From: NYer living in Boise, ID
With 3x Pzkps given the HQ supply boost, barring a sudden mud turn, "Operation Shark" begins next turn. With about 4+ weeks of good campaigning left, 4th Pz Grp spearheads the attack to cut off Leningrad. Even with the Finns making some progress from the north, it's still a daunting task - some 200 miles!
Here's the plan:
18th Army: Consiting of 4xKorps (1xMot, 11xIN) of slightly over 239,000 men in reasonably good supply. Continue to bludgeon the attack directly toward Leningrad, using Totenkopf to exploit any gains made by the infantry. Expect slow, grueling progress through heavily fortified positions in rough terrain.
16th Army: Consisting of 1xPzKp and 3x Korps (1xPz, 1xMot, 12xIN) of slightly over 285,000 men and 232 AFVs in fair supply for the infantry, poor for the PzKps. Infantry Korps to attack within capabilities north of Novgorod to support 18th Army. Extremely poor terrain and heavily fortified Soviet positions will limit the advance. Pzkps to attack north on the east side of Lake Ilmen to break the stalemate and protect the flank of the 4th Pz Grp. Provide the "inner ring" of the envisioned "Leningrad Pocket" to prevent breakout into 4th Pz Grp area.
4th Pz Grp: Main Effort of the Attack. Initially consists of 2xPzkps (3xPz, 2xMot, 3x IN) of slightly over 156,000 men and 316 AFVs in good supply. Attack in a NE direction east of the Valdai Hills, crossing the Shlina and Msta Rivers to link up with the Finns or reach Lake Ladoga. Can expect a narrow corridor, avoiding expected fortifications to the east for first 40 miles. Once penetration is achieved, expect quick advance as I don't think Scar expects this - most of his forces seem to be arrayed south of Moscow. Can expect to attach XL PzKps upon arrival as well as additional IN Korps from 9th Army.
9th Army: Consisting of 4xKorps (12xIN) of slightly over 219,000 men in reasonably good supply. Assist both 4th and 3rd Pz Grps in penetrating intial Soviet defenses. After panzers exploit to the east, responsible to reduce any pockets and then advance east to establish defensive line between 4th Pz Grp and 3rd Pz Grp, just east of the Kalinin-Moscow RR line.
3rd Pz Grp: Consisting of 2xPzkps, 2xKorps (4xPz, 3xMot, 5xIN) of slightly over 216,000 men and 644 AFVs in reasonably good supply. Attacks ENE to sieze Kalinin and then orients toward Moscow in order to protect the flank of the 4th Pz Grp attacking toward the Finns. 3rd Pz Grp should provide enough pressure on Moscow from the north to limit any assistance to Leningrad. Intent is for Scar to perceive this as the main effort and throw everything against it - at the expense of the attack toward the Finns.
2nd Pz Grp will also attack east - toward Tula-Kaluga to threaten Moscow from the SW. Like 3rd PzGrp, the intent is to give Scar more problems than he can handle, and force him to throw troops against the threat to Moscow. Based on the recon flights, I expect 2nd Pz Grp to have the toughest fight of the three Pz Grps - more troops, more fortifications.
Although Leningrad is the prize for 1941, the pressure on Moscow is real. If the Soviets do not counter 3rd and 2nd Pz Grp attacks with sufficient force, panzers could succeed in reaching capital as well. OK, I'm way too optimistic here....