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That the Intaki who supported Caldari independence from the Federation were first exiled from the Federation, and then attacked by Caldari radicals demanding the expulsion of all foreigners? For more, read here.

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Author Topic: Iron and Flame: an alternate history play-through of Hearts of Iron 3: Germany  (Read 2217 times)

Vikarion

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Chapter 2: Rising sparks - continued
September, 1938, Berlin

The day was gray. Viktor was, again, holed up in Berlin while his Fuhrer conducted business. This time, it was in Munich.

It had not been a pleasant experience. Hitler was becoming anxious, aggressive, and when the Sudetenland Germans had begun clamoring for acceptance into the Reich, he had latched onto it with the tenacity of a bulldog. When the Czechs had begun suppressing the native Germans, Hitler had gone white-hot with rage. At the same time, France and Britain seemed set on ensuring Czech sovereignty.

Forst had been seriously worried. As time went on, he was beginning to think that he might not be able to restrain Hitler until the country was ready for war. But then the British had intervened, and proposed a mediation. And it had worked. Oh, the Czechs weren't very happy, and Hitler seemed miffed to have missed his war, if Forst had heard his tone right over the telephone, but at least there were no hostilities. And they had all the Sudetenland forts, which the Czechs had erected all along the border with Germany.

He looked at the map on his wall, newly edited:
Spoiler (hover to show)

They had come so close, and he wasn't done with the army by any means. He needed to finish the reorganization, he needed more troops.

And he had to deal with the traitorous sons of bitches in the Army and the Abwehr. The Abwehr was Germany's official counter-intelligence arm, and Viktor had taken the time to infiltrate it with SS operatives, along with recruiting informants in the Wehrmacht. That had now borne fruit. Hans Oster, deputy head of the Abwehr, had been planning Hitler's overthrow during the Munich crisis, along with Canaris, who Viktor had dismissed, and a few others, including some diplomats and leading Army officers. Interrogations were ongoing, but it appeared that most of the traitors were in the bag, aside from a couple of diplomats in London who had smelled a rat and defected when ordered to return home. A pity, that.

More worrisome was what this group might have conveyed to the English. Germany relied upon a machine called Enigma for its cipher traffic - all of the encoded messages sent between its leaders and military commanders. But that also relied on - at least in Viktor's opinion - no one else getting a model or drawing of a German enigma machine. And it would have been the work of moments to pass that to an English spy.

So, all enigma machines in the Reich were effectively useless. Even as he spoke, Wilhelm Frick was setting up a new system with one-time pads, which were supposed to be unbreakable. But damn those bastards - he and Hitler had pulled Germany out of a depression, reunified it, and were making it great again, and all they could do was worry about the risk. Forst worried about the risk too, but at least he knew what loyalty was.

He would have to tell Hitler about it. And the Fuhrer would probably want something dramatic done, like a firing squad. No. This needed a deft touch, and no publicity. He picked up the phone.

"Frick? Forst here. When you are finished with the traitors, kill them. Something that doesn't show. They all had heart attacks, maybe an automobile crash, an accidental gun discharge. Not at the same time. Keep it quiet. Good. Thank you."

There. That would do nicely.

« Last Edit: 03 Jan 2016, 00:18 by Vikarion »
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Vikarion

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Chapter 2: Rising sparks - continued
January, 1939, The Berghof

"We cannot."

"We must!" Hitler had his hands clenched, his face red with fury. "We need allies! And Mussolini is a fellow fascist. All he asks is that we finish dismantling Czechoslovakia in his and Hungary's favor!"

Viktor took a breath, and sighed. This had been going on for some time. But he had to win this one. "My Fuhrer," he said, rolling his shoulders like a man going back into the ring, "I would not make an ally of that self-important fool if he dropped down on his knees and offered to suck my cock."

The unusual display of obscenity had its effect. Hitler blinked, started to speak, stopped.

"I went down there," Viktor continued. "Last fall. As you sent me, to ascertain the strength of Italy. I will give you the same answer I gave on the matter of Japan: any alliance would be worth less than the difficulties it would inflict."

"How can you say that?" Hitler demanded. "Italy has a sizable army."

"Italy has a sizable army, yes. In the mind of Il Duce, at least. My Fuhrer, how many brigades does one of our divisions have?"

"Four. You are always happy to remind me, too!"

"Italy seems to believe that two is sufficient. Two brigades. Half the strength of ours, and fewer, to boot. And poorly trained, poorly equipped, and poorly led. And this Mussolini speaks of establishing a new Roman Empire. I wish him luck, I do, but not with our armies. Think! The British have a strong presence in the Mediterranean. Why should we open another front? If he stays neutral, he already safeguards our southern border. If he joins the British, he loses his ambitions. If he attacks them, a good distraction, yes?"

"And what of that bastard little nation, Czechslovakia?"

"We will deal with it when we deal with Poland. We have their entire defensive line, it would take two years to rebuild a new one."

Hitler sighed, and deflated, plopping himself into a chair, although still favoring his right leg, Viktor noticed. "Very well. I never knew a man as stubborn as you. Tell me again why we should not sign a pact with the Japanese?"

"First, because they would drive the Americans into the arms of the English, and -"

"Bah!" Hitler exploded, but tiredly. "A nation of mutts and mongrels, run by Jews. I do not understand your perverse affection for them." It was an old line, but Viktor had impressed Hitler with the new American-style factories, and in so doing, acquired the Fuhrer's permission to continue his foreign policy. Still, he had to remind the man.

"I do not love them," Viktor explained again. "I worry about them. By Schacht's estimates, they possess more manufacturing power than anyone else in the world. And he should know - we've been buying their products."

"Yes," Hitler grumped. "Good German money running away to Jewish bankers and capitalists."

"Better that than it going to Bolsheviks!" Viktor exclaimed. "I hardly want to be buying Stalin's tanks for him!"

"I suppose," Hitler said, chuckling at Viktor's statement. The attack on him had refocused him on the Bolsheviks, with the Jews becoming less of a figure in his analysis of the world. They weren't gone, of course, they were simply not an immediate priority.

"Besides the effect it would have on the Americans," Victor continued more evenly, "There's the fact that they are stretched thin in Asia. Yes, they hold most of the Chinese northwest. And are facing constant rebellions and partisan activity. They could offer us virtually no help, and probably wouldn't anyway. There's the fact that we have maintained a historic policy of friendship with the Chinese, as have the Americans, which is another diplomatic avenue. And then there's the fact that they're barbarians."

The Japanese, early in the conflict, had taken Nanking, and turned the city into a slaughterhouse. The German diplomat John Rabe had worked with several other diplomats from other countries to protect somewhere around 200,000 Chinese civilians from marauding Japanese troops. The German press had not been quiet about that, either here or in the United States, and Forst had quickly ensured that pictures and descriptions of the violence had made their way into press hands. Even Hitler, with his usual private acceptance of "hard actions" found the pictures disgusting, and had said so in a speech, which had largely ensured that Forst was going to get his way about the Japanese whether Hitler was questioning it or not. After all, once you called a nation's military a "band of monkey-like sub-human savages", it was likely the diplomatic relations would be "correct" at best. In private, Hitler had remarked that the Germans didn't even treat the Jews like that, although Forst personally thought that Heydrich and Himmler might have.

"Yes, there is that", Hitler said. "Well, you must forgive me, Viktor. I have a fiery spirit, and impatient to see the vision Providence has granted me carried out, before I die."

Ah, that worry again. "My Fuhrer, if Providence has saved you from assassination attempts that killed others a few feet away, and taken you to the heights of power, which it has, I assure you that it will safeguard you for another twelve months."

"Yes, you are right. Good. Well, sit down, and I'll tell you of my plans for Linz..."
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Vikarion

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OOC

Well, it's 1939 and it's time to go to war. I'd like to have more divisions, but I have over a hundred, which isn't bad. The Kriegsmarine is still somewhat small, but it has a decent amount of cruisers, a couple battleships with more on the way, and lots of torpedo-armed destroyers, which are great for the close in fighting in the English channel.

In the west, I have Oberkommando West, commanded by Von Rundstedt, under which are two Army Groups, commanded by Von Manstein and Rommel. Under them are 4 Army Corps each, and each corp contains 5 divisions.
Spoiler (hover to show)

In the east I have Oberkammando Ost, commanded by Guderian, under which are three Army Groups, commanded by von Kluge, Schorner, and Dietrich. Kluge's Army contains five Army Corps, the other two Army Groups contain 4. Each Army Corp, as on the west front, contains 5 divisions.
Spoiler (hover to show)

Every division contains 4 brigades.
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Utari Onzo

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Loving this so far, mind pming me some deets on the game itself and how hard it is to get into as a complete beginner?
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"Face the enemy as a solid wall
For faith is your armor
And through it, the enemy will find no breach
Wrap your arms around the enemy
For faith is your fire
And with it, burn away his evil"


PTB is recruiting

Vikarion

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Chapter 2: Rising sparks - continued
October 1st, 1939, Berlin

"We are ready," Viktor said. And they were. Over a hundred divisions were perched on the borders of the Reich, in the west for defense, in the East, to strike.

"I still think you are being too cautious," Hitler said, examining the map. "The English and French will not attack us, they are too weak. Munich showed that."

"Whether they will or not, we cannot afford to have the western front unguarded. We will be prepared. And the forces on the Eastern Front are more than sufficient to the task."

There was also the fact that Hitler and Forst had agreed not to give the English and French an opportunity to develop a response to the Polish situation. Aside from in-country propaganda, virtually nothing had been mentioned about the Danzig corridor until Hitler had presented a demand for the return of the corridor yesterday. The ultimatum expired soon, and then they would have the war they'd prepared for.

"And America?" Hitler asked.

"Going quite well. The Bund and its associated parties are at roughly fifty percent popularity, helped along by the stupidity of their opponents."

"Oh? Tell me."

"Well, first the Bund started praising certain of their Presiden't prospective proposals as "good fascist economic measures". Probably wouldn't have meant much, but that inspired several of the Republicans to try to filibuster them, successfully in some cases. And that made the Bund a lot more attractive than the Republicans for some."

Viktor paused, then continued. "Then there were the July 4th bombings." Those had been international news, when several bombs had been set off by communist and socialist provocateurs at several major parade routes. Viktor was very aware that some of the explosives had been provided to the radicals by SS agents in disguise, but those agents had excellent covers and had been deployed to other nations since.

"And then there was the march." That had been the crushing blow for the Democratic Party's popularity. The America First Committee and the Bund had organized a large rally through Washington D.C., headed by "Mothers against War" in one column, and a general protest for more government economic projects in the other. The police had been called out by Roosevelt, and then been ordered to barricade the march. As the women's column came into contact with the police line, a policeman had fallen and a shot had rung out. It had later turned out that the fall had jarred the policeman's service revolver, which he had left cocked.

But the shot had instigated a violent response from the police line, which opened fire into the column of protesters. When that had happened, the other column of men, women, and a few children had stalled, broken up, and then started moving towards the noise, at which point the other line of police, believing that their fellow officers were under attack, started firing as well.

By the time the "Washington Massacre" as the papers had put it, was over, at least 20 men, 57 women, and 4 children had been killed. One policeman - the idiot with the cocked revolver, had been injured. And at least 2 of the injured had been reporters, at least one of whom was well enough to write, based on the scathing article the day after.

As for Roosevelt, informed by the chief of police that firing had broken out and that the police had had to defend themselves, he had gone on national radio to defend their actions, and the "stand behind them fully", along with the Speaker of the House. That had lasted until approximately the next afternoon, by which time the entire country had seen pictures of bullet-riddled mothers in lying in the streets and a famous photo of a mother clutching an injured child.

Forst had to admire the propaganda effect, and if the event had been bad luck for the marchers, it had been great luck for the Bund as a whole. With their new, more moderate line, lack of reference to antisemitism, and their appeal to a "third way" between communism and capitalism, they now appeared to be the underdogs, and the victims. It was still unlikely that they could win a major election themselves, but with luck they would manage a coalition ticket with the America First Committee and some disgruntled Republicans.
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Vikarion

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Chapter 3: Ablaze
October 14th, 1939, Berlin

Hitler put the phone down, then walked to the large picture window. He felt strangely unsure. In the dimness of the evening Berghof, staring out at the Austrian Alps, he considered his course. He had made it so far. And now, in far away Prussia, Forst and his generals - and, by now, Hitler considered privately, they were probably Forst's generals as well - waited for the word. This would cast Germany into war. If Forst was right, not just against two weak neighbors, but also against the French and English. It would make Germany great, or it would destroy her.

He would have felt better if they could have managed that non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union. But that had fallen through with the Soviet demands. Half of Poland, after the Germans took it? And the Baltic states? And Romania? No. That was too much. But Forst had a plan for that, too. Forst always had plans.

He sighed, and returned to the phone. He could not turn back now. It was time to act. He made the call.

- - -

Forst and the generals - Blomberg, Guderian, Rundstedt, Rommel, von Manstein, Kluge, Dietrich, and Schorner - sat quietly at a table, awaiting the call. They knew it would come, but when the phone rang, they all nearly jumped. Forst took it.

"Yes? I expected so. We will move within three days. Thank you, my Fuhrer."

He turned to the group. "We are to execute Fall Weiss, with all contingencies save the Denmark option. I will reiterate the leadership's thinking quickly, just to remind you of our overall strategy."

There were nods around the table. All had individually seen the operational plan, but a quick summation would make sure they were all on the same page.

"First, we are attacking Poland. This is largely the responsibility of Kluge and Schorner. They will strike, breakthrough, and overwhelm the Polish forces. Dietrich will assist if necessary. We outnumber and outgun our opponents. There will be no failure."

"Second, if a response from the English and French materializes, we will move upon the remains of Czechoslovakia."

"Third, once the conquest of Poland is complete, Kluge's forces will be detailed west, to assail the French. Dietrich will garrison the new border. Schorner will move to Wilhelmshaven to prepare for Seelowe." There was a stir at that from all but Guderian and Schorner. "Yes, to assault Britain. We have constructed a large transport fleet, and a large surface fleet, which, under air cover, will strike the English coastline as soon as the battle for France is concluded."

He paused, then continued. "We are hoping to breach the Maginot Line through air power coordinated with our assaults. If that is not successful, we shall strike through Belgium. If the English invade Norway, we will ignore it. Most pressing is speed."

"Fourth, once we neutralize the English homeland as a base for the Royal Navy, we expect that the Soviet Union will declare war on us. If they do, we will not strike. Rather, you will note that your garrison deployment place you far back from the line. This is intentional. If the Soviets attack, they will rush into an empty gap, which we will seal behind them, trapping the cream of their army."

"And if they do not attack?" This was from von Manstein.

"Then we will attack them in our own good time. But that is for another day."

"What about Norway and Denmark?" asked Rommel.

"The foreign office believes that both will remain neutral unless attacked. Unless they are, our policy will be one of neutrality as well, at least for the moment."

There was quiet around the table. This was it. Finally, Viktor spoke "Well, gentlemen, let us get to it."
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Vikarion

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Chapter 3: Ablaze
November 28th, 1939, Berlin
Viktor hung up the phone. The invasion of Poland and Czechoslovakia had been swift - in 28 days, all resistance had ceased. The Czech government had fled into exile, and the Polish government, trying to do the same, had been captured when Romania refused to allow them entry.

He took a look at his map...
Spoiler (hover to show)
...and smiled. His forces had arrived west. His tactical bombers were concentrating on the northernmost section of the Maginot line, and the French were still disorganized.

Of course, the damned English were sinking about four cargo ships a day in the Atlantic. That pace couldn't be kept up for long. He would have to do something about that, and soon.

- - -
December 11th, 1939, Berlin

"We have it, sir! A breakthrough, in Metz! We're beyond the line."

Viktor thanked the man, and hung up. It had taken ten days to breach the line. German planes were unable to damage the deep concrete bunkers of the line, but their bombs blasted dirt over entrances and hit anyone in the open, while German infantry and tanks crept close and then rushed them. And now an entire army group was behind French lines.
Spoiler (hover to show)
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Vikarion

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Chapter 4: Wildfire
January 24th, 1940, Outskirts of Paris

Hans Acker could see it, in the distance. Towering over the city, its black metalwork gleaming in the winter noon. In the distance, lower and closer, he could see the french poilus scrambling out of their holes, back west towards the city center. To the north, he saw the dust of another approaching division, although he wasn't sure which one. He didn't have time to find out, either - the German infantry were not so much marching or assaulting as running, a fierce joy in their hearts. In less than two months, they'd made it further than the entire German army from 1914 to 1918. And ahead, Paris!

The German army had struck at the northern joint of the Maginot in practically a human wave, a bloody struggle that had almost broken Hans' spirit. But worth it. Oh, so worth it. His father had told him of Verdun, of the bloody warfare, of the charges over the top, of the frustration and futility. He had told Hans not to join the Wehrmacht, that he did not want to lose a son to this.

But the German army had swept through the Metz, and smashed through the ineffective reinforcements. Then it had sent three offensive forces through, one to the North, to seize Paris, one south-west to push the misplaced French army back, and one down along the spine of the Maginot line, cutting off the French army stationed there.
Spoiler (hover to show)


A bullet whipped by him, and he spotted a French soldier working his rifle. Carefully, he stopped, aimed, and fired. The French poilu spun, dropped his rifle, and grabbed his arm. Well, he'd missed his chest. The man would live. No matter. On to Paris!
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Vikarion

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Chapter 4: Wildfire
February 1st, 1940
10 Downing street, London


Chamberlain sat down heavily in his chair. The call had just come in. France was seeking a armistice. It was a blow, but not unexpected. Paris had fallen, the Maginot line isolated and then crushed, with French forces falling on every front. The attack had been so swift that central France was practically undefended, and the Germans were well on their way to the Atlantic.

He sighed. He wasn't sure how much longer he could keep together a government. Churchill had been nipping at his heels again, and the only blessing of the circumstances was that Britain hadn't managed to get an expeditionary force over to France just in time to be lost. On the other hand, British re-armament was just tooling up to full speed, and already France was lost.

France was lost! In little more than a month and a half, France had fallen. No one could have predicted this. But it would not be seen that way. No, the leader was supposed to know. Now Britain truly was an island, truly isolated from the mainland since 1815.

At least Churchill was supporting the war. More than a bit, really. What was that he had said in Parliament? Chamberlain shuffled through his desk to find the text of the speech. Ah, yes, there:

"We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle."

Nothing about America, whose President offered aid but whose population was for peace. And down at the bottom, ah, yes. Apparently Churchill had made the speech, and then muttered to a colleague: "And we’ll fight them with the butt ends of broken beer bottles because that's bloody well all we've got!"

Too true.

- - -

February 3rd, 1940
Compiègne, France


Viktor stood, watching the representatives file out of the railroad care. Hitler had insisted that the armistice must be signed in the same railroad car used in 1918, and like Foch had done then, had left his generals to finish negotiations. Then he had gone off to tour Paris.

Treaty terms had been harsh, which Viktor had insisted upon. Germany would permanently occupy and control the north and west of France. Vichy would become the new capitol of France, and she would be permitted her navy and soldiers. As well, France would be required to accept several million "undesirables" from both Germany and France, including Jews and those incapable of working. When the French delegation had balked, Viktor had offered to simply occupy the entire country. And they had acceded to his demands. 
Spoiler (hover to show)

Forst, even more so than Hitler, was determined that France would never rise again to threaten Germany.
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Ulphus

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Logging in for the first time in three years to say I'm enjoying the writing and the story.

Good stuff Vik
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Adult to 4y.o "Your shoes are on the wrong feet"
Long pause
4y.o to adult, in plaintive voice "I don't have any other feet!"

Vikarion

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Logging in for the first time in three years to say I'm enjoying the writing and the story.

Good stuff Vik
Thanks!
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Vikarion

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Chapter 4: Wildfire
February 12th, 1940
Lowestoft, England


The boy stood on the beach, staring into the low fog that covered the sandy beach. It was slowly clearing in the morning air. He thought he heard a sound, wondered if it might be one of the seemingly endless numbers of fighters the Germans had overhead all the time these days. But no, it was something else. And a...shape, looming out of the fog?

Then a breeze sprang up, and the fog rolled back, and he could see. Ships, dark gray and deadly, on the horizon, heading in.

- - -

Wilhelmshaven, Germany

"The landings are successful," Raeder reported over the radio, and Viktor relaxed. The beach, not on the channel, and thus, not expected as an avenue of attack, was both close enough for easy transport, and far enough the the English hadn't guarded it at all. And now most of an Army Group was ashore, and with a harbor to boot.
Spoiler (hover to show)

- - -

Churchill hunched his shoulders in dismay at the report. German soldiers had just landed in Edinburgh, again, with it nearly completely unguarded, and were now working to cut England of from Scotland completely. Damn whoever had come up with that intelligence estimate claiming that the Germans were massing in Calais! Of course they were, they had the men to spare for a diversion.

Not that the boys in Ultra were doing any better. No sooner had the Poles managed to get the code-breaking information to Britain than the Germans stopped sending anything important by it. Apparently they were now probably using something called a "one-time-pad". Churchill idly wondered how much paper that must be using up.

But the bigger problem was that the Germans were now effectively cutting the country in two. He couldn't have that, but they were also on the outskirts of London.
Spoiler (hover to show)
And besides that, the Germans had complete air superiority. Oh, sure, the Spitfires could battle the 109s on equal terms, but there just weren't enough of them. In the meantime, German bombers roamed over the hills and harbors of England, sinking and bombing both land and sea with impunity.

Perhaps he could hit Edinburgh hard, deprive the Germans of the port they needed to resupply? Then push back in London? Yes, he would try that...
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Chapter 4: Wildfire
April 30th, 1940
Moscow, USSR


"London has fallen," the messenger said. "Word's just gone out on the airwaves, unless the Americans and Germans are both lying." The man saluted and left at a dismissive wave of the hand from the dictator.

Staling sat, puffing his pipe, and thinking. He had expected, and wanted a longer war. Much longer. Long enough that he could walk in and pick up the pieces. That had not happened. Yes, the conquest of England was taking the fascists troops a bit longer than France, but it would happen. The English were having progress against Edinburgh, they claimed, but they'd been claiming that for the past month. The Germans were claiming that they were nearly to Liverpool. Stalin trusted neither, but he expected that he should put more stock in the latter than the former.

Still, he needed to attack, and soon, before the Germans could redeploy. That might be his best chance. He decided. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics would go on the offensive. He called for Zhukov.

- - -

Churchill took a final puff on his cigar and then tossed it down onto the wet Belfast street and stamped on it. The day was wet and gloomy, which was about right for his tastes. No, that wasn't true. To fit his mood, fire and brimstone would have been more to the point.

It had taken time, more time, he knew, than the Germans had preferred or planned for. And now that the Soviet Union had declared war, perhaps that would cost them. But too late for his country. Too late for his war. The Germans held England and Scotland from the Cliffs of Dover to Scapa Flow.
Spoiler (hover to show)

And damn the Royal Navy, too. So overconfident and sure of themselves. Yes, they'd sunk a lot of cargo ships, some transports, and a lot of destroyers. So what? Their ships were still vulnerable to air power. They'd lost eight battleships in a matter of days around the coast of Scotland, and only succeeded in sinking one enemy capital ship, the Bismarck, in a melee of ships, shells, torpedoes and planes that left two more Royal Navy battleships on the bottom.

The Germans would be landing here, soon. He'd probably be heading to India. The Empire still held strong, there. The Dominions were still out of the fight. Perhaps the Empire could get their aid, and make a comeback in the Mediterranean. But for the first time since the Norman invasion, England was lost.

- - -

"Well, Forst, how are we doing in the east?"

It was the Fuhrer again, from the Berghof. He was worried, as was Forster, although Forster was less so.

"Our troops are mostly holding, my Fuhrer," Forst replied. Well, they mostly were, although there was trouble in the North. He hadn't expected such a strong attack there. Nonetheless..."They are entering our trap."

"We need to get our troops back from England," Hitler worried. He'd never been much of a fan of Seelowe, and though it had succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of Rundstedt, Forst had been upset at the delay and difficulties in Scotland. When it came to Ireland, he'd simply informed his generals to cross the strait and take all of the island, and get their troops to Konigsberg to fight the Russians. They needed them.
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Vikarion

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Chapter 5: Inferno
April 30th, 1940
Breslau, The Reich


Hitler paced back and forth, stopping now and then to stare at the map. Russian forces had pushed deep into Poland, almost without resistance from the Germans, and a great salient bulged into the interior of the Reich like a dull blade:
Spoiler (hover to show)

And there had been nothing they could do about it. Not without the troops from Ireland and England. Yes, the conquest of England had taken far too long. But at least the convoys were able to run without interference. Not that that mattered now, of course, since that schwein Roosevelt had embargoed the Reich.

Hitler stopped, then chuckled. When he'd informed Viktor of that, the man had just shrugged. "I doubt Mr. Roosevelt will be around all that long" was all he had said. Probably, Hitler thought, the man was right. Popular opinion in the United States had turned against the man and the increasingly rebellious congress. In any case, the mines and factories of now-occupied England were serving the Reich.

Hitler didn't understand why the English simply hadn't made peace. It had been obvious that they couldn't win, that once France had fallen, defeat was inevitable. All they had to show for a year of conflict was...what was it that Churchill had said? "Blood, toil, tears and sweat"? Well, they had plenty of that. When the war was over, perhaps Germany would install a more pleasant government and return to her own shores. Hitler had always admired the British for their empire, and he'd probably let them have that, too. He could afford to be generous, then. He'd have won.

Provided Viktor could pull off his plan for this encirclement, and then defeat the Soviets. He was pretty sure of himself in that regard. He'd even set up vast, pre-build prison-camps with gardens - more like farms, the Fuhrer had noted -  for the prisoners to tend, and small factories. The man was, perhaps, a bit soft. But he'd pointed out that he'd rather the prisoners fed themselves and work for the Reich, than be fed by the Reich or starve and spread disease.

Well, the troops were almost back and the attack would be going in soon. Relatively. The Fuhrer clasped his hands in front of the map and worried.

- - -

November 1th, 1940
Konigsberg, The Reich


"You must move faster!" Viktor shouted into the phone, then slammed it down. He stared at the map, and scowled. The cutting off of Soviet forces was going well...
Spoiler (hover to show)
...but this was an encirclement on a truly strategic level. The Soviets were rushing to try to break the encircling forces, while the Germans tried to widen the corridor. Worse, their commanders had seen the danger, late, but they had seen it, and were starting to try to rush their forces out. This could not be allowed. He would have the forces in the south start pushing north, and all of the forces surrounding the pocket make a general advance, immediately.

- - -
Chapter 5: Inferno
November 1th, 1940
Breslau, The Reich


Hans dodged left and right, dropped into a depression in the ground, and waited for the Panzer 4 to catch up with him. It did, snorting and growling, and he rose, fired a few shots from his rifle at a retreating Russian, then ran ahead to the next piece of cover - a Soviet tank, still smoking. The smell of burned meat filled his nostrils, and he gagged, spat, then stopped to catch his breath. Ever since the encirclement...
Spoiler (hover to show)
...the Germans had been contracting around the Soviet forces like a noose around a hanged man's neck. The Russians - and they were nearly all Russians - were fighting desperately, but badly. Hans heard the freight-train roar of artillery and started to duck, then realized that he didn't need to. The Russians were out of artillery. They were almost out of fuel. They were out of time.

The Panzer 4 growled by, its commander tossing him a jaunty wave as he passed, then the commander ducked down inside and the tank stopped and swiveled its turret as it spotted a Soviet tank coming over a rise about one hundred meters away. The cannon fired, nearly deafening Hans, and a gout of dirt blasted into the air ahead of the Soviet machine. That machine fired back, and managed a hit on the first shot, the projectile ricocheting off of the frontal armor with a loud "PANG". A curse came from the open turret, loud enough for Hans to hear even over the ringing in his ears, and then the Panzer fired again. There was a bright flash, a sudden, brilliant gout of flame, and the turret of the enemy vehicle flew into the air as the body of the tank burned with savage intensity.

There was a moment of near silence, and then the Panzer started moving forwards again, and Hans followed it.

- - -

December 4th, 1940
Stavka HQ, USSR


Zhukov fingered the pistol, sitting alone in his office, then placed it back in his holster. He stared at the map on his wall for a few minutes.
Spoiler (hover to show)

The Germans had been clever. Concealing their forces until it was too late for the Soviets - wasn't maskirovka supposed to be a Russian trick? - and then striking with their light and medium armor, driving in, down, and annihilating his forces.

The last transmission had gone out today, the last unit, out of gas, out of food, out of bullets, and out of hope. All of the relief efforts had been in vain. Stalin had been informed. They would be coming for him, and soon.

He pulled out his service pistol again and examined it. It would do. He wasn't sure what he might have done better, and that was what was most damning. Perhaps a more even front line - but then you never had breakthroughs. And it had looked like a breakthrough, looked like the Germans were just stretched thing. Perhaps they even had been, until those damned transports of theirs simply moved troops around many times faster than the Soviets could.

There was noise, at the door. Time then. He would not go with the NKVD. He placed the pistol against his temple, and pulled the trigger.
« Last Edit: 04 Jan 2016, 16:23 by Vikarion »
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Vikarion

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OOC note:

So, that went well. I really hadn't figured I'd get that many Soviet units. However, what I'm calling the "Polish pocket" was a pretty big risk. Usually the AI (perhaps more so than people) tends to be real suspicious about salients in the line. In this case, though, I had some units retreating here and there, and the line was relatively weak until I got my troops in from England and Ireland. I almost couldn't keep the cut-off corridor open to German forces, either, but managed to widen it in time.

The game models supply and fuel for units (unless you turn that off, which I did not), which means that once you cut off a unit, there's a limited amount of time before it runs out of fuel, ammunition, etc. Once they do, smashing them is much, much easier. As well, they can't retreat, so those men and material are permanently lost to your opponent: they can't be re-formed or reinforced.

How many did they lose? I had to make a rough count, but probably around 70 divisions or so, and since it's mostly infantry, probably between 600,000 to 800,000 men.
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