Europe at War 1945-1946

Dicke Bertha

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Piero, please mail it to me at wee286y (at) tninet dot se
thanks

Oh, and in reply to one of your initial questions: map extension: I think Europe and Caucasus would suffice, all other theatres would be secondary anyway. I am a bit scared off by those scenarios with a multitude of squeezed in small maps to cover Africa, Far East, the moon etc. ;)

So Petsamo to Baku or something...
 

Ben Turner

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Dicke Bertha said:
Oh, and in reply to one of your initial questions: map extension: I think Europe and Caucasus would suffice, all other theatres would be secondary anyway. I am a bit scared off by those scenarios with a multitude of squeezed in small maps to cover Africa, Far East, the moon etc. ;)

So Petsamo to Baku or something...
Yeah. I'd want there to be some scope for Soviet offensive operations. Quite how much is needed can be established in testing. Operations in the Pacific would probably be a moot point if they happened at all- it's a long way over rather difficult country from Vladivostok to the Urals.
 

dirk 458

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Ben Turner said:
Definitely. In fact there were plans made for this and captured weapons were stored in such a way as to allow easy redistribution.
Could you point me to more information or source material on this subject. A long time ago I saw a book on this, I think titled "Mr. Churchill's Nazis". Aurthor unknown, it has been over twenty+ years since I saw the book.
 

Ben Turner

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dirk 458 said:
Could you point me to more information or source material on this subject.
I'm afraid not. All I know on the subject is a couple of references on books discussing the decisions made in the last few months of the war. Nothing detailed.
 

Dicke Bertha

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Maybe some Germans were hoping for this too? For example there is the highly decorated commander (Major Ernst?) who rather early in spring '45 surrendered his entire schwere Panzerjägerabteilung nicely parked in the Iserlohn Kaserne. Read about that in the Panzer Aces (Kurowski) I think. Strange thing.
 

Bob Cross

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Ben Turner said:
Most 50km/hex scenarios involve considerable distortion.
Obviously, the whole point of using the 50km scale is to simplify huge subjects down to more manageable size. It would seem reasonable to expect to pay a price in realism for that simplification. But in actual practice it’s debatable whether it eliminates more distortion than it causes.

First, it eliminates most of the micro-management distortion. (By that, I mean regiments and smaller being used as if they were independent units, subordinate only to the supreme commander, instead of being subordinated via a command hierarchy.)

Second, it eliminates TOAW’s most gamey tactical problem we’re all too familiar with – attacking with a tiny, throwaway unit while bombarding with everything in sight. This means that it is possible to have actual defensive strongpoints. At 50km/hex, a stack of strong units is a formidable defensive barrier, whereas, at 10km/hex, it’s a juicy target for artillery.

Anyone can have his or her scale preference for any reason they wish. But I’ve been very pleased with the way the 50km scale approximates reality when I’ve used it, even in comparison to my own more detailed efforts.
 

Ben Turner

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Bob Cross said:
Anyone can have his or her scale preference for any reason they wish. But I’ve been very pleased with the way the 50km scale approximates reality when I’ve used it, even in comparison to my own more detailed efforts.
Actually I think your own 50km/hex scenarios are some of the few out there that make best possible use of the scale, Bob. This is a great scale for making really enjoyable games- your two scenarios, Fall Grau, etc. All of them are definitely worth a go.

Really, this is something different from what I'm talking about- in terms of realism, one wants a smaller scale. But realism isn't everything.
 

Bdr.Mallette

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Dicke Bertha said:
Piero, two unrealistic wishes from someone who don't know squat about design:

1) do a Normandy to Berlin scenario, 10 km/hex, regimental scale. Please, thanks, :) Once this little appetizer is done, get on to the real challenge ;)

2) do a Normandy and Bagration to Berlin scenario, same scale. Make the Soviet player control the German west front units, and the Western Allied player control the German Ostfront units. Depending on how far the Soviets or the Westerners advance (some EEV) some no-cross line in Germany disappears, all Germans are demobilised, and Western Allies and Soviets turn on each other, very probably with many German units reappearing under western control. Wouldn't that be the monster of monsters? :)

3) If the monsters use up all events etc, then another variant would be to have cascaded scenarios where for example 1) generates input for a 2) that starts with players entering data. For example chosing set TO's for losses taken, ground gained during 1).

Would this be even remotely doable? :eek:
Hey, good idea, I had thought about trying to design some kind of consecutively run scenarios about small battles leading up to a big one.

good idea mon!
 

Bdr.Mallette

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Bob Cross said:
Obviously, the whole point of using the 50km scale is to simplify huge subjects down to more manageable size. It would seem reasonable to expect to pay a price in realism for that simplification. But in actual practice it’s debatable whether it eliminates more distortion than it causes.

First, it eliminates most of the micro-management distortion. (By that, I mean regiments and smaller being used as if they were independent units, subordinate only to the supreme commander, instead of being subordinated via a command hierarchy.)

Second, it eliminates TOAW’s most gamey tactical problem we’re all too familiar with – attacking with a tiny, throwaway unit while bombarding with everything in sight. This means that it is possible to have actual defensive strongpoints. At 50km/hex, a stack of strong units is a formidable defensive barrier, whereas, at 10km/hex, it’s a juicy target for artillery.

Anyone can have his or her scale preference for any reason they wish. But I’ve been very pleased with the way the 50km scale approximates reality when I’ve used it, even in comparison to my own more detailed efforts.
Good points. As an Arty man, 'I fart in your general direction' a la Monty Python, but as a realist and a person who enjoys this game very much, it is better to try and avoid the small pitfalls you brought up and I think 50 km/hex is a good way to do it.

Bdr.
 

Narki

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Excellent idea, Piero. Has work on it actually begun or is it only in the planning stages an the moment??
 

piero1971

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planning planning, that's what takes lots of time, with documentation,etc. expect to finish it in early 2007 (yes, I know).
 

Merf

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As for starting causes for the conflict...

How about the death of Stalin? The Communist leadership would be shaken, vunerable and involved in internal intrigue. Suppose Churchill, a long-time anti-Bolshevik, attempts to gain concessions (or regain what he believes Roosevelt gave away at Yalta, etc.) from the new Communist leaders, and starts a hard line of anti-Communist rhetoric. Truman, impressed by Churchill, and naturally cautious toward the Russians, adds some cryptic remarks about US possession and use of the atomic bomb. This leads Patton, commanding US 3rd Army, to believe war is likely, and attempt to "improve" his position against the Soviet armies he is facing, which starts the conflict.

The new Soviet leadership (perhaps Zhukov in a military dictatorship, or a troika of Beria, Malenkov, Kaganovich, etc.), as second-generation communists, certainly remember or were active in the Revolution and Russian Civil War, when the "whole world" was out to crush them, and is understandably alarmed. Add in Russian cultural envy and paranioa vs. the West and the reluctance of any new leadership to appear "weak," which makes them unwilling or unable to back down.

Would strategic study lead the Russians to believe that mid 1945 was the best time to suprise attack the Western Allies? They must have known their tanks were superior to the Shermans and Cromwells the Allies were using. The US still has Japan to defeat. Would the Americans use their few atomic bombs against the Russians instead of the Japanese? Do the Russians believe they would only become weaker over time with respect to Allied military power?

All in all it sounds like a fun scenario to design and play.
 

piero1971

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that's sounds plausible. sometimes the worse wars happen because of blunders, assumptions, paranoia, faulty intelligence.
 

Morgoth Bauglir

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East - West Clash in 1945.

Gentlemen,

Please allow me to make some elaborate remarks.

1) You could use the map by Gary Skaar of the entire world (excl. South America) in his "World War II" scenario. It's small but pleasant to play and I'm sure he won't mind you using it. A smaller Europe / Middel East map is already available from Piero's "1992 - What If?" scenario. But if you want deatil, you need Jo van der Pluym's map of what we would now call the Central European Front used in his "Operation Krasniy Grom 1989" scenario. I'm sure he won't mind either you using it.

2) The reason. Most people think FDR sold out the West at Yalta. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've studied this part of history for more than years years and found a lot of evidence to the contrary, he only didn't plan on dying. His plan was to advance straight into Germany (into the Soviet Zone of Occupation agreed upon in Yalta) and discard Soviet objections. He knew that by then he would not only posses nuclear weapons (of which an initial production line of 100 was being set up), but also 40,000 antrax bombs the US produced for the British. With these WMD, he would then force the USSR to accept his propasal to place all WMD under UN supervision, have UN soldiers occupy all WMD research laboratories and all uranium ore mines worldwide. Those not complying would be forced by the UN's military might. His idea was to use the UN as a world-government with himself as President. With these intentions in mind, FDR simply didn't bother to argue with Stalin or Churchill at Yalta (Though he had weakened, his general health condition was not the cause of his death, a cerebreal hemmorage was). Cornelius Ryan, journalist and author of such works as "The Longest Day", "Is Paris Burning?", "A Bridge too Far" and "The Last Battle", discovered written evidence and maps by FDR's hand of this in a Pentagon vault. Others found notes on FDR's intentions concerning the UN when they cleaned out his desk after his death. Only the General Staff members were aware of FDR's imperialistic plans and they decided not to inform Truman of them to prevent that Third World War in case the Soviets would
refuse. This is history gentlemen, it would have happened had FDR not died. Furthermore Stalin had ordered his Generals and Marshals commanding those units close to the Western Allies to "accidently" launch huge artillery barrages into the Western Zones agreed upon in Yalta to impress the Americans and British of Soviet might. In these circumstances, a clash between East and West would have been almost unavoidable.

3) Several German intelligence officers were taken to the US, not as POWs but as Allies even before the offical end of hostilities. We are all aware of what happened with the rocket scientists and how their pasts were "cleaned up". Even SS scientists who had performed experiments in concentration and death camps were used as valueble assets in the struggle against communism. In an East-West confrontation, the Wehrmacht and the SS would undoubtably have found alongside the Western Allies while war crimes would have been minimalized and evidence destroyed. The US did this with the Japanese concentration Camps in China because they needed the scientific results of experiments that were conducted there. It was a massive cover-up and it worked. So why not in Europe?

4) Some practicle details. I can provide you with a complete list of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons available at any point in time as well as with a lists of delivery systems (missiles, aircraft and artillery shells). Furthermore I can give you a rundown of US nuclear warplans from 1945 onwards. An additional 10 US divisions (9 infantry and 1 airborne) could have been deployed to Europe in 1945. I can also give you a complete listing of all US Army units, the composition of major commands and units and their location throughout the war. This from US armies down to battalion level.

5) Personnaly, I would either use the map of Central Europe by Jo van der pluym, or the "1992 - What If?" map. In the first case, you'd have to use regimental/Brigade level but the second would require divisional/corps level. On the other hand the "1992 - What If?" map would be a bit pointless. As the Soviets didn't have any sealift capacity worth mentioning, operations would be limited to Central Europe anyway. Their Long-Range aviation was non-existant as well in 1945. There is no way they could have conquered either Britain, the Middle East (let alone Northern Africa) or Italy and Spain. The Red Army had no equipment for desert warfare and no aircraft suited for such climate. Neither would their heavy units have been able to cross either the Alps or the Pyrenees. As the Western Allies had complete control over the Atlantic as well, a map stretching beyond Europe would be pointless in my view. Details such as the attitude of India, Australia, Norway etc. would have to be considered carefully.

You can reach me at Northpole@Skynet.be (for TOAW matters such as maps and scenarios) and at Southpole@Skynet.be for technical matters (OOBs, TOEs, etc.).
 

piero1971

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fascinating story!!!

it fits the agressive nature of FDR as well.

I clearly think a scen based on that could be very interesting.... dunno about a wole world map, but clearly a european one + mancuria/japan one would be needed. 15/km/hex?
 

Morgoth Bauglir

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I'd leave Manchuria out of it. In case of a major East-West conflict in Europe, Stalin surely wouldn't have send forces to Manchuria to help the US defeat Japan. He'd stick to his Non-Aggresion Pact with Japan and let the US sweat it out alone against the Japanese. 10-15 km/Hex of you go for Regimental Level, 25 for Brigade/Division level I'd say. The "Götterdämmerung 1945" scenario by Thomas Kolley & Bill Wilson has a nice detailed map as well (10 km/Hex) though it will need some adjustment.
 
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