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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

DHX

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Jun 22, 2010
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Hi! i can finally post to tell you how much i've enjoyed this Narative AAR. the consideration and sheer effort you put into it is amazing and i'm salavating for the next part! thanks for such a great read.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Welcome to the forum, Deathsheadx! Your first post is in a very outstanding AAR. Trekkie will be flattered by that. :D
 

trekaddict

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Deathsheadx *Blushes* Welcome aboard, and thank you.

Kurt_Steiner
He is.
 

DHX

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Jun 22, 2010
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Deathsheadx *Blushes* Welcome aboard, and thank you.
You're Welcome.

I have to admit between this AAR, The Butterfly effect, and For King and Country, it's given me an appreciation for the ships and aircraft's of the era, that I, a kid who grew up in outer London of the late 80's-early 90's never had before
 

Kurt_Steiner

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You're Welcome.

I have to admit between this AAR, The Butterfly effect, and For King and Country, it's given me an appreciation for the ships and aircraft's of the era, that I, a kid who grew up in outer London of the late 80's-early 90's never had before
Three outstandings AARs, indeed.
 

trekaddict

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You're Welcome.

I have to admit between this AAR, The Butterfly effect, and For King and Country, it's given me an appreciation for the ships and aircraft's of the era, that I, a kid who grew up in outer London of the late 80's-early 90's never had before
Well ships and aircraft of the era are just have that certain something that modern ones lack.
 

trekaddict

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Gentlemen, it seems that the 1966 atrocity has been avenged, in so many ways. :D
 

Kurt_Steiner

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trekaddict

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Deathsheadx Yes.

stevepTBH, and not meant personally, I shed Crocodile Tears at how the thing with the goal went. ;) In any case we would have probably won anyway, given the two additonal goals that were made. Also, I can see "The Sun" of tomorrow morning in front of my inner eye....
 

canonized

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man , another thrilling chapter . Honestly I understand why you enjoyed the A-Team movie so much like you were telling me the other day haha .

You know , I will say this Trek . I'm not as big of a warware buff as you guys but you still make it exciting for a casual amateur like me though I do admit I do sometimes get lost in all the jargon ! Well done !
 

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man , another thrilling chapter . Honestly I understand why you enjoyed the A-Team movie so much like you were telling me the other day haha .

You know , I will say this Trek . I'm not as big of a warware buff as you guys but you still make it exciting for a casual amateur like me though I do admit I do sometimes get lost in all the jargon ! Well done !
Thanks.
 

trekaddict

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Chapter 240

The Führerhauptquartier was hidden below the woods of East Prussia, and those that were around the Führer were glad that it was, else the anger the Führer was showing ever since the English had blown up two of the K-5s in Italy could be seen from London. The Guns were one of his many pet projects and the loss of two at the same was seen by him as a personal insult. He had upgraded the status of the Allied Commandoes and especially the English Special Air Service from minor annoyance to personal enemies and Traudel Junge, having become the Führer's personal secretary only days before, already knew that he would either rant for hours or issue orders. It was the latter, not that she would know it, for it was most secret and only known to the highest heads in the OKW.

He was dictating it to none other than General der Artillerie Marcks who had just happened to be on hand:


Commando Order said:
1. For a long time now our opponents have been employing in their conduct of the war, methods which contravene the International Convention of Geneva. The members of the so-called Commandos behave in a particularly brutal and underhand manner; and it has been established that those units recruit criminals not only from their own country but even former convicts set free in enemy territories. From captured orders it emerges that they are instructed not only to tie up prisoners, but also to kill out-of-hand unarmed captives who they think might prove an encumbrance to them, or hinder them in successfully carrying out their aims. Orders have indeed been found in which the killing of prisoners has positively been demanded of them.

2. In this connection it has already been notified in an Appendix to Army Orders of 25.6.1942. that in future, Germany will adopt the same methods against these Sabotage units of the British and their Allies; i.e. that, whenever they appear, they shall be ruthlessly destroyed by the German troops.

3. I order, therefore:- From now on all men operating against German troops in so-called Commando raids in Italy or on France, are to be annihilated to the last man. This is to be carried out whether they be soldiers in uniform, or saboteurs, with or without arms; and whether fighting or seeking to escape; and it is equally immaterial whether they come into action from Ships and Aircraft, or whether they land by parachute. Even if these individuals on discovery make obvious their intention of giving themselves up as prisoners, no pardon is on any account to be given. On this matter a report is to be made on each case to Headquarters for the information of Higher Command.

4. Should individual members of these Commandos, such as agents, saboteurs etc., fall into the hands of the Armed Forces through any means - as, for example, through the Police in one of the Occupied Territories - they are to be instantly handed over to the SD
To hold them in military custody - even if only as a temporary measure, is strictly forbidden.

5. This order does not apply to the treatment of those enemy soldiers who are taken prisoner or give themselves up in open battle, in the course of normal operations, large scale attacks; or in major assault landings or airborne operations. Neither does it apply to those who fall into our hands after a sea fight, nor to those enemy soldiers who, after air battle, seek to save their lives by parachute.

6. I will hold all Commanders and Officers responsible under Military Law for any omission to carry out this order, whether by failure in their duty to instruct their units accordingly, or if they themselves act contrary to it.

Day passed and the armies on both sides were busy. On the last days of June the Poles and the British beat back a half-hearted attack by three Soviet Infantry Divisions that failed to make even the slightest dent into the increasingly mechanized Allied front, while the British had massed men and machines behind their own lines. The big attack was going to be a purely British affair due to the losses that were expected, none of the other Allied Armies could be expected to sustain them. Four Divisions, the 7th Armoured, with all but one of the 2nd RH's Squadrons already on the Comet, the 51st Highland Division, the 1st Indian Motorized Indian Division and the 1st Cavalry Divison were standing at the ready to punch a hole through the enemy lines and lead the charge towards Venice and the Yugoslavian border, ready to clear out what was the last piece of decent tank country in Italy. Field Marshal Alexander was finally beginning to have real faith in the new Cavalry, now that their self-propelled mortars were available in greater numbers and the Division had been rebuilt under Major General Shorthouse.

On 6 July eight-hundred Allied Artillery pieces began to shoot at exactly 04:00 AM began to thunder as the Allies unleashed the fury of the almighty, a.k.a the Artillery and for the next five hours thousands of pounds of high Explosives rained down on the forward positions of the Axis lines, while aircraft from all the Allied Nations strove to bomb the supply lines, artillery positions and generally everything that moved. While the occasion marked the first large-scale use of Jellypet by the RAF for the Air Force community the day was more marked by the fierce air battles between the fighters, the biggest since the initial breakthrough of the Gustav Line. However today the Axis had the edge early in the day, mainly because they had brought in reinforcements that had eluded Allied Intelligence.
This forced the Allies to suspend the rear-area Infiltration attacks for several cruicial hours which was to have an impact on the situation on the ground, however by 3 o'clock the Allied fliers had regrouped and were striking back and made sure that neither side had air Superiority which allowed the Allies to send in their Infiltrators again while at the same time the Axis Air Forces had too much to do with supporting their ground forces to fly deep Infiltrations. Still, the air War around the offensive remained a stalemate.
The Ground Component of Operation Capital was less troubled, but not much. The initial battles and the breakthrough that would allow 7th AD and 1st CAV to break out into the enemy rear went well, as the Soviet Divisions in the sector were the same that had been bloodied in the earlier Axis attack and were because of this not motivated, especially after the World-War-One-style bombardment by the Allied Artillery. The Tanks cut through them like a hot knife through butter as they dissolved under the strain; almost forty percent of them went straight into captivity as they surrendered to the following Infantry, while the rest fled east as a disorganized mass. Then however the two British Divisions ran into the second line of Soviet Defences, and south of Padova the biggest Tank battle of the year, if not the entire war, was fought when three Soviet Tank Divisions fell upon the 7th Armoured and 1st Cavalry Divisions. Since they were not at all meant and equipped to take on T-34 at 3:1 odds, 1st Cavalry fell back onto the position of 7th Armoured Division, fighting a desperate delaying action for most of the morning. On or around 11 AM the forward positions of 6 RTR were engaged and almost Instantly overrun by a veritable horde of Soviet Tanks and to avoid encirclement, the Regiment's Colonel sounded the retreat during which the 17pdr inflicted a serious culling on the enemy at the price of almost 40% losses to the British.


Destroyed Cromwell of B Squadron/6 RTR
Their sacrifice was not in vain, because it bought Major General Campbell time to rearrange his units into a defensive line of sorts and to call for whatever reinforcements he could get. 51st Highland and 1st Indian Motorized were racing forward, but for almost half an hour the Tankers were on their own and they fought a desperate Battle in the town and villages of the area. The Soviets had numbers on their side but superior tactics and equipment told as the Soviet T-34 still lacked wireless sets and were constrained by rigid tactics which allowed the British to tie the Soviets down in a brawl during which the few Comets excelled. When the motorized elements of the 51st Highland Division engaged the extreme left flank of the Soviet main body this took some pressure off 7th Armoured but they were still slowly pushed back. This changed when at around 2 PM the 1st Motorized came up behind them after having handed over the mop-up to the Polish 1st Infantry and raced to help their Corps brethren.

Shortly afterwards the Soviets thought they had the British beaten when they withdrew to the south-west, but the 'decisive thrust' was met by massed anti-tank fire shortly after 3 PM, and the seemingly beaten British Tanks attacked into the flank. The Soviet Commander on the scene had been selected for his political reliability and not for his military genius and he found himself out of his depth. He panicked and pulled his units back to their start line, with the battered but angry British in hot pursuit. By 5 PM Padova fell to a daring attack by 1st Cavalry Division and by nightfall they were sixteen miles from the centre of Venice.

The classic city was saved the destruction of city fighting simply because it didn't lend itself to Infantry Combat, so the battle for it would be fought to the north. After the fight on the 6th both sides did not do much fighting on the 7th , but on the 8th the fight picked up again. Eager not to let go of the initiative Alexander threw the Divisions forward and again the Soviets initially melted away. This time it was made sure that the Divisions would advance at the same pace. Soviet reinforcements had arrived, but it was clear that this offensive was going the way of the Allies when Castelfrano Veneto, some twenty miles north of Venice fell to the Indians in mid-afternoon. Combat was constant but on a low level, the three Soviet Tank Divisions had retreated northwards and the Allies had another objective, and in any case the British and Polish 1st Armoured Divisions had been dispatched to keep an eye on them, ready to strike at their flanks if they moved south. Knowing his northern flank secure, Lt. General Horrocks pulled out the stops.

1st Cavalry Division was sent east towards the coast to encircle Venice and cut off the few organized Soviet Regiments in it, while sending the remaining three Divisions towards the Yugoslav border even as the reinforcing Allied units flooded in behind them to help guard all their flanks and mop up the scattered centres of resistance that still remained. The one single Reserve Rifle Division that stood between them and Yugoslavia was brushed aside on the 9th with ease and on the 12th, after two days of unhindered advance with little to no contact 1st Cavalry Divison established defensive positions beyond the Yugoslav border, all that remained to do in Operation Capital was mopping up, consolidating and capturing Venice. Hitler urged and Stalin ordered the scattered Alert Units and Infantry-men in the Venice perimeter to fight to the death, but the Commander on the scene was a realist and he knew that he could hold for a day or two at best. He knew that no Allied armour was near enough to play any role in the battle, but crack Allied Infantry was a mighty opponent on it's own. Normally the British and thus allied book for this sort of battle called for attacks on three places at once, but Field Marshal Alexander was unwilling to wait two days and instead simply threw the Infantry forward. The Poles from the West, the Belgians from the North and the 51st Highland Division from the East simply advanced all along the line, and sure enough the Soviets crumbled almost instantly. Six hours later and shortly before nightfall on the 13th the White Flag was spotted on the St Mark's Campanile and the guns fell silent. Marching into the City was easier said than done but after commandeering every boat in reach the City was declared secured on the 14th.

Up north the Allies were pushing northwards but had to be stopped late on the 14th to prevent the tanks from becoming bogged down in the hills and mountains. To digg the Germans out of that one would take some serious planning and long and bloody fighting and a rearranging of Allied forces. Operation Capital had achieve it's objectives in spite of the difficulties and the losses, while higher than expected were easily replacable given that a new wave of recruits was coming in from all over the Empire, in fact the Sailsbury Highlanders had joined the 51st Highland Division days after the fall of Venice, the Rhodesians being the first non-UK recruited Highland Regiment that was formed, but by no means the last even though they would have to prove themselves as the 'proper' regiments like the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders or the Black Watch[1] were somewhat looking down on them, and eventually after several post-war defence reforms the Division would be used to house all the remaining UK-recruited Highland Regiments, but for the moment it was simply like this.[2]

The Soviets were surprisingly quiet but if one looked at it through the eyes of the OKW it wasn't so surprising at all. The local Soviet units had lost the remaining low-land pieces of Italy, the largest remaining Italian city, allowed the British to open a direct supply line to the Royalist rebels in Yugoslavia and the defeat had boosted the standing of the Allied Cause with the neutrals, in fact Greece had stopped the informal negotiations with the Germans and the Turks decided to buy Spitfires instead of Focke-Wulfs, and especially the valuable resources of Southern America would soon available be to the Allies only, even from Argentinia.

In the aftermath of Capital both sides readjusted their strategy, which put the Allies at a disadvantage because the Axis could simply contend themselves with sitting in their positions and let the Allies come to them, while the Allies would have to rearrange their forces to bring forward their main body of Infantry Divisions that would have to dig the Axis forces out of the Alps. A general re-direction of the Allied advance was out since in the West Field Marshal Rommel had stopped the French cold and showed no sings of leaving as the French found that German Mountain Troops entrenched on the highest peaks of the border area and fighting a defensive campaign were hard to defeat. So instead it had been decided to move along the southern edge and use the old gate to Europe that had eluded Armies coming from the south time and again: Vienna.

This would however expose the flanks of the Allied, while that was, due to the terrain, not much of a problem on the northern Flank especially since the six Allied Infantry Divisions that were waiting on North Africa could be shipped in, in the south Yugoslavia presented more of a problem, but that was what the Cavalry Divisions were meant for. However the Enemy would certainly be well-aware and a series of battles that would be at least as large and as heavy as those in Italy would need to be fought to break into Austria. The only question now was what to do first.

The OKW correctly estimated that the British would push for securing Italy first, as would the Dutch, Belgian and especially the Poles for who it was the shortest route to Warsaw. The French wanted a rethinking of the Allied strategy and an advance into France.

Deciding to stick with the Austrian strategy, Alexander decided to prepare the future Battle by sending 1st, 2nd and 3rd Cavalry Divisions on a limited advance into Yugoslavia, not only to secure Trieste, but also to prevent the Enemy from fortifying the border and advantageous positions and to make contact with the Royalist Partisans.





[Notes: You see, the Wembley Goal was, for us Germans, the greatest atrocity since we started playing Football. I find that it's just fair that England now knows how it feels.]


[1]Which happens to be a Regiment in its own right, The Black Watch Highland Infantry Regiment. Also, the Sailsbury Highlanders are inspired by “For King and Country” which uses this device a few times.
[2] Alas, the 51st Highland is too awesome to be dissolved, along with a few other ones. To put it this way: The 1957 Defence White Paper will have very different contents. :D
 

El Pip

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Three outstandings AARs, indeed.
I completely agree, and not just for the obvious reason.


Hannibal Smith is quite possibly the worst military commander in history, had it not been for BA's ability to weld anything (up to and including wood!) and the infinitely modifiable van the A-team would have ended after the first episode when they were trapped in a barn and couldn't get out!

I also note that, despite retaining some ability at this association football malarkey Germany remains reassuringly abject at Cricket, worse even than the Australians who England have successfully put back in their place.
 

Griffin.Gen

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Hmm, the Alps would have been hell to cross. It wouldn't be a good idea to repeat WW1 there.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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You need to land somewhere else, methinks.
 

trekaddict

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El Pip Hence why I based mine on thee Film Version, because not only are their plans slightly less predictable and ridiculous, but could theoretically even work.

As for Germans at Cricket: Huns ante portas, because we even have a league now!

Griffin.Gen Neither side is looking forward to that, but some combat can be expected, however the Battle for Austria will be fought to the south.

Kurt_Steiner The Allies don't have the Amphib Capability to spare. A lot of landing Craft are either in use to shuttle troops from NA to Italy or from NA and the UK to the Far East, never mind doing supply runs. No Amphib op is realistically possible before 1943-44.
 

stevep

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As for Germans at Cricket: Huns ante portas, because we even have a league now!
My gods, the damned Huns are getting everywhere. No you can't play in the Ashes. [You might win!:eek:]:p:D

Kurt_Steiner The Allies don't have the Amphib Capability to spare. A lot of landing Craft are either in use to shuttle troops from NA to Italy or from NA and the UK to the Far East, never mind doing supply runs. No Amphib op is realistically possible before 1943-44.
I would still prefer not trying to fight my way over the Alps into the German homeland. That sounds like a fine way to mash up the forces trying it.:(## Steve