A Devastating Alternate Second World War

July 18, 2007

Shattered World - Segment 53.1

June 17th 1949 to August 15th 1949

"The Japanese are a disease of the skin, while the Communists are a disease of the heart"

Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek

It was a blisteringly hot day in Tianjin, China, and the crowd gathered in front of the City Hall suffered in relative silence as the grim People's Liberation Army soldiers force-marched a dozen blind-folded men towards the recently erected gallows. An officer in front of the gallows paced menacingly, casting harsh glares at the condemned men and then turning to face the crowd, staring accusingly through the spectacles that so many Party intellectuals liked to wear.
"See the People's enemy, the Japanese-licking running dogs of greedy capitalists, warlords, and foreign barbarian scum. See the justice of the Party at work!" the officer shouted, pointing at each of the condemned as they were forced into position in front of each assigned noose. Hisses and several cast stones emerged from the crowd, none dared show any sympathy for the Party's enemies. One man who had apparently pleaded for his life now had a rag stuffed in his mouth, and bleeding sores on his face showed where the soldiers had indicated their displeasure.
One by one the trap doors opened, and each of condemned in turn fell to their death, legs thrashing with involuntary motions and bowels loosening in one final disgrace. Hu Bao looked on from his position at the back of the crowd in anger and disgust, barely containing the urge to spit on the pavement at his feet. He hated the communists the way only the son of an executed business man could, with deep and abiding passion. He'd climbed the ranks of the Nationalist Army rapidly, proving his loyalty time and again with a variety of special missions carried out against the communists. Now, he'd penetrated deep into communist controlled northeast China. Rumors of this execution had reached his ears through a small but growing network of informants, and he'd come to confirm the rumor.
And, indeed, the communists had executed a well placed friend of Nationalist China, a powerful informant and former acquaintance of someone powerful in the Nationalist leadership. The crime here would be remembered, and avenged a hundred fold when the communists were rooted out of China like the worms and insects they were. Hu longed for that time, and hated the Russian barbarians for delaying its arrival. Forcing his grimace into a lopsided grin, Hu turned away and paced down an alley towards his home in the city's center. The time would come, and in the meanwhile he would prepare.

June 17th 1949

Nationalist Leader Chiang Kai-shek continues to demand that Soviet forces withdraw from northeast China and Manchuria, accusing them(truthfully) of working to establish communist regimes in both of their zones of occupation. The Nationalist Chinese leadership is reaching its boiling point, even threatening privately to withdraw from the AfD and invade the Soviet occupation zones.
On the Eastern Front German forces link up northeast of Minsk, isolating some 250,000 Soviet soldiers in a large pocket with the city of Minsk at it's center. Over the previous several days some 80,000 Soviet soldiers managed to flee to the north and east, mostly on foot and horse back. For the Soviet soldiers trapped inside the Minsk Pocket, surrender is not an option. They know what fate awaits them in German captivity.

June 19th 1949

Jubilant celebrations in NAZI occupied Sweden become tempered as reports begin to filter out of the Red Army's "area denial" operations. Although not as thorough as operation 'Black' in the western Ukraine, Soviet forces are none-the-less destroying ports, factories, mines, machinery, and other strategic assets as they continue their careful withdrawal from the country.

June 22nd 1949

The great German push in the north continues to drive ahead. In the Baltic states the Soviets have abandoned Riga and are now falling back towards Estonia and Russia itself. In Belorussia the Minsk pocket remains completely cut off and Soviet forces are withdrawing eastward as rapidly as their limited fuel reserves allow. Red Army forces all along the unraveling northern front have now been ordered to withdraw to positions along the Beria Line which runs roughly along the border of Russia itself from west of Leningrad and south to Smolensk, and then further south, merging into the powerful Soviet defensive lines in the eastern Ukraine.
German forces for their part have reinforced their ring around the Minsk Pocket but their powerful mobile forces are driving hard to the east.

June 27th 1949

After several weeks of mopping up operations, AfD forces declare the Canary Islands and Madeiras fully secured. Although the facilities on many formerly Axis held islands remain heavily damaged, the islands held by the British are a buzz of activity as existing infrastructure is expanded and new construction booms across the islands. Axis reconnaissance aircraft note the frantic buildup, sparking concern in Berlin and Rome.
In Scandinavia Soviet forces have largely completed their orderly evacuation from Sweden into Finland, leaving behind a Swedish countryside rendered largely pre-industrial by Soviet demolition units. In Finland itself the guerrilla activity in the countryside, which was never quite totally stomped out, picks up considerably.

June 28th 1949

A massive bomb, hidden in the basement of the British embassy in Alexandria, explodes - destroying the building and killing over two hundred British nationals and locals, including some of the diplomatic staff. The "Nationalist Islamic Movement", a radical Islamic Arab Nationalist organization, claims credit for the bombing and calls for an uprising against the British. Over the coming weeks British forces and the Egyptian government will begin a series of harsh crack downs - outlawing Islamic Nationalist groups, several political parties, and throwing thousands in jail.

June 29th 1949

As the Minsk pocket shrinks steadily back into the city itself yet continues to hold out, the German logistical situation has begun to become a major issue. With Minsk still in Red Army hands, all German supplies flowing east must go by truck on a limited system of roads around the city. This is beginning to slow down the leading panzer spearheads, giving the Soviets just enough time and breathing space to continue their desperate move into the Beria Line.

June 30th 1949

In a concession made only after much bitter resistance to massive pressure applied by the U.S. and Britain, the Soviet Union agrees to begin transitioning power in northeast China over to Chinese Nationalist forces. However, Beria refuses to begin withdrawing from Manchuria, claiming loudly that an early Soviet withdrawal there would leave a power vacuum, "inviting the Japanese or internal warlords to seize power there".
Communist Chinese forces, meanwhile, have no intention of giving up power in northeastern China or Manchuria. Flush with Soviet arms, and with the benefit of plenty of time to prepare, they intend to unite all of China under Chinese communism. China is on the brink of full scale civil war.

July 5th 1949

After a small Soviet counter-attack nearly cuts off one leading German panzer division, the German High Command calls for an operational pause along the northern front while logistical lines are improved. In the north, German forces have now cleared the Baltic states and have advanced to within forty kilometers of Leningrad itself and to within twenty kilometers of Pskov. To the South, German forces stand at the border between Belorussia and Russia proper and are within 75 kilometers of Smolensk. Further to the south the front is stable, with neither side currently prepared to act very aggressively in the Ukraine.

July 7th 1949

In a huge underground complex inside western Poland, German engineers are working on a very special missile, a missile designed to deliver a very special payload - a payload designed to leave the bounds of the Earth, achieving orbit. It is Von Braun's true dream, to turn humanity into a space faring species. And, in the process, deliver a stunning propaganda coup to the Third Reich.

July 10th 1949

The Minsk Pocket has now shrunk to include little more than the city itself. However, the 225,000 Soviet soldiers still alive there remain grimly determined to fight. There are still enough supplies thanks to the massive stores built up prior to the German offensive and the Russian soldiers there, exalted and hailed as stoic heroes on Soviet radio broadcasts that they can hear, are fighting for the survival of Russia itself and against their own grim fate. Many of them even still believe the words of their commanders and the voices on the radio, promising a coming counter attack to relieve the beleaguered army. Though the smarter Red Army soldiers know the lie, Minsk promises to remain a running sore in the side of the German Army for quite some time.

July 13th 1949

After several weeks of intense and highly secret negotiations, diplomats and military staff in Casablanca strike an accord between Free France and the United States. Although Free France will not join the AfD, the United States will be granted full rights of passage through Free French air, ground, and sea territories, in addition to the use of Free French transportation and supply infrastructure - payment for this passage will come in the form of significantly increased U.S. military and economic aid to Free France. The British reluctantly agree, turning over coming operations in the Free French theatre to the United States.
In the Pacific, the massive U.S. 7th Fleet is assembling for operations against Iwo Jima. The Japanese combined fleet, what remains of it, is dispersed around the Japanese Islands awaiting orders to sortie for one last battle with the Americans. Hundreds of human-piloted rocket bombs, a Japanese weapon of kamikaze, are being rapidly prepped for combat. These deadly craft, launched from heavy bombers, air fields, or warships, can achieve over 500mph and are guided by dedicated, if fanatical, human minds.

July 15th 1949

After having stopped for ten days to rest and bring up supplies German forces renew their offensive in the north, crashing northeast towards Leningrad and directly east into the Beria Line towards Smolensk. Led by carpet bombing and a massive nerve gas attack, German infantry and heavy panzers move into the massive defensive belts southwest of Leningrad. Despite the bombings and nerve gas the attack runs into heavy Soviet resistance and spends many men and panzers to advance just several kilometers.
The push towards Smolensk gets off to a better start, with German forces surging around Soviet strong points and penetrating as much as seven kilometers into the Beria Line west of Smolensk. However, the Soviets have cleverly positioned their forces to cover the relatively narrow approaches to Smolensk and the campaign promises to be a costly one for the Germans.

To Be Continued in Segment 53.2...


Anonymous said...

Olefin here - great update Bobby!

Just a couple of questions -

a) how thick is the Beria line? You mention 7 kilometer penetration - what does that represent - i.e. 1/3 of the way thru, half way thru?

b) sounds like the Russians really did a job on Sweden - how long will it be before the Germans can get the mines there back into operation? Those mines and the ones in the Ukraine were huge assets for the Germans in WWII OTL - and while both are back in German hands now it sounds like both are very badly damaged, at least the infrastructure and perhaps the open pit mines themselves.

c) how many men do the ChiComms have - i.e. compared to the Nationalists? Are they semi-comparable or do the Nationalists heavily outnumber them?

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Looked at a map - if the Germans are within 30 km of Leningrad then they must have already broke thru the Beria line - the Estonian border to Leningrad is about 120 km - so that puts them 90km past the border and well thru the Beria Line itself - it would put the spearheads about Begunitsy or Kikerno - and 75km from Smolensk puts them just past Orso and Vitebesk - meaning that Minsk is a long long way behind German lines now.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

a)The Beria line is in the area of 25 kilometers thick on the Bellorussian border, especially west of Smolensk. The German penetration is about 1/3 through. However, this is somewhat misleading since many Soviet strong points were simplu bypassed. These will need to be reduced eventually, and the Beria Line was designed to absorb an initial punch but still hang on. Defense in depth.

b)The Mines in Sweden will need months to repair I would think. Some will be repaired faster than others, but I would think we're talking months not weeks.

c)As for the Chinese communists, they have a lot of soldiers but the vasy majority are barely trained at all, forced peasant conscripts mostly. The Nationalist Army is both bigger in absolute terms and trained better man for man. However, the communists are organized and many of them are extremely fanatical, more dedicated to "the cause" than the average nationalist soldier. The Nationalists do have the advantage of massive western backing versus the meager Soviet aid the communists are getting.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

About Leningrad - the "Beria Line" in that vicinity doesn't run precisely along the border, rather its situated more to serve as a defense of Leningrad. Its actually a separate defensive line altogether, built to protect Leningrad itself(it actually surrounds the city on all sides)
The Soviets expected to hold out much longer in the Baltic States, and defenses along the Russian border in that vicinity were neglected.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - thanks for the explanation Bobby - so that would mean that the big German breakthru at the border wasnt thru the Beria line but more thru regular Soviet army forces that were withdrawing towards the Beria line - which, as you said, around Leningrad, is really the city defences.

I stand corrected then in what I said earlier about the Germans breaking thru clean - however it does mean that, at least around Leningrad, if they break thru then the city is either gone or totally surrounded.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Rememeber that the Soviets can't do everything they want everywhere. In order to build those massive defenses in the Ukraine and west of Smolensk something had to give somewhere - and the defenses along the Russian-Baltic border were one area that got neglected.
Even the defensive lines around Leningrad are just refurbished lines left over from the Eurasian War. The Soviets just weren't expecting a massive German offensive in the north, at least not in the 1949 campaign season.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - makes sense to me - after all the Baltics have been quiet since last summer - so they seemed to be the last place the Germans would really have hit after all the fighting for Minsk and the Ukraine in 48.

Sounds like the Russian Northern Armies are pretty badly hit - by my figures at least 400,000 dead or cut off in Minsk out of 900,000 they had to begin with - and that doesnt include the fighting in this update outside of Minsk.

Given the ferocity as you have depicted it they could easily have lost another 50-100,000 men in that fighting.

So a question - the Free French are at peace with the Germans and Italians. Isnt the free passage agreement with the US a violation of that peace agrement - i.e. granting free access to their territory for a country at war with the Axis? Does the agreement include basing rights - or is it just overflight and emergency landing rights and the use of French transportation systems?

Anonymous said...

Olefin here again - assume by saying that the Sweden destruction is bad but not as bad as Operation Black means that while we are looking at a lot of demolition work we arent looking at wholescale chemical and bio contamination like the Russians did in the Ukraine.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Well, the Free French know very well they are violating the armistice - they're counting on U.S. atom bombs and conventional forces to limit the consequences of Axis retaliation.
By the time the Axis are aware of what is happening, U.S. forces will already be coming ashore at Free France's Atlantic ports and U.S. carrier aircraft will be sweeping the skies over northwest Africa. Its a gamble for the Free French but not a huge one. De Gaulle is gambling that even when the Germans do get nukes they'll have targets far more inviting that any in Free France.

The situation in North Africa is about to get...complex. The Axis have a massive new threat looming on their western flank...just as the British are about to experience a disaster in Egypt.

Hey, I had to have some theatre of operations where U.S. and German air and ground forces could begin fighting in earnest :)

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Am I correct in assuming that the Swedish and Germans divisions along the Aurora line - and possibly some from Norway are now moving into northern Sweden? If they are then Beria wont be able to send many of those troops from Sweden south - unless he is going to give up Finland as well.

There were at least 10 or more divisions in Sweden and probably another ten in Norway - those 100,000 men who used to garrison Sweden may have their hands full trying to keep the Axis out of Finland.

By the way - with the Soviets pulling back are the Germans trying to go after Archangel and Murmansk as well? Some of the Swedish garrison may have to go there to keep the Germans out of those ports.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - well for those carrier aircraft to get there they either have to base at French airbases after flying in from the Atlantic - or there is about to be one heck of an air sea battle to get the US carrier fleet past Gibraltar.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Axis forces in Sweden are busy moving into the area the Soviets have withdrawn from, and there is A LOT of work to be done on the transportation network of northern Sweden. Moving into Finland is six months to a year away at a minimum.
As good as the Germans are currently doing, they can't do everything at once.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

The U.S. carriers can sit off the Atlantic coast of northwest Africa and from there maintain air coverage over a good chunk of Free France, including all the Atlantic ports.
And after a month or two the U.S. will be using Free France airbases and constructing new ones.

I'm not saying it will be a cake walk for the Americans - The Axis will certainly throw bombers and fighters in that direction, and the fighting in Algeria should be intense. The Americans have the _huge_ advantage of having many A-bombs to throw around. They have enough to risk wasting a couple in botches tactical attacks. Going to be hard for the Axis to concentrate their forces in a full-scale nuclear environment.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

"The situation in North Africa is about to get...complex. The Axis have a massive new threat looming on their western flank...just as the British are about to experience a disaster in Egypt. "

Sounds like something very very bad is about to happen in Egypt - that British Army in Libya may have better things to do soon than keep Rommel pinned down.

It will be interesting in western Africa though - as good as US logistics are its much easier for the Axis to reinforce in Tunisia and Algeria than it will be for the US to get troops there - since its a short hop for the Axis and a long one for the US. Have a feeling that once the Germans see the US landing there that it will be much like OTL -i.e. Germans and Italians scrambling to get everything they can to Tunisia and Algeria as quickly as they can.

Still the Axis are in better shape there than they were in OTL - while they arent flush with troops they must have a least 2 or 3 divisions worth of troops in the Western African area - and that will give them the ability to buy time to get Rommel back from Libya or troops across from Italy or southern France or Spain.

Anonymous said...

Going to be very very interesting -Bobby a question and dont know if you have thought this out yet - how many divisions do the Axis have in the West that arent in Africa? With the huge offensive in Russia are most of the divisions there minor Axis with only a few German divisions (i.e. Spain and Portugal's army, the Vichy and Acquitaine and then maybe 10 or so German and Italian divisions) or do the Germans have more like 20-30 but mostly infantry and maybe two or three (at most) panzer divisions?

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

There are probably 6 quality German divisions in western Europe. Panzergrenadiers and panzer forces. Plus another 8 or so lower quality regular infantry divisions.
They're going to have to bulk up this force eventually as the U.S. starts building up in the British Isles. The Germans are going to be pressed very hard, hence events on the Eastern Front are obviously very important.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - are they depending on minor Axis nations for help in Western Europe - i.e. Croat, Hungarian, Romanian, Vichy, Spanish - or are they also so committed in Russia that even the minor Axis can only offer a few divisions to the defense of western Europe.

By the way - you mentioned several updates ago that several Axis French divisions were sent to Africa - are they part of Rommel's army fighting in Libya and if so how good are they? Or are they on garrison duty in Western Africa?

Anonymous said...

Olefin here again - Bobby thanks for the update - perfect timing too - best birthday present I got today

DeathDemon said...

Another great chapter.

Another 10 bucks your way for another one.

DeathDemon said...

Bobby, you say it'll take at least a year for the Germans to move into Finland.
I would think they would want to move into Finland as soon as possible, and promise the Fins independence.

If they wait too long, the Russians will have strong lines in Finland and on the Kola peninsula.

Oh, and Olefin, happy birthday, although I'm a bit late.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Bobby - you mentioned that the Russians basically reduced northern Sweden to a pre-industrial state.

Stockholm was under Russian control - did they burn the city down with some kind of controlled arson or did they just leave it alone but blow up its critical infrastructure like bridges, electrical power stations and water supply/sewer lines?

Naguib said...

I have a question as I have been reading through the entire series I have noticed a growing undertone of Muslim Fundamentalism or Pan-Muslim nationalism and the two seemed to be used interchangeably. These two parts of society and thought were frequently at odds with each other especially as they both matured. Now are these forces being introduced on purpose as to introduce a non-historical figure who has a coherent national religious ideology? Or are these undertones more of a Ghost in the Machine coincidence by the author? Also with regards to the Egyptian groups are these groups based upon the same ideology as the Original groups were or have they also diverged in terms of thinking.

Thank You for answering my question

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

Regarding Finland, the Germans could probably invade it from Sweden, with support from the Kriegsmarine, with about 6 months of preparation if they did a major effort. The question is will the Germans place sufficient priority to carry this off? I'm thinking that they wouldn't. East Front takes all priority. 9 months to a year is more realistic, and a lot depends on what happens at Leningrad and Smolensk.

Regarding Stockholm, the Soviets did destroy a lot of the infrastructure but they didn't do too much to the population. They thought about it, and decided it wasn't worth giving the Germans another propaganda item.

Regarding the situation in the middle east, I am intentionally having the nationalist arab and Islamic elements join forces, on the the theory that both elements will view the British as the greater enemy. How long this alliance will last is another question.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Actually the situation at Leningrad may make the Germans more likely to invade Finland than less Bobby. If they get held up and dont take Leningrad then they may very well go for an assault into southern Finland by sea so they can get at Leningrad from the other side.

I dont think they will leave Finland alone either way - most likely they will be sending in by parachute teams of Finns and Germans to stir the place up, cause trouble and in general force the Russians to keep as many men there as possible.

Interesting point about the Islamists and the Nationalist forces in Egypt and elsewhere - depending on what happens you may have a situation in some ways similar to what happened in Jerusalem during the First Jewish Rebellion - where after the Jews drove the Romans out they spent so much time fighting among themselves that they couldnt resist the reconquest by Rome.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Bobby saw your post about ground burst nukes on Iwo. Very Very Very bad idea - you would create a huge cloud of radioactive volanic ash that would kill everyone exposed to it - that ash is so fine it would get into everything. And the plume would kill people as far away as Hawaii and Alaska.

You would end up with a lot of US ships full of dead sailors within days - and the IJN showing up with nothing to do but sink the ships covered with radioactive dust.

If there is one place that the US would not use a ground burst it is there - plus the ash would settle back onto the island and render it uninhabitable for years.

As I said on the board - somehow I dont think having the USN PACFLT get half its sailors taken out by radiation poisoning is what you have in mind as the reason Japan survives the war.

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering what was happening in SWTL's China this morning, and here it is. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

Bobby one thing you need to put in the update that you forgot - the Cumbre Vieja eruption started on June 24th, with the major part of the eruption starting on July 12 and continuing unitl July 22nd. That is going to disrupt British and American operations on the Canaries - and will put a crimp in their plans to deploy aircraft there. At the least there should be some kind of short blurb how the July 12 eruption is disrupting aircraft operations in the Canaries, both Axis recon and Allied flights and caused some damage to aircraft and radar systems at the British bases.Bobby one thing you need to put in the update that you forgot - the Cumbre Vieja eruption started on June 24th, with the major part of the eruption starting on July 12 and continuing unitl July 22nd. That is going to disrupt British and American operations on the Canaries - and will put a crimp in their plans to deploy aircraft there. At the least there should be some kind of short blurb how the July 12 eruption is disrupting aircraft operations in the Canaries, both Axis recon and Allied flights and caused some damage to aircraft and radar systems at the British bases.

Left Atomics said...

Hi Bobby, seems everyone is happy with the new section. Well done.

I think the problems of manpower by the Russians while true to the extent you explain it, is still offset, "some", by similiar problems the German forces have, who have also been loosing large numbers of men and material. This should show up somehow...they've been fighting too for a decade now and attrition should start to show.

Lastly, what is the effect of a British, and now American, a-bomb going off, say, over Munich or Hamburg? Can't be good and it's strange the Brits or the Americans haven't tried it yet. :)


Bobby Hardenbrook said...

About German manpower. There situation is not great(they're already using teens in civil defense roles), but they're better off than the Russians.
In late 48, early 49, the Germans had one last untapped reserve of young men whereas the Russians used most of their last reserve in building up for their big offensive in the summer of 48.

As for the effect of atomic bombs on big western cities - the effect is probably similar to the effect of a 1000 bomber raid I would imagine, perhaps worse right at ground zero though.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

As to why the British/Americans haven't nuked a German city yet : its because of German air defenses, which are very very strong over Europe.
SBC needs to establish itself in Britain before it can risk an atomic attack on Germany proper. Targets in Iberia and the Med are much more vulnerable and will probably get hit well before Germany itself gets hit.

Anonymous said...


I have a question pending to you in the ask Bobby section.



Anonymous said...

Hi Bobby,

Just wondering, I believed you mentioned lowering the amount of contributions needed cashwise to publish from 100 dollars to 50?

I would definitely keep giving fives for each segment that goes online if this is the case :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Bobby, will you update the overview maps anyimte? That would be sweet.

Anonymous said...

Ah, one last request I've been thinking on, will there be any sort of casualty summary for the entire war at some point, it would be an interesting figure to behold.

CJ said...

I'll second the call for updated maps.

Anonymous said...

I sent Bobby the updated maps I made a while back. They are from before the current German operation.


Bobby Hardenbrook said...

About the donations, I think $50 is a good threshold for bumping the next segment from hobby to higher priority. So far, I have received $130 total, $10 of that since segment 53.1 was posted.
Segment 53.2 is still in the very early stages. I was out of town this weekend. Should be able to get started on it this week.

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

As for maps, I will be putting up a new map showing Europe as of August 15th, 1949. I'm waiting to finish Segment 53.2 before posting it.

As for total casualty figures for the Shattered World ATL, its safe to assume its higher than our WW2 by now - probably something like 80 million or so total casualties. Our WW2 was around 70 million from what I have read.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here

A question Bobby - has there been any activity in the Caucasus or has the area been quiescent? Are the Russians withdrawing men there or is reaching Baku still a prime driver for them to the point they wont pull back from around Grozny to spare men for Smolensk and Leningrad - or to shift men from the Caucasus to fill in gaps in the Ukraine as men are sent north from there?

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

The Caucasus have been quiet since the Soviet offensive there in the winter failed miserably. Its still stalemated as of Segment 53.1

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - A question Bobby - just how many troops do the Soviets still have in the Caucasus - are we talking a major force there or has it already been pared down to try to reinforce the Ukraine? Any attack that the Germans could pull off there with the Turks and Chechens, if it worked, would come up right behind the Ukrainian defenses the Soviets have built. You have to think that someone in the General Staff would have noticed that fact - and also pointed out that Grozny isnt going to be able to produce a lot of oil with the Russians still in long range artillery range of the oil fields.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - obviously the Italians are not all in North Africa - what kind of forces do they have in France to help the Germans out in case of any US or British move? Are they mainly just security and conscript inf divisions or do they have some decent divisions in France, Spain and Iberia?

Actually that leads to a seperate question - just how many divisions do the Italians now have that would be seen as equivalent in quality to the German ones? They have been upgrading their army now for quite a while - how far have they come?

Bobby Hardenbrook said...

The Soviets still have several hundred thousand troops on the Caucasus front. A German offensive from there is not really viable given Axis logistics. The Germans are just too stretched and the Turks/Chechnyans are good on the defensive but not so great on the offensive.

Regarding the Italians - their best, most elite, divisions are maybe slightly better than an average German division but not as good as an elite German division. Average Italian divisions are still below average German divisions in overall training, morale, etc. However, all in all the Italians are more capable than they ever were in OTL - due to them having better morale, a somewhat bigger and more developed industrial complex, and just more training and reforms in their military.

Anonymous said...

About the donations Bobby, do you count 50$ since the update or overall, i.e. does excess donations from the last update carry over when you count it out?

Anonymous said...

I was looking back at your comments on the other thing and you said that the Free Officer's movement is more closely aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood?

How did this happen?

Thank You for answering my question.


Anonymous said...

Olefin here - thanks Bobby for the comments about the Italians - gives a much better idea of how capable they are.

So we know from a discussion point what kind of forces do the Italians have in Western Europe to go along with the 14 divisions the Germans have?

By the way - when you refer to Western Europe are you including Norway and the German Reich itself in that area (i.e. the areas of France, Belguim, Netherlands that are now part of Germany) or do you only mean places like Vichy, Aquitaine, Spain and Portugal?

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - 239pm EST July 24 - discussion board is down

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - wondering if Bobby's suicide aircraft is an improved version of this aircraft - the type I and II aircraft could take off from the ground and didnt need to be carried by a bomber

(from Wikipedia)

Kawanishi Baika
The Kawanishi Baika (梅花 - "Ume Blossom") was a pulsejet-powered kamikaze aircraft under development for the Imperial Japanese Navy towards the end of World War II. The war ended before any were built. The design was greatly inspired by the manned version of the German V1 flying bomb, the Fieseler Fi 103R "Reichenberg".

Type I - Pulsejet intake located directly above cockpit, fixed landing gear
Type II - Similar to Type I, but with pulsejet moved further back
Type III - Pulsejet mounted ventrally; no landing gear. Presumably, this version was intended to be air-launched by medium bombers such as the Mitsubishi G4M or Yokosuka P1Y

Specifications (Baika, as designed)

General characteristics
Crew: 1 pilot
Length: 7.00 m (23 ft 0 in)
Wingspan: 6.60 m (21 ft 8 in)
Height: m ( ft in)
Wing area: 7.6 m² (82 ft²)
Empty: 750 kg (1,653 lb)
Loaded: 1,430 kg (3,152 lb)
Maximum takeoff: N/A
Powerplant: 1× Maru Ka-10 pulsejet, 2.9 kN (660 lbf) thrust

Maximum speed: 556 km/h (347 mph)
Range: km ( miles)
Service ceiling: m ( ft)
Rate of climb: m/min (ft/min)
Wing loading: 188 kg/m² (38 lb/ft²)
Thrust-to-weight: 0.2:1

250 kg (550 lb) warhead

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - discussion board is back up as of 606pm EST

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - is the discussion board down again?

DeathDemon said...

Yes it is.

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - good thought it was just me -havent been able to get into it since yesterday morning - idea for Bobby may be some kind of discussion board status blog here so we dont have to put questions about it on the update comment area.

Anonymous said...

Few i toughed it was only me and my slow connection and I think Olefin is correct with having a backup on line maybe the yahoo board which I believe still works could do it when problems with the forum arrive.

Anonymous said...

Caracalla here. I was wondering if their was a response to my post about how much is need to get 53.2 up? Thanks in adavnce

Anonymous said...

Olefin here - on the discussion board I think that Bobby mentioned that he had over 130 dollars in donations so he had begun work on the new update. However not sure what is up in the past few days due to the board being down since yesterday morning.

Anonymous said...

I need my dose of SW discussion so I hope the problem with the board can be solve quickly.

john1761 said...

Is ther a problem with the disscussion board?

john1761 said...

I am freaking out . I need my STL.

Anonymous said...

Me to I so bored that I have completed a lot of stuff on my timeline so please bobby give us our connection to the SW forum back.

Anonymous said...

I too am nearly totally starved for segment 53.2. If Bobby could update on a schedule i wouldn't have to check by this website thrice a day :)

hint hint

Anonymous said...

IT could be great if you could incorporate the freedom struggles in British colonies especially in the Indian subcontinent.

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