Across the Dnepr: Second Edition After Action Report - Part Two

Turn 13

Smolensk is now completely surrounded (see Shot 23). I’m not sure how General Alston will be able to spin this, but encirclement is nothing new for the Red Army by this stage in the war, so doubtless the comrades in the propaganda ministry are warming up their typewriters. ‘Fighting from encirclement’ is a favourite phrase, and it will be very interesting to see for how long, encouraged as usual by the NKVD, the besieged can hold out.

Shot 23

Turn 14

The Smolensk perimeter is shrinking as defending Russian formations are eliminated (see Shot 24). Naturally they have no hope of rescue, and must simply delay the inevitable for as long as possible. Smolensk is a key point in what passes for the transport network in Russia. While General Keating’s force drive ever further eastwards, much of the material they need to support their drive must come through Smolensk. The timely capture of Smolensk is as important for General Keating as its defence is for General Alston.

Shot 24

Turn 15

General Keating has only managed to squeeze out two defending formations, making the siege of Smolensk slow going (see Shot 25). He can console himself with thought that with his forces finally adjacent to the city center, Smolensk must surely fall next turn.

Shot 25

Meanwhile, Drang Nach Osten is the motto for the bulk of the German forces. While task of reducing Smolensk is left to an unfortunate collection of mostly infantry divisions, the panzer formations are still driving east. The main prizes are Rzhev and Vyazma, and General Keating's forces are closing in on both (see Shot 26)

Shot 26

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