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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Finshades

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Ah, the glasses... They keep a man sane in this world. Well, those and whisky. Vodka helps too.

Keeping the factories should be a good start. If they are lost, production suffers. If the rabble take some forests 50 km from nowhere, well, we can put up with that. The factories, though... the ammunition must flow. A few garrison divisions staffed with local sympathizers, no shortage of them, will go a long way. The embedded police units should keep the populace around those areas in check.

11's luck holds, sort of. I wonder if a posting as an instructor might be called for. Her luck can't hold forever, can it? With her talents, she could train a lot more than just snipers. That might be a workable option while she recovers at least, after the whole deal with the cast and starting to build muscle again are over with. Gives her time to work on her recovery, but gets her back in the saddle. Anyone wanna bet as soon as she gets her feet back under herself, she'll ask for a rifle and directions to the nearest German unit?
 

roverS3

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Ah, the glasses... They keep a man sane in this world. Well, those and whisky. Vodka helps too.
Indeed. Sunglasses, Whisky glasses, vodka glasses, they all play their part.

Keeping the factories should be a good start. If they are lost, production suffers. If the rabble take some forests 50 km from nowhere, well, we can put up with that. The factories, though... the ammunition must flow. A few garrison divisions staffed with local sympathizers, no shortage of them, will go a long way. The embedded police units should keep the populace around those areas in check.
We're not getting much production from the Finnish interior, but it's the principle that counts... Also, when those rebels capture factories, they use them to produce weapons and supplies, making them more resilient and allowing them to organise. That's arguably a worse problem than the loss of a tiny fraction of Soviet Industrial Capacity.

11's luck holds, sort of. I wonder if a posting as an instructor might be called for. Her luck can't hold forever, can it? With her talents, she could train a lot more than just snipers. That might be a workable option while she recovers at least, after the whole deal with the cast and starting to build muscle again are over with. Gives her time to work on her recovery, but gets her back in the saddle.
She definitely has a lot of useful skills she could pass on, it's a possibility.

Anyone wanna bet as soon as she gets her feet back under herself, she'll ask for a rifle and directions to the nearest German unit?
That does seem like it's a sure bet, not sure anyone will take you up on that one.
 

Finshades

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That does seem like it's a sure bet, not sure anyone will take you up on that one.
Shhhh.... don't tell them. I'm sure I can swindle a bottle of the good stuff from someone ;)

Great update, and the bit about her injuries is particularly well written. The heroic struggle continues to be a riveting read. Finding pictures of Soviet troops with American weapons might be a challenge, though...
 

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Shhhh.... don't tell them. I'm sure I can swindle a bottle of the good stuff from someone ;)
A laudable goal. I'll try to keep it quiet.

Finding pictures of Soviet troops with American weapons might be a challenge, though...
I'm sure I'll find something when it comes to that.
 
7th of August 1942, 'Odin', 10-day report #204

roverS3

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The 7th of August 1942, Vologda, 7,6°C, 10 am Moscow Time,

Report on the state of the Soviet Union for the ten-day period between the 29th of July and the 7th of August 1942,

by 'Odin'

Army:
Army numbers (Brigades/Personnel) Reserves included (these numbers don't include regiments being upgraded):
Total Army Personnel: 1.127 / 2.515.000
Officers: 105.570 + / 111.900 needed / 123 KIA / 94,343 % +
Active Leaders: 282 / 214 more available
The process of replacing lost units continues, both 2. Diviziya Opolcheniya (Garx3) has started training.
Artillery production continues, with 3 new Artillery Regiments, and another support Brigade (Art, AT) for 2. DOp (see above).
18.000 Marines have started training, doubling the size of the two Brigades already in training to 6.000 each, with another two new Brigades starting training as well. This will result in the creation of two 12.000 strong Division of Marines.
Lend-Lease:
Two new peace-keeping brigades (Gar, Pol) have started training NKGBF MB 1 and MB 2 will be deployed to small Industrial areas in the Finnish interior.
4 Light Motorised Divisions (Motx2, SP-Art) have started training while their Studebaker lorries and GMC M12 SP Guns are delivered.
Army Leadership:
Maj. General Tjernjakovskij, SK3, was found to have become complacent about improving his skills as a commander. He was removed from his command on the front lines (142 SD) to teach new officers about his experiences at the front. (Max Skill)
Maj. General Sergatskov, SK2, WS, who had managed to avoid getting captured along with his former unit (2 SD), was placed in command of 142 SD, III SK, 3ya Armiya, 2nd AG, STAVKA.

Air Force:
No change in VVS numbers, nor Navy Air Fleet numbers for the last 10 days.
Production of 124 Il-10s started while Air and Ground Crews started training, they will be formed into 5 ShAD.
Lend-Lease:
Deliveries of 124 P-39 'Airacobra' Interceptors have started, to be formed into 142 IAD-PVO.
An order for a new CAG also went out. 32 F4F 'Wildcat', 16 SBD 'Dauntless', and 16 TBD 'Devastator' will form 11 KPA.
64 Douglas A-20 'Havoc's were also ordered towards the formation of 28 ShAD.

No changes to VVS nor Navy Air Fleet leadership.​

Navy:
No changes to the Navy for the last 10 days.
10 Convoy Escort Flotillas have started construction in the USA as Red Navy crews are being trained to use them to protect the US Lend-Lease convoys.

Politics / International:
Requests for the Soviet Union to purchase modern Tactical Bombers or Destroyers from the US were shot down by the State Department before they were even formally made. Something about non-existent trade relations. It is unclear whether improving trade relations would actually get us the licenses we want for a reasonable price. Do you think it's worth expanding our Diplomatic corps to find out?
Battle of Britain
The Air War over Britain grew quiet, maybe the Air Forces on all sides are licking their wounds, or maybe it's a direct consequence of a recent shift in Luftwaffe assets to the Soviet Front.
A single Aerial battle over Paris was recorded, as well as 3 Luftwaffe bombing runs on US-backed resistance fighters in Guéret.
At sea, things also calmed down as a mere 3 Allied convoys were sunk in the North Atlandic. Maybe this has something to do with a suspected reduction in US Lend-Lease aid towards the UK.

British submarines and surface units sunk a total of 74 Axis freighters, a 25% reduction compared to the previous 10-day period.
France
FRA42-08-07-min.jpeg
After several days of expansion, the French resistance has been contained by German forces. The cell around Poitiers was destroyed, and the cell around Sancoins was cornered in Guéret and battered into submission. It's only a matter of time before the province returns to German control. But that's not all, another US-supported uprising happened in Soissons, near Reims. to secret operatives, have risen up in Poitiers and in Sancoins. Yet another distraction for the Germans.
Yugoslavia
YSF42-08-07-min.jpeg
The Axis is starting to contain the Yugoslav uprising in the Dubrovnik area from both the East and the West, the partisans captured Ljubinje, but lost both Metkovic and Herceg Novi, to German and Italian forces respectively. It's only a matter of time until they are crushed, unless the Allies decide to land a few Divisions in Dubrovnik, that is.
Athens - Greece

The British Motorised Division in Athina came under attack from the South again, and Air support was called in again. This attack was just as unsuccessful as the previous one. The RAF flew a total of 35 Ground Attack Missions on Napfolio.
North Africa Front:
United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,1
Italy (Surrender Progress / NU): 5,9 / 79,2 Fall of Tobruch.
BNAF42-08-07-min.jpeg
Tobruch has been conquered by the British once again, and the Axis now seems to be in full retreat, with both El Adem and Bir Hacheim falling without a fight. Too bad Britain doesn't have any Mobile forces in the area to exploit the total breakdown of Italian defences while it continues to last.
Another 19 Bombing missions on Tobruch were flown before the city fell, none were intercepted.

65 Italian Freighters were sunk by the Royal Navy, in the central Mediterranean. (This on top of the convoys sunk by the Red Navy in the area)
British convoy losses around Madeira stopped entirely, but convoy losses in the Med have increased, with 100 UK freighters lost to Italian submarines and surface units.
The RN Coastal Naval Command continued it's Port Strikes on Tunis Harbour, flying another 64 missions. This time around, the new Bristol Brigands of No. 16 RN 'Coastal Naval Command' managed to sink every single ship of 20a Flottiglia Torpediniere.
The RAF successfully bombed Rome three times from Malta. The Halifaxes were then redeployed to Athina, from where they hit Varna twice, suffering no intercepts.
A naval battle in the Gulf of Taranto resulted in the sinking by HMS King George V, of both 6a & 7a Squadrone Transporti (TP), with some help from our own Submarines who found themselves embroiled in the battle.

Two more transport flotilla's were sunk by aeroplanes from our carrier Kyiv in the Eastern Ionian Sea.
South East Asia Front
United States of America (Surrender Progress / NU): 8,5 / 85,1
United Kingdom (Surrender Progress / NU): 1,9 / 87,1
Japan (Surrender Progress / NU): 0,00 / 70,1
Netherlands, France, Philippines (Government in Exile)
SEAF42-08-07_1-min.jpeg
The Japanese forces on Java are on the move again, taking Garut, on the Southern coast, unopposed, and circumventing the Ciliwung river. As there seem to be no Allied troops on the entire island, it is only a matter of time before the Empire of Japan manages to grab all of it. That said, with a single Division, that will take months, so there are plenty of chances for the Allies to bring in troops to stop it from happening.
SEAF42-07-28-min.jpeg
The second IJN landing to the South of Tarakan seems to have stalled, despite 15 more bombing missions by IJN CAGs. The Dutch Infantry Division in Tarakan shattered, but it seems the IJN Marines in Salimau ran out of supplies and were unable to make their way into the city to capture the harbour. The only thing between them and supplies is a Headquarters unit.
SEAF42-08-07_2-min.jpeg
SNLF seem to have taken both the British Army and the Royal Navy by surprise with a landing in Teluk Anson. The Singapore Garrison has moved North to contain the beachhead, leaving Singapore itself dangerously exposed.
Convoy Raiding continued at a high rate, with 46 Japanese freighters adorning the seabed, and a whopping 198 Allied merchant vessels sent to the bottom.
Allied navies struck back, attempting to disrupt IJN operations in the area, attacking Japanese convoy raiding fleets on 32 occasions.

As a direct consequence of the fall of Teluk Anson to SNLF forces, Royal Navy ships, some of them damaged, were forced out of the harbour, and into the embrace of what can only be assumed to be a rather large combined fleet. The IJN managed to pick off several of the ships before they could slip into Singapore. The Light Cruiser HMS Durban was sunk by Kaga's Torpedo bombers. Akagi's dive-bombers took care of 34th Destroyer Flotilla (A-Class). Battleship Fuso sank the Dominion Monarch Landing Craft Flotilla using it's 356mm (14") guns. Finally, the regular troop transports of the Andes Flotilla were sent to the bottom by dive bombers from Ryujo.
Top Left: HMS Durban was a 4.850 tonne Light Cruiser of the Danae-Class, commissioned in 1921. It's main armament consisted of 6 BL 6" (152mm) Mk. XII Naval guns on single mountings. Defence against aircraft is attempted through 2 QF 3" (76,2mm) Mk. II AA Guns and 2 QF 2-pounder (40mm) Pom-pom AA guns. Additionally, 4 triple 21" torpedo launchers round out it's armament. Propulsion is provided by 2 shafts, powered by 6 Yarrow-type water-tube boilers and Parsons geared steam turbines, providing 40.000 shp. Some armour is present, with a main belt that goes from 2" at the bow, to 3" amidships before tapering off to 1,5" at the stern. Some 1" deck plating amidships protects the most vital areas, as well as 1" of armour over the rudder. A top speed of 29 knots was decent during the Great War, but nowadays it's nothing to write home about. Historically she was scuttled as a breakwater to protect the artificial Harbour at Ouistreham (supplying allied troops in Normandy shortly after D-day.) It still lies there, at the mount of the Seine, in 11m of water.
Top Right: The A-Class Destroyers of the Royal Navy were built between 1928 and 1931, they displaced between 1.337 and 1.540 tonnes (standard). Their main armament consisted of 4 QF 4,7" (120mm) Mk. IX Naval guns in single mounts (5 in the case of the larger flotilla leaders). 2 QF 2-pounder AA guns provide a semblance of Aerial defence, and 2 quadruple 21" torpedo launchers complete their armament. 3 Admiralty 3-drum boilers provide 34.000 shp to two propellers through a pair of Parsons geared steam turbines. This gives them a respectable top speed of 35 knots. Still not fast enough to outrun Akagi's Aichi D3A Val Dive bombers though.

Ships42-08-07_1-min.jpg
Bottom Left: Strathallan, a British Ocean Liner displacing 23.722 tons. It was built by VIckers-Amstrong in 1938 for the P&O Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. Requisitioned in 1940 for use as a large troop transport within the Andes Flotilla, it could carry 4.400 troops. Together, the ships of the Andes Flotilla could carry about 12.000 Infantry troops. Now they are all at the bottom of the Straits of Malacca. OTL Strathallan participated in operation Torch, she was sunk in 1942 by a U-boat.
Bottom Right: The Aichi D3A Val dive bomber was introduced in 1940. Usually, this two-seater is armed with a pair of forward-firing 7,7mm Type 96 MGs, a single 7,7mm Type 92mm MG on rear-facing flexible mount, and a 250 kg bomb under the fuselage. Sometimes a 60 kg bomb under each wing is added. It is powered by a Mitsubishi Kinsei 54 14-cylinder air-cooled radial engine producing up to 1,300 hp at ground level. This gave it a top speed of 430 km/h at 6.200 m (20.300 ft). Early prototypes suffered from a lack of directional stability in a dive, this was solved by the addition of a long dorsal fin-strake, making it a highly manoeuvrable aeroplane. Aichi D3A1's participated in the Attack on Pearl harbour and in many subsequent naval battles. OTL they were highly successful, sinking more Allied warships than any other Axis Aeroplane type. It doesn't look like TTL will be any different...
Pacific Front
There continues to be no substantial US involvement in the war save for massive amounts of lend-lease to the UK and the USSR.
A small British Naval force was intercepted by IJN surface units in the Nauru-area. It's not clear exactly where, it is possible the ships were moving troops towards the British Pacific holding.
With it's 356mm (14") guns, Kongo-Class Battleship Kirishima sunk both the 40th Destroyer Flotilla (Daring-Class), and the Fort Langley Flotilla made up of state of the art Landing craft and their mother-ships. The 69th Destroyer Flotilla (Battle-Class) was sunk by a combination of the Furutaka-Class Heavy Cruiser Kako's 8" guns and a spread of her long-lance torpedoes.

Top left: The Battle-Class of Royal Navy Destroyers started production in 1940 (1942 OTL only a single Battle-Class Destroyer served in ww2). In it's 1941 (1943 OTL) iteration, a Battle-Class Destroyer displaces 2.480 tonnes (standard) and sports 4 QF 4,5" Mk. III guns in two front-facing superfiring twin mounts and a rear-facing QF 4,5" Mk.IV gun on a single mount. It's AA armament consists of 2 quadruple 40mm Bofors Mk.II on STAAG mounts, 1 twin 40mm Bofors Mk.V and 2 single 40mm Bofors Mk.VII. 2 quintuple 21" tubes for Mk.IX torpedoes and a Squid Anti-Submarine mortar system round out it's capabilities. Two 3-drum Admiralty boilers provide 50.000 shp to 2 shafts, through 2 Parsons geared steam turbines, giving it a top speed of over 35,7 knots.
Top right: HMS Glenearn, a Large LSI, can carry up to 24 LCA's which can be lowered into the water at a moment's notice to deploy the ca. 1.500 troops in it's hold to a nearby beach, protecting them from small-arms fire on the way there. A flotilla of 10-12 of these vessels is needed to land 6 Brigades of Infantry. Of course, these ships are rather defenceless to Naval gunfire.

Ships42-08-07_2-min.jpg
Bottom Left: Kirishima is a 32.160 tonne (Standard displacement) Kongo-Class Fast Battleship commissioned in 1915 as a Battlecruiser, and rebuilt in 1936 as a Fast Battleship. Her main armament consisted of 8 Vickers 14" Guns in 4 twin turrets. The secondary armament consisted of 16 6" (152mm) Type 41 guns in twin turrets. An array of 8 12,7 cm/50 dual purpose (nominally) guns in single turrets and countless 25mm Type 96 AA Guns complete it's armament. Since 1936, 36 Yarrow-type boilers provide 64,000 shp through 4 steam turbines and 4 propellers. In it's post-1936 configuration, it sports an 8" main belt, 1,5-2,3" deck plating, with an added 4" above the ammunition storage, and 10" turret armour on the main turrets. With the added armour, it's current top speed is estimated at over 30 knots.
Bottom Right: Kako, a 7,100 tonne Furutaka-Class Heavy Cruiser, was commissioned in 1926. She was extensively rebuilt in 1936-1937. Her current main armament consists of 6 8" (20,3 cm) naval guns in twin turrets (up from 6 20cm single turrets), 4 12cm Type 10 dual purpose guns in single mounts provide additional firepower against both aerial and surface targets. 4 twin 25mm Type 96 AA guns and 4 twin 24" (61cm) torpedo tubes with matching Type 93 'long lance' torpedoes complete it's armament. Power is provided by 12 Kampon boilers, which can send up to 102.000 shp to 4 propellers through 4 geared steam turbines. Being a Heavy Cruiser, Kako has some armour: A 3" main belt, and a 1,4" armoured deck. Her top speed is similar to that of the Omaha-class USN cruisers at a heady 34,5 knots.
The Convoy war intensified with Japanese submarines sinking 199 British freighters, mostly just to the East of Nauru.
Allied convoy raiding increased exponentially, with 237 Axis merchant vessels sunk in the Pacific and another 34 to the East of Cuba.

Industry:
Working Industrial Capacity / available domestic capacity / available capacity with Lend-Lease: 233 = / 425 = / 586 + We have lost Stanislawow (1 IC), and Riga (1 IC). Factories in Copenhagen have finally started some limited production, compensating the losses.
Level 1 fortifications were completed in Khabarovsk, work has started on Coastal fortifications in Slagelse (Level 1)
Lend-Lease aid has started flowing in, with some interruptions, the average over the last 10 days was 58 IC. As the shipments only started on the 3rd of August, and the amount of aid has increased, this number will go up dramatically. There have been 4 days were aid was delivered for a total of 580 ICdays.

IC Usage: ( Allocated IC / Need )
Upgrades: 100,50 / 100,79
Reinforcement: 30,50 / 30,58 - The need for reinforcements varies wildly but remains over 20 IC.
Supplies: 76,00 / 59,00 + Supply stockpiles were starting to get dangerously low, so more supplies were ordered from the US.
Production: 343,84 / 343,86 + Lend-Lease aid has allowed us to nearly double our total production.
Consumer Goods: 35,16 / 35,16 + Some of the Lend-Lease aid trickles down to the population.
Stockpiles:
Energy: Maximum tonnes +
Metal: 98.732 tonnes -
Rares: 48.852 tonnes +
Crude: 96.111 cubic metres -
Supplies: 29.113 tonnes -
Fuel: 92.808 barrels -
Money: 1.358 +​

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 / 1 }
{ UK (/) : 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 }​
Other: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0
Total: 5 / 0 / 0 / 0
Reserves: 6
Spy training leadership expenditure: 0,10 (a new spy every 65 days)​

Research:
No completed research projects, no new research started.
Leadership distribution:
Research: 19,50 (-0,17)
Espionage: 0,10 (-0,28)
Diplomacy: 2,06 (-0,04)
Officers: 12,00 = (72 Officers/day)
Total: 33,66 (-0,49) Loss of Riga and Stanislawow.

Statistics:
National Unity: 83,243 +
Neutrality: 0,00 =
Dissent: 0,00 =
Manpower:
Available: 2.082.000 (-90.000) We have to supply the men to use all of that Lend-Lease equipment.
Men To reinforce(need): 7.620
Men To mobilise(need): See above
Monthly gain: 70.600 Men - (1 fully mobilised Infx3, Art, AT Division every 5,4 days)​
Party Popularity:
- Communist Party: 61 (+3)
- Trotskyite: 11 (-1)
- Bukharinite: 5 =

- Social-Revolutionary: 4 =
- Trudoviks: 3 =
- Kadets: 4 (+2)
- Octobrists: 0 (-5)

- Tsarists: 7 (-1)
- NTS: 1 =
- POA: 5 (+3)
Despite the recent start of Lend-Lease aid, Capitalist inclinations are at an all time low, the Octobrists having fallen entirely out of favour. Over three quarters of the population supports some kind of Socialism, with over 60% supporting Stalin's Communist Party. On the right, the Tsarists lost out in favour of the National Socialists. I smell German spies.
No changes in Party Organisation
This Information is accurate on the morning of the 7th of August 1942, I hope it serves you well in fine-tuning your possible suggestions.

'Odin'​
 

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Requests for the Soviet Union to purchase modern Tactical Bombers or Destroyers from the US were shot down by the State Department before they were even formally made. Something about non-existent trade relations. It is unclear whether improving trade relations would actually get us the licenses we want for a reasonable price. Do you think it's worth expanding our Diplomatic corps to find out?
I’d I have thought you’d have no chance of buying a licence unless they were part of the Comintern, but my knowledge of HOI3 is far from encyclopaedic. :confused: If the diplo screen says ‘impossible’, I’d not bother. Though a trade, if it’s for something you actually need and it’s a fair deal, couldn’t do any harm, I suppose.

Tobruch has been conquered by the British once again, and the Axis now seems to be in full retreat, with both El Adem and Bir Hacheim falling without a fight. Too bad Britain doesn't have any Mobile forces in the area to exploit the total breakdown of Italian defences while it continues to last.
This sounds familiar! :rolleyes: I would expect they will continue to under-invest there, unless they get unusually aggressive.

There continues to be no substantial US involvement in the war save for massive amounts of lend-lease to the UK and the USSR.
Again, this sounds true to AI US form. :(
 

Eurasia

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The RAF is bombing Rome (again)? I am sure the Pope is slightly put off by that.

I am worried about the Japanese Empire. How close are they to spread into, let us say, India? Or taking Australia and New Zealand? The lack of American actions in the Pacific seems upsetting to me.
 

roverS3

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I’d I have thought you’d have no chance of buying a licence unless they were part of the Comintern, but my knowledge of HOI3 is far from encyclopaedic. :confused: If the diplo screen says ‘impossible’, I’d not bother. Though a trade, if it’s for something you actually need and it’s a fair deal, couldn’t do any harm, I suppose.
I don't think it's possible either, but I've been wrong before. As they did enthusiastically agree to lend-lease aid, I hoped maybe there would be a chance I could get licences with high relations. Things aren't looking too good though, licenses are 'impossible', and potential trade deals are 'unlikely' at best. At this point, getting Swedish DD licenses seems more likely, even if our diplomats may have to keep working for a long time to make that work out.

This sounds familiar! :rolleyes: I would expect they will continue to under-invest there, unless they get unusually aggressive.
It does sound familiar. That said, the main difference is that Italian shipping is suffering more than before, with both Soviet Submarines and British surface fleets roaming off the Libyan coast. On top of that, they lost 4 Transport Flotilla's in 10 day, bringing the total to 20 lost Transport Flotilla's. It's getting very difficult for Italy to supply and reinforce it's troops overseas.

The RAF is bombing Rome (again)? I am sure the Pope is slightly put off by that.
Yes, they've been at it again. (Pope shakes fist at Halifaxes flying overhead). Rather surprisingly, the Regia Aeronautica seems hellbent on defending the skies over Firenze, but not those over Rome.

Again, this sounds true to AI US form. :(
There was a slight uptick in convoy raiding in the Pacific, maybe it's a sign of increasing USN activity? Probably not, but one can always hope.

I am worried about the Japanese Empire. How close are they to spread into, let us say, India? Or taking Australia and New Zealand? The lack of American actions in the Pacific seems upsetting to me.
The closest they've gotten to India is the recent landing in Teluk Anson, it's unclear whether that will go anywhere as it seems to be only a single Division for all of Malaysia. They're taking their sweet time absorbing the, pretty much defenceless, dutch colonies in the area. They even managed to get an SNLF Division stuck out in the jungle south of Tarakan with no supplies to grab it, all because there was a single badly organised dutch Infantry Division in Tarakan and they couldn't just walk in immediately. It should also be noted that French Indochina is still French. There was no Vichy France, and thus no handover of French Indochina. The Japanese haven't even touched that yet.
As for Australia, there has been an increase in IJN activity around Nauru, which is still in British hands, but has no defenders. That's the closest they've gotten to the land down under. Honestly, I'm somewhat surprised at the slow pace and bumbling nature of Japanese expansion since the initial Island hopping campaign to take Guam, Wake, Midway, and Attu, and the Philippines campaign. All despite the absence of the USN, and the decimation of the Royal Navy's Singapore-based forces. It's possible their supply network can't keep up, but then again, the Japs are sinking many more Allied convoys than they are losing themselves. Or maybe it's because they feel they need to array most of their troops against the USSR, starving their other operations of units.
 
Last edited:

Bullfilter

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As they did enthusiastically agree to lend-lease aid, I hoped maybe there would be a chance I could get licences with high relations. Things aren't looking too good though, licenses are 'impossible', and potential trade deals are 'unlikely' at best.
My general experience is the agreement thresholds for LL are very different to licences. There is probably some maths to it that I’m not familiar with (I tend not delve into those things much, just going by ‘feel’). But licences are generally harder than trades and much harder than LL.
 

El Pip

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That said, I am not ruling out killing off a character. Even 11's plot armour is not impervious...
I fear I am falsely getting my hopes up, but fingers crossed this happy event comes to pass.

I realise I may be in a minority holding this viewpoint.
 

roverS3

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My general experience is the agreement thresholds for LL are very different to licences. There is probably some maths to it that I’m not familiar with (I tend not delve into those things much, just going by ‘feel’). But licences are generally harder than trades and much harder than LL.
I think you're probably right, it's likely impossible for us to buy licenses from the USA. (except in an ATL where the USA somehow finds itself in the Comintern...)

I fear I am falsely getting my hopes up, but fingers crossed this happy event comes to pass.
People die all the time. She could die tomorrow, or she could die at the ripe old age of 96. (though the latter is unlikely). She tends to play with fire and often takes inordinate risks. Sergei may have mellowed her somewhat, but she's still very capable of getting herself killed, if only because she feels a need to kill. And then, there's all the other ways one could die. A human being is a fragile thing, no matter how well it is trained, how resourceful it is, or how many people want to keep it alive.
Maybe I care too much about my own charachter, and I'm just stoking the fire to maker her story more exciting. Maybe I'm not. Maybe I've been planning the way she dies from the very start. Maybe I don't even know yet. Keep those fingers crossed, you never know what could happen.

I realise I may be in a minority holding this viewpoint.
Nothing wrong with that.
 
Last edited:

Finshades

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I also wouldn't bother wasting time and effort with the licenses. The AI is very stingy with them and usually refuses them outright unless you're allied. Sometimes it refuses even if you are allied. Best just take all the LL you can get away with and get the DD's elsewhere, like Sweden.
 
11th of August 1942, 'Odin': GPW 10-day Report #5

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11th of August 1942, Vologda, 2,6°C, 6pm Moscow Time
Report on the Great Patriotic War between 6pm on the 2nd and 6pm on the 11th of August 1942.

Before we get to the overview, I have to tell you about this recent development:

I got up early yesterday morning, packed my bags and left for Kyiv at 7am. I took the train at Vologda station, and by 4pm, I arrived in Moscow. As I stepped off the train, an NKVD officer motioned me to follow with him. He let me sit up front with him in his GAZ-M1 as we raced through traffic. As both the car, and his driving, were tame compared to 'Odinatsat' and her modified GAZ, I was rather unfazed, in fact I was getting a bit angry that I might miss my flight. Our destination turned out to be 'Lubyanka', the charming headquarters of the NKVD. When I say 'charming' I really mean the opposite, the new part looked imposing, if you only looked with one eye, obscuring the fact that the old building was still there, taking up the space needed to actually complete the new building. We were waved through at the gate and came to a halt in the inner courtyard of the 'tallest building in Moscow'. I was lead, through empty stairways and corridors, to a large office on the third floor, overlooking the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky (aka. Iron Felix, founder of Cheka, predecessor to the NKVD). The officer opened the door, saluted, and promptly walked off. I entered and closed the door behind me. In front of me stood the powerful desk of the People's Commissar for Internal Affairs, and behind it, a large swivel-chair with it's back towards me. I cleared my throat to indicate my presence, and it swivelled around, revealing not People's Commissar Andriy Panfilov, but 'Shest'.

"Excuse my theatrics, I simply couldn't pass up the opportunity. Andriy is away on a business trip right now, he'll be back in a few days."​
"That's all fine and dandy, but what about my trip? I was looking forward to spending some time with 'Odinatsat'"​
"I'm afraid you can't go to Kyiv right now, it's too risky."​
"What do you mean, too risky, it's hundreds of kilometres from the front?"​
"It's not the Germans I'm worried about, it's the Americans. Remember how we agreed to let Liaison Officers and military observers into the country as part of the lend-lease deal, and also to give them access to a lot of our war effort. As we might have guessed, some of them are spies, and the NKVD has been working overtime looking into all these new American officials that are arriving in the Soviet Union since we signed that deal. Well, guess who's turned up in Leningrad today, with only 5 minutes' notice? General Markkur, in person."​
"What's he doing here?"​
"Well, officially he's here to liaise between the OSS and the GRU's Military intelligence branch. Sharing military intelligence, avoiding and mitigating conflicts that may occur between GRU and OSS operatives out in the field, maybe attempt to set up joint operations, if he's feeling particularly brave. Unofficially, he's probably setting up a network of spies in the Soviet Union as we speak. Most of them will probably stay dormant as long we have a common enemy, but they'll be there when he needs them, unless we find them faster than he can replace them, which seems rather unlikely, despite our massive budget, and our best efforts. Of course they'll all be perfectly deniable, you know, 'rogue operatives', 'businessmen', 'diplomats', we all know how that works."​
"All right, but that still doesn't explain why I should be worried about going to Kyiv. Are you saying I shouldn't travel at all? In my own country?"​
"No, of course not. You just have to be careful, even more so than before. With Markkur in the country, you can't risk visiting 'Odinatsat'. She's bound to soon grow an american tail, if she hasn't already, and with the injuries she sustained it's unlikely she'll be able to shake it. The General believes she was, or still is, a high level spy. If he's feeling particularly bold, he may even visit her himself. As her former handler, and a spy myself, I would play into Markkur's hands, try to get her close to him. Our best shot at figuring out where his agents are, and what he's planning, is to use a top operative he already knows, and to eventually make him believe she's willing to defect, to play the game on his team. Whether she's willing to work with us again, or not, I'm carefully regulating who comes into contact with her, and working overtime to ensure there isn't the slightest chance they could find out about the Committee's existence. How about some tea?"​

We had some tea, and talked about the good old days, before relocating to a safe house for the night. I returned to Vologda today, being extra careful no one was paying attention to me.

Lubyanka-min.jpg
'Lubyanka', the headquarters of the NKVD, then of the KGB, and nowadays the FSB. It was colloquially referred to as 'the tallest building in Moscow', not because of it's height, but because one could see 'Siberia' from it's basement. The building was only 'completed' in 1983, making the façade into the imposing and symmetrical whole that was intended in 1940. The un-completed version does offer an interesting comparison of late 19th century Moscow architecture with the monumental Stalinian brand of Neo-Classisism (aka 'Columns for the people'). The original building was built in 1898 as the HQ of an insurance company. It was a luxurious office building in a somewhat muted neo-baroque style.​



Arctic Front (XXXIV GSK / 1st AG / Leningrad HQ):
1AG42-08-11-min.jpg
Our mountaineers continue their Arctic march to plant the flag and assert our control of the Norwegian arctic regions. Meanwhile the rest of XXXIV GSK has moved to Kirkenes, ready to be sea-lifted. They anxiously await their next mission, whenever it will start.​

Finland (NKGBF / Leningrad HQ):
FPF42-08-11-min.jpg
After 24 hours of planning, 1 VDD was para-dropped into Kärsämäki at 9am on the 3rd of August, right on top of the '1st Finnish Partisans', as well as 3 HQ's, including the 1st Army Group. Yes, these rebels were dreaming big, with barely enough men for a small Corps, they created an Army group, commanded by Field Marshall Nenonen, a veteran of the Winter War. The VDV had the last laugh when they dropped in on the Field Marshall's breakfast. It took nearly 2 days for our paratroopers to root out the rebels and their entire command structure. By 4pm on the 4th, the last shot had been fired, 15 paratroopers lost their lives in the operation, about 3.350 prisoners were taken, and 150 insurgents were killed. 1 VDD is now marching towards Oulu Air Base to recuperate and to allow it to be rapidly deployed again. 2 VDD has been transferred to Leningrad and will remain in reserve, ready to deploy at 24 hour's notice, for now.​
The NKGBF managed to Isolate the '5th Finnish Partisans' in Suolahti, and when 1 NKGBFKB moved to attack them at 4am on the 8th, they barely resisted, no NKGBF personnel was hurt, 3 enemies of the state were killed and 3.000 more were imprisoned. This morning, SrMaj.GB (State Security) Skvortsov mounted brigade was at it again, moving to pacify Varkaus. This operation is still ongoing.​

Denmark (XXXIII SK / Leningrad HQ):
DK42-08-11-min.jpg
A short probing attack by GenDiv. Calcagno's 32a DF (Divisione Fanteria) on Slagelse at 5am on the 2nd was easily shrugged off, as was a 3 hour long attack on the 11th. In total 400 Italians died in the strait-crossing attempts, for 2 of our riflemen. Our position in Denmark remains strong.​
Latvia Sector (2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ):
"I may not have been born here, but many of you have. This is our city, and we will try our hardest to defend it, no matter the odds."​
MajGen. Garnov after his 6.000 strong Garrison found itself alone, defending Riga from King tigers and German regulars.​
Before dawn on the 2nd of August Genlt. Praun's 61 ID (Infx2, Art, AT) charged into Bauska (2), right into two dug-in Rifle Divisions under the command of MajGen. Malyshev. Despite our 2-1 numerical advantage, Praun stubbornly tried to press home the attack, regardless of casualties.​
Riga (1) came under attack on the 3rd, Genlt. von Thoma's King Tigers were knocking at the gates of the capital of the Latvia SSR. The city seemed well guarded by 4 dug in Rifle Divisions and a 6.000 strong Garrison. With a 6-1 numerical superiority in our favour, 1 SPzD looked unlikely to get far. Of course, numbers can be deceiving. 2 of the Divisions were spent from previous combat and were unable to actually contribute to the battle. They soon started retreating, and by 7pm, 3 hours into the fighting, all 4 Rifle Division were withdrawing. Only MajGen. Garnov's 16 GarD wasn't swept up in the panic.​
With neither Anti-tank weapons nor Artillery, the now outnumbered Garrison fought a desperate fight, delaying the inevitable fall of Riga by another 21 hours. No reinforcements were ever forthcoming as the only nearby combat-ready Divisions were already fighting a bloody battle in Bauska (2). There, the fighting intensified, first as a violent German Shock Attack rendered Soviet Delaying actions ineffective, and then as 16 PzGrD (Mec, Mot, AC, TD, SP Art) reinforced Praun's stubborn meat-grinder, swinging the balance in the enemy's favour. By 9pm on the 4th the attackers withdrew, leaving behind over 1.500 of their comrades for 700 Riflemen.​
A Soviet probe into Riga at 9pm on the 5th showed the King Tigers remain firmly in control of the city, it was called off within the hour.​
LAT-min.jpg
Sperrle's Ju-88's hit the defenders of Bauska early on the 3rd. They were hit hard by our own Yak-7s (1) shortly after dropping their bombs. Over 90 German planes were shot down, for 44 of our own. On the 4th, Mahnke attempted to do the same, only for his planes to be intercepted before they even reached our lines, losing 60 planes in the process, for only 20 of our own.​
Goryunov's Il-10's flew a bombing run on Jurmala on the 4th. Immediately after dropping their bombs, they were pounced upon by nearly 300 Bf-109E's. The escorting La-7's attempted to protect the Assault Bombers, until Rychagov's Yak-7's arrived to chase Klepke's interceptor's away. 70 Soviet aeroplanes were lost.​
Once Riga was taken over by the Germans, Astakhov's Yak-7s were on high alert to intercept any Axis aeroplanes that redeployed to the city's Air Base. They were rewarded with the arrival of KG zbV 9, a wing of brand new 6-engined Me-323D transport planes. After they were detected by the Radar stations in Vitsyebsk and Leningrad, the Yak-7s were srcambled, intercepting and shooting down 8 of Oberst Wever's 28 lumbering Giants.​

Lithuania Sector 1 (North of the Meme) (2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ):
"The krauts may think they have exhausted us, that we are too tired to fight. They don't know who they're dealing with. They do not get to decide when this is over. I do."​
MajGen. Gordov as the 13th Battle of Panevezys starts (5 & 6)​
The 6th Battle of Kaunas (1) finally came to an end at 2am on the 2nd of August. After 7 days and 7 nights of continuous fighting, the capital of the Lithuania SSR remained in our hands. Both sides rotated units in and out: 4 Soviet Divisions, including 16 KavD (L Arm, Mecx2, AC), and 3 German units, participated in the meat-grinder. The result was nearly 4.000 dead Germans for less than 1.200 Red Army losses. Only MajGen. Remizov's 78 SD fought for the entire duration of the battle. The Soviet Commander steadfast and calm demeanour, and that of his Division throughout the battle certainly contributed to the victory. Even when other units started withdrawing, Remizov, and his men stood strong, inspiring others to do the same. Buoyed by this success, a two-pronged mechanised attack on Panevezys (2) was launched an hour later. The province was strongly held by 1 ID (Infx3) and 4 PzD (Arm, Mot, AC, Eng), both at full strength. MajGen. Golubev had more than enough firepower to deal with the opposition. T-34's, GAZ-60 Half-tracks, GAZ-30 Armoured Cars, and Su-100 Tank-Destroyers were all part of 2ya Tankovaya Armiya's 3-Division charge.​
After 4 days, the German defenders broke under the weight of Soviet steel, and Panevezys was ours at 6am on the 6th of August. Casualties were around 1.000 on both sides, and both 8 TD and 16 KavD were in a rather disorganised state. A mere two hours later, GenLt. von Pfeffer-Wildenbruch's 143 ID attacked Panevezys (5). On the 7th, the Germans managed to foil MajGen. Gordov's Delaying tactics by using shock attacks. It took until 1pm on the 9th before the German Infantry stopped coming. Casualties were heavily in our favour, with over 1.200 German casualties for less than 500 of our own. However, our forces in Panevezys had not been able to regain their organisation and properly dig in. The Wehrmacht struck again one hour later, the 13th battle for Panevezys (5 & 6) saw 2 fresh German Divisions, including 14 PzD, and a small Hungarian force attack Gordov's disorganised defenders from 2 directions. By this time 8 TD had been fighting for 7 days, and 16 KavD for 10 days, with mere hours between successive battles. Despite the strain, both Divisions held on until 3am on the 10th, when Gordov called quits and both units started withdrawing in good order.​
Further to the South, a pair of bold Red Army attacks were initiated on the 7th, pushing the front away from Kaunas. MajGen. Beloborodov's 9 TD (Arm, Motx2, TD, Eng) found only GenMaj. Eicke's 6.000-strong Kavallerie-Kommando holding Jurbarkas (3). MajGen Kulik had a tougher job, dislodging three German Infantry Divisions from Ariogala (4), with only 198 MSD (Motx3, TD, Eng). Of course, Kulik was pinning the German Infantry in place, allowing Beloborodov's tankers to take their time and root out the German horsemen. MajGen. Eicke withdrew his forces at 3pm on the 8th, having suffered over 500 casualties (not counting the horses), for less than 40 lost comrades. That evening Jurbarkas was ours again. The cost of the victory only became clear at 9pm when Kulik called off the attack into Ariogala. Outnumbered 2-1, his Division had been decimated, losing over 1.100 men in 2 days, for less than 330 German KIAs.​
LITH1-min.jpg
Our Interceptors had heir work cut out for them in this sector. On the 8th, Bülowius's Ju-88's were intercepted over Panevezys (1), by Astakhov's Yak-7's, before they could drop their bombs. The damage was extensive with close to 90 German planes shot down for 32 of our own.​
Kaunas was hit twice (2 & 3). First, it was hit by Kesselring's bombers, which managed to drop their explosive cargo on the city's defenders before they were intercepted by Vorozheikin's IV IAK. 70 German planes were downed for 23 lost Yak-7s. The second attempt was even less successful for the Luftwaffe, as Stumpff's Ju-88's didn't even reach their targets before they were intercepted by Vorozheikin's fighters. Over 110 enemy aircraft were taken out in exchange for 38 friendlies.​
Our Assault Bomber Divisions were not bothered by Luftwaffe intercepts in this sector. They flew plenty of missions, Goryunov's V ShAK over Panevezys, Rudenko's IV ShAK over Raseinai, and Kutakhov's III ShAK over Ariogala.​

Lithuania Sector 2 (South of the Memel) (2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ):
Alytus (1) was taken by Gebrionnek's Tank force (81 TD & 2 GvTD) by 3pm on the 2nd of August. Without any anti-tank equipment, GenLt. Hube's gebirgsjäger were mauled as they attempted to hold of our T-34s for 1.5 days, they lost over 1.100 men, for 124 of our own. A 10 hour long counterattack on Alytus (2) by a Bulgarian Cavalry Division was shrugged off for the price of 2 Soviet casualties, and 350 Bulgarians.​
LITH2-min.jpg
In the last two days (9 Aug & 10 Aug), our TB-3 Heavy Bombers were active in this area, destroying stockpiles and Infrastructure in Mariampolé as part of a plan to cut off supplies to Axis troops North of the river Memel. 4 logistical strike missions have been flown, they are ongoing.​
Astakhov's 494 Yak-7's intercepted Genmaj. Fisser's Bf-109E's over Kaisiadorys. It's not clear where the heavily depleted Jagdgeschwader 4 was headed. Of the 44 Messerschmitt's, 24 were shot down for the loss of 8 Yak-7's.​

Poland Sector 1 (Nyoman/Memel bend) (2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ):
"Sure, they have King Tigers, but we have thousands of riflemen who will stop them, or die trying. Not one step back"​
Maj.Gen. Kazakov as our casualties started mounting in the 4th battle of Lida (1)​
The Wehrmacht attacked Lida (1) at dawn on the 5th. The area was held by three Rifle Divisions lead by MajGen. Moskalenko. Genmaj. Phleps's attacking force was more than a match, it consisted of 5 sPzD, SSD (mot) 'Wiking' and 32 ID. 19 SD was in no state for a prolonged fight, and shortly after the battle started, worsening the odds. The next afternoon, Moskalenko's own 7 MSD called it quits, and by the morning of the 7th, the Red Army had abandoned Lida, leaving behind nearly 2.000 dead riflemen, having inflicted fewer than 800 German casualties.​
On the 9th, a strong counterattack into Lida (4) was launched from Iwje to it's east. Two fresh Tank Divisions under MajGen. Galitski hit them before they had a chance to dig in.​
As all three enemy Divisions were defending Lida, Mosty (2), to it's west, was weakly held by 10 Gly, a small Hungarian Infantry Division. MajGen Zakharov exploited this weakness, attacking northwards across the Memel river with 2 Motorised Rifle Divisions. In three hours, the Hungarians were routed, having lost over 420 of their number, 7 times more than our losses. Once the area was occupied, a brief counterattack by Bulgarian Cavalry (3) was easily shrugged off with minimal losses.​
With Mosty in Soviet hands, the Enemy Divisions in Lida found themselves in a precarious situation. They were slowly losing the battle, and they were down to a single avenue to retreat into. To secure their way out, both 5 sPzD and SSD (mot) 'Wiking' started their withdrawal from Lida at 10am today (11th). The remaining 32 ID remained to fight a desperate rearguard action against 7 GvTD and 3 TD. By 3pm, Lida was ours. The victory cost us nearly 1.000 lives for over 1.200 of the enemy.​
As well as things went here, it was somewhat surprising that 2nd Army Group didn't organise an attack to close the pocket, especially once Mosty had been won. Both 5 sPzD and SSD (mot) 'Wiking' could have been trapped in Lida and forced to surrender, but now they are very likely to get away to fight another day.​
POL1-min.jpg
Our Assault Bombers flew 7 missions, bombing the main enemy force, first in Mosty, on the 5th, and then in Lida, starting on the 9th. Kuthakov's III ShAK was intercepted over Lida by Klepke's Bf-109E's on the 9th, losing over 60 planes before Vorozheikin's Yak-7's came to chase the enemy away. 40 Messerschmitt's were shot down, and Novikov's II ShAK took over the bombing missions which were barely interrupted.​

Poland Sector 2 (Nyoman-Prypyats) (2 AG & Arm AG / Moskva HQ):
"We will attack the krauts from three sides, we will evict them quickly, and we will be very violent."​
MajGen. Fillipovsky at the start of the 5th battle of Domonovo (6).​
Shortly after the previous report was filed, 1 GvTD and 163 MSD charged into Zelva (1) to push the front away from the Air Base in Nowogrodek. The Soviet Assault was met with a powerful counter-attack. The tactical advantage Genlt. Guderian gained allowed him to stall MajGen. Kirponos's advance despite our advantage in numbers and equipment. It took over 2 days, and close to 400 Soviet casualties to force the Germans to withdraw. They did lose over 900 of their number.​
Once 1 GvTD took control of Zelva, they were hit by Genlt. Hilpert's SSD (mot) 'Reich' at 9am on the 5th (5). They relented after 12 hours of fighting. SSD (mot) 'Wiking' probed our defences at noon on the 8th, immediately withdrawing after the first, disproportionate, losses on their side. (5)​
Domonovo saw a lot of back and forth. At 11am on the 4th, a 4-day battle for the province (2) ended in victory and MajGen. Koroteev's 32 KavD rushed to occupy the province. Genlt. Hartmann's 9 ID had held on for a lot longer than expected, using the forest to it's advantage. Casualties were only 6-5 in our favour.​
As soon as our Armoured Cavalry took up positions in those same forests, they were hit (4) by Hilpert's fresh 75 ID, including Armoured Cars and PaK-43 AT Artillery. By noon on the 5th, it became clear that Koroteev's men were too exhausted to hold off the Germans for too much longer, and they withdrew in good order, yielding the area to the Wehrmacht.​
The respite was rather short for the German Infantry in Domonovo. At 2pm on the 7th, a massive coordinated attack (6) by 4 full-strength Motorised Rifle Divisions, from 3 directions, hit Hilpert's force (75 ID and 162 ID). MajGen. Filippovsky pressed home the attack, and two days later, our forces had won a clear victory, inflicting nearly 1.600 casualties, for fewer than 500 of our own.​
It's still not over as 131 MSD was attacked in Domonovo as soon as it got there, this battle is ongoing.​
MajGen. Chibisov hit Genlt. Koch-Erpach's 18 ID in Konczyce (3) at 10 pm on the 3rd. The Assault, executed by 2 Armoured Cavalry Divisions was expertly countered by a German Counter-Attack, delaying the Soviet victory until 11am the next morning.​
POL2-min.jpg
Golovanov's Yak-4's provided a little Air Support, hitting Konczyce on the 4th and Swislocz, in support of the defence of Domonovo, on the 5th.​
Vorozheikin's III IAK had the doubtful honour of being the first VVS formation to encounter Slovak aeroplanes. The AERO A.304 bombers of 1 BombPluk, commanded by Gen. II Treidy Reznak were intercepted over Domonovo before they had a chance to drop any of their bombs. The obsolescent and lightly armed Slovak aeroplanes were easy pickings for our Yak-7's, and 36 of 112 enemy planes were downed before the Slovaks could break away. 2 Yak-7's were lost.​
Poland Sector 3 (Prypyats-Zakhidnyu Buh) (3 AG & Arm AG / Brjansk HQ):
The Battle for Zamosc, which had started off as an easy defensive action against Genlt. Midilev's Bulgarian Infantry, became increasingly difficult for MajGen Bondarev's 169 SD. First, on the 1st, 6 ID attacked their flank from Rawa Ruska, then, at 10pm on the 2nd, a German Garrison unit joined in from Krasnystaw. The next morning Bondarev called it quits at 9am on the 3rd of August, as his position had become untenable and no reinforcements were forthcoming. Casualties were remarkably even, with both sides losing about 760 men in 4 days of combat.​
After our forces walked into Luboml, and Zamosc was lost, the former was attacked this morning from three directions. MajGen Dementev's 2 Rifle Divisions are holding the attackers at bay as I write this report.​
MajGen. Petin had more luck with his attack on Kowel, starting at 10pm on the 1st. Both sides were rather evenly matched, but the tone was quickly set by 130 SD's commander when he ordered shock attacks to effectively counter MGenlt. Förster's delaying tactics. In the dense forests, 2 ID (mot) was also unable to bring it's advantage in mobility to bear, and after 4 days of struggle, victory was ours. Casualties were slightly in our favour (480 vs 570).​
POL3-min.jpg
Golovanov's Yak-4's hit Chelm three times during the Battle of Zamosc.​
Zhigarev's Il-10's have started bombing Zamosc in support of the ongoing battle of Luboml.​

Poland Sector 4 (Zakhidnyu Buh-Dniestr) (3 AG / 4 AG / Brjansk HQ):
"We may be tired, we may be facing Panzers with no tanks of our own, but we will not give up lightly. Make them pay for every m of ground they gain!"​
MajGen. Nikishin as the 4th battle of Zolkiew starts (3).​

It took until 1pm on the 2nd of August for MajGen. Nikishin to throw in the towel and stop his attack on Przemysl (1). The area was held by 11 PzD, 4 LeichteD, and 8 ID, under the command of Genlt. Heinrici. 122 SD was never going to make a dent. Sadly it took the lives of over 900 riflemen and those of 260 German defenders, for Nikishin to realise the futility of the operation.​
The Wehrmacht's response came at 10pm on the 4th with an attack on Zolkiew (2), held by 122 SD and 72 GvSD. Luckily, the attack consisted of only Genlt. Strauss's own 6 ID.​
After 2 days, the Germans halted the attack, having suffered nearly 1.000 casualties for 370 of ours.​
Our men in Zolkiew were allowed no rest as 9 PzD attacked at 1am on the 7th (3). 122 SD broke that evening, leaving MajGen Rostmistrov's Guards Riflemen to hold the line. They were doing just fine, until 5am on the 10th, when 183 ID reinforced Genlt. Schaal's attack. The Red Army Guards pulled out of Zolkiew at 10am, leaving behind nearly 1.200 comrades for 960 German dead.​
Zolkiew was quickly occupied by 10 ID (mot), and at 2pm today, another attack on the area, by 49 SD, started.​
The ongoing battle of Sambor (see below) provided an opportunity to hit the Axis forces in Jaworow (4) while they were distracted. A three-Division attack was orchestrated by MajGen Novoselski, starting at 2am on the 8th. Only Genlt. Jodl's 2 sPzD tried to shield 5 PzD and 11-va ZP (Bulgarian Infantry) to allow them to continue fighting for Sambor, but they both broke ranks and pulled out of both battles by 3pm. On the 9th, Novoselski ordered a massed Assault to press home the attack, but Jodl foresaw the move and a German Counter-Attack bought them some more time. It took another 2 days before the battle was won.​
POL4-min.jpg
LtGen. Av. Kallinin's Heavy bombers continued hitting the Infrastructure in Jaworow until the morning of the 3rd of August, destroying stockpiles of fuel and supplies along the way.​
I ShAK, LtGen. Av. Zhigarev's Assault Bomber Corps struck Przemysl, then, initially in support of the battle of Sambor, they started flying missions over Jaworow on the 3rd. They, keep this up until the evening of the 8th, killing over 2.000 Axis troops on the ground.​
The Yak-4's of LtGen. Av. Golovanov chipped in on the 6th with two bombing runs over Rawa Ruska, in support of the defence of Zolkiew. On the 10th, Zhigarev's Il-10s also bomb Rawa Ruska.​
A Hungarian attempt to bomb Rohatyn was intercepted by LtGen Av. Rog's Yak-7's before they could do anything, 10 Ju-86's were shot down with no losses of our own.​

Hungary Sector 1 (West) (3 AG / 4 AG / Odessa HQ):
"Tens of thousands of our comrades are counting on us to keep their lifeline open. We are not afraid of superior numbers, we are not afraid of the enemy, whether German, or Hungarian or Bulgarian. We will slow them down to a crawl, ambushing them at every corner, we must hold until reinforcements arrive. Failure is not an option."​
MajGen. Krutikov as Sambor (3) comes under attack from both sides.​

24 Gly (Hun. Infantry), disorganised from the preceding attack, arrived in Drohobycz (1) at 2pm on the 2nd, it was chased away in less than an hour. Inexplicably, no Soviet Divisions were moved into the area as the attackers were ordered to stay in Turka. The empty province was soon filled by 34 ID, a fresh German Division, and when, at noon on the 6th, a rifle Division finally attempted to move into Drohobycz from Skole, they were greeted by gunfire, and quickly turned tail. A unnecessary Hungarian spoiling attack on Skole at 4pm, (2) achieved little before it was called off after 2 hours. Another probe into Drohobycz at 5pm revealed that nothing had changed. Skole (2) was hit again by the Hungarian Army on the 11th. Both sides had over 30.000 men, but superior tactics and equipment won out as a bold Counter-Attack by our Riflemen managed to blunt the Hungarian Assault in a mere 2 hours.​
Confident of the strength of their position, and hoping to cut of part of our Hungarian front from supplies, Genlt. Volkmann attacked Stryj (4) with two Divisions, his own 34 ID, and 215 ID, at 10am on the 10th. They were pretty equally matched by GenMaj. Leselidze's 2 Rifle Divisions. 74 SD was embroiled in a battle for Stanislawow (see HUN 2), but as that looked like a done deal, the unit was pulled back by 7pm to concentrate on the defence. With this in mind, a three-Division flanking attack from Skole into Drohobycz (5) started today (11th) at 1pm, forcing the Germans to pull out of Stryj an hour later, the fighting in Stryj cost almost 400 Soviet lives and over 650 German ones. The flanking attack was immediately called off as an all-out attack was considered too costly, and not a moment too soon. Skole came under attack again at 3pm, this latest probe was no different from all the others, lasting a mere 3 hours, casualty numbers were low and 2-1 in our favour.​
Like Stryj, Sambor was another key province as it was the last remaining connection between the The Southernmost units of 3 AG and the rest of the front. MajGen. Krutikov's 42 SD was defending the area from a 2-Division attack coming from Jaworow (3), to the North-West. Despite their inferior numbers, and a lack of tanks, they were doing well. They suffered a reverse when an unexpected enemy breakthrough on the 2nd caught their ambushing parties while they were still setting up their ambushes, but they held on and kept up the fight. Things became direr as the men were becoming ever more exhausted. On the 7th, 34 SD joined in the fighting, attacking from the South. Luckily, this time the ambushes were ready and primed, and a series of two-pronged Shock attacks were blunted with relative ease. Thanks to relentless Aerial raids and an attack on Jaworow (see above), Genlt. Curtze was finally forced to call off the attack at 3pm on the 8th. 42 SD had not only held back up to 2.5 times it's own number, including King Tiger tanks, for more than 7 days, but it had inflicted close to 1.900 Axis casualties, losing about 1.000 men. These riflemen deserved rest and reinforcements, but they got neither. At 10pm, they were hit again, this time by Genlt. Völckers' 216 SD, and from the South. In the morning they could do no more, and at 8am, the battered 42 SD withdrew from Sambor. The situation looked dire, but now that the defenders had been broken, reinforcements were on their way. MajGen. Vatutin managed to move his 3 TTGvD, including it's IS-2's, into Sambor before Völckers' Division could take control. 216 SD immediately attacked Vatutin's Guards who hadn't gotten the time to dig in, and another vicious battle started in the woods of Sambor. On the second day of the battle, Vatutin used his IS-2's to great effect throwing back a large-scale German Assault with a powerful combined-arms counter-attack. By 2pm, the German Infantrymen could give no more, they retreated, leaving behind nearly 500 of their comrades. 10 TTGvD lost over 300 of it's own, suggesting the battle was rather close-fought.​
HUN1-min.jpg
On the 5th of August, at 7am, Hungarian Ju-87 'Stuka's were intercepted over Sambor, on their way to our lines. LtGen. Av. Rog's VI IAK had a field day, shooting down 45 of the 107 unescorted dive-bombers, losing a single Yak-7 due to overenthusiastic aerobatic celebrations by one particular pilot.​
Lt.Gen. Av. Golovanov's Yak-4's bombed the German Infantry in Drohobycz on the 7th-8th of August, and again on the 10th.​

Hungary Sector 2 (Stanislawow) (4 AG / Odessa HQ):
Stanislawow, only recently regained, was lost again, three hours after the last report was sent out. The Weight of Genmaj. Decleva's 38.000 strong 2-pronged attack (1), was simply too much for MajGen. Schlemin's 51 SD to bear. On the 2nd, 13 Gly made it's way into the city, and it was promptly attacked from two directions by 55 SD and 184 SD. MajGen. Pavelkin was in charge of the operation to retake Stanislawow, throwing 74 SD into the Battle at 6am on the 3rd, before winning the battle at 7pm. The Hungarians moved quickly, however, and before they could take possession of the area, Pavelkin's riflemen were faced by two more Hungarian Divisions. This time, only 55 SD and 184 SD were available (2), and after less than a day, the offensive was halted.​
In their rush to keep hold of Stanislawow, the Hungarians had vacated Kolomyja, this opportunity was pounced upon by 25 SD, which promptly parched into the area. By 7pm on the 7th, with his own Division and 184 SD rested, and two more Divisions at his disposal, MajGen. Pavelkin served up the piece de résistance (3). The two Hungarian Divisions, commanded by Genlt. Nagy Gy found themselves under attack from 4 different directions, by 4 rifle Divisions. The 16.000 Hungarians tried their best, delaying the capture of the city until the final Hungarians were routed at 11pm on the 10th. In those 3 days, 2.200 Hungarian servicement lost their lives, as did fewer than 500 Soviets.​
HUN2-min.jpg
I BAK flew three missions over Stanislawow on the 9th and 10th of August. Golovanov sure gets around.​
Baltic/North Atlantic Naval Command (Leningrad HQ):
II FP and VII FP raid convoys along the German and Polish Baltic coasts, covering the area between Hankö and the Öresund. More to the North, V FP covers the approaches to Trondheim and Narvik. In the last ten days, no German freighters were sunk in this area, it's not clear why. More submarines are being relocated to Copenhagen from Murmansk to extend our operations off the Norwegian coast and blockade all of Norway.​
The Red Banner Baltic Fleet is almost ready to set out to sea again. The CAGs have been reorganised and reinforced, and the damaged ships have been repaired.​
Baltic-min.jpg
Oberst Ritter's Seeaufklärungsgruppe was on the hunt for our submarines, but before they could locate them, Astakhov's Yak-7's intercepted his Ju-290's over the Eastern Baltic, in bad weather, downing 9 of the 21 massive naval bombers. A single Yak-7 collided with a crashing Junkers and was lost.​

Black Sea/Aegean/Mediterranean Naval Command (Odessa HQ):
Captain 1st Class of Aviation Vershinin's I KPA intercepted 39a Divisione Transporti over the Northern Aegean with his Carrier-Based La-7VM's. 11 of the 117 three-engined SM.75's were shot down, before Col. Visconti managed to break contact and flee to Rodi with the rest. There were some fears Axis Paratroopers were about to attack Mythiléné, but it turned out they were simply relocating them to Rodi Air Base. The Navy is feeling a bit uneasy about their Aegean base with German Paratroopers ready to go within striking distance. STAVKA is hoping they're gearing up to take back Athina for the Italians. Pressure to make a move on the Dodecanese Islands and Rodi is mounting, and the large Air Base in Rodi is considered a particularly serious threat. This is mostly coming form Navy circles, but there may be some merit in acquiring more real estate in the area before a Balkan Invasion, and the Air Base in Rodi would give us significant Air Base capacity in the area much faster than building a large Air Base in Mythilnéné would.​
A particularly brave officer in the Red Navy Marines Training programme suggested Mountaineers would do better than his Marines when it comes to taking Mountainous islands. Sure, the Mountaineers would take more losses during the initial landings, but once they reached the steep rock-faces, they would be much more able to scale them quickly and avoid being sitting ducks on the beaches.​
Aegean-min.jpg
Rear Admiral Eliseev's VIII FP has had more succes, raiding convoys between Italy and Bengasi, sinking 8 Axis Freighters in the area. The Black Sea fleet also caught 4 Freighters on it's patrols in the Aegean Sea. In the Straits of Messina, Rear Admiral Eliseev got the break of a lifetime. Having spotted a fleet of troop transports on his submarine's Sonar, he had his fleet surface to engage the transports. Amidst a wild storm, his 10 Leninets-Class submarines moved towards the ships. The sonar operator yelled out that there was a massive fleet behind them just as they were closing in on the transports. They received a polite but stern radio request from the bridge of HMS King George V to identify themselves or be fired upon. Eliseev identified himself and his unit in broken English to avoid any incidents. He asked to speak to the British Commander, Admiral Sommerville, who was audibly surprised to find Soviet Submarines so far out in the Mediterranean. With no suitable translators on either fleet, conversation was difficult. Looking into their files, the British discovered that Eliseev was a fluent Spanish speaker, just like Vice-Admiral Mountbatten, and things became significantly easier.​
Mountbatten clarified that two Royal Navy fleets were closing in, and asked the Soviet Rear Admiral how he wanted to handle the encounter. Sommerville's fleet included the 2 brand new King George V Battleships, and Vice-Admiral Mountbatten's flagship was the Carrier HMS Furious, escorted by HMS Malaya, and plenty of modern Destroyers. Eliseev's submarines were slower than the Italian transports. His subs fired off a volley of torpedoes before disengaging and getting out of the way, allowing the Royal Navy to finish the job. They were overtaken by Battle-Class Destroyers, and soon 14" shells, 15" shells, and Fairey Fulmar dive bombers were whizzing by in the sky overhead. Sadly, the weather was too bad for the submariners get a look at HMS King George V as it sailed past. They broke contact and dived before the Italian transports were sunk. Eliseev ended his conversation with Mountbatten with "Adios", and then immediately went silent.​
(Eliseev learned Spanish during the Spanish Civil War, where he was an Adviser to the Republican Navy. Mountbatten was a member of the British Royal Family, and closely related to Spanish Royalty. He was the Spanish Queen's first cousin, and likely a good Spanish speaker.)​

Totals (Last 10 days):
10_Days-min.jpg
Convoys: 12 Axis convoys sunk in the Med.​
Totals (GPW / 50 days)
Net progress made over the first 50 days of the GPW. Germany has pushed into the Soviet Union, mostly in the North, but they have paid a heavy toll. Now that our Armoured forces are ever more present in precisely this area, we expect the situation to stabilise, and maybe even to turn in our favour.​
50daysLosses-min.jpg
Military losses for the entirety of the war, not counting counter-insurgency operations. Axis troops killed in VVS bombardments have not been differentiated between the various nations involved. Aeroplanes are to scale. The 'VM' indicates Red Navy versions of VVS aeroplanes.​
Convoy raiding: 64 Axis convoys, and 2 escorts sunk.​
The last 10 days saw a stabilisation of the Northern part of the front, except for the regrettable, and preventable, loss of Riga. The Armoured Army Group is starting to really pull it's weight, and optimists in STAVKA estimate that we could potentially reach the Baltic to the North of Memel within a month, cutting off the northern end of the German forces.
In the South, a crisis was averted as Sambor was held in extremis, and the flow of supplies towards Sanok remains open. That said, our forces are pushing back, both in the Lwow area and in the Stanislawow area. Overall things in the South are also going in a positive direction now.
A naval blockade around Norway will soon be complete. The current plan is to starve German troops in Norway of supplies, for a month or two, before attempting an amphibious operation in the Narvik Area. Once Narvik is in our hands, and the area to it's North is mopped up, a land offensive towards the South can proceed. A single corps of Mountain rifles will soon be available for such an operation. If the main front moves in a favourable direction, reserves could be pulled out of Tallinn for a second landing in the Oslo area.
In the Aegean, the appearance of more Axis paratroopers is making the Red Navy nervous, and the it's plan to first take the Axis-held Islands to the South, and East, of Greece before going into the Balkans is being seriously considered. A corps of Mountain rifles is available for this kind of operation. The Italian Navy is a shadow of it's former self, and our analysts believe that any force they could send out would easily be kept at bay by our Carrier Fleet, if it isn't intercepted by the Royal Navy first.

As always, your input is valued,

Greetings,

'Odin'

OOC: I took time to set up all new templates in an attempt to make things more visual, and digestible. Don't be shy in giving your opinion on the new visuals, I do want them to be as easily understandable as possible.
 
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Bullfilter

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General Markkur, in person."
Ah, a reminder of our old friend.
colloquially referred to as 'the tallest building in Moscow', not because of it's height, but because one could see 'Siberia' from it's basement.
I hadn’t heard that one before. Grimly amusing - at a distance. :eek:
Not one step back
That’s the spirit: Uncle Joe would be pleased.
Slovak aeroplanes.
Gosh! I take it their defeat was inevitable. :D
Net progress made over the first 50 days of the GPW. Germany has pushed into the Soviet Union, mostly in the North, but they have paid a heavy toll.
The Germans are thrashing around but not making the ground they need to. They are doomed to be turned into mincemeat in the grinder.

A lot of work in those new graphics. Very impressive.
 
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nuclearslurpee

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New graphics! :D

They do look very professional and detailed, clearly a lot of effort has gone into these and the result is some very high quality, probably enough to delay @Wraith11B 's next AAR update another two months as he seeks to out-do you. ;)

That being said, they are rather busy for my taste and even a bit confusing I'd venture to say. Some of the information e.g. total casualty counts or divisions participating in a battle might be better presented in the form of a simple table, I think (which of course could be a dressy graphic or a plain old rows-n-columns deal). I'm also personally a fan of presenting the overall strategic picture maps first for context, then zooming into the specific battle events of the session (which could be numbered or annotated on the "main" map - or maps, as one map for the whole front may be too detailed) in following sections of the report. Finally, I'd personally find putting some color back into the map (especially in faded-out areas) easier to follow, it's easier to tell the shape of the front, especially locally, at a glance if there is a color guide the terrain mapmode used here is just white everywhere and not easy to read.

The 50-days map at the end is IMO the best map in the update (separate from the casualty graphic which is more confusing). Maybe something like that could be the basis for the opening map, with the progress of the last 10 days added on along the front?
 
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roverS3

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Ah, a reminder of our old friend.
Yes, he lives on as an American master spy. This definitely isn't the last you'll hear from him.

I hadn’t heard that one before. Grimly amusing - at a distance. :eek:
That last part is essential, or you might end up becoming part of the view.

That’s the spirit: Uncle Joe would be pleased.
Do I smell a promotion for MajGen. Kazakov

Gosh! I take it their defeat was inevitable. :D
Yes, it was indeed. The A.204 was designed as an airliner in 1936, but no airlines ever ordered any, so to save face, the Aero company hastily made it into a bomber, the A.304, and convinced the Czechoslovak Air Force to buy it. Of course it looks, and is, an A.204 with some guns and bombs tacked on as a afterthought. Not good enough for the Airlines, but good enough for the Air Force...

The Germans are thrashing around but not making the ground they need to. They are doomed to be turned into mincemeat in the grinder.
The situation remains tense, but it does look like that's what's going to happen.

A lot of work in those new graphics. Very impressive.
New graphics! :D

They do look very professional and detailed, clearly a lot of effort has gone into these and the result is some very high quality, probably enough to delay @Wraith11B 's next AAR update another two months as he seeks to out-do you. ;)
I had some time during the Easter holiday to experiment with vectored graphics, basically just messing around to see what I could do with my software and the HOI3 maps.

That being said, they are rather busy for my taste and even a bit confusing I'd venture to say. Some of the information e.g. total casualty counts or divisions participating in a battle might be better presented in the form of a simple table, I think (which of course could be a dressy graphic or a plain old rows-n-columns deal). I'm also personally a fan of presenting the overall strategic picture maps first for context, then zooming into the specific battle events of the session (which could be numbered or annotated on the "main" map - or maps, as one map for the whole front may be too detailed) in following sections of the report. Finally, I'd personally find putting some color back into the map (especially in faded-out areas) easier to follow, it's easier to tell the shape of the front, especially locally, at a glance if there is a color guide the terrain mapmode used here is just white everywhere and not easy to read.
I did throw a lot of different ideas into the graphics, so i'm not surprised some people find them to be busy. I'll add a legend to make things less confusing. I was hesitant whether to place casualty counts and the Divisions within the map or below it, below it is actually less effort, so I might take you up on that. The issue with putting colour back into the map is that it tends to interfere with the visibility of the coloured arrows, but I'll see what I can do. Maybe I can put the colour around the arrows.

The 50-days map at the end is IMO the best map in the update (separate from the casualty graphic which is more confusing). Maybe something like that could be the basis for the opening map, with the progress of the last 10 days added on along the front?
Yes, now that I have made the 50-day map, it will be relatively easy to expand it with the next 10 days in mind. I was already planning on doing that. I was, however, inclined to place it at the end. An overview at the beginning does make sense. I have to see about how I could separate the sectors on it. I'm sure it could be done in an aesthetically pleasing way.

I could probably have spent even more time tinkering with the graphics but I felt like this version was good enough to convey the needed information, and that it would garner some feedback. I haven't been disappointed. I would like to note that my tinkering has expanded my knowledge of the possibilities of Inkscape, the vector graphics software I use, some of what I learned has already been applied within my studies last week. I find that I'm more inclined to take my time to experiment when i'm not under pressure and I don't have a deadline... With this AAR, I have a reason (or an excuse) to do so, it's win-win really.
 
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Wraith11B

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I could probably have spent even more time tinkering with the graphics but I felt like this version was good enough to convey the needed information, and that it would garner some feedback. I haven't been disappointed. I would like to note that my tinkering has expanded my knowledge of the possibilities of Inkscape, the vector graphics software I use, some of what I learned has already been applied within my studies last week. I find that I'm more inclined to take my time to experiment when i'm not under pressure and I don't have a deadline... With this AAR, I have a reason (or an excuse) to do so, it's win-win really.
The true test of understanding is if you can teach others what you have already learned... to that end, I would not mind being a pupil again! ;)
 
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El Pip

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An impressive piece of work as always and my friend and colleague @nuclearslurpee has got in first with the constructive advice on the graphics, so I will not repeat him.

Mountbatten clarified that two Royal Navy fleets were closing in, and asked the Soviet Rear Admiral how he wanted to handle the encounter.​
I am sure this is absolutely how the encounter went rather than, as the decadent Western capitalists would suggest, the Royal Navy telling our submarines to get out of the way because they were a liability and all our good naval officers have been purged. I am certain that our sub captains were not engaged in their usual struggle to stop the Leninets subs capsizing just because someone looked at it funny, but were actually contributing to the fight. ;)

Random Soviet sub fact - the Soviet Black Sea submarine fleet 'accidentally' sunk more Turkish vessels than Axis merchants during WW2.

Yes, he lives on as an American master spy. This definitely isn't the last you'll hear from him.
I am, of course, rooting for him to triumph over Odinatsat. I am fully aware this is a doomed hope.
 
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Finshades

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I, for one, like the new graphics. The 50-day total is just gorgeous, but the smaller maps are quite the improvement, I feel. Breaking the front into small sections makes it much easier to follow along as opposed to having 30 or so fights represented on one map. The graphics look pretty clean and crisp to me, though I'd like to see a little clearer expression of areas taken. The "frontline now vs frontline then" is simple enough, but is kind of drowned out by everything else going on. I'm not sure what the solution would be there. The casualty counts are fine graphics-wise, imo. As a point of discussion, I thought the old maps were a lot busier. The smaller size and clearer markings make it far easier to read and collate with the text.

As to actual progress at the front, it is heartening to see our brave troops push the enemy back, even if only locally for now. Can't believe it's only been 50 days since the first shots were fired. Casualty counts still in our favour is also great to see. Our air force, in particular, has been working overtime from day 1. Shame we couldn't encircle and destroy those units in Lithuania, but giving them a trashing is still a point in our favour. And who knows what those Americans are up to! Intrigue everywhere. Perhaps the Americans are already plotting the next world war?
 
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Wraith11B

Call Kenny Loggins, you're in the DANGER ZONE...
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I guess I must have opened this and didn't wind up reading the update and thus missed the new graphics. My first reaction was an unabashedly impressed "Wow!"

As to improvements, perhaps if several divisions have the same TO&E, then just showing the one with a list of the divisions so equipped would be better to minimize duplication of effort. Most clearly: Hungary Sector 1 has 7-8 divisions on both sides that all share the same TO&E graphic, probably best to "merge" them (as an example, see how I did the Italian and Japanese forces in the last TO&E update).
 
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