• 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

Bullfilter

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My mistake has thus been that of trusting that Turkey would be willing to go to war with the Capitalists and the Western Imperialists before it betrayed it's big bear friend.
A quick observation: per my last comments, it is quite feasible that Turkey could go to war with the UK even before the game is over, let alone afterwards in a hypothetical future! ;) In fact, the Cabinet meeting will be tackling the question of what kind of force-in-being would be necessary should that come to pass after the European Axis powers are defeated. It could even be necessary before Japan is defeated. It's a little analogous to the situation at the end of the France Q&D game, where it nearly came to an Allied attack on the Soviets to get the last victory objective!
 
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Bullfilter

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Thought I'd share this little morsel from the Ataturk book (by Andrew Mango) I'm reading at the moment. It's the signature of the Balkan Pact on 9 February 1934. The then PM of Greece even nominated Ataturk for the Nobel Peace Prize (though he didn't get it) for being its 'architect' (while probably more the practical work of PM Inonu and FM Aras):

"Mustafa Kemal certainly took it seriously. There were even rumours that he was thinking of a Balkan confederation of which he would become president, leaving a trusted lieutenant to be president of Turkey. If he did think of it at all, it was a daydream ..." (p. 487)

Talking Turkey, where dreams (or nightmares, depending on one's perspective) come true! :D
 
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Maybe I have been naive in assuming that Turkey would maintain very close ties with the Soviet Union,
The plan is that we shall, of course. After all, that only makes sense. As you say, they're our closest and bestest friends in the whole world and need us almost as much as we need them. I just think that real politic, even from stalins point of view, will be that the west will pay for a lot of upgrades and tech if we try to play nice with them whilst Russia plays hard. After all, they can certainly invade turkey if they want to, but can hardly take Russia down by force.

Going from the supposition that Turkey remains in the Comintern,
I'm not sure. Turkey probably will, but not the Soviet Union if that makes sense? Given the above, stating in an alliance makes sense, but for turkey to serve as the gateway/marketplace for the Cold War ( which I think were all agreed is a good idea) it has to be a sovereign neutral nation, just very good friends with Russia and capable of being friendly to everyone else.

it makes sense for me that Turkey would concentrate on Naval development, as that's probably the weakest point of the Soviet armaments industry
certainly will end up happening, just a bit slower than that. After all, makes sense for Russian to have someone else cover the med and Black Sea, whilst everyone else would indeed much prefer turkey not Russian having a navy in the med.

Turkey's armed forces can also continue to buy licences for anything they want in the Soviet arsenal, at bargain prices.
Most of it will end up coming from Russia no doubt but I suspect the US will try and probably succeed In getting us to buy their airframes, computers and naval tech.

As Turkey's new empire will be much more dependent on seaborne trade than the Soviet Union,
Yes and no. When the empire is stable yes, but for now making sure that the Balkans is stable is far more important. What we basically want to be at is having a medium to large army of mechanised infantry and tanks, a large and modern airforce that can cover the desert, the sea and cold temperatures, and a navy that's big enough to at least least patrol our own waters, transport troops anywhere fast and match France'spost war navy size.

If Turkey takes a bunch more American money, especially when there are conditions attached to that money, and if it's navy cosies up with the Royal Navy to keep the peace in the Med, I will be a bit sad that our nation's bonds, which have been forged in blood, will have been sacrificed to pragmatism, imperialism, and capitalism.
Dare I say, this old spy has grown a bit sentimental. Oh dear, I hope I'm not going to die soon... that's what often happens when spies grow sentimental.
Oh good, we'll take you off the post war hit list. I suspect turkey will, as said, stick closer to Russia post war and then at an agreed upon time let itself be prised away a bit by American goods and British promises of stuff in the Middle East and Egypt. It just makes more sense for the Comintern as is to make their defensive and political alliance cover both of them as much as possible by letting turkey be their gobetween for the western powers whilst also massively expanding Comintern interests and reinforcing turkey post war.
 
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I think we first have a war to win before naval expansion, and we lack a hell lot of IC to build stuff and leadership to research stuff. Technologically we can barely keep up with land side of things and even have to eschew some facets of it such as armor. Air power, we can spare zero leadership into it but some IC as we build licensed stuff. As it stands, we cannot cut leadership from anywhere to put into navy.

So if we decide to spare some IC into navy, since capital ships cannot be license built and we have zero leadership to spare, the only way to do it seems like license building some screens and CAGs and building entry level carriers to fly the CAGs off. The Americans would have CAGs with latest techs and that's what mostly matters about a carrier task force. We'll not have range upgrades but we'll not work in far away corners of oceans anyway.

But first we should have a better air force in my opinion. After all we can at least defend our ports with garrison divisions but when the enemy comes with bombers we need a good air coverage or else the divisions on the ground get decimated.
 
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OK, I'll be sitting down soon to write the second chapter for April 1943, including the next ten days of Op Mayhem and the monthly reports, including developments on the wider Patriotic front and in North Africa. Comment feedback below, excluding any more on the naval debate, which I partly responded to along the way and stands as a conversation in its own right. Also, it will get rolled into a Cabinet Meeting subsequent to the next chapter which will cover confirmation of strategic objectives assuming the war can be won in Europe, and therefore what capabilities (maritime included) Turkey may need and can afford to close the war out.
Despite everything, the British have had a pretty good war. They won the naval side of it pretty much by themselves across all theatres, kept all the important and valuable stuff in Asia locked down tight, and sent colonials to bleed out Japan and Italy. Post-war, they'll be much stronger militarily and economically than they were OTL and, since they've still done more than the Americans have without sacrificing anything, will probably keep the dominions around for at least a little while longer. In fact, when there's an inevitable break between the USA and the Soviets, and they come begging for help, the empire might be in a very strong position indeed.
Yes, while we might have liked them to help France more at the start and the US going Comintern was a bit left field for them, they have done OK otherwise.
As for the war effort, it seems we were right to focus on hungary as the weak link in the chain. The Germans are defending them well, and the Italian Air Force conquest to be the biggest thorn in our side, but progress is being made. Taking down hungary, even if it doesn't mean much in terms of the war situation, will be a huge morale boost for us, a huge wallop to the Axis relationship (our best hope is to force a split between Italy and Germany) and in general should help out in various ways that the game probably won't simulate. Still, it will relieve romania forever of threat, and we can then focus on taking down our prize of Italy.
Well, attacking Hungary means attacking the Germans anyway, which all contributes to the big attritional crunch we're trying to apply for the wider effort. And it means coping with the Italian and now German air forces anyway. All of which need to be defeated in the end, in whatever order seems best.
Russian AI is actually quite close to pocketing the German far north army twice over! I wonder if they'll mange it and whether they'll manage it further south to trap ad many men as possible? But as I said before, just halting the march north and ending the last big german offensive and putting zthem firmly on defence for the rest of the war is a great step forward. We are at last within sight of the end, even if it is a long way off.
I won't spoil that aspect, but will just say I left it entirely up to the AI to see what it would do.

---xxx---

That was a tough ground fight, and a hearty Vur Ha! to the men of the Turkish Air Force who went up with barely anything beyond some interwar airframes against probably the latest and greatest that the Krauts have and gave them some wut-fer!
It was indeed a tough fight to get over the heavily defended rivers and I was pleasantly surprised how much grief the Air Force was able to keep off the heads of the attacking formations. Without those interceptions, it may well have either failed, or needed the second wave to get across.
Kudos as well to the USMC for kicking down that door across the Sava for Turkey! That's the kind of Danger Close missions they excel at and great job to the Turkish High Command for putting them where they belong!
It really was like D Day, except a river bank instead of beaches! The US-trained Turkish Marines did great, engineers making them better and I think Turkish basic equipment is better than the stuff the USMC troops came over with when they were assigned way back when.

---xxx---

Congratulations on a spectacular start to operation Mayhem. The Marines gave it their all, and now you're two provinces deep over the Sava. Casualties are high, but still nothing compared to the potential number of enemy troops that can be taken permanently out of the war if this succeeds.
I think we can take the casualties of a prolonged offensive, but it means I'll be even warier of building many more manpower-intensive army units for a good while.
I have to say, the Turkish Air Force has been instrumental here. They have gone above and beyond the call of duty, harassing enemy bombers again and again. They won't be able to keep this up indefinitely, but while it continues to work, the Turkish Army is free to do great things.
I will be trying to eke it out in some form as long as I can, using rotations to keep a CAP available. It is indeed very important.
The Enemy attacks on the flank aren't that dangerous, especially now that Gradiska is also in Turkish hands. If Turkey has to trade some ground for time along the Adriatic, that's not a terrible trade, if it means Mayhem becomes a resounding success, taking out a big chunk of Axis forces along the Sava. In any case, now that the river has been crossed, the Turkish Army has to commit fully to the offensive.
Agreed. Pester power and enough to keep a few more units in place than I would otherwise. But the enemy still have a bit left in the tank and will not give ground easily. That attack on Vrnograc came very close to succeeding.
Sponetaneous celebrations have broken out in the streets of Moscow, Sevastopol, and Stalingrad, with crowds brandishing both Turkish and Soviet flags. In our darkest hour, the Soviet People know that they have a great ally, not in his size, but in his bravery and skill. This is only the beginning,

Alea iacta est,

Let there be victory,
It will be a good May Day this year!
OOC: You could have created an underground resistance base, which would have produced partisans in your chosen location, once it was ready. This probably wouldn't have been practical, but it is possible since TFH to simulate partisans in-game...
OK, thanks, I've never really dabbled much in that in HOI3.

---xxx---

The storylines are all going great! A very good episode! Vur Ha!
Thanks! It was an action-packed month, with more to come.
I realized I can make a backronym for this in Turkish as well: Sırrî İstihbarat Teknik Hanesi. Not exactly correct, but really close with an arcane mix of questionable Ottoman Turkish with modern Turkish. Actually this bizarre collection of words quite matches with the aesthetics of SITH we love.
Nice! :D
Note the stars on the chests of the athletes, this picture in real life is before the Turkish McCarthyism era of the 50s so many symbols (like a star that even is in the flag, but still) are not yet deemed dangerous, Russian salad has not yet become American salad.

Lately I haven't come across new photos unfortunately but there'll be more I'm sure :)
It's OK, there are still a few I might use and will always look for more.
Once again a bloody victory on the land turns into a draw when air losses are added :/
Mildly uprated Folgore class ships (2 of them) bought from Italy in early 30s. wikipedia
Good to know. They are not actually as ancient as the game seems to make out, perhaps.
4 AM
Zone Ağzıkara-Söğütlüdere
12th Infantry Division
Eyes set to the distance, into the dark
Hands are close by, on the mechanisms
Everybody in their place
The battalion imam
the single unarmed man in the trench: man of the dead,
planting a broken willow branch towards Mecca,
bowed his head, united his hands, started his morning prayer.
He is content.
Heaven, is a perpetual place of rest.
And shall they get beaten by the enemy, or shall they beat,
he will, from the fields of war, with his own hands, deliver the martyred to the mighty Lord of the realm

4:45 AM
Zone Sandıklı.
Villages.
Cavalryman with black, drooped moustache,
stood beside his gelding, beside the maple tree.
Gelding from the Netherplains was hitting his tail to the darkness:
blood on his kneecaps, foam on his bit...
Fourth Company from Second Cavalry Division,
is smelling the air with its horses, sabers and humans.
Back there, in the villages a rooster crowed.
And the cavalryman with the black, drooped moustache covered his face with the back of his hand.
Behind the mountains across, left in the hands of the enemy there's another rooster:
a single comb, milk white Denizli rooster.
The enemy most probably already slaughtered him and cook his soup...

.....

It is five to five.

Mountains are lightening.
Something is burning somewhere.
Dawn is about to break.
The smell starts to fume:
Motherland is waking up.
And in this moment, letting loose the heart like a hawk to the skies
and seeing sparkles
and hearing voices calling to very far, very far places,
on the frontline, on the very front row,
one wants to rear up and die.

Artillery lieutenant Hasan was 21 years old.
Turned his auburn head to the skies, and stood up.
He looked, at the tremendous darkness with its stars whitening up.
Now, in one fell swoop, he wanted to accomplish so great, so reputable things that
his entire life and memory, and his 7,5 pounder, he found small enough to cry.

The Captain asked:
-What time is it?
-Five
-So it's in half an hour...

98956 rifles
and all equipment
from the truck #3 of Ahmet the driver
to 7,5 pounder Schneider, to 15 pounder Howitzers,
and for the motherland,
that means, with their ability to die for the land and for freedom
First and Second Armies were ready for an ambush.

In twilight, the cavalryman with black, drooped moustache who was standing next to his gelding near a maple tree jumped on his horse with his short boots.

Nurettin Eşfak checked his watch:
-Five thirty...
And thus started with artillery fire and dawn the Grand Offensive


I took it upon myself to translate the part from Kuvayi Milliye Destanı from Nazım Hikmet, probably the most famous Turkish poet, and one who died in USSR in exile. In HoI3, he's a minister if the government becomes communist. The epic poem is about the war of independence. The part I tried to translate with my level of English is the part just before the final offensive begins. This book-long poem always gives me the goosebumps but I guess it loses some (most?) of its effect when translated. I think this captures a bit the atmosphere just before the offensive in game :)
Stirring stuff - thanks for going to the effort. It's tough with poetry in translation, but it conveys the picture well. :cool:
Let them come!

I should've ambushed, dammit why did I try to delay!!!

*shakes fist at the skies shouting incoherently

Vur Ha! Although this has been very costly, it was a very important location to keep and we needed every other division somewhere else so we had no choice but to hold the line. It was a last minute bayonet charge that dropped the final drop of morale Germans had.

Oh now I know why I didn't ambush earlier, I just learnt how to! (skill level 3 needed :D )
Haha - ended up almost getting more than could be consumed in one sitting there! Still, it gave your in-game avatar a big experience boost - and a hard fought victory!
That was something! And it seems like we have around 15 divisions in the salient, so a lot of gas in the tank. Once the divisions are out of the 4 day post attack delay, the second wave will be even more fierce since there isn't a Sava to cross or dug-in opponents now. I'm hoping to come across already depleted divisions and an even higher momentum from now on. Great opening of a grand offensive, let's hope all goes well. Also, kudos to all the airmen who fight against impossible odds to keep the Krauts away from our troops on the ground. Vur Ha!
The rolling offensive means we never have to wait the four days between attacks when the new ones roll through (which are primarily the faster divisions, so they tend to move up and through quickly, which has always been the plan and their purpose.

---xxx---

For a "technical" headquarters, there sure is an awful lot of black magic going on down there - and worse! :eek:
;) Well as I think Arthur C. Clarke said, modern science is indistinguishable from magic! And Kelebek would be one of those nasty possessed character types in CK2, wouldn't he? o_O
This is surprising and a true testament to the scrappiness and efficacy of our brave air force pilots! To be able to drive back the Axis bombing raids, after so many brave men on the ground have lost their lives to this menace, is a true feat of greatness!
It was their big test and they passed it with flying (if ragged and battle-torn) colours! I had hoped that four groups of two wings each would be enough to provide basic coverage and something approaching temporary air parity, in effect if not in numbers.
A bit of a surprise that the US expeditionary forces are the ones lagging behind their Turkish comrades in arms when it comes to staying power on the battlefield. Should be a major point of pride for the Union that our boys outperform the capitalist swine imperialist pigdogs Americans, a world-leading major power, in the field.
As mentioned above, I think the licensed training plus decent Turkish infantry equipment, plus a five-brigade division with engineers really worked here.

That is a pretty decent breakthrough, but much hard fighting still awaits. If nothing else though it should add to the strategic pressure on the Axis front
Yes, a great start, but the breakout phase is really only just starting - and will necessarily become riskier the further it strings along. And the monthly reports will show what, if any, additional pressure the Soviets in particular have been able to exert.

I think America might still do a version of the Marshall Plan after the war to make sure that Turkey stays politically stable and doesn't fully align with the USSR, so I'm not sure how much Turkey would actually need to buy in future. Still, it would take a very long time for them to modernize, and if Ottomanism didn't work, I can't see any Turkish effort being any better at cementing a unionist identity on the republics.
Agreed. If we do win the war, I think we'll have a good time extrapolating a post-war settlement. It may be that Turkey has to grant more autonomy (ie nominal independence, rather like the Soviets did in Eastern Europe in OTL) to most of the nations currently in the UGNR. Interesting to contemplate.

OK, now to the next ep, then papers will be issued for a May Day Cabinet Meeting to consider the broad strategic future and procurement priorities for the next phase of the war, based on a broader Comintern advance in Europe.
 
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GangsterSynod

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A bit unrelated, but all this talk of American postwar response got me thinking. I realize we're a bit of a ways off from 1944, but when Roosevelt dies, I feel like it would make sense for Wallace to succeed him, considering... well, everything. He had a very definite shot even OTL and TTL no one would probably feel the need to get Truman as a compromise candidate, though he might be Minister of Defense or something, considering his Senate record in OTL.
 
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And Kelebek would be one of those nasty possessed character types in CK2, wouldn't he? o_O
Depends. Most of the time in CKII possessed basically means suffering some form of disease that's not as physically detrimental as lunatic. If you have the supernatural events on, it is possible that possessed characters actually are being possessed by something but never really clear what. Satanic cult masters and sons of lucifer can do it to people though which raises some questions...though the satanic cults in general get some pretty astonishing powers in gameplay.

Certainly on my long idea list to have a satanic master player character in an AAr at some point. In the original Little Dux gameplay, I actually did get the chance to play one for a while (waaay after Cosma) and it was very interesting, if bleak. Would probably fit much more with the comedic sociopathy of the Lancasters.
 
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diskoerekto

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Stirring stuff - thanks for going to the effort. It's tough with poetry in translation, but it conveys the picture well. :cool:
It's especially tough between Turkish and European languages, because word order is the exact opposite. Looking back, I could've done a few things differently but there's that. Also, many of the poet's works are already translated by people much more qualified than me but not this work so the world is stuck with me :)

The rolling offensive means we never have to wait the four days between attacks when the new ones roll through (which are primarily the faster divisions, so they tend to move up and through quickly, which has always been the plan and their purpose.
Can't wait!
 
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racebear75

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Very well done so far. The Romanian marshall is a bot astonished but very pleased about the actual success. If the Unions troops really can take 10+ axis divisions out of the war this would be a great opportunity for his own offense.
 
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racebear75

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And of course Romania is already strengthening its own navy by building more mighty destroyers.
 
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Bullfilter

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Some more feedback for recent comments before the next chapter goes up:
A bit unrelated, but all this talk of American postwar response got me thinking. I realize we're a bit of a ways off from 1944, but when Roosevelt dies, I feel like it would make sense for Wallace to succeed him, considering... well, everything. He had a very definite shot even OTL and TTL no one would probably feel the need to get Truman as a compromise candidate, though he might be Minister of Defense or something, considering his Senate record in OTL.
I'm not sure if the game kills Roosevelt off or not (I've not played the US yet and haven't either noticed or remembered when playing others. I'm guessing it could be like with Ataturk's death: a RNG chance per day after a certain date? Anyway, we'll see what, if anything, the game does over there, though we can speculate on who would be the 1944 VP and thus follow him in ATL given the different dynamics in the ATL.
Depends. Most of the time in CKII possessed basically means suffering some form of disease that's not as physically detrimental as lunatic. If you have the supernatural events on, it is possible that possessed characters actually are being possessed by something but never really clear what. Satanic cult masters and sons of lucifer can do it to people though which raises some questions...though the satanic cults in general get some pretty astonishing powers in gameplay.

Certainly on my long idea list to have a satanic master player character in an AAr at some point. In the original Little Dux gameplay, I actually did get the chance to play one for a while (waaay after Cosma) and it was very interesting, if bleak. Would probably fit much more with the comedic sociopathy of the Lancasters.
True, but Kelebek would make a goof member of the Fellowship of Hel, one suspects. ;)
It's especially tough between Turkish and European languages, because word order is the exact opposite. Looking back, I could've done a few things differently but there's that. Also, many of the poet's works are already translated by people much more qualified than me but not this work so the world is stuck with me :)

Can't wait!
And our thanks to you for taking the time and effort. :cool:

You won't have to wait much longer for the next ep to drop! :)
Very well done so far. The Romanian marshall is a bot astonished but very pleased about the actual success. If the Unions troops really can take 10+ axis divisions out of the war this would be a great opportunity for his own offense.
And of course Romania is already strengthening its own navy by building more mighty destroyers.
Not sure about those destroyers! :p But their army is proving very useful, with Soviet EFs in support in Romania proper and some units fighting elsewhere, including stopping the German offensive north of Lake Ladoga, or all places.
 
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Chapter 197: Pandemonium (20 to 30 April 1943)

Bullfilter

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Chapter 197: Pandemonium (20 to 30 April 1943)

Recap. The first two weeks of Operation Mayhem, launched on 5 April, have seen a series of tough but successful battles fought to get across the Sava River and establish a substantial bridgehead against determined enemy resistance. The mayhem extended to the skies, where Turkish air cover generally managed to keep the heaviest raids away from the ground troops, but at a heavy cost in men and machines. And behind the lines, where MAJ Tyler Durden has 'gone dark' after inserting with his saboteurs and fifth columnists on 5 April. Now comes the pandemonium of the Turkish breakout and encirclement attempt.

---xxx---

20 Apr 43

At midnight, Operation Mayhem was in a short period where no battles were in progress. This soon changed when the footsloggers and IS-2s of 17 Inf Div began an assault on the weakened Hungarian 16th Infantry in Valpovo, who had not yet had time to dig in. This was the beginning of the attempt to hook behind the Axis troops still holding the Sava to the south and see if they could be cut off. Some were already on their way back through Valpovo: it would be a race to see if they would get there before Köldecan could force his way in. If they did, they would delay his advance and be able to escape.


A brave but ultimately futile tactical counter-attack by the Hungarians delayed Köldecan for 15 hours of fighting, but he eventually prevailed with minimal casualties and began trying to occupy the province before the enemy could slip in.

At 4am, as the fighting for Valpovo continued, the enemy sent two TAC wings to strike Slatina and thus disrupt 17 Inf Div’s assault. But 2 AG was on intercept assignment with 3 and 9 AFs (LaGG-3s and P-51Ds) and flew from Beograd to once more contest the skies. The dogfight lasted from 5 to 7am and, as usual, three enemy interceptor wings rose to duel with them.


Both groups were reorganised after the mission – at least the raid had been blunted a little and one of the Italian bomber wings damaged.

Air Damage Report. The Italian raid on Slatina killed 114 Turkish troops.

At 1pm, while the breakout battle in Valpovo continued, the enemy (as had been anticipated) began an assault on the ‘elbow’ of the bridgehead in Virovitica. While other divisions had already been sent there, they were yet to arrive: only the partly-recovered 6 US Mar Div, lightly dug in behind a river, was on the spot to resist 8 Pz Div and 4th Hungarian Div. USMC LO MAJ 'Wraith' Loggins' reported that the US commander's attempt to delay the enemy was being outmatched by the shock of the attack. The enemy sent their bombers and, with fighter resources stretched and priority going to the breakout, no interception was made.


Yet another Axis attack hit Ogulin at 3pm, with air support: Italian mountain troops against “Muzir’s Mountaineers” of 1 Mtn Div and 1 Armd Div, with the doughty old Wehib Pasha in overall command. The enemy would continue the fight for over a day, against heavy odds.

The afternoon report from Romania, via Agent RasaUrs75, indicated things were holding up well enough there, with not much ground taken but a few strong attacks in progress in central Romania.

Although 17 Inf Div had won their battle against the Hungarians in Valpovo at 3pm, they had another encounter battle start at 9pm with the near-full strength 11th Hungarian Div, which had arrived from Nasice to the south. Köldecan launched a masterful blitz attack in an attempt to dislodge them as soon as possible. But he was at least unimpeded by enemy air attacks: the Turkish interception that morning had deterred them from launching any more raids that day.

OTL Event: Berlin, Germany. The RAF marked Hitler's 54th birthday by bombing Berlin and three other cities. Hitler himself passed the day quietly at the Berghof. [Comment: Let us hope the RAF did something similar in this ATL!]

---xxx---

21 Apr 43

The fighting continued in Virovitica, Ogulin and Valpovo into the morning of 21 April. 17 Inf Div prevailed in Valpovo at 10am, losing just 13 men and killing 350 Hungarian defenders. At 8pm on, the enemy gave up their diversionary attack in Ogulin, losing 885 men against 196 Turkish defenders.

Air Damage Report. Three Italian raids on Virovitica during 20-21 April killed 345 US marines, while three uncontested raids on Ogulin killed 286 Turkish defenders but had failed to help their comrades dislodge them.

OTL Event: California, US. Captain Frederick M. Trapnell became the first U.S. Navy aviator to fly a jet airplane, when he took up the Bell P-59 from the Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base) in California. Colonel Laurence C. Craigie of the U.S. Army had flown the P-59 on October 2, 1942.

---xxx---

22 Apr 43

In Virovitica, 6 US Mar Div was weakening badly and was ordered to withdraw at 2am, to allow the follow up forces their chance to join a new combat without being stuck in reserve. MAJ Loggins accompanied them on the withdrawal and began compiling a 'lessons learned' report. Alas, 8 Pz Div was quick to take the province at 4am, which meant the Turkish 1 Mar Div (MAJGEN Selisik) and 3 Cav Div began their attack at that time and could not take advantage of a river defence. Both were in fair shape, but not yet fully recovered yet from their earlier battles.


At 8am, the usually fairly quiet (for the Turks, anyway) and slow-moving (Far) Eastern Front burst into action as the three divisions of the Turkish 'Eastern Task Force' encountered a Japanese regular infantry division in Chindagatuy, which had back-filled for the fleeing Manchurian militia. Though they heavily outnumbered the enemy, the Comintern troops were fighting on difficult terrain and in bad weather.


At the same time, the partly-recovered 1 Inf Div, which had been resting and reorganising in Sisak after their initial river assault, joined in the counter-attack on Virovitica [54%], though reinforcing would be difficult [just 0.20% chance].

At 1pm, 156 SD in Gradiska was sent in to attack the German 1st Infanterie, which had been retreating from Nasice: they hoped to delay it so it might be trapped there when 17 Inf Div took Valpovo. All these battles remained in progress as the day ended.

OTL Events: Tunisia and New Guinea. The final Allied attack on Tunisia began with the opening of the Battle of Longstop Hill. The Battles of Bobdubi and Mubo began between Australian and Japanese forces in New Guinea. [Comment: some broad parallels to battlefield events in the ATL this month, as you will see in the monthly summaries.]

---xxx---

23 Apr 43

Progress of another kind was made when Turkish industrial production was increased: the area was one that still lagged behind world standards, so the same line of research was continued.


17 Inf Div secured Valpovo at 4am and were then delayed for two hours by a brief Hungarian probe, before winning that skirmish and continuing their advance to Osijek. This was a calculated risk to keep the advance moving as 1 Mot Div followed up to Valpovo from Slatina and 156 SD continued their attack on Nasice, while the battle to regain Virovitica raged on behind them, to the north-west.


An hour later, the lead elements of 17 Inf Div verified only enemy HQs were in Osijek – they pressed forward urgently, without regard to their rear area security.

The attack on Virovitica continued to be tough going. And the Axis bombers were pounding Sisak and Bosanska Dubica as the Turkish interceptors tried to regain strength and preserve themselves. At 8am the Turkish Marine commander Selisik initiated a reckless assault as the Germans delayed them, making good use of their armoured advantage.

The Germans gave up in Nasice at 9am, losing 123 men to 144 of the Soviet attackers. The fight for Virovitica continued for the rest of the day as Turkish casualties mounted.

---xxx---

24 Apr 43

156 SD secured Nasice at 2pm and kept pushing up towards Valpovo, as 1 Mot Div still approached from Slatina and 17 Inf Div pushed towards Osijek. An hour later 6 Inf Div pulled into Slatina to safeguard the northern edge of the salient.

The battle for Virovitica was not going well. In fact, the attack was halted at that point. Despite the disproportionate casualty count, they had softened up 8 Pz Div for a far more powerful and coordinated assault. At 6pm, five completely fresh divisions, which had been gathering in Slatina and Bosanska Dubica, let loose with a corps level attack on the still strong 8 Pz Div. The Germans still had an armoured advantage as no heavy tanks were available, but it was hoped that this time the numbers (seven-to-one) would prevail in the 3rd Battle for Virovitica.


The fighting in Chindagatuy in the Far East went on with grim purpose.

Air Damage Report. Seven raids on Sisak over 23-24 April killed 866 troops, many of whom had been attacking Virovitica. Air raids continued more sporadically on Bosanska Dubica into the next day.

---xxx---

That evening, ‘Lonely’ was back in Baghdad and reporting to his boss, David Callan. The MI6 man a little dubious about this new ‘lead’ ‘Romeo’ had dug up.

“All right, Lonely,” said Callan. “I’ll let it ride for a while, see if he can dig anything more up. And I’ll look into this young Maclean bloke as discretely as I can. I believe he's one of those Cambridge toffs Menzies has brought in. All soft-cocks if you ask me. Not good hard men.”

Lonely looked on with some trepidation as Callan grasped his whisky glass so tightly it looked in danger of breaking in his hand.

“But if it doesn’t pan out, I may need you to travel back to Turkey to terminate Romeo," continued Callan. "Ah, his operation, I mean.” This last was said with a very unconvincing smile.

“If you say so, Mr Callan,” Lonely offered non-commitally. Probably about the safest response he could make under the circumstances.

“Oh, I do, Lonely, I do. Either Romeo or perhaps this Maclean chump, if he is the rotten apple selling us out to the Soviets.”


"All soft-cocks if you ask me." “If you say so, Mr Callan.”

---xxx---

25 Apr 43

1 Mot Div made it to Valpovo at midnight. Instead of waiting, they pushed on immediately to follow 17 Inf Div to Osijek to maintain the momentum and hopefully enable a pocket to be sealed off. 156 SD would secure Valpovo, as the other troops in Slatina that would have been following up were now participating in the Virovitica attack. This decision was the focus of much soul-searching later on, but even with hindsight it was difficult to assess whether it had been a good or bad plan. But done was done.


And in the Dodecanese, the ever-persistent local Japanese-backed nationalist partisans were at it again, with fighting in the hills once again. One wit at the Supreme HQ in Ankara dubbed the main island 'Little Tokyo'.

Finally, at 6am, victory was won in Virovitica, with 107 friendly troops lost to 251 Germans. 3 Cav and 2 Armd Divs were redirected to Valpovo; they still had some post-attack reorganisation to do, but that should not prevent movement to a friendly province.

17 Inf Div reached Osijek unopposed by 7am and moved straight on to attack Brcko from the north, supported by three more divisions attacking from over the Sava. If they could win the battle and clinch the province quickly, at least two German divisions – including the hated SS-Verf – would be pocketed on the north bank of the Sava! Their blitz attack should have been a good tactic – but the wily MAJGEN Dollman of the 36th Infanterie foiled Köldecan’s play with an elastic defence.


Air Damage Report. Axis air raids on Bosanska Dubica from 23-25 April killed 664 Comintern troops, some of them attacking Virovitica.

---xxx---

26 Apr 43

The day began with another research advance – in supply transportation, which would continue to be brought up to more modern standards, to try to relieve some of the pressure on the logistics system.


And a new ‘standard’ four-brigade infantry division – the 19th – was deployed in Ogulin. The plan was for them to eventually relieve 1 Armd Div for offensive operations once they were up to speed.


The spare IC released was used to begin construction on another Yak-7 INT wing.


1 Mot Div joined 17 Inf Div in Osijek at 4am and was sent right into the attack on Brcko, which was going slowly [59%].

Later that evening, even as Axis planes still struck Osijek, the attack on Brcko was won at 8pm. 1,329 German defenders had been killed, with only 284 Comintern casualties. It remained to close out the pocket, which now contained three Axis divisions. It was decided that 17 Inf Div (still in good condition) would halt and hold Osijek against a possible enemy counter-attack to break the encirclement, while the speedy 1 Mot Div pushed on to take Brcko.

Air Damage Report. Three Axis air raids on Osijek that day killed 478 Turkish troops before they were called off after the victory in Brcko.

---xxx---

27 Apr 43

The latest hooliganism in the Dodecanese was ended at 6am, with 11 of the garrison and 89 partisans killed. The battle for Chindagatuy in the east continued into its fifth day unabated. An hour later, 11 Inf Div secured Virovitica to re-establish the northern perimeter of the bridgehead.

At 10am, two of the German divisions (SS-Verf and 3 Mountain) trapped in Bosanski Brod were seen making east to Brcko, no doubt trying to escape before they were surrounded, while 1 Infanterie looked to be trying to hold as rear guard. 7 Inf Div in Prnjavor and HQ 2nd Corps (Mech) in Gradiska put in a quick attack to try to delay them. The fight lasted between 11am and 2pm, ending in a Turkish victory, losing 60 men while the Germans lost the same number before they ran away.

At midday, 97 SD (Shev) was the next reinforcement to arrive in Slatina: they were sent on to Valpovo as well, to secure it (it was still Turkish-held but not garrisoned).

Unfortunately, none of the divisions sent to Valpovo were quick enough: the 11th Hungarian slipped into it at 11pm, much to the surprise and irritation of the Turkish commanders. Of all the units heading there, only 97 SD was free of post-attack reorganisation delay! They went straight into it, but the race was now on again to re-seal the northern flank.


The risk taken earlier may have allowed the hook to be pushed to Brcko – which still wasn’t occupied and now had three retreating German divisions heading to it – but it had left Valpovo open. This had also been compounded by the delay of the troops diverted to retake Virovitica. Until either Valpovo or Brcko could be secured, the two spearhead divisions in Osijek were now themselves cut off!

Air Damage Report. A single air attack on Gradiska killed 230 Turkish troops as they attacked Bosanski Brod and a single raid on Prnjavor killed just 69 Turkish soldiers. Turkish fighter strength was still being rebuilt and would only be committed if the situation was critical.

---xxx---

28 Apr 43

An Italian OVRA (Organizzazione per la Vigilanza e la Repressione dell'Antifascismo [1]) operator was caught at midnight by the MAH, trying to slip across the lines to Otocac. Clearly, the answer to the question previously asked was “No, it is not safe” to completely relax Turkish operations against the security organs of the Italian state: counter-espionage would be maintained in Italy (one-third of the in-country MAH effort, the rest disrupting national unity). The captured operator was despatched on the Midnight Express to Ankara for further interrogation.


The Organizzazione per la Vigilanza e la Repressione dell'Antifascismo (OVRA; Italian for "Organization for Vigilance and Repression of Anti-Fascism") was the secret police of the Kingdom of Italy, founded in 1927 under the regime of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini[1] and during the reign of King Victor Emmanuel III. The OVRA was the Italian precursor of the German Gestapo. Mussolini's secret police were assigned to stop any anti-fascist activity or sentiment. Approximately 50,000 OVRA agents infiltrated most aspects of domestic life in Italy. The OVRA was headed by Arturo Bocchini [mentioned previously in this AAR.]

In OTL, during World War II the OVRA was used by Mussolini to control resistance groups in the Balkans (Tito's National Liberation Army especially) prior to the 1943 armistice and withdrawal. In 1943, with the Allied invasion of Italy, the OVRA began to recruit double agents to infiltrate the British SOE, but these efforts failed to stop Mussolini's ouster. With the establishment of the Italian Social Republic in northern Italy, many OVRA agents flocked to this state led by Mussolini, fighting until Mussolini was executed by Italian partisans on April 28, 1945. OVRA agents were favourite targets of communist partisans, as they were a symbol of the fascist government.

One can readily imagine the Italians trying to introduce such agents along the Adriatic coast in this ATL.
Also at midnight, the SS-Verf was first to arrive in Brcko. They came under attack from LTGEN Fevzi Cakmak’s HQ 1st Corps and three advancing divisions: they were immediately defeated, but it looked like they had slipped the noose. There was great disappointment in Cakmak’s HQ. But the Turkish 1 Mot and 14 Inf Divs were the next to arrive in Brcko, trapping the other two German divisions in Bosanski Brod and reopening the briefly severed supply lines to Osijek. But the fighting to retake Valpovo from the Hungarians had not yet finished, so that avenue of supply and escape remained for the desperate German divisions.

The Axis clearly saw things were at a critical point: at 6am they launched a heavy attack on Osijek with four divisions from Beli Manastir and Backa Palanka. Köldecan did his best to delay them, but he was outnumbered and under air attack. Left unsupported, it was unlikely he could hold indefinitely. Axis bombers were now striking targets in four provinces in the area of operations.


At 10am, 12 SD made it across the Sava into Brcko and, along with 14 Inf Div, were initially sent north to reinforce 17 Inf Div in Osijek.

As 17 Inf Div came under more and more pressure that evening [-71% progress by 10pm], a new Axis assault was launched on Tuzla by three Axis divisions – including the hated SS-Verf, which had successfully escaped to Backa Palanka. The Germans trapped in Bosanaski Brod were now attempting to escape north to Valpovo, which the Hungarians were still clinging onto desperately, keeping the pocket from closing.


An hour later, 7 Inf Div marched into Bosanski Brod: there would be no escape for the Germans if Valpovo could be sealed off in time. But would it?

As the day ended, heavy fighting continued in Osijek, Valpovo, Tuzla and in Chindagatuy over in the Far East.

Air Damage Report. A single Axis air attack on Gradiska killed 141 Turkish troops and three on Slatina killed 129. Missions continued to be flown against Osijek and Tuzla.

---xxx---

29 Apr 43

Two German infantry divisions made a determined attack on Vrnograc again at 7am, but this time encountered 2 Mot Div as well as 3 Mtn Div, which had recovered about half its organisation from the previous torrid battle there. MAJGEN Diskoerekto commanded overall.

With things getting increasingly desperate for 17 Inf Div in Osijek, plans to relieve it directly were abandoned: it may take too long to reach there and formations may not reinforce quickly enough even if they did. Instead, a three-division spoiling attack was made on Backa Palanka.


The spoiling attack had the desired effect within two hours! Osijek ended in victory, with moderately heavy casualties on both sides. The fighting in Valpovo and Tuzla raged on: Valpovo had nearly fallen and the single division in Tuzla still held comfortably enough.

An hour later, MAJGEN Seven’s blitz on Backa Palanka was still going well enough [61%] even after the Axis defenders concentrated purely on defence for Seven to keep going with it, in the hope of widening the Sava bridgehead and distract the Axis further.

At the same time, the Cavalry Reserve had reached the Bulgarian GNR and were advancing into Plovdiv. The rebels were completely disorganised, offering no resistance and dispersing into the countryside with no casualties on either side.

Air Damage Report. Two days of air raids had killed 768 soldiers of 17 Inf Div in Osijek over 28-29 April. The enemy bombers still flew against Tuzla.

---xxx---

30 Apr 43

At 5am 3 Cav Div and 156 SD were finally able to finish their reorganisations and join the attack on Valpovo, which ended in victory an hour later, with 172 Comintern and 518 Hungarian troops killed. The race was now on between the advancing Comintern forces and the Germans retreating from Bosanski Brod to see whether the pocket could be closed on the last two isolated German divisions.

But the Axis was not done trying to disrupt the Turkish offensive. The fighting continued in Vrnograc and the substantially recovered 8 Pz Div made an optimistic cross-river attack on Virovitica. But it had been reinforced over the last few days, including two fresh infantry divisions (Turkish and Soviet), the recovering 6 US Mar Div and 15 Inf Div with its IS-2s.


This time the Germans looked to be outnumbered and out-gunned: it did not stop their attack though: they were brave, if foolhardy. It would still be going [only just, at 0% progress] as the month ended. So too did the enemy attacks on Vrnograc [though almost spent at -2%], Tuzla [-27%] and the Comintern attack on Backa Palanka [69%].

Air Damage Report. Two enemy air missions had continued all day. Three days of uninterrupted raids on Tuzla had killed 923 Soviet defenders, while three raids on Vrnograc supporting the failing German attack there killed 329 Turkish defenders.

Just as the day ended, a report was received from the Eastern Front: MAJGEN Marcinkevich, commanding the Eastern Task Force, had won a gruelling eight-day battle in the mountains of Chindagatuy! The Japanese were retreating and Comintern forces would soon take the province.


A summary of the front line and combat actions in the Adriatic-Sava Sector for 20-30 April is shown below. The large blue arrows show territory secured since the start of the month. The yellow shaded area is that seized and held in the second phase of Operation Mayhem from 20 April.


Turkey (and US and Soviet troops under command in EFs) had lost 12,072 men in all theatres (including the Far East) to ground combat and another 7,901 during the whole of April 1943, for a total of 19,973 men lost. Their Axis opponents had lost 18,368 men over the same period in battles against Turkey, all to ground combat.

OTL Event: Huelva, Spain. The British submarine HMS Seraph surfaced off the coast of Spain, near Huelva, and dumped the body of "Major Martin" into the Mediterranean Sea as part of the Operation Mincemeat, to deceive German intelligence on plans for an Allied invasion of the continent. [Comment: in this ATL, the disinformation job would be to convince a sceptical Germany that the British would ever contemplate a serious invasion of the continent by themselves. :rolleyes:]

---xxx---

Monthly Summaries

Finland has wisely been influenced by the Soviet Union of late, as well as the Allies and Axis. They have begun to drift away a little from their previous firm Axis alignment and remain neutral.


Turkish industrial capacity remained at 167 units as at 30 April 1943, including 13.2 IC lend lease from the USSR, 31.8 from the UK and 30.2 from the US. The supply stockpile sat at 15,681 with 71.4 IC devoted to keeping the balance about even. Manpower had decreased during the month to 71,000 men, with 13,200 recruits being training monthly. The officer ratio was down to 102%.

In the Secret War, Italy’s national unity sat at 74.8% (down 0.9% from 75.7% on 31 March), with 4.7% of their important cities occupied [6.2% surrender progress]. One third of MAH agents remained on counter-espionage duty, the rest disrupting national unity. They had no active agents in the field or in reserve. Turkey had a full ten teams in Italy and five in reserve.

---xxx---

Of course, the monthly reports from other theatres of the war were eagerly awaited. And the news Agent SkitalecS3 provided from the Patriotic Front was momentous all around. Again, the Germans had inched forward in the far north, above Lake Ladoga. But elsewhere it was a sea of blue arrows indicating progress in all sectors, some of it dramatic.


The Soviets seemed to have now brought in enough forces to halt the over-extended and thinly distributed German units in the Ladoga-Onega salient.


But to the south, a wide and deep Soviet armoured spearhead had reached the Baltic between Tallinn and Riga! The whole German army north of that line were now cut off and presumably being supplied by sea through ports in Pärnu, Tallinn, Narva and Leningrad itself, with Finland still neutral.


Good progress had also been made in Ukraine and northern Romania, with Soviet forces now on the eastern outskirts of Lwow.


Central Romania was also looking promising, with Comintern troops now pushing past the Carpathian Mountains towards Axis-occupied Timisoara (never to be forgotten) and Cluj.


All this pressure, including Operation Mayhem in the Turkish sector, had clearly produced the desired effect. This was the first truly unequivocal indication that the tide had very much turned in Europe after nearly three years of vicious warfare in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

The situation on the Eastern Front was broadly even, with some give and take on both sides.



---xxx---

British reporting from North Africa also revealed dramatic gains since the beginning of the month. Bengasi remained in Italian hands, but it had been bypassed by the British, who had recently taken Misurata and were now not far from Tripoli itself. This was good news, but they had been there before and failed to see it through.


In South East Asia, the Japanese had inched forward in Burma and had started moving again in the north of New Guinea, but they still seemed strangely uninterested in evicting the modest British garrison in Singapore.


The British had still not sent any substantial forces to the front in eastern India, with Chittagong lost and Dhaka now under threat and the Japanese and their Thai allies began to emerge from the jungle and mountains of Burma.


A Japanese marine division was advancing in New Guinea along the coast from Hollandia towards the port of Wewak, where a brave but likely outnumbered Australia motorised brigade was advancing to Aitape to meet them.



---xxx---

Naval Report

There appeared to have been little heavy action at sea during the month. Just one major fleet unit – a British light cruiser – had been sunk on either side. The British had also lost a destroyer flotilla and a troop transport ship, while France lost three submarine flotillas in the Far East.

The Japanese had not lost any ships achieving this, but the Italians had lost yet another destroyer flotilla and two transport ships (plus no doubt a good number of convoys trying to keep their forces in North Africa in supply – probably largely in vain).


HMS Curacao at anchor in 1941. [After its OTL upgrade to an anti-aircraft cruiser.]

HMS Curacoa was an old C-class light cruiser built for the Royal Navy during the First Great War. She was one of the five ships of the Ceres sub-class. Laid down 13 July 1916; launched 5 May 1917; commissioned 18 February 1918 [in OTL she was converted to anti-aircraft cruiser in 1939–1940]. Displacement (as built) 4,260t; complement 460; main armament 5 x single 6 in (152mm) guns. Sunk by aircraft from IJNS Amagi (CV) April 1943. [In OTL, she was sunk with heavy loss of life in a collision with the ocean liner RMS Queen Mary, 2 October 1942; sliced in two while on escort duty.]

---xxx---

The next day would be 1 May: not just a day of international significance for the Comintern. It was also Timisoara Day, where the great sacrifice and initial victory there on this day in 1941 was remembered across the UGNR. [See here: Chapter 126: Timisoara (1 May 1941) or use the threadmark for Chapter 126]

Of course, Perse made sure to produce a stirring poster to commemorate its second anniversary.


Remember Timisoara!
[Or at least I hope it says that, in the correct tense and word order, but MAJGEN @diskoerekto will current me if I’m wrong! :)]

---xxx---

Coming Up: There will be a Cabinet Meeting to consider major strategic objectives and thus procurement priorities for the rest of the Great Liberation War in Europe: an agenda and papers would go out shortly to inform and guide discussion. They will no doubt consider to changed operational picture following the momentous battlefield events of April 1943, including the initial success of Operation Mayhem and whether and if so how far it should be extended, or if a new direction and objectives should be pursued.

Submissions from all interested LOs, observers, advisors and academics will be invited, including the esteemed Professor Nukeleru Slorepee of the Ataturk Institute of Strategic Studies.
 
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GeneralUrist

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Manpower had decreased during the month to 71,000 men, with 13,200 recruits being training monthly.
I thought Hearts of Iron III didn't have a definite manpower:humans conversion rate (unlike Darkest Hour).

Anyways, progress is very clearly being made. The Soviets have reached the Baltic! NOT a game-changer since Germany has control of the sea, but still impressive.
 
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TheButterflyComposer

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Of course, the monthly reports from other theatres of the war were eagerly awaited. And the news Agent SkitalecS3 provided from the Patriotic Front was momentous all around. Again, the Germans had inched forward in the far north, above Lake Ladoga. But elsewhere it was a sea of blue arrows indicating progress in all sectors, some of it dramatic.
But to the south, a wide and deep Soviet armoured spearhead had reached the Baltic between Tallinn and Riga! The whole German army north of that line were now cut off and presumably being supplied by sea through ports in Pärnu, Tallinn, Narva and Leningrad itself, with Finland still neutral.
All this pressure, including Operation Mayhem in the Turkish sector, had clearly produced the desired effect. This was the first truly unequivocal indication that the tide had very much turned in Europe after nearly three years of vicious warfare in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
At the very least it's proven that the Russian army can smash through the front and rush to an objective. This bodes well for retaking Europe before the allies do. Excellent news about the Russian victory in the north. This could very well be the turning point in the war, esepciakly if the Germans can't evacuate. Wonder if the RN can be trusted to ensure they don't get away?

British reporting from North Africa also revealed dramatic gains since the beginning of the month. Bengasi remained in Italian hands, but it had been bypassed by the British, who had recently taken Misurata and were now not far from Tripoli itself. This was good news, but they had been there before and failed to see it through.
We live in hope.
 
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Bullfilter

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I thought Hearts of Iron III didn't have a definite manpower:humans conversion rate (unlike Darkest Hour).

Anyways, progress is very clearly being made. The Soviets have reached the Baltic! NOT a game-changer since Germany has control of the sea, but still impressive.
It does: whenever you create a new unit, for instance an infantry brigade of 3,000 men, it takes 3 manpower off you. Yes, best progress since the war began!
 

Wraith11B

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A dramatic reversal of fortunes in our Spring offensive. I wish that we could have been quicker into the fray to keep the numbers of hostiles that we'd take out of circulation low, but it looks like we still managed to bag at least two divisions of Germans wearing Hungarian hats? I didn't see the count on that.

Great news out of the Patriotic Front! Apparently, one of their generals managed to dust off that old book about "Deep Operations" and organize the successful assault, cutting off a significant number of Axis divisions in the North, including at least three mechanized, two light armored, and several motorized divisions. That's a lot of enemy production that's not going to be causing problems much longer...

Singapore is really holding out, but more at the sufferance of the Japanese than apparently out of any pluck of the British and Dutch. Good to see that the Brits also learned what that pedal is on the left side of their right-hand-drive vehicles in North Africa! Still wish we could have snagged some of that Glory and Honor for ourselves, but it was likely the right move to avoid the conflict there.
 
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stnylan

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So it is race to see if the Axis can be cut off - here's hoping! Even if not though the operations remains a success. The Glorious Union has proven yet again the ability to carry out its own offensive and beat back the Nazi tide.

Now the news from the north is most excellent! The Germans may yet re-establish control of their eastern front, but this feels like a true turning point.
 
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Wraith11B

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Something I just noticed, did the Soviets conduct an amphibious operation into Finland?! or was that part of the stuff handed over to the Soviets after the Winter War?
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Something I just noticed, did the Soviets conduct an amphibious operation into Finland?! or was that part of the stuff handed over to the Soviets after the Winter War?
Presumably part of the stuff. Finland is neutral in this war, and will probably stay like that. That part of the fight I suppose is close to over now.
 
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Wraith11B

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Presumably part of the stuff. Finland is neutral in this war, and will probably stay like that. That part of the fight I suppose is close to over now.
For sure... from my count, I see at least one AG-level, 3 Army-level and at least 2 Corps-level HQs, not to mention 10 infantry divisions (at least one Italian one), 3 Mountain divisions, 2 motorized infantry, 3 mechanized infantry, 1 light armored division (italian) and 1 panzer-division, plus about 9 other units that I can't see because of the stack, but probably half of those are HQs (the stack closest to Leningrad)... conservatively 25 or so divisions and maybe 6-9 HQs? Around 300k troops bagged up there!
 
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