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Animum24

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AAR - Germany 1936

HOI3 TFH vanilla, custom game

Tagebuch-540x304_zpspnfdbzhj.jpg



A young man’s war at a desk




Introduction


This is my first AAR. I have taken Germany, my home country, as my first nation to play and write.

I’m not very experienced with the game, but I can say that I’m not the worst at it either. I have a basic knowledge of the more important mechanics and have played several campaigns as different major nations.

I have chosen, in my mind, a fairly widely used style of AAR, the narrating style with gameplay elements. The point of view will be a young man at the Kriegsministerium who writes a diary to capture the experiences and events he witnesses.

I would like to play this game more or less historically plausible. This means that I won’t do anything overly crazy and will also follow the historical path to war. I will always consider my decisions with the historical context in mind. I have taken my freedom with the OOB and the leaders as well as with some of the events. Sometimes this happened intentionally, some times I wasn’t aware of it.

As many of you forumites are way better at writing and playing than I am, I would really appreciate lots of feedback and I would like to also discuss game tactics and setups with you in a more behind the scenes analysis that I would like to include as well. There I would be able to explain what happened game wise, which I mostly cannot do in the normal posts as clearly. I plan to write them as extra posts and in a different colour than the normal posts to be easily distinguished.

I will begin the AAR with a short prelude which will set up things before the game starts and will explain the several events and player actions in a more or less historically plausible way.
 
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Animum24

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Prelude


Heinrich „Heinz“ Walther, born 12.7.1914 in Munich as the only child of Franz Walther, lieutenant in the royal bavarian army, and his wife Theresa „Resa“, graduated from high school in 1932. As his family had a long tradition of officers, he immediately joined the Reichswehr. After basic training he was suggested as cadet at the war academy in Munich. After being accepted to the academy he went through the education and graduated in early 1935 with the highest grades.

280altMuenchen_Stadt_ca1930_sw_zps5jfpb5b6.jpg

Munich as seen from the Deutsche Museum, ca. 1930


München, 12.11.1935


The weather today was bad. It has been raining all day and temperature never climbed over 5 degrees. So I thought it would be the perfect day to start my diary.

The decision of starting a diary was made some days ago but I never had the time to actually start.

Since I graduated from the war academy I had so much going on in my life. As a result of the reorganization of the government and military, almost every position in the leading roles of the nation were reassigned. A week ago, I received a letter that I had been selected by the new chief of staff as his personal assistant.

This means that I will be at the top of the command chain and that I will witness the coming changes for Germany from the highest point possible. But it also means that I will have a lot of responsibility on my young and inexperienced shoulders. And first and foremost that means that I will have to move to Berlin. A completely new city to me and a new life for sure.

In the consequence I was very busy the last days. I had to find a place to stay and I had to pack my things. I wouldn’t even have time to celebrate christmas at home as I was expected in Berlin by the 15th of December.

Berlin%20Postkarte_zpspr5o6sfi.jpg

The postcard I bought after arriving in Berlin


Berlin, 16.12.1935


Yesterday I arrived in Berlin. After some trouble I had finally found a place to stay. I’m now living in a quite nice room only 15 minutes away from the government district of the capital.

My landlady is a widow called Charlotte Albrecht. Her husband and two sons fell in the great war and ever since she had subleased the rooms that she sadly didn’t need anymore as she couldn’t bear the loneliness in the otherwise fairly spacious apartment. Included in my relatively small rent was breakfast, lunch and even dinner. She also offered to wash my clothes and clean my room.

Today I had an unpleasant appointment. In the morning I was unexpectedly picked up by two men in black suits and was brought to a dark room somewhere in the buildings of the Gestapo.

There I was interviewed by the two agents and a further one in uniform. This took more than two hours and was really menacing. Even though the two men in black suits were authoritative, the man in uniform was really frightening. He was fat and his hair was short, his face was cleanly shaven. But the thing that made me sweat the most were his eyes. They looked as if they could kill someone.

During the two hours they interrogated me about my life and my ideologies. After that they made clear that anything that I would see or hear in the administrative buildings, I had to keep to myself. Any words about it to anyone who wasn’t supposed to hear it and I would be for ever gone missing. Probably in one of the cells deep below the room I was sitting in.

Even though I took a nap when I returned from this trip, I’m still quite tired and I won’t be up for too long tonight.
 

Animum24

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This is the first of hopefully many posts where I will be able to explain myself, to respond to potential questions, or to discuss tactics and set-ups.

Now on to some explanations about my setup:

I will start this AAR in a custom game in 1936. Before you say the custom game is uninteresting and unrealistic, I only used it to alter the starting position a bit and safe some time.

I didn’t change anything in the diplomatic nor the tech screen and only began to alter the infantry divisions Germany has at the start. I went from the standard divisions in the game to binary divisions. I also split up the tank divisions into 6 panzer divisions. In my mind I combined the cavalry division with the split up tank brigades and therefor formed the additional units.

Furthermore I „scrapped“ the two old battleships and used the materials to build some artillery (3 corps are now fully equipped with such). As for the historical plausibility, I’m fully aware that the Wehrmacht Command didn’t exist at the start date of my AAR and it didn’t really work like I’m depicting it. My ahistorical changes are solely for comfort and for my preferred style of OOB setup (not a good start for a historically plausible AARo_O). I think I can explain this deviation from historical Germany by a reorganization of government and military in late 1935/ early 1936 that will take our protagonist to the high command of the german military.

If you've already got any questions about my setup or anything else, just post them and I will try to answer.
 

Animum24

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1. The way to war


Berlin, 1.1.1936


Today was my first day of work and it didn’t start all to well. As I had already been introduced to some of the fellow staff officers and young secretaries on a short visit to the command center, I had already made some private contact. And as a tradition of the young staff assistants, we would celebrate new year together.

Well, to sum it up, I overslept. I was supposed to be at the Kriegsministerium at 8 in the morning to prepare some files for a meeting of all of the departments of the newly created Wehrmacht, which combines all the armed forces of the Reich and promises better cooperation between the departments. In the end I barely managed to arrive 10 minutes before the start of the meeting and was still quite drunk.

Marie, one of the secretaries in my age, gave me the files and I quickly went through them.

Then I entered the meeting room. It was vast with a huge table covered in maps and top secret files. Several lower staff officers were already in the room and I was greeted by some of the senior officers who went out with us yesterday. We exchanged some words and I presented some of the more important files to them.

BeckL-1_zpshj58fguu.jpg

General Ludwig Beck, chief of staff

Shortly after, General Beck entered the room, followed by the majority of the staff of the Heer.

With them was Heinz Guderian, newly promoted leader of the I. Panzerkorps. He was here today to talk about several essays he wrote about tank warfare.

General Beck finished the small talk he had with the high ranking officers of the Heer and approached the group of young staff officers and assistants including me. All of us instantly saluted, he returned it and came straight up to me.

He introduced himself quite cordially for such a high ranking officer and he exchanged some words with the other officers around me. Then I handed him the most important files as I was told, he flew through them and gave them straight back to me with the note that I should have them ready when he needed them.

Shortly after, the admiralty of the Kriegsmarine, lead by Erich Raeder, entered the room. Raeder was a man who wanted to expand the Kriegsmarine massively over the next years to be eventually able to contest the British and the French on the high seas. This was a very ambitious goal, in the mind of many even unachievable.

9 am passed soon and still not everybody was assembled to start the meeting. The present members of the military were quickly involved in many small talks and I stood there wondering and observing the many different officers and trying not to vomit on the floor as I still was pretty hungover.

Suddenly the soldier guarding the entrance announced loudly the arrival of the Führer.

Everybody in the room immediately stopped talking, stood in attention and saluted as the group of men entered the room. They were led by the head of Hitlers bodyguards Joseph „Sepp“ Dietrich.

After him came the Führer himself, followed by Göring, the leader of the Luftwaffe, and the Minister of economy and war, Hjalmar Schacht. Following them were some more men from the party and some officers from the Luftwaffe.

Hitler immediately gave the sign to begin the meeting.

The meeting was extremely long and because of my physical condition I wasn’t able to remember all the details of it, but I will try to sum them up here.

At first the generality took a look at the Kriegsmarine. It was horrendously out of date even though the two oldest ships had already been scrapped for materials, it still heavily lacked up to date fire power. Just 2 heavy cruisers with another one almost finished and a light cruiser were considered to be modern ships, the rest of them were obsolete. As a result, the 4 destroyer flotillas were merged into the Reserveflotte and stationed in Kiel, the former U-Boot base, which was no longer needed as the whole U-Boot Flotte had also been scrapped. To bolster the Schlachtflotte, now consisting of 3 modern ships and 5 old light cruisers, 5 modern ones and another heavy cruiser, the Admiral Hipper, were laid down. In the plans, the Schlachtflotte should consist of 2 battleships, 4 heavy cruisers and 6 light cruisers to stand a chance against a british or french navy squadron, but as the designs of the new class battleships hadn’t been finished and as there weren't any naval production capacities left, the 2 battleships were delayed to later this year.

With the Kriegsmarine finished, the talk moved on to the Luftwaffe. It was considered one of the best and largest in the world thanks to Göring’s babies, as they were called, the tactical bomber fleets, which the Luftwaffe had 2 complete ones and one only consisting of 2 wings. The third wing had already been ordered. After Goering presented his view on the Luftwaffe (a very bright and overestimated one) to us, a young officer stepped up and told us about the state the fighter force was in. It was a sorry one. In his mind they wouldn’t even be able to cover a part of Germany let alone to protect our bombers. It was clear to everybody that Goering didn’t like that presentation. But he didn’t oppose the suggestions to focus heavily on the fighter force before building another Luftflotte.

Last but not least the focus was set on the Heer. The army consisted of 13 corps with 5 Infantry divisions each, organized into two Heeresgruppen consisting of 2 armies each. Additionally there were 6 tank divisions organized into 2 corps and the 1. Gebirgsjäger-Division. Heeresgruppe I with 1. Armee and 2. Armee were protecting Germany to the east against Poland and Czechoslovakia, whilst Heeresgruppe II with 3. Armee and 4. Armee were stationed against the western powers.

OOB1936_1_zpsa8wwjf4p.jpg

The OOB in 1936

On paper the Heer seemed fairly strong but looking at the composition of the divisions, the lack of heavy firepower was obvious. Only 3 corps were equipped with artillery, whilst the rest of the divisions consisted only of 2 regiments of infantry. The 6 tank divisions looked better and there was an argument if they even needed artillery, which wasn’t set by the end of the meeting. Those elite divisions were composed of a tank regiment, a motorized infantry regiment and a regiment of engineers to increase their mobility and attack against fortified positions.

The Mountaineers only consisted of two regiments and it was very quickly agreed to expand the division to 3 regiments. A large order was also placed at Krupp and the rest of the manufacturers for enough artillery pieces to equip the entire Heer. This process would take about 2 years and would completely take up all capacities for any mayor projects.

Shortly before the end of the meeting, a young scientist was invited into the the room who gave a speech about his field of research. His name was Wernher von Braun and he was only a bit older than me. According to the files I read about him, he was making good progress in the field of rocketry. The problem was that, according to him, the facilities he currently had at his disposal were becoming to small for the means of his research. The officer at the staff who was responsible for the project thus proposed to build a big research facility on the coast of the Baltic Sea, which was scarcely populated. The other officers were concerned by the huge costs that such a building project would generate but the Führer ignored them. He was generally fascinated by that kind of advanced R&D and Schacht and Göring quickly guaranteed the funding by their institutions.

image016_zpsb88rweji.jpg

We will definitely need a better research facility

The Führer himself then ended the meeting with a rather long speech about Germany having to defend herself from the treacherous communists and the foul west. He prepared us for an upcoming conflict and promised us that we would come out of it as the victor in the end.

I really hope that this conflict isn’t in the near future because from what I could see today, we are far from being able to take on any major power in the near future.

After that we were dismissed and I followed General Beck to his office. There he gave me some instructions and I was sent to my own little office where I finished my work and went home early.

I won’t stay up late tonight. I’m in very bad shape and tomorrow will be another hard and long day.

But what a first day at work this was.

 
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guillec87

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subbed! Why to go for binary Divs? More units does not mean it would be better in the long run... ask the Italians
 
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Animum24

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subbed! Why to go for binary Divs? More units does not mean it would be better in the long run... ask the Italians
Thanks!
I hope I will not end like the Italiens:D
It is mainly my preferred set-up. Normally I would go for 2x inf, art and at to get the nice CA bonus and save on manpower.
Also those at guns really help in Russia.
This time I tried something different because the Germans early on in the war and before didn't have good at guns. (I only need to say pak 36)
So I've tried to go full soft attack and equip my units with lots of artillery.
With Superior Firepower I'll try to add at before Barbarossa.
 

Animum24

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Berlin, 22.3.1936


What a month March has been. I haven’t been able to write in a long time because of all what happened during the past weeks. So where to start my report?

I will start at the end of February, when the high command again assembled for some planning. It had been decided that, since the first violation of the Versailles treaty, by introducing military service again, hadn’t provoked any drastical reaction by the british and french, we would go a step further in our actions and would reoccupy the Rheinland.

Rheinland_zpshkuwvcre.jpg

German Soldiers crossing a bridge unopposed

This very industrious and populous area of Germany had in the past often been the staging point of many german invasions into France and thus had been demilitarized by the entente powers after the Great War.

This move was very risky. It could have very well been taken as an offensive action against France or even as an indirect declaration of war. And if the french had took it as such then we wouldn’t have stood a chance. The french army is considered the best and most modern in the world and is quite a bit bigger than the Wehrmacht. As a result, the plan was developed carefully. On any contact with the french, the Heer should back down and retreat out of the zone to avoid conflict. Not under any circumstance should our troops cross the border to France.

As a result the plan was very simple and the generality wasn’t trying to take any risks, such as reoccupying Alsace-Lorraine as well, which would have surely triggered conflict.

In the morning of the seventh of march, 3. and 4. Armee entered the demilitarized zone unopposed and advanced to the respective borders they were assigned to.

3. Armee would guard the border to France with 3 corps, whilst 4. Armee took positions on the borders with the Benelux states.

border_france_zpssds8kc3u.png

Franco-German border in 1937, guarded by 3. Armee as in 1936

As expected the french reacted furiously and threatened with a declaration of war. But the Brits, not interested in any conflict whatsoever, calmed them down and made them back down from their claims.

When news of the deescalation of the situation reached the assembled staff, cheers broke out and we celebrated the successful mission with champaign (french, of course).

And the good news kept coming. On the 10., we travelled to Wilhelmshaven, where the newest heavy cruiser of the Kriegsmarine, the Graf Spee, was launched.

Graf%20Spee_zps29kpmxax.jpg

The Graf Spee on her maiden voyage

I had never been to this part of Germany and I quite enjoyed it, even though I prefer mountains over the sea.

When we arrived back in Berlin, a letter awaited me. It was from a friend, Karl Maier, who I had met during my time at the Kriegsakademie. He had graduated with me and had immediately been assigned to an infantry division in the east. As he now wrote, he had been promoted to lieutenant and served in the Infantry regiment of 1. Panzer-Division.

A day later, on the 15th, news from the ministry of foreign affairs arrived at the high command. In Spain, the military under Francisco Franco had tried to seize power from the leftist government in Madrid but had been opposed by a militia forces loyal to the government and now the country is split between the nationalist and the republicans. The Wehrmacht had been tasked to organize several convoys with supplies for Franco. I was very busy, as this task wasn’t seen as very important and all the other staff officers dumped their work on my table. In the end I managed to organize the supplies and the ships and handed the documents over to my superiors so that they could finish the task. A week later the ships left Hamburg.

And it was not the only convoy headed for Spain. The Italians as well as the Russians had also sent material. Whilst the Italians supported Franco, like us, the Russians obviously had sided with the Republic where the communists had taken over control. The following months, a bloody struggle over the hot planes, hills and mountains of Spain began.

Civil_war_outbreak_zps3sml8gpx.png

Let's hope we've backed the right side

A week later, today, a different conflict was ended. Since October 1935 the Italians had tried to conquer Abyssinia and had taken longer than it had been estimated. After the heavy opposition by the British and the French, the Italians only installed a loyal government and left the place. The purpose of that war was not very obvious to most of the Generals at the staff and neither was it to me.

I will have to end this entry here. Misses Albrecht, my landlady, has prepared some dinner and I can't let her wait. Plus I'm pretty hungry and whatever she has prepared is smelling deliciously.
 

Nick U

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Subbed!

I am confused about your Infantry division setup. You said your preferred composition is 2xInf,ART,AT and that you will add AT when you get the fifth slot via Superior Firepower? Do you mean that initially your divisions will be 2xINF,2xART and then get AT with the fifth slot?
 

Animum24

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Subbed!

I am confused about your Infantry division setup. You said your preferred composition is 2xInf,ART,AT and that you will add AT when you get the fifth slot via Superior Firepower? Do you mean that initially your divisions will be 2xINF,2xART and then get AT with the fifth slot?

Thanks!
You're right that my preferred setup is 2x INF, ART, AT. Normally I would add another ART brigade or leave it like that with Superior Firepower. At least that's what I've played with so far in my games.
This time however I'm going to experiment with another setup. I've read here on the forums that some players completely ignore AT and go artillery heavy, so I decided to give it a try. My Infantry division right now is 2x INF and 2x ART.

If I manage to fill out my divs with AT after I unlocked the 5th slot before Barbarossa, I will be feeling a lot saver. It will however not be my priority. I rather would like enough divs to cover my front than having less divs equipped with AT.
And actually, this setup goes well with historical Germany as they didn't have to powerful AT-guns until they discovered the might of the 88. At least that's what I'm thinking.;)
What are you thinking about this setup and do you think this can represent historical plausibility?
 

guillec87

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some Divs should have Eng so crossing rivers or urban attacks would have bonus too
 

Animum24

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Berlin, 16.8.1936


It’s a special day for me today. I’m going to the closing ceremony of the olympic games in Berlin.

The whole generality of the Wehrmacht is going to be present. Even though I will not sit in the first row, I’m pretty excited as I have never been to such an important and big event in my life.

olpympiaplakat_zpsgsvzzwy0.jpg

Poster for the Olympic Games of 1936 in Germany

As for work in the past months since I last wrote:

It had been fairly quiet and I was busy with standard tasks for General Beck.

Some more important things that happened during the time were the advances we made in technological fields. It had been decided that the current light tanks of the army wouldn’t be able to stand up against the more heavily armored and armed units of our neighbors, especially those of the Soviets. We knew this from some field reports from Spain where some of our Panzer I and II designs were fighting along side the nationalists.

Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-382-0248-33A_Im_Westen_Panzer_II_und_Panzer_I_zpsgexcjnnc.jpg

Panzer II's during an exercise, those tanks aren't fit for service in the Wehrmacht

As a result, prototypes from the biggest weapon manufactures in Germany were requested that were capable to stand up against modern tanks.

In May, V. A.K. was equipped with Artillery and it was was estimated that their fighting power had been doubled as a result.

In July, 1. Gebirgsjäger-Division had been increased to 3 regiments in size. This also increased their ability to stand up against the enemy considerably.

In August, nobody was talking about the Military anymore. It was time for Germany to show its best side to the world during the biggest sporting event on the globe: the Olympic Games.

The streets of Berlin were incredibly busy and it took ages for me to move around the city. But still, the atmosphere in the streets was amazing. I even tried to get some tickets to the Olympiastadion and I was lucky enough to get them. One of my superior officers offered me 2 tickets for one of the sprinting races. I decided to take Marie, one of the secretaries at the staff, with me, as we had come to like each other over the past months of daily work together. The afternoon was very fun and we both enjoyed it, even though no German could win a medal. The star of the show was the Afro-American Jesse Owens who won the Gold medal for the USA.

783ecb78-a986-4e97-8eee-4a8b1a603409_zpsalmi95cu.jpg

Jesse Owens wins it all for the US

After the competition, I invited Marie to dinner and afterwards we took a stroll in a nearby park. I think the day was very relaxing and I think I can say that Marie enjoyed it as well. When I brought her back to the flat of her parents, she even gave me a kiss on the cheek as we said goodbye.

On the next day in the headquarters, we still talked about the great atmosphere in the stadium and the nice dinner we had afterwards.

The same day, I brought a pleasant report to General Beck as the industry had been able to supply enough pieces of artillery to equip another corps, this time the IV. A.K.

On the same day, an order for the Germaniawerft was placed to build 2 battleships of the Bismarck class, named the Bismarck and the Tirpitz. After a long time of designing and researching, our naval engineers had come up with the design and it was brilliant. No other ship on the 7 seas would be able to match them in hull size, engine power and armament.

Now I have got to finish this entry as I’m going to leave the house soon for the Olympiastadion.

This will be a very memorable night and I’m already pretty nervous.
 

Animum24

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some Divs should have Eng so crossing rivers or urban attacks would have bonus too
I've never tried that. Although I make sure that every tank division is equipped with engineers, I've never attached them to infantry divisions. Maybe I will give it a try this time.
 

Nick U

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While Engineers might be useful in Urban assaults, it comes at the expense of losing an Artillary or AT brigade. Thus in my opinion their primary value is for river crossings. However, I'd never attach Engineers to foot infantry. The base speed of infantry is so low that a small percentage increase is almost meaningless and again comes with the loss of another important support brigade. Thus I attach them to all my Armor divisions, but only Armor divisions.
 

Nick U

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Thanks!
You're right that my preferred setup is 2x INF, ART, AT. Normally I would add another ART brigade or leave it like that with Superior Firepower. At least that's what I've played with so far in my games.
This time however I'm going to experiment with another setup. I've read here on the forums that some players completely ignore AT and go artillery heavy, so I decided to give it a try. My Infantry division right now is 2x INF and 2x ART.

If I manage to fill out my divs with AT after I unlocked the 5th slot before Barbarossa, I will be feeling a lot saver. It will however not be my priority. I rather would like enough divs to cover my front than having less divs equipped with AT.
And actually, this setup goes well with historical Germany as they didn't have to powerful AT-guns until they discovered the might of the 88. At least that's what I'm thinking.;)
What are you thinking about this setup and do you think this can represent historical plausibility?
I've never actually tried 2xINF,2xART although I've seen several players state it is their preferred setup. However, looking at the mathes, while their attack values are better, their defensive values are worse and I consider the Infantry division to be primarily a defensive unit. Yes I do attack with them regularly, but most of the time they are holding a static line or following my mobile units into a breach to hold their flanks and rears.

Manpower is often quoted as an advantage in having a second ART in place of a third INF, but I've never had manpower issues when playing Germany (which is most of the time). They have the same number of officers. ART uses more supply than INF and that definitely is a problem in many of my games. It also appears that ART has a much higher upgrade cost than INF. I've typically got 50 divisions of Infantry (3xINF,ART) not to mention, another 30 divisions of pure Mountain, Marine and Paratroopers, plus 40 MOT brigades embedded in my Panzerkorps (2xARM,MOT,ENG or 3xMOT,TD). Yet when the two Artillary researches complete the combined upgrade cost seems to spike higher across 50 ART Brigades than they do for the combined four Infantry researches across 310 INF/MAR/MTN/PARA/MOT Brigades. 1940 is a particular difficult year for this as all the Armour, Infantry and Artillary have a round of researches, but a lot is still building and my IC is typically only around 300. Then I get an upgrade cost of about 280 IC required for 3 months.

So in summary, putting a second ART in place of a third INF doesn't seem a valid choice to me. When Superior Firepower completes I do add an AT to my Infantry divisions, because by late 1940 and later you are more likely to run into armor/mechanised enemies and need the hard attack values. And of course with two different support units you get 10% Combined Arms bonus.

As for historical plausibility, that doesn't concern me, but if it did, I would say 3xINF,ART is more likely.
 
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Animum24

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While Engineers might be useful in Urban assaults, it comes at the expense of losing an Artillary or AT brigade. Thus in my opinion their primary value is for river crossings. However, I'd never attach Engineers to foot infantry. The base speed of infantry is so low that a small percentage increase is almost meaningless and again comes with the loss of another important support brigade. Thus I attach them to all my Armor divisions, but only Armor divisions.
I agree with you on this, however I'm always open to new setups. Hence I've asked the readers to give me their thoughts on my setup and tell me about their experiences. I might attach some engineers to my Infantrydivs to see how it plays out
My preferred div to cross a river is actually a marine div of 3x MAR and one engineer brigade. They have some nice stats and the engineers don't decrease their amphibious landing stats to much.
Normally though I just cross the river with pure force or flank around strongly held positions.


I've never actually tried 2xINF,2xART although I've seen several players state it is their preferred setup. However, looking at the mathes, while their attack values are better, their defensive values are worse and I consider the Infantry division to be primarily a defensive unit. Yes I do attack with them regularly, but most of the time they are holding a static line or following my mobile units into a breach to hold their flanks and rears.

Manpower is often quoted as an advantage in having a second ART in place of a third INF, but I've never had manpower issues when playing Germany (which is most of the time). They have the same number of officers. ART uses more supply than INF and that definitely is a problem in many of my games. It also appears that ART has a much higher upgrade cost than INF. I've typically got 50 divisions of Infantry (3xINF,ART) not to mention, another 30 divisions of pure Mountain, Marine and Paratroopers, plus 40 MOT brigades embedded in my Panzerkorps (2xARM,MOT,ENG or 3xMOT,TD). Yet when the two Artillary researches complete the combined upgrade cost seems to spike higher across 50 ART Brigades than they do for the combined four Infantry researches across 310 INF/MAR/MTN/PARA/MOT Brigades. 1940 is a particular difficult year for this as all the Armour, Infantry and Artillary have a round of researches, but a lot is still building and my IC is typically only around 300. Then I get an upgrade cost of about 280 IC required for 3 months.

So in summary, putting a second ART in place of a third INF doesn't seem a valid choice to me. When Superior Firepower completes I do add an AT to my Infantry divisions, because by late 1940 and later you are more likely to run into armor/mechanised enemies and need the hard attack values. And of course with two different support units you get 10% Combined Arms bonus.

As for historical plausibility, that doesn't concern me, but if it did, I would say 3xINF,ART is more likely.
Their offensive power is pretty good but I also fear that their defensive capabilities are a bit low. That's why I would feel saver with AT units attached before Barbarossa. All other operations in the war before don't really require defensive stats.

Manpower wise, I'm just a bit paranoid about the matter. I have never run out of it and always have plenty of it. It is just my thing.
I've never actually thought about the upgrade costs and there you actually have a really strong point. I will see if I run in any issues in 1940 and I will report that for sure.

Looking at the historical plausibility, the 3x INF, ART is probably more so, but since I wanted to try out this setup in this semi historical AAR, I thought about its historical justification.
I think I will have to try the 3x INF, ART setup in my next game. Then I will be able to really tell, which is better.


I've got to say though, looking at your numbers for Barbarossa, that's a lot of divisions. The last time I did Barbarossa as Germany, I had about 90 Infantrydivisions, 5 Mountaindivs, 18 Tank divs, 15 mot Infantrydivs, and 4 SS-divs.
Later on I added 5 mechanized divs and 3 heavy tank divs and another 3 SS-divs, but that was it.
I did have sometimes problems with covering my frontlines properly, especially when I had big encirclements going on, but since the soviets did as well and I had the initiative, that wasn't a big deal.
 

Nick U

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Looking at the historical plausibility, the 3x INF, ART is probably more so, but since I wanted to try out this setup in this semi historical AAR, I thought about its historical justification. I think I will have to try the 3x INF, ART setup in my next game. Then I will be able to really tell, which is better.
Sorry I didn't mean to imply I thought you should go 3xINF,ART, by all means play the game how you want to play. I'm not one for historical accuracy, don't really understand the concept TBH, because if you want to be historically accurate, you would play to lose in 1945 wouldn't you? So at some point even the people who claim to be historically accurate have to deviate from history at some point.

I've got to say though, looking at your numbers for Barbarossa, that's a lot of divisions. The last time I did Barbarossa as Germany, I had about 90 Infantrydivisions, 5 Mountaindivs, 18 Tank divs, 15 mot Infantrydivs, and 4 SS-divs.
Later on I added 5 mechanized divs and 3 heavy tank divs and another 3 SS-divs, but that was it.
I did have sometimes problems with covering my frontlines properly, especially when I had big encirclements going on, but since the soviets did as well and I had the initiative, that wasn't a big deal.
I think you have got confused when I switched between numbers for divisions against numbers for brigades. For the upgrade comparisions between INF and ART, I had to switch to brigade numbers.

My forces for Barbarrossa are typically in the range of 128 divisions, totalling 614 Brigades, made up of 55 Infantry divisions (3xINF,ART,AT), 15 Mountain divisions (5xMTN), 6 Marine divisions (4xMRN), 20 Paratrooper divisions (4xPARA), 16 Armoured divisions (2xARM,MOT,SPART,ENG), 16 Motorised divisions (3xMOT,TD,SPART).

Four of the Armoured divisions are equipped with LARM, the rest ARM, I don't bother with HARM or Super-HARM.

This is after Superior Firepower has been researched. However, Paratrooper divisions I keep at 4 Brigades because the Transport planes can only carry 16-18 weight at that time. The same with Marines to make them compatible with ship carriage weights - I typically deploy them in 3 Marine division groups from a pair of Landing Craft. Additionally the frontage of 4xMRN divisions allow three such divisions to attack/invade in a stack. The same argument could apply to Mountain divisions, but I don't tend to stack more than 2 Mountain division together, so 5 brigades work for them.

I don't like to rely on allies either. I conquer Romanian, Bulgaria, Hungary, Turkey and sometimes Finland, before kicking off Barbarrossa. Actually it tends to be the Soviets who DOW me first. In the latest game I'm playing at the moment I'm trying to do it without Italy or Japan, refusing to invite them into the axis faction and intending to conquer Italy before Barbarrossa. Thus I have to cover the whole frontage by myself. On Very Hard difficulty too.

I also have a bunch of security divisions covering the rear areas. In previous games these were 2xMIL,POL but this game I'm trying a new approach. Individual Police brigades scattered about and then a much smaller number of 2 brigade (WSS+ArmoredCar) divisions with decent Generals. Although having thought about it, I'm might try using an Engineer instead of the Armoured Car for some of them. The only issue with this that I've just realised is that I might have problems reaching the 800 Brigade threshold for the Large Army effect. More Paratroopers I guess, never get enough of them.

I undertake Operation Sealion and then take a few extra UK VP locations to secure the surrender of the UK prior to Barbarrossa. The point being without UK (and US still neutral), there is no need for any western defense force and it frees up a bunch of Intercepters.
 

Animum24

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Sorry I didn't mean to imply I thought you should go 3xINF,ART, by all means play the game how you want to play. I'm not one for historical accuracy, don't really understand the concept TBH, because if you want to be historically accurate, you would play to lose in 1945 wouldn't you? So at some point even the people who claim to be historically accurate have to deviate from history at some point.
I'm sorry, I think I have worded this a bit wrongly. I didn't think you were implying, I just wanted to say that I have never played with this setup and that I should, since it is one which the most players are playing with.

Haha. I'm not planning to lose in 1945.;)
I'm just trying to recreate what could have been possible and I'm trying to react to the AI actions in plausible ways. That's what I think when I'm playing historical and that's what gives me the motivation to play the game. But ahistorical playthroughs are also always pretty fun.
 

Animum24

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München, 23.12.1936


Today I have arrived at home to celebrate Christmas and New Year with my family. My first year in Berlin has been interesting and I have learned a lot.

Since the last time I wrote in this diary, there has been a lot of things to talk about.

Air-34-184s2a_zpssnlzyfjw.jpg

HVA in Peenemünde

Roughly a month after the end of the Olympic Games, I joined the staff on another big event. This time it was the inauguration of the new and big research facility on the Baltic sea. It was pretty breathtaking to see how big these installations are and, considering that the young scientist von Braun has to come a long way to justify this huge investment, quite unbelievable.

At the inauguration the Führer gave a speech about the high ambitions of this research project and during the dinner after the show a hot debate arose as to whom, the Heer or the Luftwaffe, this would be of more use. Whilst Goering dreamt of high speed interceptors and bombers which could leave the atmosphere, General von Rundstedt thought about the potentially devastating use of ballistic missiles to strike at fortified positions like the Maginot-line.

I on the other hand thought about a film I saw when I was a teenager about the moon landing.

Frau-im-Mond_titel_zpsoyjhficx.jpg

"The woman in the moon", a poster for the film I saw when I was a teenager

Back then it was just science fiction and a boy’s dream, now it got ever closer to reality.

At the end of October, III. A.K. was equipped with its artillery regiments. In the beginning of November the high command had another logistical problem to solve. Since the creation of the free city of Danzig under polish control, the province of Ostpreussen around Königsberg was separated from the rest of the Reich. To move troops to the area, we had to use a single rail line. This wasn’t enough to move the required artillery to the units stationed there. As a result 6 transport flotillas had been ordered. Those should be able to move a single core to Ostpreussen at once.

On the 21st of November, I once more accompanied General Beck and the admiralty to Wilhelmshaven. This time another heavy cruiser, the Admiral Hipper, and 5 modern light cruisers were launched and joined the rest of the Schlachtflotte, which now consisted of 4 heavy and 6 light cruisers and could be considered a capable and modern war fleet. Still it was not even close to the strength a single french or british squadron could pack in punch. The old light cruisers sailed to Hamburg, where the Reserveflotte was stationed and joined them.

kriegsmarine-panzerschiffe_zpsi7yxalp7.jpg

The incomplete Schlachflotte during a maneuver

In the end Admiral Raeder was very happy and showed the capability of the new fleet by a maneuver in the North sea.

A month ago further progress in increasing the army’s strength was made, as I brought the message to General Beck that the VII. A.K. had been equipped with artillery.

Tonight I will go out with friends of my youth and tomorrow evening Christmas eve will be celebrated with the whole family as it is tradition in Germany.

I’ve bought some small gifts in Berlin for my parents. I hope they will enjoy them as much as I had anticipated.

As I’m being expected back in Berlin by the 3rd, I have a bit over a week to calm down and enjoy the time at home.
 
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