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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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canonized

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So I finally caught up XD What a wonderful history you've written here , robou ! An excellent pastiche of the military , economic ,and political landscape that shapes your view of Prussia . Complete from the early protection of Krakow to the surprise Mexican Emperorship to the intense suspense of your latest chapter , you've done an excellent transition here to a wonderful history ! Well done !
 

Kordo

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I finally read thru the entire thing a couple of days ago, and I just want to congratulate you on a fantastic job so far!
 

robou

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To All: Apologies for the long delays, no update in 10 days. I have quite a lot of my time taken up at the moment, and will only find time for an update on Friday (half-term :) ) so I apologise now, to you all, but you will have to wait another couple days. For now, I am pondering how to outline the next update. We can either have it as a detailed battle narrative (I do enjoy those), something more like what we had with the Hatian campaign but on a much grander and well written scale, or we can stick to what we have been doing so far? I put it to you, my readers, to decide. Now, feedback.

Enewald: Question is, can Prussia sustain itself during this time period? If you think about it, all the wars she historically fought went on no longer than a couple of months; this looks like it might be somewhat more testing. Be boring if it weren't a challenge though.

likk9922: Apologies, I meant to say that it was the longest battle upto that point. I'm sure we will see longer ones coming up in the future.

comagoosie: Nope, that will be long, but not as long. Quite close between though. As for digging myself out, I am awaiting my large reserve pool to do so.

PrawnStar: Keeps you reading, though ;) I don't think Prussia would be able to take Russia at this point normally. The AI would not have built up the reserves and they have an inherent lack of agressiveness. They might hold, but I doubt they'd win. That is of course, providing that it was purely Prussia vs Russia and no one else.

rasmus40: Guess its my fault for not becoming a magician. I can't recall off the top of my head, but I believe it is 1 1/2 months to call the reserves, so it can't be much longer now; perhaps half a month at most. However, I am currently having the 'Boiling Kettle' mentality. The more I wait for the reserves, the longer they seem to take. All countries mobilize at the same rate, but getting troops precisely where you need them is where railroads come in.

phargle: The Russians had more men than I had imagined, so the theatre in general is controlled by the Russians; that said my troops have advantages, seeing most of them are brigaded and I have better techs. But numbers seem to be getting the better of me at the moment, the tech difference not being so great during the early stages. I have no plans set out. But I guess a change in government system IF the Russians win is fair enough. As for my victory, no not at all. I have no idea what I want or what I would want it for, and what I would do if I got that land. Winning the war is the first priority, then we can think about governing lands newly won.

Director: If the Russians successfully take Kattowitz and break my line on the Vistula, then I will start worrying. But I don't have any worries at the minute. They may come, but they will be beaten soon enough. My plans are well set for what I am going to do. I am confident of victory. The more Russian hordes come through the better; just more men for the slaughter. Hmm, makes me sound pretty arrogant...

ComradeOm: Hah, yes they always do. But then again, it was I myself who really underestimated just how many men the Russians had. I guess it is my fault for not mobilising the reserves and then declaring war. I mean, what was I thinking? Having numerical superiority over the Russians? Foolish....

GhostWriter: The terms are in time, and it is going to be a pretty long battle. One of the longest I have seen on Victoria. And no, never heard of Joe Storey... :(

canonized: Thanks for catching up, mon ami. Always glad to have you following. I will attempt to keep your tastes sated; I know you like only the best stuff ;)

Kordo: Thanks! :D
 

canonized

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phargle said:
The current style is the reason I read this AAR.

Seconded !

Please continue :D . though if you want to have bonuses in between to let out some of that narrative steam , I wouldn't mind reading them XD
 

PrawnStar

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I like the current style, except of course the evil that is the cliffhanger :mad: ;)
 

robou

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Very well, the current style it shall be. I might, as canon suggested, throw in the odd bonus battle narrative now an again, if ya'll don't mind. Apologies again for the lack of updates, but expect this kind of gap to become more common place. Updates will be weekly at best, perhaps longer. Hope you don't mind the wait... :(
 

robou

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Ok, now I have a much more difficult problem. I have overwitten the Autosave (which saved just before a CTD) with a Russia game, and the last save will take be back to late January, when the war began. Now I have several choices: 1. discount the last update and replay the from january, 2. abandon the AAR (something I would very much like to avoid) or 3. just continue but make up what is going on (not so much what I would like either). As is, I will delete information on the last post, and will play again from January. Quite annoying, as I was cleanly winning the war by July, when the Autosave happened. That'll teach me. Update this afternoon. Apologies, again... :(
 

ColossusCrusher

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Play from Janurary. That's the best option.
 

robou

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1844: The Charging Bear

Gleiwitz could not be, in military terms, called a significant battle. It was a small scale battle where the numerically smaller force was driven off with a slightly bloody nose. In its style of fighting, it would be impossible to tell the difference between that and an engagement of similar sizes in the Napoleonic Wars. However, the consequences of the loss could not have been greater. When von von Müffling informed von dem Knesebeck that he would not be able to reach General Oder in time to assist, the entire Silesian front began to break down. Oder was killed, his division routed back towards Troppau, von Müffling's Corps had stopped at Breslau and von dem Knesebecks Corps was stuck in southern Silesia, cut off from all other Prussian forces.

As the situation dictated, von dem Knesebeck would have to be quick to ensure that his Corps was not destroyed in detail. Thus, he took an ambitious; some called it vainglorious, action. He decided to attack the Russians in Poland. If he could not actually break out of Silesia, he would have to break into Poland, or at least so he reasoned. This did have a big draw back: he could easily be cut off from the rear if the Russians were to take Kattowitz. But, with the Russians already in control of Gliewitz, it made little difference. The attack would be carried out on Kielce in southern Poland. This battle shall not be described in detail, as it was a long drawn out engagement that had little bearing on the war in general.

With northern Silesia secured by von Müffling's Corps, it was decided to shore up the line and wait for the reserves to be, mobilised. Oder's Division, now under a different command, was moved to cover the area around the Polish town of Bromberg; however, that was not where the Russians were intending on attacking.

The Russian assault came further north on April 6th, along the river Vistula. It became obvious by the end of the war just how prudent a decision it had been to send the cavalry to cover the Vistula. However, they were hopelessly outnumbered. The Cavalry, under von Zieten were and covering the northern sector of the line, engaged over 40,000 Russians, around 30,000 cavalry and 10,000 infantry under General Chicherin, intending to cross the river. Further south, the Dragoons, around 18,000 of them, engaged a smaller force of 20,000 Russians. However, behind the initial crossing was a further 40,000 men in reserve. The Prussians desperately needed the mobilised divisions, but none of these were set to reach the front until April 22nd.

The first attack came in the centre of the Vistula region. Chicherin's northern infantry division, behind the cover of the massive cavalry force, swung round to the south and forced marched to the banks of the Vistula. Both von Zieten's cavalry divisions were busy dealing with stopping the Russian cavalry making a bridgehead, so to the Russians surprise they found the opposite banks of the Vistula empty. Cautiously, troops began to cross the river. They either struggled across the shallows with all their equipment or spent time pulling rafts across the deeper parts of water. It was a slow exercise, but by the end of the day, a good portion of the division was on the other side of the river.


The Crossing of the Vistula, April 6th-28th. Green lines are Russian advances, Blue lines are Prussian attacks, the dotted versions are retreats of either side colour respective of before. The red dotted line denotes the two Prussian sectors: Cavalry to the north and dragoons to the south.

By now, the lack of actual offensive activity being displayed by the Russian cavalry was making it more obvious that their attacks were only feints. It difficult situation that von Zieten was no faced with: if he moved forces towards the Russian infantry, he would leave himself very open to attack by the Russian cavalry, but if he failed to stop the infantry, he would be hopelessly outflanked. Therefore, under the cover of darkness, the flank companies of the 4. Schlesiche Husaren Regiment began to ride southwards, followed by the rest of the regiment and then followed by 2nd Cavalry Division. The 1st Cavalry would defend against their Russian counterparts alone.

The next morning the Russians awoke early to try and get the rest of the division across the river by noon. So far as they knew, the Prussians had still not detected them. The amount of pickets was reduced from normal procedure so that as many men as could be had were on station to man the rafts. It was around 7:30 AM when the Prussian attack started. The thick forests hampered the deployment of the cavalry, disallowing von Zieten to deploy his forces in the traditional triple line brigade. Instead, the regiments deployed in a single semi-circle that almost surrounded the Russian bridgehead. What few pickets were on station were quickly dealt with and the unorganised Russians were soon being sent swimming back across Vistula and were forced to regroup on the other side.

In the southern section, covered by the dragoons, the Russians had a less easy crossing. The 1st Dragoon Division's camp was on the hills overlooking the Vistula, and one of the Russian infantry divisions had the bad luck of choosing that sight during a night time scouting march. When the dragoons arose in the morning, the had the good luck of being in a concealed position overlooking slow moving rafts and rowing boats trying to land Russian troops on their side of the river. For the dragoons, it was like shooting chickens in a farm yard. Artillery blew rafts to pieces, and the dragoons picked off officers and rowers with their rifled carbines. After the first wave of Russians was destroyed, the Russian divisional commander had the good idea and decided to not try and cross again.


The failed Russian crossing of the Vistula in the 1st Dragoon's sector

The most southerly Russian division was in process of crossing the river without any resistance, when the 2nd Dragoon division appeared at its rear, on the Russian side of the river. They had found a small ford, pointed out to them by a friendly Polish farmer, and had crossed the river behind the Russians. Again, the dragoons had an easy time, picking off Russian officers from behind the cover of trees. The Russians could not decide which way to go. Either they could continue to cross the river, or could try and break out from the way they had come. As most of the division was still on the Russian side of the Vistula, a general attack was sounded. Knowing they were now outgunned, the Dragoons simply mounted their horses again and rode off back to the Prussian side of the Vistula.

The first few days, it would easily seem, had been a brilliant Prussian victory. The dragoons, in particular had shown that they possessed a serious tactical flexibility. It was duly noted by Berlin, but not all was as good as it seemed. The Russian cavalry had managed to swim the Vistula in large numbers and were beginning to push back the Prussian cavalry. The Prussian sabres could barely cut through the massive Russian greatcoats and the numbers were 3:1 against them. Holes began to develop in the line, and the Russians began to storm through. The 1st Cavalry Division was ordered to retreat and join the 2nd, but with Russians pressing down from all direction and the Russian infantry once again trying to cross the river, the 2nd Cavalry division was also in danger. The most prudent decision for von Zieten was to retreat, and he did so. The dragoons were ordered to hold their position until ordered to retreat, but no order ever came due to the miraculous news that arrived on May 3rd...
 
Last edited:

canonized

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Hmm an excellent battle sequence here ! I love the home made maps too XD Very cool . And miraculous news eh ? I wonder what it could be !
 

Enewald

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A palace revolution in Peterburg? :p

Nice map!
Where is Marienburg and where is Elbing? :rolleyes:
 

comagoosie

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The war seems to have gotten off on a rocky start, hopefully now with the good news the russians will be pushed back. That sure was a nice polish farmer, considering that the poles and the prussians don't exactly like each other :D
 

unmerged(81390)

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Would you mind if I stole the idea to use Google Earth? Probably not in my current AAR, but sometime... It's such a great idea!
 

unmerged(74032)

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Nice cliffhanger :cool: don't let us hang too long :D.

Your homemade battlemap makes things easier to understand. But it would be better to make them with photoimpact or photoshop to make give them a more professional look. Take a look at the battle maps of dome osprey campaign books to get an idea of what I mean. And next time you might want to redraw the river which would help to understand the better.
 

ComradeOm

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A Tutorial For All Germans Contemplating War With Russia

Lesson 1: Do not go to war with Russia [Check]
Lesson 1: No really, do not go to war with Russia! [Check]
Lesson 3: Draw up accurate maps beforehand using Google Earth [Check]
Lesson 4: It is far preferable to be forcing a crossing on the Dnieper than defending one on the Vistula [Check]

Hmmm... I wonder what lesson five will be? :p
 

unmerged(24320)

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robou: ...And no, never heard of Joe Storey... :(

Joe is an Old Timer, by my (membership) standards. i have only read one of his AARs, EU3: Three countries One Goal, but i have read plenty about his ability to post a cliffhanger ! ! :)

robou: ...For now, I am pondering how to outline the next update.

i will be happy with whatever you decide to do ! ! :)

robou:
...the 2nd Dragoon division .. found a small ford, pointed out to them by a friendly Polish farmer, and had crossed the river behind the Russians.

there is much to be said about treating decent people decently ! ! :D

robou:
...The dragoons were ordered to hold their position until ordered to retreat, but no order ever came due to the miraculous news that arrived on May 3rd...

arrival of the reserves ? ? ;)

awesome update ! !
:cool:
 

robou

Hijo de Santiago
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To All: Thank you to all those who voted for me in the ACAs. For those who didn't check the results, your votes helped me win the Favourite Overall Victoria AAR, an honour I don't really think I am up to, and also the favourite Victoria History-Book, although I had very tough competition from both Mishgan and many others. Apologies at beating you, I will try less hard next time. Anyway, I suppose you all deserve a celebratory update, but unfortunately not tonight. I know it has been quite a wait since the last, but English essay's are bogging me down. Tomorrow, I promise an update for sure. Thank you again for the votes, and congratulations to all the competetors.

cannonized: Could be anything, but whatever it is, it is very important. We can only wait an find out soon.

Enewald: Well, heh, maybe not quite yet. So far, Russia is neither being defeated, humiliated and strained. I doubt at this stage that much I can do will push Russia to the edge, and neither I nor the rest of Europe are too keen on bringing down the Gendarme of Europe. The balance of Europe is a precious thing indeed, and I wouldn't want the British, who are the upholders of the ideal, to get annoyed with me now, would I? :D

Comagoosie: People tend to get very friendly and helpful with a carbine pointed at their head. I will drink to the Russians being pushed back; if only it were legal.... :(

Ahura Mazda: Hardly my idea; feel free to steal what you want. Well, within reason ;)

Treppe: Unfortunately graphics are not my forte at all. That google-earth map is just about the entire extent of my skill. If I had more time I would put more effort into the graphics, but that seemed sufficient just to give a basic idea of what was happening.

ComradeOm: Keep a ton load of reserves perhaps? I have been decieving the Russians of my strength, even if it wasn't on purpose... :D

GhostWriter: You win a Pour le Merit! Make up something if you want and put it in signature if you want. Hmm, a prize competition, sounds like a fun idea. Thanks for indirectly putting it in my head ;)