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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Myth

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grayghost: You'll see what's next for the Soviet juggernaut tomorrow :D

4th Dimension: That's an idea, they have some oil...:p

coz1: Tsk tsk, this is going to be a gentleman's war! ;)

ColossusCrusher: Yep.

General Jac: Yup, France is doomed. And you'll see where I'm going next tomorrow :p

4th Dimension: You've been paying a lot of attention! Have a PanzAARcookie! :D

rcduggan: Yep, he did well. Though by his own admission during the game, it was only one cavalry division wreaking all the havoc by rushing toward Berlin, taking a scenic detour through Prague :p

Comment day again, next update tomorrow!
 

TheExecuter

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Nice to see Britain abandon its 'splendid isolation' and join the glory hounds in pursuit of an empire. It must be tough to be stripped of all but the home island though. That has got to be a much different game than the standard Britain...

TheExecuter
 

Myth

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TheExecuter: I would think so, yes. Less IC, less MP, no rebasing elsewhere in the world...poor British :p

Update coming up!
 

Myth

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5 kilometers east of Petrozavodsk
September 5, 1936


Vasilevskij stared at his pocket watch, silently counting down the minutes. It was less than five minutes to 0200 in the morning, and he and the other men in the room had been assured that the declaration of war would be handed precisely at 0200. Vasilevskij bit his lip, his eyes glued to the lethargic hands of his pocket watch. He felt rather than saw a presence behind his shoulder, and spoke. “Yes, Georgij?”

“How much longer, Alesandr?”

“Three minutes only, Georgij.”

Georgij Zhukov sighed before growling out, “I want to begin this campaign.”

“As do I, Georgij. They are supposed to be good soldiers, it will be interesting to fight them. Not to mention, this is the joint operation yet to be undertaken. Granted, three Fronts fought in Estonia but it was Estonia, there’s no comparison to what we’ll soon be facing even if their performance is disappointing. Both Fronts are ready. We merely wait for the politicians now.”

Any response Zhukov would have made was cut off by a blaring announcement from the radio in the room. “Attention! Attention! This is Tukhachevskij! I have just received word from Litvinov that it is done! We are now at war with Finland! Commence operations!”


In the early morning of September 5, 1936, the Soviet Union declared war on Finland.

Immediately there was a rush as orders darted back and forth and subordinates scrambled to bring word to the frontline units to advance. Out of the chaos Vasilevskij and Zhukov stormed toward the radiomen, eager to absorb news from all over the front. Tapping the shoulder of the man who seemed to be in charge of disseminating reports, Vasilevskij shouted into his ear over the cacophony surrounding them. “Have units made contact yet?”

The man shook his head. “What?”

“Contact, has there been any contact?”

“Contact? Yes, Frolov is reporting contact.”

“Frolov? He’s part of the Murmansk Front!”

“There’s fighting on the approaches to Kajaani!”


Frolov was fighting toward Kajaani.

Thanking the man by clapping his shoulder, Vasilevskij and Zhukov pushed through the swirling throng back to the map room. Reaching it at last, they conferred with the only other general standing over it, Egorov A.I. He turned toward them. “Well, what news?”

“Apparently there’s already fighting at the approaches to Kajaani.”

Egorov nodded. “Frolov, Murmansk Front. 45th Rifle Corps. Unfortunately their formations, like everyone’s, are under strength. I understand that Gorodovikov is throwing all his units in Kandalskaya and Kem toward Kajaani. He himself is fighting off a Finnish thrust toward Murmansk, the fighting seems to be pretty heavy there as the enemy is employing three divisions and an anti-aircraft brigade in a direct fire role, but Gorodovikov seems confident that he’ll be able to stop the Finns from advancing too far.”


The battle for Murmansk and other operations in the Murmansk Front’s theater of operations.

Vasilevskij nodded as Zhukov spoke up. “But what about here, down in the south?”

Egorov snorted. “I know you both are looking for the path of glory, you won’t find much of it here. The Finns won’t be a challenge for us. They won’t simply roll over and die, but you will not find your epic battles here. Don’t look at me like that; I know what I’m talking about.” He had noticed Zhukov glaring at him. “But yes, to answer your question, we are in battle at Sortavala as well. You will get your deep battle.”

Vasilevskij smiled. “Good. How is the battle going?”

“We’re fighting some of the best Finland can throw at us, commanded by their most skillful general. Nevertheless, we will soon achieve a rupture in their lines and then your armor will be penetrating through. You know the plan from there. On to Mikkeli, then take Helsinki. Isolate Viipuri. You will be the anvil, Eidman will be the hammer and crush those fortresses. From there, the only remaining objective will be Vaasa. I trust you two can accomplish this.”


The battle for Sortavala and an overview of the Leningrad Front’s theater of operations.

Zhukov appeared affronted by the question. “Of course! You can count on me—us.” He had caught Vasilevskij’s hard look. “Finland will fall quickly, just give us our breakthrough, old man.”

Egorov chuckled. “Old I might be, compared to you, but I am also wiser. Don’t be too reckless. I remember one war game played, years ago. It was a hypothetic situation where the United Kingdom had occupied northern Europe, Germany western and southern Europe and split eastern Europe with the Soviet Union. Now that I think about it, it seems frighteningly similar to our evolving geopolitical situation now, in fact. Nevertheless, the war game was on a hypothetical invasion of Finland to dislodge, encircle and destroy the large British forces opposite our front along the line Leningrad-Volkov-Vytegra-Molotovsk.”

Vasilevskij nodded, picturing the strategic situation in his mind, as Egorov continued. “We massed two mechanized armies at Volkov and broke through the British defenses at Petrozavodsk, for they had quickly conquered all of this territory save for a fortress we had thrown up at Murmansk, after very heavy fighting. We made for the Baltic, and managed to encircle the British at in a pocket stretching from Viipuri to Sortavala. But the British broke out, and out spearhead forces became besieged themselves, though fortunately we had had the foresight to supply them for an offensive. Thus, they remained in supply as we attempted to salvage the situation desperately, and ended up battering through those fortifications at Viipuri that Eidman will eventually presumably be fighting through as well. We saved our valuable spearheads and even threw a backhand counterstroke at the British; in the end we destroyed a third of their entire army and had pushed the rest into a fortress at Segezha.”

Zhukov blinked. “Fascinating but…what does this have to do, well, anything?”

Egorov chuckled again. “Oh, nothing. I thought that it was an interesting war game, that is all. If you’re curious, we eventually won. We destroyed the German army in a series of encirclements ranging from Latvia to Bulgaria to Czechoslovakia, and eventually destroyed another third of the British army at Segezha. Their remaining third evacuated. Murmansk never fell, I’m proud to say. That was my idea, you know, fortifying it. It proved to be a real thorn in their side. We reached Berlin. I wonder if you’ll do that one day, reaching Berlin. Somehow, I doubt it.”
 

unmerged(81478)

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Finland is going to fall too... What 's next? Hmmm, let me think...
I bet is Norway.
 

unmerged(51077)

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I see there is a lot of rivalry between your generals. :D
It seems to me like Finland will be a walk-over. ;)
 

coz1

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Oh, I don't know. You are getting lots of exercise at conquering. The appetite will soon be strong. ;)
 

Myth

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Mythos1978: We'll see :D

General Jac: Yep, just a bit of rivalry. As for Finland being a walk over, it would depend what you compare it to...:p

coz1: Yep, but the need for a decent, organized army even stronger :D

Comment day again, next update tomorrow!
 

unmerged(62343)

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Well, I would normally say don't get overconfident against the Finns, but I don't think you will make the same mistakes...will you?
 

Myth

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grayghost: Nah :p

Update coming up!
 

Myth

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5 kilometers southwest of Mikkeli
September 12, 1936


Vasilevskij paced back and forth, feeling a strong desire simply to scream. He was frustrated, and was boiling over with nervous energy. It was only a few hours to midnight, a week into the invasion of Finland, but already the Finnish will to fight had been predominantly broken. This is what frustrated him, Finland would now be the showcase of his skill that he wished it to be, as Egorov as indeed predicted. Vasilevskij pressed his lips into a thin line, glaring out the window southwestward toward Helsinki. Any sensible person would have thought that the Finns would defend their capital stoutly, but it did not seem that way to Vasilevskij; the fighting was heavier northward, around Petsamo.

In the north, Gorodovikov had stymied the Finnish attack toward Murmansk and, having occupied Kajaani, had thrust heavily toward the valuable mines near Petsamo. The Finnish general, Martin-Wetzer, had a reputation as a defensive genius, though his tactics were perhaps a bit outdated. Vasilevskij took a deep breath as he considered the action in the north, wishing he was there. Gorodovikov had placed nine divisions opposite the Finns’ three divisions, five at Murmansk and four at Kajaani. Vasilevskij imagined that the fighting was quite fierce, as reports to Egorov’s headquarters, copies of which Vasilevskij had a staff member abscond with, had indicated the Finns were dug in fairly well in the hills.


The battle for Petsamo, which was Vasilevskij so envious of.

Growling under his breath so that Zhukov, who had just entered the room, would not hear, Vasilevskij turned to greet him. Zhukov was smiling, indicating that there was fighting occurring somewhere closer than Petsamo. Vasilevskij looked expectantly at him, waiting for a hint. However, Zhukov merely smiled even broader at Vasilevskij, causing an hardening in Vasilevskij’s gaze and turning it into a glare. Taking a deep breath and biting his lip, Vasilevskij gave in. “All right, Georgij, you win this time. Tell me, what news has graced your ears?”

Zhukov’s grin took on a triumphant tone before he answered. “There is fighting in the outskirts of Helsinki, my good Alesandr. We are opposed by that defensive prodigy, Hanell.”

Vasilevskij’s face nearly melted into a smile but it froze halfway. “Hanell? But he is only a major general! We’re only opposed by one division, what kind of defense is that? We have six divisions pushing toward Helsinki, four of them armored!”

Zhukov put up his hands, as much to symbolically defend himself as to sooth Vasilevskij. “I know, I know. Nevertheless, even this is better than nothing. Just as well, I suppose, as the Finns around Viipuri are making a move to escape their trap, we need to get to Helsinki quickly.”


The battle for Helsinki, though Vasilevskij would likely call it a mere skirmish rather than a full battle.

Vasilevskij sighed. “I suppose. Viipuri should be a good fight, yes?”

Zhukov nodded. “Presumably, the Finns have five divisions there. Remember the operational plans, though.”

Vasilevskij stared at Zhukov in exasperation, his eyes wide with a strange feeling that was tinged with horror. “I don’t get to take part, do I?”

Zhukov smirked at him. “No, you do not. From Helsinki you’re to race beyond to the last important Finnish town, Turku. With the fall of Turku, and given that presumably by then Viipuri and Petsamo would have fallen, Finland would be in no position to resist an annexation.”

Vasilevskij let out a grunt and Zhukov knew he was not convinced. “Listen, Alesandr. I’m sure you’ll face resistance on the way to Pori, the Finns are not going to give up that easily. Besides, I’m sure that the assault on Viipuri will be a bloody affair more in line with the Great War than anything else. The Finns are quite well entrenched there, you know.”

Vasilevskij glared at Zhukov again before growling. “You’re not helping. You know that, don’t you?”

Zhukov smiled cutely at him. “Yes.” Suddenly, he released a bellowing laugh and grabbed at his sides. “Poor, poor Alesandr, not fighting at Viipuri. You conquered Latvia and Estonia virtually single-handedly and nearly got Lithuania as well. I need to catch up. There will be plenty of other opportunities to distinguish ourselves as well.”

“So why don’t you go ahead to Pori and let me fight the Finns at Viipuri, then, given how sanguine you are about future opportunities?”

Zhukov laughed again, enjoying taunting Vasilevskij. “Operational orders, that’s why. You don’t want a reputation for being insubordinate, do you?”

Vasilevskij shot a pained look at Zhukov. “Please, Georgij. It’s not insubordination, it is initiative.”

Zhukov merely laughed harder. “Not this time, my friend. Anyway, I shall be leaving you now, to go back toward the front. I want to confer with my divisional commanders. Given that your corps is also participating in the attack, you might want to as well, yeah?”

Smirking again, Zhukov sauntered out of the room and left Vasilevskij staring agape at the closing door. Taking a deep breath and straightening himself, Vasilevskij adopted a stern expression and with only a single backward glance toward the map of Petsamo he had acquired, he too strode out the door.
 

unmerged(62343)

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I almost feel sorry for Vasilevskij. All the poor guy wanted was a real fight to showcase his talents and all the guy gets is skirmishes. Although it was funny to watch Zhukov pour salt on the wounds.:D
 

coz1

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Not enough war to go around, eh? I have a feeling that in time, your generals won't have tooo much of this problem. ;)
 

Myth

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grayghost: Yep, no mercy for Vasilevskij :D

coz1: Too true, too true ;)

Comment day again!
 

4th Dimension

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Myth said:
grayghost: You'll see what's next for the Soviet juggernaut tomorrow :D

4th Dimension: That's an idea, they have some oil...:p

coz1: Tsk tsk, this is going to be a gentleman's war! ;)

ColossusCrusher: Yep.

General Jac: Yup, France is doomed. And you'll see where I'm going next tomorrow :p

4th Dimension: You've been paying a lot of attention! Have a PanzAARcookie! :D

rcduggan: Yep, he did well. Though by his own admission during the game, it was only one cavalry division wreaking all the havoc by rushing toward Berlin, taking a scenic detour through Prague :p

Comment day again, next update tomorrow!
Mine. My precoious!

I finaly have a sig :D
 

unmerged(51077)

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Zhukov seems pretty arrogant. :D
 

Myth

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4th Dimension: Awesome :D

General Jac: Just a bit, yeah :p

Update coming up!
 

Myth

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Turku
September 18, 1936


Vasilevskij sighed as he listened to Egorov’s announcement over the headquarters radio. Egorov’s words resounded with triumph, and were full of praise for the Soviet army. Nevertheless, Vasilevskij felt downcast. He had missed the largest single battle of the war and thus had given up the limelight to Zhukov, or so he felt. He knew deep in his mind that this was irrational, the Zhukov had not actually accomplished that much and that it was he, Vasilevskij, who had forced the Finnish situation into its desperate straits. He had missed that battle, however. All he could do was pore over his tactical maps and reports and imagine fighting the battle himself.

Looking down at the map, he was already constructing the scenario in his mind. The location was Viipuri and the time, the morning of September 14, 1936. The Finns had five infantry divisions and two anti-aircraft artillery brigades, likely used in a ground-attack role, under command of Lieutenant General Heinrichs, a man who knew the Karelian winter like the back of his hand. Additionally, his forces were ensconced in the so-called Mannerheim Line. Against this formidable showing, the Leningrad Front under Egorov and the 2nd Tank Army under Zhukov fielded a total of fourteen divisions, including two armored and three motorized rifle divisions.

Vasilevskij sighed and closed his eyes, replaying the battle. The Finns had been surrounded, though an avenue of escape existed at Mikkeli as there were no Soviet units along that long stretch of front. The Finns were attacked from three directions; Field Marshal Eidmanis commanded five divisions attacking northward out of Leningrad, Egorov commanded six divisions attacking southwestward from Sortavala and Zhukov’s 2nd Tank Army comprised the third prong of assault. The attack had launched at 1000 and had taken a full twenty-four hours for the converging Soviet thrusts to meet up. The Finns had resisted desperately every step of the way, but in the end had no hope of defeating the great mass of men and material before them. With the fall of Viipuri, the greatest concentration of Finnish troops had been shattered beyond redemption.


The battle fir Viipuri at 2100 on the night of the 14th, surrounded and out of supply the Finns were still resisting.

Vasilevskij frowned, as if missing such a battle was not enough, Zhukov gained another chance at glory when the Finns retreating from Sortavala withdrew into Mikkeli. They had been under the command of the preeminent Finnish officer, Field Marshal Mannerheim. At Mikkeli he fielded a headquarters formation, an infantry division and an additional artillery brigade. For a few hours, the situation had been difficult as Zhukov’s formations, as well as Vasilevskij’s own, were isolated in and around Helsinki. However, Eidmanis had soon restored the link, but through Viipuri, and Vasilevskij had reached Turku an hour afterwards. Undaunted, Zhukov launched his attack that afternoon and quickly made impressive progress against the Finns’ best general. However, Zhukov’s armor had bogged down in the forest and moonless night, and he only succeeded in dislodging Mannerheim’s defenders after the sunrise the following morning.


Zhukov’s battle for Mikkeli.

By that point, it was a waiting game. The Soviets had to hold on to the territory they had won until Gorodovikov could reach Petsamo, the final vital piece of Finnish territory yet unoccupied. Two days later, early in the morning on the 18th, Gorodovikov’s vanguard marched into Petsamo. Soon afterward, the annexation of Finland was announced and the remnants of the Finnish armed forces were officially disbanded. It felt like a hollow victory to Vasilevskij, though Egorov’s announcement was amounting to a glorious paean for the triumphant Soviet forces. With a sigh, Vasilevskij stood up and leaned forward enough to reach the radio, which he then turned off. He did not want to hear any more of brave Soviet soldiers, of vicious fighting in the hills around Petsamo or the bunkered forests of Viipuri.


Finland’s official annexation, at 0500 in the morning on the 18th of September, 1936.

Vasilevskij sagged back into his chair, dispirited by the lack of action his units had seen, despite an hour long battle at Turku during the battle for Viipuri. Additionally, as he had ambitions to becoming the Soviet chief of staff eventually, he had attempted to keep up with the militaristic events elsewhere as well and had followed the Middle Eastern campaigns in detail, and the German offensives whenever possible as well. However, being a lowly and relatively unimportant Lieutenant General, he did not know the future. He wondered what territory the Soviet Union would claim next.
 

canonized

Heartbreaker
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Good grief Mr. Myth you're growing quite rapidly . Finland is under the Soviet boot XD ; I wonder if Discomb or his brother can check your scandinavian expansion .