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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited

 
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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/9/2012 5:23:48 AM   
IdahoNYer


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The southern wing of AGS still focuses on the Stalino area. III and XXXXVIII PzKps finally join together, forming a small encirclement north of Stalino - one that will surely be broken. Still, supply situation is getting better in this area, and the bulk of 17th Army infantry is now in support.

Also, lead elements of 11th Army, including the much vaunted 60th Mot of Crimea fame, have advanced on Stalino from the west - a Stalino still loaded with industry!

That of course is the good news - the bad news is that with mud around the corner, this, like Moscow, is going to be a slugfest come the frost.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/9/2012 5:27:56 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Lastly for the turn is the Crimea. Of 11th Army, on its XXX Korps remains - and I have brought all three divisions to bear on Sevastopol as the Soviets are actually weak here - and perhaps a quick victory can be made. Only 2x Naval Bdes seem to be in the area - and a deliberate assault routs one from the western fortifications. With some luck, the Soviets will not reinforce and we can secure this major fortress....

The approach to Kerch looks to be held with enough force to give the Rum 3rd Army pause. Given the choice, I'll focus on Sevastopol if there is a chance I can take it. Kerch can wait...




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/9/2012 9:01:35 AM   
juret

 

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Nice summer campaign.

U will take stalino and moscow during the snow. Question is ; does he have any industry or fabrics left in them then?

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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/11/2012 6:28:49 AM   
IdahoNYer


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quote:

U will take stalino and moscow during the snow. Question is ; does he have any industry or fabrics left in them then?


Juret - you have more confidence in the winter offensive than I do at this point! Those pockets are problematic as they need to be liquidated to get the infantry forward to support any serious offensive against Moscow - that's going to be tough!

And yes, as far as I can tell, Moscow and the three Stalino cities still have what appears to be full industry! Very worthwhile objectives!

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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/11/2012 6:42:26 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 18; Oct 16, 1941.........Mud

General Mud arrives to save Moscow! The mud of course brings offensive operations to a standstill - time to pull the panzers off the front to refit and prepare for a short snow offensive. However, it isn't that simple......

AGN has two fairly large pockets to deal with - the Valdai Pocket and the Kalinin Pocket. The Valdai Pocket is very large in scope - enough depth for the Soviets to withdraw into when attacked - and its taking pretty much all of 16th Army to contain it, let alone attempt to attack it. 18th Army infantry is brought down and begins a slow, deliberate attack against the pocket - making slow, but sure progress. The Kalinin Pocket is more compact, but also closer to the Soviet lines, and in lousy terrain. And....no sizeable infantry force like 18th Army to begin to reduce it. "Holding" the outer cordon of the Kalinin Pocket is most of 4th Pz Grp's panzer and mot forces - which need to be relieved to be brought against Moscow - that is going to be challenging....

AGC has a hand in dealing with the Kalinin Pocket with a 3rd Pz Grp's V Corps, and one other pocket to deal with - the Kaluga Pocket - and even in the mud, elements of 2nd Pz Grp and 4th In begin to reduce this pocket, and hold current gains. That is the challenge.

Three railheads support this area - and are fairly close to the front. One of the three will begin working a north-south rail line shortly linking the three Army Groups - which will greatly assist shifting of forces.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/11/2012 6:53:22 AM   
IdahoNYer


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AGS also grinds to a halt - and is in worse shape with the mud due to the distance to the railheads - 6th Army in particular is running on dry gas tanks...

With supply critical, and no chance with the mud to continue the drive north, we admit failure in 6th Army's attempt to reach Tula and 4th Army. We'll hold the salient, as 2nd Army is coming up from the west as the Soviets pull out of the Orel Bulge. The panzers begin to pull out, begining with 1st Pz Grp's XIV PzKps. Orel will fall, just not through encirclement. Missed opportunity here - and will be listed as a major mistake if I don't succeed in taking Moscow - where 4th Army's XXXX PzKps has established a bridgehead for the offensive - which could have cut south from Tula and linked up with 6th Army in short order - and trapped 20+ Soviet Divisions near Orel. Ah, the fortunes of war....

And until 2nd Army advances to eliminate the need for 6th Army to be in a major salient, 17th Army is VERY over stretched east of Kharkov....

Despite the mud, 1st Pz Grp manages to re-seal the Oskol Pocket with about 6 Divisions trapped. Rum 4th Army infantry also close on the Stalino city area, releasing 11th Army to shift a bit south - as the southern prong of the upcoming winter offensive.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/13/2012 2:43:07 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 19; Oct 23, 1941..........Mud with snow in the Central Soviet Zone.

I catch a break with the snow in the Central Soviet Zone - although it only encompasses a very small portion of the front at this point.

AGN and AGN stay solidly in the mud, and focus on reducing pockets - some progress gained against the Valdai and Kalinin Pockets, but they still remain a thorn in the side. 2nd Pz Grp infantry reduces the Kalinin Pocket which definately helps.

AGS takes advantage of the snow, quickly eliminating the Oskol Pocket, and launching with un-rested and low fueled III and XXXXVIII PzKps, a dash to flank the Soviets defending the Stalino area and threaten Voroshilovgrad. Panzers get across the Torets River and establish a bridgehead, but the lead element, 11th Pz Div is down to 44 tanks - and will certainly be mired in the mud next turn. Still, progress has been made with the unexpected snow! Good news!






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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/14/2012 1:17:16 AM   
wadortch

 

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Hello

This is a great AAR and you are running an impressive campaign.

I have been playing WITE since its release and am only now turning to considering managing the air game.

I am interested what you are doing in that regard--doctrine settings especially and any specific management of the Axis air reserve if these are not trade secrets!

Thanks.


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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/16/2012 3:13:19 AM   
IdahoNYer


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quote:

This is a great AAR and you are running an impressive campaign.

I have been playing WITE since its release and am only now turning to considering managing the air game.

I am interested what you are doing in that regard--doctrine settings especially and any specific management of the Axis air reserve if these are not trade secrets!


Wadortch -

thanks! Not sure if I can help you much with the air doctrine - for what its worth, below are my current settings. Frankly, since adjusting them to these settings following the first turn attacks on Soviet airfields, I haven't given much priority to the air doctrine settings, or micro managing the Luftwaffe. Focus has been airlifting fuel and supply, followed by ground support. Reserve is pretty bare at this point of the war.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/16/2012 3:28:34 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 21; Nov 6, 1941.........Mud

Two straight turns have really brought eastward offensive operations to a dead stop. Remaining Soviets encircled in the Valdai and Kalinin Pockets have been liquidated, and panzers brought out of front line positions to refit as best as possible. Rail repair inches forward, and I begin repairing a north-south line to link AGN and AGC - to prevent troops from having to rail back from the front all the way to Warsaw, before heading to other army groups.

Even with the mud, destroyed units continue to add up - crossed the over 200 Rifle Div mark! Of course, these units had been largely encircled prior, and have finally been destroyed.

At this point, with hindsight, I realize that I made a strategic mis-step in not eliminating the Orel Bulge - I should have committed XXXX PzKps south to link up with 6th Army - that would have encircled at least 20 divisions or more. Instead, the Soviets pulled back, giving up Orel, but saving the divisions. While XXXX PzKps did establish a good bridgehead towards and advance on Moscow - I'm begining to think its getting a bit late to successfully take the city before blizzard - not that I won't make an effort of course....




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/16/2012 3:31:39 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Losses reflect a slowing of tempo - fewer German losses from previous months, but fairly good Soviet losses - again, from units already encircled.

German losses do however surpass the half million mark....




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/16/2012 3:35:27 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Forces available at the start of November - slight gains for the German side for a change, but substantial gains for the Soviets do not bode well - a 300k gain is not a good sign. With the mud and lack of supplies, the German forces just have not been able to maintain the tempo needed for success.

Goal now is going to start to shift from killing Soviets to preserving the force once blizzard begins....question is, have we killed/captured enough to mitigate a devastating Soviet blizzard offensive?




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/16/2012 3:38:32 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Lastly, state of the panzerwaffe. I've changed the screen shot to only focus on the panzer divisions - I have too many motorized divisions regimentally deployed - I'm less likely to do that with panzer divisions right now.

In any case, despite the mud, the panzers have gained some strength, especially in AGC. 2nd Pz Grp is in fairly good shape, other Pz Grps less so.





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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/18/2012 6:31:35 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 22; Nov 13, 1941........Weather is mixed! Snow in Europe and South Soviet Zone, Mud in Central Soviet and Blizzard in North Soviet


Weather gods turn against the Germans - the mixed mud and blizzard in the primary attack zones don't help the Wehrmacht's cause at this late date.

The blizzard is not of course the blizzard from hell that starts in Dec, but, it still reduces mobility and attack. AGN struggles to move 4th Pz Grp assets toward Moscow attack - likely only XXXIX PzKps may have a role, and that a minor one. 18th Army's I Korps, victors of Leningrad, were going to provide 9th Army with a major assist in cracking Moscow's frontal defenses, will now not likely arrive in time.

So that leaves AGC - and Von Bock's forces duly attack, despite the blizzard and lack of support from AGN.

North of Moscow, still pretty weak in panzers, 3rd Pz Grp attacks through heavy defenses and makes modest gains. Its major infantry component, V Korps, is still moving toward the front from destroying the Kalinin Pocket. They should be able to support next turn, hopefully that isn't too late.

9th Army supports 3rd Pz Grps's attack with infantry assist, but fails to dislodge a level 3 Soviet fort despite having heavy engineer support - losses are light to both sides, the assaut wasn't pressed in the blizzard.

We've only got maybe two turns to envelop Moscow and make some type of attack to dislodge its population and destroy some industry - which is still there. Having the industry still in Moscow makes it worthwhile to try this operation so late in the campaigning season - chances are slim, but its still worth a shot!




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/18/2012 6:38:08 PM   
IdahoNYer


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AGC's southern wing fairs a bit better.

4th Army opens up the drive with its XXXX PzKps breaking open the level 2 forts. This enables the fresh and supplied 2nd Pz Grp PzKps to exploit a few more hexes - if it was snow and not blizzard, they could have easily crossed the Moskva River! Defenses behind the level 2 fort rifle divisions were weak - but the blizzard movement penalty really hurt.

Blizzard also hurt the movement of 4th Pz Grp's LVI PzKps, moving overland from railheads near Vyazma - should have been in position to bolster the attack, but now are sill near Vyazma.

If we get snow next turn, 2nd Pz Grop will still have a reasonable chance of bulling its way toward 3rd Pz Grp - flanks will be very weak of course, but that can't be helped at the moment....




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/18/2012 6:44:06 PM   
IdahoNYer


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AGS is particularly hit hard by the mixed weather - its primary striking group, the 1st Pz Grp is locked in mud. Without them blitzing south behind the Stalino position, the Soviets can easily hold. As it is now, SS Wiking attacks in the mud and gains 10 miles. That is not a blitz!

The other striking force, manages to advance 30 miles to the Sea of Azov, cutting off the primary defenses in the area - however, a key supporting attack fails, so the 60th Mot is stuck, and will in turn be the one isolated next turn. 1st Pz Div has just arrived to assist this attack, and I'm confident that we'll regain the momentum here next turn - but we're not off to a good start here at all!

One bit of bright news is that Sevastopol was taken by 11th Army's XXX Korps - getting that level 5 fort out of the way in '41 is a big bonus!




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/19/2012 5:38:06 AM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 23; Nov 20, 1941...........Snow with mud in the South Soviet Zone

Variable weather is causing grief - AGS can't catch a break with the weather, getting another mud to cripple offensive operations against Stalino.

AGC fairs considerably better....

3rd Pz Grp's two PzKps, aided by arriving infantry, push forward another 20 miles, gaining the banks of the Klyazma River, but can push no further. They await Guderian....

9th Army takes a stubborn level 3 fort NW of Moscow, and prepares to assault the city itself once it is encircled.

4th Army opens up the Soviet lines for Guderian with the XXXX Pzkps and infantry opening up the Soviet tank/cav screen south of the Moskva River, and gaining the first bridgehead across the river to facilitate Guderian's crossing.

Guderian leads with XXXVII PzKps, which bull through mixed Soviet defenses, pushing another 20-30 miles and widening the breach in Soviet lines. XXIV PzKps follows through, advancing to the outskirts of Moscow from the SE, and then with one final push, gaining the Klyazma River and linking up with Hoth's 3rd Pz Grp...Moscow is encircled!!
Last to arrive is the LVI PzKps from 4th Pz Grp, coming in by train. One division, 3rd Mot, is immediately detatched to LVII PzKps to strengthen its position immediately east of Moscow. The PzKps itself, with the other two divisions, attaches to 2nd Pz Grp and prepares to reduce the pocket - or re-establish it, should that be necessary.

4th Pz Grp's only other contribution, besides detaching LVI PzKps, is a small supporting attack by XXXXI PzKps near Kimry, some 70 miles north of Moscow. With Moscow encircled, the PzKps is quickly pulled out of the line, and prepares to act as a reserve north of Moscow.

All told, the encirclement of Moscow is achieved to late to even think of holding the city - best we'll achieve is to (assuming we can hold the encirclement) force some units to surrender and take one or two of the city's hexes - still packed with industry. This attack has been a huge risk - taking 12 of 19 Pz Divs and 9 of 14 Mot Divs on the front - and exposing them deep into an envelopment very, very late in the campaigning season. IF, and its still a big IF, we can hold the cordon - I should have enough infantry available to batter down the Moscow Pocket somewhat before blizzard starts - but that will force a good portion of panzer/mot divisions to be exposed in the blizzard itself. That will cost - so this is not a sure thing yet. Also, to mass this force to encircle the city, risk has been taken on the flanks - many hexes being held by infantry regiments - not a good idea in good weather should the Soviets be able to mass - let alone with blizzard right around the corner. Its going to be a challenge to transition from offense to defensive posture in the coming weeks...

Still, its been a hell of a ride so far!




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/19/2012 5:52:25 AM   
IdahoNYer


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AGS has a harder time of it - and its here that I thought I would have the greater success. Thought an encirclement of Moscow would be pushing it a "hex too far". Instead, its Stalino. Mud catching either the 1st Pz Grp or 11th Army on alternating turns is no way to run an offensive and it shows.

1st Pz Grp just can't gain the momentum without assistance and pressure from 11th Army - now bogged in the mud. The Pz Grp can only claw some 20-30 miles, and fails to widen the penetration sufficiently. XXXXVIII and III PzKps are pretty much played out at this point - 11th Pz down to 37 tanks! XIV PzKps finally arrives from the Kursk area - not in time to commit, but can act as a reserve which might be needed to extract the very exposed 1st Pz Grp.

11th Army fares worse - the mud catches 60th Mot exposed and isolated - it withdraws to a hedgehod position along the Sea of Azov and hopes relief can reach them next week and the Soviets can't mass against them in the mean time. With little change to do anything in the mud, 1st Pz moves north of the mud/snow line to try and assault Stalino with some Rumanian units - the attack fails miserably...

At this point, even given snow for both armies next turn, Stalino will only fall to a direct attack - there is little to no chance of encircling the city. The focus will be 1) to extricate 60th Mot, 2) attempt to take Stalino by a deliberate frontal attack, and 3) begin to pull 1st Pz Grp back.






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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/19/2012 9:20:43 AM   
janh

 

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Impressive Moscow pocket there. Nov. 20th is a close thing, and you're probably right that it bears a high risk to your armored formations. All depends on the reduction of the pocket next turn. In the south... General Winter finally took sides.

Weired thing, though, that blizzard turns prior to the blizzard penalty period are not as "blizzardy" as the latter. You'd think the logistic breakdown and wearing of the Landsers would consequently set in earlier...

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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/19/2012 3:07:51 PM   
juret

 

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nice work one moscow. u gott one turn to reduce the pocket i think ?

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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/24/2012 11:02:55 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Turn 24; Nov 27, 1941........Snow with Blizzard in the North Soviet Zone.

This is the highwater mark of the 1941 offensive....just prior to blizzard next turn. Nothing like cutting it close.....

Moscow Falls! Stalino Falls! Won't hold them through blizzard, but taking them now - with pretty much full industry - should really hurt the Soviet Cause in the long term.

Screen shot is the Front overview - before we start giving up ground to preserve the force, beginning next turn.






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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/24/2012 11:20:26 PM   
IdahoNYer


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Focus on the Moscow area. Moscow initially was a tough nut - level 3 forts, got a number of holds initially as I wanted to use infantry only. Didn't work - need the strength of all five PzKps to take the city and reduce as much of the pocket as possible. That did the job, but I didn't get to pull the panzers back on the rail (black lines) to "weather" the blizzard in the rear. Was a good haul in the pocket - 22xRifle Divs plus a number of brigades....nice.

In any case, taking Moscow is the crown jewel of the summer campaign - taking loaded with industry is the icing on the cake! Scar figured he'd hold it, and didn't pull out the industry - frankly, with the crap weather rolls I had in Nov, I thought Moscow could hold as well, and almost called off the attack. What tipped the deck was the extra PzKps from AGN (LVI Pzkps) as well as the arrival of the 3rd Pz Kps infantry and a sizable amount from 9th Army - all of which were tied down reducing the Kalinin Pocket.

While taking the city is no doubt worth the effort, there is a downside, other than the panzers being exposed to the blizzard. Armies north and south of Moscow are bare thin - in many cases, single regiments holding a hex. 16th Army and 4th Pz Grp to the north, and much of 4th Army and most of 2nd Army to the south are holding a thin line at best - no rearward fortifications have been built either - need the APs to shift HQs around.

So, the bottom line is, the German Armies in the East are ill prepared for holding back any major offensive - let alone a blizzard. However, with Moscow in German hands, my bet is that the Soviet main blizzard offensive will be aimed to get it back - directly, vs hitting from the flanks. Across the front, well pull back a bit, not running hard to the west, but give ground where the Soviets will mass forces.

Now that Moscow has fallen, its time to re-organize the defenses across the front. Panzers are currently concentrated in Moscow - I want to bring many west to refit in Germany itself - that prevents the temptation of using them. 9th Army and 2nd Pz Grp infantry need to be brought to the front - hopefully we can eliminate the last bit of the Moscow Pocket during the blizzard - 5 hexes of level 3 forts isn't going to be easy - perhaps not do-able. But it has to be tried - otherwise, its going to take just a Korps to keep them encircled.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/24/2012 11:25:21 PM   
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Well done. . You deserve the result you got. Soviet losses can't be far off 4M before real blizzard starts and the units you routed behind Moscow won't be in great shape for a while.

I anticpate a weak winter offensive so you just need to give ground to avoid surrounds. Yes, your position will mean attrition losses will be higher but you can at least hide mobile units in Moscow for a couple of turns probably before whisking them out to warmer winter quarters.

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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/24/2012 11:39:19 PM   
IdahoNYer


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At the southern end of the front - AGS takes Stalino...

I had intended to pull back 1st Pz Grp which was exposed in a Salient east of Gorlovka, but the lead elements were so exposed, they didn't have the MPs necessary to pull out - so instead we had to attack!

Newly arrived XIV PzKps drove in from the west, reducing much of the salient. I really didn't want a major pocket just before blizzard, so my focus was reducing the salient defenses, and eliminating the salient in the lines. Made up of rifle divisions in level 2 forts, XIV PzKps had a tough time, but with the help of some infantry, was able to reduce most of the western side of the salient. III PzKps attacked the last 10 miles from the east, and we wound up with a small pocket anyway. That I probably can deal with next turn, or be able to now pull back the III and XXXXVIII PzKps.

Stalino fell to the 11th Army's XI Korps, with 1st Pz attached. Was enough to take the city, which was all I was going for at this point. The industry fell to the Germans. Nice...

11th Army's LVI Korps also dug itself out of trouble, rescuing the trapped 60th Mot Div.

Like AGC, AGS is in no position to defend against the coming blizzard attack. 6th Army, near Kursk, is probably in the best shape, with it's XXXXVI PzKps panzer and mot division in cities resting in the rear. 17th Army is over-extended, with most of its offensive combat power concentrated to assist with 1st Pz Grp, which itself is still postured more for offense, than defense. Placing the Rum 4th Army in the line is just asking from trouble, but for now, it has to hold some of the line until I can redeploy 1st Pz Grp. 11th Army has capable forces, but like 1st Pz Grp, needs to transition from offense to defense

Overall, AGS, once I get the panzers out of the line, will give ground - have plenty of it to pull back. Will attempt to keep the Soviets as far east of the Dnepr as I can. My hope here is that in areas I'm over stretched, the Soviets are, and will remain, weak. He's got most of his combat power in the Stalino-Voroshilovgrad area - the furthest east of the German line, where I can best afford to lose ground. So with some luck, he'll punch me in the nose instead of shifting forces to less defended - and more vulnerable places.




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RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/25/2012 3:28:50 AM   
Walloc

 

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So thats both Leningrad and Moscow fall in a post 1.06.11 game, impossible!

Nice going to show its indeed possible, not that player skills and luck doesnt play its part.

Kind regards,

Rasmus

< Message edited by Walloc -- 11/25/2012 3:35:50 AM >

(in reply to IdahoNYer)
Post #: 115
RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/25/2012 7:15:52 AM   
juret

 

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congrats to nicely done finalturn of the offensive.

-U got any screenshots how much industry/airplanes/heawy industry u killed of in total and the last turn?

(in reply to Walloc)
Post #: 116
RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/25/2012 6:36:56 PM   
IdahoNYer


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From: NYer living in Boise, ID
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quote:

-U got any screenshots how much industry/airplanes/heawy industry u killed of in total and the last turn?


Here ya go Juret - tallys for industry in Moscow and Stalino when the Germans rolled in. The air and armament losses are going to hurt the Soviet cause.

Moral is, as the Soviets, never have unused rail in 1941 - use it to move industry east - no matter how secure you feel.




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(in reply to juret)
Post #: 117
RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/25/2012 7:18:09 PM   
morvael


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That is gonna really, and I mean really, hurt. Half the IL-2 production gone, that's like 15 000+ planes lost by the end of war... Half of the only serious recon plane production gone as well.

(in reply to IdahoNYer)
Post #: 118
RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 11/26/2012 4:38:00 PM   
juret

 

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nicely done. thats alot of stuff, gonna cripple the red bear. 35 ARM is a big dent in the soviet body.

now dont mess up with blizzard and take to many surrenders! :)

(in reply to morvael)
Post #: 119
RE: Drang Nach Osten - Revisited - 12/3/2012 3:38:56 AM   
IdahoNYer


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From: NYer living in Boise, ID
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Turn 25; Dec 4, 1941........BLIZZARD

Well, the dreaded blizzard is upon us - and there is still much work to do!

AGN's frontage remains long and over-extended, but there doesn't seem to be much Soviet pressure stacked up against it either. So, only elements of 4th Pz Armee pull back 10 miles.

I realized I'll have to give ground more freely as the blizzard continues, but I'm very reluctant to pull out of positions that are opposed only by weak rifle divisions or brigades. So for now, AGN doesn't pull back so much




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(in reply to juret)
Post #: 120
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