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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 9/11/2019 3:08:18 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 83:
I attack along multiple hexes in the south and manage to make another breakout to almost close the pocket, but I’m turned back at the hex just to the west of the breakout hex, so I don’t manage to cut the rail line.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 9/11/2019 3:10:59 AM   
TankBushido


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Further progress in all three attack axis’ in the north, but in all cases I’m not able to break into the open field and run. Still just grinding out 10-20 miles per week.




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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 9/11/2019 3:16:53 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 84:
Big change for the opening of this turn. January is over and February has begun. That brings with it better weather for a resumption of air operations. But in bigger news, in response to my continued pressure along multiple fronts, the Germans abandon all positions west of my forces and form a zig-zag north south line from Denmark to Italy. So over the next couple of turns I will be digesting my gains and moving to contact. I am now going to shift to wide broad front attacks along three main routes with the goal to capture the objective cities and Berlin as fast as possible. The first in the north through Holland towards Hannover and Hamburg. The second in the center towards Berlin. And the third in the south to capture Stuttgart, Nuremberg, and Munich.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 9/21/2019 3:54:43 AM   
TankBushido


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Not much detail needed in these next few turns as there is not much resistance. I move into open space and take Stuttgart.




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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 9/21/2019 3:57:49 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 85:
Mostly just more digesting of my gains with a small breakthrough in central Germany.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 9/21/2019 4:01:41 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 86:
Nuremberg falls. The pocket north of the Ruhr is fully eliminated and I’m pushing troops north towards Bremen. I’m frantically repairing my rail network to feed supplies to the front.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 9/21/2019 4:08:49 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 87:
Amsterdam falls. I’m approaching Hamburg in the north, but I need to take a port up there to get supplies to my troops there. I’m closer to Berlin than the Soviets.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 9/21/2019 5:22:05 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 88:
There are still pockets of German strength. In central Germany, the Germans held on several attacks when their reserves are committed. Holland is fully liberated and my northern runners almost reach Kiel. Infantry take Wilhelmshaven. I pierce the northern line in multiple locations and take Hannover on the run. In the south, I’m in the outskirts of Munich.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 9/24/2019 6:05:20 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 89:
The Germans retreat their line 50 or so miles to the east when they really don’t have that much ground to give. They have less than 2 million men in the field and have fewer than 2000 tanks. Hamburg, Munich, and Kiel fall. My armor exploits a hole to reach the outskirts of Magdeburg, 100 miles from Berlin. The Elbe river is the only natural barrier between my forces and Berlin in the center and I’ve already crossed the river to the north.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 9/24/2019 6:06:41 AM   
TankBushido


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Here's the situation in Southern Germany/Northern Italy.




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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 9/27/2019 4:52:59 AM   
CaptBeefheart


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TankBushido: Excellent work. I just caught up since I last made comments on this AAR. Well done for your first playthrough of this game.

Cheers,
CB

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 9/28/2019 11:06:24 PM   
Starstruck

 

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Outstanding AAR!

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/3/2019 4:27:36 AM   
TankBushido


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I’m glad people are still following this. Thank you for the remarks. This one is going the distance.

Turn 90:
From here on out, I’m only going to focus on the central section around Berlin and Leipzig. There are maneuvers going on in other sectors but those two cities are all that matters at this point.

The Germans sealed up the hole and cut off my exploiting panzers so I re-established my connection to them and encircled the Germans SE of Hannover for good measure. The weather is slowing me down as it looks to be heavy mud for several turns. I will try to get my infantry to the Elbe as quickly as possible.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/3/2019 4:34:37 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 91:
I start digesting the pocket. Heavy mud is making it slow. Supply is a problem too as my leading armored divisions have CVs around 3. I bypassed and surrounded the strongest German divisions so that should make the rest of the way easy going. Some had CVs of 8-10; the rest of the German line is weak and I can pretty much punch through wherever I want.

Also, of note in this screenshot, the Russian front surged forward like 10 hexes. The Russians are on the move.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/3/2019 4:40:13 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 92:
Here’s a more zoomed out screenshot. I pushed infantry and supplies fully forward so I’m ready to surge across the river next turn. The weather is improving to only light mud.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/3/2019 4:44:14 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 93:
I rout the entire German army group west of Berlin and secure a bridgehead over the Elbe river. I’m also 30 miles from Leipzig; it should fall before Berlin.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/3/2019 4:48:51 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 94:
In another surge forward, I take Brandenburg and move adjacent to Leipzig. It’s really only the heavy rain and mud that’s slowing me down. I get somewhat unlucky in that a storm front passed over the front at just this time.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/3/2019 4:52:15 PM   
John B.


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Are you actually racing the Soviets to Berlin now? Does it automatically fall to them at the end of April?

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/4/2019 5:43:40 AM   
TankBushido


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I'm playing with the Eastern Front option on, so it depends on how the AI handled force commitment to the Eastern Front and some random chance. The Russians are actually behind where they were historically, so I think it will take them until at least the end of May (if not longer) to make it all the way to Berlin. I don't think there is any way they can beat me there now.

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/5/2019 5:08:11 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 95:
The Germans transfer troops from other fronts and create some decent CV stacks, but I bypass them and exploit to the outskirts of Berlin. Leipzig holds out for another week, but will fall next week.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/5/2019 5:11:23 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 96:
Leipzig falls and Berlin is pressured from three sides. Those strong German reinforcements that were surround last turn are eliminated.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/5/2019 5:14:43 AM   
TankBushido


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Turn 97:
Here’s balance of forces before Turn 97. 1.5 million ready Germans in the field with 1300 afvs. Allied combined have 4.5 million ready troops with 13500 afvs.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/5/2019 5:17:38 AM   
TankBushido


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I think this is the saddest screenshot in the entire AAR. The Germans declare Berlin an open city and don’t even defend it. There is no last stand. Allied troops walk into the city unopposed. VE Day exactly coincides with history, only it's the Western Allies taking Berlin, not the Soviets.




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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/5/2019 5:27:59 AM   
TankBushido


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The final victory point tally. Chalk this one up as an Allied Minor Victory. The AI running air operations probably cost me at least 300 points, so I’m fairly certain this game would have been a Major Victory if I had run air operations as well. I wasn’t playing for points so I’m happy with the result. Great fun for my first campaign game. I probably spent more than 100 hours on this game over a four month period.




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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/5/2019 5:55:22 AM   
TankBushido


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I’m going to take a break for awhile, but might do another AAR in the future; I have a couple of alternative history concepts to try and will take input on what you’d like to see.

Choose one of the following that you’d like to see. Each takes a different approach to how the Allies could have strategically approached the war.

1) Operation Roundup ‘43. US commanders convince FDR to not get entangled in the Med. Operation Husky is cancelled and all forces are concentrated for a cross channel attack between Boulogne and Le Harve.

2) Churchill’s Soft Underbelly - Churchill convinces FDR that a cross channel invasion is too risky so all forces are massed in the Med to strike at the soft underbelly of Europe. Overlord is postponed until 1945. This AAR would heavily focus on the strategic bombing campaign.

I’m going to throw this one on my signature as it’s quite an accomplishment to do the entire playthrough. Signing off for now.





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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/5/2019 4:32:29 PM   
John B.


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Thanks for a very interesting AAR! I'd be curious to see Operation Roundup in your future reports.

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/6/2019 9:20:09 PM   
bomccarthy


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This was a very interesting AAR, and one of the few where a player let the AI handle the air war. Comparing these results to those of my last campaign game against the German AI (addl Air HQs, no East Front box), the Allied AI did a better job keeping the U-Boats suppressed (-73 vs -106), but a worse job against the V-Weapons (-407 vs. -169). Bombing points are hard to compare (586 vs. 471) because I switched 8th AF and Bomber Command to targeting railyards by the late summer of 1944 and my game ended on the Feb 17, 1945 turn with an early capture of Berlin (fewer turns of strategic bombing).

Would really be interested to see the air losses for the game - I recall from one or two early posts in this AAR that losses were very high, initially.

I played one early game with the East Front box turned on - the German AI didn't do a great job of allocating forces, because the Soviets captured Berlin a month earlier than IRL. It looks like the tweaks that were made since then solved this problem.

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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/7/2019 3:39:43 AM   
CaptBeefheart


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Well played. Very interesting AAR. I'd like to see your Roundup scenario.

One thing I'm wondering about is how did Devers end up leading SHAEF and what is "AFHQ?"

Cheers,
CB

< Message edited by CaptBeefheart -- 10/7/2019 3:40:03 AM >


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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/8/2019 5:38:53 AM   
TankBushido


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Air losses were horrendous (see image). I did emphasize oil targets at various points in the game, so I probably had some heavy losses bombing the Romanian oil fields. Also, as I mentioned in the AAR, there was either a bug in my game or a bug in general that was preventing the AI from targeting V-weapon factories and sites. When I told my strategic air forces to bomb only those targets they would literally create no air directives, so I just gave up and let the negative victory points rack up for v-weapons.

AFHQ is the initial Allied Forces HQ in North Africa. Devers was the commander assigned to SHAEF when it was created. I changed none of the commander assignments in this game and was just rolling with what the game gave me.




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RE: Operation Sledgehammer ’43 - 10/8/2019 10:59:34 PM   
bomccarthy


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Thanks for sharing this screen. It provides a good picture on the AI's performance. Your level bomber losses were horrendous (21k+ vs. 5,439 in my game) while your fighter bomber losses were close (9,598 vs 8,140). Air combat losses were interesting (Ger- 9,538 / WA- 14,137 vs Ger- 14,358 / WA- 5,402); this shows that there is a lot an active air player can do to refine the Allied strategic air campaign. On the other hand, your game shows that the AI does a fair job of helping the ground campaign advance.

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