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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.

You're looking at Mechanized, I think. Some of the abbreviations are a bit out of the traditional HoI ones, so it's a bit challenging, but I think INF(m) is MOT while INF(M) is MECH. USSR has almost 50 maneuver brigades' worth of MOT, France and Italy have ten apiece, Germany has 6 (a criminally low number, if you ask me), UK 2 and Japan has 1.
 
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You're looking at Mechanized, I think. Some of the abbreviations are a bit out of the traditional HoI ones, so it's a bit challenging, but I think INF(m) is MOT while INF(M) is MECH. USSR has almost 50 maneuver brigades' worth of MOT, France and Italy have ten apiece, Germany has 6 (a criminally low number, if you ask me), UK 2 and Japan has 1.

I was indeed. Still, the fact that Germany and Britain are as under-motorised as they are is weird. I mean we all know the story of the allpowerful fully motorised wehrmacht is pure fiction, but the pre-war British army was heavily motorised, although quite small. A very small but hyper-mobile British army early-war would be an interesting scenario to play with, especially with the benefit of hindsight we enjoy. Long story short: I'm almost more shocked by the paltry 2 British brigades than the 6 German. Almost. :)
 
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Was hoping that I'd get a chance to finish my pictures and get an actual update out on top of the page, but clearly, that plan was a lie. Update after these messages:

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?

Germany has certainly trebled it's army, but when 193 out of 392 brigades are Garrison, Artillery or Air Defense Artillery brigades (leaving only 189 brigades of front line combat troops), there isn't much overmatch. Especially when the Main Enemy is reporting 21 Light Armored and 7 Armored brigades and Germany has 10. Also, you're only seeing one side of the picture. Suffice it to say that the British and French are absolutely up to date on techs... and a two-front war has always been the worst of a spectre for the Germans...

Those 21000 Soviet light tanks sure looks threatening!

As they said OTL in NATO: Quantity has a Quality all of it's own!

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.

Sorry, that's an unclear posting of mine, see below...

You're looking at Mechanized, I think. Some of the abbreviations are a bit out of the traditional HoI ones, so it's a bit challenging, but I think INF(m) is MOT while INF(M) is MECH. USSR has almost 50 maneuver brigades' worth of MOT, France and Italy have ten apiece, Germany has 6 (a criminally low number, if you ask me), UK 2 and Japan has 1.

This... but don't forget that for Germany, her Inf(SS) rate as motorized brigades, so they have a total of 10. And only 10 Armored brigades.

So just for future reference, I used the American styling for these units: IN(m) for motorized and IN(M) for Mechanized. LAR = Light Armored Reconnaissance, FA for Field Artillery (of the various flavors) and MLRS for Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (for the self-propelled rocket artillery). ADA is Air Defense Artillery and the (m) denotes a motorized unit... I think everything else should be self explanatory.

I was indeed. Still, the fact that Germany and Britain are as under-motorised as they are is weird. I mean we all know the story of the allpowerful fully motorised wehrmacht is pure fiction, but the pre-war British army was heavily motorised, although quite small. A very small but hyper-mobile British army early-war would be an interesting scenario to play with, especially with the benefit of hindsight we enjoy. Long story short: I'm almost more shocked by the paltry 2 British brigades than the 6 German. Almost. :)

Had I been able to, I would have tried to run the British... but running the two sides of a very large and intensive war spanning the globe might have proven to be a bit of a problem, since I would know exactly what the other guy was about to do. I might kick the difficulty up higher... but I don't think it would matter at this point? I'm modifying a few things to give myself a challenge... I'll cover those in depth when I get there.
 
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IV: 4. "Now I Have the World in my Pocket": Germany, the Soviet Union and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
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“Now I have the World in my Pocket”
Germany, the Soviet Union and the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact



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Iosef Stalin speaking to the People’s Assembly.

The Soviet Union under Stalin saw the expansion of the borders of Germany to beyond those of the previous Imperial government combined with the statements being made by the Fuhrer about what should fall under Berlin’s domain. Russian history highlighted those external threats from abroad, and Hitler’s Germany seemed to be just another in a long line of invasions which would need to be hurled back. The problem arose from the backwardness of the Soviet war machine and a lack of allies.


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Soviet Ambassador to France Vladimir Petrovich
Potemkin, 1937. His commentary regarding how the
Western powers were failing to contain Germany
informed Moscow’s response to Western advances.

To their dismay, none of the Western Powers seemed to want to even discuss cooperation with the Soviets. Poland’s stance here informed the governments in London and Paris that they refused to offer any assistance from the Soviets--with whom the Poles had fought a successful war against only twenty years previously--but those governments also viewed all communists with suspicion, regardless of the geopolitical reality that the only power east of Germany that might provide another balance against Berlin was the Kremlin.


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Molotov meeting Ribbentrop, 1939.

With his attempts in April to meet with the British rebuffed, Stalin dispatched Foreign Minister Litvinov’s deputy, Vyacheslav Molotov, to Berlin to meet with Konstantin von Neurath’s own hatchet-man, Joachim von Ribbentrop, under the guise of more trade agreements. By May, intelligence received through Blechley Park indicated some sort of military understanding convinced Prime Minister Chamberlain to address the Bear, but the ambassadors bungled the delivery by not sending Lord Halifax to meet with his counterpart in Moscow--this misunderstanding on the part of the Russians led to them considering the British offer as unimportant.


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Maxim Litvinov, 1876 - 1951, was the Foreign
Minister of the Soviet Union, he came close to
being sacked for being absolutely honest with
Stalin about the concern from the West.

For their part, under the guidance of Ribbentrop, the German delegation cited territorial concessions, continued trade and historical grievances of the Soviet Union on the world’s stage against the Allies. Hitler ordered von Ribbentrop to pause his negotiations, however, for a brief time before authorizing them to resume a few weeks later. During this resumption of talks, von Ribbentrop continued to harp on the idea that joining with the British would draw the Soviets into a war not of Moscow’s choosing. Molotov’s reports to Litvinov conveyed his concern about the end state objective toward Eastern Europe: negotiations in Warsaw between Germany and Poland had broached the issue of Poland joining the Anti-COMINTERN Pact.


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Beck and Litvinov discussing the need for Soviet
troops to assist the Poles against the Germans.
Poland’s refusal to allow those troops likely doomed
any attempt at an alliance between the Soviets and
the West.

At this point, the British delegation make a gross strategic blunder. The situation dictated haste--travel by airplane--that they would arrive in time to actually discuss matters of mutual concern in July 1939. They chose instead to take a slow passenger liner, the City of Exeter, to Leningrad, and in the meantime, British and French negotiators in Warsaw spoke to Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck about the possibility of Soviet troops providing support; Beck rejected that offer out of hand and with that decision made, the Soviets began to ask what the value of any agreement would be if it required the Poles to have been defeated before Soviet forces could intervene. With Lord Halifax indisposed aboard the City of Exeter, and von Ribbentrop at hand, the Soviets decided to befriend Germany.


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Signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, 1939. The
Pact gave the Soviet Union more time to prepare her
economy for the war that was sure to come.

Thus, on 8 August, the Germans and Soviets shocked the world with the publication of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of Non-Aggression. Under the terms, Germany and the Soviet Union agreed that they would not engage in hostile actions against one another, nor seek to support any foes of the other for a period of three years. Secretly, the Germans agreed to a partition of Poland and to the absorption of the Baltic States; they left undiscussed statements by the Soviets concerning the Finns and Romanians. Von Ribbentrop had secured Germany’s Eastern flank should war come to Europe.

*****
 
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Maxim Litvinov, 1876 - 1951, was the Foreign
Minister of the Soviet Union,
The pact with the devil rolls around on schedule, which is no great surprise, but Litvinov still dying on schedule is a surprise. Surely the Soviet Foreign Minister is amongst the first against the wall once the Germans annex the Soviet Union?
 
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Nothing like wrong-footing the allies.
 
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The pact with the devil rolls around on schedule, which is no great surprise, but Litvinov still dying on schedule is a surprise. Surely the Soviet Foreign Minister is amongst the first against the wall once the Germans annex the Soviet Union?

Siberia is a big place, easy to get lost in. A successive Russian/Siberian state beyond the Urals, out of reach from the Germans would be a more attractive option than getting shot by the SS.
 
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With the Axis' eastern flank secured, who can stand against the combined might of their armed forces now
 
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Interesting write-up. You make me wish that I had gone into more detail on the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in my AAR... In any case it's good news for Germany, at least in the short term.
 
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This teases us on a little closer to war - but when with whom? It still isn’t clear - and the suspense is building.
 
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This teases us on a little closer to war - but when with whom? It still isn’t clear - and the suspense is building.

The ol' bait and switch - They're doing all this just to get Luxembourg. After that, France, Germany, Italy, USSR and Japan will ally and form the UN. Switzerland opposes and gets invaded by the Swedes, intent to make sure that this new worldwide endeavor succeeds. The Irish provide air support, but the Swiss offer stiff resistance and the conflict drags on, eventually becoming a costly guerrilla war, while political resistance mounts in Sweden. Meanwhile, USSR becomes more westernized due to American economic aid, which also means that most products in the world are "Made in the USSR". The Swiss policy of not wanting anything to do with the UN eventually finds some support from the Austrian and Italian populations in and around the Alps, and fears of a new conflict are slowly rising...
 
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The ol' bait and switch - They're doing all this just to get Luxembourg. After that, France, Germany, Italy, USSR and Japan will ally and form the UN. Switzerland opposes and gets invaded by the Swedes, intent to make sure that this new worldwide endeavor succeeds. The Irish provide air support, but the Swiss offer stiff resistance and the conflict drags on, eventually becoming a costly guerrilla war, while political resistance mounts in Sweden. Meanwhile, USSR becomes more westernized due to American economic aid, which also means that most products in the world are "Made in the USSR". The Swiss policy of not wanting anything to do with the UN eventually finds some support from the Austrian and Italian populations in and around the Alps, and fears of a new conflict are slowly rising...
You should do a game and AAR with those objectives. ;)
 
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Just to keep you all updated: since my little brother went off to college I got one of my other computers back, and now have FOUR computers... I'm "assisting" Hungary to make military decisions better, but not focusing on them as much more than the appendage they are.

In two hours of gameplay today I managed to advance all of 3 days. It's a slow slog.

The pact with the devil rolls around on schedule, which is no great surprise, but Litvinov still dying on schedule is a surprise. Surely the Soviet Foreign Minister is amongst the first against the wall once the Germans annex the Soviet Union?

Since I haven't gotten to that point, I figured that I can justify it the same way I justified keeping Schacht and von Neurath so long: "Oops"... and they just wind up somewhere else later on.

Nothing like wrong-footing the allies.

Always....

And the west was not mistaken with regard to Stalin, he really didn't want their best ...

He really didn't! He did hope that the Fascists and the West would expend themselves against one another and he could pick up the pieces, though.

Siberia is a big place, easy to get lost in. A successive Russian/Siberian state beyond the Urals, out of reach from the Germans would be a more attractive option than getting shot by the SS.

Amen.

With the Axis' eastern flank secured, who can stand against the combined might of their armed forces now

You'd be surprised!

Interesting write-up. You make me wish that I had gone into more detail on the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in my AAR... In any case it's good news for Germany, at least in the short term.

I'd say that it's definitely the dog that's not barking, but it lulls you into a false sense of security...

This teases us on a little closer to war - but when with whom? It still isn’t clear - and the suspense is building.

91d.gif


The ol' bait and switch - They're doing all this just to get Luxembourg. After that, France, Germany, Italy, USSR and Japan will ally and form the UN. Switzerland opposes and gets invaded by the Swedes, intent to make sure that this new worldwide endeavor succeeds. The Irish provide air support, but the Swiss offer stiff resistance and the conflict drags on, eventually becoming a costly guerrilla war, while political resistance mounts in Sweden. Meanwhile, USSR becomes more westernized due to American economic aid, which also means that most products in the world are "Made in the USSR". The Swiss policy of not wanting anything to do with the UN eventually finds some support from the Austrian and Italian populations in and around the Alps, and fears of a new conflict are slowly rising...

You should do a game and AAR with those objectives. ;)

It's not exactly what happened TTL, but the wildness is definitely similar...
 
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Just to keep you all updated: since my little brother went off to college I got one of my other computers back, and now have FOUR computers... I'm "assisting" Hungary to make military decisions better, but not focusing on them as much more than the appendage they are.

In two hours of gameplay today I managed to advance all of 3 days. It's a slow slog.
Blimey! (Insert less family friendly expletive here).

That is some hard core commitment, I am both impressed and slightly scared.
 
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Blimey! (Insert less family friendly expletive here).

That is some hard core commitment, I am both impressed and slightly scared.

Well, it took me a minute to set up the save game for the "surprise" that I wanted to spring on my Axis powers... let's just say that because of his inability to control the situation, von Ribbentrop is relieved of his duties... permanently.
 
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For everyone who has enjoyed the AAR so far, and for everyone who might come to enjoy it in the future, I submit to you, my loyal fans, a short video showing what it looks like when I'm sitting down to a game for the AAR:

 
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Nice! :D
 
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I did enjoy it, but - and I don't mean that as a personal criticism, nobody expects you to learn another language just for this AAR - please don't try to pronounce German without knowing the language. As a native speaker, I winced upon hearing it. And if that's the biggest criticism of your entire effort I can come up with, you are clearly doing something right!
 
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Frankly that is just showing off. Well done! ;)
 
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