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MagooNZ

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Success requires an unfaultering determination to continue rapidly pressing forward. I'm impressed by the battlefield progress you are making LimaTango, as well as your naval successes.

I just abandoned my latest TRM effort after being nuked about 15 times (I could have, and should have nuked Los Alamos to reduce that number). However my severest problem was that the USA could immediately bring 100+ bombers and 50+ fighters to the fray. Try advancing in 1% infrastructure provinces.
 
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Titan79

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But surely the USSR should have to send sea convoys there, giving Germany the chance to interdict them (most likely via bombers), rather then Sevastopol being 100% guaranteed supply in a siege.
If you are speaking in theory, then I agree. That would be more realistical.

However, the sad truth is that the AI doesn't do that very well and so this seems to be the best solution to obtain that "more realistical" result... I've thought about editing out those impassable land connections myself before starting my last TRM game but then decided against it.

I know it's a basically a cheat, but I prefer it to be so than Sevastopol to be a pushover (i.e. encircle it for a few weeks -> the AI does not send convoys - or even produce them! -> the strongpoint falls almost without a fight).
 

LimaTango

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@ Mr_BOnaparte Yes, the road to Leningrad has an unexpected stack of 31 divisions in one province, which means that the Wehrmacht must tread warily and move forward en mass or risk being attacked and defeated piecemeal. It definitely throws the brakes on the rush to Finland.

Germany has good manpower, and I am only building a few more land divisions, so hopefully it will allow the MP to hold up for the conflict. I have continued to leave reinforcements on full on the Eastern Front until things stabilize. I want to make maximum headway while the Red Army is off balance.

@MagooNZ When did all this nuke-dropping take place? I have never experienced an atomic attack.

@Titan79 I agree with the impassable land bridges as long as they make some sense where they connect to. In the case of Sevastopol it connects to the port that would likely support the city so it does prop up the AI to link them.

On to September!
 

LimaTango

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Update:

September 3, 1941

The cautious push to the north begins with a successful landing in Kingisepp and a bloody victory in Parnu. The Finnish Army continues to throw back every Russian division which approaches their borders.

pdc5.png



STAVKA responds to the Wehrmacht advances by raising additional reserve armies near Leningrad and Rostov.

s23t.png


The Afrikakorps continues to roll west through Persia virtually unopposed. Army Group South keeps advancing Southeast towards the Caucuses and Baku.

A second large body of partisans mobilizes, this time in Vinnitsa, but the vulnerable supply lines are now all defended and the partisans are quickly routed.

fddp.png



ux4g.png


The Italian Air Force continues to work over the Soviet Black Sea Fleet with port strikes, after having driven them from sea with naval strikes. The goal is to damage them and keep them in port while the Romanian squadron continues to move personnel around the Black Sea peripheries.

Army Group North makes another step forward towards Finland with a costly assault on Novorzhev. The Heer is paying for this advance along a single avenue of attack, but they must operate in close proximity to deny the enormous Red Army formations any easy victories.

43cr.png


The Heer fights its way into flanking positions on the Soviet concentration in Porkhov. Bombing missions count now 41 divisions in this province. With mixed frustration and relief it is noted that the Red Army is intent on withdrawing East and declining battle. General Rommel, ever anxious to come to grips with a foe, fumes in his command tent as the slow advance of the infantry into Lugo allows the Russians to slip away.


hxx2.png


A ten ship fleet of the Royal Navy, centered on three damaged carriers, emerges from Gibraltar and steams into the Med, bent on mischief. They encounter and crush two Italian submarines patrolling for convoys. The Kriegsmarine Med U-boat flotilla tracks them and attacks without other support. Two RN ships are sunk at the loss of three U-boats and the battered British fleet is forced back to port.

On land, Ribbentrop announces the removal of Persia from the Allies, through annexation.

j7zb.png



b6zd.png



The Abwehr intercepts radio traffic indicating another Red Army reserve formation mobilizing in Volkhov, eight 1941 infantry divisions and a HQ. General von Leeb shakes his head and presses on.

Army Group South makes a successful landing in Batum, and Sevastopol is cut off from resupply at last.

vlkd.png


Sept: Improved Mechanized Division/ Early Marine Division
Frontline Supply Service/ Basic Airborne Division

Schacht tells the Chief of Staff that a new SS division is ready to leave its cantonment and receive orders. The Polizei division has its brigade swapped out for a unit of assault guns and it rolls forward to Konigsberg.

General Hausser has mastered some new skills fighting in the forests south of Leningrad.

626v.png



oy5j.png



The Abwehr displays some statistical analysis regarding casualties on all fronts. The Axis as a whole (including Japan) have reduced their enemies’ military forces by over six million. The question is whether it will be enough.

m0h5.png
 
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LimaTango

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Update:

October 1941

Basic Hospital System/ Improved Tactical Bomber
Improved Field Artillery/ Improved Static Anti Air

All the activity is in Army Group North sector as Red Army troops fight to hold their lines in and around the Finnish Border. In days of pitched battles the Wehrmacht begins to drive them back.

nrdh.png



o5c2.png


General Hausser’s Panzerarmee begins to liberate the original Finnish homeland, to cheers from the downtrodden locals.

The Red Air Force seeks to contest the skies but loses two of the four squadrons facing off over Luga.

nye1.png


The citizens of Leningrad give up their food for the defenders there. Sevastopol is likewise surrounded, but with no succor from the inhabitants of the ruined city.

Army Group South moves towards Grozny to cut off the Russian forces in the Caucuses, with General von Manstein’s stalwart corps leading the way. Lt. Generals Student and Ringel lead their five divisions against nine from the Red Army which arise from another mobilized army. Both sides end up exhausted, but the Soviets ultimately retreat into the open arms of von Manstein’s divisions.

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pb41.png



c7lo.png


The Italian Command is forced to retrench, as French and British divisions encroach in both India and northwest Africa.

uftj.png


Near the end of the month three English divisions find Rotterdam unguarded and they struggle ashore into the marshy area. They are soon surrounded and are shelled from the sea as well. With no waiting transports, they are driven to the water’s edge and taken into captivity, though at a high cost to the Heer.

vg81.png


The Abwehr prepares reports for the High Command.

guum.png



arzd.png
 

LimaTango

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Update:

The winter has set in over the Eastern Front.

ddf5.png



Chancellery November 1, 1941

A.H.: “I have studied these battlefield reports for some time. The news seems to be all very good and yet I note that our progress in the East has slowed to a crawl. I would like to know why, and what you intend to do to remedy the situation.”

Jodl: “There are several factors involved, mein Fuehrer. The snows have come, the Red Army has been tempered by battle, the ineffective Russian officers are dead or captured, our supply lines are stretched, and our troops have been attacking for over three months almost non-stop.

All of these factors are important, but the overriding delay is that our frontage has increased from the small border we shared in divided Poland to the current front line stretching from Finland to Grozny. We also have three sieges in our rear area at Leningrad, Sevastopol and the Caucuses that require troops to maintain.

Further attacks require that our forces be concentrated in specific areas, rather than on a broad frontage. This is being prepared now. Our mobile forces are being rested and refit with new equipment and when they are back in position we shall be prepared for a renewed offensive.”

A.H.: “I said earlier that our men would be comfortably in Moscow when the winter winds blew.”

Jodl: “And we are still working to that goal, but it will be later in the winter. If we attack now we engage the largest Red Army formations at a severe disadvantage.”

A.H.: “To be honest, I believed, and I heard this also from many of you on the General Staff, that the Soviets would have collapsed by now, like a rotten house of cards. Perhaps the Untermenschen are too stupid to know they are beaten, eh? <laughs>

So then, what is your proposal for our Winter Campaign, to beat these stubborn Russians into submission?”

Jodl: “We start with some disturbing news from our ministers, which must be taken into account.”

Ribbentrop: “The annexation of Persia inflamed the United States and others around the world. I understand that it netted the Fatherland enough oil and gold reserves to fund operations for quite some time.

The Allies, led by England, show no sign of quitting, and as we have already noted, Stalin has taken our rejection of his early peace terms to mean a fight to the death. We will have to completely cripple the Soviet Union before he will come to the table again, I believe.

The most disturbing issue in foreign affairs is that our nominal ally in Japan seems to be leaning towards a military conflict with the Allies and the United States in the Pacific theater. Our spies report large scale mobilizations of ground troops and rebasing of many naval assets that suggest that they are reorienting for warfare outside of the Chinese theater. Now, if they limit their actions to engaging the Allies along with us, this would be a large benefit in bringing England to her knees. However, if their actions draw the United States into the war, this could have serious consequences.”

Oster: “The USA has a large and increasingly sophisticated Navy that will immediately impact all our seaborne operations outside of the Baltic Sea. They have a large and growing Army Air Corps that will no doubt be used against our industry and operations worldwide. Their Army is growing as well and is in most cases more advanced than the Soviet formations that the Wehrmacht savaged the past few months. It will be slow to transport from their homeland, but I would expect American forces to contest for Africa and India early and often.

On the Eastern Front we believe that the Soviets are up to something big. We are seeing layers of deception cloaking their true purpose, but it is clear that their troop density is increasing, and the divisions are provisioning for assaults as opposed to defenses. We believe they have a winter campaign in the offing, though we cannot yet predict a start date.”

Schacht: “Our industries are operating at peak efficiency. All resources are plentiful, though we are gradually using up our Rare Materials stockpile. Please note that our chief supplier of this commodity is the United States, so this will be impacted should they join the wider war.

Our refitting efforts continue. The last infantry division is now equipped as a 1941 model. The only remaining upgrades are the armored and Headquarters divisions, and a handful of artillery and naval brigades. The supply lines in the center and south, to Smolensk and Kharkov, will be entirely restored in November, and the first of the new infrastructure upgrades will complete this month.”

Jodl: “Using the estimates provided by the Abwehr, the Red Army is fielding about 275 divisions. We estimate the following breakdown.

Pacific theater- 30 divisions
Leningrad- 7 divisions
Sevastopol- 7 divisions
Baku pocket- 20 divisions
Finland/Soviet swamplands- 6 divisions
Moscow, Sverdlosk, Archangel, Stalingrad garrisons- 12 divisions

This leaves approximately 193 divisions opposing the Heer on the Eastern Front. Clearly this number needs to be reduced in order to maintain our progress.

For our Winter Campaign, Army Group North will for the most part hold hard, using local spoiling attacks to maintain their positions. The Leningrad defenders will exhaust their supplies in December and we will storm the city some time after this occurs.

Army Group South will focus on reducing the Baku pocket. We currently have 11 mountain divisions and two panzer corps involved in this operation. All of these should be freed up for new operations some time in December. The defenders of Sevastopol will exhaust their supply depot in November and we will storm the city some time after this occurs.

Army Group Center will hold position until von Manstein’s Panzerarmee is refit and back on the line. We hope that the Red Army will launch whatever attack it has planned by this time, so we can defeat it and exhaust their strength. Once this has occurred, we will launch a two pronged attack as seen in Red below, with each force responsible for capturing three provinces to form a new Kessel, in which we hope to eliminate 30-40 Red Army divisions. This maneuver also extends our front lines to the Don River.

7meb.png



Phase Two is seen in Yellow and will be acted on immediately if possible. The frozen conditions will wear down our forces much more rapidly than what we endured in the summer months, so we may have to pause here. At any rate, when ready, Army Group Center will push on and sever the supply lines between Moscow and Stalingrad.

Phase Three is seen in violet and this action will be taken when possible to further isolate Moscow.”

Goring: “The Luftwaffe has in essence defeated the Red Air Force. Our wings are rested and ready to support the Heer’s operations. In mid November we will be shifting both interceptor wings remaining in the East back to the West, to ensure that the R.A.F. and their potential American friends do not have any opportunity to disturb our war production.”

Raeder: “The Kriegsmarine is being reorganized in November into larger wolfpacks and surface groups, in light of the potential American intervention. The Royal Navy remains generally in their berths, undergoing repairs.

The Battle of the Atlantic will continue, but with KM forces more concentrated to support one another, as seen back in 1939. Gentlemen, as you can see we have expended every effort to interdict England’s commerce, yet their convoy vessels are still plentiful and we have seen no lack of raw materials or military supply efforts whatsoever. In retrospect, I wonder if our own success in the annexation of many of England’s allies and trading partners actually reduced their convoy traffic to the point that we did not have enough targets for our flotillas to engage.”

The Chiefs of Staff ponder this last remark silently, until Hitler abruptly jumps to his feet. “Very well. It was my plan to take Leningrad and Baku before Moscow, and this is being done. Our troops will be highly motivated now to gain entry to the warm buildings in the Soviet capital. Carry on!”
 
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LimaTango

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Admin note to readers:

The game crashed in November, shortly after my save on the 19th. Since I have to re-start it anyway, I am going to take some steps regarding Germany’s real life ally of Japan. Germany is not going to bring Japan to the alliance, as it has several documented disconcerting consequences. Japan will immediately start sending its air force and navy over to Germany and the Russians will pour over the undefended borders into Manchuria and Korea.

To simulate Japan and Germany being allied, Germany will ship lots of resources to Japan in November. Germany will also continue to make every attempt to hobble England in India and on the high seas, and will do the same (if at all possible) to the USA.

To simulate the free flow of blueprints that would normally take place I am going to attempt to edit the Nov. 19 save game to give Japan and Germany the blueprints that each would give freely to one another if they were allied. I will note in the updates what is “traded” in this manner. This is the best I can come up with to balance not inviting Japan into the Axis.
 

Mr_B0narpte

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Some nice progress by the German army, good luck holding the lines until Spring, and even more good luck on trying to encircle Moscow in the winter!
 

LimaTango

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Update:

November 1941

German mountain troops and Afrikakorps close in on Baku, where the defenders are eating their pack animals.

Just northwest of Grozny the Heer fights a minor engagement and drives off STAVKA itself! To have this command which is such a thorn in the German hide so narrowly escape capture is a grave disappointment and Hitler admonishes General Jodl at some length.

o9bo.png


The Red Army equips and fields three more Guards divisions at uncanny speed. An aerial reconnaissance reveals a colossal army forming up just off the front lines in Demyansk. The Luftwaffe cannot make much headway against this troop density, so a series of logistics strikes are ordered, reducing the infrastructure there to bare minimums in hopes of disrupting Russian intentions.

by19.png


The British land some Royal Marines on unguarded Leewarden and raise some minor havoc there. While the fast reaction forces respond the Bismarck group corners a lone RN carrier trying to support the landing force, quickly sinking HMS Eagle with salvoes from the big guns, which are then turned on the Brits ashore.


vjxm.png


The Italians are consolidating in India and Africa, but are isolating lone French divisions and destroying them when possible. Leewarden is recaptured and Army Group North begins to roust any Red Army divisions settling in on their Eastern frontage.

tckh.png


Two full wings of interceptors redeploy to the West to maintain air superiority there. The Kriegsmarine begins to consolidate wolfpacks into six U-boat groupings again in case the United States Navy expands its operational area.

The surrounded defenders of Sevastopol consume the last of their supply stockpile and then the four mobile divisions make a desperate attempt to break the Romanian cordon around them. Two wings of the Luftwaffe intervene and the Romanian corps holds on by the skin of its teeth until the Russian assault collapses.

y9yh.png


Leningrad’s supply stockpile drops to 200 as the Wehrmacht holds the city in a tight grip. At sea an Italian submarine flotilla takes a beating holding three Royal Navy vessels at bay. A KM battlecruiser squadron arrives at flank speed and scores two kills before the last DD escapes. The Italians steam safely back to port to a heroes welcome.

mrye.png
 
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LimaTango

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@ Mr_BOnaparte. Thank you. The Wehrmacht may not encircle Moscow but they will be active in that direction in late December. Gringo has upped the Russian winter bonus again in this edition so I may well be stopped in my tracks.
 

clist123abc

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Crazy progress. Interested in seeing how you'll hold on during Winter. You always have the Dnieper and Dvina if worse comes to worst but if you could get to Arkhangel to cut off those supplies it might be worth a push. Nice to see such innovative tactics (Romanian Navy amphibious attacks and Italian TAC use). You still have plenty of MP left. Saving it for reinforcements or will you build a vast mechanized force?

Also, did you manually promote your generals? Who's your highest rated one? I do not promote until they reach level 7 at the least for the top ones like Manstein, Guderian, Rommel.
 

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@clist123abc Thank you. The progress has slowed considerably, especially with the sieges, but the Heer has plans to move forward when possible.

I don't plan to push for Archangel yet. The frozen subarctic terrain would eat up my troops and I believe tht the supplies from the USA are probably not material to the Soviets at this point.

The MP is for the remaining six mechanized divisions plus six marine divisions and then a lot of reinforcements. The winter campaign will eat the MP at an impressive rate. I have maintained reinforcements on "full" in all theaters to keep my front lines prepared for Russian offensives. I may have to back down on that later this winter.

I manually promote all commanders, with a nod to real life. Before France I promote von Leeb, Guderian, von Bock and von Rundstedt to full General. Before Russia I add Rommel and von Manstein. I promote various Trickster leaders to full General and put them in charge of the HQ's. Other than that I only promote as many full generals as I need to to avoid over limit attacks. I use a couple existing Field Marshals on occasion but I don't promote Germans that high.
 

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Update:

November 21, 1941

The irrepressible British move another dozen divisions across the length of India to contest for Karachi yet again. They also land a single division in Nantes, which is overrun before they dry the salt water from their equipment.

With the increasing tensions between Japan and the United States, Italy seeks to buttress its hold on South Africa, moving troops away from their advance base in Banana.

rmtw.png


On November 28 numerous human and sigint assets report a multifold increase in Soviet military traffic. The bitter cold has retarded the Heer’s movements and Red Army troops have quietly crept up on the borders, particularly along the extended lines in the Ukraine.

Army Group North maintains a campaign of sweeping back potential threats in Novgorod.

zpvy.png


With an echoing “URRAH!!! Over sixty Russian divisions launch themselves against the Axis lines. Rommel’s Panzerarmee rushes from Mogilev to Zhlobin while a hasty spoiling attack is launched at Belgorod in hopes of holding Sumy.

qy7u.png


The Luftwaffe pours it on concentrating on interdiction of the Red Army attackers. After bolstering Zhlobin Rommel races south to aid in the crumbling defense at Sumy.

With shells detonating in the woods around his headquarters, General von Bock orders his lone paratroop division dropped immediately into Sumy, as his corps is under desperate pressure. He has word of Soviets pushing into Konstatinovsk but is gratified to see that elsewhere along the lines, Army Group South is taking losses but holding firm against the onslaught. He orders his only uncommitted mobile force to push from Grozny to counterattack east of Rostov.

iybj.png


Though both German corps and a lone Romanian division are forced to retreat from Sumy, the paratroops hold on long enough for Rommel to arrive. The spoiling attacks at Belgorod and Konotop break the back of the Red Army offensive and an uneasy peace comes over the lines, as the white snow begins to cover the bloodstains soaking the steppes.

snc1.png


STAVKA manages to ship 21 more divisions from the moribund Far Eastern border. The Abwehr learns of their arrival but has no information as to where they are being deployed.

Ribbentrop announces that Japan has attacked the United States in a dastardly manner that is sure to enrage even the most dovish American. War with the USA is now extremely likely.

6ph0.png


Army Group North makes an ill-fated assault on Leningrad and finds the defenders still at their posts. The assault does consume the last of their supply stockpile, but it’s a clear setback for the Heer. The Kriegsmarine quickly evacuates each depleted corps to Konigsberg for rest and refitting.

g1em.png



Research: Deep Vehicle Repair/ Recon Skirmisher Doctrine
Floating Fortress Doctrine/ Basic Naval Bomber
Home Defense Doctrine/ Offensive Fighter Box Doctrine
Early Marine Division/ Basic Marine Division (production of Marines begins)

The Head of Intelligence, Hans Oster, apologizes for the late reporting, citing the flurry of activity precipitated by the Red Army offensive. “As you gentlemen can see, our secret ally Japan was not able to finish of the Chinese and thus is likely going to be a weak sister in the Pacific. We were able to get two large shipments of raw materials to them intact but future sea shipments are likely to be heavily interdicted. Through our network we were able to provide them with some 30 blueprints that they may find useful. In return we received a handful from their rather paltry scientific community. Blueprints for Basic Marine Division, Super Heavy Battleship, Subsidiary CV Role, Early Air Carrier, Early Escort Carrier, Capital Night Combat, Screen Night Combat and Agriculture Production were received.”

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n06q.png
 
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LimaTango

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Update:

Chancellery December 5, 1941

***********************************
Ribbentrop: “The Untied States ambassador awaits our reply. I also have the ambassadors from Japan and Italy and others standing by their telegraphs.”

A.H.: “I never desired war with the Americans, or really even with the British, for that matter, once our borders were properly restored. Perhaps unlike the stiff-necked English, they will see reason in time, if they don’t fall under Churchill’s spell.”

Jodl: “The American military is nothing special at the moment. It is their capacity to produce materials and the tools of war that is the peril. We have seen how the Russian war machine can print infantry divisions like we print a newspaper, and the United States can do the same with battleships and tank divisions, according to our reports.”

Raeder: “We are not tested against them. As all know we have humbled the Royal Navy. If the Americans are preoccupied by Japan and come at the Atlantic in manageable numbers they can be dealt with.”

Goring: “I have interceptors staged and only doing training flights at the moment. If the Americans come, we will sweep them from the skies!”

A.H.: “Then that is our watchword. If and when they come, deal with them sharply and show them the futility of resisting our creation of the Reich.

<turns to Ribbentrop> Tell them it is war.”
************************************

The defenders of Baku are overwhelmed and the Heer marches into the oil-rich province.

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The British cobble together another ten divisions and contest India once again.

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Siam is entreated or coerced into alliance with Japan. Turkey is deemed ripe for a government coup, but the action is not taken.

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STAVKA raises two more Guards divisions from thin air, spurring the Leningrad defenders to make one more breakout attempt. This is supported by an attack on Lugo but the effort is thwarted.

Research: Advanced Computing Machine/ Advanced Encryption
Army-Air Force Coordination Doctrine/ Hunt & Destroy Groups Doctrine
Improved Decimetric Radar Warning Sites/ Advanced Decryption Devices

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Field Marshal Vlassov joins the German side. With Goebbels’ encouragement Hitler orders that he be given an active command as a propaganda tool and Vlassov takes charge of a cavalry corps when it next refits.

Luftwaffe scion Ernst Udet is lost at this time. The official line is an unexpected health crisis, but rumors abound that it was suicide.

The Axis regroup in India and set up new plans for another attempted elimination of British expeditionary forces there.

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The Abwehr submits their reports.

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Schacht reports a stunning breakthrough on the research front. An entire line of computing technologies, heretofore unknown, is now available for study and exploitation. This information is particularly welcome as the Abwehr reports five more Guards divisions raised by the Red Army.

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Julius Ringel takes charge of the Army in anticipation of more deep penetration missions forthcoming. There is some minor dissent from this change, as usual, but it is quickly quelled by news of some German mountaineer troops scaling Mount Elbrus.

Hitler is jubilant on January 12th, as reports come in. Sevastopol and Leningrad fall within hours of one another. Paratroops were used in the north to salvage the infrastructure, though much is ruined by the siege.

Raeder reports that the new torpedoes work as advertised, making life tougher on Allied convoy vessels. He notes that few escorts are now encountered. Perhaps they are thinned out at this point?

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The Russian naval squadrons are forced to flee the overrun ports. The Black Sea fleet cruises aimlessly until planes can be detailed to them. The Baltic fleet meets immediately with the Tirpitz group and all surface craft are lost. The venerable Emden takes minor damage.

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Ribbentrop displays a note from the Japanese ambassador, thanking Germany for joining the wider war. The note includes praise for actions against the perfidious English, who’s resistance to Japanese forces is much less than expected.

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The Abwehr reveals the current intelligence estimate as the Wehrmacht Winter Campaign nears. Approximately 284 divisions in the Red Army.

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**************************************
Jodl: “It is mid January and we are preparing to launch what is likely to be a costly and frustrating winter offensive in Army Group Center’s area of operations. There is dissention on this course, with a few on the staff counseling a purely defensive posture. The Russian is enraged and dangerous now, and new forces are taking the field each week. Our campaign will cost lives and materiel but it will help to keep the Red Army reacting to us. We will push to eliminate Soviet forces where possible while disrupting their communications, transport and government systems as much as possible.”

A.H.: “The campaign is approved. Show them that Aryans do not fear the cold.”
***************************************
 
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LimaTango

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Update:

January 1942

It is time for the economy to be tweaked again but Minister Schacht seems to be increasingly weary and distracted. The demands on him have been extreme, bringing Germany from the ashes of ruin to the second largest economy in the world. Even Hitler begins to notice and ponder a replacement.

The Winter Campaign kicks off at last, with most forces in readiness. Two infantry corps are still refitting from the Red Army’s attempt at Sumy. Hitler makes noise about delaying the start date but ultimately lets the Chief of Staff proceed as planned.

The British decryption efforts may have paid off. They time a seaborne attempt at Leewarden to take place at just this time. A battle cruiser SAG runs them off, but doesn’t catch the transports, who are sure to strike again.

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The campaign is underway, but the easy, breezy victories of the summer are distant memories.

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First blood is drawn against the U.S. Navy. A nine ship fleet attacks an Italian submarine pack on blockade and battle ensues. The Italians are defeated but three German wolfpacks converge and arrive as another nine U.S. ships arrive, led by the battleships Massachusetts and South Dakota. The battle rages and the Americans are savaged, though they escape (one Australian DD is sunk). One U-boat is lightly damaged, as the Italians bravely took the brunt of the ASW fusillades.

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The offensive rolls on. A counterattack at Sumy is defeated. STAVKA responds by raising a new army in Voronezh. This army is fortunately across the river but it is extremely active, counterattacking anything that moves several times.

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The southern pincer advances to Orel in good order. Then General von Bock makes in retrospect a grave blunder. In accordance with the plan, the northern pincer assaults Roslavl, which is extremely well defended. Even with Luftwaffe support the effort drags on for days and it takes the heart right out of many of the Heer’s first line corps. The northern pincer led by General Hausser prevails, but they are a shadow of what they were.

The Romanian submarine goes down contesting the Black Sea from the displaced Soviets. A full wing of Hungarian TAC bombers are redeployed to begin naval strikes on these ships, but they are jumped by British interceptors leaving France and are decimated. They land finally in Sevastopol but are not capable of taking action. Italian TAC’s are routed to Batum to deal with the Russians.

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Von Bock throws a paratroop division into the fray at Roslavl, desperate to take the province.

In India, Multan falls and dooms another ten Commonwealth divisions to oblivion.

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General Jodl contemplates replacing von Bock with General Rundstedt when Army Group South also stumbles badly. Overcome with hubris several mountaineer divisions leave their revetments and attack Bashanta, suffering utter defeat to the point where they are they dislodged completely. A new line will be formed from Batum to Baku but it is a real setback for the Heer.

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As January comes to a close, the Abwehr releases reports. Japan seems to be doing well.

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The Soviets have lost over three million soldiers. Yet they seem to spring from the ground to fight again, and again.
 

LimaTango

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Update: February 1942

The attack on Roslavl is pressed home, but the butcher’s bill is over 25,000 brave men. The hoped-for initial encirclement of 30-40 Red Army divisions is certainly being met, but the second phase drive to Moscow is in considerable doubt.

Army Group North maintains its lines in good order. The Finns stationed in the subarctic are taking noticeable attrition, but there are no troops to replace them.

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The RONA division is formed from disaffected Russians. It is sent to the Atlantic Wall to ensure that proximity to former friends and neighbors does not sway any soldier’s loyalties.

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The encirclement is complete. The penetration provokes STAVKA to erect the Mozhaisk Defense Line. General Hausser’s depleted corps steers clear of this treacherous network of trenches.

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Army Group South holds the lines west of Stalingrad.

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A lone Russian armored division rampages through Persia. The Italian Motorized Corps is dispatched to regain the territories.

An exhausted Hjalmar Schacht collapses in his office and is replaced by a bright protégé, Albert Speer, who seems every bit his equal in talent. The reduction in output diring the transition time is quite unwelcome. Minister Speer orders an immediate adjustment towards Central Planning to make up the deficit. (slider move)

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The pocketed divisions march hither and yon but are swept up by whatever unit encounters them. General’s Rommel and von Manstein continue the planned advance on Yaroslavl, but Hausser’s pincer is spent, able at best to hold Kaluga. Hitler rages as General Jodl explains the situation. Had von Bock used the southern pincer to enable the northern one, Moscow itself would be threatened. Now a thrust at the rich lands around it are the very best that can be accomplished.

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The Soviets continue to pound away at Hausser’s tenuous position in Kaluga.

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Western India is back in Axis hands, after the British are eliminated. The Bombay area is held by Bulgarians. They nearly starved to death as they apparently have no convoys at all to carry supplies.

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On February 23 STAVKA raises another ten divisions in Yaroslavl, who immediately attack von Manstein’s corps. He leads his men to victory, but their offensive potential is ruined. Army Group Center is nearly spent.

Ribbentrop announces that an overlooked peace treaty has expired. As Iraq is now an ally it seems to have little bearing at this time.

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Hans Oster passes around the intelligence summary. “It appears that during the campaign at least 18 new Red Army divisions were fielded, with the current infantry and armored totaling 237. According to the estimates, the Wehrmacht apparently overran about 75 Soviet divisions.” (237 = 294 + 18 – 75)

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General von Bock revises his objectives. Take Vladimir and Noginsk and then see what more can be done. The Russians keep reinforcing Vladimir so it is slow going.

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The smaller mobile corps combine to assail Noginsk, and then an air assault comes in as well. The province is taken and held briefly, just long enough to see Stalin and his government motor off like rats leaving a sinking ship. It plays well in Berlin, which may be some recompense for the paratroops who are retreating on foot through enormous snowdrifts, wondering if they will be able to make Smolensk.

Ribbentrop announces the astonishing news that the United States has declared war on Vichy France, propelling the reluctant French into the Axis alliance. A team of German staff officers is dispatched immediately to “assist” with their military dispositions.

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The last capital ship in the construction queue completes sea trials and joins the Baltic fleet. Within the following week two destroyers also complete and that is the end of surface fleet contracts at present. The shipyards continue to produce U-boats and repair vessels at need.

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As February ends, the Abwehr reports that the Soviets have suffered nearly four million casualties.

The Wehrmacht notes that it has suffered as well in the campaign.

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The Axis navies are faring well, as is Japan in general.

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Titan79

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Wow, I'm both astonished by your progress during the cold season and by the still (relatively) low casualties you've taken thus far.

How did you manage to spare your men in such an effective way? Also: almost still 400 MP in reserve? That's quite a lot for a TRM-Bring 'em on! game, considering it's already March, 1942.
 

Mr_B0narpte

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I too am amazed by your progress considering you still have nearly 400 manpower to spare. Well done on taking Sebastopol and Leningrad already, perhaps Moscow will fall by the end of 1942. Also impressive to see you're holding the UK in Karachi. To be honest it is a bit disappointing to see the UK launching suicide amphibious attacks in Europe while there are undefended Axis beaches in the Middle East, but on the whole you are doing extremely well! :)
 

LimaTango

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@Titan79 Thank you. I am not sure what would be different from anyone else playing as Germany. I think that starting the war with 600 MP is mostly a function of not building as many divisions as others may. I have only 146 divisions as of March 1, 1942.

Most of my attacking is done with corps of 1 ARM + 2 MOT or MECH, led exclusively by Panzer Leader/ Offensive generals like Hoth, Hopner, etc. Exceptional leaders like Rommel, von Manstein, Hausser and Guderian get up to 2-3 Arm + 2 MECH. I support tough battles with CAS and TAC interdiction.

I think a few things that may be different are:

1. When my units are at 50-75% of organization I send them back for refit if at all possible. I think that low ORG forces suffer a lot of real casualties.
2. When refitting in Fall I change infantry leaders out for Winter Specialists as far as possible.
3. The Heer stays out of desert and frozen subarctic areas.
4. In static positions on the front line like Smolensk I group a good general like Paulus with a GAR+ENG division so that they don’t face attrition from enemy proximity.
5. When new Red Army formations spring up I let them attack first then strike back when they are worn out.
6. I shuttle corps back and forth from Konigsberg to Kingisepp via sea to keep all fresh forces in the north.
7. I think that another big key may be starting with large multiple encirclements before the Red Army ORG and GDE starts to increase.

Other than that I don’t know what to say. If there is a screen you would like to see or if you want to know exactly who is doing what in a particular battle let me know and I’ll add more details.

@ Mr_Bonaparte Thank you. The Winter Offensive casualties are high, but hopefully worthwhile to keep the pressure on.

I believe that the UK may be avoiding the Med because the Royal Navy is depleted and cannot support the maneuver. I have read that the AI “knows” where every unit is and perhaps the Med patrols are daunting for the UK AI to run the gauntlet. It’s just a guess at this point.
 

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Update:

March 2, 1942

General von Bock is thinking more clearly with the shrapnel removed from his hairline. The debacle at Roslavl cannot be undone, but the war continues and so he resumes his duties. The current situation requires a timed withdrawal so that the mobile forces can be rested and refit when the snowmelt is complete. He directs the staff officers and moves markers on his mapboard, and the orders go out.

Albert Speer completes his first contribution as the SS Prinz Eugen division joins the Heer. It is inexplicably provided with ancient artillery so it refits in Lublin for some days before marching south.

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The Tirpitz group surprises and engages a small UK assault force as Army Group Center reorganizes.

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Both transports are sunk. General Guderian sweeps south into Voronezh but badly needs to be pulled off the line.

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The Italians continue to sow confusion to the French in Central Africa.

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Speer provides more good news for the embattled Wehrmacht by providing the Gross Deutschland division.

A fleet arrives in Alexandria. This is one of dozens of Italian fleet movements transporting obsolete formations to Rome for upgrading. The Italian battle fleet is down to some heavy cruisers, but their transportation network has been vital to the was effort in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent.

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Guderian’s corps overruns several Russian infantry divisions but ends up isolated and besieged. He makes for friendly lines with numerous Red Army divisions nipping at his heels.

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There is a bloody battle for Boguchar. The Heer moves in but must rotate a corps back to Kharkov for refitting. Guderian wins a rear guard action and drives west.

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Von Bock's line holds at Kaluga/Tula. After this battle he orders Rommel to leave Tula and refit in Konigsberg.

Guderian is assailed again while crossing the Don. This time his depleted corps is overmatched but he extricated his force and is then free and clear on the road to Lublin.

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The U.S. Navy makes another foray into U-boat patrolled waters and suffers defeat, though they escape.

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At last the Red Army’s fanatical winter stance is softened with the arrival of Spring. The melting snow reveals thousands of carcasses of man and machine. The Wehrmacht and the High Command breathe a sigh of relief.

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The British reinforce their Stavanger beachhead, unwittingly arriving when the initial divisions had already been defeated. This effort ends ignominiously as well for the English.

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The U.S. Navy means business now, sending a 18 ship fleet including two carriers and four battleships into the Med. The Italian detachments take shelter, though their naval bombers make two strikes. Finally the KM Med wolfpack meets up with them. The US gets in some good salvoes but ultimately the U-boats prevail, sending the Americans back to port for repairs with the loss of one DD.

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Partisans continue to plague the Heer.

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Von Bock is pleased with this report of a four axis attack going in under CAS support. This is the type of attack that he has drilled into his subordinates.

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The Abwehr prepares the month end reports, summing up the results of the Wehrmacht’s Winter Campaign.

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Research: Basic Naval Bomber/ Capital Night Combat
Basic Marine Division/ Turbojet Engine
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Acquired from Vichy France: Basic Strategic Bomber, Dead Reckoning Bombardment Doctrine, Escort Box System Doctrine

Ribbentrop reports that blueprints needed were provided to allies and that three provinces were finished repairing and have been returned to Finland. Several bulk trades were made with neutral countries, sending large lots of Metal for Rare Materials.
 
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