Quick question: multinational defense


  • Germany attacks a seazone containing UK and US ships.
    US and germany are not at war. Does the UK defend on its own? Or does the attack constitute a declaration of war against the US?

    Does it make a difference if the US only has subs?

    Luke


  • If Germany does not declare war on the US, then the US ships do not participate in the battle and they are ignored.  Germany can also share seazones with US ships, and it does not disrupt US convoys until at war with the US.

    It makes no difference if they are subs, surface warships, or transports; as long as Germany does not declare war on the US (and the US hasn’t declared war on Germany) those ships are ignored.


  • Any attack from Germany on the US will bring Germany and the US into war ( or US on Germany to reverse this situation ).

    If the US only has subs, the US player has a choice to submerge ( this would prevent the US being in the war at this early stage of the game ), only if there is no attacking destroyers because they can go stelth with Battleships/Cruisers/Aircraft Carriers. An enemy destroyer in a SZ stops subs being stelth and have to attack/defend.

    Hope that helps Luke.

    Anyone else can correct me if I have any info incorrect.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Sala33 the germans can CHOOSE to attack or NOT to attack.

    If the Germans attack a U.S. sub and the sub chooses to submerge, that is still a DECLARATION OF WAR by the Germans on the U.S.

    All u.s. ships can be ignored by Germany until Germany declares war, or it’s after the U.S. has declared war on Germany.


  • As long as Germany hasn’t declared war on the US, and the US hasn’t declared war on Germany, the US ships are ignored and the German forces battle the UK forces only.  The composition of the US fleet has absolutely no effect.

    A declaration of war technically is supposed to precede any attacks.  So if Germany did declare war, it would be before the US sub would even know if it could submerge.

  • Customizer

    It seems kind of odd to me that the rules say you are supposed to actually say you are declaring war on someone before your combat move to do so, especially when you are playing an Axis power.  What if you are playing Japan and want to pull a Pearl Harbor?  In real life, the Japanese did not formally say “We declare war on the United States”.  They just snuck up and attacked.  When Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, Hitler did not call up Stalin and say “I’m declaring war on you”.  They just sent 3 million men plus thousands of tanks and planes over the border.
    On the other hand, after the Japanese attack, the US did officially declare war on Japan and after Germany invaded Poland, Britain and France officially declared war on Germany.  So, maybe that rule should only apply to Allied countries.  Although, after the US declared war on Japan, as a show of solidarity Germany and Italy formally declared war on the US so I guess Axis countries did sometimes declare first and attack later if it suited them.  Shortly afterward the U-Boats started sinking US ships with glee, which I believe was the beginning of the “Second Happy Time” for the German U-Boat Skippers.


  • Actually, German U-boats were torpedoing American naval vessels a lot earlier, with the first American casualties on October 15, 1941.  But that’s a different matter.

    The point of the war declaration  in A&A isn’t what it is in real life.  In real life, it’s something to say “We will now attack you if we see you”, something that is said just as well by actually attacking.  The declaration is really just a formality.  In A&A, the declaration of war to me at least means the leaders of the country declaring war are saying “A state of war now exists between us and them”.  It doesn’t necessarily mean the other side is informed if this immediately, though if they aren’t then they are notified by your attack.  You could regard the declaration itself as some sort of internal military memo.  In game terms you can’t attack until you’ve told your officers they’re allowed to attack, meaning you know who your enemies are and who your enemies aren’t before you actually do the combat move.


  • @knp7765:

    .  What if you are playing Japan and want to pull a Pearl Harbor?  In real life, the Japanese did not formally say “We declare war on the United States”.  They just snuck up and attacked.

    Yes, they did.  They planned to hand it to US officials about an hour prior to Pearl, which meant it was sent not long before Pearl (of course they were PLANNING Pearl for ages, and technically the US did suspect something was up, had many clues, but for various reasons failed to put 2 and 2 together).  It was delayed by Japanese diplomats/translators attempting to translate the finale page and ended up being delivered after Pearl occurred.

    Had the DOW been declared, it probably wouldn’t have gone down as a Day of Infamy.  It would have certainly been a day of something, but a bit of the US political fire was partially because the Declaration wasn’t given prior.  And I don’t believe all Japanese officials were pleased to hear the declaration didn’t arrive either, but it did give them complete surprise.


  • Barbarossa definitely didn’t have an official declaration of war, though.

  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    Niether did the Invasion of Poland.

    The typical German thing to do, was to attack between 2 and 4 in the morning.  Whilst on the previous day, trying to come to “on the surface” conclusive peace talks.

    It worked handidly in the favour, against the smaller countries.


  • As Ruanek said, the reason for DOWs is for game mechanics.  The desire is that the hostile power can’t simply pass through naval pickets put in place by the defending nation.  In order to guarantee that any aggressive move by a nation “activates” all defending pieces, the implication is that the activation timing is before the combat moves.  Thus, we’re required to declare war prior to any move, so that we can guarantee we don’t perform an illegal move by passing through a seazone with a now enemy ship to attack another ship in a more distant zone. For example, Japan passing through an SZ with a US ship to attack Pearl would be a flagrant violation - Japan cannot pass through US pickets.  They can go around, or they can attack the picket, but they cannot ignore it and pass through on the turn they declare war.

    DOWs are more of a formality than anything else.  Obviously if you can keep track of your moves and not make an illegal pass, then your gaming partners probably won’t care if you declare in the middle of the combat move or at the beginning of it.


  • @Gargantua:

    Niether did the Invasion of Poland.

    The typical German thing to do, was to attack between 2 and 4 in the morning.  Whilst on the previous day, trying to come to “on the surface” conclusive peace talks.

    It worked handidly in the favour, against the smaller countries.

    Ironically, France and the UK (along with many other allied nations) declared war on Germany before Germany did.  Not much happened for a while after that, though.

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