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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Winner

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HKslan said:
Good luck getting Sicily back, the Allies' fleets always make that a pain.

Fallshirmjägers eagerly await an opportunity to prove their usefulness to the Reich! ;)
 

EvilSanta

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Wise move not to pursue the Cracow pocket further. Let time do it's job instead of your precious men.
 

Lord Finnish

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Smash them like a bug! and make those italians feel why it isn't wise to bertray Germany!
 

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dublish - They're not really able to mount an offensive, though they can cause some trouble.

Winner - Oh look, this update should answer your suggestion :)

Enewald, HKslan - Nah, Allied fleets will surely block my passage in Sicily. I will stop at the boot's end, hoping to encircle quite a few divisions in the process. Then the boot will need minimal defenses.

Winner - But I don't have any transport planes :(

EvilSanta - That was just a waste of blood. They are going to starve anyways.

Lord Finnish - Blame their leadership, as the Country fell in a civil war with when the armistice with the Allies was signed. Their fault was rather that they had not been capable of defending their peninsula, as they had only twelve divisions in it in 1943, with all the others pretty much mauled in Lybia, Greece and Soviet Union. Their leadership had not been able to defend themselves; they will not retain their hationhood.

Update.
 

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Checkmate!

0000 September 20th 1944
Warsaw, Poland

General Hausser, the hero of France, finally joined his colleagues in the Eastern front, along with two other divisions.​

036-1-WarsawRedeploy.jpg

One day later, another seven divisions finally completed the redeployment process in the Eastern front. Von Rundstedt and von Manstein now had sixteen more divisions at their disposal, while Ringel would soon benefit of more than twenty divisions in less than one month.​

036-2-Warsaw2.jpg

It was not a happy day for the Soviets, and there had to be even worse ones.​

0000 September 23rd 1944
Diplomatic Offices, Berlin, Germany

As Oil stockpiles dried out once again, von Ribbentrop exerted once again his diplomatic abilities with Romania.​

036-3-Oil.jpg

Oil price per barrel was unusually high.​

1200 September 23th 1944
LI. Gebirgkorps, Florence, Italy

The British were becoming more worried about the latest developments in the war. General Förtsch would experience the British wrath as twenty-four divisions tried to assault his positions in Florence.​

036-4-Florence.jpg

Little did they know that the Germans could easily spare other divisions to his help; in a few hours, a total of twenty-three divisions matched the offensive power of the British; that did not refrain them from stopping the attack, however.​

0500 September 24th 1944
6. Armee, Beltsy, Romania

German commanders were determined to not further exploit the advantage gained by isolating one hundred Soviet divisions, as Winter was drawing closer by the day and they wanted all their divisions at a perfect state before launching - or better, renewing - a grandious operation against Russia.​

036-5-Balta.jpg

Von Brauchitsch, however, was tasked to test the defenses of the new Soviet lines. And, for the first time after several years of war, the Soviet Union was outnumbered.​

0700 September 25th 1944
18. Armee, Königsberg, Germany

Several similar operations were carried out by von Rundstedt in Siauliau. The Soviets acted swiftly by drawing six more divisions to Siauliau.​

036-6-Siauliau.jpg

Soviet troops would soon get a feeling that the would have to dig in once again.​

036-7-Bialystok.jpg

In the same fashion, Kesselring attacked Bialystok. The enemy was outnumbered 3:1, but the two commanders did not intend to win their battles, but just to explore the enemy's conditions. A few hours later, they interrupted their battles.​

0000 September 27th 1944
Debrecen, Romania

Several Tactical Bombers finally received new material and equipment. The Reich now had spare production to allocate to upgrading its armaments, and the airforce was the first branch that was benefiting from the renewed expenditures.​

036-8-Upgrade.jpg

It was not much, but it was a first step.​

1300 September 27th 1944
Cracow, Poland

As to celebrate the first upgrades, several among the best equipped - few - squadrons were chosen to soften the starving Soviets in Cracow. Not only they had been starving for more than one week; they would now fear the sound of German aircraft dropping bombs over them. Several squadrons also launched thousands of sheets to further push the Soviets to a honourable surrender.​

036-9-Luftwaffe.jpg

That of Cracow was being an atrocious experience that could be compared to Stalingrad, many German troops would think. At least the 6th Army had not had the humiliation of being bombed with propaganda posters.​

2100 September 27th 1944
Rovaniemi, Finland

The Soviets were gaining ground in Finland, and were now menacing German-occupied Norway.​

036-10-Rovaniemi.jpg

It was decided that defending troops retreat to Norway, as the northern provinces of Finland held few significant resources, and it was best to reallocate all her defenses to the most important provinces in the South like Helsinki.​
 

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Checkmate!
continued

0700 September 29th 1944
1. Panzerarmee, Przemysl, Poland

Tens of thousand Soviet troops were dieing more of starvation than combat in Cracow. Isolated deep in the German front lines, one hundred divisions were nothing more than one million dead walking men. Whether enough time had passed to destroy their morale, von Bock would know shortly by attacking them again.​

036-11-Cracow.jpg

First reports showed that the Soviets still held some fighting ability, albeit much less than ten days ago.​

0750 September 29th 1944
Cracow, Poland

One hour into combat, several of the Soviet officers in Cracow reunited and together sent a dispatch to von Bock, begging for immediate subjugation and surrender of their entire army situated in Cracow.​

036-12-CracowSurrender1.jpg

One hundred and five Soviet divisions had surrendered to Von Bock's thirty-six divisions after less than one hour of combat. Busse would be the first to visit the one million Soviet prisoners; after days of atrocious deprivation of food and supplies, the prisoners humbly bowed their heads to their new overlords, hoping that a honourable defeat granted a harsh condition still better than what they had to live in weeks of agony without food and supplies.​

0900 September 29th 1944
Reichstag Building, Berlin, Germany

The news of the Cracow pocket surrender soon spread all over Germany. Everyone in the Reichstag cheered at the victory with rivers of fine French champagne. A Swedish ambassador was given an appointment by 0900 of that day but no one was there at the diplomatic offices to receive him.​

036-13-SwedeDeal.jpg

Fortunately for him, the Diplomatic Offices were all in one with the Reichstag, and so when a German guard noticed the presence of this puzzled man, he called von Ribbentrop, which was not really sober at the moment, but managed to listen to the Swedish ambassador's proposal anyways.

"So we're agreed, hm, mr. Ribbentrop, that you provide us with this amount of Energy in exchange of our Metal and Supplies?"

Von Ribbentrop could not care less. One hundred divisions captured were slightly more important than such a deal. "But of course my friend... the answer is no! I'm sure you have more important matters to deal with now... and so do I...!"

The Swedish ambassador left Germany soon after, and it was unlikely that any other Swedish ambassador would visit that Country again.​
 

PrawnStar

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Upgrades are good news - what's the overall picture for upgrades like and what/when are you planning on upgrading?


Oh yes, well done on the pocket :) .
 

Minarchist

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Well done!

As a side question, has anyone captured that many divisions in one battle before? :)
 

ColossusCrusher

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Perhaps, but probably not.
Although, maybe they have, with careful shepherding after a gamey Black Sea -> Leningrad encirclement.
 

EvilSanta

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Excellent news.

Now transport some units to Finland and save it from Communist yoke.

For me. ;)
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Fear the comming of spring, Soviet soldier, cause doom awaits you there... :D
 

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PrawnStar - The Luftwaffe needs most of the upgrading at present. Our Airforce is fairly large but still badly mauled and outdated. This will hopefully change.

HKslan - With the embarrassment of Stryj, I fear Stalin will shoot them all even before they go to combat :)

Minarchist, ColossusCrusher - I don't know either, yes it should be possible via gamey encirclements. Not that this one was perfectly 'clean' either, but the AI offered me this occasion on a silver plate.

EvilSanta, Von Perkele - With Winter approaching, Finland should not be risking much at this point. Don't worry, as there are plans for her too :)

Kurt_Steiner - Summer is surely going to hide some unpleasant surprises to them.

Update.
 

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Cabinet Meeting October 1944

0000 October 1st 1944
Reichstag Building, Berlin, Germany

"Good evening gentlemen. It's finally Autumn and we can already feel the days are changing, but by the news we have it seems like it's springtime for Hitler--er, Germany once again. Heinz, I'm eager to listen to news from the Eastern front."

"With much delight, Martin. As we all know, Rommel launched early in September a bold operation to cut off and encircle one hundred Soviet divisions. With a bit of luck and sluggish Soviet answer to the threat, the Cracow pocket surrendered on September 29th. This is how the Front looks at present."​

037-1-East.jpg

"As you can clearly see, we have suddenly reverted the odds in our favour. We've shortened the lines to the shortest extent possible and we have numerical superiority everywhere. The only thing that keeps us from launching a grand-scale offensive now is because of Winter approaching, and our will to have all our troops refitted at their maximum level."​

037-3-Finland.jpg

"This did not refrain the Soviets from continuing their offensive in Finland, however. We've been forced to withdraw some divisions in Norway, as with the Swedish neutral it makes a perfect bottleneck to defend. Cyan lines represent our last defensive line beyond which the Soviets shall not penetrate. Shall the need arise, we will transfer some of our troops there, but I've got news that von Rundstedt is planning a secret operation that may be very fruitful to both German and Finnish armies."

"What do you want to do in Finland when Winter is knocking at their doorstep? Even if we destroyed one hundred divisions that doesn't make dead yet!"

"And who said he's going to start this operation now. He'll wait till May 1945 before launching this operation. He will need at least twenty divisions."

"Nothing impossible, I think. Julius, how are things going in Italy?"

"Not really good as I wished."​

037-2-Italy.jpg

"British forces have changed target; we're just drawing divisions from one side to another everytime they attack either Florence or Rimini. This will change however by mid-October when twenty divisions will enter the battlefield. That means we need to hold out for twenty more days, which is reasonable afterall."

"Do you plan on taking over Italy before the end of the year?"

"Hopefully yes, Heinz. Italy is not really suited for blitzkrieg tactics, but I will try and force the British to get pocketed in southern Italy with numerical and qualitative superiority at my disposal. I do not intend to take Sicily, I just want to free mainland Italy from those pesky British divisions and free up many more divisions for the awaiting 1945. Operation Husky will hopefully see its end by December 1944."

"Albert, can we afford such movements?"

"Actually yes, Martin. Our dissent has been razed to the ground, our populace is satisfied again, and our production, albeit still limited compared to that of our enemies, has plenty for almost every need. Our stockpiles are fairly large, with the usual exception of Oil. Manpower is getting short by the day and we need a furter seventy-thousand men to replenish our divisions. Considering that we have more than two million men to the front lines, such a number is negligible compared to the disasterous situation we had prior to and immediately after June 20th, but with Winter approaching, we do not fear an imminent bloodshed. Transport capacity is quite a worry but there's little we can do about it at present."​

037-4-Stockpiles.jpg

"Also, we can now divert some spare production to upgrades, and several of our Tactical bombers have already received their new aircraft."

"By what I see here it looks like our factories are back producing something. Albert, what is that?"

"Now that our ground forces are in full shape once again, only the Luftwaffe needs serious repair and enlargement."​

037-5-Production.jpg

"We have started producing three Turbojet Fighter squadrons. It is imperative that we achieve total air superiority against Russia next year if we want our bombers and Close Air Support - the key to blitzkrieg - to be of any help. Until now, we could barely maintain the skies free, albeit with heavy losses."

"That's a far-seeing move indeed. Ernst, what about our Intelligence?"

"I have news for both Intelligence and Research."​

037-6-Research.jpg

"I.G. Farben is about to complete his research on Agricultural Production, and this will ease our problem with manpower in the future. Heinz and his staff are also working on how to better organize our logistics so to soften the burden on our transport capacity - and with a second imminent Barbarossa that will be desperately needed - von Braun is equipping our CAS with the new Jet technology, while Zuse and Heisenberg are working on how to shorten the gap between us and our enemies about decryption and encryption systems."

"These news, instead, are somewhat puzzling."​

037-7-EspSov.jpg

"Our previous intelligence report said that the Soviet Union had an estimate of 264 infantry divisions and 65 armored divisions. Now they are 339 and 34. Such reports are totally inaccutare."​

037-8-EspEng.jpg

"British numbers are quite similar as last month's. One interesting thing to notice it that they seem to experience some material shortfall of sorts, as their industry is not running at 100% efficiency. It is very strange and we don't know the reasons of it."​

037-9-EspUS.jpg

"Simply put, the US are a beast of a nation. Their industry is by far the greatest in the world and we can only thank our brave soldiers that we've managed to pull them off in France, else their breakthrough would have spelt certain death for us. Their ground forces are not that large - and that is easily explained by their defeat in France - but their Navy is surely to be causing severe troubles to Japan's survival."

"Sadly, you're right."

"What is the problem, Joachim?"

"Look at this paper."​

037-10-SunkShips.jpg

"I've been informed by the Japanese that they have lost seventeen ships over the last month, and some of their largest caliber too. Two of their battleships, the IJN Yamashiro and IJN Fuso, saw the botttom of the ocean; two of their Carriers, IJN Amagi and IJN Unryu joined them as natural habitat for tuna fish; four Heavy Cruisers have been sunk aswell, and in all response the Japanese have been able to sink only four Transport flotillas. With such losses, we can say the IJN is pretty much dead by now."

"That's a grim report. Let's hope their ground forces can hold their ground enough for us to continue turning the tide."

"Their situation in China and Burma is slowly deteriorating. I think it is safe to assume they will end 1944 without any further major defeat, but I'm not too sure about the USA not invading their mainland somewhere in 1945, with the IJN reduced to a floating carcass."

"Well, that's an overall mixed report we have. A weakened Soviet Union, and a weakened Far Eastern ally. Let's hope we can change things soon enough before the Allied wrath unleashes upon us again, in case Japan falls sooner than expected. Gentlemen, this meeting is over. Let's everyone come back to each respective business."​
 
Last edited:

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Redeploy some troops from the eastern front and finish Italy (well, British-occupied Italy) during the winter.
 

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henryjai said:
time to waste the Allied fleet with the Fritz X radio controled bombs and Air to surface guided missiles!

Yes, let them taste progress ;)