Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The Officer's Mess - The place for baiting and taunting the other teams

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The Purist
    replied
    Yep,... The Red air force was a bare minimum. All the procudtion from late 42 went into heavy armour and artillery as well as upgrading the infantry.

    The three salient points that effected the German startegy were:

    1) No amphibs; this meant no credible threat to England.

    2) Balkan Folly - The Britsh *just* managed to get a corps into the mountains of central Greece and hold the line for most of 1941. Despite concerted German efforts the Germans could not clear the mountan passes in time and the losses were almost Verdun-like.

    3) Turkish bottleneck - the single rail line and, more importantly, the mountainous terrain made quick movement almost impossible. The terrain is almost the same as Italy except for the spine of Alpine mountains down the centre. River lines in rough terrain,... it was the Rapido/Cassino writ large.

    Turning Points

    The two main turning points in the war that lead to an early German defeat were:

    1) The cancellation of the German drive in Turkey in 1942. However, due to fog of war this was not apparent at the time. The fact is that when the Allies collapsed in Turkey the road to Syria was effectively open. More than 1/2 the Turkish army was wrecked and what remained was battered and exhausted. The British were still in the midst of a very hard fought Tunisian campaign and, quite literally, did not have a brigade to spare without weakening one sector or another. The Red Army units Turkey were a paper-tiger,... they looked menacing but had no depth and no reserves (see below). When the order came down to withdraw,... my jaw dropped.

    This doesn't mean that the Germans may have reached Sinai via Syria but the halt order was a shock. A curious "what if".

    Fog of war,... go figure.

    2) Failure to press a clear advantage in Russia in the summer of 42. Again, fog of war here hid the true scope of the looming disaster that was facing the USSR. The USSRs attack in 1941 and resulting "Limited War" staus severly effected Red Army expansion in 1941 and 1942. In 6/42 the Germans launched an offensive in the north that advanced from Tilsit to Riga and the Dvina and then to Mogilev led by the first SS Pz units and army Pz Gr diivisions. Supported by strong LW forces they were crushing the main strength of the Red Army. This attack was joined a few weeks later by a smaller version west of Kiev that pinned local forces and ate further into limited reserves painfully built up by STAVKA.

    Had the Germans pressed their advanatage and triggered total war by taking Kiev or Riga they would have triggered the historical economic crippling of Russian production that would take 5-6 month to repair. Combine this with the fact the Red Army's back was all but broken and the Germans may found themselves able to advance deep into central and southern Russia. At one point it was contemplated to withdraw the Red Army in Turkey for its few good corps and handful of AT bdes. As above "fog of war" did not make this evident since the Germans could not see all the Russian pieces on the map (as in most games).

    However, the very public announcement by OKW to all involved that they were not going to trigger total war instantly removed the pressure on the Russians. The German attacks slowed and then halted and the assault troops moved into reserve.

    Again,... this is due to fog of war and not knowing what was going on in the enemy camp except what limited intellwould provide.

    The Failure of Elastic Defence

    On STAVKA's part the decision was made to shift from defensive production to offensive production. Where production once centred on infantry and AT units with light armour in support, it now changed to armour and artillery. Infantry divisions were vacuumed up to create rifle corps, rifle corps reduced in battle were converted to guard corps. Tank and mech bdes were produced solely for conversion to corps and few artillery corps were squeezed out every two or three months. It took nearly 15 months to make the transition but by late 1943 the Red Army began its first series of heavy but local offensives.

    OKW tried to invoke a form of elastic defence and while this did save many German units from damage, it surrendered territory in an already too shallow defensive zone in the east. In early winter of 43-44 the few breakthroughs were able to gain ground the Germans could not afford to lose. The retreat into central Poland also allowed the much smaller (historically) Red Army to advance with little loss while at the same time concentrating its strength north of the Carpathians. Once the artillery arrived at the front in concentrated numbers the German line crumbled under successive pounding.

    Summary

    The failure in Greece and Turkey added some 45 divisions to the Allied strength (including the Yugoslav partisan divisions) and while these were of limited comabt value they could spare better equipped CW and US divisions to do the fighting. This opening up of a "Third Front" (Africa/Italy being the second), robbed the eastern front of its reserves and the strength with which it needed to stalemate the Red Army. The poor luck with the U-Boat war and the advanced Allied reinfocements made an early Torch and Italy possible and the German position in the west began to slowly unravel.

    Turkey is not a viable option IMO due to the single rail line, the terrain and the problems with supplies. Too many choke points and the defender can bog an attacker down with fewer numbers,... it is the Rapido/Cassino writ large.

    This was the first moderated game I've done with the computer version and "Fog of War". As an observer (and GM) Fog of War is a powerful influence on the psyches of the players. All three teams made assumptions about what the situation appeared to be and none turned out to be (entirely) accurate. The Allied team expected to advance much quicker through the Balkans than they did just as the Russians thought a breakthrough was always imminent. OKW was always of the opinion that they were stronger than they were and that their forces were capable of an operational flexibility that it simply did not have.

    All very illuminating. and fun to watch

    Cheers.

    Leave a comment:


  • TacCovert4
    replied
    And without a Dunkirk the Brits were also able to extract more intact divisions.

    Our general logic behind not pressing for amphib points is that we could never seriously use them. Unlike the OTL, we recognized that, and instead went for more ground forces in a bid to be able to win the ground war.

    Without turkey being in the war, we could have probably done a bit better, but that's assuming that we're going to lose and it's a matter of making the enemy pay as much as possible.

    Maybe more numbers of Infantry Divisions would have given us the edge in defensive combat that we needed to hold out longer, but that again would be conceding the war before we started....

    Leave a comment:


  • AdrianE
    replied
    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
    The game is set up to run the historical course, and France went on for 6 months instead of 6 weeks because the Allies were better than their historical counterparts, and because hindsight helps the allies more than the axis.
    That was balanced by the ahistorical and early conquest of Yugoslavia.

    Thanks to all who participated. I enjoyed watching this.

    It appeared to me that the German side put too much effort into expanding the mobile ground forces and not enough into keeping the UK busy. No amphibious points meant that the UK could use its entire army in the med and none were needed to garrison the UK. Too few subs meant that the allies got their reinforcements sooner. IIRC they were 6 months early at one point.

    The Russian airforce seemed ahistorically small. Was this a result of no total war and production being diverted to the ground units?

    Leave a comment:


  • TacCovert4
    replied
    I agree that knowing the historical battle plans really helped the Allies out in France. That took longer than we really had.

    The 'chain breaker' which I agree was necessary, hinged on the Soviet Union playing its cards close to the vest. Would the real Stalin have jumped into the fray so soon, maybe....maybe not.

    Had the Soviets not jumped in and forced us to put powerful units on the defense there, I'm moderately confident that we could have broken through the Allied lines and gotten out of Turkey. Would have still been a hard fight, but 3-6 more months of Russian inactivity would have given us the vital window to get the first divisions into the Levant.

    And that was the kicker IMHO. If we had been able to get a single supplied railway into Syria, we could have poured Panzer, Panzer Grenadier, and SS Panzer Divisions into the Levant without the hard caps on our numbers like we had in North Africa. Had the N. Africa logistics rules not been strictly enforced, we could have put another armored corps there, and been able to 'barely' make the breakthrough. Since that wasn't possible, we had to have a second way into the region, one that did not rely on those restrictive rules. A single railway would have done it, and we could have taken that theater before the US got into the war.

    As I've said before, and in this game I believe it was the hinge factor as well, Germany must Take North Africa and the Levant. With all of that under their control, they can put heavy defenses to the West and keep the Allies from breaking into the Med. for a long time, perhaps indefinitely. Without N. Africa and the Levant, Germany is doomed to fight on 2-3 fronts for the whole war.......

    Leave a comment:


  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by Tsar View Post
    Not really I was ready to write it off in 43. It was obvious at that point that we were not going to win and I saw no reason to prolong the inevitable. Gerry said that you guys should have your chance to kick our butts since we had been doing it to you for 3 years (but obviously not well enogh).


    I hope you have apologised to your team mates for your unusual opinions and subsequent outcome . Aside from attacking Turkey, a limited attack against the USSR so as to not invoke total war seems a bit silly? When you win we get stronger. Not a good choice. You need to take out the USSR straight away. You did not and lost.

    However, hats off to the W.Allies . I admit to being stunned to all their successful invasions so early on. Plus all their aircraft. Either someone knows the game, or we have a budding Scipio/Alexander/Julius Caesar in our midst .

    Leave a comment:


  • Twitter3
    replied
    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
    The game is set up to run the historical course, and France went on for 6 months instead of 6 weeks because the Allies were better than their historical counterparts, and because hindsight helps the allies more than the axis.

    Turkey made sense because that would have broken the historical chain of events, as I have said. When we withdrew, Gigantic Allied forces had already pushed us out of Africa, Sardinia, Corsica and France were being landed on and Italy suddenly surrendered before Sicily had even fallen.
    Pushing farther in Italy would only have made sense if we could have move our capitol to Ankara.

    So long Gents, and better luck next time, Twitter
    Yes, if only we saved a few more para units for the last push we might have made Berlin.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Exorcist
    replied
    The game is set up to run the historical course, and France went on for 6 months instead of 6 weeks because the Allies were better than their historical counterparts, and because hindsight helps the allies more than the axis.

    Turkey made sense because that would have broken the historical chain of events, as I have said. When we withdrew, Gigantic Allied forces had already pushed us out of Africa, Sardinia, Corsica and France were being landed on and Italy suddenly surrendered before Sicily had even fallen.
    Pushing farther in Italy would only have made sense if we could have move our capitol to Ankara.

    So long Gents, and better luck next time, Twitter

    Leave a comment:


  • Tsar
    replied
    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
    As for Turkey, did you consider the terrain ?
    Yes, I can get away with it about half the time. A lot depends on the die rolls. If we take Greece and Create than we can use Paras to grab a major port and resupply and repair the rail lines from more than one direction. If the UK and Turkey had to face a double front they would have lost, or at least stopped attacking in North Africa. After North Africa fell there was no reason to stay in Turkey.

    Originally posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
    The war over by mid 44, that must have been very depressing for you .
    Not really I was ready to write it off in 43. It was obvious at that point that we were not going to win and I saw no reason to prolong the inevitable. Gerry said that you guys should have your chance to kick our butts since we had been doing it to you for 3 years (but obviously not well enogh).

    Leave a comment:


  • Nick the Noodle
    replied
    Originally posted by Tsar View Post
    Obviously the biggest mistake that Germany made was our invasion of Turkey. This was always a gamble. In fact I first labeled it the Balkan Foley when I proposed it. The hope was that we would be able to get through Turkey quickly enough to attack the 8th army from the rear. Lacking that I had hoped to tie down enough of it to allow the Africa corps to win in Libya. Instead we ended up with 2 new enemies and another front to defend. I have to admit Im shocked at how quickly our position in North Africa fell apart.

    Another possible mistake we may have made was not advancing further into Russia when we could. I argued forcefully to not take enough personnel centers to let Russia go to total war status. I figured that if they were willing to give us a chance to fight them with them tied to limited war I would keep them that way. Judging from the screaming that came about because of it I would say that on one level it worked well. On the other hand if we had pushed harder they would have been back much further when they got their legs back under them and started to advance.
    One of the best parts of your cunning plan was not to strike deep into the USSR. That way we could continue to mount agressive operations, and yet have the full knowledge that if a disaster happened we would then be no worse off than historically, ie by being able to go into Total War status .

    As for Turkey, did you consider the terrain ?

    The war over by mid 44, that must have been very depressing for you .

    Congratulations to the W Allies .

    Leave a comment:


  • Karri
    replied
    Allied discussion group is now public:
    http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...php?groupid=53


    Thanks to everyone for playing, and huge thanks to Purist for running the game!

    Leave a comment:


  • The Purist
    replied
    Cheers everyone. I've asked the management about a ribbon and was thinking something along the lines of the various WWII ribbons but one that mixes the nationalities. Maybe a Red (Russia), Blue/White (Allied), Black/Gold (Axis) -

    Red for the Soviets, of course
    Blue/White for the colours of the flags of France, Britain and the USA
    Black/Gold for the axis - from darkness into light.

    Getting the mix right is the challenge.

    The threads are open, of course, but do remember that lots of the comms were handled by PM so following the flow might not be easy.

    The folks who set up the Social Groups will have to change them to public views,... I'm not sure how.

    I'll do a review (long and boring, I'm sure). While each team had their view it was clouded by the fog of war. There were many a moment where I, omnipotent in my view, gave a few gasps of shock and chuckles over lost opportunities and simply sheer good luck.

    I'l try to have that up this weekend.


    Next game? That would be the Barbarossa sim about to begin. Less a team game than an attempt to see what can be done in the game framework with a different focus. It is aimed more at the German plans with the Red Arm being handled automatically (by the GM,... ummm, me )
    Last edited by The Purist; 08 Apr 11, 10:00.

    Leave a comment:


  • Twitter3
    replied
    A very special thank you to The Purist for being a most flexible and patient host! I am VERY happy to have been a part of this game AND equally happy to have seen it completed.

    Nice job to both the Germans and the Soviets for the whole game. I can tell you that there were some times that we were hanging on my a thin thread. If you have any questions about why we did this or that or what we were thinking let me know.

    Now, what's the next game?

    Leave a comment:


  • Arthwys
    replied
    Awesome Gerry, Thanks for running this for us. In some ways I can't believe it's over (there's still so much for Russia to do!)

    A hearty congratulations to our opponents and allies both on a well played and enjoyable campaign.

    Leave a comment:


  • SoccerDJ
    replied
    Well done and thanks for the game The Purist I am glad it was seen through to the end.

    And heres to my comrades who help drive our Red Army to Berlin

    Leave a comment:


  • Tsar
    replied
    Obviously the biggest mistake that Germany made was our invasion of Turkey. This was always a gamble. In fact I first labeled it the Balkan Foley when I proposed it. The hope was that we would be able to get through Turkey quickly enough to attack the 8th army from the rear. Lacking that I had hoped to tie down enough of it to allow the Africa corps to win in Libya. Instead we ended up with 2 new enemies and another front to defend. I have to admit Im shocked at how quickly our position in North Africa fell apart.

    Another possible mistake we may have made was not advancing further into Russia when we could. I argued forcefully to not take enough personnel centers to let Russia go to total war status. I figured that if they were willing to give us a chance to fight them with them tied to limited war I would keep them that way. Judging from the screaming that came about because of it I would say that on one level it worked well. On the other hand if we had pushed harder they would have been back much further when they got their legs back under them and started to advance.

    Leave a comment:

Latest Topics

Collapse

Working...
X