The Twin Vipers: A TL of the Berlin-Moscow Axis

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by BiteNibbleChomp, Dec 7, 2018.

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  1. Threadmarks: 6/43-7/43

    BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    The Bersaglieri and the Chetniks, June 1943

    Belgrade was one of the most important Allied objectives on the Southern Front. As the capital of Yugoslavia, it had considerable political value, while it sat along a major German railroad line connecting Berlin to Istanbul, through which Germany transported the chromium that they obtained from western Turkey.

    With pressure mounting on the Western Front, the Germans were forced to pull excess units from quieter fronts to contain the Allied offensives, and southern Europe, where the Chetnik resistance tied down hundreds of thousands of soldiers, proved to be just that sector. In the months following Longsword, Schorner’s Army Group D was stripped of nearly half its forces, leaving only the most essential areas truly occupied, while the countryside was taken over by the Chetniks.

    Members of the Chetnik leadership were also in contact with the Italian Army, which now controlled approximately half of former Yugoslavia, and after Longsword’s success looked likely the two decided to work towards seizing Belgrade, retaking much of the rest of the country and liberating it from Axis control. Allied transport planes dropped in some heavy equipment to known bands of Chetniks (unfortunately, nearly 20% of this was found by German occupiers instead), while Graziani prepared his forces for another attack.

    On June 1st, the people of Belgrade rose up against the Germans. Schorner rushed to put down the uprising, only to have his forces intercepted by Chetnik bands. Graziani launched an offensive along the entire length of the front, from as far north as Pecs to Sofia in the south. In the centre, his best units including nearly all of his armoured forces stormed forward to try to reach Belgrade before the Germans could crush the uprising. The Germans, disorganised and confused by the massive Chetnik assault, offered little resistance to the Italians. The lucky ones escaped to Hungary or Romania, where a new line eventually formed. The unlucky ended up in Italian prisoner of war camps, or dead at the end of a Chetnik’s knife.

    Return to the Yalu, June 1943

    Since their recapture of Seoul the previous year, the IJA had slowly pushed the Red Army out of Korea, where the difficult terrain on the peninsula had reduced the Red Army’s incredible advantages in heavy equipment to be virtually meaningless, while the Japanese could call on naval support at any time and had maintained a slight air superiority for much of the campaign.

    In the year since the return to civilian government, much more had changed in Japan than just the liberation of Pyongyang and Hamhung. Prime Minister Saito had ensured that the entire senior leadership of both the Army and the Navy pledged loyalty, not only to the Emperor and the nation of Japan, but to its “elected leadership” as well, in a hope of reducing the likelihood of another incident caused by rogue leaders similar to Mukden or the Marco Polo Bridge. In addition, British officers had been invited to Japan to improve the Army’s logistic capabilities, the failure of which was considered by many analysts to be a significant reason for the failure to totally defeat China. The IJA’s limited motorisation continued to constrain efforts towards improving the supply networks, but even limited improvements made a difference to an army that had previously ignored them entirely.

    In the summer of 1943, the reformed IJA was ready to begin reclaiming Manchukuo from the Red Army. The frontlines were now on the Yalu River, only now the Japanese were the ones who would have to cross. Without a massive artillery advantage that the Soviets had enjoyed during the First Battle of the Yalu, the Japanese commanders decided that a nighttime crossing would put them in the best position possible.

    With the Red Army’s artillery spotters grounded, the Japanese managed to force their way across the river, heading for Mukden while Vatutin asked for reinforcements from Moscow. Stalin wavered, considering whether or not to send Vatutin to the gulags for his repeated poor performance against the Japanese, and it was only when Mukden fell several weeks later that Vatutin was given what he felt he needed. Forced back hundreds of kilometres, the Red Army in Manchukuo saw its position deteriorating by the day, while the Japanese sun began to rise once more.

    Operation Broadsword, July 1943

    The destruction of the Soissons-Reims pocket in early June 1943 left a weakened Army Group A attempting to defend the Franco-Belgian border from the combined armies of the Allies. Although trench lines had been dug along this new line, they were considerably less advanced than the massive works that had been used near Paris. But with Soviet deliveries of raw materials pouring into Germany, a follow-up operation to Longsword would be needed. Codenamed Broadsword, the new Allied plan was to smash through Manstein’s lines along the entire front west of the Maginot Line, hoping to crush the weakened Germans and push all the way to the Rhine, freeing the Low Countries and creating a starting point for an invasion of Germany.

    Broadsword began in early July with an artillery bombardment only matched by Longsword’s in sheer ferocity. After two hours, the French 5th, 3rd and 7th Armies went over the top, engaging a demoralised enemy who had only just recovered from the shocks of the previous months. It rapidly became apparent that the new line would not hold, and Manstein ordered a general retreat into Belgium, with many of his forces moving into the forests in the east of the country. Hitler, upon hearing of the German retreat, telephoned Manstein’s headquarters demanding a reversal of the order. According to reporters present at the headquarters, Manstein could not hear what his commander-in-chief was saying and continued fighting the war how he believed it should be conducted.

    In the early days of Broadsword, Army Group B’s commander Gerd von Rundstedt wanted to hold the line on the Scheldt River, where he had faced the British Army in trenches since the second week of the invasion of France. As the Allies crashed into Belgium, he knew that allowing the British to join the battle in full force would only add to Germany’s difficulties, and turned to Manstein’s Army Group A for support, urging the need for an immediate armoured counterattack.

    “Erich, where are the panzers? Where are Guderian and Hoth? Stalin is sending every barrel of oil, every cart of metal he has to us and we can’t find four hundred panzers?”
    - Rundstedt telephoning Manstein, 10th July 1943


    Manstein informed Rundstedt that most of the available panzers were in dire need of a refit after the counterattack that broke Longsword, and that Army Group A was itself in hardly better shape. When French guns began bombarding Brussels, Rundstedt finally decided to pull Army Group B off the Scheldt before the Allies could capture Antwerp and cut the force off from Berlin.

    For much of Army Group B, it was too late. General Giraud ordered the 7th French Army to ignore Brussels and instead swing to the west, while General Alexander led the 2nd British Army and the armies of the Free Forces in a bold crossing of the Scheldt. More than a third of Army Group B was isolated in a pocket centred on Tournai, while the rest scrambled to form a new line behind the Albert Canal.

    - BNC
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  2. Anhtuan Well-Known Member

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    The Soviet was pushed back by the Japanese....... impossible how can the peasants spirit of Motherland lost to those Imperialist.

    Joke aside, but what about the debts of Allies countries to America? I believe Britain can work on it because of U-boats were dropped like flies from the combine fleet of America, Japan and Britain, but other countries like France and Japan, how must they owned?
     
  3. BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    No no no, comrade, our operations in the Far East have merely required a planned shortening of the front lines. The march of the proletariat and the inevitable victory that is to follow remain certain!

    (Writing in Radio Moscow-speak is so fun :p)

    Britain is in a similar position to OTL, although the nature of the stuff they have bought/Lend-leased is different from OTL - obviously they don't need more destroyers as the Atlantic is already full of them, but flamethrowers are needed more for three years of trench warfare.

    Japan doesn't owe much to the west - it had a perfectly capable army in 1939, and while it has bought some heavy equipment (engine licences, AT guns and some radar stuff), there's no need for them to order tens of thousands of tanks or anything from the West. In the long run the heavy demands of a war economy will catch up with them, but that's looking at something after 1948 or so.

    France is going to be in a lot of pain after the war - all the industries in Paris have been badly smashed up, and the mines in the northeast are a favourite target of German bombers. FDR would still rather the French never repay the loans given by Lend-Lease (see him giving stuff to Stalin despite not even expecting repayment) than have them overrun and the Allies left with no chance to get back on the continent. Plus, the French can always demand war reparations in the peace deal and use Soviet or German gold to pay.

    - BNC
     
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  4. Threadmarks: 8/43-9/43

    BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    Seven Weeks to the River Rhine, August 1943

    The closing of the Tournai pocket was not the end of Operation Broadsword. Although the 1st American Army and 7th French Army were tasked with forcing the surrender of a third of a million Germans, the main objective of Broadsword, the bridges over the Rhine, remained distant, and the Germans were determined to halt the Allied advance any way they could. During Broadsword, Soviet-built Il-2 bombers had shown their value as a successor to the dated Ju 87 Stuka. Likened to a flying tank, the Il-2 was incredibly heavily armed and armoured, carrying a large amount of rockets as well as a pair of 23mm guns, similar to the main gun of the Panzer II. Delivered from the air, even a 23mm shot could cause considerable damage to the best Allied tanks, raising the stakes of the endless air battle above Germany yet again.

    When the Tournai pocket was finally forced to surrender in early August, Allied attention turned towards the new German line on the Albert Canal in northern Belgium, the last major natural barrier to Germany before the Rhine. Allied bombing of the Rhineland had seriously impeded Rundstedt’s efforts to deploy reinforcements, as thousands of railcars containing everything from Soviet grain to T-34 tanks queued up waiting for a suitable area to be made available for unloading. Nonetheless, Rundstedt was able to put up a good fight along the Albert Canal, although once more Allied airpower proved decisive in forcing the Germans back into the Netherlands. Antwerp was placed under siege by the Free Belgian forces, while the British headed for Nijmegen.

    The “Rush to the Rhine”, or more formally known as Broadsword II, proved to be an even greater success than the campaign to liberate Belgium had been. Army Group B, along with elements of Army Group A that had gotten lost during the retreat from France, was exhausted from the constant falling back and Allied bombings, and when faced with yet another attack, crumbled. The Allies also made sure to secure the help of the Dutch resistance, which provided them with intelligence regarding the status of key bridges that would be needed to make it to the Rhine, and although a key route through Nijmegen had been demolished, other major bridges were secured by the Dutch, allowing the Allies to reach a major bridge at Arnhem before the Germans had a chance to destroy it. O’Connor’s 1st British Army established itself on the north bank of the Rhine, while the Wehrmacht’s attention remained further south.

    An Old Plan Once Ignored, September 1943

    Towards the end of Broadsword, British forces fighting in the Netherlands had reported that German resistance was wearing out. Few tanks and fewer aircraft seemed to contest the battlefield, while the soldiers that remained as Arnhem Bridge was secured were shell-shocked, ready for the war to end. At the end of August, the weakness of the Wehrmacht prompted the Americans to use paratroops to secure Amsterdam and other major Dutch cities, while O’Connor sent some divisions west to clear the German reserves out. When the paradrop mission (“Broadsword III”) was a complete success in the last days of August, the perception of a completely defeated German Army gained credibility, and it was believed that a strike towards Berlin in the autumn of 1943 would be relatively unopposed, and that shortly afterward the combined Allied armies could move through Germany to engage the Red Army.

    Things could not have been further from the truth. Despite the world’s largest traffic jam occurring in the Rhineland, Soviet deliveries of various war materials were still reaching the front (although efficiency remained a major problem). Manstein and Army Group A, at this time covering the front line from around Maastricht to Sedan, had secured priority for new equipment and reinforcements from Hitler in the wake of the defeats it suffered during Longsword, and by the beginning of September it was once again a fearsome force, numbering over 1,000,000 men, including the bulk of the Tiger force and able to call on the best of the Luftwaffe’s remaining planes.

    Manstein and Hitler both wanted to use this force in a major offensive, breaking Broadsword the way they broke Longsword in the spring. For this operation, Manstein returned to some plans he had drawn up in late 1939 for the invasion of France, in which he had suggested a massive panzer column travel through the impassable Ardennes forest, which would take it to the rear of the enemy’s force and allow for a massive encirclement as the panzers dashed for the Channel ports.

    The Ardennes now were mostly in German hands, the Allies having occupied the fringes of the great forest with some light garrison units while the interior had been under German control since 1940. Manstein had spent some time travelling through the forest, and was now convinced that they were not so impassable as previously thought. It was certainly possible to run a supply column through the forest, while Panzers could be brought in over a period of weeks. With Hitler’s approval, most of Army Group A was redeployed in the west of the forest, while the Allies didn’t believe the reconaissance reports that some of the airmen were bringing in.

    Army Group A burst out of the Ardennes on the morning of September 4th, achieving nearly complete surprise in the process. Il-2s screamed overhead, pouring cannon and rocket fire onto the unsuspecting Allies, while Panzer IVs and Tigers bypassed Namur and headed for Brussels. Bradley’s 1st American Army was pulled from the frontline near Maastricht and tasked with stopping Manstein’s offensive, but Manstein had no interest in bogging down, ordering his forces to move further to the west than the original plan had called for, instead bringing them into contact with the 7th French Army, which was recovering from the attacks of the previous four months.

    After nine days of intense battle, the French had been defeated and Brussels was captured, taking the Germans half way to Antwerp, where they would cut off both British Armies and the 1st American, before turning west once more to secure the Channel Ports and cripple the entire Allied supply network.

    The Third Sword, September 1943

    Manstein’s ultimate goals where quickly becoming obvious to the Allies, no doubt helped by Bletchley Park’s success in breaking the more complicated version of Enigma that had been used since the middle of the war. With Antwerp still under siege and Brussels now occupied, Manstein had effectively cut the British and 1st American Armies off from their supply bases along the Channel coast. The quick capture of the Dutch ports allowed some supplies to be rerouted, but these were much more vulnerable to German bombers than the Calais route had been.

    With their forces located primarily at the immediate north and south of the Ardennes, it quickly fell to the Americans to launch a counterattack against Manstein, while the French continued to battle Manstein’s spearhead divisions further west. With most of the crack German divisions taking part in the offensive, the Ardennes was only lightly defended, allowing the Americans to, after a series of short fights, meet up at Houffalize, and then a day later, again near Namur, cutting off the bulk of Army Group A and finally creating the great encirclement that Longsword and Broadsword had hoped to achieve.

    It would take nearly a month for the Allies to destroy the German pocket, no doubt made longer by the fact that the Germans had recently captured a huge Allied supply dump in Brussels. Manstein attempted to break back out to reach the Ardennes, only to be beaten back and retreat towards Antwerp, which lead elements of Army Group A had managed to reach. Manstein himself was pulled out of the pocket by some Luftwaffe transports, but the million men he left behind would not return to Germany until the war was over.

    - BNC
     
  5. AkulaKursk Well-Known Member

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    The allies need to unleash Patton and an armored reserve to strike Manstien from the flanks. Or just use Patton in any way, this is his ideal Second World War after all, not only does he get to fight the Germans, he gets to fight the godless communists too!
     
  6. StrikeEcho Procrastinating

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    Huh, why didn't the Germans surge through the breakthrough and firmly secure the area to encircle the Allied armies in Belgium.
     
  7. BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    They did, only Patton is a lower level commander so he won't be making many headlines yet. I can't really see him getting army command (especially with only two active US Armies) during or shortly after a long trench campaign - he's much too aggressive for that sort of fighting (see Metz for how it would end up). Don't worry though, I have plans for him in the future!

    Because the Allies stopped the offensive before they got a chance to - their actual aims were the Channel Ports (and to a lesser extent the British Armies in the Netherlands), with Antwerp's liberation being a shorter-term goal. Any encirclements of Allied forces were intended to be closed further west than the Germans ever got during the couple of weeks that they were actually attacking for.

    - BNC
     
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  8. StealthyMarat Вы никогда не сможете прочитать эту строчку ^_^

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    How long it would take for Stalin to realise, that war is lost, and the only way to get something is to stab his buddy and take Eastern Europe and maybe even Eastern portion of Germany?
     
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  9. Anhtuan Well-Known Member

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    At this point, Stalin already influenced Germany enough, their army in Germany, their planes fly for Germany, they constantly put more raw resources for Germany, there’s no turning back now. The Allies will not accept give more ground for USSR, the only way to get peace is to cut up some territories and give up their influence in some areas.
     
  10. StealthyMarat Вы никогда не сможете прочитать эту строчку ^_^

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    Their Army still isn't in Germany.
     
  11. BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    Soviet soldiers aren't, but their equipment (T-34s, Katyushas &c) sure is.

    The scenario you are suggesting is pretty similar to "can Germany win/negotiated peace OTL WW2 by DOWing Italy the day after Palermo falls?". Unless he can wear out the Allies' morale well outside of the USSR's (new) borders, Stalin is stuck with whatever the Allies are willing to let him keep, and if that's the case, he's better off keeping the Germans in the fight and as strong as they can be - anything else is inviting the Allies to come closer to Moscow. 3M soldiers on your side that you have to support are still better than 3M against you.

    - BNC
     
  12. Svyatoy Medved Well-Known Member

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    It isn't quite the same. The notable difference is that the Allies have no hope of actually invading the USSR, and the USSR possesses the most powerful army in the world. Germany held neither of those advantages. Churchill would be wise to accept a deal that saw Stalin crush Germany in exchange for a status quo elsewhere in the world. That would see a Union with slightly less holdings in Europe than OTL, but more global territory. Of course, the way you've written Stalin, this is unlikely to occur.

    A curious TL, this. You took the two most powerful armies in the world until at least 1943, eliminated half of the problems they faced, and had them lose two land wars at once. Three, if you count China as its own front.
     
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  13. The Undead Martyr GOP Delenda Est

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    Logistics is a bitch. Russia doesn't have that great of an ability to project power into Iran or China, not with Britain, Japan and the US all openly hostile.
     
  14. StrikeEcho Procrastinating

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    Furthermore, Soviet tactics haven't gone through the meat grinder of the eastern front.
     
  15. BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    True, the Allies can't march on Moscow or Leningrad. But they still have the ability to defeat the Red Army, in the same sense that the CP armies (not so much the nations) were defeated in WWI. If they fight and win a few battles in Eastern Germany or Poland, they can still force a peace deal that looks like a Soviet defeat - just not a total one.

    The Red Army ITTL is also quite a bit smaller than the 10M steamroller of OTL, which was only created after Barbarossa showed that Hitler would exterminate every last Slav he could get his hands on if he won. Stalin isn't going to scrape the bottom of the barrel and risk stunting the country's growth for a long time over a war that isn't going to pose a direct risk to the country's survival (a bit like we never saw Volksturm type units in WW1). Without an invasion of the USSR, the worst possible outcome for them is 1936 borders and the Pacific ports going to Japan. And a 6M army is far from unbeatable.

    By status quo, I'm guessing you mean letting Stalin keep Finland and the parts of Poland, Turkey and Romania that he occupies? Because in Moscow's eyes, that is a Soviet 'win', and it is likely the same for London, Paris, Rome and Washington. The Allies can keep the fight going as long as 1/ they have the manpower to do so (OTL Britain was out by late 1944, and lasted about the same amount of time in WWI, France is likely similar and America has plenty), 2/ the cause is seen as worthwhile by the public ("commies = bad" was a common belief until Barbarossa), and 3/ a win is not seen as totally impossible (and they think they can win if cities are getting liberated every week in the papers).

    Would the Allies save themselves a lot of casualties, sure, but the price of a more favourable victory (say, one that doesn't look like a surrender of half of Europe) is still believed to be low enough that they don't have to.

    As I mentioned above, the Red Army IOTL 1943 was so big and so powerful because it had to be. Stalin likely doesn't have the ability to raise a 10M army ITTL without angering a ton of people anyway.
    The Wehrmacht also doesn't really have the chance to become what it did IOTL. The industrial production isn't there because they don't have all the slave labourers they took from Poland and Russia (yes they have raw materials, but those only mean that they can build a tank if they decide to use man-hours to build a tank - they have a lot less man-hours to begin with), and Speer's reforms also never happened ITTL. The logistic situation at the front is also limited in how much can actually be brought against the Allies at once, for which I have used WW1 numbers as a rough estimate (slightly less than the commitment to Barbarossa for the whole front). The Allies meanwhile have access to the French Army (which was numerically about on par with the Germans in 1940), in addition to only having to worry about one major front. So while the Axis lose a whole bunch of problems ITTL (overextension being an obvious big one), they have inherited a set of new ones

    I also did have to consider making an interesting story in the first place. There's really two major ways that a Berlin-Moscow TL usually can go:

    1. Poland -> France dies -> Italy and Stalin rampage through Middle East while all 3 Axis members (inc. Rome) stay as best friends. Which gives me not much to write about after 1941 because D-Day with 5M Germans along the Channel is impossible, and it's kind of depressing anyway.
    2. Poland -> France dies -> Either Hitler or Stalin backstabs the other one, as they were likely to do. Gives OTL or something close to it. No point to writing that when a billion history books exist that can give the same story.

    Eh, Nationalists winning is kind of inevitable if Japan quits/gets kicked out in 1941 (or even probably 1944). Mao had about 700k men to Chiang's 4M at this time, and if Chiang beats Japan (because Mao wouldn't be fighting big battles for Wuhan or Peking), he's seen as a war hero and a lot of people that flipped to the Communists would be much less likely to. And Mao was basically given all of Manchuria by Stalin IOTL 1945.

    So I'll leave them out of it.

    - BNC
     
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  16. Threadmarks: 10/43-12/43

    BiteNibbleChomp I like watching Survivor.

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    A Puppet Back on It’s Strings, October 1943

    The IJA returned to the city of Hsinking and restored their puppet government of Manchukuo in October 1943. The last Qing Emperor, Puyi, resumed his rule of the territory in a move that upset the Chinese. To an outsider, it appeared that little had changed during the three years of Soviet occupation.

    But Japan had changed since the beginning of the war, and with the new civilian government gaining more support every day, the new Manchukuo was sure to change as well. The Japanese leadership was divided on how much freedom to give the Manchus, whether to allow them democracy or if this would just see them demand full independence. Japan still sought Manchurian resources, especially iron, which they were dependent on imports for and would only be able to get at a higher price from the international market. While Prime Minister Saito was firm on not granting the Army full control of the state, which he feared would eventually revert back to the orderless militarism of the 1930s, beyond that there was little agreement in Tokyo. Local democracy would eventually make it to Manchukuo in 1948, but these elected officials were still to be kept under Tokyo’s authority.

    Before Japan could regain control of the industry in Manchukuo, they would first have to deal with another aspect of Stalin’s occupation: the local communist movement. From the moment Vatutin’s army had overrun the first town they found in Manchukuo, the Soviets had intended to eventually set up a Manchurian SSR. Local communists, as well as important people from other parts of the Soviet Union and Communist-held China, had been given control of farms, factories and other industrial establishments which had been seized from their previous Japanese owners. Now that the Red Army had been pushed north, with Vatutin recalled to Moscow after Stalin’s patience with him wore out, and his incompetent successor Budyonny on the retreat, the Japanese settlers wanted their factories back. Communism had proven popular with a significant fraction of the people of Manchukuo, but for Japanese imperialists it was unacceptable, and the IJA was forced to fight a large communist insurgency, backed by the USSR and remnants of the CCP.

    The First of the Axis to Fall, November 1943

    Pressure on the Western Front had forced the German High Command to prioritise the defence of Germany over their many occupied territories, and after the fall of Belgrade Schorner’s Army Group D was in a sorry state. In order to prevent the Italians from liberating Romania, or cutting the routes from Turkey that supplied Germany with chromium, the defence of the Southern Front was increasingly under the control of Bulgarian and Hungarian forces, who although they were well equipped with Soviet weapons, tended to be reluctant to do anything more than defend their own lands.

    In this Graziani saw a major opportunity, a chance to defeat at least one of Hitler’s smaller allies and possibly end the war in the Balkans for good. In the autumn, Graziani decided that Bulgaria would be the better target, as a capture of Varna would force the Axis to reroute all of their trade routes through the Black Sea (which would make them vulnerable to Allied bombing) or all the way around it. Furthermore, the capture of Istanbul would provide a good starting point for the long-discussed plans to liberate Turkey.

    Bulgaria itself proved not too difficult to knock out of the war. The front line had been near Sofia for much of 1943, and when the city was occupied Tsar Boris III offered to surrender. The terms that the Italians offered (with approval from the other major Allied leaders) were extremely lenient, allowing the Bulgarians to keep all their gains from the war outside of pre-war Turkey and only requiring the Bulgarian armies to resist Axis armies should the borders of Bulgaria be crossed. Mussolini later explained that he allowed Bulgaria to keep ex-Yugoslav Macedonia in the hopes of gaining a loyal ally, while the Chetniks that were to eventually run the government in Belgrade had maintained little influence in the region.

    Mussolini hoped to build on the success in Bulgaria by ordering offensives towards Istanbul and Bucharest. With the Bulgarian Army posing no more of an obstacle, Istanbul was quickly reached by Italian motorised divisions, although a stubborn defence by the German occupation force ensured that the city would not fall until January 1944, by which time it had been badly damaged in costly urban fighting. Further north, the crossing of the Danube was met with only limited resistance, and it looked likely that Bucharest would fall, until Stalin grew concerned that the Allies were getting much too close to the core of the USSR. Abandoning his long-standing policy of equipping the Germans but otherwise sending only small forces west, he unleashed an entire Guards Tank Army, along with a considerable infantry force, against the Italians. Graziani’s force was quickly overwhelmed and thrown back across the river, while the Allies were forced to deal with a new reality: the Red Army had arrived.

    Wunderwaffen, December 1943

    Towards the end of 1943, the Axis began fielding a series of advanced weapons that Hitler termed ‘wonder weapons’ due to his belief that they were so superior to anything the Allies could field that they would singlehandedly turn the tide of the war. Soviet engineers and industrialists had had a part in the design and manufacturing of these weapons since 1941, which had seen the acceleration of designs that would not have been possible before late 1944 otherwise.

    The first of the Wunderwaffen to be deployed was the Fi 103 unguided missile (known as a V1 to OTLers). With a range of around 250km and a speed comparable to that of most fighters currently being used, the Fi 103 was a rather cost-effective substitute for either bombers or massive artillery pieces like Gustav or Dora, especially in light of the near-complete destruction of the Luftwaffe by the time of its introduction. Although Allied pilots did manage to intercept a considerable number of Fi 103s, the barrage of them that were fired at the French northeastern industries would only be ended with the capture of factories that made them or the destruction of launch sites, while Stalin found little use for them (targets in Japan being well out of range from Vladivostock) and produced only very few.

    Much more important in the air war was the Me 262 turbojet fighter. Able to fly much faster than any Allied fighters, the Me 262 proved difficult to intercept and lethal to pilots unfortunate enough to fight it. German use of the Me 262 was brief, as production facilities in the Rhineland were being bombed more and more heavily as the frontline approached, but Soviet reporters sent detailed messages back to Moscow, reporting on the aircraft’s strengths and vulnerabilities. Stalin was so pleased with the aircraft that he instructed MiG to not only begin production of the Me 262 (as the MiG-262) but to also develop a much more advanced jet fighter, which he wanted ready for serial production by July 1945.

    In December 1943, possibly the most fearsome design of them all entered front line service: the Panzer VI “Wolf” heavy tank. Having started out as a joint German-Soviet design based off the KV-1 and T-34, the Wolf had grown considerably to the point where it resembled a greatly enlarged T-34 with a KV-1’s armour and a massive 128mm gun that could take out even the formidable M26 Pershing at incredibly long range, while retaining the T-34’s ease of production. The Wehrmacht was the first to deploy Wolves in battle in the north of Holland, where they quickly became feared, with one British soldier remarking “at least the bloody Tiger breaks down if you give it a while”.

    Stalin wasted no time in ensuring that a Soviet variant of the Wolf was brought into use. Known to the Soviets as the T-6 and the Allies occasionally as the Bear, the Soviet variant of the Wolf initially carried the 122mm gun that was much more common in the USSR than the German 128, although the superiority of the German gun eventually saw its production in the USSR as well. Guards units were given the first Wolves in January 1944, and throughout that year the massive Wolf saw production numbers quickly pass hundreds of tanks every month.

    - BNC
     
  17. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    Well, fighting the Red Army in Iran or Manchuria (where Soviets were far from their logistical center and India/Japan were close) was one thing, but fighting them in Europe will be a bitch...
     
    Gwachiko, Anhtuan and panpiotr like this.
  18. Svyatoy Medved Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2017
    Not if the Soviets have advanced fighter jets flooding the skies and fuckoff huge tanks holding Europe. At the rate things are going, it'll have to be the B-36 that carries the bomb from France in 1949.

    You've addressed my concerns to my satisfaction, BNC. Thank you. The effect of Germany's invasion on the Russian military is an interesting bit of history, psychology, or some shit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  19. rush4you Recent Polandball convert

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Location:
    Perú
    So what will the Allies have to unleash to counter the Wolf and the Mig 262? The Patton and Saber?
    It seems that Germany will slowly fall under the Soviet orbit instead of remaining an independent power, because of the loss of it's warmaking capabilities. But with the Soviet armies entering the West in force I can't see the Allies even reaching Berlin without nukes.
     
  20. skarosianlifeform Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2013
    And they might not use nukes on Germany if Germans still have some V missiles and/or bombers (even just a few) because of possible bio or chemical retaliation on France, Britain and Italy.
     
    Count likes this.
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