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A Grey Steppe Eagle (loki100 vs Vigabrand)

 
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A Grey Steppe Eagle (loki100 vs Vigabrand) - 3/16/2015 9:31:15 AM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline
Settings

Started using the 1.08.02 beta (upgraded to .03 on T5)

After my previous experience, no adjustments to any of the game variables. No +1 and mild winter which will help the Germans but I am hoping the lower threshold for Gds formation will compensate over the longer term.

Using the VC260 rule. I think this provides an incentive for a German player to be aggressive in 1942 and, if the Germans get to that score, the game is very much in their favour in any case.



Beyond that some house rules. Usual limit on airbase bombing (max of 3 per turn) after the initial German attack. No deliberate bombing of HQ units stacked alone. Not so much for the old reason of the mass slaughter of commanders as that its too easy to destroy too many Support Units this way.

No Soviet naval or air landings before November 1941. No naval landings west of the Crimea unless I hold Sevastopol and no landings outside the 1939 USSR borders before 1943. For paradrops, 1 per turn up to July 1942 (but can save up unused missions to use later).

Vigabrand has agreed not to do a full Lvov pocket on T1, in return I'll keep SW and S Fronts in the Ukraine but have flexibility over the Stavka reserves around Cherkassy. This may help compensate for the no +1/mild winter as it should leave me more units to deploy as needed.

For something different, I'm going to try and write this up as a mixture of narrative/point of view and the same 'history book' approach as before (plus of course pictures and so on).

The title is from the folk song Katyusha.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 4/5/2015 11:07:17 PM >


_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun
Post #: 1
Table of Contents - 3/16/2015 9:31:48 AM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline
Table of Contents

Section 1: 'Good Morning Midnight' – June – July 1941

Preamble: 21 June 1941 Mixed Messages
T1: 22-25 June 1941 Western and North Western Fronts are destroyed
T2: 26 June - 2 July 1941 Counter attacks in the Ukraine
T3: 3-9 July 1941 Final destruction of the border pockets
T4: 10 - 16 July 1941 The Vinnitsa-Zhitomir battles
T5: 17 - 23 July 1941 Mogilev falls, Kiev threatened
T6: 24 - 30 July 1941 Rain stalls the German offensive

Section 2: At the edge of disaster - August - October 1941

T7: 31 July - 5 August 1941 The Kirovgrad cauldron
T8: 6-13 August 1941 Start of the battle of Leningrad, disaster at Kiev, Soviet offensive at Dnepropetrovsk
T9: 14-20 August Kiev falls, SW Front destroyed, Heavy fighting at Leningrad
T10: 21-27 August Novgorod falls
T11: 28 August - 3 September Leningrad is isolated
T12: 4 - 10 September Yelnya pocket and German gains on the upper Volkhov
T13: 11-17 September Bryansk encirclement battles
T14: 18-24 September Loss of Volkhov and Orel, fighting on the Dneipr bend
T15: 25 September - 1 October Leningrad isolated, fierce battles at Tula and on the Dneipr
T16: 2 October - 8 October Siege of Leningrad, fighting at Tula, Kursk encircled

Section 3: The calm before the storm - October - November 1941

T17-21: 9 October - 12 November Industrial analysis, bombing Ploesti
T22-23: 13 November - 26 November Fall of Leningrad, start of Velikie Luki offensive, planning for wider Winter Counter-attack
T24: 27 November - 3 December Limited fighting south of Velikie Luki

Section 4: The Soviet Counteroffensive - December 1941 - March 1942

T25: 4 - 10 December The opening blows
T26: 11-17 December The Smolensk and Sumy offensives
T27: 18-24 December Gains at Smolensk, start of the Bryansk offensive
T28: 25-31 December Smolensk almost encircled, Sumy liberated
1942
T29: 1 - 6 January Liberation of Smolensk and Bryansk
T30: 7 -13 January Liberation of Velikie Luki
T31: 14-20 January Trying to encircle AGC, preparations for the Dnepropetrovsk offensive
T32: 21-27 January The Starodub encirclement battles, Dnepropetrovsk offensive
T33: 28 January - 3 February Orsha recaptured, fresh encirclements at Starodub, Dnepropetrovsk offensive
T34: 4 February - 11 February Liberation of Zaporzhye and Dnepropetrovsk, Major German counterattacks
T35: 12 February - 18 February Sustained fighting on the Chernigov-Gomel axis, Soviet defeats in the north and south
T36-37: 19 February - 4 March Volkhov Offensive, review of OOBs and winter losses

Section 5: Preparations for the Summer battles - March - May 1942

T38-41: 5 -25 March Volkhov battles and Soviet frontline deployments
T42-44: 26 March - 22 April Dnepropetrovsk defensive operation
T45-48: 23 April - 20 May Final defensive plans and analysis of German deployment

Section 6: 'Too sullied for Hell' - May - July 1942

T49-51: 21 May - 10 June Poltava and Smolensk battles
T52: 11 - 17 June Disaster in the Crimea, start of the Kursk offensive, continued fighting at Poltava
T53: 18-24 June German offensive operations at Smolensk, Kursk and Kharkov
T54: 25 June - 1 July German offensive at Kharkov, Soviet counter-attacks at Smolensk
T55: 2 - 8 July Major defeat at Kharkov, victories at Smolensk
T56-57: 9-22 July German Oskol offensive, Soviet Smolensk offensive
T58: 23 - 29 July German gains in the Ukraine, fierce battles at Smolensk

Section 7: 'Set orderly, for burial' - August - September 1942

T59: 30 July - 5 August German victories on the Sosna and at Smolensk
T60: 6 - 12 August Soviet withdrawal in the South, German preparations at Kursk, Soviet offensive at Smolensk
T61: 13 - 19 August Major German offensive in the south, start of the Kursk offensive, Soviet offensive at Smolensk
T62: 20 - 26 August Continued fighting at Smolensk, Kursk and the Donets
T63: 27 August - 2 September Destruction of pockets in the south and at Kursk
T64: 3 - 9 September Destruction of the Voroshilovgrad pockets, German build up east of Kursk, Soviet operations in the Crimea
T65: 10 - 16 September German Bryansk offensive
T66: 17 - 23 September Sealing the Bryansk pocket
T67: 24 - 30 September Destruction of the Bryansk Pocket, loss of Vyazma

Section 8: Ni shagu nazad - October - December 1942

T68: 1 - 7 October German offensive at Moscow, Soviet counterstroke in the South
T69: 8 - 14 October Continued fighting at Moscow, Soviet gains near Rostov
T70: 15 - 21 October Overview of the summer battles and background information
T71-73: 22 October - 11 November Build up at Ryazan
T74: 12 November - 18 November Ryazan defensive battles
T75-76: 19 November - 2 December Ryazan defensive battles, German offensive towards Kalinin, Fighting west of Rostov, Soviet offensive at Moscow
T77: 3 - 9 December Ryazan defensive battles, Soviet offensive on the Oka, more pressure at Rostov
T78: 10 - 16 December German offensive in the Valdai, fighting along the Oka, Soviet offensive at Rostov
T79: 17 - 23 December German Valdai Offensive, Battle of Mozhaysk, Soviet offensive towards Voroshilovgrad
T80: 24 - 30 December German Valdai Offensive and counter-attacks around Rostov and Moscow
Summary: September 1942 - December 1942 Overview and detailed OOB

Section 9: "The eyes glaze once - and that is death" - January - March 1943

T81: 31 December 1942 - 6 January 1943 Successful German counterattacks, more German gains in the Valdai region
T82-83: 7 - 20 January 1943 German attacks in the north, Soviet offensive in the south
T84: 21 - 27 January 1943 Soviet offensives at Moscow and Rostov
T85: 28 January - 3 February 1943 Volkhov Offensive commences
T86: 4 - 10 February 1943 Germans fall back to Rzhev, fighting on the Volkhov, southern offensive starts to make gains
T87: 11 - 17 February 1943 Heavy fighting on the Volkhov and near Kaluga, major attacks by both sides in the south
T88: 18 - 24 February 1943 Limited gains on the Volkhov and at Kaluga, Voroshilov under threat
T89: 25 February - 3 March 1943 Stalemate in the north, creation of the Voroshilovgrad cauldron in the south
T90: 4 - 10 March 1943 Stalemate in the main battles, Soviet gains west of Rzhev
T91: 11 - 17 March 1943 Stalemates in the north and south, Soviet gains at Tula and Kaluga
T92: 18 - 24 March 1943 Major German offensive in the south, Tula and Kaluga liberated, Soviet breakthrough on the Volkhov
T93: 25 -31 March 1943 End of the winter offensives, overview of losses and gains

Section 10: "On this long storm" - April - July 1943

T94-T100: 1 April - 19 May 1943 Leningrad isolated, Fighting at Vyazma
T101-T103: 20 May - 9 June 1943 Defeats at Leningrad, Victories on the Mius, preparing for the summer offensive
T104: 10 - 16 June 1943 The Orel offensive
T105-T107: 17 June - 7 July 1943 German withdrawal, limited fighting around Bryansk
T108-T110: 8 July - 28 July 1943 Fighting north of Belgorod and south of Smolensk

Section 11: "To Gibbets, and the Dead" - August - December 1943

T111: - 29 July - 4 August 1943 Disaster in the Donets, gains near Kursk, crossing the Poltava
T112: - 5 - 11 August 1943 Heavy German counter-attacks, gains north of Vitebsk, preparations for an offensive west of Smolensk
T113: 12 - 18 August 1943 Kharkov offensive, Sumy-Gomel offensive, fighting north of Orsha and around Vitebsk
T114: 19 - 25 August 1943 Kalinin Front reaches Orsha, start of the Gomel-Chernigov battles
T115: 26 August - 1 September 1943 Liberation of Vitebsk, Gomel-Chernigov cauldron
T116: 2 - 8 September 1943 Liberation of Orsha, disaster at Chernigov
T117-118: 9 - 22 September 1943 Destruction of the Chernigov pocket, Kalinin Front crosses the Berezina
T119: 23 - 29 September 1943 The Berezina battles
T120-127: 30 September - 24 November 1943 The Berezina battles
T128-129: 25 November - 8 December 1943 The Berezina battles
T130: 9 - 15 December 1943 Limited gains towards Minsk

Section 12: "To Perish ... or to live?" - December 1943 - March 1944

December Plans for the Winter Offensive
T131: 16 - 22 December 1943 Crossing the Dnepr in the Ukraine, Soviet breakthrough north of Kiev)
T132: 23 - 29 December 1943 Gains near Minsk, start of the Kiev encirclement
T133: 30 December 1943 - 5 January 1944 Volkhov Front crosses the Dauga, 3 Ukrainian threatens Kiev, 6 Tank Army cuts off Kirovograd
T134: 6 - 12 January 1944 Limited gains in the north, mounting Soviet pressure on Kiev
T135: 13 - 19 January 1944 Stalemate north of the Pripyet, Soviet pincers almost meet west of Kiev
T136: 20 - 26 January 1944 Kiev liberated, German defenders cut off, Soviet troops reach the suburbs of Minsk
T137: 27 January - 2 February 1944 German attempts to escape encirclement at Kiev, Soviet gains around Minsk
T138: 3 February - 9 February 1944 Liberation of Minsk, Riga almost cut off, Soviet troops reach the outskirts of Vinnitsa
T139: 10 - 16 February 1944 Riga retaken, eastern Bielorussia liberated, Germans cut off in the north Ukraine

< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/18/2016 4:44:01 PM >


_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 2
21 June 1941 - 3/16/2015 9:33:54 AM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline
21 June 1941: A beautiful summer's evening

That evening I was supervising the night shift. Our job was to take the decrypted messages and sort out those for the High Command and other state agencies from those that dealt with Party business. NKVD records were dealt with in a different section.

Our first job was to ensure that every commander in the Western and South-Western Military Districts had signalled their explicit agreement to the 'no provocation' order of 20 June.

Did they?

You know, I can't remember. At the time it was probably the most vital communication we were dealing with but, well in 5 hours it was redundant.

I remember that evening, in Leningrad it would have been a white night, even in Moscow it had been light when I arrived at the Kremlin. By luck I had the chance to meet Sacha as he was redeploying with his squadron to the Urals. They were to be issued with Il-2s to replace their older Su-2s. The day before his squadron had been deployed near Minsk and almost all the planes at their old airfield were destroyed.

In the chaos, I kept on looking for messages from my other brother's sector. Vladimir had written a short note a few days before saying his unit (Malinovsky's 48 Rifle Corps) had just completed their early summer training and were returning to barracks. Of course, we found out later that the Romanians hadn't joined the war on the 22nd.



When did you realise something was different?

We received a number of messages soon after midnight asking for permission to deploy from barracks. There were so many reports of the movement of tanks and heavy vehicles from the German side of the frontier. I believe that some commanders took local decisions and tried to deploy to a defensive position but, of course, most of our front line units were caught completely unprepared.



But by 5am (Moscow time) we were receiving messages that indicated a major attack all along the Polish border. Far too many for this to have been a localised mistake or border dispute.

Some of the radio operators were in shock. Many of us had family serving in the border regions and it was hard not to worry about private matters.

Worse, the system to send messages to be dealt with fell apart. No one wanted to take responsibility for passing them to senior Party members ... they were afraid of being accused of passing rumours and anti-Soviet propaganda. After all, only days before Comrade Stalin had stated there was no risk of invasion.



_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 3
RE: 21 June 1941 - 3/16/2015 9:37:41 AM   
morvael


Posts: 10034
Joined: 9/8/2006
From: Poland
Status: offline
Lovely too see another AAR from you. Let's hope 1.08.03 will be published soon, so that you won't suffer from a horde of "1st Guards" divisions... Maybe wait just a little before continuing. I don't want to ruin another of your superb AARs.

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 4
RE: 21 June 1941 - 3/17/2015 10:48:50 PM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael

Lovely too see another AAR from you. Let's hope 1.08.03 will be published soon, so that you won't suffer from a horde of "1st Guards" divisions... Maybe wait just a little before continuing. I don't want to ruin another of your superb AARs.


thank you. I suspect we'll be some time before the issue of actually producing Gds becomes a problem. If we do get to November before 1.08.03 then may be an idea to pause, but I somehow suspect we'll be a wee bit slower than that

_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to morvael)
Post #: 5
T1: 22 -25 June 1941 - 3/17/2015 10:51:00 PM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline
T1: 22 -25 June 1941

The German attack on 22 June was a shattering blow for the Soviet forces on the border.

The VVS in the border regions was all but destroyed in the first attacks and losses escalated as the Germans methodically wrecked Soviet communication links. By the time, orders were sent to pull back the remaining planes from the exposed border airfields almost 3,400 planes had been destroyed on the ground and a further 500 were lost flying desperate missions against the waves of German aircraft. German losses amounted to 39 planes.


(1-15 shot down near Minsk)

Both Western and North Western Fronts were destroyed as effective military units in the opening days. Actual combat losses were relatively light but that was mainly as the Germans had faced such limited resistance once they had defeated the formations immediately on the border. The bulk of both Fronts were trapped in 3 major pockets. In addition the Germans were across the Daugava and less than 20 kilometers from Minsk.



Notionally the two Fronts had 800,000 men available. For North Western Front 120,000 men, 1,900 guns and 1,300 tanks were in formations that were either incapable of combat operations or encircled. Western Front had 200,000 men, 3,300 guns and 2,700 tanks effectively out of action compared to its notional strength. In effect, nearly 50% of the two fronts that were designed not just to be the first line of defence, but to drive an invader back across the border, was shattered in 3 days of fighting.

With their respective commands scattered, there was little that Pavlov or Kuznetsov could do. Hasty defence lines were thrown up on the Berezina to try and gain time to reinforce the Dneipr defensive line and at Pskov to protect the direct road to Leningrad.

Although South Western Front had been badly disrupted by the German onslaught, overall it had managed to avoid total destruction [1]. Some frontier units had ignored orders and deployed to defensive positions just before the German attack. Equally, the Soviet pre-war planning had always assumed the Ukraine would be the primary target. Some of the best trained units in the Red Army were on this sector giving Kirponos the means to launch bruising counterattacks.



More importantly the elements of 12 and 26 Armies trapped north of Tarnopol managed to break out of the weak German encirclement. With their infantry still caught up in the border battles their Panzer divisions had been unable to secure the encirclements. Despite this, Kirponos had lost 15% of his opening strength.


(Soviet infantry near Tarnopol)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

What do I remember of those days?

Disaster, fear, a realisation that all our worst fears had come to pass.

Oh, and our one success of those grim June days. We later learnt we lost 4,000 planes in 3 days but even so the Air Command on the Western Front managed to retaliate. Here and there our planes delayed their advancing columns.

But our morale was boosted when the report came back that Front aviation had attacked a German airfield near Utena and actually destroyed a single enemy plane on the ground.

You are sure it was just one

Yes, partisan reports the next day confirmed that the other damaged planes had been quickly repaired.




(SB-2s on their way to bomb Uterna)

[1] – We agreed no Lvov opening, in turn I'll not strip the Ukraine. Should give a more interesting campaign than the alternative of Soviet withdrawals and checker board deployments.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/17/2015 11:53:13 PM >


_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 6
RE: T1: 22 -25 June 1941 - 3/17/2015 11:41:26 PM   
Wuffer

 

Posts: 347
Joined: 6/16/2011
Status: offline
Good luck, Loki.

No sabotage this time, so we expect you at the Reichstag soon. :-)

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 7
RE: T1: 22 -25 June 1941 - 3/18/2015 12:18:14 PM   
Doggie3


Posts: 155
Joined: 4/2/2010
Status: offline
Looking forward to this AAR, thanks Loki.

Cheers

(in reply to Wuffer)
Post #: 8
RE: T1: 22 -25 June 1941 - 3/22/2015 8:54:42 PM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Wuffer

Good luck, Loki.

No sabotage this time, so we expect you at the Reichstag soon. :-)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Doggie3

Looking forward to this AAR, thanks Loki.

Cheers


thank you .. with some luck I'll be in Berlin in about 4 years (game time). Its hard to imagine in advance just how disruptive shifting the morale settings are. I think by the end every stack was 3-5 cv short of what it should have been (if it was 3 rifle divs) and each rifle corps was at least 2 below its potential value.

_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to Doggie3)
Post #: 9
Turn 2: 26 June – 2 July 1941 - 3/22/2015 8:57:34 PM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline
Turn 2: 26 June – 2 July 1941


(translate as 'Beat, cut, drive out and capture' – one of Suvorov's many catchy slogans)

After their stunning gains in the opening days of the campaign, briefly, the German offensive lost momentum as they had to deal with the substantial numbers of Soviet troops locked into pockets behind their armoured spearheads.

Again, the dynamics of the war were different north and south of the Pripyet Marshes.

To the north, Riga quickly fell and Minsk was encircled. However, the demands of securing their lines of communication meant the Germans made no effort to force the line of the Berezina or to try and capture Pskov.

The battered formations of Western and North Western front took full advantage of the relative respite. Reconnaissance flights and other reports seemed to indicate that Army Group North's panzers were concentrated in southern Estonia and had managed to reach Parnu. However, they were separated from the infantry of 16 and 18 Armies allowing the Soviets to open up a line of communication to the units trapped around Gulbene.



In the meantime, the remnants of Western Front fell back on the Dnepr and prepared defensive positions on the direct road to Smolensk. The newly constituted Stavka [1] allocated the limited reserves available drawn from units around Moscow and scattered across the northern Ukraine.

To the south of the Pripyet marshes the situation remained fluid with both sides seeking to force the other to retreat by turning their flanks. The Germans struck south of Proskurov and west from Rovno. Both offensives ran into the well prepared defensive positions on the old 1939 borders. At the same time they struggled to defeat the 15-20 divisions trapped in the Stanislav-Tarnopol encirclements.

In turn, Kirponos struck back.



Soviet armoured formations retook the small town of Oknitsa and opened up a narrow corridor along the southern side of the upper Dnestr. This successful operation was protected by the brutal tank battles around Tarnopol and Proskurov. Ultimately unsuccessful, 2 Mech corps hit the flanks of 48 Panzer Corps forcing them to worry about their own security rather than stopping Soviet incursions to their south and north.


(Soviet infantry attack in the Ukraine)

Even on the border regions, elements of SW Front held out, managed to maintain limited communications and inflicted substantial losses of both manpower and time on the invaders.



OOB




[1] Formed by decree on 23 June but it did not legally take on the role as the central command for the Soviet forces until 10 July. Stalin, of course, did not assume the role of Commander in Chief until early August.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By the end of June the war seemed to come closer. Vladimir's units remained inactive on the Romanian border but there had been some limited fighting with the advance elements of German armour. Fortunately the successful Oknitsa offensive allowed most of their units to fall back to the Dneistr. But yes, among the vast numbers of messages, I tried to keep an eye out for anything that might affect my family.

Wouldn't anyone?




_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 10
RE: Turn 2: 26 June – 2 July 1941 - 3/22/2015 9:05:10 PM   
morvael


Posts: 10034
Joined: 9/8/2006
From: Poland
Status: offline
So, they'll live one week longer, a costly delay for the Axis (to be realized in October).

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 11
RE: Turn 2: 26 June – 2 July 1941 - 3/26/2015 12:43:58 AM   
Matnjord

 

Posts: 24
Joined: 2/3/2015
Status: offline
Sweet, a new Loki AAR! I will try to follow this one a little bit closer than the last one.
I do have to ask though, how come in every single ww2 scenario you play (or at least choose to document) it is always the Soviet who get to receive your "enlightened" leadership? Surely a change of perspective would help with inspiration (not that this one is lacking, if anything your soviet induce creative stamina is nothing short of impressive)?

There's got to be something touching about those small scale delays in the face of the german onslaught, especially after reading your previous aar where it was all about juggernaut offensives. Does their success have any influence in the grand scheme of things though? Or is it a case of "oh my god we're so desperate that every single bit helps"?

(in reply to morvael)
Post #: 12
RE: Turn 2: 26 June – 2 July 1941 - 3/26/2015 4:20:02 PM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael

So, they'll live one week longer, a costly delay for the Axis (to be realized in October).


yep, think just how much HI is already steaming off to the Urals due to their brave sacrifice ...


quote:

ORIGINAL: Matnjord

Sweet, a new Loki AAR! I will try to follow this one a little bit closer than the last one.
I do have to ask though, how come in every single ww2 scenario you play (or at least choose to document) it is always the Soviet who get to receive your "enlightened" leadership? Surely a change of perspective would help with inspiration (not that this one is lacking, if anything your soviet induce creative stamina is nothing short of impressive)?

There's got to be something touching about those small scale delays in the face of the german onslaught, especially after reading your previous aar where it was all about juggernaut offensives. Does their success have any influence in the grand scheme of things though? Or is it a case of "oh my god we're so desperate that every single bit helps"?


first part is a good question. Truth is I'm pretty rubbish (with the Germans ) at WiTE, I lack the discipline to manage the MPs of the Pzr units in the early turns. I can get a narrow defeat PBEM in the various 'roads' or beat the AI on neutral settings but neither of those would really set up a PBEM campaign for a decent long term tussle. Certainly playing more from the German side has helped my grasp of good Soviet play. Linked to that, I think I struggle with the concept of 'blitzkrieg' since it calls for a relatively high level of risk taking ... I tend to methodical and somewhat defensive/cautious and attacks based around the application of a lot of force rather than finesse.

I think, esp without the +1, at this stage with the Soviets your successes are the avoidance of something worse or very small scale. So blowing up 1 recon plane really is not going to change the pattern of the war - but its nice to do and in my game with SigUp by late 1942 we were both operating pretty blind due to sustained losses of recon assets. So I thought I'd mess around by chucking in a bit of local point of view comments in amongst the mass carnage and movement of entire army groups etc.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/26/2015 5:20:02 PM >


_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to Matnjord)
Post #: 13
RE: Turn 2: 26 June – 2 July 1941 - 3/27/2015 11:59:05 AM   
morvael


Posts: 10034
Joined: 9/8/2006
From: Poland
Status: offline
I'm exactly the same type of commander, defense has priority, attacks are an option where everything everywhere is safe and stable. Hard to play Germans with this attitude.

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 14
RE: Turn 2: 26 June – 2 July 1941 - 3/29/2015 9:21:36 PM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael

I'm exactly the same type of commander, defense has priority, attacks are an option where everything everywhere is safe and stable. Hard to play Germans with this attitude.


aye, it takes a lot of patience and a willingness to absorb all the damage till you can turn the tables. But especially if you play without the +1 rule (& I suspect most games will use this setting) there is little or no point to risking the type of forces you'd need to make a decent attack till October 41 (at best)

I think its one of the many really great bits about the game design. The two armies really do play differently without too many special rules (and the western allies in WiTW are different again)

_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to morvael)
Post #: 15
Turn 3: 3 – 9 July 1941 - 3/29/2015 9:26:28 PM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline
Turn 3: 3 – 9 July 1941

The start of July again saw a completely different pattern to the campaign north and south of the Pripyet marshes. This time, the cause was less the relative strength of the two armies and more that the weather intervened. Storms swept the western Ukraine, clamping both sides into mud. If this slowed any German drive towards Kiev, it also sealed the fate of the substantial Soviet forces in the Tarnopol-Proskurov pockets.



To the north, German armour approached Pskov but the weak Soviet defence along the Velikaya was sufficient to stall any immediate drive towards Leningrad.


(Soviet counter-attack near Pskov)

Taking advantage of the gaps in their air defences, bombers from the Western Front struck at an advanced airbase near Daugavpils.



On the Minsk-Smolensk axis, Minsk fell but Popov managed to extract his scattered forces from the Berezina and fall back towards the Dnepr. Slowly from the chaos of the border battles the semblance of an organised front line emerged, even as the Germans systemically eliminated the formations trapped in the pockets formed in the opening days.



Equally Northern Front was allocated some reserves, allowing the creation of a secondary defensive line along the Luga. However, the veneer of strength was undermined by the need to use the hastily raised DNO [1]



To the south of the Pripyet, the Romanians entered the war driving in elements of 9 Army scattered along the border.


(so far the Black Sea fleet had seen no action)

Elsewhere a combination of the poor weather and the need to eliminate the Soviet border forces meant they made little progress eastwards. In response, Southern Front fell back behind the Dniestr leaving strong rearguards to delay the Romanians. To the north, South-Western Front built up on the 1939 Stalin line and sought to prepare hasty defences at the main crossings of the Dnepr.

Overall, the first 17 days of the war had seen the loss of almost 700,000 Soviet soldiers (nearly 500,000 taken prisoner), 6,500 tanks, 9,000 guns and 4,300 planes (3,400 lost on the opening day destroyed on the ground). German losses amounted to 42,000 men, 170 tanks, 600 guns and 120 aircraft.

[1] – workers militia, I think their representation in WiTE is too strong for units high in morale (they had a high proportion of party members) but lacking heavy weapons, training (beyond marksmanship) or much transport.

-------------------------------------

Yes, my brother went with Malinovsky. Just before the Germans attacked from Romania they were ordered to take over the 30 Army to defend Novgorod. The Germans were still being held south of Pinsk but it was clear that Leningrad was one of their major targets.



< Message edited by loki100 -- 3/29/2015 10:30:49 PM >


_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 16
Turn 4: 10-16 July 1941 - 4/1/2015 10:37:33 AM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline
Turn 4: 10-16 July 1941

On 10 July the last quiet sector of the Soviet Union's western borders erupted into conflict as the Finns joined the war. Their initial attack fell on the sector to the north of Lake Ladoga forcing back the Soviet border formations but at most pushing 20 miles into Soviet territory.

In the meantime Stalin set about finding scapegoats for the disasters of the last three weeks. Since Western Front had been all but destroyed in the border battles, Pavlov became the most prominent victim with his command being taken over by Timoshenko. This set in train a series of moves among the senior commanders with Zhukov taking control of the newly operational Stavka and Konev being transferred from the Caucasus to take control of the freshly raised Reserve Front.



On the battlefields, the Germans made limited progress giving Stavka the chance to allocate reserves to key sectors and continue to evacuate industrial capacity from threatened cities.

In the north, Pskov was encircled but the hasty Soviet defence lines either side of Lake Ilmen were left unchallenged. Soviet estimates were that the Germans had split their forces with 56 Panzer Corps moving mostly unchallenged through Estonia and 41 Panzer involved in the Pskov battles.

In response, a hasty line was constructed along the Luga under the command of 30 and 33 Armies while 23 Army took control of the defence of Leningrad itself.


(Soviet defensive positions near Novgorod)

27 and 8 Armies from North Western Front held the south side of Lake Ilmen and had created a weak line along the Shelon to delay any German attempt to directly attack Novgorod.


[1]

In the centre, the Germans moved up to a line from Vitebsk to Mogilev but made no effort to either force the Dnepr or push towards Smolensk.



However, with the roads now dry after last weeks rain, the Ukraine saw more sustained fighting. The bulk of 16 and 26 Armies were caught in the Zhitomir-Vinnitsa pocket while the battered remnants of South Western Front fell back on Kiev and prepared the defend the Dnepr crossings. Starved of replacements, Kirponos was ordered to hold the river line at all costs to protect the industrial regions of Kharkov and the Donets.



In the air, the VVS continued to launch a number of counterblows.


(I-153s in action near Pskov)

This ranged from interdiction of German armour to a sustained attack on the airbases the Germans were using for resupply and reconnaissance. Although the results were mixed, the morale impact of taking the initiative was substantial.


[2]

After almost 4 weeks of constant fighting, the Soviets had lost over 900,000 men (660,000 taken prisoner in the border battles) with this offset by the same number of replacements leaving the overall army at 4.3 million. However, losses in tanks (almost 8,000) and aircraft (4,600) had not been replaced. Axis losses in the same period were 55,000 men, 210 tanks and 150 aircraft.

However, although the notional strength of the Red Army had been maintained, there had been a significant shift of manpower from the Ukraine to defending Moscow and Leningrad.

[1] – playing around with various ways to layer the game map and comments, these are made using two layers. The first is a map with no unit images merged with a map with German units (& mine if they are in pockets). I've lowered the opacity of this so its a bit blurred. The second has lines, arrows and text etc, made a bit more bright than the default setting. Not sure if it works though?
[2] - I'm going for recon assets as from my last PBEM it appears the Germans can start to run out of these given ongoing attrition and heavier losses as the VVS gets better fighters. In this game, vigabrand is pushing the Army bases up to the front to improve his resupply. There's not much I can do about that directly but at this stage these bases are then well in advance of fighter cover (well mostly ... ahem). From about T6 I'm seeing the Luftwaffe being much more cautious in its deployments to exposed advanced airbases.

< Message edited by loki100 -- 4/1/2015 11:45:21 AM >


_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 17
RE: Turn 4: 10-16 July 1941 - 4/1/2015 10:48:57 AM   
morvael


Posts: 10034
Joined: 9/8/2006
From: Poland
Status: offline
Lovely to see Pavlov executed, like in history. Does not happen often in the game, as there are other candidates with low POL :)

IMHO the second map is a bit more readable, but this may have to do with clear terrain underneath, rather than opacity settings. Other than that I can't spot many differences.

The shift to the north and center from Ukraine is very visible. Nothing can be helped that LG and Moscow is a priority target in 1941.

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 18
RE: Turn 4: 10-16 July 1941 - 4/1/2015 12:48:30 PM   
Gabriel B.

 

Posts: 505
Joined: 6/24/2013
Status: offline
Under the old airgroup creation rules ,the game you are playing, would not be in your favour .

You have about 1 recon regiment per front (20 ac) versus 14 german aufklarung gruppe (36- 72 aircraft )

+ 4 allied recon groups .

(in reply to morvael)
Post #: 19
RE: Turn 4: 10-16 July 1941 - 4/2/2015 9:02:34 AM   
821Bobo


Posts: 1228
Joined: 2/8/2011
From: Slovakia
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

...and Konev being transferred from the Caucasus to take control of the freshly raised Reserve Front.


Konev needs to be promoted. Did he not lost any of his valuable stats? I am usually leaving Konev at Caucasus MD as I won't risk it.

< Message edited by 821Bobo -- 4/2/2015 10:03:17 AM >

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 20
RE: Turn 4: 10-16 July 1941 - 4/3/2015 8:03:47 AM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael

Lovely to see Pavlov executed, like in history. Does not happen often in the game, as there are other candidates with low POL :)

IMHO the second map is a bit more readable, but this may have to do with clear terrain underneath, rather than opacity settings. Other than that I can't spot many differences.

The shift to the north and center from Ukraine is very visible. Nothing can be helped that LG and Moscow is a priority target in 1941.




Oddly, he seems to go in most of my games. I think its because I leave a number of the weaker commanders in place up to about T6 so they can absorb all the inevitable easy victories the Germans will score (and especially for Western Front there is nothing your command chain can do in any case).

Vigabrand has done a good job eating up SW Front. Its down to the equivalent of just over 2 armies already (26 is sitting empty in the rear), at some stage I'm going to have to send fresh units to this sector but at the moment I'm worried at what is building up around Leningrad

quote:

ORIGINAL: Gabriel B.

Under the old airgroup creation rules ,the game you are playing, would not be in your favour .

You have about 1 recon regiment per front (20 ac) versus 14 german aufklarung gruppe (36- 72 aircraft )

+ 4 allied recon groups .


Must confess my only point of comparison is the game against SigUp, at the end we both were running out of recon assets, as sending them into areas where we were engaged in our fighter wars was near suicide. I was back to relying on R-5s ... of course now I'd simply raise as many as I could (given all the other demands on admin pts).

I do really like the air systems for 1.08.02/3. Its just so much easier to ensure that your elite formations have the most modern planes while new squadrons tend to get the second line equipment

quote:

ORIGINAL: 821Bobo

quote:

ORIGINAL: loki100

...and Konev being transferred from the Caucasus to take control of the freshly raised Reserve Front.


Konev needs to be promoted. Did he not lost any of his valuable stats? I am usually leaving Konev at Caucasus MD as I won't risk it.


I got away with it this time, I find his particular set of stats really fits what I want Reserve Front to do at this stage of the war so it seems a good gamble. Also the chance of finding an army command that might allow him to gain a few wins is a real challenge ... here the no +1 comes into play again. It used to be feasible to build a couple of armies that were useable for sustained counterattacks esp around Moscow and use those to gain rank for selected generals.


_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to 821Bobo)
Post #: 21
Turn 5: 17 – 23 July 1943 - 4/3/2015 8:06:36 AM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline
Turn 5: 17 – 23 July 1943

Mid July saw a lull in the fighting in the north. The Germans captured Pskov and were only 40 miles to the west of the Narva but seemed unwilling or unable to commence a battle for Leningrad. All the Soviet forces in Northern and North Western Fronts could do was to prepare defensive lines and wait for the inevitable onslaught.

In the centre, there was some fighting around Vitebsk, Mogilev fell and the Germans managed to estabish some small bridgeheads over the Dnepr between Gomel and Mogilev.


Soviet artillery in action near Mogilev



Overall it appeared as if the Germans were content to maintain pressure on the Smolensk-Moscow axis but were either holding back the bulk of their armour for later battles or had weakened AGC to reinforce the drive on Leningrad and the Ukrainian offensive.

The Ukraine saw the final destruction of the Zhitomir-Vinnitsa pocket while their motorised units probed at the outer edges of the Soviet defences from Kiev to Cherkassy.



Mainly due to the destruction of 16 and 26 Armies Soviet losses for the week were 150,000 men, 1200 tanks and 275 planes. The axis forces lost almost 11,000 men, 60 tanks and 55 planes.


AT gun team retreating in the Ukraine

4 Panzer Corps had reached to within 20 miles of Kiev (a fifth was suspected to be to the west of the new Kornin pocket). So far it appeared as if the focus of the German offensive was Kiev and to force the Dnepr. Success here opened the opportunity to attack towards Kharkov or to swing onto the weak southern flank of the formations defending Orel and Bryansk. So far, Soviet evacuation of the industrial regions of the Dnepr bend and the eastern Ukriane continued unhindered.



Overall it appeared as if the situation on the approaches to Leningrad and Moscow had been stabilised. The Soviet front was weak but slowly multiple defensive lines were being prepared.

In the Ukraine, South-Western Front appeared to be on the brink of disaster having lost half its strength in the last few weeks. However, till the industrial evacuation of the Dnepr bend, the Donets and Kharkov was complete, Kirponos had no choice but to try and delay any German attempt to cross the Dnepr.

_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 22
RE: Turn 5: 17 – 23 July 1943 - 4/3/2015 11:08:05 AM   
morvael


Posts: 10034
Joined: 9/8/2006
From: Poland
Status: offline
So he's not going for the Dnepr bend, but rather for a crossing in Kiev. Repaired rail will be faster over the river if he manages to do it, might help southern pincer attacking Moscow. But this gives time to evacuate industry from south-eastern Ukraine. Short term gains, long term losses.

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 23
RE: Turn 5: 17 – 23 July 1943 - 4/3/2015 12:41:11 PM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael

So he's not going for the Dnepr bend, but rather for a crossing in Kiev. Repaired rail will be faster over the river if he manages to do it, might help southern pincer attacking Moscow. But this gives time to evacuate industry from south-eastern Ukraine. Short term gains, long term losses.


that is my guess. With one less FBD, operating in the south Ukraine east of the Dnepr is going to be a real challenge against any opposition in 1941.

I think he may well be planning a double envelopment of Moscow - its clear he has committed a lot (3 Pzr corps?) at Leningrad in an attempt to take the city quickly and that I'm only facing relatively limited pressure from AGC at the moment. If so effectively reinforcing AGC from AGS once he's reached Kursk etc is a sound plan.

One reason its actually fun with the Soviets in 1941 is you know that you have to leave one avenue of attack basically undefended so as to concentrate elsewhere.

_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to morvael)
Post #: 24
RE: Turn 5: 17 – 23 July 1943 - 4/3/2015 12:44:02 PM   
morvael


Posts: 10034
Joined: 9/8/2006
From: Poland
Status: offline
So maybe less factory evac from the south, more from LG and Moscow?

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 25
RE: Turn 5: 17 – 23 July 1943 - 4/3/2015 12:57:45 PM   
rrbill

 

Posts: 1027
Joined: 10/5/2009
Status: offline
Compliments for nicely presented AAR!

(in reply to morvael)
Post #: 26
RE: Turn 5: 17 – 23 July 1943 - 4/5/2015 10:02:53 PM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: morvael

So maybe less factory evac from the south, more from LG and Moscow?


Leningrad is pretty empty. Basically between Tula, Kharkov, Stalino and Dnepropetrovsk my logic is I will lose all of one and most of a second. If I can keep it to that, and evacuate most of the smaller industrial sites, I'll do better than I need ... but still struggling to really understand the relationships between HI - arms pts and army size

quote:

ORIGINAL: rrbill

Compliments for nicely presented AAR!


thank you


_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to rrbill)
Post #: 27
Turn 6: 24-30 July 1941 - 4/5/2015 10:04:24 PM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline
Turn 6: 24-30 July 1941

The last week of July saw the German offensive briefly stall. However, this was less due to an effectve Soviet resistance and more that the July weather proved to be variable. Brief storms hit the main battle front, turning roads to mud.



The result was to allow Stavka to reinforce key sectors. It also, fatally, led to over-confidence that the German offensive was already in trouble. As August was to show, Soviet over-confidence was to lead to a series of major defeats.






(Soviet troops digging in at Novgorod)


(Industrial production)

_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 28
RE: Turn 6: 24-30 July 1941 - 4/5/2015 10:29:39 PM   
JAMiAM

 

Posts: 6174
Joined: 2/8/2004
Status: offline
Nice to see you and your opponent using random weather. I've always hated non-random weather in this game, as it lends itself to a "paint-by-numbers" mentality for the players.

(in reply to loki100)
Post #: 29
RE: Turn 6: 24-30 July 1941 - 4/6/2015 10:04:38 AM   
loki100


Posts: 3784
Joined: 10/20/2012
From: Lochan nan balgair-dudh
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM

Nice to see you and your opponent using random weather. I've always hated non-random weather in this game, as it lends itself to a "paint-by-numbers" mentality for the players.


aye, I agree. Fixed weather is completely unrealistic and provides too much certainty. Random favours the Soviets in 1941 but the Germans later on. There was an AAR between Oshawatt and Stef78 that showed how easy it is for the Soviets to exploit perfect knowledge of the sequence of mud and clear turns in May and early June.

_____________________________

AARs:
WiTW: Once Upon a Time (somewhere)in the West; Fischia il vento; (oh) For a few Panzers More; XXX Corps Diary; Infamy, Infamy!
Others at AGEOD
PoN: A clear bright sun

(in reply to JAMiAM)
Post #: 30
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