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For anyone who like strategy games and has never played Hearts of Iron 4 #HOI4 before here's a wee story, the game starts in 1936 or 1939 and runs through the WW2 era to around 1950. You can play with nations set to follow historical focuses or alternate hsitory.. /1
I started a new alt history game as South Africa, my aim was to leave the British Empire and create an egalitarian South Africa by the 1940's and survive the war intact. Here's state of play.. its now 1972 the tech tree was done 20 years ago but I cant stop playing.. /2 #hoi4
The game started as normal, with Axis powers becoming increasingly belligerent in the late 30's, the Anchsluss and then the invasion and defeat of Czechoslovakia, then the alt history kicked in, a facist civil war happened in Britain and Mosely won.. /3 #hoi4
I saw the writing on the wall before hand and managed to leave the allies & become independent just before civil war spread to us all. New Zealand and Australia followed me out but everyone else was conquered into the new fascist empire. Britain then joined the Axis. /4 #hoi4
So Axis declared war on Poland (1939). France & eventually Russia joined the struggle defending Poland. Despite insane heriocs from Poland, (they took Berlin at one point) the Axis eventually conquered Europe. Russia was holding out, then.. Japan joined the war.. /5 #hoi4
Japan had already pretty much conquered China by this point, Russia fought a war on two fronts and got carved up. Ireland joined the Comintern near the end but even the Irish couldnt turn the tide. The rest of the world looked on in horror.. /6 #hoi4
Then something insane happened, after the Russian war, Germany declared war on Japan, the Axis powers won it in 3 years, Europe, Africa, Asia, Canada & India were in the Axis. So by 1944, US, Mexico and a number of South American Nations formed a pact against them.. /7 #hoi4
By this point I was the Cape Commune in South Africa, we had abolished apartheid, industrialised the nation and modernised the army. In our foreign policy we'd deonounced colianialism & promised to free Africa, a goal I was under no illusions was remotely possible now.. /8 #hoi4
So 1948 it exploded, Axis declared war on US & their allies, I couldnt sit it out, if the US fell there was no hope left. I sneaked my tanks up to the border & declared war. We're outclassed/outnumbered but I'm invested in the narrative, we're not going without a fight.. /9 #hoi4
.. and even though there is no hope of winning.. I've played #hoi4 to death, I've conquered the USA with Iran, conquered Germany with Denamrk, as far as the AI is concerned its fighting Sun Tzu. Our early war goes well I expand north into Africa.. /10 #hoi4
Axis is understrengthed, they'd committed to North America before I declared war, I manage to liberate Namibia, Botswana Zimbabwe and half of Mozambique. I establish my first defensive line across the continent from North Namibia to the Southern tip of Malawi.. /11 #hoi4
I have to stop & rebuild, we're out of tanks & equipment, I dont have the industry to compete, I have no air superiority, 56 planes & my navy consists of 20 submarines, great for harassing conveys but not much use battles. The war progresses like this for 15 years.. /12 #hoi4
I slowly progress Northwards, US conquers fascist Canada, but loses Panama. Peru and Venezuala join the Axis & defeat the US's other Allies in South America. Brazil, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand & Scandanavia remain out of the war. So it's time to have a word.. /13 #hoi4
.. by "have a word" what I mean is *COMMUNST COUP*. Now I don't think they could make a difference at this point but their support could come in handy to prolong the innevitable. Unfortunately around 1964 the innevitable became even cast in stone.


/14 #hoi4
What appears to have happened is, after 15 years of war, 20 million casualties, the US like Russia before them, became annoyed enough to install the Communist Party.

It appears this was a step too pinko for the old Confederate states and they declared independence.. /15 #hoi4
The civil war didn't last long, the new Communist United states won within the year, but the damage was done. Axis powers had established a foothold in Florida and Labrador. Mexico had been pushed North by the distraction. North America was beginning to fall.. /16 #hoi4
For the next seven years the US fought a retreat to the Rockies and Mexico north. I slowly methodically pushed further north into Africa, nursing my tanks, my planes and troops. When it comes to matériel we're the corner shop, our enemy is Wallmart.. /17 #hoi4
.. but I know game mechanics, my doods are the A-Team, we'll liberate Rwanda with a cardboard box, some nails and the plastic bit in a pizza box. The problem is we no longer have even that. Nearly 10,000 Axis fighters and bombers have been hammering us for a decade.. /18 #hoi4
I make my final push before the US capitulates, we liberate Tanzania, Zambia, Angola, DRC, Burundi & Rwanda. We establish a line from Mombasa to lake Victoria & from Rwanda to Southern Gabon. We'll be making a stand here for some time, I'm building an African Maginot.. /19 #hoi4
US capitulates around 1971, Mexico lasts a few months longer, meanwhile Brazil & Denmark become communist & joined my faction. I cant call them into the war though they would get crushed. Which takes us to 72, I've been fighting the war alone for a year against the world.. #hoi4
.. and now I cant stop playing, my imaginary doods gave their imaginary lives to make this imaginary world better, I will not abandon their memories. This fictional world they lived in, magically created by #hoi4, deserves hope.. /end
Sept 1975, alone for 4 years, completely outmatched in the air my infra & industry has taken a pounding. Did an unplanend push to secure airfields in the west with an armour division and specialist anti-air/tank infantry, liberated our brothers in Gabon and Middle Congo.. #hoi4
..it cost most of my tanks, we're 300 odd short, time to rest up, seeing the new fascist US planes running Axis sorties, the entire fascist world is arrayed against us, but Argentina & Sweden joined us, like Brazil and Denmark though, they cant join the war or they'd perish #hoi4
July 1978, Blitzkrieg in the Sun.

Summer of '78 must have looked peachy for your average Panzer officier in the Axis army. All other enemies defeated all that remained was the African People's Union. The advance of the APU north had been halted in '77 & now axis troops.. #hoi4
.. were being redoployed to the African theater from all over the world, Axis were ascendant. The Panzer divisions rolled up to the Middle Congo & smashed into the infantry defenders. The defensive line melted before the blitzkrieg as it had in France and Russia before.. #hoi4
.. the assualt pushed into previously held territory crossing the river Congo into the central Congo with African infantry division fleeing from their path. Onward the Panzer's rolled.. onward... right into a brick wall.. #hoi4
It is unkown when the Axis High Command realised they'd been duped. Was it when the previous fleeing infantry suddenly stopped and dug in along the class 10 fortresses seemingly built in the years since Axis lost the territory to the African Peoples Union..? #hoi4
Was it when the Panzers assaulted the forts only to be shattered by newly trained & equiped specialist Anti-Tank Divisions..?

Or perhaps it was when the APU's greatest tank commander, Field Marshal Hendick Cilliers, suddenly appeared with new shiney modern armour tanks.. #hoi4
.. shiney new tanks which are as good, if not better, than any Axis have in the field. Either way the trap had been laid and now it was sprung. Cilliers tank division drove into the Axis push at the root, severing tens of thousands of Axis troops from their supply lines.. #hoi4
.. by the end Axis forces adandoned their fueless tanks, dropped their spent guns & surrendered in their droves for the promise of food, water and respite from the sun. Meanwhile, Cilliers drove forward into the now disorganized Axis front line in a Blitzkreig of his own.. #hoi4
..Gabon and the Middle Congo were retaken, Cameroon, Uganda and Equitorial Africa were all newly liberated from the Axis before the assault was ended. With no source of oil, fuel is precious in the APU and the national stockpile dictates strategy more than any other concern #hoi4
While being pictured alongside a broken Panzer tank for a PR stunt, a Danish reporter asked APU president Moses Kotane what message this stunning victory sends to Axis powers in Europe, his reply was, "GIRFUY" #hoi4
State of play, 1979. Our biggest enemy is lack of fuel (and aluminium tbh), we have no oil & only limited slots for synthetic refineries, at the moment I can run just 1,000 planes, 12 subs in combination with my armour divisions. Any more than that and we're out of fuel. #hoi4
December 1979, Red Spangled Banner..

United States erupts in a Communist coup against the Vichy Confederate Government installed by Axis. Nobody knows where they got the guns from..

President Kotane has been seen wandering around Cape Town whistling innocently. #hoi4
March 1980, Land of the Rising Proles

Japan erupts in a Communist coup against the facist state. Nobody knows where they got the guns or the little red books from.

President Kotane has been seen wandering around Cape Town pissing himself laughing. #hoi4
Aug, 1980, Seven Years of Hell.

This period of APU history has come to be known as, Seven Years of Hell. Sadly, the communist revolutions in the US and Japan didn't last long, each fledgling revolution was crushed by the Axis within months.. #hoi4
While formenting revolutions isn't effective under the current circumstances they do act as stop gaps to keep the AI busy, but the real reason we do what we do, as any communist revolutionary will tell you, is for the lols.. #hoi4
After our push into Uganda our new front line is underdeveloped, lacking fortresses & infrastructure built in depth further South to survive assault. Despite the success of our last engagement, the real battle starts now, a battle to stabilise & hold the land we liberated. #hoi4
Axis have thousands of factories, thousands of infantry/tank divisions, hundreds of thousands of ships/airplanes & access to the entire resources of the planet. We have 200 divisions, 50 factories, 1,400 planes, 50 submarines and 8 destroyers.. #hoi4
Worse.. we don't have enough fuel to run half of them at the same time and we also lack the resources and manpower required to replace heavy loses. Hence why this game has lasted into the 1980's.. #hoi4
So how do you survive in an imaginary lopsided hellscape like this? All the imaginary tactics and imaginary counter-tactics in the world might win a handful of imaginary engagements but there is only one way to win an imaginary war.. imaginary logistics. #hoi4
Logistics is the reason we survive, Axis can’t bring it's 28 million troops to Africa, if it tried they'd never be able to supply them. Armies would suffer attrition, run out of gear & my doods would slap them like it aint no thing. Of course.. stealing tanks helps too.. #hoi4
Logistics is the reason thousands of Axis bombers are bombing our stuff to the detriment of our supply & infrastructure. Logistics is the reason I spent 7 in game years staring at a factory build queue screen, scrambling to rearrange build orders, prioritising repairs.. #hoi4
..switching priorities between building static air defences, fort defences depending on the most pressing crisis. Constantly watching the supply map to keep our infrastructure repaired enough so that our doods didn’t run out of so much stuff they decide to do a runner. #hoi4
Throughout these 7 years Axis hammered our lines, they smashed our coasts with hundreds of failed naval invasions and constantly obliterated our stuff from the sky. My pool of recruitable people began to tick down by its own accord as a result of the attacks, something.. #hoi4
..which spells “ULTIMATE DOOM” for any HOI player. All the while, I clicked up and down rearranging build lists, moving troops backwards & forwards to reinforce weakening defences and to give my brave imaginary doods well earned rests. #hoi4
All of this, just to reach a sustainable stalemate, one in which we no longer have to frantically tread water, one that will allow us to get our head above the water and plan for the future. A stalemate in which our pool of recruitable people is ticking up instead of down.. #hoi4
This was finally achieved in Sept 1987 & while we're not out of the woods yet we have time and space now to look for opportunities, the first of which is a no brainer, to disrupt Axis supply lines and try to regain the upper hand at the front. #hoi4
Cue.. the town of Juba in Sudan, it was close to the front & while it’s not key to Axis logistics, it might be enough to tip the balance in our favour again.. and now after repeatedly failed Axis attacks originating from the town their troops were disorganised.. #hoi4
July 1987, The Juba Offensive

In steps yer man Hendrick Cilliers.. Cillier’s tank division rolled in and cracked the Axis lines. The African People's Union liberated our first territory since the 7 years of hell began. #hoi4
The slight shift of control in the area disrupted Axis supply routes across the front. The constant Axis attacks on our lines faltered as their troops suffered attrition, attacks were now reduced to more manageable & sporadic affairs, our woman/manpower stopped ticking down #hoi4
With logistical advantage back in place & everything stabilised we can now starting planning some overly elaborate tactics, executed on a shoe string budget.. even if it fails it will be a laugh.. superior logistics has given the APU back it's edge & it's sense of humour. #hoi4
Also, something mad happened during this period, China had a Democratic revolution against Axis. We had nothing to do with it this time, honest.. but for some reason the new Chinese Government joined my faction, I didn’t ask them too.. #hoi4
..as a result I had to eject the other members of our faction in case the new China called them into the war. They capitulated after 5 months. One good thing came out of it though. Some of their planes made it to my airfields, to join the struggle to liberate Africa. #hoi4
Another thing happened during the Seven Years of Hell.. after 40 years trying to convince Australia how awesome communism is, we finally received a response, its a bit blurry but I think its a photograph of their newly fascist Prime Minister extending his middle finger.. #hoi4
State of play, Dec 1987.

Axis are still frisky at the front but we're coping for the moment..
Jan, 1988 - 1993, Five Years when Nothing Happened

When I say nothing happened, I mean relative to the previous 7 years, the naval invasions continued unabated & the politburo were unwilling to disturb the new stability at the front by launching new liberation efforts.. #hoi4
.. so instead we focused on building up coastal defences and reworking some kind of naval effort, however small. A new top of line submarine was developed & a civilian factory was replace with a new synthetic oil plant to help support a wolf pack operating out of Cape Town. #hoi4
The new wolf pack would be commanded by Admiral Guy Halifax who, despite his bourgeois sounding name, I assure you, is working class in the finest APU traditions. The Admiral has been left to command our submariner forces for over a decade since the start of the war.. #hoi4
On many occassions the Politburo forgot he was even out there, only to be reminded by the plunging fuel Supplies, at which point President Kotane would inform everyone being invisible is a requirement for any submarine commander. In reality, the Admiral is a submarine Jedi. #hoi4
With the new subs ready, the Politburo decided to attach a new commissar to the submariner division so they could keep an eye on Hallifax, find out what he's up too out at sea for months alone.. wth only his bourgeois name for company, but they weren't dissapointed.. #hoi4
.. as the last image from the commissars report was shared amongst the Politburo showing 45 German troop carriers burning hulks in the sea, they decided to drop the ongoing investigation into the Admiral's bourgeois heritage. They knew where those troop convoys were going.. #hoi4
.. and besides sometimes these investigations go nowhere, for example President Kotane himself was once etensively investigated and the only thing uncovered was that his father used to sell beauty& personal care products for a British direct selling company based in London. #hoi4
So, while our coastal defenses & mini-Navy are being looked after, in the later half of the "Five Years Where Nothing Happened", something actually happened. Axis forces in South Sudan & Western Kenya decided to take advantage of the recent lull in hostilities to redeploy.. #hoi4
So, while our coastal defenses & mini-Navy are being looked after, in the later half of the "Five Years Where Nothing Happened", something actually happened. Axis forces in South Sudan & Western Kenya decided to take advantage of the recent lull in hostilities to redeploy.. #hoi4
.. the big mistake they made was to do it right under the nose of Field Marshall Cilliers. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, or any other orifice for that matter, Cilliers shouted at some doods, clambered into his tank and went for a jaunt.. #hoi4
.. the newly liberated provinces were fortified and secured during '92, while the rest of the front remained relatively quiet. The Field Marshall however has suddenly got a far away look in his eye, I think he's planning something.. #hoi4

Here's the state of play, Jan 1993
Here's a comparison with our original border in 1948, just before we went to war to liberate Africa from this Axis conquered hellscape.. #hoi4
President Kotane, addressing army high command, laid Field Marshall Cilliers latest plan down on the table. "The mans a genius.." #hoi4
April 1993, Operation TANKS to liberate Kenya.

Army High Command decided one tank group & one of the new fast moving mechanised infantry army groups recently developed should be enough for the task, backed of course by the front line infantry divisions in the region. #hoi4
The initial plan went as expected the fast moving divisions encircled the Axis troops in Kenya whille front line infantry pinned them down, unfortunately upon reaching the coast the port we needed was too heavily defended. Modyfing the plan the Field Marshall bypassed it.. #hoi4
.. cutting the encirclement shorter and pushing the outlying axis troops inside. The 19th Tank Brigade distinguishing itself, holding the crucial pin in place all alone for days while the slower moving infantry rushed frantically to lend support. #ho4
With Axis forces in Kenya deserting in their droves, Axis troops left the port to bolster the borders on the newly created front. Spotting his chance, Cilliers pushed onward into Southern Somalia, cutting the port off from land reinforcements, before defeating the garrison #hoi4
June 1993, Liberation of Nairobi.

With the final elements of the Axis forces in Kenya surrendered, Army Group 10 liberates Nairobi. This front line infantry units work doesn't end here. After the liberation they're ordered North, to bolster the new front lines. #hoi4
July 1993. The liberation of Kenya & the Southern tip of Somalia was completed in under 3 months, High Command were smug. The Politburo however were weary, the amount of micro management & bureaucracy required to make a country safe from Axis counter attack is daunting.. #hoi4
Summer of '93, Freethiopia

Way back in 1936 a nascent fascist Italy conquered our African comrades in Ethiopia & while our recent success in Kenya had depleted Axis troops on the Eastern Front, our fuel stocks had equally taken a pounding in the campaign.. but one can hope #hoi4
One small step at a time though.. and the first step needs to be the liberation of Mogadishu. As a supply port its key for Axis logistics in the region, it's heavily defended however, mostly by infantry with mainly soft attack. The best counter to which of course is.. #hoi4
MORE TANKS. We move the tank & mech inf divisions who performed the encirclement in Kenya to the coast & the liberation begins in earnest. At the top of the screen you can see we have just 40 odd days of fuel left at current usage & we've only just begun this offensive.. #hoi4
With Mogadishu liberated but a fuel crisis pending, lets have a look at how Axis logistics are faring in the area without the port. The images below show the supply map before & after. Those Axis troops in Somalia are in serious trouble once their current stuff runs out.. #hoi4
.. which, as soon as it happens the APU high command decide is the perfect time to cry havok and let loose really really fast mech infantry divisions. Axis resistence in Somalia crumbles within weeks. The door to East Africa has been kicked wide open. #hoi4
Our doods on the Eastern front finally move into Ethiopia and encircle the remaining Axis troops in Somalia. Berbera is soon liberted & APU high command issues a massive redeployment along the Ethiopian front for a liberation the troops are now calling Operation Freethiopia #hoi4
With our troops redeployed to best take advantage of their particular strengths against the particular defenders & terrain, the liberation of Harar & Addis Ababa begins and is completed within the week. #hoi4
With two key areas of the country out of from under Axis thumb a quick look at the logistics shows the remaining Axis forces low on supply, our own supply situation has taken a turn for the worse too. A note is sent to the Politburo who start to rectify matters immediately. #hoi4
Our supply & fuel stockpile manages to see the liberation through to the end, the beleaguered Axis forces beat a hasty retreat from the country. After 57 years of Axis occupation, through endless decades of war, Ethiopia is finally free from fascist occupation! *happyface* #hoi4
Jan 1994,

With the work of the army complete, the bearucracy now takes over, 3 years of building/repairing & troop deployment ensue. We manage to get enough troops to defend the Eastern coast before Axis naval invasions bombard Somalia in earnest. The liberation is secured #hoi4
June 1996, border conflict around Sudan results in unpleasant news from the front. Cilliers is wounded. His troops insist it happened while he was carrying an injured tank from the battlefield, the Politburo scoff but say nothing to quell the rumour, it's good for morale.. #hoi4
Further disturbing news from the front, Axis have press ganged their Vichy US Government into sending troops to the front.. #hoi4
With Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea liberated eyes begin to fixate on Egypt & the Suez canal, lifeblood of Axis shipping. Without it they'll be forced round the Cape & while nobody has seen him in years, Hallifax is there.. we know because of burning wreckage he leaves behind #hoi4
State of play November 1997 #hoi4
March 1999, The Great Leap Forward.

Arguments were brewing at APU army high command when Field Marshall Cilliers submitted his latest plan for the war against Axis. At face value it made sense but with the recent Eastern liberation our logistics & supply was spread thin. #hoi4
The problem was choosing between two doctrines, first, the tortoise doctrine advocated slow methodical progress and a defensive war. It had worked well so far. You can see from the maps below the concentration of defensive structures (green) indicating previous front lines #hoi4
The second doctrine was the hare doctrine, which can be summed up with the phrase, TANKS + OIL = MORE TANKS, which in essence means high risk high reward. In the end President Kotane said, "Let's do both". Nobody knew what he meant by it, but nobody wanted to admit it.. #hoi4
Thus we find ourselves on the move once more, heading to liberate a port in Khartoum, the plan is simply, "Let's kick Axis' door a few times and see if their house falls down."

If the house stood then high command took the Presidents statement to mean we'd fall back. #hoi4
The early maneouvers go well, the APU troops have a numbers and supply advantage here just north of Eritrea and they make it count. The Axis garrison is defeated and a key supply port taken. High command seem optimistic despite the uncertainty over our achievable goals.. #hoi4
Given the poor Axis resistance & flexible goals, Command decides to widen out the engagement into neighbouring provinces. Losing the nearby port has crippled Axis supply in the region & there is a chance to liberate all of Khartoum before pushing North for the oil fields. #hoi4
Multiple successes leaves us within striking distance of Khartoum, Command decides to go a little more "Hare" & begins an offensive in the still occupied northern portion of Sudan. Everything is going well, but there are uneasy glances & uncertainty on how far we should go. #hoi4
At which point Command decided to expand & have a go at liberating Nigeria because, "why not? It'll be a laugh". Admittedly it was initially, Axis collapsed under concentrated tank invasion, 18 divisions, which is 66% of our tank divisions. Their goal, Lagos.. #hoi4
.. but before we got close Field Marshall Duquense reported to logistics that his army had run out of beer. The troops were becomming perturbed to say the least. The 'Politburo' investigated & realised the invasion of Nigeria in this manner was a very very very stupid idea. #hoi4
The invasion was cancelled, tanks rolled back to original supply lines, high command deployed infantry with special logistic companies to defend land taken in the initial wave

High command declared the invasion, "a perfectly executed example of the two doctrine" approach.. #hoi4
Meanwhile in the north, Khartoum had been liberated & the Eastern desert, with its precious tank juice, was in striking distance.. but it was too much too soon, the advance ground to a halt as stronger well supplied Axis troops entered the front. #hoi4
While this was all going on, we also liberated Chad. The Politburo forgot to send a commissar to photograph the campaign however, but High Command assured them it was.. "a most daring affair executed with precision and we all deserve medals". I suppose we have too now. #hoi4
State of play, August 2000.

The Politburo has much back breaking labour ahead of it now to get everything under control & safe from counter attack. The north is particularly worrying, we're under constant bombing & invasion. We're close to Suez & it's gonna get rough #hoi4
October 2000, Say hello to my little friend.

Soviet Yemen, gives me an option of trading for Oil as we're right next to each other now. But.. one of the worse things about living in an alternate war torn dystopian reality is all those classic movies never made.. #hoi4
..then this happens. This is Axis sending 3 horse cavalry divisons on a naval invasion, to assualt a level 6 fortress defended by modern armour, infantry & artillery. The tanks & art are stood down, orders given not to hurt the horses. Fascists.. they'll sink to any depths. #hoi4
Meanwhile, with Yemen volunteer forces arriving in Africa we get another offer from further north, one that would be churlish to refuse. These volunteer forces will give their repective countries army experience and I may be calling them into the war proper in the future.. #hoi4
..and speaking of planes, lets have a look at the airforce situation which has improved dramatically since the war started. The green areas below are where we have air superiority , you can work out what red means for yourself. We're getting hammered from the air in Egypt. #hoi4
.. and here's the damage its doing, the Politburo are not pleased, more busy work as priorities are set & changed, sometimes within hours of previous instructions completely cancelling them. The work to secure the newly liberated lands is fluid & priorities change rapidly. #hoi4
Now other than the static air defenses the other means to defend the skies is our own airforce. As you can see our plane production is crippled by our lack of aluminium. This is why we don't contest the skies in Egypt, we can't afford too. #hoi4
Indeed the only reason we have air superiority in the southern regions is because Axis don't have enough airbases close enough to wrest back control of the skies. Our air superiority was won by our army driving Axis out of South Africa & not our airforce. #hoi4
Feb 2001, All Noisy on the Northern Front.

While the Politburo scamper around fighting a logistics war, a situation is developing on the new northern front. We have little reserves in the north as most of our troops were redeployed for the liberation of Nigeria. #hoi4
Two large well supplied Axis army groups were massing at the weakest point of the northern front. Axis had a supply advantage here and we need to do something about it now or it could become a disaster. Cilliers is dispatched with what reserves we have & given a free remit. #hoi4
"Free remit" appears to be his favourite type of orders, we push along the coast and widen out the front. We're creating a pocket here and then we will try to encircle the Axis armies inside it and starve them out. The fighting is rough, both sides taking loses.. #hoi4
.. but we cant quit, we need a stable front in the north & Axis still have a supply advantage that we cannot hold out against it indefinitely. Despite the losses we persist with the assault, we progress but are unable to complete the encirclement before Axis counter attacks #hoi4
Eventually, unsuccessful, High Command abandon the encirclement effort and decide to push the whole front out of Khartoum instead, the fighting is hard going but our infantry progress. #hoi4
We push up just enough to establish a supply advantage for the time being, this looks like a more stable status quo to maintain. It's at this point we suddenly notice two other things, both of which are rather important and so "Command" should have probably remembered.. #hoi4
.. first, we're out of fuel. We're under heavy attack in the north & we're fighting back on fumes.. second, we captured the oilfields in the Eastern Desert, it wasn't a goal, in fact we completely forgot it was there.

We scale back fuel use elsewhere (Hallifax) to restock #hoi4
December 2001, here's a picture of New Zealand because they're usually missed from the world map pictures . The Kiwi's have been my revolutionary buddies for over half a century now, we left the British Empire together back in the days of Mosely's fascist coup. #hoi4
March 2002, The Giant Domino.

"Nigeria", the President said, "its a giant domino, you need to push it over slowly then the whole west will fall before the year is out". The Army staff nodded in agreement, he was the president after all and he'd got us this far.. #hoi4
Later that day High Command sent a message to the western front. It said, "Two doctrine approach. Now."

Our infantry gains ground through south Nigeria while in the north fast moving tanks outmanouever the slower Axis troops. The liberation goes well. #hoi4
Once its cracked open we bring up the heavy armour divisions from behind our lines, their orders are "Hare Doctrine", drive to the coast, the tanks in the north are redeployed to support the effort along a moving front. The direction? Further west.. oh & get that aluminium #hoi4
Our push west is unstoppable, there are hard pockets of resistance but in the end they're defeated & we reach the coast. We secure a border with fascist Spain's colonies. One pocket of resistence remains in Guinea, it's a level 10 fortress, not breaking that anytime soon.. #hoi4
.. but it turns out Kotane was right, it was a giant domino after all.

Here's the state of play, January 2003. The northern fringe of Africa remains under Axis rule but the liberation rolls ever onwards.. #hoi4
Sept 2003, The Liberaton Bandwagon Grinds to a Halt.

.. but first we liberate a poorly defended Western Sahara from Axis. It's a relatively lightning campaign, all modern armour tanks against poorly supplied forces. #hoi4
Supply in the region is scarce, we need to improve infrastucture here, we're sure Axis will now that there is a border and we can't lag behind. We halt the offensive just South of Marakesh, and begin troop redeployment to try and secure the coast from Naval invasion. #hoi4
Axis retaliation begins in earnest, Egypt is now the gates of hell, we're under constant attack & our recuitment pool is static, we're only just replacing casualties every month, leaving no room to grow. Might be time to change conscription laws, but penalities are harsh.. #hoi4
.. and we depend an efficient civiliian infrastructure, here's the politburo list of things that desperately need fixed before we can start work on much needed projects in the newly liberated areas. The word "Overextension" features promininently in Politburo reports. #hoi4
The campaign map hanging on the wall at APU Army High Command pretty much tells the story. This is going to decades of busy work to sort out and the possibility of Axis victories in Egypt driving us back are starting to become a very real prospect. We have no reserves left. #hoi4
State of play Sept 2004, with casualties mounting, we either lose everything in the next 10 years to Axis counter or we survive to achieve a sustainable status quo along the new borders.. a decade of hell await the Politburo and their army of bureaucrats. #hoi4
A wee bit of good news though, bit of a climate shock for the Finnish volunteer divisions but I aint going to say no to Finnish troops. If only we had some snow to park them on, they'd probably defend it for an eternity.. #hoi4
Meanwhile.. here's the one last good & pure thing in this world, Liberia. The last Democratic country in the world. Surrounded by Axis for over half a century they kept their principles intact. If this alternate hellscape has a soul, then Liberia is it's moral centre. #hoi4
Jan 2005, No Country for Old Tanks.

The President looked up from the casualty reports, "We appear to be missing a report from the Northern Front?"
"There isn't one sir", replied the aide.
"What? Cilliers was there! Were our armies overrun?" asked President Kotane.
"Ah.. no sir, there's no casualty report because there's no casualties."
"No casualties? Egypt was a quagmire.. how?", asked the President.
"Well sir.. reports are garbled due to communications problems but.. well.. it seems the Field Marshall reorganised the infantry.."
".. then he got engineers to weld two tanks together with extra armour,
into a super giant tank & rigged it to drive around looking threatening. Axis troops spent hours firing at it, didn't cause a dent, eventually they got bored, went home & no one has seen them since.." #hoi4
"Inform the Politburo.. we need to build more of these giant tanks right away." "Yes Sir!", replied the aide, snapping to attention, before running off to find the Politburo.

President Kotane shook his head ruefully, "Giant tanks" he said, "the mans a genius.." #hoi4
So by Jan 2005 our problem on the northern front was solved adding eight new 40 width infantry/art divisions sporting a modern tank destroyer. This is my preferred division, swap in AA or AT as necessary. If it wasn't for the new fuel mechanics I'd have done this ages ago. #hoi4
Aug 2005, The Air War.

Now that we have aluminium its time to put our airforce into more dangerous territory. Right now Axis are sitting in a level 10 fort occupying Guinea. Its tying down a number of divisions, so we need to liberate it & that fort needs dealt with first. #hoi4
Enter the airforce, while we have no strategic bombers, it seems the "Politburo" forgot to build them in advance, we do have tactical bombers which can double up as strategic bombers at a push. We pop them into the air, the plan is 800 fighters jostle for air superiority.. #hoi4
.. meanwhile our tac bombers tunnel vision on bombing the fort, we're starting to make headway when something we set in motion a while back comes to fruition.

It seems the "Politburo" lost the dossier and forgot but the arms shipments continued.. Red Spangled Banner 2 #hoi4
Needless to say Axis won, this time dropping fiery death on Albuquerque to do so..

Yep seriously.. Albuquerque, I'm golfclapping here Axis, utterly golfclapping.. you've pretty much ensured Breaking Bad will never exist in this world now.. you absolute fascist units. #hoi4
After a moments silence for Saul Goodman, we return our attention to Guinea, the fort has taken a beating & we move in to see how we fare. It's brutal for Axis, 140+ divisions are destroyed in a week. Cilliars liberates the port & this thorn in our sides is extracted. #hoi4
.. back when we made planes out of cardboard, taking to the skies was suicide. A last resort to reduce pressure elsewhere and yes, we took losses here, but our objective was met. After losing Guinea, Axis retreated from the skies, the 1st victory ever for the APU Airforce! #hoi4
Jan 2006,

The US revolution is defeated, we invited the US to join our faction this time (thanks to Denmark etc no longer being members), so after defeat in the continental US, their ships and airforce flee to Africa to join us in the struggle. Welcome comrades! #hoi4
Jan 2008, Lets go Quagmires Hunting.

So while we were liberating Guinea, staging a coup in the US and making the northern front safe from casualties, the Politburo were securing Western Africa from Axis coastal assaults. By 2008 we had reched a reasonable position.. #hoi4
.. so it time for a jaunt. We're still over exposed here though, but we did reinforce with the troops previously sieging Guinea. We push our North west boundary to Marakesh and decide to send our Armour divisions under General Potgeiter towards Casablanca.. #hoi4
.. hmm looking good, our infantry saunter up behind the tanks moving the entire front past Marakesh, then.. hell, Axis counter attack & 17 new troops dropped off in Casablanca, we decide to CHEESE IT back to Marakesh. Axis have a supply advantage here while we're struggling #hoi4
We "technically" make it back without losing a unit.. well ok.. one of the Finnish volunteer divisions refused to retreat.. they were brave to the end but really should have followed us out, war is hell. Eventually we settle on a front around Marakesh, its far from perfect. #hoi4
Axis has a supply advantage from Casablanca and as good a supply in Marakesh as we do, this is the stuff Quagmires are made of. I queue up more divisions, now my recruitment pool down to 300k. #hoi4

State of play Jan 2009.
Feb 2009, Screw It.

If we sit still we could get bogged down like in Egypt, we don't have enough troops for this but sometimes you've just got to risk it. We have some divisions in training & I can deploy them early at 20%, but it will take them a while to reach the front.
The plan, such as it is, push the tanks out front and scout Cassablanca while the infantry walk the line behind so the tanks dont get encircled. When we get there Cassablanca is well defended, so the plan now is siege the port and push past with infantry. We'll use our tanks..
.. to try & outmanuever Axis troops & to help reinforce our insufficient numbers of infantry. Meanwhile our new divisions are on the march & well .. its going to take them forever.. also some of the naval invasions on the west coast are dangerous we'd better not get distracted..
.. yet distracted is exactly what we get. The one coastal province in Africa we hadn't had time to get a coast defence on and Axis land there. Ok still doable coast gurad and some tanks can deal we'll pin them in place send some tanks back.
Our Infantry are getting hammered at the front, we're using tanks to meaneavour & reinforce till we get that pocket cleared. I'm thinking retreat might be best, we'll wait for the new divisions but a sandstrom pops up removing the Axis air advantage.. hmm screw it, keep going..
We get the pocket under control and with our tanks speed at the front its under control for now. The garrison at Casablanca refuses take advantage, they must be under orders to hold. Meanwhile more dangerous naval invasions on the west coast.. damnit..
.. where the hell are the reinforcements? Seriously.. half a continent away still? I'd dock them wages if there was money in game.. maybe they'll add it in a patch.

The pocket is cleared, sadly the other invasion creates a new one further south but our coast defence deal with it
With the invasions dealt with we send all the spare tanks back to the front, The Casablanca garrision still haven't moved which suits us fine, they'd could tip the balance, if we cant take the port we'll cut it off, tanks punch a hole and surround the port..
.. our tanks faster speed is running rings round the slower Axis infantry, we've overrun (captured) so many soldiers they don't have enough troops to fill a line now either. Their supply is still miles better than mine though, screw it, in for a penny..
We exploit the gaps in the Axis front lines and circle behind pushing on to Ceuta, never thought we'd get this far so fast to be honest. At this point we've captured a few airfields, lets get our Airforce into the action, it'll help swing most of the fighting in our favour..
.. using our tanks extensively now, we have gaps in our lines also, which our faster tanks fill in when Axis make a move on them. Our tanks can also reinforce infantry attacks & defenses far more rapidly than Axis infantry. Axis should have deployed some tanks here.. fools.
While we're winning battles at the front, a quick check shows our airforce has cleared the skies of Axis, well done flying doods!

Then Casablanca, even with 30 divisions at the start of the battle, is overrun. Our tank encirclement with air support makes very short work of them
We push the freed up tanks to the front & engineer encirclements of Axis infantry, but Axis are getting reinforcements into the region fast to replace their missing troops.. if only the Politb.. wait.. we did! Where the hell are the new divisions..?

Yas! Took yous long enough..
Yeah look at the last image there, Axis just dumped another 50 toops into the port in the North, that.. puts us in a tricky position.. but poor orders from the Axis General allows us to split them in two and force half into a pocket with no supply where they eventually surrender.
Finally we encircle the port & take out the rest of the fresh Axis troops, the port eventually falls. Our air support have made a huge difference in every fight here.

This looks like a good defensible position to hold up, equal supply & a small front. More to the point though..
.. the African People's Union just liberated Morocco! We've reached the Mediterranean, we're coming for you Axis.. and we're all out of gum.. or something.

The Morocco campaign began with a sandstorm & now it ends with one, APU troops begin deploying to secure the coast.
State of play Feb 2011.

With Morocco liberated we're training more troops to properly defend it, we're also training more in anticipation of further liberation efforts. Recruitment pool is now only 98K which is very low, either we wait it out or we take a hit & change laws #hoi4
August 2011, APU on Sabbatical.

With recruitment pool numbers low and more troops needed to secure "Fortress Africa", President Kotane issued a continent wide holiday, only essential defence efforts were still on duty. The Politburo cheered, their nerves were all shot to hell.
APU Chief of Airforce Operations, Adolf Malan sat across from the President, with the sabbatical declared this was his chance to get the fuel supplies he needed for his experiment, one to test Axis naval domination. He laid out his plan to President Kotane, APU tactical bombers..
.. would begin patrolling the Cape of Africa supported by a small number of fighters as spotters. The tactical bombers would engage any Axis shipping detected by them, the Captain hoped this experiment could prove that the APU could begin to challenge Axis Naval domination..
The president agreed, I mean why not, nothing else was happening and he was getting a bit bored..

Initial flights proved very successful, Axis were caught offguard, 34 ships sunk in the initial sorties for just 3 bombers down. Continued action was approved & results monitored..
Meanwhile over at the foreign ministry Abram Fischer was taking this opportunity to catchup on world affairs.. it appears for some reason that Axis puppets the Confederate States of America had decided to change their name to the "Free American Empire".

Nobody knows why..
Meanwhile, in northern Europe there's one area of the world we haven't had any dealings with, the Baltic states. After the outbreak of the initial wars, the Baltic states formed a pact, Meidzymorza, since then they have been neutral & Axis appears to have no interest in conquest.
Not everyone was on holiday of course, Hallifax jumped in his sub and sailed out of Cape Town the minute he heard & before anyone thought to stop him.

Meanwhile on the north and west coasts Axis invasion attempts continued unabated.
Moreover data was being collected on the progress of the Naval bombing project. By August 2014 the results were less encouraging but still good. We were losing bombers at a 1:1 ratio of ships. Each bomber cost 46 production units, ships destroyed range between 800 and 6,000 units
Logistics assured us we were producing just enough bombers to cover the loses, however stocks might suffer if bombers were taking risky actions elsewhere.

Thankfully, most of the pilots who lost their planes though ejected & made it back to shore in one of Hallifax's submarines
By April 2015, things were ticking over nicely. Our recruitment pool was recovering (albeit slowly) despite reinforcing the north west front & creating new reserve divisions. Why? I hear you ask.. well, we're on a mission from Kotane

Cillier's is putting the band back together..
State of play April 2015

Wierd thing.. China bugged out in the same way they bugged in. Somehow they signed a peace treaty with Axis who annexed them & then disappeared

Also, APU apologises for taking it easy on Axis this update, we wanted to rest & watch numbers go up :) #hoi4
April 2015, Denia Algeria.

Algeria, a land suffering under fascist occupation for 79 years.. well, enough is enough Axis, the APU liberation bandwagon is rolling into town. Minor setback before we start, Cilliers is redeployed to the Egyptian front after increased Axis activity.
He takes some reserve armour divisions with him, as we cant afford a disaster in the East. General Potgieter, his understudy and an accomplished tank commander in his own right, is selected to leading the liberation campaign. The plan is as follows..
.. tanks will be sent through the desert to Gabes to cut off any supply & reinforcements arriving from Egypt. Infantry and tank divisions will be sent along the coast to liberate ports cutting of sea based supplies. We'll attempt to bottle Axis into Tunisia and if we have the..
.. numbers in our recruitment pool we should be able to wear them down and liberate Tunisia also. Our initial push goes well, the port of Oran is heavily defended however, we have to bypass it leaving defending divisions behind.. our second setback.
We prepare some fighters and tac bombers to deploy, Axis have a load of planes in the region though, we'll need to liberate some more airfields before we actually commit our airforce to any missions.
We begin phase 2 of the campaign & push some tanks to the desert where they will push on down to Gabes. We encircle the Axis front line in the process, removing them from contention. With phase 2 underway we introduce our fighters. Axis still have a huge air advantage though..
After introducing our airforce, Axis go crazy introducing planes. No way are we getting any air superiority here, the proximity of airfields in the Mediterranean seemingly allows Axis insane numbers (7,500 fighters..) High Command should have anticipated that.. setback 3.
We liberate the next port on our list, Algiers, as the front line moves behind the tank division. Meanwhile we begin attempting the liberation of Oran, everytime we get close to winning Axis transport more troops in exploiting easy access from Europe, this is starting to cost us.
We begin the push down to Gabes, while also moving along the Algerian coast our sights set on more ports. Oran is turning into hell with reinforcements arriving by sea. It's bogging us down & leaving us sparce at the front while our airforce is overwhelmed and unable to assist.
Axis are recoving numbers at the front now, but we're close to making a break for Gabes now & our armour divisions are still overruning Axis infantry. If only we could crack Oran.. but its looking impossible without air support & with no real navy we cant stop reinforcements.
Our break to the desert in the South goes well, we skirmish with the Axis troops in the front to pin them down while our tanks go strolling around the country.

We get the Axis front bottled up and cut off from Egypt, establishing a new second front with Axis in Southern Tunisia
We're push hard on Oran however every time it looks like its about to fall, Axis lands dozens or more divisions and the APU assault is forced to retreat.

Despite the problems in Oran, we start our effort to liberate Tunis, we need to stomp Axis here quick because..
.. Axis reinforcements sent from Egypt which we've been bottling up on the new south Tunisian front are starting to get rather annoyed about the indignity of it.

The original plan had this front well defended by this point.. but Oran dammit.. it.. will.. not.. fall..
We redirect some tanks from Oran towards the new front, meanwhile our divisions make herioc efforts in Tunisia practically liberating the country in 7 days

If this world survives they'll make movies about this in the future, "The Dirkie Dozen" has blockbuster written all over it
Ok, Oran, Oran, Oran, something needs to be done.. more Axis troops are dumped into the port after our last failure, they push out and one of our siege lines is in trouble.. so we take advantage of our distress and pull the front back. We coax axis troops out of Oran..
.. Axis troops give up their entrenched position in the Port and we fight them with more even odds, eventually we wittle the defenders down and move back in to take the port.

On the 8th December 2015, Oran is finally liberated, the siege lasted 8 months & cost countless lives.
With the fall of Oran, Algeria and Tunisia are both finally liberated from Axis rule!

We begin redeployments, we need to move fast to secure the coastal areas from naval assaults originating in Europe.
With the extra forces from the successful Tunisian campaign, Dirkie's dozen blitz down into Libya, freeing Tripoli. Eventually High Command orders a halt, our recruitment pool is now just 50k, time to turtle up. We send reinforcements to our new front and begin Fort construction.
State of play January 2016.

The next chapter is obviously going to be called some variation of Libyaration pending Politburo approval.

We lost the air war here, Axis have around 3k fighters, we retired our bombers from the region & our fighers are on interception only #hoi4
For the record here's what Cillier's spent the entire Algerian campaign occupied with, Axis are throwing troops at us constantly in Egypt again.. meanwhile our recruitment pool is so low because of Oran.. if it wasn't for giant tanks we'd be screwed.
March 2016, Operation Libyaration (Politburo Approved)

Our recruitment pool is too low, we have no air superiority and no reserves but we can't resist, some plans are just timeless..

President Kotane gives it the rubber stamp.
A small number of tank divisions breakthrough the southern front and encircle Axis forces in western Libya. Axis moves divisions up from Egypt but our breakthrough divisions hold the line while our front line divisions complete the invason of western Libya.
We move the front to Ajdibiya just south of Benghazi, meanwhile coastal defence forces from the south run up to the contested northern coast. Invasions are a constant affair this close to the Med, need to be careful. Not sure we can spare troops from the south but needs must..
Text book stuff so far, our recruitment pool drops to 20k not because of casualties but because we're training more reserve infantry to defend the coasts. Meanwhile.. we've been building subs in Cape Town, with better fuel supplies we start to run a Naval task force off the Cape.
For a brief moment and for the first time ever, we actually achieve Naval superiority over Axis in one sea province.. it doesn't last long but we're hoping it's the shape of things to come..
The reason we're able to run more ships is because of the Oil resources we secured in western Libya, we're also able now to achieve air superiority over Axis in the Sahara with more plane juice to supply our fighters.
While checking our defences on the northern coasts we spy a slight oddity. The Politburo have never noticed this before and begin an immediate investigation as to how it happened..

Ladies & Gentlemen, introducing Fascist Japanese Crete. Seriously, this world is well screwed up..
Cilliers stood the infantry divisions down as invading Axis forces retreated.. this was the tenth assault in as many days. He was itching to counter attack but Axis had bedded in on the front with extensive fortifications & Axis bombers roamed the skies over Egypt with impunity..
.. if only there was a way to nullify the air threat he thought, as a sandstorm started drift over the front battering the divisions. Hmmm.. sandstorm..

"Right lads, sandproof those tanks we're counter attacking.."
"How do you sandproof a tank..?"
APU forces now take advantage of the occassional sandstorms which nullify the air threat in Egypt. These operations keep pressure on the Axis front. Our counter attacks reduce the volume of assaults Axis can mount on our lines.

Said it before but.. Egypt is the gates of hell..
Meanwhile off the Cape, our new naval forces combined with our naval bomber forces are continuing to kick ass. They don't seem to fussed about taking any names however and the Politburo are getting annoyed, as they find the lack of paperwork unseemly..
Back to the north.. the coast continues to get hammered from invasion attempts. There's so much going on right now its hard to keep up with everything, even with the magic "pause time" machine APU scientists invented

Then there's Hallifax.. even his own crew are terrified of him
Ok now back to "Operation Libyaration", we needed a slight lull to bring more reserves up, as we need to defend the coast as we take it. Meanwhile our fuel is running down. We stand down our naval task force to conserve reserves before operations begin again on the front..
With the armour divisions redeployed we attempt a breakthrough into Benghazi, a key port for Axis supply in eastern Libya, this time it's Dirkie's Half Dozen leading the charge. Benghazi is liberated after a lightning operation and we widen the front pushing into eastern Libya.
Axis struggle to contain our armour divisions, our modern tanks are monsters in comparison to their infantry, we encircle more Axis troops at the front as we move towards Egypt from the west.
There's a planning tool in game to let the AI do battle micro management for you. It's a decent tool, but its no match for a human being.

I've been avoiding using it in this game as we need every edge we have, matching troops/generals/terrain is time consuming but.. successful.
Operation Libyaration continues in earnest as we liberate Tobruk, meanwhile on the northern coast a naval invasion breaks our defences!

We've been distracted by the Libya campaign, High Command scratches its head & uses the magic "pause time" machine to make a cup of tea.
Why is it that there are never enough tanks..?

We use our coast infantry to beat back invasion, Axis troops are stronger than ours here but we have an advantage due to better supply & encirclement. Eventually the problem is dealt with, thankfully before any follow up invasions.
Feb 2017

Libya is finally liberated from Axis occupation. The east coast of Egypt looks enticing but Axis start to bring in reinforcements as APU forces move into Egypt towards Alexandria..

High Command are debating whether to hold here, we're running out of doods...
March 2017, APU High Command.

"Cilliers reports massive redeployment across the front, looks like they're moving troops back to Alexandria", the staff General announced. "We're low on recruictment & reserves Mr President, what do you advise?"

"Cheese it", replied Kotane.
March 2017, Operation Cheese It.

APU forces withdraw & fortifications are started at the Libyan border in preparation of whats to come. With Axis beaten in North Africa, the APU airforce manages to establish air superioty giving us an edge. This is why we cheesed it out of Egypt
Fighting at the Libyan border is brutal, our recruitment pool drops to zero as we continue building up fortifictions, we can probably just hold out long enough to get the forts up.. phew.
In Egypt we'd have been overrun due to Axis air superiority. It would give them advantage in combat & remove our fortifications. In Libya though our forts are going up, reserves on their way & bombers give us the combat advantage

Command declares operation "Cheese It" a success.
By August 2017 the Libyan front is scary biscuits. Axis are thrown the kitchen sink at us here, tanks a plenty. It's time to do a bit of division redesign. We create a new beefed up infantry anti tank division containing GIANT TANK and more anti tank guns.
We wont be using this template to upgrade all of our anti-tank infantry we have deployed, just a handful in Libya to further counter the Axis tank threat. We don't have enough tanks or manpower to upgrade our 100+ anti tank divisions.. maybe one day..
With fuel supplies recovered, the Politburo for once, actually remember to notify our Navy that they're good to go.

The President has been very pleased with our nascent Navy's performance, as soon as they trundle out of port, Halifax gets right into the thick of action..
November 2017, the APU secures the Libyan front making it safe from further Axis assaults. With the lull in operations we've managed to recover a little from recruitment shortage.

Pretty sure I've said, "Egypt is the gates of hell" before?

.. well now there's two gates to hell
State of play December 2017.

Axis redeployment in Egypt scuppered our advance, the front was scary for a while there, we almost lost a few battles which could have turned nasty.. getting air superiority over Libya was the deciding factor.

Egypt is going to be tough.. #hoi4
March 2018, Before the Storm..

Need to do something special for Egypt.. High Command designate a new armour division twice as large as the APU's current divisions. We lack the Tank-AA's to make it 20 width but we'll add one later. The new divisions are assigned to Cilliers
The Politburo get onto R&D asking them to improve the engines on our tank destroyers. Previously they were with slower moving infantry divisions so mph wasn't an issue. Now they're running with other tanks though and they need to be up to speed.
The APU bureaucracy of course are capable of working on numberous war efforts, here's one being considered at the moment, expanding air superioty in the south east, the reasons for this are [REDACTED - TOP SECRET]

We try the same setup the airforce uses off the Cape..
Results seem to be similar as with the Cape, around 1:1 loss/win ratio.

Our civilian economy is also geared up by the Politburo to fortify the newly liberated coastal areas against the continuous Axis invasions. Meanwhile Hallifax is still blowing up everything he sees.
Sadly, it looks like the new effort off south east coast is putting too much of a strain on our bomber numbers though, we're struggling to out produce the losses. We give it some time but the situation gets worse, we'll need to pull out & try again when we have better production
As an aside, as bad as the world we live in gets, this world IS much worse. For example, this is Imperialist Canada whose leader appears to be some kind of goatfaced hell demon.

The Politburo have assured me the picture was not altered for propaganda reasons.
Back to the front in Egypt where we have enough Tank Anti-Air produced to fix our new heavy tank divisions. We also update the division icon to a gold star to distinguish from our smaller tank divisions. We start training to increase experience in preparation for what's to come..
Meanwhile with out tac bombers stood down off the south east coast we are recovering bomber numbers fast, given the Axis air superiority in Egypt we're not sure we'll need the numbers in the coming months but we need to be prepared just in case..
State of play Novemer 2019

Took a breather from offensive action this time to bolster reserves, get our new tank divisions ready & further fortify the north coast against invasion.

Here's a last look at the Egyptian front, it's going to change soon, Cilliers has a plan.. #hoi4
August 2019, Operation Sandstorm.

"We'll use sandstorms & our new tank divisions to attack the north edge of the front, the weakest point of the Axis line." Cilliers declared, "On the south edge of the front we'll alternate attacks to stop Axis redeploying to bolster the north."
"when we breakthrough the north front, our tanks will push along the coast with some mech infantry, which will try to encircle the remaining Axis troops at the front. Meanwhile the tank divisions will race on to Alexandria."

The plan was approved, nobody questions Cilliers.
The heavy tank divisions hammered the Axis lines during the storm but they held long enough for it to pass. With clear skies, the Axis bombers returned with a vengeance, so Cilliers called a halt to the action. The southern lasted a few more days before it was likewise halted.
While Command worried Operation Sandstorm was a bust & Cilliers waited patiently for the next storm.. the Politburo were working on how to increase plane production. With our new factories we can improve infrastructure in Mali & increase aluminium extraction, atm we have 19 units
The APU's military production capacity had increased quite significantly after so many successful liberation's, we had now reached the point we no longer had enough aluminium to meet production requirements. We were running a deficit of 16 units.. but the Politburo were on it now
Nov 2020, Viene una tormenta,

A ferocious sand storm rampaged along the Egyptian front by early afternoon, Cilliers gave the order to attack once more. The APU heavy tank divisions drove forward in an attempt to breakthrough the Axis lines. By the time the storm cleared..
.. Axis were struggling, Cilliers decided to continue the assault, the APU were close to a breakthrough here. The divisions anti-air tanks did their best to hamper the Axis bombers now freed up by the clearing storm. By the 11 November. the 7th Armour Division broke Axis lines!
Cilliers took his heavy tank divisions further north making towards Cairo, while the mech infantry divisions, supplemented with line infantry & armour, began flooding into the north east gap looking to encircle the now outflanked Axis defenders in the south..
21st November, APU troops get bogged down trying to cross the Nile, Axis have some armour embedded in on the west bank.

It's a minor set back, the heavy tank divisions turn away from Cairo and look to complete the encirclement further north, trapping even more Axis divisions.
With the encirclement complete a massive Axis supply drought spells the end for their entire front in southern Egypt. We'll supplied and rested APU troops make their move north charging the Axis defenses, they meet determined but ineffective resistance from encircled Axis troops.
With just a northern Axis pocket remaining APU troops fortify the new fronts & push on towards Cairo. Eventually the northern pocket is defeated, freeing up divisions, some are sent to defend the newly liberated coasts & some to the new front to backup the advance on Cairo
Cilliars sends some tank divisions north east liberating Suez and eventually cutting Egypt off from any reinforcements from the east. Axis supplies are now suffering throughout Egypt, Cairo is liberated in mid December as APU troops race towards the ancient city of Alexandria.
Before the year is out Axis troops on the western front are cut off from access to Alexandria. Our heavily outnumbered divisions in the west have been waiting patiently for this moment. As Axis troops begin to suffer from supply shortages they prepare to make their move..
31st December, APU troops on the western front begin assaulting the Axis positions as Cilliers surrounds and Alexandria in the east.

Around 100 Axis Divisions in Egypt are surrounded, never have the Axis powers experienced such a crushing loss in over half a century of warfare.
Alexandria is liberated by early January and the last pockets of Axis resistance in Egypt fall bereft of supplies and conviction.

Operation Sandstorm is completed on the 11th January 2021, nine months from its conception, the liberation of Egypt is now complete!
State of play Jan 2021

While "Mainland" Africa has been liberated, the Politburo have decreed that there will be no "Victory in Africa" celebrations, until our comrades in Madagascar are free from the fascist scourge.
Note: while the army were stealing all the headlines and glory in Egypt the Politburo were rolling up their sleeves. We've managed to increase Aluminium production with targeted infrastructure improvements by 33%.
March 2021, Stepping Stone.

President Kotane lifted his face from his palm, "so.. we've trained paratroopers & built 80 air transports to liberate Madagascar, but the planes can't reach Madagascar?" he asked.

"Yes..", his aide replied.

Kotane put his face back in his palm.
The plan was, with the seas denied us, we'd liberate Madagascar using the skies, every problem has a solution though..

1. Build an airbase in Tanzania for better range
2. Prepare some air forces to protect the transport planes
3. Take advantage of the delay to train our paras
Once the airbase construction is complete we send our transport planes south, our salvaged plan is now to liberate the Comoros Islands first and use the airbase there as a stepping stone to Madagascar.

Meanwhile the surface of the seas remain denied to us..
The "Politburo" oversight has set us back a year but we've used the time wisely, our para's are now well trained & everything is ready.

Our fighters are launched and the invasion prepared. We need to move fast here, when Axis see what we're doing they'll send their own fighters
Phase one of operation Stepping Stone is a success, two axis divisions wonder what's going on as well trained APU troops suddenly drop out of the skies.

The tactical bomber wing assigned to our Paratroopers aids with the battle & eventually the liberation of Comoros is complete.
Ladies & Gentlemen, introducing the bravest troops in the APU, never before have we attempted to cross the open seas like this. Sent to reinforce Comoros, with hundreds of Axis ships & submarines prowling the area, the Politburo hold their breath.. posthumous medals at the ready.
While the Politburo holds it's breath.. High Command gets stuff done, the transport planes are sent to Comoros while our fighters establish superiority over Madagascar, Axis are wise to us now, but they don't have enough fighters deployed yet to stop us..
High Command picks an undefended spot for the liberation. Recent intelligence (scouting submarine) identified too many Axis troops in the northern port of Antsiranana to successfully land. With no port & no supply our engineering attachments begin frantically building a harbour..
.. meanwhile the bravest troops in the APU make it to port in one piece!

The Politburo pops the box of "Sorry you died" medals back in the drawer and gets out a box of "Congratulations you lived" medals instead. They'll be dispatched on the next air transport.
Build time for the harbour is a month. Our Paratroopers dig in and wait it out, we have air transports dropping supplies but its never enough, thankfully no Axis troops show up to attack us, we're gonna do this..

Our engineers build a serviceable harbour & our para's make a move
The liberation turns into somewhat of an anti climax, of the 14 Axis divisions our scouting submarine assured us were in the north of the island, only 3 materialise. Either the rest were on route to elsewhere or the submariners were drinking..

I'd drink if Hallifax was my boss.
We could probably have taken the port in the north after all rather than build our own harbour but we're not perturbed, a port on the west coast suits us fine as it faces the east coast of Africa.

The liberation of Madagascar is completed 24th August 2022.
Victory in Africa, 24th August 2022.

The Politburo declare the 24th a holiday for all time, then take the rest of the day off to get drunk. Huddled anti-fascist masses, the world over, celebrate in secret. It is said they're celebrating even as far away as the town of Raith.
State of play 24th August 2022.

VA Day.

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