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X: Sitzkrieg or 'Phoney War', Feb - Aug 1942: Foreign and Domestic Politics

Wraith11B

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February - August 1942

Map of the World, 19 February 1942.

When the German Heer stunned the world by the conquest of Poland in a mere nine days, there was a sobering pause. War had changed, and certainly if the eighth largest army in the world could be overcome so quickly, then how prepared were the rest of the Allies?

Soviet May Day celebration. This camaraderie was no
longer evident between the Germans and Russians by
1942.

One of the first reactions of this war was the full mobilization of the Soviet Union on 10 March, followed two days later by Finland’s mobilization. Tensions along this border could be adequately described as “tense” since the series of skirmishes back in 1939 which had sufficiently chastised the Soviet Union from widening the war. Finland had long sought to maintain their independence from Moscow, especially after the four-month-long civil war which had begun in May 1918 between communist “red” and conservative “white” forces. During the interbellum period, Finland had sought to develop strong ties with their Scandanavian neighbors, though as those nations turned more to fascism and away from liberal democracy, the Finns themselves turned more towards London than Oslo or Stockholm. Their development of strong relations would lead to Finland joining the Allies in 1943.


Finnish troops in the Mannerheim line in 1942.
Despite being a tiny and technologically backwards
force in the late 30s and early 40s, the Finns had
thrown back the Soviet invasion attempts and
guaranteed their own independence.

At a rare cabinet meeting on 13 March, Speer--sitting in for his figurehead Hjalmar Schacht--laid out the problem faced by the Reich. The Main Enemy, the Soviet Union, could call upon over 900 combat and combat support brigades, and was estimated to number over 1000 combat brigades within the next twelve months. In the meanwhile, the Heer would be faced with holding their western flank while a significant portion (roughly one third of all ground combat troops) of their own forces were little more than propaganda numbers. The Italians were in little better position, scattering their own forces around what amounted to at best a tertiary theater of East Africa or Greece. Hungary’s forces were largely best held as garrison troops as well. The problem, as Speer put it to the assembled crowd, was one of production. Speer argued strenuously for the arms industry to face the reality of the situation and permit women into the workforce, as well as require more shifts in those factories deemed most important. This was not merely some desire to actually push for the development of the Reich; it was a thinly-veiled grab at power. By the end of the day, Speer had secured the approval for Führerbefehle (Fuhrer Order) 4, Verfolgung des Krieges und des Dienstes des Volkes (Economic Prosecution of the War and Service of the People). Essentially, this order dictated two things: that all manpower would serve by requirement and a total economic mobilization with a focus on heavy industry was mandated to prosecute the war.


Speer (left) delivering some news to Goering, together with
Bruno Loerzer and Gunther Korten. Speer wanted control
over all German munitions and arms production, and the
power that would go with it. He backed Goering in the
internecine warfare that accompanied Hitler’s “cabinet.”

In England, a major worker strike sparked off by miners in Kent at the Betteshanger Colliery lasted nearly 19 days. The concerns focused on the danger of working certain seams of coal for the war effort, and the labor recruited to work those mines. The strike had follow-on effects, most especially with the strikes in Liverpool and Birkenhead by longshoremen, dockmen, drivers and conductors--nearly 12,000 workers in total. While the government under Bevin sought to promote conciliation rather than conflict and publicly deemed the strikes “hardly anything to worry about,” Order 1305 was exercised and three union officials were prosecuted and over a thousand miners fined. The sentences were by-and-large suspended and rapidly forgiven entirely, but strikes continued throughout the war.


Spanish foreign minister Ramón Serrano Suñer, left,
as the Caudillo Francisco Franco meets with Il Duce,
Benito Mussolini. The support for the Nationalists during
the Spanish Civil War would be paid back through the
military access to Spanish territory during the war.

As the latest European war (the third in five years) began, several of the otherwise non-aligned nations began to show their hands slightly. The first was the Spanish announcement that Italy would have transit rights through Spain’s territory.* While not going so far as to permit missions be launched from their territory, the possible use of Spanish bases by Italian forces caused grave pause to the Commonwealth arrayed against Germany. Italy had not yet joined the war, but Britain’s lifeline ran through the Suez, past Malta to Gibraltar and thence to the Isles. With the use of Spanish bases, the Regia Marina could range farther from home, despite the short legs of their fleet. Denmark followed suit in April giving transit rights** to Germany, whose efforts to influence through the Geheimdienst under Frick had paid off handsomely. By June, funding for operations organized by the Geheimdienst in the United States was called off as the support needed to be directed elsewhere for the war effort.


The Riksdag today. The work of the Swedish NSAP to
control the expansion of the left-wing parties and to support
Germany fell apart when the expansionist desires started to
hit too close to home.

Across the Öresund, Stockholm was paralyzed in mid-March by a Geheimdienst-orchestrated Support the War demonstration. With much of the population swept up in the popularity of the Nationalsocialistiska Arbetarpartiet (NSAP) and broadly supportive of Berlin’s calls for support. With the NSAP in control of the Riksdag, the body passed legislation that outlawed the Communist and Socialist parties in June. This support was short-lived, however, as the NSAP’s popularity waned with Germany’s expansionist tendencies.


Stalin (second left) and the son of the Shah, Crown Prince
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Vyacheslav Molotov during
a meeting in Tehran during early 1942. The efforts expended
in wooing Iran to the Soviet cause were largely wasted.

The Soviet Union conducted several of their own influence operations in Iran during the end of the first half of 1942. Securing possible transshipment routes for trade that would not be threatened by the noose that Moscow clearly saw descending upon its neck with their western flank bounded by Norway, Sweden and Denmark leaning towards Germany and Finland leaning towards the Allies and Japan and China on their eastern flank, the only route out was to the south through the Middle East. While the Pahlavi regime was coolly receptive to the overtures from Moscow, Tehran’s outlook was more supportive of the Germans and Italians, though not going so far as to outright proclaim for the Axis powers. Reza Shah recognized that any public support would doom his regime as the Soviet Union and Great Britain would never permit the threats to their respective empires that an openly Axis Iran would cause.


Imperial Japanese submarine I-8 arriving in Wilhelmshaven
for the transfer of experts to Germany. Their support informed
a significant portion of the plan for Orkney Bulldog. Below: the
Reich’s contribution: several examples of Panzers, including a
Panther prototype.



Japanese Colonel Ishide riding in the cupola of the Tiger.

The positive flow of the war in Germany’s favor in the first half of 1942 and the strategic question for Germany about striking at Great Britain led to Germany providing Japan nearly $8.6 million to train a division-sized Marine landing force. The Kriegsmarine had long held several small Marinestrosstruppkompanie (MSK) as the answer to the GD’s “wet” teams, and these special operations forces had performed admirably in Spain in the few uses of their particular talents (which included blowing up a Republican-controlled radio station on Ibizia) as well as during the opening operations against the Poles during Operation White Eagle around Danzig. These forces were nowhere near the size needed to conduct an amphibious assault into Great Britain, and so Raeder reformed the Seebataillon concept. This would be largely organized on the standard Heer infantry division’s lines, with three brigades each of three battalions, and would be supported by an artillery regiment and a regiment of combat engineers. While Japan was supplying the technical know-how of training, they did not supply weapons or equipment. The division itself would not be ready by the time that Operation Orkney Bulldog was launched, but the training of moving troops to shore and the planning for the landing objectives were informed by the Japanese advisors.


Goering in a briefing outdoors, 1942. The Inspector General
of the Air Force, Erhard Milch, is second from left. Obviously,
the other officer to Goering’s left did not view the Reichsminister’s
contribution favorably.

During a speech to the Luftwaffe, Reichsminister Goering proclaimed that the Reich now possessed an air force greater than that of the rest of the world combined. The introduction of the Marschflugkörper--a “cruise missile” in modern parlance--specifically the Fieseler Fi 103 “Maikäfer” had been produced in significant numbers, with nearly 1200 examples equipping the force. With their introduction, the lack of a dedicated strategic bomber was not as problematic as previously believed, but the usefulness of the Marschflugkörper was as yet unproven.


George Catroux was the French Governor General for
French Indochina during the first few years of the conflict.
His service continued until taking charge of the resistance
against the Japanese invasion in 1943.

France abandoning their entente with Great Britain earlier in 1942 had come as quite a shock to London. The Axis powers had seen an opening: France, riddled with internal domestic concerns and yet wanting to maintain their crumbling empire led to Japan initiating an influence campaign with Paris in June. Japan recognized that French Indochina was a route taken by American support of the Nationalist Chinese, and that the current French government were virulently anti-communist. The Japanese took this opportunity to paint the French colonial government’s opponents in Indochina--Vo Nyugen Giap and Ho Chi Minh--as much more communist than nationalist and stoked those fears progressively as the result of Soviet support especially in the Vietnam portion of the colony. The Nationalist Chinese, in response, attempted to reingratiate themselves with Germany, as a check on Japanese expansionist policy in Mainland China.


Above: Japanese troops cross into Hong Kong.
Below: the faces of the resistance that awaited the IJA.


Japan, for their part, expanded the war into the Pacific on 11 July 1942 with a declaration of war against the British. Specifically, the Japanese sought to strip Britain of her Asian holdings, especially those in Malaysia and Hong Kong; Japan also sought to conquer Australia and New Zealand. The Diet, directed by the Imperial General Staff, immediately demanded the mobilization of the economy and an extension of service lengths until the end of the conflict.


President Lindbergh speaking about the new
Unlimited National Emergency. His betrayal of
Isolationist Republicans led to their defections
when Congressional Democrats began their
investigations.

On 17 August, an announcement was made that shocked the world. France, so long the recent historical enemy of Germany, signed onto the Anti-Comintern Pact. While not going so far as to join the war actively against their former ally, Great Britain, their tacit support and allowance of the use of air bases in Brittany and Cherbourg caused significant dismay in those parts of the world not yet affected by the war. Such was the response that even the United States, under the administration of President Charles Lindbergh, declared an Unlimited National Emergency. Given the America First wing of the Republican party was staunchly isolationist, this declaration was taken as a purely defensive arrangement, a nod that the Monroe Doctrine--and the Roosevelt Corollary to it--was back in effect.



Italian M13/40 tanks, produced alongside the licensed
PzKpfw.IIs, but in far fewer numbers, invade Egypt in
1942. Below: former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
speaking at UVA in 1942.


Italy took full advantage of the guarantee that their western flank was secured: Italy joined the war later in the day of 17 August, with Il Duce declaring in a speech to the Italian nation, “It’s our time!” Combat operations began at once: V Corps in Libya advanced to Alexandria, and the operation to secure Malta was begun. Reactions in the only two non-engaged global powers were uniformly negative: the Soviet Union saw the possibility of those who would help distract the Germans in their eventual war being overrun and initiated their own contingency planning for the future, while in the United States, former President Franklin Roosevelt gave a speech at the University of Virginia, citing the concerns of the American people facing questions about the position that the nation had in the world. President Roosevelt continued that,

“Some indeed still hold to the now somewhat obvious delusion that we of the United States can safely permit the United States to become a lone island, a lone island in a world dominated by the philosophy of force.​
Such an island may be the dream of those who still talk and vote as isolationists. Such an island represents to me and to the overwhelming majority of Americans today a helpless nightmare of a people without freedom—the nightmare of a people lodged in prison, handcuffed, hungry, and fed through the bars from day to day by the contemptuous, unpitying masters of other continents.”​

The President continued,
“On this seventh day of August, nineteen hundred and forty-two, the hand that held the dagger has struck it into the back of its neighbor.​
“On this seventh day of August, nineteen hundred and forty-two, in this University founded by the first great American teacher of democracy, we send forth our prayers and our hopes to those beyond the seas who are maintaining with magnificent valor their battle for freedom.”​

At the time, the speech was singular in that a former President would speak out in so public a place and to call out the sitting President for what appeared to most Americans to be a failure of diplomacy. The speech was a rallying cry for the Democrats in Congress, who began to push the issue of the administration’s failures. This also started a series of investigations which continued through into 1943.


Mussolini speaking on the declaration of war against
the Allies, 1942.

Mussolini, however, did not care about the commentary by the former President. Mussolini called for the total mobilization of all aspects of the Italian economy, as well as expanding the draft and service requirements of the national forces in Italy. Late in the month, Bulgaria offered and Italy accepted transit rights through their territory. The war was very nearly global.


____________

*: I don’t know how this wouldn’t have resulted in a DoW by Great Britain.

**: I especially don’t know how this wouldn’t have resulted in an immediate occupation of the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland by Great Britain… I’m going to edit it in properly to the current savegame.

EDIT: I've decided to add a "Map of the World" to some of the posts, especially if large changes have occurred to what's holding where.
 
Last edited:

TheButterflyComposer

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...oh dear. UK really does stand alone this time.
 

Wraith11B

Call Kenny Loggins, you're in the DANGER ZONE...
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...oh dear. UK really does stand alone this time.
They have the rest of the Commonwealth!

Also, I added a "Map of the World" (screen capture) at the top of the post. Check it out! I'm thinking I'll have one for some of the posts going forward, especially if there are major changes in territorial holdings.
 

roverS3

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France joining the Axis is a very positive development, assuaging some of the German high command's concerns of having to hold the Allies at bay while attacking the Soviet Union. The addition of the French Armed Forces, especially it's navy will surely help keep the Brits at bay, or even facilitate an eventual invasion of the home isles. While they were thinking of their own back yard, the Japs really changed the balance of power in Europe. There is no need for an invasion of France, so Italy can focus on British holdings in the Med, and make it it's own lake from the very start. Add in the license purchases of superior German equipment, the inflated navy (compared to OTL), and the Spanish transit rights, and that should be much more achievable than OTL.

This truly is a different Axis than the historical one, the future of the anti-Comintern pact is looking even brighter at this point than it did historically (after Poland, before France).

**: I especially don’t know how this wouldn’t have resulted in an immediate occupation of the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland by Great Britain… I’m going to edit it in properly to the current savegame.
Normally there's an event where the UK takes control of those areas, but iirc, it is only triggered if Germany actually puppets or annexes Denmark, not if Denmark joins the Axis. It's definitely an oversight, unless you consider that these islands would have to be taken by force if DK joined the Axis. In that case, it should be hard-coded into the British AI that if DK joins the Axis, they will immediately initiate an operation to take those territories. It doesn't seem to me that that is the case.
 

Wraith11B

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France joining the Axis is a very positive development, assuaging some of the German high command's concerns of having to hold the Allies at bay while attacking the Soviet Union. The addition of the French Armed Forces, especially it's navy will surely help keep the Brits at bay, or even facilitate an eventual invasion of the home isles. While they were thinking of their own back yard, the Japs really changed the balance of power in Europe. There is no need for an invasion of France, so Italy can focus on British holdings in the Med, and make it it's own lake from the very start. Add in the license purchases of superior German equipment, the inflated navy (compared to OTL), and the Spanish transit rights, and that should be much more achievable than OTL.

This truly is a different Axis than the historical one, the future of the anti-Comintern pact is looking even brighter at this point than it did historically (after Poland, before France).
For sure, I didn't actually expect that the French would join the war (and they didn't, against their former Allies, at least) but then the Soviets decided to declare war against the Axis, and the French got lumped into that war... which resulted in the little Kamchatka expedition mentioned earlier. I decided that was probably getting to be a bridge too far, and so backed it off and dropped them from the Axis (ie, the French in TTL were the Italians from the First World War in OTL).

Normally there's an event where the UK takes control of those areas, but iirc, it is only triggered if Germany actually puppets or annexes Denmark, not if Denmark joins the Axis. It's definitely an oversight, unless you consider that these islands would have to be taken by force if DK joined the Axis. In that case, it should be hard-coded into the British AI that if DK joins the Axis, they will immediately initiate an operation to take those territories. It doesn't seem to me that that is the case.
True enough that it would have required them to be taken by force, but that was the case in OTL. The issue was that the British came ashore in force (around 750 troops) and overwhelmed what little resistance was offered (the insistence of neutrality of Iceland for the most part). Germany couldn't mount much of an answer, as their fleet was unequal to the task (TTL's Kriegsmarine might be better able to do so). I might go in and make Iceland independent when I deal with Denmark (questions are starting to be raised by Berlin about Copenhagen) and then "gift" Iceland to the Allies (as is essentially what happened OTL). The Faroes were also occupied, initially by about 250 Royal Marines, but later by other troops, and again, no resistance. Greenland chose to go to the United States (at the time a non-belligerent party) but joined the war when the US did.

With all of this, there's considerable basis for the occupation of those territories. I'll probably work it in that way.
 

GulMacet

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Wirtschaftsstrafrechtliche Verfolgung des Krieges und des Dienstes des Volkes
Strafrechtliche Verfolgung means prosecution in the criminal justice sense (it literally means Punishment-judiciary prosecution). Just Verfolgung or Durchführung (carrying-out) works better.
 

roverS3

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True enough that it would have required them to be taken by force, but that was the case in OTL. The issue was that the British came ashore in force (around 750 troops) and overwhelmed what little resistance was offered (the insistence of neutrality of Iceland for the most part). Germany couldn't mount much of an answer, as their fleet was unequal to the task (TTL's Kriegsmarine might be better able to do so). I might go in and make Iceland independent when I deal with Denmark (questions are starting to be raised by Berlin about Copenhagen) and then "gift" Iceland to the Allies (as is essentially what happened OTL). The Faroes were also occupied, initially by about 250 Royal Marines, but later by other troops, and again, no resistance. Greenland chose to go to the United States (at the time a non-belligerent party) but joined the war when the US did.
Interesting how that happened. With the smallest combat units counting 3.000, a peaceful occupation by 750, let alone 250 men, those events can't realistically be recreated, save by event, or by tinkering with the save-file... Or maybe landing a single support brigade of some kind into the empty province...
In game, there's a second event which hands Greenland and Iceland to the US if the US joins the Allies. This makes some sense, were it not for the fact that I've found that the British units in both Greenland and Iceland will stay in place as expeditionary forces after the hand-over... freeing up exactly 0 British troops for use elsewhere...
 

Wraith11B

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Strafrechtliche Verfolgung means prosecution in the criminal justice sense (it literally means Punishment-judiciary prosecution). Just Verfolgung or Durchführung (carrying-out) works better.
They will be fixed, momentarily. This is what I get for relying on GoogleTranslate...

Interesting how that happened. With the smallest combat units counting 3.000, a peaceful occupation by 750, let alone 250 men, those events can't realistically be recreated, save by event, or by tinkering with the save-file... Or maybe landing a single support brigade of some kind into the empty province...
In game, there's a second event which hands Greenland and Iceland to the US if the US joins the Allies. This makes some sense, were it not for the fact that I've found that the British units in both Greenland and Iceland will stay in place as expeditionary forces after the hand-over... freeing up exactly 0 British troops for use elsewhere...
Yeah. Well, aside from the boredom of garrisoning Iceland/Greenland/Faroes during the war, that must have been a cushy gig! I'm going to chop the Danes into the Axis, leave them (nominally) independent, and give their armed forces to Germany so that they can stay put and not actually wind up being used...
 

Bullfilter

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This is a grim and different TTL indeed! :( Poor old Allies and USSR being run by AIs with an isolationist USA and Axis-France etc. Interested to see how this all pans out operationally, especially the naval aspects. The RN is going to have its hand very full indeed!

Great painting of this alternate geopolitical reality. I’m certainly glad OTL didn’t go this way! :eek: I hope you don’t mind that game-wise, I wish you every success (I know you’ve already played a lot of it but I’m deliberately not peeking forward via the contents list) but will be going for the anti-Fascist Powers in terms of support for the war. ;)
 

diskoerekto

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the world has gone truly mad in this alternate timeline, I wasn't expecting something like this. This makes me all the more curious about how all will end up :)
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Well either the british empire takes over the whole world or the Nazis win, so that's both sides of the HOI fandom satisfied there...:D
 

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French traitors
 

El Pip

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France joining the anti-comintern pact? And there wasn't an immediate coup or revolution?
Germany getting the V1 operational many years early?
Actual Japanese-German co-operation? (Random fact from OTL, the Germans reckoned a Tiger cost ~300,000RM. They quoted Japan 650,000RM each when asked for a price).
Mussolini not doing something ridiculously stupid?
Franco co-operating and risking dragging his country back to war?
Hitler agreeing to go against his strongly held beliefs and letting women into the (non-farm based) workforce?
A Germany that hasn't conquered Western Europe and most of European Russia somehow having the resources to build anything in 1942?
The Seebatallions not being an embarrassing (and hilarious) shambles who probably couldn't tie their own shoe laces without 75% casualties?

There's stacking the deck in the Axis' favour and then there is this. After giving yourself this many advantages anything less than total world conquest will be a crushing failure. ;)
 

nuclearslurpee

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During the interbellum period, Finland had sought to develop strong ties with their Scandanavian neighbors, though as those nations turned more to fascism and away from liberal democracy, the Finns themselves turned more towards London than Oslo or Stockholm. Their development of strong relations would lead to Finland joining the Allies in 1943.
This could be a concerning development. Without the Finns to stretch the northern front in a Barbarossa sort of operation, the Soviets will be able to concentrate forces much more effectively.

The positive flow of the war in Germany’s favor in the first half of 1942 and the strategic question for Germany about striking at Great Britain led to Germany providing Japan nearly $8.6 million to train a division-sized Marine landing force. The Kriegsmarine had long held several small Marinestrosstruppkompanie (MSK) as the answer to the GD’s “wet” teams, and these special operations forces had performed admirably in Spain in the few uses of their particular talents (which included blowing up a Republican-controlled radio station on Ibizia) as well as during the opening operations against the Poles during Operation White Eagle around Danzig. These forces were nowhere near the size needed to conduct an amphibious assault into Great Britain, and so Raeder reformed the Seebataillon concept. This would be largely organized on the standard Heer infantry division’s lines, with three brigades each of three battalions, and would be supported by an artillery regiment and a regiment of combat engineers. While Japan was supplying the technical know-how of training, they did not supply weapons or equipment. The division itself would not be ready by the time that Operation Orkney Bulldog was launched, but the training of moving troops to shore and the planning for the landing objectives were informed by the Japanese advisors.
Now, this seems like the sort of Axis malfeasance Lord El Pip can get behind! Paying millions of dollars to build and train a division which will not even be ready to deploy for the operation they are being trained for? It's almost as if someone let the Italians into the German war offices for the day! :p

During a speech to the Luftwaffe, Reichsminister Goering proclaimed that the Reich now possessed an air force greater than that of the rest of the world combined. The introduction of the Marschflugkörper--a “cruise missile” in modern parlance--specifically the Fieseler Fi 103 “Maikäfer” had been produced in significant numbers, with nearly 1200 examples equipping the force. With their introduction, the lack of a dedicated strategic bomber was not as problematic as previously believed, but the usefulness of the Marschflugkörper was as yet unproven.
Across the English countryside, cows quake in terror, though they know not why.

Italy took full advantage of the guarantee that their western flank was secured: Italy joined the war later in the day of 17 August, with Il Duce declaring in a speech to the Italian nation, “It’s our time!”
Are we quite certain they've got enough bayonets this time around? :p

This is a grim and different TTL indeed! :(
Indeed. I shudder to imagine the grim world our authAAR is creating for our ATL selves to live in.

France? And there wasn't an immediate coup or revolution?
The original was a bit too wordy, so I've shortened it for you. No need to thank me, of course. :p
 

Wraith11B

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This is a grim and different TTL indeed! :( Poor old Allies and USSR being run by AIs with an isolationist USA and Axis-France etc. Interested to see how this all pans out operationally, especially the naval aspects. The RN is going to have its hand very full indeed!
Around about 1943 when I realized that it was getting too easy was when I started to fiddle more with what was going on and up the difficulty. Things that I've discussed so far (upping the difficulty, going back in and essentially cheating the UK a pile of new kit, etc) have probably gone a long way into making the world a more competitive place for the Axis. I've looked into further upgrading the difficulty and reducing the mobilizations of the various Axis powers.

Great painting of this alternate geopolitical reality. I’m certainly glad OTL didn’t go this way! :eek: I hope you don’t mind that game-wise, I wish you every success (I know you’ve already played a lot of it but I’m deliberately not peeking forward via the contents list) but will be going for the anti-Fascist Powers in terms of support for the war. ;)
Fair enough. I'm really up for taking charge of all of the majors. France might just need to die regardless but the UK and US need to be guided to better deal with what's going on.

the world has gone truly mad in this alternate timeline, I wasn't expecting something like this. This makes me all the more curious about how all will end up :)
I for one can't wait to show you!

Well either the british empire takes over the whole world or the Nazis win, so that's both sides of the HOI fandom satisfied there...:D
Indeed! Certainly delayed the "I Win" button of the USA for awhile!

French traitors
France joining the anti-comintern pact? And there wasn't an immediate coup or revolution?
The original was a bit too wordy, so I've shortened it for you. No need to thank me, of course. :p
Indeed... I wasn't expecting it to work, honestly... then it did, and so they were "okay" for awhile, but then the power of the Street overwhelmed that of Paris.

Germany getting the V1 operational many years early?
One of my objectives originally was the development of some of their more lavish weapon systems being developed without a regard for "when the war would be over" (historically, the reason that the V1 and V2 weapon systems weren't really pursued by what little brain trusts were left behind was the earnest belief that the war would be over before they'd be useful). The V1 had basically been attained by 1939, and more realistically by 1941. Operationally, sure, but given that there were over 10k launched against Allied forces in the last year and a half of the war, having 1200 on hand by mid-1942 doesn't seem terribly far fetched.

Actual Japanese-German co-operation? (Random fact from OTL, the Germans reckoned a Tiger cost ~300,000RM. They quoted Japan 650,000RM each when asked for a price).
Not so much cooperation as technical know how being passed along, which was certainly in keeping with what occurred in OTL. About the only actual cooperation that occurs in the game is that the Japanese chop some transports to Italy for a few months while they're trying to move enough forces into the Black Sea to be relevant... and then out of the Black Sea to remain in the fight!

Mussolini not doing something ridiculously stupid?
I don't know which decision you're referring to here, but they didn't always make the wrong call in Italy.

Franco co-operating and risking dragging his country back to war?
That's for sure. I can't remember if Spain offered or if Italy just asked, but that's a shortcoming of the game engine that Spain would risk something like that. That said, there was significant tacit agreement (including a secret uboat base in Spain) and Spanish territory was even attacked by the allies on occasion in conjunction with those forces.

Hitler agreeing to go against his strongly held beliefs and letting women into the (non-farm based) workforce?
Given the amount of success that I'm having as the Axis, I'm thinking of dialing it down because it is so over the top, honestly.

A Germany that hasn't conquered Western Europe and most of European Russia somehow having the resources to build anything in 1942?
*waves hand in the direction of Paradox's design team*

The Seebatallions not being an embarrassing (and hilarious) shambles who probably couldn't tie their own shoe laces without 75% casualties?
Well, they only participate in two operations (to date in the game). So not much chance of doing anything terribly shambling.

There's stacking the deck in the Axis' favour and then there is this. After giving yourself this many advantages anything less than total world conquest will be a crushing failure. ;)
True enough. Hence why I was working towards making the game a bit less of a Wehraboo wet dream and more of an actual competition! Sure it'll require me to build another computer and to try running five nations at once. No big deal.

This could be a concerning development. Without the Finns to stretch the northern front in a Barbarossa sort of operation, the Soviets will be able to concentrate forces much more effectively.
Well, the Soviets still view the Finns as a threat, so there's not much of a "relief."

Now, this seems like the sort of Axis malfeasance Lord El Pip can get behind! Paying millions of dollars to build and train a division which will not even be ready to deploy for the operation they are being trained for? It's almost as if someone let the Italians into the German war offices for the day! :p
As you can see, it wasn't enough!

Across the English countryside, cows quake in terror, though they know not why.
Indeed. It is rather unfortunate that they're so accurate in the game.

Are we quite certain they've got enough bayonets this time around? :p
One would think, but I doubt it.

Indeed. I shudder to imagine the grim world our authAAR is creating for our ATL selves to live in.
It is grim, but not as grim as it could be. I'm trying to give the Allies everything they can handle to fight back against the Axis!
 

TheButterflyComposer

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There's stacking the deck in the Axis' favour and then there is this. After giving yourself this many advantages anything less than total world conquest will be a crushing failure. ;)
Pretty sure he made it so they impossibly strong so he can then play as the british and make them impossibly strong too (like having india and ireland demand full annexation, Churchill only waking up on good days, the king flying spitfires and the Hood upgraded so it has invincible armour and can fly) and then laugh as they smush into each other and battle for the rest of eternity.

Maybe at some point the US does something too. Let's have the most OP world war ever. Everyone is supercharged, everyone is perfect, they have no reason for war but will anyway...yeah, lets go!!!
 

El Pip

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It is grim, but not as grim as it could be.
True. @Bullfilter's Turkey remains the most grim and miserable dystopia on the board by quite some way.

Pretty sure he made it so they impossibly strong so he can then play as the british and make them impossibly strong too
An even more ridiculous version of the "Foresight War" book? It has a certain appeal I must admit.

A properly funded Whittle would have jets in the air by now and, because Britain actually has the materials and metallurgy, they will actually work and be reliable. The cavity magnetron has safely been invented and so the British have cm radar in full production along with plenty of long range aircraft to stick them in, basically dooming the U-boats. On a similar note VT fuses are definitely achievable by this date making AA guns lethal. One can dream.

Even ignoring that all the OTL British/French re-armament plans peaked in 1942, Germany is essentially about to fight a war at the perfect time for Britain's pre-war plans. British re-armament is complete and the infrastructure is humming, while Germany's own kit is increasingly a generation out of date, factories tooled for old designs and there is no more money or resources to continue the arms face. Obviously none of this applies here, because Paradox, but it would be interesting if it did.
 

Bullfilter

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True. @Bullfilter's Turkey remains the most grim and miserable dystopia on the board by quite some way.
:D Worse than a world-straddling Fascist conglomerate? :confused: S.I.T.H. aside, I’m not sure they’re that much worse than Tiso & Tuka! ;) Even if it’s a very small and incompetent dystopia. With Wraith, you mercifully don’t see what lies ‘under the hood’ of the three lead regimes. More of an implied potential global dystopia where even France has joined up and the US has become a fellow-traveller with Lindbergh in charge. Yuk - but fascinating in a similar way to slow motion train-smash spotting. :eek:

PS: But if the dubious accolade of 'most grim and miserable dystopia' is up for grabs at the next YAYAs, then TT will take any votes on offer :D
 
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nuclearslurpee

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True. @Bullfilter's Turkey remains the most grim and miserable dystopia on the board by quite some way.
Utter nonsense. A USA-USSR superpower standoff post-war is essentially what we already had historically, but with the introduction of a Turkish imperial state as a third-power moderator alongside the reduced UK + Commonwealth perhaps the Cold War is a bit more cold and a bit less war. Meanwhile in the Glorious Union itself, while autocratic imperialism and a police state is far from ideal, looking at the OTL Balkans and Middle East I can't say that Turkish dominion is all that much worse, particularly if the member states of the UGNR gain greater autonomy over the following decades (not entirely unlikely, if those in power learn from the mistakes of the Ottomans and Austro-Hungarians).

In any case, such a world is vastly preferable to the Axis hegemony we see evolving here. Hitler and Mussolini, but competent?? I shudder to imagine...
 

Wraith11B

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True. @Bullfilter's Turkey remains the most grim and miserable dystopia on the board by quite some way.


An even more ridiculous version of the "Foresight War" book? It has a certain appeal I must admit.

A properly funded Whittle would have jets in the air by now and, because Britain actually has the materials and metallurgy, they will actually work and be reliable. The cavity magnetron has safely been invented and so the British have cm radar in full production along with plenty of long range aircraft to stick them in, basically dooming the U-boats. On a similar note VT fuses are definitely achievable by this date making AA guns lethal. One can dream.

Even ignoring that all the OTL British/French re-armament plans peaked in 1942, Germany is essentially about to fight a war at the perfect time for Britain's pre-war plans. British re-armament is complete and the infrastructure is humming, while Germany's own kit is increasingly a generation out of date, factories tooled for old designs and there is no more money or resources to continue the arms face. Obviously none of this applies here, because Paradox, but it would be interesting if it did.
I'll have to post up the 1943 research overview so you can see what's going on with that. Basically, as far as I recall, everyone has broadly equivalent kit levels (including most doctrines). In fact, I think that the Germans and Italians fell behind in the air doctrine research for awhile. Unfortunately, the AI can't use their air forces worth a damn, which is just so unfortunate to me.

:D Worse than a world-straddling Fascist conglomerate? :confused: S.I.T.H. aside, I’m not sure they’re that much worse than Tiso & Tuka! ;) Even if it’s a very small and incompetent dystopia. With Wraith, you mercifully don’t see what lies ‘under the hood’ of the three lead regimes. More of an implied potential global dystopia where even France has joined up and the US has become a fellow-traveller with Lindbergh in charge. Yuk - but fascinating in a similar way to slow motion train-smash spotting. :eek:

PS: But if the dubious accolade of 'most grim and miserable dystopia' is up for grabs at the next YAYAs, then TT will take any votes on offer :D
For sure, the Stahlpakt timeline is fairly Axis-centric, and they have quite a bit going for them. There are limits to that, however, and there's been a bit of enforced stalemates (for instance, the Soviet front hasn't moved in months and the Germans are barely holding the line, though the Soviets are waiting themselves). Certainly, there's likely some very dark things going on in my TL as well, but I also can't approach those issues (nor would I want to).

Utter nonsense. A USA-USSR superpower standoff post-war is essentially what we already had historically, but with the introduction of a Turkish imperial state as a third-power moderator alongside the reduced UK + Commonwealth perhaps the Cold War is a bit more cold and a bit less war. Meanwhile in the Glorious Union itself, while autocratic imperialism and a police state is far from ideal, looking at the OTL Balkans and Middle East I can't say that Turkish dominion is all that much worse, particularly if the member states of the UGNR gain greater autonomy over the following decades (not entirely unlikely, if those in power learn from the mistakes of the Ottomans and Austro-Hungarians).

In any case, such a world is vastly preferable to the Axis hegemony we see evolving here. Hitler and Mussolini, but competent?? I shudder to imagine...
They are pretty competent. I am going to wrap up the save game edits this week and then work on getting the story advanced some. I've got to see about getting another computer set up and running so I can actually run the game so that it's not completely a glorious string of Axis victories.