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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Enewald

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No knife in the dark for the saxon nobles? :p
Treason against Vaterland? :D
 

robou

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1845: United Problems

The German nation had reason to be confident with itself and on the news that Denmark had, on February 22nd, decided to invade Pommern, the reaction was on of outrage. The people could not believe that a country as small and insignificant as Denmark could dare invade a new and powerful country like Germany, and on paper it made very little sense. However, the Danes had a good idea of the real situation Germany was going through.

The country looked strong, but was inextricably weak on the inside. Incompetents ruled the House of Lords, although the Landtag was much more stable and intelligent, and these swayed the decisions of the Emperor, often, in the wrong direction. Germany, or more correctly Prussia, may have been on the road towards democracy, but there was still a long way too go, and the system still blurred into conservatism and monarchism rather than a government for the people. With more German nobles now too appease, the House of Lords had become even more so packed with aristocracy who would have preferred to see Germany the way it used to be, with Prussia acting as a sovereign in nothing but name. Of course, the Prussians had other ideas, but the constant conflicting views as too which way the Reichstag flag was fluttering kept indecision and incompetence as the bywords of German government.

Of course, the people were tired. Most of Germany had just come out of a deep economic depression, and the signs still showed very strongly. Whilst the nobles did fine, and the massive villas and castles that festooned the land showed so, the working and agricultural classes were reduced to poverty and peasantry. These classes had little heart for war and were more interested in seeing something done, peacefully, about their desperate condition. And there was Prussia, the conqueror. The Prussian people had had to bear almost constant war since Austria invaded Kraków in 1839. High casualties, especially in Mexico and Russia, began to tire the Prussian people, and although they had been successful for the past few years, the tether was beginning to come to its end. The Prussian people wanted peace and prosperity, not another war. So Germany found itself gearing for a war that the people could not find the strength to fight.

That was not the only problem associated with this. The Prussian reserves had been sent home after peace with Austria had been announced, but now they were needed again. However, the Emperor intervened and stopped the mobilisation order. It was a wise choice, as a further mobilisation order, with the people in the state they were and the treasury almost broke, mobilising the nation would have put a further strain on the country that it could not take. The Emperor had judged the feelings of his people well, and ordered that the army commanders do the best job they could with the forces at their disposal. As such, the German Army was robbed of 480,000 men; men that it desperately needed to fight a war.


The poor deployment of the German Army prior to the war beginning

True, the German Army was strong of paper, but peeling back the fog of war revealed the actual weaknesses of it. On station in Germany, there was a mere 11 Divisions, and they were spread out, mostly far from any borders. A good deal of these divisions were of the Duke's Armies, and were both horribly under strength, though this was remedied by partial mobilisation in selected regions, and, unlike their Prussian cousins, were inexperienced in the more modern strategies of war. The larger portion of the Prussian Army, well experienced and battle hardened, was still marching on the horrible roads of Russia and Austria, which the winter elements had turned to quagmires. Much of the army would not be able to reach the front for several months.

The High Command would have to act fast and efficiently if it were too be able to pull off even a stalemate against the French and Danish forces. There were 24,000 Prussian Infantry, with both engineer and Artillery contingents, in the fortifications looking across into France from the Rhineland. This made up the most substantial deployment the High Command at the start of the war. Behind that was 22,000 Bavarians and Wüttemburgers, marching from Munich and Stuttgart, and they would cover the Franco-German border from the Palatinate to Baden-Baden while the region south of that, from Baden-Baden to the Swiss border would have to wait for the IX. (Kavallerie) to arrive from Silesia. The situation against Denmark was somewhat better, though the ever present threat of the Danish navy was a continued annoyance for the Germans. Along the German-Danish border were 10,000 troops of the Duke of Holstein, and behind that, 22,000 Hanoverians and 10,000 Hessian troops were marching full speed towards the border.


The Siege of Stralsund, view from the Danish trenches

However, the first more was that of the Danish. Their navy, being untouchable as the Prussians had only a single Frigate, KMS Brandenburg*, escorted 2,200 Danish troops into Pommern, where they began to siege the small garrison at Stralsund. 12,000 Hanoverians had, therefore, to be diverted towards this threat and away from the Danish border. The French, however, were still moving their armies from Marseille and Paris towards the border, giving the German Army sometime too muster. Time was not something that was on Germany's side, though.

Notes
*: This was inherited from Hanover
 

unmerged(81390)

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Don't try and make it seem difficult, i know you'll win this war as big as you won the others! :)
 

canonized

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You know I kind of forgot what ships in vicky looked like until now XD I should play some ricky again soon . The Danish war seems like a high affair . perhaps they knew the flat footedness of the German condition before going into it
 

coz1

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I finally caught up with this and it's fantastic, robou. Very detailed military and political movements with excellent graphics and a clear plan of action both in gameplay and in structure. I always enjoy Prussian AARs and wish I'd gotten in sooner. But I'm caught up now and ready to see how things shake down with France. That war has been a long time coming. You've proved to be masterful on the field of battle though, so assuming you can get those divisions to the line, the sooner you can get to making the French run away.

Great read! :)
 

comagoosie

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This seems to be an epic war, hopefully there will be more sides joining in so we can have a grand World War, no? :D

Do you know if the colonies are going to be takened into effect, as far as fighting?
 

Director

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I have to admit that I'd be sorely tempted to mobilize and hang the cost. If you hammer the French and Danes hard once you might not have to deal with them again (what am I saying? This is France we're talking about).

Here's hoping you have the men to hold the borders and to form a fire-brigade to fight the for naval landings too. This war should convince the Kaiser that he needs a fleet big enough to control the Baltic. :)
 

robou

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To All: I Apologise that this has not been updated for a couple of weeks, but as many of you may know, I am having doubts about my clarity while writing this. While you might say you know what I am going on about, and make no mistake I do at least make my updates make sense, I know I am not conveying a message the way I want it to be taken. As such, and with my other AAR (do go check it out) started well, I am going to slow down operations here at CAF. I will certainly not stop updating, but expect them to come along at much longer intervals as I both let my writing take more time and care in getting a message across and so I can concentrate on my narrative skills a little more. Do not expect this to come out like it has always done, AARs are very fluid things and you can notice how much the style has changed by page 25 than what it was on the first page, let me tell you, and I do not intend to stop making this better and more interesting and keep the styles flowing so you don't get bored with one. I will update this evening or tomorrow, though.

Ahura Mazda: Believe me, this is going to make Russia and Austria look like a cake walk, mainly because I am being mean to myself by not mobilising ;)

canonized: If you were Denmark, would you ever challange Germany unless you were so sure that the nation was weak and falling apart at the seams and have France as your ally? I think not :D

coz1: Very glad to have you along coz, it is an honour, I assure you. I feel the politics has been left out since the elections and the 'June Laws' but I intend to bring politics back into this story with much more strength soon enough. As for the French, it is now a race to see who can get troops to the border first. The French have troops in Paris and Marseilles, but they will arrive on the frontier for now. I am pretty sure what I will do to stop them.

Enewald: A real struggle indeed. 480,000 Reserves in all, and when war was declared I upped that to 520,000, but I won't be calling them out unless things get dire; I can't afford it and I want the young Germany to have some kind of economy for when the fighting is done.

comagoosie: I have some ideas about colonies, but we will have to try our best as it allows. I don't have much of a fleet to be making major landings in French colonies, but I do have one ace up my sleeve when it comes to colonial conflicts...

Director: The Danes I should be able to take out pretty quickly. They possess 4 understrength divisions (3 Infantry and 1 Cavalry) two of which are in Pommern and the cavalry in Jutland, but in an event I gave them a full strength division under the pretenses of a French Expeditionary Force. The French will be tougher, but I doubt they will be landing on the north German coast, I take that they hope their erstwhile ally will keep me busy there. Even so, I won't waste troops guarding against a hypothetical invasion when all miliatary doctrine of the era dictates frontal attacks on enemy positions; Metz my friend, Metz ;)
 

unmerged(61356)

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I am confident that, despite the many apparent difficulties it faces in this conflict, Germany will emerge victorious. Hopefully, once the dust has settled, the Germans will be able to get a breather and enjoy a period of peace.
 

robou

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1845: Which Way?

The question on the lips of all the assembled Army, Corps and Divisional commanders assembled for one day in Berlin was this; where to strike first? The options they had were simple enough, take out either Denmark or France first, and then push their full forces in the other direction when that was completed. There were pros and cons, as there always are, for both sides of the argument, but the Generalfeldmarschall could not come to a decision as the arguments were very balanced.

One side, with its main supporter being the cavalry-minded Graf von Zieten, argued that, without a doubt, that France had to be seen too first. They reasoned that France was the major enemy of Germany, and striking hard and fast while both sides were still not ready, though the Germans had more troops placed on the actual border and would have the early advantage, could crush France within a matter of months and not have to worry about them again. The early advantage the Germans had of already having placed on the border 24,000 men against no French Regulars was the crux of the argument. There was, of course, also the fact that France was the major rival in the war, not only being the much more powerful country in all terms, but also being Germany’s political rival. Whilst the Danes may have brokered the war, it was the French behind it, and every General and Politician present knew it.

However, there were those who thought otherwise. Bismarck, now acting, by the wishes of the King* himself, as the liaison between the Military and the Reichstag during the proceedings of the war, lead the group of Generals that believed that Denmark should be attacked first. They also presented a good argument, not only outlining why Denmark should come first, but also addressing why crushing France, in these early days of the new Empire, could be a dangerous and over-extending move.

Firstly, he pointed out, while Denmark was still in the war on the side of the French, it would drain the supply of German troops from the French frontier and stop the commanders of that front being able to use the meagre amount of forces Germany possessed to beat a military monster like France. Prussia had been the ‘Army with a State’ but this was Germany now, and over half the troops fighting on the French front were either Bavarians or Wüttemburgers whose quality was dubious as was their loyalty to the German crown, under, what could be well described as, a foreign rule, though Bismarck failed the mention to the assembled Generals the last bit of information due to the presence of the Dukes of Bavaria and Württemberg in the assembly. When the Prussian troops, battle hardened with over four years of almost constant fighting in different consequences each time and one of the finest fighting forces in the world did arrive at the French front, they would no doubt win the war in a few weeks, but as of now they were a month’s march away in Russia and Austria. It was unlikely that even if there was an early advantage to Germany, by the time French troops arrived, they would be in numbers far greater than Germany could muster in that small time-frame for an offensive and would undoubtedly be pushed back to the border, and they would no longer have the advantage of being able to use the time the French took to arrive to dig in sufficiently to cancel out French numbers.

There was also the fact that the Danes had already taken to the offensive. They may might not have been in great numbers, but there was an army of Danes on German soil, and they would have to be repelled before Stralsund fell, it be an national embarrassment. If, Bismarck reasoned, there were already troops going to relieve Stralsund, and then consequently having to stay in Pommern to ensure a similar invasion did not happen again, as well as troops having to guard the border between the Jutland and Holstien, why not use them to launch an offensive. Why have 20,000 troops in position and not use them? Captain Graf von Roon, Bismarck’s aide-de-camp while he was still liaison with the Army, produced reports from the border that German forward scouts reported that the Danish forces in Jutland consisted of just 1,000 cavalrymen, under General Hempel-Jørgenssen, just able to man a series of redoubts the lined the border area. With 10,000 men already in Holstein, under General Wilhelm von Scharnhorst, and 10,000 Hanoverians on the way to join him and a further 10,000 Hanoverians marching to Pommern, there would be more than enough men to take Denmark out of the war quickly and with as little lost life as possible. Prussian troops would pass the area on their march westwards and could be temporarily diverted if the going got tougher.


The Prussian columns from the east were not sped on by Berlin crowds desperate to congratulate their conquering warriors!

There was also evidence, presented by von Roon to the throng of Generals, from German agents in Copenhagen that French support was arriving, slowly but surely**. Bismarck warned the Generalfeldmarschall that if Denmark was not taken out of the war quickly, more and more French support could arrive and turn the Danish front from a side note, badly manned and supplied, to a the primary front of the war if these French reinforcements were to arrive en masse. General von Wrangel argued back that surely an offensive against France could not achieve the same result of stopping these reinforcements. Bismarck countered that not only had it already been established that the offensives in France would most likely end in failure, which would leave many Germans dead and perhaps not enough manpower to defend against even the Danes, but even with France knocked out of the war, nothing would stop them from continuing to supply the Danish and even, under international law, to legally send volunteers, though they would unlikely have volunteered themselves rather the King volunteered them, and supplies to the Danish.

To further the defeat of the idea of offensives into France, Bismarck also warned the council that, as ever, the British would be vigil over the proceedings in Europe. The defeat of Denmark, and Bismarck already knew that the terms against Denmark would not be harsh, would not strike the British as being anything more than another small expansionist war of Germany’s expanding empire, less important and needy to fuss about a little bit of a border dispute than to complain about the defeat of the Gendarme of Europe. The defeat of a major power like France, no less a nation that had plagued Europe with defeats time and time again for almost 40 years, however, would send shockwaves through the world. Britain and France made no mistake that they weren't friends; they were the fiercest of rivals and had had more disputes than Prussia had with France over the past 30 years. But it made no difference, if Germany crushed France, the shockwaves could be massive. French grips over Algeria could falter, and the French holdings in the Caribbean could easily slip away, possibly followed by Britain’s Antilles holdings. Britain would intervene, despite its warmest regards to German efforts in the past few years. It was unlikely that the British were very happy at all with a unified Germany, and they knew that with the massive material and manpower resources she possessed, as soon as the new Empire was organised, it could be a monster, like France had become after it learned to harness its full power after the revolution. In conclusion, he quickly stated that while France was more powerful, Denmark was the true enemy, at least of this war. When Germany could stand up to Britain, then would be the time to strike at those who despised a united Germany.

Von dem Knesebeck agreed with Bismarck, even though he was no quick minded politician that could see as far-sightedly as Bismarck, and the orders were given out to commander. Von Scharnhorst’s Holsteiners were to advance across the border into Jutland and continue advancing until they met a force which they could not meet, and then wait for the Hanoverians. All other army commanders, minus the other Division of Hanoverians going to relieve Stralsund, were to advance to the Franco-German border as quickly as possible and then to be placed on arrival by the Front commander, Crown Prince Maximilian of Bavaria. As a parting gift to the council before they left, they learned that the Emperor of Austria had, as a sign of good faith to their erstwhile German brothers, sent two divisions from Vienna, the closest troops to Germany, towards the Franco-German border as an expeditionary force. It seemed there would be enough men, but it was still a race against the French to see who could arrive with enough force first.

Notes:
*: Still a King as he had, in full knowledge of the dire situation of the war and the deep financial problems faced by Germany in its early months, postponed the coronation until the war was won.
**: I edited in one full-strength division to Copenhagen.
 
Last edited:

Enewald

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Bismarck is wise.
But letting in first place the princes have so much power was not wise. :(
 

coz1

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I am reminded of a saying by many men, I am sure, over time - why build an army...just to march it in a parade? Use those forces in the North to repel Denmark. I think you are wise to dig in against the French and if they are sending help the Danes way, that means less on the front lines in the Rhineland. Wait for the Prussians and then pounce.

Great to see another update on this robou. Don't worry about having to take longer lapses or even working on another AAR a little faster. I'm ready whenever you have an update. And I promise to get around to your new one soon.
 

Eöl

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An excellent update once again robou.
I look forward to a period of peace for Germany, at least in Europe. ;)
Edit: As the new growing Germanic power on the block you should take Greenland and Iceland from Denmark as war reparations.
 
Last edited:

ComradeOm

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I finally caught up robou and what a treat its been. Its taken a few epic wars but Germany has been united under Prussia... although France's reaction to this should be no surprise. No doubt there is a tough fight ahead; one only complicated by trouble on the home front. Its also interesting to see just how Britain is weighting on Bismarck's mind even at this early stage. Maybe London is about to make a return to the Continent...
 

geek_knight

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When in doubt, just follow Bismarck, and Britain will stay on good terms with Germany, while keeping the French and Danish out!
 

comagoosie

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Yeah, see I am here :D

Anyways, I loved how you presented both sides of the arguement, though I must say that the denmark decision sure had the manpower to push through. In fact, I would have done the same thing. Take care of the little nations, who may become a pain if not dealt with quickly, then move onto the large nations with your combined full force.
 

phargle

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I think they have this backwards. The Danish front is basically a joke, but what happened to the Prussian navy? Didn't you need some kind of navy when you invaded Mexico? The basic problem with the French is capturing and holding territory before you have an opportunity to redeploy doesn't help them get any closer to winning the war, so you could cede vast swaths of land and happily box them up and break them. Unfortunately for France, Austria and Russia have been knocked out of the box, and France just lacks the manpower to beat Prussia, even a tired Prussia. . . unless you are also editing up your war weariness, which may just give the French a chance and break up your newly-formed nation. Either of those results would surprise me. I expect a quick defeat of France, followed by British involvement in Germany that consists of tiny, foolhardy raids over and over again at Kiel.
 

unmerged(81390)

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What will you take from Denmark? Sleswig I guess, but maybe more too?
 

JosunUrashima

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I like where things are going.

most people only look at the main threat in war. (most). This is usually because whoever is the strongest in an alliance is (from outward and quickly looked at appearances) the most likely threat.

But sometimes a smaller weak nation can prove a problem. What would be a small joke of a front quickly becoming something far deadlier. If Denmark got the troops it needed, it might (MIGHT) have been able to reach Berlin (if by chance your prussian forces didnt get there first.)

Taking on Denmark is the wise choice.

I still wonder about Texas and the possibility of a civil war in the US. (hey, maybe Prussia could side with the CSA!! Show the US whos boss and give yourself a nation in that area that bows to Prussia (willingly!! Its more fun that way! :D)