Part 67: Midwest: April 17, 1945
With the capture of St. Louis, we nearly have control of the entire United States west of the Mississippi River. It is still critical for us to maintain control of the Great Lakes, and gain as much additional territory as we can before the Germans claim it. Right now we have some units already beginning to engage the enemy at Chicago. The rest are about 100 miles away. Once they get fully fueled and stocked with enough ammunition, we can turn them loose and they can push through in one go to the city, to hit it from the south. That ought to be enough to win the battle for us, but the Germans are a growing shadow to the south as well.
Axis Turn 15: April 17, 1945
There doesn't seem to be many enemy forces remaining in most of Illinois.
There are a few units to take care of in order to clear the route to Chicago.
More guns are shipped in to Milwaukee to prepare for the fight over the city.
Even with the Twin Cities taken, we do need to keep hunting down the troops that fled into the countryside.
Allied Turn 15: April 17, 1945
The artillery battery at Chicago just keeps pounding our guns before we can get them in range.
The Americans finally respond as we drive into Indiana.
Axis Turn 16: April 18, 1945
We aren't seeing the best of the American troops here in Indiana. It should be a fairly easy fight.
For the first time, we have sufficient force to start attacking Chicago.
Allied Turn 16: April 18, 1945
We're still getting hammered at Chicago.
Even the tanks are being shelled.
They also break through on the north end and nearly take out our guns in direct combat.
Axis Turn 17: April 18, 1945
Scouts in the south discover Memphis to be undefended.
We aren't pushing too hard to capture Indianapolis, but if we can take it we'll be pretty happy.
At Chicago, we knock back the counterattack on the north end.
Then the rest of our force shows up on the south side.
Allied Turn 17: April 18, 1945
We're back in range of the American bombers.
The Chicago troops think they can easily eliminate our light tanks, but they turn out to be gravely mistaken.
Axis Turn 18: April 18, 1945
The little tanks do their job and knock out some of the artillery.
That's enough for us to start cracking the rest of Chicago's defenses.
Without their guns, the defenders start to surrender en masse.
The battle at Indianapolis isn't going as well for us.
Allied Turn 18: April 18, 1945
The American forces in Chicago do their best to shore up the defenses.
Axis Turn 19: April 18, 1945
We concentrate our forces, and capture Indianapolis.
We're also tracking down a few units in Iowa.
At Chicago, the flak is suppressed and we send in the bombers.
After that, we move in and start to clear what remains of the troops in the city.
Allied Turn 19: April 18, 1945
The last units in Chicago make a final, desperate, suicidal attack.
Axis Turn 20: April 18, 1945
We eliminate the Rangers in Chicago. The city is ours.
With Indianapolis under our control and Chicago in our hands, we can now even push onward, to Ohio.
Allied Turn 20: April 18, 1945
The American bombers search for our units, but only find the anti-air guns.
Axis Turn 21: April 19, 1945
Dayton is already mostly in our hands, with only a few buildings still held by the Americans. We'll soon take it, though. The battle for the Midwest is nearly over.
We encounter German tanks over the Ohio. Up until now there had been a seeming truce between us. We order our forces to hold position.
Just as things seem about to calm down, we hear reports of a sizable enemy force in northeast Iowa, near Davenport.
Allied Turn 21: April 19, 1945
Armed citizens on horseback rush into the towns we had previously claimed. The Iowa Insurrection has begun.
It seems the Americans have their own technological marvels they've been hanging on to. A squadron of new planes downs a lot of our fighters.
German Turn 21: April 19, 1945
The German tanks make no offensive actions, but do remain in Evansville.
Type 98 10 cm AA Gun
PG Name: 10cm Model 98 Type: Air Defense
Effective Date: 3/43
Value:19 Cost:228 Spot:1 Move:0 MM:Gun Trans:Naval Fuel: -
Init:2 Range:3 SA: HA: AA:12 NA:0 GD:2 AD:5 CD:1 TT:Soft Ammo:6
This was a naval gun that also saw use in land-based installations. It was generally regarded as an excellent anti-air gun. It appears that in fixed emplacements, it was only ever intended for use as an anti-air weapon, although it could be set to fire at any elevation.
In-game analysis: Although stat-wise it's the equal of the FlaK 88, the big problem with this one appears to be that it cannot move (though it can be towed). So it probably needs to be defending a target that's unlikely to fall any time soon, unless you plan to let it get destroyed.
Kuma-class Light Cruiser (5 built)
PG Name: Kuma Type:Light Cruiser
Effective Date: 4/44
Value:6 Cost:72 Spot:2 Move:7 MM:Coastal Fuel: 33
Init:4 Range:2 SA:4 HA:7 AA: NA:14 DA:8 GD:14 AD:4 TD:13 Ammo:40
Special: Radar, Night Optics
The Kuma class was severely outdated by the Pacific War, given that they were light cruisers from the 1920s. What makes them notable is that two of them were converted to be 'torpedo cruisers' with 40 torpedo tubes. The idea was that they could be used in night attacks to take down a battleship. This plan was never really practical, however. The torpedo cruisers were ultimately converted again (one to an armored transport, the other to carry the Kaiten human torpedoes).
In-game analysis: Cheap, but not very good in the long run. Given the low range, reduced combat power, and terrible fuel capacity, I'd just rather save up for an Agano than have to deal with this. Destroyers are better anti-submarine options if that's what you're looking for.
Yokosuka D4Y "Suisei" (Judy)
PG Name: D4Y Judy Type:Tac Bomber
Effective Date: 8/43
Value:19 Cost:228 Spot:3 Move:10 MM:Air Trans:Naval Fuel: 76
Init:6 SA:6 HA:8 AA: NA:15 GD:8 AD:13 Ammo:4
If the Val was to pair with the Claude in its time, the Judy was meant to be comparable to the Zero. It took a bit longer to get out of the development stage, but it was a dive bomber with excellent flight performance. There was even an attempt to convert some of them to night fighters. One of its only drawbacks was the necessity of a longer flight deck (or runway) to get up to takeoff speed.
In-game analysis: It's almost hard to believe how cheap these bombers are. With good pilots (and proper escorts) these can be unstoppable. This model is a clear improvement over the Val, as the extra movement and defense are big improvements for a minor difference in price.