3 months of playing WITE has caused me to reinvigoate my long historical interest in the WITE. I have perhaps 20 some odd books on the subject, and have read each 2 or 3 times in the last 30 years. I am currently rereading Glanz's, "When Titans Clashed," in the context playing WITE, and of the discussions on the forum about the 1941- 42 timelines and the blizzard. I can't help but get the feeling that the Axis was incredibly lucky, took chances that a human gamer will never do in a game, and was constrained by higher C & C structure that was inflexibly paralyzed by fear and distrust of the Hitler. The Soviet C & C was also inflexibly paralyzed by fear, inexperience and adherence to doctrines which made little sense; the Soviet line commanders did things which a human gamer will never do.
1. Gamers complain about the Soviet RR capability, however: "During 1918 and 1919, V.I. Lenin and and his commissar for military affairs, L.D. Trotsky, used the railroad lines to shuttle their limited reserves from place to place, staving off defeat time after time. This became known as echelon war, in which large forces were shifted by railroad (echelon) to reinforce successivley threatened fronts." The use of strategic reserves, echelon and railroad mvt was integral to Soviet strategy; the game is realistic in this regard.
2. In reference to the Minsk Pocket: "Even in this first fantastic encirclement, where the Germans destroyed or swallowed up over 417,000 Soviet soldiers, there were flaws in the German victory. As usual, they found it very difficult to assemble sufficient forces to actually seal off the encircled Soviets, and thus large numbers of soldiers escaped, leaving their heavy equipment behind." The game accuralety portrays these flaws.
3. By mid October after Kalini and Kaluga fell, "In retrospect the German forces had gone as far as possible for 1941 and needed to go into winter quarters." And consider these facts:
"Only one third of all motor vehicles were still operational, and divisions were at one-third to one-half strength."
"In late October, Guederian had concentrated most of his remaining tanks into one brigade, commanded by Colonel Eberbach, commander of the weakened 4th Panzer Division. By mid-November, this brigade had only 50 tanks left, but it was the spearhead for the XXIV Panzer Corps and, in effect, for the entire army."
So even before the Soviet conteroffensive the TOE was at 1/3 -1/2 and AGC had 50 tanks....only Hilter's threats stopped a rout all the way back to Germany; and standing fast in these blizzard circumstances should cause grievous losses. I am not convinced that the blizzard is unrealistic: gamers are mesmerized and attempt to geographically overexploit the summer and fall offensives, they fail to bag and destroy enough Soviet forces, and often end the fall offensive at low TOE. It is correct that the Axis player often finishes the fall with a TOE which is high - but that is because most Axis players would not push their forces to the extent that OKH did. To mitigate losses, the Axis should really fall back and give up much territory - any thing else should cause the huge losses we see.
Enjoy the weekend.
< Message edited by Marquo -- 3/26/2011 3:04:52 PM >