The Great Bear of Europe - A Russian Empire AAR

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way2co0l
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The Great Bear of Europe - A Russian Empire AAR

#1 Post by way2co0l » Jun 21 2018

So I know I still have a British AAR that I haven't yet started on as I had been waiting for specific updates that wound up being delayed more than I had anticipated. lol. I still want to play that AAR too, but with the new rail system and some of the resource adjustments being made to Russia makes me want to play this one first and will in fact be my first ever AAR as a result. I will be spending the next few days putting everything together and have a basic introduction by some time this weekend.

I do tend to play my games more slowly and perhaps more meticulously than most so ministers will be locked out of pretty much everything and I will be in full control of every unit. For an empire as large as Russia, that can be a lot of work and I will be playing on a fairly low speed. Probably no fun to watch in a youtube let's play, but should work for an AAR where I can break things down every few weeks or so. lol. My immediate goals will be to organize the Russian fleet with a rather limited goal of protecting our immediate shores, as well as our army to stabilize our borders. I actually realize I have the ability to push through into enemy territory early on, but I will be playing with a house rule not to do so as the AI does not seem to use garrisons as early as I would like and it would just make things too easy. In that sense, I expect for the entirety of 1914 to be defensive in nature, responding to any enemy aggressions only while I focus on securing my defenses. The Russian Empire has a massive population that surpasses all of the Central Powers combined, with or without Italy on their side, and nearly inexhaustible resources at their disposal. Despite this, their economy is still rather backwards compared to the rest of the west and while their army is immense, it is rather dated and poorly equipped. In true Russian style, we will be relying heavily on leg infantry to account for most of our forces but significant efforts will be made to improve on our military industrial complex in an effort to provide a better quality of life for our people while also fielding a more modern army and navy that will be the envy of Europe once all is said and done. Many sacrifices will need to be made, but the Russians are a hardy people and the empire we build will be worth the costs.

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Re: The Great Bear of Europe - A Russian Empire AAR

#2 Post by GIJoe597 » Jun 21 2018

I look forward to reading this.
https://www.youtube.com/user/GIJoe597


Older/retired gamers, who do not tolerate foolishness.

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way2co0l
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Re: The Great Bear of Europe - A Russian Empire AAR

#3 Post by way2co0l » Jun 22 2018

The state of Russian affairs by the midpoint of 1914 are a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, nowhere in the world is the potential for greatness so ripe and ready for the taking. Russia's borders have expanded seemingly without end for the past several hundred years incorporating vast swaths of land from the occupied territories of Finland in the north, to the oil rich Caucasus territories in the south. From Russian occupied Poland in the west, across the entire continent of Asia to the Pacific coast in the east. And within the borders of this vast land lie immense wealth of every sort imaginable. Large fertile strips of land, forests larger than many countries. Deposits of coal, ores, and even new discoveries of oil required for modern innovations that are beginning to crop up across the world. Ready access to just about everything you can imagine in ready abundance. And of course, the most valuable resource that Russia can boast. A nearly inexhaustible population to call on, dwarfing those of our Western rivals. We may not be able to match the equipment and tactics of our enemies in the field, but it doesn't matter when our massive armies can grind theirs into dust through sheer attrition. And while it's true that our economy has long been considered backwards with very little industry to speak of, even that is beginning to change in recent years. New industries spring up every day and the framework for our rail network is coming along well. The Trans-Siberian railway a symbol of Russia's potential and an indication of the great works set to come.

But for all of this potential, there remain several blights on our image that must be addressed if we are to take those final steps towards asserting our place on the world stage. While the industrial revolution has finally come to Russia, and with access to virtually unlimited numbers of men, land, and resources, it will still be a very long time before we can reach the level of our more developed neighbors. Additionally, recent European conflicts have shown how the nature of warfare is changing and how far behind we are in this regard as well. The idea that we can simply rely on sheer numbers to carry the day is an antiquated idea that we're going to have to rethink in the coming days. The memory of our recent shame from defeat at the hands of the Japanese a decade ago is one we are eager to rectify. The idea that a European power can can be defeated by a foreign one, regardless of the circumstances or logistics involved is simply a shame that we cannot allow to stand in the world's memory.

That very same defeat left deep scars on our navy as well. We possess more shoreline than any other nation in the world and yet our fleets do not adequately represent this fact. Our far east fleet, virtually destroyed by the Japanese, needs to be rebuilt to secure Russian power within the Pacific, but the needs from our other theaters must be met as well. Our Black Sea fleet, while respectable considering it only faces off against our Ottoman foes, does not have the strength to do much more than secure our coasts from Ottoman aggression but are useless beyond this point, blocked from access to the Mediterranean and thus the world beyond. Our eyes perpetually lie on reclaiming Constantinople to the Orthodox faith, and nearly succeeded on that point prior to the intervention of the of the British during the Russo-Turkish war, but we must be ready to seize upon the next opportunity once it presents itself. Our Baltic fleet is in much better shape, or at least that would be the case if it faced off against any other adversary other than the German navy. Their strength has increased by tremendous strides in recent years as a result of their naval arms race with the British and they boast many of the finest vessels in the world at this time, both in a quantity and quality that we cannot currently hope to match. This must change. Our arctic fleet out of Arkangelsk is in fact the only local theater where we have supremacy due primarily to the fact that it was directly in our own backyard with only lowly Norway to challenge us.

But this very same fact only highlights another one of our issues, for proclaiming a naval program with numerous new ships to be put to sea is an easy matter. It's quite another to actually procure the funds and resources to put down hulls. Our steel and munitions industries will be stretched as it is putting guns in our soldiers hands and bullets for them to fire. Increasing this capacity absolutely must be a national priority if we are to achieve our other goals. A new industrial hub is planned just northeast of Moscow in an effort to start trying to meet the demands we expect from our modernization efforts. New munitions factories and naval fabrications will follow shortly after. This will necessitate sacrifices on the part of our populace and will undoubtedly be less than popular but the needs of the state must take priority and our people will enjoy the fruits of our efforts in time.

The recent assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand certainly shakes things up and will require careful consideration on how to navigate these events. There are many opportunities available to us here, but we must acknowledge that we are not as prepared for a major conflict as we would like. If the Austrians follow through on their threats to invade Serbia as punishment then we will be forced to act to protect our influence with the Slavic people of the Balkans. The Austrian armed forces do not inspire fear and we have every expectation that should a conflict between us come to fruition, that we will have little trouble taking the field and securing Russian control over the Balkans out of any resulting peace. Their alliance with Germany is a very different matter and troubling indeed. Their armed forces have proven themselves repeatedly over the last half century, securing victories against both the Austrians and the French in the process. Their superior armaments and tactical usage of modern weapons makes them a particular threat to our success in any conflict. Combined with the fact that while our population is still more than double their own, they are still the most populous state of Western Europe and have a well developed industrial sector that will soon leave them as the most advanced industrial state in the world, allowing them many advantages that we cannot simply ignore. Their naval arms race with England has already allowed for them to field a fleet which far surpasses our own and will restrict our fleet actions to local waters alone. Of additional concern is their influence within the middle east. We share no love for the Ottoman Empire, and we are quite eager to find a new conflict to secure additional gains from them, but we do not envy an additional front if we are already engaged in a war on the continent.

Of course we are not without our own friends in these considerations. While the English are not our allies, the Anglo-Russian convention has put to rest our rivalry in Central Asia and opened the door for cooperation in many regards. The possibility of bringing the Royal Navy into any conflict with Germany might be enough to help us dissuade the Germans from involving themselves in our dispute with Austria. There is also our alliance with France to consider. They bear a very real resentment towards the Germans for their recent defeat and loss of the Alsace-Lorraine territories. Despite this loss, the French army has recovered and made great strides to modernizing their forces and should prove instrumental in ensuring German neutrality. The prospects of a 2 front war is simply too daunting a threat for them to willingly throw themselves into.

Regardless of how this situation in the Balkans sorts itself, we will restore the prestige of the Russian empire and complete the process to join the modern industrial world. Utilizing our massive territories and access to resources to develop into a power that the rest of Europe will tremble before. Our defeats and territorial losses to the Japanese will be righted, and renewed efforts to expand the influence of the Russian empire will be taken. Our dominance of the Balkans, inroads into the middle east and most especially the crown jewel of Constantinople will be brought back into the Russian fold and with it, our Black Sea fleet will be freed into the Mediterranean and all efforts at Russian containment by the powers of Europe will be foiled for good.




I begin playing this game tomorrow. For those that are interested in game settings, I will be playing on very hard military difficulty, normal diplomacy, and normal economy with diplomatic merchant marine and the battle of the atlantic turned off. I will also be using abundant resources and high starting funds as I find it helps the AI. Spheres of influence and loyalty penalties will be turned off, spotting and ranges left on, and limiting military approval effects on which will be the first time I'll be trying this settings. I'm not entirely positive what it will do, but I'm hopeful it'll make countries less willing to surrender too easily so I'm going to give it a shot.

I have general plans for this playthrough but I'm always willing to entertain suggestions and requests, so don't be afraid to ask if you're so inclined. I will be attempting to include screenshots fairly often for anything I feel might be interesting to show, and will be attempting to do an update a week but we'll see how that goes. :)

way2co0l
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Re: The Great Bear of Europe - A Russian Empire AAR

#4 Post by way2co0l » Jun 23 2018

Opening moves. (6-28-1914)

The first thing I want is a more accurate representation of my economic ability and most of my attention will be focused on that point. I begin by looking through every resource producing facility to ensure that it is located in a place where it will actually be productive and scrapping everything that isn't. This results in 28 timber mills, 2 ore mines, and one oil field being scrapped.

The industrial goods we salvage from this will in turn be used to expand the rail from Minsk into Poland as this will be the staging area that my armies will be distributed from towards the front of any potential conflict and current tracks are insufficient.

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A new industrial center is also being planned just outside of Yaroslavl to the northeast of Moscow itself. The initial focus will be on establishing the infrastructure for this new industrial district, followed by construction of steel and concrete facilities that will allow us to expand on this area greatly over the coming months with the ultimate goal of greatly expanding our munitions and factories of war. The necessary power required for this project will initially be drawn from the greater Moscow area but coal plants will be established in Yaroslavl in the future to allow for better local distribution.

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With these tasks settled and decided, the focus now shifts towards the more complicated aspects of local governance and securing the finances that will be necessary to allow for these, and other, projects to continue unabated. Our advisers, while well meaning, do not possess the clarity of vision to understand the scope of what is being attempted here and it is thus decided that their recommendations for restraint will be ignored. No, a direct hand will be required and they will come to recognize the point behind these efforts in time but I cannot be bothered to have to explain my every action to them in order to get anything done.

(Ministers are now locked out of everything, though some minister priorities are set as I believe some of them might have passive benefits even when they have no direct control. I'm unsure, but it doesn't hurt so I continue to do it.)

In order to pay for this, Russia will continue to play the roll of exporter, and will be enacting policies to maximize those exports while also controlling production costs through policies to limit our people's purchasing power. Domestic sales prices, as well as production amounts will be as follows. (And I understand this looks backwards considering I just said I plan to export. lol. These are temporary to try to keep my economy from overheating while I begin my initial constructions, and will be increasing over the coming months at a steady pace.)

Agriculture
20% markup
80% of demand

Timber
40% markup
80% of demand

Coal
60% markup
80% of demand

Petrol
100% markup
60% of demand

Electricity
120% markup
120% of demand

Consumer goods
200% markup
140% of demand

Additionally, taxes will be adjusted to include an additional 10% to the sales taxes bringing them to 35%. High income taxes will be raised to 40%, corporate taxes to 38%, business taxes to 34%, and low income taxes reduced to 32%. The final 3 taxes will each be reduced to 2%. I realize that these taxes and the prices for goods as a result of the sales tax specifically will not be popular, but it will be necessary to allow for me to pull the workforce from these areas and allow for me to put them to work in construction for the next several months without heating my economy too much in the process. Inflation is a simple fact of life during times like these but I intend to keep it within manageable levels. Several unused facilities will be temporarily shuttered as well in an effort to keep maintenance expenses at a manageable level.

Of course I can't expect to simply increase taxes across the board without providing at least some kind of return for it. Our books currently indicate that we have a surplus budget of 31 billion to work with, or 85 million a day. We can afford to direct at least a portion of this back into social spendings in an effort to appease our people for the time being.

The most obvious area I want to look into first is for infrastructure spending as it will provide work opportunities while being a boon to the people while also contributing to our military goals all in one fell swoop, but I must be careful with this. Current spending is for only 5 million per day, but it grows quickly. I know that an initial maximum investment of 50m per day will easily become hundreds of millions after only a few months. For the time being, I will content myself with simply tripling our current budget to 15 million per day with the expectation that it will at least double within the next few months. Health care spending is an area that again serves a duel purpose. Our people are sure to love any increase we provide, and when war invariably comes, it will allow us to better tend to our wounded. A higher budget here will certainly help but again we must not get too far ahead of ourselves and will settle for simply tripling the current budget of 2m to 6m. Along the same vein, family subsidies will be beneficial to replace our fallen patriots, and this is a much more affordable area to improve. We will match the 6m that health care is receiving. And finally, our law enforcement capabilities should be examined next. While we will sell this as a benefit to the security for our people, the main purpose will obviously be to keep discontent to a manageable level, and is far cheaper than other social options. As for other options, it is a tempting thought to increase our education spending among others, but I feel as if educating our peoples to question our current path before the results of these choices have become obvious would be nothing short of folly and while I won't reduce spending in this area, I certainly will not be increasing it. At least not for now.

When all is said and done, we retain a surplus of 66m per day to use, of course I expect at least 20m of this to get eaten up by our inefficient bureaucracy while attempting to enact the social spending policies I've outlined. 40m is still more than sufficient for my current plans however.

Which means it is time to finally begin looking into our military situation. Out of the nearly 200k personnel currently on active duty, only 21k of these men are actually capable of combat in the field. Current events do not necessitate an actual mobilization but we must deploy our air and naval assets so that basic operations to secure our territorial integrity can be performed. Garrisons will also be levied across the empire, whether near a potential battlefield or not. This will likely require at least a million men under arms, but we will not be caught with our pants down no matter who we might stand against.

As for constructions. Tampere will be responsible for infantry, engineer, and artillery battalions. Karkiv will be responsible for infantry and cavalry battalions. Nizhny-Novgorod will also do infantry and cavalry. Petrograd meanwhile will provide infantry and artillery. There was some debate as to whether the siege gun or towed howitzer version of the M1910 122mm guns should be used and we finally decided on the howitzers. The additional strength and firepower of the siege guns are obviously desired but also require nearly 5 times as many goods to produce which are a major consideration at this stage.

Similar cost saving considerations sadly can't be considered for our naval requirements. Despite the massive cost of goods, 4 Sevastopol dreadnoughts will have hulls laid down. One will be constructed in Vladivostok to begin rebuilding our far east fleet. Another will be built in Nikolayev to expand the capabilities of our Black Sea fleet. The last 2 will be built out of Riga and Petrograd, both to be included in the Baltic Fleet. (sadly I can't produce them to real world timelines, nor can they all be produced for the Baltic fleet as they were but this still works) Arkhangelsk will be responsible for the production of a line of Novik class destroyers which are chosen over the Deszky class primarily due to it's additional 400km range. This range wouldn't be of much concern to my other fleets, but the distances involved for these northern waters makes it the ideal choice.

While we do have the beginnings of an air force, and 4 production facilities to expand it, we actually lack designs to take advantage of that fact nor do we feel particularly inclined to devote resources to acquiring them at this time and as such these facilities will be closed for the time being.

And now we get to looking ahead to the future with our research initiatives. An area we are at a distinct disadvantage when compared to the west, but we're Russians. We make do. We will first focus our efforts on Amplified Wireless Transmissions for the potential practical applications future breakthroughs might make possible. We will also pursue Electrocardiography for the health benefits. Additional research facilities are desired but no new constructions or funding will be approved at this time.

And this is where I finish my setup and am finally ready to unpause the game. I know that not all of this is interesting to anyone, nor is it technically the ideal way to play. But I am giving myself certain handicaps out of a desire to have a more entertaining game. :) Trying to do these images directly from steam, but not sure if that works. If not I'll look into an image hosting site. The code I tried using for a table didn't work. I feel so old. lol.

way2co0l
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Posts: 637
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Re: The Great Bear of Europe - A Russian Empire AAR

#5 Post by way2co0l » Jun 24 2018

War! (7-28-1914)

Image

The situation has escalated and we are not prepared. Today Austria has declared war on Serbia and we must now decide what course to follow. In truth, there really isn't much to decide as our hand has been forced. We cannot concede our influence in the Balkans to the Austrians so we must act. The question is how. As things stand, we have 1.4 million men under arms, but the vast majority of our forces are garrisons deployed across our empire with only 16 thousand men in combat units ready to respond to enemy aggression. We can immediately call up at least another 200 thousand to send to the front, but it will take time for them to arrive and establish any kind of cohesion required for active combat. Worse, the rail from Minsk to the front has yet to be completed which will inflict delays.

Image

In the Baltic Sea, the Germans posture for position along our shores. Their stance far too aggressive for us to assume they have any sort of plans other than to join the fight and attempt to gain access to our coasts. While they are careful to remain in what are technically international waters, it is clear they are reconnoitering our fleet movements and we must take actions to track their own movements in kind.

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Patrol craft are in place to trail their ships as they move along our waterways, and our surface fleet has been split into 3 units to guard the approaches. Units will be dispatched to hunt down rogue German units that attempt to penetrate these screens. Our submarines have been dispatched to areas along our shore which our surface fleet is just too stretched to defend. With luck they will be able to dissuade the Germans from poking around too much.

Image

Our industrial expansion at Yaroslavl is progressing nicely, thought not yet complete and that is a worry as our munitions productions are barely meeting demand as it currently stands and our stockpiles are woefully insufficient. We expect it'll be another 2 months before our first munitions plants begin to come online and must be careful with the engagements we choose until then. This construction is also straining our current industrial stockpiles as well, though we expect that they should be able to hold out for another half a year. But with war at our doorstep and additional constructions necessary, we simply cannot ignore this as an issue. Our electrical capacity is similarly strained, and with the new facilities coming online in another 2 months, it's doubtful that we will be able to operate them at full capacity without increasing our output. They take nearly 3 months to complete, so that is going to have to be added as yet another priority for construction to begin immediately.

One good thing is that our caution in regards to our economic policy has ensured that our economy hasn't become too hot. Over the past month, we have reduced unemployment from 15% to 11%, our GDP has increased from $94 to $95, and inflation has grown from -1.5% to 1.1%. This is the kind of steady and sustainable growth we were after so we're quite pleased with the results. It has come at a cost however, primarily in the sense that infrastructure has not been funded to the extent that I would like as it is currently sitting at 38%. This is causing production shortages that will continue to present complications for us until we can find the means to resolve them. Our industrial constructions are already eating into our budget surplus, reducing it to just 26m per day at the moment. Besides that, additional spending will make it even more difficult to keep our inflation at a reasonable level for as long as our construction projects continue. I'm not sure I see much choice however, and I will be adding another 4m into the budget for it daily. With luck, the benefits will outweigh the costs.

(For those unaware, I tend to play with house rules. One of them that I take seriously is with a very modest level of economic growth. It's very easy to get unemployment down and high double digit inflation with it for skyrocketing GDP growth, but it's much more difficult to avoid it. My goal is to get unemployment down to about 4-6% while attempting to keep inflation under 5% if at all possible, but 10% is my absolute limit. If it's over 10% then I'm losing. This is why I'm so concerned with how quickly my inflation grows and why I continue to handicap myself in an effort to control it.)

way2co0l
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Posts: 637
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Re: The Great Bear of Europe - A Russian Empire AAR

#6 Post by way2co0l » Jun 24 2018

Germany attacks! (8-1-1914)

Image

All hopes that Germany might remain neutral are dashed this morning as German fleet units attempt surprise attacks against our navy. Our own efforts to track and respond to their movements served us well, though still 2 patrol craft were lost in the early hours of fighting. Germany paid for this with the loss of 2 escorts ships in the immediate fighting and another 7 in the hours that followed. 9 Russian escorts took hits during the initial fighting and will be sent to dock for repair. Replacement destroyers will be tasked with escorting their capital ships from the reserve destroyer pool which is now at half strength.

Image

South of the Finish coast, the pre-dreadnought Poltava gave chase to the German cruiser Medusa which had managed to slip free of her tailing ships just prior to hostilities commencing. The Russian cruisers Avrora and Kagul would soon join the fighting as well ensuring Medusa's fate. The Poltava took several hits in the exchange and will also be put to dock for repairs, her escorts being sent to the destroyer reserve pool until repairs are complete. There are reports of several more German ships near Russian coasts and a recent sighting of the Hessen confirms that she isn't far.

Off the coast of the Aland islands, a German ship tried to sneak through our picket of submarines escorted by a German submarine which managed to secure a hit on the Shchuka pursuing it and knocking it out of action to be sent for repairs. Assistance would arrive to try to chase the German ships from our waters though the German sub would escape uninjured in a fog. Our supporting subs did stumble upon the German cruiser Graudenz in the process and inflicted enough damage to force her to withdraw. Should would be spotted again and sunk later in the day.

Additional skirmishes would occur as the Germans attempted to slip through our units into the Gulf of Riga though our dreadnoughts guns would put an end to these efforts with only a few hits struck to our escorts while several of their hulls sunk to the bottom of the sea. Later skirmishes did catch one of our escorts on its way to replacing another for escort duty and sinking her, but 3 more German counterparts where similarly sunk.

German ships that managed to slip through our sub pickets along the Turku coast would begin shelling the local garrison later in the day while the German cruiser Kolberg picked a fight with Russian cruiser Gromoboy near the entrance to Gulf of Riga around noon in an effort to force a hole but the supporting guns of the Russian dreadnought Tsesarevich ensured they would fail in this effort. Though she did manage to sink both of Gromoboy's escorts and severely cripple her as well before being chased off so this was by far the German's greatest success on the day. This was in part due to additional destroyers joining the fight, but while the Kolberg initially managed to get away, her escorts were not so fortunate. The Kolberg was later chased down and finished off by the cruiser Admiral Makarov who again 2 hours later caught up with and sunk the cruiser Graudenz that was damaged earlier by our submarines.

Another German cruiser made a similar effort south of Finland but she fared much worse, only inflicting minor hits onto an escort before being sent to the bottom.

The Hessen was spotted that evening near the Aland islands and local submarines attempted to hinder her advance, though this was complicated as they were out of place as a result of earlier actions.

By the end of the first day's fighting, a total of 8 Russian vessels were sunk with 906 lost souls, though nothing larger than an escort though 2 cruisers and 1 dreadnought were damaged enough to send to dock for repair. Enough destroyers were damaged as well to force us to deploy the entirety of our destroyer reserve pool. For this, we have sunk 25 German vessels with 2898 dead including multiple cruisers, while forcing several more back to port with heavy damage. This is a victory on the surface, but we cannot sustain this kind of attrition for long. All but 3 of our capital ships remain in action with full escort and our positions secure for the moment but if the Germans continue testing our positions then they will almost certainly force them. Already they sail along the western coast of Finland with impunity and our subs in the area can do nothing to stop them. Patrol craft are going to be forced to fill the roll of escorts if our existing escorts continue to take hits and forced out of action.

Worse, not even half of the ships damaged in today's fighting have yet made it to port, including none of the 3 capital ships, and yet military goods costs are already 3 times our current production with sustainability for 20 days at our current rate, so in likelihood fewer than 10 and the soonest our military goods factories will be completed is still 54 days away. And we haven't even engaged the enemy in the field yet. This is not a good sign and we must try to acquire additional munitions fast.

The actual front remains quiet. We had mobilized our armies on the 29th and 100 thousand men are now on their way to Minsk for their orders. 15 thousand men (not counting garrisons) currently hold Western Poland and are in the process of securing our line from Warsaw to Lodz, and then south to the populated areas surrounding Katowice. These forces lack the strength to guarantee success and forward units already in Minsk have been ordered to the area.

Additional forces have been dispatched to Riga though only in numbers sufficient to allow for the most basic of defenses. Further troops will be sent to the Lithuanian coast as quickly as possible to secure against any German advance and to allow for actions against Memel in the future. This will not be possible anytime soon however.

Our forces along the Austrian border are all but nonexistent with the closest forces being those already in Poland. Units need to be pulled from Minsk to secure this border immediately, primarily north and east of Lemberg. The rail line from Kiev should provide a great staging area to strike into Austrian territory once an army of sufficient strength can be assembled.

Our alliance with Serbia, now made official, should ensure that Austria has its hands full at the moment. In fact, the incompetence of the Austrian command is on display as the Serbs have already struck and captured Pancevo, despite the Austrian's being the ones declaring on the Serbs. This gives us hope that we will have time to solidify our defenses against the Germans before the Austrians will present any genuine threat to us.

way2co0l
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Posts: 637
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Re: The Great Bear of Europe - A Russian Empire AAR

#7 Post by way2co0l » Jun 25 2018

Luxembourg falls and France is now at war! (8-3-1914)

Another day's fierce fighting as the Germans begin to really commit to their naval efforts to clear the Baltic of Russian ships. 9 German cruisers (The Roon, Rostoc, Thetis, Victoria Louise, Condor, Zieten, Prinz Adalbert, Prinze Heinrich, and the Bremon) are sunk with an additional 4 escorts lost as well and total dead at 6221. The Russian Navy loses 5 escorts as a result, though 1 of those was to a German submarine. Several others suffered hits and were put out of action, including another cruiser and several destroyers. We are now forced to use patrol craft in escort duty in order to ensure our capital ships have screens. Our casualties at this point are up to 1690.

The Hessen continues to advance on the Aland Islands, though 2 submarines manage to score hits and convince it to depart. Shelling pauses on the western coast of Finland until munitions run out and the cruiser is forced to return for resupply, only to be replaced by 2 German dreadnoughts later while 2 new escorts approach the Aland Islands and force the submarines operating there to withdraw. The German dreadnought Oldenburg was also torpedoed sailing north along the Lithuanian coast before it could join today's fleet engagements and was forced to withdraw but would sink before it could make it back to port. 2 German submarines ambush 2 of my own off the coast of Turku and are forced out of action leaving only 3 to continue guarding the western approaches of Finland.

An order was placed for 20,000 tons of munitions and this will likely be doubled to 40,000 more by the end of this week, although market availability is poor and they may prove difficult to acquire. Inflationary measures were also taken as it has grown to 1.8% and it was decided to pull more men out of the agriculture, timber, coal, ore, and oil sectors, relying instead on current stocks and imports while directing these personnel to our new constructions. Our stocks of coal are low enough to begin requiring imports starting this week. The others will hold out for several months and oil for a few years but we should only have to continue this policy as long as our construction is ongoing.

A German artillery bombardment begins in France and German reinforcements turn things around in Serbia.

The cruiser Danzig would arrive at the norther approaches late the next evening, and would be sunk by the forces waiting for her here. Our southern approaches have been weakened in an effort to reinforce the northern ones as they seem to be the target the Germans have chosen. The western approaches to Finland are virtually unguarded at this point and we can do nothing to stop the bombardments happening there.

German soldiers finally begin to arrive from Poznan and Breslau. The latter appears to be nothing more than a probing force and our defenses around Katowice are sufficient to ensure no ground can be taken, but the forces from Poznan are more significant and there are nothing other than minor garrisons to protect the villages west of Lodz. They have yet to actually attack, but the village of Konin directly on the German border would be a particular loss as it has 2 coal power plants and one of our precious industrial goods plants as well. Unfortunately we just do not yet have the manpower in the area to secure such indefensible locations and must hope that the garrisons can hold long enough for reinforcements to begin to arrive but this hope is not taken seriously. There does remain the possibility that the Germans do not know how far back our forces currently are and may hesitate to attack which is a much brighter thought.

Germany attacks Belgium and England joins the war! (8-4-1914)

The Baltic sea is beginning to calm down with things much as they were left the day before. The approaches into Russia's coasts secure for the moment but with the Germans having free reign along the western portion of the Finnish coast. Losses up to this point have been 13 ships and 2,415 men for us, with 39 ships lost and 8581 men killed. England joining the war should result in fewer German naval incursions and should allow us to focus on the actual front, though German submarines may continue to be a problem.

Serbia has fared well for itself so far but the losses are beginning to stack up with 6731 dead to the Austrian 5505 dead and Austrian armies gaining ground though it appears that the Bulgarian defenses will remain strong as long as their men continue to have bullets to fire. This last part is questionable at best as their munitions are down to 1600 with the Austrians double that. As we're on the subject of losses, after really only a single day of fighting, France is already just shy of 6k men lost.

More and more units are arriving in Minsk, and are being distributed to various points along the front. Primarily into Poland, along the Austrian border, to reinforce around Riga and to begin assembling an actual army capable of invading Ost Prussia from Kaunus. That last option will be quite a ways off but the idea is there and troops will begin making their way there as available.

Inflation continues to rise and is now at 1.9% and as such no new constructions can be permitted. Currently under construction are 6 new supply depots (I know, excessive, but my infrastructure spending is still low and I need to make up for that), 4 industrial goods facilities, and 8 military good facilities. Our industrial goods production won't even be close to enough and we will be forced to import to cover this discrepancy until we can correct it ourselves. The new military goods facilities will likely double our current production but will continue to be far short of what we need. If the number of ships we have to repair go down, then that would certainly improve our prospects so we prey that the Germans become too distracted with the French in the west and the British fleet in the North Sea to continue throwing ships at us considering the losses we've inflicted on them while doing so.

3 German destroyers test our defenses through the day and are each sent to the sea bottom for their efforts. Very light damage is inflicted on 2 escorts, but as there are no replacements available for them and the damage is minimal, I keep them at their station. The British fleet on the other hand is suffering massively. British losses on the day are 53 ships lost while only destroying 3 German ships in return. This Royal Navy has no bite at all!

The Germans continue to have their advances repelled at Katowice and begin moving forces around further north so a cavalry battalion is dispatched to assist the local garrison just in case.

A new alliance spells trouble! (8-5-1914)

Austria and Germany both enter into an alliance with the Ottomans today, and we immediately begin to organize the troops in the theater. Fortunately for us, we had already begun sending troops into the area when we had mobilized, and it's time to get them to defensive positions should it be necessary. Forces are currently being dispatched to Botum and Kars and should prove sufficient to hold the Ottomans at bay until additional units can arrive for possible offensive operations. Gains on this front seem much more promising than along the others at the moment. Additional forces are also being recalled from our far east territories. With England in the war and their alliance with the Japanese, the danger of another attack is minimal. Their time will come but that day is not today and so another 40k men are on their way to Minsk by way of the Trans-Siberian Railway.

The Black Sea fleet is in much better shape than the Baltic one and while our fleet is far from impressive, we do have local superiority here. Unfortunately for us, as long as the Ottomans hold Constantinople, this is as far as that superiority will actually reach and can only act defensively for the time being. Squadrons are currently protecting vital points with patrol craft along our coast to keep an eye for any Ottoman tricks.

Production of consumer goods is also reduced today from 140% of demand down to 100% to provide further inflationary relief while also reducing the strain on my power good and industrial goods reserves, in addition to minimizing my rubber imports as a bonus.

Several ships that had been sent in for repair are already beginning to return to action. 14 ships remain at port under repairs, and several more are on their way.

German dreadnoughts, the Schleswig-Holstein and the Kaiser Barbarossa of the Deutschland and Kaiser classes respectively manage to catch the ships guarding the southern approaches unprepared delivering the Germans their first true victory over the Russian fleet. The cruiser Admiral Makarov was lost and the pre-dreadnoughts Tri Svyatitelya and Georgiy Pobedonosets were heavily damaged with the loss of 6 escorts. The pre-dreadnoughts Gangut and Tsesarevich were brought in to cover the withdrawal of the other 2 ships with the Gangut suffering heavy damage effectively destroying the southern portion of my fleet and leaving the door to Riga wide open to the Germans at the moment. The way to Petragrad remains safe however. The 4 submarines guarding the Lithuanian cost are recalled north to deal with these behemoths but this will unfortunately leave this coast undefended and the small force there vulnerable to naval fire. I may need to pull them back and abandon plans for Memel.

The English continue to perform terribly at sea with 105 ships lost and only 10 kills to their credit. No wonder the Germans feel so safe having 2 of their most modern and powerful ships in the Baltic rather than the North Sea.

The Germans continue to probe my defenses around Katowice and so I have decided to reinforce my positions with artillery to help them hold more decisively. Cavalry battalions are also sent to reinforce my exposed western Polish villages. They are not meant to engage in any real engagements, but only to support the local garrisons if the German threat there ever materializes.

The western front comes to life! (8-6-1914)

The German offensive along the western front begins and their advance has pushed into Liege. The Austrians, now officially at war with us as well, have joined the offensive against Katowice though it is far from organized and mostly garrisons thrust into a combat role. An infantry and cavalry battalion are being sent to try to support the garrisons and prevent them from making any gains. Additional artillery is called up as well.

Inflation is still growing faster than I'd like at 2.2% but that's mostly from all the construction, and is necessary so there's not much I can do about it atm. My military goods situation had been improving with several ship repairs having been completed, but the recent fiasco is resulting in 3 dreadnoughts and 5 escorts being put in for repairs now so those gains are going to be undone. The price for military goods on the market is beginning to increase drastically, an indication of how difficult they will be to come by in this war. Sources indicate that our 20k stocks are double that of either England or France, though they pale in comparison to the 90k Germany boasts. We will obviously need more than we currently have, but France and England are in the thick of fighting right now and anything we take off the market will jeopardize their ability to fight so we instead need to use ours judiciously. Our troops are not yet in a position for any offensives so only defensive and repair expenditures are currently on the table.

British losses continue to be atrocious. 121 current losses to 14 kills. Just abysmal. Allied losses are really starting to add up compared to the central powers. Germany still has the most with 24k losses, but England and France follow with 21k and 16 respectively. Another 5k losses for Belgium, and Serbia is now double the losses of Austria with 13.5k to 7k. Our losses are only a little higher than Belgium's at this point at 5316.

And with that I'm done for the night. I did say I play slowly and meticulously right? I'm really kicking myself for not spotting those battleships though. It was quiet up there and looked like they had stopped so I had become preoccupied with where to send my troops. lol. I shouldn't have lost those ships. Oh well!

way2co0l
Brigadier Gen.
Posts: 637
Joined: Nov 29 2010
Human: Yes

Re: The Great Bear of Europe - A Russian Empire AAR

#8 Post by way2co0l » Jun 25 2018

Naval ambitions are scaled back! (8-7-1914)

Today it's decided that current construction of our Sevastopol class battleships are to be suspended as the resources currently allocated to their construction are desperately needed elsewhere and none of them are at a stage where they might be deployed in a timeframe where they might be able to have a meaningful influence in existing conflicts. It's decided that Riga and Vladivostock will instead begin constructing Akula class submarines, while Petrograd and Nikolayev will begin producing Derzky class destroyers.

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The German battleship Kaiser Barbarossa continues advancing north forcing a response. The superior range of the German guns allows them to fire on us from beyond the range of our own guns but our ships close the distance and return fire, successfully sinking her while losing 3 escorts and suffering heavy damage to many other ships, including a cruiser and dreadnought. All are sent in for repairs and remaining ships reshuffled to keep the approaches to Petragrad secure. The submarines off the Lithuanian coast are exacting Russian vengeance on the Schleswig-Holstein for their actions 2 days before. After several hits, she begins to make for home but sinks by noon lifting Russian spirits.

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On the Polish front, the German attack on Konin finally materializes. The cavalry battalion that arrived just prior to the attack appears to be well timed and it's believed that the local garrison will now hold. The attacks on Katowice continue and the local garrison is hard pressed to hold, but again the timely arrival of a cavalry reserve has ensured that they remain intact, at least for now. Another battalion of infantry are making their way to the lines now, and artillery isn't far behind so expectations are that we will hold.

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A sighting off the Lithuanian coast of a Konig class battleship causes some alarm as the submarines previously stationed in the area are not in a position to stop it. Efforts are being made to rearm them at the port of Libau in time to meet it and prevent it from heading further north to challenge our fleet. Even while this is going on, the forward army units that were being stationed in Libau are recalled back to keep them out of range of the battleship's guns leaving only the local garrison to hold in the event of attack.

The fleet is stretched thin! (8-8-1914)

Additional inflationary measures are taken (reducing petrol output to 10% of demand, relying on existing stocks instead, and reducing electrical output to demand) as it continues to rise and is currently at 2.3%. Military good expenditures are still far higher than we'd like at 1,238 per day vs our current production of 173 per day. Our previous order is still continuing to be filled with another 1,341 units arriving and bringing our current stocks to 21,425. Unless German incursions against our Baltic fleet subside, then we will be totally reliant on these imports to keep our ships in fighting shape and our guns firing.

The German cruiser Grille forces its way through our southern approaches into the mouth of the Gulf of Riga, catching 2 patrol craft and sinking them in the process. Ship deployments are being shuffled to protect Riga. As our subs approach the the Kronprinz off the Lithuanian coast, the German cruiser Straslund arrives to reinforce her and chances of successfully forcing them to withdraw are slim as we will struggle to rearm our subs with those ships in our waters. The battleship Hannover is spotted approaching our northern squadrons and our ships prepare to meet her. Heavy damage is expected, but only a single escort is lost with heavy damage to another. Russian soldiers cheer this success until word arrives that another 2 German battleships have been spotted approaching their stations, and a third battleship moving into the undefended southern approaches, though it too would turn north behind the other 2. Russian control of her coasts is beginning to be questioned. Our fleet is paper thin with large gaps and the larger guns on the German battleships are creating particular issues for us.

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The German attacks on Konin have been thrown back though additional units are spotted approaching. The German assault on the areas west of Katowice continue to heat up though our positions hold for now and artillery has begun to arrive to reinforce our positions.

A fleet in name only! (8-9-1914)

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The German fleet approaches and as her guns begin to open fire, the Russian fleet advances to meet it, only to be caught by a 4th previously unseen battleship whose appearance shatters Russian confidence as the local German fleet is now without doubt superior to the Russian force assembled to resist it. Every patrol craft and escort that can be rushed to the area receives orders to do so in the hopes that we might somehow manage to find victory in the face of this fiasco. After fierce fighting, the German fleet is defeated with every ship present (as well as a couple late reinforcements) sent to the bottom. This "victory" however has decimated our fleet, in truth only remaining a fleet in name only at this point. 2 cruisers and 2 dreadnoughts were lost in the fighting, with numerous escorts and patrol boats lost in the process. While we did sink 4 German battleships and 2 German cruisers in the process, there remains not a single Russian capital ship of the Baltic fleet to resist German incursions. The door is wide open for them and there is nothing we can currently do about it. All submarines further afield are currently on their way in an effort to protect the actual Riga coast and to do everything possible to prevent German ships from making the trip to Petragrad.

On a brighter note, the submarines off Lithuania successfully drive off the battleship harassing our coast though a German submarine arrives to save her and inflict damage on our group before she is located and sunk. The German battleship withdraws and it's decided that our submarine group will do the same. Operations in the area are no longer possible.

Renewed German attacks on Konin have finally forced the issue and no further Russian resistance can be offered in the area. The Germans also find success in Katowice gaining ground in Rybnik but additional Russian forces arrive to stabilize the situation.

The British continue their dismal performance at sea having lost 165 ships while only sinking 19 of their German counterparts. As we can no longer field a credible naval force to withstand the Germans and the fact that the French have refused to deploy their own fleets, while the Royal Navy has been decimated, the Germans are left with undisputed control of the sea.

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