The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 3, The Battle For the Mediterranean

Author: Mattekillert
Published: 2017-02-01

Part of the campaign:

The Thousand Year Reich

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Game: Hearts of Iron III

The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 2, Securing the Flanks

Images: 30, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01

As the Battle of Norway finished the now freed up Fallschirmjäger were moved to the Mediterranean. Italy had stalled outside of El-Alamein which kept the threat of an Allied naval landing anywhere along the Mediterranean open. The Suez had to be closed. Student, the leader of the Fallschirmjäger was all to happy to suggest a campaign from the air to over Cyprus. Some 20 British air wings were based here and harassing the eastern Mediterranean. The Adviser was of course angry,”I told you we were going to have to fight over some stupid island. The poor Fallschirmjäger are still dropping with boxes!” Hitler of course went on about the superiority of the Aryan man. The Adviser gave up on the term that he would command the operation. Hitler gave him the go ahead but also told him the Fallschirmjäger had already taken flight. The battle for Cyprus had begun.
When the Adviser came to seize overall control at the Fallschirmjäger stab he saw complete chaos. It turned out that they hadn’t even done basic reconnaissance of the island before dropping. And now it turned out several fully armed infantry divisions and even some armored formations were present. Thankfully the 7. Flieger had managed to seize the western half of the island with the airfields intact.

Hitler ordered a panzer division be flown into the airfield but when the Adviser dragged him along to a airfield outside of Berlin and showed him a parked Panzer III next to a Ju-52 Hitler accepted that it wasn’t possible. Then he demanded AT guns be loaded in and flown into the weakly equipped Fallschirmjäger. This time it was the infamous ”game mechanics” that stood in his way. Hitler as was by now becoming common place became angry and was determined to overcome them and along with the Adviser, Göring and Student tried to get a Pak 38 into the airplane but they just couldn’t get it in, no matter how hard they pushed. Then the honor guard of the Leibstandarte SS who was present were ordered to get it in but even they couldn’t overcome the so called ”game mechanics”. The rather humorous display of some 200 men trying to push a single pak 38 through the door of a Ju-52 quickly spread throughout the Luftwaffe and the story of "the day the Führer tried to load a plane" was a common tale told to new pilots.

Hitler eventually gave up his idea and asked the Adviser what he suggested they do. ”Build a port.” ”But how are we going to get the supplies to build a port onto Cyprus?” ”... Game mechanics.” Hitler decided he was taking another break and redirected all his work onto the Adviser. He was going to relax at the Eagles nest before he went insane.
The Adviser reveled in his now complete control over Germany. He was quick to call in about 80% of the Luftwaffe to obliterate the British in Cyprus.
The 7.Flieger and the 22.Luftlande divisions had to put up a brave resistance against the British tanks. Using everything from Molotov cocktails to captured British weapons they overcame the British tanks again and again.
Hitler who had relaxed for nearly a month came back with joyous news from Mussolini. “The Italians have taken Malta!” The Adviser was in a complete shock and demanded an explanation from the Abwehr. It turned out the Italians had been attacking Malta from the sea for some 2 months now losing about 140.000 men in the process. It would seem the mere presence of the Luftwaffe in the Mediterranean had terrified the Royal Navy something fierce as only a minor fleet had been spotted in the eastern Mediterranean and had fled after having been “bombed to shit” by 12 Stuka wings.
In August Himmler managed to get approval for the creation of a larger Waffen SS. Everything from the elite units of the Leibstandarte down to the Einsatzgruppen terrorizing Poland would be under their control Himmler hoped.
The Fallschirmjäger attempt a probing attack but are repelled by the units of another tank division. British forces in Cyprus now number 2 tank divisions, 2 infantry divisions, 3 colonial units and a garrison brigade. Against them stand some 16.000 Fallschirmjäger without anti-tank weapons. The Heroes of Cyprus as the propaganda ministry calls them are holding out against all odds. But the constant bombings mean the British seldom try to root out the Fallschirmjäger as any spotted tank summons at least 5 stukas to the area.
To secure the southern flank of the “Fortress Europe” German troops cross into Yugoslavia. The Yugoslavian army is like so many others lacking in anti-tank weaponry and are crushed by the German panzer divisions. While Hitler had wanted to invite them into the axis the Adviser told him he was worried about the split nature of this abomination of a nation. Hitler agreed and so the fate of Yugoslavia was decided.
After 10 days most of the important points of Yugoslavia has already collapsed and Croatian units within the army are deserting en masse to join with the new Croatian nation proclaimed in Zagreb.
The vast industry of the Reich was producing many different things but about 25% was being spent on the production of the Flak 36 or “88” gun. This multipurpose gun was astonishing in its abilities. Not only was it supremely effective as an anti-air gun but could also pierce the heaviest armour that Germany could produce. Much had been learnt from the battles against French heavy tanks in 39. The 88 could also act as an artillery piece in a pinch and provide indirect fire to its division. All this on the direct order of the Adviser Hitler of course was against spending so much on the gun as he instead wanted more panzer divisions. The Adviser got so angry over this he offered to resign and go work for the Americans instead.
“It is just a gun!” Hitler tried to tell him but the response of
“No.. It’s the 88 gun! Best gun of the war, only think that can pierce a KV-1 or T-34!”
Hitler sighed and looked at the Adviser red in the face. “Is this about game mechanics?”
“… a bit.” The Adviser said as he began calming down
“I’ve had it! Explain why we need these damn 88s instead of more panzers!”
“Well uh… We need a higher piercing value or we’ll get rekt by the Russians.”
“How do you know about my plan to invade the Soviet Union? I have told no one!”
“Well mein Führer I read Mein Kampf…”
The Luftwaffe had by now been rather mauled by the constant operations over Cyprus and had to be pulled back for repairs in Germany. The Fallschirmjäger will have to survive without stuka support.
On the 6 October resistance broke in Greece as a German panzer division rolled into Athens. Along with the now captured Greek army was 2 Australian divisions rushed in to help Greece. They had been overrun and captured after only a few hours of combat.
Croatia and Serbia are both created as puppets to help with suppressing the Slavs.
It would seem Serbia wants to have an air force. The Adviser was very upset when he heard Hitler had accepted. “They will just take up all our airfield space and not do anything!” Hitler had dismissed his complaints. The Serbs paid a bit and more planes in the Axis could never hurt!
The British forces have been so utterly ravaged by the Luftwaffe that they are no longer even attempting to attack. Perhaps the Fallschirmjäger can drive them off before the port is finished!
As it turns out having no AT guns really does suck.
The Luftwaffe again returns to bring hell to the allied forces.
The Fallschirmjäger try again to attack but even with constant Stuka support the dug in British are able to repel the Fallschirmjäger. It is clear some more reinforcements will be needed.
What 75% of the Italian army can do after a year in Ethiopia. The Führer is thrilled at the prospect. Me? Not so much.
As the Adviser though where he could possibly find more Fallschirmjäger in Germany he heard Görings voice coming from a nearby barracks and went to have a look. What he saw shook him to his core. Göring had created a whole division of his own! The Adviser was furious and called the Führer to report this incredible waste of military resources. When he heard that Hitler had been the one to approve it he went into an utter rage and demanded Göring hand over the Fallschirmjäger for Cyprus. Göring however was unwilling to hand it over. But when the Adviser threatened to delete him Göring acquiesced. He did control the Abwehr after all Göring thought to himself, no need to risk my life over having my unit actually fight.
With the extra reinforcements and a new commander in Erwin Rommel the Fallschirmjäger again launch an attack on the British.
As the battle rages on it becomes increasingly apparent that they will need support and with the port just having finished two panzer divisions are sent to Cyprus.
With the arrival of the panzer divisions the battle rapidly turned around and the British garrison which had by now been whittled down to 45555 men gave up suffering just like the Fallschirmjäger from a critical lack of AT guns. Hitler rejoiced at the victory, Goebbels was giving raving speeches about the glory of the Fallschirmjäger but the Adviser just sat drinking brandy. Hitler asked him why he was not celebrating their victory the response of “tfw hoi4 will never simulate the battle of Crete like hoi3 does.” Did what the Advisers responses so often did. They confused the hell out of him. Wasn’t it Cyprus we were fighting over? Hitler thought to himself. Perhaps he had just misheard him, yes that was it. Hitler decided.
After finally returning from the command headquarters for the Fallschirmjäger the Adviser was confused to find Göring at Fritz Todt desk. Göring was quickly ousted, how he had gotten this job not even the Abwehr knew.
With the fall of both Malta and Cyprus most of the Mediterranean was in the hands of the Axis which would help ease a lot of issues concerning transport for troops in Africa.
The Fallschirmjäger and panzer divisions are moved back to Greece as their job is taken over by garrison divisions. They are all destined for something greater. The news that America had decided to start attacking German u boats. Hitler was of course outraged and said he was declaring war but the Adviser was quick to shut that idea down.
“What is worse Capitalism or Communism?” The Adviser had asked Hitler even though he knew the answer.
“You’re right.. America can wait.” Hitler said after sighing heavily.

Next chapter:

Game: Hearts of Iron III

The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 4, The Battle for the Suez

Images: 38, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01

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