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Bill101

German East Africa AAR!

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Blantyre loses its Portuguese protectors, so its fate now lies in the hands of the Baganda Rifles and some Belgian pilots. What a film that would make should they be successful!

Major Kraut is on the move again, this time surrounding the 4th King’s African Rifles who were sticking their necks out a bit near Fife.

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The Belgians are back at Ujiji. Their bruises must have healed after the last beating we gave them.

Annoyingly, Tabora is still held by some African Levies in Belgian service!!

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It is now October 1918 and we await news from home to learn how the war is faring on the Western Front. Has Paris fallen yet?

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Indeed, those poor Belgians suffer some more this turn.

Elsewhere, the Portuguese Cavalry operating on our southern border are annihilated!

But at the same time Wintgens is having to rush reinforcements to the south east to counter the British and Portuguese forces that are massing around Mueda.

Meanwhile, von Lettow-Vorbeck has a big smile on his face, for his forces have won a great victory. In fact, capturing Blantyre is our biggest success of the war so far!

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The loss of Blantyre has reduced British Imperial Prestige from 62 to 47%.

Kraut is once again on the move, this time destroying some Levies and surrounding the 7th King’s African Rifles. They will have to retire on Bismarckburg now, but their supply situation is atrocious, so it is very probable that they won’t make it…

1918-10-11kraut_zps47d70f9a.gif

The only bad news is that Tabora remains in enemy hands.

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News reaches us from South Africa that there is growing unease with the war. Perhaps the Boers will rise again?

The British have captured Tunduru near the Portuguese frontier. This is a blow as these troops have advanced south from Dar-es-Salaam, embroiling Wintgens forces in a two front war. That was a surprise!

Von Lettow-Vorbeck consolidates at Blantyre, while Wahle launches an attack on a British unit to the south of Ujiji – but is surprised to discover that he hasn’t come alone, and our attack doesn’t achieve the success we had hoped for.

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Tabora remains in enemy hands, but Kraut’s troops near Fife smash an East African Brigade and are keeping the pressure up on the 7th King’s African Rifles.

It is now November 1918 and bad news reaches us from home of German defeats on the Western Front. This is not good. Have all our sacrifices been in vain?

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Despite the balls-up that has become the offspring of the Entente's plan in East Africa, news from Europe is encouraging indeed! In light of the situation, we have made only such movement as necessary to ensure that we hold onto what we have now, and to reduce further casualties as much as possible. Peace is close at hand, and on our terms it seems.

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And indeed, news now reaches us of an armistice, with a cessation of hostilities imminent. We will stand in place now, and hope that word reaches our German foe. However, given their isolation from the coast, we expect one more round of fighting yet, but we will take it on the chin, and not respond---if need be, we will send emissaries to the German commanders and show them the news bulletins which we are in possession of.

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The scene in Paris...

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Given the news from home, we are not risking our troops in combat so much pending confirmation of an armistice being signed.

It is a shame as one of our units has almost succeeded in dividing Portuguese East Africa into two:

WarMapend_zps8ddcfa39.gif

Major Kraut scores a victory by destroying the 7th King’s African Rifles and liberating Bismarckburg.

One final bit of good news is the liberation of Tabora. The African Levies had successfully held off our attacks here for some time, so they deserve full praise for their stand.

Upon receiving confirmation that the war has definitely ended in Europe, in order to avoid further unnecessary losses, we have signed an armistice to end the war in Africa.

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And von Lettow-Vorbeck returns home to a hero’s welcome!

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185_zpsb44c39e1.jpg

There will be no heroes welcome for Smuts or any of his generals. The chart above says it all---Entente losses were hideous, by any standard one cares to set.

In retrospect, trying to divide the Central Railway and thus splitting Ujiji off from support out of Dar-es-Salaam was a waste of time and resources. The Germans used their forces wisely and creatively. It was a huge mistake for the Entente to spread itself so thin and to move so quickly. Morale suffered hugely, and in very few instances was it ever possible for the Entente to greatly outnumber the Germans when they were defending---which of course violates one of the basic rules of warfare.

A concentration of Entente power, was needed, and the Germans should have been gradually shoved into one mass in the center of East Africa. Cut off from the sea and their primary sources of supply, it would have then just been a matter of time before the Entente superiority in manpower and material made itself known.

The map below shows one, perhaps the only way that victory might have been achieved by Entente forces.

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During the game, I came to think that an early objective for the Entente should be to set up a screen at Neu Langenburg, only attacking there if the defense is really weak.

West of Neu Langenburg, build up a force to attack Bismarckburg. This location is isolated by geography from the rest of the German colony and hard to defend.

With Bismarckburg in Entente hands, an advance to the north on Ujiji, in conjunction with an Anglo-Belgian advance south from Rwanda, should have the potential to take Ujiji and clear Lake Tanganyika. Or to screen that location and threaten Tabora and/or Mwanza. It's very hard for the Germans to defend all locations, and I was lucky in that these last two places weren't threatened by significant forces.

A priority in the north east has to be Dar-es-Salaam, moving down the coast via Tanga. Capturing this place will prevent any blockade runners from getting through with munitions to resupply the German forces, and it will reduce German income and morale.

Happycat's post above is certainly valid too, and would work, possibly in conjunction with some of these thoughts. As I had these ideas while playing as German they are based on my feelings of vulnerability during the campaign. Germany cannot defend everywhere and finding weak points that don't need to be heavily fought over has to be the aim - but the superior German mobility does make this hard to achieve.

It was great fun to play and strategic decisions had to be made constantly, to decide where to build up forces, to hold on the defensive, and best of all, where to attack!

I'd like to thank Happycat for being a great opponent. :)

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And thank you to you also, Bill. I enjoyed the game as well as the lesson in mobile warfare. I also appreciate your thoughts about the Entente strategy, and especially like the thought about Bismarckburg. It is easy to ignore it, because it seem like it's not a threat, but in fact it should be an early objective for the British forces.

A rematch is in order, some day when we have time...

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Thanks for the great AAR both of you :) .

Congratulations to Germans for saving their honor and to Entente for the draw despite the losses.

Better strategic analysis award for Happycat and better creative move award for Bill :D .

Thank YOU for following the AAR and for your feedback; it's nice to know that it was being enjoyed.

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Awesome AAR. I rank this scenario as perhaps the best one of the standard scenarios of the whole sc2-series. It's right up there with spanish civil war.

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Thanks for the link, it's really interesting to compare and contrast with ours, to see the German forces on the move, but getting pinned down and cornered.

Still, it was all about being a pain in the neck for the Entente and your Germans have certainly achieved that too!!

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A couple of weeks ago, I played the Allies in another AAR of this campaign... the AAR is in German, but the screenshots will be understandable for everyone.

http://www.si-games.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25149

Have fun!

Your AAR pictures and videos make me wish I could read more German. I know just enough German to get the gist of each sentence, but there are many words that send me running to my dictionary :)

The AAR you and your friend did would be an awesome summer project for you to translate into English, don't you think? Seriously, however, it is a very nicely presented AAR. Thanks for linking it to this forum!

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