AAR - Delaying the Inevitable Alternate Reality [finished]

After action reports for Commander Europe at War.

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davidjwest
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AAR - Delaying the Inevitable Alternate Reality [finished]

Post by davidjwest » Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:00 am

Using the GS Mod - I'm going to try something different.

One reason I think the Germans lost the war is that they started it too early. Delaying the war by a year or two, or even more would solve a lot of their problems:

Advantages:

1. Technology - German tanks weren't actually very good at the start of the war and so by waiting until the Panther becomes available in large numbers they will have the edge in combat, even against the T-34.

2. Oil - Germany really suffered a lot due to oil shortages, Hitler had expected a short war but of course that never happened. By delaying the war oil stockpiles can be built up to allow a longer campaign if necessary and more time to capture new supplies.

3. Manpower - Germany ran out of people to fill its ranks. By delaying the way there will be a larger pool to draw reinforcements from and also with higher technology losses should be reduced in any case.

5. Fighting on two and three fronts - Germany had a serious problem as they had to fight, or at least consider fighting on multiple fronts. By delaying the war they can capture Poland and then press on into Russia immediately.

Disadvantages:

1. Russia is weak in the 1930s due to Stalin's purges. They will have time to build up a better, bigger and more effective fighting force for when the Germans do invade.

2. Allies - there's the chance the allies might attack Germany even if it hasn't actually started the war.

Using the above ideas I have withdrawn the German subs back into the Baltic and concentrated purely on research, here's how it looks at the end of 1939:

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Not much to report, Russia takes up the East of Poland while the Poles just sit back and watch.

Allies declare war on Germany but do nothing - some things never change!

Plan is to keep researching for at least 1940, see how things develop.
Last edited by davidjwest on Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

davidjwest
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Post by davidjwest » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:07 pm

It's now May 1942 - The allies have thrown the odd bomber raid against the Ruhr and the French have attacked Italy but not been able to breakthrough.

I have used this wanton aggression as pretext to send the submarine wolf packs out hunting in the Atlantic and we have sunk a number of allied ships. Two new submarine fleets have been dispatched to help and 3 battleships, 1 carrier and 5 allied destroyers now sit at the bottom.

Here's the current technological status:

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The poles have strengthened their grip on Warsaw and launched the odd raid against German forces around Konigsberg:

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Funnily enough, we got a German partisan unit from Poland!

Russia has at last decided to join the Allies, but no attacks yet. I suppose having Poland as a buffer zone may have confused Stalin somewhat but no attacks against Hungary or Romania either.

I've decided it's time to begin building more Armoured and Mech (plus a few Corps) as we've got the Panzer IV available now. New leaders are also recruited but we will wait to see if we can hold off attacking until early 1943.

davidjwest
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Post by davidjwest » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:24 pm

Spoke too soon, the Russians have attacked along the borders with Romania and Hungary although not in any great force and there are largely contained.

However, they manage to caputure Konigsberg which means my divisions there are without supply so we attack through Danzig to ensure they get resupplied.

Guderian, Manstein and Rommel are recruited and placed with the Panzer divisions ready to take the fight East. Six armoured and six Mechanised divisions will be ready soon for their command.

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The Italians manage to push back the French in the south and with the help of a couple of Hungarian divisions may be able to capture Marseille.

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Post by davidjwest » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:44 pm

Here's a look at the Italian/Franco front:

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The Italians are pushing the French slowly back with help from the Hungarians.

The Polish front is looking interesting as the Germans counter-attack with the Poles getting in the way somewhat!

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We've managed to encircle a Russian armoured division, but we desperately need the 6 armoured divisions under construction, these should arrive next turn and we'll also be able to move the 6 new mechanised divisions into the battle too.

Crazygunner1
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Post by Crazygunner1 » Sun Jul 24, 2011 2:00 am

Nice theory, i suspect you are playing against the computer?
Though it must be much better to knock out france and just assemble strenght towards russia.

kvadra
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Post by kvadra » Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:47 am

Point 5 in your prelude doesn't quite match up with your game.
You are absolutely right, the worst scenario for Germany is a two-front war. In your game, the Italians hold the west front, but they still need help from the Germans or other allies to keep the French out. The French themselves won't attack Belgium until at least '43.
I support your theory about Barbarossa, but not so much against France and Britain. France gives you important PPs, and Britain develops good ASW tech in a couple of years.

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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:30 am

Yes, both right, against the computer and I am learning things that would make me modify my approach in future. I think the basic theory is sound though so will post another if there is any interest.

I didn't take France as I wanted to avoid D Day but that probably won't be a problem in the timescales I'm thinking.

So, will continue this one and then do a modified version later, thanks for the comments.

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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:53 am

September 1942:

The Italian Front, advancing slowly.

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We've taken Warsaw at last and will need to upgrade the armoured divisions as the Panther is now available. Three Russian armoured divs destroyed this turn.

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We need more subs and fighters, so another couple of each ordered.

Manpower and oil looking fine still, enough for at least two years fighting.

kvadra
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Post by kvadra » Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:56 am

A comment on D-day: If France is active, D-day will happen two years earlier. See my "AAR" against a human opponent.
Image

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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:17 am

Ah, didn't realise that, thanks for the advice!

We've knocked a few more Russian units out around Warsaw where the fighting is fierce:

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And further south isolated another Russian:

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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:41 am

November 4th 1942:

Starting to thin the Russian forces in the Northern Sector:

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We need to regroup before launching a major push, it's mud at the moment so when we get winter will probably pause for a while.

Progress not so quick around the Centre:

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The Italian front, more advances made:

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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:05 pm

After waiting for the Winter to finish, operation Barbarossa will launch in 1943. The weather has improved and May 3rd 1943 is the day that the operation will launch.

We've used the Winter period to resupply and upgrade our forces and the operation will have the following elements, with the initial objectives as follows:

Model will command Army Group South, based around Constantina - he has been given 4 armoured divisions, fielding the new Panther tank, with 2 mechanised divisions and one Corps. Also he has support in the form of one Stuka and one FW190 squadron.

Model will push towards Odessa capturing it along with Chisinau before heading North to link up with Army Group Centre at Vinnitsa. This will encircle much of the Russian forces in the South. Model will have command of the Romanian, Hungary and Bulgarian forces to help hold any exposed flanks and to liquidate any encircled Russian forces.

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The Northern part of this pincer, centered on Vinnitsa will be commanded by Manstein, who will be given 4 armoured divisions, two mechanised divisions and 3 corps, supported by two Stuka and one FW190 wing.

Manstein will push East to capture Brest-Litovsk before swinging South East to Vinnitsa.

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Holding Manstein's Southern flank is Rommel, supported by two armoured, three mechanised divisions and 4 corps with two figher wings.

Rommel will exploit any weakness in the Russian lines but his main objective will be to capture Lvov and support Manstein's push while defending his Southern flank.

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Finally, in Army Group North we have Rundstedt. The Russian forces are very strong in this sector and so he will be tasked with attacking where the opportunity presents itself and holding Mansteins Northern flank. He only has two armoured divisions, one mechanised division and one corps with one fighter wing. It is expected he can be reinforced if the other advances go well enough.

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Barbarossa - 1943:

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davidjwest
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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:16 pm

Model's attack is fairly successful as he breaks through the Russian lines and over the river, destroying one Russian infantry unit and badly damaging an armoured and infantry unit. Losses are light so far.

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Further North, Manstein does well to get to the gates of Brest Litovsk while Rommel closes in on Lvov, but losses are higher.

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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:35 pm

May 23rd 1943:

Model captures Odessa, wiping out two Russian armies in the process, an armoured and infantry.

The road North to Vinnitsa is clear, but he may wait to resupply before pushing on.

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In the North progress is slower, Manstein might be able to take Brest Litovsk soon but Rommel is encountering heavy resistance in the form of 3 Russian armoured divisions:

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Rundstedt had some success in his slow drive to liberate Konigsberg.

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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:08 pm

June 12th 1943

Model has had stunning success in the South, wiping out another Russian armoured division and infantry division and capturing Chisinau. Another Russian army is encircled and progress has been swift, but perhaps Model has left himself exposed. We will need to pause a while to allow the support units to catch up and we can resupply while this happens.

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In the centre Manstein and Rommel grind onwards, progress is slow but steady. Losses are mounting so that it is likely we'll need to call a halt soon to allow units to be resupplied and losses to be made good. One of the Russian armoured divisions was eliminated and that was quite crucial.

Model's progress has been so swift that he may end up attacking the Russians in the rear to help close the pocket.

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Rundstedt is now making some progress too with his intelligent attacks, the Russian forces are looking thin on the ground, apart from their air force!

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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:37 pm

July 2nd 1943:

Model has had to slow down the advance as expected and this gives the Russians a bit of a chance to strengthen the defences around Vinnitsa, but our forces are also stronger now. Time for the final push soon.

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Manstein and Rommel move slowly forward again, losses mounting but Brest-Litovsk is now half-encircled and may fall soon.

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Rundstedt is moving even slower but now threatens Konigsberg, but it is unlikely he will have the forces to take it for a while yet.

German reserves are now low, we are struggling to replace losses.

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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:27 pm

July 22nd 1943:

Model has done well and now encircles his objective.

Lvov has fallen to Rommel and Brest-Litovsk will fall soon, both Central Army Groups have taken more serious losses however.

Image

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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:06 pm

August 11th 1943

Model and Manstein are almost linked, 30 Russian divisions stand to be trapped!

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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:20 pm

August 31st 1943

An historic day! Army Group South, led by Model and Army Group Centre, led by Manstein, link up and encircle 33 Russian divisions!

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In the North Russian defences are solidifying and so the possibility of advancing North through Kiev to try another encirclement is a tactic with some merit.

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Post by davidjwest » Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:36 pm

September 20th 1943

Manstein seizes Kiev and pushes on to Gomel. The problem now is supporting units cannot keep up but with Winter coming it will be time to pause and resupply soon.

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Supplies are critical and we are still unable to make up losses but there is sufficient to keep the army in good condition, it is the Kriegsmarine who are being left to fend for themselves in the Atlantic.

Other fronts are generally fairly quiet.

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