Author Topic: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables  (Read 8687 times)

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Offline Claus

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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #15 on: 20:17 05-Mar-2013 »
Mark, maybe my pen is running faster than my brain - stop me if I spill too much ink!

Germany:
I do remember, that we talk 1938 and Baltic powers. Still, it has to be taken into consideration that Germany was a purely geographical term until Prussia  (Bismarck) established the German Kaisertum in 1871; and even that was not really a country but a conglomerate of kingdoms and princedoms accepting the dominance as Kaiser (king of kings), the king of Prussia. With the ultimate defeat of the Kaisertum in 1918 is was a very realistic possibility that Germany would disintegrate. Here is one rationale behind the slogan of Hitler: 'Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer'; it first and foremost meant, 'Germans unite!' (very much like the USA slogan, 'United we stand!'); naturally it could also be used, and was used for imperialistic purposes, like including Austria and Western Czechoslovakia in Germany.
Back to Baltic: The Hanseatic towns (most of them German) were Baltic powers but stopped having any significance before the 30-years war. After that, Germany was never a Baltic power. Eg., in 1864 the insignificant Danish navy easily blockaded the German coast and defeated the Austrian fleet sent north to break the blockade. At the time before and during WW1 Germany was a major naval power, but in the North Sea, not in the Baltic (that's why it was called the HochSeeFlotte).
So, in 1938 Germany was awed and scared by the progress of the Nazi government (I never really understand, why USSR and all Russian-speakers called and call them, fascist; could it be because the name of the nazi party is too parallel to Stalinist communism?).
But not a Baltic power at all. Some few, obsolete warships, that was all (in 1938).
« Last Edit: 18:55 06-Mar-2013 by Claus »
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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #16 on: 04:46 06-Mar-2013 »
Mark, maybe my pen is running faster than my brain - stop me if I spill too much ink!

Germany:
the slogan of Hitler: ?Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer?; it first and foremost meant, ?Germans unite!? (very much like the USA slogan, ?United we stand!?)

Er...I hardly think "One People, One Empire One, Fuhrer(leader-dictator)" comes anywhere Close to Germans Unite nor not by a long stretch anywhere close to United We Stand.  For German Baltic information here is some on a PDF:
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Offline MWDabbs

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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #17 on: 06:21 06-Mar-2013 »
Got the flu and I'm mostly in bed.  All information is very good, brings up core points, Claus.   Good movie on 2nd Shock Army, too Fraucha - watched the whole.      A few simple notes...

1.  MUST control Copenhagen to have access to the Baltics.  Kind of how the map is now, may tighten up further. 
2.  A number of scenarios do consider a Germany/Poland and maybe even Baltic State coalition against the Soviets, a la "Eastern Crusade".  From a sandbox perspective, should include the potential for this.   (That makes it more difficult to develop a post 1940 reinforcement schedule for the French). 
3.  Functionally, there were far more and different authoritarian states up through WW2 then we'd generally like to acknowledge. 
4.  If a German anything would be viewed far better by all Baltic States than a Polish anything...  would that lead to a German-Polish alliance being opposed by everyone for the same reasoning?   

My sense is that Hitler envisioned Germany as all Germanic speaking countries, all that which was The Holy Roman Empire.   Gro?deutschland - a unified Europe...   I think you are getting at the same.   In the USA, the appeal for unity was much less "for an American government" so much as opposition to the "British one".   Europe's history is more complicated -- Prussia, Austria, Bavaria, Schwabia, this that and the other, going back to before the Romans - and more or less actively contested the entire time, plus the Church, Charlemagne, the Templars, the Teutonics.

For as many different governments as may have existed, the whole idea of 1 single government could easily be seen to garner some popularity.   

The second half of the Aryan element has concerns in eugenics and technology and is of more interest to me than the theoretical components of war and politics, if about 20x more abstract.   Keenly interested in any points of reference that hint in that direction, but not likely to discuss them at length. 

G?tterd?mmerung.   Anyways... time to crash... heh - all good stuff - though the main elements are going to be translating all of this to game play.

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Offline Claus

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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #18 on: 13:41 07-Mar-2013 »
@ John, but I  think there is an important similarity! If a slogan like, 'United We Stand' is at all relevant, it must be because that there is a risk (real or just feared) of dissolution/splitting up  of the country in question. If a slogan like, 'One People, One Empire' is relevant, it has the same meaning - plus of course some imperialistic undertones, similar to the USA wars with Mexico. I do not say anything good about Nazi Germany, nor anyting bad about USA, I just try to make parallels to enhance understanding  :).

@Mark, I suppose that when you say, 'must have Copenhagen', you mean your game only? There were and are three Danish straits: Oeresund, Storebaelt, Lillebaelt. Copenhagen is at The Sound, 100 km from Storebelt, 200 km from Lillebelt. In the times when only sail-driven ships existed, only the Sound was viable, the two others being too tricky and dangerous to navigate. But in 1938, no problem (and today, neither). And in your game, do not forget the Kiel Kanal!

Well, guys - here in Kyiv tomorrow is going to be a vodka orgy - you know, women bribed with flowers will allow streams of vodka, and un-flowered women will gulp sweet sparkling wine and try to think that they're more sexy than the flowered ones.

Shall come back with 1938 info about Norway  :)

When I recover from those hangovers
« Last Edit: 16:35 07-Mar-2013 by Claus »
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Offline Claus

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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #19 on: 16:30 07-Mar-2013 »
Denmark:
I'm a Dane and spent the first many years of my life there. Meaning two things: This is the country I know most about (before 1996, when I emigrated), but also the country where I'm least neutral. Please take that into consideration, and modify, Mark.
In 1938  - and that is where we still are in this essay - Denmark suffered from minority complex.
Once a superpower, 'The North Sea Empire' (Norway, Sweden, all Baltic countries, eastern England, northern France), next reduced to a Baltic power; devastated by the Swedish Empire, then England attacked (1801 and 1807), bombarded Copenhagen into rubble and by force took away the Danish-Norwegian navy; without a strong navy, Denmark and Norway could not go on being one 'Reich'. So, Norway was given to Sweden by the English at the end of the Napoleon wars; the Norwegians resisted tough enough to ensure that it would only be a personal union (more about that when I write about Norway).
But - Denmark was smashed!
Logically, for some time England was hated.
Then followed the two Schleswig wars, and from then on, Germany was seen as the main enemy.

Denmark knew her geographical position. At the mouth of the Baltic, meaning that she was an Atlantic power as well as a Baltic one. Once a power base; now, too much for a feeble, old, smashed warrior.

During WW1, Denmark blockaded the (three) straits with mines, and deployed a navy strong enough to defend the mine-fields. Germany was happy, the British navy could not get in; Britain was happy, the German navy could not get out. Well, don't forget the Kiel Kanal. Functioned, because air power was hardly invented and did not matter much.
In 1938, Denmark thought that this was still a possible reality.
Financially, Denmark produced food for 32 million people, and had a population of less than four million; generally the profit was in processed food! The main markets were:
England (bacon, butter, sausages), around 70% of Danish export. Norway (grain, cheese, oats), something like 15% of Danish export and not profitable because almost no profit was charged (Norway under a king who was a Danish prince, and because at that time, Denmark still considered herself responsible for Norway, Mother Denmark as a strong but gentle, older sister). Live cattle (cow and horse) shipped to Germany, around 9% of Danish export.
No, that's not 100% - but it is what mattered.
So - even if it was England having destroyed the navy and the Danish-Norwegian (almost) 500 year union, England was liked and trusted; Germany not.

It was tolerated (not supported nor endorsed) that Danes went to Spain to fight against Franco.

Denmark was a constitutional kingdom, the government was 'social democrat'.

So much for Denmark in 1938.
« Last Edit: 16:48 07-Mar-2013 by Claus »
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Offline MWDabbs

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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #20 on: 17:19 07-Mar-2013 »
This is the current state of the game map for Denmark. 

Presently, it has only two lines of passage. 

Copenhagen / Oeresund -- no bridge connecting Copenhagen to Malmo or Helsinger to Helsingborg?  Looks like 5 to 10 km of water way.  Fort Middlegrund, from what Niehorster indicated had up to 5x 305mm guns between two complexes.  Big guns.  I may have the other coast defenses in wrong areas though. 

At Korsor / Storebaelt --  http://www.lusas.com/case/bridge/storebaelt.html  Looks like it's 2 bridges connected by an island spanning a full 15 km over the water --  should be a full water hex instead of a canal --  Pretty impressive...

Looking at Google Map, it looks like the passage East of Fredericia / Lillebelt is 1000 meters across; that one I haven't set up. 

The map is at 15 km/hex scale, and mapping is not my strong point.  I had a specialist plot the coastlines based upon lat/long coordinates, so there is variation between real and game in appearance and distance.  The map maker doesn't allow for a lot of customization of islands/water ways.   

If attacked within historical parameters - Denmark isn't mobilized.  It has a few units to offer very limited resistance on the first turn of being attacked.  If Denmark lasts a turn without Copenhagen falling, Jutland and Zealand Divisions will achieve full mobilization.  A cocky Axis player going in with a minimum effort has the potential to be significantly embarrassed.     

Just saw your post on Denmark come in... but have some additional work to do before I nod off again.   Thanks Claus - really good information!
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Offline Claus

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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #21 on: 17:45 07-Mar-2013 »
Briefly - and I'll come back to all of that (after Norway).
In 1938 there were only two 'stategic' bridges in Denmark (I can give you info, if needed for your game). Lillebaeltsbroen, Storestroemsbroen, both totally inside tiny Denmark. There was no bridge to Sweden, there was no bridge over the Belt.
Now, next I must write about Norway 1938.

Or, do you have questions. before that?
« Last Edit: 11:09 08-Mar-2013 by Claus »
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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #22 on: 03:44 08-Mar-2013 »
Thanks Claus, those are good details - I'll adjust the map to account for no bridge on the Belt,  add the third water  route and review the coastal defenses again.  There are a few other scattered islands with small garrisons but a few big guns.   No other questions at this point.
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Offline Claus

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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #23 on: 11:46 08-Mar-2013 »
Footnote on Denmark (fortifications).
In the late 19th century and the early 20th, Copenhagen was made a fortress; the idea was, that when all the rest of the kingdom had been conquered (by Germany), then Copenhagen would hold on until help came (England and/or Russia), or for long enough to bleed Germany a lot.
Thus 'Middelgrunden' and other forts; when I was a boy, my family lived two km from, 'Charlottenlund fortet', and three km from 'Garderhoejfortet', both equipped with enormous cannon; if these and other forts were manned and used, no warship could pass Oeresund - before the conception of air power.
Next to no fortifications elsewhere (as the strategy was to hold Copenhagen and maintain/wait). But, there was 'Madsnesoe fortet', designed to prevent the enemy (Germany) to conquer 'Storestroems bridge'; it was considered the strongest fort in Europe, and in 1940 Germany conqured it by means of paratroopers - to find out that it was defended by two pensionaires, five soldiers, and 21 chicken  :).
Now, as to your game-idea of mobilising Jutland after the German conquest of Copenhagen, there are problems. Naturally Jutland could be mobilised - around 200.000 jutland boys would adore to kill germans - but the buttock nals (weapon storages) in Jutland would limit the mobilisation, only around 18.000 men could be armed; and no air force at all - the few, obsolate Danish planes destroyed north of Copenhagen.
For your game, I consider it a more interesting option to mobilise the Royal Danish Navy before April 1940. The German ships going north to attack Norway would probably have been destroyed in the Danish straits; what would follow - well you're the game writer.
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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #24 on: 12:47 08-Mar-2013 »
YIKES!!

No air force?? Well, lets be realistic, you can make all the preparations you want, but the Luftwaffe would just bomb you into dust, aircraft made those forts useless. Depending on how his game mechanics work and how he handles air superiority and bombing, well the air game would take care of Denmark. I think the Germans called this Operation Weserubung?

As far as mobilization the Navy Before April 1940 ... the German player could just send several U-Boats over. If memory serves me correctly the Germans had U-Boat bases in Norway and weren't the Kiel naval ship yards just a nose blow away? Just wondering....because no matter what, it might not be a one day war for Denmark, at the most a two day war.

I always thought the Northern war (we used to just call it Narvik) and the navel battles in the Med were much more interesting than the usual hammer throws east and west.
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Offline Claus

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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #25 on: 16:50 08-Mar-2013 »
John, I agree with the bottom-line: Denmark stood no chance.

A small correction: In 1938, 1939, 1940 Germany had no bases of any kind in Norway; and submarines, then, before, and ever after were no good in the shallow Danish water.
But we're talking game, right?

So, if the Danish navy had been mobilised and send to sea in March 1940...
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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #26 on: 18:29 08-Mar-2013 »
So, if the Danish navy had been mobilised and send to sea in March 1940...

IF....I would call on several flights of Junkers Ju 87. No AA on the ships because they were built before or without thought of air attack, plus no opposition in the sky.

Now I never thought of the shallows for the U-boats! Yes, The Kriegsmarine was in Norway after April 1940 or rather after Norway was occupied sending u-Boarts to Narvick, Bergen(captured early April 1940) Hammerfest and Trondheim(?) and one other place. I am pretty sure they could have blocked off the Baltic, much like the Americans and Turks planned to block off the Black Sea to hem in the Russians in the mid 1970's should hostilities break out.
« Last Edit: 05:48 09-Mar-2013 by Fraucha »
Peace is the failure of the military to convince the government that it can and should kick its enemies ass.

Offline Claus

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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #27 on: 13:42 09-Mar-2013 »
@ John:
The Ju87 - probably the best dive-bomber ever - had a range of 500 km (later versions somewhat more, but not relevant in 1938 and 1940). It was a tactic, not a strategic weapon, by Hitler called, 'airborne artillery'. Totally dependent on land airfields (Germany never had aircraft carriers) - which is one reason why the germs had to invade Denmark before Norway.
They would have had to find the Danish navy (if it had been mobilized and put to sea), which would have been split, since there were 3 staits to defend, and then attack. As for the forts, remember what happened to the 'Bluecher', when handled by such a fort.
Still, we talk game options, not history.

@ Mark:
For the game, a few notes. The Danish government was totally pacifist, had given up on beforehand - but that could have been different, so here's a game option. Meaning, the Danish forts manned, the Danish navy at sea, the tiny Danish airforce spread to a number of different airfields. Denmark, naturally would be devastated - but perhaps germs would not have conquered Norway.
And - did you know, that the majority of German panzer used (early in WW2) in Poland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, France was Czech? Game variant, the Munich treason of Czechoslovakia did not take place...
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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #28 on: 14:33 09-Mar-2013 »
Denmark is doomed militarily - no doubt there, but there are always surprises.   

Game wise, divisions are the standard unit.  For Denmark, the base units are understrength battalions/regiments.  In practice, a division will almost always roll over units this small.  Casualties will be inflicted on both sides, usually very minor for the division. 

Not a lot is likely to be going on in early 1940.  However, there are players who like to push the limits so there is the potential that the War with France or maybe an Eastern Crusade or some other wild variant would see the Axis player hard pressed to commit more than a token force "and try to take out Denmark, too!"  So, there's the "the chance" that Germany may send up "regiments" to try to do the job of divisions -- and that might work, but if it doesn't -- Denmark suddenly plays spoiler and things could end up very differently.   
 
If Axis fails to occupy Copenhagen in 1 turn - Jutland and Zealand divisions, plus the coastal defenses will come up to full strength and naval/air units will be able to move freely.  That's bad enough unto itself really.   Allied supply source coupled with a very narrow frontage, airfields for fighter coverage, coastal batteries with big guns... the greatest impact is that it permits the English and French a chance to send forces of their own. 

Impact upon a simultaneous Denmark/Norway offensive... should have the Allies grinning like the Cheshire Cat.  While I can define a large part of the game parameter, it is very much up to the players to act upon opportunities as they see them.  Intention is to be as "sandbox like as possible". 

The naval component.  Still waiting to see what may be included in the next version.  It could impact how coastal defenses work, damage vs. destroy individual ships, allow air-to-sea and sea-to-sea interdiction, and a variety of other things which may also require fleshing out navies in much greater detail -- adding in patrol craft, minelayers, destroyer escorts, frigates, corvettes, and a wide range of submarines. 

The game does provide for deep vs. shallow water and will limit the type of "naval unit" moving into each. 

The Naval War has certain weaknesses.  The overall goal is to have all your ships in port at the end of the turn.  Otherwise they are very vulnerable.  This makes amphibious invasions very dangerous in game terms -- failing to get a shore equates to death.  As each turn can have a "variable number of combat rounds" - things do not always work out quite as intended.

If Copenhagen falls on the first turn -- Each naval unit or group should have a chance to a) be scuttled or interned in Sweden, b) escape to England/Norway, c) be captured and entered into Axis service (or inventory) - if not destroyed outright during the invasion. 

If Copenhagen survives the first turn -- (a) and (b) are the main possibilities with emphasis on (b).

Aircraft... not much there - not to say there was no an Air Force, but most of were biplanes Fokker C/D series with, recon, sea rescue, and a small mix of others -- not modern and not numerous. 



Just saw your added notes, Claus --

You know... you have a solid point about Munich/Czechoslovakia -- numbers I have are smaller, but 106x Pz-35(t) and 228 Pz-38(t) used by Germany in France; both versions were better than the lighter Pz I's and IIB's otherwise used by the Germans.  War booty went a LONG way to helping Germany raise its military.  Captured Oil was also very important. 

I'd have to look at the Munich variant closer, there is a theoretical scenario that does examine what if Czechoslovakia resisted.  Czech equipment went to form at least 9 divisions of the 5th and 6th waves - probably a portion of 4th, too. 

--  Game option - say Allies invest in Allied Denmark - all of the above would be in effect and much as you related, with Allies being able to deploy to Denmark freely (i.e. before  German DOW on Poland or September 39).

More in a bit...
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Offline Claus

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Re: World War II Project: Political-Economic Variables
« Reply #29 on: 19:59 09-Mar-2013 »
Well, I have seen (personally) the Czech mountains, and the fortifications.
Too bad they gave up (allies or no allies!), Germany would have failed, even if Czechoslovakia had fought alone (!) - not a matter of divisions - as long as the Czechoslovaks maintained Sudetenland, they were impregnable (naturally would not have been able to go into the offensive against germs); but when a tiny country is failed and sold-out by so-called allies, it gives up.
Shame, really - USSR offered France to fight for Czechoslovakia, but the frogs and the umbrellaman wanted, 'peace in our time', and USSR was thus forced to make the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact; to create buffer-regions, to gain time. I have not much positive to say about papa Stalin, but he knew that France was no good, he knew how weak was Britain, he knew that sooner or later (better later!) USSR would have to fight it out to the end with Germany. Naturally, I do not personally know what Josef knew, I base this on statements from others (in English, I think the best statements made by Alanbrooke).
I'm, ranting, sorry; after effects of womens day.

Next, Norway, but first - sleep
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