Any evidence Stalin would have allowed UK/USA units in USSR?

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rkr1958
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Any evidence Stalin would have allowed UK/USA units in USSR?

Post by rkr1958 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:18 pm

I would like to hear from the the WW-II "historians" among us on the following question(s).

Is there any historical evidence that would support the premise that Stalin would have allowed corps size combat troops from the UK or USA to operate within the Soviet Union?

If yes or no, what is that evidence?

And if yes, under what conditions do you believe Stalin would have allowed this?

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Re: Any evidence Stalin would have allowed UK/USA units in U

Post by rkr1958 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:29 pm

rkr1958 wrote:I would like to hear from the the WW-II "historians" among us on the following question(s).

Is there any historical evidence that would support the premise that Stalin would have allowed corps size combat troops from the UK or USA to operate within the Soviet Union?

If yes or no, what is that evidence?

And if yes, under what conditions do you believe Stalin would have allowed this?
My opinion is no based on Stalin's paranoia over holding power as supported by the following two historical points.

1. The purge of the Red Army in the 1930's in which 90% of its general officers and 60% of its colonels were done away with.

2. The fact that Stalin ordered the Red Army to stand down and allowed the Nazis time to crush the pro-western partisans during the Warsaw uprising in August of 1944.

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Post by Blathergut » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:05 pm

I don't think there was any trust there at all. Even the events around PQ17 showed how much Stalin et al distrusted the British and Americans. Plus, weren't there examples of Allied troops (fliers) interred for the remainder of the war when they landed/ended up in the Soviet Union?

Could a restriction on Allied units in Russia be an option at the beginning of the game? So that, if player(s) wanted to explore the option, they could.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:34 pm

What we're thinking of doing is to not allow Allied units to enter, unload into, advance into or retreat into core Russian hexes unless Russia has surrendered.

Allied units can still attack Axis units or hexes inside core Russian hexes, but not enter there themselves. It's more like how the NATO units are operating in Libya.

The reason is to avoid exploits where e. g. the western Allies send a lot of UK fighters to USSR in 1941 to fend off Barbarossa before these fighters are sent back to Egypt for the offensive towards Libya in 1942. Extra UK units in Russia in 1941 can make a big difference to the game balance and make Barbarossa harder for the Axis. We haven't seen any evidence that Stalin would have invited Allied units into his territory. He was paranoid against the western Allies. He wanted equipment sent to Russia so the Russians themselves could use it. He didn't want foreign soldiers on Russian soil.

I've myself never been involved in any game where this has happened so such a change won't affect most players.

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Post by Schnurri » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:33 pm

IMHO we need to be careful in placing restrictive measures based on the play of primarily one skilled player who exploits "holes" in the game that are unrealistic historically. We've already placed severe limits on the numbers of types of units a given player can build to offset the Morris "Blob" strategies. I've found these very suffocating - I'm playing Mamahuhu and Morris as Allies in 201.xx games and the Russians have fairly easily hurled them back during the first winter season and are in Prussia by Spring 42 - despite I cannot build a single additional MECH without paying onerous penalties.

Instead of revising the entire game to foil the play of one player couldn't people simply not play Morris if they don't like that style of play?

On the historical note, is it really any more ahistorical the 1940 Sea Lion launched by SuperMax against Morris? From my reading it was out of the question for Germany at this time, or later really, yet Max can do it because the game makes it easy and Morris basically encourages it by his style of play. Should we limit the transports for German troops in 1940 to zero to prevent this?

It is a game afterall and if two players wish to play historically they probably will and other players will exploit every facet of the game to win regardless of the historical factor. I personally prefer the 2.00 game before we started making changes to prevent this or that unrealistic strategy. My opinion anyway.

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Post by Kuz » Tue Aug 30, 2011 12:56 am

Did Allied pilots fight in Russia. Yes. To what scale I don't know but according to this link it seems minimal. http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stor ... 8392.shtml

The Soviets interned US pilots coming from bombing raids on Japan because the Soviets were considered a neutral power vs. the Japanese and didn't want to provoke them into an attack. However, I do believe by 1943/44 most pilots and crews were being repatriated to the U.S. But the point is if the British sent their entire armed forces to the Soviet Union you'd have to assume it'd be at the request of and cooperation with the Stalin.

Here is a link with some interesting reading about one of the members of the Doolittle Raid that landed in Vladivostok. "Escaped" from the Soviet Union in 1943. http://www.doolittleraider.com/raiders/herndon.htm

I don't think the question should be "what would Stalin do" as much as why would Churchill allow his entire armed forces to leave England totally undefended. Make the loss of England more significant and I believe it would stop a lot of this type of play.

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Post by TotalerKrieg » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:04 am

IMO changing the game such that no western allied units can land in the SU or launch attacks from the SU is treating the symptom (ie Western forces fighting in the SU in a ridiculously ahistorical manner) and not the disease (game rewards treating the British as cannon fodder as the conquest of British isles by the Axis has significant negative consequences for the Axis). As Kuz says, if the loss of the British isles had enough negative consequences for the Allies including the Soviets then it would be silly to sacrifice the British to delay the Axis in France because Sea Lion would be devastating to the Allied cause. I posted my suggestions in Plaids AAR but here they are again:

1. Terminate lendlease through Persia. Rationalle is that the British would no longer be able to send lendlease to SU if they lost England.

2. Terminate convoys to SU from US/Canada. The assumption for the latter is that Canada and US would recognize that it is certain suicide to send the convoys with the British isles lost and that way the Axis won't have to spend the oil sinking the convoys with subs. These convoys would only resume once the British isles are liberated. This would be a significant penalty to the SU in terms of PP and oil gained by the Axis.

3. Spain join the Axis if three cities in the British isles including London fall to the Axis before the US joins the war. This would also increase the PP and garrison units available to the Axis. I think it is totally reasonable to have Spain join the Axis if England fell. I don't believe Franco would have seen any benefit to staying neutral at that point.

In regards to the initial question regarding whether Stalin would have allowed the Brits and US into the SU to fight the Axis, I think a better question for CEAW GS is the following: Are there any conditions by which the SU would have allowed Western forces to fight alongside the Red army? I believe the answer is yes as I can't imagine they would prefer complete defeat to the Axis over letting Western forces in to help. So I would hate to see the game constrained to remove this possibility.

As an aside, there were Western airmen (ie French) fighting in the SU on the side of the Red army which clearly was acceptable to Stalin. Incredibly, the survivors actually made it back to France and not the gulags. :)
See:
http://www.cheminsdememoire.gouv.fr/pag ... &idLang=en

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Post by ncali » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:41 am

I stated my objection to Western Allied units in Russia (and Russian units in Egypt, etc.) a few versions back, which I think helped prompt the implementation of supply limitations/restrictions between the Allies. I don't mind the current system, but I do think a complete prohibition on Western Allied units in Russia is more realistic for the following reasons:
(1) The fresh history of US/UK/French intervention against the Bolsheviks in 1919.
(2) Stalin's paranoia, which in this case I think would have been entirely justified!
(3) US aircrew was interned after crashing in Soviet Far East after the Dolittle raid on Japan. I concede the Soviets and Japan were at peace, but still think this wasn't exactly very nice.
(4) Supply and command complications.
(5) Also, I think this would have been unpopular in the West.

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Post by zechi » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:24 am

The Soviets allowed the western Allies to use Soviet airbases for "shuttle bombing" operations. The operation was called "Operation Frantic". You can find more information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Frantic

I think the Soviets would not have allowed any western ground forces on their territory, but I think air units should be OK, especially if they get supply penalties.

Nevertheless, I think the problem with Morris strategy is not that he brings British air units to the Soviet Union, but that he completely ignores British defense of the home isles. This is completely unrealistic, as the British would have never emptied Britain of its air defenses for supporting the Soviets. This could not have happened for political and military reasions.

To sum it up: From my point of view limited western Allied support of the Soviets is fine, but the whole RAF should not show up on the eastern front in 1941.

To do something against this, I would suggest that the Allied units in the Soviet Union are limited. For example one unit in 1941, two in 1942, three in 1944 and finally up to four in 1945. I think this would solve the problem more or less. Another alternativ would be a similar solution as for the Axis in North Africa. Therefore there is a supply limit for western Allied units in the Soviet union. If the supply limit is exceeded the Allies have to pay a high price in PP. Then the Allied would not be able to sustain a large force in the Soviet Union. It would then be diffictult for him to repair any units and go on the offensive in other theaters.

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Post by zechi » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:41 am

TotalerKrieg wrote:IMO changing the game such that no western allied units can land in the SU or launch attacks from the SU is treating the symptom (ie Western forces fighting in the SU in a ridiculously ahistorical manner) and not the disease (game rewards treating the British as cannon fodder as the conquest of British isles by the Axis has significant negative consequences for the Axis). As Kuz says, if the loss of the British isles had enough negative consequences for the Allies including the Soviets then it would be silly to sacrifice the British to delay the Axis in France because Sea Lion would be devastating to the Allied cause. I posted my suggestions in Plaids AAR but here they are again:

1. Terminate lendlease through Persia. Rationalle is that the British would no longer be able to send lendlease to SU if they lost England.

2. Terminate convoys to SU from US/Canada. The assumption for the latter is that Canada and US would recognize that it is certain suicide to send the convoys with the British isles lost and that way the Axis won't have to spend the oil sinking the convoys with subs. These convoys would only resume once the British Isle is liberated. This would be a significant penalty to the SU in terms of PP and oil gained by the Axis.

3. Spain join the Axis if three cities in the British isles including London fall to the Axis before the US joins the war. This would also increase the PP and garrison units available to the Axis. I think it is totally reasonable to have Spain join the Axis if England fell. I don't believe Franco would have seen any benefit to staying neutral at that point.
I agree with No. 3, but I'm not sure about No. 1 and 2. Was the LL through Persia not from the US? Soviets/British invaded Persia, but the material/goods for the LL came from the US as far as I know. Furthermore the convoys from US/Canada would perhaps not take the route through the Atlantic, but instead use the Pacific route even more intensively. I also doubt that no convoys at all would go through the Atlantic as long as the RN and the US navies are intact and able to challenge the SUB threat.

However, I agree with No. 3. I doubt that Franco would not have joined the Axis if Britain would have fallen. Right now it seems a little bit problematic that Spain joins the Axis if North Africa is captured, but does not join if Britain falls. One factor for Spain not joining the Axis was the fact that Britain has not been “finished” as Hitler has promised.

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Post by ferokapo » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:00 am

I am against implementing such a rule.

My argument is that there are already many rules punishing certain actions deemed "ahistorical". In fact, for my taste, there are already way too many. I don't say this because I like to play ahistorically (to the contrary!), but because it will suffocate game play if you continue "down that road". There are still many ahistorical possibilities left, e.g. sending a lone Axis garrison without any support to Casablanca (or to the British isles, etc.). I predict that you cannot plan for every contingency, and players like Morris will always find a loophole in the rules to exploit.

I'd rather have a game with several loopholes that allows some creativity, than a game that tried to prevent all possible exploits and has become dull in the process.

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Post by pk867 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:01 am

Hi,

The latest rule is to have the game stay with the historical political realities during the war.

As far as the French airmen and mechanics that would be about 1 or 2 manpower points and not equipment.

There would be maybe another manpower point available in 43, but this is too small to be represented in a strategic scaled game.

They wanted to send a ground division, but because of political reasons they had to switch to just airmen.

The convoys would still proceed. If the British Isles did fall, the Allies would increase the other routes to get material to the Soviet Union.

As for fighting alongside one another that may have happened accidentally, but not planned that way and not with corps sized units. The Western Allies and the Soviet Union mis-trusted each other and only cooperated to work against a common enemy (i.e.. Hitler)

If they work or fought side by side we would not have the situation in Berlin and Germany after the war. That was resolved 40 or so years later.

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Post by gchristie » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:33 pm

ncali wrote:I stated my objection to Western Allied units in Russia (and Russian units in Egypt, etc.) a few versions back, which I think helped prompt the implementation of supply limitations/restrictions between the Allies. I don't mind the current system, but I do think a complete prohibition on Western Allied units in Russia is more realistic for the following reasons:
(1) The fresh history of US/UK/French intervention against the Bolsheviks in 1919.
(2) Stalin's paranoia, which in this case I think would have been entirely justified!
(3) US aircrew was interned after crashing in Soviet Far East after the Dolittle raid on Japan. I concede the Soviets and Japan were at peace, but still think this wasn't exactly very nice.
(4) Supply and command complications.
(5) Also, I think this would have been unpopular in the West.
I agree with most of the above, with the exception of the complete prohibition. For the 5 reasons stated above I don't think Stalin would have tolerated western allies entering Russia. In spite of that I would agree with those that urge the developers not to overly limit players' options. The most enjoyable AARs are from players that launch the unexpected strategies, in my opinion. The devs face a balancing act between historical play and keeping it fun and fresh and full of surprises. I think they do a great job of striking that balance, which is why I'm still playing this game.

But if you want our opinion, mine is that I do not think you should prohibit what Moriss did to Plaid. Making it a little more difficult, as you did in response to Max' invasion of North America against Panzer General is your prerogative, but I ask that you don't prevent such innovations outright.

Besides, if a player wants to follow an admittedly ahistorical approach it means they must take a large calculated risk which could be exploited by a canny foe. One can't be strong everywhere at once.
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Post by Plaid » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:05 pm

I have to say that UK units in USSR is least of problems in that game with Morris.

Problem is allied PP specialization. During full game (105 turn) allies collect much more PPs, then axis do. So the challenge of the game comes from a fact that germans have tech advantage and each allied power can probably match them only in 1 area, while other unit types will be weak and ineffective, decreasing effect of allied PP advantage . But Morris go for so called blod - he focus 1 area and stamp tons of units of this type. Yes, we have some anti-blob rules, but they have little or no effect against it. 9 fighters/tanks in 1941 without penalties? Its more then enough for Morris' purposes!

Result of this is that allied units fight on even with germans, and huge PP shortage from replacing casualties mean early end of axis.

So I agree, here we try to cure sympton instead of disease. If we prohibit UK units in USSR I already see an alternative. Build only armour and organisation labs for UK -> build lots of tanks -> land them in France after barbarossa launched. Or mechs. Or just huge force of infantry.
Main problem is that each allied power have its own labs and techs, and its "cheesy" to narrow specialize them.

I think we need to give players some reason to build balanced armies for each nation, like it was in reality.

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Post by Schnurri » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:51 pm

As you are probably aware, Morris will undoubtedly land very high tech ARM in France as soon as possible. You could prevent this specialization in one or a few areas by changing the rules for research - now you can't have more than 50% in one area - you could alter this formula to force players to spread their research around. This would hurt Italy but might be the best solution.

Agree with the others that we don't want to force players down a certain historical path or the game becomes uninteresting and overly complex to know all the implications of particular actions that are prohibited. The original tweaking of research from the Vanilla game went a long way so perhaps a little more tweaking could prevent the concentration of research in just a few areas. If this is done it will also decrease the advantage of only building particular kinds of units.

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Post by pk867 » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:22 pm

My question how did he get such Hi tech by that time in the game I have done the same in my games but I do not reach those levels

until late 42 and early 43 as I have in my current 2 games. My units are still outclassed and I do not even come close to the tech level that
Morris has.

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Post by Rhialto » Tue Aug 30, 2011 8:56 pm

I think Plaid has summarized the issues best. The disease of PP specialization must be addressed rather than symptoms.

It may be instructive to look at more sophisticated research models in games such as Hearts of Iron or even Civilization. There you need supporting techs in order to advance. Consider a research tree model.
Also, in Hearts of Iron's model research has to be done by a company or agency such as Vickers Supermarine or Krupp, and you can only assign them to one project at a time and there are too many projects needed for advance to make it feasible to have jet fighters without latest developments in industry, organization, mettalurgy and so forth.

Having said this, I also agree that just doing this will not stop the use of British units as cannon fodder. Force the Allied player to make Britain as critical to success as Italy is to the axis. All Italian units disappear when Italy falls. Make all British units disappear when London and Liverpool fall. I don't think this would be a big problem for balance, since in the latest version of GS, Sealion does not succeed if the Allied player is committed to stopping it.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:34 pm

The existing research rules already have some limits to the max number of labs in a particular area.
1939 = 1
1940 = 2
1941-1942 = 3
1943 = 4

The Germans will get 3 labs in all except naval quite early in 1941. The Allies can't counter that even if they try to focus on one particular tech for each country. The Germans advance as fast as the Allies until 1943 where you can get 4 labs in an area. Even Germany can do that to maintain the tech advantage in an area until the tech in that area caps out.

So I don't see how you can exploit the focus of tech into one area due the be above mentioned limitations.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:44 pm

I think the situation we have is that some players have found an exploit in the rules of the game engine trying to get an unintentional advantage. It's similar to some RPG games where you can e. g. cash in a quest rewards unlimited times due to a bug. Some players exploit that to get an extra level or two while others don't want to get that advantage.

E. g. it's absolutely ahistorical for the GS Allied player to completely sacrifice UK by even abandoning their home territory just to send their units to Russia to get a long term advantage there. Churchill would never have accepted giving up England. He would have fought the Germans as hard as he could and done all he could to get back if the UK forces were defeated there.

Stalin was paranoid against the western Allies and would certainly not have accepted their units on the Russian soil. He could have accepted to get the materials and let Russian soldiers use them. Another issue would be that the Allies would have had serious supply issues deep into Russia. If they had liberated territory along the border to e. g. Persia or Turkey these units could have been kept in supply. But units railed via Persia to e. g. the front in Belarus would completely have to rely upon Russian supply (oil, ammo etc.).

If you can't send your units to Russia then you have to at least use the units you want in a theatre where the UK forces actually fought.

We thought about allowing UK to surrender if London and Glasgow were captured, but that would have led to a premature defeat of the UK forces in the game. UK was in a much better position that Italy to fight on even if England was captured. They could produce units in Australia, India, South Africa, Canada, Egypt and so on. So CW would have survived even if England had been captured.

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Post by Peter Stauffenberg » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:50 pm

If we allow UK to surrender if Glasgow falls then you can be assured that Axis players would go all out to get UK out of the game. Sealion is actually easy enough to succeed with if you know how to do it. The main problem with Sealion is not that you fail with taking England, but that it takes too long to do it and get back to the continent to deal with Russia in 1941.

The entire situation would change dramatically if the Axis player could knock UK out of the game. That means they don't have to worry about British units in Egypt and Iraq. Britain can't produce new units in Canada and send them to Europe or north Africa to deal with the Axis there. No, Germany knows that the west is completely pacified until USA joins the Allies. That means they can easily take Iraq and be prepared to storm into Persia as soon as they attack Russia.

You can argue that this doesn't matter much because the production that used to get to UK will instead go to USA. That's not completely true because all new units have to be built by USA and that will drain the US manpower levels too much so the US units will struggle the same way as Germany. One of the strengths of the western Allies is that you spread the production on 2 independent countries so you manage to stay above 75% manpower for most of the game. Another issue is that all new units will have to be placed in USA and not in England. So it takes time until they can attack even if you manage to liberate England. You can't revive a fallen major power so liberating London won't help.

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