Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

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James A Pratt III
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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 13 Mar 2023 21:38

End of 1939 3 Japanese generals:
General 1: Our build up in Manchuria is going fairly well but, based on the war in Europe we are still short of tanks, artillery, trucks ect. We also need time to train our newly formed tank and motorized divisions into armies.
General 2: I say we should strike next spring . The Russian army has morale problems and many of their men are deserting.
General 3: We still don't know how the war in Europe will turn out. we don't want to take on the Russians alone. Their armies in Siberia are having problems but they are still larger then our army in Manchuria and have more and better tanks and artillery.
General 1: We have ordered over 1000 new Canadian 3 ton trucks as well more of their 3/4 ton trucks and are using their technology to improve our vehicles.
General 2: Don't the Canadians suspect what we are using them for?
General 1: They don't we keep a few around Tokyo and other big cities are once and a while drive one past their embassy and other places where they can see them. The rest are in Manchuria with "mining Companies" ect. We do have a problem is the civilians and navy want more of them!
General 3: we are also in the process of buying new and used Canadian and US trucks and cars as well as spare parts. Hopefully the civilians and navy will be happy with them.
General 2: I never thought I would see the day when our army would be in the used truck and car business!
General 1: We are also buying more US and Canadian horses.
General 2: Yes I have seen and riden some. They are a fine bunch of animals!
General 1: This past year attacks on our troops ect. in Manchuria by bandits have increased greatly.
General 3: Yes, it seems the Russians are paying their Mongoliian and Chinese Communist friends to carry out these attacks.
General 2: We need to launch punitive expeditions against them.
General 1: That's what the Russians want in the hope we will get into a war with China and will be unable to attack them.
General 3: Training with the navy to carry out a amphibious operation against at Magadan is going fairly well.
General 2: Yes, we need to get the Kolyma gold and other resources for the war.
General 1: Some of our newly raise divisions in Manchuria are having morale problems. Conditions for them are rather miserable and the Russians are conducting a propaganda campaign to demoralize our men.
General 2: What these soldiers need is more discipline . This will cure the morale problems. It will strengthen the Japanese Sprit. When war comes we will rout those Russian clods.
General 1: That is if we ever had a war.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 14 Apr 2023 18:40

In the Spring of 1940 the Soviets launched two offensives to try and expand the Warsaw salient. Both failed with heavy Soviet casualties in return for slight gains.

At the front desertions and defections by Soviet troops to the Axis were very heavy during the winter. In part do to Axis propaganda drawn up by the Russian Liberation Committee. Some told their captors they were fed better as POWs than they were in the RKKA. Some of them volunteered for the Russian Liberation Army. Also during this period The Ukrainian Liberation Front was formed promising a independent Ukrainian state. Soon after it started forming it own army. This enraged many in the Russian Liberation Committee. The main supporters of the Ukrainians were the Italians and to a lesser degree the Rumaniians and Poles.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 17 Apr 2023 19:36

Adding to the Soviets problems in the Spring of 1940 insurgencies broke out among Caucasus and Central Asian Moslems. They weren't very large at first but, the NKVD and Red Army did not have the manpower to deal with them. Shortly afterwards they contacted the Axis and during the summer started getting a little aid from them. Later that spring a peasant uprising broke out in Siberia. Which again the Soviets did not have them manpower to deal with. All these insurgencies remained small at first.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 31 May 2023 20:13

The Soviets concentrated the bulk of their remaining tank corps north of the Pripet marshes in preperation for a major offensive that was to expand the Warsaw bulge and hopefully turn the war around. This left the Soviet forces south of the Pripet short of tanks. The offensive kept getting delayed do to a mixture of supply problems made worst by German air attacks. However in late May the Axis forces launched a major offensive in Rumania. Spearheaded by the 5th Panzer Group with the Rumanian armored corps to the East and the Italian 1st Army which included 4 armored and 4 motorized divisions to the west. The Axis forces broke through and drove north to Jassy. Then the Germans and Italians turned west and encircled the Soviet forces in the Carpthians. Meanwhile the Rumainians broke off during this advance turned East where they reached the Black Sea cutting off the Soviet forces along the coast. Both pockets were destroyed with some Soviet forces along the coast being evacuated by the Soviet Black Sea fleet.
Meanwhile in Southern Poland there were breakthroughs by the 1st and 4th panzer groups which which encircled a large number of Soviet troops. The Soviets started sending reserves to plug up the holes in their lines and even mounted a counter attack south from Kovel which made slight gains.
Meanwhile the Soviets a few weeks after the Axis offensive in the South began launched their planned major offensive to expand the Warsaw bulge after some gains and heavy casulties the offensive was called off and many of the Soviet armies tank corps and other reserve units were sent south to plug up the line. Sadly, it took some time for them to get there do to the poor state of the Soviet rail system and Axis air raids on it.
After the 2 southern and Northern pockets were destroyed the Panzer groups continued there advance the 5th driving north while the 1st and 4th drove soth-east. The units met up and the Soviet forces who had been ordered by Stalin to retreat were mostly encircled and destroyed. However 30,000+ Soviet troops managed to get themselves interned in Czechoslavkia. After this pocket was destroyed the Axis forces resumed their advance East and were stopped by Soviet reserves and supply problems on the line Pripet Marshes-west of Zhitimor- East of Vinnitsa and Dniestr river.
This was a major defeat for the Soviet forces their entire Southern wing was destroyed. Stalin fired and later had shot the front commanders.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 07 Jul 2023 21:31

The disaster south of the Pripet forced the Soviets to transfer large numbers of troops ect to rebuild the southern front. This left the Soviet line to the north rather thin. The Germans withdrew the 1st Panzer group covertly and deployed it to the southern part of the Warsaw bulge where it attacked while the 2nd panzer group attacked the north side of the bulge. Both PGs broke through and linked up east of Siedce encircling Warsaw. Two Polish Armies and 1 German Infantry Corps were left to reduce the pocket while the rest of the axis forces advanced Eastward. In the pocket most of the Soviet troops surrendered after about 10 days. Warsaw defended by a NKVD division and other NKVD types as well as some Polish Communists held out for a week longer. Since they had treated the local population in a extremely brutal manner during the occupation and realized they were going to be treated badly to put it mildly if captured. This turned out to be partly true. Polish soldiers and the local people did kill a number of NKVD men and Polish Communists after they were captured. Warsaw was partly destroyed during it's liberation. A large part of the population was starving and in rags. Fortunely, food aid ect was soon provided by the Polish army and red cross. When the Poles got to the Warsaw prisons they found the NKVD and their Polish Communist equivilents had shot all the prisoners. The enraged Poles reacted by killing all the NKVD types and Poles they could find who worked in the prisons.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 07 Jul 2023 22:09

Meanwhile, the rest of the German and polish forces continued to advance east. Brest was captured with out much fighting. They advanced until they just crossed the old Polish-USSR border to the west of Minsk when they were halted by supply problems and Soviet reserves. To the south kovel was abandoned by the Soviets with out a fight as they fled to the East to avoid being cut off. The Soviets in the South managed to stop the Polish and German forces just east of Pinsk. To the north the German 3rd Panzer Group with other German forces attacked and broke through and captured Bialystok, Grodno, Vilna and receached the Lithuanian border north of Vilna cutting off the Soviet forces along the border which either surrendered or interned themselves. Stalin once again reacted by firing and in some cases shooting most the the Front commanders.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 11 Aug 2023 20:40

South of the Pripet North to South Hungarians, German Army Group C, Italians, German Army Group South, Rumanians

The Soviets launched an offensive against the Italians they made some gains but, the Italians with the help of 1 German panzer division counterattacked and drove the Soviets back. Stalin ordered this attack against the advise of his Generals. Right afterwards a Soviet General said "If we can't defeat the Italians how can we defeat the Germans?"
To the South of the Italians the German 5th PG and other units attacked broke through and headed NE. To the North of the Italians the German 4th PG and other unitsattacked broke through and headed SE Both PGs linked up near Uman cutting off the Soviet forces facing the Italians. The encircled Soviet forces were destoryed after about a week of fighting. The Germans also captured Kirovograd and reached the Dnieper near Cherkassy.
To the South at the same time the German 11th Army part of Army group South and the Rumanian armored corps also broke through at this same time and reached the Black Sea east of Odessa. Leaving the Rumanian 4th army to lay siege to the city the Remaining axis forces the German 11th and Rumanian 3rd army continued advancing east. They were halted at the Bug river do to supply problems and Soviet reserves. In nearby Niolayev the Soviets evacuated almost every vessel that could float or be made to float over the next two weeks when the German and Rumanian forces resumed the offensive and captured the city.
To the North the German 6th army a part of army Group c captured Zhitomir and the Hungarians advanced along south of the Pripet.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 14 Sep 2023 19:46

North of the Pripet After being re supplied ect the 2 Panzer Group attacked to the North of Minsk while the 1st Panzer groups attacked to the south of Minsk both broke through and linked up east of Minsk at Orsha on the Minsk-Moscow highway. The pocket was destroyed after over 2 weeks of fighting.

To the South a Polish tank, motorized and cavalry group attacked broke through the Soviet defenses drove south east and reached the Pripet just across the old Polish/USSR border cutting off the Soviet forces in Pinsk. The Pinsk pocket took 3 weeks for the Poles to destroy. Some Soviet troops managed to escape through the Pripet. Sadly for them Stalin reguarded them as traitors and sent them to the Gulag.

To the North The 3rd panzer group attacked broke through drove north crossed the old Polish/USSR border turned north west and reached the Latvian border encircling the Soviet forces which either quickly interned themselves in Latvia or surrendered,

meanwhile other German and Polish forces drove all remaining Soviet forces off any parts of Polish territory they still held.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 20 Oct 2023 19:25

back to the south of the Pripet:
After resupplying ect The Axis forces resumed the offensive. The 5th PG and 1st Italian Army which contained most of the Italian Armored and Motorized forces attacked and crossed the Dnieper south of Kiev in the Cherkassy- Kremenkchuk area and drove north. Meanwhile the 4th PG crossed the Dnieper North of Kiev and drove South east. The Axis forces linked up east of Kiev encircling a large Soviet force. It took 3 weeks of heavy fighting to reduce the pocket and capture Kiev.
To the South of them The German 11th and 17th Armies and the Rumainian Mechanized- Cavalry group advanced to the Dnieper in the South and captured Kherson and then captured Krivoy Rog.
To the North the 2nd Hungarian Army advanced along the south edge of the Pripet until they reached the end of it and turned north.

This left them with a front line Pripet, East of Kiev, Dnieper, East of Kirovograd, easr of Krivoy Rog, Kherson and the sea. With the fall rains coming a halt was called to bring up supplies ect.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 17 Nov 2023 19:47

North of the Pripet with the fall rains expected soon after a quick resupply the 1st and 2nd PGs launched an offensive towards Smolensk. They surrounded the city and a few days later the fall rains hit turning the country into sea of bottomless mud. Large numbers of Soviet troops managed to break out of this pocket on foot and on horseback leaving most of their equipment behind.
To the South a Polish tank, motorized and cavalry group and a German motorized infantry division managed to reach Gomel when the fall rains started and after over a week of heavy fighting captured the city. Two weeks after Gomel was captured Polish and Hungarian cavalry patrols managed to link up. However both forces soon had to withdraw do to the mud back to their main forces.

This left the line north of the Pripet Latvian border, Polotski, Vitebsk, Smolensk, East of Mogelev, Gomel Pripet.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 21 Dec 2023 17:59

The Axis forces took the period of the fall rains to dig in, change the rail gauges, bring up supplies including winter clothing and reinforcements ect. In liberated Poland and Rumainia government was restored. The people in these areas welcomed the Axis forces as liberators from the Soviets. In the Ukraine a Ukraine National government set up in Kiev and north of the Pripet a Russian National government was set up in Minsk. Both of the national governments soon had major problems. The Ukrainians found themselves with a lack of people who could run a country since they wanted only Ukrainians to run the government. The people in the Ukraine were at first happy to liberated from the Soviets and welcomed the Axis and Ukrainian national government at first. However, the Ukrainians proved to be so inept and high handed they soon made themselves rather unpopular. Add to this the behavior of the military and civilian officials of the various Axis forces was also rather high handed. This soured the people some what on them. As for the Russian National Government they often put old ex-Tsarist and White generals in charge of liberated areas and they often proved to be inept, high-handed and corrupt. The German and Polish forces also tended to act in a high-handed manner. This soon soured the people some what on them.
As for the Jews in these areas things were much worse. they were reguarded as colaberators in the areas of Poland and Rumainia that had been occupied by the Soviets and there were a number of pogroms commited against them by the locals and some Axis units. as for the Ukraine the national Government tried to at least stop or contain the Pogroms against the Jews but it didn't have much power to do so. The behavior of Axis forces to the Jews varied most did try to restore some sort of order and stop the pogroms by the locals. Some units joined in. As for the Russian National Government areas things were worse many of the ex Tsarist and White generals did everything they could to encourage Pogroms against the jews. The German and Polish troops sometimes stopped and sometimes joined in on the Pogroms ect. Add to the Axis problems was the almost constant infighting between the Russian and Ukrainian National governments. Of course all this caused some major PR ect problems for the Axis governments.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 02 Feb 2024 20:15

Right after the ground froze the Poles and Hungarians both advanced and linked up and started digging in for the winter. Meanwhile the Soviets brought up reinforcements from all over the USSR. Then in mid December launched a series of offensives along the front that lasted until the spring thaw. They were and the results: Smolensk sight Soviet gains. Kiev some gains before halted. Gomel mostly recaptured Poles with some German help hold on to a small part of it. Kivoy Rog Soviets surround a German relief force manages to get close enough for the garrison to break out. Kherson a Soviet offensive drove down the western bank of the Dnieper while another Soviet force crossed the river to the south leaving the city in a bulge. Vitebsk offensive reached the outskirts of the city. Polotsk offensive reached the city and captured a part of it

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 05 Mar 2024 21:05

The 1940 Air War The Axis had air supremacy or pairity for most of the front for most of the time. However, during the fast advances by Axis ground forces they sometimes outran their air cover ect and the VVS was able to get local air supremacy and help stop the axis advances. The main fighter of the Axis air forces except Italy was the Bf 109 E with the first F models coming into service at the end of the year. The Italians only used Italian made fighters. The other Axis air forces some locly made or British or French aircraft. The BF 110 now in wide use proved usefull in pert do it's long range. The Luftwaffe also started converting DO 17 units to JU 88s. The 3 NJGs and the night fighter units of the other Axis air forces directed by radar could sometimes inflict heavy losses on VVS night bombers. In part do German made radio navigational aids and insturment training for all axis multi engine bomber units they could often find and hit targets at night. By this time in the war most of the older Axis bombers mostly flew night operations. The more modern flew daylight operations usually with fighter escort. On a few occations when the axis bombers were caught with out fighter escort by VVS fighters in some numbers the bombers took heavy losses.
In the fall of this year the Axis started flying long range night missions against Leningrad, Moscow Kharkov Rostov, and the Caucasian coastal ports. The FW 200s flew a few raids on Baku. The first BV 222 in service flew 2 night raids on Murmansk.
The VVS had a number of major problems it's older fighters the I-15, I-153, and I-16 were outclassed and their new fighters the MIG-3, LAGG-3 and YAK-1 which were coming into service in this year had problems. A lack of the proper raw materials and poor quality control at the factories slowed production and made the finished planes unsafe to fly. Other new aircraft like the IL-2 and PE-2 also had the same problems. Adding to this do to the Axis advance the Soviets had to start moving factories to the East which slowed down production.

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Re: Speculative What-if fight: Poland v. Soviet Union 1937

Post by James A Pratt III » 28 Mar 2024 17:53

Baltic 1940: Large areas of the southern Baltic are no go zones do to the large numbers of mines being laid. Neutral ships going to the Baltic states have to get there using the following route: They arrive at Malmo join a Swedish escorted convoy which hugs the Swedish coast to the Aaland Islands were the Finnish navy took over and escorts the ships to Helsinki then it escorts the ships to Tallian where the Baltic states navies take over. The ship hug the coast until they get to the ports they need to go to.
The Axis escorted convoys to ports in Poland and East Prussia. They hugged the coast and were well escorted by ships and planes. The Soviet submarines were active this year attacking the convoys and minelaying. They lost 10 submarines do to all causes. In return they sank with torpedoes 1 German, 1 Polish and 1 Estonian merchant ships. The latter from a Swedish convoy which made the Swedes and Estonians "upset". Mines of all nations sank 1 German, 1 Polish and 1 Italian minesweepers; 1 German, 1 Polish and 1 Swedish merchant ships. Damaged 2 Italian, 2 German and 1 Swedish minesweepers; 1 German and 1 Italian merchant ships. Add to this a German U-boat and a Italian Submarine were both lost cause unknown possibly do to mines. A number of fishing boats were also lost do to mines or cause unknown.
Late in the fall the Luftwaffe damaged a destroyer and some other ships during it's raids on Leningrad.

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