Chinese high command saw the situation in the Harsch Mountains very alarming. They couldnt first believe that operation Sissle was a full scale offensive which goal was to encircle the Chinese troops in Lödöse. They thought that it was just a small diversion to show to the world that the Germans were not beaten. So when the whole picture dawned on them, it was too late to take immediate action. Some fresh Chinese troops were already on their way to Lödöse to strenghten the garrison there. Chinese had no immediate offensive plans against Germany as they were still trying to understand why they had lost the battle of Stuttgart.
Situation on 28.6.1924
Against expectations the Chinese, English and Russians were able to co-operate quite effectively as the situation got more alarming in the Orenburg region. Though Yaroslav was lost quite easily Russians were able to slow down Germans in the South. Chinese realised quite early that there was no point sending any troops to Lödöse anymore and all the fresh troops were committed to halt the German assault against Orenburg. Combined with Russian troops and some English battalions they were able to put up good defensive positions North of Orenburg just in time to take the full weight of Archens assault.
Fighting was heavy for a week but finally the Chinese and Russians prevailed and forced Archen to withdraw. The situation once again hung on its balance as both sides were planning the next move. Archen was waiting for his reinforcements, which were already on their way, and Chinese Russian, and English were organizing their troops to assault Yaroslav.
As the Western Powers massed more and more troops in to the area, German High Command became dubious that the operation Sissle could be relaunched and that it could still reach its initial goal. In Berlin it was greatly feared that the whole Archens 4th Army could be encircled and destroyed. It was also believed that the Western Powers were planning a full scale offensive on the whole western front reaching from Moscow to Orenburg. Some German generals now proposed a change of tactic from bold offensive to a deep defence. They were convinced that this would lure the enemy into a trap that would decimate large quantities of men and material. To everyones surprise Bismarck approved this pland although he blamed Archen for the failure of the operation Sissle. Operation Sissle ended on 2nd of July, only after a month of fighting.
Many would say that the operation was failure because it didnt reach its ultimate objective of sealing the Chinese salient. But when studying operation Sissle one has to take in count the situation in the beginning of the operation. Mounting that kind of operation only month after the battle of Stuttgart was a remarkable achievement. With the benefit of hindsight we can now see that it was also too risky and too bold. But what historians usually forget is that the operation moved the focus of the war. Lödöse region woulb be left in minor part when the war entered its final phase in the steppes of Northern Russia.
The next big news came from the East on 3rd of July when Spain declared war on Japan. As an ally of the Japan Empire, German Empire now declared war on Spain. This meant that some German troops had to be sent to guard the Eastern front but the German High Command didnt see any real threat coming from the East. Japan was enough powerfull to counter Spain and the war would be theirs to fight. But Spain was far more involved in the Central Eurasia situation than the Germans knew of. Spain had for months negotiated with the Western Powers to take share of the German lands after they were beaten. This ofcourse meant that Spain would have to be involved in the fighting too. Destroying Japan was the first step for the Spanish but they also sent troops to China to take part in the coming battles.
In France first German troops arrived in the city of Chartress which was just 100 km from the frontline. To halt the American offensive against the city German Far West Army was formed on 20th of June. This army was quite large and well equipped. The French had been withdrawing almost half a year, but now their morale was boosted and they were sure that with the aid of the Germans they would push the Americans back. The Far West Army was also given some battalions of brand new weapons called Panzers. These modern fighting machines would easily match the tanks used by America and they would play a key role in the coming months.
Situation in the far West on 20.6.1924
In Yaroslav area Germans withdrew slowly towards Krasnoyarsk which was being trasformed into a massive fortress. The German defensive plan was to use the good defensive position of Krasnoyarsk to inflict huge casualties for the enemy. Defence of Smolensk and Vladivostok was also reinforced and a reserve of Panzers was deployed in Smolensk.It was still believed that Krasnoyarsk would be the focus of the coming offensive.
It might go past the weekend, depending on my motivation to write. There is already a map drawn and some stuff written so dont worry. I have a feeling that the next part will be pretty good well ofcourse I don't know what you are waiting but atleast from my own point of view
As the Germans were pushed beyond the Priphet Hills and all the way to Krasnoyarsk, The Western Powers were sure that the balance had once more moved to their side. They now held the strategic initive and were eager to exploit it. For whole spring the Russians and English had been planning a large summer offensive in the Western front, but their plans had been put on hold after the operation Sissle rumbled upon them. Now the plans were revised and also China and Spain agreed to take part in the operation. It was thought that this time it would be best to strike on a wide front and take full use of the enemys weak spots. The operation was code named; Raccoon.
Because Krasnoyarsk now formed a deep but narrow salient, it was chosen as a starting point for the operation. The plan for operation Raccoon forsaw a pincer movement that would slice through the neck of the salient, isolate German 4th army from its supply lines and facilitate a grand encirclement. This movement would be put into effect by the Chinese newly formed 6th Army and the Spanish Expeditionary Army. In the Northwest, English 2nd Army would break through across the river Vistula and take Vladivostok. After these two separate operations the English 2nd army would swing eastwards and meet Spanish and Chinese north of Smolensk. Smolensk would then be shelled to rubble and conquered. It was believed that if the operation was a success the road to Essen and Berlin would be open.
Plans for the operation Raccoon and the situation on 12.7.1924
On the German side the defensive preparations for the coming offensive were on their way. The main defence point was Krasnoyarsk were the reinforced 4th Army was deployed. Smolensk was far less defended with infantry troops but held a strong reserve battalion of panzers. It also held the HQ of Army Group West which was responsible for the whole western front. Vladivostok, which had become an important transit city for the troops heading to France, was defended by 7th Army. 7th Army was formed just two weeks before the operation Raccoon was launched and was far from being in full strenght. German 4th army was still led by General Archen but the commander of the whole western front was Heinrich Adenauer, a young but capable General who had previously served as a second in command for Field Marshall Weinkel. 7th Army in the North was led by General Busse, an old cavalry commander.
Chinese 6th Army opened up the offensive on 24th of July with a strong push against the German 4th Armys left flank. The objective was to take Elbrus Passage and then continue to North. In the middle the Spanish Expeditionary Army launched it attack and broke through the weak German defence lines between Smolensk and Krasnoyarsk. Up in the North English 2nd Army made good ground and pushed the Germans steadily towards the river Vistula. From the three Armys the Chinese 6th Army was by far the strongest and English 2nd Army the weakest. Spanish forces were quick and strong to attack but lacked crucial defensive troops.
In Smolensk Adenauer was busy, he was getting more and more calls from Berlin demanding what the situation was. The scale of the offensive had taken the Germans by surprise. Situation was worst in the middle where there were no strong divisions to counter the quickly advancing Spanish troops. German 4th Army in Krasnoyarsk was still in good health but if the road between Smolensk and Krasnoyarsk was cut it would have catastrophic consequences for the 4th Armys supply situation. Adenauer demanded that more infantry and air forcces had to be moved from the East to halt the crisis that was developing. He saw the situation alarming but he also knew that he held the panzer units as his ace in the sleeve.
Franco, the leader of Spanish Expeditionary Army, was satisfied that his troops were making good progress in the middle sector. He was eager to show to the Western Powers that the Spain was totally comitted to the war. On 30th of July his troops had already advanced almost 100 km from the starting point and were already gazing to the horisont were the Harsch Mountains formed a massive wall.
Chinese 6th Army was bounding heavily the left flank of Archens 4th Army and was steadily making its way towards the Elbrus Passage. Chinese had anticipated that with the numerical superiority they would easily break the German defences. By the 29th of July it proved not to be the case. Although they were making progress they were also taking constant battering from the German airforce and artillery.
On the evening of 29th the English 2nd Army reached the South bank of the River Vistula. They had fought hard and taken heavy casualties but they were still making progress. On the next day they managed to form a beach head on the North bank and troops begun to pour across the river. On the North side of the river the vast steppes of northern Russia lay ahead all the way to Vladivostok. This terrain would have suited a fast moving army but the English troops were mostly infantry and thus didnt enjoy any advantage. In fact on the steppe they were easy targets for the German airforce fleet which had just arrived to Vladivostok.
As the Chinese and English were having troubles in achieving their objectives the success of the operation now depended on the Spanish forces. Franco was aware of this and pushed his troops further towards the Harsch Mountains. On the 2nd of August they reached the main road between Krasnoyarsk and Smolensk and were able to take it, German 4th Army was now virtually encircled. Jubilant mood was enjoyed among the Francos men and it seemed that once again the Krasnoyarsk would mean trouble for the Germans.
The reinforcements what Adenauer had requested arrived in Smolensk on 4th of August. This made the defensive position of Smolensk much stronger but the encircled 4th Army was the real trouble. If Chinese were able to transfer more troops to attack the city from the South, or were able to capture Elbrus passage and send in the Expeditionary Army from Lödöse, the 4th Army would be doomed. Adenauer was now convinced that dealing with the salient made by the Spanish troops would now have to be the priority.
In the North English 2nd Army was having more and more trouble reaching Vladivostok. The constant air raids and endless steppes that didnt offer any protection were exhausting the English soldiers. By 5th of August they had advanced over 100 km but were still some 150 km away from Vladivostok. In the city General Busse was not too alarmed about the English advance. Losing the River Vistula had been unfortuned but the 2nd German Air Fleet was now effectively mauling the English troops. Busse had not been given very effective land forces in his disposal, but for his fortune some panzer regiments were passing through the city on their way to France and Busse was able to convince the German High Command that the delivery to France should be delayed and that the panzers should be left in his command for the next week or so. The newly trained panzer troops would have their first battle sooner than they expected.
Adenauer was given the permisson from the German High Command to use his panzer reserves on 6th of August, although he did not unleash them until 8th of August. But when he did, the effect was shattering. The panzers struck with enermous strenght and speed to the left flank of Francos Army and immediately penetrated the weak Spanish defences. Francos Army had not been given any anti-tank weapons so the fighting was quite hopeless. For two days the Spanish resisted, but on 10th of August the panzers had cut trough the neck of the Spanish salient. Francos goal of reaching the Harsch Mountains was shattered and he was now encircled between Smolensk and Krasnoyarsk. The trap that the German High Comand had started to plan on June was now finally beginning to unfold.
In the North, couraged by the success of the Adenauers panzer attack, General Busse launched his panzers 10th of August. On the open steppe they easily picked off English troops and made deep strikes between the English formations. This effectively halted the English offensive and they started slowly to withdraw towards the River Vistula. Even though the panzers had shown devastating firepower, the Germans had also taken casualties. At this point of the war the panzers were still on short supply and the Germans didnt want to risk losing any of them. So after the initial success the panzers were halted and infantry was send in to keep the defense lines
The only couraging news for the Western Powers came from the South were the strong Chinese 6th Army cleared its way to Elbrus passage. General Archen had had to reduce the defences in his left flank due to supporting the panzers push from the North. Capturing Elbrus passage gave some hope to Franco who thought that if he could break out from the encirclement he would be able to make contact with the Chinese. This however proved wrong when the German infantry divisions from Smolensk begun their assault against Francos troops. Some of the Spanish troops managed to escape to East towarsds the Elbrus Passage but most of them never made it. It was a humiliating defeat and marked the end for the Spanish involvement in the Central Eurasia Campaign.
After capturing the Elbrus Passage, the Chinese made numerous attacks towars Krasnoyars in a desperate attempt to gain some success for the operation Raccoon. They were however all repulsed and finally when the panzers arrived from Smolensk the Chinese were cut off from the South and pushed deeper into the Elbrus Passage. The disaster in the South totally collapsed the morale of the English forces in the North and they were pushed beyond the River Vistula all the way back to Moscow. The operation Raccoon, which was initially launched to devastate the German western front, ended on 20th of August in total defeat for the Western Powers.
Even though the scale of the operation Raccoon had been a surprise for the Germans, the defensive posture which was adopted in June after the failure of the operation Sissle had worked beyond its expectations. The aftermath of the operation Raccoon was that it totally wrecked the Western Powers ability to launch any further major offensives. They lost the strategic initive and were never again able to retake it. For the Germans, the operation Raccoon meant a last major defensive battle.
The end of war in Eurasia
In the coming months the Germans would launch numerous offensives which would finally realize the Bismarcks ultimate objective of ruling the Central Eurasia. Lödose and Roskilde were taken on September after a fierce fighting with the Chinese Expeditionary Army. In October the Germans launched simultaneous assaults against St. Petersburg and Yaroslav and took control of the East and West bank of Lake Orel. In the far West the strong German Expeditionary Army assisted the French to liberate Avignon. Further operations in the West saw the whole Russian territory falling to the hands of France and German Empire. Americans were also pushed back and a firm defence line was established from Houston to Nottingham. In the East the remnents of the Viking Empire were crushed as Jelling and Sigtuna fell on November. At the end of November the Spanish tried to launch a liberating assault towards Sigtuna but they were repulsed and a counter attack by the Germans pushed the Spanish all the way to Santiago which was taken on December.
After more than one and a half years of fighting in Eurasia the war was finally over by January 1925. Peace treaties were signed in Moscow which in fact was still In the English hands. The war had been total and the destruction was immense. Large areas around cities like Stuttgart, Krasnoyarsk, Smolensk and Lödöse were decimated and the human casualties of the war were in millions. Bismarck had gained what he had wanted but the price had been terrible, not only for the Western Powers, but for the Germans too. The war had totally modified the map of the Eurasia as Viking Empire and Russia were wiped out. The German Empire was now the only power in the Central Eurasia. China, America and England had not lost significant territory in the war (actually England had gained territory) but their military and cultural power was shattered. China especially would fall into political crises in the future.
Ok, so that was the final chapter for this story. Some of you may think it was too short or went trough the situations too hastily but to be honest the whole story became much longer than I had ever visioned so I hope you enjoyed it as a whole The reason why I told the last offensives in just one paragraph is that at that point of the game I had got quite bored with the fighting so I don't have any remarks how the battles played off and I didn't want to just make things up.
Anyway I'm happy that the story is now finished and next I will try to write a little story about the game behind the story. Meaning I will put some actual screenshots and so on. I already have a next story in my mind but it will not be like this, I think it will be just a short AAR story, but anyway stay tuned