Part 25: Persia: August 12, 1942
With firm command of most of Asia, we can now set our sights even farther afield: all the way to the Middle East.
England and Russia invaded this land barely a year ago. We must free this territory both for our side, and for the Germans, who also seek the riches of this ancient land.
Persia : August 12, 1942
Objectives: (Basra ), (Bandar Shahpur ), (Dirt Airfield ), Hamadan , Baghdad , Esfahan , Tehran , Tehran (Airfield) , Tabriz , Tabriz (Airfield) 
Starting VP: 150 - 1351
Core land:naval/aux slots: 2:4/0
Unit Name Unit Type [Transport] Exp Land Units 1.1st Hohei 1940 Hohei 1940 [Isuzu] ** 2.2nd Teishin Dan Teishin Dan *** 3.3rd Hohei 1936 Hohei 1936 [Isuzu] **** 4.4th Hohei HW 1936 Hohei HW 1936 [Isuzu] *** 5.5th Engineers 1936 Engineers 1936 [Isuzu] ***** 6.26th Hohei 1940 Hohei 1940 [Isuzu] - 7.29th Hohei 1940 Hohei 1940 - 8.The Japonies Kihei ***** 9.My Tanks are so kawaii Type 95 Ha-Go ***** 10.13th Type 1 Chi-He Type 1 Chi-He *** 11.27th Type 97 Chi-Ha Type 97 Chi-Ha - 12.31st Type 1 Chi-He Type 1 Chi-He - 13.22nd Type 92 Type 92 **** 14.25th RA 97 RA 97 [Isuzu] - 15.Steel Death Ho-Ni 3 ** 16.28th Ho-Ni 2 Ho-Ni 2 - 17.Cherry Blossoms Float Type 91 105 [Isuzu] * 18.24th 94 Mtn Gun 75mm 94 Mtn Gun 75mm - 19.23rd So-Ki So-Ki ***** Aux (by qty) 1 Hohei 1940 [Isuzu] - 1 Hohei HW 1940 [Isuzu] * 4 Wehr 1936[Opel] * 1 Wehr 1936[Opel] - 1 Engineer 1936[Opel] * 1 PSW 222/4r * 2 Type 97 Chi-Ha * 1 Pz IIIe * 1 Pz IIIj * 1 Pz IIIj ** 1 Pz IIIj *** 1 Pz IVd * 1 8.8 Fk ATG[Opel] * 1 10.5 leFH18[Opel] * 1 15 sFH18[Opel] * Air Units 20.Hirohito's Hieneys Nakajima Ki-27 Nate *** 21.Sabai's Flying Circus Ki-43 Oscar *** 22.Nicholas is my Father Ki-45 Nick **** 23.21st A6M Zero A6M Zero ** 24.Remember Remember Eni A6M Zero - 25.11th G3M Nell G3M Nell ***** Aux (by qty) 1 G4M Betty ** 1 G3M Nell ** 1 Ki-43 Helen ** 1 FW 190a ** 1 Bf109f ** 2 Ju 87d **
Starting Prestige: 290 after purchases/upgrades
While we do add a few upgrades, this time around we've been focusing more on troop quality. We're up against the Soviets and the more competent British soldiers now, and we have to put our best foot forward. One thing we know is that we'll need some better tanks, and so the 13th gets the more powerful Chi-He model. Our aircraft are being slowly upgraded as well -- the Ki-45 will let us be effective against air and land targets.
We are cooperating with our Axis partner on this one. The Germans have better tanks than us, we must admit, and also a few very excellent aircraft. Rommel's forces have stormed across the desert from North Africa all the way to here. Their supply lines are thin, but these are competent troops. It's plain to see that this region is quite valuable to Germany's war aims as well. Their main task will be capturing the ancient city of Baghdad. A few extra forces will be sent northward to suppress any Soviet response. We'll also send some Japanese forces, mostly auxiliary, to mop up the retreating British and guard our own flank.
The main goal for the core will be advancing into British-held territory in Persia. The best line of advance will be to zigzag through the passes, starting by going northwest and then shifting eastward. The ultimate target is Tehran. Any spare units will be sent northward toward Tabriz. Once all primary objectives are secured, all forces will converge northward to engage the Soviets.
A smaller force will be given the job of finding a route in the east and taking Esfahan. It's an important target, but we'll have to call it off if they encounter stiff resistance. That would actually be an okay outcome for us, as our assessment of the current enemy strength suggests they can't send forces to hold us at every point.
Axis Turn 1: August 12, 1942
We need to get off to a quick start. The bulk of the core converges on Ahwaz and Ahvaz (Ahvaz is the airfield).
The fighters of the Luftwaffe engage the British planes, and put in a good showing.
The German line advances forward in an orderly fashion.
Allied (United Kingdom/Russia) Turn 1: August 12, 1942
The British AA guns fail to hit our bombers.
Their interceptors are growing more effective against our own fighters.
The British troops here have fairly decent anti-tank capabilities, emboldening them to attack us. This time, however, it fails against our veteran tankers.
In the desert, the enemy blows back the advancing tanks by first weakening the artillery behind them.
Axis Turn 2: August 12, 1942
The So-Ki proves its worth in its battlefield debut.
The towns are resisting our assault for now, but we're not taking heavy losses.
Esfahan is scouted. There are many tanks there, but no anti-air defenses.
The northern end of the German line reacts quickly, and pushes back on the weak infantry sector.
Most of the rest of the British line dissolves quickly or runs away.
Allied Turn 2: August 12, 1942
Soviet planes are now harassing the German forces.
The British tanks retreat, but not before inflicting heavy casualties.
Anti-air guns start to find their mark, and then Hurricanes strike at the Nells, nearly destroying one squadron.
Axis Turn 3: August 12, 1942
The Mosquito is pretty dangerous to our ground troops, and even to some of our fighters, but the FW190a is the current best fighter in the air.
The outskirts of Baghdad are scouted.
The towns are cleared out, and we just need to make our way through the pass.
A lot of our forces have to move up into the hills and mountains to eliminate the remnants of the enemy units.
Allied Turn 3: August 12, 1942
An armored car chases off the German scouts at Baghdad.
To the east of the city, Grant tanks block our scouting units as well.
British units coming out of Al-Musil blunt the Germans coming at them.
Axis Turn 4: August 12, 1942
The German fighters continue to have more enemy planes flying around them than they can deal with.
Clearing out the valley is not too hard, but our units may need some time to organize their route along the narrow road.
The paratroops are deployed to Esfahan. This should be a good diversion for the enemy, and given time and enough air support, they may well take the objective.
Allied Turn 4: August 12, 1942
The paratroops are barely on the ground before they immediately come under fire.
Soviet planes strafe the German guns.
They have some quality fighters as well.
Tanks at Baghdad knock back our own lighter tanks.
Our own vanguard takes a big hit from what we thought were fairly light tanks.
Axis Turn 5: August 12, 1942
Al-Musil is finally captured, but at a fairly high cost.
More air units diverted to protect our forces in the open desert.
The So-Ki is just as effective against targets on the ground as in the air.
Over at Esfahan, the paratroops get some relief as bombers hit the tanks there.
Allied Turn 5: August 12, 1942
These Daimlers are always a nuisance. They're holding up our advance.
Our own fighters stop the enemy from bombing the forces at Esfahan.
The So-Ki can even hold off a medium tank.
Al-Musil is recaptured after another bloody fight.
I'm doing land/air/sea units, since I probably won't be able to get to all of the available units otherwise.
Type 1 Chi-He [Medium Tank Model F]
PG Name: Type 1 Chi-He Type: Tank
Effective Date: 7/42
Value:14 Cost:168 Spot:2 Move:5 MM:Track Trans:Naval Fuel: 42
Init:8 SA:7 HA:9 AA:0 NA:1 GD:10 AD:2 CD:2 TT:Hard Ammo:13
Essentially an improved version of the Chi-Ha, this model never really made it to wide production. It shared the same improved 47mm gun that was put in later Chi-Ha models. It also added a few other improvements, like a more powerful engine and a better armor design. Unfortunately that gun still wasn't adequate to deal with anything the Western countries were fielding by the end of the war. Given that this model wasn't put into full production until 1943, and none of them ever left the Home Islands, its appearance this early in the game could be interpreted as being mixed with the availability of the upgunned Chi-Ha models.
In-Game Analysis: This is a nice upgrade from the Type 97, but we're already seeing the slowdown in the rate of tank development. By this time the Allies are fielding the Grant/M3 models, and the M4 and Churchill III are just around the corner. This model is simply weak on offense. About the only edge it has on its contemporaries is an extra point of initiative, though admittedly that's not a bad edge to have. Before long, however, it's just not going to be able to penetrate the enemy armor without a good deal of luck.
Mitsubishi Ki-51 (Sonia)
PG Name: Ki-51 Sonia Type:Tac Bomber
Effective Date: 3/40
Value:14 Cost:168 Spot:3 Move:9 MM:Air Trans:No Fuel: 51
Init:3 SA:4 HA:2 AA:5 NA:0 GD:7 AD:11 Ammo:4
The Sonia was a light two-seater bomber intended for ground attack missions. It had quite good armor, but it was a bit slow. Still, pilots seemed to like it a lot. It stayed in production until 1944, although by that time it was mostly being kept away from heavy combat areas, as it was too vulnerable to Allied fighters. Ultimately it was used in a kamikaze role in the waning months of the war.
In-game analysis: Thanks to its high defensive values, this plane stands a good chance of surviving a fighter attack. However, it's not very effective as a bomber. Probably its best use would be to hold it in reserve and pick at weakened ground units so they can't recover. I'd rather it had a bit more fuel for that role, though. The low price is a positive - they can be cheaply repaired or replaced.
Type A Midget Submarine (50? or more built)
PG Name: A-C Midget Type:Submarine
Effective Date: 7/36
Value:2 Cost:24 Spot:1 Move:2 MM:Coastal/Sub Trans:N/A Fuel: 14
Init:3 Range:1 SA:0 HA:0 AA:0 NA:8 DA:0 GD:4 AD:4 TD:8 DD:4 Ammo:2
The 'midget' submarines were tiny 2-man subs armed with only two torpedoes. They typically were launched from a larger vessel (often a larger sub). Their effectiveness is questionable; while they could sneak into shipping lanes and score hits on enemy transports, they were also quite vulnerable, and not nearly as effective as a proper sub. There was a Type B and Type C midget, but those were released later in the war; this seems to be the game trying to cover all three with one name.
In-game analysis: These dirt-cheap subs definitely have some appeal. They're practically kamikaze units, but if they get lucky they can actually manage to survive a bit longer. In fact, given the propensity for submarines to evade attack, they may be disproportionately likely to survive. They would be nice throwaway aux units to tie up an enemy force if need be.