ORIGINAL: Paul McNeely
Unfortunately in may of 42 I am facing an assault with 8 Pz divisions and 2 motorized divisions concentrated in a 30 mile wide front. Two examples...
2nd, 14th and 16th Pz Divisions (35K men, 358 guns , 262 tanks) vrs the 6th Tank Corps and 58th Mnt Division (which had retreated twice before this battle) (18K men, 172 guns, 162 tanks) plus 54 fighters and 27 bombers. Soviet forces retreat. Axis Losses: 476 men, 3 guns, 5 tanks. Soviet Losses: 2395 men, 62 guns, 72 tanks
2nd, 9th, and 13th Pz Divisions (31K men, 317 guns, 283 tanks) vrs the 6th Tank Corps and the 58th Mnt Division (15k men, 119 guns, 102 tanks). Soviet forces retreat. Axis Losses: 382 men, 5 guns and 16 tanks. Soviet Losses: 705 men, 9 guns, and 19 tanks.
My feeling is the 72 losses represented all the light tanks initially present, and the 19 were probably 38 damaged T34 and KV1 tanks plus the 4 tanks of the Mtcl Rgt. The core of the Corps is probably still in good shape.
Not the best beginning. Still compared to the tank bde it is a joy to see the Corps show up.
To try and make sure my tanks were more effective. I grouped them into 5 corps in north. 5 in center and 5 in the south. Then once i have a few more guards i want to put 3 guards inf divisions with them and group them under shock armies. I the north they have been pretty good and broke through the line in a few places. Once i get a little more experience with them maybe i'll be able to pull off an encirclement.
I'm finding that its safer and more efficient to make a clumpy mass of say 7-9 tank corps, 3-4 cavalry corps with a lot of guards infantry corps and tank brigades and motorized brigades and maybe one or two mechanized corps and just chop out 7-8 hexes full of whatever odds and ends the Axis has (I'm playing the AI on normal and it often puts together pretty motley stretches of front line) in the front line. The short chop avoids logistic problems, stands up well to counterattacks and you can let the railrepair happen pretty fast there while you rebuild your tank corps. and then you can find another good spot and make another short chop.
Well...it works agains the normal AI.
Anyway, I'm not sure how many tank corps an encirclement might need.