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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

TheButterflyComposer

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Getting over the Danube is the trick. Once over, both easier time of transporting stuff and fewer difficulties moving forward. Still, the balkans are falling, and when we get to the stage where we're wrapping them up, italy and germany are sure to start getting worried about invasions of their own homeland.

Hungary certainly looks screwed at this point.
 
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roverS3

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Some more good progress from the Turkish Army. Despite the arrival of some Axis reinforcements, the offensive has plenty of steam left in it. The salient to Budapest getting wider should allow a better flow of supplies to the tip, and the second thrust towards Timisoara that has just started will surely encircle even more Axis troops.

Turkey's purchase of a top of the line American 6" Cruiser is great news. Such a modern, fast, long-range, survivable ship will be a great asset for a Turkish Navy that will have to thread the needle, and circumvent the Regia Marina. In peacetime, once more powerful ships join our arsenal, it could also serve well as a presence ship to patrol the post-war UGNR, reminding everyone of Turkey's might. Of course, if so inclined, Turkish Naval architects can learn a lot from the construction of modern US cruisers in Turkish dockyards. Of course, if possible, an order for a 2nd, and possibly even a 3rd Worcester-Class CL would go even further, both in beefing up the Navy, and in giving Naval Engineers something to study, and to take inspiration from for future designs.

The war in the shadows has gone very hot and very much not in the Soviet Union's favour. We've lost a valuable double agent for good. Perse, meanwhile is acting very suspiciously, and has to be found as quickly as humanly possible. If she really is 'Rose', as her behaviour now seems to indicate, I am very impressed by her spycraft . However I'm also saddened she isn't on our side anymore. I guess my next dance with her might be a bit more hostile, and potentially lethal. That said, we might never see her again, as often happens in these kinds of cases.
Calixte Charon is of course to be arrested or assassinated. Officially because Turkey cannot let a diplomat's brutal murder go unpunished. Unofficially, because you don't just kill a top NKVD asset and get away with it. Sure, put him under arrest, interrogate him, and then trade him against one of yours we've captured, but murder him in broad daylight? GRU teams specialised in wet-work are already active in Turkey and the UGNR to get Charon, dead or alive. With the GRU, NKVD, and Kaya's men on the job, not to mention likely SITH involvement. I don't see how he can get away.

There will be blood,

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Bullfilter

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OK, it's almost time to bring the Madcap Month of May play-through quadrilogy to a close, where you will also have the benefit of the monthly summaries to see how things have gone in the longer span and on other fronts. First, some feedback on comments I hadn't already responded to:
Time to let the spies 'escape then 'fall over the railings and drown' as a disturbing amount of enemies of the state were want to do in the 19th century.
Yes, things are getting a bit messy - prompted by a sudden flurry of in-game spy captures of British agents in Turkey. There is a chance their ranks will be thinned somewhat as the month draws to a close ... some of them may get a bit wet. :eek:
Definitley something fishy in the air.
"Fishy in the air" - a definite hazard, as a poor recreational fisher in Darwin (Nth Aust) found last week, when an 18kg mackerel leap out of the water, hitting him in the chest as he was out on his fishing boat, killing him. :( Sadly, this actually did happen. Even the mackerel in Australia are deadly! :eek: The fish (other than sharks) do get revenge every so often.
These last weeks the episodes are all crazy and full of action! Both on the field and about special ops. The results on the field has been a bit more mixed than last week, but still there's continuous progress. I feel like a possible offensive through Bekescsaba-Arad-Lipova-Faget or Bekescsaba-Arad-Beius-Bologa lines which is all plains can be even more important than the fall of Budapest or Timisoara by itself. That can take hundreds of thousands of Axis troops out of the equation in one fell swoop.
It has been busy indeed - forcing me to break the month into four chapters! Just when I was hoping to motor through them a bit faster <shrugs>. Still the battlefield and intel action demanded it. As to the next lines of attack, that could be a possibility, but we need to wrap up the current offensive phase first. Things are fluid right now (more so than they have been for literally years), so improvisation and opportunism will play a major role.
But the real crazy stuff was about intelligence. Calixte losing it, but also figuring out the Soviet mole, Brasi coming back from the olive groves, and a head heel turn by Perse! So much is about to happen! Thanks for the great episode.
Calixte was inevitably descending into his own heart of darkness. Small secret: Perse has been a British agent since about 1937 as a few hinted at along the way. Even when @El Pip was railing against her selling out to the Turks, I had to keep quiet about it so as to leave it uncertain. Her loyalties are in fact split: she has served Turkey assiduously and genuinely all this time, especially since the Comintern voluntarily joined the Second Great War, making them and the UK 'small a' allies. It's just that she's also provided background information to her British homeland and tried to get 'the Thorn' Rosencrantz into the network until he was discovered/betrayed. Do you remember when she was such a booster of Churchill earlier on? And how could 'the Rose' be anything other than a glamorous agent, really? ;) Even now, her situation and allegiances are ... complicated. And her fate uncertain.
I'm not really sure they'd name it Reşidiye or Reşadiye, that would be too Ottoman of a naming convention (a flagship importance capital getting into service and taking its name from the reigning sultan, for example if this was during the reign of Mehmet V Reşad, it could be named Reşadiye). After the 70s some ships were named after former Ottoman sultans but that's almost always from the expansion era of Ottomans, and not until it's been 50 years since the Republic was declared. Does the leadership regard this ship as a top of the line ship because it's most modern or as a screen? Depending on that I can suggest names.
I'd welcome your views on a new name for when it is launched - perhaps for a class of light cruisers? Unless (like many countries do, including Australia) I just start naming them after cities. But I won't be calling it the Ataturk: what if it were sunk!? :eek:
This is weird to me, even without reinforcement they should've won from what I remember from the initial status
So when the battle started, 1 Mot was up against the German 20. PzGren (inf): neither had an armour advantage, the Germans had better leadership and an advantage in the damage %: 197.6% for the Turks and 229.6% for the Germans; but as the attack % would have been halved during the night. The bratwurst-eaters were at about 50% strength but 100% org. It was a close-run thing, and the Germans suffered a few more casualties than the Turks, but their org held up better. It seems (as I think Prof @nuclearslurpee remarked a while back) that strength doesn't seem to play as big a part as you'd think it might. :confused:
Why oh why our allies are helping the English spy? :/
'Help' can be a very ambiguous term ... who knows what is really happening there? And Guildenstern would have wanted to help his old partner in crime anyway, whether the British asked or not.
Good to see that we're procuring a 6" gun cruiser from the Americans! Hopefully we can find room in the budget for a few more!
It will be a powerful and effective vessel compared to the other poor old things in our navy.
Also, concerning our officer ratios, could that be why we're suffering a bit? Because we don't have a fair bit of officers going around?
This is likely a significant contribution, although I'll admit that even I'm vague on just which factors the officer ratio influences and how. I do know ORG is directly influenced, for sure, I believe combat movement and delay are as well. Reinforcement rates may be influenced indirectly (due to low ORG) or directly, not sure.
I knew this at one point but have forgotten the specifics again :D:rolleyes:. I do recall though it is pretty important as a multiplier of something, so will be trying to rebuild it again. Though I don't think we've really been suffering too badly, given the ambition of the current offensive. But I don't like it when it slips below 100%. I'd have it at the full 140% if I could afford the LS!
The plot thickens...

...considerably. Now the wheels are really coming off in the dark Turkish underworld.
And it will get thicker before it thins out again!
Another tidbit that may as well have been an ATL event. Not like Turkey will ever see Yamamoto in-game to ruin the suspension of disbelief anyways! :D
Possibly, though I know in-game that leaders seem to be indestructible - and the only thing the US in this ATL sends anywhere past Hawaii are a few sub flotillas! :(:rolleyes:
I continue to believe that this splitting of attention between two offensive targets is more than Turkish capabilities can realistically bear at this point. Although at least the broad front between Budapest and Timisoara is leading to a highly-effective rolling-up of the Hungarian flank!
Inonu is now just pushing his luck as far as he can - and gambling on it contributing to a larger Russian success, which has always been behind the Turkish war strategy. If things get too hard, we have secured some nice riverlines we can defend if an operational pause is required. You will soon see how things pan out over the last six days on May, anyway. At which point there will time for review, consultation and discussion of possible next steps.
As pictured. If we can reach Timisoara, I see little to no reason why we won't shortly after be able to pocket the entire mountain range quite frankly, assuming the Romanians can keep up the good fight on the right flank!
Per above, the next six days will be informative along those lines, including where the Soviets and Romanians are up to.
Again some great success. Novi Sad is yours again and Pecs finally, too. And with Budapest still in sight und even Timisoara seems to be reachable soon! At least the FM thinks so.
Retaking Timisoara would be sweet for both Romania and Turkey, while Budapest would put Hungary on death's door. Still lots of hard work to achieve both ... we'll see how far things get by the end of May.
Getting over the Danube is the trick. Once over, both easier time of transporting stuff and fewer difficulties moving forward. Still, the balkans are falling, and when we get to the stage where we're wrapping them up, italy and germany are sure to start getting worried about invasions of their own homeland.

Hungary certainly looks screwed at this point.
If we can get loose in those plains beyond the Danube and Carpathians, and have our Pact partners helping on the eastern flank, then the Hungarians will not discover the meaning of mercy from us, anyway.
Some more good progress from the Turkish Army. Despite the arrival of some Axis reinforcements, the offensive has plenty of steam left in it. The salient to Budapest getting wider should allow a better flow of supplies to the tip, and the second thrust towards Timisoara that has just started will surely encircle even more Axis troops.
Per above, I won't spoil, suffice to say another busy six days will reveal a bit more of the bigger picture, but things have been encouraging so far. Whether they are sustainable as well remains, of course, the 64 lire question!
Turkey's purchase of a top of the line American 6" Cruiser is great news. Such a modern, fast, long-range, survivable ship will be a great asset for a Turkish Navy that will have to thread the needle, and circumvent the Regia Marina. In peacetime, once more powerful ships join our arsenal, it could also serve well as a presence ship to patrol the post-war UGNR, reminding everyone of Turkey's might. Of course, if so inclined, Turkish Naval architects can learn a lot from the construction of modern US cruisers in Turkish dockyards. Of course, if possible, an order for a 2nd, and possibly even a 3rd Worcester-Class CL would go even further, both in beefing up the Navy, and in giving Naval Engineers something to study, and to take inspiration from for future designs.
I want to get the destroyer arm into the mid-20th century too, but am looking forward to the eventual launch of that nice new cruiser.
The war in the shadows has gone very hot and very much not in the Soviet Union's favour. We've lost a valuable double agent for good. Perse, meanwhile is acting very suspiciously, and has to be found as quickly as humanly possible. If she really is 'Rose', as her behaviour now seems to indicate, I am very impressed by her spycraft . However I'm also saddened she isn't on our side anymore. I guess my next dance with her might be a bit more hostile, and potentially lethal. That said, we might never see her again, as often happens in these kinds of cases.
Calixte Charon is of course to be arrested or assassinated. Officially because Turkey cannot let a diplomat's brutal murder go unpunished. Unofficially, because you don't just kill a top NKVD asset and get away with it. Sure, put him under arrest, interrogate him, and then trade him against one of yours we've captured, but murder him in broad daylight? GRU teams specialised in wet-work are already active in Turkey and the UGNR to get Charon, dead or alive. With the GRU, NKVD, and Kaya's men on the job, not to mention likely SITH involvement. I don't see how he can get away.There is a multi-horse race on now for both Perse and 'Charon' (two separate races, really). And some serious players vying for the prizes.

There will be blood
Oh, of that you can be sure! Brasi has been brought in again out of retirement, but working for Kaya in this case - the SITH are still largely focused on the foreign espionage war, basically in Italy.

All: thanks once more for all the excellent comments! Work started on the next chapter, which ha a head-start as the session was already played and most of the screenshots edited. Hopefully no more than a day or two to write, tidy up and publish, at which point we'll be all up to date again.
 
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diskoerekto

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I'd welcome your views on a new name for when it is launched - perhaps for a class of light cruisers? Unless (like many countries do, including Australia) I just start naming them after cities. But I won't be calling it the Ataturk: what if it were sunk!? :eek:
That's maybe why in real life also there's no Ataturk. Half of the corvettes are named after Turkish islands and half of them after place names starting with B, half of the submarines after important wars from history and half of them just invented stuff, half of frigates after place names starting with G, half of frigates historical admirals, and finally the airplane-less CVLs after the 2 main landmasses of Turkey (Anatolia and Thrace). If you decide to go with place names (cities, islands, regions) it starts with the first letter of the class of ship. Otherwise, I'll be happy to help with a name when the time's near.
 
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Chapter 202: Madcap May-hem (26 to 31 May 1943)

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Chapter 202: Madcap May-hem (26 to 31 May 1943)

AuthAAR’s Note: The fourth and final instalment of the previously played-through Mad Month of May follows. After that, the chapters will have again caught up with the game, so any strategic or operational advice, comments or criticisms will be both welcome and apposite! Once more, it's busy, so let's get straight into it.

---xxx---

Recap

As 25 May ended, the Turkish salient to the south of Budapest had been widened to the east, even though the attack on Monor had finally been defeated. A secondary thrust from the Danube towards Timisoara had begun, but was in its early days yet. The concerted enemy effort to retake Srboban, to the south-west of Timisoara, had been repulsed as Comintern units started to position themselves for another pincer attack (the 'Left Hook') towards the now famous city.

---xxx---

26 May 43

The ‘Right Hook’ advance from the Danube towards Timisoara gathered pace early on 26 May when 4 and 18 Inf Divs seized the undefended Mehadia. With 5 Inf Div on the way from Orsova, both divisions immediately moved to advance on the mountainous Resita – and at this early stage they could not yet see whether it was occupied or not.


At the same time, way over in Vrnograc, the recently deployed 19 Inf Div was deemed sufficiently organised for Wehib Pasha’s 1 Armd Div to be released, leaving the defence there under the leadership of MAJGEN Diskorekto, commanding 3 Mtn Div. Wehib was ordered all the way across to Subotica, to be prepared for a later assault towards Timisoara.

At 9am, MAJGEN Naci Tinaz ordered 2 Armd Div to make a blitzing attack on Kanjiza, supported by Turkish ground strikes, which went in at 10am. But the defending Germans, while being a bit the worse for wear, were dug in, behind a river, and their commander negated the bold attack with a skilful elastic defence. To the immediate north, the advancing 6 Inf Div met no resistance as it moved forward on Hódmezövásrhely, where the Axis only had fleeing HQ troops.


Meanwhile, the German attack on Kaposvár, now being defended by the Turkish 1 Mar Div, which had begun the day before, saw 156 SD join from Pécs in reserve [2.20% reinforcement chance/round]. Despite continuing Italian air strikes, the marines were holding firm [30% progress].

By mid-afternoon 2 Armd Div’s attack on Kanjiza was not making the hoped-for progress and it was called off at 3pm (Turkish 55 v 42 German casualties).

Air Damage Report. The two days of Turkish air raids on Kanjiza finished that night, accounting for 615 German defenders killed. And two days of Italian raids on Kaposvár also ended, having killed 428 Turkish marines.

---xxx---

27 May 43

At 1am on 27 May, German infantry assaulted the ‘heavy’ (ie IS-2 equipped) 17 Inf Div in Kecskemét, south-east of Monor. The Turks’ heavy armour was easily proof against the Germans' AT guns. While the Germans tried to deal with their nasty surprise there, four hours later a three-division Turkish attack went in on Senta from Srboban, across a river. But the enemy had only just retreated, were already badly mauled and had not yet been able to dig in at all.


Note: The picture on the right relates to the panel on the left.

With the attack on Kanjiza called off the day before, at 4am 1 TAG (currently 2 x TAC and 1 x CAS with Hawk III and P51-D fighter escort) was switched to support the attack on Senta. Then at 7am, MAJGEN Gürler, advancing with 6 Inf Div on Hódmezövásrhely, reported than the Italian 12th Division had slipped in to conduct a hasty defence and he would have to attack them. Initial reports came in that the enemy were short of supplies and the quick attack was progressing well [+70%].

At midday, the enemy attack on 17 Inf Div in Kecskemét, begun early that morning, ended in German defeat (Turkish 46 v 216 German casualties). Victory was also reported in the Turkish attack on Senta, but no casualty report for the skirmish was available.

Air Damage Report. A single Turkish raid on Senta conducted before the battle was won killed 88 enemy. Two Italian air strikes in support of the now ended German attack on Kecskemét killed 181 men of 17 Inf Div.

In Izmir, Perse stayed holed up in a small apartment, waiting tensely for word of an escape plan to be formulated. It seemed it would be too diplomatically dangerous to try to smuggle her directly on board the next visiting US ship, due on 28 May for a two-day visit, while docked. Apparently, Turkish police were being particularly vigilant at all ports at the moment. And Perse, Turkish Air Force Poster Girl, was not exactly an unknown face. Instead, the plan was to ferry her out on small launch to rendezvous with the warship - the heavy cruiser USS Pensacola - just as it had left Turkish waters. Her American OSS 'handler' was trying to make these arrangements with some local smugglers, who were as yet unaware of the true cargo or its destination.

---xxx---

28 May 43

The battle for Hódmezövásrhely had started brightly enough for 6 Inf Div, but just as they had been getting the better of Italians’ hasty defence, at 1am the half-strength but fully organised German 20. Infanterie had joined and reinforced, while enemy supply seemed to have been restored. This turned the odds significantly against Gürler’s men [down to 14% progress]. An hour later, 1 TAG was ordered to try to retrieve the situation by commencing ground attacks on the defenders.

The next Axis fight-back came at 4am with a new and large coordinated attack on 17 Inf Div in Kecskemét from the north-west and east. This was also giving the enemy time to reinforce their line in and to the west of Budapest, including an unidentified SS unit now defending the Hungarian capital.


1 TAG discovered that enemy fighter cover did extend to Hódmezövásrhely when they were attacked by a German fighter group at 10am. The ground attack was still pressed home, but the Yak-4s of 3 TAK suffered significant disorganisation, though not heavy loss of airframes.


After the group returned to base in Beograd, 3 TAK was detached to recuperate and it was decided Hódmezövásrhely remained a little too hot at the moment for Turkey’s limited serviceable air assets. Gataly’s group was redirected to Kanjiza, to prepare it for another attack in a day or two.

Good news came at 2pm from the marines defending Kaposvár, with victory in the expensive three-day defensive battle (Turkey 756 v 634 German casualties). And by 4pm, the Senta bridgehead had been occupied by the three attacking Turkish divisions, but they had to wait almost another two days before they could attack again.


To their north though, both the battles were currently running against the Turks. Inönü was not happy to let this continue to drift without responding. 97 SD ‘Shev’ arrived in Kiskunhalas at 11pm and was ordered to join Toüdemür’s powerful 2 Mot Div in a renewed attack on Monor, this time to spoil the Axis attack on Kecskemét. It went in on the stroke of midnight. For now, 6 Inf Div persisted in its attack on Hódmezövásrhely to keep them occupied, but it was a losing equation.


Air Damage Report. The single Turkish ground attack on Hódmezövásrhely had killed 132 Axis troops, while the new mission against Kanjiza had just commenced and would continue for the next couple of days. The Italians had stopped bombing Kecskemét, switching to Kaposvár (133 killed before the attack there was called off) and then a single raid on Szeged, killing 121 defenders.

---xxx---

29 May 43

At midnight, the still-recovering, three-brigade 4 US Mar Div arrived in Székesfehérvár to join 15 Inf Div on the west bank of the Danube opposite Budapest. The idea was to be able to hold it while 15 Inf Div was freed for further attacking duties.

Next to kick off was a renewed cross-river attack on Kanjiza, with 7 Inf Div now supporting 2 Armd Div and with air support, but it was still a difficult attack against entrenched German troops, who then counter-attacked. The three other battles to the north continued; this sector now really heating up.


The spoiling attack on Monor soon succeeded in drawing the enemy off their assault on 17 Inf Div, who now very much had the upper hand against the remaining Italian infantry division [suddenly down to 6% progress] attacking them from the east. The corollary was that the attack on Monor was now far more difficult [reduced to 32% progress].

At midday, an assessment of the Timisoara offensive showed progress within a complex and dynamic situation. To the north, the series of battles continued. The Turkish divisions in Kula were still reorganising, while German formations retreated – including the despised SS-Verf, which it seemed might actually be trapped once its withdrawal from Srboban struck this large Turkish roadblock in Kula. North of Beograd, it seemed the Axis units in the forming ‘Zrenjanin Pocket’ were now alert to their danger and many were starting to withdraw north – even as some troops headed into the pocket from Timisoara.


This alert may have been triggered by the occupation of Resita at midday, with a light enemy probe by the Hungarian 10th Div brushed off at 1pm (Turkish 0 v 40 Hungarian casualties). 18 Inf Div stayed to hold Resita, while MAJGEN Tunaboylu’s 4 Inf Div kept pushing towards Lugoj in a desperate attempt to close the pocket off from the east. 177 SD was ordered forward to protect their right flank.

The bloodletting in Hódmezövásrhely had gone on long enough: at 7pm the attack was called off, with 6 Inf Div suffering 650 killed and the enemy 347. But to the north, the battles for Monor [97% progress] and Kecskemét [0% enemy progress] had dramatically turned for the better. Later that night and early the next morning, both these battles ended in convincing Comintern victories. The attack odds in Kanjiza had improved a little, but it was still tough going.


Air Damage Report. Turkish strikes on Kanjiza continued throughout the day and went on into the next, four being delivered that day alone. The Italians continued to raid Kecskemét with another two ground attacks that day, also continuing into the 30th.

---xxx---

30 May 43

Despite the odds [still only 46% progress] and superior German tactics (another elastic defence vs blitz negation), by 7am the German 24. Infanterie Div was running out of organisation in Kanjiza and remained under incessant Turkish air attack.

At 10am, the Axis’ desire to strike back even under such pressure led to a determined attack by two divisions on Senta from Ada – halting any move by them to leave the forming Zrenjanin Pocket. It was possible they were motivated by a desire to try to save the retreating SS-Verf, which was still making for Kula from Srboban, which had itself now been secured behind them by 2 Inf Div, effectively cutting them off. By 5pm, a hard-fought victory was declared in Kanjiza, widening the bridgehead and the thrust towards Timisoara. Heavy air attacks over recent days had assisted greatly in driving home the win there.


The current UGNR flag on the left, with the Turkish Air Force Crest on the right.
[Alt-historical Note: not sure if it was quite a thing by this time in OTL, but the Turkish Air Force was significant by then. In ATL, with war and the expansion of the Air Arm, its separate identity and symbols are assumed to have been confirmed already.]

More good news came in the north, where the fast-moving 2 Mot Div had occupied Monor at 4pm – but still had four days of post-attack reorganisation to complete before they could resume the offensive! This brought more pressure on Budapest and from the far bank of the Danube, but it was now well-defended.


Its work done in Kanjiza, late that night 1 TAG’s efforts were switched to the Axis troops in Ada, who were still attacking Senta. The new mission would kick off early the next day.

Air Damage Report. Nine Turkish raids in just over two days ended up killing 804 defenders in Kanjiza – almost double the casualties inflicted on them in the ground battle. The Axis were getting some of their own medicine! Vur ha! In two days of resumed ground attacks on Kecskemét the Italians killed another 299 Turkish defenders. This ended Axis air strikes for the month. But the Turks were not finished yet.

Sporting News: US. The four team All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), the first and only professional baseball league with women players, made its debut, with the South Bend Blue Sox (Indiana) beating the Rockford Peaches (Illinois), 1–0. In the game with the two Wisconsin teams Kenosha Shamrocks beat the Racine Belles, 8–6.

(2.29m)
Trailer for “A League of Their Own”, 1992 – the movie is old enough now to have become history itself. Although in this ATL, there seem to be so few US troops fighting overseas (except for the Marines on loan to Turkey) that Major League Baseball is probably still viable!

---xxx---

31 May 43

Midnight. Luca Brasi sat at a bar in Ankara. He had received a tip-off about the murderous Calixte Charon and the barman insisted he knew where the fugitive was.

“Where is he?” demanded Brasi gruffly. He was in no mood for messing about. He wore his trademark bullet-proof vest and was, as always, heavily armed.

“What’s in it for me?” asked the nervous but grasping informer, with what (a little strangely) seemed to be a cockney-accented Turkish. “What reward do you offer?”

“One you don’t refuse!” responded the slightly annoyed enforcer. “I will let you live. Perhaps a few hundred lire for you as well. Now, give me the info!”

“It’s in this envelope,” said the apprehensive barman, pushing it across the bar. “He’s very close by ...”
Brasi reached for the envelope with a grudging grunt of satisfaction.

At which point, the little barman brought his other hand from under the bar … bearing a large knife, which he quickly plunged into Brasi’s hand as it reached the envelope, pinning it to the bar.

Brasi’s yell of pain and alarm masked the sound of a soft approach behind him. But that was shattered by the sharp pain of a garotte slicing into his throat.

Charon’s crazed voice sounded in his ear: “Very close indeed, you old dinosaur! David Callan sends his regards!”

Brasi thrashed, unable to get his left hand to one of his many weapons, his struggles gradually weakening. As he slumped, however, the door to the bar slammed open – an NKVD ‘wet worker’ bursting in, a Makarov 9mm in each hand.

The barman went for a shotgun but soon had a small hole between his eyes as a single shot drilled his forehead.

An alarmed Charon dropped the garotte and went for his own revolver, but was shot in the heart before he could draw. There would be no interrogations tonight – another British agent and his accomplice, the third team for the month – had been neutralised. Even if, at that point anyway, his true identity and handlers were not known by the Comintern agencies.

The NKVD man had been tailing Brasi, to see if he could pick up a lead of his own for his parent agency. He checked the legendary ex-Mafioso and SITH operative for a pulse. But there was none. Luca Brasi was really dead this time, even if he didn’t sleep with the fishes.


The barman had actually been ‘Lonely’, Callan’s ‘dogsbody’, in Ankara to get a report from ‘Romeo’ and - having heard what had transpired - try to spirit him out. Now both were gone. But the ledger was fairly even, if Callan did not yet know it. Romeo had discovered and eliminated at least one of the Soviet moles infiltrating MI6, facilitated the escape of Perse (if largely by accident) and with Lonely’s help taken down the infamous Luca Brasi.
In the hours after this dramatic denouement in distant Ankara, the action at the battlefront was just as intense on 31 May. At 4am (map note 1 below) German troops in Faget attacked 4 and 18 Inf Divs in Resita – unlikely to succeed, but distracting. Just an hour later 2 Armd Div secured Kanjiza after their victory the day before.


Then at 9am, the Axis attack on Senta from Ada was beaten off with heavy casualties. The enemy resumed their withdrawal to the north-east, trying to escape the forming pocket. This freed up the Turkish forces in Senta, now finished their previous post-attack reorganisation, to launch their much anticipated attack on Timisoara – which quickly swept away the sole Hungarian corps HQ currently there at 2pm.

But at 1pm, 12. Pz Div had pulled into Resita before the Turks could take it, sparking an encounter battle (map note 2 above). Alas, even the improved Turkish AT guns 4 Inf Div carried were not quite enough to over-match the German medium armour, which would reduce enemy casualties. Both these battles would continue throughout the day.

While this dynamic situation developed in the Zrenjanin Pocket, the Turks pressed further with an attack across the Danube and from the recently arrived 5 Inf Div in Mehadia on Vrsac, which the Hungarians were now withdrawing from. The enemy did not stay to defend (as had been half-hoped) and quickly retreated (Turkish 7 v 41 Hungarian casualties). 9 Inf Div now pushed forward to reinforce the advance, and 177 SD was recalled from its flank guard role in Lupeni, as the Romanians and Soviets (EFs) had advanced in force in that sector.


With the battle for Senta won and the enemy retreating from Ada, 1 TAG was switched that night to hit the German armour in Lugoj, given they had both CAS and TAC wings attached. Strikes would start the next morning.

That night, the elusive Major Tyler Durden paid a call into the HQ of MAJGEN Seven’s 14 Inf Div, which was advancing on Timisoara.

“We have a small request for you, Major Durden,” said Seven’s divisional intelligence officer. “Could you do a recon of the city for us, advise what state it is in and whether any Axis troops are there or approaching it? If you do find any, you can have a little fun with them.”

“Oh yes, Colonel, I certainly will,” said Durden, his mad eyes agleam and a charming but at the same time disturbing smile spreading on his face. As he was turning to leave, there was a commotion in the CP.

“What is it?” asked the Intel-O sharply.

“It’s the SS-Verf Division sir. They are in the bag! They have just surrendered as they crossed into Senta!” cries of ‘Vur ha!’ and other saltier exclamations rang out around the CP.

“Excellent, excellent. Prepare a report for 1st Army HQ immediately – the Milli Şef himself will want to know about this.”

“Yessir! Initial reports are three SS brigades and around 5,600 fanatics have given up. We will provide more details once we have them.”

[Note: this too will be summarised in an intel section in the planned supplement, which will also cover broadly what other allied (Comintern and British) intel organisations are doing – some of that will be ‘in-ATL narrative’, a little will be more OOC info likely to be of general interest to my dear readers, but that could be reasonably provided given the in-world relationships. :)]

---xxx---

As the ‘Month of Mad May-hem’ drew to a close, not long before midnight Perse was walking carefully along the water’s edge in Izmir, along the picturesque Kordon Esplanade. She was making for the Pasaport Quay, where she was to hop aboard a smuggler’s motor launch.

The plan had changed yet again: the risk of security compromise from notoriously unreliable smugglers and the diplomatic embarrassment that might flow from word of a direct rendezvous with a US warship leaking out was deemed too great. Instead, Perse was to be smuggled out of Izmir along the coast, with a few crates of (actual) contraband as the cover story, bound for the US-occupied base of Rodi (Rhodes), which they had taken from Italy earlier in the war.

The crates were already aboard, now Perse – thinly disguised in coveralls and with her hair hidden under a floppy sailor’s cap – just had to get herself aboard. They were departing just after midnight, which it would be in about 20 minutes. She hung to the shadows and was nearing her destination when a voice called out from in front of a photography shop.

“You there, young fellow, halt!” said a voice in Turkish. It belonged to a police officer, who had been lurking in the shadows but now stepped into the bright light of a street lamp.

Perse halted, her heart racing.

The policeman got out a small leaflet, which had a description of 'most wanted' fugitives on it. He looked up from it at Perse. “Face me and take that hat off!”

Perse contemplated running, but kept her calm. She removed the hat, her long blond hair flowing down. The policeman’s eyes widened a little. “It is, you! Hands up! You’re under arrest!”


Top left: the Kordon in Izmir, c. 1940. Bottom left: a Turkish policeman; Perse is discovered. Right: the planned escape route to US-occupied Rhodes, where Admiral Chester Nimitz’s 15th Navy lay at anchor in port. Note his flagship, the heavy cruiser USS Pensacola, is a Kirov-class vessel! As are the other two heavy cruisers in the task force.
I will be doing a special little technical digest on in-service and latest models of Turkey’s two main Comintern allies in between now and the next chapter. This little surprise got me looking into things a little bit more: I had thought naval licenses must be limited to CL, but the US has Kirovs (why is another matter). Does this mean the limit is affected by what basic types of vessel one can build? More on this in the subsequent digest post.
---xxx---

Intel Report – Italy

During May, the Secret War in Italy had remained fairly quiet. The Italians had no counter-espionage teams left at the end of April and seemed not to have added any during the month. Nor had there been any more evidence of Slovakian or other Axis stooges operating against Turkish interests there. All through the month, one third of the Turkish effort had however remained on counter-espionage just in case, the other two thirds on disrupting their national unity through propaganda and sponsorship of dissident groups.

Cennet reported that by S.I.T.H. calculations, Italian surrender progress was 6.2% and national unity was 74.8% at the beginning of the month. The estimate by the end of the month was surrender progress of 8.5% and NU of 73.9%. It seemed the Turkish efforts were making some inroads, though other unknown factors could also have applied, including any espionage efforts by partners or the loss of Italian convoys. [Some of those aspects, with agreed sharing decided at the recent intel gathering that B.J. Guildenstern had attended in Turkey, will be covered in the supplement.]

---xxx---

Monthly Theatre Summaries

The Patriotic Front was largely a story of Comintern success over May, especially in the Balkans, where the largest and most consistent gains had been made. The story in Russia was also mainly positive, but the Germans had nibbled back a little ground in the former Baltic States.


A more detailed look at the Northern Sector showed the Germans had kept a tenuous land supply line open to Army Group North, but that was now also threatened near Narva, where a Soviet tank division had made a recent inroad. The Axis lodgement above Lake Ladoga was now being pushed back, but the line south of there was steady.


Combat in the Central Sector had been largely positive for the Soviets, with some shallow but consistent advances made over the month, including the liberation of Wilno from Nazi clutches.


In the South, the Soviets had also inched forward, with Lwow under threat from two directions now, but still in Axis hands.


Romania continued to be a success story, with a broad and deep advance by Comintern forces making Turkey’s right flank look very secure. The advance had made it up to the outskirts of the key (VP) Romanian city of Cluj.


The Turkish Spring Offensive – Operation Mayhem – had made the most startling gains, after a month of relentless pressure and heavy fighting on the ground and in the air. While the combat reports have given details of all the operations, the map below summarise the extent of advances since the beginning of the month (though of course the offensive began before that, further back) plus specific battles and provinces that had taken in the last six days of fighting in May 1943.


The green dashed line is the 1 May start point, yellow the front line at the end of 25 May and blue the front at the end of the month. The thicker dashed red lines are the pre-war borders, so it can be seen that Turkey has now advanced deep into Hungary. The ‘Zrenjanin Pocket’ zone is shaded in orange: while most Axis units there have been thinned out in recent weeks, some are still in the DANGER ZONE.

Turkish manpower reserves had sunk to 55,000 men, even with a monthly gain of 13,900. Not counting unfinished battles, missing reports or (for the Axis) prisoners taken during the month (in Pécs and more recently in Senta), estimated casualties were:
  • Turkey (including EFs) ground combat losses of 15,672 and another 7,388 from enemy air attacks, for a total of 23,060 combat losses.
  • Axis forces lost in ground combat 28,657, with another 5,059 killed by Turkish air raids, for a total of 33,716.
Hungary was now estimated to be significantly demoralised with over a third of its citizens wanting a general surrender, despite fair high national unity. Budapest, Debrecen and Kosice were the remaining strategic objectives. It was hoped Turkey’s allies might be able to help with their seizure, to knock the Hungarians out of the war.


The situation in the Far East had improved modestly, with one partisan uprising snuffed out but a new one started behind the lines. There was a long way to go, but at least the line was now gradually heading east again.



---xxx---

Allied reporting showed some less dramatic progress had been made that month in North Africa with British armour now approaching Tripoli, while Bengasi had finally been seized (no doubt accounting for the small rise in Italian surrender progress).


The main changes in South East Asia were in eastern India and a Japanese advance in Papua. Singapore still remained in British hands, after all this time.


The situation in India continued to deteriorate for the British. Dhaka had fallen and Calcutta was the next major centre now coming under threat.


In Papua, Wewak had been taken by a Japanese offensive which had moved past it, but enemy dispositions there were not visible. The Australians only had a weak garrison brigade holding the port of Lae at this stage.


Not much had changed in western Borneo, but British Marines and a Gurkha division seemed to be holding their own, the marines even advancing towards Pontianak.


But more alarming was news that New Zealand had been invaded, with Auckland being seized and Japanese marines advancing south from there.



---xxx---

Naval Report

May 1943 saw a heavy toll taken on the Allied navies in the Far East by the IJN. A total of 1 x BB, 1 x BC, 4 x CA, 2 x CL and 2 x (RAN) DD were lost by the Allies (MFUs sunk are listed below). The Italians lost 1 x DD and 1 x TP, the Japanese just 1 x DD. Of course, damage sustained is unknown.


HMS Malaya (BB) was a Royal Navy Queen Elizabeth-class battleship. She fought in the Battle of Jutland as part of the Grand Fleet in Great War One. Displacement 33,110 t; complement 1,217; main armament 4 × twin 15-inch (381 mm) guns. Sunk by IJNS Chitose (CVL) in May 1943.


HMS Renown.

HMS Renown (BC) was the lead ship of her class of battlecruisers of the Royal Navy. Laid down 25 January 1915; launched 4 March 1916; commissioned 20 September 1916. Displacement 27,600 t; complement 1223; main armament 3 × twin 15 in (381 mm) guns. Sunk by IJNS Akagi (CV) in May 1943.


HMS Carlisle (CL), HMS Capetown (CL) and HMS Ceres (CL) were C-class light cruisers of the Royal Navy, all sunk in May 1943. Displacement 4,290 t; complement around 330; main armament 5 × 6-inch (152 mm) guns.
  • Ceres was laid down 26 April 1916; launched 24 March 1917; commissioned 1 June 1917 and sunk by IJNS Nachi (CA).
  • Capetown was laid down 23 February 1917; launched 28 June 1918, commissioned February 1922 and sunk by IJNS Akagi (CV).
  • Carlisle was laid down 2 October 1917; launched 9 July 1918; commissioned 11 November 1918 (Armistice Day!) and sunk by IJNS Chokai (CA).


Colbert and Tourville.

Colbert (CA) was a French heavy cruiser of the Suffren class. Laid down, 12 June 1927, launched 20 April 1928, commissioned 4 March 1931. Displacement 10,000 t (standard); complement 773; main armament 8 × 203 mm (8.0 in)/50 Modèle 1924 guns (4 × 2). Sunk by IJNS Amagi (CV) in May 1943.

Tourville (CA) was a French Duquesne-class heavy cruiser. Laid down 14 April 1925; launched 24 August 1926; commissioned 1 December 1928. Displacement 10,000 t (standard); complement 605; main armament 8 × 203 mm (8.0 in)/50 Modèle 1924 guns (4 × 2). Sunk by IJNS Kaga (CV) in May 1943.


HMAS Canberra: above, in happier times; below, sinking before being abandoned and scuttled after being struck by gunfire from the Japanese battlecruiser Kongo, May 1943.

HMAS Canberra (CA), named after the Australian capital city of Canberra, was a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) heavy cruiser of the Kent sub-class of County-class cruisers. Laid down 9 September 1925; launched 31 May 1927; commissioned 9 July 1928. Displacement 10,000 t; complement 819 (varied); main armament 4 × 2 – 8-inch (203 mm) guns (4 twin turrets). Sunk by IJNS Kongo (BC) in May 1943.
On 9 August 1942, Canberra was struck by the opening Japanese shots of the Battle of Savo Island, and was quickly damaged. Unable to propel herself, the cruiser was evacuated and sunk in Ironbottom Sound by two American destroyers. Three US cruisers were also destroyed during the battle, and a US destroyer was damaged.

Per Wikipedia: the United States Navy Baltimore-class cruiser USS Canberra was named in honour of the Australian ship, and is the only American warship named for a foreign capital city. In recognition of the valour displayed by the Australian ship and her company, United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wished to commemorate the loss of HMAS Canberra by naming a US ship in her honour. The under-construction Baltimore-class cruiser Pittsburgh was selected to be renamed USS Canberra. The ship was launched on 19 April 1943.

This in-game sinking is sad, as Canberra is my home town. :(

---xxx---

Coming Up: After another frenetic and bloody month for Turkey, on the front and in the Secret War, what will June hold for them and the rest of the Comintern? Will this be the month the Axis finally cracks in Europe? Can Hungary be taken out of the war? 1 June will mark the third anniversary of the start of the Great Liberation War of the Comintern against the Fascists, sparked by Turkey’s bold declaration of war on the Germans on 1 June 1940, when France was still in the war. Three years on, Axis troops still infest parts of the UGNR and significant parts of the Soviet Union, but far less than they did a year ago.

[NB: In OTL, three years after Barbarossa was mid-1944. In this ATL, the Japanese remain deep in in the Soviet's east, have invaded India, though have not yet cleared up South East Asia. The US remains the ATL Arsenal of the Anti-Fascist League, but is barely engaged in combat operations, especially against the Japanese. And there is no second European (western) front, while the Italians are yet to be kicked out of North Africa.]

What will happen to Perse – will midnight strike on 1 June to reveal yet another British spy neutralised in Turkey? Will things remain quiet in Italy, or will the focus now swing back to Cennet’s activities?

Look out for the supplementary info digest that will cover US and Soviet major equipment platforms, supplementary intel information, Tyler Durden’s recon report of Timisoara and an analysis of the captured SS-Verf Division.
 
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TheButterflyComposer

The Dark Lord Kelebek
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Well well, despite the far east looking horrible for everyone not Japanese, operation mayhem was a giant success for our side and all who planned and carried it out. Hungary is in dire straights and Romania soon to be fully liberated. With the GNR nearly back to prewar borders and Russia smashing the germans further north (even german succes in the baltic is good news, it means their army is still around and beind reinforced rather than withdrawn from the soon to be large pocket). The war on the patriotic front is excellent.

North Africa less so, but it seems finally that the Italians are down and soon to be out. Hopefully this fixes the british ai and they send everything to India and the far east. Losing new Zealand and every other island in the Pacific bar austrlaia is a nightmare scenario for the US and UK, and yet one that seems increasingly likely. In a way, its good cos it keeps them busy and far away from European affairs.

Perse meanwhile is due for a long chat with the intelligence minister and a shorter chat beforehand with Kelebek. We can either throw her to the wolves or tie this strategic asset even tighter to us and get some more use out of her (and then throw her to the wolves if needs be). The british merely played the game well for once so I'm not too bothered, but the amercians, despite the see-through ploy, are annoying me and SITH in this matter. With Brasi gone (damn, I guess I do need to zombify him this time), blood demands blood. Not sure who yet, though if I were BJ I'd run a lot faster than Perse to a destroyer and leave.
 
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Wraith11B

Call Kenny Loggins, you're in the DANGER ZONE...
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I'm amazed that Major Loggins managed to not roll up Durden from his activities, but I guess that is what happens when he goes to someone else's HQ!

That seems... odd... that the US has a "Kirov-class" heavy cruiser. As in, that sounds like a foulup with the models file. Though as I know of it, from my experience with aircraft and ship sales in my AAR, if a country model exists, it will use that model rather than what it was purchased as.
 
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stnylan

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I remain intriguied by exactly what is going on with Perse.

The month-overview just shows how much things have come with Operation mayhem. If Timisoara can only be reclaimed and seal the pocket in the process it will be very sweet.
 
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Wraith11B

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Another follow-up RFI: Looks like a bunch of divisions in the presumptive pocket. Do we have any intelligence on which divisions are there (or at least a brigade make up)? Another: are those German divisions wearing Slovakian hats?!
 
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Bullfilter

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are those German divisions wearing Slovakian hats?!
Quick answer: I’m sure there are a few: my default is to not worry much about EF command arrangements and always describe the divisions by their parent country ID. Mostly the Germans have been under either Hungarian or their own command, but a few have been (shudder) serving under a Slovakian HQ. We’d like to knock them out of the war too, if for nothing but aesthetic purposes!

Some of the info re unit makeup can be a bit fuzzy without air recon, but there’s at least one SS division in there near Beograd.
 
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Eurasia

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What will happen to Hungary? Puppet of the Comintern or will the USSR absorb it?

And the Japanese invading New Zealand? Hmmmm....good idea. I mean, horrible.
 
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Quick answer: I’m sure there are a few: my default is to not worry much about EF command arrangements and always describe the divisions by their parent country ID. Mostly the Germans have been under either Hungarian or their own command, but a few have been (shudder) serving under a Slovakian HQ. We’d like to knock them out of the war too, if for nothing but aesthetic purposes!

Some of the info re unit makeup can be a bit fuzzy without air recon, but there’s at least one SS division in there near Beograd.
I was making a clearly very opaque reference/joke to how our good friend @El Pip described units being under other nation's commands, but good to know we're just not worried about the uniform markings, just in killing the little electronic bastards!

@Eurasia I'd imagine that it will be puppeted by Ankara, since we've done the heavy lifting (my phone tried suggesting "petting," which I find both hilarious but also odd) in getting it knocked down. Moscow will likely want and get Berlin, but we're out for the Eternal City.
 
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I was making a clearly very opaque reference/joke to how our good friend @El Pip described units being under other nation's commands, but good to know we're just not worried about the uniform markings, just in killing the little electronic bastards!
Thought that was probably it, but alas he doesn't comment on this AAR any more. Not sure if he's still reading.
@Eurasia I'd imagine that it will be puppeted by Ankara, since we've done the heavy lifting (my phone tried suggesting "petting," which I find both hilarious but also odd) in getting it knocked down. Moscow will likely want and get Berlin, but we're out for the Eternal City.
I can't remember off the top of my head, will have to check next time. I might have set it to conquest way back when, and the clunky game engine doesn't let you change your mind later (I suppose if one felt strongly enough there's some way to edit the save file to do it).
 
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I think headcanon wise, it would be wise to have pretty much everyone we conquer in the glorious union. Aside from perhaps spain, which would be a puppet and either evilve into close independent ally or union member after a time.

This is at the end of the day subjective and beyond the scope of the aar, but Here's what I think it all lays out:

  • Balkan union members (bar romania and Hungary). These are 'fair and equal partners' just like everyone else in the union, but really just yes-men to and essentislly just outer regions of Turkey. However, the war has fostered genuine connections between the peoples there and the union overall, especially former yuguslavia that turkey fought tooth and nail to defend. Whether that lasts more than a few generations, I can't say.
  • Hungary and Romania. One is a conquered power and one a war hero for both Russia and Turkey. They both need complete rebuilding after the war and will have solid investment from all comintern members I think. Getting hungary to denazify will be hard. Getting it to be a willing member of the union harder still, but might be done with some border tweaking to get all the Hungarians back under the same Republic.i forsee the two countries either serving as a kind of buffer state between turkey and Russia, or ostensibly under the Glorious Union but with lots of ties to the Soviets.
  • Italy. After rebuilding is done, this Republic is going to be pretty much on par with turkey in terms of power within the union. That should be alright if managed properly, especially as it finally gets the italians in as a member of a big Mediterranean empire again, but without compromising their sovereign nation. It may well be that nationalism breaks down however and the country voluntarily or not splits into two or three parts again (northern cities, central tuscany and naples/sicily etc). If that happens, turkey remains unquestionably dominant.
  • Spain (?). Puppet and ally rather than vassal. Possible to bring them into the union if they are super dependant upon turkey and italy is handled well, but otherwise a kind of three way tug of war between France, turkey and the US, with ostensible Turkish ties.
  • Persia and whatever bits of the middle east we get. Almost certainly going to collapse into many civil war if we don't organise republics under tribal lines and figure something out with Jerusalem.
  • North Africa. Obviously the grand prize here is Egypt, which may well become an ally/protectorate/puppet at some point, with end game goal being beocming a union republic. Former Italian colonies will probably be given offer of independence except Libiya, unless there's a grand and serious plan to take the whole Arabian peninsula soon after the war in which case ethopia still gets independence but the naval bases probably stay with us.
  • Cyprus and Malta. Entirely depend on what the british do but could well become micro republics or territories of turkey, if decolonisation kicks off (bascially if the british lose Egypt, which they are certain to do given the north African campaign, they'll probably sell or decolonise both, no matter how hard Malta begs.
 
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When you look at the progress over a month, that's really impressive. With the Romanians advancing as well, Turkey can really concentrate on closing that pocket, without having to worry about the Northern flank. I do hope Tyler Durden will be careful with the civilians in Timisoara, it is a Romanian town after all.

The Turkish Air Force Strategy of putting all it's bombers in the same wing is interesting. It definitely makes for a big localised punch, which does fit with Turkey's evolved RAW doctrine.

Too bad Budapest couldn't be taken on the fly, now it is more heavily guarded, and it will be much harder to dislodge the enemy forces there. Timisoara, on the other hand, looks ripe for the picking. And a beautiful little pocket that would make. Lujoj is now the likely linchpin for the pocket to close, but the Air Force is on the case, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Compared to the positively heroic advances made by the Turkish Army, the Red Army's inability to close the door on the German Army Group North, and keep it closed, looks a bit feeble. That said, the USSR is on the offensive everywhere, and it's only a matter of time before the Leningrad pocket is closed for good, likely soon followed by a smaller Tallinn pocket. The only question is how many Axis forces will manage to slip away before then.

Looking at the general state of the respective fronts, it looks like the war in Europe and Africa is turning decidedly in the Comintern, and the Allies' favour. Asia and Oceania, on the other hand, are looking worse every month. The Royal Navy keeps losing ships hand over fist, and the Japs are now in Eastern India, with preciously little to stop them from marching on until they've grabbed the entire subcontinent. Maybe that's the price for the British success in Libya. It's a miracle Singapore still holds, though that might be a trick by the Japs to get the Royal Navy to keep sending fleets into the South China Sea for them to be decimated by Japanese Naval Aviation. In a way, it's handier for the Japanese to fight the Brits relatively close to Japan, instead of having to venture out into the Indian Ocean to hunt for Allied fleets.

New Zealand is in real trouble though, maybe Australia will be next. The British really need to start focusing on India and the Far East if they want to have a chance to stem the tide. It's a bit crazy to see how thinly spread the Allies are East of Suez. The Japanese are making massive gains with relatively small numbers of troops. 2 Fresh Corps in India could probably turn the tide there, and eventually push the Japanese out of the Malay peninsula. A corps in New Zealand could push them back into the sea. The question is whether, the British are willing to take the 8th Army out of North Africa to save the Far East, or whether they want to push the Italians out of Libya first.

As a reply on @TheButterflyComposer 's excellent delineation of Turkey's Post-WW2 future:
Considering the current situation, it's possible that the Brits may loos most of their Asian empire, but gain control of Libya, and the other Italian colonies in Africa. As a result, either the British will fight much harder for Egypt Libya, Malta, and Cyprus, to remain in their hands, than they would have if they had much more left in the way of colonies. Alternatively, they may have to make a deal with Turkey, in which they had over Libya, Egypt (except for the Suez Canal), and their Mediterranean Islands, to get military help from Turkey in the recovery of their eastern colonies. This 'help' could go from permission for British forces to stage and/or retreat to Persia if necessary, to a full-blown Turkish expeditionary force.
I would also like to note that the Soviet Union could really use Mediterranean Naval Base, if only for the sake of appearances.

On the Espionage side of things, I mourn the loss of Luca Brasi. At least his death wasn't in vain, and both Calixte Charon, and the Barman, who seems to have been working for Callan of the MI6. I do have to say: Dual wielding Makarov's? Really? Some of those NKVD guys are real cowboys. At least he was as efficient as should be expected from an NKVD 'wet-work' guy.

With the entire nation on high alert, and her face on posters everywhere, it was somewhat unlikely Perse would make it out of Turkey, especially as it seems her escape plans must have changed several times for her to still be in Izmir. I guess the Americans didn't want a full-blown diplomatic incident on their hands. Especially not one which would leave both the Turkish, and the Soviets, properly pissed off. Maybe I'm getting soft, but I would like to suggest not putting Perse on the Midnight Express. As much as I am in awe of the Dark Lord's artistry, I find myself thinking back to all the great things Perse has done for Turkey, and also to that one dance we shared some time ago. Additionally, I remain impressed by her spy-craft, and her ability to remain hidden in plain sight all this time. Of course, Turkey has the final say on what happens to her in the end.

With things now calmed down in Ankara, and Comintern offensives proceeding well, slowly but surely, and quite a bit faster than anticipated, the war in Europe is moving inexorably towards a favourable conclusion.

Vur Ha,

SkitalecS3

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I think I figured out the 'Kirov-Class' cruiser thing. When a nation in the game has no 'name' for a particular unit type or class, the game will carry over a name from the faction the country is in. For the CA line, Level I and Level II are simply referred to as 'Heavy Cruiser (I)' an 'Heavy Cruiser (II)'. When the US joined the Comintern, the 'Heavy Cruiser (II)' was replaced by the 'Kirov-Class', which is the Level II Cruiser Class for the Soviet Union. What's funny about this is that in a game where the US joins the Allies, all of it's Level II CA's become 'Kent-Class' vessels. The Level III cruisers are unaffected, as they already have the name 'New Orleans-Class'. You see this kind of thing often when you play as a regional power and develop your own fighters, only for them to be called Bf-109's, Hurricanes or Lavochkins. Even better is the fact that, with the US in the Comintern, if the Soviet Union were to develop it's CA line up to Level III, this new class of Soviet ships would be called the 'New Orleans-Class' (presumably said with a heavy Russian accent).

As to why the Level II CA's don't get a name despite the fact that the US has a lot of them at the very start (10 in the 1938 scenario + the 7 New Orleans-Class ships). I can only speculate that they couldn't choose between the 'Portland-Class', the Northampton-Class' and the 'Pensacola-Class', which are all three represented as CA (II)'s in game.
 
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Considering the current situation, it's possible that the Brits may loos most of their Asian empire, but gain control of Libya, and the other Italian colonies in Africa.
They were doing so well too in the beginning. They wiped out the axis fleets, defended their own territory only, and sent wave after wave of vassal armies to do it rather than lose their own guys. It's all gone to shit since. They've wasted thousands of lives and all their Empire's prestige utterly failing to defeat a tiny Italian expeditionary force in North africa. They've lost hundreds of ships somehow in the last two years. Lost all influence in the post-war Europe planning. And now, they're not only failing to defend colonies but whole dominions and India against Japan. Their intelligence divisions are the only ones with any honour left to them, and naturaly fuck all has been done with the information they give their masters.

What a calamity from near-flawless beginnings.

As a result, either the British will fight much harder for Egypt Libya, Malta, and Cyprus, to remain in their hands, than they would have if they had much more left in the way of colonies. Alternatively, they may have to make a deal with Turkey, in which they had over Libya, Egypt (except for the Suez Canal), and their Mediterranean Islands, to get military help from Turkey in the recovery of their eastern colonies.
There's no point holding onto Libya and they can't really hold Ethiopia given that everyone including them deplored the italians invading there in the first place. Their navy has been sunk and there's no money or will for another, and british moral for empire and war must be low by now...

No, I think they'll either try for decolonisation with British influence or try to sell them to others for money and favours. That's certainly what the amercians will pressure them to do.

This 'help' could go from permission for British forces to stage and/or retreat to Persia if necessary, to a full-blown Turkish expeditionary force.
I would also like to note that the Soviet Union could really use Mediterranean Naval Base, if only for the sake of appearances.
I wasn't saying Turkey wouldn't say no to island bases in the Med, especially Cyprus and Rhodes, but it won't be worth the british price unless they are practically giving them away. Of course, if and when we do get the islands, the negotiations can begin for stalin to get his Mediterranean naval base...

I think there will certainly be future negotiations over persian oil, this time with turkey holding the cards and power. As to an incursion into India or the far east from our lands...well, they'd have to offer something pretty amazing for us to go for that, considering stalin would also be at any negotations for persia and Afghanistan (for obvious reasons) and I imagine our friends in the US won't want us supporting colonial powers when not in a world war.

And now actual commonwealth dominions are being invaded due to british neglect and incompetence...its basically the end of the british empire and everyone knows it.

Maybe I'm getting soft, but I would like to suggest not putting Perse on the Midnight Express. As much as I am in awe of the Dark Lord's artistry, I find myself thinking back to all the great things Perse has done for Turkey, and also to that one dance we shared some time ago. Additionally, I remain impressed by her spy-craft, and her ability to remain hidden in plain sight all this time. Of course, Turkey has the final say on what happens to her in the end.
Huh...*quietly writes note to have agent watch him for cold feet/sudden bout of 'heroism'*...well, as I said, it's more likely we'll keep the young madam under lock and key for a few chats, I'll make it quite plain to her about the situation and then she can either take a quiet retirement...in a ditch, or have a horrible accident drunk driving, become a martyr to the cause by being killed by the 'british' or nazis, or continue on working in a very tightly controlled gilded cage, and then be exiled quietly after the war.

Personally, I'm partial to keeping useful pawns alive if possible and practical, and I think this is a time where we can smooth everything over and keep her in play, just with a collar this time.
 
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At the same time, way over in Vrnograc, the recently deployed 19 Inf Div was deemed sufficiently organised for Wehib Pasha’s 1 Armd Div to be released, leaving the defence there under the leadership of MAJGEN Diskorekto, commanding 3 Mtn Div
Nobody worry I'm keeping here safe :D

Heavy air attacks over recent days had assisted greatly in driving home the win there.
Who would've thought we'd have a strong enough airforce to win ground battles against the Axis!

The barman had actually been ‘Lonely’, Callan’s ‘dogsbody’, in Ankara to get a report from ‘Romeo’ and - having heard what had transpired - try to spirit him out. Now both were gone. But the ledger was fairly even, if Callan did not yet know it. Romeo had discovered and eliminated at least one of the Soviet moles infiltrating MI6, facilitated the escape of Perse (if largely by accident) and with Lonely’s help taken down the infamous Luca Brasi.
Lonely, Charon and Brasi all gone together in minutes!!!

“Yessir! Initial reports are three SS brigades and around 5,600 fanatics have given up. We will provide more details once we have them.”
Prepare the blot!! oh sorry wrong AAR :D

his flagship, the heavy cruiser USS Pensacola, is a Kirov-class vessel!
:eek:

The ‘Zrenjanin Pocket’ zone is shaded in orange: while most Axis units there have been thinned out in recent weeks, some are still in the DANGER ZONE.
Most of the terrain in a bit north being plains, I think the danger zone is much larger than it seems now, suddenly it can become a much larger pocket!

The situation in India continued to deteriorate for the British. Dhaka had fallen and Calcutta was the next major centre now coming under threat.
I don't know how long it would take, but at one point it seems we'll be fighting the Japs in Pakistan

May 1943 saw a heavy toll taken on the Allied navies in the Far East by the IJN. A total of 1 x BB, 1 x BC, 4 x CA, 2 x CL and 2 x (RAN) DD were lost by the Allies (MFUs sunk are listed below). The Italians lost 1 x DD and 1 x TP, the Japanese just 1 x DD. Of course, damage sustained is unknown.
Allies are really dropping the ball there all around. The British Raj, NZ, Indochina, naval supremacy all going away

This in-game sinking is sad, as Canberra is my home town. :(
It will be avenged!

and an analysis of the captured SS-Verf Division.
Anxiously waiting for this, I wasn't aware that there was a pocket forming

I think I figured out the 'Kirov-Class' cruiser thing. When a nation in the game has no 'name' for a particular unit type or class, the game will carry over a name from the faction the country is in. For the CA line, Level I and Level II are simply referred to as 'Heavy Cruiser (I)' an 'Heavy Cruiser (II)'. When the US joined the Comintern, the 'Heavy Cruiser (II)' was replaced by the 'Kirov-Class', which is the Level II Cruiser Class for the Soviet Union. What's funny about this is that in a game where the US joins the Allies, all of it's Level II CA's become 'Kent-Class' vessels. The Level III cruisers are unaffected, as they already have the name 'New Orleans-Class'. You see this kind of thing often when you play as a regional power and develop your own fighters, only for them to be called Bf-109's, Hurricanes or Lavochkins. Even better is the fact that, with the US in the Comintern, if the Soviet Union were to develop it's CA line up to Level III, this new class of Soviet ships would be called the 'New Orleans-Class' (presumably said with a heavy Russian accent).

As to why the Level II CA's don't get a name despite the fact that the US has a lot of them at the very start (10 in the 1938 scenario + the 7 New Orleans-Class ships). I can only speculate that they couldn't choose between the 'Portland-Class', the Northampton-Class' and the 'Pensacola-Class', which are all three represented as CA (II)'s in game.
Oh, so we don't get the blueprints to any capital ships. The russian CAIII would be something like Novoya Orlean or something I guess? :)

Great episode overall, and the success of the latest offensive really shows! I was just able to read it, now that I'm on vacation in my hometown with 2 loud toddlers (niece and nephew) in the house :)
 
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racebear75

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Timisoara nearly liberated! Fingers crossed for no German Fallschirmjäger jumped off before the Turkish troops arrive in the city.
And Antonescu ain‘t crying for Brasi, that‘s sure.
 
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Sorry guys, it's been a bit of a wait since the last chapter and the responses, but those who read some of my other AARs will know I've been working through them plus a lot of my 'HOI3 time' of late has been spent in the time consuming business of doing a mod (which has soaked up a lot of time I would have spent on the AARs).

But I'm taking a bit of a break from that to get the promised supplement out soon, then will look to do a proper chapter to start June 1943 as the next AAR instalment after that. First, to response feedback I hadn't already covered previously.

Well well, despite the far east looking horrible for everyone not Japanese, operation mayhem was a giant success for our side and all who planned and carried it out. Hungary is in dire straights and Romania soon to be fully liberated. With the GNR nearly back to prewar borders and Russia smashing the germans further north (even german succes in the baltic is good news, it means their army is still around and beind reinforced rather than withdrawn from the soon to be large pocket). The war on the patriotic front is excellent.
After three long years of the main eastern war, things are indeed beginning to turn. The Far East (the large Japanese occupation of Soviet territory, the poor British performance and America's lack of action in the Pacific) are of course the down-side.
North Africa less so, but it seems finally that the Italians are down and soon to be out. Hopefully this fixes the british ai and they send everything to India and the far east. Losing new Zealand and every other island in the Pacific bar austrlaia is a nightmare scenario for the US and UK, and yet one that seems increasingly likely. In a way, its good cos it keeps them busy and far away from European affairs.
It would be nice if the British could do something to stop the Japanese before they roll into Persia and Afghanistan!
Perse meanwhile is due for a long chat with the intelligence minister and a shorter chat beforehand with Kelebek. We can either throw her to the wolves or tie this strategic asset even tighter to us and get some more use out of her (and then throw her to the wolves if needs be). The british merely played the game well for once so I'm not too bothered, but the amercians, despite the see-through ploy, are annoying me and SITH in this matter. With Brasi gone (damn, I guess I do need to zombify him this time), blood demands blood. Not sure who yet, though if I were BJ I'd run a lot faster than Perse to a destroyer and leave.
BJ certainly has reason to keep an eye behind him, though his position with the Americans offers a degree of protection. Perse ... her fate will be made clearer (maybe ;)) in the next episode. With Brasi, it was a one-for-two deal, though with a second and third grade character swapped for a Tier 1 operator. Only a small spoiler, but BJ is already well clear of the UGNR. He's left the rest of the operation to subordinates.
I'm amazed that Major Loggins managed to not roll up Durden from his activities, but I guess that is what happens when he goes to someone else's HQ!
Durden is strangely elusive - especially when 'official' US operators are around. :D
I remain intriguied by exactly what is going on with Perse.

The month-overview just shows how much things have come with Operation mayhem. If Timisoara can only be reclaimed and seal the pocket in the process it will be very sweet.
Nothing is ever clear-cut where Perse is involved. She has always been a complicated melange of loyalties. The Mayhem is not done with yet and I'm looking forward to playing out the next phase to see how it goes. Onward to Timisoara - and hopefully further.
What will happen to Hungary? Puppet of the Comintern or will the USSR absorb it?

And the Japanese invading New Zealand? Hmmmm....good idea. I mean, horrible.
I checked again, and the wargoal for Hungary was set as conquer some time back (and of course that can't be changed once set - not without save game modding I'm unwilling to do). We'll see if the NZ invasion by Japan is sustainable. They don't always work, but with the US in the Comintern rather than the Allies, I really don't like NZ's chances. :eek:
I think headcanon wise, it would be wise to have pretty much everyone we conquer in the glorious union. Aside from perhaps spain, which would be a puppet and either evilve into close independent ally or union member after a time.

This is at the end of the day subjective and beyond the scope of the aar, but Here's what I think it all lays out:

  • Balkan union members (bar romania and Hungary). These are 'fair and equal partners' just like everyone else in the union, but really just yes-men to and essentislly just outer regions of Turkey. However, the war has fostered genuine connections between the peoples there and the union overall, especially former yuguslavia that turkey fought tooth and nail to defend. Whether that lasts more than a few generations, I can't say.
  • Hungary and Romania. One is a conquered power and one a war hero for both Russia and Turkey. They both need complete rebuilding after the war and will have solid investment from all comintern members I think. Getting hungary to denazify will be hard. Getting it to be a willing member of the union harder still, but might be done with some border tweaking to get all the Hungarians back under the same Republic.i forsee the two countries either serving as a kind of buffer state between turkey and Russia, or ostensibly under the Glorious Union but with lots of ties to the Soviets.
  • Italy. After rebuilding is done, this Republic is going to be pretty much on par with turkey in terms of power within the union. That should be alright if managed properly, especially as it finally gets the italians in as a member of a big Mediterranean empire again, but without compromising their sovereign nation. It may well be that nationalism breaks down however and the country voluntarily or not splits into two or three parts again (northern cities, central tuscany and naples/sicily etc). If that happens, turkey remains unquestionably dominant.
  • Spain (?). Puppet and ally rather than vassal. Possible to bring them into the union if they are super dependant upon turkey and italy is handled well, but otherwise a kind of three way tug of war between France, turkey and the US, with ostensible Turkish ties.
  • Persia and whatever bits of the middle east we get. Almost certainly going to collapse into many civil war if we don't organise republics under tribal lines and figure something out with Jerusalem.
  • North Africa. Obviously the grand prize here is Egypt, which may well become an ally/protectorate/puppet at some point, with end game goal being beocming a union republic. Former Italian colonies will probably be given offer of independence except Libiya, unless there's a grand and serious plan to take the whole Arabian peninsula soon after the war in which case ethopia still gets independence but the naval bases probably stay with us.
  • Cyprus and Malta. Entirely depend on what the british do but could well become micro republics or territories of turkey, if decolonisation kicks off (bascially if the british lose Egypt, which they are certain to do given the north African campaign, they'll probably sell or decolonise both, no matter how hard Malta begs.
Great analysis. Once the game ends, I'll be doing my own immediate post-war what-ifs and we can all have a merry conversation about how it might transpire. I already have some possibilities in mind, but they evolve over time, as the game unfolds and all the discussion ebbs and flows. As mentioned above, Hungary is slated for conquest in Turkey's war goals, but who gets what will I suppose rely on whose boots are on which ground. ;)

Spain: yes, I think puppeting would be the way to go. By Turkey if possible, but that's more for narrative flavour: as far as winning goes, so long as it's in the Comintern.

Persia-Middle East? What a mess! So glad that will all be in a hypothetical hereafter for this game.

North Africa? Hmm, much as some may hanker for old Ottoman ambitions all the way across to Algeria, I think more released puppet states tied into a wider Instanbul (or Cairo?) Pact arrangement would probably be the go, if it can be managed.
When you look at the progress over a month, that's really impressive. With the Romanians advancing as well, Turkey can really concentrate on closing that pocket, without having to worry about the Northern flank. I do hope Tyler Durden will be careful with the civilians in Timisoara, it is a Romanian town after all.
Yes, the monthly analysis is important, as when you look at it in small chunks of time, the breadth and pace can be lost. At some point I'll go back to some earlier lines, to mark both the start of Mayhem but also further back, to the high water mark of Axis advances across the whole PF and where things have gone since the tide turned.
The Turkish Air Force Strategy of putting all it's bombers in the same wing is interesting. It definitely makes for a big localised punch, which does fit with Turkey's evolved RAW doctrine.
It was a bit of a 'necessity the mother of invention' thing when the casualties piled up, but seems to have worked OK for this limited-range work (keeping away from enemy fighters where possible).
Too bad Budapest couldn't be taken on the fly, now it is more heavily guarded, and it will be much harder to dislodge the enemy forces there. Timisoara, on the other hand, looks ripe for the picking. And a beautiful little pocket that would make. Lujoj is now the likely linchpin for the pocket to close, but the Air Force is on the case, so that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
Budapest will have to be 'done slowly' and could be difficult to take, but Timisoara is almost in our hands ... and another pocket would be a real blow to the enemy if we can trap even a few divisions in it: depleting their numbers and cutting a big hole in their lines at the same time.
Compared to the positively heroic advances made by the Turkish Army, the Red Army's inability to close the door on the German Army Group North, and keep it closed, looks a bit feeble. That said, the USSR is on the offensive everywhere, and it's only a matter of time before the Leningrad pocket is closed for good, likely soon followed by a smaller Tallinn pocket. The only question is how many Axis forces will manage to slip away before then.
The Germans have proved tenacious in the north and the fight there a very interesting one. I'm interested to see how the two AIs perform against each other.
Looking at the general state of the respective fronts, it looks like the war in Europe and Africa is turning decidedly in the Comintern, and the Allies' favour. Asia and Oceania, on the other hand, are looking worse every month. The Royal Navy keeps losing ships hand over fist, and the Japs are now in Eastern India, with preciously little to stop them from marching on until they've grabbed the entire subcontinent. Maybe that's the price for the British success in Libya. It's a miracle Singapore still holds, though that might be a trick by the Japs to get the Royal Navy to keep sending fleets into the South China Sea for them to be decimated by Japanese Naval Aviation. In a way, it's handier for the Japanese to fight the Brits relatively close to Japan, instead of having to venture out into the Indian Ocean to hunt for Allied fleets.
Per other comments above, Southern and Far East Asia are the current sore spots. The Far East has been stabilised for the Soviets, but there's an awful lot to roll back. And my Quick and Dirty campaign there,where the Germans are already defeated, the Allies dominant in SEA, the Japanese hadn't advanced as far and I'm now in control of the whole Soviet operation down to Front/Army Group level, shows how hard it is to wind them back.
New Zealand is in real trouble though, maybe Australia will be next. The British really need to start focusing on India and the Far East if they want to have a chance to stem the tide. It's a bit crazy to see how thinly spread the Allies are East of Suez. The Japanese are making massive gains with relatively small numbers of troops. 2 Fresh Corps in India could probably turn the tide there, and eventually push the Japanese out of the Malay peninsula. A corps in New Zealand could push them back into the sea. The question is whether, the British are willing to take the 8th Army out of North Africa to save the Far East, or whether they want to push the Italians out of Libya first.
Yes, I don't think they'll be getting any help. India is my particular worry for Turkey: I may be forced to put in a defensive line along the Pakistan border just when I would have been hoping to use the extra troops to force things and exploit in Europe and the Med. We'll see what happens and hope the British can hold at some point, or at least delay the Japanese long enough to largely decide things in the west.
As a reply on @TheButterflyComposer 's excellent delineation of Turkey's Post-WW2 future:
Considering the current situation, it's possible that the Brits may loos most of their Asian empire, but gain control of Libya, and the other Italian colonies in Africa. As a result, either the British will fight much harder for Egypt Libya, Malta, and Cyprus, to remain in their hands, than they would have if they had much more left in the way of colonies. Alternatively, they may have to make a deal with Turkey, in which they had over Libya, Egypt (except for the Suez Canal), and their Mediterranean Islands, to get military help from Turkey in the recovery of their eastern colonies. This 'help' could go from permission for British forces to stage and/or retreat to Persia if necessary, to a full-blown Turkish expeditionary force.
I would also like to note that the Soviet Union could really use Mediterranean Naval Base, if only for the sake of appearances.
More good theorising. We'll at least let the Soviets use some of our bases in the Med, anyway. ;)
On the Espionage side of things, I mourn the loss of Luca Brasi. At least his death wasn't in vain, and both Calixte Charon, and the Barman, who seems to have been working for Callan of the MI6. I do have to say: Dual wielding Makarov's? Really? Some of those NKVD guys are real cowboys. At least he was as efficient as should be expected from an NKVD 'wet-work' guy.
Luca cheated death once, but alas, he couldn't forever. The barman was 'Lonely', Callan's 'dogsbody': now a cold body! The NKVD? "Yee-hah!" :D
With the entire nation on high alert, and her face on posters everywhere, it was somewhat unlikely Perse would make it out of Turkey, especially as it seems her escape plans must have changed several times for her to still be in Izmir. I guess the Americans didn't want a full-blown diplomatic incident on their hands. Especially not one which would leave both the Turkish, and the Soviets, properly pissed off. Maybe I'm getting soft, but I would like to suggest not putting Perse on the Midnight Express. As much as I am in awe of the Dark Lord's artistry, I find myself thinking back to all the great things Perse has done for Turkey, and also to that one dance we shared some time ago. Additionally, I remain impressed by her spy-craft, and her ability to remain hidden in plain sight all this time. Of course, Turkey has the final say on what happens to her in the end.
Per above, we'll see fairly soon what happens to Perse. The dragnet kept making things more difficult for her (eg her US handlers), especially as the Americans need to maintain plausible deniability and couldn't afford too obvious an involvement with their warship possibly being compromised. In that progression, I was definitely trying to show the walls closing in and how difficult it would be to spring such an escape, especially as the US need to at least keep up appearances as best they can. Will Agent Skitalec ever meet Perse again? Who knows - events can always twist and turn here in the ATL. :cool:
With things now calmed down in Ankara, and Comintern offensives proceeding well, slowly but surely, and quite a bit faster than anticipated, the war in Europe is moving inexorably towards a favourable conclusion.
The Secret War has been simplified a little there - couldn't resist implementing the general idea I had on a culmination of those threads, Godfather-style, when I suddenly got the three UK spy neutralisations all in the space of the month.
They were doing so well too in the beginning. They wiped out the axis fleets, defended their own territory only, and sent wave after wave of vassal armies to do it rather than lose their own guys. It's all gone to shit since. They've wasted thousands of lives and all their Empire's prestige utterly failing to defeat a tiny Italian expeditionary force in North africa. They've lost hundreds of ships somehow in the last two years. Lost all influence in the post-war Europe planning. And now, they're not only failing to defend colonies but whole dominions and India against Japan. Their intelligence divisions are the only ones with any honour left to them, and naturaly fuck all has been done with the information they give their masters.

What a calamity from near-flawless beginnings.
The UK is looking like a bit of a Sick Man these days. Hard to see them bouncing back too hard from all this. Though they have been getting a lot of lend-lease from the US, even if the Americans went Comintern through that marriage of convenience.
There's no point holding onto Libya and they can't really hold Ethiopia given that everyone including them deplored the italians invading there in the first place. Their navy has been sunk and there's no money or will for another, and british moral for empire and war must be low by now...

No, I think they'll either try for decolonisation with British influence or try to sell them to others for money and favours. That's certainly what the amercians will pressure them to do.
Per above - more political and strategic interests in North Africa rather than colonial ones. Though beyond the scope of this game, a new Ottoman Empire really wouldn't be sustainable, I think.
I wasn't saying Turkey wouldn't say no to island bases in the Med, especially Cyprus and Rhodes, but it won't be worth the british price unless they are practically giving them away. Of course, if and when we do get the islands, the negotiations can begin for stalin to get his Mediterranean naval base...

I think there will certainly be future negotiations over persian oil, this time with turkey holding the cards and power. As to an incursion into India or the far east from our lands...well, they'd have to offer something pretty amazing for us to go for that, considering stalin would also be at any negotations for persia and Afghanistan (for obvious reasons) and I imagine our friends in the US won't want us supporting colonial powers when not in a world war.

And now actual commonwealth dominions are being invaded due to british neglect and incompetence...its basically the end of the british empire and everyone knows it.
The equivalent of the Potsdam Conference in this ATL will be an interesting one!
Huh...*quietly writes note to have agent watch him for cold feet/sudden bout of 'heroism'*...well, as I said, it's more likely we'll keep the young madam under lock and key for a few chats, I'll make it quite plain to her about the situation and then she can either take a quiet retirement...in a ditch, or have a horrible accident drunk driving, become a martyr to the cause by being killed by the 'british' or nazis, or continue on working in a very tightly controlled gilded cage, and then be exiled quietly after the war.

Personally, I'm partial to keeping useful pawns alive if possible and practical, and I think this is a time where we can smooth everything over and keep her in play, just with a collar this time.
Again, I'll stay quiet about Perse's immediate future ... the crystal ball remains cloudy. I have broad ideas for these arcs, but often as not only decide things as I'm writing them.
Who would've thought we'd have a strong enough airforce to win ground battles against the Axis!
It has been a pleasant revelation.
Lonely, Charon and Brasi all gone together in minutes!!!
Yep, gone in sixty seconds! :D One must be prepared to lose long-standing and stalwart characters along the way.
Prepare the blot!! oh sorry wrong AAR :D
:D The UGNR will at least be a firm advocate of civilised behaviour and upholding the Geneva Conventions in the 'open war'. The Secret War is another thing entirely, of course. The Law of the Jungle applies there. :eek:
Most of the terrain in a bit north being plains, I think the danger zone is much larger than it seems now, suddenly it can become a much larger pocket!
We'll see how well they can scramble - I'll keep exploiting as long as my forces, logistics and their reactions allow.
I don't know how long it would take, but at one point it seems we'll be fighting the Japs in Pakistan
This has been a worry for a while. I'm almost tempted to start building a fort line on the border ...
Allies are really dropping the ball there all around. The British Raj, NZ, Indochina, naval supremacy all going away
Yes, while I don't want them to beat the world, a little more steel in the Indo-Pacific would be useful.
Anxiously waiting for this, I wasn't aware that there was a pocket forming
There's always a pocket forming, if we can arrange it ... ;)
OOC:
I think I figured out the 'Kirov-Class' cruiser thing. When a nation in the game has no 'name' for a particular unit type or class, the game will carry over a name from the faction the country is in. For the CA line, Level I and Level II are simply referred to as 'Heavy Cruiser (I)' an 'Heavy Cruiser (II)'. When the US joined the Comintern, the 'Heavy Cruiser (II)' was replaced by the 'Kirov-Class', which is the Level II Cruiser Class for the Soviet Union. What's funny about this is that in a game where the US joins the Allies, all of it's Level II CA's become 'Kent-Class' vessels. The Level III cruisers are unaffected, as they already have the name 'New Orleans-Class'. You see this kind of thing often when you play as a regional power and develop your own fighters, only for them to be called Bf-109's, Hurricanes or Lavochkins. Even better is the fact that, with the US in the Comintern, if the Soviet Union were to develop it's CA line up to Level III, this new class of Soviet ships would be called the 'New Orleans-Class' (presumably said with a heavy Russian accent).

As to why the Level II CA's don't get a name despite the fact that the US has a lot of them at the very start (10 in the 1938 scenario + the 7 New Orleans-Class ships). I can only speculate that they couldn't choose between the 'Portland-Class', the Northampton-Class' and the 'Pensacola-Class', which are all three represented as CA (II)'s in game.
Ah, thanks for the explanation. I guess if I really wanted to dig into it, I could compare the relative specs to spot differences. I guess if you really wanted a more immersive experience for any country you played yourself, you could mod the relevant files to invent a bunch of unique class names for ships and planes ...

Oh, so we don't get the blueprints to any capital ships. The russian CAIII would be something like Novoya Orlean or something I guess? :)

Great episode overall, and the success of the latest offensive really shows! I was just able to read it, now that I'm on vacation in my hometown with 2 loud toddlers (niece and nephew) in the house :)
That whole Kiev-class thing was an interesting little diversion.

Thanks, one of the reasons I've taken the extra time to do work on the mod for a couple of weeks is I know the northern hemisphere summer can be a slow time for the forums anyway, so thought a bit of a pause here would work out OK. If it's still going, I hope the rest of the vacation (toddler madness notwithstanding) is a great one.
Timisoara nearly liberated! Fingers crossed for no German Fallschirmjäger jumped off before the Turkish troops arrive in the city.
And Antonescu ain‘t crying for Brasi, that‘s sure.
I'll soon see whether our advance guard can take it before the Axis manage a hasty defence ... and in this case, Antonescu has indeed had the last laugh.

All: OK, I'll now look to do that supplement I mentioned at the end of the last episode, then after that will fire up the game again to see what June 1943 brings! Thanks so much everyone for all the excellent commentary and discussion. :)
 
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Chapter 202A: Supplementary Reporting (31 May 1943) New

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Chapter 202A: Supplementary Reporting (31 May 1943)

AuthAAR’s Note: This is the promised supplementary information arising from the last chapter, including some ‘behind the scenes’ (ie tagged, but just for narrative purposes and in line with the game universe) details from the US, USSR, UK and the SS-Verf just before they surrendered.

---xxx---

Intelligence Update

The previously mentioned Coalition Intelex (Intelligence Exchange) held in Ankara in May 1943 led to some sharing of more detailed information among the Comintern partners.

In Italy, the month passed fairly quietly for both sides. According to the Turkish network (the strongest of the Anti-Fascist Coalition intel organisations operating in the country at the end of May 1943), Italian counter-espionage had been completely suppressed. Turkish efforts were one-third on keeping the enemy’s agents out of the picture, the rest devoted to undermining Italian national unity. The Italians were building a mix of units and still seemed to have plenty of manpower available.


The US advised that their intel effort was spread pretty thinly [only 0.19 LS devoted to espionage], with Canada the top priority – and where their sole surviving foreign-based agent was located.


The Soviets had higher collection priorities (leading with Germany and Italy, then other European Axis countries and the UK) but was devoting even less [0.13 LS] to spy training than the Americans. They had three spy teams operating abroad, all of them in Italy. Interestingly, as a result their reporting seemed far less accurate and comprehensive than Turkey’s. They believed the Italians had three domestic spy teams in operation, among other things. Their ‘friendly’ effort in Turkey was designed to assist with counter-espionage and supporting leftist parties, but the low relative priority and general spy training meant no full active teams were present – just liaison [ie narrative purposes only].


In the wake of the MacLean Affair, the Soviets had shared a little more information on British intelligence operations. Their main effort was also directed against Germany and Italy, but as with the Soviets and Americans, the Gestapo was too strong for any of them to maintain a presence there. And Turkey’s recent efforts had quickly eliminated their network there, with three neutralisations in the last month. With five agents in place, their picture of Italy was a bit more accurate than the Soviets’, but again differed from Turkey’s assessment of Italian counter-espionage strength. Their efforts in second tier missions in Japan, Slovakia and the USSR had no agents allocated. It was unknown how much spy training they were doing [I figured this would be more opaque, with US and USSR having shared their info voluntarily].



---xxx---

US and Soviet Naval Digest

With the recent curiosity over US ship models with Soviet-sounding titles, two examples of in-service ships operating in the Med are provided below. Some US heavy cruiser designs have already advanced to the ‘level 3’ New Orleans class. Curiously, even though the Soviets have not yet developed any carrier technology, in service US level 4 escort carries go by the class name of ‘Projekt 72’. It must have been done as a gesture of solidarity!


But the most up to date US ship designs have moved beyond that level: a table of their current class names and specifications are provided below.


As expected, Soviet ship designs are far less advanced and, as mentioned above, they have no carrier design capability as yet.



---xxx---

US and Soviet Aircraft Digest

The two Comintern partners are closer in aircraft design, of course. US fighter designs have still not advanced past the F4F Wildcat (INT) and P-51D Mustang (M/R). Turkey has some B-26 marauder TAC on order. The impressive B-29 Superfortress is their current STRAT aircraft design.


Of main interest for Turkey, the Soviets now field the Yak-7 INT and La-7 M/R fighters, Pe-2 TAC and IL-10 CAS models.



---xxx---

SS-Verfügungstruppe – Post-capture Report

Three SS brigades were captured when the SS-Verf Division finished its retreat to Senta, only to find it already occupied by the Turks. Papers siezed showed their strength just before they were apprehended and interned. Best of all was the capture of the Leibstandarte SS ‘Adolf Hitler’ brigade. A photo of some of the SS prisoners was sent to Berlin via the Swiss Embassy with an ‘Ismet Inönü sends his regards’ message!



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Timisoara - Recon Report

Shadowy US ‘liaison officer’ (!?) Tyler Durden provided a short report on Timisoara at midnight. The provincial road infrastructure was all intact and in good condition in the occupied Romanian city. But a photo of the centre of Timisoara in 1937 (left) and now (right) showed the damage toll all the recent fighting had taken. With only enemy HQs seeming to be in the vicinity or heading there, it was hoped the advancing Comintern forces would simply be able to march in unopposed and the ring closed to its south-east, as well, to create another pocket.



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Patriotic Front Progress Summary: February to May 1943

In the last four months, the Comintern had made broad gains across most of the front, except to the north of Lake Ladoga.


Since forcing the Sava-Danube River Line (blue), Operation Mayhem and a complimentary offensive in Romania had made significant inroads, with Comintern forces now deep within Hungarian territory and on the outskirts of Budapest, Timisoara and Cluj.

 
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