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

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Bullfilter

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Another handsome chapter. I think your approach of chapter size by whatever fits for the subject is good. Can be whatever you like for each one, of course.
 

roverS3

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That's going to be a potent navy... 6 Battlecruisers... interesting.
The FlAK 88s at the corps level are an interesting addition, though I wonder how useful those will be in game.
Is any industrial expansion planned?
Anyhow, great progress and a fun read.

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!
Interesting, I never experimented much with the custom start feature... that's some pretty random Tech allocation by the AI...
 

sebas379

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Before, you had my interest, but now with 6 battlecruisers you have my attention ;)
Excellent buildup so far I think, though do beware that you dont leave the core of the army hanging. With so much Industry focused on the navy, airforce and mobile arm, be sure to have a healthy backbone of infantry. I like where this is going.
 

Wraith11B

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The build up is well underway

It is indeed!

Subscribed

Glad to have you along for the ride!

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 :).

Oh, they were... The military expansion posts always seemed rather hard... how many times can I say, "And now this unit was activated!" Without it sounding like a great romp by some Wehraboo..

Another handsome chapter. I think your approach of chapter size by whatever fits for the subject is good. Can be whatever you like for each one, of course.

Thanks! The intense lengths for some are more a result of pictures and just how much can I cram into the year that makes sense to actually include.

That's going to be a potent navy... 6 Battlecruisers... interesting.
The FlAK 88s at the corps level are an interesting addition, though I wonder how useful those will be in game.
Is any industrial expansion planned?
Anyhow, great progress and a fun read.

Interesting, I never experimented much with the custom start feature... that's some pretty random Tech allocation by the AI...

The Navy was always a great love of mine. I hope the ADA brigades are "useful," but I also wanted to build a rational army, without anything terribly "gamey" seeping into this AAR. I have no industrial expansion planned, but since the Anschluss already happened in mid-1936, I got myself into a good look quickly.

Before, you had my interest, but now with 6 battlecruisers you have my attention ;)
Excellent buildup so far I think, though do beware that you dont leave the core of the army hanging. With so much Industry focused on the navy, airforce and mobile arm, be sure to have a healthy backbone of infantry. I like where this is going.

Oh I won't! I'll show it in a future post (that Appendix A) what I've got as far as Germany's OOB.
 

El Pip

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Before, you had my interest, but now with 6 battlecruisers you have my attention ;)
Excellent buildup so far I think, though do beware that you dont leave the core of the army hanging. With so much Industry focused on the navy, airforce and mobile arm, be sure to have a healthy backbone of infantry. I like where this is going.
Germany is over-powered enough that you can throw a load of IC into the navy and still have more than enough left over for the airforce and panzers. It'll be fine.

6 Schanhorsts and 6 Leipzigs in 1936 should have provoked a very strong reaction in the Admiralty, this is getting close to the 'Freak Fleet' that was the Royal Navy's biggest concern. Lots of U-boats and fast cruisers to raid commerce would have been very hard to counter without building an equally freakish fleet, and between treaty limits, financial limits and other commitments Britain had to build a balanced fleet. That said given Germany has just exploded the Anglo-German Naval Agreement and any pretence of the Naval Treaty system, and that this new build can only be useful for attacking the UK, I can imagine the treaties being quietly binned and the Treasury told to find whatever funds are required.

There were several designs for 12" armed, 32knt+, ~30,000t battlecruisers knocking around in the inter-war and they would do the job, maybe even a run of the proposed J-3 battlecruisers if the Admiralty wants to make a point about out-building Germany while getting a ship that will also be useful in the Far East. If we were really being realistic we should also see the Marine Nationale react, at a minimum they'd want another couple of Dunkerques, they should really also push to get the Richlieus accelerated, they were slow to build so there is scope.

I mean obviously nothing will happen in game, the British AI will ignore everything and continue blithering along, but a man can dream. :)
 

sebas379

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Germany is over-powered enough that you can throw a load of IC into the navy and still have more than enough left over for the airforce and panzers. It'll be fine.

That true, but we can pretend that wont be the case eh. :)

[snip]

Yea so many commerce raiders in the Atlantic should really concern the British and provoke a massive response. Between their range, speed and firepower they could pose a very real threat to Britain's lifelines across the Atlantic. Its even worse if we combine it with the possibility of a powerful (and competent) Regia Marina in the Mediterranean, capable of storming Malta and maybe even Gibraltar. Now that would be a massive problem.
 

Finshades

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Modern battlecruisers en masse, lots of ground-based firepower and more combat aircraft than you can shake a stick at, what's there not to love? Every post I read this AAR just seems to get better and better.
 

Wraith11B

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@El Pip , @sebas379 :

I completely agree that were my build the case, there would certainly have been a reaction from the British; but to be fair, in OTL they didn't react all that much to the building of Scharnhorst, Gneisenau, Bismark and Tirpitz. The war started before they really had an answer anyways; Britain went to war with the Navy they had, not the Navy they wanted.

This time line, the AGNA is being followed to the letter if not the spirit. With all capital ship tonnage being lumped together as part of the 35:100, even going off of HoI3's OOB, the UK has 12 BB, 3 BC, 3 CV, 3 CVL and 16 CAs, depending on if you wanted to lump the heavy cruisers in with the capitals or not (I didn't). It's 21 units worth of tonnage, so six units of Scharnhorsts wouldn't necessarily alarm aside from the fact that it's not by type. France would be hoppin' mad, and they are already, but their IC is so weak (and I didn't know how to edit it to make it make sense or give a good response) that they don't matter much--sorry, France.

@Finshades :

Thank you! I'll have Italy's R&D and Military Expansion sections up in the next few days as well... then it's onto the two Appendices (OOBs for GER and ITA) before we're into 1937!
 

El Pip

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This time line, the AGNA is being followed to the letter if not the spirit. With all capital ship tonnage being lumped together as part of the 35:100, even going off of HoI3's OOB, the UK has 12 BB, 3 BC, 3 CV, 3 CVL and 16 CAs, depending on if you wanted to lump the heavy cruisers in with the capitals or not (I didn't). It's 21 units worth of tonnage, so six units of Scharnhorsts wouldn't necessarily alarm aside from the fact that it's not by type. France would be hoppin' mad, and they are already, but their IC is so weak (and I didn't know how to edit it to make it make sense or give a good response) that they don't matter much--sorry, France.
The British negotiators were not, despite appearances and later actions, complete idiots. As the concern was the Freak Fleet of convoy raiders the 35:100 rule applied to categories of warships and to total tonnage precisely to stop Germany pulling the sort of trick you have them doing.

Indeed even on the most generous interpretation it doesn't work, British treaty allowed capital ship tonnage was 525,000t, 35% gives Germany 184,000t to play with. Scharhnhorsts were 32,000t standard so six of them are 192,000t which is over treaty on it's own, and Germany already has three Deutschlands which are using 32,000t of treaty allowance. (11" guns on the Deutschlands mean, in treaty terms, they aren't cruisers but capital ships).

I'll leave it there and stop de-railing this thread further, I understand you've already played through to 1943 so any advice on how to change it would just be wasting everyone's time. :)
 

sebas379

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@Wraith11B @El Pip This all reminds me of a discussion we had a few years ago in my Hochseeflotte AAR. IIRC someone dropped the historical naval buildup plans there complete with treaty stuff, which was a fascinating read.

The age-old discussion of where to lump in the Deutschlands will always remain I think, because of how they are CA in the game. Then again HOI considers CA to be capitals precisely because of the Deutschlands IIRC, so there's that as well. Heavy cruiser, pocket battleship, it depends on who you ask.

wiki: The ships of the class, Deutschland, Admiral Scheer and Admiral Graf Spee, were all stated to displace 10,000 long tons (10,000 t) in accordance with the Treaty, though they actually displaced 10,600 to 12,340 long tons (10,770 to 12,540 t) at standard displacement.

So there's even more reason to lump them on capitals, but hey. But anyways, as you said thats enough theorycrafting, we should open an OT thread for this stuff :)
 
I: 5. Arming the Legions: Italian Military Expansion, Research and Development

Wraith11B

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I7b6Q68.png


With the dawn of 1936, the Kingdom finalized its research and development budgets for the year. Italy initially invested heavily in Industrial research--as her economy remained backwards for a European power at the time--as well as for a new class of destroyers and weapons for the Infantry.


YeFIibq.png


Italian road construction in Eritrea. With the conclusion of the Second Italio-Abyssinian War,
A massive infrastructure plan was launched to bring Libya and Eritrea to standards
commensurate with bases needed for long-term plans.

Italy’s development of small arms arose out of the problems observed with their infantry equipment in the Abyssinian conflict. The M1891, firing a 6.5mm bullet, was not performing to expectations anymore. Looking towards future conflicts, the Regio Esercito ordered a new caliber bullet and shortening the length of the rifle. This new rifle was first displayed on 19 May, called the M91/36. Combined with other developments in infantry support weapons, light artillery and some development of integrated anti-armor teams, the infantry of the Italian army was on its way to being far more ready to counter other nations.




8o4THna.png

An Italian mortar team trains in Libya, 1936. Though some improvements were copied
from the Germans, the implementation was not always equal in practice.

In the Regia Marina, a new destroyer design was unveiled on 26 May. The disappointment of the Navigatori-class with its poor sea-keeping and light armament meant that the Italians were rapidly interested in development of a destroyer which would serve better in the confined waters of the Mediterranean. These developments were poured into the Maestrale-class. A clean-sheet design, these included better main armaments, longer range and better protection. The improvements in the anti-aircraft armament were retrofitted into older vessels as needed.


6UxgFvD.png

Italian
Navigatori-class destroyer RN Nicolo Zeno, though hideously out of date, continued
in front-line service with the Regia Marina throughout the war. Two subsequent subclasses,
the
Freccia- and Folgore-class, of four and ten vessels, respectively, were broadly refined
Navigatori.

For Italy, her military planners were far and away more concerned with the Regia Marina. The first order was for the last six destroyers of the Folgore-class; while not ideal, common thinking was that it would be better to have the destroyers than risk the loss of knowledge regarding construction of small fleet units. The Chief of the Navy also requested the first two Littorio-class battleships. Given that Italy’s four battleships were of Great War dreadnaught design, modernizing the fleet was strategically important given her location in the Mediterranean. The Regia Esercito and Regia Aeronautica were ignored--other than mere modernization efforts outlined above--because of a call for a massive infrastructure projects in Eritrea, Rhodes and the Dodecanese. Expansions of the naval bases and infrastructure was top priority, as the Italians sought to improve the base of operations for future endeavors in the Levant and East Africa.


*****
Author's Note: Well, this is the penultimate portion of Chapter One! It's been exciting and I'll have the two appendices for the German and Italian OOBs soon... but first (in a few days), I'm going to have a post of frictions that exist between the two forces that basically carried out the Night of the Long Knives, the Army and the Abwehr!
 
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sebas379

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The eternal Italian issue: so much to build and upgrade with so little industry. Bases in Eritrea is an interesting choice, I would've imagined there to be about half a million more pressing matters than a hard to defend faroff colony that doesn't really give them much. But maybe I'm grossly mistaken :)
 

nuclearslurpee

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The eternal Italian issue: so much to build and upgrade with so little industry. Bases in Eritrea is an interesting choice, I would've imagined there to be about half a million more pressing matters than a hard to defend faroff colony that doesn't really give them much. But maybe I'm grossly mistaken :)

Besides historical role-playing, there is some value in maintaining a base in Eritrea, as it turns out to be an excellent location to base some convoy raiders - particularly in vanilla HoI3 in which India, Burma, etc. are considered part of the UK instead of being puppet states, which means that there are vulnerable supply convoys to be raided. Of course, the trouble is that Italy has to seize the Suez Canal very quickly before the Armata dell'A.O.I. gets wiped out due to being out of supply!

Plus, if Suez is secured, Italy can do nicely mopping up the rest of British East Africa and potentially even launch a naval invasion of India or thereabouts. So there's a lot of opportunities for Italy if she does well in the early days of the war and ideally can secure the Med from the British menace.
 

Finshades

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Besides historical role-playing, there is some value in maintaining a base in Eritrea, as it turns out to be an excellent location to base some convoy raiders - particularly in vanilla HoI3 in which India, Burma, etc. are considered part of the UK instead of being puppet states, which means that there are vulnerable supply convoys to be raided. Of course, the trouble is that Italy has to seize the Suez Canal very quickly before the Armata dell'A.O.I. gets wiped out due to being out of supply!

Plus, if Suez is secured, Italy can do nicely mopping up the rest of British East Africa and potentially even launch a naval invasion of India or thereabouts. So there's a lot of opportunities for Italy if she does well in the early days of the war and ideally can secure the Med from the British menace.

Especially with Germany and Japan co-operating intelligently (read: not AI), Italy can afford to not invest heavily in its ground forces. Further, those bases could well facilitate joint invasion of India by Japan and Italy as well as combat and anti-shipping operations in the Indian ocean, hurting trade and making the deployment of ANZAC expeditionary forces much more dangerous. It could even serve as a transit route for Japanese troops, if they manage to crush resistance in the Pacific quickly or the decision is made to not fight the USA early on.
 

roverS3

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So, Germany is building 6 BCs and Italy only the historical 2 BBs? Interesting... I guess you're quite limited by Italy's Industry...
It's good that the Regia Marina is moving on from the Navigatori... interestingly, HOI3 seems to bunch together the Freccia-Class and the Maestrale-Class, but considering the latter was basically a larger version of the former, that seems fair. (unless the next in-game class of Destroyers is named Freccia, then I take that back)

Especially with Germany and Japan co-operating intelligently (read: not AI), Italy can afford to not invest heavily in its ground forces. Further, those bases could well facilitate joint invasion of India by Japan and Italy as well as combat and anti-shipping operations in the Indian ocean, hurting trade and making the deployment of ANZAC expeditionary forces much more dangerous. It could even serve as a transit route for Japanese troops, if they manage to crush resistance in the Pacific quickly or the decision is made to not fight the USA early on.
Taking over the Med is imperative for Axis victory as it will put Allied supply networks under considerably more strain, while making a conquest of African and Arabian resources easier, even before Barbarossa. As you say @Finshades an Axis-dominated Mediterranean is an excellent staging ground for an Axis offensive into Persia and India.
I don't believe @Wraith11B is playing as Japan as well, so that might make the Indian Ocean connection trough the Red Sea even more important as he may have to send forces to help an incompetent Japanese AI and to retain the resources of S-E Asia. In that light,the bases in Eritrea are perfect.

Looking forward to your take on the night of the long knives...
 

Wraith11B

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The eternal Italian issue: so much to build and upgrade with so little industry. Bases in Eritrea is an interesting choice, I would've imagined there to be about half a million more pressing matters than a hard to defend faroff colony that doesn't really give them much. But maybe I'm grossly mistaken :)

I was also trying to handicap myself a bit to better reflect reality (knowing that I would always be able to outfight an AI), but we shall see.

Besides historical role-playing, there is some value in maintaining a base in Eritrea, as it turns out to be an excellent location to base some convoy raiders - particularly in vanilla HoI3 in which India, Burma, etc. are considered part of the UK instead of being puppet states, which means that there are vulnerable supply convoys to be raided. Of course, the trouble is that Italy has to seize the Suez Canal very quickly before the Armata dell'A.O.I. gets wiped out due to being out of supply!

Plus, if Suez is secured, Italy can do nicely mopping up the rest of British East Africa and potentially even launch a naval invasion of India or thereabouts. So there's a lot of opportunities for Italy if she does well in the early days of the war and ideally can secure the Med from the British menace.

Again, definitely, this was my original plan: have the old heavy units and subs hunting in the IO, while GER handles the LANT. The situation changed drastically, though, and things did not necessarily go according to plan.

Especially with Germany and Japan co-operating intelligently (read: not AI), Italy can afford to not invest heavily in its ground forces. Further, those bases could well facilitate joint invasion of India by Japan and Italy as well as combat and anti-shipping operations in the Indian ocean, hurting trade and making the deployment of ANZAC expeditionary forces much more dangerous. It could even serve as a transit route for Japanese troops, if they manage to crush resistance in the Pacific quickly or the decision is made to not fight the USA early on.

At this point--and indeed, not until 1941 (reread some save files titles)--I was not in charge of Japan. But we'll see how that winds up working out.

So, Germany is building 6 BCs and Italy only the historical 2 BBs? Interesting... I guess you're quite limited by Italy's Industry...
It's good that the Regia Marina is moving on from the Navigatori... interestingly, HOI3 seems to bunch together the Freccia-Class and the Maestrale-Class, but considering the latter was basically a larger version of the former, that seems fair. (unless the next in-game class of Destroyers is named Freccia, then I take that back)


Taking over the Med is imperative for Axis victory as it will put Allied supply networks under considerably more strain, while making a conquest of African and Arabian resources easier, even before Barbarossa. As you say @Finshades an Axis-dominated Mediterranean is an excellent staging ground for an Axis offensive into Persia and India.
I don't believe @Wraith11B is playing as Japan as well, so that might make the Indian Ocean connection trough the Red Sea even more important as he may have to send forces to help an incompetent Japanese AI and to retain the resources of S-E Asia. In that light,the bases in Eritrea are perfect.

Looking forward to your take on the night of the long knives...

The HoI3 next Italian class of destroyer was the Maestrale-class, and so since I was still building some "Navigatoris" I named them the Freccia and Folgores, though only here. I did a significant amount of research trying to make sure that what was shown in the game was what I wanted, but it seemed not to have actually come out that way all the time (or I missed something etc.)

Italy will build more battleships, I guarantee you of that, however! Because of the long lead-time I chose not to phrase it the same way as I did in the German section.
 

roverS3

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The HoI3 next Italian class of destroyer was the Maestrale-class, and so since I was still building some "Navigatoris" I named them the Freccia and Folgores, though only here. I did a significant amount of research trying to make sure that what was shown in the game was what I wanted, but it seemed not to have actually come out that way all the time (or I missed something etc.)
It's not wrong, what I meant to say is that the game goes straight from Navigatori to Maestrale, while there were IIRC two different types before the Maestrale (I even forgot about the Folgore). As all three were variations on the (initial) Freccia Design, the Folgores were narrower, making them faster but less stable, and the Maestrales were larger and carried more potent guns. One could probably argue that the Maestrales were the most well rounded of the three... Then again, the Freccia was loosely based off the Turbine-class design, from before the infamous Navigatori's etc. It's a big mess, and I'm not even sure I know all the classes that they had... I'm really nitpicking here...
 

Wraith11B

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Italy does seem to have a problem with picking a design and sticking with it: See f.e.: the Destroyer conversation above, also the Trento/Bolzano/Zara classes, etc.

EDIT: Also, I'd like to thank everyone for making this AAR the success it is, not from some sort of board award (though that'd be nice!), but that it has more responses than either of my previous two attempts (not combined yet, and not more posts than one of it's predecessors, but it's getting there!). I'm deeply humbled that everyone's been sticking with me!
 
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stnylan

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Italy is in many respects quite interesting ... just not enough industrial oomph to be truly a Great Power.
 

Axe99

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Another great update, great work Wraith :).