General Keating continues the indirect approach to Smolensk. The inhabitants of Smolensk are probably still happily lining up to buy tins of really good borscht at the local store, the comrades in Yartsevo, currently surrounded by elements of 3rd Panzer Army, probably have other priorities (see Shot 19).
In the south, Roslavl holds out, but with strong German forces breaking through south and east of the city, this happy state of affairs cannot be expected last much longer, (see Shot 20). By this stage of the battle, the Germans have had ample time move all their really heavy artillery up to the front, and with the Luftwaffe still strong, defending even a fortified city against a well organized German siege is almost impossible.
Perhaps its not quite springtime for Hitler, but it’s a good result for the Germans. Yartsevo has fallen, and the front is now well to the east. The Russians seem to have given up the idea of a continuous front, and Smolensk has effectively accepted a siege (see Shot 21). One hopes that the citizens have stocked up on the tinned borscht, as resupply of the government store could be some years away.
In the south Roslavl has fallen and the front has likewise shifted well to the east of the city. I’m not sure how the Russian player is managing all these retrograde steps without himself being relocated well to the east, say to Siberia. Perhaps there’s a map in Moscow that still shows Russian formations on the west bank of the Dnepr, with any discrepancies blamed on poor communications, which must be under stress. In any case, our map shows Roslavl now firmly in the rear and the German hordes pouring steadily east (see Shot 22).