I know a little bit late after the party for of most what I'm about to say since the game is in beta testing but I have a few comments on the following screen of East Prussia and the choices in regions and geography in it. I've been working for the last weeks on archive material from whats left of the Reichssarchiv about the battle of Tannenberg (mostly about Otto von Below and the I. Reservekorps) so I've been neck deep in East Prussia and I have pieces of the 1:100 000 Karte des Deutschen Reiches on my walls nagging me.
Several problems appear here, a few strange names, some weird region choices etc
- My most pressing concern would be about Lötzen (Feste Boyen), it seems it has very little piratical use stuck behind a massive lake. Since it was specifically there to cut the most direct line through the complex of the masurian lakes it should rather have impassable lakes on its sides instead of it's front, thus blocking a rout of advance into Eastprussia.
- Naming a region Tannenberg is cute and all but there is no geographical reason for it, it is well known the name of the battle was defined ex post by german generals to reference/erase the lost battle of the Deutsche Orden against the Poles.The main encirclement of the battle of Tannenberg happend south east of Hohenstein and South west of Allenstein.
- railroads: Lötzen and Königsberg were well connected over the Bartenstein line. It seems there is no line between Elbing and Osterode which would actually be the crucial line which was used to move the I. Armeekorps to the left flank
- the Angerapp seems to miss, that is problematic since the inital deployment of 8. Armee was to be behind the Angerapp Stellung from Angerburg to Insterburg and is the most defensible line on the Kowno-Königsberg route.
- the Pregel is not present either, that is not to worrisome although it is important since everthing above the Pregel (Tilsit-Memel region) was pretty much cut from the rest of the east prussian operations.
- a few names seem to be wrong, it is Weichsel not Wechsel, it is Drewenz to Brewenz. THe last one has a bit of a weird turn and produces a entire german region that does not really exist since the Drewenz was for several km the frontier between Germany and Poland at its confluence with the Weichsel.
- Marienwerder is on the wrong side of the Weichsel
What's a possible correction ? Well here is my personal thought about it:
What are the changes on this map and what are the reasons for it ?
- correction of the Drewenz, creating a new russian region, makes for a more realistic frontier, the new Rypin region should be a difficult terrain like marshes etc to make operating with big armies there difficult, the old Rypin aka Drobin region should get that same treatment
- adding the Angerapp and the Pregel. The Angerapp simulates the Angerapp Stellung and cuts more clearly Goldap and Gumbinnen from the rest of prussian mobilisation areas. THe Pregl is more difficult to implement since it would cut the old Königsberg region, so a possibility is to creat the Samland region north of the Pregel and Königsberg just south of it. North of Insterburg and the Pregel comes Tilsit.
- Between Königsberg and Gumbinnen lies Insterburg, an important areawere I; Armeekorps took position and through which the railraod goes east-west, but also north to Tilsit.
- south of Insterburg is the Angerburg-Nordenburg area, were I. Reservekorps and XVII Armeekorps moved into position on mobilisation
- Lötzen between to big lakes blocks one of the entry raods into East Prussia, in forefront of it lies the Lyck region, creating a buffer between russia and the Lötzen area.
- Heilsberg renamed Bartenstein since it was the important rail connection from Lötzen to Königsberg and from Nordenburg-Insterburg to Allenstein.
- Braunsberg and Elbing stay the same
- Tannenberg renamed Allenstein or Hohenstein, the two regions south west and south east renamed Neidenburg and Ortelsburg, the two flanking areas during the Tannenberg battle
- the Osterode region can be renamed Graudenz or Marienwerder and has the important north south rail connection
- the Ortelsburg-Lyck-Goldap railraod is not obligatory, most of the secondary railraods in east prussia were pretty bad and could not be effectively used to move large bodies of troops, I wouldn't put them in . I have traced it on the map for geographical reasons since it underlines the importance of a Lyck region.
- Marienwerder renamed Schwetz since that's the actually city on that side of the Weichsel
( that's not completly perfect, I would inject a Osterode region between Graudenz and Allenstein and a Bischofsburg between Allenstein-Ortelsburg-Bartenstein to simulate better the possible movement around the Allenstein-Hohenstein area of battle, but that could be to much)
What are the main advantages of this map correction?
- some geographically more sensible names
- Lötzen becomes important since it blocks one of the main roads into east prussia
- the Insterburg and Angerburg regions behind the Angerapp are good position to fight against the 1 russian army, but that leaves the Allenstein area open to attacks from 2 russian army as historically
- they are two ways of transferring troops from one side of east prussia to the other as historically, the railraod over Elbing to Neidenburg (I Armeekorps historically), or on foot from Angerburg to Bartenstein and on rail from Bartenstein to Allenstein if the russians are not there already (historically I. Reservekorps and XVII Armeekorps)
- a recreated Tannenberg would be a russian advance towards the Allenstein region, then a flank attack of the germans against the Neidenburg and Ortelsburg regions (although there should maybe be a region connecting Bartenstein to Ortelsburg to allow a flank attack there without going through allenstein)
These were my thoughts, probably cannot be implemented since it would require to change the map so for now just food for thoughts (and maybe a few regions name changes)