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abukede

Official AAR: Global Conflict Gold

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It's February 1941 and the weather in Europe isn't good, but we may well be launching some offensive operations in the spring to deal with threats to our flank and also boost our income prior to the big one when our Panzers will drive into Russia.

The Kriegsmarine thought that it might be wise to make itself scarce in the Atlantic given that we were rather surprised to lose a Cruiser in the Allied turn. Plus we have some naval units returning to France from an extended patrol and they need resupplying before they'll be any use in combat.

Our Italians have taken SeaMonkey's advice and are digging in around Tobruk. The Luftwaffe is moving into Italy in more strength now, but annoyingly the Royal Navy are now keeping their Cruisers just out of range.

More tech advances this turn, perhaps the most surprising being that Italy has just developed Infantry Weapons level 2. Whether their army in Africa will get a chance to even upgrade with them, let alone use them, waits to be seen!

The Japanese army has taken up a more secure position in China, hoping to avoid a repeat of its recent mistakes. The officer responsible has fallen on his sword.

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Into March '41 and one of the quietest months of the war so far. I could not find any targets at sea, and in Africa and China I continued some limited attacks with some limited damage, but nothing to write home about. A bit more shuffling of the RN and further adjustment to the Red Army... but really I am waiting for the next axis move now. Summer '41 is getting close, and for sure there is going to be some major action!

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It looks as though the Allies have set a little trap for what remains of the Italian fleet in the Med, as there is a South African Transport just north of Tobruk.

MedMarch1941.gif

Obviously I have to see what can be done about it, so my Romanian fighters in Albania sortie, swiftly followed by the Italian air force in North Africa, and then my bombers based at Naples. I have a feeling that it took some serious punishment, but I am not going to risk Italy's remaining navy just to sink it.

Spring is a good time of year to declare war on our neighbours, so let's celebrate it by conquering Yugoslavia! Next stop Greece?

All is fairly quiet in the Far East as we continue preparing for the war to come.

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OK - I attacked in Africa again, taking an Italian Army down to 4 and destroying the Italian Fighter formation. Air superiority is now mine, and I expect to be able to wipe out this Italian Expeditionary Force within the next 5 turns.

However - is Bill about to hit Greece and from there send Germans to Africa? Can he afford to ignore the Russians much longer? All very interesting...

In China pretty quiet. I chipped away at another 2 Japanese units for little loss to me and more loss to them, but I am running out of good targets. I think Bill has decided to go on the defensive in China while preparing all out for Pearl Harbour now. I will need to make as much mischief of my Chinese as possible in a few more months when I am ready to launch some limited counter attacks of my own in that area.

Nothing at sea - the U boats have disappeared. Upgrading? If so might be a sign of an attempt to wage a big war in the Atlantic. That would be interesting too, though the loss of the 2 German cruisers to incidents in 1940 wont please the Kreigsmarine at all!

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Rather than savor their victory over the Italians in the Med, the Royal Navy seems to have a death wish as once again we find British cruisers just waiting to be sunk. Plop! There goes another!

CruisersinkingApril41.gif

Italy realigns its forces near Tobruk and operates its Tactical Bombers back to the mainland. At least someone will escape the debacle.

Germany continues building up for Barbarossa, with a little redeployment in the Balkans as we are planning a little more nastiness there. ;)

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is that there is a possibility of convincing General Franco to enter the war, as Spain's mobilization level is currently 68%.

Japan's lines in China are holding up at the moment, while the Combined Fleet is being fitted out for operations, and the turn ends on a good note as Germany develops Industrial Technology level 2!

It's now April 1941 and the USSR is at 58% mobilization, the USA at 25%.

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Ouch - the crew of the Gloucester were caught offguard by that air attack. Didnt realise that air power could do that in one hit, or perhaps I had just forgotten! The RN retreats to get itself some new AA guns, but as the Italian Air Force is destroyed as a tactical force at least the cruiser did not die in vain. :-(

As an act of revenge the British Army in North Africa attacked again, destroying another army and leaving the situation thus:

africaattack2.jpg

The Italians here are doomed unless Bill decides to reinforce with Germans, but we are now into Spring 1941 and if he does that my Russkies will be happy. All in all the situatuion continues to be a good one for the good guys.

China saw more attacks on Japanese ground forces. I believe I am doing at least 50mpps of damage each turn in China, and that is an effect that will tell on the Japanese in the long run.

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German bombers strike at Athens, as we commence our next conquest! The Panzers advance and the Greek army is shattered. Athens is not yet ours but unless the British send some troops from Africa (please do!) it will be ours next turn.

Greece.gif

Japan just continues reinforcing the navy.

We haven't launched Barbarossa yet because Germany is awaiting some new units and also better tech. This is steadily coming as our Stukas are going to be upgraded next turn, and we should soon have some new Panzers too!

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A very quiet allied turn. Did some more damage in China and Africa, but nothing that changed the battlefront geographically. Need to reinforce and rest my armour in Africa really before I can do much more, and awaiting Bill's next move beyond Greece.

Across the globe India decided to through its lot in with Britain. Early in the game I had not forced this via a decision event because now I will enjoy good relations with the Indian government and much better supply in India should the Japanese invade. To be honest that looks unlikely now as China is still so bouncy, but at the time it seemed wise. An invasion of India by the Japanese is very bad news for the allied powers...

It's surely got to be Russia next... I predict a late June invasion, maybe early July. I hope I am ready.

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Greece surrenders, providing Germany with 75MPPs and a good air base for striking British targets in the Med. :)

The Italians are still holding out valiantly at Tobruk, even launching counterattacks.

Japan didn't suffer much from Chinese attacks that turn, so it was fairly quiet in that theater.

It is now the 22nd June 1941, that historic date, and the USA is at 28% and the USSR at 72%. Barbarossa cannot now be long delayed...

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Very little from the good guys in June 1941. I spent a lot of mpps in Africa beefing up my units there in preparation for a big final push to drive the Italians out. Some Chinese chipping still. My Russkies put some final touches to their plans, and everything else took a deep breath and waited...

Barbarossa this coming turn? I reckon not quite. One more at least before Bill is ready, but who knows: I could be wrong...

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Not quite as far a long as you guys, but finally seeing some Chinese casualties after having taken some since the start, so perhaps this Chinese situation isn't as bad as I thought.

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Germany is now preparing in earnest for the big one, with forces massing in Poland. Our official cover story is that Stalin has been threatening our eastern borders, so we are only taking steps to protect them.

Italian forces counterattack near Tobruk, aggressive to the end.

Tired of being on the defensive in China, the Japanese airforce bombs Nanning. Will this be the start of something more? Well, we have just developed Infantry Weapons level 2 and Ground Attack level 1, so it is possible. ;)

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Brits in Africa destroy another Italian army leaving Tobruk nearly open to attack. Stalin's boys prepare further, but are glad to see the clock ticking through July 1941. The longer the wait, the better. My mpps are up over 300 for Russia now, and that is good.

China was the main interest for me. Bill launched a big air offensive on Nanning in south, making a bit of a mess of my small Chinese air force, but not doing any damage to the corps in Nanning. Is this the start of something new? Attacks on southern China are still bamboozling me a bit, but with so much air power concentrated there I can only assume that another offensive is imminent. I hope the Emperor hasnt forgotten the need to hit Pearl Harbour if he is to have his Pacific Empire! :-P

Graphic of China attached - lots of Jap air visible at the start of my turn.

chinadefence1941.jpg

Chinese ground attacks did damage to 3 of the Jap units visible here, totally around 9 from memory. The constant hacking away at Japanese strength in China I am certain is going to have a big impact on the whole war.

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The time for Barbarossa is now very close, last minute deployments are taking place, and we're desperately trying to find the time to add some key upgrades to some of our units. The USSR is at 84% and it's August 1941, so it will soon begin...

It's raining over China so there are no training flights (for that's all they were last turn). Instead, our aircrew are studiously reading their new manuals for their long range, hard pounding, super torpedo armed bombers!

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I had a turn of almost total building and reinforcement. Intel spied a U boat off the coast of France which 11 Group strafed and Bomber Command had a go at, but probably not for much damage. The Chinese kept up a slight peppering of the Jap Army, but only in 2 areas as Bill has withdrawn most of his front line units or got them entrenched now. In Africa the British government, convinced now that Sealion wont happen, ploughed all resources into reinforcing the British Army outside Tobruk, and next turn a British offensive there should begin provided I dont hit dust storms.

Tick tock... in my opinion allowing the USSR to sit on a high level of mobilisation - 80 something % - plays into Stalin's hands. Mpps are high, and production is advancing unhindered, and once Barbarossa does actually start winter will be close behind.

All looking good. I plan to be in Berlin in time for coffee and cake in 1943. :-)

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Barbarossa has begun! Axis forces advance en masse into the Ukraine, smashing Red Army units and capturing Odessa, while paratroops drop ahead of the Panzers, inflicting damage on enemy air units.

Barbarossa.gif

Mussolini decides to evacuate General Balbo from Tobruk, leaving the 1st Army to its fate there. Balbo might be needed for services on the Eastern Front, and pulling him out now will be a lot cheaper than replacing him later.

Japan just continues upgrading and reinforcing units. Having Infantry Weapons level 2 means that we should be able to blunt the Chinese sword somewhat now.

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Hitler invades, and the allies crank up the pressure...

Specifically my assault on Tobruk, made easier by the evacuation of the Italian general staff, began. Didnt manage to take it, but should do next turn. Assault finished thus, and from here I can plan to threaten Italy and stretch Bill's forces:

tobrukassault.jpg

In Russia I decided not to sit and wait for the Germans withouth doing something myself, and I pre empted Finnish treachery by invading Finland. This was the attack forces used, commanded by my best general - Zhukov:

Finlandassault.jpg

I forgot to save an image of the end of the assault, but in simple terms Zhukov's troops smashed the Mannerheim Line and ended up at the gates of Helsinki. The corps in Helsinki comes with entrenchment 6 - not a happy reality - but with some expensive attacking I should be able to elimnate it next turn unless the snows come early. That was the risk with attacking so late in the season (September) - I had assumed Barbarossa in August at the latest, and so there is an element of danger in my assault here, but it seemed worth the gamble.

Bill will drive on from here - but by the time he gets close to Moscow I hope to have enough to blunt him, and in 1942 turn him around...

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Barbarossa continues as we commence our encirclements of the cities of Minsk, Riga and Kiev. Our supplies are struggling to keep up, but supplies of new Panzer IIIs reach some of our armoured forces in the Ukraine.

The Russian navy obviously wasn't watching when the Luftwaffe smashed the Royal Navy in the Med, and they have just lost a Destroyer. :)

Can we save Finland? I really don't know. :confused:

The Italian Army escapes by sea from Tobruk! We live to fight another day, in more profitable campaigns and with better weapons.

There is some air action over China, with our Zeros shooting down their fighters in combat, followed by our bombers going on to inflict more casualties on them on the ground.

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Italy runs away from North Africa leaving the British to charge along the coast and capture the towns that are left. In a few turns time I'll return to this theatre once I am ready to go to the next stage...

In China pretty quiet...

It's all about Russia now. I like to divide my operational areas into sections in my mind, and currently I have 3. Here is the end position in Army Group Finland (Zhukov)

Finlandassault2.jpg

I chose to destroy the Finnish HQ first which had fled to the far SW before taking on the Helsinki Corps. This may not have been necessary, but had I attacked Helsinki and not taken it thanks to the influence of the HQ I may have then hit ice and snow the following turn and been left up a creek without a paddle. As it is even if snow comes now Helsinki should fall - a unit on 0 tech with no HQ is easy meat to tanks at level 2 commanded by Zhukov.

Then Army Group North. Holding out with minimal force around Riga and Minsk, but not without causing the Germans some problems and taking a real toll of the one panzer corps in that area. Picture here:

Riga.jpg

Finally Army Group South where Bill has placed most of his air assets. This line wont hold, but note the damaged German units and I can tell you that the initial attack on Odessa cost both panzer corps about half their strength. Picture here:

Kiev.jpg

Key aspects are my infantry tech superiority and the fact that I now have anti air level 2 as well which should help my ground units be more resilient. Tank and Air tech are also good.

Stalin is happy... for now.

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Both Minsk and Kiev fall, and our forces are now preparing to seize the Ukrainian mines.

The Finnish army advances, their place in Helsinki being taken by a German Corps. This will hopefully buy a little delaying time!

Italy is stepping up plans for homeland defence, while Japan is stepping up its plans to cause lots of offence.

The turn ends with a nice set of tech results, so that contrary to Stalin's expectations, the Germans aren't inferior to him in tech, we just haven't had a chance to implement it all yet. Japan has also develops some new landing craft (level 2) that will come in handy fairly soon! :)

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The German placement of a green and tech 0 corps in Helsinki wuth no HQ command was a suicide move, and Helsinki fell easily. Had the snow come it may possible have been different as the extra unit made it impossible for me to get my infantry to Helsinki, but Red armour was enough. In this regard I have been fortunate as the snow has held off. Finland is out the war, Russia a bit richer, and the northern flank now secured.

No action elsewhere in Russia where I simply wait and watch while my forward units are chewed up, but they have already offered more resistance than I thought would be the case and cost the Wehrmacht not insignificant amounts of damage. The Red Army's time will come, but for now I am happy to give ground and watch the clock tick.

No action in Africa where the British continue the mop up operation.

In China my teched up Chinese armies north of Changsha managed to destroyed a Jap Army that turn. It will not be long before the Japanese, with the US breathing down their necks, will be in big trouble in all areas I think, though not before Bill has had the opportunity to massively increase the size of the Imperial Pacific Empire. Waiting with interest to see how far he can push his attack, and how much damage my chipping Chinese have done to the overall Japanese war effort. The impact of the impending Pearl Harbour attack will be a good guide to this.

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Although Riga remains in Stalin's evil hands, solely due to the weather, the Ukrainian mine is ours!

Our spearheads have now reached Kharkov and we have the choice of aiming for the city or the industry to its south in coming turns.

EasternFront.gif

It's very quiet indeed in the Far East, at least as far as the enemy can see!

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... and Stalin sits and waits, building his strength and sharpening his sword.

The Chinese revel in a snow storm, and do more upgrading.

The British? Not a lot from them... or so it seemed.

Very quiet turn - it is Dec 41 though, so the final throw of the dice by the Japanese in the Pacific cant be far off.

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Riga is ours and Manstein arrives on the Eastern Front to take command of our northern drive into the USSR, while our forces are now massing around Kharkov and the eastern mine.

In the east, the Yamato is launched and our bombers pound the Chinese cities of Kunming and Nanning. The enemy's fighter opposition is feeble.

Finally, Soviet Winter Strikes. It had to happen so I'm glad that it's out of the way.

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