Der Adler, der Wolf, und die Sonne: Die Geschichte des Stahlpakts

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Axe99

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Best of luck with the training - am sure you'll kick tail while learning a heap :)
 

Wraith11B

Call Kenny Loggins, you're in the DANGER ZONE...
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Good luck! Take your time. Remember real life is more important than AAR.

Is not AAR life, though? :D I'm doing my best, I'm not exactly despondent the way that I was back in 2011 when I was first trying to get through this. Now its more that four years of a relationship is down the tubes and how do I get out there to meet people, etc.

glad you are back! and that there is finally waaaar!

Indeed! I hope that little taste was enough for you for now... wasn't the best (I wish I had thought of recording hours in my Date groupings to see when attacks actually started, and a few other improvements) that I've ever done, and some of the "holes" that battles fall into where they don't give a result can be tricky. But that's fine for a ten year old game!

Very best of luck my friend. I remember that phase of my own initial officer training in some ways like it was yesterday. Even if it was almost 40 years ago! :eek:

And all the best for everything else. Know you have good friends here wishing you well and waiting until you feel like either updating or just saying hello or commenting on other AARs. :)

PS: If resistance to interrogation after capture is part of the survival stage, remember: don't try to 'play' them or be a smart-arse. I did once and it doesn't work!! :oops::eek: Name, rank and serial number. ;)

Well, it's not Army officer... training to be a copper, the Army time is well and truly behind me (unless I indulge the wild hair trying to get an age waiver to become a Warrant Officer or something). I do appreciate the support. And no, resistance to interrogation isn't part of the survival phase, that's just trying to stay away from getting shot! There is an element of interrogation, though... get those suspects to confess!

The Italians won!

As to other matters - look after yourself. And take whatever time you need for yourself. I hesitate to say I know the feeling, but last year I went through (and am still going through) a not dis-similar relationship situation.

Was there ever really any doubt? Sometimes I feel like the penalties/AI decision making for mobilization should have been changed... For instance, if Italy mobilized, and put troops on any border, that nation would also mobilize in response. That said, in TTL, the French, Poles, and some other nations have been mobilized for years (Both mobilized in late 1938, and it's now 1941, almost 1942... and only then does Germany mobilize!)... I dunno.

Best of luck with the training - am sure you'll kick tail while learning a heap :)

Thanks, it's definitely been a huge learning process. I need to study a lot to try and remember everything (I know it's not going to happen, but at least I can try), but I'm fairly sure that I'll be fine. Unlike most of the other guys in the class who have never been in a law enforcement capacity at all, I did armed security on apartment complexes in some of the worst areas in Richmond, and have already had experience with placing people under arrest and writing summonses etc. So it's not actually "new" the way it will be for the other guys.
 

Bullfilter

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Well, it's not Army officer... training to be a copper, the Army time is well and truly behind me (unless I indulge the wild hair trying to get an age waiver to become a Warrant Officer or something). I do appreciate the support. And no, resistance to interrogation isn't part of the survival phase, that's just trying to stay away from getting shot! There is an element of interrogation, though... get those suspects to confess!
Well that’s a relief! Getting nabbed, stuck in a mock pow camp in sub-zero temps after a week of evasion in the mountains and then getting interrogated by the Intel Corps guys while my troops were basically coming down with exposure and being evacuated from the ‘camp’ one by one was one of the more colourful episodes of my training. Even that pretty tame version made me really not want to ever be captured. And that was when we were training to fight ‘conventional’ enemies.

Grill ‘em good if the boot is on the other foot!
 

diskoerekto

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good luck, and survive well :)

for other stuff that seems to be negative now, most of them turn out to be actually positive things in the end :)
 

Wraith11B

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Well that’s a relief! Getting nabbed, stuck in a mock pow camp in sub-zero temps after a week of evasion in the mountains and then getting interrogated by the Intel Corps guys while my troops were basically coming down with exposure and being evacuated from the ‘camp’ one by one was one of the more colourful episodes of my training. Even that pretty tame version made me really not want to ever be captured. And that was when we were training to fight ‘conventional’ enemies.

Grill ‘em good if the boot is on the other foot!

Got to give 'em the ol' Razzle Dazzle...

good luck, and survive well :)

for other stuff that seems to be negative now, most of them turn out to be actually positive things in the end :)

I've survived most everything other than two evolutions but the second was a shit show sandwich from the beginning... so I don't count that one very much.
 
VII: The Breaking Point: January - February 1942

Wraith11B

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1guqp01.png


January - February 1942

COGAGkH.png

Delegates at the Locarno negotiations, 1925.

Rationales for the failure of the Two-One-One (or 2-1-1) Talks are many, but the ultimate progenitor of any rationale lay in the Locarno treaties. The treaties were a series of seven agreements negotiated in the Swiss resort town of the same name from 5 to 16 October 1925 before being signed formally 1 December of that year; Locarno had divided Europe into two categories: the western borders--deemed “settled” by treaty--and the eastern borders of Germany with Poland, which were left open for revision. The negotiations sought the return of Germany back into the world order, as well as a promise from Germany to never go to war against her neighbors again. When Germany sought publicly to negotiate in 1939, Foreign Minister von Neurath had cited the Locarno agreements as a way to mask Germany’s true intentions of drawing the Allies offside and into war. Thus, some discussion of the nature of Locarno is justified here.

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Some of the major characters at Locarno: from
top left: Gustav Stresemann (GER), Austen
Chamberlain (UK), Aristide Briand (FRA), and
August Zaleski (POL).

In the period just after the Great War, the German nation worked vainly to recover her prestige and privileges as a leading European power. The German Foreign Minister, Gustav Stresemann, sensed hesitation on the part of the planned French occupation of the Ruhr in early 1925; he recognized that the French wanted a British guarantee of its postwar borders. For its part at the time, the British were reluctant to do so: they did not want the repeat of supporting a massive army on the Continent at the cost of blood and treasure. Seeking out his counterpart in London, Stresemann managed to get Austen Chamberlain to agree to the negotiations by a plan where all sides would get what they wanted through a series of guarantees. France came to the table because their occupation of Germany had caused more financial and diplomatic damage than the value of the security that resulted. Other nations invited to the negotiations included Belgium, Czechoslovakia and Poland.




x70HSdp.png

Signing the Locarno treaty, December 1925. On
Neurath’s advice, Hitler had encouraged similar
discussions to take place from 1939 to 1942.

The first agreement also proved to be the most critical: a mutual guarantee of the borders of France, Belgium and Germany assured by two parties: Britain and Italy. The three signatories also promised not to attack one another, with the latter two acting as guarantors. Any act of aggression from any of the three would bring all other parties to the side of the defender. The second and third agreement laid out mechanisms of arbitration regarding future disputes between Germany and Belgium in one and Germany and France in the other. The fourth and fifth agreements created similar mechanisms for Germany and Poland and Germany and Czechoslovakia; both felt threatened by the first few agreements (justifiably so by subsequent events) and these treaties were meant to reassure them. The final two agreements reaffirmed the Franco-Polish and Franco-Czech mutual assistance should a conflict with Germany arise.


84r9UHc.png

Josef Beck (C) and Josef Piłsudski both hated the
Locarno treaties, believing them to be a betrayal
of their recently recreated nation. Beck’s inability
to generate much goodwill from their allies and
his ability to create hostility from everyone doomed
Poland. Below, the coup leaders on Poniatowski
Bridge in Warsawa.
QOpRdXj.png

British support for the series of treaties predicated upon the French abandoning the Cordon Sanitaire. With their Great Power supporter withdrawn, the Poles and Czechoslovaks would be forced to peacefully resolve their own border disputes with Germany. This agreement was the source of significant distrust in Warsaw and Prague--justified in the long term--and a weakening of the Franco-Polish alliance. Polish Foreign Minister Józef Beck ridiculed the treaties saying, "Germany was officially asked to attack the east, in return for peace in the west." The hero of Poland, Józef Piłsudski, said: "Every honest Pole spits when he hears this word,” referring to Locarno. Piłsudski so hated the treaties signed by Poland that he led a coup d’etat, overthrowing the government of President Stanisław Wojciechowski in favor of Ignacy Mościcki; the old Marshal would continue to be the power behind the throne until his death in 1935.




nMizsR9.png

Hitler and Chamberlain discussing something, 1939.
Chamberlain’s efforts to negotiate a settlement were
in good faith, and he gained significant popularity in
the attempt to divert the war, but this sentiment came
to haunt his legacy after the war started.

By 1939, the sentiments in the capitals of Europe had changed, but only so slightly. France’s continued humiliation at the hands of Britain when dealing with Germany had soured the sentiment between Paris and London; the Allies’ betrayal of Czechoslovakia (despite their immediate acceptance of Poland into the Allies) weighed heavily on those in Warsawa. Hitler’s allowance of the veil of “negotiations” appealed to the British and French Foreign offices, who warily eyed their own military strength compared with that of Germany.


LJaEUVa.png

Charles Maurras, one of the leading minds in the
Action Francaise ranks who argued that France
should leave the British to their fate.

As negotiations continued to drag on through two long years, the relationship between London and Paris similarly dragged on, especially with the changing political climates in France, whose Action Francaise party arose to power essentially on a wave of anti-British and anti-Popular Front sentiment. With Paris declaring that they did not want to be dragged into a war that their notional compatriots across the Channel had organized, and as some Frenchmen believed, championed. The reevaluation of their alignment with Westminster set the French on their turn-coat path later in 1942 (which later became known as “Better Hitler than Blum”), though the fickleness of the crowd would go on to the abrupt collapse of the AF government in 1943. The French formally withdrew from the Entente on 4 January 1942, with a flowery declaration which essentially stated the desire to not send their youth to die for Danzig penned by Marcel Deat. This publication would lead to massive peace demonstrations throughout France which began on 21 January, continuing for nearly twenty days.




e1Hm6ke.png

Laval, Bouthillier and Petain in Frank Capra’s
documentary film,
Divide and Conquer.

With France thus neutralized, Germany’s demands became far more rigid, but the time for drawing the British into declaring a war against Germany had long since past. Germany’s economy had been pushed to nearly the breaking point: much of the government spending was on the military and while that had worked for awhile, Schacht--distant as he was from actual power over his department--raised concerns about securing the ability to continue such expenditures to support all of the war equipment and manpower produced and trained to date. This pressure led to a momentous decision: that the time had come to declare war.


Hw6ikVD.png

Hitler saluting infantry forces moving into place, 1942.

Finalization of plans for the assault on Poland would take some time, however. New equipment was coming into the Heer, and there was some question as to whether certain formations would be ready for combat operations in time. While waiting, the propaganda department began to spin out a volume of rationales for what was to come. They cited the intransigence of the Allies, the problems of dealing with the land stolen from Germany by the Poles (and by extension, the Allies), and how reasonable Germany had been in negotiations with all parties.


uUTjypq.png

The front page of the New York Times, February 1942.

As February arrived, the drumbeats were so loud that any day that passed without a declaration of war was counted as a surprise in the Western media. Newspaper headlines questioned “When it might the big show start?” Their answer came early on 8 February: Germany declared war on Poland that morning. Great Britain, followed rapidly by much of the Commonwealth, declared war on Germany.




rJIC9Kw.png

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s front page when the
Belgians and Dutch mobilized their forces, 1942.

The declaration of war set of a spate of cascading effects. Ireland granted military access to their former overlords almost immediately, though it was limited to training only; Thailand provided it later in the month. The United States announced that they were declaring a national emergency with the outbreak of war, and begin production of arms to defend their own territory. Throughout February the nations of Holland, Japan and her associated puppets, Ethiopia, Hungary, Luxembourg and Belgium all mobilized their forces. New Zealand joined the war on 13 February. The Royal Air Force led one of the first strikes against the Germans on 14 February when Nos. 2, 3 and 4 Strategic Bomb Wings conducted raids against Dusseldorf.




aJSCTsP.png

The Chicago Sunday Tribune lamenting the Soviet
occupation of Eastern Poland.

Poland’s rapid collapse at the hands of an expertly conducted Bewegungskrieg over the course of ten days shocked the world. At its conclusion, the Soviets accepted their half of Poland, and the nation that had only just re-emerged onto the stage of history was ushered off. The Soviets also presented the Baltic states with their fait accompli, which the small nations of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia bowed to the inevitable. The world seemed to be playing exactly to the Reich’s tune.

*****
Author's Note: Two updates in a week? What is the world coming to?? Hope this gets everyone ready for the beginning of the world war!!
 
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nuclearslurpee

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And the war proper begins with a bang! I suppose all wars do, but some (as now) more so than others.

One question: how did you manage to push France out of the Allies? I try to do that in just about any Germany game I run and it never works.
 

guillec87

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yes!! war!!
 

stnylan

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It has been a long time coming.
 

Wraith11B

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And the war proper begins with a bang! I suppose all wars do, but some (as now) more so than others.

One question: how did you manage to push France out of the Allies? I try to do that in just about any Germany game I run and it never works.

This was one of those "artistic liberties" that I've taken. Given that the AF took over, and the fact that the French have been snubbed left and right by Britain, I figured that it wasn't outside of the realm of possibilities that they would break with Britain. As I alluded to in the post above, however, I did eventually get them back into the Allies and "reignite" that fire (because things were going too swimmingly for Germany). Hopefully it all makes sense in the end!

yes!! war!!

It has been a long time coming.

Yeah, it also seemed longer because of the sheer size of the updates but also the time that it's taken to get to this point, I think.
 

Bullfilter

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The balloon goes up! Will there be an operational report on the blitzkrieg in Poland?
 

Finshades

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And so the world abandons Poland to its fate. That's one thing that seems fairly constant in all timelines.
 
Last edited:

Wraith11B

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The balloon goes up! Will there be an operational report on the blitzkrieg in Poland?

Yes! Take a look at the updated Table of Contents here! I'm also waiting for the inevitable @El Pip response about lead chips.

And so the world abandons Poland to its fate. That's one thing that seems fairly constant in all timelines.

Unfortunately, very true... we'll see how this one plays out for the rest of the war!

Also, since I'm rapidly closing with where I'm at in the game (and thus getting harder and harder to write from a "historic" perspective), I'm going to work on tonight wrapping up some of the edits to the save game so that I can work on getting everything back on track to keep playing. My little brother has one of the laptops right now, but that should only be around for two more weeks, then it'll be the time to get a move on!
 

roverS3

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War at last! Though Poland is only the warm-up round. Italy taking Greece without triggering WW2 was interesting. Curious to see how this evolves. When will Italy declare war? How long will it take you to conquer Poland, and will Japan join in early, or wait for 1941?

Glad to have you back.
 

Wraith11B

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War at last! Though Poland is only the warm-up round. Italy taking Greece without triggering WW2 was interesting. Curious to see how this evolves. When will Italy declare war? How long will it take you to conquer Poland, and will Japan join in early, or wait for 1941?

Glad to have you back.

Remember it's 1942 already! Japan and Italy join when they think that there is an opening, which occurs later this year. Glad to be back!
 

roverS3

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Remember it's 1942 already! Japan and Italy join when they think that there is an opening, which occurs later this year. Glad to be back!
It's been a while since I read the previous updates, I pretty much forgot that it was already 1942. Your AAR is officially more behind the OTL schedule than mine... unless Barbarossa is triggered within the next 2 months (in game)...
 

Wraith11B

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It's been a while since I read the previous updates, I pretty much forgot that it was already 1942. Your AAR is officially more behind the OTL schedule than mine... unless Barbarossa is triggered within the next 2 months (in game)...

... Yeah, Barbarossa doesn't get launched so much as Germany is
stabbed in the back by the Soviets in 1943....

Take a look at the table of contents to see a nice little path of what goes on in the world to come!
 

El Pip

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Yes! Take a look at the updated Table of Contents here! I'm also waiting for the inevitable @El Pip response about lead chips.
I would hate to be predictable, so I will spare us all some comments about lead-flavoured snails and swapping the tea bags for lead paint. :D

If this was OTL then maybe this would have been a cunning plan from the Allies. By 1942 France would have the Char G1R and SOUMA S40 in service along with the MAS-40 semi-auto rifle and lots of imported radios. In the air the grand re-org and conversion from biplane would be complete, meaning plenty of Dewoitine D.530s, VG-33/40s and trained air and ground crew to go with them. (I'm assuming the Joffre-class carriers still get low priority to free up steel for all those tanks). Plus of course Germany would have run out of any raw material you care to mention so the ammunition and panzer production lines would have stopped sometime in 1940 due to lack of supply, a secret blessing as the Reich had no money to pay anyone.

Obviously none of that happens as this is HOI - Germany has been building like crazy non-stop, while I suspect France will have built no tanks, armed it's infantry division with blunt spoons and then sent half the army to garrison small Pacific Islands.

The world seemed to be playing exactly to the Reich’s tune.
It is nice that in this uncertain world some things are as constant as the North Star.
DYAEiOu.gif


My thoughts and commiserations on the struggles in your personal life and good luck with your training to become part of the thin blue line. Watch out for the doughnuts though, lest you become the very thick blue line. ;)
 

Wraith11B

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I would hate to be predictable, so I will spare us all some comments about lead-flavoured snails and swapping the tea bags for lead paint. :D

If this was OTL then maybe this would have been a cunning plan from the Allies. By 1942 France would have the Char G1R and SOUMA S40 in service along with the MAS-40 semi-auto rifle and lots of imported radios. In the air the grand re-org and conversion from biplane would be complete, meaning plenty of Dewoitine D.530s, VG-33/40s and trained air and ground crew to go with them. (I'm assuming the Joffre-class carriers still get low priority to free up steel for all those tanks). Plus of course Germany would have run out of any raw material you care to mention so the ammunition and panzer production lines would have stopped sometime in 1940 due to lack of supply, a secret blessing as the Reich had no money to pay anyone.

Obviously none of that happens as this is HOI - Germany has been building like crazy non-stop, while I suspect France will have built no tanks, armed it's infantry division with blunt spoons and then sent half the army to garrison small Pacific Islands.

Remarkably enough, they are fielding a fairly advanced ground force. I had to sneak in and replace some of the old battlewagons with the newest generations of them (which of course the AI can't use... :mad:).

I don't think I've brought it up, but with the extra years of peace between Germany and the Soviets, wouldn't there be enough raw materials to keep things going, especially with the early Anschluss and delayed Danzig demand? I don't have any sources (I'm looking at Wiki at the moment... and let me just say this would have been a nice thing to do well in advance of my game play. I'm sorry that I didn't figure out a way to bring this in!) but what I'm gathering is that the Soviet Union (especially from 1939 - 1941 in OTL, but in TTL since 1936) really wanted to work off their own debts and so sold a significant amount of resources to the Germans in exchange for significant amounts of military equipment.

It is nice that in this uncertain world some things are as constant as the North Star.
DYAEiOu.gif


My thoughts and commiserations on the struggles in your personal life and good luck with your training to become part of the thin blue line. Watch out for the doughnuts though, lest you become the very thick blue line. ;)

Things are breaking the German's way for now, but I've made some adjustments overall. Unfortunately it seems my plan to liberate most of the colonies of Britain (aside from those in the game at start) didn't work, but I'm going to start making things much harder on the Axis, with the world rising to the challenge. Nationalist and Communist China, the Scandinavian nations and... the United States!

I've lost almost 30 pounds during the academy... that's 13.6 kilos or roughly 2 stone for you Commonwealth peeps. I intend fully to keep it off! :cool::D
 

El Pip

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I don't think I've brought it up, but with the extra years of peace between Germany and the Soviets, wouldn't there be enough raw materials to keep things going, especially with the early Anschluss and delayed Danzig demand? I don't have any sources (I'm looking at Wiki at the moment... and let me just say this would have been a nice thing to do well in advance of my game play. I'm sorry that I didn't figure out a way to bring this in!) but what I'm gathering is that the Soviet Union (especially from 1939 - 1941 in OTL, but in TTL since 1936) really wanted to work off their own debts and so sold a significant amount of resources to the Germans in exchange for significant amounts of military equipment.
The scale is all wrong for this to work. The 1930s trades were fairly low key,a bit under 200 million Reichsmarks spread over 4/5 years. For scale an Admiral Hipper class heavy cruiser is 80-85 million RM. Those trades pretty much cleared the old Soviet debts from the 20s.

The first year of the mad panic Germany-has-run-out-of-everything trades was 620 million RM, in just one year. And it still wasn't enough as Hitler was announcing "Export or Die!" as his industrial policy because Germany still needed more resources from non-Soviet sources. And it's not like Germany could expand the deal, because they couldn't even really pay for what they asked for were always behind making payments. Even the payments Germany did make were not repeatable (you can only sell the plans for Bismark once, only transfer an industrial or agricultural tech once, etc).

Fundamentally Stalin will know Germany is desperate and is not going to get more generous, he will start turning the screws and there's not much Germany has left to offer. One of the very minor arguments in favour of Barbarossa was that the Soviets were thinking of scrapping the deal because they wanted to get paid and were getting sick of German delays. I've seen a timeline in another place that has Germany forced to sell the family silver (Tirpitz, plans for Pz III and IV and working prototypes, and all the hydrogenation and octane fuel tech) just to keep the agreement going, something which seems all too plausible.