The front door to Leningrad is slammed shut by the advancing German forces from AGN which pushes back the Red Army forces in a series of battles. The five panzer divisions continue to linger in the woods near the city with fuel supplies still low. The remaining defenders of Leningrad are a hodgepodge of units from 23rd, 27th and 28th Armies, along with a STAVKA Naval Infantry Brigade and NKVD Border Regiments. An evacuation of some troops using ship transports successfully remove a rifle and motorized division over Lake Ladoga to the port of Kobona.
In the center, Smolensk is in the process of being enveloped and threatens to surround Western Front. General Vatutin orders preparations made to withdraw to the east, while maintaining a firm grip with Bryansk Front to the south and Reserve Front to the north. As in Leningrad, the panzer commanders are working feverishly to keep up the pace of the advance. Intelligence shows here too the panzer and motor divisions burning through their fuel stocks.
To the south, the drive east by Axis forces appears to be the most spectacular, with Stalino only a week away from being threatened. Despite this, STAVKA planners are quite satisfied with the situation. The German troops are forced to fight their way through multiple defensive positions of Southern Front between the Donets River to the north and the Dnepr-Volchya to the south. This was all carefully arranged, knowing the Axis plans for the subjugation of the Donbas.
General Kirponos reports an eerie calm in the entire area of Southwestern Front with almost no activity. Consequently, he anticipates no difficulty in reestablishing defensive lines farther east. A similar situation exists farther to the north in the Orel Military District. The situation was so favorable in fact, that at the end of the previous week, both of these commands left their northern and southern flanks respectively “in the air” as there were no Axis mobile reserves in the area to exploit such a gap.
At Stalino itself, 15 arms factories head east. Stalin issued General Order Nr. 220 shortly after the start of Barbarossa, stating that not one troop train be sent east or west without his personal approval. The priority is armaments and nothing else, given Der Fuhrer’s obsession with them. All the organizational skills of the Soviet hierarchy are used to keep the trains rolling in any threatened area. At the daily briefing, Stalin is assured the rapid pace of evacuations will be able to continue as the Soviet rail network remains largely intact given the narrow focus of the panzer advances leaving a sufficient part of the country unscarred. These narrow advances have also allowed those Red Army units left west of the panzer spearheads to withdraw without great difficulty. It has also meant that there has been no real need to yet ship in fresh troops from the east.
43rd Army under Pavel Kurochkin joins Orel MDD.
Intelligence shows approximately 4 in 10 German panzers broken down across the eastern front. Their rapid advance makes for great newsreel material that the Deutsche Wochenshau can use, but the combat might of the panzerwaffe is steadily eroding at time Russian manpower continues to increase.
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