Deus Eversor

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Assimilate! i mean make a SSR :)
 

quaazi

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Wellllll.... we'll see. I'm gonna need em finnish divisions to assist in kicking germans out of Norway, but using them beyond that would be too gamey (using them outside Finland already is). Maybe I'll have an answer for the fate of Finland later, but for now, let's wait for the next update.
 

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28th-29th June

German offensives against russian positions in Kowel and Alytus would continue throughout the night, despite the lack of any other operational goals than distracting the Red Army until the troops from Suwalki were safe. With the town square of Suwalki being seized during the night, essentialy Konev could say that his offensive had been a smashing success, despite the inability to encircle the defenders. Still, the casualities the germans took from the battle at Suwalki were considerable, and it served as a very important morale booster for the russians, being an important victory during the first week of the war. However, the fate of Suwalki itself - and of Konev's Mechanized Army - would become clearer during the day, as the 14th Panzer, lead by Obergruppenführer Kleinheisterkamp, conducted a fighting retreat.

29kox29.jpg

German troops in retreat after the disaster at Suwalki.

Further to the south, Zhukov was beginning to have difficulties with the german attempt to cross the Bug. Despite theoretical numerical superiority, he could really rely only on his own Mechanized Army, as the 8th and 9th Armies were battered from a week's continuous fighting, with several formations being pulled out of the battle altogether. Zhukov attempted to remedy the situation by drivqing his tank forces towards the Bug in hopes of cutting off independet german units from the bridgeheads, but his forces were low on fuel after being dragged to Kowel from Lwow earlier, and in the interests of operational readiness, he called off the attacks after a while. An effective stalemate followed, since the defending mechanized force was too great of a challenge for the attackign germans.

Back at Suwalki, Konev, whose troops were pursuing the retreating germans, suddenly found that the 14th Panzer had stopped retreating, choosing to stay put near the town of Augustow. The 14th Panzer was commanded by an SS general, who was earlier informed that not a single piece of land under german rule would befall to the russians by Hitler himself. Konev was moving a bit more slowly than he should've thanks to the german 52nd division retreating unorganizedly in his way (the division was fit for garrison duty and was captured nearly in its entirety. The 14th Panzer was already short at least a third of its personnel, so any kind of resistance was foolhardy at best. Still, being firmly entrenched outside Augustow, Kleinheisterkamp was determined to hold on despite a Soviet force of 10 tank divisions being in his rear.

During the night between 28th and 29th, the 1st Mechanized Corps, under the command of General Vassilevskij, struck at the 14th Panzer with full force. The 36th Panzer regiment was covering the vulnerable western flank of the town, and was immediately attacked by the 3rd Tank Divisions armoured formations. In a cunning move, Vassilevskij ushered one of the tank polks to sweep behind the 36th while the other polk was heavily engaged. during the morning, the 3rd Tank Division decimated the 36th Panzer Regiment despite their resistance, and went onwards to occupy the town of Augustow itself. The 14th Panzer fled in the afternoon, but reinforcements coming in stopped Konev from pursuing them any further. The Suwalki operation had ended.



35kjr7b.jpg

The first roaring success for the Red Army had taken place. Although Konev was given the order to defend Suwalki with minimal, light and mobile units, the Wehrmacht had been dealt a strong blow. Konev would quickly rush every availablke unit to the north again, to prepare for the inevitable battles in Lithuania once the german units start pouring in there, as the overall strategic situation had not been aided by the Suwalki offensive too much. The deadlock at Kowel had been broken as the German Panzergruppe, having recovered from their previous defeat, rejoined the offensive. Siauliau was occupied in the evening of the 29th. With the first week of combat over, the german intentions had become clearer. Stavka would need to review all its objectives soon.

by7a0.jpg

Siauliau became the first major Soviet city to be lost to the Wehrmacht.

Finland

At noon of the 29th, the 69th Mountaineer Division stepped into Helsinki without resistance, it being declared an open city earlier. Soon enough Timoshenko would be at the Eduskunta, negotiating the surrender of the finns.
 

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Ah...well, some success.

And they ARE going into Lithuania...do you have much to stop them with there?
 

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Stavka meeting - 29th of June.

On the 29th of June, an important meeting was held at Stavka. Present were Kirill Meretskov (Chief of Staff), Kliment Voroshilov (Chief of the Army), Aleksander Loktionov (Chief of the Air Force), Mikhail Viktorov (Chief of the Navy), Sergei Uritskiy (Chief of the NKVD), Ivan Proskurov (Chief of the NKGB), General Fedorenko (Commander of the 7th Army) and their aides. The following is an excerpt from archival material documenting the meeting.

"Meretskov: ... let me read to you the report placed on my desk this afternoon. It details our losses from the 22nd to today, which means it is not that up to date with the situation on the field. Material losses - 99 fighter aircraft, 74 bombers, 375 trucks, 351 tanks, of all models in each category. Manpower losses count to 50 794 men irrecoverably lost, in all branches. Estimated amount of casualties inflicted is, and keep in mind, this is on all fronts from Murmansk to Odessa, 62 164 men. The share of finnish troops is unproportionally large, following the victorious Kotka battle. Destroyed enemy material - 190 fighter aircraft, 6 bombers, 243 trucks and 252 tanks, and it is important to note that all the tank losses occured on the western front, that is, all were german, dominantly in the Suwalki offensive. Any thoughts?

Voroshilov: Well, for one, those casualty figures can't be too reliable at the present, still, if the ratio of our troops lost to enemy troops is positive like this, we've gotten off to a good start. Of course, our personnel losses have been this small because our offensive actions have largely involved mechanized formations - rather than infantry formations like in the Finnish war earlier. Two mechanized armies can't be enough to conduct strategic offensives like we've learned.

Meretskov: Yes, exactly where I wanted to go with this. It is clear that until winter, we can only be fighting an aggressive defensive campaign. And that means strategic offensives are out. Which in turn means that the mechanized armies can exclusively be operated in a defensive role. I'm afraid the main problem here is we can sacrifice the punch of the mechanized armies for mobility, as it is obvious that in the present system, they are far too clumsy and inefficient in defense roles like this. So I think that reforming our mechanized formations command chain is in order - most importantly, carving it up into slightly smaller formations that are versatile enough to effectively cover larger areas of the frontline, simply by reacting quick enough. Ah... the reports, the reports. I still have situation reports from the heads of all Fronts, and before deciding the stategic course for July, we should hear all of them.

Karelian Front - Steady progress towards Oulu, no strong resistance. Minimal casualties.

Leningrad Front - Helsinki captured, finnish forces in the area presenting minimal resistance. Finnish representatives wish a ceasefire negotiation... I'll elaborate on this later, everyone, on with the reports

Baltic Front - 2nd Army regrouping around Jekapils, only minor units covering the gap between Baltic and Belorussian Fronts. 12th Army in full operational readiness again, 2nd Army not in perfect shape, but capable of maneuvers.

1st Belorussian Front - 13th and 3rd Armies have both taken significant casualties in the Suwalki offensive, and will be unable to participate in attacks for at least a week. Some troops heading to Kaunas to cover the hole left by the 2nd Army's retreat.

2nd Belorussian Front - 10th and 1st Armies both heavily battered, preparing for counterattack against enemy moving in to occupy Bielsk.

Western Front - 9th Army nearly untouched by the fighting, 8th Army on the verge of collapse at Kowel, with individual formations already in retreat.

1st Ukrainian Front - Both 4th and 14th Armies relatively unharmed, ready to strike at enemy formations when they move in to occupy Stryj.

2nd Ukrainian Front - 11th and 6th Armies have taken part of only minor skirmishes with Romanian troops, no threat in the sector. Reserve is assisting the 1st Ukrainian Front as earlier instructed.

We're not doing well despite what the numbers are saying. We have two armies in full retreat and others under heavy pressure. The most critical situation is in Lithuania, as the Baltic Front has little hitting power, and Konev's mechanized formations southwards are heavily engaged with the attack against them. Gorodovikov's Strategic Reserve of 5 cavalry divisions is on it's way to cover the Kaunas gap, but they'll take a week at least to arrive in the region. German attacks elsewhere are not as ferocious, but do present us with little other options than retreat.

Uritskiy: A strategic retreat must be conducted with utmost discipline. No desertions can be afforded at this time.

Meretskov: Yes, yes, agreed. Well, essentialy that's all we can agree to do here. Our goal should be to draw the retreat on long enough so that we'd be forced to the Stalin line by September, no sooner. In the north, we might not have so much time, but we can easily delay the fascists around the Pripyat marshes and southwards. But now, let's see what Fedorenko has to say to us.

Fedorenko: Well, our Front leader, Timoshenko, is awaiting instructions from Moscow as to what to demand from the finns once the negotiations begin. That korova Molotov can't get to Helsinki so quickly, lucky him. In any case, it's very clear that the surrendering finns can't be relied on any other operations than inside the finnish borders... whatever they'll be. However, the entire Leningrad Front will be free for action in the Baltics soon enough. The Karelian, as I am told, will push forward into german-controlled Scandinavia.

Viktorov: Ah, we have some good news to hope from the negotiations, though. The finnish coastal defense ships are still intact, and I'm sure Timoshenko will not allow them to remain in finnish hands. The Baltic Fleet might be two ships larger by the next month. Granted, not sufficient to initiate any naval operations outside the Gulf of Finland, but still.

Meretskov: Good to hear. That'll be enough for today - I am sure you are all needed elsewhere."
 

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Hm hm.

Military heroes or "Red (insert locality)" - ?

And just who is this Sergei Uritskiy?
 

quaazi

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I wondered it too. Google search got me no results other than a Paradox thread asking the same question. Let's say he's a very efficient NKVD head, so efficient that his name was never known, except to the creators of Hearts of Iron, apparently (also -10% CG is better than Beria's combo, which is the real reason).
 

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Deus Eversor

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i once camped by the lake Białe near Augustów its really nice but crowded place
 

quaazi

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Peace treaty between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Republic of Finland


This document binds the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (from here on referred to as the USSR) and Finland to the agreements written.

By signing this document, the finnish representatives agree to place the burden of aggressor on Finland, as well as recognizing their surrender to the USSR.

The following are the conditions on which the USSR will accept the surrender of Finland.

1) To be fulfilled immediately (at the judgement of the USSR):
1.1) The immediate cessation of hostilities between the finnish and soviet armies.
1.2) The finnish side agrees to retreat all finnish forces at least 100 km away from the border with the USSR
1.3) The hardware of the finnish navy will be surrendered completely to the USSR.
1.4) The resignation of the current finnish cabinet without exceptions.
1.5) Allowing military access of USSR troops in all finnish lands.
1.6) The finnish side will order all citizens of the Axis nations (Germany, Italy, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Bulgaria) to register themselves with the occupying Red Army. This will be enforced by the finnish police.
1.7) Finland will cede the areas of Petsamo and the Åland Islands to the USSR, the exact map details are specified in the documents "1-1.7.1 Petsamo" and "1-1.7.2 Åland".​

2.) To be fulfilled gradually (time limit set):
2.1) The abolishment of the finnish armed forces and its supporting institutions in 30 days time.
2.1.1) Relinquishing all military hardware of the finnish armed forces to the USSR in 14 days.
2.2) Declaration of hostility towards the nations of the Axis (see point 1.6) in 30 days time.
2.3) Finland will allow a Political Supervisor from the USSR to have access in all finnish governmental institutions, being a direct line between the governments of Finland and the USSR. The conditions for this must be achieved by Finland in 7 days.​

3.) To be fulfilled eventually (time limit will be agreed on later):
3.1) Reparations paid by Finland to the USSR, the exact amount is specified in the document "3-3.1 Reparations".
3.2) Finland will allow volunteers to join the Red Army.
3.3) Finland will agree to open its borders with the USSR.
3.4) Finland will agree to further negotiations with the USSR in the near future to ensure peace and stability.​

Incapability to fulfill any of the above conditions is a legal basis for resuming war between the USSR and Finland.

Signed:

Semyon Konstantinovich Timoshenko
Commander of the Soviet Leningrad Front

Juho Eljas Erkko
Foreign Minister of Finland

 

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Wow. Pretty comprehensive treaty. Puppeted Finland works, I suppose. But abolishing he military AND have them declare on the Axis at the same time?
 

quaazi

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Yup. They're a puppet/military base, now (custom trigger, by the way). We all know how that will work out over time. ;)

But what would be the reliability of finnish troops against the germans outside finland anyway? Naah, their army's gotta go, if only for flavour, in ARMA it was always so weird to have Mannerheim lead 20 finnish divisions in the Ukraine. Besides, I have two Fronts freed up with the surrender - that's 30 divisions, veterans from the Winter War (as many as there were). They'll be sufficient.
 

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29th-30th of June

Following the finnish surrender, the Red Army suddenly found themselves with 30 divisions to spare on any front it wished. In accordance with instructions from Stavka, the Leningrad Front was to be sent to the Baltic immediately to counter the German Panzergruppe that had struck into Lithuania, where Gorodovikov's Strategic Reserve was already headed to and estimated to arrive on the 1st of July. Transporting a full Front worth of troops, about 15 divisions, would take considerable time, however, especially as the German Kriegsmarine was beginning to take notice of Soviet operations in the Finnish Gulf, and scrambled to stop them. All logistics would flow through Leningrad. As for the Karelian Front, it would stay in the north and occupy Finland until ready to move into German-occupied Norway. With also 15 divisions, the Front easily outnumbered the weak garrisons in Norway at the time, and was largely composed of light mountaineers very suitable for the Scandinavian terrain. The main concerns with any Scandinavian operation was logistics as well. Moving 15 divisions through the fjords of northern Norway was an even more daunting task than moving through the forests of Finland. Another factor to take into account was weather - at the time, the Scandinavian weather was ideal for warfare, as much as it would ever be. But time was running out - moving the Karelian Front (already unofficialy redesignated as the Scandinavian Front) into position and then travelling through the hostile terrain would inevitably result in the onset of fall and winter, halting Soviet operations. The simplest solution to all the mentioned problems was already discussed in secret in the Kreml.

30cq1ck.jpg

With the second week of combat now beginning, the Red Army was starting to overcome its initial shock. The earlier victory in Suwalki had promised light at the end of the tunnel despite strong pressure from the Wehrmacht. In Lithuania, Red Army commanders noted something peculiar - that the troops on the frontline at Siauliau were... Romanian! The night of the 29th June was spent hastily gathering forces for a counterattack against the Romanian divisions at Siauliau before they could be reinforced by the sturdy German Panzers. The Baltic Front would conduct a large improvised infantry assault in conjunction with their armoured brigades, while the battered Belorussian Front and the 1st Mechanized Armies were on a slow unchallenged retreat towards Kaunas to bridge the gap in Lithuania. Even then, the Baltic Fronts two armies, 2nd and 12th, were still reeling from the engagements in the starting days of the war, indeed, the 13th Corps of the 2nd Army still hadn't regrouped.

The Soviet attack began at 4 o'clock on the 30th of June. At dawn, 18 Soviet divisions descended upon the two Romanian divisions guarding Siauliau itself. The Romanians, led by Lt. General Calotescu, well equipped with anti-tank guns, fought back fiercely. The question was if the Soviets could force back the Romanians before the Germans could reinforce them, however. The German reaction was rather swift - mere hours later, the German formations heading for Siauliau from Memel swinged northwards and collided with the Soviet 12th Army. The 12th Army, led by the competent General Boldin, would have to abandon their strike towards Siauliau, in hopes that the 2nd Army on their flank could carry on the offensive on their own.

wkpmog.jpg

The offensive quickly turned into a disaster. The Romanians were reinforced by the German 11th Panzer division very quickly, and despite air support from two bomber fleets, there was little hope of dislodging the defenders of Siauliau now. Still, the attack had to continue until the end of the day, to buy enough time for the retreating formations to the south. General Boldin had also reorganized his troops for a counterattack by the afternoon, resulting in a deadly collision between his 12th Army and the Germans attacking it. But by nightfall, the troops in Siauliau were reinforced by two more infantry divisions, one Romanian and one Hungarian, and the attack was called off to preserve the battered 2nd Army. The Red Army would enter July struggling to hold their ground.

sqh9xx.jpg
 

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Hungarians reinforcing the line held by Romanian troops, interesting !
 

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Romanians and Hungarians are proving tougher than reputation suggests?

You're actually going to attempt taking Norway. Wow. Brave.
 

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The 1st-2nd of July

At midnight, German pressure on Kowel and Jelgava started to decline. Considering that the thrust towards Jelgava was a diversionary attack at most, it was only logical to cease it after the Soviet 2nd Army was no longer threatening the Axis (as there was only one german division present there at the time) positions in Siauliau. With Soviet aircraft interdicting the Axis logistics convoys, however, they could not thrust forward towards Kaunas and cut off the retreating 1st Belorussian Front and 1st Mechanized Army. For now, it seemed that Lithuania would remain safe for a while, which was all Stavka needed, as the Leningrad Front was frantically being shipped southwards. Because of this, Marshal Gorodovikov, commander of the Strategic Reserve (5 mobile cavalry divisions) was suddenly ordered to march southwards to the Ukraine.

Indeed, despite the brief cooling off in Kowel, the area was a real troublespot. Kowel had been under sporadic German attacks since the start of the war, and despite no strategic bridgehead being formed on the Bug, the Germans had managed to threaten the city itself at times. Meretskov, in a Stavka meeting on the 1st, summed up Soviet intentions for the coming month: "... the German presence beyond the Bug is an inevitability. While we can order Zhukov to hold Kowel tooth and nail, it would be a futile gesture with German troops already marching towards Stryj, where they can nicely flank around Kowel and strike it from the south through Lvov. No, our best bet is a slow retreat throughout the month - very very slow in the Baltics, as we are already a short distance from the Stalin line there, and a bit faster in the Ukraine and Belorussia... where land is not as important. Unfortunately, given our earlier defeat at Bielsk, retreat from Kowel would also mean abandoning Brest as it would become a strategic liability. I propose we spend the week on a retreat to the Stanislavov-Grodno line, where we can reassess the situation and hope that we can counterattack the fascists when their logistics are struggling to keep up. Even if that should fail, we have a lot of room behind our backs..."

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General Kirill Meretskov

However, there was another subject of discussion in Stavka at the 1st of July: Romania. After the Romanian presence in Lithuania was noticed, Stavka turned devoted some attention to the Romanian front, which had so far seen almost no combat apart from small skirmishes. Now Stavka realized they had been given an intel report on the 23rd, which detailed the Romanian formations defending the border. To Meretskovs suprise, it said that the total amount of troops on the Soviet-Romanian border was maximally 100 000 men. Compared to the total of some 400 000 men present in the 2nd Ukrainian Front, it was no force to hold out against a determined attack. As Meretskov was the nominal head of the Front, he immediately ordered an attack into Romania in the direction of Jassy. Hopes were high that a quick victory before a slow retreat would not only boost Soviet morale, but also damage Romanian.

By noon, a larger Axis offensive once again alarmed Soviet units in Lithuania and Ukraine. Starting with an ill-fated Luftwaffe attempt to establish air dominance over Lithuania that collided with well protected Soviet bomber and CAS fleets as well as a full fighter fleet, the Wehrmacht once more attempted to take Kowel, as well as pressure Soviet formations in Lithuania. The German attack in Alytus was of little importance as it did little less than skirmish with rear guards of the 1st Mechanized Army on their way to Kaunas, but Kowel was a different matter. Field Marshal von Kluge lead the German Panzergruppe on another strike over the Bug, and many Soviet units had already been retreating earlier. The 8th Army was in terrible shape, only mustering one corps (the 31st) to the defense of Kowel. All the rest was handled by Zhukov's 2nd Mechanized Army.

General Shtern, the commander of the Western Front, decided that even though Brest was to be abandoned eventually and both his 9th and 8th Armies would be out of commission for quite a while, having to rely on Zhukov's 2nd Mechanized for help, he could still do something to help Kowel. At nightfall, all artillery elements of the 9th Army around Brest opened fire upon the German formations on the other side of the Bug. This had a profound effect - German logistics supporting the Kowel thrust ran very close to the river, and it also caused panic in the OKW, believing it to be a preparatory barrage for a counterattack over the Bug.

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At midnight, the situation in the Baltics once again heated up. Seeing a wide Soviet retreat and no doubt knowing what the arrival of the Leningrad Front would mean, the OKW decided their diversionary attack against Jelgava must carry on into a full scale offensive. The 12th Army would hold on for now, but waiting for the Leningrad Front to save the day seemed like a harder task than at first imagined. Luckily, the 69th Mountaineer division arrived from finland via ships to assist the situation on the afternoon of the 2nd of July, but it was summoned hastily and was little more than a gap-plugger.

Perhaps more importantly, the german thrust into Lithuania seeked to capitalize as much as possible from the retreat of the Soviets. With the route to Kaunas blocked now, the bridges over Niemen with it, the Wehrmacht seeked to conquer the bridges in Alytus itself. Knowing that losing the bridges in Alytus would mean a German attack BEHIND Kaunas itself, Konev organized a counterattack during the night. In a clever move, he covered the retreat of slower and softer units over the Alytus bridges from the north without the Germans actually knowing it. With a clear path of retreat over bridges in Prieniai and Kaunas itself, Konev could feel confident that his counterattack would throw the germans off balance as well as buy more valuable time for the Leningrad Front to arrive.

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With the last troops over the Niemen at Alytus by 2 o'clock, the Germans swept in to quickly claim the bridges before the Soviets could demolish them. A heroic defense kept the bridges safe for long enough for a full german division to occupy the western bank of the Niemen in the area. Konev struck at the rear of those German formations with his 17th and 16th Tank Divisions. The german infantry there was immediately thrown into chaos, quickly disengagin the bridge defenders and struggling to present an adequate defense against the Soviet tanks until the German reinforcements could arrive at dawn. In a brutal battle, the German 46th Infantry division was pinned down by Konev, allowing the bridges over the Niemen to be destroyed and leaving the germans with only one viable route over the river in the area - Kaunas itself. Despite the 46th being relieved by the 11th Panzer by dawn, it was a great maneuver by Konev to keep the Germans on their toes and slow their advance. Alytus was occupied by the Germans soon enough, but the battles cost them another two thousand men and amounted to a strategic dead end.

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At 3 o'clock, Soviet units crossed the Romanian border and immediately clashed with the divisions defendign Jassy. While the town, being very close to the border, was being sieged by soviet infantry, the spearhead unit of the 2nd Ukrainian Front, the 212th Motorized Division, led by Mj. General Vershinin, struck southwest to try to prevent assistance arriving to the outnumbered Romanians. Jassy itself was abandoned by the Romanians, however, who retreated southwards. The area itself was far from secure, however, and Meretskov decided to continue the operation throughout the week.