side - which they did. This cause the French to realise that they had no other choice that to ask for a cease-fire, and a puppet-regime in Vichy was quickly installed.



“What the Kaisers generals could not achieve in 4 years time, I did in exactly 4 weeks! I have never liked France or the French, and I have never stopped saying so.”, Hitler said commented to himself.

The fall of France brought about the British guaranteeing the Greeks independence, which the Greeks approved of. The British followed up the fall of France with attacking the French navy in its North African ports.

On July 23rd, the last allied forces had been driven out of Norway. Germany instantly installed a puppet-regime under Quisling. In the following day so did Bulgaria let it be known that they would be willing to open negotiations regarding an alliance. Germany did how ever not follow up on the Bulgarian approach.

The months after the defeat of France were months busy securing the French coastline against potential British landings, and several garrisons were set up along the coastline. While that was taking place, the Heer was reinforced by both newly raised division, and trough new recruits who filled up the ranks of the divisions who had taken casualties during the French campaign.

Dönitz had been full of activity during the summer, and did in August 1940 present, and started to implement, a new doctrine regarding commerce raiding. Germanys technicians had also them been finishing their new constructions, and the OKW were during later summer presented with prototypes of the new “Stug III”, and a model for a basic tank destroyer. Newly constructed U-boots were also started to be delivered to Dönitz, and the arrival of such continued trough-out the fall.

As a reprisal for their defeat in France, so did the British conduct a vicious and intense bombing campaign over the French north coast against the German divisions stationed there. Nine Luftwaffe fighter-formations were re-based to the French north coast and the Netherlands as a way to counter and oppose the British bombing campaign.

At the start of August so were the 3rd, 10th and 14th Infantry Divisions converged into Motorized Divisions. The newly developed Stug III also begun to be delivered to the Panzer -and Motorized Divisions.
 
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A relocation of troops from the west to the east and south begun during the later summer. The border towards the Soviet Union were reinforced, and several major formations were sent to Ostmark, and formed up at the border of Yugoslavia - which were intended to be the next target. The British air-raids on north-French cities continued, and Cherbourg were especially targeted.

At September 5th, the Vienna-dictate was signed. Germany ruled in favour of Romania, based on the idea of not wanting to weaken Romania in term of territory. The first part of September also saw the arrival of all of Luftflotte 3´s fighter-formations. The Oberkommando der Luftwaffe had decided that they have had enough of the constant air-raids from the British, and intended to face the British head on. Some 16 geschwader were based in bases in northern France. At September 11th so did Romania cave in to Bulgarian territorial claims, and handed over the city and port of Constanza. This was frowned upon by Germany, who took on a strong dislike towards the puny Bulgaria in the corner of the Balkans. Germany would not forget.

During September so did the Abwehr inform the OKW that the United States has started construction of three new capital ships: USS New Jersey, USS Missouri and the USS Wisconsin. Such ships, given that they started to operate in the Atlantic, could cause problems for the German naval strategy. Fortunately so had the U-bootwaffe by the end of September, due to newly constructed U-boots, increased its size with almost 100% since the previous year. Hanomag did also inform the OKW that they had completed their research and prototypes concerning how the Motorized Divisions could be further improved.

At September 19th so did two coups occur. Romania had a right wing coup d’état, which were favourable to Germany. Also Iraq had a coup d’état, which caused them to leave their military alliance with the United Kingdom, and also quickly seek peace with the Axis-powers. This caused the British to react under the pretext of wanting to secure the Middle-east. They instantly declared war upon newly independent Syria. This did in turn cause Vichy France to leave their alliance with Syria, not wanting to antagonize the allies. The British commonwealth and Empire shortly followed with their declarations of war upon Syria.

Vichy France did how ever after a very turbulent government-meeting decide that they would fight with Syria, and did on the evening of the 19th of September openly declare that they were siding with Syria, which brought them into a state of war with the British and allies. Vichy France entry into the conflict did in turn make Lebanon to side with them. Madagascar did how ever not follow the instructions of Vichy France, and dropped out of the alliance. Germany reached the conclusion that they had to react quickly to the situation in the Middle East and did issue support to the Coup d’état in Iraq and to the Syrian war-effort. Madagascar had how ever reconsidered their stance at the 20th, and did re-enter their alliance with Vichy-France.

“I thought I would never get rid if Ribbentropps men those days. Always new telegram, always new information. Of course we had to assist those who opposed our enemies - The British Empire. It was my obligation and duty to the Reich”, Hitler said out loud to himself. “The Arabian Freedom Movement in the Middle East was our natural ally…In this connection special importance was attached to the liberation of Iraq…”, he thought.

Dönitz were still very busy during this period and did present his new “Wolf pack” doctrine to the OKM. The OKW agreed upon that it was a sound doctrine to adapt for the U-boots. The OKM were though on the October 7th more concerned of other matters when the brand new battleship “Tirptiz” performed its first sea-trails. Dönitz U-boots were during autumn having more and more skirmishes with allied warships in the Atlantic. Some U-boots were sent to the bottom, but the allies suffered a heavier price, almost always loosing some destroyers and cruisers when they attacked the U-boots. The OKM felt that the price of lost U-boots were well worth it, if they could continue to decimate the Royal Navy in such pace.

At the end of October so were the SS-Division V.T. disbanded. The men of that division came to form up the cadre of several new Waffen-SS divisions, the first being the 2.SS-Panzer-Division “Das Reich”.

In a major naval engagement at October 18th, when a group of 8 German submarines were attacked by a British taskforce, the British came to suffer their heaviest naval losses so far in the war. The light cruisers Coventry and Birmingham was sent to the bottom. But the big price was the sinking of the battleship HMS Valiant. The German submarine group only lost one u-boot, the U-181.

Hitler smiled amused: “Reader smiled for several days after that”.

Its likely that the German U-boots successes contributed to it, by regardless of that so did the Unites States in October 19th pass the Lend-Lease act. Shipments started instantly, which in turn strengthened the British armed forces.

On October 21st, the Italians declared war upon Greece and started their offensive from conquered Albania. This was in line with Mussolini’s ambition to dominate the region. This did of course drive the Greeks straight into the arms of the allies. Due to Germanys alliance with Italy, it also made Greece into an enemy of Germany. How ever, given that there were no land connections between Germany and Greece, no efforts to aid the Italians were made by Germany. The OKW felt that it could ignore the Greek theatre of war. As an addition to the Axis so did Syria enter the alliance at the end of October. Unfortunately so did the Greek entry into the war generate that British bombers could be based there. On the 30th of October, the first British air-raids were made against the Ploesi-oilfield in Romania, lowering the oil-output. The Fuhrer ordered the OKW that something had to be done about that.

At November 10th, former British Premier Neville Chamberlain passed away. “Unfortunate”, Hitler said , “It much an much easier task negotiating with him than Churchill”. He took a brief look at a couple walking by outside on the street, then started to wander around in his large office.

By November 17th, the Kriegsmarine got an other excuse to celebrate. Or rather, the U-boots under Dönitz got an excuse after having been attacked by British-Netherland naval forces, the U-boots sunk the British aircraft-carrier “HMS Eagle“, and got away clean and disappeared into the Atlantic. The early winter was other than that rather calm. All branches of the Wehrmacht reinforced themselves, and there was a feeling of preparation more than anything else.

Shortly thereafter, the Krupp industries informed the armaments industry that they had completed their research of a new and improved medium tank, the Panzer IV. Messerschmitt did not want to be worse, and rushed their completion of their new improved interceptor. Hanomag in turn, would excel them all with having developed a new type of division - mechanized. Several Police-formations were also created with a cadre from regular police, intended to serve in the occupied areas.

At December 25th 1940, the situation for the Italians in North-Africa were getting bad. There were some dispute and argument concerning if Germany would deploy forces to that continent in order to aid the Italians. The side being in favour of assisting the Italians manage to convince the Fuhrer that the British had to be engaged. The orders to form the “Panzerarmee Africa” was soon drawn up, and the 5th, 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions were sent to Africa. The 90th and 164th Light Divisions were sent too., and the Armee itself placed under the command of Rommel. A few days later, the Italians handed over the overall command of Axis forces in Africa to Rommel, making the force under his command quite respectable.
 

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1941

At the start of 1941 so had Dönitz completed his work regarding Capital ship-raiders. The general idea was that the Kriegsmarines capital ships would assist with U-boots in the Atlantic and strike against merchant vessels. January 8 saw the forming of yet an other SS-Division, the 5th SS-Panzer Division “Wiking”, commanded by Felix Steiner. After having organized his forces, Rommel went on the offensive at January 8th and did effectively attack the British at Agedabia.

At the middle of January, the arrangements and deployments for an invasion of Yugoslavia had been completed. At January 19th 0800h did German forces cross the border from the north, will the Axis powers of Hungary and Romania remained defensive. The Luftwaffe struck at targets deep inside Yugoslavia with good success. After a slow start, the German forces rushed down the Balkans. One of the spearheads, 2nd SS-Panzer Division “Das Reich” reached Zagreb at the 25th , later reaching Banja-Luka at the 10th of February. Bitter fighting erupted however in the area of Ljubljana. At February 5th did the VII. Panzerkorps roll into Osijek. Meanwhile, the British increased the pressure on Rommels forces by conducting air-strikes against the positions at Agedabia.

At the 23rd, the defenders of Belgrade were defeated by the 12.Armee under List, and an annexation of what once were Yugoslavia was performed. The primary goal of the campaign had now been reached - the south eastern flank was not secured, and Germany also now had naval bases in the region. At the 29th, the puppet of Croatia was formed. The Italians had tried to take control over the entire Adriatic coastline, but Germany demanded that the region would be returned to Germany and Croatia. After reforming the participating armies in the south of Yugoslavia, preparations begun for the offensive against Greece, spearheaded by List‘s 12.Armee. The Italians had not managed to defeat the Greeks, so German intervention was required in order to secure the region from British forces.

Rommel did at the 8th of March strike against Benghazi, with success, and continued with victories at Barca and at Forte Maddalena, and later spread out to Msus. At the 18th, the offensive against the Greeks begun with primary attacks against Edessa. At March 28th, the Greek defenders were forces from Ioaninna, after a very long battle. Rommel were at the same time forced to fight hard for Forte Capuzzo against the British. The VII. Panzerkorps did at April 13th enter Athens, which in turn caused the Greeks to lay down their arms, seeing the futile in continuing fighting. They did, how ever, before laying down their arms hand over Crete to the British. That was something that had to be dealt with., and on the 23rd so were the 7.Flieger Division and 22nd Luftlande Division placed on alert for a drop over Crete. On the 25th, the first wave was sent in, and it ended in a disaster! On the 28th, the second wave was sent in. They did how ever almost suffer the same fate as the first wave, but did after desperate fighting manage to overcome the British garrison on the island.

At the 27th, the aircraft-carrier “Graf Zeppelin” left the docks and entered service in the Kriegsmarine.

After the fall of Greece, preparations and transfer of troops to the eastern border were intensified. Heer forces were also reformed in the Balkans and reorganized in the following way:

12.Armee under List became Heeresgruppe E, responsible for Greece. Heeresgruppe E assumed command over the occupational forces consisting of: Befehlshaber Sud-Griechenland, Befehlshaber Salonika-Aegean, and the garrison in Athens. The 2.Panzer-Armee were also starting to form up in Greece, but were far from completed.

Heeresgruppe F was set up in Belgrade, commanding the whole south-eastern theatre, and had several regional commands subordinated to itself, such as: Befehlshaber Kroatien, Befehlshaber Serbien as well as the IX.Waffen-Gebirgskorps d.SS. Croatian forces covered the Adriatic coast. Heeresgruppe E were also subordinated to Heeresgruppe F. Heeresgruppe F were in turn sub-ordinate to Oberbefehlshaber Sud (Kesselring).


The fall of Greece also brought about an increase in British raids from Malta against Italian supply-convoys to Africa. Rommel did his best, seeking to ignore the shortages of supplies, and captured Tobruk. At May 21st, the Italians asked for permission and support to launch Operation C3 - to capture Malta. This operation was approved by the OKW, and resources were made available to the Italians. An amphibious assault was made in combination with an airborne-assault. Reinforcements were sent in at the 22nd, and Malta fell to the Italians!

During the summer, the build-up in the east continued. Mean while, focus was placed on the naval battle in the Atlantic, and on Rommels forces in Africa. The Panzerarmee Africa had managed to establish a rather large bridgehead along the coast, but it had become clear that further offensives would be difficult, and that the campaign in Africa had to be defensive. The OKW did at this point start to draw up plans to evacuate the divisions from Africa, and instructed Rommel to stay on the defensive and hold as many ports as possible. This caused Rommel to set up his defensives around the cities of along the coast of Libya, even though some forces did remain in Egypt.

The situation in Africa as well as the reorganization of forces through-out the occupied territory, in combination with a perceived lack of resources and units, made the OKW to take the decision to postpone any offensive in the east [i.e. against the Soviet Union] for at least a year. The build-up of forces in the border areas would how ever continue and be intensified.

The summer of 1941 also brought about a strengthening of the Luftwaffes bomber-forces, and several new tactical bomber-units took place in the order of battle. Dönitz’s new doctrines did also start to show their worth, and the Wolf-packs in the Atlantic and off the coast of Africa enjoyed great success, and did also engage at British cruiser-force in the waters of the West Celtic Shelf and sunk the two cruisers HMS Colombo and HMS Calcutta. The allies did in revenge target German-controlled coastal cities during these months. The late part of June also saw an increased allied bomber-campaign against Italian naval bases and the German positions in Crete. The Italians shortly after retaliated by bombing British ports and infrastructure in Egypt and Israel.

At the beginning of July so were volunteers from the USA sent to China in order to aid the Chinese in the struggle. Dönitz’s suffered a couple of set-backs during at the beginning of July, and lost six U-boots to allies naval taskforces. The U-boots were promptly instructed to shift their patrols to other sea lanes. Much fighting was also conducted in the skies over the Bay of Biscay, with allied bomber and fighter-formation seeking to ground the Luftwaffe and target the naval bases. At the end of July, the Luftwaffe could no longer prevent the allied bombers from reaching their target, and the naval base at Bordeaux sustained severe damage on its port facilities.

Newly raised security divisions and divisions designated for occupied France started to be deployed during the early autumn. These reinforcements were deployed to the 1.Armee, 15.Armee and the 7.Armee - all located in France under OB West. In return, those armies were depraved of most of their combat-formations, which were redeployed to the east. Once there, they reinforced existing armies or formed up cadres for new armies. During September so did the allied continue with their bombing-campaign against the occupying force in Crete. The pressure on Rommel’s forces in Africa did also increase, but the Panzer-Armee-Africa reached El Alamain during the first week of September. They did how ever not manage to rout the British forces there, and a stalemate was established for a short period. That latter half of September was filled with defensive battles at Fuka and Gerwala, but the line still held. At September 24th, after have received reinforcements from the rear, Rommel once against struck at El Alamein, but were forced to abort the attack at September 25th, unable to dislodge the British defenders. From September 28th to September 30th, the British bombed and attacked [by land] Gerwala a total of ten times. Unsuccessfully however.

At the beginning of October, the OKW discussed the option of reinforcing the DAK in Africa, and if such reinforcements would be able to shift the events in favour of the German forces operating in Africa. The Fuhrer did however decide that such reinforcements would be too expensive to spend in Africa, for a very unsure gain. Rommel would have to make the best of the situation with what he had.

At the beginning of October so did the Italians place the Axis-forces in Africa in grave danger by loosing the strategic important island of Malta. Malta were once again to become a thorn in the side to Germany, and the British would once again be in a position to attack Germanys supply-convoys. At the 10th of October so did the British once again resume their raids from Malta. “Those incompetent Italians”, Hitler mumbled to himself. “We provide the resources for them to capture the island, and a heavy cost, only to experience them loosing it back to the British. The British obviously learned something from that, but not the Italians!”

However, some positive news also arrived to the Reich Chancellery the very same day, Ribbentropp once again reached success. Finland agreed to sign a military-pact with Germany, which in simpler terms made them an Axis-ally. The German reasons for seeking to bring Finland closer to the Axis were to increase the force and participating nations in the coming invasion of the Soviet Union. The Finns had proved able during the Finnish Winter War, and Hitler were of the opinion that such able troops would be quite useful in the artic regions.

The German divisions operating out of Norway would need assistance in reaching Murmansk. As a further step of preparation for the coming offensive in the east so were newly constructed anti-tank cannons starting to arrive to the divisions. The constructors behind the ‘7,5cm PaK 40’ assured the Wehrmacht that this new weapon would be up to almost any task.

November saw a massive build-up and boosting of the already deployed divisions, and quite a few of them were now considered to be “Heavy Divisions”. The Luftwaffe also prepared for its coming role, and performed a rapid expansion of its Stuka-geschwaders. The Luftwaffe was very aware that its role in Russia would be to support the ground forces.

The reminder of the year were mostly quiet, with the exception of some low-intensity skirmishing in Africa and allied bombings of German troop -and naval positions in France. Both the Heer and the Luftwaffe continued to prepare for the next campaign. Across the other side of the world, things were starting to heat up. The United States did at December 14th pass an Oil Embargo against Japan. The reason for this were to slow down Japanese expansion in the far east, but Japan received the news as an hidden declaration of war by the United States. Japan did how ever hesitate to take direct action against the United States. For the time being.
 

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1942
At January 1st, the Luftwaffe were presented with blueprints of a new type of escort/heavy fighter, the Bf.110G. It was decided that such a design could prove valuable in a dual role: escorting tactical bombers, as well as night fighting. The design was given priority by the Luftfartministerium.

The Abwehr did also start to report of that the Soviet Union were undergoing reorganisations within the armed forces. Some concern were raised among Heer-officers, but Hitler waved any concerns away with the motivation that the Red Army might at best be as good as the French army after such reorganization. The Abwehr did how ever shortly after also report that the Soviets also were construction fortifications deep inside Russia. That added further to the concerns of the Heer-officers.

On January 14th, the Empire of Japan struck against their antagonists - the United States. A surprise attack against the naval base of Pearl Harbour was launched from a Japanese carrier-fleet. This effectively brought Japan into a state of war with the United States, as well as the British Empire. The United States started to mobilize for war on the 15th. On January 18th, it was very close that the commanding General of the 6.Armee, von Reichenau, died due to a stroke. A special doctors-team were how ever flown in to his headquarters and manage to save his life. The USAF initiated an increase bombing-campaign against cities in western and northern France during the latter part of January. Mostly infrastructure and bases for the Luftwaffe were targeted.

On February 4th, massive air-raid were launched against La Rochelle, and almost 23% of the infrastructure was destroyed during one single day. Something had to be done in terms of fighter-coverage over France. The Luftwaffe was ordered to transfer more fighter-formations to the west. The start of 1942 also brought more difficulties into the conflict in the Atlantic. Dönitz’s U-boots were not having the same amount of success as before, and the allied convoys were being more protected. Several clashes between U-boots and allied ASW-taskforces occurred, with the most common result of the ‘Wolves’ having to turn tail and seek to evade those who hunted them. On February 6th, U-295 and U-995 were sent to the bottom after a skirmish against British naval forces. They did how ever make company to the bottom of the Atlantic with the British cruiser HMS Orion.


The Oberkommando der Marine argued during this period that its capital ships, as well as strong surface-raider groups, should be committed into the Atlantic. Hitler had how ever decided against that, fearing that he would only receive news of his ships being hunted down and sunk by superior allied forces. The surface ships of the Kriegsmarine would remain in the Baltic Sea, and continue with their strategy of a fleet in being. Much to the annoyance of Gross admiral Reader.

On the 14th so did the Abwehr seek to stage a coup in Bulgaria. That attempt did however fail, and the relations between Germany and Bulgaria went down.

The reminder of February and the beginning of March were quiet, other than allied bombings in the Mediterranean and in France. The Luftwaffe had adhered the request for more ground-support aircrafts, and four new geschwaders of Stukas were delivered.

The preparations continued for the coming offensive continued during the spring, with several new divisions being raised within both the Heer and the Waffen-SS. A new elite Panzergrenadier formation was created, the ‘Panzerkorps Gross Deutschland’, made up by the Pz.Gr-Divisions ‘Grossdeutschland’ and ‘Brandenburg’. It was a formation that directly from its creation was regarded as one of the finest formation within the Heer.


The British went on the offensive in Africa on the morning of March 27th, and attacked the German positions at Fuka. An attack further south did meet huge success and brought the British forces as far as Fort Maddalena. Rommel’s forces were now getting pushed towards the coast, and were now holding a very drawn out bridgehead along the coast. OB Sud Kesselring, who were responsible for the operations in Africa, issued a request to the OKH that Africa should be evacuated. This was motivated by the fact that Rommel had lost the initiative and were restricted to only defending himself. The divisions deployed in Africa filled now use, and should be withdrawn back to Europe. The OKH were however in dispute over what to do, which lead to that the situation had to be examined further before any decision was made regarding Africa.

On April 9th, the British overcame the German defenders at Gerwala and pushed the German divisions back. On the 10th, they struck at Fuka and forced the Germans to retreat to the west. On the 15th, Nibeiwa fell to the British, and on the 16th so did the British perform landings at Barca. That bridgehead was however attacked and destroyed immediately. The surviving forces did withdraw into Benghazi to the south, which triggered a German response. Being informed of the situation in Africa, with Rommel being surrounded and having his lines of supplies under serious threat, Kesselring renewed his request for a withdrawal from Africa. Rommel had to spend the later part of April relocating his few divisions into something that could be regarded as a coherent frontline that guarded the coast.

Msus and Forte Maddalena were the scenes of the most intense fighting in Africa at the start of May. The German divisions, with the aid of the Italians, were though successful. It did however start to become obvious for the Panzer-Armee-Africa that they were no longer a priority and that the OKW were entirely focus on the coming offensive in the east, and on the ongoing conflict in the Atlantic, to which newly constructed U-boots were commissioned to during the spring.
 

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The Japanese expansion in the Far-East continued, and Japan had at May 10th 1942 overrun the Philippines, which were promptly annexed and declared as a part of the Empire of Japan. The month of May were very disturbing to the Oberbefhelshaber Sud, Kesselring. The allied performed constant air-raids against the Axis-positions in Crete; targeted the supply-convoys to both Crete and North Africa; and took on a higher naval profile in the region. The small German U-boot force operating in the Mediterranean suffered a major defeat while seeking to attack allied shipping off the coast of Egypt. U-1162, U-1161 and UD-4 were sunk by a British ASW-taskforce, and the reminder of the U-boots were ordered back to port. The British also continued to use the island of Malta as a base of operations for their raids against the Axis supply lines.

On May 23rd, the British had almost manage to completely encircle the Panzer-Armee-Africa and cut them off from the Italians in the west. A fierce counter-attack at Aujila did however manage to restore the communications westwards. On the 29th so did the British strike at Fort Maddalena, and the German division were forced to retreat. The supply situation were also becoming an urgent matter due to the British sinking of German convoys. Three transport-geswchwaders were hastily placed under the command of OB Sud and rebased to Athens. Kesselring had to keep the forces in Africa at least decently supplied, and decided for an air-bridge from Greece to Africa.

June arrived, and with the ground forces prepared along the eastern border, the Luftwaffe too started to rebase to airfields close to the border. The almost abandoned naval base at Wilhelmshafen were severely targeted in the opening weeks of June by American bombers, and sustained structural damage on its facilities. The U-boot war in the Atlantic did once again reach success during June, especially off the coast of Africa. Several allied convoys were badly damaged, and the officer of the FbU [as well as the OKM] could celebrate the sinking of one British cruiser and a British destroyer.

At the 18th of June, all preparations for the invasion of the Soviet Union were in place. The invasion of the Soviet Union would begin June 22nd at 0700h.



 
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German order of battle June 22nd 1942.

Befehlshaber der Ersatzarmee BdE (Keitel)
(reserve formations stationed within the Greater German Reich)
Berlin
Headquarters BdE
88. Heeres-Artillerie-Korps

Ostrava
XVII.Waffen-Armeekorps der SS (Phelps)
25.Waffen-Grenader-Division der SS
26.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS

Bohemia-Movaria
14.Armee
14.Armee Headquarters (Gause)

Reserves:
18.Panzer-Grenadier-Division (Kretschl)
25.Panzer-Grenadier-Division (Smilo von Luttwitz)

LXIV.Gebirgskorps (Cramer)
-10.Gebirgs-Division
-12.Gebirgs-Division
LXXV.Korps (Kluge)
-252.Infanterie-Division
-253.Infanterie-Division
-256.Infanterie-Division
LX.Korps (Karst)
-246.Infanterie-Division
-251.Infanterie-Division
LXXX.Korps (Boeck-Behrens)
-254.Infanterie-Division
-255.Infanterie-Division

Kiel
XI.Wehrkreis
-203.Sicherungs-Division
-722.Sicherungs-Division
XXI.Korps (Boysen)
31.Infanterie-Division


20.Gebirgs-Armee (Norway)
20.Gebirgs-Armee Headquarters (Falkenhorst)

20.Gebirgs-Armee reserves:
7.Flieger-Division (Sixt)

XXXI.Korps (von Hanneken)
-96.Infanterie-Division
-161.Infanterie-Division
Kampfgruppe ‘Nord’ (Alpers)
-6.SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs Division ‘Nord’
-7.Gebirgsjäger-Division
XXXIII.Gebirgskorps (Dietl)
-1.Alpenjäger-Division
XXXX.Gebirgskorps (Student)
-188.Gebirgsjäger-Division
XXIV.Gebirgskorps (Lanz)
-5.Gebirgsjäger-Division
-6.Gebirgsjäger-Division
XXIX.Gebirgskorps (Konrad)
-2.Gebirgsjäger-Division
-3.Gebirgsjäger-Division

Oberbefhelshaber West / Heeresgruppe D (von Rundstedt)
Oberbefehlshaber West/Heeresgruppe D Headquarters

Garrison Paris (Fehn)
-SS-Wachabteilung 3
-281.Sicherungs-Division

OB West Reserves:
233.Panzergrenadier-Division (Kraiss)
1132.Grenadier-Brigade (von Apell)
Sturmgeschutz-Brigade 189 (Kirchhelm)
Heeres-Sturmartillerie-Brigade 249 (Dittmar)
SS-Wachabteilung Nordwest (von dem Bach-Zelewski)
Werfer-Abteilung 103/503 (Crantz)

Garrison Brest (Korfes)
-325.Sicherungs-Division
-390.Sicherungs-Division
-400.Ersatz-Division

Garrison Lorient (Dehmel)
-153.Reserve-Division

Befehlshaber Netherlands (Leeuwarden)(von Prittwitz)
-213.Sicherungs-Division

15.Armee (Channel-coast) (Tippelkirch)
15.Armee Headquarters
LXXII.Korps (von Brodowski)
-151.Reserve-Division
-444.Sicherungs-Division
Sicherungs-Korps ‘Cherbourg’ (Zickwolf)
-201.Sicherungs-Division
-52.Sicherungs-Division
Sicherungsgruppe ‘Caen’ (Schack)
-143.Reserve-Division
-221.Sicherungs-Division
Gruppe Lancelle (Lancelle)
-148.Reserve-Division
-391.Sicherungs-Division
403.Sicherungs-Division (Lichel)
LIX.Korps (Keiner)
-147.Reserve-Division
-285.Sicherungs-Division
Grenadier-Lehr-Brigade (Heberlein)

7.Armee (north-eastern France / Belgian coast) (von Leeb)
7.Armee Headquarters (von Leeb)

Reserves:
388.Grenadier-Brigade (von dem Bussche-Ippe)
27.SS-Freiwilligen-Division ‘Langemarck’ (Demelhuber)

Garrríson Brussels (Sinnhuber)
-207.Sicherungs-Division
XVII.Korps (Böttcher)
-44.Infanterie-Division
-17.Infanterie-Division
XXVI.Korps (O.Hartmann)
-62.Infanterie-Division
-68.Infanterie-Division
Garrison Rotterdam (Höfl)
-717.Sicherungs-Division
Garrison Amsterdam (Cruwell)
-141.Reserve-Division
XXXVI.Korps (Grässner)
-13.Motostrelecka divize
-14.Motostrelecka divize

Heeresgruppe G (French Atlantic coast) (Buchenhagen)

Heeresgruppe G Headquarters

1.Armee (Blaskowitz)
1.Armee Headquarters

Reserves:
521.Vielfachwerfer-Batterie (von Schleinitz)
286.Sicherungs-Division (Högner)

IX.Korps (Petzel)
-15.Infanterie-Division
VI.Korps (von Cochenhausen)
-6.Infanterie-Division
-26.Infanterie-Division
4.Infanterie-Division (Heim)

19.Armee (forming at Auxerre)
LXII.Korps (Brämer)
-46.Infanterie-Divisione
-52.Infanterie-Division
-57.Infanterie-Division

Oberbefehlshaber West - Luftwaffe Assets
Bordeaux
Jagdlehr-Gruppe Bordeaux (one fighter units) (Luftflotte 3)

Chloet
Jagdgruppe 200 (three ftr. units) (Luftflotte 3)

Cherbourg
Jagdgeschwader 5 ‘Legion Condor’ (one int units) (2.Jagd-Division)(II.Jagdkorps)(Luftflotte 3)
1a Squadra Aerea (Italian)

Paris
Nachtjagdgeschwader 5 (two int units) (5.Jagd-Division)(II.Jagdkorps)(Luftflotte 3)
Jagdgeschwader 11 (two int units) (5.Jagd-Division)(II.Jagdkorps)(Luftflotte 3)
Jagdgeschwader 2 (two int units) (5.Jagd-Division)(II.Jagdkorps)(Luftflotte 3)
Jagdgeschwader 3 ‘Udet’ (one int unit) (5.Jagd-Division)(II.Jagdkorps)(Luftflotte 3)
Jagdgescwader 26 (two int units) (5.Jagd-Division)(II.Jagdkorps)(Luftflotte 3)

Compiegne
5.Squadra Aerea (one int unit) (Italian)

Lille
Nachtjagdgeschwader 5 (two int units) (4.Jagd-Division)(II.Jagdkorps)(Luftflotte 3)

Brussels
Jagdgeschwader 1 (one int unit) (4.Jagd-Division)(II.Jagdkorps)(Luftflotte 3)

Antwerpen
Jagdgeschwader 27 (on int unit) (2.Jagd-Division)(II.Jagdkorps)(Luftflotte 3)

Metz
3.Gruppo Bomb di Navale ‘Centauro’ (one Nav unit)(Italian)

Essen
1.Gruppo di Caccia ‘Aquila’ (one Int unit)(Italian)

Kassel
6.Squadra Aerea (three Nav units)(Italian)



OBERBEFEHLSHABER SUD
OB Sud HQ (Kesselring)
29.Italien. Waffen-Division der SS

10.Armee
10.Armee HQ (von Vietinghoff-Scheel)

Reserves:
5.Fallshirmjäger-Division

LXXVI.Panzerkorps (Herr)
-20.Panzer-Grenadier-Division
-267.Infanterie-Division (mot)

X. Hrvatska Armija (Croatian)
-1.Mil.Division
-3.Mil.Division
-5.Mil.Division

Panzer-Armee-Africa (Rommel)

Panzer-Armee-Africa Headquarters (Rommel)
-15.Panzer-Division
-21.Panzer-Division
-164.leichte Division (mot)
II.Corpo d’Armata Nord Africa (Odebrecht)
-48.Divisione ‘Taro’
-41.Division ‘Firenze’
-51.Divisione ‘Siena’
I.Corpo d’Armata Nord Africa (Stumme)
-27.Divisione ‘Brescia’
-25.Divisione ‘Bologna’
-17.Division ‘Pavia’
IV.Africa-Korps (Kleeman)
-5.Panzer-Division
-64.leichte-Division (mot)
101.Divisione Motocorazzata (mot) (Muller)
II.Africa-Korps (Laux)
-63.Divisione ‘Cirene’
-62.Divisione ‘Marmarcia’
-29.Divisione ‘Piemonte’
III.Africa-Korps (von Seydlitz-Kurzbach)
-50.Divisione ‘Regina’
-19.Divisione ‘Venezia’
-53.Divisione ‘Arezzo’
IV.Corpo d’Armata Nord Africa (Detmering)
-132.Divisione Corazzata ‘Ariete’ (arm)
-133.Divisione Corazzata ‘Littoral’ (arm)
-102.Divisione Motocorazzata ‘Trento’ (mot)


BALKAN

Heeresgruppe F (Kessel)

Garrison Belgrade
-Heeresgruppe F Headquarters
-719.Sicherungs-Division

Befhelshaber Serbien
761.Grenadier-Brigade
1131.Grenadier-Brigade

Kroatische Korps (Begic)
-373.Kroatische Division
-392.Kroatische Division

V.SS-Gebirgskorps (part of) (Kleinheisterkamp)
-369.Kroatische Division

Befhelshaber Kroatien
XXXXII.Gebirgskorps (Miese)
-9.Gebirgs-Division
-157.Gebirgs-Division

92.Grenadier-Brigade
154.Reserve-Division

IV.Kroatische Armeekorps
-Hrvatsko oruznistvo Division
-Hadziefendica legija Division
II.Kroatische Armeekorps
-Ustaska vojnica Division
-Pucko Ustaski Division
-2.Mil.Division

Croatian Army
Poglavnik Schutzkorps (Dragojlov)
-Poglavnik Schutzdivision
-1.gorska divizija
I.Hrvatska Armija
-6.Mil.Division
-7.Mil.Division
V.Kroatische Armeekorps
-Huskina Legija Division
-4.Mil.Division

Heeresgruppe E (Greece)
Heeresgruppe E HQ (List)
Garrison Athens
-721.Sicherungs-Division

Heeresgruppe F Reserve (Kuntzen)
-386.Infanterie-Division (mot)

Befhelshaber Sud-Griechenland (Bertram)
-45.Infanterie-Division
-50.Infanterie-Division

Befehlshaber Salonika-Aegean (Mieth)
-71.Infanterie-Division
Befhelshaber Salonika-Aegean (Jacob)
-72.Infanterie-Division

Befhelshaber Crete (Schörner)
-1.Skijäger-Division
-8.Gebirgsjäger-Division

10.Radfahr-Jäger-Brigade (von Boehm-Bezig)

IX.Waffen-Gebirgskorps der SS (von Pfeffer-Wildenbruch)
-24.Waffen-Gebirgsdivision ‘Karstjäger’
-8.SS-Kavallerie-Division ‘Florian Geyer’

2.Panzer-Armee (forming in Greece, and not yet operational for other that occupational duties)
LVII.Panzerkorps (Reinhardt)
-19.Panzer-Division
-29.Panzer-Grenadier-Division

214.Infanterie-Division (mot) (Raus)


Oberbefehlshaber Sud - Luftwaffe assests
Athens
-Transportgeschwader 4 [one squadron]
-Rumänische Jagdgeschwader 3 [one squadron], (Rumänische I Fliegerkorps, Luftflotte 4)
-Rumänische IV.Jagdgruppe [two squadrons of interceptors], (Rumänische I Fliegerkorps, Luftflotte 4)

Crete
-Rumänische IX.Jagdgruppe [two squadrons of interceptors], (Rumänische I Fliegerkorps, Luftflotte 4)

Budapest
-VII. Jagdgruppe (ungarische) [one squardon of interceptors], (Jagdfliegerfuhrer Rum, Luftflotte 4)



Befhelshaber Dänemark
Wefh.Befh.Dänemark (Copenhagen) (Behrend)
-Heeres-Artillerie-Korps 412
-Heeres-Artillerie-Korps 411
Wefh.Befh.Dänemark (Kolding) (Göttke)
-402.Ausbildungs-Division
Wefh.Befh.Dänemark (Århus) (Stemmerman)
-702.Sicherungs-Division

Sturmgeschutz-Brigade 177 (Åalborg) (von Briesen)

EASTERN FRONT

HEERESGRUPPE NORD
Heeresgruppe Nord reserves:
V.SS-Gebirgskorps (Hunersdorff)
-7.SS-Freiwilligen-Gebirgs Division ‘Prinz Eugen’
-13.Waffen-SS Gebirgs Division ‘Handshar’
-21.Waffen-SS Gebirgs Division ‘Skanderberg’
-23.Waffen-SS Gebirgs Division ‘Kama’


18.Armee (Memel)
18.Armee Headquarters (von Kuchler)

18.Armee Reserves:
Kavallerie-Abteilung z.b.V. (von Hammerstein)
 
Last edited:

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XXXVIII.Korps (Ruoff)
- 544.Grenadier-Division
XXXIV.Korps (Ludke)
-558.Grenadier-Division
-559.Grenadier-Division
L.Korps (Heitz)
-546.Grenadier-Division
-550.Grenadier-Division
XXVIII.Korps (Hollidt)
-542.Grenadier-Division
-541.Grenadier-Division
Korpsabteilung ‘Esebeck’ (Esebeck)
-Sturmartillerie-Abteilung 197
-1133.Grenadier-Brigade
-1134.Grenadier-Brigade
LXIII.Gebirgskorps (Harteneck)
-11.Gebirgsjäger-Division
-13.Gebirgsjäger-Division

16.Armee (Königsberg)
16.Armee Headquarters (Busch)

16.Armee reserves:
SS-Polizei-Division (Heissmeyer)
Sturmartillerie-Abteilung 192 (Lindemann)

LII.Korps (Krauss)
-221.Infanterie-Division
-231.Infanterie-Division
1335.Stug-Abteilung (Brennecke)
I.Korps (Schmidt)
-1.Infanterie-Division
-11.Infanterie-Division
II.Kavallerie-Korps (Dippold)
-218.Infanterie-Division (mot)
-4.Kavallerie-Division
XX.Korps (von Ravenstein)
-21.Infanterie-Division

Heeresgruppe Nord Luftwaffe assets:
Memel
Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 (5 units CAS) (I.Fliegerkorps)(Luftflotte 4)
Jagdgeschwader 52 (two Int units) (I.Fliegerkorps)(Luftflotte 4)

Königsberg (provide air-support to both HG Nord and HG Mitte)
Nachtjagdgeschwader 4 (two Ftr units) (4.Jagd-Division)(II.Jagdkorps)(Luftflotte 3)
Sturzkampfgeschwader 4 (one CAS unit) (II.Fliegerkorps)(Luftflotte 3)
Kampfgeschwader 40 (three TAC units) (X.Fliegerkorps)(Luftflotte 3)
Kampfgeschwader 2 ‘Holzhammer’ (three TAC units) (IX.Fliegerkorps)(Luftflotte 3)
Kampfgeschwader 26 (one TAC unit) (2.Flieger-Division)(X.Fliegerkorps)(Luftflotte 3)
Kampfgeschwader 77 (two TAC units) (2.Flieger-Division)(X.Fliegerkorps)(Luftflotte 3)
Kampfgeschwader 6 (two TAC units) (IX.Fliegerkorps) (Luftflotte 3)

HEERESGRUPPE MITTE
Heeresgruppe Mitte reserves:
II.Fallschirmjäger-Korps (Meindl)
-1.Fallschirmjäger-Division
-2.Fallschirmjäger-Division

IV.Luftwaffe-Feld-Korps (Balla)
-9.Luftwaffe-Feld-Division (mot)
-262.Infanterie-Division (mot)
III.Fallschirmjäger-Korps (Geib)
-3.Fallschirmjäger-Division
-4.Fallschirmjäger-Division

Heeresgruppe Mitte Panzer/Mek/Mot-formations
Located in Suwalki
3.SS-Panzer-Division ‘Totenkopf’ (Eicke)
XXXIX.Panzerkorps (von Arnim)
-12.Panzer-Division
-15.Panzergrenadier-Division
-3.Infanterie-Division (mot)
XXXXVII.Panzerkorps (Model)
-4.Panzer-Division
-10.Infanterie-Division (mot)
LV.Korps (mot) (von Heydebrand)
-16.Infanterie-Division (mot)
-18.Infanterie-Division (mot)
-25.Infanterie-Division (mot)
XXXXVIII.Panzerkorps (von Manteuffel)
-20.Panzer-Division
-10.Panzergrenadier-Division
-215.Infanterie-Division (mot)

Located in Lublin
2.SS-Panzer-Division ‘Das Reich’ (Hausser)
VII.Panzerkorps (von Kleist)
-2.Panzer-Division
-14.Panzer-Division
-23.Infanterie-Division (mot)
XXIV.Panzerkorps (Hoth)
-8.Panzer-Division
-9.Panzer-Division
-3.Panzergrenadier-Division
-20.Infanterie-Division (mot)

Located in Zamosc
XXXXVI.Panzerkorps (Zorn)
-13.Panzer-Division
-14.Infanterie-Division (mot)
-213.Infanterie-Division (mot)
LVII.Panzerkorps (Kirchner)
-17.Panzer-Division
-18.Panzer-Division
-16.Panzergrenadier-Division
Panzerkorps ‘Gross Deutschland’ (Nehring)
-Panzergrenadier-Division ‘Gross Deutschland’
-Panzergrenadier-Division ‘Brandenburg’
XIX.Mot.Korps (von Brockdorff)
-216.Infanterie-Division (mot)
-217.Infanterie-Division (mot)
Panzerkorps ‘Balck’ (Balck)
-90.Panzergrenadier-Division
Abteilung ‘Kohlemann’ (Kohlemann)
-258.Infanterie-Division (mot)
-260.Infanterie-Division (mot)
III.Panzerkorps (von Schweppenburg)
-3.Panzer-Division
-6.Leichte-Division (panzer)
XIV.Panzerkorps (Böttcher)
-10.Panzer-Division
-2.Infanterie-Division (mot)
-13.Infanterie-Division (mot)
XXXXI.Panzerkorps (Hube)
-1.Panzer-Division
-11.Panzer-Division
29.Infanterie-Division (mot)
XXXVIII.Panzerkorps (Guderian)
-6.Panzer-Division
-7.Panzer-Division
-60.Infanterie-Division (mot)


4.Armee (Suwalki)
4.Armee Headquarters (von Kluge)

4.Armee reserves:
503.Grenadier-Brigade (Wodrig)

VII. Korps (Behschnitt)
-7.Infanterie-Division
-24.Infanterie-Division
-27.Infanterie-Division
XXXIV.Korps (Kriebel)
-87.Infanterie-Division
-88.Infanterie-Division
-239.Infanterie-Division
V.Korps (von Haydringen)
-5.Infanterie-Division
-28.Infanterie-Division
-35.Infanterie-Division

5.Armee (Lomza)
5.Armee Headquarters (von Bock)

5.Armee reserves:
Heeres-Sturmartillerie-Brigade 184 (Boltze)

II.Korps (Ansat)
-9.Infanterie-Division
-12.Infanterie-Division
-32.Infanterie-Division
III.Korps (Heinrici)
-8.Infanterie-Division
-23.Infanterie-Division
-228.Infanterie-Division
XXIII.Korps (Erfurth)
-60.Infanterie-Division
-61.Infanterie-Division
-227.Infanterie-Division

9.Armee (Lublin)
9.Armee Headquarters (Kuntze)

9.Armee reserves:
Sturmartillerie-Abteilung 185 (Gaissert)
Sturmartillerie-Abteilung 190 (Carp)
Sturmartillerie-Abteilung 184 (von Kayser)

LI.Korps (Veith)
-98.Infanterie-Division
-162.Infanterie-Division
XXVIII.Korps (Kempf)
-93.Infanterie-Division
-94.Infanterie-Division
XXXXVII.Korps (von Faber du Faur)
-95.Infanterie-Division
-143.Infanterie-Division

2.Armee (Lublin)
2.Armee Headquarters (von Weichs)

2.Armee reserves:
193.Grenadier-Brigade (Blum)

XI.Korps (Muller)
-19.Infanterie-Division
-30.Infanterie-Division
LVII.Korps (Feldt)
-206.Infanterie-Division
-207.Infanterie-Division
-208.Infanterie-Division
LXX.Korps (von Hammerstein)
-25.Infanterie-Division
-212.Infanterie-Division
LXXIV.Korps (Huhner)
-10.Infanterie-Division
-18.Infanterie-Division
XXXIX.Korps (Adam)
-82.Infanterie-Division
-83.Infanterie-Division
-86.Infanterie-Division

Heeresgruppe Mitte Luftwaffe assets (tactical bomber support also available to Heeresgruppe Sud)
Warsaw

2.Rumänische Jagdgeschwader (two Int units) (Jagdfliegerfuhrer Romania)(Luftflotte 4)
14./KG.44 (1 TAC unit) (Luftflotte 1)
Jagdgeschwader 54 (2 Ftr units) (Jagd-Abs.Fhr.Ostland)(Luftflotte 1)
Nachtschlactgruppe 1 (3 TAC units) (3.Flieger-Division)(Luftflotte 1)
Gefechtverband Kulmey (1 Ftr unit) (Luftflotte 1)
Sturzkampfgeschwader 3 (2 CAS units) (Gefechtverband Kulmey)(Luftflotte 1)
Kampfgruppe 100 (3 TAC units) (II.Fliegerkorps)(Luftflotte 2)
Jagdgeschwader 4 (2 Ftr units) (X.Fliegerkorps)(Luftflotte 2)
Nachtslachtgruppe 9 (1 Ftr unit) (2.Jagd-Division)(X.Fliegerkorps)(Luftflotte 2)
Sturzkampfgeschwader 77 (4 CAS units) (VIII.Fliegerkorps)(Luftflotte 4)
Sturzkampfgeschwader 9 (2 CAS units) (VIII.Fliegerkorps)(Luftflotte 4)
Ungarische K.St.102, (3 TAC units) (Fliegerfuhrer 102) (Luftflotte 4)
Ungarische SK.St.102, (3 TAC units) (Fliegerfuhrer 102) (Luftflotte 4)
J.St.102 (1 Int unit) (Fliegerfuhrer 102) (Luftflotte 4)

 

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HEERESGRUPPE SUD

6.Armee (Zamosc)
6.Armee Headquarters (von Reichenau)

6.Armee reserves:
Heeres-Sturmartillerie-Brigade 185 (Franz)
SS-Leibstandarte ‘Adolf Hitler’ (Dietrich)
Korp-Abteilung C (Keinitz)
-Sturmartillerie-Abteilung 191
-Heeres-Sturmartillerie-Brigade 243

XXX.Korps (Kämpfe)
-69.Infanterie-Division
-73.Infanterie-Division

XXXII.Korps (Heinemann)
-75.Infanterie-Division
I.Kavallerie-Korps (Hammer)
-1.Kavallerie-Division
-3.Kavallerie-Division
XXV.Korps (Feige)
-56.Infanterie-Division
-58.Infanterie-Division
-257.Infanterie-Division
XXXV.Korps (Brand)
-76.Infanterie-Division
-78.Infanterie-Division
-223.Infanterie-Division

17.Armee (Przemysl)
17.Armee Headquarters (C.Haase)

XXXIX.Gebirgskorps (Clössner)
-1.Gebirgsjäger-Division
-4.Gebirgsjäger-Division
XXXVII.Korps (Hinghofer)
-79.Infanterie-Division
-81.Infanterie-Division
-225.Infanterie-Division
LXXI.Korps (von Chappius)
-183.Infanterie-Division
-197.Infanterie-Division
-211.Infanterie-Division
Rumänische Cavalerie-Korps (Aldea)
-Divizie 1 Cavalerie
-Divizie 7 Cavalerie
-Divizie 9 Cavalerie
1.Slowakische Gebirgs-Division (Turanec)
Slowakische Exp.Armee-Gruppe (Malar)
-1.Divizie
-2.Divizie
Ungarische Karpatiche Armeegruppe (Subordinated to the German 17.Armee)
Ungarische Mobile Korps [located in Presov]
-24.Infanterie-Division (Hungarian)
-25.Infanterie-Division (Hungarian)
Ungarische VII.Korps [located in Presov]
-6.Infanterie-Division (Hungarian)
-10.Infanterie-Division (Hungarian)
-12.Infanterie-Division (Hungarian)

11.Armee (Przemysl)
11.Armee Headquarters (von Manstein)

LXVI.Korps (K.Haase)
-164.Infanterie-Division
-168.Infanterie-Division
LXXXIII.Korps (Stempel)
-163.Infanterie-Division
-167.Infanterie-Division
LVI.Korps (Hilpert)
-181.Infanterie-Division
-196.Infanterie-Division
LXVII. Korps (Pheiffer)
-169.Infanterie-Division
-170.Infanterie-Division
-209.Infanterie-Division
Rumänische Corp Alpinisti (Romanian) [located in Bacau]
-Div. 1 Infanterie Alpinisti
-Div. 2 Infanterie Alpinisti
-Div. 3 Infanterie Alpinisti
Rumänische VII.Armeekorps (Romanian) [located in Bacau]
-Divizie 1 Infanterie
-Divizie 7 Infanterie
Rumänische III.Armeekorps (Romanian) [located in Bacau]
-Divizie 13 Infanterie
-Divizie 16 Infanterie


Heeresgruppe Sud Panzer/Mek/Mot-formations
Located in Przemysl
5.SS-Panzer-Division ‘Wiking’ (Steiner)
30.Waffen-Grenadier-Division der SS (mot) (Simon)
31.SS-Freiwilligen-Grenadier Division (mot) (Kutschera)

Slovakian forces [stationed in Slovakia]
I.Slovensko Armada (2 Inf.Div) [attached to German B.d.E.]
IV. Slovensko Armada (2 Inf..Div) [attached to German B.d.E.]
Bratislava Garrison (9 Gar.Div)
II.Slovensko Armada (6 Gar.Div)

B]Hungarian forces (not attached to German headquarters)[/B]
Ungarische 3.Armee (6 division = 3 Mot and 3 Inf) Stationed at Debrecen
Ungarische 1.Armee (12 divisions = 1 headquarters and 11 Inf) Stationed at Presov
Presov Border Command (3 Garrison-divisions)
Unassigned divisions (2 Motorized, 1 Infantry, and 7 Garrison-divisions)

Romanian forces (not attached to German headquarters)
Rumänische 4.Armee (1.light-Pz.Div, 5 infantry-divisions) [Stationed at Braila]
Rumänische 3.Armee (1 headquarters, 3 cavalry-divisions, 8 infantry-divisions) [Stationed at Braila and Tulcea]

7 DD.II
1 SS-I
1 SS-III
2 transports

Finnish forces (non military controlled)
19 infantry and mountain-divisions
 

Metatrone

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KRIEGSMARINE

Based at Keil
19.Unterseebootsflottille (4 SS-IV)
21.Unterseebootsflottille (8 SS-IV)
22.Unterseebootsflottille (4 SS-IV)
Seeko Nordjutland (1 DD-I) (Marine-Kommando-Nord)
Seeko Elbe-Weser (2 DD-III) (Marine-Kommando-Nordsee)
Seeko Sudjutland (1 DD-III) (Marine-Kommando-Nordsee)
Fuhrer der Verspotenbooten Nordsee (1 DD-III) (Befehlshaber der Sicherung der Nordsee)

Based at Rostock
1.Landungsflottille (3 Transports) (Marine-Kommando-Nord)
Sicherungs-Lehr-Division (1 DD-III) (Marine-Kommando-Nord)
2.Sicherungs-flottille (1 DD-IIIBefehlshaber der Sicherung Ostsee)
KFK Schulflottille (1 DD-IIIBefehlshaber der Sicherung Ostsee)
Seeko Schleiswig-Holstein (2 DD-III) (Marine-Kommando-Nordsee)
Sperrbrechter-Gruppe 6 (1 DD-III) (Marine-Kommando-Nord)

Based at Danzig
KMS Deutschland (CA-IV) (B.d.K.)
KMS Graf Spee (CA-IV) (B.d.K.)
Aufklärungsgruppe 3 (B.d.K.) [forming up]
-KMS Köln (CL-III)
Gruppe 4 (B.d.K.) [forming up]
-KMS Karlsruhe (CL-III)
Marine-Gruppe z.b.V.
-KMS Nurnberg (CL-IV)
-KMS Leipzig (CL-III)
Aufklärungsgruppe 1 (B.d.P.)
-KMS Gneisenau (BC-IV)
-KMS Scharnhorst (BC-IV)
-Z2 ‘Georg Thiele’ (DD-III)
KMS Tirpitz (BB-IV)
Flugzugträgergruppe z.b.V. [forming up]
-KMS Graf Zeppelin (CV-II)

Based at Königsberg
Baltische Flotte (Marine-Kommando-Nord)
-KMS Schleiswig-Holstein (BC-I)
-Schleisen (BC-I)
Seeko Q (1 DD-I) (9.Sicherungs-Div, (Marine-Kommando-Nord)
KMS Admiral Scheer (CA-IV) (B.d.K.)
1.Sicherungsflottille (1 DD-III) (Befehlshaber der Sicherung Ostsee)(Marine-Kommando-Nord)
Kriegsmarine-Gruppe 2 (B.d.K.) [forming up]
-KMS Admiral Hipper (CA-IV)
KMS Bismarck (BB-IV) (B.d.P.)
6.Landungsflottille (2 transports)

Based at Memel
Aufklärungsgruppe 5 (B.d.K.)
-KMS Blucher (CA-IV)
-KMS Emden (CL-II)
2.Landungsflottille (3 transports)
4.Landungsflottille (1 transport)

Based at Athens
18.Unterseebootsflottille (1 SS-IV)

At sea / on mission
10.Unterseebootsflottille (5 SS-IV)
9.Unterseebootsflottille (8 SS-III)
12.Unterseebootsflottille (part of…) (5 SS-IV)


 
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Metatrone

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The plan for the invasion of the Soviet Union was rather straight forward. It would consist of three Heeresgruppen (Nord, Mitte and Sud):

- HG Nord would attack trough the Baltic states and capture Leningrad, with the assistance of Finnish forces. HG Nord were also to guard the left flank of HG Mitte.

- HG Mitte would attack towards Smolensk, and then on to Moscow.

- HG Sud were to capture the Ukraine west of Dnepr and the city of Kiev, and capture positions east of Dnepr for a re-newed offensive towards the river Don.

- The 20.Gebirgs-Armee (operating from Norway) were with the aid of the Finns to capture Murmansk and close in on Leningrad from the north.

Those were the objectives for the first phase of the invasion.


An intelligence-report compiled by ‘Fremde Heer Ost’ revealed the following about the armed forces of the Soviet Union:




The invasion started at 0700h June 24th 1942 with every available Luftwaffe-plan attacking Red Army positions along the border. The Heer ground forces stormed the Russian positions along the entire length of the front, with special focus on Styrj, Grodno, Brest-Litovsk, Alytus, Kowel and Pinsk. The Luftwaffe filled the skies over Lida, Slonim, Wilno, Tarnopol, Pinsk and Baranowicze - bombing Russian forces behind the frontline.


Hitler rubbed his hands against each other, walked over to Blondie who were laying on the floor and smiled amused: “I did most certainly kick in that door. No question about it.” The grin disappeared from his face. “Unfortunately so does it seem that the door swings both ways…”

“In order to persuade Britain to pack up, to compel her to make peace, it was essential to rob her of her hope of being able still to confront us, on the continent itself, with an adversary of a stature equal to our own.”


Brest-Litovsk fell on the 25th, and the III, Gross Deutschland, XXXXVI and XXXVIII Panzerkorps entered Kowel on the 25th, heading towards Kiev. The Russians counter-attacked at Styrj, but were repulsed by the Axis onslaught. Battles were raging all along the front, and all battles ended with a positive German result. Caused from the chock of the German attack, so did the Russians declare Total War and that war production should be increased. They continued their activities and did on the 26th propose Japan with a non-aggression pact - which Japan agreed to. The Russian high command, the STAVKA, also decided on a strategic change. At this time, German forward divisions had penetrated as far as Stanislawow and were engaging the Russian defenders.

Heeresgruppe Nord were however soon facing difficulties in their advance into the Baltic states, and were repelled at Kaunas. The attacking formations were forced to reorganize themselves before an other attempt. The Russian also aimed a counter-attack against Memel, but the German divisions held the line.

In the south so did the III.Panzerkorps enter Tarnopol on the 28th, making good progress in its advance towards Kiev. Hungary did also on this date inform the German government that Hungary would contribute with more assistance and troops in the invasion of the Soviet Union, and several new divisions were placed at the disposal of the OKW. Those forces were how ever, quickly retrained and equipped with modern German weapons, and were added to the German order of battle. The Abwehr also reported that the Soviet Union had made the decision to move its industry to Siberia.


In spite of Russian counter-attacks so did the most forward elements [Panzerkorps ‘Gross Deutschland] of Heeresgruppe Sud defeat the defenders at Vinitsa, and reached the outskirts of Kiev on the 29th. The left flank of Heeresgruppe Mitte were slowed down by the poor progress of Heeresgruppe Nord, and were forced to surrender Grodno of the 1st of July as a result of a Russian counter-attack. Also at Bielsk were there difficulties, and the German attack against a Russian salient was repulsed. Grodno were quickly retaken, and panzer-formations from Heeresgruppe Mitte had on July 1st reached as far as Bobraisk. A rather large, and filled with Russian divisions, pocket/salient were now starting to take shape at Byalostok, Slonim and Bielsk due to the advance of Heeresgruppe Mitte and Heeresgruppe Sud. Panzer-formations of the left flank of HG Mitte also reached Molodeczno on the 1st.


HG Sud did on the 2nd follow up its success and struck at Cherkassy and Mogilev. The start of July also brought the news that both Slovakia and Italy would send troops to support the eastern front - much to the appriciation of the OKW. HG Nord continued to throw itself against the defenders of the Baltic states, with little or no success. HG Mitte were slowing down its advance in order to have the infantry catch up, and because the left wing of the Heeresgruppe were being deployed in such order that those divisions could attack the Baltic states from the area around Molodeczno. A Russian counter-attack against Tarnopol also brought HG Sud to a temporary halt. The rapid advance had caused the armies in the south to expose their flanks for such attacks, and no further advance would be allowed until Tarnopol had been retaken. 5th SS-Panzer-Division ‘Wiking’ did how ever continue its advance, and did during the first week of July enter Odessa and completed an encirclement of several Russian divisions west of previously mentioned location. Other divisions were racing towards securing the Dnepr river-bank. An other important city - Minsk - fell to the Germans on the 6th. HG Sud continued to clear out the Russians west of Dnepr and entered Vyshgorod on the 10th. Only the heavily defended city of Kiev remained in Russian hands. Zhlobin fell to the LVII.Panzerkorps on July 13th, and also linked up with the left flank of HG Sud. The advance was once again brought to a halt. The infantry still had to move up from the rear, and also deal with several pockets consisting of trapped Russian divisions.
 
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In order to aid HG Nord so did the Luftwaffe assign a good number of squadrons to soften up the Russian divisions in the Baltic states, while the re-newed ground-offensive still were being prepared. The OKH now placed priority on HG Nord and Mitte, due to the fact that HG Sud were about to reach its objectives and seemed able to accomplish those without any assistance from the OKH. The Russian did though slow down the advance of HG Sud by flooding the Donetz.


In the west so did the US continue its bombing-campaign against infrastructure and port-facilities in France. In Africa so were Rommels forces being forced back towards Tobruk in a somewhat organized withdrawal. The OKW had finally adhered to the plea of OB Sud that there were no point in keeping valuable divisions in the desert to keep a campaign that could not be won going. Orders had been sent out to assemble transport-capacity in Greek ports, and instructions to Rommel to move to more easily defended coastal provinces. Rommel withdrew his forces to Tobruk and Bengazi.

Having negotiated the obstacles placed in fron of them, so did HG Sud during the last week of July establish a bridgehead over the Dnepr at Zaporozhye. A continued advance towards the Don was now possible! A daring thrust towards Rostov was now attempted, but were repulsed at the gates of the strategically important city. At about the same time so had HG Nord and Mitte completed their relocations of forces and did successfully attack and capture Swieciany. The northern advance could finally be resumed. The Russian counter-attacked numerous times against the German held Poltava, with no success. Two German panzer-korps took advantage of the situation and attacked Priluki, which quickly feel. Kiev was no encircled along with several Russian divisions, and on August 1st so did German divisions successfully storm the city.

HG Nord’s offensive were also making progress with the fall of Kaunas, soon followed with the fall of Wilno on the 4th. Divisions from the Romanian 3.Armee captured Kharkov at the beginning of August, far exceeding the objectives of HG Sud.


Along the Finnish front so were how ever things starting to look grim. The entire offensive had failed, and the Finnish and German divisions were being pushed back by superiour Russian forces. Helsinki repulsed the first Russian attack on the city at the 6th of August.


On August 7th, HG Mitte could finally resume its drive towards Moscow. The offensive opened with a massive attack on Smolensk, which fell after bitter fighting. The 6.Armee captured a bridgehead at Chernigov. The advance in the south also continued, and the XXXXI and XIV Panzerkorps did on the 16th capture Kursk. Seeing the whole situation on the eastern front, the OKH instructed HG Sud to slow down its advance.

On August 20th, the first evacuated divisions from Panzer-Armee-Africa unloaded at Corinthe, while the remaining ones in Africa fought defensive battles in order to protect the evacuating of troops. HG Nord continued with its advance in the Baltics, and were closing in on Riga. At the end of August so did the armoured formations of HG Mitte strike out in order to reach Moscow, and on the 26th, the VII.Panzerkorps captured Noginsk, south of Moscow. An encirclement of the city could begin. Mozhaisk fell on the 30th to Pz.Korps Gross Deutschland.

Wernher von Braun did also during these day inform the Luftwaffe Amt T that he had completed his research of Turbo Jet engines. It was decided to place more resources into such projects. The Luftwaffe also formed up a number of Seeaufkläringsgruppen for both recon-missions, and to have the ability to strike against allied shipping. A mistake was how ever soon detected. The first production-line of aircrafts had been to lightly armed in order to forfill its role as planned. An entire new series of naval-bombers had to be constructed, but for a much higher cost, and to much annoyance for the Luftwaffe and OKW.

During the start of September, HG Nord were continuing having success with its advance trough the Baltic states. The advance were though going slow, much due to the extremely strong Russian defence. It had become clear that the Abwehr had totally underestimated the concentration of Russian forces in that region. In the Artic so did leading elements of the 20.Gebirgs-Armee overcome the defenders of the major Russian port at Murmansk, and seized control over it. On the other hand, so were the Finnish and German formations fighting desperate defensive battles in the area around Tampere against a superiour enemy. The OKH had made the conclusion that something had to be done in order to prevent a total collapse in Finland, and set about to send reinforcements to Finland.


The allies seeked to negotiate with Vichy-French Admiral Darlan. That did however fail, and brought about declarations of war from the Allies on Vichy-France, who in turn entered into the Axis.

Hitler walked over to a map on the wall and started to observe it. “I agreed to withdraw from Africa, only to have the French pull me into it again…”


In the middle of September was it decided that reinforcements had to be sent to Finland immediately. The 18.Armee received orders to embark on transport-ships in the port of Mazirbe, and did shortly after disembark in Turku, and following units at Vaasa. The Russian nonsense in Finland would be put to a stop. The 16.Armee, remaining in the Baltic region, launched an attack against Riga in order to tie up the Russian divisions there. Surprisingly so did the attack become a success, and the city fell. But a week after, the Russians counter-attacked and recaptured Riga.
 

unmerged(51077)

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Good start! I like the way you explain the events :) .
But I do have one question: Will you lose to make the campaign historical or will you play to the best of your ability to if possible win?
 

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General Jac said:
Good start! I like the way you explain the events :) .
But I do have one question: Will you lose to make the campaign historical or will you play to the best of your ability to if possible win?

Thanks! I have no intention of loosing, and I am playing to the best of my ability to win.:)

How ever, when you continue to read the later events and development taking place, you will see that there will be quite some difficulties.
 

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In the south so did, in spite of OKH regulations, 5th SS-Panzer Division ‘Wiking’ spearhead a thrust towards the Volga and reached as far as Morozovsk. This was a very risky operation. Because meanwhile, fierce battles were being fought over the control of Rostov.

Tough air and naval-battles were being fought in the Mediterranean, and the Kriegsmarine and U-bootwaffe came to celebrate its greatest victory so far - the sinking of the French aircraft-carrier Bearn in the Gulf of Taranto. The Royal Navy did though retaliate and struck hard against the transport-vessels still transporting Rommel’s army from Africa.

At the end of September so did it start to become clear that the south and centre of Finland would fall to the Russians. The presence of the 18.Armee could not prevent that from becoming a fact. Both Finnish and German troops were being forced back to the sea. Finnish naval assets were already rebased to German ports.

At the beginning of October, an evacuation was initiated. Every single capital ship was sent into the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland in order to clear the way for the transports. A final stand by the ground forces in Finland was made at Turku, and they faced the risk of destruction. After being unable to stop the Russians at Turku, and unorganised retreat over to Åland was made and warships sent in to guard the strait between Åland and Finland. That was done to prevent the Russians from attacking the weak and beaten German divisions.

During the first week of October, Rommel’s forces had been evacuated from Africa, with the exception of a couple of divisions that had been cut off and were moving to the west from Sirte. During end of September and start of October so had the ground-battles almost grinded to a halt in Russia. Heeresgruppen Mitte and Sud had more or less reached their objectives. HG Sud did though still conduct offensive operations and captured a bridgehead over the Kuban-river at Tikhoretsk, shortly after followed with the capture of Salsk. There were however no need to continue an advance, and it was deemed better to go over to the defensive for a while and reorganize & redeploy the armies in Russia for the next offensive. With the exception of HG Nord, so were most battles arial ones, especially over north-western Russia and over France and Flanders. October was mostly spend on securing the occupied areas behind the frontline in Russia, and several new divisions entered service. The 2.Panzer-Armee [stationed in Greece] were also brought up to full strenght when it incorporated the Panzer-Armee-Africa returning from Africa.


At mid-November so had HG Nord come up with an innovative plan for routing the Russian defenders in the Baltic. Intelligence gathered from the Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe had revealed the fact that Estonia was completely unguarded and lack any significant Russian military presence. HG Nord quickly got approval from the OKH for a plan which would land divisions by sea in Estonia, who in turn could strike south and attack the Russians in the back. But above all, a daring thrust on Leningrad could be made. Several divisions from the, now refitted, 18.Armee started their embarkations in the ports of Memel and Mazirbe. The Kriegsmarine did once again leave their ports and took up positions in the Gulf of Finland in order to prevent the Russian Baltic Fleet to interviene. The landings were a total success with the XXXVIII.Korps landing at Narva on the 14th, and the LXIII.Gebirgskorps landing at Tallin on the 15th.


When the first wave of German divisions had landed in Estonia, the Russian decided to sent their Baltic Fleet out to blow the German transports out of the water. A large naval battle erupted in the narrow waters of the Gulf of Finland. In the battle that only lasted for four hours, the Kreigsmarine came out on top and could celebreate its ‘real’ naval victory for the war. There were losses nonetheless, the heavy cruiser ‘Admiral Hipper’ and the cruiser ‘Köln’ were both sunk. On the other hand so were the Russian Baltic Fleet severely weakned, with the sinkings of the two battleships ‘Sovyetskaya Byelorussiya’ and ‘Sovyetskaya Ukraina‘, the battle cruiser ‘Sevastopol’ and the 4th destroyer-squadron.

Other than the reinforcements of the 18.Armee in Estonia and its capture of territory so were November and December rather static. The OKH had put a halt on operations on the eastern front, much due to the weather. All formations in the east were to dig-in and remain on the defensive, preparing for spring. Arial skirmishes did though happen on a daily basis, and both German and Russia tactical bombers did what they could to disturb the other one.

The Kriegsmarine enlarged its surface-fleet with the sea-trails of several new cruisers. They were a much appreciated addition to the rather thin order of battle for the Kriegsmarine.
 

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1943

The opening month of 1943 were very calm. The OKH, directing operations on the eastern front, were maintaining its defensive stance. Some reorganizations and further redeployments were however performed. The 2.Armee was moved up to Vitebsk as a preparation for a thrust aimed north of Moscow, at Rhzev. The main parts of Luftflotte 1 and Luftflotte 4 were rebased to Opochka and Kursk in order to be better suited for the coming summer-campaign. An significant increase of Foreign Volonteers to serve within the Wehrmacht were also noticed during January.

The general plan for 1943 were two separate offensives. One in the north, and the other in the south. Heeresgruppe Nord, now holding the line Kingisepp-Luga-Porkhov-Novorzhev, were facing formidable Russian fortifications in both Leningrad and to the east. HG Nord were tasked with capturing Volkhov and Novogorod as a first step, and then strike towards Demyansk. That would isolate the Russian forces in Finland, and also put pressure on Moscow from the north. Once HG Nord had completed this task, Heeresgruppe Mitte would launch its offensive against Moscow. For this undertaking, several Gebirgsjäger-Korps were being transferred to the rear of HG Nord from other sectors of the front and occupied territory.

Having aquired good staging-points, Heeresgruppe Sud were to strike into the Caukasus and also capture positions along the river Volga, making it so that the entire Heeresgruppe were protected by the rivers Don and Volga. Operations north of the river Don were ruled out. Even though HG Sud already had a strong armoured force, several additional Panzerkorps were transferred. The newly formed 2.Panzer-Armee were also transferred to HG Sud.

At the beginning of February so did the prototype of an Advanced Medium tank roll off MAN´s production-line. That progress in technology were followed with Junkers construction of a new and more advanced tactical bomber.


While the Wehrmacht still were redeploying its divisions along the eastern front, the Russians had initiated a massive air-campaign against German troop concentrations, but were also hitting targets behind the lines. The elite 2.SS-Panzer-Division ‘Das Reich’ experienced first hand how effective the Red Airforce could be, and were completely destroyed at Pskov.

Hitler recalled Himmlers fury over the lack of air-cover from the Luftwaffe.


At the end of February, the Ubootwaffe struck again, sinkning the British aircraft-carrier ‘HMS Argus’ and one of her escorts, suffering no own losses.


Spring of 1943 also brought about the strengthening of the assets of Oberbefehlshaber Sud. With North Africa in the hands of the allies, an invasion of the continent was now very possible. OB Sud were tasked with boosting the defences in Italy. The US airforce did also during March bomb Axis positions in the Medeterranian on a daily basis, causing much damage. The British seemed to had taken over responsibility for the air-war over France. The allied strategic bombing and targeting of infrastructre in both occupied territories, but also deep inside the Reich, were becoming a problem and annoyance. The Luftwaffe were tasked with boosting the air-defences, and whole series of anti-aircraft batteries were constructed and deployed along the French coast, the Ruhr-region, Flanders, and around Kiel. The deployment of AA-batteries did though only cause the allied bombers to shift targets. The Luftwaffe fighters in western Europe had an easier task now, however.

To the great surprise of the Germans, it was the Russians who attacked first at the start of May. To the great embarresment of Heeresgruppe Sud, so were German divisions forced to retreat from Morozovsk. It did also cause the problem of the Russians having aquired a bridge-head over the Don, which could greatly distrub the coming offensive in the south.


With the ground about to dry up and the beginning of May, the Luftwaffe started to bomb the targets of Heeresgruppe Nord, but also assets of the Red Airforce.

1900h May 14th, large forces from HG Sud attacked the Russian positions at Armavil in a night-attack with the purpose of penetrating the Russian lines and break trough into the Caukasus. The Russian defences did though turn out to be to difficult to overcome, and the attack had to be aborted at day-break. In the day after, Russian forces attacked and captured important territory at Sorovikino, causing HG Sud yet an other problem in the Donetz-area. A few days later, a successful Russian counter-offensive brought Tikhoretsk under their control. Fortunately so were there Luftwaffe-assets available that immediately started to harass the Russian divisions that moved forward.

In preparation for the coming offensive from HG Nord so did the Luftwaffe seek to grind down the defenders trough constant air-raids and bombings of the Russian positions during May. Novogorod were especially targeted.

At the end of May so did HG make a new attempt to capture Armavil with the dual purpose of establishing a gateway to the Caukasus and to start the encirclement of the Russian divisions at Tikhorersk. The initial battles were successful, but after fierce fighting so were the German divisions forces to withdraw, much due to that the Russian struck from the south against Salsk.

HG Mitte also saw action. The Russian armies struck against Kaluga at the beginning of the month, and were successful in causing the German divisions to withdraw. A counter-attack one week later did though bring Kaluga under German control once again. That caused the Russian to shift target, and they successfully struck at Tula instead. Following up their success at Tula, the Russians struck again against Kaluga on the 19th - and were successful once again. In the days following, battles erupted in the whole Roslavl - Kaluga - Orel area. Those battles did not end until the end of the month, but were to be considered German success, even though much disturbance and “probing attacks” were made by the Russians.


Von Mansteins HG Sud did however manage to restore some of the Wehrmacht’s pride that week with a very successful offensive in the Donetz, which in the middle of June brought Morozovsk and Konstantinovsk back under German control. It did also contribute a great deal to swing the situation in the south into a German advantage. Seeking to take advantage of having pushed the Russians back, a new attack against Armavil was launched in the end of the month, which did not succeed.


Seeking that the situation around Orel was a bit unstable, the OKH moved to reinforce the area. Several panzerkorps were transferred to Kursk in the south, and the bulk of the 8.Armee took up position at Kaluga. Continued Russian attacks westwards from the area around Orel would be met by a strong counter-offensive by the Panzers positioned at Kursk.


At the beginning of July so did the three aircraft-constructors Junkers, Messerschmitt and Focke Wulf present the Luftfartsministerium with blueprints of three new models of aircrafts: FW 190D, Ju.88G and the Bf.109K. Funding for further development were issued immediately.

Seeing an opportunity, the 4.Armee struck from the west and forced the Russians to withdraw from Tula. Phase two of the attack, which included the re-capture of Orel, did though not meet the same success.

Having been forced out of Africa, the Italians acted with vengeance and spent the start of July targeting North African ports that were in the hands of the Allies. The arial campaign only resulted in little to very slim success.