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IV: 3. War By Other Means, Part III: Foreign and Internal Politics, September - December
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Part III: September - December


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German troops marching towards the Polish
border, 1939.

With the conclusion of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Oberkommando Heeres directed forces which had been originally kept well away from the border with Poland forward into defensive works. The move by 1 Armee, consisting of I., III., and V. Armeekorps (fifteen infantry divisions, plus corps attachments or nearly 180,000 troops) was viewed by the average Polish citizen as an extremely threatening move, and they took to the streets calling for the war that would come eventually. The Polish government, in a sop to the citizens, attempted to begin negotiations regarding the desires of Germany.


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Results of the war games from the OK Heeres presented
to Hitler, 1939. Despite being a gambler, Hitler was convinced
that the real benefit would be to have the Allies declare
war on Germany first, unlike the previous war.

The move, however, brought the Poles to the negotiation table. Under pressure from Westminster and Quai d’Orsay--who both sought to avoid war as much as possible as their nations were still not ready for conflict--Warsaw was encouraged to at least discuss the German demands on their territory. The German General Staff had conducted a series of war games as a “proof of concept” for what might happen in an invasion during 1939; a two front war rapidly became a slaughter when the Soviet team had arrived at the Vistula and losses mounted. Some debate about the fairness of the parameters could be mentioned, but the Generals wanted Hitler to face the reality that his policy could lead to a multi-front war: the nightmare scenario against which every member of the General Staff encouraged with every opportunity. On the part of the Foreign and Intelligence offices, pre-election polling results in the United States were tilting opinions there towards Germany, and spoiling that was seen as a waste of the expensive efforts that had gone into getting those results.


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Ambassador at Large Joachim von Ribbentrop
discussing economic relations with Polish Foreign
Minister Jozef Beck, 1939. Efforts to bring Poland
out of the Allies and into the Stahlpakt did not stop
despite the increase in tensions.

Suitably convinced, Hitler seemed more than willing to allow for diplomacy to run its course, and to continue the Geheimdienst operations to whittle down the number of nations that Germany would have to face down. Indeed, this also encouraged more diplomatic efforts to bring more nations closer to Berlin’s orbit. The intelligence from Frick’s Abwehr and von Neurath’s Foreign Ministry indicated that Poland’s government felt some reticence about how strenuous the effort would be on the part of the Allies to come to Poland’s aid. Furthermore, Geheimdienst had long since started the necessary propaganda operations in France to convince them of the futility die for Poland. The negotiations dragged on throughout the remainder of the year, never seeming to reach an actual decisive breakthrough, but no pressures were applied to rush them either. The Polish populace approved of these negotiations, however, and carried out a massive demonstration in favor of peace just before Christmas.


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Italian troops conducting a training march in Albania,
1939.

The spectre of war was not only felt in Eastern Europe. Bellicose statements from Rome led to the same reaction in the streets as had occurred in Warszawa earlier in the year: the people demanded that their government respond forcefully to the challenge, especially as few enough Italian troops had been yet transferred to the recently annexed Albania. Athens, while sympathetic to the cries of the public, recognized that their own position was precarious at best. Great Britain’s focus was on Germany, and was unlikely to be ready to respond to a resurgent Italy and the improved naval power she had become. Mussolini sought to bring Greece to heel since the Corfu Incident of 1923, when a League-mandated resolution resulted in Greece paying Italy nearly 50 million Lira after Italians had been killed on the island and a temporary occupation by Italian forces. Much like the Germans, however, the Italians were trigger-shy of actually declaring war when the Allies could focus their attentions against them.

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Author's Note: Again taking advantage of the top-of-page billing.... Also, I think I've thrown you all the curve ball of no war in 1939! One more update regarding the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and the R&D/Military posts and it's onto 1940!
 
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Hm, interesting development... No war in 1939!

And really great drawings, esp. of the ships. But one question is left. Has your Deutschland-class pre-Dreadnought the same scale than the others? It looks very short.

Wikipedia says about 127 m lenght, so nearly 10 m longer than the Zerstörer 1934. And your Zerstörer 1934a looks more like the Zerstörer 1936A with its 15-cm-guns.
 
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Hm, interesting development... No war in 1939!

And really great drawings, esp. of the ships. But one question is left. Has your Deutschland-class pre-Dreadnought the same scale than the others? It looks very short.

It does! The pre-dreadnaught battleship had a length of 128m compared to the 186m of the heavy cruisers. Probably not as drastic as I made it out to be, but that was me trying to fit everything into a bad graphic layout (the canvas that Piktochart gave me). I didn't want to go through with trying to sort it out, but it will be corrected in future uploads.
 
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Interesting, I'm not sure if the allies will dow you if you wait, too long since I tried that on vanilla.
 
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T O P O F T H E P A G E

Nice update. Curious that no war is still the situation; incomplete preparations, perhaps? PzIII production lines slower than expected? Abwehr not hitting its performance targets? The world will never know. What it does know, however, is that war is imminent. The question is, where will the fuse be lit that sets the entire world ablaze?
 
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No war in '39 is interesting indeed.
 
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Interesting, I'm not sure if the allies will dow you if you wait, too long since I tried that on vanilla.

I wasn't sure either. When I first started my efforts on this AAR (Waaaay back when I was on Semper Fi 2.04f, this current effort being the third iteration, and by far the most successful), the UK declared war on me in January 1940, with some regularity. Since then, there's been more than a few "peaceful" Germany runs, but I wound up losing my patience... in around 1942.

But, for now, we will endeavor to move the story along...

T O P O F T H E P A G E

Nice update. Curious that no war is still the situation; incomplete preparations, perhaps? PzIII production lines slower than expected? Abwehr not hitting its performance targets? The world will never know. What it does know, however, is that war is imminent. The question is, where will the fuse be lit that sets the entire world ablaze?

There were some concerns, but by and large my rationale was that Germany is absolutely bothered by the "War Guilt" clause of the Versailles Treaty, they want to draw the British offsides, but the British are trying desperately to keep the international system together... the French are getting pissed at the British for not backing them over the World Disarmament Conference, then the AGNA, then the Rhineland, then over Austria, then over Sudetenland, Bavaria, and Memel. Unrest at home is causing France to turn to the hard right and left, furthering the feeling in Berlin that they can be patient. Furthermore, they want to make sure that they are completely equipped to handle the West: with no fights, they are still in the dark about how effective their forces actually are.

No war in '39 is interesting indeed.

I hoped to make it as interesting as possible, because now, any update could hold the match to the fuse... pull the pin from the grenade... pull the lanyard of the cannon... pull the trigger... etc!
 
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Appendix I: Major Nation Industrial Capacity and Manpower, 1936 - 1950
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Appendix I:
Major Nation Industrial Capacity and Manpower
1936 - 1950


LAST UPDATED: 23 AUG 2018

I. 1936 - 1939

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II. 1940 - 1942

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*****
Author's Note: First of the various charts I've created to show available IC and MP for the major nations through 1939... all information is current through 1 January 1939. Manpower data rounded up using the Wiki. Manpower from Headquarter units not included--since it's not counted on the brigade page, only on the supply usage page, I didn't collect those statistics... MP usage could be much higher than displayed.
 
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US has been investing rather heavily in its industry. Could be a concern for the Axis... Arsenal of Democracy and all that. Visually great table! Really shows the build-up of both industry and military.
 
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It is interesting to see the differences of the human and the AI strategies in a way.
 
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On the diplo situation and waiting for war: in game, is that because of influencing efforts and seeing which may work? Hoping still to bring Poland into the Axis? Could you confirm which countries were being influenced by the Axis through 1939?

Slick work on the industrial & MP displays. ;)
 
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US has been investing rather heavily in its industry. Could be a concern for the Axis... Arsenal of Democracy and all that. Visually great table! Really shows the build-up of both industry and military.

Quite, but I think that the US is hardcoded to do that. Otherwise, they're spending most of their IC on infrastructure improvments: forts, airfields, ports and the like. Thank you for the compliment! I really appreciate it!

It is interesting to see the differences of the human and the AI strategies in a way.

I got really lucky that Austria caved in early 1936.

On the diplo situation and waiting for war: in game, is that because of influencing efforts and seeing which may work? Hoping still to bring Poland into the Axis? Could you confirm which countries were being influenced by the Axis through 1939?

Slick work on the industrial & MP displays. ;)

On the diplomatic front, yes. The nations that Germany was influencing were Denmark, Norway and the United States (which coincided with the Abwehr/Geheimdienst efforts there). I didn't officially influence Poland (because of the problems that can occur if they don't join the Allies), but did make some trades with them, but historically they did try and encourage the Poles to join the Anti-COMINTERN Pact. Italy did some on-again, off-again influencing of Iran and Turkey.

Germany doesn't seem to have build any tank factories on her own ...

No, I chose to not build any IC as Germany. Since I was playing so many nations I didn't want to steamroll anyone because I could produce whatever I wanted. As it was, I sorta wound up with a game... ah, almost slipped and let out what happened! ;)
 
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Appendix J: Major Nation Army Comparisons, 1936 - 1950
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Appendix J:
Major Nation Army Comparisons
1936 - 1950


LAST UPDATED: 20 JANUARY 2019

I. 1936 - 1939

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II. 1940 - 1941

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Author's Note: I didn't really know what else to put in here, or how to best display it with graphs. Again, Headquarters brigades are not counted and data is from January 1 of each year. Any input on better representation would be appreciated!
 
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Nice! As a data enthusiast, this makes me very happy. Maybe it could be a bit easier to read if you were to take a format similar to what you have now, and then make one small table for each country instead of one large for all countries to enable easier comparison for year-on-year growth? What you have now does allow one to compare the nations to one another very well, but doesn't really support comparisons of, say, UK in -36 and UK in -39. Though, I suppose it's all about what you're looking for, so it's a matter of which one you want us to focus on, rather than being an outright better way.
 
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Very comprehensive summary and handsomely presented as always! :)

Agree with @Finshades . Also, as a simpler summary (maybe not for all countries or all years together, and still doing your table) you could try the old inf, tank and artillery pieces icons, each one = x brigades, lining them up. Use the categories you’ve already summarised them into. As you see in old history books and newspaper articles.

You could try a world map to put them on (maybe just do that for the latest year being reported on? But it sounds like more work. :(
 
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Author's Note: Again taking advantage of the top-of-page billing.... Also, I think I've thrown you all the curve ball of no war in 1939! One more update regarding the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and the R&D/Military posts and it's onto 1940!
With no war in 1939 the German economy is going to implode under the weight of debts and lack of hard currency to pay for imports. This will plunge the country into a deep and nasty recession, forcing Hitler from power and probably enabling some kind of Junta under the army to take control. Bold call, I like it.
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Also, those charts appears to show that Germany has tripled it's army, Japan has doubled it and everyone else has done basically nothing. This adds to the picture painted by the R&D updates, which show Germany perfecting every useful tech while the British and French appear to be mainly investigating the best way to drink lead-based paints. Given this background, why is the German general staff worried about a two front war again?
 
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The Axis war machine looks ever more ready to dominate the battlefield, and though tensions continue to rise, no war has yet been declared.

What surprised me most about the latest graphs is the vast size of the British tank force. And did I read it right that nobody has any motorised infantry? Thats going going to be an interesting development indeed.
 
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