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

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

nuclearslurpee

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There I was, hoping for Republican victory, when I remembered you were playing the Axis in this one! :confused:

I always root for the Republicans in the SCW. Even as Axis, it makes the game I think more interesting to have Iberia be less than friendly with the Axis powers! I fondly remember a particular game in which the SCW lasted through 1939 or maybe even early 1940 - a rare event in itself - and both sides joined a faction (Allies and Axis - I'm sure Uncle Joe felt rather betrayed!). I, as Germany, was in the rather unusual position of being forced to march my army straight through France to the Spanish border and teach them a few lessons about global diplomacy!

I'm glad to see here that the SCW seems to be shaping up to be quite a complex affair, perhaps it might even last more than a year? That would be a rare treat, I think. :D
 

Wraith11B

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Sounds like a very fluid SCW

It is. I did do a bit of "event popping" to extend this by adding more troops for both sides, in order to get a bit of a longer SCW.

There I was, hoping for Republican victory, when I remembered you were playing the Axis in this one! :confused: It looks like your surrogates are now on the path to ascendancy - but how grateful will Franco be when the crunch comes?

That's a good question... we shall see!

A Republican victory would quickly have followed up by a second civil war between the Communists(Stalinists) and the Anachists as these are as much opposed as the Facists were.

Very much so. I don't necessarily think it would have been a Civil War--just another orgy of slaughter: as I said, Civil Wars are rarely Civil or Wars.

Another update! Excellent!

Wow, it looks like both sides can still lose the war in a matter of weeks. The whole affair might be over even before the other European powers devise a clear policy of intervention/non-intervention!

Once again, Wraith11B, kudos for the amazing pictures, BTW (the gifs are nifty as well). I wish I had found these Iberic ones a few years ago, to use them in my Spanish chapters. Glad to see the Basques managed to repulse Franco's cohorts, I hope they'll manage to hold their ground (and, who knows, maybe gain their indepedence in the process).I concur with Surt, a Republican victory would probably open another can of worms and usher in a new Civil War between competing "Republican" factions. Still, I'll root for the Republic, as it would send a powerful signal to France and Britain that the abominable Fascist ideology can and must be beaten!

Out of sheer curiosity, do you know what happened to the Spanish navies? Whenever I read the SCW part of an AAR, I always wonder about the fate of the Dedalo seaplane tender (which, alas, is not depicted in HoI IIRC) and the Jaime I / Espana battlewagons.

I'll go back into the save games to see, because I did want a show-down from the Hood and Canarias, even if I had to 'embellish' it.

I always root for the Republicans in the SCW. Even as Axis, it makes the game I think more interesting to have Iberia be less than friendly with the Axis powers! I fondly remember a particular game in which the SCW lasted through 1939 or maybe even early 1940 - a rare event in itself - and both sides joined a faction (Allies and Axis - I'm sure Uncle Joe felt rather betrayed!). I, as Germany, was in the rather unusual position of being forced to march my army straight through France to the Spanish border and teach them a few lessons about global diplomacy!

I'm glad to see here that the SCW seems to be shaping up to be quite a complex affair, perhaps it might even last more than a year? That would be a rare treat, I think. :D

I kinda wish it had as well, that would be significant. One of the things I never quite understood about HoI2/3/4 was just how fast everything happens: ship repair/construction, ground movement, etc. If/when I complete this AAR, I was thinking of doing a USA one with the kicker being that Congress had to "roll the dice" regarding any construction orders I made... and I would seriously consider nerfing everyone's repair rates and recovery rates so that it might drag out the war a bit.
 

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I kinda wish it had as well, that would be significant. One of the things I never quite understood about HoI2/3/4 was just how fast everything happens: ship repair/construction, ground movement, etc. If/when I complete this AAR, I was thinking of doing a USA one with the kicker being that Congress had to "roll the dice" regarding any construction orders I made... and I would seriously consider nerfing everyone's repair rates and recovery rates so that it might drag out the war a bit.

Funny you should mention the USA, since to my memory they at one point in the war were able to build a destroyer completely from scratch in as little as four days, supposedly. That's quite a bit faster than in HoI3 I think! Of course, if any nation needs such a nerf to be balanced in HoI3, it's the USA as their economic strength is simply unstoppable otherwise.

If you want to drag out the war, I think you'd do better to buff morale across the board rather than nerfing recovery rates. That might make it easier for a defeated force to regain their fighting capability instead of being continually routed after one big defeat. Other options requiring much more elaborate modding could be tried as well, but as this is an AAR and not the modding forum I'll hold my peace on that here.
 
I: 3. Ever Learning, Ever Improving: German Reich Research and Development, 1936

Wraith11B

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With the speed of rearmament, it might be useful to ascertain exactly what the Truppentamt had spent the majority of the interwar period developing. The restrictions of the Versailles treaty caused significant concerns regarding how best to equip, train and otherwise manage troops for the Reichswehr and were of utmost importance. There also continued largely theoretical discussions surrounding construction and employment of air forces (in less official capacities, generally speaking) and only slightly more practical discussions for the Reichsmarine.

The Heer.

The Reichswehr had been limited to the seven infantry and three cavalry divisions as mentioned previously, and an overall manpower of only one hundred thousand men. Barred from actual construction of tanks, heavy artillery, and even machine guns (leading to the creative designation of the MG15/17 as “squad automatic weapons”), the weapons office worked intensely to develop weapons which would be outside of the purview of the treaty restrictions and which would serve to give the army the weapons it would need to win despite being outmanned. These developments included grenade launchers, mortars, and other weapon systems. Germany had some of the most advanced army kit in the world by 1936, but it only started to percolate through the ranks.


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German artillery, 1936. Efforts had been made to develop outstanding field pieces, but the sights to match had lagged behind.

The failure of the disarmament conference in 1934 gave Germany’s weapons researchers nearly free reign to ignore the restrictions of Versailles. As money poured in, they had initially concentrated upon highly effective cannon barrels for artillery, anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns. Lessons learned in how to construct and employ the barrel from one application was applied to the others, but these developments had come before the applicable sights and mounts for them could be developed. Funding was supplied to rectify those errors at the start of 1936.


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The PzKpfw.IIL, the last model developed by the Heer, though never fully adopted. Other nations would show interest in the model for their own armored columns.

Another area in which the Reich had attempted to leapfrog much of the rest of the world was in the area of armored vehicles. The Truppenamt had, under von Seeckt, been working feverishly through the armor school in Kazan to develop a light tank which could be rapidly built and that would form the basis of the Panzerwaffe. Two tanks had resulted, the Panzerkampfwagon I and the Panzerkampfwagon II. These were hardly as effective as the Heer desired, and were better suited for training. The Pzkpfw.II, was finally developed into the Pzkpfw.IIF model, boasting a 2cm KwK 30 L/55 autocannon and coaxial MG34. The design, not expected to live up to what the Armor Inspectorate Colonel Heinz Guderian wanted, showed promise in the armed reconnaissance and infantry suppression roles, and it was fast. Researchers had also sought to provide the tank with the 3.7cm KwK 36 L/45, though this model would not be procured by the Heer. Engineers had, by the end of 1935, developed the chassis for what would become the modern medium tank for German army, but the actual tank had yet to be developed.


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The Heer on maneuvers, 1936. Training was made as realistic as possible for the leaders to have as much stress as possible put upon them without breaking them, getting those leaders to improve as officers.

Doctrinally speaking, the Heer wanted the lessons that they had learned in the bitter fighting on the Western front--paid for in the blood and sacrifice of so many--to be put to best use moving forward. General von Seeckt had prioritized the learning for his officers to cover infantry warfare (given that was the basis for a significant portion of the interbellum army), but also into the use of specialized formations to gain localized advantage. His creation of a level between the tactical and strategic, generally referred to as the Operational level, encouraged organization and structuring the command to employ those forces.


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A sergeant reports to his divisional commander in the 1936 maneuvers. Pushing the commanders as far forward as practicable while retaining control gave those commanders a key grasp over what was actually occurring.

His successors continued this trend, by bringing a new doctrinal employment of the tactical forces down to the lowest levels. In such a small army, even sergeants and corporals were expected to know how to lead not only their squads and teams, but also a platoon. Lieutenants were expected to handle full companies. By developing the ability to handle larger formations than their counterparts in other nations, the leadership of the Heer would be ready for the drastic expansion that was sure to come.


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Radio made it far easier to keep all levels of command abreast of the situation, keeping the picture inside of the commander’s head. With radios down to platoon level, the Heer was far ahead of their opponents at the time.

A funding priority for Germany at the start of 1936 was to improve the equipment available for operations conducted in mountainous terrain and in extreme cold. Hitler had left no question as to the grand objective of his propaganda: bringing about the demise of the Soviet Union. With continued good relations in utilizing the tank and aviation schools in Kazan and Lipetsk, German intelligence officers conveyed to their handlers that the cold weather would be unavoidable in a place as large as Russia. The Heer was also wanting to expand their mountain-trained infantry; equipment to support those warfighters would give them an edge. Final approval for this equipment was issued at the beginning of September.


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Gebirgsjager troops cross a mountain stream during their training, 1936. Their equipment for the mountain environment was given high priority to improve.

One key conclusion that the Reichswehr’s Great War research team had reached pointed out a lack of planning for enemy responses to an attack or defense of several engagements. It chastised several commanders--though not by name--regarding errors of thinking what the Allied forces would do given German tactical operations. The team recommended that all commanders participate as the opposing force in high-level war games and thus learn how to “flip the map” to see how they would best defend from or attack into their positions. By putting themselves in the hostile forces’ shoes, it was expected that the commanders would be better prepared to counterattack when threatened with unexpected attacks or to make their defensive operations more effective to deal with any expected assaults. Doctrinally speaking, the Heer had always operated with a focus on auftragstaktik, or mission-based tactics: thus, the mission dictated the plan and not the other way around. Planning at the headquarters was focused towards generating a short yet clear commander’s intent towards what they wanted the end-state objective to look like, and thus give lower command echelons the freedom to employ their troops how they saw fit.


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A young Lieutenant Colonel Erwin Rommel leads his staff in map training, 1936. By challenging his subordinates to improve their standards, Rommel would wind up with one of the fastest Panzer divisions of the war.

These developments, when applied to the late summer war games, exposed a need to develop a more cohesive defensive doctrine to respond to the Heer’s own development in offensive operations. The focus on delaying enemy forces long enough for other formations to join the battle was cited as one of the key improvements that the Heer could make, this necessitated increasing training for the various artillery departments, improving morale of the troops in those units.

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General der Artillerie Karl Becker was in charge of the Heereswaffenamt’s Rocketry office, and he ruthlessly pushed his department to produce ever-improved models to benefit the Reich.

One of the key force multipliers that the Heereswaffenamt had sought were developments in rocketry and related weapons programs. As head of the weapons testing office, General der Artillerie Karl Becker had developed the rockets as his contribution. While rocket weapons were far away from becoming a reality, the investment in the science behind them continued throughout the year, both through the Heer and Luftwaffe funding. Rocketry was not the only purely scientific endeavor funded by the Heereswaffenamt. Significant research had emerged regarding the viability of using radio waves in order to detect ships and aircraft; given the altitude advantage of aircraft, a future intent to miniaturize such devices so that they could be carried aloft was added to the request for proposals.


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A test model of the PzKpfw.III. Despite original calls for two separate tanks to handle infantry and other tanks, the Krupp and Rheinmetall groups indicated it would be better to have one overall design.

The Heer’s armor office, led by Colonel Guderian, published a request for proposals on 17 June for the next generation panzer. After the experience with the Panzer Is and IIs, the Panzerkampfwagon III would be a true tank. Allowing only a maximum weight of 25000 kilograms and requiring a maximum speed in excess of 30 kilometers per hour, the machine would also have to mount a gun sufficient to deal with tanks and light emplacements of infantry. A considered idea to have two separate vehicles--one to engage other tanks and one to deal with infantry--was rejected as unsuitable. The industrialists had told the ministry that it was more efficient for the factories to have one design of suitable capabilities than to have multiple designs which might not serve the tactical realities on the battlefield.

The Kriegsmarine.

The newly renamed Kriegsmarine had not been sitting on their hands, either. Desirous to avoid the slow plodding battleships of the Kaiserliche Marine, they had focused their attention upon initially developing the Deutschland-class heavy cruisers to replace the old pre-dreadnaught battleships that the Reichsmarine had been saddled with. Their development process, however, was cut short: a planned class of six was trimmed to three, and further heavy cruiser development was paralyzed when much of the design team was tragically killed in a plane crash while trying to land in fog in Wilhelmshaven; the majority of their design schematics burned with them, costing the Reich most knowledge that went into designing their heavy cruisers. Despite the setback for the heavy cruiser research, Admiral Raeder had his eyes set on far larger designs: the Scharnhorst-class super battlecruisers, much like HMS Hood, the largest vessel in the Royal Navy at the time.


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Super battle cruiser,
HMS Hood. She was the largest major surface combatant in the Royal Navy, ever, and one of the fastest. It was her design that informed German developers for their own battlecruisers, as they needed a vessel that could outrun this ship.

The GD, under the guidance of Rear Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, had managed to procure significant amounts of British and American naval technology regarding aircraft carriers, their design and construction through agents which were part of the Duquesne spy ring in the United States and the O’Brien spy ring in the United Kingdom. This gave the Kriegsmarine the knowledge, though not necessarily the ability, to build a large competitive aircraft carrier, though these plans were not exercised immediately. The focus was on the surface and subsurface fleets, and naval airpower was as yet in its infancy.


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Officer cadets of the Kriegsmarine
.​

With already advanced warships starting construction, the Kriegsmarine was focused primarily on developing doctrinal improvements to ensure their dominance of the oceans. The crews for their battlecruisers, heavy and light cruisers needed to be well-drilled in their tasks; their commanders needed to develop a decision making process that meshed with the orders that would be given from above. Dash and élan could only carry them so far.


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Kriegsmarine destroyer gunnery training. These vessels, despite being largely outdated and unlikely to be replaced in the near-term, would serve through much of the war.

Midway through the year, however, some funding was also directed towards similar training for the destroyer crews and how to escort the large surface combatants. Recognizing that their own tactics of submarine warfare might be used against them by the large number of Soviet submarines in the Baltic, convoy escort doctrine was also encouraged. These discussions around convoy operations also covered how best to operate naval bases to transport supplies abroad.


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Type IIA, illustrative of its small size. Six of these vessels made up the Kommando u-Boot Ausbuildung, or KuBA, of u-boat training.

On Friday, 24 April, Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine published a solicitation for designs for a new submarine. The previous classes, Types IIA, IIB, and VIIC, were all excellent for shallow operations or training, but they were developmentally limited to at best being boats to serve in the North Sea. Admiral Doenitz, chief of the U-boat arm, needed a boat that could arrive on station rapidly, maintain their patrol at sea longer, and carry sufficient firepower to not render the first two conditions moot for lack of offensive weapons. These requirements were so strenuous that proposals were not submitted before the end of the year.


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One of the first designs of the Type IXD. Admiral Doenitz wanted the bulk of his forces to be made up of this type before war broke out.

Over the objections of Goering, the Kriegsmarine worked together with several of the aircraft manufacturing firms to develop specialized variants of aircraft to employ as naval reconnaissance and bombers. Raeder’s opinion, influenced by Doenitz and his subordinates, was that air assets working in conjunction with the surface and subsurface fleets would provide better targeting data. The outcome would be fewer wasted days looking for targets and more time actually sinking them.

The Luftwaffe.

Only officially established on 26 February, 1935, the Luftwaffe had rapidly expanded their size and operational capabilities. With pilots receiving significant training time in the secret facilities in the Soviet Union around Lipetsk, the only stumbling block to a significant air force was the quality of their air frames and numbers. Through massive expenditures, they had managed to develop and deploy the first examples of the Messerschmitt Bf109D air superiority fighter, which was entering full-rate production on January 1936 to replace the Heinkel He51, and their tactical bomber, the Dornier Do17, to replace the Junkers Ju52.


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Dornier Do17s about to be handed over to the Luftwaffe. The type would also be considered for planned Marinefliegergeschwaders of the Kriegsmarine, much to Goering's chagrin.

Having come off of a banner year of high funding to get cutting edge aircraft into service, there was little pressure to develop anything newer. With doctrinal satisfaction regarding the employment of the organized forces they had, the Luftwaffe decided to pursue a goal of strategic bomber aircraft. They issued the Bomber A specification: move 1000kg of disposable stores over 5000km at no less than 500kph at high altitude.


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The Heinkel 177, the answer to the Bomber A specifications. The development process was so convoluted with so much to overcome that it would be almost a decade before enough were built to perform anything beyond high-altitude reconnaissance.

The main issue with these requirements was essentially an aircraft that could outrun any fighter--including their own escorts--and do it while being superior to anything then in service or likely to be encountered in other air forces for several years. Germany, through the Duquesne spy ring, had received a virtual copy of the Norden bomb sight which would soon be acquired by the US Army Air Force. Despite this capability, Goering initially demanded a capability for dive bombing after being handed some of the first plans. After that meeting, lead engineer Ernst Heinkel was reported to have fumed to his assistant, “The ass has spoken, and all it said was shit!”


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A translated copy of a Luftwaffe specification for their integrated defense network.

Aside from the Strategic Bomber requirement, much of the funding for research and development the first several years was focused on planning for the strategic defense of the Fatherland. With an eye towards the British publications of the time concerning strategic bombing as well as the American Billy Mitchell’s predictions and interbellum tests of aircraft against naval vessels, heavy anti-aircraft defenses were planned around all cities in the Reich which would be centers of production. The creation of the Vaterland Luftabwehr-Netzwerk would see Germany in possession of the most integrated air-defense system in the world.

*****
 
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Bullfilter

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Very detailed blend of history and game events there. Nicely written. :)
 

Axe99

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Top stuff Wraith, loved the Kreigsmarine bit :cool: (but the other bits were tops too :)).
 

Finshades

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Awesome stuff! Was just reading about the He177 today, so very cool to see it mentioned. Great job at blending the game and real world concepts, especially with the doctrines. Pictures were brilliant, too, and it's obvious that a lot of detailed research is put into this, which is something I, being the nitpicking arse that I am, really, really appreciate. Keep it up!
 

roverS3

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Your integration of Tech improvements into the narrative is impressive. I tried to do it in my AAR, and my efforts were quite clunky (maybe they still are, but I just don't see it anymore...)
On another note...
Somewhere in the woods outside of Vologda, deep inside the Soviet Union, in a compound that doesn't exist, a naval Analyst just got a worrying telephone call:
"What! The Germans also have stolen Allied Aircraft Carrier Blueprints! Are they different from the ones we stole?"
...
"You don't know? Who did they steal the plans from?"
...
"I see, not from the French. Our Carriers look quite French. And German Carriers will look pretty British, or mighty American, who knows... well, that'll make things less confusing at least..."
...
"I know we don't retain the technological advantage, but at least we'll be able to tell them apart. All right, I need to go propose a new naval expansion plan. With German Carriers, I'm sure the current one won't do!"...click.
@Wraith11B sorry if this is out of place... I just couldn't resist...
 

AtlanticFriend

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As always top-notch illustrations ! And they fit nicely into the narration. Are you going to do Italy and Japan next ?
 

stnylan

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Another fulsome entry into the German plans, aspirations, and methods.
 

Wraith11B

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Funny you should mention the USA, since to my memory they at one point in the war were able to build a destroyer completely from scratch in as little as four days, supposedly. That's quite a bit faster than in HoI3 I think! Of course, if any nation needs such a nerf to be balanced in HoI3, it's the USA as their economic strength is simply unstoppable otherwise.

If you want to drag out the war, I think you'd do better to buff morale across the board rather than nerfing recovery rates. That might make it easier for a defeated force to regain their fighting capability instead of being continually routed after one big defeat. Other options requiring much more elaborate modding could be tried as well, but as this is an AAR and not the modding forum I'll hold my peace on that here.

I'll do that, but my main thing was to reduce the speed of armies a bit, as well as to reduce the repair rates for naval vessels and aviation assets... we'll see how hard that is.

Very detailed blend of history and game events there. Nicely written. :)

Thank you, Bullfilter. I am doing my best to do so.

Top stuff Wraith, loved the Kreigsmarine bit :cool: (but the other bits were tops too :)).

I appreciate the high praise! I hope to get the naval stuff up to snuff as it were.

Awesome stuff! Was just reading about the He177 today, so very cool to see it mentioned. Great job at blending the game and real world concepts, especially with the doctrines. Pictures were brilliant, too, and it's obvious that a lot of detailed research is put into this, which is something I, being the nitpicking arse that I am, really, really appreciate. Keep it up!

Really, the only reason that the Luftwaffe lost focus of that aircraft (and others like it) was that the Chief of Staff Wever died in a plane crash in 1936. Stand by for that to crop up in a post!

Your integration of Tech improvements into the narrative is impressive. I tried to do it in my AAR, and my efforts were quite clunky (maybe they still are, but I just don't see it anymore...)

The reason that it happened was that I was trying to redo the tech tree (not overhaul, just reassign techs as necessary) for my game; what this meant was that rather than a Germany which didn't have any techs, I had all of the CV techs up to 1934 levels? I had raised issues about it before, but I guess the system was looking for a certain amount of points and if it didn't see them, it would "give them" out. I've explained this away obviously as above, and imposed a rule upon myself that I could not build any carriers before 1940. I had other concerns, so don't expect a fleet of Graf Zeppelin to be steaming around!

As always top-notch illustrations ! And they fit nicely into the narration. Are you going to do Italy and Japan next ?

The next post will be the military expansion of the Reich for 1936, after which Italy's turn comes. I didn't control Japan until well into 1940, iirc, so they won't be getting the treatment until then.

Another fulsome entry into the German plans, aspirations, and methods.

Thank you!
 

AtlanticFriend

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Ah, Roma doma!

If I were the Duce's Chief of Staff I'd push for Sparviero naval bombers, Piaggio 108s heavy bombers and Ansaldo Semovente SPART !
 

nuclearslurpee

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This must be the most creative and engaging research write-up I've ever seen in an AAR. Reminds me a bit of Myth's Explorations in Strategy AAR, but cranked up to 11 with all the pictures and narrative.
 

Wraith11B

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Ah, Roma doma!

If I were the Duce's Chief of Staff I'd push for Sparviero naval bombers, Piaggio 108s heavy bombers and Ansaldo Semovente SPART !

Definitely some of those things come to pass... but you'll have to keep reading to find out how!

This must be the most creative and engaging research write-up I've ever seen in an AAR. Reminds me a bit of Myth's Explorations in Strategy AAR, but cranked up to 11 with all the pictures and narrative.

That, sir, is high praise. If you don't mind, I'm going to add that as a nice little addition to my signature!
 

El Pip

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While an excellent way of writing up research, I am a tad concerned the Germans aren't cocking anything up. You could go through and tick off the historic mistakes Germany made being fixed (Cold weather, maritime patrol aircraft, rational tank production, proper air defence network,etc). It just doesn't seem right, Nazi Germany never did rational and focused, it was deliberate duplication and over-engineering while missing the obvious.

I'm just hoping they could make some new and exciting mistakes to offset this. For instance when the Pz.III turns out as a crushing disappointment, you can't get decent AT and HE performance out of a 50mm gun, Hitler reverts to type and we get some ridiculous, over-engineered monstrosities. Or the Luftwaffe insist on adding a dive bomber capability to the maritime patrol bombers, so the prototypes keep snapping their wings off during testing.

As I said this and the Spanish Civil War update were excellent bits of writing so I look forward to seeing what you do with this.
 

Wraith11B

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@El Pip: I've got to agree, but I have to defend myself in that this is a failing of the system overall. The only way that research "fails" in this game would be to not either apply it (as I've chosen to do with the carriers and strategic bombers) or to allow something to fall behind (which I also managed to do, but that's going to remain classified for now!).

Also, since the next few updates are relatively "light" (only a page or two), I'm working on getting them sorted out and will hopefully have one up today!
 
I: 4. Plows into Swords: Reich Military Expansion, 1936

Wraith11B

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HP1Ngne.png


The virtual explosion of the Wehrmacht’s size after the official repudiation of the Versailles treaty on 26 March 1935 had seen one of the most drastic peacetime expansions of any military force (barring mobilizations) in history. Feldmarschall von Blomberg had been directed to form 36 infantry divisions, three Panzer divisions, and a mountain division, organized into 12 army corps. This expansion had put a significant crimp in military expenditures for the time being, nor was the organization set in anything approaching stone (See Appendix A).


BsTVtWk.png

Heer recruits learning to throw hand grenades, 1936. The expansion of the Heer meant that thousands of previously discharged individuals came back into the ranks, and plenty of room for promotion.

In the 1936 procurement requests of the Wehrmacht, the Heer’s initial focus was for the supporting arms and defensive formations. These requests totalled up to two mobile Air Defense Artillery (ADA(m)) brigades and ten standard ADA brigades. The Heer also submitted orders for 35 brigades of artillery, enough for each of the leg-infantry divisions to have an artillery brigade. The budget also perceived the need of reserve formations which could free up the regular infantry units from duty guarding the Western Wall of the Siegfreid Line, twenty divisions were estimated as being necessary, and six were stood up in 1936 through 1936.


XrqfrCW.png

Training on the 8.8cm Flak 36. The battalion-sized units were deployed at the corps-level, as it was deemed that the Headquarters would not necessarily be far enough forward to gain the benefit of interceptors.

On the part of the Luftwaffe, the first orders for the new year was for over four hundred examples of the Messerschmitt Bf109D: three hundred to replace the outclassed Heinkel He51 biplanes then in service and another hundred to fill out the authorized strength of Fliegerkorps XXII. More replacements were being ordered as well, Dornier was contracted to replace the balance of the Kampfgeschwaders with their Do17s, over eight hundred of the type.


mm87Rz4.png

Messerschmitt Bf 109D on a training flight, 1936. Getting this type into service meant that Germany held one of the most advanced interceptor types in active service in Europe.

For the Kriegsmarine, the previous year’s purchases of the last group of Type IIB submarines and the last three 1934/A-class destroyers were close to completion. Both groups would be placed in commission on 1 March. Zerstorergeschwader 5 would be assigned to Baltischeflotte, while U-Boot-Geschwader 3 was assigned to I. U-Boot Flottille.


AqXyy7J.png

Uboats of I./UbG 3 just after their commissioning. Production shifted over to the Type VIIC at that point.

qldU2SK.png

One of the purchased freighters for the Kriegsmarine. These ships would be worked hard during the conflict, transporting Heer formations throughout Europe.

For the 1936 budget estimates, the Reichstag authorized six Scharnhorst-class battlecruisers and six of the Leipzig-class light cruisers, ordered in two waves of three each. Admiral Raeder, after recognizing that there could me a need for military sealift capabilities, also asked the Reichstag for funding to purchase 24 freighters of an advanced design in late March. The final 12 freighters were procured by mid-October. The light cruisers Lubeck, Magdeburg and Stuttgart commissioned in early December.


7UaUXlu.png

The launching of the
Scharnhorst, one of the first German battlecruisers. These ships would extract a terrible toll on the Royal Navy, justifying their gross expense.

By the end of 1936, Germany’s Panzerwaffe could boast nearly six brigades equipped with the Panzerkampfwagon III, and two more cavalry brigades were close to being fully equipped with their panzers as well before being reflagged as panzer brigades. Fully 14 of the 35 artillery brigades had been assigned to their respective divisions, and the foundation for the reserve army had been laid with the activation of the 201. Infantrie-Division (Garrison) commissioned in Bonn on 12 October.

*****
 
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stnylan

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The build up is well underway
 

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Those six BCs sound pretty beasty, great write-up :). Probably almost a perfect-sized post from my angle, but don't feel like they need to be this small on my account :).