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

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El Pip

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Have you read Most Secret War by RV Jones? (tbh, I would be very surprised if you had not).
I have indeed, it was a few years ago but it still sits on my book shelf as a reference.

He makes an almost throwaway comment in there following a discussion with Kammhuber after the way about the different doctrines of radar usage that I found very illuminating - about how the British used radar to effectively increase their figher coverage, whilst the Germans for too long were wedded to the idea of removing their Observor Corps equivalent.
I think part of it is that the British weren't getting the horrific butchers bills from the Eastern Front every month that the Germans were. When you are scrapping the barrel for manpower as hard as the Germans were, all those warm bodies in the Observer Corps look mighty tempting to deploy elsewhere if you can replace them with technology.
 

Rifal

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"light" cruiser, with 4 double turrets with 8 inch guns, and the displacement near as makes no difference of a heavy cruiser... why not just call them heavy crusiers? Germany seems to follow a great deal of logic in all other branches of the military. At this point the Stettin class is as legitimate as the "Big Light Battle Cruisers" of the Courageous class.
 

Wraith11B

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My point is that I find it interesting that Germany possessed a more "stereotypical" radar dish than the British equivalent stations. FWIW from my reading I tend to regard the Germany air defence radar as being less efficacious overall than the British system, but equally know that is in part down to differences in doctrine and the German love (in this period at least) of over-complicating stuff.

I did say that particular radar was for gun-laying their anti-aircraft batteries rather than raid warning (which would be the more typical Chain Home style). The other system was for "surface search" rather than air detection.

Saw this Friday and thought of your latest chapter....
XZ0kzM6.jpg

Ooh, it's been awhile since I've been to the NASM! Eventually I'm going to need to get back!

Have you read Most Secret War by RV Jones? (tbh, I would be very surprised if you had not).

He makes an almost throwaway comment in there following a discussion with Kammhuber after the way about the different doctrines of radar usage that I found very illuminating - about how the British used radar to effectively increase their figher coverage, whilst the Germans for too long were wedded to the idea of removing their Observor Corps equivalent.

I think part of it is that the British weren't getting the horrific butchers bills from the Eastern Front every month that the Germans were. When you are scrapping the barrel for manpower as hard as the Germans were, all those warm bodies in the Observer Corps look mighty tempting to deploy elsewhere if you can replace them with technology.

Stepping in, recall that in TTL, the Germans are casualty adverse, relatively speaking. They don't want to build strategic bombers with large aircrew designs, they want the long range missiles. They want to avoid their bloodshed they endured as much as possible, and their enemies are developing their strategic bombers which means anything that might divert

"light" cruiser, with 4 double turrets with 8 inch guns, and the displacement near as makes no difference of a heavy cruiser... why not just call them heavy crusiers? Germany seems to follow a great deal of logic in all other branches of the military. At this point the Stettin class is as legitimate as the "Big Light Battle Cruisers" of the Courageous class.

They're armed with 5.9" guns. Again, that was essentially me "kitbashing" the original Hippers into the Stettins by using a design I found on Shipbucket (basically which was a plan for the Seydlitz to be equipped with dual (rather than triple) 5.9" turrets. It was an "advanced" design that I could use to be visually different.
 
IX: 3. Sitzkrieg or 'Phoney War', Feb - Aug 1942: Italian R&D

Wraith11B

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vGPKEXn.png

Jan - Aug 1942


Regio Esercito.

In January, several projects came to a conclusion (among them a new training and doctrine publication for the Esercito’s Carabinieri or military police), releasing funds for one of the last two portions of the Infantry Improvement Project of 1942: for improving the support weapons in the infantry company and battalion. In February, the final project, infantry anti-tank weapons, received their approval for funding. These projects, farmed out to Beretta and Breda, specifically, returned an improved version of their current products in May. An improved light artillery system debuted in April (having been funded the year previous). The new weapons encouraged the Commando Supremo to begin a doctrinal study and training regime for their infantry units in May. Another encouraged focus from the German attaches was for combat medicine and first aid, much like they had already done in their own forces. The Italians begrugingly accepted the “suggestion” and funded them in March and April, which finished in July.

BTiVZBC.png

A batch of Carabinieri officers in 1942. The Germans had
consistently pointed out the deficiencies of their nominal
Italian ally’s military police units, and while funding eventually
was approved, the dedication to forming new units remained
low.

The new doctrinal manual for the Carabinieri was unfortunately out of date at publication, and the German military advisors scornfully reminded their Italian counterparts. The Italians, refused to reapproach their issue until March when funding was finally available, and published their latest effort in July. Another special branches, that of the Paracadutisti, Alpini and Mountain schools issued new training and doctrinal guidance in February, and the Paracadutisti received approval for their new equipment in February and new tactical guidance in March.

QlJMsd0.jpg

The M15/42. Experience with the PzKpfw.IILs informed some,
minor, choices in this tank, but the Italians insisted on riveted
armor, a standarized gun system (instead of the two versions
of 37mm in the L-IT ausf. L and 50mm in the L-IT ausf. H) that
was supposed to be a compromise between the two but didn’t
meet either of the benefits nor mitigated the problems of either.

In the Armor branch, building on the experience with the PzKpfw.IIL-ITs, new armor schemes and a new engine design received final authorization in February. Funding for organizational work was continued when the original funding ran out in May, and the German attaches had been encouraging this work for years, ever since the Italians had first chosen to purchase the German light armor sets. Further work on instilling an offensive mindset amongst the divisions of the Italian forces began in February, and finished in July. In June, work began on lowering the supply consumption of the numbers of headquarters in the Esercito; while more work on maximizing the numbers of forces that a divisional commander could call on started in July.


Regia Marina.

Radar training, long the bane of the figurehead Admiral Cavagnari, concluded funding in February after sufficient numbers of operators had completed their course work. This work then turned to completing the Fire Control System training in March. Doctrine work turned towards better positioning of the battleships for naval combat in March, which would end in August. The crews of the show pieces of the Marina completed another round of training in May, with the requisite funding turning towards training the destroyers of the fleet for their escort roles, and working on anti-submarine warfare techniques which were pummeling the Kriegsmarine, and which the Italians were themselves significantly deficient in. Another project, specifically that of the optimization of the Regia Marina’s naval bases, finally finished in July.

kLATAZo.jpg

An Italian convoy under simulated attack from
Naval Aviation units in 1942.

Naval aviation training was completed in March for organization and planning naval air strikes at sea and against ports. In May, more funding was appropriated for naval strike techniques, which were thought to improve the efficiency of those strikes. This project was supplemented by another training cycle in June. In July, the Regia Marina sought new air-dropped torpedoes, as they had been using slightly modified surface vessel torpedoes which were having difficulty staying intact upon deployment, as well as showing faulty trigger mechanisms.

8RI0i1U.jpg

RM Scipione Africano, one of the latest versions
of destroyer in the Regia Marina.

More funding received approval for disbursal in July with a training cycle for increasing the capability of destroyers and light cruisers to detect other naval forces. Previous efforts essentially had spread the destroyer screens far and wide, but relaying that information back to the battleline was problematic. Radios could be detected, light semaphore and flags could only be used within line of sight. Thus, the training focused on using those new Radar sets to detect vessels at ranges beyond sight. This funding coincided with a push for a new armament system for destroyers. In August, when debates in the Supramarino concerning the use of submarines in convoy raiding operations again arose. In a sop to their commanders, some research was conducted in convoy raiding doctrine, but it largely focused on the surface fleet.


Civil/Secret.

For Mussolini, little mattered more than creating an Italy that would be counted amongst the greatest nations in the world. To reach that lofty goal--few would go so far as to dare challenge it as a dream--he recognized that the industrial base was in desperate need of improvement. He directed the accountants in several concerned ministries--namely, National Economy, Corporations, Posts and Telegraphs, and Agriculture and Forests--to fund several projects to improve industrial production and efficiencies, as well as the production of military and military-related supply, logistics and organization, and Civil Defense. The industrial subsidies (production, efficiency and supply production) ran out in May, while Supply Organization and Logistics expired in June. Funding for agriculture improvements received approval in March; those subsidies expired in June. The Civil Defense project finalized their recommendations in July.

NGpPzQe.png

Mussolini chairing a cabinet meeting. Throughout
Il Duce’s tenure, he held almost every cabinet position,
at one time or another.

In February, Mussolini acting in his position as Minister of the Interior, received notification from the department that projects to improve extraction of coal and oil refineries had finished; a few weeks later, he was informed that improvements to the extraction of synthetic oil was finalized.

The latest iteration of the journey to improving Italy’s radio detection telemetry capability received funding in March. These developments, spearheaded by Nello Carrara and Lieutenant Ugo Tiberio at FIVRE developed a device broadly equivalent to the British cavity magnetron to further develop their radar systems. The radar systems entered production in July. Once that project had been completed, the funding was directed to begin developing a new encryption key system for the Regia Marina; the funding for these projects had been diverted from the Regia Aeronautica’s budget after significant consternation had developed with the staff of the Superaereo for purchasing foreign aircraft rather than procuring local examples as well as suggesting that the Italians should develop a strategic bomber.

*****
Author's Note: I decided to strike whilst the iron was hot, given that there's a bit of a gap between when the top of the page billing might occur, and several posts since my last one.

Post to follow. This is some impressive work.

Thank you, and can't wait to read that response!

Eagerly waiting for the next update .
I am planning to download this whole AAR as pdf cause I wanna read it offline again and again and again and againnnnn

This brings up something I want to open up to the community at large. I can understand that these posts can get quite large (some posts are in excess of 3k words!) and thus might not lend themselves to single sitting readings. Would my readers appreciate having the ability to grab PDFs of the work? (I'm leaning to a "Book" and "Chapter" system, so each chapter will have its own, but then I'll also have a "Book" with all of the chapters in one file)
 
Last edited:

Axe99

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Great update :). In particular:

An Italian convoy under simulated attack from
Naval Aviation units in 1942.

Great shot :cool:

RM Scipione Africano, one of the latest versions
of destroyer in the Regia Marina.

A very beefy destroyer indeed ;) Not a criticism, and great shot :)
 

Bullfilter

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Will be fascinating to see what the Brits in particular have been doing in the meantime. They might have some good stuff themselves by now - have they also been getting lend-lease for a while now?

In terms of updates, if it’s a longer one and I need to do it in two readings, well ... I just do. ;) I’m happy with indexes and thread marks. But if PDF would be useful for others and could be done in a largely ‘automated’ way, then good luck. Though if there’s a lot of re-engineering of material required, I’d vote for the effort going into new stuff rather than repackaging existing material. :)
 

stnylan

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Always nice to see naval matters :)

I find the update length to be fine.
 

El Pip

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Will be fascinating to see what the Brits in particular have been doing in the meantime. They might have some good stuff themselves by now - have they also been getting lend-lease for a while now?
Sadly the British will have been directed by a Paradox AI not a human with perfect hindsight. I dread to think what horrors the British AI has produced but I'm expecting it to be catastrophically awful - armoured garrison on Bermuda, half the army sent as an expeditionary force to Nepal, Navy fleet compositions that hurt the soul, that sort of thing.

I am pleased to see the M15/42 appear while still being terrible. While the Regia Marina continues to sadden me with it's radar work and co-ordination, at least the Army is keeping the Italian military equipment flag flying correctly (that is half mast, upside down and slightly on fire).
 

nuclearslurpee

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at least the Army is keeping the Italian military equipment flag flying correctly (that is half mast, upside down and slightly on fire).
Which is, in itself, its own sort of impressive, as Im not sure how one could have a flag flying and be on fire, but only slightly. :p
 

roverS3

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For Mussolini, little mattered more than creating an Italy that would be counted amongst the greatest nations in the world. To reach that lofty goal--few would go so far as to dare challenge it as a dream--he recognized that the industrial base was in desperate need of improvement.
Am I to understand you don't think 1942 Italy is to be counted amongst the great nations of the world?

the funding for these projects had been diverted from the Regia Aeronautica’s budget after significant consternation had developed with the staff of the Superaereo for purchasing foreign aircraft rather than procuring local examples as well as suggesting that the Italians should develop a strategic bomber.
So because the Superaero wants to strive for Italian greatness, through great Italian aeroplane designs, their budget was cut?

What a sad state of affairs. This Germanic rigor in allocating funds is surely close to treason.

At least Italy is designing it's own light tanks now, sadly inspired by German models...
 

GarfunkeL

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It's kinda a shame that you're using vanilla HoI3 when you're going to this much trouble with roleplaying and historicity. The World War Two Immersion mod with it's Viva Italia sub-mob, focus as they do on Germany and Italy, would have been a great asset to you, allowing correct OOBs for divisions and more authentic tech trees and so on. I like how pretty much all of your deviations from history can be neatly explained and are fully justified.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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I wonder if this new and super duper axis team got around to fixing whatever was wrong with the german bombs that meant 1 in 10 of them dropped became duds on impact. 85 per day apparently (according to the most rigours of study of the 'one man on the television once said' variety). Which is a bit worrying for both the germans and every gardener in Kent.
 

El Pip

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I wonder if this new and super duper axis team got around to fixing whatever was wrong with the german bombs that meant 1 in 10 of them dropped became duds on impact. 85 per day apparently (according to the most rigours of study of the 'one man on the television once said' variety). Which is a bit worrying for both the germans and every gardener in Kent.
10% failure / dud rate doesn't sound that bad to be honest. RAF early war bombs ran about the same, the IJN were up at 25%. US reckoned about 12.5% of all the bombs they dropped in Europe were duds.

Delayed action and anti-handling/anti-tamper features were generally the main cause of duds, in the RAF/USAAC anyway. Germany had those problems, then went for foreign workers and slave labour for production which meant their biggest problems were an untrained and unmotivated workforce and sabotage.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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10% failure / dud rate doesn't sound that bad to be honest. RAF early war bombs ran about the same, the IJN were up at 25%. US reckoned about 12.5% of all the bombs they dropped in Europe were duds.

Delayed action and anti-handling/anti-tamper features were generally the main cause of duds, in the RAF/USAAC anyway. Germany had those problems, then went for foreign workers and slave labour for production which meant their biggest problems were an untrained and unmotivated workforce and sabotage.

Oh yeah, the factory system flaws...those been fixed somehow? Not sure how you'd do it in a few years but if the Axis can't solve that then they should still fail to win...eventually. Cos even if they get all the resources, the manpower and physical systems in place are going to weigh down the war machine quite a bit.

Indeed ten percent failure sounds pretty good but these are high explosives. Lots of them.
 

Wraith11B

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Improving the sorry state of the Italian forces ...

"Improving" for sure, but then they're for sure going deep and not wide.

Great update :). In particular: [PIC] Great shot :cool:

Thank you! I can't believe I find these gems when searching.

A very beefy destroyer indeed ;) Not a criticism, and great shot :)

They were. Broadly similar to the American Gearings, they are the most modern ships in the Mediterranean.

Will be fascinating to see what the Brits in particular have been doing in the meantime. They might have some good stuff themselves by now - have they also been getting lend-lease for a while now?

They're technologically advanced, but that really hasn't translated into units (other than through upgrades). I have no fucking clue how the AI decides what to spend its IC on, but it never can figure out how to divide it amongst the fleet appropriately. Which is why when things show up with massive piles of transports rather than anything larger than a light cruiser.

In terms of updates, if it’s a longer one and I need to do it in two readings, well ... I just do. ;) I’m happy with indexes and thread marks. But if PDF would be useful for others and could be done in a largely ‘automated’ way, then good luck. Though if there’s a lot of re-engineering of material required, I’d vote for the effort going into new stuff rather than repackaging existing material. :)

I also want to spend time with the new material, but it takes awhile to generate that stuff, and until I have a fifth computer so that I can make sure that the Allies pose a reasonable threat to the Axis I'm going to be really leaving off on the plot-developing posts so that I can maintain my historical view. I also want to make this AAR as accessible as possible to others.

Always nice to see naval matters :)

I find the update length to be fine.

I love the naval stuff. It's going to figure prominently in the next few posts!

Sadly the British will have been directed by a Paradox AI not a human with perfect hindsight. I dread to think what horrors the British AI has produced but I'm expecting it to be catastrophically awful - armoured garrison on Bermuda, half the army sent as an expeditionary force to Nepal, Navy fleet compositions that hurt the soul, that sort of thing.

source.gif

Laughs in [strike]British[/strike] Paradox AI.

Fortunately, they haven't done anything that silly... at least the British Army hasn't. The Royal Navy, on the other hand...

I am pleased to see the M15/42 appear while still being terrible. While the Regia Marina continues to sadden me with it's radar work and co-ordination, at least the Army is keeping the Italian military equipment flag flying correctly (that is half mast, upside down and slightly on fire).

Not necessarily "coordination" so much as "we need to spend this money so that those freakshows in the Regia Aeronautica don't get it!"

Which is, in itself, its own sort of impressive, as Im not sure how one could have a flag flying and be on fire, but only slightly. :p

It's the part of the flag that wasn't made out of flame retardant material.

Am I to understand you don't think 1942 Italy is to be counted amongst the great nations of the world?

They certainly want to be, but they just don't quite make it.

So because the Superaero wants to strive for Italian greatness, through great Italian aeroplane designs, their budget was cut?

What a sad state of affairs. This Germanic rigor in allocating funds is surely close to treason.

At least Italy is designing it's own light tanks now, sadly inspired by German models...

Well, who needs Strategic Bombers. The officer who suggested such a thing was sacked. This is still in the period of "Deterrence" strategic bombing: having the capability is a deterrent to its use, and by not having a capability, they would avoid being strategically bombed themselves. They might have their own models, and they learned a lot from the German production, but at the end of the day... they're Italian.

It's kinda a shame that you're using vanilla HoI3 when you're going to this much trouble with roleplaying and historicity. The World War Two Immersion mod with it's Viva Italia sub-mob, focus as they do on Germany and Italy, would have been a great asset to you, allowing correct OOBs for divisions and more authentic tech trees and so on. I like how pretty much all of your deviations from history can be neatly explained and are fully justified.

I've done significant research into at least the German portion of things in the war, and worked (almost) desperately at making only reasonable departures. I also started playing this back in 2017, and only started posting after a year of playing, and only just a few weeks ago hit 1943 in-game. I didn't want my AAR to be unfamiliar to me when I was playing it and back then I wasn't as up on HoI3 as I am now. I've learned a lot about save game files!
 

Wraith11B

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I wonder if this new and super duper axis team got around to fixing whatever was wrong with the german bombs that meant 1 in 10 of them dropped became duds on impact. 85 per day apparently (according to the most rigours of study of the 'one man on the television once said' variety). Which is a bit worrying for both the germans and every gardener in Kent.

10% failure / dud rate doesn't sound that bad to be honest. RAF early war bombs ran about the same, the IJN were up at 25%. US reckoned about 12.5% of all the bombs they dropped in Europe were duds.

Delayed action and anti-handling/anti-tamper features were generally the main cause of duds, in the RAF/USAAC anyway. Germany had those problems, then went for foreign workers and slave labour for production which meant their biggest problems were an untrained and unmotivated workforce and sabotage.

Oh yeah, the factory system flaws...those been fixed somehow? Not sure how you'd do it in a few years but if the Axis can't solve that then they should still fail to win...eventually. Cos even if they get all the resources, the manpower and physical systems in place are going to weigh down the war machine quite a bit.

Indeed ten percent failure sounds pretty good but these are high explosives. Lots of them.

Wish that this could have somehow made it in, for sure... but everything is PERFECT in HoI3 land!
 

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Indeed ten percent failure sounds pretty good but these are high explosives. Lots of them.
To an extent the amount of high explosives is why they have the dud rate. You could build a bomb that always went off guaranteed, the problem would be that such a weapon would occasionally go off inside the bomber before it was dropped. So the choice is made for fail safe, if any manufacturing issue crops up the bomb will become a dud rather than a tragic military-industrial accident.

Now ideally you'd just build them with tight tolerances so there are few failures of any kind. But that is surprisingly tricky; even as late as Vietnam War the US was running a 5% dud rate on bombs and a 2% dud rate on artillery shells. While I've not researched it in great detail I imagine this was once again a deliberate choice, the extra cost of the intensive QA/QC and high spec machine tools needed to drive down the failure rate was considered 'not worth it' for a bomb that was supposed to be cheap (in the pre-laser guided age anyway).