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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

trekaddict

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"We will stand defiant!" an AH France AAR

defiantchapterpic.png

Intro



Excerpt from “Standing against the storm – France in World War 2”




After the end of World War One, then called “The Great War” France, albeit beeing part of the victorious Entente Alliance was in a bad way. Literally millions of young Frenchmen had died, and Marshal Petain, the hero of Verdun, predicted that the French Army would face s couple of ”hollow classes” with a shortfall in the annual conscription. Many also feared that the harsh peace treaty would infuraite the Germans, who were struggling to build a stable democracy and that the next war was just a matter of time, Military restrictions or not. The Treaty of Locarno, signed in 1924 eased some of the tensions. The two main signatories of the Treaty, the French Republic and Germany, promised not to attack each other ever again and to solve all troubles diplomatically. The agreement also called upon both signatories to de-mobilize even further, to have them reach a parity in numbers. This essentially meant that France would have to de-mobilize half of her standing Army, and had to rely even more onto the fortifications that were beginning to be errected along the Franco-German border. The French population greeted the treaty if not with enthusiasm then with indifference. The ordinary man ( or woman ) on the street was more concerned with the internal troubles France was facing at the time as the third Republic was riddeled with internal strife since the end of the War. The Military establishement however was not so indifferent towards this treaty. In the Spa-town of Vichy a group of Army officers met with the highest ranking ones beeing Marshal Petain and Generals Weygand and Gamelin.

HPETAIN.jpg
Weygand-1.jpg
Maurice_Gamelin.jpg

They still refrained from open action, as they would be comitting high treason, but agreed to keep their options open in case things got worse. Things continued to skid around in French politics. Between 1924 and 1927 five Gouvernments came and went, but in 1927 the current Gouvernment did not fall over its internal rifts but rather an old-fashioned banking scandal. The elections held in May 1927 brought the Socialits under Len Blum into the Elyseé Palace. The new President of the Republic made his first broadcast to the nation three days later. He voved to abide to the terms of the Locarno treaty, and to start the construction of a Series of heavy fortifications on the German Border, to be named after the Civil Servant who had proposed them to his predecessor, Monsieur Maginot. This, along with the simple fact that he had open socialist tendencies, proved to be the final straw for Petains Junta, and on June 16th two Infantry Divisions, commanded by Weygand and Gamelin themselves.*
That very day Petain made a speech from Vichy:

Petains Speech said:
Frenchmen! Loyal Frenchmen! The Socialist Gouvernment in Paris has decided to sell out our security and our Victory in the Great War by abiding to the traiterous treaty of Locarno. The next step will be the installation of a Communist Gouvernment taking orders from Moscow. If that happens, who is to defend France from her enemys to the east? Frenchmen! To prevent this I have, with a heavy heart decided to take action against the traitors in Paris and to take over the Gouvernment until new elections can be held. You need to understand that the eternal soul of France must not be sold out to our enemys by a group of Communist subversives. Stay at your posts! Do as you are told! If you do this the French State, L’etat Française will survive!
The Gouvernment, allthough backed by most of the Army and the other services, along with most of the population which was rallying behind their rightful leaders, had no forces in the area, as the two Divisions were approached from the west, across the Marne, incidentally taking just about the same routes the German troops had been taking in 1914 rather than from the south, the direction of Vichy, from where everyone was expecting this move. It seemed that the third republic was to die, when, on June 18th, what was later called “the 2nd mircale of the marne” occurred. A regiment of tanks, commanded by one Colonel de Gaulle, interposed themselves on the two Bridges Gamelins Division needed to take to get to Paris. Gamelin was fourious and ordered the Colonel to move his tanks away, but the Colonel refused.

Yugo-NC27.jpg

Gamelin exploded. He immediately ordered his Division to attack, despite having left his artillery and most of his few AT weapons behind as to move faster. The 12.000 troops were not exactly enthousiastic about having to shoot at fellow Frenchmen, and many did not fight but rather go over to de Gaulles Forces. In the end few shots were exchanged, but by nightfall the standoff continued. Gamelin radioed Vichy, and Petain ordered Weygands Division to attack as well, and in the morning the real fighting began, with waves of Infantry aiming to just swanp the loyalist positions with sheer numbers. What Gamelin and Weygand did not know was that de Gaulles position was reinforces by loyalist units and Militias, and he managed to hold, helped by fanatical resistance,. low morale in Gamelins and Weygands troops and supporting attacks by the Armee de l’Air which had decleared itself for the Gouvernment. He managed to hold. When further units approached the coupists from the behind Gamelin and weygand realized that the game was up. They ordered their troops to surrender, what those gladly did, and then shot themselves to avoid the public humiliation of a Trial. In Vichy Petain tried to do the same, but was aprehended by the Gendarmerie who had taken its town back from the Military Police before he could commit suicide. He was flown to Paris, escorted by three AdA Interceptors. The June Coup was over, and the Republic was safe. Lebrun however knew that the third Republic needed to be reformed, as its constitution was a reciepe for disaster, and directed the Parliament to draft a new one. The new constitution was introduced and drafted in November 1927, only days before the process against Petain began. The third Republic was abolished and the fourth Republic took its place.


When the Process against Petain was started the former Marshal who had been stripped of his rank took up the opportunity to defend his views, denouncing the Gouvernment as “ a bunch of communist, anarchist rabble.”. That did not go down well with the young judge who had been specifically chosen for this trial and in the end Petain was sentenced to death.

Normally he would have been hanged, but in view of his past accomplishments he was shot by a firing squad from his old Regiment. When France was starting to recover from the turmoil of the coup and the new constitution things started to look up. Then in 1929 the New York Stock Exchange crashed. The following global economic depression hit France hard, leading to Lebrun beeing replaced by Paul Reynaud. Reynaud continued most of Lebruns policies, he even managed to coax scarce money out of the Finance Ministry for creating several additional Armoured Divisions. In 1935 new elections were held after Reynaud died in a plane crash.Lebrun was called out of retirement to run for the Socialist Party again, and won a decent majority in Gouvernment. He immediately reshuffeled the cabinet, amongst others promoting the rapidly advancing de Gaulle as Chief of Staff, beeing fond of the General and tasking him with “bringing the French Army into the 1930’s.” Lebrun was convinced that the next war was only a matter of time, with Hitler having taken power in Germany in 1933 and Italy invading ethopia. The facists were marching forward, yet at the same time the relations between the Entente Powers were worsening steadily, as the British were thinking that the French stance towards Germany and Italy was too aggressive and that either Hitler or Mussoline might try to find a way to use this as a Casus Belli, and London was not looking forward to beeing dragged into another war, that, for all they knew would be at least as bloody and horrible as the last one. So when 1936 rolled around France found itself in a difficult position, having to repair the economy, deal with allies that got less faithful everyday, and with a evergrowing Facist bloc. What would the future bring? Only time would tell.


* their incompetence in RL 1940 needs to be punished.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
I think you know the drill by now, but here it is again: HOI2 DDA 1.1, DAIM, SKIF, and of course the infamous personal modifications.



This is what remains of 7.5 pages, after I cut it to size. Soem of what I wrote in this one will go into the 1st chapter, upped sometime this weekend, now that I can see a light at the end of the tunnel of my school project.
 
Last edited:

ColossusCrusher

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Interesting.
 

wilegfass

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Wow, just zipping through aars, aren't you?

Can't wait for first update.
 

unmerged(87183)

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Glad I can be here from the start. :)

*subscibed*
 

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just one nitpick, the grammar of the title. "a AH??" it should be "an AH," I think, given that Ay-Ache is a vowel sound. :) but it's minor.


other than that, good luck! :)
 

unmerged(89090)

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This sounds great, but just an idea: could you include a few more screenies? I found that the only issue I had with workAAR's paradise (aside from the minor holdup) was that screenies were in short supply. I just find they make it a lot easier to follow what is happening strategically.

good luck :D
 

unmerged(84988)

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Great new AAR. I really need to work on the detail of my AARs.
 

trekaddict

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ColossusCrusher Thanks.

wilegfass Not exactly zipping, but I ttry to replace a lost or in this case paused one as soon as possible.

Maj. von Mauser Thanks.

rcduggan You might have to live with it.... :D I will try to correct it in the chapterpic and my sig though as soon as I get home from school today.

and thanks to you as well.

thatguy I'll try to include more screenies.

FallenMorgan Thanks. The detail is just a result of way too much time and a mind that tends to wander when bored.
 

unmerged(84988)

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trekaddict said:
FallenMorgan Thanks. The detail is just a result of way too much time and a mind that tends to wander when bored.

We have that in common.
 

unmerged(85800)

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ill be here, as ever. (well ever since october) when i read about that coup i thought that was what was going to be France's saving grace, but you surprised me. should be good.


and 'scuse me for nitpicking, but unless im having a moment of madness this bit makes no sense. 'and on June 16th two Infantry Divisions, commanded by Weygand and Gamelin themselves.*'
 

trekaddict

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FallenMorgan :D

FallenMorgan Glad to have you aboard mate. The piece about the Infantry Divisions: Gamelin and Weygand were using their prestige to coax the troops into following them. The commanded only one Infantry Division each because a larger force would have been too difficult to coordinate and it would have been impossible to conceal the move long enough to succeed, and even in this scenario it was a close thing.

stefanmg Welcome!

Hardraade :D

Oh and update coming later today.
 
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etycaj

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trekaddict said:
FallenMorgan :D

FallenMorgan Glad to have you aboard mate. The piece about the Infantry Divisions: Gamelin and Weygand were using their prestige to coax the troops into following them. The commanded only one Infantry Division each because a larger force would have been too difficult to coordinate and it would have been impossible to conceal the move long enough to succeed, and even in this scenario it was a close thing.

stefanmg Welcome!

Hardraade :D

Oh and update coming later today.

Good luck, i'm looking forward to the update!
 

Eams

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Looking good, this.
What changes of your own have you done?
 

trekaddict

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etycaj I have delivered!

Eams I changed the start dates traits and skill levels for some tech teams, but nothing major. You will not see a level nine nuclear tech team named "Nuclier Prepulsin verks!". I just raised the skil levels to not more than 8 and added some traits that I thought they'd need. I also cahnged the start dates for some ministers and slept others.


defiantchapterpic.png



Chapter I

When 1936 dawned the French Republic found itself in a difficult position. Allthough grwoing stronger by the day France was still a far cry from the major power it had been before the Great War had brought the horrible losses in the Trenches at the Marne and at Verdun. Her old ally ( and even older Enemy ) Britain was drifting away from France, claming her foreign policies to be too belligerent towards the even older Enemy to the east. (AN: France and Germany, or pre- 1871 the german states have been at each others throats since the 17th Century ) However France was confident.

03karte.png

Metropolitan France in January 1936​

The Republic was was it had not been since the end of the War, stable, and the Economy, having been hard hit by the Great Depression was slowly but surely recovering. Lebrun wrote in his diary: "We are on the way back up. Not as fast as the Boches, not as fast as the Soviets but we are on the way, and unlike them we did not have to fall back on extreme measures."
The last election had brought Lebrun back to Power, and he had used his re-gained position to advertise a package of public works programmes similar to the "New Deal" in the United States, which had put Frenchmen to work and which cemented his position with the Population.

01Frankreich.png

The Cabinet, not showing the slider move towards Standing Army​

At the time France had only 57 major factory complexes at her disposal, which was less then half of what was possible, but many factories lay idle for lack of work, but the rather tight financial situation after the construction of the Maginot Line prevented any further public spending. (AN: In RL France went almost broke because of it ) De Gaulle, in his position of Chief of the General Staff, had suspended any further construction of new Units, after the President had explained the situation to him. Most of the Industry was geared towards production of Consumer Goods, as th generate revenue for the State, the rest was used for building up a strategic stockpile of supplies. Little Industry remained, but it was put to use to bring the French Army up to modern standards and to reinforce its units up to full strength. Luckily the widespread French Colonial Empire provided all the resources the Republic needed, so no money or supplies needed to be wasted to buy it from abroad.

05prod.png

Manpwer wise the situation was not so good, but France could still put almost 500.000 men into Uniforms with an ample reserve.

Research stood not still. Lebrun had contemplated axing all developement of new technologies, but had decided against it, depsite the added strain on the budget. He was sure that war was only a matter of time, and France needed to have a superbly equipped and trained Army to cancel out her numerical inferiority towards all her potential enemys.

04tech.png

The French Armed Forces were not small, but partially used woefully outdated Great War equipment, but that was beeing worked on. On the paper France had 36 Infantry Divisions, four Cavalry Divisions, 2 Armoured and 5 Mountaineer Divisions. Some of this strength was scattered around the various Colonies, but msot of it was in Metropolitan France, centered around the Magniot Line.

The Armée de l'Air (Which will be shotened to AdA from hereon), the French Air Force was weak. It had three Interceptor Squadrons and 5 Tactical Bomber squadrons. The plan for the AdA was to reorganize the TAC squadrons in France into a group of four Squadrons, and to keep the Interceptors around until the new Dewoitine D. 520 Multi-purpose Fighter was avaible. They would then be disbanded. Later the TAC forces would be enlarged, and some Strategic Bombers would also be built once the neccesary technologies were avaible.

The Marine Nationale had many ships, but just like in the Royal Navy many of them were old, only a few modern Ships were in the MN's lists. The only Aircraft Carrier, the MN Bearn was an old construction, comparable to the American Lexington Class.

FREcv01_Bearn_aft.jpg

The MN Bearn during Naval Maneuvers in 1930​

It would see service with the First French Fleet until a replacement was built, and would then transfer to the Southern Fleet which was based at Marseilles. Admiral Darlan, the Chief of the Naval Staff, joked that the Med was hast becoming the "trash bucket of Europes Navies". France also had plans for the Richileu-Class Battleship in the drawer, of which three or four would be built, to hold of any Capital Ships that threatened the MN's future main strike arm: Its as of yet unbuilt Carrier Fleet.


----------------------

small, but all my "first chapter that explains the situation posts" are like that.
 

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  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Lead and Gold
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria 2
  • 200k Club
  • Hearts of Iron Anthology
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Stellaris
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
France AArs are seldom indeed.



For the History book style: I think I am inspired by a book about the American Civil War I read a while back. It has equally much detail, even more, sometimes describing actions down to the regiment.