Shannon V. OKeets
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
I have been editing all the comments I received in this thread into a coherent strategic plan for France. Actually, I have been doing that with all the threads on AI Opponent strategic plans (7 of the 8 major powers).
Here are the first few pages. Note that I am starting to tie the Grand Strategist's (GS) elements of the strategic plan to his subordinate decision makers - hence the references to CIC (Commander in Chief), FM (Field Marshal), AD (Admiralty), AM (Air Marshal), MC (Manufacturing Council), and FL (Foreign Liaison).
I am still working on cleaning up the production and choice of new home country advice (there was a lot of it). I am also coming around to the conclusion I will need to add sections for Strategic Choices, Operational Decisions, and Tactical Decisions. The last being gambits in some cases. For France, I have two other uniques aspects of their strategic plan: preparing for Vichy and planning in general after Free France exists.
The version I am working with is much prettier than this, with colors, bold fonts, and underlining to define relative importance and relationships. Once I have this plan completed, I'll make it available in PDF form for those who are interested.
Strategic Plan for France
(as of April 11, 2007)
Grand Strategist (GS) Decision Making
1.1 Develop and implement long-term strategic plan; (5 St)
1.1.1 Victory cities and other vital hexes
Victory Cities - Defense
Homeland: Paris, Marseilles
Aligned with Belgium: Antwerp
Aligned with Netherlands: Amsterdam
Vital Hexes - Defense
Homeland: Maginot line hexes, Metropolitan France factory and resource hexes, Metropolitan France cities and ports, Alpine passes to Italy.
At war with Spain: Pyrenees passes to Spain
Aligned with Belgium: Belgian factory and resources; Dyle River line.
Aligned with Netherlands: Dutch factory and resource hexes
Victory Cities - Offense
At war with Germany: Munich, Kiel, Berlin, Prague, and Vienna
At war with Italy: Milan and Rome
At war with Spain: Madrid
Vital Hexes - Offense
At war with Germany: German factories, resources, cities, and ports.
At war with Italy: Italian factories, resources, cities, and ports. Alpine passes in Italy.
At war with Spain: Spanish factories, resources, cities, and ports. Pyrenees passes in Spain.
1.1.2 Major powers on which France declares war (CIC)
Italy: When CW declares war on Italy. Declare war on Italy together with CW if there are some really good Italian targets, like one transport in east Africa and the other within reach of a port attack.
Consider an all-out attack on Italy, but only if Italy screws up its deployments and leaves itself open to an Allied invasion.
1.1.3 Minor countries on which France declares war (CIC)
Belgium: DOW Belgium only when this becomes necessary, to catch the Germans by surprise, but not just to broaden the frontline. A second condition is that the Wallies need to be ready to fight Germany and make progress.
If Germany attacks Poland and immediately thereafter Russia, leaving France only lightly screened, it could be to France's advantage to DOW Belgium sometime late 40 or early 41.
If Germany poses no threat to France, then the strategic defensive posture changes to something a bit more aggressive. As part of that change in strategic thinking, declare war on Belgium (to extend the frontline against Germany).
Norway: Never DOW Norway since that means the Norwegian naval transports and convoys go to Germany instead of to the CW. Do not give Germany an invasion fleet for free.
Assisting CW to attack Norway falls within the domain of helping friends (a task for the Foreign Liaison).
1.1.4 Minor countries France aligns (CIC)
Yugoslavia: In the case of a 1939 or early 1940 Axis attack on Yugoslavia, aligning Yugoslavia to France gives the Yugoslav units a chance to move during France’s Land Actions. Once Free France is established they make a good controller of any minor countries the Axis might still attack as they will have more action limits to work with.
1.1.5 Areas of conflict and type of combat: land, naval, air, and/or convoys (JCS)
Land (FM) - Defense
French border with Germany and Belgium - German land attacks
French border with Italy - Italian land attacks.
French border with Spain - Spanish land attacks (when war exists or is likely with Spain).
Northern Africa - Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco from Axis attacks through Lybia or by invasion.
Mediterranean coastline of France - Italian invasion
North Sea coastline of France - German invasion
Bay of Biscay coastline of France - German and/or Italian invasion, but only if they control London and Gibraltar respectively.
Naval (AD) - Defense
North Sea - naval surface fleet combat with Germany
Western Med, Italian Coast, and Eastern Med. - naval surface fleet combat with Italy, defend French/CW convoys.
Air (AM) - Defense
French factories - German strategic bombing, Italian strategic bombing (when war exists with Italy).
Against paradrops - Especially Paris, but also other victory cities and vital hexes.
Land (FM) - Offense
German factories and oil resource(s) - land attacks. If an opportunity exists to place 4 units into Germany, then that should be evaluated because it permits the alignment of Yugoslavia.
Italian factories - land attacks.
Spain - land attacks.
Naval (AD) - Offense
Western Med, Italian Coast, and Eastern Med. - naval surface fleet combat with Italy, attack Italian convoys.
North Sea and Baltic Sea - naval surface fleet combat with Germany
Air (AM) - Offense
German factories and oil resource(s) - strategic bombing.
Italian factories - strategic bombing
Perfection is an elusive goal.