Quick and Dirty 2: A Soviet Resurgence (HOI3 - March 1944 start)

  • Victoria 3 - Sign up now!

    The journey begins, sign up now and get a special in-game item when the game is released.


  • 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
  • Crusader Kings II Expansion Subscription

    Subscribe to the CK II Expansion and enjoy unlimited access to 13 major expansions and more!


Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.894
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
I'd replied to some of the comments along the way, so here's responses to the rest (other than some in-thread conversations which serve as their own dialogue):
Missed this AAR as well! Thanks for the new episode. On the tech front, much exciting progress is just at our doorstep!


Difficult to resist the temptation of hands-on operations, isn't it :D


it seems we need to prioritize taking the airbase provinces first if that's possible


facepalm
Thanks! The only thing I'll really go hands-on is for amphibious and related/support ops, until the lodgement can be established and handed back over to AI command. :) Trying to get air bases where I can (and the AI cooperates)! Or building them - as in Nikolayevsk na Amure - when I need something in a hurry.
The Red Banner Pacific Fleet is a motley collection of wrecks isn't it? Still it gets the job done which is the main thing, though I have no doubt the crews are all desperately hoping they never meet an enemy fleet!

The Kaganovich is storied ship, in OTL it got renamed twice. First time because the original namesake was purged, the second time because the person it was renamed after also got purged. Nothing to do with the story, just makes me chuckle.


Good to see the Allies making progress despite the AIs best efforts. SE Asia will be liberated, even if it is mostly by accident.
Yes, the Soviet maritime arm is mostly a basket case. At this stage, only the subs (when the new ones start coming through) will be anything close to functional. And just wait to see what the Allies get up to in the next episode!
You should not use 45% on supply production, instead upgrade the infra in the provinces furthest from the supply source that has hatched supply. Only go 5% over required.
The supply deficit at the central front is nearly certain supplies being redirected north and vanishing in bad supply throughput provinces. Also research everything that lessen supply throughput cost.
Hmmm, if I only went 5% over at the moment, I'd completely run out in about 5-10 days. :eek: Supply tech are all up to date and are being kept going, while infra has been built regularly, including towards the front when I can manage it, but there is of course a lag from building to completion. Basically, I'm trying to go at all angles of the problem, without denuding the front of forces.
See, this is a failure of the game logistics system. I can not think of a single loggo worth his salt who ever "Returned to Sender" supply. For damn sure, even in Iraq in 2010 when nothing really offensive was going on, I still had a pile of MREs, more ammo, etc than I could ever foresee needing, but there really wasn't any urge to give it back to Big Army.

Paradox made the system simple in allowing it to move just one hex a day. The issue is that supply didn't move like that. Where some hexes are just 20-40km apart, no one is going to say "Yep, that's far enough!" They're going to move as long as they have daylight and even longer if they can safely move at night. Thinking of the Red Ball Express, they moved as much as possible around the clock, even at a significant fuel penalty, which, to be fair, only the Americans could really afford at the time. Maybe super close to the front line they couldn't always get reliable supply, but by and large, as long as supply trains weren't under stress, the rear areas could get it.
Firstly I must agree with my associate Wraith's points above, the main issue is the HOI3 supply system is bobbins. However I can answer your supply question (which I forgot to last time)


Certain weather does affect supply distribution. In the Defines.lua file (where Paradox hides many settings) you will find this line -
MUDDYNESSSUPPLYTAXMODIFIER = 0.25,

Which, as it suggests, increases the 'supply tax' by 25% in muddy conditions. This was done to reflect the problems on the Eastern Front during mud season and then Paradox blindly copied it to the rest of the world. Base supply tax is pretty bad (to move 1 unit of supply, 1 province, costs 0.1 supply) so a 25% hike in the tax can eat up a lot of supplies.
Thanks guys - weather affecting supply makes sense, and if it's muddy in the East then I think it's fair enough that a similar effect should apply there or anywhere else such conditions apply (and I think it would probably have been too difficult for them to apply the mud factor too narrowly).
If the Japanese navy is hunting convoys thus we cannot ship supplies directly from Leningrad to the Pacific coast, we can at least use transport planes to at least patch up problematic points and do supply airlifts? What do the supply experts say?
I've never run such a mission myself and don't have too many transport aircraft, but would be happy to try if it was thought to be worthwhile.
Looks like winter is still a thing in 1946... and yes, transportation of supplies costs more over mud.

The Red Army is clearly suffering from it's own success, as it's advanced beyond the reach of it's larger Air Bases. Those losses to Japanese bombs are substantial, but they can definitely be absorbed by the Soviet manpower pool.

I also wonder why the Marines performed an amphibious landing on Okha from a vulnerable fleet. They would have been just as effective crossing the Strait of Tartary from Nikolaevsk na Amure. I think the risk of the IJN disrupting the landings and sinking part of your fleet wasn't worth a slight benefit you get from attacking from 2 sides. Of course, if you knew the province was empty, I do think it was land the Marines from the fleet than to drop them in Nikolaevsk and have them cross the strait.

Anyhow, the last big point are significant advances in Submarine design. This is great news. Maybe, in 10-15 years, the Soviet Union will be able to launch missiles from nuclear-powered submarines? Maybe we'll even beat the Americans to it?
Thanks for confirming re mud and supply.

Very right about the air reach problem - as you will soon see in the February update. :eek:

The marine landing was really just a test run to see if the fleet would be attacked (by air or sea) while the landings went on and to speed up the advance (strait crossings being fairly slow and not knowing if the AI would persist with it). And yes, I did know it was empty by the time they were in position to land.
On weather and supply: so is it only mud that has that effect, or is it the severe winter weather as well? I haven’t checked in detail recently, but things would still be too frozen for mud to be a problem, I imagine.
Fairly certain it is only mud. There is a Cold Movement Modifier separate from the Mud Movement modifier, so they are separate things from that perspective. Certainly there is no explicit cold/frozen supply modifier in the settings.

Yet another over-simplification in the supply system for @Wraith11B to sigh about. ;) :)
So, I'm not sure then whether the end of winter will improve or even worsen the supply situation if muddy conditions prevail. Not a great deal I can do about it now, really, other than blunder on.
You know, I really do understand that there's just some point in time when a developer has to say, "Are we getting to the point of the pasta rule?"

That said, if something affects movement, it better affect all movement...
All I can do is shrug and raise one eyebrow a bit, and note as long as all sides are affected by the same settings, then c'est la vie! ;)
I'm a bit behind once again, but here I come heroically playing catch-up, comrades! :p

A surprisingly busy month for the dead of winter, at least along some fronts. The Red war machine grinds ever onwards!
Many thanks for commenting - always valued. And there is always a fair time between updates these days, so your comments are still right on time. :)
I suspect that this will become an ongoing theme this month...and in the following.
Indeed.
Truly a marvel of Soviet engineering, that.
Well, to be fair on the civil engineers, the initial base had only just been built from scratch. It's a slow process though when troops at the front are dying by the bushel due to a lack of in-range and repaired fighter cover. :(
Vur h--erm, I mean, Da, komrade!
Huzzah!
I admit, I'm not really sure why this move makes any strategic sense. It looked like on the map a division was already crossing the strait, and I don't see a Japanese navy preventing that crossing. I suppose getting the Marines into the action is a reason, but why expose the navy to do so?
Per above - mainly an experiment to test enemy response and to 'blood' the marines. How well this ends up working out will be seen in the next chapter.
Not entirely sure why we're making this investment? I get the in-universe explanation of intel, but personally I've always thought of radars as a bit useless for land wars, since knowing where the AI's troops are hardly is needed to beat the AI handily.
I'm mainly doing it in the hope that it will assist air operations if/when it comes to a hot war with the West (for detection and the air combat bonus).
I'll drink to that, mate!
Too right! Here's cheers, Big Ears! :D
This is broadly true, although one need not upgrade the very end of the bad supply but rather start upgrading near one's rear lines, so to speak. The supply system is supposed to be designed to supply the farthest units first, which means that if not enough total supply makes its way to the troops the rear areas will tend to be hit harder, all else being equal (which it usually isn't).
That's basically what I've been doing, per other comments above. Hopefully it will be far less of an issue when we're running rampant through the decadent capitalists in Central and Western Europe. :D

******
OK, thanks everyone for following, the next chapter should be up fairly shortly.
 
  • 2Like
Reactions:
Chapter 24 – February 1946

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.894
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Chapter 24 – February 1946

AuthAAR’s Note: In this month, the fighting for the Soviets remains grim, but the big developments come in the strategic space and in other theatres. Those external Allied operations are reported in the primary sector report for continuity and to give them context in timing compared to the Soviet campaign.

******

1. Eastern Sector and Other Theatres

The Japanese launched a major attack on Ushumun on 1 February with heavy air support (2,200 air raid casualties from 1-5 February), which were ended after a second interception by the VVS (the two wings operating as a group out of the forward ‘bare bones’ - Level 1 - new air base at Nikolayevsk na Amure) beat them back early on 6 February.

U4kJWO.jpg

The Japanese eventually won the battle for Ushumun on 10 February, after nine days of heavy fighting (1,001 Soviet and 2,191 Japanese ground casualties). But Ushumun was ultimately held after Soviet reinforcements appeared on 11 February and threw back the advancing Japanese after a brief skirmish.

On Sakhalin, the advance of the 1st Marine Division was interrupted when they struck Japanese counterparts at Shisuka on 1 February. That battle would last five days, ending in an expensive defeat which, with 2,439 additional Soviet casualties from Japanese air strikes, left the Soviet marines exhausted. They ran as soon as the Japanese attacked them in Alexandrov Sakhalinsky the same day. Early on 7 February, it was decided they would need reinforcement, so 57. Motor Rifle Div was detached to Theatre command and sent to secure the port of Okha.

TPPgEB.jpg

Soviet forces advanced into De Kastri (after winning the battle for it the month before) on the Pacific coast on 4 February and would later use it as a springboard for other attacks.

A few days afterwards, a significant Japanese attack on Solechny began on 6 February that was finally defeated on 10 February, again after another very heavy enemy air bombardment (3,133 air raid casualties over four days). This time, Soviet fighters tried to intervene again but, with repair facilities at their base severely limited (only one wing could be repaired at a time at that point), were unable to make much impact.

tf5g9t.jpg

It was observed that the winter weather no longer seemed to be hampering most attacks, for example in the Soviet attack on Alihe which began on 8 February and was won after a short fight. This time, Soviet air support was telling, with raids by the VVS (based in Tyndinskiy) from 2 to 8 February causing 2,137 enemy casualties.

Another heavy Japanese attack with air support struck Chegdomyn on 9 February and lasted until the Japanese were victorious on 12 February, when they occupied the province. However, the Soviets counter-attacked immediately with their own air support (causing 928 enemy casualties), winning the fight on 14 February and ultimately retaking Chegdomyn on 27 February.

The aggressive Japanese posture in the first part of the month continued with a counter-attack on Obluchye (10-13 February) as soon as the Soviets had occupied it after a previous victory. Soviet reinforcements would arrive twice more during the month, but those battles were also lost (20-22 and 24-25 February) with heavy Soviet ground casualties and continuing harassment from Japanese bombers. The enemy won and they retook the province on 27 February.

The Soviets had attacking plans of their own, however. Exploiting their breakthrough into De Kastri, Komsomolsk na Amure was attacked on 10 February, with the enemy breaking on contact. There would be another brief skirmish on 20 February, but the Japanese ran after a short fight and the province was liberated the same day. This was followed by two Japanese counter-attacks and the heaviest enemy air attacks of the war so far (5,033 Soviet casualties from 21-25 February from the air raids alone). The first Japanese counter-attack was defeated on 23 February but another began the next day and was still raging by the end of the month.

Further west, a Soviet attack on Kuibyshevka (15-16 February) ended in victory, despite interfering enemy air attacks. Enemy reinforcements arrived before the province was occupied, with a longer and harder fight ensuing from 21-24 February, again won by the Soviets. Once more, air casualties were higher than those on the ground, with both air forces involved: Soviet air raids caused 1,356 casualties, while the Japanese bombers killed 1,730 of the attacking Soviets. They were still advancing on the province as the month ended.

It was on 17 February that major news was received from the Allies: it appeared they had made an amphibious landing in the Japanese home islands a few days before. They had taken the port of Susaki on the island of Shikoku and a mixed force of mainly British plus French and German divisions under French command was beginning to fan out, without encountering any Japanese resistance on the ground. However, the state of the French ships sheltering in Susaki showed they had come under fierce attack during the landing. The Allies now had 28 wings of various nationalities operating out of Susaki’s sizeable air base.

7ZjRmg.jpg

This dramatic intervention was met with mixed feeling in Moscow: if it diverted Japanese effort from the hard-fought Soviet front, all well and good. But if it meant France would now overrun Japan while the Soviets were forced to slug it out on the mainland, it could upset longer-term Soviet ambitions. By 21 February, the Allies had occupied almost all of Shikoku.

Meanwhile, on 22 February the Soviet marines had limped back into Okha, while 57 MR Div was crossing over from Nikolayevsk na Amure: they would arrive on the morning of 24 February, a little more than a day before the Japanese moved up into Alexandrov Sakhalinsky.

But far bigger events were again unfolding away from the Soviet battle front. At 5pm on 22 February, Nationalist China joined the Allies and declared war on Japan. And it seemed the Japanese had left the border virtually unguarded! Once more, others would benefit while the Soviets did the dirty work.

UzCYpc.jpg

By that time, the French reported they had fully secured Shikoku, already had a bridgehead on the southern island of Kyushu and were attempting a crossing of the straits over to the main island of Honshu! It was both exhilarating and frustrating all at once, as the the Soviets bled while the Allies waltzed seemingly unhindered through the Home Islands.

kvUw2t.jpg

The month ended with a new Soviet attack on Verkhnetambovskoye in an attempt to keep pushing along the coast. Fighting started on 27 February and continued as the 28th ended – once more with heavy Japanese bombing raids on the attackers, but no further interceptor cover.

8hd58L.jpg

A summary of battles and advances.

eoj0wG.jpg

Eastern Sector statistics: it had been a brutal month for the Soviets, especially in terms of casualties from Japanese bombers, which the limited reach of VVS fighters had found difficult to repel, though reasonable bombing support had been available to the ground troops.

******

2. Central Sector

As the month began, a major Soviet attack continued against Tahe, which was heavily held be the Japanese. Despite persistent Soviet air support, this would prove to be the first of five unsuccessful attacks on the province. The Soviet commanders could not be faulted for their persistence, while demonstrating zero imagination. To be expected of Stalin’s iron grip, really. Battles were fought and lost there on 29 Jan-1 February, then from the 4-6, 17-20, 22-24 and 26-28 February, all resulting in Soviet defeat despite a total of 5,090 enemy troops being killed in supporting air raids during the month. The Japanese bombers were nowhere to be seen – they clearly did not range this far west from their bases towards the Pacific coast.

Elsewhere in the sector, local supply had improved just enough by 19 February to allow the Soviets to attack Olovyarmaya, where the battle was comfortably won by 25 February (63 Soviet v 348 Japanese killed). Unfortunately, supplies ran out again before the province could be occupied. A simultaneous Soviet advance on the undefended Goryachinsk also failed when their supplies ran out.

The Japanese later took advantage of poor Soviet supply in Chita, winning an attack there (22-24 February) and causing heavy Soviet casualties (591 Soviet v 320 Japanese killed). Chita would be occupied by the enemy on 28 February, as would Shilka to an unopposed enemy advance (the Soviet defenders having earlier withdrawn, presumably because of a lack of supplies).

tRxiRw.jpg

A summary of battles and advances.

aZF6ob.jpg

Central Sector statistics: the repeated Soviet assaults on Tahe proved costly, though this was evened up by Soviet air power. The only battle won by the Soviets in the sector could not be followed up due to supply shortages, which also led to the Japanese making the only territorial gains for the month.

******

3. Western Sector

There was no action involving Soviet forces in the sector for the month. However, the Mongolians were able to push forward in the south. Not a single air mission was flown out of the major air base at Irkutsk during February.

Wca01e.jpg

A summary of battles (above) and advances.

******

4. Production and Logistics

Early in the month, the first of a series of infrastructure improvements leading to the front (ordered some months before) was completed – this led to the previously front line air base of Jakutsk and towards the Pacific coast.

HByK3u.jpg

Around this time, the supply situation varied across the front. Only the Pacific coast and Mongolia seemed to have good local supply – the rest varied from poor to dire.

SKbtMX.jpg

The same morning, a new wing of Tu-4 STRAT bombers was produced, but were for now kept back in Moscow to help alleviate supply throughput problems in the Far East.

tnQtRj.jpg

A day later, an improvement of the Trans-Siberian Railway between Irkutsk and Ulan Ude was completed.

ZED7R5.jpg

By the evening of 7 February, the supply situation in the Eastern Sector had begun to improve, but remained generally poor further to the west and in and around Irkutsk.

Ru55io.jpg

On 9 February, five new provincial infrastructure improvements were begun in provinces closer to the new front line and leading to the still busy airfield at Tyndinskiy.

The next major project to be completed was an improvement to the main nuclear reactor at Mytishchi to Level 3: the next level was started but, due to the expense, Stalin asked his scientists [ie you, dear readAARs] what - if any - material benefit further improvements to the nuclear reactors would bring to nuclear bomb production once it began later in the month.

lAN903.jpg
The wikis and manual seem a bit fuzzy on this, other than saying they ‘add to your research benefit’ and ‘also your speed of production, the same way research knowledge always does’. My main question is whether its worth to keep improving this main reactor, as its still quite expensive – but if there is some tangible benefit to actual production speed, I’m happy to fork out (and have begun the next level on the assumption it is). The way things are going, I’ll need nukes if I ever want to challenge the Allies, who now have Nationalist China on their side and are running amok in Japan, who I’d hoped to conquer and puppet to bring them into the Comintern. As at 28 February, nuke theory is at 8.8 and practical 21.3, if that is at all relevant.
The first new submarine flotilla (the 8th Flotilla) was completed on 17 February and deployed in the Pacific fleet base at Ulya. It is still only a Series II boat, although its engine and hull are one level above the original boats (eg 11th Flotilla). The other ‘variable’ characteristics will have to be upgraded in place, as these weren’t available when it was laid down as a device to get practical building expertise going.

axcl6z.jpg

At the same time, another powerful new tank division was deployed on the Polish border. It is of passing interest to note that an SS division is one of a number of German units currently serving under Polish command there and making up the bulk of their forces. Most ironic.

BsJ8Ig.jpg

The important air base at Tyndinskiy also continued to be expanded.

xIjPsa.jpg

As was that at Nikolayevsk na Amure, whose bare facilities were the main reason so little interceptor cover was available at the eastern end of the line. This should help a little once the latest upgrade was fully on line.

4v0E2F.jpg


******

5. Research

From 6-14 February, three research projects matured, including pilot rescue, which would improve fighter crew resilience. Supply transportation was the first new research priority, given recent logistic problems. Trade interdiction doctrine was to be improved further for the future modernised submarine arm, while enough theory had been researched to allow actual jet engines to be pursued.

5d31CL.jpg

In the second half of the month, two more major advances were researched: nuclear bombs could now begin to be fabricated and that line of study would continue. Medical evacuation (using helicopters) would significantly improve the morale of all infantry-type units (though, as observed before, not for tank troops). Mass assault doctrine would further improve regular infantry morale.

dXi5WD.jpg


******

6. Espionage

The number of enemy agents being apprehended rose sharply (to previous levels) in February, with a whopping five (all from different countries) being caught on 7 February alone. With a large surplus of spare agents and no new espionage missions proposed, spy training remained zeroed out for the month.

By the end of the month, 36 enemy spies had been neutralised in the USSR or in the four foreign missions (seven more than in January). Six Soviet agents had been lost (three in Manchuria, one each in Japan, Turkey and Spain), so overall strength fell from 70 Soviet to 64 agents in the field or in reserve.

In terms of political results, NU in Japan and Manchuria had again been eroded a little more. Communist Party support in Spain was down again [this mission looks to be a bit futile at the moment], but once more up a little in Turkey.

bUsXiE.jpg


******

7. Theatre Summaries

As noted above, fighting was most intense in the Eastern Sector of the Far East but Japanese air power and continuing supply problems made it a difficult month, with little net gain of territory and heavy casualties suffered.

C8IhuP.jpg


******

In the new theatre of China, the Nationalists had already begun to make inroads against minimal resistance across a wide front in the first week of their all-out offensive.

fx5rbr.jpg

And the Allied invasion of the Japanese Home Islands was also encountering no resistance on the ground as yet.

XJ7Mr5.jpg

South East Asia and the Pacific were static, with no change in Malaya or Singapore.

******

Endnote: These huge events in Japan and China may require a hasty reworking of Soviet operational plans, to try to prevent them making all the gains while we bleed out and crawl forward to the north. Serious thought will be given to detaching some more conventional units in the east, putting them on boats and launching our own speculative invasion of Honshu before the whole island is overrun by the French. It’s also looking more likely that the nukes, rockets and strategic bombers may be used against the Allies later than Japan soon, if the latter collapse rapidly from here (especially given I’ve been niggling away at their NU for a long time now).
 
  • 3Like
  • 1
Reactions:

serutan

Major
4 Badges
Jun 7, 2009
593
295
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Darkest Hour
  • Europa Universalis III
  • 500k Club
Too bad it's not HOI2 - then you'd probably get a free hand when the Japanese AI used the strategic redeployment cheat to transfer much of its forces from the mainland to the Home Islands.
 
  • 3Like
Reactions:

roverS3

General
20 Badges
May 24, 2013
1.951
1.231
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
Yes, the Soviet Union is winning the nuclear race. Maybe drop those first nukes on areas of Japan the Allies haven't overrun to end the war early and grab more territory?
I know it's not a nice thing to do, but this is pretty much the reverse of the historical situation in some ways. OTL the Soviets were winning big in Manchuria, breaking the Japanese lines, when the US dropped it's nukes so they could accept the Japanese surrender and (mostly) make the terms of the peace. In this case, the Soviet union is getting held up by a stubborn Japanese army (just like the Allies on Okinawa and the pacific islands OTL), and the Allies have free reign to grab territory (almost like Russia in Manchuria OTL). The USSR will likely have the bomb first. Let's use it to browbeat Japan and send a message to the world.

I do love the fact that the Allies put the french in charge of the invasion of the Japanese home islands. I doubt the French navy even has the capability to sealift that many troops in one go, let alone provide logistical support to such an operation, but if the British and the Americans are ready to give France the credit, it's a nice gesture for sure. Maybe they all expected the home islands to be a quagmire and they convinced the French to send in it's own Infantry and take the lead, along with most of the casualties?

It is quite funny to see the IJA not peeling off any forces from the Soviet Front to try and contain Nationalist Chinese and French advances. Maybe they're just really scared to end up in the Comintern?
 
  • 3Like
Reactions:

Eurasia

HoI3 AI ExperimentAAR
45 Badges
Jun 21, 2014
3.151
2.541
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Island Bound
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Prison Architect
  • Prison Architect: Psych Ward
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Rome Gold
  • Victoria 2
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • For the Motherland
It is quite funny to see the IJA not peeling off any forces from the Soviet Front to try and contain Nationalist Chinese and French advances. Maybe they're just really scared to end up in the Comintern?

The Comintern would likely kill the Emperor. The Allies might not.
 
  • 3Like
  • 2
Reactions:

Surt

Field Marshal
29 Badges
Jan 29, 2003
7.240
611
Visit site
  • Semper Fi
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II
You should consider starting the war with the Allies soon, as in last year, before they get too powerful. The main concern with the Chinese is that they are protected by bad infrastructure. I assume the ChiComs are long gone so no help there.
I have never tried building reactors in more than one province so I can't say.
 
  • 1Like
  • 1
Reactions:

diskoerekto

ferocious native
33 Badges
Feb 17, 2005
2.157
1.107
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
This was followed by two Japanese counter-attacks and the heaviest enemy air attacks of the war so far (5,033 Soviet casualties from 21-25 February from the air raids alone).
:eek: unbelievable

This dramatic intervention was met with mixed feeling in Moscow: if it diverted Japanese effort from the hard-fought Soviet front, all well and good. But if it meant France would now overrun Japan while the Soviets were forced to slug it out on the mainland, it could upset longer-term Soviet ambitions. By 21 February, the Allies had occupied almost all of Shikoku.
I don't actually believe allies will be meticulous enough to overrun Japan proper. Very interesting development nonetheless!

But far bigger events were again unfolding away from the Soviet battle front. At 5pm on 22 February, Nationalist China joined the Allies and declared war on Japan. And it seemed the Japanese had left the border virtually unguarded! Once more, others would benefit while the Soviets did the dirty work.
Oh crap, I might be wrong about the previous comment, maybe they'll wrap it up like a walk in the park while we duke it out with Japan.

Central Sector statistics: the repeated Soviet assaults on Tahe proved costly, though this was evened up by Soviet air power. The only battle won by the Soviets in the sector could not be followed up due to supply shortages, which also led to the Japanese making the only territorial gains for the month.
Wow this sector has been atrocious this month with the supply problems and all. At least Japanese bombers haven't reached here.

while enough theory had been researched to allow actual jet engines to be pursued.
our airplanes will now be unbeatable in air, but don't forget to keep range tech (droptanks etc) current since it also hurts range

Medical evacuation (using helicopters) would significantly improve the morale of all infantry-type units
thuppa-thuppa-thuppa!
 

El Pip

Lord of Slower-than-real-time
40 Badges
Dec 13, 2005
7.791
1.794
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Semper Fi
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Prison Architect
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Divine Wind
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Heir to the Throne
Once more, others would benefit while the Soviets did the dirty work.
I like to imagine there is an Allied liaison officer quoting back the Soviet line from the Battle of Britain, it is amusing to see Stalin's dream of everyone else being bleed white by a war being turned back against him.

The same morning, a new wing of Tu-4 STRAT bombers was produced, but were for now kept back in Moscow to help alleviate supply throughput problems in the Far East.

tnQtRj.jpg
I'm fairly certain those Tu-4s would be incapable of taking off. In the usual triumph of Paradox research they've put the fighter engine (the VK-105 was a knock-off copy off the French H-S 12) and assigned it to the bomber, the problem being those engines have less than half the power of the actual engines used on the Tu-4 (or indeed the B-29 it was copied from). They will make a lot of noise while taxiing about, but never actually lift off. This is perhaps the real reason they are not being sent to the Far East. ;)

the next level was started but, due to the expense, Stalin asked his scientists [ie you, dear readAARs] what - if any - material benefit further improvements to the nuclear reactors would bring to nuclear bomb production once it began later in the month.
Reactors provide no benefit to the rate of bomb production (for no obviously explicable reason). The bomb production techs do help and they are 90% practical to research so building reactors does help you get them faster because each reactor boosts your practical. But it is an incredibly IC intensive way of helping and of course practicals decay away so it's hard to quantify how much time you save, not without going into calculus territory.

If you are desperate to save a few weeks/months off getting the next bomb tech (and so speeding up bomb production) then maybe it is worth it. But I'd suspect there are probably better things to spend that much IC on.
 
  • 2
  • 2
Reactions:

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.894
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Thanks for the comments on the last chapter, I’ll respond to them soon when I resume AAR writing after the holiday break. I’ve been working hard on my HOI3 mod in recent days as time permits during the traditional slow forum period.
 
  • 2Like
  • 2
Reactions:

Alex Kernel

Captain
43 Badges
Jul 16, 2012
310
318
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Steel Division: Normand 44 - Second Wave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44 -  Back to Hell
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Semper Fi
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
Japan seems out of your reach, and the IC/Leadership gain you can achieve in the region is limited. Time has come to attack the Allies in Eastern Europe as long as their attention is in East Asia. I guess @Sur is right, you have a narrowing window of opportunity in Europe.

Excellent AAR that I only now discovered. Keep doing the original work. Letting the AI manage the frontline is a harsh self-imposed task, though it looks like you count on nuclear strategic bombing to defeat Western Europe. Is it so?

PS: Your previous French campaign developed nicely until 1944. I'm wondering how mine will unfold. In your French campaign, which is the basis for the present Soviet AAR, would you have been able to defeat the Soviet Union, for by reaching Moscow, Stalingrad, and Leningrad? What is your assessment? Defeating USSR in East Europe is one thing, and conquering the mainland Soviet Union is quite another. The USSR and the Nazi Germany do receive defensive bonuses when fighting on their national territory.
 
Last edited:
  • 1Like
Reactions:

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.894
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
A further temporary delay as, per my post on Talking Turkey, I need to fix some game glitches before resuming. Sigh. It’ll be back - it may not happen at once, but it will happen. I’ll work on my other two AARs in the meantime.
 
  • 1
Reactions:

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.894
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Righto, after a long holiday break (for this AAR), work on my HOI3 mod and then some problems with my HOI3 game as publicised in Talking Turkey, Q&D2 will be the next to feel the love. Some comment responses now (thanks for your patience everyone) and then I'll play the next session. And hope it doesn't crash and play up too much! :eek:
Too bad it's not HOI2 - then you'd probably get a free hand when the Japanese AI used the strategic redeployment cheat to transfer much of its forces from the mainland to the Home Islands.
That would certainly be more logical for the Japanese right now: why bother dying in the trackless wastes when the Home Islands themselves are under direct assault. By the French, no less!
Yes, the Soviet Union is winning the nuclear race. Maybe drop those first nukes on areas of Japan the Allies haven't overrun to end the war early and grab more territory?
I know it's not a nice thing to do, but this is pretty much the reverse of the historical situation in some ways. OTL the Soviets were winning big in Manchuria, breaking the Japanese lines, when the US dropped it's nukes so they could accept the Japanese surrender and (mostly) make the terms of the peace. In this case, the Soviet union is getting held up by a stubborn Japanese army (just like the Allies on Okinawa and the pacific islands OTL), and the Allies have free reign to grab territory (almost like Russia in Manchuria OTL). The USSR will likely have the bomb first. Let's use it to browbeat Japan and send a message to the world.

I do love the fact that the Allies put the french in charge of the invasion of the Japanese home islands. I doubt the French navy even has the capability to sealift that many troops in one go, let alone provide logistical support to such an operation, but if the British and the Americans are ready to give France the credit, it's a nice gesture for sure. Maybe they all expected the home islands to be a quagmire and they convinced the French to send in it's own Infantry and take the lead, along with most of the casualties?

It is quite funny to see the IJA not peeling off any forces from the Soviet Front to try and contain Nationalist Chinese and French advances. Maybe they're just really scared to end up in the Comintern?
That was the aim with nukes and Japan, but I hadn't anticipated such a wildfire Allied amph campaign against no defence coming before I could get in position myself. It may be too late by the time I actually get the nukes and can deploy them. :oops: Will see how it goes from here. I have some ideas there, but am not sure how it will work.

In this game, the French are in a far better position than OTL of course and deployed a pretty sizable fleet to launch the operation. The UK and US are still but lackeys at their bidding, even under AI control. ;)

Poor AI: this situation would now be very tough for a human player to retrieve. I suspect the AI will now have conniptions!
The Comintern would likely kill the Emperor. The Allies might not.
After Tsar Nicholas, they might indeed get all firing squad about it. Unless they wanted a ransom or some such. Though an execution might make the occupation a little - lively!
You should consider starting the war with the Allies soon, as in last year, before they get too powerful. The main concern with the Chinese is that they are protected by bad infrastructure. I assume the ChiComs are long gone so no help there.
I have never tried building reactors in more than one province so I can't say.
Hmm, maybe. This has upset the rough timetable somewhat. I'd wanted victory against Japan and a decent nuke stockpile (which I want to use on the Germans first) before I started in on Europe. Will consider as we move into March ...
:eek: unbelievable


I don't actually believe allies will be meticulous enough to overrun Japan proper. Very interesting development nonetheless!


Oh crap, I might be wrong about the previous comment, maybe they'll wrap it up like a walk in the park while we duke it out with Japan.


Wow this sector has been atrocious this month with the supply problems and all. At least Japanese bombers haven't reached here.


our airplanes will now be unbeatable in air, but don't forget to keep range tech (droptanks etc) current since it also hurts range


thuppa-thuppa-thuppa!
It was a real reversal of the air war once I got in range of serious Japanese TAC and my own VVS air cover was impeded by a lack of supply and decent forward air bases (plus AI diffidence).

I hope the Allies don't overrun the lot too quickly, but they're making a pretty good show of it so far! :eek:

The advances will help, though they were mainly made with Europe in mind (higher tech opponents, shorter range). Will certainly keep the range-related aircraft research going.
I like to imagine there is an Allied liaison officer quoting back the Soviet line from the Battle of Britain, it is amusing to see Stalin's dream of everyone else being bleed white by a war being turned back against him.


I'm fairly certain those Tu-4s would be incapable of taking off. In the usual triumph of Paradox research they've put the fighter engine (the VK-105 was a knock-off copy off the French H-S 12) and assigned it to the bomber, the problem being those engines have less than half the power of the actual engines used on the Tu-4 (or indeed the B-29 it was copied from). They will make a lot of noise while taxiing about, but never actually lift off. This is perhaps the real reason they are not being sent to the Far East. ;)


Reactors provide no benefit to the rate of bomb production (for no obviously explicable reason). The bomb production techs do help and they are 90% practical to research so building reactors does help you get them faster because each reactor boosts your practical. But it is an incredibly IC intensive way of helping and of course practicals decay away so it's hard to quantify how much time you save, not without going into calculus territory.

If you are desperate to save a few weeks/months off getting the next bomb tech (and so speeding up bomb production) then maybe it is worth it. But I'd suspect there are probably better things to spend that much IC on.
True about the 'bleeding white': it's happened twice in this game. First, the French waiting for the Soviets to be almost defeated by the Germans before they saw fit to launch their own offensive and gain most of Europe. And now, second time lucky with Japan.

The miracles of game tech fairy dust: the Tu-4s will be as fast and elegant as a hawk compared to a pigeon! :D

Yes, I think the nuke tech and reactor stuff is about where it needs to be now. And the Allies will take some beating in this ATL (I'm not actually that optimistic about being able to manage it at all, especially now they're running rampant through Japan).
Japan seems out of your reach, and the IC/Leadership gain you can achieve in the region is limited. Time has come to attack the Allies in Eastern Europe as long as their attention is in East Asia. I guess @Sur is right, you have a narrowing window of opportunity in Europe.

Excellent AAR that I only now discovered. Keep doing the original work. Letting the AI manage the frontline is a harsh self-imposed task, though it looks like you count on nuclear strategic bombing to defeat Western Europe. Is it so?

PS: Your previous French campaign developed nicely until 1944. I'm wondering how mine will unfold. In your French campaign, which is the basis for the present Soviet AAR, would you have been able to defeat the Soviet Union, for by reaching Moscow, Stalingrad, and Leningrad? What is your assessment? Defeating USSR in East Europe is one thing, and conquering the mainland Soviet Union is quite another. The USSR and the Nazi Germany do receive defensive bonuses when fighting on their national territory.
Japan could be out of reach, though I won't give up yet on grabbing my fair chunk of it. The timetable re Europe has always been a tricky one, now even more so. Which makes for an interesting challenge.

Glad you have found this one and welcome aboard! Yes, the AI army control is one of the additional handicaps imposed (as well as starting it when the Allies had already established a New World Order victory with France never defeated and pretty much all of Europe under their control). If it ends in gallant defeat, then so be it!

Yes, nukes and rockets are part of the plan for the West - I'll need everything I can muster to even make a decent run at it. Also, I've never used either before in an HOI game of any version, so it's a chance for me to explore the mechanics and tactics.

I think we've discussed the French campaign (Q&D1) separately by now, but in brief here, yes, I reckon such a strong Allied faction, now with Germany and Italy etc as active parts, plus a strong France, UK and the US would probably have trounced a weak Soviet Union, which had almost lost to the Germans and still had the Japanese deep inside the eastern marches. I suspect the defensive bonuses would not have been enough to save Uncle Joe.
 
  • 2Like
  • 1
Reactions:
Chapter 25 – March 1946

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.894
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Chapter 25 – March 1946

Foreword

After a grinding month of winter warfare and supply problems in February 1946, the Soviets find themselves still slugging it out with Japan and its puppet regimes. Meanwhile, Nationalist China had joined the Allies and swept away light Japanese resistance, while a French-led invasion force raced through the undefended southern Japanese Home Islands.

Time seemed to be running against Stalin, who raced to complete nuclear weapons, build strategic rockets and long range bombers, finish research on jet engine technology to make the Air Force competitve against its Allied counterparts and debvelop modern submarines for the outmoded Soviet Navy.

A strike on Europe before these new weapons were operational and while still heavily engaged in the East seemed premature, even though the options there may be narrowing.

******

1. General Operations: 1-17 March

[
Note: a map summarising the major battles and advances in the Far Eastern Theatre is included at the end of Section 3 below.]

As March began, the Soviets decided they would respond to the Allied invasion of Japan by trying a smaller one of their own: hastily arranged and somewhat desperate, given it would have to be staged without any air cover. A mixture of reasonably battle-worthy divisions of about corps strength in the vicinity of Nikolayevsk na Amure began to assemble there for eventual embarkation. The diversion would detract from the offensive capacity in the eastern-most sector, but the risk would be taken. The remainder of the invasion plan – Operation Narwhal – is summarised in Section 2.

Soviet supply remained problematic over large parts of the front. Where it was good, in the east and in southern Mongolia, there was significant action. There was virtually none in the centre, where it was generally mediocre. But south of Irkutsk and east of Lake Baikal it remained very bad. This would be reflected in the ebb and flow and land combat operations as the month unfolded.

jCHnEJ.jpg

A Soviet attack on Verkhnetambovskoye that had begun on 27 February finally failed on 4 March: casualties were likely heavy on both sides, but no battle report was received. Elsewhere, the Soviets began three new attacks on 1 March. A probe on Obluchye was soon abandoned (though 822 Japanese were killed in supporting air strikes that day), while yet another Soviet attack on Tahe was soon abandoned after disproportionate ground casualties (507 Soviet v 47 Japanese ground and 718 air strike casualties).

The Japanese had taken Mildigun unopposed and then Komsomolsk na Amure on 1 Mar after a successful attack there the month before. The Soviets quickly counter-attacked the latter, winning by 3 March (Soviet 810 v 557 Japanese ground and 801 air strike casualties) despite Japanese air strikes on the attackers in Di Kastri (1,138 Soviets killed over two days) and Solechny (601 more on 3 March), retaking it by the 12th.

The Soviets next attacked and won in Alihe from 3-5 March (577 Soviet, 443 Japanese ground and 1,139 air casualties).

A review of war goals against Japan that evening showed both France [from my previous stewardship] and the Soviet Union sought to puppet Japan and install their own form of government there. Just as a hedge, the Soviets added a territorial claim on Sakhalin to their list of goals.

In Mongolia, a combined Soviet-Mongolian attack was launched and won on Sain Tsagan on 4 March (121 Soviet, 89 Japanese casualties) and the province was liberated on 11 March.

Chegdomyn saw the start of one of many battles for it during March, when the Japanese attacked from 4 March until defeated on the 7th. The Soviets lost 1,210 ground casualties and another 2,605 to supporting Japanese air strikes. The Japanese also paid a heavy price, losing 1,632 to ground combat and 2,555 more to Soviet air strikes on troops attacking from Tyrma and Suluk.

In one of the occasional air battles of the month, two Soviet INT wings hit two unescorted Japanese TAC wings over Mordaga on their way to a bombing mission on the morning of 4 March, managing to inflict more damage than they received. And early reports from China indicated they were now advancing more rapidly than the French were in Japan.

As the bitter defensive fight in Chegdomyn continued, the Soviets made their own major assault on Obluchye from 5-8 March, eventually winning – though it would take until 27 March to occupy it. Soviet ground casualties were 743, while the Japanese lost 859 on the ground and another 1,132 from Soviet air strikes. The VVS was definitely back in force in March, with many missions flown from Tyndinskiy and the smaller forward eastern air base at Nikolayevsk na Amure. Japanese air power was still present and devastating at times, but more sporadic than the Soviet effort.

The chronic supply problems around Irkutsk led to Ulan Ude being abandoned without a fight to the Japanese on 7 March. Over in Finland, there were no new rebellions, but reports were being received of underground resistance brewing again.

341lfx.jpg

The Soviets launched yet another attack on Tahe on 8 March, but it ended in defeat two days later. Four Soviet divisions had taken on a similar number of well entrenched Japanese and allied troops (a bit over 30,000 on each side) and once more they were unable to break into Manchurian territory for the first time. Soviet casualties were 1,336, the Japanese losing 789, plus 1,534 to the VVS.

The Soviet supply situation had if anything worsened by the evening of 9 March. Production and the stockpile were not the problems: it was all about distribution, and recent and continuing infrastructure and technology improvements seemed to be doing little to alleviate it.

uPwLWD.jpg

The Japanese renewed their attack on Chegdomyn on 9 March, finally being repulsed again on 11 March. The Soviets lost 826 men on the ground and a massive 3,650 from Japanese air attacks. The Japanese had 1,174 killed on the ground and 1,245 from VVS action in Tyrma. The province was becoming a mass grave for both sides.

After being quiet for some time, on Sakhalin the Japanese tried to retake Okha, their attack taking from 9-14 March to finally be defeated – for once there was no air support on either side. The Soviets lost 471 to 1,210 Japanese marines killed. Soviet fighters tried to stop the enemy bombers twice during 11 March, but this time came off second best to the enemy bombers and escorts (2 x Soviet INT v 2 x Japanese M/R and 4 x TAC).

The supply shortages were now having a direct impact now on some operations in the eastern sector – for example in Ushumun [ie. -50% on combat for lack of supplies], where what should have been an easy defence was being made difficult. The Japanese attacked on 10 March and pulled back on 12 March, the Soviets losing 587 men in the defence. The Japanese took 672 casualties in the assault, with the VVS probably saving the day by inflicting another 1,106 casualties on the enemy attacking from Kuibyshevka. But the Japanese would be back.

A quick Soviet attack on weakened Japanese defences in Elban on 13 March succeeded the next day. Soviet casualties were 291, the Japanese having 297 killed on the ground and 263 more from the air. The Soviets would push on to take the Elban salient by 19 March, after having to execute two more quick attacks on the way over 16-18 March. But their hold on it would be tested after arrival.

By early on 14 March, the supply situation had worsened further, with only the two ends of the front – southern Mongolia and the Pacific coast – with decent supply. In most other places it was dire.

zIbiu6.jpg

That evening, the objectives for all four armies in the 1st and 2nd Soviet Far Eastern Fronts were reviewed, with old or unneeded objectives discarded and some new ones added.

Ratnikov’s 15th Army, the largest with 195,000 men, was given the tough inland route to Khabarovsk and Harbin.

yQgMlz.jpg

The smaller 6th Army, under Shestopalov, was assigned the coastal route, all the way down to Vladivostok.

zcoBsC.jpg

The main command in the 2nd FE Front was Rybak’s 7th Army (175,000 men), which – due to the problems caused by lack of supplies south of Irkutsk – was ordered to hold its approaches and ensure Ulaanbaatar was held.

yWSXe8.jpg

Finally, Cherniakhovskij’s smaller 1st Army (102,000 troops), had the ‘aspirational’ objectives of retaking Mildigun and exploiting beyond it into Manchuria. Either a Japanese collapse or radically improved Soviet logistics would be needed before either of these would be realistic.

O6SDgb.jpg

Allied progress in Japan had slowed down, with only modest gains so far in the first two weeks of March.

hKq2OI.jpg

The Japanese were attacking Ushumun again by 15 March and this time, with the defenders still out of supply, the Soviets would be forced to retreat by the 17th, despite very heavy air support from the VVS. As well as launching air raids on the attackers, the VVS had acted decisively to halt Japanese air attacks on Ushumun in the afternoon and evening of 15 March.

Sz2jbK.jpg

But this was not enough to outweigh the weariness and supply shortages on the ground this time. The Soviets lost 757 men to ground fighting and 240 from air attacks, while the Japanese lost 301 in the ground fighting and a whopping 2,370 to air strikes on Kuibyshevka.

******

2. Operation Narwhal

The divisions summoned to Nikolayevsk na Amure on 28 February were still assembling, the Red Banner Pacific Fleet (RBPF - 24 vessels including transports) made the short hop over to Okha to pick up the largely recovered 1st Marine Division at 1400hr on 1 March (quicker than the strait-crossing). They were back without incident by by 0400hr the next morning.

It took until 18 March for the new scratch corps to be assembled: HQ 14th Mech Corps would command 101. SD, 1 ‘Moskovskaya Proletar.’ Div, 35 ‘Sibirskaya’ SD and 1st Marine Div [37,983 troops with a carry weight of 210 against a 360 transport capacity]. They were loaded aboard at 1900hr while possible targets for the hastily contrived Operation Narwhal were considered. It was hoped a port could be seized directly for rapid post-invasion supply and exploitation.

TB2Vov.jpg

Sapporo was the ‘safest’ option. The drawbacks included being furthest away from Japan’s key centres and the lack of an airfield for forward VVS basing.

On the northern part of the main island of Honshu, Akita was another possibility. If defended, its mountainous terrain might prove a difficult obstacle and the territory between it and the key centres in the south was either hills or mountains. It did at least have an airfield.

The most dangerous option – but the one that might provide the quickest rewards – was Kanazawa. It too had an air base and was much closer to the key centres in the south, including Tokyo.

A final decision was not made yet: if the fleet had not been interdicted – by sea or air – when it reached the Tsugaru Strait, the call would be made then. The RBPF set sail to an unknown fate. LTGEN Parkhomenko’s HQ 14 Mech Corps was assigned to direct [human] control of the Far East Theatre HQ.

bm0VpR.jpg

Admiral Kuznetsov had pushed on to Okushiri Strait without enemy interference by the morning of 20 March, 1946. When he signalled for instructions, the codeword response was “Enter the Lion’s Den”: it meant the fleet would strike for Kanazawa in the hope of delivering a coup de main to the Japanese.

37fqx3.jpg

The Soviets hoped desperately that a long naval war and recent Allied operations had crippled the Imperial Japanese Fleet sufficiently for the rusty old RBPF to hold long enough to get the troops ashore. Land-based enemy bombers were of equal concern.

The RBPF arrived at 0200 on the morning of 21 March and began unloading all four divisions in stormy weather. But they were soon discovered and came under attack from a couple of dive-bomber (CAS) wings at 0400hr. If that was all the Japanese could muster, perhaps the fleets AA defences would be enough after all ...

... but a seaplane scouting mission soon revealed a fleet of six enemy ships at port in Kanazawa. Though again, such a small fleet wasn’t necessarily a huge problem – depending on its composition. An hour later, that composition could be more accurately appraised.

LrtLLn.jpg

It must have included three fleet carriers, as six CAGs joined the naval strike on RBPF by 0500hr! This changed the whole complexion of the operation immediately: they had walked straight into a trap.

By 0700hr the Japanese naval strike was over. While not yet critical, the damage would soon begin to mount if Kuznetzov tried to ‘tough it out’, his old ships sitting ducks in Toyama Bay for the Japanese aviators. He immediately recalled the troops and ordered the fleet to escape north at top speed.

NzZ9Si.jpg

The fleet was struck again by the eight enemy wings at 1000hr and this time, the cumulative damage (mainly organisational, but some structural) was serious, especially among the transports. They kept fleeing north – for their lives. Had they stayed, most of the fleet might have been sunk and the landing force lost.

They had arrived at the rally point – back at Okushiri Strait – by 1900hr on the evening of the 21st. But instead of heading back to port, the order was received to “Kick in the door”. They would instead head west to Uchiura Bay and see if they could land the marines (at least) straight into the port of Sapporo, hoping they might be out of enemy air range and be able to sneak in before they were intercepted.

Kuznetsov was in place by 0500hr on the morning of the 22nd, and this time just MAJGEN M.P. Vorobiev’s marines would attempt the hazardous landing. He needed 35 hours to get his division fully ashore – and hope there was no Japanese garrison in place. The key question was: could the RBPF hold off any potential opposition for that long?

mCWm2R.jpg

It took longer this time, but by midday the fleet had been discovered and struck by an unknown number and type of enemy wings [didn’t get a report until it was over]. More damage was done, but Kuznetzov held his position. Another strike hit them between 1700 and 1900hr that evening: and this time the same six CAG wings as seen in Toyama Bay were identified, with yet more damage being done but no ships sunk. This must mean the carriers were approaching: but still Kuznetsov held on while the brave marines struggled ashore.

Then all hell broke loose at 0200 the next morning, 23 March. The RBPF was simultaneously hit by the CAGs and the Japanese carrier task force, with the three fleet carriers Ryujo, Soryu and Kaga sitting back and the battleship Yamashiro closing to within firing range.

RVCrfI.jpg

The CAG strike ended at 0500hr, but the surface action continued. Much of the RBPF, including the flagship Parizhskaya Kommuna, were damaged and badly disorganised by then – but the Soviet light and heavy cruisers had closed with the Yamashiro and by 0700hr had very nearly sent it to the bottom, the Krasni Kavkaz yet unscathed and leading the sortie.

unvl5J.jpg

But at 0800hr the enemy CAGs returned and Soviet morale cracked, the RBPF fleeing west with heavy damage and one destroyer flotilla sunk. But until they actually left the bay, the marines were [I discovered, to my surprise] still trying to land and were coming tantalisingly close to getting ashore.

lHEVpT.jpg

The latest CAG strike ended at 1100hr, with more damage done but no more ships sunk. The marines were very nearly ashore: could they do it before the fleet left the bay?

The answer was no – by just three hours! The marines were forced to abandon the attempt as the RBPF left Uchiura Bay. So close – but no cigar!

p015P2.jpg

Now fearing further pursuit of his heavily damaged fleet, Kuznetsov set a course around to the east of Sakhalin for the long return voyage.

gZXJPv.jpg

As it happened, they made it back on the morning of 25 March with no further encounters. Back in port, the full damage to the fleet was assessed: it was a minor miracle more ships had not been lost.

hEkBo0.jpg

It had been a painful but still valuable and not a catastrophic failure. As the Soviets absorbed the lessons learned, it was very clear any further landing without are cover would be a highly hazardous affair.

******

3. General Operations: 18-31 March

A combined attack by Soviet and Mongolian forces on Khara Arak was won on 18 March (84 Soviet, 139 Japanese killed) and the province would be occupied by the Mongolians before the end of the month. However, the main action continued to be in eastern sector.

A major Soviet attack was launched on Tyrma on 19 March, which was won after a four day battle. Soviet casualties were 767, while the Japanese lost 631 on the ground, but another 2,158 from concerted VVS air support. The Japanese bombers were in a battlefield lull, not striking any targets between 16-25 March.

On 19 March, the Soviets had launched another large assault on Tahe, which they had been trying to take for weeks now. This battle would go for six gruelling days, but at last the Soviets had their victory on 25 March, losing 1,901 men to 1,866 Japanese defenders, plus another 2,127 to Soviet air strikes, which ran from 19-21 and on 23 March.

Also, late on the 19th, the Japanese attacked Ushumun once again, but were soon defeated (20 Soviet, 113 Japanese casualties, plus 1,143 to spoiling Soviet air strikes on Huma). A more determined attack went in from 21-22 March, but was again beaten off (96 Soviet and 371 Japanese casualties, plus 901 from VVS strikes on the attackers in Alihe). Air support was proving crucial in defeating the Japanese in the attack or defence and generally caused heavier casualties than the ground actions.

While these battles were in progress, the French sent word they had captured the key [5 VP] city of Nagasaki on the evening or 20 March. The Soviets occupied Tumnin on the Pacific coast the same day, but the Japanese retook Chegdomyn on the 21st.

Even as the battle for Tahe had not yet finished, the resilient Japanese made their biggest attack yet on Ushumun on 23 March. Even though the VVS struck the attackers hard once more in Alihe (1,932 enemy killed from 23-26 March) and Huma (1,331 on 26 March alone), this time the Japanese were too strong for the weary defenders, winning the battle on 26 March (887 Soviet, 987 Japanese killed). The enemy would eventually retake Ushumun on 31 March.

Showing the ebb and flow of operations in the east, on 23 March the Soviets initiated a counter-attack on the recently lost Chegdomyn, eventually winning the two day fight by 25 March against an enemy that had not yet been able to consolidate their positions. Ground casualties were 328 for the Soviets and 453 for the Japanese, but once more the VVS killed the most enemy – 1,637 in just two days of air strikes. The Soviets took Chegdomyn back the next day.

Early on 25 March, the Soviet supply situation was good in the east and in southern Mongolia, poor in the centre and around Itkutsk and terrible east of Lake Baikal, which remained inactive despite a noticeable thinning of the Japanese line there, which was becoming patchier in most places across the whole front.

p5ChA3.jpg

The Soviet Pacific submarine fleet, now repaired, was relocated back from Ulya to Petropavlovsk Kamcackij from 0500hr on 25 March, reaching their new base at midnight on 28 March. They would not be sent on active operations yet, but were now ready again to do so if needed.

Yet again, the Japanese showed far more fight in this sector than they appeared to be in China or on their own Home Islands. Between 25-27 March, they made a major attack on the Elban salient that the Soviets had taken earlier in the month. The Japanese prevailed, with 672 ground casualties for the Soviets, plus 2,906 from the Japanese bombers, who reappeared with devastating effect over the three days of the battle. The Japanese lost 555 on the ground and 407 to strikes on Verkhnetambovskoye on 26 March, but it was not enough to save the Soviet defenders. The Soviets retreated, but the Japanese had not yet reoccupied the province as the month ended.

The Japanese took advantage of poor Soviet supply in the western sector by attacking Slyudyanka on 26 March, winning the next day [Soviet out of supply penalty] in a battle the Soviets should have won (71 Soviet, 202 Japanese killed). Once more, there was no Soviet air support available, as the wings were all a zero organisation due to prolonged supply shortages.

The Soviets occupied Tyrma on 27 March after their victory earlier in the month. The French took Kagoshima [5 VP] on the 28th. And on the 29th, the Soviet 14th Mech Corps, freed for now of their temporary amphibious role, was assigned as an independent [AI] force under Theatre control, to reinforce the offensive along the Pacific coast.

F59HYD.jpg

The final battle of March 1946 followed the Soviet occupation of Tahe, further west in northern Manchuria, on the 30th. In the end one tired Soviet advance division in hasty defensive positions was attacked from Huma and Mangui by six enemy divisions. Soviet air strikes did kill 1,033 attackers in Mangui and 1,335 in Huma, but could not prevent the enemy victory. No report on ground casualties was received.

The Japanese occupied Slyudyanka on 30 March – directly threatening the key regional city of Irkutsk. At that point, it was only occupied by three Soviet HQs, with the defeated division from Slyudyanka due in shortly. 1st and 7th Armies were both assigned Irkutsk as an ‘emergency’ defensive objective at 2300hr that night. Most other nearby divisions were out of supply and/or heading away from Irkutsk.

M3c9mB.jpg

The 6th Heavy Armoured Division arrived from Slyudyanka at 0200hr, low on organisation and supplies, though with plenty of fuel. It was hoped they would hold in Irkutsk and perhaps be able to resupply, though this was in doubt.

BtvSD9.jpg

And so another hard month for the Soviets on the battlefront ended with some gains (though some of the gains would likely to be rolled back soon in Tahe and Elban) and some lost ground too. The Japanese were still fighting hard.

tfcZve.jpg

Ground casualties had been roughly even for the month, but the VVS was back in force in the eastern part of the front at least, taking an enormous toll and Japanese ground forces.

******

4. Production and Infrastructure

On 4 March, new infrastructure upgrades were completed in ten provinces across the Far Eastern AO. As the month wore on, any improvement in supply distribution seemed to be marginal, if hard to determine. No new projects were commissioned immediately, as the production queue had a significant deficit at that time.

On 8 March, a new DD flotilla entered service. Because it had to work up, it was (luckily for the crews) not yet ready when the RBPF deployed on the fraught Operation Narwhal. This flotilla was still Kiev Class, but somewhat improved on the existing Kiev class ships in 3. Flotiliya, for example.

VL9P0Z.jpg

By mid-March, supply production requirements could be decreased, with the stockpile now regularly maxed out. Upgrade costs regularly took 80-100+ IC of the around 394 usually available. Supply production would usually need between 95-110 IC, with the production queue running around 175 IC. The rest went to reinforcements and consumer goods.

Earlier in the month, when attention turned to amphibious operations, 2.36 IC had been spent on a new deployable air base, which was placed at the top of the queue and would be ready by 22 April. Not for the current operations, but maybe in the future if lodging into a beachhead without its own airfield.

On 25 March, two new infrastructure developments were ordered in the area east of Lake Baikal – the current supply ‘dead zone’. But care had to be taken they were not built in areas the enemy might reoccupy.

******

5. Research

It was a good month for technology advances, with six completed. Two were made in each of the three arms – radars for the VVS, submarine improvements for the Navy and for the Red Army, upgrades for the specialist arms and medium tanks. The replacement projects were Air Force heavy, with one each for the submariners and the slower general upgrade of the medium tanks.

i1T8Cu.jpg


******

6. Espionage

The Soviets had run down its reserve of spy teams for the month as the freed leadership effort went into officer training. Three Soviet spies each were lost in Manchuria and Turkey, 30 foreign spies apprehended (one by the Soviet mission in Spain). Japanese and Manchurian NU had both been whittled down a little further, but the political missions in Turkey and Spain had proven very disappointing – both had gone backwards, in Spain by a very large margin. Local agent numbers had built up again in Japan and Turkey – mission adjustments would have to be considered again.

WdKaSU.jpg

The poor results in Turkey and Spain caused the NKVD to make a deeper dive into what was going on there. In Turkey, the PCP’s popularity was at about the same level as its political organisation – and the Soviet effort had not been effective in raising either. [Also, for TT readers, their Cabinet is currently pretty similar to mine in that AAR.]

rNePNS.jpg

In Republican Spain, the problem was that other powers (possibly also Spain itself) were making a massive clandestine investment in boosting the organisation of the ruling CDA, far out-gunning the Soviet efforts in favour of the PCE. Both Turkey and Spain looked like forlorn causes at this stage, though a play might be made to go all out in Spain to see if had any effect at all – more out of academic interest.

******

7. Other Theatres

In Japan, the Allies had now wrapped up the two southern Home Islands of Shikoku and Kyushu. Japan still didn’t seem to be offering any real opposition. Cross-straits landings in the south of Honshu should be the next logical move for the French-less Allied invaders.

AWK4rC.jpg

Nationalist China was well on the way to liberating its Japanese-occupied territories. There was some apparent sporadic Japanese resistance, but it seemed to be doing little to slow them down. There was not yet any evidence of reinforcements having been shifted south from the Soviet front, as had been hoped by STAVKA.

7q2Qun.jpg

The Japanese occupation around Rabaul in New Guinea had been cleared of the enemy, who now just controlled an enclave around Lae.

Cvxhje.jpg

And as usual, the Allies had continued their hopeless management in Malaya, with Kuala Lumpur and Singapore still in Japanese hands.

qFGYOA.jpg


******

With slow progress (if any) on the Far Eastern Front, the first Soviet nuclear weapon just 10% finished and things not yet ready in STAVKA’s view for a European foray, there was also the quandary about what to do (if anything could be) about the Allied progress in Japan itself and by their new Chinese ally.
 
  • 3Like
  • 1
Reactions:

Surt

Field Marshal
29 Badges
Jan 29, 2003
7.240
611
Visit site
  • Semper Fi
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II
The Island just south of Kamchatka with the harbour can be used for training the landing forces and build an air base.
The southern harbour on Sakhalin should also be a priority to build an air base there.
Supply convoys from Ulya to all Soviet ports in the pacific could also be started and might help the supply situation.
The units with no supply at all fall into some hole where their supply is send east because of relative high supply demand there.
 
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1Like
Reactions:

diskoerekto

ferocious native
33 Badges
Feb 17, 2005
2.157
1.107
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • For The Glory
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
The Japanese are just leaving everything to the Allies while fighting tooth and nail with us. Seems like they want to be Manchuria instead of Japan. Supply is not working, the naval invasion was a great adventure but we lost the window by only 3 hours (maybe trying directly on the North island would trigger their navy less and give us a bigger window next time?), espionage is failing, nuclear weapon is still far away from completion, tech is progressing fast but still not up to date in terms of air force and navy...

It would be great to turn this around and win this and you're the correct player for the job! :)
 
  • 2
  • 1Like
Reactions:

roverS3

General
20 Badges
May 24, 2013
1.951
1.231
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
That was such a close-run amphibious operation. Sometimes l'Audace doesn't pay off. I'm actually impressed Japan was able to muster three fleet carriers at this stage, and in the same fleet no less. I second @Surt that you might have to take over all of Sakhalin so you can build an Air Base at the Southern tip to protect the invasion fleet next time around, maybe you can even finish off Yamashiro with Naval bombers.

Japan is still on the table thanks to the Allies taking their sweet time to conquer all of it, but the Soviet Union must launch another amphibious operation as soon as those transports have been fixed and fresh troops have been gathered. It looks like the nukes might not be ready in time. (they will definitely be ready to hit Paris later on though...)

The supply issues aren't getting any better... The loss of the trans-siberian east of Irkutsk really makes logistics very difficult, especially as that creates a bottleneck of supplies having to go around the north of lake Baikal. Despite the issues, the Red Army does seem to be winning over all, but it's a very slow win, three steps forwards, two steps back.
 
  • 3
Reactions:

Alex Kernel

Captain
43 Badges
Jul 16, 2012
310
318
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Steel Division: Normand 44 - Second Wave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44 -  Back to Hell
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Semper Fi
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
Chapter 25 – March 1946

Foreword

After a grinding month of winter warfare and supply problems in February 1946, the Soviets find themselves still slugging it out with Japan and its puppet regimes. Meanwhile, Nationalist China had joined the Allies and swept away light Japanese resistance, while a French-led invasion force raced through the undefended southern Japanese Home Islands.

Time seemed to be running against Stalin, who raced to complete nuclear weapons, build strategic rockets and long range bombers, finish research on jet engine technology to make the Air Force competitve against its Allied counterparts and debvelop modern submarines for the outmoded Soviet Navy.

A strike on Europe before these new weapons were operational and while still heavily engaged in the East seemed premature, even though the options there may be narrowing.

******

1. General Operations: 1-17 March

[
Note: a map summarising the major battles and advances in the Far Eastern Theatre is included at the end of Section 3 below.]

As March began, the Soviets decided they would respond to the Allied invasion of Japan by trying a smaller one of their own: hastily arranged and somewhat desperate, given it would have to be staged without any air cover. A mixture of reasonably battle-worthy divisions of about corps strength in the vicinity of Nikolayevsk na Amure began to assemble there for eventual embarkation. The diversion would detract from the offensive capacity in the eastern-most sector, but the risk would be taken. The remainder of the invasion plan – Operation Narwhal – is summarised in Section 2.

Soviet supply remained problematic over large parts of the front. Where it was good, in the east and in southern Mongolia, there was significant action. There was virtually none in the centre, where it was generally mediocre. But south of Irkutsk and east of Lake Baikal it remained very bad. This would be reflected in the ebb and flow and land combat operations as the month unfolded.

jCHnEJ.jpg

A Soviet attack on Verkhnetambovskoye that had begun on 27 February finally failed on 4 March: casualties were likely heavy on both sides, but no battle report was received. Elsewhere, the Soviets began three new attacks on 1 March. A probe on Obluchye was soon abandoned (though 822 Japanese were killed in supporting air strikes that day), while yet another Soviet attack on Tahe was soon abandoned after disproportionate ground casualties (507 Soviet v 47 Japanese ground and 718 air strike casualties).

The Japanese had taken Mildigun unopposed and then Komsomolsk na Amure on 1 Mar after a successful attack there the month before. The Soviets quickly counter-attacked the latter, winning by 3 March (Soviet 810 v 557 Japanese ground and 801 air strike casualties) despite Japanese air strikes on the attackers in Di Kastri (1,138 Soviets killed over two days) and Solechny (601 more on 3 March), retaking it by the 12th.

The Soviets next attacked and won in Alihe from 3-5 March (577 Soviet, 443 Japanese ground and 1,139 air casualties).

A review of war goals against Japan that evening showed both France [from my previous stewardship] and the Soviet Union sought to puppet Japan and install their own form of government there. Just as a hedge, the Soviets added a territorial claim on Sakhalin to their list of goals.

In Mongolia, a combined Soviet-Mongolian attack was launched and won on Sain Tsagan on 4 March (121 Soviet, 89 Japanese casualties) and the province was liberated on 11 March.

Chegdomyn saw the start of one of many battles for it during March, when the Japanese attacked from 4 March until defeated on the 7th. The Soviets lost 1,210 ground casualties and another 2,605 to supporting Japanese air strikes. The Japanese also paid a heavy price, losing 1,632 to ground combat and 2,555 more to Soviet air strikes on troops attacking from Tyrma and Suluk.

In one of the occasional air battles of the month, two Soviet INT wings hit two unescorted Japanese TAC wings over Mordaga on their way to a bombing mission on the morning of 4 March, managing to inflict more damage than they received. And early reports from China indicated they were now advancing more rapidly than the French were in Japan.

As the bitter defensive fight in Chegdomyn continued, the Soviets made their own major assault on Obluchye from 5-8 March, eventually winning – though it would take until 27 March to occupy it. Soviet ground casualties were 743, while the Japanese lost 859 on the ground and another 1,132 from Soviet air strikes. The VVS was definitely back in force in March, with many missions flown from Tyndinskiy and the smaller forward eastern air base at Nikolayevsk na Amure. Japanese air power was still present and devastating at times, but more sporadic than the Soviet effort.

The chronic supply problems around Irkutsk led to Ulan Ude being abandoned without a fight to the Japanese on 7 March. Over in Finland, there were no new rebellions, but reports were being received of underground resistance brewing again.

341lfx.jpg

The Soviets launched yet another attack on Tahe on 8 March, but it ended in defeat two days later. Four Soviet divisions had taken on a similar number of well entrenched Japanese and allied troops (a bit over 30,000 on each side) and once more they were unable to break into Manchurian territory for the first time. Soviet casualties were 1,336, the Japanese losing 789, plus 1,534 to the VVS.

The Soviet supply situation had if anything worsened by the evening of 9 March. Production and the stockpile were not the problems: it was all about distribution, and recent and continuing infrastructure and technology improvements seemed to be doing little to alleviate it.

uPwLWD.jpg

The Japanese renewed their attack on Chegdomyn on 9 March, finally being repulsed again on 11 March. The Soviets lost 826 men on the ground and a massive 3,650 from Japanese air attacks. The Japanese had 1,174 killed on the ground and 1,245 from VVS action in Tyrma. The province was becoming a mass grave for both sides.

After being quiet for some time, on Sakhalin the Japanese tried to retake Okha, their attack taking from 9-14 March to finally be defeated – for once there was no air support on either side. The Soviets lost 471 to 1,210 Japanese marines killed. Soviet fighters tried to stop the enemy bombers twice during 11 March, but this time came off second best to the enemy bombers and escorts (2 x Soviet INT v 2 x Japanese M/R and 4 x TAC).

The supply shortages were now having a direct impact now on some operations in the eastern sector – for example in Ushumun [ie. -50% on combat for lack of supplies], where what should have been an easy defence was being made difficult. The Japanese attacked on 10 March and pulled back on 12 March, the Soviets losing 587 men in the defence. The Japanese took 672 casualties in the assault, with the VVS probably saving the day by inflicting another 1,106 casualties on the enemy attacking from Kuibyshevka. But the Japanese would be back.

A quick Soviet attack on weakened Japanese defences in Elban on 13 March succeeded the next day. Soviet casualties were 291, the Japanese having 297 killed on the ground and 263 more from the air. The Soviets would push on to take the Elban salient by 19 March, after having to execute two more quick attacks on the way over 16-18 March. But their hold on it would be tested after arrival.

By early on 14 March, the supply situation had worsened further, with only the two ends of the front – southern Mongolia and the Pacific coast – with decent supply. In most other places it was dire.

zIbiu6.jpg

That evening, the objectives for all four armies in the 1st and 2nd Soviet Far Eastern Fronts were reviewed, with old or unneeded objectives discarded and some new ones added.

Ratnikov’s 15th Army, the largest with 195,000 men, was given the tough inland route to Khabarovsk and Harbin.

yQgMlz.jpg

The smaller 6th Army, under Shestopalov, was assigned the coastal route, all the way down to Vladivostok.

zcoBsC.jpg

The main command in the 2nd FE Front was Rybak’s 7th Army (175,000 men), which – due to the problems caused by lack of supplies south of Irkutsk – was ordered to hold its approaches and ensure Ulaanbaatar was held.

yWSXe8.jpg

Finally, Cherniakhovskij’s smaller 1st Army (102,000 troops), had the ‘aspirational’ objectives of retaking Mildigun and exploiting beyond it into Manchuria. Either a Japanese collapse or radically improved Soviet logistics would be needed before either of these would be realistic.

O6SDgb.jpg

Allied progress in Japan had slowed down, with only modest gains so far in the first two weeks of March.

hKq2OI.jpg

The Japanese were attacking Ushumun again by 15 March and this time, with the defenders still out of supply, the Soviets would be forced to retreat by the 17th, despite very heavy air support from the VVS. As well as launching air raids on the attackers, the VVS had acted decisively to halt Japanese air attacks on Ushumun in the afternoon and evening of 15 March.

Sz2jbK.jpg

But this was not enough to outweigh the weariness and supply shortages on the ground this time. The Soviets lost 757 men to ground fighting and 240 from air attacks, while the Japanese lost 301 in the ground fighting and a whopping 2,370 to air strikes on Kuibyshevka.

******

2. Operation Narwhal

The divisions summoned to Nikolayevsk na Amure on 28 February were still assembling, the Red Banner Pacific Fleet (RBPF - 24 vessels including transports) made the short hop over to Okha to pick up the largely recovered 1st Marine Division at 1400hr on 1 March (quicker than the strait-crossing). They were back without incident by by 0400hr the next morning.

It took until 18 March for the new scratch corps to be assembled: HQ 14th Mech Corps would command 101. SD, 1 ‘Moskovskaya Proletar.’ Div, 35 ‘Sibirskaya’ SD and 1st Marine Div [37,983 troops with a carry weight of 210 against a 360 transport capacity]. They were loaded aboard at 1900hr while possible targets for the hastily contrived Operation Narwhal were considered. It was hoped a port could be seized directly for rapid post-invasion supply and exploitation.

TB2Vov.jpg

Sapporo was the ‘safest’ option. The drawbacks included being furthest away from Japan’s key centres and the lack of an airfield for forward VVS basing.

On the northern part of the main island of Honshu, Akita was another possibility. If defended, its mountainous terrain might prove a difficult obstacle and the territory between it and the key centres in the south was either hills or mountains. It did at least have an airfield.

The most dangerous option – but the one that might provide the quickest rewards – was Kanazawa. It too had an air base and was much closer to the key centres in the south, including Tokyo.

A final decision was not made yet: if the fleet had not been interdicted – by sea or air – when it reached the Tsugaru Strait, the call would be made then. The RBPF set sail to an unknown fate. LTGEN Parkhomenko’s HQ 14 Mech Corps was assigned to direct [human] control of the Far East Theatre HQ.

bm0VpR.jpg

Admiral Kuznetsov had pushed on to Okushiri Strait without enemy interference by the morning of 20 March, 1946. When he signalled for instructions, the codeword response was “Enter the Lion’s Den”: it meant the fleet would strike for Kanazawa in the hope of delivering a coup de main to the Japanese.

37fqx3.jpg

The Soviets hoped desperately that a long naval war and recent Allied operations had crippled the Imperial Japanese Fleet sufficiently for the rusty old RBPF to hold long enough to get the troops ashore. Land-based enemy bombers were of equal concern.

The RBPF arrived at 0200 on the morning of 21 March and began unloading all four divisions in stormy weather. But they were soon discovered and came under attack from a couple of dive-bomber (CAS) wings at 0400hr. If that was all the Japanese could muster, perhaps the fleets AA defences would be enough after all ...

... but a seaplane scouting mission soon revealed a fleet of six enemy ships at port in Kanazawa. Though again, such a small fleet wasn’t necessarily a huge problem – depending on its composition. An hour later, that composition could be more accurately appraised.

LrtLLn.jpg

It must have included three fleet carriers, as six CAGs joined the naval strike on RBPF by 0500hr! This changed the whole complexion of the operation immediately: they had walked straight into a trap.

By 0700hr the Japanese naval strike was over. While not yet critical, the damage would soon begin to mount if Kuznetzov tried to ‘tough it out’, his old ships sitting ducks in Toyama Bay for the Japanese aviators. He immediately recalled the troops and ordered the fleet to escape north at top speed.

NzZ9Si.jpg

The fleet was struck again by the eight enemy wings at 1000hr and this time, the cumulative damage (mainly organisational, but some structural) was serious, especially among the transports. They kept fleeing north – for their lives. Had they stayed, most of the fleet might have been sunk and the landing force lost.

They had arrived at the rally point – back at Okushiri Strait – by 1900hr on the evening of the 21st. But instead of heading back to port, the order was received to “Kick in the door”. They would instead head west to Uchiura Bay and see if they could land the marines (at least) straight into the port of Sapporo, hoping they might be out of enemy air range and be able to sneak in before they were intercepted.

Kuznetsov was in place by 0500hr on the morning of the 22nd, and this time just MAJGEN M.P. Vorobiev’s marines would attempt the hazardous landing. He needed 35 hours to get his division fully ashore – and hope there was no Japanese garrison in place. The key question was: could the RBPF hold off any potential opposition for that long?

mCWm2R.jpg

It took longer this time, but by midday the fleet had been discovered and struck by an unknown number and type of enemy wings [didn’t get a report until it was over]. More damage was done, but Kuznetzov held his position. Another strike hit them between 1700 and 1900hr that evening: and this time the same six CAG wings as seen in Toyama Bay were identified, with yet more damage being done but no ships sunk. This must mean the carriers were approaching: but still Kuznetsov held on while the brave marines struggled ashore.

Then all hell broke loose at 0200 the next morning, 23 March. The RBPF was simultaneously hit by the CAGs and the Japanese carrier task force, with the three fleet carriers Ryujo, Soryu and Kaga sitting back and the battleship Yamashiro closing to within firing range.

RVCrfI.jpg

The CAG strike ended at 0500hr, but the surface action continued. Much of the RBPF, including the flagship Parizhskaya Kommuna, were damaged and badly disorganised by then – but the Soviet light and heavy cruisers had closed with the Yamashiro and by 0700hr had very nearly sent it to the bottom, the Krasni Kavkaz yet unscathed and leading the sortie.

unvl5J.jpg

But at 0800hr the enemy CAGs returned and Soviet morale cracked, the RBPF fleeing west with heavy damage and one destroyer flotilla sunk. But until they actually left the bay, the marines were [I discovered, to my surprise] still trying to land and were coming tantalisingly close to getting ashore.

lHEVpT.jpg

The latest CAG strike ended at 1100hr, with more damage done but no more ships sunk. The marines were very nearly ashore: could they do it before the fleet left the bay?

The answer was no – by just three hours! The marines were forced to abandon the attempt as the RBPF left Uchiura Bay. So close – but no cigar!

p015P2.jpg

Now fearing further pursuit of his heavily damaged fleet, Kuznetsov set a course around to the east of Sakhalin for the long return voyage.

gZXJPv.jpg

As it happened, they made it back on the morning of 25 March with no further encounters. Back in port, the full damage to the fleet was assessed: it was a minor miracle more ships had not been lost.

hEkBo0.jpg

It had been a painful but still valuable and not a catastrophic failure. As the Soviets absorbed the lessons learned, it was very clear any further landing without are cover would be a highly hazardous affair.

******

3. General Operations: 18-31 March

A combined attack by Soviet and Mongolian forces on Khara Arak was won on 18 March (84 Soviet, 139 Japanese killed) and the province would be occupied by the Mongolians before the end of the month. However, the main action continued to be in eastern sector.

A major Soviet attack was launched on Tyrma on 19 March, which was won after a four day battle. Soviet casualties were 767, while the Japanese lost 631 on the ground, but another 2,158 from concerted VVS air support. The Japanese bombers were in a battlefield lull, not striking any targets between 16-25 March.

On 19 March, the Soviets had launched another large assault on Tahe, which they had been trying to take for weeks now. This battle would go for six gruelling days, but at last the Soviets had their victory on 25 March, losing 1,901 men to 1,866 Japanese defenders, plus another 2,127 to Soviet air strikes, which ran from 19-21 and on 23 March.

Also, late on the 19th, the Japanese attacked Ushumun once again, but were soon defeated (20 Soviet, 113 Japanese casualties, plus 1,143 to spoiling Soviet air strikes on Huma). A more determined attack went in from 21-22 March, but was again beaten off (96 Soviet and 371 Japanese casualties, plus 901 from VVS strikes on the attackers in Alihe). Air support was proving crucial in defeating the Japanese in the attack or defence and generally caused heavier casualties than the ground actions.

While these battles were in progress, the French sent word they had captured the key [5 VP] city of Nagasaki on the evening or 20 March. The Soviets occupied Tumnin on the Pacific coast the same day, but the Japanese retook Chegdomyn on the 21st.

Even as the battle for Tahe had not yet finished, the resilient Japanese made their biggest attack yet on Ushumun on 23 March. Even though the VVS struck the attackers hard once more in Alihe (1,932 enemy killed from 23-26 March) and Huma (1,331 on 26 March alone), this time the Japanese were too strong for the weary defenders, winning the battle on 26 March (887 Soviet, 987 Japanese killed). The enemy would eventually retake Ushumun on 31 March.

Showing the ebb and flow of operations in the east, on 23 March the Soviets initiated a counter-attack on the recently lost Chegdomyn, eventually winning the two day fight by 25 March against an enemy that had not yet been able to consolidate their positions. Ground casualties were 328 for the Soviets and 453 for the Japanese, but once more the VVS killed the most enemy – 1,637 in just two days of air strikes. The Soviets took Chegdomyn back the next day.

Early on 25 March, the Soviet supply situation was good in the east and in southern Mongolia, poor in the centre and around Itkutsk and terrible east of Lake Baikal, which remained inactive despite a noticeable thinning of the Japanese line there, which was becoming patchier in most places across the whole front.

p5ChA3.jpg

The Soviet Pacific submarine fleet, now repaired, was relocated back from Ulya to Petropavlovsk Kamcackij from 0500hr on 25 March, reaching their new base at midnight on 28 March. They would not be sent on active operations yet, but were now ready again to do so if needed.

Yet again, the Japanese showed far more fight in this sector than they appeared to be in China or on their own Home Islands. Between 25-27 March, they made a major attack on the Elban salient that the Soviets had taken earlier in the month. The Japanese prevailed, with 672 ground casualties for the Soviets, plus 2,906 from the Japanese bombers, who reappeared with devastating effect over the three days of the battle. The Japanese lost 555 on the ground and 407 to strikes on Verkhnetambovskoye on 26 March, but it was not enough to save the Soviet defenders. The Soviets retreated, but the Japanese had not yet reoccupied the province as the month ended.

The Japanese took advantage of poor Soviet supply in the western sector by attacking Slyudyanka on 26 March, winning the next day [Soviet out of supply penalty] in a battle the Soviets should have won (71 Soviet, 202 Japanese killed). Once more, there was no Soviet air support available, as the wings were all a zero organisation due to prolonged supply shortages.

The Soviets occupied Tyrma on 27 March after their victory earlier in the month. The French took Kagoshima [5 VP] on the 28th. And on the 29th, the Soviet 14th Mech Corps, freed for now of their temporary amphibious role, was assigned as an independent [AI] force under Theatre control, to reinforce the offensive along the Pacific coast.

F59HYD.jpg

The final battle of March 1946 followed the Soviet occupation of Tahe, further west in northern Manchuria, on the 30th. In the end one tired Soviet advance division in hasty defensive positions was attacked from Huma and Mangui by six enemy divisions. Soviet air strikes did kill 1,033 attackers in Mangui and 1,335 in Huma, but could not prevent the enemy victory. No report on ground casualties was received.

The Japanese occupied Slyudyanka on 30 March – directly threatening the key regional city of Irkutsk. At that point, it was only occupied by three Soviet HQs, with the defeated division from Slyudyanka due in shortly. 1st and 7th Armies were both assigned Irkutsk as an ‘emergency’ defensive objective at 2300hr that night. Most other nearby divisions were out of supply and/or heading away from Irkutsk.

M3c9mB.jpg

The 6th Heavy Armoured Division arrived from Slyudyanka at 0200hr, low on organisation and supplies, though with plenty of fuel. It was hoped they would hold in Irkutsk and perhaps be able to resupply, though this was in doubt.

BtvSD9.jpg

And so another hard month for the Soviets on the battlefront ended with some gains (though some of the gains would likely to be rolled back soon in Tahe and Elban) and some lost ground too. The Japanese were still fighting hard.

tfcZve.jpg

Ground casualties had been roughly even for the month, but the VVS was back in force in the eastern part of the front at least, taking an enormous toll and Japanese ground forces.

******

4. Production and Infrastructure

On 4 March, new infrastructure upgrades were completed in ten provinces across the Far Eastern AO. As the month wore on, any improvement in supply distribution seemed to be marginal, if hard to determine. No new projects were commissioned immediately, as the production queue had a significant deficit at that time.

On 8 March, a new DD flotilla entered service. Because it had to work up, it was (luckily for the crews) not yet ready when the RBPF deployed on the fraught Operation Narwhal. This flotilla was still Kiev Class, but somewhat improved on the existing Kiev class ships in 3. Flotiliya, for example.

VL9P0Z.jpg

By mid-March, supply production requirements could be decreased, with the stockpile now regularly maxed out. Upgrade costs regularly took 80-100+ IC of the around 394 usually available. Supply production would usually need between 95-110 IC, with the production queue running around 175 IC. The rest went to reinforcements and consumer goods.

Earlier in the month, when attention turned to amphibious operations, 2.36 IC had been spent on a new deployable air base, which was placed at the top of the queue and would be ready by 22 April. Not for the current operations, but maybe in the future if lodging into a beachhead without its own airfield.

On 25 March, two new infrastructure developments were ordered in the area east of Lake Baikal – the current supply ‘dead zone’. But care had to be taken they were not built in areas the enemy might reoccupy.

******

5. Research

It was a good month for technology advances, with six completed. Two were made in each of the three arms – radars for the VVS, submarine improvements for the Navy and for the Red Army, upgrades for the specialist arms and medium tanks. The replacement projects were Air Force heavy, with one each for the submariners and the slower general upgrade of the medium tanks.

i1T8Cu.jpg


******

6. Espionage

The Soviets had run down its reserve of spy teams for the month as the freed leadership effort went into officer training. Three Soviet spies each were lost in Manchuria and Turkey, 30 foreign spies apprehended (one by the Soviet mission in Spain). Japanese and Manchurian NU had both been whittled down a little further, but the political missions in Turkey and Spain had proven very disappointing – both had gone backwards, in Spain by a very large margin. Local agent numbers had built up again in Japan and Turkey – mission adjustments would have to be considered again.

WdKaSU.jpg

The poor results in Turkey and Spain caused the NKVD to make a deeper dive into what was going on there. In Turkey, the PCP’s popularity was at about the same level as its political organisation – and the Soviet effort had not been effective in raising either. [Also, for TT readers, their Cabinet is currently pretty similar to mine in that AAR.]

rNePNS.jpg

In Republican Spain, the problem was that other powers (possibly also Spain itself) were making a massive clandestine investment in boosting the organisation of the ruling CDA, far out-gunning the Soviet efforts in favour of the PCE. Both Turkey and Spain looked like forlorn causes at this stage, though a play might be made to go all out in Spain to see if had any effect at all – more out of academic interest.

******

7. Other Theatres

In Japan, the Allies had now wrapped up the two southern Home Islands of Shikoku and Kyushu. Japan still didn’t seem to be offering any real opposition. Cross-straits landings in the south of Honshu should be the next logical move for the French-less Allied invaders.

AWK4rC.jpg

Nationalist China was well on the way to liberating its Japanese-occupied territories. There was some apparent sporadic Japanese resistance, but it seemed to be doing little to slow them down. There was not yet any evidence of reinforcements having been shifted south from the Soviet front, as had been hoped by STAVKA.

7q2Qun.jpg

The Japanese occupation around Rabaul in New Guinea had been cleared of the enemy, who now just controlled an enclave around Lae.

Cvxhje.jpg

And as usual, the Allies had continued their hopeless management in Malaya, with Kuala Lumpur and Singapore still in Japanese hands.

qFGYOA.jpg


******

With slow progress (if any) on the Far Eastern Front, the first Soviet nuclear weapon just 10% finished and things not yet ready in STAVKA’s view for a European foray, there was also the quandary about what to do (if anything could be) about the Allied progress in Japan itself and by their new Chinese ally.
Very impressive sea battle, irrespective of the result. Can you delve into the organisational secrets of the sea invasion plan? How much it was executed by the AI, and where did you intervene? If the AI pulled entirely by himself such a daring operation, then he can more than I assumed possible.

When the European theatre will become active again there will be so many organizational and tactical issues to discuss! I guess, in this Eastern Asian phase of the war, you are getting the necessary experience about employing with maximum efficiency the wonders of AI intelligence. ;-)
 
Last edited:
  • 1Like
  • 1
Reactions:

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.894
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
The Island just south of Kamchatka with the harbour can be used for training the landing forces and build an air base.
The southern harbour on Sakhalin should also be a priority to build an air base there.
Supply convoys from Ulya to all Soviet ports in the pacific could also be started and might help the supply situation.
The units with no supply at all fall into some hole where their supply is send east because of relative high supply demand there.
With the failure of the bold strike option, I may indeed have to look at an island hopping plan, which was the original intent before the sudden success of the Allied invasion of Japan plus China’s blitzkrieg. Also why I had tried that play on Sakhalin that ended with a Japanese counter attack that packed me back up to Okha. The Japanese have defended Sakhalin better than they have the Home Islands! :(:mad:

How would supply convoys from Ulya to other pacific ports help supply? Don’t the supplies have to be shipped there overland anyway? I’m no expert on supply mechanics, so this is a genuine question. I’m sure you’re right about the logistic sink in the middle of the theatre: a failing in the mechanics that you can’t allocate supply priorities to various formations, as was/is done in reality.
The Japanese are just leaving everything to the Allies while fighting tooth and nail with us. Seems like they want to be Manchuria instead of Japan. Supply is not working, the naval invasion was a great adventure but we lost the window by only 3 hours (maybe trying directly on the North island would trigger their navy less and give us a bigger window next time?), espionage is failing, nuclear weapon is still far away from completion, tech is progressing fast but still not up to date in terms of air force and navy...

It would be great to turn this around and win this and you're the correct player for the job! :)
That does indeed seem to be the Japanese plan at the moment! There could be some early signs of divisions starting to pull back a bit in some sectors, but where that might be happening there isn’t the supply for the AI generals to follow up. Maybe next month the trend will be clearer.

Under the old calculus, I would have waited longer and definitely have gone for Sapporo first and almost did this time, but rolled the dice on a direct strike south to take advantage of and try to head off the Allied invasion. It’s been two years of Soviet game time now and progress has been hard to come by.

If I was just trying to see Japan defeated to end the war, these recent developments would be more welcome. Or if the allied attacks in China and Japan had drawn away more enemy troops, that would be a silver lining. But now it may mean even more Allied holdings to contend with down the track. It certainly is proving a challenge with AI generals in charge!
That was such a close-run amphibious operation. Sometimes l'Audace doesn't pay off. I'm actually impressed Japan was able to muster three fleet carriers at this stage, and in the same fleet no less. I second @Surt that you might have to take over all of Sakhalin so you can build an Air Base at the Southern tip to protect the invasion fleet next time around, maybe you can even finish off Yamashiro with Naval bombers.

Japan is still on the table thanks to the Allies taking their sweet time to conquer all of it, but the Soviet Union must launch another amphibious operation as soon as those transports have been fixed and fresh troops have been gathered. It looks like the nukes might not be ready in time. (they will definitely be ready to hit Paris later on though...)

The supply issues aren't getting any better... The loss of the trans-siberian east of Irkutsk really makes logistics very difficult, especially as that creates a bottleneck of supplies having to go around the north of lake Baikal. Despite the issues, the Red Army does seem to be winning over all, but it's a very slow win, three steps forwards, two steps back.
The amphibious sortie was tantalising, if desperate. The carriers were a nasty little surprise, that’s for sure! The NAV capability remains a work in progress and I need to find a decent base for them that isn’t overcrowded and that doesn’t make the supply situation even worse. Original intent was to use bases further south for them (better supply, larger, closer to Japan), but it’s been hard work getting them and the Allies forced my hand. And my Sakhalin push ended in failure, except for hanging on to Okha.

Another amphibious op will definitely be tried ASAP, but for now I thought I’d throw the scratch invasion corps into trying to speed up coastal progress to grab those ports and air bases. The nukes will take time, though the rate should improve in April with another tech advance due. Some months to a year off having any modest stockpile though, I fear.

Frustratingly, the one place I really wanted to be advancing through - the Irkutsk and Baikal sector - is the one the Japanese are actually pushing back in! Still, nothing to do but knuckle down and push through.
Very impressive sea battle irrespective of the result. Can you delve into the organisational secrets f the sea invasion plan? How much it was executed by the AI, and where did you intervene? If the AI pulled entirely by himself such a daring operation, then he can more than I assumed possible.

When the European Theatre will become active again there will be so many organizational and tactical issues to discuss! I guess, in this Eastern Asian phase of the war, you are getting the necessary experience about employing with maximum efficiency the wonders of AI intelligence. ;-)
It was interesting to have a naval adventure as the Soviets! I’m quite relatively inexperienced in HOI3 naval warfare really, so it was part experiment and refresher course! None of the naval sortie was AI: naval and amphibious ops are all human controlled here. So your original estimate of it being beyond normal AI capacity was correct! Mind you, the Allies have done ok so far in the Philippines and now Japan!

At least supply should be better in a European campaign and it will still be AI v AI on the land, plus some human guidance for our strategic forces (ie rockets and nukes) once they come on line. The Soviets could well get a caning though, if this Far Eastern campaign is anything to go by! It will still be a two-front war, what with China about to reclaim a large part of its territory. Fun times!
 
Last edited:
  • 1
  • 1Like
Reactions:

Alex Kernel

Captain
43 Badges
Jul 16, 2012
310
318
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Steel Division: Normand 44 - Second Wave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Steel Division: Normandy 44 -  Back to Hell
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Semper Fi
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
It was interesting to have a naval adventure as the Soviets! I’m quite relatively inexperienced in HOI3 naval warfare really, so it was part experiment and refresher course! None of the naval sortie was AI: naval and amphibious ops are all human controlled here. So your original estimate of it being beyond normal AI capacity was correct! Mind you, the Allies have done ok so far in the Phil and now Japan!
To be fair to the AI, I have seen in East Asia a few times the US organizing successful amphibious attacks in Japan proper, and invading it entirely in 1943-1944, Especially when AI Japan has played badly its naval cards. Sometimes, AI Japan succeeds beating the Allies on the sea.

What made me think it was you, and not the AI, organizing the navy operation was the clean load of marines preparing to land. Usually, AI lands a colourful bunch of divisions entailing everything from infantry, combined armour, and... marines. Also, the way the navy changed tack was a hint.


At least supply should be better in a European campaign! At least it will still be AI v AI on the land, plus some human guidance for our strategic (ie rockets and nukes) once they come on line. The Soviets could well get a caning though, if this Far Eastern campaign is anything to go by! It will still be a two-front war, what with China about to reclaim a large part of its territory. Fun times!
Agreed, an Allied China and her successes are an unwelcome complication. The Allies will have more resources freed for Europe, and will be in a better position to attack USSR in Siberia. Nonetheless, those lovely nukes should give them hell. Will you control the Air force? And will you use espionage to lower national unity of Major Powers, like France and England?
 
Last edited:
  • 2
Reactions:

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
7.308
3.894
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Will you control the Air force? And will you use espionage to lower national unity of Major Powers, like France and England?
The tactical air force units are all allocated to army HQs and I've been letting them use them. STRAT air and transports/paratroops, naval & amph ops and nukes/rockets will be controlled by Stalin (ie me ;)) direct. I may also retain control of NAV operations once I have a viable force of them.

Not sure about int ops against major Allied powers: my general experience is each of them are flooded by their own and other Allied spies who create an overwhelming counter-espionage force. With so much tech modernising to do, I think the four major intel projects currently going may be it, though I might try one out on a middle-ranking Allied power when Manchukuo and Japan are done with. Probably more likely to be Germany, Poland etc.
 
  • 1
Reactions: