Chapter 31 – September 1946

Bullfilter

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Chapter 31 – September 1946

Foreword

The Soviet war in Afghanistan (now, where have we heard about such things before?) had got off to a slow start. The Caucasus Theatre’s forces had to reposition themselves, drive out a few Afghan incursions, then start the difficult business of pushing back an Afghan Army that had established a thorough border coverage, albeit largely with militia units.

Soviet atomic bomb production continued as Stalin nursed his grudge against France and its Allies for the predatory peace agreements they had made with Japan and Manchukuo, ruining the plans for revolution in the east using Japan as a Comintern puppet.

******

1 September

While the campaign against the (presumed) last Fascist regime ground on in Afghanistan, air bases along the western frontier were reviewed and selected ones expanded (radars shown under construction were queued previously). Of course, nothing could be done to improve the Romanian-run base in Bucharest.

aCQaTi.jpg

In Afghanistan, the battle for Herat (one of two Afghan VP provinces, with Kabul) continued from 30 August. To its east, the Afghans were retreating from Qal ‘eh ye Now, having been defeated there in August.

PyQSHO.jpg

A Soviet attack began on Zaranj, ending in victory (16 Soviet, 79 Afghan troops killed) the next day.

3 September

Qal ‘eh ye Now was occupied at 1500hr and Feyzabad (a few provinces north of Kabul) at 2200hr.

A savage fight for Ishkashim (north of Kabul) began and would last until 9 September, with a Soviet victory (1,131 Soviet and 1,120 Afghan casualties). Yet another under-strength probe on Khanabad by Soviet garrison troops failed after a brief firefight.

4 September

No Soviet planes had been deployed to the new ‘bare bones’ air base in Stalinabad, but on 4 September a wing of Persian CAS appeared there! There was no observed evidence of them carrying out any missions during the month, however (I’ve left it to the AI to decide whether it wants to deploy any Soviet wings there).

Sheberghan (north east of Qal ‘eh ye Now) was occupied at 2200hr.

5 September

The battle for Shindand began, ending the next day in a Soviet victory (35 Soviet, 88 Afghan casualties).

At midday, 9 Tank Div reported it had occupied Herat – a major blow to Afghan morale. The advance was now gathering some pace, despite the difficult terrain.

hbA2Ae.jpg

At 2000hr Zaranj, in the far south-west corner of Afghanistan, was captured. The first wave of advances was over for the month – now the next objectives had to be fought for.

9 September

A new attack began on Khanabad, but this time with regular forces backing the push. The battle would be won by 13 September, costing 142 Soviet and 573 Afghan lives. A major sticking point on the advance to Kabul had been shifted.

13 September

Shindand, just south of Herat, was occupied at 1800hr.

A hard-fought battle for Farah began in western Afghanistan, finishing on 16 September in a Soviet win (452 Soviet, 581 Afghan casualties).

A second attack, this one for Taimani, was launched the same day. It would run for another six days, the Soviets winning another stiff fight (232 Soviet, 449 Afghan casualties).

And a third attack, also in western-central Afghanistan, began. It lasted two days, the Soviet victory eventually costing 53 Soviet and 166 Afghan troops.

14 September

A new ‘general purpose’ infantry division was deployed to the far north of Russia, where there were concerns over a large build-up of Norwegian forces on the Finnish border.

RONwzv.jpg

A short skirmish for Delaram started that morning – it would be won early in the afternoon (no casualties). The map below shows extant battles and the difficult terrain they were being fought as at 1300hr.

IqJEjh.jpg

18 September

Soviet manpower reserves stood at a massive 6,026,000 men. Almost all units were at full strength, with 75,200 new recruits being added each month.

22 September

A more serious fight for Delaram began when an Afghan division slipped in before it could be occupied. The Soviets prevailed on 25 September (147 Soviet, 165 Afghan casualties).

23 September

The next round of occupations began, with Farah (on the western Afghan border) falling to the Soviets at 2300hr.

24 September

Tokzar’s fall at 1700hr extended the Soviet advance further into the Afghan hinterland. The Soviets won a short battle for Gereshk (27 Soviet, 122 Afghan casualties).

25 September

The occupation of Taimani at 1400hr extended the advance further into the mountainous Afghan heartland.

26 September

Small air search radars were improved and the research teams were kept on the same project: night-fighting capability would be important in any confrontation with the high-tech Allied fighters in Europe.

wOWyMw.jpg

The V1 stockpile had grown to eight (I’ve decided for now to keep them in hand) and some new installations and units were ready to be deployed. The second Soviet rocket test site was completed, part of the secret facilities precinct in the forests and hills beyond Moscow.

chvzRb.jpg

The 4th Para Brigade was deployed in Vladivostok – it would combine with the rest of 2. Vod-Des Div when they completed a strategic redeployment from Tumnin. The transport aircraft would follow later, as the air base was heavily overcrowded.

rr3kCE.jpg

And the new INT wing was sent to Bresc-Litewski.

LQYuhK.jpg

The freed IC was used to build new units for all three services and some more infrastructure.

QmaZwq.jpg

The latest wave of occupations continued in western Afghanistan with Gereshk taken at 0800hr.

27 September

Delaram (north of Gereshk) was the next to fall into Soviet hands at 0600hr.

28 September

Infantry warfare doctrine was advanced, with attention turning next to improving mechanised warfare..

pbScQQ.jpg

29 September

The last action of the month was fought and won by the Soviets in Tarin Kowt (a very familiar name to Australians from more recent experiences), with five Soviet and 31 Afghan troops killed.

30 September

As the month ended, the sweep through the west of Afghanistan had gathered pace. The way to Kabul from the north had been more heavily contested, but the two victories in Khanabad and Ishkashim plus the advance from the west, should pave the way for Soviet units to advance to the outskirts of Kabul in the first part of October 1946.

tR6jRA.jpg

The front line as at 1 September 1946 is in green, advances during the month in blue.

In the Far East, most Soviet forces had returned to the pre-war boundaries. Some Japanese troops were still passing through northern Sakhalin.

D1wgsl.jpg


******

Industry, Diplomacy and Intelligence

As at midnight on 1 October, the Soviets’ second atomic bomb was 90% complete. Nothing had been spent producing supplies all month, but the stockpile was maxed out and usually running at a daily surplus. The recent radar upgrades for fighter aircraft had increased the expenditure in that sector somewhat; it still remained fairly low for now, but meant a few of the most recently queued projects were on hold.

HF59t9.jpg

The Soviet spy mission in Japan had wound up in August. By the end of September, the last team in Manchukuo had been neutralised (all by Allied operatives) – only three covert ops points had been accumulated by the time of their demise. In both Turkey and Spain, the local counter-espionage agents had been kept well in check and no Soviet agents had been lost.

c1wFXb.jpg

But the political influencing efforts there had been swamped by other factors, with Communist political power in both countries reduced – in Spain, to nothing. Other than the three Spanish agents neutralised there, Germany, Japan and the UK were the principal powers trying to infiltrate the Soviet Union during September, but the overall rate (20) seemed to be slowing down markedly, to half the apprehensions that had been made at the peak in May (40) and June (42) 1946.

The Soviet diplomatic influencing effort continued unabated. Spain was drifting a little more to the Allies than the Comintern, but Turkey was inching a little closer to the Soviet orbit. The Allies were now influencing Xibei San Ma, but the Guangxi Clique and Yunnan were moving steadily towards alignment with Moscow. Sweden was again self-aligning to the Comintern. At least this should continue to keep them out of the Allied camp for the foreseeable future.

soRnMg.jpg


******

Comparisons with the West

Note: I tagged briefly to get some general statistical information that would probably have been reasonably well known in reality on the principal Allied members, either by size, manpower reserves or industrial capacity. This should broadly inform any discussions about The Next War.

As a very broad indicator (and not really an accurate one especially where the US is concerned), here is a list of the top countries ranked by how many VPs they control. Once more, not getting Japan into the Comintern in particular was a low blow here. The Allies currently have this market all sewn up.

JwpnHS.jpg

And here is a list of some (selected) leading Allied nations, ranked by actual effective IC but also including MP reserves. The Soviet pool here is enormous. And again, the loss of Japan from the Comintern is being sorely felt. The massive lend-lease program from the US to the USSR will of course be lost once a war is declared – a powerful reason for taking some time and not rushing in. None of the other minor Comintern puppets would even figure in the top ten Allied countries (which this table does not list – India is in for its manpower).

5nJBGa.jpg

Here are the current armed forces summaries for the whole Comintern. Again, it really is pretty much a one-man show.

nAZcc5.jpg

The top 16 (by total brigades) Allied armies are listed below. Note, this will include many EFs, so that greatly distorts some of the sub-totals, but the overall picture is there to see. Germany is a major threat of course – so taking them out early and perhaps turning them into the Peoples Republic of Germany would be a great windfall, if it can be managed. Albeit with Berlin and maybe other cities reduced to radioactive ruins!

BCtmxQ.jpg

In the naval summary, the loss of the IJN to the Comintern cause is also starkly clear. While they may have taken many surface ship losses during the long war, they still maintain eight CVs and three CVLs! Oh, had they been available to contest the seas with the Allies. The puny Soviet fleet can currently not expect to do much in a war any time soon. Even a one-off naval landing against Japan could prove dicey, given recent experience.

dinIUT.jpg

In the air, general Soviet strength was similar (though lagging a little) to Germany and the UK. Again, Japan remained very powerful in this area too – including 16 CAGs. Germany was particularly strong in fighters.

lQFVQe.jpg

All in all, a fight with the West would stretch Soviet industry, military forces, supply lines on many fronts. But at least they had enough manpower to sustain themselves indefinitely.
 
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Surt

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So in case of capitalist aggression the 178 LL would be lost, but will they also be added to the US, or are they included there already?
 

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So in case of capitalist aggression the 178 LL would be lost, but will they also be added to the US, or are they included there already?
Their IC Eff total does include the LL, as far as I can make out - it's just an expenditure, which would then be available for them to spend on whatever they want. Currently it comes to us.
 
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RustyHunter

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Their IC Eff total does include the LL, as far as I can make out - it's just an expenditure, which would then be available for them to spend on whatever they want. Currently it comes to us.
I suppose the Americans giving you almost a quarter of their industry is a good reason to hold off on war. It's not as good as puppet Japan but maybe it's a consolation prize?
 
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diskoerekto

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oh my it's going to be a hellish challenge
 
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diskoerekto

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Nah, didn't Lenin once say "the Capitalists themselves will lend-lease the rope for that."?
they're LLing the rope for it, and we'll have a couple of nukes too, but with AI commanding the troops and them having much more of everything than us, it'll still going to be a hellish challenge. Even if USA keeps on the lend lease it'll still be unbelievably difficult.
 
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The Soviet war in Afghanistan (now, where have we heard about such things before?)
Bullfilter AARs and retreading the same ground, name another more iconic duo! :p

A new ‘general purpose’ infantry division was deployed to the far north of Russia, where there were concerns over a large build-up of Norwegian forces on the Finnish border.
I wouldn't worry about these, they are likely to be very under-strength in terms of technology. Every Red Army division can handle at least twice their number I'd say.

Soviet manpower reserves stood at a massive 6,026,000 men. Almost all units were at full strength, with 75,200 new recruits being added each month.
In the distance, the envy of the Turks is audible.

In the naval summary, the loss of the IJN to the Comintern cause is also starkly clear. While they may have taken many surface ship losses during the long war, they still maintain eight CVs and three CVLs! Oh, had they been available to contest the seas with the Allies. The puny Soviet fleet can currently not expect to do much in a war any time soon. Even a one-off naval landing against Japan could prove dicey, given recent experience.
Clearly the best approach is to build a bazillion submarines while introducing large and unseaworthy surface ships for reasons of national pride and to create a distraction.
 
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diskoerekto

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Clearly the best approach is to build a bazillion submarines while introducing large and unseaworthy surface ships for reasons of national pride and to create a distraction.
and NAVs maybe?
 
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I find it fitting American IC is being used to produce the weapons will will bring America low, all according to the wisdom of VI Lenin
 
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Bullfilter

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As I get ready to publish the next concise episode, here is the feedback for the comments on the last one - for which I thank you all very much. :)
I suppose the Americans giving you almost a quarter of their industry is a good reason to hold off on war. It's not as good as puppet Japan but maybe it's a consolation prize?
It does encourage me to stretch it out a bit. I also need to finish Afghanistan off and get the Caucasus troops back into position, where I have to guard around the Iraqi border and also now all along the border with Pakistan - where the first British Marine division is spotted during October.

And yes, I really needed Japan in particular, especially their navy and their holdings in China. Manchukuo too, not so much for their army but for the mass of ground I will now need to take. I'd go so far as guessing that may have been the event that sunk any real hopes of winning this one, given the odds we're up against, but we shall see. There will be a blaze of glory one way or another!
oh my it's going to be a hellish challenge
Yes it is. :eek:
Nah, didn't Lenin once say "the Capitalists themselves will lend-lease the rope for that."?
Nice. We can hope the dialectic saves us. :D
they're LLing the rope for it, and we'll have a couple of nukes too, but with AI commanding the troops and them having much more of everything than us, it'll still going to be a hellish challenge. Even if USA keeps on the lend lease it'll still be unbelievably difficult.
It will be. And as in this AAR the US is in the Allies, that LL will stop pronto, I'm sure. :(
Bullfilter AARs and retreading the same ground, name another more iconic duo! :p
Fate is stalking me mercilessly. It's a far cry from when I won as France. o_O
I wouldn't worry about these, they are likely to be very under-strength in terms of technology. Every Red Army division can handle at least twice their number I'd say.
I hope so.
In the distance, the envy of the Turks is audible.
Quite. Lack of manpower will not be the cause of Soviet defeat in this one.
Clearly the best approach is to build a bazillion submarines while introducing large and unseaworthy surface ships for reasons of national pride and to create a distraction.
Haha. Well, there is at least a decent sub modernisation program, but I suspect it isn't going to be enough to make a big difference in a war that will happen too soon for the classic build-up. But we'll try. You'll see there is one outmoded BB almost ready in October after (typical) years of delayed production. But destroyers are the next priority for modernisation. More as a hobby really, rather than expecting them to be of too much use! ;)
and NAVs maybe?
Oh yes, they've been building and deploying for a while now. But again. not really being able to wait long enough to get enough, I suspect their numbers and impact will be limited. We will at least try to use them while we can.
I find it fitting American IC is being used to produce the weapons will will bring America low, all according to the wisdom of VI Lenin
Quite. The game is far more generous under these circumstances than would be the case IRL!

All: on to the next chapter, brave Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Soviet Union!
 
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Chapter 32 – October 1946

Bullfilter

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Chapter 32 – October 1946

Foreword

The Soviets have begun to close the noose on Kabul in their war against the last Axis power. But the Afghan capital, with its mountains and forts, will likely be a tough nut to crack, if defended properly.

The Soviets continue to build their airfield infrastructure on the Western Front as they prepare for the possibility of war with the Allies. And the second Soviet atomic bomb was 90% complete as November began.

******

1 October

The month began with another advance in submarine design, that would be persisted with as contemporary standards began to be achieved.

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Three of the V1 flying bombs were finally deployed, in the hub at Brzesc Litewski. A new heavy AA gun emplacement was installed and another ordered while it got up to full operational efficiency.

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A few hours later, the four Soviet STRAT wings concentrated in Brzesc Litewski as well. They were reorganised into two groups of two wings each. They would be the delivery mechanism for the atomic bombs, so were now kept as a strategic reserve (ie under human command).

In Afghanistan, Kandahar was occupied at 1400hr.

3 October

Mazar e Sharif was taken at 0800hr.

4 October

The night attack capability of Soviet medium bombers continued to improve and the research was extended. Submarine torpedoes were also upgraded, with effort being switched to subs' air warning equipment.

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9 Tank Div arrived in Tarin Kowt at 0300hr, as Soviet forces continued to close in on Kabul from the west.

6 October

The occupation of Bamian at 0100hr finally brought the Soviets to the borders of Kabul province. Just an hour later, the Soviets attacked Khanabad (directly north of Kabul) from three directions. The battle was soon and easily won (Soviets 7/24,981; Afghans 147/8415 killed) as the Herat Cavalry fled at 0600hr.

7-8 October

Two more techs were researched, with fighter pilot training switched to the first Soviet development of radar combat coordination on 7 October. A major breakthrough came the next day, with the first Soviet strategic rocket design produced for operational development. The rocket scientists were engaged next on improved structural designs to improve their range.

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The first ‘test of type’ rocket – the SS-1 – began production an hour later. With its improved range, enormous speed and increased strategic damage, it would now supersede the older flying bomb models.

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By this time, supply production had to be restarted (at around 12 IC) as the stockpile began to erode.

10 October

9 Tank Div rolled into Mukur at midnight and kept heading east towards Ghazni, directly south of Kabul.

That afternoon, the battle for Kabul began, with 19 SD attacking by itself from Bamian. The local commander’s aggressive intent could not be faulted, but the odds he faced were not promising.

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12 October

As the battle for Kabul ground on, Spin Budak in the south of Afghanistan was occupied at 2300hr.

14 October

Medium tanks – the backbone of the Soviets’ main breakthrough divisions – got improved armour, with development switched to their engines next to bring them up to world leading standard. This would surely be necessary against the German and French Armies.

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Ghazni was occupied by the busy 9 Tank Div at 2000hr as the fighting for Kabul continued.

15 October

Lashkar Gah (in the south) fell to the Soviets at 1100hr. By 1700hr, 9 Tank Div had joined and reinforced the attack on Kabul, though the terrain was not to its advantage [24% progress].

16 October

Soviet destroyer design was also slowly being improved, ship armour research being continued to the next level.

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Qalat was taken at 0300hr, completing the conquest of southern Afghanistan.

18 October

As the Soviets continued to pound away at Kabul [38% progress], 28 SD marched into Khanabad at 1700hr.

19 October

The Caucasus Theatre Commander finally deployed some aircraft to the ‘bare bones’ airbase at Stalinabad. The CAS group was in range of Ghazni and Kabul, but did not perform any missions in support of attacks in Afghanistan before the month ended.

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21 October

The marathon 11-day battle for Kabul ended with the Soviets withdrawing at midday, both sides taking considerable losses. But there was just a brief pause, with 28 Mountain Div – far better suited to the terrain – soon taking up the fight against the now weary Afghan defenders.

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23 October

The air base at Brzesc Litewski got another upgrade and the next expansion was begun – with the radar and AA facilities already being improved. Soon after, a new INT wing was deployed there as well.

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24 October

The next round of air base builds in the other main theatre air hubs was completed the following morning. Two of those were continued, but Murmansk was left at level three.

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At 0500hr, the second battle of Kabul ended in Soviet victory (Soviet 218/9000; Afghans 376/15,510 killed).

27 October

229 SD took Ishkashim, north-east of Kabul, at 1300hr. They were attacked soon after arriving by the divisions retreating from Kabul, but won the skirmish two hours later. The halting of those retreating divisions in Kabul caused a knock-on battle to start again there, also at 1300hr, as 28 Mountain Div had to again eject the Afghans from their capital.

28 October

The third battle for Kabul was won by the Soviets at 2200hr (Soviets 199/16,993; Afghans 211/23,500 killed). But the difficult terrain and often poor weather meant the Afghan capital would not be occupied before the month ended.

Afghan Campaign Summary

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The front line as at 1 October 1946 is in green, advances during the month in blue.

In the Far East, all Soviet forces had returned to the pre-war boundaries by the end of the month.

******

Industry, Diplomacy and Intelligence

As at midnight on 1 November, the Soviets’ second atomic bomb was constructed, with the third 20% complete. A small amount of supply production was still required to prevent depletion of the stockpile (which STAVKA wanted to keep high in preparation for any campaign in the West and renewed fighting in the Far East). Equipment upgrades were again soaking up considerable IC, meaning a number of projects at the bottom of the queue were not progressing. The first SS-1 rocket had been completed, but not yet deployed. And the new Soviet battleship [AI programmed], which had been on the slips for years, was finally nearing completion.

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Leadership remained primarily focused on research, but influencing operations still absorbed an unusually large amount of effort – though any ally that could be gained in either the West or East would be a great boost for the small Comintern grouping. Especially the three Chinese warlord states that the Allies were not yet trying to influence themselves. And the next level of nuclear research would increase the rate of bomb production by another 10% (to 40% of a bomb/month) when completed in late November.

FmhESE.jpg

In both Turkey and Spain, the local counter-espionage agents had been kept well in check and no Soviet agents had been lost. The one remaining Spanish team was neutralised. Communist Party popularity had risen back to 3% in Spain, but it remained static in Turkey. Germany, then Italy, followed by France, Japan, the Netherlands, the UK and the US had the most agents neutralised in the USSR that month. The overall monthly total (25) was up five from October.

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Spain was still drifting a little more to the Allies than the Comintern, and Turkey slightly more to the Comintern. The Allies had stopped influencing Xibei San Ma for now, with the Guangxi Clique and Yunnan continuing to move steadily towards alignment with Moscow.

uznKWP.jpg


******

Western Theatres – Initial Planning for War

The three western Front Theatre HQs had their objectives set to start planning for operations.

Archangelsk Theatre had 227,000 men available in three Army Groups (or Fronts in Soviet parlance) and their main task was to take the two isolated ports on the Norwegian border with Finland, which were heavily defended by the Norwegian Army.

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The Baltic Theatre had a narrow front line assigned, but it faced the huge Germany Army massed on the border of Eastern Prussia. It had 532,000 men assigned to two Fronts and was tasked with taking Königsberg and Danzig. They were optimistic about the relative combat power on the border, but these objectives would surely prove difficult to take. But without taking German territory, it was believed nuking Berlin alone would not be enough to force a surrender.

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By far the longest sector was assigned to the Lwow Theatre, stretching all the way from Poland down to the Black Sea. As noted before, it was a patchwork of many different nationalities, many of which had the units of other Allied nations assigned as expeditionary Forces. The commander here too, though he would like more brigades and air units, seemed optimistic about his relative strength to the Allies. Poland in particular was quite thinly held and Romania a mess. Marshal Pisarevskij’s 826,000 men had a host of objectives assigned, from Warsaw in the north down to Sofia and Varna in Bulgaria in the south.

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Surt

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The technological and morally superior Workers & Peasant army will sweep the enemy of the of the people away in a river of blood, and NKVD will take care of the class enemy and any others who they dislike.
 
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RustyHunter

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@Bullfilter Are you planning to begin the invasion in the next year? I'm not sure how long waiting is useful. More nukes would be helpful, but it's also giving the Allies time to build up more, especially Germany. Your task looks rough, but it will be a fun AAR either way!
 
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The technological and morally superior Workers & Peasant army will sweep the enemy of the of the people away in a river of blood, and NKVD will take care of the class enemy and any others who they dislike.
That’s the spirit!
@Bullfilter Are you planning to begin the invasion in the next year? I'm not sure how long waiting is useful. More nukes would be helpful, but it's also giving the Allies time to build up more, especially Germany. Your task looks rough, but it will be a fun AAR either way!
I’m looking to start WW3 in the next couple of months if possible - once Afghanistan is gone and I can reposition the Caucasus Theatre a little. The recent appraisal of Allied strength, the gearing up of objectives and infra in the west, putting the nuke capable bombers in Brzesc Litewski and getting things ready on the borders in the Far East are all part of the lead up. :)
 
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Navy or not you should be able to take all of Europe and Asia and then start on Africa. While building up a Navy.
 
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Planning hard for the difficult war to come. So many things to do, so many gaps to plug...

Nice that we're catching up to modern standards in various techs, but crap that jet engine research has been taking AGES now.

I was a bit more grim the last update, but now I started to think even with the AI commanding the armies we can win the thing! In fact, maybe we can take Germany without nukes and use them on France, USA and UK to get us over the finishing line.
 
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Wraith11B

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I can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be better to split the Lvov command between Hungary and Poland. One to deal with the expected sudden massive salient and the other to deal with the headache that Hungary and Romania will be.
 
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I can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be better to split the Lvov command between Hungary and Poland. One to deal with the expected sudden massive salient and the other to deal with the headache that Hungary and Romania will be.
I would think so, split in a Poland and a Romanian army, they can split Hungary between them.
 
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Navy or not you should be able to take all of Europe and Asia and then start on Africa. While building up a Navy.
i like the optimism! :)
Planning hard for the difficult war to come. So many things to do, so many gaps to plug...

Nice that we're catching up to modern standards in various techs, but crap that jet engine research has been taking AGES now.

I was a bit more grim the last update, but now I started to think even with the AI commanding the armies we can win the thing! In fact, maybe we can take Germany without nukes and use them on France, USA and UK to get us over the finishing line.
Thanks for reminding me about the jet engines - I’ll have to check on them again, as I recall that was one of the things I was waiting for before attacking the West. There’s the time to finish the research then for units to upgrade. Is it a big enough difference to delay any DoW until that is done?

I suppose the advantage in using the nukes (or at least one) on Germany would be puppeting them early while more of their army is intact ... though at the cost of smashing Berlin. I was thinking the same with Japan. But I’ll definitely need a few for France, maybe one for Italy as well, if I get as far as that.
I can't help but wonder if it wouldn't be better to split the Lvov command between Hungary and Poland. One to deal with the expected sudden massive salient and the other to deal with the headache that Hungary and Romania will be.
I would think so, split in a Poland and a Romanian army, they can split Hungary between them.
In the West, while the AI currently leads the Theatre level down, before the big day I’ll devolve that at least to army group and possibly army level, so might that do the trick anyway? Or would there be other benefits to establishing another theatre there?
 
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