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

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Surt

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The supply can be sent from any port connected by land to the Capital, supply will be transported to the receiving port if there is any supply demand. So you can send from the northern port to Sakhalin. This is mostly used when the land supply is not is not possible.
 
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Bullfilter

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The next session is played (had to do this one on the laptop as well as HOI3 now seems completely fried on the PC), most image editing done. But it will be a week or so probably before I’ll post, as I have cricket matches on six of the next seven days!
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.
Yes, the AI French have been pretty effective with them in recent months.
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.
Yes, I won’t go so far as to expect the Soviet AI to do urgent amphibious landings. There’s only so much patience I have! :rolleyes: :D
The supply can be sent from any port connected by land to the Capital, supply will be transported to the receiving port if there is any supply demand. So you can send from the northern port to Sakhalin. This is mostly used when the land supply is not is not possible.
Yep, got it. Don’t think it will help my Far East throughput problem though, alas.
 
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El Pip

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I missed the grand discussion on the brave (but doomed) naval landings. Nothing particular to say that hasn't already been said, just a reassurance I am still reading along as and when life allows.

Far be it from me to doubt the wisdom of Stalin, but perhaps a bit less IC in nukes and strategic bombers and a bit more in (say) naval bombers and patrol aircraft might have helped against Japan. Though of course such things are always obvious in hindsight and I say this mainly because I always enjoying being reminded that the Chyetverikov MDR-6 existed;

Tschetwerikow_MDR-6.JPG

Wikipedia
 
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Bullfilter

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I missed the grand discussion on the brave (but doomed) naval landings. Nothing particular to say that hasn't already been said, just a reassurance I am still reading along as and when life allows.

Far be it from me to doubt the wisdom of Stalin, but perhaps a bit less IC in nukes and strategic bombers and a bit more in (say) naval bombers and patrol aircraft might have helped against Japan. Though of course such things are always obvious in hindsight and I say this mainly because I always enjoying being reminded that the Chyetverikov MDR-6 existed;

Tschetwerikow_MDR-6.JPG

Wikipedia
Have no fear, there may be more discussion of things maritime after the next chapter goes up shortly! There has been a bit of NAV building going on, as those and subs are basically the sole serious maritime research building programs going, other than the minimum required for a small amph capability for Japan and any other niche targets. I have more aircraft than I can use in the Far East, due to a lack of good forward air bases and woeful supply conditions.

And given the enormous handicaps of the Soviet starting position plus largely AI operational leadership, and the difficulty of pushing Japan back with the Allies sweeping everything up from behind, I'm starting to think the strategic weapons could be the only remote chance of turning around the current (officially achieved) Allied World order! :eek:

Of course, with many wings of those elegant, sleek MDR-6s to hand, the Soviet victory would be assured! :D

To All: next chapter, brimming with exciting maritime action, will be up soon (ish).
 
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Chapter 26 – April 1946

Bullfilter

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Chapter 26 – April 1946

Foreword

The Far East has become a race between the Allied (Nationalist China and the French-led invasion of the Home Islands) and Soviet advances to gain as much territory as possible, before what now looks like an inevitable defeat (to re-coin a phrase) for Imperial Japan. And so far, the Japanese defence-in-place against the Soviets seems to be far heavier and more resilient than the token forces that are as yet facing the Allies.

Meanwhile, the ‘secret race’ for Stalin’s super weapons continues, though it is a long and slow process. And the General Secretary remains obsessed with forcing a landing somewhere in Japan, despite the desperate and almost catastrophic failure of the last attempts on both Honshu and then Sapporo in March.

Note: the chapter is a bit longer than usual for this AAR for reasons that will become obvious when you read on! ;)

******

1. Eastern Sector

[Note: Naval operations for April are covered in a separate section.]

The Soviets had won a major battle for Verkhnetambovskoye, started on 31 March, by 2 April (544 Soviet, 746 Japanese killed in the ground battle, with 2,249 Soviets and 590 Japanese troops killed in related air strikes). The Soviets would occupy it on 10 April.

A Japanese attack on Tyrma succeeded between 6-8 April, with a lack of supplies plaguing the defenders, but no ground battle report was available (1,042 Soviet air raid casualties). The Japanese would occupy Tyrma by 15 April, but then be struck by a quick Soviet attack on 15-16 April, which was brushed off despite heavy VVS air support. A larger Soviet attack from 25-28 April would succeed (592 Soviet, 570 Japanese ground casualties, 1,597 Japanese killed in air raids). The Japanese retreated but the province had not yet been reoccupied as the month ended.

The fighting in Tyrma was matched overhead, with two air battles occurring in daylight on 6 April above Tyrma itself and in Urgal, with one side and then the other intercepting raids. Both battles left the Soviets with heavier damage than their Japanese counterparts.

y3nCHb.jpg

That night, three more Japanese raids were intercepted from 1700hr on the 6th to 0600hr on the 7th, but the enemy bombers got through on each occasion, taking some damage but leaving the Soviet fighters disorganised.

giKsUr.jpg

On 9 April, the 1st Marine Div was cut away from 14 Mech Div (which had conducted the amphibious landing attempts in March then been sent back to the front line) and was sent back north by rail to Nikolayevsk na Amure: a new and more specialised Marine Corps was to be raised and readied for future maritime operations. Another marine formation (1. Diviziya Morskoi Pekhoty) was by then also approaching the port in its long journey from Irkutsk.

Chinese progress still seemed unchecked by 12 April, giving increased urgency to Stalin’s demands for a new amphibious attempt. By then, the [AI] 6th Army had relocated two air wings to the small forward air base taken at Tumnin, on the Pacific coast. A TPT wing was added by Theatre [human] HQ on 14 April and the Parachute Division (3 x PARA brigades) was sent south from Nikolayevsk na Amure to join up with them.

Another Soviet success came in Elban, which the Japanese had retaken on 12 April after winning a battle for it in late March. The Soviet counter-attack came between 13-15 April, with a Soviet victory without VVS air support (625 Soviet ground casualties plus 2,338 from air strikes on Verkhnetambovskoye; 1,039 Japanese ground casualties). Elban was regained by the Soviets on 27 April.

Japanese-held Suluk was another contested province during April, with unsuccessful Soviet attacks launched on 16 April (a probe) and 19-20 April (337 Soviet, 398 Japanese casualties) until a clear victory was won at the end of the month (27-29 April), with 131 Soviet and 642 Japanese casualties. The Soviets were still advancing on Suluk as the month ended.

The other province to change hands in the east was Vysokogorny, on the Pacific coast, occupied by the Soviets without opposition on 20 April. The Japanese launched a serious but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to retake it from 22-26 April, with fierce air support (503 Soviet ground and 3,223 air raid casualties, 892 Japanese ground casualties).

Between 25-30 April, the Japanese attacked Okha once more in the largest ground battle in the Eastern Sector for the month. This attack [-59% enemy progress as it started] led to HQ 6th Army being given Okha as a defensive objective, with Vladivostok removed for the time being.

VMU0X1.jpg

After a brief intervention by Japanese CAGs (more on that in the Maritime Operations section), the attack was heavily repulsed (552 Soviet, 1,559 Japanese ground casualties, 78 Soviets lost to Japanese CAG ground strikes). The Soviets began a counter-attack on Alexandrov Sakhalinsky immediately afterwards with fresh troops, which would continue into May.

A large Soviet attack began on Orlovka on 27 April and it also carried over into May 1946. By the end of the month, Japanese defensive air strikes on Soviet divisions attacking from Elban and Verkhnetambovskoye had already killed around 4,150 troops.

LyPFNt.jpg

A summary of battles and advance in the Eastern Sector, April 1946. Japanese air raids were significantly more destructive in the sector, nearer to their air bases, with occasional dogfights occurring as well, while the Japanese took far heavier casualties in ground fighting – at least where the results were known.

******

2. Central Sector

Ground fighting in the Central Sector was less intense than in the East, but the VVS was very active in supporting the ground troops in this sector, the Japanese air wings less so, with no dogfights recorded during the month. Also, some significant gaps in the Japanese line began to form in places, leading to some provinces being occupied by the Soviets without a fight. But on the other hand, supply problems for the Soviets hampered their ability to exploit and in some cases led to provinces being abandoned to Japanese occupation after little or nor resistance.

One of the four larger battles in the Centre during April was an early victory for the Soviets in Shilka over 1-2 April, leading to its occupation by mid-month (358 Soviet and 958 Japanese ground casualties).

Mangui was attacked by the Soviets for the first time on 2 April, but that attempt was soon defeated. A more serious attack succeeded between 10-13 April (no ground report, but 2,739 Japanese defenders were killed in air strikes). But the Japanese kept managing to put reinforcements in to prevent Soviet occupation. One such group was beaten on 16-17 April (14 Soviet, 227 Japanese ground and 402 air casualties), but in the fourth battle there for the month, there was no VVS support provided and the fight was won by the Japanese defenders (1,686 Soviet v 1,284 Japanese killed) in the largest ground battle for the month across the entire Soviet Far East theatre.

Tahe had been reoccupied by the Japanese on 5 April after a victory there in March. Three Soviet probes, each with heavy air support, were easily brushed off the Japanese. Ground casualties were minimal on both sides, but the VVS inflicted around 4,250 killed on the Japanese in supporting strikes from 5-11 April.

Urusha was lost after the Soviet defenders offered no resistance to a Japanese attack on 7 April, due to being out of supply. Although the Japanese took it on 15 April, they had retreated back south by the end of the month, leaving it unoccupied but still in Japanese hands.

A Japanese attack on Skovorodino from 8-11 April ended in a Soviet defeat (630 Soviet, 652 Japanese killed), leading to it being occupied on 15 April. But a Soviet division was already moving to retake it, dislodging the Japanese after a short skirmish and taking it back the very same day.

The first short Soviet attack on Alihe from 13-14 April failed, though over 900 Japanese were killed by VVS air strikes. The next attempt succeeded, though there was no ground battle report for the three day fight between 16-19 April. While VVS support was crucial, with 1,853 enemy killed in air strikes, the Japanese killed over 1,000 of the attackers in Mordaga over the same period. Alihe was finally taken by Soviet troops on 28 April.

The Soviets managed to secure an unoccupied Ushumun on 20 April, but were counter-attacked by the Japanese three days later, losing the gruelling five day battle on 28 April despite heavy VVS defensive air strikes (1,127 Soviet and 895 Japanese ground casualties, with another 3,524 Japanese attackers killed by air strikes on Tahe). Ust’ Karsk was retaken by the Soviets without a fight around the same time.

fzdq8R.jpg

A summary of battles and advance in the Central Sector, April 1946. The balance of air strikes was reversed in this sector, where Soviet air power was stronger. But despite this, while the Soviets did most of the attacking, the Japanese won two thirds of the battles (large and small), in part due to Soviet supply shortfalls.

******

3. Western Sector

The Western Sector was quite active in April, with one large battle but many others recording few or even no casualties, where Soviet defenders were already completely disorganised when attacked due to long term lack of supply in the northern portion of the sector. Conversely, in quite a few cases the Japanese had vacated provinces in advance of Soviet or Mongolian attacks, perhaps having been called back east to counter the rampant Chinese offensive approaching southern Manchuria.

East of Lake Baikal, a battle for Telemba went from 2-9 April, but no combat report was available. The Soviets eventually retreated after their supplies ran out. In Barguzin (5-6 April) and Burjatija (9 and 17 April) Soviet defenders withdrew on first contact due to lack of supply, with no casualties on either side. All three had been occupied by the Japanese by the end of the month.

In response to the terrible supply situation and Japanese advances east of Lake Baikal, 1st Army was put on a defensive stance from 17 April. With Bukacaca now under threat, the next day Tamsong Bulak was withdrawn as a depth offensive objective and Irkutsk (now less threatened) removed as a defensive objective, replaced with orders for the defence of Bukacaca.

yvqeoH.jpg

South of Irkutsk, the Soviets were beginning to recover momentum, with Slyudyanka abandoned by the Japanese and the Soviets advancing on it by 6 April, retaking it on 25 April without a fight.

Even though the Japanese won the largest battle in the sector for the month in an attack on Khantai (9-14 April, 1,243 Soviet and 939 Japanese troops killed), they did not follow it up and in fact had vacated Selenga Burin, Ulan Ude and Altan Bulak by the end of the month, either without fights or against Mongolian attacks for which there were no reports.

As the month drew to a close, a Comintern attack on Khentel on 29 April (84 Soviet and 278 Japanese casualties) had succeeded, with the advance continuing as April ended.

Neither side launched any air strikes in this sector during the month, mainly based in Irkutsk – the large Soviet air presence was grounded due to lack of supplies. This led to a major reorganisation of Soviet air assets there on 14 April. There were 15 wings based in Irkutsk alone at that time and more in Mutina and Jakutsk – almost all of them unsupplied and lacking any organisation. A total of 18 wings (2 x STRAT, 5 x TAC, 4 x CAS, 2 x MR, 5 x INT) were reallocated to the various Western Theatre HQs in Russia proper in the hope of improving the general supply situation, leaving just seven in Irkutsk.

By 23 April the wings left in Irkutsk were back in supply and starting to regain organisation. 7th Army [AI] had also deployed a couple of wings forward to Ulaanbataar. It was hoped the VVS might be able to resume combat support missions in May.

Em1kKu.jpg

A summary of battles and advance in the Western Sector, April 1946. Neither side flew any air missions and quite a few provinces had been taken without a fight by both sides, mainly depending on Soviet supply status, which remained chronic east of Lake Baikal, but generally good in Mongolia.

******

4. Maritime Operations

Once again, the most exciting, complicated and entertaining action occurred in the maritime sphere. The month started with the Red Banner Pacific Fleet split between the ports of Nikolayevsk na Amure and Okha, undergoing much-needed repairs.

drBcCx.jpg

On 8 April, one of the ‘new’ submarine flotillas was deployed. It was one of the units begun by the Soviets to start improving their construction experience and was a slightly improved version of the old Series II class, with Model 1918 engines and hull and a 1,700km range (the old Series II boats only having an 800km operational range). After earlier losses to Japanese CAGs, only one of the more modern Series XIV flotillas was left. The oldest boats were grouped together in the 5th Sub Sqn, while the Series XIV and improved Series II boats were kept separate to utilise their longer range. But none were sent on any missions yet.

rI9v9Y.jpg

2 DMP was deployed straight into Nikolayevsk na Amure on 12 April and the 1st Marine Corps formed, with two nearby ordinary rifle divisions. The other two marine divisions were still on their way to join them.

l5uy0p.jpg

By then, Allied progress in Japan had seen Hiroshima fall on the south-western tip of Honshu, while the Allies were across the strait and two provinces south of Nagoya on the approaches to Tokyo in the south-east of the island. Stalin’s demands for another amphibious expedition grew in their urgency and insistence.

As 20 April came, both these Allied beachheads had expanded, with Allied troops on the outskirts of Nagoya and Hiroshima now safely behind Allied lines. Japanese surrender progress was assessed as up to 25.8% (NU of 61.9%). That evening the long-range sub fleet was ordered to Uchiura Bay for another recon of Sapporo, as the RBPF was repaired and the new Marine Corps assembled. Not long after they arrived late on 22 April, they were struck hard by enemy naval bombers, most likely based to the south-west at Akita. By 0600hr the next morning, one flotilla had been sunk and another damaged.

vcEFfU.jpg

The subs fled as soon as they could, managing to limp back into their bas two days later without losing any more boats. Interestingly, only the older boats had suffered: the Series XIV flotilla was undamaged.

43k2Qw.jpg

By then, 1st Marine Corps was assembled under LTGEN N.P. Ivanov in Nikolayevsk na Amure, with three marine and two rifle divisions. However, 2 DMP was not yet battle-ready after its recent initial deployment. Most of the ships in Okha were either fully or largely repaired and were sent back to join the main fleet in Nikolayevsk na Amure, while the least seaworthy remained.

Two INT wings were rebased from Moscow to Tumnin to provide air cover for any planned amphibious operations, where they could reach out to the southern end of Sakhalin, but not as far as Sapporo. Work began on the air base at Tumnin to upgrade it to level 2.

As preparations were finalised on the evening of 26 April for an amphibious attack on Toyohara, at the southern end of Sakhalin, a mixed group of one MR and one TAC wing was allocated to Theatre [human] control and ordered to conduct an interdiction mission on Toyohara, to see if any troops or ships were lurking there. But (frustratingly) the group didn't actually launch a mission at that point.

The naval invasion force set off at 0100hr on 27 April, with the whole of the 1st Marine Corps on board except for 2 DMP, which was still not properly worked up. The RBPF was not completely repaired, but enough for Stalin to make the attempt.

SoCqhe.jpg

An hour later, with no result from the interdiction mission so far, a logistical raid was ordered instead. It did a little damage to infrastructure and stockpiles, was not opposed in the air and no ground or naval units were reported by the time they returned at 0600hr. The mission was then cancelled, allowing the air group to rest until the invasion began. The INT group would be ordered to start patrolling when the fleet arrived offshore Toyohara

JY8E2U.jpg

… which they did at midnight on 28 April: when all hell broke loose! As soon as they reached the Gulf of Terpeniya, the RBPF found itself engaging a three-carrier task group on the water while being hit simultaneously from the air by their six CAG wings. Heavy damage began to be taken straight away, especially by the old light cruisers.

LB0rkZ.jpg

Caught napping, the fighters in Tumnin were immediately ordered to intercept, while the MR-escorted TAC wing was sent to conduct a naval strike on the carrier group, hoping to do some damage and divert the attention of the CAGs that were doing so much damage to the invasion fleet. A group of two NAV bomber wings was ordered to rebase to Tumnin from up in Ulya, where they were currently out of range. And the 5th Sub Sqn (the older Series II boats) was ordered to sortie to the Gulf of Terpeniya to see what they could do.

An hour later, the VVS was engaging the Japanese CAGs as the damage was mounting on the fleet from the enemy’s naval strike, which sank a transport flotilla by 0300hr. Then the CAGs were back at 0500hr, having re-equipped to challenge the Soviet naval strike. By 0600hr all the Soviet wings were getting badly disorganised, while the Japanese suffered little damage themselves.

L3SHqA.jpg

Kuznetsov was starting to get a little desperate and the NAV group was ordered to put in a naval strike after it arrived at Tumnin at 0300hr, but this order somehow became garbled and was not carried out. When the strike by the TAC wing finished at 0700hr, they reported having ‘damaged enemy ships’, but not much was apparent on the water, where the weather was poor. And the RBPF was taking more and more damage itself.

6SHPZZ.jpg

The naval battle continued into the middle of 28 April as the Soviet INT and TAC wings originally based in Tumnin ran out of organisation. The NAV wings were again ordered to strike the enemy fleet once the previous orders ‘SNAFU’ was discovered. But they were unescorted (the VVS fighters apparently unable to fly by then) and badly beaten off by the enemy CAGs flying combat air patrol. Though perhaps they had been briefly diverted from hitting the invasion fleet. By this stage, with all the activity over Toyohara, it was discovered that two Japanese marine divisions were present in Toyohara anyway, so any planned landings were abandoned.

kb6FPo.jpg

Now Kuznetsov just wanted to escape before he lost more ships and especially the transports carrying the 1st Marine Corps. But because the naval battle continued, he could not disengage. Once again, despite extra precautions, with sub and air recons and modest air cover, the Soviets had been comprehensively surprised and badly ambushed.

The Japanese carrier-based dive and torpedo bombers had appeared again at 0800hr. By the time they were finished at 1000hr, another transport flotilla and the old CL Profintern had been sunk – though none of the ground troops had been lost as yet. The RBPF was now able to break away, at least, with the naval battle formally lost.

geXy4B.jpg

The fleet had reached the Eastern Coast of Shisuka by 1600hr that afternoon and made its best (though not very quick) speed back to sanctuary in Okha.

gmEP6c.jpg

By that evening, the Allies had taken Osaka and were threatening Kyoto, but had been held up in front of Nagoya. Then at 2100hr (still 28 April), the RBPF was struck again by enemy CAGs: though this time, there were only two of them (and one seemed to have be effectively destroyed in an earlier dogfight after all, as it was at 0% strength and org). And they had different squadron numbers to those they had fought further south. An hour later, the fleet had slipped north into the Gulf of Nabil’skiy, but it was clear one of the enemy carriers (or another one) must have been detached to pursue them.

The RBPF was struck once more at 0500hr on 29 April in the Northern Taratar Strait, just north of the safety of Okha. In reaction to the renewed CAG strikes, at 0500hr the INT wings in Tumnin had been ordered to intercept but were heavily damaged and disorganised. The two INT wings based in Nikolayevsk na Amure had not responded, so were detached from 6th Army command (where they had been supporting land ops under AI control) and ordered directly by Theatre HQ to intercept in the Northern Taratar Strait. But they had not made contact with the enemy before the fleet reached port. The old CA Voroshilov, bore the brunt of the attack, but all the ships managed to reach port three hours later without any more being sunk. It was a minor miracle.

cBy75D.jpg

The four divisions of 1st Marine Corps soon deployed to help the garrison defeat the existing attack on Okha described in Section 1 above.

At 1400hr that day, the sole remaining enemy CAG wing conducted a ground attack mission on Okha, killing 78 defenders. It meant they were still in the area and the enemy task force had just been discovered off the east coast of Sakhalin - where the submarine flotilla despatched a few days before was closing in! It looked like one fleet carrier and two cruisers. The intercept mission was expanded to cover all the way from Okha to where the enemy had been sighted.

o9mViS.jpg

As it happened, the surviving enemy CAG tried to perform another ground attack on Okha that afternoon, but was jumped by the VVS and badly mauled.

y02VHT.jpg

But this did not end the frenetic naval action for the month: at 2000hr, the old Soviet subs found the enemy CTF in the Gulf of Terpeniya and engaged! Even while the enemy CAG was still off bombing Okha. Huzzah!

qbsdoR.jpg

The two escorting enemy heavy cruisers came forward to protect the Kaga, but there were no screens with the small task force. Perhaps the old subs could actually do some damage. Meanwhile, the VVS declared an air victory over the CAG at Okha at 2100hr. But unfortunately, as the subs were making their runs against the Ashigara and Tone, the Kaga’s 19th CAG had refuelled and re-equipped. And despite all its damage and disorganisation was still able to strike the subs, causing heavy damage in just an hour or two. The swine! No impression seemed to have been made on the enemy ships at this point.

cxevHJ.jpg

Belatedly, at 2200hr the still badly damaged fighters in Tumnin were specifically ordered to provide air cover to the subs but (unlike the Japanese CAG flyers) did not respond accordingly. By the start of 30 April, the Soviet subs were taking more damage from the 19th CAG, but this time the fighters based out of Nikolayevsk na Amure were able to intercept them at 0100hr, immediately defeating the CAGs.

aH1SU3.jpg

An hour later, the enemy CTF had broken off and fled south-east. It was declared a Soviet naval ‘victory’, but many of the subs were badly damaged while no discernible damage had been done to the enemy ships. Nonetheless, the sub fleet would return to port claiming a great naval triumph which could be trumpeted in the papers, anyway.

At this point, with naval hostilities apparently over for the time being, the badly degraded NAV and INT wings in Tumnin were swapped out back to the west for repairs in Mother Russia, replaced by fresh wings from Leningrad and Moscow (a 3 x NAV and a 3 x INT group). The RBPF was joined by the ships that had stayed back in Okha for repairs and had therefore not taken part in the second ill-fated amphibious attempt, then split in two again for more repairs there and in Nikolayevsk na Amure.

YCOQrN.jpg

A quick experiment showed that 1st Marine Corps [under AI control] could not be entrusted to carry out the desired overland attack along Sakhalin down to Toyohara called for after they had helped beat off the enemy ground attack on Okha on 30 April [the AI responded by trying to strategically redeploy them across the strait and down to Tumnin instead]. So they were put back under Theatre command, with 1. DMP and 1st Marine Div in Okha attacking the two enemy divisions in Alexandrovsk Skahalinsky at 1400hr on 30 April [58% progress]. That afternoon, the various INT and TAC wings in the sector were returned to 6th Army [AI] control for ground support ops. The NAV bombers would be held back for now.

Shortly afterwards, the new INT group engaged an enemy air strike on Soviet troops in Verkhnetambovskoye, who were attacking Orlovka. This was desperately needed, as almost 4,000 Soviet troops had been killed by Japanese strikes there since 28 April, while the focus had been on the dramatic sea battles off Sakhalin. They seemed to have now discouraged the enemy air effort, but this would only be known for sure when it all started over again on 1 May.

bPlUYK.jpg


******

5. Production, Logistics and Research

As noted above, supply across the front remained a major problem in certain areas throughout the month. Apart from the air unit ‘thinning’ with many wings sent back west mentioned earlier, some land units still drawing supplies up north around Ulya and beyond were withdrawn and sent down south on 14 April. By the end of the month, there had been a definite improvement south of Irkutsk and a little in the Central Sector, but elsewhere it varied from patchy to dire.

rZTVzy.jpg


******

It may come too late to matter against Japan, but a new landing craft flotilla began construction on 9 April. On 15 April, a fourth para brigade was ordered to supplement the currently three-brigade parachute division.

On 16 April, the expansion of the busy air base in Tyndinskiy to level six was completed (nine VVS wings currently based there), but no new work was begun as it was hoped it would soon become redundant as the front advanced further. Then on 20 April, the Nikolayevsk na Amure air base reached level three (six wings based there at present) and work to expand it further was started. There was still one new air base available for deployment, but it was still being kept back in case one of the naval landings or the advance down Sakhalin ever succeeded.

A new rocket test site had been started on 1 April in the hope it would speed up research and/or building of the new strategic rocket arm down the track [do let me know if that is misplaced optimism, as I’m not familiar with the mechanic and the tool tips and wikis seemed a bit ambiguous about it]. This was accompanied by another big round of infrastructure building to keep improving supply throughput into what now looked like it would be a long-term front, whether against Japan now or the Allies – including China – later.

EGGolN.jpg

And after recent progress in sub research, a new flotilla was laid down on 22 April – with the Soviets now able to construct the more modern Series XIV boats themselves.

******

On 5 April, with their first nuclear device now 20% completed, nuclear technology advanced to double that production rate, with the next level of research rolled straight into. The first strategic rocket device – the flying bomb – should be ready to commence production in early May. Just in case it might still be relevant when researched, more advanced invasion tactics were pursued when the first level of landing craft support was achieved on 9 April.

TAC ground crew training was improved and continued on 18 April, while the next much-anticipated progress in supply organisation was welcomed and continued on 21 April. At that time, with other demands on Soviet leadership increased (more below), one project was suspended (the recently started TAC training), in order to keep pursuing improved supply throughput (despite the ‘ahead of time’ penalty). By 29 April, more leadership effort had to be directed elsewhere, so the project list was reduced further to 21, heavy bomber crew training not being replaced in the queue.

mXGctv.jpg


******

6. Espionage and Diplomacy

Given the rapid progress of China and of the Allied invasion of Japan, a decision was taken to start courting the other currently pro-Axis Chinese warlord states in the hope of creating some opportunities later. With three diplomatic teams required to launch each such mission and two LS points permanently assigned to maintain each one, the LS assigned to diplomacy steadily increased through the month. At first, this was taken from espionage and (principally) officer training, where the officer pool currently stood at 120%.

The first mission to influence the Guangxi Clique started straight away (ie 2300hr on 31 March). With the extant Spanish and Turkish missions, this required 6 LS points to maintain plus more to rebuild the expended diplomatic teams. This rose to 8 LS on 2 April when Xibei San Ma was added, then to 10 on 20 April when Yunnan made the fifth Soviet influence mission on the books.

UfhzAs.jpg

It would take some time to bring the three Chinese states to the Comintern, but at present neither the Axis nor Allies were attempting to influence them. The first few had already begun to drift a little to the left.

And on 14 April, a claim for Guandong was added to Soviet war goals for Japan, in the hope of maximising Soviet gains if they surrendered mainly due to Allied encroachments. [A question here: if Japan hits the surrender threshold and both France and the Soviets have competing puppet and government change goals (as they do here), who gets the territory still unoccupied by either side at that point? Any idea how it is usually broken up between the contenders?]

******

By 20 April, the Soviet spy surplus was also beginning to be run down (see summary below) as teams on overseas missions were caught. The reserve was down to 4, with 0.2 LS put back into training spies (it had been reduced to zero in March).

By 22 April, with Manchurian spy strength back up to 3 and Japan to 4, counter-espionage in both was increased from an even balance with disrupting NU. Manchuria went to a 75-25% balance, while in Japan, with the Allies now running rampant, all NU influencing was suspended, with everything going into counter-espionage. When a series of team losses followed and the reserve was down to 1, spy training was trebled on 25 April to 0.6 LS.

Turkish spy strength was now up to 4 and the resurgence in local Communist Party popularity had to be abandoned temporarily, with the effort going back to 100% counter-espionage after a team was lost there that day. When another was captured in Turkey on the 26th, spy training was ramped up to 1 LS, research down to 21 active projects and officer training (where the pool had dropped a little to 119%) was put back to 1.55 LS, with 10.2 currently invested in diplomacy, mainly spent on influencing campaigns with 0.2 on diplomat training.

The increase in counter-espionage efforts saw a number of enemy agents neutralised in their own countries from 22 April onwards, but Soviet losses had been heavy, with nine teams lost (most in Japan and Turkey) and only one produced in April, to just keep each mission at a strength of 10 with no reserve. The Communist party had rebounded in popularity in Turkey but dropped back a little (from 12 to 11%) when the support effort had to be suspended. The Party continued to lose ground to a miniscule 2% in Spain, calling that whole mission into question. Germany, followed by the UK and US, had the most agents caught in the Soviet Union in April.

zJRStJ.jpg


******

7. Theatre Summaries

The Far East in general had seen both gains and losses for the Soviets, with only barely better than a stalemate overall. Air power on both sides had caused heavy casualties, ground combat less so (Soviet supply issues having again decreased op tempo). The Soviets had attacked more but the Japanese had won more battles, in fair part due to supply-related ‘no contests’.

q8HKDT.jpg

By contrast, Nationalist China had liberated nearly all of its former territory, had occupied Communist China (from the Japanese) and was now beginning to push into the south of Japan’s puppet states of Mengukuo and Manchukuo.

In Japan, the Allied invasion had progressed steadily during the month. They now had a solid front across the south of Honshu, but the Japanese had at least been able to halt them for now at Nagoya with an infantry division in place. However, the British 1st Armd Div was now directly south of Kanazawa, where the Soviets had failed to land in March. With more Allied units on the way, the Japanese still seemed doomed at home, while they fought on doggedly against the Soviets in Manchuria.

4Y9BbC.jpg

There had been no changes at all during the month in South East Asia, New Guinea or the Pacific.

******

Time seemed to be running out for the Soviets to make significant gains in the Far East, while the Allies gobbled up territory. And rather than having a puppeted Japan and neutral China to perhaps allow a ‘victory dividend’ of units sent back west for a possible war in Europe, it appeared a large Soviet presence would have to remain in the east for the foreseeable future, to fight a new two-front war against China and a strong Allied expeditionary presence. The call for strategic weapons to help tip this strategic balance more towards the Soviet’s favour became even more strident.
 
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The whole chapter is ouch. I mean, if your air forces and naval forces are having issues with a Japan that is going down down the tubes I can't picture you doing so well with the Allies if, or when, that conflict starts.
 
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Surt

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The whole chapter is ouch. I mean, if your air forces and naval forces are having issues with a Japan that is going down down the tubes I can't picture you doing so well with the Allies if, or when, that conflict starts.
The admirals and air marshals (naval) might need a bit more of training on the job.
 
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As 20 April came, both these Allied beachheads had expanded, with Allied troops on the outskirts of Nagoya and Hiroshima now safely behind Allied lines. Japanese surrender progress was assessed as up to 25.8% (NU of 61.9%). That evening the long-range sub fleet was ordered to Uchiura Bay for another recon of Sapporo, as the RBPF was repaired and the new Marine Corps assembled. Not long after they arrived late on 22 April, they were struck hard by enemy naval bombers, most likely based to the south-west at Akita. By 0600hr the next morning, one flotilla had been sunk and another damaged.
Great. They keep their mindless tradition of pounding the Soviets with all they have while the Allies are walking around like a walk in the park

… which they did at midnight on 28 April: when all hell broke loose! As soon as they reached the Gulf of Terpeniya, the RBPF found itself engaging a three-carrier task group on the water while being hit simultaneously from the air by their six CAG wings.
:eek:

Once again, despite extra precautions, with sub and air recons and modest air cover, the Soviets had been comprehensively surprised and badly ambushed.
Catastrophic!

Perhaps the old subs could actually do some damage
fingers crossed

The Far East in general had seen both gains and losses for the Soviets, with only barely better than a stalemate overall. Air power on both sides had caused heavy casualties, ground combat less so (Soviet supply issues having again decreased op tempo). The Soviets had attacked more but the Japanese had won more battles, in fair part due to supply-related ‘no contests’.
The supply situation combined with Japan's happiness of taking it lying down from the Allies while fighting toe and nail with you; it could've been really ugly here. Still frustrating, but we will persevere!

However, the British 1st Armd Div was now directly south of Kanazawa, where the Soviets had failed to land in March
I wonder if they were attacked with 3 Carriers
 
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Oh boy, Kaga was in a really weak position there. If only it had been that 1-carrier fleet that intercepted the RBPF, then we might have been talking about sinking an actual Carrier. Also, sending pre-war submarines to deal with a Carrier and two cruisers isn't a great idea, you were lucky not to lose any of them. (likely due to the weather, or possibly the Japs have really bad ASW equipment) The cruisers likely have sonar and depth charges on board, not to mention the CAG's being able to cover a lot of water and spot those noisy Series-II boats. If you could have sortied part of the RBBF, that would have been a different story, but clearly the Red Navy doesn't get lucky in the Pacific. I almost pity this Soviet Union, they're fighting a very unfair strategic struggle with the allies as to who gets more of Asia, and then the Allies didn't even have the courtesy to properly knock out the IJN. What's even worse is that as the Allies push northward in China and Japan, the remaining IJN units are forced to rebase closer and closer to Nikolaevsk, and any landing area still available, reducing chances of a successful invasion even further.
Of course, Stalin is going to be yelling at everyone around him to keep trying, because letting the Allies take all of the Japanese home islands could be then end of his regime, or at least of his leadership role, especially as the Soviet Union has been fighting the IJA for years. First, they got only a small part of Europe, for their struggles against the Third Reich, and now, once more, they'll get no reward for keeping virtually the entire Japanese Army at bay for several years.

The Irkutsk front is doing well because they're actively liberating the Transsiberian railroad, so the very largest of trains can just bring them supplies straight from Moscow. If they were to take back the rest of it, there should be a significant improvement in supply over all. It was also a good move to move some Air Wings out of Irkutsk, as they were likely absorbing a lot of the supplies in the area before they could get to the front.

I'm really on the edge of my seat as to the Soviet Nuclear programme. Dropping a nuke on Tokyo, or some other Japanese city, before they surrender to the French would be a great way to get back at the Japs and the Allies. What's the prognosis for delivery of the first bomb? I don't recall exactly when you started building it.
 
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I have to think the Japanese should start having supply issues soon as the seem to be losing a fair bit of their IC - maybe that's the reason for the lack of followup on some of their attacks. If true, things should start going better for you before too long. But likely not in time to do much more than restore the prewar boundaries in Asia.
 
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Next sesh played, images edited, now the write-up to come. In the meantime, here's the feedback to the comments on the last episode.
The whole chapter is ouch. I mean, if your air forces and naval forces are having issues with a Japan that is going down down the tubes I can't picture you doing so well with the Allies if, or when, that conflict starts.
Yes, it's proven even harder than I thought it would be to wind up the Japanese, hence it has given time for the Allies to waltz into the Home Islands and China to join them recapture its possessions and threaten to take more land we have already paid so much blood and treasure for.

The air force thing is more a mix of supply and lack of decent sized forward bases, which should be a different equation in the West. That said, you could well be right!
The admirals and air marshals (naval) might need a bit more of training on the job.
Very true. The admirals (ie me) in particular. I've never focused so much on the naval side of the game, so am more likely to come to grief there, even without leaving it to the AI.
Great. They keep their mindless tradition of pounding the Soviets with all they have while the Allies are walking around like a walk in the park


:eek:


Catastrophic!


fingers crossed


The supply situation combined with Japan's happiness of taking it lying down from the Allies while fighting toe and nail with you; it could've been really ugly here. Still frustrating, but we will persevere!


I wonder if they were attacked with 3 Carriers
It seems the Allies reap all the benefits while we pay the price. Still, were going to have some very experienced divisions and commanders by the time it comes to war with them. Even if most of them have to stay in the east now to fight that next war. And here's betting the three carriers are just waiting to hit us somewhere!
Oh boy, Kaga was in a really weak position there. If only it had been that 1-carrier fleet that intercepted the RBPF, then we might have been talking about sinking an actual Carrier. Also, sending pre-war submarines to deal with a Carrier and two cruisers isn't a great idea, you were lucky not to lose any of them. (likely due to the weather, or possibly the Japs have really bad ASW equipment) The cruisers likely have sonar and depth charges on board, not to mention the CAG's being able to cover a lot of water and spot those noisy Series-II boats. If you could have sortied part of the RBBF, that would have been a different story, but clearly the Red Navy doesn't get lucky in the Pacific. I almost pity this Soviet Union, they're fighting a very unfair strategic struggle with the allies as to who gets more of Asia, and then the Allies didn't even have the courtesy to properly knock out the IJN. What's even worse is that as the Allies push northward in China and Japan, the remaining IJN units are forced to rebase closer and closer to Nikolaevsk, and any landing area still available, reducing chances of a successful invasion even further.
Of course, Stalin is going to be yelling at everyone around him to keep trying, because letting the Allies take all of the Japanese home islands could be then end of his regime, or at least of his leadership role, especially as the Soviet Union has been fighting the IJA for years. First, they got only a small part of Europe, for their struggles against the Third Reich, and now, once more, they'll get no reward for keeping virtually the entire Japanese Army at bay for several years.
It was more of an accident that the subs engaged really, and to be frank losing those old boats may be less of a drain on supply for not much value. Would it be worth disbanding them at some point - would I get any MP back from them? It's not like the 0.4 MP each is any boon with Soviet manpower holdings. Or should I sent them out convoy raiding for the hell of it and not worry much if they get sunk?

I'm not very up with naval warfare, so thanks for the pointers there. I had hoped they might have been able to do something against a little task force with no escorts, but I couldn't keep that one CAG from hitting them, even with air cover attempted.

Stalin will keep yelling, but even he now realises how fraught the amphibious landing problem is without decent air base support/coverage for such attempts. And the Allies just keep walking up Honshu ...
The Irkutsk front is doing well because they're actively liberating the Transsiberian railroad, so the very largest of trains can just bring them supplies straight from Moscow. If they were to take back the rest of it, there should be a significant improvement in supply over all. It was also a good move to move some Air Wings out of Irkutsk, as they were likely absorbing a lot of the supplies in the area before they could get to the front.
South of Irkutsk has good supply, north and east of Lake Baikal is chronically terrible and one does indeed see the effect very clearly. You will see our attempts to both keep bypassing the TSR with infrastructure builds while also trying to retake the main line in the following month's activities.
I'm really on the edge of my seat as to the Soviet Nuclear programme. Dropping a nuke on Tokyo, or some other Japanese city, before they surrender to the French would be a great way to get back at the Japs and the Allies. What's the prognosis for delivery of the first bomb? I don't recall exactly when you started building it.
The Super Secret Weapons Program keeps on apace and its momentum is building, even if it takes time and the delivery will need to be sorted. FYI, as at the end of April 1946, we have 0.20 of a nuke and the accrual is 0.20 per month, which clocks over again at 0000 on 1 May. Bomb making tech is also being worked on, so that will increase the rate as we go.There will be another nuke progress update in the forthcoming chapter.

Also, the tech for actual V1 production isn't far off either.
I have to think the Japanese should start having supply issues soon as the seem to be losing a fair bit of their IC - maybe that's the reason for the lack of followup on some of their attacks. If true, things should start going better for you before too long. But likely not in time to do much more than restore the prewar boundaries in Asia.
You'd hope so, and there has been a definite pull-out of troops from the western half of the front - though that is selective. I haven't been seeing any supply penalties for them in the combnat screens (plenty for the Soviets), so at present it could be more the withdrawal of units because of Chinese advances and the Allied invasion of Japan drawing forces away - though too slowly and not in great enough numbers for Stalin's liking!

Your prognosis re Allied gains and likely cease-fire lines seems likely to me, but part of it will be determined by how the Japanese surrender process hands out the non-occupied lands, which I don't really have too much of a handle on.
 
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I may have to report this AAR to trading standards, such very long and detailed updates are truly stretching the definition of "quick and dirty" ;)

It is good to see the Soviets continuing the long and hilarious Russian tradition of being terrible in boats, I am sure it is nothing a good hard purging of the Soviet Navy won't solve. Which is convenient because Stalin is going to need someone to blame for all this and it certainly won't be him. I hope Kuznetsov at least gets a chance to say goodbye to his family before the show trial.

A new rocket test site had been started on 1 April in the hope it would speed up research and/or building of the new strategic rocket arm down the track [do let me know if that is misplaced optimism, as I’m not familiar with the mechanic and the tool tips and wikis seemed a bit ambiguous about it].
The actual game files say a rocket test site gives you Rocket_Practical. This obviously helps make building the rockets cheaper (if it hasn't decayed away by then) and helps some techs. Not flying bomb sadly, but flying rocket and strategic rocket techs do get a boost from rocket practical.

It's not quite as bad as additional reactors, but it is still something you should only do if you have lots of spare IC to burn and really want to rush rocket techs.
 
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I may have to report this AAR to trading standards, such very long and detailed updates are truly stretching the definition of "quick and dirty" ;)
It’s a fair cop, but society (and a rare chance to describe naval operations) is to blame. But I apologise unreservedly. :D
It is good to see the Soviets continuing the long and hilarious Russian tradition of being terrible in boats, I am sure it is nothing a good hard purging of the Soviet Navy won't solve. Which is convenient because Stalin is going to need someone to blame for all this and it certainly won't be him. I hope Kuznetsov at least gets a chance to say goodbye to his family before the show trial.
Yes, it is to laugh! Lucky for Kuznetsov the AI doesn’t have any more purges to offer.
The actual game files say a rocket test site gives you Rocket_Practical. This obviously helps make building the rockets cheaper (if it hasn't decayed away by then) and helps some techs. Not flying bomb sadly, but flying rocket and strategic rocket techs do get a boost from rocket practical.

It's not quite as bad as additional reactors, but it is still something you should only do if you have lots of spare IC to burn and really want to rush rocket techs.
Thanks for that. I am trying to rush the rockets (and nuclear) construction and research, but the next builds of the current reactor and rocket test sites will probably be the last.
 
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Chapter 27 – May 1946

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Chapter 27 – May 1946

Foreword

With recent naval adventures ending in setback albeit disasters narrowly averted, the focus in May returns to land warfare. That and the imminent introduction of the new ‘wonder weapons’ that Stalin hopes will allow the Soviet Union to reverse its perilous strategic position against the victorious Allied World Order.

******

1. Eastern Sector

[Note: includes periodic updates on the Allied invasion of the Japanese Home Islands. Summary map at the end of the section.]

In the mini-campaign on Sakhalin, there was better news with one of the two ‘carry-over’ battles from April, with a victory in the attack on Alexandrov Sakhalinsky later on 1 May (406 Soviet, 508 Japanese killed). It was liberated on 7 May. The next Soviet attack came on Shisuka, the largest ground battle in the entire sector for the month, from 10-15 May. In winning it, the Soviets lost 1,517 men and the Japanese 2,405. Neither side had air support in this area throughout the month. Another Japanese division was inserted there before it could be occupied, with another large battle from 17-19 May again won by the Soviets, losing 554 to 606 Japanese killed.

Shisuka was finally occupied on 23 May, and from there the Soviets attacked south once more, ousting token Japanese resistance in Maoka on 29 May, which they were still advancing on as the month ended. The Soviet aim was to take the whole island, especially the port of Toyohara that they had failed to land by amphibious invasion in April.

******

In the eastern half of the sector, May began inauspiciously for the Soviets with the heavy defeat of the attack they had begun on Orlovka on 27 April (1,043 Soviet, 610 Japanese killed). After this initial ‘carry-over’ Soviet loss, Orlovka saw multiple combats through the month. The second battle went from 2-4 May, when the Soviets attacked from Vysokogorny and won (518 Soviet ground casualties plus 1,095 from Japanese defensive air raids on Vysokogorny, Japan 374 ground and 352 air raid casualties). The Japanese succeeded in getting another division in on the morning of 10 May and it was defeated in a skirmish, but in the afternoon another arrived and had air support (429 Soviet casualties in one raid on Vysokogorny), which was intercepted by VVS fighters just as the raid was ending.

Tg47vx.jpg

Of interest here is the far higher ‘mission efficiency’ for the Japanese compared to the Soviets: I’m not quite sure what that represents. The Japanese commander also had significantly more skill, combining to give the Japanese escorts an edge in the dogfight.

This time the Soviets were repulsed. But they won a last skirmish on 23 May: by the end of the month, the Japanese had retreated but the Soviets had not yet occupied Orlovka.

Urgal
saw six actions fought over it during May and it changed hands twice. The first Soviet attack on 7-8 May succeeded (72 Soviet, 368 Japanese killed on the ground). An air action was fought above Urgal during this battle, where Japanese fighters disrupted a raid by unescorted VVS CAS wings.

DW7qEe.jpg

The Soviets then quickly defeated a new Japanese division that arrived on 10 May and another on 12 May in short skirmishes. The largest battle there for the month was the fourth, fought over five days from 21-26 May when the Japanese attacked after the Soviets occupied the province on 21 May. It ended in a hard-won Soviet victory (669 Soviet ground and 598 air raid casualties, Japan 865 killed).

Interestingly, the Japanese air raids on Urgal in this latest battle were carried out by a single CAG wing – it was not known whether they were carrier or land based. Alas, the Soviet defenders were still almost completely disorganised when the Japanese attacked again the next day (the 27th), retreating virtually without a fight, the enemy retaking it on 31 July and then beating off another small Soviet attack on arrival.

The Soviets had taken Suluk on 6 May and won a major defensive victory there from 10-12 May, with heavy air support assisting the defence. Soviet ground casualties were 754, with the Japanese losing 1,980 men in the attack and another 2,018 from defensive VVS air strikes on Tyrma. The damaged Japanese attackers in Tyrma were then themselves attacked from the north on 11 May while still engaged in Suluk, the Soviets winning on 12 May also (209 Soviet, 227 Japanese troops killed). The Japanese slipped another division into Tyrma on 20 May, but they were soundly beaten the same day (five Soviet divisions v one Japanese), with only 48 Soviet against 576 more Japanese ground and 407 air raid casualties. The Soviets occupied it the next day.

The Japanese tried attacking Elban twice during May (on the 10th and then again on 29th) but both probes were quickly beaten back. To its east, Uska Orochskaya was occupied on the Pacific coast unopposed on 15 May and Kur was taken by the Soviets on 17 May again without a fight, later using it as a springboard to attack Dzhuen on 26 May. They won in Dzhuen after a short battle (despite Japanese defensive air strikes killing 758 of the attackers in Kur) and occupied it on 31 May. A quick Soviet probe on Malmyzh (to the west of Dzhuen) was quickly called off the same day.

******

In Japan, Allied advances were closely watched and were compared to Soviet progress (such as it was) in the nearby Eastern Sector. By 5 May, the port of Kanazawa (the first Soviet amphibious target back in March) had been taken, while Nagoya still held out for the Japanese. On the 14th, the French-led invasion had taken Nagoya and had pushed to the outskirts of Tokyo itself, on its southern fringes at Chigasaki. Six days later, the Japanese had retaken Chigasaki (evidence they must now have at least some troops in the area) but had lost ground to the west of Tokyo.

On 24 May, a detailed liaison report was provided by the French defence attaché in Moscow: the Japanese had established a light defence in the vicinity of Tokyo – including some Ethiopian troops! – but the Allies had advanced further up the Western coast of Honshu.

aLslfv.jpg

The key question was whether the Japanese would still hold Tokyo by the end of the month – and indeed whether they would still be fighting by then.

******

In the western half of this sector, the action began on 2 May, with a heavy Japanese attack on Alihe. The Soviet defenders were defeated the next day despite heavy defensive air strikes on Kuibyshevka (1,804 Japanese killed) and Zavitaya (1,180), with 723 Soviet and only 180 Japanese troops killed in ground combat. But the Soviets were able to get another division in for a quick defence before the province could be occupied, with the next battle between 6-9 May being a hard-fought win by the Soviets, who lost 867 men to ground combat. The Japanese lost 822 in Alihe itself, with almost 5,000 more to defensive air strikes in Kuibyshevka (3,452) and Zavitaya (1,353).

The contest over Alihe proved persistent and bloody through May, when the Japanese attacked again from 14-16 May, this time winning against a still weakened Soviet division that now had supply problems. There were 554 Soviet and 606 Japanese ground combat casualties, plus more in defensive air strikes on Kuibyshevka (2,562) and Zavitaya (1,166). The Japanese also made an effort to provide air support to their attack, killing 390 defenders in one raid, but the second seemed to have been aborted after a couple of VVS interceptions.

5aoC2a.jpg

But the VVS air support was not enough this time. The Japanese reoccupied Alihe on 23 May. The Soviets ended up having the last word when a quick skirmish on 27 May soon defeated the Japanese defence. The month ended with the Soviets advancing on Alihe, hoping to reoccupy it in early June.

Urusha was retaken by the Soviets without a fight on 16 May. The same day, the Japanese had occupied Ushumun, but the Soviets won a quick attack on 21 May. The Japanese had fully retreated from Ushumun by the end of the month but, as in Alihe next door, the Soviets had not yet reoccupied it.

In this part of the line, the main action towards the end of the month was in the much fought-over Tahe, in northern Manchuria. The Soviets had won and lost it the month before, but were determined to take it back again. The battle began on 22 May and lasted until the 27th. By the time it was over the Soviets had triumphed, losing 1,027 to 1,475 Japanese ground casualties. The VVS added a whopping 4,108 enemy killed in Tahe from air strikes over the same period. Tahe was taken by the Soviets on 29 May and a short Japanese probe easily defeated.

Finally, Soviet-held Obluchye, directly north-east of Alihe, came under heavy Japanese attack from Zavitaya on 30 May, a battle which continued as the month ended. By that time, VVS strikes had already killed 1,578 of the attackers. The battle was going well enough [-27% enemy attack progress], the Soviet’s lack of supplies being balanced by their three-divisions-to-one numerical advantage and the air support.

T2L5zJ.jpg

A summary of battles and advances in the Eastern Sector, May 1946. The VVS was now significantly out-bombing the Japanese in the sector. Territorial progress was steady, if not stellar.

******

2. Western Sector

[Note: includes periodic updates on the war in China and some other developments in Central Asia. Summary map at the end of the section.]

East of Lake Baikal, the unoccupied Romanovka was taken by the Japanese on 2 May. The first major action began the same day with a Japanese attack on the out-of-supply defenders of Bukacaca.

In response – hoping it might make 1st Army more focused – Irkutsk (no longer under threat) was removed from their objectives list and they were put on a ‘prepare’ (from 'defensive') stance.

WuQ2Lm.jpg

What should have otherwise been a comfortable defence, with ample air support from nearby Irkutsk, became a drawn-out affair dragging on from 2-8 May, with no VVS support. On the morning of the 8th, the remaining Soviet defenders (there had originally been three divisions) finally got some supply, but by then it was way too late.

E2PwrO.jpg

The Soviet defeat came that evening, despite having the better of the fighting (401 Soviet v 1,142 Japanese killed). The province eventually fell to the enemy on 22 May.

******

In Mongolia, supply was better and it was the Comintern on the front foot. 7th Army’s objectives were also changed on 2 May, with Irkutsk removed and Bologon added as a depth offensive objective.

IuM3Dt.jpg

Bulag was taken by 1600hr on 2 May and Undur Khan on the 7th, with advancing Japanese troops attacking them on arrival but quickly backing off by early the next morning. These successes brought another adjustment to 7th Army’s objectives, with Ulan Ude removed and the focus shifted to the next Trans-Siberian Railway province of Petrovsk Zabaykal'skiy.

eZBDSH.jpg

This was augmented on 15 May by giving new offensive objectives to Mongolia and Sinkiang, in the remote hope they might assist with operations.

HIKe4F.jpg

A few weeks later, the hoped-for Soviet attack on Petrovsk Zabaykal'skiy began and by 24 May Comintern forces were well on the move east.

ZedFqF.jpg

Petrovsk Zabaykal'skiy would develop into the largest battle in the sector for the month, ending in a convincing Soviet victory. From 23-27 May, 1,017 Soviet and 2,042 Japanese troops were killed. It had not yet been occupied by the end of May, but Khentel had on 30 May, without any Japanese opposition. A Soviet probe on Khongor on 31 May was all it took to send the Japanese retreating from there as well.

******

The eastern zone of the sector was close enough to the still-operating Soviet air bases to attract some VVS air support when fighting erupted. A heavy enemy attack on Ust’ Karsk began on 21 May and lasted for a whole week until the 28th. Once more, Soviet supply problems undermined the defence, despite strong air support, resulting in their defeat. The Soviets lost 950 men, inflicting 1,017 ground losses on the Japanese attackers and another 936 from VVS raids on Mangui when air support was briefly available on 23 May (most of the local effort going to support the concurrent Soviet attack on Tahe, to the east).

Mangui was itself attacked from the north on 30 May and the Japanese fled after a short battle (Soviets 29 killed, Japan 195 plus 286 from a single VVS raid). As the month ended many Japanese units in the sector were falling back rather than following up earlier successes east of Lake Baikal – where many units on both sides seemed to be running away from each other.

C1gPr0.jpg

A summary of battles and advances in the Western Sector, May 1946. The reduced VVS presence in Irkutsk was now regaining supply and organisation, but was still unable to fly any support mission in May.

******

The China Theatre was of both general interest and would also begin to have a direct impact on the Soviets in the Western Sector. By 14 May, the earlier runaway Chinese advances had been slowed down along the southern borders of Manchukuo and Mengukuo, but the latter’s capital (and only VP city) of Hohhot remained under direct Chinese threat.

But the big news came on 23 May, when France – as the pre-eminent Allied power - enforced a capitulation on Mengukuo.

nd9VBu.jpg

This had a few territorial effects immediately afterwards, with some provinces east of Lake Baikal temporarily reverted to ‘titular’ Soviet control, but they were all soon formally reoccupied by the Japanese forces remaining there. Also, a Mengukuo HQ allowed the interior Mongolian province of Garbun Dzagal to return to its original owners – at least until the Japanese could regain control.

******

On 29 May, the surprising news came that Afghanistan had thrown its lot in with the clearly failing Axis cause – but only against the Comintern, remaining neutral towards the Allies. Madness. It was an opportunity for another Soviet land grab, but also a distraction.

KVBBv3.jpg

The problem was left entirely with the Caucasus Theatre to manage autonomously. Most of their units were in Persia or on the Turkish and Iraqi borders, but were already on the move to the front even before new objectives were set, including one for Persia as well. To prevent any confusion, all other Persian objectives for the Pakistan border and the Ahvaz oilfields were removed.

lEpksp.jpg

The political decision was taken to install a friendly government in Kabul rather than conquest and the next war goal would call for a Communist government to be installed as well.

******

3. Naval Report

On the night of 1 May, the old subs of the 5th Squadron were back in port after their ‘victory’ against the Kaga off Sakhalin in late April – lucky not to have lost any flotillas.

NQunMM.jpg

The rest of the Red Banner Pacific Fleet spent all month repairing its ships (which were all fixed by the end of the month) and the organisation of the crews (which was not yet complete) in its two main ports.

u7KlHz.jpg

There was no purging of the commanding Admiral ;), nor any more requests for suicidal amphibious landings – though the steady advance of the Allies in Japan had Stalin alternately furious and fearful. In part, no more ventures would be risked until better air support could be guaranteed, as intelligence revealed that none of the known Japanese fleet carriers had been lost in the interim (in fact, they have not lost a single carrier during the entire war).

******

4. Production and Logistics

Throughout this period, Soviet industrial output has hovered at around just under 400 IC. About 120 IC was required to achieve an equilibrium in the supply stockpile and about 24 IC was going on consumer goods. Of the rest, around 190 IC was being spent on production, the remainder on upgrades and reinforcements, all of which would vary. As at 1 May, the nuclear program had built 40% of the first nuclear device, with the addition of 20% per month.

From 1-18 May, new equipment production orders focused the Air Force. This included the new ‘Flying Bombs’ after the technology was finalised on 9 May, a trial run of five being commenced – they would be ready to deploy on 1 June. While they should cause great strategic damage when they struck, the range of only 300km would make then a short-range weapon, probably more useful in Europe, where they could, for example, hit Warsaw but not Berlin from current Soviet bases.

L9L3cJ.jpg

Supply remained a problem in many areas of the front as the month began. The effects have been observed in the combat reporting. Many infrastructure improvements begun previously remain under construction, in an attempt to improve bypasses for the Trans-Siberian Railway which remains under enemy occupation past Lake Baikal.

aRLOrb.jpg

On 4 and 5 May radar stations on the Western Front at Kaunas, Lwów and Brzesc Litewski were completed to level 4 and new work on level 5 improvements were begun.

On 23 May, one of the new fast tank divisions was deployed to the Lwów theatre.

Dpp9E2.jpg

And a new ‘medium-fast’ armoured division replaced it in the queue.

lE7kQp.jpg

The completion of level 4 for the main reactor in Mytishchi on 25 May represented the end of current reactor building efforts. Further extensions may be contemplated later, but for now the expenditure would be diverted elsewhere.

qUzldt.jpg

The latest priorities included another flotilla of the latest submarine designs (some of which had recently been improved again, see below); a flotilla of destroyers (backward, but the only other Soviet shipbuilding technology with any post-WW1 development); and a new wing of the Yak-15 interceptors, for the Western Front.

4GG4NP.jpg

A day later, infrastructure improvements were completed in another five Far East provinces. With those freed resources and some recent decreases in upgrade costs, a new five-brigade ‘standard infantry’ division commenced training.

VIH1jw.jpg

NB: over this time the rocket test site was always kept at the bottom of the queue, so it absorbed any fluctuations that decreased IC available for production.

Late in the month, supply did seem a little better in the Eastern Sector and was strong south of Irkutsk, patchy to poor elsewhere, including the ‘black hole’ east of Lake Baikal across to Tahe.

u8zt7L.jpg

As at midnight on 1 June, a recent improvement in nuclear bomb production research had seen the monthly accrual rate increase to 30%, so now the first device was 70% finished and should be complete on 1 July.

AdEtJ8.jpg

And the first batch of Flying Bombs was finished and ready for delivery.

******

5. Research

On 3 May, spy losses overseas saw espionage training doubled from one to two LS at the expense of one research project (invasion tactics) put on hold, as project funding was reduced from 21 to 20 LS.

Despite this, it was a good month for technological advances.

d3Se7t.jpg

As noted above, flying bomb technology was introduced and attention turned straight to rocket development. Submarine AA was improved on 13 May, but no new project was added to allow invasion tactics to resume development, in line with the reduction in project funding mentioned above. The VVS got new (if still backward by benchmark standards) small search radars on 22 May, with the strategic bomber arm finally getting some research on larger bombs. And also as mentioned under production, the crucial improvement of nuclear bomb making came on 23 May and research kept right on, the next advance there expected in late November.

Then four more advances came in the last week of the month.

jqD79o.jpg

Most were for the VVS, plus a major advance in submarine engine design. And most of the follow-on effort remained in Navy and Air Force disciplines, but an improvement in the crucial area of infantry warfare doctrine was also begun.

******

6. Espionage and Diplomacy

With Spanish spy strength down to just one team, on 7 May a final effort was made to see if the popularity of the local Communist Party – now down to just 2% - could be improved, with all efforts being put into supporting them.

Successes in Manchukuo by 16 May allowed NU disruption to be increased from 33 to 50%, with a corresponding reduction in counter-espionage to 50%.

With the Allied push in Japan, their surrender was now becoming a more likely prospect. On 20 May, another war goal could be added, so Molotov lodged a claim on Japan’s ‘Pacific Bases’ (the last territorial claim available), just in case it may do any good in the event of an Allied-dominated peace settlement. (I have little idea how any of that is likely to work in practice.)

dcfByz.jpg

With spy reserves back up to three teams by 30 May, espionage training was reduced back to one LS, but this was invested in officer training (back up to 2.56 LS), which had suffered somewhat due to the demands of the expanded diplomatic influence program launched in April.

A bumper crop of enemy spies had been caught in May (the equal highest of any month tracked so far). There had been heavy Soviet losses overseas, especially in Turkey, which had become a graveyard for Soviet agents.

OTDwAp.jpg

The Soviet counter-espionage mission in Turkey had hit back somewhat by the end of the month, but the need to focus on counter-espionage had meant Communist Party popularity in Turkey had fallen back to 9%. The attempt to save the political situation in Spain had been an abject failure, with the Communists there now virtually non-existent. This was almost certainly due to them being swamped by Allied agents building up the bourgeois parties. (Any suggestions for other pursuits, perhaps some tech espionage in case they have some naval designs or some such, are welcome).

The diplomatic situation saw the influence program still in stasis for Turkey and Spain, who it seemed could not easily be lured any closer. But the three Chinese satellite states were being steadily weaned away from their Axis alignment and the Allies had not (yet) interfered with that.

xzpYju.jpg


******

7. Theatre Summaries

May had seen a major turn-around in the Soviet-Japanese casualty ratio on the main front, with the VVS dominating again despite the lack of activity out of Irkutsk. The situations in China and Japan will be shown in more detail below, with the switch of Mengukuo to the Allies being the noteworthy event on the mainland.

kYvYHA.jpg

Not much had happened regarding Afghanistan in the few days since they had declared war on the Comintern, with no clashes reported or advances spotted yet. This front may take weeks to develop significantly.

V4NZvB.jpg

In Japan, Tokyo still held, though the Allied forces present should in time be able to wipe out all visible Japanese resistance on their main Home Island – once they got to the front.

7e3Jg0.jpg

In China, the Japanese had actually managed to push back a little since the beginning of the month on the main front, which was now much narrower. But the defection of Mengukuo had opened up their western flank and it remained to be seen whether they could switch enough forces into position to stem the tide there and prevent a Chinese flanking move, which had now linked up with the Comintern front in Mongolia.

UoIdEQ.jpg

Most of the Chinese Army (infantry and militia divisions) did not seem to be particularly strong. If the Soviets came up against them in the future, it was hoped the hardened units of the Far Eastern Fronts would be able to give them the smashing the Japanese had not been able to do in this second Sino-Japanese War.

There had been no other changes at all in South East Asia, New Guinea or the Pacific.
 
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Of interest here is the far higher ‘mission efficiency’ for the Japanese compared to the Soviets: I’m not quite sure what that represents. The Japanese commander also had significantly more skill, giving the Japanese escorts an edge in the dogfight.
They have better Interception Tactics Air doctrine tech, but the difference is too much for a tech that gives 5% a level. Quoting wiki:

Mission efficiency​

Several doctrines from Air doctrine technology grant a bonus called mission efficiency.

  • Ground Attack Tactics
  • Interception Tactics (only bonus to interception, no bonuses for air superiority)
  • Interdiction Tactics
  • ...

where many units on both sides seemed to be running away from each other.
oh my

But the big news came on 23 May, when France – as the pre-eminent Allied power - enforced a capitulation on Mengukuo.
:eek: they really are reaping all the harvest of our blood and toil!

On 29 May, the surprising news came that Afghanistan had thrown its lot in with the clearly failing Axis cause
??? :D

From 1-18 May, new equipment production orders focused the Air Force. This included the new ‘Flying Bombs’ after the technology was finalised on 9 May, a trial run of five being commenced – they would be ready to deploy on 1 June. While they should cause great strategic damage when they struck, the range of only 300km would make then a short-range weapon, probably more useful in Europe, where they could, for example, hit Warsaw but not Berlin from current Soviet bases.
new interceptors so state of the art!

On 23 May, one of the new fast tank divisions was deployed to the Lwów theatre.
I like those!

Most were for the VVS, plus a major advance in submarine engine design. And most of the follow-on effort remained in Navy and Air Force disciplines, but an improvement in the crucial area of infantry warfare doctrine was also begun.
This month had been very fruitful in terms of research

The Soviet counter-espionage mission in Turkey had hit back somewhat by the end of the month, but the need to focus on counter-espionage had meant Communist Party popularity in Turkey had fallen back to 9%. The attempt to save the political situation in Spain had been an abject failure, with the Communists there now virtually non-existent. This was almost certainly due to them being swamped by Allied agents building up the bourgeois parties. (Any suggestions for other pursuits, perhaps some tech espionage in case they have some naval designs or some such, are welcome).
Switching to something else like tech espionage seems to make sense now. In fact infiltrating with agents to later coup seems like a great thing to try, but I tried that once and the coup fizzled out so I don't know how efficient that is.

It's still being brutal supplywise, but maybe if we capture the lost part of the Transsiberian and more infra projects end that'll finally get allright again
 
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unescorted VVS CAS wings.
That was an accident waiting to happen. As great as CAS is against tanks, it is terrible against enemy planes.

The Allies' victory in Mengukuo opens up the possibility of a massive encirclement of Axis forces in Eastern Mongolia. On the Sakhalin peninsula, the Reds are making good progress, but it looks like it will be too little too late. Tokyo will likely fall before 1 July, and as the Allies have now taken most of the Japanese Industrial cities, there is less and less to gain from an amphibious operation, though I'm sure Stalin needs it to happen anyway to make sure he gets a seat at the table where the future of Japan is concerned.

If the nukes aren't ready in time for Japan, maybe Paris and London would make good targets. Do we have any intelligence on Allied Nuclear programmes? In any case, it's a big race against time. If we can drop the atom bomb on a Japanese city before they capitulate, we should leave a lasting impression on the Allies, which might well make them more inclined to give us concessions in the ensuing peace talks. If we're too late, we'll be in a direct race with Allied nuclear programmes, and will thus have to declare war on the Allies rather soon to take advantage of our current nuclear edge.

The Yak-15's are a year ahead of schedule, interesting. Also, those Destroyers are worse than the ones that are under construction in 1942 in 'Odin's universe.

The Siberian railway bypass seems to be working better and better, as is shown by the improving supply Situation everywhere, except for the black hole East of Lake Baikal. At least you're slowly clawing back control of the Trans-Siberian, and the advances in Mongolia mean that whatever you recover there is unlikely to be threatened from the South.

I'm glad to see how the VVS is taking the upper hand again in the bombing of ground forces. Surely, if they can keep it up, that will definitively turn the tide. If Tokyo doesn't fall soon.
 
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Bullfilter

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They have better Interception Tactics Air doctrine tech, but the difference is too much for a tech that gives 5% a level. Quoting wiki:
Thanks for the info - I hope the disparity isn’t so bad against the Allied air forces in Europe ... though I’m afraid it may well be.
:eek: they really are reaping all the harvest of our blood and toil!
They certainly are ... and all those war goals I had the French put in place when I was running them :rolleyes:
new interceptors so state of the art!

I like those!

This month had been very fruitful in terms of research
And the fighters will soon have jet engines, too. Research is still quite strong, despite the greatly expanded influence campaign. Though I’m wondering whether it’s worth bothering with Spain and even Turkey in the end, as its a stalemate with the other factions. I might just need to end up attacking them instead! As save some leadership in the interim, for research and officer training.
Switching to something else like tech espionage seems to make sense now. In fact infiltrating with agents to later coup seems like a great thing to try, but I tried that once and the coup fizzled out so I don't know how efficient that is.

It's still being brutal supplywise, but maybe if we capture the lost part of the Transsiberian and more infra projects end that'll finally get allright again
I think (but have no practical experience) that for a coup to be promising the preferred political party may need to be strong first. So Catch-22. But that’s just a hunch and others may know. I may see what their strong research areas are and try tech if covert ops isn’t worth it.
That was an accident waiting to happen. As great as CAS is against tanks, it is terrible against enemy planes.
Yes, AI being a bit foolhardy there. :rolleyes:
The Allies' victory in Mengukuo opens up the possibility of a massive encirclement of Axis forces in Eastern Mongolia. On the Sakhalin peninsula, the Reds are making good progress, but it looks like it will be too little too late. Tokyo will likely fall before 1 July, and as the Allies have now taken most of the Japanese Industrial cities, there is less and less to gain from an amphibious operation, though I'm sure Stalin needs it to happen anyway to make sure he gets a seat at the table where the future of Japan is concerned.
The sand is running through the hourglass on Japan. Best we can probably hope for now is as much of Manchuria as we can grab. Then it could be a difficult two-front war in China, possibly also against a puppeted Japan that’s now in the Allies! Still with those Japanese carriers. :mad:
If the nukes aren't ready in time for Japan, maybe Paris and London would make good targets. Do we have any intelligence on Allied Nuclear programmes? In any case, it's a big race against time. If we can drop the atom bomb on a Japanese city before they capitulate, we should leave a lasting impression on the Allies, which might well make them more inclined to give us concessions in the ensuing peace talks. If we're too late, we'll be in a direct race with Allied nuclear programmes, and will thus have to declare war on the Allies rather soon to take advantage of our current nuclear edge.
Last I looked - quite a while back - the Intel screen seemed to indicate none of them were doing much on the nuke front, but I should check again I guess. In terms of a DoW on the Allies, it could come quite early now, as the Far Eastern Army is going to have to stay in place to fight WW3 there now anyway. :oops: But Berlin is likely to be an early Nuke target (either that of a swarm of V1s). I’d like to knock them out of the next war early, as they are a powerful Allied puppet state.
The Yak-15's are a year ahead of schedule, interesting. Also, those Destroyers are worse than the ones that are under construction in 1942 in 'Odin's universe.
They were well advanced when I inherited and have put a high priority on the Air Force since taking over the USSR a couple of years ago now. The same cannot be said of the surface ships! :eek:
The Siberian railway bypass seems to be working better and better, as is shown by the improving supply Situation everywhere, except for the black hole East of Lake Baikal. At least you're slowly clawing back control of the Trans-Siberian, and the advances in Mongolia mean that whatever you recover there is unlikely to be threatened from the South.
Can now only do as much as possible to advance the line before Japan falls: at which time, as a current Japanese puppet, would (I wonder) Manchukuo fight on, be released, join the Allies under Japan if they are puppeted? An interesting question.
I'm glad to see how the VVS is taking the upper hand again in the bombing of ground forces. Surely, if they can keep it up, that will definitively turn the tide. If Tokyo doesn't fall soon.
It did indeed help things, even if progress is still incremental.
 
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El Pip

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including some Ethiopian troops!
Glad to see the AI honouring the early 1930s Japanese-Ethiopian friendship.
DYAEiOu.gif


(Any suggestions for other pursuits, perhaps some tech espionage in case they have some naval designs or some such, are welcome).
Cancel all intelligence spending bar the bare minimum for counter-espionage and spend the leadership points on R&D. ;)

If the nukes aren't ready in time for Japan, maybe Paris and London would make good targets.
The problem of course is getting the nuke to the target. (OK so in HOI3 it really isn't, but it should be).
 
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Glad to see the AI honouring the early 1930s Japanese-Ethiopian friendship.
DYAEiOu.gif
:D Yes, those guys get around. In Talking Turkey at the moment (I appreciate not necessarily on your radar these days) there is an Ethiopian division in Army Group North, helping to defend south of German-occupied Leningrad!
Cancel all intelligence spending bar the bare minimum for counter-espionage and spend the leadership points on R&D. ;)
Well, I’m tempted to and just put the current teams on a drawdown mission and not send in any more.
The problem of course is getting the nuke to the target. (OK so in HOI3 it really isn't, but it should be).
Though I’d still need to get my STRAT Bombers into range, wouldn’t I? I’ve never gone with nukes before in HOI3, so am only guessing.
 
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Wraith11B

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Yes, the STRAT bombers need to be in range of the target.
 
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