• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Cromwell

Major
46 Badges
Jan 13, 2017
582
508
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Shadowrun: Dragonfall
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Prison Architect
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Victoria 2
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Darkest Hour
Oh don't worry I'm not going anywhere. I enjoy a good Soviet AAR in any version of the game. I'll be following and hopefully commenting.:p
 

nuclearslurpee

Radioactive Frozen Beverage
27 Badges
Jan 17, 2017
1.135
515
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Magicka
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Darkest Hour
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.
As I said...up for grabs...a twist on that phrase I'm sure our present AAR nation government is completely unfamiliar with, of course. :p

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.
The flip side here is, if you planned on defeating the Allies (as opposed to just, say, capturing all the VC provinces or something), you'd still need a navy. That being said, it would likely be sufficient do build a CV-based navy which would rely heavily on the relatively strong Russian air technology for its striking power, rather that the development from scratch of a BB fleet. You'd still need to pursue a DD or CL tech path to get some modern screens, but you could probably save on techs by only researching the AA, engines, maybe enough armor to stop them from being OHKO'd by passing CAGs. :rolleyes:
 

diskoerekto

ferocious native
32 Badges
Feb 17, 2005
1.886
488
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • 500k Club
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
The flip side here is, if you planned on defeating the Allies (as opposed to just, say, capturing all the VC provinces or something), you'd still need a navy. That being said, it would likely be sufficient do build a CV-based navy which would rely heavily on the relatively strong Russian air technology for its striking power, rather that the development from scratch of a BB fleet. You'd still need to pursue a DD or CL tech path to get some modern screens, but you could probably save on techs by only researching the AA, engines, maybe enough armor to stop them from being OHKO'd by passing CAGs. :rolleyes:
can't we just use alaska as a bridgehead and also support through the bering straits? that can be protected by NAVs alone

maybe we can start building a big airbase to the corner of the map and a new rail line connecting there to the transsiberian once we start pushing the japanese out of the way
 

Specialist290

Field Marshal
79 Badges
Feb 25, 2006
6.231
1.143
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris
  • Darkest Hour
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • BATTLETECH
  • Prison Architect
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Supreme Ruler 2020
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Rome Gold
  • King Arthur II
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • 500k Club
Oak Ridge came into being because the residents of 5 hamlets on the Clinch River were ruthlessly evicted.
On that note, incidentally, there's a local legend about a man named John Hendrix, the "Prophet of Oak Ridge," who supposedly foretold the coming of the Y-12 facility decades before it actually happened. He had a reputation as something of a mad mystic generally, but a lot of people took him seriously when one of his earlier prophecies ended up coming true. (He was put in the local "poor house," a sort of cross between a county-run farm for indigents and an asylum. He predicted that it would be destroyed in a storm, which happened a month later.)

Of course, this tale comes from a region of the country that has long held a fascination with ghost stories, tall tales, and stories of the uncanny -- every hill, valley, and building that's older than a hundred years has some kind of story to go along with it.
 

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
6.694
2.422
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
The flip side here is, if you planned on defeating the Allies (as opposed to just, say, capturing all the VC provinces or something), you'd still need a navy. That being said, it would likely be sufficient do build a CV-based navy which would rely heavily on the relatively strong Russian air technology for its striking power, rather that the development from scratch of a BB fleet. You'd still need to pursue a DD or CL tech path to get some modern screens, but you could probably save on techs by only researching the AA, engines, maybe enough armor to stop them from being OHKO'd by passing CAGs. :rolleyes:
Quite, but (unless I want this thing to run forever), I'll limit myself to trying to simply reverse the current Allied World Order. ;) I also have in mind (if things do drag on) setting a time limit of the date of Stalin's OTL death 95 march 1953), which would make almost exactly nine years from the start of this part in March 1944. Similar to the time you get in a 1936 Vanilla start (a little less than an OTL war end in August 1945, but then things have moved along further here in TTL).

can't we just use alaska as a bridgehead and also support through the bering straits? that can be protected by NAVs alone

maybe we can start building a big airbase to the corner of the map and a new rail line connecting there to the transsiberian once we start pushing the japanese out of the way
I like your thinking! But with the VCs, I don't need to physically attack the US - just keep them off my back (it'd be just my luck if they suddenly decided to do something in an Op Unthinkable war!).

Maybe you can bury the allied fleet under a huge stack of Navs.
That's one of my current working options, anyway.

New ep written and illustrated, will be published when I can get to it. Thanks for all the comments and support. :)
 

diskoerekto

ferocious native
32 Badges
Feb 17, 2005
1.886
488
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • 500k Club
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
I like your thinking! But with the VCs, I don't need to physically attack the US - just keep them off my back (it'd be just my luck if they suddenly decided to do something in an Op Unthinkable war!).
I just fired the game to see what's the distance between 2 sides of the Bering Strait, but Paradox seems to have dropped the ball there, it's thousands of miles! Dragging a South American country to Comintern and pushing through the Darien Gap, mesoamerica and Mexico seems easier than to build a fleet to defeat USA in Pacific though.

On the other hand, if there's no need to invade the Americas, we really don't need any fleet. Now I understand the logic of the naval strategy in the first place. Hurt some convoys, prevent landings, and hurt the occasional surface fleet with subs and NAVs, and ignore the rest of the altogether.
 
Chapter 12 – February 1945

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
6.694
2.422
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Chapter 12 – February 1945

AuthAAR’s Notes: It is still deep winter in the Far East, which continues to have a noticeable effect on the battlefield, as became even clearer at February 1945 progressed.

******

1. Far East – Northern Sector

The month began with the carry-over Japanese attack on Ust Aldan, that had begun on 14 January … and it was still going as February ended! Unresolved and with little change on the ground.

A new Japanese attack was launched on 145 Gar Div in neighbouring Susuman to its east on 1 February, in this case by three enemy divisions from three different provinces. And it was also still going by the end of the month as well. As with Ust Aldan, the weather made any attacking almost impossible [-97.2% just for that alone]. All three were also attacking across a river, though the Japanese marines involved had an easier time of that. [Attack percentages ranged from 0.8% at night for the lowest, to about 3% for the marines during the day].

The Soviet Air Force did keep hitting Tomtor (from where Ust Aldan was being attacked) periodically between 18 and 28 February, killing 1,890 enemy soldiers over that time.


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

******

2. Far East – Central Sector

There were five distinct phases to operations in the Central Sector during February. Things started with a (traditional post-reload) flurry, with a Japanese attack on Dronovskiy at 0100 hr on 1 February – by one division against five, all dug in and well organised. The predictable end came 14 hours later, the Soviets losing 42 men against a staggering 1,277 Japanese casualties. It was the first of a growing list of examples indicating the weather was abominable for any but the most overwhelming attack. As the month wore on, the judgement of Soviet front-line generals (including the much-maligned 1st Army commander General Egorov) became increasingly respected.

A Soviet probe of Mogoca was one of the very few attacking successes from either side in the Far East that month. It started and ended at the same time as the Japanese attack on Dronvoskiy, against already fleeing Japanese defenders. A few air raids added to the enemy’s misery.

That night, the Soviets attacked Torgo (again with air support) at 2300 hr, but broke it off just an hour later, finding their casualties mounting at more than double the rate of the defenders' (16 to 7 – good judgement breaking it off so early, unlike the foolhardy Japanese attack on Dronovskiy the day before). Again, this was an attribute the Soviets demonstrated as the month wore on. Probes were made, but stopped quickly if the conditions proved untenable.

Neither side made any more forays for a week, marking a quiet second phase in the Central Sector.

The third phase featured a series of short Soviet probes on Petropavlovsk Kamchatskiy (9 Feb), Mogoca (which the Japanese had put fresh troops into on 10 Feb) and Petropavlovsk Kamchatskiy again (11 Feb), but all were halted quickly after it became clear they would be fruitless. The accompanying Soviet air strikes caused far more casualties than the ground fighting did. The Japanese began another ill-advised attack on Dronovskiy during the same period, from 1000 hr on 10 Feb to 1800 hr the next day: all their persistence did was cause them grave casualties, losing over a thousand men again for just 188 Soviet casualties. The Soviet commanders were proving to be better judges of the conditions.

There was another lull until 24 February, with the fifth phase lasting until the end of the month and proving the busiest on the ground and in the air. The Soviets began at 1600 hr with a heavy (four divisions against two) and well-executed masterful blitz on the Japanese defenders of Njuja, which seemed to be making good [82%] progress, especially as the Japanese were having supply problems.

But the Japanese put a heavy [three divisions, 46% initial progress] spoiling attack in on Artemovskij three hours later. The Njuja attack was called off by 2100 hr – a pity, as by that point only five Soviet casualties had been suffered in killing 39 of the enemy and it would almost certainly have succeeded if allowed to continue unimpeded. In the end though, it was another smart call by the local Soviet commander. The Japanese attack persisted well after the Njuja probe was halted, meaning the Soviets could concentrate on defending against it.

While that battle continued, the Japanese probed Kedrovvy early on 25 February and in just two hours lost 218 men for just eight Soviet defenders killed.

Of interest, the Japanese made two air raids on Artemovskiy early on 25 February. The first was only caught by Japanese interceptors as it was ended, though it turned out later they had managed to inflict some heavy damage on the Japanese bombers and escorts (not apparent until they reappeared for the next raid). The first raid killed 132 Soviet troops. The second was intercepted by the fighters again, but also ran into another Soviet group returning from a bombing mission of their own. No damage was done on the ground this time and the Japanese were badly mauled. They were not seen again. [Interestingly, the pop-up message said they were executing a ‘no order’ mission! Perhaps it was cancelled in mid-air as soon as the casualties mounted?]


The Soviets tried their hand at Njuja again on 26 February, this time with heavy air support. The attack started at 1000 hr and didn’t finish until 0000 hr on 28 February: the battle was lost, but casualties were relatively light and not too disproportionate. A great many more enemy soldiers were killed from the air raids.

The Japanese attack on Artemovskij – the largest and by far the bloodiest of the month across the entire Far Eastern Front – ended at 1800 hr on 27 February in a costly defeat for the enemy. Over 1,000 Soviet soldiers died, but well over three times as many Japanese troops perished.

But the Soviet commanders still tried here and there. An attack began on Olekminsk from Artemovskij at 1900 hr on 27 February [47% initial progress]. It was still going by the end of the month, despite another Japanese spoiling attack, which went for five hours from 2200 hr. The Japanese again suffered comparatively huge casualties (nine Soviet to 362 enemy).

A short Soviet probe on Torgo by 220 Mot Div from Kedrovvy early on 28 February lasted just two hours before it was halted. And for good reason, with 35 attackers killed for just one enemy soldier.

A telling statistic on the comparable battle management of both sides (both entirely under AI control) during this period was that the Soviets lost 1,625 men killed to ground combat in the Central Sector compared to 6,689 Japanese casualties (not including air strikes). It was the clinching argument that convinced STAVKA that conditions in the Far East were generally not yet suitable for large scale offensive operations. So they would trust their local commanders – and not sack Commander 1st Army.


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

******

3. Far East – Southern Sector

The south was mildly active during the month, but at a far lower level of intensity than the in centre. Some of the fighting was being done by the Mongolians too, for which detailed reports were generally not received.

The only set-piece battle the Soviets were involved in directly was their defence of Dzhirgalanta, which they were trying to hold after retaking it the month before. The current Japanese attack had begun on 29 January and the two provinces the enemy were attacking from were pounded consistently from the air, especially Khadasan.

As the month began, efforts were still being made to prod 1st Army into action on the north of Lake Baikal. The first ploy at 0000 hr on 1 February was to direct them just to hit Burjatija as their single objective. It did not work.

That day, as the Soviets conducted an air raid on Tsetserlig, Japanese interceptors tried to halt their attack. They were harshly dealt with by Soviet interceptors and escort fighters and the raid went ahead, though ground damage may have been lighter than it would have been otherwise. The enemy fliers did not try this again for the rest of the month, leaving the Soviets with air supremacy.


On 2 February, it was noted the enemy were having supply problems in their attack on Dzhirgalanta, but they assaulted recklessly nonetheless. That night, 1st Army was switched from HQ 2nd FE Front back to 1st FE Front and given new objectives to attack Burjatija and Bukacaca, so see if that would make any difference. It didn’t.


At 0600 hr on 3 February, 23rd Corps arrived near Irkutsk after its long train journey from the west. With its five infantry divisions (42,978 men), it was allocated to General Rybak’s 7th Army in the south, bringing that formation to 136,000 men.

On 5 January, as the fighting continued in Dzhirgalanta, 1st Army was now given a single objective again, this time in depth at Mildigan. That brought no action either.

By 0800 hr on 7 February, another enemy division had joined the attack on the hard-pressed 79 SD in Dzhirgalanta [54% progress], with a reinforcing Mongolian cavalry division (just two brigades) still on the road from Ider. The Soviets were imposing heavy casualties on the attackers on the ground and from the air, but the defence was growing thin and beginning to fail. At that point, fearing it would be lost, it was added to 7th Army’s objectives list.


Defeat came in Dzhirgalanta a day later, at 0900 hr on 8 February. Losses were heavy on both sides, with the Japanese losing almost twice as many as the Soviets on the ground and even more during air attacks. But the field was theirs: 79 SD had done all that could fairly be expected of it.

Given its continued inaction and recent fighting by 15th Army in the Central Sector, 9 February saw the retreating 79 SD (where it was a southern outlier, the rest of the divisions being to the north of Lake Baikal) transferred from 50th Corps, 1st Army to 4th Mech Corp, 7th Army. The rest of 50th Corps was cut across to 15th Army, to see if they could make better use of the almost 27,000 troops.


The Southern Sector remained quiet – for the Soviets, anyway – for the rest of the month. However, a report from the Mongolian 1st Army HQ advised that by late 27 February, they were marching to reoccupy Dzhirgalanta after (apparently) defeating the Japanese trying to hold it after their own attack. The Soviet 170 SD was also approaching from Muren.


The month finished with some unoccupied provinces retaken by the Mongolians in the south and Dzirgalanta lost, but looking likely to be regained. The Japanese seemed to be having supply problems and the Soviet Air Force ranged freely, though not widely, during February.


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

******

4. Persia

The objective reset for HQ Western Front was once again conducted [no idea why they keep being removed after every re-load]. The last opposed Soviet attack of the campaign began on Khash, east of Bandar e Abbas, at 0100 hr on 1 February. At the same time, 5 SD began advancing on the latter, but there was no defence (only the fleeing Persian Theatre HQ).

Interestingly, after all this time and with their nation about to surrender, a lone Persian CAS wing based in Bandar e Abbas raided a Soviet division in Sirjan at 0200 hr that day – though no casualties were recorded.

Victory came in Khash at 1700 hr on 2 February after a sharp fight. There would be no more after that, with 5 SD due to pull into Bandar e Abbas at 1700 hr on 11 February. Their arrival was finally enough to force the Shah to negotiate a surrender, which came into force at midnight.

Persia became a puppet state and joined the Comintern on 12 February. They were soon given suggested defensive objectives to guard the oilfields of Ahvaz in the west, and along the border with Pakistan, which was now part of the Allied United Nations (having been granted independence at the end of the War in Europe in March 1944 in the French-led decolonisation program).


1st Corps (two infantry divisions) was detached from the Western Front’s 19th Army and put on trains to the Far East, where they would probably join either 6th Army in the north or 7th Army in the south. The rest of the Caucasus Theatre's troops remained under the general command of that through Western Front HQ and would resume their regional garrison duties – along a now far longer front, much of it bordering on Allied countries.

On 21 February, the new Persian Government announced it was mobilising – hopefully to slowly augment the few remaining forces they had left after their defeat.

******

5. Finland

On 1 February the Finnish revolt remained in full swing, with embarrassing incursions into the formerly Finnish and now Soviet border provinces in Karelia and north-west of Lake Ladoga. But the Red Army was mobilising massive forces to counter the threat and had already begun attacking partisan positions in the west. When they did so, their superiority in numbers and equipment ensured tactical supremacy, with few Soviet casualties taken even in the longer land battles against partisan brigades.

In the western sector, successful Soviet probes and attacks were launched on Pieksämäki (4 Feb) and Mikkeli (7-9 Feb), while a bold but doomed Finnish attack on Kuopio (6 Feb) was beaten back with heavy partisan casualties.

But in the south and east, where Soviet forces had not yet appeared in strength, partisans made another break, capturing the old Mannerheim Line fortifications of Käkisalmi on 4 February (in Japan’s name, as the head of the Axis snake). A quick attack there on 9 February by 317 SD sent the Finns retreating back north to Hiitola – but a Soviet division was already heading there to try to cut them off.


11 February brought the first ground attack missions during the Finnish rebellion, with two CAS wings operating out of Leningrad striking the partisans holed up in Käkisalmi. Successful Soviet attacks on Heinävesi (13-15 Feb) and Värtsilä (15-16 Feb) continued to compress the uprising from both west and east.

Not only had many divisions been diverted from the Swedish and Norwegian borders to deal with the uprising. In something of an over-reaction, by 15 February the whole East Prussian border with Germany had been denuded, of divisions with an exodus north of many more troops than were required.


Next, the Finns retreating from Käkisalmi were beaten to Hiitola on 17 February, cutting off their escape. They were attacked again, but the battle was quickly over. It is unclear what became of the captured partisans, but it was unlikely to be pleasant. Many of the recently arrived divisions from the south were already heading back, once it was realised a sledgehammer had been brought to crack a nut.


The final phase of the counter-insurgency campaign progressed, with the Finns in Rautjärvi being dislodged without any Soviet casualties after an eleven-hour battle finishing at 2100 hr on 17 February. This was followed up on 21 February with the Finns pushed out of Juva, again without Soviet loss.

There were no more battles or skirmishes for the remainder of the month, by which time all remaining Finnish partisan units were in full retreated as the uprising was squeezed shut and the units guarding the German border started to return to their old positions. It should all be over soon.


Operational summary, Finland, February 1945.

******

6. Naval Operations

The carrier attack on a Soviet submarine squadron operating east of Tokyo in January proved to be a harbinger of more serious developments. The cosy habits of previous months were rudely upset when the three flotillas of the 10th Sub Sqn reported they were under attack in the Kashima Sea by four wings of carrier-born aircraft on the night of 1 February. After three hours of this, the 7th Flotilla had been sunk and the other two completely disorganised.


The survivors had been ordered to break contact and head back to base by 2300 hr [by then down to 80% and 91% strength and no organisation]. But before they could get away, destroyers from the Japanese task group, which contained the carriers Akagi and Kaga [and have survived all this time to still be going in February 1945 – USN where are you!?] took up the attack at midnight. It was all over by 0300 hr, with 3 and 4 Flotillas completely destroyed.


All remaining squadrons on patrol (six flotillas in three squadrons, with one flotilla already back there under repair) were recalled to base: no Japanese convoy sinking was worth this level of risk.

******

7. Intelligence

By 7 February, Soviet spy reserves had reached 20 teams. It was decided to launch a new national mission: Stalin wanted to know where US research was, especially in nuclear bomb development. All ten teams were in place by 0000 hr on 8 February – and in a worrying start, two of them were apprehended straight away. Not by US counter-intelligence (ie the FBI), but by agents from Egypt and Iraq! This was a trend that would continue from that point onwards.


What was learned was that the FBI had six teams operating, but clearly a large number of Allied agents were helping them. Importantly, it seemed US nuclear bomb making tech was ‘weak’, as was jet engine theory, though the latter was under research. But not nuclear theory or bomb-making, it seemed. Their military production was heavily focused on land units, including mechanised, armoured and paratroop divisions.

Unfortunately, Soviet spies were being caught on a daily basis. Two on 9 February (the US itself and Israel), two more on the 10th (Australia and Canada), and another on 11 February (Jordan). During this time an FBI team was neutralised (10 Feb) [but it was impossible to tell from the information provided how many of the many Allied spies captured during this time were in the USSR or helping out in the US.]

On 10 February, Japanese domestic intelligence stood at zero teams and Manchuria one, so the Japan mission allocation went to one-third counter-espionage and two-thirds unity disruption (a reversal of the previous proportions), while Manchuria went to the same balance (previously 100% counter-espionage). Leadership for espionage was increased from 1.1 to 1.5 to try to cope with the high rate of losses in the US. An indicative sample [quick tag over to a few countries, as I was curious] extracted from the captured FBI agent showed that the number of Allied operatives assisting in the US was enormous. All seemed to be devoting one-third to supporting the ruling party, the other two-thirds to counter-espionage (eg neutralising enemy agents):
  • The UK had five teams in the US, maintaining a total of 23 active spies abroad.
  • Canada had seven in the US, with a massive 78 abroad.
  • Australia had six, from 67 spies serving abroad.
It was clear from this that the Soviet Union would have a very hard time making any progress in the US. On 11 February, with the strength in the US already down to only five, the Soviets suspended active operations to allow the total to rebuild back up to ten (there were still nine teams in reserve at that point).

This was achieved by 12 February, when full counter-espionage operations were resumed. But one team was captured on 13 Feb (France) and two on 14 Feb (US and Palestine). Leadership was then bumped up to 2.0 on spy training, with the reserve down to just one. By 16 February, though there had been no more losses over the last two days, the FBI was back up to seven agents and it was clear that the effort in the US was no longer worth the extreme attrition rate. No more replacements would be sent and the remaining agents were sent to see if they could discover any technical secrets before they were all captured.


By the end of the month, there was only one active Soviet agent left in the US: the rest had been captured by a mix of foreign Allied agents from Guyana (18 Feb); India (19 Feb), Palestine and Indo-China (22 Feb), Pakistan (25 Feb), France and Israel (26 Feb), Egypt (27 Feb) and Canada (28 Feb). It meant that of the 20 agents committed to the US in February, 19 had been neutralised. Just the one FBI man had been taken down, and likely an unknown number of foreign agents operating in the US. It had proven an expensive exercise, but at last Stalin now had some comfort that US nuclear research may not be too far advanced after all.

In Japan, the Kempeitai had started the month with no team, losing none and adding one during the month with one Soviet agent lost. With an increase from one third to two thirds of agents undermining national unity on 10 February, it had decreased marginally from 68.4 to 67.7%. It was unclear whether some of that may have been caused by the Allies sinking Japanese convoys.

Manchukuo started with one agent, added none and lost one during the month, finishing with zero, with one Soviet spy neutralised. After unity disruption resumed, Manchurian national unity had fallen from 69.4 to 69.1%.

The Soviets had lost a massive 21 teams in total for the month, adding seven, and therefore finishing with four in reserve. It would be some time before another new operation might be launched – and probably not against another major Allied power, if the US experience was any indication of how they were all helping each other.

Another 35 enemy agents were rounded up in the Soviet Union and overseas during the 28 day month.

******

8. Diplomacy

Sweden began aligning towards the Comintern again on 3 February, as did Tibet.

The next major diplomatic development did not occur until 28 February, when Siam joined the Allies. This suddenly improved their position in Malaya, as the Thais had a sizeable force deployed along the frontier there.

Molotov reviewed the diplomatic situation that night. The two crucial (ie Comintern victory condition) large neutral countries of Spain and Turkey remained in stasis, close to the Comintern but still under constant Allied influence, drifting slightly back to the Allies in net terms.


The review also reminded the Foreign Minister that Sinkiang, while a long-standing Comintern member, had never actually been called in to join the war against Japan! A check showed they had a sizeable army (two corps worth) they could throw into the fight. The call was made and a positive response was considered a foregone conclusion. They would be given some suggested objective in Mongolia if and when they joined the fight.


Neither Persia nor Romania would be called up: too few men, too far away, with their own borders to help defend.

******

9. Research

The Air Force improvement drive continued, with fighter ground crew training improving on 11 February and the effort there extended, as it was still primitive by world standards.


The same day ‘blitzkrieg’ (the term was not used in the Soviet military) doctrine went into its sixth iteration. The focus here was changed to submarine AA development, given the terrible recent experience at the hands of Japanese CAG wings.


On 16 February special forces doctrine was improved and the effort maintained there as well, as it lagged most other land research doctrine and such forces were becoming increasingly important.


Civil defence measures were developed to contemporary standards on 24 February, with the next focus going to the Air Force again: TAC and NAV bombers would be equipped with air search radar for the first time, improving their air detection and night attack capabilities.


And on 26 February, landing craft design was completed, meaning they could now be built. Basic invasion tactics were the next topic of interest: the less time spent exposed on landing craft the better, given the paucity of Soviet naval support available to protect them.



******

10. Production

The Mutina air base was built to level four on 5 February, the expansion rolling forward. A new mechanised division was deployed two days later, allocated to 4 Mech Corps (7th Army) in Kirensk, near Lake Baikal.

Two important new build were then decided on, using the IC freed up. At that point, there were only two wings of NAV in service. A third was ordered. And the remaining IC was allocated to starting a second nuclear reactor. It would start out at about one-third production speed, until more IC could be allocated to boost it.


On 13 February the Irkutsk air base reached level eight facilities, with level nine set it train immediately. Another new build – a new fighter wing – was delivered on 15 February: it was deployed in Kyiv. Where the old LaGG-3s would have to be upgraded to the current model fighters. The freed IC would go to boost work on the second reactor, which was now up to a 60% rate of effort.

A new para division (3 x PARA) deployed to Irkutsk on 23 February, to work up and go into the theatre reserve for now. Then, with the newly researched landing craft designs completed, the first Soviet landing craft squadron was begun on 26 February. This would slow down work on the second reactor somewhat, as it was elevated above it in the production queue.


The next day, welcome news came of an temporary economic boost. This would take average daily total output from around 390 to 400 IC while it lasted (for about a week only, though).


Another new fighter wing(LaGG-3s again) arrived in Kyiv on 27 February, joining the one recently delivered in upgrading to the latest model interceptor. The IC released (along with the temporary economic boost) had the second reactor building at 84% effort by the end of the month. The first one was due in early April, which would free up a massive amount of IC (and hopefully make construction of the second a little more efficient with the lessons learned).



******

11. Theatre Summaries

The Far Eastern Front, as we have seen, saw little territory change hands in February, all of it in the south.


Total recorded Soviet losses to land combat for battles on all fronts (including Finland and Persia) were up from January, at 2,661 in land combat and only 132 from the single completed Japanese air raid, giving total combat losses of 2,793.

The Axis lost 9,317 Axis soldiers killed on land on all fronts (not counting prisoners taken), and the toll from the air was 11,600, mainly in the Far East, around 600 fewer than in January. Total Axis casualties were therefore 20,917 in all theatres (again, not including prisoners).

******

With Persia now in the Comintern, the Soviets now had access to friendly Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean ports. Plus new Pact borders with Allied Iraq and Pakistan.



******

The Allies had surprisingly found themselves a little bogged down in Indo-China, with the Japanese still stubbornly holding out in the south and no movement elsewhere.


Two battles were currently in progress there, the crucial one being for Quang Ngai, the last port still in Japanese hands. What looked like it had been a long and stubborn Japanese defence appeared about to end, though they had made gains further south over the course of the month.


The entrance of Siam into the Allies earlier on 28 July gave them a very useful new partner with a reasonable and undamaged army. Much of it was poised on the border with Malaya and was now well-placed to eliminate the remaining Japanese occupation without the need for other Allied redeployment. The one Japanese division in the north was already under attack, while the Thai 4th Division was moving to cut the Japanese off further south at Sungei Petani.



******

In Australia, it looked like the Japanese he reoriented their forces to try to stop – and indeed reverse, if they could – the Allied advance in the north. They were currently counter-attacking towards Brisbane. But it looked like this will have now weakened their southern defence, allowing the Allied forces their to start driving north. It remained an interesting campaign, conducted with small forces over great distances.


Once more, there were no changes in the wider Pacific area.
 

stnylan

Compulsive CommentatAAR
122 Badges
Aug 1, 2002
36.928
3.234
  • 500k Club
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • March of the Eagles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis: Rome Collectors Edition
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For The Glory
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
In a word the Siberian front is a stalemate. But with the Soviets running the war of attrition handily hopefully - once better weather occurs - matters will proceed more favourably.
 

Wraith11B

Call Kenny Loggins, you're in the DANGER ZONE...
39 Badges
Dec 5, 2008
4.011
842
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Semper Fi
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Magicka
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
I always felt bothered that minor and puppet nations could basically afford to put in the effort into leadership to maintain so many agents. It would have been a great use for money to keep the number of agents up.
 

nuclearslurpee

Radioactive Frozen Beverage
27 Badges
Jan 17, 2017
1.135
515
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Magicka
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Victoria 2
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Darkest Hour
I just fired the game to see what's the distance between 2 sides of the Bering Strait, but Paradox seems to have dropped the ball there, it's thousands of miles!
To be fair to Paradox, there are a couple of factors at play there: First, the map projection while weird is generally going to be a problem just because modeling the far north/south is difficult if not impossible to do with accuracy, so it makes sense for the distances to be quite stretched; second, because I think the northern edge of the map cuts off a bit below where the actual landmasses which frame the Bering strait would be placed, so it may simply not be able to exist within the map itself anyways.

It was the first of a growing list of examples indicating the weather was abominable for any but the most overwhelming attack. As the month wore on, the judgement of Soviet front-line generals (including the much-maligned 1st Army commander General Egorov) became increasingly respected.
Quite good of Comrade Stalin to come to this realization before enacting another purge...

What was learned was that the FBI had six teams operating, but clearly a large number of Allied agents were helping them. Importantly, it seemed US nuclear bomb making tech was ‘weak’, as was jet engine theory, though the latter was under research. But not nuclear theory or bomb-making, it seemed.
Good new that we shouldn't have to worry too much about getting bombed in this timeline, except perhaps conventionally which I'm quite certain the Soviet people are used to by now anyways.

Their military production was heavily focused on land units, including mechanised, armoured and paratroop divisions.
This is less encouraging, as such strong divisions could pose a serious challenge if they are deployed to Europe. Thankfully, as the US is currently engaged chiefly against Japan, we can hope that most of those divisions find themselves wasting away on Pacific islands whilst the Red Army runs through Paris unchecked.

It was clear from this that the Soviet Union would have a very hard time making any progress in the US. On 11 February, with the strength in the US already down to only five, the Soviets suspended active operations to allow the total to rebuild back up to ten (there were still nine teams in reserve at that point).

This was achieved by 12 February, when full counter-espionage operations were resumed. But one team was captured on 13 Feb (France) and two on 14 Feb (US and Palestine). Leadership was then bumped up to 2.0 on spy training, with the reserve down to just one. By 16 February, though there had been no more losses over the last two days, the FBI was back up to seven agents and it was clear that the effort in the US was no longer worth the extreme attrition rate. No more replacements would be sent and the remaining agents were sent to see if they could discover any technical secrets before they were all captured.
J. Edgar Hoover must be mighty proud of himself, here.

The review also reminded the Foreign Minister that Sinkiang, while a long-standing Comintern member, had never actually been called in to join the war against Japan! A check showed they had a sizeable army (two corps worth) they could throw into the fight.
Truly Sinkiang has the potential in this game to be a major military player. And it only took them eight years or so to get there! :p

I always felt bothered that minor and puppet nations could basically afford to put in the effort into leadership to maintain so many agents. It would have been a great use for money to keep the number of agents up.
The espionage implementation in general is quite shallow and ham-fisted in HoI3, although that system is hardly unique in that regard. It really would have made more sense to allocate espionage in terms of funding/manpower and some sort of slider system, whereas the HoI3 system is very binary - either you invest into a country or you don't, and anything besides running a single mission at 3 bars is very sub-optimal and inefficient.

It strikes me as symptomatic of the larger flaw in the game, which is derived from a philosophical failing of the devs as they clearly wanted to force the player to make interesting choices (borrowing Sid Meier's famous turn of phrase), but took that to mean that every choice should be all-or-nothing rather than allowing the player to tweak their direction and preponderance of effort in a realistic manner. Another example is the support brigades system: whereas in OTL all military powers had to decide how to fill out divisional support formations based on a balance of combat needs, costs of production, supply logistics, etc. in HoI3 this is reduced to "choose ART or AT but you can't have both*, wow this game is so complex isn't it?"

*Yes, I know that many players choose to build 2xINF divisions to counter this. The fact that optimal gameplay is so blatantly ahistorical is exactly the problem here.

Anyways, enough ranting from me, let's have more glorious patriotic carnage in the field! :D
 

diskoerekto

ferocious native
32 Badges
Feb 17, 2005
1.886
488
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • 500k Club
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • Semper Fi
  • Rome Gold
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Persia became a puppet state and joined the Comintern on 12 February. They were soon given suggested defensive objectives to guard the oilfields of Ahvaz in the west, and along the border with Pakistan, which was now part of the Allied United Nations (having been granted independence at the end of the War in Europe in March 1944 in the French-led decolonisation program).
I hope the crazy CAS commander rises high in this new regime

A telling statistic on the comparable battle management of both sides (both entirely under AI control) during this period was that the Soviets lost 1,625 men killed to ground combat in the Central Sector compared to 6,689 Japanese casualties (not including air strikes). It was the clinching argument that convinced STAVKA that conditions in the Far East were generally not yet suitable for large scale offensive operations. So they would trust their local commanders – and not sack Commander 1st Army.
I've been wrong to advocate sending an agent with a Takarov after him.

The Soviets had lost a massive 21 teams in total for the month, adding seven, and therefore finishing with four in reserve. It would be some time before another new operation might be launched – and probably not against another major Allied power, if the US experience was any indication of how they were all helping each other.
Molotov reviewed the diplomatic situation that night. The two crucial (ie Comintern victory condition) large neutral countries of Spain and Turkey remained in stasis, close to the Comintern but still under constant Allied influence, drifting slightly back to the Allies in net terms.
Maybe the next intelligence target might be a country that has victory condition countries but with no chance of joining comintern (i.e. too far away in the diplomacy triangle?) so there's a coup or something?

And the remaining IC was allocated to starting a second nuclear reactor. It would start out at about one-third production speed, until more IC could be allocated to boost it.
I didn't know multiple reactors were useful! Does having more increases the production rate of nuclear warheads?

To be fair to Paradox, there are a couple of factors at play there: First, the map projection while weird is generally going to be a problem just because modeling the far north/south is difficult if not impossible to do with accuracy, so it makes sense for the distances to be quite stretched; second, because I think the northern edge of the map cuts off a bit below where the actual landmasses which frame the Bering strait would be placed, so it may simply not be able to exist within the map itself anyways.
They could've still manually edited to make the northernmost provinces closer to each other somehow.

The espionage implementation in general is quite shallow and ham-fisted in HoI3, although that system is hardly unique in that regard. It really would have made more sense to allocate espionage in terms of funding/manpower and some sort of slider system, whereas the HoI3 system is very binary - either you invest into a country or you don't, and anything besides running a single mission at 3 bars is very sub-optimal and inefficient.

It strikes me as symptomatic of the larger flaw in the game, which is derived from a philosophical failing of the devs as they clearly wanted to force the player to make interesting choices (borrowing Sid Meier's famous turn of phrase), but took that to mean that every choice should be all-or-nothing rather than allowing the player to tweak their direction and preponderance of effort in a realistic manner. Another example is the support brigades system: whereas in OTL all military powers had to decide how to fill out divisional support formations based on a balance of combat needs, costs of production, supply logistics, etc. in HoI3 this is reduced to "choose ART or AT but you can't have both*, wow this game is so complex isn't it?"
Very good debate here, actually. From a lot of angles I liked what they wanted to do with HoI3 and against all its shortcomings HoI3 is still the best one in the series. I wish its source was released open source and I had the time to redo the parts with flawed mentality like the things you mentioned.
 

Surt

Field Marshal
29 Badges
Jan 29, 2003
6.898
242
Visit site
  • Semper Fi
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • 500k Club
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Deus Vult
  • Crusader Kings II
You should split Finland off from the western Europe theatre so it doesn't take all forces from the Prussian border.
 

roverS3

General
20 Badges
May 24, 2013
1.804
718
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • For the Motherland
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
The Eastern front looks to be frozen in place, but with casualties and air combat heavily in favour of the USSR that's not much of a problem really.

STAVKA is really overreacting to the Finnish uprising, I just hope western intelligence doesn't hear about this.

Interesting, in TTL it's the Commie's who get to Iran first to install a puppet government and get that sweet black gold.

Soviet Fighter Ground Crew training is abysmal. It's definitely an area where improvement is necessary.

A single DD flotilla to screen two fleet carriers? Is the IJN low on escorts? That fleet is rather vulnerable to a modern fleet with a high average speed, even if it doesn't have a carrier of it's own.
It also looks like the IJN has much better sonar than OTL. Too bad you lost those submarines. I do hope they were obsolete pre-war vessels and not the latest and greatest the Soviet Union has to offer.

Indigenous landing craft designs are a great addition to the Soviet arsenal. I do hope they actually work as intended.

The Japs in Malaysia and Indochina are doomed now. Siam isn't likely to be distracted by other theatres, they'll finish the job if the French and British bug out.

Australia is interesting. The Japs are trying to hold on, but going back and forth between the Southern and Northern front isn't doing them any favours.

Finally this:

What about a Nuclear Reactor?
We already have one.
We have one, yes. What about a second Nuclear Reactor?
 

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
6.694
2.422
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
In a word the Siberian front is a stalemate. But with the Soviets running the war of attrition handily hopefully - once better weather occurs - matters will proceed more favourably.
A bit of a deep freeze, yes. But yes, spring approaches ...

I always felt bothered that minor and puppet nations could basically afford to put in the effort into leadership to maintain so many agents. It would have been a great use for money to keep the number of agents up.
It does seem like something that might/should have been corrected in say the fourth DLC :(;)

Quite good of Comrade Stalin to come to this realization before enacting another purge...
Yes, but there are limits to his patience, even his TTL alter-ego. o_O:D

Good new that we shouldn't have to worry too much about getting bombed in this timeline, except perhaps conventionally which I'm quite certain the Soviet people are used to by now anyways.
Seems that way ... I'm interested to give the nukes a go and see what the effect is, never having done it in a game yet.

This is less encouraging, as such strong divisions could pose a serious challenge if they are deployed to Europe. Thankfully, as the US is currently engaged chiefly against Japan, we can hope that most of those divisions find themselves wasting away on Pacific islands whilst the Red Army runs through Paris unchecked.
"if they are deployed to Europe" - that could be my saving grace. ;) Let's hope its the latter scenario. But even without a lot of US units in Europe, the French-led Allies will be formidable - given they beat Germany and Italy but puppeted both, thus also enlisting whatever forces they had left, which for the Germans were still quite considerable. And are likely to have been building stuff since.

J. Edgar Hoover must be mighty proud of himself, here.
Yeah - though the Guyanese Secret Service seems to have caught as many Soviet spies as the FBI! :D

Truly Sinkiang has the potential in this game to be a major military player. And it only took them eight years or so to get there! :p
Then I re-read this after playing the next month through and realised none of their units had appeared at the front! They were all still where they were at the end of Feb 45. So I've now given them a couple of Allied objective requests for Tsetserlig and Ulaanbaatar, to see if that will give their AI generals a kick along. Thanks for reminding me! :)

The espionage implementation in general is quite shallow and ham-fisted in HoI3, although that system is hardly unique in that regard. It really would have made more sense to allocate espionage in terms of funding/manpower and some sort of slider system, whereas the HoI3 system is very binary - either you invest into a country or you don't, and anything besides running a single mission at 3 bars is very sub-optimal and inefficient.
Agreed. I've tried to use some nuance in it and deal with it the best I can in an AAR sense, but it is generally quite lame.

I hope the crazy CAS commander rises high in this new regime
Well, he's still got a job in the new regime, anyway!

I've been wrong to advocate sending an agent with a Takarov after him.
Maybe. If he doesn't get a move along, it may just be a bureaucratic appointment in some Moscow office.

Maybe the next intelligence target might be a country that has victory condition countries but with no chance of joining comintern (i.e. too far away in the diplomacy triangle?) so there's a coup or something?
I'll give it some thought when the time approaches. Certainly, if the Allied countries are all mutually supporting each other with agents, some political influence in one of the important neutrals would make a lot of sense.

I didn't know multiple reactors were useful! Does having more increases the production rate of nuclear warheads?
I believe so, but have no personal experience of it in-game. The basic manual says:

"These Reactors can be built up to 10 levels, with each level adding more to your Research benefit. They will also add to your speed of Production, the same way Research Knowledge always does. Nuclear Reactors can be attacked and damaged, like other Installations. You can build as many Reactors as you wish."

Not sure exactly what the amount of benefit is. Once I have two built, I can either leave it at that or maybe improve one of the existing ones rather than building a third. I have no idea of the direct cost-benefits, only that it's already 1945 and I need to move things along, and it's in the role-playing vibe of the Soviets for this AAR. Plus, I'm just using it as a bit of a practical experiment in game-play. Any advice from those who are more familiar is welcome. A quick Google search didn't produce a lot of really helpful guidance.

Very good debate here, actually. From a lot of angles I liked what they wanted to do with HoI3 and against all its shortcomings HoI3 is still the best one in the series. I wish its source was released open source and I had the time to redo the parts with flawed mentality like the things you mentioned.
Agree. It would be fantastic if still under improvement/development, as an alternative to HOI4 but alas we know, other than the existing mods (some of which I'll try some day), that's not going to happen. :(

You should split Finland off from the western Europe theatre so it doesn't take all forces from the Prussian border.
Thanks - good tip: see next ep! :)

The Eastern front looks to be frozen in place, but with casualties and air combat heavily in favour of the USSR that's not much of a problem really.
There's always a thaw after the freeze ...

STAVKA is really overreacting to the Finnish uprising, I just hope western intelligence doesn't hear about this.
Thanks to @Surt, that little glitch should now be fixed.

Interesting, in TTL it's the Commie's who get to Iran first to install a puppet government and get that sweet black gold.
And all because they were silly enough to join a failing Axis and attack the USSR! Now that wouldn't have happened in OTL, no matter how 'fascist' the Shah got! :rolleyes:

Soviet Fighter Ground Crew training is abysmal. It's definitely an area where improvement is necessary.
Yep, the Air Force had been neglected by the AI for way too long, IMHO.

A single DD flotilla to screen two fleet carriers? Is the IJN low on escorts? That fleet is rather vulnerable to a modern fleet with a high average speed, even if it doesn't have a carrier of it's own.
It also looks like the IJN has much better sonar than OTL. Too bad you lost those submarines. I do hope they were obsolete pre-war vessels and not the latest and greatest the Soviet Union has to offer.
Not sure of what the IJN has left, but an awful lot has been sunk - except for their carriers. I also thought that about their night-time take down of my subs! :mad:

Indigenous landing craft designs are a great addition to the Soviet arsenal. I do hope they actually work as intended.
Me too. We should get to find out IDC. Given how weak my Navy is, I need any landings to be as quick as possible: not sure how long I can protect them against even a heavily degraded IJN.

The Japs in Malaysia and Indochina are doomed now. Siam isn't likely to be distracted by other theatres, they'll finish the job if the French and British bug out.
They should be - but can be surprisingly pesky and tenacious.

Australia is interesting. The Japs are trying to hold on, but going back and forth between the Southern and Northern front isn't doing them any favours.
Ditto there: at least they were stopped before they took over entirely!

Finally this:

What about a Nuclear Reactor?
We already have one.
We have one, yes. What about a second Nuclear Reactor?
Expecting a reaction? ;):D

******

To All: Next chapter played, written, illustrated and ready to publish - out soon! :)
 

Eurasia

HoI3 AI ExperimentAAR
43 Badges
Jun 21, 2014
2.847
1.688
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Prison Architect
  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Victoria 2
  • Rome Gold
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • For the Motherland
The last chapter suggests the importance of a strong air force in Asia.
 

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
6.694
2.422
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
The last chapter suggests the importance of a strong air force in Asia.
Very much so - wait until you see what happens in March! The Japanese either don't have much, or have decided not to deploy it in the Soviet Far East theatre.
 
Chapter 13 – March 1945

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
6.694
2.422
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
Chapter 13 – March 1945

AuthAAR’s Notes: As we come out of deep winter, the operational tempo has increased. To streamline the reporting and maps further, I’m trialling another new presentation style. In essence, skirmishes (less than 100 combined total casualties) just won’t get mapped or reported in any detail, though the casualties are still tracked in the totals. The icons on the maps are scaled in size corresponding to the ‘size’ of the battle (again, going off combined total casualties): dates, locations and respective casualties are no longer in little map text boxes. Same with air raid casualties, which are just tracked summarised as totals for the whole month, irrespective of how many different raids or mission periods there were.


The map will note when a province was occupied by one side or the other. Larger battles (dates, respective casualties etc) will be briefly noted in the accompanying text descriptions if merited. I’m going to more of a history book format for all the combat. Only way to stay sane and keep this ‘quick and dirty’, for both writer and reader alike. Overall command arrangements and objectives, production, research and intel will still get the same treatment as before, as they are the key things I control as the player, while the AI handles the combat.


******

General Command Changes

In the west, Archangelsk Theatre assumed responsibility for all of Finland to ensure the Prussian border wasn’t depopulated again if there is another revolt [thanks @Surt for that hint – the Baltic Theatre had been triggered to respond when the Finnish rebels headed towards Leningrad].


With around 1.3 million troops between them, the Baltic and Lwow Theatres man the demarcation line with the Allies.


Caucasus Theatre now had the added responsibility of Persia, plus guarding the border with neutral Turkey and Afghanistan and the Allied puppets of Iraq and Pakistan.



******

1. Far East – Northern Sector


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


The numbers correspond to the total number of casualties for both sides of the battle (the explosion icon) or the total of monthly air raids (target icon) respectively. The little flags show the dates provinces were occupied.

The month began with the Japanese attack on Ust Aldan (which had started on 14 January) still going, as was the attack on Susuman, from 1 February. The Soviets lost the latter on 7 March after 34 days of fighting, with no post-battle report available; but Soviet losses (alone) were estimated at around 750 men.

On 5 March, a Soviet attack started on Tomtor, with heavy air support. It was clearly designed to spoil the long-running Japanese attack on Ust Aldan. Victory came in Tomtor on 10 March (Soviet 201 v 376 Japanese ground plus 3,040 air raid casualties). This also forced the end of the Japanese Ust Aldan attack after a marathon 55 days (Soviet 63 v 677 Japanese killed).

There were no further battles or provinces taken for the rest of the month in the Far North, as both sides advanced to follow up their victories.

******

2. Far East – Central Sector


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

Once again, the Central Sector saw the vast bulk of the fighting, with the Soviets largely gaining the upper hand and making some important advances.

The Soviet attack on Olekminsk, started on 27 February, succeeded by 2 March (Soviet 343 v 222 Japanese ground and 719 air casualties). The province would be liberated on 9 March.

A Soviet assault on Njuja from Suntar and Lensk struck at midnight on 1 March and found resounding victory three days later (Soviet 172 v 1,005 Japanese ground and 1,141 air casualties). Njuja too would be reoccupied on 9 March.

The third element of this initial offensive was a Soviet attack on Ust' Nyukzha, again lasting from 1-4 March (Soviet 1,541 v 1,343 Japanese ground and 1,233 air casualties) with its liberation coming on 9 March.

However, the Japanese counter-attacked Ust' Nyukzha from Torgo and Berdingestjah on 9 March and had defeated the Soviet defenders by 11 March (Soviet 787 v 380 Japanese ground and 575 air casualties in Torgo). The Japanese would retake the province on 17 March.

The Japanese had also attempted to retake Olekminsk over the same period (9-11 March) in a smaller battle, but were thrown back. Meanwhile, a major new attack was launched by the Soviets on Berdingestjah from Suntar and the recently occupied Njuja at 1000 hr on 9 March.

The attack received heavy Soviet air support, while the Japanese sent a wing of CAS against the Soviet troops attacking from Njuja.


Their first raid struck before the Soviet interceptors could stop it; but the second time they were ready. The CAS wing was savaged and unable to attack any units on the ground. It ended up being so badly thrashed the Soviet Air Force Chief declared a decisive air victory.

The vicious fighting in Berdingestjah would last until 0500 hr on 18 March. By then, the Soviets had lost 1,603 men in ground combat and another 47 from the air raid on Njuja. The Japanese lost 2,611 men in ground combat and a massive 3,222 more to nine days of Soviet air strikes. The province was liberated on 20 March.

******

While the great battle in Berdingestjah continued, fighting broke out to the south in Mogoca on 14 March when the Soviets attacked with air support, winning by 16 March (Soviet 143 v 242 Japanese ground and 1,140 air casualties). Such was the difficult terrain and weather that the mountainous province had still not been liberated by the end of the month.

A Soviet advance on Aldan on 17 March met with no opposition, the province eventually being liberated on 28 March. Two short Soviet probes on the recently enemy re-occupied Ust’ Nyukzha on 18 March failed and were quickly called off. A more deliberate attack was planned.

The Japanese were not content to allow the Soviets easy occupation of Olekminsk: they attacked from Torgo on 18 March and were beaten back after three days of horrendous losses (Soviet 198 v 1,250 Japanese ground and 2,002 air casualties in Torgo).

The new Soviet attack to retake Ust’ Nyukzha started at 2200 hr on 18 March, with 93 SD advancing from Kedrovvy and 103 Mot Div from Novaya Chara. But both required river crossings and, despite more air support, sufficient headway could not be made. The attack was called off at 0600 hr on 20 March (Soviet 407 v 329 Japanese ground and 473 air casualties).

The Japanese tried to exploit this Soviet defeat by attacking 103 Mot Div in Novaya Chara later on 20 March, from Erofej Pavlovic. Even though this was not across a river, a stout defence and disruptive Soviet air attacks ensured another bloody defeat for the Japanese by the morning of 24 March (Soviet 420 v 1,348 Japanese ground and 1,017 air casualties).

As that battle was being fought, the next Soviet attack came further north, following up earlier success in Njuja and Berdingestjah. Soviet troops attacked Tjung from three different directions with air support on 20 March, mustering around 35,000 men against 9,000 Japanese defenders. The Soviets prevailed by 24 March (Soviet 559 v 1,008 Japanese ground and 1,337 air casualties), but were still moving to occupy the province by the end of the month.

On 21 March [after ‘STAVKA’ had forgotten to do it a few times! :oops:], specific axes of advance were specified for 6th, 15th and 1st Armies, so see whether they would have any appreciable effect in focusing the respective commanders. The map below also serves to highlight the ‘double pincer’ drives to the coast 6th and 15th Armies had been jointly tasked with in the Central Sector.



******

Exploiting from Berdingestjah, 205 Mot Div drove on Jakutsk on the morning of 24 March, meeting no serious opposition (just a corps HQ which fled immediately) and dashing forward to see if the air base could be reoccupied before Japanese defenders arrived. The race was still on by the end of the month.


Progress in the 6th Army AO by 0000 hr 26 March 1945.

On 26 and 27 March the Soviets probed Torgo three times, each one broken off after taking disproportionate casualties, although accompanying air strikes killed 540 Japanese defenders.

As 221 Mot Div arrived to liberate Aldan on 28 March, the Japanese 37th Hoheishidan launch a reckless assault on them, attacking north from Nerjungri. The Soviet commander MAJGEN Tolbukhin expertly counter-attacked it, exacting a heavy toll on the banzai-charging Japanese infantry.

For the first time [since March 1944 in this AAR] Japanese TAC bombers made an appearance, striking the forward elements in Aldan. Their first raid was not intercepted and caused 207 Soviet casualties by 1400 hr on 28 March.


They struck again that evening, killing another 140 defenders by 1800 hr – but this time were intercepted by two wings of Soviet over Olekminsk on their way back. The Japanese were not savaged too heavily but were driven off and did not reappear.

The Soviets won the battle for Aldan on the morning of 31 March: three days of heavy fighting saw 485 Soviets killed on the ground and 347 from air raids; the Japanese lost 952 men on the ground and another 1,774 from air strikes on Nerjungri.

In the last few days of the month, the Japanese unsuccessfully probed Olekminsk twice and the Soviets lost two skirmishes in Torgo also, though accompanying air strikes saw another 678 Japanese killed in the latter. ‘Spoiling’ air strikes were launched on the Japanese in Tommot from 28-31 March, killing 662 enemy there, without any accompanying ground attack.

The month finished with yet another futile Soviet attempt to take Ust' Nyukzha by frontal assault: it is possible the STAVKA-suggested axis of advance was being pursued with revolutionary vigour after all! The Soviets lost 786 men trying it, with 349 Japanese killed on the ground and 379 from Soviet air raids.

But as a furious month of combat ended, the Soviets were pleased with the progress they had made – and the enormous casualties they had inflicted on the enemy in the Central Sector.

******

3. Far East – Southern Sector


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

A quick attack on Burjatija on 7 March quickly and easily saw off the single Manchurian militia division defending it after an 11-hour firefight (Soviet three v 110 Manchurian ground and 136 air casualties). But the attacking 239 Mot and 3 Cav Divs were not from the dilatory 1st Army: they were 7th Army formations! It would take until 22 March for the province to be reoccupied.

On 14 March Dzhirgalanta was finally liberated by 170 SD after the victory there the month before. They quickly joined an existing Mongolian attack on Tsetserlig, but the battle was lost on 16 March before the Soviet formation could join in the combat (Mongolian 601 v 172 Japanese ground and 768 air casualties).

During this battle, the brave but ineffective Japanese 4 Zerosen no Hikodan once again tried to interfere with a Soviet air raid on Tsetserlig, which had two fighter wings escorting the TAC bombers, plus another two INT wings that joined in the fight.


By 1000 hr on 17 March, the unscathed 170 SD was able to launch its own attack on the tired Japanese and Manchurian defenders of Tsetserlig. The battle was won by 0600 hr the next day, though the Soviets had lost 207 men to the enemy’s 83, with air strikes killing another 295 defenders before their morale broke. 170 SD was still advancing on Tsetserlig as March ended.

Between 22 and 25 March, Japanese marines based in Barguzin on Lake Baikal attempted to oust the Soviets from Burjatija, which they had just re-occupied. They failed, taking very heavy casualties from the combat and being pounded from the air by Soviets aircraft based in nearby Irkutsk (Soviet 107 v Japanese 794 ground and 1,964 air casualties).

The Soviet 3 Cav Div made an ambitious breakthrough attack on 15 Rikusentai in Barguzin on 26 March against the exhausted Japanese marines – and it worked, the enemy fleeing after the briefest of firefights and losing 365 men from renewed Soviet air attacks.

This was another 7th Army effort and, at that point, General Egorov [Skill 3] was sacked as commander 1st Army and replaced with General Cherniakhovskij [Skill 5] early on 26 March. If things at 1st Army did not change in April, STAVKA was considering disbanding it entirely and giving the remaining troops to 7th Army.

Before they could occupy Barguzin, 3 Cav Div ran into a fresh Japanese infantry division there at 0800 hr on 30 Mar, a quick probe showing they wouldn’t have the strength to take it unaided. 239 Mot Div tried themselves in the early afternoon, but that too failed after a promising start, when Burjatija was hit by a Japanese spoiling attack.

Later that afternoon, more fresh Japanese marines now in Barguzin (19 Rikusentai) began an attack on Burjatija that was still going as the month ended. Heavy Soviet air strikes on Barguzin on 30 and 31 March tried to discourage them, killing another 1,224 Japanese troops.

7th Army further demonstrated its aggressive instincts by attacking Goryachinsk, on the southern end of Lake Baikal, at 1000 hr on 30 March. 17 and 196 SDs were assaulting a single Manchurian militia division, but the enemy were well dug in and the battle remained even [48% progress] by the end of 31 March. The usual heavy Soviet air support from nearby Irkutsk had already killed 1,022 defenders over the course of those two days.

The final act in the Southern Sector for March was preparation for an attack on Bukacaca, with air raids during 31 March killing 493 troops there, where 5 Rikusentai had joined in the Japanese attack attempting to retake Burjatija [43% progress]. By 2300 hr on 31 March, 15 Mot Div in Vitimskoe Ploskgore (a 1st Army formation – at last!) was moving into position to launch a spoiling attack on Bukacaca, which by then was a 1st Army objective again on its prescribed axis of advance south to Mildigun. If the other 1st Army divisions massed in the vicinity joined in a more general offensive soon, the whole Japanese line in the area might be cracked open.

******

4. Persia


By the end of the month, the Caucasus Front had many of the divisions previously deployed in Persia in trains and trucks, heading back to the Turkish border, while the Persian Army gradually started to rebuild.

******

5. Finland

The Finnish rebels were all in retreat by the morning of 2 March, falling back towards the last three provinces they still controlled. But they had lost the ability to fight any more pitched battles. By 9 March, their final stronghold of Kitee was under attack from all directions by five Soviet rifle divisions. The remaining Finns soon surrendered without further fighting.

On the evening of 10 March, all Soviet units were heading back north to their positions on the Swedish and Norwegian borders.



******

6. Naval Report

The delivery of a third new transport fleet led to the formation of the Far East Transport Squadron, which now contained seven flotillas. With the submarines all recalled, of course no Japanese convoys had been sunk by the Soviets in March. All the subs were gathered in one squadron: unfortunately, only one of the newer (Series V-bis) flotillas had survived. Because of their longer range, they had been the furthest out and near Japan when their carriers had struck. The rest were all old Series II boats.

While a comprehensive submarine design program was put in train during March 1945, only Series II boats could currently be produced. One was commenced on 15 March, basically just for the practical experience, until newer designs were available.


[A question: so for subs is it just the engine and hull that don’t upgrade? I know AA does and presume sonars and air warning techs do as well. What about torpedoes?]

******

7. Intelligence

The last Soviet spy remaining in the US was eliminated at midnight on 1 March – by a British team. The ill-fated mission there would not be attempted again.

Confusingly, a Soviet spy in Japan was eliminated on 12 March by the Japanese [so the report said] … at a time when they had no agents of their own at home, or even in reserve. This was regarded as an anomaly, so C-E was left at level one, NU disruption at level 2.

Then the same thing happened the next day. Again, it was decided to ‘tough it out’, given there were no extra spies there to catch by increasing counter-espionage emphasis.

But when it happened again on 16 March (no Japanese agents in the field at home, one undeployed in reserve), enough was enough. Counter-espionage in Japan was raised to level two, the same as NU disruption.

No more Soviet spies were lost there for the rest of the month, and the one Japanese spy in reserve was captured on 20 March after being deployed.

In Japan, the Kempeitai had started the month with no teams, producing and losing the one during the month, with three Soviet agents lost. Japanese national unity had decreased by 0.7% from 67.7% to 67%.

Manchukuo started the month with no agents at home, producing one who finished in reserve, with no Soviet spies neutralised. Manchurian national unity had fallen from by 0.6% from 69.1% to 68.5%.

The Soviets had lost four teams in total for the month, adding six, and therefore finishing with seven in reserve. A new mission to another country was probably two months or more away at current spy training rates.

Another 30 enemy agents were rounded up in the Soviet Union and overseas during March. The UK was easily the largest presence, with four neutralised. France, Germany, Israel, Japan and the US each had two apprehended, while one each was caught from Austria, Bhutan, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Italy, Nationalist China, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Syria, Yemen and Indo-China. In other words, all but three were from Allied countries. Capitalist fiends! :mad:

******

8. Intelligence

The diplomatic scene was relatively quiet, with Tibet (on 1 March) and Sweden (28 March) ceasing to self-align to the Comintern.

******

9. Research

Light bomb improvements delivered on 5 March saw effort switched to the submarine improvement program, with engines the next component (after AA) to be researched.


Single engine airframe designs were again upgraded on 8 March, with torpedo development the next submarine project to be started.


12 March saw Soviet interception tactics improved further, while better submarine hull designs would be the next cab off the rank.


Nuclear physics research progress to level three on 13 March – and given the priority Stalin placed on this awesome new capability, another round was begun. [Question: do people have views on whether this is worth it now, or whether it should be stopped once practical experience can be gained by actually building nukes?]


The final research breakthrough for the month came on 25 March, with small fuel tanks improved (two out of four single engine aircraft main design components now up to 1945 levels). It was decided medium tanks would be up-gunned, with a view to improving hitting power for breakthrough tank units on the possible future European front.



******

10. Production

New single brigades for division augmentation began appearing in larger numbers during March. They were all deployed to divisions in the Far East. Noticing that many did not have supporting brigades, especially artillery, two of those were started to replace the three infantry brigades delivered on 2 March.


More spare capacity on 3 March went into more artillery, a second landing craft flotilla and a new air base, in case needed as the front advanced in the Far East.


4 March saw another mechanised/motorised division deployed, allocated to 15th Army. A new motorised brigade was put in training, to eventually augment an existing motorised division at some point.


The NAV production program saw another wing of Tu-2Ts begun on 5 march.


And on 6 March, the delivery of another wing of old LaGG-3 INT (to Kyiv, to join the upgrade line) was replaced in the queue by a second wing of the new Pe-8 strategic bombers.


Another transport flotilla and infantry brigade were delivered on 8 March, but upgrade and reinforcement bills (the decrease of which had allowed new lines to be started in recent days) were increasing again, so no new purchases were ordered immediately.

But by 10 March, the delivery of another INF brigade and INT wing meant there was enough IC left for three rocket artillery brigades to be begun. It had been decided that with the number of units throughout the Red Army needing artillery support, this would allow them to be equipped ‘on the cheap’, compared to standard artillery.


Another new transport flotilla was deployed on 13 March, and the air base at Olenek improved to level four, with another expansion to replace it on the queue.

On 22 December, it was another INF brigade delivered, with more rocket artillery ordered.


And with the Far Eastern Front in the news, a six-day volunteer surge was welcome news on 23 March. [Though of course we are conscripting who we need and have plenty of spare manpower anyway in the USSR.]


Finally, Stalin had a question for his nuclear scientists: with the first nuclear reactor due to come on line of 3 April and another already started, should a third be started straight away to use the IC freed? Or was two enough (for now anyway), given how tremendously expensive they were? Another alternative would be to just start adding levels to the already built reactors (having more than one is is more about the rate of technical improvement/speed of construction and I probably can't affors to have three going at once). Views and opinions are sought – on a highly classified basis, or course! ;)

******

11. Theatre Summaries

The Far Eastern Front was at last showing solid progress after the worst of the winter began to recede.


Total recorded Soviet losses to land combat for battles (now just the Far East with all combat operations completed in Finland and Persia) were more than three times those of February with 9,672 from land combat and 394 from Japanese air raids, giving total combat losses of 10,066.

But the big increase in operational tempo had seen the Japanese and their puppets lose huge numbers: 13,654 were killed in ground combat, while a mind-numbing 27,214 perished from Soviet air attacks. Total Japanese/Axis casualties were therefore close to double from February at 40,868 (not including all the prisoners taken in Finland when the revolt collapsed).

******

South East Asia had seen the Japanese eradicated from French Indo-China – but they appeared to have either slipped the noose or landed more troops further south in (independent) Indo-China. There had also been some movement in Malaya and Borneo, but the Japanese also remained fighting in both those locations.


The last port in French Indo-China – Quang Ngai – had fallen on 2 March, but Japanese resistance continued. By 20 March, what was presumed to be a new Japanese landing to the south had been reported, with no details available [ie no tagging during the month].

By the time detailed Allied reports were available at the end of the month, the Japanese were once again surrounded by numerous Allied forces, using Cam Ranh as their base port.


While many other divisions were in transit through Thailand to Malaya to finish things off there.


The Thais (who had joined the Allies at the end of February) had made progress in Malaya, retaking Kuala Lumpur and heading towards the virtually undefended (by land units) large naval and air base of occupied Singapore. Where at least three Japanese aircraft carriers (along with another 40 naval vessels) seemed to be holed up.


In Borneo, the Japanese had divided the Allied holdings on the island in two and seemed to be chasing the Anglo-American forces there north.



******

With no other changes of note in Asia or the Pacific, things had slowed down somewhat in Australia, where the Japanese were still hanging on, having halted the Allies’ northern push while conceding a little ground in the south.

 

Bullfilter

Old Boardgame Grognard
29 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
6.694
2.422
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne