THE BLIZZARD PLAN
It should be no surprise the blizzard plan has Moscow as the main objective and, worthy of note, resembles what actually happened to a large degree, although obviously Moscow was held historically.
Perhaps before we go further, a small recap of the Mud and Snow turns.
During mud I almost completely reorganized the red airforce and to a large extend my army.
Each Front now has 4 airbases. 2 Fighter and 2 ground attack. Most bombers are concentrated with the Bak commands which have most of the excess airbases. This leaves 68 CP per Front for ground units. Each front has (or will get) 4 armies and when possible an Airborn Corps with 8 armoured brigades attached. The best leaders available are assigned to the most important Armies and Air commands.
I seriously underestimated the power of the German assault again. I never really considered that a head-on assault versus Moscow would be really possible. So I concentrated most of my efforts on guarding the flanks and avoid Moscow from being cut off. And off course, he went head-on.
A major dissapointment is the combat in the final Moscow hex. 3 strong divisions, 150CV total, best leaders available, tons of reserves and still I lose it quite easily. I need riffle Corps!
My industry has taken a major hit over the summer and I'm down too 294 ARM factories. I lost half my IL2 production and other less important fighters, like mig3 and Pe3. But also 7 cap of the important IL4's of which I'm already low. Luckily, I have plenty of DB3's in the pool...
Remarkably (and I do not know how I've done it) I still have around 300k of ARMs in the pool.
So, overall, I failed to achieve my main objective of holding Moscow in 1941, eventhough I put virtually everything in the defense, to the cost of the other fronts. What's more, he did it by sheer brute force, no encriclements in the final stages, just a headon bloodbath. But there is a bright side to all this as well, as I hoped, he totally committed to the Moscow assault and is now way past the point that he is going to give it up without a fight. Which in turn means, he can't run away and must fight not only in the center, for the city, but also on it's flanks, were he is not dugin at all. Afterall, you can't constantly move around and hit my weak units and at the same time digin. A lesson he may learn someday.
Regarding my army, it has suffered serious losses, but with losses below 3 million I can't complain. Still, many divisions are below strength and many more are low on morale and experience. During mud, I have been railing divisions out and in of the front line for short periods of rest, mainly to recover morale. Just 2 turns can get you 4 points, which is worth it.
As I've shown, Sebastian is unbelievably aggressive, but I think he made a serious error in pushing me to the last. His forces on the flanks must be weak from constant combat far ahead of their supply source and on the flanks is exactly where I intend to hit him. The down side of starting on the flanks, is the distance I must bridge before I can actually start the envollopment maneuvre. This is a serious dissadvantage and it remains to be seen whether I can advance fast enough to be able to complete the final act or, his strategy of pushing me back as far as posssible to the last will prove the right one.
His final positions before Moscow are just not attackable. If he serious believes I will willingly hit my head against that brick wall, he's going to have the surprise of his life. As the below picture shows (red arrows are major assaults, blue secondary assaults), just like historical, the aim is to achieve a massive envellopment of the best part of Armee Group Center. Obviously, I don't expect he's actually going to allow his units to be pocketted. Probably, only Hitler or Stalin were that dumb. But, if the treath alone forces him to give up Moscow, that is fine by me.
The second major geographical objective I have is to recapture Stalino and adjacent cities. Kharkov would be nice, but defensible terrain further East is also good. Kursk & Gomel should fall, Bryansk is just a big bonus.
Unfortunately the big fight for Moscow and the need to strongly defend Voronezh (my only 2 remaining IL2 factories are there) has prevented me from redeploying as much as I would have liked to prepare for Blizzard. Many divisions are in need for some rest & refit but are going to get none.
To the North on my right flank, the plan is to reinforce NW, Kalinin and Volkhov Fronts. They will attack from the Klinin area and further West in the direction of Rhzev and, if possible, towards Vyazma.
NW front is still undermanned but has received many fresh reinforcements to capture the vital RR link to Kalinin so is in pretty good shape.
Kalinin front is also pretty fresh as it has been in the quiet spot of the front.
Voronzeh Front has only just activated and is virtually empty although it has received three airbases. It will feature a shock Cavalry army, which isn't here yet, and several other armies which I must start putting together during operations. All-in-all, NW & Kalinin fronts will be ready to go immediately, Volkhov front will reinforce the drive at the spot where chances of success seem best while the offensive is ongoing.
From the South, North-Caucassus, Western and Bryansk Fronts are forming the left pincer, attack through Kaluga and on to Vyazma. Of the just named fronts, only the Western front is really reasonably up to strength, but even those divisions are averaging only around 80% of TOE. In addition Western Front Armies need to be disengaged from just before Moscow and moved around the flank before they can get to the action.
Bryansk Front just had a beating during Snow and needs some refit of about 40% of it's divisions. I don't really have fresh divisions to spare with all the other demands currently.
N-Caucassus is still in the process of being assembled and is rather weak but I'll poor in more resources once they become available. N-C Front does have 1st Shock Army attached with 4 Cav Corps and I'm hoping they can move the advance along as fast as possible and capture as much terrain as I can in a hurry.
Further South, the Armies previously defending Voronezh will push towards Orel and Kursk, and further if possible. These are ok Armies strength-wise, but are low on morale and experience and have been thrown together under the stress of combat. We'll see if they can achieve anything of use.
< Message edited by glvaca -- 4/12/2012 6:51:44 AM >