HOI3 AAR: Viva el Socialismo! – #6
What will 1942 bring the Republic of Spain? Nothing good I am sure of it. In hindsight, thinking about 1941, it may have been a mistake to pursue medium armor tech. Light armor could do the job, and to take out heavier tanks, teching-up the anti-tank guns and ant-tank tanks would probably be a far cheaper way to go. As a small power it isn’t good for me to spread the tech research too thin, but what’s done is done, so let’s get on with it!
We’re still drifting towards the Allies, diplomatically, but slowly. It seems everyone wants our attention. On the 15th of January, the US joins the Allies and we get a new motorized division to deploy. We now have three in a dedicated motorized corps that currently has Tank Destroyer support. I’m quite pleased with this, it’s going to be a great breakthrough unit in due course.
A few days later another infantry division moves out and we’re now sitting on seven corps of combat units in Spain. Excellent. I order some small Garrison divisions which will be used to cover the approaches to the homeland in the event we have to move the army out into combat.
By the end of January we’ve researched medium armor! I immediately order some medium armor brigades to add to the motorized divisions we hold, turning them into fully fledged armored divisions (in a few months)!
We also have the final infantry division that was in the queue finish its forming up and it joins the 7th Corps, completing it (nearly all my corps are four divisions). I think we’re greatly prepared when it comes to infantry, but it’s definitely time to work on our armored punch. In the production queue are three brigades of medium armor and a division composed of four light armor brigades (which will be apportioned to other units). I’m going to have to think about how to arrange these units, my motorized infantry and perhaps my existing armored cars and tank destroyers into a fighting and breakthrough force. Hmmm.
Of interest – our technological research has now allowed us to research rocket artillery. I can’t resist adding the technology to the production queue. Who can resist rockets?!
February – May 1942
Cavalry is now so outmoded a technology it is time to call these units back for upgrades. I send four brigades off be refitted as Motorized Infantry and two brigades off to become Medium Armor brigades. I’m told the horses will be sent to a farm upstate to live happily ever after. That’s nice.
In May, we demobilize the army. There’s no immediate threat so there’s little point in continuing to absorb the cost of the reserves standing around. Don’t worry though, dear reader. Everything will be ok.
June – August 1942
I’ve decided it’s time to take some action. I’ve got fascists to the left of me (Portugal), fascists to the right of me (Italy), and to the North the fascists hold what’s left of France. Securing my back would be a good idea, so it’s time to take care of Portugal and bring them into the global socialist revolution!
June 1st I put all our leadership towards intelligence and put Portugal as a top priority. We need agents gathering information to prove to our people that Portugal is a threat. My advisors tell me it will take a while to prove the case for war. Lets see if we can find some evidence that Portugal is dangerous! I’m sure they’re working on some secret weapons project that could threaten the entire peninsula, it’s time to let the people know!
In August four brigades of light armor are completed and the upgraded cavalry units start coming off the production line. We now have spare industrial capacity so I add an Interceptor wing to the production queue. Once the current units are complete we’ll sort our one or two armored corps and be ready for Portugal – which is still a month or two away from being vulnerable to our action.
September – December 1942
The entire last-half of the year is spent waiting impatiently for Portugal’s threat to rise and our neutrality to fall and re-organizing the military. It’s also spent worrying about a coming energy crisis. We’ll run out of energy resources inside of a few months and then the power cuts will kill our industrial capacity. Nuts.
January – February 1943
We’re still uncontrollably hemorrhaging energy, but that is a problem we’ll have to worry about later. The time to declare war on Portugal is coming and we need to develop our strategy and our operational plans. First – a review of our current position, Portugal’s, and any other salient facts.
First up – when on earth did Germany manage to take over most of the Soviet Union? Ooops. Never noticed! No wonder I’m not able to get any energy trades out of Ruskies. And look at Hungary! Wow….
As for Portugal, lets look at their African holdings…
The names are in brackets as I’ve used the modern names of those areas. Um. Heck. That’s a lot of territory I need to invade. Not included are the Cape Verde and Azores islands, which are off the west of Africa and Portugal, respectively. How on earth am I going to capture all of these and force Portugal’s capitulation to the Republic’s rule? Well. I have a few ideas:
- As I don’t have any Marines, any opposed landing at one of these colonial holdings would be lethal, and I’m figuring the Portuguese will at least Garrison port provinces. The solution? Add a couple of ports to the construction queue. Ports can be built, saved, and deployed on a foreign shore prior to invasion – think the Mulberry Harbours of D-Day. Only problem is the ports take a while to build. Still, it has to be done.
- Ask the neighbours of these provinces (Belgium, the UK, etc) for military access and then land in those territories. This probably won’t work, but it’s worth a shot.
- Send a fleet to scout the hell out of these provinces.
- Switch the Portuguese spies to the military espionage task in the hope I pick up some information on Africa.
Meanwhile, here’s my production information. As you can see, we’re running out of energy!
With these points in mind it’s time to come up with the strategic plan, which will go something like this:
- Capture Portugal
- While Portugal is in flames, take the Azores and the Cape Verde Islands.
- With Portugal secure, and hopefully the Islands as well, we’ll step down through Portugal’s African provinces and secure them one by one.
Looking at Africa, I actually think Step 1 will be relatively easy and it’s the later steps that will prove difficult. Anyway, here’s my operational plan. I have named it “Operación TIJERA” (Operation SCISSOR):
In the center, our motorized corps will advance on a two-province front and strike right for Lisbon, Portugal’s capital. In the North I have motorized troops and armored cars ready to rush down the coast, backed up with our heavy infantry divisions, which will pin back the flanks of the armored and motorized advance.
The rest of the front will hold, inviting attack, protecting the flanks, and preparing themselves to dive into any breakthroughs to hold them open against Portuguese counter-attack. With luck we’ll have the bulk of Portugal’s forces surrounded and cut off from supply, whereupon we can take them apart slowly and safely.
Our air force is deployed to Madrid and Seville, ready to provide assistance to the motorized corps.
Meanwhile, our forces, especially the coastal rush force, will be backed up with by our “Main” fleet, which will be matching the advance of the motorized units, ready to lend their big, battleship guns to any attack.
While this effort is going on our transport ships (supported with light cruises and destroyers) will be shipping a division of Infantry (and it’s HQ) from North Africa to take the Atlantic island holdings of Portugal.
By the 6th of March we are ready to attack. We have military access from the UK (not withdrawn since the Civil War), although no one else, scout reports telling us that the islands are free (and as far as we can tell, all the African provinces except Guinea Bissau) and our fleets are positioned ready.
All we need is a good weather report and Portugal will be ours!
Go read the next part now! HOI3 AAR: Viva el Socialismo! – #7