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RE: Front, Jul 44

 
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RE: Front, Jul 44 - 12/13/2011 12:27:06 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 162; Jul 20, 1944......Clear with Mud! (in Soviet Central zone)

With the attempt on Der Fuhrer's life a failure, we will fight on to victory!

Despite the propaganda from Berlin, the strategic withdrawal begins in earnest east of the Dniepr. And of course, just as we try to pull back rapidly, we have General Mud interfering with the operations. Not sure if this is a good thing, or a bad thing at this point....it slows the withdrawal, but it should also put the brakes on any chance to attack the now vulnerable Germans as they pull back.

While 8th Army surrenders in the Pogar Pocket, it appears that the Soviet tank armies shift to the south back of the Desna by moving SE rather than attacking either through 4th Pz Armee, or across the Desna against 6th Army. With the mud now, this can work out well, as I really don't think he'll press forward with this tank armies, and by the time the weather clears, I should be able to be pretty much in position on the Dniepr.

4th Pz Armee holds as I don't expect an attack in mud - they'll pull back quickly next turn.

Hun 1st Army is pretty much in place holding the Dniepr line west of Chernigov.

6th Army pulls two korps, or a little less than half the army, back by rail towards Kiev where they will deploy. The remaining forward elements pull back west and prepare to rapidly fall back on Kiev.

Hun 2nd Army has a bit more of a challenge pulling out in the mud, but manages to disengage successfully in most areas. Lead elements begin arriving near the Cherkassy crossing via rail.

1st Pz Armee pulls the majority of the army across the Dniepr, its last forces on the east bank pull back toward Kremenchug.

So far, so good....




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RE: Testing the Eastern Rampart, Jul 44 - 12/13/2011 12:41:43 AM   
IdahoNYer


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In 17th Army' area of operation, the weather stays clear, and the Soviets begin their attacks by pushing back the Rumanian screening forces of primarily cavalry deployed in level 2 forts. They don't do well against the Soviet Rifle Corps and pull back into the better fortifications.

In this section of the Eastern Rampart, there is no wide Dneipr. However, there are level 4 forts, backed up by level 3 forts, many on the Molochna River line. Augmenting 17th Army are the majority of the the Rumanians not part of the Rum 4th Army (holding the Crimea). I don't think the Rumanians will help much, but they are better than nothing.

In addition to pushing the screen of Rum Cav back, they make one attack on the fort line itself, and three Guard Rifle Corps are repulsed with heavy loss by the 78th Sturm Div. The fort line will be tough to crack.

Still no fixed line is impenetrable, and an SS grenadier division from Germany is moved to 17th Army's area of operations.

If the fort line is breached, falling back on the Dniepr will extend the overall German line which is not a good thing - I may have to reconstitute 8th Army and back up 17th Army with it.

So far, 17th Army is off to a pretty good start. It can only get worse.....




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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart, Jul 44 - 12/14/2011 2:17:30 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 163; Jul 27, 1944....clear

With the Soviet armor apparently redeployed SE of the Desna River, I figure now is the best time to rapidly pull back in the Ukraine. With only minor interference from the Red Falcons, the withdrawal goes surprisingly according to plan.

1st Pz Armee withdraws its XXXXVI PzKps behind the Dniepr, with the exception of a few panzers left on the eastern side to give the Soviets pause, and perhaps disrupt/delay the inevitable initial attacks.

Hun 2nd Army withdraws largely by rail and occupies the Dniepr defenses near Cherkassy.

6th Army also withdraws its remaining troops by rail without issue, and occupies on either side of Kiev.

4th Pz Armee moves primarily via road, as rail cap had been expended...its two PzKps pull back toward a bulge on the eastern bank of the Dniepr, possibly to counduct a limited counterattack or raid should the Soviets push some units too far forward too fast. One infantry Corps is delayed and will pull back initially in 6th Army's area, then move south from the west side of the river.

Hun 1st Army already in position in what I hope to be a "quiet" sector bordering on the Pripet.

2nd Army, augmented by what's left of 8th Army will initially hold Gomel, then pull back to the river. I leave 8th Army up here for the time being, still debating whether to pull it south toward Army Group A.

Overall, the withdrawal goes extremely well. But wars are not won by withdrawals....




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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart, Jul 44 - 12/17/2011 8:47:03 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 164; Aug 3, 1944.....clear

While both AGB and AGA move back to the Dniepr, AGN and AGC remain forward to delay as long as possible.


In AGN area, while both 16th and 18th Army doggedly hold both fortified positions and unfavorable terrain, 9th Army is more exposed. Still, the Soviet pressure has been more indirect, to the south against AGC, rather than against 9th Army, allowing them to hold more forward while positions in the rear are improved.

AGC's 3rd Pz Armee and 4th Army continue to be battered by massed Rifle Corps attacks, but by using rivers and what fortifications are available - mainly level 2s, but some level 3s near Smolensk, they continue to hold about 50 or so miles east of the Eastern Rampart - which, frankly isn't too robust. Especially north of Smolensk. The longer I can delay pulling back, the longer it will take (in weeks anyway) for the Soviets to cross the Dneipr in the north.

In any case, the Soviets will likely compromise the fortifications near Smolensk forcing the inevitable withdrawal west to the Eastern Rampart. And if 3rd Pz and 4th Armies pull back, that will force me to pull back AGN's 16th and 9th Armies as well.




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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart, Jul 44 - 12/17/2011 9:00:13 PM   
IdahoNYer


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From Gomel south, the forces of AGC, AGB and AGA, complete the withdrawal without issue behind the Eastern Rampart.

While 2nd Army occupies the line, what's left of 8th Army (one battered PzKps), holds forward to retain Gomel and tie in with 4th Army.

Hun 1st Army abandons Chernigov as the Soviets close in from the NE - not worth trying to hold the city at the expense of wearing down the Hungarians. I'm fairly confident they can offer good resistance while in fortified positions behind a river, or in a swamp, but exposed against a tank army, no...

6th Army consolidates its positions around Kiev while 4th Pz Armee pulls behind the river. It will occupy about a Corps frontage between 6th Army and the Hun 2nd Army, while holding back the PzKps to counterattack any crossings.

Hun 2nd Army occupies frontage further south, while 1st Pz Armee holds the Dniepr Bend.

17th Army holds the fortified line down to the Dniepr down to the Sea of Azov. Well fortified at level 4, 20 miles deep, the first few Soviet attacks have been repulsed.

While the Dniepr and the fortifications offer some defensive benefit, realistically it can only offer a delay of some weeks - Enough time for the Soviets to move up significant Rifle Corps to a point of penetration, gain a bridgehead, then grind an expansion of that bridgehead.

With luck, I can hold him along the Eastern Rampart till mud....but that is optimistic.




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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart, Jul 44 - 12/17/2011 9:28:03 PM   
M60A3TTS

 

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Although you've been pushed back consistently, I think you're in terrific shape. You have the eastern rampart, and then more good defensive terrain to fall back on, then the mud will be back before you know it. Nine months left, and I can't see him making it to the frontier of the Reich by next May.

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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart, Jul 44 - 12/17/2011 9:33:12 PM   
Tarhunnas


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What version are you running? Are you continously upgrading to latest beta? Just wondering, because I never seem to get my forts beyond level 2, and yours are all level 3 or 4.

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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart, Jul 44 - 12/17/2011 10:27:34 PM   
IdahoNYer


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M60 - That's what I'm hoping for, but even so, I'll just barely manage a German minor. Trying to avoid a draw at this point.

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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart, Jul 44 - 12/17/2011 10:32:10 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Tarhunnas -

Yes, been updated with all betas and official patches as they come out.

I've been working on the "Eastern Rampart" since mid 1942 with fortied areas - most with added construction battalions. As Luftwaffe Field divisions came aboard, they went to dig, until pulled out of necessity in late 43 to the front. Rumanians have largely been diggers - thats the double line of level 3 and 4 forts in the Dniepr Bend to the Sea of Azov.

I've also pushed most German reinforcements in 1944 to dig in the Land Bridge area.

Even so, the best I've come up with in most places are level 3. Level 4s are pretty much rare at this point in most areas unless considerable time and forces are applied.

I do think the fortified areas with added construction battalions do help. Time is the most important factor though.

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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart, Jul 44 - 1/13/2012 2:17:30 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 167; Aug 24, 1944.....clear

Back from Holiday Break, and the fight against the Soviet Horde continues!

In AGN's area, 18th Army continues to be pushed back hex by hex. A very slow and deliberate advance, with heavy losses to both sides. This grinding attack is very localized, and will result in Leningrad being isolated from the main German line in a few weeks. To that effect, the Finns will take over the predominance of Leningrad's defenses, and once Leningrad is isolated from the line, the remaining Finnish troops in 18th Army's AO will have to be transported by sea back to Finland.

16th and 9th Armies are enjoying a respite for the moment. No major attacks along the line, and 16th Army has been able to pull out some sizeable forces to form a intermiderary line to fall back to before retiring behind the Eastern Rampart.




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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart, Jul 44 - 1/13/2012 2:25:58 AM   
IdahoNYer


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In AGC's area, both 4th Army and 3rd Pz Armee continue to fight well forward of the Eastern Rampart. Two reasons for this - I'm trying to prolong holding on to Smolensk, and primarily to buy time for the fortifications to be strengthened in the Land Bridge area. The Soviet attack is primarily Rifle Corps based at this point - a single Tank Corps has advanced north of Smolensk (and will be routed by the XL PzKps in the German turn). I just don't trust the fortifications holding without a major river! So we bleed forward for as long as we can - at least until the Soviets clear the fortifications around Smolensk, or make them untenable.

2nd Army has pulled back behind the river, and into the swamps for the most part. A few bridgeheads are held on the east bank in swamps to delay the Soviets. Again, I don't expect the Soviets to force a crossing into the Pripet Marshes. Pushing along the east bank north toward Mogilev by turning 4th Army's right flank, maybe....that would cause 4th Army's rapid withdrawal.

To assist 3rd Pz Armee, the HG Pz Div is committed to XL PzKps. 24th Pz Div is pulled off the line with less than 50 Panzers and will re-fit at Minsk.

8th Army (with 1 Pz and 2 IN Div) remains behind the lines, waiting to commit where the Soviets launch their main attack.




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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart, Jul 44 - 1/13/2012 2:33:47 AM   
IdahoNYer


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AGB and AGA both find themselves behind the vaunted "Eastern Rampart" in pretty good shape - getting into position before the main Soviet forces arrive, and having some panzers to counterattack or reinforce the line. For now, the panzers occupy the line and act as reserves. Two Soviet attacks - one against the Hun 2nd Army and one against 1st Pz Armee - are repulsed with very heavy Soviet losses. So far so good. The Soviets do clear the Germans from the eastern tip of the the Dniepr, but that was expected.

17th Army does well in repulsing the first major attempt to push into the fortified line south of the Dniepr. Without panzers here, no real counterattack is feasible.

Overall, the position here looks pretty promising - I expect the Soviets to claw a bridgehead slowly across the Dniepr. Summer campaigning season is quickly running out. Most dangerous area is the 17th Army line - no Dniepr, just fortifications two deep. A breakthrough here not only threatens the Crimea, but could compromise the Dniepr fortifications to the north.




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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart - 1/17/2012 8:29:27 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 168; Aug 31, 1944.......clear

Well, so much for holding on to Smolensk. Soviets continue to pound forward, battering 3rd Pz Armee near Smolensk - while avoiding the more robust fortifications. But events to the south, along and near the Dniepr unhinge 4th Army's position from the south - there is no way to hold east of the river without excessive losses.

So 3rd Pz Armee falls back toward the NW near Vehlizh, and 4th Army pulls back into the Dniepr positions and occupies the "Land Bridge".

While I've been reluctant to fall back, I really have no choice at this point




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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart - 1/18/2012 4:13:22 AM   
IdahoNYer


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It is in the Gomel area that the Soviets cause a brief crisis.

A Soviet thrust north, into the right flank of 4th Army compromises the Army's position east of the Dniepr - its not worth trying to hold forward at this point. A swift counterattack by elements of III SS PzKps pushes back the lead tank corps and allows the eastern most units to fall back upon the Dneipr.

Due west of Gomel, a sudden - and unexpected thrust by Soviet armor crosses the Dneipr and gains a bridgehead. The Guards Tank Corps is immediately counterattacked by XXXXI PzKps' 12th Pz Div and available infantry successfully, and forced to withdraw. The gap is closed. This effectively activates 8th Army, and it will take over some of the frontage from 8th Army, just north of Hun 1st Army.




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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart - 1/18/2012 4:17:54 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Further south along the Dniepr, the Soviets attempt two more crossings. Both are bloodily repulsed. Key to repulsing these attacks are of course the fortifications, but also the effective commitment of reserves to the fight - the newly arrived Pz Bdes are committed as reserves to both fights.

While I don't expect the line to hold indefinately - so far, so good.




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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart - 1/18/2012 4:28:10 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Even 17th Army has been effective in holding back the Soviet Horde - establishing these fortifications early on has paid off.

Just in case a backup line is being established along the Dnepr itself to the rear of 17th Army's current position. Its not a question of "if" the Soviets will break through - but a question of when.




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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart - 1/18/2012 5:36:57 AM   
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will be hard for him attack north mogilny hard before mud hits

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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart - 1/21/2012 5:49:13 PM   
IdahoNYer


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That's the plan anyway.....

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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart - 1/21/2012 6:05:40 PM   
Wuffer

 

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thx for your effort, the AAR is a good read
doesn't look so bad, at least you have decent firepower in a lot of your units left

What are your further planings?
Retreating backwards when the rivers get frozen or try to fight forward as long as possible?


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RE: Withdraw to the Eastern Rampart - 1/21/2012 11:41:02 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Wuffer - I'm going to hold my "Eastern Rampart" fortifications as long as practical. But you're right, once the rivers freeze, all bets are off. With some luck, he'll be bogged down east of the Dniepr until the freeze, then it will take a few turns to establish a good breakthrough, and then collapse my fort line. My bet is he shifts north and south - to the Land Bridge in the center and well to the south in 17th Army's area. At least until the freeze.

Once the Eastern Rampart is compromised, I'll pull back like I did in summer 44 - but there's no Eastern Rampart to fall back on...only Berlin.

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RE: Holding the Eastern Rampart - 1/21/2012 11:54:54 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 170; Sep 14, 1944.....clear

3rd Pz and 4th Armies occupy positions in the Eastern Rampart - probably the most vulnerable portion of the line - the Land Bridge near Vitebsk. Soviets puurse with Rifle Corps and no armor is noted. That is both good and bad. On the positive side, the Soviet advance is slow. On the negative side, once the stacks of Rifle Corps reach the fortified line without the benefit of the Dniepr, they will just ground it to dust. I was hoping for some tank corps to lead the charge, so I had 3xPz Divs ready and refit to counterattack. Not going to happen. I'm probably going have to put the panzers in the line with the infantry in order to attempt to hold the level 3 forts. In the end, they'll fall and the panzers will be ground up. But, since it's mid Sep, I may be able to hold some of the fort line till mud.

Further south, 2nd Army holds off the first Soviet attempt to regain the western side of the Dniepr since throwing back a tank corps' bridgehead a few weeks back.




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RE: Holding the Eastern Rampart - 1/22/2012 12:06:37 AM   
IdahoNYer


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From Kiev south, much of the same along the Dniepr - Soviet mass attacks fail to gain a bridgehead as local reserves - the panzer bdes working well in this role - support the fortifications and rebuff the attacks - heavy losses to the attackers. Manageble losses to the defenders.

17th Army on the other hand had its first reverse - after a number of failed attacks, the Soviets finally gain a fortified position. This gains them a bridgehead across the Molochna River which should make it easier for them to roll up more fortified positions. However, more level 3 fortifications backstop the first line (again, starting in 1942 has paid off), and this will make further attacks costly and slow.

Unfortunately, as with the Land Bridge defenses, the Soviets will slowly grind forward. I've begun constructing fortifications along the Dniepr to the rear, but I should have placed these earlier - at best they'll be level two if he pushes hard. This will also compromise the Crimea. With the ports, I'll likely leave a reinforced Corps of Rumanians to hold the Crimea - will tie down a number of Soviets and the Rumanians have limited uses.....




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RE: AGN surprised - 1/25/2012 8:23:22 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 172; Sep 28, 1944.....clear

Just as I expect the main blow to be delivered against the land bridge, Scar surprises me with a massed armored thrust into 9th Army to the north of the land bridge - perhaps attempting to make a rapid thrust towards Veliki Luki?

In any case, despite massing a dozen plus tank corps, as well as mech and cavalry corps and the usual Rifle corps and artillery in support, I actually welcome this attack. Yes, welcome it. If all this combat power is attacking here, its not attacking across the land bridge! I can give ground here - and planned ahead to do just that. Two subsequent fortified lines are to the rear.

Yet, the power of his assault is staggering. Fortunately, a single German infantry division, the 339th, held off the masses, throwing off the Soviet timetables. This single division HELD in 7 of 8 assaults!!! That's a record in my book.

So, that probably limited the damage and certainly the scope of the advance. Still, the attack forces 9th Army to rapidly displace to the west side of the penetration, while 16th Army easily falls back to the new line. The worst part is that two infantry divisions from 3rd Pz Armee are unable to pull out to the new line and will likely be crushed once encircled. No relief is planned.

With time rapidly running out before mud, he's shot his bolt for the summer here. He can't redeploy his vast armored force for another thrust before winter.




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RE: AGC holds - 1/25/2012 8:29:34 PM   
IdahoNYer


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While the major tank thrust rips into 9th Army, the massed Rifle Corps attacks continue against AGC and the "Land Bridge". By putting the armor of two PzKps into the line, we hold in 3 of 4 attacks - only the VII Korps gives way in the center - I'll take that. Losses to both sides are heavy, but the Soviets are held, for a while at least.

This is where I expected the main thrust - the massed Rifle attacks then the tanks. The tanks are to the north and the Rifle Corps didn't gain ground.

A good week....




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RE: AGC holds - 1/25/2012 8:39:01 PM   
IdahoNYer


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At the southern end of the line, we have a momentary crisis. While I expect the massed Rifle Corps attacks to gradually reduce 17th Army's position, I did not expect much in terms of tank corps exploiting any success.

Well, I was wrong.

Massed Rifle Corps take another fortified position, and two tank corps rumble through to exploit - tearing the line in half. Unless.......

With only a 10 mile wide gap - a single hex - the German infantry on the shoulders of the penetration attack and push back the Rifle Corps holding open the penetration. XXXXVI PzKps from 1st Pz Armee responds to the crisis, and is reinforced by GD PG. This force is enough to rout the two tank corps, destoying over 200 tanks in exchange for less than 50, and seal the breach.

The Eastern Rampart position has worked out much better than anticiplated. The positions behind the Dniepr offer a good defensive bonus as well as an "interior line" position where panzers can rapidly respond to crisis points.

So, end of Sep, and we're still in great shape...




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RE: General Mud arrives! - 1/29/2012 12:31:38 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 174; Oct 12, 1944........clear, mud and blizzard (see map)

Fall weather starts with a bang, even blizzard! I'll take it!

Overview of the front line as the weather starts to change, hopefully ending the Soviet Summer '44 offensives.

AGN continues to battle against massed Rifle Corps attacks south of Leningrad, its 18th Army bending slowly, usually about 1 hex lost a turn - with heavy losses to both sides due to the level 3 and 4 fortifications. I've put a reserve line on the Luga River, but I don't intend to fall back too quickly. My be is that he's going to try and cut Leningrad off, which at point it will become a Finnish responsibility, and I'll have to figure out how to pull the remaining Finnish troops with 18th Army back to Finland - I'm hoping they'll be able to move by sea....
Elsewhere, 16th and 9th Armies slowly pull back into the mud zone, and will gradually fall back to their portion of the "Eastern Rampart" - which is notoriously "thin" in this area - one line of level 3 forts along a river line where practical (which will likely be frozen by the time the Soviets reach it).

AGC holds two major attacks again against the land bridge area, so with the mud, things should quiet down - where hopefully I'll be able to pull the panzers out to refit before snow hits. I still think this will be the Soviets main area of attack come snow. But once the Dniepr freezes, he could pretty much attack anywhere...

AGB has seen little activity along its positions along the Dneipr since defeating a few attempts. Its been so quiet that GD PG Div was sent south and hasn't been pulled back. Once the Dniepr freezes, I expect renewed attacks in the Kiev area, which if successful will open up the entire lower Dniepr line.

AGA continues to hold back, with great difficulty, Soviet massed attacks in the 17th Army area. 1st Pz Armee's XXXXVI PzKps remains committed in 17th Army's area to bolster the line - and with clear weather here, its probably going to be heavily engaged again. The fortifications have been built along the remainder of the Dniepr, but with winter - and the longer line, it will just be speed bump.

The Crimea remains quiet with the Rum 4th Army holding the positions. I'll likely leave two corps of Rumanians in the Crimea, even after it is cut off from the mainland - the forts are well developed, and with ports, the 6 or so divisions I'll leave will force the Soviets to commit a large force to clear the Crimea. Thats the plan anyway...




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RE: General Mud arrives! - 1/29/2012 3:36:21 AM   
Wuffer

 

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Well, it's getting interesting now.
the good news first: time is on your side now und you have some decent firepower left.
the bad: - obvious -  eh, I mean, the endsieg is near!
the ugly: tickets to Argentinia become really expensive

No, seriously,
what's the shape of luftwaffe?
Have you tried to commit Pz-Div as reserves?







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RE: General Mud arrives! - 1/29/2012 3:33:24 PM   
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quote:

ORIGINAL: IdahoNYer



The Crimea remains quiet with the Rum 4th Army holding the positions. I'll likely leave two corps of Rumanians in the Crimea, even after it is cut off from the mainland - the forts are well developed, and with ports, the 6 or so divisions I'll leave will force the Soviets to commit a large force to clear the Crimea. Thats the plan anyway...





why should they leave more than a couple of divisions to keep you bottled in? He knows you can't go anywhere.

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(in reply to IdahoNYer)
Post #: 478
RE: General Mud arrives! - 2/5/2012 9:14:47 PM   
IdahoNYer


Posts: 1082
Joined: 9/6/2009
From: NYer living in Boise, ID
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Wuffer - Luftwaffe, although outnumbered better than 10-1, keeps flying and killing the Red Falcons!

Silly - He'll pursue into the Crimea because he'll consider the Rumanians an "easy" target and a potential threat to his flanks. Bet me, he'll attack!

(in reply to sillyflower)
Post #: 479
RE: Red Army Re-buffed! - 2/5/2012 9:21:05 PM   
IdahoNYer


Posts: 1082
Joined: 9/6/2009
From: NYer living in Boise, ID
Status: offline
Turn 175; Oct 19, 1944.......clear

Soviets conduct limited attacks, only 5 across the whole front. They are either exhausted or re-grouping....

Of the five attacks, four are against 9th Army and 3rd Pz Armee. The fifth is against the 17th Army in the south.

ALL FIVE are held!! Amazing. He's got to be tiring.

Now if mud just comes to the rescue!!




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