From: Living in the fair city of Melbourne, Australia
Turn 2 – 26th June 1941
Second turn of the campaign, and it does indeed look very bad. The STAVKA second echelon just activated, and several hundred thousand of recruits rushed to join the ranks of Red Army. While these are substantial reinforcements, we'll be operating on a shoestring for some time. Q-Ball is exploiting this weakness to its fullest, thwarting my plans and picking up any opportunities to push east fast and hard.
Operational Situation Report
I thought that Q-Ball had sent one of 4. PzGruppe PanzerKorps to bolster AGC drive onto the land bridge, but I was wrong. 41st and 56th PanzerKorps drove a deep thrust across the screen I had setup on the banks of the Daugava, and are now in the outskirts of Pskov
where they met the 1st Mechanized Corps 3rd Tank Division. Red Army forces repulsed the German probe suffering substantial tank losses
AGN armor advance has created a huge bulge centered on the city of Rezekne
I'm railing out these forces and deploying them to shore up my position along the Velikaya.
Q-Ball saw the danger of allowing me to deploy along the Berezina and the Drut and drove really hard 3. PzGruppe all the way from Minsk to Mogilev and Orsha
My forces put up quite an spirited resistance, holding up several German key units for a surprising amount of time. North of Minsk, the 100th Rifle Division has written a brilliant page into the annals of the Red Army, executing a text book fighting withdrawal for more than 90 miles, holding up units from the 57th and 49th PanzerKorps beyond all expectations:
In fact, the key for was that the 100th found itself pushed into Borisov – where I had the 227th Rifle Division deployed – and thwarted two successive hasty attacks, one by the 19th PzDiv, the other by the ghastly 7th PzDiv, on the city through a minor river (the Berezina). The third one – by the 7th PzDiv alone - broke the valiant resistance put by both divisions, but left the PzDiv without clout enough to rout the 100th in the pursuit battle that ensued.
The 214th and 7th Airborne brigades, and the 55th Rifle Division have also performed very well. However, these very fine actions haven't been enough to keep the Germans away from the Dnepr as long as I wanted to.
Reviewing my previous turn AAR I saw that my deployment in the Western Ukraine wasn't well balanced. While I had deployed in depth along the Zhitomir – Kiev axis, the Vinnitsa – Kiev axis wasn't half as deep:
Q-Ball seized the opportunity I had created, simultaneously striking through the Proskurov Gap – and herding a couple Mechanized Corps to a mass grave with 14th and 24th PanzerKorps, and from the south of Proskurov with 3rd PanzerKorps and 48th PanzerKorps. This has completely opened the front here, and my fears of having Southern and Southwestern Fronts separated has become true. Two thirds of the Southwestern Front have been destroyed or are in the process of being captured:
I'm trying to get the forces in the Lvov pocket – and the Bielystock pocket one as well – to hexes with terrain other than clear. I expect them to have more possibilities of tying up significant Axis forces and giving a bloody nose or two. It's also interesting to note that Q-Ball is giving priority to moving his infantry eastwards rather than to pocket reduction. I think it's a sound decision, which will put extra pressure on the already hard-pressed Red Army forces.
Overall combat results this turn have been 12 routs, 74 retreats, 39 surrenders and 25 held. The latter seem to be exclusively due to Q-Ball relying a lot on hasty attacks on difficult terrain.
Operations: Northwestern Front
Seeing that I have no options to interdict 4. PzGruppe line of communications, I order the 27th Army to deploy covering the approaches to Tallinn and Narva:
a light screen, 3 NKVD regiments and a couple Rifle Divisions form up a tenous line between the Baltic and the Peipus lake. Meanwhile, to the north, I deploy 11th Rifle Corps in Tallinn to man the fortifications there. The plan is to hold there, and invite Q-Ball into getting tied in a siege.
South of the Peipus and Pskov lakes I concentrate the bulk of the Northwestern Front
blocking the direct advance to Pskov and taking positions along the Velikaya and Sinyaya rivers. Defenses around Pskov goal is to discourage 4. PzGruppe from a frontal assault and try to dar Q-Ball into launching a right flank hook to the south.
Being his motorized units so separated from the infantry, an encirclement would be chancy matter and would delay 41st and 56th PzKorps.
Operations: Western Front
Something nice to report here
taking advantage of my deployment and maneuvering around 3. PzGruppe leading element, I manage to cut off 5 motorized divisions. I cover the outer side of the “encirclement” with the 45th Rifle Corps, part of STAVKA's 2nd echelon, which I brought here to defend the Drut. My plans weren't to defend it in this fashion, of course.
While I ruminate whether or not to attack the easternmost German unit – the 20th Motorized Division – I evacuate most of the units that were stranded in the marshes south, and get the units pocketed around Bialystock to “run for the hills” (when possible):
In this case, the hills are the cities of Bialystock and Lapy and the nearby forests.
I finally decide to attack the 20th Motorized Division, relying on the Soviet commander (Initiative 5, Infantry 5) to get lucky
Seems that in Soviet Russia, there's no such a thing as luck. Both divisions retreat behind the line I'm forming along the Dnepr:
I haven't yet bothered in sorting out the C&C situation here. I'm not sure it makes sense to spend AP's until the frontlines haven't stabilized a bit. It's too easy that a German push leaves in tatters a just reformed command chain the next turn.
Operations: Southwestern Front
First things, first. The Proskurov pocket is punctured:
now it's time to ponder how to create the most problems for AGS. While I think about it I move onto Southern Front moves, which seem to me to be more clear.
Operations: Southern Front
Seeing the debacle further north, there aren't many options here
so the watchword for these forces becomes “RUN”. A screen – or rather, a ragged curtain – is left along the Drut. A couple NKVD regiments hug a couple German divisions. Isn't it cute? Though this isn't a sign of love, very much like there's no love between sharks and remoras (or sharksuckers).
Operations: Southwestern Front Redux
I really want Q-Ball to detail infantry to clear the Lvov pocket
I have more forces here pocketed than between 1. PzGruppe spearheads and Kiev... something I mean to fix by keeping 19th and half of 21st Army in the Ukraine.
And what started as a disaster is now an utter mess:
2nd “Fail Whale” Mech Corps, also dubbed as “Whale on Wheels”, smashes into the German ZOCs covering the LOC of the PzKorps east of Vinnitsa. Proskurov pocket forces stir – I lack a better verb for this – their tendrils to connect with friendly forces moving from both north and south. A PanzerKorps HQ is displaced three times in the process.
Now my head hurts after counting so many MP's.
With a paltry 2448 railcap points left after shuttling a lot of troops around, I have few options. I decide to partially evacuate the BA-20 Armored Car facilities from Leningrad
I skip this, I just read that next turn FZ' will cost 8 AP's, so I decide save the 26 I have left (a few critical reattachmentes and some empty corps disbanded).
< Message edited by Bletchley_Geek -- 9/11/2011 11:12:26 PM >