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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side

 
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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/4/2012 8:40:09 PM   
Speedy

 

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Week 7 was mud everywhere. Week 8 had Blizzard conditions up north and snow in the south.

ComradeP re-organised his lines moving forces away from the former Kanev Bridgehead to the Bridgehead to the SE including Das Reich and 23rd Panzer Division.

Soviet Forces are constantly arriving and strengthening behind the lines in this area awaiting for the Dnepr to freeze over. 2 spoilign attacks were launched this week (red arrows).

The red circles include penetration formations from 5th Guards Tk Army (3 x Tk Cps, 2 x Mch Cps), 1st Tank Army (2 x Tk Cps, 1 x Mch Cps), 3rd Guards Tank Army (1 x Tk Cps, 1 x Mch Cps).

I'm planning to expand the number of 'Threat Points' for ComradeP by attacking, and if possible, exploiting other areas of the Dnepr - these are identified by Blue Circles.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/4/2012 8:47:14 PM   
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ComradeP has weaker forces down south and only 2 identified Panzer Divisions in the area. Zhukov's 51st Army stormed across the Dnepr (red circle) smashing back 17th Infantry Division 20 miles to the rear. Further to the NE 3rd Guards Army forced back 111th Infatry Division from it's defences.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/4/2012 8:50:35 PM   
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The Crimea - ComradeP continues to withdraw but did launch a couple of successful local counter-attacks. In return Southern Cacvlary Bde was routed and we near the defences of Sevastapol.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/5/2012 7:53:25 AM   
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Losses upto end of week 8:




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/5/2012 8:01:19 AM   
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OOB: Axis are up 65,000 men, down 200 artillery and up 800 tanks. My take on that is infantry and Panzer reinforcements have bumped up the men and tank totals but ComradeP has probably disbanded some artillery SU's.

I also meant ot mention about AP use. I only get 25 per turn and so far I've been mainly using these to re-assign un allocated armoured units to Armies and also to re-assign North Caucasus units to 2nd Ukranian Front. I've also formed up 3 Mech Bde's to form a Mech Cps. I'll soon start to use my AP's to create Tnk Cps from the various Tk Bde's I have as well as disbanding the odd Rgt and potentially creating more artillery.

So much I want to do so few AP's.............




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/6/2012 1:15:42 PM   
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Turn 9. Snow across the Front preventing any major attacks across the un-frozen Dnepr (MP costs for most of my units are too high for deliberate attacks across the Dnepr). As such more re-organising up north and shuffling refitted units into the line and one's that need it out of the line. Pieter has organised his defence well. Bombardment attacks on a few units to keep the Axis honest:




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/6/2012 1:21:37 PM   
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Pieter successfully counter attacked 51st Army's Bridgehead with 3 Panzer and 2 Infantry Divisions. Rifle Corps stormed back across the Dnepr in 2 places this week.

I can't wait for the Dnepr to freeze over then several attacks and breakthroughs can be achieved at once.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/6/2012 4:11:07 PM   
Speedy

 

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Turn 10 - snow everywhere but the Dnepr is still not frozen enough for assaults in general. Still building up and refting in the north (formed another Rifle Cps and Tk Cps).

Down south Pieter did not attacked my massed Rifle Corps but instead pulled back. Zaporozhe was abandoned and re-taken and further units are across the Dnepr. Once (if) I'm across the Dnepr in force and the Axis are out of their defences the fun can begin




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/7/2012 11:09:11 AM   
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Turn 11. Blizzard in the south, snow in the north. A lot more re-org from ComradeP shuffling his Elite forces from danger point to danger point. No attacks on either side though. I created another Tk Cps and a Rifle Cps from froces in the north. I expand my bridgehead in the south:




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/7/2012 11:18:44 AM   
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One thing I haven't discussed in detail which has important implications for this scenario and indeed any major River Crossing are ice levels. Back in version 1.05.18 changes were made to the engine in the following way:

1) Rule Change – Ice levels no longer go up by 4 during a blizzard in all areas. The amount of increase is dependent on the weather zone as follows:

Europe Zone +1
South Soviet Zone +2
Central Soviet Zone +3
North Soviet Zone +4

2) Rule Change – Major rivers are not considered frozen until the ice level is at least 8 (used to be 5). At ice levels 5-7, the extra cost due to icing is 8 when moving into an EZOC, and 4 when not moving into an EZOC.

This second point has massive implications for River Crossings. Not only are they hard on Major Rivers against entrenched defenders but now in the mid ice ranges it's virtually impossible to cross rivers as Soviet units will often not have enough MP's to conduct deliberate attacks. As such it's much better to way until Ice Levels 8 are reached once it's fully frozen

Of course playing with Random weather adds another element into the equation so that in theory the Major Rivers may not freeze that long maing timing of any offensive key.




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< Message edited by Speedy -- 2/7/2012 11:20:30 AM >


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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/7/2012 11:25:10 AM   
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OOB.

I thought it important to look at this now we've had several weeks of relative inactivity both sides will have built up for the 'Real Deal' which sould start once the Dnepr freezes.

Axis since start:

Men: + 87,000
Guns: + 160
AFV: + 800
Planes: + 300

Soviet:

Men: + 360,000
Guns: + 7,000
AFV: + 1,500
Planes: + 1,700

A lot of these will be due to reinforcement units by both sides.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/8/2012 7:12:43 PM   
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Turn 12. Blizzard everywhere. The northern parts of the Dnepr have frozen solid and Operartion Bratwurst Basher has begun.

The troops were ready after 2 months of preparation. Each 10 mile crossing hex was secured by 2 Armies operting in conjunction with the aid of BAD's (Breakthrough Art. Div.) in the rear. Fully rested Armoured reserves then crossed and secured the other side whilst also conducting local attacks against some battered Axis units.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/8/2012 7:17:11 PM   
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Further south the Dnepr is not quite frozen over as such 2nd Guards Army was not let loose against the enemy positions SE of Nikolaev. Instead a gradual advance of 10-20 miles were ordered with little combat (ComradeP withdrew mainly except a Rumanian Cavalry Division which lost 20% of it's strength after being smacked by 2 x Rifle Corps and 1 x Mech Corps)




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< Message edited by Speedy -- 2/8/2012 7:25:05 PM >


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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/8/2012 7:20:14 PM   
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As an FYI the sideshow that is the Crimea. No chance of me progressing here as ComradeP gradually withdraws his men via the sea. My units are all second rate troops who are not receiving replacement as a priority (I'm sure they'd be happy knowing that) Merely a holding operation now.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/8/2012 7:22:13 PM   
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Losses. Need to try to engage ComradeP's Panzers if he'll let me. They'd the trump card for the Axis




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/10/2012 11:36:09 AM   
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Turn 13:

ComradeP's trump card - Elite Panzers decidd to counter attack the leading formations involved in Operation Bratwurst Basher. The fighting was heavy but my formations could not withstand the massed Panzers and most withdrew across the frozen Dnepr. Here's a view of 2 of the 3 key battles:




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< Message edited by Speedy -- 2/10/2012 11:37:34 AM >


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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/10/2012 11:45:05 AM   
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During the my turn I took the opportunity to attack across the frozen Dnepr again. Although losses were heavy last turn I can take them and my forces were still in good shape (most Armoured units were 77-95% of TOE). The Rifle Corps were used a lot this week. The sheer bulk of the units and the high amount of high ROF weapons make them a dedly weapon in the Soviet Arsenal.

Positions were re-taken and heavyish losses were sustained on both sides. A war of attrition suits me though.........

ComradeP still has a lot of very good Panzers around though so it'll be interesting to see if he retreats or counter-attacks.

Mud down south so no frozen Dnepr there and no attacks.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/10/2012 11:47:05 AM   
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Losses (note mine include attrition so my combat losses were around 20,000 men and 300 tanks):




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/15/2012 8:31:12 AM   
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T14-15.

Snow/blizzard everywhere making the Dnepr irrelevant. In the northern cauldron we slug it out week after week with me conducted heavy overwhelming local attacks by Rifle Corps (supported by Mech/Tk Corps sometimes) + lot of artillery. ComradeP then uses his panzers as his fire brigade retreating my Soviets that took the recently won ground. Here's a snapshot of the area at the end of T15:




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/15/2012 8:37:19 AM   
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South -

Progress has been 'swifter' here over the past 3 weeks with fewer Axis units to prevent mass movement. ComradeP has shifted some powerful reserves down here recently and last week heavy counter-attacks were launched by 1st SS, 5th SS, 7th, 9th and 23rd Panzer divisions.

This week we successfully smashed back 3 battered German, 2 Rumanian Divisions and 7th Panzer SW of Nikolaev.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/15/2012 8:39:31 AM   
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Losses from my attacks this week. Decent exchange ratio and happy taking out 109 Axis tanks.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/15/2012 8:44:33 AM   
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OOB: good to see the Active Germans down to under 1 Million.

ComradeP is doing very well in shifting around his panzers for counter attacks and keeping his panzers massed in defence. However, the strain is starting to be felt on his Landsers as they take the brunt on my constant attacks.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/15/2012 8:49:30 AM   
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Here's the 'quiet' northern sector. I may potentially create a ruckus up here soon. The circled areas are potential targets. In 2 weeks 2nd Tank Army arrives with 2 x Tk Cps and 1 x Guards Cav Cps. I may throw these into this area (depending on how action fares down south). I also have 3 x BAD's forming up near Kharkov which may also be used here as well.




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< Message edited by Speedy -- 2/15/2012 8:50:17 AM >


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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/15/2012 8:51:31 AM   
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Anyone have any questions? You're all very quiet

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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/15/2012 12:31:18 PM   
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Following in anticipation... Seems like the axis still has pretty sharp teeth, although they can ultimately but trade space for time.  Curious to see what  I can learn from your AAR for the conduct of any late war battles.  Nice AAR!

PS. You clearly have one huge disadvantage, the outer lines. Wouldn't it be an option to apply simulataneous pressure to both extremes of the Axis arc? I.e. add more pressure around Kiev?

< Message edited by janh -- 2/15/2012 12:33:35 PM >

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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/15/2012 1:28:11 PM   
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Hi janh,

Good to hear from you

Indeed. The Axis Panzers are their only saving grace and since over 80% of all Axis on the Eastern Front was in this scenario at the time it makes it fun

You're logic is right in that the best policy is to stretch the Axis and their reserves with simultaneous strong blows. However, I don't have the additional strength to mount a 3rd prong right now (2 prongs in the center and south at present). You're right though and the 3rd prong can potentially go from the Kiev area when 2nd Tank Army arrives in 2 weeks time.

I'm not an expert on late war battles but from the knowledge I do possess there's a couple of key things for the Soviets:

1.) Smash the Axis lines with your Rifle Corps. They have great staying power and many high RoF weapons = many Axis casualties. Although I find it tempting to use Mech/Tk Cps they are often 1-2 shot wonders as their tanks will get eaten up. Sometimes needs must though and they are thrown in as well. If you can though move the Mech/Tk corps behind the Rifle Corps line once they have conducted an attack.

2.) Artillery. Just like RL mass it. Wherever you plan to breakthrough use the Art/Rct Divisions. I often conduct an Artillery only attack from 2 hexes away on a target unit BEFORE launching the main attack. The key here is that the Art/Rct units in question have 12 x MP so they can launch 2 x deliberate attacks. If massed then the defender untis can frequently suffer substantial disruption and negative effects on their defensive CV. You frequently need 2-5 Art/Rct units massed to have an appreciable effect though.

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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/15/2012 2:33:54 PM   
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How's manpower and production? Situation log? Screenshots please :)

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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/15/2012 2:47:08 PM   
Speedy

 

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Hi Karri,

Both are fine. Here's the current shot. Ok for tanks as well. For example I have 91 x T34 in the pool despite distributing almost 2000 already.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/19/2012 11:36:24 AM   
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T16-18.

Still Blizzard in most areas except 1 week of mud in the south. Still slugging/slow progress against stiff and brutal German resistance.

The planned attack in the north failed due to poor leadership rolls allowing ComradeP to bring in reinforcements to bolster the area a week later. Grrr.

Have now shifted the forces nearer to Kiev. We'll see.




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RE: Decision in the Ukraine - Soviet Side - 2/19/2012 11:40:55 AM   
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The main central push still slogs on but some fanatical resistance by random divisions causes heavy casualties. An example of this below as 3 Axis Divisions hold off 2 heavy Soviet Assaults before a 3rd finally pushes them back:




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