From: NYer living in Boise, ID
Centered in the vicinity of the Soviet city of Tula is the German Main Effort....which opens up according to plan with solid results despite very heavy Soviet defenses which committed numerous reserves, including Tank Corps to bolster defenses.
All German armies open up the attack with infantry assaults to eliminate forward Soviet fortifications, key attacks also being supported by preliminary Luftwaffe ground attacks.
4th Army effects a very narrow 20 mile wide penetrations displacing a Soviet Corp with a level 3 fortification, and 3xRifle Divs with level 2 forts. This allows XXXVI PzKps to push forward another 20 miles to reach their objective of the the Oka River. This was simply bulling their way forward, heavy fighting all the way - no exploitation possible; lucky to reach the bloody river!
2nd Pz Armee, attacking north of Tula, also encounters heavier resistance than expected. One of the three opening attacks is held due to reserve commitments, and only by committing XXXXVII PzKps in a deliberate attack opens up the line. This allows XXIV PzKps to get into the Soviet rear, exploiting to the Oka River and effecting link up with 4th Army, closing the intended Kaluga Pocket - trapping an estimated 2xTk Corps and 17xRifle Div. With XXXXVII PzKps forced to conduct a deliberate attack, and the need to close tight on the Pocket, XXIV PzKps does not push as deep eastward as envisioned, but still, the gains meet requirements - breaking open the Soviet defenses and pocketing Soviet forces around Kaluga.
4th Pz Armee, supported by 2nd Army infantry, does not fare as well. Like 2nd Pz Armee, only 2 of its initial attacks succeed, and XXXXI PzKps is committed to break through - the difference is that here, the Soviets 2nd echelon defenses also frustrate the German attacks - forcing more deliberate attacks, slowing progress. Soviet unit density is also greater here (which surprised me - I'd figure the heavier Soviet defenses were north of Tula). LVI PzKps finally breaks through, but its 19th Pz is held up twice which leaves its 6th Pz vulnerable to isolation - and not locking down the Orel Pocket. Totenkopf pushes all the way to effect linkup with 6th Army isolating the Soviets to the west - but this is only a temporary measure - There is no solid inner or outer cordon.
6th Army's attack also has difficulties. Again, Soviet reserve commitment is effective, and one resolute Soviet defenses position holds, preventing XXXXVI PzKps from breaking through the Soviet defenses. Only Totenkopf's 30 mile dash makes this attack even remotely successful.
I fully expect 6th Pz to be isolated after the Soviet moves - with luck, I can regain contact, and re-establish a pocket here. While taking territory and cities are importand, the focus is to destroy the Soviet formations. I think the cordon around the Kaluga Pocket will hold - the challenge here will be to reduce it, and keep 2nd Pz Armee moving NE - and across the Oka River. With alot of luck, success here in the next turn could be re-establishing the Orel pocket between 4th Pz and 6th Armies, and compromising the Tula defenses - setting conditions for another pocket in that vicinity between 2nd and 4th Pz Armies. Lots to be done....