STRATEGIC COMMAND WWII: WAR IN EUROPE – Situational AAR – “The Road to Warsaw”
by JR Renaud
FALL WEISS – 01 SEPTEMBER 1939
Greetings, and welcome to this second series of beta After Action Reports (AAR) for Strategic Command WWII: War in Europe. This and succeeding AARs will be a little different from others you may have read. First, they will not concentrate on a single campaign; more reports will be forthcoming, but each will instead focus on a different perspective and theatre, such as Germany attacking Poland; the Allies defending North Africa; and the Soviets attempting to repel the Axis invaders, among others. I will also vary the focus onto certain aspects, such as naval warfare, Diplomacy, Research, and so on.
I will endeavour to assume nothing, i.e., that the reader has played prior versions of the game. Indeed, I must admit up front that I am a n00b to SC3 myself, so I’ll inevitably do things that veterans might find appallingly obtuse! Regardless, throughout the narratives I will attempt to bridge a broad river by not ‘talking’ over the heads of possible newcomers to the game or genre, while also not boring veteran grognards with extraneous detail. Additionally, the ‘voice’ addressing you, the reader/player, will change depending on the situation. I look forward to your comments about how this works (or does not), in addition to any other remarks and of course questions.
I must also ask your indulgence; since I am new, and the game’s documentation remains in development, I do not have access to all the rules – therefore, much of the game’s mechanics and so on are as obscure to me as, in all likelihood, to most of you! Regardless, I will seek answers to questions to which I do not know the answers.
Throughout these AARs, I will play SC3 on various Difficulty settings to give an idea of the AI’s competence at different levels. I’ll also be using NATO counters vice the 3-D Units option, simply because I find the former easier to discern on the map. Further, I will likely not be dealing with any scripts – the game allows the player to turn off various scripted events – as there are literally hundreds of them that will probably over-complicate things (most especially for myself!).
To assist in locating areas of the map where the action occurs, I’ll be using a format such as this: (Königsberg; 187, 68) to indicate movement of forces, battles, etc., which of course are references to the game’s hex-grid coordinates. I.e., Berlin is at 173,74, while Warsaw lies at 188,76, if this helps at all. Feel free to ignore them, if not!
The following abbreviations will be used, where appropriate; others should be self-evident:
Ar = Army
Ak (or Co) = Armeekorps (or Corps)
Pz (or ACo) = Panzerkorps (or Armoured Corps)
Br = Brigade
Cav = Cavalry
Gar = Garrison
Mech = Mechanised
R. = River
N = north
S = south
E = east
W = west
Finally, in Battle Reports, instead of using “-2 Strength Points” or the like, I will reference casualties as a percentage, based on ‘full’ strength of 10 (at which not all units start, but hopefully readers can extrapolate). For example, “10% casualties” means 1 Strength Point loss; 20%=2 points, and so on. Admittedly, this provides outcomes that would be deemed horrendous if considered in ‘reality’, but I believe it’s more immersive than referring to ‘points’.
Now, let’s go!
AAR #1 Notes
• Scenario: 1939: Storm Over Europe
• Side: Axis
• Difficulty: Green (-100%)
• Goal: Conquer Poland before October (historical)
0300 hrs 01 September 1939
Incoming decoded message
Guten Morgen, mein Freund
As you know, the obstinate Poles have refused our reasonable demand to return to us the Danzig corridor. Therefore, they must be smashed and Poland annexed to the Vaterland. Your orders are to immediately mobilise your forces and execute Fall Weiß.
Mit deutschem Gruß
BATTLE PLAN – ARMEEGRUPPE NORDEN
Combat Readiness Report
Location: Oberkommando des Wehrmacht HQ
Present: Commander-in-Chief of all Wehrmacht Forces in the Field, plus Senior Staff
Generalfeldmarschall, for your approval: Poised to strike across the Polish border are Generaloberst Fedor von Bock’s Armeegruppe Norden, consisting of I and II Armeekorps belonging to 4 Armee, as well as I Grenzekorps and III Panzerkorps, deployed between Kustrin and Danzig. In Ostpreussen, Georg von Kuchler’s 3 Armee, including XXI Armeekorps plus Wodrig’s Corps, await orders. Kamfgruppe 1 Medium Bomber group is attached to 4 Armee, while Luftflotte I’s fighters and the Stukas of Sturzkampfgeschwader 2 are under von Kuchler’s command.
To the south, 10 Armee of Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt’s Armeegruppe Süd lies poised; X Armeekorps and IV Panzerkorps are ready around Glogau, while in the vicinity of Gleiwitz, 8 Armee’s IV and XIII Armeekorps have completed preparations. In addition, 14 Armee’s VIII and XVIII Armeekorps, as well as Bernolák’s Slovakian Corps, stand eager to strike from Slovakia. Von Rundstedt has Luftflotte IV and Schlachtgeschwader 2 Tactical Bombers at his disposal.
In opposition, the Pomorze Army and an unidentified cavalry brigade face von Bock, and we have scouted the Modlin Army, currently occupying the Mlawa Fortress south of Wodrig’s Corps. The Lodz Army and Wolynska Cavalry Brigade oppose 8 Armee, while the Krakow Army and Krakowska Cavalry Brigade will fall before 10 Armee’s onslaught. Thus far, we have only identified the Karpaty Army in Gorlice guarding the Dukla Pass out of Slovakia, but doubtless there remain undetected forces awaiting us – in all sectors, especially around Warsaw.
What are your orders, mein Herr?
BATTLE PLAN – ARMEEGRUPPE SÜD
From: Oberkommando des Wehrmacht
To: All Armeegruppe Headquarters
Meine Herren, the struggle for Lebensraum has begun! Little serious opposition is expected, as I do not believe the Poles expected us to follow through on our ultimatum, now that they have been bolstered by British and French promises to declare war on us if we attack. They will learn of our resolve to reverse the tragedy of the Great War and their immoral Treaty of Versailles!
The situation in on the Western Front is such that we will likely not see any movement there until we crush the Poles and move our forces west ready to punish the French, should they foolishly commit to their promise. In such an event, I am told, our Führer has plans to deal with them – and the English, should they venture across the Channel. Additionally, I understand the Kriegsmarine has its own orders, and so we need not worry about them, either; for now, we must concentrate on annihilating Poland.
0735 hrs 01 September 1939
Orders and Execution; Battle Reports
1. 14 Garrison (Königsberg; 187,68) moves to Johannisburg (190,71)
2. Luftflotte I (186,71 SE Marienburg) scouts over the Vistula R. between Kutno and Torun (185,75); intercepted by enemy fighters based at Siedlce (190,76); no other enemy forces revealed.
a. 10%; enemy 20%
3. Luftflotte IV (180,80; S Breslau) scouts W Poznan (179,74); no enemy forces revealed.
4. StG 2 (187,71) bombs Modlin Army in Mlawa Fortress (187,73); intercepted by enemy fighters based at Siedlce (190,76).
a. StG 2 10%; Modlin Army 20%, Readiness, Morale, Entrenchment reduced.
5. KG 1 (181,79; SE Breslau) bombs Pomorze Army (181,72; NE Bydgoszcz).
a. KG 1 nil; Pomorze Army 30%, Readiness, Morale, Entrenchment reduced.
6. SG 2 bombs Wolynska Cavalry Brigade (183,78).
a. SG 2 nil; Wolynska 10%, Readiness, Morale reduced.
7. Bernolák Corps moves into Dukla Pass (189,83).
8. VIII Armeekorps (187,84; NW Presov) moves W of Gorlice (187,83); despite enemy (Karpaty Army) entrenchment, assault by Bernolák, VIII, & XVIII Ar ordered.
a. Bernolák 10%, enemy nil, Readiness, Morale, Entrenchment reduced; XVIII Ar 10%, enemy nil, Readiness, Morale reduced, retreats to coord. 187,82; VIII Ar occupies Gorlice, attacks Karpaty; nil casualties, enemy 20%, Readiness, Morale reduced.
9. 14 Armee advances to coord. 186,82 S Krakow; expected enemy contact reveals 10th Mechanised Division in Krakow (186,81); engaged by enemy.
a. 20%; enemy 10%.
10. 10 Armee moves in support of 14 Armee, SW Krakow (185,81); attacks 10 Mech.
a. 10%; 30%, Readiness, Morale, Entrenchment reduced.
11. IV Armeekorps attacks Krakowska Cav (184,80).
a. 10%; enemy 20%, Morale, Readiness reduced.
12. XIII Armeekorps (182,80) moves to coord. 183,79 SW Czestochowa; no garrison revealed in city; attacks Wolysnka Cav (183,78). (See Battle Note #1 inset.)
a. Nil; enemy 40%, Morale, Readiness reduced.
FIGURE 1 - BATTLE OF CZESTOCHOWA – BATTLE NOTE #1
Battle Note #1
See Figure 1. Although XIII Armeekorps could attack either Wolynska or Krakowska Cavalry Brigade, I chose to go north, through Wolynska, so that IV Panzerkorps can punch through and take best advantage of 2 Strikes (attacks). Subsequently, 8 Armee and X Corps can exploit the breakthrough; in this case – see Figure 2, below – destroying Lodz Army in the process. Krakow Army and remnants of Karpaty Army can now be bypassed; 10 Mechanised destroyed next turn.
FIGURE 2 – BATTLE OF CZESTOCHOWA
13. IV Panzerkorps (182,79) attacks Wolynska Cav (183,78).
a. Nil; enemy destroyed, breakthrough enabled; IV Pz ordered to 183,77; no further enemy contact; attack on Lodz Ar delayed pending 8 Ar’s.
14. 8 Armee (181,78) attacks Lodz Army (182,78).
a. 10%; enemy 30%, Readiness, Morale, Entrenchment reduced.
15. X Armeekorps (180,78) advances to 181,77 N Lodz Army; ordered to attack.
a. 10% ; 20%, Readiness, Morale, Entrenchment reduced.
16. IV Panzerkorps blitzes Lodz Army;
a. Nil; Lodz Ar shattered.
17. 8 Armee moves S of IV Panzerkorps (183,78); no enemy force revealed in Lodz.
18. XIII Armeekorps ordered S of Lodz (185,78), taking Czestochowa (184,79).
19. IV Armeekorps ordered to remain in place (183,80), pinning Krakow Army and Krakowska Brigade; attacks Krakowska.
a. Nil; 30%, enemy retreats coord. 185,80.
20. XVIIII Armeekorps ordered to coord. 188,81 S Vistula R.
21. X Armeekorps ordered to coord. 181,75 SE Poznan; Wielkopolska Cavalry Brigade identified in forest (181,74); no engagement, but loss of remaining initiative and attacks (Action Points and Strikes).
22. I Armeekorps (Küstrin; 176,74) advances to coord. 179,75; attack on Poznan Army will await support from II Ak.
23. II Armeekorps (179,72) moves in support of I Ak. to coord. 180,74; attacks Poznan Army.
a. Nil; enemy 10%, Readiness reduced.
24. I Armeekorps attacks Poznan Army.
a. 10%; nil
25. I Grenzekorps (Frontier) moves to flank and attack Pomorska Cavalry Brigade (182,71) from coord. 183,70 S of Danzig.
a. Nil; 20%
26. III Panzerkorps blitzes to coord. 182,72 NE of Pomorze Army; attacks.
a. Nil; enemy 30%, Readiness, Morale reduced, retreats to coord. 181,73.
27. 4 Armee (Neustettin; 180,72) advances to Bydgoszcz (182,73) ; attacks Pomorze Army.
a. 10%; enemy destroyed.
28. III Panzerkorps moves to coord. 184,73 N Torun.
29. XXI Armeekorps (185,71; S Marienburg) ordered to Torun (184, 74).
30. 3 Armee moves into position (186,73) to assault Modlin Army (187,73).
a. 10%; enemy 30%, Readiness, Entrenchment reduced.
31. Wodrig Corps attacks Modlin Army.
a. 20%; enemy nil.
32. XXI Armeekorps moves to coord. 185,74; Garrison revealed in Modlin Fortress (187,75).
33. Wodrig Corps end-arounds Modlin Army to coord. 187,74 N Modlin; reveals garrison in Warsaw.
34. Luftflotte I redeploys to coord. 185,72 NW of 3 Armee.
35. StG 2 redeploys to coord. 185,73 S of Luftflotte I.
36. SG 2 redeploys to coord. 182,78 NW of 8 Armee.
37. Luftflotte IV redeploys to coord. 182,79 S of SG 2.
38. Von Rundstedt HQ redeploys to coord. 182,80 NW of Gleiwitz.
39. Von Bock HQ redeploys to Neustettin (180,72).
40. Von Kuchler HQ redeploys to Allenstein (187,71).
41. END REPORT
END AXIS TURN 1 SITUATIONAL MAP – NORTH POLAND
END AXIS TURN 1 SITUATIONAL MAP – SOUTH POLAND
To be continued!
< Message edited by Daniele -- 11/7/2016 4:29:08 PM >