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roverS3

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A beast of an engine for 11. I think that will even get a reaction out of the grumpy mechanic on base. That being said, Shest makes a convincing point. It's fairly obvious she's heavily traumatized or an extremely good actor, but in the end which one she is will matter little. The fact is she's been in both German and American custody, and could theoretically be compromised by either one. I'm not sure keeping her on base is the best course of action, either; if she happens to be compromised, she could do incredible damage by staging the assassination of multiple members of the Committee or intercepting communications. In the worst-case scenario, the Germans have one or two divisions in the rear per each on the line and are waiting for our bulk to be withdrawn to attack, at which point she would attempt to disrupt our chain of command as much as possible to prevent an effective response. I don't necessarily believe this to be the case, but it is the worst-case scenario short of the entire Committee being assassinated.

Either way, two options are open to us. Either feigning weakness and pulling the bulk of our forces back from the border to form a defense in depth and hope the enemy takes the bait, or launch our own offensive. I don't think whether 11 is compromised or not really has an effect on this, beyond the precautions regarding her we might be wise to take. Now, as has been discussed many times before, the Germans attacking would be the optimal outcome. To do that, we need to make them believe our troops are going to be engaged in the East - leak information of something called Operation Sun-Eater or something equally striking, and they'll be convinced we're going to hit Japan. Pull all high-value troops, such as armour, guards and motorized units, as well as the more veteran divisions, off the front line. The Japanese should be shitting their pants and calling the Germans to hit us. If that doesn't work, we'll have to start things ourselves.

I'm currently writing the next big update, there will be many answers in that as to what happens next, interesting how close you get to it in your comprehensive commentary. 'Odinatsat' may well be compromised, though 'Shest' is definitely not impartial in this, considering their history. In any case, getting her away from the base is probably a good idea. The assassination of, or at least spying in Committee members is a risk to consider, despite our low profile, there is always a chance someone finds out something... especially if 11 is compromised.

Thanks for the input, it's helping me to clarify some of my choices for the upcoming update.
 
28th of April 1942, 'Odinatsat', 'Odin', 'Shest', 'Chetyre', 'Devyat', Eastern Shade, air base #15, and a cat with 11 lives.

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The 28th of April 1942, Minsk, 4,7°C, 10 pm Moscow Time,

It took 'Odinatsat' about a week to get her car running. Most of it had been ready, however, quite a few tweaks had to be made to accommodate the larger engine. On the 22nd, she enrolled the help of a few off duty members of the Garrison to help her navigate the engine, already mated, by her, to the transmission, placing it onto the frame in just the right position. The moment of truth was on the 24th, when, with the interior finished, the body was ready to be lowered onto the frame. The large engine fitted under the standard bonnet, but only just, with about 2 cm to spare on either side. On the 25th, after some more tinkering, the one of a kind GAZ-M1 came to life. Even the grumpy mechanic helped out to get the Engine installed just right. He was barely hiding how impressed he was with the beastly engine, and how happy he was to be able to work on it.

'Odinatsat' asked to go see Sergei, the Yak-7 mechanic, in Moskva. Ever since she had gotten hold of the new Engine, their correspondence turned to how they were going to get more power out of that v8, a lot more power. The obvious question was where this work would take place. Some specialised tools would be necessary. Bringing Sergei into the Secret Committee isn't an option, at least for the time being. The search for a suitable workshop was on.

Meanwhile, the 'retired' Generals were preparing a plan for the withdrawal of troops from our German border. The whole effort was coordinated by 'Dva'. Most of the Generals understood the need for a partial withdrawal. While it doesn't necessarily make military sense, it does make geopolitical sense not to be seen as the aggressor. 'Chteyre' also chipped in with the suggestion of adding a VVS element to the plan. In the end, the date of the operation was set for the 28th of April. The propaganda machine went into overdrive as large amounts of troops started boarding trains, and hundreds of aeroplanes prepared to take off. The front page of Pravda was entirely dedicated to 'Operation Eastern Shade':

Pravda1942_04_28-min.jpg

The true numbers are lower, but not by that much. In total three corps of Riflemen, each about 60.000 men, were pulled from the border itself:

XXIII SK , composed of Winter War veterans, was pulled from 2nd Army Group (North), it will be travelling East, to Vitsyebsk, 400km inland.
XVII SK was pulled from 3rd Army Group (South), going in a South-Easterly direction to Kryvyy Rih, 500km inland, near the Black sea.
VI SK was pulled from 4ya Armiya (Hungarian border), with Homel, 400km inland, as it's destination.
1ya Armiya HQ was also pulled from 2nd Army Group, it was placed under the command of the VVS/Reserves Army Group, all three of the above-mentioned corps were placed under it's command, along with XXIX GvSK, and XVI SK, which have been assigned directly to the Army Group until now.

Further back, to reduce supply demand, and increase the chatter about a massive eastward redeployment, all of 2ya Tankovaya Armiya will be railed back to
Kaluga, 140km South-West of Moskva.
XIV MSK is also driving eastward from Vinnytsya to Komsomolske, just outside of Kharkov, across the Donets river. 620 aeroplanes are actually flying to Vladivostok, as it is expected that the Japanese will likely spot the arrival of that many aeroplanes, and report back to their German Allies.
All of our TB-3s are going over there, as well as
V. IAK, along with it's 496 Yak-7s. Interestingly, the rapid redeployment of these aeroplanes, which doesn't include Sergei's unit, has left several Air Bases around Moskva quite empty.

At about 5:30am, myself and 'Odinatsat' set out on the maiden voyage of her GAZ-M1. Our disguises were pretty much the same as last time. 'Odinatsat' had painted her GAZ-M1 in the unofficial, but universally recognised, 'state security' paint scheme, black with a red pinstripe along the side. This drive to Moscow was significantly faster than the previous one. For starters, there was already significantly less mud than two weeks ago, and no frozen patches at all. We made it to the main road in half an hour, and once we were there, 'Odinatsat' started to open up the rumbling 3.9 liter V8. Our early start had clearly paid off, as there was barely anyone on the narrow road between
Vologda and Jaroslavl, and she could confidently push the car into triple digit speeds on the straighter bits. Our average must have been about 90 km/h, significantly faster than the few vehicles we passed. We comfortably got to Yaroslavl by 8:45am, right in time for breakfast, which we consumed in a small cafe-restaurant that seemed to be filled with apparatchiks. I fit right in, and by 9:30 we were back on the road, our bellies properly stuffed, and the GAZ-M1's gasoline tank topped up.

The highway to Moskva was where 'Odinatsat' could really put the hammer down. Our speed remained over 100 km/h most of the time, with an average speed of over 125 km/h. Thanks to our fearsome paint job, traffic parted like the red sea to let us through, and 'Odinatsat' took full advantage of that fact. A little weary that the stock transmission might not be able to handle the power of the 3,9 liter Engine, 'Odinatsat' refrained from pushing the car all the way to the limit, though we did hit 145 km/h a few times, and the engine felt like it had still more to give. By 11:30am we reached the outskirts of Moskva, and turned off the highway. If you add in the time saved by having fewer stops, and by the relative lack of mud, we did the trip to Moskva in half the time when compared to our last run. Once everything on that car is fine-tuned, and that powerful v8 souped up with the help of an experienced aeroplane mechanic, who knows how fast it will go. Will it be able to beat the Soviet Union's fastest car ever built, the legendary 1939 ZiS-101A-Sport? I guess we'll find out sooner rather than later.

Moskva_YaroslavlHighway-min.jpg

A train on the Jaroslavl-Moskva line passes over the Jaroslavl-Moskva Highway shortly after leaving Yaroslavl Moscovskiy station on it's way to Moskva.

We headed towards 73. IAD's base first. Sergei's leave starts on the 2nd of May, so we're a few days early, but what's the point of dressing up as a NKGB Lieutenant of State Security if you never use the authority that comes with the position. 'Odinatsat' stopped the car at the gatehouse of the base. I opened my window, and as a Starshina (Sergeant Major) came out of the gatehouse to check our identification, I motioned him to my window, where I swiftly showed him my identification:

"Starshina. Listen to me closely. I need to speak to one of your senior mechanics, Sergei Kharkov, concerning an incident that happened one month ago, at Homel Air Base. Don't worry, he's not in trouble, I think he might have some information we need, that's all. Now, before you say anything, this is important, you will personally bring him to the gate, I'm sure he'll come willingly. Oh, and I'm not here right now, all of this is to stay strictly off the record. Have one of your men show my driver to an inconspicuous parking spot close by, while I wait. Go now, you and your men will take this encounter to the grave, is that understood?"

"Yes sir. I'll fetch him right now, sir. Sergeant, locate a discreet parking spot close-by for the man's car." (the Starshina tried his best to hide both his fear and his excitement at being involved in such a hush hush affair. Needless to say, he was never meant to be an actor, nor a spy for that matter)

"Yes sir"

I stayed in the car as a Junior Sergeant showed us to a parking spot between a Zis-5 lorry and a small warehouse, about 60m away. The GAZ-M1 was neatly tucked away, and through the windshield we could almost see the gatehouse. We sat there, in silence, for a couple of minutes, then we glimpsed two silhouettes moving towards the gate. 'Odinatsat' started the engine, and we slowly rolled towards the gate. The gate was already open when we go there, and as we approached, the Junior Sergeant exited the gatehouse and started running in our direction, before stopping in his tracks as he noticed that we were already approaching. 'Odinatsat' kept going, looking straight ahead, before halting, with the passenger side rear door of the car right in front of the Sergeant and Sergei. I threw open the door, and motioned Sergei to get in, simultaneously shuffling over to the driver side of the rear bench. He clearly recognised me, though he tactfully avoided showing he knew me to the Sergeant, who was standing about a metre away. He jumped in, and before he even finished closing the door, the driver stepped on it, and we were off.

We weren't going very far, but that didn't stop 'Odinatsat' from doing some rather spirited driving During the entire 10 minute drive, Sergei, the aeroplane mechanic, was fixated on the road ahead. Her fast and smooth driving style didn't strike me as particularly dangerous or frightening, but that's probably because I've grown used to it. After all, we had just spent quite some time on the road with her behind the wheel, as she was building up speed and confidence, getting a feel for the car, and the engine. It definitely distracted Sergei enough for him to not notice that it was in fact his pen-pal 'Irina' ('Odinatsat's name as far as he is concerned) that was driving. Well, her being disguised as a male NKVD Yefreytor surely didn't help either.
We turned of the main tarmac road onto a narrow gravel road, leading to a rather ramshackle Airfield. The sign in front read: “Air Base #15”, and below that, another more improvised sign read “The home of 43. IAD”. Someone had added quotation marks around the word 'home' with what looked to be the same red paint that's used to paint red stars on aeroplanes in the VVS. The wooden gate was opened by an NKVD guard as soon as he saw our car, we didn't even have to slow down.

The Airfield was tiny, and it looked almost abandoned. A single aeroplane, a Yak-7UTI two-seater was parked on the other side of the runway, it was painted in the mostly white winter camouflage. Against the background of the dark treeline, and without any snow around, it stuck out like a sore thumb. Especially as the aeroplane looked like alien technology when compared to the ramshackle buildings of the Airfield and the potholed gravel airstrip that was barely 600m long.

The sturdiest of the buildings, the one with a brick base, was still being emptied by about a dozen VVS ground crew. It was mostly aircraft ammunition, and all of it was being hurriedly loaded into the backs of a row of 4 ZIS-5 lorries with VVS markings.
As we reached the wooden control tower and the associated command post, A pair of NKVD soldiers indicated for us to park next to a menacing black ZIS-101. The door was opened for me. Our driver was told to move the GAZ-M1 into the second of the two hangars, and before Sergei could get out, 'Odinatsat' restarted the engine and took off.

zis_101_1940-min.jpg

The ZIS-101, the successor to the Leningrad 1 (a copy of the 1932 Buick). It was produced in surprisingly high numbers for such a luxury item, close to 9.000, and counting. Every Apparatchik, high-ranking member of the party, and General has one of these at his disposal. It is even used as a taxi in Moscow, Minsk and several other large cities. It's a heavy and powerful barge. 5,7m long, a kerb weight of 2,5 tonnes, and a massive 5,8l straight 8 putting out 110 hp in the early cars, and 115 hp in the newer ZIS-101A (shown on the picture) with some tweaks to the engine. Top speed is 115 km/h and 125 km/h respectively, pretty fast for a car weighing close to 3 tonnes in daily use.

Looking around a bit more, I noticed about 20 NKVD personnel eating their lunch in the first of the two hangars on the other side of the Airstrip. The structure was a bit of a mess, a wooden frame covered with mismatched corrugate steel plates, some galvanised, others painted various colours, probably depending on the paint that was handy at the time each particular piece was placed, replaced, or repainted. The sliding doors looked like they were going to fall of their rails any minute. Between the two Hangars two GAZ-AA lorries were parked, which was probably how the NKVDers had gotten here. There was something off about them though, they looked familiar.

As I looked up to the control tower, I wasn't surprised to see two men overlooking the Air Base from the little viewing platform. One of them noticed our arrival, and they made their way down a succession of steep and narrow staircases. They made for an interesting pair. The first was dressed in the uniform of a top level spook. NKGB, GRU, NKVD, they all wear the same style of three piece suits, with the same little Soviet flag pin on the lapel, and a gun, usually a Tokarev in a chest-holster. To be fair, I was wearing almost exactly the same thing. The other man was dressed in a VVS officer's Field uniform, going by the chevrons on his sleeves he was a Polkovnik (Colonel) of Aviation, and going by the wings on his collar, he was a pilot.

We know them better as 'Shest' and 'Chteyre', of course. They soon made their way down the succession of steep, narrow, and no doubt splintery, staircases. As they arrived at the bottom of the tower, the V8 of 'Odinatsat's GAZ-M1 was turned off, bringing some welcome silence to the base. I suddenly became aware of orders being barked by a VVS Second Lieutenant to the ground crew packing up the ammunition. I could hear the men in the first hangar laughing at what was, no doubt, a rather inappropriate joke.

Now, I should clarify right now, that I have told 'Odinatsat' only the strict minimum she needed to know. We were driving to Moskva, picking up Sergei at his job, then heading to a very recently abandoned Air Base #15. The final instruction was somewhat more mysterious. As soon as she was entirely out of sight at the base, she would have to change into the clothes to be found in the boot of her car.

I wasn't surprised when Sergeant Sergei walked out of the hangar first, followed shortly by a brand new character, Female Red Army Lieutenant Irina Goleniewsky, (aka 'Odinatsat'). She walked out, her Mosin-Nagant slung over her shoulder, her wavy blonde hair on full display, her 'pilotka' (summer cap), placed on top of her head at a slight angle. She walked back towards us, it was a straight-backed military walk. It was hard to tell that she'd never really been in the Army proper, and I'm sure even the less casual observer would have no reason to doubt her to be a genuine Red Army Lieutenant. 'Shest' and 'Chteyre' had taken up position next to me, none of us saying a word as we admired this moment of creation. Thanks to 'Shest's magic, and 'Odinatsat's' performance, Lieutenant Irina Goleniewsky was now a real person, 21 years after birth, created on some airfield outside Moskva.

After what seemed like a long walk, but was probably little over 30 seconds, Sergeant Sergei, and Lieutenant Irina came to a halt in front of the three of us. Both snapped to attention and saluted.


“Lieutenant Goleniewsky and Junior Sergeant Kharkov reporting for duty, sirs”
'Shest' immediately replied:

“At ease Lieutenant”

quickly followed by 'Chteyre's:

“At ease Sergeant”
There was a short pause, before 'Chteyre' said:

“Sergeant. With me.”
'Chteyre' and Sergei walked off in the direction of the Yak-7UTI, no doubt to do a walkaround inspection, and exchange some VVS-specific humour. It was also an opportunity to gauge Sergei's character in a non-threatening way. They hadn't even reached the aeroplane, when 'Shest' simply said:

“Let's have lunch”
The three of us made it inside the command post, and a basic lunch was served by a familiar looking NKVD cook. 'Shest', having done most of the legwork on this whole operation, was excited to share the details with us, and especially with 'Odinatsat', who had been kept mostly in the dark until now. As soon as the cook had left, he started his exposé:

It is my pleasure to introduce Lieutenant Irina Alexandrovich Goleniewsky, Red Army sharpshooter, veteran of the Winter War, though her unit didn't take part in any major battle. 5 confirmed kills at a range over 200m, dozens of kills at shorter ranges. Large parts of her service file, including most of the kills, are classified at the highest level, suggesting that she has been working for military intelligence in some capacity since the end of the Winter War. No one will dare to ask any questions. Now, Lieutenant Goleniewsky is going to get a normal job. This afternoon she'll take up a posting at the newly opened “Central Women's Sniper Training School” in the Veshnyaki District, in Eastern Moskva. I, as a GRU Major General, will accompany you there myself after lunch to make the introductions and make sure that the Colonel in command lends the necessary weight to your, mostly classified, record.

Now, you will be able to go on leave several nights a week, which you will be able to spend here, at Air Base #15, with Sergeant Sergei. 'Chteyre' has assured me that Sergei's leave will nearly always coincide with yours, so that you can spend time together and build that monster of a car, as well as your friendship. If anything goes wrong, Air Base #15 is under full control of the Committee now, those NKVDers out there were picked from the Garrison at our Vologda location. Initially, you will be driven to and from here in an unmarked GAZ-A with a GRU driver. However, if you get promoted to Captain, you will get your own official staff car, probably a GAZ-M1. I'm sure you can figure out the possibilities that brings. In short, we're giving you a whole new life, as suited to you as we could make it. One that won't be a secret to nearly everyone around. See it as a your rebirth, a chance to reinvent yourself as a soldier instead of a spy, for now.”
'Odinatsat' was silent, contemplating her new life in all of it's aspects. She seemed somewhat relieved at the thought that she wouldn't have to sneak around so much any more, that she would able to just be someone, and have the time to grow comfortable in her skin, to truly become this Lieutenant Goleniewsky and train the next generation female snipers. This job is perfect for her, not only because she's a great marksman, but because the better she does it, the more damage her cadets will eventually do to the enemies of the Soviet Union, in particular the Germans, who we'll have to face sooner or later. It thus lines up with her hunger for revenge, she will no doubt do a great job. The slight grin on her face told me that she had gathered as much.

The silence was broken by the sudden roar of the Yak-7's engine outside. 'Odinatsat' had been surprised by the lengths we had gone through in this case. She simply gave me, and then 'Shest', a hug. A rare show of affection from her. She had just let go from the second hug when there was a knock on the door of the command post, which was a small wooden structure with just a single room, right next to the control tower. Lieutenant Goleniewsky straightened out her uniform, stood at attention and barked:

Enter!”
Sergeant Sergei Kharkov entered the room, and after a quick salute:

Sirs, Sergeant Kharkov, reporting for Polkovnik -'Chteyre'-, sirs”
'Shest' said lazily:

Go ahead Sergeant.”

The last of 43 IAD's ground crews have left the premises. The base is all yours... Major General... (He tried to hide it, but there was some disbelief concerning 'Shest's rank of Major General, obviously 'Chteyre' must have told him) Senior Lieutenant (to me), the Polkovnik wanted to let you know that he is taxiing onto the airstrip as we speak. If you would please make your way to the aeroplane, sir.”
I excused myself:

I have a meeting in Minsk this afternoon, and the Polkovnik's Yak-7V is my ride out there. I'll see you all later. Major General, Lieutenant, Sergeant, we will surely meet again.”
I ran outside, the Sergeant followed me. All the VVS lorries were gone, the noise of their departure was probably drowned out by the Klimov M-105P 'Chteyre' engine of the Yak-7UTI. The one 'Chteyre' was rotating so that it would face the far end of the runway. As soon as the aeroplane was pointing the right way, 'Chteyre' throttled down to idle. I ran over, following the Sergeant Kharkov to the rear of the right wing. He helped me up, and once I was in the snug cabin, right behind 'Chteyre', he helped me shut the canopy. Lieutenant Goleniewsky and 'Shest' were standing just in front of the command post. Sergei ran over to the others, and went to stand next to 'Odinatsat', or rather the Lieutenant, they both stood at attention and saluted. 'Shest' was waving, more of a a royal wave than a full-on enthusiastic wave. Then, 'Chteyre' opened up the throttle, and the Air Base quickly became a blur before vanishing entirely from view as we left it behind us.

Yak-7UTI_Chteyre-min.jpg

A Yak-7UTI, in it's winter paint scheme, with the engine running. Some help is needed to get into the passenger seat, a problem that doesn't exist for the ubiquitous single-seater Yak-7 and Yak-7B fighters.

As we approached Minsk, we flew along the railway for a couple of minutes. I could see the long trains loaded with tanks and other military vehicles of all kinds. From up high, it was hard to miss the scale of the eastward relocation of 2ya Tankovaya Armiya. A Yak-7 is definitely the fastest way to travel this kind of distance, we touched down in Minsk less than an hour after take off, at 3pm. That's an average speed over 600 km/h. 'Devyat' met us on the ground, and we split up, 'Chteyre' had his own business to attend to.

I went along with 'Devyat' to visit some more brand new fortifications around the city. This included Anti-Tank trenches, and fortified Anti-Tank positions, as well as fortified trenches in strategic locations linking the existing Machine-Gun bunkers to some of the new infrastructure. He proudly announced that the construction schedule has also been changed to lend further weight to operation Eastern Shade. The construction in Minsk is thus followed by the construction of Machine-Gun bunkers in Khabarovsk, on our Manchurian border. It started this morning.

This only adds to the picture. I can't help but think of the Japanese high command, especially the Kwantung Army I can only imagine the flood of worrying reports they are going to get over the next day. It should be enough to make the Japanese very nervous indeed, and the Germans less nervous by a similar amount... that's the plan anyway.

I met back up with 'Chteyre' for dinner, and he only confirmed my assessment of Sergei Kharkov's character. He seems like a decent man, very skilled as a mechanic, fiercely loyal to the VVS and the Soviet Union, and an excellent judge of character. There are no gaps in his history, no serious crimes in his past. We will, of course keep a close watch on those two. Our watch will be 'Invisible but thorough'. That could be the Secret Committee's slogan, if having a slogan didn't rather defeat the point, by rendering us significantly less invisible.

This was truly a long day. How will the Axis react to this? Will they take the bait? How will 'Odinatsat' fare in her new life? Have we been compromised in some way? Only time will tell.

Greetings,

'Odin'

 

Finshades

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A truly massive exercise in logistics. This should definitely get some tongues wagging in the Axis commands. Good to keep our readiness up, too - this is in fact in line with modern Russian doctrine of fairly large snap drills with no warning to ensure the units are at a constant state of readiness. Now we just hope the OKW and OKH take the bait.

The sniper school is a brilliant idea. That will mean 11 is having a constant positive effect on the abilities of the Red Army while not being exposed to risks and having a limited ability to cause damage if she were in fact compromised. Truly a stroke of genius! Let's see what becomes of the mechanic, too. He is skilled at what he does. Perhaps he should be given a similar sort of assignment of either teaching new recruits - or (and this is tongue in cheek) building a maintenance team of his own, a sort of an elite unit, that can be used to reinforce whichever airbase is under the highest workload? I can already see the unit name "1st Airmobile Special Maintenance Company"... :p

Now that I think of it, a Committee compound in the vicinity of Moscow also poses several interesting opportunities. After all, it would be a shame to leave it unused save for 11 and Sergei, since we're guarding it anyway. Of course, it is also more vulnerable than our main facility, but it could still serve several useful functions, not least as a transportation hub.
 

roverS3

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A truly massive exercise in logistics. This should definitely get some tongues wagging in the Axis commands. Good to keep our readiness up, too - this is in fact in line with modern Russian doctrine of fairly large snap drills with no warning to ensure the units are at a constant state of readiness. Now we just hope the OKW and OKH take the bait.
Russia does love to organise surprise large scale exercises.

The sniper school is a brilliant idea. That will mean 11 is having a constant positive effect on the abilities of the Red Army while not being exposed to risks and having a limited ability to cause damage if she were in fact compromised. Truly a stroke of genius! Let's see what becomes of the mechanic, too. He is skilled at what he does. Perhaps he should be given a similar sort of assignment of either teaching new recruits - or (and this is tongue in cheek) building a maintenance team of his own, a sort of an elite unit, that can be used to reinforce whichever airbase is under the highest workload? I can already see the unit name "1st Airmobile Special Maintenance Company"... :p
It should be noted that the sniper school in question really existed. It was established on the 20th of March 1942, and opening officially on the 3rd of May. Of course, historically, it was opened during the war, to get more, female, snipers to the front. There will probably be more about it in another update, once I've done more research.
I'm not sure yet what the Mechanic will become once the war starts and his Division is redeployed closer to the front. Time will tell whether he could potentially take on a role closer to the Committee, or whether he should remain blissfully ignorant of anything beyond the fact that the Lieutenant did some work for the GRU.

Now that I think of it, a Committee compound in the vicinity of Moscow also poses several interesting opportunities. After all, it would be a shame to leave it unused save for 11 and Sergei, since we're guarding it anyway. Of course, it is also more vulnerable than our main facility, but it could still serve several useful functions, not least as a transportation hub.
This was, of course, in the back of my mind. In case of emergency, we could even fly from our Moscow Base to our Vologda Base directly. Though it would be wise not to make a habit of that, as making this a regular air route would definitely attract unwanted attention. The base near Moskva definitely has a lot of potential, I've got a few ideas myself.

Next up will be the regular 10-day report, which I will probably post before I leave on a short family vacation.
 
29th of April 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #194

roverS3

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The 29th of April 1942, Vologda, 1,7°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 20th and the 29th of April 1942,

by 'Odin'

Army:
4. NKGBF Konnaya Brigada has finished training in Finland. It has been placed under the command of Commisionner of State Security Second Class Provalov and his NKGBF HQ. He now has 4 mounted Brigades (each 6.000 men) to keep the Finnish people safe from rabble rousers and foreign agents.
Another Artillery Regiment, 106 AP has been deployed, to Maj. General Tiulenev's 104 SD, I SK, 7ya Armiya, 3rd Army Group, Brjansk HQ.

Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
Front line troops: 694 / 2.082.000
Support troops: 349 / 349.000
Total fighting troops: 1.043 / 2.431.000
Headquarters: 64 / 64.000
Total Army Personnel: 1.107 / 2.495.000
Officers: 103.029 + / 110.010 needed / 93,653 %
Active Leaders: 282 / 214 more available
Another Artillery Regiment has started training, while it's 152mm guns are produced.
Communist Chinese trainers will finally get the weapons and funding to train a Regiment of Military Police for the NKVD.
Army Leadership
New Senior Major of State Security (Maj. General) Galanin T.I. SK1, LW, WS has been placed in command of 4. NKGBF KB, NKGBF, 1st AG, Leningrad HQ.

Air Force:
No changes to the VVS, nor to the Navy Air Fleet for the last 10 days.​

Navy:
No changes to the Navy for the last 10 days.
Politics / International:
Battle Of Britain
The Luftwaffe returned to the offensive with a series of bombing missions over Southern English ports, 2 in Portsmouth, and 3 in Dover. No ships seem to have been sunk in the process. The German aeroplanes were intercepted 7 times over Dover, and chased back over the Channel, with another battle taking place over Dunkerque.
The convoy war in the Atlantic calmed down a bit. Surprisingly, The Royal Navy has managed to sink 3 Axis convoys, all the while losing only a single one. All this action happened once more directly to the West of the British Isles.
North Africa Front:
United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,6
Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,3
BNAF42-04-29-min.jpeg

The British retreat seems to have turned into a full-on rout. Outnumbered, ill equipped to deal with any sort of armour, and with little cover, the British forces can only put up token resistance in the face of Italian Light Tanks, let alone King Tigers. Axis forces have reached Ra's Abu Lahw, 90km East from their position ten days ago. With nothing to really stop them on the way, they are expected to reach El Iskandarîya by the middle of May.
No Aerial operations on either side.
No naval encounters.
No convoy losses on either side.
South East Asia Front
United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,8
United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 77,6
Philippines (Surrender Progress / NU): 74,2 / 74,9
Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,3
PHFS42-04-29-min.jpeg

The Japanese forces here seem to have awakened from their slumber here. Maybe they have finally scraped together the necessary supplies to go on the offensive again? Maybe the weather has cleared up? In any case, on Luzon, Japanese Infantry has started marching towards the north, capturing Victoria, they're even receiving Air Support from IJA bombers based in Clark Field, despite the fact that the Philippine HQ troops in their path are clearly more interested in running. There still seems to have been no attack on Manila.
On Mindanao IJN Marines are also on the move, claiming empty territory.
The Allies are losing the convoy war here, with 23 allied convoys lost to the IJN, and a mere 7 IJN convoys sent to the bottom by various allied fleets.

A small Australian Fleet was caught out by a much larger IJN force, with the loss of 2nd Destroyer Flotilla to Kinugasa (CA). A follow-up battle is ongoing in Brunei Bay, where another already damaged Australian Destroyer Flotilla is facing two IJN Fleets including 2 Carriers, 2 Battleships, and 2 Heavy Cruisers. A British Submarine Flotilla seems to have been caught in the crossfire as well. One can only hope that they get away before they find themselves at the bottom of the sea.
Pacific Front
All quiet here, there continues to be no substantial US involvement in the war save for massive amounts of lend-lease to the UK.
US Fleets did sink 2 Japanese convoys closer to home, both off the coast of Mexico. Another Axis convoy was also sunk in the Bahamas. It looks like the Axis has increased it's trading volume with South-America.

Industry:
Fortifications in Minsk, including Anti-tank bunkers and fortified trenches (Level 2) have been completed.
Work has started on brand new Machine Gun Bunkers in Khabarovsk. (Level 5)
Working Industrial Capacity / available capacity: 240 / 330 (+6)
IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
Upgrades: 55,40 / 55,50
Reinforcement: 2,00 / 2,02
Supplies: 31,60 / 58,55
Production: 211,30 / 216,37 (A single Mountain Rifle Divisions remains unfunded)
Consumer Goods: 29,70 / 29,70
Stockpiles:
Energy: Maximum tonnes +
Metal: Maximum tonnes +
Rares: 47.509 tonnes +
Crude: Maximum barrels +
Supplies: 35.125 tonnes -
Fuel: Maximum barrels +
Money: 1.576 -​

Intelligence:
Spy numbers, spies in (active / added / lost / caught by us)
France (Supporting our Party / Counterespionage): 5 / 0 / 0 / 0
{ Germany (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 }
{ Japan (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }
{ UK (/) : 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }​
Other: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Total: 5 / 0 / 0 / 1
Reserves: 3
Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,17 (a new spy every 40 days)
A German spy was caught in the Soviet Union. Let's hope his colleagues report on the Red Army's redeployment to the far East.
Research
:
No completed Research Projects, no new projects, no changes to leadership distribution.
Statistics:
National Unity: 83,241 =
Neutrality: 0,00 =
Dissent: 0,00 =
Manpower:
Available: 2.240.000
Men To reinforce(need): 2.040
Men To mobilise(need): See above
Monthly gain: 48.200 Men (1 fully mobilised Infx3, AT Division every 7 days)
No changes in Party Popularity for the last 10 days.
No changes in Party Organisation for the last 10 days.
This Information is accurate on the morning of the 29th of April 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.​

'Odin'​
 
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Eurasia

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Ouch. So your America is going to be like my America? :oops:
 

roverS3

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Ouch. So your America is going to be like my America? :oops:
Pretty much, except that my America is sending over massive amounts of lend-lease to the Brits, and the Brits are, at least, doing something with that aid. (I hope)
 

Wraith11B

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The AI US in HoI3 is generally (from what I've seen) 6/7ths "Sit like a bump" and 1/7th "RAAAAGE". Paradox never quite managed to figure out how to teach the AI to go overseas.
 

Finshades

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The AI is quirky, to say the least. And they say AI has no character! Ha! HoI3 AI has more character than you can shake a stick at, granted it's mostly stupidity, but at least it's.... personable.

Those Allied convoy losses are concerning, to say the least. Hopefully it's just a temporary dip, and the Navies in the Pacific don't all run into the IJN piecemeal like the Aussies are doing.

Have a great vacation!
 

roverS3

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The AI US in HoI3 is generally (from what I've seen) 6/7ths "Sit like a bump" and 1/7th "RAAAAGE". Paradox never quite managed to figure out how to teach the AI to go overseas.
The AI is quirky, to say the least. And they say AI has no character! Ha! HoI3 AI has more character than you can shake a stick at, granted it's mostly stupidity, but at least it's.... personable.

Those Allied convoy losses are concerning, to say the least. Hopefully it's just a temporary dip, and the Navies in the Pacific don't all run into the IJN piecemeal like the Aussies are doing.
I tagged to check, and the British have a massive convoys surplus, and they're building both convoys and escorts like there is no tomorrow. I'd say that they can handle the losses simply outproducing the Japanese with all of that sweet lend-lease aid.

Have a great vacation!
I will be going to my family's top secret base in the Ardennes(36 m^2 and a mostly wooden construction). There is internet nor cellphone reception, but it is surrounded by forest, and there's a small creek at the bottom of the hill. It's quite peaceful, really. (until the Pzkfw III's come rushing through on their way to France...) I'm sure it'll be a great time, it always is.;):D
 
9th of May 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #195

roverS3

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The 9th of May 1942, Vologda, 2,5°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 30th of April and the 9th of May 1942,

by 'Odin'

Army:
A brand new Motorised Rifle Division, 135 MSD (Motx3, SP Art, Eng) has been deployed directly to General Chuikov's 11ya Motorizovannaya Armiya, Armoured AG, STAVKA.
Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
Front line troops: 697 / 2.091.000
Support troops: 351 / 351.000
Total fighting troops: 1.048 / 2.442.000
Headquarters: 64 / 64.000
Total Army Personnel: 1.112 / 2.506.000
Officers: 103.528 + / 110.510 needed / 93,682 %
Active Leaders: 283 / 215 more available
Production of SU-100 Tank Destroyers has been increased with the production of two new Regiments, one as a single Regiment, and the other as part of a Motx2, TD unit that will reinforce a new Motorised Rifle Corps HQ that will be formed at a later date.
As upgrade costs have gone down, 3 new Art Regiments have started training while 152mm Guns production numbers are increased once more.
Army Leadership
New Maj. General Karpon SK2, OD has been placed in command of 135. MSD, 11ya Mot. Armiya, Armoured AG, STAVKA.

Air Force:
Production of navalised versions of La-7s and Il-10s has been increased, these will make up 10. KPA, another reserve CAG of the Navy Air Fleet.
No changes to the VVS for the last 10 days.​

Navy:
No changes to the Navy for the last 10 days.
Politics / International:
Battle Of Britain
After another successful Air Battle over Dover, the RAF returned to the the offensive, with 2 strategic bombing missions over Dortmund. The second one was intercepted over the target, and then again on it's way back over Lille in northern France.
The Kriegsmarine is back on the hunt around Moray Firth, sinking a total of 6 British convoys. The Royal Navy struck back, sinking 2 Axis convoys off the Western coast of Scotland, and another 2 near the Azores.
North Africa Front:
United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,6
Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,3
BNAF42-05-09-min.jpeg

Somehow, the Axis advance has been slowed, either by the sheer swagger of an exhausted under-strength British Infantry Division, or maybe they're having trouble with supplies. Two Italian Light Tank Divisions have captured Qara and Marsa Matrûh, leaving behind the King Tigers behind the front.
The RN 'Coastal Naval Command' Bristol Blenheim Naval Bombers based in Malta have struck again, sinking 2 brand new flotillas of Italian transports, '3a Squadrone Transporti' in Napoli, and '2a Squadrone Transporti' in Palermo, performing a further 2 missions over Tunis. All without any interference from the Regia Aeronautica.
Meanwhile, the RAFs Strategic Bombers seem to have tried their luck over the Bulgarian-controlled part of Greece, where it was, promptly intercepted over Larisa, and again over the Eastern Ionian Sea, by Bulgarian fighters. No provinces were bombed.
No naval encounters.
No convoy losses on either side.
South East Asia Front
United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,8
United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 77,6
Philippines (Surrender Progress / NU): 74,2 / 74,9
Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,3
France (Government in Exile)
Zhanjiang42-05-07-min.jpeg

On the 7th of May, Imperial Japanese troops walked into the French territory of Zhanjiang. The heavily damaged submarines that were based there managed to sneak out through the Hainan Straight and into the port of Haiphong. This will probably mean that they can finally be repaired thanks to their newfound proximity to Hanoi.
PHFS42-05-09-min.jpeg

Japanese Infantry continues it's march north, advancing another 90 km to Buguias, taking Luzon and Baguio on the way, and sweeping away Manila HQ, with the help of another bombing raid. The road to Cagayan is open.
Still no attack on Manila.
The Allies are still losing the convoy war here, with 28 allied convoys lost to the IJN, and a mere 10 IJN convoys sent to the bottom by various allied fleets.

The IJN has bombed the Naval Base in Singapore twice in the last 10 days. The actual damage is minor, probably due to the sheer number of ships present, making it difficult for Japanese pilots to stick to a single target. There's also the slight problem of the amount of AA gunnery going on, when one counts the extensive land-based installations and the AA batteries of all the ships.
Pacific Front
All quiet here, there continues to be no substantial US involvement in the war save for massive amounts of lend-lease to the UK.
US Fleets sunk a Japanese convoys closer to home, off the coast of Honduras. Another 3 Axis convoys were sunk around
Hispaniola. Another was sunk off the coast of Guyana.

Industry:
Working Industrial Capacity / available capacity: 240 / 330
IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
Upgrades: 38,20 / 42,70
Reinforcement: 2,00 / 2,63
Supplies: 32,00 / 51,59
Production: 228,10 / 233,15 (A single Mountain Rifle Divisions remains unfunded)
Consumer Goods: 29,70 / 29,70
Stockpiles:
Energy: Maximum tonnes +
Metal: Maximum tonnes +
Rares: 47.728 tonnes +
Crude: Maximum barrels +
Supplies: 34.938 tonnes -
Fuel: Maximum barrels +
Money: 1.560 -​

Intelligence:
Spy numbers, spies in (active / added / lost / caught by us)
France (Supporting our Party / Counterespionage): 5 / 0 / 0 / 0
{ Germany (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 }
{ Japan (/): 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }
{ UK (/) : 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }​
Other: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Total: 5 / 0 / 0 / 1
Reserves: 3
Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,17 (a new spy every 40 days)
Another German spy was caught in the Soviet Union.
Research:
No completed Research Projects, no new projects, no changes to leadership distribution.
Statistics:
National Unity: 83,241 =
Neutrality: 0,00 =
Dissent: 0,00 =
Manpower:
Available: 2.240.000
Men To reinforce(need): 3.300
Men To mobilise(need): See above
Monthly gain: 48.200 Men (1 fully mobilised Infx3, AT Division every 7 days)​
Party Popularity:
- Communist Party: 57 (-7)
- Trotskyite: 8 (+2)
- Bukharinite: 3 =

- Social-Revolutionary: 4 (-1)
- Trudoviks: 9 (+2)
- Kadets: 4 (+2)
- Octobrists: 2 =

- Tsarists: 8 (-1)
- NTS: 4 (+4)
- POA: 2 =
The Communist Party has lost a significant amount of popularity. However, the opposition is more divided than ever, meaning that the Communist Party is still the only real choice. National unity remains stable.
No changes in Party Organisation for the last 10 days.
This Information is accurate on the morning of the 9th of May 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

'Odin'​
 
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12th of May 1942, 'Odin', 'Devyat', 'Piat', Airports, Aircraft Carriers, and foreign Battleships.

roverS3

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The 12th of May 1942, Homel, 3,9°C, 8am Moscow Time,

I've travelled to Homel with 'Devyat' on a night train. 'Devyat' had arranged for us to ride in a somewhat old, but very luxurious, first class ex-CIWL carriage. Before the revolution, these carriages were used on the trans-Siberian express, but also on international lines linking St Petersburg with Western Europe, 'Devyat' reminded me. Now they continue to be used by our 'Soviet Railways', where-ever they, or 'Devyat', see fit.

exCIWLSleepers-min.jpg

An actual consist of CIWL (Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits / International Sleeper Carriage Company) carriages in service with 'Soviet Railways', on the trans-Siberian express. The picture is from 1926, though I'd expect these carriages to still be around by 1942 as they were built to the highest possible standard of luxury, durability, and running speed. This meant that they were probably comparable to run of the mill Soviet carriages in both durability and running speed, and still miles ahead in terms of luxury. (unless one counts Stalin's top secret special train built in 1933 with no expenses spared, that one is not only luxurious, but also very heavily armoured.)
The CIWL was how the wealthy travelled through Europe before air travel really came to the fore. The company was the brainchild of a wealthy Belgian banker, Georges Nagelmaekers, who had taken a trip to the United States in 1867 and experienced their long distance passenger trains first hand. He concluded that sleeper carriages were brilliant, and a much more luxurious way to travel than European first class of the time. The sleeper car in itself was a brand new american invention at the time (Pullmann 1865). This gave him the idea of starting a company to transport the uber-wealthy around Europe in sleeper carriages, more luxurious than the best the Americans had to offer. He started the company in 1874, and in the beginning it consisted of adding CIWL carriages to existing express rail services. It soon became clear that there was some serious demand for luxury travel in Europe, and soon the CIWL was running whole trains, including the very best restaurant carriages, crisscrossing the continent. The most famous of these trains was the Paris-Istanbul 'Orient Express' (which would later be extended to Baghdad and Tehran), though there were others, the 'Rome Express' (Calais-Rome), the 'Nord Express' (to Scandinavia and Russia), the 'Sud Express' (Paris to Madrid and Lisbon), and off course, the 'Transsiberian express' (Moscow - China and the Far East).
Getting out of the train, we were greeted by a ZIS-101 with driver to take us to our destination, Homel Air Base. The irony of taking the train to the inauguration of an Air Base expansion was not lost on me, though it was lost on 'Devyat'. As we got there, aeroplanes were still arriving in preparation for the airshow to inaugurate the fifth tarmac runway in the Homel area. One aeroplane in particular stood out. It was a Soviet Navy La-7M in it's light blue livery, in stark contrast with the VVS aeroplanes in summer camouflage livery. The Red Navy pilot was standing around pointing out specific features to the vvs ground crew used to the land-based La-7. I decided to take a closer look, and when I reached the aeroplane, the pilot, a Red Navy Lieutenant Captain turned towards me, he looked exhausted. I showed him my identification, (this time I am posing as an apparatchik working for the General Directorate GVF "Aeroflot" - Directorate responsible for civilian aviation in the Soviet Union) and he promptly handed me a large envelope. He apologised for his ruffled uniform, informing me that he had flown all the way from Vladivostok to attend the air show, and to bring me the envelope. It had taken him about 20 hours, including 7 refuelling stops, there had been little rest, let alone sleep, along the way. I walked back to 'Devyat', the envelope still unopened. As I looked back, I saw the Navy Lieutenant Captain walk towards the pilots quarters, probably to get some sleep before the airshow this afternoon.

Inside the envelope was a note from 'Piat', along with some pictures and maps:

"Good morning 'Odin'

I write to you from Vladivostok about an hour after the arrival of I. Avianosets Flote. It wasn't entirely certain our Carrier Fleet would ever get to Vladivostok, there were some rumblings on our Western border after all, and the orders were to return to home base in case of war, if at all possible. The war hasn't come yet, and I watched Admiral Viktorov's flagship Carrier Kyiv pull into the harbour less than an hour ago. Using my 'connections' I was able to get a look at the Kyiv's logbook. I also got my hands on copies of pictures taken of foreign warships along the way, and maps indicating where the encounters took place. I wrote some relevant information on the back of the pictures. There is some interesting stuff in there, and you're getting it before the Central Committee, thanks to this mad pilot off ? KPA, based on the Minsk. He guaranteed me he could fly to
Homel in a single day to deliver this package, of course, in counterpart, I had to arrange for him to get some leave after the air show, as well as a monetary bonus, off the books of course. I leave it up to you to judge whether he regretted the arrangement upon arrival. In the interest of getting the information there in time, I won't drone on for too long. I'm sure we'll meet again soon.

May the Soviet Union rule the Waves,

'Piat'"

First up, a map of the entire route. The red stars indicate encounters with foreign warships.

PacificShade-min.jpg


The first encounter happened in the Southern Red Sea. A foreign fleet was spotted by an Aerial patrol, ahead of I. Avianosets Flote. It was going significantly slower than I. Avianosets Flote. The fleet was soon identified as Allied, and in the Gulf of Aden, the Soviet Fleet caught up to the Brits.

1GoAden-min.jpg


As the fleets got close enough for radio range, radio communication started at 7pm Moscow Time:

"This is Lieutenant Andropov, translating for Admiral Mikhail Vladimirovich Viktorov, Chief of the Soviet Navy and commander of the 1st Carrier Fleet, on board the Fleet Carrier Kyiv. We are on transit towards Vladivostok Naval Base and are moving in an East, North-Easterly direction on a heading of 80° at a speed of 20 knots. Please inform us of your current and intended movements, we would prefer to maintain our current heading while we pass to the north of you. Over"

"This is Rear Admiral Sir John Henry Dacres Cunningham, Commander of the 3rd Transport Ship Squadron on board His Majesty's Battleship King George V. We seem to be directly in front of you, on a heading of 85°, moving at 15 knots. We will turn to a heading of 90° to go around Socotra. Maintain your current heading, and you should pass at a distance of approximately five nautical miles. Over"

"Roger Rear Admiral, we will proceed on our current heading of 80°. The Admiral insists on congratulating you on the new Battleships. Bon voyage. Over."

"I'd love to have you all fighting on our side, if, or when, the Soviet Union joins the war. All the best on your way to the Pacific. Over and Out."

Il-10Ms continued to sortie to count and photograph the British fleet. Both of the brand new King George V class Battleships were spotted, HMS King George V and HMS Prince of Wales. The escorts were a hodgepodge, with the C-Class light Cruiser HMS Caledon, as well as 20 Destroyers of various classes. The Military vessels were escorting about 20 troop transports. The transports weren't anything special, simply civilian passenger liners and Freighters hastily converted to transport troops and equipment. It was impossible to tell whether any troops were actually on board the ships.


1CunninghamFleet-min.jpg

Pictures of Rear-Admiral Cunningham's fleet. Top left: HMS Caledon seen from above. Top right: Rear Admiral Cunningham's flagship, the mighty Battleship HMS King George V. Bottom: Four Battle-Class Destroyers steaming in formation. Besides 10 Battle-Class Destroyers, 5 A-Class, and 5 V-Class units were also counted.

The Indian ocean was pretty empty, save for a single convoy that was seen steaming towards the Gulf of Aden. The fleet resupplied in the Maldives, any supplies and fuel taken on by the Carrier Fleet will, off course, be repaid in kind by a single delivery of goods and fuel to the British Home Islands originating form
Archanglesk.

The next encounter was off the coast of
Colombo, in between Sri-Lanka and the Indian mainland. On the night of the 5th of May, the fleet was spotted on the radar array on our Destroyers. The same Fleet was encountered again two days later, in the Strait of Malacca, on the night of the 7th of May.

2ELac_NTS-min.jpg


The radio conversation was short, starting at 9pm Moscow Time (11:30pm local time)

"This is Lieutenant Andropov, speaking for Captain 1st Rank Stepanov, Flag Captain of the Soviet Navy Carrier Kyiv, second in command of the 1st Carrier Fleet."
(The Chief of the Navy, Admiral Viktorov, was asleep so command was temporarily transferred to the Captain of his Flagship)

"Yes, yes, I've read Rear-Admiral Cunningham's report. This is Commodore Phillip Vian, commander of the Royal Navy's 5th Far East Squadron, on board His Majesty's Battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth. You're on your way to Vladivostok, and you want to make sure not to ruffle any feathers on your way there. Well, if you don't mind, I'm in a bit of a hurry. I strongly suggest you continue on your northward course, while my fleet goes round the Southern tip of the Island. Maybe we'll meet again in the Strait of Malacca. Have a nice cruise, and a nice day. Over and out."

It was clear that Commodore Vian wasn't going to let an ostensibly neutral fleet take up much of his time. He must have been rather nervous about his mission.

In the Strait of Malacca, our Carrier Fleet caught up to the slightly slower Squadron of Commodore Vian. It seems that Commodore Vian had lead his Squadron along a shorter route, as our new Carriers clearly have a speed advantage over those Great War Battleships.

Radio contact was initiated at 3:30pm Moscow Time (8pm local time).

"This is Lieutenant Andropov, speaking for Captain 1st Rank Stepanov, Flag Captain of the Soviet Navy Carrier Kyiv, second in command of the 1st Carrier Fleet. The Captain first Rank is impressed that you are, once more, ahead of us. We will follow you until we get through the Singapore Strait, at a safe distance of 5 nautical miles. Have a good night Commodore"

"Commodore Philip Vian here, thanks for staying out of my hair, maintain a distance of least 5 nautical miles, just in case the Japs turn up and mistake your ships for ours. We will now observe radio silence as we are getting into potentially hostile waters. Have a good night."

This time, the ships could be seen on the horizon, and after sending up aeroplanes, a count was established. The fleet counted 2 Queen-Elizabeth Class Battleships, a single London-Class Heavy Cruiser, and a single Flotilla of 5 Daring-Class Destroyers. Following the British Fleet at a distance, I. Avianosets Flote made it through the Singapore strait at night, and in the morning, it was decided to speed up again, thereby catching up to Commodore Vian's squadron. This could be done safely, keeping a considerable distance, in the open waters of the South China Sea. In those first few hours after sunrise, the British fleet split off, taking an eastward route, while I. Avianosets Flote made fore the Indochinese coast. Unbeknown to our sailors, another 5 Daring Class Destroyers had joined Vian's squadron from
Singapore during the night. Before the British ships were out of range, Il-10Ms took off to take some pictures as soon as the light allowed it.

2VIanFleet-min.jpg


The ships in Commodore Vian's Squadron: Top: HMS Queen Elizabeth, the commodore's flagship, and the lead ship of the Queen-Elizabeth Class of Battleships, it has the company of the infamous HMS Valiant of the same Class. Bottom Left: London-Class Heavy Cruiser HMS Devonshire photographed from above. Bottom Right: A brand new Daring-Class Destroyer, Only 5 (a single squadron) of these were escorting the two old Battlewagons and their Heavy Cruiser sidekick. A less than optimal screening force.

Surprisingly, after parting ways on the way out of the Singapore Strait, I. Avianosets Flote encountered Commodore Vian's 5th Far East Squadron once more in Helen Shoal. This encounter was very tense, as shortly after the British Fleet was spotted on the starboard side, somewhat behind ours, a single Japanese Battleship was spotted ahead, crossing towards our port side about 10 nautical miles ahead, and closing. A radio message was sent, in Japanese, to make sure that our Carrier Fleet wouldn't be misidentified as an Allied Fleet.

It is probable that Vian's fleet spotted the Japanese vessel too, probably on their superior radar, as they turned towards the path of the Japanese ship, which was now identified as the Battleships Ise, just as slow as HMS Queen Elizabeth. Both the British and the Japanese maintained radio silence. Reconnaissance pictures showed that Ise had some light battle damage, though it didn't seem to be anything serious, only some minor scuffs and dents, and possible one of the six main turrets out of action.


Admiral Viktorov decided to continue full steam ahead, maintaining a northerly heading until Tai Pan Wang Mirs Bay was reached, and the fleet was clear of any potential naval battle. In Tai Pan Wang Mirs Bay, more Japanese vessels were encountered ahead of I. Avianosets Flote. It was a flotilla of specialised transport ships, with what looked like landing craft ready to deploy troops directly onto hostile beaches. The two smaller transport vessels only carried a couple of landing craft to be deployed by cranes, but the centrepiece of the fleet, the Shinshu Maru was all-together more interesting. It was larger than our Sevastopol-Class Destroyers, a true mother-ship, with a large belly to carry troops and supplies, and probably plenty of landing craft to bring it all ashore in the swiftest possible manner. I talked to a naval engineer I know in Vladivostok, and from the pictures, and rumours, it seems that this vessel can flood it's lower "well-deck" to float any landing craft inside it's belly, before launching them quickly and easily. And this ship was first launched in 1934. The Japanese are clearly quite adept at amphibious operations, and especially well equipped for them. This needs to be given more consideration by our Far Eastern Theatre Command.

To continue with my report of the trip, these Japanese transports are just as fast as the British 5th Far East Squadron, and it thus took quite some distance before they were caught up. I suspect there was a lot of pointing by the Japanese, as they had definitely never seen a Soviet Fleet Carrier. Again communication with the IJN was kept to the strict minimum by both ours and their commanders. Finally, the Japanese transports went their own way after passing through the Taiwan Straight, probably going towards the Southern or Eastern coast of the Japanese home Islands.


3HelenShoal-min.jpg

Top right, IJN Battleship Ise, of a similar age to HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Valiant, it has a similar top speed. It's not clear whether VIan's fleet eventually caught her before she could make port. Ironically, both ships have British guns, Ise sporting 12 Vickers 14" Barrels and the HMS Queen Elizabeth class ships sporting 8 15" Barrels each. Ise has a slight edge in firing range, so Vian will have to be a little careful. Middle Right: A No.1 Class fast transport ship, used for various purposes by the IJA, it could carry a pair of small landing craft on the back, or a single larger one, or maybe a midget submarine. Bottom Right: The Shinshu Maru, as far as I know the world's first purpose-build landing craft mother-ship, built in 1933 for the IJA, with such innovations as a flood-able well-deck. She could carry, and rapidly deploy: 29 Daihatsu-Class landing craft (up to 70 fully armed soldiers each), 25 Shohatsu-Class landing craft (up to 35 fully armed soldiers each), and 4 armoured gun-boats.

After a gunnery salute from the Destroyers in remembrance of the slaughter that was the battle of the Tsushima Strait, I. Avianosets Flote made it to Vladivostok without issues.
The results of 'Devyat's meeting on Air Base construction was somewhat less interesting than the epic voyage of our 1st Carrier Fleet:

Homel Air Base opened up it's fifth runway and a slew of other facilities, including ammunition bunkers and additional barracks for the ground crews. It's now able to comfortably handle over 1.000 Aeroplanes. (Level 10). Demjansk Air Base is next, with similar improvements to be made to bring it up to the same capacity as the largest Air Bases in the Soviet Union.
Batumi Air Base has had one of it's two airstrips hardened into a smooth runway, along with the addition of a concrete control tower. (Level 3). Now the second airstrip will also be hardened, while maintenance and repair facilities are expanded. (Level 4)

Kaunas Air Base has opened it's new Air strip, alongside it's 3 pre-existing runways. Barracks for the pilots and underground fuel pipes have also been added. (Level 7)

Minsk Air Base officially declared it's third runway operational, this was, of course part of a larger improvement scheme including added hangars and concrete taxiways.(Level 6). Work continues there, as another gravel airstrip will be added as well as an underground fuel supply and barracks for the pilots. Soon, the base will be able to handle over 700 Aeroplanes. (Level 7).

Helsinki Airport will be expanded with the creation of a third runway, and the addition of VVS facilities, including hangars, to allow over 600 military aeroplanes to be comfortably based there.

German troop movements on the border continue, though it remains unclear whether this an adjustment to troop movements on our side, or whether they are actually planning an attack. The Japanese don't seem to be happy to see our Carrier Fleet in Far Eastern waters, but they may well remain too preoccupied with their own South-East Asian campaign to risk a war with us. Meanwhile, both Generals in command of our border forces have complained that they now have insufficient troops to face a surprise German invasion, which is encouraging, as the Germans are probably making the same assessment. I'm going to enjoy the Air Show now, the new Chief Marshall of the Aviation. Alexander Novikov will be speaking as well.

Have a nice day,

Greetings,

'Odin'

 
Last edited:

nuclearslurpee

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Interesting strategy to sail the new carrier fleet up through Japanese waters. On one hand, it's certainly a convincing show of shifting focus towards the East to continue with our elaborate deception. On the other hand, the Japanese have now had a first-hand look at our newest naval technology and no doubt are poring over this new intel with quite rapt attentions.
 

Eurasia

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I am still somewhat surprised that the British ships are getting so close to Japanese patrolled waters. I would also like to know what the New Zealanders and Australians are up to.
 

Finshades

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That should go a long way towards convincing the Japanese. They did get quite a bit of information, I should guess, but on the other hand the IJN outclasses the Red Navy quite handily in any case, so I doubt they'll encounter anything too valuable in their investigations. Good to have more airbase capacity - refresh my memory, do we have enough of it in range of the expected front to hold all our squadrons that would be deployed in the event of hostilities?
 

roverS3

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Interesting strategy to sail the new carrier fleet up through Japanese waters. On one hand, it's certainly a convincing show of shifting focus towards the East to continue with our elaborate deception. On the other hand, the Japanese have now had a first-hand look at our newest naval technology and no doubt are poring over this new intel with quite rapt attentions.
That should go a long way towards convincing the Japanese. They did get quite a bit of information, I should guess, but on the other hand the IJN outclasses the Red Navy quite handily in any case, so I doubt they'll encounter anything too valuable in their investigations.
We could have sailed up the Black Sea Fleet, consisting of Battleship Marat, and a couple of great war era light cruisers, though that would be hardly convincing. Sending over the, more powerful, Red Banner Baltic Fleet would have potentially left the Baltic in control of the Kriegsmarine, or we had to first move the Carrier Fleet to the Baltic first. In any case, the Baltic doesn't seem like the best place for the Carrier Fleet anyway. The show must go on, we must give the impression that most of our Army is still moving East. Moving the new Carrier

Our Carrier Fleet is nothing to write home about, the aeroplanes are state of the art, but the Carriers themselves are comparable to other countries' pre-war Carriers. The Destroyers aren't much better, they have upgraded Engines, and decent Radar, but otherwise they're a 1936 design. (hence why we would really benefit from buying Swedish Destroyers)

Information gathering also goes both ways. The Carrier Fleet got some good pictures of Ise, and more interestingly Shinshu Maru remains a revolutionary craft of which the capabilities remain a closely guarded secret of the IJA.

I am still somewhat surprised that the British ships are getting so close to Japanese patrolled waters.
The South China Sea is free game, or so it seems, afaik Japanese Fleets have wandered all the way down to Singapore, and British Fleets have gone all the way to the Hong Kong area. Often, they seem to steam right past each other, but just recently there's been some more naval combat, of which the damage on the Ise is a consequence. (more on that in the next 10-day update)

I would also like to know what the New Zealanders and Australians are up to.
They don't seem to do much. The New Zealand Navy, consisting entirely of transports, is still in Wellington. As for the Aussies, I haven't seen any land units near the action, but their Navy has been helping out in the South China Sea, with significant Destroyer losses.

Good to have more airbase capacity - refresh my memory, do we have enough of it in range of the expected front to hold all our squadrons that would be deployed in the event of hostilities?
The short answer is Yes, we have enough capacity on the expected front to hold all the Aeroplanes we would need to deploy, plus a bit of spare capacity for reserves. All of the originally planned expansion has already taken place. Expansion projects right now is meant to add some more versatility, allowing our CAS to be deployed closer to the action, as well as some additional fall-back Air Bases, in case the first, and second line are broken.
Helsinki, for example, would help in case our Air Bases in the Baltics are overrun. The VVS also keeps growing at a relatively fast rate, it can always use more space. The next step to increase the VVS' striking power is restarting the production of tactical bombers, but that would require a significant investment of leadership to improve their design as that VVS research has been concentrated almost entirely on single engine aeroplanes, with some effort going towards transports and Strategic bombers.
 
19th of May 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #196

roverS3

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The 19th of May 1942, Vologda, 2,5°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 10th and the 19th of May 1942,

by 'Odin'​

Army:
3 new Artillery Regiments, 128 AP, 133 AP and 126 AP, have been deployed, to 42 SD, 49 SD, and 87 SD respectively.
Finally getting the last of their complement of GAZ-65 half-tracks, 7 KP and 8 KP have now been retrained and re-equipped as Armoured Cavalry Regiments. Both Regiments have returned to Maj. General Sharkonin's 9 KD, I KK, 11ya Motorizovannaya Armiya, Amoured AG, STAVKA.

Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
Front line troops: 697 / 2.091.000
Support troops: 354 / 354.000
Total fighting troops: 1.051 / 2.445.000
Headquarters: 64 / 64.000
Total Army Personnel: 1.115 / 2.509.000
Officers: 104.028 + / 110.810 needed / 93,880 %
Active Leaders: 283 / 215 more available
Production of 152mm ML-20 Guns continues, with 4 new Artillery Regiment starting training.
Two more Cavalry Regiments, 9 KP, and 10 KP, have started retraining with GAZ-65 halftracks, to be turned into Armoured Cavalry Regiments, while said halftracks continue to roll off the production line.
No Changes to Army Leadership
Air Force:
124 shiny new La-7s have been delivered, as 122. IAD-PVO to the brand new VIII. IAK-PVO (D) (D for 'Dal'niy' or 'long range'), based in Vladivostok.
Aeroplane Numbers (Wings/Planes):
Interceptors: 28 / 3.472
Multi-Role Fighters: 9 / 1.116
Close Air Support: 10 / 1.240
Carrier Air Groups: 8 / 496
Single Engined: 55 / 6.324
Tactical Bomber: 4 / 400
Strategic Bombers: 1 / 100
Total Bombers: 15 / 1.740
Transport Planes: 3 / 372
Total VVS: 55 / 6.700
Total Navy: 8 / 496
Total Aeroplanes: 63 / 7.196
Active Leaders: 22 / 28 Reserve
Production of La-7s continues, the next 124 will form 148. IAD-PVO.
Navy Air Fleet Leaders
New Air Maj. General Machin, SK2 has taken command of the new VIII. IAD-PVO (D).
No changes to the VVS for the last 10 days.​

Navy:
No changes to the Navy for the last 10 days.
Politics / International:
The Allies have stopped influencing Sweden, so good news for our continued efforts to sway Sweden towards the Comintern. The Swedish efforts to get closer to the Axis remain a problem though.
Battle Of Britain
The Air Campaign has intensified significantly, with both the Luftwaffe and the RAF launching numerous bombing expeditions over the Channel.
Bristol was bombed 8 times, and Plymouth 4 times. There is no news of the damage, though it is clear none of the ships in either Naval Base has been sunk. RAF Fighters seem to have caught the German bombers on the way, with 8 Aerial battles over Portsmouth, and another 4 over Reading (just to the north of Portsmouth).
On the other side, Dortmund was hit 4 times by Strategic Command, while the Luftwaffe initiated 4 Air Battles over Lille, and another 4 over Schirmeck.
British convoy losses increased dramatically around the Orkney Islands, and Scapa Flow, with a total of 28 convoys sunk by U-boats, many of these convoys were carrying US lend-lease. In response, the Royal Navy went submarine-hunting, with some good results. They caught German submarines in action 4 times, with HMS Glorious's CAG sinking the final submarine in 29. Unterseebootsflotille, and the 26th Destroyer Flotilla providing 33. UBF with a similar fate. 16 Axis convoys were also sunk in the area, while another 20 Axis convoys were sunk near the Azores.
North Africa Front:
United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,6
Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 79,3
BNAF42-05-19-min.jpeg

The Axis advance must have run out of steam entirely, the Italian tanks possibly outrunning their own supply train. A Division of Belgian Infantry, including some much needed heavy Artillery, has arrived to strengthen the British 1st Army, it has already started marching West from El Iskandarîya. Even without the Belgians, the 1st Army has already started to push back the Italians, who are now offering close to no resistance. Marsa Matrûh has already been retaken by the British.
Part of the explanation for the breaking of the Axis offensive may come from the 16 bombing missions flown by the RAF over Marsa Matrûh.

The RN 'Coastal Naval Command' Bristol Blenheim Naval Bombers based in Malta continue to wreak havoc, working some serious overtime, with 16 bombing missions over Taranto, 4 over Napoli, 8 over Palermo, and another 8 over Tunis. In the process, a brand new Flotilla of Italian transports, '1a Squadrone Transporti' was sunk without any interference from the Regia Aeronautica, and any other ships in the mentioned Naval Bases were likely heavily damaged. Surprisingly, the RN seems to have now relocated these bombers to Tel Aviv Yafo. Maybe they're planning to strike Cyprus?
Meanwhile, the RAFs Strategic Bombers targeted Bulgarian-controlled mines and factories in the resource-rich Greek province of Larisa, with 4 successful Bombing missions. Again, the Bulgarian Air Force came out in force, intercepting the Halifaxes a total of 8 times over their target, downing at least a third of the Bombers.
No naval encounters.
No convoy losses on either side.
South East Asia Front
United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,8
United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 77,6
Philippines (Surrender Progress / NU): 74,2 / 74,9
Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,3
France (Government in Exile)
PHFS42-05-19-min.jpeg

Japanese Infantry has started fanning out all over the place on Luzon. Moves are being made towards the port of Lingayen, with the capture of Eguia, and towards a full encirclement of Manila, with the conquest of Tarlac and an attack on Olongapo. The Northwards offensive has been widened, with a second Japanese unit taking Palanan Point along the Eastern Coast of the Island, with the first unit taking Baguio in a lateral move. Still no direct attack on Manila. There have also been 4 Japanese bombing raids on Philippine HQ troops in the province of Tabuk, just south of the important province of Cagayan.
The scope of the convoy war has increased beyond anyone's wildest imagination, with Japanese commerce raiding in the Pacific, as well as near-total blockades in the South China Sea, a scarcely believable 255 allied convoys were lost to the IJN, 72 IJN convoys sent to the bottom by various allied fleets. Some analysts are wondering whether the numbers aren't off by a factor of 10. In any case, these losses are not sustainable, not for the Allies, and not for the Japanese either.
Obviously, a response was necessary, and the Royal Navy went out in force to try and chase a way the IJN surface units causing this impressive amount of damage. 4 big battles took place in the Paracel Pass, with losses on both sides. The Japanese Battleship Ise dished out a lot of damage, sinking CL HMS Dunedin, 20th Destroyer Flotilla (V-Class), 53rd Destroyer Flotilla (Daring Class), and 6th Destroyer Flotilla (A-Class). It's sister ship, Fuso managed to sink BB HMS Royal Sovereign, as well as the 8th Destroyer Flotilla (Daring Class). The more modern Battleship Nagato managed to sink the Australian 11th Destroyer Flotilla.
The
Royal Navy was rather less successful with only the successful sinking of the Heavy Cruiser Furutaka by HMS Royal Sovereign to offset the losses.

royal_sovereign1941-min.jpg

HMS Royal Sovereign in better days, she has been very successful in this war, until now. She sank German BC Schleswig-Holstein early on in the war, as well as 8. Zerstörer Geschwader. Redeployed to the Mediterranean, she sank Italian CL RM Raimondo Montecuccolio, and a transport Flotilla. In the South China Sea, she was becoming the bane of Japanese Heavy Cruisers, sinking both Furutaka, and Takao, making her, by far, the most successful Royal Navy ship against the IJN. Beyond the material impact of her loss, this is bound to have an adverse effect on Royal Navy morale in the area, while emboldening the IJN in their endeavours.
I guess this means that there will be no USSR Battleship Archanglesk after the war in ATL, as she is already on the bottom of the Ocean, or maybe another British battleship will be renamed Archanglesk and added to the ranks of the Red Navy.
Our analysts believe that the problem of the British is Fleet composition, as the Japanese seem to have fewer, larger and more powerful fleets, the British seem to stick to more smaller fleets, with often only 2 capital ships, and a barely sufficient number of escorts. The exact number of Royal Navy units in the area is not known, but it is substantial, and probably equal or higher to the number of Japanese units. Hopefully this disaster will prompt a rethink of the Royal Navy's Far East strategy.
To add insult to injury, the IJN has continued to bomb the British Naval Base in Singapore , 8 times in the last 10 days, the bombers doing so seem to be based in Oosthaven. The actual damage remains minor, probably due to the sheer number of ships present, making it difficult for Japanese pilots to stick to a single target, though if enough ordinance gets thrown into the mass of ships, some will start sinking eventually, and the Japs don't seem to be deterred by the dense AA fire.
Pacific Front
All quiet here, there continues to be no substantial US involvement in the war save for massive amounts of lend-lease to the UK.
US Fleets sunk 8 Japanese convoys off the coast of Honduras. Another 20 Axis convoys were sunk in the Bahamas. Trading with South-American nations is quickly becoming very expensive for the Axis.

Industry:
4 Air Bases have been improved significantly, work has started on 4 more improvement rounds. (see previous update)
Working Industrial Capacity / available capacity: 240 / 330
IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
Upgrades: 34,60 / 58,57
Reinforcement: 1,10 / 3,00
Supplies: 33,00 / 50,75
Production: 231,60 / 236,64 (A single Mountain Rifle Divisions remains unfunded)
Consumer Goods: 29,70 / 29,70
Stockpiles:
Energy: Maximum tonnes +
Metal: Maximum tonnes +
Rares: 47.946 tonnes +
Crude: Maximum barrels +
Supplies: 34.690 tonnes -
Fuel: Maximum barrels +
Money: 1.548 -
Intelligence:
Spy numbers, spies in (active / added / lost / caught by us)
France (Supporting our Party / 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: 4
Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,17 (a new spy every 40 days)
Nothing happened at all.
Research:
Specialised Equipment designs for Airborne Warfare are ready for production for, and use by our Airborne Rifle Divisions
formations.

PPS-42_Soviet_7.62_mm_submachine_gun-min.jpg

The PPS-42 submachine gun was developed specifically to save weight, and to be less cumbersome. At less than 3kg, it is 20% lighter than comparable submachine guns currently in service, like the PPD-38's with heavy wooden stocks used by the NKVD and Garrison troops. The PPS-42 has a folding steel stock, which makes the weapon 144mm shorter than a PPD when folded. Of course other weapons were also modified to make them more lightweight and/or portable. Overall, the net result is that more paratroopers can be carried in the same aeroplane, and that they themselves are less encumbered when landing, all the while having pretty much the same firepower as they have now.
Designed by Tokarev, the PPS-42 has a rate of fire of up to 600 rounds per minute, feeding from a 35-round drum-magazine, with an open bolt action that operates using blowblack. (when not firing the chamber is empty, with the bolt to the rear of the receiver, the weapon uses the energy from the cartridge casing being thrown back by the exploding propellant as a bullet is fired to eject the casing, and load the next bullet.) Muzzle velocity is 500 m/s, giving it an effective firing range of 100-150m, and a maximum firing range of about 200m. (similar to the PPD-38). Both a front sight, and a foldable rear sight are present to help aim the weapon.
Development has started on some much heavier equipment, new Bridging Equipment (Level 3) for the Red Army's Sappers (Engineers)
Red Army Theorists and Logisticiens have concluded their studies of Mobile Warfare (Level 4), showing interesting results, the speed of the Red Army HQ units has been increased to 5 km/h (from 4,5 km/h) in order to better follow rapid Breakthroughs by Mobile units under their command.
The funding was redirected to research into improving Light Tank Reliability (Level 5), it is expected that any gains in the reliability of Light Tanks will be applicable to Armoured Cars, and, to a lesser extent, to halftracks. The fastest units in the Red Army should be stranded on the side of the road as little as possible.
Improvements in Anti-Tank Barrels and Sights (Level 5) have lead to a brand new 100mm Anti-Tank Gun design. Production will start as soon as capacity is available.

BS-3_100mm1944-min.jpg

The 100mm 1944 BS-3 Field Gun/Anti-Tank Gun will be replacing it's 1939 85mm predecessor in the role of main heavy Anti-Tank Gun of the Red Army. The new gun, designed by the team around V.G. Grabin, is based on the 1940 B-34 Naval Gun. (probably doesn't exist in ATL, as there has been no Naval Gun development at all, so maybe the B-34 Naval Gun will be based on the BS-3 AT Gun?) At 3,6 tonnes, it is lighter than it's 85mm predecessor. To accomplish this, elevation is reduced to between -5° and 45°, while traverse is reduced to 58° (from 360° of it's predecessor). With a 5,96m long barrel, muzzle velocity stands at 900 m/s, with an impressive maximum firing range of 20km. The breech mechanism is a semi-automatic vertical sliding-wedge, a technology pioneered by Krupp quite some time ago, and still the preferred breech system for German guns. The maximum rate of fire, with a very experienced 7-8 man crew, is 10 rounds/minute, though 8 rds/minute is probably more realistic for a more average crew in real combat conditions. Armour penetration is excellent with current BR-412 Armour Piercing shells: 500m: 155mm at 90°, 125mm at 60°; 3.000m: 75mm at 90°, 60mm at 60°. Even better ammunition is still in development to improve on those numbers. At 1000m most German armoured vehicles can be knocked out by direct fire.
The Artillery specialists will continue their work by improving on the Barrels and Ammunition (Level 7) of our Heavy Artillery.
No changes to leadership distribution.
Statistics:
National Unity: 83,241 =
Neutrality: 0,00 =
Dissent: 0,00 =
Manpower:
Available: 2.247.000
Men To reinforce(need): 3.160
Men To mobilise(need): See above
Monthly gain: 48.200 Men (1 fully mobilised Infx3, AT Division every 7 days)
No changes in Party Popularity for the last 10 days.
No changes in Party Organisation for the last 10 days.
This Information is accurate on the morning of the 19th of May 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

'Odin'​
 

Eurasia

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Oh no. The Japanese in my game must be helping the Japanese in your game!
 

Finshades

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Love to see some new developments, although that will mean our industrial capacity will once again be strained. Especially new AT guns are very welcome, although since we have proliferated them widely, it'll also take a lot of time to replace all of them.

The IJN is impressive in this 10-day period, to say the least. It'll be interesting to see the reaction from the Allied side.
 

roverS3

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Oh no. The Japanese in my game must be helping the Japanese in your game!
The IJN is impressive in this 10-day period, to say the least. It'll be interesting to see the reaction from the Allied side.
I've played ahead a little, and it seems both sides are licking their wounds in the South China Sea, with a steep drop in convoys sunk, and no real fleet action. Quite a few IJN ships must have taken some amount of damage. I believe HMS Royal Sovereign was part of a 2 BB fleet, probably similar to the fleet I. AF encountered on it's trip to the east. Ideally, the British would send their new Battle Fleet to the Far East, add the remaining Battleship from Royal Sovereign's fleet to it, or maybe a couple of heavy cruisers, some more Destroyers, possibly an Escort Carrier, HMS Eagle and HMS Argus are in the area iirc. Turn the tables on the IJN...
I doubt the Brits will do that though, with their two best Battleships tied up escorting troop transports in the Med and around Africa...:rolleyes:
At least the North Africa campaign is going a bit better now.
Of course, the USN, which is now larger than the RN could always decide to lend a hand.
(USN: 147 units - 15 BB - 5 CV - 6 CVL - 16 CA // RN: 137 units - 10 BB - 4 CV - 3 CVL - 6 CA)
If they don't feel like dipping steaming into the hot waters of the South China Sea, they could always distract the IJN by retaking some of their own Islands, Midway, Wake Island, Attu Island, and Guam spring to mind. But that seems even more unlikely than the RN actually using it's ships in a reasonable manner. (for example, all of their battleship fleets have barely enough escorts, while they have close to 60 Destroyer Flotilla's, many of them amongst the very best Destroyers in existence. Just in Destroyers, they could easily give each capital ship 2 Destroyer Flotillas as escorts... but no, even the Soviet Navy is baffled by the lack of escorts in Commodore Vian's Fleet (BBx2, CA, DDx2).

Love to see some new developments, although that will mean our industrial capacity will once again be strained. Especially new AT guns are very welcome, although since we have proliferated them widely, it'll also take a lot of time to replace all of them.
Yes, upgrade cost was steadily declining, but now its going skywards again, so we are going to be cutting new production again to pay for the new weapons. There is a bit of a lull in deliveries of new units though, so we'll have to wait for the middle of June to really speed up the upgrading process to the maximum. The good news is that we're almost done equipping every single Rifle Division with Heavy Artillery. (23 Divisions still without Artillery, 15 Artillery Regiments currently in production)
Of course, Research doesn't stop there, so the upgrade cost is set to soar further. A quick look at the research schedule shows several updates that will cost another fortune to implement throughout the ranks, all due to finish development in rapid succession. All worth it, of course.