From: Kinmel bay
22nd December - Voronezh - Olivier wont attack at Voronezh
.....er wrong actually, so much for German intelligence, are they really working for the Soviets? Despite their assurances that the next offensive would no doubt be central, despite the lack of tank or mechanized corps the Soviets breakthrough either side of Voronezh in a totally surprise attack. I have to be honest and realised Olivier was building troops up in the north, but I thought it would be an attack taht would take place after his main efforts on the central front. Therefore for once I have no mobile reinforcements to hand apart from the Hungarian panzer division.
The Soviet troops are really building up their offensive capability and Olivier very skilfully manages the weaker infantry units by shoring them up with tank brigades, what they may lack in divisional integrity is really made up be the added offensive punch the tanks bring them.
On a wide front the night sky fills with flares and katushyas that signal the start of the Soviet offensive. The bombardment that follows litter grinds several Hungarian units into the dust and the Soviet tanks and infantry pour through the gap. Although the tougher German units do better to the north the 385th division is caught doing exercises and not in their defensive positions, it is a scramble to get back and defend and the Soviets push a gap through the lines. Voronezh is threatened with encirclement along with the whole of VII Corps which represents the best German infantry corps left to the army group.
In these circumstances there is only one choice really, we have to stand and fight, if the northern part of the lines goes so does the rest of the front.
SS Wiking is rapidly entrained for the north and the reserve army - 12th Army - that had slowly been building up is rushed to the front. 12th Army was really supposed to be used to build up the central part of the front, but I am presuming that Olivier is about to launch his tank corps through the gap. Air units, tanks and infantry, the same old story, everybody that can carry a gun is farmed out from the rear areas to build a counter-attack force that will push this thrust back.
In the mean time the Hungarian panzers along with support from infantry, engineers and rockets from VII corps desperately fight to fling the spearheads back, although their losses are heavy their heroic efforts help to push back the southern thrust. Similarly XIII corps manage to push back the northern thrust.
The front line is now just about stable, but will it be enough to hold on before the inevitable Soviet tanks push through the gaps. I still cant see any tank corps, but I am sure they will soon be pushing through the gap, it is now a race to see who can get their reinforcements in place in time.
Total Axis troops has dropped to 482,000 - down from 605,000 at the start of Uranus.