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Bah, the Kajaani prov is always the weakest link of the defence. I mean the only Finnish prov that can be attacked from 3 directions, and the AI always positions some 2 divs there, while 4-6 would be a lot more suitable.

But really good updates, I like your style. Also organising every div to a seperate corps, naming them and all must be a massive effort. Though on the other hand it gives a whole lot cooler feeling when you're fighting with invidual named divs with their designated units. If only AoD could do something like that automatically. :)
 

quaazi

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It is, and that won't leave me not exploiting it dammit.

Naming troops like that is a real pain (keep in mind I have only two fronts organized like this, by Barbarossa I have to organize at least 6 more, plus mechanized armies - that's over 150 divisions, maybe even 200!), but I've grown to like it. I managed to trigger Vichy France in 7 days with this troop layout when playing as Germany, and Bitter Peace by the 1st of September (following an April attack). It just allows so much flexibility, and as a bonus, I get a buttload of experienced generals.

Updates will continue to come with a bigger interval, 5 days or so - La Republique is heating up, meaning it takes most of my Paradox forums time.
 

quaazi

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The Winter War - 2nd December - 9th December

The Winter War - 2nd December - 9th December

The Northern Theatre (Karelian Front)


With the capture of Oulu, the Karelian Front had succeeded in it's initial operational goals. Staying idle was out of the question, however, as lack of breakthroughs further south meant that the Mountaineers would have to advance down the coastline to Turku itself. First stop on that route was the town of Vaasa.

negjg8.jpg


While the 2nd Mountaineers were moving southwards, the 1st and 3rd Mountaineer Corps were tasked with reducing the finnish pocket on the Arctic Railway-Petsamo line. Over 20 thousand troops were stationed in the cut-off area, formed into the 4th and 10th Division, and destroying them would decisively eliminate all resistance to the Karelian Front. For such an operation, nearly 70 thousand troops could be mustered.

5zr80o.jpg


The attack was launched at 15:00 on the 2nd of December. The finnish resistance in the area was fierce, but being utnumbered three to one and being completely cut off from further supplies and reinforcements had a definite effect on the combat capabilities and morale of the finns. The defending general, Lt. General Heinrichs, was a skilled defender as well as a potent foe in any cold environment, but his foe, General Frolov, was no fool either, being responsible for the only military victory in the Finnish Campaign so far.

16ib7yb.jpg


The defending finns were living off the stockpiles of ammunition previously gathered, but would not last for sustained combat. Every day their situation grew worse - by the 3rd of December, lack of supply became an even more serious concern tha hostile terrain or Soviet artillery support.

2mowkr8.jpg


The following day, the 3rd Mountaineer Corps, attacking Arctic highway itself, was pulled off by a worried Frolov. The 3rd M. Corps would also have to defend the thrust of the 2nd Corps to Oulu and beyond, and a battered force could result in the 2nd Corps being completely cut off. Only elements of the 3rd Corps were left in the battle, leaving the 1st M. Corps, led by Lt. General Batov, in charge of pushing back the finns. This move, while showing good understanding of economy of force, as well as a cautious one to allow the main thrust to proceed unhinderedly, also opened an avenue of retreat for the finns defending Petsamo through the Arctic Highway.

18ggev.jpg


The following day, the 3rd Corps was pulled out completely from the attack, for not so much ctrategic considerations but the fact that they had lost nearly 20% of their personell and were near collapse in the dense forests of Northern Finland.

w9iiko.jpg


The finns defending Petsamo couldn't hold out without ammo and food, and their commander Heinrichs understood that. When teh Soviet attack had lasted for three and a half days, he took advantage of Frolov's caution and ordered a retreat down the Arctic Highway, hoping to reach Tornio and either evacuating by sea or fleeing into Sweden. The attack on Petsamo had cost the Red Army nearly four thousand dead, compared to finnish casualities of over a thousand. But the finns yielded. Their material situation was horrible and their men near collapse.

34s5av6.jpg


2dgnfi1.jpg


Petsamo itself was fully occupied four days later, as select elements of both the 4th and 10th divisions were left behind as a vanguard of the majority of finnish troops fleeing towards Tornio, delaying the soviet troops enough to not give away Heinrichs' intentions to Frolov, keeping the Arctic Highway clear.

2e1buio.jpg


2nd Corps kept advancing southwards, however, and captured Vaasa on teh 5th. It was estimated that Turku would be captured in a week, assuming that the finns would not try to defend it with all their forced in the east.

72yczt.jpg


The Southern Theatre (Leningrad Front)

The defeats on the Mannerheim line and north of Ladoga had worn out both of the belligerents. Soviet losses in numbers were appaling, but their hardware was still relatively intact and plentiful. When word came to Timoshenko's HQ of the 2nd Corps moving southwards at the coastline, he decided to move against the Mannerheim line once more, to both redeem his reputation and provide a mighty distraction to the finns.

jra2e1.jpg


The order of attack was given to the infantry of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Corps' on the 3rd of December. The troops, previously used in a support role, were eager and unscathed, but their commanding officers knew the night ahead of them would be hell. Timoshenko's plan counted on mass infantry attacks in the night, meant to throw off the finns, followed by a massive strike of combined arms after dawn, at which point the battered infantry would be pulled out of the battle.

iyecdg.jpg


The infantry was being slaughtered. A hundred thousand troops clashed against a foe equal in size, but with superior training, weaponry, leadership and morale. The night was the only thing saving the common soldier, as progress was to slow thanks to the proximity of the fighters. While soviet losses were shocking, they managed to lull the finns into a sense of superiority. Still, by dawn, nothing had been really accomplished.

nvpnv4.jpg


Then, 7 'o clock, all hell broke loose. Two air fleets of bombers, composed of SU-2s and DB-3s, descended on the rear troops of the formations manning the Mannerheim line. This would soon prove a great factor in the eventual outcome of the battle.

qq664n.jpg


Following their bombardment was the same 1st Mechanized Army of Marshal Konev, eager to give the finns revenge for their first failure. The finns, exhausted from a night of intense close-quarters fighting, were shocked by the amount of soviet hardware again charging to their positions. Still entangled in unfavourable positions to fight infantry, the finnish troops were caught with their pants down.

t6t1f5.jpg


However, they had beaten this mechanized armada earlier. Even more importantly, Mannerheim had been immediately informed of the offensive and ushered two divisions down to the other side of Lake Ladoga. General Levandovski's troops facing them immediately took advantage of this large movement of men, as they had been instructed by Timoshenko, and hoped to pin down the divisions guarding Sortavala for long enough to Konev to break through the Mannerheim line.

2zdy5ar.jpg


However, unlike the other elements in the offensive, these men had not yet rested from their previous attack, and were still demoralized and disorganized. While nine divisions were still enough to cause Mannerheim a serious problem, they couldn't sustain a proper offensive for longer than a few days. By the dawn of the 6th of December, the attack was called off, resulting in over two thousand Soviet dead and finnish casualities of a quarter of that. But the divisions were pinned down for those two days, and even though they now rushed southwards, the situation on the Mannerheim line was different.

wj8mzd.jpg


The massive bombardment of the finnish rear resulted in a critical breakthrough - the destruction of most of finnish anti-armor equipment. The men of the Mannerheim line were extremely short on ammo for their rifles, and had nearly no way to counter the masses of tanks advancing on them. Makeshift weaponry like the "Molotov cocktail" were holding the gap, but even they were of short supply and little effectiveness.

16pfa0.jpg


By the 7th, the Soviet breakthrough came at last. Half of the defense of the Mannerheim line had fled, and only 4 underequipped, undermanned divisions remained. Mannerheim didn't let them retreat yet in hopes of his troops from the north would save the situation.

ljtc5.jpg


The following morning he ordered the retreat. The Mannerheim line was broken, and Viipuri lost. The finns had lost two and a half thousand men trying to hold the line, but in vain. The Soviet losses amounted to twice that, but a far better ratio than had been achieved so far. The finns sent out their first offer of peace right after Mannerheim's order to retreat.

2jflnw3.jpg


The Situation on the 10th of December

The war had lasted for 26 days. Soviet losses until that point amounted to 33 thousand men killed or MIA. However, their strategic goals were near completition - Oulu had been captured and the Mannerheim line breached.

The situation in the north:

mu7wk0.jpg


The situation in the south:

2cptl3o.jpg
 

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Congratulations comrade !
Are you going to push for a total victory or will you accept the Finn proposal ?
 

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Thats cos NATO standard APP6A and US Army standard MIL-STD-2525C are both for Land Units only(The newer Nato APP6B is practically a subset of MIL-STD-2525C).

I have no idea what they use for planes but I'm pretty certain they don't use these anyway so no worries chuck.
 

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I'm gonna keep it historical so that when June 22 1941 hits, everything is how it was. And THEN will I start going nuts!:wacko:

Ok I see, sounds a good way to keep some challenge. :D
 

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quaazi

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The Winter War - Endgame

Peacetalks

At the closing hours of the 10th of December, the first elements of the 1st Mechanized Army reported in: "Viipuri abandoned, resistance minimal". This was everything Stalin needed. With troops heading towards Turku, the finns repeated their claim for peace. This time their offer would recieve more serious consideration, as Molotov had just brought news of a joint british-french plan to send a force to relieve Finland. Stalin however had the upper hand at the negotiations, but didn't know it - Sweden would not allow those troops to pass her neutral borders, and Finland would have to stand alone. It was under these circumstances the finns agreed to cede a large strip of land at lake Ladoga, most importantly the town of Viipuri, to the Soviets.

2h7fe2s.jpg


Despite the advantage the Soviet Union had, it agreed to this proposal, essentialy taking only what had been previously demanded. It was hoped that this move would not antagonize the british and french as well, ending the war in an agreement all sides could honourably adhere to. For the time being.

2iawx10.jpg


The Finnish War - Brief Overview

Main battles -

1st Attack on the Mannerheim Line. Soviet strength - 1st Mechanized Army, elements of the Leningrad Front, 15 divisions of infantry, motorized infantry and tanks. Finnish strength - 8 divisions. The finns won after the battle had raged for 8 days, from the 15th of November to the 23rd. Resulted in status quo.

1st Battle of Sortavala. Soviet strength - elements of the Leningrad Front, 9 divisions of infantry. Finnish strength - 3 divisions. The finns won after 3 days of combat, from the 15th of November to the 18th. Resulted in status quo.

Battle of Suomossalmi. Soviet strength - elements of the Karelian Front, 7 infantry divisions, mostly specialists. Finnish strength - 2 divisions. The Soviets won after 2 days of combat, from the 15th of November to the 17th. Resulted in a large gap in the finnish defense line, leaving the route towards Oulu clear for the Red Army.

Battle of Joensuu. Soviet strength - elements of the Karelian Front, 9 divisions. Finnish strength - 4 divisions. The finns won after 1 day of combat, from the 25th to the 26th. Resulted in a weak and battered Red Army defending the route to Oulu, which was almost exploited by the finns, but with too little strength to be of consequence.

Battle of Petsamo. Soviet strength - elements of the Karelian Front, 7 divisions. Finnish strength - 2 divisions. The Soviets won after 3 days of combat, from the 2nd of December to the 5th. Resulted in the complete collapse of the already critical finnish northern front, which the soviets did not exploit for numerous reasons.

2nd Battle of the Mannerheim Line. Soviet strength - elements of the Leningrad Front, 1st Mechanized Army, total of nearly 25 divisions, though only 15 saw active combat. Finnish strength - 8 divisions. The Soviets won after 6 days of combat, from the 3rd of December to the 9th. Resulted in the breach of the Mannerheim line, conquering of Viipuri and the strategic defeat of Finland.

2nd Battle of Sortavala. Soviet strength - elements of the Leningrad Front, 9 divisions of infantry. Finnish strength - 5 divisions. The finns won after 2 days of combat, from the 4th of December ot the 6th. Resulted in Mannerheim being unable to reinforce the critical Viipuri section which may have contributed to the eventual outcome.​

Losses

Soviet losses.

Total Soviet losses in manpower and equipment during the hostilities with Finland from the 15th of November to the 10th of December on the Leningrad and Karelian Fronts and the 1st Mechanized Army, 1st Fighter and 1st and 2nd Bomber Fleets:

33,904 men killed, wounded* or MIA.
42 fighter aircraft.
121 bomber aircraft.
351 trucks.
252 tanks and armoured vehicles**.

Finnish losses.

11,331 men killed, wounded* or MIA.

*wounded stands for men who were injured so badly they had to be discharged from active service.
**counting both tanks and armoured cars such as the BA-20.

Result of the Winter War

The areas around Viipuri and Sortavala were ceded to the Soviet Union. Peace treaty lasting for 1 year signed. Soviet Union achieves phyrric victory.
 

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I wouldn't say Pyrrhic victory, yes it was a costly one but not that much. And it only lasted a month.
If you compare with OTL's Winter War, you did a great job !
 

quaazi

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Well, essentialy this war also damaged the SU's standing amongst other nations (and we all know what happens when a certain dictator thinks the SU is weak) so if not militarily, then diplomatically this is a phyrric victory at best. :(

But as soon as I get some land doctrines asses will be kicked. :D
 

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Well, essentialy this war also damaged the SU's standing amongst other nations (and we all know what happens when a certain dictator thinks the SU is weak) so if not militarily, then diplomatically this is a phyrric victory at best. :(

Yes true, but as long as the Germans want to avoid a two front war you'll be safe. :D
 
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Bah, the Kajaani prov is always the weakest link of the defence. I mean the only Finnish prov that can be attacked from 3 directions, and the AI always positions some 2 divs there, while 4-6 would be a lot more suitable.

Aye, and that is very historical because battles like this and this happened in the area that belongs to that province in-game.

Note: According to the Finnish Wiki the Finn casualties of the Battle of Suomussalmi were 350 fallen and 600 wounded while Russian casualties were approximately 27 500 dead (my personal estimate is 27 500-30 000).

Now how the hell could you achieve that in-game with the same 1:5 ratio (actually initially the Finns just had some regiments but eventually 11 000 men against the 55 000 Soviets), not to mention the Russians had far superior equipment, tons of tanks etc.? Exactly, you can't, and that needs to be fixed somehow.

EDIT: Oh and good job Quaazi. You should've gone for Stalin's goal though: annexation, since you had the chance. :p