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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Rensslaer

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In the middle of September, 1941, our 1st Armored Car Brigade had made contact with a British Division defending the coastal road north toward Cairo, Egypt. The ACs had no likely ability to defeat a whole division, and so they halted, and awaited reinforcements.

1Nov1941Sudan.jpg


Those reinforcements had to come from the conquests of French central Africa, where they had been following the path of their armored cars – the 1st Brigade had split off from their parent division – slightly offset in order to lay claim to more British-held territory. This took quite a while, at the speed which Infantry could manage. By late October, they were just entering western Sudan. They continued to occupy more territory as they “rushed” toward the Red Sea. Other divisions, further south, were even more distant, and unlikely to be of help in opening the coast road.

Also at the end of October, Portuguese invaders had first landed in New Britain, and captured the key Pacific port of Rabaul. The Australian defenders had been lured away from their prize, and were trapped to the south of the port. On Halloween Day, the Australians were defeated by the combined force of two Portuguese divisions, and retreated south.

31Oct1941Rabaul.jpg


And, if you’ll indulge me for a moment, I became unreasonably amused by seeing a division in Africa described as being “Supplied from: De Aar”. :)

In the 2nd week of November, we began coordinated operations to gain a base on the northern shore of New Guinea, on the Australian-controlled half. These efforts centered on the Australian naval base at Lae.

7Nov1941PortMoresby.jpg


Again, the enemy had left the port itself unguarded (yet again, the AI is our playtoy – I couldn’t have accomplished all this if the AI hadn’t made dumb moves), and we moved in. But the Australians attacked us as soon as we arrived, and the odds were not good. Granted, our units were regular infantry, while theirs were equal numbers of garrison troops. But Australian garrison troops were pretty well trained, so they were a significant threat to us. Please note that the enemy are the Port Moresby Garrison – raising the possibility that they had abandoned their southern port, too (our air raids established that they did have defenders nearby, so grabbing it wouldn’t have been easy).

But our 18th Division was not alone. Another division landed further west, along the coast, and began leapfrogging a path (land, conquer, return to transport, land, conquer…) southeast toward the fighting. We also used tactical bombers based out of Rabaul to begin pounding the British airbase at Port Moresby – they had bombers there which were causing problems for us. Within a few days, we had brought our fighter-bomber airwing into action (I don’t recall when this finished equipping, but this is their first major battle), and they, too, were attacking the Australian bombers.

10Nov1941Lae.jpg


When the 15th Division reached the Lae area, from the north, they engaged upon the Australians’ flanks, and quickly began to wear down the enemy.

Within a week, and just in the nick of time (the 18th Division was on its last legs), we defeated the Australians with our second attack, and they began to retreat by boat across the channel to New Britain. Naturally, we were concerned this could pose a threat to our takeover there.

17Nov1941LaeNewBritain.jpg


But our naval squadron, including destroyers and the cruiser Matosinhos, moved into the channel and blocked their crossing. Thus foiled, the Australians surrendered.

Back home, in Lisbon, another armored car brigade came into service.

27Nov1941NewGuineaSouth.jpg


Our 15th Division moved south, hoping there would be no more enemy opposition. This proved overly optimistic, and an Australian infantry division struck back on November 25th. We wouldn’t be able to resist their 3 brigades for long. By sea, again, we landed the 3rd Cavalry, which hit the Australians’ rear flank, finding a second Australian division there.

The 15th eventually tired, and was forced to retreat back toward Lae. One Australian division followed, while the other kept the 3rd Cavalry engaged (who were fast running out of supplies). All of my divisions were understrength – the Portuguese 2-brigade units which had enabled us to be everywhere at all times – and so we could not realistically withstand such attacks. The Australians advanced back toward Lae, which was now looking more and more vulnerable to recapture.

4Dec1941NewGuinea.jpg


Quickly, two divisions were brought from our enclave on the southern coast of New Guinea (we didn’t want to use them, as they were protecting against Australian invasion, but we didn’t have a choice now).

Finally, if a little late, we advanced our Infantry tech, which helps our Organization in combat.

6Dec1941RescueNG.jpg


The Cavalry, too, was forced to flee at the beginning of December. If we didn’t do something quickly, they would be run down and forced to surrender. Our navy landed a division by sea southeast of where the Cavalry had lost their battle, thereby securing a retreat-enclave where our cavalry could reach and survive. Then the second infantry division was landed at Buna, where the cavalry had just been defeated, and the Australians were suddenly outnumbered and unable to advance any further. Their counteroffensive was stymied.

9Dec1941Buna.jpg


The 6th Division having served its purpose in saving the Cavalry from certain surrender, they take to the sea again, and are brought around to the southern coast of New Guinea. Landed there, in an area where they are unlikely to make contact with Australian troops, who are all busy, now, in the south, the 6th advances to the north, attempting to take territory, and perhaps link up with our northern forces.

We are fortunate the Australian Navy is not coordinated or brave enough to appear in the defense of New Guinea. We are protected by a cruiser, which is our foremost naval power right now, but the Australians should be able to blow it out of the water with a concentrated attack.

11Dec1941NewGuinea.jpg


Returning to the rest of the world, as we wrap up, it’s important to note that we have solidified a treaty with Colombia for them to supply us with refined Fuel (for a pretty great cost!). We have good stockpiles of Crude Oil, but our refining capacity is limited, and so we are quickly running out of Fuel for our aircraft and our few motorized/armored units. This will help solve that issue.

By mid-December, the 14th Infantry Division has marched all the way across Sudan, and has taken a position on the flank of the British 54th, which was blocking our armored cars from taking the road north toward Cairo (remember our race? – it’s critically important that we start moving north along the coast road, if we ever intend to beat the Italians to Cairo or Alexandria).

13Dec1941Sudan.jpg


Once the 14th has “pinned” the British, so that they are otherwise occupied, the 1st Armored Car begins driving north in a hook around the British position, meaning to cut them off and then attack from their northern flank. Coordination of attacks is the only way Portugal has survived this war so far, and it’s still the only way we’ll make it. These individual, small, divisions just aren’t strong enough to accomplish anything on their own.

11Dec1941China.jpg


In closing, I’ll note that the Japanese were closing in on the capital of the Guangxi Clique, as of December 7th, 1941. On the 11th, the Guangxi surrendered, and were made into a puppet government, obedient to Japan’s bidding.

Despite the Japanese victories in China, there are no signs that they might be intending to widen the war to encompass either Britain or the United States.
 

loki100

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I wonder whose aar was providing the supply? As ever engrossing stuff & amazing how much mileage you can get out of so few forces. Will you go for Australia itself or is that a step too far?
 

unmerged(58610)

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The power of the AAR is truly awesome!

Neat moves against the Australians. How close are you to taking all the Dutch East Indies? Should be close, now. You're paying through the nose for refined fuel. Didn't have any real choice. You can't spare the IC to research and build refineries.

7 December 1941 and no Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. The Germans have not attacked Russia. These are positive non-developments for Portugal.

Win the race to Alexandria.
 

Stuyvesant

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That 'Aar' thing is kinda cute. :) judging by its name, it sounds Dutch, so I'll assume the province is in South Africa. If that's true, you have one gigantic supply line to keep your troops supplied in Egypt...

Good actions in Australia's backwater - I thought you were in real trouble there, for a while, but you managed to turn things around.
 

Enewald

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Why not lure Aussies into New Guinea and meanwhile steal their VP's?
 

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That 'Aar' thing is kinda cute. :) judging by its name, it sounds Dutch, so I'll assume the province is in South Africa. If that's true, you have one gigantic supply line to keep your troops supplied in Egypt...

Good actions in Australia's backwater - I thought you were in real trouble there, for a while, but you managed to turn things around.

Also "De Aar" sounds an awfull lot like "De Ar", which means literally "From Air" in portuguese :D

Suitable supply line :D
 

unmerged(53911)

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What's going on in New Guinea is practically a pitched battle for Portugal! Your fighting has been so asymmetric that I am glad to see you still remember that while it's not always numbers that help to win a battle, they can sure be helpful. Keep slogging through the swamps and jungles.
 

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What's going on in New Guinea is practically a pitched battle for Portugal! Your fighting has been so asymmetric that I am glad to see you still remember that while it's not always numbers that help to win a battle, they can sure be helpful. Keep slogging through the swamps and jungles.
Because those swamps and jungles are oh so helpful to your industry... :p
 

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And so the noose tightens on our foes! If it keeps up maybe your big enemies will starve and your small ones will be annexed!
 

Fire and Ash

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Most interesting developments. I'm tempted to say that you should launch a invasion of Australia. So far mos of the territory captured in the war is low level infra and IC at best. You're kinda in the position the Germans would have been if they conquered Africa. Lots of land, but not enough infa to make the resources worth it for at least a few years.

Australia on the other hand is a whole different kettle. A much larger IC and infa established to take it. Australia will probably the first of your big tests for your military as nearly every invasion of Australia usually is fought by one nation. Japan won't help you especially if it's stuck in China. Take Australia and it's only a few months before you could bring the whole of the pacific under your control. Hell, even India could be worth a chance.
 

Klewer

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Even if you just capture and hold the east cost where most of the IC is.
 

Rensslaer

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Wow. Just realized I wrote a bunch of feedback Friday but forgot to post it! :D

I just caught up with this. Excellent AAR you have going here!

Welcome, SuperJames! Thanks! Glad you've been reading, and are caught up -- much more to come!

You're right that I haven't read 'Fire Warms' yet - and I doubt I ever will: that thing's just so... daunting. Plus, there's another little Stuyvette on the way (ETA July), so I'll be lucky if I can maintain my current reading load after that. Not exactly the time to start a 5000-page (I'm sure that's not an exaggeration at all) AAR.

But I'm certainly looking forward to seeing how this progresses, whenever you have the time for it.

Thanks! Congrats on your "Stuyvette!" :)

Seems like you could use a bit more help in the Caribbean, so ship them there Seems like the logical choice!

I think the Caribbean will be okay, so long as I just maintain what I have and the British don't try to dislodge me -- they've been pretty static, up to now, and I haven't seen the Royal Navy, really.

Raid supplies from northern Ireland.

Yeah, I wish! :)

thats an impressive raid by your armoured cars. You've not mentioned it (or I've missed it) but if the Germans haven't invaded the UK, I'd opt for the Carribean, if they have then the Far East, they'll help shore up your various gains against any Australian activity

No German invasion of the UK just yet. Not sure why they're waiting -- I may have missed a failed attempt, but the AI invasions have not been very impressive so far, so it's possible they tried and failed. As you see, I agreed on the Far East. Lots of territory there, still.

Ouch! That's a painful loss - not the transport, of course, but losing a whole division... That could be your worst wartime loss yet!

But it seems like you've already replaced it (with TWO new units, to boot), so no harm done there.

Since the Red Sea area appears a bit dangerous for your ships, I'd not send those shiny new divisions there. Is there anything left to do in the Carribean? Otherwise, I'd send them east. Far East - like the Dutch East Indies. Yeah, playing defense is not very glamorous, but I'm still concerned about Australia's troops. It's just a short hop from Darwin to the Indies...

Or, to match Enewald for a more 'exotic' suggestion: why not liberate Goa? ;)

I'm concerned about the Far East, also! The loss of a transport is actually a big deal, since we have so few and since our strategy hangs so thoroughly on sea transport and mobility. The loss of the division isn't helpful, either.

This is one awesome AAR. Been lurking around for quite some time now, and your work is impressive. I wish more people played more minors and less majors, imo.

Welcome, SanderP! Thanks! Glad you finally said hello. Surely, one reason to play a minor is to stand out from the crowd. I can't keep track of all the Germany AARs! :)

The Caribbean seems a logical choice to me as well as to many of my fellow readAARs. However, there may already be enough troops in theater to accomplish your goals. So, I will not speculate further except to say that they should go where they can be useful. I'm feeling "vaguely sage-like" today. ;)

Oh, you're right -- my previous comments (above) were not meant to suggest the Caribbean was not CRITICAL to my strategy. But you're right also that I think I have enough troops there, so I'm not as concerned about it as I am about other fronts. Your sagacity is appreciated!

Send them to timor, to see if you can take over the rest of indonesia

This is kind of what I ended up doing -- in fact Timor is EXACTLY what I ended up doing, and they're there to help secure the region.

Send them to the Far East to finish off the Dutch.

Finally the British ai send real ships to sink your transports. Egypt does look like a redline. You could do with the Italians doing something to help. Perhaps, the Italians will, now that you've taken out the British in east and south africa.

Yes, indeed -- the Far East was their destination. However, the Dutch are kind of a paper tiger these days, which is why I have spent so little time taking those last 1/3 of Dutch East Indies provinces. I'm more concerned about Australia's army, now, which is unbowed.

I think you're right too -- my success spurred the Italians to action. Not sure if it was my advance, or the fact that there were fewer British divisions around.

I say send them to clear out the Dutch, with the Royal navy "finally" getting their heads out of their ehm.. behinds :p things might get difficult around africa (whats left of it).
And with the threat of Australia you need to clear things up quickly around their islands.

Yeah, Australia really threw a wrench into things! In a way, especially since I'm their primary opponent, whereas Germany is Britain's primary opponent, they are a greater threat to me than England!

Put it in Indonesia, and finish the dutch before the Japs arrive. And get Philly once they're in the war?
Puppeting Australia and New Zealand would be nice too.

Welcome, TheConfusedOne! The Dutch are pretty much done. I later find out they had one unit left, but otherwise it's just a matter of moving through their unconquered territory at my leisure. For some reason, New Zealand is in the Allies, but I'm not at war with them... Odd. I'm not looking for more enemies! :D

Take over Arkansas so I can proudly say "My homeland was ruled by the mighty Portugese"!

Yeah... Read my note above about not seeking more enemies! :D

Forget Egypt. Think about the Middle East!

Honestly, the Middle East is mere sand to me. :D I have more than enough oil from the East Indies. I'll get there, eventually... Just not a priority.

The most important thing about Egypt is probably Suez, if you can send a few divisions using those transports you have, there to stake your claim it would help allot. On the other hand, I'm not sure exactly what Egypt has in terms of resources, so it might also be good to take over a few other provinces...

Ahh, yes... I'm getting the same advice from my general staff. :) I'm not going to spoil the surprise, so I'll just let you watch for the next update.

Egypt itself doesn't have much. Alexandria is the key supply base, though, for British forces in the Med and Middle East.

43 transports and a fleet that could have sunk the Portuguese transports for fun. Must have been short on fuel.

Of course the Italians are moving now. British forces will respond to them. They'll leave Alexandria unguarded. It'll be a bit risky, you've pulled off equally audacious (harebrained) moves previously.

I'm really starting to wonder about the Allied fuel situation, for the same reason you're wondering. I'm not sure whether to blame Fuel or the AI -- this is v1.2, remember.

While I watched your transports move up into the Red Sea I could help but wonder if there were any assets in the Mediterranean which could accomplish the Egyptian invasion? I know it's far too late to help in the game, but it's what I was thinkin'.....

I have so many "priorities" right now, it's hard to focus too much energy on any one thing. Suez is my highest priority, really, but there are other necessary concerns like Australia that are dividing my attentions. I have folks on the way, but not quite a rapid deployment force.

I'm pretty sure he can't get past Gibraltar, so I think it's impossible for him to get into the Med (apart from the fact that there's bound to be a British naval presence that would make it rather foolhardy).

You're a bit behind the times: it's known as the Congo, again (or the 'Democratic Republic of the Congo', to be precise). :)

Unless that British division can hold up the Italians long enough (always a possibility, of course), I think you can wave goodbye to Alexandria and the Suez Canal. At least you still have plenty of opportunity in the Pacific. I see those new heavy cruisers you're building: do you ever (in the course of the game) put your shiny new cruisers in harm's way, or are they more like a fleet-in-being?

Oh, you're right! :) Forgot about those name changes -- Burkina Faso and Myanmar I know, but I'd forgotten about Zaire. In actuality, I CAN get into the Med -- this is v1.2 with some bugs unfixed still -- which is actually bad, because sometimes my ships will choose a path going through there and I'll have to rescue them! :D It's a bad idea for me to be in the Med for long, even if the Italians have more of a presence than the British.

Thanks. I forgot that Spain was not an ally and there was no getting past the Pillars of Hercules! I wasn't as concerned about the British in the Med as the Italians were active and likely causing them some trouble.

Yeah, Spain is such a pain. They don't want to get involved, and they have the army they DO have camped out on my border, making me nervous. Not that they could overcome their neutrality to do anything against me.

Watch out for somali pirates. ;)

Privateers, more like! :)

*Delurks*

Excellent work!

*Lurks*

Welcome, OpAphid! Sounds like you've been following for a while -- thanks!

Very nice work so far! Now annex or puppet Australia and New Zealand!

Thanks! I'm entirely unsure, at this point, what to do with Australia. It's like finding an elephant in your backyard, and not knowing whether he's a threat or a pushover. :) I'm circling slowly.

Puppet whole Ocenia !!!

The Brits do still have some territory out there, but like the Dutch, I haven't had time to grab all those little islands.

Annex Whole Oceania.

One day I will be free to detail a transport and a garrison brigade... :D

Someone has too many AARs going :)

Only 3 1/2 now! :D

He has enough AARs going :D But only enough :D

Thanks, Tallfellow! :)

I wonder whose aar was providing the supply? As ever engrossing stuff & amazing how much mileage you can get out of so few forces. Will you go for Australia itself or is that a step too far?

Thanks! I'm rather amazed at my mileage, too! :D Still circling on Australia...

Neat moves against the Australians. How close are you to taking all the Dutch East Indies? Should be close, now. You're paying through the nose for refined fuel. Didn't have any real choice. You can't spare the IC to research and build refineries.

7 December 1941 and no Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. The Germans have not attacked Russia. These are positive non-developments for Portugal.

Win the race to Alexandria.

Thanks! The Japanese are still quite seriously occupied in China -- they're expanding out of Guangxi territory, which had become their ally, but they haven't really made much progress recently. Thanks about Australia/NewGuinea! I now control about 2/3 of the territory of the Dutch East Indies -- just haven't had time to invest my few scattered troops to take the rest of it. Yes, refining is a major problem for me. I just don't have the IC to do much, and with so few tech slots, I'm trying to make progress, but it's slow on everything.

That 'Aar' thing is kinda cute. :) judging by its name, it sounds Dutch, so I'll assume the province is in South Africa. If that's true, you have one gigantic supply line to keep your troops supplied in Egypt...

Good actions in Australia's backwater - I thought you were in real trouble there, for a while, but you managed to turn things around.

Thanks! I'm sure you're right about the Dutch & South Africa. I'm not sure why I'm not being supplied from, say, Mombassa. If I had to guess there's probably some massive stockpile of supply in South Africa that is feeding it, so there's no need for a supply convoy to a closer port.

Aussies have big knifes, we should chose easier pickings :)

Last I checked, the Indians probably had the bigger knives, or I'd be looking at them instead of Australia. Not sure, at this point in the game (which of course is past, but speaking as I was...) which direction to go.

Also "De Aar" sounds an awfull lot like "De Ar", which means literally "From Air" in portuguese :D

Suitable supply line :D

That was actually my first thought, too! Being supplied from "the air". :)

What's going on in New Guinea is practically a pitched battle for Portugal! Your fighting has been so asymmetric that I am glad to see you still remember that while it's not always numbers that help to win a battle, they can sure be helpful. Keep slogging through the swamps and jungles.

Ahh yes -- I use whatever tactics serve. Here, coordination is essential. And I can't use my hunt & peck and/or sea-mobility tactics so easily, because the Australian Navy is hanging around in strength.... somewhere.

And so the noose tightens on our foes! If it keeps up maybe your big enemies will starve and your small ones will be annexed!

I'm wondering why the Allies aren't starved already... seems like between me and the Germans they'd be running out of shipping by now!

Most interesting developments. I'm tempted to say that you should launch a invasion of Australia. So far mos of the territory captured in the war is low level infra and IC at best. You're kinda in the position the Germans would have been if they conquered Africa. Lots of land, but not enough infa to make the resources worth it for at least a few years.

Australia on the other hand is a whole different kettle. A much larger IC and infa established to take it. Australia will probably the first of your big tests for your military as nearly every invasion of Australia usually is fought by one nation. Japan won't help you especially if it's stuck in China. Take Australia and it's only a few months before you could bring the whole of the pacific under your control. Hell, even India could be worth a chance.

Welcome, Fire and Ash! Australia is a really big nut to crack, though. Their troops-to-valuable-land ratio is higher than the Brits because of how much basically unsettled or even desert land there is. Their coastal cities are pretty well defended, and that's about the only thing I have to attack.

Even if you just capture and hold the east cost where most of the IC is.

Yeah... Getting to the East Coast is the trick, though... I would need a base elsewhere. And there aren't any easy pickings. Welcome, Klewer!



Hey... Just to let you all know. I've started playing this game again over the past week or so. I had gotten burned out on it, bored, and wasn't quite sure how to proceed. It laid dormant for a couple of years, I think. But since re-starting from my pause-point, I've been having a blast! :D So there's much more to come in coming weeks of updates! Very exciting stuff!

Update coming maybe this weekend -- no promises. RL stuff is getting in the way, and it's important stuff, so it needs to take priority. But I'll get this going, and we'll get back on schedule.

Thanks, everybody, for your readership and comments! Alot of new readers this feedback session! That's maybe because I posted 3 updates without feedback. :D

Rensslaer
 

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I think that reply even broke some forum rules :p
 

Rensslaer

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Sorry, but this update is a little longer than most, and not just because I start with some general background screenshots…

In recent feedback, I mentioned Japan’s situation in China, in response to a question about the Pearl Harbor attack. Guangxi is allied with Japan (neither is in the Axis), and so Japan is advancing slowly out of Manchuria, and slowly out of Guangxi, but really has made surprisingly little progress. As I recall, Japan had supply issues in these early HOI 3 patches which have been largely fixed in more recent versions.

Jan1942China.jpg


As it stands, the Japanese are stuck in China, and I don’t think they’re going to want to widen the war, which means the USA is safely out of the war for the foreseeable future.

Also, I wanted to show you the trouble Turkey was stirring up! I don’t know how the war with Turkey started – I know they’re part of the Allies now, but whether that happened diplomatically, or as a result of their being attacked by an Axis country, I don’t know. But the Turks got the jump on their nearby Axis puppets, Greece and Yugoslavia. They’ve advanced pretty far into the territories of both, and are even dealing with German armor! Of course, that’s mountainous territory, so armor faces serious disadvantages.

Jan1942Turkey.jpg


Back in New Guinea, we’re making a serious attempt to approach Port Moresby from two directions, and partly because the cavalry was grabbing provinces along the way (i.e. not the most direct route), the infantry is due to win the race on New Year’s Eve. We landed another division to the west of some of the Australian divisions, but then they moved to counter that and have engaged our army it Iari. We’ve got to do something about that, or we’ll lose them.

24Dec1941NewGuinea.jpg


Back in Sudan, we’ve cut off that British division that was hanging out on the Coastal Road, and they’re in pretty sorry shape. Won’t be long, there, even if they do have a little air cover. They surrender on the 7th of January.

1Jan1942Sudan.jpg


From the beginning of 1942 on, when we took Port Moresby the Australians in New Guinea were supplying themselves entirely from dwindling stockpiles. We controlled all the ports. The Australians were trying to move back toward Port Moresby, but by this time Portugal had more strength in the area than they did – a position the Portuguese were finding it hard to get used to!

6Jan1942NewGuinea.jpg


Meanwhile, Portugal was pushing north into Morobe. In the end, the Portuguese were forced to retreat back to Port Moresby, but the friendly units to the Australians’ rear kept the pressure on them.

The whole Caribbean had quieted down for a long time. The only British opposition was in Belize and Trinidad, where a single British division held down secure positions by themselves. Everything else in the region had fallen to Portugal, including Dutch Curacao. In January, 1942, the Canadians ruined the quiet.

6Jan1942Bahamas.jpg


Four flotillas of destroyer-escorted transports showed up, and a division of Canadian Infantry began to invade. This was potentially bad, since the enemy had more troops than we had, and much higher organization, and so could perhaps overcome the amphibious penalties and score against us. As it turned out, Chita and her fellow birds flew in to save the day!

Before long, the Canadian fleet had been seriously harassed – not so much real, permanent damage, but significant reduction in operational capacity – and the retreated, taking their soldiers with them. Little harm was done, all in all, and considering relative losses it was probably a Portuguese victory. However, this didn’t last long – they came back a couple of weeks later. And this time, two divisions – three times the number of troops as held the island – attempted to land!

23Jan1942Bahamas.jpg


In the meantime, however, Portugal’s first Heavy Cruiser had been launched – NRP Nova de Gaia. Immediately, it began its maiden voyage by crossing the Atlantic Ocean and engaging the Canadians. Together with air support from the 1st Naval Airwing, the cruiser caused the Canadian destroyers to shepherd their flock elsewhere, and then followed to make sure they felt pain enough not to return. The Caribbean remained quiet for a while. However, our division onshore at Grand Bahama had been hurt – operationally, as well as in terms of troop strength.

Back in the South Pacific, the Australian 32nd Division had forced the southern front to retreat, but they were being harried from the north, and from the east. The Portuguese 3rd Cavalry had outflanked the Australians in the mountains of Morobe, and then turned to attack south. The Australians were hard pressed.

19Jan1942NewGuinea.jpg


After the surrender of a British infantry division in Sudan, on the 7th of January, Portuguese troops rushed north. They isolated a small British detachment, around a headquarters brigade, and then bypassed them, as they could not spare the time to properly deal with them. Earlier battle had reduced the performance of the 3-brigade 14th Infantry, but they hoped they would recover en route north. Cavalry paced them to the west.

22Jan1942Sudan.jpg


Another British division stood in their way, but could they spare the time to engage, considering the Italians continued to advance east into Egypt (upper left corner of screenshot), and were getting closer to Alexandria?

By the beginning of February, the Australians had withdrawn to the relative safety of the mountainous ridge that formed the spine of New Guinea. Now with three divisions pounding on them, they were about to give up. Our northern front there remained idle, recovering from earlier sharp combats, and digging into defensive positions which it seemed increasingly likely they would never need.

1Feb1942NewGuinea.jpg


In Egypt, during the first week of February, the Portuguese decided the rush was really a race, and so they bypassed the British division in southern Egypt, and soon made contact with the Italian lines. The Portuguese cavalry hooked south of the British Infantry, meaning to cut them off and surround them (they were already out of supply, thanks to the northern run of Portuguese Infantry and armored cars connecting with the Italians).

It was around this time that Portugal made a technological advance in manufacturing that would help them catch up to their more industrialized rivals. It was also in the 2nd week of February that the Canadians returned to the Bahamas. Two divisions again. This was not sustainable. The Condor bombers and cruiser would have to sink the transports and keep them away for good.

7Feb1942Egypt.jpg


Egypt, by the way, was well endowed with resources, and even some factories. We had chosen our route north partly with this in mind, picking up key industrial or mining areas. We were mindful, also, of the Oilfields along the Suez Canal, and fully expected they would soon be Portugal’s. The Italians had reached the coast, and there was little question the Portuguese would also reach the sea soon. So the lines were set, between the Portuguese theatre of war in Egypt, and the Italian.

21Feb1942Egypt.jpg


Only one question remained, at the end of February – who would get to claim the valuable and historic port city of Alexandria?

By the end of February, Australian resistance in New Guinea was thoroughly crushed. The 32nd Australians were retreating yet further into the Guinean interior, showing no signs of having the will or the way to make a further stand. The 24th Australian Infantry division had become trapped south of Lae, and were being pressed such that they would soon be forced to surrender.

25Feb1942Darwin.jpg


We were already exploring options against Australia itself. We sent a small scouting force that landed north of Port Darwin, but they quickly turned back, not only because they had found the ground too hard to travel quickly, but also because there were signs of Australian naval activity. In one last burst of calculated risk, the flotilla decided to dash into Beagle Gulf and eyeball the port at Darwin from sea. What they found was frightening – the port was clearly well defended, with troops, aircraft and ships. They ran away quickly, escaping with their lives.

27Feb1942Egypt.jpg


At the end of February, our cavalry division in the south of Egypt had surrounded the British 4th Motorized Division, and was attacking to try to cause them to surrender. In the north, we were still gathering strength and maneuvering for position to attack Alexandria – the southern approach was blocked by a portion of the Nile River, and so we wanted to cross to get better position.

One last footnote to the month of February is this – our policy of progressively capturing British ports in every theatre continues. We invade the island of Socotra, strategically located along the approaches to the Red Sea. It will be a tough fight, but at least we’re starting it.

25Feb1942Socotra.jpg


The Bahamas remained a location of occasional activity, but the Portuguese air and naval forces seemed able to protect it, for now.
 

ViperhawkZ

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Turkey fighting beside the Allies? Never seen that before.