Sep16_41, Axis T+?? turn
I've lost track of how many turns since Barbarossa started. I think it might be around 17 turns?
Moskva fell about 3 turns ago.
Partisans struck again last turn so the Wermacht took the opportunity to refit some units and make a few advances.
Once Moskva fell there were a bunch of decisions to make. Obviously Leningrad has to be taken but it's probably a foregone conclusion that it will fall since it's now cutoff. It's a matter of time.
It's hard to describe but basically I view the Geography of Russia in RTV as follows:
1) There are a few cities north of Moskva. These could be taken to secure Moskva/Leningrad from easy counterattack (due to these cities being needed for supply by any counterattacking forces).
2) There is also a corridor of cities leading east to the Urals. This corridor has a branch that turns south toward Stalingrad about halfway between Moskva and the Urals.
3) There is another corridor of cities leading south toward Stalingrad. from Moskva.
4) there is also a corridor leading toward Stalingrad from Romania.
The main choices faced by AGC/N are I think:
1) How much strength to commit to taking the cities north of Moskva. Wherever AGN/C turns it's easy for the Soviets to quickly build a defense at the next city. So nothing will fall easily. If sufficient strength is committed it might be possible to secure Leningrad/Moskva from easy attack by the Soviets - in other words limit them to approaching from 1 or 2 cities to the east and south of Moskva. There would be a safe feeling if the Soviets could only approach with good supply from east or south of Moskva and had no other logical avenue of approach to Leningrad/Moskva.
2) Whether to make a thrust east from Moskva toward the Urals with the option of going straight to Urals or turning south toward Stalingrad half-way there.
3) Whether to make a thrust south through Orel, thus advancing in a logical line toward Stalingrad that will gradually curve east as I go south, and also threaten the rear of the Soviet forces around Kiev.
After thinking about it option (1) is ruled out. Committing major forces to taking the cities north of Moskva would take a long time, and the Soviets will just coalesce at whichever city is approached using reinforcements and strategic movement. Instead of fighting through 7-ish cities in the north AGN/C could have advanced through 7-ish cities to the east or south, actually approaching a valuable strategic goal (Urals or Stalingrad).
However it might be prudent to (A) cut off Velikiye Luki and (B) secure a logical defensive line north of Moskva, so a few turns of effort will be made north of Moskva, tapering off as forces are fed into the main offensive (east or south). Hopefully any protracted effort can be avoided and reasonable defensive positions can be gained quickly.
Advancing directly east toward the Urals holds great appeal since there is a lot of Soviet industry that's been moved east and an advance south toward Stalingrad is always possible later. However a long southern flank would be exposed and the threat of Western invasion once U.S. enters the war will begin to rise. The bonus is that 2 great prizes (Stalingrad and the Urals) would be threatened by an eastern advance. Since the Soviets have the supply advantage, exposing a long flank to them as the wermacht heads east could be fatal....
Advancing directly south seems the easier option. This would probably gain Kiev and a few other Soviet cities that AGS is unable to take by winter and put the Wermacht in a position to make a frontal drive on Stalingrad in the spring (assuming winter goes ok). The downside is that only Stalingrad is threatened, and that operationally the wermacht will be facing a frontal assault on prepared Soviets in 42 to take Stalingrad. Tactical flanking might be possible but few threats are posed to the Soviets.
There is also the possibility of undertaking any combination of the 3 options (1) clean up north, (2) drive east, (3) drive south, at the same time.
A decision will have to be taken soon but in the meantime a small offensive is launched to the north and the south of Moskva.
The Soviest this turn slipped a tank division into an ungarrisoned Tver - my fault for not garrisoning it. :(
Tver is surrounded, Leningrad is put under siege, and Orel is nearly surrounded.
AGS works on the Soviet left flank at Kiev. Everything is slow-mo for AGS since they have no mobile units.
The convoy wars rage on with the Italians losing a lot of subs.