Eurasia

HoI3 AI ExperimentAAR
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All those German Divisions in the Baltic and all those aircraft in Prussia. I don't like it at all. So many red flags in my head. Yet if they planned to invade us would not the German units be closer to our borders? What are they planning? Or are they trying to protect their coastal provinces from the stronger British Navy? As their own fleet is...well, they don't really have one.
 

Bullfilter

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The Germans muster, but we have faith in Stalin and his Secret Commitee’s preparations. Surely they will send the Fascist dogs back to where they came from, then bring all of Europe the manifest wonder and efficiency of Soviet- style government!
 

markkur

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...efficiency...
@rover Speaking of wonders; one of the most interesting accomplishments for the SU was the transfer of their industry. Though my search was short, I've yet to find those details. Maybe a nod that way?:)
 

roverS3

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All those German Divisions in the Baltic and all those aircraft in Prussia. I don't like it at all. So many red flags in my head. Yet if they planned to invade us would not the German units be closer to our borders? What are they planning? Or are they trying to protect their coastal provinces from the stronger British Navy? As their own fleet is...well, they don't really have one.

I have the sneaking suspicion that those troops are all positioned, in a couple of Naval Bases, ready to be sent to Norway in order to break the stalemate there... But, as there are no German transports left, they remain in port, waiting for something that might never come (unless the Germans are building new transports, or the Italians sail a flotilla up to the Baltic...). The Royal Navy is keeping Norway in the war, which should be good for us, now, if only the Norwegians could take back Rjukan from the Germans. No need to help them get the A-bomb

The Germans muster, but we have faith in Stalin and his Secret Commitee’s preparations. Surely they will send the Fascist dogs back to where they came from, then bring all of Europe the manifest wonder and efficiency of Soviet- style government!

Soviet style efficiency, setting out a desired for result and then just throwing manpower at the problem until it has resolved itself...

@rover Speaking of wonders; one of the most interesting accomplishments for the SU was the transfer of their industry. Though my search was short, I've yet to find those details. Maybe a nod that way?:)

Interesting point. There is an event in the game about the transfer of the industry, and if it were to come up, I'll be sure to go into the details of the operation as it is quite a fascinating subject.
However, if the war goes smoothly and Soviet Industry remains mostly out of danger (meaning the event doesn't trigger), there would be no need for that incredible feat to even be executed in ATL. I might still do an update on the planning of the operation, especially if the Germans get close to triggering the event.

As you know, I like it when you prepare, but then things still go wrong. I have no issue with this AAR becoming a loss or a long stalemate and expect to share both the good, and the bad with you. Running the Army through the AI is sure to give us some surprises, and you never know where a 2 or more front war might go... (Many neighbours could possibly be swayed towards the axis, and who knows, maybe we get into a war with the allies by accident...) Many things could happen, and that's part of what makes this fun.
 

Bullfilter

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As you know, I like it when you prepare, but then things still go wrong. I have no issue with this AAR becoming a loss or a long stalemate and expect to share both the good, and the bad with you. Running the Army through the AI is sure to give us some surprises, and you never know where a 2 or more front war might go... (Many neighbours could possibly be swayed towards the axis, and who knows, maybe we get into a war with the allies by accident...) Many things could happen, and that's part of what makes this fun.
I know we’ve generally discussed this before, but this is a great point! :cool::cool: If you were doing this as a very well prepared and micro-managed SU, I suspect Germany would probably be toast after an initial advance, then the Soviet Hordes would triumph, etc etc, yawn yawn, seen it all before :D.

But by taking such a meticulous approach to preparation but then leaving most of it to the AI when the crunch comes, you are showing great patience and courage in then letting that AI do its best/worst within your overall guidance. BRAVO! For that reason, I think the Great Patriotic War will be far more exciting and interesting than it would otherwise have been. I’m looking forward to it immensely, both for the narrative value and the educative - to see up close what the AI does. :)
 
Last edited:
15th of December 1940, 'Odin', 10-day report #144

roverS3

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The 15th of December 1940, Vologda, -11,3°C, 10am Moscow Time,

Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten day period between the 6th and the 15th of December 1940,

by 'Odin'

Army:
No changes in Army numbers for the last 10 days
Officers: 77.862 + / 86.860 needed / 89,641 %
Air Force:
No changes in the VVS nor in the Navy Air Fleet for the last 10 days
Navy:
No changes in the Navy for the last 10 days
Politics / International:
The Norwegian Front
Norway (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 85,1
Germany (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,0 / 84,5
GNW15:12:40.jpeg

The Wehrmacht has captured the Mountainous province of Tyin. It's not clear what Germany gains from this. The fact that the troops managed to actually move into the province is pretty impressive considering the current temperature of -15,6°C.
British North Africa Front
United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,0 / 77,7
Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,5
BNAF15:12:40.jpeg

The Italian advance into British Egypt continues, almost unhindered. The Regio Esercito has reached Marsa Matrûh, 190km from El Iskandarîya.
French North Africa Front
France is a Government in exile.
Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,5
FNAF15:12:40.jpeg

After a rapid advance all along the front, Italian troops have reached Tizi Ouzou, 100km from Alger, only the Mountains in Dellys now separate the city from the front line.
East Africa & Ethiopia Front
Ethiopia (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 75,9
France is a Government in exile.
United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,0 / 77,7
Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,5
EEAF15:12:40.jpeg

Here, things have quietened down, and no provinces have changed hands in the last 10 days.
The Greek Front
Greece (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 87,3
Bulgaria (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 71,8
Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,5
GRF15-12-40.jpeg

It's not clear how the Greeks managed this, but they have... The Bulgarian front has held, and remains exactly the same. On the Albanian front, the province of Kastoria was recovered from the grasp of the Regio Esercito. It seems that Greece will be a tough nut to crack, even with a two front war. We're not complaining, whatever keeps the Axis distracted is good for us, drawing away troops from our border, and both resources and manpower from the war we will inevitably fight...
Industry:
Working Industrial Capacity / available capacity: 238 / 321
IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
Upgrades: 38,20 / 38,27
Reinforcement: 3,70 / 3,71
Supplies: 22,39 / 41,83
Production: 227,82 / 227,82
Consumer Goods: 28,89 / 28,89
Stockpiles:
Energy: Maximum tonnes =
Metal: 90.559 tonnes +
Rares: 31.311 tonnes +
Crude: Maximum barrels =
Supplies: 22.758 tonnes -
Fuel: Maximum barrels +
Money: 2.037 +
Intelligence:
Spy numbers, spies in (active / added / lost / caught by us)
France (Covert Operations / Counterespionage): 5 / 0 / 0 / 0
{ Germany (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }
{ Japan (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }
{ UK (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }​
Other: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Total: 5 / 0 / 0 / 0
Reserves: 12
Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,25
We have so far recruited 14 like-minded Covert Operatives in our French sleeper cell.
Research:
No completed research projects, no new projects, no changes to LS distribution
Statistics:
National Unity: 83,053 (+0,01)
Neutrality: 0,00 =
Dissent: 0,00 =
Manpower:
Available: 2.057.000 Men
To reinforce(need): 870 Men
To mobilise(need): See above
Monthly gain: 48.200 Men (1 fully mobilised Infx3, AT Division every 7 days)​
Party Popularity
Party Organisation:
- Communist Party: 73,80 (+0,58)
- Trotskyite: 10,60 (-0,1)
- Bukharinite: 5,70 (-0,1)

- Octobrist: 6,20 (-0,1)
- Trudoviks: 3,00 (-0,1)
- Social-Revolutionary: 0,00 =
- Kadets: 0,00 =

- Tsarists: 0,10 (-0,1)
- NTS: 0,50 (-0,1)
- POA: 0,00 =
This Information is accurate on the morning of the 15th of December 1940, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

'Odin'
 

Bullfilter

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Good on Greece! It’s continued resistance can only (as in OTL) be a good distraction, especially if German and other Axis units are diverted there or if it delays Barbarossa, for instance.

North Africa is a concern, though not so immediate for the SU here as it is for Comintern Turkey in my parallel universe, where the Italians are doing something similar. It’s more the general idea of wanting the Allies to continue providing some resistance to the Axis, rather than just falling into an even more pathetic screaming heap than it seems to be already! :eek:
 

roverS3

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I know we’ve generally discussed this before, but this is a great point! :cool::cool: If you were doing this as a very well prepared and micro-managed SU, I suspect Germany would probably be toast after an initial advance, then the Soviet Hordes would triumph, etc etc, yawn yawn, seen it all before :D.

I actively try to avoid a boring steamroller of a war. I have found that using the AI is one of the most effective methods for this.

But by taking such a meticulous approach to preparation but then leaving most of it to the AI when the crunch comes, you are showing great patience and courage in then letting that AI do its best/worst within your overall guidance. BRAVO! For that reason, I think the Great Patriotic War will be far more exciting and interesting than it would otherwise have been. I’m looking forward to it immensely, both for the narrative value and the educative - to see up close what the AI does. :)

Thanks for the support. I'm looking forward to it too.

Good on Greece! It’s continued resistance can only (as in OTL) be a good distraction, especially if German and other Axis units are diverted there or if it delays Barbarossa, for instance.

We're all rooting for the greeks from the sidelines here...

North Africa is a concern, though not so immediate for the SU here as it is for Comintern Turkey in my parallel universe, where the Italians are doing something similar. It’s more the general idea of wanting the Allies to continue providing some resistance to the Axis, rather than just falling into an even more pathetic screaming heap than it seems to be already! :eek:

It's not like the Soviet Union could do anything against an Italian Suez Canal... or maybe it can... a Soviet Suez canal?

I'm very busy with university projects right now, so there won't be many updates for the next 2 weeks or so. I have one update close to ready, so that one might be finished and posted, but the one after that will take some time to research and write. Time I don't really have right now. I will continue as time permits... trying to get an update out every 2 weeks at least, as time permits.

Thank you for reading and(/or) commenting. ( * waves to the lurkers out there * "I used to be one of you..." * tears in his eyes * )

RoverS3
 

Bullfilter

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I'm very busy with university projects right now, so there won't be many updates for the next 2 weeks or so. I have one update close to ready, so that one might be finished and posted, but the one after that will take some time to research and write. Time I don't really have right now. I will continue as time permits... trying to get an update out every 2 weeks at least, as time permits.
Good luck with the work - as is often said on the forums, take as much time as you need. Thanks for letting us know.
 
21st of December 1940, Extended scouting of Japanese holdings, where is the IJN? How strong is Japan?

roverS3

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The 21st of December 1940, Jaroslavl Air Base, -11.2°C, 7am Moscow Time,

Yesterday at 10pm Vladivostok Time, I. Flot Podlodok returned to Vladivostok Naval Base after a 22 day trip around the Western Pacific. The intelligence maps were flown to Moscow through Jaroslavl, and I was there to get a copy before the files go to Moscow and into some file cabinet.

ShCh-117_Image.jpg

A photograph of the ShCh-117 of the Shchuka-class, one of
I. Flot Podlodok's 15 Shchuka-V-Bis-class submarines. With a speed of 13 knots on the surface and 6.5 knots submerged it isn't our fastest Submarine class, but it does have the longest operational range of 6.000 nautical miles. (Historical figures, not in game). It's armament is simple with 4 front-facing, 2 rear-facing torpedo tubes, and a total of 10 Torpedoes on board. The first ones of this class were built in 1932, but the ones in service now have been upgraded with better electronics and more powerful engines, giving it a higher operational speed.
The navy La-5 was right on time, and the data it brought was quite interesting...

29-11_30-11_1-12-40-min.png

After leaving Vladivostok Naval base on the 28th of November, I. Flot Podlodok swooped north past Toyohara on the 29th, reached Ostrov Paramusir on the 30th. Then, sailing south, it reached Uchiura Bay on the 1st of December. A small fleet of 5 IJN units was spotted in Sapporo.

2-12-40-min.png

Moving further south, our submarines reached the Enshu Sagami Sea on the 2nd. From there two 11 unit fleets were spotted:
In
Tokyo Bay, at least one Battleship, one Battlecruiser, and one Heavy Cruiser were counted. In Nagoya, no capital ships were spotted.
Many land unit communications were also intercepted, with Imperial Guards and Mountaineers in
Tokyo, and Marines and regular Infantry in Nagoya.

4-12-40-min.png

On the 4th,
I. Flot Podlodok spent some time sailing around Seto Naikai. In Osaka, there was a 12 unit fleet with at least one Battlecruiser, in Hiroshima, a 10 unit fleet with at least a large Aircraft Carrier, as well as at least one Heavy Cruiser, and in Susaki, a 10 unit fleet with a small and a large Aircraft Carrier as well as Heavy Cruisers.
As for land units, there were more Marines in
Hiroshima, and more regular Infantry in Susaki.

5-12_6-12_7-12_9-12_10-12-40-min.png

After the East coast of Japan proper, our submarines went on a 5-day tour of Pacific islands.
Iwo Jima on the 5th, Marcus Island on the 6th, Saipan and Guam on the 7th, Palau on the 9th. On the 10th, they entered the South China Sea, and swooped past Manila.
No fleets nor Air Units were spotted here, but all of the islands were Garrisoned, and there were several Divisions of Infantry in
Manila.

12-12_13-12-40-min.png

On the 12th,
I. Flot Podlodok reached the Hainan Strait. No fleets were spotted, but Infantry units were spotted in Haikou, Guangzhou, and Huizhou. Marines were seen in Guangzhou. Moving north along the Chinese coast, a small 3 unit Japanese fleet, as well as Foot, and Motorised Infantry units, were spotted in Gaoxiong on the island of Taiwan.
On the 13th, a wing of Chinese Aeroplanes was spotted in
Fuzhou Air Base, and in the evening of the 13th, our submarines reached Hangzhou Bay, from where the Easternmost end of the Sino-Japanese border would be observed with a Japanese Marines Division in Ningbo, and Chinese Infantry in both Xiangshan, and Wenling.

14-12_15-12-40-min.png

On the 14th, more Marines were spotted in
Shanghai, and later on in Qingdao.
A tour of the Gulf of Chihli on the 15th revealed a 15 unit fleet with no capital ships, as well as even more Marines, in
Tianjin. In Dalian, 300 Aeroplanes of two different types were also spotted.

17-12-40-min.png

On the 17th,
I. Flot Podlodok had gotten all the way back to the Amakusa Sea, from where an 11 unit Battleship and Heavy Cruiser fleet was spotted in Sasebo, as well as a 5 unit fleet of smaller ships in Nagato. There were also some more Marines in Nagato. In the evening, another fleet of 3 small ship units was spotted in Pusan.

18-12_19-12--40-min.png

Going north along the Japanese west coast, an 11 unit fleet with both a large and a small Aircraft Carrier as well as Heavy Cruisers was seen in
Kanazawa on the 18th. On the same day, in both Kanazwa, and Niigata, a Marines, and a regular Infantry Division were spotted.
On the 19th, in
Akita, a 10 unit Heavy Cruiser fleet was detected, as well as 200 Aeroplanes, all of the same type.
After this, no more significant units were spotted, while I Flot Podlodok made its way back to Vladivostok along the eastern coast of Korea.

Now, let's do some counting here...
Adding up the spotted naval units gives us a total of 117 naval units, which is probably all of the IJN. 7 10-12 unit Big ship fleets were counted with a total of 75 units with a minimum of 2 Battlecruisers, 2 Battleships, 3 Carriers, 2 Escort Carriers and 6 Heavy Cruiser, but it's probably closer to double that number, so we expect 4 BC's, 4 BB's, 6 CV's, 3-4 CVL's, and 10-15 CA's.

As for special land units, a total of 11 Marines Divisions were counted, which added to the 5 on the Soviet border, means that Japan has about 16 Marines Divisions. Additionally, we now know that Japan has a second Imperial Guards Division in addition to the one on the Soviet border, and we now know that there is at least one Japanese Motorised unit, as well as two Mountaineer units. Regular Infantry seems to be at least 16 Divisions on the Soviet border, and another 7 along our Submarine trip. There is also a single Cavalry Division on the Soviet border.

In conclusion, our forces in the far east, 20 Infx3, Art Divisions are inferior in both numbers and training to the IJA, and that's not counting Manhukuo's forces. It would probably take years to whittle down the IJN to a point were any significant naval operations would be possible, and that's considering our Carrier based fleet to do better than even the rosiest expectations. The one area where a quick upper hand could be gained is in the air, as we spotted only 5 Air units, and our planes can be transferred east in a matter of days. To this effect our Air Bases in the region are being expanded rapidly.

Things look worse than expected and we now know that holding the East, while a worthwhile aim, will probably fail, at least partially. Possibilities to improve our eastern situation include sending a Cavalry corps (L Arm, Motx2, AC x5) to the east, and dropping all other industrial production to produce 10 Aircraft Carriers at the same time. The first one is possible, the second one is pure fantasy, as we need the west to be strong, of course.

'Tri's equipment in
Alger has stopped working properly some time ago. Some alarming messages did get through though... more on that once we get some concrete information.

I expect you to find this information useful in assessing our strategic position,

Greetings,

'Odin'

OOC: It's funny how the Shchuka-class is actually slower than the Leninets-class in real life, but in HOI3 it's the other way around...
I found a small window of time to upload this. As mentioned before, the pace of updates will be slow for the foreseeable future as I find that I have less time than last year to play HOI3, and especially to research and write updates. The next one I planned is a substantial one, and it may take several weeks for me to upload, I surely hope it will be worth the wait, and I'm sure I will have fun writing it.
On another note, I leave tonight on a one week University trip to Morocco, I will be passing through Casablanca, with several hours to kill visiting the city, before taking a train to Tétouan. We will be studying the vernacular Architecture of a small mountain village in norther Morocco.
My visit to what used to be French north Africa might add some realism to the segments on our two women team in North Africa...
Until next time and thanks for your continued support.


 

Bullfilter

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In conclusion, our forces in the far east, 20 Infx3, Art Divisions are inferior in both numbers and training to the IJA, and that's not counting Manhukuo's forces. It would probably take years to whittle down the IJN to a point were any significant naval operations would be possible, and that's considering our Carrier based fleet to do better than even the rosiest expectations.
Once again, the perennial lack of an active Chinese front in the Far East makes for an ahistorically severe Japanese threat to the SU - one of the more irritating characteristics of what I think is otherwise a pretty good vanilla HoI3 game (minor naming faults etc aside). Just have to bear [pun intended] with it as the SU!
Tri's equipment inAlger has stopped working properly some time ago. Some alarming messages did get through though... more on that once we get some concrete information.
Looking forward to seeing how they are going.
On another note, I leave tonight on a one week University trip to Morocco, I will be passing through Casablanca, with several hours to kill visiting the city, before taking a train to Tétouan. We will be studying the vernacular Architecture of a small mountain village in norther Morocco.
My visit to what used to be French north Africa might add some realism to the segments on our two women team in North Africa...
Sounds interesting - safe travels. :) Life imitating art can throw up some added flavour to the story.
 
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roverS3

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Once again, the perennial lack of an active Chinese front in the Far East makes for an ahistorically severe Japanese threat to the SU - one of the more irritating characteristics of what I think is otherwise a pretty good vanilla HoI3 game (minor naming faults etc aside). Just have to bear [pun intended] with it as the SU!

It's funny, because this didn't happen in earlier versions of HOI3 (before TFH). What used to happen was a drawn out Sino-Japanese war which would end one of both ways... Japan wins and takes over all of China by 1940-1941, or it became a bloody stalemate that bled Japan dry. In TFH, the Seize the coast event was meant to make more unpredictable Japanese action possible. AI Japan should then have had several possibilities with various likelihoods: Take a breather, and then attack China again for the rest of it. Attack the Soviet Union (early, or during Barbarossa), maybe going for a bitter peace with Vladivostok in Japanese hands. Going to war with the Allies early to get resources in SE Asia. Concentrating fully on the US with larger than historical naval builds. Several of these could happen in succession, or even at the same time. It's a shame that there probably won't be a final HOI3 update that sorts the fact that Japan just tends to sit pretty after Seize the coast, until it is dragged into war with the Soviet Union and/or the Allies. Or until it triggers Pearl Harbour in 1941. The ahistorical fact that Japan seems to have no other plans, during the 1938-39-1941 period, for it's army than to react to events and guard the Soviet Border makes full blown Soviet-Japanese war more likely than it should be, moreover giving it more Japanese troops than it probably should have (I estimate it to 60-75% of the IJA regulars + Manchukuo considering the Chinese border seems lightly guarded, and most ports are guarded by Garrisons etc.)

Sounds interesting - safe travels. :) Life imitating art can throw up some added flavour to the story.

Solid update. That sounds like a great working-vacation - in two ways.:) Be safe.

Thanks, I had a good time, despite the lack of WiFi, central heating, insulation and running water in our mountain village lodgings. I might get started on the next update pretty soon, but as mentioned before, it might take some time, and my schedule is unpredictable and quite full next week.

Thanks for reading, and for commenting.

On a side note: There is still time (about 4 hours) to vote for the AARland Choice Awards right here: Q3 ACAs for 2017.
 
21st of December 1940, 'Odinatsat' #5, Générals and the full french Army retreat

roverS3

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The 21st of November 1940, near Vologda, -11,3°C, 10am Moscow Time,

Upon my return from Jaroslavl, what looked like a crate of "Ricard" was waiting for me in my office. Analysts were poring over it, wondering what it was.

When I arrived, they stepped aside, and when I took a crow bar and proceeded to open it, I could see the look of fear in their eyes... They were quickly reassured when I explained to them that this crate could have come from one place, and one place only. Our mission in
Alger.

Like the previous one, this crate contained a short note by "Mother":

The 16th of December 1940,

To 'Odin', from 'Mother',

It has been utter chaos in Alger these last few weeks. I had to offer double the amount of Rum to the Turkish merchants for them to even consider smuggling this crate to the Soviet Consulate in Istanbul.

One ragged French Division after the other has passed through the city, none have stayed long, and now the Italians are marching towards the city, the last French Division is leaving and a group of French Generals is staying in the Hotel above the bar, and getting drunk every night. They have sworn to be the last Frenchmen to leave Alger before the Italians arrive.

All this commotion, and all this movement has given us a good idea of the French Army in the region, it's equipment, it's leaders, and Morale among the rank and file. All we have learned is written down in the little black book that is also in the crate, among with some pictures. I'm sure this will be interesting.

Read the back of the page after reading through my full report, and please hurry, an important decision has to be made.
The first entry in the book was the following:

26th of November, 2pm,

Maréchal Weygand, supreme commander of the Armée d'Afrique (Army Group) has come to the bar with his aides. Apparently, our bar was chosen following a recommandation from his colleagues of the Marine Nationale. Usually, the old man (73) remained in his HQ building, but today was different. The 1ière Division d'Infanterie Motorisée was moving into Alger, under his orders no doubt. As the front was nearing, it seems that the French decided to place a Division in the city.

The Maréchal was expecting to meet Général de Division (Maj. General) Legentilhomme, the commander of the Division, and as even his office had run out of liquor, he had come to the bar to receive his subordinate with a drink. To me, at the bar, he talked about the lack of pretty much everything his staff faced. There wasn't enough ink, not enough paper, barely enough food, let alone ammunition for weapons training. Just as the Maréchal started enumerating the disciplinary consequences of not having enough regulation shaving cream for his subordinate officers, we heard a Mechanical rumble, slowly growing louder.

The people in the bar all stood up and went outside. Soon the rumble became a roar, and not one, but about 40 vehicles were approaching along the boulevard Sadi Carnot, in the direction of the bar. As the lead vehicle approached, it was clearly identifiable as some kind of Armoured Car, the vehicle stopped and a man with a square face and a bushy moustache stepped out through the rear hatch.

The small crowd spread to let the Maréchal through on his way towards the vehicle.Their short opening conversation was overheard:

Weygand: "Welcome to Alger Général de Division Legentilhomme."

Legentilhomme: "I'm glad we made it...Maréchal... The Italians..."

He was interrupted by the Maréchal, who wanted to know more about the Armoured Car the Général had just jumped out of.
AECMkI.jpg

A picture that was given to 'Odinadsat' by the driver of the AEC in which Général Legentilhomme had just arrived.
While the picture overflows with manly swagger, the interesting part, for us, is the AEC Mk.I Armoured car, QF 2-pdr facing the camera...


"So these are the AEC Mk.1's, French edition? I've seen pictures and specifications, but never the real thing. We'll talk more about Italians and the war inside, please, tell me more about this particular variant, as I hear that some modifications have been made since these rolled out of the factory."

Slightly taken aback by the Maréchal's enthusiasm for his vehicle, Legentilhomme obliged:

"You are right, even though these are only a few months old, our mechanics did tinker a bit. Mostly, the engines have been entirely rebuilt, they now have more power, and they are more reliable. This is lucky, because we haven't seen many spare parts since the fall of Metropolitan France. The QF 2 pdr leaves nothing to be desired, and it easily outperforms common axis 37mm guns. In the future, we might need a better gun, but right now, these have all te punch they need. Adding armour seems unnecessary, as the 25mm our cars have can stop almost anything the Italians throw at it. Now, if we were facing Germans it would be another matter, but out here, we really don't need more weight to lug around."

The Maréchal again "But why, if you have such splendid Armoured cars to back up your infantry, did you lose so much ground to the Italians before I reassigned you here?"

The Général simply said: "Our men barely have enough food to survive, none of my AEC's have more than 2 rounds of ammunition for that splendid British gun on top. I'm sure we have killed more Italians by running them over, than by actually shooting at them. Don't get me wrong, my Division is still in existence, but without more food, bullets, spare parts etc. it's mostly ineffective against any opposition. And sadly, that's the state of all of our Divisions we crossed path's with out there on the front lines... At least I drilled my men to use everything as a weapon, and what they can't use as a weapon, they eat to stay alive"

While the conversation was ongoing, behind the vanguard of Armoured Cars, thousands of ragged, hungry, and exhausted Infantrymen tried their best to parade past their Général and his Maréchal, they had trouble to keep moving at an acceptable pace, let alone to step in goosestep...

Weygand then had to ask a question, he probably already suspected the answer to:

"Why are the bulk of your men on foot? Isn't this supposed to be the 1ière Division d'Infanterie Motorisée?"


They entered the bar, and while they walked over to the table that had been prepared for them, Legentilhomme replied:

"Well, I asked for trucks many a time, but all they could give us were 50 brand new Armoured cars and some support vehicles. Gamelin's aide said, and I quote: 'As long as the Axis think the Division is fully Motorised, everything will be fine.' So, as you can see, my 'Motorised' Division is made up of three full regiments of foot Infantry 1er, 43ème and 110ème Régiment d'Infanterie. And to add some Motorisation, I have a full Reconnaissance Regiment equipped with Armoured Cars and a few trucks, and that's it."

Weygand:

"And I was wondering all that time why your Division was moving just as slowly as the others... Drink up, and let's go to my office to talk about these Italians"

The careful Maréchal certainly didn't want anyone to overhear any information that might help the Italians, little did he know that he was keeping Legentilhomme's war stories from a secret Russian Committee that reported directly to Stalin. Let's hope he never finds out...
The next entry is a short note about the 1ière Division Motorisée leaving the city on the 1st of December, in the same disorganised state that it had arrived in.

The one after that is similar to the first one, there, Weygand is welcoming the next Général de Division into his city...

2nd of December 1940,

Today, Maréchal Weygand returned to the Café Sud-Américain, announcing that another Division would soon be halting in Alger. He ordered the same small table in the corner, and two glasses of our best Cognac. Soon, there was a swelling ruckus of horses and men outside the bar. On a horse, in front of the exhausted column, rode a dashing Général de Hesdin, he's 50 years old, but you couldn't tell by his demeanour on horseback. In contrast with his men, he was perfectly shaven, and his shirt even looked crisp, as if it was freshly pressed.

He halted his horse right in front of the Maréchal, saluted, and swung off his horse with the vitality of a 30 year old and started narrating the "parade" of passing soldiers, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they were clearly exhausted, hungry, and had trouble keeping up with the horse drawn guns:

"Maréchal, I give you the 7ième Division d'Infanterie, close to eight thousand men spread over four regiments. First up, the 7ième and 8ième Régiment d'Infanterie with close to 3.000 foot soldiers each. Their are all wielding a Pistolet-Mitrailleur MAS mle 38, very effective at short range, in trenches and in urban combat, it is wildly inaccurate at long range and thus not very well suited to Desert combat. Every platoon has a specialist Sergeant with a 1935 60mm Mortar, and another one with an Anti-Tank 'Bazooka', and every Regiment has 10 76mm Cannons. I have made sure that all this equipment is in perfect working order, despite our severe lack of ammunition."
FrInfATAA1940.png

Heavy Weaponry of the 7ième Division d'Infanterie. Top left, the old 1897 75mm with 1933 updates used by the Infantry Regiments themselves. Bottom left, the 47mm LIght Anti Tank Cannon, this is the 1939 version, it is widely considered the best Anti-Tank gun the french Army has ever seen. On the right, the 75mm CDA (Canon de Défense Aérienne) an Anti-Air Cannon in use in the 2ième Régiment Anti-Aérien.


"To make up for the relatively small size of the Division, the remaining 2.000 men are split in two support Regiments. The 4ième Régiment Anti-Char, with it's 100 light 1939 47mm Anti-Tank Cannons, and there, in the back, we have the 2ième Régiment Anti-Aérien, with it's 150 1936 75mm Anti-Aircraft Cannons. Both of these weapons have proven quite effective against hard targets, but, as with everything, we have only very little in the way of ammunition, with an average of 2,4 rounds per gun. This is a proud unit Maréchal, but we really can't fight like this, the men are demoralised, and too exhausted for any form of organisation under attack. With all due respect, how do you expect us to fight a war like this?"

Maréchal Weygand replied:

"The move of the central supply stocks to Hanoi has lengthened supply lines, and it seems Généralissime Gamelin has no idea how to get supplies to us. He never struck me as particularly brillant outside of his natural territory of setting up Great War style Defensive lines, at which he is, admittedly, very good. In short, I can't help you, I've been sending angry letters to Hanoi for months, but it really seems that neither Giraud, nor de Guillebon are focusing on getting us supplies. From what I heard, it seems they are more concerned about getting resources to fuel their tiny industry. After talking to Legentilhomme, Ive had my staff look into this as their first priority. They've been watching empty merchant ships come into the Port empty, and leave laden with resources."

The old Maréchal wasn't finished, and before de Hesdin could get in a word, he continued his rant.

"For some reason, the French government has decided that the same ships cannot both ferry in supplies and ferry out resources. This means that our convoys are badly overstretched, and barely any Supply ships are sent all the way to Alger, and when they are, half of their cargo is fuel, meaning that we are swimming in the stuff, but don't have enough bullets or rations, it's all an unprecedented display of incompetence at the highest level of the Army hierarchy. But enough about that, let's have a drink and talk about some Italians."
FrInf1940.png

A French Infantryman and his Pistolet-Mitrailleur MAS 38. French soldiers with american helmets training with bazookas in the Algerian Desert. A specialist posing with his 60mm Mortar. All of these are in use within the 7ème Division d'Infanterie.


It soon became clear that the 7ième Division d'Infanterie wasn't planning on staying in Alger, 'Odinadsat' overheard something about the Italians being too close and the Division needing to find supplies further from the front, but those were snippets of a larger conversation. The next morning, the entire Division was packing up again, and by noon, every last man was gone.
6th of December 1940,

The men of the next Division to arrive looked not only exhausted, but also properly frightened. The 85ième Division d'Infanterie d'Afrique didn't even attempt a parade, most of the men barely lifted their hand in a feeble attempt at a salute when they passed in front of the Maréchal on their way to their stations. Their commander is Général de Division Chardigny, a veteran of the Great war who had been recalled to active service and promoted to General because of the war. Why this man was selected is quite unknown, as he is quite unskilled and set in his old ways of trench warfare.

Général Chardigny arrived, on a mule, it seems that he lost his horse in the hasty retreat from the battle of
Dellys. He was out of breath, and before Weygand could say anything, he yelled:

"24. Divisione 'Pinerolo' is coming, they're on foot, so it could take some time, but they have bullets, and food, and a a skilled Commander. General Appiotti will take Alger sooner rather than later! Quick, get all the reserves out, get my men bullets, and shovels, and food, and water, and they might hold off those 6.000 Italians! We need to do something! I'm tired of running away, how can we fight like this? With our fists? Where are my supplies?!"

Upon which Maréchal Weygand replied:

"There are no supplies, so I guess we should prepare to evacuate the city and abandon it to the Italians. But we'll deal with that once the Italians get here... From what I've heard, your African troops run faster than any short Italian, so we should be fine for a week a least... Come in and have a drink, we'll think of a strategy in my office..."

This, quite unexpectedly, calmed down the veteran, and he fell into his chair to drink a cognac with a look of total desperation and hopelessness on his face...
Then, on the next page, the hand writing gets a bit more nervous:

15th of December,

Today we saw our first Italian soldiers, the vanguard arrived at the entrance of the city this morning. The 9.000 men of the 85ème Division d'Infanterie d'Afrique pointlessly dug in all around the city, sitting around, sharpening their bayonets, they didn't have much else to fight with. Once the night set in, a tall african private took out some kind of drum and played the same slow rythm for an hour straight. In trance from the hunger and the exhaustion, the men guarding the approach to the Avenue Sadi Carnot moved to the beat. From the bar, all we could see where these macabre silhouettes, moving without thinking, as if they were already lost to the demons of war. We sincerely hope the music cheered them up a bit.

16th of December,

In the morning, the Italians attacked. After half an hour of pointless fighting at the edges of the city, with marginal casualties on both sides, Maréchal Weygand invited the Italian General Appiotti to our bar for some talks. The conversation was short, and the gist of it was, if you let our ships leave the port, and our men leave the city in good order, we will not pose any resistance, and no man will die needlessly for a battle that was clearly over before it started. He handed Appiotti the symbolic key to the city and told him that the last french troops will have vacated the city in a week. Appiotti, knowing that moving his Division into the city would take more than a week, agreed to the terms.

85ème Division d'Infanterie d'Afrique is packing up, Général Chardigny and Maréchal Weygand have taken to drinking through the proceedings, and sit silently, in their corner of the bar. Then Amiral Darlan appeared and took a seat at their table. He wasn't very happy:


"Evacuate Alger, just like that, hand it to the Italians! And I wasn't consulted, Maréchal, what is this travesty?"

Weygand, having grown even more cynical from the alcohol and the irrevocably bad situation simply stated:

"If the navy has any ammunition, please, you are free to share. Or even better, why don't your sailors get of their ships and try to beat up the Italians when they start moving in? Do you ships have any rounds left? Please, my men were dying out there. I heard some took to hiding behind a corner, then jumping out at unsuspecting Italian soldiers. The results were mixed, with the french soldier often being shot dead before he could fatally wound his enemy. I think this was the best solution, and I don't need the navy to lecture me on tactics!

Maybe you should just take your precious fully fuelled up fleet, sail it to Hanoi, and then bring me back some supplies, then you would be doing something actually useful. All I've seen your ships do is sit in port waiting for supplies that were never coming! You have the ships, you can go and get your supplies, especially as you have some fuel left. I even heard that they have enough supplies in Beyrouth. Maybe you should go get us some? You know, instead of complaining that the army is incapable of putting up a fight!"

That quickly settled that, and the Amiral came to the bar:

"Mesdames, what will you do now? The Italians are coming, and we wouldn't like you to be stuck here, with those spaghetti eating fascists doing as they well please. I propose to you, mesdames, that you join me on board the Colbert, until we reach another port anyway. I wouldn't like for your hospitality and good looks (he winks creepily at 'Odinadsat') to be wasted here when I'm offering you a way to safety and french sovereign territory..."

He was cut off by Maréchal Weygand, who just, drunkenly, stated:

"If you ladies want protection from this 'Amiral', I can offer you a ride, there is still room in one of my trucks. You can pay me and my staff with liquor, I'm sure they'll appreciate it..."

'Odinadsat' executed an entirely unbelievable shy smile at the thought of both Military commanders arguing over who would escort our damsels to safety. She said:

"Monsieurs, you flatter me with your offers, but me and 'Maman' have to think about this. None of your plans is necessarily safe, the Colbert could be sunk while at sea, and the Armée de l'Afrique could be taken prisoner by the Italians, and then where would we be? As you have told the Italian gentleman that the french would take a week to evacuate the premises, we will let you know in a week which way we will go, if we even decide to move at all. In the meantime, make yourselves confortable... ah... Maréchal, I don't even need to tell you, do I, you've made yourself at home all on your own..."
And that's where the text abruptly stopped.
I then turned over the letter, and here is what it said:


With hopeless officers coming in and out of the bar, and the french armed forces slowly evacuating the city, we need to know which way to go. We'll make the final decision, but what do you think would be most beneficial, especially considering the risks?

I managed to make 'Tri's equipment work, well sort of, it can't really receive speech anymore, but we can hear how long a message is judging by the duration of the static... So 5 seconds means that we go with the Navy, 10 seconds means, go with the Army, 15 seconds means, stay where we are and learn Italian, and 20 seconds means, try to make our own way to Oran or Casablanca, keeping at a distance from french offers of help. If your message lasts beyond a minute, we will consider that as an order to come home as quickly as possible. We await your answer...

Here are some pictures of the Générals mentioned above, they were procured by 'Odinadsat' in the usual way:

GeneralsInBar1940Alger.png

Maréchal Weygand, Général de Division Legentilhomme, and Général de Division Le Hesdin, no picture could be procured of Général de Division Chardigny.

Gentlemen, and Ladies of the Secret Committee, what do you think? I'm sure our team can get out of this, the only question is, which way should they go?

I await your input on this delicate matter,

Greetings,

'Odin'

OOC:

To be clear, this is not a vote, as that's against forum guidelines without permission from a Moderator...
I sort of killed 'Tri's machine, as it's too convenient as a plot device, which made me come back to it now... (I know pretty Ironic)

All right, so this was pretty long... a lot in one update. I said it would take some time...
As always, any comments or criticisms on the style or direction of this AAR are welcome.
I have written this update in bits and pieces over several days, whenever I had some time, so I would like to apologise for any issues this fragmentation might have caused.
So now you know about the goings on in Alger...

The decision making process of the French AI baffles me, as many Skill 2 and Skill 3 Commanders have no assignments, but an obscure Skill 1 Old Guard General has one... The supply situation is equally strange, with Resources going to Hanoi, but no supplies being delivered from there as far as I can tell. (All the Divisions around Alger have less than 1 day of supplies, if they even have any)

I'll try to write the next update for next weekend, but I can't promise anything on that front. It'll probably be a review of the Japanese Government.

For those who want even more, here is what I found out about the Generals mentioned above...Weygand is particularly interesting, another dubious character, who even lead the Allied Armies in France at the time the armistice was signed.


Générals of the French Army:

Maxime Weygand (Weygand in the Game)

Born in 1867
73 in 1940

Born in Brussels, parents unknown. (Rumours place him as the Illegitimate child of Empress Carlota of Mexico and Belgian General Alfred Van der Smissen (There is a striking resemblance), another possibility is that he is the illegitimate child of King Leopold II of Belgium and his Polish mistress). In any case, Antoine Weygand maintained that he did not know who his biological parents were. In early life, he was raised by Virginie Saget, a widow. At the age of 6, he becomes the pupil of David de Léon Cohen, a Jewish merchant, in Marseilles.

In 1885, he joins the Military School of Saint-Cyr, as a foreigner. After basic Military Education, he chooses the Cavalry branch and continues his education in the Cavalry School in Saumur. In 1888, he finishes his studies there, 9th out of 78. He starts off at the rank of 'sous-Lieutenant' (Second Lieutenant), and becomes part of the 4e Régiment de Dragons (4th Dragoon regiment) based out of Chambéry.

One year later, he is officially recognised as the child of François-Joseph Weygand, member of an old Alsace family. This allows, now Maxime Weygand, to acquire the French nationality. The two men did not have any personal relationship, the recognition was more of a act of charity in itself.

He is promoted to full Lieutenant in 1891, and becomes Capitaine in 1896. He then decides not to go for the “Ecole de Guerre” (an elite French Army Institution which prepared you to become a high ranking officer), it seems he wanted to retain the contact with his men.

In the Dreyfus case Weygand places himself publicly in the Anti-Dreyfus camp by signing a national petition (launched by an Anti-Semitic newspaper) to that effect. He was punished for this by the Army, as he wasn't supposed to take part in political matters while in active service. He got 4 days of Arrest.

Around the turn of the century, being capitaine of the 9e Régiment de Dragons, he marries Marie-Renée-Joséphine, daughter of Colonel Raoul de Forsanz. He soon has two sons, one born in 1901, goes on to become a big industrialist and Entrepreneur, the other will follow in his father's tracks and join the Army.

In 1902, he starts teaching in the Ecole de Cavalerie de Saumur, where he had previously studied, he is also promoted again, to “Chef d'escadron” (Major). He then goes on to join the “Centre de hautes études militaires” (a prestigious place where the cream of the French army is educated, mingles, and discusses strategy), there he is noticed by the renown General Joffre.

At the start of the Great war Weygand is “Lieutenant-Colonel”, second in command of the 5e Régiment de hussards, based out of Nancy. But, before the end of 1914, General Joffre reoganised the French chain of Command, and promotes Weygand to “Colonel”, fulfilling the position of 'Chef d'état Major'(SChief of Staff) of the IXe Armée. Lin 1916 he is promoted in rank to “Général de Brigade”, becoming Chief of Staff of the 'Groupe des Armées du Nord', then Chief of Staff to Général Foch's Army Group.

In 1917, he becomes interim Division General. Then in 1918, as Foch is named 'Générallissime' to reflect his new position as Supreme Commander of the Allied Armies, Weygand, becomes Major General of the Allied Armies, the post Foch used to occupy. He would en the war as Foch's right hand during the Armistice negotiations.

Interestingly, Weygand never actually commanded a unit in active combat in WW1, but he did reach the upper sphere of the French chain of command.

In 1920, Weygand is sent to Poland to be a technical advisor to the French-British mission there, this was an emergency mission to 'save' the Polish capital during the short Polish-Soviet war of 1919-1921. It seems some British Diplomats suggested Weygand should take command of the Polish Army, but this was never approved by Polish high command... The exact impact of this mission in the Polish victory at Warsawa is still disputed to this day. Polish sources maintain that the victory was entirely Polish, while French sources note that a reorganisation of the local Polish forces by French advisors, as well as French officers directly assisting their Polish counterparts in the field, must have played a role.

Commentators from the time note the incredible intelligence of Weygand, as well as his dedication. It seems he was a real intellectual of the Military Arts...

Later, during the 20s he is promoted again, first to “Général de corps d'armée” (Lt. General), and later to “Général d'Armée”(full General). He passes through Syria and Lebanon as colonial High-Commisionner , and in 1924 he joins the “Conseil supérieur de la guerre” (A councel of the highest ranking Generals in the French Army, lead by the Chief of Staff). 1925 sees him leading the “Centre des hautes études Militaires” (Where he met Général Joffre). He becomes Chief of Staff of the French Army in 1930 and Vice-counselor of the General War Couoncil. In this position he denounces disarmament and notes the danger posed by Hitler. He retires from the Council, frustrated at the continued disarmament, despite his efforts to reverse it. He takes a step back, but officially, he remains a General in the French Army, indefinitely.

In 1939, he is asked to be called back to service. Edouard Daladier obliges, and he is posted as Supreme commander of French forces in the Middle East. He signs diplomatic accords with Turkey and is, in effect responsible for the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Balkans from his HQ in Beyrouth. He prepares plans for offensives against the USSR, and the possible opening of an Eastern Balkan front against Germany. However, he lacks the manpower to execute any of these fanciful plans.

In May 1940, Weygand is recalled from Beyrouth to serve as Supreme Commander of the French Army after Gamelin is fired due to the appaling state of the French front lines at the time...

He was in a very tough position at this time. Communications with his northernmost units have all but broken down, he is said to have gone into the field himself to assess the situation. With the British retreating to Dunkerque, the Belgian Surrender on the 28th, and his own army spread out and disorganised, there wasn't much our Brilliant Military mind could do, lacking the troops for a counteroffensive, he used all his efforts to try and keep the French Army together

He would go on to execute a defense in depth at the Somme, and even managed to temporarily halt German advances in several places. In early June, he was down to 64 French Divisions, and 2 British Divisions, compared to the 104 German Divisions he was facing. Weygand recognised that it was to late to really do anything to save Paris by the middle of June, and this was later recognised by De Gaulle in his memoirs. Weygand was a supporter of an armistice, judging the situation extremely desperate, and hoping for a short breather. He could not bring himself to contemplate capitulation however. This was similar to Pétain's thinking, except that Weygand seems to have put much more emphasis on the temporary nature of the cease fire.

Before the Armistice talks even start, Weygand as supreme commander of the French Armed Forces, gives instructions that the Marine Nationale must remain in French hands at all costs (hence the famous scuttle order issued by Darlan),. He also orders the transfer of all flight capable military Aeroplanes to North Africa. Weygand sees the Armistice as a temporary cessation of hostilities and thus makes all possible preparations to continue the fight on other fronts.

He would go on to serve as Defence Minister for the first three months of the Vichy administration. The defeat of the French Army would lead him to see conspiracies everywhere and he would blame Freemasons, Internationalists, Capitalists,... (This seems to be thinly veiled anti-semitism)

All this didn't mean he liked the Germans though... He would go on to vehemently oppose the thought of Vichy jooining the war on the German side. Later on he would prove a thorn in the German's side, denying their requests for access to Moroccan Air Bases, Northern African Ports, and the Rabat Railroad...At this point he transfers, as Vichy Defense Minister, all French orders for US-produced weapons to the UK, making sure that all the weapons on their way to the French Army are delivered to the British instead.

Shortly afterwards, he is posted to French Afric, opposing all foreign intrusion into 'French' territory in a strict neutrality. Despite his resistance to any assistance to the germans, he would go on to enact the new anti-semitic laws of the Petain government, and out-laws fremasonry in the territories under his control. In Africa he also started to plot a French National Revolution, which, once sufficiently organised, should be able to retake french Sovereignity from the inside.

All this strikes the collaborationists (Pétain, Darlan,...) the wrong way. In 1941, the Pétain government sdecides to give the Germans access to Air Bases, and to give 1.200 Trucks, and most french Artillery pieces in North Africa to the Afrika Korps. Weygand orders that Weapons be hidden from the Germans and Italians, as well as recruiting more men for the force under his command.

He continued walking the line of neutrality, but with a large sense of honour and respect for the chain of command. When a fifth of his troops defect to the Free French during the allied invasion of French Syria, he makes all the remaining soldiers of the 'Armée de l'Afrique' swear loyalty to Maréchal Pétain.

After heavy pressure by the Germans, the highly respected General (in the Vichy Army) is finally fired and recalled to France proper. In 1942, he is imprisonned in Germany, and after the War he would be cleared of all charges.

After the war, President Lebrun would say about Weygand, Pétain etc. “Ah ! What a misfortune when, in the most extreme peril, the Generals are the ones who refuse to fight” (loosely translated by yours truly)

Weygand would go on to be active politically, as a fervent Traditionalist Catholic Nationalist (of course). He was an early opponent of close European Defense coöperation, preferring to increase the french role in the NATO. His opposition to Algerian independence was legendary, as he saw it as an attack on French territorial sovereignty and the French Constitution... At the end of his life, he was active for the rehabilitation of Maréchal Pétain in the history books, and in the war's narrative.

He would go on to die in 1965, at the venerable age of 98. He was never convicted of collaboration with the Germans (he didn't really collaborate and followed the neutrality clauses of the Armistice to a T), he was also never convicted in his role in anti-semitic measures effectuated in French Africa during his tenure there.

His position in the game is quite interesting, as he is Maréchal (but in rl French Army Terms, he would be Général d'Armée in this position) of the Armée de l'Afrique (Army Group), just as he was historically (for Vichy...). His Skill 3 as well Defensive Doctrine and Old Guard also seem spot on for his profile (Paradox seems to have gotten it right on this one)

Paul Louis Victor Marie Legentilhomme (Le Gentilhomme in the game)

Born in 1884
56 in 1940

He joined the army in 1905 when he enters the “Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr”. After finishing his studies in 1907, he chose to join the Colonial Infantry.

In 1909 he was promoted to full Lieutenant and posted to Tonkin (Northern Vietnam), where he was part of the 3e Régiment de tirailleurs Tokinois. Later he passed through the 2e and the 10e Régiment d'Infanterie Coloniale (RIC).

He was recalled to France in 1912, to fill an opening in the 23e RIC. In August of 1914, he was taken prisonner by the Germans during the battle of Neufchâteau. He remained in captivity until the end of the war.

In 1919, he started another round of studies, now at the prestigious “Ecole de Guerre”. After his studies, he was shortly part of the staff of the General in charge of all French troops in Indochina (Vietnam+Cambodja+Laos approx.). After being recalled to France to fill another opening in the 23e RIC, he was sent, in 1924, to Madagascar, and promoted to “Chef de Bataillon” (Major). There he was Chief of Staff to the General in charge of French troops on the island.

He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel in 1929 and was then shortly Chief of Staff for the 3e Division d'Infanterie Coloniale. After another stint in Indochina, he was named commander of the 4e Régiment de Tirailleurs Sénégalais in 1934. In 1937, he moved back to his initial Military School, filling the role of second in command of the “Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr”. He moved again in 1938 to the prestigious Centre des Hautes Etudes Militaires, where he was made “Général de Brigade” the same year. In 1939, he was named supreme commader of French troops in French Somalia (Djibouti etc.)

When Pétain signs the Armistice, he is still in Djibouti. Revolted, he flies to Britain to join forces with Général de Gaulle. He would be promoted by the latter, to Général de Division, and would command Free French forces in Sudan and Erithrea, in close coöperation with General Wavell.

The creation of the 1ière Division légère française libre is also attributed to him, and he would be it's commander in the campaigns in the Levant. 1942 will see him named “Compagnon de la Libération” and in 1943 he would be General Governor of Madagascar. He will be recalled to London once more to be named “Général de Corps d'Armée” (Lt. General) and would go on to fill several high ranking functions within the Free french high command. After commanding the 3ème Région Militaire in 1944, he would go on to succeeding General Koenig as Military Governor of Paris and commander of the 1ère Région Militaire.

After the War he would go on to reach the rank of Général d'Armée in 1947, becoming a Military advisor to the ministry of François Mitterand (Ministère de la France d'Outre-Mer). In 1952, he would go on to follow François Mitterand as his personal adviser in several ministries. In 1952, he would also be politically active in the “Assemblée de l'Union française” (This was a shared assembly for all french and ex-french territories, a french 'commonwealth', it was quite shortlived, as it's role wasn't clearly defined, and it reeked of colonialism 2.0, it was disbanded in 1958, when Legentilhomme retired from public life). Legentilhomme would die in 1975 at the age of 91.

In game he is SK3 and has the Commando trait, which makes sense, as he spent a lot of his career in inhospitable places, and with minimal support (especially during WW2 in the Free French Army)


René de Hesdin

Born in 1890
50 in 1940

I couldn't find very much on him from a basic internet search.

From a long line of Cavalry officers (I found that one of his ancestors was a french Cavalry General in 1579), he seems to have started off as a cavalry man himself, he seems to have been a tad late however, only joining the Cavalry in 1920.

He would become most well known for his actions late in the second world war, when, (temporarily) in command of the 4e Division Marocaine de Montagne, he, and his unit played a role in reducing the 'Colmar' pocket, in January 1944. Under his guidance, the 4e D.M.M. Was the lead division aiming to take Ensisheim. This was during a snow storm in Hilly and forested terrain. The Germans really seem to have put up a fight, and they only advance 3 kms in a couple of days... The 4ème D.M.M. Did remain in position, defending it's gains while the campaign raged on elsewhere. They were only relieved by the final attack by the US 12thTank Division.

Pierre Auguste Chardigny

Born in 1873
67 in 1940

All I can find about him is that he was an Infantryman to the core, and that he reached the rank of Général de Division. He died in 1951, at the age of 77. My guess is that he was a low to mid-level officer in WW1, and then climbed the ranks in peacetime. He was already quite old by the start of WW2, and by no means brilliant, so I'm going to say that he was probably retired, or in a cushy office job IRL. The lack of information on the web (I couldn't even find a picture) suggests that he didn't do much of note in WW2. (nothing for the history books anyway, or so it seems.)

If anyone knows more about this obscure figure (on the internet anyway), I'm interested of course, so feel free to share any information you may have or know in your comments.

In game he's a Skill 1, Old Guard, Defensive Doctrine General (so a run of the mill, not so bright, stubborn, WW1 veteran with a lot of experience with trenches) Let's pretend that he was recalled from retirement to serve in North Africa in this ATL.
 
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Eurasia

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Enjoyed the update. But not sure what to suggest now. I would think going with either the Navy or the Army is somewhat useless. The French are defeated in Africa and, I believe, world wide. If the Navy ends up someplace in Asia that might not be too useful to our pretty little spies. If they are with the Army which is moved to Asia or another part of Africa - same issues. On the other hand getting information, even a tiny peek, from the Italians might be useful. Front line Italian soldiers, who have gone without booze or women, might have looser lips than those back home.

If only the girls could find a way to spy on the Brits!
 

Bullfilter

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Great to have Odin back again - thanks for the update. An interesting diversion into the sadly delapidated French forces in North Africa. It sounds from the descriptions their cause is well and truly lost :(.

Not sure how much more value there is in maintaining a watch on them. Perhaps redeployment to a new theatre of interest? Maybe as refugees to the British, via Gibraltar? Or to Spain to see what’s happening there (I’ve lost track of who won the civil war there :confused:)?

Just one minor continuity point: I enjoyed the little reference to Istanbul as the transit point for the crate of Ricard. Surely a novelty for those used to plain old Russian vodka :). But if it came via Istanbul, perhaps it was the Soviet Consulate, as the Embassy would be in the capital, Ankara?
 

roverS3

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Enjoyed the update.

I'm glad you did, I enjoyed writing it.

But not sure what to suggest now. I would think going with either the Navy or the Army is somewhat useless. The French are defeated in Africa and, I believe, world wide. If the Navy ends up someplace in Asia that might not be too useful to our pretty little spies. If they are with the Army which is moved to Asia or another part of Africa - same issues.

Great to have Odin back again - thanks for the update. An interesting diversion into the sadly delapidated French forces in North Africa. It sounds from the descriptions their cause is well and truly lost :(.

I fear the French become entirely irrelevant with the fall of Alger, and the now inevitable fall of French North Africa. The only glimmer of hope is that their navy gets to somewhere with supplies... Both base out of Beyrouth, and based out of Indochina, the sizeable French Navy, could really do some damage... remember that they still have 4 BBs, at least 1 BC, 1 CV, 4 CA, and enough escorts to screen them acceptably... This means that the ships have to be repaired and well supplied of course. But, I wouldn't be that surprised, if later in the war, once French North Africa is a distant memory, the french navy has some nasty clashes with either the Italians, or the Japs.

On the other hand getting information, even a tiny peek, from the Italians might be useful. Front line Italian soldiers, who have gone without booze or women, might have looser lips than those back home.

It's an interesting proposition, but it might make logistics a bit complicated, with the embargo and all that... Well maybe they can get around that through the Soviet Consulate in Istanbul. It's also more risky if they are caught... and, considering the ladies don't speak Italian very well (well 'Mother' speaks Portuguese, but that's not much use is it?), the rewards might be slimmer than imagined. They would also inevitably be posing as french nationals, and thus 'the enemy', which only increases the risk of getting caught...

If only the girls could find a way to spy on the Brits!

Not sure how much more value there is in maintaining a watch on them. Perhaps redeployment to a new theatre of interest? Maybe as refugees to the British, via Gibraltar? Or to Spain to see what’s happening there (I’ve lost track of who won the civil war there :confused:)?

The ladies don't speak English very well either, but considering France is a close ally this should be less of a problem than with the Italians... A British option is on the table here, as 'Shest' has also been pushing for the GRU and the KGB to launch another British mission, we have 12 spies in reserve, so once we reach something like 14-15, there will probably be another British mission. Or maybe an Italian one, but there isn't much to be gained from them technologically, and at least part of the aim will be to get some more random and interesting 'borrowed' technology.

FYI: The Nationalists are firmly in control of all Spanish territories, having won the war some time ago...4th of May, 'Tri', call about Nationalist victory in Spain. They're really not doing anything of note, except for rebuilding I guess...

Just one minor continuity point: I enjoyed the little reference to Istanbul as the transit point for the crate of Ricard. Surely a novelty for those used to plain old Russian vodka :). But if it came via Istanbul, perhaps it was the Soviet Consulate, as the Embassy would be in the capital, Ankara?

Now, I sincerely apologise for this gross oversight. In another update I already mentioned the Consulate, so as you can see, many of us don't proofread nearly enough... This will be rectified

The 'Ricard' reference is actually close to home, as in my family, we (the adults so inclined) tend to drink a glass of pastis (of which Ricard is the largest brand) as an appetiser, but only when it's warm outside. It's like we're suddenly in the south of France. In 1940s Soviet Russia, Ricard must have been quite outlandish indeed, so much for flying under the radar...
 
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Sounds like an excellent family tradition! I feel like one right now (a tough day at work)! :D Can’t say I’ve sampled it before, but I’m sure it would do the trick ...

Well, if Mother speaks Portuguese ... how about Lisbon? A useful transit point, base for info in Spain, later maybe even Vichy, occupied France?
 
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markkur

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I quote: 'As long as the Axis think the Division is fully Motorised, everything will be fine.'
Now that's a fine plan. Maybe they should work on making heavy-tank balloons.:D

What to do now? Idk, maybe drugging the French high-command and driving out in style. (wearing their uniforms):)