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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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Introduction

This will be an AAR for Portugal going down the Fifth Empire path. This is my first AAR so please be patient with me and I welcome any feedback on format, content, etc.

Having played this path a little bit, I am planning to be somewhat opportunist and not necessarily complete all the conquests the path suggests. The overall goal is for Portugal to have a world-spanning Fascist colonial empire by the end of the war. Initially, we will send volunteers to the Spanish Civil War and go fascist internally, but not fully intervene in the war. After the Spanish Civil War we will try to make some quick conquests for oil and rubber—Iraq and either Liberia or Siam. We will then intervene in China to expand our territories there while China is busy fighting Japan. After that we will assess how the war is going. If the fascists are doing well, we may try to seize southern Africa from Britain and the East Indies before Italy and Japan get there. Once America is in the war, there would be no consequences for going after Brazil and South America anyway. If the war is going in the Allies favor, we have the benefit of being our own faction separate from the Axis and can instead turn on Japan and Italy and fight alongside the Allies but seize African, Chinese, and Southeast Asian territory for ourselves. If an opportunity presents itself, we may go after Spain. Then we will see what fortune brings until 1948.

We will be developing the PIDE intelligence service in order to create collaboration governments for our conquests and fuel our war machines. We will be developing elite infantry and naval invasion focused forces as well as swift tank divisions and an air force of light aircraft including naval bombers to protect our overseas possessions. We will slowly be restoring the Portuguese navy to its glory days, focusing on economical naval mines, escort destroyers, patrol and raiding subs, and smaller capital ships to support naval invasions.

I hope to provide mix of RP and narrative to go along with the strategic readout.

Prologue

January 1, 1936 -- Lisbon

The clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve in the apartment of Jose Hipolito Raposo in Lisbon. He and his guests, Alberto Monsaraz and David de Noronha, each eat twelve raisins (one at each tolling of the clock) for good luck.

“1936. Hitler in Germany. Mussolini in Italy. Yet here we have Salazar. The army is in tatters and the republic in unstable. Portugal will continue to slide under and lose its place in the world,” Raposo says.

“I have seen this Hitler. I thought highly of him, but no more. He is a lunatic. No argument from me on Salazar, but what can we do? The Camisas Azuis is over and Preto is in exile in Spain,” Monsaraz says.

“I have a letter from Preto, actually,” Noronha says. “Let me read it.”

David,

I write to you from Madrid on the eve of 1936. It appears the Popular Front may win the election here. I do not think the Nationalist movements will tolerate it.

Though the Blue Shirts may have been dissolved in Portugal, events in other countries show our cause is righteous. I am thinking of a new movement. Have you read Father Vieira and his concept of the Fifth Empire? The meeting of science and industry and wisdom and faith—Portugal leading the world under united rule and vision. Why can it not be so? Our movement cannot be public as we have all been scattered to the wind by Salazar. But Viera wrote of the hidden one. David, with your role in PIDE I know you understand the need for staying hidden.

Francisco Rolao Preto”


Laughter erupts in the room. “It appears Hitler is not the crazy one,” Raposo says.

“It seems an impossible dream. Still, we should toast to Preto and to the possibilities a new year may bring,” Noronha says.

“Here here. To Portugal and to what 1936 may bring,” Monsaraz says.

Starting Situation

Portugal starts in a paltry state, subject to serious negative national spirits.

Portugal AAR 1-1-1936 National SPirit 3.png

Portugal AAR 1-1-1936 National Spirit.png

Portugal 1-1-1936 National Spirits 2.png


We are led by Salazar, who manages to keep things together by offsetting the stability penalty and somewhat make up for the construction penalty.

Portugal AAR 1-1-1936 Salazar Portrait.png

Portugal AAR 1-1-1936 Salazar.png


Our army is a mess, with our main line infantry suffering a serious equipment deficit, most of our forces are spread among tiny units across our colonies, and our mobile forces outdated cavalry battalions.

Portugal AAR 1-1-1936 Large Infantry.png

Portugal AAR 1-1-1936 Large Infantry.png
Portugal AAR 1-1-1936 CAV.png


We only have two research slots which we will devote to industry and electronics.

Portugal AAR 1-1-1936 Research.png


For our first focus, will pick Estado Novo to begin the path toward removing some of these penalties

Portugal AAR 1-1-1936 Focus.png


We have two military factories producing rifles and support equipment. We will maintain that and start trading with Germany for the necessary Steel and Aluminum. We will start to construct another military factory to begin artillery production, though it will be slow going with our penalties. Given the construction penalties, we will focus early on creating our intelligence agency PIDE so we will begin creating that agency.

We have a small navy of early destroyers and subs. We will set these to drill to get some naval experience. We will do the same with our whopping 12 CAS and 12 pre-war bombers.
 

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Welcome to AAr writing.
 

Knave

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July 29, 1936, Lisbon, Portugal

"Our agent is now in Madrid, yes? What does she say? What is happening with the Nationalists and Republicans?" Salazar pressed.

"Prime Minister," David de Noronha cleared his throat, "our agent reports fighting across the whole country. Lines are beginning to form. This is likely to be a long conflict rather than a short one. You should also be aware that Preto has left Madrid to join the Nationalists and fight with them. This is public knowledge and there is some public support growing here. There is a still a memory of the blue shirts and some feel Portugal should be supporting the Nationalists and they see Preto positively."

"This is a dead movement, and I know how manage the desires of the people," Salazar says. "We must stay out of broader conflict. But sending volunteers will placate this faction of the people. Let us show that Portugal supports order and tradition and will not stand for these subversive Communists. It will also be good training for our army. Make sure our agent watches the army and that Preto does not get too close."

"Of course, Prime Minister. PIDE will ensure loyalty in the army," Noronha replies.

Current Situation

The Spanish Civil War has broken out and we are currently pursuing the focus to send volunteers. Once it is complete we will send divisions.

7-29-1936 Nationalists Declare War.png
7-29-1936 Support the Spanish Nationalists.png


We have managed to mitigate our construction penalty to some extent through focuses, the Estado Novo and Continue the Public Works. However, we still have the large penalties we began with from Unstable Republic and Unreliable Army.

7-29-1936 Estado Novo.png
7-29-1936 Improved production.png
7-29-1936 National Spirits.png


Our construction remains slow because we have focused on standing up our intelligence agency, PIDE

7-29-1936 Construction.png
7-29-1936 PIDE.png


Our first agent is quite strong, with multiple bonuses. She is currently building an intelligence network in Madrid to support our future volunteer forces.

Portugal AAR 7-29-1936 Spy.png
7-29-1936 Spy 2.png


We have secured our third research slot and are making good progress in basic electronics and industrial research. We have also purchased an Industrial designer to speed these technologies.

7-29-1936 Research.png


We have trained our navy through drilling and used that navy experience to make refit templates. Our submarines and destroyers are currently refitting to be able to lay mines later. We have built a template for a very basic escort destroyer that also doubles as a mine layer. Once our current fleet is refit, we will begin building these. These will lay mines during our early years and later will be assigned to convoy duty if we go into a protracted war where navy becomes important. We have made up for our support equipment deficit, but still have a significant deficit in infantry equipment and our third MIL is not yet done so we also have an artillery shortage. Our volunteer divisions will have to go into the Spanish Civil War with equipment shortages initially.
 

Attachments

stnylan

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Does look rather a strong Nationalist rising there.
 

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July 1, 1937 Lisbon, Portugal

"I call this cabinet meeting to order. Welcome to our new ministers, Mr. Raposo and Mr. Monsaraz. I am glad to have your help in continuing to manage this country through trying times," Salazar says. "Now, Mr. Noronha, a report please on intelligence activities and the situation in Spain."

"Prime Minister, as you asked I investigated the loyalty of the Cacadores forces and other elements of the military after the attempted coup in the navy. We managed to crush that communist rebellion that would have taken our navy to support the communists in Spain," Noronha says.

"Yes. What have you found? We cannot have communist elements in our forces right now," Salazar replies.

"I am sad to report that there are significant communist elements in the Cacadores forces currently stationed as border guards. I recommend that we dissolve the Cacadores forces and begin a retraining process. For now, the Portugese Legion that we have called up as mlitia can serve as police and border defense. This group has some fascist leanings, but they are loyal to you because of your leadership and support for the Spanish Nationalists. This also solves a problem for the volunteers in Spain, who need more rifles," Noronha says.

"Yes. I approve. We cannot have any more attempts by Communists," Salazar says.

"Next, the situation in Spain is going well. Our troops are the spear of the Nationalist cause. They have taken Madrid and are moving to encircle many Republicans," Noronha says.

"Excellent! Make sure the press covers this and that they know Salazar supports our heroes fighting in Spain!" Salazar says.

"There is one problem, Prime Minister. Preto is with the Nationalists in Spain and the people are beginning to associate him with our victories there. I recommend that you actually remove his exile and allow him back into Portugal. This will neutralize him by bringing him here and away from the front where he can be seen as a war leader. Here we can keep an eye on him and he cannot cause trouble with the military. The people will see you as magnanimous and associate you with our victories in Spain," Noronha says.

"Keep our enemies close. I like it. Make sure he is constantly watched," Salazar says. "There is one thing I noticed in the report from PIDE. Do we have an agent in Iraq? Are we sending rifles and equipment there? Why?"

"Prime Minister, this must be a mistake in the report. Our agents are in Madrid focused on the conflict in Spain and we are directing some material support there. I will have the clerk who made this error fired," Noronha says.

"Good. Monsaraz, you have a proposal I here?" Salazar says.

"Yes, Prime Minister. As far as the colonial situation, I recommend some improvements there. For Goa and Portugese Guineau, I recommend we set up collaboration governments and give them some autonomy. These areas could use economic development which we cannot focus on at the moment. We will ultimately benefit from this development more than any manpower from these small colonies. For Angola and Mozambique, I recommend we begin the process of integration and full citizenship. This will preempt any potential Communist agitation there and demonstrate that our movement is not racial like Hitler's. This will also create a large draftable population for our armed forces in the future, helping to keep Portugal safe if world events continue to deteriorate," Monsaraz says.

"A strong proposal. I approve. We will have to manage the transition but I trust you can help ensure stability." Salazar says.

Current Situation

We have proceeded down the focus path as far as National Syndicalism and added our Fascist Demagogue and National Integralist as Political Advisors. We are now on the path to Fascist Portugal with our support for Fascism ticking up every day. Hopefully our National Integralist will keep our Stability high enough that we do not have to fight a civil war when the time comes (we need to maintain more than 60% Stability). We have also started the focus path for Colonial Assimilation. We are going to go down the left side of the path and start the process of integrating Mozambique and Angola before we turn Fascist as this will turn off the focus and prevent this. This will give us a great supply of manpower throughout the game and additional building slots in Africa, but will cost Stability in the future. We have also allowed Goa and Portugeuse Guineau to establish collaboration governments. They don't contribute much manpower regardless, and this will give them an independent focus tree and building slots which we will take 75% of for whatever CIVs and MILs.

7-1-37 Focus.png
7-1-37 Salazar.png


Our volunteers have had success in Spain, gaining enough army XP for us to make them 20-width divisions. They have taken Madrid and are now encircling Republican troops. We have taken the Observation Mission focus for additional benefits from the Spanish Civil War. Now that we have what we need from the Spanish Civil War (decent infantry template, good bonuses for research from the Observation Mission focus, and starting down the path to Fascism), we will try to grind out as much army and air XP as we can and try to end the war relatively quickly so Portugal can move on with its own plans for world domination.

7-1-37 Madrid.png
7-1-37 Infantry.png


The Prime Minister doesn't need to know why PIDE is sending all these rifles and all of Portugal's production to Iraq. We have our reasons. We have started a mission to prepare a collaboration government in Iraq, which will be our first target after we declare the Fifth Empire. This will be painful in terms of CIV factory usage and military production for rifles in the short term, but will give us long term benefits when we get to keep more of Iraq's factories, oil, and manpower. We have our second agent now who is significantly less talented, but any agent will do.

7-1-37 Iraq.png


Our navy is refitted as mine layers and we have started building mine layer/escort destroyers. We will use these to start mining the Atlantic during our wars with Iraq and Siam. These mines will help us naval invade Brazil and defend ourselves against the Allies if we go down that route. We are not producing many convoys, but we will be taking all of Iraq and Siam's convoys. We can later use these with the Refuse the Blockade focus to get additional CIV production from Fascist countries that are cut off from trade by the Allied blockade.

We now have 4 MIL factories, producing rifles, support equipment, artillery and CAS.

We are researching Light Tanks (having to start all the way at the bottom with Great War Tanks). Once we have Light Tank IIs we will begin production and use these to upgrade our infantry with Armored Recon support companies. The small armor bonus from these companies will be enough to overcome the weak piercing of divisions in Siam and China and allow us to gain ground with fewer men in these theaters.
 

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A very useful expedition force.
 

Captured Joe

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Very interesting so far, and with a nice style.

Salazar does seem quite naïve here though.
 

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June 29, 1938 Lisbon, Greater Portugal

It has been 3 months since the Nationalist victory in Spain. The Portuguese volunteers returned to Lisbon as heroes as Salazar renamed the divisions the "Legiao de Viriatos" (Legion of the Volunteers) and held a military parade to honor them. Though support for Fascism has risen in the people, he believed it was under control and could be turned to his regime's advantage to strength the army using the Viriatos as a corps of loyal forces.

This morning he has gone to the dockyards in order to give a speech christening one of the new destroyers that has been built. He finds David de Noronha, head of the PIDE, and several of the Viriatos waiting there.

"Mr. Noronha, I am surprised to see you here. Come to see my speech?" says Salazar.

"I am afraid not, Prime Minister. You will not be giving a speech today," says Noronha.

"I see! This a coup then. Arrest this man!" Salazar says to the Viriatos. They stand unmoving.

"This will be easier if you go quietly. We have a ship waiting to take you to Bissau. Our collaboration government there will see to it you are well taken care of so long as you stay out of state affairs. My agents will be watching you of course," says Noronha.

"This is outrageous! The people will never accept this," says Salazar as the Viriatos move on him.

"You would be surprised what people will accept," says Noronha, motioning for the Viriatos to carry him away.

Francisco Rolao Preto emerges, wearing the distinctive paramilitary uniform of the Camisas Azuis, the blueshirt movement banned by Salazar. He says, "David. You have done well. We have done well. Let us address the people together, with Monsaraza and Raposo as well to show a united government. Today is about Portugal, the Empire can wait."

November 16, 1938 10 Downing Street, London, United Kingdom

"Prime Minister, the Times this morning reports an item from Portugal. It reports that Portugal under the new government led by Mr. Preto has declared itself the Fifth Empire and intends to lead a worldwide spiritual and economic union," the British aide says, handing Chamberlain the newspaper.

"All these petty little dictators. They feel they deserve a Munich Agreement since Hitler got one. What does our intelligence report say there current militarization status is?" Chamberlain asks.

"Our report suggests they have 8 divisions, and approximately a dozen outdated destroyers," the aide replies.

"And what does he want, Brazil? He thinks the world should give him Brazil because he has 8 divisions? What a ridiculous man," says Chamberlain.

"Not Brazil, Prime Minister. He says that the people of Iraq cry out to join his union and he will be liberating them soon," the aide replies.

"Absurd. Cut off trade and diplomatic relations and let this little tyrant stew for a while. We have just announced a lasting peace in Europe with Herr Hitler. This man deserves none of my time," says Chamberlain.

Current Situation

Our volunteers crushed the Republicans in Spain and helped win a victory for the Nationalists. We have renamed these units "Legiao de Viriatos" to honor their service. They have obtained veteran status. They will form the tip of the spear for our worldwide conquests. We have upgraded them with armored recon, this should give them an armor bonus against the low piercing value divisions in Asia.

10-16-38 Viriatos.png

10-16-38 Nationalist Victory.png

10-16-38 Armored Recon.png


We have thrown Salazar out at Francisco Preto has returned! We have declared Greater Portugal and then the Fifth Empire. We have flipped to having high war support and low stability for this transition. We have used that to transition to war economy, but now we have a long road back to high stability. The Fifth Empire gives us some great bonuses for military, but we have taken a permanent -100 opinion factor worldwide. We cannot remove this penalty and it never degrades. This has cut off all non-Fascist trading partners. Securing our own resources or making sure the Fascists win WW 2 will be important to securing Portugal's future.

7-1-38 Preto 2.png

7-1-38 Preto.png

10-16-38 Fifth Empire Finished.png


PIDE is having great success preparing the world for our rule. We have completed the mission in Iraq and got an improved result--45% collaboration when we conquer it. We'll probably stop there for Iraq. We also have started a similar mission in Siam.

7-1-38 Iraq.png

10-16-38 Siam Collaboration.png


The Fifth Empire halves the time it takes to justify a war goal, we've started to justify on Iraq immediately and our troops have been sent to Goa to prepare to invade as soon as we can.

10-16-38 Sendoff to Iraq.png


In addition to our government transition, we have completed a good amount of focuses for economic development and integration. Angola and Mozambique integration is underway, and we now have enough military factories to be producing a steady supply of rifles, artillery, support equipment, CAS, fighters, motorized, and light tanks. We need more production of all of these, but it will do for now. We also now have 4 research slots!

10-16-38 Left Side Focuses.png
 

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stnylan

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Chamberlain may yet rue his mean commentary
 

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Well that was easy; the Middle East should be a tougher nut to crack, though.
 

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October 23, 1939 Bangkok, Portuguese Imperial Province of Siam

Francisco Rolao Preto, reigning as Emperor Sebastian II of the Fifth Empire, has come to personally accept the unconditional surrender of Phraya Phrahon and the nation of Siam. He speaks to the people of Bangkok, assembled under military guard with an interpreter.

"People of Siam. I have accepted the unconditional surrender of your Prime Minister and welcome you as members of the Fifth Empire. I well understand the history of your people, struggling against subjugation at the hands of your own royal house and the colonial ambitions of the French and the British. Portugal was once a great colonial empire as well. We were the first to reach out across the waves and begin to unite the world through trade. Our history is also one of loss, as we too have been subjected to control and dimunition at the hands of the Spanish, the British, and other powers. This has given us perspective, and prepared us for this moment.

We are not the same as the British. You will not be slaves. We will work with you to develop Siam, educate the people, and make it strong through trade with us and other other territories. Eventually, you will become full citizens of the Empire. We have shown our commitment to this principle. Just as the Romans eventually integrated the Italians and others into the Republic and their Empire, so will we. Angola and Mozambique are in the process of becoming full states of Portugal with all attendant rights and citizenship privileges. The people of Guineau and India under our rule have self-government. The people of Iraq are on the same path as you are, to internal development sufficient to allow for self-government or integration into the state.

We do not subscribe to any racist ideology. All people are children of God, prophesied to join together in the Kingdom of Christ. We will establish churches here, but we will not make any law against your religious practices or force anyone to change their beliefs. There is a great struggle underway in the world, likely to become greater in a few years time. Our purpose is to stay out of this struggle and protect as many people from being exploited in it as much as we can. We may be called to battle, only time will tell. But we will not seek it."

As Preto concludes, the soldiers begin to cheer. The crowd, barely following the speech, begins to clap at the signal from the soldiers.

"Noronha, make sure the rubber plantations are productive again as soon as possible and begin recruiting. We need to fill out more divisions for China. The Iraqi divisions will not be enough. Devote enough resources to infrastructure and internal improvements not to make a complete liar of me. Tell the general to prepare naval invasions for Hainan and begin moving troops to Macau. We must begin fortifying the port there as well," Preto says.

"I'll see to it," Noronha replies.

Current Situation

The Iraq war was won swiftly. Our divisions with armored recon proved superior to their infantry and steadily pushed in front the landing site into Baghdad in a few short weeks.

Iraq Landing.png

Battle of Baghdad.png


The war for Siam was a bit more difficult, but still relatively easy. A naval invasion of Bangkok and the surroundings allowed us to swifty establish a zone of control and push for the remaining victory points.

Siam Naval Invasion.png
Siam.png


Between Iraq and Siam with some level of collaboration primed by our intelligence operations we managed to get several CIV and MIL factories immediately, rubber and oil for production, and enough manpower for a few more divisions. We also captured about 20K rifles and 1K artillery between the two wars. We can use these to fill out basic divisions that can later be upgraded when we have enough support equipment and light tanks to convert them to our standard infantry. We are now moving on to work on China. We have a collaboration government mission in progress and might do another one if the war goes on for a while. Our goal is to take the Guangxi Clique and then as much of the rest of China as we can while Japan is pushing them on another front in order to get a good amount of territory in a peace conference. All the Guangxi provinces have great industrialization and resources. We especially need the steel. We will put divisions in Macau as a fortified base and have them try to push out. Simultaneously we will naval invade Hainan island from Bangkok and seize the air base there to bring our fighters and CAS in for support. Our goal will be to push the lines together to form one front to push into China the rest of the way. We are still pretty under-equipped, so the going may be slow at first. But Japan is doing well in the war, so China itself is likely weak.
 

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An excellent start to a new Portuguese empire! Already encompassing lands never before governed from Lisbon.
 

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Wait, you're going for China? Is this an achievement run?
 

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December 4, 1941, Lisbon, Capital of the Fifth Portuguese Empire

Preto addresses the people by radio.

"I am pleased to report the final victory of our legions in China. From our humble trading port in Macau, we have expanded our empire in the Far East to include the provinces of Hainan, Nanning, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Changde, Zunyi, Guizho, Lianghan, and Gangzi along with their rich mineral deposits and factories. These provinces are home to some 95 million new subjects.

With these new territories, Portugal is now a world power. We are rich with resources and the industrial capacity and technology to make use of them. Our armed forces have proven themselves the equal of the Germans or Japanese. Though much of the world views our rapid rise with alarm and have tried to cut us off from trade, we have found strong trading partners for our goods and resources among the Axis powers and others.

This rapid transition has come at some cost in terms of internal strife within our civilian life. In a few short years we have undergone a revolution, risen from a small nation in Europe to a world empire. We have welcomed our brothers from Angola and Mozambique as new citizens. The workers in our factory have toiled to produce the equipment necessary to support our national defense. We must continue to work hard in order to secure and defend our new position in the world, but we will also work to address the internal condition of our country to ensure that citizens reap the benefits of our empire."

Current Situation

The Chinese war got off to a swift start. Our breakout from Macau met only light resistance initially, and our landing in Hainan was completely uncontested.

China 1.png


The key battle took place as our two armies fought to join their lines into a single front.

China 2.png


With this accomplished, the war set in for a long and slow push into the interior.

China 3.png


We continued to bring in fresh reinforcements as they were trained and pushed East to cut off the Japanese advance to the extent we could, giving us a chance to build more war score and to build additional collaboration using our agents.

China 4.png


Using this strategy we were able to conquer a large part of China ourselves while pushing toward capitulation, though the war was a long one.

China 5.png


At the eventual peace conference we secured a fairly large chunk of China beyond the Guangxi Clique for our empire.

China 6.png


Key to our victory was the integration of Angola and Mozambique to give us fresh manpower to continue the war, though this put our already low stability to 1%.

Angola Integration.png


Our manpower and stability before and then after integration, still only on Volunteer recruitment policy:

Before Integration.png

After Integration.png


We also began offering trade to Axis nations blockaded by the Allies. This focus gives those countries a decision to trade with us, costing us 50 convoys but giving us 1 offmap CIV in return for each country. This has given us additional industrial capacity.

Naval Blockade.png


We also took the opportunity during the long Chinese war to mine much of the Atlantic and the English Channel, preparing to defend Portugal and to potentially naval invade Brazil or the United Kingdom should it become opportune to do so.

Mining the English Channel.png


I think it is worth taking stock of our progress so far.
January 1, 1936
December 6, 1941
Eligible Core Population6.8 million15.44 million
Eligible Non-core Population9.1 million116.45 million
Total Manpower88.24 thousand1.64 million
Military Factories224
Naval Dockyards316
Civilian Factories1160
Oil040
Aluminum00
Rubber172
Tungsten290366
Steel052
Chromium3246

We now have a rather astounding 1.64 million total manpower! It will take us some time to fully exploit that manpower with our still relatively modest industrial production. China was effectively bled dry during the war so we didn't get a windfall of guns to equip new divisions. Most of our production was focused on maintaining our divisions in China and we did not build up much of a stockpile, though we did manage to steadily increase our air force.

We are now at a crossroads, with three potential paths as I see it.

The Axis Path. We could use our focuses to make claims on British territories in Southern Africa or Singapore and the Dutch East Indies. This would immediately throw our hat in with the Axis. Our troops are already in Asia and we could probably make some quick gains in Southeast Asia. However, ALL of our troops are there and we are not at all ready to defend Portugal itself or our African states. We will likely lose the initial opportunity for Southeast Asian conquest to Japan soon. We also have a long border in Siam with British Raj that will need to be defended. Going this route is likely to put us in a long protracted war to defend our existing gains from the Allies and prevent ourselves becoming the soft underbelly of the Axis. If we can manage this successfully and maintain some semblance of a navy, we can eventually naval invade Brazil on the way to what would hopefully ultimate victory for the Fascists.

The Iberian Path. Another option is to turn on Spain while it still has its recovering from the civil war focus and won't join a faction. This is appealing, but intelligence gathering shows that Spain has built up quite an army--larger than ours and with antitank support so our armored recon companies will be effectively dead weight. The only way to make this successful is likely to hold Portugal with a defensive line, seize Morocco through naval invasion, and then naval invade the other side of Spain to open up two fronts. I'm skeptical of success even with this plan.

The Opportunist Path (Axis or Allied). A final option is to do nothing for the time being, focus on restoring stability and planning our next move for a while to see how the war progresses. If the Axis is doing well, naval invading Brazil is still an option even if we lose the chance for Africa and the East Indies. If the tide turns against the Axis, we can throw our weight to the Allies and use those same focuses to seize Axis conquests in Africa, the East Indies, and the rest of China. We have a long and difficult to defend with the Japanese in Siam and in China, however. Presumably the Allies AI will just join this front instead of more useful naval invasions and this is likely to turn into a protracted land war on our territory until Japan can be thrown out of China.

For either the Axis Path or the Opportunist Path, the naval war will be a challenge. We have focused on producing cheap destroyers and done a lot of mining in the Atlantic. However, our empire's supply lines are now vast and we may not have enough escorts to fully cover them. We have started producing a few raiding submarines. However, we still have a ways to go if we want a true fighting navy. To make up for this we have been producing naval bombers at a good pace and have a few hundred to help defend our shores and support any invasions.
 

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The dangerous Iberian path sings a siren song...Portugal truley would be able to take its seat at the table of European powers with the wealth of all Iberia at its fingertips!

The risk is of course great and who knows if playing such a high stakes games would end in tears or in triumph. Francisco Preto has the destiny of his people in his hands, I am glad it is his choice not mine!
 

Captured Joe

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Fighting the Allies would offer the opportunity to regain Portugal's lost colonies in India, Indonesia and South America... but if the USA gets in, it might be impossible to win!
 

stnylan

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The lure of righting the wrongs of the Iberan Union of old is very strong indeed - but maybe that may yet be part of an opportunistic parth?
 

Knave

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March 21, 1943, Barcelona, Portuguese occupied Spain

Franscisco Rolao Preto and Franscisco Franco sit alone in a small room, signing the treaty of unconditional surrender annexing Spain into the Fifth Portuguese Empire.

"What will become of me? Death by firing squad like Primo?" Franco asked, signing the treaty and passing it to Preto.

"Of course not. We are not barbarians. I mourned Primo, too, you know. He was like a brother to me. I helped create the Falange. We have a nice estate waiting for you in Bissau. You and Salazar will be neighbors. The climate is nice and the guards will ensure you never want for anything," Preto says, countersigning. "Shall we go greet the people?"

Current Situation

After a lengthy and brutal war we have conquered Spain, uniting Iberia and adding Morocco and Spain's other African territories to our rule. Our goal was to complete the war by March 2, 1943, so that Spain would not come out of its recovery and drag us into a broader war by joining the Axis. We missed that by a few days but it turned out not to matter.

Spain - Recovering from Civil War.png
Spain - Treaty of Barcelona.png


We were still quite undermanned when starting the war, unable to exploit our full manpower due to a deficit in infantry equipment and support equipment coming out of the war in China. We managed to fully strengthen our divisions holding the line and quickly seize Morocco, but putting more divisions in the field would take time and refocusing production to crank out infantry equipment.

Spain - Start.png


Further attempts to open up a second front through a naval invasion failed. Spain just had too many divisions covering ports for our small secondary force to break through. Progress was very slow at first, though we did manage to successfully hold our defensive line against Spain. Ultimately, we moved the secondary force to that defensive line to reinforce given its inability to open up a second front and managed to make slow progress pushing with these additional forces.

Spain - Spain 2.png


The war became exactly the type of slog I had hoped to avoid, and progress was only made slowly due to draining Spain of equipment and manpower from its failed attempts to break our line.

Spain - Spain 3.png


The end of the war ended up looking a lot like a repeat of the Spanish Civil War, only this time with the battered Nationalists pushed to the Pyrenees.

Spain - Spain 4.png


Our navy turned out to not be up to snuff compared to the Spanish fleet, and our naval bombers were insufficient to protect our supply lines. We quickly ran into a problem with importing steel from our convoy losses, leading to production penalties and equipment problems, though not as bad as Spain's. We also lost most of our navy (cheap escort destroyers/minelayers and raiding subs) in the war, ending it with a mere 7 vessels.

Spain - Spain Equipment Deficit.png

Spain - Navy.png


However, a victory is a victory, even a sloppy one. Assessing our next opportunity, it appears the opportunities in Asia have passed unless we were to turn on the Axis. The Axis seems to be doing well right now and manning a front against Vichy France and against Japan in China seems out of reach at the moment. Africa also doesn't seem to present a great opportunity at the moment.

Spain - Asia.png


For now, we will focus on rebuilding our army and navy before picking a larger fight. We have a tremendous amount of manpower, we now just need to produce the equipment to put it into the field. We can make preparations for what seems to be our most likely next target, however.

Spain - Brazil.png


Notes: This was not a pretty victory, and I think it reflects some mistakes coming out of the war in China and early planning. I could have used the time ending that war to prepare a collaboration government in Spain, leading to a shorter war and more gains. However, I hadn't managed support equipment and infantry equipment deficits well in order to allow that and hadn't planned ahead. Our naval strategy turned out to be rather poor--our naval supply lines were slowly eaten up, though we managed to essentially trade our navy for theirs. Overall, I am now questioning the strategy of relying so much on armored recon support to give an edge to the infantry. This is an expensive investment in tech for light tanks and in production to keep it up. It was very effective in China but useless in Spain and likely for the rest of the game. I think if I had devoted that production to guns, support equipment, artillery, CAS, and NAV bombers and gone with more numerous, standard 7/2 divisions the Spanish war would have gone much better and the Chinese war likely would have gone almost as well. The tech slots for light tanks could have been used to access cruisers earlier and build a few basic CAs to make the navy stronger.
 

Cromwell

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Great sacrifices were made for the Fith Empire particularly by Portugal's heroic sailors but the victory they won was inevitable! While commanded by their vigorous leaders there is nothing Portuguese servicemen and civilians working together for one goal can not achieve!

A united Iberia will provide the industry needed to rebuild the armed forces with the recent lessons taken into account. The dead were not slain in vain, a new navy will rise like a phoenix from the ashes and the army and air force will too be improved beyond recognition! The comrades of the fallen will march on to new and greater victories!

End Broadcast
 
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Henry v. Keiper

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I have a feeling that the war with Spain might be called "The Iberian Miracle" in the annals of the Fifth Empire's history. At least in the sense that against all odds, Portugal came out with a victory - even if, as you say, it's a "sloppy victory."

Rebuilding the navy will definitely be a priority, which will give the army time to play catch up with expanding and updating the equipment. Also, funny about Japan, that - I've noticed in a few of my games that the Japanese AI seems fond of launching amphibious landings in India or Bangladesh.

I like the interesting AAR style you have developed here: a narrative-style summary of what the chapter will be discussing, and then a more traditional AAR format of what was done, with details on the in-game status and lessons learned. I can't help but notice that the Portuguese industry seems to still be growing nicely too.
 
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