|Ludwig von Wolff|
|Title||Field Marshal and Baron|
Ludwig von Wolff is a Field Marshal and Baron of the Russian Empire in Blackened Skies. Formerly an officer of the Kaiser's Army who defected to Russia after the German Revolution, he became a Russian Field Marshal and Baron under the patronage of Gerlach Trautmann. Appointed commander of Military District China in 1938, he had ambitions both of surpassing his mentor Trautmann, and of wrapping up the war quickly so he might participate in the invasion of Germany.
With speed and overwhelming force in mind, von Wolff launched a wide front offensive named "Operation Hellstorm". With judicious use of Bolivian gas, von Wolff was able to take Inner Mongolia as Field Marshal Hao made a fighting retreat to the Great Wall. While the wall was not a substitute for fortifications, Hao put soldiers in the watchtowers and had them light beacons when they saw Russian forces.
Von Wolff had hoped to overrun the Han forces quickly, but his supply lines were rather overstretched. As 1938 went on, von Wolff was running low on fuel, ammunition, and nerve gas, while Hao's forces were receiving anti-gas protective equipment. Unwilling to let his forces whither on the frontline, von Wolff gathered his forces and forced a breakthrough through Han lines, and then launched an attack on the city of Chengde. Shelling the city with near everything he had, von Wolff sent wave after wave of soldiers into the city, but the Han forces defended for a week before the Russians withdrew, with von Wolff fearing the entire military district would fall if he did not withdraw.
According to the Swiss Herald, which published a Han intelligence report, "While one would be tempted to underestimate him due to his failures this year, but that would be a mistake. The failures were more due to his supply situation than anything else, and with his recent reorganizations, von Wolff seems prepared to fight even without his armies being fully supplied. When von Wolff is fully supplied though, he has shown himself to be a deadly foe that is more comfortable attacking than he is breathing."