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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited

 
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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 10/30/2012 6:07:55 AM   
IdahoNYer


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AGS continues to pressure the Soviets across its entire front, and Soviet defense seems at the breaking point as we encounter tank brigades for the first time - and brush them aside with ease as they have yet to receive any tanks! A sure sign of desperation!

6th Army's infantry advancing hard to link up with 2nd Army's positions manages to link up with 6th Army's XXXXVI Pzkps diving north east of Sumy, encircling the Soviet relief force of the Poltava Pocket, and create the Sumy Pocket, with about 7x Divs encircled.

1st Pz Grp, sensing crumbling resistance, disperses the PzKps a bit, trying to take advantage before the Soviets can establish a solid defense in depth. XIV PzKps strikes north toward Kursk, denying any chance of relief of the Sumy Pocket. III PzKps raids into Kharkov, taking the city before defenses can be firmly established. XXXXVIII PzKps isolates Dnepropetrovsk, and conducts a recon in force to the SE, probing against Soviet cavalry.

17th Army focuses on brining infantry forward and reducing the Poltava and Dnepr Pockets - and will continue to reduce those pockets next week as well.

Overall, this is where it gets challenging for AGS. According to the plan, 2xPzKps are to drive north along the Kursk-Orel axis and link up with AGC near Tula. The remaining 2xPzKps will drive toward encircling and seizing the Stalino industrial area. As long as the Soviet defenses remain fluid, this is reasonable - so time can not be lost! However, 17th Army infanty needs to come up to support this effort, and it is still engaged in reducing pockets. Besides this issue, the railheads are just now crossing the Dnepr - one at Kiev, the other at Kremenchug.

This is going to be a challenging few weeks ahead!





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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 10/30/2012 6:13:14 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Lastly, 11th Army opens up the gates to the Crimea, battering down the Soviet defenses with two successve attacks by the reinforced LIV IN Korps. As the defenses are pushed open, the Slovakian Fast Bde and the 60th Mot Div exploit the gap. Stubborn defense by a mountain division somewhat limits full success, but even so, 60th Mot manages to isolate the estimated vast majority of Soviet defenses of the Crimea in the NE corner. Over extended, the 60th Mot turns around to rejoin German lines.

While I fully expect the Soviets to break the encriclement, their overall defenses are thoroughly compromised. With some luck we can still contain these units and put them in the bag!




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/4/2012 6:52:58 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 14; Sep 18, 1941........Clear

Clear weather holds across the entire front, and the Wehrmacht begins launching what should be the last offensive of the summer to slay the Bear.

AGN begins reducing Leningrad with 18th Army, while shifting priorities to bring 4th Pz Grp readiness up to launch a supporting attack toward Kalinin to envelop the Soviets from the Valdai Hills position.

Both PzKps are rested and refit and positioned to attack, but no HQ Buildup - I can't afford the trucks now, and I many need some HQ Buildup for a snow offensive.

Infantry of 16th Army and 4th Pz Grp expand the German bridgehead over the Volkov and the Msta Rivers to enable the PzKps an easier run next turn.

My only concern here is that the Soviets pull off the Valdai Hills and withdraw. He has a good position oriented along AGC's northern flank, and I'm hoping he'll be reluctant to abandon that without a fight. And its going to cost him if he trys to hold on to it.....




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/4/2012 7:14:37 PM   
IdahoNYer


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While AGN prepares, AGC launches its attack toward Moscow. While supply isn't bad, combat power is starting to be a concern - not only in the panzers, but some infantry formations are showing 80% or worse. With that in mind, both 3rd Pz and 2nd Pz Grp's attacks go with the "shorter solution" - linking arms in front of Moscow, rather than encircling the city. Even with the Short Solution, the two Pz Grps barely make contact.

3rd Pz Grp opens with infantry, opening a hole in which XXXIX PzKps pushes through and expands, its lead elements reatch the Volga Res and Klin. LVII PzKps turns SE toward Moscow, its lead elements reaching the outskirts of Khimki and coming in within 10 miles of the Moskva River - the link up point with 2nd Pz Grp.

2nd Pz Grp's two Pz Kps, supported by infantry, encircle a 6 div pocket between them, and then struggle toward 3rd Pz Grp. 17th Pz Div almost makes it, swatting aside newly formed tank bdes and cavalry divisions. Still, the outer defensive line protecting Moscow is penetrated and an estimated 15 divisions are encircled west of the city. The Soviets are sure to regain contact with them, but their defenses are thoroughly compromised.

9th Army supports both Pz Grps with infantry assaults, and will now focus on pushing infantry to relieve the panzers, and then re-establish the pocket, then crushing it.

4th Army continues to bull its way toward Tula, but that is about to change. XXXX PzKps, with two strong Pz Divs, has been brought up, and will launch toward Tula next week. This will flank Kaluga assisting 2nd Pz Grps assault toward Moscow, and threaten the industrial city.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/4/2012 7:26:25 PM   
IdahoNYer


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AGS's efforts are becoming more and more dispersed in order to press the advantage on a withdrawing Soviet force. However, while gaining ground, this does disperse the capabilities as well.

6th Army infantry struggles to maintain contact with the enemy as they withdraw as well as eliminating the Sumy Pocket. XXXXVI PzKps, short on fuel, advance through weak opposition toward Kursk. XIV PzKps, temporarily detached from 1st Pz Grp to 6th Army, supports the attack north.

17th Army catches up to the front near Kharkov, taking over responsibilty in this area. This allows 1st Pz Grp's III PzKps to quickly take Belgorod, but again, this disperses 1st Pz Grp from its main objective - the Stalino Area.

Overall, the Soviets are basically withdrawing faster here than we can pursue. Ultimately, AGS, with 6th Army as the hammer, will drive north towards an eventual linkup with 4th Army near Tula. Logistically, this will be extremely challenging. 17th Army will protect the eastern flank, attempting to maintain contact with both 6th Army (heading northeast) and 1st Pz Grp (heading southeast). If the Soviets are in fact on their last reserves, this presents little threat - and with the Soviet Crisis point now near Moscow, I've got to assume he's going to throw everything that can possibly fight in the battle of Moscow, leaving a weak screen in the south.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/4/2012 7:35:29 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Here is where AGS has become too dispersed. 17th Army finishes off the pockets near Poltava and the Dnepr, and moves east. 1st Pz Grp's main effort is to seize or envelop the Stalino area - but right now, 1st Pz Grp is down to the weak XXXXVIII PzKps and some infantry to do this - not enough should the Soviet decide to stand and fight - which they likely will once near the cities.

Compounding this problem, there really isn't any pressure along the Sea of Azov - I expected (or hoped) the Soviets to hold more to the west, so I don't have anything really putting pressure on them due west of Stalino - just the Hungarian Mobile Corps and the Rumanian 4th Army - most of 11th Army is now in the Crimea.

In the coming weeks, and hopefully I'll have a few more clear weather turns, I need to reinforce 1st Pz Grp substantially (bring the wandering PzKps back down south) and bring more of 11th Army out of the Crimea to support the attack along the Sea of Azov.

While we're making good progress, time is not on our side...




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/4/2012 7:40:59 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Here in the Crimea, the 11th Army (with the Rum 3rd Army in support), manages to re-encircle the Soviet forces - about 6 divisions - in a thin envelopment. This might just hold, as I don't see much of Soviet force capbable of relieving it.

Not bad with an "ad hoc" PzKps (German Motorized Div (60th). Rum Amored Div and the Slovak fast Bde).

11th Army will expand its holdings in the Crimea - I expect Sevastopol to be defended well - and then pull out most of its mobile forces and a good part of its infantry - which will head along the north coast of the Sea of Azov.

I'll leave the Rumanians here, and begin to fortify the Isthmus to prevent the Soviets from advancing into the rear of AGS during the blizzard.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/4/2012 8:42:37 PM   
juret

 

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nice work with AGC

whuts your target with AGS before mud?

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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/4/2012 11:34:47 PM   
IdahoNYer


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quote:

whuts your target with AGS before mud?


Seize the Stalino area.....might be a reach too far....

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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/5/2012 3:03:51 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 15; Sep 25, 1941........Clear

AGN's joins the offensive toward Moscow while AGC attempts to consolidate it's gains. AGS encounters more resistance than anticipated - apparently the Sovs are NOT shifting all available forces toward Moscow....

AGN's I Korps continues to reduce Leningrad - a gradual, deliberate assault designed to reduce loses (which are VERY light consider the urban environment, isolated or not).

4th Pz Grp begins its assault toward Kalinin, flanking the Valdai Hills defenses. Infantry opens the breach, XXXXI PzKps, still short on fuel punches through, allowing LVI PzKps to exploit fully. Once the Soviet defenses are breached, it's clear sailing. Little if any enemy in the rear areas. Unable to completely encircle the Soviets, AGC commits its reserve, the 1st Pz Div - still recovering strength in Rzhev, to complete the the encirclement.

While the Soviets are certain to re-establish contact with the trapped forces, 4th Pz Grp and 16th Army should be able to re-establish the pocket - as long as the weather holds of course. If not, we might be in trouble....




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/5/2012 3:12:56 AM   
IdahoNYer


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AGC Pz Grps focus on re-establishing contact and re-isolating the trapped Soviet forces in the Rzhev Pocket. The Soviets had re-established contact in the vicinity of Mozhaysk, but with infantry arriving, the pocket was re-sealed. Hopefully well enough to withstand the coming Soviet counterattack in their half of this turn.

9th Army continues to support the Pz Grp's attacks with infantry, as well as relieving panzers for missions elsewhere. Its infantry destroys the 4 Divs and a tank Bde in the smaller pocket, giving 2nd Pz Grp more maneuver room. Utimately, 9th Army will be the force to destroy the Soviets trapped in the pocket.

4th Army launches its attack across the Oka River towards Tula. Resistance is a bit heavier than expected, but nothing more than moderate at best. Infantry opens up the breach, and XXXX PzKps batters its way 50 miles against delaying cavalry. Unclear at this time whether Tula is heavily defended. In any case, 4th Army will continue to advance towards Tula - also tightening the ring around Kaluga to the north.




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< Message edited by IdahoNYer -- 11/5/2012 3:15:08 AM >

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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/5/2012 3:24:16 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Results in AGS are mixed....

6th Army continues to advance against very weak opposition, taking Kursk in the process. Advance is slowed by fatigue and lack of fuel as the Soviets withdraw faster than 6th Army can advance, as well as using tank Bdes in delaying actions.

17th Army continues to advance is infantry to contact, but its frontage is expanding too far to concentrate effectively.

1st Pz Grp has dispersed too much and must concentrate to be effective. Its XIV PzKps, operating on 6th Army's right flank, will continue to press toward Voronezh to protect 6th Army's flank as it drives north another 100 miles toward Tula. III PzKps, needs to orient more toward the SE to support the main drive toward Stalino, which XXXXVIII PzKps will not be able to accomplish on its own.

11th Army also needs to bring at least a Korps or two back up from the Crimea and put pressure on the Soviet defenses west of Stalino.

Unfortately, time is running out - weather will likely stop this advance cold before the Soviets do - especially if I take the time to shift units around or rest and refit. There just isn't time - got to keep pressing!




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/5/2012 3:31:08 AM   
IdahoNYer


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11th Army's focus remains in the Crimea. It concentrates on eliminating the Crimean Pocket, which the Soviets could not re-establish contact with. All but two divisions remain. This does however slow progress in the rest of the Crimea, as 60th Mot was forced to maintain the pocket.

Chances of taking Sevastopol by a coup look very slim, and 11th Army doesn't have the combat power to take the fortress and support an attack on Stalino - which is the current priority.

11th Army will likely keep one Korps in the Crimea with the Rumanians, and shift the remaining forces to the north shore of the Sea of Azov.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/6/2012 3:25:20 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 16; Oct 2, 1941.......Clear

Weather holds and the attack continues!

AGN's 18th Army reduces the last pockets of resistance in Leningrad and the focus is now fully to support the assault on Moscow.

4th Pz Grp and 16th Army re-establish the Valdai Pocket with a still thin corridor. The pocket is fairly substantial, and it will be difficult to maintain a cordon, let alone reduce. Still, infantry from 18th Army is now available, as are the lead elements of Finnish troops - the II Corps just moving through Leningrad. With infantry moving into the cordon, it may hold, and the panzers will be able to push on Kalinin and then directly support the assualt on Moscow from the north. Of course, that is after a short rest, which will likely mean a postponement until after the mud.






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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/6/2012 3:40:15 AM   
IdahoNYer


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AGC continues to press toward Moscow.

The cordon around the Rzhev Pocket held, allowing 9th Army to focus on its reduction, as well as continuing to bring infantry forward to relieve the panzers.

3rd Pz Grp's XXXIX PzKps managed to establish a 20 mile deep bridgehead across the Moscow-Volga Canal, to facilitate a flanking attack on Moscow from the NE. LVII PzKps conducts basically a recon in force to determine Moscow's fortifications, and finds the city well protected to the west as its LAH crosses the Moskva River and close on the western edge of the city. While 3rd Pz Grp is close to the prize, its panzers are badly in need of rest and refit, and its primary infantry force and reserve panzer div, is tied up maintaining contact with 4th Pz Grp cordoning the Valdai Pocket. These forces must be brought to bear against the Moscow Front for any substantial success to be achieved.

2nd Pz Grp's XXXXVII PzKps, relieved by 9th Army infantry, shifts its attack to the SE of Moscow, flanking the Soviet fortress of Kaluga, and pushing as far as the Nara River. XXIV PzKps pushes through the narrow gap, and links up with the 1st Cavalry Division coming up from 4th Army, encircling Kaluga with a very thin cordon. While its panzers are in better shape than 3rd Pz Grps', Kaluga must be reduced before advancing in force across the Nara River. Mud will likely intervene.

4th Army's XXXX PzKps stages a massive coup when it pushes into Tula - with most of its industry still intact. Resistance was moderate at best. Both Pz Divs are still in good shape, and with Tula in German hands, they can now either strike south to link up with 6th Army, or assist 2nd Pz Grp by striking out to cross the Oka River east of the Nara River. Either way, fuel will be the greatest constraint.

Overall, AGC has done well. However, mud will likely save Moscow before the final push can be made. A winter offensive is likely at this point to take the Capital. Even so, it is in reach.....




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/6/2012 3:47:09 AM   
IdahoNYer


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AGS continues to press toward its objectives, but is meeting increasing resistance - despite the pressure on Moscow.

6th Army pushes north on a narrow front, led by XXXXVI PzKps - its infantry just reaching the Soviet lines. Resistance is stiffening, and fuel is still in short supply. Still - if the Soviets don't pull out - the Orel Bulge is just asking to be cut off. However, I really don't want to send 4th Army panzers south - so it will be up to 6th Army to reach Tula. A long haul with fuel shortages!

XIV PzKps pushes east toward Veronezh, but it just doesn't have the force, or fuel, to punch through. Voronezh is likely out of reach if I want to take Stalino and cut the Orel Bulge - both of which offer much better rewards than taking Voronezh.

17th Army infantry begins to make contact with Soviet forces, but is stretched to the limit and heavily fatigued. While it can brush aside delaying brigades, it will be hard pressed to dislodge a defense line northeast of Kharkov.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/6/2012 3:53:25 AM   
IdahoNYer


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On the Stalino Front, AGS can now muster some infantry combat power in the form of 17th Army - its infantry finally coming up in force in this area. To take advantage of this, 1st Pz Grp's XXXXVIII PzKps shifts its attack to the north of Stalino, hoping to flank the city. It will still need III PzKps brought south, which met some stiffer than expected resistance to the north.

My concern at this point is that by piecemealing 1st Pz Grp, I've lost the ability to mass - a risk I was willing to take when being opposed by a weak delaying action. But now, defenses are firming up - the expected pull of troops toward Moscow has not occurred. I'll have to concentrate 1st Pz Grp - at least 2xPzKps with supporting infantry to flank the Stalino area from the north. This is going to be tough......

11th Army has begun to shift some forces out of the Crimea, amongst them the vaunted 60th Mot Div.....which made contact with the Soviet lines southwest of Stalino.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/6/2012 3:56:12 AM   
IdahoNYer


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The Crimea is now a true sideshow. 11th Army will leave one Korps and the Rum 3rd Army in the Crimea to push toward Kerch and invest Sevastopol. Initial contact was made near Sevastopol's outer forts, which at the moment appear to be lightly defended. XXX IN Korps will see if they can be taken quickly before they are reinforced. If not, they will be seiged.

The remainder of 11th Army will move to support the attack on Stalino from the west.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/6/2012 12:47:39 PM   
CowboyRonin


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Reinforcing the south (even if it's just the units that spawn in that area) while Moscow is under that kind of attack The south is valuable for manpower, and he may not have had time to evacuate the Stalino industrial complex, but Moscow is much more valuable and just as hard or harder to evacuate.

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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/6/2012 4:59:03 PM   
janh

 

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Scar is probably facing some very hard decisions. To me it seems he's already for turns now scraping the bottom of the barrel -- as IdahoNYer noted, he faces no more than moderate opposition in most sectors, and fresh tank brigades litter the ground.

Maybe he just couldn't pull forces back to Moscow in time because he fell behind schedule evac'ing industry in the face of the rapid Axis advance? Could explain this Tula issue?

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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/6/2012 5:21:10 PM   
gingerbread


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Might we see the OOB numbers, as well as losses?

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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/7/2012 2:16:42 AM   
IdahoNYer


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quote:

Scar is probably facing some very hard decisions. To me it seems he's already for turns now scraping the bottom of the barrel -- as IdahoNYer noted, he faces no more than moderate opposition in most sectors, and fresh tank brigades litter the ground.

Maybe he just couldn't pull forces back to Moscow in time because he fell behind schedule evac'ing industry in the face of the rapid Axis advance? Could explain this Tula issue?


Janh - I think you're right on the money here. He pulled 14 of the 25 AP out of Tula before the panzers drove in - he's got to be pressing all the rail he can muster into industry movement, which would severely limit his ability to reposition forces.

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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/7/2012 2:24:24 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Here's the overview for Oct 2, 1941, starting with the Frontline.

We're close to Moscow, but its going to be a close run thing. Still need to press hard to get the Stalino Region under control.

Orel Bulge looks inviting, but want to keep the focus on Moscow!




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/7/2012 2:30:20 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Destroyed units - a good month of campaigning with 58 Rifle Divisions destroyed! With Leningrad, and a number of smaller pockets, the haul adds up.

Also of note is that infantry and armor brigades are starting to make their appearance in the lines, and are being destroyed accordingly. Most of these new formations seem to have been thrown in the line with little time for training or equipping - many tank brigades encountered have had anywhere from zero to twenty tanks. Good signs!




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/7/2012 2:47:15 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Losses highlight the pockets - of 800k in losses, over 500k wound up in the POW cages. Obviously, this was a banner month that can not be sustained, but I'll savor it just the same.

Soviet tank losses are of course light - there aren't many to be destroyed right now as the Soviets begin to stand up the tank brigades.

German losses are, and have been fairly consistant. Nothing truly excessive, even though resistance is stiffening around key objective areas.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/7/2012 2:51:10 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Forces available show an increase in German AFVs for the first time - the addition of the 2nd and 5th Pz Divs!

Highlight of Soviet forces is that they are under the magic 400k figure - AND showed a decrease in overall strength for the first time. Very positive news!




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/7/2012 3:03:10 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Lastly for Oct 2, 1941, the panzerwaffe. Of course, I had a brain cramp and forgot that I had 2 motorized divisions that were broken down to regiments, so they aren't reflected here - and that its then a poor comparison to the previous month. Still, what is noteworthy here is the overall state of the decisive arm of the German forces in the east.

While still a potent force - they are much understrength in tanks and very much fatigued. Frankly, the panzermen would welcome a respite due to mud right now....

until then, we press on!




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/9/2012 5:03:03 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 17; Oct 9, 1941........Clear

Offensive continues to churn forward on its last gallons of gas, creating pockets and pushing the Soviet Hordes eastwards - but crucial objectives of Moscow and Stalino, teasingly close, appear just out of reach for the summer campaign!

In AGN's area, 18th Army begins shifting considerable combat power south. The Valdai Pocket holds, but 16th Army is really stretched too thin to effectively reduce it. It's II Korps, and lead elements of 18th Army begin reducing it from the north and northeast. 4th Pz Grp's two PzKps push around Kalinin, and link up with 3rd PzGrp's XXXIX PzKps, diverted north from Moscow (its too weak to batter closer to the city right now). This creates another pocket that needs to be reduced however - meaning that the infantry of 16th or 18th Army, so badly needed to take Moscow, will remain unavailable for a number of weeks. All three PzKps involved in this encirclement will now need some rest and reorganization before attempting to blitz around Moscow from the north following mud.

The challenge is whether or not either the Valdai or Kalinin Pockets can be reduced somewhat in the coming mud turns.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/9/2012 5:13:22 AM   
IdahoNYer


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AGC transitions to deliver the final blow on Moscow....

9th Army infantry eliminates the last elements of the Rzhev Pocket, and move into the line west of Moscow. 3rd Pz Grp, until it can have its XXXIX PzKps and V Korps released from the Kalinin area, is not capable of offensive action against Moscow. 2nd Pz Grp focuses on locking down the Kaluga Pocket and gaining a small bridgehead across the Nara River. While 2nd Pz Grp occupies the majority of the Soviet's attention southwest of Moscow, 4th Army shifts its XXXX PzKps from Tula north, attacking across the Oka River and gaining a solid bridgehead to the rear of the stout Soviet defenses holding up 2nd Pz Grp.

On the plus side, this bridgehead might just force the Soviets to pull back in front of 2nd Pz Grp, and be the jumping off point for the southern pincer come November's frost. On the negative side, again, a pocket must be reduced prior - the Kaluga Pocket - in mud if possible.

Reducing pockets, or any attacks, in mud are never a good thing....




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/9/2012 5:18:37 AM   
IdahoNYer


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The northern portion of AGS is still focused on cutting off the Orel Salient - which the Soviets have in fact started to withdraw from.

6th Army's entire focus is driving a wedge up to Tula - but supplies are running very, very thin. XXXXVI PzKps made some good progress as infantry was up in force to bull open a hole. XIV PzKps was pulled off of the attempt towards Veronezh, and advanced north in direct, vs. distant, support of 6th Army's drive. Once contact is made with 4th Army, XIV PzKps will move back towards 1st Pz Grp.

Both AGC's 2nd Army, and AGS' 17th Army is getting fairly well stretched in this area. If the salient isn't cut off in short order, there could be severe problems....and with mud, this could get even rougher....




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