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The last week of August will be pretty quiet. We should get one more run of submarines and TACs completed this week. Add the subs to an Unterseebootsflotte in Wilhelmshafen (we should have another fleet that we're building up), and send the planes to Essen, creating a new air wing with a Tank Buster commander. These new subs and planes won't have very high org when war breaks out, so they won't get used right away.

At midnight on 30 August 1939, the Danzig or War event is triggered. Choose to issue the Final Ultimatum.

1danzigorwar.jpg


There is a tiny chance that Poland will concede Danzig without going to war; if they do, simply reload the game from your last save. Immediately after choosing to issue the ultimatum, Poland will choose to go to war. We, as well as Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, are now in a state of war with Poland and the Allied Powers. Keep the game paused at midnight so that we can issue orders to our military.

Up until now, we've had to learn a lot about how the game works in peacetime. All of those elements of the game dynamics are still going to be used throughout the rest of the game; but now we must also master an entirely new dynamic - that of waging war.

Right away, some of our allies will probably send us expeditionary forces. These are forces that belong to the country from whence they came, but are under our command. We cannot change the commanders of these units, nor can we combine them into new corps, so if the AI sends us expeditionary forces that do not have a leader, or forces that are too large for the rank of the leader commanding them, highlight that expeditionary force and click on the button in the bottom right-hand corner of the unit interface to return the force to AI control.

2expforces.jpg


Right now, we don't need expeditionary forces to fight Poland; later, we can use them in Russia, or to defend our beaches when we occupy France. If you get tired of all the pop-ups telling you about new expeditionary forces, you can take Military Control of your allies (through the Diplomacy folder).

We will continue by issuing orders to our navy. All of our fleets (except the transport fleet) are at Wilhelmshafen, so this will be pretty easy. Drag a box around the naval base at Wilhelmshafen to highlight all of the units there. We can give orders to all of our naval units from this screen, using the dropdown menu for orders, as opposed to clicking on each fleet individually.

We are going to keep the fleet named "Kriegsmarine" in port - it is not strong enough to fight the Royal Navy. We will send all of the submarine fleets (except the one with the new submarines in it) out to conduct Convoy Raiding missions. Starting with I. Unterseebootsflotte, click on the drop-down menu and choose Convoy Raiding. The first thing that appears is a small box with color-coded sections of the ocean. This is how we determine the area of the ocean that this fleet will operate in. This first submarine fleet has a limited range, and any part of the ocean outside of that range is black. We can choose a part of the ocean either from the box, or by clicking on that part of the ocean on the main map interface. Remember, we want this fleet operating in areas that we expect British convoys to be passing through; let's choose the Irish Sea for this fleet.

A small box appears; click the box next to night (ordering our subs only to engage at night; doing so helps them avoid surface fleets by day, which have a large advantage), and then drag the slider down to 0% (this is the minimum percent of strength and org that the fleet will drop to before it automatically returns to port; since we plan on avoiding open battles anyway, we don't expect our fleets to drop this low, but just in case, dropping this to zero will prevent the fleet from returning to port unexpectedly). The dates at the bottom are the time parameters for this order; the left date is when the fleet will start its mission, and the right date is when it ends its mission and returns to port. Leave the left date at today's date and time, and click the + sign on the bottom right to change the end date of this order to January 1940. The default setting is one month, but if you leave it at only a month you will be re-issuing orders for your fleets over and over again; furthermore, everytime your fleets leave port and return to port, they will have to traverse the dangerous English Channel.

3navalorders.jpg


Repeat this step for the rest of your submarine fleets (except the one with lower org due to the new subs in it), and send them to conduct Convoy Raiding missions in the following areas: Grand Banks, North Atlantic, Cap St. Vincent, Portuguese Coast, and Cape Finisterre. These are highly trafficked areas for British convoys and, with your sub fleets as large as they are, you should be sinking a dozen transports or more each week. A few months of this will really hurt the United Kingdom.

Next, we will issue orders to our air units. As soon as war is declared, British and French bombers will start hammering your towns. To prevent this, we have squadrons of INTs strategically placed around the country. Let's first get these INTs up in the air on defensive patrols. Click on the airbase at Wilhelmshafen. Using the dropdown menu, give the INT wing there an Air Superiority mission. This mission orders the INT to circle an area of the country, engaging any enemy planes it finds. After clicking on this mission, combat boxes similar to what we saw when we issued naval orders appear. First we choose the area of the country we want them to patrol; for the INTs in Wilhelmshafen, let's choose the area that encompasses Wilhelmshafen, named Mecklenburg. Next, choose the mission parameters: we want the patrols to be conducted during the daytime (when most bombing missions will occur), keep the slider at 50% (if our INTs, for whatever reason, get beaten in a battle and have low org or strength, we will ground them to let them regain their combat power), and extend the end date of this Air Superiority mission to May 1940.

Repeat this step for the INT wings that we have in Frankfurt-am-Main (patrol Baden Wurttemburg) and Essen (patrol Westfalen). Have one of the two INT wings in Kassel patrol Hessen, and have the other patrol Hannover. We thus have our entire western border blanketed with plenty of INTs, keeping those Allied bombers at bay.

For our air forces on the eastern border, we will be a little more offensive and aggressive. Give the INTs in Berlin an Air Superiority mission over Poznan, in Poland, and give the INTs in Breslau an Air Superiority mission over Cracow. Using the same method of giving orders, give the TAC wing in Berlin an Interdiction mission over Poznan; the TAC wings in Breslau an Interdiction mission over Cracow; and the TAC wing in Konigsberg an Interdiction mission over East Prussia. The CAS wings we will leave alone for now, and here's why: the way HoI2 conducts bombing is that, instead of targeting individual provinces, we can only give bombers orders for an entire area (which could consist of multiple provinces). The bombers then attack whichever province is weakest - which isn't necessarily the province we want them to attack! There is one caveat to this rule, though - bombers will first attack anywhere that there is a battle raging. So, we are going to hold our CAS in reserve for a few hours, and after we launch our ground attacks we will give them missions. We are also going to keep our bomber units on our western front grounded for now; although they could be used to harass the French, the effort and time to do so wouldn't be worth the small reward.

4airorders.jpg


Another important thing to remember when bombing the enemy's ground units is that when they have been stationary for several days they start to get "dug in." When units are dug in, they are nearly impervious to bombing, and we could send wave after wave of bombers to little effect. If we can use our land forces to dislodge the enemy's land forces, we can then use our bombers to hammer away at them as they retreat - this method yields far greater dividends then attacking dug in units.

Okay, our air forces and our naval forces have their orders - now let's turn our attention to our ground forces. First, let's take a look at Poland's provinces, and identify which ones are "Victory Point" provinces. Click on the VP map configuration, down at the lower left-hand side of the screen beneath the global map. The VP button is the small button on the far right.

45polandVPs.jpg


To totally conquer a country and annex it, we do not need to occupy every single one of its provinces. Instead, all we have to do is occupy its capital and all of its VP provinces (highlighted in red; the provinces in green are VP provinces of us or our allies). There is a special event for Poland, however. Historically, the Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east in September 1939. In HoI2, the Soviets do not actually go to war with the Poles; but if we can conquer the VP provinces of Cracow, Lodz, and Danzig, and then occupy the VP province and capital of Warsaw, the Soviets will automatically take control of Eastern Poland (including the VP provinces of Grodno and Lvov).

So let's think about how we can best take out Poland. It has several units lined up on its border, in the provinces of Bydgoszcz, Poznan, Czestochowa, and Cracow. There's no way of going around Cracow, so we will have to concentrate some forces on Cracow. But we could totally bypass Poznan and Czestochowa, and instead attack Bydgoszcz with our northern forces, while sending that one CAV division we have to take unguarded Danzig. After advancing through Bydgoszcz, we could then send a couple of corps down to seize Lodz, while sending the rest on to Torun to launch an atack on Warsaw from the north. One of the corps that takes Lodz could also advance through Radom and attack Warsaw from the west. Ideally, this entire campaign could take less than ten days. Danzig will fall first, followed by Cracow a couple of days later. Lodz should fall soon thereafter, and after that it becomes a race to Warsaw.

However, to maximize the effectiveness and speed of our armies, we need to ensure that they don't get bogged down early on. To prevent this, we will be attacking with overwhelming forces on the two main points of resistance that we are targetting on the front (Cracow and Bydgoszcz). Furthermore, we will use air support from our TACs and CASs to support our attacks. Even with these advantages, there are still a few things we could do to give us an edge in combat.

As I discussed in an earlier lesson, combat is calculated according to the attack and defense capabilities of each unit in combat. However, these capabilities are modified by a series of modifiers. We want to maximize our combat bonuses, while minimizing our combat penalties. One way we can add an additional combat bonus is to attack a province from multiple directions. With the way our forces are arrayed on the front, we can attack Bydgoszcz from three directions (Stettin, Kustrin, and Elbing) and we can attack Cracow from another three directions (Oppeln, Breslau, and Ostrava). Each additional province we attack from is an additional +10% combat modifier for us.

So let's give our ground units their orders. Drag a box around the units in Stettin. Right-click in Danzig; since there are no enemy units in Danzig, we just see a red arrow (indicating an attack, as opposed to the blue arrows that we saw for movement into friendly territory). Hold shift and click on the cavalry division; that de-highlights it, leaving it with that order to move into Danzig. Next, right-click on Bydgoszcz; now we see a new combat parameter interface box pop up. Our options for this order is "Attack" (which is a normal assault, with concurrent movement toward the province we're attacking), "Support Attack" (which is an assault to support other units that are attacking, but without moving toward the province; this order is for when we want additional units to participate, but we don't want them to leave the province they're from undefended), and "Support Defence" (which would lend support to the defense of the target province in case it came under an attack). Leave the button next to Attack checked, and click the top-right + sign to change the time that the attack starts. Attacking at night incurs a combat penalty, so let's click the + sign until the picture next to it changes to light blue, indicating that this is the first hour of the daytime. This will be 05:00. Once the two remaining corps in Stettin have their orders, drag a box around Kustrin. Hold shift and click on the HQ unit (remember, HQs are weak and we do not want them participating in the attack). Then right-click on Bydgoszcz and give the order to "Support Attack" at 05:00. Then hold shift and left-click one corps. Then right-click Bydgoszcz again, and change the order for the remaining corps to "Attack." This gives one corps in Kustrin the order to support attack (and then remain in Kustrin to defend), while the others have orders to attack and advance into Bydgoszcz.

Using this method, give the panzer corps in Elbing orders to Support Attack Bydgoszcz at 05:00, and give the two corps in Oppeln orders to Support Attack Cracow at 05:00. Give all corps in Breslau and Ostrava (except the HQ unit) orders to Attack into Cracow at 05:00.

Our battle plan will eventually follow these lines of attack:

5groundattackscheme.jpg


Set the game speed to Normal, and unpause the game. We will quickly start getting pop-ups for bombing missions that are being conducted and land battles that are starting as our forces move out and engage Polish defenses. At 05:00, pause the game and give our CAS wings in Konigsberg, Berlin, and Breslau orders to conduct Interdiction missions in Warsaw, Poznan, and Cracow provinces, respectively. If you click on the battle viewer button in the top left-hand corner of the screen (below View Map, 2nd button from the right) you can view all ongoing battles at once. The red versus green slider shows the progress of the battle, with red representing the attacker and green representing the defender. We will immediately start winning the battles in Bydgoszcz and Cracow, although our bombing missions aren't so decisive (since we are attacking dug in defenders).

Sometime that afternoon, we will win the battle in Bydgoszcz and the defenders will start retreating. Keep the game paused. Click on the CAS wing in Berlin and change their mission to Ground Attack over the Poznan region. This will have them inflict devastating strength losses on the retreating Polish units. When we win the battle in Cracow, do the same thing with the CAS wing in Breslau.

Our first units will arrive in Bydgoszcz early the next day. However, we cannot yet give them new orders, because it takes every division time to reorganize after attacking. Regardless of whether the attack was successful or not, each division cannot receive new orders for 24 hours after the last hour that it was engaged in combat (note that this isn't 24 hours after arriving; it is 24 hours after last being engaged, so it should only be a few hours after arriving). This is symbolized by a red triangle of arrows in the unit interface screen. When the panzer corps that attacked from Stettin arrives in Bydgoszcz, wait until it has recovered (there is no pop-up box to notify us when it is ready, so we must hover our mouse over the red arrows to find out when it will be ready to go again, and then keep our eye on the time and puase when that hour arrives), then drag a box around them to highlight them both; right-click on Lodz to give them orders to attack Lodz; then shift and right-click Radom as well. When the infantry corps from Stettin arrives, we will also give it orders to attack Lodz, but do not send it on to Radom. The panzer corps now has orders to attack Lodz (with the infantry corps), and it has orders to continue immediately on to Radom. This way, we can circumvent the 24 hours reorganization time by giving the panzer corps their follow-on orders ahead of time. We can also leave that infantry corps in Lodz to defend it from counter-attack (remember that Lodz is a VP province).

Click on the HQ unit in Kustrin, and give it orders to march immediately into Bydgoszcz. Since we now occupy Bydgoszcz, there is little chance that the HQ unit might accidentally find itself in combat. Unpause the game. Pause again when the rest of the infantry corps from Kustrin arrive in Bydgoszcz. If they need time to re-organize, wait until that hour, and then give them orders to attack Torun (if it is currently night, give them orders to attack at daybreak). Also give the panzercorps in Elbing orders to attack Torun. Give one of the two infantry corps in Konigsberg orders to Support Attack Torun. Unpause the game.

While all this is going on, our air and naval units may be engaging in combat. If your INTs happen to intercept Allied bombers, click on the battle information bar to see a close-up of the battle and see just how well your INTs can fend off those bombers.

7airbattle.jpg


Hovering your cursor over the individual units involved will give a breakdown of the combat bonuses and penalties it has accrued.

If your submarine fleets engage Allied fleets, you probably want to have them retreat. In naval battles, however, you cannot retreat until four hours go by. Although there is a pop-up notifying you that a naval battle has started, there is no pop-up notifying you that four hours has passed - so you must keep your eye in the time. If your subs are engaging weak enemy fleets, you can let them duke it out. However, if the enemy fleet contains an aircraft carrier, always retreat after four hours - subs have a tough time getting close enough to the carriers to fight back, and usually get sunk pretty quickly. If you are considering keeping your sub fleet in the battle to fight it out, first click on the battle close-up interface.

8navalbattle.jpg


In the example above, we see that the enemy has a couple of carriers, so we will want to retreat as soon as we can (four hours after the battle started). If the enemy didn't have a carrier, we would want to check the numbers underneath the picture of the warships at top. The numbers on the left and right reflect each side's "positioning" values - in other words, how well the commanding admiral is positioning his ships in battle. We want ours to be high and the enemy's to be low. The better skilled our admiral is, the higher ours will be. This is also affected by doctrine technologies. The number between the two positioning scores is the distance between the two fleets. Since submarines can only engage at about a dozen kilometers, we stand no chance of firing back at the carriers that are using their planes to engage us from over a hundred kilometers away - that is why the gun icon next to the icons for our subs has a red dash through it.

Note that when you retreat, the unit's previous orders are cancelled. So whenever you retreat, have your subs retreat toward the area of the ocean they are supposed to be patrolling. When they arrive at the sea province they are retreating to, we must click on this unit and re-issue that Convoy Raiding mission.

Once our ground forces arrive in Cracow, you can continue onto Kielce with your panzer corps (if it is undefended); otherwise, leave your forces in Cracow. At this point, you should have Danzig, Lodz, and Cracow, and all that remains to be conquered is Warsaw. Change the missions of your TAC wings in Berlin, Konigsberg, and Breslau to Interdiction mission on Warsaw; change the missions of your CAS wings in Konigsberg and Breslau to conduct Ground Attack missions on Warsaw. When the infantry corps from Bydgoszcz arrive in Torun, launch an attack with them and the panzer corps in Torun toward Warsaw; launch a simultaneous attack on Warsaw with the panzer corps in Radom (waiting until daylight if it is currently night). The terrain of Warsaw is urban, and your ARMs and MOTs will have a significant penalty - so much so that they are nearly useless. Nevertheless, the extra attack from Radom will give you a 10% bonus for attacking from another direction, and the panzer corps will also arrive in Warsaw faster than your infantry corps after the battle is won. Between the incessant bombing and the overwhelming attack, Warsaw should fall after a day or two. If you were slowed up at all on your way through western Poland, the Poles will have a few extra divisions defending Warsaw - that is why speed is the key!

After Warsaw falls and your panzers occupy the province, cancel all of your air missions over Poland. All we have to do now is wait. At midnight, the Soviets will automatically occupy the eastern part of Poland (this may take a couple of days to fire).

99polandconq.jpg


Now that the Soviets have Grodno and Lvov, Poland has no more VP provinces. Open the Diplomacy folder, and click on Poland. Click on the Annex Nation button, and click OK. Poland is defeated.

Around the time Poland falls, we will get another run of 12x INFs created. Deploy these in 3x division INF corps along the border with the Netherlands and Belgium - one each in Wilhelmshafen, Munster, Dortmund, and Aachen. Our GAR units should be created shortly thereafter as well. We will deploy them in the next lesson.

In the next lesson, we will discuss the upcoming "Sitzkrieg," but in the meantime keep an eye on your naval forces and ensure they don't find themselves in a battle they cannot win.
 
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After the fall of Poland, allow a couple of days to pass so that your units recover from recent attacks. In the first few days, your IC will slowly rise as you incorporate your new provinces into the Third Reich. Danzig, Torun, Bydgoszcz, and Poznan are considered national (or "core") provinces, so you get all of the IC, manpower, and resources that these provinces offer. The rest of Poland consists of foreign provinces, and you only receive a fraction of the IC, manpower, and resources from there.

After a day or two has passed, pause the game. Create a run of 99x serial run, 3x parallel run of MTN divisions, and a run of 99x18 INF divisions. We have a lot of manpower in our manpower pool, and it isn't being efficiently employed in the war effort just sitting there. Let's use the time and IC we have now to turn that manpower into a lot of divisions.

Zoom out until you can see all of Poland, and drag a box around every land unit you have in the east. When every single land unit is highlighted, hold shift and right-click on the province of Kassel. Holding shift while you right-click orders these units to move by "strategic redeployment." This simulates moving your units by railroad, truck, etc. In other words, you are using your TC to move them, instead of having them march to their next destination. After shift and right-clicking Kassel, the following box appears:

1stratdeploy.jpg


Ensure strategic redeployment is checked, and click OK. All those units disappear from the map, and will be stored in your deployment queue until the date shown in the box - 22 September. While in the deployment queue, they will drag down your TC (remember, this is simulating the movement of these units by our scarce transportation resources); don't worry about the TC right now though - we don't have any fights going on to worry about.

A couple of days after those units start their strategic redeployment, look at the now-empty provinces of Poland. Click on the Partisan map viewer (the button underneath the global map in the lower left, with a rifle depicted - fifth from the right). With this viewer, we see that those "foreign" provinces of Poland are bright red, indicating major partisan activity. Partisans drag down our TC and, if left unchecked, could explode into outright rebellion. We want to suppress this partisan activity. Fortunately, we have just created enough GAR units to do this. Go to the deployment queue, and deploy one GAR division to each of the eleven red provinces: Suwalki, Lomza, Warsaw, Lublin, Radom, Lodz, Czestochowa, Kielce, Zamosc, Przemysl, and Cracow. Go to each of these newly created corps, give them an anti-partisan mission, and rename them according to the naming scheme "Garrison Warsaw." It may be a pain in the neck to rename each individual corps of GAR divisions, but otherwise it will be very difficult for you to track all your other land units. By giving them a tag that begins with "Garrison," you can instantly identify those corps. GARs are weak in combat and we don't expect them to ever see combat, so we can leave them with the generic leader. After they have been deployed and rename, click on each one in turn, and click on the Do Not Upgrade button (third button from the left in unit interface, looks like a bullseye). GARs do not need to be upgraded to do their jobs, and if we do not click the Do Not Upgrade button then we will get swamped with the costs of upgrading them when we research a new GAR model.

After deploying these GARs, highlight all of the air wings in Konigsberg, Breslau, and Berlin, and order them to rebase to the Western Front according to these orders:

3rebase.jpg


Remember, you can easily highlight all those air units by clicking on one air unit, and then holding shift and dragging a box around all of Berlin, Konigsberg, and Breslau. Note that re-basing these air units incurs a significant drop in org - this would be a problem if we were planning on going to war right away. However, we are going to wait out the winter before attacking on the Western Front, just like the Germans did historically.

Incidentally, it is possible to redeploy your troops to the Western Front right away, and launch an attack on Belgium and France (and Netherlands too, if you want) by mid-October, and have them defeated by early November. If successful, we would then be able to attack the Soviets in 1940, a year early, while they are unprepared. However, that is quite a risk, and we won't do it this game. Besides, it could be a bit "gamey."

Let a day pass, and turn the Partisan map mode back on. We see that all those provinces that we deployed GARs to are now green, except two (if your provinces are still red, click on them to change the color). The way partisan suppression works is this: the suppression value of the division is subtracted from the partisan activity of the province it is in. If the division is on an anti-partisan mission, that suppression value is doubled. Furthermore, each division has a spill-over effect into adjacent provinces. Our GAR divisions, even while on anti-partisan missions, do not have enough suppression power to suppress all of the partisans in their provinces. But with the spillover from all of the other adjacent provinces with GARs, nine of the eleven Polish provinces are at 0% partisan activity (although the very second we move that GAR, it will skyrocket back up to 26%).

2police.jpg


To reduce partisan activity in Suwalki and Lodz, we will attack military police brigades (POL-1) to them. Go to the production folder and start a run of 1x serial run, 2x parallel run POLs. They are cheap and will be completed within a month. If a rebellon sprouts up in Lodz or Suwalki before then, the GAR division there will be able to defeat it.

A couple of days after Poland is annexed, an event will fire requiring us to return any provinces from Eastern Poland to the Soviets. This event is automatic, and is "just in case" our invasion took us into Eastern Poland, for whatever reason (if you followed my battle plan from the last lesson, we will have taken no Eastern Polish provinces). If you do have Eastern Poland provinces, but don't want to give them back, you can click "Do not honor that worthless agreement." However, since we don't even have any provinces to give up anyway, and we don't want the Soviets riled up just yet, go ahead and click Honor the pact.

4eastpoland.jpg


In late September, all of our forces will have re-deployed to Kassel. After redeployment, their org has been sharply reduced. Remember that strategic redeployment reduces org, so we won't use it too much when we are actively fighting. However, France won't be attacking us anytime soon, so we can get these guys positioned on the borders with France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. We also want to prepare for our impending invasion of Denmark and Norway.

Just like when we positioned our forces for the invasion of Poland, so too with the Western Front we want to position them according to a cohesive strategy. In this case, we will repeat history and make the Ardennes region of Belgium (southeast part of Belgium) our main point of attack.

Highlight the entire stack in Kassel. Right-click on Cologne, then shift-click all three of your panzer corps, six infantry corps, one of the HQs, and the infantry corps that Rundstedt is commanding. This de-highlights them and leaves them with the order to go to Cologne. Next, right-click Rostock. Shift-click the MTN corps and two INF corps to de-highlight them with orders to Rostock. Next, right-click Kiel, and shift-click the CAV division. Next, right-click Munster, and shift-click the second HQ. Finally, right-click Aachen. Shift-click eleven infantry corps, and make sure one of those corps is the one commanded by Blomberg.

5orders.jpg


Do you see how we're going to do this? When we decide to invade France in the spring, we will use Rundstedt to power his way through Bastogne and Arlon, with infantry holding the line open as our panzers slash deep through Belgium and into France. Once our panzers get to Reims, they can disperse, wreaking havoc over the unprotected French interior. One panzer corps will slash northwest to cut off any Allied units in Belgium. Once those units are cut off, Blomberg's forces will fight their way into Antwerp and Liege. Our forces bordering the Netherlands will easily sweep away the paltry Dutch defenses.

We can't just steamroll through our mutual border with France, because France has extensive fortifications all along that border. We could pound that area with wave after wave of attack, but we would get nowhere and just suffer a lot of casualties for our efforts.

During this time, remember to keep an eye on our submarine fleets. If you find that one particular fleet keeps getting into battles with large Allied fleets, over and over again, it is probably because the Allied fleet is patroling that area for subs. Just give the sub fleet convoy raiding orders for a new area of the ocean.

In late September, a new MTN division is created. Use it to form a new Alpenjagerkorps, based in Rostock. Detach an ART from whichever INF division in Saarbrucken or Freiburg you attached them to; when it becomes available after a week, attach that ART to the MTN division. As more MTNs are created in the next few months, continue to add use them to create 3x MTN corps in Rostock. We are going to use these MTNs to take out Norway (which has a VP way up north, through the mountains). However, to get to Norway we need to use transports (or, alternately, we could delcare war on Sweden and march straight from Copenhagen into Malmo, and up into Norway through Sweden - but that's gamey and we won't do it). We have 9x transports now, and we will get an additional 3x transports in the spring as a result of an event. That means we can only take 12x divisions (4x corps) in any one delivery. We really don't need more than that, so as we add more and more MTNs to Rostock, we can start to send the regular INFs that are there away - send them to the border with the Soviet Union. Just make sure you always have at least 4x corps in Rostock.

Also in late September, the month long air missions that we had asigned at the outbreak of war with Poland will be coming to an end. Give all of the INT wings orders to continue conducting Air Superiority missions over their respective areas, but this time extend the end date of that mission to May 1940.

As other units are being created, continue to deploy them. Keep making 4x unit air wings, and since you have the Western Front pretty well covered you can start deploying them to places like Warsaw and Memel. Assign submarines to the back-up submarine fleet you have in Wilhelmshafen. As the active sub fleets come back to Wilhelmshafen in January when their mission are ending, you can swap out the damaged boats from the active fleets with the fresh boats from this back-up fleet. This rotation can keep healthy, active sub fleets in the Atlantic at all times.

When the next SP Art is created, be sure to cancel the run of outdated STuG.III's, and start a new run of 99x1 STuG.42's. You should have this model researched by now, and continuing to pump out oudated STuG.III's isn't worth the gearing bonus we had accumulated, since they must be updated immediately.

We will start receiving massive productions of INF late in the year, between the 99x12 run we started early in the year, and the 99x18 run we started in mid-September. As these are being created, deploy them into 3x INF corps. Deploy them to the Western Front until you have 2x corps in Wilhelmshafen, 4x corps in Munster, 4x corps in Dortmund, 12x corps in Aachen, and 7x corps in Cologne. After we have this, start lining the rest up in 3x INF corps along the border with the Soviet Union. In mid-December, you should have 1x ARM, 2x MOTs, and 3x SP-ARTs created - form these into a new panzer corps in Cologne, named "IV. Panzerarmeekorps," and commanded by one of your talented Panzer Leader commanders - like Hausser.

Remember to pause the game every month or so to check the Intelligence folder for enemy spies in Germany. Also, as techs are being discovered, assign the following research teams to work on the following techs, in this order:
  • Hugo Sperrle to work on Home Defense Doctrine
  • Karl Doentiz to work on Wolfpack Doctrine
  • Focke-Wulf to work on Improved Interceptor
  • Siemens to work on Advanced Computing Machine
  • Karl Raeder to work on Capital Ship Raider Group Doctrine

Remember to slow the game down and pause at midnight on 1 January 1940. Go to the Diplomacy folder and make a slider move toward Standing Army. Click on the portrait of Franz Gurtner, our Security Minister, and replace him by clicking on the portrait of Walter Buch. With all of these divisions we're producing, our manpower is getting low - we should be proactive and have Buch improve our manpower with his 10% bonus. Save the game as well.

6newyear1940.jpg


In January, sub fleets start returning to port as their missions end. Trade out their damaged subs for fresh ones from our reserve sub fleet, and send them back out on convoy raiding missions. Make the end date of the mission June 1940.

Sometime in early 1940, Finland will end its "Winter War" with the Soviet Union. As soon as this war ends, go to the Diplomacy folder and ask Finland to be our ally. The odds of a successful alliance should be around 95%; if, for some reason, it fails, just wait until the following week, improve relations with an "Influence Nation," and then the week after try again.

In February, we might start to run out of ART brigades for our many MTNs that we are producing, so start a run of 99x1 ARTs.

In March, we should get the Fall Weserubung event, which gives us 3x free transports and pits us at war with Denmark and Norway. Choose "Attack Norway and Denmark." The Sitzkrieg is over.

7fallweserubung.jpg


When we continue, we'll discuss waging war with our enemies in Scandinavia. You may have noticed that I am no longer covering every little detail of the game, down to the microscopic details. As we go along, you should be getting a feel for the basics of this game, and you are fully prepared to deal with the curveballs that the game sends you as you see fit. Starting with our invasion of France, I'm going to continue to really draw away from discussing the details, and start focusing on grand strategy - because that's what this game is really about.
 
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Good job, i follow a very similar plan for my invasion of Western Europe.
 
Up from lvl II or III and if paired in a single province Garrison Divisions also eliminate the revoltrisk in neighbouring Provinces.
 
Nice.....I also usually do the same but always seem to run out of time expanding my Infantry Div's by so much....

Do you build up your own Western Germany Fortifications just in case the Frenchies attack? I usually build them up to a Leval 3 or 4, and do the same along the French Coast once France is crushed.


Looking forward for the campaign in Norway/Denmark and France....

KLorberau
 
By the way Captain....Thanks for serving our country in Iraq...I have a son there in the 10th Mtn outside of Bagdad....He is also a Captain in the US Army......

God Bless you.

KLorberau
 
trekaddict said:
Up from lvl II or III and if paired in a single province Garrison Divisions also eliminate the revoltrisk in neighbouring Provinces.
I covered the spillover effect. Does anyone know what percent of the suppression value spills over into adjacent provinces?
KLorberau said:
Do you build up your own Western Germany Fortifications just in case the Frenchies attack? I usually build them up to a Leval 3 or 4, and do the same along the French Coast once France is crushed.
I didn't (those land fortifications are useless after I take out France), and I guess there's a risk that France could attack. I really hope they don't, because it will easily be cut off... seems like a flawed AI. But to try to prevent that, we'll deploy some extra divisions to those provinces.
KLorberau said:
By the way Captain....Thanks for serving our country in Iraq...I have a son there in the 10th Mtn outside of Bagdad....He is also a Captain in the US Army......
In 4th BDE? He'll be on his way back home soon then, right? My brigade was working with 4th BDE 10th MTN for a while. They have been doing good things up there.
 
I addmittedly only skimmed over that part as I was in quite a hurry. :eek:o

So anyway, the French normally don't attack even on agressive, at least during winter, as long as you have at least six Divisions in each border province.
 
I can't tell you how much I appreciate what you are doing here. HoI2 has been on my hard drive for some time now and every time I started it I felt totally overwhelmed although I have played EU, EUII, CK and Ricky.

But now! Now is the time to finally tackle this monster once again. I remember feeling the same joy when I discovered the Bohemia-Beginner-AAR for Crusader Kings.

Danke! Danke! Danke! ;)

I hope you will continue this absolutely brilliant AAR. If you finish this I'll vote for a sticky!
 
hoover2701 said:
I can't tell you how much I appreciate what you are doing here. HoI2 has been on my hard drive for some time now and every time I started it I felt totally overwhelmed although I have played EU, EUII, CK and Ricky.

But now! Now is the time to finally tackle this monster once again. I remember feeling the same joy when I discovered the Bohemia-Beginner-AAR for Crusader Kings.

Danke! Danke! Danke! ;)

I hope you will continue this absolutely brilliant AAR. If you finish this I'll vote for a sticky!
*Bows deeply* :eek:o :)

Thank you, thank you.
 
Ironhead 5 said:
I didn't (those land fortifications are useless after I take out France), and I guess there's a risk that France could attack. I really hope they don't, because it will easily be cut off... seems like a flawed AI. But to try to prevent that, we'll deploy some extra divisions to those provinces.

12 Divisions per province will deter the AI from attacking at any game setting (at least that is my experience). They don't have to be high quality troops either.
 
Immediately after the Fall Weserubung event, Keep the game paused. Click on the CAV in Kiel. Right-click in Kolding to send the CAV up to seize that unprotected province. Historically, Denmark surrendered only one day after Germany declared war; in the game, an event will fire that will force Denmark to surrender after only one of their provinces is taken. After our CAV takes Kolding, all we have to do is sit on it for a few days until Denmark's surrender event fires. Incidentally, if we wanted to take all of Denmark and annex them outright, we could. Doing so also gives us the Danish properties of Iceland and Greenmark. Although these make great staging areas for invading North America, they are difficult to defend; and annexing Denmark outright gives us sky-high partisan activity in those provinces, whereas the Danish surrender event reduces partisan activity to a maximum of 2%.

1denmarksurrender.jpg


Unpause the game, and let a few days run, until the Danish surrender event fires. We should be getting another run of INFs produced in this time; assign one 3x INF corps to Freiburg, and another to Stuttgart, to bring those provinces up to four total corps. Assign the remainder to the Eastern Front, to continue lining the border with the Soviet Union. As we approach the spring season, and the weather improves, France may try to attack one of our border provinces; stacking more divisions there will dissuade them. If they do attack though, don't panic. The French will usually send all of their divisions from Strasbourg and Mulhouse into Freiburg, thus leaving their Maginot Line defenses unguarded. While the French take Freiburg and Friedrichshafen, you can send your divisions from Saarbrucken south to take Strasbourg and Mulhouse, and cut the French off.

After the Danish surrender event fires, drag a box around the naval base at Rostock to highlight both I. Truppentransporterflotte and Weserubung Transport Force. Combine these two fleets. Then click on each corps of MTN and INF stationed at Rostock and load these up into the fleet. With the fleet highlighted, right-click on the sea province immediately south of Oslo. There is an option, under the fleet's dropdown orders menu, to conduct an "amphibious assault," but this order is a bit buggy. Instead, when the fleet arrives in the sea province south of Oslo, pause the game and highlight the fleet. In the bottom left-hand corner of the unit interface screen is a button to start unloading troops. Press this button; all the corps loaded up in the fleet are now highlighted. Right-click on Oslo to have them conduct an amphibious assault on Oslo.

2unloadattack.jpg


Note that we could not conduct this attack until Denmark surrendered. The reason for this is that there are some sea provinces that are narrow straits and are controlled by nearby land provinces. The sea province immediately around Copenhagen is one such province - we cannot traverse this sea province if we are at war with the country controlling Copenhagen. Once we take Copenhagen, we now control the entrance to the Baltic Sea. Other examples of straits include the western entrance to the Mediterranean Sea (controlled by Gibraltar), the entrance to the Meditteranean Sea through the Suez Canal, the Dardanelles (controlled by Istanbul, and uniquely, can only be traversed by those allied with the controller of Istanbul) and the Panama Canal.

Oslo is weakly defended, and after a day or two of amphibious assaulting we should defeat the defenders and take the province. Wait one day for our units to recover, and then send the fleet back to Rostock. Drag a box around Oslo, highlighting all the units inside. Shift and click one INF corps to leave that corps in Oslo to defend, and then right-click on the province of Narvik (way up in northern Norway). The remaining units will thus march on Narvik, Norway's last remaining VP province. It is a long march through rough country, so it will take them a while to get up there. Alternately, we could re-base our transport fleet to Oslo, and load those MTNs up into the fleet and ship them up to Narvik; but if we do so, there is a terrible risk that the British navy will find our defenseless transports and destroy them - and the divisions they are carrying. When we finally annex Norway, we will have to garrison it to suppress the high partisan activity that will spring up there, so let's start a run of 15x GARs in a parellel run.

Meanwhile, take a look at the weather in western Europe. We can do this by clicking on the weather map mode (third button from the left under the global map). Let time pass and wait until the frozen weather around France clears up. In my game, the frozen weather was completely gone by 1 April, with only a couple of frozen provinces in Switzerland.

3weather.jpg


Now is as good a time as any to invade Western Europe. With the game paused, go to the Diplomacy folder and declare war on the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. We can also try to ally with Japan at this point. The only reason we waited until now to ally with Japan is because they could have gotten a "Pearl Harbor" event early, and that would have put us at war with the United States and the Netherlands earlier than we wanted.

Click on all of the air units, in turn, that we have on the Western front that don't currently have orders. Give any idle INTs Air Superiority missions over Belgium and eastern France. Give our CASs Interdiction missions over southeast Belgium (Wallonia) and eastern France (Alsace-Lorraine). Give our TACs Interdiction missions over the Netherlands, western Belgium (Flanders), and other parts of eastern France (Bourgogne Champaigne, Pas de Calais, Paris, etc). Change the game speed to Normal. Let game time pass until it is 05:00.

At 05:00, drag a box and highlight the corps in Wilhelmshafen. Right-click in Leeuwarden; hold shift, and right-click in Amsterdam and Rotterdam as well. Drag a box and highlight the corps in Munster. Shift and click the HQ unit to keep it in Munster without orders. Right-click in Leeuwarden, then hold shift and right-click in Amsterdam and Rotterdam as well. Hold shift and click two of the INF corps; that de-highlights them with those orders. With the other two INF corps, right-click Arnhem, and then shift and right-click Eindhoven. This gives them orders to march through Arnhem and then wheel south toward Eindhoven.

Drag a box around Dortmund. Using the same method of shift-right-clicking and shift-clicking described above, send two INF corps through Arnhem and into Eindhoven; send the other two corps through Eindhoven and into Rotterdam. Drag a box around Aachen. Shift-click INF corps until there are only two INF corps left highlighted (and make sure neither one of these is the one commanded by Blomberg). Right-click Eindhoven, and shift-right-click Rotterdam, to send two corps through Eindhoven and into Rotterdam.

Drag a box around Cologne. Shift-click the HQ unit and V. Panzerarmeekorps (which currently consists of only a single MOT in my game) to de-highlight them. Right-click Luxembourg, and then shift-click two INF corps to de-highlight them with those orders (and ensure Rundstedt's corps was not one of those de-highlighted with orders for Luxembourg). Right-click Bastogne, and then shift-right-click Arlon. Shift-click one of the INF corps (not Rundstedt's!) to de-highlight that corps and leave it with orders only to Arlon. Shift-right-click Reims. Shift-click the remaining INF corps (including Rundstedt's this time) to leave them with orders to Reims. Then shift-right-click Troyes, and shift-click two of the remaining panzer corps. For the remaining two corps, we have to re-draw their orders through Reims, so without holding shift, right-click Bastogne again. Then shift-right-click Arlon and Reims again, then shift-right-click Compeigne. Shift-click one of the remaining panzer corps to de-highlight it with those orders. Then, without holding shift, right-click Bastogne again. Then shift-right-click Arlon and Reims again, then shift-right-click Valenciennes to give the remaining panzer corps orders for Valenciennes.

Finally, before unpausing it, drag a box around Saarbrucken. Shift-click the two Osterreich corps, leaving the other two corps highlighted. Right-click on Luxembourg, and choose Support Attack. Click OK.

Our scheme of attack looks like this:

4attackwestfront.jpg


Unpause the game. Because we have given orders to our units that bring them deep into the enemy's provinces, we can let the game run pretty much unchecked for a while. However, this invasion is much larger than our invasion of Poland, and there are a lot of variables that we need to ready for. I cannot predict everything that will happen; your game might proceed differently than mine. But you know how to order units around, and we should a pretty firm grasp of how to conduct war. If the enemy throws a curveball your way, trust in your own abilities to react.

Because our units have orders that bring them way beyond the provinces they intially attack, we won't get pop-ups informing us when these first few provinces fall. Keep your eyes on the map, and when you see Arnhem fall, send the HQ unit from Munster through Arnhem, into Utrecht, and then into Eindhoven. When Bastogne falls, send the HQ unit from Cologne into Bastogne. When Arlon falls, send that same HQ into Arlon, and on again into Reims when Reims falls. Keep that HQ in Reims with Rundstedt's forces.

One curveball that the enemy threw in my game, was that they attacked a weak spot in our defenses. Several divisions from Liege attacked Cologne, which was defended only by the single MOT from V. Panzerarmeekorps. While it may appear that this attack poses a problem for us, it actually poses an opportunity for us to counterattack. By sending their divisions on an attack, the Belgians and French have forfeited their "dig in" bonus. Furthermore, if we attack a province that has divisions attacking another province, we get a huge 50% "flanking" bonus. We happen to have a lot of divisions adjacent to Liege (in Reims and Aachen), so all we have to do is send 2x corps from Aachen to Attack Liege, while using an additional 6x corps from Aachen and 1x corps from Arlons to Support Attack Liege. By attacking from two directions, and capitalizing upon the Flanking bonus, we quickly defeat the forces in Liege before they can defeat our single MOT in Cologne.

5liegecounterattack.jpg


Take an opportunity in early April to look at the situation in Norway. Our MTN troops should be making good progress toward Narvik, but that single division that we had beaten out of Oslo is threatening to move into Hamar and cut off our forces. Use the INF in Oslo to attack Kristiansand and push this division back before it can cut off our MTNs.

Our panzers should start arriving at their destinations in France a few days after the attack begins. They made need a few hours to reorganize. After they reorganize, send one of the panzer corps in Troyes to Attack Paris, while the other panzercorps in Troyes and the panzer corps in Compiegne Support Attack. After forces in Paris are defeated, the two panzer corps that supported the attack will need 24 hours to recover. After those 24 hours are up, use shift-right-click to send those three panzer corps on a mad dash through the rest of northern and western France, trying to pick up as many unguarded provinces as possible - like this:

6tankdash.jpg


While these panzers are grabbing unguarded provinces, they may occasionally run into a division or two. It is best to attack these single divisions (using Support Attacks from adjacent panzer corps if necessary), rather than bypass them, because we are so deep behind enemy lines that a bypassed enemy division could re-take a province and cut us off.

Send the panzer corps that we had originally sent to Valenciennes onward toward the coast - Amiens, and then Calais. Also send an INF corps from Reims into Valenciennes to protect it from being cut off. This effectively cuts off the forces in Belgium. Once the forces in Belgium are cut off, all those INF divisions we have surrounding the remaining provinces of Belgium can be sent forward to overrun the rest of Belgium. We can also go to the Diplomacy folder and Annex Luxembourg after we take Luxembourg's single province.

7endbelgium.jpg


Even after we take all those Belgian provinces, there may still be enemy units "floating" around Belgium, caught in a state of retreat. These units remain intact until they reach the province they were supposed to be retreating toward. If the province they were retreating toward is empty, they seize control of that province. If the province they were retreating from is empty, they will remain in that province and seize control of it again. Only if both the province they are retreating from and retreating toward is controlled by our units will it then be destroyed. For this reason, we must keep all of our forces in Belgium for a couple of days after seizing all Belgian provinces, until all floating enemy units are destroyed. After all enemy units are destroyed, send all those INFs in Belgium south, to rejoin the fight against France. We can also cancel any air missions over the Netherlands, Belgum, and northern France as we take these provinces.

8attacksouth.jpg


Meanwhile, France will be withdrawing the bulk of its forces from the Maginot Line. (Incidentally, if we had taken Chaumont when we had also seized Troyes, Compiegne, Valenciennes, and Reims, France would have gotten an event reducing their Maginot Line defenses from Level 10 forts to Level 3 forts - however, we did not need to do this, and taking Chaumont can be difficult with the limited forces we had pushed through the Ardennes) As these forces retreat from the Maginot Line, they might begin counterattacking into places like Auxerre and Bourges. We can afford to lose one or two provinces, just as long as the enemy isn't cutting off our rampaging panzers.

As forces from Belgium are trickling south, feel free to divert them to various places to shore up any defenses and prevent these French counterattacks from gaining any traction.

9attacksouth2.jpg


As long as we hold Paris, all we need to do is keep taking French provinces where they are weak - on the northwestern and western coasts. If we hold Paris, and seize 25% of France's "national" provinces (all continental provinces that France holds are national provinces), we can trigger the "Vichy" event. The Vichy event has a limited chance of firing after these conditions are met, so it may be several days or even weeks before it fires. In the meantime, continue taking individual provinces wherever they are weakly held. Don't bother attacking the Maginot Line - there is no need to incur so many casualties to take a paltry three provinces. In time, the Vichy event will fire, thus signifying the fall of France.

99vichyevent.jpg


In my game, the Vichy event fired the same day as our MTNs arrived in Narvik. Select Set up French Puppet Government in Vichy, and be sure to annex Norway when we take Narvik. Remember also to cancel the remaining air missions against France. If we choose total conquest of France, we will have a hell of a time on our hands - France has a few VP provinces in its overseas colonies, so we wouldn't be able to annex France for a long time. Furthermore, the Vichy event (much like the Danish surrender event) reduces partisan activity in French provinces to 2%, as opposed to the 26% we would see if we chose total conquest.

While all this is going on, we will have received a few builds. Put subs in our reserve sub fleet in Wilhelmshafen, and put planes in air wings on the Eastern Front (I recommend Warsaw). Cancel the run of INTs we have going, and start a new run of 99x2 INT with the new model that we have researched. Put INFs on the Eastern Front as well. After our next single MTN is produced, put it in Rostock, brigade it with an ART, and cancel that single MTN run (keep the run of 3x MTNs that we still have). After our next run of 18x INF is produced, cancel that run as well (keeping the run of 12x INFs that we still have). Put the single MTN that we have in Rostock onto the transport fleet, and send it up to Oslo. After the MTN division recovers, send it marching up to Narvik to join the MTN corps that has only two divisions in it. We are beginning to run low on manpower, and we need the IC from these runs to support our requirements for reinforcements and upgrades (since we should have researched the 1940 model of INT by this time).

Also, as techs are being discovered, assign the following research teams to work on the following techs, in this order:
  • Heinkel Flugzeugwerke to work on Improved Tactical Bomber
  • Wernher von Braun to work on Flying Bomb Development
  • I.G. Farben to work on Assembly Line Experimentation

France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, and Norway have fallen. For the next few months we will position our bombers to hammer England, while planning our next round of invasions into Yugoslavia and, inevitably, the Soviet Union.
 
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Seems good. Btw, you should add that even when at peace you can only traverse the Bosporus when you are allied to the controller of Istanbul.
 
Something else: If you ally Japan before the BP is fired then you are reliant on Japanese success against the SU to get the event, IIRC the Japanese have to take Vladivostok and several provinces in Siberia.
 
trekaddict said:
Something else: If you ally Japan before the BP is fired then you are reliant on Japanese success against the SU to get the event, IIRC the Japanese have to take Vladivostok and several provinces in Siberia.
If we are allied with Japan, we need to take Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Baku. Then we need to take either Sverdlovsk, OR Vladivostok. If Japan doesn't get off their ass and take Vladivostok, then we can still take Sverdlovsk (hopefully).