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Skywalker_T-65

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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.


In order:

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.


-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-

A little bonus here:


Yes, that is a British occupied province in the middle of Poland. No, I don't know how it happened :p

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.
 
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blos10

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Fabulous update! Can't wait to see how Sweden fares in the coming war, if God-forbid, it comes to that, although it seems it will. Btw, your graphics are fine and while not top notch, certainly don't detract from the interesting story your telling.
 

SSmith

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An excellent conclusion to the build-up period! Let's see what happens next!

I would guess that your "British-occupied" province in Poland is probably a rebellion against the Germans? Also, you have only 120 MP now but are you still receiving new manpower at the accelerated rate through your recruitment drive?
 

guillec87

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are you really planning on defend the Danish islands?
 

Skywalker_T-65

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Fabulous update! Can't wait to see how Sweden fares in the coming war, if God-forbid, it comes to that, although it seems it will. Btw, your graphics are fine and while not top notch, certainly don't detract from the interesting story your telling.
Glad you like it!

An excellent conclusion to the build-up period! Let's see what happens next!

I would guess that your "British-occupied" province in Poland is probably a rebellion against the Germans? Also, you have only 120 MP now but are you still receiving new manpower at the accelerated rate through your recruitment drive?
At the moment I'm gaining 2 manpower per month. Not a whole lot, but it's something at least. As for the Brit's in Poland, I still have no idea. I assume it was either the Brits managing to get troops into Poland before it fell (though one has to question how they could do so) or it was a stray Polish unit being turned into an expeditionary force. Honestly, I just don't know.

Can you help Finland in the winter war?
There are two decisions for the Winter War. The first one lets me send some manpower and supplies to Finland, the second allows a direct intervention (alliance with Finland, improved relations with Norway, and war with the Soviets). As of now, I've only ever had the option for the first event. I'm not sure why, but the Direct Intervention one has never been available. In my test game where I helped the Finns, I did it by allying with them and tag-switching to make them call me into the war. I won't do that this time, though if I get the direct intervention option and aren't in the war by that point I'll take it.


are you really planning on defend the Danish islands?
Nope. Roleplaying means I need to come up with the plans the Swedes may come up with in this alternate timeline. Plan 'D' is something that is there as an option, but it isn't likely to be taken. Plan 'N' is the one I'm going to use, unless I get drawn into the Winter War.
 

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There are two decisions for the Winter War. The first one lets me send some manpower and supplies to Finland, the second allows a direct intervention (alliance with Finland, improved relations with Norway, and war with the Soviets). As of now, I've only ever had the option for the first event. I'm not sure why, but the Direct Intervention one has never been available.
I think it's coded that only a right-wing government in Sweden is able to intervene directly and I believe you still have a democratic party in power?
 

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I think it's coded that only a right-wing government in Sweden is able to intervene directly and I believe you still have a democratic party in power?
That would explain things. And yep, still the Social Democrats in power, and that isn't likely to change come the elections.
 

Skywalker_T-65

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I have just finished reading through your AAR: great job and keep up the good work. Cant wait to see what the next few months have in store for Sweden.
Glad you like it!



@everyone: I'm going to update with the current state of the military tonight, since barring something really funky happening, it will be what I go into the war with.
 

Barvinok

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Is there a possibility of UK invading Norway to head Germans off, in HPP?
 

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On second thought, the Military hasn't really changed enough to justify a full update on its own. So I'll just summarize things here:

Army:

Eight Infantry Divisions: All the main weapon techs (Small Arms, Support Weapons, Anti-Tank) are up to 1940 levels.

One Light Armor Div: As up to date as they can be considering I lack tank techs. The Czechs build good LT's thankfully.

One Cavalry Div: Up to date

Six Garrison Div's: Same as the infantry. I have this many since Sweden has so many ports to cover and I can't be spreading my small infantry force around half the country trying to keep Germans out of ports.

Air Force:

Four Fighter Squadrons, with one being built. All are P-36's, and thus only slightly outdated.

One Bomber Squad: Same one I started with

Navy:

Four Destroyers: Two are obsolete, one is average, and the final one is up to date.

Four Subs: One obsolete, one average, two advanced (arguably as advanced as Germany's U-Boats right now).

One Transport: Really should have built more in retrospect...

Two Light Cruisers: One old, one average.

Nine Heavy Cruisers: Six of them are barely worth keeping (no techs aside from AA) and the three Sveriges remain the core of the fleet, and a match for German heavy cruisers...but nothing else.


So the Swedish military is both small, and mostly outdated. Such is the life of a minor with little ways to expand past its starting 5 leadership. My main advantage is the German AI sucking at amphibious assaults, and the only way into Sweden aside from that being the (relatively) easy to defend Malmo. Still going to be a hell of a hard time keeping them out when the war starts though.

EDIT: And I could have built more troops, but as previously stated, even this wiped out half my manpower.
 

Skywalker_T-65

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Glad to have you!

Keep it up, Skywalker! I'd like to see how far you go with your small forces.
Hopefully to the end of the war ;)

Glad to have you!


@everyone: I'm aiming to update tomorrow. Sorry for the delay, College is not conducive to time to write. :p


EDIT: Also, in an amusing side-note: It is still King Edward in Britain. Evidently he never abdicated in this timeline.
 
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Skywalker_T-65

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Warriors of the North said:
Chapter 5.1: The War Expands

Finnish troops defend the Mannerheim Line.

Joe Stalin seemed to not be satisfied with the Baltic States and East Poland, nor did he seem satisfied to watch Germany and the Allies stare each other down in their 'Phony War'. An ultimatum, similar to the one delivered to the Baltics, was sent to Finland. Either give the Soviets access to military bases on their territory, or be invaded. Predictably, the Finns refused to allow the Red Russians into their territory. This was not an overly large surprise in Sweden, as the Swedes were well aware of the tenacity of the Finnish people.

Still however, this war was seen as something of a lost cause. While the Finns were tough, and prepared extensive defenses (the so called 'Mannerheim Line') along their border with the Soviets, they were so vastly outnumbered it wasn't even funny. Then again, Swedish Intelligence had underestimated just how much Stalin had gutted the Soviet Officer Corps once again.


For, by some miracle, the Finns had managed to take the fight into Russia, and taken the only port on the Kola Peninsula, the vital winter port of Murmansk. The Swedish Army was suitably impressed by this, as that one city was the only truly defended part of the Peninsula. It may have been a small blow, but it showed that the Red Giant was not as powerful as she appeared.


Seeing the taking of Murmansk, the Swedish government entered discussions on how to treat their neighbors plight. Certain members, mostly the more conservative branch, argued that the nation should ally with Finland and declare war on the Soviets. Others argued that Sweden should stay neutral, and not give any support to either side, like they had been since the days of Napoleon. In the end, it was a third path that was chosen...Sweden would stay neutral, but any volunteers who wanted to go to Finland would be supplied by surplus Army stocks, in addition to these stocks being opened to the Finns themselves.

This move satisfied no-one really, but it was the only move the Swedish government was willing to make. Moving away from Finland however, more news can be found in Sweden herself. The war gripping Europe had terrified citizens of every nation involved in the war, with the possible exception of Germany. Several of these citizens had begun to flee to neutral nations, such as Sweden.




Several of these men and women were some of the brightest minds in Europe at the time. Seeing the potential in these refugees, the Swedish government started to organize them into science teams within the existing Swedish intellectual net. It was hoped that this would make the ever-continuing research into improving the Swedish military move quicker. For the War that was burning Europe would not leave Scandinavia untouched forever.

With that sobering thought in mind, a couple months would pass with little to no notable events...until:


Despite holding onto Murmansk and fighting harder than anyone had expected (even the Swedes) the Finns were eventually forced into a corner. Soviet troops had taken Viipuri and were surrounding Helsinki, while the Finnish Army tried to reorganize its defenses. Despite the bravery of their soldiers, the Finnish government knew things could go from bad to worse if they kept fighting...there was little they could do now, short of direct intervention from Germany or Sweden.

And as neither nation was willing to fight the Soviet Bear, Finland bowed to the inevitable. The young nation lost the Karelian Isthmus and part of its eastern border with Red Russia, but it could have been far worse. Seeing the damage done to Finland, Sweden started exporting more and more materials to their battered neighbor, as something of a 'we're sorry we couldn't help' situation.

The Soviets, however, were still not satisfied.


Romania was the next target of Red Expansion, specifically the Bessarabia area. This territory had never, at least in Moscow, been officially recognized as part of the Romanian state. Thus, Stalin sent an ultimatum to Romania...surrender Bessarabia, or go to war. The Romanians, likely seeing what had happened to Finland and the Baltic States, saw no other option than to give into the Soviet demands.

Soon after that, Admiral Horthy in Hungary tried to force the Romanians to give up Transylvania too. Needless to say, even with Hitler backing the Hungarians, the Romanians refused to give up even more of their country...especially a part they had fought so hard to gain in the Great War. Hungary backed down, not wanting to risk a war with Hitler unable to make any gains in the west.

Closer to home, events began to heat up in Scandinavia once again.


A British minelayer, and the Norwegian ship 'Norge'.

Scared by the Swedish iron continuing to flow into German factories, the British had made a demand of the Norwegian government...to stop allowing the use of Narvik to ship the iron to Germany. Oddly, they didn't demand Sweden to stop supplying Germany, just that Norway stop allowing their ports to be used. The Norwegians, clinging to their neutrality, refused. This had a cascading effect far out of proportion to what the British might have expected however...

For Germany, angered at the mining of Norwegian waters, declared war on both Norway and Denmark, to secure the trade from Sweden. Seeing this, Plan 'D' was quickly put into effect in Sweden, the troops in the south of the nation moving towards Malmo to cross the strait into Denmark. Before they had even managed to leave their home provinces, however, the Danes had given up.

In any case, something more worrying came up in Sweden itself.


Perhaps wanting to spare his navy from the Royal Navy, Hitler asked Sweden for military access to allow their troops to hit Norway from the flank. It was quite likely in Berlin that the Nazi leadership expected Sweden to concede to the demand. However, seeing so many nations losing their territorial integrity, Sweden refused the request. Germany raged at this, but didn't declare war on the Swedes.


Thus, it was entirely possible that Sweden could have sat out the Second Great War on its own, without getting involved directly. However, plans had been made, and none in Sweden wanted to see Norway fall. With the fall of the Netherlands and the Belgians under attack, it was perhaps inevitable that the Swedish government sent a request to London to join their Alliance.

It was also not a surprise that the Germans took this as a declaration of war, and the 17th Infantry Division quickly began to attempt to cross the strait between occupied Denmark and Malmo.


It seemed odd that only one division was committed to this attack, but it was entirely possible that the majority of the German Army was preoccupied trying to get through Belgium and into France. Thus, it was almost a foregone conclusion that the German attack would fail. The regular Infantry had little to no training in amphibious assaults, and they were running into the guns of perhaps the most heavily fortified city in Sweden outside of Stockholm herself.


Even part of the small Swedish Air Force helped in the First Battle of Malmo. They only had one bomber squadron, escorted by two of the valuable P-36 squads, but it was enough to break the already strained German morale.


74 Swedish men died in the first battle of the War. Almost one thousand of their German counterparts had fallen, trying to cross the strait. This was only the first battle however...the question was, would Sweden be able to hold off an Army two, three, maybe even four times the size of their own? And where were the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine?
 
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guillec87

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don't worry about the KM or the LW, they are coming :p
 

Baltasar

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Wouldn't it have been more of a challenge to join the Axis instead?