Unconditional Surrender! (USEAAR, #31)

This post is part of an after-action report of Unconditional Surrender! (Salvatore Vasta, GMT Games) . However, the document is not fictitious – this was the Act of Military Surrender signed by the German High Command at the end of the war. All I changed is the date and the some of the names of the Allied generals present and witnessing (to better reflect the developments on the fronts in this after-action report).

ACT OF MILITARY SURRENDER

  1. We the undersigned, acting by authority of the German High Command, hereby surrender unconditionally to the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and simultaneously to the Supreme High Command of the Red Army all forces on land, sea, and in the air who are at this date under German control.
  2. The German High Command will at once issue orders to all German military, naval and air authorities and to all forces under German control to cease active operations at 2301 hours Central European time on 12th July 1943, to remain in the positions occupied at that time and to disarm completely, handing over their weapons and equipment to the local allied commanders or officers designated by Representatives of the Allied Supreme Commands. No ship, vessel, or aircraft is to be scuttled, or any damage done to their hull, machinery or equipment, and also to machines of all kinds, armament, apparatus, and all the technical means of prosecution of war in general.
  3. The German High Command will at once issue to the appropriate commanders, and ensure the carrying out of any further orders issued by the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and by the Supreme High Command of the Red Army.
  4. This act of military surrender is without prejudice to, and will be superseded by any general instrument of surrender imposed by, or on behalf of the United Nations and applicable to GERMANY and the German armed forces as a whole.
  5. In the event of the German High Command or any of the forces under their control failing to act in accordance with this Act of Surrender, the Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force and the Supreme High Command of the Red Army will take such punitive or other action as they deem appropriate.
  6. This act is drawn up in the English, Russian and German languages. The English and Russian are the only authentic texts.

Signed at Berlin on the ⁠ 12th⁠ day of July, 1943

VON FRIEDEBURG              ⁠KEITEL ⁠           STUMPFF
On behalf of the German High Command

 

IN THE PRESENCE OF:

CARL SPAATZ
On behalf of the
⁠Supreme Commander
⁠Allied Expedtionary Force

KONSTANTIN ROKOSSOVSKY
On behalf of the
⁠Supreme High Command of the
⁠Red Army

⁠At the signing also were present as witnesses:

F. DE LATTRE-TASSIGNY
General Commanding in Chief
⁠First French Army

KENNETH ANDERSON
General Commanding in Chief
Eighth Army⁠, United Kingdom

You can see the current state of affairs in the game in the Twitter thread:

2 thoughts on “Unconditional Surrender! (USEAAR, #31)

  1. Pete S/ SP

    The early finish of the war wouldn’t change things so much (apart from lessening the duration of the evil of the Nazi regime which would have been wonderful) but the Soviets getting access to the North Sea without having to traverse the Baltic would have had major implications for the Cold War. Would Denmark have been under Soviert control….

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. cliosboardgames Post author

      Hi Pete,
      thanks for reading and commenting!
      As you’ve mentioned the shorter duration of Nazi tyranny in Europe, let me dwell a bit on the repercussions of that:
      • Many countries would have been under occupation for a much shorter time. Prime examples are Poland (historically occupied for 64 months, in the game for 14) and Norway (historically occupied for 61 months, in the game for, I think, three or four).
      • The Holocaust would have happened on a much smaller scale. Most of the Soviet Jews would never have come within reach of the German army, and the shorter occupation of Poland (and Axis allegiance of Hungary) would have saved many of the Polish and Hungarian Jews. Many other countries which were historically under German occupation or allied with Germany were neither in the game, so their Jewish populations would have been safe. All in all, I estimate that four to five million men, women, and children who historically were murdered by Einsatzgruppen and in concentration camps would have survived.
      • With a shorter duration of heavy fighting (42 months instead of 49 of land campaigns between great powers) and bombing (12 months of the Allied strategic bombing campaign against Germany instead of 46, counting the beginning as July 1942 when the UK Bomber Command unit enters play), Europe should be much less ravaged – especially the USSR, which was spared most of the fighting it had to endure historically, and Germany, which was defeated before the Allied bombing campaign got fully under way.
      The changes to the post-war situation would in fact be immense: Not only could the Soviets (via Denmark) gain access to the North Sea (and thus to the supply lines between North America and western Europe), their homeland is also mostly untouched, and they’ve never suffered the great military reverses of 1941 and 1942. That means their army is not war-weary by the experience of great loss, and rather convinced of its own fighting strength. And most of Germany is under their control (https://twitter.com/cliosboardgames/status/1289202810744053761). At the same time, the Western Allies are still at war with Japan, don’t have the nuclear bomb, and therefore pose no threat to the Soviet position.
      Compared to the historical situation, the Soviets could therefore be much more relaxed, as their comparatively moderate suffering need not have imbued them with their historical security obsession and they have fulfilled all their historical security goals of the post-war era already: They control a cordon of buffer states on their western flank (Finland, Poland, Romania), they are in a position to make sure that Germany will not be a strong adversary, and the Western powers are occupied elsewhere. But which conclusions would Stalin draw from this? Live in peace with his neighbors? Or see it as an opportunity to be exploited?

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      Reply

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