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In Progress Let's play Darkest Hour - ¡Arriba España! (Franco grows some cojones, Spain enters WW2)

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by zool, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. nobre Learned

    nobre
    Joined:
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    Pays-Bas
    Well in that case some interceptors make sense. Also beware of supporting the Italians directly, it can be very frustrating to see an Allied AI who is unwilling to attack. But who knows, maybe they march straight to Suez and then to India :happytrollboy:
     
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  2. zool Cipher

    zool
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
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    814
    Just a short post to mention that I did a few minor changes to the Land Army OOB (see here). Because I hadn't anticipated originally that dissent and partisanship would be such a problem before I even start conquering foreign provinces, I've decided to reconsider the stance that I adopted when I prepared the OOB not to include independant regiment-size units.

    There were a lot of small regiment-size garrison units historically and I think it would be better balance-wise if I actually had them appear into the game, so I at least get some starting anti-partisan units. In particular, the case of Spanish Guinea (two provinces) and Rio de Oro/Western Sahara (three provinces) pushed me to do this: I hadn't put any starting garrisons there (even though there were garrisons there historically) because they were too small. However, having five far-away province with high 15% level of partisanship and no way to reduce it put a big dent into my TC in a somewhat unrealistic way (why would partisans units in Guinea hamper my troops' movement in Spain).

    Changes:

    [​IMG] 3 Garrison units at 10% strength (= 1,000 men each) in Ferrol, Cadiz and Cartagena (historically, they were independant regiments in charge of defending Spain's three biggest navals bases). No reinforcements allowed.

    [​IMG] 1 Garrison unit at 20% strength (=2,000 men) in Tangiers province (historically, there were two independant garrison regiments in Ceuta and Alhucemas). No reinforcements allowed.

    [​IMG] 1 Garrison unit at 10% strength (= 1,000 men) in Nador province (historically, there was one independant garrison regiment in Melilla). No reinforcements allowed.

    [​IMG] 1 Garrison unit at 25% strength (=2,500 men) in El Aiun (historically, there was one reinforced regulares regiment in this region). No reinforcements allowed.

    [​IMG] 2 Garrison units at 5% strength (=500 men each) in Bata and Malabo/Fernando Poo island (historically, there were light units of the Guardia Colonial de los Territorios Espanoles del Golfo de Guinea stationed there to keep order). No reinforcements allowed.

    In addition, I gave cavalry brigades to the three divisions from the Ejercito de Africa which didn't have one yet to simulate the fact that those divisions' TOEs had 10% more men than normal divisions, and there were two independant cavalry regiments in the Morocco Protectorate which could have been attached to them, as well as further light local cavalry forces.

    I also changed one of the two artillery brigades equipping my divisions (which simulate the additional artillery regiments from the HQ General Reserve) from normal artillery to heavy artillery as one of those reserve regiments (the 61st Heavy Artillery Regiment) was actually a heavy artillery regiment, equipped with 260mm and 305mm heavy guns. Though it will slow down that division's speed, the additional firepower will be useful for the assault on Gibraltar.

    Here is the starting deployment of Spanish units on 10 May 1940:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  3. zool Cipher

    zool
    Joined:
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    Messages:
    814
    Battleplans of the Alto Estado Mayor

    Before we finally get into the action, let's review the battleplans prepared by the Alto Estado Mayor (High General Staff), the new overarching structure of the Spanish Armed Forces created in 1939 by Franco and modeled after the German OKW.

    Franco's wishes are clear: Spain needs to enter the war as soon as possible in order to conquer the territories it claims, thereby creating a de facto situation that will have to be taken into account in future peace negotiations with France. To this end, he has sent Ramon Serrano Suner to Rome in order to coordinate Spain's entry into the war with Italy, with both countries declaring war at the same time: there, Mussolini informed Serrano Suner that Italy would enter the war in June - and so will Spain.

    Such a tight schedule - only a few weeks - leaves no time to build new units, so we'll have to go to war with only our 25 starting divisions (not counting our three HQ and the few weak garrison units). Therefore, the conquest of Portugal will have to be conducted after France has been defeated - there are simply not enough units to spare.

    The three theaters of operations will be Gibraltar, southwestern France and Morocco/Algeria. Let's review our plans for each.

    1. Gibraltar

    Taken by the British in 1704, Gibraltar has been a major bone of contention between the United Kingdom and Spain since then. It's time to reclaim it.

    [​IMG]

    Gibraltar's position in the eponymous strait is strategic: joined to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, with the Spanish town of La Linea standing right by the demarcation line, Gibraltar faces the Spanish harbor of Algeciras across the bay and the Spanish protectorate of Morocco across the strait and is a thorn in the side of Spain, in addition to being an insult to its greatness and pride.

    [​IMG]
    Gibraltar seen from the northeast

    In-game, controlling the province of Gibraltar means you get to close the strait to enemy naval units (historically, British submarines could still have passed through undetected but the game does not plan for this eventuality).

    [​IMG]

    For reference, here is a Spanish map of coastal batteries in the Strait of Gibraltar area in 1942 (a couple of coastal batteries had been added since 1940 but most were already there in 1940).

    [​IMG]

    Intelligence briefing:

    In June 1940, the British garrison in Gibraltar was at its weakest, totalling only 7,500 men. It consisted of:

    - two regular infantry battalions (2nd Battalion of the King's Regiment and 2nd Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry);
    - two companies of Royal Engineers;
    - numerous high-caliber coastal and AA batteries served by the Royal Artillery Corps and volunteers from the Gibraltar Defence Force;
    - several smaller non-combat units of the Royal Signals, Royal Army Service Corps and Royal Army Medical Corps.

    There was no RAF presence at this point on the airfield save for a couple of reconnaissance seaplanes, and there was no continuous presence of warships in the harbor.

    Here's an intelligence report by the Spanish intelligence service on the Gibraltar garrison dated 7 May 1940 (it erroneously lists a non-existing "3rd Battalion of the King's Regiment" as part of the garrison):

    [​IMG]

    However small, Gibraltar's garrison defensive position is extremely advantageous: a huge system of tunnels, galleries, firing-points and shelters had been dug deep inside the Rock and there was enough food for eighteen months. (Historically, the garrison would get strongly reinforced after the fall of France and reach more than 20,000 men by 1941, with even more tunnels and defensive positions being dug into the Rock).

    In-game, Gibraltar appears as a mountain province with impressive level-6 land fortifications, level-6 AA as well as a river separating it from the province of Cadiz, simulating the added difficulty for Spanish troops of having to attack through a narrow isthmus. The garrison is composed of a 7,500-men strong Garrison unit.

    [​IMG]

    Battleplan:

    The attack on Gibraltar will be conducted under the overall command of General Fidel Davila, chief of the Ejercito del Sur (Army of the South). A pure staff officer, Davila distinguished himself during the Civil War for his role in preparing the offensive which successfully pierced the Iron Belt defensive positions around Bilbao as well as for his part in the conquest of the Asturias and Catalona.

    [​IMG]

    However, the direct command of assaulting troops will be handed over to a little-known but fascinating historical figure: brigadier-general Pedro Jevenois. One of the best artillerists and fortifications specialists in the Spanish Army, Jevenois, who was of Belgian ancestry, was a mix of military, engineer and scientist. He had served as military observor in the Tsarist Army in Manchuria during the Russo-Japanese war and had fought in Spanish Morocco, where he distinguished himself for his contribution to the planification of the landing in Alhucemas. He authored several important books on the tactical use of artillery, infantry combat and logistics organisation. Between 1928 an 1935, he became famous for his project of building an underwater tunnel between Spain and Spanish Morocco, becoming one the best experts on the geography of the Strait of Gibraltar area. In 1940, he was commander of the artillery of the Ejercito del Sur (Army of the South): in that position, he was the author of the Defence Plan for the Southern Coast (Plan de Defensa de la Costa Sur), a comprehensive report on the needs for coastal fortifications on Spain's southern coast, as well as of the Defence Plan of the Campo De Gibraltar (Plan defensivo del Campo de Gibraltar) on the Spanish land fortifications designed to prevent a British attack from Gibraltar.

    [​IMG]
    Pedro Jevenois at a cocktail with Talia Larios, marquesa de Povar and a Francoist spy in Gibraltar during the Spanish Civil War

    Jevenois' profile gives him several interesting traits: Engineer (reduces river-crossing penalties by -20%), Fortress Buster (reduces penalty inflicted by fortifications by -25%) and Logistics Wizard (reduces fuel and supply consumption by -25%).

    [​IMG]

    The 2nd Cuerpo de Ejercito (Army Corps) with three infantry divisions has been chosen to lead the assault on Gibraltar. One of its divisions is equipped with an artillery brigade and a second one with a heavy-artillery brigade, adding some much needed firepower to subdue the Rock. Davila's HQ will also participate to the attack.

    [​IMG]

    In addition to ground troops, all Spanish tactical bomber and close air support units will be dedicated to supporting the assault.

    [​IMG]


    2. Southwestern France

    Intelligence briefing:

    In June 1940, the Pyrenees border was virtually unguarded: there were only a handful of local Territorial Regiments composed of aged reservists (38-48 years old) as well as some Gendarmerie & Mobile Republican Guard units and labour companies. No army, corps or even division remained in the area.

    In game terms, that means our troops will be able to cross the Pyrenees unopposed. With France under tremendous German pressure in the north and now under attack by the Italians in the Alps, it is unlikely the French High Command will find any reserve to counter-attack.

    Battleplan:

    The overall command of the Ejercito del Norte (Army of the North) will be handed to general Vigon, an experimented and talented strategist (he's also one of our techteams and was formerly chief of the Alto Estado Mayor before being replaced by the more pro-Axis Yagüe).

    [​IMG]

    Vigon will have a total of ten divisions at its disposal: six infantry divisions (including two equipped with light tank brigades), three mountain divisions, and the only motorized division in the Spanish Army.

    [​IMG]

    First, Spanish troops will cross the Pyrenes and occupy the provinces of Mont-de-Marsan, Pau and Perpignan, which are claimed by Spain and shall constitute the future Spanish-occupied zone.

    Once their positions have been secured, and depending on the evolution of the progression of German troops in the north, Spanish units will push further into France and occupy the two major cities of Toulouse and Bordeaux, as well as Agen and Béziers.

    [​IMG]


    3. Morocco and Algeria

    Intelligence briefing:

    In June 1940, French troops in Morocco consisted of two infantry divisions, one tank brigade and one cavalry brigade (the latter two will appear as brigades attached to the former two infantry divisions).

    The garrison in Algeria was slightly bigger and consisted of five infantry divisions (further east, there were six infantry divisions in Tunisia to defend the border with Italian Libya).

    Note: the correct historical positioning of those units will be done through savegame editing.

    Battleplan:

    The Ejercito de Africa (Army of Africa) will be under the command of whimsical general Queipo de Llano, nicnkamed the "Vice-Roy of Andalusia" during the Spanish Civil War where he distinguished himself with his foul and provocative radio speeches aimed at demoralizing Republican fighters.

    [​IMG]

    Twelve divisions will be at his disposal, organized as follows:

    - the Ejercito de Argelia (7 divisions) will start from Nador, head east along the coast through Oujda and Tlemcen and take Oran. It will be composed of two corps under the command of generals Garcia-Valino and Barron - two of the best africanista officers of the Spanish army.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    - the Ejercito de Marruecos (4 divisions) will invade Morocco from Tangiers and take control of Fes and Rabat. It will be composed of two corps under the command of generals Sáenz de Buruaga and Ben Mizzian - the former being an africanista and the latter the only general officier of Moroccan origin ever recorded in the Spanish army (he would later become Minister of Defence of Morocco in the 1960s).

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    - the 1st Cuerpo de Caballeria (1 division), composed of only one cavalry division commanded by general Monasterio, will invade French Morocco from the Rio de Oro (Western Sahara) in the south and work his way north to Agadir and Marrakech.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here is the overall battleplan for the Ejercito de Africa:

    [​IMG]

    The general idea of this plan is to put our hands on claimed territories as quick as we can: a failure to take Oran, for example, would make it harder for Spain to claim it during peace negotiations. Once those claimed territories are secured, Spanish troops might push further into enemy territory, in particular if the Germans and Italians need a hand in face of a stronger-than-historical defence by the French. However, with France being assailed at the same time by its three major neighbors, I would say its chances of putting up such a fight are slim.


    That's it, we're done with preparations! The next update will recount Spain's entry into the war and what promises to be a very hot summer 1940. Now all we have to do it redeploy our troops and wait for Italy to enter the war...
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018 at 11:54 AM
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  4. zool Cipher

    zool
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    814
    Just realized I forgot to list research projects and building plans.

    Starting research projects:

    La Hispano Aviacion has been tasked with developing a Spanish version of the Me-109E while CASA will seek to develop the CASA 2.111, a Spanish-built licensed version of the famous Heinkel He-111.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In accordance with the strategy of developing a submarine-based fleet, the Socieded Espanola de Construccion Naval is working on a new model of submarine, in fact a copy of the Archimede-class submarines (renamed Mola-class in Spain) that were given to Spain by Italy during the Civil War.

    [​IMG]

    In order to get a 2% increase in our IC, resources and supplies production, Hispano-Suiza is hard at work on new agricultural machinery. The technology we're researching here has a historical date of 1928, which means that we'll get a big bonus to research time since it is considered an old technology.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, in anticipation of the drain on TC that occupying new territories will inevitably bring, general Juan Vigon has been asked to work on improving the Army's logistics.

    [​IMG]

    Building plans:

    We have only a handful of IC left for production (3 IC to be precise), so the first thing we'll build is a Garrison unit with a police brigade attached, which gives it a huge suppression capability.

    [​IMG]

    Since we get a 15% build time and cost to those units thanks to our ministers bonus, they're relatively cheap and quick to build. We'll need a couple more though since we're going to get high dissent and partisans in national, non-national and occupied provinces once the war starts.
     
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  5. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
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    Location:
    Belém do Pará
    Its showtime! Let us see the might of the Spanish!

    Oi, won't the Vichy event take your new cores when it pops up?

    More on this guy? Sounds like an amusing character.
     
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  6. Bocian Arcane

    Bocian
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2017
    Messages:
    1,809
    He said that in this case he'll edit the save to make it work.
     
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  7. Commissar Draco KKKodex WCDS Commissar Patron

    Commissar Draco
    Joined:
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    Location:
    Привислинский край
    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Watching the thread; might be dangerous if Portugal decides to go with Allies and some British troops land there; also wondering what if America enters war was there a realistic change to assist in German invasion of US and retaking Spanish colonies in Americas and in Pacific?
     
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  8. zool Cipher

    zool
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
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    Queipo de Llano is one of those crazy officers you sometimes find in armies around the world - and you can't help but wonder how they possibly made it this far in such a morally rigid environment like the Army is.

    Queipo de Llano joined the Nationalists at the beginning of the uprising even though he was suspected of being a free-mason and in favor of a Republican regime in Spain, since he had taken part in a failed coup to overthrow king Alfonso XIII in 1930. Beevor describes him as an irreverent, cynical, unpredictable man with a macabre sense of humour. During the Civil War, he managed to take control of Sevilla and stayed there for most of the war, where he acted semi-independantly from the other Nationalist forces, earning him the nickname "el Virrey de Andalucia".

    He is famous for his use of radio as a tool of pyschological warfare: in his charlas - his radio speeches on Radio Sevilla - he frequently insulted the Rojos (the "Reds") and made allusions to the fact that Nationalist troops would rape their women.

    [​IMG]

    We'll invade Portugal as soon as we're done with France to prevent that scenario from happening.

    In case of victory, reconquering Spanish colonies in America would be fun indeed, even though I doubt we'll ever get there. Retaking Cuba and the Philippines would be quite an achievement - some of the older officers in the Spanish Army in 1940 had fought there as young lieutenants during the Spanish-American war of 1898.
     
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  9. zool Cipher

    zool
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Summer 1940: ¡Arriba Espana!


    [​IMG]
    José Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Falange, and Francisco Franco

    The March to War

    With Spain's entry into the war now due to happen in a few weeks, the government quickly takes measures to prepare for the struggle: first, it declares partial mobilization, reinforcing existing units and providing a sizeable boost to manpower.

    [​IMG]

    Second, it prints new money for the war effort, slightly hurting the economy but greatly improving the state's finances, along with a limited decrease in dissent. We'll use that money to finance war propaganda efforts once we join the war, which will further reduce dissent.

    [​IMG]

    Spanish armed forces are ordered to redeploy to their assigned starting positions. Meanwhile, the surface fleet leaves its base in El Ferrol to go find refuge in Cartagena on Spain's southeastern coast. It leaves behind in Ferrol the three light cruisers Galicia, Miguel de Cervantes and Mendez Nunez in dry dock: when/if they're repaired, they will have to slip through the Royal Navy's surveillance if they want to join the rest of the fleet in the Mediterranean.

    By early June, Spanish land and sea forces have redeployed and are ready for action.

    [​IMG]

    On the morning of June 22nd, Belgium capitulates. At noon, Italy officially declares war to France and the United Kingdom.

    [​IMG]

    Spain follows suit later in the afternoon:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The Wehrmacht's progress has been much less spectacular than it was historically, with German troops only just entering Lille. Hopefully, the joint entry of Italy and Spain into the war will tip the balance decisively in favour of the Axis.

    [​IMG]


    1. Taking the Rock: the assault on Gibraltar

    [​IMG]
    Depiction of a German attack on Gibraltar in a British newspaper (1941)

    In the early hours of June 23rd, after a tense but uneventful night, Spanish troops start their attack against Gibraltar.

    [​IMG]

    Three divisions under general Jevenois as well as the HQ of general Davila participate in the attack against the 7,500-strong garrison.

    [​IMG]

    Gibraltar is also attacked from the air by the Heinkel He-111, Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 Pipistrello and the I-15 Chato dive bombers of the Spanish Air Force.

    [​IMG]

    However, the air raids only inflict light losses to the well-entrenched garrison while the British AA shoots down 15 Spanish bombers. (Historically, Gibraltar was targeted by air raids by the Vichy air force following the attack of the French fleet at Mers El Kebir as well as bombing raids by the Italian Regia Aeronautica. However, the damage inflicted was always very limited due to the small size of the target, the heavy AA and fortifications and the strong wind currents created by the Rock, which made flying over Gibraltar difficult).

    [​IMG]

    However, bombing raids continue during the following days.

    [​IMG]
    Gibraltar's searchlights search the sky during a bombing raid

    Around Gibraltar, the war continues at sea and in the air. On 25 June, the Royal Navy sinks 8 merchant ships that had left Cadiz and were on their way to the Canary Islands.

    [​IMG]

    Later that day, Spanish naval bombers manage to sink a British merchant ship in the Strait of Gibraltar.

    [​IMG]

    On the following day, the first air battle of the war occurs when antiquated French planes based out of Morocco try to intercept Spanish SM.79 naval bombers over the Strait of Gibraltar.

    [​IMG]

    In the ensuing battle, the French manage to shoot down two bombers but lose four of their own fighters.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, on July 4th, after having resisted for more than ten days and having lost nearly 50% of its men, the Gibraltar garrison raises the white flag. Gibraltar is ours!

    [​IMG]

    With Gibraltar now in Spanish hands, the Strait of Gibraltar can be closed to the Royal Navy, putting the entire British forces in the Mediterranean in a precarious position.

    [​IMG]


    2. Across the Pyrenees: the invasion of southwestern France

    Meanwhile, ten Spanish divisions have crossed the French border in the Pyrenees: by the end of June, they've occupied four provinces in southwestern France without firing a shot.

    [​IMG]

    On 2 July, two divisions under general Esteban Infantes occupy Bordeaux.

    [​IMG]

    On the following day, a British division which has been brought by boat to La Rochelle tries to launch a counter-attack against the city but quickly retreats after an hour of fighting.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    On 5 July, Spanish troops enter Toulouse, the biggest city in southwestern France.

    [​IMG]

    Having taken their objectives, Spanish troops take defensive positions behind the Garonne river and prepare for an eventual French counterattack.


    3. Imperial conquests: Morocco and Algeria

    During the night of the 22 to the 23 June, the forces of the Ejercito de Africa enter Morocco and Algeria.

    On the next day, two divisions, including one of regulares, under the command of general ben Mizzian, attack the 3rd Moroccan Division defending Fes in Morocco. General Queipo de Llano, commander of the Ejercito de Africa, also takes part in the combat.

    [​IMG]

    After two days of fighting, French forces are forced to retreat south towards the hills of Khenifra.

    [​IMG]

    Meanwhile, forces under general Saenz de Buruaga have been progressing unopposed south along the Atlantic Coast. on 2 July, they take Rabat and on 4 July, they enter Casablanca without a fight.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In Algeria, the two powerful corps of Garcia-Valino and Barron have taken Oujda and Tlemcen. On 16 July, their reach Oran and storm the city by night: two French battleships anchored into the harbour are suprised and scuttle themselves in panic.

    [​IMG]

    A French division defending Oran reacts but too late: outnumbered 7-to-1, it quickly retreats from the city after having suffered heavy losses.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Though Algiers could possibly have been captured too, Spanish forces are ordered to take defensive positions in and around Oran, which was the main objective for Spanish forces in the area.

    In Morocco, French forces have retreated into the hills of Khenifra and received some reinforcements. However, they quickly find themselves under attack by Spanish forces and are unable to reorganize.

    [​IMG]


    4. The French sign the armistice

    On 8 August, the French find themselves in a hopeless situation: in spite of a heroic resistance against German forces, their defensive lines have finally broken down and Paris has fallen at the end of July. By 8 August, German forces are pouring into France while Spanish troops occupy the southwestern part of the country. Italian forces, reinforced by a German panzerdivision, have taken Toulon and Marseille, though the French still hold the Alps and have retaken Nice in a counterattack.

    [​IMG]

    In North Africa, Spanish troops occupy Oran, Rabat and Casablanca while Italian forces have taken almost all of Tunisia and prepare for an assault on the military harbor of Bizerte.

    [​IMG]

    Left with no other choice, the French government inquires about the conditions for an armistice.

    [​IMG]

    On 10 August, the Germans set their conditions and demand the armistice be signed in Rethondes.

    [​IMG]

    And on 13 August, France signs the armistice while the new Etat Français settles in Vichy.

    [​IMG]

    Spain is rewarded with all the territories it claimed: French Morocco, Oran and its surrounding region, and the three French Pyrenean provinces of Mont-de-Marsan, Pau and Perpignan. On the other hand, Spanish troops have to hand back Toulouse and Béziers to the French and evacuate Bordeaux, which is occupied by the Germans. A few pockets of British forces continue to fight in France but are bound to be destroyed.

    [​IMG]

    With the German victory and the new occupation zone, a direct land link is established between Spain and Germany through Mont-de-Marsan and Bordeaux: therefore, the exchange of goods between both countries can now be done by rail, without any interference from the Royal Navy (so far, the trade efficiency between Germany and Spain alternated between 4% and 62%).

    Moreover, Spain having joined the Axis also has the added benefit of our Italian and German allies sharing numerous blueprints with us:

    [​IMG]

    As a result, research goes faster. By August, the Socieded Espanola de Construccion Naval has finished developing the design for Mola-class submarines (Submarine 1933) and immediately starts working on new D-class long-range submarines (Submarine 1937).

    [​IMG]


    In the next update, if all goes well, we'll see how Portugal ceases to exist as an independant nation as glorious Spanish troops reunite the Iberian peninsula. However, that won't happen before the end of next week at best since I will be travelling in the meantime.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018 at 12:33 PM
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