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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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This AAR is made because of withdrawal complex – General Guisan just ended his Nationalist China AAR.
I play AoD with 1.6 patch, normall\normall, no IC takeaway. As to Tech Teams I will take just one from each annexed nation, chosen randomly. Short rationale for such solution is here
Only mod I use is SKIFF- can’t live without that. It will be my first game with vanilla AoD . I tried AoD with C.O.R.E, as I like some features of it, especially events and Great Depression implementation. Unfortunately my save file got corrupted. I generally don’t like CORE tech tree (and land doctrines are plain dull), and corresponding changes in tech teams.
I won’t follow historical path, as it would be little boring in this case, and extremely unsatisfying. I will use one gamey trick, as it also will speed up the game, not changing the outcome of war. You have been warned.

Polish situation
Poland is among stronger minors, its starting IC is 35, also has quite an army. 38 infantry divisions, all 1918 model, 12 of them at 30% strength. 4 first level cavalry divisions make “mobile forces”, there’s also 1 HQ. True elite are 2 mountain divs. Also 2 old interceptors and 1 tactical bomber are as old, as it’s possible. Token fleet – 1 submarine and 1 destroyer – is best disbanded at the beginning of game.
Poland has average tech teams. The best are:
Biuro Szyfrów (“The Codes Bureau” – skill 6: electronics, mathematics, mechanics) Team of cryptologist, which broke Enigma code used by Luftwaffe and Werhmacht in 1938 – only 6 skill?
Polska Szkoła Matematyczna (“Polish School of Mathematics” skill 7 – mathematics) – for instance S. Banach implemented Banach space, defined as complete normed vector spaces. Don’t ask me, what does it mean, but hey, those guys were tough.
PZL (“Polish Aircraft Works” – skill 6, aircraft, technical efficiency, electronics) – few good designs were made here.
Stanislaw Ulam (skill 6 – mathematics, science, nuclear engineering, chemistry) – worked on American thermonuclear bomb, and invented Monte Carlo statistical method.
As you can see, Poland can have an edge in aircraft, or nuclear bombs. Well, lets focus on aircraft first.
Land leaders are numerous, though not very good – best have 3 skill (in 36 it is just one – Mj Gen. Rola-Zymierski, panzer leader; second, with Old Guard trait, will be not used). Old guard trait is common, but so are defensive doctrine, and logistic wizard.
Air and naval leaders aren’t of immediate concern.
In DD it was relatively easy do modernize and reinforce land army, allowing to attack Germany at the beginning of September, and having Trench Warfare already invented. Neither first, nor second thing can be done in AoD, making game much tougher. I don’t actually know, what have changed, as I haven’t play HoI2 for a long time, but I suppose money for consumer goods are hard to acquire.
Last thing – my English language skill can use some improvement, so I’ll gladly take any directions, should I write something unreadable.

Poland in World War II. Facts and Interpretations, by Zig Zac
Poland in the beginning of 1936 was facing great problems, both in field of foreign, and domestic affairs. It haven’t recovered from the Great Depression, and government hadn’t got a clue, how to help the economy. More importantly it hadn’t got a will to do so – dominant doctrine was still to let things improve by themselves. Raising taxes to balance a budget only worsened situation.
On the east border Soviet Union was steadily growing their industrial power, turning from agricultural country to industrial behemoth. It was just a matter of time when Red Army will be military behemoth. And the official communist doctrine stated, that revolution must spread to the whole world. If it is necessary, it must be brought by force. Poland stood in the way of Red Army in 1920, but next time it would be much harder. For now Stalin didn’t attack – he tried to strengthen his political power, and to grow his country, so it could face whole Europe, not just puny obstacle Poland constituted.
On the west border Germany renounced Wersal Treaty, and begun fast re militarization. Common sentiment was to regain territories lost in WW1. Charismatic German dictator, Adolf Hitler, claimed his ambitions are restricted to reuniting The Reich, but his political program revealed in “Mein Kampf” clearly was different.
Nobody knew, if he was serious, or was it just a propaganda aimed for gaining political power. But it was certain, that he gradually repelled democracy in Germany, becoming, for better or for worse, the only ruler. Next step had to be renewing military might of Wermacht, using superior industrial base and intellectual potential of German scientists and engineers. But his plans were interrupted by war unleashing – we will never know, how his rule would end. This is why he is now a martyr to right wing political movements – which see him as a visionary stopped in his way by leftists, and an alien ethnic element.
There was no sign until 1936 that polish political elite will be up to the task of saving their country. Before that they fought to gain power after Josef Pilsudski death. Ignacy Moscicki had enormous prerogatives as a president, and Rydz-Smigly had more support in the army. But in the end of 1935 their struggle ceased, and they apparently had noticed a threat fascism posed.
Poland wasn’t a democracy itself, it treated ethnic minorities poorly, army dominated live of a country (it had so called “government of colonels”), and even had concentration camp for communists and other political enemies. Poland also had own colonial ambitions, widely supported, which was major point why it tried to build own navy. Comparing its potential to the task, it was somewhat pathetic. International call against fascism didn’t sound very well coming from other dictatorship, even more benign.
To be just Poland had their own extreme right nationalists, repressed by the government, and fighting against it ferociously. Nevertheless whole thing was a surprise.
Polish army tactics draws from WW1 experience, with emphasis on stationary trench warfare and infantry as a main force. But war against soviet Russia (1919-21) was radically different, thanks to big war theater being full of maneuver. Soviet commanders, mainly from Budionny’s Horse Army, thought in terms of maneuver, but not necessarily cavalry maneuver. Zhukov, Konev, Rokossovsky, best Soviet commanders, all fought in Budionny’s Army.
Polish commanders were instead devoted to cavalry as a main fast force. Reasons weren’t purely rational – tradition played important role. Cavalry was being considered as elite force, consisted of upper classes members. Some young officers (Maczek, Anders, Piskor) opted for motorized “block brigades”, being a form of elastic defense. It would be cheaper, than cavalry, and much more effective, but cavalry lobby was strong.
Also W. Sikorski had good experience using tanks in 1920, and flexible mind, yet he wasn’t liked by ruling group (he wrote a book once debunking Pilsudski’s skills as a commander).
Yet polish officers had to follow orders, and in 1936 orders were clear – to attack. Their strong sense of duty and high professionalism allowed to perform the task, and to learn from the outcome.
 

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Preparing for War
In the beginning of 1936 president Moscicki, and chief of general staff Rydz-Smigly agreed, that further growth of german army would threaten polish sovereignty in the long run. Also, Germany could be taken down in reasonable time, unlike the other archenemy, USRR, unbeatable just because of its area.
Later on this year Germany re militarized Rhineland zone, making german threat even more vivid. Germany now had shorter, good to defense border with France, allowing them to finish of Poland. And France didn’t take action, letting Germany grow, feeling safe behind Maginot Line. But Poland couldn’t afford such comfort.
Small issue of non-aggression pact remained, expiring in 1939. It was clear Germans would grow too strong until then. They would grow to strong given a year. There was no choice, but to brake a deal.
Yet war itself was a desperate gamble. Poland had obsolete army, with low level of professionalism (2), so its modernization would take too long. The attack had to be performed before winter, and every day mattered. Poland also didn’t have resources to trade for a lot of money – the abundance of coal was mainly used to import rare minerals.
So small polish air force was excluded from modernization program, as it would be just wiped out by Luftwaffe. Than 12 reserve infantry units, each with strength of 30, were also excluded. 28 remaining infantry and 4 cavalry divisions obtained new machine guns, organic artillery, mainly howitzers, and better communication devices. War simulations showed firepower increased twofold.
As to new battle doctrines polish officers weren’t able to implement them on time. Actually those were quite old doctrines – trench warfare was mastered in WW1, after all.
After some consideration government decided to enter military alliance with England and France before war. They couldn’t make tough decision of war, so it had to be made for them. Nobody counted on substantial help from west allies, but they could keep busy some forces against Maginot line. Later one it turned out they also fought Luftwaffe, easing pressure on polish army, what was invaluable.
 

Timmie0307

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Good Luck, AoD is indeed harder as I have seen in other AAR's. Still interesting to see a polish attack so soon...I guess you will build some infantry divisions and invade?

Tim
 

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Glad somebody is reading that big amount of text - I didn't even know it's so much until I posted. Grammar mistake in the title probably doesn't help also - can I correct it somehow?
Yet, as I already wrote, I even wasn't able to upgrade 12 of my inf divisions before attack - so no new divs for sure. And I already attacked, I think tomorrow an update will be ready.
 

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War



Obvious objective for aggression was to destroy 7 naturally encircled divs in East Prussia, and to defend border elsewhere. Cavalry was used to attack Prussia, as it could do it fast, and move to the other front.
9 obsolete understrenghtened inf were stationed in Czestochowa, as a dummy army, to prevent Germans from attacking province. As polish army intelligence under Pelczynski-Grzegorz (+30% army intelligence) was superior, this gamble worked.
3 obsolete divs were reinforced, and moved to Poznan, where they could be used as something little more, than just dummies.
Most prone to attack was Bydgoszcz, as it could be attack from 3 directions, and could make connection to Prussia. Here stationed 3 divs with artillery, and 2 with anti-tank, to repel the attack. German attack was so ferocious, that 2 divisions from Danzig were moved here to help. 4 divs were driven off, but the rest managed to stop Germans.
Poznan could be attacked from 2 directions, but weren’t, as Kustrin units focused on Bydgoszcz.
Cracow was attacked from 2 directions, defended by 6 inf and 2 mountaineers, best used right here. As attackers from Breslau had to cross river, even usage of tanks hadn’t help German attack – especially in hills.



Breakthrough in the North
After seizing East Prussia divs from Torun moved to Bydgoszcz, and 3 cav divs to Danzig. Attack from those provinces with almost all forces I had here succeeded, and polish army took Stettin. From here there was to possibilities to attack – toward Stralsund, not defended for a while, and Kustrin.
Attacking Kustrin was obligatory, as it was a part of pre-war plan. From Kustrin quickly seized surprise attack on Cottbus could be launched, cutting off Germans in Breslau, and Oppeln. It was also a place good to support attacks at all directions – Stettin, Breslau, Oppeln.
Yet for now polish army was disorganized, So attack on Kustrin was postponed. 4 cavlry divs, and 2 inf in better shape attacked Stralsund, and after defeating weak units Germans threw to stop them took the province. 4 inf divs under Bohm-Ehrmolli retreating from Stettin were overrun by cavalry, and destroyed.
Situation seemed to be very good, as Germans hadn’t forces to oppose. General Staff was tempted to attack Potsdam and Kustrin, and then Cottbus, cutting of Berlin, Breslau, and Oppeln. It was to risky, as 6 disorganized divs they had in Stralsund was not enough. Potsdam was taken, but Germans reorganized, and counterattacked. Although first battle was won Rydz-Smigly decided to not push luck any further, and ordered withdrawal.
Rola-Zymierski’s ride
More effective were actions of cavalry div under the most promising polish commander of that time, mj. general Michal Rola-Zymierski. Unopposed he seized Rostock and Magdeburg, and attacked Leipzig. Yet here he stumbled upon single command division, and attacked it right away with confidence. The attack turned out to be a humiliation for “elite” polish division. Without artillery, often armed with only personal weapons german officers, phone operators and gendarmes stopped the attack, and then managed to launch counterattack. Rola-Zymierski retreated through Rostock to Stralsund, which was about time, as he barely avoided being cut off.
Germans were successfully strengthening their forces, and eventually regained even Stralsund. Yet forced reorganization polish action caused was probably a reason Kustrin could be taken.
There were also more prolonged consequences for polish war doctrine. As cavalry proved to be useful catching Bohm-Ehrmolli forces, it appeared to be just weak in combat. The obvious conclusion was, that fast forces are useful, but cavalry is not a good choice.



Kustrin Battles
Kustrin was seized by around 21 polish divs. They immediately attacked Cottbus, to cut off Germans. Although initially they succeeded, German units from Breslau and elsewhere arrived and stopped the attack. So Smigly-Rydz decided to support attack on Breslau, hoping to cut off Oppeln units. Main attacking force was Cracow army, until then just successfully defending. Attack has succeeded, but again forces from Oppeln managed to avoid encirclement. Moreover, constant counterattacks on Kustrin gave results, and half of polish army had to retreat. Germans poured into Kustrin and Oppeln, while polish troops were regaining organization.
Yet Breslau was taken and held firmly, and Germans leaved their wings unprotected. An attack from Breslau succeeded, and Cottbus was taken. From 3 directions polish General Staff undertaken massive attack on Kustrin, cutting of 2 divs in Oppeln, which were destroyed later. Then there was simultaneous attack on Potsdam and Stralsund. Potsdam was taken on 12 February 1937. Berlin was encircled, German war machine paralyzed. Although a lot of work remained to be done, Poland has won the war against III Reich.

I will edit these pictures, when I'll have time. Not too much experience with posting, will improve in the future.
 
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I remember Pilsudski threatning Hitler with "Polish soldiers marching under Brandenburg Gate" if Hitler doesn't sine non-agression pact :D
If Pilsudki had invaded, he might have made really bad pr with western allies, but at least could destroy germany, or even install puppet that would controll part of it.

btw from what i know budionnys army was of such fail (berely reached stryj, where budionnyi had party with stalin) we (yea i'm a pole too) moved forces north to help in the antituchachevsky push, and budionyi never answered to that cuz stalin didn't want tuchachevsky to be more succesfull...
 

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I don't know, if Allies liked us enough to allow such "a destruction of balance of forces".
As to Budionny's army it was stopped at Lvov and Zamosc, that's true. But before that Budionny defeated Rydz-Smigly and chased him all the way from Kiev. So, I think, when they had a space to maneuver, they were good.

Could you tell me by a chance, how to defeat USSR? Planes? Tanks? Prayer?
 

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I'd suggest all three in defeating USSR :D but you would need the tanks for the encirclement battles, and lots of the newest infantry...some mountain troops for the caucasus and CAS for destroying fleeing Russians. I'd suggest to puppet Germany (take the polish provinces for yourself) and let them be the meatshield :p. Probably invade parts of the Balkan after 1939-1940 (otherwise you would have all of Europe declaring war against you :D) and use them as well...Romanian oil always useful ;)

Tim
 

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only big encirclements can kill ussr, and you need lots of tanks to do so
 

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Well, I could puppet Germany, but I would end with my miserable 35 IC and 2 techteams slots, and even blueprints wouldn’t help my research. Then they would give me their army as a reinforcement, and I would have to focus on supplying it. And Germany are good for occupation, relatively low area in proportion to IC. Most important thing, I want Poland to be strong!
In DD I conquered USSR mainly with CAS, but here situation may be different. I have very low MP growth. It’s very low. It’s like .20, and .10 decrease due to aging. I have to build garrisons and brigades, not to mention new inf, and reinforce 4 inf 30% (I haven’t done it yet). I’ll probably have to take Man of the People minister, instead of usual Efficient Sociopath – less IC. I don’t think I can build both CASs and tanks in this circumstances, as I must build some air cover too.
Are CAS as efficient here, as in DD?
Well, ultimately, I guess, it can be done both ways. I used to gaining air advantage.
 

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not really, better make tac
 

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Well, it would be a shame, as ground attack was always the foundation of my games. I've searched forum, and found many complaints of CAS strength. I don’t care for dug-in penalty – never bombed dug-in units anyway. They say also surface defense is too low, and stacking penalties too high. But I guess ground fire kicks really against big stacks, and proper use of CAS was always against small stacks, preferably just single divs.
But I’ve read also, that CAS can’t destroy a division now. Is it true? If it is there is no point in building CAS, or TAC with intention of ground attack, and decision is simple – to stick to ground forces.
If it isn’t true I must do some testing, before I continue the game. Sorry for delaying things, but I don't want to serve you a story of heroic failure.
Or, maybe, it would be a nice change? All those AARs about victories... :) You could think nobody ever lost a game.
 
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When polish generals and ministers cooled down they took some time to celebrate. About one evening, because there was work to be done. Hitler was unable to reinforce and supply his forces, but they were still substantial. There was a danger he will order his army from French border to move against us, and French will take southern provinces of Germany. General sentiment was against “allies” – they didn’t attack, leaving Poland to fight practically alone. Of course their air forces gave us enormous favor binding Luftwaffe, but not everybody was familiar with this fact. Yet it was convenient. It justified polish actions aimed to take every inch of German land, before French will do anything. So the main thrust was aimed to the south – west, toward French border.

Perhaps the action was unnecessary, as French commanders didn’t attack. Polish General Staff even decided, from courtesy reasons, to leave Freiburg cleaned from German troops, so France could take at least one province. It haven’t worked out. French probably decided such a miserable spoil would be worse, than none. Or just didn’t like leaving trenches.
Simultaneously some changes happened in the government. High officers, proud of what they achieved, put pressure on prime minister they considered “weak”. Marian Zyndram-Koscialkowski gave ground to general Slawoj-Skladkowski. In his last speech he warned against „naive optimism” Skladkowski represented, but in fact all nation represented optimism in this very moment. Yet reconstruction of government caused a mess. New Prime Minister fitted better to the task, but the rest of ministers not necessarily. Most importantly Skladkowski took a chair of Minister of Internal Affairs. His clever, but unmoral methods were good for using occupied German IC, but also were uninspiring, discouraging people from supporting our war effort. So he decided to nominate Janusz Radziwill, a good-heartened and charismatic man. The main task of the new minister was to drag German people to the common cause of fighting communism.
After beating Germany, and becoming regional power in the middle Europe Poland became something more, than just a pawn in the game of major countries. So it appeared obvious, that current Parochial World View, with it close-mindedness and xenophobia, must be abandoned. To match great challenge of stopping Soviets new, conscious, Defensive World View has gained approval.
Few month later, in July man power difficulties appeared bigger, than expected. Government decided to promote a culture of individual initiative and small improvements, releasing Individual Entrepreneurship spirit. Increasing morale gave effect of increasing volunteers inflow.
It was also a time for decision, how to modernize polish military. The foundation of attack was combination of heavy artillery support, engineers and infantry attacks. In the new government Waclaw Stachiewicz represented School of Fire Support.
But next new minister, Ludomil Rayski, had hard time. He was a good commander, and the best theoretician of air combat Poland had. Yet he pushed Army Aviation Doctrine – which stated, that bombers’ support can become decisive in battlefield. It had a little support in polish war experience, as German bombers were fighting west Allies in the decisive phase of war.
So he got replaced by Jozef Zajac, old guard commander representing school of air superiority. But older, in this case, probably also meant better.
Tanks made much more impression on polish generals. It was partially because of weak infantry AT armament. Polish infantry had to fight tanks with bundles of hand grenades instead of proper antitank kind, with inadequate mines and artillery, putting soldiers at great personal risk. At times infantry was simply helpless; while they successfully beaten enemy infantry, tanks just refused to surrender. Panzer divisions also repeatedly avoided encirclement, so most of them shrunk tank after tank, until none was left. They kept an ability to fight to the very end, not allowing the spirit of confusion or doubt to spread amongst their men. Most of panzer divisions has ended like this:

Poland had also young, skillful commanders able to lead new kind of armed force: Rola-Zymierski and Maczek.
Also there were articles in military press by two officers writing under pseudonyms Timmie and Deus Eversor. The case of their identity is still unresolved. Some people say it was Sikorski, conscious of his unpopularity among ruling circles, who didn’t want this to weaken his point.
Germany has been annexed on 4 July 37. Hitler in his headquarter committed suicide, which was probably his destiny from the very beginning. Now it was a time to rebuild destroyed country, and to use his resources to strengthen Polish military power.
 

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Hmmm since you mentioned General Guisans AAR (which is still my fav) and that you wrecked Germany I'll suscribe.
 

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Why thank You :D
well you can make germans see their c****n c****s abd that this is what (national) socialism made them do, so they should go with us in a crusade against even more ewul soviets ;)
but as an leftist i will say, that we dont really have greaat idea on how to deal with occupied land, and that superiors try to match Pilsudskis efforts by making quiet coup d'etat
 

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I want to make Poland more democratic and more an open society, for the main reason, that it's cool. But it will improve effectiveness of occupation too.
We surely haven't had good idea how to deal with occupied land, as we even haven't had good idea, how to deal with our own ethnic minorities. But we dealt with this much better being a democracy, so returning to this form of government should improve things.
 
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hmh... even if military wont do as well as they had up until now... i do not see polish people rising against it, at least two generations would have to pass since death of Pilsudski...
it would probably be like in turkey, that only in the XXI century they got democratized without interference from military

without militarys support, there owuld be no democracy... hmh...

about germany, making two puppets green and orange, light butter - occupation zone -dark butter settlement plan (aka give yourself a core!)


but im not sure about adding cores on lubeck and kiel... they could be usefull for poland...

anyway, when you get suffcient ic from eastern taken back lands you could release a brandenburg puppet, so there owuld be 3 germanies, unless you plan on making european uinion :D
 

unmerged(291207)

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Mar 24, 2011
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You’re right, it would be easier for high officers and the rest of post-Pilsudski group to attack Germany, than to allow democracy to return. It’s not only power to lead nation in the desired direction, there are also offices to hold. But I can see a way to make it believable (maybe even probable). Will write about it in the next update.
As to proposed split of Germany: new Lebensraum would be great for me. I’ll get some industry, some MP, and still strong Germany to assist me. But it’s just too easy. Next thing would be making BP for Poland, so I don’t have to ride to Wladiwostok. Significant Polish minorities lived in Elbing and Oppeln provinces (keeping game province system). So I could make those provinces cores, I guess. But again, it would make the game too easy. I don’t even feel good about that one tech team I decided I will take from annexed nations.
Poland had about twice less citizens per square kilometer, than Germany. And, if I remember correctly, about 64% of Polish citizens were of Polish nationality. So having xenophobic, right wing policy they should stay home and watch their neighbors, not resettle to the West.
I know Germany gets ethnic Czech and Polish land as cores. It’s good for gameplay, but it’s not so historical.
I also thought about conquering some Europe – Austria, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, all of that would be easy to get with my alliance, won’t make USSR attack me, would give a lot of IC, or fine puppets. But it’s so not climatic…
 

Deus Eversor

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Nov 18, 2006
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well.. true.. i found myself simmilar thing... when you are restricting yourself, gameplay is cool, but then something uhistorical or ungamplayish happens... then the only way to correct it is through mod-cheat and when you once do it, there is no stopping... and reason for playing, melts away