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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/9/2019 1:15:48 AM   
rkr1958


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The Med. End of the Phony War. May/June 1940.




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Ronnie

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/9/2019 1:26:40 AM   
rkr1958


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Southern France. Northern Italy. The End of the Phony War. May/June 1940.

France and Great Britain wonder what Italy's intentions are. The Italian ambassadors in Paris and London ensure respective governments that their intentions are purely defensive.

Hitler wonders what Mussolini's intentions are and hopes that whatever the el duce decides to do that is doesn't get in the way of Case Yellow.

April 30th, 1940. The orders are passed down from the Fuhrer to OKW then to OKH, OKM & OKL and finally to the commanders in the field ...

Case Yellow ... Commence Operations ... Wednesday, May 1, 1940, 0430 hours.




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Ronnie

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/9/2019 12:18:57 PM   
Courtenay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

The Phoney War.

(03)JF40. The axis win the initiative and elect to move second.

(03)JF40. Allied #1.

The British 2nd BEF, which was returned to base (in England) at the conclusion of last turn, is put back to sea on transports in the North Sea.

(03)JF40. Axis #4.

OKW has, however, pointed out a third option that guarantees Rotterdam which is to invade and conquer Holland on the last impulse of the turn. If this is achieved then all of Holland, including Rotterdam, will surrender to Germans during the conquest phase at the end of the turn. Though still unoccupied if the allies move first next turn, the only means for the English to capture Rotterdam is through amphibious invasion. Since the only amphibious capability the Brits would (currently) have is the 2nd Inf division, any attempt to do so would be suicide since the 2nd division would be heavily outnumber by 4 regiments (i.e., notionals) that Germany would have be able to "move" in during last turn's surrender of Holland.

So, option 3 to take Holland and secure Rotterdam is a "sure thing" except for one major flaw, no matter the impulse if any action other that a pass is taken, there's a chance that the turn will continue. For example, for this current impulse (axis #10), there's "only" a 40% chance that the turn will end. This means that if the Germans were to invade Holland this impulse that there's a 60% chance that the Brits would be able to occupy Rotterdam in force. 60% by any reasonable standard is too high of a risk to invade Holland this impulse.

However, if the axis were to get another impulse this turn, max probability=0.6*0.3=0.18 and min probability=0.6*0.1=0.06, and if only Germany took a non-pass option then there would be a 90% chance that the turn would end on that impulse. So to Thus, there's somewhere between 6 to 18% chance that Germany will get another impulse. And if they do, there's a 90% that they can conquer Holland and secure Rotterdam this impulse.

Whether or not that 90% is acceptable, we'll never know. The turn ended at the conclusion of this impulse. And with the II FRJ corps available to Germany next turn, option 3 for the conquest of Holland is now pretty much mute.


If the Germans adopted this plan, and the turn ended, they would be in for a very nasty surprise when the 2nd BEF returned to base to Rotterdam during the Return to Base step, which is before the Conquest step.

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/9/2019 1:50:07 PM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Courtenay


quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

The Phoney War.

(03)JF40. The axis win the initiative and elect to move second.

(03)JF40. Allied #1.

The British 2nd BEF, which was returned to base (in England) at the conclusion of last turn, is put back to sea on transports in the North Sea.

(03)JF40. Axis #4.

OKW has, however, pointed out a third option that guarantees Rotterdam which is to invade and conquer Holland on the last impulse of the turn. If this is achieved then all of Holland, including Rotterdam, will surrender to Germans during the conquest phase at the end of the turn. Though still unoccupied if the allies move first next turn, the only means for the English to capture Rotterdam is through amphibious invasion. Since the only amphibious capability the Brits would (currently) have is the 2nd Inf division, any attempt to do so would be suicide since the 2nd division would be heavily outnumber by 4 regiments (i.e., notionals) that Germany would have be able to "move" in during last turn's surrender of Holland.

So, option 3 to take Holland and secure Rotterdam is a "sure thing" except for one major flaw, no matter the impulse if any action other that a pass is taken, there's a chance that the turn will continue. For example, for this current impulse (axis #10), there's "only" a 40% chance that the turn will end. This means that if the Germans were to invade Holland this impulse that there's a 60% chance that the Brits would be able to occupy Rotterdam in force. 60% by any reasonable standard is too high of a risk to invade Holland this impulse.

However, if the axis were to get another impulse this turn, max probability=0.6*0.3=0.18 and min probability=0.6*0.1=0.06, and if only Germany took a non-pass option then there would be a 90% chance that the turn would end on that impulse. So to Thus, there's somewhere between 6 to 18% chance that Germany will get another impulse. And if they do, there's a 90% that they can conquer Holland and secure Rotterdam this impulse.

Whether or not that 90% is acceptable, we'll never know. The turn ended at the conclusion of this impulse. And with the II FRJ corps available to Germany next turn, option 3 for the conquest of Holland is now pretty much mute.


If the Germans adopted this plan, and the turn ended, they would be in for a very nasty surprise when the 2nd BEF returned to base to Rotterdam during the Return to Base step, which is before the Conquest step.

Excellent point! Didn't think that through. Though, this would put a significant portion of Great Britain's sea lift within port-strike distance of German bombers.

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/9/2019 4:29:35 PM   
Centuur


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958


quote:

ORIGINAL: Courtenay


quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

The Phoney War.

(03)JF40. The axis win the initiative and elect to move second.

(03)JF40. Allied #1.

The British 2nd BEF, which was returned to base (in England) at the conclusion of last turn, is put back to sea on transports in the North Sea.

(03)JF40. Axis #4.

OKW has, however, pointed out a third option that guarantees Rotterdam which is to invade and conquer Holland on the last impulse of the turn. If this is achieved then all of Holland, including Rotterdam, will surrender to Germans during the conquest phase at the end of the turn. Though still unoccupied if the allies move first next turn, the only means for the English to capture Rotterdam is through amphibious invasion. Since the only amphibious capability the Brits would (currently) have is the 2nd Inf division, any attempt to do so would be suicide since the 2nd division would be heavily outnumber by 4 regiments (i.e., notionals) that Germany would have be able to "move" in during last turn's surrender of Holland.

So, option 3 to take Holland and secure Rotterdam is a "sure thing" except for one major flaw, no matter the impulse if any action other that a pass is taken, there's a chance that the turn will continue. For example, for this current impulse (axis #10), there's "only" a 40% chance that the turn will end. This means that if the Germans were to invade Holland this impulse that there's a 60% chance that the Brits would be able to occupy Rotterdam in force. 60% by any reasonable standard is too high of a risk to invade Holland this impulse.

However, if the axis were to get another impulse this turn, max probability=0.6*0.3=0.18 and min probability=0.6*0.1=0.06, and if only Germany took a non-pass option then there would be a 90% chance that the turn would end on that impulse. So to Thus, there's somewhere between 6 to 18% chance that Germany will get another impulse. And if they do, there's a 90% that they can conquer Holland and secure Rotterdam this impulse.

Whether or not that 90% is acceptable, we'll never know. The turn ended at the conclusion of this impulse. And with the II FRJ corps available to Germany next turn, option 3 for the conquest of Holland is now pretty much mute.


If the Germans adopted this plan, and the turn ended, they would be in for a very nasty surprise when the 2nd BEF returned to base to Rotterdam during the Return to Base step, which is before the Conquest step.

Excellent point! Didn't think that through. Though, this would put a significant portion of Great Britain's sea lift within port-strike distance of German bombers.


True, but Rotterdam is a very good hex to defend for the CW. Put a couple of BB's and cruisers with the TRS to provide AA fire and to absorp losses. And if there is a FTR in the North Sea, rebase it into Rotterdam too...

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/9/2019 10:44:04 PM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Centuur


quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958


quote:

ORIGINAL: Courtenay


quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

The Phoney War.

(03)JF40. The axis win the initiative and elect to move second.

(03)JF40. Allied #1.

The British 2nd BEF, which was returned to base (in England) at the conclusion of last turn, is put back to sea on transports in the North Sea.

(03)JF40. Axis #4.

OKW has, however, pointed out a third option that guarantees Rotterdam which is to invade and conquer Holland on the last impulse of the turn. If this is achieved then all of Holland, including Rotterdam, will surrender to Germans during the conquest phase at the end of the turn. Though still unoccupied if the allies move first next turn, the only means for the English to capture Rotterdam is through amphibious invasion. Since the only amphibious capability the Brits would (currently) have is the 2nd Inf division, any attempt to do so would be suicide since the 2nd division would be heavily outnumber by 4 regiments (i.e., notionals) that Germany would have be able to "move" in during last turn's surrender of Holland.

So, option 3 to take Holland and secure Rotterdam is a "sure thing" except for one major flaw, no matter the impulse if any action other that a pass is taken, there's a chance that the turn will continue. For example, for this current impulse (axis #10), there's "only" a 40% chance that the turn will end. This means that if the Germans were to invade Holland this impulse that there's a 60% chance that the Brits would be able to occupy Rotterdam in force. 60% by any reasonable standard is too high of a risk to invade Holland this impulse.

However, if the axis were to get another impulse this turn, max probability=0.6*0.3=0.18 and min probability=0.6*0.1=0.06, and if only Germany took a non-pass option then there would be a 90% chance that the turn would end on that impulse. So to Thus, there's somewhere between 6 to 18% chance that Germany will get another impulse. And if they do, there's a 90% that they can conquer Holland and secure Rotterdam this impulse.

Whether or not that 90% is acceptable, we'll never know. The turn ended at the conclusion of this impulse. And with the II FRJ corps available to Germany next turn, option 3 for the conquest of Holland is now pretty much mute.


If the Germans adopted this plan, and the turn ended, they would be in for a very nasty surprise when the 2nd BEF returned to base to Rotterdam during the Return to Base step, which is before the Conquest step.

Excellent point! Didn't think that through. Though, this would put a significant portion of Great Britain's sea lift within port-strike distance of German bombers.


True, but Rotterdam is a very good hex to defend for the CW. Put a couple of BB's and cruisers with the TRS to provide AA fire and to absorp losses. And if there is a FTR in the North Sea, rebase it into Rotterdam too...
Yes. That would be too much firepower for the Luftwaffe to contend with and for the Germans to count on as a threat to deter the Brits from using this tactic. Thanks to you and Courtenay pointing out the flaw in my thinking there. That would have been a real surprise to get hit with this, RTB tactic, when not expecting it. Now, that I'm aware of it I can "better", more correctly, evaluate the risk of a late turn invasion.


< Message edited by rkr1958 -- 1/9/2019 10:45:44 PM >


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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/10/2019 10:17:11 AM   
ssiviour

 

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Each to their own opinion, but I don't consider Rotterdam a very good Hex to defend at all. Wrong side of the River and at the Extremes of CW FTR range. A determined German combinimg AC and Subs backed up with strong ART can make it down right costly for precious few CW units.

Antwerp, however, is far Superior.


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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/10/2019 12:31:08 PM   
Courtenay


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ssiviour

Each to their own opinion, but I don't consider Rotterdam a very good Hex to defend at all. Wrong side of the River and at the Extremes of CW FTR range. A determined German combinimg AC and Subs backed up with strong ART can make it down right costly for precious few CW units.

Antwerp, however, is far Superior.



We are assuming that Belgium is neutral. Holding Rotterdam prevents Brussels being ZOCed out in one impulse. And until Germany DOWs Belgium, Rotterdam is completely behind a river. Holding Rotterdam lets the Allies grab the Dyle line, which can really slow down the German advance, and/or force the use of an O-chit to crack it.

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/11/2019 7:59:52 PM   
rkr1958


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Turn 5. May/June 1940. Western Front. Blitzkrieg.

Axis #1.Germany "declares war" on Belgium, which produces a 1-chit added to the US Germany/Italy entry pool.




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Ronnie

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/11/2019 8:47:54 PM   
Courtenay


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With the Netherlands already conquered, there is no good Belgian setup. However, I think that putting both Belgian INF in Antwerp is less bad than what you did. The problem with your setup is that it lets three German stacks attack the two units, whereas only two stacks can attack if both INF are in Antwerp. Putting both INF in Antwerp has the disadvantage that they are concentrated for German air strikes, but making the Germans use up air units on the Belgians is a good thing. I think the Germans will have to use less air against the spread out forces. Also, putting both units in Antwerp increases the chances of a disastrous Germans result, because then the Germans would have to kill two units, or face the Allies holding the Dyle line. There is almost no chance of that happening if the INF are spread out. The odds of holding the Dyle if they are together is low, but ensuring it doesn't happen requires a fair amount of German air power.

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/11/2019 10:16:18 PM   
rkr1958


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Turn 5. May/June 1940. Axis #1. Blitzkrieg of Belgium.

OKH (army) in coordination with OKL (air force) devise a plan to capture Liege, Antwerp, Brussels and the Ardense forest hex at [54,32], which is directly northeast of Reims and west of the Maas river, before the British or French have any time to react (i.e., on the surprise impulse).

(1) The Ardense forest hex [54,32] will be captured using the II Para corps to drop into that hex and be supported in land combat against the single regiment (i.e., notional) defending by two corps and a division attacking from the hex directly east. This will be an automatic result and give the Wehrmacht a bridgehead west of the Maas river.

(2) Liege, Belgium will be assaulted with overwhelming force which will easily overcome in an automatic attack.

This leaves Antwerp and Brussels. Because of the bottleneck entering Belgium the Wehrmacht (alone) is only able to get 19 land combat factors against the 4 Belgium factors defending Antwerp and 36 against the 5 defending Brussels. Furthermore, the Wehrmacht will not be able to negate the -1 city modifier for Antwerp and will only be able to negate 1 of the -2 (city & factory) modifiers for Brussels. So this puts the initial land combat odds, prior to any help from the Luftwaffe, at +8.5 for the assault on Antwerp and +13.4 for Brussels. Both odds are way too low this early in the turn and at the start of Case Yellow. For an +8.5 assault (Antwerp), PWIN is only 87.5% and the chance of the attackers staying fully organized is only 24.5%. For Brussels at +13.4, while PWIN in 100% the chance of staying fully organized is 67.2%. Also, the chance of taking losses in the two attacks at those initial odds are 55% and 22.6%, respectively.

Goering and his Luftwaffe (OKL) has allocated four bomber and one fighter/bomber air flotilla to these attacks. These air flotillas have tactical factors of 3,3,4,5,5. During the surprise impulse these factors are doubled for ground support and ground strikes get two tries against each target. A successful ground strike will provide no more than +2 (i.e., 1 unit disorganized) to the land combats against Antwerp or Brussels. Even given two tries with a 5 factor bomber there's still a 25% chance that the ground strike will miss. On the other had, even using a lower 3 factor plan for ground support, which has its factor doubled to 6, that plane would provide a +3 modifier to the assault on Antwerp and +2.4 to the assault on Brussels. These modifiers are 100% (i.e., a sure thing). Now, if used in a ground strike this 3 factor plane would have only a 51% chance of providing +2 to the land combat. So in this instance using the allocated planes in ground support is no doubt superior to using any of them for ground strikes. Also, ground support uses no air missions meaning that the left over air missions can be used to rebase fighters to the new front lines to cover the spearheads.

Specific to these two attacks and the surprise impulse OKH developed two linear equation which they and OKL used for allocating the five available air flotillas as ground support to the Antwerp and Brussels attack.

For Brussels, ODDS = 2*{[36 + min(2*GS,36)]/5} - 1 and for Antwerp, ODDS = {[19 + min(2*GS,19)]/2} - 1

Ideally, for assault minimum odds of +21 provide for automatic victory without the chance for any losses or disorganization. However, as you shall see, that wasn't quite possible for both remaining land combats.

(3) Brussels. 3 air flotillas with tactical factors of 3,3,4 were assigned to ground support for Brussels. These factors, which were doubled to 20, provided an additional +8 and gave final assault odds of +21.4. The attack on Brussels is automatic without chance of loss or disorganization.

(4) Antwerp. The remaining 2 air flotillas, with tactical factors 5,5, were assigned to ground support for Antwerp. These factors, which were doubled to 20 but limited to 19 (i.e., constrained by the total number of (modified) land factors attacking) provided an additional +9.5 and gave final assault odds of +18. While with three attacking units this ensured a PWIN=100%, there was a 4% chance of taking a loss and a 6% of not staying fully organized. However, the attackers roll a 15, which gives a final result of 33. All is well.




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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/11/2019 10:22:04 PM   
rkr1958


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Turn 5. May/June 1940. Axis #1. Case Yellow.

Belgium refugees stream west out of Belgium into France, clogging the roads.

von Leeb is used to reorganized a 5 factor Stuka air flotilla in von Rundstedt's hex and 3 Luftwaffe fighter flotillas are rebased to front line, or near front line, hexes.




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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/11/2019 10:24:32 PM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Courtenay

With the Netherlands already conquered, there is no good Belgian setup. However, I think that putting both Belgian INF in Antwerp is less bad than what you did. The problem with your setup is that it lets three German stacks attack the two units, whereas only two stacks can attack if both INF are in Antwerp. Putting both INF in Antwerp has the disadvantage that they are concentrated for German air strikes, but making the Germans use up air units on the Belgians is a good thing. I think the Germans will have to use less air against the spread out forces. Also, putting both units in Antwerp increases the chances of a disastrous Germans result, because then the Germans would have to kill two units, or face the Allies holding the Dyle line. There is almost no chance of that happening if the INF are spread out. The odds of holding the Dyle if they are together is low, but ensuring it doesn't happen requires a fair amount of German air power.

Yes ... I contemplated a bit about the setup for settling on it. I can honestly say that would have been the setup I'd used if I were playing against another person. But, as you point out, still doesn't make it the best setup.

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/11/2019 10:25:59 PM   
rkr1958


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Turn 5. May/June 1940. Axis #1. Mussolini.

Western Med & Neutral Italy - is this a bluff or is this real?




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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/11/2019 10:30:34 PM   
Orm


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

(1) The Ardense forest hex [54,32] will be captured using the II Para corps to drop into that hex and be supported in land combat against the single regiment (i.e., notional) defending by two corps and a division attacking from the hex directly east. This will be an automatic result and give the Wehrmacht a bridgehead west of the Maas river.


Why didn't the Allies, or rather Belgians, decline the notional in the Ardennes forest (54,32)? Then it would just have been a German paratrooper in the hex. A nice target for a French counterattack.

France would have had 4 hexes against 4 factors in defence. And use up a lot of Luftwaffe assets to double that. And even with German air doubling the defenders I suspect that the attack would have been 5:1 blitz, with a chance on 6:1.

I know it wouldn't have been a sure thing but having a +10, or more, blitz against valuable German assets, and shortening the defensive line for France seems like a fun thing to do to the Germans, even with the risk of getting disorganized.

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/11/2019 10:33:35 PM   
rkr1958


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Turn 5. May/June 1940. Defense in Depth.

Allied #2. Of great discussion and debate, sometime heated, between the French and British allies, was whether or not to remain with their pre-war plan of moving into Belgium if the Germans invaded. In the end the French won out and two French armies (6 corps) march into Belgium. Also, the French in the north, against a belligerent German, form a defense in depth and ensure that every front-line hex is manned by at least 2 corps but often 2 corps and a division.

In the south facing a neutral Italy, Italy deploys an army on the border consisting of territorials, reservists and the elite Alpine mountain division.




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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/11/2019 11:16:39 PM   
rkr1958


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Turn 5. May/June 1940. Allied #2.

CW Naval. To the utter disbelief and total frustration of the French, who are boldly sending two full armies into Belgium directly against the Nazi's, Great Britain takes a naval.

North Sea. In the North Sea, two RN forces are sent out. Force N4 consisting of the CV Ark Royal, BB's Hoods and Repulse, CA Kent and 7 destroyers move out to the 4-box. Force N3 consisting of the CVL Eagle, BB's Resolution, Valiant and Warspite, CA Cornwall, 9 destroyers and three (empty) transport groups move out to the 3-box and join quite a sizable French force already operating there. The objective for these forces is to maintain control of the North Sea, continue the blockade of Kiel (not many KM ships left though) and provide support to allied troops on the Coast.

Great Britain's Lifeline. The CW also used their naval to send out ASW patrols into the Atlantic and ASW and SCS patrols into the Med to guard their valuable convoys and maintain their control over vital sea lanes. The table in the bottom right is a tally produced at Whitehall and used to set RN patrols in the Atlantic and Med. The definition of 8 table columns are:

(1) Sea areas (eleven). Bay of Biscay (BoB), North Atlantic (N. Atl), East Med (E. Med), Cape St. Vincent (CSV), Cape Verde Basin (CVB), Faeores Gap (F. Gap), East Coast (E. Coast), Gulf of Guinea (G. Guinea), Caribbean and Mouth of the Amazons (MOA).

(2) # CW/FR CPs = total number of CW and French CP's.

(3) GER SA Uboats = maximum sea box that German u-boats can reach.

(4) Italian SA (Surprise), Subs = maximum sea box that Italian subs can reach, and potentially surprise the CW / France.

(5) Italian SA (Surprise), SCSs = maximum sea box that Italian warships can reach, and potentially surprise the CW / France.

(6) Italian SA (Surprise), Max AS# = maximum search number that the allies (CW or France) can have and ensure that the Italians get 3 or less surprise points if the Italians do not find and the allies do. Recall during a surprise impulse only the Italians were get surprise points. The CW/France would get 0. Getting no more than 3 in this case would ensure that the Italians wouldn't have the necessary 4 surprise points to force a submarine combat and their subs would either have to face a naval air or surface battle against the allies.

(7) Pdet. Probability that the axis find during a naval.

(8) Threat Number is Pdet x # CP's and represents loosely the susceptibility of allied convoys to axis subs, and ships. This table is sorted from high to low by threat number.

A surprise impulse would prevent RAF from reacting. So any naval intended to defense against a surprise Italian impulse had to be flow during the phasing naval air phase. Based on the data shown in the table, the RN defended the eleven sea areas as follows:

I. NAV2's flow to the 0-box of Bay of Biscay and Faeroes Gap.

II. CV/CVL's and SCS's patrols sent to the 0-box of North Atlantic, East Med, West Med and Cape St. Vincent.

III. SCS patrols sent to the 0-box of Bay of Biscay, Cape Verde Basin, Central Atlantic, Faeores Gap, East Coast, Gulf of Guinea, Caribbean and Mouths of Amazon.

IV. SCS patrols sent to the 1-box of Bay of Biscay, North Atlantic, Cape Verde Basin, Central Atlantic.

V. SCS patrols sent to the 3-box of Faeroes Gap, East Coast, Gulf of Guinea, Caribbean and Mouths of Amazon.




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Ronnie

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/11/2019 11:31:20 PM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Orm


quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

(1) The Ardense forest hex [54,32] will be captured using the II Para corps to drop into that hex and be supported in land combat against the single regiment (i.e., notional) defending by two corps and a division attacking from the hex directly east. This will be an automatic result and give the Wehrmacht a bridgehead west of the Maas river.


Why didn't the Allies, or rather Belgians, decline the notional in the Ardennes forest (54,32)? Then it would just have been a German paratrooper in the hex. A nice target for a French counterattack.

France would have had 4 hexes against 4 factors in defence. And use up a lot of Luftwaffe assets to double that. And even with German air doubling the defenders I suspect that the attack would have been 5:1 blitz, with a chance on 6:1.

I know it wouldn't have been a sure thing but having a +10, or more, blitz against valuable German assets, and shortening the defensive line for France seems like a fun thing to do to the Germans, even with the risk of getting disorganized.
That's never occurred to me. In fact, I went back to an autosave to "wargame" this. So, I did the paradrop. Then, during Land Combat Declaration I "allocated" the three units east of the hex to join in on the attack. However, this time I chose not to include the notional. Even though I had allocated the adjacent hex of 3 units to the attack also, when I chose not to include the notional it did "skipped" that combat and did leave the airborne unit all alone.

So you have to allocate (other) units to land combat before you, as the attacker, know whether or not the defender is going to use their notional(s). Also, no adjacent units allocated to an "attack" (on an empty hex) when no notionals are used are unable to advance into that hex. You're absolutely right ... the German para corps would have been very vulnerable and the Germans would likely not have made the drop.

I did not know this until you just pointed it out. Another valuable lesson learned from you WiF experts. Thanks!

< Message edited by rkr1958 -- 1/11/2019 11:33:30 PM >


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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/11/2019 11:49:40 PM   
rkr1958


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Turn 5. Mar/Apr 1940. Allied #2.

With Belgium overrun by the Nazis, compounded by the stupid decision to use a notional to defend the "empty" Ardness forest hex against the German para corps, Neville Chamberlain steps down from PM. There's a fierce but brief struggle between Winston Churchill and Lord Halifax for the job with Winston winning out and becoming Britain's Prime Minister.

All of this probably saved Royal Navy Captain Turner, head of the convoy routing division and directly under the First Lord of the Admiralty, from being reassigned to the Falkland Islands. Winston was in a bit of rage with the "problems" of convoy routes and the stubbornness of the routers working for Captain Turner. When all looked bleak, Captain Turner sure sheer force of will and several sleepless nights righted the situation and produced an acceptable convoy routing plan. With Winston occupied, the convoy routes acceptable and with the arrival of Captain Turner's new boss, A.V. Alexander, all was forgotten and Captain Turner didn't have to pack his seabag for the Falkland Islands.




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< Message edited by rkr1958 -- 1/11/2019 11:51:22 PM >


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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/12/2019 12:18:06 AM   
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Turn 5. Mar/Apr 1940. Allied #2. The USSR.

1. Bessarabia. With most of Germany's forces, except for two infantry garrison armies in Poland and Prussia, Stalin decided it was time to acquire Bessarabia. While his demand was met with furry from the Fuhrer, it was nerveless granted.

2. The Baltic States. Stalin's patience continues to be on display as he continues to wait to "claim" these states. The reason is the US Germany/Italy entry pool. There are two high value (4) and two low value (1 & 2) chits in that pool. When claiming the Baltic States there's a 40% chance of losing a chit. So that means there's a 20% chance of losing a 4 chits, 10 chance of losing a 2 chit and a 10% chance of losing a 1 chit if he did. Stalin decides to wait until longer in hopes that the chance of losing a 4 chit is reduced.

3. Persia. Here's a second example of Stalin's patience continuing. Stalin has order Zhukov to hold off invading until the three Red bomber squadrons positioned to support the claim on Bessarabia, or if denied war with Romania, can rebase and be in position to support his invasion of Persia.




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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/12/2019 12:24:06 AM   
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Turn 5. Mar/Apr 1940. China.

Axis #1.

Southern China (vs Nationalist). Yamamoto and Umezu decide to use maneuver to "attack" the Nationalist. Though it was tempting to attack the Nationalist northern flank and try to turn it, the odds were at best 8 to 9 on the assault table, which were likely to cause disorganizations and losses which they want to avoid this early in the turn.

Northern China (vs communists). Terauchi is sill on the defensive and is moving two MIL reinforcement armies to bolster his defenses.

Allied #2.

Southern China (Nationalist). Chaing pulls back and adjusts his main line of defense in the mountains of the Hunan and Kwangsi provinces.

Northern China (communists). Mao moves his main line of resistance forward but there's a bit of collision with the two Nationalist armies holding Chengchow and the Nationalist army in the mountains directly east of Nanyang.




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< Message edited by rkr1958 -- 1/12/2019 12:29:14 AM >


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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/12/2019 7:13:28 PM   
rkr1958


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Turn 6. May/June 1940.

Question. How can the French and British put a major obstacle in the way of Germany's Blitzkrieg attack on France?

Answer: Roll a 1 for weather in May/June.

And that's exactly what happened.

Axis #3. The weather turns brutal.
Arctic=Snow, North Temperate=Storm, Med=Rain, North Monsoon=Storm, South Monsoon=Storm, South Temperate=Storm.

Even when the Germans could get 6 corps, 3 division (i.e., 9 units) versus 2 French corps the odds were only +9.25 and on the assault table, as the "Mock" attack below shows, would give only a PWIN=66% (i.e., only 2 out 3 shot) and likely result in loss and disorganizations. So the Wehrmacht, much to the anger of Adolf, halted and took shelter from the storms.

Axis #5. An additional positive this miserable weather provided to the allies was that France was able to take a naval. Normally during May/June 1940 that just isn't possible.




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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/12/2019 8:55:55 PM   
brian brian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

Question. How can the French and British put a major obstacle in the way of Germany's Blitzkrieg attack on France?

Answer: Roll a 1 for weather in May/June.



ORrrrr, the British can commit a 2nd HQ to France and make a strong BEF. The 2 unit, essentially 1 hex BEF accomplishes basically nothing except watching a big battle on it's flank before sailing back to England. This is particularly true when the Italians are just sitting around neutral, and there is almost no pressure on the CW position anywhere on the board.


quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

Even when the Germans could get 6 corps, 3 division (i.e., 9 units) versus 2 French corps the odds were only +9.25 and on the assault table, as the "Mock" attack below shows, would give only a PWIN=66% (i.e., only 2 out 3 shot) and likely result in loss and disorganizations. So the Wehrmacht, much to the anger of Adolf, halted and took shelter from the storms.



If the Germans have no plans beyond a conservative campaign through France with even a Sep/Oct 40 end-point being just fine for an historical Barbarossa subsequently, then this is maybe OK, particularly when the CW is just sitting around nearly neutral, and there is no pressure on the German timetable. But if Germany has any other ideas in the game, then their clock is ticking quite a bit more loudly. And the way to go is to risk some casualties and use their HQ units to re-organize any needed attackers, and keep pushing towards Paris, always. The bad weather just shortened the turn considerably, most likely, so one might as well use some of their re-org points, particularly with the Guderian HQ-A also now available.

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/12/2019 9:52:51 PM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian
quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958

Question. How can the French and British put a major obstacle in the way of Germany's Blitzkrieg attack on France?

Answer: Roll a 1 for weather in May/June.

ORrrrr, the British can commit a 2nd HQ to France and make a strong BEF. The 2 unit, essentially 1 hex BEF accomplishes basically nothing except watching a big battle on it's flank before sailing back to England. This is particularly true when the Italians are just sitting around neutral, and there is almost no pressure on the CW position anywhere on the board.
Yes, that certainly was an option and one considered by Whitehall. But, discarded politically due to great pressure from Churchill (as First Lord of the Admiralty) and even from Chamberlain (when he was PM). Role playing aside, from the historical perspective I just can't see England leaving Egypt and the Suez Canal that vulnerable especially with the Italians sitting on the Libyan-Egyptian border with an entire army (HQ-I, inf, terr, mot, at gun div) led by Balbo. But, I certainly would like to hear historical arguments for, and under what conditions, that British would have moved Wavell HQ-A (or equivalent) and a second BEF into France.

I do realize that I'm playing both CW and Italy passively. I want to play this AAR along the lines of a historical (alternate) simulation versus just playing it as a game. Though, I do want to play it with sound WiF tactics, and strategies, that would hold up against another player. But maybe I'm playing CW and Italy too passively?


quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian
quote:

ORIGINAL: rkr1958
Even when the Germans could get 6 corps, 3 division (i.e., 9 units) versus 2 French corps the odds were only +9.25 and on the assault table, as the "Mock" attack below shows, would give only a PWIN=66% (i.e., only 2 out 3 shot) and likely result in loss and disorganizations. So the Wehrmacht, much to the anger of Adolf, halted and took shelter from the storms.

If the Germans have no plans beyond a conservative campaign through France with even a Sep/Oct 40 end-point being just fine for an historical Barbarossa subsequently, then this is maybe OK, particularly when the CW is just sitting around nearly neutral, and there is no pressure on the German timetable. But if Germany has any other ideas in the game, then their clock is ticking quite a bit more loudly. And the way to go is to risk some casualties and use their HQ units to re-organize any needed attackers, and keep pushing towards Paris, always. The bad weather just shortened the turn considerably, most likely, so one might as well use some of their re-org points, particularly with the Guderian HQ-A also now available.
Yes, I tend to agree that the Germans played that to conservatively, especially, as you shall see in a bit, with the Germans only getting one more impulse, albeit fine, before the turn ended on a roll of 1.



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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/12/2019 10:58:37 PM   
brian brian

 

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I wasn't sure how much you wanted to stick to history this time.

There are 3 ways to increase the BEF beyond using only the Gort HQ-I.

1 - bring Wavell from Egypt
2 - build Alexander in J/F 40 and position all TRS to ramp-up BEF in J/A 40
3 - build Alexander in S/O 39 via Advance Build for +3 BPs, and double BEF in M/J 40

For defending Egypt, the units to use are the Royal Navy, which should basically plan to control the Med for the entire game. It might not succeed in that every turn, but it can most turns, as well as eventually sinking the Italian TRS and attrition-ing their Convoy Points as steadily as possible. This makes any Italian advance in Egypt fairly herky-jerky, as well as limits how often they can use their air force in the Eastern Med, for which they largely need bases outside of mainland Italy. But the RN has to be serious about this, not just wring their hands because a couple Cruisers on patrol got bounced.

As for land units in Egypt, a variety of them can replace Wavell. The Sydney MIL, delivered by the Queens on Turn 2, is an excellent choice; others will have to depend on how they appear from the CW Force Pool, accomplished by keeping a high infantry gearing for the CW. Wavell is great to hold a clear hex, for sure, but is not totally needed for his supply functions as the CW has both naval superiority and can use coastal supply for themselves, and can depend on using Cairo as a Secondary source tracing back to India.

"There was nothing we could do ... the Axis now own Europe" is a refrain from many an Allied player who refuses to risk battle in the first 1/3 of the game, and just hunkers down and builds units for the 'comeback', which is now far more difficult.

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/12/2019 11:24:18 PM   
rkr1958


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quote:

ORIGINAL: brian brian

I wasn't sure how much you wanted to stick to history this time.

There are 3 ways to increase the BEF beyond using only the Gort HQ-I.

1 - bring Wavell from Egypt
2 - build Alexander in J/F 40 and position all TRS to ramp-up BEF in J/A 40
3 - build Alexander in S/O 39 via Advance Build for +3 BPs, and double BEF in M/J 40

For defending Egypt, the units to use are the Royal Navy, which should basically plan to control the Med for the entire game. It might not succeed in that every turn, but it can most turns, as well as eventually sinking the Italian TRS and attrition-ing their Convoy Points as steadily as possible. This makes any Italian advance in Egypt fairly herky-jerky, as well as limits how often they can use their air force in the Eastern Med, for which they largely need bases outside of mainland Italy. But the RN has to be serious about this, not just wring their hands because a couple Cruisers on patrol got bounced.

As for land units in Egypt, a variety of them can replace Wavell. The Sydney MIL, delivered by the Queens on Turn 2, is an excellent choice; others will have to depend on how they appear from the CW Force Pool, accomplished by keeping a high infantry gearing for the CW. Wavell is great to hold a clear hex, for sure, but is not totally needed for his supply functions as the CW has both naval superiority and can use coastal supply for themselves, and can depend on using Cairo as a Secondary source tracing back to India.

"There was nothing we could do ... the Axis now own Europe" is a refrain from many an Allied player who refuses to risk battle in the first 1/3 of the game, and just hunkers down and builds units for the 'comeback', which is now far more difficult.
British war planners need to do some serious thinking about putting Wavell and a second BEF into France. As you shall see in a bit (again) the situation in France at this time would appear very WW-1 like even though Belgium was just conquered. French production was excellent and the allies just got the initiative for Jul-Aug 1940. I certainly could see a historical argument for a "second" BEF army, lead by Wavell, being sent to France.

I need to finish posting the AAR for the remainder of last turn (MJ 40) but unless convinced otherwise I believe PM Churchill and Whitehall will indeed deploy a second BEF army to France. Italy remains neutral so RN operations in the Med, and the parts of the Atlantic reachable by Italian subs which is most of it, will have to take the potential for Italian surprise into consideration. And right now the only way to get Wavell into France is to disembark him into Malta form the East Med and then move him into to Southern France from the West Med. I hate taking combines but I don't see any other way than taking two consecutive combines to do this assuming the CW would like to get their second BEF army deployed to France as quickly as possible (i.e., by the impulse 3 of this turn).

Thanks for pushing me ... and please keep it up. By the way, this applies to all you other arm chair generals / admirals out there. I can use all the help I can get. My only condition is that I want to keep this game "historically reasonable" however that's defined.

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/12/2019 11:31:07 PM   
rkr1958


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May/June 1940.

PM Churchill listening to arguments for, and seriously considering, seconding a second BEF army to France.




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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/12/2019 11:54:23 PM   
brian brian

 

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Historical arguments are more challenging. The historical commanders did not know how things were going to turn out, as we do, and particularly did not know how brittle the French Army would prove to be. So the idea of a larger BEF, in history, is very hypothetical. In history, the French mostly begged for more support in the air, more than anything else. At the end, Churchill pulled the plug on additional RAF squadrons, although not before heavy RAF losses had already occurred. And it is also worth remembering that he did basically deploy a BEF 2.0 _after_ Dunkirk, in hopes that the French could hold on the Seine, and was still willing to commit the British Army to fight in France in June, 1940, if the French would, and could.

Reinforcements from several corners of The Dominions had begun bolstering military positions throughout the Commonwealth by the summer of 1940, including the first Canadian air and ground reinforcements deploying to England, and France, as well. This is routinely seen in the game - IF the CW builds Infantry, rather than prepping for a coming war with the U-Boats, the severity of which the historical British well underestimated as they never expected Germany to have U-Boat bases in Brittany, of all places.

For defending Egypt, we again immediately hit What If? questions. I do not think the British expected it to be so easy to defeat Italian ground forces, as O'Connor so brilliantly proved late in 1940. And certainly, the historical British would not have stripped defenses of the Canal too dramatically.

But Egypt/France is not quite the choice the historical British had to make. It is only the mechanics of using the HQ unit and the Foreign Troop Commitment rules in World in Flames that even leads to a question of reducing the defense of Egypt in order to increase the amount of British serving in France. 7th Armoured Division, the core of the Wavell HQ-A counter, would have stayed in Egypt regardless of British decisions in France.

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/13/2019 1:35:10 AM   
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I think it's difficult to replicate the muddled thinking by the cabinet in the early part of the war. I favour putting in a second BEF as this mirrors Churchill's thinking - i.e. do just about anything to keep the French in the fight.

I would use them to guard the Spanish border area and so free up French troops to take losses and not expose the CW to too much risk - at least initially.

There is probably less concern for the CW in MWIF than in real life about the threat of invasion - but that depends to an extent on German builds - and you don't want to be using the CW as cannon-fodder.

As for Egypt, I think the British did think it would be relatively easy to defeat the Italians and this was their goal - and is also where they squandered their biggest opportunity. Having crushed the Italians during Compass, they then switched focus to Greece (with consequences that we know) before trying to finish the job.

Of course it is not guaranteed that they would have taken Tripoli before German help arrived - but I think it likely. The knock-on effects of that decision for the army - and in particular the navy - would be long lasting and painful.

Regardless of what the British thought of Italian capability, the enemy still had a very large army in North Africa and Wavell was responsible for a huge area. No I don't think there would have been any weakening of the forces in Egypt (to aid France) as there really wasn't that much there to begin with.

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RE: Witness to World War 2. - 1/13/2019 2:07:33 AM   
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I just wanted to note that when I answered the question about 'How can the British & French place an obstacle...' I was doing so more in a theoretical sense, than for this particular game. I have no idea where all the CW transport assets are or what they are doing, for one, nor which units have appeared from Production.

I just see lots and lots of the AARs here where BEF = Gort HQ-I + 2 MOT, the end. The rules mechanics partially lead to that situation, but the CW player does always have other options, and even though the Wavell Egypt|France choice is a difficult one, the game does a good job of modeling the high level decision making overall. The Royal Navy is quite nimble, and the CW does have an ATR asset. If the CW player wishes, it is not that difficult (in a peaceful Med at least) to switch the Wavell HQ-A in Egypt with the at-start MECH in the UK, keeping the Egyptian defenses fairly stout. But then what fights in France... (I almost always keep the MECH in the UK until it is certain the Germans are going to attack Russia).

And then if Wavell arrives in France, an even bigger question is whether to commit the HQ-A into a front line hex. 8 Build Points is a lot, and there are Stukas about. A common solution is for Wavell to hang out in the Bordeaux region as a compromise, allowing Gort to manuever either some extra land units at the front, or carry extra RAF protection.

Ultimately, the best "strong BEF" strategy employs the Alexander HQ, though using the Wavell HQ is the only option if the Germans attack in the West in 1939.

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