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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

DuvelDuvel

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"The decision to reinforce North Africa was one of the worst of Hitler's blunders: admittedly, it kept the Mediterranean closed for six more months, with a negative impact on the Allied shipping situation, but it placed some of Germany's best troops in an indefensible position from which, like Stalingrad, there would be no escape."
- Historian William Murray
I did a bit of googling on william murray, coudn't really get a possitive id on him, but I suspect he's english.

That said I always think it so juvenile that people say that attacking THEM somewhere was on of their worst blunders, a sort of nice way of saying we're ubercool if you attack us you are doomed.
Chestpounding for the win so to speak.
But as they say history is written by the victors.


I really like the desertwar for a ww2 game, really nice one-dimensional, nice strategies, no camping, nice open battlefield :)
Would be nice if we could have a HOI3 scenario with a huge north-africa map where you can play as rommel (in a way alot better then to play as hitler (like 1^10000 times better) )

Of course eagerly waiting what will happen in north africa :)
 

Amallric

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The Murray guy is probably a made-up historian. Many AAR writers use the trick that consist in "quoting" fictive history books in order to give more flavour to their AARs. In particular, it's very convenient when it goes about alternative history, things that never happened in the reality.
 

Henri

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When I tried the same thing with the Barbarossa scenario using Italy, The British kicked my butt so bad I was surrounded and eliminated in a couple of months. The problem was acombination of my incompetence and the bad starting location of the Italians (Rommel is East of Tobruk and easily isolated).

Henri
 

unmerged(93964)

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Sorry for this question but wasnt Rommel in vacation for that time? I heard that a guy named von Arnim overtook the command of the German Africa Corps and that it was renamed as Heeresgruppe Afrika.
 
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ooh this sounds like a really cool concept. Cant wait to read what sounds like it will be a fun AAR. What I like is that even if you crush the allies in N.Africa the AI could still lose on all other fronts and your efforts will be all for not.
 

Amallric

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Sorry for this question but wasnt Rommel in vacation for that time? I heard that a guy named von Arnim overtook the command of the German Africa Corps and that it was renamed as Heeresgruppe Afrika.
Yes but Rommel is so much cooler. :cool: And with him in command, the Panzerarmee Afrika will never, ever, surrender.
 

Veldmaarschalk

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Sorry for this question but wasnt Rommel in vacation for that time? I heard that a guy named von Arnim overtook the command of the German Africa Corps and that it was renamed as Heeresgruppe Afrika.
Rommel was the commander of the Heeresgruppe (Armygroup) Afrika at the start of the scenario.

This Armygroup consisted of the 5th Panzerarmee commanded by general von Arnim and the 1st Italian Army commanded by general Messe

The Afrika Korps was part of the Italian 1st Army and was commanded by general Fehn
 

unmerged(78039)

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Back from my long hiatus. Sorry guys, I\'m ready to write. Update today or tommorow.
 

unmerged(78039)

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Chapter 1: "The Beginning of the End"

"Never was so much owed by so many to so few"
-Winston Churchill





Rommel rested his chin upon his palm, trying to avoid the clutter of radio clicks and frantic movements of his subordinates. Tip-tap, tip-tap. The sounds lingered in his mind in a beat of redunance, moving in one ear and out the other. Rommel closed his eyes and took a deep sigh...

If he would have to call this war anything, it would be the war of the unexpected. Never has so much been owed to so few. Like a repeating record, he whispered it to himself again and again; and as he slowly lost grasp on reality, he begin to wonder if perhaps where his situation stands is evidence of that. One year ago, he would never expect to be on the retreat, let alone to struggle for survival. And one day changed the course of the entire world. One battle. He rubbed his weary eyes. Today was a day like the others; a cluster of assertive yells, crumbled papers and internal thoughts of humiliation. A depressing feeling, like a scent or, kept in the atmosphere. It was in the back of their heads, as an animal waiting to strike on it's prey. It would soon hit them like a brick. Heersgroupe Afrika will cease to exist, and everyone knew it. An uneasy smirk formed on Rommel's lips.

The situation of the Heersgroupe was far from possible; they were outgunned, outtrained, and outmanuvered. Most Germans would be quick to blame the Italians for this, but Rommel knew better than that. Italians have become the norm for scapegoating; an art that his superiors are quite expectional at. They were blamed for all failures in Libya, Egypt, and beyond. Rommel isolated himself from his leader's accusations. He saw the Italians as respectful, peaceful but determined people, Their talents hidden by the incompetence of a foolish and rash dictactor, and even more by their lack of hospitality and isolation by their superiors on the frontlines. But, as hard as they fought, they were still underminded by not only their enemies, but their allies as well. They were seen as a laughing force in the face of heavy industrial powers, leaving Rommel to feel a bit of guilt and pity for the fighters. He always saw politics as a High School, and for Italy he only saw the one who was picked on. He was happy he was given the chance to fight, and die, aside these people.

But of course, it is wrong to think of what holds at stake for Rommel. This war is far from over and there is still chance that Germany and it's allies will spring up from their darkest hour. But, nonetheless, Rommel continued to of the future and how he had shaped the world. There is no doubt in his mind that this war will go down in history, but who will he become in the uncertainity and interpretation of actions and motives? As Napoleon once said, history if written by the victors. Will he become a sinner, a monster? Will they say that he killed locals, soldiers, Jews? At this point, he is unsure on how the war will go, but one can only think. This question will be left to be answered perhaps on this battlefield, or maybe another. In this war of the unexpected, no single, mortal man can predict which event will turn the tide of history. It could be the battles in East, or the battles right in Tunisia itself. The suspense was tearing away at Rommel's insides. He inhaled the atmospheric smell of desparity, the wrinkles of his face deepening with the exhale of his concern.

Nonethless, Romell pushes himself off of his office chair. The day has just begun and there is much work to be done. However, as Rommel walks the now chaotic halls of his headquarters and roams the desolete deserts of Tunisia, he knows that these next few months will decide the life and death of thousands of men under his command, and possibly the well-being of his own. Rommel could feel his lips run dry. This will be the Last Stand of his Afrika Korps.
 

unmerged(78039)

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Afterword: Sorry guys for no screenshots, promise that I'll get you some next time, wanted to make an intro to see how Rommel is struggling, and how far it's been since he's been on the retreat and how his office is and such. I personally liked the quote, and the picture a lot; it showed the desparity of the situation, and how just one battle changed the course of history, especially the picture. Who else sees that as a very sad picture? You can obviously see the depression in the ambience. Hope you guys really liked it.


NEXT: Actual screenshots, close-up of the Situations, Rommel's talk with Hitler about evacuation, Kasserine Pass?
 

Myth

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Ahh, the weight of destiny is always a terrible thing. :p
 

cthulhu

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A dark time for Rommel and his soldiers no doubt. However, he must not lose faith in the genius of the Fuhrer and the final victory! ;)

Nice intro. Now update! :)
 

Enewald

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Romme ought not to think such complicated stuff, but rather concentrate on conquering Africa. :cool:
 
Aug 14, 2006
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The Murray guy is probably a made-up historian. Many AAR writers use the trick that consist in "quoting" fictive history books in order to give more flavour to their AARs. In particular, it's very convenient when it goes about alternative history, things that never happened in the reality.
This particular historian and quote, however, do exist in our world. The quote in question is by Williamson A Murray, one of the authors of "Cambridge Illustrated History: Warfare". The quote is from page 322 in the paperback edition of this book. Presumably Arya V found the quote in wikipedia's article on the Tunisia Campaign.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunisia_Campaign

Incidentally, I agree with Mr Murray's assessment.

Dag Stålhandske
 
Last edited:

unmerged(78039)

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Chapter 2: "The Abyss"

"A risk is a chance you take; if it fails you can recover. A gamble is a chance taken; if it fails, recovery is impossible."

-Erwin Rommel




Rommel's warroom was a dark, gloomy place, the only light being a outdated bulb that would flicker on and off at random intervals of time, much to the irritation to many of the officials observing the many maps that covered the walls of the room. It was a perfect habitat for many of the deserts curious and strange insects to settle and call it home, creating the warroom to be not only a uncomfortable, but a dangerous one as well. Nonetheless, Rommel found it a reasonable place to have his discussions with his aides, primarily based on the fact that it was the only room that could keep their voices from going to the other sectors of the headquarters. Dangerous or not, Rommel valued it highly and spent most of his time here, coordinating with his various assistants amongst the messy walls and interesting animals.

Entering the room, Rommel was already greeted by the raised voices by his subordinates, discussing their viewpoints on where to go next. The Tunisian Campaign was a much more confusing operation than any other these generals have been in, resembling more of a post-war Conference room than a warroom; conflicting opinions being in spit back and forth, a tint of insult and disrespect with each one of them. Upon entering, Rommel rolled his eyes, slamming his hands on the center table, "SILENCE!" The words struck as divine, echoing throughout the room and into the corridors upon which he entered, making every living thing keep still; Not only in fear, but in amazement and respect. "There will be no more fighting in this warroom." The assistants nodded their heads in unison as students would do to their teachers. Rommel eyed the map spread across the center table...




Rommel's eyes widened in amazement. Unfortunately for Heeresgroupe, the situation was much worse than he thought. With the ground they held, Heeresgroupe would most likely have to protect every piece of territory. This situation was not only difficult, but was impossible. Rommel winced in disappointment. Immediately, his advisers responded with excuses. Again, their accusations soon became jumbled into a fast mutters, a bee-like sound that Rommel found extremely irritating. Once more, Rommel slammed his fists down in retaliation; "There will be no more excuses. We will just have to adapt to the situation."

A uncomfortable silence emerged. Rommel was the first to speak, "What is the situation with the South?"

A lone adviser stood up, his posture awkward and his face pasty in complexion, "Sir, Pralormo and his men are having a hard time trying to fend off the ongoing British forces. They complain about the lack of manpower to defend such a open position."

Once more, Silence filled the room, implying a need of a response from the Field Marshal. The aides looked at their boss with undivided attention. Rommel hesitated, assuring himself of his answer, "I want the Italian troops from the South to order a general withdrawal to their troops. They will set up new positions far north from their origins. Those positions have no value, and I will not have men die in vain. We have few as it is." The silence soon was accompanied into scurried steps to communications. The adviser continued to update the Field Marshal on the situation...




"But there is perhaps good news, sir. The British look comparatively weak on the Western Front. Perhaps we should move our extra troops for a confrontation to the South?"


Rommel dismissed the advice that was given to him. If he had learned anything from all of his military career from this war, it was to never stay on the defensive. As a wise man would once say, "One who defends everything, defends nothing." Rommel needed to act quick, something that would surprise his opponents, to induce panic in their ranks. He eyed the map once more, and searched for anything that could qualify for such prerequisites.

"Kasserine Pass." He pointed aggressive to the position on the center map. "I want you to order every troop in the East to order a full attack on Kasserine Pass and it's surroundings. This will mark whether this Heeresgroupe fails, or whether it succeeds. Be prepared to plan, and if those plans fail, then execute by Mission Analysis." He took a pause...

"Just remember, if we lose this battle, then we might very well lose Tunisia itself. Your lives are on the line. You are dismissed."




 
Last edited:

Myth

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Will you go for the neutered version of Kasserine Pass Rommel was forced to do, or the one he wanted--going on to Tebessa and wrecking the Allies' supply depot?
 

unmerged(78039)

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Myth: As you can see, I'm trying to go for the more altered version; that is, a delaying attack in the Kasserine, while Armor Divisions rush to encircle the province, and push on to French North Africa. This will probably end up in disaster, since the Southern troops are strong enough to fend off my whole Army Group, but hopefully the Southern Front is able to hold off while the operation goes on. In summary, it all depends on the Italian Troops; it's a little reference to the intro in which Rommel had glorified the Italians. Now he will truely put the life of the Heeresgroupe in their hands. :)


More to come, perhaps tommorow or the day after that. Next update will probably be in the perspective of one of the soldiers fighting in Kasserine, or an Italian Soldier fighting on the Southern Front. Comments? Questions? Criticisms? All are welcome. :)