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


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Tommy4ever

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Stalin’s Ambition



In mid 1940 the war in the East was not going well for Stalin. Despite being exteriorly confidence he had realised that unless something changed the Soviet Union could hope for nothing but defeat. Already millions had died in the frozen wastes of Siberia, the deserts of Central Asia, the Mongol Steppe and the Himalayan Mountains. The early advances of the Russian war machine had all been reversed and although the valiant Red Army had been able to largely halt the Asian advance their lines were starting to buckle, they could not hold the pressure of Asia for much longer.

In the West Stalin saw potential. With Europe in the chaos of the war between the Axis and Allies no one would protest if he gained more land for the Soviet Union. Indeed the Germans had actively supported his conquest of Eastern Poland the year before and since then the two nations had been trading supplies and resources to help in each other’s wars. Only a small force would be required to exercise the Soviet claims on the weak Baltic states and the boost in both morale and resources might just be enough to tip the balance of power back in Stalin’s favour in the East.



It was for these reasons that the Soviet Union declared war on Lithuania on June 4th and on the Latvian-Estonian alliance three days later.



Stalin had left a, primarily infantry, force of roughly twice the size of the combined Baltic armies. He had assumed that this would easily crush the small states and secure a quick victory. He was wrong. Not only were the Russian armies crushed on the Latvian and Lithuanian border but the Balts advanced to take the Soviet cities of Grodno, Vilnius, Opochka and even Pskov. In fact the situation was so dire that Estonian flyers managed to bomb Leningrad on no less than three occasions. This was the situation as of June 29th.



Then two Soviet armoured divisions arrived from the Finnish border.



The knife through butter analogy is an overused one but rarely is it so appropriate as when it is used to describe the Soviet tank offensive in early July in Latvia. The single tanks division did what the infantry had failed to do in an entire month and defeated the Latvians at their border. 10 days later the tanks had taken Riga and the Latvian government surrendered. In the south the story was slightly different with the Russians having to win hard fought victories at Grodno, Vilnius and Kaunas. However with their new tanks the Lithuanians could do little to resist.



3 days after Latvia Lithuania decided to throw in the towel and submit to the bear. Meanwhile, led by the tanks from Riga, the Red Army broke the Estonian lines at Partu and advanced towards the capital in Tallin.



Over the course of the next 3 days the Estonians fought hard for their capital, however eventually the irresistible Russian force overcame them and following the fall of their capital Estonia too surrendered. Stalin had his victory.

The question of why the British failed to offer anything more than moral support is a bitter one amongst many Balts to this day but the answer is simple: they were utterly unable to. The war with the Axis was already stretching Britain to its limit; war with Russia could have finally broken the Empire. Meanwhile all of the Empire’s resources were focussed on defeating Hitler; it would have been folly to send vital supplies to the doomed Balts when the Spanish still had hope.
 

unmerged(86922)

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Another good update, with the Red Expansion, it seems that Barbarossa is coming soon, hopefully.
 

unmerged(169228)

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Missed just a few updates and suddenly the whole scenario is upside down...

Tip on Spain: if everything else fails, Seville, Gibraltar, Malaga makes a fine defensive line with difficult terrain and a river acting as a natural defence. You even save some Spanish victorypoints, letting you keep their army's. (I am telling this because I am trying to crack this line in my game at the moment, it isn't pretty).
 

Tommy4ever

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Bulgaria throws in her lot



In mid 1940 Tsar Boris III’s Bulgarian Kingdom was in a situation very similar to that of Siam several months before. His capital of Sofia had been flooded by diplomats. Both the Germans, Italians and French of the Axis were eager for his to send his fine ¼ of a million man army to invade Greece whilst the British and Greeks of the Allies wanted his men to support them against the Fascists, meanwhile there were even Russian diplomats who, attempting to play the Pan-Slavic card yet again, wanted Bulgarian support for their intentions against the Romanians. Whilst Boris had long since discarded any idea of allying himself with the Bolshevists he was torn between the Axis and the Allies. On one hand he feared what Bulgaria would become if he allowed Hitler and his supporters to gain a grip of his humble nation and, when all was said and done, he felt his nation had a connection with the Greeks in religion and history and had rejoiced at the return of Constantinople to its rightful Orthodox masters. His main sticking point with the Allies was that he feared that they could not guarantee his safety. For many months the Italians had kept and impressively large army in Albania and as long as they held that nation there was a danger that Greece could still fall, if Greece fell so would Bulgaria. Worse still ever since the fall of the Romanian Democracy in early June the new Fascistic government had been angling towards an alliance with Hitler.



In mid July an event occurred that finally showed Boris the true path to glory and safety for his people. Between July 14th and July 18th 100,000 Greeks, 90,000 Indians (under British command) and 30,000 South Africans accompanied by a large scale RAF bombing campaign had smashed the 120,000 man Italian army at the Greek-Albanian border. What’s more there were hundreds of thousands of Allied soldiers all across Northern Greece and Western Anatolia. It was now clear to the Tsar that this army could protect Bulgaria.

After much deliberation with his advisors and council Boris invited Anthony Eden to Sofia for talks on August 2nd. Eden may have been busy in South America (trying to convince various leaders to join the Allied war effort) but the chance of making such a powerful friend in Europe quickly brought him to Bulgaria. There was little that had to be done: Bulgaria demanded guarantees of protection, technological assistance and some trading privileges in newly conquered Anatolia. Eden accepted all the Tsar’s demands.



On August 7th the Treaty of Sofia was signed and the combined armies of the British Alliance increased in number by 250,000. Perhaps even if the battle for Iberia was lost the Allies could garner victory in the Balkans.
 

trekaddict

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If you managed to boot the Italians out of Albania before they Dow Yugoslavia, then defending Greece should be much easier, especially when you manage to hold that last Yugoslav VP down there.
 

Tommy4ever

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Woe in Abyssinia and Operation Baguette



Since the start of the war Major General Harvey had led his small force of colonial troops to the conquest of most of Italian East Africa. Mogadishu, Jima, Addis Ababa and the French port of Djibouti had all fallen. However in late May, out of nowhere, 30,000 elite Wehrmacht divisions arrived in the Port of Massau. They must have had an incredible journey; they would have most likely left from the French ports in the Bay of Biscay but would then have been forced to travel all the way through the Allied infested waters of the Atlantic, around Cape at Allied South Africa and then northward through the Indian Ocean which was always filled with British shipping. Yet they had gone utterly undetected and now threatened all Harvey had gained since September.



It did not take long for the Germans to reach Djibouti where they crushed Harvey’s army in battle. In response to this the British began to ship the entire Saudi Arabian army across the Gulf of Aden to Somaliland.



By late August all that remained in Allied hands was British Somaliland and the Northern portion of Italian Somaliland. Whilst the Saudi forces had prevented utter defeat in East Africa supply shortages had made any counterattacks virtually impossible.



Back in Europe, on August 12th, the British paratrooper corps attempted to redeem itself with Operation Baguette. Thousands of paratroopers fell from the skies onto the French island of Corsica. What little resistance the French put up was quickly extinguished. The success did not totally make up for the failure on Sardinia but it most certainly saved the paras form being incorporated into the basic infantry.

 

Zhuge Liang

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Curse the AI and their infinite range! At least you managed to take Corsica for a little revenge.
 

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Good job on Corisca, and also in Albania.
 

unmerged(174159)

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Looking at the ships, one could posit a japanese troop drop with Expeditionary Forces. HAHAHA Little Japaneses Conquering AFRIKA!
 

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Looking at the ships, one could posit a japanese troop drop with Expeditionary Forces. HAHAHA Little Japaneses Conquering AFRIKA!
Thats actually a independent country, East African Federation I think.
 

Tommy4ever

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I'm suspending this AAR for the forseeable. I no longer have enought time to invest in two seperate AARs and so have chosen to continue doing my CK AAR instead of this one. I enjoy writing that one much more and also feel it is of alot higher quality than this. I apologise to anyone who has enjoyed reading this. I may return but we are likely talking about months and not weeks before this could be resumed.
 

unmerged(86922)

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i'm suspending this aar for the forseeable. I no longer have enought time to invest in two seperate aars and so have chosen to continue doing my ck aar instead of this one. I enjoy writing that one much more and also feel it is of alot higher quality than this. I apologise to anyone who has enjoyed reading this. I may return but we are likely talking about months and not weeks before this could be resumed.
nooooooooooooooo:(
 

Sectorknight21

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I'm suspending this AAR for the forseeable. I no longer have enought time to invest in two seperate AARs and so have chosen to continue doing my CK AAR instead of this one. I enjoy writing that one much more and also feel it is of alot higher quality than this. I apologise to anyone who has enjoyed reading this. I may return but we are likely talking about months and not weeks before this could be resumed.
"Hang's head" Well it was great while it lasted. :(
 

Mico94

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nooooooooooooooo:(
my thoughts exactly :(

you don't often see an AAR where a human player struggles to win against an AI
(especially now that Democracy 's last legs Part I is finished)
 

unmerged(143535)

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i go on holiday for two weeks, and then this happens?!? really a shame...