- Nov 30, 2013
Warriors of the North said:Chapter 5: The Second World War
The first news to reach Sweden from China in months was sobering. While none in Europe had really expected the Republic to hold out, it was still a shock to see Japan running over what had once been a powerful nation. With the fall of the Republic, the puppet regime in Nanjing now controlled most of China, in the name of the Empire of Japan. Only the Warlords still fought the Japanese, and they were too weak to win this war on their own.
While this was on the opposite side of the world from Sweden, and shouldn't have had much influence on them, Stockholm still watched these events worriedly. With the Chinese mainland under their control, Japan would not be hurting for resources any time soon. And it could use these resources to evict the remaining European colonies...distracting the nations in control of said colonies from Europe. This was not a promising turn of events.
Perhaps just as worrying was the fact Japan wasn't satisfied with just China. The Tibetans had somehow gotten involved in the Sino-Japanese War, though Swedish intelligence wasn't exactly sure how that had come about. They were even more ill-prepared than the Chinese had been however...it was only the rough terrain of the Himalayas that kept Japan from rushing on Lhasa. The events in Asia were providing a bad backdrop on equally worrying events in Europe.
Greece was one of the best trading partners for Sweden, they had been for years. However, the problems gripping Europe did not spare this nation either. While it wasn't as violent as the Spanish Civil War, or as worrying as the rise of the Nazi's, that didn't mean the issues in Greece could just be ignored either. Swedish intelligence was tasked to keep a closer eye on the Greeks, as Romania supplied most of the oil running the expanding air force and navy, and the trade routes were too vulnerable to not keep an eye on the Balkans.
Of course, this focus on the Balkans would lead Sweden to be unprepared when another flashpoint erupted into all-out war.
The Germans had long looked at Danzig with greedy eyes, wanting the city and its linkage to East Prussia back under their control. The Poles, naturally, objected to this. They had seen (and participated in) the partitioning of Czechoslovakia and there was no guarantee that the Germans would stop with Danzig. So the Poles refused to return the disputed city, something that merely gave the Nazi's a pretext to invade the rest of Poland.
The Entente, by now fully known as the Allied Powers, quickly declared war on Germany in support of Poland. They did little to directly aid the beleaguered Poles however. Britain had to get troops into position first, and the French merely stared down the Germans from their Maginot Line forts. Sweden sent what aid it could to the Polish government, but it was not enough. The Germans stormed across the border, overwhelming whatever forces the Poles could gather to fight them.
It was quite likely the Poles would be unable to even defeat the Germans. The final nail in their coffin, however, would not come from the west.
The Soviet Union, smelling blood in the water, invaded Poland from the east. No one knew it at the time, but the Germans and Soviets had agreed to partition Poland, much like their predecessors had done to the Commonwealth. Faced with massive enemies attacking from both sides, the Polish resistance quickly collapsed. Not even a month after the first shots had been fired, Poland had fallen. The west went to Germany, while the Soviets and Lithuania split the east.
It was perhaps out of thanks for getting back Vilnius and other disputed border regions, that Lithuania was the only Baltic State to not resist the Soviets when they demanded control after Poland fell. Latvia and Estonia, however, refused Soviet control. These two small nations, neither a match for Poland, leave alone the Soviets, fought hard. It would take time to subdue them, time that Sweden eagerly watched. They were less than happy to see more small states devoured by the Russian Bear, but it was important to watch nonetheless.
For nations that should have been overrun in days lasted months, defying all expectations. The Purges had run deeper than anyone imagined, the Red Army a toothless giant. In the end, it was only sheer numbers that allowed them to overrun the Balt's, not any skill on the part of its leadership.
Still, however, the speed with which Poland had fallen and the Russians had moved into the Baltic States frightened the leadership in Stockholm. While much work had been put into improving the Swedish military, it was still under-strength. Thus:
Mobilization began in Sweden. Reservists were called to their units, and plans were drawn up in case of the war spreading to the North. Half of the population that was able to don a uniform was sent marching to forts and barracks, new rifles and trucks being produced to arm them. While this could be viewed as threatening to other nations nearby, the Danes and Norwegians (Finland was far too occupied watching the Russians) were more accepting of Sweden mobilizing than Germany.
Especially the Norwegians, who had been under intense pressure from both sides of the Second Great War. It was because of this pressure, and the knowledge that Germany had claims to southern Denmark, that three plans were drawn up for the Swedish military, should they be drawn into the war.
Plan 'D' entailed a forward defense of Denmark, should they be attacked by Germany. If the Danish forces could hold long enough for Sweden to get troops into position, a declaration of war would be delivered to the German embassy. Upon which, the Southern Army would send its fastest troops to Copenhagen, to defend the crossing in support of whatever Danish units manage to retreat to the area. The garrisons and heavier units of the Army would remain in Malmo, and Gothenburg, in case the Germans attempted an amphibious landing past the heavy guns of the Swedish navy. In a similar manner to the other two plans, the Central and Northern Corps would defend the coast north of Stockholm, and provide a mobile reserve.
Plan 'N' would be put into place if Denmark fell too quickly to risk supporting. With the pressure the Norwegian Government was under, it was seen as only a matter of time until it was forced to pick a side. In the event that Germany attempted to invade, a division of the Southern Army would be routed to Oslo to help the Norwegians defend their capital, and cut off any German landings in the area. The remaining forces would garrison Malmo and the other southern cities, to prevent the Germans from gaining a foothold in Sweden herself.
Plan 'S' was the last-resort. In the event that Germany forced a landing and took the southern cities, whatever remained of the Southern Army would retreat to a shorter line south of Stockholm, and defend it until the reserves further north could be routed South. It was hoped things wouldn't come to this, but it was considered pertinent to have the option.
Thus, as 1939 came to an end, the Swedish military was as ready as it would ever be...if War came to their shores.
A little bonus here:
Yes, that is a British occupied province in the middle of Poland. No, I don't know how it happened
And as for the war-plans, I apologize for the roughness. If anyone can tell me how to get the better looking graphics I've seen in other AAR's, I'd appreciate it. Other than that though, I hope everyone liked the update!
Oh, final note...my manpower peaked at 220 or so. Mobilizing the 60 or so brigades I currently have used up half of that, so I'm running into the war with only 120 or so manpower. A war of attrition would devastate me if I can't hold Malmo, so I have to hope the Navy is up to the job of keeping the Germans out.