Turn 1: 22nd June 1941 - 25th June 1941
Army Group North
In the North I went with a very much standard opening in terms of direction. 18th Army was to blast open the front, with 4th Panzer Group exploiting the hole and pushing through to the Daugava. Compared to my previous games against the AI I altered the execution slightly. Instead of pocketing Northwest Front's units, I chose to prioritise speed. Thus I. AK pushed the Soviet forces into the space between Venta and Dubysa while routing all divisions along the latter river. XXXXI. AK (mot.) drove northeast to Riga, with 1st and 6th Panzer Divisions capturing the city in a hasty attack. In order to prevent the Soviet 28th Tank Division from converting hexes and hindering 18th Army's march to the Daugava 36th Motorized Division took a detour and shattered it. LVI. AK (mot.) did not face resistance and crossed river at Jekabpils and Livani, ignoring the airborne brigades at the crossing of Daugavpils.
Along the Venta XXVI. AK fanned out with 61st Infantry Division capturing the port of Liepaja, 217th (along with XXXXI. AK's 269th) Infantry Division crossing the river at Mazeikiai and 291st Infantry Division pushing to Kuldiga, in order to quickly get to Riga. SS Totenkopf took care of the port at Ventspils, ensuring German control of Courland.
Having opened up the Daugava on turn 1, I intend for Army Group North to head to Pskov - Ostrov as fast as possible. I hope that my decision to rout away Northwest Front won't come back to bite me, with all those divisions recovering from their rout and form hindrances for 4th Panzer Group's units.
Army Group Centre
The opening in the Centre was also following the usual procedures. In the North 9th Army's XXIII. AK opened up the border for 16th Army to push through and capture Kaunas, which was achieved quite handily. The only holdup occured at Alytus where 5th Tank Division withstood a deliberated assault by 251st Infantry Division, before being routed. XXXXII. AK pushed the Soviet 10th Army from the border along the Biebrza, mindful of not routing the brittle Soviet divisions. XX. AK swung south and blocked the path east at Grodno. Similarly to the situation at AGN I took up Gabriel B's suggestion made in the Smolensk AAR and went with routing away the forces blocking 9th Army's path towards Minsk and the landbridge. I figured with logistics reduced, getting infantry forward as quickly as possible was worth more than the men pocketed. But I sure hope these units won't recover fast enough to impede my advance significantly. VIII. AK took care of business at Varena, blasting away 184th Rifle Division.
21st Rifle Corps stationed around Lida was dealt with by 20th Panzer Division. This division was reassigned to LVII. AK (mot.) that closed the Bialystok pocket north of Minsk. The newly formed panzer divisions gained valuable experience, defeating the Soviet forces between Molodechno and Minsk. 19th and 20th Panzer Division's morale rose to 85. The fighting XXXIX. AK (mot.) had to do was much less than its counterpart at Minsk, with only 179th Rifle Division in the way.
In the Southern part of AGC XIII. and LIII. AK opened up the border around Minsk with IX. AK taking advantage and routing the garrison of Brest. XXXXIII. AK sent out 252nd Infantry Division to block the Soviets to the South, while XII. AK marched east.
Guderian had to make do with only two panzer corps, after I took away XXXXVI. AK (mot.) and sent it South. Both corps headed towards Slutsk, with Lemelsen's 29th Motorized Division taking a detour to clear the Soviet 209th Motorized Division. XXIV. AK (mot.) lost it's two infantry and one cavalry division to the Kovel operation.
In the next few weeks 3rd Panzer Group shall head towards Vitebsk and the landbridge. Depending on the situation I intend for one panzer corps to halt at Glubokoe or Borisov to do an HQ buildup, provided they are in range. XXXIX. AK (mot.) has two options, dependent on loki's approach. Either head directly towards the landbridge, or cross the Daugava and attack Vitebsk from the North. Guderian's troops are to drive towards Mogilev - Zhlobin, also perhaps taking a rest for an HQ buildup, unless there is a hole in the Dnepr defenses.
Army Group South
As mentioned in the first post I chose not to do the Lvov opener. Therefore my aim was to destroy or encircle as much as possible north of Tarnopol. XVII. AK with the support from three divisions of 17th Army's IV. AK took out the Soviet border defenses. IV. AK, however, needed the boost of LV. AK's 168th Infantry Division to rout that nasty division in that rough hex.
Meanwhile, after 167th Infantry Division blasted away the Soviet division at Malorita, the divisions taken from XXIV. AK (mot.) advanced north of Kovel, trapping 22nd Mechanized Corps there. XXXXVII. AK (mot.) advanced along a Northern axis and with the help of Großdeutschland sealed the Dubno group from the North. 10th Panzer Division, from XXXXVI. AK (mot.), aided by 57th and 75th Infantry Division had to do some heavy lifting in pushing back the 8th Mechanized Corps. The beneficiaries were III. AK (mot.) and Das Reich. The former drove north along the Goryn and encircled two Soviet corps at Dubno. Das Reich converted Tarnopol, but then pulled back one hex to prevent too many hexes from getting reconverted by the Soviets.
17th Army's remaining troops cleared the border east of Jaroslaw and worked their way to Lvov.
The next step will see the motorized units bundle their strength to break the Stalin line between the Goryn and Zbruch and then advance in the general direction Vinnitsa. I am toying with the idea of sending one panzer corps south into Rumania, to facilitate a drive towards Rybnitsa - Ladyzhin (or Pervomaysk).
In the air war I went with the usual approach of a massive strike against the Red Airforce. Initially fighers intercepted Soviet planes engaged in ground support of the battles along the border. Afterwards level bombers carried out strikes against targets on the ground, with advancing units displacing the airbases as a final step. A total number of 2832 Soviet planes were destroyed. I can't really say whether this is a good number of not. Most of them were I-series fighter bombers. Additionally 548 MiG-3, 77 Yak-1, 256 SB-2, 73 Ar-2 and 65 Pe-2 were hit.
I was never quite good in figuring out optimal air doctrine settings. So if somebody sees improvement potential, feel free to say so. Noticable is the deactivation of interdiction. I am not really fond of interdiction, as I never see or feel much of an effect. I'd rather have those brittle in-game Stukas shot down while supporting ground troops, then getting hit while targeting some retreating shells.
ORIGINAL: Gabriel B.
Without the LVOV opening I would strive to secure the land bridge between the ZBRUCH and GORYN fast .
Indeed. It would be a massive setback to get held up at the Stalin line for an extended time. But I wanted to seal the Dubno pocket tightly so the motorized forces have only pushed to Lanovtsy.
< Message edited by SigUp -- 11/7/2013 11:29:26 AM >