• We have updated our Community Code of Conduct. Please read through the new rules for the forum that are an integral part of Paradox Interactive’s User Agreement.


"The Verbose"
56 Badges
Dec 22, 2007
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Semper Fi
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Iron Cross
  • Heir to the Throne
  • 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
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Stellaris: Federations
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • 500k Club
  • Victoria 2
  • Hearts of Iron 4: Arms Against Tyranny
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV
This is my first attempt at an AAR for a computer game, so be gentle!

I have played HOI2 a lot, and have played a little of HOI3 since its release: enough to get a vague idea of what is required.

My aim is to provide a fairly detailed description of a Ver 1.3 Hoi3 game. (EDIT: Now converted to 1.4) (ANOTHER EDIT: Now converted to Semper Fi) I know 1.3 hasn't been released yet but I can do the set-up and preparation now and then catch up. I hope readers can get an idea of why I am doing certain things, so in a way it is also a help to beginners, though I definitely don't hold myself out to be an expert.

I will be playing Germany from 1936, and the intention is to be fairly historical - at least that is the plan. I suspect events will change that.

Please don't expect "optimisation". I don't calculate the most perfect division and then build 100s of them. I like to have a mix of units, and I build what I think would have been "real" units. So expect paras, marines, mountain troops, police brigades and a range of ships. There will be cavalry, armoured car attachments etc. I know to win quickly I should concentrate research on a few high-power areas and advance research them. But I don't want to win quickly - I want to have fun. So I may "waste" research by developing multi-role fighters as well as interceptors. But then that was how the Third Reich actually ran - an absolute mess of research and production techniques.

This AAR will be in narrative with screenshots to tie into the game. I will use vanilla 1.3, and hope to use the AI to run at least most military operations (though I reserve the right to leap in - like everyone else I hav no idea how the AI will work in 1.3).

Warning: I suspect this will be quite a bit to read, so if you are more a screenshot with a few lines of text person, this is not for you.

My narrator is a Filing Adminstrator in the Reichskanzlei, and we join him on his first day at work.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it. As always, criticism welcomed, if not always enjoyed!.


Wow, 600 posts later, here I am again. I have been asked to make it a little easier to read this epic, so I will try to give links below.


I am often asked what MODs I use, and it has been suggested that I include something here for people who are interested. (I know I said the AAR would be vanilla, but I haven't changed anything really other than appearance. I am a sucker for a pretty picture of a tank). NOTE: None of these are inthe first posts. I can't remember when they were introduced but they are all in by June/July 1940 or earlier.

The counters are Hr.Cyber's Landicons for ICE (I think that is what it is called)


In case you are interested, I also use filefool's Major Nations Immersion Pack


And of course I use Modestus' Retextured Map mod


Hope this helps.

As I always stress - none of these affect game play: they all alter graphics only. (Well, Major Nations also changes model names etc, but you get the point).

The New Job

January 1st 1936: First Day at the Reichskanzlei
January 2nd 1936: The New Year's Day Conference
January 3rd 1936: The New Years Day Conference Part 2
January 4th 1936: The Ministry of Justice
January 5th 1936: The Office of Skilled Personnel
January 6th 1936:Gisela and the Cabinet

And So It Begins

January 7th 1936: A Day at the Office
January 8th to 10th 1936: A Weekend at the Sea-side
January 11th to 31st 1936: Getting down to Business

1936: The First Year of the Plan

February 1936: War in Europe: Spain in Flames
March 1936: A Visit to brother Heinz
April 1936: A Visit to brother Ernst and a Major Reorganisation of the Wehrmacht
May 1936: Research Pays Off
June 1936: State of Knowledge in the Reich
July 1936: We Are Not Alone: Italy Joins the Axis
August 1936: Good News in Germany - Bad News From Spain
September 1936: The Tripartite Pact
October 1936: Another Trip to the Sea
November 1936: And Then There Were Four - Hungary Joins the Axis
December 1936: End of the Year Results

1937: The Year of Consolidation

January 1937: The Soviet Purge
February 1937: Portugal Joins the Axis, and We Look at Austria
March 1937: Cash Flow Problems
April 1937: Anschluss!
May 1937: Research and Building Continue
June 1937: Peace in Spain
July 1st to July 15th 1937: War in China
July 16th to July 31st 1937: Shanxi Invades Manchukuo
August 1937: Shanghai Invaded and We Look at Czechoslavakia
September 1937: Japan Fights Back
October 1937: Japan Loses Shanghai
November 1937: Japan Claims Progress
December 1937: Another End of Year Report

1938: The Last Year of Peace

February 1938: The Sudetenland Returns, Japan Retakes Shanghai
March 1938: The Kuomintang Attack, Another Reichsmark Crisis
April 1938: Japan Holds the Line
May 1938:Launch the "Bismark"!
June 1938: Worrying Signs From China
July 1938: The Communist Chinese Arrive
August 1938: New Research, New Weapons
September 1938: Disaster: Manchukuo Surrenders
October 1938: The End for Czechoslavakia
November 1938: Slight Improvement in China
December 1938: Korea Threatened and the Last Year-end Report Before War

1939: The Year the War Began

January 1939: Gisela and "1939 and Beyond"
February 1939: The Army of North China Ceases to Exist
March 1939: Last Flickers in China
April 1939: Pact with Stalin
May 1st to May 15th 1939: Mobilisation!
Late May 15th: Eve of War and the Strength of the Wehrmacht

WAR!! 16th May to 31st May 1939

May 16th Morning: Fall Weiss
May 16th Afternoon: The Luftwaffe Joins in and the Polish Counter-Attack
May 17th 1939: The Tough Get Going
May 18th and May 19th 1939: Denmark Declares War
May 20th and May 21st 1939:Slow Progress
May 22nd and May 23rd 1939: Battle of Danzig Bay and Fall Rache
May 24th and 25th 1939: Pressure in East Prussia
May 26th and May 27th 1939: Poles Pull Back (Slightly)
May 28th and May 29th: Danzig Falls but East Prussia Threatened
May 30th and 31st: The French Invade, Copenhagen Falls, Polish Victories

War on Three Fronts: June 1939

June 1st and 2nd: Defeat inthe West
June 3rd and 4th: Worse in the West
June 5th and 6th: French Take Another Province, Poles Resist
June 7th and 8th: Krakow Falls
June 9th to 11th: Poles in Retreat
June 12th to 13th: A Letter from Brother Heinz
June 14th and 15th: We Are Not Alone:Hungary Joins the War
June 16th to 18th: Italy Signs Up
June 20th and 21st: Drive for Warsaw
June 22nd to 24th: Counter-Attack in the West
June 25th to 27th: Battle for Lodz
June 28th and 29th: Treachery! Belgium Declares War!
June 30th: Attending a Cabinet Meeting

A Serious Business: July 1939

July 1st to 3rd:The Summer War, A Greek Adventure
July 4th and 5th: Warsaw Falls, Poland Surrenders
July 6th to 14th: We Move West
July 15th to 18th: Hitting Back in the West
July 19th and 20th: Heeresgruppe West and War on Holland
July 21st to 23rd: Drive into the Low Countries
July 24th to 26th: Luxembourg Surrenders
July 27th to 29th: A Visit From Brother Ernst
July 30th and 31st: Retaking the Reich

Concentration in the West: August 1939

August 1st to 3rd: Denmark Surrenders
August 4th to 7th: The Dutch Collapse
August 8th to 11th: The French Attack North
August 12th to 15th: Challenge to the Luftwaffe
August 17th to 19th: Drive on Amsterdam
August 20th to 23rd: Air and Sea Battles
August 24th to 27th: Last Gasp for Dutch
August 28th to 31st: More Boots for Belgium

Into France: September 1939

September 1st to 4th: Belgium Crumbles
September 5th to 8th: Fall Gelb Over - Fall Zentrum Begins
September 9th to 12th: Assaulting the French Lines
September 13th to 15th: Lille Captured
September 16th to 19th: Last Frenchman Leaves the Reich
September 20th to 23rd: Closer to Paris
September 24th to 27th: Unternehmen Gummiknuppel Reaches Its Climax
September 28th to 30th: Paris in Sight

Paris Falls and an Attempted Assassination: October 1939 (Patch 1.4 change-over)

October 1st to 3rd: Fallschirmjager Capture Paris
October 15th: The Himmler Plot and the Patch 1.3 Conspiracy
October 15th: Shaky Memories: A Different World
October 15th: A New Order of Battle
October 16th: Gisela Refreshes My Memory
October 16th: Unternehmen Stahlknuppel
October 17th to 19th: Trouble in Denmark, Italy Assists in France
October 20th to 22nd: Battle of the Balts
October 23rd to 25th: A Day's Rest and Italy Surges Forward
October 26th to 28th: Battles in the Air and Bulgaria Joins the Axis
October 28th to 31st: Progress in France and End-of-Month Report

The Battle for France: November 1939

November 1st to 3rd: The Swiss Declare War!
November 4th to 7th: Invasion of the Channel Islands
November 8th and 9th: Sea Battles in the Channel
November 10th to12th: Battle of the Western Channel
November 13th to 15th: The French are Pushed Back
November 16th to 18th: More Victories in France
November 19th to 21st: The French Make a Stand
November 22nd to 24th: Across the Loire
November 25th to 27th: The Last Days of France?
November 28th to 30th: Cabinet Reports
November 30th: The Fuhrer's Plans for 1940

France - The Last Days: December 1939

December 1st to 3rd: The Final Assault Begins
December 4th and 5th: The Luftwaffe Turns the Screw
December 6th to 8th: The Last Days of the Third Republic
December 9th to 14th: Armistice
December 15th to 21st: Switzerland Fights On
December 22nd to 31st: The First War-time Christmas and New Year

1939: End of Year Report

Start of a New Year: January 1940

Wehrmacht OOB 1940
January 1st to January 19th: A Slight Pause
January 20th to January 31st: Snow Fight and Another Channel Clash

Unternehmen Eisenfaust: The Invasion of Yugoslavia: February/March 1940

February 1st to 7th: Guderian's Balkan Army Crosses the Border
February 8th to 14th: Deeper into Yugoslavia
February 15th to 21st: Unternehmen Eisenfaust Grinds On
March 1st: A Brush With Death (Semper Fi change-over)
March 1st to 3rd: Air Battles in the Channel, Yugoslavia Crumbles
March 4th to 6th: Creation of OB Sud
March 7th to 10th: A visitor from Zagreb
March 11th to March 17th: Yugoslavian Resistance Collapses
March 18th to March 25th: Denmark Surrenders

Unternehmen Stierkampf: The Invasion of Republican Spain: 26th March 1940

March 26th to March 28th: Crossing the Pyrenees
March 29th to March 31st: Problems with the FARE
1st April to 3rd April: Through the Pyrenees
4th April to 6th April: Unternehmen Eisenfaust Complete
6th April: Evening: A Letter From Spain
7th April to 11th April: Into Spain, and a Look East
12th April to 16th April: The Luftwaffe Struggles for the Skies
17th April to 22nd April: The Luftwaffe Takes More Pain
23rd April to 26th April: Il Duce's Greek Delusions of Grandeur
27th April to 30th April: Crossing the Duero

The Road to Madrid: May 1940

1st May to 3rd May: A Quick Check on the World
3rd May to 7th May: Heavy Fighting in Spain
8th May to 10th May: The Spanish Resist, and a Look at Infrastructure
11th May: Fall Wasserfloh Begins
12th May to 14th May: Großadmiral Raeder's Gamble
15th May to 18th May: Back to Spain
19th to 21st May: The Battle for the Bay of Biscay Begins
22nd to 24th May: The Kriegsmarine Licks Its Wounds
25th to 28th May: The Royal Navy Air Arm Returns to Spain
29th to 31st May: A Pre-emptive strike

Unternehmen Bohrturm: The Road to the Ploesti Oil Fields​

1st to 3rd June: Across the Danube
4th to 7th June: Military Blunders and a Dressing Down for Minister von Blomberg
8th to 11th June: The Romanian Army Tries to Move East
12th to 14th June: Battle Day: the Wehrmacht Engages the Enemy
15th to 17th June: Romania Close to Collapse
18th to 21st June: The Romanian Army Lays Down its Arms and a New Weapon for the Luftwaffe

Back to Spain: June/July 1940

22nd to 26th June: Problems in Catalonia
27th to 30th June: Crushing a Spanish Pocket and The State of Knowledge in the Reich
1st to 5th July: General Keppler Captures Madrid
6th to 10th July: Creation of the Army of Iberia and "Fall Aufräumungs"
11th to 15th July: Problems in Galicia
16th to 20th July: Rommel's Supply Lines Are Cut
21st to 25th July: La Coruña Under Seige

Spain's Death Throes: August 1940

1st to 7th August 1940: Spain Struggles to Survive
8th to 14th August 1940: Grinding to Gibraltar
14th to 18th August 1940: Spain Becomes Part of the Reich
19th to 31st August 1940: Fall Steingarten: the Assault on Gibraltar

The End of Fighting in the West: September to December1940

1st to 6th September 1940: Fall Steingarten Progresses and a Sea Battle off the Coast of Cadiz
7th to 13th September 1940: Gibraltar is Ours!
14th to 30th September 1940: The Reich Looks East
October 1940: Preparation for Unternehmen Barbarossa Begins in Earnest
November 1940: More Troops Move East, and the Kriegsmarine Fights in the Mittelmeer
December 1940: Building and Upgrading, and the "State of the Reich" Report for the Reichskanzler

Build Up for Unternehmen Barbarossa: January to April 1941

January 1941: Rest and Rebels, and the USA Shows its Colours
February 1941: Order of Battle for the Wehrmacht
March 1941: A Diplomatic Blunder
April 1st to April 18th: Quiet Before the Storm

Unternehmen Barbarossa Begins: Saturday April 19th 1941

April 19th 1941 2AM to 5AM: The Word is Given
April 19th 1941: And So It Begins: Polen Army Nord
April 19th 1941: And So It Begins: Polen Army Sud
April 19th 1941: And So It Begins: Balkans Army
April 19th 1941: And So It Begins: Osterreich Army
April 19th 1941: 5AM Onwards: The Luftwaffe Joins In and More Troops Make Contact

Assaulting the Russian Front Line: April 20th to 30th 1941

April 20th and 21st 1941: Hungary Joins Us, First Results
April 22nd to 24th 1941: Naval Action and the Russians Hit Back
Last edited:
Ranki and File: a clerk's war January 1 1936

Rank and File
A clerk’s war
January 1st 1936 Part 1.1​

January 1st 1936

1st January 1936 – my first day in my new job! Chief Filing Manager at the Reichskanzlei! I had never hoped to reach such an important position. At last I can put my brothers Heinz and Ernst in their place! How can driving around in a PzKpfz1 or flying a Heinkel 51 compare with being a key operator in the nerve centre of the new Germany? Perhaps even my sister’s husband Christoph in his crazy submarine will now give me some respect.

They may mock me as a glorified filing clerk, but they simply do not understand the power that comes with knowing everything that is committed to paper and knowing where it can be found. I can locate every order sent to Panzer-Regiment 5 “Wunsdorf” or to JG 26 “Schlageter”. I know what my brothers have to do before they do! They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but the filing cabinet is the mightiest of all!

That is the reason why I am starting this journal – to show the significance of the documents that pass through my hands in these momentous times. And these are momentous times – why, only this morning there was a critical meeting close by my office. Some of the most important men in the Administration were present, including the ReichsKanzler and Fuhrer himself. But I get ahead of myself. Let us start at the beginning.

Keen to make a good impression, I arrived at Wilhemstrasse No. 77 well before 8am. (While New Year’s Day may be a holiday for most people, apparently the Administration is on call at all times. That’s how important we are). I was shown my office and told that I was to meet the Minister, Wilhelm Frick, at 9am. He had an urgent appointment at 10am but needed to meet with me first. You cannot know how important I felt! The Minister of the Interior needed to meet with me!

As it was the meeting was brief – the Minister seemed to have other things on his mind (I would soon discover the reason for his pre-occupied look). The Minister told me he expected a large number of administrative, legislative and other decisions would be made in the coming weeks and months, and he wanted to ensure a proper record of these was kept. I was to set up procedures to ensure that every document produced in the group of buildings that comprised the Reichskanzlei was identified and properly filed. This was to be MY responsibility. Nothing was said directly, but I gained the distinct impression that if anything went wrong the Minister would be very displeased and that would not be good for me. Perhaps that is why he is sometimes called the “Prince of Terror”. I left with mixed emotions – pleased at the honour that had been granted me, but a bit concerned that I had entered a world where a mistake could lead to horrifying consequences.

I soon became aware of the “urgent appointment” that Minister Frick was concerned about. A stream of black saloons delivered a series of Ministers, Generals and senior Party officials to the entrance area. Some I recognised (the Fuhrer himself, Hermann Goering, the World War 1 fighter ace, Admiral Raeder in his naval uniform as always) but most of the arrivals were unknown to me. A typist whispered to me that the largest meeting room had been set aside and all stenographers and typists had been told to be on call – apparently a large number of topics were to be discussed and it was likely the meeting would last all day and into the night. This was confirmed by another of my contacts (a clerk in the Reichskanzlei telegraph office) who told me that all non-urgent telegraph messages were to be put on hold until the meeting finished. Obviously a mountain of briefing papers, minutes, notes and instructions would be generated in the next few days. Talk about a high pressure introduction to the job. But think of the information that would pass through my humble hands!

It didn’t take long before the first important decisions were taken. Every few minutes a clerk rushed out and delivered to me a brief note detailing the effects of the decision made by the Cabinet.


The Cabinet at the beginning of the New Year's Day Conference

The first concerned Generalfeldmarschal Werner von Blomburg. Obviously his experience as an infantry commander (which had led to an emphasis on retaining skills that would benefit the development of new infantry and militia equipment) was not enough to allow him to stay as Armaments Minister. He was replaced by Hjalmar Schacht, identified in an accompanying document as an up and coming “Administrative Genius”, who has apparently promised the Cabinet that he can increase industrial capacity by 10%. (Really – who do these people think they are fooling? I think I’ll put that in my next job application!). But the General was not removed from Cabinet. His skills in reducing supply consumption by the armed forces were recognised, and he merely changed hats to become Chief of Staff for the Army. A glum-faced Generaloberst von Fritsch, the previous Chief of Staff for the Army, left the building, his political career effectively over. While the official minutes show that it was felt his skill in maintain our edge in armour development was no longer needed, I have heard talk that his habit of mocking Party officials was bound to lead to trouble.

Next was my own Minister, Wilhelm Frick. His position as Interior Minister was not under threat, but that is not his most important job. He was stripped of responsibility for Security but retained his place at the Cabinet table by securing the job of Head of Intelligence. His reputation for underhand and devious tactics (of which I was rapidly becoming aware) was seen to give him better credentials that the incumbent, Admiral Canaris, whose contacts in foreign military forces were declining in importance. The word was that the Fuhrer himself had backed my boss, recognising similar skills to his own. All I can say is, God help any enemy agents with those two after him (or her).

The new Minister for Security is none other than Joseph Goebbels, previously Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. This elevation to Cabinet level is (according to something I heard later) at least partially a reward for his loyalty, although the official reason in the minutes is his ability to motivate the leading youth of our nation to volunteer for diplomatic, military or scientific postings, which will hopefully allow us to rapidly expand all those areas.

Next to leave was the Chief of Staff, General Ludwig Beck. The documents accompanying this decision showed that this was not an easy decision. The General’s manual “Truppenfuhrung” with its emphasis on decisive action at all levels of command was seen to encourage a “breakthrough” approach to combat, but by a slight majority, Cabinet felt that Major Bayerlein’s logistics skills were more relevant for now. The decision was marked to be reviewed in the event of the outbreak of major hostilities. As General Beck passed my office, I got the distinct impression that he was not unhappy at leaving political intrigue for life back with his troops.

All the other Cabinet Minsters retained their positions. Obviously no-one would question the Fuhrer’s right to head the Cabinet, and his Deputy, Rudolph Hess, holds such Party influence that his post was always going to be secure (and he does get production moving!). The others, who were reviewed but determined to be the best men for the job, were the Foreign Minister, Konstantin von Neurath, the Chief of the Navy, Admiral Raeder and the Luftwaffe Minister and Oberbefehlweber, Marschall Goering. The notes are not all that clear, but the impression I get is that the former is expected to use his diplomatic skills and contacts to convince nearby countries to adopt similar policies to our own, and that the latter two are seen to have experience relating to capital ship and medium bomber development respectively.


The Cabinet after an hour of the New Year's Day Conference

What can this all mean? Individually, such changes are quite normal in the Reich since the upheaval of 1933. But so many changes, and carried out so quickly. If only I had more knowledge. It seems clear, however, that there has been a change of emphasis at the top. Apparently in the months and years to come, the nation will need more industrial capacity, as well as increased espionage and diplomatic ability. There will be a need for more diplomats, officers and research scientists. We will no longer need to conserve our knowledge of infantry and armour development.

I am guessing that, at least for the short term, we are going to enter a period of army expansion, while using diplomacy and espionage to influence our neighbours. The development of large ships and planes is to be deferred while there will be a need for expanded world trade. The question is – why?

When the last of the Cabinet positions was decided, a message was sent out requesting the Ministry of Justice send some specialised legal draughtsmen, and then the doors to the main meeting room were locked from the inside. They have been locked up for hours now. The draughtsmen are still waiting patiently.

I have no idea what is being discussed inside, but I am sure it is critical to the future of the Reich. Shortly after the doors were locked I made an excuse to walk past (earning myself some suspicious looks from the enormous SS guards posted there). Couldn’t make out any words but I did recognise the Fuhrer’s voice. He seemed enthused about something (you know how he sounds in the radio broadcasts when he talks about Germany’s role), and as he finished on a high note, there was a burst of mixed cheering, protests and questions. I couldn’t dawdle any longer, so I returned to my office.

I spent the rest of the day instructing my staff on procedures and protocols – I like a “hands-on” approach. I specifically ordered that every document from the “New Year’s Day Conference” (as I have decided to call it) must be routed through my office.

Within days, any new laws will be on my desk, waiting for filing. Of course, since the passing of the Enabling Act in 1933, laws determined by the Cabinet do not have to pass through the Reichstag, so whatever is decided in there tonight will be in force immediately.

Anyway, time for me to head home after a very interesting first day. What will I find out tomorrow morning? And who said filing was boring?
Last edited:
Rank and File: A clerk's war Germany 1936 (ver 1.3)

Rank and File
A clerk’s war
January 1st 1936 Part 1.2​

January 2nd, 1936

I was keen to get back to my office this morning as I hoped to discover more secrets from yesterday’s conference. And I wasn’t disappointed.

The legal draughtsmen from the Ministry of Justice were gone, and the halls of the Reichskanzlei echoed as I walked to my office. The only people I saw were the black-clad security officers, and a large number of cleaners. I was concerned to see a security guard outside my door, but he simply checked my identity card and then allowed me entry. As soon as I unlocked my office door, I saw why the guard had been stationed there.

Sitting on my desk, sealed and taped, was a large box marked as having the highest possible level of confidentiality. The only identification was a label stating that it contained “Miscellaneous papers from the Fuhrer’s briefing”. With the box was a brief note, signed by Minister Frick, ordering that I personally oversee the destruction of both the box and its contents. The minutes had been kept by the Fuhrer’s military adjutant, Colonel Count Friedrich Hossbach, and were to be retained in the Fuhrer’s personal files. These assorted papers were not required for the official record, but were too controversial to risk being discovered.

While there was an additional order that the box was not to be opened prior to its destruction, obviously this could not refer to me. As the head of the Filing Division, it was clearly essential that I ensure that no valuable document may have been misplaced and then be destroyed by mistake. Checking that my door was locked, I sat down at my desk, opened the box and started reading.

The contents were a disorganised mess. Really, some people. How could we expect to achieve anything without order? The first job was to sort the various papers into some sort of structure. As there were no headings or signatures, this was a bit difficult, but I persevered, and soon realised the significance of this collection of loose pages.

What they covered was a briefing by the Fuhrer and a subsequent planning meeting. And the topic was the German domination of Europe (and maybe the world)! This collection of scraps of paper contained not only the future of Germany, but also the destiny of everyone I know. The following is what I put together from all of the documents, a piece of information here, a few words there. It is not complete, but it is fairly clear.


The Cabinet Room in the Reichskanzlei, where the New Year's Conference was held

The session started with the Fuhrer explaining why the Cabinet changes had been made. There was to be a major change in policy, and new men were required to implement these changes. Germany had to take its rightful place in the world, and it was held back by constraints on its expansion, both industrially and politically. We needed access to raw materials to increase production and we needed larger armed forces to back up our political wishes. He went on to give a rough outline of how he saw Germany’s role in Europe for the next few years. First, we would re-occupy the Rhineland, to restore the people’s confidence and demonstrate to the world that the weak Weimar Republic was no more. This would be fairly easy, as a show of strength would cow the French.

The next stage involved Austria becoming part of a Greater Germany. How this was to take place was not spelt out, but there was mention of sending money to support some Austrian political party. As I read this I got an idea of the scale of the changes that were about to commence. But there was much more to come.

The Fuhrer apparently spoke at some length about the illegitimacy of the nation of Czechoslavakia and the oppression of the Sudetenland Germans, and what we must do to correct such injustices. Again, the mechanics were not spelt out, but the Czechs were to return the Sudetenland back to Germany and there was some mention of a puppet government.

I thought that Danzig would be a topic of discussion and I wasn’t wrong. The Poles would be pressured to return Danzig to Germany and a land route to East Prussia would be re-opened. If diplomacy did not succeed, then Poland would be forced to comply – the Wehrmacht would seize the Corridor.

This must have been the moment of uproar I heard yesterday, because some of the notes showed that the writers were under stress at this point. General von Blomberg and Major Bayerlein in particular were concerned that the French (and maybe the British) would see this as a declaration of war. The Fuhrer sought to calm them by saying that this was unlikely – to trust in his analysis of the weakness of political will in the western democracies. But even if he were wrong on this point, even if the French screwed up enough courage to defend their ally, he was confident that our new industrial, military and scientific program would mean that we would triumph.

Here he digressed to explain his vision. Within 4 years, Germany would have a large, modern army. The Luftwaffe would be hugely expanded, primarily as a support to the Army, but also with responsibility for defence of the Reich. The Kriegsmarine would also get new ships, but the emphasis would be on submarines. Regardless of the exact timetable, Poland and France would be crushed. Britain, protected by the Royal Navy, would be ignored for the time being, but isolated and crippled by vast fleets of U-boats.

Diplomatically, allies would be sought in Europe. Benito Mussolini had virtually committed Italy to join us, and it was felt that Hungary, and perhaps Rumania and Finland, would link up. In the Far East, Japan was looking for closer ties with Germany. The Fuhrer stressed that a primary diplomatic focus would be to keep the United States neutral – while he considered their current strength negligible, he did recognise their industrial and scientific potential.

Then came the shattering revelation. All the preceding was leading up to war with the USSR! Everything that Germany wanted and needed to become the world’s first superpower was available within Russia’s borders. Sometime after 1941, the Wehrmacht would launch an overwhelming initial attack that would shatter the Red Army. The sheer size of the country and its armed forces made a swift victory unlikely, so the Cabinet was told to prepare for a two or possibly three year war on the Eastern Front. But victory would be achieved.

Having crushed the Communists, it would be time to finally deal with the British, if they had not seen sense by then. The Kriegsmarine, while probably still no match for the Royal Navy (though it was hoped that attrition would have weakened them) should, with the help of the Luftwaffe, be able to provide cover to land a large enough force to occupy the major British cities and knock them out of the war. And then, perhaps, time to consider the trans-Atlantic foe?

At the bottom of the Fuhrer’s notes were listed the constraints which he feels may limit the Reich’s actions: Manpower, Leadership and Industrial Capacity.

With the Fuhrer’s vision still fresh, each Minister was asked to detail how he could contribute to make it come true. There was to be no discussion on outcomes, only means, and those means must take into account the three constraints mentioned above. I cannot tell the order in which the various Ministers spoke, but the rough notes each made give an indication of their initial thoughts.

But I had spent too much time on sorting out these bits of paper. A queue of staff was forming outside my door. Regretfully I sealed the contents back in the box and decided to return to them later.
Last edited:
Very interesting! The storyline could definitely go down some exciting paths in the future. ;)
Very interesting! The storyline could definitely go down some exciting paths in the future. ;)

Thankyou Myth. I suspect the storyline will wander - most of my games don't go to plan. I am pleased that you sent the first response: it was your "Explorations in Strategy: Italy at War" AAR that first made me think of the possibilities for an AAR that wasn't just a list of battles, but could discuss what people were thinking.
Rank and File: A clerk's war Germany 1936 (ver 1.3)

Rank and File
A clerk’s war
January 1st, 1936 Part 1.3​

January 3rd 1936

Having at last sorted out all the administrative problems my subordinates seem incapable of handling, I could bolt my door and return to my box of secrets. The separate files I had made were piled up, enticing me to discover the future.

I opened the first file and started reading the responses of the most powerful men in the Reich to the Fuhrer’s dream of world domination.

The Foreign Minister, Konstantin von Neurath, was cautious. Initially he would not need much in the way of trained diplomats. From his knowledge of our economy, he realised that we would need to obtain many materials from trading partners. We were short of rubber, fabrics, industrial diamonds, various non-ferrous metals, and, of course, oil. To set up viable trading deals, he would need some diplomats, but not many. In the longer term, should we wish to not only influence new allies, but also keep other countries from joining France and the United Kingdom, then he would need a drastic increase in talented young men.

Hjalmar Schacht, the new Armaments Minister, had obviously not been surprised by his promotion, as he had a good grasp of what was required. He also mentioned the need to acquire massive amounts of raw materials from trade, and acknowledged this would need to be funded primarily from sales of coal, iron and steel, which we could produce in abundance. He advocated directing research to increase efficiency in both production and usage of our own resources, at least partially to fund the necessary imports. In addition, we would commence a gradual increase in industrial capacity, to allow not only the production of weapons and the equipping of new units, but also to construct defences such as forts and anti-aircraft complexes. This would be helped by some alterations to labour laws, as well as other changes to move the economy towards a war footing.

Goebbels had little to say – the only reference I saw was for a significant increase in education funding to allow more of our youth to acquire the necessary career skills. He did mention the need to alter some laws.

My boss, Minister Frick, said he would need a steady influx of men for the intelligence service. His first priority would be to strengthen counter-espionage within our own borders. This would be assisted by temporarily scaling back intelligence activity across the world. Once satisfied that the Fatherland was secure, he would then concentrate his agents in specific countries, where they would first eliminate any counter-espionage ability. The main objective, however, would be to spread rumours and misinformation that would make them appear to have territorial ambitions on their near neighbours. The only exception would be in Austria, where his men would have instructions to support, in any way possible, the Austrian Nazi Party, the NSDAP.

The Chief of Staff, Major Bayerlein, said that if we were to envisage major activity in the East, we must work on improving not only infrastructure and defensive fortifications in the border areas, but also develop our skills in supply organisation. There would need to be a complete overhaul of the military structure, with wholesale movement of officers, both promotions and demotions. He also talked about the need for larger airfields across the country, but primarily near the borders.


A photograph sent by my brother Heinz of his tank at full speed. He is so proud of his PzKpfw 1, yet General Blomberg refers to it as "a sad excuse for a tank"

The Army, according to General Blomberg, is in no state to take on Poland, let alone fight a major war. He has 108 Infantry Brigades, but only one artillery brigade. Our strike forces consist of 3 motorised brigades and six light armoured brigades, with the standard tank the PzKpfw1, which he described as a sad excuse for a tank. (I must remember to use this line next time I speak to my brother Heinz. He is always bragging about his precious Panzer). To carry out the tasks demanded of it, he believes the Wehrmacht must at least triple in size in the next three to four years. He is looking at an army of 300-350 regiments. But that, he emphasised, is the easy part. The Reich must also develop new weapons, new tactics, create new units such as mountain and marine formations and bring into existence a potent strike force of medium and heavy tanks, backed up by numerous motorised units. He stressed that this would mean a vast increase in manpower, military research, fuel production and manufacturing capacity, all of which were out of his control.

Admiral Raeder seems to have been the only one to question the Fuhrer’s plan, and even he did not dare imply it was wrong on any significant point. He only had two issues. The first was timing. He felt it was impossible to challenge the British at sea before 1942, even with a crash shipbuilding program. As could be expected from a battle fleet commander, his second issue was the emphasis on submarine warfare. He pointed out that our latest submarines were effectively restricted to coastal duties: we would need long range ocean submarines to challenge the British. From what I could make out, he was told that we would be developing just such craft and to either resign or work on the grand plan. This concentrated his mind: although he didn’t specify exactly what he would need, he mentioned that while the number of Unterseebootsflottille will increase to about 10, at least a dozen large capital ships (including 2 aircraft carriers?) will also be constructed. It seems as though the concentration on capital ships is to shift, and my brother-in-law could get to serve on a modern U-boat within a few years. He often complains about the cramped conditions in his current posting aboard U-9, a Type IIB U-boat. I find it hard to believe that a vessel launched only just last year is being described as virtually useless, but who am I to argue with our best naval minds.


My brother-in-law, Christoph, on the conning tower of U-9. (At least he says one of the people visible is him - I suppose I have to believe him).

The Chief of Staff of the Airforce had no questions. I am sure I identified his jottings on one memo pad, and it seemed to be a “wish list” of equipment. Dive-bombers, fighters, parachute regiments, transport planes, naval bombers (both float planes and land based): the list went on and on. Interspersed were technical terms like “jet engine” and “radio detection equipment” that I did not understand, but that he listed under “Secret Weapons” and thought the Fuhrer would be interested in. He too was dismissive of the current weaponry we had at our disposal. He referred to our current fighters as “outdated stringbags held together with glue”. After reading his comments, I think I may make a modest investment in Messerschmitt. They are going to be working around the clock to meet the numbers that Minister Goering scribbled down. The Luftwaffe will more than double in size over the next few years.


Ernst at the controls of his "outdated stringbag held together by glue"

Having read all the notes and jottings, I suddenly started to get nervous. If anyone were to find out that I had opened the box and knew of its contents, I could be in serious trouble. As in “disappear without a trace” trouble. I quickly drew up a destruction form, and took the box to the downstairs furnace we keep burning all year round. The clerk on duty signed the form without query, and without noticing that I had backdated the time to first thing this morning. With the destruction form filed correctly I could relax, and I spent the rest of the day on routine matters.

Just as I was putting on my winter coat for the walk to the station, I received a call from the Ministry of Justice – I was to expect a courier in the morning. No details were provided, just that I would have some confidential documents to register.

As I walked through the light snow past the enormous bulk of the nearly completed Reichs Air Ministry to the Potsdamer Platz Bahnhof, I thought that tomorrow it is likely that I will find out why those legislative clerks were called to the Kanzlei.
Last edited:
Rank and File: A clerk's war Germany 1936 (ver 1.3)

Rank and File
A clerk’s war
January 1st 1936 Part 1.4​

January 4th, 1936

As expected, early the next morning I received a courier from the Ministry of Justice. It sounds routine, but was anything but. My door opened and in marched a small group of security officers, escorting a small man carrying a large case. I had to prove my identity (For goodness sake! I was sitting in my own office with my name on the door and my secretary outside!) before the case and accompanying letter were handed over. They trooped out and I ripped open the letter.

It was from Franz Gunther, the Minister, and explained the reason for the formality. What was in the case was not only the legislation which had been decided upon at the New Year’s Day Conference, but also background material and discussion notes. This could be interesting.

I instructed my secretary I was not to be disturbed for a few hours, and opened the first file, marked ominously “Conscription Laws”. The title was not misleading: the legislation was quite clear. Effective immediately, the volunteer army was no more. It seems the Cabinet decision was unanimous, as the manpower problem was seen to be a long term problem that must be corrected as early as possible. From General von Blomberg’s comments, he anticipates that losses in the military can be expected to be high, no matter how much emphasis we place on technical superiority. Better guns, tanks, planes etc will reduce casualties, but not eliminate them. In particular, he worries about the enormous task of crushing the Red Army.


The new law introduces a 2 year universal conscription for all males over the age of 18. It seems that the Fuhrer was keen to have a 3 year period, but it was felt that this was impossible to introduce until the population was encouraged to be a bit more aggressive in its attitude to foreign affairs. The Fuhrer apparently made some quip about the Rhineland and Goebbels was quoted as commenting “Watch this space!” Goebbels definitely has a finger on the pulse of public opinion (he should, rumour has it that every third person is on his payroll) so perhaps he and the Fuhrer have a plan. There were a lot of figures and calculations, but at Realschule I specialised in Filing, not Accounting, so I’m not sure what they all mean. As far as I can make out, available men for the armed forces will increase from 34,000 per month to about 69,000 per month (the figures may be wrong but the ratio is correct). Reserve formations will be increased from 25% preparedness to 50% readiness for combat and manpower rotation will be sharply reduced.

The next file was very thick, and contained quite few pieces of legislation, all concerned with the economy. Luckily, someone had prepared a summary and impact statement so I didn’t have to decipher what they were about. In essence, the changes would increase the armaments and associated industry by about 25%, while reducing the Budget surplus by about 5%. Once again, no dispute in the Cabinet, though Schacht did ask von Neurath to make sure that trade deals for raw materials were set up quickly. He thinks the added production could affect our stockpiles.


In a side note, several people commented that, had we been a democracy like the British or French, we could never have passed such legislation. Only our good fortune in having a firm Administration with no opposition, together with a high level of National Unity, allowed us to take such important steps forward. Obviously this was helped by a fairly high level of antagonism to the rest of Europe, a feeling kept high by Goebbels and Frick.

Another smaller folder contained changes to the Education system. It was recognised that to achieve our goal, we needed a highly educated cadre of young men. What was also recognised was that we needed to vastly increase the pool of talent available to the Reich. This was the purpose of the educational reforms. They overrode the education laws of the Lander and would lead to a 20% increase in candidates for officer school, scientific research and the diplomatic service.


The next file was nearly empty, a single page noting that the Cabinet felt that no major changes to Industrial Policy could be made (though some-one had added in large block letters “At the moment”). Several people had commented that in a Communist state there would have been no problem passing such laws, but it is not a good idea to mention positive aspects of Communism within these walls, so no direct quotes were cited.


The final documents were specialised laws relating to military training. From what I can make out, they would extend the basic training time for recruits in all branches of the armed services which would allow them to far more competent when placed on active duty. All the military commanders supported this, arguing that the additional expense would pay off in reduced casualties, and thus lower overall manpower requirements. There was some argument from the Armaments Minister, who felt that we needed to rapidly increase our skill levels in producing equipment, but he was overruled.


Obviously with the Party in complete control there was no discussion regarding Civil Laws, and no-one would dream of tampering with Herr Goebbels’ propaganda press!



A very interesting start to the day and it seems that while I have been busy, so have officials in the newly created “Office of Skilled Personnel”. The last file in the package contained the necessary instructions for the formation of this administrative body. A brain child of my own boss (in his role as Interior Minister), the role of this new office will be to allocate graduates and others to areas where their skills are in demand. Everyone who wants a research project must apply for personnel, as must the various Officer Schools of the Armed Forces, and even the Foreign Minister, should he need some additional diplomats. It should be quite interesting to read their first reports.

But duty calls. Probably tomorrow I will see where Germany’s brightest will be deployed for the next few months.
Last edited:
Rank and File: A clerk's war Germany 1936 (ver 1.3)

Rank and File
A clerk’s war
January 1st 1936 Part 1.5

January 5th, 1936

Today I had a pleasant interruption to my normal duties. A bundle of papers was brought into my office by one of my staff who reminded me that I had ordered that all new or interesting documents were to be brought to my attention. This bundle definitely met that definition: it contained the initial reports of the newly created “Office of Skilled Personnel”.

I quickly cleared my desk of routine administrative matters and opened the package. How would the intellectual power of the Reich be deployed to meet the objectives set at the New Year’s Day conference?


The Reich's "Leadership" allocation before the first meeting of the Office of Skilled Personnel

At least whoever put this together had some idea of order and logical process. The first paper explained that before allocating resources, the OSP had to identify the resources available. There was a complicated explanation of how this had been achieved, but the final point was that the Reich’s “Leadership” number had been determined to be “28.92”. I think this was some sort of unit of thousands of person/days but it didn’t seem important. What was important was how this was split among the competing Ministries.

There was a short background paper, and then the allocations: 15.00 to Research Projects, 9.93 to Espionage, nothing to Diplomacy and 4.00 to Officer Schools for the Wehrmacht. What was interesting was the lack of protests from the Ministers – it seems obvious that the Fuhrer himself has approved this decision and no argument would be tolerated. There was a note that these ratios would be subject to regular review, and I imagine the OSP will be very busy over the next few years.


Leadership allocations decided by the OSP in early January 1936
I searched through the bundle but nearly all of it related to the research allocations. The only reference I could locate to espionage said that this would allow the set up of about 15 new spy cells per month. I hope this is enough to not only protect the Reich but also to allow our agents in foreign countries to carry out their missions. I suppose it will depend to some extent on the effectiveness of the foreign spy services. There was a note attached showing our current espionage assets – I have included it here.


The Reich's espionage assets as at 1 January 1936

A brief note from the Foreign Office informed the OSP that, as it intended to concentrate on trade for the next month or so, it could manage for a short while on its current reserve of trained diplomats. I wonder how much pressure was used to get that agreement!

Even the Wehrmacht was subdued, merely noting that its share of talented young men would produce about 24 officers per day from Officer Training Schools. This was stated to be acceptable for peacetime, but there was a footnote that if rapid expansion of the armed forces was anticipated, then a marked increase in the allocation would be required. If this was not done, then we would see a decline in efficiency and response times from military units.

The bulk of the package contained applications from universities, research institutes, “think tanks”, arms manufacturers and others. The applications set out specific objectives and why these were essential to the development of not only the armed forces, but also the economy.

I won’t bore you by going through the hundreds of applications (though I think from the annotations that many of these have not been rejected, merely deferred). I will just look at the successful bids for this first tranche of research talent.

But before that, I should mention how the OSP seems to have decided which projects were the most pressing or important. While the individual projects were evaluated on their merits, they were also considered in light of the long term goals of the nation. I think a group was set up comprising high-level members of the Economics and Education Ministries that devised a measure of “National Knowledge” that was also to be maintained by the OSP program. Personally I can’t understand it, but a chart was included so I have attached a copy here. As far as I can see it summarises the nation’s practical and theoretical knowledge base, and the higher the score given, the easier further research is expected to be.


A chart that apparently shows in numeric form the level of practical and theoretical knowledge the Reich possesses at the beginning of 1936 - I have to take it on trust

Anyway, back to the decisions. Most of them seem to be aimed at longer term economic growth, but there are a few “inventions”. A total of 15 projects were approved.

The first decision was to set up a task force to develop the structure and personnel requirements for an “Engineer Brigade”: a specialised unit to be attached to divisions to assist in construction (pontoon bridges etc) and attacks on fortifications. Seemed pretty basic to me – I can’t understand why we haven’t done it before.

Next was the development of 15mm tank armour. The notes to this really made my blood boil. Apparently the rest of the world had researched this technology back in the dying days of the last war! My brother Heinz is driving around in a tank with obsolete armour. According to the specifications attached, the PzKpfw 1 has armour ranging from 7mm to 13mm. Even the callous Communists give their Panzer troops better equipment: the report gives comparisons and the T-26 has 15mm armour on its front, rear and sides.

The following project did not calm me down. It related to submarine hull construction and the tender reported that we were at least two years behind the leading submarine manufacturers. I don’t think I would tell my sister this. She would not be happy to find out her husband is travelling at the bottom of the ocean in an out-dated boat. There was another submarine project, developing a replacement for the Type II Ge torpedo. I was a little surprised that we weren't going to research engines for the new hulls, but apparently the thinking is that we will gain knowledge in the torpedo project that can be applied to the development of new engines. I can't see why, but then I am not a research scientist!

At least it appears the Luftwaffe has semi-decent equipment, though I noticed that there were groups set up to look at naval bomber pilot training and to review fighter ground control procedures. I had been concerned about Minister Goering’s comments about the Heinkel 51, but I was reassured to see that these elderly biplanes were in the process of being retired and replaced with new modern monoplanes, the Messerschmitt Bf 109D.

The Kriegsmarine only has one research team allocated to it. These scientists have the task of looking into carrier aircraft technology: another area where our potential enemies have a huge head-start. According to the background material, the Royal Navy launched HMS Hermes in 1919! She can carry 20 aircraft! Think of the danger to our ships and U-boats. We must have such ships of our own. Our national pride demands it.

The other military project teams were to develop skills and theoretical knowledge: one concentrating on some strategy called “Schwerpunkt” which seems to be about co-ordinating land and air attacks on a focal point, the other looking at “Operational Level Organisation” which should allow a more rapid recovery of organisation after attacks.

There is also a study being prepared on supply transportation for the Wehrmacht. The Ministry of Armaments has identified significant losses of supplies over distances and will seek to reduce this loss. Supplies will be critical going forward, and what we have must be used wisely.

The last five research teams will look at ways making the economy more efficient and more productive. The Ministry of Agriculture will be asked to implement new methods of farming to reduce the manpower requirement, thus freeing more men for military service. The Education Minister has pledged to improve the schools and university system so that we will get a 10% boost to talented graduates. Minister Schacht will examine production techniques across the country to increase both total production and efficiency – we cannot afford to waste raw materials. He is to concentrate especially on supply production: we will need more supplies for a larger Wehrmacht, but we also need products to sell on the world market and the Foreign Minister advises that the demand for armaments and military supplies is predicted to increase substantially, allowing for high prices. This should help pay for an expected boom in metal, rare materials and oil imports.

I can see that the OSP will be a very powerful group for some time. I will wager that a lot of industrialists and manufacturers would like to influence the decisions that will be made. But I will also wager that not many would dare – for something so close to the security of the nation I am sure that Himmler’s Gestapo will scrutinise every member of the OSP and every contact made by outside parties. And I wouldn’t want to be suspected of interfering in affairs vital to the nation.

That reminds me. I have set up a highly restricted and secure storage division for documentation flowing from the New Year’s Day conference. I think OSP will need a separate section within that division. The exact filing structure will require careful consideration. If anything is lost, it must not be my fault. I think this will keep me busy for the rest of the day. Correct filing will be critical if we are to be ready for whatever may eventuate.

I called for Gisela, my secretary, to get me the relevant paperwork, but there was no response. Looking outside, I found her alcove empty, as was the corridor. She must have been called away – while she should have informed me, I am inclined to not make a fuss about it. She is an attractive looking, sweet girl with an endearing habit of sometimes forgetting herself and calling me “Du”. I can easily locate the files myself.

And tomorrow I have been told that the Ministry of Armaments is going to announce the successful contracts for our expanded manufacturing and construction program. I think I will be busy again, so I need to get this filing system in place today. The pressure I am under is intense – but those of us vital to the Reich’s future must make sacrifices. I will just be home a bit late.
Last edited:
Rank and File
A clerk’s war
January 1st 1936 Part 1.6​

January 6th, 1936

Well, today I had a small mystery solved, and at the same time found a source of information that may help me understand the documents that are crossing my desk in increasing numbers. Gisela, my secretary, was waiting for me when I arrived at my office, and seemed quite flustered.

I should explain at this point that my office is off the main corridor of the actual Kanzlei building (I am not so junior that I am shunted off to an annex). This corridor leads to the Fuhrer's office and a series of meeting rooms, including the large room reserved for Cabinet meetings. What had upset Gisela was an event on the previous day.


The view down the main corridor of the Kanzlei towards the Fuhrer's office

While I had been busy reading about research projects (with my door securely locked of course), the Fuhrer, followed by a group of Ministers, had swept along the corridor, heading to the Cabinet Room. As they passed her desk, the Fuhrer stopped and said “We will need a secretary” and one of his assistants had indicated to Gisela that she should follow. Now I understood why she hadn’t told me where she was going: she wasn’t going to tell the Fuhrer that she had to check with her boss! (I can understand why she was chosen – it is fairly common knowledge that the Fuhrer likes to have pretty women around him, even if he is not as “romantic” as Goebbels or the others who keep a string of mistresses).

But I digress. What was important was the Gisela had been chosen to keep the secret minutes of a Cabinet meeting held to discuss the future economic strategy of the Reich. This was really serious information. Cabinet minutes are kept under lock and key – even I have no access to them. And my Gisela has first-hand knowledge of the discussions. This would need to be handled carefully.

Putting on my most stern face, I reminded her how discrete she would need to be. As she nodded, I also reminded her that I was her immediate employer, and that I should probably review what information she had, so I could help her decide what was secret. She seemed relieved to agree, and gave me a nearly verbatim recollection of what had happened the day before. I must remember that her memory is so good – not only may it be useful in the future, but I will have to be cautious what I say around her.

The Fuhrer had started the meeting by reminding everyone of the objectives of the New Year’s Day conference. All decisions must be made with those objectives in mind. He then explained that an analysis of the Reich’s industrial capacity had been carried out. Gisela was a bit hesitant about this part, but she remembered that the Fuhrer said that the Reich had a base industrial capacity of “141 per day”. (I grilled Gisela on this number, but she just didn’t know what it represented – millions of man-hours per day? Millions of Reichsmarks per day? I suppose it doesn’t really matter.) Various factors served to increase this base rate to 211 per day. The meeting was to decide how to distribute this production.

Gisela went through the various arguments, ambit claims etc that the Ministers made, but in the end the final decision was made by the Fuhrer.

The allocations were made as follows:

Upgrades of Military Equipment – 36.34 required – 36.34 allocated

This was discussed at length, but the general feeling was we should try to keep our units equipped with improved equipment. There would probably be several upgrades before any major conflict.

Reinforcement of Existing Units – 0.20 required – 0.20 allocated

Again, nearly unanimous agreement that all units should be brought up to strength.

Military Supplies – 10.09 required – 10.09 allocated

The Foreign Minister and the Armaments Minister both argued strongly that we should produce a surplus for export, but they were overruled. The three ministers with responsibility for the Wehrmacht were all of the opinion that it was essential to develop production skills as early as possible, both to assist in cheaper manufacturing costs, and to increase our technical base for research. Any excess production must be used to build equipment. The Fuhrer agreed.

Military Production – allocated 168.66

This was effectively what was left after the other competing sectors had been decided. I suppose that this is what will determine the number of initial contracts for military equipment. There was a general concensus that many contracts would have to be deferred as demand for industrial capacity in other sectors varied.

Consumer Goods – 45.88 required – NIL allocated!

According to Gisela, this really set off a commotion. There were shouts that this could lead to rioting in the streets, that we could have a revolution on our hands. Through it all the Fuhrer (and Minister Goebbels) sat quietly, until the commotion died down. Then the Fuhrer said that the decision was his, and that there was a grand plan behind the decision. He asked everyone present to trust him. Goebbels led the Cabinet in a vote to agree. I suspect he knows more than most what the “grand plan” is. He is the Minister with ultimate responsibility for informing the Fuhrer about public opinion, so I am sure this was not a surprise to him.


Summary sheet of Industrial Capacity usage for the Reich (early January 1936)

That was the end of the meeting. Gisela stayed back to type up her shorthand notes, and every piece of paper she had was taken by one of Himmler’s security staff. She was told, however, that she may be called upon again should there be another urgent meeting.

When Gisela finished, I told her she must forget everything, including our conversation, otherwise she could get into serious trouble. I told her that if she did not discuss this with anyone other than me I could protect her. She was very grateful, and left smiling.

While this interlude was valuable, it was time to get back to work. Stacked in my office was box after box of tender documents. Someone had taken me at my word and sent me every application for military related expenditure projects! There was no way I could read all these. A quick search of the accompanying documentations revealed that one box contained the successful tenders. That was all I was interested in. How was the “168.66 per day” going to be spent?

First were 6 support regiments for the Heer: two each of artillery, anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns. They would be held as reserves to keep maintenance down, but would start our development of manufacturing expertise. There was also a side note by General von Blomberg that we must start to increase the power of our divisions by attaching specialist regiments and brigades. He also is advocating that Armeekorps headquarters units should have a least 2 attachments to allow them to participate in front line combat if required (and defend themselves in emergencies).

Four new divisions are to be formed: one Lechte Panzer Division, one Gebirgsjager Division, one Infanterie and one Infanterie (mot). Again, they will be held as reserves.


A photograph provided by Krupp to promote their new Protze Kfv.70, shown towing a PaK 36 anti-tank gun. This helped win them part of the major contract to outfit a motorised division

There is to be a start on defensive installations in the West. Wilhelmshaven will get some coastal fortifications, while there will be a continuation of the Westwall into Villingen. In the east, road and rail networks will be upgraded in Falkenburg: Major Bayerlein pointing out that if he is to be expected to supply large formations operating in Poland and beyond then he will need more than dirt roads and single track railroads. From the way this contract is worded, I think it is just a trial – there will be large scale improvements in other provinces once some expertise has been gained. (I was right - later I found a pile of contacts for various civil construction companies to carry our similar work throughout eleven Prussian border provinces - but it seems these will have a very low priority).


"Dragon's teeth" along the French border: our "Westwall" fortifications are at a minimal level but will at least slow an enemy attack

Minister Schacht’s long term increase in production will start with the construction of two new factory complexes, together with the associated power, water and other requirements. Again, these contracts are flagged as the first phases of much bigger orders.

The Luftwaffe, as expected, will do very well. Messerschmitt is to supply a new airwing of Bf 109D Interceptors. Junkers will do even better: they are to provide enough Ju-52 transport aircraft to carry an airborne regiment, as well as several Staffeln of Ju-87B dive-bombers (I have to admit I am not sure what a dive-bomber is, but everyone seems to think we need them). Dornier also has done well, winning contracts for both naval bombers (Do-217) and tactical bombers (Do-17).

Finally, the Kriegsmarine has some “big-ticket” items. Admiral Raeder will be rewarded for giving way on priority for submarines. Work will begin immediately on the “Bismark” a new model battleship. And the surface fleet will also receive a new Schlactschiffe: the “Scharnhorst”. But these will not be delivered for years, even if Kriegsmarinewerft Wilhelmshaven works continually on their manufacture. A small group of transport ships has been ordered, primarily for conveying troops to and from East Prussia, but also for use by our Sturm Marines (when we have some!). The absence of submarine contracts surprised me, but then I remembered the research projects I read about yesterday. Obviously there is no point in building submarines now if we will have new hull designs in a few months. You can’t upgrade the hull on a U-boat!


Specifications for the "Scharnhorst": a massive investment over many years

Completion dates for these contracts are all over the place, but there are several mentions in the contracts that it is expected that should continuation clauses be exercised, then significant cost and time efficiencies will come into effect. A couple of the larger contracts (the Ju-52 and Do-217 aircraft and the orders for the “Bismark” and “Scharnhorst”) have clauses that allow the Armaments Minister to put them on hold should other priorities arise. As he is holding the whip hand in the negotiations, I wasn’t surprised to see these clauses agreed to without a whimper. It was obvious to me that from the start we had more equipment ordered than our factories could handle, so I suppose at least one of these contracts will be delayed (as well as most of the infrastructure projects).

I put the contracts back and sat to reflect. While the Fuhrer had talked about war and hostilities, to me it had seemed far away and somehow unreal. To see the actual documents that would start the nation moving inevitably to war was a shock. How would this impact my family? How would it end?

In a sombre mood I packed up and headed to catch my train home. I really need a few days off.
Last edited:
Can someone let me know if the pictures appear in my posts? They appear at home, but I have just looked at them at work and there is nothing there.

I am not sure why this should happen - other people's pictures appear at work so I don't think it can be blocked.

Thanks in advance.
I can see the pictures.

Looking forward to 1.3 :)
I can see the pictures.

Looking forward to 1.3 :)

Thanks Grim Reaper: I have checked a few other AARs and I think that somehow my work IT block links to imageshack and not to some other service providers. But thankyou - I started to have a bad feeling that I done the links incorrectly.

Same here, very nice style btw :)


Thanks CharonJr: I am just trying to do something a little different to spice up a Germany 1936 AAR. I suspect a little slow at the moment but I am just setting the scene.

Are you sure that 1.2 savegames will be fully compatible with 1.3?

I doubt if they will be compatible (given the sheer number, range and "depth" of the changes). The game would probably load and run for a little while but it would crash or have some horrific breakdown at some point.

What I have always intended is to post the AAR up to the point that variables start to occur (initial trade agreements?) and then wait until 1.3 arrives. I can then use my notes to duplicate my set up and start again from there. I won't be troubled if paras and strats are reduced in value, I anticipate that fixed AA, infrastrcuture and subs will be more effective etc, but it won't impact my start.

I am hoping that we only have a week to go before the patch - fingers crossed.
Very nice start. I like youre style in youre AAR and i am definitly looking forward to read every update !! :cool:

I really hope for Heinz he soon gets a nice little PzKpfw III or IV so he makes it alive trough the comming conflicts :D
Very nice start. I like youre style in youre AAR and i am definitly looking forward to read every update !! :cool:

I really hope for Heinz he soon gets a nice little PzKpfw III or IV so he makes it alive trough the comming conflicts :D

Arasis: Thank you for the comments. I am currently trying 1.3Beta so a break in updates: will restart once 1.3 is released. (I am hoping that 1.3 Beta saves will be compatible with the final - suppose it depends whether any major changes). But I need to make a few changes to my posts so far - the fact that production of consumer goods no longer produces money makes one change necessary.

And yes, Panzer Regiment "Wunsdorf" (Heinz's unit) is in the process of upgrading to the PzKpfw IIF: still not great but a vast improvement.
Ready to Go

Well, I have started seriously now, using RC7 of Patch 1.3. Johan has said that save games will be compatible with the final 1.3, so fingers crossed.

I had to go back and change a few things in the earlier posts as the patch changes made a bit of the narrative either superfluous or wrong. I left the law changes (as the automatic "best" laws was a last minute change).

Otherwise I hope I am ready to go.
Rank and File
A clerk’s war​

January 7th 1936

Well, finally all the excitement from the New Year’s Day Conference seems to have died down. The stream of “Highly Confidential” and “Restricted” documents, files and boxes has died to a trickle, and most of them seem to relate to trade deals. I must say it is a bit of a relief.

But while at work life has become a bit easier, life for the general population has suddenly become quite hard. Dozens of luxury goods (and some that I wouldn’t consider luxuries) have vanished from the shops. Credit has tightened, and people are openly complaining about conditions. On my way to work this morning I handed over 10 pfennigs for a copy of “Berliner Tageblatt” and was shocked to see articles criticising not only the Government, but also the Party. The reporters must think they have tapped into a deep swell of discontent to write so frankly. According the paper, dissent is rising daily. (Of course nothing like this is reported in the “Volkisch Beobachter”, but everyone knows that even if Goebbels doesn’t write every article in that Party owned newspaper, he definitely reviews the headlines. Regardless, I suspect the “Berliner” won’t be around much longer)

There has been one strange report that crossed my desk. The Filing Department receives copies of all official military orders down to regimental level, and holds these to allow the compilation of official histories. Most of the orders are routine (“13. Infanterie Division will relocate from Magdeburg to Brandenburg to allow for renovation of barracks”), but I have instructed my staff that any that appear out of the ordinary are to be brought to my attention.

This simple one page report (dated 2nd January) struck me as very odd indeed. It contained two orders. The first was that the Stuttgart-based 25. Infanterie Division was to be split into two units, with the creation of 45. Infanterie Division. The second was that the “new” 25. Infanterie Division, now comprising just 2 regiments (the 13th and 35th), was to march to Rottweil, on the border of the demilitarised zone.


A copy of the military map attached to the movement order for Generalmajor Curt Haase and 25. Infanterie Division

I cannot see why the Oberkommando des Heeres would create two divisions out of one. All it has done is to give us 40 divisions rather than 39: but not one additional soldier exists as the result. And why has a single division been ordered to march west? Surely we would need a large force to enter the Rhineland to deter or resist the inevitable French response. I suppose I will find out in time, but at the moment I am mystified: I hope someone knows what they are doing.

The only out of the ordinary information for the past few days has been a stream of diplomatic reports about trade (they must hold them for a while before delivering: I received a week’s worth in one hit). What made them more interesting was a general directive to the diplomatic corps, dated 1 January and signed by Minister von Neurath himself. This stressed the importance of international trade to the economy of the Reich, and the effects on a diplomat’s career if it was felt that he did not assist businessmen in meeting relevant officials and smoothing foreign bureaucracy. I expected this, as the word around the Kanzlei was that many of our overseas diplomats considered commerce to be beneath them: I am sure they are rethinking their dismissive attitude.

What I had not expected was that the Minister explained the diplomatic benefits of trade deals. A consistent trading pattern with our neighbours can apparently be expected to improve our relations with them, and at less cost in time and effort than by diplomacy alone. This improvement in relations will lead not only to a greater chance of successful deals, but will also result in substantial reductions in the cost of imports. With many of our necessities very expensive (oil, rubber etc) it is essential that we pay the lowest possible price.

The converse is also true, however. We must try to lock in large sales of our exports (primarily coal and military supplies) before we become too friendly with our customers. When we have grown close to a country, it is very hard for us to achieve the best prices for our goods – the buyers expect a significant discount to world prices.

So the strategy is to make a lot of small deals for imports, concentrating on specific countries, particularly those with which we want to develop closer relations. For exports, we will concentrate on making the largest possible deals with countries with which we have little contact.

There has been a flurry of deals, and rather than listing them all, I have prepared a table setting out the main offers made and attached it below. I will try to keep track of deals and see whether the expected changes in price are achieved.


Country Goods Amount Price Date Result
United States Oil 2.00 1.13 1 Jan Accepted
Rumania Oil 2.00 1.13 1 Jan Accepted
Hungary Metal 5.00 .38 1 Jan Rejected
Soviet Union Rare Mat 5.0 0.75 1 Jan Accepted


Country Goods Amount Price Date Result
Italy Power 50.00 1.88 2 Jan Accepted
Yugo Power 25.00 0.94 2 Jan Accepted
Japan Power 50.00 1.88 2 Jan Accepted
Finns Power 25.00 0.94 2 Jan Accepted

While these deals were being set up, disturbing news was received by the Foreign Ministry on 1st January: the Soviet Union is seeking to persuade Japan to join the Cominterm. Surely Japan would not join our enemies?

In all the rushing around I forget to mention the exciting news that the Panzerschiff “Admiral Graf Spee” has been commissioned and will be exercising with the Kriegsmarine off Wilhelmshaven. I am due for a break and think I will catch the train to the coast and see the newest addition to our fleet.

(This probably explains an order I saw authorising the addition of three more anti-air and three infantry brigades. Obviously the completion of the “Graf Spee” has freed up industrial capacity).

Before I left the office I lodged an application for a few days leave: the weather is still unpleasant but there are no storms and a trip to the sea will do me good.
Last edited: