• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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C A U T I O N ***Screenshot heavy post *** SCREENSHOT HEAVY POST *** Screenshot heavy post *** C A U T I O N

Goal:

This alternative-history AAR is designed to show how making custom scenarios in HOI3 creates unlimited possibilities.


What's Different?

Anyone who has played the HOI3 Barbarossa scenario as the Germans will immediately notice there's one thing missing, TANKS! Where are all the panzer divisions? So, to create a more historical scenario it was necessary to start a game as Germany in 1936, then slowly build-up the panzer force that blitzed Poland in '39 and France in '40. Ultimately this became the army that would face the Soviets in '41.


What's New? -- Contextual Story Mapping.

Those of you (in the USA) who've seen the Battleground series on the Military Channel will immediately recognize the format. Briefly, the action segment of the program is thoroughly prefaced with background information on the history, politics, technology, and strategy of both sides. In presenting both points of view the program takes on a more neutral, unbiased character, thus cutting through the usual perceptions.

It's important for the war-gamer to take a step back and examine the true underlying cause of the conflict so to better understand the objectives.

NOTE: While this AAR does not use any cheats, although it was necessary at the outset to look behind the lines to map the Soviet order of battle. In the real world German intelligence could only guess at the exact numbers of the opposition, but they probably had about as much information as we do at the start of this conflict. In any event, this snapshot is of no real use once the declaration of war is announced.


Game Spec:

HOI3 v1.2 Germany; '36 The Road to War; Hard, all manual control (with notable exceptions). This was a vanilla game and did not employ any mods or cheats. Saves were bi-monthly and yearly. Run on AMD Athlon 64x2 Dual Core Processor 4800+964MHz 1.00GB RAM; XP Pro v2002 SP3.


Preamble:

The German campaign versus Soviet Union is something of a paradox (no pun intended) inasmuch that Germany had little to gain and so much to loose in a two-front War. Historians are now coming to believe that the conflict with the Soviets was just as inevitable as the resumption of war with France and England following the Armistice of 1918.

Stripping away the propaganda for the moment, one must admit that without the intervention of the United States in 1942 the Soviets were in serious trouble. True, there may have been a hard fought victory at Stalingrad, but Kursk would have been completely a different affair. Also, without America's participation the British could never have maintained the kind of strategic bombing campaign that kept Germany from mustering the full weight of its industrial might against the Soviet Union.

In this regard HOI3 is technically accurate, and makes a good choice for a “what-if” scenario. For instance, what may have happend if Germany never consummated the military alliance with Italy? If precious German divisions were never siphoned off to Greece, Yugoslavia, and North Africa, how would that have changed the balance of power on the Eastern Front? Perhaps now we may now find out.
 
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Profile: General Hans Guderian

17HansGuderian.jpg

Heinz Wilhelm Guderian (17 June 1888 – 14 May 1954) was a military theorist and innovative General of the German Army during the Second World War. Germany's panzer forces were raised and fought according to his works, best-known among them Achtung - Panzer!. He held posts as Panzer Corps commander, Panzer Army commander, Inspector-General of Armoured Troops, and Chief of Staff of the Army (Chef des Generalstabs des Heeres). He rose to the rank of full general (General der Panzertruppe) in July 1940 and was later promoted to Generaloberst. He later also became general chief of staff.
 

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Battleground

Origins of the Conflict:

Germany and Russia in Eastern Europe.


02%20NapoleonsRussianCampaign.jpg


Following the defeat of the Grande Arm'ee in 1812 Russia exerted its influence throughout the European continent, and especially over the region of former Poland which was in its strategic interest. Russia continued the alliance with Britain, and strove to redraw the European map to maintain its hegemony.

Historical: http://entomology.montana.edu/historybug/napoleon/typhus_russia.htm

Napoleon had conquered much of Europe, setting up a rather weak Dutchy of Warsaw, and an even stronger nation of Prussia. After Napoleon's disasters defeat Prussia changed sides, coming to the aid of Britain at the battle of Waterloo. Over the next century Prussia continued to exert greater influence in central Europe, and reaffirmed its supremacy during the Franco-Prussian war .

Historical: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/russia_and_world_war_one.htm


03%20RussianRetreatWWI.jpg


In World War I a unified Germany defeated Russia and knocked it out of the war without ever having marched on Moscow. German divisions were then released from duty in the east, and the combined army dealt severe blows upon France and its ally Great Britain. However, German leadership never successfully implemented a civilian rationing program, and as a result the nation slowly starved to the point where it had no choice but to submit to a humiliating armistice.


04%20TreatyofVersailles.jpg


Following WWI the allies again re-drew the maps of Europe, and in the absence of Russian influence created a strong and unified Poland. During the inter-war period tensions rose in Germany, where many blamed the leadership, and rightfully so, for their defeat. In Russia, the communist revolution lead to a highly xenophobic totalitarian state; the Soviet Union. The lack of influence in European affairs drove the Commentern further into isolation and out of the sphere of influence of her traditional allies, Great Britain and France.

The German government eventually turned to fascism to solve many of its infrastructure problems. In turn, the fascist regime began to exert stronger political influence on central Europe, leading to an expansionist policy that reclaimed Alsace-Lorain and took over Austria along with most of western Czechoslovakia.

Poland's control of the port of Danzig sliced the border between Germany and the former Prussia. In order to reclaim this territory Germany first needed a pact with the Commentern, wherein the state of Poland would be divided between the two. Seeing an opportunity to expand their influence in central Europe the Soviets readily agreed. Thus the Soviet Union stood by and did nothing when Germany declared war on Poland. Following Poland's defeat Germany's army moved West for the final showdown with France and Great Britain. While the German's were preoccupied the Soviets seized the Baltic states of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, making them the latest states in the Commentern.

Historical: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/blitzkrieg.htm


05%20GermanArmorArdens1940.jpg


This time around Germany's war in the West was most successful as their army's made short work of Belgium and the Netherlands before invading France itself. Despite determined resistance by French, British, and Spanish forces, German army's prevailed. This time around France was forced into an armistice. The new French government was removed to the town of Vichy as the war with Great Britain continued, and for the time being Paris, and the western French coast were to remain in German hands.

Following the fall of France Germanny concluded the convflict in Spain, which was still bitterly divided between Nationalists and Republicans. After the fall of Spain Germany gained complete control of the straights of Gibraltar, effectively severing Britain's ties with their mid-east possessions.


08%20VichyFrance.jpg


Great Britain held the upper hand in the air over the English Channel, and their navy still badly outnumbered Germany's. Since invasion was out of the question, Germany began to wage a strategic war aimed at starving Britain into submission. To this end Germany began full scale production of long-range submarines, anti-shipping aircraft, and strategic bombers.


06%20BattleOfBritain.jpg


Italy was part of the Alliance in WWI, but during the inter-war period turned to fascism to resolve their many internal problems. While idealistically alined to Germany, the Italians adroitly stayed out of the fighting, instead seeking an independent alliance with Bulgaria. After the fall of Gibraltar, British power in the Mediterranean waned, allowing Italy and Bulgaria to wage war on Greece, splitting the spoils between them.

The remaining Eastern European countries of Hungary and Romania were immediately threatened by Soviet expansionism. Hungary agreed to an alliance with Germany for its immediate protection, but Romania remained on the fence using diplomacy to create a careful balance between facism and communism.

With the war in the West fairly contained, Germany once again turned its attention to the Soviets, who's massive army was arrayed on their eastern boarder in Poland and the former Baltic States. Just as in Napoleon's day, the latter-day Russians refused to cooperate with the embargo of Great Britain, and German leadership foresaw disastrous consequences if the Soviet Union were to align with the Allies.

For their part, the Soviet Union had no intention of relinquishing their Eastern European possessions ever again, and actively sought to undermine German influence in the region. If the Soviets were able to secure a second flank against Germany as they attempted to do in WWI, the outcome of the next war would be decidedly different.


Historical: http://www.ihr.org/jhr/v18/v18n3p40_Michaels.html


A greater Germany was now the dominant power in Europe, but its hegemony was being overshadowed by the strong Soviet presence. It was time again to redraw the map of Eastern Europe, and put the Soviets in their place. Germany's army's, fresh from major victories in the West, were now shifted to the Eastern front in preparation for a renewed war with the Commentern. Time was of the essence. A surprise attack and lightning campaign would quickly dissipate Commentern gains, and force the Soviets to accept peace on German terms once again.

This was the origin of Operation Barbarossa—the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
 
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The leaders

THE LEADERS

Germany:


Adolf Hitler, Chancellor of Germany.

05%20Hitler.jpg


Hitler rose to power in the weak democratic republic of Germany during economic crisis of the early 1930s. Quickly aligning himself with industrial and military interests, he brought the nation back from the brink of total collapse and anarchy. The success of his generals and German technological prowess in the wars with Western powers made him supremely confident that he could prevail against all odds in a conflict with the Commentern.


Field Marshall Albert Kesselring: Commander Eastern Front.

13%20Kesselring.jpg


A WW1 veteran (artillery regiment cadet and later balloon observer) who transferred to the Luftwaffe in 1933. In 1936, he became a member of the general staff at the Luftwaffe. During the first years of WW2, Kesselring commanded air units during the Polish and French Campaigns. He also played active roles in the Battle of Britain. In 1941, his command broadened to include land forces.




Soviet Union:

Joseph Stalin, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee.

18%20Stalin.jpg



Stalin's increasing control of the Party from 1928 onwards led to him becoming the de facto party leader and the dictator of his country. Stalin became General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party in 1922. and following the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924, he prevailed in a power struggle over Leon Trotsky. In the 1930s Stalin initiated the Great Purge, a campaign of political repression, persecution and executions that reached its peak in 1937.



Marshall Semyon Timoshenko, Commissar of Defense of the Soviet Union.

20%20Timoshenko.jpg



Timoshenko was drafted in 1915 into the czarist army. After the Russian Revolution, he fought with the Red Army cavalry in the civil war and attained the rank of division commander. In 1940 he was a commander in the Russo-Finnish War, and for his noteworthy services gained the rank of marshal.



Hungary

Miklos Horthy de Nagybanya, Regent of Hungary.

23%20Horthy.jpg


Served as an aide-de-camp to the Emperor, Franz Josef, prior to the First World War. With the disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian empire Horthy returned to Hungary, where he successfully led an uprising against the Communist government of Bela Kun. His forces entered Budapest in November 1919. Throughout the inter-war period Horthy headed a conservative regime which was set against social reform. Horthy's foreign policy centred on the revision of the post-World War I settlement which had created large Hungarian minorities in Romania and Czechoslovakia. By the First Vienna Award of November 1938 he gained the Hungarian-inhabited areas of Czechoslovakia, and in 1940 he obtained most of Transylvania from Romania. In November 1940 Hungary joined the Axis side in the Second World War.
 
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Wel, lets see how you do vs the USSR, you know that the amout of german armoured divisions when they attacked russia was doubled before the start. But no one knew where to get any additional tanks from so the strength of a panzer divisions tanks was effectivly halved.
Other than that I am really looking forward to this one as I love 'Hurrying' Heinz Guderian.
 

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Interesting period

**Burds** You are right. In researching the historical the German's had a good number of panzers. But, the Soviets had the numbers on their side, as well as some surprises in store. As far as the game iteself, it's a good platform and the vision is there, but at present it seems to suffer from adequate resourcing on the development side of things. As users, we need to keep the faith, and continue to talk about what keeps us coming back to play.
 
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Armed forces

ARMED FORCES


Germany

Wehrmacht: At the outset of Operation Barbarossa Germany had sixty divisions on the Eastern Front. These divisions are largely the same forces that stormed through Poland, France and Spain. The basic infantry corps consisted of four infantry divisions and one light tank division. A typical panzer corps had one division of medium tanks, two divisions of light tanks, and two divisions of motorized infantry.


03%20G%20Inf%20Corps.jpg


Standard German infantry divisions with artillery brigade were designed to deliver massive soft damage. The motorized division gives up a little punching power in exchange for maneuverability (provided by an engineer brigade) and boast 20% lower softness. The panzer support division has the speed to fill any need, and a combat width of 4 designed to complement two infantry divisions in a standard 10-width front. Twin tank destroyer brigades insure that the infantry corps were prepared for any eventuality.


03%20G%20Pz%20Corps.jpg


Panzer scout divisions are designed to speed through openings in enemy lines. They also have twin armored car brigades for added toughness and combined arms attack. Medium panzer divisions have superb hard attack and hardness. Recognizing the need for heavy support of slower moving infantry, Germany began developing the first heavy tanks of the war. These formations would be supported by armored cars for combined arms attack, while a brigade of engineers help speed their movement over rivers. Performance of the first heavy's was not up to spec, and production delays kept them from the fighting at the outset of Barbarossa.


03%20G%20Misc%20Div.jpg


Germany also began organizing paratroop formations to secure forward air bases. These bases would supply the fast-moving panzer formations should they become cut-off from the main force. Paratroops had good soft attack , defensiveness, and toughness. Rounding out the rest of the army were guard units and militia. Guard units were designed for rear eschelon air attack and air defence, while militia units had excellent hard attack.


Luftwaffe: Most all air units saw action in Poland, France, and the battle of Britain. Germany assigned four wings of dive bombers and ten wings of medium bombers for Barbarossa. Providing air cover, a further ten wings of fighters were available at the outset. Once the Soviet air force was annihilated these units were expected to return to the Western Front.

03%20G%20Air.jpg


Fast German interceptors were designed for short to medium range intercept. Their multi-role cousins were equipped with radar for accurate intercept in escort roles. Naval bombers from the Western front were available for anti-shipping tasks as needed. Tactical bombers specialized in soft attack had excellent range, but required escort. The close air support bombers were designed for limited hard attack (tank busting) role, they too had to be escorted. Transport planes had very good range, but it was essential they be escorted by multi-role aircraft. Strategic bombers were not available at the outset, but were well into production. These bombers had excellent range, did tremendous damage to ground installations, and had excellent air defences so they did not require escort.


Soviet Union

From the outset of the war the Comentern had some one-hundred and eighty-eight divisions in the general eastern European theatre, outnumbering the Germans by over two-to-one. Of these, 130 were standard infantry divisions. The basic infantry corps consisted of four infantry divisions, although the Soviets generally preferred to bypass the corps formation and attach divisions directly to Army HQ(s). A typical motorized corps generally had one division of medium tanks, one division of light tanks, and two motorized divisions. Mountain divisions, specializing in travel over rough terrain, were sometimes substituted for infantry divisions.


03%20R%20Inf%20Corps.jpg


Comentern rifle divisions specialized in soft attack. Motorized divisions give up little in soft attack, while gaining a thirty percent reduction in overall softness. Mountain troops have the best toughness numbers, as well as exceptional air defence. All Comentern infantry formations have very good defensiveness and toughness.


03%20R%20Pz%20Corps.jpg


Motorized infantry divisions have enough speed to match their armor counterpart(s). These formations also included light tanks, permitting a combined arms attack when fighing on their own. Medium tank divisions are exceptionally tough, and they too had a motorized infantry component to enable the combined arms attack. Light cavalry units were supported by armored cars, reducing their softness and giving them a hard attack component. Cavalary formations presented a small front, allowing them to fit into almost any combat situation.


AIR FORCE: The Soviet air forces numbered twenty wings of fighters and a further eight wings of medium bombers.


03%20R%20Air.jpg


Soviet interceptors had good air attack and good speed. The tactical bombers formations have very good soft attack capacity and good range. Close air support aircraft were not available at the outset of the conflict.


Hungary:

ARMY: The Hungarian army consisted of 18 divisions of infantry at the onset of the war. This army possessed enough in the way of reserves for a sustained defensive campaign on a narrow front.


03%20H%20Inf%20Corps.jpg


Hungarian infantry had good toughness. The cavalry formations had no hard attack ability and thus were never deployed.


AIR FORCE: The Hungarian air force consisted of six wings of medium bombers of the pre-war type obtained from Germany. Hungary also had three wings of interceptors, these of the inter-war biplane variety.


03%20H%20Air.jpg


Hungarian interceptors had enough air attack capability to face enemy bombers, but were too slow to engage modern inerceptors. Tactical bombers had good soft attack ability, but less than optimal range.
 
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Interesting concept.

NB: Your image of Der Spiegel in post #5 includes a swastika in the background. Please remove it.
 

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Edits complete

**Tskb18** Yes sir, General, sir.

**stnylan**, Compulsive CommentatAAR, Moderator. No problem. I understand this is an internationally viewed site, and will comply.
 

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Many thanks :)
 

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Why do you give up the Combined arms bonus for your LArm Divisions(those with the 2 TD brigades)?
 

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Light Panzers in Infantry Corps formation

**Obermotz** The light panzers + tank destroyers are used for infantry support and not designed to operate on their own. The order of battle is yet to be posted, but those light panzer formations are attached to infantry corps. When infantry formations run into panzers these units rush to their aid.

Briefly, combined-arms are for units operating independently on the attack. Formations in this scenerio are all designed for a particular need (speed, soft attack, etc.), and then stacked to achieved the desired affect. For example, medium panzers always combine with motorized infantry at the point of attack. We'll get into this again in future action segments.
 
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THE WEAPONS (pt 1)

THE WEAPONS

Germany


INFANTRY:

10%20G%20Inf.jpg


German soldiers were some of the best trained in the world. They were equipped with a variety of weapons from light machine guns to light artillery.

10%20G%20Inf%202.jpg


German units were generally very experienced from prior campaigns, and their equipment were up to 1938 standards or better. All units were trained in mountain warfare. Motorized units used 1937 command structure and mechanized offensive doctrines. Special engineer battalions attached to motorized divisions were used to assault fortresses in addition to their usual role of bridging waterways.


ARTILLERY

11%20G%20Art.jpg


German artillery were some of the best in the world, the designs having been proven in combat in the first world war. The 76mm Model 1920 and 155 mm howitzer were both approved for use under the Versailles Treaty.

11%20G%20Art%202.jpg


These units were also very experienced from prior campaigns, and their equipment were up to 1938 standards. These forces could be concentrated and coordinated with infantry or tanks for special break-through assaults.


ARMORED CARS

10%20G%20AC.jpg


The Schwerer Panzerspähwagen vehicles were armored vehicles produced since 1932. The six-wheeled SdKfz. 231 vehicles were produced until 1937, when the eight-wheeled SdKfz. 232 8-rad design was placed in production. In early European War, they served in reconnaissance units with the German Army in Poland and France, but they saw a considerable amount of combat as Germany's armored forces were still relatively weak.

10%20G%20AC%202.jpg


The armored cars of this campaign were of the latest 1940 models. These units were versed in the blitzkrieg (breakthrough) and schwerpunkt (force concentration) doctrines.


LIGHT PANZERS

10%20G%20Lpz.jpg


The light tank model LT vz 35 initially appearing with Czech Army forces in the mid-1930's. Designated Panzer 38(t) light tanks were used by the German Army during the invasions of Poland in 1939 and France in 1940. Battle experiences revealed they were better armed than the comparable Panzer I and Panzer II light tanks. Armament of the LT vz 35 consisted of a 37mm main gun. Reliable and well armored, these were the backbone of the panzer corps.

10%20G%20Lpz%202.jpg


German light panzers were continually modified, and at the start of the eastern campaign they were up to 1940 standards.


MEDIUM PANZER

10%20G%20Mpz.jpg


Panzerkamphfwagen III*; 1938 model medium tank. On January 11, 1934, following specifications laid down by Heinz Guderian, the Army Weapons Department drew up plans for a medium tank with a top speed of 35 kilometres per hour (21.75 mph). It was intended as the main tank of the German Panzer divisions, capable of engaging and destroying opposing tank forces. Iin the initial design stage a 50-millimetre (1.97 in) cannon was specified. However, infantry at the time were being equipped with the 37-millimetre (1.46 in) PaK 36, and it was thought the tanks should carry the same armament. As a compromise, the turret ring was made large enough to accommodate a 50-millimetre (1.97 in) cannon should a future upgrade be required. This single decision would later assure the Panzer III a prolonged life in the German army. The Panzer III Ausf. A through C had 15 millimetres (0.59 in) of homogeneous steel armor on all sides, but this was quickly determined to be insufficient, and was upgraded to 30 millimetres (1.18 in) on the front, sides and rear.

10%20G%20Mpz%202.jpg


The Panzer III was still the German's main battle tank at the outset of Barbarossa. Panzer units were trained in both blitzkrieg and schwerpunkt (force concentration) tactics. Once again, most panzer units had highly experienced crews.


TANK DESTROYER

11%20G%20PzDest.jpg



Panzer 1938 model tank destroyer. Originally based on Panzer III chassis with 37Mm Pak anti-tank self-propelled gun.

11%20G%20PzDest%202.jpg


Panzer Tank Destroyer had 50mm of armor, giving up the flexability of a turret for added protection. Anti-tank units were also trained in both blitzkrieg and schwerpunkt (force concentration) tactics.


AIRCRAFT


INTERCEPTORS

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Interceptor/Fighter: Messerschmitt BF-109F Gustav. The Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a German World War II fighter aircraft designed by Willy Messerschmitt in the early 1930s. It was one of the first true modern fighters of the era, including such features as and inverted “V” piston engine, an all-metal construction, closed canopy, and retractable landing gear. Two 13 mm machine guns, one hub-firing 20 mm cannon and, two 20mm cannon in underwing pods. Originally conceived as an interceptor, later models were developed to fulfill multiple tasks, serving as bomber escort, fighter bomber, day-, night- all-weather fighter, bomber destroyer, ground-attack aircraft, and as reconnaissance aircraft. The Bf 109E-3, which entered production in late 1939, was the standard Luftwaffe at the time of the "Battle of Britain". Model G-2/R1: had one 300 L (80 US gal) drop tank beneath each wing, plus an ETC bomb rack under the fuselage, capable of carrying a 500 kg (1,100 lb) bomb and an auxiliary undercarriage unit beneath the fuselage.


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German fighter and ground crews were trained to 1940 specs. The aircraft had 1939 spec engines and fuel tanks. Multi-role versions also had model 1940 search radar.


MEDIUM BOMBER

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The Heinkel He 111 was a German aircraft designed by Siegfried and Walter Günter. Often described as a "Wolf in sheep's clothing",it was presented as a transport aircraft, but backed by the Luftwaffe as a fast medium bomber. Perhaps the best-recognized German bomber due to its distinctive "greenhouse" nose, the Heinkel was the most numerous and the primary Luftwaffe bomber during the early stages of World War II. It fared well until the Battle of Britain, when its weak defensive armament, speed and maneuverability left it exposed. Nevertheless it proved capable of sustaining heavy damage and remaining airborne.

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German bomber crews in the air and on the ground were trained to the latest standards, and were highly experienced. The aircraft were equipped with the latest model 1939 engines and fuel tanks.


TACTICAL BOMBER

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The Junkers Ju 87 or Stuka (from Sturzkampfflugzeug, "dive bomber") was a two-seat (pilot and rear gunner) German ground-attack aircraft. Designed by Hermann Pohlmann, the Stuka first flew in 1935 and made its combat debut in 1936 as part of the Luftwaffe's Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War. The Stuka's design included several innovative features, including automatic pull-up dive brakes under both wings to ensure that the plane recovered from its attack dive even if the pilot blacked out from the high acceleration. Although sturdy, accurate, and very effective, the Ju 87 was vulnerable to modern fighter aircraft, like many other dive bombers of the war. Its flaws became apparent during the Battle of Britain; poor maneuverability, lack of speed and defensive armament meant that the Stuka required a fighter escort to operate effectively.


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German close air support air and ground crews were trained to the latest standards, and were highly experienced. The aircraft were equipped with the latest model 1939 engines and fuel tanks.


AIR TRANSPORT

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Junkers Ju 52/3mge The Ju 52 first saw military service in the Spanish Civil War, as both a bomber and transport aircraft. No more of the bomber variant were built after this war, though it was again used as a bomber during the bombing of Warsaw during the Invasion of Poland in September of 1939. Lightly armed, and with a top speed of only 265 km/h (165 mph) – half that of a contemporary Spitfire – the Ju 52 was very vulnerable to fighter attack and an escort was always necessary when flying in a combat zone.

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German transport air and ground crews were trained to the latest standards. The aircraft were equipped with the latest model 1939 engines and fuel tanks.
 
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stnylan

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Well, the Germans seem well prepared. And the Russians?
 

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Russians are coming

**stnylan** They're next. ;) (20 image limit)
 

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THE WEAPONS (pt 2)

THE WEAPONS (CONT.)

Soviet Union


INFANTRY


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Soviet infantry were largely recruits with only essential training. They were, however, well equipped with a wide variety of weapons from light machine guns to light artillery.


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Soviet equipment were advanced to 1941 standards except light artillery, which was 1938 standard. All units were trained in mountain, desert, arctic, and jungle fighting. Motorized units used 1918 tactical command structure. Mountain troops used the special forces doctrine of 1918.


ARTILLERY


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In the same 5 year plan that took up the development and production of new artillery types provision was made for the upgrading of the large numbers of old pre-1917 acquired weapons. Many Soviet artillery systems were thus improved around 1930, which one can deduct from their new designations that had /30 added to their original model year. These include: 76,2mm Model 02 L30 field gun, had a new carriage (open like the German Lafette) to provide better elevation, new ammo and in some cases a new barrel (40 cal long). The last ones became the 76,2mm M02/30 L40. 107mm 1910/30 L38 gun (Putilow after Schneider). Received new longer barrel. 122mm 1910/30 howitzer L12,8 (Schneider 10S), carriage adapted to higher elevation 152mm 1910/30 field gun (Schneider), new carriage, re-lined barrels and fitted with muzzle breaks among other things, with two type of carriages - for horse and tractor towing. 152mm howitzer 1909/30 (Putilow), hardly changed. 152mm 1910/30 (Schneider) received new carriage, fitted with hard rubber tires.

The Soviet AI did not deploy any artillery with the forces on the European Front.


ARMORED CARS


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By 1935, the GAZ factory mastered the production of the domestic three-axle automobile GAZ-AAA. The Izhorskij factory quickly developed a new BA-6 armored car based on this automobile. The hull, turret, and the location of ammunition, joints and equipment were essentially unchanged from those of its predecessor. The only visual distinction that identified the new car was the absence of a rear door, rear observation windows and a running board in the rear part of the hull. Also, the rear track increased to 1600 mm (for BA-3 it was 1585 mm); the distance between the front axle and the center of the suspension decreased to 3200 mm (vs. 3220 of BA-3); the distance between the rear axles was shorted as well, from 1016 mm (for the BA-3) to 940 mm. The new armored car was the first to use bullet resistant tires GK (porous inner tube), filled with porous rubber.


The Soviet AI did not deploy any armored cars with the forces on the European Front.


CAVALARY


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Russian cavalry was deployed in a number of fashions. The porous nature of large parts of the Eastern Front made raiding a viable option. Early in the war, cavalry was most often used as mobile infantry. Later in the war, as more tanks and trucks became available, cavalry was reorganized into cavalry-mechanized groups. These groups would constitute a small army with one or two cavalry corps and a mechanized or tank corps. The cavalry corps in these groups provided mobile infantry to open holes in the front for the mechanized or tank corps to exploit.


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Soviet cavalry had 1938 model small arms and light artillery. At the outset of Barbarossa they still operated on a model 1918 command structure.


LIGHT TANKS


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Soviet light tank model T-26 derives of a foreign model bought during the first five-year plan of equipment of Red Army. As an infantry support weapon, the T-26 quickly become the most important of the Red Army and influenced many posterior projects. The original armor of 15mm was not thick enough to withstand heavy weapon fire, and its engine not very powerful. Between 1931 and 1943 T-26 was modified 26 times, but engine output changed only from 90 hp to 97 hp.


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The Soviet light tanks at the start of Barbarossa were still in the process of upgrading from 1936 model to the latest 1939 model. They were used primarily for infantry support and had no special armored doctrines.


MEDIUM TANK


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On June 13, 1940, president of the Security Council S.Timoshenko referred to Central Committee of the Communist Party and SNK USSR the report "...about insufficient power of the armament of existing KV and T-34 tanks, and about other prospective tank projects". In December of that year mass production of the new 76.2 mm T-34 tank was begun. The T34/76A used a Christie-type suspension, and the 28-ton vehicle had a crew of four with a top speed over 30 mph. Sloped armor made it extreemly robust, and devoid of any frills it was easily mass produced. This vehicle design would prove to be the best in the world at the time.


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Soviet medium tanks model 1938 came with sloped armor that greatly increased its defensive posture without adding additional weight. These too were used primarily for infantry support and had no special armored doctrines.


INTERCEPTOR


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Interceptor: LaGG-3 The fighter LaGG-3 was designed under the direction of a triumvirate of designers: Lavochkin, Gorbunov and Gudkov. The prototype I-301 left on tests in March, 1940. Distinctive feature of design I-301 was broad application of the wood. Metal was used only where it was impossible to do without it (e.g. steel monoframe, motor cowling, etc.). Such approach to designing was compelled due to a scarcity of aluminium. Other distinctive features consist of unusually high-power guns of 23 mm, two synchronous large-caliber machine guns, and two small caliber guns as well. I-301 has passed tests as a whole successfully, however the high-power arms and the big reserve of fuel for range of 1000 kms made the craft too heavy for the power of the engine.


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Soviet interceptor pilots were still using 1918 tactics. Ground crews also were very rudimentary, so that once damaged the aircraft were slow to repair.


MEDIUM BOMBER


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Soviet medium bomber was the Ilyushin Il4 The original 1935 prototype of this low-wing twin-engine bomber was designated the TsKB-26. In 1938 a new version (DB-3) was developed with a totally new, easily-built airframe and equipped with two 765 hp engines but these were soon replaced with two 960 hp engines. In the process the appearance of the design was completely changed, the nose more streamlined with a large glazed area and nose turret replaced by a swivel gun mounting. Trials were completed successfully in June 1939 and by the end of that year the type was readied for production. This new version was later redesignated Il-4 when delivered in quantity to the bomber regiments of the long-range air arm, the ADD. The airplane had a tough and simple design but suffered from a poor defensive mechanism of a single nose, dorsal and ventral 7.62mm guns. The nose section offered good visibility that helped its cause. Crew accommodated four personnel, and it could carry 2,205 pounds of bombs The ventral machine-gun ring was later replaced by a more complex semi-retractable mount.


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Soviet bomber pilots were still using 1918 tactics. Ground crews also were very rudimentary, so that once damaged the aircraft were slow to repair.
 
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THE WEAPONS (pt 3)

THE WEAPONS (cont)

Hungary

INFANTRY


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Main mode of transport were bicycles and impressed civilian trucks, so naturally logistics would prove to be a major problem for Hungarian infantry operating outside of its borders. Main infantry weapon was the 1941 PaK 36 37mm, with mated barrel and ammunition, and Bofors 40mm AA gun. The artillery deployed the Skoda 14/19 100mm howitzer of the First World War variety, later turning to the Skoda M15 75mm mountain gun


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Hungarian infantry used only basic 1918 style equipment and tactics.


INTERCEPTOR


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The Italian made (Fiat) bi-winged Fiat Cr-32 were the workhorse of the Hungarian air force. Original models had two 12.7mm machine guns mounted on the fuselage, synchronized to fire through the propeller at a rate of only 300 rounds per minute. Hungarian models were equipped with 6-8 wing-mounted machine guns with each typically capable of firing 400-600 rounds per minute.


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Hungarian interceptors were all of the late 1918 type and used 1918 tactics.


BOMBER


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The Hungarians acquired surplus Junkers Ju 86 from Germany. Originally designed as a civilian airliner in the early 1930s, the bomber version was first field tested in Spain in early February 1937. After just a few sorties one of them was shot down by Republican fighters. A replacement plane was sent from Germany, but in the summer of 1937 another D-1 was lost in an accident, and the three remaining planes were sold to the Nationalist air forces. It was again used in the 1939 invasion of Poland, but retired by Germany soon after.


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Hungarian bombers were all of the 1937 type and used 1937 tactics.
 

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Very nice lineup.

BTW: you used a pic of a '43 Stuka "tankbuster" for the TAC pictures.