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Amoral

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My favorite part of any AAR is always the naval clashes, so I've decided to write one that focusses entirely on ships. All land and air combat is going to be glazed over so I can bring you stories about the mighty titans of the sea.

The scenario is 1936 played on hard/aggressive with DAIM installed. The premise is that Germany carries through with Plan Z, a plan to build a significant surface fleet. Because of the sheer idiocy of pouring a significant portion of my industry into battleships (especially playing on hard) I'm going to break some of my house rules. Most importantly, I will take military control of my allies. I will also not restrict myself from using airplanes against enemy fleets.

The updates to the AAR will be from the point of view of my chief of Navy. In 1936 this Erich Raeder.

I have played the German Scenario many times, but this is the first time I have invested heavily in the Navy. I will not be reloading if there is a disaster, so I expect that this AAR will come to a crashing end with the Russians seizing Berlin about 1943. It should be a good ride until then though, especially if you love Battleships!
 
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Amoral

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Excerpts from the Journal of Erich Raeder, Chief of the Navy under Adolf Hitler

Jan 1st 1936. Berlin.
I have just returned from Berlin. The fetters of Versailles have been thrown off, and ‘Plan Z’ is underway. The Naval Program for 1936 will include two state of the art battleships. The Bismarck class will be armed with 8 380mm guns and will be capable of steaming at 25kts, with sprints of up to 31kts.

1936PlanZ.jpg


However, state of the art is a constantly evolving term. It has been reported that the Japanese are developing a super battleship of 72,000 tons, armed with 460mm guns. I have ordered our own naval engineers to draw up plans for a new class of super battleship.


SuperHeavyPlans.jpg


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

January 10th, 1936. Wilhelmshafen.

GrafSpeeLaunched.jpg


Attended the Launching of Graf Spee today. Even with her addition, the state of the Kriegsmarine is unacceptable. We only have two capital ships, and they are horribly outdated. However, together Schlesien and Schleswig-Holstein give us local superiority in the Baltic. The North Sea is an entirely different story. The Kriegsmarine is in no position to challenge the Royal Navy. In case of war, the 25kt speed of this battlegroup should allow it to break out into the Atlantic and cause havoc to merchant shipping. Finally the Emden, as well as the submarine flotillas led by U-202 and U-203 are able to scout as needed.

NavalOrganization1936.jpg


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

March 28th, 1936. Wilhelmshafen
Toured the Steamliner Bremen today. She is a fine vessel, capable of crossing the Atlantic at 28 kts. Captain Einger served a wonderful dinner. He was eager to show off the many features of his ship, and bragged endlessly about her greyhound like speed. When I turned my questions to maneuverability and sudden turns he was polite but confused. Obviously his masters at Norddeutsch have not told him about the secret agreements between themselves and the German Government that would see Bremen converted to a troop ship if war were to erupt. Bremen, and her sister ship Europa will form the core of the 1st and 2nd Transport Flotillas.

TransportsDeployed.jpg
 

Amoral

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July 18th 1936. Wilhelmshafen
Momentous news out of Iberia today. Franco has declared a new State. Civil War has erupted. Hitler quickly seized on this opportunity, and ordered the formation of the Condor Legion. The Kriegsmarine will be tasked with ensuring these supplies reach La Coruna.


SpanishIntervention.jpg


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

August 1st, 1936. Wilhelmshafen

StuttgartDeployed.jpg


The Stuttgart has completed sea trials and has joined the Kriegsmarine. Plan Z calls for dozens of these Nurnberg class light cruisers. They will act as screens for our capital ships and they can operate independently to drive off an enemy destroyer packs.

Also, I have decided to convert the decommissioned cruiser Wesser into an Aircraft Carrier. Plans are being drawn up by Blohm and Voss. Also, I have been shown preliminary drawings for the new Super Battleship class. I hope to lay down the first keels for these floating fortresses early in ’37.

research1936.jpg


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
September 6th, 1936. Costa Verde

Good news, Foreign minister Von Neurath has secured a military alliance with Portugal. The instability on the Iberian peninsula has convinced President Carmona that he needs a strong ally. In return, Germany will gain access to military bases across the globe. I am especially pleased to have the deep water port in the Azores at my disposal. It sits astride the great trading routes of the North Atlantic. I have already rebased the Emden, along with the U-boats there.

Portuguesebases.jpg
 

Amoral

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December 28th, 1936. Lissabon
Startling News! With a collapse of the Fascist cause in Spain becoming imminent, Franco has accepted our offer of intervention. The plan is simple. Our ground forces, which have been pre-positioned in Portugal, will attack to the east. At the same time Amphibious Force Iberia, Under Admiral Bohm, will make a landing at Valencia. Force Iberia will link up with panzers arriving in Guadalajara to cut the Republican army in half.

WarPlansSpain.jpg


Elements of the Republican Fleet have been spotted in Malorca and Taragona. Our intelligence reports indicate that the republican navy consists of one Battleship. This is probably the old Espana pre-dreadnaught. The Schlesien and Schleswig-Holstein will move into the Balearic sea to screen the invasion force. The Emden and both U-Boats will patrol the east coast of Spain from Gibraltar to Barcelona, until we have firmly established the location of the republican fleet. The Kriegsmarine will be tasked with blockading the Straits of Gibraltar.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 30th, 1936. Coast of Lissabon
Lookouts have spotted a British carrier force. Radio Intercepts confirm that it is commanded by Admiral Domville. The British have maintained official neutrality in this conflict, but their sentiments are with the republicans. U-203 has been detailed to maintain contact with this fleet in case the situation changes suddenly.

BritishCarriersSpotted.jpg


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

January 7th, 1937. Gulf of Cadiz
The landings at Valencia have completed successfully. A Small force under Admiral Buiza Palacios tried to challenge the landing craft. His faster ships allowed him to close the range and engage the Battlecruisers with all his guns. However, the heavier weight of fire from the Schlesien and Schleswig-Holstein was too much. The Libertad and her escorting destroyers were forced to withdraw after sustaining crippling damage.

1stBattleofBalearicSea.jpg


Disappointingly, Admiral von Nordeck aboard U 203 has reported that he has lost contact with the British carrier group.
 

Amoral

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Battle of The Balearic Sea
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 16th, 1937. 1200 Zulu. Balearic Sea
A clash in the Mallorca strait. The capture of Tarragona has forced Admiral Ruiz Gonzalez to bring the bulk of the republican fleet to sea. Waiting for him was Rear Admiral Densch and the two Battlecruisers. Despite reports to the contrary the Republicans have two battleships, as well as the cruiser Canarias. The Espana and Jaime I are both pre dreadnaughts, but they are a match for the Schlesien and Schleswig-Holstein. All nearby forces are rushing to aid the beleaguered battlecruisers. The Kriegsmarine will be first to arrive, at about 1800 zulu just as the sun is setting. Until then Admiral Densch must rely on the heavy seas and rain to protect him.

2ndBattleofBalearicSea.jpg


1300 Zulu
New dispatches indicate that the Jaime I has opened fire on the Nationalist transport flotilla Benavende. In response, Admiral Densch has turned back towards the fray to screen the transports. The Schlesien has opened fire on the Jaime I. I am still five hours away.

2ndBattleofBalearicSeaparttwo.jpg


1600 Zulu
Admiral Valderrama, in overall command, has ordered his fleet to disperse. Admiral Densch has broken off to the North, and is retreating to Tarragona. We were lucky to escape with such minor losses. I continue to steam into the area at top speed. I believe the Republican Fleet has taken shelter on Mallorca.

DefeatontheBalearicSea.jpg


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
0700 Zulu, January 17th. Balearic Sea
Just before dawn lookouts aboard the Portuguese destroyer Braga reported seeing lights leaving Mallorca harbour. The Kriegsmarine moves to intercept. It becomes clear that the Jamie I was badly damaged by the Schlesien and will play no role in this battle. My three cruisers outrange the Canarias, so this battle will boil down to three modern cruisers against one old battleship.

0800 Zulu
KMS Emden has joined the fight, and immediately comes under fire from the Espana. The heavy cruisers of the Kriegsmarine have yet to gain a firing solution. Admiral Densch and the battlecruiser squadron will be here at 1100 Zulu.

3rdBattleofBalearicSea.jpg


1100 Zulu
With the battlecruisers appearing over the Horizon, Admiral Gonzalez retreats the republican fleet to the safety of Mallorca. He will be blockaded there until the cessation of hostilities. As a side note, the Portuguese claim that because the Republican fleet was spotted by destroyers from Braga flotilla, that this is officially a Portuguese naval victory. Let them have their laurels.

VictoryonbalearicSea.jpg
 

Amoral

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February 26th, 1937. Balearic Sea
With the fall of Bilbao, the Republican forces have been scattered to the wind. Franco is now president of Spain. What’s more, the Rock of Gibraltar is now exposed to our grasp.

AnnexSpain.jpg


This also gives me a chance to review the building program for 1937. Four new super-battleships have been laid down. Additionally, the decommissioned cruiser Wesser is being converted to a flattop aircraft carrier.

1937PlanZ.jpg


The Republican Battleships were scuttled in Mallorca, so we cannot claim credit for sinking them. In fact, the only sinking in the entire conflict was the Nationalist transport flotilla Benavende. Still, we were strategically successful in that the landings at valencia were carried out, and the Republican Fleet was bottled up, and forced to skuttle itself. If I learned anything, it is that we need new capital ships which can destroy the enemy instead of just driving them off. The Tirpitz and Bismark will fill this role when they are launched at the end of the year.

My most experienced officer is now Admiral Densch with 18 exp.
 
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theusje

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Nice start and idea for an AAR.

Good luck and remember:

Unsre Flagge und die wehet auf dem Maste,
Sie verkündet unsres Reiches Macht,
Denn wir wollen es nicht länger leiden,
Daß der Englischmann darüber lacht.
 

stnylan

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I do like naval AARs.
 

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Simon1397

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Great begining. When I've tried this (Z Plan) I've found it impossible to keep parity with the RN and later USN who start out with so much greater infrastructure and vessels.

Are you sticking with a (SH)BB fleet + CVL's so that you can keep Reader alive or are you going to switch leaders and build CV's later on?

Good luck
 

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Intresting idea, never seen nothing like it before.
Good luck to ya! :D
 

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Another naval AAR? Let's suscribe!
 

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Sounds like fun... :D
 

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Simon1397 said:
Great begining. When I've tried this (Z Plan) I've found it impossible to keep parity with the RN and later USN who start out with so much greater infrastructure and vessels.

Are you sticking with a (SH)BB fleet + CVL's so that you can keep Reader alive or are you going to switch leaders and build CV's later on?

Good luck

I'm trying to mirror the real Plan Z to some extent. It calls for 6 Battleships, 3 Battlecruisers and 4 Aircraft carriers. To that i'm going to add lots of heavy cruisers to soak up incoming fire and Escort carriers to help with positioning. I hope to have most of those forces in the water by 1941. After that, I'll likely expand with more aircraft carriers unless my battleship tactics prove effective against enemy CTFs.

To be honest, I have no idea how I'm going to do against the Royal Navy. My plan is to destroy the far flung elements of the RN and then to convoy raid in the Atlantic until the home fleet comes out to challenge me. I'll use speed and expendable picket ships to dodge carrier task forces unless I can jump them at night or in bad weather. I'll pounce on any SAG group that comes near.

All this should come to a head in the winter of 1940, before my carriers come online. Does anyone know how many fleet carriers I can expect to he RN to have by then?

I have a problem with this plan. I had hoped to use the Azores as a base for land based bombers and destroyers, but Portugal won't keep it in supply. Any tips on how I can encourage them to ship some oil there?

My main worry is the inexperience of my Admirals. If I can win the positioning battle my superBBs should be able to Sink the RN battleships without ever taking damage. If I can't, then I will win individual battles, but not the war, because my ships will have to spend too much time in port repairing.

I'm considerably less worried about the USN. I won't challenge them in the Pacific unless I can beat Russia. In the Atlantic I expect to have parity in numbers and superior strategy.
 

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Carriers are actually not that good in the Atlantic, weather is often bad so as long as you engage them during bad weather you're likely to blow them to smithereeens.

Have you tried trading for the Azores?
 

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Amoral said:
All this should come to a head in the winter of 1940, before my carriers come online. Does anyone know how many fleet carriers I can expect to he RN to have by then?

I have a problem with this plan. I had hoped to use the Azores as a base for land based bombers and destroyers, but Portugal won't keep it in supply. Any tips on how I can encourage them to ship some oil there?

In my current DAIM+SMEP+ARMA 36GC the UK has 6 carriers in 1941.


As for the oil, all I can think is MC the portugeese and rebase some of their ships/planes there su they will send oil for their units which your units can nick, but be sure to set up a trade with Portugal to give them the oil and supplies to ship out

I love naval AARs, *subscribed*
 

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Chapter 2 - The Balkan War

8 Months After the end of the Spanish Civil War...

December 7, 1937. Wilhelmshafen

TirpitzandBismarklaunched.jpg


Attended the twin launchings of Tirpitz and Bismark. All the ranking members of the Nazi party attended. Hiltler’s hyperbole would have us as the equal of the Royal Navy. That goal is a long way off. Hitler can talk about owning the North Sea as much as he likes. Our new naval bases in Spain have given the Kriegsmarine a new role. If we can overpower the French navy, then our amphibious forces become a knife at the soft underbelly of France. Our Intelligence services report the French have six battleships. When the four Grossdeutschland class super battleships are completed, we will be masters of the Mediterranean. Of course, it does little good to be masters of the Mediterranean if we have no link to the coast from Berlin…

Blohm and Voss have finished development of a new larger class of Submarine. These new Type 9s can operate in on extended patrols in the Atlantic. What’s more, if we can draw out anti-submarine patrols, it will allow the surface fleet to destroy the Royal Navy in detail. The Naval Program for 1938 will not include any new capital ships, but we have ordered that six drydocks be devoted to producing u-boats.

The Weser is set to be commissioned on January 19th. She is currently undergoing sea trials, and the results are disappointing. She is only capable of 18kts, and so is unsuitable as an escort to the sleek Bismarck and Tirpitz. Instead, she will join the old battlecruiser squadron to act as a test bed for further carrier development.

wesserseatrials.jpg


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
April 14th, 1938

Tensions along the Yugoslavian border have reached a peak. The Kriegsmarine has been ordered into the Adriatic. Supporting elements from the Portuguese and Spanish fleets will support us. War is expected at any moment.

Yugoslavwarplans.jpg


--------------------------------------------------------------------------

April 17th, 1938. Central Adriatic

The might of the Yugoslav Navy has been shattered! Rundstedt's troops captured Split harbour and forced the small fleet out to sea. They tried to flee south along the coast but were hammered by shells from the Tirpitz. The Razaracka flotilla becomes the first naval victim of the Third Reich.

BattleofCentralAdriatic.jpg


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
April 19th, 1938. Central Adriatic

Turkey has declared war on the Axis. They are not a threat, but as the conflict escaltes it becomes more and more likely that Poland or one of the Allies will grow tired of our belligerance and declare war.

If the war spreads beyond the Balkans it will be a diaster. There are 14 divisions along the French border, but only 3 infantry and one armoured division along the polish border.

Fortunately Yugoslavia is on the verge of collapse. 12 Infantry divisions have been redeployed to eastern Germany.

I have high hopes that Bulgaria will capture Istanbul, which will let my warships into the Black Sea. Amphibious landings on the East Coast of Romania will quickly take them out of the War.

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April 21st 1938. Central Adriatic

The situation for Yugoslavia is hopeless. They have sued for peace but were turned down. Only unconditional surrender is acceptable. I have ordered the Kriegsmarine into the Aegean and Battlegroup Weser to the south coast of Turkey. There are still enemy ships in Dubrovnik (soon to be expelled) and Podgorica. The Koln (visible off the coast of Rijeka) and the Portuguese Navy (4 destroyers) will rendezvous and blockade these ports. The Spanish Navy (2 light cruisers and destroyer escorts) is ready to rush the Bosphorus if Bulgaria takes Istanbul.

I have Ordered General von Rundstedt’s amphibous forces to reorganize, and prepare for an amphibious landing in Izmir, Turkey.

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April 28th, 1938. The Aegean

Bulgaria has taken Istanbul and the Bosphorus has been forced. Rear Admiral Marshall has moved into the Black Sea. The Romanian navy was caught offguard, and Battlegroup Weser intercepted a destroyer squadron trying to reach Constanta.

The escort carrier Weser limits Marshall's speed to 18kts. The skirmish lasts only 1 hour before the Romanians get out of range and escape.

As soon as the Battleships have fnished supporting the landing on Izmit I will move them north to relieve Battlegroup Weser. The Battlecruisers are better suited to defending transports than chasing down destroyer flotillas.

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