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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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"Australians will stand beside our own to help and defend Britain to our last man and our last shilling."
-Prime Minister Andrew Fisher

Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 - The Fragile Peace

Chapter 2 - Blitzkrieg and the African Front

Chapter 3 - The Battle of Britain

Chapter 4 - Commonwealth Divided

Chapter 5 - A War in the East
Chapter 6 - Turning the Tides


AustraliAAR's Trophy Cabinet:
  • Winner of ACA Favorite HOI(1-3) History-Book AAR: Q1 2012
  • Winner of ACA Favorite HOI(1-3) AAR: Q2, Q3 2012
  • Inspired WritAAR of the Week AwAARd: March 25th, 2012, August 12th, 2012
Preface:

I've created this AAR for two purposes: firstly, to help increase my HOI writing practicals in preparation for a future, more grand AAR I have planned. Secondly, I wish to do my part to promote what I feel is a fantastic mod in HPP; while not generally one to play mods above vanilla, I've found this one simply too good to turn down and it's totally revitalized my enjoyment of the entire Hearts of Iron series. Kudos to you guys!

Now, to explain what this will be and what I'm aiming for: this will be primarily a history-book and gameplay AAR, although elements of narrative will be included where I see fit and feel the inspiration to write a character. My goals will be simple - although Australia will remain a member of the Commonwealth and will defend Britain and the British Empire, she will avoid joining the Allies if possible, nor will her ally New Zealand (this will be a 2-player co-op). Australia will above all else attempt to grow its position of power and prestige, by building her army and navy up to considerable strengths and her industry to such capacity that she is the dominant power of the South Pacific. We will aim to transcend the status of 'Regional Power' in the hopes of becoming a 'Major Power' instead, although I will consider the storyline more important than this goal. We will resist any and all Japanese aggression and, if it is necessary and within our capabilities, we will supplement Britain's defences in India and Africa to ensure that the vital Suez canal and wealth of India do not fall into enemy hands.

If this interests you - read on. The first update should be posted without too much delay!

WARNING: This AAR uses .png files due to their advantages in transparency and low colour count images such as popups! Nonetheless, the average update can contain as many as 3mb of pictures and they may load slowly! You have been warned.
 
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Chapter 1.0 - 1936 Synopsis

GreatDepression36.png

Although a far cry from 1933, the Great Depression was still hitting the world economy in full force.

At the dawn of 1936, Australia - like the rest of the world - was struggling to cope with the pains of the Great Depression. The British Empire was a force in quiet decline - although it still maintained the world's largest navy and a respectable army, her ships were outdated, her economy was flagging and her influence waning. The seemingly rapid economic recovery of the Germans and the growing power of Imperial Japan had left Britain under great pressure. Although the Prime Minister of Great Britain preached tolerance and respect for Germany, such words fell short of Australian ambitions.

Australia-Jan-1936-Cabinet.png

The Australian Cabinet, January 1936, overlaid with a map of Australia's railroad and highway networks.

Governor-General Sir Isaac Alfred Isaacs was growing old and many believed his retirement was not far off - he was loyal to the Empire and quick to follow British policy, but he was a stern and fair man well-liked by the people. He placed advisors loyal first and foremost to Australia. Prospectors had found vast quantities of resources in Australia's hospitable southeast, and she had contributed well to the Empire, but now her native industries were growing by leaps and bounds. Australia could no longer rely on the ageing British Empire for its sustenance, and measures would be taken to increase her native production of raw materials and industrial capability.

A Report was delivered to the Governor-General's office from the Chief of Naval Operations. Although Great Britain herself had long provided Australia with most of the ships it required, she was deemed too weak to reasonably defend Australia in the event of simultaneous war with Germany and Japan. The government considered this an unlikely prospect, and the plans presented by Admiral Colvin were extremely unpopular. His presentation called for the development of new Naval Shipyards and the construction of new capital ships - at least two modern battleships, which would form the core of the Australian Navy's power and enable her to protect her coastlines from Japanese landings.

HMAS-Hobart.png

The HMAS Hobart was a modern light cruiser undergoing its final preparations and crew training near Brisbane.

Despite the pessimistic views of the Australian Navy, the current Naval budget was already deemed too expensive for Australia to handle, and the HMAS Hobart as well as the completion of the under construction HMAS Perth were deemed more than sufficient for current Naval requirements. Despite this fact, the Australian Navy continued to run investigations and design work to build a modern battleship on Australian Soil, hoping to remove the necessity of reliance on Great Britain - they simply needed someone willing to fund their projects.

1936-Jan-Production.png

The Industrial Production Budget as laid out in January 1936

The majority of the budget was to be spent on the Army and native Industry. Australia's military was primarily defensive in nature and it was deemed grossly inadequate to defend the home country in the event of war. Production of three new divisions of infantry supplemented by artillery was approved, along with the manufacture of vast quantities of trucks to replace the vaunted and prestigious Australian light horse. Trucks were faster and more efficient over most types of terrain present in Australia's predicted theatres of combat and it was deemed by the Australian Army that supplies of fuel would not be a problem so long as trade lanes with the Dutch East Indies, British Middle East and United States remained open.

Light-Horse.png

The Replacement of Australia's light horse was an unpopular move with the public, who valued their prestige and reputation over their actual combat effectiveness.

The Army would see continued training, expansion and development. Although the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) had performed with incredible distinction (albeit great loss) in the Great War, it had changed little since then - in fact it had done little to upgrade the quality of its men, arms and training. The current interim Army Chief Alan Ramsay believed that the war would be won through superior logistics and equipment, and was focusing a great deal of his work on increasing the quality and quantity of equipment rather than on revolutionizing how the war would be fought.

WW1-Soldiers.png

An Australian Army Platoon conducting training operations near Adelaide. They were still preparing for the kind of brutal trench wars seen in Gallipoli and France, without regard for how warfare was changing.

For what she lacked in quality on the ground, Australia's Air Force was a well-organized and respected branch of the military. Taking from the proud tradition of the RAF, they had deployed a full two wings of somewhat older Hawker-built Australian Demons. Although they were not the newest or finest aircraft to fly the skies in this era, they were considered superior to most planes the Japanese were believed to fly and there was no concern. She also sported wings of light and medium bombers, all modern monoplanes built to design. Investments in the Air Force would be focused on developing a newer, more advanced monoplane fighter that could ensure air superiority, but little else would be spent for the time being.

Hawker-Demons-AliceSprings.png

Although they were faithful fighters that had guarded Australia's shores well, the Demons were becoming outdated as the age of the biplane passed.

Although her plans were vast, Australia seemed unprepared for war, and it was unlikely she would be prepared to fight soon...this had to change and fast.
 
Last edited:

Cybvep

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Good idea. I have never played Australia in HPP, so I don't know how playable and enjoyable it is. They had a token army at the start of the WWII, but it grew considerably during the war. We will see what you will be able to do with them in this AAR :).

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Ill follow.

I went to wikipedia to read up about Australia in the war. But the protest fucked that idea up :mad:
 

unmerged(59077)

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Alright, best of luck! I have this feeling that the Australian high command is predicting it wrong as to where they will actually fight :p
 

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Good luck, will follow!

Got to love those Aussies :D
 

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Since you have access to a nice ring of island bases that act as a shield to the north, are Naval Bombers and Interceptors a good counter to the IJN?

If you want to continue to raise your Construction practical while you wait for that first IC to finish, I would recommend building a fort or coastal fort someplace, even if it isn't something you have an immediate military use for. The HOI3 Wiki recommends trying to maintain 2 Naval Bases and 1 Air Base in your queue while you are still trying to build practicals in the 1930s, but Forts and Coastal Forts take the same amount of time to build and contribute the same to your practical, provided HPP didn't change it.

It will be interesting to see how well you can support Britain without officially joining the Allies. For example, if Japan takes Singapore from the UK and you then take it from them, I think it would then shift to being UK-owned but Australia-occupied, which doesn't necessarily help the UK that much. Probably simpler to just invade the Home Islands right off, but since I don't know HPP that might be more challenging that it would be in the base game.
 

Saithis

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Cybvep: It's a lot more interesting and, in my opinion, fun than vanilla Australia. You get 10 leadership instead of 6, more useable IC for production/upgrades, a better starting military and more options, while still being more or less outgunned by everyone. Australia in HPP certainly has the flexibility to make a major contribution to war efforts without much trouble, but my challenge with Australia will be to eventually enable it to stand alone - that will be harder to achieve, and hopefully I can reach the daunting level of 'Major Power' and the delicious 7 extra leadership that will come with it.

Pj Fallon: Thanks. :) The Protest will be over tomorrow, I'm sure.

RGB: I'm certainly positioning the High Command to believe that the Middle East and France will be our priority deployment zones. As matters develop, I'll work to prepare for other opponents, especially my true nemesis of Japan.

Elastic Fish: Thanks! Winning the war isn't my worry, Aussie blood and guts should do the trick - that's just the start, unfortunately!

eqqman: I will definitely be investing in the air force. My medium bombers are actually NAVs so I've got a good headstart, and I'm hoping to expand that to 3 wings before the war begins. I'll be using air cover from the islands to support my defensive shield and damage the enemy fleet. Hopefully I'll be able to build enough spare airbases that I can begin island hopping under air cover and go on the offensive against the IJN. It's worth noting that the plans I've laid down so far are not my own long-term plans, just the plans of the current administration.

Regarding the practicals matter, HPP has changed practicals and IC costs - it costs more to build forts for only a couple months shorter, and I'm not sure quite how much it gives me in practicals. What I know for sure is that airbases are cost inefficient, granting just +0.1 construction practical, and infrastructure is quite expensive for what it is in HPP. I'll be doing what I can to build construction practicals up as I will need a minimum of 50 base IC on Australia itself, I feel.

Regarding reoccupation, I'm actually using Australian lack of presence in the Allies to try and gain an advantage - in HPP the various colonies belong to actual countries with Colonial status. Malaya, for example, will eventually fall to Japan unless I save it, and will be either puppeted or annexed - in either case it may go into exile, but I'm unsure on this as I haven't paid close enough attention in past games to this theatre. If it does go GiE, I can freely reoccupy it as a friendly force and take advantage of their IC and resources directly, propelling me up to Major Power. I hope. I have the same plan with the Dutch East Indies if it works out.

This will hurt Britain's resource production, of course, but anything it lacks it should have stockpiled and it will have more than enough convoys to import from the US (who should be in the war by this point). Anyway, we'll see how it goes, I've already committed to my plan in-game, so no turning back now. ;)
 

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...Anyway, we'll see how it goes, I've already committed to my plan in-game, so no turning back now. ;)

Hehehe...

If best 'twere done, then best 'twere done quickly.
 

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subscribed. Good to see a new HPP AAR appear, especially one heading a nation I don't know much about (in gameterms anyway)
 

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A compelling start! I shall be following this one with interest. I have no idea how your plan to work as a UK ally will go as I have never really seen a simple alliance in practice. I suspect you will return any UK-owned provinces to British control but I really don't know what would happen with, e.g., recovered French possessions. I look forward to finding out the answers as you progress. :)
 

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I am intrigued. I have honestly never even contemplated playing as Australia or NZ, so kudos to you. Are you playing both nations or is this a MP co-op campaign with a friend?

Nice to see another HPP AAR, there still seem to be some players out there that haven't given the historically plausible a chance.

That Wiki protest will definitely be over tomorrow. Let's hope it raised some awareness. Luckily google-cache kept my withdrawal symptoms to a minimum.

Good luck to you.

Cheers
Moe


EDIT: I am hoping for a strong Japan AI to make this AAR even more interesting. By the way are you playing on normal or hard?
 
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misterbean: Always happy to support HPP, I really do think it's an amazing mod. :)

SSmith: I'm interested to see how it plays out in practice, I certainly won't be keeping any British-controlled provinces I happen to retake off Japan if I even get a choice (although I may administrate them long enough to use the IC boost for my Major Power bid).

moritza123: I'm playing both nations, I loaded up New Zealand on my laptop and I'll be forcing it to act with remote sensibility since the AI is so derp. I'm only playing on Normal as I'm not the most experienced HOI player in the world - I'm expecting/hoping the disadvantage of the RP rules I've set down combined with Australia vs. Japan should give me more than enough difficulty.
 

TKFS

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Well I must say this sounds pretty interesting. I don't think I've ever seen any other Austrailian aar's. I will definitely be keeping up with this one.
 

mr_happy96

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Great to see someone supporting my country!!
Hopefully you will be able to stop the japanese before they reach Papua New Guinea and do better then in real life
 

Saithis

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TKFS: I only saw two others in the LibrAARy and both were remarkably short-lived.

mr_happy96: G'day Bruce!! (meant fictitiously, but I always rib my Aussie friends with Python.) I don't intend to let the Japanese take Papua New Guinea - in fact if I have my way, they'll fall short of Malaya and the Dutch East Indian Oil Fields

lmasbanner.png

Chapter 1.1 - Preparing for War

deathkinggeorge.png

The year began on a somber note, and the Germans would waste no time in taking advantage.

The death of King George V was news that rippled throughout the Empire rapidly, and loyal citizens mourned his loss from as far west as Belize to as far east as Samoa. Despite Britain's best attempts, German confidence in the face of a weakened Allies was growing by the day, and the news of the King's passing had only soothed the Führer's worries. Hitler was dragging Germany out of the Great Depression kicking and screaming, but there were whispers that his new economy was unstable and only war would quell its problems. In March, news reached the Australians that the Rhineland had been occupied by German troops in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles - no official response was forthcoming from Britain or France, but it was clear that the former Great Power was not content in its position of misery. News from British and French Spies indicated that German factories were producing war materials en masse and despite Britain's appeasement policy thus far, British high command also seemed to believe that war with its old adversary was now only a matter of time.

reoccupyrhineland.png

Following the Reoccupation of the Rhineland, Germany realized that Britain and France no longer had the strength or the will to enforce the Treaty of Versailles.

However, as much as Australia knew a war with the Germans was inevitable, they also knew that a battle with the Germans would not take place anywhere near its home shores, but in France. Soon great formations of men began to gather in her great port cities - Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin...General Bingham-White, in overall command of Australia's shores, was finally convinced by his advisors and subordinates that Japan was a greater threat to Australia's sovereignty and to the Empire itself than Germany could ever be. Although most of the Old Guard were of the belief that Japan had been Britain's ally in the Great War and was unlikely to attack the British Empire, many of her younger generation saw Japan as the threat it was. Still, it wasn't until the Second London Naval Treaty that even they were forced to sit up and take notice - both Japan and Italy refused to attend or sign the treaty, and it seemed neither were interested in allowing their navies to be held back.

japanlondonconference.png

Japan would not sign any treaty that would weaken its Naval Supremacy in East Asian Seas, despite Britain's eagerness to do so.

Australian Maritime Forces were understandably concerned, and the HMAS Australia and HMAS Sydney escorted a large fleet of transports which would redeploy the bulk of the Australian military north, to Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. It was hoped that this strengthened defence (which would be continually supplemented by new brigades from the homeland until it was deemed acceptably strong) would form a powerful shield in which the Japanese could not invade without tremendous losses, and to buy time for the Royal Navy to strike at her fleets with impudence. Some members of the Navy bandied the possibility of building a full-time unit of Marines to take Japanese-held islands by force, but most seemed to believe that the money would be better spent on battleships to defend her shores. The Army seemed to think that their garrisons would not fall, no matter what happened.

oceanicdefencesapr1936.png

A map detailing the current Australian deployments in the South Pacific - plans were to strengthen these garrisons up to at least 4 brigades and to supplement them with anti-air to better resist any surprise attacks from Japan's carrier fleet.

The Empire, of course, was at its strongest when it worked together - two trading pacts were signed by April to address dwindling stockpiles of resources in Australia. Although resource rich, she did not have the population to produce industrial goods in vast quantities, nor had she been able to fully explore - let alone develop! - her vast potential. She had little other choice but to turn to the vast resources of Malaysia, and soon a trade pact was signed to import supplies of tin and especially rubber, so as to ensure her industry would remain strong. To help fund this, a further treaty was signed ensuring the shipment of iron ore and steel to the factories in New Zealand, where resources were in extremely short supply.

malaysiantrade.png
nzmetalsales.png

Trade would be at the heart of Australia's growth in power and influence - what she could not produce on her own, she needed to import and in vast quantities.

Australia's research groups were working fulltime to keep up with the other major powers of the globe, throwing everything they had into military developments. A great deal of effort was being put into making Australia more independent of British designs both on the land and in the air. Word was that the Australian Air Force was working to gather funds to create a native aerospace manufacturer responsible for its own internal designs - a move that was seen as unpopular by Britain's leading developers who had supplied all of Australia's needs this far. Constant research was also being made into her Industrial techniques and methods - it was claimed internally that Australia's rise to power would be by turning itself into a vast manufacturing center, where the resources of asia would gladly flow for local production, and that the increase of wealth and jobs would be able to lure vast quantities of immigrants. The theory, it seemed, was sound - but they were having trouble finding funding for the quantities of factories that were requested, and Australia had a long way to go to be competitive with Japan or China, let alone the United States or the rest of the British Empire.

1936aprtech.png

The high requirements of the Australian Army and Industry had so far left little room for her Air Force or Navy.

Top brass agreed that war was around the corner and that Australia needed to be ready. Australia's dimunitive intelligence wing was put to work preparing - recruitment and training of new agents was approved and plans were set into motion to try and insert these intelligence cells into Japan, Germany and Italy - the three biggest threats to the Empire. At home, the propaganda press would work hard to carefully turn the Australian public's mind away from peace and towards the possibility of war. She could ill afford a war that the people at home would not love.

australiacounterintel.png

By preparing the Australian mind for war, they would throw themselves more readily into service when it came.

The preparations were made, now all they could do was wait...
 
Last edited:

moritza123

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Nice update. I especially like your formatting and screenshots. Looks like you took your time to make it perfect.

Good job.

Cheers
Moe
 

unmerged(59077)

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I like the continued neatness of the presentation.

Leaving all your forces on islands...sounds like a splendid idea against a navally superior opponent. I could be wrong, of course.
 

superjames1992

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Australia sounds interesting. I've never played an AAR with Australia, but I bet it would be a lot of fun. You're in a relatively secure position, but you also have the ability to influence the Pacific War in a big way.
 

SSmith

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Strengthening the garrisons on the islands looks like a good move and should indeed shield Australia from direct attack. I must admit I really like the idea of Australia building battleships! If you can build them you should be able to project some naval force to support your offensive operations and protect your transports. Within limits, of course, as the IJN is obviously much more powerful. If there's a problem it may be that your naval forces will be too few in number to respond to enemy action.