Strategic Situation and Plans for 1943

First, I review the diplomacy, research, and battlefield situation.  Next, I outline my strategic goals for 1943.

Strategic Command has a reports tab providing information on number of units and losses to date.

Military Might and Military Losses:

               Germany has the largest land force (138 units) followed by the USSR (70), the UK (34) and Italy (18).

German land forces are currently concentrated in Russia.  Iraq has a smaller force and there are several small strategic reserves.  Italy’s troops are in North Africa or guarding Italy.  To the best of my knowledge, the UK has forces in England.  If there are forces left in the Middle East they have not been spotted.  A majority of USSR forces are spotted by Axis forces within Russia. 

               The German Air Fleet is larger than the rest of the world combined (19).  The UK and Italy both have 3.   The USSR has 9.  The UK lost most of their air fleet in 1942 during fighting in the Middle East.

               World Naval Power is roughly even between the Axis and the Allies in numbers, but the Axis fleet has a larger concentration of submarines.  The UK has the biggest fleet (27), followed by Germany (20), Italy (12) and the USSR (7).   Axis Naval Forces are concentrated in the Mediterranean, Southern France and the Baltic Seas.  I believe all of the Allies Mediterranean fleet has been sunk.  The Mediterranean is closed to Allied fleets. 

The Soviet Navy is probably located in the Black Sea.  All Soviet Naval forces in the Baltic have been destroyed to the best of my knowledge.  The location of the UK fleet is unknown except a strong squadron was spotted at the end of the year in the English Channel.

British trade to Egypt and Iraq were closed in 1942.  This is a major blow to UK industrial production.  Most or all of the Russian Baltic fleet was sunk in 1942.

               German and Italian Losses have been minimal with one Italian Army destroyed and an Iraqi Garrison destroyed.  France lost 42 land, 4 air and 4 sea units before surrendering the second time.  Poland lost 9 land and 1 air fleet.  The UK has lost 41 land units, 16 sea units and 13 air units. 

USSR losses all came in 1942 after they declared war on the Axis.  Their losses have been stunning with 126 ground units, 2 air and 2 sea units.

National Morale & Diplomatic Efforts:

               Noncombatants have an automatic 100% morale.  Winning increases national morale while losing hurts morale.  Germany has 114% morale, Italy 98%, the UK with 51% and the USSR with 83%.  Italy has mostly recovered the morale lost when Spain was conquered when Egypt collapsed. 

               The big diplomatic successes of 1942 was persuading Yugoslavia to join the axis and bribing the US Congress to stay out of the war.  The USA is 22% towards the Allies and Portugal which is 65% towards the allies.  Ireland leans 35% Axis.

               Almost all diplomatic efforts continue to target the USA.  A smaller effort (all of Italy’s effort and one of five German diplomatic chits) are aimed at Finland.  If Finland is persuaded to join the Axis in 1943 diplomatic efforts will be changed to target Turkey.

Research:

               Germany has maximized technology in: Command & Control; Infantry Warfare; Armored Warfare; Aerial Warfare; Naval Warfare; Spying & IQ; Production Technology; Infantry Weapons; Naval Weaponry; Artillery Weapons and Mobility.  For the rest of the discussion I use the format (x of y) where x = current technology level and y = maximum technology level.

               Areas with one current research investment are: Amphibious Warfare (2 of 5); Logistics (3 of 5); Industrial Technology (4 of 5); Anti-Tank Weapons (1 of 5); Advanced Tanks (4 of 5); Advanced Fighters (4 of 5); Heavy Bombers (0 of 5); Long Range Aircraft (4 of 5); Advanced Submarines (3 of 5); Ground Attack Weapons (2 of 3); and Anti-Submarine Warfare (0 of 5).

               Germany will probably complete research in Logistics; Industrial Technology; Advanced Tanks; Advanced Fighters; Long Range Aircraft and Ground Attack Weapons in 1943.  When those research fields have been completed Germany will invest in amphibious warfare and anti-aircraft defense. 

               Italy is behind Germany in most Technology.  Italy has fewer industrial resources to invest, started behind Germany in most technology, and has a much smaller military.  Italy is focusing on production research and various technologies relating to their Navy and Air Force in 1943.

1943 Strategic Planning

Diplomacy: Germany will continue to focus almost all diplomatic efforts on the USA hoping to keep them from joining the Allies as long as possible.  Germany will put minimal effort into persuading Finland to join the Axis.  Italy will focus her efforts on influencing Finland.  If Finland enters the war her ground forces can contribute to confronting the Communists in the East.  Also, if Finland joins the Axis diplomatic efforts will then be focused on Turkey.

Research:

               Germany will finish most research in 1943.  Germany has begun focusing on less important research efforts as her main lines of research are completed.

               Italy will focus primarily on technology which improves her Navy and Air Force.  Most of Italy’s contribution for the rest of the war will be at sea.

Military Goals for 1942

               USSR: Most land and air forces will target the USSR.  The primary offensive thrust will be taking Leningrad.  After Leningrad falls, attacks will be focused on taking Moscow through multiple rail and road routes. 

               The bulge in the Southern Front was destroyed in 1942.  Almost all forces in Southern Russia are minor Axis Allies (Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Yugoslavia) whose forces are on this front.  Advances in Southern Russia will be done cautiously.  I do not want to open the Axis forces to flank attacks.  If the flanks can be protected, then advances will continue in the South.  However, advances in the South will be done without tactical and medium bombers.

               I have multiple reasons for this strategy against the godless Communists.  First, If the Axis can take Leningrad and close the Northern Ports, then foreign aid is largely shut down.  Leningrad is a major supply and rail head.  If Leningrad falls, then there are excellent rail lines in three directions heading towards Moscow.  The rail lines are critical for supply and predetermine possible lines of attack. 

               Mideast:  My quick goals are taking Kuwait and the Iraqi ports.  After that, German and Italian forces will liberate Iran and take those oil fields.  If this is accomplished, forces will be concentrated on the Iran-USSR border with the goal of taking Baku.  Sufficient naval forces will be retained around Gibraltar and in the Red Sea to prevent the Allies from getting into the Med.

               Naval Strategy: All 1942 Naval Goals were accomplished.  The bulk of the German and Italian fleets will be moving to Southern France and the English Channel.  All of the Naval Bombers are now located in Belgium or Northern France.

               The British keep launching raids on the Atlantic coast.  Their submarines keep hitting supply lines from Norway.  Italy is rapidly developing ASW technology and Germany has just started on this.  I think with air power the Axis Navy can start challenging the British in the Channel.

Air Strategy:  Ground Attack and Medium Bombers will be used to take Leningrad and then will target Moscow.  Minimal fighter squadrons will guard the southern Russian Front.  Current Axis air units in Egypt will remain with this force until the entire Middle East is conquered.  Several fighter squadrons will remain in France to prevent Allied bombing raids into Germany and occupied Europe.  All Naval attack aircraft are in France or Belgium.

Iraq Falls & Leningrad Threatened: September – December 1942 Strategic Command WWII

Turn 53: Grinding in Russia & Advancing Towards Baghdad 9-13-42: Four communist units were destroyed in the pocket in South Russia.  A counter-attack close to Minsk was repulsed.  Troops continued to grind towards Leningrad but Winter is approaching.  Axis forces continue on towards Baghdad destroying an artillery unit.

Leningrad Front
South Russian Pocket Reduced
9-13-42 Moving Towards Baghdad

Finland moved 6% towards the Axis after promises were made to restore Finland’s borders to those before the Soviet Aggression during the Winter War.

Italy achieved Advanced Submarine level 1 and Production level 2 technology.  Italy invested in Production research.

German Submarines have been successfully raiding in the South Atlantic.  The UK sent light forces to attack the submarines and lost a light cruiser.

Germany purchased 2 HQ units which should improve the logistical situation in Russia.  A heavy tank unit was also purchased. 

Turn 54: September 27, 1942:  The surrounded units in South Russia were destroyed.   Seven Russian land units were destroyed this turn.  The cumulative Soviet losses have driven their morale to 89%.  The British did not withdraw their Fighter Squadron in Iraq and they were destroyed on the ground.

Closing on Baghdad
South Russia – Surrounded Communists Destroyed!

Germany achieved Long-Range Aircraft level 4 technology and invested in heavy bomber technology.  Italy invested in Advanced Submarines.  Germany purchased one tactical and one medium bomber squadrons.

Turn 55: October 19, 1942:  German Mechanized Infantry penetrated to the Leningrad suburbs.  Artillery and anti-tank guns have been brought to attack the Russian forces around Luga which is on the rail line south of Leningrad.  If Soviet forces around Luga are destroyed there will be two supply lines supporting the attack on Leningrad.  Russian forces continue their attacks around Minsk, but German forces are well supplied and are repulsing the attacks.  Seven Russian ground units were destroyed.  Germany destroyed a Strategic Bomber squadron on the ground in Iraq.

Fighting in Leningrad Suburbs
Northern Russian Front

Stalin stripped the Southern Front of troops and the remaining forces are being mauled.  According to the Reports tab, Stalin has lost 108 ground units and is fielding 64 units.  Despite these horrific losses, Communist morale is at 87%.

Southern Russian Front

Germany gained Advanced Tank level 4 research and reinvested in this technology.  German Subs in the South Atlantic withdrew to resupply.  Germany purchased 3 Corps.

Turn 56: November 10, 1942.  In Iraq Axis Forces destroyed the Baghdad garrison and paused to refuel before taking the city (translated – I destroyed the garrison but ran out of movement points).  A British Corps has been spotted in Mosul.  The Mosul force will either retreat to Iran or be destroyed.

Baghdad Garrison Destroyed

A Soviet Armored Division was surrounded at Luga.  Germany has opened up two secure supply lines to Leningrad before the worst of Winter sets in.  Ten Soviet ground units were destroyed this turn and USSR morale slipped to 86%.

Surrounded Armor Near Leningrad

Aside from Leningrad, Germany halted their advance in North Russia after securing cities and rail/road nets to ensure good supplies during the winter.  The screenshot shows this.  Although it looks like there are gaps the in German lines, if the Communists move into the gaps without securing the roads and rails they will quickly suffer from lack of supplies and be easily destroyed.

Germany achieved Spying & Intelligence level 3 technology and invested in Anti-Submarine Warfare research.  Germany purchased two Heavy Artillery units which will be helpful in repelling Russian attacks this winter.

Turns 57 & 58: December 1942:  Iraq Conquered and Russian Winter Sets In – Baghdad fell in early December.  The UK Corps in Mosul was also destroyed.  Two major oil fields were secured in Northern Iraq.  German and Italian troops are rushing towards Basra and Kuwait.  The UK supply line from Basra has been cut.  Next on the agenda is liberating Iran.

On to Kuwait!

Deep winter has come to North Russia.  Leningrad may not fall until Spring.  There are combat penalties for attacking in deep winter and Germany has strong defensive positions in North Russia.  Ground Attack and Medium Bombers are also grounded during snowfall.  In South Russia Axis allies from the Balkans along with limited German forces continue to advance.

North Russian Front End of December
Commie Corps Surrounded in South Russia

Germany achieved Advanced Submarines level 3 technology.  Italy achieved ASW level 2 and Production Technology level 2.  Germany purchased 4 Corps and Italy purchased a Battleship.

A large British Fleet has been spotted in the English Channel, but bad weather prevents the German and Italian anti-ship air fleets from attacking.  Much of the German and Italian Navies will be moving towards South France in the near future leaving enough force at Gibraltar and the Red Sea to keep the Mediterranean Sea closed to Allied forces. 

British Fleet Spotted in the English Channel. Snow Grounds Axis Airforce

Middle East & Russian Advances: June – October 1942 Strategic Command WW2

Turn 47: June 21 1942: Port Said in Egypt was captured and a British Army was destroyed.  A British Corps was surrounded and a British HQ was damaged.  It seems like British defenses in the Middle East are collapsing.  But supply difficulties in the area might allow the UK to survive.

Germany continued to advance in the North destroying 9 Soviet ground units and a Light Cruiser.  According to the Reports tab, the USSR has lost 51 ground units and has 71 land units in their forces.  This has not hurt Soviet morale very much as it is at 99%.  In contrast, British morale is at 59%.

North Russia
South Russia

Italy gained Command & Control level 2 and Industrial Technology level 4.  They purchased one research chit in Anti-Submarine Warfare.  Yugoslavia moved 7% towards the Axis.  Germany purchased a panzer unit and a corps.

The Axis navies are on the move.  Three German submarine fleets are moving towards the South Atlantic to cut the Basra-UK convoy route.  Much of the Italian Navy is moving towards Gibraltar since the Allied Mediterranean fleet has been sunk.

Yugoslavia Joins the Axis! Turn 48 July 5, 1942: Getting Yugoslavian troops up to combat standards and moving them to the Southern front of Russia will take three turns.  First, all of the ground units will be upgraded to Infantry Weapons 2.  Next, all of the units will be fully reinforced.  Finally all of the troops will be moved by rail (operational movement) to the Southern Russian Front.  This will work for all troops initially deploying and that are purchased by Germany this turn.  Units purchased in later turns will be delayed.

The Commies had a huge push in South Russia but they destroyed no units and took no cities.  This was a nutty move given the danger at Leningrad.

South Russia Communist Attacks

The British are slowly marching towards Syria, but hopefully the German push in Egypt will prevent them from capturing Damascus.  A British Corps was surrounded at El Arish.  A British HQ unit was almost destroyed (taken to 2).  A British Aircraft Carrier has been heavily damaged and trapped at Aqaba on the Red Sea. 

Germany achieved Logistics level 3 and reinvested in this research.  Germany purchased one Armor unit in addition to upgrading the Yugoslavian Army.  Germany said “yes” to deploying the Egyptian Legion (a garrison unit) in Egypt and also sent a submarine flotilla to the Black Sea as decision options.  Italy invested 3 diplomacy chits on Finland.  If the Finns join the Axis Leningrad is in bigger trouble.

Nine Communist units were destroyed in Russia including one HQ.  Losing HQs is painful because they are very expensive units to buy and their loss wrecks your supplies in their sector.  According to the reports tab, there are 68 communist land units deployed and 60 have been destroyed.   

The UK has been launching commando raids almost every turn somewhere in Europe from the Atlantic Ocean to little effect. Having a garrison where the raid takes place seems to have no effect on the raids either.

Turn 49, July 19, 1942:  Bribing Congress and the Press continues to slowly work with the USA moving towards the Axis and leaning only 26% to the Allies.  Germany achieved Production Technology level 5 which finishes this line of research. 

The British had a disastrous turn in the Middle East.  A British HQ, a Corps, a Fighter Squadron and a Tactical Bomber Squadron were all destroyed.  Their damaged Aircraft Carrier was sunk off Aqaba.  The British keep moving towards Damascus which caused me to cancel a planned landing by an Italian HQ and two Armies in Syria. 

Disaster for the UK

A Soviet Battleship left Leningrad and sank a German Destroyer squadron.  But the Kriegsmarine sank the Soviet Battleship.  Once again, the Soviets launched widespread ineffective attacks in the South.  German troops with their allies destroyed 9 Communist ground units this turn.  Tallinn is close to falling in the North.

Jerusalem and Amman Captured! Turn 50, August 2, 1942: German and Italian Forces captured Jerusalem and Amman which will conquer both Palestine and Transjordan.  On to Syria and Iraq!

Palestine & Transjordan Fall

Germany achieved Advanced Fighters level 4 and Industrial Technology level 4.  Germany reinvested in Advanced Fighter research and also funded research in Advanced Submarines and Anti-Tank weapons.  Italy achieved level 1 in Production Technology.  Germany invested in diplomatic bribes on the US Congress. 

This turn a Russian Fighter Squadron and six ground units were destroyed.  The Yugoslavian Army and HQ were operated to the Southern Russian Front.  Tallinn is close to falling in the North.

North Russia – Tallinn in Danger

Despite the massive Russian losses, they continue to field new formations.  Soviet Morale is 95% and UK Morale is 56%.  Germany has 114% morale and Italy has 99%.

South Russia August 2. Note that Soviet Attacks are Opening a Gap in their lines.

Turn 51, August 16, 1942: Congress loves bribes!  The USA moved another 4% towards the Axis and leans only 22% to the Allies.  Germany achieved Advanced Submarines level 2 and reinvested in this technology.  Germany also purchased a Yugoslavian Army and two German Corps.

Tallinn fell in the North.  Germany can consolidate their forces and push towards Leningrad.  Eight Communist ground units were destroyed this turn bringing USSR losses to 82 ground units.  According to the reports tab, they still field 69 land units.  A UK Medium bomber squadron was destroyed on the ground in the Middle East.

Tallinn Falls
8-16-1942 South Russia – Gap in the Lines Increasing
Beirut Captured

Turn 52: August 30, 1942: Germany keeps driving in the North.  In the South, the Communists did not protect their flanks and five units were surrounded.  Another six ground units were destroyed in Russia. 

5 Communist Units Pocketed in South Russia

A UK Corps and an HQ were destroyed in Syria.

Syrian Cities Secure – On to Baghdad!

Italy achieved anti-submarine warfare technology level 1 and reinvested in this technology.

Russian morale is FINALLY starting to drop hitting 91%.

January to May 1942: Egypt Captured and Commies Mauled: Strategic Command WW2 War in Europe AAR

Turn 42: February 11, 1942: – USSR Declares War on the Axis!  Declaring war in the heart of winter is nuts, but Stalin did it.  The USA is leaning 30% towards the allies and is the primary diplomatic target of Germany.  Italy is focusing on persuading Yugoslavia to join the Axis.  Because Axis forces are closing on the Suez Canal, the USA sent a load of tanks over and the UK formed a new armor unit in Cairo.  Axis forces then captured Alexandria.  Egypt will leave the allies if Cairo is captured.

The Axis made a number of strategic choices.  First, Italy decided not to send an Expeditionary Force to attack the USSR.  That move would have been costly (400 total points) and yielded only one HQ and 2 Corps.  Instead, Italy will focus on the Middle East.  Germany paid for the Atlantic Wall and Costal Artillery units were formed at three ports.  Germany also formed the “Free India” Garrison.  Interestingly, I recently read an article about the Free India force in a military magazine.  After the War the captured leadership of the Free India Garrison became a major political headache for the UK.  Eventually, they decided not to shoot them as traitors for fear of even greater unrest in India.

Germany achieved Logistics level 2 and reinvested in that field.  Italy invested in Spying and Intelligence.

Axis forces destroyed on Commonwealth Army and Garrison in Egypt while capturing the Port of Alexandra.  Germany funded raising a Bulgarian Army.

Alexandria Captured
Starting Positions at the Start of the War
Baltic Front Advance
South of Great Marsh

German forces in Russia destroyed one Army, one Armored Unit, one Corps and 2 Garrisons.  The USSR was not prepared to defend their borders when they declared war.

Turn 43: March 25, 1942: There were major diplomatic successes with Yugoslavia moving 21% to the Axis (66% now) and the USA moving 4% towards the Axis.  Unfortunately, the USA reacted negatively towards Axis forces closing in on the Suez Canal so the net was USA 31% towards the Allies.  Diplomatic efforts were refunded after these successes.

Eleven Soviet ground forces were destroyed this turn.  A Bulgarian HQ and a Hungarian Armored unit were formed.  Aircraft sunk a British Destroyer Flotilla in the English Channel. 

Baltic Front

A huge sandstorm engulfed Egypt halting all combat operations.

Turn 44: April 16, 1942: Nine Communist ground units were destroyed on the Russian Front.  According to the Reports Tab – the USSR currently has 65 ground units which is more than they had just prior to declaring war.  Stalin has raised a huge force very quickly.  Twenty-eight ground units are currently spotted on the Eastern Front meaning about half the Russian Army deployment is unknown.

Northern Front – Riga Threatened
Southern Front

The Egyptian sandstorm continued for the second month.

Germany discovered Long Range Aircraft level 3 and invested in Ground Attack Weapons.  Italy invested in Naval Weaponry and Anti-Submarine Warfare research.  A Hungarian Corps was funded by Germany.

Cairo Falls! Turn 45 May 8, 1942:  Cairo quickly fell after the multi-month sandstorm finally lifted.  A British Armor Unit and a Submarine Flotilla were destroyed.  This cut the Egyptian-UK supply line which hurts British military production.  The weak resistance force in Baghdad was destroyed and Iraq was seized by the British. 

Cairo Captured!

Yugoslavia swung to 83% in favor of the Axis.  Hopefully they will join the Axis before the end of 1942.  Germany researched Amphibious Warfare and Spying & Intelligence both at Level 2.  Germany reinvested in Spying research and also purchased a research chit in Long Range Aircraft.  Italy researched Naval Weaponry Level 1.  Three Anti-tank units were formed by Germany as part of a triggered event.

Another eight ground units were destroyed in Russia as the Axis continued their advance.

Northern Front
Southern Front

Turn 46: May 30, 1942:  As expected, Egypt surrendered.  Germany purchased 2 Romanian Corps as they continued to advance in the Baltic towards Leningrad. 

Italy researched Production Technology Level 1 while reinvesting in this field and purchasing an additional research chit in Spying and Intelligence.

Riga Falls

My Russian Offensive attempts to keep as short of a front as possible. Offensives can only occur where the supply situation is good. For this reason, German forces are advancing along major rail and road nets. They must capture major cities at major road junctions. Riga’s capture eliminates a pocket along the Baltic. All German ground attack and medium bombers are concentrated on the Northern advance. I’m grinding towards Leningrad while using the Pripet March to guard my flank. The Southernmost line of attack is aimed towards the road and rail hub of Minsk. That will be a stopping point and the anchor of that part of the line.

Southern Front

My goal on the Southern Front is to eliminate the pocket targeting Southern Poland and Hungary. If the pocket is eliminated, the front line is shortened and troops can be transferred to the Northern Front. Only two German armored units are on the Southern Front along with one Hungarian and one Romanian Armored unit. For some unknown reason, Stalin has the majority of his army in the South including almost all armor. As you can see from the screenshot above, Russian forces have not been pushed back terribly far in the South. But a huge Russian armored force has been destroyed. The Communists keep sending units far in advance of their main lines, where they get isolated and destroyed.

The final reason I’m targeting Leningrad is my desire to cut the northern supply line from the Allies to the Soviet Artic Ports. If Leningrad falls, diplomatic pressure may entice Finland to join the Axis making it possible to close the communists artic supply line.

Strategic Situation and 1942 Plans

First, I review the diplomacy, research, and battlefield situation.  Next, I outline my strategic goals for 1942.

Strategic Command has a reports tab providing information on number of units and losses to date.

Military Might and Military Losses:

              Germany has the largest land force (102 units) followed by the USSR (49), the UK (34), Italy (16) and the USA (7).

German land forces are currently concentrated on the border of the USSR.  North Africa has a smaller force and there are several small strategic reserves.  Italy’s troops are in North Africa or guarding Italy.  To the best of my knowledge, the UK has forces in Egypt and the Middle East and in the UK itself.  US and USSR forces are within their respective borders.

              The German Air Fleet is larger than the rest of the world combined (17).  The UK has 7 followed by Italy (3) and the USSR and the USA each with 2.  World Naval Power is roughly even between the Axis and the Allies in numbers, but the Axis fleet has a larger concentration of submarines.  The UK has the biggest fleet (30), followed by Germany (19), Italy (11), the USSR (4) and the United States (1).  Axis Naval Forces are concentrated in the Mediterranean and the Baltic Seas.  I believe most of the Allies Mediterranean fleet has been sunk.  I know the Mediterranean is closed to Allied fleets.  The location of the rest of the Allied Navies is unknown.

              German and Italian Losses have been minimal with one Italian Army destroyed.  France lost 42 land, 4 air and 4 sea units before surrendering the second time.  Poland lost 9 land and 1 air fleet.  The UK has lost 28 land units, 12 sea units and 8 air units.

National Morale & Diplomatic Efforts:

              Noncombatants have an automatic 100% morale.  Winning increases national morale while losing hurts morale.  Germany has 113% morale, Italy 92% and the UK with 71%.  Italy took a morale hit when the Axis declared war on Spain.  Although Italy has had military success in the Mediterranean on both land and sea, its morale has not budged.

              In diplomacy, the USSR is 92% towards the Allies.  Once a country passes 90% they start mobilization followed by a declaration of war.  The USSR will join the Allies within two turns.

              Other notable diplomatic leanings are the USA which is 30% towards the Allies and Portugal which is 65% towards the allies.  Yugoslavia is 45% towards the Axis and Ireland leans 35% Axis.

              Almost all diplomatic efforts have targeted the USA to keep them from joining the Allies.  A smaller effort was aimed at the USSR with few observable benefits.

Research:

              Germany has maximized technology in: Command & Control; Infantry Warfare; Armored Warfare; Aerial Warfare; Naval Warfare; Infantry Weapons; Naval Weaponry; Artillery Weapons and Mobility.  For the rest of the discussion I use the format (x of y) where x = current technology level and y = maximum technology level.

              Areas with one current research investment are: Amphibious Warfare (1 of 5); Spying & Intelligence (1 of 5); Production Technology (4 of 5); Advanced Tanks (3 of 5); Advanced Fighters (3 of 5); and Advanced Submarines (1 of 5).  Areas with 2 investment chits are Logistics (1 of 5); Industrial Technology (3 of 5) and Long Range Aircraft (2 of 5).

              Italy is behind Germany in most Technology.  Italy has fewer industrial resources to invest, started behind Germany in most technology, and has a much smaller military.  Italy has maxed their investment in Production Technology and Industrial Technology. 

1942 Strategic Planning

Diplomacy: Germany will continue to focus almost all diplomatic efforts on the USA hoping to keep them from joining the Allies as long as possible.  Germany will put minimal effort into persuading Yugoslavia to join the Axis.  Italy will focus her efforts on influencing Yugoslavia.  If Yugoslavia enters the war her ground forces can contribute to confronting the Communists in the East.

Research: Germany has maximum research investment in Production and Industrial Technology.  No further investments are needed in these areas.  German Research Goals for 1942 are: Advanced Tanks; Advanced Fighters; Long Range Aircraft; Logistics; Spying & Intelligence and Advanced Submarines in that order.  If any additional research opportunities arise Germany will invest in Ground Attack Weapons (2 of 3); Anti-Submarine Warfare (0 of 5) and Anti-Tank Warfare (1 of 5).

              Italy will focus primarily on technology which improves her Navy.  Most of Italy’s contribution for the rest of the war will be at sea.

Military Goals for 1942

              USSR: Most land and air forces will target the USSR.  The primary offensive thrust will be through the Baltics towards Leningrad.  The German Baltic Fleet will hopefully locate and destroy the Communist Baltic Fleet.  Germany will use the Pripet Marshes to guard the right flank as they advance towards Leningrad.  Minsk is at the North East corner of the huge marsh and is a natural stopping point.

              The Southern Front in Russia has a huge bulge in front of the Pripet Marshes and heading into Hungary.  Minor Axis Allies (Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary) will have all of their forces in this front.  A large contingent of primarily infantry with one or two HQ units and minimal armor will be used to reduce this bulge and shorten this flank.  After the bulge is reduced the Axis minors with sufficient German reserves will hold this front without further movement East in 1942.

              I have multiple reasons for this strategy against the godless Communists.  First, If the Axis can take Leningrad and close the Northern Ports, then foreign aid is largely shut down.  Leningrad is a major supply and rail head.  If Leningrad falls, then there are excellent rail lines in three directions heading towards Moscow.  The rail lines are critical for supply and predetermine possible lines of attack.  The final reason is the Russian Baltic Fleet.  If it is destroyed, then Germany and Italy can fully concentrate their Naval Forces on the British Isles.

              Mideast:  Goal one is taking Egypt and closing the Suez Canal.  Goal two is Palestine and Trans Jordan.  Goal three is Iraq.  The final goal is capturing Iran – but that will probably occur in 1943.  Aside from garrisoning captured national morale points, I doubt if additional forces will be needed in this region.  There are 4 HQ units (2 German and 2 Italian) and sufficient armor and infantry to achieve these objectives.  The problem is getting the German and Italian forces which took Algeria to Egypt.  If air and sea sweeps indicate that Allied Naval Forces have been defeated in the Med, then these troops can use sea transport to reach the front.  Although Iraq is currently part of the Axis, it is weakly garrisoned and out of contact with German and Italian Forces.  It is anticipated that the Axis will lose, then retake Iraq.

              Naval Strategy: Goal one is ensuring the Mediterranean is under 100% control.  Goal 2 is destroying the Russian Baltic Fleet.  Goal three is closing the convoy routes from Egypt and Basra to the United Kingdom.  If these goals are accomplished, the entire German fleet and most of the Italian Fleet will move West towards the Atlantic.

Air Strategy:  Ground Attack and Medium Bombers will be transferred to the Russian front to aid in the Leningrad offensive.  Minimal fighter squadrons will guard the southern Russian Front.  Current Axis air units in Egypt will remain with this force until the entire Middle East is conquered.  Several fighter squadrons will remain in France to prevent Allied bombing raids into Germany and occupied Europe.

October – December 1941: Strategic Command AAR

Turn 37: October 4, 1941 – On the Libyan-Egyptian border German and Italian forces destroyed one UK Army and one Corps.  The German forces in Algeria start their long march to Egypt and the Italian Army on the Algerian – Libyan border start their march to the front.  Both forces are traveling over poor roads.

Libya October 4

              Aircraft sank a British Heavy Cruiser and a Destroyer in the English Channel.

              Germany researched Long Range Aircraft Level 2 and reinvested in this research stream.  Italy researched Naval Weaponry level 1.  Germany purchased an Armor and an HQ unit which were added to the growing army in Central Germany.  Unfortunately, the USSR continues escalating hostilities now leaning 72% to the Allies.

Turn 38: October 26, 1941 – Germany researched Industrial Technology level 3 and reinvested in this area.  Italy invested in Naval Weaponry and Advanced Submarines research.

              Germany purchased One Armor, 2 Calvary and 2 Garrisons in the Romanian armed forces.  In an odd game quirk, minor powers in an alliance (Allies or Axis) have the technology of their leading member.  I’m guessing this is to simplify technology research.  It would be more realistic if minor allied nations were one technology step below the lead nation in the alliance.  But in this game, the Romanian armored unit has the same technology as leading German Armored units.

Attacking in the Desert is slow going. It is difficult to maintain supply which limits the front lines. The combined armies of Germany and Italy are slowly advancing and grinding up UK units. Below is a start and end of Turn 38. The last UK position in Libya is annihilated. In 1941 the UK had advanced a large army and threatened Tobruk. That force has been destroyed with the loss of only one Italian Army. In contrast, the UK force was eliminated.

October 26 Start of Turn
October 26 Turn End

Turn 39: November 17, 1941 – German and Italian forces have almost gotten to El Alamein in Egypt.  The Italian Navy sank a British Destroyer group in the Mediterranean. 

El Alamein Threatened

              There was diplomatic success with the USSR, but its hostility still increased to 80%.  Germany refocused their diplomatic efforts towards enticing Yugoslavia to join the Axis.

              Germany researched Advanced Fighters Level 3 and reinvested in this line of research.  Italy invested in Production Technology and is now at full research investment.  Germany purchased one wing of Fighters and one Hungarian Garrison unit.

German Forces around Berlin

Turn 40: December 9, 1941 – Germany researched Advanced Tanks Level 3 and reinvested in this technology.  Iraq had a  Pro-Axis coup – but the UK is likely quickly crush this revolt despite German investment in the Iraqis.  The British immediately seized the Port of Basra.

              The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.  Germany DID NOT declare war on the United States.  This was the easiest decision I’ve had in the game.  The USA is 36% towards the allies and the USSR is at 85%.  When the USSR hits 90% they start mobilization and will declare war. 

              Germany purchased 2 fleets of Fighters and Italy brought all remaining mothballed fleet elements to fighting strength.  

Turn 41: December 31, 1941 – The USSR starts preparing for war.  The dead of winter seems like a dumb time to start a war, but perhaps Stalin drank some really bad vodka and was disappointed in how many Soviet military leaders are still alive after the purges.

              Axis forces in Egypt destroyed a British Corps and almost captured a HQ unit (1 hp remaining).  A UK Destroyer Flotilla was sunk by German aircraft in the English Channel.  The UK is rapidly marching towards Baghdad from Basra.

Egyptian Ports Blockaded and Cairo and the Suez Canal Threatened

              Italy researched Infantry Weapons Level 2 closing out this research stream.  Both Germany and Italy can now produce heavy tank units.  Germany upgraded all Armor units in the vicinity of Berlin and started rapidly shipping troops by train to the Russian Border.  A Hungarian Corps was purchased. Germany was prepared for Russian Aggression.

Russian Front North
Russian Front South

              Italy spent all three of their diplomatic points trying to persuade Yugoslavia to join the Axis.  There was diplomatic success by Germany for the USA which helped to lesson tensions.

August – September 1941: Strategic Command WW2 AAR

Turn 33 – August 5, 1941 – Casablanca Falls! – Germany captured Casablanca and a strong force is driving towards the French Capital of Algiers.  Off Malta a French Destroyer and a British Light Cruiser were sunk, but a submarine unit escaped.  I think almost all Allied Warships in the Med have been sunk, but due to the Fog of War I cannot be sure.

Casablanca Captured

              Italy achieved Industrial Technology Level 3 and reinvested in that Technology.  Germany purchased 2 Armies and posted them in the vicinity of Berlin.

              The USSR continues moving towards the allies (now 49%) and British Morale sunk to 81%.

Guarding Damaged Battleship

Turn 34 – August 19, 1941 – German Troops are closing in on the French Capital of Algiers destroying 1 French Corps and 2 Garrisons.  A British Reconnaissance unit was destroyed in Libya.

Open Road to Algiers?
Libya August 19, 1941

              The USSR continued increasing their hostility.  In Research Germany achieved Naval Weaponry Level 2 (which completes this line of research) and Italy achieved Advanced Tanks Level 1.  Germany purchased another Army and encamped it near Berlin.  The Air Fleet on Sicily has started rebasing towards Central Germany.

Turn 35 – September 2, 1941 – Algiers Captured! – This should end French Resistance.

Algiers Captured!

There was a strong British attack near the Egyptian Border destroying an Italian Army.  German/Italian Counter-Attacks destroyed a British Corps and an Anti-Tank unit.

Italian Army and Two British Units Destroyed on Egyptian Border

              The USSR continued becoming more hostile reaching 60%.  Germany achieved Ground Attack Level 2 and purchased one research chit in Long-Range Aircraft.  Germany purchased 3 Armies and placed them near Berlin.

Turn 36- September 16, 1941 – France Surrenders! – Again! – France surrendered for the second time.  Hopefully they are out of the war for good.  In response, the UK occupied the Irish port of Limerick and their morale fell to 76%.  Germany had diplomatic success against the USA which moved 6% towards the Axis.  Germany purchased another diplomacy chit targeting the US Congress.  The USA is now 18% towards the allies and the USSR is at 66%.  German morale is at 112% and Italy morale never recovered from the declaration of war on Spain so it stays at 9%.

              France’s second collapse yielded plunder so Germany purchased 3 Armies and two Mechanized Infantry units which max both under soft build limits.  Additional Armies and Mechanized Infantry units can be purchased, but they will cost increasingly more.  Germany also purchased 2 Garrison units.

Berlin Buildup

              Germany achieved Naval Warfare Level 1 technology.  Almost the entire German surface fleet has had their guns improved.

              Germany has not attacked Luxemburg, Portugal or unleashed their considerable force of submarines against Atlantic shipping.

British Mediterranean Disaster: May to July 1941

Turn 29: May 29, 1941 : Taking Malta requires an intricate combined arms attack. First, ships move adjacent to both Maltese ports to cut supply and prevent reinforcing the anti-aircraft unit defenders.  Next, the paratrooper unit is given the “ready status.”  Dropping paratroopers is a two-turn process.  First, they must “get ready.”  The following turn they can drop within their range.   Next Malta is hit by medium bombers reducing the morale and damaging the anti-aircraft unit.  Last, all tactical bombers and both battleships hit the island.  Hopefully next turn the anit-aircraft unit can be destroyed from the air and the paratroopers drop to take the island. 

Malta Attack Starts

              On Libya’s Western border the Italians destroy 1 French Corps and a Garrison unit.   German Armor and Mechanized Infantry race towards Gibraltar to capture it from the land.  Germany used sea transport on 1 Corps to Spanish Africa.  A British destroyer was sunk off the Portuguese Coast. 

Libya May 29, 1941
Gibraltar and Spanish Africa

Germany purchased 5 garrison units destined for Spain and a Maritime Bomber unit.  Maritime bombers have amazing spotting range for ships.  Almost all Axis Minor Units (Bulgarian and Romanian) were upgraded to Infantry Warfare 2.

US Congressional Bribery Worked!  The US moved 5% towards the Axis.  Another diplomatic bribe was purchased targeting the USA.

Turn 30: Malta Captured! June 20, 1941 – After heavy air and naval bombardment, German paratroopers captured Malta without opposition.  A British Fighter Squadron in French Tunisia is also destroyed.

Malta Captured!

              A British Army was destroyed close to the Egyptian border.  A French Garrison was destroyed on the Tunisian border. 

Libya June 20, 1941

              Booze and Bribes succeeded in moving the United States 4% closer to the Axis.  Currently the USA leans 20% to the Allies and the USSR leans 29%.  Germany purchased another diplomacy chit aimed at the USA. 

Germany purchased a squadron of Maritime Bombers.  All Bulgarian and Romanian troops were fully upgraded.  All German surface naval vessels have been upgraded weaponry. Italy achieved Armor Warfare 1 technology and purchased 1 research chit in Command & Control.

Turn 31: Gibraltar Captured! July 8, 1941 – Gibraltar’s British Garrison was easily destroyed and German forces close this entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. Germany transported another Corps and an Armored Division to Spanish Africa.

              A British Aircraft Carrier was sunk in the Ionian Sea!

Ark Royal Sunk in Ionian Sea

              Germany purchased 2 Armies and placed them in the vicinity of Berlin.

Troop Buildup at Berlin

              British Morale fell with the loss of Malta and is now 90%.  French Morale is 52%.  The USSR is becoming increasingly hostile leaning 37% towards the allies.  The bribery campaign has the USA leaning 20% to the Allies, a significant improvement.

Turn 32 – July 22, 1941 – Three British Battleships sunk off Malta!

              Three British Battleships, a Destroyer, and a Heavy Cruiser were sunk off of Malta in combined aerial and Italian Navy attacks.  The British Naval presence in the Mediterranean is now a shadow of what it was in January.

British Naval Disaster off Malta

British Morale fell to 84% with the loss of Gibraltar but the USSR became increasingly hostile at 43%.  Additional troops are moving towards Warsaw in an attempt to impede Communist Aggression.             

              Germany researched Production Technology 4 and invested one research chit in Logistics.  Italy researched Aerial Warfare level 1.  Germany purchased 2 Armies and 3 Garrisons.

              Rabat, Morocco was captured and a German HQ was moved to the Spanish Sahara.

Attacking the French in North Africa

Spain Conquered: Spring 1941 Strategic Command WW2

Turn 25: Feb 10, 1941 – Bulgaria joined the Axis. Advisors suggested keeping 4 units within 10 hexes of Warsaw.  2 Armies Operated to Russian Border.

Malta hit shipping in the Med – again. This is a regular problem.

I Started repositioning German subs towards South France with the long run goal of clearing the British Navy from the Mediterranean Sea. 

German tactical and medium bombers started rebasing towards Sicily. A German HQ operated to Sicily all in preparation for attacking Malta.  Germany spent 1 point on diplomatic bribery on the Soviets.

Turn 26: March 24, 1941 – Spain Invaded!

Declared War on Spain.  Massed German ground forces crossed the border and destroyed 3 armies and 1 corps in the process of capturing 7 Spanish cities.  Declaring war on Spain gave a small hit to German Morale (now 102%) and a larger decrease on Italian morale (now 92%). 

Spanish Border after Declaration of War
Spain Upon Completion of Initial Attacks

On the Libya-Egypt Border the British 7th Armored Division and 1 corps were destroyed.  Malta again interfered with supply shipments to Libya.

Libya Situation

Germany continued to move submarines and a cruiser down the French coast towards Gibraltar.

Italy achieved Infantry Weapons 1, Infantry Warfare 1 and Command and Control 1 level technologies.  It will take Italy time to fully reinvest in research given their low total industrial output and the necessity to replace combat losses in Africa.  Italy did have enough resources to purchase one research chit in Naval Warfare. 

Germany bribed additional members of Congress, the Roosevelt Administration and the Press raising their diplomatic expenditures on the USA to 3.  Bribing Congress and the US Government is like pouring beer down the throat of a drunk – it is hard to notice any change in the Drunk’s behavior. 

Turn 27: April 15, 1941 – German forces continue their success in Spain. Two Corps, a unit of Light Tanks, and a Garrison were destroyed. Seven cities were captured and Madrid should be captured with ease next turn.

Madrid Should Fall Next Turn!

In research, Germany achieved Long Range Aircraft Technology level 1 and Industrial Technology level 2. Germany reinvested in Industrial Technology and purchased one research chit in Spying and Intelligence.

Greenland became a US Protectorate since Denmark is occupied by Germany. Germany purchased one additional bribe against the USA and is maxed out in the bribery department with 4 on the USA and 1 on the USSR.

Repositioning of Naval and Air Forces continued for Germany.

Turn 28: Madrid and Franco Captured! Spain offers Surrender! May 7,1941

German Forces easily captured Madrid and seven other cities. Spanish Fighters were destroyed on the ground by German Armor. Spain surrenders during the Allies turn phase.

Turn Start – Franco Located!
Spain Surrenders During Allied Phase

Malta again interrupts supplies to Libya.

The German air armada has almost finished repositioning to Sicily to start the battle for Malta.

In research, Germany achieved Amphibious level 1 and purchased one research chit in Long Range Aircraft.

Germany purchased an Army and based it in the vicinity of Berlin.

November & December 1940 and Plans for 1941: Strategic Command War in Europe AAR

Turn 22: November 16, 1940 – Germany got Production level 3 and added a research chit to Production.  That is the last investment in production research for the game since the current 2 investment will get Germany to the maximum of Production 5.  Italy purchased a chit in Aerial Warfare.

Italy destroyed a French Garrison and eliminated a badly wounded Corps on the Algerian Border. Germany is concentrating forces on the Spanish border to prepare for a Spring Offensive against Spain.  Other troops are being moved to the Berlin area or the vicinity of Paris.

Turn 23: December 8, 1940 – Romania joins the Axis!

Italy achieved Industrial Technology level 2 and purchased one chit in IT research.  Germany achieved Advanced Fighters 2.

Germany invested one point of diplomacy aimed at the USA and completed upgrading all of their submarines to technology level 1.

Malta is interfering with Italian supplies in Libya.  This is a serious problem in an already poor supply situation. 

Turn 24: December 30, 1940 – Germany said yes to sending the Afrika Corps to Libya.  This costs 500 resource points at 100 points per turn.  This is another situation where the programming gets the German forces to Africa without interception by the British and French Navies in the Med.

Below are Screenshots of Libya and the Franco-Spanish Border at the end of the year.

Libya End of 1940
Spanish Border end of 1940

Review of Research Situation at the end of 1940

Germany has maximized research spending.  Additional investments can only be made when current research is completed. Germany has maximized research in: Infantry Weapons; Artillery Weapons; Mobility; Command & Control; Infantry Warfare; Armor Warfare and Aerial Warfare.

Current research investments are: Naval Warfare (1 invested with a max of 1 technology); Amphibious Warfare (2 invested with 0 current technology and a max of 5); Production 2 invested (currently 3 with a max of 5); Industrial Technology (2 invested with level 1 of 5 obtained); Ground Attack Weapons (1 invested and 1 of 3 max technology); Advanced Tanks (1 invested and technology 2 of 5 obtained); Long Range Aircraft (I invested and 0 current technology out of 5); Naval Weaponry (1 invested with current tech 1 of max 2); and Advanced Fighters (1 invested with 2 tech out of 5).

Currently no investment and no advanced technology out of a max of 5 for: Anti-Aircraft; Anti-Submarine and Heavy Bombers.

Currently 1 technology level and no investment in Rocket Weapons; Anti-Tank Weapons, Advanced Subs and Logistics.

Currently level 1 technology in Spying and Intelligence with a maximum level of 3.

Spying and Intelligence gives you a bonus on research if your technology level exceeds your opponents.  I probably should have invested 1 in this research instead of 2 in Amphibious Research. 

Some technology will receive additional investments as new technology levels are obtained until the technology in that research field is maximized.  Those areas are: Industrial Technology; Ground Attack Weapons; Advanced Tanks; Long Range Aircraft and Advanced Fighters.  All of these technologies either increase your industrial production or are critical research for a land/air based power.

Some research is at maximum investment with no additional expenditures in the future (Production Research, Naval Warfare and Naval Weaponry).  As these research items are completed, research in different technologies becomes possible. 

New areas of research will be invested in the following in rank order as other technologies have been fully researched.

Spying and Intelligence; Logistics; Advanced Submarines; Anti-Submarines; Heavy Bombers.   I’m choosing Spying and Intelligence first because it increases your research success everywhere else.  Logistics improves the supply capabilities of your HQ units and also lower the cost to transfer units by rail from on front to another.  Germany has a lot of submarines and making them more effective makes sense.  I’m always losing resources from Norway to Allied Submarines – anti-sub technology can start to address this problem.  Heavy Bombers are the lowest priority because they attack production points and resource areas and have minimal effect on ground or sea units.

Strategic Situation

Germany has overwhelming force on the Spanish Border.  Spain and Gibraltar should rapidly fall once the good Spring weather arrives.  Taking Gibraltar closes one end of the Med and also hurts the Allies Supply situation.  Taking Spain also allows Germany to move units into Spanish Africa without opposition.  A rapid attack on Algeria should easily knock France completely out of the war before the end of 1941.

Malta is a massive problem.  As long as the Allies hold it, Axis supply in Libya and Egypt is greatly harmed.  Taking Malta will not be easy since it is a  one-hex fortress.  Germany will have to operate their Medium and Tactical bombers to Sicily.  Subs will be used to close the ports at Malta (there are 2) to shut down supply.  Then Germany and Italy will pound Malta by air.  When the anti-aircraft garrison is destroyed, paratroopers in Sicily will take the island from the air.  This will be a necessary, but costly operation. 

Only after Malta falls will the logistical situation allow Italy and Germany to conquer Egypt and close the Suez Canal.  I’m optimistic that the Axis can take Spain, Gibraltar, Algeria (thus eliminating France) and Malta in 1941.  I’m less optimistic about taking Egypt before the end of the year.  Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, and the Middle-East Oil Fields may not fall until 1942.   

The Afrika Corps and the Italian Forces will have to swap back and forth from Tobruk to the vicinity of the British army until Gibraltar and Malta fall and the supply situation is resolved.  That theater cannot be heavily reinforced because the supply situation is so horrible.

The USSR Commies are rapidly rearming and will probably become more hostile as time goes on. Germany declaring War on the USSR has several negatives.  First, the 25 resource points per turn the USSR ships to Germany will stop.  Second, the USA will move towards the Allies if Germany attacks first.  Third, delaying a war with the USSR for as long as possible will enable the Axis to concentrate forces against Spain, Gibraltar, Malta and Egypt.  Closing off the Med and capturing the Oil in the Middle East will make it far harder for the UK (and eventually the USA) to attack the Axis.

The USSR will probably join the Allies in 1941 or 1942.  To prepare for this most of the German army will be transferred to the Berlin area after Gibraltar falls.  Newly purchased ground forces will also be raised in the Berlin area.  The troop concentrations around Berlin and Paris will all be on the railroads to allow rapid rail movement to the Soviet Border once the USSR declares war.