Situation Early July (East):
The expected fireworks at Constantinople fail to materialise as Garibaldi leads his I Army to capture the main objective of our campaign. The enemy commander worried by Garibaldi’s reputation and aware that much of his nation’s manufacturing capability is now at risk declines battle and decides instead to withdraw his force within the fortifications of Constantinople.
** It makes my life much simpler to have their main field army bottle itself up inside the fortifications. The down side is I cannot order a quick assault.
I Army maintains the siege throughout August and September without interference from either the besieged force (roughly 2200 power) or any relief force. The navy still smarting from its defeat in the Aegean Sea and with 2 squadrons immobilised by casualties (2 squadrons are immobilised in Thessalonica as replacement ships are being built) decides it cannot provide a blockade in light of the more powerful Turkish fleet harboured within the naval base at Constantinople much to Garibaldi’s disgust.
By the end of September four major breaches have been made in the fortifications making an assault on the city feasible (the city starts with non-industrial level 3 fortifications).
** I am not sure at this stage whether to just sit it out and attempt to get the enemy force to surrender or except the potentially high casualties and assault the city.
During August I Army detaches a light cavalry brigade which successfully transits the strait into Izmit. The mission of the cavalry is to provide early warning of any relief force approaching Constantinople. The region is found empty of any enemy forces and a siege is instigated around Izmit (city). Patrols are sent out around the clock to monitor the surrounding regions.
Proceeded by a heavy artillery bombardment which opens a further 2 breaches in the fortifications the marines successfully neutralise the Ottoman garrison at Plevne over the course of two separate assaults.
Thousands more Ottoman prisoners are marched to the already over flowing POW camps at Tirana.
With the depot in their hands the marines move to reduce the last 2 Ottoman hold outs along the Black Sea.
In July Constanza is easily cleared:
Later on in July Varna is also captured:
Again large numbers of Ottoman troops are taken prisoner.
** General Cucchiari has been congratulated several times and is now one of our leading 3* generals with a 4-5-2 rating. He started the campaign as a 2* general with a 3-3-1 rating.
With the eastern Balkans wrapped up the Marines move to Adrianople to support I Army's operations and to take on replacements. They also receive reinforcements in the guise of the 3rd Marine Division which until now had spent its war garrisoning Tirana.
Situation Early July (West):
In the west the heroic Ottoman stand at Sarajevo is eventually overcome and the western Balkans is secured.
A single cavalry division based in Sophia will now provide security for this area whilst the remaining infantry formations will march towards Adrianople before deploying across the straits into Asia Minor.
By the end of July the Balkans are completely secured (other than Constantinople) and the campaign in Asia Minor can begin in earnest.
Asia Minor Theatre
At the beginning of July II Army forces the enemy garrison at Canakkale to surrender:
With this surrender the straits are opened to our navy and we secure a bridgehead into Asia Minor.
During this period our scouts had observed an enemy army marshalling to the South at Smyrna. After resting to take on supplies General Fanti ordered that this force be driven off and the industry at Smyrna captured.
** Smyrna is important as it is an Ottoman objective city and one of only very few cities which actually has some industry.
In August the 2 armies face off in Smyrna (no screenshot)
The enemy force is defeated we take 2511(29) v 19885(194) casualties (hits) (plus the enemy suffers an additional 32 hits during its retreat). No elements are destroyed on either side.
The situation at the end of August:
With the enemy force in full retreat, Smyrna is besieged. In September General Fanti orders the assault:
At the end of August (the Ottomans have disappeared again from the score screen in September) our total casualties had risen from 122550 to 134500 (+ 11950) and our national morale had slipped slightly to 131 whilst Ottoman casualties rose from 401700 to 521762 (+ 120062). Ottoman prisoner numbers rise from 98700 to 171000 (72300) and Ottoman NM had declined slightly to 75.
** Whilst these Ottoman casualties sound appalling the vast majority of them are from the destruction of garrisons rather than from their field armies. I am hoping the fall of Constantinople and Smyrna will be enough to push their NM below the magic threshold of 65.
- We complete a depot extension in Djibuti.
- We upgrade the iron extraction in Piedmont to an iron pit.
- We complete a coaling station in Aden.
- We complete a coal pit in Susquehanna Valley (USA).
- We complete schools in Tabor, Ankober and Ogaden.
- We complete a depot in Albania.
- We get a new Prime Minister Beninto Ricasolli.
The French and the Prussians decide to let off a bit of steam:
** This has the unfortunate consequence of slowing our bid to overtake the French in prestige terms. We had managed to close the gap to just over 1000 points before this set back!
Despite the war we are still plugging away at our colonial goals in West Africa:
Mainly to secure a coaling station for our ships moving around the Cape of Good Hope to our East African empire and equally important to try and secure the gold mines here.