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TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS

 
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TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 8/18/2012 12:45:55 PM   
USXpat

 

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The Third Reich 1942 - 1945 version 1.8

Prelude to the 1942 Summer Offensive
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-hYSDz8EoQ&bpctr=1345286914
O Fortuna - Germania Part II

Fuhrerest Marko von Dabbo's address to the General Staff outlining the operations for major theaters in the 1942 campaign.

"Ongoing discussions with Premier Petain indicate some willingness to join Vichy France at the hip with the Greater Germany. Terms discussed include dissolving the regular Vichy military and the formation of a new Franco-German Korps composed of Party loyalists, members of the former Service d'order légionnaire and current Milice francaise. It is agreed that French-speaking German soldiers and officers will augment this korps, to take over the defense of North Africa. At the same time, Germany will be charged with the defense of Vichy France, its North African colonies and be provided freedom of movement therein.

In conjunction with Directive 40, all standing reserve divisions will be assigned to the defense and garrison of the Atlantic Wall. Replacement divisions will relocate their divisional headquarters to German and Baltic ports. These measures will complete our defenses along the entire western and northern coasts of France, Germany and the Baltic States. The Italian Fourth Army will remain responsible for defense of southeastern France and Corsica, but additional forces are needed to garrison southern sea ports and beaches. The 5th Italian Army retains oversight of Sardinia.

Allied control of Gibraltar and Malta hamper troop movements throughout the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, with Axis supplies able to pass through the Port of Tunis much easier and faster than running the gauntlet to Tripoli. Germany's forces in North Africa can be significantly expanded - maximum capacity increased by four divisions and five brigades. While presently we do not have these forces to allocate, provisions are being made to dismantle our forts at Danzig and Stettin for deployment to provide critical hard point defenses at the key ports of Oran and Tunis. Additionally, the Italian Second Army will be redeployed from the Balkans to further supplement the defenses of Tunisia and Algeria. Concurrently, we expect to be able to reinforce the Afrika Korps itself with 10th Panzer Division and possibly one Italian mechanized Brigade from the 2nd Army.

Seizure of Tobruk by the Afrika Korps does have the potential of hamstringing Allied reinforcements to Malta - provided the Italian Navy is up to the task. To compensate for its poor performance to this point in the war, additional anti-naval air units will be deployed to the Mediterranean. Moreover, a second critical objective is finally within our means, General Student has been briefed accordingly.

With 2nd Army withdrawn from the Balkans, the CSIR/8th Italian Army can expect to be recalled from Russia, though its air assets will remain on the Eastern Front.

The campaign on the Eastern Front will likely require every last available resource that can be made available, without undermining adequate defenses for already secured areas. Core objectives have been forwarded under secret seal to each of the Army Group Commanders - Kuchler, Kluge and Kleist. (kough). Objectives do not need to be secured all at once or even under the same operational code names. We will be stretching our resources to the maximum that can be sustained. We will have to do more with less."
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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 8/21/2012 4:17:58 PM   
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T001 - T010. May 8 - July 10, 1942.
Karelia: Kandalaksha


Axis forces originally at hand include the Finnish II Corps and the German XXXVI Gebirgs Korps, along with the 6th SS Gebirgs Div attached to 20th Armee. As rail transport is being fully consumed by other fronts, this force maintains a holding pattern in its original positions excepting some slight staging. Eventually, the Finnish Panzar Division, Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and 16th Infantry Brigade make it up by rail.

Initially defenses include the 19th Army with elements of the Karelian Front. This is eventually reinforced by the Soviet 26th Army.

The first and primary objective is to break the rail line leading up from the south; and then the rail connecting Kandalaksha to Murmansk. This wasn't fully completed until Turn 9.

General der Infanterie Karl Weisenberger did not expect to take the port-town itself. Finding it fully enveloped, heavy assaults by 3 Gebirgs and 163 Infantrie Division, supported by Stukas and He-111's, forced the surrender of several Soviet units.

While Finnish Forces are in relatively good order, if short on supply, the German infantrie divisions are down to an average of 60% strength. Nevertheless, Kandalaksha is one of the Lend Lease ports and ownership of it prevents/delays Soviet receipt of a significant portion of the tanks and other equipment provided by the West.

As an added bonus, the Soviet's gave up Medvzhyegorsk and a portion of the river line north of Lake Onega - which was hastily occupied by the Finnish Masselka Group.






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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 8/21/2012 5:02:09 PM   
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T001 - T010. May 8 - July 10, 1942.
North Africa: Gazala - Tobruk


The Afrika Korps now includes the 15th and 21st Panzer Divisions (to be joined by the 10th Panzer Division), 90 and 164 Leichte Divisions, plus KG Ramke, Harko 104, a motorized flak brigade and two battalion-size "deception divisions". The Italian 1st Army includes the X, XX, and XXI Corps representing some of the "best" Italian forces available (48-50% proficiency).

The Allied defenses here include the English X and XIII Corps under the leadership of Eighth Army, with XXX Corps in reserve.

The Do or Die objective is Tobruk by Turn 10. On Turn 11, the DAK's supply point is reduced by 20% and shortly thereafter, 30% more.

The Allies focused their defenses near Tobruk - no threat of getting cut off from supply that way. Axis units used that as an opportunity to advance all the way up to Mersah Mutrah before withdrawing. That helped reduce at least some of the Allied air power over Tobruk giving the Axis supremacy in this area. Considering that globally it's Axis 90 to Allied 89, the Luftwaffe and Italian Air Force is enjoying a luxury that can't be found outside of maybe... Norway.

The Tobruk defenses didn't really start to crack until Turn 7, and then on 8, 9 and 10 the Afrika Korps had its chance to kick one last unit out or even enter the port, but failed to do so. At the end of Turn 10, while I didn't occupy Tobruk, the last of the defenders had given up. Barring an Allied landing of additional troops (not probable); The Afrika Korps achieves its objective by the hair on its teeth - very blunted teeth, but expecting to sharpen up with a new supply source.

Separately:

Having chosen the Early Case Anton Theater Option - I don't have to be constantly looking over my shoulder to see what the Americans are doing for a while.

And I have to say that while the idea of the TO is good, it feels somewhat "overpowered". But, I suppose it takes some getting used to the whole idea of not having the Vichy French laying down their arms without a fight. Even "Axis freedom of movement" in Vichy Territory would have a similar effect. Garrison forces shipped to North Africa include only the 2nd Italian Army which is unreliable, two German forts, 1 Italian Tank Division, plus the hypothetical "French Legion".




More to follow from Turns 1 - 10 tomorrow or so; we've only on Turns 11-12 and the next "series of updates" will be around Turn 20 for me under this format.


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< Message edited by USXpat -- 8/21/2012 5:06:36 PM >

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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 8/22/2012 8:25:20 AM   
mike1984

 

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I'll be posting two turns per day (average), so don't you go too far ahead just yet.

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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 8/22/2012 6:17:13 PM   
USXpat

 

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Okay

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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 8/26/2012 7:34:44 PM   
USXpat

 

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Rhzev Overview

The objective of the upcoming Rhzev Offensive is to reduce a 645km front to 255 km -- from 43 hexes to 17. I simply don't have enough infantry divisions to adequately defend this area. It's a matter of reduce the front or rely upon motorized assets and security elements. Even then, this offers little in the way of an area reserve.

Reducing this line will:

1. Free up the motorized assets from fighting in less than hospitable terrain,
2. Allow a solid line of infantry, in good terrain with much tighter artillery support.
3. Create at least two full korps of area reserves.
4. Allow for redeployment of one korps to a much quieter area that mistakenly has a very low supply level (wrong # of support squads assigned).

The operation will start to the North and Northwest of Rhzev and gradually cascade, clockwise, with forces at Staraya Russa jumping in last.




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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 8/26/2012 8:51:18 PM   
USXpat

 

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T002 - T010: May 15 - July 10, 1942
Rzhev - Staraya Russa


Per the previous post, by echelon:

1. VI Korps and XLVI Panzer Korps against 20th Army supported by units from Kalinin and NW Front. -- initial attacks are stiff-armed through Turn 5 with a total gain of 1 hex. Follow-on attacks after Turn 8 manage to make modest headway to the NW of Rhzev.

2. XXVII Korps plus 20th Pzr and 36th Motorized Divisions leap into the fray next, primarily against 30th/10th Guards, again with nominal progress through Turn 5. Attacks continue, but mostly due to the success of Group 3.

3. XXIII & LIX Korps plus XLI Panzer Korps going up against 22nd, 39th and 41st Armies a week behind XXVII makes rapid progress almost immediately. By Turn 8, the whole of the operation has moved from just north of Smolensk to a line parallel Rhzev and Velikye Luki.

4. Starting off only with probing attacks concurrent with Group 3, II Korps with 8th Panzer Division make immediate, if modest gains vs the Soviet's 4th Shock Army. Soviet forces start making withdrawals around Turn 7 leaving this group only scattered pockets of resistance to contend with.

5. Das Reich, Totenkopf and 6th Panzer Division - the lead nutcrackers of the western line of Soviet defenses, only start jumping into the fray around Turn 6, making light to moderate gains by Turn 7 - effectively reaching "points of no resistance", likely prompting 1st and 3rd Shock Armies to withdraw.

6. X Korps plus the 21st Infantrie Division confront 11th and 34th Armies, moving to contact on Turn 5 with initial probing attacks, and feeding on the success of Group 5 reach their stop line with relatively light combat.

Overall, the desired stop line was achieved by the end of Turn 10. While a very significant gain for the Axis, the ramifications of this effort were felt on other fronts. Namely, this came at the expense of depriving the offensives aimed at Voronezh, Stalingrad and the Caucasus of roughly two full panzer korps. Conversely, without their concentration here, this offensive would have failed, or realized modest gains, at best.

Still, the outcome is far from over. Most of the forces involved in this operation will need a lengthy break. Losses were high, but acceptable.

Total Soviet losses are unknown but expected to be considerably higher than the confirmed count of 1 Rifle Corps, 21 Rifle Divisions, 10 Tank Brigades, and at least 8 other brigades. All that is a drop in the bucket where the Soviets are concerned. They will be coming back with a higher proficiency, less a lot of their heavy weapons.






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< Message edited by USXpat -- 8/26/2012 8:55:37 PM >

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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 8/28/2012 7:55:57 PM   
USXpat

 

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Overview of the Orel Offensive - Yelets/Voronezh

The primary goal is to establish a solid defensive line along the Don with the desired stop line more or less the same as last time. This will need to be done without one panzer korps that was made available last time, at least initially. Concurrent with this operation, I want to apply pressure to the northern flank - as opportunity permits.

This effort is to try to draw Soviet forces away from the south, but I am myself skeptical for want of some extra armor. Eventually it will be made available, for now, the forces here (mainly under 2nd Armee and 2nd Hungarian Army) will have to do their best with what is available.

This area is not mission critical, but it is the main line of defense of the underbelly of Moscow. Rupturing the lines here would likely lead to a major response by the Soviets, potentially leaving other areas more vulnerable.




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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 8/28/2012 8:20:05 PM   
USXpat

 

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T002 - 010: May 15 - July 10, 1942
Orel Offensive - Yelets/Voronezh


There's not a lot of strategy involved here so much as brute force with whatever tactical advantages can be gained with flank attacks. The limited mobile assets try to close out the few small pockets. I haven't bothered tracking Soviet losses here, but confirmed kills include the 23rd Tank and 9th Cavalry Corps, with the Bryansk Front HQ (mobile supply point) being a special bonus worth 12 VP.

As of Turn 10, this area of operations is in the process of winding down short of its objectives. Serious casualties and critical needs for supplies and readiness coupled with the arrival of a large portion of Western Front's reserves -- including 9th, 10th and one unknown, fresh, tank corps, plus additional new reinforcements. Impossible to call this a real success, and not really a failure either in that it's better to face Western Front's armor here than elsewhere.






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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 9/2/2012 2:15:31 PM   
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T002 Overview: The Don

The Soviets have staged an initial withdraw leaving behind a few rear guards. The primary objective for the northern shoulder of Army Group South is to establish a continuous defensive line along the Don. The second group's aim is to carry on operations into the Kuban region and wide open spaces between Stalingrad and Astrakahn.

Given the efforts being made by Army Group Center, there are a total of seven panzer/motorized divisions available to make this happen, and one of these is Slovakian. It follows that as AGC wraps up its operations that additional forces will be made available to AGS.






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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 9/2/2012 2:50:43 PM   
USXpat

 

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T005 - T010: June 5 - July 10, 1942
The Don


As is clearly evident, Army Group South was stopped far short of its objective of reaching the Don. Forces on hand simply are insufficient - the Soviet Line has solid divisions in place, backed by HQ and Katyusha artillery and virtually everywhere a "mass of tactical reserves".

I'm not entirely disappointed here, as this is exactly what I would do in the Allied shoes, except I wouldn't budge from the starting lines for starting out already in good defensive status (d)efend or (e)ntrenched, and behind a river. Mike's deployment might even better than that though given that it does take advantage of a shortened perimeter and river contours making it much more difficult to outflank - which usually starts in the Izyum vicinity. Good thinking.

Coupled with the complete lack of any motorized assistance apart from an AT/Assault Gun attachment or two, one has to expect a slow slog. Yet, force must be continuously applied here and at least the appearance of a significant threat "attempted" to keep more forces tied down here than to the south. Either way, "nothing needs to happen all at once" - but time is not on my side, neither are replacement rates - and these combined with the knowledge of "what is to come" - inevitably - demands a certain urgency to get to that damned river and dig in deep.




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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 9/2/2012 3:10:31 PM   
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Turn 10 Recap

To this point, I've felt the need to disband four replacement divisions to help feed needs at the front. Infantry losses have been high, tank and aircraft losses acceptable.

All areas of operations have met or come close to meeting their T10 objectives excepting Army Group South, however its motorized assets have forged a breakthrough across the lower Don into the Cuban region.

Finland's achieved the occupation of Kandalaksha and half of the Lake Onega perimeter. The Afrika Korps didn't exactly capture Tobruk by the end of Turn 10, but owns it as of the beginning of Turn 11.

Army Group Center met all of its objectives in shortening its line by almost 70%. Army Group North has made little to no progress, concerning itself mainly with preventing the Soviet's breaking the Siege of Leningrad.

The Balkans are a bit of a mess, but that's a given. The Tito HQ was destroyed netting +5 VP.

Other bonuses include the destruction of Bryansk Front (+12 VP).

Allied Bombers have not engaged in any steady bombing of Axis industry -- and if this continues, I'll take advantage of it by disbanding a couple of Wehrkreis. This will increase the EEV, but to levels where there is no effect and each further turn without being bombed the EEV will decrease by 2.

Enemy losses are at 19 vs. Axis 7
Axis Victory Points are at 1649 of 2500 (OV @ 1501+)
Axis Air 90 vs Allied Air 89
Axis Supply and Recon levels elevated due to TO's - should be 24 and 32 respectively.
EEV: Not greater than 0.


< Message edited by USXpat -- 9/2/2012 3:13:33 PM >

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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 9/3/2012 5:20:42 PM   
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T011 - 020: July 11 - September 18, 1942
The Don


As the screenshot shows, very little progress has been made toward achieving the Don Stop Line objective in the course of 10 turns. That's not to say "no progress" - the casualty loss rate is now Axis 2 vs. Allied 18 indicating that I've recovered 5 VP from the first 10 turns with the Allies recovering just 1 VP.

Mike's defense is simply exemplary, what he has on the front lines has no reflection of what is behind them. This forces a full combat phase of feints to get his tactical reserves to go left so that I can hit on the right - but again, it is still mostly German infantry doing the fighting - and these divisions are not in prime fighting condition.

So, there's two things here that I did last time that I didn't do this time (still haven't done) and am paying for it. Last time, his forces largely withdrew to the other side of the Don, but on top of that, Army Group South had substantially more panzer and motorized forces available. Secondly, I was taking great care to rotate spent formations out of the active front lines and into quieter areas wherever possible. I've not applied to this practice and it shows.




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RE: TR 42-45 1.8 - mike1984 vs USXpat - AXIS - 9/3/2012 5:43:55 PM   
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T020 - September 18, 1942
The Kuban Region


Getting across the Lower Don saw a brief period of panzers racing across open plains with little to no resistance. This was abruptly cut short with the Soviets marching out to greet SS Wiking SE of Voroshilovsk. Maikop was taken without a fight, and with the help of 22nd Airlanding Division, 7th Panzer was able to reach the Port of Sochi before encountering solid defenses. This puts the Wermarcht 135 km from Sokhumi which provides a 25% chance of convincing the Turks that the Axis are capable of winning and joining the Axis Cause.

In contrast, there's still another 330km to cover to reach Grozny - which also has a chance to bring in Turkey as pro-Axis, but more importantly than that, as far as I'm concerned is the oil - provided it can be held for up to a whole year to get the most benefit out of it.

Frontage again is a major issue here, but for the Axis and Allies, alike. I have adequate forces here, for the most part -- though supply at this point is a persistent issue. Here, I am at least rotating my mech elements into and out of the line "when there is opportunity". So every few turns, I can generate a surge and perhaps... with more reinforcements a situation can be created that may threaten the collapse of the entirety of the Soviet's southern fronts. This is not likely to happen fast so much as it will be a process of adding straws to the camel's back.

I regard Turkey as pro-Axis not so much a liability as a complication. This could be good, it could be bad. I see Turkey, at best, as being a diversion for the US/UK - likely incapable of launching an effective offensive against either; and thus concerned with guarding its ports and southern borders, lending perhaps one or two corps against Russia.

The primary complication I see, however, will be kept secret for the time being.




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