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Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR

 
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Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/25/2020 5:01:10 PM   
crispy131313


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I am back with a new AAR, slightly different as I've decided to only begin it with the invasion of USSR, i'm already mid game so my posts are going to play catch up for the first little bit, but I've saved my screen shots along the way.

Pre-Barbarossa recap:

Fall 1939 & Winter 1939-40
I began the game on expert setting (+2 exp/spotting, 20% AI income bonus) and the invasion of Poland went as normal with Poland surrendering on the Axis 3rd turn. Germany immediately began attempts at diplomacy, in efforts to secure future trade and in particular spent all of our diplomacy chits into persuading Greece to become Axis leaning so that the opportunity for the country to join the Axis could be presented later in the war. No new units were built, both Germany and Italy put all our excess MPP into research.

Spring 1940

Germany invaded France as well as the Low Countries, Norway and Denmark. Surrender was swift, with all but the French surrendering on the same turn. The ensuing battle for France was very costly, the game engine fix for applying the AI experience bonus on the AI turn (when AI is on defense) was a huge change and after the battle for France ended with the eventual establishment of Vichy France I made the decision to reduce the AI exp bonus to +1 for the remainder of the game. Both Britain and France had spent considerable MPP on diplomacy during this time of conflict and I head made little headway with Greece, though I can not be certain that's where the MPP was spent as Spain is also a likely target. The Allies successfully intervened in the Winter War between Finland and USSR saving Finland from losing territory but also slowed Finland's future war readiness (MPP collection). Also during this time Axis raiding in the Atlantic was beginning to be at full swing.

Summer 1940

After the French surrender Italy swiftly invaded Egypt, first capturing Sidi Barrani and came very close to capturing Mersa Matruh over the course of 2-3 turns of attacks, but like the historical outcome the Italians offensive was halted and we soon on the defense. In hindsight Germany makes some poor decisions to try to strengthen the Kriegsmarine during this time. Graf Spee returned from the Atlantic, and we built our carrier as well we completed the construction of Bismarck and Lutzow, the latter which upset Stalin. This would have been great if I had wanted to attempt Sealion but I did not. We also decided against attempting to take Malta as our losses during the French campaign were very high and MPP beginning to feel a scarce commodity.

Fall 1940

The Italians were now in full retreat towards Tobruk but German reinforcements would have to wait until the DAK would arrive. Knowing that the upcoming war on Eastern Front will swallow every resource I can muster and I am reluctant to 2x reinforce the region in hopes that Italy can hold on until their arrival. Italy also declares war on Greece as our failed attempted to draw Greece into the Allies failed. Axis diplomacy is now directed at Spain, but we are not overly committed and Germany does not waste value MPP sending military equipment to Spain.

Winter 1940-41

Tobruk was besieged by the Allies and the Italian Army in a tattered ruin, the DAK arrived in Tripoli far from the action, the Allies would capture Tobruk and then Benghazi before the DAK finally arrived at El Agheila. Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria joined the Axis.

Spring 1941
The DAK is forced to remain on the defensive at El Agheila as without support of the Italian Army which was almost entirely destroyed it was difficult to maintain any initiative. Yugoslavia joined the Allies at this time and was quickly overrun, and Germany finally sent some limited forces to assist the Italians in Greece. Meanwhile Axis forces began to build up along the Soviet border....




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/25/2020 11:56:17 PM   
crispy131313


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Below is a screenshot of the situation in North Africa upon arrival of the DAK at the end of 1940 and also the theater mid June 1941 at the time the Germany begins the invasion of the Soviet Union. Just a turn before the DAK was to arrive the Allied one a decisive battle near Tobruk, destroying our forward defensive positions and surrounded Tobruk. With the eventual destruction of our Italian HQ and a replacement only just arriving in Tripoli by June our ability for the DAK to advance on Benghazi from El Agheila was to be an up hill battle.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/26/2020 12:04:51 AM   
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Some charts to help summarize the nearly first 2 years of the war. All of the majors were very active in diplomacy, and the Allies were successful in countering the Axis efforts to sway either Greece or Spain significantly towards our camp, which for Greece ultimately ended in an Italian invasion.

Also captured below are our raiding activity against the UK which has proven lackluster due to some early U-boat losses and also a snapshot of German income.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/26/2020 12:10:57 AM   
crispy131313


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Final Pre-Barbarossa screenshot.

Other than the French and Polish which are knocked out of the war, the Italian Army has taken the highest losses, with most of the UK losses actually minor nations. There has been no significant battle at sea as of yet, the German surface fleet is strengthened but remains safely at port, and the Italian Navy which is expensive to refit is investing in naval weaponry and biding its time for an opportunistic battle in the Mediterranean.

Also as you can see in the map I am not worried about a cross channel invasion at this time.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/26/2020 12:22:20 AM   
crispy131313


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Barbarossa commenced as expected, the Soviet front lines were annihilated and I took every opportunity to severe Soviet supply and create pockets to ensure that Soviet units would be more difficult to rebuild and to also increase the opportunity for morale bonuses for destroying out of supply forces.

One struggle I found was that I launched the invasion without Mechanized or Calvary Divisions which I often do to take advantage of their additional mobility. I hoped to achieve historical gains; Kharkov, Kursk, Rostov, the gates of Leningrad and Moscow as well as the town of Tula (south of Moscow).




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/26/2020 12:25:45 AM   
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Finland's entrance into the war would see the nation well positioned to immediately attack Leningrad from the North after the Soviets failed to annex territory following the winter war.

In the South Greece did not remain a priority but a German Tank Corps was sent to the region to lead an eventual advance on Athens.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/26/2020 2:20:45 AM   
James Taylor

 

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OMG! Did you happen to notice the strength of the German XXXVI mountain division?

Stronger than an army and it hasn't been upgraded yet!

Wondering what was the explanation here?

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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/26/2020 2:36:22 AM   
crispy131313


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quote:

ORIGINAL: James Taylor

OMG! Did you happen to notice the strength of the German XXXVI mountain division?

Stronger than an army and it hasn't been upgraded yet!

Wondering what was the explanation here?


What are you referring to? The Mountain Division is a "soft target" and Army "hard target" so it's much weaker, but does get some specific bonus when actually in mountain terrain which I believe are reflective in the stats while in that terrain.

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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/26/2020 2:46:46 AM   
crispy131313


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Fast forward - End of 1941 campaign on the Eastern Front

Axis high tide will soon draw to an end and Germany will no longer be able to just point and conquer. 1942 and beyond will be the focus of this AAR.

During the 1941 campaign the Axis gains on the Eastern Front fell short of my expectations. While the Axis did manage to meet some of the objectives, including the capture of Kharkov, Kursk and reaching the gates of Moscow we were unable to reach Rostov or Leningrad and the Soviets were able to hold significant territory south of Moscow which will hamper our ability to shorten the front lines. Seemingly earlier muddy weather in the fall contributed to the lack of progress.





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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/26/2020 2:54:07 AM   
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In North Africa, Rommel and the DAK are in the midst of winning a decisive victory over the British after cutting off a number of British units near Benghazi and destroying the British Armour in the region. Both German and Italy have each sent an additional Infantry Corps and Division as reinforcements to the region and expect to drive into Egypt and beyond.






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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/26/2020 3:01:03 AM   
crispy131313


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Another collection of year end reports.

The Soviet strength is beginning to ramp up, there are now more Soviet units on the Eastern Front then Axis. Germany lost a Tactical Bomber unit in North Africa, but is yet to lose a ground unit.

During the fall the first semi-major naval battle occurred off the coast of Southern Italy. The Italians lost a submarine and the Allies 3-4 surface vessels, however the British carriers have proven elusive.

Germany has been busy setting up trade with a number of nations and are now receiving MPP from Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Vichy France, as well you see the cost of setting up a future agreement with Turkey. No nation appears to be leaning heavily enough Axis that they will be expected to join our cause.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/26/2020 3:05:51 AM   
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In North Africa the DAK have secured all of the supply regions west of Tobruk and will soon begin an offensive to recapture the strategic port town. One of the elusive Allied carriers is spotted, however bad weather and out of range Battleships keep an engagement from occurring.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/26/2020 4:30:30 PM   
crispy131313


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With the weather on the Eastern Front turning, the Axis have finalized their preparations for their next summer offensive.

In the North Finland has proven themselves very capable against the Soviets and have captured the Northern half of the city of Leningrad. Thanks in large to the favorable outcome of the winter war of 1940 Finland the Soviets were almost immediately forced to defend the city. The German Army will be charged with advancing on Leningrad from the South.

Near Moscow the German Army has been forced into some defensive positions while awaiting for the German Army to drive north from Kursk and strengthen our front.

The focal point of the summer offensive is in Southern USSR where Germany has sent the majority of their offensive capability to drive on Stalingrad and the Caucasus region.






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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/26/2020 4:32:30 PM   
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Here is a snapshot of Axis and Allied strength and losses to coincide with the above screenshot from May 1942. The Soviet losses have been heavy but their numerical advantage continues to grow.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/27/2020 1:32:18 AM   
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Leningrad has fallen, with significant coordinated assistance from the Luftwaffe Finland has captured the city and the major supply source for the Soviets which are stubbornly holding their positions against the Germany Army south of Leningrad.

All along the front the Soviets are launching counter offensives, the strongest of which is concentrated between Moscow and Kursk.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/27/2020 1:34:54 AM   
crispy131313


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In North Africa, the Axis sweep across Libya and have made first contact with an American force during the war. If American reinforcements are in Egypt it is up in the air how much resistance I expect to face between El Alamein and Cairo.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/27/2020 1:59:56 AM   
James Taylor

 

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This is from FW II, WIE 5.0




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/27/2020 2:51:20 AM   
crispy131313


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quote:

ORIGINAL: James Taylor

This is from FW II, WIE 5.0





Those brackets are the bonuses that Mountain Divisions gain while in a mountain hex, when you consider the soft defence values of most units you will find that the Mountain Division (which is a soft target) will not overpower the stronger units like Infantry Armies. These are the same stats that the Mountain Division has had since I created the custom unit.

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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/27/2020 3:52:14 AM   
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The Italian Navy which won an early engagement with the Royal Navy is poised once again for engagement in the Mediterranean, meanwhile in North Africa the Axis are encountering numerous American reinforcements which have arrived at Alexandria.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/27/2020 4:18:01 AM   
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The Soviet offensive north of Kursk is now completely spearheaded by Soviet Armour, outnumbering the German offensive capabilities in this region. At the same time our positions near Moscow are being threatened on both of our flanks.

In Southern USSR our inability to reach the Donest river by the previous winter is proving costly, as the Soviets have been able to defend the route to Stalingrad every inch of the way. On a good note, Sevastopol is finally captured by the Romanian Army.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/27/2020 4:21:56 AM   
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A look at the strategic map mid summer, as well as some strategic decisions. I will not be rolling the dice for the chance of another Soviet Winter, and the timeliness of these reinforcements that are being re-directed to the Eastern Front are perfect as our front lines are incredibly stretched.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/28/2020 2:29:23 AM   
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German forces in Kursk have been completely cut off by the Soviet counter offensive. German Tanks are massed at Orel but overall our defensive positions are somewhat thin in Central USSR.

In the North, Finnish forces attempt to cut off Soviet supply South-West of Leningrad.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/28/2020 2:32:27 AM   
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In the Mediterranean the elusive British Carriers were finally engaged, they had been very effective up to this point, noticed by their 2-3 experience.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/28/2020 12:52:52 PM   
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Unit counts and Axis Income - Aug 42'




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/28/2020 12:58:32 PM   
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With most of the known British fleet in the Mediterranean sunk at this point, part of the Italian Navy is set to patrol near Algeria for possible Allied landings. The majority of the heavily damaged Italian Navy is returning to port however.

Along the Eastern Front, the Soviet have recaptured Kursk and are threatening our supply lines near Moscow. The Italian Army has sent reinforcements to protect Army Group South from the possibility of a Soviet offensive from the regions near Kursk.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/28/2020 1:05:56 PM   
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Iraq has surrendered, and the Syria has been occupied by the British. The DAK which is attempting to advance on Alexandria and Cairo find the region heavily defended and fortified by the Western Allies.

In the East the Soviets have made a breakthrough east of Smolensk, cutting of the German supply line. I had only the turn earlier reestablished the supply line to the Eastern part of the Moscow front and Army Group Center could have fully pocketed. However the Axis counter offensive from Orel established that supply line and also delivered a striking blow against the Soviets were advancing from Kursk.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/28/2020 1:19:34 PM   
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In the North, Finland is forced to retreat back to Leningrad after failing to cut off Soviet forces with a joint offensive with the German Army. Finland has lost most of the Soviet territory it had earlier captured east of Lake Ladoga.

Army Group Center is attempting to dig in near Moscow despite the severed supply line with Smolensk. The Soviets have multiple Tank Corps severing the rail/road connection with now immediate German ability to respond. The Red Army is also beginning an advance North of Smolensk towards softly defended Velikiye Luki.

In the South we have more success, Germany has won the 3rd battle of Kursk, and it is the 3rd time the city has changed sides. The Axis have thus far been unable to press into either the Caucasus or Stalingrad, the main objectives of Fall Blau, our summer offensive. The entire 42' offensive in the East has been a disaster with only limited gains and could be the doom of Germany.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/28/2020 1:26:16 PM   
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Very happy to see you back. I really enjoy your AARs!

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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/28/2020 1:36:18 PM   
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Winter has set in in Russia and German morale is at an all time low. The Soviets are unlikely to be outright defeated given the Axis' inability to drive into the Caucasus region and disrupt the endless flow of Soviet MPP and troops, nor have we been able to shorten the front, at anytime the war could be fought on multiple major fronts thanks to the looming risk of an Allied invasion of occupied France.

Our objective for 1943 is to force the Red Army behind the Don River, capture the major supply source of Voronezh and eventually drive on Stalingrad. With the Red Army divided in the South, Moscow will be the only other major front which the Soviets could launch a major offensive and will allow the Axis to divert forces to the Western Front as needed.




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RE: Fall Weiss II - Barbarossa AAR - 2/28/2020 1:38:42 PM   
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It does not appear that the Allies will be launching an amphibious invasion in North Africa (Algeria) and Germany is no longer satisfied with only the income from the Vichy Collaboration policy, thus Germany has occupied Vichy France. The income is sorely needed.




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