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Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour AAR): ‘The March of the Machines’
Chapter One: Prologue​

The French government had a wonderful idea, called 'The Uriah Project' in which very advanced data processing machines would assist each Theatre Commander in handling incoming information and help the officers and commanding generals in the proper tactics to counter act the enemy or carry out military operations.

Sadly, due to cuts in the military's finances in the time between the wars, the machines designed looked, suspiciously, like magic 8-Balls. Still, they were issued to all the branches of the French military and was in use by all the Theatre level Headquarters by 1936.


piW1qjO.jpg

Welcome to the March of the Machines. This is my new Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour) AAR where I play France and, as an experiment, allow all the military to be controlled by Theatre level AI. ALL of the military.

Oh no, you say, surely not the airborne. Yes, I say, even the airborne. I once saw a German AI use the paratroops as a kind of wave of reinforcements delivered by air to Great Britain - so I know it knows how to load the transports and use them.

Surely, you point out, you will keep control of the naval transports. No, I say, the AI will control it all. I have seen Theatre HQs use them to transport reinforcements and launch invasions.

Why, oh why, you cry out in horror, would you do such a thing? And my reply is, for the kicks man.

Also, I want to see just how the AI controlled Theatre Level HQs handle it. Having played Germany where I won using AI but kept control of the special forces (see my sig.) I wanted to see what would happen if I gave it full control to the military to try to reach whatever goals I set without my help. So I will run the government and let the Theatres run the military (just the reverse of my last AAR - see sig.).

Why France? Well, it is a Major power but does have a lot of problems at the start to over come, including a spread out Empire with a pitiful military and sad economic foundation. So I can’t just flood the military with a billion divisions. I will have to carefully pick and choose which region will get what unit. While trying to build up my finances and technology at the same time.

Will I survive long enough to contain the threat the Nazis pose to the world or be buried by the advancing tanks of the German Reich? Likely the latter - but it will be fun to try!

My Goals will be:

1. Military Units: To prepare the military as best I can with proper equipment suited to their environments. No mountain divisions in North Africa for example.

2. Manpower and Resources: To try to increase available manpower by selecting Tech. that decreases the demands of men (and women) in the labor force. I will also do my best to keep fuel and supply demands as low as I can - why make tanks when cavalry would likely work better in Africa? So on.

3. Technology: Pick Tech. that helps on multi-levels. Get the best bang for my buck, as it were.

4. Foreign Policy: Try to get the USA into the Allies BEFORE France is attacked by the Germans.

These will be my four main goals and EVERYTHING done must be done to fulfill these four goals.

Yes, I will be using hindsight - in that I know that Germany will sooner or later attack me.

And the AAR will take the form of a basic AAR - no story - more of a series of reports and observations of the performance of the military as it struggles to do the best it can under the limits I have placed on it. Therefore the AAR will sometimes focus with great detail on a certain subject or go over the passing years with nothing but a few paragraphs. In other words, I will write what is needed to explore the experiment - no more, no less.

Any questions will be answered and any feedback welcome - but please remember like other AAR I will likely be playing weeks or months ahead of any posted chapter - so most advice about events will likely already be ‘unusable‘.

Chapter Two should be up soon!
 
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Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour AAR): ‘The March of the Machines’
Chapter Two: Review - Where Do We Stand?​

4YB2Xk2.jpg

Let's Look Over Our Empire!

Before we can start building divisions, factories, anti-aircraft guns, coveys, and chocolate cigarettes...uh...I mean supplies we need to first check out what resources we have and what we are going to need.

Please remember the game is paused right now, so nothing is happening (which is why some things are red).

First, Production is a good place to start. Looks like we have Rubber, Black Soil, Antibiotics, Naval Base Facilities, and Dockyard Facilities. I think that is from our alliance with the UK. And we seem to be building a Battle Cruiser. The IC could be better but we are at peace right now - not geared up for military operations.

B7TXkuh.jpg

8RxV2UF.jpg

As you can see at the bottom of the Production screen, we have A LOT of Theatres. Seven in total. Not ALL of them will be useful and a few will be, well, left out in the rain, as they say.

Now the Technology screen. Oh dear, not much in the way of Leadership. Diplomacy and Espionage may have to take a hit for the common good. I want at least 6 to 8 projects running.

UJjw1Xd.jpg

Now a quick look at Politics. Well, not bad, but that could all change on the 4th of May, as there will be a election. And, yes, I noticed our Nationality Unity. That will not do at all. Is that the Minister of Security messing it up? AND our Head of State? Can’t we, you know, toss candy out a window and not let them back in? Oh yes, I also noticed we can change our laws - I believe it has to do with Training Laws. We can’t change it yet - not enough money.

kOy3uuN.jpg

NOW, things get complex. We dive into the military - our lovely military. All Seven Theatres. Luckily, or not, only Four really matter to us. Three really, but let us go over them.

The Paris HQ has, among the ground troops, 45 Infantry Brigades, 5 Motorized Brigades, 4 Armored Car Brigades, 3 Cavalry Brigades, 3 Light Tank Brigades, and 2 Tank Brigades.

TpYQmfJ.jpg

It also has assigned to it 2 Interceptor Wings, 3 Tactical bomber Wings, and 2 CAG Wings (I call single air units Wings - just me). It also controls 1 Carrier, 2 Battle Ships, 3 Heavy Cruisers, 5 Light Cruisers, and 4 Destroyer Flotillas.

Before I continue you can already see some of the problems. Just giving them more of the same will not do. The existing units will need support units - artillery, anti-aircraft guns, and anti-tank weapons. It is pretty much like that for the rest of them.

The next Theatre is Strasbourg HQ and it has 24 Infantry Brigades. That’s it. You can all see the issue with that, can’t you?

IE5bkGa.jpg

The Bordeaux HQ looks a tad better. 9 Infantry Brigades, 6 Mountain Brigades, and 3 Alpine Battalions. It is supported by 1 Tactical Bomber Wing and 1 Interceptor Wing. It also controls 2 Battle Ships, 2 Heavy Cruisers, 2 Light Cruisers, 3 Destroyer Flotillas, 10 Submarine Flotillas, and 4 Transport Flotillas. As it is facing the Italians I feel it is in a better position then the other HQs and only needs a few more support units.

9pDEF3j.jpg

Those are the Three HQs that I think of as the most important. Out of the other Four there is one I would like to help, slightly.

The Tunis HQ in Northern Africa, with its 15 Infantry Brigades, 1 Motorized Brigade, and 1 Cavalry Brigade, would seem to be in a good position to mess up the Italians when the time is right, as long as they are kept in good shape. They have only 1 Tactical Bomber Wing but do have 2 Battleships, 2 Heavy Cruisers, 4 Destroyer Flotillas, and 5 Submarine Flotillas. We will need to give them a Commanding Officer, of course.

FMXQ55q.jpg

The rest of the French territory in Africa is under command of the Dakar HQ who has nothing. So I didn’t even bother to take a image of it.

The first of the other two, who will be left to their own devices, is the Beirut HQ with 4 Alpine Battalions and 2 Motorized Brigades. The last may end up being assigned to Tunis.

nF7TknR.jpg

The second one is the Saigon HQ with 6 Infantry Brigades and 3 Transport Flotillas. The transports may be reassigned to Tunis so it can pick up said Motorized Brigades. And I guess I should give it a Commanding Officer also.

5Q2BhxP.jpg

So, that seems to be the whole picture. Join me next time when I, in fact, finally start making decisions, doing stuff, and un-pausing the game!
 

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Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour AAR): ‘The March of the Machines’
Chapter Three: Doing Stuff!

Q183PLk.jpg

Why Are Our Medium Armor Brigades Made Up Of Light Tanks?

Greetings to Chapter Three where we do stuff. Well, more like putting the pieces on the board and purchasing our first units. Like when you set up an Axis & Allies board - you unfold the board, make sure you remember the rules, order the Chinese delivery ahead of time.

First. I set up the military, turning on the AI of each HQ and giving them each full powers to reorganize and select officers. Then they were assigned the major cities or provinces in which they would be controlling.

Let's talk about the European Theatres.

Paris was given Paris, Lille, Bruxelles, and Luxembourg.

Strasbourg was given Cattenom, Stuttgart, and Mulhouse.

Bordeaux was given Bordeaux, Brignoles, Nice, and Torino.

When war starts I plan to have them go on the attack. Therefore I assume ahead of time that many of those cities will sooner or later fall to Germany. So I want them to be ready to attack any advancing German units. I believe a good defenses is crashing in the enemy's front door, kicking his dog, and taking over his living room. So right now they are set to Prepare Stance for all three branches of their Theatres.

Tunis was given Tunis, Alger, and Triploi. Same idea - they have been set to preparation stance. Also they have been assigned Field Marshal Rondenay as their Commanding Officer.

KXcFPDn.jpg

Sadly, it turns out Beirut has no Motorized Divisions, those are Alpine Battalions. I told Beirut HQ to guard Beirut - which it can't because all the divisions are in East Africa. So I may have to loan it some troop transports to redeploy the units.

Saigon was given Saigon and Hanoi to guard. They also lost their transports to Tunis. It was assigned Field Marshal Pagezy as the Commanding Officer.

GloC0Ll.jpg

Both these HQs may lose some of their infantry to the Tunis Theatre as I just don't see them as very important to short term survival of France.

And Dakar got nothing. Not even a Commanding Officer.

Now onto Technology. First, Total Leadership is 16.38. That breaks down into Research having 8.00, Espionage having 1.88, Diplomacy having 2.49, and Officers having 4.00 - I wish I had more Leadership.

HAa9q3R.jpg
7oMOCCT.jpg

The Reach Projects break down into two areas. One is purely military. The other is ways to do more with less. The new motto of FRANCE!

Diplomacy was simple. All I did was start to influence the USA and turned on 'Auto' on Trade.

y70WCBc.jpg

Intelligence was also somewhat simple. I am going to try to use Domestic to do...everything. And Spies abroad - right now all I care about is Germany.

8z8Qn5c.jpg

Production was also kind of simple - I don't have a lot of IC. So I bought Anti-Air Craft and Anti-Tank Brigade Attachments. Cheaper then Artillery Attachments and I will need both by the time Germany hits me. I plan to attach them to the Divisions WHILE also reorganizing the Divisions. I prefer 2 x Inf Brigades for the core of my Infantry Divisions so there is a lot of work ahead. This will increase the units and AI HQ usually do better with more than less.

That's the start. Future Chapters will be basic summaries of events - very likely covering many months at a time. Only time I will get into details is when the HQs do something interesting, when I do something interesting, or when reporting on battles, of course.

5mSjjxv.jpg

We do have a lot to do. Our Armored Car Brigades are made up of AMD Panhard 178s, a armored car that is useful for scouting the battle field and looks nice. But we only have 4 Brigades of them. Funny, they didn't see service until 1937 in our timeline.

0JrWRzM.jpg

The same for our Tanks. The Light Armor Brigades are made up of FCM-36s and our (Medium) Armor Brigades are made up of Hotchkiss H-39s (which are also Light Tanks). Both, while semi-modern, don't come in the numbers we need. We only have a total of 5 Tank Brigades!

Thank you for reading and hope to have Chapter Four up soon!
 

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Just a tip, your ministers increasing NU change are actually good, since they'll increase the rate at which it increases. Same as with doing 'Stalins Perestroika' as the Soviet Union, adopt free press and you can get a war economy in July instead of October
 
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Just a tip, your ministers increasing NU change are actually good, since they'll increase the rate at which it increases. Same as with doing 'Stalins Perestroika' as the Soviet Union, adopt free press and you can get a war economy in July instead of October
Thank you very much. To me red means bad, so i don't know why they are red. I'll keep them.
 

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Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour AAR): ‘The March of the Machines’
Chapter Four: January 1936 to March 1936

1bFRMvv.jpg

Amiot 143 Tactical Bomber - A Aging Design from 1928!

Greetings to the first three months of our AAR! From the start of January to the end of March. The first part of the game was me reorganizing the ground forces. Not all divisions were played with - some divisions were just left as they were. Also three Cavalry Divisions were sent back to the Factories to be upgraded to Motorized Divisions. Only one was not changed - in Africa. It does not need as much fuel so why change it?

So in most cases this:
VslXZv2.jpg

Became this:
Zg1Aa96.jpg

Also a few HQs were disbanded - it seems the Theatres were reorganizing their structures but forgetting to toss out the extra HQs. So I disbanded them - we needed the officers anyway. Many of our Divisions don't have officers.

Outside of the one warship all builds in the production list are AT or AA attachment units. This did not change during the three months. Until we get more technology under our belt no aircraft, no naval units, no tanks or armored cars. Not even infantry right now.

QArB86w.jpg

Paris Being Assigned Its Patrol Areas.

I also assigned Sea Zones to patrol to Paris, Bordeaux, and Tunis. I almost forgot to do that!

The Ministers were left alone, mostly thanks to their Public Relations Agent, Gnarf, who they paid nothing. Cheapskates.

The (AAR's) Time Line went on, ignoring me, as I grumbled about a lack of IC.

Almost off the bat Switzerland started to align itself to the Axis. A few days later Turkey started to move towards the Comintern.

On the 16th of January Germany marched into the Rhineland. Strasbourg is NOT happy about that and, as part of its demands, is asking for over 90 Infantry Brigades.

SG5Jz8m.jpg

y7Ez1uh.jpg

After that Sweden started to move into the Axis camp.

By March Italy had turned Ethiopia into its puppet.

And on March 20th the Spanish Civil War started. Germany, Italy, and the USSR all intervened. Shortly after that King George the Fifth died.

I7F322n.jpg

HByfmyy.jpg

While waiting for things to happen I looked over my Air Force. Air cover looks good. But once one looks over the air craft one starts to worry. The CAG Wings were made up of PL. 101s, which started service in 1935, replacing the older PL. 10s. In our timeline only 30 were built.

jz1dNsg.jpg

A Levasseur PL. 101 Taking Off From A Carrier.

The Dewoitine D series of fighters were all metal, open cockpit, monoplane fighters. In our timeline they were soon replaced by fighter craft with enclosed cockpits and retractable undercarriage (the wheels could be pulled in).

SEOQ82v.jpg

As for the Amiot 143 it was designed based on specifications for a four-seat multi-role craft that could be a light bomber, carry out reconnaissance, and be also a long-range escort fighter. Ordered in 1928 working versions would not be delivered to the French government until 1935. Jack of all trades, master of none, I don't see it doing well against...anything.

In other words, our Air Force, like much of our equipment, was designed during the interwar years and will be as helpful against the German Air Force as rocks fired from slings will be. Thank you for reading and join me in the next chapter which I hope will be up soon!
 
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The Ministers were left alone, mostly thanks to their Public Relations Agent, Gnarf, who they paid nothing. Cheapskates.

:p

Also, interesting choice to go with AA and AT in your brigades. Usually I wouldn't poke AA with a 20 foot stick, but German air power really does hurt you, and it's a long way to get air superiority over the krauts. I'm not sure if it'll help you enough to make up for the loss of artillery though, you are going to lose a lot of firepower..
 
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:p

Also, interesting choice to go with AA and AT in your brigades. Usually I wouldn't poke AA with a 20 foot stick, but German air power really does hurt you, and it's a long way to get air superiority over the krauts. I'm not sure if it'll help you enough to make up for the loss of artillery though, you are going to lose a lot of firepower..

Thanks.
I still plan to buy some Artillery for some of the units and Tank Destroyers for the more mobile divisions. Right now just focusing on AA and AT Brigades.
 
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Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour AAR): ‘The March of the Machines’
Chapter Five: April 1936 to June 1936

GkaDQMK.jpg

The New French Anti-Tank Guns.

Welcome to Chapter Five, where we continue to build up France while waiting for the world to end. Well, it already ended during the Great War, when millions of Europe's greatest generation, the seeds of the future, died in horror, swallowed up by the trenches of a blood stained landscape. Now we're just really waiting for the Corpse of Mankind to topple over and decay. But until then, let's have some fun with another Great War, okay? Great!

Within the three months I continue to peek and poke the Infantry Divisions, reorganizing them as best I can. By April the first wave of support brigades start to roll out of the factories.

So Divisions start to go from this:
yygJ5Jh.jpg

To this:
0VTH7D5.jpg

At this point I order some Artillery Brigades - as one (unpaid) person has pointed out I will need them and I better start ordering a few here and there. I also cancel a few of the trade agreements - for some reason we were trading money for energy. In other words exporting money for energy (coal and stuff). But we have a ton of energy - we need money - we were in the red. Once I went over the trade agreements, and cancelled a few, we went back into the green when it came to cash.

Technology-wise I think we are doing pretty well. A lot of projects ended in April so I do my best to replace them with new research programs that make sense and will help us the most. A few ended in May and June and I replaced them as best I could also.

RswHDzN.jpg
cC39NTh.jpg
qjqyN0o.jpg
e4mx90C.jpg
fb70LlT.jpg
Fie59V8.jpg
UZBUtIA.jpg


Funny, one of the things about playing a nation with few resources is how long you spend reading all the details and taking more time weighing the choices. I like it. So the new programs that got started were Heavy AA Guns (2), Infantry Warfare (2), Interception Tactics (2), Infantry Warfare Research, Militia Anti-Tank Weapons (3), Militia Light Artillery(2), and Armored Car Gun (2).

Anyway, by the end of the three-month period our Research Programs look like this:

6nmIhQU.jpg
cNBqRh8.jpg

In May we have our elections, which do effect France, but only in small ways.

nTvQaUE.jpg

The Time Line seems to be moving along. Edward the Eighth is kicked out.

ynclVI8.jpg

Nationalist Spain (those fools!) break off a trade agreement with us.

IcTvK05.jpg

By June 1st I was able to trigger the Popular Front!

jOrBlcB.jpg

9iB8xN2.jpg

A few days later I was also able to change our Training to Specialist Training. It will slow down recruit time but will give more experience to fresh soldiers.

By 11th of June I decided, while I had low IC/Factories I did have a ton of money in the bank. So why not use it?

iU9exKd.jpg

E78MFsy.jpg

I hope they turn out to be worth the money.

Join us next time when I devote a Chapter to looking over our Navy and talking about how important the Spanish Civil War WAS to military history and World War Two. Thank you for reading!
 
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Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour AAR): ‘The March of the Machines’
Chapter Six: Navy Stuff!

6rS42ii.jpg

Chief of the Navy Francois Darlan.

As we have looked at the Army and Air Force, why not peek at the Navy? See what we have to work with!

GpR7Okx.png
bQyHCcw.png

Let us look at the Battleships. We seem to have two classes within our fleets. The Courbet Class Battleship, 4 were built in our time line between 1910 and 1914, and the Bretagne Class, in our time line 3 were built between 1912 and 1916. What can I say, they are World War One Battleships.

ZmzdM5R.png

The Heavy Cruisers are of the Duquesne Class. In our time line only 2 were built between 1924 and 1928. Which makes them slightly newer.

Kzyu1Gf.jpg

And our Carrier? A Bearn Class Carrier, only one was made in our time line. It was designed and laid down in 1914 and was launched in 1920.

Our two submarine classes and our two destroyer classes were designed and built in the 1920s (or very early 1930s) and one of our three light cruisers classes was designed to be a fast mine laying cruiser!

In other words most of our ships can be traced back to the interwar period or to the Great War. BUT not all is lost. Many of the ships are Level 2 or 3, very likely having been upgraded since they were first commissioned. Now, can they take over the combined might of the German and Italian Navies? Maybe not - but we have a advantage. The British Battle Fleet!

LcvymgP.jpg

The T-26 Dominated The Spanish Battlefields.

Now, the Spanish Civil War. Was it as important as your High School History Teacher thought it was to the tank tactics and Blitzkrieg? Short answer no. Long answer no with a BUT.

First off, nobody learned anything about tank tactics in the Spanish Civil War because there were little to no battles between tanks. The Germans outright ignored it. Also, Blitzkrieg does not have anything to do with tank tactics - it is about keeping wars short so your populace is not effected by the war - no rationing or retooling of factories. The Germans used tanks - atomic bombs would have worked just as well.

But...the world did learn that all those machine-guns on tanks was pretty much worthless and started to redesign their tanks with larger guns. The Soviets took this lesson to the extreme and, after learning more from the Winter War, the T-34 was born.

So join next time, in Chapter Seven, where we report about the events of the three-month period between July 1936 and September 1936. Thanks for reading!
 

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Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour AAR): ‘The March of the Machines’
Chapter Seven: July 1936 to September 1936

Pb5UCAy.jpg

That’s A Tank Destroyer? I Want My Money Back!

At this point the Strasbourg Theatre, where I assume the first blows of the German War Machine will hit, were prioritized for upgrades and reinforcements. I will also try to give them most of the next wave of support brigades (the first wave was split between them and the Paris Theatre).

First thing I did was make a Trade Deal with Venezuela. Importing oil for money. Turned out we had a ton of oil being imported from Venezuela so I cancelled my deal, and another deal. Then we had a ton of money and were red in oil, so I stopped ‘helping’.

I loaned some transports to Beirut, from Tunis, on the hopes they would remove their men from Africa and try to defend Beirut. By the end of July all they had done was park the fleet in a port.

cbDI8Jv.jpg
9SQHmhP.jpg

So I gave it back to Tunis and THEN took Beirut’s ground forces away and gave them to Bordeaux who was happy to retrieve them from Africa and bring the Divisions to Southern France. I even took away their Theatre Commanding Officer and gave him to the Bordeaux Theatre's 3rd Army.

Then I assigned Dakar the job of protecting Dakar cause I was feeling sorry for it.

j644AIg.jpg

By August 4th the second wave of support units were rolling off the assembly line and, by accident, I gave most of them to Bordeaux. Oops, sorry Strasbourg. Most of these units were AA Brigades.

3QUX4CI.jpg

Canon de 75 DCA Modele 1940

The Canon de 75 DCA Modele 1930s are just barrels from 75 mm field guns with new carriages to make them point upwards. Not really the same as making a properly designed anti-aircraft gun but they are better than nothing. In fact the AA guns and the AT guns kind of look the same to me.

One last AT Brigade popped out of the factories on the 28th of September. It went to the Strasbourg Theatre, of course.

ql0Wkpx.jpg
uqeQDhJ.jpg

I also purchased two Licenses to produce 2 Tank Destroyer Brigades and 2 Strategic Bombers Wings. Okay, I can build my own Tank Destroyers (and to be honest the Portees looks like deathtraps) but I CAN’T build Strategic Bombers and I want them.

fP9g3qa.jpg

A Armstrong Whitworth Whitley- I WANT THEM!

A following Research Projects ended.
n5cMAWR.jpg
Tie871h.jpg
3K6ZRv6.jpg
IQnzulB.jpg



They were replaced with new research in Interdiction Tactics (2), Electronic Engineering Research, Integrated Support, and Militia Support Weapons (3). Yes, Militia will likely be built before the war starts and they need to have some bite.

So by the end of September our Research Programs looked like this:

trMIdQD.jpg
FeeYv62.jpg


The Time Line went rolling along as it usually did. And, I have to say, it looks like the Republicans are going to be winning the Spanish Civil War, as they have gained much of the landmass of the nation. We will see. In the end I would prefer a Left-leaning Spain to a Right-leaning Spain on my border. BUT the Republic could as easily join the Axis.

z8MNE6f.jpg

In this three-month period we also had the Berlin Olympic Games. The first to have television coverage. I always find the idea funny that one of the first images broadcast into space is one of Adolf Hitler.

Not much else happened. My next big decision is to decide if to strip the Saigon Theatre of its ground units or not. It is not like they could hold off the Japanese. UNLESS I ally myself with the Chinese and they retreat into it - making it a pocket of resistance. Even filled up with badly beat up Chinese Divisions sometimes numbers have a strength all their own. Fact is, I don’t have to ally myself with them as much as give them military access.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you in the next chapter of this ongoing AAR!
 
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Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour AAR): ‘The March of the Machines’
Chapter Eight: October 1936 to December 1936

tcoUEqk.jpg

Upgraded Anti-Tank Weapons.

Welcome back folks to 'The March of the Machines', where I continue to try to prepare France for the Second World War and the invasion from Germany.

Around October 15th I decided to expand on our Intelligence operations within France and within Germany - I noticed we had not pushed up the priority of National Unity as high as it could get! Shame on me.

fPSE6R5.jpg

EhNJBYd.jpg

On the 22nd of October, while checking all Theatres here and there, I noticed the Tunis Theatre was trying to guard both the ports while preparing for the future conflict with Italy. In other words, it was spread thin. So the fate of the Saigon Theatre was sealed as the divisions went to Tunis and the extra HQ units went to Paris.

Funny enough, the Tunis Theatre didn't have the HQ units needed to build a chain of command for the new units and controlled them directly from the Theatre HQ. Paris had a different problem. It made a chain of command for the new HQ units - but it had assigned no divisions under its command. So I took the HQ units from Paris and gave them to Tunis. Oh, and Saigon was told to ignore Hanoi and just guard Saigon. Sorry Saigon!

By the 3rd of November the third wave of units attachments, mostly AT Brigades, were rolling out of the factory. I noticed this Brigades had new guns. I peeked at the older Anti-Tank Brigades, which were all in the Bordeaux Theatre, and found them now armed with the new 47 mm SA 37/39 guns also. Smaller, with a high-velocity round, this gun should prove very effect against the low-end tanks of the German Heer. Sadly for the French they didn't really make them in great numbers by the Battle for France. The weapons are so good that the Germans even used the ones they captured after they took France. Er...let's not talk about that.

Also, I prioritized all Armored Car Divisions, Submarines, and Air units for upgrades and reinforcements at this point.

I also decided around the 4th of November to replace our Armament Minister with Vincent Auriol who gave us more IC! And is it just me or does Chief of Staff/Army look like he is sleeping?

djp6L6a.jpg

C6sJgVC.jpg

In November and December my bank account was in the red much of the time. As in Red Zero. I keep trying to stop the Auto Trader from exporting so much money but it keeps doing it. And I know that it needs to because we do need a lot of the material it is buying. So I am kind of in a pickle - I don't want to spend money but I have to. Just like real life.

Oh, yes, near the end of November I noticed that the Republicans in Spain were forced to move their capital. A bad sign. A bad sign indeed. I have mixed feelings about that. Like I pointed out before, I would prefer a Republican Spain as a neighbor. On the other hand, having played as Nationalist Spain I can't help but point at Valencia and say, "HA-HA!"

V1jfeK0.jpg

One of the reasons I prioritized Armored Car Divisions was one of the technology improvements was about Armored Cars.

blhMVSj.jpg
2spTg6r.jpg

Once those programs were complete I added Industrial Efficiency and Mountain Warfare Equipment. So by the end of December my Research Projects looked like this:

2cwWuvD.jpg
G8cnpKK.jpg

A39ffBq.jpg

Fun With Fireworks!

Not much happened in our Time Line. In our real time line, on October 16th, Paris went dark for one hour so a mock bombing drill could be practiced. Smoke and real fireworks were used while some people pretended to be either dead or wounded. In that same month the French government also ordered more planes be built for the Air Force which would give them over 4,000 craft. HOW?!?! Did they cheat? Did they hack their stats?

*Le sigh*

Thanks for reading folks! I hope you join us in the next chapter, in the year 1937, as we continue this AAR on France!
 
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Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour AAR): ‘The March of the Machines’
Chapter Nine: January 1937 to March 1937

SrygSLw.gif

Still planning out our defense.

Welcome to Chapter Nine of this AAR and Happy New Year! Let us see what happens in this three-month period, shall we?

The Cavalry Brigades started to reappear as the Motorized Brigades they had been upgraded to. The fourth wave of support attachments were also starting to roll out of the factories, slowly. These Brigades would be going to the Paris Theatre.

zFY1vPu.jpg

A bunch of Technology Research ended but many were repeated, as they were so useful.

UKEZblj.jpg
VmWJfK8.jpg
kHweisZ.jpg
dOmsVdx.jpg
nReDfBX.jpg


We continued Infantry Warfare (3) and Interception Tactics (3). We added Guerilla Warfare, Mobile Warfare, and Submarine Crew Training.

So our Research Programs looked like this by the start of April:

HxSNxnd.jpg
nMpEUpL.jpg

In our Time Line, right on the first day, the Soviet Purges started. I wonder what happens if a German player attacked right then and there?

1Lf0FUE.jpg

OF0hSra.jpg

I also noticed that the Republicans had taken back Madrid. Sadly for them, by the end of March, is was easy to see that the Nationalists were winning again, having almost encircled the Republic's Capital.

nW5D8rx.jpg

French Colonial Troops.

In the real time line, on the 10th of January, France massed troops in French Morocco and THREATENED to occupy the Spanish side. They felt that Germany was building up troops there under the guise of 'volunteers'. France feared the Germans were preparing a surprise attack on French Morocco! Adolf Hitler assured France, the next day, that Germany had no intentions of seizing Morocco.

On February 13th the Boston Redskins moved to D.C. to become the Washington Redskins. Yeah, has nothing to do with France but seemed like a interesting piece of history.

France was spending a lot of time and energy trying to keep foreign fighters and weapons from getting into Spain. In February they went so far as to close the border. And in March the French, and other European nations, were patrolling Spanish waters with the objective of keeping foreign arms and volunteers out of the Civil War. In my game I could not care less nor could I really do anything about it even if I wanted too.

Now, as the war comes closer I am starting to realize something. While I can easily watch the Theatres handle the big picture I would also like to pick a few Divisions to follow and see how it is handling the micro-management. So I plan to pick a few Divisions, give them special names, and record what happens to them during the battles to protect France. So, in other words, see the big picture but also go down to see how the grunts are doing. But I will write more about that in a later chapter.

Thanks for reading. Hope to see you in the next chapter!
 
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Eurasia

HoI3 AI ExperimentAAR
43 Badges
Jun 21, 2014
2.906
1.865
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
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  • Imperator: Rome - Magna Graecia
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
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  • Victoria 2
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Hearts of Iron 3 (Their Finest Hour AAR): ‘The March of the Machines’
Chapter Ten: April 1937 to June 1937

dfn82W1.jpg

Testing Out Our Light Tanks.

Hello and welcome to Chapter Ten in which France is being prepared for the next war. Will we have enough men and equipment on the border for the war with Germany or will the invasion knock us out? Only time will tell.

In this three-month period the fifth wave of support attachments started to show up in June (the last few units of this wave will become available in July). They were split up between Paris, Strasbourg, and Bordeaux. I placed them where I felt they would be most useful while leaving room for the future artillery attachments.

Engineer Brigades have been added to the production line - I assume they will be needed for helping our units cross rivers and such when we invade German - or at least counter-attack to take back our own provinces.

7wJB0u6.jpg

For Lack Of Helium...

In the Time Line of this AAR the Hindenburg disaster happened. Funny, in our time line the only reason helium was so expense was because the USA refused to sell it to Germany. And the era of the airship ended. I wonder if the Hearts of Iron 3 World War One Mod allows you to make airships?

Also, I noticed that Spain was a mess. The Nationalist Capital was now Seville (seems the Republicans had taken Burgos). So I assume the war will last at least another year. Remember that it did last about three years in the real time line.

1K2hOE0.jpg
APWKrvk.jpg

A few research projects ended. I decided to continue to study Integrated Support (2) while Anti-Aircraft Barrel and Ammunition (2) was added to the Research queue. So by June the Research Projects looked like this:

pLFu435.jpg
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I have decided, when the time comes, to rename three Divisions and one of the Air Wings to help keep track of them. So, when the war starts, not only will I give reports on the general battlefront but also on what is happening to those four units.

Thank you for reading and I hope to see you in the next chapter!
 
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