stnylan

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The capitalists shall not know what hits them - Stalin

Oh no, I shall make sure they know what hits them - Bullfilter
 
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El Pip

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On 22 October, the latest range improvement for the Soviet rocket arm (the SS-6 model – see monthly research summary below) was completed. As current models were upgraded, four new batteries were put in production. They would now be able to reach 580km.
The SS-6 Sapwood, also known as the R-7. A true triumph of late 1950s Soviet power, a variant would of this rocket would carry Sputnik into space and in it's military form it was the first true ICBM able to hit targets 8000km away (OK it might miss by up to 5km, but when carry nukes you can be a bit slapdash on accuracy). In terms of actual numbers, as in being out on range by over an entire order of magnitude, this might be the greatest numerical error Paradox have yet made. Though of course I am sure they will find new depths to plunge later.

In any event war has at last come, so now the true work for our brave author begins - marshalling the vast reams of data and trying to turn it into something that makes sense! Good luck, I think you will need it.
 
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Wraith11B

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It's been fairly common knowledge around here that nuclear weapons were unable to be carried by anything other than strategic bombers... I guess we've developed a very small nuclear weapon that can be carried by the IRBMs and smaller aircraft!
 
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diskoerekto

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the day is the day! great preparation. Now there's only one thing to say, and that is URA!
 
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Bullfilter

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Wow, the day has finally come! I feel so bad for you trying to guide your AI generals into position, but I suspect all that work is about to pay off! If I remember right, HOI3's nukes are unity crushing weapons rather than destroying units. I know you had discussed the need to take out Germany quickly, so I suspect they will be getting a fair share of nukes?
The main frustration is in making them attack when and where it's really crucial: the sickle-strike through northern Poland to Danzig is crucial and time is limited, but getting them to do it ... hmmm. You will see soon how the first day goes, anyway.
The capitalists shall not know what hits them - Stalin

Oh no, I shall make sure they know what hits them - Bullfilter
Plus the Army AI. Oh dear! o_O :oops:
The SS-6 Sapwood, also known as the R-7. A true triumph of late 1950s Soviet power, a variant would of this rocket would carry Sputnik into space and in it's military form it was the first true ICBM able to hit targets 8000km away (OK it might miss by up to 5km, but when carry nukes you can be a bit slapdash on accuracy). In terms of actual numbers, as in being out on range by over an entire order of magnitude, this might be the greatest numerical error Paradox have yet made. Though of course I am sure they will find new depths to plunge later.

In any event war has at last come, so now the true work for our brave author begins - marshalling the vast reams of data and trying to turn it into something that makes sense! Good luck, I think you will need it.
A 5,000km range ICBM nuke delivery system would be pretty handy ATM - but I still have to take VPs to force surrenders.

As to the real battle - the info war - the first war chapter will be different to those that follow. I'm still planning to limit it to one month per chapter if I can. Will see how that goes - I have a few ideas.
It's been fairly common knowledge around here that nuclear weapons were unable to be carried by anything other than strategic bombers... I guess we've developed a very small nuclear weapon that can be carried by the IRBMs and smaller aircraft!
Seems so! This makes by delivery options more flexible - though for longer range work, the STRAT are still the thing. But the idea of an SS-6 delivered nuke is tempting!
the day is the day! great preparation. Now there's only one thing to say, and that is URA!
As they say, no plan survives first contact with the enemy! But URA it is.
Does the AI counter nuke?
They can try to shoot down whatever is delivering them, yes.
Or as we used to put it in those days, "Close doesn't count except in horseshoes and nuclear weapons".
Quite!

First Day of WW3 up fairly soon, but comments on both chapters will of course be welcome: it will be more of a Part 2 to this one.
 
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Chapter 37 Part 2 – 1 November 1947

Bullfilter

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Chapter 37 Part 2 – 1 November 1947

Introduction

At 2am on 1 November 1947, war was declared and battle came down: the Big Clash . Or, if you prefer, a Holiday in the Sun:

Sensurround sound in a two-inch wall
Well I was waiting for the communist call
I dared to ask for sunshine, and I got World War Three
I'm looking over the wall and they're looking at me!

Johnny Rotten’s Sex Pistol is a Makarov 9mm!

******

Belligerents in the Three Main Theatres

Most of Europe is with the Allies, with a few neutrals (Spain and Turkey being the two most crucial) and the two Comintern puppets, Finland and (parts of) Romania with the Comintern.

1BSu3P.jpg

In the Middle East and Central and South Asia, the Comintern faces a two-front war.

rtXSG9.jpg

And in Asia, the Allies main power is China, supported by the puppeted Japan, with plenty of Western Allied forces still left over from WW2. The three warlord states remain neutral, but firmly aligned to the Comintern politically.

sk8Lyq.jpg

The two wartime laws were also reintroduced.

Ld0pN3.jpg

There were seven nukes in the armoury, the supply stockpile was full and most of the consumer goods investment could now be put straight into the production queue.

******

The West

The first orders went to the strategic arm – the old flying bomb and newer rocket batteries. The initial strikes were designed to degrade Allied infrastructure in their front line air bases that currently held operational wings. They would either have to move to get properly repaired, or suffer low repair rates once combat attrition set in. The initial target list was:
  • Königsberg (Level 10, ten German and French wings present, type unknown): 3 x V1s.
  • Danzig (Level 4, four Polish TAC wings): 1 x V1.
  • Warsaw (Level 6, 2 x Polish TAC wings): 1 x V2.
  • Budapest (Level 6, two wings each of Hungarian TAC, CAS and INT): 2 x V2s.
  • Debrecen (Level 4, 3 x Hungarian INT): 1 x V2.
Bomb damage assessments and any changing Allied deployments would determine follow-up strikes.

The first air combat in the West broke out at 0500hr – it was four of the rocket targets trying to intercept the incoming strikes. In the event, this did not prevent the warheads hitting home.

6ahRhx.jpg

The first land engagements in the West came at the same time. Many more would follow during the day [only some of those will be detailed].

OkPq2h.jpg

The first land victories recorded came at 0700hr. A Soviet probe on Petrosani (Romanian Front) being succeeding (15/24,979 Soviet, 17/7,995 British killed), as two more battles broke out on the Romanian Front – both Soviet probes against far smaller Canadian and British forces, despite the defensive posture. And Soviet attack on Johannisburg won out despite being against overwhelming numerical odds and a far higher casualty rate suffered (98/8,992 Soviet, 6/101,213 Allied casualties). It seems the Allies were intent on withdrawing anyway.

At the same time, an attack began on Jarosolaw (Poland), but was locally counter-attacked by the German divisional commander and called off two hours later.

zCwM1E.jpg

And the Bulgarians attacked the garrison division defending Constanta (south-east Romania), with quite good odds (-63% to the Bulgarians).

The BDA for the first round of rocket strikes indicated they had largely disabled the five key air bases struck, but a couple more were ordered to finish things off and a strike on Lodz was ordered.

q8ebF5.jpg

Also at 0700hr, the first INT wings in the West (held back under human control to start with) were committed to contest Allied air strikes on attacking Soviet troops. By the end of the day, all VVS wings in the West would be progressively reassigned to AI Army-level control (too much to micromanage, also the main purpose of holding them back had been to stop all the pre-war base-shifting).

This led to the first real dogfights in the West at 0900hr, two of them interceptions of the mentioned German air raids, the second was a French fighter group encountering more than they had bargained for when they intercepted eight VVS fighter wings over Jaroslaw (Poland).

qvl7Ss.jpg

A major Allied (mainly French) attack was launched on Mehadia (western Romania) at 1100hr. This would be a hard-fought battle, with Greek offensive air support figuring in it, that would still be going at the end of the day. The numbers were large and fairly even, but the initial odds seemed in the Allies favour.

3vYObl.jpg

After the morning missile strikes, four of the main Allied airfields were heavily damaged. It was hoped this would impede Allied repair capacity as the aerial combat continued.

FCFCJx.jpg

A sample air battle going on at 1300hr against a mix of German and Hungarian aircraft crowding over Przemsyl gave an indication of the effects of stacking, radar supportand other factors on the base air strength of both sides (the two lead German and VVS INT percentage modifiers are shown).

W1JZhs.jpg

Another V1 strike on Königsberg, finishing at 1800hr, ensured the air base there would remain basically out of action for some time yet. And a major victory came in the battle for Slatina (Romania) at that time (Soviet 103/41,531, Allies 1,047/8,100 killed).

Four more aerial engagements were fought from 2000-2200hrs that night. In most cases, the Allies seemed to be suffering more organisational loss in those sampled below as the first day’s fighting was coming to a close, with French INT figuring prominently in three of the four dogfights. Over Zambrów, the Luftwaffe INT reinforced the German CAS and Hungarian TAC bombers that had initially been caught unescorted by two Soviet INT wings.

xl9eNO.jpg

At the end of the first day, most of the Allied divisions manning the Prussian-Soviet border seemed to be withdrawing. The only ground battle had been in the south and was brief (the withdrawal from Johannisburg mentioned above). Overall casualties in the West (summarised below for the whole front, completed battles only) were pretty even, with Allied air strikes balancing out larger ground casualties.

rSxyks.jpg

Once again, the desired massed attacks on the Prussian-Polish border area had not materialised, though there was some fighting in the area. The only attack between there and the Zamosc-Gorlice area had been made by the Allies at Malyorta! The large column in Brzesc-Litweski had been strangely timid. But Rawa Ruska had been secured on the first day.

1BYB8k.jpg

The Hungarian Front had remained fairly inactive, though one advance was being made in the centre.

rdq5c9.jpg

Romania had seen the large victory at Slatina (directly west of Bucharest) and an unopposed advance into Dulovo (Bulgarian border). Constanta was under heavy pressure, with the heaviest fighting in western Romania. Greek air raids on Mehadia and Caransebes had caused on light casualties.

vjB1tt.jpg


******

The East

Three of the four submarine squadrons were sent out to start searching for enemy convoys, mindful of the enemy air threat in particular. The longer-range squadron was still working up its newly delivered boats and would deploy later.

fRdOwH.jpg

Battles were soon under way in the drive towards Harbin, where it was hoped Manchuria could be knocked out before the full weight of Chinese and other Allied reinforcements could come to bear. A mix of Japanese, Manchurian and Mengukuo forces were the first encountered.

iExhEK.jpg

The V2s based in Vladivostok (still not fully upgraded to SS-6) could almost reach Honshu. None were launched, with no identified airfield targets worth hitting yet.

MXrMrV.jpg

A major attack broke out in Ch’ongjin (the far north of Korea’s border with the USSR) at 0700hr and was over with a victory four hours later, despite the enemy’s higher overall numbers: the concentration and power of the Soviet forces leading the attack was far higher.

WIfxbl.jpg

The first air skirmish in the east occurred over Kraskino at 0700hr, where a lone Japanese CAS wing was intercepted by the VVS and never delivered its payload.

tzXkZq.jpg

One of a number of attacks by the various Chinese forces (Mengukuo and Nationalist Chinese under their command) began at 1100hr, against a mixed Soviet and Mongolian defending force. The Allies had the momentum for now in Mongolia, where the Soviets were only looking to defend while the main blow was directed at Harbin. The battle was still going as the day ended.

BcTx3G.jpg

A heavy Soviet attack on the difficult mountains in Mudanjiang (west of Vladivostok) began at the same time the breakthrough attempt would not be an easy one against the Manchurian and Japanese defenders.

kAQNot.jpg

As in the previous war, the Japanese air force would be a doughty adversary – especially when they found themselves closer to their main bases, as a couple of sample air battles that afternoon showed.

ov9sIW.jpg

Overall casualties (again, completed battles only) in the east were so far lighter than in the West, with the VVS ground attack program being the main difference so far. In the Vladivostok Sector, Ch’ongjin had been occupied before the end of the day, with two battles won (both with good air support) and two more in progress in the mountain line as the day ended.

2au2eA.jpg

Initial progress in the Khabarovsk Sector looked promising, with a major attack on Fujin still continuing and advances being made against light or no resistance in the north (Fuyuan) and south (Dongfanghong).

P1TjVt.jpg

The Mongolian border was coming under heavy Allied pressure by the end of the first day, with Japanese and Chinese divisions making a big impression.

LnxXek.jpg


******

Other Theatres

The North had remained quiet, with no moves or combat noted and there was a little defensive fighting in southern Afghanistan.

In Iraq, two of the three initial Soviet attacks were meeting with some success.

Z2aSdx.jpg

Strategic warfare had seen a few British bombing raids in the south (one against Majkop recorded below) and Soviet subs had drawn the first blood at sea with a Japanese convoy sunk that afternoon.

ou4c90.jpg

After the first day of fighting, the Soviets were reporting a reinforcement requirement of 9,720 men (the reserve now sitting at 6,447,000).

So ended the first day of WW3, with some success but not enough attacking in Poland for Stalin’s liking, though it was early days yet.
 
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diskoerekto

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The first land engagements in the West came at the same time. Many more would follow during the day [only some of those will be detailed].
The commander of 14. Krivorozhkaya needs to ease up on vodka! :D

And Soviet attack on Johannisburg won out despite being against overwhelming numerical odds and a far higher casualty rate suffered (98/8,992 Soviet, 6/101,213 Allied casualties). It seems the Allies were intent on withdrawing anyway.
Well, shame on me then :D:D

So ended the first day of WW3, with some success but not enough attacking in Poland for Stalin’s liking, though it was early days yet.
I think we started quite good, I'm in good spirits about the future of this war! Exciting start!
 
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roverS3

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A decent start to another great war. I am wondering what the Soviet Union's policy is on nuclear weapons. Do you use them early on to scare the enemy and knock out a few nations, but risk egging on the development of Allied nuclear weapons to be used against the USSR, or do you keep them in reserve to use in case of emergency, or as a knock out punch when the war is almost won?
 
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El Pip

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A decent start to another great war. I am wondering what the Soviet Union's policy is on nuclear weapons. Do you use them early on to scare the enemy and knock out a few nations, but risk egging on the development of Allied nuclear weapons to be used against the USSR, or do you keep them in reserve to use in case of emergency, or as a knock out punch when the war is almost won?
Stalin was somewhat conflicted on nuclear weapons. He believed the Soviets had to get "the bomb" and poured vast resources into it, but he also forbid any real development of doctrine about them. They were more political tools than military ones, so following OTL Stalinist thought it would be option 2, the reserve weapons for emergencies.

Post-Stalin it became option 1 - use them early and often, trying to "win" in Western Europe before reinforcements could arrive. There was also a very Soviet belief that battlefield/tactical weapons didn't really count as 'proper' nukes, so they believed the US (and later France and the UK) wouldn't respond by escalating to nuking Soviet cities. They might even have been right, but it was certainly a gamble.
 
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stnylan

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I think some 9mm encouragement might be needed in the general staff. With "friends" like these the People do not lack for enemies!
 
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RustyHunter

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Well, the Polish front is disappointing, but the jet engines are certainly paying off! You appeared to be doing major damage to the CAS and TACs while the French INTs struggled to stop you. With their airbases cratered, I think you will control the skies for some time. The eastern front is somewhat concerning, but I think Talking Turkey proves the Soviets can lose Siberia without being totally crippled. Hopefully it won't come to that, but you never know...
 
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Eurasia

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Part of me loves the detailed chapters. The other part of me, having two AARs die because of save files, wants this to go faster before something bad happens! Take over the world already! :D
 
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Bullfilter

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The commander of 14. Krivorozhkaya needs to ease up on vodka! :D

Well, shame on me then :D:D
Doesn’t harm to probe a bit after all.
I think we started quite good, I'm in good spirits about the future of this war! Exciting start!
Some interesting things to look at. The big thing is try to get the AI to execute a large scale hook movement:still trying to find the right combo of orders and objectives. We’ll see as the month goes on.
Stalin was somewhat conflicted on nuclear weapons. He believed the Soviets had to get "the bomb" and poured vast resources into it, but he also forbid any real development of doctrine about them. They were more political tools than military ones, so following OTL Stalinist thought it would be option 2, the reserve weapons for emergencies.
And here it is similar, as the game mechanics encourage: political effect (sapping NU) and industrial/infra devastation, though perhaps as a secondary effect.
Post-Stalin it became option 1 - use them early and often, trying to "win" in Western Europe before reinforcements could arrive. There was also a very Soviet belief that battlefield/tactical weapons didn't really count as 'proper' nukes, so they believed the US (and later France and the UK) wouldn't respond by escalating to nuking Soviet cities. They might even have been right, but it was certainly a gamble.
With HOI3 not simulating the battlefield nuke effect (fairly, I think) it remains closer to option 1 for the ATL Stalin: used not so much as a last resort, but to force an enemy from the Allies a lot quicker than would have been the case. Germany and Japan being the big targets at first.
A decent start to another great war. I am wondering what the Soviet Union's policy is on nuclear weapons. Do you use them early on to scare the enemy and knock out a few nations, but risk egging on the development of Allied nuclear weapons to be used against the USSR, or do you keep them in reserve to use in case of emergency, or as a knock out punch when the war is almost won?
See above re nukes. If we don’t start knocking out major Allied powers soon, we’re toast. So early, once we can start grabbing VPs to make a key power surrender from 2-3 nuke strikes on major cities. Not going to win the war without them - too heavily outnumbered.
I think some 9mm encouragement might be needed in the general staff. With "friends" like these the People do not lack for enemies!
They must be made to embrace true Communist zeal!
Well, the Polish front is disappointing, but the jet engines are certainly paying off! You appeared to be doing major damage to the CAS and TACs while the French INTs struggled to stop you. With their airbases cratered, I think you will control the skies for some time. The eastern front is somewhat concerning, but I think Talking Turkey proves the Soviets can lose Siberia without being totally crippled. Hopefully it won't come to that, but you never know...
Yes, Poland is the key to the whole thing, but I can’t quite get it to click. The VVS has done well considering how heavily it is outnumbered and that the Luftwaffe is also substantially jet converted too. I think the air-to-air missile upgrade has helped the INT as well. The air war will feature heavily in early reporting.

The east is going more to plan than the west, really. Mongolia isn’t too bad and I went light on it deliberately, happy to trade ground for time there if we can get to Harbin and knock Manchuria out, which is going all right so far.
Part of me loves the detailed chapters. The other part of me, having two AARs die because of save files, wants this to go faster before something bad happens! Take over the world already! :D
You will get your wish - still plenty of detail, just not all of it: the huge Western Front and decent and complicated Eastern Front have too much happening to report everything. But the first month will have a bit of scene setting detail in it, then things should speed up a bit.

Next month played through, next chapter will be published soon! It promises to be a wild ride. Thanks for the support.
 
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Chapter 38: Part One – 2 to 15 November 1947

Bullfilter

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Chapter 38: Part One – 2 to 15 November 1947

Introduction

With the first day of WW3 covered in detail, there will be more summarising from this point. But with the first few weeks crucial, very busy and setting the scene for future events, the reporting for the first month of the war will be divided into two halves. Subsequent reports should be able to revert to a one-per-month schedule. This report covers the first two weeks of the war, broken into theatres on a weekly basis.

******

Section 1: Week One (2-7 Nov 47)

1a. The West

The air war would be crucial to the Soviets’ slim chances of achieving a decisive victory in the West. All wings except for the strategic force were assigned to (AI) Army Commanders. During the month, wings requiring repair would be withdrawn and operational wings reorganised and reassigned to Army level control as necessary.

Early on 2 November, some indicative engagements [many are not reported below, just enough to give some flavour) showed an advantage over French INT in Ostrow, but some tough fighting from the Germans to intercept Soviet strikes over the key border province of Ostroleka.

Feiio3.jpg

Czech INT were spotted using Lodz as a base, so a V1 battery was used to strike it (3.898/4.000 runway damage by 0400hr).

A big dogfight erupted over Zambrów at 0400hr, with additional Soviet INT arriving to thwart the Luftwaffe’s attempted air strike.

Rw0wbD.jpg

The VVS remained busy that morning, with a Hungarian raid on the key air base at Stanislawow managing to do some damage to the airfield, but the Hungarian TAC were savaged by the VVS CAP before they could escape. The VVS had a harder time against the Luftwaffe over Lomza, with 105. IAD-PVO having to be withdrawn for repairs afterwards.

lZeKOv.jpg

While the VVS struck Ostroleka with two TAC groups, the Luftwaffe wrought some havoc, in which 10. BAD was wiped out. Later that morning, four Japanese NAV bombers put in an appearance over Cieszyn (southern Poland)! They were met by a VVS INT group and no casualties were recorded from their attempt.

UbcgKA.jpg

At 1300hr, seven Allied INT wings (five German, two Czech) clashed with two VVS INT wings over Breslau. The two Czech wings involved were heavily damaged, but 1. IAD was reduced to almost zero strength and also had to be withdrawn from operations for repair.

This raid revealed Breslau had become a major Allied fall-back base, so a V2 battery struck it that night, heavily damaging the runways (8.721/10 cratering damage).

This heavy engagement in the skies in the West was followed by a period where no Allied air strikes were conducted, while Soviet bombers did their work largely unhindered.

By the morning of 4 November, a major move of Allied (mainly German) divisions was detected heading south from Prussia into Poland – they seemed to be heading to the south of Poland, but their destination would become clearer in coming days.

uitWXa.jpg

By that night, there had been little progress made on the Hungarian border, where mainly French force plus a British and Canadian division were confident enough to launch a major attack on Drohobycz, south of Lwow.

oCS8GS.jpg

By the evening of 5 November, a huge Soviet attack on Ostroleka (on the junction of the Prussian and Russian borders in northern Poland) was being hampered by severe over-stacking [-90.3%] and tough terrain [-28% for infantry].

On the morning of 6 November, the Poles (a single TAC wing horribly carved up) and then the Germans tried to launch ground attacks, but both were driven off.

xkQZUs.jpg

The next fall-back Allied air base spotted housing ten French and Yugoslav wings was struck with V2s that morning, with the base heavily damaged when the strike finished at 0900hr.

84AqeY.jpg

By that night, the Allied redeployment in Poland was well under-way, with Czech divisions also spotted heading towards the front. It was anticipated others would follow in coming days from countries in Central and Western Europe. Meanwhile, little progress was being made in the attempted sweep through northern Poland.

c1Dx4d.jpg

In a worrying sign, the defensive battle for Drohobycz, mentioned above, was lost at 2300hr on 6 November (Soviet 2,902/24,992; Allies 789/51,764 killed).

By midday on 7 November, the lead formations of the Allied redeployment of forces from Prussia had passed south of Warsaw – appearing destined for a head-on clash with a developing Soviet breakout south of Lublin and pointing north-west towards Warsaw, having ripped a good-sized hole in the Polish line.

At this point, at 2200hr that evening, despite their defensive stance one of the Soviet divisions on the Prussian border probed the enemy in Lötzen – and found they were out of supply and completely disorganised, to extent they could offer no resistance! In response, the South West Front commander was ordered to switch to maximum aggression and his three armies given offensive objectives with a blitzing stance. This provided a ray of hope for the otherwise largely stalled western offensive.

QdBqY4.jpg

A check with agents in Germany [ie. a quick tag, done at the end of the month on the save game for 7 November] indicated that the Germans had virtually no supply, oil or fuel stockpiles.

After one week, little progress had been made in northern Poland, but the breakthrough in northern Poland had made some good ground. Some of the border gore in Romania had been corrected, with advances and retreats by both sides. Total battles won/lost (41 large and small being recorded) and casualties were very even in the first week across the whole of the Western Front. The Soviets had managed to exact a high price with air strikes, however.

5JSX0k.jpg

Other than 62 men killed in Mehadia, no Allied air strikes had hit home in the West since 1 November. Soviet strikes had peaked at 2,719 and 2,575 enemy killed on 3-4 November, but numbers began to fall again after that as wings tired and enemy interceptions began to take a toll.

******

1b. The East

The Allies had exerted a lot of pressure on the Soviets and their Mongolian allies in the first week, with some major battles fought at Tamsog Bulak on 4 November (Comintern 1,746; Allies 668 killed) and Urtuin on the 7th (Comintern 2,143; Allies 1,919 killed), both lost, though there was a victory at Bayan Tumen on the 7th (Comintern 557; Allies 1,247 killed).

On the main Khabarovsk-Vladivostok Front, some fair progress was made in the mountains west of Vladivostok and the open territory south-west of Khabarovsk, where the aim was to seize Harbin and thus knock Manchuria out of the war.

Here, the battles were generally less bloody than in Mongolia, but Soviet air power was a major factor. The heaviest hit was the mountain province of Yanji in the south, with 4,496 enemy killed there over the week. Fujin (1,965) and Mudanjiang (1,223) in the same sector were also heaving hit. The main breakthrough was by the 6th Army to the north of the mountains, however where the defence was weaker and terrain better.

GuyUcF.jpg


******

1c. The South

Soviet armour advanced into Balad Ruz, immediately east of Baghdad, at 2000hr on 5 November: movement in this theatre was slower and the distances longer than in the West. By the end of the 7th, some gains had been made on the Iraqi border, while the British had made an isolated advance into the south of Afghanistan. Casualties were light on both sides and no air strikes had been made.

uLmJti.jpg


******

1d. Strategic Warfare and Industry

British STRAT air raids on Soviet industrial centres began on the night of 2 November and continued through to the morning of 5 November. Another such mission was then 'incidentally' intercepted by Soviet fighters over Constanta on the night of 5 November: it was uncertain whether it was a coincidence or not, but there were no further raids recorded after that. On the afternoon of 6 November, Soviet submarines managed to sink a Japanese convoy.

4mwG7M.jpg

The Soviets had not needed to produce any supplies since the war began and the stockpile was sitting at around 97,000 at the end of the 7 November. The reinforcement requirement was running at 32.29 IC, upgrades at 28.28 IC: 244.28 was available to be invested in the production queue.

******

Section 2: Week Two (8-15 Nov 47)

2a. The West

In the following eight days, the heaviest fighting and key contests continued to be on the Western Front, where time seemed to be running out for the Soviets’ hopes for a quick breakthrough. [NB: Without at least one German VP city in possession, no number of nuclear strikes could force them to surrender.]

The army commanders of the South West Front were very quick to respond to their new orders: all four additional Prussian border provinces facing them were under attack by 0200 on 8 November. All were out of supply and two unable to offer any resistance. But in Memel and Gumbinnen, despite the lack of supplies, the Allies were still able to put up some defence.

7yVdcJ.jpg

The Luftwaffe attempted another ground strike on some of the attackers in Palanga at 0400hr, but the VVS managed to bounce them away without casualties on the ground. Victory came in Gumbinnen at 1800hr that evening (Soviets 435/78,985; Germans 1,214/43,687 killed).

Things started to get harder in the air on the morning of the 9th, when three German INT wings soundly defeated two VVS INT over Zalaegerszeg between 0300-0500hr, forcing both to be taken off line for repairs.

At the same time, two other VVS wings were able to turn back a raid by two unescorted Italian TAC at Turka (Poland) at 0400hr.

At 1600hr on the 9th, Soviet STRAT had their first outing of the war, with no nuclear strikes likely in the West for the foreseeable future. The 2nd Strat Group (2 x MR, 2 x STRAT) conducted runway cratering at Warsaw, taking their repair efficiency back down towards zero again.

After their unopposed sortie, the 1st Strat Group (also 2 x MR, 2 x STRAT) did the same for Kraków to top up the damage there, but this time were hit by the Luftwaffe, the escorts taking most of the damage. It was intended to be a one-off raid, but the orders weren’t properly passed on to the group commander.

pynzkq.jpg

So they set off again early the next morning and this time the escorts were unable to offer much protection. Heavy damage had already been suffered by the time the order could be countermanded: by the time they made it back to base, the whole group had been badly chewed up and would take many days to recover.

By the end of 11 November, the breakout in southern Poland had made some more ground in the last four days.

VdDtPP.jpg

By 0400hr on 12 November, the German and French troops in Memel were weakening a little, but still resisting stoutly [65% progress], with the Soviets attacking the two provinces to its south on the approaches to Königsberg. Supply was not a problem everywhere in Prussia: the Allied troops in Memel and Insterburg were out of supply, but those in Labiau – the recently arrived US 11th Airborne Div, commanded by MAJGEN Omar Bradley – were adequately supplied.

From the morning of 13 November, the Luftwaffe was able to resume its hard-hitting ground attacks in the west as the VVS ability to stop them waned. Over a two-day period the Allied bombers managed to conduct some strikes (mainly in Romania): 1,111 killed on 13 November (743 by the Germans in Palanga in the north) and 1,230 on 14 November (675 by the Germans in Rietavas) before going quiet again on the 15th.

V1s were used to ‘top up’ the cratering of the German air base at Königsberg at 1000hr on 13 November.

That afternoon, a key battle to take Lublin (at the point of the breakout in southern Poland) was lost to Polish, French and German troops (Soviets 692/10,994; Allies 248/20,689 killed). This remained the furthest north-west extent of the salient by mid-month, though more ground had been made westward towards Kraköw (lead elements still three provinces distant). But the whole edge of the salient was now under concerted Allied (principally German) attack (on a five-province frontage), plus the continuing German attack on Malyorta.

IkjVUY.jpg

On the 14th, the French Air Force was active in the south and MAJGEN Rog’s fighters were busy – though causing more damage than they were receiving.

6N7oLb.jpg

An intercept mission of German bombers north of Stettin late on 14 November revealed it was now being used as a depth base for five French and German wings. They were within range of V2s based in Suwalki (on the border with Prussia), which struck and managed to basically destroy the runways (4/4 cratered) at 0200hr on the 15th.

Air operations continued throughout the day in the south as well, with a couple of examples showing Rog’s hectic schedule against the less capable (and rashly un-escorted) French and Greek bombers was paying dividends, minimising casualties.

VMQU2q.jpg

By mid-morning on the 15th, the attack on Memel was starting to weaken and no further progress was being made to its south either. What may have been a British supply run (no para drop was detected) was intercepted over Memel and badly cut up.

3oovQn.jpg

At 2200hr on the 15th, another huge battle began over Ostroleka, which was now in Soviet hands: the Germans were trying to retake it and were making some progress due again to Soviet overcrowding. But at the same time, the Soviets won a large battle to try to retake Johannisburg to its north, which the Germans had themselves retaken a few days before.

7f1zbo.jpg

In general, the second (eight-day) period of the month had seen Soviet progress made in East Prussia, northern and southern Poland, but the latter two were marginal, with those redeployed Allied divisions starting to slow down the most promising Soviet breakthrough. Romania still remained something of a mess, where the Soviets just wanted to stay ‘in the game’ and defend as best it could. The Soviet battle win ratio was better than the first week, but this was often repeated attacks to take provinces where Allies reinforcements slipped in before it could be secured.

k4jylM.jpg

Memel still held and Königsberg (not a VP city anyway) remained out of reach. The plan to cut the Allies off in Prussia had clearly failed, with very little progress made in the offensive towards Torun.

0WRS4k.jpg

The advance towards Lublin had been checked and was now under counter-attack by the Germans. Similarly, German and other Allied forces had now solidified the line in front of Kraków.

iC8Bky.jpg


******

2b. The East

With the breakthrough in the Khabarovsk Sector, 6ya Armiya’s objectives were extended at 2000hr on 8 November to include a pathway to Harbin, now three provinces distant from the lead elements. 15th Army’s objective were ‘crept forward’ as they secured the border mountain provinces in the south.

At 0600hr on 11 November, the first Japanese ground attack in the East was conducted on Mudanjiang. Soviet casualties would rise day by day in the following four days, especially after RAF bombers joined in from 0500hr on the 14th. Daily Soviet casualties rose from 812 on the 11th to 1,911 on the 15th.

But the Soviet bombing effort stepped up heavily too, killing over 15,600 Allied troops over the eight-day period.

uzrj5W.jpg


******

2c. Maritime Operations in the East

The second week saw a large escalation in maritime and airborne operations in the East. This was triggered by orders being given to the Soviet paratroopers in Tumnin at 1800hr on 10 November to prepare for a ‘blind’ drop onto unknown enemy opposition in the port of Toyohara, on the southern tip of Sakhalin. This was in response to an Allied advance towards Okha on the north of the island. It was hoped the port could be taken before the enemy could send too many forces back south, thus trapping them and cutting them off.

While waiting for those troops to prepare and land (it seems to take a while, which is fair enough), the older subs of the 5th Squadron encountered two British task groups in the Ostrovnoy Seamount, between Vladivostok and Honshu. By the time the battle was over six hours later, the Soviets had claimed a ‘win’, but that involved three flotillas being sunk and another badly damaged. Only one of the enemy task forces remained in contact.

o97d9Q.jpg

While the sea battle was in progress, at 0300hr 22nd Maritime Group in Vladivostok (2 x NAV) were ordered out on a naval strike to support the hard-pressed submarines. At 0600hr the other maritime group in Vladivostok – the 17th – was added for the second and third waves as the British task group headed by HMS Nelson then headed from Ostrovnoy to the Kol’tso Seamount. By the time they lost contact at 1700hr that evening (no further report found), the Nelson had been very heavily damaged, but escaped.

sDP3a1.jpg

The remains of the 5th Sub Squadron escaped late in the morning and limped back for repairs in Vladivostok.

At 2000hr on 11 November, MAJGEN Karpon of 2. Vozdushno Division reported his troops had landed in Toyohara. This was the first combat jump by a Soviet para division. Apart from a collection of enemy HQs, a Japanese mountain division was defending the city: it would be a tough fight. And a British armoured division was to the north and currently advancing in that direction – a concern for any paratroop commander.

l8UTFq.jpg

NB: the transports have lost all organisation. I assume that is as a result of having performed a para drop.

With the paratroopers doing it tough, at 0600hr on the 12th, the Marine Corps in Vladivostok loaded up on the 2nd Pacific Battle Fleet (2PBF) and both it and the Red Banner Pacific Fleet (RBPF) set off to conduct a complimentary naval invasion of Toyohara.

MVtUQs.jpg

In the meantime, the NAV bombers in Vladivostok had been patrolling for enemy fleets that might be approaching the route the Combined Fleet would take. The 17th Group was jumped by enemy INT on the evening of 12 November in Seohan man and then Tongjoson Bay.

ze28R5.jpg

Then the 22nd Group found a Japanese carrier task force in the Kol’tso Seamount at 1900hr: they attacked but did not seem to cause much damage. They tried again early the next morning, but were instead found by the same Japanese INT that had savaged the 17th – and suffered a similar fate. Both groups were taken off line for repairs.

The escorting RBPF was the first to arrive off Toyohara at 1500hr on 13 November – so far unmolested by any enemy surface fleet. By early the next morning, the marines had begun to come ashore: and just in time, as the British 2nd Armd Div had joined and reinforced the enemy by then. A heavy shore bombardment and the marines' training helped to offset the disadvantage of an amphibious assault. The Soviet Special Forces were now fighting side-by-side in a desperate fight to gain the beachhead and port.

0D2Lp4.jpg

By 1500hr that day, progress was being made in Toyohara – even as the weary paratroopers steadily lost organisation; and another British armoured division approached from the north!

onSENE.jpg

TAC bombers (flying ground attack) and an INT wing flying air superiority over Toyohara were diverted from the land battle in Manchuria and joined in the mayhem.

At 0900hr on 15 November, Japanese bombers made a port strike on Vladivostok. The naval base (0.393) and AA (0.096) were damaged, so too were the sub flotillas of the 5th Squadron undergoing repairs. The only available INT were busy defending the invasion and could not be spared for the home port.

By 1300hr that afternoon, two marine and an infantry division were ashore in Toyohara, with two more divisions lined up. But the paras were almost spent and the ships would likely be needed to evacuate them when forced to retreat. The defending mountain division was also now weakening under the strong assault.

pJMnpF.jpg

Another Japanese port strike on Vladivostok at 1600hr did similar damage to the first.

As the day ended, the fight in Toyohara still hung in the balance.

******

2d. The South

The first RAF air strike on Lashkar Gah in southern Afghanistan caused 397 casualties at 0600hr on 12 November. A series of battles were won in Iraq on 11 November (Erbil: Soviets 321; Iraqis 476 killed), 12 November (Sulaymani and Erbil again: skirmishes) and 15 November (Qaraghan: Soviets 90; Iraqis 550 killed). The Soviet incursion into Iraq had been widened but the key centres of Baghdad and Tikrit had not yet come under Soviet attack.

MkGbT0.jpg

In the eastern sector, Nok Kundi in Pakistan had been taken by the Soviets after a skirmish victory the week before, but the RAF (probably based in Karachi) soon switched its attentions there from lashkar gah and pounded it mercilessly for the rest of the week (13-15 November), causing 3,379 casualties.

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2e. Strategic Warfare and Industry

No more British strategic raids were recorded for the period. The Soviets lost a convoy to the Japanese on 8 November and sunk one on the 14th.

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General Summary

On all fronts (there being no combat at all in the North), in the first 15 days of November 1947, the Soviets had lost 63,988 troops in ground combat and 17,588 to air strikes, for a total of 81,576 casualties. The Allies had 66,469 killed on the ground and 43,906 from the air, for a total of 110,375 casualties.

Therefore, the main edge in the first two weeks had come from Soviet air power. Of the 140 battle results recorded (not including zero casualty ‘no contests’), the Soviets had won 87, the Allies 53.

So ended a tumultuous first two weeks of WW3 as the bold – or reckless – Soviet attempt to overthrow the Allied World Order had made modest be seemingly not decisive progress. Now the growing weight of reinforcing Allied forces were likely to be felt – and the enormous economic power of the US likely propping up the already strong main Allied economies.
 
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RustyHunter

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Would it be worth nuking Poland to speed up the conquest? I know you need a VP still, but you're a lot closer than Germany's. Manchuria appears to be going well and should make a big difference in Asia. It looks like you are almost unopposed in Iraq, so maybe Suez is in sight?
 
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Bullfilter

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Would it be worth nuking Poland to speed up the conquest? I know you need a VP still, but you're a lot closer than Germany's.
Probably not: yes, we still need a VP and their NU is quite high, so may require more than one nuke - though the thought has occurred if we do make headway against them.
Manchuria appears to be going well and should make a big difference in Asia.
It was a real body blow when I was cheated out of bringi them into the Comintern at the end of WW2: principally for the territorial loss, more than the troops they would have brought as a puppet.
It looks like you are almost unopposed in Iraq, so maybe Suez is in sight?
The Iraqis are beginning to fight and my main concern, a bit like in Europe, is all the Allied puppet states stacked up behind them that will start sending reinforcements (Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt etc, plus any British forces that might turn up. Like in Europe, time is of the essence.
A very Stalinisttic invasion of Toyohara with those British fleet close by.
Oh yes, it gets even more so later in the month!
 
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diskoerekto

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This heavy engagement in the skies in the West was followed by a period where no Allied air strikes were conducted, while Soviet bombers did their work largely unhindered.
V1/2s coordinated with INTs worked out to be great! The skies are all hammer and sickle!

An intercept mission of German bombers north of Stettin late on 14 November revealed it was now being used as a depth base for five French and German wings. They were within range of V2s based in Suwalki (on the border with Prussia), which struck and managed to basically destroy the runways (4/4 cratered) at 0200hr on the 15th.
In fact, I think best would be to make sure the production lines for the V1/2s never stop :) they seem to be very useful. I never used them before and now I regret it.

In general, the second (eight-day) period of the month had seen Soviet progress made in East Prussia, northern and southern Poland, but the latter two were marginal, with those redeployed Allied divisions starting to slow down the most promising Soviet breakthrough. Romania still remained something of a mess, where the Soviets just wanted to stay ‘in the game’ and defend as best it could. The Soviet battle win ratio was better than the first week, but this was often repeated attacks to take provinces where Allies reinforcements slipped in before it could be secured.
Is it possible to turn the TAC bombing a notch or two? Since we have air supremacy we should use it well to pound them to smithereens which would translate to success on the ground

The second week saw a large escalation in maritime and airborne operations in the East. This was triggered by orders being given to the Soviet paratroopers in Tumnin at 1800hr on 10 November to prepare for a ‘blind’ drop onto unknown enemy opposition in the port of Toyohara, on the southern tip of Sakhalin. This was in response to an Allied advance towards Okha on the north of the island. It was hoped the port could be taken before the enemy could send too many forces back south, thus trapping them and cutting them off.
exciting operations!

At 2000hr on 11 November, MAJGEN Karpon of 2. Vozdushno Division reported his troops had landed in Toyohara. This was the first combat jump by a Soviet para division. Apart from a collection of enemy HQs, a Japanese mountain division was defending the city: it would be a tough fight. And a British armoured division was to the north and currently advancing in that direction – a concern for any paratroop commander.
I don't know how expensive that would be, but maybe paradrops should concentrate more divisions at one province in order to make it less taxing for each division

Then the 22nd Group found a Japanese carrier task force in the Kol’tso Seamount at 1900hr: they attacked but did not seem to cause much damage. They tried again early the next morning, but were instead found by the same Japanese INT that had savaged the 17th – and suffered a similar fate. Both groups were taken off line for repairs.
A bit of a bloody nose for the air force, is this out of our INT range? Maybe need some MRs here

As the day ended, the fight in Toyohara still hung in the balance.
Biggest cliffhanger of the war so far
 
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