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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar

 
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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 2/18/2011 3:43:53 AM   
IdahoNYer


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And those partisans in the NW corner of the last screen shot....


They need to be dealt with





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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 2/18/2011 4:32:09 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Further south, the Orel-Bryansk Salient still looks to be a tempting target once the ground freezes. Although there are signs of the beginnings of a withdrawal, he's got a long way to go.

I still need to bring up infantry to have any chance of success - 4th Army needs to relieve 2nd Pz Grp so it can thrust SE. 6th Army infantry is now moving up after reducing the Sumy Pocket. 1st Pz Grp is refitting NW of Kharkov, less 10th Pz left as a reserve behind 17th Army.

Both 17th and 11th Army, continuing the front to the Sea of Azov, have transitioned to the defensive - just short of Stalino.

The two Rumanian Armies fail to push into the Crimea before the mud, now it is probably too late until spring.

While a late snow offensive brings much risk, the shear size of the Bryansk-Orel Salient makes it a must-do. Not only for the potential of severly weakening the Soviet's ability to attack in the blizzard, but the necessity of reducing the frontage due to the westward bulge in the front.




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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 2/18/2011 4:48:34 AM   
IdahoNYer


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The second half of the summer offensive, begun on turn 11 with "Operation Shark" to cut off Leningrad, has gutted the Soviet bear. Huge pockets were achieved not only with Leningrad, put also Poltava near the Dnieper and Sumy near Kharhov by AGS, and the huge Vyzama Pocket by AGC. Still the Soviets field a sizeable army, and the German forces are "stretched"...

German troops are on the edge of Moscow - and Soviet industry did not evacuate east! So, close.....

The question is, can the Russian Bear recover and is it still a threat come blizzzard????




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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 2/18/2011 4:51:27 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Casualties as of 16 Oct.






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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 2/18/2011 4:57:48 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Forces available - the Soviets are under the 4 million mark. Probably the only time I'll see that!




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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 2/18/2011 12:26:34 PM   
timmyab

 

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Here's an idea to try and help you bag that pocket, kind of deception plan if you like.Take your armoured and motorised units away from the front line in that area and park them in non-open terrain not too far away.Then take a third of your force and split into regiments and place them a fair distance away in open terrain somewhere that a panzer army might be thought to pose a threat come the snow turns.The surprise element will more than make up for the loss of a third of your strike force for one turn.If he can see armour massing at the jaws of that pocket he'll either heavily reinforce them or withdraw.All this is assuming that your opponent does much recon of course.

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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 2/19/2011 7:17:11 PM   
IdahoNYer


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I'd love to do something just like that - except I few problems. Infantry is moving up to relieve the panzers very slowing due to the mud. With the mud, I'm reluctant to move the panzers much at all - but will pull them out of the line when the infanty arrives. The best I can offer in deception at the moment is building fortification units along the lines - hoping Scar takes these as an indicator that I'm putting the blizzard prep into effect.

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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 2/19/2011 7:36:47 PM   
timmyab

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: IdahoNYer
The best I can offer in deception at the moment is building fortification units along the lines - hoping Scar takes these as an indicator that I'm putting the blizzard prep into effect.

Good idea.
This might sound a bit crazy, (probably is), but how about pulling back to the river line in the north of that salient and manning it exclusively with infantry regiments.You can then withdraw the panzer army to the woods around Kaluga for the mud turns.That might well be enough to convince him that you've no intention of trying to close that pocket this year.Obviously keep hold of Tula in a big way.Would also be your primary jumping off point in the North.

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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 2/21/2011 4:43:49 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 20, October 30th, 1941.

Front lines have been basically unchanged since the start of the mud. Neither side in position to launch anything but local attacks. Scar has made some forays between stretched units, which have been largely contained. Only in the far north has he been able to move some forces as a Finnish Corps withdrew, leaving some gaps. Teaches me to stay more aware of withdrawals! This Soviet nuisance up north has forced me to break up 18th Army - one Korps remaining garrisoning Leningrad, another Korps moving to backstop the Finns, one Korps going to AGN to reinforce 4th Pz Grp and the first Korps detached, now part of AGC's 4th Army. 18th Army itself will remain near Leningrad.

9th Army was re-assigned to AGN, largely remaining in place in the line.

Scar has stopped pulling back from the Orel-Bryansk Salient, which 1) streches 2nd Army and AGC and 2) still provides much opportunity once the mud ends.

Infantry continue to move toward the line from eliminating pockets, but progress is slow with the mud. I continue to employ fortified units as APs permit.

Plans remain to conduct a limited, but aggressive, snow offensive. 4th and 3rd Pz Grps will attempt to take Moscow. However, the main attack will be to eliminate the Orel-Bryansk Salient. That will involve 2nd Pz Grp supported by 4th Army, attacking from the Tula area, and 1st Pz Grp supported by 6th Army, attacking from the Kursk area. Unlike the Shark Offensive toward Leningrad, I will not use the HQ supply buildup as my vehicle pool is getting too low. AGC is not ready yet, still has infantry to bring up. AGS's units are set, but rail repair needs to come up further.

This will be a risky attack - it will delay getting the panzers out of the line and into the protection of towns/cities for the blizzard. Without the offensive, I will have to pull back from a number of exposed Salients - both north and south of Moscow, as well as Tula and Kursk. I'm not prepared to give up those hard won areas just yet.

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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 2/25/2011 3:51:10 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 21, November 6th, 1941

The frost has arrived!! Ready or not, it is time to resume the offensive! Unfortunately, with the mud, we are not as ready as I would have liked. Infantry released from Leningrad and eliminating the Vyazma Pocket is still marching to the front.

Against Moscow, without signifant infantry, I can not hope to attack east to first isolate the city. This will be a grinding, squeezing of Moscow defenses. Not the best place for panzers either. As infantry comes up, they will take the burden of the fight, hopefully allowing me to pull the panzers off the line and into reserve before blizzard.

Both 3rd and 4th Pz Grp make moderate gains - nothing to exploit with armor, but steady progress closing in on Moscow against level 2 and 3 fortifications. L Korps should arrive shortly to the fight with additional infantry. As this is not the main attack along the front right now, XL Pz Kps was dispatched south toward 2nd Pz Grp. This was a tough call - it could tip the balance if committed properly, and committing it south may in fact save Moscow (until next summer anyway!).




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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 2/25/2011 4:37:00 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Just to the south of the attack on Moscow, the main German winter offensive begins to cut off the Orel-Bryansk Salient. Mud also affected the preparations here as infantry did not come into the line before this turn to relieve part of 2nd Pz Grp.

AGS was better prepared, with 1st Pz Grp pulled out of the line and resting near Belgorod. 6th Army infantry was not fully in place, but it was close enough when the frost hit.

With the advent of snow, regardless of preparation, the attack needed to start. I seriously thought about holding off a turn, but with variable weather, I'm running out of time, and perhaps luck, with each turn - I needed to launch with what I had.

In doing so, 2nd Pz Grp attacked with only XXXXVII PzKps and some supporting infantry. XXIV PzKps had not been relieved and was still oriented northeast of Tula, holding the line. XL PzKps moved south, but could not commit, nor be re-asssigned to 2nd Pz Grp. With those limitations, I was very happy to have gained 30 miles through heavy level 2 fortifcation defenses.

The welcome surprise was that the initial attack by XXXXVI PzKps was VERY successful, blowing a clean hole through the lines which its own Das Reich and GrossDeutchland could exploit. Through this gap, XXXXVIII PzKps turned east, widening the breach and began its advance on Voronezh. III PzKps followed, moving between the other two PzKps to widen the corridor to 2nd Pz Grp. Though very stretched, a corridor was established, isolating the estimated 50 or so Soviet forces in the Orel-Bryansk Pocket.

Now comes the tough part - maintaining this corridor - which I expect will be severed in the Soviet turn. So perhaps, re-establishing the corridor. Which is certainly do-able with the uncommitted XL and XXIV PzKps as well as additional infantry moving up. The real question is whether the weather will cooperate. Even once the corridor is firmly established, it is going to take a number of weeks to reduce the pocket - and before that is done, I'm sure the blizzard will be in full swing.

I really don't think there was a choice here - eliminate the Orel-Bryansk Salient or pull back to shorter lines. At this stage in the war - pre blizzard - I'm not inclined to pull back hard won ground. Sound familiar???




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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 2/25/2011 5:47:07 AM   
cookie monster


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It's like taking candy from a baby...

With respect...Has it not just turned into counter shoving by now?

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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/2/2011 2:44:09 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Gotta love variable weather!!!! Here it is, turn 23, November 20th and instead of a blizzard, General Mud appears to save the Soviet cause!!!

Mud brings a halt to all operations except the reduction of the Orel-Bryansk Pocket. Two attempted attacks in the mud against the defenses near Moscow got nowhere. I've called off the thrust toward Voronezh as it is well beyond reach right now.

At best, we can reduce the pocket before blizzard really takes hold.




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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/2/2011 3:01:16 AM   
IdahoNYer


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As expected, the Soviets briefly established a link up with the pocket. This time, the corridor remained solid. 2nd and 1st Pz Grps established a continuous line of units to prevent any further attacks. On the interior side, attacks are made against the pocket as much as feasible - the mud hindering operations and lack of troops slowing progress down. Even so, about 20 or so divisions are destroyed.

Still, with blizzard fast approaching, my forces are stretched to the limit holding both the exterior lines and attempting to attack along the interior lines. Until the pocket is fully reduced, panzer formations are forced to hold those exterior lines and will not fare well once blizzard begins. Eventually, infantry from 4th, 2nd and 6th Armies will be able to relieve those panzers, but that's probably at least two weeks away.






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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/2/2011 3:10:16 AM   
Klydon


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To be honest, I don't know that you consider holding your front line where it is once the blizzard starts. Your armor is exposed and even if the infantry get there in time, they will be tired and won't have time to entrench very effectively. On top of that, your logistics are going to be terrible since you are a fair distance for your rail heads.  I would almost plan on trying to crush the units in the pocket, convert all the hexes and retire with the panzers back to the infantry who should have some time to dig in and rest a bit before the Russians can show up to effectively make attacks.

One other note. I see quite a bit of cav in front of Voronezh. If he wants to leave it there, I would figure out a way to crush it during snow. The less cav he has to form into cav corps (or less cav in general), the easier it will be on you during the winter.

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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/2/2011 3:20:20 AM   
IdahoNYer


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In the rear area, partisans are beginning to become a nuisance....

Despite meeting the garrison requirements, partisans still spring up and destroy rails. Didn't really expect that, at least not in 1941. This is going to require putting more units to combat the partisans - the garrisons are not enough, nor mobile enough to hunt them down when they appear. Right now, I'll have to make do...I just don't have the troops.




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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/2/2011 3:33:04 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Klydon - great observation! Didn't really notice the concentration of cav - just not sure if I can pull that off.

Agree this isn't the best line to hold - and I will pull back here as necessary. What's going to be tough is pulling back and abandoning Tula - not sure I'll be able to hold positions that far forward.

What I'm really hoping for is that the Soviet Bear has been weakened enough by the pockets that his blizzard attacks will be greatly minimized.

One can hope, right?

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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/4/2011 4:53:01 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 26, December 11th 1941

Blizzard hits last turn, so this shot reflects the start of the turn, showing Soviet attacks before German moves.

Even with Blizzard, I made one final attack on Moscow; tried to take the NW corner of the city in two failed deliberate attacks. Not really surprised, but with his industry still in the city, I HAD to make the attempt.

Now its the Soviet's turn to have some fun....

Scar is still transitioning from defense to offense, so his attacks were fairly limited. Out of the 5 attacks in this area (there were no attacks north of here at all), we held on one attack. Heavy losses for all attacks, for both sides. I've got to get the panzers out of the front line and in to "cover" as rapidly as possible - both 3rd and 4th Pz Armies have Pz Divs in the front, and I will move them back toward cities as I can - panzer strength is about 100 or so runners per division at best. A few have over, many less. Both Pz Armies will gradually pull out of their salients as Soviet strength grows, especially with a weak 9th Army line north of Moscow.

Since I've been attacking through December, I really don't have a solid defensive line established - we'll see if my plan to hold the initiative as long as possible will pay off - he's suffered over 4.3 million men lost, hopefully that will be enough!




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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/4/2011 4:56:12 PM   
raizer

 

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now this aar is gonna heat up!!!!

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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/4/2011 5:06:20 PM   
veji1

 

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how fast are you going to run back towards nexuses of cities/towns that can be held ?

Edit : you might want to read what BigA wrote about surviving the first winter. you have gone so far out that retreating should be the best bet for you. You can go for a town/cities based checkerboard and from there lose 8/hexes in depth on your front before the spring.

< Message edited by veji1 -- 3/4/2011 5:11:35 PM >


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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/4/2011 5:15:47 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Here is where I, as expected, have major problems. Isolating, then reducing the Orel-Bryansk Pocket took more time than I expected, and its remnants still remain around Bryansk. So here we are in the second full turn of blizzard, and yes, as the German, I have to continue attacking to reduce it! Not pretty.

This of course also means that the infantry I was counting on from 2nd and 4th Armies have not moved up in sufficient strength to relieve 2nd and 1st Pz Armies. Also not good.

So, we'll do with what we have. I have managed to pull off two PzKps, and even entrain 11 Pz back toward the west for refit - it had a low 42 Pz remaining, so it will got to rest in Budapest to see if that can help it build up strength faster.

Of the 6 Soviet attacks, we hold one. Not good. Worse, Tula is very exposed, and although I am very reluctant to lose the city, its loss is inevitable - just a question of when. I will hold here as long as possible, but I will not prevent it's loss. I'll give ground east of Orel, especially has I have no defense established there due to the pocket reduction. Have no choice, but do have ground to give.

I'm still struggling with when and where to pull west - I'm leaning toward holding until forced to withdraw - that assumes the Soviets have been weakened sufficiently. Well, we'll see how accurate that is I guess....




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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/4/2011 5:22:41 PM   
BigAnorak


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6 attacks compared to the 60+ reported in other AARs is child's play. More than 45 per turn will stretch the axis.

I think your "all out" strategy, does show that this puts pressure on the Sovs, and they need a few turns to get large scale attacks organised.

I haven't seen the southern front, but you have a good Blizzard buffer from Moscow to Orel, so even if you get pushed back 8-10 hexes you will still be infront of Rzhev and probably holding Orel, which is a good place to start 1942.



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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/4/2011 5:36:19 PM   
IdahoNYer


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The rest of the front does actually fairly well.

From 6th Army to the See of Azov, we actually HOLD 6 of 8 attacks!!!

Two reasons for this. From Kursk north, the Soviets have been battered pretty well and in full retreat; its going to take a few turns for Scar to bring in fresh troops and begin steamrolling. Second, from Kharkov south, AGS has been on the defensive digging - with Mountain units in the line - with Rumanians backing up the line in the Donets basin.

Which is a good thing, as I've taken alot of risks here too. Only one Pz Div, (10th), and 1 Mot Div (60th) constititue a mobile reserve here. They are in good shape, but if the Soviets decide to push hard, I'm going to be pressed to stop them. I'll give ground on the southern end of the line, but will be very reluctant to lose Kharkov, 3 hexes behind the lines.

Off the screenshot, Scar still holds all of the Crimea - no attacks against the 4 German divisions supporting the entire 4th Rum Army holding the line there.




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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/4/2011 5:44:26 PM   
BigAnorak


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I would be really interested to see you Rifle squad, and manpower pool numbers as per the survival guide posted in the war room.

A low number of attacks in the first 3 turns will really help, as the rifle squads damaged on the first turn, start coming back, and you could see front line strength increase.

edit: re Kharkov - you have the mountain divs perfectly positioned to protect the flanks of the city, he will have to work hard to get into a position that will force you to retreat.

< Message edited by BigAnorak -- 3/4/2011 5:47:24 PM >


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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/5/2011 12:12:49 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Here ya go BigAnorak, rifle squads at the end of turn 26. It includes 65 fort units, which I disband as they enter the front line. Even so, with Finns in the line as well, my line is stretched! Few Rumanians in the front lines and a dozen or so German infantry units finishing the Orel-Bryansk Pocket extended the front. Managable for the time being, but even though I'm very "healthy" in terms of rifle squads, I'm going to have problems.

Wish I saw your survival guide a few turns ago! .






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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/5/2011 12:55:27 PM   
BigAnorak


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The divisional manpower levels look OK so far. Units with 9k+ can absorb the attrition and retreat losses, but as you are not being retreated, you are in good shape - so far. Just stop the cav and tank brigades breaking through. The brigades can be counter attacked even with the penalties, but the cavalry can be a bit tricky - rested panzers are probably needed.

It is beginning to look more and more like the armaments bug really hurt the games that were started with it in effect.

Edit: You have some infantry reinforcements coming in over the next couple of turns - these should allow you to get the Rumanians out of the line.

< Message edited by BigAnorak -- 3/5/2011 12:58:52 PM >


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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/7/2011 5:46:16 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 27, December 18, 1941. Screen shot showing Soviet attacks.

Blizzard continues of course. AGN's 18th Army (two Korps around Leningrad) and 16th Army (just to the north) are spared so far. As are the Finns. 9th Army and 4th Pz Armee, as well as AGC's 3rd Pz Armee receive a total of 10 attacks, of which 8 are successful. Both Pz Armee salients, north and south of Moscow begin to collapse slowly to the west - due to attacks and slow withdrawals. I make only one counterattack - in 4th Pz Army's area (the black arrows) where a single Soviet tank Bde holds off repeated attacks from 2 Pz Divs and 2 In Divs! This failure leaves one Pz Div and one In Div exposed and in grave danger of encirclement. South of Moscow, 3rd Pz Armee seems to be in better shape, and I rail the 12th Pz Div back towards a refit in Germany - trying to pull Pz Divs back toward Germany when they go below 50 panzers and about 10,000 men. Not sure if I can sustain that of course....

Overall, we'll grudgingly give ground here near Moscow. So far, I don't see alot of cavalry, just infantry anda few tank brigades. I expected a bigger push north of Moscow. So far, it hasn't developed.




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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/7/2011 6:05:07 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Near Tula, 2nd Pz Armee and 4th Army receive 7 attacks, and hold one. Soviet Tank Bdes advance, and these advances are counterattacked by panzer divisions which had been pulled out of the line (black arrows). 3 of 4 TK Bdes rout, and the front is re-established, at least for a while. LAH pulls out of Tula, and is replaced by the weakened 78th Sturm Div as I expect Tula to be un-tenable shortly. XXIV Pz Kps holds the line north of Tula, XXXXVII PzKps holds to the south, with infantry moving up from Bryansk-Orel pocket just behind.

Soviet pressure here is heavy, but still not his main effort. I'll gradually fall back toward the the Oka River, hopefully retaining Kaluga, but losing Tula. XL PzKps, still part of 2nd Pz Armee, has been pulled back to Orel as the major reserve force in the area, as that's currently where I think his main effort is heading.




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RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/7/2011 6:26:08 AM   
IdahoNYer


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From: NYer living in Boise, ID
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Here in 1st Pz Armee's area we feel the brunt of the main Soviet attack, with 8 of 8 attacks successful. (This screen shot shows the turn at the end of the German move to better display the new line) I've decided that this is Scar's main effort as this is the only area so far that I've identified both cavalry corps and massed artillery regiments (over 600 guns in some attacks). 16th Pz Div is mauled in one such attack, losing a third of it's tank strength in that one attack. 16th Mot is similarly mauled. III PzKps is combat ineffective, and will be withdrawn to rebuild - with both the 16th Pz and 16th Mot. Fortunately, I can afford to trade some space for time here - I'll want to hold Kursk and Orel. And I have to as no real fortifications were built in this area. Also, 2nd Army is gradually moving forward after finishing the remnants of the Orel-Bryansk Pocket (which some elements are still holding on to in the Bryansk area!).

XL PzKps is the backstop force here. XXXXVI PzKps is weak, with no panzer divisions, and may have to move south where some more trouble is brewing. XXXXVIII Pzkps remains strong, and will be used in the counterattack role as opportunity presents - hopefully variable weather will draw a snow turn in January.




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Post #: 149
RE: Return to Smolensk and Beyond, IdahoNY vs Scar - 3/7/2011 6:36:54 AM   
IdahoNYer


Posts: 1075
Joined: 9/6/2009
From: NYer living in Boise, ID
Status: offline
In the far south, not alot of activity, but enough to cause concern. 3 of 4 attacks are successful, but I am able to regain the lost hexes in my move without combat. The two attacks in the Donets Basin I think are fairly contained, however the one successful attack out of the Crimea may cause severe headaches as the Rumanians are becoming very unstable. One of three German divisions in the 4th Rum Army is now "unready", and 8 of the 10 Rumanians are "unready" as well. Not good. So, I've brought 10th Pz down from Kharkov by rail, and Totenkopf is also enroute, but a week behind. 60th Mot is shifted further south also. The other problem with a potential breakthrough from the Crimea is that the nearest railhead is up near the Dniepr Bend.

If nothing else, the good news is that December is more than halfway over!!




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< Message edited by IdahoNYer -- 3/7/2011 4:35:23 PM >

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