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  • #46
    Defeating France; Italy Joins Axis

    Defeating France

    Since we are about to begin the campaign in the west this is probably a good time to describe the game objective and how to knock France out of the war. Its simple,… take Paris. That is easier said than done as the allied team is not going to leave the centre of their line weak and rush into Belgium and Holland with their left. This will be a major fight. The arrival of the German army next to Paris will trigger Italy’s entry into the war and open the Mediterranean theatre of operations. If Paris falls there is an 83% chance that France will surrender and offer a Vichy government. This chance is modified for downwards depending on how many CW divisions are present in France. If the Vichy offer is made and accepted the French army vanishes and all axis forces must vacate Vichy territory within two weeks, failure to do so will result in a declaration of war and Vichy joining the allies. Vichy France gets its own, smaller, army and becomes an armed neutral like all the others. It will join the opposing team of whoever invades the country (exception; Syria and, later, the US involvement).

    If Vichy is refused the French fight on until Bordeaux falls at which point France surrenders unconditionally and the French colonies are up for grabs. This would result in a mad rush by both the Axis and Allied forces sprinting to grab as many ports within air range as possible and widening the war in Africa.

    Italy

    Italy’s entry into the war will bring with it some minor naval capacity in the central Med. In order to expand this capacity (or German capacity) into the western Med, Gibraltar will need to be taken. In order for this capacity to be extended into the eastern Med, Alexandria must be taken. The Greeks possess a naval capacity in the Aegean Sea but if the axis wants to try and take Greece they will gain naval transport ability in Aegean if they capture Athens.

    Italy has shipping capacity for one division per week and can support 20 Italian and 10 German divisions in Africa at any one time. Unfortunately, for the Germans to operate away from the ports they will need to bring their own MSUs (the Italians have their own limited supply). Tobruk cannot be used as a supply source until Malta is captured (not likely to be weakly defended by any allied players), which is not so easy as it might appear.

    The Italian army currently has about 14 divisions on the French border, 15 on the Yugoslav border and are building up a force of 20 divisions in Libya consisting of their best divisions backed up by their regular (somewhat weak) infantry. The balance of the army is sitting in Sicily and southern Italy as a reserve
    The Purist

    Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

    Comment


    • #47
      Originally posted by Khryses View Post
      Still unhappy with the northern Fall Gelb option, would prefer to explore southern options... but don't have a viable alternative at present that surpasses even the obvious flaws.
      What did you have in mind?
      I'm all about the South, what did Tsar say about your ideas?

      Comment


      • #48
        The situation 4/40 - Ready for Case Yellow

        The mud of spring will arrive any minute and the clear spring weather shortly after that. Here is a couple of maps of the western front, one showing the deployment and the other the terrain free of units except the panzer concentrations.

        <<The western battlefield>>



        Note on the panzer map that intel positions of suspected allied armoured units are shown.

        <<The tank concentrations>>

        Attached Files
        The Purist

        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

        Comment


        • #49
          Well gents, it looks like I am working this weekend and the next two as well. I guess that means I will continue to be a spectator more than anything else.
          All the proposals I made were genuine.

          After Xmas I'll be able to coordinate my time better. Meanwhile I will toos out suggestions and hope something sticks.

          Comment


          • #50
            The Situation I/7/40

            As 6/40 comes to a close the German army has suffered lose of some 18 infantry division of which 16 have been replaced. One panzer div was also reduced but quickly rebuilt and is rested enough to return to the front. Most of the rebuilt divisions have been sent either to Poland or the souther West Wall positions to rest and refit, their places being taken over by rested divisions from those same areas.

            Allied losses have likewise been heavy, in particular French infantry and in the air. That being said, with the exception of the minor breakthrough in Flanders near the coast we have been unable to break free of the French lines due to their method of masking each penetration of the line. Fatigue is becoming a concern amongst the panzer and grenadier forces leading the assault both on the far right driving on the Somme and in the centre where the drive on Rheims continues to develop. Within a week or two these divisions will have to be withdrawn to rest and infantry divisions sent to replace them in the attack. At present there are only about four mech divisions out of the line resting but they will need at least one more week before being committed again. The army will continue to drive along the coast and attempt to cross the Somme while in the centre the attack will develop westward in the hope of pocketing the allied left north of the Somme.

            <<The German drive in the centre and on the right are beginning to show promise>>



            There was good news to report in the first attack on the Maginot Forts. The extreme left of the ML was flanked by our turn left at Sedan and drive on Rheims. We brought up 16 infantry divisions to attack this position from four direction flank and front and the fort was destroyed along with its four division garrison. Unfortunately the infantry also lost four divisions reduced in the assault but we now have a solid bridgehead back across the French Meuse and are positioned to on Metz and Nancy, further stretching the French lines. The commanders at the front would like to further develop this avenue of attack and would like to transfer some panzers and mech inf formations to strengthen the attack.
            Attached Files
            The Purist

            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by The Purist View Post
              The commanders at the front would like to further develop this avenue of attack and would like to transfer some panzers and mech inf formations to strengthen the attack.
              It’s going well, continue as you have. We grant you the latitude to shift forces to maximize the attack as you see fit.
              Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

              Comment


              • #52
                The Italian Position

                In order to help Exorcist understand what he will be dealing with in the Mediterranean I have posted this map of Cirenaica and current deployment of the main body of the Italian army. There are currently "20 combat units", the maximum Italian units that can be supported in Africa. Seventeen of these divisions are deployed in Cirenaica with the remaining three guarding Tripoli against an allied attack (mainly the amphibious threat).

                There are a further 12 divisions and 1 motor bde facing France, 15 divisions (5 x 2-4 and 10 x 1-4) ready to enter Yugoslavia, seven garrison divisions (1-4) poised to move to the West Wall along the Rhine and free German divisions for the front. They will then form part of the garrison of occupied France.

                Rhodes is garrisoned by a single 1-4 inf div, this division and Rhodes itself will be isolated immediately that Italy enters the war as the navy cannot support any supply missions there unless Greece and the Aegean waters are under axis control. This position is far too exposed to the RN and RAF. Finally there is approximately 20 odd 2-4 inf divs in Sicily forming the corps of the Italian reserve.

                Italian naval capacity at this time can lift one divisions per week in the central Med. This capacity is protected by the Italian fleet and cannot be interdicted by allied naval strentgh. Allied APs operating from Malta could harass shipping and suppress Tripoli unless a large enough German and Italian air force does not suppress Malta and force the RAF away to the east.

                Current German commitment stands at 2 MSUs complete and on the border, 2 more MSUs in production, 2 x 10-8 in production, 1 x 7-10 also in production plus whatever other forces are designated by OKW.

                In Cirenaica Tobruk is garrisoned by 3 x 2-4 for a defence of 10. the armour is concentrated in corps stacks each of a 4-6 AD, a 3-6 Mech div and 1-6 Lt Arm'd Bde. The desert flank is screened by the remaining mobile forces as noted. The supplies can be extended a bit further south and east but with only four MSUs (at present) the best that can be managed is along the coast to the Egyptian frontier. The divisions to the north west of Tobruk are there to prevent/oppose any possible allied amphibious landing designed to cut the coastal supply route.

                *Game Note* - Maintaining air superiority for as long as possible is key to maintaining secure supply line in Africa.

                It is not thought that the CW have enough logistics capacity to advance along the coast further than Benghasi at this time. The same transportation shortage would not yet allow CW operations as far as El Agheila without the use of the port of Tobruk. Holding Benghazi is important as a forward base for German deployment in an emergency.

                <<Cirenaica - note the current extent of supplied hexes>>

                Attached Files
                Last edited by The Purist; 06 Dec 09, 14:14.
                The Purist

                Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                  What did you have in mind?
                  I'm all about the South, what did Tsar say about your ideas?
                  No worries, it seems to be a moot point.

                  Hopefully the breakthrough will clear things up in France.

                  Are we allowing them Vichy, or punching out Bordeaux?

                  My preference is to go for the former if it means being able to actually eliminate the BEF in France, the latter if we can't do that anyway. We could use the French colonies, but not so much as we could use a weakened Britain for Seelowe - or any of the derivatives.
                  Captain Khryses, Silver Star Omnilift Wing

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Khryses View Post
                    No worries, it seems to be a moot point.

                    Hopefully the breakthrough will clear things up in France.

                    Are we allowing them Vichy, or punching out Bordeaux?

                    My preference is to go for the former if it means being able to actually eliminate the BEF in France, the latter if we can't do that anyway. We could use the French colonies, but not so much as we could use a weakened Britain for Seelowe - or any of the derivatives.
                    If the battle continues the way it looks to the BEF should be isolated in the middle of Flanders fields and kill to a man.
                    I would prefer to go with Vichy since that takes the French colonies out of play for a year. If we must go for total surrender then we must.
                    Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Thanks for the map, seems like the MSUs need to be moved up if an offensive is going to happen.

                      I will put a plan together for Africa and have it ready for mid-week.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        The MSUs stretch all the way back to Tripoli (4 in total). To expand the supply lines eastward will take another MSU and it does not arrive until 3/41. For the opening few months the desert war it will have to take place in eastern Libya. For now they supply lines can be stretched a bit further to the border but not over it unless you want to run the entire line along the coast and have very little supply capacity inland. This would also expose the coast route to raids by CW divisions (annoying as hell as they *must* be dealt with before they destroy the MSUs and this usually means turning around the best units to either scare them or blow them up).

                        German troops will also need their MSUs (min. 5 if they are to reach into Egypt) and it takes time to develop the line (lay out the string of MSUs). As the lead MSU move forward beyond 10 movement points from Tripoli the next joins the line and the supply "throwing ability" is pushed forward with it.

                        Both the Germans and the British are starting behind in this instance. While you can reach from Tripoli to Bardia, the British can only reach from Sidi Barrani to Benghasi (thanks to the Egyptian rail line).
                        Last edited by The Purist; 06 Dec 09, 20:50.
                        The Purist

                        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          I would place the MSUs differently then, and have them guarded, but I can't get into that right now.

                          An offensive WAS made, what are the penalties for being out of a supply radius?
                          How long would it take to convert an unfinished Italian cruiser into an aircraft-carrier? (nevermind, I know it can't happen)

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            There is a way, but...

                            *Game Note*

                            If OKW is willing to adopt a risky move in Africa with the Italians there is a way to extend the supplies as far east as Sidi Barrani in Egypt and for a short distance inland into the desert. The MSU chain woul have to be broken at El Agheila and No3 MSU moved up to the coast within four hexes of Benghasi, No 4 MSU could then move forward to Tobruk or its adjacent hexes to the south west or west. Supply could then be thrown forward to the Sidi Barrani area but the LOC would be exposed to those same naval raids mentioned previously. It would be necessary to leave a garrison in Tobruk and area to oppose such raids while the rest of the army crossed into Egypt (gaining the political points in doing so).

                            Fighting out of supply quickly exhausts units, driving up their fatigue (AFD) and lowering their combat strength and, eventually, ability to move. You can manage it for a couple of weeks but if supplies don't get through eventually you simply sit down and wait to be overrun.

                            What is OKWs pleasure?

                            The "Battle of the Salient" in France is over, highlights during this evening's broadcast, maps in this evening's propaganda sheet.
                            Last edited by The Purist; 07 Dec 09, 10:44.
                            The Purist

                            Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Sidi Barani and bust, eh?

                              Okay, rather then make that silly little advance, I have a better idea, one I will send as a PM.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                German Update - I/8/40

                                Ten Weeks of Battle

                                The battle for the salient is over and the British and French losses amounted to 8 French inf divs, 3 Fr mech divs, 1 Br Arm'd div (totally eliminated) and 4 British infantry divs reduced to cadre. At one point the salient had become a pocket and then briefly an encirclement but we could not quite hold the corridor closed.

                                <<The Situation - I/8/40>>



                                the map above shows the German positions before the final attack on the British infantry withdrawing from the remains of the pocket. All four divisions were reduced to cadres but we could not prevent their final withdrawal across the Somme. Nevertheless, due to our air interdicting the rear areas these divisions are still near the front across the river and vulnerable to further attack despite being reinforced.

                                A secondary battle had also developed to the southeast where French and British armour were attempting to drive into the flank of the eastern arm of the encircling troops. The British armoured div and its supporting French infantry were destroyed and the French armour driven away. Our cost to accomplish all this was 6 inf divs, 1 Pz div and 1 Pz Gr div reduced to cadre. Our paras and air landing troops played a role in the battle as well and while they made it through without lose the ATPs avalable have been badly depleted to where we can only lift one para regiment for the duration of the summer season. More ATPs are on the way but it will be winter before they arrive.

                                The drive into Champagne and Alsace-Lorraine also went well and Metz has fallen along with a large portion of the northwestern Maginot Line. Losses were light in comparison to the French but the army as a whole is in bad need of a period of rest. Fatigue is bringing down combat efficiency by as much a 40% and other than a few attcks to "set-up" the next lunge forward the army should rest for at least two if not three weeks. The end of the Salient battle appears to have marked the end of the first phase of the battle for France

                                Pause to Regroup or Push On?

                                There are about 12 weeks of good summer weather left before the rains come again and the French infantry have now begun to fortify "hedgehog" positions. It is believed that the manpower reserves of France are spent (IRPs) and recent breakthroughs in the line have revealed light mech cav divisions in reserve instead of full divisions or corps. The French line is likely to break soon but the new fortified division positions may prolong the battle.

                                OKW must decide whether to continue with the current pace and push on to Paris or two take the next two or three weeks to rest the main combat elements and set up a new offensive

                                <<Down in Africa>>



                                While Italy is still neutral there is time to set up the supply line to allow for skirmish battles on or just over the Egyptian border. This will be carried over the next few weeks as ordered but Italy does not quite find conditions right to enter the war. When the time comes, Il Duce will sent a priority message to OKW advising his intention to enter the war.
                                Attached Files
                                Last edited by The Purist; 07 Dec 09, 21:42.
                                The Purist

                                Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

                                Comment

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