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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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blue emu

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Index

Here are direct links to some of the key posts in the thread:

Pre-game comments: Lower down this post, plus:
More pre-game comments

Convoy war progress reports:
October 1st 1939
October 15th 1939
Vichy event
November 1st 1939
November 15th 1939, December 1st 1939 (combined)
December 15th 1939
Trade Efficiency Report, Winter 1939
U-Boat Patrol Lines, Winter 1939
January 1st 1940
January 15th 1940
February 1st 1940
February 15th 1940
March 1st 1940
March 15th 1940
April 1st 1940
April 15th 1940
May 1st 1940, May 15th 1940 (combined)
June 1st 1940, Total sinkings pass 1000, campaign declared successful.

Barbarossa:
Preparations, June 1st 1940
More preparations, June 15th 1940
Final preparations, July 1st 1940
DoW vs Soviets, 05:00 hours, July 1st 1940
Status report at time of DoW
July 7th 1940
July 8th 1940, the pockets close on the Russian armies
July 16th 1940
July 22nd 1940
July 26th 1940
August 1st 1940
Early August 1940, Barbarossa declared successful
October 27th 1940, Last Bitter Peace city captured, 116 days into campaign
November 26th 1940, Stalin Sues for Peace
Barbarossa in retrospect

Subsequent operations:
March 1941, Iraq and Persia annexed
May 1st 1941, Situation reports: India, Middle East, Battle of Britain
Early June 1941, Situation reports
Early July 1941, Situation reports
Late July 1941, Situation reports
August 30th 1941, Sealion launched

=========================================================

Are submarines worthless?... or just hard to use effectively?

In the spirit of scientific inquiry, I have started a "What If?" Germany game... what if the German Naval High Command had accepted Doenitz's "300 U-Boat" plan for neutralizing England, and had persuaded Hitler to back it?

Doomsday v1.2, no mods, no file editting. Normal/Aggressive.

Minister Choices:
Schacht, Gurtner (switching to Busch as soon as he becomes available), Doenitz (as soon as he becomes available).

Tech research:
No Tech-Rushing by more than one year (and rarely even that much). Focus on Naval Doctrines and Air Doctrines.

U-Boat production:
Nine long serials of Type-IX U-Boats (1938-model), timed to reach a target strength of 63 U-Boat flotillas (at five U-Boats per flotilla, that's 315 U-Boats) by "Danzig or War". No other pre-war Naval production except for a few Transports.

German Forces as of August 30th, 1939:
63 U-Boat flotillas, 9 more building.
- starting Naval forces plus Graf Spee and six transports.
17 INT, 9 CAS, 12 TAC, 6 NAV
87 Infantry, 1 Cavalry, 3 Mountain, 12 Motorized, 12 Armor, 4 HQ, 4 Garrison.

Planned strategy (Operation Sea-Monkey):
- Pre-position the U-Boats in the North Atlantic before the outbreak of war.
- Focus on Convoy Raiding at night, under "Sea Wolf" leaders, avoiding battle as much as possible.
- Planned operations areas for Phase One (Operation Sea-Monkey) stretch from the Central Atlantic south of Greenland, to the Spanish and African coasts, to the Azores and Central South Atlantic.
- Attack France as soon as possible after Poland falls, in order to gain Naval and Air bases on the Bay of Biscay, thus avoiding the risky passage around England... and allowing the Luftwaffe to cooperate with the Kriegsmarine.
- Attack Spain as soon as possible after France falls, to further improve our strategic position with even better bases, and to close Gibraltar... thus forcing the British Convoys to take the longer and more exposed route around Africa, instead of through the Med.
- Disperse the U-Boat force in stacks of six flotillas, each in a seperate sea area (not just a seperate sea zone).

Sneak-Peek:
As far as I can tell from looking in the save, Britain has 1080 Convoys and 170 Escorts as of August 1939. My operational target: 100+ sinkings per month, which will entirely destroy the British Merchant Marine in less than a year.

========= ======== ========= ========= ========== =========

Preliminary Results:
By the time Poland was annexed (Sept 11th, 1939), I had sunk 121 Convoys and 9 Escorts... at a cost of 2 U-Boats sunk (but 9 new U-Boats were launched in the same 12-day period). If this rate of attrition can be kept up... which is highly unlikely... the British will have no Convoys left by Christmas 1939... none.
 
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This will be interesting!
 

blue emu

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My overall war-plan is to invade England only after conquering Russia... which to me seems much more historical (and probably more fun) than an early and easy Sealion.

The point of the Battle of the Atlantic will be three-fold:

- To keep Britain too busy to seriously threaten my European conquests, either by invasion or by sustained Strategic Bombing... thus freeing me to focus on the conquest of Russia.

- To aid the Italians in their conquest of the Mediterranean and Africa, by interfering with British supply and troop movements. Preventing supply to the British fleet based in Alexandria will greatly aid the Italian campaign.

- To force the British to spend nearly all of their ICs in an unsuccessful attempt to keep pace with the mounting Convoy losses.

For reference, one U-Boat (at zero gearing) costs 480 IC-days. I am already at full Hawk and at maximum (29%) gearing, so my U-Boats cost me only 219 IC-days each.

One unit of Convoy (10 ships, at zero gearing) costs 300 IC-days. One unit of Escorts (10 ships, at zero gearing) costs 320 IC-days. Hawk, Free Market and gearing will all reduce those costs.

Note that actually sinking British ships (DDs, CLs, CAs, BBs, CVs, CVLs) plays no role in my plans... if any such sinkings occur, they are just a bonus.
 
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blue emu

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knugen_n1 said:
Why not an AAR instead? :p
I'll save some screen-shots, and if it turns interesting, perhaps I'll re-write it as an AAR. Right now, it's just a scientific experiment.

Can it be done?
 

unmerged(58004)

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Any interesting test.

When you say "Focus on Convoy Raiding at night, under "Sea Wolf" leaders, avoiding battle as much as possible." does this mean you will actively manage all your sub groups (i.e., get them out of naval battles ASAP) or just use the night attacks to manage this?


...
 

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ClinOps said:
When you say "Focus on Convoy Raiding at night, under "Sea Wolf" leaders, avoiding battle as much as possible." does this mean you will actively manage all your sub groups (i.e., get them out of naval battles ASAP) or just use the night attacks to manage this?
I will have Naval Battles on pop-up-and-pause, and will flee if possible... under Doomsday, that's often not possible, especially when facing faster opponents.

In my previous test (in the "My Beautiful Submarines..." thread), I tried to flee from that encounter battle in the English Channel, after my six U-Boats ran into a 22-unit British fleet. I was not allowed to withdraw... and ended up sinking two BBs, at the cost of four U-Boats!
 

bubbelties

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Is there any chance tht without convoys UK resources will be reduced to zero? This could give an even bigger benefit then just the IC the UK spends on new convoys.
 

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Mo-jo said:
Is there any chance tht without convoys UK resources will be reduced to zero? This could give an even bigger benefit then just the IC the UK spends on new convoys.
After a LOT of time maybe, since no new will come in from the colonies. But if blue emu started on the '36 scenario, then that will be very time consuming.
 

blue emu

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Mo-jo said:
Is there any chance tht without convoys UK resources will be reduced to zero? This could give an even bigger benefit then just the IC the UK spends on new convoys.
Given the size of the stockpiles that trading countries can build up in the pre-war period, I would expect that Britain has enough resources to last for at least two or three years.

... but after I establish a total blockade of the British Isles, a suicide-mission Paradrop on London to destroy their stockpile might be seriously considered...

Where is Otto Skorzeny when you need him? :(
 

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When does barbarossa start?...Will you invade the UK just after SU falls?...Is it possible to do sealion without at least a suicide surface fleet running defence for the transports?...What will happen once the US Navy enters the fight?

Questions! Questions!...my head will explode! :D
 

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blue emu said:
Given the size of the stockpiles that trading countries can build up in the pre-war period, I would expect that Britain has enough resources to last for at least two or three years.

... but after I establish a total blockade of the British Isles, a suicide-mission Paradrop on London to destroy their stockpile might be seriously considered...

Where is Otto Skorzeny when you need him? :(

Though overseas holdings and areas such as egypt will suffer greatly from this lack of convoys. Making nations like Japan and italy a lot more important for Axis domination.
 

blue emu

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Pablius said:
When does barbarossa start?
Tentatively scheduled for May 1941... but if I can take and consolidate Spain before late Spring 1940, Barbarossa will very likely be re-scheduled for Summer 1940.

Pablius said:
Will you invade the UK just after SU falls?
As soon thereafter as possible. Sealion doesn't require hundreds of Divisions, after all...

Pablius said:
Is it possible to do sealion without at least a suicide surface fleet running defence for the transports?
Probably not... unless I've completely mauled the RN with my Subs or NAVs, a concept which plays no part in my plans at the moment.

Pablius said:
What will happen once the US Navy enters the fight?
Then I'll have a bunch more Convoys to whack. Too bad Naval Task Forces don't have supply lines. I hope to finish with England before the US enters.

Pablius said:
Questions! Questions!...my head will explode! :D
It's all unexplored territory for me, too.
 

elpeladopocione

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Very Nice Experiment Blue Emu, waiting to see what it brings, btw, since the last discussion about subs I started a grand sub campaign with some nice Electro submarine tech rushing and I started building them as a madman as soon as I get them. Now I have like 40-1944 flotillas and this bastards sink UK convoys like if they were flies. Since the start of the war Ive sunk around 500 convoys (not really accurate, but I must have got around 50 of the typical message by now: Succes!....10 transports and 1 escort), 1941 now, not much of a record but Im really lazy about managing my wolfpacks, more now that barbarossa has started....

Anyway, I must take back what I said about subs or actually thank HSR modders cause the great org reduction on subs made it much more easy as now subs runaway on the moment they are engaged and are only useful as convoy killers so you dont have to be watching over them all the time and my naval bombers are doing the job by killing all those lousy screens on the english channel...
 

blue emu

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Interim report: 00:00 hours, October 1st, 1939.

After one complete month of war, the British Convoy losses stand at 227 Merchant Ships sunk (-21% of their starting strength of 1080) and 27 Convoy Escorts sunk (-16% of their starting strength of 170).

Enemy Fleet Losses: one ex-Polish Submarine sailing under British colors.

U-Boat losses for the month: 2 U-Boats lost, several badly damaged.

U-Boat reinforcements: 9 new U-Boats launched.

Current U-Boat Strength: 70 Flotillas, roughly 15% of them either in Port repairing or en-route to Port for repairs.

... I haven't sunk any important enemy warships, but it was fun watching the French ships shooting at each other... almost scored a "Friendly Fire" kill.
 

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Seems like Submarines are worth it, if you just use them as intended =)
 

unmerged(53189)

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blue emu said:
... or just hard to use effectively?

Planned strategy (Operation Sea-Monkey):
- Pre-position the U-Boats in the North Atlantic before the outbreak of war.
- Focus on Convoy Raiding at night, under "Sea Wolf" leaders, avoiding battle as much as possible.
- Planned operations areas for Phase One (Operation Sea-Monkey) stretch from the Central Atlantic south of Greenland, to the Spanish and African coasts, to the Azores and Central South Atlantic.
- Attack France as soon as possible after Poland falls, in order to gain Naval and Air bases on the Bay of Biscay, thus avoiding the risky passage around England... and allowing the Luftwaffe to cooperate with the Kriegsmarine.
- Attack Spain as soon as possible after France falls, to further improve our strategic position with even better bases, and to close Gibraltar... thus forcing the British Convoys to take the longer and more exposed route around Africa, instead of through the Med.
- Disperse the U-Boat force in stacks of six flotillas, each in a seperate sea area (not just a seperate sea zone).
Quick question here: I have read the Naval Primer, and based on what it says I set my subs to do the following:

Mission = Convoy Raiding
Active = Night Only
Min Org = 33%
Duration = usually a month, sometimes more

From the above, it seems you are physically issuing "Move" commands to your subs, stacking them in various sea zones. Are you then running missions from there, or are you doing something differently? Furthermore, with that many subs running missions in one area, do you have stacking problems?

This part of the game still boggles my mind :wacko:. Thanks in advance, and looking forward to reading more about your experiment.
 
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