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Completed Let's Play Darkest Hour - The Myth of Turan (Turkey enters WW2)

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by zool, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. zool Arcane

    zool
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
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    This LP will seek to explore one of the many intriguing what ifs of WW2 - what if Turkey had entered the war on the Axis side?

    It will be a "serious" LP in the sense that I'll try to replicate the historical conditions in which Turkey would have had to enter WW2 and its potentiel military consequences on the war as accurately as possible within the limits of the DH engine.

    I've chosen the 1941 scenario with June 22nd, 1941 as a start date, with Turkey joining the Axis a few weeks after the beginning of operation Barbarossa. It seems to me that this would have been one the most credible times for Turkey to join the Axis, with Germany being at the height of its power and the undefeatable Wehrmacht poised to crush the Red Army. Moreover, all of the Balkans were under Axis control by then after the successful invasion of Greece, the occupation of Aegean islands by the Italians and Bulgaria and Romania joining the Axis, which put tremendous pressure on Turkey's western borders.

    I've extensively reworked the Turkish army OOB as the one provided with the base 1941 scenario was catastrophically incorrect, especially for land forces (this came in handy of course but I consulted a lot of other sources as well). I also edited Turkey's leaders file for additional and more historical generals, as well as the ministers file so I could form a pro-German fascist governement with credible historical figures (this required a lot of research into Turkey's pro-German and Turanist circles in the 1930s-1940s). I even ended up creating a few new minister traits to fit their personalities. I also took that occasion to rework Turkey's tech teams and starting techs to better reflect Turkey military, industrial and technological base in 1941. Finally, I did some minor edits to add historical fortifications and bases (coastal fortifications in the Dardanelles and Bosphorus which Turkey remilitarized after the Montreux Convention in 1936, land fortifications in Istanbul to simulate the Catalca line, added a few minor historical airbases, etc.) and edited the terrain in the Caucasus to try to make the crossing of that great mountain range more difficult and historical (more on that later on).

    Note that I'll use a somewhat simplified Turkish spelling since I don't have all the necessary keys on my keyboard : in particular, the "ğ" will be written "g", the "ş" will be written "s", the dotless "ı" will be written "i", and "ç" will written as a "C" when a capital letter (otherwise it will be written "ç" as it should be).


    Chapters

    Introduction : Historical and Political background
    Army OOB

    Air Force OOB
    Navy OOB
    A quick look at Turkish Economy & Technology in 1941
    The Turkish General HQ's plans for war
    Summer 1941: The March to War
    D-1 Final Intelligence Briefing and Marching Orders
    Autumn 1941: For Turan!
    Winter 1941: Disaster in the Caucasus
    Spring 1942: Anatolia on fire
    Summer 1942: Tragedy at the Cilician Gates
    Autumn 1942: The Fall of Ankara
    Winter 1942: The Heroes of Zonguldak
    Spring 1943: Twilight of Turkey
    Summer 1943: The Battle of Izmit and the Üsküdar Armistice


    ***********

    "For the Turks, Fatherland means neither Turkey, nor Turkestan;
    Fatherland is a large and eternal country--Turan!"
    Ziya Gökalp, Turan, 1911


    June 22nd, 1941: from the shores of the Baltic to the Black Sea, German forces and their allies launch operation Barbarossa, heading east toward Moscow.

    On the same day, to the south beyond the Black Sea, overshadowed by the more important events to the north, a dramatic situation is unfolding: at dawn, Turkish soldiers arrest isolationist president Ismet Inönü and several members of his government, including prime minister Refik Saydam. At noon, foreign correspondants in Ankara start to report that a pro-German Turanist coup has just occured with the support of the military. While German ambassador in Turkey Franz von Papen had long sought to influence pro-German Turkish political, intellectual and military circles in Turkey, the Abwehr - whose station in Ankara is its biggest one in the Middle East - had for months been overseeing preparations for a more radical way to bring Turkey into the Axis. The coup occuring on the same day than the long-awaited German attack on the Soviet Union came as a coincidence, but a happy one for the Abwehr and the conjurers. Indeed, it could only strengthen the idea among the Turkish public opinion that it was now or never to join the winning side and reap the benefits after Germany's final victory.

    As the day ends, two figures start to emerge as the key players behind the coup : the first one is Field Marshall Fevzi Cakmak, long-standing and much-admired chief of staff of the Turkish Army since 1921 - and one of the only two field marshals in Turkish history along with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk himself. A veteran of the Balkans War (1912-1913), WW1 and the Turkish War of Independance (1919-1923), Cakmak was a pious Muslim (which was relatively uncommon among the Turkish political and military elite in those days) which made him popular among the conservatives. Belonging to a generation of Turkish officiers who had been trained in imperial Germany before WW1 and had fought alongside German units during the war, he had pro-German sympathies but, as a soldier by trade, was reluctant to enter politics. After much hesitation, he finally accepted to join the plot to overthrow Inönü and to take the mantle of President of Turkey, bringing with him the endorsement of the Army and a wide popular support for this admired military figure.

    [​IMG]

    The second key figure in the coup, poised to become the new prime minister, is Nihal Atsiz, a vehement pro-Nazi intellectual and ardent Turanist advocating Turkey join Germany in the war and reconquer the Turks' ancestral homeland - the mythical country of Turan in Central Asia, beyond the Caspian Sea. Openly anti-semite and vigorously anti-Communist, the young 36-year old poet embodies the ideals of pan-Turkic Turanism at the head of the government.

    [​IMG]


    In addition to Fevzi Cakmak and Nihal Atsiz, many others pro-German and Turanist figures join the new government at key positions :

    [​IMG] Foreign Minister: Recep Peker

    A veteran officer of the Balkan Wars, WW1 and the War of Independance, Recep Paker became a political heavyweight in Mustafa Kemal's CHP party in the interwar period, during which he held several ministerial positions. He was sent to Italy in 1936 to study fascism: when he came back, he authored a report recommending the establishment of a "Fascist Council" in Turkey. While the report was approved by then-prime minister Mehmet Inönu, it was rejected by president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Recep Peker was dismissed from his post as Secretary-General of the CHP the next day. Disillusioned with the Kemalists and increasingly anti-liberal, he developed pro-German tendencies.


    [​IMG] Armaments Minister: Nuri Pasha (aka Nuri Killigil)

    Younger brother of the infamous Enver Pasha (who was a romantic figure for the Turanists and died in 1922 in Turkestan while fighting with the Turkic Basmachi rebels against the Soviets), Nuri Pasha shared his brother's pan-Turkic Turanist ideals. During WW1, he fought in Libya and in the Caucasus where, at the behest of his brother, he commanded the Ottoman Islamic Army of the Caucasus seeking to mobilize volunteers from the Caucasus and Central Asia against the Soviets. After the war, he lived in Germany before returning to Turkey and opening a weapons factory in 1938. In 1941, he was involved in talks with German ambassador to Turkey Franz von Papen to help set up the Turkestan Legion and offered to assist with propaganda for creating independant Turkic states in the Soviet Union.


    [​IMG] Minister of Security: Cevat Rifat Atilhan

    A hero of the Balkan Wars, WW1 and the War of Turkish Independance, Cevat Rifat Atilhan left the army and became a journalist and writer in the 1920s. A radical antisemite, he was one of the most important Nazi sympathizers in Turkey. His writings earned him the nickname "Hitler of the Middle-East". Also a Turanist and an Islamist, he deeply influenced Turkish intellectual life and contributed to the formation of nationalist and Islamist thought. (Historically, he was arrested in 1942 on suspicion of coup, spent 11 months in prison and was released at the sollicitation of Marshal Fevzi Cakmak).


    [​IMG] Head of Intelligence: Hüsrev Gerede

    A former colonel in the Ottoman and Turkish army, Hüsrev Gerede served as head of intelligence of Mustafa Kemal during the War for Independance. When the coup occured, he was posted as ambassador to Berlin after having served as ambassador to Tokyo. A well-known pro-German and anti-Russian figure among the Turkish elite, he was quickly called back to Ankara to take the helm of Military Intelligence.

    [​IMG] Chief of Staff: Hüseyin Hüsnü Emir Erkilet

    A two-star retired general in 1941, Erkilet had been chief of staff of army Group Yildirim (The Lightning) commanded by fieldmarshal von Falkenhayn during WW1 on the Syria Front. Erkilet, who was himself of Crimean Tatar origin, was an ardent Turanist and opposed non-Turkic minorities. One of the most vocal pro-German officers within the Turkish army, he advocated joining Germany in the war against the Soviet Union. Although a well-known figure, his views even on military developments were not considered reliable by Inönu and were certainly not given any weight in policy. (Historically, general Erkilet and general Fuat Erden (see below) visited the Eastern front in November 1941, met with Hitler at the Wolfschanze and told the Germans that Turkey was ready to join the war on their side, although it wasn't clear whether they did have authorization to speak on behalf of the Turkish government. When they came back, they reported enthusiastically to Turkish authorities that "all that is left of Russia is snow". In 1944, he was arrested, along with Nihal Atsiz and many others, and tried in the famous "Racism and Turanism" trial).


    [​IMG] Chief of the Army: Ali Fuat Erden

    Ali Fuat Erden had been Chief of Staff of the infamous Jamal Pasha when he was commander of the 4th Turkish Army on the Palestine Front during WW1. Somewhat less openly identified with the Pan-Turanian camp than general Erkilet, he was however universally recognized as being pro-German and was close to general Erkilet. In 1941, he was commander of Turkish Military Academies. (Historically, he and general Erkilet visited the Eastern front in november 1941 and met with Hitler at the Wolfschanze. When they returned, they reported enthusiastically to Turkish authorities that "all that is left of Russia is snow")


    And here is an overall look at the composition of the government and the ministers' traits :

    [​IMG]

    Note : The chiefs of Navy (Sükür Okan) and Air Force (Celal Yakal) are the historical ones in 1941 - I couldn't find any information on pro-German officers in the small Turkish navy or nascent Turkish Air Force, so we'll assume those two retain their positions.


    In the next episodes, we'll take a look at the Turkish OOB in 1941.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  2. zool Arcane

    zool
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    Now, let's start with the OOB for Turkish land forces.

    In 1938, the Turkish Army at peacetime strength consisted of 174,000 soldiers and 20,000 officers forming 23 infantry divisions, 3 cavalry brigades, one independant armoured brigade and 7 frontier commands. Shortly after the start of the war in 1939, anxiety about the Axis (especially Italian) threat led the governement to announce partial mobilization and people born in 1920, 1921, 1922 were put under arms.

    By June 1941,Turkish Armed Forces had increased to 1,3 million soldiers forming 42 infantry divisions, one mountain division, 3 cavalry divisions, and one independant armoured brigade, as well as several fortress brigades.

    Turkish Armed Forces were on full alert and prepared for war following the military alliance between neighbouring Bulgaria and the Axis Powers which was formalized in March 1941, and the occupation of neighbouring Greece by the Axis Powers in April 1941. Within a year, Turkey's borders were surrounded by German forces in the northwest and west, and Italian forces in the southwest.
    The Turkish Air Force made daily reconnaissance flights over Bulgaria, Greece, the Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea, and the Dodecanese Islands which then belonged to Italy, to monitor the positions of the Axis forces. The large cities in western Turkey were darkened at nights, and anti-aircraft guns and searchlights were deployed for defence against possible enemy planes. Almost all available money in the Turkish Government Treasury was used to purchase new weapons from any available provider in the world.

    However, in spite of the impressive number of divisions it fielded, Turkey's army was suffering from several weaknesses : first of all, it was ill-equipped with primarily World War I era weapons. The rifles used were a mixture including Mausers, Mannlichers, Lee–Enfields, Martinis, Lebels and others. As late as February 1940, the British Foreign Office noted: "The Turkish Army is very short of rifles and has asked us to supply 150,000". According to accounts of military officers, the Turkish army's weaponry consisted "entirely of museum pieces" and its soldiers lived on rations of "bulgur (cracked wheat) for breakfast, bulgur for lunch and bulgur for dinner".
    Secondly, the resources of Turkey at that time made it very difficult to adequately supply such a large force. A Turkish Ministry of Defence letter to the Turkish General Staff dating 22.03.1940 stated that "the material resources of the nation [were] unable to provide for the provisioning and transport of this large number of effectives".
    Thirdly, it was virtually unmotorized and unmechanized, rendering it incapable of swift movement and manoeuver.

    To get a better idea of what Turkish troops looked like back then, here are a few pictures of Turkish army manoeuvers in the Samsun area in 1940 (note that the main HMG used is the old WW1-era German MG-08):
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
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    The Army also included three mountain brigades, which were originally trained by the Austrians during WW1 (we will group them into one division for game purpose). Here's a rare picture of a Turkish mountain company in 1938:
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]


    The three Turkish cavalry divisions were also all-horses and unmotorized - only one of them had a BA-6 armored car company attached to it.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Finally, the Turks had formed one independant armor brigade in 1937, but it was mostly equipped with outdated French R-35 tanks and Spanish Civil war-era obsolete Russian T-26 tanks (historically, the Turkish T-26 tanks were taken out of service in 1942), along with a dozen British Vickers Mk VI light tanks and Russian BA-6 armored cars.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    On the artillery side, Turkish Armed Forces in the early 1940's were equipped with numerous but mostly outdated Great War material, though there had been purchases of more modern field and mountain artillery pieces from Germany and Czechoslavakia. In the 1930s, the Turkish also began to equip themselves with a limited number of anti-tank artillery from France (Canon de 25mm antichar SA mle 1934) and Germany (37mm antitank gun), some of which can be seen below.
    Show Spoiler

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    So what does it mean in game terms?

    [​IMG] Ten Infantry Divisions model 1926, to reflect the slightly-better equipped professional divisions. They're all equiped with Artillery 1918 brigades.

    [​IMG] Thirty-two Infantry Divisions model 1921, to reflect the recently-mobilized and poorly equiped reserve divisions. Approximately 25% of them are equipped with Artillery 1918 brigades. The others could be considered light infantry (the upside being that they're slightly faster).

    [​IMG] One Mountain Division model 1930, equipped with an Artillery 1924 brigade (to reflect comparatively more recent mountain artillery).

    [​IMG] Three Cavalry Divisions model 1924, including one equipped with an Armored Cars brigade model 1936.

    [​IMG] One Light Tank Brigade model 1938 (actually a division at 65% strength to simulate an independant brigade). Because nearly 2/3 of its tanks are French R-35 tanks, it will be allowed to reinforce to full strength to simulate deliveries of captured French R-35 tanks by Germany (historically, the Germans captured 843 French R-35 tanks in 1940 - they resold 120 of them to Italy and 120 others to Bulgaria, keeping the rest for themselves).

    [​IMG] Seven Garrison Brigades model 1921 (simulated as divisions at 33% strength with no reinforcement allowed) to garrison the Straits and simulate a few independant static brigades.

    [​IMG] Three HQ Divisions model 1928 for the historical Turkish 1st, 2nd and 3rd Armies.


    Needless to say, fighting Soviet and British model 1936 and model 1939 divisions is going to be tough with our outdated divisions but we'll try our best!

    Moreover, Turkish forces are deployed as they were historically in June 1941 with the 1st Army covering the Bulgarian and Greek borders in the west, the 2nd Army located west of Ankara and the 3rd Army, headquartered in the eastern city of Erzurum, assigned to protect the border with the Soviet Union, Iran, Iraq and Syria.
    We'll need to redeploy the 1st and 2nd Armies, which will take time considering that they're laden with artillery, not motorized and that they will have to cross the rough Anatolian plateau with very little infrastructure. Strategic redeployment is not really an option as we start the game with our Transport Capacity already overloaded - which is pretty consistent with the aforementioned 1940 letter of the Turkish General Staff indicating that "the material resources of the nation are unable to provide for the provisioning and transport of this large number of effectives".

    Next, we'll take a look at the Turkish Air Force OOB.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
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  3. zool Arcane

    zool
    Joined:
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    In 1941, the largely outdated 400-plane strong Turkish Air Force was mostly notable for its incredible diversity: it fielded more than 13 different types of combat aircrafts from 5 different countries. With a burgeoning but still too-limited national aeronautics industry (more on that when we'll review the tech teams), the post-Ottoman Turkish Air Force had been forced to import all of its planes from European and American manufacturers, balancing between Axis and democratic nations for diplomatic reasons. The general obsolescence of the Air Force, coupled with the great diversity of aircrafts and a reliance on foreign imports, were severe weaknesses: the Allies estimated in 1940 that in case of war, the Turkish Air Force would last at most a few days before being grounded by lack of fuel and spare parts, and by losses in combat. Although Turkey had enough trained pilots, the majority of them would have been rated with moderate ability to fly in bad weather in a Western European Air Force.

    Let's have a detailed look at the differents types of aircrafts :

    Fighters

    Show Spoiler

    The oldest fighter models still in use in 1941 were 70 American Curtiss Hawk II biplane fighters - 46 of them were actually built under licence in Turkey. Historically, the Hawk II saw limited action during WW2 in the hands of the Chinese Nationalist Air Force against the Japanese at the beginning of the Sino-Japanese war. However, by 1940, they were already being phased out in favor of better-armed and faster planes.

    [​IMG]


    68 Polish PZL P-24 gull wing fighters were also in use in the Turkish Air Force - 28 of them were produced under licence in Turkey. Historically, the P-24 saw action during WW2 in the Greek Air Force, which was the only air service to operate the P-24 as its primary fighter. However, wartime experience soon showed that, as early as 1940, the P-24 could not stand up against some of the Italian fighters, such as the Macchi MC-200 and the Fiat G-50. The Romanian Air Force also used P-24 but just like the Greek fighters, by 1942, it had become clear that Romania's P-24s were unable to effectively challenge the fighters of the Soviet VVS, and they were relegated to training operations.

    [​IMG]

    40 French-made Morane Saulnier MS-406 fighter planes were also in use in the Turkish Air Force. Historically, the MS-406 was the most numerous fighter in the French Air Force in 1940 : although a sturdy and highly manoeuverable fighter aircraft, it was considered underpowered and weakly armed when compared to its contemporaries. During the battle of France, the MS-406 was severely outperformed by the Messerschmitt Bf 109E and suffered a high rate of attrition. Though already obsolete by 1941, it's still one of the best fighters in the Turkish Air Force.

    [​IMG]


    The Turkish Air Force received 30 British-made Hawker Hurricane Mk.I fighters, which were delivered in 1939 and 1940 as part of the efforts made by the UK to keep Turkey out of the Axis. While they're the best fighters in use in the Turkish Air Force in 1941, they're still only Mk.I versions and, more critically, British-made which means that spare part deliveries won't be an option once Turkey joins the Axis.

    [​IMG]


    Finally, we'll assume that in an effort to beef up their air force as much as possible, the Turks will convert their 50 Curtiss-Wright CW-22R Falcon general purpose training aircrafts into fighters. The CW-22R Falcon was combat capable and was actually used in combat by the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force in 1942 during the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia).

    [​IMG]



    Tactical bombers:

    Show Spoiler
    The Turkish Air Force had 40 Bristol Blenheim Mk.I light bombers in their inventory, delivered by the British between 1937 and 1939. With a maximum bomb load of 450kg and a range of 1,810km, it was the weakest bomber in the TUAF but nonetheless was relatively modern.

    [​IMG]


    At the end of the 1930s, the TUAF received a delivery of 20 American-made Martin 139WT bombers. Easily recognizable with its dome-shaped forward turret, the Martin 139WT had a maximum bomb load of 1,000kg and a range of 2,000km.

    [​IMG]


    In 1937, following their policy of balancing their foreign weapons imports between Axis and democratic nations, the Turks bought 24 Heinkel He-111F1 (the early version of the He-111 with a long nose). They were Turkey's best and heaviest bombers in 1941, with a maximum bomb load of 2,340kg and a range of 2,200km.

    [​IMG]



    Close-air-support (CAS):

    Show Spoiler
    In 1937-1938, Turkey procured 40 American-made Vultee V11GBT ground attack planes. This little-known plane saw action during the Sino-Japanese War with the Nationalist China Air Force but they were withdrawn from bombing missions and assigned to training and liaison duties in 1940.

    [​IMG]


    The best ground attack planes in Turkish inventory in 1941 were 30 British-built Fairey Battle Mk.I. The Fairey Battle saw action with the RAF during the battle of France in 1940 and, in spite of the great hopes that had been placed in it, was found to be highly vulnerable to enemy fighters and anti-aircraft fire, in addition to being relatively slow and limited in range. By the end of 1940, the RAF had entirely withdrawn it from active combat service.

    [​IMG]


    In addition, we'll once again assume that in an effort to beef up their air force as much as possible, the Turks will convert their 36 British-made Westland Lysanders reconnaissance and liaison aircrafts into light ground attack planes. Though the Lysander is mostly known for its use in clandestine operations with the Resistance in France during the war, it was actually capable of light bombing missions : in the event of an invasion of Britain, Lysanders had been tasked with attacking the landing beaches with light bombs and machine guns. This was made possible thanks to its large streamlined spats which each contained a mounting for small, removable stub wings that could be used to carry light bombs, as seen on the below picture of a Turkish Lysander.

    [​IMG]



    Naval bombers:

    Show Spoiler
    The TUAF received 6 British-made Supermarine Southampton Mk.II in 1933. Though more of a naval reconnaissance plane than a naval bomber, it could nevertheless be outfitted with 500kg of bombs under the wings. By 1941, it was already completely obsolete.

    [​IMG]


    In addition, the Turks received 6 slightly more modern British-made Supermarine Walrus Mk.II in 1938. They too could be outfitted with bombs and ithey saw very limited use with the RAF in bombing and strafing shore targets during the Norwegian Campaign and the East African Campaign in 1940, where a Walrus operating from HMAS Hobart bombed and machine-gunned an Italian headquarters at Zeila in Somalia

    [​IMG]



    In game terms, we'll have to group some similar types of planes in the same squadrons and, in order to better simulate the huge weakness that is reliance on foreign spare parts, we'll set specific house rules for each squadron regarding reinforcements. While a squadron theoretical full-strength size is 100 planes in the game, we'll take into account real numbers, so a 70-plane squadron will start the game at 70% strength and a 6-plane squadron will start the game at 6% strength.

    [​IMG] One squadron of 70 Curtiss Hawk II (Early Interceptor-VI model 1918). Reinforcing allowed as Hawk-II were produced under licence in Turkey, so we'll assume the Turkish aeronautics industry has the know-how.

    [​IMG] One squadron of 50 Curtiss CW-22R Falcon (Early Interceptor-VII model 1924). No reinforcements allowed, each plane lost is lost for good.

    [​IMG] One squadron of 68 PZL P-24 (Early Interceptor-VIII model 1930). Reinforcing allowed as P-24 were produced under licence in Turkey, so we'll assume the Turkish aeronautics industry has the know-how.

    [​IMG] One squadron of 70 Hurricane Mk.I and MS-406 (Interceptor-IX model 1937 "Basic Interceptor"). Reinforcing allowed as we'll assume that Germany would have delivered captured French MS-406 planes to Turkey (historically, Germany captured around 200 MS-406 in 1940 and gifted 26 of them to Finland, using the rest in their flying schools).

    [​IMG] One squadron of 40 Blenheim Mk.I (Tactical Bomber-V model 1924). No reinforcements allowed, each plane lost is lost for good.

    [​IMG] One squadron of 20 Martin 139WT (Tactical Bomber-VI model 1932). No reinforcements allowed, each plane lost is lost for good.

    [​IMG] One squadron of 24 Heinkel 111-F1 (Tactical Bomber-VII model 1938). Reinforcing allowed as we'll assume that Germany would be more than willing to deliver additional old F1 models to its ally.

    [​IMG] One squadron of 76 Vultee V-11 GBT and Westland Lysander Mk.II (CAS-I model 1934 "Early CAS"). No reinforcements allowed, each plane lost is lost for good.

    [​IMG] One squadron of 30 Fairey Battle (CAS-II model 1937). No reinforcements allowed, each plane lost is lost for good.

    [​IMG] One squadron of 6 Supermarine Southampton.MkII (Nav-1 model 1918). No reinforcements allowed, each plane lost is lost for good.

    [​IMG] One squadron of 6 Supermarine Walrus.MkII (Nav-2 model 1924). No reinforcements allowed, each plane lost is lost for good.


    With those house rules on reinforcements, we shoud logically end up after a few weeks or months with only three operational fighter squadrons and one tactical bomber squadron (the He-111 one), the other squadrons being gradually worn out by combat losses.


    In the next episode, we'll finish our review of the Turkish OOB with the Turkish Navy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
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  4. zool Arcane

    zool
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    The weakest of the three services, the Turkish Navy had suffered from long-standing neglect due to lack of funds and priority given by Field marshal Fevzi Cakmak, chief of general staff since 1921, to land forces. Based out of the Gölcük naval base near Izmit, in the Marmara Sea, it consisted of the outdated battle cruiser TCG Yavuz (ex-SMS Goeben), 2 light cruisers (TCG Mecidiye and TCG Hamidiye), 4 destroyers, 7 submarines and a number of smaller ships. The personnel strength was approximately 800 officers and 4,000 men. The Navy lacked all modern appliances for defending coasts and harbours, and the ships were defenceless against air attacks. Indeed, the Turkish surface fleet was considered outdated by the British Naval Attache by 1937, partly due to its substandard anti-aircraft armament. To sum up, the real combat value of the Turkish Navy was insignificant.


    Battlecruiser TCG Yavuz

    The TCG Yavuz was the flagship and pride of the Turkish Navy. She was built between 1909 and 1911 in Hamburg and commissioned in 1912 in the Imperial German Navy as SMS Goeben. At the outbreak of World War I, she and light cruiser SMS Breslau, who were patrolling the Mediterranean, bombarded French positions in North Africa and then evaded British naval forces and reached Constantinople. The two ships were transferred to the Ottoman Empire and SMS Goeben became the flagship of the Ottoman Navy under the nameYavuz. The ship operated primarily against Russian forces in the Black Sea during the war, including several inconclusive engagements with Russian battleships. She made a sortie into the Aegean in January 1918 where she sank a pair of British monitors but was herself badly damaged by mines. After the war, she was repaired and became part of the new Turkish Republic navy. In 1938, she carried the remains of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk from Istanbul to Izmit.

    Though already very old in 1941, TCG Yavuz had benefited from a 2-year refit in 1928-1930, during which she was equipped with new mixed coal/oil boilers and a French fire control system for her main battery guns. However, her armor protection was not upgraded to take the lessons of the Battle of Jutland into account, and she had only 2 inches (5.1 cm) of armor above her magazines.
    In 1938 and 1941, her anti-aircraft batteries were strengthened to four 88 mm guns, ten 40 mm guns, and four 20 mm guns.

    Show Spoiler
    TCG Yavuz in Malta in 1936 :

    [​IMG]



    Light cruisers TCG Mecidiye and TCG Hamidiye

    While TCG Yavuz was showing its age in 1941, the two light cruisers TCG Mecidiye and TCG Hamidiye (both launched in 1903) were already completely obsolete. Both benefited from very limited post-WW1 reparations and refit in 1925-1926, during which their armament was slightly modernized.

    Historically, both ships had become cadet training ships in 1940 and were decommisioned in 1947. We'll assume that they can still be used in combat operations in 1941 - their combat value is very low anyway.

    Show Spoiler
    TCG Mecidiye in 1932
    [​IMG]

    TCG Hamidiye in 1913
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    Adatepe-class and Tinaztepe-class destroyers

    In 1928, after the Greek Navy conducted a large-scale naval exercise off Turkey, the Turkish Government perceived a need to counter Greece's naval superiority and ordered four destroyers from Italian shipyards. The four destroyers, which were needed to protect battlecruiser TCG Yavuz, entered service between 1931 and 1932; however, their performance never met the design specifications.

    Show Spoiler
    Adatepe-class TCG Adatepe and TCG Kocatepe
    [​IMG]
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    Tinaztepe-class TCG Tinaztepe and TCG Zafer
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Submarine Fleet

    In 1941, the Turkish fleet operated seven submarines: TCG Birinci Inönü and TCG Ikinci Inönü (German-designed and Dutch-built, commissioned in 1928), TCG Sakarya and TCG Dumlupinar (Italian-built, commisioned in 1931), TCG Gür (German-designed and Spanish-built, commissioned in 1936), and the more modern TCG Atilay and TCG Saldiray (German-designed but partly-built in Istanbul, commissioned in 1939).


    Show Spoiler
    TCG Birinci Inönü and TCG Ikinci Inönü (1928)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    TCG Sakarya and TCG Dumlupinar
    (1931)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    TCG Gür
    (1936)
    [​IMG]


    TCG Atilay and TCG Saldiray (1939)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    So in game terms, that gives us :

    [​IMG] One battlecruiser TCG Yavuz (BC-III "Heavy Battlecruiser 1918" w/ Fire Control System and Early Capital AA attachments)

    [​IMG] Two light cruisers TCG Mecidiye and TCG Hamidiye (CL-III "Early Light cruisers")

    [​IMG] Four destroyers (DD-V "Destroyers 1924 Large Destroyers").

    [​IMG] Five submarines (SS-IV model 1924)

    [​IMG] Two submarines (SS-VII model 1940) to account for the more modern TCG Atilay and TCG Saldiray. The Istanbul Shipyards had the know-how to build other submarines of this class (historically, 2 of the 4 Atilay-class submarines were built in Turkey) as long as they got some technical help from German engineers, so we'll be able to reinforce this flotilla to 5 submarines (paying the IC cost for reinforcement of course).

    [​IMG] One transport ship flotilla


    As already stated, the combat value of the Turkish Navy is insignificant. It is out of the question to risk it in the Mediterranean as long as the Royal Navy is patrolling there, and it is not capable either of facing the equally obsolete but more numerous Soviet Black Sea fleet based in Sebastopol.

    What that means is that the Turkish surface fleet will more than likely stay safely anchored at Gölcük naval base in the Marmara Sea - which will at least have the benefit of saving us some oil. Only in extreme cases, such as a Soviet or British landing on the northern or southern coasts of Anatolia, may the surface fleet risk itself out of the Marmara Sea.

    On the other hand, the Turkish Navy command will endeavor to use its small but relatively modern submarine fleet to harass the enemy, raid its convoys around Cyprus and the northern end of the Suez Canal, and collect intelligence along the Black Sea and Levantine coasts to help our ground troops.
     
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  5. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    I think historically Turkey would get cooked and eaten for dinner, not a good side of the war to be on. British now have firm control of Iraq and are well on their way to dominating Syria along with the Free French, unless Turks are sent and able to turn the tide there. Even if they succeed though (and considering the delay from travel, poor supplies & equipment and how the Syrians would have despised efforts by Turks to either help the French or themselves take hold of the region I'd have some doubts), that's peeling away strength from the new front in the Caucasus where even a tottering Imperial Russia being crushed by the German Empire had managed to devastate similarly equipped Turks not quite thirty years back.

    The Turkish borders to guard against enemy powers in this case are soon to be over 1200 km long if Syria is lost, or if that's somehow held onto by Axis forces still some 550 km from Iraq and the Caucasus republics of the USSR. The latter, smaller shared borders with enemy Allies is about the same length as from Tallinn to Vilnius; the former case of the border is about like crossing the continent of Europe from Gdańsk to Odessa. And that's not even counting all the coastline for the Royal Navy and Black Sea Fleet to wreak havoc on from their convenient nearby bases on either side of the country.

    Of course, in Darkest Hour you can pull off some really neat things so I'm confident you'll probably do fine.
     
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  6. zool Arcane

    zool
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    A well-informed and spot-on analysis I'm afraid.

    We won't necessarily do fine because, in line with this being a "serious" LP within the limits of the DH engine, we'll also try to roleplay how a Turanist-dominated Turkish government and high command would have fought the war - meaning that there is an ideological dimension to how strategic decisions are made, and it doesn't necessarily lead to the best possible outcome. The Turanists were not neo-Ottomans and they cared little about the Arab-dominated parts of the former Ottoman empire (Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Arabian peninsula). Their eyes were set on Turkic populations in south Russia and Central Asia, which means that the Caucasus front will be a priority though it might well end up being a bloody dead end - more on that later when we review the (fictional) Turkish General Staff plans for the war.

    Re: Syria. Sadly so, the 22 June 1941 scenario start does not simulate the ongoing fighting between Vichy forces and Commonwealth/Free French forces that was taking place back then. Syria starts already under control of the Free French, which is ahistorical as the fighting went on until 12 July. I guess the scenario developers didn't want to bother with it as it would have involved creating a separate "Vichy Syria" entity - otherwise, the Syrian campaign would mean that all of Vichy France would start the scenario at war against the UK, which is in turn ahistorical.
     
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  7. zool Arcane

    zool
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    A quick look at Turkish Economy & Technology in 1941

    Economy

    In spite of Mustafa Kemal's frantic industrialization efforts in the 1920s and 1930s, Turkey in 1941 has yet to catch up with other European powers. Let's have a look at its starting economic indicators:

    [​IMG]

    (from right to left)

    Industrial Capacity (IC): Turkey starts with a max available IC of 23. That's approximately 25% of Italy's IC and less than 7% of the Soviet Union's IC. We're not being helped by our inexperienced poet-turned-prime minister Nihal Atsiz who comes with a -5% IC malus.

    Transport Capacity (TC): a crucial indicator that will be one of our main headaches during the game. TC represents the ability of your national transport system to move around the supplies that your troops need. As you can see, we start the game with an already overloaded TC (we require 62 TC but only have 51 available) which is due to the fact that the Turkish army has mobilized too many soldiers compared to its logistical capabilities. Why is it a problem? Overloaded TC = low supply efficiency for troops = attrition, slow movement and lowered combat abilities. The problem will only get worse once we start conquering foreign provinces as each occupied foreign province ties up 1 additional TC (possibly more if there is partisan activity). TC is a function of IC, so the higher we get our IC, the more TC we'll have.

    Dissent: starts at 10% because of the recent coup. It will jump up again once we start the war since a sizable portion of the population remains isolationist. Thankfully, the new Turkish president Fevzi Cakmak has a hefty -20% dissent growth rate bonus attached to his custom-made "Revered Dinosaur" trait, so that will help us keep dissent in line.

    Nuclear bomb : 0 and will most likely stay that way.

    Manpower: Turkey starts in 1941 at partial mobilization, which means that if we want more manpower than the starting 37.8, we'll have to enact General Mobilization, which would hurt the economy and lower our IC, therefore making our TC issue even more of an headache. The army is already oversized as it is, so we'll only need manpower to reinforce our current divisions once the fighting start. If we run short, we may have to disband some divisions to get back some manpower, which will also have to positive effect of easing the burden on our TC.

    Money: starts pretty low, we'll save it up for trade deals and to buy foreign military materials we can't build ourselves.

    Supplies: Turkey starts the game with a relatively small stock of supply - and will need to allocate a large share of its IC just to keep it that way.

    Oil: Turkey starts with some limited oil reserves and no national oil production. We'll probably need to import some oil but the good side of our army being 90% infantry and our navy being too weak to go to sea is that we don't need a lot of oil anyway.

    Rare Materials : the only bright spot in our economy - Turkey produces twice the amount of rare materials it needs, so we'll be able to export some which will bring us some much-needed money and commodities in return.

    Metal: Turkey has a microscopic metal production that only covers 10% of its needs, so we'll need to import some. There are very productive metal mines in the Nashkhivan province in Armenia though - hopefully we will put our hands on them once we enter the Caucasus.

    Energy: Turkey start with a relatively high stockpile of energy and produces coal in the Zonguldak region northwest of Ankara, though that only covers about 25% of its needs. We'll need to import the rest.


    And here's how our IC allocation looks like on day 2:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, Supplies tie up nearly 50% of our IC, with Consumer Goods tiying up an additional 22% (we'll actually probably have to increase it even higher in order to decrease our dissent level). That only leaves us a little more than a quarter of our IC for Production, Reinforcements and Upgrades.

    Production is not an issue since our army is already oversized as it is, so there are no plans to build more units on the short term.

    We'll prioritize Reinforcements over Upgrades first in order to reinforce our eligible air and submarine units to full strength in the few weeks we'll have before entering the war. Once that's done, we'll try to allocate some IC to upgrade one or two of our more ancient air units but as soon as we enter the conflict and our units start suffering casualties, we'll probably have to put all of our remaining IC for Reinforcements.



    Technology

    Infantry, Armor & Artillery, Land Doctrines

    Show Spoiler
    Infantry
    [​IMG]

    Armor
    [​IMG]

    Land Doctrines
    [​IMG]



    Air techs and doctrines

    Show Spoiler
    Air techs
    [​IMG]

    Air doctrines
    [​IMG]



    Naval techs and doctrines

    Show Spoiler
    Naval techs
    [​IMG]

    Naval doctrines
    [​IMG]




    Industrial

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]



    While the impending war should mean we ought to focus exclusively on military research, we'll actually have to dedicate a fair share of our research on industrial techs in order to beef up our IC production, both for its own sake and more importantly to increase our TC cap. We'll also research in priority the logistics techs in the Infantry tree since they also raise TC.

    Land techs priorities: we'll research first anti-tank artillery since it provides an immediate boost to all of our units without the need to use IC to upgrade them. We'll also research our doctrine techs along the Defensive Focus branch since those techs provide immediate boost to land units without the need to upgrade them. Developing armored units is out of the question since we're already too far behind and we wouldn't have enough IC to produce them anyway.

    Air techs priorities: we'll research the interceptor 1937 tech whenever we can in order to try and keep a relatively modern air force capable of defending our industry from strategic bombing. On the other hand, there is no point in developing bombers as we're already too far behind and we wouldn't have enough IC to build them anyway.

    Naval techs priorities: will probably not be researched at all. If we manage to free up some IC for production, we may build some submarines since our current research level allows us to construct modern model 1940 submarines.


    To do this, we'll have the following techteams at our disposal. Note the generally low-average skill level and relatively limited number of tech components per tech teams.

    [​IMG]


    Next up, we'll finally jump into the military part of the game and look up at what our strategic plans for war are - I'll need some advice from the experts here on a few strategic dilemmas regarding our early offensives.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
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  8. Andnjord Arcane

    Andnjord
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    [​IMG]




    ...just sayin'
     
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  9. zool Arcane

    zool
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    I will most likely get raped, and that would actually be pretty cool since it would show that 1. the DH engine accurately portrays WW2 and 2. Turkey was right not to enter the war historically.

    You can count on me to fight to the bitter end if it happens though - we'll die fighting against the Soviets on the steps to the Atatürk Mausoleum in Ankara while the Brits once again occupy Constantinople Istanbul.
     
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  10. zool Arcane

    zool
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    The Turkish General HQ's plans for war
    When our game starts on June 22nd 1941, the Turkish armed forces are on full alert and positioned so as to protect the country against a possible German-Italian invasion from the west. Three army headquarters have been established and their respectives armies deployed as follows:

    - 1st Army (in green) in the Istanbul-Thrace area (14 infantry divisions, 1 cavalry division, 1 independant armored brigade);
    - 2nd Army (in orange) in the Straits and Izmir areas (12 infantry divisions);
    - 3rd Army (in black) protecting the borders with the Soviet Union, Iran, Iraq and Syria (16 infantry divisions, 1 mountain division, 2 cavalry divisions).

    As you can see below, the 1st and 2nd Armies will need to be redeployed.

    [​IMG]


    The Turkish General's HQ has quickly come up with ambitious war plans. Let's review them.


    A note on terrain rework and house rules in the Caucasus


    The Caucasus region presents a particular challenge: it's barred by a massive mountain range, the Great Caucasus, which is all but impassable in winter. To better simulate the strategic challenge of fighting in such terrain, I've taken inspiration from the Multiplayer Realism Mod for DH and reworked both the terrain and the roads in the Caucasus region.

    There are four ways across the Caucasus mountain range : the western coastal road through Kutaisi-Sukhumi-Sochi, the eastern coastal road through Baku-Makhachkala-Khasavyurt, the Georgian Military Road from Tbilisi to Vladikavkaz, and finally the Ossetian Military Road from Kutaisi to Vladkavkaz. All the other trans-Caucasus map connections have been made impassable.

    [​IMG]

    In addition, we'll set a house rule regarding the two mountain roads:

    - the Georgian Military Road crosses the Caucasus crest at the Jvari Pass (altitude: 2,379 meters) - we'll assume it is impassable from November 1st to March 1st.
    - the Ossetian Military Road crosses the Caucasus crest at the Mamison Pass (altitude: 2,911 meters) - we'll assume it is impassable from October 1st to April 1st

    Only mountains divisions will be allowed to cross them at all times (we only have one of those). Of course I can't enforce those house rules on the AI, so it will get a slight advantage there.

    The two western and eastern coastal roads remain usable during winter.


    The Caucasus Challenge : A Race Against the Clock


    Now for the General HQ's ambitious plans for the great offensive across the Caucasus :

    - phase 1 (red arrows): Turkish troops will progress on all four available itineraries, seizing the major oil fields in Baku, Grozny and Maykop (together, they represent more than 50% of the Soviet Union's oil production). A defensive line will then be established at the foot of the Caucasus behind the Kuban and Terek rivers.

    - phase 2 (black arrows): depending on Soviet's resistance, the Turkish army may advance on a large front and establish a defensive line behind the Manych river, which marks the limit between the Caucasus region and Russia proper (note: though defending in plains is not ideal, it woud also effectively shorten our defense line from 8 provinces to just 3 provinces).

    No plans have been made for further advances toward Rostov-on-Don, Stalingrad and Astrakhan.

    [​IMG]

    Not only is this plan very ambitious but it is also a race against the clock. If offensive operations begin late in the summer or in early september, our troops may arrive too late to use the Georgian and Ossetian military roads. On the other hand, if we begin offensive operations ASAP, the 1st and 2nd Armies will not have had time to fully redeploy and we'll only have approximately 8 infantry divisions and 1 mountain division belonging to the 3rd Army at our disposal for offensive operations in the Caucasus (the others are needed for the Iraq and Syrian campaigns).

    -> what do you advise we do? Start attacking ASAP with limited means or wisely wait for the 1st and 2nd Armies to have redeployed before attacking with full strength but with very little time before winter begins?

    Of course this will have consequences for the other fronts as well since once we enter the war, we'll also have to begin offensive operations in Syria and Iraq.


    The Syrian/Iraq campaign and the Cyprus dilemma


    In June 1941, Italian troops and the Afrika Korps are located on the border between Libya and Egypt, less than 500km from Alexandria, while the siege of Tobruk has been going on for more than two months. A Turkish offensive in Syria would force the Commonwealth's forces to fight on two fronts at the same time, thereby relieving pressure on Italo-German forces at the border, which could help tip the balance in their favor and allow them to reach Alexandria.

    While the Turkish political and military leadership's mind is primarily set on the Caucasus and beyond, it cannot refuse Germany's demands to put pressure on Commonwealth forces in the Middle-East. Therefore, plans have been drawn to invade Iraq, Syria and Palestine.

    In Syria, they call for a progression south along two planned routes, one coastal and one through the desert. The goal is to wrestle Syria from the weak Free French forces before joining forces in Palestine and marching on to the Suez Canal. Due to Italian and German claims to Egypt, no plans have been made to cross into Egypt proper - and the Turkish government already indicated it had no post-war interest in controling Egypt.

    In Iraq, the plan calls for seizing the oil fields in Mosul, Kirkuk and Erbil. Meanwhile, a rapid Cavalry Corps must cross the Syrian desert through Deir ez-Zor, seize Baghdad if it find it undefended, and march on as quickly as possible in order to seize Basrah, thereby depriving potential British reinforcements arriving from India from a crucial port.

    Finally, a dilemma arises concerning Cyprus. The island possesses a medium airbase in Nicosia which the British could use as a forward base to launch air raids and support landings in Antalya or Adana on the Turkish southern coast. The island's garrison is composed of the British 50th Northumbrian Division, stationed in Nicosia.
    Leaving Cyprus in British hands poses a clear risk but on the other hand, landing a force on the island (most likely first in the northern part of the island, which is undefended, before attacking Nicosia by land) is equally risky : not only will the 50th Division be a tough nut to crack but, while we can take advantage of the element of the surprise and land there on the first day of the hostilities, the Royal Navy may then very well blockade the island, which would mean our troops there would find themselves trapped and without supply. And of course, Turkish divisions used to invade the island and subsequently garrison it won't be available for other tasks.
    The alternative to a landing would be to use the few bombers we have to bomb the airbase in Nicosia (where no British fighter squadrons are currently stationed), thereby rendering it useless to the Brits - but there's no telling how the RAF in Egypt may react.

    What should we do?

    [​IMG]

    That's all for the general HQ grand plans - no doubt they will prove to be a little too ambitious.


    As a reminder, I'm waiting for advice on the part of the esteemed gentlemen following this LP on the following points :

    -> Attack with limited means ASAP vs. Wait for forces buildup/redeployment to be over : should we begin hostilities against the Soviet Union and the UK as soon as possible (i.e mid-July) with limited forces or should we wait until mid/end August for the 1st and 2nd Armies to have redeployed to the Soviet/Iraqi/Syrian borders in order to have our full forces at our disposal? (esp. relevant on the Caucasus front because of the winter/mountain passes issue)?


    Another argument in favor of waiting is that the longer we wait before entering the war, the more time it leaves for our understrength aircraft squadrons to reinforce and upgrade and for our tech teams to research new techs improving our logistical capabilities - which might be a wise thing to do given that we're already overstretched.

    -> Risky invasion of Cyprus vs. limited bombing campaign against Nicosia's airbase : should weland forces in Cyprus or limit ourselves to a bombing campaign against the airbase in Nicosia?
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
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  11. nobre Cipher

    nobre
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    This is the good stuff. Thanks for making this LP.

    Attack with limited means ASAP vs. Wait for forces buildup/redeployment to be over.

    Await redeployment. Concentration of force is more important than speed to do anything meaningful with your limited forces. Considering the challenges winter brings, you should plan for a very limited offensive in autumn '41 in order to create a springboard for the real push north, which will happen in spring '42. Hopefully by then you can bring some troops from the Middle East to the Caucasus front.


    Risky invasion of Cyprus vs. limited bombing campaign against Nicosia's airbase.

    Don't invade, it's high risk vs low reward, and a further dispersion of land forces. Since your airforce is pretty useless elsewhere, bomb Cyprus to rubble, not just the airbase, but also infra bombing.


    Some unsolicited advice:

    The Manych line is vulnerable from attack from the Crimea, if that is still in Russian hands by the time you reach it. I'm not sure (can't be bothered to check) but I think the Kerch-Novorussiysk border is a straits crossing. If that's the case, you'll have found a use for your submarines.

    Also, be wary of Persia joining the war. I am not sure of the conditions of this happening, but Soviet controlled land on your right flank and rear could cause all kinds of problems.
     
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  12. Kalin Unwanted Dumbfuck Zionist Agent

    Unwanted
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    Awesome updates! No idea how to play this, nobre seems to know what's up though.

    Eagerly awaiting carnage!

    :avatard:
     
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  13. Andnjord Arcane

    Andnjord
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    Aye, I agree with Nobre. Secure the mountain passes in the north while focusing on the south, that's where you can hope to gain a decisive victory in a reasonable time frame against getting sucked up into the russian steppes and attracting too much attention from the soviet hordes.
     
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  14. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Nobre's plan is tactically sound. It makes no sense to use your limited forces against the Soviets right now. With all your troops, you might be able to attain local superiority while Soviets are busy with Germany.

    Focus, meanwhile, on securing the Middle East so you can focus more troops for the Soviet front.
     
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  15. zool Arcane

    zool
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    Summer 1941: The March to War
    Army redeployment across Anatolia and preparations for war

    As the months of July and August 1941 slowly pass by, peasants in the Anatolian countryside watch with interest seemingly never-ending columns of Turkish soldiers marching eastward, most often on foot, more rarely on trucks or by rail: the 1st and 2nd Turkish armies are on the move after receiving their orders from General HQ to leave their garrison areas in Thrace and in the Straits area in order to redeploy to eastern and south-estern Anatolia.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Turkish soldiers and cavalrymen leaving their barracks in Istanbul as they head for Anatolia (28 June 1941)


    Summer days don't trickle so slowly for a few select staff officers at the Turkish War Academy (Kara Harp Okulu) in Ankara who received orders from General HQ to propose a full reorganization of the army's long-neglected logistical system. Their orders somewhat mysteriously state that the army must be ready for war "by the end of the summer".

    [​IMG]

    Field marshal Fevzi Cakmak is also busy: in addition to his new responsibilities as president of Turkey, he personally oversees the implementation of a new "Grand Battle Plan" doctrine.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, under the aegis of the Turkish State Railways Company (Türkie Cumhuriyeti Devlet Demiryollari), a special brain cell is set up to spread technological know-how to other industries and teach them about process re-engineering, with the avowed hope of gaining a small increase in the industrial output of the country.

    [​IMG]


    Secret military and diplomatic dealings with Germany

    Meanwhile, secret negotiations are being held with Germany on the conduct of war. In July, the Turkish chief of staff general Erkilet and the chief of the Army general Erdem make a secret visit to the Wolfschanze and meet with Hitler.

    [​IMG]
    General Erdem (second from the left) and general Erkilet (second from the right in civilian clothes) at the Wolfschanze (July 1941)


    [​IMG]
    Meeting of generals Erkilet and Erdem with Hitler (July 1941)
    While Turkish leaders only have eyes for the Caucasus and their planned offensive to liberate Turkic minorities in South Russia and Central Asia, the German High Command and Hitler appear optimistic about Barbarossa and assess the Soviets will be defeated before the end the year. Consequently, while expressing interest in a Turkish offensive in the Caucasus tying up valuable Red Army units and disrupting Soviet oil production in the region, Hitler manages to convince the two Turkish generals to dedicate at least half of their forces to the Middle-East. The objective is to force the British Middle East Command to fight on two fronts (Libya-Egypt and Palestine) and scatter its troops, thereby weakening the British defence line in the western Egyptian desert. A secondary goal of this offensive is for Turkish troops to take control of the British oil fields in Iraq.

    While Hitler presses for a quick entry of Turkey into the war, generals Erkilet and Erdem explain to him that Turkey's army is not ready yet and will need a minimum of two months to redeploy an get ready for offensive action. The date of Turkish entry into the war is tentatively set to 1 September 1941.

    In August, during a secret ceremony in Berlin, Turkey formally joins the Axis, though that information is to be kept secret until the beginning of military operations on 1 September.


    [​IMG]
    German and Turkish representatives signing Turkey's secret alliance treaty with Germany (August 1941)

    A last-minute strategic surprise : the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran (25-29 August 1941)


    On 25 August 1941, a counsellor in Ankara rushes to the office of president Fevzi Cakmak and informs him that British and Soviet troops launched a suprise joint invasion of Iran. On 29 August 1941, its military forces utterly defeated, Iran declares a ceasefire.

    [​IMG]
    Soviet tankmen drive through the streets of Tabriz, Iran (28 August 1941)

    In effect, Iran is forced to join the Allies and to offer military access to British forces - who, in addition to securing the so-called Persian Corridor, are also able to protect the critical oil fields in Ahvaz and Hamadan. In the north, the Iranian government must accept a "temporary" occupation of several of its northern provinces by Soviet troops, including the city of Tabriz in the northwest.

    [​IMG]
    The Soviet Union occupies the Iranian provinces of Tabriz, Rast and Sari (29 August 1941)

    After a few days of uncertainty, the Turkish high command concludes that, apart from some relatively minor modifications to be made to the marching orders of the 2nd and 3rd Armies, the overall plan for war still stands - and the date is still set to 1 September.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
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  16. zool Arcane

    zool
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    I agree but, in keeping with the idea stated in the first post that we'll try to roleplay to some extent the Turanist ideological footprint on Turkey's grand strategy, I still have to dedicate some of my forces to an offensive in the Caucasus. Roleplaying this - once again to some extent, the goal is not to play this like a complete retard - is not necessarily playing dumb: in addition to the crucial oil fields in Baku, Grozny and Maykop (though the latter two are probably out of reach for our autumn/winter campaign), the Armenian iron mines in Nashkivan and the Georgian coal mines in Sukhumi are also strategic objectives for Turkey. Indeed, Turkey is critically short of those resources for its industry - the Turkish national production of iron metal only covers 10% of its needs and its energy/coal production only 20%.
     
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  17. zool Arcane

    zool
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    D-1 final Intel Briefing and Marching Orders


    August 31st, 1941: on the eve of the planned offensive, the Turkish General HQ receives his latest intelligence briefing. On the East Front, the Germans have just taken Riga in the north while Minsk and Kiev are ready to fall (note: that’s a much slower advance than the historical one since Minsk had been taken by the end of June and, by the end of August, Armeegruppe North was already before Leningrad). The Finns are getting crushed, and the Wehrmacht is still far away.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In Libya, Commonwealth forces have completely turned back the tide during the summer: the siege of Tobruk has been lifted and a daring counter-offensive has pushed the Italians back more than 700km to the gulf of Sirt. Important German and Italian forces have been trapped and are surrounded in a coastal pocket at As Sollum. Hopefully, the incoming Turkish entry into the war will help lift some of the pressure on the Italo-Germans in Libya but things are looking pretty grim.

    [​IMG]


    The general staff then takes a look at what Turkish troops are going to face on the following day.

    In the Caucasus, Soviet units depending from the Soviet Transcaucasus Military District are stationed as follows: the 45th and 46th Armies (totalling seven divisions) stand guard at the border with Turkey, while the 44th and 47th Armies (totalling eight divisions) which have just participated in the invasion of Iran are still located in the Iranian provinces of Rast and Tabriz respectively. In addition, the Soviet 53rd Army (totalling seven divisions), which invaded Iran from Turkestan, is believed to be located further east in the Iranian province of Sari and in Ashgabat in Turkestan. Intelligence suggest that very few enemy troops are located north of the Caucasus mountains since, with the Germans advancing towards Crimea, all available troops have been redeployed to the peninsula to help in the defence of Sebastopol.

    Approximately 800 planes are attached to the Transcaucasus Military District: they're stationed in airbases in Baku, Kutaisi, Tbilissi and Yerevan and are composed of approximately 450 fighters (Polikarpov I-16 Ishak and I-153 Chaika) and 350 medium bombers (Tupolev SB and Ilyushin DB-3).
    Those 800 planes, that's twice the total number of planes in the Turkish Air Force... :negative:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Commonwealth forces in Syria, Palestine and Iraq are believed to amount to 8 divisions. The main body of enemy forces is believed to be located in the region of Damascus. In addition, two light Free French forces are stationed in Aleppo and Damascus though they lack any kind of heavy armament. The 8th and 10th Indian Divisions, which were garrisoning Iraq, participated in the invasion of Iran and are currently located in the Iranian provinces of Hamadan and Ahvaz, leaving Iraq virtually undefended save for the 6th Indian Division which just landed in Basrah .

    Most of the 400 RAF fighters are attached to the Western Desert Air Force in Egypt and are busy fighting againt the Italians, though they could be quickly redeployed to Palestine if needed. In addition, several air wings of light and medium bombers are based out of Alexandria and are within range to conduct bombing missions against Turkey’s southern coastal cities.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Note: those are the historical OOBs and positions for Soviet and Commonwealth forces on 1 September 1941. Placing them at their correct positions required some painstaking savegame editing since the AI had sent them all over the place since the scenario start on 22 June 1941, leaving the Caucasus and most of the near East completely empty and undefended.


    Meanwhile, in their HQs in Trabzon, Kars, Diyarbakir and Gaziantep, the commanders of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Armies anxiously review one last time their marching orders.

    1st Army (Western Caucasus)

    General Salih Omurtak (Logistics Wizard) has been promoted to commander-in-chief of the Turkish 1st Army, which will be fighting in Western Caucasus. His marching orders are as follows:

    - pierce through enemy defence lines before Kutaisi ;
    - once Kutaisi is secure, push along the coast toward Sukhumi and seize the coal mines there;
    - the 1st Mountain division will be detached from the army and undertake an offensive recon mission through the Mamison pass toward Vladikavkaz.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    2nd Army (Eastern Caucasus)

    General Abdurahman Nafiz Gürman (Offensive Doctrine) has been entrusted with the hardest mission of all Army commanders. His marching orders for his 2nd Army stipulate:

    - overrun enemy forces in Tbilissi;
    - push forward and secure Baku and its oilfields;
    - push back any attempt by the Russian 44th and 47th Armies (currently located in Iran) to counter-attack from the south;
    - if possible, advance north along the eastern coastline road and probe enemy forces in Makhachkala.

    Yerevan can't be taken through a frontal attack as the mountainous terrain and a river between Kars and Yerevan mean a direct attack from Kars would likely fail – the city will have to be attacked from several sides. To this end, secondary forces have been tasked with securing the Iranian province of Rezaiye, thereby turning Yerevan by the south. They must also secure the critical iron mines in Nashkivan, south of Yerevan.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    3rd Army (Iraq)

    The Turkish's 3rd Army, commanded by general Kazim Orbay (Engineer), has received the following marching orders:

    - secure the northern oil fields in Mosul, Erbil and Kirkuk;
    - meanwhile, the 1st Cavary Corps must advance quickly through the Syrian desert between the Euphrates and the Tigris rivers and secure Basrah on the Persian Gulf;
    - follow-on infantry units will secure the right and left flank, seize Baghdad and engage any potential reinforcement coming from Palestine through the Transjordanian desert;
    - once Iraq is secured, the 3rd army will seize the critical Iranian oil fields in Hamadan and Ahvaz, which provide a sizeable part of the UK's oil imports.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    4th Army (Syria/Palestine)

    Finally, the newly-created 4th Army, headed by general Farhettin Altay (Trickster), has received the following orders:

    - eliminate Free French forces from northern Syria and seize Aleppo;
    - push further south toward Damascus and destroy any opposing force.

    Due to delays in deployment, the 4th Army will have to start its attack with only five divisions (including Turkey's only armored division), with the rest of the army following later.

    [​IMG]


    Air Force allocation: the few fighter units available are too weak to risk losing in combat with superior enemy fighter forces, so they have been deployed in airbases around the country to protect cities and industrial centers from potential enemy bombing (we can't afford to lose any IC as that would drive our TC even lower).

    The tactical bombers have been rebased in southern Turkey and will bomb the British airbase in Nicosia, Cyprus,, in the hope of preventing the Brits from using it to launch air raids against Turkey.

    Finally, our close air support units (Fairey Battles, Vultees and armed Lysanders) will be sacrificed to support the 2nd Army's critical attack on Tbilisi.


    Navy allocation: anchored at Gölcuk naval base in the Marmara Sea.



    Tomorrow's the big day. For Turan!
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
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  18. Andnjord Arcane

    Andnjord
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    Forward!!! Remove Commies from premises!!!:outrage:



    Also those are some serious Red forces facing you, things might get...hairy in the near future :smug:
    Since you had to move some of those divisions form wherever the AI sent them originally, did it create some gaps in the lines facing the Germans? That would be an unexpected benefit for your allies.
     
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  19. zool Arcane

    zool
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    Oh yes, there is a potential for things in the Caucasus to go seriously wrong seriously quick. Also remember that Turkish units are still plagued by terrible logistics, and it's only going to get worse when we enter the Caucasus. Slow movement, reduced combat abilities, high attrition... The feeling of impending disaster is delicious. :obviously:

    Not too much I think since they were often part of Soviet-style 15-division stacks. On the other hand, the Soviets and the Brits did get the benefit of using those units on the frontline during more than two months while historically, they were standing guard in the Caucasus and in the Near East.
     
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  20. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Looks like things in the Caucasus are going to suck. You have more numbers, but their defensive location is vastly better.

    Things on the Middle-East seem chill for now.

    Are you going to liberate Middle-Eastern countries as puppets, keep them or only keep until you can get some IC built?

    Any plans to build IC once you secure all that oil and coal? Or just build units with what you have?

    What about Iran? Taking it over WOULD place you into contact with the British Raj. Won't that result in lots of Indian divisions swarming over Iran?
     
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  21. zool Arcane

    zool
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    I can confirm that things in the Caucasus are not going so well - no blitzkrieg in sight, that's for sure. Surprisingly, things aren't that easy in the Middle-East either. Will post an update later today or tomorrow.

    The worst thing is not even the terrain: supply is a much bigger issue. Also, dissent went through the roof once I joined the war, reducing further my IC - and consequently my Transportation Capacity, which in turns reduces my Effective Supply Efficiency (ESE). Add that to the fact that I'm mostly fighting in low infrastructure provinces and that's a big combat malus for my troops. My overloaded TC also means that my troops move super slowly while the enemy can redeploy his forces very quickly. My economy is also incapable of supporting the war effort, with commodities running low and me being forced to dedicate nearly 75% of my IC to producing supplies:

    [​IMG]

    Here are the typical modifiers I'm fighting with in the Caucasus - and the Effective Supply Efficiency ESE malus is often worse than 25% :

    [​IMG]


    I'll definitely puppet Middle-East countries at some point, both for roleplaying purposes (Turanists have no interest in Arab countries) and because most of them - Syria and Palestine in particular - have nearly no IC, manpower or natural resources worth controlling directly anyway. Even the oil fields in Iraq are not producing much - the really interesting ones are in the southwestern Iranian provinces of Ahvaz and Hamadan.

    I'll also puppet some of the non-Turkic populated countries I conquer, once again for roleplaying purposes. That will most certainly be the case for Georgia and Armenia, even though they're rich in resources - but puppeting them will reduce my TC load and puppets are supposed to send their master their surplus of resources anyway.

    No plans to invade Iran except for the western provinces of Kermanshah, Hamadan and Ahvaz in order to protect Iraq as well as the northwestern Iranian provinces of Rezaiye, Tabriz and Rast which are populated by Turkic Azeris.

    Here is a map of the Turkic provinces that a Turanist Turkey would realistically claim as part of the new Turan empire - the non-Turkic inhabited regions in between would be puppets.

    [​IMG]

    From west to east, the regions claimed are:

    Ukraine/Russia
    Crimea (Crimean Tatars)

    Caucasus
    Karachay-Cherkessia (Karachays)
    Kabardino-Balkaria (Balkars)
    Dagestan (Kumyks)
    Chechnya (Kumyks)
    Azerbaijan (Azeris)

    Iran
    Iranian Azerbaijan (Azeris)

    Russia
    Tatarstan (Tatars)
    Bashkiria (Bashkirs)
    Chuvashia (Chuvashes)

    Central Asia
    Central Asian republics (Kazakhs, Turkmens, Uzbeks, Kyrgyzs)
    Tannu-Tuva (Tuvans)
    Xinjiang (Uyghurs)
     
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  22. The Brazilian Slaughter Arcane

    The Brazilian Slaughter
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    Seems like you're going to have to take some non-Turkic provinces to keep things contiguous. Good ol' Relocations/DeFacto ethnic cleansings, its just fun and games in the 40s.

    That's one odd-shaped Empire.

    It looks like you have a good numbers superiority in the Middle-East, just a question of getting local numeric superiority to win. Could be wrong, tho.

    But damn, those modifiers are absolutely horrible. -25 ESE penality, kill me now.

    Oh, makes sense then.

    Show Spoiler
    [Ottomanists sobbing on a cellar intensifies]


    Ins't Iran a Soviet puppet right now? Seems logical to take it out and get that vassal oil.
     
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  23. zool Arcane

    zool
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    Seeing how things are shaping up, I doubt my troops will ever set foot in Southern Russia, let alone Central Asia.

    -25 is usually the best I get, it's generally more around -30 and can reach -35 at times. I guess that accurately simulates waging war with insufficient logistics but it's still :negative:

    Also, the combination of infantry + low infra + bad terrain + overloaded TC makes for excruciatingly slow movement, and I'm getting constantly outmanoeuvred by the enemy.

    It's been puppeted by the UK as part of the anglo-soviet invasion of Iran event but weirdly enough, the UK released it a few weeks after. It's still part of the Allies though, so we're at war even but I've yet to see a single Iranian unit on the front so far - I guess they're not really fan of the idea of fighting side-by-side with the two countries which just invaded them. :roll:
     
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  24. Kipeci Arcane

    Kipeci
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    Are Turanists not interested in Turkmen in Syria and Iraq? Granted, not huge populations compared to the Kurds & Arabs surrounding them, but they seem willing to lay claim to some heavily Russian-populated territory with a sparse population of Turkic-speakers much less connected to Turkey than the Turkmen. Also, are Kurds being referred to as 'Mountain Turks' at this point?
     
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