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Don to Danube AAR - Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side

 
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Don to Danube AAR - Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/29/2012 4:50:53 PM   
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Moderator note: This is the Soviet side AAR of an ongoing test game between Speedy (Soviet player) and ComradeP (Axis player). The scenario is from the upcoming Don to the Danube release. An Axis side AAR thread for this game will appear within the next few days. The players opted to use random weather and fog of war.


Hi all,

This is the Soviet side AAR for the 'Decision in the Ukraine' scenario. To give you a synopsis of this scenario - this runs from 24th September 1943 to 4th May 1944. The Eastern Front from the Fall of 1943 to the Spring of 1944 was being decided in the Ukraine where over 80% of German Armor was concentrated, It is one of the bloodiest campaigns ever fought in human history with casualties estimated between 1.7 and 2.7 million men on both sides. The Germans mustt try to hold the natural defences along the Dnepr River, or be forced to defend the open, flat Ukrainian Steppes.

Here's a snapshot of the front at the start of the scenario. This area of the front is pretty tough to strike against what with the Pripyat Marshes in the very north and 2 major river obstacles around Kiev.

The first target area for me at the start of this Operation will be to expand the bridgehead created by 9th Mechanized Corps NW of Cherkassy. 3rd Guards Tank Army is on hand with 6th and 7th Guards Tank Corps rrady to move across the Dnepr.




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< Message edited by Joel Billings -- 2/3/2012 8:23:48 PM >


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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/29/2012 4:58:05 PM   
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South East of Cherkassy strong Axis forces are present (Wiking/G.D/Totenkopf etc). Little direct action will be taken against these unless a situation presents itself.

A second push will be made further to the SE by 7th Guards Army facing a strung out 23rd Panzer Division.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/29/2012 5:06:34 PM   
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South Western and Southern Fronts have a very important role to play in my plans. Firstly, there is a lot of Mechanized, Cavalry and Tank Corps (10 in total) ready to be deployed. Secondly, I would be very happy to cut-off Axis forces in the Crimea and Kuban Peninsula. This would shatter the entire Axis position in the south if these forces were annihilated. Of course, the chance of this is slim as they'll probably be able to rail or sea lift many units out but I will try.

The 3 arrows below indicate major assault points. I will be flexible here in that which achieves the greatest success will be reinforced the most.




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< Message edited by Speedy -- 1/29/2012 5:07:06 PM >


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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/29/2012 5:09:31 PM   
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The Crimean and Kuban Peninsula and the forces I would dearly like to annihilate. There is no point in trying to advance through the Kuban directly. Axis positions are too strong here.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/29/2012 5:19:31 PM   
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An overview of the front along with the main attack axes and the VP locations needed to win this scenario.

Pressure will also be maintained along the whole front to detrite the Axis as much as possible. The major obstacles to success will be the Dnepr and the strong Axis Armoured divisions which will presumably be used for counter attacks and 'backhand blows'.

A decent flow of reinforcements will be sent by STAVKA. 8 Mech/Tank Corps alone over the next 2 months for examople. These will be thrown into the mill wherever is best suited.

I don't have much longer term plans than the attacks stated as so much will depend on which (if any) of these will be successful!




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/29/2012 6:08:16 PM   
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Turn 1 -

First things first. I ordered my air units to relocate much nearer to the front to provide an all round CAP and the necessary ground support. Recon was conducted across the front and in the rear areas to detect Axis reserves and airfields. A few AF attacks went in and claimed about 40 enemy planes for a similar number of losses.

The Kanev bridgehead was expanded by elements of 40th, 47th and 3rd Guards Tank Army. Weak German divisions were comfortably pushed back and a tentative salient is held.

Further to the east attacks by 23rd and 73rd Rifle Corps smashed back 3rd and 11th Panzer Divisions over the Dnepr claiming 90 Axis tanks (mainly on the retreat).




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/29/2012 6:14:38 PM   
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NW of Dnepropetrovsk 7th Guards Army pushed back 2 Rgt's of 23rd Panzer Division across the Dnepr. Later in the week they attempted to cross the Dnepr but the 23rd Panzer held firm and prevented any successful crossing.

Successful spoiling attacks were conducted by 37th, 6th and 1st Guards Army north, east and SE of Dnepropetrovsk.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/29/2012 6:20:03 PM   
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2 substantial reverses were sustained SE of Zaporozhe and against 2 LW Field Divisions in Fedorovka. 3rd and 8th Guards Armies were stopped SE of Zaporozhe by the timely arrival of 17th Panzer Division in reserve.

The major success was achieved on the coast of the Azov Sea. A massed artillery barrage prreceeded the crossing and storming of positions of the Southern Cavalry Bde by 37th Rifle Corps. The bridgehead was secured and all Armoured reserves crossed, struck deep into the rear of Axis lines and importantly cut both rail lines out of the Crimea.

I expect a serious reaction by ComradeP and the Axis reserves down here.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/29/2012 6:21:44 PM   
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Losses for the week. A lot of these Axis losses were on the retreat.

About 140 planes lost by both sides.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/29/2012 6:22:32 PM   
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OOB:




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/30/2012 10:40:02 AM   
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Start of Soviet turn 2.

Pieter re-organised his lines by withdrawing the strong Elite Panzer forces from the Kremenchug salient to bolster the Korsun Bridgehead defences. No attacks were launched against the Russians though.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/30/2012 10:42:59 AM   
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In the South 17th Panzer Division ploughed between Soviet units to restore a tenuous link to the Crimea. This was probably a suicide mission for these tankers though. The Molochna River line fell back towards the Dnepr. The Soviet reaction down here will be crucial.

Virtually all of the Luftwaffe has been removed from the front. As such I will place a much higher percentage of the VVS on Interdiction missions.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/30/2012 8:20:36 PM   
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North Ukraine:

A frustrating week for the Soviets in general. Due to the repaired rail lines being so far back from the front (just east of Poltava in the north for example) manhy of my units had limited fuel and supplies, in particular in the Kanev Bridgehead. Infact MP were so low in general across the front that I couldn't launch any deliberate attacks across the Dnepr where I wanted to this week.

Here's an example of 2 of my units in the Kanev Bridgehead:




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/30/2012 8:24:44 PM   
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South Ukraine:

Soviet's stormed acorss the Molochna and re cut-off the Crimea again. Only 1 attack was launched on 4th Rumanian Mountain Division. I hope I can keep the Crimea isolated.





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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/30/2012 8:26:33 PM   
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Crimea:

I have moved 18th Army troops to Novorossiysk for a potential seaborne invasion along the Crimea. We'll see what conditions await though.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/30/2012 8:27:53 PM   
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Losses:




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 1/30/2012 8:30:16 PM   
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OOB:




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/2/2012 9:11:42 PM   
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Turn 3:

ComradeP stormed through Soviet defences in the center of the Kanev Bulge cutting right through the Soviet bulge and surrounding 3 x Tk Corps and 1 x Mech Corps. Despite reckless attacks on the Axis positions involving 100's of Soviet bombers, artillery and Katyusha's no rescue attempt was successful.................




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/2/2012 9:16:43 PM   
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Further south 2 bridgheads are established. The first is the stronger of the 2 NE of Kirovograd when 4 Rifle Corps from 53rd and 7th Guards Army smashed back weak elements of Florian Geyer SS Cav Div. 1st Mech. Corps and 25th Guards Rifle Corps occupied hills across the river.

SE of Dnepropetrovsk 46th Army held weak positions on the other side of the Dnepr.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/2/2012 9:19:49 PM   
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The weather gods played against me further south still with heavy rain stalling the southern advance.........in the Crimea Kerch was re-taken against the retreating Germans.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/2/2012 9:21:07 PM   
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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/2/2012 9:22:58 PM   
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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/2/2012 9:33:48 PM   
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Turn 4:

The below screenshot shows the actions from week 4. Comrade P wiped out the surrounded Kanev units netting 25,000 men and 370 tanks. A follow up attack on 1st Rifle Corps, 3rd Guards Mech Corps and 3rd Guards Tk Corps fails costing 3,000 Axis men to 1,200 Soviet.

4th and 5th Guards Army forced the 106th Infantry Division back from the Dnepr but couldn't cross.

1st Mech Corps and 25th Guards Corps held their positions over the Dnepr and forced 8/9th Panzers divisions back in a stalling attack.

Around Poltava Rotmistrov's 5th Guards Tank Army has begun to arrive. I will use these elite forces to penetrate either of the bridgeheads established to the SW.




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< Message edited by Speedy -- 2/2/2012 9:38:27 PM >


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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/2/2012 9:36:38 PM   
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Mud down south prevents any significant fuel and supply reaching the southern forces and hence prevents a lot of movement.

I would have aimed to have gotten these forces across the Dnepr before ComradeP could react with substantial forces as it stands I will see what the weather brings and what defences await me.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/2/2012 9:40:14 PM   
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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/2/2012 9:40:59 PM   
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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/3/2012 5:07:13 PM   
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Turn 5. Mud over the northern half of the map and little action in general. I'm showing the south here and my buildup for an attack over the Dnepr when the weather permits it. You'll also see 2 Corps that have recently arrived from the Caucasus Front as they're not needed down there.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/3/2012 5:09:58 PM   
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In the Crimea the Axis are running to Sevastapol and are slowly evac'ing from there (ComradeP mentioned enough sea transport exists for 1 division per week).




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/3/2012 5:21:36 PM   
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Turn 6. Mud everywhere so no real action to talk of. Instead I'll discuss the progress over the past 6 weeks. Here's the northern half with the red arrows showing original attack routes and the blue lines showing the proposed attack routes when the rain stops. There's no doubt about it up here my attacks have not met with success. This was also partially due to ComradeP's use of his Elite Panzers to snub the Kanev Bridgehead.

The 'good' thing I have in this region at present is 2 bridgehead's across the Dnepr and a couple of other points where I can cross against weakly held positions. I can also hopefully keep the bulk of the Elite Panzers up here allowing for greater success elswhere.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/3/2012 5:27:31 PM   
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South: Here my initial attacks met with substantial success piercing the Molochna river line. Rain and the stalling actions by 17th Panzer halted further progress for a month. It will be interesting to see if this delay will be crucial later on and how quickly I can now over the Dnepr through the attack vectors highlighted in blue.

I expect to have little success in the Crimea as ComradeP can outrun my forces and keep them well defended in the good terrain around Sevastapol. I will not expend masses of effort down here.




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< Message edited by Speedy -- 2/3/2012 5:28:05 PM >


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