December 27, 1937,
France army of 109 units opposed to Rebel army of 54 units
for a battle of complexity 1.18 at Division(XX) level
on a 15 Km/Hex map
for 80 turns of Half Week each.
by Alexandre Fenelon submited on 23-11-2002
Rugged-Defense Playing Statistics
French Civil War 1938
In Dec/1937, Marshall Petain was designed first minister of France. He tried to outlaw leftist parties but found unexpected resistance from the Communist militia and even from his own army. In few days France was brought to a full scale civil war, as the commuists, socialists and army rebels unified their forces to fight against Petain and the right wing coalition which controled the government. As soon as the war erupted, Petain asked UK and Germany for help. The German government promptly started to send troops to fight for Petain. However, the Spanish communists started to supply their comrades with weapons, across the Spanish-French border. The Soviet Union couldn't do too much to help its allies, except by sending weapons to Spanish communists. Mussolini, expecting to take some advantage from the war, also offered to help PÚtain. A prolonged war is not in PÚtain plans, but it seems it had already lost control of the situation.
2. Unit Color
2.1. French Army
2.2. Rebel Army
4. Game hints
Oct 1938- As German and its allies invaded Yugoslavia and Greece, the USSR and Poland occupied the Baltic countries. However, the USSR intends to intervene in the Balkans as soon their objectives in the Baltic are achieved. As the German player, you have to occupy Yugoslavia and Greece before the Soviet offensive (the USSR doesn't appear in this scenario, but if you will unable to win the game, unless your enemy is defeated before the USSR intervention), so pay attention to the events. If you're playing with Greece and Yugoslavia, your objective is to delay the invasion and wait for the USSR's help(?)
6. Significant Events
Turn 3: Greece declares war to German
The game ends if European Pact occupies Belgrade and Athens
7. Alternative history, 1929-1937
Hitler has died during WWI, so the NAZI party never became more than a small group of fanatics
Stalin also died before the Russian revolution and the fight for power inside the Communist Party of Soviet Union has lead to a solution in wich the Party's leadership became collective. Trotsky kept its role as War Commissar and Bukharin became the general secretary of PCUS. A gradual rupture with NEP was started after 1930, due to "scissors crisis". This resulted in a somewhat slower industrialization, but the terrible 1932-33 famine didn't happen, the communist government didn't loose peasant's support and the best officials from Red Army were not victimized by purges. The Red Army was poorly equiped in 1937, but their morale and training were good. The external politics of USSR searched for cooperation with underdeveloped countries (in the "real world"this policy was defended by Bukharin). A firm alliance with China was established as early as 1921 and a mutual defence treaty was signed in 1935. They also supported pro-independency groups in European colonies, so the diplomatics relations between USSR and Western powers worsened during the 30's. The Soviet agriculture was partially collectivized (15%) in 1937. As the collectivization process was not very coercitive, the food production in collective farms didn't drop and livestock was not killed as it happened in "real world". Other diference was in the fact that the Commintern adopted the principle of national autonomy, wich gave to each communist party liberty to establish the alliances judged necessary to fulfill their objectives.
In 1931, a right wing coalition won the German elections. The new govenment, backed by the Army, felt itself prepared to establish a dictatorship. The monarchy was restored and left wing parties activities were prohibited. Von Ribbentropp became the first minister and started to build powerful armed forces in violation to Versailles treaty. Communist and Social-democratic parties called for a general strike against the government. They were brutally repressed. More than 50000 people were killed and another 120000 were imprisioned. Since then, there was not resistance against the new dictatorship. The new government was not anti-semitic, but was clearly expansionist, claiming eastern Europe territories, to build the "Great German Empire". Their plans had some support from western powers, because they expected that a war between USSR and Germany could save their colonies, were unrest was growing.
In Japan, a revolution happened in 1929. After months of worker's unrest and socialist agitation, a socialist alliance backed by left wing officers seized power. The emperor was banished and the army was purged from right wing elements. Althought the communist party participated of the new government coalition, the communist system was not adopted. Instead, a serie of reformist socializing reforms were made. The new government favored a cooperation between Japan and other Asian peoples. Japanese citizenship was given to Koreans. Taiwan was given back to China and a cooperation treaty was established with this country. Relations with the USSR became better and, in fact, this two countries cooperated in giving support to pro independency groups in India and Dutch Indias. Commerce between Japan and USSR increased. In 1936, Japan signed a mutual defense treaty with China and USSR. Japan was supplied by the USSR with oil and other raw materials, becoming less dependent from USA. They went on building a large navy. It seemed that Japan and China were preparing a war to liberate Asian colonies.
Chiang Kai Shek didn't break up its agreements with Chinese Communist party. The coalition of the Kuomintag and Communist Party was kept. China also insisted on Asian people's rigth to independence. Relations with Japan were very warm, since the peace treaty in 1933. China became an important market to Japan goods. Both countries had mixed economies, with public and private entrerprises and remained relatively untouched by the 30's depression. The land reform made in those countries increased food production. Their agricultures were not collectivized. the land was given to agricultural worker's.
The left parties didn't win French elections in 1936. Instead, a rigth wing pro-Germany government was elected in 1932 and kept power in 1936. Would they follow the politics of their German counterparts? Communists (20% votes in 1936 elections) and socialists (15%) worked together to avoid this. Agitation and socialist propaganda has grown in the society and the left wing parties have gotten strong support among soldiers, sailors and undergraduate officials in of the armed forces. Centrist and liberal parties became weaker, as they had only 15% votes in the 1936 elections. They decided to ally themselves with the right wing coalition (50% votes).
The growing unrest in colonies led Europeand powers to take protective measures. In 1934, an rebellion in India were severely repressed. Winstaon Churchill became first Minister in England in 1935. He reafirmed England's rigths over its colonies and increased defense expenses. In 1936, a meeting between France, Belgium, UK and Netherlands established military cooperation against rebellions in the colonies. In order to press the USSR, concessions were done to Germany, that could occupy Austria in the same year (in fact the Austrian people favored unification and there was no resistance) and had all the restrictions to armed forces suspended. In fact those restrictions were only "pieces of paper" at this time. The former German colonies in Africa were given back to Germany. The Germans also established mutual defense pacts against USSR with the governments of Finland, Rumania , Bulgaria and Baltic countries, but tensions are increasing with Polish government due to border disputes. The final objective of German government is the ocupation of Soviet territories, but. according to German military staff, only in 1941 they were expected to have the necessay power.
United States became isolated from the international disputes. They were trying to manage their terrible economic crisis and remained neutral. They favored the independency of European colonies but considered the Alliance between China, USSR and Japan a threat to civilized world. Germany expansionism also worried USA leadership, althought a prolonged war between USSR and Germany in which no winner could emerge was considered a good solution to the Red threat, according with some conservative politicians.
In Central Europe, the Czechs were the only USSR's allies. Althought Germans claimed Czechs territories, they realized that a country which had a defense treaty with USSR couldn't be challenged at this time. The Czech Army itself was well equipped and trained, being itself a hard foe.
Italy remained occupied in the pillage of Ethiopia, invaded in 1933. Mussolini had territorial ambitions on Greece, Turkey and Albania. An alliance between Italy and Germany was signed in 1934.
Spain, under a moderate leftist governmnent, was another Soviet ally. The Spanish civil war didn't happen.
The communist movement was strong in China, Czechoeslovakia, France, Spain, India, Dutch Indias, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Vietnan, Malaysia, South Africa and Mexico. They were working together with nationalists groups with the objective of independence in colonized countries.
The war started in 02/02/37, when China demanded the immediate devolution of Hong Kong and Macau. In face of British and Portuguese negative, the two cities were immediately surrounded by Chinese troops and occupied, with little resistance from the small local garrisons. UK, France, Netherlands, Belgium and Italy declared war to China. The USSR supported China with tanks, planes, guns, infantry weapons, military advisors and "voluntary pilots". The Soviet leadership, despite this, was not pleased with the Chinese offensive. They believed that China had no conditions to challenge European powers and they didn't feel themselves ready to support China in a full war against France and UK when Germany agressive intentions towards USSR were becoming more and more evident. European troops were sent to French Indochina and an invasion of China was planned to recapture Hong Kong. Four months were spent to build up the invasion force, that included troops from France, UK, Belgium, Netherlands and Portugal.
Japan remained officially neutral, but supplied China with mlitary hardware. In fact, Japan's objectives were Philippines, Dutch Indias, and, Finally, Australia and Hawaii, but the moment had not yet came.
8. CRONOLOGY OF ALTERNATIVE WWII
8.1. CHAPTER 1: The South China campaign
The invasion of South China ended in a complete failure to the European coalition. During the first 30 days the European troops advanced and captured Nanning and Wunning (North) Quinjian (South) and Lingao (Hainandao island). However, the Chinese army was able to take defensive defensive position East of Quinjian, Northeast of Nanning and Wunning and surroundig Lingao. A third offensive tried to explore the space between Quinjian and Nanning occupied Guixian but they were also stopped by Chinese army in Aug 37. By the middle of Aug all the offensive stopped, althought the European armies went on inflicting heavy losses to Chinese troops near Nanning and Quinjian (those troops were surrounded in pockets formed during the first European offensive). In 08/20/37 the poor logistics of European troops became evident and they had to assume deffensive positions in all fronts due to a general lack of ammunition and fuel (The Chinese had an equally poor logistics, but their supply lines were shorter, of course). To make things even worse, the communists and left wing socialists in France started to sabotage the weapons production, reducing the replacements to allied troops. The Chinese, however, were benefitted by an increasing of Soviet equipment sales. They started to mobilize their reserve troops to the front lines preparing a counterstrike. It started in Sept/37, near Quinjian. From 9/2/37 to 9/15/37 they managed to break the European lines east of Quinjian, causing heavy losses to UK and French troops. The offensive was only stopped after the European sent massive reinforcements (reconstituted units) to Quijian. In the end of Sept the situation was stabilized. In the same period, the European managed to smash the last Chinese troops near Nanning. However the European commanders realized that they were unable to achieve Hong Kong due to the general lack of supplies. On the other side, the Chinese didn’t tried to launch offensives. Instead they brought reinforcements to keep their deffensive positions while their diplomats were trying to get more support from Moscow ,since the Chinese Army was planning a general counteroffensive to Jan/38. The Chinese AF, with help of Soviet pilots, was able to achieve some air superiority, destroying the majority of allied planes. However, both airforces were too small to have a decisive influence on the final results of the battle. In 10/15/37, the European tried their last offensive in this campaign. Their troops attacked the Chinese Army entrenched near Quinjian and, despite inflicting them massive losses (more than 15000 dead or captured), were unable to explore their victory due to their poor supply system and the arriving of Chinese reinforcements to their trenches. By the end of Oct/37, neither side was able to advance, but the Chinese were in a better position to launch their counteroffensive. The European defeat was only a matter of time...
Consequences of China campaign
In Nov/37, the European armies were in a difficult position. In the “domestic front”, the things were not going well too. In French there was a substantial oposition to the war, while people in Netherlands and Belgium were asking themselves why they were involved in a war in which they had no interests threatened. Only Portugal was willing to go on in the war. However, the Portuguese army was too small. The UK leadership realized that they were unable to take back Hong Kong and Churchill decided to take advantage from this defeat to blame their Labour antecessors for neglecting the Kingdom’s defense. He demanded a increase in military expenses to make UK able to defend its possessions. Another military operation against Hong Kong, he said, would be launched only after a complete reformulation of the British Army. It’s strategy was well succeded and he not only survived to a censure motion as he was able to have the increased military budget approved by the Parlament.
On the other side, the Chinese were euphoric. After a century of humiliation, they were able to defeat their former opressors. Chiang Kai Check started to plan a full counteroffensive to take back the Chinese territory still in imperalist’s hands and the to liberate Indochina. Gen Mao Tse Tung, which had passed the last three years in a Soviet military academy, returned to China and was assigned to command the first Chinese armoured division. This formation was sent to South front (near Quinjian) and was expected to have a proeminent role in the upcoming offensive. However, the USSR, which supplied China with weapons during the campaing, had another plans. They feared an alliance of western countries with Germany against USSR as a consequence of the continuation of the war ( remember that the new French government was pro Germany and even Churchill was willing to accept an alliance with German if it was necessary to keep the colonies in British hands) and a the Soviet involvement in the Asian war would hamper their plans to modernize the Red Army (in this alternative world the Soviet industry is growing somewhat slower than it grew in the real world) as military hardware was to be deviated to China. So they pressed the Chinese to offer a peace agreement to European countries. According to the Soviet plans, the European countries would retreat from the Chinese territory and, in exchange, China would cancel its programed offensive. Hong Kong and Macau should remain in Chinese hands. To sweet the deal, the USSR offered China a industrial cooperation treaty, whose objective was to provide China with capacity to produce Soviet weapons under license, in favorable financial terms. After some hesitation, the Chinese leadership accepted the Soviet proposal. The Chinese proposal of a cease fire was easily accepted by European countries, but UK and Portugal refused to resign to their rights to Hong Kong and Macau. In 11/18/37 an peace agrement was signed by the countries involved. It established the following terms:
1-European countries should retreat back to Vietnam until 12/1/37
2-A demilitarized zone was created in the China-Vietnam border
3-Both sides signed a non agression pact with a duration of 10 years
4-There was no agreement about Hong Kong and Macau, but the non agression agreement prevented UK and Portugal from launching military operations against those territories until 1947. They would remain in Chinese hands until 1943, when a conference about them was scheduled.
So the Chinese campaign ended. However its consequences would be tragic for one of the countries involved in the war.
8.2. Chapter 2- The French civil war
From the very start of Chinese campaign, there was substantion oposition against French involvement. The communist party and some socialists, started massive sabotage in the weapons factories as soon as the war started. The effect of theirs efforts to the final result of the war is matter of controversies nowadays, but the immediate effect in the French politics is undisputed. Even before the end of the war, the prosecutions of communists involved in sabotage actions started. The French society was divided, since many citizens (50%) agreed that the country shouldn’t be involved in that war, althought only 30% agreed with the communist sabotage. As the true extent of communist sabotage was discovered, the government tried to outlaw the leftist parties, like the Germans had done 6 years ago. The president invited Pétain to become the New First Minister in 12/12/37. He suspended individual guarantees and prohibited the activities of socialist and communist parties (althought the socialists were not very active in sabotage). However, the left parties were much well prepared than their Germany counterparts. In the last 5 years, the PCF had been preparing a powerful militia (more than 30000 men) and the PSF could recruit also more than 5000 armed men among their affiliates. Even worse to Pétain was the fact that those parties had good support in the armed forces. The navy, in particular, had many socialists and communists among sailors and even officials.
The reaction of socialists and communists to Pétain acts was immediate. They called for a general strike and occupied many factories in the biggest French cities. The armed forces and the police were called to repress the workers, but many units (somewhat as 30% of the Army, 50% of the navy and 20% of air force) refused to follow Pétain’s orders and started an open rebellion against the government. After some small conflicts, the PCF and the PSF established a revolutionary government in Marseille, backed by the French navy and marines. Other important cities like Bordeaux, Toulon, Montpelier and Lyon were also in rebels hands. However, the majority of military units remained loyal to Pétain. The old Marshall asked for help to other countries. Churchill decided to remain neutral. Even he hated the communists, he knew that the British armies weren’t able to get itself involved in another war. The German leadership, however, decided that they could take advantage from the events in France. In 12/27/37 the first German troops started to arrive in France in order to support Pétain. The Spanish government remained officially neutral, but they didn’t do nothing to prevent the Spanish Communist Party from sending weapons to their French comrades throught the French-Spanish border (in fact the PCE was part of the Spanish government coalittion). Mussolini decided to support the French government, but his troops were sent only in Feb 38.
In 12/27/37 Pétain ordered a total ofensive against the rebels. The rebel army wasn’t in a good posistion because their troops were dispersed across the country, except in the axis Montpelier-Marseille-Toulon, were they had the bulky of their army. In Bordeaux, the rebel troops couldn’t resist to a massive attack of the government army. The city was captured after five days of fight. The rebel troops abandoned the city and fled to Toulouse. Both sides suffered high casualaties (5-6000 dead or captured). At the same time, another offensive was directed against Marseille and Montpelier. As soon as the rebels realized that Lyon couldn’t be secured, their troops were ordered to retreat to Marseille and Montpelier to help on the defense of those cities. In 01/07/38 the first combats started in Monpelier. The rebel troops were entrenched and resisted fiercely, causing heavy casulaties to their foes. At the same time, government troops arrived in Avignon (North of Marseille). In the following month, battles were fought in two fronts. The offensive against Marseille was completely defeated, with massive losses caused to govenment troops. In Montpelier, government losses were still heavier, but the rebels were heavily outnumbered. The city was captured in 01/20/38. Other combats happened in Toulouse, where the rebels were utterly defeated. By the end of Jan/38, all the rebel troops were fleeing from Montpelier to Marseille. The government so decided to capture Marseille departing from Montpelier, since the offensive from north was defeated. The rebels entrenched themselves at the east margin of the Rhône river, were they expected to resist as many time as possible. For 10 days (1-10 Feb/38) they caused heavy losses to the goverment troops. But they lost more men and equipment then they could replace. In 2/10/38 the govenment troops and their German allies crossed the Rhône. Twenty days after, Marseille was captured with heavy losses. More than 35000 men died in Marseille (25000 from the government army). The rebel navy refused to surrender and scuttled their ships. After the fall of Marseille, the government still took three months to eliminate all the foci resistance, since the industrial workers persisted with strikes, sabotage and even armed resistance. Then, a ferocious dictatorship was established. More than 200000 persons were executed by Pétain. The left wing parties were exterminated. However, the fast victory prevented the French economy from disintegration. It also prevented uprisings in the colonies, which were expected if the civil war were prolonged. The victory of Pétain also made stronger the alliance between France and Germany. On the other side, it made the USSR realize that its worse nightmare was becaming more and more real. A war between France/Germany/Italy and their allies against USSR would happen sooner or later.
8.3. Chapter3: The European Pact