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BombAAR Command


The Avro Lancaster, mighty and iconic symbol of Bomber Command

Hello everyone,

After finally finding a decent computer to play this game on I decided to try to bomb Germany into submission. More as a experiment than as a AAR, but as it turns out the game became quite intresting, so I am going to share all the goodies of this experiment with the community!
This game is already in 1940, so I dont have any screenshots of the buildup to war. And I am not sure if I will post very many anyway (i'm a bit lazy, and my beauty AAR's die because I always think they are too much work.) Other information: 1936 scenario, no mods, no semper fi, patch 1.4, difficulty: unknown.

I hope you all enjoy it!
 

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Strategies and thoughts

1936, the Birth of Bomber Command

The plan was very simple, build lots of bombers to smash German Industrial might and destroy their national unity. So first on the list of goodies were ofcourse a few strategic bomber squadrons. However, there are a few neccesities following out of this simple idea. the first is that the Army will be neglected, because bombers are expensive, that means that the Royal Navy will have to be in a fine shape to stop any attempted invasion of the Home Islands. Also, if I am to bomb Germany I will have to rule the skies, that means swarms of mighty Hurricane and Spitfire fighterplanes. That is why research will be put into the Royal Navy; battleships and destroyers and the RAF (strategic bombers and fighters). As the Army will be neglected (mostly) it is the plan that no BEF will be sent to support France. In the meanwhile some spying was done to bring down our neutrality to get more IC online. And some diplomacy (4 leadership, influencing two countries) to get more allies.
 

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HMS Nelson during gunnery trials, she might be old, but she is a mighty ship!

1936, the Birth of Bomber Command
The RAF Starts with three (or two?) groups of strategic bombers. Clearly completely ineffecient for any kind of prolonged bombing campaign over Germany. The rest of the RAF is also in quite a sad position, the only truly 'wel numbered' units are tactical bombers of which we have no less than five. However we are not intrested in pesky light-weight two engined bombers! So these bombers all get sent to the middle east to be used to stop a possible incursion into Egypt by Italy. In all my wisdom, - and I have no idea why- I decided that the strategic bombers would be grouped into Commands of four bomber units each. Probably 400 bombers in reality. Fighter units would be grouped into units three strong, 300 fighters in reality.
The state of the famed Royal Navy was also dire. Having suffered from post war cuts in the budget, several naval treaties and a 'capital shipbuilding holiday'. this meant that dockyard were not fitted properly and that specialised equipment was hard to be found (low theory and practical in research area.) Our most modern Battleships, Rodney and Nelson were built in 1925! Despite this the Royal Navy engineers helped by Harland & Wolff managed to come up with a improved design of the King George V class proposed at the beginning of '36. Thus the year closed with the laying down of the battleships King George V and Prince of Wales.
 
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1937, the Colours are Made Known
With the neutrality of Great Britain dropping rapidly thanks to the work of spies and agiteurs of MI5, and the thundering anti-facist speaches of Winston Churchill. The results of these actions were predictable and against the intrest of the allies. Soon Italy, Denmark, hungary and Japan had joined the Axis, creating a formiddable central european alliance. There were also positive results to this; the British economy slowly started gearing up to war. More bombers were orderd and a few Hurricane squadrons were also built. Finally the Navy started a construction program for the infantry of the sea: the Destroyer. The new design, the battle class was designed to become the mainstay of the navy and in coming years it would become just that.
Bomber docterine was steadly improving, pilots were beiing trained in increasingly better schools, something which was having the desired effect of making the bombers more accurate and giving them more staying power. Finally bomber design improved, adding more machineguns and armour onto the planes.
 

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Guernica, after beiing bombed by the luftwaffe. This bombing showed the devestating potential of airpower [on civilian targets].
1937, the Colours are Made Known
Things started getting hot as the year progressed. The Spanish civil war broke out, and a British intervention took place. Thanks to this support, the Republicans very quickly got the upper hand, and soon the civil war was enden in their favour. Because of the British intervention Portugal chose the side of Axis.
With the big Axis precance in the medditerainnian, it became clear that it would be important to have at least some kind of army units in North Africa. For that reason six motorised infantry division were raised. With Africa considered safe attention turned towards the Dominions. Australia, New Zealand, and -after much debate in their parliament- Ireland joined the Allied camp. While this was going on, the president of the USA was forming a firmly interventionist policy, trading with Britain, and generally denounsing the Axis.
MI6 also had a important part in foreign policy. Several spies were inserted into France to support their incredebly splintered parliament. Also more spies were insterted into Turkey and Republican Spain to make them more susceptable to the allied camp.
 

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The KMS Tirpitz, a Bismarck class Battleship.
1938, the First Year of the War
The first half of 1938 was very productive for Great Britain. The allied alliance grew is power. Republican Spain, Belgium and South Africa joined the allies toghether with Poland. The two mighty battleships King George V and Prince of Wales were launched. Toghether with the new battle class destroyers they were to form the core of the 'North Sea Battlefleet'. the rest of the Battlefleet consisted of the battlecruiser Hood the battleships Rodney, Nelson and Royal Oak. This mighty force was commanded by Admiral Sommerville.
Bomber Command also steadly grew, reaching 900 Handley Page Halifax heavy four engined bombers. Fighter Command had also grown in size, now boasting 700 Hawker Hurrican interceptors. A start was also made on the construction of a major Radar Station north of Dover. I have found that radar stations, especially when level 10 are some of the mosty handy things around, giving you a Line of Sight from Dover all the way to the German boarder!
Tensions with Germany had been growing for years. First the occupation of the Rhineland, then the Ansluss of Austria into the Reich, and finally the annexation of Checoslovakia. This policy of belligerance had by 1938 gotten the British Industry as ready for war as it would ever become, and large numbers of new heavy bombers, fighters and the Duke of York class (Actually Vanguard class, but because I only built two KGV class battleships the lead ship of the Vanguard class was named Duke of York. And the Royal Navy always named a class of ship after the first ship of that class laid down.) battleships were under construction. The Royal Navy got a bit of bad news when a Polish destroyer operating in the Baltic spotted new German Battleships. The Bismarck and Grossduitschland.
 

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HMS Hood taken from HMS King George V during the battle of the Wilhelmshaven approach.
1938, the First Year of the War
After Checkoslovakia had been annexed by the Reich Germany declared war on Poland. Poland -part of the allies- called its allies to war, and the next day a British and French decleration of war was handed to the German embassies in London and Paris respectively. Following this unprovoked act of agression on Poland Sweden and Turkey and Luxemburg joined the allies.
The French army advanced into Belgium and Luxemburg as outlined in the 'Dyle plan'. In the mean time the Polish army was being annihalated. Half of its troops were still on the Russian boarder, and thus the front was under manned. German Panzer units moved trough the gaps in the Polish Army in the South. After advancing hundreds of kilometers the German Southern thrust swung north. The Polish Army was caught in a giant pocket between Warsaw, Germany, East Prussia and Danzig. It held out for two more weeks after which Poland was occupied by Germany. However, the Polish sacrifice had not been for nothing. Dozens of divisions had by now positioned themselves in defensive positions running from the northern end of the maginot line, trough Luxemburg and the little bit of Belgium between Luxemburg and Holland. This extremely strong defensive position was to be held for a long time yet.
The North Sea battlefleet set out from Scapa Flow on the declaration of war to patrol the Wilhelmshaven area. After having patrolled for two weeks the German fleet was spotted by a merchant navy ship leaving from holland. It sent the message to the admiralty. Soon Somerville was shadowing the German High Seas fleet. The two fleets formed a line of battle. The Royal Navy had HMS Hood in the front of the line, followed by King George V, Prince of Wales, Rodney, Nelson and Royal Oak. The German fleet consisted of the battleships Ludendorff, Tirpitz, Bismarck, several Heavy Cruisers of the Hipper class and a few light Cruisers. Hood fired the first shells from her mighty 15 inch guns at 09.41. The first German battleship in the line; Ludendorf was struck four shells fro Hood and exploded in a spectacular fashion. The Tirpitz, right behind the Ludendorf had to manouvre erraticly to avoid the buring hulk of Ludendorf. Three light Cruisers and the Heavy Cruisers Admiral Hipper and Blucher tried to cover the Tirpitz, but were struch by shells from Rodney and Nelson. In the choas that followed two Destroyers; HMS Crecy and HMS Ghurka. They launched torpedos at Tirpitz which struck the ships amidship. Soon making water and unable to continue fire the ship was abandoned, altough it took a other two and a half hours for it two sink. A other Garman ship, a light cruiser was also smached as Rodney turned her 16 inch guns on the smaller ships. In the meanwhile Admiral Sheer and Admiral Graf Spee fired at Hood, destroying its superstruckture. Still able to to make 12 knots, Hood limped out of the line of battle. However, the Kriegsmarine had had enough and turned away under a smokescreen. This major victory for the Royal Navy boosted the spirits of the allies at the beginning of the war. Making the Royal Navy much bolder for the rest of the war, and defeating a major defeat on Germany after the destruction of Poland.
Bomber Command also started air raids on Germany. Wilhelmshaven and Hamburg were each attacked by 400 bombers. Industry and anti aircraft guns were suppressed within two days of bombing and powerplant and synthetic rubber factories were next on the list. With hardly any interceptors above Germany, and only light flank the bombers had about two months of free reign. After that several Jagdgeschwader turned up, and started mauling bomber command. As winter came, Bomber Command orderd the heavy planes to return to base to regain strenght for a new air assault at the start of the new year.
 

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as this is an experiment, could you please keep a month to month report of the activity of your bombers and their effect on IC/resources/unity?

it would be nice to see how effective the strategy is...
 

wuffer

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two month long strategic bombing? Not bad - for you. Any intelligence about the damage? Your pilots must have been searching for non demolished industry...
 

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Interesting. I always like to overdo strategies a little bit - so a powerful bomber-focus will be interesting to see. Especially as many Brits IRL really thought that bombers could get the job done at the time.
 

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And different way World War 2 would have happened if Hitler was insane already.
@ Soulking: Yes, certainly, especially if the allies made more a stink about Chechoslovakia. Which in my game is representad by my fecreased threat levels I guess.

two month long strategic bombing? Not bad - for you. Any intelligence about the damage? Your pilots must have been searching for non demolished industry...
@Wuffer: Well most of my 'free reign was in a small part of North Western Germany. So I smached the same IC over and over again.'
Interesting experiment. I'll definitely follow it.
@SpeedyDeletion: Yay, its always nice to see people reading my AAR's

as this is an experiment, could you please keep a month to month report of the activity of your bombers and their effect on IC/resources/unity?
it would be nice to see how effective the strategy is...
@squalleke123: I already have done quite a bit of the game, at least till 1940 now. I looked once of twice at Germany to have a peak. Ill post up the results in the next update!

Interesting. I always like to overdo strategies a little bit - so a powerful bomber-focus will be interesting to see. Especially as many Brits IRL really thought that bombers could get the job done at the time.
@CptEasy: Yes, that is exactly why I started the AAR......:rofl: Now the question is can I do it?!:wacko:
 

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Hamburg after the bombings of late 1938
1938, the First Year of the War
(A explanation on the Bomber Campaign of '38)
When war broke out Bomber Command had a total of 1000 four engined bombers at its command. Two hundred of these bombers were still forming up in the South-West of England, and would not be operational this year. The other eight hundred bombers started bombing Germany. The first targets were Wilhelmshaven and Hamburg. All Industry was destroyed within days, and thus large bombardments were continued only to try to break the will of the German people to fight. Hight Command decided that it would be more effective to bomb Berlin. So one of the Bomber Groups (400 planes) was dispatched to attack the capital of the Reich. The bomberstream arrived over Berlin and dropped their deadly payload of incendiary bombs without much trouble. On the way back however it was caught by several German fighter groups and suffered serious casualties.
After this raid German fighter strenght seemed to move west, and soon the bombings of Wilhelmshaven and Hamburg (Only one mission was dispatched to Berlin due to heavy casualties) were severly contested. This meant that the bombing had to shift to the German/Dutch boarder where there was no fighter cover. After bombing this area for a few weeks the bombers retreated to England to rest and refit before the large scale attacks planned for 1939. The main lesson lurnt from the '38 campaign was that interceptors would have a very big effect on further operations. And that anti-air was of only minor concern to the heavy bombers.
The use of these bombings was severly contested. German National Unity certainly took a modest hit. Going from 95 (esitmated) to 85 (estimated). Industry in the areas that were hit was destroyed and thus German IC was hit in two ways. 1/ They lost factories, 2/ IC would need to be allocated to rebuild damged IC. The Germans also started a huge anit air program. Planning to construct five AA batteries around every major city. It thus seems that the bomber campaign was having effect, because IC and NU were decreased, and large amounts of IC which could have gone to tanks or infantry went to AA guns.
 

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Funny how the Germans built their apartment buildings with no roofs. No wonder they lost the war...

Good AAR! Carry on! :rofl:
 

soulking

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wow a 1000 bombers! That's a lot. It's good that you lowered the German NU to 85, that would help later in the game when you invade them.
 

wuffer

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@Wuffer: Well most of my 'free reign was in a small part of North Western Germany. So I smached the same IC over and over again.'
Ah, I forget the early reach. I based my bombers therefore in Poland (work) and France (didn't work, never any ever fuel...)

keep on