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

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Bullfilter

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The next chapter is ready to start publishing shortly, so I'll round up the rest of the comment responses now:
If we'll puppet instead of annex, AI'd better not destroy those pocketed divisions, though

my thinking is unfortunately not an in-game mechanism but a NKVD political commisar with a Takarov pistol to the general's temple dictating orders to attack :D

one more thing about general strategy for the future: do you think it makes sense if we didn't even go all-in on NAVs and subs? I mean having them will be nice, but do you think an air-only invasion strategy would work? Like, an EXTENSIVE paratrooper army with a lot of MR fighters would probably do wonders. Still we'd need to carry the armor over sea, but maybe we'll first take out the ports in range first? I mean we're already going on in 4 engine airframes and also on infantry and special ops techs so why not paratroop the hell out of the WW3?
The AI will do what it does - agree re the pocketed divisions, but given how long it takes to get the last VP city in Persia (you usually have to take all but one), I think those guys in the north are doomed.

If this was a more immersive/part narrative AAR, then the NKVD would no doubt be 'asking a few questions, Comrade'. But as a gameplay-history book, I won't go there: though readAARs and commnetAARs are both welcome and encouraged to speculate! :D

I'll think about the para capability a bit. Could at least be a useful complimentary capability - we just deployed a new para div and already have a few transport planes, and more could be built along with the strat bombers, with practicals benefiting as well.

The subs would be more a German-style thing for a potential conflict with the Allies later, as the only thing likely to be of much use at sea without devoting a disproportionate amount of research and production into building a modern surface battle fleet. Research, doctrine and production focus could be concentrated so that maybe a credible and useful but not overly expensive capability could be constructed to interdict their convoys and lower national unity, divert their attention, etc.

The NAV I'd like to have initially for assisting a largely littoral/naval landing capability in the Far East. The old surface fleet might be enough to ward off whatever is left of the IJN by now, but would need plenty of fighter cover protection and might benefit from NAV to strike at any sorties against exposed landing fleets as they try to get the marines ashore. Whether that is worth expanding later for defensive purposes against Allied fleets - especially amphib attacks, if the AI mounts them (they seem to have done so all right in Indo-China) is another matter.
Do you mean setting the 'Axis of Attack' of the HQ? Yes. But I am not so sure how effective it is.
But I can’t find anything that lets you do that in vanilla HOI3. :confused: Any chance of a description of the screen/menu or a screenie of what we’re refeferring to here? I’ve got no idea at all. :D
Select the AI HQ, shift-right click where you want to go. (had too boot it up to remember :) )
Thanks so much! :cool: Given I’ve now got them on blitz and offensive objectives only, I’m willing to try anything that might work! :D
so very intuitive UI design of Paradox
And then I forgot to try it in the January play through! :oops::rolleyes: Ah well, it was the middle of winter and the weather was terrible, so not much lost, I guess. I'll try to remember for next time and will have a non-AAR-game practice of the mechanic in the meantime.
Nippon will rue the day they poked the Bear.
Oh, they certainly will! :) They are already feeling the effects of Soviet air superiority.
Australia will soon be free! :D

Quite a titanic battle in the frozen wastes of Siberia. One must quickly get Sergei Eistenstein to make a stirring film! :D
I'm so happy that in-game it's proven a proper fight in Australia and it didn't collapse, though came close. It really peeves me when I see AI Japan invade AI Australia via Sydney time after time and take the whole place down. And this game, NZ was brought back from the brink too. :)

Some stirring propaganda would be excellent! Let us imagine just such an epic being produced right now.

******
To All: Next ep up soon. Thanks so much for your comments and readership. Writing and reading gives us something to do and a way to interact with a wider community as we all struggle with the exigencies of this new (and not very nice) way of living. There will be light at the end of the tunnel, and hope too. Just need to stay strong and help each other out in the meantime. :)
 
Chapter 11 – January 1945

Bullfilter

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Chapter 11 – January 1945

AuthAAR’s Notes: January proved a lot quieter in terms of ground combat – it could be that the ferocity of the winter weather simply inhibited most attacking. But there were some interesting developments, including abroad. I have also tinkered a little with the operational summary maps, to more clearly distinguish between air raids (now in lighter outline colours) and land battles – hope that helps the visual presentation.

******

1. Far East – Northern Sector

Despite a now healthy estimated force ratio compared to the Japanese in the north, 6th Army did not launch any attacks during the period – most likely because of the atrocious weather. But at midnight on 14 January, the Japanese Sasebo Rikusentai (Marines), who were already approaching Ust Aldan, attacked 2 Garnizon (Garrison) Div as soon it arrived there. The enemy did so over a river and in very bad weather.

Five days later, the Japanese attack continued [-27% progress] in terrible conditions, now being counter attacked by 2 Gar Div. Indeed, the Japanese were still going at it by the end of the month – with seemingly little impact on either side. The reasons for this were made clear in MAJGEN Pukhov’s detailed combat report on 31 January. In essence, the troops were too busy trying to stay warm to do much fighting at all! With temperatures approaching -30c, more men were likely being lost to attrition than combat.

04oPdP.jpg

The bigger picture showed this desultory ‘battle’ was the only action in the sector during the whole month, despite 6th Army’s advantage in numbers and an attacking posture.

eRdWW6.jpg

Operational summary, Far East – Northern Sector, January 1945.

******

2. Far East – Central Sector

There was more action in the central sector (both 6th and 15th Army troops involved), but it was light compared to previous months.

The new year was celebrated at 0000 hr on 1 January by a major Soviet attack on Artemovskij. 179 SD (in Sorgo) and 205 Mot Div (Lensk) hit the leaderless 35 Hoheishidan with a breakthrough attack which completed negated their attempted ambush, though the enemy were dug in on forested terrain and the weather was poor [46% progress].

After three days of fighting [progress now 60%], the Japanese launched an air raid (1 x M/R, 1 x TAC) on 205 Mot Div in Lensk at 0300 hr on 4 January. They were met by two fighter wings (already low on organisation) based out of Mutina, with all sides (Japanese and Soviet) taking some damage. The ground attack went in, killing 124 Soviet troops.

The same Japanese air group returned at 0800 hr, but were met this time by three near full-strength Soviet fighter wings out of Olenek. The Japanese escorts were reduced to around 50% strength and were completely disorganised after just an hour. Their bombers were also heavily damaged, breaking off their attack and not returning again.

Unfortunately for the Japanese, Lensk fell into an area of overlap of interceptor coverage from both Olenek and Mutina. Soviet air controllers did an excellent job of alternating responses so the interceptors were not overcrowded.

7YE4Xs.jpg

Victory came in Artemovskij at 0800 hr on 7 January, with around 1,650 Japanese defenders killed and about half as many Soviets soldiers. The skies remained clear – no Soviet attacking missions were flown in support. On 11 January, a single Soviet ground attack mission was flown against neighbouring Torgo, but it was unclear what its specific purpose was (other than harassment), with no ground combat going on at the time.

By 18 January, the sector remained quiet – troops on both sides hunkered down through the bitter winter conditions. Along the central front, the ground was typically between 25% to 86% frozen, and at 1400 hr the temperatures ranged from -5.9c to -13.8c.

205 Mot Div liberated Artemovskij at 0100 hr on 23 January and just three hours later probed Njuja to the north, supported by 1 'Moskovskaya' Mech Div attacking east from Lensk. A single air strike was launched in support, but the blitzing probe against two dug in Japanese marine divisions, over a river and in bad weather, was broken off only two hours later after just two hours with minimal casualties on both sides. It was to prove the last combat activity in the sector for the remainder of the month, with 15th Army not game to conduct any further offensives in these conditions.

At 1100 hr on 31 January, 1st FE Front issued amended orders to General Ratnikov, commander 15th Army. Shilka was removed from their objective list and Chumikan, on the Pacific coast, was added. When conditions became conducive, it was hoped the Soviet forces might be able to extend their recent gains in Kedrovyy and Artemovskij all the way across on a narrower front. The aim was to ultimately cut off Japanese forces further north, which the now reinforced 6th Army would drive, as the hammer onto 15th Army’s anvil.

rSmJWa.jpg

Kedrovyy had been gained earlier in the month, occupied after a Soviet victory there back on 17 December 1944, with Artemovskij the other territory gained in the centre during January 1945.

hXqyX1.jpg

Operational summary, Far East – Central Sector, January 1945.

******

3. Far East – Southern Sector

The year began in the south as the last one ended: with the 2nd FE Front HQ trying to get 1st Army to attack. Some had questioned the previously aggressive General E.A. Egorov’s stomach for the fight: but his main trait was in offensive doctrine, so that wasn't it. Compared to 6th and 15th Armies, his estimated force ratio to the enemy was far closer – just a little superior. His orders remained for all-out attack, but perhaps that estimated overall strength and poor terrain and weather had made Egorov more cautious. He was left in command.

7th Army in Mongolia also started the month relatively quietly. Air raids were launched on Tsetserlig from 13-14 January, apparently in support of Mongolian troops defending Taryacin. They struck the same location again from 17-20 January, with the two series of raids killing over 3,000 Japanese defenders.

Then on 19 January, as the raids on Tsetserlig continued, a Soviet attack struck Dzirgalanta, with air support flown from Irkutsk throughout its duration, overlapping with the other mission on Tsetserlig for the first few days. The attack was carried out by 79 SD from Ider, beginning with a reckless assault against a single Japanese infantry division [35% initial attack progress]. The battle would continue until 24 January, ending in a hard-fought Soviet victory, losing over 400 men to about 300 Japanese defenders on the ground. But incessant Soviet air raids were probably the decisive factor: a massive 2,754 defenders perished in this aerial onslaught.

As the attack on Dzhirgalanta went on, 22 January saw concurrent air raids begin on Ubur Khangalin, attempting to spoil another Japanese attack on Mongolian-held Taryacin. Between 22-25 January, 2,155 enemy troops were killed there. The air base in Irkutsk, its pilots and ground crew were busy indeed!

By this time, 1st Army had still failed to attack in the North-east Baikal area. This was despite the estimate of enemy strength facing them having been downgraded significantly since the beginning of the month and the commander's 'wish list' having shrunk somewhat. Perhaps the next step would be to focus Egorov’s objective on just one location – either Burjatija or Bukacaca and specify an axis of advance [thanks @Surt :)]. But with the weather the way it was, the reluctance to attack was partly understandable and he was cut some more slack. For now.

yXsjEs.jpg

The Soviet Air Force then resumed strikes on Tsetserlig, between 26-28 January and again from 30-31 January. The latter missions attempted to disrupt a new Japanese attack on Dzhirgalanta, which 79 SD had occupied by 2000 hr on 29 January, finding itself under immediate attack from a Japanese infantry and a Manchurian cavalry division from Tsetserlig. Complementary strikes were also made on neighbouring Khadasan when one of the Tsetserlig-based enemy divisions dropped out, replaced by one from Khadasan. This set of three ground attack missions killed more than 4,000 enemy troops.

gdYfZw.jpg

By the end of 31 January 1945, the latest Japanese attack on Dzhirgalanta continued [-26% progress]. Reports indicated Mongolia may have been forced to retreat from Taryacin.

bd4QvW.jpg

Operational summary, Far East – Southern Sector, January 1945.

******

4. Persia

The now standard initial staff check at the start of the month revealed all the objectives for the Western Front HQ had again been deleted, so these were reset. For some reason, they just did not seem to ‘stick’. [Always after a reload, even though they held OK for the FE Army HQs. And what I only noticed later, when compiling the AAR chapter, was that a defensive stance had also been reset, even though it didn’t seem to slow down the conquest of Persia too much.]

kkZvbA.jpg

On the eastern flank, the battle for Bam carried over from December was won at 1700 hr on 2 January, with fairly heavy casualties on both sides. The other continuing battle, for Kashan (south of Tehran) in the centre, finished at 0100 on 3 January. This sent all Persian formations in the province retreating south to Esfahan, the new makeshift Persian capital.

On 9 January, the final push to close up at the Caspian Pocket and liquidate the units remaining in it started in earnest with an attack on Ramsar (on the southern Caspian Sea coast) at midnight, by 148 SD (attacking from the west). Just six hours later 229 SD arrived in Babolsar and attacked Ramsar from the east. Persian resistance ended at 1600 hr that afternoon, with 23 Soviet and 78 Persian troops killed.

A short battle for Esfahan kicked off at 2200 hr on 11 January, with 133 SD attacking from Anarak in the east against the barely prepared Persian 4th Infantry Division. It was all over at 0100 hr the following morning, with only light casualties on either side before the Persians routed, ahead of the other units still fleeing south from Kashan.

Up in the north, at 0600 hr on 12 January the 1st Guards Div attacked the Persian 1st Cavalry in Rasht, inland from Ramsar and the last haven the routed units from Ramsar had to retreat to. Resistance was light and over in five hours. By the afternoon of 18 January, the Persians were each trying to retreat to the provinces their comrades had been defeated in, while the Soviets marched to occupy both of them.

Then at 2200 hr on 18 January, Esfahan was taken by 133 SD. The oilfields [and VP location] of Ahvaz had been occupied earlier that day. The Persian Government now transferred to Bushehr and was perilously close to surrendering, but fought on for now.

HsfLHT.jpg

133 SD won a short skirmish at 0900 hr on 21 January as it drove south from Esfahan to Yasuj, continuing a thrust aimed at Bushehr – which if captured would surely trigger a Persian capitulation.

Back up north, 1st Guards Div occupied Rasht at 0600 hr on 23 January, sending all four remaining trapped Persian HQs and divisions back to Ramsar. The pocket was sewn shut at 1400 hr that afternoon, when 229 SD arrived in Ramsar. The remaining Persian troops were marched into captivity.

LfUZlU.jpg

When January ended, Persian resistance was crumbling as the Soviets closed in on the last remaining centres of Persian resistance. After the two major battles in Bam and Kashan were resolved early in the month, all remaining clashes had been little more than skirmishes.

x2Yv7D.jpg

Operational summary, Persia, January 1945.

******

5. Finland

At midnight on 12 January 1945, the previous warnings of partisan activity in Finland erupted in a major uprising. Eight provinces in the south-east, bordering on the Soviet Union and extending inland from there, rose in revolt, a brigade of partisans in each. A new front was opened, afterwards referred to as the Second Winter War.

uA3ZBP.jpg

The local Soviet commanders had been given devolved responsibility to handle the uprising on their own. No specific orders or objectives were issued by STAVKA. After eight days, the first Soviet units were arriving in place and many more were en route from the Swedish and Norwegian borders aboard trucks and trains.

28kyIt.jpg

At 1600 hr on 21 January, the embarrassing news came that Finnish partisans had crossed the border into the Soviet Union and taken the (formerly Finnish) province of Hiitola, on the north-west of Lake Ladoga.

27 SD was the first Soviet formation in position and ready to attack, which they did on the afternoon of 22 January. The Finns fought back, trying to ambush the assaulting Soviets. Despite attacking entrenched troops over a river in terrible winter weather, the Finns were heavily outnumbered and lacked heavy equipment. Still, they did not run at first contact.

Hvn4fq.jpg

Later that day, a second partisan unit crossed into Soviet territory, occupying the fortifications of Sortavala at 2300 hr.

By 2000 hr on 23 January, the Finns in Suolahti still resisted, but the Soviets increasingly gained the upper hand [74% progress]. Early the next morning, 25 SD was ready to attack the Finns defending Suonenjoki [57%], facing similar conditions to 27 SD in Suolahti, immediately to its south. Meanwhile, by 1000 hr on 24 January, a third Soviet border province (Antrea) had been seized: but this time, they turned around and tried to escape as they discovered 317 SD advancing on them from the south.

YjXiQB.jpg

Two hours later, 317 SD found and attacked them, the partisans suffering six killed for no Soviet casualties in the briefest of clashes.

Soviet victories came at 1000 hr on 25 January in Suolahti and then in Suonenjoki at 1400 hr on 26 January. In both battles the Soviets suffered a handful of casualties, killing more than a hundred partisans in each case.

The general situation at the end of January showed some partisans still running riot as more Soviet divisions rolled in from the north, while the Soviets had started to roll them up from the west and south.

okwxnS.jpg


5lNYCC.jpg

Operational summary, Finland, January 1945.

******

6. Naval Operations

Eight more Japanese convoys were sunk by Soviet submarines during the month in the period between 11-31 January, after a slow start. But this time, on 26 January the Japanese Navy managed to intercept one of the submarine squadrons with carrier-based aircraft south-east of Tokyo. They Soviet submariners only just managed to escape before being totally annihilated, ordered back to port with great urgency. The rest of the raiders kept up their work.

tiU4OH.jpg

To the relief of all, they limped into Petropavlovsk Kamcackij at 0800 hr on 29 January, though in a parlous state, to begin their long rebuilding process.

******

7. Diplomatic and Intelligence

The only diplomatic report of any interest during the month was the Swedes ceasing their diplomatic self-alignment to the Comintern on the morning of 26 January.

But it had been a good month for the GRU and NKVD.

In Japan, the Kempeitai started and finished the month with one team, adding and losing two during the month, with no Soviet agents lost. With one third of Soviet agents devoted now to undermining national unity, it had decreased marginally from 69 to 68.4%.

Manchukuo started with two agents added one and lost three during the month, finishing with only one, with no Soviet spies neutralised. The full focus remained on counter-espionage, but unity disruption work may well resume there in February. Manchurian national unity remained steady at 69.4%.

The Soviets had lost no teams for the month and added five more, with 19 now in reserve. It would soon be time for another espionage operation to be launched – most likely against a major Allied target, which would almost certainly require more replacements. Some advocated the US, concerned about their possible nuclear bomb program. Others wanted France, the UK or Germany targeted, for varying logical strategic reasons. No decision had been taken by the end of the month.

It was a bumper month for apprehending and neutralising enemy agents in the USSR: including the five from Japan and Manchuria, 35 were rounded up during the month.

******

8. Production

The big news of the month on the production front was the completion of the Soviet rocket test facility in Lyubertsy, just south of Moscow, on 8 January. It was decided there was no great value in building another of these, as it was hoped that (once the remaining precursor technologies had been researched) that building rockets themselves would give the practical knowledge that would hasten their construction.

moi8Uh.jpg

In order to free up the capacity for that extra research immediately, the diplomatic mission to Nationalist China was withdrawn. As some pundits in the Foreign Ministry had previously advocated, it was left in a diplomatic tug-o-war between the Axis and allies. [The new projects commenced with the freed leadership are listed in the next section.]

The large amount of industrial capacity available after the test facility was completed was directed to building a wing of Tu-2T NAV bombers. They would at least be wanted to help support the Red Banner Pacific Fleet when the time came to begin launching amphibious attacks in the Far East. The other half went to the raising of a second (complete) marine division.

xObHHE.jpg

On 16 January, level three facilities were installed at the air base in Olenek (Northern Sector), with level four beginning construction straight away.

******

9. Research

Civil nuclear research progressed to level two on 2 January, with the researchers moving straight on to the next. In addition to having at least one operational nuclear reactor, research would have to progress to level four before construction of a nuclear weapon could even commence.

bcsTKR.jpg

Four engine aircraft airframe design was improved on 3 January, with that team also kept on the job as the Soviet Union sought to bring this technical area up to world leading standards.

PpCy2A.jpg

The additional research effort freed on 8 January (mentioned above) was put into rocket engine research, made possible by the completion of the Lyubertsy rocket testing site. The other new research team went to work on upgrading single engine aircraft armament.

lO04G1.jpg

On 12 January large fuel tank design was improved and, as with airframes, was maintained to try to bring Soviet heavy bombers up to ‘world standards’ as they stood in 1943.

geMQ5W.jpg

Finally, the first basic training doctrine was issued for TAC ground crews, which was continued so as to try to bring Soviet practice closer to modern standards.

XoJddL.jpg


******

10. Global Summaries

The pace of ground combat in the Far East had tapered off in the middle of a miserable winter, though a little more ground was taken in the centre and south. This might provide the basis for a spring and summer offensive later in 1945.

c4EaYO.jpg

Total recorded losses to land combat for battles on all fronts (including Finland and Persia) were relatively light. The Soviets were lost 1,956 men in land combat and only 124 Soviet losses from a single completed Japanese air raid, giving total combat losses of 2,080.

The Axis lost 3,222 soldiers killed (and excluding the Persian troops captured in the Caspian Pocket) on land, but the toll from the air (all in the Far East) was still heavy, with 12,275 enemy troops killed from air raids. Total Axis casualties were therefore 15,497 in all theatres (again, not including the thousands captured in Persia).

******

South East Asia was inactive everywhere except in Indo-China, where the most dramatic collapse of the anti-Japanese war so far occurred, with the Allies running riot through Indo-China.

kPyFsj.jpg

In order to broadly trace what had happened since the end of December, weekly reports [ie game saves] were sifted through to get the broad thrust of the successful Allied campaign. By 8 January, the new French landings south of Hanoi had taken that city and the French were fanning out west and south, while the British marines attacked their Japanese counterparts north-east of Hanoi. In the south, Allied forces had begun to push forward all across the front against the main centre of Japanese resistance, whose western inland flank was now wide open.

oLn9xJ.jpg

And the reason for the recent lack of Allied troops and action in Malaya was now apparent. France and the UK were taking advantage of their pre-existing military access arrangements with Siam to funnel three Royal Marine divisions by rail all the way up to reinforce the Indo-China front.

ekhgvL.jpg

By 17 January the Japanese position in Indo-China had been cut in two. In the north, their remaining divisions were being pushed inland, with no apparent escape route. In the south, the Allies were closing in, starting to bottle up the main Japanese force against the coast. All Japanese resistance in the north appeared to have ended by 24 January, while the Allied noose tightened in the south as the reinforcements travelling via Siam neared.

0ZbXDX.jpg

As January ended, the Allies were mopping up in the north.

16rUkX.jpg

And in the south, the few remaining Japanese formations left were being pressed back towards their last port of Quang Ngai. It was unknown whether they had evacuated any of the divisions there or they had been destroyed in combat. With the combined strength of the Allied forces now deployed in Indo-China, resistance would not last much longer. The big question was what the Allies might do next with this large army once their immediate objectives had been secured.

HF0Fwd.jpg


******

There had again been no territorial movement in the Central Pacific, but things were also turning worse for the Japanese in Australia, though not yet as dramatically as Indo-China.

In Australia, the Allied offensive in the north continued towards, while the Japanese had also been pushed back again in the south. Brisbane had been retaken, though the exchange of ground balanced out in the south along the Murray River, which constituted the border between Victoria (to the south) and New South Wales. But without the apparent means to resist the Allied drive from the north and at the end of a long and precarious supply line by sea, the Japanese position here also seemed doomed.

cB01v9.jpg


******

DBFzfN.jpg

Stalin reading the monthly summary reports for January 1945 – he was now well-enough pleased with progress on all fronts (including production, research and espionage). Though the military police in Finland might be looking over their shoulders at the moment following the widespread revolt there and the embarrassing seizure of Soviet border provinces by Finnish partisans …
 

Wraith11B

Call Kenny Loggins, you're in the DANGER ZONE...
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The House of Cards of Indochina simply imploded! Hopefully once Indochina is secured, focus can be sent towards Australia to keep their nation amongst the free and brave!

I'm guessing because the Finns are in the Axis that is the reason they're painting those portions of the map as "Japanese"?
 

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The House of Cards of Indochina simply imploded! Hopefully once Indochina is secured, focus can be sent towards Australia to keep their nation amongst the free and brave!

I'm guessing because the Finns are in the Axis that is the reason they're painting those portions of the map as "Japanese"?
Yes, those landings in the north of Indo-China proved a French masterstroke. Same with the few divisions the Allies landed in Queensland which now seem to be sweeping south unopposed.

And yes, because Finland is a GiE and Japan is now the Axis leader I assume that’s why they are flagged that way. :confused:
 

Specialist290

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General Winter remains Russia's mightiest ally :)

Given that the end is now in sight on the Persian front, what's the next step for the divisions deployed there? I'm assuming you'll be keeping some on anti-partisan garrison duty (to prevent another embarrassment like what just happened in Finland) while the bulk are transferred east to shore up the front there?

Also still looking forward to the day when that errant bit of Mongolia is finally reunited with the rest.
 

stnylan

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Hopefully Indochina is the first domino to fall that will set the pace elsewhere

I like to imagine there is some pretty fierce low-level and improvised littoral combat going on across Lake Baikal
 

TheButterflyComposer

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France continues to be excellent at modern war.
 

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The French strategy of bribing British troops with good food to have a unified command made the breakthrough in Indo-China inevitable ... and the landing in the north made supply a none-issue.
 

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The freezing weather in the northern part of the Eastern Front is great (not for those dying of frostbite) as it pins the units mostly in place, while fighting continues in the South. As the Soviet Union now seems to have the upper hand there, these circumstances should lead to an encirclement of most, if not all, of the enemy troops to the north. Rushing to get to the Pacific before the weather heats up too much in the north should be within the capabilities of the AI... Though one can never be sure, of course.

Persia is all but in the bag. They won't last another week, let alone another month.

A new front was opened, afterwards referred to as the Second Winter War
First time? Welcome to the club.
That's a rather grand name for counter-insurgency operations against some foreign agitators, and some enemies of the revolution. (By that count 'Odin's Soviet Union is on it's 4th Winter War...) I would also like to note that this uprising was clearly instigated by Japanese agents, as control of any non-Finnish territory taken by the rebels was immediately handed to Japan.

The big news of the month on the production front was the completion of the Soviet rocket test facility in Lyubertsy, just south of Moscow, on 8 January.
Great news! Having a rocket testing facility is really the sign of a great power by 1945. I mean, the Americans have Swallow Island, and the Germans have several by this point. Both the French and the British are planning them or have started construction. In this timeline, France should probably be building one already. (Historically they started Rocket tests in 1947 in Algeria, so a France that did better in the war should be well-positioned to beat that by a year, or two.)
Any particular reason why the Rocket test site was built there and not elsewhere? From what I found the first rocket test site in the Soviet Union was Kaputsin Yar (Became operational in May 1946), to the East of Stalingrad. Small test sites for rocket artillery and the like were present in the Moscow and Leningrad areas though. Maybe I missed something.

The French strategy of bribing British troops with good food to have a unified command made the breakthrough in Indo-China inevitable ...
And thus, Malaysia was lost again, because the food in Indochina was simply better, not to mention the wine.

Australia is going well, the Japs will never reach Melbourne before the Allies reach Sydney, and they will be cut off from supplies and doomed to seppuku, or surrender.

The Japanese Empire is slowly imploding now, Let's hope the Soviet Union will be able to deal the final blow and dictate the eventual terms of the peace. I'm sure those nukes will come in handy for that. Might I suggest a double strike on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that should do the trick, and make you look like the pre-eminent superpower in the world.
 

diskoerekto

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That was a lot of backbreaking for Japan. Harsh winter + death from skies in Siberia, jungle lightning warfare in Indochina, good old asskicking in Australia...

After Rocket Engine comes Theoretical Jet Engine and after that practical jet engines for all aircrafts! So exciting :)
 

Nikolai

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Finland is being a thorn in the side, I see. Go figure, after all the upheaval those wars have wrought before. Steely guys, those Finnish.
 

Bullfilter

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About to sit down to play the next month of Q&D2, so here is some feedback for recent comments:
General Winter remains Russia's mightiest ally :)

Given that the end is now in sight on the Persian front, what's the next step for the divisions deployed there? I'm assuming you'll be keeping some on anti-partisan garrison duty (to prevent another embarrassment like what just happened in Finland) while the bulk are transferred east to shore up the front there?

Also still looking forward to the day when that errant bit of Mongolia is finally reunited with the rest.
Not sure re the Persian front troops. I think many will need to stay as garrison, perhaps a corps of second tier units for the border with India, just in case ... For the rest, I may switch a few more over to the Far East.

And yes - make Mongolia One Again! :D

Hopefully Indochina is the first domino to fall that will set the pace elsewhere

I like to imagine there is some pretty fierce low-level and improvised littoral combat going on across Lake Baikal
Haha, nice allusion to Indo-China and falling dominoes! :) I think there was earlier, when 1st Army was all attack ... now, I think they're all just huddling in their frosty trenches, waiting for the winter to pass. :rolleyes:

France continues to be excellent at modern war.
Given the terrain, that was a pretty good joint and combined take-down by an AI, wasn't it?

The French strategy of bribing British troops with good food to have a unified command made the breakthrough in Indo-China inevitable ... and the landing in the north made supply a none-issue.
I think you may have hit the mark there. A few US units as well, being educated what real bread tastes like too! :)

The freezing weather in the northern part of the Eastern Front is great (not for those dying of frostbite) as it pins the units mostly in place, while fighting continues in the South. As the Soviet Union now seems to have the upper hand there, these circumstances should lead to an encirclement of most, if not all, of the enemy troops to the north. Rushing to get to the Pacific before the weather heats up too much in the north should be within the capabilities of the AI... Though one can never be sure, of course.
This is definitely the operational planning. Whether the AI army commanders will be able to execute it is, of course, another matter. 1st Army was meant to be attacking near Lake Baikal mainly to divert and distract the Japanese from 15th Army's strike east. Maybe they will emerge from hibernation soon and play their part.
Persia is all but in the bag. They won't last another week, let alone another month.
That at least has been a success.
First time? Welcome to the club.
That's a rather grand name for counter-insurgency operations against some foreign agitators, and some enemies of the revolution. (By that count 'Odin's Soviet Union is on it's 4th Winter War...) I would also like to note that this uprising was clearly instigated by Japanese agents, as control of any non-Finnish territory taken by the rebels was immediately handed to Japan.
An unofficial title at the time, and only used by revisionists and imperialist historians outside the Soviet Union. They are of course simply counter-revolutionary bandits with no legitimate cause to fight for. ;)
Great news! Having a rocket testing facility is really the sign of a great power by 1945. I mean, the Americans have Swallow Island, and the Germans have several by this point. Both the French and the British are planning them or have started construction. In this timeline, France should probably be building one already. (Historically they started Rocket tests in 1947 in Algeria, so a France that did better in the war should be well-positioned to beat that by a year, or two.)
Any particular reason why the Rocket test site was built there and not elsewhere? From what I found the first rocket test site in the Soviet Union was Kaputsin Yar (Became operational in May 1946), to the East of Stalingrad. Small test sites for rocket artillery and the like were present in the Moscow and Leningrad areas though. Maybe I missed something.
Yes, very pleased with the new facility. The location is definitely a gamey one, with no intention to reference any historical location. Basically, on general principles, provinces next to the capital will be the last to fall in the event of any invasion and are safe from foreign nibbles at remote locations in the hinterland. In RL, you naturally wouldn't put one so near a major population centre (for both practical and secrecy reasons).
And thus, Malaysia was lost again, because the food in Indochina was simply better, not to mention the wine.

Australia is going well, the Japs will never reach Melbourne before the Allies reach Sydney, and they will be cut off from supplies and doomed to seppuku, or surrender.

The Japanese Empire is slowly imploding now, Let's hope the Soviet Union will be able to deal the final blow and dictate the eventual terms of the peace. I'm sure those nukes will come in handy for that. Might I suggest a double strike on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that should do the trick, and make you look like the pre-eminent superpower in the world.
I think they will soon send some troops back to finish Malaya off, but with the AI you can't be sure. Nice to see Australia being liberated. :) Japan will of course take longer - there is so much to regain before we can then embark on the devastation of their home islands. Some R-1s and nukes might eventually help there. Not to mention some revenge on those German swine who simply crossed over to the Allies without any proper de-Nazification process. :mad: We'll eventually show them what a Dictatorship of the Proletariat looks like! Fascist fellow-travellers beware!

That was a lot of backbreaking for Japan. Harsh winter + death from skies in Siberia, jungle lightning warfare in Indochina, good old asskicking in Australia...

After Rocket Engine comes Theoretical Jet Engine and after that practical jet engines for all aircrafts! So exciting :)
We may not have taken a lot of ground that month in the north with everything in deep freeze, but certainly gave them an aerial pummelling and they are starting to collapse elsewhere, it seems.

Yes, I'm enjoying that tech side of this game - not an area I've dabbled in much in the past when playing HOI3. General question: is the introduction of jet engines usually a net positive in the game mechanics? Any costs (other than the usual upgrades) or drawbacks of going jet-powered I should be aware of?

Finland is being a thorn in the side, I see. Go figure, after all the upheaval those wars have wrought before. Steely guys, those Finnish.
Gameplay aside, I rather admired and respected the size and strength of that uprising. Ultimately doomed, of course, but a pretty good distraction.
 

nuclearslurpee

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In RL, you naturally wouldn't put one so near a major population centre (for both practical and secrecy reasons).
Coughs in Chicago Pile 1. :p

Of course, also IRL the scientists broadly knew what would and would not actually blow up. Making a bomb, it turns out, is the easy part. The hard part, which occupied the bulk of Manhattan Project facilities and funding up until actual testing began, is refining the fissile material to actually put into the thing. That stage of the procedure is, while certainly not safe by any means, not terribly risky as far as causing explosions, which is probably why the early reactors were built in such incongruous places as the dangers of radioactivity were not yet well-known.

Truth is though, most facilities were still built a good distance out in the middles of nowheres, for secrecy reasons of course, but also because simply a lot of land was needed to build these facilities and the middle of nowhere had a lot of land up for grabs.

General question: is the introduction of jet engines usually a net positive in the game mechanics? Any costs (other than the usual upgrades) or drawbacks of going jet-powered I should be aware of?
My experience is mostly from HPP, but in general jet engines consume a lot of fuel and have shorter range than the prop engines, but the aircraft are much faster (great for intercepting enemy bombers, for sure!) and at least the HPP fighter variants seem to perform better in combat, though this last part I'm not certain how applies to vanilla if at all as the combat stats are most likely to have been tweaked a few dozen times. The bombers seem to be generally crap though.

Anecdotally, I remember one Germany AAR where the authAAR kept cranking up the difficulty until he finally lost, and his jet aircraft absolutely shredded the Allied prop planes even on Very Hard, up until the very end when the Allies finally deployed their own jet fighters in Europe.
 

Specialist290

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Anecdotally, I remember one Germany AAR where the authAAR kept cranking up the difficulty until he finally lost, and his jet aircraft absolutely shredded the Allied prop planes even on Very Hard, up until the very end when the Allies finally deployed their own jet fighters in Europe.

I can't speak to HoI3 specifically, but this matches my own experience with Darkest Hour (which uses HoI2: Armageddon as its base) -- jets are oil guzzlers, but will pretty much outmatch any props they encounter unless absolutely swamped.
 

serutan

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Truth is though, most facilities were still built a good distance out in the middles of nowheres, for secrecy reasons of course, but also because simply a lot of land was needed to build these facilities and the middle of nowhere had a lot of land up for grabs.

Oak Ridge came into being because the residents of 5 hamlets on the Clinch River were ruthlessly evicted. Los Alamos due to a boy's school being ruthlessly evicted (I've seen a copy of that eviction letter). I don't doubt there were ruthless evictions involved with Hanford as well.
 

diskoerekto

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Yes, I'm enjoying that tech side of this game - not an area I've dabbled in much in the past when playing HOI3. General question: is the introduction of jet engines usually a net positive in the game mechanics? Any costs (other than the usual upgrades) or drawbacks of going jet-powered I should be aware of?
Aircraft speed is one of the most decisive stats when it comes to aerial combat (I think even moreso than air attack) and jet engine increases speed greatly (each level twice of a regular engine upgrade) so that's definitely a net positive, and for some reason the bonuses from jet engines and normal engines stack so if you search for a certain year's both jet and normal engine you get 3 times the speed increase you'd get from only researching the normal aero engine.

The drawback is, it has the same range reduction of a normal aero engine upgrade so one has to keep the fuel tank upgrades current.
 

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I'm happy to see that the researchers are working hard on getting the air force up to standard. I know we are looking into the distant future here but what sort of fleets to you plan to field when the time comes to liberate workers far overseas? They are yearning to have their chains removed and enjoy all the benefits of the immortal science of Marxist- Lenninism.
 

Bullfilter

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I'm happy to see that the researchers are working hard on getting the air force up to standard. I know we are looking into the distant future here but what sort of fleets to you plan to field when the time comes to liberate workers far overseas? They are yearning to have their chains removed and enjoy all the benefits of the immortal science of Marxist- Lenninism.
At the moment, I’m sceptical about the feasibility (research and production) of ever developing a worthwhile conventional fleet that could compete with the British, French (still intact and probably growing by now) and US fleets in numbers or quality. As at now, I’m developing landing craft for use against Japan. They might be of use for a future smaller op against the Allies, I suppose, but would probably be too vulnerable for much and would need to be very carefully used.

To protect them now, the antiquated extant surface fleet will have to do its best, hoping that by then, the Allies may have accounted for most of it. It will be supported by an expanded NAV fleet (so short range projection only), which at the moment is very small (two wings) and not very advanced. You will see more on that angle in the upcoming episode. Again, NAV with some good fighter support could be of some use against the Allies later if it comes to it. At least they can’t sink them!

I’m also thinking of building up sub tech and capacity. Much as the Germans tried in WW1 and 2, to try and disrupt allied shipping mainly in the Atlantic. Not sure yet if it would be worth the effort.

would welcome any thoughts about other options ... but the strategic choice and investment in TTL is on rockets, nukes and STRAT. Remembering this USSR starts in a far weaker position that in OTL, strategically and materially. My main operational advantage is that the others are AI commanded. ;) But then again, I’ve largely evened that up by using AI command at Army or Army Group level, including for air as well.
 

Cromwell

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Oh you wouldn't want my that thoughts on new stratagems. :p I'm orders of magnitude less experienced with HOI 3 than with either 2 or 4. I'm just along for the ride I'm afraid.
 

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Oh you wouldn't want my that thoughts on new stratagems. :p I'm orders of magnitude less experienced with HOI 3 than with either 2 or 4. I'm just along for the ride I'm afraid.
No worries! Though it’s lovely to have people comment whatever the game experience, please feel very welcome to continue doing so on any aspect. :)

The hive mind out there is bound to have some ideas about this aspect, which I thank you for raising.