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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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robou

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1844: Communication Problems

The Russians may well have been able to hold off the Prussian general offensive, or at least slow down how things fanned out in actuality, but it was obvious that Prussian technological and organisational superiority was becoming a much more important factor in turning the tide against the Russian hordes. Prussian forces acted in sync with each other, were able to use more troops successfully and struck in the right places. The Prussians seemed like a proper army, an oiled machine of war that worked perfectly; the army with a nation.

The same could not be said of the Russians. Their commanders proved so inflexible to the point of not communicating with one another. Divisions went astray, sometimes for better but most times for worse, disallowing the high command to utilise the full might of the Russian 'steam-roller'. And these communication problems showed, very clearly. On the Vistula, both of Chicherin's Corps commanders refused point blank to send each other information on both theirs and the enemy’s situation, leaving Chicherin blind to the flanking move being taken out on him. The situation was the same in Poland. The force of 20,000 men ousted from Kalisz by von Wrangel's advance retreated into Silesia, the place they knew they would find other Russian forces. This seemed a sound idea, but Vorontsov, the commander of Russian forces in Silesia, had not seen fit to tell that corps that he was already being engaged by a force three times their number. And of course, both Vorontsov and the Polish Corps ignorance of the fact that they were in the process of being cut off did little to help the situation. It was clear that Russian high command was falling apart now that they were being engaged everywhere at once. They themselves were in the process of being 'Steam-rolled'.

This all helped the Prussians enormously. With over 90,000 men being pumped into breaking the stalemate on the Vistula's southern sector, a break through was bound to be made, and then Chicherin, still unaware of the dire situation he was in, would be surrounded. And in Silesia, more and more Russian forces retreated to the nearest army in Gleiwitz, strengthening the line there and simply allowing more time for von Wrangel to take Lodz, something that seemed almost inevitable now, and complete the encirclement of the entire Russian Silesian Army Group. It was now all a question of time before the Russians lost 11 of the 17 divisions fighting.

From a near stalemate in May, that things began to free up as soon as June was a surprise even to Berlin. The Russian forces in the southern Vistula section of the front broke into a rout on June 17th, at the same time that von Wrangel entered Lodz without having fought a battle and the Russian centre around Skierniewice broke leaving an open road to Warsaw. Things moved quickly on from there. On July 1st, Prussian Dragoons entered Königsberg, completing the encirclement of what remained of Chicherin's first Corps, and by July 7th, the Prussians had successfully taken Allenstein and Memel and had forced 40,000 Russians out of Gumbinen, making for the quickest advance of an army in history up to that point. Over 110,000 Russians troops were surrounded.

There was little of note considering battles. By this point, Russian troops were constantly on the back foot and never possessed the morale to put up more than a day or so resistance too Prussian forces. On August 5th, Chicherin surrendered his command, loosing the Russians 3 cavalry and 1 infantry division. Two days later, Vorontsov surrendered in Gleiwitz, loosing another 7 divisions. A day after that, the remains of the Russian defenders of Kielce, about 5,000 men of two battle weary divisions surrendered to von dem Knesebeck. Prussian troops entered Warsaw unopposed and easily handed off a small counterattack. By the end of August, the 22nd to be exact, the first Prussian troops entered Lithuania. The war looked more than one. Now it was a question of what to demand and how badly the Gendarme deserved to be crushed for its insults to Prussian liberalism, and how Europe would take such a backslash to the 'Balance of Europe'.

fronstsep.jpg

The front line, September 1st, 1844

 

canonized

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Hmm it seems some breakthrough is being made . As the lines extend , it will become a problem , but somehow it seems as if the bear is already being verily beaten .
 

PrawnStar

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Looks promising so far, there'll be more Russians I'm sure but it's always good to nail a few units.

Yay, I get to ask more noob gameplay questions :rofl:

What constitutes a good peace - for example Poland or the Baltic coast or cash (war indemnities)?
 

ColossusCrusher

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Take Poland! That frontline needs to look neater! :D
 

phargle

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As bad as Russia lost those last few battles, Prussian forces could march as far into Russia as they wanted, with the only threat being rebels. Vicky's AI will probably want you to do that before it is willing to give up more than a few provinces, too.
 

comagoosie

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"Give us every foot [of Polish territory] or not an inch" :p

A little contrued, but not much. Glad to see the progress, and I wish you luck on the diplomatic end of this war. Maybe we can expect a war of words?
 

Enewald

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Balance, gone foreva!
Just take all of congress Poland. ;)
Otherway it would look very silly on the map. :D
 

unmerged(81390)

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Has this game reached the point where you can't lose unless you try really, really hard?
 

robou

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To All: Even though I have been tied down with work all week, I'm ok for the weekend, so expect an update tomorrow at some point. Trying to keep on schedual.

canonized: Hence why I will avoid moving into central Russia if I can. I want a peace that maims Russia, not overthrowing the Tsar. Teach him a lesson for being rash is all :)

PrawnStar: Well some people would talk in land, but I like to see a good victory as Russia keeping of my back while I get things sorted out further west. Don't want to get back stabbed. So both shortening the front line and wiping out as many units as possible is my main goal.

ColossusCrusher, Hardraade: But that might affect the balance of Europe, and out British friends would not be happy. To be covered in the next update. And if I brought Russia to its knees, who would I have to pick on in the late game? ;)

phargle: luckily, Polish and Lithuanian provinces are quite cheap on the warscore, so I should be able to steal a few without too much trouble. Don't forget, though, that the main effect on peace treaties, apart from warscore, is war exhaustion. An enemy will never accept a peace if they are not a little exhausted. Destroying all those Russian troops, therefore, works up that score and brings me closer to peace in more than simple military terms.

comagoosie: History seems to teach one major thing about Europeaners... act with the sword first, then try words. God save me if I tried different. Too succeed you must, to an extent, conform.

Enewald: The balance I will try and mantain as well as I can, it is integral to the plot, but my neighbours don't exactly make it the easiest thing to do....

Ahura Mazda, phargle: Well not exactly. Wars in the early stages tend to be big win or big loose with no in between. By the turn of the century, to get a big win, you have to accept a big loss before you get anywhere, unless you are very lucky. I intend to get a best a position as I can before that happens so the big loss is not so great...

rasmus40: St. Petersburg is not too far, but there is still around 10 Russian divisions barring the way through the Baltic region. And of course, I have no fleet so to try and transport troops around would be folly at the hands of the powerful Imperial Baltic fleet.
 

phargle

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I'd honestly never made the connection in Vicky between war exhaustion and peace accords. I just figured the AI always refused peace if you're weaker and it isn't totally conquered.

Good at least that you can pocket a few Russian armies and force the Tsar to make amends. I hope Prussia and Russia wind up as allies in this.
 

robou

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1844: A Nation Unprepared

By the time Prussian troops had entered Warsaw, High Command in Berlin was still debating whether to go any further into Russia. Now that Prussian troops were in Brest Litovsk and Vilnius, High Command ordered a halt. No further advances were too be made. There was good reasoning behind their decision. Firstly, many of the officers in the High Command had watched Napoleon's invasion of Russia peter out during 1812, and seeing as it was now early September, it would be folly to advance any further and risk loosing the army due to over-stretched supply lines. No, the army would hold its ground well within good logistical distance and await peace while fending off Russian attacks. Provisions for winter clothing and supplies of food were made and the army began to dig in too the ever hardening soil. And secondly was the fact of what Europe would think of a Napoleon-esque advance into Russia. Perhaps they might perceive that Prussia was trying to destabilise and destroy Russia, instead of simply defending her interests. Perhaps they would condone it? Unlikely, the only real friend of Prussia was Britain, and all others would quickly condemn any movement.

Britain too was forced into an awkward position. As much as she desired an alliance with Prussia, she could not even think of having one while Prussia continued to gallivant around Europe at will. Too Britain, the 'Balance of Europe' was of paramount importance. So long as the continentals were too busy arguing among themselves, they would be unable to take on Britain; the natural moat of the English Channel ensuring that. However, if one power were to get the military and industrial backing of much of the continent, then Britain would be endangered. Therefore, Britain only intervened in Europe when the balance was affected. The status-quo allowed the British colonial holdings to continue expanding and the nation to get richer and richer. Prussia, while being her natural ally, was threatening everything. Therefore, Britain sat on the side lines and watched too see what would become of Prussia. Therefore, the German nation was without an ally.

France would only need the slightest agitation too invade, and it had the forces to do so, but alas for France they were embroiled in Algeria and would likely be for sometime*. And even if they tried to invade, the Prussian defences were strong** and the confederation would rally around Berlin. France would have to be content to merely rattle a sabre at the Rhine and save her invasion for later. Even, anything she could do to undermine Prussia, she would no doubt partake in.

And then there was Austria, a nation still bitter of her embarrassing defeat in 1839. Austria was still looking for her chance to strike back at Prussia, and her forces were arrayed along the border. It was quite a shock to Berlin that on September 6th and Austrian declaration of war found itself in the Landtag. Just why Austria declared was very unclear. The declaration of war stated that Austria had invaded to 'defend the balance of order', but that was easily shown to be false when Austrian troops decided to invade Kraków first. It is possible that Austrian Intelligence did not pick up on the order that all Prussian troops were too halt where they were and settle down to winter, and were instead hoping that they would catch the Prussians in the rear while the army wore itself out over the Russian steppes. This is the only explanation that makes any sense, but it will continue to be a mystery as too why the Austrians invaded.

Instead of Prussian troops being in the Russian steppes, the Austrians soon found out that there were still 110,000 men in Silesia and 20,000 more ready to strike into the Carpathian mountains from Poland. Austrian divisions were woefully under strength*** and too spread out. Added to this, Prussia had been unable to send all its reserves against Russia and so was able to muster another 140,000 men along the Silesian border after a week of hostilities. Austrian forces, if all the divisions along the border had been at full strength was 64,000 men, though in reality there was only around 30,000. The Austrians had got themselves into a worse situation than the first war, as Prussian forces were now along an even longer front than before and had a numerical advantage of 9:1. It looked as if the 'Balance of Europe' was too take another punch in the stomach from Prussia.

easyvic.jpg

Prussian Reserves deploy in Silesia

Notes:
*: Abd al Qadir continued to cause problems for the French well into the late 1840s
**: 22,000 infantry, engieer brigade and a rebout system.
***: many were at a strength of 1,000 men. I do not know why they were so, it made the battles very boring
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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Lawlz, austrian suicide! :rofl:
Just make a event which gives you the whole of Poland from Russia. :D
 

geek_knight

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Maybe the other reason for declaring war would be that the Austrians are masoschist :D ? Maybe they thought France would join the party, too?

Enewald said:
Lawlz, austrian suicide! :rofl:
Just make a event which gives you the whole of Poland from Russia. :D

Indeed! :mad: We want Poland! :p
 

phargle

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Your caution paid off. Austria no doubt thought to itself that it could strike while your armies gallivanted in the Russian steppes, and instead your armies were hardened, at peak strength, ready for action, and sitting in Poland. You also get +1 for using the word 'gallivant' in a sentence.
 

canonized

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Ahh , a trap is set . A surprising move there but it looks like you've checkmated the german problem XD