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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

dag231

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The Rise and Fall of Generaloberst Heinz Wilhelm Guderian


gudurian1.jpg

On the night before Generaloberst Heinz Wilhelm Guderian is scheduled to be executed, he is visited by the Chronicler, in the hopes that his actions and the events which he shaped, would be better understood by future historians.

Historically, the Russians wanted to charge Guderian with war crimes, but the Western Allies didn’t comply. In 1946, Guderian was imprisoned in Allendorf and Neustadt (Hessen) but was released in 1948. In the following years, he published his reminiscences and some other works and articles. He died on May 14th of 1954, in Schwangau bei Fussen (West Germany), exactly 14 years after his decisive breakthrough over the Meuse at Sedan.

The game will be hard/furious, with hard modified to a -10 to human, +20 to AI type of setting. Patch will be DD 1.01b. [Note: As of 1946, the game will be patched to 1.2, and the listed modifications will be tossed out the window]


********************************************

Chapter List

Prelude

Whetting the Appetite

The Early Years

Tomorrow the World

The Night the World Changed

The Other Ball Drops on New Year's Eve

The Chronicles of the Chronicler - Part 1

Just One Of The Boys

The Chronicles of the Chronicler - Part 2

The Final Night

Enemy of the State



A Note on Format


1946
The New Sherrif In Town

1947
Fall VerschwenderischerSohn

1948
Tudor


--- ONGOING ---

********************************************
 
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GrimReaper

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Very good writing!

I'll be following. Good luck :)
 

unmerged(9046)

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Nice detail. Please watch the language you use a bit and you will be fine.
 

dag231

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PRELUDE

It’s so cold.

That was all I could think about as I walked down along the corridor. The cold. And the dampness. I could see the moisture on the stone walls and all I could think was why keep him here? Psychological torture? Inflict what little punishment they could on him before they executed him?

The Sergeant who was my escort – he was as cold as the stones around us. Efficient in his stride, unblinking, unwavering in his gaze. Jesus - I wonder what level of hell one has to descend before you volunteer to be a jail guard in a place like this.

“We go down now”. What a cheerless bastard this guy was. As we passed the torches on the walls – torches! What century were we in? – the Sergeant’s eyes seemed to gleam as we steeped down. I am sure he took on a sort of perverse pleasure, knowing that at the bottom of the dank stairs, at the end of the dismal hall, stood a man behind bars who was worth tens or hundreds of Mr. Happy beside me. The scars on his face – I wonder if he received them in battle? Maybe against his prisoner? Is that why he is so happy? Maybe his family or friends were torched out of some town, and that the man I was going to see was responsible. Maybe that is why Mr. Happy Sergeant had a gleam in his eye.

Or maybe, just maybe, he was a cold-hearted prick. God knows I have met enough of them recently. Not just the jailors. Also the men behind the bars. The war criminals, as the jailors called them. Some were truly evil men. An evil that shook me afterwards, when I could leave their cold cell after recording what they wanted passed onto history, and in the cold recesses of the hallway breathe a sigh of relief that I was away from them. Some of them showed no remorse. Not a drop. Probably hard-wired from birth to be evil. I wonder if the surgeon held them up when they popped out and passed them along to their parents with a “congrats – you have a shiny new little bundle of evil joy”.

Some showed genuine remorse. “Just following orders”, they would say. “I had to do it or else I would be shot and my family killed”. Or some other rubbish. Every man has a choice in life, whether to be good or evil. Whether to cross a line or not cross it. Some wadded across the line, some dashed like they were Jesse freaking Owens. But some only stuck a toe out, knowing that on the other side there was no going back.

But some, like the man I was going to see, weren’t really evil. They were soldiers, doing the job they were born to do – to try and win a war. But what is it that they say? That winners always write the history? Prisoner number 453A231 was that type of man. A leader who just happened to be on the wrong side of history. I had read about his exploits. Brilliant. Daring. Unpredictable. The kind of man whom you just didn’t want to face across the trenches. Maybe that’s why Mr. Happy Sergeant seemed as happy as we walked towards his cell. Happy that they were going to execute a superior soldier. A superior man. I guess it’s that happy that the average person has when the exception screw up or die or stub their toe on a crack or something.

That little pettiness inside all of us that cries out for attention every so often.

At his trial, he didn’t shirk like the others. He stated his case like a soldier. The others made excuses and blamed everyone but themselves. Or tried to weasel out by naming names. 453A231 didn’t. He stood up there and took the blows like a boxer. Like Dempsey. He refused to go down for the count. You could see how pissed the prosecutor was how he was thwarted at every step. How he could sense that he wasn’t going to beat down his latest victim. Oh, there was no doubt that a guilty verdict and a summary execution was in order – you couldn’t have this type of man walking away from all this. Imagine if he was free and ran for office? He was a national hero back home, even among those who hated his party and what they stood for. More ribbons and medals on his chest that a flophouse full of cheap hookers.

Imagine him as a President? As a Chancellor? As a Czar?

Jesus – we’d be back fighting within ten years, and this time they wouldn’t be led by a nutter.

“Do not pass the prisoner anything. If you do, you will be removed”. Yeah, sure, Mr. Happy. What is that smell on him? Vodka? Scotch? Cheap cologne? Why in the hell would you wear cologne to a job like this? Maybe he did it to torment the prisoners, because if I had to smell this humorless bastard every day it would be worse than Dante’s Fourth Level.

“When you are finished, you will walk back along the hall and press the release button. I will then open the gate for you”. Sure thing, chum. Looking forward to seeing you again. “Remember – this man is a convicted war criminal. He will tell lies. It is your job to get the truth”.

Like I need him to tell me my job. For three months I have had to do this every day and every night. The Chronicler, they called it. Go in and seek the answers for posperity. Because if you don’t understand the present you are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, or some other psycho babble. Hell, my commanding officer didn’t even believe it. He just told me to go in and do what I do best. Ask questions and listen. “Use those detective skills of yours. Find the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”. Funny guy, my commander. Back home he was a grade school teacher. Math or science or something. Here, he was known as Chief Prick Number One. But only behind his back. Well, not really. He as a good enough guy, just that the jobs he have us were shitty. Find the truth. Dig deep into the lies. Some nights, the job was so bad it make me puke afterwards. Like the other night when I interviewed that camp doctor. Revolting little piece of crap. It was all I could do not to smash his beady little face in.

But not tonight.

I know this was going to be different. Instead of executing this guy, they should give him a typewriter and tell him to outline warfare strategies. What a waste of a great resource.

“I go now”. Bye, Mr. Happy.

It was dark down here, and took me a minute for my eyes to adjust. But there he was. Standing as erect as he looked in the photographs when he received all those medals. His face was gaunter than it was, but I guess eating nothing but potato and rat ass soup for this long would do that to a guy. Hair a little grey, but it was still all there. What was it that Gretchen in the office pool called him? A dark version of Cary Grant? Couldn’t see it myself, but I wasn’t Gretchen. And she likes escargots, so what the hell does she know about anything.

“So, you are here, finally. The Chronicler”.

“You know about me?”

“Of course”.

The silence. I never get used to it. It’s this brief moment when they will either tell me to piss off or pour their life out to me.

“Please sit. At least we can be comfortable. I believe they have provided you with a pot of tea or coffee. I have the luxury of drinking what appears to be leftover sewage from the kitchens”.

“I was hoping we could talk for a while, and we could discuss your military actions. Why you did what you did.”

“Didn’t all this come out at the trial?”

“Yes and no. That was for an audience that cared only for your death. What I am after is what you will be remembered by”.

“Ah, but history will record me as a war criminal.”

“Do you see yourself as that? A war criminal? Like the others?”

That pause. One doesn’t know how the interview will go until the cats out of the bag. Either they see themselves as a victim following orders or else they admit that they liked what they did. There was no grey here.

“Does it matter what I think? I can only tell you what I did and how I did it. History will record whether or not I am a war criminal”.

“Very true.”

“Shall we begin?”




***************************



Note: this was originally a response posting, but edited it to be the Preamble, so the initial posting does not include it... including the original posting below... :)


ORIGINAL POST:

Stroph1 said:
Nice detail. Please watch the language you use a bit and you will be fine.

I will do that - wasnt sure about language on the forum (will edit it so that its "freaking" and not what is typed).

I will also edit the screenies, as I am using the GIP Doomsday pack, which shows swaztikas, so I will edit them out before posting (as I assume that showing them is not allowed).


GrimReaper said:
Very good writing! I'll be following. Good luck :)

Thanks... :)
 
Last edited:

GeneralHannibal

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So sad that he's gonna die. I assume that means you lose the war, right.
 

dag231

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GeneralHannible said:
So sad that he's gonna die. I assume that means you lose the war, right.

Not necessarily... perhaps Germany wins the war and there is a coup? The resulting winning side arrests all the leaders of the losing side and tries them as war criminals? :eek:

But, barring that, I am assuming I will get my ass kicked, as I have yet to win on hard/furious as Germany ... but who knows? Maybe this time I get lucky, and Guderlain is tried as a war criminal by Acting Chancellor von Bock as opposed to Jacinto Bienvedio Peynado, Head of the Provisional Government of the Democratic Commonwealth of Germany... :p
 

dag231

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Can anyone post the vanilla DD flag and shield for Germany here so I can use them?

When I downloaded and installed the GIP Doomsday 0.5 mod, if over-wrote the graphics for Germany's flag and shield, giving me a swastika.. which I cant use here, and rather than editing the screenie each time, would rather just re-load the original one...

Or I could use the kick ass Prussian one I found over at the mod section... :cool:

NM - found one... :)
 
Last edited:

unmerged(45985)

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A wonderful idea, I'm looking forward to reading this
 

dag231

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From the Beginning


Where to begin.

That was the tricky question. Start at the beginning, or just skip over it all and get to the start of the prosecution’s case against him? Born in Kulm, near the river Weichsel, south of Gdansk in 1888. Gdansk - Prussian. Odd that he doesn’t have a ‘von’ in front of his name like a lot of the others. Father was an army officer and he was groomed for the military. Attended military academies until he was 19, when he entered the army as an ensign-cadet in the Hanoverian Jäger Bataillon No. 10.

“Your father was the battalion commander when you first joined the army, right”.

“Correct. It was natural in those days to join in such a way. But there was no disrespect from my peers.”

Attended was school at Metz and in 1908 was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, backdated to 1906.

“Before we begin in earnest, Chronicler, let me make one thing clear. I will not brook any questions regarding racial doctrines or their applications or what happened in terms of those doctrines. Is this understood?”

“Of course, General. I wasn’t even thinking along those lines. The judge cleared you of any implications regarding that”.

The prosecution tried to pin a “crimes against humanity” charge against Guderian, but he sloughed it off. Like a lot of the high-ranking military professions, he disliked the racial doctrines that the government came out with and their attempt to politicize the armed forces. In court he thought it was asinine to ban Germans of Jewish decent from the armed forces and stripping Jewish veterans of their pensions.

1911, he joins the 3rd Telegraphen-Bataillon, Prussian Army Signal Corps. 1913 marries Margarete Goerne and has two sons – both fought in the war with the Panzertruppen. Staff training in Berlin until the outbreak of the war.

November of 1914, promoted to 1st Lieutenant and then in 1915 to Captain. Was a Signals and General Staff officer during the war. Awarded the Iron Cross second and first class for action. Military hero. Youngest staff officer on the General Staff of the Army High Command. Did the ‘Sedan-Course’ and was cited for showing great ability for solving problems with unusual actions. A maverick, one called him.

After the war became Inspector of Motorized Troops. Wrote articles about motorization and was commanded to lead various ‘Kraftfahrzeug-Abteilungen’.

What the hell is that? Why does intel do that? Leave in German words when they should be translated. They know my German isn’t that good.

“Kraftfahrzeug-Abteilungen?”

“Motorized units.”

He’s studying me. Probing for a weakness. Probably doing it subconsciously, like he studied the movements of his enemies. Probably plays a sick game of chess.

“You don’t speak German, Chronicler?”

“Not as well as you speak English, or even French for that matter. You translated the motorized warfare works of Captain B.H. Liddel Hart und Major-General J.F.C. Fuller?”

“Yes. They were brilliant theorists. Did you ever read my book?”

“A long time ago. ‘Achtung – Panzer!’ wasn’t it?”

“Yes. My explanation of the theories of armored and aviation application in modern warfare.”

“A lot of your superiors dismissed you as a heretic in the early 1920s. What did one old guard General put it: Equipping trucks with wooden turrets and armed with guards is lunacy”.

“He was a cavalry man. Very hesitant to new ideas”.

1927, makes Major. 1929, he travels to Sweden and visits a tank battalion equipped with STRY m/21 and m/21-29 armaments… were they the Swiss versions of the German’s LKII? Also visited the Russian secret tank testing facility at Kazan.

Given command of the Truppenamt Abtl. Heeres-Transport … inspection command of motorized units … I think. Also a teacher of motorized transport tactics in Berlin.

1930, gets a command of a motorized battalion. Developed a radio-communication system that enabled communication between tank officers.

1931 gets a promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel and two years later to Colonel. Wrote relentlessly about armored and motorized warfare and was instrumental as a consultant in regards to the first tanks.

The Chancellor comes to power and sees a demonstration of some of Guderian’s Panzer Is flying about on a battlefield. He authorizes the creation of three Panzer divisions, completely ignoring the Treaty of Versailles.

Interesting.

What if Guderian’s tanks weren’t around then? Would Germany have so willingly pissed away the Treaty? Did seeing the tanks and what Guderian could do with them influence the decision to gear up for war?

1934 makes chief of staff of the Motorized Troops Command. Next year, given command of the 2nd Panzer Division. The other two panzer divisions were commanded by Generals. He was only a Colonel.

1936, makes Major-General. Was put in charge of all fast troops … what did they call it? … Chef der Schnellen Truppen. Responsible for training, tactics and technique of all motorized and armored units.

Blitzkrieg was Guderian’s baby.

“Take your time, Chronicler”.

Is he humming?

He is.

How can a guy be so calm the night before he is executed? I would be sweating buckets by now. Or pleading to any deity who would listen to get me the hell out of here. The devil would have already owned my soul and be asking for my shoes at this point. But Guderian – he is humming a damn tune. That self-assuredness. He is like an island to himself. Not arrogant. Just there. He was like that at the trial too., Never raised his voice in anger, despite the baiting by the prosecutor. Calmly explained everything that needed to be said and nothing more.

“Well, General. Let’s start with the invasion and annexation of Luxembourg in January of 1936.”


gud4.jpg


Guderian's command vehicle, complete with enigma machine and cipher clerks who are in the process of receiving and decrypting a message. Note the clerk chewing a fingernail as he ponders the text of the message... Visible over the top of the vehicle is the open-frame HF antenna in use for these types of recon vehicles. This is the earliest-known implementation of HF NVIS which allowed for high-angle skywave operations. The "cage" type structure would appear to be a support for camo netting, but is in fact the HF radio antenna (Note: not sure about the date of the picture).​
 
Last edited:

AOK. 11

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Great beginning with a excellent premise. I love dialogue/storytelling AAR's so I will watch this one for sure. :)
 

GrimReaper

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Great details about Guderians early career. Looking forward to next update!
 

Bryaxis

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I don't read many AAR's anymore but this one got me as a reader !
 

dag231

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Replies to replies.... :)

Also - the game will be patched to 1.2 following the end of the Spanish Civil War...

lifeless said:
very interesting...

... er, thanks... :)

AOK. 11 said:
Great beginning with a excellent premise. I love dialogue/storytelling AAR's so I will watch this one for sure. :)

Thanks. I am also fond of them, and it gives me a chance to stretch my writing muscles...

GrimReaper said:
Great details about Guderians early career. Looking forward to next update!


Again, thanks... I had no idea, when starting this, how influential Guderian was in terms of mech warfare... I knew he was a kick-ass general and all, but just not how much kick-ass... :eek:


Bryaxis said:
I don't read many AAR's anymore but this one got me as a reader !

Hopefully, the rest of the chapters will pique your interest as well... I am shooting for 1000(ish) words a day... :cool:
 

dag231

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Operation Homeland - Invasion of Luxenbourg

January 7th, Germany moves to re-occupy the Rhineland, sparking off howls of protest from Britain and France, but nothing else. If only either had leadership with balls back then – its true that neither wanted a war and all, but Germany was easily stompable at this point.

January 15th, German forces under Guderain invade Luxembourg – Operation Homeland. Guderian had been appointed Special Operations Commander – ‘Besonderer Betriebkommandant’… God, I love these titles the Germans give themselves…

“You were indicted with willingly invading a sovereign state and being instrumental to the subjugation and annexation of said state.”

“Of course, I was in charge of the Luxembourg liberation.”

“Its odd that you call an invasion and annexation a liberation, General.”

“I am sure in your notes, which you so fastidiously refer to so often, it mentions that Operation Homeland was a act of liberation, not aggression.”

January 12th to 15th – tensions in Luxembourg over demonstrations by the ‘Volksdeutsche Bewegung’ … okay, I know this one… ethnic German movement? … Damin Kratzenberg, an university professor with a German background, had been calling for full incorporation of Luxembourg into the German Reich with the slogan “Heim ins Reich” - Home to the Reich … January 14th, demonstrations resulted in violence with several members of the VBD killed, and Kratzenberg calls for help after the government refuses to hold a special election on integration. The next day, Germany invades, under a pretense that it was invited.

“Nice coincidence that there is a demonstration, you are invited in and the next day, you just happened to have your Panzer division plus six other infantry divisions on the doorstep. Hell of a coincidence, if you ask me.”

“I was aware of the situation in Luxembourg, and I anticipated what would happen. Part of my training, as I am sure you have read, is to anticipate problems and find a proactive solution.”

“Invasion and annexation could be called proactive, yes.”

“From a strategic standpoint, Luxembourg was very valuable. It allows one to completely bypass the static defenses of the French Maginot Line, allowing a complete penetration into the heart of France.

“So, when Hit…”

“Please. I would prefer that you call him by his title, Chancellor.”

“Fair enough, so when the Chancellor informed you that he wanted Luxembourg invaded, you were happy to go along.”

“Actually, I briefed him on the situation and apprised him that the invasion was a tremendous strategic opportunity.”

“Which is why the tribunal indicted you on that count. Von Bock testified that you were the one who pushed hard for the operation, over their objections.”

“He had an axe to grind. He resented that I was given commands and authority that out-stripped his own. But essentially, I presented the opportunity to the Chancellor, and he chose to accept it.”

“So, on the 15th you invade and its all over three days later.”

“There wasn’t much resistance. Major General Fishbach of the Luxembourg home defense wasnt exactly a deterrent to my Panzers.”

“No, he was not."

"Still, the principles that I had been demonstrating for years were put in practical application and were a resounding success. And, don’t forget, the people welcomed us with open arms. They were tired of living on the edge of the knife, not knowing what was going to happen to them. Liberation was a welcome relief.”

“Joseph Bech, the head of the Luxembourg government wasn’t that pleased. He preferred exile to Britain rather than face rule under Germany.”

“How would you feel if your job was eliminated? Would you be happy to the ones who relieved you of the burden of office? Of course not. But it was a justifiable action given the violence that was occurring in the country.”

I bet. What are the odds that Kratzenberg wasn’t following orders from Berlin? To start the riot and make sure there was some casualties to give the Germans an excuse to ‘liberate’? Does Guderian really believe that his act was liberation? Or is this just a front to save face?

“General. Come on. Do you really want history to record that you were a naïve little lemming, following the others over the cliff? You seem a little too smart for that.”

Again with the silence. Its so unnerving to be studied like this. His eyes feel like they are boring into me, searching for a corner of my soul that he can latch onto and corrupt. Corrupt? No, that’s not right. He is not evil. Not in the sense of the others. Its just probing.

“I was aware that the demonstrations were started by Kratzenberg as a way to give us a chance at a strategically important position. But, that being said, after the demonstrations turned violent and appeared to be gaining strength, invasion was a human rights issue – the violence on the innocents must be prevented.”

“General – you went to war with the whole world. You don’t call that violence?”

“We were not at war at this point.”

“Were you aware of any prodding by Berlin or help from Berlin towards Kratzenberg?”

“No, I was not privy to that information. I was presented with what was happening, and made my recommendation as Special Operations Commander.”

“The same recommendation that you made concerning German involvement in the Spanish Civil War, starting on July 18th. Another opportunity that presented strategic prizes.”

“Of course.”


rhineland.jpg


German troops march into the Rhineland in 1936 in defiance of the Treaty of Versailles.​
 
Last edited:

Lord E

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Very well written story so far. Interesting AAR. I look forward to read more about what Guderian did in this war. Good work :)
 

GrimReaper

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Nice portrait of the founder of Tank Warfare.

Do you have any in-game screenshots, that would be nice.
 

dag231

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GrimReaper said:
Nice portrait of the founder of Tank Warfare.

Do you have any in-game screenshots, that would be nice.

Yes... starting with the SCW, screenies will be coming... didnt make much sense to take a pic of the "Battle of Luxy", after all... :p
 

unmerged(28944)

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Hot Damn! An AAR on Guderian? I'm all on this, even if Heinz ends up dead by the end. Unless of course some sort of reprieve comes about?

In any event I can't wait to see how you play this one out. I'm interested to see how well you do before the whole world turns against you... and Guderian.

*furiously subsribes*