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Leningrad Air Supply - 11/22/2013 2:38:52 PM   
Bozo_the_Clown


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I finally remembered to put an air base into Leningrad before the city got cut off. I really like this feature but it needs one major improvement. I could hold the city much longer or at least force the Axis to attack a high CV urban hex if air bases were fully functional in heavy urban hexes. I never understood why that is not possible. It makes no sense to me. Morvael, can this be fixed?






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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/22/2013 4:47:03 PM   
Lobster


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Seriously? Try landing anything bigger than a Piper on a street lined with multi storied brick buildings. Kinda hard on the wings. Better to just stock up on supplies while the ice is thick. Oh wait, you lost that opportunity.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/22/2013 5:27:41 PM   
rmonical

 

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulkovo_Airport
Looks like it is in the Pushkin hex.





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< Message edited by rmonical -- 11/22/2013 6:29:49 PM >

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/22/2013 5:51:10 PM   
Bozo_the_Clown


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quote:

Seriously? Try landing anything bigger than a Piper on a street lined with multi storied brick buildings. Kinda hard on the wings. Better to just stock up on supplies while the ice is thick. Oh wait, you lost that opportunity.


You are making my point. It's impossible for the Soviets to hold the port. Any moderate Axis player knows how to take it. That's why I don't care about the realism aspect. Leningrad is a perfect example why this game is just a game not a recreation of history. From a game play point of view it would be much better to allow air bases to function in heavy urban hexes.

BTW, these hexes are roughly 100 square kilometers. Is it really so unrealistic to have an airport in one of those hexes?

The current model still makes it possible to delay the Axis player. He has to fight through to the hex with the air strip. Then he can wait till November to kill the remaining units.

I don't like abandoning Leningrad like so many other players do these days. It's boring.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/22/2013 7:01:56 PM   
loki100


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agree its good to fight there, not least it delays the Germans and forces a diversion of forces.

Heres a 1956 map (courtesy of the evil imperialists of the CIA) of Leningrad and the Neva:



Several points. My instinct is the game map underestimates how awful the terrain is where the Neva leaves Lake Ladoga. But on what was the Soviet side of the historical battle line, there is no space for a large airfield. The limited VVS/PVO bases there in reality were all to the north of the city, in full range of the strangely quiet Finnish artillery.

I also think the Germans could have taken Leningrad if they had pressed in 1941 or stuck to the plan to send their army that had taken Sevastopol up there.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 11/22/2013 8:04:42 PM >


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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/22/2013 7:33:06 PM   
rmonical

 

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quote:

I also think the Germans could have taken Leningrad if they had pressed in 1941 or stuck to the plan to send their army that had taken Sevastopol up there.


I think everyone agrees. AGN was historically a shoestring operation.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/22/2013 8:19:35 PM   
Bozo_the_Clown


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You guys are funny with your maps and all that.

The fact is that the Germans never took Leningrad. The city was besieged for years. Nothing like that is even remotely possible in this game. It's a major flaw and a boring aspect of the game.

It should be possible to supply a heavy urban hex by air. That would be my suggestion for improving the game.

I will always defend Leningrad in all of my games no matter how many rifle division are going to be annihilated.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/22/2013 9:12:49 PM   
loki100


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well I agree that its worth defending, and its something I'm prepared to lose units for.

I do equally think that if the Germans in the war had pressed either of their major attacks the city would have fallen. In any game of WiTE, a German player is going to take the losses to finish off the job. Where you are right of course, hence the maps, is the Ladoga end of the Neva is far too easy to take.

As it was, letting Leningrad die of starvation suited both Hitler and Stalin. The Leningrad party organisation had been a thorn in his side all through the 1930s.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/23/2013 7:41:55 AM   
janh

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bozo_the_Clown
The fact is that the Germans never took Leningrad. The city was besieged for years. Nothing like that is even remotely possible in this game. It's a major flaw and a boring aspect of the game.


The issue with survivability of pockets of all sorts, from LG to Korsun, has been debated in the forums several times before. It will surely received attention in the future of the series given these intense discussions.

Doing it by allowing some physical nonsense and thereby breaking other rules is not the best way to go, though. Better to analyze the real difference and fix that. There is good reason airbases are not functioning if they cannot occupy sufficient clear space.
In your case you could simply put them in the lightly wooded hex N of the city, which will suffice for kicking in the air supply rule. It doesn't need to be in town. Plus, since all your units still show orange despite not having the port means you are still benefiting from this airbase in town and not suffering the complete isolation penalties.

You were getting the supplies via the lake from the eastern ports until this turn when you lost Osinovets, right? Without this port and a frozen lake, LG wouldn't have been possible. Air supply is a straining business and doesn't transport that much, especially in that time. I doubt the Russians would have had the means to supply some 15 divisions (and a whole million population) merely by air in 1941/42.

So I'd guess your problem started already earlier when the port supply state was good enough to help you hold the Neva. It might be the usual: the instant penalties of the isolation and beach supply rules itself -- that are independent of any true supply states of units or HQ in the pockets. Remaining supply will play a role for the resilience of the units, but the penalties are dominating that in most cases. I think there should essentially be no significant penalties, but a much stronger dependence of unit capabilities on its true supply state. That would also affect the German casualties and op-tempo during summer/autumn 41, and get them closer to realistic bounds. Even reducing the pockets was bloody business, and the state of the German Infantry that went into Typhoon evidenced this.

Yet besides the mechanics, is your situation also comparable to "hindsight"? Did you set up good forts at the Neva, and did the German player only bring those few exhausted AGN infantry divisions that were not bound by counterattacks from Novgorod to Ilmen, or did he come with much more overwhelming force, including PG4's armor, to the party?

< Message edited by janh -- 11/23/2013 8:44:39 AM >

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/23/2013 1:50:29 PM   
lastkozak


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Bozo said;
quote:

I don't like abandoning Leningrad like so many other players do these days. It's boring.


lastkozak says;

Here! Here! Comrade Bozo! The party recognizes your determination and perseverance!!! We will have a memorial service for you and your Leningrad troops at the next party convention! They will give you the 'Order of Lenin' for this!



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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/23/2013 3:30:03 PM   
Bozo_the_Clown


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quote:

In your case you could simply put them in the lightly wooded hex N of the city, which will suffice for kicking in the air supply rule.


Please look at the screenshot. That's exactly what I did. See the orange color. It means the troops are in beachhead supply. It's all good and fun but it's just too easy to displace the airbase. I don't buy the historical plausibility argument. This is simply a game play issue.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/23/2013 3:33:52 PM   
SigUp

 

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I don't know what you are up to. Two wrongs don't make one right. If indeed taking the backdoor over the Neva is too easy, then that ought to be made harder in order to correct things. Not by creating something new and unrealistic to balance something out.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/23/2013 4:25:12 PM   
Bozo_the_Clown


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quote:

lastkozak says;

Here! Here! Comrade Bozo! The party recognizes your determination and perseverance!!! We will have a memorial service for you and your Leningrad troops at the next party convention! They will give you the 'Order of Lenin' for this!


Thank you Comrade Kozak. Please make it look like this.






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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/23/2013 5:52:42 PM   
Bozo_the_Clown


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quote:

I don't know what you are up to. Two wrongs don't make one right. If indeed taking the backdoor over the Neva is too easy, then that ought to be made harder in order to correct things. Not by creating something new and unrealistic to balance something out.


I'm not up to anything. I did not want this thread to turn into a realism discussion again. It was about game mechanics. You guys should start your own thread so that you can discuss the realism of air bases in urban hexes ad nauseam.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/23/2013 6:05:37 PM   
SigUp

 

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What is your main complaint, that Leningrad is too easy to take, or that airbases should be able to function inside urban hexes?

And by the way, there wouldn't be much to discuss about the realism of landing aircraft in cities. It wouldn't be very nice when a transporter tries to land on a street with buildings to the left and right.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/23/2013 7:01:04 PM   
Bozo_the_Clown


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quote:

What is your main complaint, that Leningrad is too easy to take, or that airbases should be able to function inside urban hexes?

And by the way, there wouldn't be much to discuss about the realism of landing aircraft in cities. It wouldn't be very nice when a transporter tries to land on a street with buildings to the left and right.


Yes, of course. A 100 square kilometer heavy urban hex in 1941 contains nothing but skyscrapers. There is no space whatsoever in there. Nothing but buildings and giant statues of Stalin. Heck, if the Russians needed an airbase they would have just blown up city block after city block if necessary with inhabitants.

I'm advocating that air bases should be fully functional in urban hexes. Leningrad is just one example why this is important. But this applies to every pocket.

The thread was merely a question to morvael if it's possible to do that or why it wouldn't be possible.


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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/23/2013 7:38:40 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bozo_the_Clown

quote:

What is your main complaint, that Leningrad is too easy to take, or that airbases should be able to function inside urban hexes?

And by the way, there wouldn't be much to discuss about the realism of landing aircraft in cities. It wouldn't be very nice when a transporter tries to land on a street with buildings to the left and right.


Yes, of course. A 100 square kilometer heavy urban hex in 1941 contains nothing but skyscrapers. There is no space whatsoever in there. Nothing but buildings and giant statues of Stalin. Heck, if the Russians needed an airbase they would have just blown up city block after city block if necessary with inhabitants.




mmhhh, look at the map, Leningrad was actually heavily urbanised and due to the terrain outside the city there has been little spread out of the centre.

Remember that Peter the Great drained a swamp to build his window on the west - at the time of the Great Patriotic war (indeed also in the early 80s when I was there), outside the city it shifts from urban to marsh very quickly.

Its not an accident that the main hard airport was south of the city where the land is higher and during the siege the VVS bases were to the north where it was possible to make hard packed earth to sustain air operations.


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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/23/2013 7:41:09 PM   
SigUp

 

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It's one thing to say city hex, it's another to say heavy urban. Even in 1941 heavily urbanized cities sprawled over many kilometres. Furthermore, you don't need skyscrapers to prevent landings. Just anything that's a multi-storied obstacle. To fly in and fly out you need suitable fly lanes etc. There was a reason why the Germans weren't able to fly anything into Stalingrad after Pitomnik and Gumrak were lost in January 1943.

Here's an aerial photography of Leningrad in 1942:

http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/leningradaerialphotos/Leningrad%20I/slides/GX770SK-1-May-42%20-%2037.html

And here's a map with the scale on the bottom:

http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/prewarmapso36-1-25000/slides/O-36-1-B-a.html

EDIT:

The terrain on the north bank of the Neva at Schlisselburg certainly doesn't look too good. For WITE2 it can be debated whether it should be upgraded.

http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/prewarmapso36-1-25000/slides/O-36-2-B-b.html

http://www.wwii-photos-maps.com/prewarmapso36-1-25000/slides/O-36-3-A-a.html

< Message edited by SigUp -- 11/23/2013 8:48:21 PM >

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/23/2013 10:22:37 PM   
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Since this has taken a tack in the realism direction, I will add my 2 cents! (My 2 Red proletariat cents, for the good of the workers!)

The game would be nice if it were realistic, and then add options to allow other variables to come into play, and the players can agree which options; such as, if the Germans could produce more airborne, and would that have been a factor, or adjust equipment settings within units, or use amphib assault in the Baltic etc..

To determine if the realism is there, one only needs to play the game out in the same way the Germans did, and make that the limit of what can be done, then hindsight can come into play and people can change the German's strategy and objectives from there. For example, could the Germans ever have been able to create the massive Lviv Pocket, which every German player, except the most chivalrous (just for you Comrade Bozo), carries out to get an edge. It is a great tactic, but how realistic is it? Could the Germans have done that? should think for this, the game should limit the distance the Germans can get in the first turn, with what they did complete in the 4 days of fighting it represents. As for airdropping supplies, the Soviet and German player should be limited to what was historically normal, and then have an option allowing them to use all their Ju52's at one base supporting one spear head only.

For leaders, one sets up an attack that did happen in the war, with the same strengths of force and equipment, and then carry out that attack several times, 50-100, and the mean and mode result should be what happened historically (same death rates on both sides and overall result). This is how one determines game balance, and then apply hindsight to such balanced games.



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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/27/2013 2:40:38 PM   
lastkozak


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A Tangent on a Leningrad Defense!

I stumbled on a Russian made documentary on WW2 in the East. It is nice to have something other than the bias German version of how they almost won in '41. Well, guess what? They didn't, and it probably was not just Hitler's fault! (But the Soviets may have done some things right).

So to Leningrad, and my question. There was a fleet there, and the Doc mentions the fleet using its guns to fire in defense of Leningrad. The Germans dive bombed it, and sunk a cruiser, but there were 2 battleships and several cruisers and many, many destroyers. Yet there is nothing in WITE, like this for the Soviets! Even if the Battleships (I have not had time to further my research on them) were only 15" guns (but really that is Cruiser size), but we are talking 380 mm guns? If Artillery causes disruption in German infantry, than such artillery pieces, would make it near impossible for the Germans to take Leningrad until first knocking them out!

There is an article I found, but not sure of its source; it contains a translation of a Letter/military directive to Kuznetsov in Aug '41. I am presently trying to either find it's primary source or find an obvious reliable source.

http://www.1jma.dk/articles/1jmaarticlesWW2artyleningrad.htm

Based upon this letter, there was a lot of Soviet Artillery available in the area, and really big guns too! (So big, that any member of the 'Master Race' would suffer from a permanent Freudian inferiority complex upon seeing them).


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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/27/2013 4:56:09 PM   
rmonical

 

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quote:

Based upon this letter, there was a lot of Soviet Artillery available in the area, and really big guns too! (So big, that any member of the 'Master Race' would suffer from a permanent Freudian inferiority complex upon seeing them).


Nice thing is something like this can be simulated in the scenario editor. I just used existing types, but an enterprising scenario designer could create the naval gun types and add them to the fort.




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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/27/2013 5:14:26 PM   
Bozo_the_Clown


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Very interesting posts. And I never even thought about the scenario editor.

Unfortunately, it won't make a difference. Once the port falls and the airstrip is displaced Leningrad is doomed. For me, this is a major flaw of the game. A focus on realism (no airbases in urban hexes) leads to something totally unrealistic (conquest of Leningrad in 41 with a couple of thousand losses for the Axis).

I don't subscribe to the argument that the Axis could have taken Leningrad in 41 if they really wanted.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/27/2013 5:25:35 PM   
lastkozak


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Its a good attempt, and damage to the fort could risk losing the guns, although Stuka's dive bombing a Cruiser or Battleship is probably easier, than finding hidden guns. Further there should be some AA to help Leningrad, and the Guns on a Battleship are at least 380mm to 450mm! Guns like that would make any soldier feel insecure!

It would probably be more like 16-24 380mm or 450mm's, and 16-24 280mm's. Then the smaller guns, of 152mm's and 122mm's! Then you have your 8 to 16 destroyers also to add in. I would say they be included in the city hex. I have not found any info on Harbour Batteries or defenses which could be used also. When one thinks of it, there was the potential for a lot of firepower to be brought against the Germans. perhaps such additions to Leningrad may be more realistic and give a bigger chance for the city to survive. I think the point is, if the Germans had taken it, they would have taken massive casualties from such Guns; perhaps more like ww1! If it had been so easy to take, they would have taken it, but they didn't, which implies the Germans feared the possibility of massive casualties.

The fleet would not go anywhere since the Germans had mined the entrance to the harbour. I presume the Soviets did not have guns on the decks of their submarines; I think that was just a German/Japanese thing.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/27/2013 5:41:10 PM   
SigUp

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bozo_the_Clown

Very interesting posts. And I never even thought about the scenario editor.

Unfortunately, it won't make a difference. Once the port falls and the airstrip is displaced Leningrad is doomed. For me, this is a major flaw of the game. A focus on realism (no airbases in urban hexes) leads to something totally unrealistic (conquest of Leningrad in 41 with a couple of thousand losses for the Axis).

I don't subscribe to the argument that the Axis could have taken Leningrad in 41 if they really wanted.

I don't think you got the causality right. Leningrad isn't too easy to conquer because you can't place an airfield into the citiy. If anything it falls too easy because it is too easy to get over the Neva. And the losses issue is something that goes through the entire game. Just watch when from 1943 onwards the Soviets suffer some 1000 losses after attacking with 100.000+ men.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/27/2013 5:43:13 PM   
lastkozak


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quote:

Bozo said:
Unfortunately, it won't make a difference. Once the port falls and the airstrip is displaced Leningrad is doomed. For me, this is a major flaw of the game. A focus on realism (no airbases in urban hexes) leads to something totally unrealistic (conquest of Leningrad in 41 with a couple of thousand losses for the Axis).


I am not so sure, I think having all those Guns in reserve mode to be used, with ranges up to 2 hexes from Leningrad, would cost the Germans so much, that if it did fall, they would not have an army in the north worth mentioning of! Further the supplies for the ships would be on board and in the naval yards, so they would have a lot of rounds before they ran out.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/27/2013 6:08:28 PM   
rmonical

 

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quote:

I don't subscribe to the argument that the Axis could have taken Leningrad in 41 if they really wanted.


Here is how I reinforced AGN in my current game:
- 7.Pz and 18.Mot to 4.PzG
- 2.Army to the Valdai
- Arriving infantry to AGN going from 19 to 24 divisions
- All artillery > 210MM & several 210MM units
- Several pioneer battalion

So a smaller front, 7 more divisions and much more support makes the complete (rather than partial) isolation of Leningrad in 41 very plausible. Does anyone have any aerial photos of the "port" of Osinovets? Google earth does not show anything remotely plausible today. There are some jetties going north from Shisselbug, but no docks I could see.

I agree there is a general problem with the pocket logic and the ease in which isolated units are reduced.

We have a similar example of the reduction of a heavily fortified Sevastopol. What makes it fundamentally different than Leningrad? Von Manstein puts the total German casualties in the Sevastopol battles at 24,000. The Romanians made a significant contribution as well.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/27/2013 6:11:03 PM   
loki100


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quote:

ORIGINAL: lastkozak

... Further the supplies for the ships would be on board and in the naval yards, so they would have a lot of rounds before they ran out.


I'd agree, if the fleet was added (fixed guns? not sure how) it would help a lot in making the Germans pay dearly. But in terms of modelling the terrain in the region, the problem is where the Neva leaves Lake Ladoga, making that the natural focus for German attacks.

I'm not sure that in reality Leningrad couldn't have been taken. Soviet histories record their surprise when the Germans abandoned their main attack in 1941 and I think if the Germans had stuck to their plan to send that army from Sevastopol, they could have destroyed the defenses.

There were political issues swirling around the siege. The Finns seemed to take the view that if Leningrad fell, and the USSR survived, they would be shown no mercy. Remember Hitler had schemes to burn the city down. While the fall of Leningrad in 1941 may have brought Stalin's regime down, I believe he was not at all worried to see the city suffer under siege. Domestically, the Leningrad party organisation had long been a focus of opposition (hence the Kirov affair in the early 1930s).


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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/27/2013 6:23:24 PM   
lastkozak


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The Soviets intended to attempt a winter offensive to relieve Leningrad, but the units were required to save Moscow. Further the Germans moved 4th Panzer Armee south for the Moscow Offensive. 2 factors which may have influenced the situation. Had the Germans continued, how would they have dealt with the extra soviet forces up there? Also, Zhukov was removed from his duties at the Leningrad front and placed in charge of the Moscow defense. Another factor, had Zhukov stayed, it may have also been harder to take. Further what benefit do all the extra panzers do in a city? They really can only help in a support role. I suspect that if the offensive on Leningrad continued, it would have resulted in an earlier version of Stalingrad. House to house fighting, and when completed, nothing but rubble when done.

Perhaps the morale factor needs to also been taken into consideration. How did the Soviet soldiers feel about Leningrad? Probably more loyalty to the symbolism of it, than they had for Stalingrad. They even took the time to wrap and attempt to protect the artifacts, statues etc.. Does not sound like it was considered just another city.

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RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/27/2013 6:30:36 PM   
rmonical

 

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quote:

If anything it falls too easy because it is too easy to get over the Neva.


Looking at the 1:25,000 map, the tactical situation is not bad for the attacker. Once across at Shlisselburg it gets worse expanding the bridgehead - but no worse than Normandy (IMHO).

Crossing the Neva is necessary to "close" the port. Making Osinovets a level 3 port and Shlisselburg not a port is certainly generous. It is another abstraction required to replicate history. Level 3 is difficult for the Luftwaffe to close. The Germans could have fairly readily continuously bombed the locations where supplies could be landed. Had the Luftwaffe stayed in the area, the procedure would be to continuously bomb the reasonable landing areas, the worker army would fix the damage (under fire at night) and offload the supplies arriving by boat and repeat the drill the next day. Artillery ammo will be at a premium. As a peacetime engineer officer I thankfully never had to do anything like this when the stakes were high. I can visualize the horror of getting supplies in the face of determined Luftwaffe.

In the game the Leningrad garrison is fully supplied even in a situation where supplies would have slowed to a trickle. If it is too easy to cross the Neva, then it may just be a compromise.

< Message edited by rmonical -- 11/27/2013 7:31:35 PM >

(in reply to SigUp)
Post #: 29
RE: Leningrad Air Supply - 11/27/2013 6:37:19 PM   
rmonical

 

Posts: 1608
Joined: 4/1/2011
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quote:

Further what benefit do all the extra panzers do in a city?


Excellent question. The extra Panzers get AGN to the outskirts of Leningrad sooner. They are not used in the attack to cross the Neva. They are used to exploit across the Neva once the north bank is cleared (a game artifact in that the infantry used to execute the attack miraculously cleared the hex without actually entering it). Then they are used to attack north into the "port" to fully isolate Leningrad.

(in reply to lastkozak)
Post #: 30
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