RE: Turn 30: 7 13 January 1942 (Full Version)

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loki100 -> RE: Turn 30: 7 13 January 1942 (6/28/2015 9:37:32 PM)

just to add to the Gomel/Chernigov comment, its relatively safe for me to push there as his nearest rail lines are Kiev to the south or behind the Berezina to the north, so its not a sector where I'm afraid of being caught out by a large number of pzr units being railed in

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

General beat down so far. He is in deep poop.

I don't see him recovering from this.

Good skills on your part and great AAR [sm=00000613.gif]


Maybe a wee bit harsh. I've played a lot of PBEM with Vigabrand using AGEOD games and he's good and slightly unorthodox in his approach. I think he's made a huge gamble as his front line infantry must now be in a mess (and its going to get worse for them) and I'm gaining a lot of strategic depth. So he must be assuming that exceptionally fresh Pzrs plus I presume a few high morale inf divs can be concentrated and deliver a lot of damage.

But I agree at the moment, I'm regarding the heavier truck losses as not important, too tempting to hammer his morale and build a cadre of Gds

Suspect a lot will come down to recon and trying to guess right (for us both) in Jume.




loki100 -> Turn 31: 15-21 January 1942 (6/28/2015 9:40:50 PM)

Turn 31: 15-21 January 1942

Across the front, the steadily mounting Soviet pressure forced the Germans to launch a series of localised counter-attacks especially aimed at advanced units of Bryansk Front. While briefly successful, these also forced the Germans to stop their retreat and become vulnerable to more pressure and the threat of even larger encirclements.

North-Western and Kalinin Fronts saw only limited combat as they followed up the retreating enemy and redeployed for a renewal of their offensive.

[IMG]http://img538.imageshack.us/img538/5091/udMmjf.jpg[/IMG]
(Soviet patrol to the west of Velikie Luki)

However, the intensity of the fighting exploded on the sector threatened by Western and Bryansk Fronts. As the Germans fell back they started to rely more on strongpoints than a continuous line. Where they managed to fend off the Soviets the result was heavy Russian losses such as on the 10 and 4 Army sectors.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img903/8039/ZuIFg8.jpg[/image]
[1]

Where the Soviets made progress, especially to the south, any semblance of an organised defensive line fell apart.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img633/4097/1gUWwy.jpg[/image]
(KV-1s from 40A refuelling south of Bryansk

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img913/6612/b6SuKX.jpg[/image]
[2]

In the Ukraine, South-Western and Southern Fronts made steady progress but Stavka was more interested in the potential for a major pocket in the Dnepr bend. For the moment, elements of Caucasus Front were content to launch localised attacks designed to gain positions for the planned offensive. However, as fresh units drawn from the Caucasus arrived, the intention was to shift to a general offensive, hopefully catching the Germans unawares.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img903/1349/1Er44R.jpg[/image]

OOB

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img537/1821/U9wxwf.jpg[/image]


Losses for both sides remained steady, the Germans lost 27,000 (6,000 dead) and the Soviets 47,000 (13,000 dead).


[1] frustrating, I made the classic Soviet mistake of saving units 'for the exploitation', rarely sensible as you usually need all you can muster to make the actual attack.
[2] - what I'm doing here is pushing my few tank divisions deep into any gap. They can move better in enemy territory than a tank brigade and there is the chance they will flip any uncontested hexes. If, as this turn, they are routed, well it reduces my collection of BT-7s and T-26s. Again in the circumstances, worth trading off trucks for the immediate impact.




Matnjord -> RE: Turn 31: 15-21 January 1942 (7/1/2015 11:02:29 AM)

Damn, I'm imagining the Furher hissing and fuming at the mad plans of his generals. Seeing his obsession with keeping all territory gained in real life someone at OKH must have a lot of influence on him.
Not used to seeing such penetrations of the front as the Bryansk one in the winter of 1941![&o]

Speaking of trucks, when are you gonna get your Lend-Leased ones?




loki100 -> RE: Turn 31: 15-21 January 1942 (7/2/2015 10:42:11 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Matnjord

Damn, I'm imagining the Furher hissing and fuming at the mad plans of his generals. Seeing his obsession with keeping all territory gained in real life someone at OKH must have a lot of influence on him.
Not used to seeing such penetrations of the front as the Bryansk one in the winter of 1941![&o]

Speaking of trucks, when are you gonna get your Lend-Leased ones?


I've got to be honest, this defense/response to the mild blizzard (and no +1) rules has me confused. I was expecting the usual fierce tussle over a limited amount of territory, not sweeping towards Mogilev and Chernigov. I keep on reminding myself that any territorial gains can be lost quickly in the summer, but the further he is from Moscow the better. And that my only real goal is to create Gds and to a lesser extent get some of the better Army commanders to the point where they can take Front commands.

Trucks are already arriving, becomes more valuable in 1943 partly as you get more but also as by that stage you have a lot of mobile formations. Then for some reason, the Americans start to cut off LL in 1945 ... but need to get there first.




loki100 -> Turn 32: 22 28 January 1942 (7/2/2015 10:49:01 AM)

Turn 32: 22 28 January 1942

After the successes in the previous week, Stavka awarded Guards status to more of the formations leading the offensive.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img537/8725/bROahQ.jpg[/image]
(shows all infantry and cavalry with 5 or more victories)
[1]

North of Vitebsk, major offensive operations ceased. Soviet units made a series of limited attacks but the main goal for North-Western Front was now to protect the flank of Soviet operations to the south. On the Volkhov, the fighting died away but Soviet U2s inflicted heavy losses on the Finnish defenders.

The Pronya battles

Smolensk was now well to the rear as Soviet formations switched their offensive to drive southwards down the line of the river Pronya. If successful, this could cut the German line of retreat as they fell back from Bryansk. The Germans were aware of the threat and launched a series of counterattacks on the spearheads of Kalinin and Volkhov Fronts.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img537/2974/r88iKw.jpg[/image]

The Soviet response was to renew their offensive. 24 Army cut the Orsha-Minsk railway and elements of 20 Army almost encircled the Germans clinging on at Orsha.

However, a major offensive by Volkhov Front failed. Neither 2 Shock nor 52 Army could breach the German line between the Pronya and Dneipr. The Front's poor performance also saw 1 Shock fail to break through north of the Besad.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img537/2051/hkgvDJ.jpg[/image]

The Starodub encirclement operation

The failures of Volkhov Front mattered as Stavka had identified the destruction of the German units falling back from the Bryansk battles as a major target. The small town of Starodub became the operational target for both Western and Bryansk Fronts.

To the north, 4 Army swept aside 35 Corps but was unable to exploit due to the threat to its flanks after the defeat of 1 Shock. Despite the relative failure of the Soviet attempt at a deep penetration, around Starodub, the German position worsened. 3 and 13 Army almost reached the town from the north and with the Germans retreating in panic 28 Army struck from the south, storming the town and leaving 3 German infantry divisions cut off behind Soviet lines.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img661/7708/favNdr.jpg[/image]
(elements of 28 Army moving up to their attack positions)

16 Army then struck and after several days of vicious fighting the Germans broke. Most escaped as the Soviet encirclement was weakly held but they were forced to abandon substantial amounts of artillery as their retreat became a rout.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img907/4615/pmY5Yt.jpg[/image]
[2]

Even that was not the end of the crisis. Despite a counterattack by elements of 47 Panzer Corps, 40 Army again struck deep into the weakly held southern flank.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img661/6569/BbjOPY.jpg[/image]

The Dnepr bend

In the northern Ukraine, South-Western and Southern Fronts made steady progress driving back German and Hungarian formations.

However, in the south, Stavka's focus was now on the great Dnepr bend. Intensive Soviet reconnaissance flights indicated there were no significant German reserves to the east of Kirovgrad.

The opening blow was by 18 Army on the Romanians holding the northern flank of the bulge. Surprisingly fierce resistance prevented the Soviets from pushing over the frozen river.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img673/4961/WzqHIU.jpg[/image]

To the south, the terrain favoured the Soviet cavalry and armour and 38 Army drove 20 km northwards along the Bazavlik threatening the German communications to Zaporozhye.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img537/6429/gWHWZV.jpg[/image]
(T-34s of 38 Army in action)

Finally, Trans-Caucasus Front went over to the offensive. Fresh mountain troops attacked over the frozen river and broke the centre of the German defensive line between Zaporozhye and Dnepropetrovsk.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img540/7129/WW68Iq.jpg[/image]

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img540/5017/5Kn9FR.jpg[/image]

Losses for both sides were heavy. The Germans lost 29,000 men (6,000 killed or captured) and the Soviets 47,000 (14,000 killed). In addition, the Germans had lost 450 artillery pieces. In the skies, the VVS was still operating with complete freedom as the Luftwaffe abandoned the German infantry to their fate.

[1] as an aside, the experiment of adding a ski and tank battalion to every cavalry corps has been very successful.
[2] had a long think about this and whether I could make a proper pocket. Problem was its not properly sealed and would have been easy to open. Doing this helps with my three goals make Guards, inflict losses and perhaps push the Germans well away from Moscow for 1942.




Matnjord -> RE: Turn 32: 22 28 January 1942 (7/4/2015 11:40:38 AM)

Right now I've become more impatient to see the 1942 German offensive to be honest. It's a wonderful sight to see Stavka planning and executing large scale offensives and encirclement in winter 1941, but we all know it's just gonna be temporary [;)]

Also that Zaporozhye offensive looks mighty threatening, I'd be surprised if the Germans don't just pull back from the whole salient since they don't seem to have any panzer reserves in the sector. But where to? What is the next defensive line if any? Hitler must be desperately looking each morning at the weather report thinking "Gotten Himmel! Vhen vill this blizzard end!".




loki100 -> RE: Turn 32: 22 28 January 1942 (7/6/2015 11:37:03 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Matnjord

Right now I've become more impatient to see the 1942 German offensive to be honest. It's a wonderful sight to see Stavka planning and executing large scale offensives and encirclement in winter 1941, but we all know it's just gonna be temporary [;)]

Also that Zaporozhye offensive looks mighty threatening, I'd be surprised if the Germans don't just pull back from the whole salient since they don't seem to have any panzer reserves in the sector. But where to? What is the next defensive line if any? Hitler must be desperately looking each morning at the weather report thinking "Gotten Himmel! Vhen vill this blizzard end!".


aye. I know what you mean, WiTE has clearly defined phases (at least till later in 1942) and towards the end of one you are as much planning for the next as concentrating on the immediate issue.

I was really surprised he didn't pull back (or reinforce). I think he underestimated quite how much pressure I could bring to bear with the Trans-Cauc units on the centre of his line?

My feeling is there is no defensive line, they are now just falling back and forming strongpoints where the terrain favours (woods/marshes) or where he has Mtn divisions.

As in previous comments I need to think about when/where to stop, but given the pattern of fighting at the moment I am banking morale and breeding Gds. In turn some of his infantry divisions must be battered, the group around Starodub are in their third encirclement, have mostly been routed at least once and get beaten pretty much every turn. Whatever they do in the rest of 1942 they are not going to be able to claw their way through multiple defensive belts on the direct road to Moscow.




loki100 -> Turn 33: 29 January 1942 4 February 1942 (7/6/2015 11:43:46 AM)

Turn 33: 29 January 1942 4 February 1942

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We didn't usually handle party or state security business as they had their own communications system.

But at the end of January, the performance of the Volkhov Front was as much a matter for the NKVD as for Stavka. Its failure in the last week, and on other occasions, meant the Germans were slowly slipping out of encirclement to the south.

Fedyninisky and his Army commanders were warned, any repetition of failure and it would be clear that they were really German spies. Comrade Stalin was on the phone to the Front every day demanding progress reports.

did it work?

Oh yes, Rokossovsky's 20 Army stormed Orsha on 29 January

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img905/3597/KA1tGC.jpg[/image]
[1]

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img538/9375/b9VIvZ.jpg[/image]
(Soviet troops fighting for the Orsha rail station)

Then Volkhov Front commenced an offensive across its front.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img910/356/PI5ZgK.jpg[/image]

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

The result was to disrupt the entire German defensive line covering the northern flank of Army Group Centre.

With its northern flank under severe pressure and Kalinin Front making gains at Orsha, Army Group Centre slipped back into crisis. Not least spearheads of Kalinin Front were moving towards Minsk unhindered by German formations.

Western and Bryansk Fronts again combined to try and cut off their retreating units. 4 Army swept aside weak opposition even as 40 Army struck from the south.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img901/9450/1qo5LN.jpg[/image]

This time, 9 German infantry divisions were isolated around Starodub, even as 40 and 21 Armies made more progress westwards.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img905/9716/S2XtMb.jpg[/image]

In the northern Ukraine, South-Western and Southern Fronts continued to make steady pressure but the prize for Stavka lay in the Dneipr bend. The Germans seemed to ignore the threat and there was no evidence that they were sending reserves to protect their increasingly vulnerable lines of communication.

Again 18 Army opened the offensive and this time was able to force the Dneipr line.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img540/4339/Ph4S0s.jpg[/image]
(again shows the extent of my air recon trying to see if anything nasty lurks to the west)

This time armoured formations of 37 Army were able to cut deep into the German rear breaking the Dnepropetrovsk-Krivoi Rog rail even as pressure mounted on their front lines. Trans-Caucasus Front ripped open a 20km gap in their front south of Dnepropetrovsk and the mobile formations of Caucasus Front swung east, trying to encircle their forces at Zaporozhye.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img661/9248/fvlLKl.jpg[/image]
(inspecting captured German equipment south of Dnepropetrovsk)

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img540/3148/ExQLoU.jpg[/image]

Losses for both sides were substantial. The Germans lost 31,000 men (6,000 killed) and the Soviets 50,000 (15,000 dead).

[1] - in this and some other images the ratio fighter/bomber is misleading. A lot of the fighters are Mig-3s in a tactical bomber role, have decided this experiment has paid off. Not least the withdrawal of the Luftwaffe means my airforce is building morale so they will be pretty effective when I re-equip with Il-2s.




obssesednuker -> RE: Turn 30: 7 13 January 1942 (7/8/2015 12:58:37 AM)

Damn, your only something like 4-6 hexes from solidly establishing a frontline all along the D'niepr. Think you'll be able to do so before the blizzard dies down?

If it weren't for the drop to 40 morale in the April, then even I (a relatively total noob who is too cowardly to play multi) would be calling this a Soviet run away. Even then, it looks like the Vigabrand is going to have to work overtime if he wants to achieve even a stalemate.




Peltonx -> RE: Turn 30: 7 13 January 1942 (7/8/2015 1:26:01 AM)

Only a handful of games are not and the next patch is nerfing Germany so expect more run aways.

Its next to impossible for most people to play Germany and not get crushed early.

.05 will simply make game next to impossible for most people to play Germany.

Only TDV, Dave and myself I just do not see many great German players and you have to be great or elite.If your average you get smoked, good and Berlin will fall in late 44 or early 45.

Most people simply are not going to put in the required hours to get good at playing Germany.

Russian players have to make 12+ mistakes to lose, German players make one mistake before turn 4 and the game is OVER.




MattFL -> RE: Turn 30: 7 13 January 1942 (7/8/2015 2:06:17 AM)

I agree, the game is pro SHC to begin with (as it should be, it's not red against blue). I also agree that it's harder to play the Germans (though much more fun). And from what I've seen on some AAR's, some GHC are quite good at practicing a rehearsed opening, but who knows if they can carry the game into the dog days of December-February. This particular AAR, while very well done, is like reading about a 2nd round knock out in a boxing match. Barring Loki having a heart attack and dropping face down on his keyboard, this game is now 10 turns past over...




timmyab -> RE: Turn 30: 7 13 January 1942 (7/8/2015 10:36:11 AM)

The boxing analogy was in my head too. I was thinking if this was a fight and I was the referee I'd be stepping in to stop right about now :)




gingerbread -> RE: Turn 30: 7 13 January 1942 (7/8/2015 3:09:18 PM)

We have not seen the Soviet vehicle numbers for quite a while. This offensive has not been cheap in that aspect.

The Soviet army is large very early, 6M end of November is a to me new record.

1.7M casualties end of August with a healthy 1.3M captured should be OK from the Axis perspective, but then something happened, or rather did not. What? Is this the effect of no FBD 5?

Pelton is doing his usual, so I don't directly see it as a lack of fuel for the Panzers.

Do we need to rebalance?




loki100 -> RE: Turn 30: 7 13 January 1942 (7/8/2015 6:22:49 PM)

I'll answer most of these as a batch at the end as they are mostly around the same theme and I think that gingerbread offers some valuable insigts

quote:

ORIGINAL: obssesednuker

Damn, your only something like 4-6 hexes from solidly establishing a frontline all along the D'niepr. Think you'll be able to do so before the blizzard dies down?

If it weren't for the drop to 40 morale in the April, then even I (a relatively total noob who is too cowardly to play multi) would be calling this a Soviet run away. Even then, it looks like the Vigabrand is going to have to work overtime if he wants to achieve even a stalemate.


Not the Dneipr as such, too far west for my rail net and as long as the river is frozen very vulnerable to a March offensive. I'll pull back to a better line (for supply etc in the mud turns).

My crude mid-late game logic is that each winter season (42-43 and then 43-44) the Soviets can breach one of the major river barriers. If the front is east of the Don then you have to clear the Dneipr in winter 43-44, depending on where his summer offensive holds I think I'll have a good chance at securing the Dneipr (or turning it in the north), next winter season

quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

Only a handful of games are not and the next patch is nerfing Germany so expect more run aways.

Its next to impossible for most people to play Germany and not get crushed early.

.05 will simply make game next to impossible for most people to play Germany.

Only TDV, Dave and myself I just do not see many great German players and you have to be great or elite.If your average you get smoked, good and Berlin will fall in late 44 or early 45.

Most people simply are not going to put in the required hours to get good at playing Germany.

Russian players have to make 12+ mistakes to lose, German players make one mistake before turn 4 and the game is OVER.


just on the question of balance, the war ended mid-May 1945 (depends on if you count the Soviet Prag offensive that happened after the formal ceasefire). So is mid-May the end point for a balanced game? If so, if the Soviet player does a bit better than early 1945 is still a product of a balanced game and late summer 1945 reflecting better German performance. So if in reality, and we have no real evidence, is a range of say Nov44-Aug45 game ends unbalanced? And that ignores the early axis victories?


quote:

ORIGINAL: mattp

I agree, the game is pro SHC to begin with (as it should be, it's not red against blue). I also agree that it's harder to play the Germans (though much more fun). And from what I've seen on some AAR's, some GHC are quite good at practicing a rehearsed opening, but who knows if they can carry the game into the dog days of December-February. This particular AAR, while very well done, is like reading about a 2nd round knock out in a boxing match. Barring Loki having a heart attack and dropping face down on his keyboard, this game is now 10 turns past over...

quote:

ORIGINAL: timmyab

The boxing analogy was in my head too. I was thinking if this was a fight and I was the referee I'd be stepping in to stop right about now :)

quote:

ORIGINAL: gingerbread

We have not seen the Soviet vehicle numbers for quite a while. This offensive has not been cheap in that aspect.

The Soviet army is large very early, 6M end of November is a to me new record.

1.7M casualties end of August with a healthy 1.3M captured should be OK from the Axis perspective, but then something happened, or rather did not. What? Is this the effect of no FBD 5?

Pelton is doing his usual, so I don't directly see it as a lack of fuel for the Panzers.

Do we need to rebalance?


I don't this is as over as some of you. Partly I've played vigabrand before in AGEOD PBEM. He is good at recovering, in an epic Rise of Prussia I took Prag as the Prussians, besieged Wien and still lost (mainly as he used my own Russian gambit on me).

Mainly the game situation. It looks a lot like Stef vs Oshawatt, but there Stef ran his army into the ground over winter so Oshawatt was in the strategic ascendency from Aug 42. All Stef could do was to feed the few decent reinforcements into rebuilding his firebrigade. Here vigabrand is going to have a fresh luftwaffe/panzers/elite infantry. But its clear he has one chance at this, and I think I can attack where he's weak, once I know where his summer offensive is going.

So his scope for a riposte is a lot better. He also inflicted a lot of losses in 1941, I'd lost 2m million prisoners and 220k killed by the end of November. In effect, I traded off the 1941 army for my industrial base and I think you need to do this now that HI is so important.

Trucks are going to be a problem. I reckon on losing 5k per turn in blizzard, here I've been running at 7k, again the trade off is in the Gds etc but it is a trade off, not a cost free outcome.

Why its ended like this I'm not sure. In my game with SigUp we used pretty much the same rule set (setting my morale at 95% I think pretty much cancelled out the old +1 ... and that only really finished the game with the new 1942 NM levels). I think Vigabrand was too cautious in the south, he should have put on pressure even at the cost of outrunning his rail heads. Inevitably Soviet resistance will be weak. I also think he should have kept up the pressure at Moscow, I tend to see the cities of Kalinin-Rzhev-Vyazma-Kaluga as an outer fortress ring. Hold them all and Moscow is pretty safe, lose them all and the only way to save Moscow is pure numbers (and hope), as it is in this game I lost none of them.

I don't think with mild winter/no +1 a German player needs to run away, so Vigabrand is clearly offering up his normal infantry divisions as punch bags in return for a very strong offensive core. Whether that is the best strategy we'll see.





chaos45 -> RE: Turn 30: 7 13 January 1942 (7/8/2015 7:03:52 PM)

March on, in this game will be interesting to see. The Germans did get leningrad early so that was a huge victory but he also failed strategically in both AGC/AGS.

So its a matter of if his success in the north can be rebalanced with at least regaining a ton of ground and initiative in center/south. Personally I think he has lost to much extremely precious defensive terrain in the center and retaking all that prime defensive ground from the soviets in 1942 is much more difficult. Its why most Germans do the big push in the south, its just easier due to lack of true defensive terrain for the Soviets to build their lines on.

Lvl 2-3 forts in woods is much more difficult to push than lvl 2-3 forts in the open even with several various river lines. As once you get across the river line is no barriers until the next river line.




Callistrid -> RE: Turn 30: 7 13 January 1942 (7/8/2015 7:13:15 PM)

The most problem with soviets are the high number of transport capacity, and low number of battle casulties.
The soviet army is extreemly big, and avaible to crush the germans with their high numbers. The early industrial evacuation gives the chance building a prosper economy, what overhelm the germans.

Hoverver, don't forget, the german player is not experienced, battle hardened player, so against a good soviet player, the germans has no chance.




loki100 -> RE: Turn 30: 7 13 January 1942 (7/10/2015 9:40:22 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: chaos45

March on, in this game will be interesting to see. The Germans did get leningrad early so that was a huge victory but he also failed strategically in both AGC/AGS.

So its a matter of if his success in the north can be rebalanced with at least regaining a ton of ground and initiative in center/south. Personally I think he has lost to much extremely precious defensive terrain in the center and retaking all that prime defensive ground from the soviets in 1942 is much more difficult. Its why most Germans do the big push in the south, its just easier due to lack of true defensive terrain for the Soviets to build their lines on.

Lvl 2-3 forts in woods is much more difficult to push than lvl 2-3 forts in the open even with several various river lines. As once you get across the river line is no barriers until the next river line.


I was happy enough with the Leningrad campaign, I took the view that if he really wanted it he could probably take it, so decided that I would do was try to feed in enough formations to make sure it cost him time but did not detract from building up at Moscow. So by the time the fighting was over, it was too late for him to move the Pzrs back to Moscow.

My guess for what now is he can't go for Moscow. As you can probably guess, I have multiple defensive belts and hold the fortress cities. He'd be playing to my strengths if that was his focus, so it has to be the south. Even if I am ahead at this stage of the game, there he has the advantages of space (I can't build multiple really strong lines) and terrain. So as I wind down the winter offensive one major challenge is to work out how to set up in the south so that I don't give him any free gifts (esp of my hard won Gds) but equally make him fight for any territorial gains.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Callistrid

The most problem with soviets are the high number of transport capacity, and low number of battle casulties.
The soviet army is extreemly big, and avaible to crush the germans with their high numbers. The early industrial evacuation gives the chance building a prosper economy, what overhelm the germans.

Hoverver, don't forget, the german player is not experienced, battle hardened player, so against a good soviet player, the germans has no chance.


He's really got to hit me hard somehow, or all that HI is going to fuel a very strong 1943 army. I've just sent back T36 and my army is 7.2m, as in an earlier post this includes about 110 rifle brigades at 50% TOE, my manpower pool is only 100,000 but my arms pts are recovering (up to 100,000 now). I have an upgrade cycle to pay for soon, most of the tank brigades are also at 50%. But even so, thats a good base and should only get better as 1942 progresses.

Manpower reserves will recover nicely in the April-June mud period.




loki100 -> Turn 34: 5-11 February 1942 (7/10/2015 9:43:24 AM)

Turn 34: 5-11 February 1942

Soviet successes in the previous week finally forced the Germans to react. The weather briefly improved as the blizzards of recent weeks eased.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img910/4736/0AR6nT.jpg[/image]

On a huge arc from Orsha to Semenovka they struck back, driving in Soviet spearheads and allowing their trapped units to escape encirclement. In addition they tried to slow the Soviet offensive in the northern Ukraine and free their units trapped in the Dneipr bend.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img661/7374/FjxCHm.jpg[/image]

Even so, fresh battle honours were awarded to more Soviet formations. Equally the Caucasus Front was renamed the Crimea Front.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img538/7656/TVgjMC.jpg[/image]

Despite the setbacks, Soviet forces re-organised and continued the offensive. Again 4 Army drove a deep wedge into their rear.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img661/7412/08EDK8.jpg[/image]

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img538/2368/PkIY5J.jpg[/image]
(Soviet cavalry preparing for the next offensive)

Bryansk Front's 21 and 28 Armies then drove north to link up with 4 Army. Yet again the retreating Germans were cut off and encircled.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img673/5769/JqF9Sf.jpg[/image]

In the northern Ukraine, the Soviet offensive quickly regained its tempo, not just driving the Germans back but breaking through and threatening their line of retreat towards the Dnepr.

In the Dneipr bend, the Germans pulled back abandoning Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhye. The result was limited fighting except where Soviet advance guards clashed with their rearguards.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img673/5578/0lATvv.jpg[/image]

Losses remained heavy. The Germans lost 32,000 men (12,000 killed or captured) and 18 tanks, Soviet losses were 51,000 men (14,000 killed) and 330 tanks.

Despite the heavy tank losses, slowly the Red Army was modernising its armoured forces. The factories that had been sent to the Urals were coming back into production and lend-lease armour was arriving. Less useful in combat than the T-34, allied tanks were more welcome as a symbol that the Soviet Union did not stand alone [1].

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img673/3742/GR5nhK.jpg[/image]
(Valentine IIIs destined for the Red Army)

[1] The memoires and reports of Soviet tankers are particularly scathing about the Matilda. Not least the LL ones had been redesigned for desert operations and could not cope with the mud/swamps etc of Central Russia.




VigaBrand -> RE: Turn 34: 5-11 February 1942 (7/11/2015 11:29:50 AM)

Mishandling the South.
As the game starts, I was a fool. I didn't prepare my rail recovery line. I don't abuse the air supplies to maximum.
I didn't get FBD 5 (Pelton sad it isn't important, at the start of this game I wasn't sure why, but believed him). I accept no Lvov Pocket. What is the consequence.
I repair the rail from the Lvov direction, because I don't know (or didn't see) that it is best to come from Romania. Now I know it. With no Lvov Pocket you coudln't bring in the FBD from AG South to Romania in T2. So I lost time and my railheads are to far away for a decisiv blow in the South. But this was my own fault and I believe Loki doesn't think about that as we discuss this rule. (And I didn't see that, too).
My first turn was okay, but I didn't spend enough time to prepare or think about a well start. I was satisfied with my good one.
This game is fun and it is nice to read, that I'm death [:)]. If so, it will be okay, but I think there is lot of fun for us (the players and the readers from this very great AAR) in it and so we will continue.
I learned much from this game, and maybe I'm now in the list of the average GHC players. [8|]





chaos45 -> RE: Turn 34: 5-11 February 1942 (7/11/2015 5:19:31 PM)

No lvov pocket is a tough road for a german player IMO- it pretty much means you wont get the Soviet industry almost at all. Would say if you went with no Lvov pocket the Soviet should have to give something elsewhere like a reduction in transportation or something.

Because the Germans just cant tear through all those soviet units fast enough- historical yes....but early in the game time and speed is the Germans only allies as you dont want to get bogged down unless your encircling lots of Soviets.

As to air dropped fuel ya im having the same issues in my game not getting near enough airdropped lol.




loki100 -> RE: Turn 34: 5-11 February 1942 (7/11/2015 6:31:47 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: chaos45

No lvov pocket is a tough road for a german player IMO- it pretty much means you wont get the Soviet industry almost at all. Would say if you went with no Lvov pocket the Soviet should have to give something elsewhere like a reduction in transportation or something.

Because the Germans just cant tear through all those soviet units fast enough- historical yes....but early in the game time and speed is the Germans only allies as you dont want to get bogged down unless your encircling lots of Soviets.

As to air dropped fuel ya im having the same issues in my game not getting near enough airdropped lol.


I agree its set off problems that neither of us expected due to the lack of FBD5.

In return I agreed to no +1/mild winter and also both not to strip the Ukraine to reinforce Moscow/Leningrad and to fight rather than run. The latter is of course impossible to estimate if it happened or not but its the reason for the loss of an army at Kiev and why SW Front was down to 4 rifle divisions, the para brigades and a handful of unusable tank divisions by August.

I've also not done any paradrops, so there are some balances in there - probably not enough but that is a regular problem with WiTE. As I've argued quite a few times, I don't think its unrealistically unbalanced, just it tends to have a lot of 'rich get richer' mechanisms and relative few to dampen this trend.

My last game with SigUp, at this stage, looked fine, going into the summer of 1942 with us both having problems but with the potential for a decent game. By the end of the summer combination of the new supply/HI rules and the impact of Soviet morale at 95% (ie my summer morale was 38) meant the game had spiralled out of control and little point to carrying on.




swkuh -> RE: Turn 34: 5-11 February 1942 (7/11/2015 6:46:33 PM)

Great AAR, thanks all commentarians.




VigaBrand -> RE: Turn 34: 5-11 February 1942 (7/11/2015 6:53:46 PM)

@Loki: I'm fine with every decision we made and with our game. There are a lot of hexes on the way to Berlin. [:)]




loki100 -> RE: Turn 34: 5-11 February 1942 (7/11/2015 8:05:31 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: VigaBrand

.... There are a lot of hexes on the way to Berlin. [:)]


there are indeed, and its getting further every turn at the moment [;)]




loki100 -> Turn 35: 12-18 February 1942 (7/14/2015 10:00:26 PM)

Turn 35: 12-18 February 1942

The pattern of localised German counterattacks followed by sustained Soviet pressure continued into mid-February. German operations were eased by the improving weather as the blizzards of recent weeks lifted.

In particular 3 and 47 Panzer Corps struck at Bryansk and South West Fronts in an attempt to stem the Soviet drive on Chernigov and Gomel.

Despite these setbacks, a substantial number of divisions were promoted to Guards status as a reward for the recent victories

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img537/9753/NskNDV.jpg[/image]

For the first time in a month, the Volkhov sector saw action as 33 Army tried to turn the northern flank of the Finnish defensive line.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img540/6997/tDR07H.jpg[/image]

In the centre, 40 Army recovered from its battering at the start of the week and, yet again, cut the line of retreat for the German units trying to evade Soviet spearheads.

This time, Stavka opted to first break their pocket into two and then over-run the demoralised Germans. Again the Soviet encirclement was too weak to contain the panic stricken German formations. In a sequence of vicious battles, both sides suffered heavy losses but the Germans were forced to abandon substantial amounts of artillery [1].

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img540/535/KbbUFd.jpg[/image]

At the same time 4 Army hit the exposed 17 Panzer Division from 47 Panzer Corps. Badly extended as a result of their earlier counter-attack, the Germans were unable to cope with the mobile tactics adopted by the Soviet cavalry and tank forces.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img540/691/kd3Dtx.jpg[/image]

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img538/4769/xJsz4j.jpg[/image]

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img537/8809/rEORtT.jpg[/image]
(Soviet Cavalry and T-60s of 4 Army in action)

Elsewhere fighting was more intermittent. In the Dneipr bend, Soviet formations were exhausted from their earlier victories and stiffening German resistance meant that many attacks failed and there was little sustained pressure. At Orsha, Kalinin Front followed up the retreating Germans cautiously as Koniev was worried about his southern flank as long as Volkhov and Western Fronts were tangled up in German resistance to the east of the Dneipr.

[1] part of the reason for the shift in my tactics is a gamble that I just might be able to reach Gomel and secure my defensive lines on the Dneipr.

Losses for both sides remained heavy. The Germans lost 26,000 men (4,000 killed or taken prisoner) and 80 tanks and Soviet losses were 47,000 men (9,000 killed) and 330 tanks.




loki100 -> Turns 36-37: 19 February 4 March 1942 (7/18/2015 3:21:10 PM)

Turns 36-37: 19 February 4 March 1942

The final weeks of February saw both armies trade limited blows in a few sectors but across most of the front major operations ceased. However, two sectors saw substantial fighting.

The period from 20-25 February saw a major offensive by the Volkhov front in an attempt to cut the German supply lines to Gomel. When it was clear the German defences were too strong this was abandoned in early March.

In the north Stavka decided to try to improve its positions with the plan of a summer attack to liberate Leningrad.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img673/5029/NLNL0j.jpg[/image]
(Soviet artillery in action on 33 Army sector)

For the last 3 weeks this sector had been subjected to a major campaign by the U2s flying night harrassment missions and the end of February saw a massive Soviet offensive against the Finns. Having recaptured Kobona the previous week, 33 Army struck at the Finns driving them back.

With their flanks disrupted, the 7th Finnish Division was then forced to fall back giving the Soviets a substantial bridgehead over the Volkhov and able to repair the train lines to enable a build up for a later offensive.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img661/4458/UEETRh.jpg[/image]

Fighting in the north was to carry on for the next few weeks but 4 March should be seen as the natural end to the Soviet winter offensive. In places Stavka reluctantly ordered over-exposed formations to pull back and elite formations were placed into reserve and their place in the front line taken by units that had seen little combat in winter.

Fierce debates raged in the highest echelons of the Soviet command as to the threat the Germans still posed, where they might attack and how best to re-organise the Soviet forces for the summer battles.

OOB

At the end of winter, the respective strength of the main armies was;

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img661/674/5HgK4c.jpg[/image]

Slowly the Red Army was not just growing in size, and adding a number of formations awarded Guards status as a result of their prowess on the battlefield[1], it was modernising.

It now deployed over 6,300 tanks. Of these, 1430 were light tanks, 1630 medium tanks and 700 heavy tanks. The balance were a collection of pre-war BT and T-26 style AFVs assigned to infantry and cavalry support roles.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img633/9529/1zCXLx.jpg[/image]

The bulk of the armour was still based on pre-war models, but slowly production of T-34s, KV-1s and T-60s was improving and some lend-lease armour was proving to be valuable.

The VVS had managed to replace most of the pre-war planes. The 2,700 fighters and fighter-bombers were mostly Yak-1s and LaGG-3s. US and British lend lease planes were starting to prove their worth. The bombers were still mostly pre-war level bombers as production of Il-2s had been badly disrupted in 1941. In addition, the number of reconnaissance and transport planes was slowly increasing.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img911/4763/mFhJQx.jpg[/image]
(should note that about 200 of the Migs are actually bombers as are about 100 of the LaGG and Hurricanes).

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img537/2910/W2lTOz.jpg[/image]
(Lend-lease Hurricane)

[2]

Casualties

The offensive had exceeded initial Soviet expectations in terms of the amount of ground retaken. Cities such as Smolensk, Bryansk and Dnepropetrovsk were back under Soviet control. Equally the threat to major industrial centres in the Dombas, at Kharkov and to Moscow itself had been reduced.

Although the Germans had opted to remove their armoured formations from the front line, they, and their allies had suffered substantial damage in the 4 months of sustained fighting.

Total losses
[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img538/6448/Q23YgU.jpg[/image]

German losses:

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img538/6936/c5cgsr.jpg[/image]

I've indicated the lines where German losses have been particularly heavy. No real idea as to the importance of any of those but the battering of their cavalry fits the pattern of fighting. They've also lost a lot of support squads but I presume those can be easily made up from Hiwis.

Finnish losses:

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img911/5228/wLvn8o.jpg[/image]

I've been deliberately targeting the Finns as my logic is even if I lost the battle badly of all the axis nations they are the one least able to replace their losses.

No real point reporting Italian or Hungarian losses as they were relatively untouched by the fighting.

Romanian losses:

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img633/8890/HdLf5s.jpg[/image]

Think I've done a good job on battering the Romanians, I can't see them contributing very much to the axis 1942 offensive.

Slovakian losses:

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img661/6940/jlhsyS.jpg[/image]

While a very minor part of their forces, these took the brunt of my offensive around Kursk.

Soviet losses:

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img538/7206/DHwFNY.jpg[/image]

I've not shown all the lines for the Soviets. Its re-assuring to see that the bulk of my 3,000 tank losses were in T-26. T-38 and BT-7 models that are obsolete. Like the Germans my cavalry has taken a huge battering but I think my ability to recover those losses is much more substantial.

[1] latest round of Gds

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img538/9580/p0iVs4.jpg[/image]

[2] note for all these numbers, these are the planes deployed on map. The reserve is stuffed full of pre-war rubbish and most I'll let the auto-upgrade routine swap over as Yak-7Bs and La-5s become available in the summer.





Peltonx -> RE: Turns 36-37: 19 February 4 March 1942 (7/20/2015 12:45:51 AM)

Great AAR as always.

Can we get a picture of front lines with or without units works.

Thanks




loki100 -> RE: Turns 36-37: 19 February 4 March 1942 (7/21/2015 9:42:06 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Pelton

Great AAR as always.

Can we get a picture of front lines with or without units works.

Thanks


thanks

overview in the next post, near to the end of March. We both took a rest, I didn't want to risk my hard won morale and Gds gains by pushing too hard and it seemed as if Vigabrand is saving his armour for the summer




loki100 -> Turns 38-41: 5 March 25 March 1942 (7/21/2015 9:55:15 PM)

Turns 38-41: 5 March 25 March 1942

For these three weeks both armies redeployed for the summer battles. Stavka reluctantly gave up some recent gains in order to shorten the front line and release formations into reserve.

The only sustained fighting was in the north where Leningrad Front initially made some gains against the Finns but was forced back when the Germans committed their 57 Panzer Corps.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img673/4465/NtKinf.jpg[/image]

This struck back at the Soviet spearheads and the Front went over to the defensive. Recent gains, if they could be held, offered a valuable basis for a summer offensive.

[image]http://imagizer.imageshack.us/img912/9827/WKaySy.jpg[/image]

Difference between 'strategic' and Stavka reserve is that the Stavka reserve consists of units grouped into armies but not allocated to a combat front. The strategic reserve is made up of units with no command designation apart from one of the two Urals MD.




Matnjord -> RE: Turns 38-41: 5 March 25 March 1942 (7/23/2015 10:04:50 AM)

Time to hunker down and wait for the hammerfall then. It was a wild ride and you certainly seem in a good position to my untrained eye. Moscow is all but impregnable, especially considering the battering the German rifle divisions have taken in this sector, and Stalingrad is so far from the frontlines that I doubt it's at risk. With all that breathing space you've gained for yourself it seems unlikely the Heer will be able to seriously damage you since you can just retreat at will. This is gonna be an interesting summer for sure, what with the intact Panzerwaffe and Luftwaffe and your 60 guard divisions. Good luck with guessing where he will strike and on your counteroffensive. For the Rodina!




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