• 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

Bullfilter

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Some Quick & Dirty feedback: ;)
One hopes that Irkutsk will hold - but even if it does not there is still considerable space to trade.
Me too - help is on the way, at least. Gotta hope the Allies exert a bit of pressure on Japan now. At least France and Indo-China are doing their bit to start diverting attention on the Asian mainland.
The Empire of Evil strikes back!
:D You better believe it. ;) It may take a while to warm up to it, but I hope the blow will be a strong one.
Mm. Not sure whether it's good or not that the Allied AI is still competent. At least this means they aren't going to hit you immediatly?
I like to see the AIs hold their own. Makes things interesting. :)
That border gore would drive me crazy, can’t you just mod in 2 separate countries in Romania (maybe there’s Moldova in game files?) and give one to allies keeping the other? Why doesn’t the game take care if it?

There's like 4 of them that can be done without fighting the Allies. The rest will be difficult.

Turkey can be added there as İstanbul in Comintern control is a victory condition as well.

I tend to eschew medium tank research as a compromise, for hard-hitting I use heavies and for exploitation I use lights. I only research the engines of mediums so that my TDs and SP artillery is also fast (and the game should've made the heavy engine count for that).

After some aero engines, you can also research medical evacuation which gives a nice 10% bonus to the morale of all kinds of troops, keep that in mind for the near future as well.

Education and the mechanical computation device can be researched as well. Electronic computation device is already on time so that's a great thing.

This solves half the problem, but please give the French exclaves to either Romania or other neighboring countries :D

Night fighting equipment is also useful here

Great!

This is a nightmare clickfest to do, and they take forever to move all the way. I wish you patience and mental fortitude to not break your PC :)

Nice to have this AAR, I'm enjoying it already, thanks :D
That border gore in Romania is so bad it’s good! :D A bit like abstract art. More on that below.

I’m banking on the additional objectives being hard and there having to be a showdown with the Allies once Japan has been dealt with. It’s no accident my nuclear scientists are being driven hard now. :eek:

I do hope to get both Spain and Turkey in the pact eventually (one way or another) for the victory conditions they can provide - once I have my research priorities properly reordered I hope to put on a real diplomatic push.

On tech, I think I may be hamstrung in terms of any true naval power, but certainly need air power (I may eventually look to develop NAV instead of a serious naval push, but will see).

I’ve got medium tanks developed by the AI anyway and I must admit I like them, as they allow a more sustained breakthrough at a still good pace. Heavies are nice for the breach. Fortunately, all three branches have been developed for me and I’ll need to match the French heavies I know they have deployed to good effect. Night fighting gear would certainly be nice to have in due course.

Yeah, the redeployment was a pain, but necessary as the AI was sending most of the transferred units to Karelia etc even after I ordered all their HQs east and gave them objectives! :eek::mad:
It is exactly what the french would do if they could though, at least in that time period. Hold as many tiny bits as possible, keep the country as divided as possible, frustrate the potential future enemy with as many defensive traps as possible and thoroughly mess up the map so no one knows who owns what and they can thus take even more if they want (see german zones of countrol after ww1).
Sounds very realistic indeed when you say it like that :)
When I saw it, it really does look like a literal portrait of what (at least officially) are the decided borders. This probably isn't the case in actuality but a future proof kind of plan nonetheless
Yes, the Romanian borders were exactly as they finished in March 1944 when (as France) I was racing the Soviets to Bucharest. I intend to correct them eventually- by force! Until then, the gore will continue ;)
Just got the tip for this AAR from the Showcase. I've been a little lazy about following your AARs lately, Bullfilter, but I'll plan on sticking around for this one :)
Thank you for dropping in and following this one - really very much appreciated. :) I’ll try to keep it lively and easy to keep up with for the busy reader.

Thanks everyone for your comments and support, and to @Wraith11B for the Showcase nod. :)
 

Nikolai

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Missed this one, as I said in the showcase. You’re in for a fight here, with that mighty Allied cause! :eek:
 

Bullfilter

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Missed this one, as I said in the showcase. You’re in for a fight here, with that mighty Allied cause! :eek:
Thanks for dropping in! :) Yes, and with the AI doing most of the fighting I'm hoping it will be tough and challenging. And hopefully reasonably entertaining and a bit different in outlook to the 'standard' HOI3 WW2 AAR. This is intended to be more WW2.1-Cold War-WW3 in perspective.

All: Next chapter up soon.
 
Chapter 3 – May 1944

Bullfilter

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Chapter 3 – May 1944

1. Far East Land Combat - Northern Sector

After a quiet beginning to the month in the Northern Sector (above Lake Baikal to the Pacific coast), the enemy attacked Mohsogolloh at 1600hr on 10 May, with a division of infantry against two Soviet rifle divisions (1 and 129 SD). A series of additional Japanese divisions joined the battle over coming days, in the end the enemy hurled almost 48,000 men at the nearly 11,000 defenders, who were not reinforced at any point. And from 10-11 and on 15 May, Japanese bombers launched a total of seven raids that killed 859 defenders in Mohsogolloh.

However, on 20 May, just as Soviet resistance seemed to be failing, relief came through a shock attack by the Soviet 101 Mountain Division on the rear of the last remaining Japanese troops attacking from Olekminsk.


This was just enough to save Mohsogolloh, with victory at 0800 hr on 21 May in Olekminski forcing the Japanese to break off their 11-day attack on Mohsogolloh. The Japanese lost over 3,000 men in both battles, well over twice the casualties of the defending Soviets.

Another of the three battles to start on 10 May was at Kedrovyy, where three Japanese divisions attacked the Soviet 20 Tank Div (mediums) and 2 Garnizon Div. That battle went for nine days, with even heavier casualties than at Mohsogolloh. Another well-executed spoiling attack by 23 SD in Singuya to outflank the Japanese attackers in at 1000hr on 18 May helped retrieve a desperate situation as disorganisation threatened. The Soviets won in Kedrovyy at 0800 hr on 19 May at the cost of almost 2,000 men, the Japanese losing over 3,800. The spoiling attack in Novaya Chara killed another 149 Japanese for the loss of 78 attackers from 23 SD.

The third Japanese attack in their concerted offensive starting on 10 May was on Dronovskiy, where a single Japanese infantry division assaulted the Soviet 5th Guard Div and 4th Mongolian Rifle Div at 2200 hr. Both sides were reinforced by an additional division during the combat, but the enemy ended up winning this contest, inflicting more than 800 Comintern casualties for almost 600 of their own troops killed.

This eleven day period of bitter fighting in the north, where the Soviets proved largely successful, was followed by a lull until 26 May, when a second attack was launched on Dronovskiy at 1000 hr after 324 SD slipped in before the advancing Japanese could secure it. A third Japanese division joined the two already attacking in reserve three hours later. The Soviets performed a skilful elastic defence again the enemy attack, but the battle ended after a day, with 324 SD following their comrades north-west in retreat, losing 370 men for 276 attackers. Two Japanese air attacks on 26 May killed 299 defenders.

As that battle was continuing, the Japanese launched a follow-up attack on Mohsogolloh at 0100 hr on 27 May. One (fresh) Japanese division started the attack. The barely recovered 129 SD tried to delay the inevitable, but another Japanese division joined the combat at 0200 hr, making the task all but hopeless. 129 held out for over a day, finally retreating at 1000 hr on 28 May. Communications were so disrupted no casualty report was received.

Similarly, a new Japanese assault on Kedrovyy by a marine and a militia division crashed into the only partly recovered 2nd Garnizon Div at 1300 hr on 27 May. Their elastic defence delayed the inevitable for longer than might have been expected, but the Japanese had their victory by 0300 hr on 29 May. Again, in the confusion of the withdrawal no casualty count was provided.

As the month drew to a close, two new battles broke out but were not resolved by midnight on 31 May. The Japanese were attacking, where the Soviets had earlier advanced to Olekminsk, cutting off a Japanese marine division to their north in Berdingestjah. 101 Mtn Div defended in an evenly poised battle against that division as it tried to break out. The enemy attack was supported by intense ground attacks by Japanese bombers, with five raids from 1700 hr on 30 May till 2200 on the 31st killing 732 defenders.


And at 1100 hr on 31 May, 23 SD launched an attack from Sinyuga on a single Japanese infantry division in Novaya Chara. The numbers were roughly even, but the Japanese looked to have the stronger tactical position.


Battles and territorial changes, Soviet Far East – Northern Sector, May 1944.

After the centre around Lake Baikal had been the major focus in April, this time it was the north that had seen the intense fighting. And despite giving ground in net terms, the Soviets had dealt the Japanese some heavy blows on the battlefield.

******
2. Far East Land Combat - Central Sector

The operations to the east of Lake Baikal during May was a story of Soviet formations evading entrapment, small scale skirmishes and one medium sized battle, concentrated in and around Burjatija on the north-eastern shore of the lake.

In the early hours of 2 May, 186 and 324 SDs conducted a river-crossing assault one Japanese division in Bukacaca. The Japanese didn’t like the odds and pulled out after only an hour of fighting.

There was no fighting for the next two weeks, as Soviet divisions retreating to the south-west end of Lake Baikal after earlier defeats managed their escapes through Ulan Ude, which was held by an entrenched Soviet rifle division. Fortunately, the Japanese had not attempted to press further in this part of the line to try to cut them off. By the evening of 9 May, 187 SD was safe and withdrawing further to Irkutsk, while 188 SD was following close behind them.


On the evening of 11 May, the Far East Theatre Commander queried why the Soviet air forces – which had 14 wings based in Irkutsk alone and a few more in northern airfields, had been so dormant in recent days. They had not been intercepting enemy missions nor launching any of their own since April. He ordered 1ya and 15th Armies to take an offensive stance (rather than the defensive one they had been on to now).


Alas, this seemed to have no appreciable effect, with no Soviet air missions in any sector recorded during May. Perhaps due to the relative lack of action near Irkutsk (and therefore in range of its airfield) on the ground or in the air – even though it could be seen some of the fighter wings had been put on intercept standby.

On the night of 15 May, local Soviet commanders decided to launch a limited offensive, driving south along the eastern shore of Lake Baikal. One cavalry and one rifle division were entrusted with the mission. Higher commanders were dubious about the wisdom of this plan but (atypically for Soviet command systems) the (AI) men on the ground had been given the freedom to act as they wished. They would soon run into Japanese opposition from forces advancing towards the same objectives.


170 SD (heading further south) had made it to Burjatija first and came under immediate attack at 0600 hr on 16 May from a Japanese division from the south-east. After the briefest encounter, they kept going south-west to Barguzin. Technically it was classed as a retreat, but in reality they were undamaged and merely continued there original course, knowing 3 Cav Div was following them up close behind.

Sure enough, five hours later at 1100 hr, 3 Cav Div were in Burjatija, coming under attack from the same Japanese division. This time, it was the Japanese that pulled out just an hour later.

By 1700 hr on 19 May, the Japanese had beaten 170 SD in the race to Barguzin, on Lake Baikal. 170 SD broke off its advance after a one-hour skirmish. It was probably just as well, as otherwise it would have been subject to encirclement. An attack by four divisions from three different directions immediately began on the two Soviet divisions now trying to hold Burjatija. They were outnumbered almost three-to-one. The Soviets fought on bravely and resisted for almost a week, until forced to withdraw at 0200 hr on 26 May, signalling the end of the small southern offensive. They had lost 2,172 men, the Japanese 1,527.


Battles and territorial changes, Soviet Far East – Central Sector, May 1944.

******
3. Far East Land Combat - Southern Sector

The Southern (Mongolian) sector saw much movement but little combat during May. One battle was fought in Taryacin, on the approaches to the makeshift Mongolian capital of Uliastay (whose loss would force the capitulation of the Mongolians). It began at 1400 hr on 3 May, with a fresh Japanese marine division attacking two Soviet and one Mongolian rifle divisions. Unfortunately, they were still almost completely disorganised after recent losses. They managed to resist for two days and inflicted heavy casualties on the attackers, but could not sustain the effort and fell back at 1200 hr on 5 May, losing 286 men to 824 of the Japanese attackers.


Battle and territorial changes, Soviet Far East – Southern Sector, May 1944.

******
4. Far East - Naval Operations

With the main Soviet fleet in the Far east remaining in port, convoy raiding zones for the Soviet submarine forces were adjusted on 9 May.


Japanese convoys were sunk on 12, 13, 25 and 29 May, making it four for the month.

******
5. Diplomatic, Intelligence and Leadership

The still considerable German army that had remained under arms after their surrender to the Allies had established a very heavy presence on the East Prussian border. This had been matched by a heavy Soviet build-up.


An outlandish French request for lend-lease support came through on 16 May: Stalin quickly laughed it off. Especially given how many French spies were being apprehended in the Soviet Union at this time.

By 19 May, 15 spy teams had been assembled by the GRU. It was decided to send them in against the primary enemy: Japan. The order was given, with the agents directed to directly tackle the Japanese Kempeitai in a counter-espionage war. It would also be useful to get more general intelligence on Japanese strength, industry, research and intent.

At midnight on 22 May, the initial reports were in. Japanese counter-espionage strength was six, giving the Soviets hope of winning the battle. If the figures could be believed, Japan still had ample manpower (1,458,000 men in reserve). They also seemed to have plenty of natural resources, supplies, fuel and cash at their disposal. Fortunately, they did not seem to be concentrating on nuclear, rocket or jet technology.


And with another research advance (on trade interdiction for submarines – quite useful, though it won’t be pursued again for now) that day, research projects were reduced to 19, with leadership effort also diverted from espionage and officer training to allow a diplomatic influence campaign to be initiated on Turkey. This was part of the longer-term aim to start building the voluntary membership of the Comintern, not just as enforced by conquest.


By the end of 31 May, Republican Spain was becoming quite closely aligned to the Comintern. Turkey could now be weaned off its drift to the Axis. Switzerland was now drifting back to the Allied sphere again, but it too could be a future target for Soviet influence – similarly for Afghanistan (less important) and Persia (a historical strategic focus for Russian interests).


Over April and May, 34 foreign spies were caught by the NKVD – 14 in April and 20 in May. Of those apprehended, seven came from France, five from Germany, three each from the UK and newly independent Lebanon (of all places). Two each were caught from Finland (still a government-in-exile), Hungary, Israel, Italy, Norway, Sweden and the US, with one each from Mengukuo and Xibei San Ma. The last Soviet team in Bulgaria had been caught on 6 April, while the Japanese caught a Soviet agent (quickly replaced) on 29 May.

******
6. Research and Production

More technical advances were made during the month, with light tank reliability improvement being followed up to get all light tank tech to the next level (6).


Large front doctrine would not be pursued further – new night-fighting technology was explored to help remedy a persistent weakness (50% penalty) for all current militaries in night attacks.


As the month drew to a close, Soviet researchers reviewed the requirements of their new nuclear weapons program. While any nuclear weapon was a long way off yet, it would needs one or more delivery systems. One would be strategic bombers, which the Soviet Union could not yet build. That would be the next research priority when leadership was freed up.

Another was rocket technology. The USSR had previously developed the ability to conduct rocket tests, but had not yet done any. Rocket and after that jet engines could not be developed without at least one test facility. Therefore, on 27 May, construction began on the Soviet Union’s first rocket test site – a considerable investment that would take more than seven months to build. [I’ve decided to use this game as a test for these areas of tech, which I’ve never really bothered with and have never used in the past.]


Soviet nuclear research would be aided by the heavy water processing facilities in Dnipropetrovsk, while the helium from Orenburg would aid rocket research. Unfortunately, the USSR had no access to uranium. [The only places I can find it on the map are in the Belgian Congo (Elisabethville) and Canada (Hay River). Are there any others? Perhaps I’ll need to invade the Congo or western Canada at some point!]

When decryption technology was improved on 30 May, the first steps to developing a strategic bomber were taken.



******
7. Summaries


Soviet Far East - general situation as at 31 May 1944.
In battles for which reports were available, the Soviets suffered 5,669 casualties and the Japanese 9,523 to ground combat. Japanese air attacks killed another 2,193 Soviet troops. They were still trading ground for time as reinforcements made their way over from the west.

******
The Japanese had reinforced their front line in Indo-China and had pushed down the coast to capture Cam Ranh, while the French-led Allies had advanced inland.


In Australia, the Japanese continued to expand into the interior of NSW to the Victorian and South Australian borders. In New Zealand, territory had exchanged hands on both sides.


No changes had been recorded in the wider Pacific.
 

Wraith11B

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Concerning the Uranium: those are the only two locations that can be exploited for Uranium in the game. I forget the effect it has off hand, but according to the wiki, both speed the research the same amount. So really, not much rationale for containing both uranium and heavy water.

Also, don't forget that rockets can't carry nukes: one of the problems with this game is that there isn't any such thing as an ICBM, IRBM or MRBM in any actual sense of the word that is a nuclear capable device. A shame, but that's what we have... those rockets will be good for when you get ready to launch August Storm and can attack mainland Japan from bases in Manchuria! Or when it's time for Red Storm Rising in the West to shut down NATO!
 

Bullfilter

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Concerning the Uranium: those are the only two locations that can be exploited for Uranium in the game. I forget the effect it has off hand, but according to the wiki, both speed the research the same amount. So really, not much rationale for containing both uranium and heavy water.

Also, don't forget that rockets can't carry nukes: one of the problems with this game is that there isn't any such thing as an ICBM, IRBM or MRBM in any actual sense of the word that is a nuclear capable device. A shame, but that's what we have... those rockets will be good for when you get ready to launch August Storm and can attack mainland Japan from bases in Manchuria! Or when it's time for Red Storm Rising in the West to shut down NATO!
Oh, OK, I'd read on a thread somewhere that you could use rockets as a delivery system for nukes in HOI3, but have never played them. Useful info anyway - it's all strategic warfare I guess.
 

diskoerekto

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Even though we're losing ground, I can say this is good progress. Tech is progressing, reinforcements are on their way, more Japanese losses than us (but we really should take control of the skies), and Vladivostok is not that far away from the front. When we start pushing they'll hopefully crumble :)
 

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Also I have to salute anybody who has the iron will to not interfere with the doings of the AI even if when it’s doing stupid stuff :)
 

TheButterflyComposer

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In a way, this progress is encouraging. All the Russians need to do is fight back, send subs to Japan and wait and the japs can't do much against it. This should be good news for turkey too. However...

At midnight on 22 May, the initial reports were in. Japanese counter-espionage strength was six, giving the Soviets hope of winning the battle. If the figures could be believed, Japan still had ample manpower (1,458,000 men in reserve). They also seemed to have plenty of natural resources, supplies, fuel and cash at their disposal. Fortunately, they did not seem to be concentrating on nuclear, rocket or jet technology.
This is less encouraging. They clearly have a tin of resources and manpower from their conquests and thus can fight us all the way back to china.

Soviet nuclear research would be aided by the heavy water processing facilities in Dnipropetrovsk, while the helium from Orenburg would aid rocket research. Unfortunately, the USSR had no access to uranium. [The only places I can find it on the map are in the Belgian Congo (Elisabethville) and Canada (Hay River). Are there any others? Perhaps I’ll need to invade the Congo or western Canada at some point!]
You would think there would be some in Siberia and Australia too but oh well. And no rocket nukes for you, they don't have them in HOI4 either. I built a ton of rocket sites on the east coast of china and obliterated Japan that way.
 

stnylan

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So the situation in Siberia is far from hopeless, though matters clearly remain quite grave.

Australia seems helpless in the face of the Rising Sun alas :(
 

roverS3

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There must always be at least 1 active HOI3 Soviet Union AAR, that is the law of this forum (more like a guideline, really), and here it is, born while I was away. (I was skiing in the French alps... not very communist, I know...)

I must say, even in this ATL, agent boga filtresi is doing wonders in getting Ankara and Moscow closer together. Of course you would influence Turkey...

Following up on an unlikely French victory by trying to bring the other side of the iron curtain to global dominance. Considering what this world looks like, this is going to be difficult, some might even say courageous.

Your use of the AI is definitely interesting, I will be following along.

Have a great year.
 

Bullfilter

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I forget the effect it has off hand, but according to the wiki, both speed the research the same amount. So really, not much rationale for containing both uranium and heavy water.
PS The effect was on one of the graphics in the last chapter. 40% nuclear research bonus for uranium and heavy water. I don't know if the the effect stacks if both are available. I'd assume they should, but don't know and haven't found anything yet that clarifies it. Mouse-overs don't seem to indicate the effect either. I'm just assuming the 40% I am entitled to for the heavy water is making it faster than it would be :confused:
Even though we're losing ground, I can say this is good progress. Tech is progressing, reinforcements are on their way, more Japanese losses than us (but we really should take control of the skies), and Vladivostok is not that far away from the front. When we start pushing they'll hopefully crumble :)
I agree with this analysis: plenty of ground to trade as the reinforcements get closer, and more can be called from the west as necessary. And after playing as Turkey for so long in the other game, it's a luxury to have so many research options again - I'd forgotten what it was like!
Also I have to salute anybody who has the iron will to not interfere with the doings of the AI even if when it’s doing stupid stuff :)
I will let it do it's thing in most circumstances, just hopping in if there's anything particularly ridiculous or nonsensical happening, or something just isn't working. Observing it now for the last few months (with another chapter about to be posted), it hasn't done too bad a job in the land warfare so far. And it's up against another AI, so that seems fair. It has the added interest of largely being able to surprise me with its operational decisions in response to strategic direction, so that's a bonus. And with the SU, it means far less battlefield administrivia to worry about.
In a way, this progress is encouraging. All the Russians need to do is fight back, send subs to Japan and wait and the japs can't do much against it. This should be good news for turkey too. However...
More below and in the next chapter, but yes, that's about right. I won't be beating them by eroding manpower alone ...
This is less encouraging. They clearly have a tin of resources and manpower from their conquests and thus can fight us all the way back to china.
Very much so. I think their industry and fighting formations will need to be the targets, rather than MP or resources.
You would think there would be some in Siberia and Australia too but oh well. And no rocket nukes for you, they don't have them in HOI4 either. I built a ton of rocket sites on the east coast of china and obliterated Japan that way.
I looked for it in those places, and was theoretically surprised when I didn't find them. I haven't researched it, but maybe at that time other reserves had not been discovered.
So the situation in Siberia is far from hopeless, though matters clearly remain quite grave.

Australia seems helpless in the face of the Rising Sun alas :(
At least I have plenty of ground to trade in Siberia and can now bring forces from the west. The first of them should be arriving in July. Re Australia: more in the next monthly summary ... perhaps there is a glimmer of hope?
There must always be at least 1 active HOI3 Soviet Union AAR, that is the law of this forum (more like a guideline, really), and here it is, born while I was away. (I was skiing in the French alps... not very communist, I know...)
Rule No 1! :D My original plan had been to wait until Talking Turkey was over, but ... that has turned into a longer-term story than I had anticipated! :eek:;) I'd also like to try my hand at an HOI4 AAR at some point (once I'm more familiar with the game and have finished a couple of the current AARs). But there are only 24 hours in a day :D
I must say, even in this ATL, agent boga filtresi is doing wonders in getting Ankara and Moscow closer together. Of course you would influence Turkey...
Of course. Though in this case, as @diskoerekto pointed out, they are still one of the few uncommitted countries of any import not part of the Allies ... and there's the Istanbul victory condition, which it would be nice to get without fighting for it.
Following up on an unlikely French victory by trying to bring the other side of the iron curtain to global dominance. Considering what this world looks like, this is going to be difficult, some might even say courageous.
:D Courageous indeed. Which (apart from indulging in a little post-war what-if) is why I thought I'd try it and also give the AI a big role. Not much fun if there's no challenge ;)
Your use of the AI is definitely interesting, I will be following along.

Have a great year.
You too my friend. Hope those ski slopes were good this season. Has been a little warmer here of late :eek: One of our smaller but popular ski resorts not that far from where I live was burnt to cinders in the bushfires this last week. :( They are only winter resorts here, so can be vulnerable.

To all: next session played, written up and about to be published. :)
 
Chapter 4 – June 1944

Bullfilter

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Chapter 4 – June 1944

1a. Far East Land Combat - Northern Sector: 1-11 Jun 44

The Northern Sector once again saw the heaviest fighting during June. While Japan did most of the attacking, the Soviets also made attacks of their own. Results were again mixed, with some heavy casualties on both sides.

The month began with two battles continuing on from May:
  • In Novaya Chara, the Soviets were attacking [31.1% progress, one division each].
  • The Japanese were ahead in their attack on Olekminsk [59.9% progress, one division each].
A promising new Soviet attack was launched on Dronovskiy at 0200 hr on 1 June, with 219 Mech Div and the 5th Guards Div taking on a single Japanese division that was at around 50% effectiveness after previous fighting. After a little over a day of fighting, the Japanese were driven off at relatively little cost.

As the Japanese attack on Oleksminsk continued to be pressed home, the enemy launched a new attack on neighbouring Artemovskij at 0100 hr on 2 June, which completely negated the delaying tactics MAJGEN Ponedelin of 100 SD tried to employ. Heavy air raids would begin on the morning of 3 June and (except with a break on 4 Jun when the Japanese wings diverted to hit Sinyuga, more on that below) and continue until resistance failed early on 7 June. There was no report from the ground battle, but casualties were likely to have been heavy, in addition to the 1,502 lost to Japanese are raids.

101 SD in Oleksminsk retreated at 1300 hr on 2 Jun and made for Artemovskij. They had lost over 500 men trying to defend it, as had the attacking Japanese, while another 1,000 Soviet soldiers had been killed in two days of air raids.

The Soviets attacking from Sinyuga on Novaya Chara (commenced 31 May) were hit by three air raids starting on the morning of 4 June, which killed 483 of them. This seemed to break the back of the attack quickly, which was defeated at 1000 hr, the retreating Soviets harried from the air for the rest of the day. In ground fighting, both sides had suffered more than 660 casualties each.

With the Soviet defeat in Artemovskij early on 7 June, the line of retreat for 101 Mtn Div in Oleksminsk was imperilled. A Japanese Guards division occupied it on the afternoon of 10 June, cutting off that line of retreat. After a brief skirmish, 101 Mtn Div was forced to halt its retreat and was again stuck in Oleksminsk. At 1400 hr, this triggered a renewed attack from the north, where the encircled 1st Rikusentai Marine Division had previously beaten them attacking from Berdingestjah. 101 Mtn Div were again defeated by 1300 hr the next day, but still had a retreat route open to them to the west, which they took.


As Oleksminsk came under renewed attack, the Soviet 219 Mech Div advanced into Dronovskiy (after their earlier victory there on 2 June) and came under immediate attack at 1400 hr on 10 June by Japanese Guards from Mogoca. MAJGEN Novikov used an elastic defence to try to blunt the heavy assault. Fighting there would go on for another five days.

Two hours after that, a single Japanese marine division assaulted three Soviet infantry divisions in Sinyuga, where MAJGEN Ershakov sought to delay them. The Soviets were confident of holding here, where fighting also continued by 1300 hr on 11 June.


Battles, Soviet Far East – Northern Sector, 0000 hr 1 June to 1300 hr 11 June 1944.

******

1b. Far East Land Combat - Northern Sector: 11-21 Jun 44

For the rest of the month, no Japanese air attacks were reported on Soviet troops in any sector of the Far East, providing some respite. But heavy ground fighting continued in the north.

The unwise Japanese attack on Sinyuga ended at 0500 hr on 12 June: 1,380 Japanese soldiers had died at the cost of only 263 defenders.

Emboldened by this, at 1000 hr that day 35 SD (from Sinyuga) was ordered to attack Kedrovyy, from where the defeated Japanese 14 Rikusentai had been attacking. They came up against a Manchukuoan militia division which was not dug in. The battle was evenly poised. It took until 2200 hr on 15 June, but the Soviets had reinforced with a second attacking division by then and were victorious, losing 530 men but inflicting over 1,000 casualties on the defenders.

There was no such luck to the south in Dronovskiy, where the battle by 219 Mech Div to hold its recent gain was lost at 1200 hr on 15 June, after an epic fight where the almost 8,000 defenders lost 1,062 men. They had been trying to hold off almost 35,000 Japanese attackers (who had eventually reinforced the battle), of which 1,678 were killed.

After a brief lull in operational tempo, at 1900 hr on 18 June the Japanese sent 11 Hoheishidan to attack the entrenched 2 Guards Div in Stanovoe Nagore, in poor weather and mountainous terrain. At this time, 2nd Guards contained two Guards brigades plus one AT and one engineer brigade. HQ Far Eastern Front was co-located with the 2nd Guards, so got a close view of the fighting. 2nd Guards elastic defence proved effective enough, but the tenacious Japanese attack would persist for five more days.

Further north, on 20 June the Japanese had reached Artemovskij and pressed on immediately westwards to Lemsk at 1000 hr, perhaps in the hope of making a major breakthrough. The exhausted 100 SD had only recently retreated there and, along with HQ 12 Corps, were driven off after a ten-hour skirmish despite a heroic counter-attack attempt by the Manchukuoan 4 Cav Div.

While this was happening, 324 SD had reached Dronovskiy at 1500 hr on 20 June, before the Japanese attackers who had two fresh infantry divisions following up their previous victory against 219 Mech Div. The Soviets blundered into a shock attack, which completely disrupted their attempts to fight a delaying action. They decided not to continue a clearly losing battle, wisely retreating at 0300 hr the next morning before the casualties became more serious.


Battles, Soviet Far East – Northern Sector, 1300 hr 11 June to 0300 hr 21 June 1944.

******

1c. Far East Land Combat - Northern Sector: 21-30 Jun 44

As 35 SD reoccupied Kedrovyy at 0800 hr on 21 June, they came under immediate attack by Manchukuoan militia and cavalry. Still worn out after their successful attack, they hoped 17 SD, following from Sinyuga, might be able to bolster their hasty delaying defence.

Instead, at 1000 hr 17 SD was diverted to a spoiling attack on Novaya Chara, from where the attack on Kedrovyy was being launched. At least that might help more quickly.

As both those battles continued, the earlier attack on Stanovoe Nagore that had begun on 18 June ended at 0700 hr on 23 June with a comprehensive victory for the Soviet defenders. For the loss of 450 men, the enemy had suffered 1,219 casualties.

By the morning of 23 June, 26 SD had reoccupied Berdingestjah, which had been vacated by the Japanese marines to retake Oleksminsk and avoid encirclement. Now a fresh Japanese marine division assaulted the Soviets, who employed an elastic defence to thwart the push. The defence was successful, with the assault broken off at 2100 hr the next night, with relatively moderate casualties on both sides.

Despite having been reinforced with a second division, the large Soviet spoiling attack on Novaya Chara was called off at midnight on the morning of 24 June, with relatively heavy casualties suffered and having failed to divert the attack on Kedrovyy. This led to the loss of that battle too at 0900 hr that morning, 26 SD forced to withdraw despite inflicting significantly heavier casualties on their attackers than they had suffered themselves.

But the action for the month was not yet over. Another fight for Dronovskiy erupted at 1000 hr on 25 June, when the Soviet 5 Guards Div in Stanovoe Nagore struck the Japanese 35 Hoheishidan in a shock attack which negated their delaying tactics completely, the enemy's plight exacerbated by not having dug in yet.

However, just as this promising attack was making good progress, at 0300 hr on 26 June the Japanese launched their own spoiling attack with one infantry division on Stanovoe Nagore, which was defended by 2 and 5 Guards Divs. Forced to fight on two fronts, 5 Guards broke off their own attack just two hours later to concentrate on the defence. Foolishly, the Japanese persisted with their attack, throwing in two more infantry divisions to try to force the issue. But the Guards held firm and when the Japanese stopped their attack at 0400 hr on 30 June, they left over 2,000 men dead in Stanovoe Nagore, the Guards losing just over 600.

While that battle was fought and won, to the north in Berdingestjah a shorter fight occurred on 27 June. 26 SD, dug in somewhat but still partly disorganised from its previous defence, was struck by two Japanese infantry divisions and a Manchukuoan cavalry division at 0700 hr. In a familiar theme on both sides in recent weeks, their delaying tactics were negated by a shock attack. Wisely, the division pulled out at 1800 hr that evening before it was butchered, losing around 300 men to 128 Japanese (and puppet) troops.

By 28 June, the enemy had occupied Lensk with the 4th Manchukuoan Cavalry, but this light formation was immediately counter-attacked by the approaching 93 SD at 1600 hr. Two hours later, the enemy cavalry was in retreat back to Artemovskij after a short skirmish: it seemed the potential gap in the line might be plugged after all. [The AI seemed to deal with that pretty well.]


Battles, Soviet Far East – Northern Sector, 0300 hr 21 June to 2300 hr 30 June 1944.

******

2. Far East Land Combat - Southern Sector: 21-30 Jun 44

With the area in and around Lake Baikal quiet for the month, the other combat action occurred to its south, in Mongolia.

Concerned that the Mongolians appeared to be pulling out of Uliastay and no one looked to be moving to defend it, at 2100 hr on 2 June it was made a defence objective for 1ya Armiya and the Mongolians were also asked to hold it [given it was their last VP city]. Fortunately the Japanese, though directly to its east, showed no signs of attacking it yet.

And just to be sure it was not sacrificed in any response by 1ya Armiya, on 4 June the relatively lightly defended (one rifle division) Ulan Ude was allocated as a defensive objective for 1ya Armiya.


Things remained quiet in the sector until 14 June, when a Soviet assault (130 SD) from Khantai hit two Japanese marine divisions (8 and 16 Rikusentai) from the east in Selenga Burin. The chances [14%] seemed poor at first, attacking dug-in troops over a river, but 16 Rikusentai had virtually no organisation and 8 Rikusentai also started with some existing damage [not sure why – perhaps they had been attacking Mongolian units to the south and were resting].

These odds improved [to 28%] when 137 SD in Ulan Ude hit the Japanese from the north at 1800 hr, though also over the same river obstacle. This was accompanied by a ground attack from two Soviet TAC wings (using their newly acquired radar-guided bombs, see Section 6 below) with a M/R fighter escort. The battle was in range of the large concentration of Soviet air power in Irkustk to the north: these ground attacks on Selenga Burin would continue non-stop for the next week, causing enormous enemy casualties. 16 Rikusentai retreated at 1900 hr the same day, but 8 Rikusentai fought on, under heavy air attack.

At that time, there was considerable worry at HQ Far Eastern Theatre as Uliastay was now completely undefended with no Comintern troops approaching it: had the Japanese marines in Taryacin pushed west, Mongolia could have been knocked out of the war!

But the local Soviet commander had his own ideas: at 0400 hr on 15 June, 13 SD (in Khantai) and 1 Mongolian SD (Muren) attacked the almost completely disorganised 15 Hoheishidan in Khadasan. Despite an effective local counter-attack, the enemy looked vulnerable. An addition air mission also targeted Khadasan, with two Soviet air strikes causing 407 casualties that day. The enemy retreated at 1700 hr, but again, there was no casualty report from the ground combat.

137 SD (Ulan Ude) had reinforced the attack on Selenga Burin, where the Japanese defenders were weakening. They broke at around 1500 hr on 18 June, but [rather vexingly] there was no casualty report. By then, Japanese forces were in retreat from both there and Khadasan, while Uliastay had still not been attacked.

But before 130 SD (now down to about 50% organisation) could complete their advance (137 SD had halted in Ulan Ude to protect it, as per 1st Armiya objectives), a Mengukuoan cavalry division slipped into Selenga Burin to mount a hasty defence at 1500 hr on 19 June. Soviet air strikes, which had not let up the entire time even when enemy units were retreating, continued.

And at 1900 hr on 19 June, a fresh Japanese division reached Khadasan, with the attack there breaking off after a very short skirmish and despite one more air raid killing 130 Japanese troops. And by then, a large Japanese advance (up to four divisions) on Dzhirgalanta was building to the south.

Again, there was no battle report, but resistance ended in Selenga Burin some time on the evening of 21 June, as did the Soviet air raids, which by then had killed a massive 3,923 Japanese (and allied) soldiers in eight days of ground attacks. A rather battered 130 SD finally pulled into Selenga Burin at 1500 hr on 26 Jun.


They had not been attacked by the end of the month – nor had Uliastay. Mongolia remained in the war for now.


Battles, Soviet Far East – Southern Sector, 1 - 30 June 1944.

******

3. Far East - Naval Operations

10 Navy (three sub flotillas) off the east of Japan was down to around 60% organisation and strength by 9 June as was brought back to port in Petropavlovsk (Kamchatka) for repairs, where they would spend the rest of the month.

But the rest of the submarines plied their trade against Japanese convoys relatively unharmed and sank ten of them during the month – as much as April and May combined.

On 14 June, to prevent confusion, the Red Banner Baltic Fleet, now based in Petropavlovsk, was renamed the Red Banner Pacific Fleet (1 x BB, 4 x CA, 3 x CL, 6 x DD).

******

4. Diplomatic, Intelligence and Leadership

During June, 32 foreign spies were apprehended (though up to five of those were Japanese spies who were probably targeted by Soviet hit squads in Japan itself, perhaps some of the Mengukuo and Manchukuo losses too). Of the rest, Lebanon showed an unhealthy interest in Soviet secrets, sending three spies (it must have taken most of their leadership effort to do it!), as did Mengukuo and the UK. Germany, Italy, Manchukuo and the US sent two each. The rest were made up from Bhutan (!), Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia (!), France, Guangxi Clique, Iraq, Pakistan, Poland and Sweden.

On 5 June (after a Japanese spy had been apprehended), Japan had five agents on counter-espionage duty at home and one in reserve. Their manpower stood at 1,473,000 and national unity was estimated to be 61.6%. After some ebbs and flows, by 28 June they had three active agents and one in reserve, virtually unchanged manpower reserves of 1,472,000 and NU still at 61.6%. Given the large GRU presence in Japan, these figures were considered pretty accurate (I actually checked them in retrospect in a mid-game month save just to see).

It seemed battlefield losses (against the Allies as well as the USSR) and any new unit builds were being offset by an estimated monthly manpower growth of around 56,000 men. Strategic warfare and far heavier combat outcomes (including unit destruction in encirclements) would be needed to erode Japanese manpower reserves.

Soviet espionage strength in Japan was maintained at ten agents throughout, with the four teams lost in Japan in June (two to Japanese agents and one each to Japan-based stooges from Manchukuo and Mengukuo) being replaced straight away. And of course, Soviet manpower was virtually limitless, with over 4,900,000 men available for recruitment if necessary.

The USSR had 13 spy teams in reserve by the end of June – almost enough to launch another insertion – probably in either France or the US, the latter due to concerns they may be ahead of the USSR in nuclear weapon development. Another option was Germany, where information on their dispositions and potential sabotage of their industry, political institutions or stealing of technology might be useful. Or perhaps even Bulgaria, to see if their regime might be overthrown eventually.

The only diplomatic news to raise eyebrows (though only one, slightly, each time) during the month were requests by Germany on 20 and 29 June for lend-lease payments. Molotov didn’t even bother informing Stalin of these any more before rejecting them outright.

******

5. Research and Production

It was a particularly fruitful month for Soviet researchers, with eight of the nineteen current projects completed in June. [I concentrate on this a bit, as it is one of the few things I exert much direct control over where a fair bit happens, having left most day-to-day combat management to the AI.]

Light Tank Armour was the first to be completed, with more effort devoted to the surge in strategic bomber development on 1 June, which could be done in parallel to basic strategic bomber design.


The next to be completed was single engine aircraft armament (Level 2) on 6 June. Given this area had been seriously deficient, the team was kept together to work on Level 3. Better fighters would be needed not just for beating Japan in the short term, but to help the successful deployment of nuclear-armed bombers in the future and then a possible confrontation with the Capitalist West after that.


Later that day, Far east Command advised there was a large gap in air cover between Irkutsk in the centre of the front and the sole remaining small air base of Jakutsk in the north. And Jakutsk was now under imminent threat of occupation. A new air base for deployment in the east was immediately commissioned and given full production priority, along with the air base expansion in Irkutsk and the rockets test facility.


The next day, the first Soviet ‘secret’ technology project was completed – radar-guided bombs. Within a week, they were being used to good effect in Selenga Burin and Khadasan. The last infantry equipment update needed to take all Soviet divisions to Level 6 was commenced.


The recent equipment advances was increasing the upgrade bill considerably. By 7 June 55.7 IC was needed to fund them, with 3.15 for reinforcements and 19.08 for consumer goods. After 20 IC for supplies (not enough to avoid a decrease in the stockpile) was subtracted, this left only 220 IC for the 250 IC worth of current production projects. All ships and most of the new fighter wings (there was not enough room in the east to house all those currently assigned there anyway) on order were sent to the bottom of the queue to ensure high priority lines were kept at 100%.

11 June saw new infantry small arms developed (which would greatly increase the upgrade bill, which always received top priority for IC), with another heavy bomber technology replacing it (larger cargo holds would not be needed for now, as paratroop production or air resupply was not a major priority at that time). But increased range would be vital for a future strategic bomber force.


As at 12 June, upgrade costs had jumped to 93 IC, bringing production down to 196 IC.

Light tank engine research was finished on 15 June, with only light tank gun improvements (already being researched) needed to bring Soviet light armour up to world’s best standards. Better engines for single engine aircraft were the next priority as the fighter modernisation drive continued.


More fighter research continued to be completed, with single engine airframe development brought to contemporary modern world standards on 16 June. Effort was switched to bringing fuel tanks to the same level.


After this round of new research was put into upgrades, the bill for those rose to 117 IC on 16 June. With heavy fighting in the east bringing replacement demand to 11.5 IC, production shrunk to just over 163 IC, meaning almost 90 IC worth of builds were on hold.

By the time the first of three planned expansion to the air base in Irkutsk was delivered on 17 June, the upgrade bill was around 129 IC and replacements over 13 IC.


With supply a major factor in the Far East and supply usage going up, the improvement in supply organisation practices on 23 June was followed up with new vehicles and organisation for supply transport.


On 24 June, another new mechanised division (1 x MECH, 1 x MOT, 1 x TD, 1 x MOT AA) was deployed and allocated to 12th Corps, part of 6ya Armiya of the Far Eastern Front HQ.

The final tech advance in June was on the 25th, with new operational level command structure doctrine issued, which would increase the pace of attacks. With the heavy demands on Soviet production, industrial efficiency gains were pursued next.



******

6. Summaries


Soviet Far East general situation as at 30 June 1944.

Most Japanese advances were in the sparsely settled and less defended far north. The Soviets and Mongolians largely held steady north and south of Lake Baikal.

In battles for which reports were available, the Soviets suffered 6,548 casualties and the Japanese 11,443 to ground combat. Japanese air attacks killed another 3,190 Soviet troops, while Soviet ground attacks killed 4,460 Japanese soldiers and their allies.

******
The Japanese regained ground in central Indo-China, but their advances along the coast from May were reversed. Substantial forces looked to be building on both sides.


The stalemate in Borneo continued, where British forces had been augmented by US paratroops.


But British Royal Marines under French command had landed and taken Batavia.


Something similar had happened in Malaya, at Teluk Anson and Kota Bharu (though no units remained in the latter at the moment; Thailand remains neutral).



******

In Australia, the Japanese had made further advances in the interior, but not as much progress towards Melbourne. The Japanese had been expelled from New Zealand.


A French request to the US to defend Melbourne (I think that’s a carry-over from when I was running France previously) had been acted upon, with the 82nd Airborne holding it, under local Australian command.


The only change in the Pacific was the Japanese occupation of Jarvis Island, south of Hawaii.



******

To help make identification of Theatre responsibilities easier, the names of the four other (still AI-controlled) Theatre HQs were renamed mid-month to reflect their current geographical responsibilities.







 

Wraith11B

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Just as an aside, are we going to get threadmarks here?
 

Bullfilter

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stnylan

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Fighting remains pretty brutal in Siberia. As the year turns and heads towards winter I can't imagine it getting any easier.

Not that Russia needs to win the attrition game against Japan, but it is nice nevertheless to see that it is.
 

diskoerekto

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On 24 June, another new mechanised division (1 x MECH, 1 x MOT, 1 x TD, 1 x MOT AA) was deployed and allocated to 12th Corps, part of 6ya Armiya of the Far Eastern Front HQ.
Why Mot AA and not SPArt? Why Mot and Mec together? The standard templates are a bit odd. Do you have a rule about changing division structures? I'd group Mec with fast stuff like LArm, AC, SPArt and Mot with Arm, AC etc for example.

In Australia, the Japanese had made further advances in the interior, but not as much progress towards Melbourne. The Japanese had been expelled from New Zealand.
One wonders if that funny Kiwi tank has ever seen combat in this alternate timeline :)


The front is going worse and the Japanese having more MP loss is good but as you say it's not really a gamechanger since they already have a healthy pool of it. Unless encirclements etc are maintained they won't run out of bodies.

Tech progressing even faster, and even jet motors are now nearing the picture. The next age of aviation is nearing. Are there any planes in the west? I think we can redirect everything to east to gain air supremacy and make the ground attacks a one way business. The new airfields will be great for this.
 

Nikolai

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Fighting remains pretty brutal in Siberia. As the year turns and heads towards winter I can't imagine it getting any easier.

Not that Russia needs to win the attrition game against Japan, but it is nice nevertheless to see that it is.
Yeah, it seems like it's still a hard struggle ahead.
 

Surt

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Fighting using AI armies is interesting, having done it many times before I look forward to your experience.