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