The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 7, Red Snow

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 6. September Offensive

Images: 52, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01

Welcome back to The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 7, Red Snow.
The increasing amount of snow outside of Moscow is making any advance hard for either side. As such the Soviet attempt to push us back from north of Moscow is repulsed with heavy losses for the militia force raised by Stalin.

(Author Note : Black Ice is balanced in a different way to any other mod for Hoi 3. The AI is given manpower to keep up with its idiotic behavior. Like suiciding into forts. The balance is rather around how effectively the player can trade and how many troops the player can keep up.)
In Finland the heroic advance of our northern ally continues to amaze all. The propaganda value of outnumbered and outgunned Finns not only resisting but advancing against the Soviets is something Goebbels is continually exploiting. Together we will defeat Communism!
The Finns have after only a month seized Murmansk from the Soviets and all of Kola is now being taken by the Finns.
The news of the Fall of Leningrad finally hits the Soviet population. How far will the Wehrmacht have to advance before the Soviet people accept their fate?
More volunteers join the battle against Bolshevism.
Even the French who we defeated two years ago muster up a legion of volunteers.

However as the freezing weather starts claiming more and more lives on the eastern front it is clear. Winter has come, we must now hold on against all odds. Lack of supplies, trained replacements and the weather ruining our equipment will make the next few months difficult for our troops. While Hitler is still raving about taking Moscow and securing a victory within a week The Advisor is more realistic. The necessary equipment to equip the army for the next winter is gathered up. By donations from the German population to stealing from the civilian population in the east we will gather enough clothing.
The Polish are remarkably determined. After being destroyed by a small portion of the Heer they continue to resist us whenever they get a chance. The 1st Polish Armoured division will face the same fate as all Polish resistance, Death.
The Japanese are quick to react to the American declaration of war upon us and have after only a month made a large scale invasion of the Philippines.
In Burma however the British have prepared a large force to assault the weak border defenses set up by the Japanese.
The Japanese seem far more interested in advancing on Singapore than defending their flank. The generals were doubtful, Hitler called it heroic and the Advisor referred to it as “an unorthodox strategy.”

Another unorthodox strategy was the bicycle fleets they employed to transport through Malaysia
The new split up arrangement of the Middle East. Greater Syria is created under France, Oman and Yemen has their territory expanded while Germany keeps most of the oil fields in the area.
The Luftwaffe is the lifeline of supply for the eastern front. When the trucks and trains fail the JU-52 succeeds.
Every little bit counts.
Switzerland is split up along their ethnic borders. This “nation” will never come back and the people will have to integrate into their separate countries.
The never ending surge of volunteers.
Their equipment however is lacking to say the least.
Hitler demands yet another house. Will he ever be satisfied?

(The answer is no)
More and more people abandon the Soviet Union.
More rares for the people!
With the USA now in the war Hitler issues The Atlantik Wall directive. A wall stretching from southern France all the way to northern Norway it will be a wall against the degenerate Americans. While Hitler wanted to expand it around Spain as well Franco went ballistic and said that Spain would take care of it themselves.
The first of the new Panzergrenadier Divisions are formed. The SS getting first dibs as they so often do.
On the turn of the New Year Hitler worried about the German troops on the eastern front. He feared that the generals would allow retreats all along the front! With this image established in his head he went to issue another order to the troops. The Advisor however was having none of it. He argued with Hitler for hours.

The fact that the defense line ran along rivers for the majority of the line where crossing would be suicidal and at points where there was no river panzer formations had been concentrated did not dissuade Hitler. In the end they reached a compromise. The Advisor would issue a stand fast order as Hitler had granted him control of the eastern front and issuing it himself would be interfering with "his front". Two days later the following order went out to all Army Groups in the east,

. . . . . .
On the order of the Führer himself all units in the east are to stand fast all along the front.
Long live the Führer and Long live Germany!
. . . . . .

Paulus was the only general who dared call for an explanation of the order the response of “Just try to stand fast if you can. Moving around is fine, in uh whatever direction you please… Just stand fast when you do it!” Needless to say the order didn’t have much of an effect.
The poor Leichte Divisions has been under gunned for quite some time now. Today they were all reinforced with brand new Assault Guns to help them against the never ending horde of tanks they had to repel.
In a truly astonishing feat of engineering a German engineer measured a steel plate first at a straight angle and then a sloped. His report that this increases the armor protection at no increased production cost has blown the mind of all German engineers. The genius of our engineers never ceases to amaze!
The total economic mobilization enforced by the Advisor is dialed back as the lack of rare materials makes full war time production impossible. In the Advisors own words “let them have toasters”.
Many young men are also sent to labor in the mines after more rare materials.
The Balkans requires an ever larger amount of troops to suppress the insane partisan activity in the area. So why not make them fight themselves?
Göring is overjoyed as the true veterancy of the Luftwaffe is becoming apparent after their many battles on the eastern front. The Red Air Force has been heavily damaged in the many battles in the east.
Our attempts to hold onto the northern side of the Oka is repelled but not without inflicting heavy losses on the Soviets. The savaged retreating troops can at least comfort themselves with the knowledge that they inflicted nearly a 10-1 casualty ratio on the Soviets.
In better news The Japanese have seized Midway.
But back to the bad news is the constant death and suffering that is the eastern front. All over the front we are being attacked constantly by a variety of tanks, guards and militia divisions. We keep getting reports of casualty ratios ranging from 5-1 to 25-1. How the Soviets keep it up we have no idea. The bottomless sea that is the Russian steppe seems to be creating people
A new design for a small arms weapon named the Strum Gewehr was entered today. The design is advanced and will take a long time to produce but the results are sure to be amazing.
Equally impressive is the new Panzerschreck being designed to help the infantry resist enemy armor.
Finally the snow falls are ending and temperatures are slowly on the rise. Mud is however increasingly becoming a problem and any advance will have to wait until spring.
The cost of being on the eastern front over the winter.
The 2 Schwere panzer divisions made up of French armor is finally being pulled out of the Middle East after a rather prolonged stay. The divisions had been the primary units used in rescuing the royal crypts of the old crusader state of Jerusalem from various Muslim rebels. Brigades of both divisions were named after old heroes who fought the Muslims over the holy land. Names like Aubry and Baudouin adored the panzers as they headed east, heroes of old reborn now going on a new crusade.
The lack of units on the eastern front meant that nobody would sit idle in Germany. The Regiment Hermann Göring was reinforced with Soviet equipment and sent east.
Panzer Armee Nord is renamed Panzer Armee ‘Manstein’ and sent to reinforce the Moscow area.

Pictured is von Manstein meeting Hitler shortly after his assignment. A marvelous officer he oversaw the rapid advance over bad terrain to seize northern Russia and then oversaw the taking of the "cradle of the revolution" in a swift and well fought siege.
If only they knew our plans for them.
The 4. Reserv Armee is sent up to the southern part of the front to prepare for our next offensive.
The cost keeps adding up.
The many volunteer units are equipped with French, Soviet and some German guns and sent east. This Freiwilligekorps ‘Europa’ is yet another part of the crusade.

Pictured is the many, many trucks filled with supplies being sent east. The lacking railway infrastructure in Russia requires vast truck fleets to keep supply up. Various trucks are used in this task British, Czech, French and German trucks alike transport up the needed supplies to our troops.
The Soviet attacks are ramping up as the snow is going away. All over the front breaks are appearing in the line.
The mud begins to deepen however and the Soviet advance slows down giving us a chance to catch up. The sheer amount of Soviet troops along our front is however staggering and their attacks are breaking through our lines even through the mud.
The Luftwaffe exists to support the Heer not to bomb America.
The Khan breakers hurry to reinforce the Moscow area.
The Fortress Buster Korps along with other panzer divisions begin the harsh task of taking Noginsk and closing the path to Moscow.

Pictured is one of the many panzers heading through the woods of Noginsk.
Through their superior equipment, training and sheer will our troops have pushed the enemy out of Noginsk.
The Großdeutschland is reorganized with brand new equipment and then sent back east. Along with the SS it is the most well equipped division in the Reich.
In comparison the Prinz Eugen division has everything from old Czech tanks to horses in their arsenal.
The Imperial War Ministry is set up to help run the war in the east.
With Noginsk secured the immediate task of repelling the counter attacks is left up to Panzer Division Lehr.
Krause’s report from the 4 of April 1941: “Tanks left side. even side MANY TANKS! But we handled it.”
The Lehr Division is professional in their ability to repel Soviet tank divisions.
A small probing action is launched on Moscow but the mud is still hampering our movement and as such the assault is delayed.
The sheer amount of bleed on our officers, particularly the lower ranking officers so vital in combat is starting to hamper the Heer and as such more and more is invested into training more replacements. It is estimated that some 50.000 junior officers had been lost in the east since Barbarossa began.

The winter was over but it had not been without loss. Every single new recruit was sent east as the creation of new formations ceased in favor of reinforcing the eastern troops. Instead the factories of the Reich set to work building railroads in Russia with over 90% of German production being involved in the task during 41-42.

The increasing amount of troops facing us is starting to disturb many commanders. The Abwehr reports somewhere between 8-12 Million troops facing our 3.5 Million strong army in the east. The odds are clearly stacked against us and it will all be up to the summer offensive, code named Case Blue to put the odds back in our favor but just how far can German superiority take us?

Next chapter:

Game: Hearts of Iron III

The Thousand Year Reich : Chapter 8, Case Blue

Images: 43, author: Mattekillert, published: 2017-02-01

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