Part 14: Turn 27, Turn 28Turn 27: June 24, 1915
In two turns we get another escort fleet to support Sea Lion. The Austrian Air Force will be ready soon. We have some surplus production but again, it is prudent to save up for upgrades and repairs first before buying troops this far into the war. Once we do though, we will most likely add more planes to terrorize the Russians from the air.
New torpedoes will give us more fleet strength but due to the Ottoman issue we will be deploying before then. Due to our friendly ports in France though, repairs mid invasion will be easy.
Bulgaria is counting down slowly but surely. Though are usually helpful in breaking a Serbian stalemate, but now if we are still fighting Britain they may be sent to Egypt to bolster the Ottomans.
Economic output. So far so good but it appears that German shipping is only enough to transport two armies at a time. Once we get more production we will requisition any spare boats from Rhine barges to cruise ships for the invasion. We have enough waves that it will be useful pulling that much away from our civilians.
AGN fans out and attacks on the line. Intel fails us and we get 1 to 1 odds for the most part. This would be great except 1 division for 1 regiment doesn't balance out for overall manpower.
Army Group Center makes one attack and pushes through the marshes while our weakened army refits. Once AGS pushes farther we will leave the fortress of Brest-Litovsk to our veteran Austrians moving in from Serbia.
The Austrians link up with our center and push the Russians back. There is one dug in reserve ahead of us but our artillery should break them apart if they decide not to flee. Except for the hiccup by our northern group, we are continuing to make good progress here in Russia.
6th Army reaches Russia but the rest of the veterans slog on. After cleaning up Brest-Litovsk these troops will reinforce any army group that is lagging behind.
In the Caucasus both armies rest and wait.
The Damascus Force retreats and we straighten our line and repair it as best we can. A telegram comes in to our generals from German High Command reading only "deal with it."
A new army will deploy next turn and hopefully the British artillery will need to relocate before firing on the new line. Without artillery or air power we can't hold out forever and will continue to whine at Germany to get on with the invasion of Great Britain.
Operation Sea Lion: Phase 1
After reviewing the pleas from the Ottoman Empire, High Command has decided to let them earn their title of empire and not alter our plans for Sea Lion. As such, the first phase of the invasion is enacted: interdiction. We will move to destroy the cruisers while their battleships are away. After that, our battleships will set up in the short part of The Channel to the east.
Gorging themselves on French women and wine, our troops have recovered morale nicely. After phase 1 is complete, these paragons of Germany will embark on the great crusade to keep Britain out of the continent forever.
This will be our position for the invasion itself, but for now, we have to destroy those cruisers. We will continue to pursue them and safeguard our invasion lane.
Austria creates another air group with leftover production capacity and Germany saves up for the requisition of our civilian and merchant fleets.
We gain intel of vague fleet movements. One moves closer towards our forces and one moves west of Britain.
The bulk of the Grand Fleet sails away from Scapa Flow. Though the western English Channel is larger, if their whole fleet is there we can deploy there on schedule.
The British prepare for the next assault. I can assume their artillery is queuing up as well.
Russia pulls their forces in the center and south away. In the north they reinforce and repair.
Turn 28: July 8th, 1915
If we need new torpedoes, we have them now. The Ottomans also have more meat shields to absorb British shells and gas.
We requisition whatever ships we can so we can transport a third army every turn. Our brave populace understands that this is for the greater good. The disadvantage is that pulling away so many ships costs a whopping 80 production. We don't have the resources to support repairs and reinforcements this round.
AGN has to halt to divert everything to our other efforts.
AGC lashes out in the marshes and pushes past Yudenich's men. This should force him to retreat if he doesn't want to be fully encircled. The 2nd Austrian Eastern Army pushes towards an undefended Minsk to aid the halted Army Group North. This should force a reaction but Russia while AGN waits for new men and resources.
Austria shells the dug in Russian corps but with unholy screams of Za Rodinu they hold out and even inflict multiple divisions worth of casualties on our men. They are nearly outflanked along with Yudenich. Another thing happens when we shell the men.
Gas. Gas has a negligible assault value but a shit ton of shock. Two batteries with gas against unmasked units can sometimes drop its efficiency straight into the red. Their trench system has helped and our battery is still outdated compared to German technology but this should help break up strongpoints as we encounter them.
We deploy our new army and firm up the line. It looks great, but if they have the shells to hit us it will get ugly quickly. We harass a few regiments of the coastal British corps but even these second rate troops can put a hurting on us with shells raining from the sky.
Operation Sea Lion Phase OH FUCK 1 and 2
So here is the situation. Half of the Grant Fleet is here with a merchant convoy and a garrison force. Though it is their screening fleet, home water advantage will make this challenging for us.
This is going to get ugly quickly. Our escorts, out of position by the long journey, attack the embarked garrison unit and destroy half of it. Our battleships engage half of the screening fleet and the exchange is 3-3 due to home water advantage. If they gang up they can destroy one of our battleships. It won't doom the invasion but it will hit our morale for 10! The battleships of the Grand Fleet will surely make their way here so we will have to send our new cruisers down as soon as possible.
Due to the eastern Channel being safe and due to the naval engagement already escalating, we decide to launch the invasion. Our new cruisers can deploy to supply our men and we can hope to take an undefended city.
PHASE 2 IS ON.
Our men know the stakes. For too long, England, then Britain as a whole, has meddled in the affairs of the continent. Our greatest generation boards ships, singing all the while. Onward to Britain. Onward to London. Onward to a dream of a pan-European Germanic Empire!
Fuer das Vaterland!
The British screening vessels attack from two sides and pounce on our weakened capital ships. The take heavy losses but, emboldened by proximity to Britain, sink part of the fleet.
Britain, finally seeing the writing on the wall, deploys units to block easy deployment on the continent. One wonders where this money is coming from to support such large armies.
Russia attacks a weakened reserve instead of fleeing. It knew it was encircled anyway and wanted to at least try and fight.
Russia knows better than to cede Minsk without a fight at the expense of thinning their line.
Britain shifts stronger units to their front lines in a prelude to the push on Gaza.
With half of our fleet in tatters, people around the world spit coffee on their newspapers. Cheers go up throughout occupied France and Serbia and Belgium while the British toast their brave sailors.
In a smoke filled room these same papers are lowered. It seems that Sea Lion will be a long, bloody affair requiring the entire attention of the German army. Austria is busy attempting to topple Russia. The time is right to reacquire Trento and re-establish greater Italy.
Italy heard you wanted a more exciting LP.
Next time, we scramble to deploy men to our soft underbelly while embarking on a massive invasion 25 years before it isn't even feasible anyway.
I think we can take the Grand Fleet because their battleships are still away from the main fight but the morale blow was enough to change Italy's mind. We don't need all the troops we have assembled for Sea Lion so we will ship them to the Italian border as soon as possible. We may even lose some border cities until we can establish a front. Italy has access to every modern implement once we get further in too. Things just got interesting.