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Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow

 
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Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 6/29/2013 6:30:13 AM   
sealclubber

 

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sealclubber: Axis
Shadow: Allies

Pre-war builds taken. The standard Axis start is to attack Poland on turn 4. I did not disappoint.

OKH’s attack plan is a two week (turn) knock-out blow against Poland. Units from East Prussia will attempt to advance on Warsaw from the east, ideally reaching Warsaw within a week. Airborne forces will drop directly north-east of Warsaw to prevent Polish units stationed in the region from reinforcing the city. All mobile units will attack along the path of least resistance between Poznan and Danzig where a single Polish frontier corps stands between them and open terrain all the way to Warsaw. Infantry units will surround, but not attack Polish infantry units on the frontier from as many sides as possible to prevent the reinforcement of Warsaw.

< Message edited by sealclubber -- 6/29/2013 7:09:00 AM >
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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 6/29/2013 6:32:23 AM   
sealclubber

 

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Week One:

The attack through central Poland is a resounding success. The Polish blocking corps on the frontier is utterly crushed. German mobile forces advance across the countryside unmolested and infantry units surround frontier Polish infantry corps, in as much as was possible.

The attack out of East Prussia encountered extremely stiff resistance and did not result in a linkup with the airborne forces as was hoped, but such is war.

Week Two:

A couple of Polish corps who escaped the frontier encirclements setup a blocking position west of Warsaw. Unfortified, they were quickly brushed aside by German motorized infantry and Warsaw was assaulted four times. One, single, beaten down reserve corps is all that remained fortified in Warsaw by T+2, but the city remained under Polish control. The attack north-east of Warsaw linked up with the airborne forces ensuring no reinforcements would reach Warsaw from that quarter.






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< Message edited by sealclubber -- 6/29/2013 7:26:21 AM >

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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 6/29/2013 6:34:49 AM   
sealclubber

 

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Week Three:

Warsaw was taken after a final assault on the city. Goebbels announces to the German nation that 5 German soldiers were killed and 16 were wounded from combat during the campaign, including one with a broken nose inflicted by an enraged Polish housewife wielding a rolling pin.

Unreported by Goebbels, 14,823 German soldiers are MIA, believed to be the result of large-scale encounters with Poland’s top secret “wunderwaffe”:





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< Message edited by sealclubber -- 6/29/2013 7:35:56 AM >

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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 6/29/2013 6:35:36 AM   
sealclubber

 

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Meanwhile, the Soviet Union shows its true colors with an aggressive invasion of peace-loving Iran. At the Shah’s order, the Iranian army prepares for the Red Army onslaught:






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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 6/29/2013 6:51:55 AM   
sealclubber

 

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Shortly after the invasion of Iran, the Soviet Union declares war on Finland!

Finnish forces, expecting this attack, have already dug in along the frontier.

A bold Soviet commander sends tens of thousands of Red Army soldiers through the wilderness and badlands of Finland in an attempt to outflank Finnish forces north-east of the Mannerheim line:






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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 6/29/2013 6:59:16 AM   
sealclubber

 

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Iranian forces cling for life outside of Tehran:






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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 6/29/2013 7:07:47 AM   
sealclubber

 

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A suicidal attack by the Finnish bomber squad fails miserably and results in the unit's complete annihilation. Finnish frontier forces hold key choke points along the northern and central fronts, with the exception of Petsamo where Soviet forces have overwhelmed the garrison.

The "bold" Soviet commander attempting to outflank the Mannerheim line was summarily flown back to Moscow and shot for the egregious mistake of sending entire armies through the badlands without being able to supply them.

A Finnish brigade overruns a Soviet corps and completely traps another Soviet corps. The local Finnish commander, in an interview with a the Finnish Daily admits that the attack was militarily unnecessary but states that this was intended to be a message to Josef Stalin: "If you want Finland, you need to send at least 5 times more men and material."








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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/2/2013 7:08:26 AM   
Edwire

 

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Nice to see other EA game going. Eager to see more

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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/3/2013 5:06:06 AM   
sealclubber

 

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One Soviet corps is annihilated, starving in the badlands of Finland. The other Soviet forces hurriedly withdraw to their start positions with the exception of the successful Soviet seizure of Petsamo.

Otherwise, all quiet on the Finnish front.

Meanwhile, Iranian forces have been pushed back into Tehran. The Shah refuses to surrender and orders his army to fight to the death.






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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/3/2013 5:11:18 AM   
sealclubber

 

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The Western front has been quiet since the aggressive British and French declaration of war on Germany. Several air battles took place early on but otherwise little action.

OKH has been carrying out numerous wargames to identify the best way to end the war with the western powers quickly. Guderian warns of the "3.4 bug". OKH scratches its collective heads over what exactly that means, but trusting his judgment begins testing different concepts for the prosecution of the war.

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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/6/2013 5:07:18 PM   
sealclubber

 

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Thanks Edwire. I'm finding EA under 3.4 interesting. In a way, it's forced me to think a lot more about how to conduct campaigns. In the past as the Axis you could just use blunt force to blast your way through anything. Now fortified units present interesting challenges. It is a lot more "Sun Tzu" where the goal is to accomplish objectives with as little fighting as possible.


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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/6/2013 5:09:18 PM   
sealclubber

 

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After extensive wargames and planning, OKH settles on a plan. On Oct 14, 1939, the Wehrmacht will blitz into the Low Countries. The objectives:
1. Complete seizure of Belgium, Holland an Luxembourg.
2. Minimize casualties due to Guderian's nebulous "3.4 bug" warning.
3. Seize jumping off positions for the campaign against France to avoid attacking French troops with tired or spent units.
4. Gain the luxury of time to initiate attacks on France on a very limited, narrow scale.

It has become evident to OKH that attacking everywhere with everything is no longer wise. This may have been the way to proceed in parallel EA universes in the past, however current realities dictate the fewest possible attacks on fortified units to achieve desired outcomes. Support assets, limited as they are, must be be focused and applied in an overwhelming manner.

A debate rages within OKH about the merits of losing the element of surprise (70% Allied Shock) by attacking the Low Countries before Germany is totally prepared for war with France (Axis 175% Case Yellow shock bonus). However, it is thought that this tradeoff worth it as it would:

1. Allow the Wehrmacht the luxury of time to starve the Belgian Army into submission.
2. Enable the Wehrmacht to carefully and methodically probe French defences in 1939 to improve jumping off points for the main attack the following campaigning season.
3. Ensure that the Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine are fully rested and at 100% strength when the main attack on France begins.

The plan? Simply put, seal the fate of the Low Countries with 4 individual attacks:




1. Antwerp. Without Antwerp, Belgian forces will be starved of supply and be forced to abandon their fortifications. The capture of Antwerp is to be achieved with a combined airborne and sea-lifted assault force.
2. Amsterdam. The seat of power of the Netherlands - the capture of which will force the Dutch to capitulate.
3. This frontier division will be the first speed bump along the road to Amsterdam. OKH simulations suggest this unit has very low morale and will retreat (before combat) without much of a fight.
4. This Dutch corps will need to be properly assaulted as it blocks the road to Amsterdam.

By taking hex 1, 3 and 4 in the first week, the Allies will be presented with a fait accompli. The French will be unlikely to abandon their fortifications to assist the Belgian Army but if they do, they will be vulnerable to encirclement by Wehrmacht mobile forces rushing to the frontier. After numerous simulations, OKH is pleased with the plan. These wargames showed an extremely high probabilty of success putting Amsterdam to siege within a week and a greater than 50% probability of success taking Antwerp in the first week thus depriving the entire Belgian Army of supply.

To minimize any chance of the attack on Antwerp being derailed, Amsterdam will not be assaulted in the first week and left for week two.

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< Message edited by sealclubber -- 7/6/2013 6:32:57 PM >

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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/6/2013 5:10:07 PM   
sealclubber

 

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A successful outcome (from the best case OKH simulation) after the first week looks like so:




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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/6/2013 5:12:00 PM   
sealclubber

 

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Oct 14, 1939

Germany begins its blitz of the Low Countries. OKH attempts to put the plan into action:




What's missing? The paratroopers?!?!

Apparently General Student "didn't get the memo" that the attack was being launched because all of the paratroopers were getting drunk in a bar in Dusseldorf which doesn't have an airfield. OKH had to abort the assault on Antwerp and improvise.

Hitler orders General Student hung from a tree, shot and run over with a Buick (kudos if you get the reference).

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< Message edited by sealclubber -- 7/6/2013 5:21:54 PM >

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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/6/2013 5:12:50 PM   
sealclubber

 

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On the brighter side, the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine annihilate the Dutch war fleet. In addition, a bridge blowing campaign is conducted to hamper the French in any attempt to rapidly redeploy troops by rail. Furthermore many RAF fighters are shot down, however Luftwaffe intelligence reports these to be mostly obsolete models with no Hurricanes or Spitfires in sight.

In the North, the Finns come to realize that the Red Army has no further interest in advancing. Military intelligence suggests that Red Army commanders just wanted "free stuff". As such, Finnish troops begin advancing to Petsamo to test Red Army resolve. A small Soviet reconnaissance unit (HQ) is surrounded and destroyed and the northern force advances.

Meanwhile, the Persians manage to fend off the Red Army for another week. With the Red Army transfixed on events unfolding in the Low Countries, the Shah believes his troops will receive a couple of weeks to recuperate before the Red Army continues its assault on Tehran.






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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/6/2013 7:17:55 PM   
Telumar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sealclubber

Thanks Edwire. I'm finding EA under 3.4 interesting. In a way, it's forced me to think a lot more about how to conduct campaigns. In the past as the Axis you could just use blunt force to blast your way through anything. Now fortified units present interesting challenges. It is a lot more "Sun Tzu" where the goal is to accomplish objectives with as little fighting as possible.




+1 Ditto.

_____________________________


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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/9/2013 2:51:35 AM   
sealclubber

 

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Oct 21, 1939

The suddeness of the assault through the Low Countries paralyzes the Belgian and Dutch armies. This stroke of luck enables the Wehrmacht to achieve its desired outcomes (albeit delayed by a week) as planned. To the surprise of the local commander, Antwerp is seized after only a brief firefight. The demoralized Belgian troops retreat into Brussels. Fresh reserves occupy Antwerp and begin digging in...





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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/9/2013 2:52:19 AM   
sealclubber

 

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The Wehrmacht seizes supply dumps in Antwerp and the soldiers feast on waffles while the Belgian Army goes hungry:




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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/9/2013 2:52:36 AM   
sealclubber

 

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In the Netherlands, the Wehrmacht launches three successive assaults on Amsterdam with heavy Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine support. After putting up a valiant fight, the Dutch garrison melts away:




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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/9/2013 2:53:58 AM   
sealclubber

 

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OKH reports total casualties for the Low Countries campaign thus far to be ~3,000 (men, not squads) KIA. It is expected this will rise as the Belgian army is now surrounded and out of supply precluding mass assaults on surrounding German forces.

The Royal Navy has cut German iron ore supplies out of Narvik. Admiral Raeder consults with Hitler to discuss options and possible counter-measures. In other news, the Soviet Union invades the Baltic States. Cut off from outside supplies, soldiers defect en masse to the advancing Red Army. The Red Army, as expected does not continue its attack on Tehran.

Meanwhile, the RAF, now spoiling for a fight, deploys into aerodromes in south-eastern England and begins running CAP missions over the Low Countries. Major air battles occur during the attack on Amsterdam and Antwerp. Through sheer superiority of numbers, the Luftwaffe combat support missions are relatively unmolested. However in an ominous sign of things to come, fighter losses for both sides are very high and relatively equal:






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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/10/2013 5:56:34 AM   
sealclubber

 

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Nov 4, 1939

The Red Army launches assaults on Tehran for two weeks before the last Iranian soldiers are killed or wounded and Iran falls to COMINTERN aggression.

The Belgian Army, after being surrounded for two weeks finally sallies forth from fortifications and launch suicidal attacks on surrounding German forces.

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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/10/2013 6:00:50 AM   
sealclubber

 

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Nov 11, 1939

After easily defeating the Belgian attack, German forces tighten the pockets but do not assault them.

South-east of Dunkirk, weak French forces have launched an attack on a German motorized corps. This attack does negligible damage, but the French frontier divisions end the turn in mobile status. Always opportunistic, OKH seizes the moment to perform a reconnaissance in force.

In the Ardennes, German troops attack and defeat a French division guarding the frontier. A panzer corps advances and promptly encounters a wall of strongly fortified French units in all directions. The panzers dig in.

In the north, the unfortified French divisions is defeated and one additional frontier French division is defeated after being attacked on its flank. Along the coast, a probing attack into Dunkirk with point blank Kriegsmarine (and Luftwaffe) support fails as the entire French navy provides its own point blank fire support.

Just off the coast, the Wehrmacht launches a probe westward. The forces here are recently deployed and not fortified. What entrenchments the French have set up are destroyed, however the French hold firm and the turn ends before this can be exploited.

The RAF is putting up a major fight for air superiority over northern France. The Luftwaffe continues to maintain the advantage both in raw numbers and in loss ratios, however losses on both sides are very high.






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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/11/2013 5:26:24 AM   
sealclubber

 

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Nov 18, 1939

The French ship in reinforcements to the coastal areas, apparently unwilling to reinforce with local forces who have already fortified themselves. OKH senses weakness and pounces.

Spearheaded by a panzer corps and a motorized infantry corps and backed by every single aircraft in the Luftwaffe (including fighters moonlighting as attack aircraft), the Wehrmacht turns the westward probe into a major attack. After two successive assaults, four French divisions are forced to retreat.

The advancing mobile forces unexpectedly encounter open terrain. After a brief respite to consider the coming winter and the likely French response to a major advance, OKH decides to throw everything with wheels through the breach. The spearhead reaches and seizes Abbeville isolating a major French force along the ports of Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk though they remain supplied out of the port of Calais.

Airborne forces initiate an operation to seize a path to Paris before the French can react. The penetration has no operational width, but the Luftwaffe has firm control of the air and has been instructed to commit 100% to combat support operations. Further, the cream of the Wehrmacht (mobile/airborne) is holding the corridor.

The next week will be critical. If the Wehrmacht can hold the corridor and reinforce the airborne forces, Paris will be under direct threat. Other objectives will be to enlarge and secure the penetration corridor.

After achieving a breakthrough on the French front, OKH decides to assault Brussels sooner than planned to free up troops for the French campaign. The starved Belgians put up minimal resistance and Brussels is taken.






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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/14/2013 7:02:22 PM   
sealclubber

 

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Nov 25, 1939

Finnish Front:

After moving units towards Petsamo, Finnish GHQ studies the terrain and decides it unfavourable for an attack. Troops earmarked for the offensive are railed elsewhere.

In the "waist", a strong Finnish force outflanks frontier Soviet defenders. The goal will be to cut them off from supply and starve them into submission over the winter.






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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/14/2013 7:04:07 PM   
sealclubber

 

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French Front:

The attack has completely dislocated French forces. Realizing the gravity of the situation, the French high command withdraws their depth defenders towards Paris. The British reinforce Dieppe with a Territorial Corps by sea.

French forces counter-attack the airborne forces, severely damaging the airborne division parked in the suburbs or Paris and evaporating the airborne division protecting its northern flank. Further north, the British Territorial Corps with support from the Royal Navy and (presumably) RAF assault the 7 Flieger division holding the port south-east of Dieppe, forcing them to retreat into Abbeville. Shortly thereafter, the remnants of 7 Flieger board transport aircraft and airdrop onto the SS Para Division to reinforce their position outside of Paris. Still, the Fueher is pleased with the valour displayed by the airborne forces and forgives them for getting drunk in the bar in Dusseldorf while the rest of the army was invading.. I mean launching a defensive counter-attack against Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg.

The French forces isolated in the north, along with French forces in the south launch attacks on the corridor. The motorized and panzer forces defending the corridor repulse the attacks.

Positions at the start of the week:




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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/14/2013 7:06:25 PM   
sealclubber

 

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OKH has one objective this week - secure the penetration and put Paris under direct threat once again. To this end, assaults will be launched northwards to secure that flank of the penetration as well as southwards wherever there are weaknesses or unfortified troops. The airborne position in the suburbs or Paris needs to be reinforced. A secondary objective will be to expand contact with Paris to enable it to be assaulted from multiple sides. Traffic control becomes a seriously involved exercise as OKH attempts to maximize the number of German combat personnel that can advance.

Combats mostly go favourably as they're in open terrain against unfortified defenders with major Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine support. The breakthrough is secured. Infantry units begin catching up and begin reinforcing the breach while mobile forces press onwards to reinforce the airborne forces and expand the breakthrough. The airborne units are reinforced by two panzer corps, however the secondary objective of expanding contact with Paris could not be achieved.








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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/16/2013 3:15:09 AM   
sealclubber

 

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December 2, 1939

Finnish Front:

The Finnish encirclement is complete. The Soviet 7th Army is completely surrounded while the Finnish I Corps presses onward to find some Red Army soldiers to fight.






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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/16/2013 3:17:06 AM   
sealclubber

 

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French Front:

Allied forces begin evacuating some units out of the Calais pocket by sea to reinforce the forces fighting at Dieppe. However, it appears that Allied GHQ is content to leave these pockets of resistance behind German lines. It soon becomes evident why. From their anchorage in port, French and British naval units begin a massive shelling campaign on nearby airfields, wiping out two fighter wings and damaging others. Fortunately, German industry has been well ahead of the game on the fighter front and the fighter wings should be able to reconstitute shortly.

OKH sets out to encircle Paris from the West in preparation for an assault. Mobile units begin fanning out to ensure a wide berth for the continued encirclement operation. Panzer units attack and seize a weakly defended suburb of Paris, cross the Seine river and attack French units positioned south-west of the city.

German units launch an assault on Calais in an effort to deprive the northern pocket of supply. This attack is repulsed and the pocket remains a thorn in the side of OKH.

Finally, the Kriegsmarine takes a page from the Allied playbook and bombards RAF aerodromes south west of London in a coordinated attack with Luftwaffe bombers. Some losses are inflicted on RAF units, but nothing worth writing home about.







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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/18/2013 5:19:33 AM   
sealclubber

 

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December 9, 1939

The harsh winter forecasted has yet to set in and fighting continues.

Finnish Front:

Finland's I Corps push onwards and cuts the Murmansk rail line, forcing a Soviet front HQ still in its rail cars to flee. The secondary objective, to test the mettle of the Red Army, will undoubtedly come true. Stalin seems rather pissed off, judging by the size of the force he sent to the area:




(Stalin is probably pissed because the Finns moved to outflank 7th Army right at the start of the last turn before the Germans proceeded to initiate hundreds of moves. By the time Stalin absorbed all of the German movements, he seems to have forgotten about the Finnish outflanking maneuver, thus the slow response and the Finns being able to cut the rail line.)



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RE: Europe Aflame 2012 AAR: sealclubber vs Shadow - 7/18/2013 5:21:50 AM   
sealclubber

 

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French Front:

French GHQ begins shipping colonial forces back to France proper. OKH considers assaulting Paris now, however the Luftwaffe is running on fumes and infantry has not yet caught up in sufficient strength to initiate the assault. Furthermore, OKH feels it can "surprise" the French in 1940 (aka Case Yellow) to conduct a much more successful attack on Paris. With that in mind OKH opts to continue the encirclement of Paris, in particular because the French forces redeploying to meet the German wheeling movement are unfortified and largely in open terrain - effectively speed bumps for the elite mobile units of the Wehrmacht.

The Wehrmacht attacks into the open terrain directly to the south of Paris. Aside from additional positioning to assault Paris, this will prevent any a French counter-attack on the flanks of German units making it into the city center. The French shuffle units out of and into Arras. OKH seizes the opportunity to assault the defenders and improve overall movement in the corridor as well as the supply situation. Despite being assaulted on its flanksby three fresh German infantry corps (and a motorized artilery division) the French corps stubbornly holds its position through three waves of attacks before finally retreating. Still, Arras is taken. OKH judges the losses acceptable for what was gained.




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