Panzer General II: Okay, who tinkered with the time machine?

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Basarin
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Re: Panzer General II: Okay, who tinkered with the time mach

Post by Basarin » Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:54 pm

Apologies for the hiatus, folks! I've just been busy these past few days/week, but who isn't, right?

I've finished the Spanish campaign, and I've made some wonderful progress. Without further ado...

* * *
Chapter 1: The Madrid Offensive
Part 3: We Can Get Away With Quite A Bit!

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So as it stood, our first major roadblock had been cleared. Did I mention that this was going to take quite a bit of adjustment? Because it did, though I resolved not to be the dinosaur in the new modern Heer like some other General officers. I gave the men a bit of time to rest before we pushed forward, though since we hardly expended our stock of supplies or manpower, I decided to push forward quickly before the next town of Torija could become a focal point of resistance.

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Guadalajara of course was still my target, and I was not going to stop until we got there.

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As it happened, though, there was some resistance on Torja, but not close to what I was fearing. A single regiment of enemy panzers was parked inside and quite simply refused to come out. The reconnaissance detachment reported its presence to us in the command HQ now trailing behind in the freshly taken villages, but did not immediately engage. Now, I am certain to this day that Weiss and the other General staff officers (and perhaps a few of my soon to be opponents) would have loved to have seen a shootout between my Panzer IIs and the much more heavily armored Soviet tanks.

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I, of course, am not an idiot. I sent in the Stukas, and the artillery regiment soon reported that they were also within firing range. I issued the 'fire at will' command and let the combined firepower do their work.

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I moved up the fighting forces available, though I detached the Irish and Spanish to the wings to seize the outlying settlements. No sense in just leaving them be while allowing them to slip whatever supplies they felt they could spare. Besides, I rationalized that the more town names I submitted as taken, the better my resume would look, regardless of strategic value (or lack thereof, but every bit counted in my early days).

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During the time it took my forces to join the frontlines, the Republican Spaniards frantically attempted to ship in more of the Soviet made panzers (which I grudgingly admitted, with my lack of armored wisdom at the time, was a fantastic piece of work), but whatever merits the manufacturers had their supply line and/or unwillingness to part with more doomed the Spanish panzer corp. They were scarcely able to replenish half of what the bombardments allowed before the Stukas made another visit.

I had one more surprise in store for them, however.

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The pioneere regiment was itching for a fight, and after softening them up with further bombardment from the big guns and the flying artillery, I let them loose onto the town to see how well the tanks fared against dedicated close combat troops. The panzers fared rather poorly and were wiped out to a machine. I'm certain on the open they would have done much better, and if properly supported with more of their ilk, artillery support, and infantry accompanying them. As it was, however, the fight taught me an important lesson: leaving panzer units unsupported like that was not a good idea.

Incidentally I later approved recommendations from the officers for commendations of valor to the men who assaulted the machines with flammenwerfers, grenades and sheer bloody-mindedness worthy of a British bulldog, along with the unfortunate posthumous awards. Not that I ever said the bulldog analogy to their faces or in front of the General Staff. Though considering I'm writing my memoirs long after the war is over (several years shy of a decade now), I suppose I am speaking this in front of everyone's faces.

So there.

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The reconnaissance detachment seized the town, then decided to push forward past Torija to report on the troop dispositions around Guadalajara, our last and ultimate objective.

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There was quite an opportunity. The Spaniards had some infantry regiments clustered around, but apparently not considering the fact that Torija could or would fall so quickly, the horse driven artillery regiment was being dragged further north in a bid to support the now wiped out panzers. Sadly, the photographs seem to have been lost to history, but the newer Panzer II regiment (so new like the Stukas they had no official designation that I could find at the time) simply drove like maniacs down the road and overran the artillery guns while they were still mounted, and still had enough time to retreat up the road and secure the pass for the accompanying Spanish infantry and artillery.

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That, along with the strategic map on Christmas Eve, solidified my opinions. I loved this new doctrinal combat.

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Weiss was impressed enough with my progress that as an early Christmas gift, I was prestigious enough to receive a shiny and brand new artillery regiment of even bigger guns than the 10.5 cm guns. The new 15 cm guns would more than prove their worth to me in the upcoming battle for Guadalajara as you will see momentarily, and Weiss was even kind enough to provide them with motor transport. I later returned the favor to him after the campaign before New Years with a bottle of fine wine my troops liberated from the town. Herr Weiss was proving to be quite the helpful liaison, though his success was later shown to be linked directly to mine. In some convoluted political way.

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As soon as more of the guns arrived to join the 10.5 cm guns, they began to open fire on the troops in the village in front of the town, but I made no effort to assault them just yet. After all, my men now needed to resupply their ammunition and fuel, and the Stukas still needed some time to return to the front after refueling and rearming at the rear airfield. I noticed that despite having one of their own, the Spanish did not have any sort of air cover or defense at all. If we could seize that field, it would prove to be quite the boon to my flying artillery pieces.

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My only real concern, in fact, was the perennial worry of commanders in every age and time: the weather. The weather forecast section of my command staff were predicting overcast with chances of rain in the near future, which would put a stop to flying until it cleared. With or without them, however, I felt we could still press on. We certainly had more than enough ground based guns.

So I decided to actually launch the much wanted Christmas Day offensive that was so wanted. My forces certainly had enough time to rest and refit for a day and night, and the Stukas reported that they were ready to take to the skies again.

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The reconnaissance moved forward first, though they skirted the open fields in favor of traversing through the rough terrain. They were capable of it, though later they requested more rugged machines. More than a few were feeling somewhat queasy after that ride. The infantry then moved forward to cover for the artillery guns that also were drawing ever so slowly forward after opening fire.

The Spanish panzers then joined the German panzers as they entered into a joint assault onto the forward town, its defenders more than dazed by the sheer volume of shells landing on their heads. Though I kept one panzer regiment in reserve, the Spanish were able to oust the defenders onto the river in a rout.

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They made it no farther.

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I was tempted to order the town seized, but then I remembered the lesson the Soviet panzers taught me, and I decided against it. I would let them retake the town, and then I would make them suffer for it.

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They retook the town as I suspected, but I decided that an object lesson was in order. I gave the signal to the 15 cm guns to open fire.

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They all but obliterated a flank infantry regiment, which the panzers simply rolled over -

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- in some cases, I'm told, literally.

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An infantry assault cleared out the village, and without much more threat, I allowed the town to be seized this time. Now we had a definite base from which to assault and mop up Guadalajara.

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On December 26th, our progress was undeniable. And we still had plenty of time to clear out the opposition.

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I began this by moving to take the airfield. I did not want the Stukas to waste precious time going back.

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As it happened, my reconnaissance and panzers were proud to tell me that the Luftwaffe's representatives did not have to. The airfield was taken.

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Soon, it ceased to be much of a challenge, and we began to enter the mop up mentality.

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Resistance was still fierce, as our infantry still took casualties. But the campaign was now hopeless for the Republicans. We had struck too hard, too quickly for them to recover. Now they were starting to dig out militia, anyone who could hold a rifle the right way and pull the trigger.

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But I was determined to make a show of force. They could rally as much power as they could muster, but they would be crushed. The Condor Legion would see to that.

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It is not apparent from the photographs, but our firepower was so great that the overwatch fire from the three available artillery regiments were enough to wipe out an assaulting enemy infantry outright. ((No joke: three overwatch attacks later, one infantry just vanished))

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I was far from the only man to make a name for myself in Spain, though now back in Germany my name was starting to make the rounds. A young commander in the Luftwaffe under my command, Osterwald, was becoming known as "that damned maniac leading the Stukas." Nothing would deter him, and he would make sure that his bombers would give 150% effort. I would come to rely on him as one of my most able officers and supporters in the coming years.

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On December 27th, 1938, it was over. There simply were no men left to fight against us.

We had won.

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* * *

That's it for now! Stay tuned for the interval between campaigns!

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Basarin
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Re: Panzer General II: Okay, who tinkered with the time mach

Post by Basarin » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:33 am

Ooof, several days and no responses or feedback so far. I'll shoulder on regardless. I have to make up for falling off of the Colonization AAR after all.

* * *
Intermission

As you might imagine, the Condor Legion's smashing success made the men and myself an overnight success. I was no major fan of the Fuhrer (though anyone with an ounce of common sense kept that to himself), but the results were unquestionably in the favor of the German people: Spain became an ally and active trading partner, the Allies were shockingly doing nothing, and we'd given the latest in exported Soviet technology a bloody nose.

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We all received a hero's welcome back home, and as we marched down the streets of Berlin in parade order, I admitted that it was wonderful for the Berliners to have something to genuinely cheer about to brighten their day, but we then had to suffer through the honor of the Fuhrer and his dignitaries yammering on for several hours. Quite honestly, we could have done just as easily with a slight pay raise and a week off of duties. I made it up to my men when we returned to our Army barracks at the city outskirts and held a generous meal at the mess hall, where we shared a toast to the fallen and to our victory. I couldn't stay there, since as the commanding officer I had to smile and nod through even more speeches and functional dinner parties, but the men, with R&R time, were content enough.

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The one set of functions I did NOT mind coming to were parties thrown by my fellow officers, both within the Condor Legion's army and from the general officers. Weiss was true to his word - my successes reflected quite well off of his - and he was keen to show his appreciation of my talents. One way in which this was done was to arrange a meeting with the man whose teachings I was supposedly putting into practice, Heinz Guderian. We got along quite well, and he in turn arranged for me to write a treatise on theory put to practice. I declined, especially with the newer models coming out so rapidly, but I did propose to give a set of lectures explaining the campaign in Spain to the other officers. He seemed content enough with that.

There were two units in particular that I gave special credit to in this campaign.

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The combat engineers had the honor of claiming the kill against the Soviet tankers, and were easily my most battle hardened infantry formation in my army. Assaulting enemy positions was their bread and butter.

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Osterwald we already discussed in detail, but in honor of his achievements in Spain, he christened his Stuka squadron the Condor Squadron. I didn't see what harm it would do, so I allowed it.

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The rest of the army saw expansion and refits. Guderian's connections were enough to graciously grant me a prototype of a future tank in the making: the Panzer IVD, something that outperformed all the others in the field. As it were, the two Panzerregiments in my employ from the Spanish Campaign were upgraded to the newer Panzer IIIEs. In addition, the remaining artillery was upgraded to its newer counterpart to the 15 cm guns.

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The bigger expansions, however, came from the Luftwaffe. The addition of the Bf-109b fighter squadron was a welcome addition to protect the Condor Squadron from possible air attack. The paratroopers of the Fallschirmjaegar was somewhat iffier. I was unsure of the idea of dropping men out of a plane and behind enemy lines, but the Spanish campaign already proven me wrong about certain points. Besides, it was a good diplomatic gesture to Goering's Luftwaffe to show that I was acceptive of their support...
* * *

Next: the Poland campaign! Stay tuned, and please send feedback!

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Re: Panzer General II: Okay, who tinkered with the time mach

Post by Dr. Corday » Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:06 am

Your officers and units carry over to each campaign? Is there an overall 'big picture' map?
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Basarin
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Re: Panzer General II: Okay, who tinkered with the time mach

Post by Basarin » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:24 pm

About the "big picture": not exactly. The campaign has a certain set of trees that my game follows. These are usually decided by how well I do on certain missions.

There IS a written out campaign tree here (http://www.peachmountain.com/5star/PG2_ ... nPaths.asp) but the names may (or may not) reveal much. I will show more as I play through more.

As for the men and officers, that is the beauty of this game. This is a consistent campaign, which means all your officers and men with their experience points carry over. So it's YOUR army that is kicking this much ass. This is especially important for your officers, as they make a certain unit give that much more effort. I was personally hoping that Osterwald would get "Devastating Fire" which lets him fire TWICE in a turn. As you've seen, a Stuka that can dive bomb an enemy twice (or two enemies in one turn depending on placement) is pretty huge; just hope you have a nearby airbase handy, as that eats up ammo. Abilities like this really make your units shine, though officer generation is random. 100 experience points will trigger whether they show up or not, but even so, a unit with battle honors (which they will receive at 100 points) is still a nice thing to have, officer or not.

I am currently in a part of the states where internet access is not readily available, so updates will be sparse. I will try to get one up within the week!

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Basarin
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Re: Panzer General II: Okay, who tinkered with the time mach

Post by Basarin » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:32 pm

Okay, I am currently on an internet connection. The unfortunate bit is that it is not the greatest connection out there, so therefore I have to update this bit by bit. I'm quite a bit into the Polish campaign, but these pictures are somewhat big, and it takes much longer on this connection to upload things. So I'll have to do this bit by bit.

As a bit of a spoiler for how the campaign is going:
Spoiler:
The Falschirmjaeger were worth the investment.

* * *
Chapter 2: Poland
The Start of the War

I was not too surprised by the war declarations. The issue of the Danzig corridor was always going to be a sore sticking point with the German people, and it was a legitimate grievance that the Allies were not willing or were unable to address. We've since then stopped arguing over the book and started beating each other physically with them.

Some of my orderlies were taken by surprise by the war declaration, but more than a few (and all of the men) were spoiling for a fight. We'd received replacements for our losses in the Spanish campaign, but they were able to integrate into the rest of the units under the watchful eyes of my veterans, many of whom had served in the previous war and even more who had been blooded at Madrid. They were in safe hands. And they wanted a fight.

Well, when you ask nicely enough...

I remember holding a meeting with Weiss and the division commanders. No longer under the auspices of the Condor Legion, I was now officially in charge of a full army, numbering around three divisions. Ostwald and the commander of the new fighter wing under my (technical) command represented the Luftwaffe (Goering still insisted on his strange command structure), and due to the gravity of the situation (it was, the way we saw it, avenging the wrongs of the last war - Hitler's propaganda or not, I still see that as a hard and fast truth) I felt it prudent to include quite a few of the junior officers as well. It would turn out to have consequences in the Polish campaign.

"Men," I told them, "We are about to write the first page of this chapter of history. I won't bore you about what we're avenging - we know that already. Just know what you're fighting for." The men in the briefing room stared back at me as I continued, "Whether you are fighting for Fatherland or family, loved ones or pride, I could care less - just that you remember what you're doing and WHY you are doing it." Stopping in mid-pace, I turned to face them with an impassive stare.

"I have only one thing I require of you to truly abide by - your duty. As men of the Wehrmacht, we are charged with prosecuting this campaign for the greater benefit of Germany. But as many of you know from Madrid, war is not clean. War is not black and white. And war requires us to bend the rules at times." I stopped to take a breath before continuing. "I just want you to remember one thing: when faced with a hard choice, do the right thing. Because you'll see me at it with the best of them."

I won't say the words came back to haunt me later, but in the later years of the war, they certainly resonated a lot more than I originally meant.

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These words aside, the strategic situation was as followed: to effectively end the campaign, three cities had to be taken. Mlawa was directly in the path of two divisions that were to be temporarily under my command, so that was the logical first target. Further behind the lines, with an airfield in between, was Przasnyz, a city I hoped would not be as hard to take as it was to pronounce. The Luftwaffe had some ideas about how to take THAT particular one, but I remember being very skeptical at the time about it. It would be a rather pleasant (if bloody) surprise.

Ciechanow was the last city on my docket to take. Weiss suggested I make straight for it as soon as Mlawa was taken, but I demured on that course of action. It was a long road, and there were plenty of small towns for infantry to dig into, but my real fear was all the forests and woodlands infantry could also hole up into. If I was delayed, they could make our lives miserable while Przasnyz could send in infantry to harass us on our east flank.

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To the north, I positioned my reconnaissance unit along with two infantry regiments, two armored regiments and an artillery regiment: just less than two divisions all in all, though somewhat irregular.To the east were two cavalry regiments; their job was to tie down any forces they could find, along with reporting whatever they could find.

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To our west was an infantry division with horse driven artillery. They would push down towards Mlawa.

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The forethought was nice, but the bridging engineers were probably not necessary. The airfield, however, had all of my Luftwaffe assets. The fighter squadron and the Condors led by Ostwald were either in the air or rushing through preflight checks one last time, and the Falschirmjaegers were readying their gear before they boarded their Junkers transport planes.

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One last allied division of infantry and artillery were positioned to the town west of Mlawa, and I detached one of my panzer regiments to join them. The pioneeres were also assigned to help with the assaults, having proven their worth at such in Madrid.

I would win this campaign, no doubt about it. However, this would be my costliest assignment to date...

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Re: Panzer General II: Okay, who tinkered with the time mach

Post by Basarin » Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:12 pm

Chapter 2: Poland
Lessons Learned

At 0500 I gave the orders to our fighter squadron to sweep ahead of the advance and report what they found. As the western divisions did not have any reconnaissance of their own (I used up much of my new clout to get what I had as was), I figured that aerial reconnaissance would be the next best thing.

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It immediately paid off when they reported back their findings. Several infantry regiments were dug in around Mlawa, including what looked to be a light panzer formation and an artillery battery. The artillery was the biggest threat to the incoming advance, so simply being there signed their death warrants.

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They were nothing to sneeze at either. Somewhat dated as they may have been, the 105mm howitzers were a concern to any commander with infantry formations.

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Naturally, though, they had little protection against aerial attacks, and there seemed to be no anti air defenses of any sort. Ostwald had a field day on that assignment.

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Under the cover of the aerial sweeps, the western divisions crossed the bridge into Poland. The invasion proper was just getting started.

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The Falschirms boarded their Junkers transport planes and took off while the attention was on the stuka formations. Their objective were as followed: occupy Przasnyz and prevent Polish reinforcements from linking up with the Mlawa garrisons. Weiss had pressed hard for me to allow this first test of the paratroopers: by doing so, we would curry favor with Goering's Luftwaffe and gain a nice propaganda piece for Goebbels' networks to praise from on high. More practically, however, the General Staff was quite eager to see how this played out, especially since this was an earlier deployment for them than what they planned. This demonstration was to be at my army's expense. I remember just hoping that they were worth it.

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They were not entirely alone, though, as north of their positions the two cavalry regiments would sweep in and also draw attention away from the paras. Any damage or territory they took (like the one in the photo) were added bonuses.

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The central division that was from my own army swept southwards as well, and the reconnaissance cars ground southwards to report on enemy findings. They were altogether TOO successful in their endeavors, and what would be the first real bloody nose I was dealt was metered out that day.

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I underestimated the Polish panzers, and for my trouble the recon unit was shelled, assaulted by infantry, then driven back by the spirited leader of the "tankettes" as the British called them. The carnage left behind was a trail of wrecked and burning car hulks and corpses, with the survivors hitching rides on the remaining operating vehicles (which weren't many) or were forced to arm themselves with machine pistols and fall back through the woods.

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One of the cavalry detachments suffered even worse. After dismounting, they moved to assault a Polish holdout when a previously hidden howitzer opened fire on the attackers. The result was a complete and utter rout, and the commander was forced to fall back to their sister regiment and combine the survivors.

((Note: that HURT. If you lose formations, you also lose prestige. The opposite is true.))

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Some territory had been taken in the first day, and we inflicted our own share of losses, but this was not an auspicious start to the campaign. The subcommanders were itching to make up for this loss, and I was inclined to agree. I gave them the simple command: "Forward and assault."

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The township north of Mlawa was taken quickly by one of the attached divisions: artillery fire followed by a fierce follow up assault from the regulars, and we took the town in short order.

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The assault on Mlawa itself began from the western flank, with my pioneeres and panzers leading the charge. I remember that day specifically because I was on the ground to see the situation for myself, and I was with the panzer regiment.

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The Condors were nowhere near done, and they paid a visit to yet another artillery battery, raining death from above with their dive bombs. The Ju-88s were becoming iconic of close air support by that point, and the screams that emitted from the planes as they dove practically nose down ninety degrees, pulling up only when to release their bombs. Enemy artillerymen were learning that the lessons of artillery staying safe behind the lines from the previous war no longer held, and to fear aircraft with a passion.

At least that's what I would have taken away from that.

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Further east near the airfield, the experimental Panzer IVs surged ahead - all of my panzer commanders were earning a reputation for being extremely aggressive and audacious in how they used their machines. Speeding around the enemy lines, they crashed into another artillery regiment attempting to set up and cover for the more forward Polish formations and quite simply overran them. I'm told that liberal use of high-explosive rounds (HE) left very little to salvage.

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The second day of the campaign looked somewhat better as a result (the map is a bit anachronistic, as it still shows the cavalry formations numbering as two, but the Polish ensured that number was fixed). Mlawa and the airfield were being threatened from the west and north, and it seemed as if just one more assault would push Mlawa over the brink. And in the middle of all the mad dashes to defend the vanguards, no one seemed to notice the transport planes bearing their unusual cargo. I was feeling pretty good as I issued orders from my field HQ with the panzer regiment approaching Mlawa from the west.

It turned out that would be one of the more hectic moments of my life up to that point. Wouldn't be the last either.

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The photograph you see is mainly the aftermath of what happened that night. As the panzers stood down to refit and rearm, the Polish infantry surprised us from the nearby woods. I utterly detest the propaganda movie reels of Polish cavalrymen charging at us with sabers on horseback, because that is absolutely not true. These Poles were fierce and brave: with the firing of a signal flare, Polish infantrymen sprung out of the tall grass and trees and assaulted our machines with grenades and flammenwerfers. I myself rallied my command staff to take up arms and to push the Poles back, all the while trying to get our men to mount up and counter attack.

It proved to be somewhat fruitless, but the men later would tell me that the sight of me standing on top of a Panzer III's hull firing a bipod mounted MG34 was quite a sight. I honestly do not recall the event, and I still will insist to this day that I'm quite sure it never happened, but such a story did some good to heal the wound to our dignity that day: half of our machines were rendered inoperable at best, and many were wrecked and useful only as spare parts for the motor pool at the worst.

My artillery regiment further north fared no better. While still mounted in their trucks traveling down the road, what we thought was a clear perimeter was breached by infantry who riddled much of our transports with MG and rifle rounds, wrecking many of the guns still being towed. They pulled back before a counterattack could be mounted, but the damage had still been done.

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The artillery regiment, though, was in a position to take immediate revenge and opened fire on the infantry that had dared to attack them. The commander of the big guns sounded incredibly annoyed over the phone when I issued the orders, and I honestly can't blame him. The pioneeres would follow up and wiped the ground with the scattered infantry...

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Re: Panzer General II: Okay, who tinkered with the time mach

Post by Dr. Corday » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:22 pm

You just have to hate hidden artillery! :stab:
And it must be nice to have air superiority. I wonder if that will last?
And how many other sneak attacks by the Polish are under way? Will you send scouts out to look around?
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Basarin
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Re: Panzer General II: Okay, who tinkered with the time mach

Post by Basarin » Mon Feb 14, 2011 11:15 pm

Mission 1 is really the only mission where your armies have full reign over the skies (though the Spaniards on both sides DID have some airpower). Mission 2 onwards starts to see some real threats to your aerial assets, and you need to start being careful about how you deploy them. NO ONE wants to get caught by surprise from fighters ambushing you "out of the sun." That just plain HURTS, and you'll be lucky to get away with a plane intact.

I was much more careful about how I scouted around. I'd deploy another recon car, but at this point there really isn't much of a point; it'd take too much time for them to catch up, and the battle would be more or less over by then. Better to save the prestige and see what I can buy for the next mission.

I'll try to post in a few days again!

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Basarin
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Re: Panzer General II: Okay, who tinkered with the time mach

Post by Basarin » Fri Feb 18, 2011 5:43 pm

Chapter 2: Poland
Pleasant Surprises

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The artillery took their vengeance on some of the offending artillery blocking the road to Mlawa, obliterating some of the weaker formations outright.

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The Polish panzers received a taste of their side's medicine when my own infantry assaulted the tankettes from the woods. It was by no means a cheap assault, but all but a few machines were knocked out, with the few survivors falling back across the plains in disarray.

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I for my part was determined to let the panzerregiment I was attached to take some measure of their own vengeance. Deciding that Herr Weiss would not mind a bit of silly and mindless (but nevertheless print-worthy) propaganda, I mounted a leading panzer and brandished my general's sword, waving for whatever machines that could function to follow.

Historian's Note: Later German wargamers would make something of a parody of this moment that Gerhard Decker describes.

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Needless to say, it has become about as iconic to the Germans as General Washington's crossing of the Delaware is to the United States, though somewhat more subject to lampooning. Decker's memoirs continue below.

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It had the desired effect, and we overran the artillery regiment (the cavalry commanders were reportedly quite amused at the photographs, something I'd never quite live down).

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We then focused our attention towards the Polish infantry that caused us so much grief.

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The ensuing action was somewhat inconclusive, but one of the junior commanders showed promise in coordinating his men and machines to prevent further losses.

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Joachim Kurtz was the man I gave a brevet promotion to a rank high enough to command what was left of his regiment. An aggressive officer even by my standards, he had absolutely no qualms about taking crazed risks and getting away with it in more or less one piece.

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As my eastern division pushed south towards the airfield, parts of the Polish airforce finally made an appearance, strafing our panzers in the process. The damage was not great, but it was a threat that had to be dealt with quickly.

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Not that the infantry were overly concerned, concealed as they were in the woods. The idea of "attacking armored machines from ambush" was starting to become a standard tactic, especially when combined with artillery fire and armored support. It was not official (yet), but I was not about to bar such tactics if they worked. As it did in this case and before. (I'd later send notes about it to Guderian, who himself was also conducting operations elsewhere in Poland)

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The Polish tankettes were thrown back in confusion, and the replenished reconnaissance detachment took sweet revenge in claiming the kill of the survivors.

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Together with the Panzer IVs they pushed further towards the airfield, which would become our new field HQ as soon as it was taken.

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The Polish fighter planes became a moot issue when the Messerschmitts swooped in and engaged in a brief but fierce dogfight in plain view of both sides. The pilots in their debriefs would describe it as a "turkey shoot." Still a good way to get them to acclimate to real combat conditions.

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There was plenty of vengeance to go around that day, as the combined cavalry detachment, rather than assaulting the village that caused them such trouble, went hunting for the artillery regiments that fired on them. They found one, and then assaulted them instead. Many casualties and prisoners later, the eastern flank was down to one battery of Polish big guns.

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The Falschirmjaegers had jumped out of their planes the previous night, and the regiment more or less managed to regroup and reform on the ground within a short period of time. No anti-air guns had been installed around the city, as no one was expecting an attack from the east. The militia garrisoning the city were quite simply obliterated, but the commander of the regiment decided to hold from actually pushing into the city proper. He later explained to me that "if we did, we'd be subject to two concerted counterattacks." He also had wounded and dead to consider, and to occupy the city while so disorganized would not have been wise.

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We were making good progress, and the enemy in front of us began to falter, as news about the attack on Przasnyz of all places began to filter through the lines...

I was quite pleased.

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