Maantie on Kova Kävellä: A Finland Hoi3 AAR Part 4

Published: 2017-01-31

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Maantie on Kova Kävellä: A Finland Hoi3 AAR

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Game: Hearts of Iron III

Maantie on Kova Kävellä: A Finland Hoi3 AAR Part 3

Images: 30, author: TheGreatestPanini, published: 2017-01-31

The Second World War has started and thousands have died in the opening weeks. Only time will tell how the war will progress but for now, Finland steps boldly into the future.
By the end of August, German troops reach the outskirts of Warsaw. The feeble Polish resistance is demolished by the German Blitzkrieg.
Warsaw falls on the 29th, encircling Łódź. Any politicians or generals not captured in Warsaw, are now surrounded. The end of Poland is near.
Nations continue to mobilize and take sides in this war. Łódź falls on the 1st of September.
The government of Poland surrenders to Hitler, giving him his initial demands of Danzig and more.
A massive victory parade is held in Warsaw for the Fuhrer.
The German people rejoice at the news of this quick and relatively bloodless victory.
In Finland, Mannerheim reports of Soviet troop movements along the border. Soviet troops appear to be pulling off the border en masse. Mannerheim remains alert, as this may be a feint to lower Finnish defenses.
The SS enter Denmark on the 17th. The vital ports in Copenhagen will allow Germany to control the Øresund.
The National Socialists see a steady drop in popularity as their appeal wears off on some. Nonetheless, they retain a strong majority in the government.
Elite SS troops, loyal only to the Fuhrer himself, continue to rampage in Denmark.
After roughly 2 weeks, all of Denmark surrenders to the ever growing Reich.
Mannerheim is given full, unquestionable authority over the Finnish Armed Forces on the 14th of November. On the same day, President Salmiala calls for the mobilization of every man in Finland between the ages of 17 to 35. The Finnish prepare for war.
Tens of thousands answer the call and enlist. Many are eager to fight the Soviets and defend their beloved homeland.
On the 4th of December, Moscow issues an ultimatum to Finland. The Soviets demand Karelia and a number of Finnish ports. Our government rejects and places every division on high alert. Mannerheim promises that not a single Soviet soldier will step foot on Finnish land.
War is declared and the troops move out.
Simo Hayha or the "White Death" as he is known as by Finnish and Soviet alike, quickly becomes a national hero, with his daily kills being reported in all major newspapers. He serves alongside General Talvela's division but is soon moved around constantly all along the front. He is reported to kill at least 7 Soviets a day.
A series of laws are passed by the government. These laws call for the conscription of all men aged 16 to 55 and strengthen our economy. Total war is the only way to achieve total victory.
Herr Hitler invites us to join the Axis, which President Salmiala quickly accepts. Hitler promises the Soviets he will stay neutral but also agrees to send us "volunteers" in the form of 2 expeditionary corps.
The men of Finland dig in for the first wave of battles. This will prove their worth!
A series of swift victories are delivered from all over the front. Mannerheim's promises thought to be unrealistic or too optimistic are now coming to fruition.
Our first defeat is received up north, as the Soviets find a perfect river to dig in behind. Operation Arctic Fox will have to wait until the other two operations finish. Only then will we be able to send men to defeat the Soviets dug in up North. For now, the men are ordered to hold.
Operation Silver Fox sees the most decisive victory of the war thus far, with the Soviets losing 1,000 men and our men arriving at the gates of Leningrad.
The first corps of German Expeditionaries arrives, and is quickly shoehorned into the front lines.
Two major victories are achieved as all parts of Operation Reindeer begin to make steady progress.
Mannerheim launches a probing attack on Leningrad to scout it out. Only 10,000 men in a hastily formed militia garrison the city. While they lack the numbers the city is a virtual fortress. It will cost too many men to be taken head on, so it will have to be flanked or encircled.
The second German corps arrives and we trade a loss of ~400 men for ~550 Soviets.
Our ski troops have proven themselves to be deadly in the forests of Northern Finland.
An unseen part of the war, the naval theater, begins to take its toll. Merchant vessels and their escorts are sunk every week by the Soviet wolf packs in the Gulf of Finland.
Operation Silver Fox has been a success, with Leningrad being the only obstacle in our way.
We exploit a weakness in the Soviet lines and Mannerheim prepares to encircle Leningrad. If this battle is not won, this front will remain stagnant for another 3 months at the very least.
An overview of the front shows our progress being made into Russia.
A gap is opened and thousands of men pour in, crossing the Neva. Our German-loaned bomber wing begins to fly bombing missions on Leningrad, trying to break the defenders' resolve
Our artillery guns begin to shell the city to soften it up for the eventual assault.
Operation Platinum Fox is by far the most successful of the three operations. Only one division of soviet armor stands in the way of a total operational victory.
The men at their objectives begin to dig in along the Svir River. A Soviet counter attack is almost assured.
We lose the battle but the Soviets retreat, giving us control of the province. The northern bank of the Svir is now under Finnish control.
Leningrad is finally surrounded with 150,000 Finnish and German Infantry in position. The Soviets attempt a desperate breakout attempt but Mannerheim knew this was coming and orders an all out assault on the city from all sides.
Mannerheim himself arrives at the outskirts of the city to command the battle. He can be seen discussing battle plans during the day and visiting soldiers' camps during the night to boost their morale.
1,000 Soviets perish trying to free their trapped comrades in Leningrad for the price of only 70 Finns. Simo Hayha is reported to have scored 35 kills in the first 3 days of February.
100,000 Finns and Germans attack the city. Fighting is often hand to hand as the men clear apartment buildings and factories. The Finnish begin to make massive progress and secure 80% of the city.
Off the coast of Hull the mighty German battleships, The Bismarck and Tirpitz, clash with a British fleet led by the HMS Hood. After hours of fighting, the Hood's magazine is struck and the ship is sent to the bottom of the sea. Only 3 men of the 1,421 man crew would survive the sinking. Many smaller escort ships on both sides are also sunk.
Leningrad is now almost entirely in Finnish hands. Civilians and soldiers pack onto the ships docked there and are evacuated to France and Belgium.
The German AlpenJägers under General von Sodenstern play a crucial part in the battle. They hold the far western flank of the encirclement and are responsible for a majority of the prisoners taken in the battle.
The garrison collapses and over 9,000 Soviet soldiers march into captivity. None of them will be returning to Russia.
General Hannuksela's division of Finnish infantry are the first to enter the Winter Palace. The last of the Soviet defenders surrender to the General.
Leningrad is captured and our men seem unstoppable, however manpower runs low and Stalin will surely demand revenge for his loss. The Finns will fight on, Hakkaa Päälle!

Next chapter:

Game: Hearts of Iron III

Maantie on Kova Kävellä: A Finland Hoi3 AAR Part 5

Images: 33, author: TheGreatestPanini, published: 2017-01-31

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