HOI3 AAR: Viva el Socialismo! – #9
As 1944 dawns Spain finds itself more powerful than it has been in a very long time. Yet Portugal still bothers us. The troops in Africa got stuck in British territory – too out of supply to cross into Portugal’s East African holdings (perhaps being in the Allies would help this?), we’ve got the Azores to perhaps take, and surrender to force on the stubborn Portuguese!
Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead! On January 13th the order is given to send an Infantry Corps in to the Azores. I want the islands and I want Portugal to surrender! Our two tactical bomber wings and our strategic bomber wing are put on ground attack duties over the Azores, but they don’t find it easy to keep the pressure up due to organization and some strength loss in their attacks. Still, they will be some help. The Battleships are also parked nearby to provide some assistance from their big guns.
The fleet get there on the 18th and then, surprise of surprises, the battle is won by the 20th! I imagine the units there were under strength, out of supply, and facing a lack of national will to keep fighting. In the end, I don’t care what the reasons are, we have won!
And with that, Portugal is done (er, I got the date wrong, obviously)!
February – April 1944
The rest of the first months of 1944 are spent moving Garrisons around to our new Spanish lands, trying to ensure our convoys are organised to ship the resources from Africa and watching a couple of medium tank technologies complete. We’ve also got the energy crisis well under control with some great trades with South Africa.
Early in April two more Garrison divisions are complete and we ship them off to East Timor and Macau. We now hold pretty much all of the important former-Spanish provinces and I am hoping these troops and military police can keep the risk of revolt down.
May – June 1944
In early May rebels pop up in East Africa and 9,000 Portuguese loyalists fight 7,500 of our brave sons. Of course, we win, but this is a stark reminder of the issues we may face with rebels if we don’t carefully station our Garrisons and Military Police units. Speaking of which, several weeks are spent shuffling our military around and preparing for taking on Vichy France! We can declare war on them at any time and they appear ripe for the plucking!
In June we welcome the arrival of a new Garrison division (shipped to Africa) and a shiny new Armored division (squee!) and we’re almost ready to take on the Fascist Vichy!
July – October 1944
I’d like to say that I engaged in a lot of cut throat battles in the summer of ’44, but I’d be lying. Mostly I moved units around and prepared for war against Vichy France. I was thinking about waiting until Spring before kicking off the offensive, but screw it – I think we outnumber and out-skill them, so lets sink our teeth in! November 1 will be the kick-off day and we’ll bring the French back into the arms of Social Democracy!
Here’s the situation:
- Vichy France itself is relatively small, but Vichy France owns a LOT of Africa.
- The main value in Vichy France is in Europe. If I get around to being able to take the African provinces, so be it, but I’m in no rush.
- I don’t expect to face much opposition on the sea (thanks Royal Navy for finishing the French fleet off at the start of the war!) or in the air, but just in case the main theme of this war is going to be SPEED. We need to conquer the French quickly.
Here’s the operational plan:
The two corps at the Eastern end of the border (Yes, those are stacks of four divisions and a HQ) are armored, featuring medium armor, two motorized units and then either a tank destroyer brigade, a light armor brigade or an armored car brigade. Their job will be to sweep along the coast to capture the ports and to dive into the Vichy heartland, cutting off any troops they find along the way.
Behind them is an infantry corp reserve which will do the mopping up and securing the flanks of the attack. West of the armored corps is an infantry corps which will be bypassing Toulouse and marching into the French heartland, looking for trouble. These four corps comprise the Second Army.
North of them is the first army, all infantry divisions (with one armored division, just in case) and their job will be to cut off Toulouse and to storm into the North of France. Again, an infantry corps will be hanging back to secure the flanks and pin any enemy forces.
The first week of the war goes well. No units encountered so far except for a lone HQ unit. We don’t even face any opposition in the air and have had free rein to bomb the logistics and supplies in the Vichy capital, which we’ll now bypass!
We’ve faced almost no opposition and by late November, we’re deep into Vichy France. And then we notice something. What, I hear you ask? Germans! Yes, the Germans have pushed the Allies right back past Paris! I’m feeling very glad I didn’t join the Allies, despite their frequent recent offers.
By the December 1, there’s almost nothing left of the Vichy and I decide it’s also time to capture their capital, Toulouse (I need the energy resources, we’ve still not kept a decent supply and it is inhibiting our industry still!). It really does look like the war will be over by Christmas!
On December 16 Toulouse and the remaining Vichy territories in Europe fall to our forces. We capture 7,500 units of energy in Toulouse, which will greatly help our industry for many weeks (we’re spending 70 more a day than we have coming in, but we do have our industry running at max capacity – 88IC – which is great!).
We order units to redeploy to the ports in preparation for an invasion of North Africa! Step 1, invade Corsica (handy base for aircraft and ships).
Next – Tunis, where we meet no resistance. Hmm. So much for a war!
With the capture of Algiers, the broken French nation collapses and offers their surrender. We decide to annex them with a promise to return their lands to the rightful French rulers once the Germans are defeated!
That reminds me, with all of this industrial capacity I better hurry up and produce a ton more transport ships for the convoy routes a well as Garrison units to keep the Vichy from revolting!
Heck, we now own vast tracts of Africa and even some of the middle east! I honestly have no idea how we’ll keep these holdings. I imagine we’ll see rebels popping up here and there, but as long as we can keep the main centers and their resources I’ll be happy.
Meanwhile, the Allies are getting hammered – they only own a few small provinces in South West France. Damn, I really hope I’m not next. Time to move the armies into more defensible positions.
At the start of April the Allies are reduced to a tiny pocket up against our border, and my offer of safe passage was refused!
By the end of April the pockets are closed and thousands of American troops look forward to spending the rest of the war in Prisoner of War camps.
Meanwhile, Spain is busy building – building many transports. We’re building transports and researching energy production technologies in oder to stave off our energy bottleneck (which we’ve hit again). The transports should help a lot – I really should have built a lot more months ago.
For now, peace in our time!
Read on! HOI3 AAR: Viva el Socialismo! – #10