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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

nachopontmercy

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Chapter XX: Waiting for the Sun


The Russian assault had been a complete surprise to the German diplomacy and even to the allied one, but that did not mean that Germany was going to give up easily. Once recovered from the initial shock, most military commanders corrected his mistakes by doing everything possible for the forces under his charge to be quickly transported to the Eastern Front. According to Manstein, Germany should resign to the fact that part of the Polish-dominated areas would be quickly occupied by the Russians, and it would be better to lose such zones temporarily rather than sending troops to those provinces with an elevated risk of getting attacked on the road. Thus, most of the Heer was redeployed evenly through the Gdynia-Krakow line, which would give them enough time to organize and prepare an adequate defense against the unlawful invader.




OKH´s plan for halting the initial Soviet Offensive


As the troops arrived at their designated locations, the news could not be worse. Apparently, the Soviet Union itself had achieved some modernization of the Red Army, and in just four days Russian armored units entered Warsaw. Some local leaders contacted the Kremlin to achieve the formation of a Polish Provisional Government, but without any contemplation the dreaded NKVD arrested them as "enemies of communism." Further south, Soviet troops continued advancing and a new type of heavy armored tank was sighted, and despite the seizure of Tarnow the corageous Romanian resistance slowed the advance of the Reds.




A Romanian officers smiles after stopping another Russian assault


However, OKH was correct with the Soviet movements predictions, and by mid-February the Russian advance had not yet reached the Gdynia-Krakow line, which provided the Wehrmacht enough time to be ready for any event. The Russians, confident that they would find no opposition, had to withdraw when they met German Army, and in most cases they just run away without barely engaging any enemy unit. This would not be the case of Krakow, where Soviet commanders decided to launch a massive attack on the German positions. Fortunately, the German divisions clearly defeated the Red Army, to the extent that just one day later von Rundstedt led a counterattack that reconquered Tarnow with just one thousand casualties against 10,000 Russian soldiers lost in action. The fact that for every fallen German soldier ten Russians died was a good prognosis for the future, and hope gradually grew within the German High Command.




The Red Army took a serious blow in the Tarnow battle


Meanwhile, the Western Allies met with Stalin in Moscow and promised him a tremendous amount of logistical support and military equipment to fight the Germans. Apparently, those that Churchill described as "league of failures, the criminals, the morbid, the deranged and the distraught" were now his allies against Germany, and the hypocritical British leader began to plan the post-war Europe with the Soviet dictator. The majority of the German people would realize the danger they faced when an American newspaper published the so called "Morgenthau Plan", which sought to divide Germany into five different states; skillfully, the German propaganda agency used this plan as further evidence of the willingness of allies to annihilate the German people, and all across the country thousands of soldiers excluded from the mobilization enlisted in the Wehrmacht.




Churchill with Stalin, who was depicted by the Prime Minister as "the vampire which sucks the blood from his victims"


In Africa, a number of French officers led by Charles de Gaulle proclaimed the "Free France" state in the territory of Guinea. Apparently, these officers felt that only the settlers deserved such freedom, as by no means the natives were consulted about such a decision. In America, the Mexican government decided to enter the allies and joined the war against Germany, while Brazilheroically defended from the British assaults in the north of the country.




Mexico and "Free France" entered the war against Germany


Unfortunately, the Moscow Conference was also used by Stalin to ensure that the allies would compromise to destroy the German industry by a massive campaign of strategic bombings, and while the industrial basin of the Rhine was protected by the interceptors deployed in the French coast, the need to withdraw some aircrafts in order to protect troops in the eastern front from the Soviet bombers allowed the allies to bomb several cities in northern Germany. However, most attacks failed in their objectives due to lack of precision, and soon the Allies started bombing civilian targets with total disregard for the lives of innocent Germans; according to a senior British officer, such actions “were strategically justified in so far as they tend to shorten the war and preserve the lives of Allied soldiers”, but much of the world would behold with horror such crimes.




Hamburg after an Allied bombing


Meanwhile, Albert Einstein reported that the draft design of a nuclear reactor had been completed and that once its construction was finalized the Uranverein could devote into building the "ultimate weapon". However, some Abwehr alarming reports claimed that the Americans were also close to completing a similar project codenamed "Manhattan"... Fortunately, the installation of the giantic Flakturmes was completed, and much of the German industrial centers were now protected from Allied bombing.




Berlin´s skies are safe once more


In the east, the Soviets refused to accept that they could not penetrate the German defenses and continually lost thousands of soldiers in meaningless skirmishes. Meanwhile, plans for "Operation Hindenburg" continued with a huge concentration of armored and motorized divisions near Lodz and Sonowiec. Once the winter passed, the German spearhead would begin the greatest military adventure ever told.




Thousands of armored units were ready to invade the USSR
 

XVG

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About the time that I subscribe. :p
Keep up the nice work nacho! And kick those commies back!
 

Mkoll13

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Stalin is going to find that invading Germany was his worst decision.
 

nachopontmercy

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About the time that I subscribe. :p
Keep up the nice work nacho! And kick those commies back!
Thanks, XVG! Nice to see you around!

Stalin is going to find that invading Germany was his worst decision.
I hope you are right...but I never heard of anyone performing a successful Barbarrossa in 1943 and without almost any air cover...
 

Panzer4life

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Oh dear, this is gonna hurt. If I may suggest something, crush the soviet army by encircling them and killing 60 division strong groups with ease. I read a AAR where a German player devastated 128 divisions with just 50 divisions. It was epic, and you are going to need victories like that to win against the Soviet Union.
 

GulMacet

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Yup. Instead of trying to capture as much territory in as little time as possible, like old Adolf did, focus on destroying the Red Army piecemeal first (and liberate German territory - that has to be done for morale) and then invade, when they no longer offer meaningful resistance.
 

nachopontmercy

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Oh dear, this is gonna hurt. If I may suggest something, crush the soviet army by encircling them and killing 60 division strong groups with ease. I read a AAR where a German player devastated 128 divisions with just 50 divisions. It was epic, and you are going to need victories like that to win against the Soviet Union.
Yup. Instead of trying to capture as much territory in as little time as possible, like old Adolf did, focus on destroying the Red Army piecemeal first (and liberate German territory - that has to be done for morale) and then invade, when they no longer offer meaningful resistance.
I agree with both of you, the general strategy of this war must be to create encirclements fast enough to cripple the Soviet military before they can react. That is why I am massing my mobile units in Lodz, they will advance until they reach Kiev and then turn north and south, creating an small pocket in Ukraine and a bigger one in Belarus. But there are some difference between this situation and the one described by Panzer4life and that guy winning with 50 divisions:

1- I am not by far as good player as that guy must be (the one who did it with 50 divs). I have been playing HOI series since the first one, but that does not mean I am a power gamer who always wins. I haven´t always won with Germany in my games, and even when I did it was not as easy as some say it is. So I will need all my expertise with this situation, especially because I won´t reload the game not a single time and every mistake can be fatal.

2- This is not 1941, what means that the Soviets have much more IC and troops, including armored ones. Maintaining the breakthrough provinces will be very difficult, since I guess it won´t suffice with just some divisions to hold the encircled Soviet divisions. Also, their doctrines have advanced a lot, thus reducing the gap that exists in 1941.

3- The fact that the allies are concentrating all their air power in my western front means I have to focus my aircrafts there...thus making air support in the Eastern Front almost unavaliable. If I send my CAS to pursue an enemy retreating and they are caught undefended by some Soviet interceptors...well, you know what would happen.

4- Let´s not forget at some point the US will overpass all my aerial defences...and I wonder if my IC will stand against their bombings. Not to mention that they will probably have the A bomb sooner than me (I think germany can have it in mid 1945 unless the reactor in Munich is bombed).

All in all, it is a difficult task, but also a great challenge and one of the best DH games Ive played. Playing it knowing that you will tell it later as an story and that such a story will be followed by some nice forum fellows is really satisfying! And one thing is for sure: if I am alive when the first A-bomb arrives, either London or Moscow will get a German present...
 

Mkoll13

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I hope you are right...but I never heard of anyone performing a successful Barbarrossa in 1943 and without almost any air cover...
Ah, but you don't have to invade Russia, for in this timeline, Russia invades you!

I see encirclements in your future
 

Julius Clonkus

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Ah, but you don't have to invade Russia, for in this timeline, Russia invades you!

I see encirclements in your future
Ahh, perhaps historians will debate endlessly whether the Red Army could still have turned the tide at the Battle of the Seelow Heights, where the German Army decisively crushed any chance for Soviet domination over Europe once and for all?

And this is a pessimistic estimate.
 

nachopontmercy

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Ah, but you don't have to invade Russia, for in this timeline, Russia invades you!

I see encirclements in your future
Hahaha, great post! "In Soviet Russia..."

Ahh, perhaps historians will debate endlessly whether the Red Army could still have turned the tide at the Battle of the Seelow Heights, where the German Army decisively crushed any chance for Soviet domination over Europe once and for all?

And this is a pessimistic estimate.
Hmmmm, interesting post, you even gave a me a great idea on how to keep with the story if I am losing...thanks...
 

unmerged(228389)

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All in all, it is a difficult task, but also a great challenge and one of the best DH games Ive played. Playing it knowing that you will tell it later as an story and that such a story will be followed by some nice forum fellows is really satisfying! And one thing is for sure: if I am alive when the first A-bomb arrives, either London or Moscow will get a German present...
This is so true. Writing an AAR vastly extended the game-life of Darkest Hour for me. I've been more engrossed in the game for my Japan AAR than any other game of DH/KR I've played. So much so it's almost painful when I have to take long breaks between playing to write updates. :eek:
 

Migthy

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nachopontmercy

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This is so true. Writing an AAR vastly extended the game-life of Darkest Hour for me. I've been more engrossed in the game for my Japan AAR than any other game of DH/KR I've played. So much so it's almost painful when I have to take long breaks between playing to write updates. :eek:
True, and the fact that you cannot reload (which we all have done sometimes in a regular game, let´s face it) also increases a lot the game immersion. The last day I played the game I spent more than half an hour with the game paused, checking the maps, modifiers, and trying to decide if I go for 1 or for 2 spearheads. I felt like Manstein himself! :)

Glad to see that the Romanians are fighting hard against the bolsheviks. :)
Yes, and it quite surprised me! I thought they would be quickly overrun, but they are doing a great job. if it continues like this, I won´t ever bother to think about controlling their army.
 

Migthy

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Ha ha. This remember me of a quote of A. Hitler.
Romanian army was a completely mess before the invasion of Russia. The Germans didn't trust our army. But after the battle of Odessa, Hitler himself declared "It's amazing what Ion Antonescu did in such a little time. Antonescu is Romania!"
Unfortunately we dissapointed the Germans when the soviets broke our lines and encircled the 6th army in Stalingrad.
Hopefully this won't happen here! :D
 

Mkoll13

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Not to worry, in this timeline they won't have to wait months on a defensive line while Hitler sends his men to the graveyard and the soviets mass a counterattack.

This time they must defend their home from the steamroller. The Russians are doomed :p